WASHINGTON—American soldiers should brace for a “social-cultural shock” when meeting Afghan soldiers and avoid potentially fatal confrontations by steering clear of subjects including women’s rights, religion and Taliban misdeeds, according to a controversial draft of a military handbook being prepared for troops heading to the region.The proposed Army handbook suggests that Western ignorance of Afghan culture, not Taliban infiltration, has helped drive the recent spike in deadly attacks by Afghan soldiers against the coalition forces.

“Many of the confrontations occur because of [coalition] ignorance of, or lack of empathy for, Muslim and/or Afghan cultural norms, resulting in a violent reaction from the [Afghan security force] member,” according to the draft handbook prepared by Army researchers.

The 75-page manual, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, is part of a continuing effort by the U.S. military to combat a rise in attacks by Afghan security forces aimed at coalition troops.

But it has drawn criticism from U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen, the top military commander in Afghanistan, who aides said hasn’t—and wouldn’t—endorse the manual as written. Gen. Allen also rejected a proposed foreword that Army officials drafted in his name.

“Gen. Allen did not author, nor does he intend to provide, a foreword,” said Col. Tom Collins, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan. “He does not approve of its contents.”



Mr. Barkat is the mayor of Jerusalem.

When a capital city with a growing population needs to expand, why does that set off international alarms?

Israel’s government is under heavy criticism for recently approving building permits in what the international community calls “the settlements.” Yet places like Ramat Shlomo, Gilo and Givat Ha’matos are well within the municipal borders of Jerusalem, and the virgin hills of “E-1″—between the city of Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim—have over three millennia of deep Jewish roots. Here in Jerusalem, we stand saddened and appalled by the European Union ministers who condemn these construction projects while ignoring calls from the leader of Hamas for the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel.

When the people of Israel left Egypt and came to this region 3,500 years ago, each of the 12 tribes received a piece of land on which they built their cities and developed their ways of life. The exception to the rule was the holy city of Jerusalem, which wasn’t divided or given to any of the tribes. Jerusalem served all 12 Jewish tribes equally, as it did the people of other faiths who came to worship here.

The Real “Obstacle to Peace” by Peter Martino

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3494/obstacle-to-peace Why should any country sign an agreement if it will just be invalidated a few years later? Iran is building nuclear weapons, Syria is slaughtering its citizens, Libya is being taken over by al-Qaeda, Egypt is threatened with another Pharaoh, Turkey is working toward rebuilding the Ottoman Empire, and Christians are being massacred in […]

What Egyptians Are Afraid to Know by Nonie Darwish

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3491/egypt-ignorance The problem with Egypt and many other Islamic nations is that they are ignorant of what they are demanding, and are left ignorant by their own media and educational system. By now it seems apparent that Egyptians do not even want to learn the truth about Sharia, in case they might reject it — […]



At the Globes Conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday, economics wasn’t the only topic discussed by the politicians invited to speak at the podium. With Knesset elections a mere five weeks away, any opportunity to raise the issue of the “peace process” is seized with gusto. And money matters, like everything else, can be tied to Israel’s relations with the Palestinians.

Because this conference was held following a significant weekend, during which Qatar-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal arrived in Gaza, it was inevitable that defense and foreign policy would upstage fiscal concerns.

But need it have been an occasion for a burlesque performance on the part of the usual suspects?

Let’s begin with the master of the absurd, President Shimon Peres. The father of the concept of an imaginary “New Middle East,” who only deigns to modify his definition of that fantasy when Israelis are blown up on buses or holed up in bomb shelters, outdid even himself on the stage.

Indeed, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and recipient of the Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Barack Obama asserted that Mashaal’s statements about the intention never to “cede an inch of historic Palestine” and to continue killing and kidnapping Israelis, indicates that Israel must run to embrace Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as a “peaceful partner for peace.”

To explain his position, he opted for metaphor. He said that a bottle of poison with a clear label is less dangerous than an unmarked one, because the former at least lets you know that the substance inside is lethal.

This is actually a perfect analogy to Hamas and Fatah. Hamas screams for the murder of Jews and announces its true goals; it constitutes the bottle of poison with the label. Abbas and Fatah, on the other hand, alternate between showing and hiding the label, but the contents of the bottle remain equally deadly.



To the Congress of the United States:

On the morning of Dec. 11 the Government of Germany, pursuing its course of world conquest, declared war against the United States. The long-known and the long-expected has thus taken place. The forces endeavoring to enslave the entire world now are moving toward this hemisphere. Never before has there been a greater challenge to life, liberty and civilization. Delay invites great danger. Rapid and united effort by all of the peoples of the world who are determined to remain free will insure a world victory of the forces of justice and of righteousness over the forces of savagery and of barbarism. Italy also has declared war against the United States.

I therefore request the Congress to recognize a state of war between the United States and Germany, and between the United States and Italy.

