Reader’s links for Feb. 13 – 2016

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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

84 Replies to “Reader’s links for Feb. 13 – 2016”

  1. Syria conflict: Rebels pledge to keep fighting (BBC, Feb 13, 2016)

    “Rebel groups in Syria have told the BBC they will not stop fighting because they do not believe that Russia will end its bombing campaign in support of the government.

    They have expressed scepticism over a deal by world powers to push for a cessation of hostilities within a week.

    They have also reiterated their demand that President Bashar al-Assad be removed from power.
    Earlier the president said he wanted to retake “the whole country” from rebels.

    Three Syrian rebel groups have expressed doubts to the BBC over the cessation of hostilities agreement:

    A spokesman for the Free Syrian Army said: “We remain sceptical all the time about the Russians.”

    The conservative Ahrar al-Sham group said that it would not stop fighting until government shelling stopped, safe border crossings were opened for civilians, prisoners released and besieged areas relieved

    Faylaq al-Sham – part of a coalition of seven different groups operating in the north – said that it would not relinquish its weapons until President Assad was removed
    Riad Hijab, co-ordinator of Syria’s main opposition bloc, earlier told the BBC’s Newsnight programme that to announce a cessation of hostilities before making progress in the political process “is not realistic, objective or logical”.

    Agreement to try to bring about a cessation of hostilities and allow more access for humanitarian aid was reached by world powers late on Thursday in Germany, but neither the Syrian government nor the rebels were involved.

    So far there has been no sign of the UN realising its hopes of delivering aid imminently to more besieged areas.

    A new UN task force set up to co-ordinate aid distributions convened in Geneva on Friday.

    Some Syrian cities have been cut off from aid for more than a year because of fighting. About 13.5 million people are in need, the UN says.

    In his rare interview recorded on Thursday, Mr Assad told AFP news agency that defeating the groups ranged against him could take some time due to the involvement of regional powers.

    Mr Assad expressed support for peace talks but said negotiations did not mean “we stop fighting terrorism”. And he vowed to sever the rebels’ supply route from Turkey.

    Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air strikes, have almost encircled rebels in parts of the northern city of Aleppo.

    US state department spokesman Mark Toner said Mr Assad was “deluded” if he thought there was a military solution to the conflict.

    More than 250,000 people have been killed and some 11 million displaced in almost five years of fighting in Syria…”

  2. Why tourists are shunning a beautiful Italian island (BBC, Feb 13, 2016)

    “A sunny Italian isle in the Mediterranean with beautiful beaches and sparkling seas, Lampedusa sounds like an ideal holiday destination – but tourists are staying away. Police have become a constant presence, sent to deal with the huge number of migrants arriving on the island, and for some locals the uniforms evoke uncomfortable memories….”

  3. Twelve rapists, a 13-year-old victim and a terrifying truth Britain still won’t face: The disturbing full story behind the gangs of Pakistani men who target white girls

    12 men of Pakistani origin abused girl in Keighley, West Yorkshire, when she was 13

    But some members of the Muslim community feel ‘she played her part’

    Suspected ringleader Arif Chowdhury, 20, ‘fled to Bangladesh in 2012’

    Keighley was recently named among the ‘least integrated’ places in the UK

    • For immigrants to integrate or assimilate into the base society of their new home they have to want to change, since their religion says they can’t change they will never integrate or assimilate into the base society.

  4. Police won’t name fugitives: identities of suspected killers and rapists on the run are kept secret, and you guessed, it’s because of human rights

    Almost half the police forces in Britain are refusing to identify dangerous fugitives including ten suspected killers – to protect their ‘human right’ to privacy.

    Many constabularies said naming those wanted for murder, rape, child abuse and kidnapping could cause the suspects ‘damage or distress’.

    At least ten of the suspects are wanted for murder, five for attempted murder and ten for rape. Numerous others are being hunted for sex offences, including crimes against children.

    • The left using our own laws and compassion against us, this tactic has succeed up to a point, the reason it will fail in the long run is that the patriots will turn to strongmen who think somewhat like themselves rather then the left wing strong men that want to be god kings. A strong man that somewhat believes in freedom is much preferable to a God King that thinks all must serve them. Look at South America, under the so called right wing dictators their nations grew and semi flourished Since the so called end of the Cold War the left has taken over South America and their economics have stagnated and shrunk.

    • See also
      What long seemed like the foreign spectacles of faraway places now feels like a clash of cultures playing out on the West’s very soil. Differences once defused by distance and a sense of superiority have become an imminent threat. People in the West are discovering, with anxiety and fear, that sex in the Muslim world is sick, and that the disease is spreading to their own lands.

      Kamel Daoud, a columnist for Quotidien d’Oran, is the author of the novel “The Meursault Investigation” and a contributing opinion writer. This essay was translated by John Cullen from the French.

    • This makes sense, the multi-culti fools will scream but isolating/concentrating the enemies of civilization in one prison will make it easier to control them and stop the spread of Islam among the British underclass. On the flip side it will make it easier for the Islamic invaders (who have been infiltrating into the west by hiding in the “refugees”) to stage a raid or raids to free their imprisoned colleagues.

      I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages but the left probably won’t.

  5. 2 Indian Soldiers, 5 Rebels Killed in Kashmir Fighting (abcnews, Feb 13, 2016)

    “Five suspected rebels and two soldiers were killed in a fierce gunbattle Saturday in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir, officials said.

    Police and soldiers cordoned off a village in the northern Kupwara region after they got a tip that militants were hiding in the area, said army spokesman Col. Nitin Joshi.

    The fighting erupted Friday evening and intermittent gunfire continued through the night.

    An intense firefight resumed early Saturday in which two soldiers were killed and two others wounded, Joshi said. Police said the bodies of five militants were recovered.

    The area where the fighting took place is close to the Line of Control dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan. The Himalayan region is divided between the rivals, but both claim it in its entirety…”

  6. Saudi jets to fly missions in Syria from Turkish base (RT, Feb 13, 2016)

    “Saudi Arabia is to deploy military jets and personnel to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base in the south of the country, Ankara said. The base is already used by the US Air Force for their sorties in Syria.
    The deployment is part of the US-led effort to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

    “At every coalition meeting, we have always emphasized the need for an extensive result-oriented strategy in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group,” he said, referring to IS by an Arabic-language abbreviation.

    Cavusoglu spoke to the Yeni ?afak newspaper after addressing a security conference in Munich, Germany, where the Syrian crisis was one of the top issues on the agenda.

    “If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch a ground operation,” he added, fueling concerns that a foreign troop invasion may soon further complicate the already turbulent situation in the war-torn country.

    Earlier, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE voiced their readiness to contribute troops for a ground operation in Syria on the condition that the US would lead the intervention. Damascus and its key regional ally, Iran, warned that such a foreign force would face strong resistance…”

    • Turkish Media Say Saudi Arabia, Turkey May Strike in Syria (abcnews, Feb 13, 2016)

      “Turkish media are quoting Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying his country and Saudi Arabia may launch ground operations against the Islamic State group in Syria.

      After taking part at a security conference in Munich, Cavusoglu said Saudi Arabia was “ready to send both jets and troops” to Turkey’s Incirlik airbase.

      “Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch an operation (against IS) from the land,” Saturday’s edition of the Yeni Safak pro-government newspaper quoted him as saying.

      Cavusoglu did not specify the number of troops or jets nor the timing of a possible Saudi deployment but said exploratory visits have been made.

      The base is used by the U.S.-led coalition in the campaign against the Islamic State group.

      Turkish television channels NTV and CNN Turk also carried remarks by the minister suggesting that Turkey and Saudi Arabia see eye to eye on the need for ground operations in Syria.”

  7. Russia’s Medvedev: We Are in ‘a New Cold War’

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said his country is in a new cold war with the U.S. and its allies, while NATO’s chief said Russia is using its nuclear arsenal to intimidate Europe.

    The clash, with echoes of superpower rhetoric during the 20th century, played out at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday even as Russia, Europe and the U.S. say they’re seeking to end Syria’s civil war, resolve the armed standoff in eastern Ukraine and make progress toward lifting European economic sanctions against Russia.

    “The political line of NATO toward Russia remains unfriendly and closed,” Medvedev said in a speech to the conference. “It can be said more sharply: We have slid into a time of a new cold war.”

