Archive for Syria

While I Have Your Attention…

Speaking of the UN (as we were below, last night):

Testimony before the UN Human Rights Council, delivered by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, 18 June 2014, during the Interactive Dialogue with the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

In November 2011, well into Syria’s atrocities, UNESCO elected the Syrian regime—unanimously—to its human rights committee.

I ask the commission: what message did the UN send, when—up until only a few months ago—it allowed the Assad regime to sit as a judge of petitions submitted by human rights victims from around the world?

But Mr. President, it didn’t stop there. On February 20th of this year, as Syria’s Juhayna news trumpeted with glee, that country, that mass murdering regime, was “unanimously re-elected as Rapporteur of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization.”

In fact, as we meet, that committee—with Syria as its Rapporteur—is in session this week in New York, debating the future of Gibraltar, the Falklands, Bermuda, French Polynesia and New Caledonia.

So while Assad’s forces starve Palestinians to death in Yarmouk, his representative sits on a UN podium telling democracies like Britain, France, the U.S. and New Zealand how to treat their populations—all in exercise of his UN-elected mandate to end the “subjugation, domination and exploitation of peoples.”

But Mr. President, it didn’t stop there. In March, this Council undermined its own credibility on Syrian human rights, by adopting a resolution entitled “Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan” — a resolution drafted by Syria itself.

The U.S. delegate commented at the time: “To consider such a resolution—while the Syrian regime continues to slaughter its own citizens by the tens of thousands—exemplifies absurdity.”

It’s rare that diplomats use plain language, but “exemplifies absurdity” comes pretty close to describing the United Nations. It also exemplifies cruelty, corruption, venality, racism, hypocrisy, and five out of the Seven Deadly Sins.

We will now let the subject of the UN slip back into the septic tank whence it came.

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Syriasly?

Syria is a mess. News flash, I know. There is a lot of blame to go around, a bit of which falls on Obama’s feckless “red-line” comment, a check his mouth wrote but his resolve could not cash.

But Israel’s fault?

The Syrian revolution did not have to turn violent, Labwani told The Times of Israel in a telephone conversation from Amman, Jordan, recalling the early days of the uprising, which erupted in the southern city of Daraa in March 2011. Syrians took up arms, he said, after the Assad regime treated the population in a “criminal, unacceptable way.” Now, he asserted, there’s no going back on toppling Bashar Assad by all possible means.

It is extremely rare for a Syrian dissident to speak openly with Israeli media, but Labwani, who has sought political asylum in Sweden, believes the Syrian uprising has shattered many Arab taboos, including the cultural Arab taboo on engaging Israel.

“I am not the only one [who speaks to Israelis]; there are many others like me. Three years of revolution have destroyed many intellectual and cultural principles,” he said. “People today have begun thinking outside the box, exploring two fundamental things: changing ourselves and seeking help.”

Discouraged by the opposition’s traditional allies, Labwani now believes Israel is the Syrians’ best hope. The Jewish state has both the military capacity to help the Syrian opposition and the strategic incentive to do so.

“Israel is able to change the international mood,” he said. “You have ties with all decision-making centers in neighboring countries, and could change opinions if you would be convinced to.”

The field hospital established by the IDF on the Syrian border has had a significant positive impact on Israel’s image among the population of southern Syria, Labwani said. Nevertheless, most Syrians are still convinced that Israel is backing Bashar Assad, a sentiment that can be changed through a clear Israeli stance.

“If today 90 percent of Syrians believe you support Assad, what have you gained? Nothing. In my opinion, a clear political declaration from Israel saying Assad is a criminal will have a very important impact. Today, we hear conflicting statements.”

But a moral position by Israel is not enough. Israel must extend military assistance to Syrian forces fighting Assad, based on the internationally recognized “responsibility to protect,” he said.

Now, hold on, Ahmed. Israel didn’t start your civil war. Why should a single drop of Jewish blood be spilled to finish it? Because Syrians will be their bestest friends forevah if they do? I rather see a scenario where every Al Qaeda tool in the world joins the jihad against the Zionists. Such a headache Israel doesn’t need.

