Portugal’s Jihadists by Soeren Kern

Portugal, like Spain, also figures prominently in a map produced by the jihadist group Islamic State [IS] that outlines a five-year plan for expanding its Islamic Caliphate into Europe.

“Holy War is the only solution for humanity.” — Abdu, Portuguese jihadist.

“Every time these jihadists groups mention the recovery of al-Andalus, they are also referring to Portugal. Jihadists do not believe in national divisions, but in the existence of a single Muslim community that embraces the entire Iberian Peninsula.” — Miguel Torres Soriano, Spanish terrorism expert.

At least a dozen Portuguese nationals have joined jihadist groups fighting in Iraq and Syria, according to new estimates by Portuguese counter-terrorism officials.

All of the Portuguese jihadists (ten men and two women) are under the age of 30 and most of them are children of immigrants, but so far none of the individuals is known to have returned to live in Portugal.

Portuguese authorities are—for now—downplaying the threat these individuals may pose to Portugal upon their return home from the battlefields.

Security analysts from Spain, however, are warning the Portuguese government against complacency. They argue that although the number of Portuguese jihadists may be small compared to other European countries, radical Muslims are becoming increasingly strident in their vows to reconquer Al-Andalus—of which Portugal is a key component—for Islam.

Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France occupied by Muslim conquerors (also known as the Moors) from 711 to 1492, when both the Moors and the Jews were expelled by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

Most of the territory of modern-day Portugal was occupied by the Moors for more than 500 years, from 711 until 1249. During that time, the territory was known by its Arabic name, Gharb Al-Andalus (The West of Al-Andalus) or Al-Gharb (The West).


As President Obama dawdles developing a strategy for dealing with ISIS, a seemingly puzzled and frightened news media endlessly ponders, “What should Obama do?”

Let’s face it; even the most hawkish observers insist upon trumpeting the requisite “No Ground Troops” disclaimer. Our elite media and leadership class have bombarded us so often with the notion that America is too war weary to put up with sending troops to an Arab land that no “national conversation” about it ever ensues.

Instead, the disclaimer routinely asserts that America need only send air power coupled with limited special forces and trainers to oversee foreign ground troops such as the Kurds. Now Secretary of State John Kerry plays Obama “Mini-Me” in drawing a red line against sending ground troops while demanding certain NATO nations develop a plan for him. While Obama has, at last, called for ultimately dismantling and destroying ISIS, he envisions a multi-year process operating from a distance and in reliance upon a yet to be formed coalition of the willing- an “anti-surge.” Is that military strategy or a political transfer of responsibility for failure onto our next president?

What, then, should Obama do?

He should first make crystal clear that because ISIS has declared a Holy War against us, we are at war with it. Then he should go to Congress to reverse the defense budget cuts he pushed through during his term.

Obama’s Attempt at an ISIS Strategy — on The Glazov Gang

Obama’s Attempt at an ISIS Strategy — on The Glazov Gang

A Radical-in-Chief searches for a policy to confront — and deny the existence of — Jihad.

Will Scottish Independence Give Putin Pretext to Annex Eastern Ukraine? Peter Martino

Scottish independence would be a disaster for NATO, putting the UK nuclear deterrent in jeopardy. It would also put into question national borders all over Europe, including Catalonia, Belgium, France’s Brittany and Corsica, Italy’s South Tyrol — and Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned in 2008 that Kosovo’s independence “would be the beginning of the end for Europe.”

Crimea’s recent secession from Ukraine was justified with a reference to “the Kosovo precedent,” which Putin pointed out, “our Western partners created with their own hands.”

This Thursday, Scotland will be holding a referendum on independence. Polls predict that it may go either way; a narrow victory for those who want Scotland to become an independent nation or for those who want it to remain a part of the United Kingdom. While in most European capitals, governments are hoping that the ‘No’ side will win the day, Russian president Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin has several reasons to cheer if the Scots decide to go their own way.

Scottish independence would be a disaster for NATO. The Scottish nationalists have made it very clear that they want all British nuclear weapons to be removed from Scottish soil. This will put the UK nuclear deterrent in jeopardy. But Scottish independence is also likely to bring national borders into question all over Europe, including the fragile boundaries of the Ukraine.

The United Kingdom flag, flag of Scotland, and European Union flag flying outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Calum Hutchinson)
Last week, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier broke with Germany’s postwar policy of not interfering in British domestic politics. In an unprecedented statement, he made clear that Berlin hoped that the Scots would vote ‘No’ and Great Britain would remain together. Yet, as an interesting article in the London Daily Telegraph pointed out last Thursday, Germany is one of the European countries that will be least affected by the repercussions of a Scottish ‘Yes’ vote.

