Sunday, 31 May 2015

Islam major topic in the Turkish election

While we in the West take if for granted that anyone can believe in any god or religion and that we should help migrants fleeing mainly from Muslims nations failing tow function. Turkeys ongoing elections show us that Religion can be abused for selfish power and as a reason to take away freedoms from minorities, in some sort of perverted satisfaction. In other words the total opposite that we in EU try to practice and that is freedom and compassion for needy people regardless of religion, gender or race.

President Tayyip Erdogan is reminding the Turkish voters of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople and vowing the Muslim call to prayer would forever ring out, President Tayyip Erdogan put religion on the centre stage on Saturday as campaigning for Turkey's parliamentary election entered its final week.

Persuading religious conservatives, including pious Kurds and nationalists, to back the Islamist-rooted AK Party will be key in an election Erdogan hopes will bring him stronger presidential powers that opponents see as a threat to democracy writes BBC.

Turkey's most dominant politician for more than a decade and founder of the AK Party, Erdogan draws much of his support from the pious masses. His rhetoric often plays on a tension reaching back to the 1920s when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk forged a secular republic from the ruins of an Ottoman theocracy.

"We will not give way to those who speak out against our call to prayer," he said in a speech in Istanbul to mark the anniversary of the 1453 Islamic conquest or in better words occupation that turned the capital of the Byzantine Empire into the seat of Ottoman power.

"We will not give space to those who want to extinguish the fire of conquest burning in the heart of Istanbul for 562 years," he told a sea of supporters waving the red Turkish flag, most of the women covered in the Islamic headscarf and some of the men wearing headbands bearing Erdogan's name.

This is nothing less than spitting Christianity in the face openly!
An AK Party video released to commemorate the conquest culminated with the Muslim call to prayer being recited from a minaret of the Hagia Sophia, Christendom's greatest cathedral for 900 years until the Ottomans turned it into a mosque.

Modern founder of today Turkey Ataturk, banished Islam from state affairs and promoted Western dress and women's rights, decreed it a museum in 1934.  But Erdogan aggressively drives a sadistic combination of Islamic identity and wish to publicly degrade a almost non existing Christian minority  in front of the eye´s of his voters showing he has more spunk that western submission to his aggression has revived interest in praying there.

So lets look at what Western Politicians doesn't bother to hear about Erdogan. 

Delusional or just uneducated Pasha?

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, a professor of political science, believes that Jerusalem, built a millennium before the birth of Islam, is originally a Muslim city. And, according to the Turkish president, Saudis should please not get offended Jerusalem is the Muslims' "most important Mecca." Jerusalem has always had a spectacular place in a Turkish Islamist's heart and mind. But pre-election fervour in Turkey has lifted "Jerusalem-fetish" to new heights.

Turkey's Islamists today look like Egypt's second president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, a Pan-Arab nationalist, and his army commanders almost half a century ago. On May 16, 1967, Nasser ordered U.N. Emergency Force Commander, Indar Jit Rykhye, to evacuate his force from the Sinai buffer zone within 48 hours. When Rykhye asked one Egyptian commander if Egypt was aware of the consequences, the commander replied
"Oh sir, I'll meet you at lunch in Tel Aviv." 
The UN force left, and Egypt and Israel were left alone to fight the 1967 war. 
No one knows where the Egyptian commander had lunch the next day, but definitely not in Tel Aviv, so much we all know and the comment is nothing but showing us once again how giga-mouthed Arabs talk and what happens after.

Turkeys Prime Minister Davutoglu (formerly foreign minister), has reiterated countless times since he joined the Turkish cabinet in 2009 that, "We will have prayers at the al-Aqsa mosque in the Palestinian capital 'Quds' ([Jerusalem]." 

This wish remains to be fulfilled. But that does not discourage Turkish leaders from cherishing increasing doses of "Jerusalem-fetish."
When a Kurdish politician said in a public speech that "Jerusalem is the holy city for the Jews," a furious Davutoglu held a rally and said at the top of his voice: "Jerusalem is our holy place;" and that he would never allow the city's "Islamic character" to change.
Davutoglu, in another election rally speech, added: "One day al-Aqsa will definitely reach liberation ... Jerusalem is our eternal cause." In yet another speech, Davutoglu claimed that his government has faced multiple coup d'état attempts only because he says "Jerusalem is our cause.".
In still another, he claimed that Jerusalem's final period in peace was "our (Ottoman) times." And in another, he commemorated "the Turks, Arabs, Kurds, Zaza (a Kurdish tribe) and Arab in the glorious army of Saladin." It is as if, for Davutoglu (and Erdogan), Jerusalem did not exist before 1187. If it did not, why do the Turks talk about its "conquest," a euphemism they always seem to prefer to avoid the word "occupation" or "invasion."

President Erdogan has no less invented ideas and realities to give. "Jerusalem," according to the president, "is the holiest place of Muslims and it belongs to the Palestinians." In a recent speech, he claimed that Jews are [secretly] educating people on the Zoroastrian faith at mountain camps. 
"We have evidence [to prove] that," Erdogan added. 
And naturally not very unexpectedly he has never produced any such bewildering "evidence."
And never will but that´s besides the point as he seemingly can tell anything in public or to the media without Israel and other western nations demanding of  him to either substantiate a his claim of proof or apologise publicly.

The sad truth is that our western politicians don't really care about what any Arab or Erdogan talks.The usual comment is , what who ? Well who cares what they speak .....

Unless the west start a reality check on the damage such ignorance causes and demand some accountability. Well if not , then we will see millions of Turks and Arabs running around with historical facts that are no more historically correct than the latest issue of Walt Disney's Donald Duck.

Fact is that Erdogan thinks that US was discovered by Muslims!

