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February 10, 2016 / 1 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘US’

After Surprise Visit to Jordan, Ben Carson Wants No Refugees in America

Monday, November 30th, 2015

(JNi.media) A seemingly compassionate statement posted on Facebook by Republican presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson after his visit, along with his wife, Candy, to a refugee camp in Jordan where Syrian civilians have sought shelter, reiterated the broad Republican position against letting any of them into the US.

“Amman, Jordan – Just over two months ago I began planning a trip over the Thanksgiving Weekend to visit with Syrian Refugees, Jordanian Government Officials, and NGO’s. I wanted to come to see with my own eyes this great human tragedy.

“Today I listened to the life struggles of many Syrians who were forced to flee their own homes. I met with medical professionals, humanitarian workers, and government officials. I saw pain on the faces of mothers and children.

“They came to Jordan for safety. Jordan is doing an amazing job opening its doors and extending a hand in relief. The rest of the world could be doing so much more.

“These brave people want nothing more than an end to the war in Syria. They want to go back to their lives. We must find a political end to this conflict.

“Millions of refugees have now been waiting years for the end of the war to come in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Some are giving up hope that they will ever be able to return to their country. We must keep their hope alive. Until it is safe for them to return home, Jordan is a safe place for them to wait. The kingdom has welcomed them with open arms. But Jordan is a small country. They need the world’s help to feed, educate, and care for these refugees until the war ends.

“The United States must do more. We can do our part to help this crisis without bringing 10-25,000 refugees to the United States. Jordan already houses 1.4 million refugees. Jordan needs and deserves our logistical help and financial support.

“In the coming days I will offer what I believe are real solutions to the problems created in part by the Obama-Clinton Administration’s failed policies.”

The Carson approach, acknowledging the refugees’ suffering, respecting their human dignity and refusing them entry may end up being a potent tool for Republican governors as well, as they attempt to resist the White House’s efforts to distribute several thousand asylum seekers around their states. Judging by his statements, the GOP plans to demand that Jordan’s wealthy Arab neighbors lend a hand and a few shoulders, rather than send the suffering overseas.

According to reports, Carson told reporters the Syrians have a reputation as very hardworking, determined people, which should only enhance the overall economic health of the neighboring Arab countries that accept and integrate them into the general population.”

Israel Becoming Major Information Source on ISIS as West Demonstrates Intelligence Failures

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

(JNi.media) For the first time in several years, when Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office this week, it won’t be to push the two-state solution or to project calm over the Iran nuclear deal. There’s a different, bigger concern on American and Western minds: what to do about Da’esh, an Arabic acronym that stands for al-Dula al-Islamia fi al-Araq wa-al-Sham, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Levant. News reports this weekend suggest two disheartening things about the ability of the West to correctly appraise the capacity and the success of ISIS:

1. US reports about the astonishing spread of ISIS in Iraq have been diminished or deleted, because they conflicted with the overall narrative of an independent Iraq that was ready to carry its own weight.

2. The flood of millions of migrants into Europe has created an intelligence void, making it impossible for the West to assess the scope of the ISIS threat on European soil.

At this point, the only Western intelligence service which is in possession of vast, current, reliable information on ISIS is in Israel. And Israel is just as worried as anyone else.

“The ISIS activity is getting close to Israel,” a senior Israeli official told NRG following the events of recent weeks. “The organization posted a video in Hebrew, then in the span of two weeks it brought down a plane in the Sinai, detonated suicide bombers in Beirut and carried out the attack in Paris. It shows its abilities and its aspirations.” In addition, the Israeli source cited the proliferation of ISIS cells which are now being discovered in Israel’s Arab sector, which indicate the strategic intent of the Islamic caliphate to harm Israel. “The situation is very dangerous,” said the senior official.

The official added that Israel maintains close cooperation with intelligence agencies in Europe to assist them in the early detection of foreign fighters — European passport holders who have participated in the fighting in Syria or Iraq and returned to the continent to establish terrorist cells. He noted, however, that the waves of refugees that flooded Europe through its open borders created enormous challenges to intelligence services.

He explained that when it was only a few hundreds of known foreign fighters who entered and left through recognized border crossings, it was possible to keep track of their movements and follow their activities. But the flood of millions of refugees who come in using unconventional and unsupervised means have created an intelligence void which intelligence agencies are struggling to fill. The second problem is that even when there is intelligence information, the freedom of movement between EU members and the vast distances make it very difficult to thwart an attack that is already underway.

“We learned this lesson on our own flesh in the second intifada, that in order to stop an ongoing attack, the alert has to reach the soldier at the checkpoint,” the official told NRG. “Because if the perpetrator has passed the checkpoint, we would never get to him. The Europeans have no checkpoints and certainly no soldiers, so even when there is specific information it is not sufficient to stop the attack in time.”

