The question naturally arises: Will the US act in accordance with its role as guarantor of the peace and demand that the new Egyptian government give Sinai back to Israel? Because if the Obama administration or whatever administration is in power when Egypt abrogates the treaty does not issue such a demand, and stand behind it, and if the EU does not support the demand, the entire concept of land-for-peace will be exposed as a hoax.

The rise of the forces of jihadist Islam in Egypt places the US and other Western powers in an uncomfortable position. The US is the guarantor of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. That treaty is based on the proposition of land for peace. Israel gave Egypt the Sinai in 1982 and in exchange it received a peace treaty with Egypt. Now that the Islamists are poised to take power, the treaty is effectively null and void.


National Security: Portrayed as just a shuffling of priorities, the president’s defense cuts reduce our two-war strategy to maybe one war and cross your fingers. Champagne corks are popping from Beijing to Tehran.

Imagine a scenario in the not-too-distant future when an Iranian Shahab missile mated with an unexpectedly ready nuclear warhead is test-fired and detonates somewhere over the Indian Ocean. The next day Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz as China announces a blockade of Taiwan.

The administration’s defense cuts, or shifts in priorities as President Obama would have us believe, leaves us woefully unprepared for the unexpected in which our enemies, current and potential, are not disarming or cutting their military budgets. Certainly not China, which has been increasing its military spending by double-digit percentages for the last decade.

“We will be strengthening our presence in the Asia-Pacific,” Obama said, “and budget reductions will not come at the expense of that critical region.”

If creating a counterweight to an expansionist China is our goal, why aren’t we selling superior F-22 Raptors to Japan — not to mention building more for ourselves — and selling F-16s to Taiwan?

This defensive retreat will of necessity come at the expense of other regions. We used to have a two-ocean Navy and a military capable of fighting and winning two full-blown wars. We no longer have that ability and will be reduced to plugging holes in the dike while not having enough fingers.

China’s response to Obama’s announcement was hardly reassuring. “China should come up with countermeasures,” the nation’s Communist Party-affiliated Global Times said. “It should strengthen its long-range strike abilities and put more deterrence on the U.S. The U.S. must realize that it cannot stop the rise of China and that being friendly to China is in its utmost interests.”

This was said as China’s first aircraft carrier undergoes sea trials….READ MORE AT SITE


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.”

Could Climate Change Create Deadly, Mutant Sharks Which Kill Us All?

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   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. […]

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.


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

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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.


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

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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.


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.


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.