06/24/15
Clinton Gore 1992

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – False Flag Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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Clinton Obama Elections

Hillary Clinton 2016

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, The Mellow Jihadi, Simply Jews and Blazing Cat Fur 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 email 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 on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

06/23/15
Israel

Never Easy

Arlene from Israel

But we might wish it were not quite so difficult.

We begin with the report on the Gaza war of 2014 prepared by the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry (COI), which was headed by Mary McGowan Davis.  It was released yesterday, and while not as flagrantly outrageous as the Goldstone report had been, it is very bad in several respects.

What is outrageously off the mark is its reach for even-handed moral equivalency:

“The commission was able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and Palestinian armed groups.  In some cases, these violations may amount to war crimes.” (emphasis added)

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=26397

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And please consider this, which is jaw-dropping (emphasis added):

“The United Nations Human Rights Council report on the 50-day Gaza conflict said there was no indication Hamas’s cross-border tunnels were constructed to attack Israeli civilians, since the terror group exclusively targeted ‘legitimate’ Israel Defense Forces positions during the summer war.

“The commission, headed by American jurist Mary McGowan Davis, said that the network of tunnels reaching into Israel did not conclusively prove a threat to Gaza border communities and were used legitimately.

’The commission cannot conclusively determine the intent of Palestinian armed groups with regard to the construction and use of these tunnels,’ the report said. ‘However, the commission observes that during the period under examination, the tunnels were only used to conduct attacks directed at IDF positions in Israel in the vicinity of the Green Line, which are legitimate military targets.’

As I recall, a tunnel was found dug adjacent to a kindergarten in a community in the south – which made the blood of many of us run cold.  And the commission cannot determine the intent of Hamas???

“In October 2014, the IDF confirmed a report in Vanity Fair that Hamas had planned to carry out a massive assault by penetrating Israeli communities via tunnels under the border from the Gaza Strip, and then killing or kidnapping as many civilians as possible.

IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner said the terror group planned to use the tunnels to attack civilian areas in Israel and ‘inflict mass casualties.

“’Hamas had a plan,’ Lerner added. ‘A simultaneous, coordinated, surprise attack within Israel.’”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/un-report-tunnels-into-israel-legitimately-targeted-idf/

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The response by the Israeli Foreign Ministry:

“It is regrettable that the report fails to recognize the profound difference between Israel’s moral behavior during Operation Protective Edge and the terror organizations it confronted. This report was commissioned by a notoriously biased institution, given an obviously biased mandate.” (Emphasis added)

Our prime minister noted that (emphasis added):

Israel does not commit war crimes. Israel is defending itself from a murderous terrorist organization that calls for its destruction and which has perpetrated many war crimes. Any country that wants to live would have acted this way… We will continue to take strong and determined action against all those who try to attack us and our citizens, and we will do so in accordance with international law.”

The UN Human Rights Council, charged Netanyahu, has a “singular obsession with Israel.
It has passed more resolutions against Israel than…against all the countries of the world combined.

So Israel treats this report as flawed and biased and urges all fair-minded observers to do the same.”

~~~~~~~~~~

NGO-Monitor has released a preliminary response to the report (emphasis added):

“[The Report] quotes extensively from biased and unreliable political advocacy non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Although these groups lack credibility and do not employ professional fact-finding standards, the COI repeated the NGOs’ unverifiable factual claims and allegations of Israeli ‘war crimes.’

European government funding enables these NGOs, as does funding from private foundations such as the New Israel Fund (NIF). Without the financial support and public backing from their donors, these fringe advocacy organizations would not have a platform to disseminate their propaganda.

“An initial review of [the report] shows that the unverified claims of NGOs were referenced, cited, and quoted at a high volume, in contrast to accepted international fact-finding standards…”

http://ngo-monitor.org/article/par_for_the_course_eu_nif_funded_ngos_central_to_unhrc_lawfare_attack

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We will, undoubtedly, be returning to this subject.  Especially as the next stop may be the international courts.

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Then we have the situation with the Druze, which has now become even more complex and problematic than it had been.

Last night, an IDF ambulance in the Golan transporting two wounded Syrian soldiers to a medical facility in the north for treatment was stormed by some 150 Druze, who pelted the ambulance and managed to get inside.  One of the injured Syrians was left in critical condition and required surgery. The other died on the way to the hospital. Two IDF soldiers were lightly injured as well.

Credit: Yeshiva World News

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Prime Minister Netanyahu was very clear on this: “We will not let [residents] interfere with IDF soldiers’ duty to carry out their missions.”

While IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot declared, “It’s inconceivable that IDF soldiers and [Syrian] wounded are attacked by Israeli citizens.”

Inconceivable, but it happened.  General Eisenkot has called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/several-injured-as-druze-attack-idf-ambulance-carrying-syrians/

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Sheikh Moafaq Tarif, religious leader of the Druze community in Israel, lamented that, “This is not our way, and we are hurting over the criminal act done by lawbreakers, and call on authorities to act.”  He will be calling a meeting of Druze leadership to discuss the matter.

This attack was actually the second of its kind in 24 hours, although the earlier attack had less serious consequences.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4671371,00.html

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The charge by the Druze is that Israel is treating and sheltering jihadis from the Nusra Front who threaten their fellow Druze inside of Syria.

IDF spokesman Motti Almoz said Israel “has not provided aid to the Nusra Front over the past four years, since the civil war in Syria began…

“We help wounded Syrians who arrive at our border and give them medical treatment.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-denies-treating-syrian-jihadis-after-druze-attack-ambulance/

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A bit of background on the Druze situation:  Druze policy (or ideology, perhaps) requires them to be loyal to the authority of the area in which they live.  Most of the Druze inside of Israel are loyal Israelis and deeply Zionistic; many serve in the IDF.  There is, for example, Col. Rasan Alian (below), first Druze commander of the Golani Brigades. After being seriously wounded last year, he could not wait to get back to his men.

 
Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90

And MK (Likud) Ayoub Kara, who boasts that he is more Zionist than the Jews.

Some in the Golan, however, express ambivalence.  Before Israel took the Golan in 1967, they were loyal to Assad, and those still in Syria have remained so.  Some on the border, on the Israeli side, are fearful that Israel might yet relinquish the Golan, and so have been uneasy about assuming Israeli citizenship; they are tacitly loyal to Assad.

~~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday I spoke with one of my key analysts – an Arab speaking Israeli journalist with significant knowledge of what is going on in the Arab world.  It is his opinion that Israel absolutely should not get involved inside of Syria in order to protect the Druze.  What Israel should do, he says, is provide them with the weaponry that will allow them to defend themselves.

If Assad goes, they will find it near impossible to shift loyalty to jihadis, even if they should wish to do so, he tells me. For these extremists would demand they follow their Islamic line. (The Druze religion is syncretic and not shared  readily with outsiders.)  By default, Druze loyalties would become pro-Israel, he predicts.

As to Israel providing a safe zone in Syria, at the Golan border, he points out with some logic that a good part of Syria would run to be in that safe zone, not just Druze, and Israel would be left with an untenable situation.  Israel should thus not rush to institute such a zone now, he believes, but rather consider doing it slowly and judiciously, and with Jordanian cooperation.

~~~~~~~~~~

Speaking of loyalty: how about on the part of all those in the Knesset?

Israel is facing the possibility of another flotilla incident.  Like we need this now.  In May, a trawler, the Marianne of Gothenburg, carrying a small crew, left from Sweden – the first in what is said to be a flotilla in formation. It has been stopping at a number of ports before heading for Gaza, and at some point is supposed to be joined by three or four other ships.