But you know what else Israel does to Syria? Are you sitting down?

In countless papers, including presumed studies published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, Israel has been accused of causing Arab men to beat Arab women because of the so-called Israeli “occupation.”

You bastards! Why are you making Arab men beat their women?

Accordiong to Khetam Malkawai, in today’s Jordan Times, “almost 88.9 per cent of Syrian women refugees who visited (18) counselling centers in Jordan are victims of violence.”

As someone who is studying honor-based violence and honor killing, I found that the following statistics, gathered by the Arab Women’s Organization, confirm my anecdotal and interview-obtained information. In terms of domestic violence, “83 per cent of the Syrian women reported they are victims of violence inflicted on them by their parents, while 72 per cent cited their husbands and 56 per cent their brothers.”

As long as young Arab and Muslim girls are normatively beaten by their parents and brothers; forcibly veiled, secluded, and monitored; forced into marriage at young ages, often to their first or second cousins; not allowed to obtain an education and a profession, and prevented from becoming independent—just so long will Arab civilization remain stagnant.

That doesn’t sound like “the occupation”. You know what it does sound like?

Winston Churchill:

‘How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

‘Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.

You know what happened to the British political candidate who read those words aloud?

On Saturday, Paul Weston of Liberty GB, a candidate in next month’s European elections, was speaking on the steps of Winchester Guildhall and quoting Winston Churchill on the matter of Muslims (from The River War, young Winston’s book on the Sudanese campaign). He was, in short order, arrested by half-a-dozen police officers, shoved in the back of a van and taken away to be charged under a “Section 27 Dispersal Notice”. I had charitably assumed this was a more severe equivalent of the parade licensing that American municipalities use to discourage public participation by disfavored groups – ie, Mr Weston was arrested because he did not have his paperwork in order. I dislike such laws, but in America their use testifies at least to a certain squeamishness about directly punishing someone for the content of his speech.

Not so in Britain. The coppers dropped the Section 27 Dispersal business, and instead charged Mr Weston with a “Racially Aggravated Crime” – in other words, he’s being charged explicitly for the content of that Churchill passage, and the penalty could be two years in jail.

CAnt say this often enough: what a effed-up world.

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Another Reason To Hate The Military…

Some of them are talking about Benghazi

As usual, if you want to know what happened in the US, read the British press. We are such a banana republic.

Benghazi attack could have been prevented if US hadn’t ‘switched sides in the War on Terror’ and allowed $500 MILLION of weapons to reach al-Qaeda militants, reveals damning report
Citizens Committee on Benghazi claims the US government allowed arms to flow to al-Qaeda-linked militants who opposed Muammar Gaddafi
Their rise to power, the group says, led to the Benghazi attack in 2012
The group claims the strongman Gaddafi offered to abdicate his presidency, but the US refused to broker his peaceful exit
The commission, part of the center-right Accuracy In Media group, concluded that the Benghazi attack was a failed kidnapping plot
US Ambassador Chris Stevens was to be captured and traded for ‘blind sheikh’ Omar Abdel-Rahman, who hatched the 1993 WTC bombing plot

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.

‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.

She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.
‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..

‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’

The weapons were intended for Gaddafi but allowed by the U.S. to flow to his Islamist opposition.
The Citizens Committee on Benghazi released its interim findings on April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pictured [at link] are (L-R) Clare Lopez, Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic, Admiral (Ret.) James ‘Ace’ Lyons, former CIA officer Wayne Simmons and civil rights attorney John Clarke

‘The White House and senior Congressional members,’ the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, ‘deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’

‘Some look at it as treason,’ said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission’s research.

Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic, another commission member, told reporters Tuesday that those weapons are now ‘all in Syria.’
‘Gaddafi wasn’t a good guy, but he was being marginalized,’ Kubic recalled. ‘Gaddafi actually offered to abdicate’ shortly after the beginning of a 2011 rebellion.
‘But the U.S. ignored his calls for a truce,’ the commission wrote, ultimately backing the horse that would later help kill a U.S. ambassador.
Kubic said that the effort at truce talks fell apart when the White House declined to let the Pentagon pursue it seriously.
‘We had a leader who had won the Nobel Peace Prize,’ Kubic said, ‘but who was unwilling to give peace a chance for 72 hours.’

