Open Season On Christians In Egypt

With Mubarak no longer in power to keep the social lid on, Egypt’s Muslim majority is doing what it does best, practicing their religion of peace and tolerance by attacking and killing Christians and burning down their churches.

Christians: Egypt allows attacks

Egypt’s Coptic church blasted authorities Monday for allowing repeated attacks on Christians with impunity as the death toll from a night of rioting rose to 26, most of them Christians staging a peaceful protest in Cairo over an attack on a church.

The spiritual leader of the Coptic Christian minority, Pope Shenouda III, declared three days of mourning, praying and fasting for the victims, starting today. He also presided over funerals for some of the Christians who were killed. Sunday’s sectarian violence was the worst in Egypt since the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February.

The clashes Sunday night raged over a large section of downtown Cairo and drew in Christians, Muslims and security forces. The violence began when about 1,000 Christian protesters tried to stage a peaceful sit-in outside the government-run television building along the Nile in downtown Cairo. The protesters said they were attacked with sticks, and the violence then spiraled out of control after a speeding military vehicle jumped onto a sidewalk and hit some of the Christians.

There was no breakdown available of how many Christians and Muslims were among the victims, but the 26 are believed to be mostly Christian. Officials said at least three soldiers were among the dead. Nearly 500 people were injured. Egypt’s official news agency said dozens have been arrested.

See also:
Anger boils over church attack in Egypt, at least 24 killed
Row over Coptic village church puts Egypt on edge
Christian, Muslim clashes rock Cairo
After Deadly Clashes, Egypt’s Christians On Edge
Egypt Violence Piles Pressure on Army to Hand Over Power Faster
Analysis: Situation only getting worse for Egypt’s Christians
The Copts Will Fight But they won’t win
Egypt’s Anti-Christian Violence: How Things Got So Bad
Vatican treads carefully on Egyptian violence
Siddiqui: Chill breeze in Arab Spring
Egypt riots reveal brutal reality behind ‘Arab Spring’

Remember, Obama and Hillary Clinton publicly called for Mubarak’s ouster and hailed the Egyptian “revolution” as an exercise in free democracy. Well, how’s that working out?

/also notice that, now that Christians are being killed in the streets and their churches burned down, Obama and Clinton are silent and nowhere to be found regarding the ongoing persecution by Muslims

Flight Of The Jew Haters

Oh boy, look at the pernicious useful idiots chanting “free Palestine” which, as their “Palestinian friends” define the phrase, means the destruction of Israel.

Israel Blocks Pro-Palestinian Activists’ ‘Fly-In’ Attempt

Israel has blocked an attempt by international activists to organize a high-profile, humanitarian visit to Palestinians in the West Bank.

More than 200 pro-Palestinian activists in Europe were barred from boarding flights to Tel Aviv, after Israel sent a blacklist. Israeli authorities warned foreign airlines that activists were planning anti-Israel protests and disruptions at the airport and they would not be allowed into the country.

Some activists who managed to arrive in Israel were detained and face deportation.

Police said the 20 activists who made it to Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, arrived from Switzerland, to be detained by security forces who were expected to expel them.

See also:
Israel blocks pro-Palestinian ‘flytilla’ activists
Pro-Palestinian ‘flytilla’ stopped at airports by Israeli security
Yishai commends “Flightilla” security forces at airport
Israel blocks flights to prevent Palestinian gathering
Israel blocks some activists, deports others
UPDATE 2-Israel orders pro-Palestinian air passengers deported
65 pro-Palestinian ‘fly-in’ activists transferred to detention facilities
Activists on ‘Air Flotilla’ prefer arrest to deportation
Activists Test Israel’s Policy on Territories
Israel’s no-go to pro-Palestinian activists
Who’s behind the ‘flytilla’?

Humanitarian mission my ass. How is chanting anti-Israel slogans and waving anti-Israel protest signs at an airport “humanitarian?

