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Israel strikes Gaza targets in response to heavy rocket fire Saturday
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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2 11:26 Fester Stalin7895 [6476]
-Land of the Free
Scrambled F-16s over our nation's capital should give all Americans comfort
[FoxNews] What you don’t know – might make you feel better. The Trump administration is on guard – not just at our borders, not just renegotiating trade and security accords abroad, imposing sanctions on Iran, Russian, and North Korea, but also in the skies above. Washington got a surprise Saturday night – and it is symbolic.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Saturday the moist air around Washington, from City Center out to suburban Maryland, shook with repeated booms. U.S. Air Force F-16s, scrambling in defense of our nation’s capital, lit afterburners, tipped sideways, and intercepted a single-engine, non-responsive, civilian aircraft.

Observers saw the two F-16s, dispatched by North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), screaming across the black sky, white lights pulsing, at what seemed breakneck speed. An F-16 can top 1,500 miles per hour. Whatever their speed that evening, they were swift, focused and noticeable.

They circled half a dozen times, first east to west, then west to east, forcing the civilian plane down, pursuant to special rules enforced over Washington. As the Colorado-based NORAD spokesman laconically reported: “As part of NORAD’s homeland defense efforts, NORAD aircraft responded, but prior to intercept, the civilian pilot established positive communications and immediately landed at the nearest airport.”

Yes, and one can only imagine his blood pressure was elevated. But the nation's capital was – as it should be and regularly is – dutifully protected. Having once been a passenger in a two-seat F-16, the familiar sound, speed, and profile are oddly comforting. Under 10,000 feet, they may awake sleepers and arouse curiosity, but they should also bring comfort.

As members of Congress feud, seemingly without end, over which committee gets dibs on which people, documents and subpoenas; as Trump critics and detractors fault all that moves in this polarized City of Marble; and as most Americans shake their heads at a U.S. House intent on impeachment, not security, it is worth noting that we sleep well at night – because of those who work for, have faith in, and follow the national command authorities of this Commander in Chief.

Those F-16 pilots did not hesitate, did not ask why or whether they should fly, did not question their mission, the president’s authority or the Constitution Like everyone else in military uniform, they stood up, did what they had to do when it had to be done, to protect us.

So in a time of national confusion, division and disunion, regular political disruption and tiresome recrimination, it is nice to know that our American military is composed of such men and women as will instantly rise, on a few second’s notices, to tear down a runaway, engage the unknown and defend us – here in the Washington area, around the country, and indeed around the world.

The next time you hear that unfamiliar rumble of a fighter overhead, or maybe the familiar sound of wings pushing air sideways at the speed of sound, be not worried but grateful. We are a nation of free men and women, protected by free men and women who regularly risk all for us, with the sort of resolve that should make us all proud. It did me, as I heard their afterburners fade into the night.
Posted by: Skidmark || 05/04/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6486 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Saw a Blue Angels performance once, from a hill overlooking their center point in Little Traverse Bay. Some clown in a Cessna came puttering across the middle of the show.
Blue Angels aren't armed. But I suspect they were thinking about a supersonic flyby tipping dummy into the bay.
Posted by: Richard Aubrey || 05/04/2019 0:20 Comments || Top||

