Very good questions, and a very good read …
By Christopher Hitchens – “The tale of the Gaza ‘flotilla‘ seems set to become a regular summer feature, bobbing along happily on the inside pages with an occasional update. A nice sidebar for reporters covering the Greek debt crisis: a built-in mild tension of ‘will they, won’t they?’; a cast of not very colorful characters but one we almost begin to feel we know personally. Such cheery and breezy slogans—’the audacity of hope‘ and ‘free Gaza’—and such an easy storyline that it practically writes itself. Since Israel adopts a posture that almost guarantees a reaction of some sort in the not-too-distant future, and since there was such a frisson of violence the last time the little fleet set sail, there’s no reason for it not to become a regular seasonal favorite.
However, given the luxury of time, might it not be possible to ask the ‘activists’ onboard just a few questions? (Activist is a good neutral word, isn’t it, with largely positive connotations? Even flotilla, with its reassuring diminuendo, has a ‘small is beautiful’ sound to it.) Most of the speculation so far has been to do with methods and intentions, allowing for many avowals about peaceful tactics and so forth, but this is soft-centered coverage. I would like to know a little more about the political ambitions and implications of the enterprise.
It seems safe and fair to say that the flotilla and its leadership work in reasonably close harmony with Hamas, which constitutes the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. The political leadership of this organization is headquartered mainly in Gaza itself. But its military coordination is run out of Damascus, where the regime of Bashar Assad is currently at war with increasingly large sections of the long-oppressed Syrian population. Refugee camps, some with urgent humanitarian requirements, are making their appearance on the border between Syria and Turkey (the government of the latter being somewhat sympathetic to the purposes of the flotilla). In these circumstances, isn’t it legitimate to strike up a conversation with the ‘activists’ and ask them where they come out on the uprising against hereditary Baathism in Syria?” Read more.
Iran Attempting to Exert More Influence in the Middle East, Infiltrates the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt
By Moran Azulay – “Military Intelligence chief Major-General Aviv Kochavi said Tuesday Iranian influence was growing in Middle Eastern countries experiencing unrest or upheaval – such as Egypt and Syria.
‘Assad understands today that his solution cannot only come from military responses, and that is why he is turning to reform,’ Kochavi told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, referring to the protest-plagued president of Syria.
In Egypt, meanwhile, Tehran is trying to influence the outcomes of elections by tightening relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, the MI chief added…
The MI chief noted that Iran also played a direct role in events on Israel’s border. ‘Iran acted directly in Lebanon in organizing ‘Nakba Day’ and ‘Naksa Day’. It is working to make sure these acts of protest will continue.’” Read more.
This needs to be viewed as a violation of England’s Treason Act 1351. These enemies of the state and enemies of the West need to be arrested, prosecuted, and deported at once. ‘Is your heart longing for an Islamic state governed by Sharia Law? Then Saudi Arabia is your home.’ It is only a matter of time before similar calls of subversion become a problem on this side of the pond. But is anyone listening?
The notorious Muslims Against the Crusades (MAC) group have named Yorkshire towns Bradford and Dewsbury and Tower Hamlets in East London as testbeds for blanket sharia rule.
The medieval ‘emirates’ would operate entirely outside British law, according to a document on the MAC website.
The MAC group, led by Abu Assadullah, was set up last year and has become notorious because of its violent protests, most provocatively burning poppies during the Remembrance Day silence.
Under the heading ‘Muslims should set up Islamic emirates in the UK’, MAC says: ‘We suggest it is time that areas with large Muslim populations declare an emirate delineating that Muslims trying to live within this area are trying to live by the sharia as much as possible with their own courts and community watch and schools and even self sufficient trade.’” Read more.
‘London Taliban’ – ‘Wear a headscarf or we will kill you’ – “Women who do not wear headscarves are being threatened with violence and even death by Islamic extremists intent on imposing sharia law on parts of Britain, it was claimed today. Other targets of the ‘Talibanesque thugs’, being investigated by police in the Tower Hamlets area of London, include homosexuals.” Read more.
Muslims Again Demand Sharia For Britain – “Muslim protesters, some of them women clad in black burqas, marched in London last week to demand Sharia law for the United Kingdom… The protesters carried signs with disturbing anti-American and anti-European messages. ‘Islam the solution for mankind,’ one said, while another proclaimed that ‘democracy will bring oppression.’ Another called the United States, Britain, and France a ‘trinity of evil,’ while fourth warned that ‘Sharia will dominate the world.’” Read more.
