The courtier, spaniel, and excited purveyor of what "someone" told him is the comical Sidney Blumenthal. But enough about him.
The original Sidney of the Republlcan charge that a powerful Washington figure had always to "clear it with Sidney" ws Sid or Sidney Hillman, the leader of the ILGWU (International Ladies' Garment Union), and the powerful figure was Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Sid Hillman was a great figure in the labor movement. Try to recall the names of the others, and do i right now. Before Hillman, with whom FDR supposedly had to "clear" so much, there was Samuel Gompers, the founder of the American labor movement. And after Hillman at the ILGWU, there was David Dubinsky. And there was Walter Reuther, taking blows from union-busters at the Red River plant. And George Meany, of the Carpenters' Union. And then Reuther and Meany together represented and exemplified the union movement, until they died, and then it was Lane Kirkland, the courtly South Carolinian and thus, for some, an unlikely successor but a good one.
Now let's see. Can you name, right off the bat, the leader of any major union in the United States? You can't? Now, why is that? Answer that question properly, and you will share Bernie Sanders' and Elizabeth Warren's mistrust of the latest trade agreement, because all the union leaders who count are in places like China and Bangladesh and that means they don't exist.
Kazi Islam, 19, tried to persuade 19-year-old Harry Thomas to buy the ingredients for a pipe bomb and to attack one or more soldiers with a kitchen knife or meat cleaver on his command. The defendant, who will serve his sentence in a young offenders institute, denied wrongdoing, saying that he only talked to Mr Thomas about getting the components for a bomb as an "experiment" in radicalisation.
But following the trial at the Old Bailey, Islam, of Meanley Road, Newham, east London, was found guilty of engaging in the preparation of terrorist acts.
Sentencing, judge Richard Marks QC told him that his behaviour towards Mr Thomas, who suffered from Asperger's syndrome and ADHD, was an aggravating feature. He said: "Even on your own account, that you knew he was an extremely vulnerable young man, your treatment of him was as callous as it was manipulative."
Defending, Peter Lownds described his client as something of a "bedroom jihadist" whose plans had never got to the stage of specific discussion or a dry run. "He comes from a very loving and supportive family who are very worried and confused by these events,” he said.
At the time he was arrested, Islam, who failed to pass any GCSEs, was living with his parents and working for Winning Moves based in Paddington, which sells a range of popular family board games including Top Trumps, Monopoly, Cluedo, Risk, Connect 4 and Pass The Pigs.
Islam was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120 and made subject to a terrorism prevention requirement for 15 years.
How Petra Nemcova Could Have Obtained Another Million For Her Happy Hearts Fund
The very attractive Petra Nemcova apparently yielded, after twice being turned down by busy Bill Clinton, and -- "whisp'ring that she'd ne'er consent -- consented" -- agreed to donate $500,000 to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation,, run by and for the three beady-eyed members of the Clinton family who, as Tom Lehrer noted of the Old Dope Peddler, are "doing well by doing good." She did this in order to have the smooth-voiced charmer Bill Clinton appear on-stage at her own charity's fund-raising event, the charity in question being the Happy Hearts Fund, which builds schools for the victims of that famous tsunami of a decade ago which Nemcova experienced and survived.
There was a missed opportunity here. She need not have bribed Clinton in this indirect foundation-fashion, to appear. This worldy ormer model might have agreed instead that if, instead of demanding a donation carved out whatever was raised that night by Nemcova's gala, it would be the Clinton Foundation that would make a donation to Nemcova's Happy Hearts Fund of the previously-agreed-upon sum of $500,000, and she, in turn, would make the two-backed beast with that very famous man that very night, or on any night of his choosing, depending on what was in their respective agenda-books and when they could find the time. Nemcova could in this way have come out ahead by extra million (the $500,000 she did not have to donate, the $500,000 she received) for those poor kids she cares so much about, Clinton would have been very happy (one more thing not to tell the grandkids about), and a good time could be had by all. Or doesn't she care enough about those poor kids just to lie back and think of Hradčany Castle?
Why don't people think these things through in time? Why is it always a case, not exactly of staircase wit, but of staircase solutions? Why didn't Bill Clinton think of it himself? Perhaps he did. And perhaps the you-scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours behavior of the founders of these vanity foundations led to a decision by the two principals to keep secret -- oh people are so judgmental, aren't they? -- a clause that specified a piquant little lagniappe for the endlessly greedy, but also limitlessly ithyphallic, and newly fit, cheat and charmer, William Jefferson Clinton.
Bomb Threat at FIFA Headquarters Ahead of Anti-Israel Vote
Anti-Israel activists are likely to be behind a bomb threat made against FIFA's conference today. The JTA reports that a bomb threat closely coincided with a highly vocal anti-Israel demonstration outside the building, as well as the actions of an infiltrator (or perhaps more, according toanother report by RTE) who disrputed Sepp Blatter's speech, suggesting perhaps an effort to intimidate those casting a vote on whether Israel be expelled from FIFA:
A pro-Palestinian demonstrator was forcibly removed from the congress of FIFA, the world soccer federation, which is set to vote on suspending Israel as a member.
The female demonstrator, who waved a Palestinian flag while chanting slogans, was removed from the Zurich venue hosting the congress on Friday morning after she interrupted the speech of FIFA president Sepp Blatter. He asked security to remove her, the Dutch De Telegraaf daily reported. Shortly thereafter, the hotel hosting the congress was partially evacuated due to a bomb threat, which turned out to be false. The people who reported the threat to police did not say whether it was connected to the scheduled vote on Israel.
On the agenda for the 65th congress of FIFA, a 209-member body, is a Palestinian bid to have Israel suspend. The Palestinian soccer association filed it, citing alleged discrimination and restriction imposed on its players and members by Israel. […]
Blatter opposes the motion to suspend Israel and visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority earlier this month to hammer out a compromise that would avoid a vote. According to the Guardian, Israel agreed to some concessions but is refusing to comply with a Palestinian demand that the Israel soccer association boot five teams from West Bank settlements.
