Supreme leader Khamenei offers military protection for activists.
Iran would be willing to send its Revolutionary Guard members to accompany further aid ships to Gaza, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday in an interview cited by Reuters.
“The naval wing of the Revolutionary Guard is ready to assist the peace flotilla to Gaza with all its effort and capabilities,” Khamenei’s Revolutionary Guard spokesman Ali Shirazi stated.
“If the Supreme Leader issues an order for this then the Revolutionary Guard naval forces will do their best to secure the ships,” Shirazi said. “It is Iran’s duty to defend the innocent people of Gaza.”
Last week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad termed the IDF raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara as “barbaric” and called for dismantling of “the Zionist regime.”
Ahmadinejad was speaking to a crowd of tens of thousands, many of them chanting anti-Israeli slogans, gathered at the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for a ceremony marking the 21st anniversary of his death.
Scientists have finally proven what many of us have believed for years – beer goggles really do exist.
The phenomenon, where less attractive people suddenly become more appealing when the onlooker has consumed copious amounts of alcohol, is well known in pubs and clubs across Britain.
Until now, though, no one really knew why. But a new study has found that drunk students were up to ten per cent more likely to fall for less attractive people than those who were sober.
The report showed the more they drank, the less likely they were to recognise the finer details on people’s faces.
Behavioural psychologists found 64 students of varying levels of drunkenness in bars at Roehampton University, London. They were asked to judge 20 pairs of photos of men and women aged 18 to 25.
One face in each pair was digitally enhanced to make it more symmetrical – and therefore more attractive. Thirty-six more sober students (who had drunk less than four units of alcohol) had a 67 per cent success rate in choosing the symmetrical face. But 28 intoxicated students (who had drunk ten or more units) chose the more symmetrical face in just 58 per cent of cases.
Dr Lewis Halsey, who led the joint study with Stirling University in Scotland, said: ‘Drunk students were less good at noticing symmetrical faces and cared less about the defects.’
I have a friend in a community in England called Buxton. He is 80, though he doesn’t look it, and shares my first name. Recently, in talking about his school days, he told me about his recollection of D-Day.
In 1944, David was almost 15, and though just a teenager, was well aware of the war. There were military facilities all over Derbyshire, and nearby Manchester, just 25 miles away, was a regular target of the Luftwaffe. David and his family spent many nights in their home built Anderson shelter.
His father had died a couple of years before, and his mother hoped that, God willing, it would all be over before her teenage son came of age. But after five years of war she was beginning to have her doubts.
David said that he remembers hearing the invasion announcement on the BBC at about nine in the morning. The Allies had landed in France. He was elated, it had finally come, but he was also just a little scared.
He had fond recollections of the American soldiers stationed at a nearby Army camp who spent their Saturdays in Buxton. They, along with the other boys in town, had become friends.
During the war, there wasn’t much to do in Buxton. The pubs did a wonderful business, but other than that, save for a movie theater (and the Army camp probably had better films) it was a sleepy English city in a country that had been at war for a very long time.
However, these were active young men, and seeing the boys at my friend’s high school playing English football, they regularly asked if they could join in. Some of these young soldiers were just a little older than my now elderly friend and seemed delighted to feel like they, too, were back in school again.
It was a short respite, before the realities of their training would remind them of what was to come. Some of the soldiers, David remembered, were only 17. One even said he was actually 16 and that he had lied about his age to join the Army.
David, an avid football player in his youth, and still a hardcore Manchester United fan, told me that the Americans didn’t seem to have much trouble grasping the fundamentals of English football. They liked its rough and tumble quality, but being larger and in top physical condition, they took it easy on their younger teammates.
On almost every Saturday, when the older boys would form up for their games, there was usually an American contingent that would join in on the grounds of what is now Buxton Community School.
Sometimes it wasn’t so much an organized game, as it was a mass of brawling football players, some in school shirts and short, and others in khaki trousers and undershirts, fighting over a football.
David said that he and his friends got to know several of the young American servicemen rather well. They seemed to David, unlike most people in England at this point in the war, to be so happy and cheerful.