Here is Iran once again proving a point I made in the concluding remarks of the article Revelation 13: A Commentary: “Islamic ‘prophecy’ is false. It is nothing more than Islamists taking true Biblical prophecy and then turning it on its head so that it is pro-Islam, and anti-Judeo/Christian… But we must not dismiss the river that is raging in the undercurrents of Islamic eschatology. Its banks are about to burst and what we must take into consideration is not the fact that Islamic ‘prophecy’ is false and void of Divine inspiration, but rather the fact that they BELIEVE that it is true and that their destiny is Divinely appointed. Because of this belief they will in turn interpret events on the world stage in accordance to this way of thinking, as fulfillment and proof that the ‘prophecies’ of Islam are true.”
‘The uprisings of the nations in the region are clear signs of the definite fulfillment of God’s Qur’anic promises,’ the Leader told a group of participants in the 28th International Holy Qur’an Competition in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Tuesday.
The Leader added that the US, Israel, and their allies would not even think of a revolution in Egypt, but the Egyptian nation became victorious with the help of God, IRNA reported.
By helping the Egyptian nation, God proved once again that if the Almighty helps somebody, no power can defeat them, Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader also said Qur’an is ‘the most important factor of unity, dignity and authority of Muslim nations.’” Read more.
If true, does this mean that the Saudis are beginning to prepare for a possible war with Iran and Iran’s allies, or something else?
‘So far, Saudi has bought 44 tanks from Germany and in total wants to buy 200 tanks from Germany,’ a security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Reuters news agency.
The source declined to give a value for the purchase, saying it was a multi-billion euro deal involving the German companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall.
The purchase follows a $93 billion stimulus package from Saudi King Abdullah that included extra support for police and security forces. The March handout was a response to unrest sweeping through the Arab world.” Read more. (Thanks Kurt J. for the link).
Saudi Arabia: Riyadh Will Build Nuclear Weapons if Iran Gets Them, Saudi Prince Warns – “A senior Saudi Arabian diplomat and member of the ruling royal family has raised the spectre of nuclear conflict in the Middle East if Iran comes close to developing a nuclear weapon. Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, warned senior Nato military officials that the existence of such a device ‘would compel Saudi Arabia … to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences’.” Read more.
The Gulf Cooperation Council is expanding its army, but for what? – “A proposal to boost the Peninsula Shield, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s combined military force, has been approved by its six member states, and could increase to include 100,000 troops before the end of the year, the director of a government linked think-tank in Kuwait has told Al Jazeera. The Peninsula Shield currently consists of about 40,000 troops and has its permanent base in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. The proposed expansion would be a huge boost from the previous force’s incarnation, whose numbers fluctuated between 5-10,000 troops during its existence.” Read more.
Turkey to Double Size of Its Army – “Now there are strong indicators in the Turkish media that Turkey is planning on literally doubling the size of its army – this coming from the nation that already has the largest army in Middle East and the second-largest army in NATO, second only to the United States. Presently, Turkey’s army has over 500,000 troops.” Read more.
Flashback: Growing ties between Turkey, China, Iran worry Israel and U.S. – “The United States and Israel are watching with concern the growing military cooperation among Turkey, China and Iran, especially following a joint Turkish-Chinese air-force exercise last week… The Obama administration protested Turkey’s military cooperation with Iran after it was reported that the Chinese fighter planes were sent to Turkey via Pakistan and Iran. The developing ties among Turkey, Iran and China are also reflected in weapons deals, with Iran buying from China mainly missile technology.” Read more.
By Joel Richardson – “With Prime Minister Erdogan’s Islamist AK party having seized its third landslide election victory in Turkey, many throughout the international community have been watching to see what will be next on the Turkish agenda.
Now there are strong indicators in the Turkish media that Turkey is planning on literally doubling the size of its army – this coming from the nation that already has the largest army in Middle East and the second-largest army in NATO, second only to the United States. Presently, Turkey’s army has over 500,000 troops. Its army is larger than France, Germany and England combined. And now Turkish media are reporting that they are planning on adding another 500,000 paid soldiers…
The silence of the Western media has been surprising. Imagine Israel announcing an expansion of its forces by 500,000 men to address its Palestinian terrorism problem. Yet the Western media has yet to comment regarding Turkey’s grandiose plans.” Read more.
‘With Turkey Flexing its Muscles, We May Soon Face a Revived Ottoman Empire’ – “… And yet we need to look more closely at Erdogan. For there is good reason to suspect he dreams of transforming Turkey in ways Suleiman the Magnificent would have admired. In his early career as mayor of Istanbul, Erdogan was imprisoned for publicly reciting these lines by an early-20th-century Pan-Turkish poet: ‘The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets, and the faithful our soldiers.’ His ambition, it seems clear, is to return to the pre-Atatürk era, when Turkey was not only militantly Muslim but also a regional superpower. This explains his sustained campaign to alter the Turkish Constitution in ways that would likely increase his own power at the expense of the judiciary and the press as well as the military, all bastions of secularism.” Read more.