During our NER interview with University of California- Irvine alumna and former Anteaters for Israel leader, Ms. Reut Rory Cohen, we asked her about her Jewish family background and their experience that brought them to Israel. What follows is an excerpt from the interview.
Reut Rory Cohen
Jerry Gordon: What is your Jewish family background?
Reut Cohen: My family is Sephardic/Mizrahi, with deep ties to Israel. Both of my parents were born in Israel. Their parents are from the wider Middle East and North Africa. In my case, I was born in Israel, but pretty much raised in the United States. To me, the United States and Israel are a bit like a mother and a father. I have profound ties and deep commitment to both countries. At the same time, I am also highly aware of my ancestry, as a Jew of predominately Middle Eastern and North African origin (with some Italian and a bit of Ashkenazi and Ethiopian DNA sprinkled in for good measure).
My father’s family lived in Iraq. They were Jews and lived among other Jews, but identified as Iraqis and were proud to be Iraqis. After all, Jews had such a long presence in Iraq.
It didn’t matter how much they loved their country – many of our loved ones were killed. I like to think I come from a line of strong people. Three members of my father’s family went to fight with the Allies during WWII because they were reading reports about what was happening to fellow Jews in Europe. They never came back.
For the Jews who remained in Iraq, life quickly spiraled out of control as Arab nationalist fervor took hold.
Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and one of the initial members of the Muslim Brotherhood, became a Nazi agent after meeting Adolf Eichmann, an architect of the Holocaust, in 1937. With Nazi funds, al-Husseini organized the 1936-39 Arab Revolt in the Palestine Mandate. In 1941, the mufti orchestrated a short-lived, Nazi-backed generals' coup in Iraq. The coup was followed by the Farhud, a vicious pogrom.
Farhud Mass Grave for Jewish victims in Baghdad pogrom
It's an event that is indelibly imprinted in the consciousness of Iraq's Jews. The Mufti obtained Adolf Hitler's assurance in November 1941 that, after dealing with the Jews of Europe, Hitler would treat the Jews of the Middle East similarly. In a two-day period in June 1941, mobs rampaged in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. At least 150 Jews were killed and more than 2,000 injured; some 900 Jewish homes were destroyed and looted; and hundreds of Jewish-owned shops were robbed and destroyed. My older family members recall witnessing how soldiers pulled small children away from their parents and ripped the arms off young girls to steal their bracelets; pregnant women were raped and their stomachs cut open.
My grandfather rescued his little brother when the violence began. My great-grandfather claimed to be a Muslim when Iraqi troops stormed their home. That was how he saved himself and his daughters, including my grandmother. Many of his neighbors weren't so lucky. Eventually, when being a Jew was practically criminalized, my father's family escaped to Israel with only the clothes on their backs – their belongings confiscated.
From 1949-52, more than 130,000 Jews left Iraq for Israel. Over the next couple of decades, almost all of the rest would follow, even though they initially thought they could stay.
Memorial in Ohr Yehuda, Israel for Iraq Jews killed in Baghdain January 1969
One event that served as a catalyst to leave occurred Jan. 27, 1969. Baghdad Radio called upon Iraqis to “come and enjoy the feast” during grisly public hangings of 14 men, 11 of them Jews. Some 500,000 men, women and children danced past the scaffolds where the bodies of the hanged Jews swung; the mob chanted “Death to Israel” and “Death to all traitors.” Baghdad Radio ignored worldwide outrage by declaring: “We hanged spies, but the Jews crucified Christ.”
The last airlift of Iraqi Jews was in 2006. Rabbi Emad Levy, Baghdad's last rabbi, was last to leave. He described life there as “living in a prison.”
It’s with a heavy heart to see reports of what ethnic minorities are going through in these countries today. From the Christians to the Kurds to the Yazidis. And, let us not forget, peace-loving Muslims as well. May God help them.
It was the same thing in Syria and Algeria – modern Arab states in which I also have roots. In fact, in Syria, it was arguably worse because the persecution spread over a long period of time for those Jews who couldn’t get out. My grandmother did. She paid a Druze with some gold left to her by her deceased mother and came to Israel when it was still part of the Mandate. She was just 16 years old. And she was terrified, but left without recourse. She left the same year that Syria declared independence – 1946.
Ruins of the Central Synagogue in Aleppo, Syria following 1947 pogrom
Attacks against Jews and their property were regular occurrences. They often culminated in bloody pogroms. A pogrom in 1947, for example, left all Aleppo Jewish-owned shops and synagogues in ruins. The Jews were declared "enemies of the government." Thousands of Jews fled that year, despite the Syrian government’s threats of imprisonment and murder against all those who dared to try to escape. As they escaped, local Muslims and authorities seized Jewish homes and properties. There would be nothing to go back to, though some tried (and failed) to go back in order to sell off assets.
Not everyone was so lucky.
Our family members experienced torture at the hands of Hafez al-Assad’s regime. My mother’s cousins were stuck in Damascus until the 1990s. I was far too young to comprehend it at the time, but today I understand that before they were freed, they had been prisoners in their country. They could be arrested on a whim and tortured. One male relative was tortured for years, accused of crimes against the government.
One female cousin never got out of Damascus. We don’t know what became of her.
And, in Algeria, it was expected that angry Arabs would take their frustrations out on Algerian Jews. There is a common thread here. North African Jewry also experienced concentration camps during WWII. In Libya, at the time an Italian colony, thousands of Jews experienced labor camps and concentration camps. Close to 600 died in these camps from hunger and disease. A special concentration camp for Jews had been established in Vichy-controlled Morocco. The Jews of Algeria were French citizens at the time, but were stripped of their rights, required to wear a mark identifying their religion, and subjected to admission quotas, even in primary schools. In Morocco, anti-Jewish laws were less rigorously enforced. However, Jews had civil rights but were not citizens of France. When the German army entered Tunisia together with a SS unit, they were tasked with applying anti-Jewish policy. Tunisia’s Jews were saved because in early 1943, military developments forced the Germans to retreat.