Erdogan even went so far as to claim that US was not found by Columbus or Eirikur Eiriksson but by some Muslims......A clam that carry no archaeological or even historical merit and simply is made up by Erdogan and besides that when we in the west tell of finding it ...then its not like we represent China and Africa or Arabs. That's something that Erdogan seems to totally be unaware of.  Western civilisation arrived to US with Columbus or Eiriksson. But the ones first there where not Muslims but  the natives naturally. How about that Erdogan where the American Indians ever Muslims ?
SDR: US: Turkey's religious supremacist Erdogan challenges Icelandic history

The common opinion .....
"I don't mind if Erdogan uses Islam as a political propaganda tool. I actually appreciate that he brings it up. These are our values, we shouldn't forget them," said Ahmet Sahin, a 26-year old accountant among the crowd.

Erdogan appeals to conservative Muslim Turks who feel they were treated as second-class citizens during decades of rule by secular parties. He has spoken with scorn of the old secular elite. "They drink their whisky on the Bosphorus ... and hold the rest of the people in contempt," he once said.

Constitutionally banned from party politics as head of state, Erdogan has nonetheless delivered podium speeches around the country in recent weeks ahead of the June 7 election, berating the opposition and arguing for a presidential system. He wants the AKP to win a strong enough majority to change the constitution and hand him greater powers unopposed, something opinion polls suggest it will struggle to do.

Erdogan casts the main secularist opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), founded by Ataturk, as hostile to religion, but the biggest electoral threat is likely to come from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).  If it crosses the 10 percent threshold needed to enter parliament it would steal seats from AKP, potentially leaving it unable to form a majority government.  However Erdogan is seeking to win over pious Kurds, Erdogan has devoted much time to questioning the HDP's Muslim credentials, describing them as followers of the Zoroastrian religion and accusing them of an insulting reference to the Kaaba, the most sacred site in Islam which worshippers face when praying.

"These people have nothing to do with Islam," Erdogan, who held aloft a Kurdish translation of the Koran earlier this month, told a rally in Istanbul this week. "I believe my pious Kurdish brothers will give them the necessary answer on June 7."

Islamist media accused HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtas of eating pork, something he has denied.
"For weeks the president and prime minister are going around saying 'I am a Muslim' and running a campaign of lies and slander," he told CNN Turk on Wednesday.  "This is black propaganda designed to smear me in the eyes of a part of society." To us the rest this shows that if this is being a good Muslim then we will all be ride donkey to work and serve the Ottoman masters 15 wives and like slaves at home...This naturally not only the case for Christians and Jew but would include Saudi Arabians and other in his eyes lesser Muslims. 

Because one thing is for sure Erdogan is not just mistaken about dates and facts but he truly believes in some sort of Turkish Ottoman master race and that Turks will pray in Jerusalem while Hamas and Fatah will have to face what Ottoman occupation. In all his love speeches about Palestine he seems to forget that the Turks never gave one meter of land or freedom to Palestinians of that time.

But treated them at best like lesser beings. This is the historical truth and a fact and won't change just because Erdogan had some twisted idea again.

At last but not least  picture of Edogan´s shameful openly antisemitic view
that cant be neither explained or ignored when it comes to Turkey as a Nato or EU partner. 

Previously about Turkey:

Strategic Diplomatic Relations: Freedom in Turkey is like like electricity in a cave in Kandahar....

Strategic Diplomatic Relations: Turkey Turkey Uber Alles ...

Strategic Diplomatic Relations: The Turkey Connection

Strategic Diplomatic Relations: Turkeys sadly lives according to religion rather than man made laws.

Strategic Diplomatic Relations: Turkey to Train 4,000 so called Moderate Syrian Rebels

Strategic Diplomatic Relations: Turkey and ISIS relations reality check

EU: Switzerland to probe claims it was spied on by US, German agencies

The office of the Swiss Federal Prosecutor has launched an investigation into claims that the country’s largest telecommunications provider was spied on by a consortium of German and American intelligence agencies. 

The spy project was reportedly a secret collaboration between Germany’s BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst) and America’s National Security Agency (NSA). According to Austrian politician Peter Pilz, who made the allegations on Wednesday, the BND-NSA collaboration was codenamed EIKONAL and was active from 2005 to 2008. Speaking during a press conference in Bern, Switzerland, Pilz said many European phone carriers and Internet service providers were targeted by the two agencies.

Among EIKONAL’s targets, said Pilz, was Swisscom AG, Switzerland’s largest telecommunications provider and one of the successor companies to the country’s national carrier, the PTT (short for Post, Telegraph, Telephone). The government of Switzerland still retains a majority of Swisscom shares, which makes the Bern-based company the closest thing Switzerland has to a national telecommunications carrier. Under the EIKONAL agreement, the BND accessed Swisscom traffic through an interception center based in Frankfurt, Germany. From there, said Pilz, the intercepted data was transferred to a BND facility in Bad Aibling to be entered into NSA’s systems. Pilz shared numerous documents at the press conference, among them a list of key transmission lines that included nine Swisscom lines originating from Zurich and Geneva.

Switzerland’s Office of the Federal Prosecutor said on Wednesday that a criminal investigation was already underway into Peter Pilz’s claims, and that the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service was in contact with Swisscom and other actors targeted by EIKONAL. Meanwhile, Pilz refused to answer questions about where he got the documents about the alleged spy operation. He said, however, that he did not think Swisscom was aware of the BND-NSA actions against it. The company issued a statement on Wednesday saying it had “no agreements with the NSA, the BND, or any other foreign intelligence agency that permit eavesdropping” on company lines.

Link source Neue Zürcher Zeitung:
The spy project was reportedly a secret collaboration between Germany’s BND 
(Bundesnachrichtendienst) and America’s National 

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Former Director of the CIA James Woolsey comments on the origins of ISIS.

Hardball with Chris Matthews (MSNBC - Video) Former Director of the CIA James Woolsey comments on the origins of ISIS. This is a rare observation gem and should not be missed by anyone interested to get to know true realities told by on of the best namely Mr Woolsey.


