SARAH HONIG: GOOD MANNERS AND HIGH MORALS OF MAHMOUD ABBAS

http://sarahhonig.com/2012/01/05/another-tack-good-manners-and-high-morals/

There sat Palestinian Authority chieftain Mahmoud Abbas in the front pew of the Church of the Nativity, reverently observing the Christmas midnight mass. He appeared so meek – the model of admirable moderation, good manners and high morals.

TV anchors and scribblers worldwide fell for his consummate act and expressed solemn appreciation for the affectation. Critical appraisal was conspicuously absent.

Abbas – the on-and-off and now on-again political ally of Hamas and Islamic Jihad – took great pains to quasi-usurp Christmas from Christendom and impart the impression that Christmas is intrinsically also a Muslim celebration, “a Palestinian holiday” from which bogeymen Jews alone deserve exclusion.

Significantly this aroused no protests – the subjugation of Christians in Muslim societies, and foremost in Bethlehem, notwithstanding.

This supposed Christian-Muslim front comprised the gist of the homily delivered by the Mideast’s most senior Roman Catholic, Patriarch of Jerusalem Fuad al-Tuwal, a Jordanian Arab.

He effusively welcomed Abbas, congratulating him for “his unfaltering efforts to achieve a just peace in the Middle East, a main thrust of which is the creation of a Palestinian State.” The patriarch commiserated with the Palestinians, who “recently turned to the UN in the hope of finding a just solution.” According to his monologue, “they were asked to reengage in a failed peace process,” which “has left a bitter taste of broken promises and of mistrust.”

JAMES DELINGPOLE:THE TERRIFYING WAGES CLIMATE CHANGE?

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.11171,css.print/pub_detail.asp
Could Climate Change Create Deadly, Mutant Sharks Which Kill Us All?
Raaaaagh!!!

It had to happen. As if the plight of the polar bear wasn’t punishment enough for our evil, selfish, refusing-to-change-our-lifestyle-because-we’re-addicted-to-oil ways, it now seems that Mother Gaia may have a deadly new weapon up her sleeve: KILLER MUTANT SHARKS!!! (H/T Brown Bess)

So far, admittedly, Mother Gaia is in the very earliest stages of her experimentation:

Scientists said on Tuesday that they had discovered the world’s first hybrid sharks in Australian waters, a potential sign the predators were adapting to cope with climate change.

The mating of the local Australian black-tip shark with its global counterpart, the common black-tip, was an unprecedented discovery with implications for the entire shark world, said lead researcher Jess Morgan.

HOT PICKS FROM FSM

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.1769/pub_detail.asp   1. 2 pictures worth 2,000 words 2. MUST WATCH VIDEO: “Unholy War” Christians under attack by Muslims in the UK [Threats to families, threats to chop off their heads...] Coming soon to the U.S.A.? 3. VIDEO: All 8,000 Chevy Volts being recalled. Each car has been subsidized by the federal government for $250,000. […]

FRANK SALVATO: PROMISES, PROMISES FROM THE CANDIDATES

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.11177/pub_detail.asp
As the campaign cycle progresses we are going to hear a lot about what one candidate or another is going to do about this or that. We will, to the point of weariness, be inundated with campaign promise after campaign promise, albeit, between gratuitous attacks, both political and personal. This is politicking and the American electorate – for better or for worse – has come to accept a certain amount of it from the people in the political class. But expecting grandiose pledges and believing in the unattainable, well, those are two different things. It is the truly foolish who believe half of what a political candidate says he can deliver, and the blame for that foolishness must fall on the shoulders of the individual voter.

FRANK CRIMI: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF SHARIA THE BARBARIC TORTURE OF AFGHAN WOMEN UNDER ISLAMIC LAW*****

A Day in the Life of Sharia Posted By Frank Crim The savage and barbaric torture of Afghan women continues under Islamic law in Afghanistan. …i

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/01/06/prisoners-in-their-own-country/

In December 2011, Sahar Gul, a 15-year-old Afghan girl and underage bride, was freed by Afghan police after having been severely tortured for six months by her in-laws in an attempt to force her into prostitution. During her captivity, Sahar had been kept locked in a basement, tortured with hot irons, her fingers broken and fingernails ripped out.

While Sahar’s horrific ordeal sparked justifiable outrage among many Afghans, her agony is all too commonplace in Afghanistan, a country in which violence against women and girls is both pervasive and growing.

The violent abuse used against Afghan females also entails the widespread and socially accepted practice of forced child marriage, a cultural and religious reality that has led to over half of the marriages in Afghanistan involving girls under the age of 16.

So, given that, it’s not surprising to find that in the decade after the ouster of the Taliban from power in 2001, Afghanistan still remains one of the world’s most dangerous places for women. According to the UN’s Gender Inequality Index, Afghanistan ranks as the world’s sixth-worst country for women due to violence — including domestic abuse — sexual harassment, poverty and lack of healthcare.

