Reader’s Links, Feb. 22, 2018

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About Eeyore

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

120 Replies to “Reader’s Links, Feb. 22, 2018”

  1. Dutch parliament recognizes 1915 Armenian massacre as genocide (reuters, Feb 22, 2018)
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-netherlands-turkey-armenia/dutch-parliament-recognizes-1915-armenian-massacre-as-genocide-idUSKCN1G62GS?il=0

    “The Dutch parliament on Thursday passed a motion recognizing as genocide the massacre of as many as 1.5 million Armenians in 1915, although the government said it would not become official policy of the Netherlands.

    The motion, which was opposed by just three lawmakers out of 150, risks further straining relations between The Hague and Ankara, which have been tense since the Dutch barred a Turkish minister from campaigning in the Netherlands last year…”

  2. Europe: The Rapid Spread of Dhimmitude

    by Judith Bergman
    February 22, 2018 at 5:00 am

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11932/europe-dhimmis
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    Although Europe is not part of the Muslim world, many European authorities nevertheless seem to feel obliged to submit to Islam in more or less subtle ways. This voluntary submission appears to be unprecedented: Dhimmi, historically speaking, is the Arabic term for the conquered non-Muslim, who agrees to live as a second-rate, “tolerated” citizen, under Islamic rule, submitting to a separate, demeaning set of laws and the demands of his Islamic masters.

    In Europe, submitting to the demands of Islam, in the name of “diversity” and “human rights”, has also been happening voluntarily. This submission to Islam is, of course, highly ironic, as the Western concepts of “diversity” and “human rights” do not exist within the foundational texts of Islam. On the contrary, these texts denounce in the strongest – and supremacist – terms those who refuse to submit to the Islamic concept of divinity, Allah, as infidels who must either convert, pay the jizya [“protection”] tax or die.

    One of the most troubling aspects of this rapidly spreading dhimmitude, is the de-facto enforcement of Islamic blasphemy laws within European jurisdictions. Local European authorities have been utilizing “hate speech” laws to prohibit criticism of Islam, even though Islam represents an idea – a religion and ideology – not a nationality or an ethnicity. The conventional purpose of most “hate-speech” laws is to protect people from hatred, not ideas. It would therefore appear that European authorities are under no legal obligation to prosecute people for criticizing Islam, especially as Islamic law, Sharia, is not part of European law; yet they do so only too willingly.

  3. Kurdish YPG militia urges Syrian army to help it stop Turkey (reuters, Feb 22, 2018)
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-ypg/kurdish-ypg-militia-urges-syrian-army-to-help-it-stop-turkey-idUSKCN1G612F?il=0

    “The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said on Thursday that fighters backing the Syrian government were deploying on the frontlines to help repel a Turkish assault, but that assistance would be needed from the Syrian army itself.

    In a move that may ease one of the Syrian government’s complaints about the YPG, the militia withdrew from an enclave it holds in Aleppo on Thursday, saying its fighters were needed for the battle in Afrin.

    “Groups aligned to the Syrian army came to Afrin, but not in the quantity or capacity to stop the Turkish occupation,” YPG spokesman Nouri Mahmoud told Reuters. “The Syrian army must fulfill its duty … to protect Syria’s borders.”

    Pro-Damascus militias arrived in the northwesterly Afrin region late on Tuesday in response to a request by the YPG to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

    Hundreds of those fighters have deployed on front lines in Afrin battling Turkish forces, Mahmoud said.

    But Assad did not send the army itself, a move that could have sparked a wider direct confrontation with Turkey.

    Ankara, a pro-Assad commander and Kurdish officials have all said recently that Russia intervened to stop Damascus sending the army to defend Afrin after reports of a deal with the Syrian Kurdish forces.

    While Russia is Assad’s strongest ally in the war, it is also working with Turkey, which backs rebel factions, to negotiate a wider settlement to the conflict…”

  4. Hamas: Turkey’s Longtime Love

    by Burak Bekdil
    February 22, 2018 at 4:00 am

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11933/turkey-hamas-erdogan

    Despite the nominal ‘normalization’ of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel, Ankara is still fully supporting a terrorist organization — one that Washington, among others, lists as terrorist. The Shin Bet’s report, the Istanbul conference and its contents, the official Turkish support for that conference and Turkish Foreign Ministry’s explicit support of Hamas make new evidence that Turkey insists on siding ideologically with a terrorist organization — ironically at a time when Erdogan claims Turkish troops are fighting terrorists in Syria.

