Kuwaiti Royal Family Member Leaves Islam, embraces Christ

A Kuwaiti royal prince has become a believer in Jesus Christ and says that if he is killed because of an audio recording he made about his decision, he believes he will meet Christ face-to-face.

Kuwaiti royal prince

According to www.Mohabatnews.com, the Iranian Christian News Agency, Al-haqiqa, a Christian Arabic satellite T.V. station, which broadcasts Christian programs, played an audio file which it attributed to a Kuwaiti prince called “Abdollah Al-sabah.”

This Kuwaiti prince announced, “First of all, I totally agree with the distribution of this audio file and I now declare that if they kill me because of this audio file, then I’ll go into the presence of Jesus Christ and be with him for all eternity.”

The T.V. channel claimed that Prince Abdollah Al-sabah comes from a Kuwaiti royal family which currently governs the country. The channel also said that the prince recently denounced his Islamic faith and became a Christian.

The voice in the audio file introduced himself as Abdollah Al-sabah and stated, “First of all, I totally agree with the distribution of this audio file and I now declare that if they kill me because of this audio file, then I’ll go into the presence of Jesus Christ and be with him for all eternity.”

The prince added: “I’m satisfied with whatever they do to me, because the truth in the Bible has guided me to the right way.”

Regarding the Islamic groups who have recently gained power in Egypt, this Kuwaiti prince also stated, “Islamic communities have always wanted to attack in different parts of the world, but God has preserved the world and still protects it. This is why we have recently seen disagreements appearing among Islamic groups who are now fighting with each other. They are about to divide further into different groups.

Mohabat News says this piece of news made headlines briefly on Arabic newswires and also in the Iranian government run news agency. Some independent Shiite websites contradicted this report and quoted another Kuwaiti prince, Azbi Al-sabah as saying, “There is no one in the Kuwaiti royal family by that name.”

Kuwait is a Middle Eastern country, neighboring Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran across the Persian Gulf. Its capital city is also called Kuwait.

Islam is the official and dominant religion in Kuwait, and almost the entire population is Muslim.

Only 4 percent of the population is Christian, and there is a tiny group of other religions. Article 2 of the Kuwaiti constitution reads, “Islam is the official religion in the country and Sharia is a main source for legislation.”

Source: ChristianNewsToday.com

Islamophilia and the Israeli Question

“Israel has not poisoned the West’s relationship with the Muslim world. It is the native and reflexive hostility of the Muslim world which did that.”

The dominant theme of the Islamophile foreign policy narrative is that America’s troubles with Islamic terrorism and the violent instability of the Middle-East somehow derive from our excessive closeness to the Jewish State. In this narrative, which is prevalent among diplomats, journalists and assorted talking heads who are neither but pretend to be both, the terrorists are really just critics of our foreign policy. Except instead of penning smarmy New York Times columns like Thomas Friedman or Nick Kristoff, they plant bombs and ram planes into buildings not for the greater glory of Allah, but to prove the theses of Adlai Stevenson III and Zbignew Brzezinski.

The trouble with this is that it fails to reflect any reality other than the one in the stifling craniums of the opinionators. The foreign policy dolts have been complaining about the Zionist menace long before there was a special relationship between the United States and Israel. Back then the British Foreign Office thought that the Empire could govern the region through a passel of puppet kings and princes. They carved up Israel, turning most of the land over to an expat bunch of Saudi royals, trained the Hashemite Kingdom’s Legion into the second best military in the region and commanded them in the assault on Jerusalem against a handful of Israeli farm boys and Ghetto fighters fresh off the boat.

What did the Empire get in return for all its Islamophilia? Less than ten years later it was forced to turn to those same farm boys and their sons after the Woolrich educated King Farouk I went into exile in Rome and General Nasser began to be unfavorably compared to Hitler by leading British politicians for his designs on the Suez Canal.

Fairly soon the monarchies were all gone, except for those under direct American protection, and those kings and princes have been some of the leading financiers of Islamic terrorism making them a very bad bargain.

