Syria Circling The Drain

So far, we’ve seen varying degrees of serious Muslim unrest in Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain, Libya, and Oman. Now, it appears that Syria is also on the verge of descending into chaos.

Thousands continue protests in Syria

Thousands of people took to the streets in the southern city of Dara, chanting “Syria, Freedom,” a day after a deadly crackdown on protests there, human rights activists said.

The demonstrations Thursday occurred at the funerals for some of those killed when government forces opened fire on protesters the previous day. Initial reports put the death toll at 15, but Reuters news agency, citing a hospital source, said more than 25 people were killed.

. . .

No additional violence was reported Thursday, but human rights activists said a number of Syrian writers and journalists who reported on the unrest in Dara had been arrested.

. . .

Presidential advisor Bouthaina Shaaban pledged to consider ending the emergency law in place since 1963 that has allowed the government to detain anyone without a warrant or a trial.

She said the government was also drafting a law that would allow political parties other than the ruling Baath party to operate, and loosen restrictions on news media. She also promised wage increases and health insurance for public servants.

But the human rights activists noted that the promises were not binding and pledged to move forward with their plans for Friday protests.

See also:
Syria’s Bashar al-Assad faces most serious unrest of his tenure
The Syrian revolt
Syria: patience of people running thin
Thousands Protest At Syrian Funerals
Thousands of Syrians chant “freedom” at Deraa mosque
Reports of bloodbath in Syria
Syrian Police Kill at Least 15 Protesters
Syria changes tack, promises reform
Syria offers reforms to calm violence
Syria crisis: Can reforms appease protesters?
Obama administration condemns Syria crackdown
2011 Syrian protests

Like Libya, here’s another revolt that I can heartily root for. Bashar al-Assad has buckets of American and Israeli blood on his hands and I would thoroughly enjoy watching his corpse being dragged through the streets. Tomorrow’s planned Day of Rage, after Friday prayers, could be a tipping point as to whether the Syrian government will fall or brutally repress the protesters. Stay tuned.

/of course, the Muslim country government that I would most like to see circle the drain is the Iranian regime, directly responsible for well over 90% of all the terrorism on the planet, maybe, hopefully, soon

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Egypt Votes, But For What Exactly?

Egypt had a free and fair vote to amend the Egyptian constitution, that’s a good thing, right? Not so fast.

Egypt Approves Amendments

Egyptians voted in overwhelming numbers to approve a set of constitutional amendments, setting the stage for Egypt’s first truly contested parliamentary and presidential elections in decades.

Saturday’s historic referendum on the amendments saw millions of enthusiastic Egyptians wait patiently for hours to cast ballots in what for almost everyone was a novelty—a vote in which the result wasn’t effectively predetermined.

The largely peaceful and fraud-free vote was a marked contrast to past elections and a glimpse of how much has changed in Egypt in the weeks since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down amid widespread unrest, ending decades of single-party, autocratic rule.

Yet Saturday’s referendum also offered early clues into the rifts likely to shape Egyptian politics in the coming months and years. Many of the largely secular liberals who led the revolution that ousted Mr. Mubarak were opposed to the amendments, strongly suggesting the protest leaders have fallen out of sync with the vast majority of Egyptians.

Protest leaders criticized the amendments as part of a rushed and problematic timeline for establishing democracy; approving the changes started the clock on a race they said they are unprepared to run because they are still setting up parties.

Almost alone among the political groups in support of the amendments were the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group outlawed under Mr. Mubarak, and the National Democratic Party, the former president’s ruling party. Both hope to capitalize on their already strong organizations in summer elections for parliament, which will then be charged with writing an entirely new constitution.
. . .

Journalists covering the announcement abandoned any pretenses of objectivity and yelled “Allahu Akbar!”—”God is Great!”—when the tallies were read out by officials.

