Sunday, October 7, 2012

Drone downed over Israel tied to Iran

Officials fear future precision attacks by explosive-laden aerial vehicles



JERUSALEM – The unidentified aerial vehicle that was downed yesterday after penetrating Israel’s airspace was the suspected work of a combined operation of two Iranian-backed groups – Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad – according to Middle East security officials.

The security officials said they believe the purpose of flying the drone into Israel was twofold: To collect aerial reconnaissance photos and video intelligence; and as a test to see how deep an unmanned drone can penetrate Israel before being detected by the Israeli army.

There is fear that in the future such drones can be laden with a large amount of explosives for use in precision attacks against military or civilian targets, possibly even including large buildings.

In the case of yesterday’s attempt, the drone reportedly flew at least 15 minutes – a full 35 miles – in Israeli airspace before being shot down by the Israel Air Force. It entered Israel from over the Mediterranean Sea to the West and briefly flew over the Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces has maintained that it was tracking the drone throughout the course of its flight, coordinating with both aerial and ground forces. Fighter jets were dispatched from the Ramon air force base in the Negev; the jets eventually shot down the drone over an unpopulated forest area.

IDF Spokesperson Yoav Mordechai stated, “The aircraft was identified before entering Israeli airspace and was under constant tracking.”

The IDF is reportedly examining the drone.

Questions have been raised by the Israeli media as to why the drone was not shot down before it flew into Israeli airspace for more than 30 miles over civilian zones in the southern Israeli Negev desert.

Some have speculated the IAF wanted to wait until the drone flew over Israel, as opposed to the Gaza Strip or the sea, so the wreckage could be extracted and that the drone was downed at the first opportunity after it entered a largely unpopulated zone. Others have claimed the AIF was not tracking the drone throughout its flight.

Hezbollah has in the past launched several drones into Israel, usually from along the northern border with Lebanon. During the 2006 war, multiple Hezbollah drones were downed.

In May 2006, WND quoted a senior member of Hamas’ so-called military wing stating the Gazan terrorist group was seeking the ability to attack Israel using small airplanes laden with explosives to be flown 9-11-style into important targets, possibly Tel Aviv skyscrapers.

Obama waives anti-terror requirements for aid to Pakistan, keeps the jizya flowing

From Jihad Watch

Shameful. "The army is going to think that no matter how angry the Americans are at them, they are utterly indispensable and they can violate in any way, shape or form U.S. law and the United States will massage its law to accommodate them."