/the only reason they did this, pure and simple, is to hate on the Jews

Springtime For Taliban

Here we go again.

Taliban declares ‘spring offensive’

The Taliban has announced the launch of a spring offensive against foreign troops in Afghanistan as well as Afghan security forces and government officials.

Saturday’s declaration comes a day after high-ranking US military officers predicted such a move from the group.

Dubbed the “Badar” offensive, the fresh onslaught “will target foreign forces, high-ranking officials of President Hamid Karzai’s government, members of the cabinet and lawmakers, as well as the heads of foreign and local companies working for the NATO-led coalition,” the Taliban said in a statement.

See also:
Taliban warns of spring offensive
Afghanistan: Taliban announce spring offensive
Taliban declares start to spring offensive in Afghanistan
Afghan Taliban: Surge to Begin Sunday
Taliban militants declare new offensive
Taliban announce spring offensive in Afghanistan
Taliban announce beginning of its ‘spring offensive’
NATO dismisses Taliban offensive as propaganda
Afghan Taliban declare start to spring offensive
Taliban declare start of spring offensive
Taliban announce beginning of spring offensive; NATO downplays it

Let’s hope that our troops have rules of engagement that allow them to actually engage and kill the enemy or at least be allowed to carry loaded weapons to defend themselves.

/what a hellhole, is it still even worth being there?

Easter, Chinese Commie Style

Just a reminder, China is not a free country.

China seizes Christians in Easter raid

Dozens of Chinese Christians were arrested on Sunday when police prevented an evangelical Protestant church from holding its Easter Sunday service, as the state continued its attack on protests against one-party rule.

Security forces clashed with followers of a growing underground Protestant movement that was blocked from moving into a new meeting hall near Beijing, leading to three weeks of confrontation with the communist authorities.

Worshippers from the Shouwang, or “watch tower”, church were taken away in buses, some defiantly singing hymns. Church leaders had issued a “fire and brimstone” cry for the congregation to worship outside the building even if it meant arrest and prosecution.

See also:
China detains Protestant Shouwang devotees
China Cracks Down on Would-be Easter Congregants
Chinese police detain dozens at site of banned Easter service
China Overreaches in Crackdown on Christians
Chinese Christians face tense Easter in Beijing
China Detains Christians and Blocks Easter Service
Freedom to celebrate Easter
Chinese Christians held at Easter service: church
Cops foil Beijing church’s Easter plans
China -Shouwang devotees Arrested for Planned Easter Service
Chinese police detain Christians on Easter

Freedom of religion is a cornerstone of basic human rights.

/the Chinese communist totalitarian bastards are not our friends

Oman Circling The Drain

We can now add Oman to the ever growing list of teetering or toppled Muslim country governments that already includes; Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain, and Libya.

Oman clashes: Two killed during protests in Gulf state

Two people have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters in the Gulf state of Oman, witnesses and officials said.

Hundreds had gathered for a second day in the industrial city of Sohar to call for political reforms.

At least five people were said to have been wounded when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

Until now, Oman had mostly been spared the unrest which has affected other Arab states in recent months.

Demonstrations are also taking place in the southern town of Salalah, according to Reuters news agency.

See also:
Protests turn violent in Oman port
Deaths in Oman protests
Middle East unrest spreads to Oman
Oman shuffles cabinet amid protests
Oman police clash with protesters
Two Killed In Oman As Protesters Clash With Security Forces
Clashes Between Police, Protesters Kill 2 in Oman
Anti-Govt. Clashes Kill 2, Injures 5 in Oman
Protesters clash with police in Oman
Two dead as Oman police move to quell protests
Police station, state office burning in Oman town
Six killed in Oman protests on Sunday: government hospital
Factbox: Facts about Oman

Oman is yet another country in political turmoil that borders Saudi Arabia. If this unrest consumes Saudi Arabia, all world economic hell will break loose and you can expect to pay a lot more for a gallon of gas. Will the Saudis be able to keep the wave of regional ant-government rebellion from splashing across her borders?