    In 2014, Turkey hosted Salah al-Arouri, a Hamas commander whom the Palestinian Authority had accused of planning multiple attacks against Israeli targets. At that time, the newspaper Israel Hayom called Turkey’s important guest “an infamous arch-terrorist believed to be responsible for dozens of attacks against Israelis”.

    In August 2014, speaking at the World Conference of Islamic Sages in Turkey, Arouri admitted that Hamas had instigated the “heroic action carried out by the al-Qassam Brigades [the military wing of Hamas], which captured three settlers in Hebron.” The “heroic action” consisted of Hamas operatives kidnapping and murdering three teenage boys, an incident that triggered the spiral of violence that led to the 50-day war in Gaza.

    In December 2014, a Hamas leader confirmed that his organization was using NATO member Turkey as a refuge for logistics, training and planning terrorist attacks. The same month, then-Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hosted the chief at that time of Hamas’s political bureau, Khaled Mashaal, at a high-profile party congress in Konya, Central Turkey. Taking the stage at the event, Mashaal congratulated the Turkish people “for having [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and Davutoglu.” His remarks were received passionately, with thunderous applause, the waving of Palestinian flags and thousands of party fans shouting, “Down with Israel!”.

  5. Pennsylvania Republicans threaten impeachment over redrawn electoral map

    PITTSBURGH — Pennsylvania Republicans are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court and threatening to impeach the state’s supreme court after the body approved a redrawn electoral map that heavily favors Democrats.

    Late Wednesday, Pennysylvania’s House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati submitted an emergency request to nation’s highest court requesting a block on implementing the new lines drawn by the state court.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/pennsylvania-republicans-threaten-impeachment-over-redrawn-electoral-map/article/2649740

    • I’ve been following the F-35 since 2010 because it’s been a YUGE topic of debate in Israel. (Where everybody’s not only a general, but also an aviation engineer, with skills surpassing everybody else’s.)

      Why Only Israel Can Customize America’s F-35 (At Least for Now)

      https://www.wired.com/2016/05/israel-can-customize-americas-f-35-least-now/

      Sample comments from Israel:
      – – “The US gets Israel to un-[foxtrot] the mess they made of the F35.”
      – – “Nothing can un-[foxtrot] that POS white elephant…in every metric between F-15 and F-35 the F-15 is superior except one and that is stealth…. Since the stealth technology used is over 15 years old it is safe to assume the probability that counter measures of detection are already available negating that advantage at very small cost….. ”
      [Which is true. The Russian S400 is a big fat snag.]
      ……
      So the Israeli model will be the F-35I [I as in “Israel”].
      From my notes:
      “In 2012 Lockheed was awarded a contract to make changes to the first Israeli F-35s to allow the installation of Israeli electronic warfare equipment produced by Elbit Systems.… Israel also plans to install its own indigenously-produced guided bombs and air-to-air missiles in the F-35’s internal weapon bays.…manufacture the outer wings….”
      ……
      If the F-35 fighter jet is so awesome, why is it so hated?

      Israel’s next stealth aircraft is the future of modern warfare, but the Pentagon’s program cost over $1.5 trillion — and it’s not yet operational

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/if-the-f-35-fighter-jet-is-so-awesome-why-is-it-so-hated/

      • Pretty grim, expensive mistakes:
        108 US F-35s won’t be Combat-Capable

        The new F-35 program executive officer, U.S. Navy vice admiral Mat Winter, said his office is exploring the option of leaving 108 aircraft in their current state because the funds to upgrade them to the fully combat-capable configuration would threaten the Air Force’s plans to ramp up production in the coming years.

        These are most likely the same 108 aircraft the Air Force reportedly needed to upgrade earlier in 2017. Without being retrofitted, these aircraft would become “concurrency orphans” — airplanes left behind in the acquisition cycle after the services purchased them in haste before finishing the development process.

        Left unsaid so far is what will become of the 81 F-35s purchased by the Marine Corps and Navy during that same period. If they are left in their current state, nearly 200 F-35s might permanently remain unready for combat because the Pentagon would rather buy new aircraft than upgrade the ones the American people have already paid for.

        What makes this particularly galling is the aircraft that would be left behind by such a scheme were the most expensive F-35s purchased so far. When the tab for all the aircraft purchased in an immature state is added up, the total comes to nearly $40 billion.

        That’s a lot of money to spend on training jets and aircraft that will simply be stripped for spare parts.

        http://warisboring.com/108-u-s-f-35s-wont-be-combat-capable/

  6. ‘Rampant’ corruption in Arab states (memo, Feb 22, 2018)
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180222-rampant-corruption-in-arab-states-transparency-international-says/

    “Corruption remains “endemic in the Arab states” while assaults on freedom of expression, press freedoms and civil society continue to escalate, Transparency International’s new report warned yesterday.

