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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Glimpse At The West's Policy In Action

We had begun thinkming about the Iranian military/industrial complex. The below articles are from American Thinker.
March 9, 2010 Obama's Iran Policy Collapses to the Accompaniment of Mockery Around the Globe
Barack Obama, in his first press conference after his election, called Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons "unacceptable." He repetitively offered Iran "engagement." He set a deadline of year-end 2009 for Iranian compliance, now unilaterally extended another three months.
Iran contemptuously and repetitively responded that it had no intention of abandoning its nuclear program. Obama's Iran policy is collapsing to the accompaniment of open mockery around the globe. Obama assured us that his "engagement" would make it easier to enlist other countries to stop Iran. The result is the opposite: Virtually every country Obama approached has rebuffed him. Without a credible threat of force, it is now clear that "engagement" has no chance to stop Iran's military nuclear program. It is indisputable that Iranian possession of nuclear weapons would destabilize the Mideast and gravely threaten world peace.
Let's leave China and Russia to the end on the grounds that it may be more difficult to persuade major powers. In recent weeks, the Obama administration launched a curious charm offensive with the announced purpose of weaning Syria -- Tehran's closest ally -- from Iran. Syria has been ruled by the Alawites -- a despised Muslim minority considered heretical -- since the French colonialists elevated them to military leadership. The country has since 1970 been the Mafia-like fiefdom of the Assad family, which murdered more than 15,000 of its own rebellious citizens in Hama in 1982.
Syria has been on the State Department's list of terrorist countries since 1979. Syria routinely dispatched terrorists into Iraq to kill American soldiers. Syria dominates Lebanon, from which it extorts wealth through violent means, including arming the Iranian proxy terrorist forces of Hezb'allah. The U.N. authorized an interminable tribunal to investigate charges that Syria murdered Rafik Hariri, Lebanon's prime minister, in 2005. The U.S. withdrew its ambassador from Damascus in protest of the Hariri assassination. I have personal insight into this tragic killing and farcical investigation because Saad Hariri, Rafik's son, desperately asked me in Riyadh in 1998 to pass on his fears that the Syrians would kill his father to preserve their hegemony in Lebanon. What a difference twelve years makes! Saad Hariri is now Lebanon's prime minister. Seeing the weakness of U.S. policy, he now embraces Hezbollah and the Syrian forces who killed his father.
Appeasing Syria Provokes Mockery from Assad and Ahmadinejad
The current Obama approach to Syria includes dispatching six high-level State Department delegations, announcing that our ambassador will return to Damascus, rescinding banned shipment of aircraft parts, and deals worth several billion dollars. Secretary of State Clinton purred over this "slight opening" with Syria and expressed hope that it would lead Syria to curb support for Iran as well as Hezb'allah and Hamas.
Syrian President Bashir Assad, responding instantly following departure of the U. S. Under-Secretary of State from Damascus, invited the Iranian president to his capital. The Assad-Ahmadinjead press conference can be described most tactfully as a roast of the Obama administration. The two presidents announced removal of travel visas, meaning that Iranian terrorists are free to travel to the borders of Europe and Israel. Assad, not ordinarily known for humor, said of U.S. hopes of separating Syria from Iran that "[w]e must have understood Clinton wrong because of bad translation." The Iranian president reliably played straight man: "The Americans are forced to leave the region, leaving their reputation, image, and power behind in order to escape. The U.S. has no influence to stop expansion of Iran-Syria, Syria-Turkey, and Iran-Turkey ties. God willing, Iraq too will join this circle."
The failure of Obama's appeasement was understood in the region. Editor Michael Young asked in his Beirut Star,
"Just what does Barack Obama stand for?" His answer: "The Assad regime's abuse of its own population, Syrian involvement in myriad bombings in Iraq, support for Iraqi Baathists, and its permissiveness toward Al-Qaeda in Iraq have not made the Administration reconsider its Syrian opening. Violence works, and Obama has not proven otherwise. The Obama Administration these days provokes little confidence in its allies, and even less fear in its adversaries" [emphasis added].
Rebuffed by Lebanon, Brazil and Turkey
Syria is not a member of the U.N. Security Council. But Lebanon, Brazil, and Turkey are among the nine non-permanent members. Since Obama has unwisely delegated to the Security Council power to defend American interests, their votes are important. It is clear from what is written above that Lebanon, until recently a U.S. ally with its large but no longer dominant Christian minority, will now vote as directed by Syria and Iran.
Mrs. Clinton made a pitiful visit to Brasilia last week. It is not far-fetched to presume that Brazilian leadership contrasted the empty words of Obama with the deeds of their neighbor, President Chávez of Venezuela, who is assiduously expanding the western hemisphere bridgehead of his Iranian ally. A weekly flight from Tehran to Caracas carries unregistered passengers who can infiltrate our porous southern borders. The president of Brazil told Mrs. Clinton that his country would not "bow" to demands for sanctions against Iran. He suggested that it would be "prudent" to instead pursue negotiations. As in the Middle East, Obama "provokes little confidence" among our traditional good-neighbor allies.
Even more ruinous is the state of Obama's relations with Turkey, a country he has fulsomely praised as a Muslim democracy, notwithstanding the apparent drive of its present government to create an Islamist police state. Last week, Obama did nothing to prevent a symbolic 23-to-22 vote in a House of Representatives committee for a resolution labeling as "genocide" Turkish massacres of Armenians during World War I. I have lobbied on this issue and understand its intractability. Most historians call the events genocide, but a minority say it occurred during the fog of a war of reciprocal massacres in which Armenians aided invading Russians. The resolution is driven by understandable pressure of Armenian-Americans on California congressmen. But analysts of U.S. foreign policy understand that passing the resolution would so alienate Turkish voters that vital U.S. interests would be undermined -- e.g., supply of U.S. forces in Iraq, our air base at Incirlik, and the role of Turkish military (NATO's second-largest) in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Ankara Decries America's "Lack of Strategic Vision"
The Turks did not distinguish themselves by the bullying tone of their comments on the vote, and Obama may feel hamstrung by campaign promises he made -- which he cannot conceivably honor -- to recognize the "genocide." Turkey has resisted sanctions against Iran because Ahmadinejad was correct when he boasted in Beirut of blossoming Turkish-Iranian ties. But if Obama thought he might get any help from Turkey, whose government he courted by visiting its capital on his first overseas trip, his inaction on the genocide resolution provoked this blast from Ankara:
This decision, which could adversely affect our co-operation on a wide common agenda with the U.S., also regrettably attests to a lack of strategic vision [emphasis supplied].
Obama's difficulties in obtaining cooperation on sanctions from smaller countries underscore his better-known problems with veto-wielding Russia and China, whose interests are diverse from ours. These countries, in different ways, see themselves as rivals of the U.S. and have extensive commercial relations with Iran, by whom they do not feel threatened. Russia at times has indicated support for mild sanctions -- rather than the "biting" sanctions aimed at energy import/export (Iran is already rationing refined petroleum), insurance, and banking --understood by many congressmen as the only method short of war to influence Iran.
There were reports at week's end that the administration would retreat to seeking diminished sanctions that exempt China and other permanent members of the Security Council from compliance. This would confirm the complete collapse of "engagement." One might call it "diss-engagement," warranting the mockery of Obama's policies echoing from Damascus, Beirut, Brasilia, and even Ankara.
Joel Sprayregen is associated with think-tanks dealing with issues of security and human rights in Washington, Jerusalem, Istanbul, and Ankara. 44 Comments on "Obama's Iran Policy Collapses to the Accompaniment of Mockery Around the Globe"