See also:
How Egypt’s historic referendum could now bolster Islamists
Big majority vote for constitutional changes in Egypt
Egypt Backs Constitutional Changes That May Aid Brotherhood, Mubarak Party
Egypt: Constitution changes pass in referendum
Egyptians approve constitutional amendments in referendum
Egyptians overwhelmingly approve constitutional changes
Egyptians set for summer elections
Egyptian voters say ‘yes’ to speedy elections
Egypt’s Historic Referendum: Rushed But Moving
Egypt referendum results: 77.2 per cent say ‘Yes’ to the amendments
Egypt approves amendments, prepares for next step
Egyptians get taste of democracy in post-Mubarak era
Egyptians approve constitutional changes, clearing way for elections

Egypt has zero recent history of democracy or diverse political parties. So, obviously, whatever groups are already the most organized will benefit the most from the early elections just approved. And what’s the most organized group in Egypt? The Muslim Brotherhood. What happens if the Muslim Brotherhood comes to dominate the democratically elected parliament after this summer’s elections and, therefore, gets to write the new Egyptian constitution?

/it could very well turn out to be “one man, one vote, one time

Our Friends The Pakistanis

Once again, Pakistan proves that they are far from being a trustworthy ally.

CIA chief in Pakistan flees after suspected ISI exposure

The Islamabad station chief of the Central Intelligence Agency hastily departed from Pakistan on Thursday after his cover was blown through a suspected deliberate leak by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.

Jonathan Banks was identified as the head of the CIA’s Pakistan office, in a lawsuit filed against the United States’ secretive spy agency by a resident of North Waziristan. The resident, Kareem Khan, was said to have filed the case against the CIA and Mr. Banks for their role in organising drone strikes that killed his son and brother.

The legal case brought by Mr. Khan called for murder charges to be brought against Mr. Banks and the CIA, and also reportedly said they should be executed for their crimes. Mr. Khan’s lawyer was quoted by the Guardian saying he had obtained Mr. Banks’ name from Pakistani journalists.

While Pakistan was quick to deny any involvement in leaking Mr. Banks’ name, U.S. officials were quoted as saying that since he had been identified publicly Mr. Banks “had received a number of death threats,” and they “strongly suspected” that the ISI had a hand in the leak.

See also:
CIA’s Pakistan chief removed
CIA Station Chief, His Cover Blown, Departs Pakistan
Cover Blown: CIA Station Chief in Pakistan Removed From Country
Pakistan Denies Outing US Spy
CIA Withdraws Pakistan Mission Chief
Pakistani spy agency denies it unmasked CIA chief
CIA Pulls Chief Spy From Pakistan
Top U.S. spy pulled from Pakistan after terror threats

Pakistan denies involvement in the leak? Oh, I see, it must have just been a lucky guess that just happened to correctly name the CIA station chief in Islamabad. Seriously, this is the thanks we get for pouring billions of dollars in annual aid down this rat hole? I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask it again, which side is Pakistan really on?

/they’re either with us or against us and, as far as I can tell, Pakistan is against us

Here Comes The Second Wave Of Jew Haters Bent On Jihad Against Israel

******************************UPDATE******************************

Attackers of the IDF soldiers found to be Al Qaeda mercenaries

On board the Mavi Marmara ship that arrived as part of the flotilla to Gaza was a group of approximately 40 people with no identification papers, who are mercenaries belonging to the Al Qaeda terror organization. This was disclosed by the Israeli Security Cabinet, which gathered on Tuesday evening (June 1) for a special meeting.

According to intelligence disclosed during that meeting, the terrorists wore bullet-proof vests, and carried with them night-vision goggles, weapons, and large sums of cash. Each person in this group had the exact same amount of cash in his pockets. While the civilian protestors were sent to the lower deck during the Shayetet Naval Special Force’s interception of the ship, the group divided into cells and remained on the upper deck in order to attack the soldiers.

Shocka!

/”peace flotilla” my ass!