R. James Woolsey

Chairman of FDD, Fmr. Director of the CIA


 R. James Woolsey is a Venture Partner with Lux Capital Management. He also Chairs the Board of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Mr. Woolsey currently chairs the Strategic Advisory Group of the Washington, D.C. private equity fund, Paladin Capital Group, chairs the Advisory Board of the Opportunities Development Group, and he is Of Counsel to the Washington, D.C. office of the Boston-based law firm, Goodwin Procter. In the above capacities he specializes in a range of alternative energy and security issues.

Mr. Woolsey previously served in the U.S. Government on five different occasions, where he held Presidential appointments in two Republican and two Democratic administrations, most recently (1993-95) as Director of Central Intelligence. From July 2002 to March 2008 Mr. Woolsey was a Vice President and officer of Booz Allen Hamilton, and then a Venture Partner with VantagePoint Venture Partners of San Bruno, California until January 2011. He was also previously a partner at the law firm of Shea & Gardner in Washington, DC, now Goodwin Procter, where he practiced for 22 years in the fields of civil litigation, arbitration, and mediation.

During his 12 years of government service, in addition to heading the CIA and the Intelligence Community, Mr. Woolsey was: Ambassador to the Negotiation on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), Vienna, 1989–1991; Under Secretary of the Navy, 1977–1979; and General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, 1970–1973. He was also appointed by the President to serve on a part-time basis in Geneva, Switzerland, 1983–1986, as Delegate at Large to the U.S.–Soviet Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) and Nuclear and Space Arms Talks (NST). As an officer in the U.S. Army, he was an adviser on the U.S. Delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I), Helsinki and Vienna, 1969–1970.

Mr. Woolsey serves on a range of government, corporate, and non-profit advisory boards and chairs several. He served on the National Commission on Energy Policy. Served as Chairman of the Advisory Boards of the Clean Fuels Foundation and the New Uses Council, and a Trustee of the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments. Previously he was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents of The Smithsonian Institution, and a trustee of Stanford University. He has also been a member of The National Commission on Terrorism, 1999–2000; The Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the U.S. (Rumsfeld Commission), 1998; The President’s Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform, 1989; The President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management (Packard Commission), 1985–1986; and The President’s Commission on Strategic Forces (Scowcroft Commission), 1983.

Mr. Woolsey has served in the past as a member of boards of directors of a number of publicly and privately held companies, generally in fields related to technology and security, including Martin Marietta; British Aerospace, Inc.; Fairchild Industries; and Yurie Systems, Inc. In 2009, he was the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and in 2010-11 he was a Senior Fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

Mr. Woolsey was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and attended Tulsa public schools, graduating from Tulsa Central High School. He received his B.A. degree from Stanford University (1963, With Great Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa), an M.A. from Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar 1963–1965), and an LL.B from Yale Law School (1968, Managing Editor of the Yale Law Journal).

Woolsey is a frequent contributor of articles to major publications, and from time to time gives public speeches and media interviews on the subjects of energy, foreign affairs, defense, and intelligence.

Friday, 29 May 2015

U.S. Department of State - Counterterrorism Interview With CBS News


John Allen
Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition To Counter ISIL 
Washington, DC
May 28, 2015