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Iran helping Syria to crack down on protestors
Israel let the cat out of the bag a couple of weeks ago by leaking the news that
Hezb'allah and Iran was helping Syria handle anti-regime protestors.
Now the US government has confirmed some of this information, adding that Iran is also looking for an opening to help Shiite opposition groups in the Gulf.
Wall Street Journal:
Iran is secretly helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad put down pro-democracy demonstrations, according to U.S. officials, who say Tehran is providing gear to suppress crowds and assistance blocking and monitoring protesters' use of the Internet, cellphones and text-messaging.
At the same time, communications intercepted by U.S. spy agencies show Tehran is actively exploring ways to aid some Shiite hardliners in Bahrain and Yemen and destabilize longstanding U.S. allies there, say U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence. Such moves could challenge interests of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and inflame sectarian tensions across the Middle East, they say.
"We believe that Iran is materially assisting the Syrian government in its efforts to suppress their own people," said an Obama administration official.
U.S. officials say they don't see Iran as the driving force behind popular revolts against longtime U.S. allies in the Mideast, and caution they have no concrete evidence that Iran is providing or preparing large-scale financial or military support to opposition elements in Bahrain or Yemen.
Rather, the White House has worried that protracted political turmoil could provide an opening for additional influence by Tehran, whose nuclear ambitions are a concern to the U.S. and its allies in Europe and the Middle East.
It would make sense for Hezb'allah to assist their patron Assad in cracking down on protestors. The terrorist group may even be more reliable than the Syrian army or secret police. They owe much to Assad who has facilitated the transfer of weapons from Iran for many years, while offering their leaders protection and sanctuary from Israeli efforts to assassinate them.
More worrisome is Iranian meddling in Bahrain, which Ryan Mauro reports may presage a proxy war between Iranian backed Shias and US-friendly governments in the region. Iran can cause a lot of trouble with very little effort. However, as Mauro points out, most indigenous Shia groups in Bahrain have rejected Iranian help and wish to see a peaceful transition to more rights for Shias in the Gulf.
Not all Shias in Bahrain have rejected Iranian aid, however, and it seems pretty clear that Iran will do anything they can to destabilize American allies in the region.
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May 18, 2011 Revolutionary Guards and Ammo Dispatched to Syria
According to reports by Green experts of Iran (an
opposition group in Iran), the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has dispatched 65 agents via four planes, filled with guns, ammunition, and other military equipment, to Damascus during the past week. This is the second such convoy that has been sent from Tehran to Damascus in just the last month. The planes fly from Tehran to Damascus in such a way that it coincides with passenger flight patterns in order to avoid raising suspicion.
Commander Ebrahim Jabbari, who heads up the Vali'eh Amr (Supreme Leader's) revolutionary forces, is in charge of these security and military flights.
Expert analysis shows that following the widespread and bloody social uprising throughout Syria, and the Assad government's failure to contain the political situation, frenetic deliberations between Iranian and Syrian authorities have increased. Fearing the frailty of the Assad rule, which in turn would weaken Iran's influence in Syria, one part of the operational plan is to bait the Israeli government and incite unrest in the region. To this end, the military and security forces of the IRGC have created an operations outlet entitled the Ammar Operations HQ in Damascus.
Based on reports obtained from Iranian Green experts, the Ammar Ops HQ has begun coordinating with various Lebanese Hezb'allah and Palestinian groups, which distributed 600 heavy firearms that have been set up and situated in designated areas. The report also stresses that the operation has been planned in such a way that the role of the Syrian government is minimized in the crisis, giving it an air of a more impromptu and spontaneous confrontation. Then in the midst of the confrontations, Iran plans to enter the fray and appear as the uniter of the Palestinian people and a hero among Arab governments.
Other analysis also illustrate that the Ammar Ops HQ, which also has branches on the borders of Syria, Lebanon and Israel, is essentially intending to wreak international havoc and fan the flames of regional chaos.
As I reported on May 09 th ,The Iranian Supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, held a covert meeting with commanders of the Revolutionary Guards, representatives of the Syrian embassy, members of Hezb'allah, and leaders of the Sadr movement, to put together a plan to suppress the Syrian protesters and save the Syrian regime. It seems now the plan is extended to destabilize Israel by inciting a third intifada in which protesters would storm Israel's borders on three fronts: Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Syria. This in turn would draw Israel into some kind of retaliation to protect its borders, which then will be used as a tool and a call for unification among Arabs and the redirection of the media and Syria's internal problems, giving the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, enough time to fully suppress the internal uprising.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talked about the recent clashes at Israeli borders during the "Nakba Day" protests and said the clashes showed Israel's real nature. "Like a cancer cell that spreads through the body, this regime infects any region. It must be removed from the body," he said.
Yesterday, Hezb'allah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, lauded what he called the Palestinians' struggle to acquire the right to return to their homeland and predicted that they will attain their goal soon.
One thing is for sure as unrest spreads in Iran and Syria; their leaders will try to draw Israel into an unwanted war so that they can divert attention and further solidify power. It is time for the West to confront these brutal regimes and openly support the people so that we can once and for all put an end to the terrorist leaders of Iran and Syria.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy who requires anonymity for safety reasons. He is the author of A Time to Betray a book about his double life as a CIA agent in Iran's Revolutionary Guards, published by Threshold Editions, Simon & Schuster, April 2010.
August 27, 2011 Iran criticizes Syria for crackdown
By any standard, it was a mild rebuke. But the idea that the Iranians are criticizing President Assad at all is remarkable when you consider some of their own Revolutionary Guards are helping the Syrian president in his crackdown:
Iran, Syria's closest ally, called on the government in Damascus to recognize its people's "legitimate" demands on Saturday, in the first such remarks to come from the Persian country since the five-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad started.
Although the remarks, by Iran's foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, were broad and did not call for Mr. Assad to step down, they were the first public sign of growing unease with the crisis in Syria -even as Iran has maintained an unyielding crackdown on its own dissenters.
Other governments in the region are increasingly worried that the crisis could spill beyond Syria's borders, especially given Mr. Assad's seeming determination to snuff out a resilient demonstration movement despite the cost in sectarian and social tensions. That violence continued on Saturday, as Syrian security forces opened fire on hundreds of demonstrators across the country, killing at least three people, according to activists.
"The government should answer to the demands of its people, be it Syria, Yemen or other countries," Mr. Salehi was quoted by the ISNA news agency as saying. "The people of these nations have legitimate demands, and the governments should answer these demands as soon as possible."
No doubt the people of Iran are behind the protestors and unless they want demonstrators in their own streets, it made good sense to try and portray the government on the side of freedom without undermining Assad.
But this is a slippery slope. If Iranians take to the streets again, the government may be forced into ever more serious criticisms of the crackdown until they too are calling for Assad to leave.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Almost dug out