In the Islamophile version of history, the Israeli Lobby “bought up” congress and terrorizes any politician who doesn’t salute the Blue and White

In the Islamophile version of history, the Israeli Lobby “bought up” congress and terrorizes any politician who doesn’t salute the Blue and White. In the actual history the relationship emerged because the reflex Anti-Western sentiments of the Muslim world left Western powers with few options.

The so-called “Special Relationship” did not develop until growing Soviet influence among the receptive Arab Muslim nations of the Middle-East created the need for a counterbalance. Israel has been that balance, the uncomfortable option held in reserve for when the Muslim allies of the United States, Britain and France inevitably turn on them. And to assert otherwise is to put the cart before the horse and the present before the past.

Had that relationship been the work of a nefarious Jewish lobby then it is rather odd that it has deepened even as the numbers and influence of American Jews have declined along with their commitment to the Jewish State.

Somewhere between a third and a quarter of American Jews, among them some of the wealthiest, famous and best educated of the bunch, consider Israel an embarrassment and wish it would go away. They pour small fortunes into liberal lobbies that urge politicians to oppose Israel.

But what does this relationship consist of exactly? American troops don’t fight for Israel the way that they have for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Lebanese governments. The military aid exists for much the same reason that unnecessary bases and Pentagon cost overruns do as part of the complicated relationship between defense contractors and local congressmen looking to subsidize industries in their districts.

The far more important part of the relationship, that of moral support hardly exists. Most Americans do support Israel in its conflict with Islamic expansionism, which is more than can be said for American leaders. Israel has hardly ever been in a war without receiving stern warnings from Washington to immediately seek a truce, regardless of who began the war or what’s at stake.

Critics of Israel harp on America’s failure to act as an “honest broker” in that country’s negotiations with Islamic terrorists

Critics of Israel harp on America’s failure to act as an “honest broker” in that country’s negotiations with Islamic terrorists, by which they mean that we haven’t pushed Israel all the way under the bus. But how much more room is there under the bus? Arafat’s Palestinian Authority has never been held to a single one of its commitments, while Israel has been held to countless commitments it never even made. To gauge how far the negotiations have drifted and in whose direction, a process that began with Israel not negotiating directly with terrorists and signing on only to an autonomous territory within its borders, has now reached the point where the Vice President of the United States throws a fit because a housing permit was granted for houses in Jerusalem while he was in Israeli airspace.

It goes without saying that no Muslim ally of the United States is treated in such a shoddy way. Turkey, which genuinely and indisputably occupies Cyprus, could build mosques out of piles of Cypriot corpses and Biden would only smile and remark on the fascinating Eastern architecture. When Turkey’s Thug in Chief threatened to ethnically cleanse the Armenians a second time if they didn’t stop complaining about the first time at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Britain, the good fellow pretended to find something very interesting on the ceiling at that moment.

The Saudis can slowly behead a woman accused of witchcraft and win a long round of applause from diplomats, but when Israel grants a house permit in its own capital, one of the oldest cities in the world which fashionable Islamophiles now call a settlement, then all hell breaks loose.

Is this really anyone’s idea of a special relationship?

The truth of the matter is that this is a relationship built primarily on Muslim intransigence. Rather than Israel trapping the United States into a relationship that alienates the Muslim world, it is the Muslim world’s alienation from the West that made the relationship both possible and necessary.

Israel has not poisoned the West’s relationship with the Muslim world. It is the native and reflexive hostility of the Muslim world which did that

Israel has not poisoned the West’s relationship with the Muslim world. It is the native and reflexive hostility of the Muslim world which did that. The Islamophile apologists for a failed foreign policy would rather jauntily don their keffiyahs and meet for coffee in Cairo with the next up and coming revolutionary, while blaming America’s relationship with Israel for the regional violence and hostility, rather than admit that a century of playing Lawrence of Arabia has only left behind two types of Muslim countries. Open enemies and covert enemies.

The problem is a structural one. Muslim Westaphobia is a hatred that predates the United States or the current foreign policy arrangements of its leaders. It is a civilizational conflict that cannot be settled with a convenient scapegoat or addressed solely in terms of the foreign policy of the last century, which is hardly more than a minute in a struggle defined by over a thousand years of acrimony.

