BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Security concerns deepened in
the capital of Central African Republic on Friday after the U.S.
ambassador and his diplomatic team were evacuated out of the country by
plane overnight amid fears rebels could try to take the capital.
officials said about 40 people were evacuated on an U.S. Air Force
plane bound for Kenya. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity
because they weren't authorized to discuss the details of the operation. (Politico)
According to German paper Die Welt Iran has reportedly decided to build a mid-range rocket base on the Paraguana Peninsula in Venezuela, with engineers visiting the location in February. The US State Department doesn't seem very concerned, or that is the impression that want to project.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is known to have good relations with Iran, and his country are Teheran’s most important South American ally.
According to the Jerusalem Post Iran will build intermediate-range missile launch pads on the Paraguana Peninsula, located roughly 120km from America's main South American ally, Columbia.
Engineers from Khatam al-Anbia construction company scoped out the site earlier this year.
The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Air Force, Amir al-Hadschisadeh, was present, Die Welt - who cited information from 'Western security insiders' - reported. [snip]
The Iranian military will also build bunkers, barracks and oversea tower construction, as well as 20-metre deep rocket silos.
Fox News reports that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is planning an upcoming visit to four Latin American countries next week - Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador.
Iran has also offered to share nuclear technology with other friendly, interested African countries that have uranium reserves to set up facilities to process the ore into nuclear material, according to Fox News:
Fereidoun Abbasi says Iran has mastered the entire nuclear fuel cycle from extracting uranium ore to producing fuel for reactors and is ready to share the technology. Abbasi's comment was reported by the semi-official Mehr news agency Saturday.
The offer appears aimed at touting Iran as a nuclear power that has mastered the technology and is willing to help others create peaceful nuclear programs. Iran says its program is solely aimed at generating electricity and denies Western accusations that it seeks to build a bomb.
Is this Iran being Iran, boasting about what they can do, what they know, and what they will do? I suppose time will tell.
The last decade was dominated by the war against terror. Throughout the post 9/11 era, Al Qaeda and the threat of Islamic terrorism have played a central role in defining Washington's diplomatic agenda. Terror has become a global concern and the war against terror is wide spread. Just how wide spread is this global anti terror initiative is demonstrated by the recent deployment of US troops in central Africa.
President Barack Obama announced a few days ago he is dispatching about 100 U.S. troops — mostly special operations forces — to central Africa to advise in the fight against the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, a guerrilla group accused of widespread atrocities across several countries. While the rebels are quite weak, capturing LRA leader Joseph Kony is of high priority to Uganda's President Museveni. The U.S. contingent will aid local forces fighting Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan
Why does the US intervene in a local crisis in central Africa? Well, apparently President Museveni has committed thousands of troops to the African Union force in Somalia to fight militants from al-Shabab, a group with ties to Al Qaeda.
So the US helps Uganda fight its local battles while freeing up Uganda's soldiers to deal with Al Qaeda in Somalia.
Al Qaeda presence in northern Africa
America has upped its game in Africa since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, creating its first-ever Africa Command. A particular focus has been on Somolia and North Africa, where Al Queda has established several spin-off groups. Pirating has also become another security headache.
“Our presence on the African continent is part of our network of building partners, of gaining intelligence,” said Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, ".. we have to be networked against the specific threat, and part of that requires our presence in Africa."
While budget cuts may force the US to reduce its involvement in the hotbeds of Al Qaeda, such global cooperation with leading African countries like Uganda can help to contain the threat.
(See other articles by Roni Drukan at Right Truth here)
Last Wednesday, the European Union announced that it was introducing sanctions against Iran's elite Quds Force on the grounds of its technical and material support to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in his repression of the five-month-old uprising against his regime. 
On the same day, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, the top US military spokesman in Iraq, declared that Iranian-backed militias represent the greatest threat to Iraq’s security, outpacing al-Qaida-linked terrorists. Maj. Gen. Buchanan pointed out that the Quds Force “is providing direct support to the militias in terms of manning, equipping, provision of intelligence.” 
According to the US State Department, the Quds Force, "the external operations branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad." 