As we pull apart our basement to clean up from the flood, the blog is put off another day. We will be back abd writing soon enough.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Didn't Want to Say It

I didn't want to say it, but, we have been hit by the storms. It looks as though we will be without power for a few days. This is something the members of the Foreig Appropriations Committee should take note of. Which countries come to assist or say anything of concern to us. Not that what came through is on the same scale as an earthquake is Haiti, or quakes an tsunami's. I am just saying, we should take note of which countries are saying what after this.

Also, if you live in the areas currently blacked out by Irene, I feel for you. Keep your heads up and keep moving, this will dry up and clean up. As for me and my crew, we are beginning to shop for a generator so, wheb winter comes, we are not waiting for someone to come to us. We will be better prepared and will stand tall in the face of adversity, like strong Americans.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Week In Review August 26, 2011

A number of issues have been expanded on this week. The most important of which, I think, include Syria and Department of Homeland Security.

Syria
In 1963 the al-Assad family took control of Syrian leadership. Basher, the current president, was born shortly after. He took power when his father died; in 2000 and 2007 Basher was “elected” after running unopposed each time. The al-Assad family has long been involved in chemical weapons (receiving several plane loads from Iraq in 2002), weapons proliferation with Iran, as well as routinely their subjects, err, citizens (he was elected, after all).

So what? Here the world can see that a slightly less megalomaniac than Ahmadinijad is doing precisely what Saddam Hussein and Mommar Khadafy did. Where they were forcibly and violently removed from power, after 32 and 42 years in absolute control, the al-Assad family stands unopposed by anyone outside of Syria. In fact, the UN cannot even bring a full coalition of outrage in a letter about al-Assad as Russia and China (both receiving US development funds as well as other US aid) are siding with al-Assad. I say siding with as they are not opposing nor speaking out, they are blocking further (useless) sanctions and any actual action that would follow the eventual and blatant violation of sanctions. Again, the “So What” here is that al-Assad is slaughtering his own subjects. Russia, China, and Iran are all backing al-Assad. Iran has funded, armed, and made numerous deals and deployments into Syria. Russia, China, and Iran have all stated that they want to, not just see, but be part of the destruction of the United States.