More at the link, including names and pictures of committee members. Then, take the Aggie Challenge! Go to the NY Times and the Washington Post and see if you can find any mention of this. BTW did you notice that those weapons are now in Syria? If this President and his administration had declared their intent to allow the murder of as many Muslim civilians as possible, they couldn’t have done a better job. How many have died in Syria? How ’bout The Arab Spring™? Libya? Various drone attacks on wedding and such-like. You can see why they might not care for us.

- Aggie

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Dr. Kill Dare

We’ve covered this story before, but since our president and Secretary of State still seem ignorant of it, let’s hear it again:

“I’m not scared,” said the Syrian, whose name was withheld by the hospital because Israel and Syria are in a state of war. “Nothing worse will happen to me, so who cares if I’m in Israel?”

Despite decades of hostility between Israel and Syria, hundreds of victims of Syria’s 3-year-old civil war have received life-saving treatments in Israeli hospitals. Israeli medical personnel say that while they’re happy to treat Syrians, the wounded pose a unique set of challenges.

“As nurses, it’s unique to deal with wounded like this,” said Refaat Sharf, a nurse at Ziv, which has treated 162 Syrian patients. “We hadn’t been used to these injuries, neither in terms of their character nor their frequency.”

Since last year, more than 700 wounded Syrians have come to Israeli hospitals via the Syria-Israel border crossing on the Golan Heights. The Israel Defense Forces has set up a field hospital there, and transfers patients it cannot care for to nearby hospitals. In some cases it brings a family member as well.

Adi Pachter-Alt, Rambam’s deputy director of social work, said the patients’ reluctance to speak openly about their feelings comes more from the trauma of being injured and less from ill will toward Israel.

“It’s hard for us to give overall emotional support because they mistrust us,” Pachter-Alt said. “It’s not due to the state of war. It’s because you’re in a different state after trauma. You’re very alone, very suspicious.”

Medical personnel said that when they do leave the hospital, Syrians are grateful for the care they received. The Syrian patient in Ziv said his opinion of Israel had flipped during his stay there.

“Before the revolt, the authorities told us Israel was the enemy and we must fight them,” he said. “But after the recent events there, I saw that in Israel they take care of the patients. All of the Israelis I met, Arabs and Jews, seemed unified.”

Don’t tell Oxfam that! They’ll just want to hire Scarlett Johansson back, and they can’t have her!

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Good News From Syria!

Some kids aren’t being killed.

Oh wait. That’s the bad news:

Syrian children are being intentionally targeted by snipers aiming to paralyze rather than kill them, an Israeli doctor told The Times of Israel.

Dr. Yoav Hoffman, a senior physician at the pediatric intensive care unit of Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, said that his department has received 25 seriously injured Syrian children between the ages of a few months and 17 since last July, delivered to the hospital by the IDF.

Located 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the border with Lebanon, Western Galilee Hospital has treated a total of 230 Syrians since March 2013, many of them sent to the facility’s new neurosurgery department.

Hoffman said that up to six of his unit’s patients have displayed distinct bullet injuries that indicate intentional sniper targeting.

“The injuries are very specific: gunshot wounds from a single bullet to the lumbar spine, near vertebrates 2 and 3,” Hoffman told The Times of Israel. “These shootings are not intended to kill, but to cause misery. They result in paralysis or slow death in Syria’s conditions.”

Hoffman said that he had never seen such injuries outside the battlefield; his colleagues initially believed that the spinal injuries were a coincidence. But when patients displaying the same injuries kept coming in, the hospital staff was “moved to tears” as it realized that the children were being targeted.

What are you crying about? There’s no crying in civil war!