5 of the Latest, Dumbest Statements About Israel by Jewish Liberals : By P. David Hornik

Jewish leftists—or “liberals” as they tend to call themselves—have been freaking out since conservative coalitions started winning elections in Israel in 1977. In countless books, articles, interviews, and speeches, they tell—with clockwork regularity—the same story of an Israel that was once enlightened but has descended into belligerent nationalism, become the bad guy of its neighborhood, and consistently spurned the olive branch of peace that its neighbors are always offering it.

The latest Gaza war in July and August provided, of course, yet another occasion for Jewish liberals to sound these themes. They apply the same template they’ve been applying for decades and don’t let themselves get confused by the facts. Here I’ve assembled five particularly dazzling pearls of their wisdom.

To the New York Times’s Roger Cohen I’ve had to give a double honor: two of the five statements I’ve chosen are his.

On August 9, Cohen quoted an Israeli woman who wrote to him that Israelis and Palestinians “have to sit and talk. We have to live with one another.”

Cohen then asked [2]:

What do such words amount to? No more than confetti in a gale, perhaps, scattered by the force of Hamas, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and the unblushing Jewish advocates of forcible removal of Palestinians from Gaza, the West Bank and even Israel itself.

There you have it. Yes, there are bad forces in the Middle East like Hamas and Islamic State—but they have their equivalents in Israel. It’s a liberal twitch; if one were to acknowledge that there are elements in the region that are actually worse than Israel, then the Israel-as-bully house of cards might teeter.

Problem is, who are these “unblushing Jewish advocates of forced removal…”? I live in Israel, follow the news, and don’t know who Cohen’s talking about. The most right-wing member of Israel’s current 120-member Knesset, Moshe Feiglin, proposed—and his is a lone voice—offering [3] each Gazan family $100,000 to leave, without forcing anyone. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has often suggested that, in a final Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, some heavily Arab-populated parts of Israel should become part of the Palestinian state—without being “removed” or having to go anywhere at all.


New York’s Terrorist-Friendly Mayor’s Policies on Islamist Terrorism Increase Threat

On the thirteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, New York City’s Mayor, the socialist-leaning Bill de Blasio has drawn criticism for some decisions he’s made regarding the way the citizens of New York are protected against possible terror attacks.

The efficacy of the NYPD’s counter-terrorism operations may have been seriously impacted by what is seen by many as a political favor being repaid to a group that helped him get elected, NYC’s Muslim population.

In an article on “The Hill,” John Lehman, a former member of the 9/11 commission described it as “A classic case of taking your eye off the ball at the worst possible time.” He believes de Blasio is discounting the level of threat that is posed by ISIS, saying, “At the very time when the threat suddenly emerges in a whole new additional form focused on the U.S., he decides to end some of the most effective programs in the country in the NYPD counterterrorism unit.” Resources, both in manpower and equipment that used to be dedicated to counter-terrorism activities have been reassigned to other tasks.

His predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, had created a massive counterterrorism unit during his three terms as mayor. Since taking over, de Blasio has moved in the opposite direction, and even disbanded a special surveillance unit which focused on mosques and Muslims groups with terrorist ties.

Those dangerous individuals are now free to roam the city virtually unchecked. That unit also mapped communities, projecting possible locations for the settlement of known radicals as well as monitoring extremists operations at local mosques affiliated with radical Islamist imams.

De Blasio has also made some questionable personnel changes which appear on the surface to have negatively impacted anti-terror enforcement operations, whimsically replacing some very qualified individuals with under-qualified appointments.

Additionally, de Blasio is instituting a city ID which bypasses U.S. immigration law and turns the all of New York into a sanctuary city of gigantic proportions. De Blasio has made it a very simple matter for illegal aliens, including those which wish to do us harm, to evade detection.

Vasily Grossman’s Forgotten Legacy : Reggie Gibbs ****

He first saw that Nazism was evil, then realized that Communism was the other side of the coin.

On September 14, 1964, Vasily Grossman — one of the pivotal journalists and novelists of the 20th century, although he was little known in the West — passed out of this world. An eyewitness to the brutality and suffering of the Battle of Stalingrad, Grossman would, as the Red Army pushed westward, eventually step through the gates of Treblinka and record what is perhaps the first, and is considered by many to be the most vivid, description of the atrocities that were the Nazi extermination camps. He set down his observations and thoughts in The Hell of Treblinka, an essay that would be disseminated at the Nuremberg Trials as prosecutorial evidence. The service that Grossman provided to humanity in documenting accurately the Soviet war effort on the eastern front (no small achievement for a journalist writing for the Red Army’s Krasnaya Zvezda), and later the horrors of Hitler’s Holocaust, would itself merit a tribute on the 50th anniversary of his death. Beyond these monumental historical contributions, however, lies an equally significant moral proclamation on the nature of politics and the state.

