In the beginning…

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John 1: 1-5

 

 

 

 

 

The Palestinian obsession

By Caroline Glick

September 16, 2011,  3:40 AM
Palestinian obsession.jpg
If nothing else, the Palestinians’ UN statehood gambit goes a long way towards revealing the deep-seated European and US pathologies that enable and prolong the Palestinian conflict with Israel.
In a nutshell, the Palestinian Authority – or Fatah – or PLO initiative of asking the UN Security Council and the General Assembly to upgrade its status to that of a sovereign UN member state or a sovereign non-UN member state is an act of diplomatic aggression.
Eighteen years ago this week, on September 13, 1993, the PLO signed the Declaration of Principles with Israel on the White House lawn.
There, the terror group committed itself to a peace process in which all disputes between Israel and the PLO – including the issue of Palestinian statehood – would be settled in the framework of bilateral negotiations.
The PA was established on the basis of this accord. The territory, money, arms and international legitimacy it has been given was due entirely to the PLO pledge to resolve the Palestinian conflict with Israel through bilateral negotiations.
By abandoning negotiations with Israel two years ago, and opting instead to achieve its nationalist aims outside the framework of a peace treaty with Israel, the Palestinians are destroying the diplomatic edifice on which the entire concept of a peace process is based. They are announcing that they have no intention of living at peace with Israel. Rather they intend to move ahead at Israel’s expense.
In truth, there is little new in the Palestinians’ behavior. They have been using the UN to weaken Israel diplomatically since the early 1970s. Moreover, even if their bid does provide them with upgraded diplomatic status, it won’t change the reality on the ground, nor are the Palestinians particularly interested in changing the situation on the ground.
As the PLO ambassador in Lebanon, Abdullah Abdullah, made clear in an interview Wednesday with Lebanon’s Daily Star, in the event that the UN recognizes some form of Palestinian statehood at the UN, the new “State of Palestine” will still expect the UN to support the so-called Palestinian “refugees.”
This is true, he said, even for the “refugees” who live in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. That is, the same UN that the Palestinians seek recognition of statehood from will be expected to provide relief to Palestinian “refugees” living inside “Palestine.”
As he put it, “Even Palestinian refugees living in [refugee camps] inside the [Palestinian] state, they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens.”
So if nothing will change on the ground, why do the US and the EU care what the Palestinians do at the UN next week with their automatic General Assembly majority?
Why have the senior peace-processors of Washington and Europe descended on Jerusalem and Ramallah, begging and pleading with the Palestinians to cancel their plans?
Why have the Americans and the Europeans been pressuring Israel to make massive concessions to the Palestinians in order to convince them to put out the diplomatic fire there have set at the UN?
Why are the White House and the State Department telling the media that the US will consider it a major diplomatic embarrassment if the Palestinians go through with their threats? Why in short, do the Americans and the Europeans care about this?
THE PALESTINIANS have certainly never given either the Americans or the Europeans a good reason to support their cause. Just this week, the PLO representative in Washington told reporters that the future state of Palestine will ban Jews and homosexuals.
And yet, the Obama administration and the EU have made the establishment of a racist, homophobic Palestinian state the greatest aim of their policies in the Middle East.
Every single Palestinian leader from the supposedly moderate Fatah party has rejected Israel’s right to exist and said that they will never set aside their demand that Israel accept millions of foreign-born Arabs – the so-called Palestinian “refugees” – as citizens. They say this with the full knowledge that this demand is nothing less than a demand for Israel’s destruction.
And yet, both the US and the EU, which certainly do not support the destruction of Israel, insist that it is imperative to strengthen and support the supposedly moderate Fatah party which seeks the destruction of Israel.
Every year, the US and Europe transfer collectively approximately a billion dollars in various forms of aid to the Palestinian Authority and yet, the PA has failed to develop a market economy capable of supporting the Palestinians without foreign assistance. Instead, they have developed a welfare society where most economic activity stems from foreign handouts.
Rather than feel embarrassment at their failures, PA leaders use their economic corruption to continuously threaten their patrons. If aid is cut off, they say, the PA will disintegrate and the far more popular Hamas movement will take over, and then, woe of woes, the peace process will be destroyed.
Of course, Hamas is also sustained by Western aid money. Every month, the same PA that warns of the dangers of a rising Hamas transfers tens of millions of dollars in foreign aid to Hamas-controlled Gaza to pay salaries of Hamas “government” employees.
Yet despite its mafia economy, and its exploitation of their aid funds to support a terrorist organization, the US and EU insist on maintaining the PA’s status as the largest per capita foreign aid recipient in human history. And they do so even as the Eurozone is on the brink of collapse and the US is descending rapidly into a new recession.
Finally, in the interest of maintaining the peace process, aside from periodic pro forma statements, the US and the EU have turned blind eyes to the PA’s routine and institutional glorification of terrorist mass murderers and Nazi-style anti-Semitic indoctrination and incitement of Palestinian society.
Given their absolute commitment to the so-called peace process, it would be reasonable to expect the US and the EU to oppose the Palestinians’ decision to move their conflict with Israel from the negotiating table to the UN.
After all, in acting as they are, the Palestinians are making clear that they are abandoning the sacrosanct peace process.
Alas, this is not the case.
The Obama administration is engaging in desperate eleventh hour diplomacy to convince the Palestinians to cancel their UN plan, because it does not wish to oppose it. Most EU member states are expected to support the Palestinian bid at both the Security Council and the General Assembly.
The fact that the US and the EU are reluctant to oppose the Palestinian UN initiative, despite the fact that it destroys the foundations of the peace process, tells us two things about the Americans and the Europeans. First, their support for the Palestinians has more in common with a psychological obsession than with a rational policy decision.
The Obama administration, the EU bureaucracy and most EU member states are obsessed with the Palestinians. There is nothing the Palestinians can say or do to convince them that the Palestinian case is anything other than wholly and completely just.
There are many possible explanations for how they arrived at this obsession. But the fact is that it is an obsession. Like all obsessions, their faith in the justice of the Palestinian cause is impermeable to contrary facts or rational interests.
The flip side of this obsession is, of course, a complementary obsession with blaming Israel for everything that goes wrong. For if the Palestinians are always in the right, and they are fighting Israel, then it naturally follows that Israel is always in the wrong.
This “Blame Israel First” mindset was exposed in all its madness in a New York Times editorial on Thursday.
Despite the Palestinians’ refusal to negotiate with Israel, despite Fatah’s unity-government deal with Hamas, and despite their rejection of Israel’s right to exist, the Times argued that Israel is to blame for the current crisis in relations.
In the paper’s view, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “has been the most intractable” party to the conflict. Netanyahu’s crime? He has permitted Jews in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to exercise their property rights and build on land they own.
Of course, that is not how the Times put it. In the Times’ words, Netanyahu has been “building settlements.”
Intrinsic to the Times‘ claim, (and to the Obama administration’s EU-supported demand that Israel disregard Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria), is an embrace of the Palestinians’ bigoted position that Jews must be banned from the future Palestinian state.
That is, like the administration and the EU, the Times‘ support for the “just Palestinian cause” is so comprehensive that its editors never even question whether it is reasonable for them to be completely committed to the establishment of a racist state. It is this inability to consider the significance of their actions that removes Western support for the Palestinians from the realm of policy and into the sphere of neurosis.
The second lesson of the US and European unwillingness to oppose the Palestinians’ UN statehood bid is that the Obama administration and the EU alike are obsessed with getting on the right side of inherently anti-Western international institutions.
Here, too, the reason that the position is an obsession rather than a considered policy is because no conceivable rational US or European interest is advanced by strengthening the UN and similar bodies.
Administration officials have repeatedly said that they do not wish to veto a Palestinian statehood resolution at the Security Council because they do not want to isolate the US at the UN. It is due to their aversion to isolation that the administration has worked so intensively in recent weeks to convince the Palestinians to cancel their UN plans, by pressuring Israel to give them massive concessions.
It never seems to have occurred to anyone at the White House that standing alone at the UN more often than not means standing up for US interests, and that standing with the crowd involves sacrificing US interests.
As for the EU, their automatic support of the UN is somewhat more reasonable. Although the UN majority systematically empowers states and forces that are hostile to Europe, many EU member states share the UN majority’s anti-Israel and anti-American positions. So by voting with the majority, EU member states are able to act on their prejudices without having to own up to them. Moreover, many EU states have irredentist Islamic minorities. Joining the Israel-bashers at the UN is a low-cost way to appease them.
On Thursday, Netanyahu announced that he will address the UN General Assembly in New York next week and put the truth about the Palestinian cause on the table.
Perhaps someone will be moved by his words.
Perhaps not.
But whether he makes a difference or not, at least reason will have one defender at the UN next week.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

 

 

 


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Cairo mob ransacks, torches Israeli embassy. Ambassador flown out
DEBKAfile Special Report

 

 

 

10 Sept. The Israeli embassy in Cairo stood empty Saturday, Sept. 10 after thousands of demonstrators smashed through the wall enclosing the building, broke in and dumped the flag and hundreds of documents through the windows – some classified.
DEBKAfile: Egyptian security forces first stood by and watched. They later used tear gas and fire in the air but were too late to contain the howling mob led by Islamist fundamentalists. At least 5 Egyptian soldiers were killed and more than 1,000 demonstrators were injured in the clashes. Two Israeli military planes flew the ambassador and 80 staff home.