Franklin D. Roosevelt


PIPES: Islamists are worse than dictators

PIPES: Islamists are worse than dictators
Daniel Pipes | Who is worse, President Mohammed Morsi, the elected Islamist seeking to apply Islamic law in Egypt, or former President Hosni Mubarak, the dictator ousted for trying to start a dynasty? Read more…

Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz2Ek91uNwc
U.S. shipping F-16s to Egypt despite unrest
Fox News
Monday, December 10, 2012
Instability in Egypt, where a newly-elected Islamic government teeters over an angry population, isn’t enough to stop the U.S. from sending 20 F-16 fighter jets, as part of a $1 billion foreign aid package. Read more…

Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz2Ek9KR16s

U Cal. Appoints Anti-Israel Prof to ‘Fight’ Anti-Semitism Posted By Lee Kaplan ????

http://frontpagemag.com/2012/lee-kaplan/u-cal-appoints-anti-israel-prof-to-fight-anti-semitism/print/ Does appointing an advocate of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel to chair a committee aimed at combating anti-Semitism in the California State University system make sense? That’s exactly what happened in the case of Manzar Foroohar, a well-known anti-Israel activist who teaches modern Middle Eastern and Latin American history at California Polytechnic […]



“Let us not be in doubt about what Israelis call the matsav, or situation. For the enemy, all of Israel is a “settlement.” East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria are the equivalent of Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheba. The Palestinians are on the march, militarily (Hamas) and diplomatically (the PA), with the intention of destroying Israel either in a single holocaust or by piecemeal disintegration. Israel must continue to build wherever it can, to solidify its frontiers, to establish its existence as a fait accompli, and to forestall a predatory antagonist from building in its stead. “Build, Bibi, Build,” urges David Efune in The Algemeiner. Whether regarded as a liner sailing through time or a form of military hardware, the Israeli house is what keeps the country rooted in its legitimate allodium and prohibits the intrusion of squatters.”

In response to the UN upgrading of Palestinian status to that of observer state, a de facto abrogation of the Oslo Accords, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has authorized plans for building in East Jerusalem and for the construction of 3000 homes in the E1 corridor that connects the community of Ma’aleh Adumim to the capital, a distance of only five miles. Critics have accused the Israeli government of precluding an eventual contiguous Palestinian state (though bypass roads could easily be constructed), of engaging in reprisal tactics from a spirit of pique and rancor (despite legal justification to act as it did), and of sabotaging the groundwork for peace (though it is precisely the Palestinian refusal to negotiate that has put the prospect for peace in jeopardy). These are some of the stale clichés and bromides that pass for reasoned political analysis these days. An Israeli house is a fearsome thing, apparently.

In his essay collection Poetry, Language, Thought, philosopher Martin Heidegger—admittedly no friend to Jews or Israel—compared a house to a kind of ship moving through time. A house, or a “dwelling,” breasts the waters of the future, “design[ing] for the different generations under one roof their journey through time.” What may be true of houses in general is even more so for Israeli houses, which navigate not only the years ahead but the turbulent medium of threatening and unpredictable political weather. The Israeli house is purpose-built and, so far as possible, unsinkable. Its function is to prevent foundering and to ensure survival.

For political columnist Daniel Greenfield, an Israeli house, say a “five-floor apartment building complete with hot and cold running water,” is a cutting-edge offensive weapon. Greenfield’s ironic perspective is bracing and timely, countering not only the Palestinians’ overheated and lying rhetoric about Israeli refractoriness and putative aggression, but puncturing the duplicitous diplomatic furor over Israel’s pursuing its historic and legal rights in Jerusalem and the areas in Judea and Samaria over which it exercises juridical control. But according to our diplomatic apparatchiks and a jaundiced media, the peace process could be irreparably damaged by Israeli brick-and-mortar far more than by Palestinian rocket-and-mortar. Israeli houses endanger the hope for peace, Greenfield wryly continues, “by creating ‘facts on the ground,’ a piquant phrase that only seems to apply to houses with Jews. Muslim houses in no way create facts on the ground, even though they are built out of the same material and filled with people. Or perhaps they create the good kind of facts on the ground. The kind of preemption of negotiations that the professional peacemakers approve of.”

Discounting the Muslim and Third-World countries whose animus against the Jewish state is well understood and unavoidable, it is obvious that the reason the vast majority of Western nations either abstained or voted for the Palestinian initiative has nothing to do with moral or legal principle, but with calculations of naked venality. Australian foreign minister Bob Carr made this abundantly clear. “If we had voted no,” he explained, “that would have been a body blow to our interest in over 20 Arab countries”—all of which, let us remember, are vehemently anti-Semitic, anti-Western, dictatorial and socially and politically regressive regimes.

Moreover, when it comes to illegal building, the onus falls on the Palestinians: more than 1000 illegal Arab homes are built annually in Jerusalem and many thousands more in Judea and Samaria. Palestinian construction in the region, points out former Israeli ambassador Yoram Ettinger, “is dramatically larger than Jewish construction there.” Every stone laid by the Palestinians is a violation of the Oslo Accords (no less, as we have noted, than Mahmoud Abbas’ unilateral initiative at the UN). Jewish building, on the other hand, is undeniably legal, as per Article 80 of the UN Charter, which upholds the Palestine Mandate of 1922.



Three years ago in the spring, Barack Hussein Obama came to the Middle East offering a new beginning. With that new beginning no longer would the United States support Arab dictatorships for the sake of its own interests. America 2.0 would defuse that great mythical wellspring of Muslim anger toward the Great Satan by embracing Muslim democracy.

On a cold winter’s day, two years later, Obama celebrated the fall of Mubarak by proclaiming that “the people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same.” Now one year later, in the teeth of another winter, an Islamist winter, Egypt seems very much the same.

There are hundreds of thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square denouncing the power grab by the ruler, there are roving gangs of regime sympathizers smashing skulls and assaulting women, there are police squads battling to put down the uprising and a regime media apparatus blaming the whole thing on an outside conspiracy.