Charged with a hate crime, a 12 year old Muslim boy is incarcerated for attacking a 13 year old Muslim girl and pulling off her hijab, Muslim headscarf. An Islamophobic Muslim boy or just a male Muslim acting normal toward females? How can it be a hate crime when it is Muslim-on-Muslim? But wait! There's much more to the hate crime story. The prosecutor called Osman Daramy a 'pre-teen terror' who needed to be remanded because of his history. I agree.
Osman Daramy attacked the female student outside the Berta Dreyfus Intermediate School in Stapleton about 1 p.m., the sources said.Osman allegedly punched and kicked the girl before trying to grab the scarf wrapped around her head, sources said. He was unable to remove the hijab during the tussle.
[...] He was in trouble on Monday after he cut a chunk of hair off another female classmate's head, sources said. (NYDailyNews.com)
Osman [Daramay] was brought in wearing handcuffs around his tiny wrists. His eyes were red and teary and the boy began to cry once the judge walked into the room.
The prosecutor, Teresa Wilson, argued for remand, saying “the defendant is a public safety risk” and was likely to engage in future acts of delinquency, based on his recent record.
That recent record included an unspecified robbery in which physical force was used that took place on Feb. 3.
He was also cited for three school suspensions, one as early as March 10.
The judge remanded the boy and set an April 5 date for the next hearing.
Osman, who has a history of disciplinary problems at the school, yesterday allegedly began assaulting the Muslim girl just outside the school building with a 13-year-old female accomplice, and tried to rip off the victim’s hijab headdress covering her hair while yelling, “Are you a Muslim?” authorities said.
The girl suffered bruises and a cut lip. (NY Post)
I've never been in favor of hate crimes, a crime should be a crime, it should be prosecuted as such and punished as such, the motivation is irrelevant.
But Wait! The father says the attacker, Osman, is the victim, he's just an African boy.
[Frank] Davies (the boy's father) - "How could a Muslim have another hate crime against another Muslim?" Davies asked. "(Osman) is a Muslim...He's just a regular African kid. That's why they are out to get him. He's a victim," Davies, 32, added. He bought a plane ticket for his son to live with relatives in Sierra Leone (Africa) to escape the abuse he receives in school. The dad said he bought the ticket before his son's arrest. "They treat the African kids different," said Davies, flashing the April 17 ticket to Freetown. "Other kids mock him and the teacher never stuck up for him...I need to get him out of this country." (NYDailyNews.com)
This is part of the problem. People use victim status to explain criminal acts. This kid, with his history, obviously needs to be examined and kept from really injuring or killing someone. Also why are Muslim girls wearing a hijab in an American school? Assimilate! If France can ban them then we should too. And whoever started this 'hate crime' craziness needs his head examined.
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The saga continues. In a drama that is, by now, amusing to some and certainly tedious to many others, I am trying to ferret-out and challenge my critic, Denny Howley, Ph. D, a retired US Army foreign area officer, to a debate in our nation’s capital. In response to my article “Beyond Diversity and Tolerance: Reassessing Islam and Islamism in the United States Military,” which can be found at the web site Right Truth, Dr. Howley printed a screed against my attempts to warn the US military forces against Islamist threat to the US military. Fair enough, ours is a free country. But let him step forward and debate me publically. If he wants to trivialize or apologize for the Islamist infiltration of the US armed forces, let him man-up and do it before an audience of foreign area officers (FAOs), a damn tough audience. I offered to pay for his expenses and still await his response. So, let’s try a new tactic, perhaps a bit more sophomoric, but perhaps more successful:
I know that you are out there Denny Howley, and I will not let you slip from my electronic clutches. I forwarded my challenge to the FAO Association’s webmaster to make sure you get it. You are clever, but not clever enough to escape me. I know that you live in Key West. I have acquired an interview you gave to the Tucson Weekly, in April 1995, in which you recounted your adventures as a bounty hunter. You passed advice to aspiring bounty hunters, which I will certainly consider, should I pursue bounty hunting as a second career. However, I am confused by your observation that, “A lot of these guys (bounty hunters) think of guns as extensions of their peckers.”1 I assume that this is a reference to the Red and Black Peckerhead, which makes its home in Key West, Florida. I look forward to your making the connection clear when we meet for our debate, which will take place in Washington DC. OK Peckerhead?
