Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SSG Jason Arnette: ALWAYS remembered - ALWAYS honoured

SSG Jason Arnette:

Birthday: 11/07/1982
Date of Death: 04/01/2007

...One of Jason's dreams was to be the BEST OF BEST. He pushed himself to do the Best that he could strive for. That is the example he set for all us all. He wanted to go down in the record books being famous. And I guess he got that wish. He will never be Forgotten.

He wrote a letter for my Birthday one year: let me read some of it to you now;

Dear Mom,
So your little man has now grown up. Ready to step in to the world stronger than ever. Just to let you know that you are my motivation with all things, all through life you have made me feel like I am the best at whatever it was I was doing or have done. I want to thank you for loving me the way you do. One thing I will always remember about myself is I always had my mother to keep me safe, I always had your love, and you pushed me along for all things and you would fight for me no matter what. Thank you Mom I will always love you. Love, Your little man Dayday...

From a speech Mom Mickey gave. Go here to read the rest of that post. If you put Jason's name in the search thing, you'll find other columns I have written about Jason.

As Mickey knows, this picture is one of my favourites of Jason's. Always makes me smile.

Related:  SSG Jason R Arnette: Heavenly Birthday

In one of my previous columns, I wrote:

I promise you, Jason: I WILL always remember and honour you, and your family, with gratitude, respect and love.

That will not change - ever.

 ALWAYS remembered. Always Honoured.

*Be sure to learn more about Jason here.*

Video: US ME Policy re Iran is 'wilful ignorance' - Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret.)

 March 29, 2015

 "It's a policy of willful ignorance" says Lt. General Michael Flynn to Chris Wallace in a Fox News Sunday Exclusive Interview as he describes the White House position on dealing with Iran's influential rise in the Middle East


New York: Roll Up your sleeve - for Keith

Mark your calendars, and get out there.....

Annual Keith Fairben Blood Drive

Friday, April 3, 2015 at Our Lady of Victory Memorial Hall, 2 Bellmore St, Floral Park, 10am to 8pm

Last year, 317 pints of blood were donated, including platelets.

Please donate, and save a life in Keith's memory

Bangladesh: Blogging is a deadly *business*

A couple of months back, my friend Deb Leonard had this graphic and these words:

"I prefer to die standing than live on my knees"......

Once again, I was reminded of this when I saw THIS news report overnight.

From JihadWatch:

Bangladesh: Muslims hack another blogger to death for anti-Islam writings
   by Robert Spencer
The world yawns at this thuggery and bloodlust. Atheist writer Avijit Roy was murdered in Bnagladesh recently; the international media barely took notice. This second and similar murder will get even less notice. And it’s understandable — it isn’t as if “Islamophobia” were being committed. That would be news; but Muslims murder another writer who insulted Islam? That’s not news: the mainstream media wouldn’t want to insult Islam by covering such a thing.

Two madrasa students have hacked blogger Oyasiqur Rahman to death for his writing against Islam.

The killers are Zikrullah, 22, a student of Hathajari Madrasa in Chittagong and Ariful Islam, 22, student of Darul Ulum Madrasa, Mirpur 1 in Dhaka, said Biplop Kumar Sarker, deputy commissioner of Tejgaon Divison.

Another killer Abu Taher managed to flee from the scene. No detail was found regarding him, the police official added.

Zikrullah, son of Mainuddin, hailed from Raipura of Narsingdi and Ariful Islam, son of Tazul Islam, came from Barkawlia of Comilla.

“They killed Oyasiqur for his writings against Islam,” the detained killers confessed to the police during primary interrogation....[emphasis mine]

Syria: What about the children?

This is 4 year old Hudea who lives in the Atmeh refugee camp in Syria.  Her picture has gone viral on social media the last few days. The photo was taken by Turkish photographer Osman Sağırlı in 2014.

From the BBC:

The photographer who broke the internet's heart

31 March 2015
Thousands online have shared an image of a Syrian child with her hands raised in surrender - but what is the story behind it?

Those sharing it were moved by the fear in the child's eyes, as she seems to staring into the barrel of a gun. It wasn't a gun, of course, but a camera, and the moment was captured for all to see. But who took the picture and what is the story behind it? BBC Trending have tracked down the original photographer - Osman Sağırlı - and asked him how the image came to be.