Israel makes for a convenient scapegoat. A colonial scapegoat to tick the checkboxes of the left, never mind that its people are the indigenous inhabitants and the Muslim terrorists are the settlers and conquerors who have more in common with Francisco Pizarro than they do with Chief Joseph. But the attacks on Israel as the source of the sore spot are expedient rather than meaningful. It isn’t about Israel or Mubarak or reports that somewhere an American soldier in a latrine flushed a Koran or any of the other spurious scapegoats of Muslim violence.

The structural animosity between Islam and the West must be addressed and it cannot be addressed so long as the Nazi ambassador is allowed to answer every question about his country’s actions by pontificating about the Sudetenland north of Jerusalem. The relationship between Israel and the West is not the cause of the conflict between Islam and the West, it is the unacknowledged Western response to it.

Source: Canadian Free Press

Turkey’s Glow Dims (NY Times)

The crackdown on free speech is prompting many to reassess the idea that Turkey is the best model for Muslim democracy.

Protesters in Istanbul last month denounced the detention of at least 38 people, many of them journalists, suspected, the police said, of ties to Kurdish separatists

A year ago, the journalist Nedim Sener was investigating a murky terrorist network that prosecutors maintain was plotting to overthrow Turkey’s Muslim-inspired government. Today, Mr. Sener stands accused of being part of that plot, jailed in what human rights groups call a political purge of the governing party’s critics.

Mr. Sener, who has spent nearly 20 years exposing government corruption, is among 13 defendants who appeared in state court this week at the imposing Palace of Justice in Istanbul on a variety of charges related to abetting a terrorist organization.

The other defendants include the editors of a staunchly secular Web site critical of the government and Ahmet Sik, a journalist who has written that an Islamic movement associated with Fethullah Gulen, a reclusive cleric living in Pennsylvania, has infiltrated Turkey’s security forces.

At a time when Washington and Europe are praising Turkey as the model of Muslim democracy for the Arab world, Turkish human rights advocates say the crackdown is part of an ominous trend. Most worrying, they say, are fresh signs that the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is repressing freedom of the press through a mixture of intimidation, arrests and financial machinations, including the sale in 2008 of a leading newspaper and a television station to a company linked to the prime minister’s son-in-law.

The arrests threaten to darken the image of Mr. Erdogan, who is lionized in the Middle East as a powerful regional leader who can stand up to Israel and the West. Widely credited with taming Turkey’s military and forging a religiously conservative government that marries strong economic growth with democracy and religious tolerance, he has proved prickly and thin-skinned on more than one occasion. It is that sensitivity bordering on arrogance, human rights advocates say, that contributes to his animus against the news media.

There are now 97 members of the news media in jail in Turkey, including journalists, publishers and distributors, according to the Turkish Journalists’ Union, a figure that rights groups say exceeds the number detained in China. The government denies the figure and insists that with the exception of four cases, those arrested have all been charged with activities other than reporting.

Turkey’s justice minister, Sadullah Ergin, last month blamed civic groups for creating the false impression that there were too many journalists in jail in Turkey. He said a new plan to enhance freedom of expression this year would alter perceptions.

In court on Wednesday, a defiant Mr. Sener, looking gaunt and pale, blamed the police officials he had investigated for setting him up. “It has been 11 months that I have not been given the chance to utter a single word to defend myself,” he said, speaking to friends during a brief intermission. “I have been a victim in a revenge operation — nothing else.”

The European Human Rights Court received nearly 9,000 complaints against Turkey for breaches of press freedom and freedom of expression in 2011, compared with 6,500 in 2009. In March, Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish writer and Nobel laureate, was fined about $3,670 for his statement in a Swiss newspaper that “we have killed 30,000 Kurds and one million Armenians.”

Human rights advocates say they fear that with the Arab Spring lending new regional influence to Turkey, the United States and Europe are turning a blind eye to encroaching authoritarianism there. “Turkey’s democracy may be a good benchmark when compared with Egypt, Libya or Syria,” said Hakan Altinay, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “But the whole region will suffer if Turkey is allowed to disregard the values of liberal democracy.”

