Sunday, May 31, 2015

From The Patriot Factor...

My condolences go out to Vice-President Joe Biden on the death 
of his son Beau from brain cancer...the same disease that took 
the life of my dear friend Dori last year. 

Now is NOT the time for partisan politics but to say we're sorry that a son, husband, and father has lost his battle to cancer. 

Rest in Peace Beau Biden.

The political left in America is blind to the agenda, desires, and reality of Sharia law.

Liberals are literally scoffing at the professed desires of Islamists and jihadi radicals that want to murder in plain daylight hundreds of citizens for drawing a cartoon of the historical person Mohammed. They do so in the aftermath of two jihadis having attempted to carry out just such a plan.

The left does not recognize Sharia as a threat to America.

The New York Times in 2011 wrote: "The crusade against Shariah undermines American democracy, ignores our country’s successful history of religious tolerance and assimilation, and creates a dangerous divide between America and its fastest-growing religious minority."
Maxine Waters, the leftist Democrat Congresswoman, attending an Islamic Townhall meeting in Orange County California in 2012 openly criticized 13 states that would seek to pass laws that would ban Sharia law from their jurisdiction. She also openly stated, "anti-Sharia laws are motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry, plain and simple.” A sentiment oft repeated in leftist circles.

In 2014 the Jewish lesbian “Rabbi" Robin Nafshi, first identified herself as a person with a wide understanding of various religious and political views and then proceeded to imply that Sharia law could be one hundred percent compatible with the constitutional life of modern day America. She also proceeded to condemn those that would say otherwise: "The politicians who endorse anti-Sharia laws are exploiting Americans’ legitimate fears of ISIS, al Qaida, Hamas and other extremist groups in order to ostracize and discriminate against the American Muslim community."

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has introduced another piece of legislation that requires any American looking to exercise their Second Amendment rights to have liability insurance before purchasing a firearm. It would dole out a $10,000 fine to anyone who does not have proof of insurance, but, of course, law enforcement and members of the military are exempt from this law (via the Hill):
We require insurance to own a car, but no such requirement exists for guns," Maloney said in a statement. "The results are clear: car fatalities have declined by 25 percent in the last decade, but gun fatalities continue to rise.” 
Maloney said auto insurance carriers incentivize drivers to take precautions to reduce accidents, but no such incentives exist for firearm owners.
“An insurance requirement would allow the free market to encourage cautious behavior and help save lives,” she said. “Adequate liability coverage would also ensure that the victims of gun violence are fairly compensated when crimes or accidents occur."
This is the second time Maloney, who is one of the biggest gun control advocates in Congress, has introduced the legislation. A few weeks ago she reintroduced legislation that would require sellers to obtain a background check for all guns sold at gun shows.
First, driving a car is a privilege in America, whereas owning firearms is a right. Second, her data is just wrong. The Bureau of Crime Statistics noted that firearm-related homicides are down 39 percent between 1993-2011. Pew Research had a higher figure, noting a 49 percent decrease in gun homicides between 1993-2010. In fact, America has never been less violent. We are safer, and violent crime continues to go down (via NYT):

Freedom, Provocation and Targets

By Ralph Sidway / for Jihad Watch


Freedom, Provocation and Targets
The Muslim predisposition towards jihad means “no cartoons required.” The recent Muslim jihad attack at a Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland Texas has generated strong reactions across the political spectrum. Four of us in my church recently had a fairly rigorous discussion of some of the issues involved, with two believing the cartoon […]

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Sharia-Compliant Media’s War on Free Speech Rallies
Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs
I have been fielding calls and emails from big media (AP, TIME Magazine, Reuters et al) all day concerning a free speech rally being held in Arizona. I thought readers would enjoy the exchange.

Here’s Reuters — if you missed the unedited raw footage of an interview they did with me yesterday, go here. It’s not to be missed.

Fri, May 29, 2015 at 4:09 PM
Hi Pam[sic],
I am a Reuters reporter helping to cover the Islam demonstration in Phoenix tonight, which the organizer says was inspired in part by the involvement of the shooters from the Garland event at the Phoenix mosque. I was wondering if you are at all involved in the events in Phoenix, and if so, in what way...


Friday, May 29, 2015

Federal Judge Blasts Obama Lawyers Arguing Obamacare Case

Image: Federal Judge Blasts Obama Lawyers Arguing Obamacare Case
A U.S. judge on Thursday blasted the Obama administration's motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives over the implementation of the Democratic president's signature healthcare law.