Six Israeli security officers remained on guard until early morning and were later rescued from a room with steel doors by Egyptian commandos – both groups in Egyptian disguise – and driven to the airport in an armored car. The first secretary stayed in Cairo in a secure place.
President Barak Obama expressed concern.
DEBKAfile: The Egyptian rulers’ policy of appeasement for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic extremists has backfired against them too. The spreading extremist violence climaxing in the attack on the Israeli embassy augurs the further breakdown of their authority. As well as an outrage against Israel and setback for US influence, it confronts the generals with their moment of truth: Their failure to deal with the rioters, who quickly vented their fury on police vehicles and buildings after the embassy, will pave the way for Muslim extremist control of Egypt. Israel stands in grave peril of the region’s two top Muslim powers lining up at the head of its enemies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Israeli embassy break-in led by Jam’a al-Islamiya of NY Twin Towers 1993 bombing
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report


 

 

10 Sept. In first new disclosures on the storming of Israel’s Cairo embassy of Friday night, Sept. 9, DEBKAfile reveals the mob was led by Gama’a al-Islamiya, the Egyptian founding branch of Al Qaeda, together with two other radical Islamist groups. One of its early operations under the al Qaeda label was the February 1993 car bombing of the World Trade Center of New York. Gemaa is now running for election in Egypt. Saturday, when the mob sacked the embassy, the Egyptian police stood by for hours – until they rifled the gunroom of the local police HQ. The six Israeli security guards were only rescued one steel door away from falling into the mob’s clutches by the intercession of US Ambassador Anne Patterson following Prime Minister’s request of Barack Obama. Egypt’s military ruler Mohammed Tantawi refused to take his calls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abbas claims 1947 borders for Palestinian state, affirms bid to UN Security Council

DEBKAfile Special Report September 16, 2011

 

 

 

Mahmoud Abbas goes to UN

 

 

 

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced Friday, Sept. 16, in Ramallah that he would ask the UN Security Council next week for recognition of Palestinian statehood. Once they have a state and a flag and recognition by two-thirds of the world’s nations, the Palestinians would leave all other issues open for negotiation with Israel, he said.

While citing the 1967 borders for a future Palestinian state in reference to his UN application,Abbas stressed that Israel’s “occupation” will not will not end the next day and much more remains to be done because the 1967 lines do not define the true borders – any more than the roadblocks and the settlements. The real Palestinian borders were laid down in 1947 down by the UN. All other areas [meaning large parts of the state of Israel] are “occupied territory” which the Palestinians intend to claim.

 

The Palestinian leader sought to imply that the 126 governments which have recognized the Palestinian right to a state had accepted this interpretation.

 

His other points:

1. The Palestinian application to the UN Security Council is only one step on the road to full independence, after which “all options remain open.” Its purpose is to obtain full UN membership and then return to the table for negotiation on this new basis.

 

2. He emphasized the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem as state capital, pledged to work for the refugees’ return and strive for national unity by healing the rift with Hamas.

3. Abbas issued a strict caution against violence demonstrations and protests, because he said this would play into Israel’s
hands. A long passage was devoted to the obstacles he accused Israel of placing in the path of Palestinian independence, especially by building new settlements on the West Bank and set them against the strenuous efforts the Palestinians have made to establish the administration and institutions of the future state.

“We promised Obama to have them ready by September,” he said and “so they are.”

He accused Israel soldiers and settlers of letting dogs loose against Palestinians and even wild boars to destroy crops. At the same time, Abbas said he was turning to the UN not in order to isolate Israel or assail its legitimacy but only to delegitimize and terminate the occupation.

 

In another part of his speech, Mahmoud Abbas boasted about the democracy prevailing in the Palestinian Authority (West Bank). We respect the will of the people, he said: “They don’t have to demonstrate in the squares (a dig at the Arab Revolt).”
debkafile: The last Palestinian elections took place in 2006. The president, the legislature and the municipal councils are no longer legally in office. Abbas and the Palestinian Authority which he heads are maintained by the Palestinian armed security forces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey maligns Israel to freeze the IDF out of the US anti-Iran missile shield


DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 2, 2011

 

 

Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan on an anti-Israel vendetta

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey has run into two obstacles in its two-year campaign to destroy Israel’s good name and squeeze it into a corner: First, the UN report out Friday, Sept. 2 justified Israel’s Gaza blockade and its navy’s interception last year of a Turkish vessel leading a flotilla aiming to breach that blockade, although it was assailed for its “excessive response” to the violence of Turkish
extremists.
Ankara tried in vain to squash this report and postpone its publication. Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu laid down an ultimatum which gave Israel 24 hours to abandon its refusal to apologize for the nine deaths aboard that vessel, Turkish-flagged ship Mavi Marmora , caused by a clash between armed Turkish “peace activists” and Israeli soldiers who boarded it. Davutoglu said Israel must also compensate the bereaved families and end the blockade.

Israel again stood by its refusal to apologize – Turkey’s second contretemps. The UN report composed by former New Zealand Prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer then recommended that Ankara accept “an appropriate statement of regret” and payment of compensation. This is exactly what Israel has repeatedly offered, only to be slapped down by Ankara.
The Erdogan government’s hate campaign for bringing Israel to its knees has entailed support for the terrorist organizations dedicated to its destruction, including the Palestinian Hamas, Hizballah – up to a point, and Turkey’s very own IHH whose activists set about the Israeli soldiers as they boarded the Mavi Marmora. The UN report is hard on the flotilla’s “true nature and objectives,” accusing it of acting “recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade” and holding the Turkish government responsible for not doing more to prevent this encounter. Israel’s naval blockade was ruled legal and justified – “Israel faces a real threat to its security” from Gaza – and the actions of its commandos were deemed “honorable and appropriate,” although the Palmer report assails Israel for its “excessive and unreasonable” response to the violence it encountered on the Marmora.Having failed to bring Israel low with its two-year long Plan A, Ankara is putting Plan B into action. The Israeli ambassador (who is on home leave before retiring) was expelled and Turkey’s longstanding military accords with Israel suspended.

The Turkish foreign minister has already threatened to enforce anti-Israel sanctions and ask international tribunals to prosecute Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, ex-Chief of Staff Gabby Ashkenazi, Navy Commander Zvi Merom and a string of naval officers for causing the nine Marmora deaths and requiring them to compensate the victims’ families.


None of these measures were recommended in the Palmer report.

Turkey’s combative intransigence over the flotilla episode and rank hostility toward Israel reflect the Erdogan government’s frustration over the failure of its strategy to carve a role for Turkey as the leading regional power broker, especially in the Arab Revolt. Syrian President Bashar Assad simply laughed off Erdogan’s “last warning” to him to stop slaughtering civilian
demonstrators and return his troops to barracks.

Davutoglu went to Damascus especially on Aug. 9 to deliver the warning by hand. But since then, the Syrian army has killed an estimated 437 people, including nearly 100 Palestinians in the town of Latakia – apart from the scores who are dying from maltreatment in custody. Thousands more are injured daily by military gunfire. Yet Assad not only keeps on sending his
troops into Syrian cities but has improved on their tactics: In the last two weeks tanks are smashing their way into one city district after another.

Assad is not alone in showing contempt for Ankara’s attempt to make its mark on the Arab Revolt

In Libya, for instance, Turkey undertook to build security and administrative institutions for the dominant Transitional National Council in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi– only to be cold-shouldered after refusing to take part as a NATO member in the military offensive against Muammar Qaddafi and his army – unlike Qatar and Jordan, which put their backs and special forces into toppling the Libyan regime.

The turmoil in Arab lands has made the alliance Erdogan strove to shape between Ankara, Tehran and Damascus, irrelevant, as well as dashing his vision of Turkey as the great bridge between the West and the Muslim world. Erdogan is now working on a new alliance with Saudi Arabia at the head of the Gulf emirates, but their differences of approach are formidable. Riyadh is focused on establishing a Sunni Muslim lineup to challenge the Iranian-led Shiite world. Erdogan and Davutoglu are not sure this concept will advance their own vision of Turkey’s role.

All the Turkish leaders’ efforts to make friends and allies have had an important common objective: To isolate Israel and make its military inconsequential as a Middle East force. There is no point therefore in the Netanyahu government acceding to Ankara’s demands. Even if the Gaza blockade were to be lifted, Erdogan would find another pretext for slapping Israel down. And if Plan B goes the way of Plan A, his foreign minister certainly has Plans C and D in his briefcase ready to go. Some Israeli officials refer to Turkey as an important regional power which should be placated. The facts do not support this description. The rift will be healed only when Turkey’s rulers stop using Israel as whipping boy for their failed agendas, whether in the Sunni or the Shiite arenas, and understand that the Israeli army is not about to play kids’ games with Turkish terrorists.

Israel must understand too that the glory days of close military ties, when Turkish military air crews training in Israel swooped low over the Tel Aviv beachfront are gone for good. Erdogan has forced the generals of those days into retirement or put them in jail.

Only eight months ago, Hakan Fidan, head of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization, MIT and an Erdogan trusty was ready to hand Iran all the classified data on Israel’s weapons systems in Turkey’s possession to help Tehran stand up to a potential Israeli strike against its nuclear facilities.
This was only prevented by the outbreak of the popular uprising in Syria and the attendant deterioration of Ankara’s ties with Tehran and Damascus.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been proactive in the Obama administration’s effort to heal the breach between Ankara and Jerusalem. This is a hopeless task because Erdogan and his foreign minister are after big game: They will be satisfied with nothing less that pushing Israel and its army out of the anti-missile setup the US and NATO have deployed for intercepting Iran’s ballistic missiles.

debkafile’s military and Washington sources report that Ankara accompanied its hostile acts against Israel with swift permission for the deployment of NATO electronic warning stations on Turkish soil. Turkey’s eyes are fixed on the shared
ballistic missile defense facilities the US established with Israel in recent years. Erdogan plans next to warn Washington that it will not allow the data incoming to the Turkey-based stations to be relayed to Israel thereby driving a hole in the missile shield America is building. Turkey’s aim is to drive a wedge between Washington and Jerusalem, derail their close military and intelligence collaboration and cast Israel out of the collective missile shield.