Credit: demotix

Overtly declaring intention of trying to break Israel’s sea blockade of Gaza (a fully legal blockade); the organizers of the flotilla are seeking as much international press attention as they can garner.  They may be carrying some minimal supplies (ostensibly solar panels and medical supplies), but I think they have more or less abandoned the charade that their action is about bringing “humanitarian assistance” to the people of Gaza.  (Note: large quantities of humanitarian aid and other supplies enter Gaza from Israel routinely via land crossing points.)

Said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon, “if the so-called helpful Gaza flotillas were really interested in the welfare of the population in Gaza, they would send their aid via Israel. The fact that they insist on a flotilla demonstrates this is an unnecessary provocation.”

Israel has already declared unequivocally that the boats of this flotilla will not be permitted to enter the territorial waters outside of Gaza: “The navy intends to treat the ships [of this flotilla] just as it would any vessel that tries to enter Israel’s territorial waters without authorization.”

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Arab-MK-to-join-third-Gaza-bound-flotilla-warns-Israel-not-to-intercept-it-406687

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While understanding that other methods may be necessary, Israel is attempting to use diplomatic channels to stop the flotilla.

And the Israeli NGO Shurat Hadin -The Israel Law Center is approaching the issue in its own fashion.  On Sunday Shurat Hadin’s president, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, sent a warning letter demanding that the Swedish bank Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB) “cease providing financial services” to the groups Free Gaza and Ships to Gaza, which are “helping to arrange a flotilla to breach Israel’s lawful naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.”  The letter noted that “SEB holds a maritime lien on the Marianne av Göteborg, the lead ship in the planned Gaza flotilla.”

That flotilla ship, continued the letter, “might be destroyed or confiscated” by the IDF and warned that the Stockholm-based bank “is at serious risk of losing its collateral: The boat.”

Such tactics have worked in the past.

~~~~~~~~~~

What has caused a furor here in Israel is the announced intention of Arab MK (Balad) Basel Ghattas to join the flotilla. I believe the vessel is now docked in Palermo and will be moving on to Athens, and then heading towards the Gaza coast in just days.

Ghattas declared that those on board, including several others who are going to join him, will not be carrying weapons. But, “If the IDF wants to kill, then shoot.” As if the IDF routinely shoots unarmed persons.  False bravado – words he wouldn’t dare utter to an authority that does shoot.

Any action to take over the vessel, warned Ghattas, would “complicate Israel with another international crisis.”

There are furious charges from members of the Knesset that Ghattas is a traitor and provocateur, along with demands that his Knesset immunity be lifted and that he be otherwise investigated.

What is happening here with Ghattas is a problem we have faced on several occasions, regarding Arab MKs who are not loyal to Israel and eager to utilize Israeli democracy to weaken our state.

~~~~~~~~~~

And good news, which is so badly needed:

“Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute reported the results of their Personalized Nutrition Project.  They discovered that bacteria in the stomach of different people reacts differently to the same food.  Some even lost weight from ice cream and buttered bread.”
.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/computer-algorithm-may-help-with-weight-loss/

___________________________

“There is no sign of the Palestinian Authority’s BDS policy in Bethlehem.  During Kay Wilson’s visit, she saw plenty of Israeli products in the supermarkets. She saw some Arabs driving cars that the rest of us could only dream of.  Kay’s Facebook post went viral.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/196806#.VYmOdZsVjIV
.
Seems Abbas is eager to promote BDS in order to weaken Israel, but not so eager so that he deprives Palestinian Arabs of Israeli products they seek.
____________________________

“An Israeli-developed smart flight helmet will detect emergency situations in which pilots are about to lose consciousness, and take control of the plane in order to prevent disasters.  Tel Aviv’s Lifebeam developed the Cannary system with sensors measuring the pilot’s vital signs.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/high-tech-israeli-helmet-will-prevent-flight-crashes/

06/23/15
Guns

Open Carry Laws present challenges

By: T F Stern
The Moral Liberal

Samsung Galaxy S 5 phone

We went to the local Verizon store this past weekend, a chance to upgrade my cell phone and take advantage of Father’s Day specials.  Lucy already had a Verizon account so by dropping my T-Mobile service and switching I’d get a new phone and save money to boot.  The store was fairly busy and we had to wait for a salesperson.

I’d barely learned to use my old phone; what was I thinking as I tried to figure out the new technology, technology my kids and grandkids know all about.

There was a uniformed Houston Police Officer working security so I introduced myself as a retired cop and exchanged pleasantries while waiting.  I asked him if there had been any special training for officers to deal with the new Open Carry Law which goes into effect at the first of the year and was a bit surprised when he said there had not.

The officer was a two year veteran; in other words he could still be considered a rookie… that coming from an old guy who retired from the department about the time this kid was born.  He wore the new dark blue uniform which I’m not a fan of as it makes officers look less approachable, more militaristic; but that’s just my opinion.

I mentioned my concern that the Department hadn’t provided additional training for street officers in dealing with the general public as the Open Carry Law went into effect.  The mindset of a street officer upon seeing a weapon has to be prepared for the worst while treating the situation with Kid gloves.   I can hardly wait, sarcasm button engaged, as future stories hit the Houston Chronicle, “Officer Shoots Citizen For No Reason Other Than He Saw A Legally Permitted Pistol”, or some such headline.

Lethal_weapon 1Here’s a movie clip from, Lethal Weapon, with Danny Glover playing the part of Roger Murtaugh, an ‘old head’ cop being assigned a new partner, Martin Riggs, a ‘burn out’ with possible mental issues played by Mel Gibson.  Their first meeting didn’t exactly go off well.

Riggs, waiting to meet his new partner, was sitting on the edge of a desk and took his pistol out to wipe it off, not really thinking that drawing a gun in a police station might cause unintended results.

Murtaugh, who’d been half way paying attention to the unknown suspicious looking individual, alerted those around him, “Gun!”

Everyone in the office went into high alert mode as Murtaugh focused on the potential threat, went to take Riggs down; but Riggs being more efficient in take down methods had Murtaugh on the floor in a heartbeat.

“Hey Murtaugh, meet your new partner.”

Cops are in for a tough time as they have to re-train their minds and methods as pertain to a public which now will have Open Carry.

Any police department that doesn’t have a plan, a policy with basic guidelines dealing with individuals walking about with weapons that are perfectly legal…that department is in deep doo-doo.

There’s a story out of Gulf Port, Mississippi, which highlights one of the challenges; individuals who take Open Carry to extremes just to show they can.  Apparently these two…trying to decide what to call them; Bozos, Clowns, Ass Clowns (getting closer)…mind numbed jerks (getting warmer), future Darwin Award participants (Bingo!).

“According to authorities, the two men walked into the Walmart on Highway 49 around 8 p.m.  Witnesses said the man holding the shotgun was actively loading and racking the firearm.”

{…}

“Cox (police chief in Philadelphia, MS) said the new law does not allow someone to walk down the street with a gun in hand.  This is considered brandishing a weapon, which is still a crime, he said.”

Police officers are going to run up against all manner of folks who are legally carrying firearms; wouldn’t it be a good idea to offer training for both officers and the public on the best way to keep from starting a remake of Gunfight at the Okay Corral?

What about the public’s perception of how police officers are going to treat average law abiding citizens who take advantage of their right to Open Carry?  This is all new territory and there’s plenty of room for miscommunication by citizens and/or police, trampling of perceived God given rights in the name of  making the public safer; the list is endless and full of opportunities to get someone killed.

One thing is sure; the courts will have plenty of happy lawyers filling their bank accounts while we’re sorting out the details one by one.

Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for everyone.  Open Carry was signed into law to protect an individual’s God given right to own and bear arms; it’s not a permit to act like a fool and scare your fellow citizens half to death.

06/21/15
Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Russia – The Horseman of War

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


“Death on a Pale Horse” (1796) by Benjamin West, Detroit Institute of Arts

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come and see!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

Glenn Beck had a very interesting episode this week and it has the ring of truth to it over Vladimir Putin and Russia. He brought up the possibility that Russia is in the grip of political turmoil and its power structure is fracturing and reforming from within. This all hinges on Putin disappearing for ten days in March and exactly why he vanished for that length of time.