******************************END UPDATE******************************

After last weekend’s incident on board the Mavi Marmara which, unlike the the other five ships in the “peace flotilla”, was the only ship that refused to divert to the port of Ashdod, it’s clear that the “peace activists” aboard the Mavi Marmara weren’t much interested in bringing “much needed humanitarian aid” to Gaza because, as it turns out, there’s no shortage in Gaza of any of the supplies they were transporting. The truth is that, for the most part, those on board the Mavi Marmara were jihadists, comitted to the destruction of Israel, sent by a group with links to Al-Qaeda, with the sole intention of provoking the IDF and hating on the Jews.

A participant: “Right now we face one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza.” [Based on Islamic call before battle: “Either victory or Martyrdom”.]

/Michael Ramirez

But while The Israelis are busy in Ashdod deporting the jihadi Jew haters from the first wave of the armed with weapons “peace flotilla” and sending their unneeded cargo on to Gaza, here comes the second wave of Jew haters, just itching for their turn to provoke the IDF and hate on the Jews!

And what might be the name of their second “peace flotilla” flagship? Wait for it . . . drumroll please . . .

“Introducing the MV Rachel Corrie”

The 1200-ton cargo ship had been abandoned in July 2009, off the coast of Ireland. She was then impounded after an inspection by the International Transport Federation (ITF) discovered her owners had exploited their Lithuanian crewmembers – not paying their wages and subjecting them to humiliating treatment, and they had been left with just one day of food. The 42-year-old MV Linda languished for nine months, waiting in the port of Dundalk for just the right buyer to rescue her. http://www.flickr.com/photos/29205195@N02/

On March 31, 2010, the Free Gaza Movement bought her at auction for €70,000 and will send her to the imprisoned Palestinians of Gaza loaded with cement, paper, and medical equipment, all banned by Israel from this battered and bruised slice of the Mediterranean.

Ah, yes siree Bob, what could possibly be more perfect than a “peace flotilla” flagship named after that internationally famous, peace loving “peace activist” and rabid Jew hater, Rachel Corrie?

Activists on ‘Rachel Corrie’ undeterred by Israeli action

THE DELAYED Free Gaza Movement’s cargo ship Rachel Corrie yesterday assumed a holding position in the eastern Mediterranean, poised to make a fresh attempt to reach Israeli-blockaded Gaza.

Organiser Greta Berlin said the ship was waiting for Challenger II , a small passenger boat which suffered failure of its steering gear while preparing for the passage.

The two vessels, their crews and passengers are undeterred by the Israeli commando operation against the flotilla which cost the lives of nine passengers and climaxed in the detention of the other 679 on board.

The Rachel Corrie , which began its voyage in Ireland, was named after a young US woman killed by an Israeli bulldozer demolishing Palestinian homes in Gaza.

Among those on board are Nobel Prize laureate Mairead Maguire and former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday.

Ms Berlin said the ships would be picking up other human rights activists and journalists before attempting the passage which Israel has vowed to stop.

“Israel can haul the Rachel Corrie into Ashdod as it did the other boats or show goodwill to the world by allowing her to proceed to Gaza,” she stated.

See also:
Irish aid boat holds course towards Gaza despite Israel warning
Aid ship Rachel Corrie still heading for Gaza
Gaza flotilla update: Ireland’s MV Rachel Corrie still headed for Gaza
IPSC: MV Rachel Corrie continues en route to Gaza as all-party Dail motion calls for its safe passage
Irish aid vessel still sailing for Gaza, ‘most serious consequences’ promised if passengers harmed
The Lone Ship of the Freedom Flotilla: The Rachel Corrie MV Continues to Sail Towards Gaza in Defiance of Israeli Threats
Ireland to Israel: Let new aid ship break Gaza blockade
Gaza flotilla ship pays tribute to fallen activist
Rachel Corrie ship sets sail for Gaza
Free Gaza Movement
Free Gaza Movement
The “Humanitarian Relief” Wing of Hamas and Al-Qaeda
Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief
Insani Yardim Vakfi
IHH (İnsani Yardım Vakfı)

Of course, the Rachel Corrie will never make it to Gaza and will end up in Ashdod with the rest of the “peace flotilla”, but the real mission will be nonetheless accomplished, provoke the IDF and hate on the Jews. Islamists, Lefties, and Lefty governments worldwide will be outraged that the Jew haters weren’t allowed to freely run a well publicized, long standing naval blockade of Gaza and condemn Israel for defending herself against weapons smuggling into Gaza, from which Hamas has launched thousands of rockets into Israel. And so it goes, same as it ever was.

