Syria Has Secret Underground ‘Missile City’
by Jodie A. on Wed 02 May 2007 02:35 AM EDT
Beirut & Damascus – Syria has built a fortified complex buried deep underground and cloaked in secrecy to manufacture and store ballistic missiles capable of striking Israel, an Israeli newspaper said on Monday.
The complex includes 30 reinforced concrete bunkers, production facilities, development laboratories and command posts, the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot quoted “foreign experts” as saying, without specifying its location.
The “missile city” houses mainly Scud missiles capable of reaching anywhere in Israel. Given its weak air power, Damascus is boosting its arsenal of surface-to-surface missiles and protecting them in the complex, Yediot said.
According to the paper, Syria has 200 Scud-B missiles, 60 Scud-C and a certain number of North Korean Scud-D missiles with a range of 700 kilometres (434 miles), and has developed chemical warheads for all its Scuds.
The chemical warfare agents are stored in a separate facility, Yediot quoted the foreign experts as saying.
It also said that Iran recently supplied Syria with around 100 Chinese shore-to-sea C-802 missiles — the same missile that Hezbollah used to hit an Israeli warship during last year’s Lebanon war.
In March, military and government sources told AFP that Syria had positioned thousands of rockets on its border with Israel, … more »
Top Hamas official: Kill all Americans
by Jodie A. on Wed 02 May 2007 02:38 AM EDT
Sheik Ahmad Bahr, acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, declared during a Friday sermon at a Sudan mosque that America and Israel will be annihilated and called upon Allah to kill Jews and Americans “to the very Last One”. Following are excerpts from the sermon that took place last month, courtesy of MEMRI.
Ahmad Bahr began: “You will be victorious” on the face of this planet. You are the masters of the world on the face of this planet. Yes, [the Koran says that] “you will be victorious,” but only “if you are believers.” Allah willing, “you will be victorious,” while America and Israel will be annihilated. I guarantee you that the power of belief and faith is greater than the power of America and Israel. They are cowards, who are eager for life, while we are eager for death for the sake of Allah. That is why America’s nose was rubbed in the mud in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, and everywhere.
Bahr continued and said that America will be annihilated, while Islam will remain. The Muslims “will be victorious, if you are believers.” Oh Muslims, I guarantee you that the power of Allah is greater than America, … more »
Thursday, May 3rd 2007, 4:00 AM
State Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) pals with Sen. Barack Obama at a meeting of the National Action Network last month. Perkins announced yesterday he is backing Obama over Sen. Hillary Clinton.
A Harlem state senator became the first of New York’s Democratic officials to break ranks with Sen. Hillary Clinton yesterday and endorse her presidential rival, Sen. Barack Obama.
State Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) told the Daily News that he will formally announce his support for Obama tonight, and some believe it could encourage other New York Dems to defect.
“I think that his message of hope and opportunity is the right message. … There’s no question that folks in New York – and throughout the country – are looking for a change from the way things are being done,” said Perkins, who was among a handful of city officials who attended an Obama fund-raiser here in March.
Obama has been poaching campaign cash on Clinton’s turf and now appears poised to pick off some of her fellow Democrats.
Ironically, the first to endorse Obama represents the area where Bill Clinton’s office is located.
Perkins said Obama’s stance on the Iraq war was a major element in his decision. Clinton voted to authorize the invasion while Obama, who was not in the Senate at the time, opposed the war.
Perkins, who is black, said race was not a factor in his choice – just as he did not feel obliged to back Clinton because she represents New York.
“There is a notion of the ‘favorite daughter’ … That’s an understandable expectation, but I don’t think when we’re talking about the future of our country … that we can limit ourselves to choices that are simply geographic [or based on] race, color, creed,” Perkins said.
City Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens), who also attended Obama’s Manhattan fund-raiser, said Perkins’ endorsement might embolden other New Yorkers to do the same.
“Obviously when the first one steps out, others who are inclined to come out and support a candidate do it after that,” he said. “I would not be surprised if others support Obama’s campaign.”
Monserrate said he’s still undecided, and finds Clinton’s vote for the war problematic.
Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf agreed that Perkins could be seen as “breaking the ice” for others who may want to support Obama over Clinton.
“He wasn’t hit by lightning when he endorsed Obama, and therefore others will think doing so is safe,” Sheinkopf said.
|What Do They Know and Why Don’t They Know It?|
|Government Frank Salvato, Managing Editor
April 27, 2007
Recent actions and statements by those who exist on the left side of the aisle have served as proof for any reasonable American that congressional Democrats, especially their leadership, are invested in – and in fact insist upon – placing politics before government. Their blatant disregard for the well-being of our nation leads me to ask, how well do the Progressive-Left and the Democrats who appease them understand the duties associated with being an elected member of the United States government?