Among the most glaring breaches of press freedom, human rights advocates say, was the arrest of Mr. Sener, 45, a German-born reporter who was working for the newspaper Milliyet at the time of his arrest. In 2010 he won the International Press Institute’s World Press Freedom Hero award for his reporting on the murder of Hrant Dink, a prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist who was assassinated in Istanbul in 2007.

Mr. Sener said he believed that he was in jail because he dared to write a book criticizing the Turkish state’s negligence in failing to prevent Mr. Dink’s murder. His defense team says the prosecution’s case rests on spurious evidence, including a file bearing his name that an independent team of computer engineers concluded had been mysteriously installed by a virus on a computer belonging to OdaTV, an antigovernment Web site. He was held for seven months without charges. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in jail.

“Nedim Sener is being accused on the basis of rumors and fantasies,” said his lawyer, Yucel Dosemeci. “He is being targeted to create a culture of fear.”

Source: The New York Times

Hindus are Grossly Endangered

Never it is said that Dogs are filthy creatures so created by Almighty Allah.

The Quran says in 5:4 – They consult you concerning what is lawful for them; say, “Lawful for you are all good things, including what trained dogs and falcons catch for you.” You train them according to GOD’s teachings. You may eat what they catch for you, and mention GOD’s name thereupon. You shall observe GOD. GOD is most efficient in reckoning.

Actually dogs are useful animal all the time if not hydrophobic. But who are the real dogs of Allah?

It is not tough to answer, if you meticulously judge every moments of a grown up dog. For the masters’ sake, this progeny barks ultimately with a high pitch holding the face upward. In the same manner the Muazzins (muazzin – the Muslim official of a mosque who summons the faithful to prayer from a minaret five times a day) bark five times for their Master (Allah). If you observe properly, then you must see how they bark so loudly even before a loud speaker, as if Allah and his followers are in moderate deafness.

No brother, Allah was not deaf when there was no use of loudspeaker, or these use of high volume public address system for Namaz is not for any deafness for Allah or his clan. It is only due to spread the supremacy of Islam through wave all over. And with this propaganda the world today watches the barbaric Islamic faces in the row of Talibani Terrors, Islamic Thugs and Muslim Neighbors.

The recent world witnessed the Talibani Terrors in America, Russia, France, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and many places. Islamic thugs flogged women in Swat, sprinkled acid upon unveiled women faces in Pakistan and Bangladesh, satiated themselves in female genital castration or sodomy. But, neighbor Muslims are proved most un-trusted everywhere.

Surfaced satanic behavior of Muslim neighbor

Two incidents during the last phase of the year 2011 and in the beginning of the year 2012 can throw some light upon the behavior of our Muslim neighbors in general and not for any exception in any case.

The authorities of Agragami Girls School and College in Sylhet, Bangladesh allegedly distributed beef in the name of mutton to its present and ex-students during the institution’s 108th founding anniversary programme on December 25 last year.

The matter was flashed in the news papers of Bangladesh without any reaction of the Muslim neighbors of the aggrieved Hindu people whose religious sentiments were hurt by a intrigue of the culprit Muslims. But when the Hindus retaliated and one Amit Das Gupta, a Supreme Court lawyer, filed the writ petition with the HC for taking action against the persons responsible after a national daily on December 28 last year published a report on the incident of beef being offered in the name of mutton, some section of Muslims are trying to percolate that beef has high protein than mutton.

Hindu Human Chain against dangerous Muslim neighbors

Then how can you rely a Muslim neighbor with open mind? Actually, your Muslim neighbor always relishes your degradation whenever you are not a believer and have not your profound faith in Islam. They always play with your sentiments, girls and women; want to loot your land and wealth and kill you as a Kaffir, or to keep you as a slave or Zimmi without any hesitation as Quran teaches all these way of treatment to the non-believer – Kaffir by a profound believer – Momin.

Believe it or not, in this way of treatment, some Muslim neighbor in Pakistan forcefully converted a Hindu teenage girl and married under the dictum of Quran. No problem.

As per report in NDTV, a teenage Hindu girl in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi was allegedly forcibly converted to Islam and married off to a Muslim man, prompting her family to lodge a police complaint.