US withdrawal from this partnership under Turkish pressure would leave Israel wide open to Iran’s ballistic missiles. Whether or not Ankara succeeds in this maneuver depends on how the Obama administration treats what looks in Jerusalem very much like Turkish blackmail.

 

 

 

 

Turkey joins NATO’s missile defense shield

** FILE ** This image from Iranian Television shows the launch of a Shahab-3 missile, which officials have said has a range of 1,250 miles and is armed with a 1-ton conventional warhead. Iran test-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles on Wednesday, July 9, 2008, during war games that officials said are in response to U.S. and Israeli threats, state television reported. (AP Photo)  This image from Iranian Television shows the launch of a Shahab-3 missile, which officials have said has a range of 1,250 miles and is armed with a 1-ton conventional warhead. Irantest-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles on Wednesday, July 9, 2008, during war games that officials said are in response to U.S. and Israeli threats, state television reported. (AP Photo)

By Selcan Hacaoglu   Associated Press – The Washington Times Wednesday, September 14, 2011

 

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An early warning radar will be stationed  in Turkey’s southeast as part of NATO’s missile defense system, the Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday. The deployment reflects improving  relations with the United States, which were strained after the invasion  of Iraq. The system is capable of countering ballistic missile  threats from Turkey’s neighbor Iran, which has warned Turkey that  deploying the radar at the military installation will escalate regional  tensions. Turkey insists the shield doesn’t target a specific country,  and the ministry statement didn’t mention Iran. Turkey agreed to  host the radar earlier this month in the framework of the NATO missile defense  architecture, saying it would strengthen both its own and NATO’s  defense capacities. “In this context, the site surveys and  relevant legal arrangements have also been finalized, and accordingly a  military installation in Kurecik has been designated as the radar site,”  Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said. “That installation was  used in the past for similar purposes.” Kurecik, in Malatya province, lies some 435 miles west of the Iranian border. Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said earlier this month that the United States  hopes to have the radar deployed there by the end of the year. The  deployment in Turkey, the biggest Muslim voice in NATO, signals  improving ties with Washington since the 2003 Iraq invasion. Turkey also  closely works with U.S. forces in NATO operations in Afghanistan and  Libya, though it is not directly involved in combat. Earlier this  week, Turkey confirmed talks with the U.S. for possible deployment of  Predator drones on its soil after the U.S. leaves Iraq. The U.S.  currently shares drone surveillance data with Turkey to aid its fight  against Kurdish rebels who have bases in Iraq. Turkish authorities did  not specify if they want armed drones or just surveillance ones. Turkey’s  announcement about the radar came a day after Romania signed a deal to  host a crucial part of a U.S. missile defense system. Romanian  President Traian Basescu announced the deal after meeting with President Obama in Washington. NATO members agreed to an  anti-missile system over Europe to protect against Iranian ballistic  missiles at a summit in Lisbon last year. A compromise not to  pinpoint Iran was reached with Turkey, which had threatened to block  the deal if its neighbor was explicitly named as a threat. Turkey  has built close economic ties with Iran and has been at odds with the  United States on its stance toward Iran’s nuclear program, arguing for a  diplomatic solution to the standoff instead of sanctions. But the  agreement over hosting the radar comes at a time when Turkey and Iran  appear to be differing on their approach toward Syria, with Turkey  becoming increasingly critical of Iranian ally Syria’s brutal  suppression of anti-regime protests. Under the NATO plans, a  limited system of U.S. anti-missile interceptors and radars already  planned for Europe — to include interceptors in Romania and Poland as  well as the radar in Turkey — would be linked to expanded European-owned  missile defenses. That would create a broad system that protects every  NATO country against medium-range missile attack. Russia opposes  the planned missile defense system, which it worries could threaten its  own nuclear missiles or undermine their deterrence capability. Moscow  agreed to consider a NATO proposal last year to cooperate on the missile  shield but insisted the system be run jointly. NATO rejected that  demand, and no compromise has been found yet. The Islamic Republic  remains locked in a standoff with the West over its nuclear program,  which the U.S. and its allies suspect is aimed at developing atomic  weapons. Iran denies the charges and says the program is only for  peaceful purposes. Iran conducts several war games every year as  part of a military self-sufficiency program that started in 1992, and it  frequently unveils new weapons and military systems during the drills.  In recent exercises, Iran unveiled underground missile silos that it  says is capable of multiple launches. Tehran says its  longest-range missiles, Shahab-3 and Sajjil-2, can travel up to 1,240  miles — putting Israel, U.S. bases in the Gulf region  and parts Europe within reach.

The Washington Times Online Edition

TRR: Michelle Obama: “All This Just For a Flag

ASSOCIATED PRESS Michelle Obama steps into 2012 presidential campaigning on Thursday with a speech to the Democratic National Committee's Women's Leadership Forum. ASSOCIATED PRESSMichelle Obama steps into 2012 presidential campaigning on Thursday with a speech to the Democratic National Committee‘s Women’s Leadership Forum.

James S. Robbins Published on September 13, 2011
The internet was buzzing this week with video of First Lady Michelle Obama apparently showing extreme disrespect to the American flag at a ceremony in honor of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. As police and firefighters fold the flag to the sound of marching bagpipers, a skeptical looking Mrs. Obama leans to her husband and appears to say, “all this just for a flag.” She then purses her lips and shakes her head slightly as Mr. Obama nods.  Just for a flag? If that is what she said it is regrettable. Even with all her years being around those who hold high public office Mrs. Obama does not seem to understand the purpose and importance of ceremonies. They reaffirm the bonds of loyalty and fellowship that cement our national unity. Yes, at one level a flag is just a colorful piece of cloth. But it symbolizes much more. It is the emblem of our land and all its ideals. It has been present at every major event of any importance to the country, battles, celebrations, meetings, and the lunar landings. It is a symbol of unity that transcends party, faction and time. It is something uniquely and explicitly American. Men and women have fought and died for it. Our enemies hate us for it and burn it in the streets. All that should mean something. Perhaps Mrs. Obama thinks that all the pomp and circumstance she experiences in her daily life has something to do with her, rather than the unofficial office she holds. If so she should disabuse herself of that notion quickly. The official gestures of respect shown to her are the same shown to any First Lady, and if she wasn’t married to the president she would be just another citizen. Ruffles and flourishes are not hers by right, but by coincidence of marriage. Yet this is the same woman who said she had never in her adult life been really proud of America before her husband ran for president, so it is no wonder she might dismiss a flag ceremony as just so much nonsense. All this just for a flag? Has anyone said, “All this just for Michelle Obama?”

 

 

EDITORIAL: Obama and the Jews

It’s time for the Jewish vote to defect from the Democratic Party

The Washington Times Thursday, September 15, 2011

 

Illustration: Obama and IsraelIllustration: Obama and Israel

 

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The Republican upset victory in the special election for New York’s heavily Jewish 9th Congressional District has set off alarm bells in Democratic political circles. The White House is launching an outreach effort to American Jews to convince them that Mr. Obama is the best friend Israel has ever had in Washington. If that were even remotely true, there would be no desperate need for outreach. Several recent polls have shown Mr. Obama’s support among the Jewish population is dropping. In general, Jews tend to be more liberal and more affiliated with the Democratic Party than most Americans, but approval for Mr. Obama is waning even faster than among the electorate at large. In response, the White House is touting Mr. Obama’s purported strong support for Israel. This won’t work because the notion that Jews primarily cast their votes based on that issue is wrong. American Jews suffer as much from Mr. Obama’s disastrous economic policies as anyone else, and the faltering recovery is just as damaging in the Jewish community as elsewhere. If anything, it’s a wonder his support from Jews is still above average. It’s also untrue that Jews are the only group concerned about Israel’s fate. Americans in general recognize that Israel is America’s steadiest and most loyal ally in the Middle East. It’s one of the region’s only democracies and certainly the most durable. For many American conservatives, Christians and Jews alike, the existence of the state of Israel is evidence of the unfolding of a divine plan. Like the United States, it is a nation of immigrants, a diverse, tolerant and multicultural society surrounded by countries that are anything but. For example, this week, Maen Areikat, the Palestine Liberation Organization ambassador to the United Nations, said, “it would be in the best interest of the two people*” that the proposed future Palestinian state be free of Jews. Lately, the relationship between America and Israel has been punctuated by periodic dust-ups between Mr. Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has a stronger will and vastly more diplomatic experience. Many liberal American Jews are not fans of the conservative prime minister, but a July poll by Dick Morris found that 85 percent of Jewish Democrats believe, “Israel is a small country surrounded by countries and peoples that want to destroy it.” There’s no question Mr. Netanyahu agrees with that, but there is some doubt about Mr. Obama. The major difference between the Obama administration and those before it is the general sense of moral equivalence with which it approaches the peace process. Mr. Obama’s obsessive outreach to Muslim countries has led him to adopt a very even-handed tone when discussing Israel. Surrendering the moral argument for the Jewish state in pursuit of a deal has conveyed American weakness to both sides. It’s no wonder the Palestinian Authority is pushing for United Nations recognition of statehood. With Mr. Obama in office, they think they can get away with it. The White House is in a bind with Jewish voters. Those who believe Mr. Obama has been bad news for Israel will never be convinced otherwise. Those for whom the economy is the most important issue see the same bad news as everyone else. If this small but influential voting block is starting to turn decisively against Democrats, it could signal a sea change in American politics more important than the transfer of allegiance of black voters away from the GOP in the mid-20th century. It’s about time.

