Thursday, January 9, 2014

Reported cases of Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

muslim-persec.jpgMost were killed by Islamic jihadists. But shhhh! Talking about that might harm the "dialogue"!

"Survey: Reported Christian 'martyr' deaths doubled in 2013," from Reuters, January 8:
LONDON -- Reported cases of Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013 from the year before, with Syria accounting for more than the whole global total in 2012, according to an annual survey. 
Open Doors, a non-denominational group supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, said on Wednesday it had documented 2,123 "martyr" killings, compared with 1,201 in 2012. There were 1,213 such deaths in Syria alone last year, it said.
"This is a very minimal count based on what has been reported in the media and we can confirm," said Frans Veerman, head of research for Open Doors. Estimates by other Christian groups put the annual figure as high as 8,000.
The Open Doors report placed North Korea at the top of its list of 50 most dangerous countries for Christians, a position it has held since the annual survey began 12 years ago. Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were the next four in line.
The United States-based group reported increasing violence against Christians in Africa and said radical Muslims were the main source of persecution in 36 countries on its list.
"Islamist extremism is the worst persecutor of the worldwide church," it said....

A central element of the New York Times' recent Benghazi revisionism was the assertion that foreign terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaeda, were not involved in the attacks. A key snippet from correspondent David Kirkpatrick's controversial piece:
Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

Gregory Hicks -- who was the State Department's second in command on the ground in Libya on September 11, 2012 -- addressed the YouTube video element in sworn Congressional testimony last year. He said the clip was a "non event" in Libya, and repeatedly attested to the fact that the deadly raid had been a pre-planned terrorist attack (which internal State Department emails sent on 9/12 confirmed). When the Times claimed that neither Al Qaeda nor any other "international terrorist group" had any role in the slaughter, a bipartisan group of House Intelligence Committee members pushed back against that report. The chairman of that committee has even called the attacks an "Al-Qaeda led event." CNN reported in May that US officials believed that three members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had participated in the assault, and reports have surfaced that an Egyptian extremist group has also been linked to Benghazi. The Washington Post delivers another body blow to the New York Times' infamous article:

U.S. officials suspect that a former Guantanamo Bay detainee played a role in the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and are planning to designate the group he leads as a foreign terrorist organization, according to officials familiar with the plans. Militiamen under the command of Abu Sufian bin Qumu, the leader of Ansar al-Sharia in the Libyan city of Darnah, participated in the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, U.S. officials said...Qumu, 54, a Libyan from Darnah, is well known to U.S. intelligence officials. A former tank driver in the Libyan army, he served 10 years in prison in the country before fleeing to Egypt and then to Afghanistan. According to U.S. military files disclosed by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, Qumu trained in 1993 at one of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist camps in Afghanistan and later worked for a bin Laden company in Sudan, where the al-Qaeda leader lived for three years. Qumu fought alongside the Taliban against the United States in Afghanistan; he then fled to Pakistan and was later arrested in Peshawar. He was turned over to the United States and held at Guantanamo Bay. He has a “long-term association with Islamic extremist jihad and members of al-Qaida and other extremist groups,” according to the military files. 
“Detainee’s alias is found on a list of probable al-Qaida personnel receiving monthly stipends.”

Mr. Qumu was detained at Gitmo, trained with bin Laden, fought with the Taliban, and probably received an effective salary from Al Qaeda. It certainly sounds like he would qualify as an "international terrorist," doesn't it? Major premises of that New York Times story have been razed to the ground by subsequent reports and existing evidence. It's important to once again emphasize that we're ultimately focusing on minutiae by parsing and refuting the Times piece. Critical questions about the scandalous lack of security in Benghazi in the weeks preceding the assassinations remain unanswered. What was really happening in Benghazi, Libya that night? What were our president and Secretary of State doing throughout the seven-hour nightmare, and why was our government's rescue efforts virtually nonexistent during critical hours? Beyond those questions, the full extent of the administration's post-attack cover-up and misdirection still isn't clear. And zero people have been held accountable for what happened, both at home and abroad. I'll leave you with this:

Click on link or video...
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2014/01/08/wapo-alqaeda-linked-former-guantanamo-detainee-implicated-in-benghazi-attacks-n1773600?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl

Queen Michelle and Countess Oprah on Fantasy Island

John Ransom  / Townhall Columnist

*ar·is·toc·ra·cy noun \?a-r?-'stä-kr?-se, ?er-?-\
1:government by the best individuals or by a small privileged class
2 a:a government in which power is vested in a minority consisting of those believed to be best qualified
b :a state with such a government
3:a governing body or upper class usually made up of a hereditary nobility
4:the aggregate of those believed to be superior
(*From Merriam-Webster)
  
Just ask Dennis Rodman, or perhaps his little friend Kim Jung Un.

Better yet, consult with Queen Bee Michelle Obama and Countess Oprah Winfrey who are relaxing on a Hawaiian vacation together before the hectic, terrible event that will SO tire Michelle.

Yes, Michelle turns 50 years old shortly. And you know how hard that is.

What with all the traveling Michelle does for the White House. Now in Brazil, then in Martha’s Vineyard, Africa, Hawaii.