Meanwhile, the NY Times reported Saturday that “when Islamic State fighters overran a string of Iraqi cities last year, analysts at United States Central Command wrote classified assessments for military intelligence officials and policy makers that documented the humiliating retreat of the Iraqi Army. But before the assessments were final, former intelligence officials said, the analysts’ superiors made significant changes.” And “in the revised documents, the Iraqi Army had not retreated at all. The soldiers had simply ‘redeployed.’”

Survey: 55% – 73% of White Christian Americans Reject Muslim Values

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

(JNi.media) The new Public Religion Research Institute poll, aptly titled “Anxiety, Nostalgia, and Mistrust: Findings from the 2015 American Values Survey,” released Tuesday, points out that a majority of American Christians believe Muslim values are at odds with American values and way of life.

Perceptions of Islam have turned more negative over the past few years. Today, 56% of Americans agree that the values of Islam are at odds with American values and way of life, while 41% disagree. Opinion on Islam’s compatibility with American values varies greatly by religious beliefs. 73% of white evangelical Protestants believe Islam is at odds with American values, compared with 63% of white mainline Protestants, 55% of black Protestants, 61% of Catholics and 41% of the religiously unaffiliated. In 2011, Americans were still about evenly divided in their views of Islam: 47% agreed, 48% disagreed it was at odds with American values.

With less than one year to go until the 2016 general election, the mood of the American people is marked by anxiety and mistrust, concludes the PRRI poll: more than 72% believe that the country is still in a recession, as they did in 2014. Americans are divided down the middle, 49-49% on whether America’s best days are ahead of us or behind them. They are pessimistic and anxious about crime, racial tensions, and immigration.

And they don’t trust Muslims. More than 60% of white Protestants and Catholics, 55% of African-American Protestants, and 56% of Americans overall see a split between American and Muslim values, up from 47% in 2011 and 2014.

The nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) conducted the 2015 American Values Survey among 2,695 Americans between September 11 and October 4, 2015. It measures public opinion about the economy, racial discrimination, the criminal justice system, trust in public institutions, perception of the Tea Party, the relationship between religious affiliation and political attitudes, views of immigrants, and how demographic changes impact the cultural landscape in the country.

Compared with a few years ago, Americans report less tolerance when encountering non-English speaking immigrants. 48% of Americans say they are bothered when they come into contact with immigrants who speak little or no English, compared with 40% in 2012. 63% of white working-class Americans say they feel bothered when they come into contact with immigrants who do not speak English, compared with 43% of white college-educated Americans.

73% of Donald Trump’s supporters say they are bothered by encounters with immigrants who speak little English. 69% of Trump supporters rate immigration as a critical issue to them personally, compared with only 50% of supporters of other Republican candidates.

The survey Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish between September 11 and October 4, 2015 among a random sample of 2,695 U.S. adults (age 18 and up). Interviews were conducted both online and by telephone. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 2.6% at the 95% level of confidence.

900 Active ISIS Probes Currently in US

Monday, November 16th, 2015

There are currently 900 “active investigations” pending against “ISIS-inspired operatives and other home-grown violent extremists” across the United States, according to U.S. FBI Director James Comey.

The intelligence director said during the broadcast of a Fox News Sunday special report on the Paris massacre by ISIS last Friday that he has ordered field offices nationwide to intensify surveillance on ISIS suspects.

The investigations into ISIS (Da’esh) suspects are being carried out in all 50 states in the U.S., Comey noted.

The U.S. is also sharing intelligence on ISIS with France in connection with last Friday’s massacre in Paris by the terror group.

For months, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been deeply understaffed in dealing with the massive task of tracking potential terror suspects, he added. The agency is largely dependent on local resources to assist in the effort as a result.

 

 

Report: Israel’s New F-35s Designed to Let US Disable them over Internet Link

Friday, November 13th, 2015

(JNi.media) A revelation made by Defense Aerospace last week exposes what could emerge as a sinister plot on the part of the US and F-35 maker Lockheed Martin to disable at will the new aircraft while it is in use by a client state.

Back in September, JNi.media quoted Steve Over, Lockheed Martin director for F-35 International Business Development, who said that even though Israel will have “plenty of capability to do light maintenance in-country” for the aircraft, all the heavy maintenance of the airframes and engines will be done at Joint Program Office-managed, company-established facilities “just like we do with all our other partners.”

At the time, we attributed the Americans’ anxiety to the fact that Israeli technicians love messing around with their American machines until their makers can barely recognize them. We wrote: Perhaps betraying their reservations about what usually happens to the American weapons after the Israelis lay their hands on them, Lockheed executives said Israel would be able to add specific capabilities or upgraded functions—which the Israelis love doing—as long as it did not affect the overall design or the aircraft software. As Over put it: “The Israelis have an ability to do some unique things. But anything wholesale that would impact the design or capabilities driving all the airplanes for all the countries would have to be done by consensual agreement.”

According to Defense Aerospace, the US has made a unilateral decision to locate all F-35 software laboratories on US shores, where US personnel will manage the operation and support of all the F-35 fleets, foreign and domestic. This unprecedented move introduces a huge risk that the F-35—which must maintain permanent data exchanges with the software labs and logistic support computers to operate effectively—may be disabled or even downed in extreme cases, any time the two-way flow of information is disrupted.