Russian President Vladimir Putin and his top military brass visit an arms show in
Kubinka, outside Moscow, on Tuesday. (Aleksey Druginyn / RIA Novosti / European Pressphoto Agency)

Putin has been hot for the Ukraine and to continue his expansion of the Motherland. However, he seems to have backed off somewhat due to global pressure and financial worries. The radicals within Russia didn’t like that at all and pushed Putin even harder to militarily expand Russia’s reach. At this point, Putin began to bring together a coalition to protect himself and he began transferring power from the Federal Security Bureau to the Ministry of the Interior. That’s akin to taking power from the CIA and giving it to DHS. These two agencies do not play well together.

On March 8th, soon after the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, the FSB proclaimed that they had two suspects for the murder. One had been a top commander in the Chechen police, Ramzan Kadyrov, who is a strong supporter of Putin. This was meant to reflect poorly on Putin.

Not long after that development, the major players in Russia starting choosing sides. They either went with Putin and his version of the DHS, or with the FSB and the fascist radicals. The wild card here is the military… whoever wins them over, wins for realsies.

On March 10th, Putin just up and disappeared for ten days. There were a lot of wild theories from the birth of a love child, to a coup. But no one has definitive proof yet. The most plausible explanation is that Putin was held against his will, while power was consolidated within Russia for the FSB and the fascists. He was told to play ball or get ready for the afterlife. This was a show of force by the FSB, Alexander Dugin and the fascists. I’m sure he was told in no uncertain terms to up the military aggression and the process of restoring the motherland. Someone like Putin doesn’t just ‘disappear’ for ten days for no reason. Along with Putin, Victor Zolotov, who controls 200,000 troops for the Ministry of Interior, disappeared with him. One of Putin’s closest crony allies also packed up his whole family, fled the country and simply vanished as well.

So, the lines have been drawn in Russia and sides have been taken. Whoever wins, it will be bad for the rest of the world, trust me.

Now, on to Russia’s military moves…

Russia’s military will add over 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles this year alone that are capable of piercing any missile defenses according to President Vladimir Putin. It was a stark reminder of the nation’s nuclear might amid tensions with the West over the Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg accused the Russians of “nuclear saber-rattling” and said that was one of the reasons the Western military alliance has been beefing up its ability to defend its members. The increase in nukes is a very troubling indicator of conflict to come, as is the decrease in the US’ stockpiles by Obama. It’s a recipe for catastrophe for the West. Even worse, our clownish leaders act as if Russia isn’t serious and this is all posturing. Grizzly bears don’t posture… first they maul you, then they eat you… maybe after burying you first for a little tenderizing.

The US and NATO are deploying new weapons and armaments near Russian borders as a tentative response. Russia claims this will foment dangerous instability in Europe. “The United States is inciting tensions and carefully nurturing their European allies’ anti-Russian phobias in order to use the current difficult situation for further expanding its military presence and influence in Europe,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “We hope that reason will prevail and it will be possible to save the situation in Europe from sliding toward a military standoff, which could entail dangerous consequences,” the ministry added.

In the perpetual game of RISK that Putin is playing, Russia is pouring all their money into military preps. In the end, they will try to use war to save themselves economically and nationally from going off a cliff.


Kirill Kudryavtsev | AFP | Getty Images

Eastern European and Baltic states sharing a border with Russia include Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Ukraine and they have become increasingly nervous about recent, seemingly provocative military exercises by Russia. This follows Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region last year, their role in the pro-Russian uprising in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctioning by the West.

“If heavy U.S. military equipment, including tanks, artillery batteries and other equipment really does turn up in countries in eastern Europe and the Baltics, that will be the most aggressive step by the Pentagon and NATO since the Cold War,” Russian defense ministry official General Yuri Yakubov said.

He was also quoted as saying Moscow would retaliate by building up its own forces “on the Western strategic front.” As is typical for the Russkies, in true Progressive fashion, they are claiming all of this is the West’s fault and has nothing to do with Putin’s military buildup and geopolitical aggression.

Russia is still violating airspace across the globe and playing chicken with our Air Force every time they get the chance. They are continuously poking the American badger.

In the latest military development, Russia is warning Sweden that if they join NATO, there will be military consequences.

From Yahoo! News:

Russia’s ambassador to Sweden has warned the country of the potential military “consequences” associated with joining NATO in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, The Local reports.

Russian Ambassador Viktor Tatarintsev told Dagens Nyheter that Russia does not have any military plans against Sweden, in line with Stockholm’s alliance neutrality.

But Tatarintsev warned that this could change if Sweden were to join the NATO alliance.

“I don’t think it will become relevant in the near future, even though there has been a certain swing in public opinion. But if it happens there will be countermeasures,” Tatarintsev said according to a translation from The Local.

“Putin pointed out that there will be consequences, that Russia will have to resort to a response of the military kind and reorientate our troops and missiles,” the ambassador said. “The country that joins NATO needs to be aware of the risks it is exposing itself to.”

Currently, Sweden does not have any plans to join NATO. The country has stayed out of competing alliances between the West and Russia since World War II. However, public support for NATO membership is quickly rising.

An October 2014 poll showed 37% of Swedes were in favor of joining NATO with 36% of Swedes against — the first time that more Swedes have favored joining the alliance than not.

This swing in public opinion could be in response to a series of aggressive and provocative Russian actions throughout the region. On September 17, 2014, two Russian military aircraft crossed into Swedish territory.

Shortly after that, a Russian military aircraft — flying with its transponders turned off — passed dangerously close to a commercial jet in the south of the country.

Most provocatively, the Swedish military believes that Russia sailed submarines into its waters in the fall of 2014, leading to a sub hunt that became Sweden’s largest military operation since the end of the Cold War.

Russia will bring war and will revel in it. Whether it is Putin or a fascist from within the Russian power structure, it does not matter. Alea iacta est (“the die is cast”) is a Latin phrase attributed by Suetonius to Julius Caesar on January 10, 49 BC as he led his army across the River Rubicon in Northern Italy. History is repeating itself, only this time the timing and the moves are eerily similar to Hitler’s moves in WWII. Russia is the Horseman of War and with Putin’s moves into Europe and beyond, they will bring bloody conflict, war and death. However, they won’t be alone… China has everything in place to control the planet economically and Iran will have their cut as well. Putin sits astride a red horse in the midst of the ultimate Game of Thrones.

06/20/15
NoisyRoom.net

NoisyRoom was gone for a bit…

Earlier this afternoon some dirt bag hacked NoisyRoom.net and deleted the site. We pay a great deal for security and I am glad we do. Our team had the site back up within two hours with no lost data.

To whoever hacked the site this time… this will most likely be reported to the FBI shortly. My team is ascertaining who and where the attack came from. I have some of the best guys out there on my side looking into this. You will not stop my work, my voice or what I do. So, you can pound sand.

To anyone out there that feels so inclined, you can contribute to NoisyRoom here or the PayPal button on the upper right side of this blog and help with our security expenses. The fight goes on no matter what.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
NoisyRoom.net

06/19/15
A Nation Mourns With South Carolina

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 06/19/15

The Watcher’s Council

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

I have an institutional fear of big government. I have an institutional opposition to bureaucracy. – Rush Limbaugh

I’m not against business. I’m against big business in bed with big government. – Rep. Dave Brat

Talk is cheap… except when Congress does it. – Will Rogers

https://askmarion.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/right2bplanet.jpg?w=500

This week’s winning essay, The Right Planet’s The Slave Trade Deal, does an in-depth job of tackling the top secret ObamaTrade legislation and explains what it means for our economy and our national sovereignty.