QUESTION: General Allen, thank you very much for making time to talk to us today.
GEN ALLEN: Great to be with you.
QUESTION: ISIS now holds half of Syria and Iraq. Is there an urgent need to change the U.S. strategy?
GEN ALLEN: I think that the U.S. strategy has been evolving over – the implementation of the strategy has been evolving over time. We have done a great deal to work with the Iraqis in the stabilization of the environment in which this implementation is occurring. We work with them closely across a number of areas to help them to stabilize their security forces, to develop the capabilities. We support them with military capacity. We support them in areas potentially of stabilization for liberated populations. We’re supporting them in helping them to recover their police, ultimately so that police can secure those populations once the liberation has occurred. The Coalition has been pretty active in this regard and working very aggressively with the Iraqis to seek to provide the support necessary for them to take back their country.
QUESTION: But ISIS seems to have some momentum here.
GEN ALLEN: It has achieved some tactical momentum. The events in Ramadi, the events in Anbar, have certainly given us an opportunity to examine the support and the kinds of support that we’re going to need to give to the Iraqis over the long term, in order to defeat Daesh in this country. And in that context, that has been an opportunity for us to look at the many different ways in which we support the Iraqis, the many different ways in which we deal with the Iraqi leadership, to ensure that that implementation is as broad-based as it can be and be as helpful as it can be.
QUESTION: Well, France, one of the Coalition partners that you work with quite a lot, said that something needs to change very quickly when it comes to confronting ISIS or there will be disastrous consequences. I mean, do you feel that level of urgency?
GEN ALLEN: I feel urgency every day in the process.
QUESTION: But does something need to change? This is a call for a shift in strategy from France.
GEN ALLEN: Let’s be careful about what we’re saying when we talk about a shift in strategy. I think as we all do – and I’ve got a little experience in leading strategies – it’s incumbent upon those who would develop and implement a strategy to be constantly evaluating the strategy against the operational environment.
And as we continue to determine how Daesh is going to follow its own campaign plan, we’ve got to be able to adapt to that development as it unfolds and as we perceive it. So France is right to seek to set the conditions or to make the case that the coalition should be urgently involved in evaluating the strategy to ensure it is operationally relevant, which is the proper thing that we should be doing.
QUESTION: Strengthened?
GEN ALLEN: Well, strengthened is a relative term. In terms of providing the kind of support quickly and in the right places that could be strengthened, but it’s to ensure the relevance of the strategy to the operational environment. And that’s, I think, what we’re pursuing right now.
The Council of Ministers, for example, in Baghdad just last week passed unanimously a plan to provide support to the tribes and to the Iraqi Security Forces ultimately to recover Ramadi and Al Anbar. That’s going to be an important point of emphasis for the coalition to see how we can further support that plan that the council of ministers have adopted to ensure they’re able to liberate the Sunni population in Al Anbar and recover the provincial capital of that --
QUESTION: But that’s --
GEN ALLEN: -- of that province.
QUESTION: -- saying there needs to be an alternative to the Iraqi military. I mean, relying on Shiite militias, some of them backed by Iran, looking to some of the Sunni tribes, why isn’t the Iraqi military able to do that themselves?
GEN ALLEN: Well, the Iraqi military is in the building phase. And we have always seen – in fact, in my own experience in Al Anbar in ’07, the tribes played a very important role ultimately in the liberation of the province then from al-Qaida. And we fully expect – and the Iraqis want this to be the case – that the tribes will play an important role in the recovery of the province, the driving of Daesh out of the population centers, and the recovery of Ramadi. So the fact that tribes are involved in this is not something that we should be concerned about.
With regard to militias, it’s really important to understand that the militias are not just a single monolithic entity. There are the militias that you and I are used to hearing that have close alignments with Iran. Those are the extremist elements, and we don’t have anything to do with that. But there are elements of the Shia militias that volunteered last year to try to defend Iraq from the onslaught of Daesh who were called to arms by Grand Ayatollah Sistani, and those elements, or the Popular Mobilization Force, as they are known, have been subordinated to the Iraqi higher military campaign or command. And they will provide maneuver capacity and additional firepower to the Iraqi Security Forces as we continue to build them out, as we continue to build the professionalization of the Iraqi forces.
So the fact that militias are involved and tribes are involved in this part of the campaign, this part of the implementation of supporting Iraq ultimately to recover the country, should not alarm us. We just need to ensure that we manage the outcome of this. Prime Minister Abadi’s been clear that these organizations within the Popular Mobilization Force, the Shia volunteers, will eventually either transition into the security forces themselves or go home. That’s the solution that he intends and I think that that’s a supportable outcome. So for now – this goes back to the point that you made about urgency – urgency is an important factor here in helping us to focus on supporting the Iraqis, the tribes, and the Popular Mobilization Force to take those actions necessary to defeat Daesh locally.
QUESTION: But when it comes to the existing Iraqi military, Defense Secretary Carter said this week they lack the will to fight. Do you agree?
GEN ALLEN: This conversation and the words of the Secretary have been examined in this town and I don’t want to spend any time further discussing what he said. I think we’re all agreed – regardless of the past and where we think we’ll go with the future –we’re all agreed that the Iraqi troops that we know can form the basis of a credible and capable force that can take back this country. But it’s going to take a long time.
From the very outset of this campaign we have recognized that the recovery and the regeneration of the Iraqi Security Forces was not something that was going to happen overnight. And as they build capabilities, as they build capacity within their leadership, as they build a record of local successes and victories, they’ll gain confidence over time and they’ll gain operational and battlefield credibility and capabilities over time.
And so now is when we’re attempting to do that. And now we’re seeking to use all of those methods and options and units that are available to us so that we can set the Iraqi Security Forces in general on the road to success. But at the same time, we’re going to continue the process of the professionalization of the forces, and I think that’s what the Secretary was talking about – working to build the professionalization of those forces.
QUESTION: But what about – what about what you believe? Is this a matter of will? Does the Iraqi military have the will to fight right now?
GEN ALLEN: I believe the Iraqi military is going to combine its capabilities and ultimately liberate this country. It’s going to take a while to do that.
QUESTION: Just not yet.
GEN ALLEN: It’s not a matter of not yet, it’s a matter of how much more needs to be done. And I think we’re going to do a great deal more with the Iraqis, in partnership with the coalition, to create that capability within the Iraqi Security Forces to be able to take their country back.
QUESTION: You’re saying professionalization. Is will something you can train?
GEN ALLEN: Will is about leadership. Will is about confidence. Will is about, as I said, amassing success, and that doesn’t come overnight. That comes over time. And that is part of the process of the professionalization and the development of the Iraqi Security Forces that we’re undertaking now.