EDITORIAL: Fraying Mideast peace

Obama’s leading from behind leads to chaos

The Washington Times Monday, September 12, 2011
U.S Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, right, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy walk in the Elysee Palace in Paris, during a crisis summit on Libya Saturday, March, 19, 2011. Britain and France took the lead in plans to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya on Friday, sending British warplanes to the Mediterranean and announcing a crisis summit in Paris with the U.N. and Arab allies.(AP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure, Pool)
U.S Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, right, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy walk in the Elysee Palace in Paris, during a crisis summit on Libya Saturday, March, 19, 2011. Britain and France took the lead in plans to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya on Friday, sending British warplanes to the Mediterranean and announcing a crisis summit in Paris with the U.N. and Arab allies.(AP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure, Pool)
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President Obama’s Mideast policy has been marked by his typical rhetorical excess. “There will be perils that accompany this moment of promise,” he said in a major speech in May about the Arab Spring. “But after decades of accepting the world as it is in the region, we have a chance to pursue the world as it should be.” Recent events have shown that the “world as it should be” is rapidly transforming into the world we never wanted. Friday’s attack on Israel’s embassy in Cairo was one such warning sign. A crowd whipped into a frenzy by clerics at Friday prayers tore down the building’s security barrier and proceeded to ransack the compound. The United States implored Egypt to “honor its international obligations to safeguard the security of the Israeli Embassy,” and hundreds of troops and a dozen armored cars descended on the scene as harried diplomats were spirited off by commandos. This is a sad development after 30 years of peace secured by the former Egyptian government, which the White House helped drive from power. Earlier this month in Paris, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, “Libya’s new leadership will need to continue to stand against violent extremism and work with us to ensure that weapons from [Moammar] Gadhafi’s stockpiles do not threaten Libya’s neighbors and the world.” Arms looted from the fallen regime are already flowing out of the country and into the hands of radical elements. Whether the new Libya will be under the sway of extremists may already be decided. Rebel commander Abdelhakim Belhaj is a veteran of the mujahedeen insurgency against the Soviets in Afghanistan and a former Taliban and al Qaeda associate. On Monday, Iran held a ceremony inaugurating the 1,000-megawatt Bushehr nuclear plant, which the mullahs claim will be used for peaceful purposes. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano reiterated the findings of a confidential IAEA report that, “The agency is increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear- related activities involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.” Over the summer, the Islamic Republic installed uranium-enrichment centrifuges in secure underground bunkers near the Shiite holy city of Qom, which doesn’t build confidence that Tehran’s nuclear program is peaceful. U.S. policy opposes all these developments, but policymakers seem helpless to stop them. In May, Mr. Obama said that in the face of radical changes in the Middle East, America “must proceed with a sense of humility.” As crisis upon crisis builds in the region, the White House may discover that extremists see opportunity in a humbled U.S. presidency. The harsh reality is the United States will not be a credible world leader as long as Mr. Obama continues to “lead from behind.” Mideast chaos is the rotten fruit of this weak practice.

 

EDITORIAL: Obama’s shady solar subsidies

House Republicans look beneath the green fig leaf

The Washington Times Tuesday, September 13, 2011
A worker leaves with a moving box Wednesday at Solyndra in Fremont, Calif. The solar-panel manufacturer, which received a $535 million loan from the U.S. government, has announced layoffs of 1,100 workers and plans to file for bankruptcy. A weak economy and strong overseas competition have proved insurmountable. (Associated Press)
A worker leaves with a moving box Wednesday at Solyndra in Fremont, Calif. The solar-panel manufacturer, which received a $535 million loan from the U.S. government, has announced layoffs of 1,100 workers and plans to file for bankruptcy. A weak economy and strong overseas competition have proved insurmountable. (Associated Press)

 

 

 

President Obama is selling a repackaged “jobs” spending spree to the nation. Americans need assurance that blowing another half-trillion dollars on stimulus – the American Jobs Act – isn’t a recipe for more crony capitalism. It’s telling that hours before the president pitched his plan last week to a joint session of Congress, the FBI raided the Fremont, Calif., offices of Solyndra, a solar-panel manufacturer Mr. Obama once held up as a model for the coming “green” economy. The firm blew through $535 million in federal loans to build a state-of-the-art facility. Then on Sept. 6, the company abruptly filed for bankruptcy, laying off most of its 1,100 employees. The suddenness of Solyndra’s demise suggests its business plan was unsound from day one. Investigators ought to find out whether political favoritism was behind the decision to funnel cash from the first stimulus to the manufacturer of solar panels that are too pricey to compete in an open marketplace. One of the company’s principal investors was George B. Kaiser, an Oklahoma oil billionaire who served as a bundler of campaign contributions for Mr. Obama’s election bid in 2008, according to news reports. The House Energy and Commerce Committee saw this coming early on. Even before the FBI’s raid, the panel had scheduled a hearing this week to quiz Obama administration and company officials on details of the loan approval. Rep. Fred Upton, the committee chairman, said in a statement Thursday that he had not been notified of the bureau’s search beforehand. “Over the last six months, our investigation has encountered a number of needless partisan roadblocks and repeated pushback, protest and even misleading claims on Solyndra’s viability by administration officials, company executives and congressional Democrats,” the Michigan Republican explained. The raid’s timing raises questions of whether the FBI, a branch of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s Justice Department, acted preemptively to remove records from Solyndra’s offices to keep any documents embarrassing to the White House out of reach of House investigators. Solyndra is not the only company to benefit from the O Force drive to lavish taxpayer greenbacks on companies that style themselves green. In June, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced $2 billion in loans to two California solar projects that would put 1,800 people to work building parabolic mirrors to turn concentrated sunlight into electricity for 100,000 homes. The day following Solyndra’s collapse, Mr. Chu granted a partial loan guarantee for $344 million to the San Mateo, Calif.-based Solar City for its SolarStrong Project, which would mount solar panels on 160,000 houses at 124 military bases in 33 states. The reality coming to light is White House energy policy wastes scarce taxpayer funds on uneconomic schemes that happen to have powerful political backing. It’s no wonder that a Battleground Poll conducted late last month found that 72 percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. Further investigation into the Solyndra debacle will reveal whether Mr. Obama’s allies have been profiting from taxpayer losses. It’s looking increasingly likely that so-called clean energy has been tainted by filthy lucre.

 

 

EDITORIAL: Big Brother Obama is watching

 

Creepy new website monitors dissent from administration policies

The Washington Times Wednesday, September 14, 2011

 

Illustration: Big Brother
Illustration: Big Brother

 

Story Topics

 

 

 

Be careful, if you dare to criticize Citizen Obama, comrade. The Web is watching. This week, President Obama’s re-election team launched “Attack Watch,” an interactive website that allows the president’s registered supporters to report instances of “attacks” against the commander in chief or his record. Citizen snitches are asked to detail who the attacker is, the type of attack, and whether the offending words were actually heard or passed along as second-hand rumors. The “Attack Files” section provides summary responses to some common smears. For example, the site explains that, “President Obama is a friend to Israel, despite unfounded claims to the contrary.” For critics, it represents a handy list of the issues that most infuriate the White House.

The look and feel of the site conveys a sense of foreboding. It’s Web design by Orwell. A black background, stark red headers and white text surround the site’s own attacks. Grainy black-and-white photos depict those on the White House hit list, which includes the likes of Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck. The design is so unconsciously theatrical and amateurish it is hard to believe it is not a parody.

It’s not the first time Mr. Obama has attempted to harness the Internet to create a nation of informants. In August 2009, the White House set up the email address “flag@whitehouse.gov” to gather information during the debate over Obamacare. According to an official press release, people were actually supposed to send a note to the White House “if you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy.” The effort raised serious concern over the appearance that the administration might be compiling an enemies list. As if the privacy implications weren’t bad enough, the address became instant spam bait. After three weeks of withering criticism, the White House abandoned its fishing expedition.

“Attack Watch” appears to be following the same path. This Obama public relations fiasco raises the question why the White House thought it was necessary in the first place. It is easy enough to monitor websites and keep track of memes through keyword searches, email alerts, aggregation sites or simply checking out the Drudge Report. The real purpose of “Attack Watch” has less to do with collecting stories than amassing email lists and contributions. The site prompts users to “support the truth” with essentially untraceable online donations. It asks for email addresses and ZIP codes of those who join the “attack wire.” Such information could come in handy to mobilize ground troops during the 2012 election. Someone willing to take the time to submit reports on their neighbors for allegedly smearing Mr. Obama is probably willing to work energetically to get voters to the polls.

“Attack Watch” reinforces the sense that there is something not quite right about the O Force. Building a national database of informants is the work of an obsessive, fearful and desperate team. It reflects the strident insecurity of a leader who is not used to hard criticism. It plays to the creepy authoritarian strain of leftist politics, the stratum that considers democracy a messy and useless impediment to the realization of utopia. It is a bad idea, poorly executed. If you’d like to report us for saying so, the address is www.attackwatch.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDITORIAL: Toying with gun control

 

Buyback program for squirt guns illustrates absurdity of feel-good laws

The Washington Times

Thursday, September 8, 2011

 

Nerf guns and water pistols are the latest target for the gun grabbers. Community activists in Buffalo, N.Y., started a toy-buyback program on Monday designed to instill a fear of firearms in the city’s youth. It’s also a way to accustom children to the real restrictions they’re likely to encounter in adulthood.