"Pakistan freed of anti-terrorism obligations; U.S. billions flow instead," by Jonathan S. Landay for the McClatchy Newspapers, October 5 (thanks to Satinder):
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has refused for the first time to declare that Pakistan is making progress toward ending alleged military support for Islamic militant groups or preventing al Qaida, the Afghan Taliban or other extremists from staging attacks in Afghanistan. 
Even so, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has quietly informed Congress that she’s waived the legal restrictions that would have blocked some $2 billion in U.S. economic and military aid to Pakistan. Disbursing the funds, she said in an official notice, is “important to the national security interests of the United States.”
Clinton’s decision illustrates how far the administration apparently has determined that it must go, after a near-breakdown in relations, to ensure Pakistan’s cooperation in the uphill U.S. effort to prevent Afghanistan collapsing into all-out civil war when American-led international combat forces complete a withdraw by the end of 2014...
.
The army is going to think that no matter how angry the Americans are at them, they are utterly indispensable and they can violate in any way, shape or form U.S. law and the United States will massage its law to accommodate them,” said assistant professor Christine Fair, an expert at Georgetown University. “That’s how they are going to read this.”...
In a statement to McClatchy, the State Department said that “despite recent challenges” in relations with Pakistan, there has been progress toward rebuilding ties. It called the aid funds a “critical component of U.S. efforts to continue to build a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with Pakistan.”
“We believe we should continue building on these steps and that our civilian and security assistance is a critical component of this effort," the statement said.
Islamabad vehemently denies charges by top U.S. officials that the army-run ISI is aiding the Afghan Taliban and allied groups, such as the Haqqani network, as part of a strategy aimed at preventing rival India from gaining influence in Afghanistan after international troops withdraw.
In her Sept. 13 notices, Clinton informed Congress that she was waiving provisions of the 2009 Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act and the State Department’s 2012 budget requiring that she certify that Islamabad has met certain conditions before some $2 billion in economic, military and counter-terrorism assistance can be disbursed.
Pakistan was required to have made progress in “ceasing support, including by any elements within the Pakistani military or its intelligence agency, to extremist groups,” especially those that have attacked U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan.
Islamabad also was required to have made progress toward stopping al Qaida, the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network and allied Pakistani extremists “from operating in the territory of Pakistan” and staging attacks in neighboring countries. It also must move toward shutting down “terrorist” bases in the tribal areas and other parts of its country.
Clinton didn’t disclose which specific prerequisites Pakistan failed to meet. Those details were classified.
It’s the first time that the Obama administration has waived the requirements, something the Bush administration did six times for democracy-related sanctions....
Clinton’s decision to waive the conditions comes as the United States and Pakistan strive to rebuild a relationship battered by a series of events that began when a CIA contractor shot dead two alleged thieves in Lahore in January 2011. Ties also have worsened over intensified CIA drone strikes, which Pakistan charges are violating its sovereignty and killing civilians.
U.S. commandoes killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011 in Pakistan in a raid kept secret from the Pakistani army, embarrassing and enraging its commanders, and last November, U.S. forces in Afghanistan inadvertently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in a border post, prompting Pakistan to close the NATO supply routes that the United States needs to ship military equipment out of Afghanistan.
The sides agreed in July to reopen the routes in a first step towards rebuilding ties, which Washington considers vital as the pullout of international forces from Afghanistan continues. It’s also seeking Pakistani help in trying to draw the Afghan Taliban into peace negotiations.
Good luck with that.

"Unbelievable Numbers" Says Former GE CEO Jack Welch 

By: Mike Shedlock  / Townhall Daily / Finance                                                                                      

Political charges flew on Friday following the unexpected drop in unemployment rate by three-tenths of a percent.

Former GE CEO Jack Welch led the way with a Tweet "Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers".

In two of the last three months the unemployment rate fell solely because of people dropping out of the labor force. This past month, people came back in the labor force but part-time hiring and government hiring went up even more.

Parttime employment went up by 582,000 as noted in my report September Jobs +114,000; Unemployment Rate 7.8%; Part-Time Workers +582,000; Initial Reaction and Election Impact.

Government hiring went up by 187,000 in September, something I failed to mention yesterday.

Household Data Detail



click on chart for sharper image

Taking a closer look, seasonally-adjusted, the number of government workers went up by 681,000 since June. (20.619 million in September vs. 19.938 million at the June low point). That's a lot of jobs (and jobs the economy can do without in my opinion).

Also note that self-employment rose in the last month by 118,000. How much of that number is trinket selling on Ebay or other self-employment with no real income?

Regardless, unless the BLS changed its survey methods or survey questions, as wild as the numbers seem, charges of political pandering are likely to be misguided.

Did the BLS make adjustments to how it asked questions? If so, someone would probably have spilled the beans already.

Summary Items of Note (Numbers May Overlap)

  • Self-Employment +118,000
  • Government +187,000
  • Part-Time +582,000
This was not as strong a report as it first looked, whether one considers it "unbelievable" or not.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com
The latest cover of the New Yorker says it all...

Op-ed:

Targeted strategies work...and very well I might add
By: Diane Sori

How does one win an election...through focusing on key groups is how.

While Obama spends his time pandering for the gay vote, the slut vote, the ILLEGAL and dead vote, Mitt Romney is focusing on key votes...the Hispanic votes, the senior votes, the Catholic votes, the Jewish votes, and the votes of those hurting under Obama’s dismal jobs creation policies.

Romney knows that these votes are central to winning and he knows exactly where he must win them in order to carry their corresponding states.  The battle ground states of Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida are key to the election with Ohio and Florida the most critical, especially Florida with its large Hispanic, senior, and Jewish voting population, and the fact that Florida has determined the last 7 out of 8 elections.