QUESTION: A large part of this battle is also symbolic; it is about momentum. It is about not just land seized but messages sent. And when you look at 10,000 Iraqi troops up against just 900 ISIS fighters, it looks like they just gave up Ramadi.
GEN ALLEN: Look, let’s make sure we get the numbers right here – and those numbers are not just 10,000 against 900. Ten thousand troops, as you’ve heard them explain in Anbar, are distributed across the entire province. The numbers that we’re up against the ISIS forces in Ramadi were different numbers.
So I think it’s important that we understand the context of those forces and we understand the relative combat power at any particular spot. Where there are Iraqi forces, for example in the town of Baghdadi all the way to the town of Haditha, which is up the Euphrates River, where we have had the time, frankly, at Al-Asad, where our trainers have been there for some period of time and have had access to both Iraqi Security Forces and to Iraqi rotational units going through a training program and the tribes, the success on the ground there has been significant.
That’s not something that we should be satisfied with. We should be doing more over time, and the plan ultimately provides for that – that over time, as we continue to train the Iraqi Security Forces, the rotational forces that are moving through those camps, as we continue to train those standing forces that exist today and as we continue to work with the tribes, that will create a critical mass. And we’re seeking to do that and that’s part of the plan right now.
QUESTION: What were the numbers? You said that 10 to 1 advantage isn’t correct?
GEN ALLEN: Well, I don’t want to go into that. It was significantly different. We’re saying that we thought there was somewhere between 400 and 800 Daesh, and somewhere around 2,000 Iraqis. But again, when you talk about numbers, 2,000 that are defending a wide-open city means that at any one place you don’t have a lot of fighters. But when Daesh comes at that force with large, vehicle-borne suicide truck bombs, truck bombs that are measured in the thousands of pounds of explosives – and that force has been fighting there for 18 months; that force has been holding out for a long period of time – what you discover is there’s a dynamic that takes place, and the close combat associated with that urban terrain, that can create the outcome that we saw in Ramadi.
So we’ve got to be careful about just lining up the numbers. We’ve got to ensure what the context is for the battle itself, so that we understand the lessons learned that we can take away from that, ultimately to roll those lessons back into the program of training and development that we want to undertake the help the Iraqis ultimately be successful.
QUESTION: Are the ISIS fighters that you described more capable than the Iraqi military?
GEN ALLEN: Well, they’re pretty good. They’re pretty good. And the troops that they were fighting at that particular location had been fighting for a long time, and they were tired. They had been – they had not been well supported in the recent battles. A relief column that was coming in turned around and went back because it was badly ambushed. So once again it was an issue that I believe was the effect of the local conditions on the ground at that particular moment, which ultimately derived the outcome in Ramadi.
That’s not the case going to be – that’s going to be the case everywhere. Fresh troops, freshly trained with the right kind of support are going to have a very different outcome in the battlespace, and we have seen that in other places in Iraq. We have seen that in other places, for example, at Kobani, in Syria where we supported a coherent defensive force that was relatively well-supplied and supported. They did very well in that case. And we will see that in other places as time goes on. It’s a matter of our having the opportunity to have the effect that we want in the training of these forces and ultimately the implementation of those forces with our support in the battlespace.
QUESTION: How does training need to change? Does it?
GEN ALLEN: Well, I think we need to let the training play out. None of the forces – or most of the forces that were involved in Ramadi had not gone through our training program. I think that’s relevant. But the forces that have gone through the training program at Al-Asad have done well in the battlespace, and they have done well against Daesh. So if you’re looking for measures of effectiveness, what we’re finding is those troops that have been trained have done better than those that have not been trained. And the intent ultimately is as the Iraqis build their own capacity to train an as we continue to take rotational forces through the four training centers in Iraq, we’ll see that both the professionalism and the professional competence of the forces will improve.
QUESTION: So can you give some perspective to U.S. taxpayers who look at this $25 billion that has been spent altogether on the Iraqi military and say “When all of that is going to pay off?”
GEN ALLEN: Well, are you talking about the $25 billion that’s been spent through the course of 2003 to 2011? Or are you talking about the money that’s invested right now?
QUESTION: Or – cumulative investment. I mean, when are they going to see a return on that $25 billion?
GEN ALLEN: Well, I think they’re going to see a return relatively soon as we continue the process of rotating these forces through and continuing to give them the opportunity to be trained and equipped, to be properly supported in the battlespace, as the Iraqis continue to build their command and control, as they continue under the competent leadership of Prime Minister Abadi to organize a comprehensive campaign for the recovery of Iraq. I think we’ll see the return on that investment.
QUESTION: And you’re measuring this in years?
GEN ALLEN: What we’re saying is that this is going to be a long campaign and it could be.
QUESTION: This is really familiar territory to you, of course, because of all the time that you spent in your previous role in Iraq. I mean, you’ve – you spent years fighting in and around Ramadi. Many of your fellow Marines lost their lives taking some of these cities that are now under ISIS control. Is this something personal for you?
GEN ALLEN: It sure is. It sure is. That’s the reason I’m actually sitting here today, is to help, ultimately, to give the Iraqis the capacity to take those cities back and ultimately to take Iraq back and ultimately to change the conditions in Iraq that will never permit Daesh to flourish or to find a foothold in this country again.
QUESTION: What did you feel when you saw the military just basically abandon Ramadi to ISIS?
GEN ALLEN: It was not a good feeling, frankly.
QUESTION: Were you angry?
GEN ALLEN: Yes, I was angry. And there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be. Any of the Marines or soldiers that fought there or gave their witness to their units and their fellow soldiers or Marines give their lives there is going to have very strong feelings about this. And I had very strong feelings about this, which means, for me, it’s a matter of now doubling down and helping the Iraqis to be successful.
QUESTION: Doubling down meaning you want to see this through, not doubling down, sticking with the plan and the strategy as it is?
GEN ALLEN: We’ll make sure that the strategy accounts for the things that we have learned associated with this particular activity in Ramadi, but also recognizing that there are strengths to the strategy that we should be emphasizing as well. And we’re going to continue to make sure the strategy is relevant with respect to the operational environment. And I think that Ramadi has given us an opportunity to take a real appraisal of the operational environment.
QUESTION: One of the Marines who served under you in Ramadi spoke to CBS News recently. And he said he was also angry when he saw Ramadi fall. It caused him a lot of pain, he said, thinking of his fellow Marines who died there. What do you say to all those Marines who now look at what’s happening and question: What was this for and why is this being allowed to happen now? Why isn’t the U.S. doing more?
GEN ALLEN: What I say to them is that everything that they did, every sacrifice that they made, every bit of the effort that they put into that fight was a noble investment on their part. And they should be proud of what they’ve done.
