The recent surge of terror-related incidents in Europe is pushing demand for security. Europe’s schools, companies and religious institutions looking for trained, experienced high-end security personnel are turning to Israel to meet demands.
“Today the world is less innocent, people start to understand, the threats and the dangers, and start to demand security,” said Robby Said, general manager of security firm “Israel Special Forces”.
Said’s company deploys trained security personnel to half a dozen countries worldwide. Demand surged after the recent violent attacks in France.
Fancy that! I hope the first lesson the French learned was to show restraint.
But it doesn’t sound like it:
Industry experts say the threat of urban terror is new to Europe, but not Israel, which is why demand has grown by some 30 percent since January’s attacks in France.
“The first thought that I had is that if someone that is well trained, like an Israeli guy, or a personal security guard was there (in France), it would have been over very fast,” said Ron Elmaliach, chief security instructor and CEO of security firm Tactical Zone.
The words “intellectual” and “existentialism” are closely associated with the French. But if Sartre and Camus aren’t spinning in their graves at the thought of French hypocrisy and betrayal (also closely associated), I’ll eat my chapeau. Welcome to the real world, France. Quelle horreur!
He ventured to Syria to tell the stories of those whose lives have been torn apart by war.
But in doing so, Kenji Goto suffered his own gruesome fate — apparently becoming the latest foreigner to be decapitated by ISIS.
A newly distributed video from ISIS appears to show the beheaded body of the Japanese journalist. It came one week after a video surfaced featuring Goto holding a photo of what appeared to be the corpse of his fellow Japanese captive, Haruna Yukawa.
Just like ISIS’ previous beheading videos, the 67-second footage released Saturday was issued by the terror group’s media wing, Al Furqan Media. The video cannot be authenticated by CNN.
And now, Japan finds itself more deeply embroiled in the global fight against ISIS.
“We are deeply saddened by this despicable and horrendous act of terrorism, and we denounce it in the strongest terms,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, according to broadcaster NHK. “To the terrorists, we will never, never forgive them for this act.”
Unlike the United States, Britain and other allies, Japan is not involved in the military campaign against ISIS. But Japan has been providing humanitarian aid in the Middle East as ISIS continues its bloody quest to solidify an Islamic state across parts of Iraq and Syria.
Let me try to untangle my feelings. I am sad, of course, at his death at the hands of the rabid dingos of ISIS. Especially when:
The 47-year-old Goto left Japan last fall, when his youngest daughter was 3 weeks old. His wife, Rinko, first heard from his captors December 2.
Goto’s mother, Junko Ishido, said her son wanted to help create a world without wars.
“I’m shedding tears of sorrow, I just can’t think of any words to say,” she said, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK. “But I don’t want this sorrow to create a chain of hatred.”
He was a husband, a father, and a son. And now he lies dead in the desert. Sad.
Mourning’s over; time to move on!
Mom doesn’t want hate? Really? What would she prefer? Lust? Sloth? I’d rather just forget Goto than be told I can’t hate his executioners. You go ahead and cry, but tears make it hard to aim the rifle scope. Or, in my case, hard to see the keyboard.
I love dogs, but I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot a rabid one. When a mean dog has attacked my beloved Bloodthirsty Puppy, I have viciously kicked an animal I would have been happy to scratch behind the ears only seconds earlier. I love dogs, but I love justice and safety more.
I love humanity, too, or at least I try. Okay, I know I’m supposed to try. For while the creatures I love most in my life are people, so are the creatures I fear most. And hate most, though I try to keep hatred in check. Hatred is a great motivator, but can easily overwhelm more rational thought. Think of a food pyramid with hatred at the pointy apex. You need a little every day, but don’t overdo it.
When Jihadi John and the IS-a-Kills leave yet another husband/father/son a bloody, headless stump in the sand, tell me how else to feel. I’m past shock.
But then, Aggie and I were past shock before we started this blog nine years and two weeks ago (thanks for the cards—not). One of our early fans, Barb from Pittsburgh, raved about our posts and our points of view. But she had to bow out because the world we were revealing to her was too hard for her to take. She didn’t dispute what she wrote, she just couldn’t take it. Never heard from her since.
Who could be shocked anymore after 9/11? Or the Passover Massacre in Netanya? Or the 1994 bombing at the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires? (Or the recent assassination of the prosecutor still looking into it?) Or the abduction of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram? Or Nidal Hassan’s “workplace violence” at Ft. Hood? Or the Luxor Massacre in 1997? Or the the butchery of the Munich Olympics?
Let’s stop there. The world was shocked by Munich; sportscasters were rendered speechless.
More than 40 years have passed, and we’re still “shocked”? I don’t understand. Truly, I don’t understand. Somebody explain it to me.
Goto wanted to “tell the stories of those whose lives have been torn apart by war,” and became the protagonist in a tragic war story of his own. As he must have known it might. I won’t gainsay his decision—it was a brave one—even if I can’t wholly support it. He was a husband, father, and son who could have chosen to remain so, rather than put himself at risk of a merciless death in the desert. Soldiers don’t have the choice; he did.
The least we can do for him in return is to get over ourselves. Be shocked, but get past it. We’ve had 40 years. Let’s try something else.
Deputy White House press secretary Eric Schultz, filling in for Earnest, would not call the Taliban a “terrorist group,” but instead an “armed insurgency.”
