Monday night I had a call from a friend, a Christian Zionist, saying that he was concerned about the so-called charm offensive by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the UN and yesterday’s appearance by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on an ABC Sunday Morning news program. I told my friend that I agreed. Earlier in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had a public news conference with President Obama in the Oval Office. President Obama reiterated his stand suggesting that he was entertaining the new Iranian initiative “clear-eyed” about the necessity to hold discussions via the P5+1 subject to extensive verifications. PM Netanyahu praised the US special relationship with Israel, but critically emphasized that continual pressure vis a vis sanctions bolstered by military options may have brought Iran to the table. Obama was inclined to undertake a diplomatic initiative to see if a tough deal could be negotiated within a three to six month time frame beginning with talks by the P5+1 in Geneva in mid-October. Watch the brief press conference here.
The contrast between Israelis and Americans in polls over the charm offensive was dramatic. A poll sponsored by Israeli Channel 10 TV indicated that nearly four-fifths (78%) of responses didn’t trust Iran’s nuclear program. By contrast a CNN/ORC commissioned poll indicated that three fourths of US respondents supported President Obama striking a deal Iran on its nuclear program
As noted by Jewish Press national correspondent Lori Lowenthal Marcus in her report on the White House press conference, PM Netanyahu l views Iran’s nuclear program as an existential threat:
Netanyahu spent the bulk of his remarks focused on Iran. “Iran is committed to Israel’s destruction,” is the way Netanyahu described the situation. In the simplest possible language, and in the present tense, the Israeli prime minister made clear he does not believe a change in the Iranian presidency has altered Iran’s position towards Israel, regardless of the happy holiday message Rouhani sent to the Jewish people and in spite of the condemnation of Nazi atrocities. For the Jewish State, unless Iran fully and publicly dismantles its machinery for creating nuclear weapons, there is no question that the country remains an existential threat to Israel. As Netanyahu put it: “the bottom line, again, is that Iran fully dismantles its military nuclear program.”
Netanyahu has laid out four conditions in speeches before his visit with President Obama and his UN speech:
"We expect Obama to deliver four conditions to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. The first is a total halt of Iran's uranium enrichment project. The second is to remove all enriched uranium from Iran. The third is to shut down the enrichment facilities. The fourth is to stop Iran's enrichment project." The fulfillment of these four conditions is the only path to ensure stopping Iran's atomic project altogether, he added. "Until these conditions are met, the pressure on Iran must be increased and not mitigated."
Netanyahu can point to several indications that the Islamic Republic’s charm offensive was in line with Shiite religious practice of taqiyya, religiously sanctioned dissimilitude, lying to fulfill the way of Allah, Jihad. After all President Rouhani had been Iran’s chief negotiator in 2003-2005 who pulled the wool over EU negotiators eyes about the real purpose of Iran’s nuclear program. As former US Un Ambassador John Bolton observed in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, “How
President Rouhani knows what his Western audience wants to hear. As Iran's chief nuclear negotiator in 2003-05, he followed the same playbook, and it worked. By offering what appeared to be concessions, Iran acquired precious time and legitimacy to overcome scientific and technical glitches in its nuclear-weapons program, particularly at Isfahan's uranium-conversion facility.
In articles and speeches, Mr. Rouhani boasted of his successes. In 2006, he taunted the West, saying "by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work on Isfahan.”
On September 11, 2013, Shin Bet, Israeli internal security, arrested an alleged Iranian agent, 55 year old Belgian Citizen, Alex Man. That was cover for his real name and mission. Israel National Newsnoted:
The suspect also has Iranian citizenship, and his original name was Ali Mansouri.
A Shin Bet investigation revealed that he was sent to Israel by Iran’s intelligence services. He has confessed to working on behalf of Iran during his visits to Israel.
Contacted by Iranian intelligence years ago, he first received an explicit offer to spy on Israel on Iran's behalf in early 2012. Mansouri was working with a "special operations unit of the Revolutionary Guards responsible for numerous terrorist attacks around the world," Shin Bet sources said.
Mans had made two previous trips to Israel, one in July 2012, and one in January 2013. Both visits are believed to have been conducted with guidance from his Iranian handlers. He was promised $1 million for his work.
