Egypt opens trial that has strained ties with USBy HAMZA HENDAWI


CAIRO (AP) – Egyptwent forward with a trial Sunday that has plunged relations with the U.S. into the deepest crisis in decades, prosecuting 16 Americans and 27 other employees of pro-democracy groups on charges they used foreign funds to foment unrest.

Behind the scenes, U.S. and Egyptian officials were said to be in intense discussions in an attempt to resolve the case. In a sign those negotiations may be bearing fruit, only Egyptian defendants attended the opening session and the judge gave no instructions to police to ensure the American defendants—who were not in court Sunday—attend the next hearing in two months.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has raised the dispute twice in person with Egypt’s foreign minister—once in London and once in Tunisia—in recent days, according to a senior U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity due to the delicacy of the discussions.

Speaking to reporters in Morocco on Sunday, Clinton said American officials are evaluating the latest developments, adding that it’s “a fluid situation and there are a lot of moving parts.”

In Cairo, the opening hearing quickly descended into chaos as lawyers and journalists crammed into a small courtroom. After a brief session, presiding judge Mahmoud Mohammed Shoukry, who had to step out of the hearing at one point because of the crush of frantic lawyers and observers, adjourned the proceedings until April 26. The time will allow defense attorneys to familiarize themselves with the case and the details of behind the charges.

The investigation into the four U.S.-based nonprofits, which began in December with a raid by Egyptian security forces on the groups’ offices, has put a severe strain on Washington’s relationship with Egypt—one of its most pivotal in the Middle East. U.S. officials have threatened to cut off a $1.5 billion annual aid package if the dispute is not resolved.

President Barack Obama has urged Egypt’s military rulers to drop the investigation, and high-level officials, including Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey and Republican Sen. John McCain, have flown in to Cairo to seek a solution.

However, the U.S. cannot be seen as pushing too hard against Egypt’s ruling military council, which is viewed as the best hope for a stable transition for a nation that is not just a regional heavyweight, but also the most populous in the Arab world and a lynchpin in Washington’s Middle East policy.

There are 43 defendants in the case—16 Americans, 16 Egyptians, as well as Germans, Palestinians, Serbs and Jordanians.

At least thirteen of the Egyptians appeared in court for Saturday’s hearing, standing in a metal cage, as is customary in Egyptian trials.


With the presidential election looming, I thought it wise to revisit president Obama’s 2008 campaign theme. He ran on the adage, “hope and change.” Let’s look into hope and change, Obama style.

Islamism is so pervasive, so zany, so entrenched all over the world that I could throw a dart at the globe any random day and find a story to discuss involving extremism, violence, or oppression from its adherents. And it’s getting worse. Why is it getting worse, you ask? No doubt there are many reasons, but the one that sticks in my craw is that American weakness is largely responsible. Weakness will always invite aggression, and this president’s profound lack of leadership—weakness—has inspired our enemies the way fuel enrages wildfire. I guess we should have taken president Obama at his word and believed his conviction for “hope and change.” But hope for whom? What type of change?

Allow me to share a few examples for whom hope (and change) springs eternal due to the feckless actions of the Obama administration.


Iran is our nemesis. It is also the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism. It is largely Iranian weapons and expertise responsible for killing and maiming our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet in 2009, when millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest their totalitarian, anti-America, and anti-Israel government, president Obama did absolutely nothing to help them. This was the perfect chance for strong United States to encourage the Iranian moderates to replace the Mullahs and Ahmadinejad.


Suicide bomber kills 9 in attack on Afghan military base A suicide car bomber has killed nine… Read more… Britain is broke, says Chancellor of the Exchequer The Government ‘has run out of money… Read more… Iran official calls faithful to ‘burn the White House’ The Muslim world should not accept a… Read more… Italian […]


Conjuring the ghost of Richelieu
By Spengler

“The Pont d’Alma,” I told the taxi driver, and climbed into the back of the Citroen, balancing the big copper spittoon on one knee and the magnum of Chateau Petrus on the other. “You are to meet someone, monsieur?,” inquired the driver. He must have seen the waders under my trench coat. “Richelieu. Richelieu. Richelieu,” I muttered. “That’s the first time I hear someone ask for it in dactylic hexameter,” the driver said. We pulled up in front of the entrance to the sewers of Paris at the Pont d’Alma – “the bridge of the soul”.

Carefully I descended to the ninth level below the Seine. And 20th-century tiles gave way to 19th-century bricks and 18th-century stonework, through the malodorous filth of the ages, until I found myself in the secret ossarium of the Carthusian monks. So thick was the darkness that the beam from my small flashlightseemed to lose itself in the gloom. It could not have been cold, but I shivered uncontrollably. Pyramided skulls stared out like a theater audience.

With the spittoon planted into the muck at my feet, I broke the neck off the magnum and poured the fragrant Bordeaux into the copper receptacle. At once the ghosts appeared: A soldier in bloody armor carrying his head under one arm, the Can-Can chorus from Offenbach’s Orpheus, a grisette whom death could not dissuade from flirting, clerks, cooks and clerics.