The case of the girl identified as Bharti, who has been renamed Ayesha following her conversion, is the 18th instance of forced conversions and marriages in the Lyari area of Karachi, The Express Tribune reported on the 1st day of 2012.

Hindu girls are victimized by Muslim neighbors in the name of Love and Nikah-Marriage

The family of the girl alleged that she was forcibly converted to Islam and married off to a Muslim man. They filed an FIR at Baghdadi police station and a local court is now hearing her case.

During an appearance in court, she was clad in a black ‘abaya’ and barely looked at her parents when she saw them, the daily reported.

“She is being pressurized to say that she converted because of her own free will else we would be harmed,” said her father, Narain Das.

Bharti’s mother, a cardiac patient, was upset that she did not even glance at her.

Even then we expect a good Muslim neighbor in my next door which is simply impossible and who wants it is simply insane. But, you will find some good one beside you, if we keep some lethal arms in our house to protect our man from Muslim neighbor whenever they attack us, misbehave with our daughters, sisters, women and others and obviously try to stealthily encroach our possession in every respect.

In India or everywhere see the tactics of your Muslim neighbors. They clustered in new areas, preferably in frontage and roadsides. Set up their own markets. Erect a Mosque and a Muslim hotel. Start religious function without any hurdles and try to capture local politics. In this activities a strong Islamic feeling generates a bigger Islamic network, where the Mon-Muslims are never allowed if not kneel down to Islam or to pamper Islamic expansionism. Never we can check these as we do not ponder even.

For our protection from these type Muslim neighbors, please try to understand these factors. When they are 5% only they are submissive, even they can hold your feet to have your favour. When they are about 10%, Muslims try to franchise their self identity. In the span of 15%-25%, Muslims successfully demand and procure their reservation-rights-might. If they are in the hold of 25%-30% of population, they claim their land and gradually surface them as persecutors. 30%-40% strength of a Muslim populace paves a transition for a Dar-ul-Islam (Land of Islam). 50% Muslim population always creates a Islamic Country where the rights of others (non-Muslims) are snatched permanently. We can judge the temperament of our Muslim neighbor in this light more or less. Otherwise we can shake hand with the Islamic peril for us. We are now compelled to say no to Muslims neighbors. Exceptions are always welcome.

Source: Hindu Existence

Pakistan Official Tells ‘Blasphemers’ to Expect Mob Justice

Women chant slogans in favour of late Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassin, Mumtaz Qadri during a Sunni Tehrik rally in Islamabad on January 4

Planning and Development Minister Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor on Friday said that peace and order in the province could not be guaranteed if blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) continued. He said the faithful would not always wait for court orders in such cases.

The Punjab Assembly resumed its session, some 20 minutes after the scheduled time, 9am.

Ghafoor suggested that the minority members should wait until the court decided Aasia Bibi’s fate. He said, “If blasphemers continue, the society will produce another Ghazi Ilmuddin Shaheed.”

Earlier, Muhammad Ilyas Chinioti, a PML-N MPA from Jhang, during the debate over law and order situation, also said that minorities should refrain from discussing Aasia Bibi’s case, till the court hearing her appeal gave its final verdict.

He was referring to a speech by Malik Perveiz Rafique, an MPA on a reserve seat, on Thursday, in which he had expressed his reservations over the insecurity minority citizens in Punjab faced. He had also spoken in support of Aasia Bibi.

Rafique had demanded that the government do more to provide security to the minorities and their worship places. He had also appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to act against the clerics who were publically supporting Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed killer of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer. Rafique regretted that Qadri was given ‘protocol’ in jail, while Aasia Bibi’s life was in the ‘barrack.’

Several minority members protested against Chinoiti, a son of Maulana Manzoor Chinioti, a Tehreek-i-Khatme Nabuwat leader, and also sought to speak on a point of order. It was then that the speaker gave the floor to Ghafoor.

MPA Najmi Saleem condemned the minister’s statement and accused the Punjab government of discrimination against minorities. She said that while minority members respected for the court, the PML-N did not.

“It’s strange that the honourable Muslim minister is talking about killing people, though his religion prohibits killings of innocent people,” she said.

Law and order situation discussed

Next the speaker asked PML-Q MPA Samina Khawar Hayat to speak on the law and order situation.