As reported in the Buffalo News, a group calling itself Fathers Armed Together to Help Educate Restore and Save and a local pizza joint are rewarding toddlers willing to trade in a plastic assault rifle with a delicious slice of pizza. They hope it’s an offer too good to refuse.

There’s little need to dwell on the absurdity of such a scheme. It’s more useful in providing insight into the liberal mind that sees the availability of guns as the direct cause of murder and mayhem on the streets. They believe such problems will disappear if handguns are banned. If only it were that simple.

One need look no further than last month’s rioting in London to see that violence and chaos do not end when the populace has been disarmed. At least 100 homes burned to the ground, and shopkeepers watched helplessly as their businesses were pillaged and their livelihoods destroyed. London’s Metropolitan Police issued a 13-point list of “crime prevention” tips that boiled down to a few basic recommendations: Remove valuable items from view, fire up closed-circuit surveillance cameras and call the police emergency number when the rioters arrive. Not that placing one of the 20,800 calls received in a night would have done much good. By the time the bobbies restored order, damage estimates exceeded $300 million.

When chaos hit the streets of Los Angeles in 1992, police beat a hasty retreat. Shop owners in Asian neighborhoods, by contrast, took matters into their own hands. They organized themselves and stood watch from rooftops with their personal rifles, shotguns and pistols. They opened fire on local gangs and approaching looters, enabling the good guys to end the day with their places of business unmolested and their lives spared.

Leftists prefer everyone to become victims. Allowing good people to defend themselves requires the intolerant admission that there’s a difference between good and evil. It’s safer for them to put all of their reliance upon government and blame society when the state isn’t up to the task.

That’s why more and more children today are denied the pleasure of playing traditional games like cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers. Their baseball games aren’t scored so that everyone can be declared a “winner.” Grades are inflated or not kept, and everyone is promoted. At the head of this movement one finds the California Assembly, which held a committee debate Tuesday on Senate-passed legislation that would regulate the acceptable colors for BB guns. Squirt-gun registration can’t be far behind.

Instead of taking toys from tots, it’s time to restore the culture of personal responsibility embodied in the responsible use of firearms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Baby-step for Sharia in America

Richard N. Weltz

American Thinker

 

 

In a development reported with a front-page jumbo headline in the New York Post, as well as a more subdued NY Times accounting, the US takes one further step — albeit a tiny one — toward Islamicization of America.

 

New York City’s metered Yellow Cabs are the only ones licensed to pick up street hails and are strictly regulated in every respect by the Taxi & Limousine Commission: from the vehicle’s, mechanical specifications to the equipment it must have — even to the color and design of its exterior. Only a taxi with a license “medallion” may qualify, and such medallions are strictly limited in number, which is why the price they bring is upwards of $700,000. each.

 

Some drivers work with so-called “fleet cabs,” which they rent by the day; others own their own cab and medallion (often under a mortgage); and still others own the cab but lease the medallion from its owner.

 

It’s this last category that is affected by the new ruling. It seems that the medallion owner, not the vehicle owner, rents out roof-top advertising for additional revenue; and these ads cover a full range of legal products and services — including the so-called “gentlemen’s clubs.” Turns out that Muslim cabbies are offended by such ads on the cars, much as the Minneapolis Muslims cabbies had a hard time with airport passengers carrying alcohol or accompanied by seeing eye dogs.

 

In the Minneapolis situation, such drivers were told by the authorities that they were performing a public service and had  to accept alcohol and dog-carrying passengers or face a stiff penalty. Not so with the Big Apple’s city fathers. The ruling reported today allows any cabbie whose medallion is leased to refuse any roof-top advertising that doesn’t square with his religious beliefs.

 

Strangely, the particular ads involved, for two midtown strip-clubs, are not the remotest bit phonographic or obscene. They state only the name of the establishment and its address and/or phone number. The only illustration is a partial picture of a woman’s face (unveiled, of course).

 

According to the Post article:

 

The great religious war, waged on top of yellow cabs, has ended.

Devout Muslim hacks — who were crouched behind their steering wheels in shame while driving with ads for strip clubs atop their taxis — won a major victory yesterday in their war on roof smut.

The city’s Taxi & Limousine Commission agreed to give cabbies who own their vehicles absolute veto power on the content of ads on their cars — delighting scores of modest hacks of various faiths who had fought hard for the rule overhaul.

“We are Muslims, and we do not like the ads!” crowed cabby Mohamed Tahir, 66, whose cab is topped with an image of a sexy brunette from Flashdancers Gentlemen’s Club.

 

As a New Yorker, I see cabs with such ads every day; but, I must ask, where does this stop? Just this morning, looking out the breakfast window, I noted a taxi whose ad panel bore a pitch the the “Charley’s Angels” TV show featuring not one, but three winsome lasses in sexy low-cut attire — far less modest that the dance club’s graphics. And, then there was one cab advertising a brand of liquor, another Muslim taboo. Will the dance club ruling be followed by objections to public advertising of any non-burqua- wearing female, all alcoholic beverages? Will New York’s T&LC cave again when it happens?
 

 

 

 

 

Solyndra Investor admits: we wanted the loan so we could ‘go public and cash out’

Ed Lasky

American Thinker

 

A clearer picture of the underlying insider scheme at Solyndra is beginning to emerge.

Yuliya Chernova of the Wall Street Journal writes a superb column today regarding all the business problems that beset the scandal plagued Solyndra. There were a litany of engineering and business problems that were very apparent to everyone except, apparently, the White House politicos that pressured career officials in the government to extend a 500 million dollar loan guarantee.

The crony investors were given an unusually low interest rate for such a venture.  Solyndra was first in line to get loan guarantees under the Obama program to promote solar energy ventures. Solyndra private investors were given priority in case of bankruptcy that placed their claims above those of taxpayers — a highly unusual occurrence, according to the Wall Street Journal.

So who were the type of people granted such favorable treatment? Yes, Obama donors and bundlers. That has been widely publicized. But beyond that, what type of character did they possess?

One investor behind Solyndra blurted out the truth. The loan was needed and needed urgently to fatten up the company and show a going concern (with a factory, etc).

Why?

From the column:

There was another motivator — Solyndra’s management and investors had an eye on an initial public offering.

“There was a perceived halo around the loan,” said an investor with knowledge of the company. “If we get the loan, then we can definitely go public and cash out.”

 

The huge loan would be a selling point in an initial public offering. The company promoters could point out that the loan gave them credibility — that the government had vouched for their viability and prospects.

The private investors would cash out and when the loan came due and the company was unable to pay, taxpayers would be the ones left holding the IOUs.

Take the money and run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worse than Solyndra

Thomas Lifson

American Thinker

 

 

Add the name LightSquared to your crony capitalism watch list. The story emerging has elements even worse than the squandering of half a billion dollars on an Obama bundler’s venture.

 

Brendan Sasso of The Hill reports:

 

LightSquared plans to provide high-speed wholesale wireless service nationwide through a network of satellites and land-based cell towers, but tests earlier this year revealed it interferes with GPS devices, including those used by the military.

One of the major investors in LightSquared is prominent Democratic donor, Philip Falcone.

The Daily Beast reported Thursday that the White House asked Air Force Gen. William Shelton to alter his planned remarks to lawmakers and their staff in a secured briefing about LightSquared.

According to the report, Shelton was pressured to change his testimony to show he supported the White House’s policy to expand wireless broadband access and that the Pentagon would try to resolve the GPS interference issues with more testing within 90 days.

The Center for Public Integrity reported Wednesday that LightSquared sent emails to White House aides, at times mentioning its fundraising for Democrats and President Obama.

“We cannot afford to have federal telecommunication policy, especially where it affects national security, to be made in the same way this White House has parceled out a half billion dollars in loan guarantees to the failed Solyndra Corporation, a large political campaign contributor of the president,” Turner said, referring to the bankrupt solar firm that received government loans.

 

Ed Lasky adds:

 

Richard Pollock at Pajamas Media:

 

Other commercial industry figures agreed that the new wireless system could interfere with aviation safety, disrupt military and rescue operations, and interfere with high-tech farming equipment and consumer navigation devices.

For years within the telecom industry there have been persistent complaints that LightSquared majority owner Philip Falcone’s political connections with the White House and the Federal Communications Commission have led to political and regulatory favoritism for his company. Falcone is a hedge fund investor who made a fortune shorting subprime debt. He is worth $2.2 billion and has been close to the administration and to Democratic Party officials. (snip)

LightSquared employs an army of eight high-powered lobbying firms, including one headed by former Democratic House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt. In 2011 alone, LightSquared spent $720,000 on lobbyists.

 

Falcone is a controversial figure. He is losing a lot of his investors’ money and investors are pulling out of his funds as quickly as they can. This deal is a do or die proposition for him. He needs it to work or he is washed up.

 

Phil Falcone, the billionaire hedge fund manager, hockey nut and gossip-page staple, has poured billions of dollars into his White Whale, an ambitious satellite wireless network called LightSquared. But like Ahab’s obsession, LightSquared threatens to drag down Falcone.

Falcone has acknowledged that investors grumbled about gambling so much of Harbinger’s money on a single, risky bet.

