Monday, January 31, 2011

Political Digest for January 31, 2011

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Nor that I disagree with them, of course.

Egyptian Police Redeploying
Excerpt: Egypt’s internal security forces are reportedly redeploying across the country Jan. 30 after abandoning the streets the previous day in a demonstration, showing what chaos would ensue should they be undermined by the military. As the protests show early signs of dwindling, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, who have negotiated a stay in power so far, are likely betting that the protesters, who thus far have been unable to coalesce into a unified group, will clear the streets under pressure. However, serious potential for clashes remain, especially considering hostilities between the army and the police and between the police and protesters. The coming hours will thus tell whether Mubarak’s bet on the opposition was a wise one. Egyptian Interior Minister Habib al-Adly reportedly ordered Egyptian police patrols to redeploy across Egypt during a Jan. 30 meeting with the commanders of the Central Security Forces (CSF) in Nasr city east of Cairo. The decision to redeploy the internal security forces follows a major confrontation that has played out behind the scenes between the Interior Ministry and the military. The animosity between Egypt’s police and soldiers was amplified Jan. 28 when demonstrators overwhelmed the CSF and plainclothes police and the army stepped in to attempt to restore order.

Egypt Protests: Bloodshed on the streets as human price of Hosni Mubarak's clampdown emerges
Excerpt: A tally of credible figures from around Egypt collated by The Sunday Telegraph showed that at least 89 people had died, compared with the 62 admitted by officials on Saturday. A further 2,500 were said to have been injured. Among the dead were 10 policemen — some had been attacked by protesters. The civilian dead and injured included many shot with live rounds: doctors and protesters displayed bullets they had picked up from the streets after police — and in some cases soldiers — opened fire. The use of live ammunition against his people, with witnesses claiming that deadly rounds had been fired by units of the elite presidential guard, throws into further doubt continued American support for Mr Mubarak’s regime.

Biden: Mubarak not a dictator, protests not like Eastern Europe
Hard to know if this is administration policy, or Biden running off at the mouth. Or maybe they plan to keep BO in power thirty years? ~Bob. Excerpt: Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is not a dictator and shouldn't step aside in the face of mounting protests against his nearly 30-year rule.

Egypt protests: Hillary Clinton urges 'orderly transition'
Excerpt: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for an "orderly transition" to democracy in Egypt, but warned there is a long way to go in the process. "Democracy, human rights and economic reform are in the best interests of the Egyptian people," she told ABC News. "Any government that does not try to move in that direction cannot meet the legitimate interest of the people." (But if he’s not a dictator, why is a transition needed? ~Bob.)

Working Group on Egypt Calls for Suspension of U.S. Aid
Excerpt: The prestigious and, since its formation less than a year ago, consistently ahead-of-the-curve Working Group on Egypt, co-chaired by Michele Dunne of Carnegie and Robert Kagan of Brookings, has just issued a new statement late Saturday. The Group includes Middle East and foreign policy experts ranging from Elliott Abrams of the Council of Foreign Relations and Ellen Bork of the Foreign Policy Initiative to Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch and Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress. Its members have been warning for months that the situation in Egypt is unstable, and they’ve been urging the U.S. government to take a more active role in planning for a post-Mubarak Egypt. They’re now calling for a suspension of aid to Egypt until the Egyptian government commits to free and fair elections and the transfer of power to a legitimate government.

Egypt Protests Show George W. Bush was Right about Freedom in the Arab World
Excerpt: In November 2003, President George W. Bush laid out this question: "Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom and never even to have a choice in the matter?" The massive and violent demonstrations underway in Egypt, the smaller ones in Jordan and Yemen, and the recent revolt in Tunisia that inspired those events, have affirmed that the answer is no and are exploding, once and for all, the myth of Arab exceptionalism. Arab nations, too, yearn to throw off the secret police, to read a newspaper that the Ministry of Information has not censored and to vote in free elections. The Arab world may not be swept with a broad wave of revolts now, but neither will it soon forget this moment.