Here’s a slice:

Once again, Bill Still has really knocked it out of the park in the video above, if you ask me. Bill cogently deconstructs the diabolical nature of the entire Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. And I’m right on-board with just about everything Bill Still says in this video. Mr. Still succinctly expresses many of the major issues I have concerning TPP, and why I oppose the so-called “free trade” deal that has come to be called “ObamaTrade.”

If you’re wondering, who is Bill Still? He won the Best Documentary of 2010 at the Beloit International Film Festival for his work “The Secret of Oz,” a compelling and fascinating exposé on the debt-based monetary system and fractional reserve banking. After I watched his documentary several years ago, I’ve been following his work ever since.

The TPP has been a cornerstone of Obama’s “pivot toward Asia.” The proposed trade agreement hopes to establish a free trade zone that includes 12 nations: Japan, Malaysia, Australia, Chile, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States—representing forty percent of the world’s GDP. Taiwan and South Korea have also expressed interest in joining.

Last week, the House narrowly passed Trade-Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as “fast-track,” by a vote of 219 to 210. Fast-track gives the executive branch many of the powers usually reserved for Congress, allowing the president to negotiate international trade deals. Under TPA, Congress can approve or disapprove, but not amend or filibuster any proposed trade deals. Fast-track authority was first granted to President Gerald Ford in 1974. It expired in 2007 … leading Bill Still to ask, “If it was such a great thing, why was it allowed to expire?”

The only reason TPA was prevented from becoming law is due to the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) measure being voted down. The purpose of TAA is to provide enhanced unemployment payments to Americans who will lose their jobs as a direct result of passing TPP!

Let that sink in for a moment. The whole TPP scheme is being sold to the American people as something that will benefit the U.S. economy and spur job growth. And yet the TPP bill includes a measure (i.e. TAA) providing assistance for Americans who will lose their jobs as a result of passing the trade deal. You can’t make this stuff up, folks; nor would I have any desire to do so. Furthermore, the reason Democrats like Nancy Pelosi voted down TAA because it didn’t spend enough money and the unions weren’t happy about it. The Democrats still want TAA.

The TAA measure was slated for a second vote today. But, now, the TAA do-over vote has been postponed until July 30, giving the president and the pro-TPP crowd in Congress seven weeks to rally their minions. The delay also pushes the do-over vote right up to the very last possible moment before the month-long August recess.

(UPDATE: The Republicans have resurrected ObamaTrade … vote set for Thursday (6/18).)

Similar to what Bill Still expressed on the whole ObamaTrade scheme, I, too, feel like I’m being transported back to 1993 when NAFTA was passed. It was the same rhetoric being used then that we are being served now concerning TPP. Americans were promised it would be a big boon to the economy that result in more good-paying jobs. But, instead, we experienced significant job loss. Some 700,000 jobs were lost to Mexico due to NAFTA, according to the AFL-CIO.

As Bill Still points out, NAFTA didn’t just hurt Americans. It also adversely affected corn farmers in Mexico on small communal farms run by indigenous Indians, jeopardizing Mexico’s self-sufficiency—victims of giant, subsidized, corporate farming in the U.S. The same subsidized corporate farming giants also hurt American farmers as well. The bottomline is that it’s not only Americans who are concerned and opposed to so-called “free trade” deals like NAFTA and TPP.

Lately, there has been a push by pro-TPP individuals and organizations to try and woo the American public in supporting ObamaTrade by playing the us versus them meme.

Don Lee wrote at the Los Angeles Times:

In recent weeks, one Obama official after another has hammered away at the same line of argument: It’s crucial that Congress supports the TPP — including passing a related trade-promotion bill that would strengthen the president’s negotiating hand — because the alternative is that China, not the U.S., will write the rules of global trade.

Interestingly, this is the same pro-TPP propaganda the Chamber of Commerce is selling. Postcards have been sent out, and radio ads have been playing, stating if the U.S. doesn’t get on-board with ObamaTrade, China will “write the rules for global trade.” This is simply fear-mongering.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Doug Ross for a superb essay, Top 10 Questions Hillary Clinton Won’t Answer, submitted by Joshuapundit. My reaction to Doug’s list is, ‘only ten?’ Do read it.

Here are this week’s full results. Only The Razor was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners:

Non-Council Winners:

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

06/17/15
Israel

Ongoing

Arlene from Israel

It’s obvious that many of the happenings I write about, rather than being discrete events, are snapshots of a continuing situation.  And so, I must return to these continuing situations repeatedly.

It is only a couple of days since I wrote about Obama’s horrific policies regarding Iran.  I said then that every time I indicate that the situation has deteriorated, it proceeds to get even worse.  And hello!  Here we are again.

~~~~~~~~~~

With regard to the negotiations, I had last written about the need for Iran to reveal all past nuclear military activity. This was being insisted upon by the IAEA, for base-lining the Iranian nuclear program was a critical prerequisite to any verification scheme.  As recently as April 8, John Kerry stated definitively that there would be no final deal without this Iranian disclosure.

This Kerry statement was in response to news that the Obama administration was restructuring the demand because Iran was balking.  What the WSJ had reported was that the West was prepared to “frontload sanctions relief and insist the Iranians come clean some time later lest they face snapback.”  This means removing sanctions before the Iranians have provided the required information, and makes it enormously unlikely that the Iranians would ever be forthcoming with anything.  The “snapback” that Obama refers to so blithely is a farce.

That’s the recent history of the situation.

~~~~~~~~~~

And here we have the latest:

Yesterday, Kerry addressed the State Department press corps by teleconference. Michael Gordon of the NY Times raised a question about whether issues concerning atomic work by Iran’s military would “need to be fully resolved before sanctions are eased or released or removed or suspended on Iran as part of that agreement.”

Kerry’s response, in part (my emphasis added):

“Michael, the possible military dimensions, frankly, gets distorted a little bit in some of the discussion, in that we’re not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another. We know what they did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in.

“What we’re concerned about is going forward….”

http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/06/243892.htm


Credit: Alex Wong/Getty

~~~~~~~~~~

WHAT?  “We know what they did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge…”  “Absolute,” yet, not just ordinary knowledge.  Talk about overplaying your hand.

You do not have to have a doctorate in political science to know this cannot be.  For if the US had absolute knowledge of what Iran has been doing regarding military nuclear development until now, why would there have been all those discussions about getting Iran to reveal information?  How is it that this spring IAEA Director Yukiya Amano declared that Iran was withholding key information and that thus, his agency was “not in a position…to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities”?

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/3/2/un-nuclear-watchdog-says-iran-still-withholding-key-information.html

~~~~~~~~~~

Onmi Ceren of The Israel Project believes this line by Kerry was rather inevitable.  Once the US government caved on their promise to secure information on what Iran has been doing before easing sanctions, this was the next logical step: See, we don’t have to get the Iranians to reveal pertinent military data, we can ease sanctions, because we already have all the information we need.

My friends, this is not simply a distortion of the facts or a creative reinterpretation of the situation.  This is out and out falsehood. The secretary of state has offered a lie to the American people on an issue of critical importance.