    While Medvedev renewed Russian accusations of encirclement by western powers, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, challenged President Vladimir Putin to stop threatening nations around Russia’s borders with warnings about his nuclear-weapons capability.

    “Russia’s rhetoric, posture and exercises of its nuclear forces are aimed at intimidating its neighbors, undermining trust and stability in Europe,” Stoltenberg told the conference earlier. “We strive for a more constructive and more cooperative relationship with Russia.”

    • This is what you get when you reduce your nuclear weapons arsenal in a post-START environment. PRC threatened to annihilate US cities like LA in the past. We need to just junk all these nuclear arms reduction agreements; the Russians are deploying new ICBMs while we are still using ancient Minuteman III missiles. We are so stupid we don’t even use our Peacekeeper (MX) missiles.

      • You got that right, we need and probably will be forced into a crash rebuild of our military once the election is over. This won’t stop the fighting but will give us a real big chance of surviving the war.

        • Then after this war is over the useful idiots will start screaming that we need to disarm so the military budget can be spent on welfare.

  8. Russia casts doubt on Syria ceasefire deal as army gains ground

    MUNICH/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Russia said on Saturday a ceasefire deal for Syria agreed by major powers was more likely to fail than succeed, as Syrian government forces backed by further Russian air strikes gained more ground against rebels near Aleppo.

    International divisions over Syria surfaced anew at a Munich conference where Russia rejected French charges that it was bombing civilians, just a day after world powers agreed on the “cessation of hostilities” due to begin in a week’s time.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated accusations that Russia was hitting “legitimate opposition groups” and civilians with its bombing campaign in Syria and said Moscow must change its targets to respect the ceasefire deal.

    The conflict, reshaped by Russia’s intervention last September, has gone into an even higher gear since the United Nations sought to revive peace talks. These were suspended earlier this month in Geneva before they got off the ground.

    The Syrian army looked poised on Saturday to advance into the Islamic State-held province of Raqqa for the first time since 2014, apparently to pre-empt any move by Saudi Arabia to send ground forces into Syria to fight the jihadist insurgents.

    • BBC – Syrian rebels: ‘The West has abandoned us’

      A senior rebel commander inside Aleppo says his fighters felt abandoned by countries such as Britain and the United States.

    • RT -Turkish military shells Kurdish targets in northern Syria – Kurds to RT

      Turkey’s army has shelled targets near the city of Azaz in northwestern Syria, Kurdish sources on the ground tell RT.

      The Turkish shelling of Kurdish positions has continued for more than three hours almost uninterruptedly, a Kurdish source told RT, adding that the Turkish forces are using mortars and missiles and firing from the Turkish border not far from the city of Azaz in the Aleppo Governorate.

      The source also said that that there were casualties, but the exact number is unknown.

      The Turkish forces fired shells at the villages of Malikiya and Tannab, a source told RT, citing a statement by the Jaysh al-Thuwwar group.

      A source in the Turkish government confirmed to Reuters that the Turkish military had shelled Kurdish militia targets near Azaz on Saturday.

      “The Turkish Armed Forces fired shells at PYD positions in the Azaz area,” the source said, referring to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Ankara views as a terrorist group.

      A Kurdish official confirmed to Reuters that the shelling had targeted the Menagh air base located south of Azaz.

      According to the official, the base had been captured by the Jaysh al-Thuwwar rebel group, which is an ally of PYD and a member of the Syria Democratic Forces alliance.

      Syrian Kurds are actively engaged in the fight against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group and have been recently described as “some of the most successful” forces fighting IS jihadists in Syria by US State Department spokesman John Kirby, AFP reports.

      Earlier, the US also called the PYD an “important partner” in the fight against Islamic State, adding that US support of the Kurdish fighters “will continue.”

    • Turkey PM threatens military action against Syrian Kurdish fighters

      Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday said Turkey would, if necessary, take military action against fighters from the Syrian Kurdish PYD, which Ankara considers a terror group.

      “We can if necessary take the same measures in Syria as we took in Iraq and Qandil,” Davutoglu said in a televised speech in the eastern city of Erzincan, referring to the relentless bombing campaign last year against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq on their Qandil mountain stronghold.

      “We would expect our friends and allies to stand by us,” he added.

      Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia to be branches of the PKK which has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state that intensified in the last months.

      Turkey this week reacted furiously to comments by the US State Department spokesman saying Washington did not recognise the PYD as a terror group and would continue to support its operations in Syria.

      “The leadership cadre and ideology of the PKK and PYD is the same,” argued Davutoglu.

      “Those who say that they are not terror groups either do not know the region or have bad intentions,” he said, in apparent reference to the row with Washington.

      “We will be sending documentation to the United States very soon to show that the PYD is a branch of the PKK,” he said. Washington recognises the PKK as a terror group, as does the European Union.

      Davutoglu accused the PYD of cooperating both the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — who Turkey wants to see ousted — and his Russian allies, as well as committing war crimes.

      “We are expecting a clear and unambiguous stand from the United States — who we believe to be our allies — against this slaughter of humanity,” said the premier.

      US State Department spokesman John Kirby said last week that the Kurdish fighters “have been some of the most successful” in fighting Islamic State (IS) group militants inside Syria.

      He said the United States had supported the Kurdish fighters, mostly with air power, “and that support will continue.”

      Turkey last year claimed killing dozens of PKK fighters and destroying their hideouts in cross-border air raids on northern Iraq.

    • Turkey pledges to send ground forces to fight Islamic State in Syria

      MUNICH — Turkey will supply ground forces to an anti-Islamic State coalition in Syria and will allow Saudi Arabian strike missions against the militants from its air bases, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview published Saturday.

      The Saudis have already visited the Turkish base at Incirlik, where U.S. warplanes are launching attacks against the Islamic State, in preparation for the new deployment, Cavusoglu told the pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak after speaking at an international security conference here.

      Turkey’s commitment comes after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said they would supply Special Forces troops as part of a force under the U.S.-led coalition. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter appealed to coalition partners this week in Brussels to provide more resources. U.S. Special Operations forces are already operating in Syria.

      Cavusoglu emphasized that no strategy for joint ground operations has yet been presented to the coalition. “If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch an operation from the land,” he said. Referring to criticism that Turkey has been “unwilling” to join the fight against the Islamic State, he said his government has been “pushing for more tangible suggestions.”

      In a speech to the conference Saturday, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said defeating the Islamic State “is not an overnight proposition. It’s going to take time. But I tell you this,” Kerry said, “President Obama is determine that it will not take too much time. And we welcome the recent announcements a number of countries have made to intensify their support.”

      Kerry also devoted part of his remarks to reassuring Europe that the United States understands the pressure it is under from the flood of more than a million refugees fleeing Syria’s separate civil war and conflicts across the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. Some European leaders have said that the administration fails to grasp the seriousness of the fissures that the influx have opened in post-war European unity.

      “I want to make it clear to all of you,” Kerry said, “The United States isn’t sitting across the pond, saying this is your problem, not ours. .?.?. The United States understands the near-existential nature of this threat to the politics and fabric of life in Europe.”

      That is why, he said, the administration promoted and would join a new NATO initiative to send warships to the eastern Mediterranean to “close off a key access route” for migrants traveling by sea from Turkey to Greece to reach the heart of Europe.

      In response to eastern European fears that ongoing Russian intervention in Ukraine presages an attempt to expand its influence throughout the region, Kerry said the United States had also “upgraded our commitment to European security with a planned fourfold increase in spending” from $790 million to $3.4 billion. “This will allow us to maintain a division’s worth of equipment in Europe and an additional combat brigade in Central and Eastern Europe,” he said.

      “Those who claim our transatlantic partnership is unraveling — or those who hope it might unravel-could not be more wrong,” Kerry said. “They forget — or they never understood — why we came together in the first place: not just to sail along in the best of times, but to have each other’s backs when the seas are rough.”

      In remarks to the conference earlier Saturday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedyev said that relations between Russia and the West have effectively entered a new Cold War.

      “As we see it,” he said, “NATO’s political line toward Russia remains unfriendly and closed. I can say even more harshly: We have slipped into a new Cold War era.” As a result of Ukraine-related sanctions and the drop in oil prices, he said, European Union trade with Russia has dropped by nearly half, to $265 billion.

      Medvedyev also challenged Western assertions that Russian airstrikes in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have killed civilians there. “No one has yet presented any evidence of our airstrikes hitting the civilian populations,” he said.