The grouches say the LightSquared investment makes Harbinger less of a diversified hedge fund and more like a private-equity firm. (Another non-diversified bet, Falcone’s wager against subprime in 2007, did pretty well by investors. Ok, really well.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s Jewish Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

Claude Sandroff

American Thinker

 

With the landslide election of republican (and Catholic) Bob Turner in the overwhelmingly democratic (and 40% Jewish) 9thCongressional District, one could imagine that the Jews of this section of Brooklyn and Queens, whether orthodox and reform, asked the following rhetorical question and were horrified by the answer:

If an American president had the explicit goal of destroying the state of Israel how would his policies differ from Barack Obama’s?

Many columnists have delineated the Obama administration persistent anti-Israel/pro-Arab harangues including Philip Klein and Nile Gardner but no one has brought out the Obama administration’s almost seething Israelophobia better than Dan Senor of  the Wall Street Journal.

We have accusations from Obama about Likud’s supposed intransigence and the president’s delegitimizing of Israeli settlements at the UN General Assembly while refusing to condemn Palestinian terrorism.

We have Hillary Clinton’s degrading dressing down of Netanyahu in a well-publicized, 45-minute phone screed followed up with Obama’s official and public humiliation of the Israeli prime minister during a visit to the White House.

After listening to almost three years of Obama’s demeaning and dangerous threats to  Israel, the Jews of NY 9 have had enough.

Clearly, the dreadful jobs picture had a major role in Turner’s victory as well.  But here too perhaps a different rhetorical question could be motivating:

If an American president had the explicit goal of destroying the American economy how would his policies differ from Barack Obama’s?

 

 

MORE NEWS TO FOLLOW THE POLITICAL CARTOONS…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book shocker: Staff ignored Obama order

Ed Lasky

American Thinker

 

An insider account of the White House’s response to the financial crisis reveals a president so inexperienced, amateurish, and radical that he proposed “dissolving” (nationalizing) Citigroup. The ideaa was so absurd that even Timothy Geithner could see that would not have helped in restoring stability to the world’s financial system, and the order was ignored.

Anthony McCartney of AP summarizes parts of a new book, “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and The Education of A President,” by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ron Suskind:

 

…Geithner and the Treasury Department ignored a March 2009 order to consider dissolving banking giant Citigroup while continuing stress tests on banks, which were burdened with toxic mortgage assets.

In the book, Obama does not deny Suskind’s account, but does not reveal what he told Geithner when he found out. “Agitated may be too strong a word,” Suskind quotes Obama as saying. Obama says later in the book that he was trying to be decisive but “the speed with which the bureaucracy could exercise my decision was slower than I wanted.” (snip)

“The Citbank incident, and others like it, reflected a more pernicious and personal dilemma emerging from inside the administration: that the young president’s authority was being systematically undermined or hedged by his seasoned advisers,” Suskind writes.

Suskind states that Obama accepts the blame for mismanagement in his administration while noting that restructuring the financial system was complicated and could have resulted in deeper financial harm. One of the major complaints about Obama’s administration is that it was too easy on major financial institutions, including Citi. The president had wanted Treasury officials to focus on a proposal to dissolve the bank, but no plan was ever created….

 

 

 

 

Jew versus Jew

By Robin of Berkeley

American Thinker

 

A split is developing among Jewish Democrats. Could it lead to a divorce?

Years ago, there was a popular movie, Kramer vs. Kramer, starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep.  It was heartbreaking flick, as these two spouses, once so in love, duke it out in court.

I was thinking that there’s a similar type experience happening today within the Democratic Party.  Just like when lovers start sparring, there’s a battle going on among American Jews.

The reason is that there are two distinct groups of Democratic Jews, with almost nothing in common.  They have coexisted peacefully for many decades, staying together for the sake of their “child,”  the beloved Democratic Party.  But with Obama in office, the differences are starting to become irreconcilable.

One notable example of the coming apart of the once reliable Jewish voting bloc is the recent election in New York.  Strangely enough, a Republican won handily for the very first time in almost a century.  But even more bizarre,  the winner of the Jewish vote is a Catholic and the loser a Jew, in the most heavily Jewish congressional district in America.

To add to the strangeness, the previous occupant of the House seat was also Jewish, that hunk-of-burning love, Anthony Weiner.  And former New York Mayor Ed Koch, Jewish, lifelong bachelor, and liberal, endorsed the Catholic, Bob Turner, over the more experienced Jewish Assemblyman, David Weprin.

Clearly this election was about more than a House seat in New York.  The Jewish voters were also making a statement about the Democratic Party’s throwing Israel under the bus.

Obama’s disdain towards Israel has been on full display from the beginning of his term. His first radio address was to the Arab nations.   He and the left have whipped up insurrection in the Middle East, which has made once friendly neighbors,  such as Egypt, turn hostile.

The fact that Obama dissed the Israeli Prime Minister likely wasn’t lost on these New York voters.  The constituents also aren’t onboard with erecting an Islamic Center/Mosque at Ground Zero  (which Turner opposes and Weprin supports).

Perhaps this New York district turned rightward for other reasons as well, such as being sick of politics of usual.   Jewish liberals,  in particular, may have grown tired of being taken for granted by the Democrats.  By electing a Republican for the first time, they are sending a signal loud and clear that they want change, and not the hopey/changy type.  And this “September Surprise” in New York could soon be happening all over this nation.

The recent election also illuminates a deep split within the Jewish community.   In the days of old, the Democratic Party was garden-variety liberal.   But the party has been taken over by radicals who want it to be more Mao than Mondale.   And the biggest battle of all is around the fate of Israel.

The progressive wing of the party is an angry group: detesting capitalism,  God, and, most particularly, Israel.  The left is particularly venomous about this so-called “genocidal” state.  They broadcast their contempt, far and wide, from university lecterns, the legislators, and the streets.  Simply put, the Jews among them are not their father’s Jews.

The question may arise:  how on earth can Jews, even leftist ones, despise Israel, a Jewish state.  The reason is that leftists sympathize with the Third World, not the First World.  They view the US and Israel as the great oppressors of the world’s noble peasants, with whom they identify.

Of course, progressives turn a blind’s eye to the fact that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.   Hence, Israeli women are not enshrouded in a burqa, and gays are not stoned to death.  But none of this is relevant to the leftists.   If you’re still scratching your heads to figure them out, don’t bother.  Progressivism is an inconsistent and illogical ideology.

While there are those noisy leftists, the majority of Jews are mild-mannered liberals.   They are the ones holding regular-type jobs as accountants, engineers, physicians, shop owners.  They actually make money the old-fashioned way, through earning it, not inciting outrage.

Most liberal Jews are passionate about the survival of Israel.  And they are worried sick about the hatred toward Israel spreading like wildfire, which our government is helping to instigate. While most Jewish liberals still support Obama, they are becoming increasingly discouraged by his many anti-Israel signals.

Sadly, while there are more liberals than leftists, the Democratic Party has been seized by the leftists.  This is what happens when the most influential leftist Jew on the planet, George Soros, decides to buy the party.  But the good news is that liberal Jews are showing their displeasure by not automatically going with the program —  hence, the upset in New York.

Obviously, the Republican Party has a huge opportunity here.  Liberal Jews have more in common with conservatives than they do with progressives, and not just regarding Israel.

For instance, progressives revile not just Israel, but the United States as a whole.  In contrast, liberals care about this country.  While they wish for a “kinder and gentler” America, they do not want it turned into a socialist nightmare.

Historically, liberal Jews have voted Democrat out of loyalty and habit.  In addition, they have absorbed the mythology that the Republicans are anti-Semitic.  While the Republicans have a huge public relations problem on their hands, they also have a chance to finally set the record straight.

What’s happening among the Jews reminds me of what transpired a few short years ago with women.  Hillary supporters, feeling burned by the Democratic Party, abandoned the party in droves.  Perhaps the same thing is happening today with American Jews.  We might be seeing the emergence of not just PUMAs, but JUMAs (as in “Jewish Unity My A__”.)

These potential new JUMAs are feeling disrespected by the Democrats, who are forcing unacceptable, anti-Israel policies down their throats.   These jilted Jews need to know that they can find respect and safe harbor within the conservative movement.

Because these days, if they want to align with the political movement that will protect Israel, it’s not going to be the leftists in the media, at Columbia, or in the White House.

No, if liberal Jews are searching for pro-Israel, pro-America, people to vote for, they are going to have to look outside the Barbara Boxer box.  They are going to have to turn rightward, as did the bold people of New York.

Because the truth is that the Democratic Party has abandoned liberals, particularly the Jews.  And that’s why a majority of fed-up New Yorkers chose a Republican instead.

 

 

 

 

 

Rollback #6: Exposing the U.S. government’s failed history of Muslim outreach since 9/11

Pajamas Media | Sep 14, 2011
By Patrick Poole

Patrick Poole is an expert terrorism analyst and co-author of the Center for Security Policy’s Amazon best-seller Team B II: Shariah – The Threat to America. For the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks he wrote a scathing assessment of “Muslim outreach” efforts under successive U.S. administrations, both Republican and Democrat.  He describes official policy as “disastrous” as Muslim Brothers such as Abdulrahman Alamoudi became White House insiders in the 1990’s, and some government agencies continue to liaise closely with Muslim Brotherhood groups such as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) to this day:

When President Obama hosted his annual iftar dinner in August to commemorate Ramadan, the list of invitees published by the White House was curiously missing  the names of several attendees — all of whom are top leaders of  organizations known to be purveyors of jihadist ideology. But it was not  like they had crashed the party. One of the unlisted, Mohamed Magid, head of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Society of North America, was photographed by Reuters sitting at the front table only a few feet from the president as he spoke.