Worth Reading: The Egypt Crisis in a Global Context: A Special Report
Excerpt: It is not at all clear what will happen in the Egyptian revolution. It is not a surprise that this is happening. Hosni Mubarak has been president for more than a quarter of a century, ever since the assassination of Anwar Sadat. He is old and has been ill. No one expected him to live much longer, and his apparent plan, which was that he would be replaced by his son, Gamal, was not going to happen even though it was a possibility a year ago. There was no one, save his closest business associates, who wanted to see Mubarak’s succession plans happen. As his father weakened, Gamal’s succession became even less likely. Mubarak’s failure to design a credible succession plan guaranteed instability on his death. Since everyone knew that there would be instability on his death, there were obviously those who saw little advantage to acting before he died. Who these people were and what they wanted is the issue. Let’s begin by considering the regime. In 1952, Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser staged a military coup that displaced the Egyptian monarchy, civilian officers in the military, and British influence in Egypt. Nasser created a government based on military power as the major stabilizing and progressive force in Egypt. His revolution was secular and socialist. In short, it was a statist regime dominated by the military. On Nasser’s death, Anwar Sadat replaced him. On Sadat’s assassination, Hosni Mubarak replaced him. Both of these men came from the military as Nasser did. However their foreign policy might have differed from Nasser’s, the regime remained intact…. It is certainly not clear that they are weaker than the democratic demonstrators. It is a mistake to confuse the Muslim Brotherhood’s caution with weakness. Another way to look at them is that they have bided their time and toned down their real views, waiting for the kind of moment provided by Mubarak’s succession. I would suspect that the Muslim Brotherhood has more potential influence among the Egyptian masses than the Western-oriented demonstrators or Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who is emerging as their leader.

Tourists Besiege Cairo Airport, But Flights Halt
Excerpt: Thousands of passengers were stranded at Cairo's airport on Saturday as flights were canceled or delayed, leaving them unable to leave because of a government-imposed curfew. Several Arab nations, meanwhile, moved to evacuate their citizens. As Egypt's unrest neared its sixth day, the cancelations of flights and the arrival of several largely empty aircraft appeared to herald an ominous erosion of key tourism revenue for the country, hitting hard at its pocketbook even as protesters centered many of their grievances on the grinding poverty they endure daily. Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan organized an additional 10 flights to evacuate their citizens, officials at Cairo International Airport said. Among those who left were families of diplomats. Egypt's national carrier, meanwhile, was forced to cancel 15 scheduled flights because it was unable to secure the necessary crew and service personnel, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. (Think I’ll put off visiting the Pyramids. ~Bob.)

Egypt and Islam: Democracy or Dictatorship?
Excerpt: Politics abhors a vacuum. Just like the Palestinians fell for the lies of Hamas, it is not impossible that some day soon Egypt will be ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood. Democratically elected. And who could then discount an Iran-Lebanon-Egypt alliance against Israel? We can no longer afford to gaze at our navels and debate minutiae. These revolutions are the beginning of a jihad the likes of which the world has never seen. Wahhabi Islam must be rooted out and eradicated for it has no respect for democracy, liberty, free markets or civil liberties. It does not care for the rule of law, freedom of conscience of freedom of religion. We must assist those who seek to promote a peaceable Sunni Islam, a moderate Shi’a expression, and encourage all towards an understanding of the Sufi tradition.