A sad-faced Jaures and a prim Clemenceau approached the spittoon, but Francois Mitterand bowed them aside. Brandishing the wine bottle’s jagged neck, I fended them off until, at length, a pale figure appeared, a human form with the texture of a jellyfish. The others shrank away reverently as it knelt before the spittoon and inserted a gelatinous head, imbibing the wine until its translucent covering shone scarlet. It extracted its head from the spittoon with an ectoplasmic pop.


In the next 60 days Obama’s presidential career will finally meet that concrete wall of reality. He will either fail or survive. Trouble is, he might take many innocent people with him if he fails.So far, the most hyped-up and unqualified president in US history has shown no capacity at all to act, in the face of a do-or-die challenge. This is the ultimate test of character, the one that John F. Kennedy met well enough in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. This is the test that Jimmy Carter failed so miserably that Ronald Reagan beat him handily in the following election. This is the same test of reality that every single Democratic Administration has tried to avoid; it’s the reason why Bill Clinton refused to do anything about Osama Bin Laden when he had four separate chances to take him out.

This time, abject apologies to ranting Pakistani mobs will not make a smidgen of difference. Even Axelrod’s disinformation campaigns can’t save Obama now, because that 3 am phone call is almost sure to come by April Fool’s Day of 2012, when the real fool will stand revealed to the world.

On or about April 1 of 2012, that 3 AM phone call will reach the White House. We know what it will be — which is itself a sign of stunning incompetence in this White House. None of this information should ever be public. Ever.

But this administration has chosen its Secretary of Defense to publicly leak the most closely guarded secret of Israel’s back-against-the-wall defense against Iranian nuclear weapons.


Obama: Sharia Enforcer Posted By Robert Spencer

URL to article:

Madness has overtaken Washington, and the world. Every day this past week has brought fresh reports of more people murdered in Afghanistan over the burning of some copies of the Qur’an at Bagram Airfield. In response, every day new apologies come from American officials. Barack Obama, Leon Panetta, the commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, General John Allen, and others have all issued abject apologies to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the “noble people of Afghanistan,” and everyone else in sight.

Even the most minor of officials are getting into the act: Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense for Asia and Pacific security affairs, scraping the bottom of the barrel for a suitable object for his abject submission, apologized to Muslims in the Washington, D.C. area.


The first law of human affairs is force. Before all other laws, the ballot box and appeals to reason is that primal law that enforces submission through violence. Islam is a religion built on that first law, forcing everyone to choose whether they will be the oppressors or the oppressed, whether they will be a Muslim or a Dhimmi.

The organizing force of Islam can be seen in urban gangs which react in much the same way to being ‘disrespected’. When your religion is little more than an entitlement to be a thug, to elevate your way of life over that of everyone else, violent outrage over even the most minute sign of disrespect is to be expected. And when your beliefs are little more than an excuse to hate, rioting over a slight is the sacrament of your faith.


University of New Mexico Occupiers’ War on Free Speech

Editor’s note: View Nonie Darwish’s entire University of New Mexico lecture, including its disruption, here.

In response to the resurgence of anti-Israel activities by the Arab Student Association and their left-wing anti-Israel “un-Occupy” backers, I was asked to speak at the University of New Mexico on February 23rd by the Israel Alliance group. The title of my speech was “The Dark Side Of Revolutions In The Middle East and The Implications For Israel,” which is the subtitle of my new book, “Devil We Don’t Know.”

Even though the Arab students were having an “apartheid wall” and a stop Islamophobia event on March 2nd, together with the local mosque, they urged the Israel Alliance group to dis-invite me because, as they put it, I am an Islam hater and Islamophobe. They presented them with a video of myself that was highly edited in which I spoke in a rally on the honor-killing of a woman in Florida, and I dared to blame Islamic law for the horrific murder of thousands of women annually. They did not succeed in dis-inviting me.


Qur’an Burning and Destructive Double Standards Posted By Bruce Thornton URL to article: The riots and violence in Afghanistan over some accidentally burned Qur’ans are following a script that by now is all too drearily familiar. As we have seen over the years with the riots over the Mohammed cartoons, Pope Benedict’s comments about […]

Jihadists Eye D.C. Yet Terror Bombs As Campaign Issue

National Security: Homegrown terror could hit at any moment, crashing the issue back to center stage politically. Yet in the final GOP debate Wednesday, not one question was asked about it.

Candidates were quizzed about everything from contraceptives to earmarks during the CNN event in Phoenix.

But terrorism and homeland security never came up.

It was as if 9/11 — and the 42 post-9/11 terror plots against the homeland — never happened.

Remarkably, terrorism has lost most of its power as a political issue in this presidential race — just as the tempo of homegrown terror threats against Washington ticks up. Consider:

• On Feb. 17, the FBI nabbed a Muslim suicide bomber headed for the U.S. Capitol.