This was just the most recent episode in the federal government’s  disastrous attempts at outreach to the Muslim community since the 9/11  attacks. With the release of President Obama’s new strategic plan  to combat “violent extremism” by expanding outreach to these same  terror-tied groups, the present administration seems intent on  compounding the problems wrought by its predecessors.

Misguided outreach activities began long before 9/11, with the best example being the case of Abdurahman Alamoudi.

Alamoudi was the conduit through which much of the U.S. government’s  outreach was pursued following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Not  only was he asked by the Clinton administration to help train and  certify all Muslim military chaplains, his organization being the first to do so, but he also was appointed by the State Department in 1997 as a goodwill ambassador  to the Middle East, making six taxpayer-funded trips. It is fair to say  that during this period, Alamoudi was the most prominent and  politically connected Muslim leader in America.

As we now know, Alamoudi was indicted  in October 2003 for moving money on behalf of Libyan intelligence in an  assassination plot targeting Saudi Prince (now King) Abdullah. The U.S.  government has admitted that at the time he was being courted by Democrats and Republicans alike, he was a major fundraiser for al-Qaeda.

However, it is not as if the U.S. government was unaware of Alamoudi’s attachments. As far back as 1993, an informant told the FBI that Alamoudi was funneling regular payments from Osama bin Laden to Omar Abdel Rahman,  the “blind sheikh” who was convicted of authorizing terror attacks  against New York landmarks. In March 1996, Alamoudi’s association with  Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook was exposed in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Two years later, the State Department came under fire by the New York Post for inviting Alamoudi to official events despite his known remarks in support of terrorism and terrorist leaders.

When President Bush took office, Alamoudi was quickly courted by the new administration. In June 2001, the Jerusalem Post reported that Alamoudi was going to be part of a White House meeting with Vice President Cheney despite the fact that Alamoudi was known to have attended a terror confab in Beirut earlier that year featuring representatives from virtually every major Islamic terrorist organization in the world, including al-Qaeda.

Yet just days after the 9/11 attacks, Alamoudi was one of the Muslim leaders asked to appear with President Bush at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. That same week, one of Alamoudi’s close associates, Muzammil Siddiqi, was asked to deliver an Islamic prayer and to represent the entire Muslim-American community at the national prayer service mourning the fallen.

The inclusion of Alamoudi and Siddiqi at the post-9/11 events was  highly criticized, especially because Alamoudi had been videotaped in  October 2000, as noted by the Los Angeles Times,  expressing his support for Hamas and Hezbollah at a rally held just  steps from the White House. At that same demonstration, Siddiqi accused  the U.S. of responsibility for the plight of the Palestinians and warned that “the wrath of God will come.” One former Secret Service agent told  Fox News that “the intelligence community has known for some time the  association of Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi and Mr. Alamoudi and their  association with terrorist organizations.”

The decision to continue doing business with Alamoudi and others like  him was just one of many blunders made by the U.S. government in its  eagerness to conduct Muslim outreach in the wake of 9/11.

Most embarrassing of all, one of the first Muslim leaders to whom the government turned after the attacks was none other than Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda cleric who was in direct contact with at least three of the 9/11 hijackers and is currently on the CIA’s kill-or-capture list.

Read the full article at Pajamas Media. (reprinted immediately below.)

 

 

 

 

The U.S. Government’s Failed History of Muslim Outreach Since 9/11

It is too terrible to contemplate how many more lives may eventually be sacrificed before our elected officials decide to reverse course.
September 11, 2011 – 11:15 am – by Patrick Poole

When President Obama hosted his annual iftar dinner in August to commemorate Ramadan, the list of invitees published by the White House was curiously missing the names of several attendees — all of whom are top leaders of organizations known to be purveyors of jihadist ideology. But it was not like they had crashed the party. One of the unlisted, Mohamed Magid, head of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Society of North America, was photographed by Reuters sitting at the front table only a few feet from the president as he spoke.

This was just the most recent episode in the federal government’s disastrous attempts at outreach to the Muslim community since the 9/11 attacks. With the release of President Obama’s new strategic plan to combat “violent extremism” by expanding outreach to these same terror-tied groups, the present administration seems intent on compounding the problems wrought by its predecessors.

Misguided outreach activities began long before 9/11, with the best example being the case of Abdurahman Alamoudi.

Alamoudi was the conduit through which much of the U.S. government’s outreach was pursued following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Not only was he asked by the Clinton administration to help train and certify all Muslim military chaplains, his organization being the first to do so, but he also was appointed by the State Department in 1997 as a goodwill ambassador to the Middle East, making six taxpayer-funded trips. It is fair to say that during this period, Alamoudi was the most prominent and politically connected Muslim leader in America.

As we now know, Alamoudi was indicted in October 2003 for moving money on behalf of Libyan intelligence in an assassination plot targeting Saudi Prince (now King) Abdullah. The U.S. government has admitted that at the time he was being courted by Democrats and Republicans alike, he was a major fundraiser for al-Qaeda.

However, it is not as if the U.S. government was unaware of Alamoudi’s attachments. As far back as 1993, an informant told the FBI that Alamoudi was funneling regular payments from Osama bin Laden to Omar Abdel Rahman, the “blind sheikh” who was convicted of authorizing terror attacks against New York landmarks. In March 1996, Alamoudi’s association with Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook was exposed in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Two years later, the State Department came under fire by the New York Post for inviting Alamoudi to official events despite his known remarks in support of terrorism and terrorist leaders.

When President Bush took office, Alamoudi was quickly courted by the new administration. In June 2001, the Jerusalem Post reported that Alamoudi was going to be part of a White House meeting with Vice President Cheney despite the fact that Alamoudi was known to have attended a terror confab in Beirut earlier that year featuring representatives from virtually every major Islamic terrorist organization in the world, including al-Qaeda.

Yet just days after the 9/11 attacks, Alamoudi was one of the Muslim leaders asked to appear with President Bush at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. That same week, one of Alamoudi’s close associates, Muzammil Siddiqi, was asked to deliver an Islamic prayer and to represent the entire Muslim-American community at the national prayer service mourning the fallen.

The inclusion of Alamoudi and Siddiqi at the post-9/11 events was highly criticized, especially because Alamoudi had been videotaped in October 2000, as noted by the Los Angeles Times, expressing his support for Hamas and Hezbollah at a rally held just steps from the White House. At that same demonstration, Siddiqi accused the U.S. of responsibility for the plight of the Palestinians and warned that “the wrath of God will come.” One former Secret Service agent told Fox News that “the intelligence community has known for some time the association of Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi and Mr. Alamoudi and their association with terrorist organizations.”

The decision to continue doing business with Alamoudi and others like him was just one of many blunders made by the U.S. government in its eagerness to conduct Muslim outreach in the wake of 9/11.

Most embarrassing of all, one of the first Muslim leaders to whom the government turned after the attacks was none other than Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda cleric who was in direct contact with at least three of the 9/11 hijackers and is currently on the CIA’s kill-or-capture list.

As the cleanup from the terrorist attack on the Pentagon continued, Awlaki was invited by the Pentagon’s Office of Government Counsel to speak at a lunch in the building’s executive offices as part of the government’s new Muslim outreach efforts. But a joint congressional inquiry into 9/11 found that law enforcement had been investigating Awlaki’s contacts with terrorism suspects as far back as 1999. Also, before his appearance at the Pentagon, the New York Times had noted Awlaki’s anti-American rhetoric prior to the attacks.

This dubious approach to outreach continued through the end of Bush’s second term, as seen in the egregious invitation by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) to Yasir Qadhi to speak on de-radicalization at a conference in August 2008. At that time too, Qadhi’s extremist views, such as his statements denouncing “the hoax of the Holocaust,” were well known. Furthermore, at a 2006 Muslim outreach event in Houston, Homeland Security official Daniel Sutherland was present, as reported by the Houston Chronicle, when Qadhi openly admitted that he was on the terror watch list.

No one at the NCTC bothered to question Qadhi’s “de-radicalization” credentials. By the time he was invited to speak at the NCTC conference, at least one of Qadhi’s Houston students, Daniel Maldonado, had been captured by Kenyan forces fighting with the Somali al-Shabaab terrorist group. A number of other students from Qadhi’s AlMaghrib Institute program have gone on to careers in terrorism, including Christmas Day underwear bomber Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, who attended a two-week AlMaghrib training session in Houston and two other events in the UK.

If Yasir Qadhi is an expert in de-radicalization, one shudders to think what an expert in radicalization might produce.

Outreach under President Obama has not fared any better, beginning with his inclusion of Ingrid Mattson, then head of the terror-tied Islamic Society of North America, in his inaugural prayer service.

The NCTC under this administration continues the bipartisan policy of Muslim outreach disasters, best exemplified when it gave Sheikh Kifah Mustapha a tour of its top-secret facility as part of the FBI’s Citizens’ Academy civilian training program in September 2010. Why was this so catastrophic? In 2007 Mustapha was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history. During that trial, FBI agent Lara Burns testified that Mustapha was in a singing troupe that glorified Hamas and encouraged the killing of Jews as part of fundraising efforts for Hamas.