Republicans in the House filed a lawsuit in November, saying administration officials unlawfully bypassed Congress.

At issue are executive changes authorizing Treasury payments to healthcare insurers without the funding being agreed by Congress and delaying implementation of the law's employer mandate, which required employers with more than 50 employees to provide healthcare coverage.

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer, appointed by Obama's predecessor, Republican George W. Bush, repeatedly interrupted U.S. Justice Department lawyer Joel McElvain during the hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Justice Department lawyers argue that the House lacks standing to sue, citing a section of U.S. law that means the House would have to prove it has been directly harmed.

"So it is your position that if the House of Representatives affirmatively voted not to fund something ... then that vote can be ignored by the administration, because after all, no one can sue them?" she asked.
McElvain argued that the merits of the case were not being discussed at the hearing, and that any perceived injury was "abstract."

"I'm not asking you to give me your brief. I want you to explain ... why it's not an insult to the Constitution?" Collyer said.

McElvain argued that the House could pass new legislation if it disagreed with the administration's changes, which he said were legal under "pre-existing permanent appropriation."

At another point, Collyer admonished McElvain: "You can't just shake your head and not deal with the question."

The lawsuit is one of a flurry filed against the Obama administration in the past few months challenging executive actions on healthcare and immigration as Republicans seek to amp up pressure on the president.

Jonathan Turley, a lawyer for the House Republicans, said the lawsuit should go forward to show the power of the purse "should not be decorative."

The judge, while appearing sympathetic to the Republicans' decision to bring the lawsuit, said she had not yet decided on the standing issue before her.
Most Americans, including most Republicans, do not understand what “conservative” philosophy, principles, and policies are.

Merriam-Webster defines conservative as “believing in the philosophy of conservatism,” which it defines as “belief in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society; dislike of change or new ideas in a particular area.”

However, this definition is wrong. The root of conservatism lies in the concept of “ordered liberty” and the fundamental truth that human rights are God-given, not man-made and that individual liberty and freedom are birthrights.

Calvin Coolidge, America’s 30th president—perhaps the most conservative president of the last century—emphasized the underpinning conservative principle of the rule of law rests solely on “the divine origin of mankind.”

In his speech, The Price of Freedom, Coolidge emphasized that in America’s founding documents “there resulted the recognition that freedom was a birthright. It was the natural and inalienable condition of beings who were created ‘a little lower than the angels.’ With it went the principle of equality, not an equality of possessions, not an equality of degree, but an equality in the attributes of humanity, an equality of kind. Each is possessed of the divine power to know the truth.”

Likewise, conservative commentator Dennis Prager defines conservatism by what he calls “The American Trinity,” which preserves three fundamental truths. First, “In God We Trust” is the foundation for the rule of law. Manmade laws are designed to protect God-given human rights. From that, “E Pluribus Unum,” a unified and diverse people are encouraged to live peaceably, with “liberty” in their pursuit of happiness.

Within the American Trinity and republican form of government, the electorate determines the moral and ethical decisions and laws through representatives acting on their behalf. In theory, the electorate governs through limited local, state, and federal governments that restrain and punish the malfeasant and enable ingenuity, personal responsibility, entrepreneurship, creativity, and a range of its citizens’ pursuits.

The electorate may redefine and change moral and legal constraints but conservatism does not.

In the year prior to the deadly 2012 Benghazi attack, Hillary Clinton used her private email server to correspond about such highly sensitive national security matters as specific threats to the Libya hotel where Ambassador Chris Stevens was staying as well as his decision to remain at the hotel despite the threats.

The emails, released May 22 by the State Department, also contained the exact movements of Stevens while he was stationed in arguably one of the most dangerous zones in the world for any American diplomat, a WND review has found.

On April 24, 2011, Clinton’s senior aide, Huma Abedin, forwarded to Clinton’s personal email an internal State email from that same day written by Timmy Davis and sent to Abedin as well as to the State email addresses of other employees, including Clinton’s then-foreign policy aide, Jacob Sullivan.

The email cited a local report stating hotels in Benghazi were being targeted.

The email, which ran through Clinton’s personal server, stated the interim Libyan government “conducted a raid on a house/storage facility and found and arrested an Egyptian cell reportedly there for the purpose of attacking hotels.”

Despite the threat, the email revealed Stevens “still feels comfortable in the hotel,” meaning the email exposed that the ambassador would continue to stay there.