      He warned the West “not to threaten a ground operation in Syria,” and said that “regular cooperation between Russia and the United States will be crucial. And I mean regular — every day.”

      While Russia has insisted that its Syrian airstrikes are directed toward the same “terrorists” as U.S. strikes against the Islamic State, Kerry said that “to date, the vast majority in our opinion of Russia’s attacks have been against legitimate opposition groups” fighting Assad’s forces, and that civilians continue to be struck.

      Russia has repeatedly appealed for U.S. coordination, including shared intelligence, in what it describes as a joint fight against the Islamic State. The Obama administration has said it is uninterested in cooperation until the airstrikes against opposition forces and civilians stop.

      The conflicting U.S. and Russian realities — and the growing overlap between the anti-Islamic State effort and Syrian civil war — are likely to clash directly this week, as the two countries head a task force to implement a civil war cease-fire agreed to early Friday by a group of 17 nations supporting one side or the other in that conflict.

      Under the deal, both sides in the fighting are to allow immediate humanitarian access to areas that have been cut off to all aid, primarily by the Syrian government. Humanitarian progress is to be followed with an end to fighting by next Friday and resumption of political negotiations between the government and U.S.-backed opposition forces.

      “To adhere to the agreement it made,” Kerry said, “we think it is critical that Russia’s targeting change.”

      Russian “Foreign Minister Lavrov has said that we need to work together as a group to determine who should be attacked,” Kerry said in his speech. “I will say bluntly that there is no way to properly put a humanitarian access [program] as ambitious as the one we’ve embraced” in place “unless we do sit down and work together on every aspect of this from the politics to the humanitarian.”

      “We’re not approaching this with some sense of pie in the sky hope,” he said. “We will work through where the targeting should be. .?.?. If people who are willing to be part of the political process are being bombed, we’re not going to have much of a conversation.”

      As he began a bilateral meeting here with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani following his speech, Kerry said “we will make it work,” apparently referring to the Syrian agreement.

      He then noted that he had heard that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov put the chances of success at 49 percent.

      “I like his optimism,” Kerry said.

    • Munich Security Conference

      Medvedev’s speech at the panel discussion.

      Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished colleague Mr Valls, distinguished Mr Ischinger, my speech will be of a more general nature, but I hope it will be useful.

      The first cold war ended 25 years ago. This is not long in terms of history, but it is a considerable period for individual people and even for generations. And it is certainly sufficient for assessing our common victories and losses, setting new goals and, of course, avoiding a repetition of past mistakes.

      The Munich Security Conference has been known as a venue for heated and frank discussion. This is my first time here. Today I’d like to tell you about Russia’s assessment of the current European security situation and possible solutions to our common problems, which have been aggravated by the deterioration of relations between Russia and the West.

      Before coming to this conference, I met with President Putin. We talked about his speech at the Munich conference in 2007. He said then that ideological stereotypes, double standards and unilateral actions do not ease but only fan tensions in international relations, reducing the international community’s opportunities for adopting meaningful political decisions.

      Did we overstate this? Were our assessments of the situation too pessimistic? Unfortunately, I have to say that the situation is now even worse than we feared. Developments have taken a much more dramatic turn since 2007. The concept of Greater Europe has not materialised. Economic growth has been very weak. Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa have increased in scale. The migration crisis is pushing Europe towards collapse. Relations between Europe and Russia have soured. A civil war is raging in Ukraine.

      In this context, we need to launch an intensive dialogue on the future architecture of Euro-Atlantic security, global stability and regional threats more than ever before. I consider it unacceptable that this dialogue has almost ceased in many spheres. The problem of miscommunication has been widely recognised both in Western Europe and in Russia. The mechanisms that allowed us to promptly settle mutual concerns have been cut off. Moreover, we’ve lost our grasp of the culture of mutual arms control, which we used for a long time as the basis for strengthening mutual trust. Partnership initiatives, which took much time and effort to launch, are expiring one by one. The proposed European security treaty has been put on hold. The idea of a Russia-EU Committee on Foreign Policy and Security, which I discussed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Meseberg, has not materialised. We believe that NATO’s policy towards Russia remains unfriendly and generally obdurate.

      Speaking bluntly, we are rapidly rolling into a period of a new cold war. Russia has been presented as well-nigh the biggest threat to NATO, or to Europe, America and other countries (and Mr Stoltenberg has just demonstrated that). They show frightening films about Russians starting a nuclear war. I am sometimes confused: is this 2016 or 1962?

      But the real threats to this small world are of an absolutely different nature, as I hope you will admit. The term “European security” is now more embracing that it used to be. Forty years ago it concerned above all military and political relations in Europe. But new issues have come to the fore since then, such as sustainable economic development, inequality and poverty, unprecedented migration, new forms of terrorism and regional conflicts, including in Europe. I am referring to Ukraine, the volatile Balkans, and Moldova that is teetering on the brink of a national collapse.

      The cross-border threats and challenges, which we for a while believed to have been overcome, have returned with a new strength. The new threats, primarily terrorism and extremism, have lost their abstract form for the majority of people. They have become reality for millions in many countries. As Mr Valls has just mentioned, they have become a daily threat. We can expect an airplane to be blown up or people in a café to be shot every day. These used to be everyday events in the Middle East, but now it’s the same the world over.

      We see that economic, social and military challenges have become mutually complementary. But we continue to act randomly, inconsistently, and in many cases exclusively in our own national interests. Or a scapegoat is appointed in an arbitrary manner.

      I am offering you five theses on security as such.

      First, the economy. […]

      Second, the crisis of the global economic development model is creating conditions for a variety of conflicts, including regional conflicts.[…]

      As for Syria, we have been working and will continue to work to implement joint peace initiatives. This is a difficult path, but there is no alternative to an interethnic and interreligious dialogue. We must preserve Syria as a union state and prevent its dissolution for denominational reasons. The world will not survive another Libya, Yemen or Afghanistan. The consequences of this scenario will be catastrophic for the Middle East. The work of the International Syria Support Group gives us a certain hope. They gathered here the day before yesterday and coordinated a list of practical measures aimed at implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 2254, including the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians and outlining the conditions for a ceasefire, except for terrorist groups, of course. The implementation of these measures is to be led by Russia and the United States. I would like to emphasise that the daily work of the Russian and American militaries is the key here. I’m talking about regular work without the need to seek incidental contacts, day-to-day work, everyday work.

      Of course, there should be no preliminary conditions to start the talks on the settlement between the Syrian government and opposition, and there is no need to impend anyone with a land military operation.

      Third, we sincerely believe that if we fail to normalise the situation in Syria and other conflict areas, terrorism will become a new form of war that will spread around the world. It will not be just a new form of war but a method of settling ethnic and religious conflict, and a form of quasi-state governance. Imagine a group of countries that are governed by terrorists through terrorism. Is this the 21st century?

      It is common knowledge that terrorism is not a problem within individual countries. Russia first raised this alarm two decades ago. We tried to convince our partners that the core causes were not just ethnic or religious differences. Take ISIS, WHOSE IDEOLOGY IS NOT BASED ON ISLAMIC VALUES but on a blood-thirsty desire to kill and destroy. Terrorism is civilisation’s problem. It’s either us or them, and it’s time for everyone to realise this. There are no nuances or undertones, no justifications for terrorist actions, no dividing terrorists into ours or theirs, into moderate or extremist.

      The destruction of the Russian plane over Sinai, the terrorist attacks in Paris, London, Israel, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iraq, Mali, Yemen and other countries, the grisly executions of hostages, thousands of victims, and endless other threats are evidence that international terrorism defies state borders. Terrorists and extremists are trying to spread their influence not only throughout the Middle East and North Africa but also to the whole of Central Asia. Unfortunately, they have so far been successful, mostly because we are unable to set our differences aside and to really join forces against them. Even cooperation at the security services level has been curtailed. And this is ridiculous, like we don’t want to work with you. Daesh should be grateful to my colleagues, the leaders of the Western countries who have suspended this cooperation.

      Before coming to this conference, I read much material, including some by Western experts. Even those who don’t think positively about Russia admit that, despite our differences, the “anti-terrorist formula” will not be effective without Russia. On the other hand, they sometimes frame this conclusion in an overall correct, but slightly different way, saying that a weak Russia is even more dangerous than a strong Russia.