In the circumstances that have occurred in the aftermath of our departure, the political situation in Iraq ultimately created the opportunity for the military to end up in the state that it is in and for Daesh to achieve a foothold in the country. That foothold has created the crisis that we’re now involved in. And we’re taking the steps that are going to be necessary, ultimately, for the solution to this crisis to be solved by the Iraqis. And it’s going to be done by our providing the support to them to make it possible.
So they should be very proud of what they had accomplished. They should be very proud of the noble sacrifices of their fallen brothers that are Marines and fellow soldiers. But they should also recognize that in the end, Iraqis taking back Iraq for themselves, trained by Americans and Coalition partners, is the best way to solve this.
QUESTION: I think there are – there’s something that people struggle with with this idea, and that’s “The Iraqis need to win this fight for themselves” is the message from the Administration, at the same time that ISIS is viewed as a national security threat to the United States. If Iraq can’t do that on the ground – they haven’t shown they can so far – when will the U.S. – what point does the U.S. say there needs to be something more done?
GEN ALLEN: Well, I’m not going to speculate on when that will be. As I said before, we will constantly evaluate the outcomes of the strategy against our intent to ensure that we adapt that strategy as necessary to accomplish their objectives. And I’m not going to speculate on the timeline of that.
QUESTION: But you don’t see those two ideas as somewhat contradictory?
GEN ALLEN: No, I don’t. The strategy as it was initially envisaged anticipated that there would be some period of time that it would take ultimately to prepare the Iraqi Security Forces to be effective and successful. That period of time is still unfolding. Ramadi was a setback, and we’ve learned a lot from Ramadi. And we’re going to apply the lessons that we learn to ensure that we do the very best job that we can in terms of providing support to the Iraqi Security Forces. If more is needed beyond that, then there will be leaders that’ll make those recommendations when the time comes.
QUESTION: How much of a threat would you say ISIS still poses to U.S. national security?
GEN ALLEN: Well, I think it does pose a threat. I think there --
QUESTION: Less than a year ago? We’re a year into this campaign almost. Almost a year into this campaign, are we still at that same threat level?
GEN ALLEN: Well, I would suggest you talk to the Secretary of Homeland Security on that issue. It’s been – Daesh has made no secret of the fact that they would like to attack American interests both overseas and at home. But I think that the activities and the work undertaken by Secretary Johnson and the Department of Homeland Security, the work of the Attorney General and the FBI and our intelligence services – they have been dealing with that threat and have been meeting that threat. There have been numerous arrests that have been made. We work very closely with our partners with respect to border crossing, with respect to activities associated with stemming the flow of both potential foreign fighters going out and foreign fighters coming back. So while, yes, there is a threat, I believe that the Department of Homeland Security and other elements within our national security apparatus are poised to deal with that every day.
QUESTION: The State Department says there are about 22,000 foreign fighters flowing into the fight. Is that number going to lessen anytime soon?
GEN ALLEN: We hope it will. We have taken a lot of measures, both unilaterally and bilaterally – and multilaterally – as a country, but we’re also taking measures within the Coalition to create as much of an impediment to that movement or friction associated with that movement as possible. For example, about 30 of the Coalition partners have passed legislation internally that criminalizes being involved in foreign fighting. There is an increase in the sharing of information between and among countries, especially within the Coalition.
QUESTION: When you look at the numbers, have you seen that make a difference on the ground?
GEN ALLEN: We’re building the momentum to do that. And I think that we will see that unfold over time.
QUESTION: Why are foreign fighters still flying?
GEN ALLEN: Because there’s a strong draw, I think, from the idea of the caliphate, for certain elements of certain populations to want to be part of this. And they will continue. Part of our efforts with respect to dealing with foreign fighters is to recognize that this is going to be a long-term issue. The whole business of the emergence of violent extremism in the region and more broadly around the world has created both the platform and the impetus for individuals to seek to become part of this organization, or organizations like that, ultimately, to help them to accomplish their jihadist ends.
So as we look at the means to impede the movement of foreign fighters or to deal with foreign fighters, you have to look at it across the entire spectrum of activity, from how someone becomes radicalized, how they then choose ultimately to move into a particular battlespace – whether it’s Syria or Iraq or some other place on the globe – and how we as a community of nations can both deal with the issue of the initial radicalization, how we can share information and intelligence to make it difficult for movement from a source country or a country of origin through transit sites or transitional locations, and how ultimately we can hold those fighters accountable when they return to include even rehabilitation and reinsertion of that individual as a constructive member back into the population.
So it’s a wide and a broad spectrum of activities that we as a nation, but as we as a member of the community of nations are seeking to undertake to deal with the foreign fighter issue comprehensively.
QUESTION: Is that Turkish border still the main entry point?
GEN ALLEN: It is. There are other ways that they get into the region, but they do get across the Turkish border. That’s correct.
QUESTION: Well, when you look at the fight, the long-term strategy of trying to destroy ISIS, how can you eliminate them when there is a safe haven in Syria? If you don’t eliminate that cross-border threat, how do you win this fight?
GEN ALLEN: Well, the intention ultimately is to build the capacity within Syria to deal with Daesh as an entity in that country as well.
QUESTION: But the strategy right now as it’s articulated is Iraq first, then Syria.
GEN ALLEN: No, it’s Iraq first and Syria at the same time. We’re doing work in Syria at the same time that we’re undertaking the support of Iraq. So it’s not a purely sequential undertaking. It is – Iraq is the main effort for the moment, but there’s also shaping efforts underway in Syria to include the train and equip program. So it is not sequential in that context.
QUESTION: Does that need to be sped up?
GEN ALLEN: At this point we’ve achieved our objectives of starting the training. We’ll evaluate that process as it unfolds, and if there is a need for that to accelerate, then we’ll come forward with a recommendation.
QUESTION: The number that’s often referenced is just 90 fighters are actually in the program that the U.S. is running. Is that an accurate description?
GEN ALLEN: It’s the beginning of the program. The program’s going to take some time. I think another way of looking at it are the numbers of recruits that have expressed an interest in participating, and that’s 4,500 at this point. Somewhere between 4,500 and the number that is convened on the first day of training is the number that you’ll ultimately have. And that process comes from a vetting process that is relatively comprehensive, and ultimately, as we will see it unfold, as this force which is to be reintroduced, ultimately, and if Syria achieves success in the battlespace, I think we’re going to see that there will be larger numbers that will want to come and be part of this.
QUESTION: Okay. How do you do this without providing some kind of air protection for the rebels that are being trained to win the fight on the ground in Syria? Have you come to an agreement on that?
GEN ALLEN: There will be support ultimately for those forces that we are training. I'm not going to get into the specifics of it. There will be support for those forces, and the intent of that support is ultimately to make them successful.
QUESTION: All right. Thank you, sir.