Mind you, this vulnerability does not refer to a malicious interruption on the part of the US operators, only the loss of Internet service for any reason, such as accidentally corrupted router tables to a malicious Russian submarine cutting the undersea Internet cables which they have been aggressively operating near as of late. But, this same “problem” could become an enormous leverage for the US, should it decide to severely hamper the operation of entire foreign F-35 fleets.

For an aircraft that costs around $100 million per unit, this is some design glitch.

It will mean that all the F-35s in the world will have to update their mission data files and their Autonomic Logistic Information System (ALIS) profiles before and after every sortie—and not while in the air—to guarantee that the systems on-board are programmed with the latest available operational data and that ALIS is kept permanently informed of each aircraft’s technical status and maintenance requirements. At the moment, that process is also excruciatingly slow.

Here’s a fun fact: according to Defense Aerospace, the ALIS has been known to prevent aircraft from taking off because of an incomplete data file.

The F35’s shortcomings are well known, involving hardware malfunctions and software glitches cost its development program three years and $200 billion over budget, according to CNN. Then, while the world was watching, there was that bedeviled mock dog-fight last January, when the spiffy, new F-35 kept losing to the plane it is supposed to replace, the good old F-16, because the F-35 just couldn’t turn quickly enough to engage the F-16.

US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said back then that the dogfight provided “valuable data,” which could mean a lot of scary things. Then she promised the new F-35 will be a completely different plane when it’s fully operational and will guarantee the US’ continued air supremacy over its rivals.

But when she said that no one would have guessed she was talking about booby trapping the F-35 sold to US allies.

UPDATE: Death Toll Rises to 8 in Jordanian Shooting of US Trainers

Monday, November 9th, 2015

The death toll has risen to eight in the deadly shooting attack Monday by a Jordanian police officer who aimed his weapon at his instructors during a training session at the Jordan International Police Training Center in Muwaqar, near Amman.

The attack took place on the tenth anniversary of Al Qaeda suicide bombings that killed 57 at three luxury hotels in Amman. It was the worst terrorist attack in the history of Jordan.

At least two of the victims were identified as American civilian instructors working as contractors at the site. A third victim was a South African trainer, and a fourth was a Jordanian national who was working as a translator at the facility. Four others were believed to have been Lebanese nationals, according to Jordanian media.

According to a U.S. statement, the two Americans were training Palestinian Authority security forces on behalf of the State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau.

“We are treating this very seriously,” President Barack Obama told media who snapped photos and recorded his statement as he sat with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office on Monday.

“We will be working closely with the Jordanians,” the president said. “A full investigation is underway, and the families have been informed. Our deepest condolences are going out to them,” Obama said.

The killer was described as a senior co-trainer and captain by U.S. government sources. He was shot and killed by Jordanian security forces.

“This incident sadly does not come as a surprise, as the threat of Islamist terrorism has only increased in the region in the last few years in the aftermath of Syria and Iraq,” a senior Jordanian official told media, requesting anonymity. “As much as pre-emptive measures have been taken, it is impossible to eradicate all risks.”

The attacker, who worked at the King Abdullah Training Center, was a police captain and co-trainer according to the source. Further information about his identity and background was not made available.

US Slashing PA Budget by 21.6% in ‘Message to Abbas’

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

(JNi.media) The US is cutting aid to the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria and in Gaza by $80 million, which top Democrats in Congress have called a message to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted unanimously Oct. 22 on a resolution condemning Abbas and the Palestinian leadership for “incitement” to violence against Jews in Israeli with false statements accusing Israel of planning to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, and for systematic hate-mongering in Palestinian education and media. The resolution complements a State Department Sept. 25 announcement of cutting economic aid for to the Palestinians by 21.6%, from $370 million to $290 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to Al-Monitor.

The vote came while Israel was in the midst of battling a rash of stabbing, stone and Molotov cocktail attacks, as well as shooting, on the part of Arabs in Judea as well as Samaria and inside green line Israel. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee stated: “We need to dial up pressure on Palestinian officials to repudiate this violence.”

The author of the resolution, Middle East Subpanel Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., called on both the Palestinians and Jordan to help defuse the tensions. “Instead of inciting violence and promoting hatred, [Abbas] needs to call for calm and work with the Israelis to restore the peace,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “The king of Jordan also has an important role to play as the guardian of Jerusalem’s Islamic holy sites.”

Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., and Kay Granger, R-Texas, wrote a letter to Abbas warning him that US aid would be “severely jeopardized” if he continues to refuse direct peace negotiations with Israel.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., said before the Oct 22 vote that “given that about one-third of the Palestinian Authority’s budget is financed through foreign aid, international donors have leverage. They could follow the lead of the US Congress — and make direct funding of the PA off limits until the incitement stops.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-slashing-pa-budget-by-21-6-in-message-to-abbas/2015/10/25/

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