    • Fourth, regional conflicts and terrorism are closely related to the unprecedentedly large issue of uncontrolled migration. This could be described as a great new transmigration of peoples and the culmination of the numerous problems of modern global development. It has affected not only Western Europe but also Russia. The inflow of migrants from Syria to Russia is not very large, but the inflow of migrants from Ukraine has become a serious problem. Over a million Ukrainian refugees have entered Russia over the past 18 months.

      Wars and related deprivations, inequality, low standards of living, violence, and fanaticism force people to flee their homes. Unsuccessful attempts to spread Western models of democracy to a social environment that is not suited for this have resulted in the demise of entire states and have turned huge territories into zones of hostility. I remember how my colleagues once rejoiced at the so-called Arab Spring. I literally witnessed it. But has modern democracy taken root in these countries? Looks like it has, but in the form of ISIS.

      Human capital is degenerating in the countries the refugees are leaving. And these countries’ development prospects have taken a downward turn. The ongoing migration crisis is rapidly acquiring the features of a humanitarian catastrophe, at least in some parts of Europe. Social problems are growing too, along with mutual intolerance and xenophobia. Not to mention the fact that hundreds and thousands of extremists enter Europe under the guise of being refugees. Other migrants are people of an absolutely different culture who only want to receive monetary benefits without doing anything to earn them. This poses a very real danger to the common economic space. The next targets will be the cultural space and even the European identity. We watch with regret how invaluable mechanisms, which Russia also needs, are being destroyed. I am referring to the actual collapse of the Schengen zone.

      For our part, we are willing to do our best to help address the migration issue, including by contributing to efforts to normalise the situation in the conflict regions from which the majority of refugees come, Syria among them.

      And fifth, let’s be as honest as possible. The majority of these challenges did not develop yesterday. And they were definitely not invented in Russia. Yet we haven’t learned to react to these challenges properly or even proactively. This is why the bulk of resources go into dealing with the consequences, often without identifying the root cause. Or we invest our energy not in fighting the real evil, but in deterring our neighbours, and this problem has just been voiced here The West continues to actively use this deterrence doctrine against Russia. The fallacy of this approach is that we will still be debating the same issues in 10 and even 20 years. Provided there will be anything to debate about, of course, as discussions are not on the agenda of the Great Caliphate.

      Opinions on the prospects for cooperation with Russia differ. Opinions also differ in Russia. But can we unite in order to stand up against the challenges I mentioned above? Yes, I am confident that we can. Yesterday we witnessed a perfect example in the area of religion. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Pope of the Catholic Church Francis met in Cuba following hundreds of years when the two churches did not communicate. Of course, restoring trust is a challenging task. It’s difficult to say how long it would take. But it is necessary to launch this process. And this must be done without any preliminary conditions. Either all of us need to do this or none of us. In the latter case, there will be no cooperation.

      We often differ in our assessments of the events that took place over the past two years. However, I want to emphasise that they don’t differ as much as they did 40 years ago when we signed the Final Helsinki Act and when Europe was literally divided by The Wall. When old phobias prevailed, we were deadlocked. When we managed to join forces, we succeeded. There is much evidence to support this. We managed to agree on the reduction of strategic offensive weapons, which was a breakthrough achievement. We have worked out a compromise solution regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. We have convinced all sides in the Syrian conflict to sit down at the negotiating table in Geneva. We have coordinated actions against pirates. And the Climate Change Conference was held in Paris last year. We should replicate these positive outcomes.

      Ladies and gentlemen,

      The current architecture of European security, which was built on the ruins of World War II, allowed us to avoid global conflicts for more than 70 years. The reason for this was that this architecture was built on principles that were clear to everyone at that time, primarily the undeniable value of human life. We paid a high price for these values. But our shared tragedy forced us to rise above our political and ideological differences in the name of peace. It’s true that this security system has its issues and that it sometimes malfunctions. But do we need one more, third global tragedy to understand that what we need is cooperation rather than confrontation?

      I’d like to quote from John F. Kennedy, who used very simple but the most appropriate words, “Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.” In the early 1960s the world stood at the door of a nuclear apocalypse, but the two rivalling powers found the courage to admit that no political confrontation was worth the human lives.

      I believe that we have become wiser and more experienced and more responsible. And we are not divided by ideological phantoms and stereotypes. I believe that the challenges we are facing today will not lead to conflict but rather will encourage us to come together in a fair and equal union that will allow us to maintain peace for another 70 years, at least.

      Thank you.

      Excerpts from replies to questions by journalists

      Question: My name is Mingus Campbell, I am from the United Kingdom. My question is addressed to Prime Minister Medvedev. Is it accepted in Russia that increased influence in Syria brings with it responsibility for all of the citizens of Syria? And if that is so, how has that responsibility been exercised in respect of the citizens of Aleppo who are now fleeing in such numbers?

      Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you. I will continue answering questions concerning Syria, including the situation in Aleppo, but not limited to that.

      I think a large part of the people present here have never been to Syria, whereas I have been there. I made an official visit there when Syria was a quiet, peaceful, secular nation, where life was stable and balanced for everybody: the Sunnis and the Shiites, the Druze, Alawites and Christians.

      Almost six years have passed since then. Today we see Syria that is torn by a civil war. Let us ask a question: who is to blame for that? Is it al-Assad alone? It is absolutely evident that without a certain external influence Syria could have gone on with its life. But I remember those talks, those conversations with my partners, both European and American, who kept on telling me the same thing over and over: al-Assad is no good, he should step down, and then peace and prosperity will reign there. And what has came of it? It resulted in a civil war.

      This is the reason I cannot but agree with my colleague, Prime Minister Valls, in that we must join efforts to solve this issue, but we must work effectively, not just watch as events unfold there, not just watch one party attack another; not divide the warring parties into those who are on our side and adversaries, but instead sit them all down at the negotiating table, except those who we have agreed to treat as real terrorists. We know who they are.

      Russia is not pursuing any special goals there except the ones that have been declared. We are defending our national interests because a large number of militants fighting there came from Russia and neighbouring countries, and they can come back to wage terrorist attacks. They must stay there…

      This does not apply to civilians in any way. Unlike most of the countries present in the region, we have been helping civilians. Nobody has any proof that we have been bombing civilian targets there, even though they keep on talking about it, about wrong targets and so forth. They do not share information. I have just said this from the stand – the military must keep in constant contact. They should call each other a dozen times a day. Otherwise there will always be skirmishes and conflicts. And this is our mission. We are ready for such cooperation. I expect that we will see some positive development from the dialogue we had here in terms of both achieving a ceasefire in Syria and the humanitarian issues. It is crucial that we should agree on key points, because otherwise, and I think it is no secret for anyone, Syria will split into separate parts, the way it happened to Libya and the way it is in fact happening with a number of other nations in the region. What does that entail? It poses a threat of the conflict becoming permanent. The civil war will go on, Daesh or its successors will always be there, while we will engage in arguments as we try to figure out which of them is good and which is bad, who should receive our support and who shouldn’t. We have a common enemy, and that it the premise we should start with.

      Now I would like to come back to the topic of Ukraine. I cannot assess the past developments in Ukraine; the Russian leadership has already done this a number of times, including myself. I will answer the part of the question regarding the air crash investigation. Obviously, the Russian Federation is no less interested in an unbiased investigation than the countries whose citizens lost their lives in the crash. It is indeed an enormous tragedy. But even the tone of the question implies that the person asking it has already decided who is responsible, who should bear the legal responsibility, no investigation is needed, certain justice committees should be set up instead and certain legal procedures followed. But this is not the way it is done. This should be a regular comprehensive investigation that would cover all the relevant aspects. This is the first point. And second, this is unfortunately not the first case in the world of this kind. Such tragedies have never been dealt with by criminal courts or other similar agencies. These are issues of a different order. And this is what we have to agree on. Russia is ready to provide any information to contribute to a quality investigation.

    • US urges Turkey to halt artillery fire on Kurd, regime forces in Syria – AFP

      Syria: Turkish forces reportedly bomb near Kurdish-controlled Menagh airbase

    • Turkey strikes Kurdish militia in Syria

      Turkey’s military shelled Kurdish militia targets in northern Syria on Saturday and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu demanded that the group withdraw from the area in a move that further complicated the conflict across the NATO member’s border.