Well over 1,000 Syrians have been treated by Israel so far, 700 of them in a field hospital set up by the military near the frontier on the Golan Heights and others in civilian hospitals across northern Israel.

The children left paralyzed return home to Syria in wheelchairs donated by the Friends of the Western Galilee Hospital, Hoffman said.

“You can tell they’re extremely scarred emotionally,” he said. “But they’re very grateful for the treatment.”

And then they have to go back. Cruel, cruel Israel.

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Goofus and Gallant

Goofus ships arms to an inter-Arab (intra-Arab?) civil war.

Gallant opens a hospital to treat people who hate him and his kind:


[It's mostly in Hebrew and Arabic, but you get the picture.]

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited a field hospital on the Golan Heights treating Syria’s wounded as part of a campaign to unveil “the true face of Iran” on Tuesday.

“On the day that the world powers are opening talks in Vienna with Iran it is important for the world to see pictures from this place,” he said. “This place separates the good in the world from the evil in the world.”

The good, he said, was Israel, which “saves lives from the daily slaughter taking place in Syria. This is the true face of Israel.”

The evil, he continued, is Iran, which is arming those carrying out the slaughter. “That is Iran’s true face,” he said. “All the children wounded, to say nothing of those killed, , were harmed as a result of Iran arming, funding, and instructing the Assad regime on the mass slaughter it is carrying out.”

“From here,” Netanyahu continued, “I want to say to the world, with the renewal of the talks, that Iran has not changed its aggressive policies. Iran has not changed its cruel character, Iran continues to support the Assad regime which is slaughtering its citizens. This is the true face of Iran, and the world must not forget that.”

And the true face of the world looks the other way.

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Is This Another “Red Line”?

President Obama famously stepped in it when he declared the alleged use of chemical weapons by Assad’s government (allegedly) in Syria as crossing a “red line”. It took weeks of backpedaling and tapdancing to get out of any responsibility for those words.

Why doesn’t someone ask him about this?

A team of internationally renowned war crimes prosecutors and forensic experts has found “direct evidence” of “systematic torture and killing” by the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the lawyers on the team say in a new report.

Their report, based on thousands of photographs of dead bodies of alleged detainees killed in Syrian government custody, would stand up in an international criminal tribunal, the group says.

Is there such thing as an “internationally renowned war crimes prosecutor” or “forensic expert”, much less a team of them? I guess. I don’t doubt that Assad is capable of such brutality, I just wonder what we’re supposed to do about it. Root for Al Qaeda? No thanks.

But our president knows, or should know. He has opinions on so many subjects, including this one. Cat got his tongue? Lebanon is exploding (but it’s mostly Hezbollah-controled Lebanon, so carry on); Iraq is collapsing, ditto Afghanistan; Syria is a bloody mess. Oh yes, Egypt is returning to military dictatorship, so there is some good news.

And what is the the Man With All The Answers doing about it?


So, I took down my spinnaker and hoisted the jib and tacked into the wind roughly east-southeast. My she was yar.

If you laugh, it’s not because I’m funny. It’s because it’s true. Same goes if you cry.

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Warring Syrian Factions Say the Darnedest Things!

Am I the only one who’s hearing echoes of Monty Python?

Following are excerpts from a two-way radio conversation between ISIS and FSA fighters, which was posted on the Internet on January 6, 2014:

Foreign Fighter for Al-Qaeda’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS]: You worship [FSA commander] Khaled Hiyani, you apostate infidels. We’ve declared you to be “apostates,” you heretics.

Voice of Fighter for the Free Syrian Army [FSA]:[Indistinct chatter]

ISIS Foreign Fighter: … You people have sown corruption upon the land. You have killed women, fornicated with women, and raped men, women, and children, yet you dare call yourselves Muslims?! What kind of Islam do you follow?!

Voice of FSA Fighter: [Indistinct chatter] Why did you come here? Go fight Israel, brother.

ISIS Foreign Fighter: Fighting apostates takes precedence over fighting original infidels. Fighting apostates, like you people, who curse Allah and His Messenger, and violate the honor of Muslims, takes precedence over fighting the Jews and the Christians. All imams concur on that.