Loya Jirga’s demand
[DAWN] A LOYA JIRGA ‐ a grand assembly of Afghanistan’s tribal, political and religious leaders ‐ has just concluded in Kabul with the demand by the delegates for a ceasefire in the country. The jirga was convened for a discussion on how to forge a peace deal with the Afghan Taliban
...Arabic for students...
. While the Afghan elites were putting their heads together in Kabul, the Taliban are continuing a parallel process with the Americans in Doha. The jirga’s demand that the Taliban put down their guns is indeed justified. But the fact of the matter is that the Lions of Islam are unlikely to do so, especially when they consider themselves to be negotiating with the Americans from a position of strength. Moreover, the Afghan government needs to offer clear terms to persuade the Death Eaters to become part of the political process; at the moment, the Taliban are dismissive of the set-up in Kabul, terming it as America’s ’puppet’. It is also unfortunate that some major opposition figures and opponents of President Ashraf Ghani
...former chancellor of Kabul University, now president of Afghanistan. Before returning to Afghanistan in 2002 he was a scholar of political science and anthropology. He worked at the World Bank working on international development assistance. As Finance Minister of Afghanistan between July 2002 and December 2004, he led Afghanistan's attempted economic recovery until the Karzais stole all the money. ..
were absent from the Loya Jirga, including Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah
... the former foreign minister of the Northern Alliance government, advisor to Masood, and candidate for president against Karzai. Dr. Abdullah was born in Kabul and is half Tadjik and half Pashtun...
. This sends the message that the Kabul elite is divided and unable to present a united front. Before the Afghan government can attempt to engage with the Taliban, it would need to set its own house in order and bring together all political forces in order to exert the pressure needed to negotiate with the group.

At their end, the Taliban would do well to show flexibility and open channels with Kabul, while negotiations between the Americans and the Afghan militia should not be allowed to stall. If the current negotiations turn out to be talks for the sake of talks, an early end to the bloodshed in Afghanistan is unlikely. There has been some progress, and a pessimistic view may not be necessary. However,
some people cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go...
all sides in the conflict ‐ the Afghan government, the Taliban and the Americans ‐ must be willing to give, take and compromise for the peaceful and prosperous future of Afghanistan.

Posted by: Fred || 05/04/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6482 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistain Proxies

Jobs and jihad
[DAWN] EVER SINCE terrorism ‐ specifically the jihadist variety ‐ has stalked the globe, a common refrain has been that radicalised young men need to be educated and given job opportunities to steer them away from the murderous path they have chosen.

But as we have learned in attack after attack, many of those responsible have been not just educated, but well-to-do. The mantra of ’education and jobs’ rang particularly hollow in the aftermath of the recent mayhem that took place in Sri Lanka a fortnight ago: all the jacket wallahs involved in the terror attacks were from well-off families, and some had gone abroad to study.

Of course the classic example of well-heeled, well-educated snuffies remains the group of 19 (mostly Saudi) Arabs who flew the commercial jets into New York’s World Trade Centre, as well as the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred || 05/04/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6483 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistain Proxies

Masood Azhar ban
[DAWN] AFTER an over two-decade-long career piloting Jaish-e-Mohammad
...literally Army of Mohammad, a Pak-based Deobandi terror group founded by Maulana Masood Azhar in 2000, after he split with the Harkat-ul-Mujaheddin. In 2002 the government of Pervez Musharraf banned the group, which changed its name to Khaddam ul-Islam and continued doing what it had been doing before without missing a beat...
, one of the most lethal jihadi outfits in South Asia, the noose around Masood Azhar appears to be tightening, as the holy warrior criminal mastermind has been designated a global terrorist by the UN Security Council.

While some segments may see the move as a ’victory’ for India, the fact is that Masood Azhar and his group have caused nothing but trouble for this country. The JeM may have made India-held Kashmire its focus, but its cadres have caused plenty of havoc in Pakistain as well. For example, its turbans form the nucleus of what is known as the Punjabi Taliban
...Arabic for students...
, a loose confederation of jihadists, also consisting of sectarian elements. Though the JeM was banned in 2002 by Pakistain, its activities continued and Masood Azhar was largely a free man. Now, with the UN proscription, it is hoped that the group is permanently shut down and its head not allowed to continue his activities.

India had been trying for over a decade to get Masood Azhar blacklisted. Each time its efforts would be blocked by China on ’technical’ grounds. What this translates to is that India was using the JeM and its head to project the Kashmiri freedom struggle as a ’terrorist’ insurgency, hence the Chinese and Pak resistance to the move.