Grossman’s masterpiece is his epic on the Battle of Stalingrad, Life and Fate. This novel, along with the much shorter but nonetheless poignant and politically devastating Everything Flows, was not published in the Soviet Union until a year before the regime collapsed. Upon starting to read it, one will have no problem ascertaining why. The novel’s geographical and character-laden breadth is in the tradition of the Russian grand epics. Grossman, in fact, intended Life and Fate to echo one of the best-known titles in the annals of Russian literature, War and Peace. Both novels, in graphic and realistic portrayals of their respective periods of warfare, justifiably praise and establish, with no room for doubt, the bravery and dedication of the Russian soldier engaged in an existential conflict. But whereas the result of Tolstoy’s tour de force, through the depiction of a young Alexander I stoically leading his armies against the Napoleonic advance, was to glorify and elevate the state, the result of Grossman’s was to emasculate it. And the unorthodox way in which he does this continues, even to this day, to be a feat of enormous philosophical and political honesty.

Soviet dissident literature leaned toward one of two tendencies. The first was to target the various mechanisms employed by the State to establish and maintain control. Censorship, suppression of the opposition, and human-rights abuses were most commonly singled out for criticism. However, in this first tendency, judgment of the overall Communist project was reserved; the problem was seen to be not Communism, but those who were implementing it. The second tendency was to attack the whole project itself. Critics in this school start with Marx, then move to Lenin, and, in a distinct break with the first group, link Lenin to Stalin. At this point in their analysis, since Stalin is universally recognized as one of the worst tyrants of the last hundred years, Communism is discredited as inevitably leading to mass murder and starvation.

Democrats’ Push to Criminalize Dissent By Kevin D. Williamson

Harry Reid wants to gut the only thing stopping federal authorities from suffocating free speech.

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Dissent is the lowest form of crime. If you are a drone in the hive of the Left, it is possible — easy, in fact — to believe both of those things at the same time.

Free speech just won an important victory in a federal courtroom, though it is shameful that the case ever even had to go to court. Ohio had enacted a plainly unconstitutional law that empowered a government panel to determine whether criticisms offered in political advertisements were sufficiently true to be permitted in the public discourse. Those who have followed the IRS scandal, the Travis County, Texas, prosecutorial scandals, or Harry Reid’s recent effort to repeal the First Amendment will not be surprised that this measure was used as a political weapon against a conservative group, in this case the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List. SBA List criticized a Democratic House member for having voted for the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA), noting that the law will implicate American taxpayers in the funding of abortions, an entanglement previously minimized through measures such as the Hyde Amendment. Despite the fact that the ACA regime would, among other things, permit federal subsidies for abortion-funding insurance plans, the Ohio Inquisition ruled the ad impermissible, and banned it.

So much for free speech.

Fortunately, an Obama appointee whose ability to read the letter of the law had not been utterly drummed out of him ruled that the Ohio Inquisition obviously violated longstanding free-speech protections, the First Amendment notable among them. Last week, a similar case in Minnesota came to a similar conclusion.

Which is why Harry Reid wants to repeal the First Amendment.


www.verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com  http://blogs.jpost.com/users/just-look-us-now ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS   Violinist plays during her brain surgery.  Former international violinist Naomi Elishuv gave up playing 20 years ago when she developed essential tremor.  Israeli doctors fitted a Deep Brain Stimulation electrode into her damaged brain under local anesthetic, and whilst Naomi played the violin, they guided it to the correct […]

More Western Voices of Reason By:Srdja Trifkovic

My friend (and Tom Fleming’s), former Canadian ambassador in Belgrade James Bissett, published a noteworthy article in last Tuesday’s Ottawa Citizen (“NATO at the Heart of the New Cold War,” September 9). He starts by reminding us that NATO was born at the mid-point of the 20th century, which by that time had already seen two world wars and the dropping of the atom bomb on civilian cities. Its founders were determined that war and violence should not become the norm in resolving disputes, and it was in this spirit that Article I of the treaty was conceived:

The parties undertake, as set out forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved, by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered… and to refrain from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

For fifty years NATO was successful in deterring aggression against the West, Bissett says. It contributed to the creation of a mutual understanding that armed conflict between the two opposing powers was not an option. Critically important, in his view, was Article I itself because it was a guarantee to the Soviet Union that it would never be attacked by NATO forces; this acted as a safety blanket for the Soviets. Ironically, Bissett continues, the fall of the Soviet empire did not foretell the beginning of a new age of peace and security in Europe. On the contrary, its demise caused a crisis in NATO:

After the Warsaw Pact armies had returned home what was the justification of maintaining such an expensive and powerful military force in Europe. NATO’s response was business as usual – a continuation of the Cold war. As the respected former United States Ambassador to Moscow, George F Kennan wrote in 1987, “Were the Soviet Union, to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military industrial complex would have to remain substantially unchanged until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”