One of the last true statesmen to have graced the halls of Congress, Henry Hyde (R-IL), was often heard to say that those elected to office are the stewards to the US Constitution. By this he meant that they were beholden to the principles, ideals, tenets and procedural boundaries held within the document itself. My belief goes a bit further to include the idea that all Americans are vested with this commitment and that in addition to the principles, ideals and tenets of our founding documents each and every one of us is obligated to at least understanding the philosophy that influenced our Founders and Framers to compose such a revolutionary form of self-governance.
That said, and current events taken into consideration, I am led to believe that many in Congress from both sides of the aisle – and perhaps most people elected to office – are sadly devoid of a proper understanding of the Constitution and just exactly what it is they are required to do for their constituencies.
Two instances, appalling in nature to those of us who embrace the idea of good government, took place this week at the hands of Democrat leadership.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), leaving a meeting at the White House where the issue of the Iraq War Supplemental Appropriations Bill was being discussed, said:
“I believe myself that the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and – you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows – (know) this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday.”
Reid made this statement in stark contrast to declarations by US military personnel on the ground, some in positions of high command and others from the ranks of the soldiers doing the job. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino was quick to point out that no one else in attendance at that meeting heard Senator Reid make such a statement. Secretaries Rice and Gates have never issued such statements of defeat.
That Reid would have an opinion on the matter is one thing. Every American is afforded their opinion via the authority of the First Amendment. But for Reid, who sits in a position of leadership within our government, to assume to speak for others, for him to disregard first-hand knowledge of the facts as they are presented to him by those intimate with the conditions on the ground in Iraq, is not only arrogant, it is politically motivated and reckless.
I am forced to defend his right to make such an inaccurate, uninformed, uneducated and unscrupulous statement because I am faithful to the Constitution. But Reid’s statement only serves to benefit his political standing and the well-being of his political party while it damages our country, damages the morale of the troops in theater and sends a clear message of defeatism and weakness to our enemies.
Where this statement might – might – have been appropriate for private closed-door discussion, as a political leader Reid is obligated to conduct himself in a manner that best serves his constituents. Promoting an uneducated and thoroughly partisan opinion on an issue involving our country’s very survival – and in such a public way as to aid the enemy’s propaganda campaign – is not in the best interest of his constituency.
Just across the hall, figuratively speaking, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi found herself “unavailable” for a closed-door briefing on the military situation currently existing in Iraq given by General David Petraeus. In fact, the only Democrat to show up for this briefing was Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee.
While the entirety of congressional Democrats should be exposed for their blatant refusal to gather first-source, fact-based information on a situation currently being debating in Congress (when did gathering facts become optional?), it is singularly Nancy Pelosi’s responsibility as Speaker of the House and leader of her party in that chamber to lead them, to require, to insist that to do their jobs.
That Pelosi opted for a phone conversation with Gen. Petraeus is of little consolation. Leaders lead by example and Pelosi’s absence served to diminish the importance of gathering the facts regarding our troops in Iraq and the progress of their mission. What could possibly have been more important than gathering the facts on the premier issue of our day. But for her political victories as a partisan Progressive-Leftist, Pelosi has proven throughout her short tenure to be a miserable leader.
In both instances Democrat leadership has proven it has a lack of knowledge of – if not fidelity to – the constitutional requirements of their offices. For a country at war with the most lethal foe it has ever faced this sort of self-centered, opportunistic behavior could very well prove to be our death knell.
Returning to Henry Hyde’s idea that elected officials are the stewards of our Constitution – and to that extent the sentinels who should be standing guard over good government – I propose that every time a new congress is seated, every time a new president is elected and every time a new Supreme Court justice is sworn in, that they undergo a three week intensive study of the Constitution not unlike the program offered at the National Academy for Civics & Government through the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Further, I propose that those in Congress take one week to engage in an extensive crash course in the subject related to any committee they may find themselves sitting on: finance committee members should know how to balance a budget; defense committee members should have an understanding of the Pentagon and the military; intelligence committee members should understand the ideology of gathering intelligence; foreign affairs committee members should have a grasp of the inner-workings of the State Department, etc.