/we probably won’t have to wait long to find out, youth groups and workers in that country now calling for a “day of rage” demonstration in the capital, Riyadh, on March 11th

Libya Circling The Drain

The anti-government fever that has so far infected Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, and Bahrain, has now spread to Libya.

Protesters die in Libya unrest

At least two people have been killed in clashes between Libyan security forces and demonstrators in the town of Bayda, east of Benghazi, the second largest city, as activists plan major anti-government protests throughout the country on Thursday.

The victims’ names were: Khaled ElNaji Khanfar and Ahmad Shoushaniya.

Wednesday’s deaths come as hundreds of protesters have reportedly torched police outposts in the eastern city of Beyida, while chanting: “People want the end of the regime.”

At least 38 people were also injured in the clashes, including ten security officials.

“All the people of Beyida are out on the streets,” said 25-year-old Rabie al-Messrati, who said he had been arrested after spreading a call for protests on Facebook.

Inspired by popular and successful uprisings in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, Libyan protesters are seeking an end to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year-old rule, one of the longest and most repressive leaders in the world.

Online calls of dissent have been growing rapidly over the past few days, with Facebook groups calling for “Uprising on February 17” doubling in popularity.

See also:
Protests flare as Libya arrests activists
Protests Spread To Libya
Anti-government protests spread to Gaddafi’s Libya
Gadhafi next? Anti-government protests spread to Libya
Rioting hits Libyan city of Benghazi
Libyan police stations torched
‘Day of rage’ to confront Libya’s Gadhafi
Libyan online protesters prepare for “day of rage”
Gaddafi sweats as protest fever reaches Libya
As ‘day of rage’ tests Gadhafi, Libya’s future rests in military’s hands
Gadhafi’s regime is braced for a day of anger
Libyans Plan Rallies After One Is Quashed
Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured
Libyan forces take action against demonstrators
Protesters, Police Clash In Libya
Riots spread across Libya overnight
SNAP ANALYSIS-Riots break out in Libyan city of Benghazi
Unrest continues to sweep Arab world

So, now the street chaos has come to Libya. Well, here’s one country where I can, in good conscience, heartily root for the rioters. If anyone in this world deserves to be dragged through the streets, it’s Muammar Gaddafi. We still owe him big time for Lockerbie.

/of course, the rioters will first have to fight their way past Gaddafi’s infamous Amazonian Guard

Bahrain Circling The Drain

So far, we’ve had anti-government unrest in Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Algeria. Add Bahrain to the ever growing list.

Protesters take over square in U.S. ally Bahrain

Thousands of demonstrators poured into the symbolic center of this key U.S. ally late Tuesday in a raucous rally that again demonstrated the power of popular movements that are transforming the political landscape of the Middle East.

. . .

In Bahrain, the small but strategically important monarchy experienced the now familiar sequence of events that has rocked the Arab world. What started as an online call for a “Day of Rage” progressed within 24 hours to an exuberant group of demonstrators waving flags, setting up tents and taking over a square in the heart of the capital city.

Tuesday began in sorrow and violence, when mourners who gathered to bury a young man, killed the night before by police, clashed again with the security forces. In Tuesday’s melee, a second young man was killed by police.

But as momentum built up behind the protests Tuesday, 18 members of parliament from the opposition Islamic National Accord Association announced they were suspending participation in the parliament.