“They are looking into the idea of moving into a villa, but that is some way off,” the email continued.

“Based on discussion with DS yesterday, the hotel remains the safest location.”

Startlingly, the email contained information about Stevens’ exact movements, including that he “will be meeting with MFA in one hour and will make a written request for better security at the hotel and for better security-related coordination.”

On June 10, 2011, Sullivan sent an email to Clinton’s personal address informing that “there is credible threat info against the hotel that our team is using – and the rest of the Intl community is using, for that matter.”

That email divulged: “DS going to evacuate our people to alt locations. Info suggested attack in next 24-48 hours. Will keep you posted.”

Yet another sent to Clinton from Abedin detailed Stevens’ movements regarding his hotel stay.

“The envoy’s delegation is currently doing a phased checkout (paying the hotel bills, moving some comms to the boat, etc.),” wrote Abedin. “He (Stevens) will monitor the situation to see if it deteriorates further, but no decision has been made on departure. He will wait 2-3 more hours, then revisit the decision on departure.”

With additional research by Joshua Klein.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Robert S. Wistrich, who died suddenly last week, was considered the foremost scholar of anti-Semitism, which he called “the longest hatred,” one that appears to be metastasizing in the current era.

Writing about Nazi anti-Semitism ruffles no feathers within academia and other elite circles. Mr. Wistrich, however, had been warning that “anti-Semitism has undergone a process of growing ‘Islamicization,’ linked to the terrorist holy war against Jews and other non-Muslims with its truly lethal consequences.” This “new” anti-Semitism,” he added, targetsIsrael, the only state with a Jewish majority: “the collective Jew.”

“New” is a relative term: It was 40 years ago that the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning Zionism, a charged word that actually implies nothing more than support for the right of the Jewish people, like other peoples, to self-determination in part of their ancestral homeland — territories that for centuries had been ruled by foreign empires. Within these lands there has never been a Palestinian nation-state, but a majority of Israelis would help establish such a polity — if Palestinian leaders would only commit to peaceful coexistence with their neighbors across an agreed-upon border.

While most Muslims do not support terrorism, Mr. Wistrich noted, “levels of anti-Semitism among Muslims clearly remain the highest in the world,” and Islamists — most succinctly defined as those committed to the imperative of Muslim dominance over all others — “are the spearhead of current anti-Semitism.”

A front-page headline in the Wall Street Journal screams out: "Islamic State's Gains Reveal New Prowess on the Battlefield."

The article discusses how the Islamic State recently captured Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province in Iraq. The Islamic State victory, according to the report, involved the execution of a complex battle plan "that outwitted a greater force of Iraqi troops as well as the much lauded U.S.-trained special-operations force known as the Golden Division."

Flipping to the editorial page, an opinion piece discusses the increasing dominance of Russia, Iran and China in their parts of the world "as the U.S. retreats."

But what is keeping America's commander in chief up at night?

President Obama spent most of his recent address to the graduating class of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy talking about climate change.

According to our president, climate change "constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security."

The president continued to say that the science regarding climate change is "indisputable."

In 2013, the president tweeted, "Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: climate change is real, manmade and dangerous."

But this is false.

Learned analysts starting to realize airstrikes alone will not dislodge Islamic State

By Robert Spencer / Jihad Watch


Learned analysts starting to realize airstrikes alone will not dislodge Islamic State
Mainstream analysts usually lurch from mistake to mistake, applying faulty solutions based on fantasy-based analyses, without ever being held accountable for the disasters that follow in the wake of their actions. Just look at Obama and Hillary at Benghazi. But the idea that an entity that controls an expanse of territory larger than Great Britain […]

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Dems call on Obama to resettle 65,000 Syrian refugees

Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs

The only refugees we should be resettling from this war torn region are Christians. Instead, the US stands by while they are ethnically cleansed from their ancient homelands. This will forever be a bloody stain on an anti-American, anti-freedom, jihad-aligned Presidency.

Obama has already imported hundreds of thousands of these “refugees.”

More of the poison fruit from the party of treason.

Importing jihad.

refugees welcome Dems call on Obama to resettle 65,000 Syrian refugees | TheHill,  May 27, 2015 (thanks to  Creeping):
A group of Senate Democrats is urging the Obama administration to allow at least 65,000 Syrian refugees to settle inside the United States.
“While the United States is the largest donor of humanitarian...