      The shelling took place after Kurdish YPG fighters backed by Russian bombing raids drove Syrian rebels from a former military air base, south of the town of Azaz and near the Turkish border.

      “Today retaliation was taken under the rules of engagement against forces that represented a threat in Azaz and the surrounding area,” the prime minister told reporters in comments shown live by state broadcaster TRT Haber.

      A Kurdish official said the Menagh base which was hit had been captured by the Kurdish-allied Jaysh al-Thuwwar group rather than the YPG. Both are part of the Syria Democratic Forces alliance.

      The shelling came amid growing anger in Ankara with the United States for supporting the YPG, which Ankara regards as a terrorist organization, in its fight against ISIS militants.

      The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which backs the YPG, controls most of the Syrian side of Turkey’s border and Ankara views it as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-old insurgency for autonomy in southeast Turkey.

      U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby urged both Turkey and the Syrian Kurds to step back, saying they should focus instead on tackling a “common threat” of ISIS militants who control large parts of Syria.

      “We have urged Syrian Kurdish and other forces affiliated with the YPG not to take advantage of a confused situation by seizing new territory,” Kirby said in a statement.

      “We have also seen reports of artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border and urged Turkey to cease such fires.”

      Davutoglu demanded that the Menagh base be evacuated and said he had spoken to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to make that point and stress that the PYD was an extension of the PKK and a direct threat to Turkey.

      “We will retaliate against every step (by the YPG),” he said after a visit to the eastern Turkish city of Erzincan. “The YPG will immediately withdraw from Azaz and the surrounding area and will not go close to it again.”

      Turkey’s disquiet has been heightened by the tens of thousands of people fleeing to the Turkish border after attacks by Russian-backed Syrian government forces, swelling refugee numbers in the area to 100,000.

      Turkey, which already hosts 2.6 million Syrian refugees, has kept the latest arrivals on the Syrian side of the border, in part to pressure Russia to cease its air support for Syrian government forces near the city of Aleppo.

      Davutoglu earlier condemned the attacks in Aleppo as “barbarity, tyranny, a war strategy conducted with a medieval mentality” and said hundreds of thousands faced the danger of starvation if a humanitarian corridor was not opened.

      “We will help our brothers in Aleppo with all means at our disposal. We will take those in need but we will never allow Aleppo to be emptied through an ethnic massacre,” he said.

      NATO-member Turkey is one of Assad’s most vehement critics and an ardent supporter of opposition forces.

      Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was reported as saying on Saturday that Saudi Arabia would send aircraft to Turkey’s Incirlik air base for the fight against ISIS.

      US State Department spokesman John Kirby said that Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces should move to deescalate tensions in northern Syria.

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces should move to deescalate tensions in northern Syria, US State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement Saturday.

      “We are concerned about the situation north of Aleppo and are working to de-escalate tensions on all sides,” Kirby said.

      He added that Washington urged Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and affiliated forces against taking advantage “of a confused situation by seizing new territory.”

      “We have also seen reports of artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border and urged Turkey to cease such fires,” Kirby stressed.

      The spokesman argued that Ankara and YPG “share a serious threat” from the Islamic State, encouraging them to focus on anti-Daesh efforts and “work towards a cessation of hostilities.”

      Kurdish self-defense units claimed earlier that Turkish artillery forces shelled the recently captured Minnigh airbase in Aleppo, which Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said was carried out in retaliation.

      Syria: Gulf-backed Turkish invasion into Syria a ‘possibility’ says parliament lawmaker

      A Turkish invasion joined by “Arab Gulf Oligarch regimes” in to Syria is a possibility, said Syrian lawmaker Omar Ossi from Damascus, adding that “I think Erdogan might commit such foolishness.”

      SOT, Omar Ossi, Syrian lawmaker (Arabic): “I would not rule out an invasion of the Syrian national geography in “Kurdish territories” along the common border with Turkey, but this will need a decision from the NATO. You know that Turkey is a NATO member since February 18, 1952, and it needs NATO’s approval to invade the Syrian national geography. It could be a small possibility, but I would not exclude it. Our Syrian border with Turkey are NATO borders. Some Arab Gulf Oligarch regimes might join the Turkish assault like the Saudi mercenaries. The Saudis do not have an organised army or units to send to Syria. They might gather pieces from Madagascar, Mauritania, Sudan, Djibouti and some Arab mercenaries to put together under the name of a Saudi army to send it to join to the Turkish army. I think Erdogan might commit such foolishness and assure you that the subject has nothing to do with the subject of migrants.”

  9. Under fire for Syria bombings, Russia denies hitting civilians

    MUNICH (Reuters) – The United States and France criticized Russia on Saturday for bombing civilians in Syria, a charge Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev rejected as major powers bickered openly a day after agreeing to a pause in combat.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russia of hitting legitimate opposition groups and civilians with its bombing campaign and said Moscow must change its targets to respect the ceasefire deal clinched on Friday.

    Medvedev earlier said such accusations were “just not true”, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the ceasefire was more likely to fail than succeed, as Syrian government troops made fresh advances around Aleppo, the biggest city in the country before the war.

    International powers agreed on a break in the fighting in late night talks in Munich on Friday. But the deal does not go into effect for a week and in the meantime, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, backed by Russian air power, are consolidating their gains against rebels.

  10. U.S. Defence Secretary says UK needs nuclear weapons for ‘outsized’ world role

    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain must renew its submarine-borne Trident nuclear weapons system if it is to maintain its “outsized” role in world affairs, U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter said in comments published on Saturday.

    A decision on replacing the ageing fleet of four submarines which carry nuclear warheads is due to be made this year and while Prime Minister David Cameron is committed to renewal, the issue has caused deep divisions in the opposition Labour Party.

    The government has said replacing the submarines will cost 31 billion pounds while Reuters has puts the overall cost of renewing and maintaining a successor to Trident at more than 167 billion pounds ($234 billion) over 32 years.

    Carter said the submarine fleet helped the “special relationship” Britain enjoyed with the United States, the BBC said on its website.

    The deterrent allowed Britain to “continue to play that outsized role on the global stage that it does because of its moral standing and its historical standing,” he was quoted as saying.

  11. Hungarians rally against Orban’s education reforms

    BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Thousands of Hungarians protested on Saturday against education reforms implemented by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, which critics see as another attempt by the right-wing leader to boost his control over state institutions.

    Teachers, whose demands include a sharp reduction in teaching hours and a free choice of textbooks, were joined in the rain outside parliament by other unionized workers including miners and civil servants.

    Protesters say the reforms form part of a centralization drive by Orban over the past six years that has brought state media and other public institutions under his government’s control.

    Singing the national anthem, some protesters shouted “We won’t let this happen.” Others held banners saying “Don’t chase our youth away.”

    “This is our last chance to ensure that our children live in a normal country getting good quality education instead of the destruction that is going on,” said Katalin Egressy, 46, who has four children.

    Marta, a former English teacher and mother-of-three, said she came to protest because her children’s future was at stake.

    • Hungary: Teachers march against educational reforms in Budapest

      Thousands of people, predominantly members of Hungary’s Teachers’ Union (PSZ), rallied in front of Budapest’s Parliament building on Saturday, against government reforms in education.

      Despite the rain, protesters gathered in the Hungarian capital bearing placards calling for “democracy”, with many chanting “we won’t let this happen” amid thousands of bicycle bells ringing out.

  12. China foreign minister urges U.S. caution on missile system

    BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States needs to proceed with caution on possible deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system following North Korea’s recent rocket launch and not use this as an excuse to affect China’s security, the Chinese foreign minister said.

    Speaking to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Munich, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed Beijing’s opposition to the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, China’s Foreign Ministry said late on Friday.

    Wang “demanded the U.S. side must act cautiously, not use the opportunity to harm China’s security interests and not add a new complicating factor to regional peace and stability”, the ministry said.

    South Korea and the United States are expected to begin talks next week on possible deployment of the system.

    North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Feb. 7 carrying what it called a satellite, drawing renewed international condemnation just weeks after it carried out a nuclear test.


    Not content with trying to save America, Donald Trump is sounding the alarm for the rest of Western Civilization.