Good column: The Fall of the Strongmen
Excerpt: The attempt to establish a post-colonial order of kings and strongmen to replace the British and French colonial rule over the Arab Muslim world was doomed from the start. Some of the kings were overthrown by native officers who had been trained by the British and the French to fight their wars. The officers who overthrew them became strongmen themselves. The recently deposed Ben Ali was a Tunisian officer trained in French and American schools, who had helped push out the French and his predecessor. Egypt's Mubarak was an Air Force officer who replaced Sadat, who replaced Nasser-- all members of the Free Officers Movement which overthrew the Egyptian monarchy. Saddam Hussein took power in a coup against the coup led by army officers which had deposed the King of Iraq. Syria's Assad was an Air Force officer who took power after a long series of coups by army officers that it would take too long to list. If you're seeing a pattern here, congratulations and welcome to the Middle East. The only Middle-Eastern Arab countries which held onto their monarchies, were either oil rich enough to spread the wealth to the important families and retain only a weak military to avoid the risk of being overthrown by their own army while relying on US protection (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE) or so small and deliberately apolitical to avoid attention (Jordan, Morocco). The rest ended up with military strongmen, some backed by the US, some backed by the Soviet Union. The Soviet backed strongmen usually unveiled some poorly thought out version of Arab Socialism. The US backed strongmen just stuck to taking a cut of everything and packing it away in foreign banks. But there was a ticking time bomb underneath these pyramids of wealth and misery. Islam…. Most of the 'reformers' are usually fighting for either a takeover by the local socialist party or the local Islamist party. The general public will join in the stone throwing and the looting, without necessarily taking sides. Often the socialists and the Islamists will actually cooperate to bring down the dictator. Then one will take power and begin killing the other. Western media rarely bother to report this, either out of ignorance or due to propaganda. They treat most of the crowd scenes as popular uprisings, which they are but not in the sense that the people will get to decide one way or another. Only that they get a chance to take part in the brief spurt of violence before being ordered to go home…. When Mohammed invented Islam, he took existing beliefs and laced them up into a grand tribal identity. Islam is the meta-tribe, less a religion than a makeshift political system based on tribal alliances with the convenient sanction of a deity. Islam expands by creating a two-tier system that puts non-Muslims on the bottom, and encourages Muslims to wage constant war against them. None of this makes for a stable system, but it does make for a very volatile and expansionistic one. Arabs who will not die for Saddam or Ben Ali or Mubarak, will die for Islam.

Gaza-Egypt border sealed indefinitely
Excerpt: Egyptian authorities have closed indefinitely the crossing with the Gaza Strip as the army deployed in the northern Sinai, a Ma'an correspondent said Sunday. Egyptian security contacted the government in Gaza to check up on the situation along the Rafah border, and Hamas authorities confirmed that large numbers of security officers were deployed at the crossing. Authorities in Gaza also confirmed that strict instructions were given to smugglers telling them all tunnels would remain closed to ensure no Palestinians in Gaza were able to enter Egypt. Gaza border official Ghazi Hamad confirmed that Rafah would be closed Sunday in both directions.

Watch video released by Detroit police showing police station gun battle
Split screen camera angle to left is entranceway to PD---camera angle to right is desk officers working area. This will ruin your morning coffee and donuts!! –TC

It Doesn't Have to Make Sense: It's Just the Law – Statements
Excerpt: In 1996, an unhappy consumer attacked the City Marshal of Lancaster, Missouri with a hammer.(1) The Marshal defended himself and later vented his adrenaline to the responding Sheriff stating, “I hope the son-of-a-bitch is dead.” This led to the Marshal’s conviction for involuntary manslaughter and a sentence of seven years in prison.(2) The story had a happy ending, but a story four years and tens of thousands of dollars in the making, and not a story the Marshal enjoyed very much. The Marshal might have avoided the worst part of the story had he not confused his right to remain silent with the right of free speech. (The article is pretty well done. I have had private conversations with assorted law officers, some retired, on this subject, and their advice is pretty much the same. The system does make mistakes, there are cops and prosecutors who are intent on getting a conviction on any remotely likely suspect. We know too well these days that innocent people have even wound up on Death Row. So caution is the watchword if you're ever involved in violent self-defense. --Del)

What ‘Obama the Unready’ Could Learn From Alfred the Great
Excerpt: Would Barack be better named “St. Peter Obama”—considering how overwhelmingly he embodies the Peter Principle? On that question there can be no debate. He offered himself unready for any leadership position, and was then rewarded for his incompetence. Not only is Barack no Ronald Reagan, he can’t even lead. As such, Obama hearkens back to another unfortunate historical character—Æthelred the Unready. Æthelred was an English king who so completely misused his opportunity he became synonymous with lack of preparation and poor decisions. Obama and Æthelred have many coincidences during equally cursed reigns. When we compare the lives of the worst and best English potentates, certain truths can be gleaned by our Marxist boy king. Such lessons are the subject of this essay. (As a descendent of Æthelred—really—I take offense at the comparison. ~Bob.)

American facing possible murder charge in Pakistan
Simple. If they don’t release him, we sell bigger A-bombs to India. ~Bob. Excerpt: Pakistan will pursue murder charges against a U.S. consular employee suspected of shooting two armed men during a possible robbery attempt, a prosecutor said Friday as protesters called for the American to be severely punished. The killings in this bustling city on Thursday have attracted intense media coverage in Pakistan, and the government - already viewed by some critics as being subservient to the United States - will be under pressure to allow the law to run its course. Many Pakistanis already regard the U.S. with suspicion or enmity because of its occupation of neighboring Afghanistan and regular missile attacks against militant targets in Pakistan's northwest. Islamist and rightwing opponents of Washington and the U.S.-allied government here said the incident was a further example of American brutality.