What for you and I might be a fantasy vacation is just another “day at the office” for Michelle and Oprah. It is exhausting.

No really, it is.

It takes a lot of hard work to be Michelle Obama, even if the rewards are great. The Obama family has made some hard choices to be in politics. It’s draining and personally daunting.

How would you like the odd moment of your spouse yucking it up with an attractive “other” to be broadcast to the world?

Not many couples have the strength, or are willing to do the work, to deal with politics at the national level.

For most people, I would recommend against it as a lifestyle choice.

Equally, it takes a lot of hard work to be Obama Winfrey, even if at some point she’s “made enough money,” as her friend president Obama likes to point out.

Again, for most people I’d recommend against the life of a billionaire media mogul.

Obama’s right in my estimation: At some point you’ve made enough money.

But then I count that as an individual choice, not one dictated to me by executive order or the tax code or imperatives of Democrat vote buying.

In twenty years of helping people make and manage money, I’ve witnessed the deleterious effects that fame, fortune and plenty have on families, relationships and personalities.

But yet, I’m glad these two gals have had the opportunity to make something of themselves and to enjoy the benefits, even if I might say “no thank you” to the opportunity to be that rich and famous.

It means that other people have the same opportunity to do great things, or even good things, as might apply to people like me who wish for lesser gifts.

That’s why it puzzles me that the two most recognizable minority beneficiaries of the American system, the most open, merit-based economic and political system anywhere—until recently—want to change the system to make it less mobile, less based on merit and more based on clan and group affiliations.

They want an aristocracy of the clans.

The problem with these two liberal ladies is that they have been suckered into believing that it takes a village, when in fact, the village system will eventually ensure that Winfrey and the Obamas are disenfranchised at some point again.

And if not them, then someone else will be disenfranchised based on clan or village or skin color.

When you define everything about skin color or gender or group, you can’t but help to someday get your wish. And then everything becomes about skin color, gender or group.

When you define and dice people into groups and subgroups and subsubsubgroups to micro-target government programs, propaganda and largess based on clans, you create the kind of “ethnic” tensions that face citizens in lesser developed countries.The coalition of today eventually sows the seeds of tomorrow's divisions.

You need only to look at Iraq, Libya and Syria to see the logical extension of that clannish, parochial mentality.

I agree with Mr. Speaker Newt Gingrich: I’m for the 100 percent of Americans, even Michelle and Oprah, who just want the opportunity to rise.

We should all be lucky enough to eat the same birthday cake that Michelle Obama is trying to avoid.

If it was good enough for them then it’s good enough for all us.


And, oh yeah: Yum. Cake.


The discord between Democrats and Republicans regarding the three-month extension of unemployment benefits will be used by the Democrats for political fodder against the Republicans, if Republicans let them.

The mid-term elections during a president's second term tend to be tough on the president's party. Additionally, Obama's approval rating tanked in December to 40 percent as the rollout of his signature health plan foundered. With the recent passage of a bipartisan budget bill, the need for a diversion -- a new target to focus political operatives and therefore voters -- is key.

President Barack Obama laid out his 2014 agenda during his address on Jan. 4, but also provided insight into the Democratic campaign plan for the 2014 mid-term elections this fall.
Republicans: mean and cruel, Democrats: good.

"Just a few days after Christmas, more than one million of our fellow Americans lost a vital economic lifeline," he said in reference to the expiration of emergency additional federal unemployment compensation for those unemployed for more than 26 weeks.

Obama conjured images of parents trying to make ends meet, and cited facts from the Congressional Budget Office about the potential "drag on our economic growth."

Obama drew a line in the ground: "Right now, a bipartisan group in Congress is working on a three-month extension of unemployment insurance -- and if they pass it, I will sign it," he said.

He left unsaid the hope among some Democrats that the Republicans would block the extension and could therefore be called cruel and heartless for the balance of the year.

The political messaging in Obama's address was clear: "Republicans in Congress went home for the holidays and let that lifeline expire," Republicans are "punishing families who can least afford it," are "just plain cruel," and "are willing to abandon the American people."

All that is far different from the message Obama projected about himself and his allies, who "don't abandon our fellow Americans when times get tough -- we keep the faith with them until they start that new job."

This false construct was cracked on Tuesday of this week when Senate Democrats moved forward on the three-month extension -- with the help of six Republicans and with a news release from Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Boehner embraced working on "another extension of temporary emergency unemployment benefits," but said they "should not only be paid for, but include something to help put people back to work."
Republicans: "nice, helpful," was the message.

The facts are there: according to Boehner's website, "'Emergency Unemployment Compensation' program is put in place only in the worst economic conditions and is designed to be temporary ... the recent program ... was in place longer (66 months), was extended more times (12), aided more people (24 million), cost more ($265 billion) and added more to the debt ($210 billion) than any previous program. ... the vital safety net that provides all eligible unemployed workers 26 weeks of benefits" is still in place.

Republicans should aggressively back temporary additional unemployment benefits, make sure they're paid for, and tie them to job training and tax breaks for job creation. What's really needed, as Obama says, is more jobs, and additional unemployment compensation does not provide jobs, just money.