Quinnipiac Poll: Rubio, Paul Only GOP Hopefuls That Come Close to Clinton  
Image: Quinnipiac Poll: Rubio, Paul Only GOP Hopefuls That Come Close to Clinton
While Hillary Clinton continues to dominate the Democratic field of candidates running for president in 2016, a Republican frontrunner has yet to emerge, a new Quinnipiac University Poll finds, with a five-way tie for the top spot.

The five candidates leading the poll at 10 percent are:
  • Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
  • Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson
  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
  • U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
Twenty-percent of GOP voters who participated in the poll remain undecided.

After the five-way split at the top, the next five are:
  • U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky (7 percent)
  • U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas (6 percent)
  • Business tycoon Donald Trump (5 percent)
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (4 percent)
  • Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (2 percent)
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich (2 percent)
The top 10 will receive invitations to participate in televised debates.
Obama Desecrates Memorial Day And Agrees To Commit U.S. Military To Serve Under Turkey’s Conquest Of Syria (The U.S. Is Now Officially Advancing A Grand Caliphate)
Obama desecrates Memorial Day. The U.S Military will now be committed to advance an Islamic Grand Caliphate. Hard to imagine? Its easy if you try, by simply reading our report.

mevlut-cavusoglu-turkeyYesterday, on Memorial Day we open the papers to read the headlines Turkey and US ‘agree in principle’ to provide air support for Syrian rebels. And it wasn’t the president of the United States or a spokesperson from the White house that broke the news, but through the mouth of the Turks, Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister told the pro-government Daily Sabah newspaper in comments published Monday on Memorial Day.

On Memorial Day, the Turks told us that the “U.S. have agreed in “principle” to provide air protection to Syrian rebels being trained and equipped to supposedly fight ISIS, once they enter Syrian territory for battle, Turkey’s foreign minister said.

The two countries (U.S. and Turkey) agreed in February to train and equip up to 15,000 Syrian Jihadists at a cost of half a billion U.S. dollars paid by the U.S., of course, as a U.S. program designed to add a credible ground force to an air bombing campaign supposedly against ISIS. But don’t be fooled, read the trick between the lines from Cavusoglu’s mouth:
Both ISIS and the [Syrian] regime forces continue their assaults and killings. … with this program, we are trying to achieve a balance. The opposition forces are fighting on both fronts; while the fight against ISIS is prioritized, the [Syrian] regime must be also stopped.
ot2 copy
“The [Syrian] regime must be stopped”. The war is not on ISIS, but committing our troops in Syria to end the government of Bashar Al-Assad.

Any journalist worth his salt can ask the White House press secretary Josh Earnest: Sir, how is it that we claim to fight a war on terror in Syria, while Saudi Arabia, The Gulf States, Turkey and now even the U.S. Military are now sent to support terrorists: al-Qaeda’s affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (a recognized terrorist organization) and Jaish al-Fatah (Army of Conquest) which was previously Ahrar ash-Sham, renaming  itself on March 24 2015

Read entire article here:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Democrat Senators urge Obama to “dramatically increase” Muslim refugee flow to US

By Robert Spencer / Jihad Watch


Democrat Senators urge Obama to “dramatically increase” Muslim refugee flow to US
What could possibly go wrong? How about this: “FBI counter-terrorism experts…have openly admitted it is virtually impossible to screen Syrian refugees.” And remember, that is Obama’s clueless and politically correct FBI, and they’re still acknowledging something that their Chief has never admitted and would not be disposed to admit. “Democrats call for ‘flood’ of Muslims […]

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Muslim cleric: Satan and Jews are the enemies of Muslims, Jews will meet their end by gathering in Israel

Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs

Islamic Jew-hatred: it’s in the Quran.

And yet the world media and the governments of the West term opposition to this “hate.”

“Tunisian Cleric Bechir Begga: Satan and the Jews Are the Enemies of Muslims,” MEMRI, May 1, 2015:
In a May 1 sermon, Tunisian cleric Sheik Bechir Begga said that Satan and the Jews are the enemies of Muslims. He added that Allah was gathering the Jews “in Palestine, or in Tel Aviv,” where they would meet their end. Sheik Begga posted the clip on his YouTube channel.
Following are excerpts:
Sheik Bechir Begga: Many enemies are behind the strife and catastrophes that afflict the Islamic nation. The most vicious of those enemies are the Jews, may Allah curse them....


When I was commissioned as an Army officer in 1982, one of the books listed on our mandatory reading was Sun Tzu’s “Art of War.”