After years of rationing, bad news, and bombings these good natured and optimistic young men were like a tonic. They looked sharp in their uniforms, and their talk about their homes and America introduced David to a lot of American geography he had never contemplated.
Later in life, when he took over the family business and expanded his products into international markets, he delighted in seeing some of the places in America he had heard about. New York and Texas were high on his list.
But what he seems recall most is a treat he had never had before. Or at least, it was one that, thanks to the war, he hadn’t had in so long that he didn’t remember it. It was the icon of American GI gift giving, the Hershey’s chocolate bar.
The soldiers seemed to have an unlimited supply. David said he used to imagine what this magical storehouse of chocolate must look like. However, he was happy with just one piece.
After years of rationing, unlike children in more plentiful times, he had learned not to eat a treat all at once. He took it home, and had a little bit each day. If he was in a generous mood he would even give some to his brother. And of course, he hoped that his friends, with or without their chocolate would be back next week.
They often did. That is until the first or second week in May. Almost overnight, the camp had emptied out. Without any warning, the entire contingent was packed on to trucks, and moved. They were likely moving to the staging areas that had been set up near the coast in Southern England getting ready for D-Day. He worried about his friends and he missed them.
When the D-Day announcement came, his mother, who had taken over the family construction supply business, closed the shop, and went to get her two boys from school. Her tone, says David, was serious to the extreme.
The family had always been devout Methodists and she and the boys were going to church. Schools and businesses had closed all over town and the churches were holding special services.
And she said to them as they walked to church “we’re all going to pray for those lads who have gone into harm’s way.” This made a deep and lasting impression on David. He prayed very hard, but for the most part, he never knew the fate of his American friends.
They were joining the thousands upon thousands, who in the words of General Omar Bradley, were going to kick down the door of Hitler’s Europe. No doubt, some didn’t make it. He hopes they all did, but he knows better.
And I think to this day, David, in his own understated English way, is still praying for them. All those cheerful young men, who 66 years ago today on June 6, 1944, stormed the Normandy beaches and put an end to Hitler’s domination of Europe.
If what Andrew C. McCarthy calls “the freedom culture” somehow prevails in the West, it will be in great part due to such books as his excellent, ground-breaking new work, “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.”
Islam and the left? Since this notion will raise some eyebrows, I asked McCarthy himself to elaborate on this and some other related questions.
Q: Why are Islam and the left, as you demonstrate in “The Grand Jihad,” not such strange bedfellows?
A: “For all their disagreements on matters like women’s rights, gay rights, and abortion, Islam and the left are in harmony on big-picture matters: They are authoritarian, totalitarian in the sense of wanting to control all aspects of human existence, virulently anti-capitalist, and regard the individual as existing merely to serve the collective.
“Consequently, they have the same obstacle in common: our freedom culture — i.e., Western liberalism, U.S. constitutional republicanism, and their foundation, individual liberty.
“Historically, Islam and the left ally when there is a common enemy. But I’d stress that what I am talking about here is an alliance, not a merger. I am not claiming, as someone ridiculously suggested to me the day the book came out, that Barack Obama wants to impose sharia.”
That appropriately noted, the book does highlight the closely interweaving principles of Islam and the left, the umma (Islamic community) and ACORN, both of which “bore from within,” in Saul Alinsky’s phrase, to hollow out what we might think of as “the Unum” — as in E Pluribus Unum.
Linking these points, having documented President Obama’s career as a community organizer, his embrace of ACORN andhis radical associations, McCarthy writes:
“The common denominator [throughout Obama’s career] is a purpose to break down the Unum at its foundations, what he [Obama] called the ‘grass roots.’ For America, he plans an atom bomb. Or to be more precise, an atoms bomb: countless communities in cities and towns across the land, organized along Saul Alinsky’s brand of Marxism, into socialist enclaves.
“It fits hand and glove with Yusuf Qaradawi’s voluntary [Islamic] apartheid, the enclave strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood. Each atom smothers the individual freedom and enterprise that have defined the American character, replacing it with welfare states that prize dysfunction and reward the rabble-rousers.”