Ceren catalogues some of the information about Iran that is not known:

[] how far Iran got on testing nuclear detonators

[] whether Iran maintains the infrastructure to do further tests and build on that work

[] whether Iran diverted nuclear material, including enriched material, for past or future clandestine purposes

[] what nuclear assets and knowledge Iran acquired from North Korea and is keeping on the shelf

[] same about nuclear assets and knowledge acquired from Russia

[] how Iran skirted inspectors in the past and whether they could repeat those tricks in the future

[] what the Iranians managed to destroy when it literally paved over the Parchin site where it did nuclear work

And this is just a partial list.

~~~~~~~~~~

The question then is whether the American people will sit still for this.  Will you?

I would suggest that a hue and cry go up – and that everyone who is incensed and frightened give voice to this fact in all the ways I regularly talk about: letters to the editor, talkbacks on the Internet, postings on websites and FB pages and discussion lines, etc.

But here I also suggest something else to American citizens: Contact your Senators and Congresspersons.

Express your outrage and your concern in a brief and polite message.

Of course some of your Senators and Congresspersons are already solidly in opposition to Obama’s plans.  But it does not hurt for them to hear from you anyway: thank them for their positions and ask them to stand strong for the sake of the country and the world.

Other Senators and Congresspersons may be on the edge – not quite prepared to stand against Obama, but not happy about his policies.  They, most of all, need to hear from you.

I would guess that there are likely some Senators and Congresspersons who have been minimally supportive of Obama (or reluctant to buck him, at any rate), but are now thoroughly enraged by the position Kerry has just embraced.  As Ceren writes: “It’s a collapse of the administration’s core promise to lawmakers on any deal…The administration told Congress to hold off pressuring Iran by declaring they were going to bring home a deal in which the Iranians capitulated on PMDs [possible military dimensions]. They failed. Now they’re claiming it never mattered anyway.”

But don’t rely on the likelihood that they are furious – contact them anyway.

For your Congresspersons:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

For your Senators:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

And please, suggest to others that they do the same.

~~~~~~~~~~

Then let me return here to the matter of the Druze community in Syria that is endangered by islamists – primarily the Nusra Front, which is loosely connected to al-Qaeda.

Members of al Qaeda's Nusra Front

Credit: Reuters

It is anything but a simple situation.  Yesterday Nusra Front launched an attack on the village of Hader, home to 25,000 Druze who have until now been loyal to Assad.  Hader is right on the other side of Mt. Hermon, across from the Israeli Druze village of Majd al-Shams.

For an interval of time following the attack, matters were said to have calmed down. But that was fleeting. The latest report, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, is that Hader has been surrounded by rebel forces.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4669701,00.html

Alarmed Israeli Druze are demonstrating in large numbers, and have raised some $2 million to purchase weapons so that their cousins in Syria can defend themselves.  Additionally, MK Ayoub Kara (Likud) is seeking permission for Israeli Druze to cross the border to lend humanitarian assistance in Hader. Israeli law forbids Israeli citizens from entering enemy territory. There has been talk of an IDF hospital for Druze to be set up at the border, but there seem to be some doubts about the viability of this.

Israel has sent a message to Nusra Front via the Free Syria Army, warning them to leave the Druze alone.  Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said yesterday that the IDF would act to protect refugees [read Druze refugees] fleeing to the area near the Israeli border from being slaughtered.  He is obviously not eager, however, to see hundreds of thousands of Syrian Druze flock to the border and attempt to cross into Israel.

~~~~~~~~~~

While the focus at the moment is on the Druze, implications of the movement of Nusra Front into the Syrian Golan area are even larger: There is concern that this group may be seeking to take Hader as a first step in moving to control the Golan region of Syria immediately adjacent to Israel.  Israel has, until now, scrupulously avoided direct military involvement in Syria (other than launching a missile or mortar into Syria in response to munitions shot into Israel).  That there is now concern about the situation at the highest levels of the IDF is clear; matters may well be shifting.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israel-sends-message-to-Nusra-Front-Cease-attacks-on-Syrias-Druse-406183

~~~~~~~~~~

There have been press reports in the last couple of days regarding indirect talks between Hamas and Israel – via European contacts or Arab states (with Qatar said to be involved).  It is all too vague at present to be able to make definitive sense of what is going on (or not going on). The rumor mill is working over-time.

One of the things that has been suggested is that a long-term (five or ten year) “truce” is being discussed  I felt a fleeting alarm, on reading these reports, lest this appeal to some Israeli decision makers.

One analysis had it that the dynamic between Israel and Hamas is shifting because of the presence in Gaza of more radical jihadi movements.  I think that may be so. And then, with the great concern about what’s going to be happening in the north, it might seem to make sense to take the possibility of conflict in the south out of the defense equation for an extended period.  I could imagine some thinking this way.

Whatever the case, whatever the perceived benefits, I say unequivocally that it is a very bad idea.  For what is being referred to as a “truce,” is in the Muslim ideology, in Arabic, a hudna.  This is a contracted period of calm, agreed to by the Muslim party, which is suffering a disadvantage in terms of strength.  The goal is not permanent peace, but rather the ability to buy enough time to garner additional strength.  This harkens back to Mohammad.  At the end of the hudna, the Muslim party attacks.

~~~~~~~~~~

A quick look at some of the possible parameters of a “truce,” as they are being discussed.  What Hamas wants is opening of crossings and easing of the sea blockade, as well as reconstruction (which means bringing in construction materials that can be diverted for rocket development or bunkers to store rockets).  They would also demand that there be no Israeli fly-overs above Gaza.  Israel, at least one source suggested, would require absolute quiet – no “drizzle” of rockets.

The catch is obvious: Hamas would have to refrain from launching rockets (would appear “peaceful”), but would find ways to smuggle in rockets and rocket parts via the open seaways and to continue to manufacture rockets and train troops. In fact, I have not read anything that suggests that as part of a truce Hamas would be required to stop establishing a stockpile of weapons.  Even now Hamas is preparing for eventual war. At the end of five or ten years, they would be ever so much better equipped to hit Israel. They have the patience to wait.

A very bad idea.

~~~~~~~~~~

At any rate, Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya denies that there is a truce being discussed.  It’s just a “distraction” he says.  Let’s hope so.

~~~~~~~~~~

While we are on the subject of Hamas, I share additional news – also lacking in firm details and actually providing a bit of comedy relief:

Abbas has announced the dissolution of the Fatah-Hamas unity government that had been established last year.  He accepted the resignation of unity government prime minister Rami Hamdallah and told him to form a new government, likely to consist of politicians and not technocrats.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4669631,00.html

Credit: Irishtimes

There are reports that this was in part because Abbas was miffed about Hamas-Israel meetings.

~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile…

“’Hamas rejects any one-sided change in the government without the agreement of all parties,’ Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP.

“’No one told us anything about any decision to change and no one consulted with us about any change in the unity government. Fatah acted on its own in all regards.’”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-rejects-unilateral-dissolution-of-palestinian-unity/

Wait?  If Fatah decides to quit the unity government, do they need Hamas’s permission to do so?

~~~~~~~~~~

We’re on a roll, so now consider this:

Tonight begins the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, during which time observant Muslims fast from sunup to sundown.  Israel is making a number of “gestures” for this month.  Including making it easier for Muslims to travel to the Temple Mount, in order to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Officials of the Palestinian Authority are having second thoughts about this however: “top officials in the Palestinian Authority have been calling for PA Arabs to boycott the Al-Aqsa Mosque – for fear that Arabs will spend money while they are there, enhancing the Israeli economy.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/196881#.VYHW05uJjIV

This is in the spirit of BDS, obviously. But if they want to stay away, that is very fine with us. They are going to have a final meeting on this matter, and my guess is that in the end they will encourage people to go.  But talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.  How crazy it all is.

06/17/15
Rachel Donezal

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Blaxploitation Issue

The Watcher’s Council

http://i2.wp.com/i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/150612092018-rachel-dolezal-split-super-169.jpg?resize=500%2C285

Rachel Donezal represents, philosophically, the ultimate in racism. After unsuccessfully suing Howard University, a black college, for discriminating against her because she was white, she had a moment of inspiration… if being a white ‘victim’ for her own profit and ego stroking didn’t work out so well, why not totally go over and join what she saw as a successful grievance class? In fact, why not make a career out of it? So, that’s exactly what she did, not only showing her own psychotic self-hatred, but her contempt and what amounted to the bigotry of low expectations towards the very group of people she claimed to be part of and ‘representing’ as a professional grievance monger.