 I willed my original copy to a young subordinate officer years ago. However, I still maintain a copy in my office at the NCPA.

One of the memorable quotes from that seminal strategic work is, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” It is that quote which is most applicable considering the most recent inane statement emanating from our Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama, at last week’s US Coast Guard Academy graduation.

At that event, which is the christening of young future leaders, they were told that if they denied climate change they were negligent and derelict of their duty. That, ladies and gents, is a rather harsh and hypocritical statement coming from someone who abandoned Americans to die in Benghazi, Libya and promulgated a false narrative to cover the negligent action.

It is an ironic perspective coming from someone who is negotiating with an enemy, Iran, who chants “death to America” while they are holding four Americans hostage – Robert Levinson, Jason Reznaian, Saeed Abedini, and Amir Hekmati.

What is most disconcerting is the stretch to align climate change as a cause for Islamic terrorism, at least one specific group. President Obama claimed that we need to, “Understand climate change did not cause the conflicts we see around the world. Yet, what we also know is that severe drought helped to create the instability in Nigeria that was exploited by the terrorist group Boko Haram."

The first part of his response shouldn't be news. The fact that a presidential cabinet secretary uses his official .gov email account in carrying out his duties isn't extraordinary. In fact, it's not even plain-old ordinary; it's required. But because Julian Castro is rumored to sit atop Hillary Clinton's running mate wish list -- thanks to his identity, not his qualifications or accomplishments, it seems -- he found himself on the receiving end of this question.

Thus, his answer constitutes news (via CNN's State of the Union and the Washington Free Beacon):

CNN: Do you use private email accounts?
Castro: I have my government email account -- of course I have my private email, but I have my government email. But that's besides the point. I think...
CNN: Do you do government business on the government account?
Castro: That's right. That's right.
Here, Castro does the best he can. He notes that of course he uses private email like everyone else, but he conducts official business over official email, as the rules compel him to do.  The fact that certain other individuals may not have felt quite as constrained by those rules is "besides the point," he assures us, setting up the predictable "distraction!" talking point in defense of his party's presumptive nominee. Evincing anything less than utter respect for the requirements governing his public communications would have caused problems for himself and his current boss, but underscoring the importance of playing by the rules would reflect poorly on his potential future boss.

2 Of Hillary’s Libya Emails Are Missing

Chuck Ross / The DC Caller
Sidney Blumenthal emailed Hillary Clinton at least two intelligence reports about Libya which were not included in the trove of 296 emails released by the State Department on Friday.

Clinton has claimed that in December she turned over all official government emails she sent or received from her personal account while in office. In turn, the agency has claimed it turned all Clinton emails related to Libya or Benghazi over to the House Select Committee investigating the Benghazi attack.

But a screenshot of Blumenthal’s email inbox, which the Romanian hacker Guccifer published in March 2013, shows two reports about Libya emailed to Clinton which were not released in Friday’s batch.

Blumenthal’s hacked inbox shows that he sent a Jan. 15, 2013, report under the subject line “H: Latest Libya intel; internal discussions” and another on Jan. 26 with the subject line “H: Libya security latest.”

The State Department release — which was published on the agency’s Freedom of Information Act portal — does not include those two reports. It does, however, include some 20 other intelligence reports Blumenthal sent Clinton about Libya and Benghazi between March 2, 2011. and Dec. 18, 2012.

Screengrab of Sidney Blumenthal's email inbox
Screengrab of Sidney Blumenthal’s email inbox

Obama Loses Second Bid to Implement Immigration Overhaul


The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday in favor of 26 states challenging President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, potentially paving the way for a Supreme Court decision on the issue.

Two judges on the three-judge panel ruled that the executive action, which would grant an estimated 4.7 million undocumented immigrants relief from deportation, should remain on hold while the government appeals its blocking.

The immigration order was first put on hold by Texas Judge Andrew Hanen in February after the states, all led by Republican governors, alleged that taking in migrants would be overly burdensome.

"The President's attempt to bypass the will of the American people was successfully checked again today," Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a news release.

The case has become the focal point of Obama's efforts to change U.S. immigration policy.

Seeing no progress on legislative reform in Congress, Obama announced in November he would take executive action to help immigrants. He has since faced criticism from Republicans who say the program grants amnesty to lawbreakers.

The White House said the two judges who ruled against the administration on Tuesday chose to "misinterpret the facts and the law."