Jews of North Africa were far luckier than those in Europe, but the end goal was identical – to annihilate the Jewish people.
My family is indigenous to the Middle East. They are from communities that struggled. Many immigrated to a new country, expecting a land of milk and honey, but finding a miserably poor, new country created from the spoils of the Turkish Empire. Many of these people lived in transit camps for years. They helped to build a country that was poor and barely habitable. They were refugees with a plight that has gone largely unnoticed. But don’t think for a minute that they didn’t talk about what they went through. We just have to listen to them – especially now, when time is running out and so many within my grandparents’ generation are slowly passing away.
Thank you, Jerry, for taking an interest in this subject. It’s dear to my heart, especially now that all of my grandparents have passed away (prematurely). I promise, for their memories, never to shy away from sharing their experiences. It’s what they would have wanted.
Ms Reut Cohen Cohen is a Los Angeles-based communications expert, photographer, and adjunct professor.She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Irvine and a Masters degree from the University of Southern California. More information can be found at her Facebook page https://facebook.com/reutrcohen and Website: www.reutrorycohen.com
College Commencement Season Makes You Think Of Only One Thing
It's Huxley College, with its ineffable President and faculty members, deliberately eliciting the same response -- hilarity -- that most, or almost all, or possibly even all, college commencements in these United States unwittingly do today.
Reut Cohen: Evidence of Islamic Antisemitism at the University of California at Irvine
In our NER June article, “How One Southern California Jewish Federation undermines Student Zionism at a State University, “a former Anteater for Israel (AFI) leader and University of California at Irvine (UCI) alumna, Reut Rory Cohen discussed the abuses of her and other AFI members by members of the Muslim Students Union. However, Muslim extremist speakers who spoke during MSU-sponsored Israel Apartheid Awareness weeks provided the evidence. What follows is an excerpt from an NER interview with Ms. Cohen providing evidence and context for what she witnessed during her undergraduate career as an AFI leader.
Reut Rory Cohen
Jerry Gordon: Under your leadership at AFI what actions occurred during what was Israel Apartheid Awareness week (IAAEW), now renamed Anti-Zionism Week, sponsored by the Muslim Student Union and Students for Justice in Palestine?
Reut Cohen: Speakers ranged from Amir Abdel Malik Ali to Ward Churchill. As you can probably gather, a lot of defrocked academics and radicals serve as MSU/SJP speakers.
Abdul Alim Musa and Amir Abdel Malik Ali, two radical imams, are no strangers to UC Irvine where they regularly spread their seething hatred of America, Israel and Jews on behalf of the Muslim Student Union. These speakers are involved with the As-Sabiqun movement which aims for Islamic revivalism and enabling Islam to take "complete control of ... the lives of all human beings on Earth.”
It may be worth noting that two days before 9/11 -- at a Sept. 9, 2001 fundraiser at UC Irvine on behalf of the cop-killer Jamil Al-Amin -- Musa said: “Imam Jamil coined a phrase, and that phrase meant this: ‘If you don't give us justice. If you don't give us equality. If you don't give us our share of America. If you don't stay out of our way and leave us alone, we’re gonna burn America down.”
During a May 9, 2007 “Islamic Revival” event at UC Irvine Musa discussed his belief that the U.S. carried out the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon:
When you hear about some bomber that blew up the World Trade Center or blew up this or blew up that, I'm telling you brothers and sisters, that is your CIA. That is your government blowing up people, blaming it on us … Didn't Adolf Hitler burn the Reichstag, blame it on the people and he became the Fuhrer and what happened? He could suspend civil liberties. And he could wipe out and he could war against all of his enemies. That's what Adolf Hitler did, isn't that right? He burned the Reichstag himself.... They blew up the World Trade Center, blamed it on us, and then come out with the PATRIOT Act and all these criminal laws. Right?
At the same event, Musa said:
Who ran the slave trade … who funded [it]? You’ll study and you will find out: the Jews … It was the Jewish bankers … in Vienna, with pockets full of money, funding and insuring, that’s who did it…. you can’t tell us about no holocaust. Between the African Americans and the Native Americans, everybody else’s stuff was [supposedly] small potatoes [according to Jews].
Some notable quotes from Malik-Ali moments during my UCI student days:
The enemies of Islam know that when we come back to power we’re gonna check ’em.
Stay conscious and ask Allah to raise the Muslims and give us victory over the disbeliever.
When it’s all over, the only one standing is gonna be us [Muslims].
Sooner or later, today’s Muslim students will be the parents of Muslim children. And they should be militants.
Neo-cons are all Zionist Jews.
Israelis ought to return to Germany, to Poland, to Russia. The Germans should hook y’all up. You [Israelis] should go back to Germany.
In America, you’re mostly fighting with your tongue, but you should also learn how to fight with the sword.
The group these gentlemen are involved with is outrageous. Founded in the early 1990s by Imam Abdul Alim Musa, As-Sabiqun (whose name means “The Vanguard” in Arabic) is a Sunni endeavor that seeks, through “an organized Islamic movement,” to establish Islam “as a complete way of life in America” -- “in total, complete, and uncompromised service of Allah.”
On July 4, 1994, As-Sabiqun enumerated its major organizational objectives in a document that stated, most notably:
We resolve to work with other communities (movements) … toward the end of harnessing the power of Muslims and their resources for the purpose of reestablishing the system of governance known as Khilafah, or the Caliphate, patterned after the leadership exemplified by Prophet Muhammad.
We resolve to utilize all the tools of Islam to develop an analysis and plan of action to totally and completely obliterate the hold of jahiliyyah [spiritual ignorance] and enable Islam to take complete control of our lives, and ultimately, the lives of all human beings on Earth.
We resolve to shape the ideas, beliefs, and moral viewpoints of the people into an Islamic mold. Toward this end we will … develop the comprehensive educational system that is necessary to inform, inspire, and direct the society toward Islamic revolution (or evolution).
We resolve to make Islam a living force by challenging and breaking the hold of social and political forces seeking to suppress and destroy Islam.