Moreover, Afghan women and girls — in addition to underage marriage — are also subjected to honor killings and the traditional Afghan practice known as “baad,” whereupon women are given away to pay family debts or settle disputes.

Unfortunately — despite the rise of scores of women’s advocacy groups and the enactment of laws guaranteeing women’s rights — both the Afghan justice system and its patriarchal society remain heavily stacked against Afghan women and girls.

For example, in April 2009 Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed the Shiite Personal Status Law, legislation which applied to Afghanistan’s minority Shiite populace. Provisions in that legislation allowed 14-year-old girls to marry as well as men to rape their wives.

After outcries by Afghan women’s groups that the government was legalizing marital rape, Karzai said the law would be amended to bring it in line with the Afghan constitution, which guarantees equal rights for women.

To that end, the Afghan government enacted later in 2009 the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) law which criminalized acts like early or forced marriage and rape.

Despite its passage, however, a UN report in November 2011 found that the EVAW act was rarely enforced, citing as an example the 2,299 crimes reported in 2010, of which only 155 cases, or just 7 percent, were prosecuted.
According to the UN report, “Judicial officials in many parts of the country have begun to use the law — but its use represents a very small percentage of how the government addresses cases of violence against women.”

Of course, it’s not terribly surprising that given the treatment of women in Afghan society the response by Afghanistan’s police and judiciary is to either ignore crimes launched against women or, in most cases, send the women back to their abusers.

Nowhere has that latter point been better demonstrated than in the recent case of Gulnaz, a 19-year-old Afghan girl who was raped by her cousin’s husband and imprisoned in 2009 for “forced adultery.”

After spending two and a half years in jail, during which time she gave birth to a daughter fathered by her defiler, Gulnaz was offered a pardon in December 2011 by Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the condition Gulnaz marry her rapist.

While Karzai’s decision may have engendered outraged disbelief from those in the West its foundation was deeply rooted in Afghan custom and Islamic law. Specifically, Gulnaz’s little girl, having been born in prison, is considered to be illegitimate, a disgrace to her family and, as a consequence, never to be accepted by Afghan society unless her parents marry.

Yet, whether prompted by domestic pressures or by a need to polish Afghanistan’s international image, Karzai graciously released Gulnaz without the precondition she wed her rapist. In a bitter irony for Gulnaz, however, she has now traded the relative safety of the jail cell for a life on the run.

To that end, Gulnaz currently resides in an undisclosed location, hiding from her own family, as reports have surfaced that her brothers have threatened to kill her baby daughter.

Tragically, Gulnaz’s ordeal is currently being shared by nearly 350 Afghan women and girls who are currently locked up in Afghanistan prisons, convicted for crimes of forced adultery or “zina” (extramarital sex). Like Gulnaz, many of these women have the added burden of sharing their jail cells with their children.

Most disturbingly, many of the jailed inmates are themselves children, evidenced by the fact that 114 of them are girls between the ages of 12 and 18, 80 percent of whom are serving sentences for either running away from a forced marriage or having extramarital sex.

BEN SHAPIRO: HOLLYWOOD’S DISHONEST FACE

How the vulgar leftist slant of the film industry has ruined today’s movies

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/01/06/hollywoods-true-face/

In 2011, Hollywood’s revenue dropped 3.36 percent. That doesn’t sound like a lot of money until you realize that Hollywood has jacked up its prices for movie tickets to Weimar Republic-rates. And its movies are not nearly Fritz Lang quality. Fewer and fewer Americans are rolling their wheelbarrows of cash to the nearest multiplex. In fact, take away the conclusion of the Harry Potter film series, the latest Transformers sequel, and the most recent installation of Pirates of the Caribbean, and Hollywood had a downright awful year.

Maybe it has to do with the movies. They’re terrible.

It’s not that Hollywood doesn’t have the potential to make great film anymore. In 2010, Hollywood did itself proud with The King’s Speech, Inception, Toy Story 3, Tangled, How To Train Your Dragon, The Fighter, and Rabbit Hole. In 2011, Hollywood humiliated itself with The Tree of Life, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, A Dangerous Method, The Descendants, Drive, J. Edgar, Melancholia, and other depressing dreck.

So what happened? Hollywood went political once again. Three of Hollywood’s big releases – upcoming or recent – highlight the problem that Tinseltown has in stifling its political liberalism. There’s a reason that none of these films made lots of money, or will make lots of money.

P. DAVID HORNIK: THE PLO/HAMAS RECONCILIATION

http://frontpagemag.com/2012/01/06/the-plo-hamas-reconciliation/

The PLO-Hamas Reconciliation Posted By P. David Hornik

This week an Israeli and a Palestinian negotiator, along with envoys of the Middle East Quartet, met in Amman. Don’t get your hopes up. It was the merest gesture to deflect diplomatic pressure, and what is actually brewing in the Palestinian arena has nothing to do with peace.