It began to go viral Tuesday last week, when it was tweeted by Nadia Abu Shaban, a photojournalist based in Gaza. The image quickly spread across the social network. "I'm actually weeping", "unbelievably sad", and "humanity failed", the comments read. The original post has been retweeted more than 11,000 times. On Friday the image was shared on Reddit, prompting another outpouring of emotion. It's received more than 5,000 upvotes, and 1,600 comments.

Accusations that the photo was fake, or staged, soon followed on both networks. Many on Twitter asked who had taken the photo, and why it had been posted without credit. Abu Shaban confirmed she had not taken the photo herself, but could not explain who had. On Imgur, an image sharing website, one user traced the photograph back to a newspaper clipping, claiming it was real, but taken "around 2012", and that the child was actually a boy. The post also named a Turkish photojournalist, Osman Sağırlı, as the man who took the picture.

BBC Trending spoke to Sağırlı - now working in Tanzania - to confirm the origins of the picture. The child is in fact not a boy, but a four-year-old girl, Hudea. The image was taken at the Atmeh refugee camp in Syria, in December last year. She travelled to the camp - around 10 km from the Turkish border - with her mother and two siblings. It is some 150 km from their home in Hama.

"I was using a telephoto lens, and she thought it was a weapon," says Sağırlı. "İ realised she was terrified after I took it, and looked at the picture, because she bit her lips and raised her hands. Normally kids run away, hide their faces or smile when they see a camera." He says he finds pictures of children in the camps particularly revealing. "You know there are displaced people in the camps. It makes more sense to see what they have suffered not through adults, but through children. It is the children who reflect the feelings with their innocence." [emphasis mine]

The image was first published in the Türkiye newspaper in January, where Sağırlı has worked for 25 years, covering war and natural disasters outside the country. It was widely shared by Turkish speaking social media users at the time. But it took a few months before it went viral in the English-speaking world, finding an audience in the West over the last week.

As Canada's politicians vote on extending their anti-ISIS mission to include bombing over Syria, and Syria's murdering despot Bashir al Assad - who famously ignored Obama's imaginary  red line -  takes time out to do a 'rehabilitative'  interview with 60 Minutes, many MANY girls like Hudea go unknown by the politicians.  Over the last four years hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians (including many Hudeas) have been slaughtered by Assad, and the world has stood on the sidelines wagging their ineffectual stern fingers and making meaningless pronouncements.  

Now, NOW, while the fat cat diplomats and politicians gather to make sweeping public policies,   I can only think about all the little Hudea's whose daily lives continue to be  a hell of terror and survival, if they are 'lucky.'

We, the world community,  should hang our heads in shame.  We should.

Pray for Hudea.  Pray for ALL the Hudea's around the world...

[Related - Yes! It is: The missing girls of Nigeria  ]

Monday, March 30, 2015

Terrorism 101: Who is who in the cast of characters?

These days, it is hard to keep up on all the different terrorist groups murdering, terrorising, their way around the globe.

As we watch the politicians change with the wind which despots they will support; for example, Obama was against Assad before he became an ally, and stood with Israel before he shared their nuclear secrets AND sent in political operatives to help unseat Netanyahu in their last elections,  it might be difficult to keep track of which group is our designated enemy du jour.

However, fortunately we do have people who continue to pay close attention to who is doing what to who.

From This Ain't Hell:

That confusing fight in the Middle East 

Jonn Lilyea | March 28, 2015

So, get your program out so you can follow this thing; While we’re negotiating with Iran over their nuclear ambitions, we’re flying US aircraft in support of Iranian troops in Iraq. We’re also supporting the Saudis as they begin to whack Iranian-supported rebels in Yemen. The war in the Middle East is shaping into a war between Sunnis and Shi’ites. From Fox News;

Top Sunni clerics have voiced their support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen Friday, while top Iranian leaders including President Hasan Rouhani have already condemned the intervention.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Shiite group Hezbollah in Lebanon condemned the “Saudi-American attack,” saying “it is the right of Yemen’s people, who are brave and resilient, to fight and resist, and they will succeed.

U.S. officials told the paper that Saudi officials have requested air tankers to refuel planes and for more American-made bombs to continue with the strikes. The U.S. is preparing to help the Saudis once the requests are approved in Washington.

Under the plan, the U.S. would step up its role in a new military coordination center to aid the Saudi Arabia-led campaign.