As-Sabiqun’s major ideological influences include the writings and crusades of Malcolm X, Maulana Mawdudi, Shaikh ‘Uthman dan Fodio, Sayyid Qutb, Kalim Siddiqui, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna.
Though As-Sabiqun is a Sunni entity, it has publicly voiced support for such Shi’a movements and organizations as the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah. According to Abdul Alim Musa, Muslims today ought not to engage in the "counter-productive" habit of focusing on the differences between Sunni and Shi’a Islam; rather, they should aim to unite in their struggle against non-Muslims."
Reut Rory Cohen is a Los Angeles-based communications expert, photographer, and adjunct professor. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Irvine and a master's degree from the University of Southern California.More information can be found at her Facebook page https://facebook.com/reutrcohen and Website: www.reutrorycohen.com
The story of the Indian-American winners at this year's, last year's, the year before last and the year before that (und so weiter) here. It's an outlet and a sweet focus of attention on the part of young immigrant strivers.
One question immediately comes to some minds: But where are the similarly striving children of immigrant Chinese? To which a moment's thought provides the answer: some of those Chinese immigrants are still learning English, while the strivers among the Indian-American immigrants already have English.
But I have a different question. Why are all (judging by the names)of the Indian-American winners who are Hindus (or possibly, in some cases, Christian or Jain) or "of Hindu background"? I don't see a single name that suggests Islam to me. The educated Muslims (all those engineers and doctors we hear so much about for the supposed "ease" with which they integrate into American society, an attempt to suggest that under American conditions -- as opposed to those in Europe -- Muslim immigrants are far from being immiscible) who arrive from the subcontinent or England, surely speak English just as educated Hindus do. Is it possible that the indifference to anything outside of Islam, an indifference that Islam itself encourages or even inculcates, has something to do with this paucity or possible absence of Muslim spelling-bee-ers?
Question for study and discussion.
Meanwhile, just see if you can spell "naprapathy." And if you get that right, try "pseudocusis," then "moxibustion," then "geheimrat," then -- oh gosh, under the circumstances, this will be too easy -- "satyagraha."
Bikers to Hold Draw Mohammed Contest at Phoenix Mosque During Friday Prayers
Let the predictable Muslim victimization narrative begin. No doubt the police will be there to protect the mosque and harass the bikers. This protest is called Freedom of Speech Rally Round II.
On Friday, May 29, 2015, a group of bikers in Arizona plan to host an anti-Islam demonstration outside of the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix. Dubbed as “Freedom of Speech Rally Round 2,” a reference to American blogger Pamela Geller’s ‘Draw Muhammad’ cartoon contest in Garland, Texas earlier this month, the event, organized on Facebook, is described as a “response to the recent attack in Texas where 2 armed terrorists with ties to ISIS, attempted to kill a bunch of people.”
Prior to gathering outside of the mosque, the motorcyclists say they’ll meet in a nearby Denny’s parking lot, where they’ll have a “Muhammad cartoon contest.” They plan to take the images of Islam’s prophet to the Islamic Community Center at 6:15 that evening — a time when the Muslim community is expected to gather inside.
The rally’s organizer, Jon Ritzheimer, has called on the group to “to utilize there [sic] second amendment right at this event just incase our first amendment comes under the much anticipated attack.” He warns on the event’s Facebook page that the mosque is “a known place that the 2 terrorist [sic] frequented.” The would-be ambushers of Pamela Geller’s event in Garland are said to have worshiped there.
As of this morning, 660 people had signed up to attend the Phoenix rally.
Is the State Department Taking Seriously Reports of North Korea-Iranian Nuclear Cooperation?
North Korean Sohae Missile Launch site, November 2012
At today’s State Department Daily Press Briefing, spokesperson Jeff Rathke was asked by Matt Lee, AP White House correspondent about reports by the Paris-based Iranian dissident group, the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI) about alleged North Korean meetings in Iran alleging discussions over nuclear program cooperation an ICBM developments. Reuters reported the NCRI group allegation that:
Citing information from sources inside Iran, including within Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Paris-based NCRI said a seven-person North Korean Defense Ministry team was in Iran during the last week of April. This was the third time in 2015 that North Koreans had been to Iran and a nine-person delegation was due to return in June, it said.
"The delegates included nuclear experts, nuclear warhead experts and experts in various elements of ballistic missiles including guidance systems," the NCRI said.
In response to AP’s Lee question Rathke said, “We are taking these allegations very seriously” citing various UN Security Council Resolutions sanctioning the proliferation behavior of the DPRK. That led Lee and other correspondents to inquire whether this would impact the current P5+1 negotiations in Vienna seeking to conclude a comprehensive Joint Plan of Action by June 30th. We posted yesterday that France’s Foreign Minister demanding that Iran agree to UN IAEA inspectors be given full access to military facilities for verification of prior developments.
Watch this C-SPAN video clip on the exchanges between State Department Jeff Rathke and AP’s Lee and other reporters at today’s Press Briefing:
The Reuters report gave indications of previous unverified reports about such cooperation between the DPRK and Iran:
The NCRI said the North Korean delegation was taken secretly to the Imam Khomenei complex, a site east of Tehran controlled by the Defense Ministry. It gave detailed accounts of locations and who the officials met.
It said the delegation dealt with the Center for Research and Design of New Aerospace Technology, a unit of nuclear weaponization research, and a planning center called the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, which is under U.S. sanctions.
Reuters could not independently verify the allegations.
"Tehran has shown no interest in giving up its drive to nuclear weapons. The weaponization program is continuing and they have not slowed down the process," NCRI spokesman Shahin Gobadi said.
U.N. watchdog the IAEA, which for years has investigated alleged nuclear arms research by Tehran, declined to comment. North Korean officials were not available for comment.
Several Western officials said they were not aware of a North Korean delegation traveling to Iran recently.
A Western diplomat said there had been proven military cooperation between Iran and North Korea in the past.
North Korean and Iranian officials meet in the course of general diplomacy. On April 23, Kim Yong Nam, North Korea’s ceremonial head of state and Iran's president held a rare meeting on the sidelines of the Asian-African summit in Jakarta.