Last year Mustapha was removed as an Illinois State Police chaplain in the wake of media reports noting his longtime terrorist support activities. After Mustapha sued for discrimination, a protective order was filed stating that the Chicago FBI’s special agent in charge had warned police officials that Mustapha would never be able to pass an FBI background check. One former FBI official told the Washington Times that Mustapha was “a known senior Hamas guy.” When questioned about his inclusion in the program, FBI Director Robert Mueller refused to address the mountain of evidence that federal prosecutors and the FBI had compiled, saying “I am not going to talk about any particular individual.”

No matter how embarrassing the Mustapha incident was for the NCTC and FBI, the Department of Homeland Security has no grounds to fault other agencies, especially after Secretary Napolitano appointed Mohamed Elibiary to her Homeland Security Advisory Council last October. Elibiary had previously served on the DHS Countering Violent Extremism Working Group, despite his speaking at a December 2004 conference honoring Ayatollah Khomeini, an event that the Dallas Morning News called a “disgrace.”

Recently Elibiary has billed himself as a “de-radicalization expert,” notwithstanding clear evidence of his previous defense of terrorist support organizations, praise for jihadist authors, and threats made against a Dallas journalist who exposed his extremist views. His open support for jihadist ideological godfather Sayyid Qutb prompted the Washington Times to comment that “he has no business being anywhere in government, let alone as an adviser at the uppermost reaches of an agency that purports to protect the homeland.”

Considering Elibiary’s track record, it seems that he has done more to promote violent extremism than to prevent it.

The State Department has not been immune to such outreach disasters either. Last December the American ambassador to the UK, Louis B. Susman, stirred international outrage by visiting the notorious East London Mosque, well known as a longtime hotbed of radicalism and a prolific terrorist incubator. In January 2009, the mosque hosted a conference featuring Anwar al-Awlaki via telephone. Just a few weeks before Susman’s visit, the mosque chairman defended Awlaki’s participation in the conference, calling it an act of “fairness and justice.”

The visit by the ambassador was slammed in the Wall Street Journal by Shiraz Maher of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation. Maher concluded that “Mr. Susman’s visit illustrates the blunders Western politicians often make by reaching out to the wrong Muslim ‘dialogue partners,’” and that the appearance of such a high-ranking diplomat at the mosque had “emboldened robed reactionaries at the expense of their more moderate counterparts.”

Maher added that Susman’s visit was such an egregious mistake that British Prime Minister David Cameron instructed officials to conduct an “exhaustive review” of the government’s Preventing Violent Extremism program to ensure that all community partners had been thoroughly vetted. However, the U.S. government failed even to acknowledge the blunder, let alone reconsider its policy of engaging extremists.

Thus is the state of the U.S. government’s Muslim outreach ten years after the 9/11 attacks. Rather than learning from gross errors committed by the Clinton and Bush administrations, the Obama administration’s ongoing record and the release of its strategic plan to combat “violent extremism” make it appear that it seeks to enshrine this epic catalog of failure as a matter of permanent policy.

Time and again, the U.S. government has engaged the wrong Muslim partners, legitimizing and empowering the very extremists whose influence should be limited. This has been done despite repeated warnings from counterterrorism and law enforcement officials at virtually every step of the way. As these episodes indicate, damaging information about the government’s outreach partners has been known and intentionally ignored, resulting in a lengthy list of bipartisan fiascos.

If the death of nearly 3,000 of our fellow citizens on 9/11 was insufficient to reconsider how our government conducts Muslim outreach, it is too terrible to contemplate how many more lives may eventually be sacrificed before our elected officials decide to reverse course.

This article was sponsored by Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

 

 

 

 

Amazing lost sketches of life inside Japanese PoW camp discovered in a shoe
box by British war veteran’s stunned family – and now they’re going on the
Antiques Roadshow

By Sarah Graham

Last updated at 3:11 PM on 16th September 2011

Astonishing drawings of British soldiers in brutal Japanese Prisoner of War camps have turned up nearly 70 years later on TV’s Antiques Roadshow.

The lost sketches showing the appalling conditions the men endured were drawn by artist soldier John Mennie who gave them to fellow PoW Eric Jennings.

Mr Jennings never spoke about his wartime experiences and his family were stunned when they found the sketches stashed away in a shoe box after his death.

Harrowing: Newly-discovered sketches show the appalling conditions in which Japanese PoWs were held. This one shows an operation being carried out in the open airHarrowing: Newly-discovered sketches show the appalling conditions in which Japanese PoWs were held. This one shows an operation being carried out in the open air
Dreadful conditions: A rare image of the 'Selerang Square Squeeze' - a shocking atrocity meted out to 16,000 PoWs in Changi, Singapore, in 1942Dreadful conditions: A rare image of the ‘Selerang Square Squeeze’ – a shocking atrocity meted out to 16,000 PoWs in Changi, Singapore, in 1942

One of the drawings is a rare image of the ‘Selerang Square Squeeze’ – a shocking atrocity meted out to 16,000 PoWs in Changi, Singapore in 1942.

The Japanese kettled the Allied soldiers in a cramped square for five days in unbearable heat to make them sign documents stating they would not try to escape.

Many men died from disease and dysentery during the incident and four more were callously executed by their sadistic captors.

A second drawing shows a British surgeon carrying out a life-saving operation on an emaciated prisoner in the open.

Another picture shows a group of impoverished prisoners in their underpants singing Christmas carols to keep their spirits up.

There are also 30 excellent pencil portraits of PoWs and six larger colour drawings that depict the horrors of the situation.

Resolve: Wearing only their pants, these servicemen are depicted singing in a bid to keep their spirits upResolve: Wearing only their pants, these servicemen are depicted singing in a bid to keep their spirits up
Stash: Eric Jennings, pictured during the war, never spoke of his experience in a Japanese prisoner of war campStash: Eric Jennings, pictured during the war, never spoke of his experience in a Japanese prisoner of war camp

After finding them in the shoe box Mr Jennings’ family took them along to the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. They will appear on the programme this Sunday.Graham Lay, an expert on the show, said: ‘Artists risked their lives by drawing and painting in the camp because many of these drawings were used after the war for war crime trials, as
evidence.

‘Men like John Mennie could have been put into solitary confinement, they could have had food restricted from them, and they would have died as a result of this.

‘Every single one of these men, depicted in these drawings, would have worked on the infamous Thai-Burma railway, the ‘death railway’ as it’s known, immortalised in the film ‘The Bridge over the River Kwai’.

‘Of the 60,000 Allied prisoners, 16,000 died as a result of working on that railway.’ Mr Mennie, from Aberdeen, trained as an artist before he joined the Royal Artillery and was sent to Singapore in 1941.

When the British colony fell to the Japanese in 1942 thousands of Allied soldiers were rounded up and taken to PoW camps.

Mr Mennie, who died in 1982 aged 70, traded packets of cigarettes for Chinese watercolours and used scraps of paper, including rifle practice target paper, to work on.

It is unclear how the drawings were smuggled through his three-and-a-half years of incarceration in Singapore and Thailand.

It is thought Mennie gave the drawings to Mr Jennings, who was working as a journalist and was a member of the voluntary defence force when his liberty was taken.

Mr Jennings, who went on to continue his career as a journalist in the far east after World War II, kept hold of the drawings but told no one of their existance.

His granddaughter Kimo Morrison, whose mother-in-law Chris Booth took them to the roadshow in Manchester, said: ‘My grandfather never spoke of his time during the war.

‘He worked as a journalist in Singapore and was captured and spent four years as a prisoner in Singapore, Thailand and Burma.

‘He was very lucky to survive and I think they had a doctor with them which was fortunate ‘Only when he died about 15 year ago did we find these drawings in a shoe box.

‘It was a real surprise.

‘We think my grandfather and Mennie must have been held together at some point and my grandfather was given them.

Secret: Eric Jennings's family discovered John Mennie's drawings hidden in a shoe box after his death
Artists like Mennie risked their lives to capture the appalling conditions in the camps

Secret: Eric Jennings’s family discovered John Mennie’s drawings hidden in a shoe box after his death. Artists like Mennie risked their lives to capture the appalling conditions in the camps

A scene from the film 'Bridge On The River Kwai': Many prisoners would have worked on the infamous Thai-Burma railway, the 'death railway' as it's known, immortalised in the filmA scene from the film ‘Bridge On The River Kwai': Many prisoners would have worked on the infamous Thai-Burma railway, the ‘death railway’ as it’s known, immortalised in the film

‘We now hope to sell them to an institution or collector who would appreciate them. They are not the type of things I’d like on the wall because of the horrible story they tell.’ Mrs Booth said: ‘I love the Antiques Roadshow and when I said I was going Kimo said the family had some sketches and would I take them.

‘I was delighted and the story was quite incredible. Eric never spoke about what he went through and to hear the story was very moving.’ Graham Lay, the expert on the Antiques Roadshow, said: ‘When the Japanese first captured the Allies, they forced them to sign a document to say that they weren’t going to escape as prisoners of war.

‘There were 16,000 PoWs squeezed into a square in Singapore and kept there for days on end under the blazing hot sun, in order to force them to sign this non-escape document.

‘Here we have a drawing – I’ve never seen one before – showing that incident in September 1942.

‘But the extraordinary thing is the quality of the drawing.

‘It is a very important archive and the drawings are valuable. I think if these came up for auction today, they would be worth somewhere in the region of £800 to £1,200.’

Mr Mennie trained at the Grays School of Art in Aberdeen and then at the Westminster School of Art in London. He went on to teach art after the war.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2038221/Amazing-sketches-British-PoWs-held-Japanese-camp-revealed-ex-prisoner-takes-Antiques-Roadshow.html#ixzz1Y9SuWiIE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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