/why is the IDF even bothering to try and board these ships after they refuse to stop, whatever happened to the tried and true practice of disabling the rudder and leaving it at that?

Good On Bubba!

Clinton, 2 journalists depart NKorea for US

Former President Bill Clinton brought two freed U.S. journalists out of North Korea early Wednesday following rare talks with reclusive leader Kim Jong Il, who pardoned the women sentenced to hard labor for entering the country illegally.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling were heading back to the U.S. with Clinton, his spokesman Matt McKenna said, less than 24 hours after the former U.S. leader landed in the North Korean capital on a private, humanitarian trip to secure their release.

The women, dressed in short-sleeved shirts and jeans, appeared healthy as they climbed the steps to the plane and shook hands with Clinton before getting into the jet, APTN footage in Pyongyang showed. Clinton waved, put his hand over his heart and then saluted.

North Korean officials waved as the plane took off. McKenna said the flight was bound for Los Angeles, where the journalists will be reunited with their families. The White House had no comment.

Their departure was a jubilant conclusion to a more than four-month ordeal for the women arrested near the North Korean-Chinese border in March while on a reporting trip for Current TV, the media venture founded by former Vice President Al Gore. They were sentenced in June to 12 years of hard labor for illegal entry and engaging in “hostile acts.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had urged North Korea last month to grant them amnesty, saying they were remorseful and their families anguished.

North Korean media characterized the women’s release as proof of “humanitarian and peace-loving policy.”

Their families said they were “overjoyed” by the pardon. Lee, 36, a South Korean-born U.S. citizen, is the mother of a 4-year-old. Ling, a 32-year-old California native, is the younger sister of Lisa Ling, a correspondent for CNN as well as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “National Geographic Explorer.”

Clinton’s landmark trip to Pyongyang also resulted in rare talks with reclusive Kim Jong Il that state-run media described as “wide-ranging” and “exhaustive.” The meeting was Kim’s first with a prominent Western figure since reportedly suffering a stroke nearly a year ago.

While the White House emphasized the private nature of Clinton’s trip, his landmark visit to Pyongyang to free the Americans was a coup that came at a time of heightened tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program.

State media said Clinton apologized on behalf of the women and relayed President Barack Obama’s gratitude. The report said the visit would “contribute to deepening the understanding” between North Korea and the United States.

The meeting also appeared aimed at dispelling persistent questions about the health of the authoritarian North Korean leader, who was said to be suffering from chronic diabetes and heart disease before the reported stroke.

Kim smiled broadly for a photo standing next to a towering Clinton. He was markedly thinner than a year ago, with his graying hair cropped short. The once-pudgy 67-year-old, who for decades had a noticeable pot belly, wore a khaki jumpsuit and appeared frail and diminutive in a group shot seated next to a robust Clinton.

The journalists’ release followed weeks of quiet negotiations between the State Department and the North Korean mission to the United Nations, said Daniel Sneider, associate director of research at Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.

Clinton “didn’t go to negotiate this, he went to reap the fruits of the negotiation,” Sneider said.

See also:
North Korea: 2 US journalists pardoned
Clinton Leaves North Korea With Two Journalists, Spokesman Says
N Korea frees US reporters after Clinton visit
Will nukes creep into Bill Clinton’s North Korea agenda?
Analysis: Obama lets NKorea’s Kim save face
Bill Clinton’s ‘rock star status’ delivers in North Korea
Clinton’s Unwise Trip to North Korea

Thank God the two journalists are free, safe, and on the way home to their families. Oh, and thanks to Bill Clinton too.

/still, you have to wonder exactly what we gave North Korea in return for thei release