Red and Black Peckerhead2
But, sarcasm aside, this issue is not a joke. There has been no comprehensive, coordinated, national- or service-level effort to protect against Islamist infiltration of the United States military. And this is a dereliction of duty. The two most-poisoned well springs of ignorance are the universities and the government. Many critics of contemporary academia understand the motivations behind the Islamist apologetics. There are a few reasons. Universities are awash in Saudi money, and their faculties are staffed with neo-Marxists who see Muslims as the new proletariat. But Islamist influence in the military is not so easily explained, and because it cannot be easily explained it must be debated. And this is exactly what I intent to happen with Dr. Howley in a debate at a FOA conference.
1 “Bounty Hunters: Just Your Average Folks Seeking The Ultimate Adrenaline Rush” Tucson Weekly, www.tucsonweekly.com.tw/03-30-95/cover.htm 2 http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dpeckerhead%
Mark Silinsky can be reached via email at Silinsky@yahoo.com.
In spite of the economy and a long list of lousy movies coming out of Hollywood, the
Expendables took the No. 1 spot at the box office in US with $5
million, and has continued to hold through the weekend to become the
number one movie for a second week in a row. The film closed out the weekend with $16.5 million to bring it to a total of $64.9 million in just two weeks. The film cost $80 million to make, but has yet to be released in many international venues.
There are reasons why this movie is a success: It caters to the target audience by specifically providing what they like to watch and yet reaches far beyond that group to folks of all ages and political persuasions simply because it delivers.
For those who love action, guns, the good guys vs the bad guys, the good guys winning, motorcycles, cars, no political correctness, kick-a$$ movie, with great music/soundtrack including "Keep Your Hands to Yourself", "Keep On Chooglin'"written byJohn Fogerty, "Mississippi Queen", "Born on the Bayou", and "The Boys Are Back in Town", this movie is for you. Who likes that stuff? I do. The Expendables delivers.
The movie is also surprisingly funny with some one-liners you will find yourself quoting after the movie is over, like this one:
The good guys are not 18 year old
pretty boys out of some clothing magazine with styled hair and washboard
abs, they are real men with some age and experience under their belts.
You actually believe that they could get the mission accomplished, and they do. The audience, women included, want to see real men.
When it comes to people of a certain age, Hollywood has a certain
Older screenwriters say they can't get jobs, leading parts
for actresses start vanishing once they turn 35 and the studios have all
but abandoned adult dramas. Which makes the continued success of "The
Expendables" all the more remarkable.
... 52-year-old Dolph Lundgren, the 54-year-old Eric Roberts and the
57-year-old Mickey Rourke) continued to draw a surprising number of
female ticket buyers - some 38 percent of the audience, distributor
Lionsgate says. (more)
Sylvester Stallone said he would not have been able to make The Expendables two decades ago because some of the action men who appear in the
film like Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger
and Bruce Willis, would have been too expensive -- "This was all favors, all done on a really low budget. Some even wanted to work for nothing, meaning me."
The Expendables opens with the team fighting off a band of Somali
pirates who are holding a ship's crew for ransom (and are just about to execute some of the hostages), the movie is about a
group of elite mercenaries, tasked with a mission to overthrow a Latin
American dictator. The army is actually played by the real Brazilian
military soldiers who volunteered to be in the movie, making it even
Movie-goers like me want to see some good guys cut through the crap, rescue the good guys and send the bad guys to their graves. This movie delivers.
For gun enthusiasts, you will love this list of weapons, a weapon-by-weapon guide to The Expendables arsenal, including handguns and revolvers, rifles and shotguns, the many sharpened blades. For an even better description and better images of the arsenal, see this site, hat tip R.J. Godlewski. Of special interest is Caesar(Terry Crews) AA-12 automatic shotgun, "MPS AA-12 Sledgehammer".
What makes it a force to be reckoned with in "The Expendables"
however is the ammo which Caesar fills it with, which he describes in
great detail during one particular scene.