Only when those elected to office are properly educated on the requirements of their positions, informed and knowledgeable about the subject matter of the committees on which they sit and dedicated to the principles, ideals, tenets and procedural boundaries of the Constitution will we be able to move from a government run by special interest groups and partisans to a government that holds good government above politics. Only when we require our elected officials to understand the greatness and the intricacies of our country’s foundation will we rid ourselves of political opportunists like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
Now, the question is what politician has the guts to do the right thing by proposing legislation to this affect?
|Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor. He hosts The New Media Journal on BlogTalk Radio and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network and The Captain’s America on WWPR AM1490 in the Tampa Bay area, as well as an occasional guest on The Bruce Elliott Show on WBAL AM1090 in Baltimore and numerous radio shows coast to coast. His organization, Basics Project, is partnered in producing the first-ever national symposium series on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements… [read more]|
Oops. The MSM screws up and for the first time actually analyzes the consequences of an arbitrary withdrawal from Iraq. The result: We should stay.
• Experts paint bleak picture of Iraq if U.S. troops withdraw
• Among potential scenarios: al Qaeda terror hub and larger regional conflict
• CNN analyst: “Saudi Arabia will not allow increasing Iranian dominance”
• U.S. general says early pullout would cause “huge vacuum”
(CNN) — Pulling U.S. forces from Iraq could trigger catastrophe, CNN analysts and other observers warn, affecting not just Iraq but its neighbors in the Middle East, with far-reaching global implications.
Sectarian violence could erupt on a scale never seen before in Iraq if coalition troops leave before Iraq’s security forces are ready. Supporters of al Qaeda could develop an international hub of terror from which to threaten the West. And the likely civil war could draw countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran into a broader conflict.
President Bush vetoed a war spending bill Tuesday precisely because the Democrat-led Congress required the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn by October 1 with a goal of a complete pullout six months later.
Bush said such a deadline would be irresponsible and both sides are now working on new proposals — which may have no pullout dates.
A rapid withdrawal of all U.S. troops would hurt America’s image and hand al Qaeda and other terror groups a propaganda victory that the United States is only a “paper tiger,” CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen said. “It would also play into their strategy, which is to create a mini-state somewhere in the Middle East where they can reorganize along the lines of what they did in Afghanistan in the late ’90s,” Bergen told CNN.com. (Read More)
Daniel Pipes’ Weblog
The Pentagon Looks at the Koran
September 27, 2006
A recent Pentagon briefing paper titled, “Motivations of Muslim Suicide Bombers,” points to the Koran as the source of the motivation of Islamist bombers, according to an article today in WorldNetDaily.com. This runs quite contrary to the usual U.S. government approach, which insists on seeing suicide terrorists as heretics who follow a perverted form of Islam. A White House report released just this month, for example, the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism,” asserts that “The terrorists distort the idea of jihad into a call for violence and murder against those they regard as apostates or unbelievers.”
The Pentagon study suggests that intelligence analysts think otherwise, concluding not just that Muslim suicide bombers are usually students of the Koran motivated by its commands, but that they acting, by their lights, rationally. Here is a key passage from the WorldNetDaily.com account:
In Islam, it is not how one lives one’s life that guarantees spiritual salvation, but how one dies, according to the briefings. There are great advantages to becoming a martyr. Dying while fighting the infidels in the cause of Allah reserves a special place and honor in Paradise. And it earns special favor with Allah. “Suicide in defense of Islam is permitted, and the Islamic suicide bomber is, in the main, a rational actor,” concludes a recent Pentagon briefing paper titled, “Motivations of Muslim Suicide Bombers.”
“His actions provide a win-win scenario for himself, his family, his faith and his God,” the document explains. “The bomber secures salvation and the pleasures of Paradise. He earns a degree of financial security and a place for his family in Paradise. He defends his faith and takes his place in a long line of martyrs to be memorialized as a valorous fighter. And finally, because of the manner of his death, he is assured that he will find favor with Allah,” the briefing adds. “Against these considerations, the selfless sacrifice by the individual Muslim to destroy Islam’s enemies becomes a suitable, feasible and acceptable course of action.”
The briefing â?” produced by a little-known Pentagon intelligence unit called the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA â?” cites a number of passages from the Quran dealing with jihad, or “holy” warfare, martyrdom and Paradise, where “beautiful mansions” and “maidens” await martyr heroes. In preparation for attacks, suicide terrorists typically recite passages from six surahs, or chapters, of the Quran: Baqura (Surah 2), Al Imran (3), Anfal (8), Tawba (9), Rahman (55) and Asr (103).
CIFA staffs hundreds of investigators and analysts to help coordinate Pentagon security efforts at U.S. military installations at home and abroad.
Comment: There is nothing new here (see David Bukay, The Religious Foundations of Suicide Bombings, Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2006 for a good, in-depth analysis) but that a government agency articulates this understanding amounts to a breakthrough. (September 27, 2006)