In late August 2013, the Iranian atomic Agency sent a 28 page letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna defiantly defending Iran’s right to continue ‘peaceful’ nuclear enrichment. This was in response to an IAEA inspection report that the Islamic regime had installed advanced centrifuges that, as noted in this Fox Newsreport, could “spin uranium gas into the material that can be used either as reactor fuel or as the core of nuclear warheads, depending on its enrichment level.”
The ‘peaceful’ nuclear enrichment meme was echoed in President Rouhani’s speech at the UN. Then on ABC’s Sunday Morning program, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Javad Zarif was interviewed by moderator George Stephanopoulos about Iran’s position on its nuclear program. Zarif had held a one on one meeting with Secretary of State Kerry followed by a meeting with the P5+1 contingent that included EU Foreign Relations Commissioner Catherine Ashton. Zarif, who spoke in English, denied that Iran’s program had a military purpose and that it would continue its peaceful nuclear enrichment. Watch the ABC report and interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Javad Zarif.
Iran will do anything within its means to achieve the geo-political objective of a nuclear umbrella to protect the Shiite arc ranging from Iran via Iraq through Syria and Lebanon on the Mediterranean Coast. The Obama Administration is in a weakened position in the Middle East given its assent to the UN resolution to destroy Syria’s Chemical Weapons stockpiles, a victory for Russian President Putin protective of his newly vaulted position in the region. Many view this as the improbable outgrowth of the Obama Administration ‘Russian reset” initiative. See our NER article- “American Foreign Policy Missteps in Middle East”. To Israelis it is evidence that the Obama Administration has demonstrated a failure of will to standby a military option in negotiations with Iran.
This weekend, I read an apocalyptic military thriller about an Israeli Dolphin submarine crew and Nuclear Iran, The Last Israelis by Noah Berg. (Israel now has five Dolphin submarines with a sixth due from the German shipyards in 2017). The fictional scenario concerns the crew of an Israeli Dolphin submarine sent on an emergency mission in the face of a looming threat by Iran to “wipe the Zionist entity off the map of the world.” Reminiscent of moribund former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon, the fictional counterpart PM in The Last Israelis suffers a disabling attack falling into a coma and is sent to Germany for treatment. The technical discussions about the operations and nuclear weaponry on the Dolphin submarine in The Last Israelis are realistic down to the means of encrypted communications with Israeli Naval Command. Along the way to fulfill its ultimate mission the crew battles a flood from a burst pipe and a fire. It survives to sinks an Iranian Kilo-class attack submarine tracking it. The captain learns from an emergency radio emergency center in Greece that Israel has been destroyed in a massive attack by Iran, Syria and proxies Hezbollah and Hamas. This despite the application of sanctions and interminable discussions about agreements. All of Israel’s population, one half of the world’s Jewish population, is incinerated in a fusillade of rockets and Iranian nuclear missiles equipped with warheads purchased from rogue nuclear state, Pakistan. The submarine’s crew is provoked by the executive office to debate and vote on whether they should execute their second strike mission launching more than 200 kilotons of explosive power against pre-set targets in Iran. The courageous captain casts the deciding vote. The moribund PM awakens from his coma in Germany to find his country destroyed but that valiant crew of the Dolphin submarine has wreaked vengeance on the Iranian Islamic regime.
The Last Israelis scenario is a nightmare that troubles all Israelis and supporters of the Jewish nation. As PM Netanyahu knows Iran will likely achieve nuclear breakthrough before Nowruz, the Persian New Year, in March 2014. That may leave an isolated Israel to face a critical decision not unlike the crew of the fictional submarine. Perhaps, unlike the ill-fated scenario and crew in The Last Israelis, a signal should be flashed by Israel to Iran’s Supreme Leader that the real Dolphin submarines second strike capabilities have moved up to primary.
Phony fatwa? Group [MEMRI.org, which is the best-informed, and most reliable source, for news about the Islamic world and its peoples] claims Iranian anti-nuke edict cited by Obama a hoax
There's a dispute about whether Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ever gave a fatwa, or religious edict, forbidding the pursuit of nuclear weapons. (AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)
President Obama could be hanging his hopes for productive nuclear negotiations with Iran on a hoax, according to one Middle East-focused think tank.