But we ignore this assault through “willful blindness,” to borrow the title of Andy McCarthy’s first book about his role as a federal prosecutor in convicting the “blind sheik” and his accomplices for bombing the World Trade Center in 1993.
Instead, he observes in the book, our policymakers obsess over “one tactic, terrorism,” while ignoring terrorism’s goal: Islamization through the implementation of sharia, or Islamic law. I asked him to explain.
He replied: “From the beginning of my involvement in counterterrorism in the early nineties, I’ve been struck by the government’s portrayal of terrorists as beasts who kill for no better reason than to kill — as if the fact that they are brutal means that they are insane.
“Government does this as part of its narrative that terrorists couldn’t possibly be accurately representing a well-grounded interpretation of Islam, and therefore must be ‘perverting’ or ‘hijacking’ Islam, or must be traitors against the ‘true Islam’. …
“There is a logic to terrorism. It is jihad, the purpose of which is to implement, spread, defend or vindicate sharia, the Muslim legal code. Sharia is deemed in Islamist ideology to be the necessary precondition to Islamicizing a society.
“Once you realize that, you quickly realize that the same sharia-driven campaign can be waged, and is being waged, by nonviolent means, and that the violent and nonviolent methods are inextricably linked.
Read “The Grand Jihad” and so realize. And quickly!
Examiner columnist Diana West is syndicated nationally by United Media and is the author of “The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization.”
Our gal Helen’s anti-Israeli remarks were not her only signs of support for the Palestinian terrorists. She actively raised money for those who funded the Gaza flotilla:
Helen Thomas, the Hearst Newspaper columnist under fire for her remarks last week urging Jews to “get the hell out of” Israel and “go back to Germany,” headlined a fundraiser for the terrorist support group Code Pink in the Fall of 2006.
Photos posted by Code Pink show Thomas receiving the group’s “Badge of Courage” at a fundraiser held at a Washington, D.C. restaurant on October 28, 2006.
Code Pink is a leader of the so-called Gaza Freedom Movement, the group behind the terror flotilla trying to break the blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Code Pink has led other efforts to weaken the blockade of the terrorist haven and has acted as a go-between from Hamas to Barack Obama.
Hamas guaranteed Code Pink’s safety during the group’s last trip to Gaza six months ago.
Contacted at the time of the Code Pink fundraiser, a spokesman for Hearst’s D.C. bureau said that as a columnist Thomas was free to raise money for Code Pink. Hearst wasn’t bothered that Code Pink had a history of supporting the terrorists in Iraq with cash and humanitarian aid.
Thomas Lifson adds:
Helen Thomas has exposed herself as a religious bigot of the worst kind. Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary who sued to field questions from her wrote in an email to Huffington Post (via Newsbusters):
“She should lose her job over this,” Fleischer said in an email. “As someone who is Jewish, and as someone who worked with her and used to like her, I find this appalling.”
“She is advocating religious cleansing. How can Hearst stand by her? If a journalist, or a columnist, said the same thing about blacks or Hispanics, they would already have lost their jobs.”
Lucianne Goldberg notes that the White House press corps could pull her credentials anytime.
Tim Graham of Newsbusters writes:
Thomas knows that she could never say the blacks should go back to Africa or the Hispanics should go back to Mexico, she would ruin her over-celebrated reputation as the “dean” of the White House press corps
We shall see if Jew-hatred is acceptable behavior in the eyes of Hearst and the WH press corps, and Thomas is still allowed her place of honor tomorrow.
Sometime ago, before Turkey chose to lurch further into the deadly embrace of Islamism, I received a plea from a Kurdish friend who remains supportive of Israel’s epic struggle to survive among its hostile Arab neighbors. He is also devoted to the Jewish people for he knows of the shared ethnicities believed to exist between Jews and Kurds dating back millennia.
Here is some of my Kurdish friend’s impassioned letter from two years ago, which uncannily warned against any alliance with Turkey:
“I wish the Jews in Israel and abroad would know better about the policy of their leaders concerning the Kurds, because it happens in the name of Israel, and that should matter to all Jews. Turkish oppression of the Kurds is unknown to most Israelis. It is hard for me to understand how Israel’s cooperation with Turkey does not take into account the misery that it imposes upon the Kurdish people who yearn, as the Jews have for centuries, to be free from terror and persecution?
