Posts Tagged ‘Safe Havens’

McCain resolution calls for safe zones and arming the Syrian opposition

by Josh Rogin on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

This is article 651 of 1228 in the topic International

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and five like-minded lawmakers unveiled a new resolution on Syria Wednesday that calls for establishing safe zones inside Syria for civilians and support for arming the opposition against the regime of Bashar al Assad.

The non-binding resolution stops short of calling for direct U.S. military intervention in Syria, which McCain supports, and is meant to create a consensus on increasing U.S. support for the Syrian opposition that the greatest number of lawmakers can rally around. As of now, the resolution has six sponsors, mostly Republicans. In addition to McCain, they are Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and John Hoeven (R-ND).

The resolution expresses that the Senate “recognizes that the people of Syria have an inherent right to defend themselves against the campaign of violence being conducted by the Assad regime” and “supports calls by Arab leaders to provide the people of Syria with the means to defend themselves against Bashar al-Assad and his forces, including through the provision of weapons and other material support, and calls on the President to work closely with regional partners to implement these efforts effectively.”

The resolution also urges President Barack Obama to work with Middle East countries to develop plans for creating safe havens in Syria, which the senators feel “would be an important step to save Syrian lives and to help bring an end to Mr. Assad’s killing of civilians in Syria,” urges the president to hold Syrian officials accountable for atrocities, and supports the “Friends of the Syrian People” contact group, which will hold its second meeting Sunday in Turkey.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to attend that meeting, after a stop in Saudi Arabia, but don’t expect her to come out in support of the senators’ proposals. As The Cable reported earlier this month, the Obama administration is willing to provide non-lethal aid to the Syrian rebels and look the other way while other countries arm them… but that’s about it.

Some reports claim that the U.S. has already begun to provide communications equipment to the internal Syrian opposition and the U.S. has pledged $10 million in financial aid.

State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday that ongoing violence by the Assad regime showed a lack of progress but that the U.S. position, which is to support a political process that would see Assad step down, hasn’t changed.

“We will have the Friends of the Syrian People meeting this weekend. And I understand that Kofi Annan will also be making a report to the Security Council on Monday. So it’s incumbent on all of us to keep the pressure on Assad to meet the commitment that he’s made. And that’s our intention over the next few days,” she said.

On Tuesday, Clinton said she hopes the Assad regime will halt the violence so that a political process with the opposition — which she also urged to cease the use of force — can begin. “And I’m hoping that by the time I get to Istanbul on Sunday we will be in a position to acknowledge steps that the Assad regime and the opposition have both taken. We’re certainly urging that those occur,’ she said.

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Afghan Pedophilia: A way of life, say U.S. soldiers and journalists

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, January 19th, 2012

This is article 591 of 1228 in the topic International

Young boys are the prey of Afghan men on both sides of the war. Credit: News with Views/Paul Walter

Apologists say that Bacha Bazi or ‘Boy Play’ is a very old cultural practice in Afghanistan and part of that nation’s mainstream.

Citing the Afghanistan strategy review, Vice President Joe Biden reported “great progress” in the counterterrorism effort that has significantly degraded al-Qaeda and the Taliban, particularly their leadership. Lagging behind, he said, is progress on the counterinsurgency front – eliminating terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and building a stable Afghan government.

However, not once did Biden – nor Defense Secretary Leon Panetta — mention Afghanistan’s dirty secret – a large number of pedophiles and pederasts among the Afghan male population.

Pedophilia is a widely-accepted practice in southern Afghanistan, where “boys are given to older men for the sexual gratification of the elder and the sexual education of the child,” say many returning U.S. troops.

Afghans say pedophilia is most prevalent among Pashtun men in the south who comprise Afghanistan’s most important tribe.

Apologists say that Bacha Bazi or ‘Boy Play’ is a very old cultural practice in Afghanistan and part of that nation’s mainstream.