As a Floridian, the strategy he’s using here in my home state is the one I will focus on, for its serving him very well.  

While Obama thinks he has the Hispanic vote locked up in Florida he’s forgetting one crucial piece of the puzzle...most of the Hispanics who vote in Florida are either Cuban or Puerto Rican.  First the Cubans...to begin with, the overwhelming majority of Cubans came here legally.  They came the right way, through our LEGAL policies and NOT by sneaking across a border.  And those who came here have assimilated into American society and hold jobs, pay taxes, and contribute to this country...in other words, those voters do NOT live off government handouts and freebies.  The Cubans are like the vast majority of immigrants that came before...they came for freedom first and foremost and for a future NOT for having the government become their keepers...and this is something Obama forgets.

Nor will they allow themselves to be bought for votes.

As for the Puerto Ricans...they are American citizens to begin with and while they might keep their Hispanic roots culturally, they already know, have lived in, and relish American society...in other words, freebies and handouts are NOT their way of life either.

So how do you win those votes...you target both Hispanic groups with ads in Spanish, for most are bilingual, and most will appreciate that ROMNEY respects and honors their heritage enough to address them in their native language.  And these targeted ads are working quite well here in Florida as ROMNEY is now up either 2 or 3 points over Obama all across the state, depending on which poll you choose to go by. 

Outside of New York, Florida has the largest Jewish population in the nation so of course their vote is critical.  So how is Romney targeting them...in a word, ‘Israel.’  While in the last election the overwhelming majority of the Jewish vote went for Obama (and that still amazes me as to why), this time around he is losing their support every time he opens his mouth or snubs Benjamin Netanyahu.  And this serves Romney well as he has always, without ever wavering, stressed the importance of standing by, supporting, and working together with our ally and friend Israel.  And Romney also has always said that a nuclear armed Iran will NOT happen on his watch as he knows Iran’s goal is to wipe Israel and the Jewish people off the map.  He knows and stresses that sanctions are NOT working, that Israeli’s live under terrible strain every day for their future rests between a madman and a US president that does NOT support them...never has and never will.  Romney is a friend to Israel, a personal friend of Netanyahu, and this is starting to resonate with Jewish voters across the state as Obama’s support amongst them is falling, and he can no longer count on a sweep of the Jewish vote.

As for the senior vote, Romney is using a simple strategy, one that is foreign to Obama...it’s called ‘THE TRUTH.’  And while Obama has deliberately and with malice painted a false picture of what Romney’s vision for senior healthcare is, Romney is out there telling seniors the truth...you cannot cut Medicare by $716 BILLION to fund ObamaCare and still give seniors the quality of care they deserve (which ObamaCare has done with its rationed medicine and death panels)...NO one currently on Medicare or over the age of 55 will be affected...younger people will be given a choice to accept traditional Medicare or not...the truth NOT the Obama fabricated lies about Romney pushing granny over the cliff.  And this is starting to resonate with the seniors as well for Romney’s lead in the Florida polls could NOT have been done without them.

And as for the Catholic vote Romney is out there reminding them that it’s Barack HUSSEIN Obama who has sanctioned gay marriage...sanctioned abortions...sanctioned and demanding that church owned hospitals and clinics pay for both contraceptives and abortions...the list is endless and everything on it goes against all Catholics believe in, honor, and hold dear.  And Romney is making inroads with them too for Romney is a man of God, a man who respects the sanctity of life, something Obama does not.

And for those out of work, for those financially hurting because they can’t find work, Mitt Romney has said, "We're going to build that pipeline from Canada, if I have to build it myself."  That one pipeline alone will put over 100,000 Americans back to work, take them off the government rolls, and Obama will NOT build it because his environmentalist buddies say NO.  Add to that Romney’s plan to put 12 MILLION Americans back to work within his first term (Obama has NOTHING but falsified jobs numbers as his plan), and you have one hell of a targeted campaign.

By targeting voters here in Florida and adapting that targeted strategy to the other key states, Mitt Romney will win this and Barack HUSSEIN Obama will be sent packing...to Gitmo I hope.