Ambassador (ret) Yoram Ettinger: Iran's School Textbooks – can Congress afford to ignore it?

Iranian school textbooks, such as The Qur'an and Life (Grade 12, p. 125) prepare Iranian children for the Ayatollahs' sublime goal: the apocalyptic, horrifying, millenarian, military battle against the USA and other "arrogant oppressors of the world," which are ostensibly led by "idolatrous devils."   While the "savior" – the infallible, immortal, divinely ordained and eventual global leader, the Mahdi – has not surfaced yet, Iranian children are taught that the battle is already raging throughout the world, awaiting their sacrifice.
School textbooks of Western democracies are the most authentic reflection of peoples' values and worldview. School textbooks of tyrannies are the most authentic reflection of the nature and mission of the regimes. 

Iranian school textbooks reflect the strategy and tactics of the Ayatollahs, much more authentically than speeches, interviews, diplomatic statements and conversations conducted by President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif.  The latter have mastered the art of Quran-sanctioned Taqiyya – doubletalk and deception-based agreements, aimed at shielding the "believers” from the "disbelievers,” to be abrogated once conditions are ripe.

School textbooks are considered, by the Ayatollahs, a critical means to mobilize the youth, charting the roadmap to the final military victory over the infidel USA and the West. Hence, the crucial relevance of school textbooks to the Congressional debate on "the framework agreement with Iran" and on the clear and present threat of a nuclear threshold Iran to vital US interests.

Therefore, it behooves the US Senate and House of Representatives – the coequal and codetermining branch of government in the area of national security policy - to conduct a series of hearings and colloquy on the significance of Iran's school textbooks, on the nature of Iran's conventional and nuclear threats to US interests, and on the role played by the non-war US military threat/stick, as an effective option to prevent a nuclear war.  Holding these hearings and colloquy – before an agreement is reached in Lausanne - would constitute a vitamin – not a poison pill – to a constructive agreement, sparing the world a calamitous nuclear war.

Prof. Eldad Pardo, of the Hebrew University, who has researched Iran's school textbooks of the last 10 years, published a May, 2015 report for the Institute of Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education. According to Prof. Pardo, "Iran had created a war curriculum to prepare an entire generation for global war, based on Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's vision of collective martyrdom….  

The battle between the new Islamic (Iranian) civilization and the evil Western civilization is seen as one between good and evil, and is being waged on a global scale…. The school textbooks prepare the Iranian people for a constant state of emergency, requiring Iranians to foment revolutions throughout the world…."

Pardo documents the apocalyptic theme in Iran's school textbooks, as underlined by Defense Readiness (Grade 11, p. 11), praising more than 500,000 school children, who were sent to the front, during the 1980-88 war against Iraq. According to Robin Wright (Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001, p. 37), "they led the way, running over minefields to clear the ground for the Iranian ground assault. Wearing white headbands to signify the embracing of death and shouting: "Shaheed, Shaheed" [Martyr, martyr], they literally blew their way into heaven…."

Apocalyptic regimes are induced – not deterred – by Mutual Assured Destruction.
Iranian children are prodded to martyrdom, in defiance of their parents: "The defense of Islam and Muslims is a duty, and does not require parents' approval (Religious Rulings, Grade 11, p.14)…." Prof. Pardo established that "education to child martyrdom continues during first-twelve grades, with a new emphasis on girl martyrs (Defense Readiness, Grade 11, pp. 35 and 62 and Sociology 1, Grade 11, pp. 112, 114)."

The apocalyptic, millenarian vision of the Ayatollahs is reinforced by Jihad-driven school textbooks: "alongside the fighting jihad, there is a spiritual 'greater jihad' (Jehad-e akbar) performed by the fighter-martyrs (Defense Readiness, Grade 11, pp. 28-32)." Religious Rulings (Grade 11, p. 12) teaches that the eternal Jihad means a battle in accordance with God's way, in the defense of Muslims and the oppressed. The chapter on "Defense and Jihad" stipulates that a battle could mean killing, massacring, murdering and/or fighting. Children are urged to join a millenarian frenzy of military training and preparations, constant emergency, blind obedience and actual participation in conflicts, at home and abroad.

"Iranian children study that in times of need, dissimulation and deceptive peace pacts — even with 'un-Godly, idolatrous governments' —are proper, but only until such time as the balance of power should change.  In fact, we know from Khamenei's own words, that the nuclear negotiations are predicated on the conclusion of a provisional treaty with an illegitimate [infidel] government, while not forsaking the permanent vision.  Khamenei's conduct is based on the 661 CE Treaty between Imam Hassan and Caliph Muʻawiyah, intending only to gain time, building power and gradually undermining rival dynasties— but never genuinely reconciling (Religion and Life, Grade 12, p. 104)."

Thus, school textbooks constitute a very accurate detector of the nature, mission and legitimacy/illegitimacy of regimes, and their expected use of nuclear capabilities.

While nuclear threshold democratic regimes bolster deterrence and stability, nuclear threshold rogue regimes – especially those guided by apocalyptic, violently intolerant, supremacist, megalomaniacal, non-compliant, deceitful, hate-education vision - intensify chaos, fueling nuclear war.

Reaching a constructive agreement with the Ayatollahs should be preconditioned upon a dramatic transformation of their school textbooks, strategy and tactics. On the other hand, reaching an agreement with the Ayatollahs, while the current school textbooks, strategy and tactics are in place, would constitute a drastic degree of recklessness, starting the countdown to the first ever nuclear war.

Land of the free ? Washington DC officials block Muhammad subway cartoon

Soon people believing in, "land of the free home of the brave", stand trial.
US has reached a point where they sell out instead of giving: HOPE

Transport officials in Washington DC have blocked plans by an American free speech pressure group to have a controversial cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad displayed on the subway.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative wanted to display the cartoon, which won first prize at an event in Texas.  Two gunmen were shot dead by police outside the event earlier this month. 
Washington transport authorities on Thursday banned political, religious and advocacy adverts on the subway.  The transport authority in the US capital voted unanimously to suspend advertisements it describes as "issue-oriented".

AFDI founder Pamela Geller and half the still not brain dead moral majority of the western So called free world strongly criticised  the decision to ban the advert. Ms Geller describing correctly as as an attack on free of speech.  