Her only problem, as with most pathological liars who get caught, is that she believed her own lies so completely that she took things too far. She went public with bizarre tales of racist harassment and her own parents outed her.

If you’re interested, here’s Rachel Donezal in Baltimore, whipping up the mob to do some more looting and burning. In Baltimore, blacks whose businesses were burnt down, who lost jobs or who now have to travel miles for a pharmacy or a grocery store and who now suffer from a sharply increased crime rate, might have something to say about her ‘representation.’

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:

Don Surber was cited Monday at Ace Of Spades HQ as a Quote of the Day:

So it goes with healthy foods. In the food-stamp heavy districts of urban America, stores carry potato chips and tons of other ready-to-eat foods, but no actual potatoes, carrots, or green leafy substances that are not smoked.

That is because stores are not museums. They stock the things people buy. Food stamp recipients buy junk food over healthy food. — Don Surber on ‘Food Deserts’

Today marks the debut of Puma By Design as a Council member. We’re pretty impressed with her and I’m sure you will be too!

This week, The Pirate’s Cove, Anne’s Opinions, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion and Blazing Cat Fur 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 email 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 on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

06/16/15
Israel

Slander without End

Arlene from Israel

Promoting lies about Israel’s “villainy” has become almost routine in many agencies and many parts of the world. Sometimes it reaches proportions that are so ludicrous, so without possible basis in fact, that it becomes a sort of self-satire.  There was recently, for example, the action of the World Health Organization, a body of the UN, in singling out Israel among all the nations of the world for criticism.  Israel’s “crime”?  Violating the health rights of Druze and Arabs in the Golan, who are in need of “health related technical assistance,” whatever that means.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/195760#.VX_bCpuJjIU

This is so absurd in light of the death of 200,000 Syrians within their own country, and the readiness of Israel to treat hundreds of wounded Syrians, providing them with the best of care, that no further comment is necessary.

~~~~~~~~~~

But sometimes extensive “comment” is indeed necessary in order to refute the slander and provide the facts. This is the case with the war with Hamas in Gaza – Operation Protective Edge – that Israel fought last summer.

I have written many times about the painful difficulty of doing battle from a moral stance when confronting an enemy totally devoid of morality or concern for civilian life.  There is no army on earth more moral in its fighting stance than the IDF.  And a conflict such as Operation Protective Edge puts us in a horrific bind – for the enemy makes extensive use of human shields.  IDF fighters are faced with a choice between killing Arab civilians in order to eliminate munitions that are to be used against Israeli civilians or refraining from an action in order to avoid hitting Arab civilians and thereby exposing Israeli civilians to lethal attack.

For Hamas, it’s a win-win situation. Either the IDF cancels an attack so as to not hit Arab civilians, thereby allowing rockets, etc. to remain available for use against Israel, or the IDF decides it must attack and Hamas then utilizes the death of Arab civilians in its PR war against Israel.

~~~~~~~~~~

The UN Human Rights Council (an agency that is blatantly and notoriously anti-Israel) mandated a “Commission of Inquiry” to investigate the Israeli role in Operation Protective Edge.  It was understood here in Israel from the get-go what the “findings” of this commission were likely to be.

We understood from the history of the Goldstone Report, and from the bias of persons involved with the commission.  William Schabas resigned in February from his role as head of the inquiry, after he was charged with bias because he had previously done work for the PLO.

We knew from the virulently anti-Israel stance of NGOs – such as B’Tselem – that gave alleged testimony to the commission.

~~~~~~~~~~

In an effort to preempt the anticipated international effect of the UNHRC inquiry, NGO-Monitor and UN Watch last week released a major report entitled “Filling in the Blanks.”  It can be read in its entirety here:  http://www.ngo-monitor.org/2014_Gaza_Conflict.pdf .  (All emphasis in sections I cite below is added.)

I particularly would like to call your attention to two sections.

One, beginning on page 71, is “The Credibility of Reports and Allegations from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Regarding the 2014 Conflict,” which provides important context to a seriously misunderstood set of circumstances:

A ‘soft power’ political war, says this report, is “led by NGOs that claim the mantle of universal human rights and humanitarian goals

“NGOs…adopt the rhetoric of human rights and international law in their publications and campaigns. By couching political attacks in legal terms, NGOs seek to create a veneer of credibility and expertise for their claims

“NGOs like HRW, Amnesty International, Oxfam, Save the Children, B’Tselem, and others issue splashy, full-color publications, accompanied by videos and interactive multimedia. Under a façade of universality and morality, they push their narratives using highly sophisticated and expensive efforts led by media,
advertising, and fundraising professionals…Their campaigns achieve visibility globally in the biggest news outlets, including The New York Times, the BBC, and Le Monde.

NGOs escape critical evaluation by the media and other actors due to a ‘halo effect,’ by which groups perceived to promote ‘good’ principles are insulated from scrutiny by a cloak of morality. This ‘halo effect’ compensates not only for the lack of accountability but also for the lack of expertise in the military and diplomatic spheres with which many NGOs concern themselves.”

~~~~~~~~~~

The report considers the fact-finding methodology of NGOs, which is often lacking in thoroughness and impartiality.  In a study cited in the American Journal of International Law, for example, it was found that, “There is often difficulty in distinguishing ‘between objective facts and slanted information provided for
partisan purposes
.’”

Another analyst cited found that NGOs “focus to near exclusion on what the attackers do, especially in asymmetrical conflicts where the attackers are Western armies,” and the reports tend “to present to the public and press what are essentially lawyers’ briefs that shape the facts and law toward conclusions
that [they] favor… without really presenting the full range of factual and legal objections to [their] position.”

~~~~~~~~~~

The second section, beginning on page 127, is Appendix 1, “Submission to the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict by Colonel Richard Kemp CBE [Commander British Empire].

Colonel Kemp, pictured below, commanded the British Forces in Afghanistan in 2003.  He also worked in the UK Cabinet Office on intelligence relating to international and domestic terrorism. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were among the extremist groups that he monitored and assessed.

The Colonel was in Israel for much of the summer 2014 Gaza conflict, and was briefed by Israeli political leaders, senior officials and IDF soldiers from top rank to private.

In my opinion the actions taken by the IDF were necessary to defend the people of Israel from the ongoing, intensive and lethal attacks by Hamas and other groups in Gaza. It is the inalienable duty of every government to use its armed forces to protect its citizens and its terrain from external attack…

“I know of no other realistic and effective means of suppressing an aggressor’s missile fire than the methods used by the IDF, namely precision air and artillery strikes against the command and control structures, the fighters and the munitions of Hamas and the other groups in Gaza. Nor have I heard any other military expert from any country propose a viable alternative means of defense against such aggression.

“Much of the Hamas military infrastructure was located amongst the civilian population in Gaza. In these circumstances, neutralizing the threat from Hamas made civilian casualties unavoidable. Under the Laws of Armed Conflict this fact does not render such operations illegal assuming they were necessary. However the IDF had a duty to distinguish between legitimate military targets and civilians and to ensure that operations were conducted in accordance with the principle of proportionality as well as necessity.

“It is worth emphasizing that proportionality is not, as often believed by critics of Israel, a relationship between the numbers of casualties on either side in a conflict, but a calculation that considers whether the incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated in an attack.

“From my own research as well as briefings from and discussions with Israeli legal, military and political leaders, I understand and know well the ethos and operating principles of the IDF and I know that their commanders place great emphasis on adherence to the laws of armed conflict. This includes the principle of proportionality

“…the IDF codify the relevant laws into rules of engagement that determine when Israeli military personnel may or may not use lethal and less than lethal force…IDF rules of engagement keep the IDF soldier within the laws of armed conflict by a significant margin. All Israeli soldiers are trained on these rules and regulations and the IDF emphasizes continuous updating of this training for their troops.

“I have found that communication of these directions is effective. In my experience the most junior soldiers in the IDF understand them and the imperative of adhering to them in conflict.

“Israel’s emphasis on preventing civilian casualties during this conflict started at the top. The Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff of the IDF made clear their directions that civilian casualties were to be minimized. I was told that the first item on the agenda of every meeting of the Israeli security cabinet during the conflict was Palestinian civilian casualties

~~~~~~~~~~

“I was briefed on the following procedures that were routinely implemented prior to launching an attack in Gaza. Before a target could be attacked at least two separate and independent intelligence sources had to verify that it was a legitimate military target

Each separate aerial attack mission had to be personally authorized by the Commander of the Israeli Air Force or one of his deputies, at least one of whom had to be present in the operations center throughout the conflict. Authorization was also subject to legal advice. To confirm whether or not civilians were in the target area surveillance had to be conducted by both manned combat aircraft and unmanned air vehicle (drone).