On Friday, Obama cited a “fatwa,” or religious edict, from Iran’s all-powerful Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, banning the pursuit of nuclear weapons.
“There is no such fatwa. It is a lie from the Iranians, a deception, and it is tragic that President Obama has endorsed it,” MEMRI Founder and President Yigal Carmon
- Yigal Carmon, president of Middle East Media Research Institute
“I do believe that there is a basis for a resolution [because] Iran’s Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons,” Obama told reporters.
But although talk of such a fatwa has been around for at least eight years, there’s no evidence it was ever issued, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, which flatly called the fatwa a hoax. MEMRI claims the phony fatwa is promoted by Iranian diplomats and Turkey’s Islamist prime minister, Recep Erdogan.
“There is no such fatwa. It is a lie from the Iranians, a deception, and it is tragic that President Obama has endorsed it,” MEMRI Founder and President Yigal Carmon told FoxNews.com.
In July, the Iranian website Tasnimnews, which is linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, published an extensive list of 493 fatwas from Khamenei dating back to 2004. None forbade the pursuit of nuclear weapons. Carmon noted that Khamenei in 2012 was asked directly about the morality of pursuing nuclear weapons, and his answer was telling.
The question asked to Khamenei was, in light of a Koran teaching that orders Muslims to “prepare against [non-Muslims] whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah,” is it also “forbidden to obtain nuclear weapons, as per your ruling that their use is prohibited?”
Khamenei’s answer, according to MEMRI, was “your letter has no jurisprudential aspect. When it has a jurisprudent position, then it will be possible to answer it.”
Carmon said if a fatwa against the pursuit of nuclear weapons existed, Khamenei would have cited it.
“Wouldn’t you think he would say, ‘I have given my fatwa, and it is this?’” Carmon said.
Carmon said Khamenei could never actually issue such a fatwa unless he intended to see it enforced. But by letting his diplomats make the claim, Iran can appear more reasonable to the West, according to Carmon.
But University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole, an expert on the Middle East and author of “Engaging the Muslim World,” wrote Monday on his website that the fatwa was reported by the state-run IRNA news agency in 2005, which he said would not have been done without Khamenei’s knowledge and blessing.[Juan Cole is not an "expert" on the Middle East but, rather, a full-time propagandist on behalf of Islam, and against Israel and the West -- for more on Juan Cole see Martin Kramer's many articles mocking him]]
White House officials declined to comment. [By gad, they'd better -- as Carlyle said of that female transcendentalist Margaret Fuller]
The fatwa’s existence appears to date back to 2005, when it was cited by an Iranian diplomat. In a 2012 Washington Post op-ed by Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, it was cited again, without a link or other documentation.
In April 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking at a NATO conference, cited the supposed fatwa, but with a degree of skepticism.
“I’ve discussed with a number of experts and religious scholars… If it is indeed a statement of principle, of values, then it is a starting point for being operationalized, which means that it serves as the entryway into a negotiation,” she said.
Elaine Showalter, With All Of Her Crap And Saint-Crepin
I never realized how johnny-one-note she was, with her gynocriticism and that special sauce to go with it, until I stumbled on the Wiki article here. How did others, how did Wood and Bellos and Muldoon, ever get along with her? How do English departments work, nowadays?
And think of the damage Elaine Showalter has done to the teaching of English literature, to the allure and dash and charm with which the subject is instinct, and can so easily be conveyed to students, at Princeton as elsewhere, as they are taught, in this audio-visual age, the what and the why and the how to read.
Former Taliban fighter Munir Farooqi was handed four life sentences in 2011 for trying to radicalise young British men and send them to kill troops in Afghanistan. He lost an appeal against his conviction on Monday paving the way for police to seize his £200,000 home, which he used as his “recruitment centre”.
Greater Manchester Police intend to recover the asset under a power that allows homes and other properties to be seized if they were part of a terrorism offence.
It will be the first time the power has been used since it came in to force in 2009.
A senior police officer insisted the move was not aimed at punishing Farooqi’s family members and they would not be made homeless because they have two other properties.