Now what? Not that I advocate total annihilation or genocide; I do, however, believe in the pre-emptive strike in order to defend a nation’s sovereignty and safety. A nation may also conduct a pre-emptive defensive strike to protect allies that are unable or incapable of defending themselves. Self-Defense on a national basis is what I am calling it. Right now, due to the START Treaty that Obama unwisely signed with the Russians, we now have a surplus of nuclear weapons. Does anyone see a problem with Syrian Green Glass? Yes, take a tactical nuke and put it into Basher al-Assad’s palace. No big loss of oil there. One homicidal and deeply twisted dictator and his entire family line are taken out. No ground troops from the US or coalition nations in harm’s way, done.

What about Obama’s Executive Order 13338? That? The executive order that prohibits us from buying oil from a country that produces less oil yearly than the US uses in a month? I think I called that an empty gesture from an empty suit. Representative Granger wants to see something with teeth, like having the $2 BILLION tax dollars budgeted to Egypt removed if they continue to oppose Western interests.



The Department of Homeland Security preparedness grant program awards for fiscal year 2011 puts $2.1 BILLION tax dollars into security initiatives and response organizations. None, or very little, of this $2.1 BILLION tax dollars seems to go into answering the questions presented by Dr. Jim Giermanski, Chairman Powers Global Holdings, Inc.

1.  Does DHS believe and support the use of Container Security Devices (CSDs) as being consistent with law, foreign security programs, non-government organizations, and the private sector bottom-line needs?
2. Does DHS believe that container security technology and CSDs serve as revenue producers for the private sector?
3. Why is the official policy on physical security for containers sealed "doors-only?"
4. Other than the incentives claimed by CBP for the private sector's participation in C-TPAT, what U.S. government incentive is used to encourage the use of CSDs?
5. Why is DHS not participating with the EU and other nations who are working together to develop an international standards and protocols for CSDs?
6. What can Congress do, but has not done to encourage CSD usage? 
7. What has DHS done with respect  to informing and encouraging Congress to ratify the Rotterdam Rules recognizing that these new Rules improve supply chain security?
8. Given increased security concerns about Mexico, what CSD pilots or programs have been used or tested in Mexico/U.S. cross-border commercial practices?
9. In which CSD pilots, if any, has DHS participated?
10. Why is DHS not complying with the mandates of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 with respect to CSD for usage HAZMAT movements?
11. If Trade Facilitation is one goal of CBP, why wouldn't CBP/DHS required the use of CSDs knowing that their usage is a financial benefit to the user as well as to the government?
12. Since DHS admits that transshipments are a legitimate security concern, why hasn't DHS mandated CSD usage for all containers inbound to the United States which transit a transshipment port?
13. Why has the "Green Lane" concept not yet been implemented in seaports to encourage CSD usage?
14. Why continue weak programs such as CSI knowing there is no actual verification of container contents?
15. Why is it that DHS/CBP has not yet addressed the current proven vulnerability of using the required 433.5 to 434.5 MHz spectrum in our ports knowing and admitting in writing along with the Office of the Secretary of Defense that the vulnerability truly exists as indicated in this DHS statement: ... these technologies...can be exploited and potentially used to trigger an explosive device.
16. Has DHS funded or directed an empirical study of the impact of closing all U.S. seaports and land ports-of-entry as a result of one or two dirty bomb blasts in the U.S. ports?

So, this week, while Ron Paul and 77% of the sitting democrats voted against enabling rules of engagement that actually PROTECT our military personnel, Janet Napolitano is spending $2.1 BILLION of our tax dollars on initiatives and response.

So what? DHS has put another $2.1 BILLION tax dollars into feel good initiatives rather than actually identifying and stopping threats.

Now what? I propose we do away with the Department of Homeland Security. But, they are there in case of a National Emergency, you say. What about the National Guard? Aren't they dual hatted to serve in support of the military AND to serve their states in response to national emergencies? Well, yes, they are. What about the highly important and visible role they play at airports? Don't most airports already have police, fire, rescue, and security elemnts working there? Well, yes, they do. Now what, you ask. The government tears down, repeals the institutionalized walls outlawing the sharing of information that Hillary Clinton was instrumental in putting up and allow the standing and proven methods of investigative, law enforcement, intelligence, and common sense to work.

Oh, yes, support Electrolux, they said that putting more sharia compliant rules in play within their organization sucks.

Thank you and have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First ICC Prosecution Moving Forward

Lubamga, the criminal in this first case, has been awaiting justice since about 2006. Wow; it has only taken five years for the case to come to a point where the defense (if there is any) can say that the evidence is tainted or the witnesses irrelevant. Five years. How much longer before the victims of his crimes see this vile creature in prison? He will nto be put to death or harmed in any way. No, he will serve time in a prison cell. He will eat, sleep, drink, shower, read, and continue to live in a prison cell paid for by other people. Damn! I am so glad the UN is hot on this.
Prosecution says evidence in International Court’s first trial enough to convict Congo warlord
By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, August 25, 10:44 AM
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Prosecutors began wrapping up the International Criminal Court’s landmark first trial on Thursday by urging judges to convict a Congolese warlord of recruiting hundreds of child soldiers and sending them to fight and kill in his country’s brutal conflict.
Deputy Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told judges that evidence in the trial that began in January 2009 gave voice to children that militia leader Thomas Lubanga had “transformed into killers; those girls that Mr. Lubanga offered to his commanders as sexual slaves.”

( Michael Kooren, Pool / Associated Press ) - Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. Prosecution lawyers are wrapping up the ICC’s landmark first trial by urging judges to convict Lubanga of recruiting child soldiers and sending them to fight in his country’s brutal conflict. Lubanga’s trial was the first international case to focus exclusively on child soldiers.