See also:
Thousands of protesters march to Bahrain capital
In Bahrain, protesters bridge Sunni-Shiite divide to challenge monarchy
Bahrain’s Shiite Protesters Gather as Unrest Spreads
Bahrain Protests Update [VIDEOS]
Bahrain Demonstrators Gather Despite Crackdown
Antigovernment Protesters Seize Main Square In Bahrain
Protesters take control of main square in Bahrain
Pearl Roundabout, Bahrain
Angry protest follows second death in Bahrain
Another killed in Bahrain as funeral for fallen protester devolves into clashes
Bahrain mourner killed in funeral march clash
Bahrain Protests Swell With Second Death, Tear Gas at Funeral
Bahrain protest deaths point to excessive force
Bahrain protests: King announces probe into two deaths
US expresses concern over Bahrain unrest
UPDATE 2-US concerned by violence in Bahrain protests
US ‘very concerned’ by violence in Bahrain protests

Country to country it spreads, where it will stop, all the regional despots dread. The fact that Bahrain’s now in play is somewhat unnerving for at least two reasons. First, the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain. The Fifth Fleet strategically controls the entire region and somehow having the command displaced from Bahrain would be a humiliating military disaster. Also, the unrest is now sweeping into countries that border Saudi Arabia. If Saudi Arabia were to descend into political chaos, Western oil supplies would be threatened and oil prices would skyrocket.

/although, I must admit, after all their years of financing worldwide terrorism, I wouldn’t shed many tears if the Saudi royal oil ticks were being dragged through the streets of Riyadh

Prices Double, Will There Be Trouble?

Will the sticker shock of these whopping price increases on life’s basic commodities be the final straw in Iran that breaks the back of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs’ theocratic regime? Are international economic sanctions finally working?

Prices in Iran rise after lifting of subsidies

The Iranian government’s removal of decades-old subsidies for food and energy in an attempt to boost its troubled economy has spurred price increases on everything from fruit and vegetables to gasoline, generated work stoppages and emboldened the political opposition.

In Tehran, the nation’s capital, taxi fares that officially were to rise by 10% shot much higher as drivers imposed their own price increases. Some truckers across the country refused to work, complaining of government threats to revoke their permits if they raised their prices to offset higher fuel costs.

Crews on ferry boats operating between Bandar Abbas port and Qeshm island in the Persian Gulf temporarily stopped working, complaining that the ticket prices set by the government had not gone up despite a four-fold increase in the price of fuel, the Mehr news agency reported.

The austerity measures, though long anticipated, have brought mounting public anger since they began Sunday. Government critics contend that they will hurt people with modest incomes while leaving the wealthy unscathed.

. . .

Already, the prices of produce, diesel, gasoline, cooking oil, water and bread have risen dramatically. In downtown Tehran, the price of a loaf of brick-oven bread doubled overnight to 40 cents. Security forces have been deployed around the country in case public frustration boils over into civil unrest.

See also:
Iran Braces for Backlash as Subsidies Nixed
Iran deploys police as gas, food prices go up
Police in Iran streets as subsidies are cut
Subsidy reforms threaten legitimacy of Ahmadinejad
Iran opposition: ‘Dark future’ awaits the economy
Iran doubles price of bread with subsidy cut
Fuel prices in Iran rise as latest subsidy reforms begin
Ahmadinejad cuts Iranian subsidies, quadrupling the price of gas
Prices to soar as Iran cuts subsidies

Now, if your food prices doubled and your gas prices quadrupled overnight by order of your government, wouldn’t you be a bit upset? Of course, the big question is whether the Iranian opposition can harness all this public frustration and whip it up into the overthrow of the Iranian regime, or will the Iranian regime, once again, crush the opposition and brutally repress the public anger?

You know, it would be nice if the Obama administration was paying attention here and seized this opportunity to support the Iranian opposition, unlike the last time there was a popular uprising in Iran, after the last Iranian elections, when Obama and the rest of his foreign policy Clown Posse basically ignored the Iranian opposition’s pleas for help.

/then again, Obama’s on vacation and heaven forbid that Lord Slacker should have to interrupt his vacation to help some peons in another country, far far way, it’s golfing time!

Intifada At Isfahan

Iran protests intensify, prompting state of emergency in Isfahan

Iran security forces and opposition protesters stepped up clashes on Wednesday in the city of Isfahan, the birthplace of Iran’s top dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. Montazeri’s death this past weekend, and the rituals marking his passing, coincide with a new push by regime opponents during a 10-day religious commemoration.