She started off by saying that more than Rs40 billion was spent on Police Department every year. She said the money was not being utilised properly.

She regretted that when confronted with the alarming crime statistics in the Punjab, treasure members tried to justify those by citing figures from other provinces.

PPP’s Shaukat Basra said that the chief minister should immediately withdraw the raise in the salaries of police officials. He said Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan was patronising terrorism in the province.

PML-N MPA Chaudhry Ali Asghar Monda blamed the energy crisis for the poor law and order situation in the province.

PPP’s Hassan Murtaza said that while the inspector general of police was always surrounded by a heavy guard. “If the police continue to protect their bosses alone, who will guard the public against criminals,” he asked.

When asked to conclude the debate on law and order, Sanaullah said that the opposition’s suggestions would be considered. He also presented the National Crisis Management Cell statistics for crime on the New Year’s Eve and the following day.

Earlier Sanaullah also answered questions about Revenue and Colonies Department.

The speaker adjourned the session till Monday, 3pm.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2012.

Source: The Express Tribune

Surrender in Afghanistan

Obama has invited a cleric who supports the killing of US troops to negotiate with the actual killers. Could America look any weaker?

The war in Afghanistan may end this year in thinly disguised surrender.

“The Taliban per se is not our enemy,” Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview with Newsweek magazine Dec. 15.

We went to war in Afghanistan to oust the Taliban regime because it had sheltered al-Qaida. Perhaps Mr. Biden forgot.

A story in an Indian newspaper Dec. 29 suggests the reason for the vice president’s memory lapse. The Obama administration apparently is conducting secret negotiations with the Taliban and has recruited Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading jurist, to mediate them.

“Earlier this month, Mr. al-Qaradawi helped draw a road map for a deal between the Taliban and the United States aimed at giving the superpower a face-saving political settlement ahead of its planned withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is due to begin in 2014,” wrote reporter Praveen Swami, citing “Indian diplomatic sources.”

Picking Mr. al-Qaradawi, 84, to broker a peace deal is like choosing Benito Mussolini to mediate secret peace talks with the Nazis.

Mr. al-Qaradawi seeks the establishment of a worldwide caliphate ruled by Islamic law. And like other radical Islamists, Mr. al-Qaradawi advocates the destruction of Israel. But not even that is enough to satisfy his blood lust.

“Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption,” Mr. al-Qaradawi said in a speech broadcast on al-Jazeera in 2009. “The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them … he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers. … Oh Allah, count their numbers and kill them, down to the very last one.”

In 2003, Mr. al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa justifying the killing of U.S. troops in Iraq. When the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca opposed the killing of civilians, Mr. al-Qaradawi criticized him. Yet the Obama administration apparently considers Mr. al-Qaradawi to be a “moderate.”

Perhaps he is, compared to Mohammed Fazl, a senior Taliban official who’s been held at Guantanamo Bay since early 2002. Mr. Fazl is alleged to have overseen the murder of thousands of Afghanistan’s minority Shiite Muslims.

The Obama administration is contemplating turning Mr. Fazl and four other Taliban terrorists over to the Afghan government as part of an exchange of “confidence-building measures,” Reuters reported Dec. 29.

The proposed handover of Mr. Fazl and the others is not popular with those who are more concerned with U.S. security than with President Obama’s re-election.

“I can tell you that the hair on the back of my neck went up when they walked in with this a month ago,” Reuters quoted a “U.S. intelligence official” as saying.

The Taliban announced Tuesday that it will open a liaison office in Doha, Qatar, where Mr. al-Qaradawi is based. Afghan President Hamid Karzai gave the office his blessing and earlier praised Vice President Biden’s statement that “the Taliban per se is not our enemy.” So presumably he’d be open to a power-sharing arrangement — provided there are sufficient guarantees for his personal safety and for augmentation of the considerable fortune he’s accumulated since we installed him in office.

If Mr. al-Qaradawi is chosen as mediator it would suggest the Obama administration is far more interested in making a deal before the U.S. election this year than in what’s in the deal. The administration might be satisfied, it appears, with a public renunciation of al-Qaida by the Taliban (they don’t have to mean it), and private assurances that the Taliban won’t take over until after the election.