When U.S. officials such as President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta discuss the war in Afghanistan and make claims of success in that fledgling democracy, one issue that’s avoided is the widespread sexual intercourse between Afghan men and young boys. In non- diplomatic terms, Afghanistan is a haven for child rape, according to several American military officers just returning from the frontlines of the Global War on Terrorism.

In a country that is considered overly repressive due to its adherence to the precepts contained in the Muslim religion’s Koran, it’s difficult for American service members and diplomats to understand the fact that a large portion of the Afghan male population are pedophiles (adults who enjoy sexual contact with prepubescent children) or pederasts (adults who enjoy sexual relations with pubescent or post-pubescent children).

While Muslims in Iraq have on several occasions stoned homosexuals for their sexual activities, not all Muslims believe pedophilia is a violation of Sharia law.  Those who believe in the sacredness and infallibility of the Koran adhere to the teaching that women are sub-human and quasi-slaves, and therefore Muslim men will look for relationships — even sexual relationships — with others of their own gender.

According to Reuters, there is a lot of homosexuality going on in Afghanistan, but those engaging in it don’t think of themselves as gay, so that makes it okay since Islam officially disapproves of the gay and lesbian lifestyle.

“They regard themselves as non-gay because they don’t “love” the sex object so Allah is happy. These are the men who avoid their wives as unclean. Apparently there is very little love of any kind in Afghanistan, which explains a lot,” according to Reuters.

“Having a boy has become a custom for us,” Ena Yatullah, a 42-year-old in Baghlan province, told a Reuters reporter. “Whoever wants to show off should have a boy.” [. . .]

Sociologists and anthropologists say the problem results from a perverse interpretation of Islamic law. Women are simply unapproachable. Afghans cannot talk to an unrelated woman until after proposing marriage.

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Over 13,200 killed by terrorists in 11,500 attacks: State Department

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Yemen is fast becoming one of the world's major centers for Islamic terrorists. Credit: Global Security

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of State released its annual, U.S. Congress-mandated Country Reports on Terrorism 2010,  an assessment of incidents and trends in international terrorism that occurred between January 1 and December 31, 2010.

The statistics revealed that more than 11,500 terrorist attacks occurred in 72 nations during 2010, and there were more than 13,200 deaths attributed to terrorist attacks.

Besides filling a Congressional requirement, this analysis is aimed at enhancing Americans’ understanding of the international terrorist threat.

The report focuses on policy-related assessments, country-by-country breakdowns of foreign government counterterrorism cooperation, and contains information on WMD terrorism, State Sponsors of Terrorism, Terrorist Safe Havens, and Foreign Terrorist Organizations.The report also includes a statistical annex prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center.

Although the number of attacks rose by almost 5 percent from the previous year, the number of deaths declined for a third consecutive year, dropping 12 percent from 2009. For the second consecutive year, the largest number of reported attacks occurred in South Asia and the Near East, with more than 75 percent of the world’s attacks and deaths occurring in these regions.

According to the State Department analysts, Al-Qaeda (AQ) remained the preeminent terrorist threat to the United States in 2010. Though the AQ core in Pakistan has become weaker, it retained the capability to conduct regional and transnational attacks. Cooperation between AQ and Afghanistan- and Pakistan-based militants was critical to the threat the group posed.

In addition, the danger posed by Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LeT) and increased resource-sharing between AQ and its Pakistan-based allies and associates such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Haqqani Network meant the threat in South Asia remained high.

In addition, the affiliates have grown stronger. While AQ senior leadership continued to call for strikes on the U.S. homeland and to arrange plots targeted at Europe, the diversity of these efforts demonstrated the fusion of interests and the sharing of capabilities among AQ groups with different geographical focuses, the analysts found.

U.S. law enforcement saw the Pakistani Taliban provide support to American citizen Faisal Shahzad, who sought to carry out a car bombing in Times Square in May 2010. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) continued to demonstrate its growing ambitions and a strong desire to carry out attacks outside of its region. The group followed up its December 25, 2009 attempt to destroy an airliner bound for Detroit with an October 2010 effort to blow up several U.S.-bound airplanes by shipping bombs that were intended to detonate while in the planes’ cargo holds.