How BBC warmists abuse the science
Excerpt: Horizon’s “Science Under Attack” turned out to be yet another laborious bid by the BBC to defend the global warming orthodoxy it has long been so relentless in promoting. Their desperation is understandable. The past few years have seen their cherished cause crumbling on all sides. The Copenhagen climate conference, planned to land mankind with the biggest bill in history, collapsed in disarray. The Climategate emails scandal confirmed that scientists at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had distorted key data. The IPCC’s own authority was further rocked by revelations that its more alarmist claims were based not on science but on the inventions of environmental activists. Even the weather has turned against them, showing that all the computer models based on the assumption that rising CO2 means rising temperatures have got it wrong. The formula the BBC uses in its forlorn attempts to counterattack has been familiar ever since its 2008 series Climate Wars. First, a presenter with some scientific credentials comes on, apparently to look impartially at the evidence. Supporters of the cause are allowed to put their case without challenge. Hours of film of climate-change “deniers” are cherrypicked for soundbites that can be shown, out of context, to make them look ridiculous. The presenter can then conclude that the “deniers” are a tiny handful of eccentrics standing out against an overwhelming scientific “consensus”. (Although the legacy media here in the USA are just as bad, our worst offenders are the producers of the series for the Discovery, History, National Geographic, and nature-related channels. Never will you see coverage that presents a balancing view without an almost mocking tone. Never will you be told that 63% of all weather scientists—they're called meteorologists, by the way—have reservations, at a minimum, about accepting the science as "settled"—a term from law, not science—or about accepting global warming as being caused or curable solely or even largely by human activity [see bottom item of page 4 and the top two items of page 5 in this 2010 study by George Mason University (]. Science is not a democratic process with truth being determined by counting votes or by consulting past precedents. When asked how many scientists it would take to disprove his Theory of General Relativity, Albert Einstein replied: "One, of course." Ron P.)

Climate Change: Sir Paul Nurse's Big Boo Boo
Excerpt: (Comment): Using the stats, as the Cap mentioned, can work either way. I have tried to explain this before as does Lee Gerhard below. He summarises the true situation on warming/ cooling with some more good sense from Rob Davis and Paul Reiter: USA - Dr. Lee C. Gerhard, UN IPCC expert reviewer, past director and State Geologist with the Kansas Geological Society and a senior scientist emeritus of the University of Kansas. "I never fully accepted or denied the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) concept until the furor started after [NASA's James] Hansen's wild claims in the late 1980's. I went to the scientific literature to study the basis of the claim, starting at first principles. My studies then led me to believe that the claims were false, they did not correlate with recorded human history." "Depending on the period in earth's history that is chosen, the climate will either be warming or cooling. Choosing whether earth is warming or cooling is simply a matter of picking end points.”

Giffords receives treatment denied to US troops
Excerpt: As U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords begins rehabilitative therapy in Houston after being shot in the head in Tucson earlier this month, nonprofit news organization ProPublica reported. The news outlet added that because of the Pentagon’s health care program, thousands of U.S. troops who have suffered brain injuries in the line of duty have not been able to receive the same treatment. Dr. John Holcomb, a retired Army colonel and trauma surgeon at Memorial Hermann, has described Giffords’ treatment as a “tailored and comprehensive rehab plan” that includes “speech, cognitive [and] physical rehabilitation,” ProPublica reported on its website. If Giffords does end up receiving it, she’ll be getting a treatment that many troops don’t, ProPublica said. The Pentagon’s health program, Tricare, has refused to cover cognitive rehabilitation therapy for the tens of thousands of service members who have suffered brain injuries in the line of duty. Tricare, which provides insurance-style coverage to troops and many veterans, does cover speech and occupational therapy, which are often part of cognitive rehabilitation.