Farooqi, a Pakistani-born British citizen, was at the centre of a plot to radicalise and persuade vulnerable young men to "fight, kill and die" in a jihad in Afghanistan. He had previously been inspired to head to Afghanistan by the allied invasion which followed the 9/11 terror attacks. He joined the Taliban as an "active terrorist" but was captured and jailed in November 2001.
But by May 2002 he was released by the authorities in Pakistan and headed back to Manchester where he turned the family four-bedroom home into a "production centre" for propaganda, with a collection of 50,000 extremist books, DVDs and CDs.
His appeal against conviction was dismissed today by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, Lord Justice Treacy and Mrs Justice Sharp.
Farooqi, who is in his fifties, ran an Islamic book stall on Longsight market in Manchester to spread the word of Islam, with the help of co-defendants Matthew Newton and Israr Malik.
Police will now look to seize the family home in Victoria Terrace, Longsight, Manchester.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said: “This is unequivocally not about punishing family members, but demonstrating that if a convicted terrorist who was planning to recruit people to kill our soldiers abroad used a property to carry out this sort of criminality that it should be seized and any monies raised use to fund the ongoing fight against terrorism.
"Again I want to be clear this decision is not about Munir Farooqi's family. This family own, outright, two other properties and will not be made homeless.”
Thixotropy Can Be A Pain, But It Was The Unbearable Tightness Of Being That Drove Him Mad
It wasn't the agonizing slowness of the ketchup coming down from the congealed bottom (with the bottle turned upside-down) that maddened Mr. Loeffler -- we have all, and many times, endured that frustrating experience -- but rather, the unbearable tightness of being, the fact that his wife had turned the cap not as he wanted it -- tight like that -- but, rather, as she did, tight like that.
The story of the ketchup, or catsup (take your pick) bottle, and the tight cap, and the murderous raptus that followed, can be found here.
In the spirit of today-at-NER's "making the green one red" theme, Lady Macbeth is in the news, for making sure she is not in the news:
Director abandons CNN documentary on Hillary Clinton
CNN has canceled a planned documentary on Hillary Clinton.
By Liana B. Baker and Gabriel Debenedetti of Reuters
CNN has canceled a documentary on Hillary Rodham Clinton. The film's director said he had found it difficult to get anyone to cooperate and speak about Clinton.
Cable news network CNN has canceled a documentary on Hillary Rodham Clinton after the director said pressure from the Clinton camp, as well as Republican leaders, made it too difficult to complete the film.
A CNN spokeswoman confirmed on Monday that the program would be canceled, saying director "Charles Ferguson has informed us that he is not moving forward with his documentary about Hillary Clinton."
Political observers widely expect Clinton, whose early polling numbers make her the Democratic frontrunner in the presidential race in 2016 to run. Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State, has said she is still considering her options.
In a blog post on the Huffington Post website, Ferguson, who had been tapped by CNN to direct to the film last year, said pressure from Clinton's aides started as soon as he joined the project. He said he had found it difficult to get anyone to cooperate and speak about Clinton.
"When I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans — and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, (who) wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration," Ferguson said in the blog post.
Clinton representatives could not be reached for comment.
Ferguson said he was surprised that "prominent Democrats made it known both to CNN and to me" that they weren't happy with the project.
Ferguson also cited pushback from the Republican Party. In August, Republican leaders sent letters of protest to both CNN and NBC, complaining that their planned programs amounted to political ads for Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton.
The NBC television network is planning a dramatic miniseries from its entertainment unit, which is separate from its news division. NBC did not immediately return a request for comment on Monday.
Republican leaders had resolved to boycott any 2016 presidential debates sponsored by CNN, which is owned by Time Warner Inc., and NBC, owned by Comcast Corp., if the networks went ahead with the projects.
Ferguson said he was not pressured by CNN to cancel the project, and that the network's president, Jeff Zucker, had pledged his support behind the film.
"Neither political party wanted the film made. After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn't make a film of which I would be proud. And so I'm cancelling," Ferguson said in the blog post.