Information about potential AQ plots in Europe prompted several European countries to raise their terror alerts toward the end of the year. On December 11, a car bomb device was detonated minutes before Sweden’s first ever suicide bomber carried out an attack in a crowded pedestrian area in Stockholm, according to the State Department analysts.

Similarly, al-Shabaab in East Africa, some of whose senior leaders have declared adherence to the AQ brand of violent extremism, gained strength in 2010 and conducted its first major attack outside of Somalia in July when it claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings that killed 76 people in Kampala, Uganda, during the World Cup.

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Pakistan’s progress on counterterrorism, nonproliferation examined by U.S.

by Jim Kouri on Friday, July 29th, 2011

This is article 445 of 1228 in the topic International

“Since fiscal year 2002, the U.S. government has provided the Pakistani government almost $21 billion in assistance and reimbursements toward these goals.”

Pakistan is a nation considered duplicitous in its dealings with the U.S. and jihadists. Credit: DoD/American Forces Press Service

Whether U.S. government officials like it or not, Pakistan is central to U.S. efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and deny its resurgence in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, according to a government report released this week.

The United States has sought to secure these interests through counterterrorism and counterinsurgency cooperation, as well as through a long-term partnership anchored, in part, by increased civilian and military assistance.

Since fiscal year 2002, the U.S. government has provided the Pakistani government almost $21 billion in assistance and reimbursements toward these goals. However, al Qaeda and other terrorists and violent extremists continue to promote instability and use safe havens in Pakistan’s western border region to plan and train for attacks against U.S. interests.

At the same time, the United States continues to be concerned with the ongoing effect of A. Q. Khan’s illicit transfer of nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea, and Libya. To address these and other concerns, in October 2009, Congress enacted the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009, which, among other things, limits certain security-related assistance to Pakistan each fiscal year from 2011 through 2014.

Before the United States can provide security-related assistance to Pakistan in each of those fiscal years, the Secretary of State must certify that Pakistan continues to cooperate with the United States on dismantling nuclear networks. Pakistan demonstrated a sustained commitment to and made significant efforts toward combating terrorism in the preceding fiscal year, and Pakistan’s security forces are not subverting the political and judicial processes of Pakistan, according to a report released to the U.S. Congress this week.

The Act, for example,  allows the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, under the direction of President Barack Obama, to waive the limitations on security-related assistance if the Secretary determines that it is important to the national security interests of the United States to do so.

The law did not set a specific date during the fiscal year to issue either a certification or a waiver. On March 18, 2011, the Department of State (State) issued its fiscal year 2011 certification. The Act also required GAO to conduct an independent analysis of the Secretary of State’s certification and report to Congress on the results of its analysis.

The Act limits the provision of security-related assistance to Pakistan through the Military Assistance Program, the Excess Defense Articles Program, and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for fiscal years 2011-2014 and arms transfers to Pakistan for fiscal years 2012-2014 unless the Secretary of State, under the direction of the President, certifies to Congress that for each fiscal year the government of Pakistan is continuing to cooperate with the United States in efforts to dismantle nuclear supplier networks, such as providing relevant information from or direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks.

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Pakistan’s progress on counterterrorism, nonproliferation examined by U.S.

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, July 28th, 2011

This is article 443 of 1228 in the topic International

“Since fiscal year 2002, the U.S. government has provided the Pakistani government almost $21 billion in assistance and reimbursements toward these goals.”

Pakistan is a nation considered duplicitous in its dealings with the U.S. and jihadists. Credit: DoD/American Forces Press Service

Whether U.S. government officials like it or not, Pakistan is central to U.S. efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and deny its resurgence in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, according to a government report released this week.