“Not so long ago, the Jews in Europe endured the Shoah (he used the Hebrew term for the Holocaust — VS) and they know better than anyone else the horrors of that experience.
“Of course it’s not only Israel but the whole world that is pro-Turkish and anti-Kurdish. It is not fair to criticize Israel only, but given the history of the Jewish people, there should be a heightened sensitivity towards Kurdish suffering.
“We Kurds have shared so much culture together and we still remember fondly the Jews who lived with us for centuries. But the Turks waxed and waned in their attitude towards the Jews; sometimes they were tolerant and sometimes hostile. There are many Turks today who share Islamist ideas and proclaim hostility towards the Jewish state. Within Turkey lies the same pestilence of anti-Semitism that exists throughout the Arab and Persian world.
“I remember your moving article in which you categorically made clear that the people who truly deserve an independent sovereign state are the Kurds; not the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. I also feel deeply that one day there will be an abiding and honorable alliance between the Jewish state and a free and independent Kurdistan. But arming Turkey, our people’s oppressor, is morally and geographically not to Israel’s advantage. Israel’s cooperation with Turkey is, in reality, a misguided support for political Islam and its oppression of the Kurds. It undermines Israel’s credibility with the only true friend it has in the Middle East.”
Now in hindsight, it is glaringly obvious how correct my Kurdish friend’s warning at the time was.
Turkey is now an enemy of both Israel and the Kurdish people. In a previous letter, as Turkish troops were invading Kurdistan and jet aircraft were bombarding Kurdish villages in northern Iraq, my friend was more pointed in his criticism of the Israeli leadership’s shortsightedness. He defended without question what he called, “Israel’s cause and the undying truth that Jews are the rightful owners of the historic Jewish lands — now partially occupied by the Arabs. But he also pointed out that, “the legitimate arguments and rights Israel has are the same rights and truths it denies in its official policy towards the Kurds. For now and for the future, everything looks black. I fear the worst for us. The whole world is against us, and on the Turkish side there is no change….”
Coincidentally, Ruth King, a freelance writer who is a columnist for several magazines, urged those who read, “feelgood stories about Turkey” to remember the ship, Struma. In 1941, while carrying 769 Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazi German killing machine, it was not permitted to land in Turkey and sank with appalling loss of life.
With the reality of Israel’s reconstitution as a sovereign nation in its ancestral and biblical homeland has come the equal reality of its uniqueness and isolation within a hostile world.
The rush to bash Israel by hypocritical national leaders and the falsehoods perpetrated by international news agencies such as the Associated Press (AP) despite the video tapes and pictures showing pipe wielding, masked thugs, screaming “kill the Jews,” while beating up Israeli soldiers — armed at first only with paint ball guns — is despicable. Thugs, Islamists, and jihadists claiming to be “peace” activists aboard a Turkish ferry boat, with the Turkish Prime Minister’s own direct collaboration, should be an indictment of Turkey, not Israel. But this is not a moral world.
The international outpouring of imbecilic hatred towards the embattled Jewish state for merely trying to defend its citizens from a future maritime pipeline delivering lethal weapons and deadly missiles into Gaza to be used to kill Jewish civilians is one of the most depressing indictments of humanity. In this, Israel shares with the Kurds a familial fate. Both endure relentless aggression from their neighbors. Even though it lives in a terrible neighborhood and desperately seeks friends, Israel must not evade its unique responsibility towards the Kurdish people, who also suffer from the depredations of their hostile neighbors — especially Iran, Syria, and last but not least, Turkey.
The Jewish state, now undergoing what individual Jews endured for centuries — a bloody and irrational persecution – must now, more than ever, not ignore the Kurds, who remain stateless and shunned by the world and who seek, at last, the historic justice they have craved for centuries but have been denied; an independent state of their own.