To be successful, the Republican argument this fall has to be about more than facts and figures; it has to include emotion as well and be phrased in a positive manner.

Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, links a person's happiness to "the belief that you've created value in your life and value in the lives of other people. When people say that they have earned their success, they become much happier than their neighbors, friends, and families."

But we need to do more to communicate emotionally, linking policy to people.

We are for a program that provides support for the long-term unemployed, but also encourages skills training and job creation while not adding to the debt. Such a program would allow a single mother, who has recently learned new skills, to be hired by a small company that can afford to hire her because of tax breaks. She can now explain to her son how she helps others in her job and earns money for their family.

Now that's a message Republicans should communicate all year long.
Op-ed:
Destined to fail...the words of a traitor
By: Diane Sori

Reverberating throughout Washington, as well it should, ex-Defense Secretary Robert Gates is blowing the lid on the Obama administration's total disasters in the foreign policy arena...including the unthinkable that all his war decisions...all his decisions regarding our troops...were based upon political expediency benefiting him alone and NOT on the concept of victory.

Robert Gates worked for every president since Richard Nixon, with the exception of Bill Clinton, and served as Defense Secretary for two years under Barack HUSSEIN Obama. Now he has come forward in his soon to be released book, 'Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,' to criticize Obama's approach to a number of key defense-related issues, paramount of which is his distrust of our military hierarchy and indirectly his tried to hide disdain for our troops themselves.

In criticizing Obama, especially in relation to his Afghan policies, Gates alludes to something that a president in his position as Commander-in-Chief must NEVER do...a Commander-in-Chief must NEVER have doubts about the mission at hand nor about the officers on the ground NOT getting the job they were sent to do done, because if he does the troops actually fighting...the troops putting their lives on the line can sense it...can sense the defeatist attitude...can sense the betrayal by the very man who should have total unquestioned faith in them.

For example, in Gates' exposing that Obama had doubts about committing 30,000 more troops to what became known as 'the surge' because he believed the fighting would end in failure... "skeptical if not outright convinced it [the administration strategy] would fail," were Gates' words, and to me that is a total breach of military protocol that borders on treason for 30,000 more troops were now being sent to their possible deaths on Obama's orders...orders that amounted to a lazier-faire attitude of who cares about the troops for Obama, of his own volition, was sending them there destined to fail...destined to die.

And this speaks in hushed tones of something some of us have known for quite some time...Barack HUSSEIN Obama NEVER wanted to win this war for defeating America's enemies would be defeating his friends. And by his very actions...or lack thereof...our troops have always been able to sense that the very man who is supposed to do all in his power to assure their victory did everything in his power to make sure victory was NOT to be had for Obama, as Commander-in-Chief, had our troops fighting to 'win the hearts and minds' of the enemy instead of fighting to win.

Obama's lack of commitment to win the war in Afghanistan along with his distrust and ignoring of what the ranking military officers on the ground advised him to do or NOT do are serious breaches of conduct done by a man sending troops into combat. And as Gates said, this speaks volumes that for Obama, "it's all about getting out" and getting out for political reasons alone...his re-election was coming up the following year...for by dismissing all the advice of the ranking officers and insisted on announcing to the enemy our timetable for withdrawal, "his focus was always on ending the war, not winning it."

And that dismissing of advice is paramount to Obama's Afghan and Iraqi failures. In fact, General Petraeus, then the central commander in charge of both the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters and a man Obama had doubts could work with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, made statements to the press that he was NOT at all comfortable with setting a fixed date to start withdrawal. And still Obama did NOT heed his advice, instead choosing to criticize the military...the very military he is Commander-in-Chief of...for “popping off in the press” and said he would push back hard against any delay in beginning the withdrawal.

It was all about him...as usual...with NO concern for the safety for those on the front lines and this was picked up by Gates, who "was deeply uneasy with the Obama White House's lack of appreciation—from the top down—of the uncertainties and unpredictability of war," because with Barack HUSSEIN Obama any and everything ...every decision made...was made with domestic political calculations in mind...was made based on what would be politically best for him and him alone.

Remember, when Obama ran for president the first time, he bloviated time and again his opposition to the 2003 Iraq invasion and to the fighting in Afghanistan...what he called Bush's wars. Politically he had to for his primary opponent was ubber liberal Hillary Clinton who admitted in front of Gates that, "her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq has been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. The president conceded vaguely that his opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying," Gates writes.

Surprising and dismaying puts it mildly and shows Hillary to be as vile and self-serving as the man she hopes to succeed as president.

And in his book Gates is also extremely critical of Vice President Joe Biden. "I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades." And while Gates is right in this assessment the one thing I will give 'Uncle Joe' is that I for one do NOT believe he is a traitor to America like both Obama and Hillary are. Remember, Biden's son even served in the wars.

So while I nor the general public have yet read Robert Gates book I can unequivocally say that for a former defense secretary to fault and criticize... especially in print...a sitting president's leadership...a sitting president's attitude about those leading the fight to keep us safe and free at home...speaks volumes about the character of the man whose very actions and attitudes have resulted in so many American deaths now to have been in vain.