The United States has sought to secure these interests through counterterrorism and counterinsurgency cooperation, as well as through a long-term partnership anchored, in part, by increased civilian and military assistance.

Since fiscal year 2002, the U.S. government has provided the Pakistani government almost $21 billion in assistance and reimbursements toward these goals. However, al Qaeda and other terrorists and violent extremists continue to promote instability and use safe havens in Pakistan’s western border region to plan and train for attacks against U.S. interests.

At the same time, the United States continues to be concerned with the ongoing effect of A. Q. Khan’s illicit transfer of nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea, and Libya. To address these and other concerns, in October 2009, Congress enacted the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009, which, among other things, limits certain security-related assistance to Pakistan each fiscal year from 2011 through 2014.

Before the United States can provide security-related assistance to Pakistan in each of those fiscal years, the Secretary of State must certify that Pakistan continues to cooperate with the United States on dismantling nuclear networks. Pakistan demonstrated a sustained commitment to and made significant efforts toward combating terrorism in the preceding fiscal year, and Pakistan’s security forces are not subverting the political and judicial processes of Pakistan, according to a report released to the U.S. Congress this week.

The Act, for example,  allows the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, under the direction of President Barack Obama, to waive the limitations on security-related assistance if the Secretary determines that it is important to the national security interests of the United States to do so.

The law did not set a specific date during the fiscal year to issue either a certification or a waiver. On March 18, 2011, the Department of State (State) issued its fiscal year 2011 certification. The Act also required GAO to conduct an independent analysis of the Secretary of State’s certification and report to Congress on the results of its analysis.

The Act limits the provision of security-related assistance to Pakistan through the Military Assistance Program, the Excess Defense Articles Program, and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for fiscal years 2011-2014 and arms transfers to Pakistan for fiscal years 2012-2014 unless the Secretary of State, under the direction of the President, certifies to Congress that for each fiscal year the government of Pakistan is continuing to cooperate with the United States in efforts to dismantle nuclear supplier networks, such as providing relevant information from or direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks.

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Save California, Campaign for Children and Families, News Release, July 14, 2011

by Donald Douglas on Saturday, July 16th, 2011

This is article 4 of 255 in the topic Education

The press release from Save California, “Pro-Family Response to Jerry Brown’s Signing of SB 48“:

Sacramento, California — One of California ‘s top opponents of placing “LGBT” personages in school textbooks is speaking out on the unfortunate signing of SB 48 by Gov. Jerry Brown today.

“Jerry Brown has trampled the parental rights of the broad majority of California mothers and fathers who don’t want their children to be sexually brainwashed,” said Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, which helped lead the opposition to SB 48. “SB 48 has no parental opt-out. The only way parents can opt-out their kids from this immoral indoctrination is to opt them out the entire public school system, which is no longer for morally-sensitive parents and their children.” (Source: RescueYourChild.com and SaveCalifornia.com SB 48 veto request letter)

In 2009, a KPIX/SurveyUSA poll found that four out of five Californians did not support giving homosexual activist Harvey Milk a statewide day of significance. “With the signing of SB 48, even more California parent will be shocked to see the glorification of Harvey Milk and other homosexual-bisexual-transsexual role models in school textbooks,” Thomasson said. “SB 48 is the eighth school sexual indoctrination law forcing immorality on kids in California K-12 schools. It’s time for parents who love their children to match their words with deeds and do what’s necessary to get them out of the immoral government schools and into the safe havens of homeschooling and church schools.”