My colleague Ilana Freedman and this writer have reported on Iranian and DPRK on both nuclear and ICBM developments and nuclear tests in NER and Iconoclast posts. In a March 2014, NER, article, “Has Iran Developed Nuclear Weapons in North Korea”, we cited Freedman reporting:
According to my sources, Iran began moving its bomb manufacturing operations from Iran to North Korea in December 2012. Two facilities near Nyongbyon in North Pyongan province, some 50 miles north of Pyongyang, have become a new center for Iran’s nuclear arms program.
Over the last year, Iran has been secretly supplying raw materials to the reactor at Nyongbyon for the production of plutonium. At a second facility, located about fifteen miles north and with a code name that translates to ‘Thunder God Mountain’, nuclear warheads are being assembled and integrated with MIRV platforms. MIRVs are offensive ballistic missile systems that can support multiple warheads, each of which can be aimed at an independent target, but are all launched by a single booster rocket. Approximately 250-300 Iranian scientists are now reported to be in North Korea, along with a small cadre of IRGC personnel to provide for their security.
According to the reports, the Iranian-North Korean collaboration has already produced the first batch of fourteen nuclear warheads. A dedicated fleet of Iranian cargo aircraft, a combination of 747′s and Antonov heavy-lifters, which has been ferrying personnel and materials back and forth between Iran and North Korea, is in place to bring the assembled warheads back to Iran.
In a June 2014, Iconoclast post, “Does Iran/ North Korean Nuclear & ICBM Development Preclude A P5+1 Agreement?” we cited a Wall Street Journal report by Claudia Rosett, journalist in residence at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, , Iran Could Outsource Its Nuclear –Weapons Program to North Korea. Rosett commented:
The pieces have long been in place for nuclear collaboration between the two countries. North Korea and Iran are close allies, drawn together by decades of weapons deals and mutual hatred of America and its freedoms. Weapons-hungry Iran has oil; oil-hungry North Korea makes weapons. North Korea has been supplying increasingly sophisticated missiles and missile technology to Iran since the 1980s, when North Korea hosted visits by Hasan Rouhani (now Iran's president) and Ali Khamenei (Iran's supreme leader since the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989).
Rosett in the WSJ op ed lays out the case for what the NER article demonstrated was a plausible means of evading sanctions. The evidence for that we noted was North Korean/ Iranian cooperation with Assad’s Syria creating a plutonium reactor on the Euphrates at Al Kibar destroyed by Israel’s Air Force in September 2007. We drew attention to Iranian/ North Korean joint development of large rocket boosters sufficient to loft nuclear MIRV warheads and the likelihood that Iran might have that capability within a few years. In June 2014, The Algemeinerreported an Iranian official announcing that it possessed a 5,000 kilometer (approximately 3,125 miles) range missile that could hit the strategic base of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean:
“In the event of a mistake on the part of the United States, their bases in Bahrain and (Diego) Garcia will not be safe from Iranian missiles,” said an Iranian Revolutionary Guard adviser to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Majatba Dhualnuri.
In an April 15, 2015, Iconoclast post, “Obama Administration Knew of Illegal North Korea Missile Technology Transfers to Iran During Talks” we reported:
Bill Gertz has a blockbuster expose in today’s Washington Free Beacon of something we have been hammering away for years: the technology transfer of missile and nuclear technology between North Korea and the Iran, “North Korea Transfers Missile Goods to Iran During Nuclear Talks.” The stunning disclosure was that US intelligence has known about the illegal transfer in violation of UN arms sanctions, as apparently did the Obama Administration. You recall the statement that Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman made before a Senate hearing in early 2014. Sherman said, “that if Iran can’t get the bomb then its ballistic missiles would be irrelevant.”
Gertz went on to report:
Since September more than two shipments of missile parts have been monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies as they transited from North Korea to Iran, said officials familiar with intelligence reports who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Details of the arms shipments were included in President Obama’s daily intelligence briefings and officials suggested information about the transfers was kept secret from the United Nations, which is in charge of monitoring sanctions violations.
While the CIA declined to comment on these allegations claiming classified information, others, Gertz queried said that “such transfers were covered by the Missile Technology Control Regime, a voluntary agreement among 34 nations that limits transfers of missiles and components of systems with ranges of greater than 186 miles.”
One official said the transfers between North Korea and Iran included large diameter engines, which could be used for a future Iranian long-range missile system.
The compilation of these reports and today's exchange at the State Department Press Briefing clearly raises the ante as to why in one reporter’s query, ‘our negotiators” haven’t simply asked Foreign Minister Zarif in Vienna is there such cooperation going on, backed up by the intelligence reports cited by Gertz and others? Our suspicion is that French Foreign Minister Fabius has better feed on Iranian nuclear and ICBM developments than our CIA. Or more likely is the Obama West Wing suggesting not to believe those lying reports in the President's Daily Intelligence Briefing? After all, President Obama, Secretary Kerry and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman want nothing to stand in the way of an agreement with Iran, even it means evading the truth. Stay tuned for developments.
March Of Lycee Students In Support Of Freedom Of Expression
A student in a lycee wrote, last January, in support of Charlie-Hebdo. For his pains he received seven death threats from Muslims, some of those missives apparently containing -- ah! le bon billet de Castres! had nothing in common with them -- bullets by way of additional Muslim menace. Now there's been a rally, in support of this student who now must study at home, by fellow lyceens.