"The president's actions... are squarely within the bounds of his authority and they are the right thing to do for the country," White House spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine said.

The Justice Department is evaluating the ruling and considering next steps, a U.S. official said on the condition of anonymity.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

By Maayan Lubell 
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed resuming peace negotiations with the Palestinians but with the initial focus on identifying those Jewish settlements that Israel would keep and be allowed to expand, an Israeli official said on Tuesday.

Peace talks collapsed in April 2014 over Israeli settlement-building in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas Palestinians seek for a state, and after Abbas angered Israel by reaching a unity deal with the Islamist group Hamas in Gaza.

Asked about Netanyahu's position, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said settlement activity had to stop altogether before peace talks resume and that all core issues of the conflict with Israel needed to be addressed simultaneously.

In a meeting in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Netanyahu told Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign policy chief, that some of the land Israel captured in a 1967 war would remain in its hands while other parts would be left under Palestinian control, the Israeli official said.

"Therefore negotiations should be resumed in order to define those areas in which we can build," the official said, quoting Netanyahu. The remarks were first reported in the left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

With the inauguration two weeks ago of his new right-wing government following March elections, Netanyahu faces U.S. and EU calls to re-engage with the Palestinians and also the threat of stronger pressure to curb construction in settlements, which most countries regard as illegal.

Western diplomats have said Netanyahu -- who raised international concern by saying on the eve of the election that no Palestinian state would be established on his watch -- will now be closely scrutinized over his settlement policy.

An understanding on settlements in peace talks would enable Israel to keep construction going without raising the wrath of its Western allies. It could also appease hardliners in Netanyahu's government who want to see more construction.

One Western diplomat familiar with what occurred at the meeting with Mogherini said Netanyahu's proposal showed some change in his position, but not enough to restart peace talks.

"Up until now, Netanyahu has refused to put any maps on the table, so in that respect it was quite substantial. He was talking about borders in one way or another, even if it was based around the acceptance of existing settlement blocs," the official said.

Another Western diplomat described Netanyahu's proposal as creating "the illusion of progress".

"Netanyahu was trying to show that he is committed to peace and ready for negotiations, but he knows the Palestinians would never agree to begin on this basis," the diplomat said.

(Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta and Luke Baker; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Raissa Kasolowsky)

See video 'Netanyahu Offers to Resume Peace Talks' here:
Netanyahu Offers to Resume Peace Talks
In its biggest military accomplishment this year, the Islamic State last week took Ramadi, a key Iraqi city the U.S. fought to secure roughly a decade ago. Now that the dust has settled, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was frank in his assessment of what went wrong.

“What apparently happened is the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight," Carter said. "They were not outnumbered; in fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. That says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves."

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff agreed. "The ISF was not driven out of Ramadi," he said last week. "They drove out of Ramadi."
[T] he fall of Ramadi is reviving questions about the effectiveness of the Obama administration's approach in Iraq, a blend of retraining and rebuilding the Iraqi army, prodding the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad to reconcile with the nation's Sunnis and bombing Islamic State group targets from the air without committing American ground combat troops. 
Obama's strategy is predicated on Baghdad granting political concessions to the country's alienated Sunnis, who are a source of personnel and money for the Islamic State group. But there has been little visible progress on that front. Baghdad has continued to work closely with Shiite militias backed by Iran, which have been accused of atrocities against Sunnis, a religious minority in Iraq that ruled until Saddam Hussein fell from power.
The U.S. has sought to reach out on its own to Sunni tribes and is training some Sunni fighters, but those efforts have been limited by the small number of American troops on the ground.
While Carter defended the use of airstrikes, he cautioned that they are not intended to be a replacement for the Iraqi military standing up to defend their country.

"We can participate in the defeat of ISIL," he said. "But we can't make Iraq ... a decent place for people to live — we can't sustain the victory, only the Iraqis can do that and, in particular in this case, the Sunni tribes to the West."

Iran, meanwhile, blamed the fall of Ramadi on the U.S. having “no will” to fight ISIS.

81% of respondents to Al Jazeera poll support the Islamic State

By Robert Spencer / Jihad Watch

81% of respondents to Al Jazeera poll support the Islamic State
That Tiny Minority of Extremists sure “slammed” this poll, as Bill O’Reilly said when he weaseled out of announcing results of his poll on whether our free speech event in Garland, Texas was a good idea. He claimed we had “slammed” the results and declined to release them. Al Jazeera didn’t hesitate to release this […]

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