    In a recent interview with the conservative French magazine Valeurs Actuelles, the Republican frontrunner predicted mass immigration from Islamic nations would lead to the “end of Europe” [Trump gets backing on ‘end of Europe’ warning, WND, February 11, 2016]. Trump also predicted nothing less than “real revolutions” if there was not a change in policy—presumably as native Europeans rise up against their own treasonous leaders. [EXCLUSIF. Trump : “La France n’est plus ce qu’elle était”, by André Bercoff, February 10, 2016]

    The interview created headlines all around the world, notably in outlets like the London Daily Telegraph, Newsweek, and RT (formerly Russia Today). But despite mentions in The Blaze and WND (formerly WorldNetDaily), the Beltway Right seemed unconscious of a prediction of the imminent end of Western Civilization from the GOP’s leading contender for President.

    Conservatism Inc. can’t be accused of exactly supporting Angela Merkel’s decision to flood the Continent with Muslim migrants. But so-called “elite” conservatives have given remarkably little consideration to what the long-term effects of this Islamic invasion will be. This is unforgivable when the Beltway Right is still trying to promote its preferred candidate Marco Rubio on the grounds that he’s a foreign policy “expert.”

    Writing at (of course) National Review, David French claims Rubio is not a robot but actually someone who has “thought deeply about our challenge [from ‘radical Islam’] and is incredibly well-informed” [Marco Rubio is not a robot, February 12, 2016].

    Stephen Hayes at The Weekly Standard is also trying to prop up Rubio by raving about his foreign policy credentials. Hayes defended Rubio’s answers to other questions in that disastrous debate in New Hampshire, specifically when Rubio said he would use “Sunni allies” to fight the Islamic State. Hayes [Email him]also recalled Rubio giving a well-received speech on foreign policy in 2012, taking questions from a well-informed audience. Interpreting the reaction of these supposed experts to Rubio, “The guy really knows his stuff,” Hayes assures us is the MSM reporters’ consensus [Rubio plays defense, February 22, 2016].

    Rubio himself (or at least his handlers) obviously think re-inventing the candidate as a master of geopolitics is the way to go. Rubio unloaded on Ted Cruz for allegedly favoring cuts in defense, and accused Jeb Bush and Donald Trump of being foreign policy “neophytes” as he campaigned in South Carolina. “Negotiating a hotel deal in another country is not foreign policy experience,” Rubio sneered at Trump [Rubio Rips Into Trump and Bush as Foreign Policy Neophytes, by James Nash, Bloomberg Politics, February 11, 2016].

    (What do you think the odds are that Rubio deploys that line again during tomorrow’s Republican debate? I suppose the only real question is if he uses it more than once.)

    This idea of Rubio as “expert” has always been a critical part of his campaign strategy. Rubio’s very first ad boasted that he could defend the United States in the “civilizational struggle” with “radical Islamic terror.” Rubio suggested Muslim terrorists want to kill Americans because “we let girls to go school.”

    Needless to say, the ad did not mention immigration.

    In Iowa, the pro-Rubio political action committee “Conservative Solutions PAC” ran ads boasting their candidate was a “recognized national security expert.” (It did not answer the question, “Recognized by who?”)

    Of course, as Chris Christie pointed out in their fateful exchange in the New Hampshire Republican debate, as a Senator, Rubio has never actually had to make a consequential decision that he’s had to take responsibility for. But what foreign policy choices Rubio has made during his short time in the United States Senate suggest that as President he’d be a disaster.

    Rubio supported Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s intervention in Libya, which enabled the growth of the Islamic State in North Africa. [Marco Rubio on Libya and the Need for Regime Change, by Stephen F. Hayes, Weekly Standard, March 31, 2011]

    Rubio also believes defeating the Islamic State (which, following the Beltway convention, he calls “ISIL”) means “defeating [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad.” Rubio calls for setting up no-fly zones within the country, working with “Sunni allies” in the region, and opposing Russia and Iran’s efforts to “prolong Assad’s brutal regime.” He also vaguely promises “more” if he ever gets into the Oval Office [We Asked Marco Rubio to Lay Out His ISIL Strategy. Here It is. By Marco Rubio, Politico, November 19, 2016]

    Needless to say, this is practically a guarantee of yet another major war in the Middle East—especially as Russia is explicitly warning that the introduction of Saudi ground forces (our most prominent “Sunni ally”) could spark World War III [Russia raises specter of interminable or ‘world war’ if Syria talks fail, by John Irish, Reuters, February 11, 2016].

    But for Rubio, that may be a feature, not a bug. After all, it was the notorious Project for a New American Century that was largely credited with providing the intellectual backing for the invasion of Iraq. And building a “New American Century” is the key slogan of Rubio’s campaign.

    Rubio’s “foreign policy” (which is in fact a domestic electoral policy) reveals not just recklessness and stupidity, but a larger blindness to the nature of the threat. In both Libya and Syria, the most damaging consequence of American policy was not the growth of the Islamic State, but the demographic invasion of Europe from the south.

    We are often told “we have to fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here.” [Fight Them Over There by Matthew Continetti, National Review, January 17, 2015 ]But the consequence of American policy was that we fought them there and thus enabled them to fight us here.

    Rubio runs ads warning that “what happened in France could happen here.” But he seems utterly oblivious to how uncontrolled immigration enables Islamic terrorists to strike within Western societies.

    Rubio epitomizes the common trend among Beltway Right operatives: compensate for their cowardice with eagerness to flaunt American military power abroad. Rubio’s foreign policy promises a return to the George W. Bush years. But geopolitically, Bush’s policies were a disaster. And domestically, they tarred Republicans in the eyes of the young as the “War Party.”

    What’s more, the foundation for American power, and more broadly, Western power, is crumbling before our eyes. The sweeping demographic changes in Europe are a world-historical event. The homeland of Western Civilization, for all intents and purposes, may cease to exist within our lifetimes.

    What happens to NATO when countries like the United Kingdom become Islamic, or start having Islamic parties in government? What happens to American military bases in Germany if anti-American Muslims start winning democratic elections? What happens to the nuclear weapons in an Islamic France?

    And, to show this isn’t just speculation: what should the American response be when a supposed NATO ally like Turkey openly threatens to use demographics as a weapon against other NATO countries? Because that’s happening as we speak [Turkey threatens to open the gates and send refugees to Europe, by Raziye Akkoc and Matthew Holehouse, Telegraph, February 11, 2016].

    Trump at least seems aware of these questions. In his Valeurs Actuelles interview with the French magazine, Trump called out European nations for losing control of territories within their own borders even as they disarmed their own populations—what Sam Francis called “anarcho-tyranny.” Rather than calling for pointless confrontation with Russia, Trump believes we can work with Putin to confront common foes like the Islamic State.

    Most importantly of all, Trump seems to understand demography is destiny. He says: “Unfortunately, France isn’t what it was, nor Paris.” He predicts the end of Europe unless we deal “with the situation competently and firmly” and suggests immigration must be handled in an “intelligent, rapid, and energetic matter” [Europe heading for ‘revolutions’ and ‘collapse’ over immigration, warns Donald Trump, by Henry Samuel and Ruth Sherlock, Telegraph, February 10, 2016]

    Sounds like a call for deportations to me.

    Who is the real foreign policy expert? Rubio’s call for pointless interventions and reliance on allies who hate us is precisely the strategy that’s been failing since 2001 and killed thousands of Americans. In contrast, the nationalism of Trump not only promises to keep us more secure from Islamic terrorism, but it also limits the potential of getting us into a disastrous conflict with Russia.

    The problem is not that neoconservatives, like those telling Rubio what to say, are just some noodle-armed, foreign policy “elite” who don’t understand real Americans.

    It’s that they are either genuinely stupid people who don’t understand the real nature of the terrorist threats or simply malevolent actors who don’t care about protecting Western Civilization.

    When it comes to foreign policy, Rubio is dangerous as well as foolish. Simply to survive, the West may need Trump.

    Otherwise, a decade or so from now, we’ll have third-generation Kristols and Podhoretzes assuring us to vote for George P. Bush, and his strategy of recruiting “Sunni allies” in the banlieues of what used to be the French Republic.

    James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.

  14. CIA director says IS group has used, can make chem weapons
    by AFP | published on February 12, 2016

    CIA director John Brennan has said that Islamic State fighters have used chemical weapons and have the capability to make small quantities of chlorine and mustard gas, CBS News reported.

    “We have a number of instances where ISIL has used chemical munitions on the battlefield,” Brennan told CBS News, which released excerpts of an interview to air in full on the “60 Minutes” news program on Sunday.