Great business news from Israel this week. Israel has become a veritable cyber ware super power. According to Ha’aretz, sales of computer and network security technology reached more than $6 billion in 2014, accounting for 10% of the global $60 billion market place. The other great news was the resignation on Monday, May 25th of Dr. David Gilo, head of the independent Israel Antitrust Authority. In his statement Gilo said:
My decision is a result of a number of considerations, most importantly the report that the cabinet, particularly the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources, will do everything they can to push forward the currently emerging structure in the natural gas sector. I am convinced that such a structure will not lead to competition in this important market, and could possibly detract from the independence of the Antitrust Authority, a matter of public importance, and harm its ability to carry out unilateral measures
He had single handedly brought to a halt the development of Israel’s important off shore gas fields by the Israel-US partnership, Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) and Houston based Noble Energy , Inc. (NBL-NYSE) . The partnership had put up $6 billion in risk capital to develop the country’s offshore gas fields, achieving energy security, creating a potential wealth producing export market. Gilo stopped development of the giant Leviathan field in December 2014 when he reneged on a compromise deal reached earlier last year involving selling two existing smaller fields developed by the partners offshore in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). While he resigned on Monday, May 25th, he won’t be departing until the end of August, 2015. Allegedly that would give him time to clean up his other consumerist initiatives. However, many believe based on his statement his real agenda was to take pot shots at the compromise plan being floated by the Ministries of Finance, Energy and Infrastructure, backed by Prime Minister Netanyahu for good and sound national security reasons. A legal opinion from the State’s attorney General provided authority for the government to develop and conclude the proposed agreement with the development partners. According to Globes, Israel Business, the compromise plan:
Requires Delek Group, Ltd. to sell all of its holdings in the Tamar natural gas reservoir within six years. Noble Energy, Delek Group's partner will be required to reduce its holdings in Tamar from 36% to 25%, and will be barred from marketing gas from the Leviathan reservoir to Israel. At the same time, the agreement leaves Noble Energy with control of both reservoirs as the company operating them.
As we have written in both NER articles and Iconoclast posts Gilo was seeking to do the impossible. To create competition by forcing the sale of one of the two major fields, the Tamar, hoping to induce foreign competitors to make investments for the completion of the giant Leviathan gas field and thereby lowering energy prices through competition. Problem with that misguided view was there were few if any takers. Further, it put into jeopardy signed agreements for delivery of gas from the existing Tamar field with the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Jordan. Moreover the government killed a potential minority investment by Australian energy development firm, Woodside, PTY for development of LNG from the Leviathan field and delivery to the Asian market. As a result, Nobel is presently working with the Republic of Cyprus to develop an LNG processing and distribution complex to link up with the Republic’s Aphrodite offshore gas field adjacent to that of Israel’s Leviathan.
In the run up to the March 17th, Knesset elections, it was apparent that Gilo was grandstanding perhaps hoping that the Zionist Union opposition might win. If that occurred he could pursue his consent decree proposal accusing the partners of being a monopoly in violation of Israeli basic law. Instead, Gilo and entourage took off for a junket to Holland to see how the Netherlands handled their off shore gas fields development.
It quickly became apparent that the Netanyahu government was not going to abide by this high handed patently political move by Gilo. At stake is more than $76 billion in potential tax revenues that might be used to offset burdensome national and other social program expenditures .
Prior to Gilo’s resignation, the Netanyahu government reached out to Professor Eitan Sheshinski at Hebrew University who had developed the original tax plan in 2010 to produce revenues from oil and gas developments both onshore and offshore. Sheshinski was appointed as adviser to Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who he had worked with in the development of the original tax plan. He suggested in a Globes Israel Business interview that liquidation of the Tamar field ownership would not lower prices. Additionally he said that Gilo’s original intent of controlling prices was unproductive. Sheshinski was cited by Globes saying:
All in all, today's price is reasonable by the standards of Europe, and certainly at the level of the Far East. The price of gas in Europe is $8-10 per energy unit, and is about $15 in the Far East. Delek Drilling Limited Partnership (TASE: DEDR.L) and Avner Oil and Gas LP (TASE: AVNR.L) today reported that the average gas price in Israel in the first quarter of 2015 was $5.45 per energy unit.
Sheshinski also asserted that controls over natural gas prices might do more harm than good. "Controls give a lot of authority to a bureaucratic system, and experience does not justify optimism," he said, adding, "I don't see how the regulator in Israel can adapt himself to the many changes occurring worldwide in gas prices. You have to keep this as far as possible from the bureaucratic and political system."
Globesnoted the Finance Ministry’s compromise proposal for ‘soft pricing’:
The state proposed that the price of gas in future contracts be a weighted average of gas prices in the contracts that have already been signed in Israel.
Sheshinski’s assessment of the Gilo’s objective , liquidating the monopoly, that a duopoly would enhance price competition was wrongheaded:
Both global experience and economic theory explicitly state that anyone who thinks that a duopoly will cause perfect competition is wrong. In this matter, you also can rely on our experience in Israel. In a duopoly, the controlling shareholders have a common interest… some claim that a duopoly's prices are even worse than those of a monopoly.
He went on to address the current international markets impacted by a spike in US oil and gas fracking production:
In my opinion, the goal is to ensure that gas prices in Israel are not different from those prevailing in similar countries around the world. A revolution is now taking place in global energy prices. The US is becoming the world's biggest oil producer, and both oil and gas prices are on a downtrend. In my opinion, this trend will continue, and our goal should be not to pay more than the reasonable prices of countries in a similar situation with respect to gas reservoirs.
Another expert who happened to be in Eilat, Israel at an international conference this week was a law partner from the Washington, DC firm of Greenberg Traurig, Global Energy & Infrastructure Practice co-chairman, Kenneth Minesinger, “legal advisor of the Alaska state government in its negotiations with the oil and gas companies.” Minesinger had these comments in a Globes interview:
I've been advising the Alaskan government how to negotiate with the gas companies for decades. Like in Israel, two major reservoirs were discovered in Alaska: Prudhoe Bay and Point Thomson. The population there is small, and the gas industry is controlled by three companies.
Both Alaska and Israel are now trying to find out how to negotiate with the gas companies in a way that will safeguard the interests of the state and its residents, together with the gas companies' interests.
I think that it's necessary to act quickly in order to ensure development of the Leviathan reservoir, but hasty action motivated by panic isn't the right way. What's involved is an agreement that will ensure Israel hundreds of billions of shekels in revenue over the years, and serious consideration and the necessary time must therefore be devoted to this matter. In contrast to Alaska, the development project for the Leviathan reservoir is simple, but it is still difficult for an inexperienced country like Israel.