Translated from the Hungarian& Edited by Thomas Ország-Land (October 2013)
Miklós Radnóti and his wife Fifi
The author of these pieces was perhaps the greatest poet of the Holocaust. His work will take centre place in a varied and energetic programme of literary and educational events in 2014 marking his country’s Holocaust Memorial Year. more>>>
Lori watched a large cricket drag its half eaten prey across the floor. Waiting until it got underneath her rocking chair she listened to the soft crunch as she pushed back and forth. “It didn’t fit in,” her mother had said, happy to be rid of the chair; Lori felt that she too was a burden. more>>>
Benny Strong was a member of The McCowell criminal firm that “worked the pavement” and spread terror across London from the 1960s until very recently. He has now published his memoirs, This Gangster is One of Your Own. In the extract from which follows, Benny starts by recalling some of the “faces” he came across over the years.
Back in the very early days there was Nips Farago, a great fella (or face) who was very very unlucky. He got turfed out the firm cause no one really has a name like Nips Farago, do they? OB followed him round from a young age waiting for Nips to do naughty things cause of his lovable rogue name. We couldn’t be dealing with all the agg he got off of wilf. He was a lovely man was Nips, despite the kids and fallen arches, and it was a sad day when we asked him to leave the East End, which by this time had expanded to include South Yorkshire. more>>>
I’d written before about the killing of Osama bin Laden as a hoax that took out somebody no doubt resembling OBL but probably not him, who disappeared many years ago. I cited several suspicious moves to support my hypotheses, beginning with the absence of any photographs measuring a man much taller than most and then the quick mysterious disposal of his body. What I failed to mention was the most suspicious fact of all—that American military from the President on down took credit for an operation that a true intelligence agency would have let go uncredited. more>>>
For centuries, the Jews of Ethiopia, the Beta Israel (House of Israel), lived in almost complete isolation from other Jewish communities around the globe. In his Travels in Abyssinia, Joseph Halevy recounts that when he journeyed to Ethiopia in 1868 in order to meet some of the Beta Israel’s members, he had difficulty convincing them that although he was white, he was a Jew. Halevy tried to assure them that there were many other Jews in the world, who, as far as their skin-color, “could not be distinguished from the other inhabitants of their respective countries.” more>>>
Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali (c. 1058–1111) is often been referred to – by both Muslims and non-Muslims - as ‘the greatest Muslim after Muhammad’.
Avicenna and Averroes (still well-known in the West) were largely forgotten in the Muslim world but their influence in Europe was very strong. Ghazali, on the other hand, was more or less ignored in Europe yet his philosophy gained a supreme position in the Muslim world and it kept that position all the way to the 20th century and beyond. In other words, two important sustainers of philosophy were forgotten in the Muslim world, whereas the destroyer of philosophy (in his own words) gained an overwhelming hegemony. more>>>
American Foreign Policy Missteps in the Middle East
by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates (October 2013)
With Jonathan Schanzer and Shoshana Bryen
On August 21, 2013, a sarin gas chemical weapons attack in the eastern Damascus suburb of Jobar killed an estimated 1,429 including men, women and 400 children. It was the latest calumny in a 28 month long civil war in Syria pitting forces of the Assad regime against internal warring rebel forces. Those include the allegedly moderate Free Syria Army and Islamist groups, Jabhat al Nusra (Nusra Front) and the al Qaeda affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIS. The civil war in Syria has claimed more than 110,000 lives. more>>>
Waller Newell’s September essay, “A Coup Isn’t Always the Enemy of Democracy” (New English Review, September 2013) hits the nail squarely on the head in driving home an obvious point to any student of politics and history who is not a jaded academic or media “pundit.” The only truism that is more accurate is “There is No Such Thing as The World Community” (or a free lunch). Let me expound on the mirage of the so called "international community" and the mythical "red line" nobody drew (except Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu discussing Iran) related to the current civil war in Syria. more>>>
Erick Stakelbeck is an American original. A product of Northeast Philadelphia, son of a 101st Airborne Screaming Eagle vet, high school basketball champion who is now a living treasure in the American and international counter jihad community. A budding sportswriter of note following graduation from Holy Family University in Philadelphia, he had a minor epiphany after 9/11 and changed career paths. We and most Americans are glad that he did. more>>>