“If surveillance or other intelligence sources confirmed the presence of civilians, or the presence of civilians was suspected, one or more of a series of measures was taken to warn the civilians before the attack could go ahead. These measures were:

Leaflet drop.
Broadcast radio message.
Phone call.
Text message.
Warning via UN.
An additional measure was the use of a specially designed harmless airdropped munition known as ‘knock on the roof’ which was dropped on buildings to make a loud percussion…”

You can see a leaflet drop in Gaza here (from AP, not this report):

And here you see a screen shot from a TV broadcast, with civilians on the roof of the home of a terrorist.  Israel Matzav shared this.  The building was not destroyed by Israel because of those human shields.

~~~~~~~~~~

Continues Colonel Kemp:

“Further surveillance was then conducted to confirm the civilians had left the target area. If they had not the attack would not be carried out until they had.  Once a pilot was authorized to attack he had authority – and it was his duty – to abort the attack if he had reason to believe civilians were present when he made his attack run.

“Pilots utilizing laser-guided munitions were required to identify a safe open area in advance so that if civilians were identified in the target zone even after the missile was launched, it could be diverted in flight to the safe area…

~~~~~~~~~~

“A further consideration for ground operations was the safety of the IDF’s own forces…As any military commander must minimize the risk of civilian casualties in a combat zone so he must also minimize the risk of casualties to his own forces for moral reasons, because of his duty of care and for reasons of fighting morale and combat effectiveness against the enemy. This is often overlooked when investigating human rights issues in a conflict.

~~~~~~~~~~

Colonel Kemp also discusses a variety of other related issues, including the IDF system for fact-finding and legal action against those soldiers who have conducted themselves improperly.  This system is not exclusively an internal military process; the Supreme Court of Israel oversees it. It is a system that enjoys wide respect among international legal authorities.

~~~~~~~~~~

The Colonel concludes:

“…in my opinion the IDF took exceptional measures to adhere to the Laws of Armed Conflict and to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza. During the conflict many politicians, UN leaders, human rights groups and NGOs called on the Israelis to take greater action to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza. Yet none of them suggested any additional ways of doing this. I conclude that this was because Israel was taking all feasible steps. I believe Israel to be world leaders in actions to minimize civilian casualties; and this is borne out by the efforts made by the US Army, the most sophisticated and powerful in the world, to learn from the IDF on this issue.

“In my opinion Israel is also making strenuous efforts to investigate incidents where civilians were apparently unlawfully killed, wounded or ill-treated, and where civilian property was unlawfully damaged or stolen. I am not aware of any nation that has conducted more comprehensive or resolute investigations into its own military activities than Israel during and following the 2014 Gaza conflict.”


Credit: JPost

~~~~~~~~~~~

You might also want to see this news item:

“A multinational military group comprised of former chiefs of staff, generals and politicians submitted a report to the United Nations on Friday indicating that Israel went to great lengths to adhere to the laws of war and to protect Palestinian civilians during last summer’s 50-day war with Hamas in and around the Gaza Strip…

“The High-Level International Military Group on the Gaza Conflict in 2014 held a fact-finding mission to Israel between May 18-22. It was sponsored by a pro-Israel group, was reportedly given unprecedented access to senior officials, and investigated allegations of war crimes and disproportionality.

“The group found that ‘during Operation Protective Edge last summer… Israel not only met a reasonable international standard of observance of the laws of armed conflict, but in many cases significantly exceeded that standard.

“They wrote that ‘in some cases Israel’s scrupulous adherence to the laws of war cost Israeli soldiers’ and civilians’ lives.’

“…The war that Israel was eventually compelled to fight against Hamas and other Gaza extremists was a legitimate war, necessary to defend its citizens and its territory against sustained attack from beyond its borders,” the group wrote, adding that even in that time of war, Israel took extraordinary measures to protect the lives of innocent Palestinian civilians.

“’Each of our own armies is of course committed to protecting civilian life during combat. But none of us is aware of any army that takes such extensive measures as did the IDF last summer to protect the lives of the civilian population in such circumstances,’ the report read.”

“…The mission, sponsored by the Friends of Israel Initiative, was headed by the former chief of staff of the Bundeswehr and chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Klaus Naumann, and included 10 other generals, chiefs of staff, politicians and officials from Holland, Spain, Italy, Australia, Colombia, the US and the UK.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-did-not-commit-war-crimes-in-gaza-says-multi-national-military-group/

~~~~~~~~~~

I speak about our holding our heads high. And indeed we can with regard to how we conduct ourselves during war.

(In all candidness, I would wish that not one single one of our boys in uniform, never mind a single one of our civilians, had to die because we were taking measures to protect enemy civilians that “significantly exceed” international standards on conduct in war. But in light of how we do conduct ourselves, the fact that we are criticized is beyond outrageous.)

When the UNHRC releases its inquiry into the war, we are likely to be hounded by libelous charges that echo internationally.

It falls to each of you reading this then, to familiarize yourselves with the facts, and utilize them in Israel’s defense at every opportunity – by writing letters to the editor, writing talk-backs on the Internet, posting information on websites and Facebook pages, sharing with discussion groups.

We are in the midst of a horrendous BDS battle, and each of you – by refuting charges with truth – can undermine those who seek to delegitimize Israel.

06/13/15
Amerika

Obama’s Marxist Social and Demographic Engineering of America

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Obama is now making offers to debt-ridden municipalities that they dare not take. It’s like the devil offering you a way out and then collecting on that debt. Or, if you prefer, it’s like the mafia giving you money to solve your problems and then you owe them. Forever. The leaders in these areas won’t ask the residents and voters, they’ll let the silver cross their palms and will be blinded by the shininess of the coin they pocket. Corruption will finish selling free America down the proverbial river. I’ll be blunt… these municipalities should not be taking money from the feds. They should solve their problems at the local level, stand on their own and not be beholding to a governmental behemoth.

Under the guise of Obama’s Utopia, our president has been plotting for years the ultimate wealth redistribution here in America. It’s Marxist social and demographic engineering on a breathtaking scale. I believe this is the most insidious thing he has planned for us and it is a killer.

Obama believes the suburbs and wealthier neighborhoods are far too white. They are not racially diverse enough for his tastes. So, he is now going to municipalities that are sorely in need of funds and very much in debt up to their eyeballs, and offering them a way out. Say they are $5 or $10 million in the hole… well, the feds will give them $50 million. All they have to do is buy some land in an upscale area; sell it to a contractor that will build affordable housing and the government will take care of the rest. They will bring in minorities, the poor and disadvantaged… but even more importantly, liberal voters who will vote for Marxist policies. They will also resettle Islamic refugees and immigrants from across our southern border throughout these neighborhoods, leveling the demographic playing field into one huge ghetto from sea to shining sea. Just ask Sweden and the Netherlands how that has worked out for them, or Europe in general for that matter.