The case for mercenaries in Somalia
Excerpt: In 1969, as a member of the presidential commission appointed to consider replacing the draft with an all-volunteer military, the great University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman had a famous exchange with General William Westmoreland, the US commander in Vietnam. Westmoreland strongly supported the draft, and told the commission that he didn't want to command an army of mercenaries. "General," Friedman interrupted, "would you rather command an army of slaves?" Replied Westmoreland indignantly, "I don't like to hear our patriotic draftees referred to as slaves." Friedman shot back: "I don't like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries." The economist pressed his point. "If they are mercenaries," he told Westmoreland, "then I, sir, am a mercenary professor, and you, sir, are a mercenary general; we are served by mercenary physicians, we use a mercenary lawyer, and we get our meat from a mercenary butcher." What brings that colloquy to mind is a report in the New York Times that the government of Somalia is being urged to hire Saracen International, "a controversial South African mercenary firm," to protect Somali officials and help fight pirates and Islamic militants. Erik Prince, the former US Navy SEAL who created Blackwater Worldwide, another private military firm, has been involved in brokering the arrangement (precisely how, the Times noted, "remains unclear.") The story was headlined "Blackwater Founder Said to Back Mercenaries," and its disapproving tone was hard to miss. (Mercenaries are often thought of as murderers-for-hire, and of course in the flow of history, some have more or less fit that description. But not all by a long shot. Professional soldiers doing a job with all the control and rules of professionalism can do and have done in the past very good work that brought about a good end. Personally, I think we would benefit from having an American Foreign Legion, recruiting people from wherever in the world, given good training and US officers in command. Decent pay, life and disability insurance too, and the cost to taxpayers would still be less than it is for our own military. But this will not happen. In any case, I hope they manage to put together a force that will go in and kick ass/take names, and bring some sort of stability to Somalia. And wipe out the pirates while they're at it. –Del)

BBC Running Sanitized Clip of Female Genital Mutilation Happening Now in the UK

Have American Teachers Moved 'To the Left' of Obama?
Excerpt: It seems like a strange time to “move to the left.” But it seems to be happening nonetheless. Since his self-confessed “shellacking” in last November’s election, much has been said about how President Obama’s rhetoric has shifted to the philosophical “right.” Gone are the pejorative remarks about how Americans must stop consuming more than their “fair share” of the earth’s resources, and the scolding of oil and pharmaceutical companies for earning “record profits” (the President would probably be thrilled if any American business were to set profit records today). “In” are the kinds of comments that are typical of an American President. Mr. Obama recently announced that he wants to embrace “Thomas Edison’s principles,” and that he desires for Americans to “invent stuff” and “make stuff.” He has even stated that he wants to open-up more foreign markets so American companies can sell more of their products and services globally. Indeed, the past few weeks have seen a dramatic change in the President who spent two years bowing to foreign heads of state, and lamenting America’s superpower status. But while the President and most of America have moved to the right, big labor doesn’t even seem willing to move the center. In fact, some unions that represent America’s public school teachers seem to have moved further towards the philosophical “left,” even as state and local governments struggle with debt and deficits, and in some cases, the threat of bankruptcy.

Outwitting Lethal Government Policies
Excerpt: Over the past fifty years, at least a half-million Americans, and perhaps many more, have died prematurely due to ill-designed and badly executed liberal programs. The causes, as I reveal in detail in Death by Liberalism, range from the criminal justice "reforms" of the 1960s, which triggered a crime wave that that killed up to 268,000 Americans, to government-mandated fuel standards responsible for up to 125,000 lives. At least a thousand people are murdered each year by the derelict insane, with many deinstitutionalized lunatics dying as well, giving us a total of as many as 70,000 deaths. The number of deaths of children under the "protection" of state child care agencies is unknown (largely concealed by "privacy" laws) but must total in the thousands. (Twenty-one children died in this manner last year in Los Angeles County alone.) All this strikes very close to home. There are few families that have not suffered a death from one of these causes over the last half-century. It's horrifying to consider that our lives are threatened by the actions of our own government, but we must consider it or risk becoming victims. How do we protect ourselves against democide? (How about the tens of millions who died from banning DDT, over-throwing the Shah, establishing Mugabe in Zimbabwe or the slaughter that followed the communist victory in SE Asia? All the result of liberal chimeras. ~Bob.)