The government has responded by harassing two reformist clerics who could replace Montazeri, as well as stripping the opposition’s top political figure – Mir Hossein Mousavi – of his sole official post.

In Isfahan, pro-regime basiji militiamen used batons, chains, and stones to beat mourners who gathered at the city’s main mosque to remember Montazeri, the spiritual mentor of the Iranian opposition, whose websites reported the clashes.

“While people were reciting the Quran [in the mosque], plainclothed forces attacked them and threw tear gas into the mosque yard and sprayed those inside with pepper spray after they closed the doors,” reported the reformist Parlemannews. “They severely beat the people inside,” then doused the clerical speaker with pepper spray and arrested him.

“Tens of thousands gathered outside for the memorial but were savagely attacked by security forces and the basijis,” witness Farid Salavati told the Associated Press. He said that dozens were injured as riot police and vigilantes clubbed and kicked men and women alike – some in the face – and arrested 50 people who had gathered to mourn the grand ayatollah.

Montazeri – the chosen successor of Iran’s first supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, until a falling out in 1989 – had been unrelenting in his criticism of the officially declared reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last June, as well as of Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“Khamenei is a murderer, his rule is invalid,” protesters shouted on Wednesday, referring to violence since June, in which severe force has been used against Iranians who marched to reverse the official result. They wanted to see the “Green Movement” presidential candidate, Mr. Mousavi, elected. Scores died in June and thousands were arrested; protests have flared repeatedly around the nation since then.

In Isfahan, the clashes on Wednesday portend more violence, as protesters and pro-government forces alike prepare for the religious peak of the Shiite calendar, Ashura, which falls on Sunday. By the end of the day on Wednesday, it was reported that the governor had announced a state of emergency and reportedly called in the military for help.

“The regime has no alternative but to try to block the commemorations of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, because it has been state policy to demote him,” says Mehrdad Khonsari of the Center for Arab and Iranian Studies in London. “But given the events of the last six months, this only aggravates the situation [and] becomes a catalyst for more protests and is counter-productive.

“Every demonstration is a dress rehearsal for the next demonstration. Once Ashura is over next week, there will be more demonstrations,” says Mr. Khonsari. “The fact is there is no likelihood that these protests are going to come to an end anytime soon.”

See also:
Police, protesters clash in southern Iran
Iran forces clash with cleric’s mourners: websites
Iran: unrest reported in Isfahan
Iran warns that it will deal ‘fiercely’ with protesters
Iran security forces clash with protesters in Isfahan
Iranian security forces suppress new wave of opposition protests in Isfahan
Isfahan beset by violence
Iran behaves increasingly like a ‘police state’: US
Iran Beats Mourners, Signaling Harder Line
Esfahan / Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center N32°40′ E51°40′
Esfahan (Isfahan) Nuclear Technology Center
Could This Be A Tipping Point?

It looks like this coming weekend might be shaping up as the largest nationwide Iranian opposition protest yet and, judging by recent events, it could also be the bloodiest. I can only hope, especially after reading this, that all the Green Movement pain won’t be in vain and these protests eventually reach the point of no return, critical mass, the overthow of the Iranian mullahs, regime change.

/Go Green!

Could This Be A Tipping Point?

Clashes Erupt at Reformist Cleric’s Funeral

Hundreds of thousands of Iranian mourners, including opposition leaders and influential senior clerics, attended the funeral of the country’s top dissident cleric in the holy city of Qom on Monday, turning the event into one of the largest antiregime protests the city has seen in three decades.

The funeral procession of Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, one of the regime’s harshest critics, began peacefully. But opposition protesters used the charged event to chant against Iran’s leaders, and security forces and riot police responded by attacking mourners with shoes, stones and tear gas, according to news reports and videos circulating on the Internet.