Bensouda said the armed wing of Lubanga’s Union of Congolese Patriots political party trained hundreds of children in 20 camps scattered across the Ituri region of eastern Congo in 2002-2003.
“They were used to fight in conflicts. They were used to kill, rape and pillage,” she added.

Actress Angelina Jolie, who is a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, was among dozens of people who watched proceedings from the court’s public gallery. She made no comment to reporters.

Lubanga’s defense lawyers are expected to tell judges on Friday that the prosecution evidence was flawed by false witness testimony and that Lubanga in fact tried to liberate child soldiers, not recruit them.
Lubanga’s trial has been hailed as a significant step in the development of international law. It was the first international case to focus exclusively on child soldiers and the opening trial at the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal.

However, it also was overshadowed by delays and by friction between prosecutors and judges.

The trial was put on hold in June 2008 — just 10 days before it was scheduled to start — when judges ruled that Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo had not given lawyers evidence that could have helped Lubanga. He refused to turn over some 200 documents because they came from organizations including the United Nations on condition that they not be disclosed to others.

Judges said the confidentiality agreements meant, “the trial process has been ruptured to such a degree that it is now impossible to piece together the constituent elements of a fair trial.”

Moreno-Ocampo eventually got consent from all the organizations and disclosed the material to defense attorneys, allowing the trial to get under way.

But judges halted it in July 2010 and ordered Lubanga released from custody when prosecutors defied a court order to reveal the identity of an intermediary who had helped prosecutors contact witnesses.

Prosecutors appealed the decision and Lubanga remained in his cell, but the incident underscored simmering tensions between prosecutors and the judges over disclosure of sensitive evidence.

Faced with the prospect of the case collapsing, prosecutors revealed the identity of their intermediary to the defense and appeals judges ruled that the trial could resume.

The tensions resurfaced Thursday when Presiding Judge Adrian Fulford refused to let Moreno-Ocampo answer a question addressed to one of his team of lawyers.

“Mr. Ocampo, can we please have some order,” Fulford said. When Moreno-Ocampo tried again to answer, Fulford sternly told the prosecutor: “Mr. Ocampo, not at the moment.”

Lubanga was arrested in March 2006, the first suspect to come into the custody of the International Criminal Court, which became operational in 2002.

The court has since issued indictments in high profile flashpoints such as the Darfur conflict in Sudan and the Gadhafi regime’s brutal but unsuccessful campaign to stamp out dissent.

Lubanga is accused of leading a rebel group called the Union of Congolese Patriots which used child soldiers in savage fighting in the Ituri province in 2002-2003.

While welcoming his prosecution and the groundbreaking child soldier charges, human rights groups have criticized prosecutors for the narrow scope of the trial, saying they should also have charged him for the numerous rapes that victims say members of his militia perpetrated in a region notorious for widespread sexual violence.

“It was shocking to many of us that the announcement in 2006 of the case against Mr. Lubanga did not include charges for such crimes and overlooked the suffering of thousands of women,” said Brigid Inder, executive director of a group called Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice.

However others applauded the likely deterrent effect of the Lubanga trial.

The U.N. special envoy for children in armed conflicts, Radhika Coomaraswamy, said leaders in conflict zones have often asked her about the ICC and the Lubanga prosecution.

“I found that fear of the ICC a healthy development in international law,” Coomaraswamy told The Associated Press. “Nobody can measure how many children have been saved because of deterrence. That’s not something you can measure, but hopefully that will be the case.”

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

What is in Syria that keeps Obama quiet?

What is in Syria that is not being talked about? Hizballah, an Iranian terrorist group, is there. But what else is in Syria, besides a genocidal maniac of a president, which should give us cause for deep concern?


There are allegations and a book claiming that, when Saddam Hussein knew that he was about to be invaded, he started flying his chemicals and WMD related materials into Syria. “In April 2003 US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld stated that the US had evidence to suggest that Syria had been conducting chemical weapons tests over the prior 12 to 15 months”, as posted at GlobalSecurity .org. It has been claimed that two Iraqi Boeing airplanes had been used as the transportation for this task. The 56 flights were largely ignored due to the coming US invasion (everyone thought the civilians were getting out of the way, now we know that was not the case) and they coincided with a flood in Syria. This flood provided the presumption that Iraq was sending aid.

So, there is the opportunity and a method for moving WMD into Syria.

Since then there have been a multitude of banks, chemical, manufacturing, and construction firms doing business between Iran and Syria. A very few of them include Fars Chemical Industries Company, Export Development Bank of Iran, Machine Sazi Arak, Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), and Defense Industries Organization (DIO).

Fars Chemical produced and provided to Syria S.S. 304 reactors (used in nuclear reactors) equipped with agitators and laboratory equipment that include spectrophotometer, Perkin Elmer 1320 IR instrument, vacuum and other ovens, rotary vacuum distillation device. The rotary vacuum distillation device is found as part of a centrifuge distillation system used to produce up to 90% enriched uranium.

Machine Sazi Arak had been listed by the British government in 2010 as an entity of potential concern for WMD-related procurement; listed as an entity of concern for occasional military procurement activities in an early warning document distributed by the German government to industry in July 2005; identified by the British government in February 1998 as having procured goods and/or technology for weapons of mass destruction programs. Quite the resume, wouldn’t you say?

Defense Industries Organization (DIO) is in charge of Iranian military, missile, nuclear, biological, and chemical programs. It is controlled by Iran's Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics. The U.S. Department of State indicates the DIO has engaged in activities that have materially contributed to the development of Iran's nuclear and missile programs such as making “Iran’s centrifuge program components."


Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) which ,according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, controls Iran's Defense Industries Organization (DIO) and is the ultimate authority over Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization and manufactures Shahab-3 missiles (medium range, liquid-propellant, road-mobile ballistic missile capable of deploying a nuclear warhead similar to the warhead design sold by A.Q. Khan to Libya (http://www.missilethreat.com/missilesoftheworld/id.107/missile_detail.asp)) and has brokered transactions involving materials and technologies with ballistic missile applications.

What is in Syria that is not being talked about? Hizballah, an Iranian terrorist group with a long and documented history of creating front groups to kill from, is there. But what else is in Syria, besides a genocidal maniac of a president who believes in and follows the same brand of Marxist Islam Khadafy followed, which should give us cause for deep concern?

 


Rules Of Engagement

Rules Of Engagement, it is not just a good movie, these are the laws of landwarfare as applied to the US Forces in hostile areas. Before you read any further, think about the coffins coming off of the planes. Picture their families, children without a mother or father now. Look at the disabled vets trying to piece their lives back togehter. Now, with that fire in your gut, read on.

77% of Democrats and one Republican voted AGAINST Rules Of Engagement that would protect our troops.

Ron Paul voted AGAINST this amendment that would save lives.


143 out of 185 Democrats present — 77% — voted against this amendment
217 out of 235 Republicans present — 92% — voted for it.

As for the two Republicans in Congress running who are Presidential candidates, Michele Bachmann voted for the amendment; Ron Paul against it. How did your representative vote?

Text of H.AMDT.318 (A018)
Amends: H.R.1540
Sponsor: Rep Mica, John L. [FL-7] (offered 5/25/2011)

AMENDMENT DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE:
Amendment requires that the rules of engagement allow any military service personnel assigned to duty in a designated hostile fire area to have rules of engagement that fully protect their right to proactively defend themselves from hostile actions.

STATUS:
5/25/2011 5:56pm:
Amendment (A018) offered by Mr. Mica. (consideration: CR H3629-3630; text: CR H3629)
5/26/2011 12:50pm:
On agreeing to the Mica amendment (A018) Agreed to by recorded vote: 260 - 160 (Roll no. 354). (consideration: CR H3722)

Now, the Amendment has been passed and is on its way to the US Senate Armed Services Committee for the next vote. You want to see stronger ROE that enable US Forces to proactively defend themselves in hostile areas? Here are the Senate members to bombard with your emails and calls
United States Senate Armed Services Committee
Room SR-228, Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6050
202-224-3871

FULL COMMITTEE MEMBERS



Let them hear the voices of We, The People!

I would also like to give a special Call Out to the House representatives who voted against our Troops and who are on the House Committee for Foreign Appropriations. The “So What” is that these representatives are voting, not just on how our military forces can engage with a hostile enemy, but these representatives are also on the Committee that decides how much of our tax dollars are sent overseas (please see We Pay Our Enemies http://msmignoresit.blogspot.com/2011/08/we-pay-our-enemies.html)

Edward Pastor, D, Arizona-4
Barbara Lee, D, California-9
Michael Honda, D, California-15
Sam Farr, D, California-18
Adam Schiff, D, California-9
Lucille Roybal-Allard, D, California-34
Rosa DeLauro, D, Connecticut-3
Peter Visclosky, D, Indiana-1
Betty McCollum, D, Minnesota-4
Steven Rothman, D, New Jersey-9
Jose Serrano, D, New York-16
Nita Lowry, D, New York-18
Maurice Hinchey, D, New York-22
David Price, North Carolina-4
Chaka Fattah, D, Pennsylvania-2
James Moran, D, Virginia-8

Jesse Jackson, D, Illinois-2, No Vote
John Oliver, D, Massachusetts, No Vote


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2011 DHS Fiscal Grant Allocations Announced


Fiscal 2011 DHS Preparedness Grant Allocations Announced
By: News Staff on August 24, 2011
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced on Wednesday, Aug. 24, the final allocations for 12 preparedness grant programs totaling more than $2.1 billion. In fiscal year 2011, DHS grants were reduced by $780 million for the fiscal 2010 enacted level, nearly one-quarter of fiscal 2010 DHS grant funding.

"In today's tight fiscal environment, we are setting clear priorities and focusing on the areas that face the greatest risk to maximize our limited grant dollars," said Napolitano in a statement. "The FY 2011 homeland security grants are focused on mitigating and responding to the evolving threats we face."

The 9/11 Commission recommended that homeland security funds be allocated "based strictly on an assessment of risks and vulnerabilities" to focus limited funding in the highest risk areas. The grant awards announced on Wednesday focus on the highest risk cities, while continuing to provide dedicated funding to law enforcement to prepare for, prevent and respond to pre-operational activity and other crimes that are precursors or indicators of terrorist activity.

The fiscal 2011 grant guidance incorporated feedback from the DHS' state, local, tribal and territorial, and private-sector partners and includes specific steps undertaken by the DHS to improve the ability of state and local partners to apply for and utilize grant funding. From 2002 through 2011, more than $32.1 billion has been awarded in preparedness grants.

Preparedness grant program awards for fiscal year 2011 include:

Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) — more than $1.28 billion total:
  • State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) — more than $526 million to support the implementation of state homeland security strategies to build and strengthen preparedness capabilities at all levels. The 9/11 Act requires states to dedicate 25 percent of SHSP appropriated funds to law enforcement terrorism prevention-oriented planning, organization, training, exercise and equipment activities.
     
  • Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) — more than $662 million to enhance regional preparedness capabilities in 31 high-threat, high-density urban areas. In order to focus limited resources to mitigate and respond to evolving threats, the 11 highest risk areas (Tier 1) were eligible for more than $540 million, while the remaining 20 urban areas, designated Tier II were eligible for more than $121 million. The 9/11 Act requires states to dedicate 25 percent of UASI appropriated funds to law enforcement terrorism prevention-oriented activities.
     
  • Operation Stonegarden (OPSG) — more than $54 million to enhance cooperation and coordination among local, tribal, territorial, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to secure the United States land and maritime borders.
     
  • Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) — more than $34 million to enhance and sustain comprehensive regional mass casualty incident response and preparedness capabilities, divided evenly among 124 MMRS jurisdictions.
     
  • Citizen Corps Program (CCP) — more than $9 million to engage citizens in community preparedness, planning, mitigation, response and recovery activities.

Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP) — $10 million for eligible tribes to implement preparedness initiatives to help strengthen the nation against risk associated with potential terrorist attacks and other hazards.

Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) — more than $18 million allocated based on risk, to support target-hardening activities to nonprofit organizations that are at a high risk of a terrorist attack and located within one of the fiscal 2011 UASI-eligible urban areas.

Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPSP) — more than $14 million to enhance catastrophic incident preparedness in selected high-risk, high-consequence urban areas and their surrounding regions in order to support coordination of regional all-hazard planning for catastrophic events.

Emergency Operations Center Grant Program (EOC) — more than $14 million to support the construction or renovation of emergency operations centers to improve state, local or tribal emergency management and preparedness capabilities to ensure continuity of operations during disasters.

Driver's License Security Grant Program (DLSGP) — more than $45 million to improve the reliability and accuracy of personal identification documents that states and territories issue, prevent terrorism and reduce fraud.

Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) — more than $200 million to owners and operators of transit systems to protect critical surface transportation from acts of terrorism and increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.

Freight Rail Security Grant Program (FRSGP) — more than $7 million to freight railroad carriers, owners and operators of railroad cars, and owners of rail bridges to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure from acts of terrorism and increase the resilience of the freight rail system.

Intercity Passenger Rail (IPR-Amtrak) Program — more than $22 million to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of the Amtrak rail system.

Intercity Bus Security Gant Program (IBSGP) — nearly $5 million to support security measures including plans, facility security upgrades and vehicle and driver protection for fixed-route intercity and charter bus services that serve UASI jurisdictions.

Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) — more than $235 million to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness and strengthen risk management capabilities in order to protect against improvised explosive devices and other nonconventional weapons.

Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG) — more than $329 million has been awarded to assist state and local governments to enhance and sustain all-hazards emergency management capabilities
http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Fiscal-2011-DHS-Preparedness-Grant-Allocations.html

Electrolux Tells CAIR To Stuff It

Oh, YES!!!


Electrolux Tells CAIR To Stuff It

August 22, 2011 – San Francisco, CA – PipeLineNews.org – CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, an unindicted coconspirator in the nation’s largest and most successful prosecution of domestic Hamas funding, is once again taking on the Electrolux Corp., based [stateside] in Minnesota.

The company employs approximately 150 Muslim workers, whom CAIR has been taking advantage of in order to foment the type of civilizational/cultural jihad proposed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its numerous front groups. [see, document General Strategic Goal For The Group In North America]

CAIR is alleging that the employer is not making reasonable accommodation for Muslims to observe Ramadan. This despite an already extant EEOC mediated settlement of a similar complaint last year. [see, CAIR Strong Arms Electrolux In Minnesota]

Many of Electrolux’ Muslim workers are “political refugees” who were permitted to immigrate to the United States from Somalia, a key al-Qaeda stronghold, under an ill-considered State Dept. program which has been roundly criticized.
Somali immigrants have in large part not been a model of successful acculturation and have a history of precipitating labor disputes [often represented by Islamist groups such as CAIR] in businesses as diverse as Dell Computer, J.B Swift & Co and the Minneapolis airport.

More ominously at least 3 Somali Americans have travelled back to their native land to become suicide bombers for the al-Qaeda linked group, al-Shabaab. [see, http://www.investigativeproject.org/2934/somali-american-becomes-suicide-bomber Somali American Becomes Suicide Bomber]

To many, the prospect of a pressure group advocating on behalf of its constituency is unremarkable however the above outlined type of dispute reflects something far more insidious. It’s a clear demonstration of the ability of Shari’a proponents to employ the West’s numerous freedoms and rights against itself – a seditious stealth weapon – designed to weaken and eventually overturn constitutional government.
©2011 PipeLineNews.org LLC. All rights reserved.

An Open Letter to Secretary Napolitano

By: Dr. Jim Giermanski, Chairman Powers Global Holdings, Inc.
Dear Secretary Napolitano:

First, you must know that I speak for myself, not my firm or any constituency.  Since the attack of 9/11, and the subsequent creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),  I have been thinking about the economic role of the global supply chain as it impacts the United States, and about the role of DHS in addressing the supply chain in light of all the U.S. and international security programs, national laws, global security standards, and the money allocated to DHS for our homeland defense.   My thinking turned to speaking, to writing, and now to questioning directly the degree to which DHS has addressed serious questions of concern.

The following questions are not in any specific order because they difficult to categorize.  However, the last two may be the most serious.