    The network added that he told “60 Minutes” the CIA believes that the IS group has the ability to make small amounts of mustard or chlorine gas for weapons.

    “There are reports that ISIS has access to chemical precursors and munitions that they can use,” Brennan said.

    Read more at 1776 Coalition:

  15. Lessons from Ferguson
    This is what happens when a town reneges on its pledge to treat all citizens fairly.

    There never was much doubt the federal government would sue the city of Ferguson, Mo., if it couldn’t reach an agreement with the St. Louis suburb to reform its criminal justice system. The city came under intense scrutiny by the Justice Department in 2014 after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, by white police officer Darren Wilson. That incident sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and launched the Black Lives Matter movement that has become a potent force among young people across the country — and particularly here in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray.

    Last week, after months of negotiations with the city, the Justice Department filed a civil rights lawsuit to force Ferguson to adopt reforms after its city council reneged on a promise to voluntarily improve the way police and courts treat poor people and minorities. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Ferguson’s rejection of the deal left her no choice given the town’s “ongoing and pervasive” violations of residents’ rights and its misuse of the criminal justice system to generate municipal revenues.

  16. Soon Drones Could 3D Print Buildings

    Swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will soon be printing emergency shelter for survivors of natural disasters, or buildings, or any large structure. This according to Dr Mirko Kovac of the Department of Aeronautics at the Imperial College London.

    Dr Kovac and his team are working with nearly five million dollars they received from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and industrial partners to foster the development of aerial construction robots. These machines, equipped with 3D printing technology, can excrete materials to construct or repair structures.

    One important potential applications is in disaster relief efforts, according to Dr Kovac. Disasters come in many different forms, and each presents its own unique challenges. Some terrain can become impassable due to mudslides or unstable mountainous terrain, preventing rescue teams from reaching those in need in a timely manner.
    – See more at:

  17. Religion of Peace? In Italy, Christian Converts from Islam Live in Fear of Attack!

    By Onan Coca / 12 February 2016 / 5 Comments

    We’ve become desensitized to the violence that seems commonplace in the Muslim world, and that’s just sad, but what may be sadder still is that we may someday soon become inured to the violence from Muslims in the Western world as well. Consider the daily reports of Muslim violence from Germany, Sweden, France and England and realize that we hear new and disturbing reports of Muslim violence in Europe almost every day! In fact, things are so bad in Europe that even in Italy, the heart of the Roman Catholic world, more than a thousand Christians live in hiding because they fear reprisal from the Italian Muslim community!

    For example, the Vatican Insider tells the story of Omar, an Egyptian who converted to Christianity from Islam. Omar told them that he has to hide his faith out of fear for his safety. “I can not openly practice my Christian faith, I fear that some fanatical Muslim may do harm not only to me, but especially to relatives who remained in Egypt. Why – you ask – Italians who convert to Islam can go quietly talking about it on TV and instead I have to hide to avoid retaliation?”.

    Again, we’re used to these stories in Pakistan, Egypt, Iran and even India, but in the West? This is why we must be stridently pro-freedom, even when it borders on the offensive. It is not that we are against Muslims; it is that we are for freedom, personal responsibility, and the rights of the individual. These things stand in stark contrast to the religion and culture of Islam. You cannot be consistently Muslim and consistently pro-freedom. We must fight against the Islamization of the West. At Breitbart they have more on this story…

  18. Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Desecrated the American Flag and it’s Angering Millions

    Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 33 of the U.S. Code says…

    Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

    Apparently the Hillary Clinton campaign for President didn’t get the memo, because while in New Hampshire, they were caught treating the American flag with disrespect.

    The Hillary campaign has the US flag laying on the ground waiting for the people to put it on the wall.

  19. Austria: Vienna’s far-right distribute pepper spray ‘to save women from refugees’

    Austrian members of the far-right ‘Identitarian’ movement distributed pepper spray cans in Vienna on Thursday, in a bid to encourage women to protect themselves against attacks. The activists claim that following a large influx of refugees into Europe, women should be prepared for a purported increase in sexual abuse cases.

    Following dozens of attacks on women in Cologne over New Year’s Eve, Europe’s far-right have stoked fears that the recent influx of refugees will increase the rate of sexual abuse cases and violent crime. Self-defence equipment and personal weapons sales have reportedly sky rocketed in European countries taking the majority of asylum seekers.

    In neighbouring Germany, applications for small-weapons licences have doubled since the beginning of 2016, while 300 requests were made in Cologne alone in January.

    • Yet it was not only the men who showed contempt both for the victim and for the British justice system. Commenting after the case, Tory Councillor Zafar Ali, in whose constituency the girl was abused, condemned the men, saying: “Like nearly all my fellow Muslims, I want to see these gangs of paedophiles removed from our community and imprisoned for a long time.”

      But when asked what he had meant by “nearly all” Muslims, he admitted: “It is important to be aware that, sadly, a small number of people within the Muslim community do take the view that the victim is partly to blame. They believe it takes two to tango.” He added: “They must be confronted about their abhorrent views.”

      • Yet in almost all cases the Muslim perpetrators are targeting white girls. “I’m not saying it’s not happening to Asian girls,” Mohammed Shafiq, of the Ramadhan Foundation, told the Mail.

        “But Asian men do not tend to go for Asian girls because someone could come knocking on their door. They do not want fathers or brothers or community leaders speaking out against them.

  20. Huma Abedin and the Tangled Clinton Web

    Almost a month ago, Fox News reported that the FBI’s investigation of possible national security violations stemming from Hillary Clinton’s private email system had expanded to include a corruption angle, centered on the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and the possibility that Foundation donors received favorable government treatment during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

    The Fox report prompted indignant denials from Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign that there had been any broadening of the probe. Yet, the government is not required to disclose the course of its investigation publicly, much less to its subjects. And now, there are additional indications that the government is indeed scrutinizing the cozy relations the State Department enjoyed during Secretary Hillary Clinton’s tenure with both the Clinton Foundation and a Clinton-connected consulting firm called Teneo.

    Last autumn, according to the Washington Post, the State Department’s inspector general (IG) issued subpoenas to the Clinton Foundation. The IG’s office has authority to investigate wrongdoing at the Department, including criminal wrongdoing. Its conclusions may be referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution, and may also result in other forms of disciplinary action against government officials found to have committed misconduct. The subpoenas served on the Clinton Foundation reportedly focused on two areas of inquiry: (a) Clinton Foundation projects that may have required federal government approval during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state; and (b) Clinton Foundation records pertaining to the employment of Huma Abedin.

  21. Clinton Foundation hit with subpoena

    A top aide to Hillary Clinton is under scrutiny from the State Department’s inspector general over her overlapping work for the government and for the Clinton Foundation.

    The controversial charity was hit with a subpoena last fall for documents related to projects that required the State Department’s approval as well as records related to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, according to a report Thursday by the Washington Post.

    Abedin’s tenure has come under scrutiny by the State Department watchdog and congressional panels in the past because her simultaneous employment at the Clinton Foundation and by the federal government could have led to potential conflicts of interest.

  22. Welcome to the begining of WW3 lads and lassies.

    (If I were a person of the faith XXtian, I would say that we are seeing the dawn of the end times as per the book of revalation.

    Turkey & Saudi Arabia ready to launch ground operation in Syria

  23. CBC – Conservative Islam needs to deal with its heterosexism problem

    Conservative Islam has a problem with deep-rooted heterosexism that needs to be confronted, says Edmonton economics professor Junaid Jahangir.

    “By deep-rooted heterosexism, I mean attitudes which are so deep-rooted within a person that they do not recognize [them],” he says. “It’s kind of like that this is the only way to live your life and any alternative way of life is essentially frowned upon.”

    Jahangir says heterosexism is also a problem in Christianity and Judaism, but more accepting forms of Christianity like the United Church have given LGBT Christians a safe space to turn to worship.

    He calls on Muslims to open a dialogue about sexuality and gender identity so LGBT Muslim youth do not become ostracized by their communities.

    Click on the blue button to hear the interview.

    Channel 4 – Inside the world’s first transgender madrassa

    • The Independent -Saturday 13 February Cologne sex assaults: Muslim rape myths fit a neo-Nazi agenda

      Dark myths about sexual assaults in Cologne came into sharp focus last week when a female television journalist was attacked live on air. Esmeralda Labye, a reporter from Belgium, was covering the German city’s annual carnival when three men variously touched her breasts, kissed her and simulated intercourse behind her back.