Ms Geller commented correctly on her website that "rewarding terror with submission is defeat, absolute and complete defeat.  

"These cowards may claim that they are making people safer, but I submit to you the opposite. They are making it far more dangerous for Americans everywhere."  

The advert calls for Americans to support free speech and features a bearded, turban-wearing Muhammad waving a sword and shouting: "You can't draw me!"  In reply, a cartoon bubble portrays an artist grasping a pencil and saying: "That's why I draw you."
Ms Geller naturally insists the cartoon is a "political opinion" which does not contain any violence.  
A fact that no one can deny.
Her organisation, described by critics like BBC and many pro Arab groups like CAIR  as a hate group. No matter what they claim she has run so called controversial (in their eyes)  adverts on subways and buses in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco as well as in Washington's Metro in 2012. Thank god she did so! 

We ask ? How can a wake up call in advance be controversial ?

Reality in the US is now that they wish people: "Happy holidays when its Christian" and Happy Ramadan when its Islam. 
SDR hopes the American people will reclaim their birth right as a nation that leads by example and not by restricting freedom of speech and censorship like in the good old Soviet Union.  If we cant draw a cartoon in the West with our cultural past then whats left of our freedom?
Do we really need Muslim permission when they don't give us the same?
At last but not least: Are we really willing to go silent and give up our own integrity in the name of consensus given by people who are traitors inbound cowards  to their own future and people.

Italy: Police Shut Down Mosque Installation at Venice Biennale

The police in Venice closed an art installation in the form of a functioning mosque on Friday morning, after city officials declared the art project a security hazard and said that the artist who created it, Christoph Büchel, had not obtained proper permits and had violated laws by allowing too many people inside the mosque to worship.

The provocative project, made inside a long unused Catholic church, serves as Iceland’s national pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale and was intended in part to highlight the absence of a mosque in the historic center of Venice, a city whose art and architecture were deeply influenced by Islamic trade and culture. The issues the installation raised also went to the heart of the debate ragingacross Europe about Muslim worship and culture as immigration from Islamic countries rises.
Even before the installation, called “The Mosque,” opened for its first Friday Prayer on May 8, it upset Venetian city officials and police authorities, who warned that it posed a security threat because of possible violence either by anti-Islamic extremists or Islamic extremists upset that a mosque has been created inside a church. Catholic church officials also became involved in the dispute, contending that the church where the mosque was created, Santa Maria della Misericordia, in the Cannaregio neighborhood, had never been officially deconsecrated — despite being mostly closed for more than 40 years — and so it was improper to use it for purposes other than Catholic worship. Since the opening, hundreds of Muslim residents of Venice and surrounding areas have come to see or worship at the mosque, without incident.

“The police came after 11 this morning and requested that we close it,” said Mr. Büchel in a Skype interview from Switzerland, where he had traveled from Venice on other business. “My site manager told me that they deposited a three- or four-page document saying that there were violations and that it’s not approved for occupation anymore.” He said he intended to pursue all legal remedies to fight the closing and hoped to reopen the mosque, but he added that until there was a resolution “we can no longer have the doors open.”

Video posted online Friday showed the mosque’s operators closing it down.
Mr. Büchel, 48, has become known for such projects, transforming art spaces and other public institutions with hyper-realistic, walk-in installations that skewer the hypocrisies and political contradictions of the art world and the world in general. He transformed the church visibly and boldly into a mosque, adorning its Baroque walls with Arabic script, covering the floor with a prayer rug angled toward Mecca and hiding centuries-old crucifix motifs behind a towering mihrab, or prayer niche. Representatives of Islamic groups in Venice collaborated with Mr. Büchel to bring the mosque about; in an interview before the opening of the project, Mohamed Amin Al Ahdab, president of the Islamic Community of Venice, which represents Muslims of about 30 nationalities in greater Venice, said: “Sometimes you need to show yourself, to show that you are peaceful and that you want people to see your culture.”

While a large Islamic center with spaces for prayer exists in Marghera, a part of the city on the mainland where many Muslims live, there has never been a mosque in the historic heart of Venice. The closest thing to one existed in the 17th and 18th centuries in the Fondaco dei Turchi, a building along the Grand Canal that was a ghetto for the city’s Ottoman Turkish population.
During the mosque installation’s opening ceremony, Tehmina Janjua, Pakistan’s ambassador to Italy, publicly thanked Mr. Büchel and the project’s curator, Nina Magnusdottir, for “a place of worship, a place of art, a place where communities can come together and talk.”
But as it operated, a flurry of letters and statements were exchanged behind the scenes between Venetian officials and lawyers for the project. City officials asserted that in addition to security concerns, special permission was needed to create a place of worship, and they rejected claims by Mr. Büchel that the mosque was simply a work of art functioning as a place of worship. Officials of the Venice Biennale and this year’s chief curator, Okwui Enwezor, kept their distance from the project, making no clear public show of support for it as it became evident that the city was intent on closing it.
The Icelandic Art Center, which commissioned the installation, issued a statement Friday denouncing the closing. “Venetian authorities have from the outset challenged the premise of Iceland’s contribution to the Biennale,” officials from the center said. “Perhaps most disappointingly, the administration of La Biennale di Venezia, an institution within the City of Venice, has not supported this artistic endeavor in the way that would have been expected for an organization of its stature and proclaimed advocacy of contemporary art.”
Cristiana Costanzo, a spokeswoman for the Biennale, took issue with Iceland’s criticism, saying in an email Friday that Biennale officials had taken part in “countless meetings between the local authorities and the representatives of the Icelandic pavilion, actively working towards finding a solution that would make it possible to activate the Icelandic pavilion.”
The Biennale is “surprised at these useless (in our opinion) attempts to trigger polemics,” Ms. Costanzo added. “We will continue to make every effort to reach a solution that will allow the pavilion to reopen.”

Source/originally reported  NY Times