1.  Does DHS believe and support the use of Container Security Devices (CSDs) as being consistent with law, foreign security programs, non-government organizations, and the private sector bottom-line needs?
2. Does DHS believe that container security technology and CSDs serve as revenue producers for the private sector?
3. Why is the official policy on physical security for containers sealed "doors-only?"
4. Other than the incentives claimed by CBP for the private sector's participation in C-TPAT, what U.S. government incentive is used to encourage the use of CSDs?
5. Why is DHS not participating with the EU and other nations who are working together to develop an international standards and protocols for CSDs?
6. What can Congress do, but has not done to encourage CSD usage? 
7. What has DHS done with respect  to informing and encouraging Congress to ratify the Rotterdam Rules recognizing that these new Rules improve supply chain security?
8. Given increased security concerns about Mexico, what CSD pilots or programs have been used or tested in Mexico/U.S. cross-border commercial practices?
9. In which CSD pilots, if any, has DHS participated?
10. Why is DHS not complying with the mandates of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 with respect to CSD for usage HAZMAT movements?
11. If Trade Facilitation is one goal of CBP, why wouldn't CBP/DHS required the use of CSDs knowing that their usage is a financial benefit to the user as well as to the government?
12. Since DHS admits that transshipments are a legitimate security concern, why hasn't DHS mandated CSD usage for all containers inbound to the United States which transit a transshipment port?
13. Why has the "Green Lane" concept not yet been implemented in seaports to encourage CSD usage?
14. Why continue weak programs such as CSI knowing there is no actual verification of container contents?
15. Why is it that DHS/CBP has not yet addressed the current proven vulnerability of using the required 433.5 to 434.5 MHz spectrum in our ports knowing and admitting in writing along with the Office of the Secretary of Defense that the vulnerability truly exists as indicated in this DHS statement: ... these technologies...can be exploited and potentially used to trigger an explosive device.
16. Has DHS funded or directed an empirical study of the impact of closing all U.S. seaports and land ports-of-entry as a result of one or two dirty bomb blasts in the U.S. ports?

The answers to these questions to me are obvious and referenced by outside sources and experts.  CSD usage is clearly in line with national law, international organizations, and sound business practices.  It is a revenue generator documented in reports of Stanford University, A.T. Kearny, Bearing, and even the Congressional Budget Office.   While CBP touts the benefits of using CSDs, it still does not provide "tier three" privileges like Green Lanes at U.S. seaports, actually required by the Safe Port Act of 2006 if a container security device is used.  Additionally, "doors-only" physical security is simply dumb!  There are many ways which have been empirically demonstrated that can bypass locked container doors.   Patting down children before boarding a plane and not securing a container electronically is simply unbelievable and indicative of DHS leadership.

With respect to working with Congress to encourage CSD usage, I know of no suggestion by DHS to Congress of providing tax credits for CSD usage, yet tax credits for home improvements, cars, appliances, solar energy, mine rescue, distilled spirits, etc., etc., are common.  I also question whether DHS has encouraged Congress to ratify the Rotterdam Rules which provide an additional layer of security compared to The Carriage of Goods by Sea Act under which we now operate. 

With respect to cooperating in international pilot programs utilizing container security technology, specifically those within the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) or even with our Mexican partner, DHS was conspicuously absent.  After almost 3 years of work,  the FP7's Smart Container Chain Management Program (SMART-CM) will culminate in its workshop to  deliver: Container Security & Tracking Devices’ technical characteristics and Security Messages’ standardization.   Not only is DHS absent in the international standardization efforts,  it has also paid attention to the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 and its requirements to monitor "end-to-end" the movement of "security-sensitive material" including HAZMAT, to detect "radiation detection equipment,"  "breaches," and to detect and monitor the  internal environment of the conveyance carrying these substances.
With respect to CBP programs like CSI, supply chain security experts and retiring CBP personnel who can now speak freely acknowledge these programs do not genuinely verify container cargo contents.  There is also evidence, in light of official testimony by former CBP leadership, that DHS is unaware of any technology to neutralize the transshipment vulnerability.  However, CSDs were, in fact, available at the time of his testimony to neutralize this vulnerability.

For me, one of the most troubling issues, is that DHS admits in writing to the vulnerability created of the federal requirement to use radio frequency identification (RFID) frequency spectrum 433.5 to 434.5 MHz in U.S. ports.   Its use to trigger an explosive device is confirmed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  This was again reported on in August, 2011 by senior investigative reporter and on-line editor of HSToday.US and comments from readers confirm his report.

Imagine the impact of a WMD explosion in one of our ports on our weakened economy, let alone loss of life at the impacted ports?    Vessels carrying imports to the United States could not discharge their cargo.  U.S. exporters could not ship by vessel when vessel cargo accounts for 90% of global shipments.  There would be a serious impact on energy, jobs, pharmaceuticals, food, and more.   It appears to me that given your department's handling of these aforementioned problems and issues, it is only a matter of time for a cataclysmic event of this nature to occur, shutting down all other seaports and land ports-of-entry as 9/11 did to air traffic.

So, Madam Secretary, what is your department doing to address these obvious supply chain  issues?  What is being done to include the U.S. and international private sectors in handling these problems for which private sector solutions already exist?  Why is DHS not involved with developing international standards when the U.S. private sector is represented on the EU Commission's advisory board for the FP7 Programme and involved with CSD international standardization?   I only hope that you are aware of these serious threats and take action  with Congressional support to immediately to address them.  And if you have been aware of these threats, and have done so little to address them realistically, for me, your continued tenure as Secretary should be in jeopardy.   Except perhaps for C-TPAT, a program established before your tenure as Secretary, I believe that your handling of global supply chain vulnerabilities has been reactive at best and perfunctory at worst.
http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/an-open-letter-to-secretary-napolitano