On Sunday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a condolence message for the deceased cleric, a founding architect of the Islamic Republic, who fell out with the regime in the late 1980s. Mr. Khamenei offered his regrets but pointed out that Mr. Montazeri had strayed from the ideals of the 1979 revolution.

When the message was read to mourners in Qom on Monday, many jumped up and down, booing and screaming “Khamenei is a murderer. His leadership is finished,” according to videos posted to opposition Web sites and to YouTube.

By nightfall, Mr. Montazeri’s house was under siege by security services, his son Ahmad told the BBC’s Farsi-language service. Mr. Montazeri’s family canceled a memorial service planned that evening at a mosque in Qom, according to a statement issued by his son and posted on opposition Web sites.

“We received word that Basij and Revolutionary Guards have entered the mosque and are waiting for us with batons,” Ahmad Montazeri wrote.

Authorities have banned press coverage of the event. Iranian Web sites that posted accounts have reported reliably on protests in the past, and videos posted on YouTube match their accounts.

The BBC’s Persian service, a source of news for many Iranians, was jammed Sunday, knocking it off air inside Iran, the British Broadcasting Corp. said.

Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, as well as Mr. Khamenei’s brother, Hadi, who is also a critic of the regime, attended the funeral.

Mr. Mousavi’s Web site, Kalameh, reported that his car came under attack on his return trip to Tehran, and a bodyguard was injured, but Mr. Mousavi was unharmed.

The opposition called for the grand ayatollahs of Qom, Iran’s highest clerical officials, to call for a national day of mourning Tuesday to protest what the opposition called the insulting way the government security forces treated mourners in Qom.

Qom serves as the spiritual capital of Iran’s ruling clerics. A dusty city in the desert plains south of Tehran, it is dotted with turquoise minarets and golden domes, and has been instrumental in shaping Iran’s politics for the past century.

Analysts said Monday’s massive protests in Qom and the presence of high-profile grand ayatollahs in the funeral ceremonies elevated the opposition’s profile, further denting the credibility of Mr. Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“Mr. Khamenei’s legitimacy was questioned in Qom today, and that is a significant blow to the regime. It will be extremely hard to recover from this,” said Mohamad Javad Akbarein, a former cleric from Qom and a Shiite scholar now living in Beirut.

Mr. Montazeri was once in line to succeed the founder of the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, as supreme leader. But he fell out with the regime and became one of its highest-profile critics. In recent months, a protest movement ignited by contested June 12 elections adopted the frail cleric as its spiritual leader.

Opposition leaders, including Messrs. Mousavi and Karroubi and their supporters, accused Mr. Ahmadinejad of stealing the June vote, which the government denies. Over months of protests since, demonstrations have veered from protesting the elections and its results to denouncing the regime itself.

See also:
Iranian Mourners Swarm Qom for Montazeri’s Funeral
Report: Large turnout for Iran cleric’s funeral
Protests mark funeral of Hossein Ali Montazeri
Iran’s Ayatollah Montazeri buried in Qom amid protests
Iran: ‘clashes’ at Montazeri funeral
Iran funeral ends with anti-govt slogans -website
Popular dissident Hossein Ali Montazeri mourned in Iran
Iran’s Mousavi In Qom For Cleric’s Funeral – Website
Mousavi Motorcade Attacked Amid Iran Clashes
Some Iranians Arrested on Way to Funeral – Website
YouTube Offers Glimpse of Funeral Scene in Qom
IRAN: Video of dissident cleric’s funeral ceremony
Filling Montazeri’s shoes in Iran
The Conservative Dissident: Hosein-Ali Montazeri
Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, R.I.P.
Death of a cleric, but not of a movement
Iran: What the death of dissident cleric Montazeri means for opposition
Iran opposition energized by Montazeri funeral in Qom, say eyewitnesses
The Difference One Ayatollah Might Make
The Peoples’ Revolt in Iran

/let’s hope someone in the Obama administration is paying attention, we should be actively supporting the Iranian opposition, it’s a much better option than a military strike