    Nineteen out of 21 Arab states score “below 50” in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2017, which measures the intensity of corruption in the public sector.

    While the majority of Arab countries show no significant change in this year’s index, on the ground, a number of countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia are taking small yet positive steps towards fighting corruption and increasing transparency and integrity

    the report stated.

    But Lebanon, although not reflected in the overall CPI score, “made small strides in 2017” by joining the passage of the Access to Information Law and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which monitors good governance of the oil, gas and mineral industry.

    Read: New cases of corruption unveiled against Tunisia ministry

    The report goes on to mention that Tunisia “witnessed a setback” with a controversial reconciliation law. A legal loophole which “grants amnesty” to public officials who served during Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime.

    Across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), corruption persists, remaining stagnant on the official index score. Majority of it is faulted by “political corruption” that is strife across the MENA region.

    The political systems in Arab states are controlled by ruling elites who abuse power for personal gain at the expense of millions of disadvantaged citizens

    the report said.

    The introduction of anti-corruption laws and regulations only adds on to the “lip service” than a much needed political and institutional “reform”…”

  7. Boko Haram kills 5 civilians in Cameroon attack (gulfnews, Feb 22, 2018)
    http://gulfnews.com/news/africa/boko-haram-kills-5-civilians-in-cameroon-attack-1.2177676

    “Boko Haram militants killed five civilians and wounded five others in northern Cameroon on Tuesday night after crossing the border from Nigeria, local sources said Thursday.

    “A group of Boko Haram fighters made an incursion during the night in Assigashia,” a source close to administrative authorities in the area said, asking not be named. “The attackers killed five people and wounded five more.”

    The raid and casualty toll were confirmed by an official in the security services.
    Assigashia is a border town which gives direct access to Nigeria and has seen many Boko Haram incursions in the past…”

  8. Amnesty International say Italy ‘steeped in racism’ (ansa, Feb 22, 2018)
    http://www.ansa.it/english/news/2018/02/22/amnesty-international-say-italy-steeped-in-racism_46051442-cb1f-4431-a34f-7ed3c7d6fbc3.html

    “Amnesty International said Wednesday Italy was steeped in racism and rightwing parties were at fault for stoking anti-foreigner sentiment.
    Amnesty said Italy was “steeped in hatred, racism and xenophobia, and unjustified fear of the other”.
    It said 95% of discriminatory, racist, and hate speech on the Internet came from the centre right, The anti-migrant League led by firebrand leader Matteo Salvini led the way at 50% of such speech, Amnesty said in its report.
    It was followed by the nationalist, neo-Fascist Brothers of Italy (FdI) led by Giorgia Meloni at 27%, the Amnesty report said. In third place came Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia (FI) at 18%”

    • ‘Italy has slipped dangerously backwards on migrants’ (ansamed, Feb 22, 2018)
      http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/generalnews/2018/02/22/italy-has-slipped-dangerously-backwards-on-migrants-amnesty_d8ac3b2f-18e3-45f2-a51e-15f7a1b39df2.html

      “Italy has regressed in a frightening manner on the issue of immigration, the director of the Italian branch of Amnesty International, Gianni Rufini, told ANSAmed.

      He added that it is a country ”where racism, xenophobia, and violent hatred of migrants is growing to an ever more concerning extent”, such as in the case of the Macerata shooting spree that targeted migrants. Rufini was speaking during the presentation of the organization’s 2017-2018 report in Rome. ”We see that these attitudes of hatred and violence, across the entire political sphere, are poisoning our society,” he stressed.

      He added that ”Italy has gone from being the country where its state forces save those drowning in the central Mediterranean and then start procedures for asylum or other forms of protection to being the country that pushes them back directly from the sea into Libyan concentration camps and that has prevented NGOs from continuing their rescue operations.”

      The steep drop in landings at the end of 2017 ”is not helping Italy to develop a welcoming atmosphere. There continues to be yelling about a lack of security said to have been caused by migration (…). Italy is one of the safest countries in Europe today,” he said, ”and yet citizens continue to think that there are dangers and a lack of security.””

  9. ‘The threats to Sweden are greater than in a long time’ (thelocal, Feb 22, 2018)
    https://www.thelocal.se/20180222/the-threats-to-sweden-are-greater-than-in-a-long-time

    “Sweden’s security service Säpo warns in a new report that the threats to the country are greater than in a long time, citing rising extremism and tension in the rest of the world.
    Säpo released its annual report outlining current security threats to Sweden on Thursday.