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“It’s ridiculous that Jerry Brown says he’s making history ‘honest,’” Thomasson added. “The bill he signed prohibits teachers and textbooks from telling children the facts that homosexuality has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS and other STDs, higher cancer rates, and earlier deaths. These important facts about lifestyles children will being forced to admire will be omitted. And Brown calls this ‘honest’? This revisionist history will actually make more children believe a lie — that homosexuality is biological, which it’s not, and healthy, which is isn’t.” (Source: “Not Born This Way”)

Brown signed SB 48 despite it being completely unnecessary to deal with school bullies. There are existing laws that already strongly address this issue, such as: AB 1785 (2000) requires public schools to coordinate with local law enforcement to suppress and report both “hate crimes” and “hate-motivated incidents”; AB 394 (2007) requires K-12 schools to “post antidiscrimination and antiharassment policies in all schools and offices, including staff lounges and pupil government offices” and requires the State Department of Education to “display information on curricula” relating to “antidiscrimination and antiharassment” in regards to “sexual orientation” (homosexuality and bisexuality) and “gender” (cross-dressing and sex changes); ACR 82 (2010) permits participating schools – pre-kindergarten through higher education – to become official “Discrimination-Free Zones” that “enact appropriate procedures that meaningfully address acts of discrimination that occur on campus.”

“These existing laws, in addition to other campus anti-bias and anti-violence laws, are certainly strong enough to quell physical and verbal bullying, rendering SB 48′s broad curriculum indoctrination unnecessary even to satisfy the stated anti-bullying goals of the bill’s sponsors,” Thomasson said. “SB 48 is a revisionist history, sexual brainwashing bill, not an anti-bullying bill.”

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Hacking, And The Truth About The Cyberwar

by Bob Livingston on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

This is article 15 of 45 in the topic Cyber space
Hacking, And The Truth About The Cyberwar

MGM.COM When MGM/UA set up a website to promote its 1995 movie “Hackers,” the website was immediately hacked. Modern hackers seem to be less interested in making mischief than affecting global change.

Hackers are getting a lot of press lately for using their skills to effect change (or wreak havoc) on a global scale. High-profile cyberattacks on Sony, Nintendo, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Google, the United States Senate and the International Monetary Fund (to name a few) have started a cybersecurity panic. Governments across the globe are calling for international Internet-control measures.

“While some civil liberties campaigners fear giving governments greater control of the Internet would undermine privacy, others say that same privacy is already being undermined by both criminal and state-linked hackers,” read a FoxNews.com article.

But not all hackers are alike.

Anonymous, perhaps the most well-known hacktivist collective, spends most of its time engaging in international cyberwarfare with governments. For example, on Friday Anonymous announced that it had successfully taken down several government websites in Turkey in retaliation for that government’s plans to institute an Internet browsing filter. Anonymous despises censorship.

Anonymous has also helped foment rebellion in the Middle East by spreading the word about government corruption and providing safe havens for rebels online. The group is reportedly planning an operation against Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian regime. One could argue that Anonymous’ support of WikiLeaks has kept the site going, and its editor in chief, Julian Assange, is a hacker himself.

The Federal government says these are the bad guys, by the way.

It’s true not all hacker groups are trying to save the world. LulzSec, for example, has claimed responsibility for the Sony, Nintendo, PBS and Senate hacks mentioned above, among others. And Russia and China are both reportedly at the forefront of military-led cyberwarfare.

“In the view of Mike McConnell, a former spy chief, the effects of full-blown cyberwar are much like nuclear attack. Cyberwar has already started, he says, ‘and we are losing it,’” read an article in The Economist.

And there’s the key. Governments across the world are all telling their citizens the same thing: “We are losing the cyberwar.” To what end?

“The Western power elites have three main thrusts in our humble view to pursue. 1. They have an evident urgent need to continue their lunge toward world government. 2. They have to create war and chaos to do so. (Out of chaos, order.) 3. And finally, they have to ameliorate the damage that is being done to their plans by the Internet,” read an article on LewRockwell.com.

“An Internet false flag within this context would be a kind of masterstroke.”

Has the Internet suddenly become a much scarier place? Or do governments across the globe want us to think the Internet is scary, in an attempt to gain further control over its content? Or is it much, much worse?

The Pentagon will treat cyberattacks from foreign nations as acts of war and may choose to respond, not in cyberspace, but in a coordinated military strike.

With one attack, hacktivists can deprive you of your Internet service.

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