Voice of FSA Fighter: We fight for the sake of Allah, and you fight for the sake of the taghout, you oppressor, you apostate, you [follower of Abu Bakr] Al-Baghdadi. We are mujahideen, and you are…

ISIS Foreign Fighter: For whose sake do you wage Jihad? For Hiyani, ‘Afash, and the National Coalition? Are you waging Jihad for the sake of democracy and secularism? You don’t want Allah’s shari’a, and you fight whoever does. You people are apostate infidels. Fighting you takes precedence over fighting the original infidels.

Voice of FSA Fighter: You swine… …you prostitutes, you supporters of Al-Baghdadi… They follow Satan… You follow the accursed Devil. May Allah curse you. We opened our homes to you… [Indistinct chatter]

Why do you… Let’s see you dare come here. Allah be praised.

ISIS Foreign Fighter: Those of you who listen to [Khaled] Al-Hiyani should know that he is no Muslim. He curses Allah and His Messenger. He violates the honor of Muslims. He sows corruption upon the land, and is negligent about his prayers. Due to all the prohibitions that you and he violate, you are not Muslims.

Voice of FSA Fighter: You infidels. You enemies of Allah.

Put another way:

Yes, well, that’s about the type blinkard, phillistine pig-ignorance I’ve come to expect from you noncreative garbage. You sit there on your loathsome, spotty behinds, sqeezing blackheads, and not caring a tinkers cuss for the struggling artist, you excrement! You whining hipocritical toadies with your Tony Jacklin golf culbs and your bleeding secret masonic handshakes, you wouldn’t let me join, would you, you blackballing bastards. Well, I wouldn’t become a free mason now if you got down on your lousy stinking knees and begged me.

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Arab World Update

I know Israeli “settlements” (i.e. Jewish homes) are a far worse scourge on the face of humanity, but just one or two other stories.

One:

Four people were killed and 77 others were wounded Thursday in a car bomb that struck Haret Hreik, a neighborhood of Beirut’s southern suburbs where Hezbollah enjoys broad support, the Health Ministry said.

Lebanon’s caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said human remains inside the vehicle used in the explosion suggested a suicide bomber may have been involved.

A judicial source told The Daily Star “DNA tests are being conducted on human remains that have yet to be identified.”

The car bombing in Haret Hreik, a densely populated neighborhood of the southern suburb, is the latest security incident to hit increasingly volatile Lebanon. The attacks are linked to the ongoing crisis in Syria, particularly Hezbollah’s military support there to President Bashar Assad.

Hezbollah MP Hasan Fadlallah said the blast occurred meters away from the party’s political council, saying “the target of the attack was Lebanon, its security, stability and national unity.”

No, the target was you, you Hezzie piece of [bleep].

Meanwhile:

Human rights groups report that thousands of women have been raped by Syrian army soldiers in the ongoing war, which is now in its third year and has left 130,000 dead. That trend appears likely to only increase, as a deputy to the Chief Mufti (Islamic scholar) of Syria has given religious permission to rape.

In the interview, Al-Dala said Syrian army soldiers have permission to “marry” unmarried and married women, sisters and mothers of the rebel fighters, without any official marriage agreement. He clarified that the rape is intended as a punishment for not reporting the rebels to the goverment forces.

In making his statement, the Sheikh placed his religious authority behind the rape of women and girls by soldiers, as part of their fight against the rebels.

According to testimony taken from captured soldiers and captains before they were put to death by rebels, rape has been employed as a common practice by the army, well before Al-Dala’s official religious support was stated.

While particularly attractive women are reportedly brought to senior commanders, rape victims include religious muslim women dressed in face veils and full-body cloaks (niqab).

It must be noted that for their part, the rebels have publicized religious permission for their fighters to do as they please with women who fall into their hands.

And an update on an earlier story:

The Czech foreign ministry expressed concern Thursday over the discovery of a large, illegal weapons stockpile at the home of the Palestinian ambassador in Prague, Jamel al-Jamal, a day after he was killed in an explosion there.