Minesinger pointed out that long term contracts must include development of a network of adequately sized pipelines connecting fields that are developed. Further, he suggested that pricing in such agreements should be formulaic and not based on a fixed single point basis. To overcome suspicions that developing companies might earn excessive profits Minesinger suggested distribution of profit sharing checks to Israel’s citizens akin to what Alaska presently does. He has also proposed to Alaska possible consideration of a state owned gas company.
The final comment on this week’s developments in the wake of the resignation of IAA head, Gilo, came in a Globes op ed from Norman Bailey, former Reagan national security aide and Haifa University policy expert, citing lessons learned:
The resignation of Prof. Gilo as head of the Antitrust Authority is undoubtedly good news. His reneging last December on the agreement he had made with the natural gas companies Noble, Delek and Ratio the preceding March had thrown the whole development of Israel’s offshore natural gas resources into confusion. The matter had already been badly handled by the government, which had driven out the Australian company Woodside, and Gilo’s retraction had put at risk the economic, financial and geo-political benefits of the gas discoveries. The government, after an unacceptable earlier draft, finally crafted a new, acceptable proposal over Gilo’s objections, which prompted his resignation. The lessons to be learned here are twofold: regulation is necessary but should not dominate at the expense of other relevant considerations; and agreements made should be honored, unless circumstances change fundamentally, which was not the case. Israel as a magnet for investment has been preserved.
We await announcement of an acceptable compromise plan to the parties involved to end this episode once again illustrating that rule of law must reflect economic market realities.
The Dalai Lama, A Long-Time Apologist For Islam, Can't Understand Aung San Suu Kyi
The Dalai Lama has a history of one-way dialogues with Muslims, in which he keeps saying the same thing: don't judge Muslims by a violent and unrepresentative (how does he know they are "unrepresentative"? what does he know about the texts, tenets, attitudes, atmospherics of Islam?) minority, and so on.
And over the past two years, qua Buddhist, and just yesterday, he has presumed to preach to Aung San Suu Kyi about the so-called "Rohingyas" (the Muslim Bengalis who, beginning in the period of British Burma and British India, drifted into Burma) and to "deplore" -- how happy the New York Times must have been to report this -- what he, and of course all right-thinking people, find to be her strange silence. But her silence is not strange, but admirable. She has said to the Dalai Lama, he complains, that things "are not so simple," that they are "more complicated" than he thinks.
What everyone is missing is that Aung San Suu Kyi is a very intelligent, strong-willed lady. And she will not be stampeded into what the herd demands of her -- that she "denounce the Burmese monks" for their "mistreatment of the Rohingyas." Her late husband, Dr. Michael Aris, taught at Oxford. He was a friend and colleague of the Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford, Ernst Gombrich's son Richard. And Richard Gombrich's son was also a friend of the late David McCutchion, whose field of special study were the temples and art of Bengal. And it was David McCutchion who saw what Muslims had done to Buddhists and Buddhist monuments, temples, stelae, statuary, in Bengal; it was David McCutchion who expressed the wish that Pakistan had never existed.
Aung San Suu Kyi doesn't need any lessons either from the Dali Lama, or from the editors of The New York Times, about Burma and the "Rohingyas." She knows something about them. And that distinguishes her from the undifferentiated mass or herd that is supposed to speak for the "international community" (as in "the international community deplores the behavior of the Burmese government toward the Rohingyas.")
She may ultimately succumb to such pressure but for now, she is standing firm, secure in her superior knowledge. She is, for this withstanding, to be admired and praised and, whenever possible, emulated.
The "Rohingyas" -- that's the name the Muslims from Bengal (that is, both West Bengal, and Bangladesh), who had a lot to do with first installing Bengalis in northern Burma, and then, after the British left, they continued to drift in -- are not part of this distinctive Burmese culture. They bring with them, they cling to as their sole identity, they defend and wish to promote, if they can, Islam. Burma, Burmese culture, so wedded to Buddhism, means nothing to them and they have no interest in the monuments or artifacts of Burmese culture.
The surprisingly informative Wikipedia entry on the "Rohingyas" quotes scholars such as Professor Andrew Selth, who support the Burmese contention that these people are self-named Bengali Muslims:
"Jacques P. Leider states that in precolonial sources, the term Rohingya, in the form of Rooinga appears only once in a text written by Francis Buchanan-Hamilton. In his 1799 article “A Comparative Vocabulary of Some of the Languages Spoken in the Burma Empire,” Hamilton stated: "I shall now add three dialects, spoken in the Burma Empire, but evidently derived from the language of the Hindu nation. The first is that spoken by the Mohammedans, who have long settled in Arakan, and who call themselves Rooinga, or natives of Arakan."
After riots in 2012, academic authors used the term Rohingya to refer to the Muslim community in northern Rakhine. Professor Andrew Selth of Griffith University for example, uses "Rohingya" but states "These are Bengali Muslims who live in Arakan State...most Rohingyas arrived with the British colonialists in the 19th and 20th centuries."Among the overseas Rohingya community, the term has been gaining popularity since the 1990s, though a considerable portion of Muslims in northern Rakhine are unfamiliar with the term and prefer to use alternatives.
Now about that Burmese culture that the monks, frightened at the spectacle of what the demographic explosion of Muslims wherever they have been let in has meant for the indigenous non-Muslims, are so concerned to protect -- for there is only one Burma -- here's something that I just ran across, for example, at a website about paper-making:
"Also on display is this paper made painstakingly from bamboo fiber with incredibly long preparation times. The paper is so specialized that the common person will never see this paper or know of its existence.
The wall text provided describes this incredible process:
This special bamboo paper is made for the process of beating bold into gold leaf. In Burma, the thin strips of gold are beaten by hand until they become so thin that the gold becomes translucent. The fold is beaten on a very strong substrate, which is the bamboo paper. A sandwich of paper, gold, paper, gold, etc. is made covered in deer skin, and then pounded with a 9 pound hammer for hours.