The losers would be those Afghans who don’t want to live under the thumb of a brutal reactionary theocracy, especially those who trusted us and sent their daughters to school. But they don’t vote in our elections.

Mr. Obama supported the war in Afghanistan during the 2008 campaign, but I suspect he did so only because he so vociferously opposed the war in Iraq and didn’t want people to think he was soft on national defense. His heart was never in it.

So I wish he’d decided to bug out sooner. About two-thirds of the 1,864 American servicemen and women who have been killed in Afghanistan have been killed since Barack Obama became president. They appear to have died in vain.

Source: Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly is a columnist for the Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio (jkelly@post-gazette.com, 412 263-1476).

US Navy Rescues Iranians from Somali Pirates

Just days after Iranian and American military officials traded warnings over a U.S. Navy vessel’s departure from the Persian Gulf, the United States Navy has rescued 13 Iranian fishermen and their fishing dhow from Somali pirates in the north Arabian sea, the Pentagon said Friday. And in a side irony that punctuates the rare instance of Iranian-American co-operation, the rescue operation was carried out by a ship belonging to the very U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike group that Iranian army officials had earlier boasted of evicting from Gulf waters.

“A boarding team from the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd–part of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group–detained 15 suspected pirates aboard the fishing dhow, the Al Molai, according to a statement today from the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs Office,” Bloomberg News’ Tony Capaccio reported Friday. “The pirates didn’t resist and surrendered quickly in the rescue” operation, which occurred on Thursday.

The Iranian fishermen “were held hostage, with limited rations, and we believe were forced against their will to assist the pirates with other piracy operations,” Josh Schminky, a Navy Criminal Investigative Service agent aboard the Kidd, explained in the Navy statement, according to the Bloomberg report.

The Navy has posted an unclassified YouTube video of the rescue operation–seemingly eager to play up the good turn the American Navy has done for the Iranian fishermen. (You can watch the video in the clip above.) Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also called the commander of the USS John C. Stennis’ Carrier Strike Group, Rear Adm. Craig Fuller, to congratulate him on the “well executed” rescue operation, Pentagon spokesman George Little said Friday.

Secretary Panetta “said, ‘When we get a distress signal, we’re going to respond,'” Little relayed in a statement sent to Yahoo News. “‘That’s the nature of what our country is all about.'”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called Navy Rear Adm. Craig S. Faller to congratulate him for rescuing 13 Iranians

Not to make too much of the opportunity to win Iranian hearts and minds, of course.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Army chief Ataolla Salehi asserted that Iranian military exercises had prompted a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to vacate the Persian Gulf. And he warned the United States about any plans for the carrier’s return.

“Iran will not repeat its warning … the enemy’s carrier has been moved to the Sea of Oman because of our drill,” Salehi said on Tuesday, according to a Reuters report. “I advise, recommend and warn them over the return of this carrier to the Persian Gulf because we are not in the habit of warning more than once.”

Salehi didn’t name the American naval vessel in question, “but the USS John C. Stennis leads a task force in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet website pictured it in the Arabian Sea last week,” Reuters reported.

Pentagon officials promptly pushed back against the Iranian army chief’s warning, stressing that the United States simply wants to ensure open traffic in international waters.”We are committed to protecting maritime freedoms that are the basis for global prosperity,” the Pentagon’s Little said Tuesday. “This is one of the main reasons our military forces operate in the region.”

Tensions have been rising between the United States and Iran in recent weeks, with Iranian officials issuing a series of erratic threats about their military capacity to control the Strait of Hormuz, a key global energy transport hub. On Sunday January 1, President Obama  signed legislation that could penalize any institution that does business with Iran’s Central Bank–a chief source of Iran’s revenues for oil exports. European diplomats also said this week that they’re preparing a ban throughout the EU on the import of Iranian oil that would go into place at the end of the month.

Iranian officials have given numerous statements the past week indicating they would like to return to international nuclear talks. But EU officials have told Yahoo News that Iran has not yet formally responded in writing to a proposal issued by European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton in October to resume negotiations.

Source: Yahoo News