A ministry statement said that the findings possibly constitute a breach of diplomatic rules, and warrant a clarification from Palestinian officials, Reuters reported.

Respekt, a Czech weekly newspaper, reported that the discovered arsenal was enough to arm a unit of 10 men.

Czech police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova confirmed that arms had been found in the ambassador’s residence, which is located within a newly constructed Palestinian diplomatic mission in the city.

The stockpile included heavy firearms being held illegally, unbeknownst to Czech authorities, according to a Channel 2 news report.

I would just observe that there was a terrorist bus bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria last year. Just sayin’.

Oh yeah, Jordan is trying a writer in absentia for “insulting” the state.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Israel-bashing—though if someone can explain to me why we’re not asking Israel to take more territory, not less, I’d love to know. I’d like to see the Jewish State run from Cairo to Baghdad. (So would many Arabs!)

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Of Red Lines, Deadlines, and Headlines

I wouldn’t worry: what harm can a little nerve gas do?

Norwegian and Danish ships waiting to remove Syria’s chemical weapons are returning to port in Cyprus, signalling a key deadline will not be met.

Bad weather, shifting battle lines and road closures are being blamed for the delay.

The international mission is waiting for Syria’s most dangerous chemicals to be transported to the port in Latakia.

[T]he BBC’s Anna Holligan, who is travelling on board a Norwegian frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad, reports that the European ships are docked in Limassol, Cyprus on the day they are supposed to be escorting Syria’s most dangerous chemicals out of the country.

The vessels left Limassol on Saturday but turned back on Tuesday after the hazardous containers failed to arrive for collection in Latakia. Now the plan is to refuel in Limassol before returning to sea in the coming days.

“We are still on high alert to go into Syria,” Norwegian defence ministry spokesman Lars Hovtun told the AFP news agency. “We still don’t know exactly when the orders will come.”

Our correspondent says the delay will be a disappointment to the international community.

How will Assad live with himself?

I know someone who isn’t worried:

President Barack Obama’s Hawaii vacation: Day 10

— GYM: Obama did his usual morning workout at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, spending roughly one hour at the gym.

— GOLF: Donning a white shirt and a baseball cap, Obama played a round of golf at Royal Hawaiian Golf Club in Kailua, a scenic course at the foot of the Koolau Mountains. Obama — golfing for the sixth time on this trip in 10 days — played with six friends.

— CAMPAIGN NOTE: Obama’s campaign arm, Organizing for Action, sent an email to supporters with the president’s first name at the bottom saying the nation was turning a corner on health care Jan. 1 and “never going back.”

— FAMILY HIKE: After a quick trip back to his vacation rental, Obama and the first family went for a hike with friends along Makiki Valley trail, a 1.1-mile trail that connects with two others to form a loop.

— DINNER: The president and Michelle Obama dined at Alan Wong’s, a well-known Hawaii cuisine restaurant in a plain-looking office building.

I fear he’s right about Obamacare. Everyone hates it, hates him, but the previous system (which worked for the overwhelming majority of the country) is irretrievably broken.

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Feel Good Story

My last post of the day will be a heartwarming one.

Trust me:

This week saw Israel deliver vital medical services to Syrian patient number 200. Last month, a twenty-year-old Syrian refugee gave birth to a boy in the Rebecca Seiff Hospital in Safed, making the baby’s delivery the first Syrian refugee birth in an Israeli medical facility.

The biggest winner of 2013 was not one individual; rather a group of health care professionals in northern Israel from Ziv Medical Center in Safed and Sieff hospital who cared for wounded Syrians.

The endless misery unfolding in Syria has produced few moments of optimism.

A telling example is the pregnancy in Sieff hospital. Mira Eli, the nurse in charge of the maternity delivery ward at Sieff, described the care provided to the pregnant Syrian woman: “We gave her a hug, a shower and food. We gave her postnatal advice. She’s a very young woman who came without her husband or anyone else accompanying her, and it was her first delivery. Our job is to ensure that every new mother remembers her delivery as an unforgettable positive experience, whatever her ethnic, national or religious background.”