You see, Obama doesn’t give a flying crap about his legacy — at least as viewed by the culture as it is today — but rather, as written by the elites of a post-freedom neo-culture of Morlocks. He cares about the future of his Marxist Utopia and having the right people control, shape and manage it from here on out. That’s what this is all about. It’s everything we have feared wrapped into one slick move: Climate Change, Agenda 21, Common Core, a nationalized police force, the shredding of the Constitution, the loss of property rights, the persecution of Christians, the loss of free speech and gun rights, voter manipulation, illegal immigrant inundation, Islamic refugee resettlement, massive unemployment and poverty, laying the groundwork for Shariah law, neighborhood blight, societal decay, the spreading of violence and chaos and a race war… in other words – Cloward and Piven.

From The Hill:

The regulations would use grant money as an incentive for communities to build affordable housing in more affluent areas while also taking steps to upgrade poorer areas with better schools, parks, libraries, grocery stores and transportation routes as part of a gentrification of those communities.

“HUD is working with communities across the country to fulfill the promise of equal opportunity for all,” a HUD spokeswoman said. “The proposed policy seeks to break down barriers to access to opportunity in communities supported by HUD funds.”

It’s a tough sell for some conservatives. Among them is Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who argued that the administration “shouldn’t be holding hostage grant monies aimed at community improvement based on its unrealistic utopian ideas of what every community should resemble.”

“American citizens and communities should be free to choose where they would like to live and not be subject to federal neighborhood engineering at the behest of an overreaching federal government,” said Gosar, who is leading an effort in the House to block the regulations.

Civil rights advocates, meanwhile, are praising the plan, arguing that it is needed to break through decades-old barriers that keep poor and minority families trapped in hardscrabble neighborhoods.

“We have a history of putting affordable housing in poor communities,” said Debby Goldberg, vice president at the National Fair Housing Alliance.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited direct and intentional housing discrimination, such as a real estate agent not showing a home in a wealthy neighborhood to a black family or a bank not providing a loan based on someone’s race.

But HUD is looking to root out more subtle forms of discrimination that take shape in local government policies that unintentionally harm minority communities, known as “disparate impact.”

“This rule is not about forcing anyone to live anywhere they don’t want to,” said Margery Turner, senior vice president at the left-leaning Urban Institute. “It’s really about addressing long-standing practices that prevent people from living where they want to.”

Sounds so very fair, doesn’t it? ‘Gentrification’ is a lovely sounding word that loosely translates into ‘ghetto.’ It’s equal opportunity for all, alright… everyone in the end will be equally poor and starving; equally enslaved and equally downtrodden. Whatever happened to being free to succeed or fail? Free to live where you wanted? Free to keep what you have earned and built? This is the end-all of entitlements for the degraded out there. Without earning it or working for it, you too can live in an upscale neighborhood. If this succeeds, America will see violence as she has never seen it before. You won’t be able to just choose where you live and who you reside and associate with… oh, no. You’ll live in a small domicile, in fear for your life as well as your family’s. I’d say you’d be clutching a gun for protection, but even that will be taken from you. Think inner-city Chicago or Baltimore and then picture that being everywhere.

In the name of ferreting out one form of discrimination or another, Obama, the great equalizer, will make everyone equally impoverished. He will usher in America as a third-world nation on her knees. He has decided that upscale suburbs and McMansions must go and that other’s wealth needs to be shared with those who have no right to it. It is Marxism in all its evil glory.

Property values will plummet into non-existence if this is allowed and the blight you see in poor neighborhoods will be rampant. Wealth won’t be an issue anymore as only a very select few will have it. If that isn’t engineered tyranny, I don’t know what is.

The expression ‘eat the rich’ is a distasteful metaphor, but when the metaphor is the creation of an oozing blob of digestive protoplasm that slimes its way over and around the rich and simply digests them, is that somehow less distasteful? Somehow less fatal? In the end, it’s all digestion and all comes out the other end. The man who changed your healthcare system forever, is now going to change your neighborhood forever – a community organizer from hell run amok.

Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has been screaming about the plan to transform American suburbia since 2012. And now, Obama’s wealth redistributionist policies are coming to fruition. This is about to be reality.

At least Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar is trying to stop this – although in the end, I’m sure, Obama will find a way around any hurdles put in his way:

Tuesday night, on a vote of 229-193, the House passed an amendment to the THUD (Transportation Housing and Urban Development) bill that blocks any HUD funding that enforces President Obama’s fair housing rule (AFFH). The amendment, offered by Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, protects local zoning rights from federal overreach.

***

The Gosar amendment is endorsed by Americans for Limited Government, Freedom Works, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Taxpayers for Common Sense and Eagle Forum.

It now goes to the Senate, where the prospects for passage are good — but not guaranteed. Kurtz predicts that Obama’s power grab will likely become a major issue issue in the 2016 presidential campaign should Senate Republicans fail to block the AFFH.

Listen up folks… we better get our act together as conservatives. Obama’s move on this is all tied in with the Hillary Clinton campaign. She’s also behind a lot of this – just sheer evil plotting and manipulation from the most corrupt administration ever to disgrace America.

So-called Civil Rights leaders are cheering Obama’s move. These are the same people who are standing against the police and race hustling now every time some black youth is shot or killed by an officer in the line of duty. These are the same Progressives who want to do away with gun rights as well. Under the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rules that Obama has concocted, societal boundaries will be torn down completely and America will become unrecognizable. HUD has morphed into one more Marxist tool being used against free society… another Philip Dru agency that is implementing communist ideals at the local level.

Megyn Kelly of Fox News is right. This is a radical, explosive game-changer. Obama is demanding that areas develop low-income housing or risk losing federal funds. It’s racial inclusion by sledgehammer. Since Obama cannot legally regulate neighborhoods and their diversity, he has resorted to bribery and blackmail. How very presidential.

Obama is preparing to mix it up in America permanently. He intends to level the demographic playing field once and for all with this move. A move, I might add, that has been facilitated from both sides of the political aisle. It is a move that is aimed at killing off the suburbs and herding Americans into the cities where they can be controlled. It is being done for cheap labor and political power.

From Stanley Kurtz:

Their goal? To increase the influence of America’s cities over their suburban neighbors so that even­tually suburban independence will vanish.

In the eyes of Obama’s former mentors—i.e., fol­lowers of leftist radical Saul Alinsky—suburbs are breeding grounds for bigotry and greed. The classic American dream of a house with a big yard and high-quality, locally controlled schools strikes them as selfishness, a waste of resources that should be redirected to the urban poor.

The regulatory groundwork laid so far is just a prelude to what’s to come: Substantial redistribution of tax dollars. Gradually cities would effectively swallow up their surround­ing municipalities, with merged school dis­tricts and forced redistribution of public spending working together to kill the appeal of the suburbs.

The result would be a profound transforma­tion of American society, Kurtz concludes.

This is the final push in Obama’s second term to socially and demographically engineer America. If Obama succeeds, this will forever change how we live and it won’t be pretty. I predict there will be a major backlash over this and it will figure heavily in the 2016 election. Americans simply will not willingly comply with being forced to live this way. Obama’s Utopian vision of America’s future is hellish and not American in the least.

Movie writers and book authors are fond of using the “Amerika” spelling to convey the conquest of the USA by some foreign interest of some shade of red. What’s afoot is more subtle. No clouds of paratroopers, no storm of missiles arcing overhead, no magical EMP wipe of our grid – not yet, anyway. Instead, a carefully farmed culture of militantly criminal and impoverished social commandos sweeps into downtown and suburban America, bringing a pestilence of thuggery and parasitic dependency to nullify any prosperity and initiative, leaving only a bleak, open-air gulag where all of the traditions and inspirations that engender liberty and independence are subordinated to the forces of submission. They won’t change the spelling. But “America” will thereafter only be a brand, a cheap movie set with a glitzy DC facade and the entire population as extras. But at least it will still be spelled “America.”