Said Johnson: "It has fins and it explodes before it hits the
target. ... It's like a little missile, a little ground-to-air missile.
You could load a shotgun shell with a solid pellet, you could load it
with birdshot, you could load it with buckshot, you could load it with
all different things. The way we did it [in 'The Expendables'] was,
basically, [we built it] to take down buildings, and it does. In real
life, this shotgun would do pretty close to what you see on the screen."
Even more frightening is the idea that such a destructive bit of
firepower exists. It does, Johnson said — sort of. "There's something
like that that does exist, yeah. We basically made up our own shell, but
we copied one that was a prototype that is in development for the
Below is some video of the AA-12 in action, but here is a photo with a little commentary:
not a very beautiful gun, but it does look very utilitarian. It's the
AA-12, a shotgun capable of fully-automatic fire. And it looks a lot
better with a drum mag. In fact, that's how it's mostly shown in the
movies. So why is this suddenly becoming the bad-ass weapon of choice.
Well, it's a step up from the Desert Eagle, being a rifle-sized weapon,
so it looks more intimidating. And it gets the fully automatic shotgun
down into a somewhat more manageable size than the Jackhammer (which got
famous in the Max Payne computer games). And then there's the ammo -
the AA-12 can fire the neato little rounds called Frag-12, which are
more like mini-grenades than conventional bullets, coming in a variety
of flavours. And while they do come in high Explosive, the effect in The
Expendables is somewhat overdone. Of course, other shotguns can fire
the Frag-12, but the AA-12 came out at the same time as the Frag-12, so
it's a match made in heaven.
Like all movies it has a goof or two, like where Sylvester Stallone inflicts significant damage to his truck while getting away from his
enemies, yet a few scenes later he pulls into the hanger and his truck
is not damaged at all, (See more), but who cares since this is such a great movie.
Here's the trailer, enjoy:
Another reason to like this movie is that the majority of the case is Republican, Conservative, including Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, .... Gotta love these guys.
Now, go see this movie. Sweet hubby took me out to dinner and the movies last night and we both enjoyed The Expendables.
The Obama administration announces more money for African nations. Is Obama doing the same for Israel? Just asking....
In its FY 2011 budget request for security assistance program!
mes for Africa, the Obama administration is asking for 38 million dollars for
the Foreign Military Financing programme to pay for U.S. arms sales to African
The administration is also asking for 21 million dollars for
the International Military Education and Training Programme to bring African
military officers to the United States, and 24.4 million dollars for
Anti-Terrorism Assistance programmes in Africa.
The Obama administration has also taken a number of other steps
to expand U.S. military involvement in Africa.
In June 2009, administration officials revealed that Pres.
Obama had approved a programme to supply at least 40 tonnes of weaponry and
provide training to the forces of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of
Somalia through several intermediaries, including Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti,
Kenya, and France. (From All Africa, via Jan)
Is this obama protecting his homeland? Just asking.
Do you know who won the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership this year? Nobody. Why is that news? Because it's a sad day when because of recent setbacks the committee could not select a winner. Ken Herman writes an excellent article in the Statesman, "Africa: Time for front-burner attention is now":
The prize goes to a democratically elected African head of state who
left office within the previous three years. There is perhaps no other
continent so desperately in need of democratically elected leaders
worth honoring. John Kufuor of Ghana was a contender, as were ex-Presidents Thabo
Mbeki of South Africa and Olusegon Obasanjo of Nigeria...
Unfortunately, "setbacks" are not news in Africa. It remains a
deeply-troubled continent, a situation made more precarious by China's
growing influence and investment in it.
Disease, human rights, violence, economic, you name a problem and
Africa struggles with it. In our lifetimes, the names of African
nations have become synonymous with strife: Biafra, Ethiopia, Rwanda,
Somalia, Burundi, Sudan, etc.
Last year, in a rift still not healed, Kenya was rocked by
post-election violence that killed 1,300 and forced 300,000 from their
In Guinea, ruled by a military junta, the United Nations is looking
into last month's incident in which troops went into a soccer stadium
and gunned down 150 opposition demonstrations.