Fatah official Mahmoud al-Aloul said as much the day after the meeting—in a speech he gave on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority. Al-Aloul proclaimed: “The Palestinian leadership has spared no effort to seek peace and has complied with all [peace] initiatives. But all our efforts have been in vain…. The Israelis are not prepared for any solutions.”

And added: “We can’t restrain ourselves any longer in the face of settlement construction. The popular resistance will erupt in the next phase.”

It wasn’t just rhetoric. Al-Aloul’s threat jibes with recent reports by DEBKAfile and Khaled Abu Toameh. The picture these reports give has also been confirmed to me by a highly reliable source.

The picture is this: the “Arab Spring” sweeping the region has not left the Palestinian arena unaffected. Abbas thinks it will sweep him away, too, unless he joins forces with the Palestinian Islamist factions—principally Hamas but also Islamic Jihad. He aims to do that by, for the first time in history, incorporating at least Hamas in his relatively secular PLO. That way when the “Arab Spring” comes to the West Bank, Abbas hopes it will be directed against Israel instead of what’s left of his weakening rule.

DANIEL GREENFIELD: SOMALIA’S DIRE LESSONS FOR AFGHANISTAN

http://frontpagemag.com/2012/01/06/somalia%e2%80%99s-lessons-for-afghanistan/

Somalia’s Dire Lessons for Afghanistan Posted By Daniel Greenfield

Anyone interested in seeing the future of Afghanistan need only take a short plane trip from Italy across Libya and Sudan to what is the most dysfunctional territory in Africa. Somalia can’t be properly called a state, more of a prolonged clumsy civil war fought between rival gangs of Islamists, some of whom have American backing and some of whom don’t.

Somalia is Afghanistan on caffeine, not because it’s more violent, but because it covered the same span of history in half the time from when Operation Enduring Freedom expanded into the Horn of Africa during Bush’s second term, pushing out the Islamic Courts Union, the local equivalent of the Taliban, to the negotiations several years later that brought members of the Islamic Courts Union into the Transitional Federal Government and made them the majority, to the ongoing civil war between the ragged bands of Islamist militias fighting over the remains of the country under the watchful eye of peacekeeping troops.

ARTHUR HERMAN: AMERICA’S DISARMED FUTURE

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/287320/america-s-disarmed-future-arthur-herman

You have to give President Obama credit. It takes serious gall to tell the American military to its face that you are putting it on the road to second-class status.

That’s exactly what our commander-in-chief did at the Pentagon yesterday, as he announced nearly half a trillion dollars in new spending cuts, after already chopping $480 billion during his first three years in office. He also set out plans for drastic reductions in our force size and continuing weapons programs, including the F-35 fighter — our last best hope for maintaining American dominance in the skies.

Obama’s been trying to reassure Americans all this won’t endanger our national security or our strategic interests. Everyone in or out of uniform who’s free to speak knows better — and that with a full-scale war still underway we are standing on the brink of our weakest military posture since Jimmy Carter, and our smallest forces since before World War II.

#ad#Part of Obama’s rationale is his declared belief that America no longer needs to have a military big enough to fight two wars at once — even though that’s been our historical experience more often than not (think the European and the Pacific theaters in World War II, Vietnam and the Cold War with Russia, Iraq and Afghanistan).

More important, President Obama doesn’t understand that our military’s role isn’t just fighting wars. It’s providing a strong strategic presence that will influence events in our favor — and away from that of adversaries and rivals. Even he admits these drastic cuts can only come through shrinking that presence world-wide, which means deep cuts in our forces in Europe and the Middle East, while expecting a shrinking navy (which could wind up with barely 230 ships by 2020) and air force to keep our interests safe in the Pacific region — where China is surging.

BOB OWENS: FAST AND FURIOUS DEFENSE STRATEGY….KEEP THEM QUIET

Fast and Furious Defense Strategy: Keep Them Quiet Posted By Bob Owens

http://pjmedia.com/blog/fast-and-furious-defense-strategy-keep-them-quiet/
The Justice Department may be leveraging employees to keep them from testifying.

An overlooked detail of the personnel shuffling that has occurred in the wake of Operation Fast and Furious: current Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones was in a position to be as culpable regarding the gunwalking plot as was the removed director, Kenneth Melson.

Before taking over for Melson in a DOJ push to appear to have done “something,” Jones was the chairman of the attorney general’s Advisory Committee. He sat in on Fast and Furious calls as early as October 26, 2009 [1] — a meeting Melson also attended.

With the personnel move to Jones, control merely shifted from one possible co-conspirator to another, though the administration assured that they still held a tight rein over the new acting director with the choice of Jones.