    “In the past few years, the security situation in our part of the world has deteriorated and the threats to Sweden are greater now than they have been in a long time,” writes the outgoing head of the organization, Anders Thornberg, in the report.

    Säpo said last year that some 3,000 violent extremists are currently based in Sweden, of whom around two thirds are believed to have Islamist motives.

    Thornberg reiterates that the growth of extremist environments is “a reason for concern”.

    “Our country is facing a ‘new normal’. In just a few years, the number of individuals belonging to violent extremist circles has increased from hundreds to thousands.”

    “The ‘new normal’ is something Sweden shares with the rest of Europe. The attacks in Manchester, London, Barcelona and Turku have all shown that we must work together to counter the threat posed by terrorism.”

    He writes the main threat is posed by extremists sympathizing with violent Islamism.
    “However, in the past year we have noted a significant increase in activities engaged in by the extreme right-wing environment. Some individuals belonging [to] this environment are also active in serious violent crime,” the report continues, also noting the emergence of far-left groups that could potentially grow stronger.

    Säpo further notes in the annual report that close cooperation with security services in other countries, as well as other Swedish authorities, has yielded results with several arrests made across Europe in the past year…”

  10. Right-wing group carries out security patrols in Geneva (thelocal, Feb 22, 2018)
    https://www.thelocal.ch/20180222/switzerland-right-wing-security-patrols-not-making-genevans-feel-safer

    “The presence of citizen security patrols whose members sported red and white Swiss Cross armbands in central Geneva last weekend has caused surprise and concern among residents.

    The unarmed patrols organized by a far-right group known as Résistance Helvétique (Helvetian Resistance) were carried out in the central neighbourhoods of Cornavin, Les Pâquis, Plainpalais and Saint-Jean on Sunday.

    On their website, the group, which says it wants to defend ancestral Helvetian values, stated their aim with the patrols was not to set up a civilian militia; rather it was to provide a “link” in the public security chain.

    But local shopkeepers in the Plainpalais neighbourhood appeared both puzzled and shocked by the presence of the group. “I don’t feel insecure at all. I think if people don’t feel safe, it’s up to the police to their job,” one shopkeeper told the news site 20 minutes.

    “It’s not their job to take action. What happens if they get involved in a brawl and injure someone,” a grocer told the news site.

    ‘Sad and unnecessary’

    Justin, an Australian expat living in the area told the Local he did not personally feel unsafe in the Plainplais neighbourhood – also the home to a lively art and café scene – but did note there were “a lot of people standing around in the shadows and selling drugs”.

    He “would not be surprised”, he said, if there were people who were nervous about walking at night across the Plainpalais diamond – as the huge open space in the neighbourhood is known locally.

    “It’s sad that these people feel they need to do this [carry out citizen patrols]. It’s unnecessary too. But the group are probably getting some kind of response from some people,” Justin said.

    “When you look at where the groups were going, it seems to be less affluent neighbourhoods, like the sex district of Les Pâquis, and maybe they are playing into people’s fears and xenophobia,” he added.

    Not breaking the law

    Meanwhile, Résistance Helvétique spokesperson David Rouiller has defended the group’s actions, telling 20 minutes that people had complained to them about urban decay in the city centre.

    He also defended the decision of group members to wear the Swiss Cross armbands in the face of accusations it might scare people, saying he did not know of any street gang that used the symbol. The group aimed to “reassure people” not scare them.

    People should instead fear the “dealers who stink of drugs from miles away,” Rouiller said, adding the police were not doing enough to deal with crime.

    Geneva police responded to news of the Sunday security patrols by saying that while Swiss law does not allow for the formation of militias, as long as the group limited itself to calling the emergency 117 number it was acting within the law.”

  11. Lonely hearts couple sent to jail for terror bomb plot (express, Feb 22, 2018)
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/922779/terror-attackers-jailed-Munir-Mohammed-Rowaida-El-Hassan-old-bailey-london

    “A MUSLIM couple who plotted a terror campaign after meeting on a dating website were jailed yesterday.

    Factory worker Munir Mohammed, 36, was given life and told he must serve at least 14 years.

    Chemist Rowaida El-Hassan, 33, was jailed for 12 years and told she must remain behind bars for two-thirds of the sentence, rather than the normal half.

    The pair, from Sudan, wooed each other while planning attacks in Britain with bombs and the deadly poison ricin, the Old Bailey heard.

    Mother-of-two El-Hassan, who has a masters degree in pharmacy, used her expertise to instruct her lover as he went shopping for ingredients for homemade explosives.

    Mohammed, of Derby, and El-Hassan, of Willesden, north London, were found guilty last month of preparing terrorist acts…”

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