Clarice's Pieces: She Wouldn't Hurt a Fly
Excerpt: This week, Glenn Beck called [Frances Fox] Piven out on her advocacy of violence. In response, the New York Times, a group that has amusingly chosen to call itself the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the American Sociological Association have attacked Beck for daring to take her at her word. Now, with Piven exposed to a broader audience than usual as a firebrand who holds views dangerous to democratic life, her friends have dolled her up in widow's weeds (her equally radical husband, Richard Cloward, died in 2001) and noted her age (78) to distract us from her work. They want us to think, as did Psycho's Norman Bates channeling his long-dead mother, that "[t]hey'll see and they'll know and they'll say, 'Why she wouldn't even harm a fly.'" Stanley Kurtz at NRO; Ann Althouse, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin who has her own blog site; and the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto have taken the lead in this fight to expose Piven and her defenders.

IFAK First Aid
Excerpt: Training today is really amazing, covering lots of things in depth that people never used to see until on the ground and in the fight. And it's made our guys the best professional soldiers on the planet. Below is one video that I found fascinating. It's great that we have lots of creative people using modern resources and methods to give our guys as much preparation for the real thing as is humanly possible. –Del

Is there any politician (besides Allen West of course) who will stand against Islam?
Excerpt: Some of us first started getting a bad feeling about Christie when we heard his wishy-washy comments about the Ground Zero Mosque — which were especially disturbing since so many New Jerseyans died in the Twin Towers on 9/11. But we liked Christie so much that we tried to overlook it. Unfortunately, Christie’s Muslim-coddling comments look even worse now, in the light of recent revelations about Christie’s associations with radical Islamists.

The 10 families costing Britain 1 Million Pounds a Year in Housing Benefit Alone
Excerpt: The Nur's house was on the market for 1,050 pounds a week, but rent has been set at 2,000 pounds - the maximum under housing benefit rules. [There used to be inspections of rental properties by government officials to ascertain the 'fair rent' but apparently no longer. - Kate]

Classic Countermoonbattery from Ronaldus Maximus
Excerpt: 2011 marks two great centennials: the adoption of the M1911 by the US Army (acknowledged recently) and the birth of the heroic countermoonbat Ronald Reagan, which will be acknowledged throughout the year, starting with this.

Grooming of Girls by Asian Gangs Fuelled by Unhappy Arranged Marriages to Cousins Claims Muslim Peer
Excerpt: Studies have shown that 55 per cent of British Pakistanis marry their first cousins, usually from abroad. In Bradford, the figure is as high as 75 per cent. Although marriages between first cousins is lawful in Britain, it is frowned upon by many who see it as a form of incest. In America, the practice is illegal in 30 states. First-cousin marriages among other British Muslim groups such as Bangladeshis or Indians are less prevalent. Earlier this month, two ringleaders of a Pakistani gang in Derby were given indeterminate jail terms for grooming 26 white girls aged between 12 and 18 after plying them with alcohol and drugs. Mohammed Liaqat, 28, and Abid Saddique, 27, were jailed for a minimum of 11 and eight years respectively for charges which included rape. Both had wives through arranged marriages and had young children with them. In Rotherham, a gang of five Asian men were jailed in November for grooming white girls as young as 12.

Obama swaps Iraq and Afghanistan
Bad teleprompter! No biscuit! But, really, should people be pilloried for the kind of mis-speak we all do? Okay, sure, the press does that to Republicans like Bush, but is it fair? ~Bob. Excerpt: Hit with a tough question about his administration’s policy in Afghanistan and Iraq on Thursday, President Obama made a muddled mess out of his plans for withdrawing troops from the region. Obama swapped “Iraq” for “Afghanistan” when he answered a question on YouTube about whether he still believes soldiers need to die in the wars there. “As I said, we will be out of Afghanistan by the end of this year,” Obama said, a fairly significant misstatement of his administration’s Afghanistan policy, which doesn’t call for a troop withdrawal until 2014.

Turkey: Islamic supremacists enraged over realistic TV portrayal of Suleiman the Magnificent
Excerpt: Reality is always inconvenient for them. Remember, "slander" in Islamic law refers not to telling untruths about someone, but to saying something about someone else that he doesn't want known, even if it's true. That sums up the whole Islamic apologetic enterprise in the West, as well as the rage over this TV series.

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