      It followed claims of multiple sex crimes on women around the city’s station on New Year’s Eve, when refugees were blamed. This allowed conspiracy theorists to outline their most starkly racist fantasies, painting a picture of demonic brown-skinned Muslims fleeing war zones to defile white European womanhood.

      This time, however, Labye’s cameraman captured the absolute truth: footage shows white European males from overwhelmingly Christian Germany molesting her. Cologne was full of Caucasian drunks acting with macho abandon.

      After the events of New Year’s Eve, one commentator specifically cited uneducated “youths from Afghanistan and Syria” as the culprits, expanding the global threat to one posed by “several hundred thousand young Muslim males”. More ambitiously still, the whole Cologne affair was linked to Brexit, as we were told by one newspaper: “The EU referendum is about nothing less than the safety and security of British women – and that means we must get out of Europe.”

      On Friday, the Cologne prosecutor Ulrich Bremer told me that, of the 59 suspects pinpointed so far, only four are from war-torn countries (Syria and Iraq), only 14 are in custody, and nobody has yet been charged. Nearly 600 hours of CCTV reveals very little, and there is no evidence whatsoever that the alleged attacks were planned in advance.

      The refugee-as-rapist construct is the kind that has been used to demonise people throughout history. In the 1930s Cologne’s Jews were described as üntermensch (inferior people) menacing European culture, before 11,000 were murdered during the Holocaust by “racially pure” Aryans, many of them beer-swilling Christians

      Merging racism into a wider discussion about law and order, feminism and even the future of the EU project does not make it any less objectionable. Brown men are not inherently more misogynistic or brutal than white men, and Muslims are just as likely to be family-orientated, peaceful citizens as their counterparts from other religious and cultural heritages.

      Neo-Nazi groups such as Germany’s Pegida – an organisation becoming increasingly active in Britain – instead jump on the propaganda, using sacred half-truths about Cologne to spread hatred and violence. In their world, victims like Labye – white and blonde-haired – mean nothing if they are not prepared to scapegoat and lie in the cause of protecting European “civilisation” from the dark invaders.

      DAILY BEAST – Banned in Pakistan: A Muslim Porn Star’s Sexual Crusade

      Pakistani-American adult film star Nadia Ali is famous for wearing a hijab in her porn films. She says she’s challenging how the veil suppresses women’s sexuality.

      They may look suppressed, but given an opportunity to express themselves freely, their wild, untamable natural sexuality is released. This may just be what was in bin Laden’s porn collection, experience it for yourself.”

      […]Ali is often filmed wearing her hijab—and little else—while engaged in various hardcore sexual activities. Hijabs, or veils worn by many Muslim women to cover their bodies in the presence of males outside of their immediate family, are deeply rooted in Islamic culture and religion. Tied to the Quranic concept of female modesty, they’re also viewed by detractors as a way to subjugate and silence women. For Ali, donning a hijab in porn is empowerment.

      Why do you wear the hijab in your scenes?[…]

      […]I don’t bring religion into porn. I’ve asked directors to take the word “Muslim” out of porn titles before. For me it’s about the Pakistani culture, not the religion.[…]

      I’d heard somewhere that you were banned from Pakistan for doing porn, is that true?

      If I were to set foot in Pakistan and people were to recognize me there’d be consequences and I’d rather not take my chances. Being banned won’t stop me from talking.[…]

  24. Swedish police investigate killing at refugee center (reuters, Feb 13, 2016)

    “Police are investigating a killing at an asylum center in Sweden after a fight broke out among residents.

    It is the second such incident in a month after a 22-year- old employee at a refugee center for unaccompanied minors was stabbed to death, prompting concerns that authorities were being overwhelmed by the number of asylum seekers in the country.

    Police said the fight broke out on Saturday afternoon in Ljusne, a town of about 2,500 people on Sweden’s east coast, some 240 km north of Stockholm, but gave no further details.

    Swedish media said four people had been involved and a sharp object had been used. It appeared to be a fight among people living at the center and no staff were injured.

    Sweden reversed its open doors-policy on immigration late last year and has introduced border controls and identification checks to stem the flow of asylum seekers that reached a record 163,000 last year.

    The country’s migration agency expects up to 140,000 asylum seekers in 2016 but the government has said it will not allow numbers to get anywhere near that, vowing to introduce further measures to curb the influx if needed.”

  25. ‘Hyper-terrorism is here to stay,’ says French PM (thelocal, Feb 13, 2016)

    “More major attacks in Europe are a “certainty”, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told an audience at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

    “We have entered — we all feel it — in a new era characterised by the lasting presence of ‘hyper-terrorism’,” said Valls, whose country was hit by two Islamist attacks last year.

    “We must be fully conscious of the threat, and react with a very great force and great lucidity. There will be attacks. Large-scale attacks. It’s a certainty. This hyper-terrorism is here to stay,” he said.

    Valls was speaking at the three-day security conference in the southern German city, speaking alongside Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

    “The force of the ideological fascination is formidable, and if we have changed era it is because this hyper-terrorism is in the heart of our societies.”

    Islamic State jihadists wrought havoc on the streets of Paris on November 13, killing 130 in a series of attacks on bars, a football stadium and the Bataclan concert hall.

    That came after 12 people were killed in a January attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical news weekly, which had been in the jihadists’ sights since publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2006.”

  26. Greece: Protesters rally against construction of refugee camp in Diavata

    Dozens of people took to the streets of Diavata, near to Thessaloniki, to protest against the construction of refugee camp on the site of an old army camp, Saturday.

  27. Syria rebels say get more missiles from Assad’s enemies

    BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s foreign enemies have sent rebels new supplies of ground-to-ground missiles to confront a Russian-backed offensive by the government near Aleppo, stepping up support in response to the attack, two rebel commanders said.

    The commanders told Reuters the missiles with a range of 20 km (12 miles) had been provided in “excellent quantities” in response to the attack that has cut rebel supply lines from the Turkish border to opposition-held parts of the city of Aleppo.

    Facing one of the biggest defeats of the five-year-long war, rebels have been complaining that foreign states such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey have let them down by not providing them with more powerful weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles.

    “It is excellent additional fire power for us,” said one of the commanders, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. The second rebel commander said the missiles were being used to hit army positions beyond the front line. “They give the factions longer reach,” he said.

    Assad’s enemies have been supplying vetted rebel groups with weapons via a Turkey-based operations center. Some of the vetted groups have received military training overseen by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The Syrian government says it aims to seal the border to cut rebel supply routes from Turkey.

    While the Grad missiles fall short of the rebels’ demands for anti-aircraft systems, one of the commanders said they had “a significant impact on the army’s rear positions”.

  28. Teachers In Sweden Will No Longer Have To Speak Swedish… To Make Job Easier For Migrants
    A major concern of governments across Europe is how to get their hundreds of thousands of new residents into work, and the Swedish government is to ease newcomers into the teaching profession by dropping the Swedish language requirement.

    Sweden is about to undergo a major revolution in teacher training following an announcement by education minister Gustav Fridolin who said yesterday that newly arrived migrants would be put on a “fast track” to get them qualified and in the job in a year.

    A number of reforms are to be undertaken to make access to the profession are planned. The first pledge, to have newcomers in the job after a year’s training is striking in contrast to the typical four and a half year training period that native Swedes will undertake if they want to teach.

    Another requirement for Swedes who want to enter the nation’s classrooms as a profession is they speak a high standard of Swedish — and this too is to be dropped for foreigners. To make things even easier, at least part of the new condensed training programme will be taught in Arabic, reports Svenska Dagbladet.

    The first fast track teachers, who typically will already have worked in education in Arab nations and have a degree will start to train in April, with 420 placed up for grabs. There next tranche will take 720 future teachers.

    Explaining his decision, Mr. Fridolin said there were individuals entering Sweden from abroad who have “good subject knowledge, but for obvious reasons don’t speak Swedish”. He said it was “reasonable”, therefore to get them into training and worry about them learning Swedish later.

    While the Swedish teacher’s union prefaced their remarks on the plan by saying they accepted the idea, spokesman Anders Almgren expressed the union’s fears it would just mean Swedish teachers working harder to pick up the slack of others. He said: “Our members are already heavily loaded.

    “Attempts to reduce the workload are made at every level, but this will be an additional burden… chances are this will be received badly”.

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