The lengthy and curious process of making the bamboo paper begins with retting the bamboo strips in lime for 3-6 years! Next it is boiled for 24 hours! Then it is beaten for 15 days! After a few more steps, the paper is finally made and it takes 20 minutes to make one sheet. The sheet is next cut into small squares, and then burnished with pointed sticks on a convex metal plate until the paper becomes translucent. This steps takes place underground. Finally the paper is sent to the goldbeating house where a thin piece of gold is placed on each sheet until a packet is made of about 600 sheets of paper interleaved with gold. Next it is beaten into gold leaf.
The only people that ever see this truly incredible paper are the people that work in the goldbeating house!
Should the Burmese be expected to accept this business of the "Rohingya people" -- so akin to that of the "Palestinian people" in its propagandistic value and essential emptiness -- in order to satisfy the likes of the Malaysian writer Thaw An, who may be of Chinese descent (he studied in Taiwan) but has become, in this matter, more Malaysian than the Malays -- or is he simply a Muslim Malay, determined to ignore the rights and claims of the indigenous people of Burma?
A senior female commander from Islamic State has told Sky News she has no doubt that three London teenagers who crossed into Syria in February were groomed by a team of social media experts in Raqqa.
The woman, who calls herself Um Asmah and who defected from IS just days ago, was the first person to contact foreign girls crossing the border. Her job was to introduce the new recruits to life under Islamic State's strict and brutal regime.
In her first interview, she says she was surprised by how young and naive Shamima Begum, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase were.
The 22-year-old says it was clear that while the girls were happy, they were unprepared for living life permanently veiled. One of the girls revealed her face to a driver and was immediately reprimanded and lectured on etiquette.
Um Asmah, whose relatives are senior IS commanders, says she delivered the girls to a base in Raqqa where they are now undergoing a four-month training regime for "special missions". Foreign fighters are taught to fight and oversee missions in Syria and Iraq - but with a specific plan, now revealed for the first time, to travel back to Europe and carry out attacks there.
Speaking in a secret location in Turkey, she says it is possible fighters are already being trained in Europe, but she confirmed most of the training was in Syria.
She says she is unsure where the girls are now, but doubts they have been married off to IS fighters "unless they wanted to". Asked if the girls will be allowed to return home, she said they will "never" go home and are more likely to "die in Iraq or Syria".
Sky News has obtained exclusive pictures inside the headquarters of the IS propaganda and grooming machine - an internet cafe where IS foreign fighters work shifts coordinated to timezones around the world where they have influence over specific nationalities.
Um Asmah says IS has a well-structured grooming system that can psychologically target vulnerable youngsters like the three British girls. "IS have the ability to manipulate the minds of young people. If they can convince foreigners, it is even easier to convince Arabs and Syrians.They have freedom and everything is available - they have no need to come to Syria but they do."
The woman says the girls are special to IS, but are not stars as they have plenty more girls from around the world - with more joining every month.
The fate of the three London girls has already been decided by the terror group, she says: "Everything is already decided for you and you cannot evade it or refuse it. You cannot have a mind of your own, you have to follow their orders."
In Yemen, The State Department Did What It Should To Prevent Visa Fraud
Here is an article by Tim Arango in The New York Times, on the supposed anguish of "Yemeni-Americans" who have had difficulties with holding onto their passports, or using them for travelling back and forth to Yemen, because of what is claimed to be, apparently, unwarranted mistrust by consular officials.
But the mistrust is not unwarranted. The article itself refers to the long and wide history of fraud in the obtaining of visas by people -- sous-entendu Muslims -- in the Middle East. . The article might have gone into details about the size of the fraud -- the false names given, sometimes in order to establish a phony family connection (the phony family reunification business, especially with Somalis, has been exposed through DNA testing but little done to send back the fake family members who managed to get themselves admitted), sometimes to hide a connection to groups or movements that American officials rightly worry about, sometimes to be able to get a passport in a false name that will be even easier, at a later date, to pass on, for money, to another person, by using the equivalent of "John Smith," which, given the handful of Muslim names, is not hard.
Note the photograph of Mohamed's sweet-faced grandchildren, playing -- what possible harm could come from them, or from their done-wrong-by grandpa -- those little girls whose inner Islam has not yet taken effect and transformed them into potential dangers to the people and the government of the United States, for the ideology of Islam and its effect on the minds of its adherents does not come out in such photographs, and besides, they are still children, and people -- grandpas, grandchildren -- are the same the whole world over.
And do not fail to note the last sentence, the one where "Mohamed" ringingly declares, as Tariq Ramadan does, as so many Muslims do, with an air of triumphant fanality, that "we are here, we are a mountain, we are part of the American landscape, we cannot be moved." How do you feel when you read that last sentence?
Oh, and one more thing. "Mohamed" claims he was "coerced" into "acknowledging" the fraud on his original visa application. But the article nowhere says, and "Mohamed" nowhere claims, that he did not, in fact, lie on his original visa application. In other words, he did lie, and the whole story is about someone who doesn't like the fact that the American government caused him to acknowledge that fraud.
That indignation at being forced to own up to his fraud, the State Department's recognition that the whole visa and greencard problem, not only in Yemen, but in all the Muslim lands, is rife with fraud (and this is true for all Western governments), the way in which his tale is told to evoke sympathy but should leave the intelligent reader cold, that Ramzi Kassem, the American Muslim eager to exploit the American legal system (so different from what the adherents of Shari'a admire), and who flings about a phrase -- "extrajudicial punishment" -- which is ordinarily used for executions -- grotesquely appling it to the attempt by American officials to enforce the government's immigration laws and regulations, the employment of the word "Asian" to hide the fact that it is not "Asians" but "Muslims" who are the object of such great solicitousness on the part of some organizations pretending to have other interests, and the frightening triumphalism of the Yemeni, who managed to obtain his American citizenship through means that the American government says broke the law -- "In this country now,” he said, “we’re like a mountain that’s part of the landscape, and there’s no way anyone can uproot us.”" -- these are what the reader will find, unless he is prepared to drop a ready tear on behalf of all of these complaining Yemenis, or "Yemeni-Americans," stay in the mind.