Meanwhile in Switzerland, the western nations are trying to hammer out a deal to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions while Iran seeks to have the sanctions against them lifted, according to AFP;...

GO read much more here.

War On Terror News adds more details of the major players wreaking murder and mayhem:

Jonn has many of the details right, but it gets better, as far as confusing storylines go.
The Mehdi Militia, aka Badr Brigade, aka Hezbollah of Iraq has already pulled back from Tikrit to protest US air strikes against their enemy, ISIS. The Mehdi Militia was the name used during the Iraq war and Moqtada al-Sadr is their leader. His little band of Shi'a Islamists was the principal terrorist organization responsible for US and British deaths from Baghdad to the port in the South.

ISIS, their enemy is trying to overthrow Bashir Assad in Syria, along with their former associates, Al-Qaeda. ISIS was formerly known as ISI, or the Islamic State of Iraq, which was the "political" umbrella of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and has been led by abu Bakr al-Baghdadi since we killed Al-Qaeda's original leader in Iraq, al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian terrorist.

In Yemen, the Huthi rebels are agents of Iranian Islamists, ran by the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard, which also run Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, and the Mehdi Militia in Iraq. Their principal enemy in Yemen is Al-Qaeda, as the government of Yemen has fallen, after the order by Obama to the elected head of state in Yemen to abdicate in 2010. His replacement was too weak to prevent an Al-Qaeda takeover and actually invited the Huthi Shi'a Islamists into the fold, just as Iraq has done with the "Badr Brigades."

In 2012, the Obama Administration was funneling arms and training to al-Nusra in Syria, via Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Al-Nusra is al-Qaeda's arm in Syria, which both Yemen and Saudi Arabia were ostensibly fighting in their own countries.

In 2010, the Administration supported a Muslim Brotherhood uprising across the Middle East and particularly in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood is the forefather of Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, Hamas, ISIS, and basically every other Islamist terrorist organization in the world. In fact, when OBL took over "the Services Bureau," he set up a partnership with AQ's current leader, al-Zawahari, who was a long term member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and then led the Islamic Jihad.

Qaddaffi had turned against terrorism and given up his WMD in the wake of the Iraq War in 2003. When the current administration successfully got him assassinated, the AQ prisoners in his prisons were released back to the battlefield. Al-Qaeda returned the favor by killing 4 of our diplomats in Benghazi.

So, yes, we're currently using air strikes against Iranian terrorists in yemen while supporting them in Iraq, with air strikes. The air strikes in Yemen support Al-Qaeda efforts and the air strikes in Syria have helped al-Qaeda increase their territory there, while the air strikes in Iraq support Iranian terrorists to increase Iranian power there.

Meanwhile, the do nothing attitude leaves Libya in chaos as both ISIS and AQ build their base there, but in Egypt, the administration passively opposes the new secular government, allowing ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood to gain toe holds there.

During the Cold War, much of the Middle East was under Soviet Influence. Now, it is increasingly falling to Islamist influence. If it takes hold, that will be hard for it to shake off, just as Afghanistan remained under it, a decade after it was liberated, despite its long history before the Soviet Invasion of Secular and Western ideals.

Fact is, every single day cowardly  terrorists kidnap, maim and murder innocent citizens and families.  No matter what name our politicians decide to assign them ('JV'   or 'workplace violence,' or even 'lone wolf attacks') unless and until we call these vicious killers what they are, the world community will continue to fall prey to this latest brand of terrorism.

Politicians need to make serious commitments to ridding us all of this scourge, and quit with their meaningless, empty political, dangerous gestures..

This is not the time for any of our politicians to be ignorant or 'confused' as to who or what we are all facing.

This IS the time for politicians to educate  themselves,  (learn from history, maybe?) and then forcefully fight back against these terrorists.  This IS the time for nonpartisan, global,  agreement to define an effective strategy to eradicate - not degrade - any and all islamist murderers, no matter where they are found, or what label they choose to hide behind.   Nothing else is acceptable.


[Related: How ISIS is different from al-Qaeda  ]

Friday, March 27, 2015

Rest In Peace, Polly

Last night a long time member of the extended Brat Pack passed away after a valiant fight with cancer.

My heart, my love,  is with her daughters and her family.

Rest easy, Polly.