Now that the "political references" have been removed, as the Foreign Office has put it, China has lifted its technical hold, paving the way for the JeM chief’s blacklisting.

Two lessons emerge; first, that India has been trying to conflate the legitimate ‐ and largely indigenous ‐ Kashmiri freedom struggle with terrorism. This false binary must be exposed; India cannot be allowed to link the Kashmiri struggle for justice and rights with terrorism. Secondly, the state must realise that tolerating such groups is a liability for Pakistain. Far from serving any ’strategic depth’, these outfits end up isolating the country internationally.

Perhaps if we had put our own house in order, India would not have been able to exploit the situation and associate jihadist groups with Pakistain. It is also hoped that the blacklisting of Masood Azhar will help strengthen the country’s case with FATF, to prove that Pakistain is working hard to eliminate all holy warrior outfits.

Ultimately, all holy warrior groups and non-state actors that promote hateful, divisive
...politicians call things divisive when when the other side sez something they don't like. Their own statements are never divisive, they're principled...
and sectarian narratives must be shut down. Their funds must be choked and their organizational capabilities neutralised. All of this ‐ and more ‐ has been highlighted in the National Action Plan; it is just a question of summoning the will to implement it.

Posted by: Fred || 05/04/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under: Jaish-e-Mohammad

Evidence Trump's Iran Policy is working
[NYDailyNews] The familiar mantra is getting louder from Iran’s Western apologists, who say President Trump’s sanctions policy is counterproductive, probably because the opposite is true: There is growing evidence that Iran is cash-poor and its Middle East patrons are suffering.

That’s why it is time to declare what seemed unthinkable when Trump ran for president: His Iran policy, focused primarily on pressuring the Islamic Republic to end its sponsorship of militias throughout the Middle East and to renegotiate the nuclear deal, appears to be bearing fruit.

This past winter, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif insisted that U.S. sanctions were not working, that Iran would never renegotiate the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, and that it was the U.S., rather than Iran, that was growing isolated. On April 24, he took an about-turn, announcing to U.S. media that Iran wants to negotiate a prisoner exchange with Washington.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 05/04/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

Who's in the News
4Govt of Iran
3Moslem Colonists
2Govt of Pakistain Proxies
2Sublime Porte
1Islamic State
1Abu Sayyaf (ISIS)
1Muslim Brotherhood
1Thai Insurgency
1Tin Hat Dictators, Presidents for Life,
1Govt of Syria
1Govt of Pakistan

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Two weeks of WOT
Sat 2019-05-04
  Israel strikes Gaza targets in response to heavy rocket fire Saturday
Fri 2019-05-03
  Taliban militants blow up one of the oldest shrines of Ghazni city
Thu 2019-05-02
  Iran, Turkey criticize US plan to designate Muslim Brotherhood a terror group
Wed 2019-05-01
  Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated businessman Malek sentenced to 25 years in prison
Tue 2019-04-30
  Gunmen kill pastor, worshippers in Burkina Faso church
Mon 2019-04-29
  Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi seen in new video for first time in five years
Sun 2019-04-28
  Father, brothers of alleged Sri Lanka bombing mastermind killed
Sat 2019-04-27
  Sri Lanka - Inside help?
Fri 2019-04-26
  Jihadists 'blow themselves up' as soldiers raid suicide vest factory in Sri Lanka
Thu 2019-04-25
  Trump says sending ‘armed soldiers’ to US-Mexico border
Wed 2019-04-24
  Saudi Arabia beheads 37 for terrorism crimes, most of them minority Shiites
Tue 2019-04-23
  IS claims Sri Lanka blasts
Mon 2019-04-22
  Sri Lanka explosions, 24 arrested, 290+ dead, 8 kabooms
Sun 2019-04-21
  3 churches bombed at Easter services in Sri Lanka 262 Dead
Sat 2019-04-20
  Woman killed after shots fired during violent riots in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

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