According to an article titled “Can Israel make it alone?” written some years ago by James Lewis in the American Thinker, Lewis wrote: “Nations have no permanent friends, only permanent interests — like survival.” With the stark reality now of a profoundly less friendly Obama Administration, it is more important than ever to see what he wrote: “If the United States abandons the Jewish State, Jerusalem will have to seek new alliances.”
Turkey has now chosen to break its alliance with Israel and instead has sought alliances with rogue states such as Iran and Syria, along with the Hamas occupied and terrorist infested Gaza Strip. It has turned on Israel with a viciousness that is desolating to watch. It is a nation turning its back upon the Ataturk secular revolution of the 1920s. Instead, it is sliding remorsefully back to the 7th century mindset and cesspit that so many of its neighbors wallow in.
The Turkish regime is allowing ant-Semitic films and documentaries to be broadcast relentlessly, thus poisoning the minds of both its secular and Islamist population. One need only hark back to the demonization and vilification spewed against the Jews for years under Hitler in Nazi Germany to see how most Germans behaved and what horrors resulted.
Whether or not President Barack Obama continues to act negatively towards the Jewish state, any new Israeli alliances should include the restoration of a profoundly just, moral and enduring pact with the Kurdish people, and assistance towards creating a future independent State of Kurdistan. That may be the silver lining from the present international flotilla of xenophobic hatred presently sailing towards Israel’s shores.
Victor Sharpe is the author of Volumes One and Two of Politicde: The attempted murder of the Jewish state, available at LuluPress or on Amazon.com
Federal authorities arrested two New Jersey men late Saturday night as they tried to leave the country for terrorist training camps in war-torn Somalia, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
The men, identified as 20-year-old Mohamed Hamoud Alessa and 26-year-old Carlos Eduardo Almonte, were taken into custody by FBI agents and others at J.F.K. International Airport outside New York City. They were set to take separate flights to Egypt and then make their way to Somalia, where an Al Qaeda-linked group known as al-Shabaab has been warring with the nation’s fledgling transitional government.
One source called Somalia “the Afghanistan of now,” suggesting that the near-anarchist state in Somalia has allowed the country to become a fertile training ground for terrorist recruits from around the world.
Alessa, a U.S. citizen, and Almonte, a Jordanian citizen believed to also have dual U.S. citizenship, “grew up” in the United States, becoming the latest in a “disconcerting pattern” of “people living among us” who are radicalized with extremist ideology, one source said.
The men did not pose an “imminent threat,” but “getting on planes to receive” terrorist training means they posed a broader threat, the source said.
Federal authorities have been watching Alessa and Almonte since 2006, when the men’s unspecified “internet activity” led the New York Police Department to launch an investigation, ultimately dubbed “Operation Arabian Knight.”
The FBI and others had the two men under surveillance for a significant amount of time, with one official calling the investigation “well organized.”
While a team of federal authorities watched the men arrive at J.F.K. International Airport, others raided their homes in Elmwood Park, N.J., and North Bergen N.J.
The men have been charged with terrorism-related offenses and will appear in a Newark, N.J., federal court on Monday. In such cases, suspects are often charged with “conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization.”
No more arrests related to the case were expected.
FBI officials in Washington could not be reached immediately for comment, and a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which assisted the investigation, declined to comment.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent Rich Kolko, a spokesman with the FBI’s New York City field office, confirmed that two men were arrested at J.F.K International Airport, adding only that there was “no threat at the airport.”
For more than a year, the FBI has been investigating how dozens of Americans from across the country were recruited to train and fight alongside al-Shabaab, which has pledged its allegiance to Al Qaeda.
In October 2008, 27-year-old college student Shirwa Ahmed of Minneapolis became “the first known American suicide bomber” when he blew himself up in Somalia, killing dozens, according to the FBI.
FBI Director Robert Mueller has acknowledged that al-Shabaab “would like to undertake operations outside of Somalia.” But U.S. officials have said repeatedly there is no intelligence to suggest al-Shabaab is plotting attacks inside the United States.
Somalia has had no stable government since 1991, when dictator Siad Barre was ousted from power. The transitional government has had trouble keeping Muslim militants at bay, and in 2006 fighting with al-Shabaab intensified after Western-backed Ethiopian forces invaded the country.