The young Syrian mother said, “I don’t feel like I am in an enemy country. The staff are all helping me and worrying about me. My baby, too, is getting wonderful, devoted care.”

Dr. Oscar Embon, the director of Sieff hospital, told BBC’s Kevin Connolly, “I don’t expect them [Syrians] to become lovers of Israel and ambassadors for what we do here, but in the interim I expect they will reflect on what was their experience here and that they will reflect differently on what the regime tells them about Israelis and Syrians being enemies.”

There’s always hope.

But maybe not for everyone:

Major European news organization devoted fair and balanced coverage of Israel delivering medical services to Syrians. There was, however, commentary that attributed a typical wildly conspiratorial thinking to Israel’s role in Syria.

The Der Spiegel online magazine columnist Jakob Augstein, who previously blamed Israel for the post-Arab Spring violence in Libya, Sudan, and Yemen, quoted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as saying that “Israel has its finger on the trigger” in the Syria conflict, suggesting Israel controls the contours — and outcome — of the Syrian civil war.

In fact, Netanyahu’s correct statement was “Our finger must always be on the pulse. Ours is a responsible finger and if necessary, it will also be on the trigger. We will always know to defend our people and our state against whoever attacks us, tries to attack us or has attacked us.”

Herr Augstein almost gives Germany a bad name, doesn’t he?

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BLAM!!! POW!!! SMASH!!!

That’s the sound of the pinko rag, The New Yorker, collapsing under the weight of its own self-inflated, unearned reputation:

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh accused the Obama administration Sunday of having “cherry-picked intelligence” regarding the Aug. 21 chemical attack in Syria that served as evidence for an argument in favor of striking President Bashar Assad’s government.

Though President Barack Obama eventually decided not to strike Syria, the administration made a public case for war by saying that Assad’s regime was responsible for a poison gas attack in the outskirts of Damascus. The U.N. later concluded the attack had involved the nerve agent sarin.

In his piece — titled “Whose Sarin?” — Hersh reported that al-Nusra, a jihadi group fighting in Syria’s long-running civil war, had also “mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity.” Therefore, he wrote, “Obama did not tell the whole story” when stating with certainty that Assad had to be responsible, crossing a so-called “red line” that would trigger U.S. retaliation.

Hersh is a freelancer, but he’s best known these days for his work in The New Yorker, where he helped break the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004. While Hersh is not a New Yorker staff writer, it was notable that his 5,500-word investigative piece landed in the London Review of Books, a London literary and intellectual magazine, rather than the publication with which he’s most closely associated.

In an email, Hersh wrote that “there was little interest” for the story at The New Yorker.

A New Yorker spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wait… this wasn’t the New Yorker????

The New Yorker magazine that has published 76 articles by Sy Hersh didn’t have the journalistic nuts to publish this blockbuster story?

What about his claim that that the Bin Laden raid was “one big lie”? Nope, they missed that one too.

Then what was the last Hersh story the New Pravda magazine printed?

In a few days, we will have a new anniversary to celebrate, or to mourn. The bombing of Baghdad ten years ago this week marked the beginning of another senseless American war fought for reasons that turned out not to exist, driven by wrongheaded, cockeyed, and manipulated intelligence.

That was last March. The New Goebbels magazine saw fit to run decade-old Bush-bashing propaganda by a journalistic agitator—but banished him to the news media’s Robben Island, the Guardian, when he turned on their beloved Obama.

Did Hersh suddenly acquire Alzheimer’s? Did Karl Rove penetrate Hersh’s tin foil hat with his alpha-wave beam?

Or is the New Yorker just another discredited roll of glossy latrine paper? I’ll give it one advantage over the New York Times: you have to endure the magazine’s lies only once a week, not every day.

No wonder American democracy is in the state it’s in. The Baghdad Bobs of the MSM couldn’t tell the truth with a laminated ID and a retinal scan.

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