In Zimbabwe, the inflation rate — fueled by government printing
presses trying to keep up with an unsustainable budget deficit — was
11.2 million percent last year. According to the CIA's World Factbook
in 2003 a Zimbabwean dollar was worth one U.S. dollar. By September
2007, one U.S. dollar was equal to 30,000 Zimbabwean dollars.
There are plenty more African countries with plenty more problems.
But somehow there always seems to be something more pressing with which
The prize was established in 2007 by Mo Ibrahim, a billionaire who made
his money through his African telecommunications company. Winners are
picked by a committee led by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan,
2008 Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari of Finland, former
President Mary Robinson of Ireland and Mohamed El Baradei,
director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency and others.
Mr. Herman shares an old joke, "What would the Middle East be without oil? ....... Africa."Well the jokes on us because "According to the Council on Foreign Relations, Africa has 9 percent of
the world's proven oil reserves and there could be additional
"significant undiscovered reserves." ... "And that's why China (which gets about one-third of its oil imports from Africa) is so interested and involved in the continent."
For the past ten days, no one has been able to drink or buy alcoholic
beverages in Najaf because of a bylaw adopted by local authorities. The
decision comes as the latest in a series, suggesting that Sharia is
being slowly implemented in Iraq, and that it also applies to
non-Muslims. --Layla Yousif Rahema at AINA
The threat of sharia in Iraq isn't new. There were reports of sharia in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and early 2009.
In 2004 Daniel Pipes warned, "this topic should be the subject of a soul-searching debate in America
and all the other countries whose forces are occupying Iraq, for how it
is answered will likely influence Iraq's future in profound ways." Pipes reported that at about 4:20 a.m. on March 1, 2004, when the Iraqi Governing Council, in the
presence of top coalition administrators, agreed on the wording of an
interim constitution -- sharia would be "a source" for Iraq's laws, rather than "the source", making the interim constitution a signal victory for militant Islam.
In 2005the supreme leader of Iraq's Shia, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani endorsed calls for sharia law in Iraq. As US Vice-President Dick Cheney said, "Iraqis will decide their own future." Apparently they decided sharia should be an option.
In 2008 Rola Phoenicia said, "American lawyers helped build Sharia Law into the Iraqi constitution,
which all but opens the door for a future Shi'ite Theocracy of Muslim
Fundamentalism. ... that means the Iraqi nation, government and laws are now subject to the laws of sharia."
As Layla Yousif Rahemareports, "The problem lies with constitution itself."
When the new charter was adopted, religious minorities, especially Christians, had pointed out its ambiguities.
"It guarantees respect for religious freedoms, but at the same time
in Article 6 establishes that no law can be adopted that is contrary to
the Muslim religion," Mgr Sako said. "It was clear from the start that
this would create serious problems for minorities."For historical reasons, the sale of alcoholic beverages is in the
hands of the Christian community and represents an important source of
income for Christians.
However, terrorism and attacks by Muslim
fundamentalists against stores selling alcoholic products have forced
many businesses to close. Now, many of those who still sell such
products expect the new bylaw to hit their already half-empty pockets
According to Mgr Sako, Iraq needs leaders who are "more realistic,
open and truly willing to help people mature." The constitution, for
example, "does not envisage in any concrete way how to guarantee
equality between men and women, regulate polygamy or the right to
convert, something which is banned by Islam but which pertains to the
realm of freedom of conscience."
For the prelate, there is a risk that "Iraq will fall back a few centuries, when Sharia was imposed on the entire population."
isn't much we can do about this now as the Obama administration is
completely on board with getting our troops out as planned. We can
only hope and pray that sane minds in leadership positions will guide
Iraq on the right path away from sharia and toward freedom.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
visited with the President at the White House today, promising to have
all American combat troops out of Iraq by August 2010 and all troops leave Iraq by the end of 2011. Today 51% of Americans disagree with Obamas policies.
Mona Charen writes an excellent article that summarizes the failures of Obama, "Obama's Moral Leadership Balloon Crashes"
in places like Iran, Honduras, Sudan, and on and on. We cannot expect
anything different from Obama when it comes to Iraq or Afghanistan.
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