At today’s briefing Josh Earnest seemed to double down on the rhetoric by tip-toeing around the term ‘terrorist group.” Earnest used phrases like “this description that you have put forward” and “designating them in a way that you have described.”
“It is important to draw a distinction between the Taliban and al Qaeda,” Earnest told Karl. “The Taliban has resorted to terror tactics, but those terror tactics have principally been focused on Afghanistan.”
Earnest also called the Taliban a “dangerous organization.”
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for an attack at a military base at Kabul’s international airport that killed three Americans and one Afghan Thursday.
A U.S. official confirmed that the shooting occurred at about 6:40 p.m. local time Thursday. There was no further comment because the incident was under investigation.
The Taliban’s claim of responsibility came in a message from spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who identified the attacker as a man named Hessanulla from Laghman province, just east of Kabul.
Mujahid said that the militant had infiltrated the ranks of Afghanistan’s forces to stage the attack and wore an Afghan police uniform. An Afghan official with the country’s Defense Ministry said the attacker was in an Afghan army uniform. According to The Washington Post, Mujahid added in a tweet that the terrorist had “opened fire on invaders” before he was “martyred by return fire.” It was not immediately clear if the Afghan confirmed dead was the gunman.
Earnest later amended his remarks to add that the Taliban were “mean” and “big bullies”. He said they made him “so mad he could just spit”.
Actually, he did allow this:
Press Secretary Josh Earnest later acknowledged that the Treasury Department had put the Taliban on a terror list as far back as 2002.
Earnest also acknowledged that the Taliban “carry out tactics that are akin to terrorism, they do pursue terror attacks in an effort to try to advance their agenda.” The Obama administration has repeatedly said the U.S. government does not negotiate with terrorists, despite trading five Taliban fighters held at Guantanamo for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
We don’t negotiate with “terrorists”, you understand, just with “armed insurgencies”, “dangerous organizations”, and “akin” groups. (That puts the Taliban on par with patriot and tea party organizations as far as the Regime is concerned.)
In case you forgot, “this description that you have put forward” gave safe haven to Osama bin Laden. But then, Osama wasn’t a terrorist either, but “a guy who lives in [Tora Bora], who’s a [Islamic holy man] who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.”
If you were to take the “torture” report seriously (I don’t — it’s a political document), you would have to say Barack Obama inhabits a very strange moral universe.
Here is a thought experiment I have been using for many years as we’ve debated this topic. It goes to what Obama says about the intolerably brutal nature of waterboarding, the most coercive of the enhanced techniques that were used.
If you were to take everyone in America who is serving a minor jail sentence of, say, 6 to 18 months, and you were to ask them whether they’d rather serve the rest of their time or be waterboarded in the manner practiced by the CIA post 9/11 (i.e., not in the manner practiced by the Japanese in World War II), how many would choose waterboarding? I am guessing, conservatively, that over 95 percent would choose waterboarding.
Now, if you take the same group of inmates and ask them whether they’d prefer to serve the remainder of their time or be subjected to Obama’s drone program (where we kill rather than capture terrorists, therefore get no intelligence from the people in the best position to provide actionable intelligence, and kill bystanders — including some children — in addition to the target), how many would choose the drone program? I am guessing that it would be . . . zero.
I believe President Obama is too smart not to grasp this obvious point.
Only because you are more charitable than I. Or maybe I more than you. You choose to believe Obama is intelligent but duplicitous. I choose to believe he is ignorant and stupid. And duplicitous. And I’m right.
On Wednesday, a reporter asked Pentagon press secretary John Kirby what seemed like a simple query: “What would you say about Senator McCain’s assessment that the Islamic State is winning, and the U.S.-led coalition is not?” What followed, however, was a case study in how not to handle a loaded question.
“Well, I’m not gonna, um,” the rear admiral began haltingly. “I would just tell you that — uh — we believe — that — let me put it this way. It’s going to be a long fight. It’s going to be difficult. There’s going to be setbacks. There’s going to be wins and there’s going to be losses. We’re mindful of the complicated nature of this.”
Kirby went on equivocating for another two minutes, claiming he’s “not going to qualify who’s winning and who’s losing today,” that “you can’t judge a strategy based on a day, or a week, or even several weeks,” that “we’ve only been doing air strikes since August 8,” and that the Islamic State is “not getting a win everywhere.”
“So it’s a mixed picture, Phil,” he admitted. “I don’t mean to ramble, but it’s a mixed picture.”
Not exactly “we will fight them on the beaches” material, but that was the Greatest Generation. Ours is somewhat lesser.
Turkey has agreed to allow the U.S.-led coalition to use its military bases for the fight against the Islamic State and to use Turkish territory as part of a training program for Syrian opposition fighters, Obama administration officials said Sunday.
“That’s a new commitment and one that we very much welcome,” Susan E. Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Turkey denied Monday that it has reached any “new agreement” with the United States to allow the use of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey for attacks on the Islamic State militant group, despite suggestions from the Obama administration that a deal had been reached.
A statement issued by the office of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said talks are continuing between Ankara and Washington over whether to permit U.S. forces to use Incirlik in the fight against the Islamic State, a radical al-Qaeda offshoot that has captured parts of Syria and Iraq. However, “there is no new agreement on the Incirlik issue,” the statement said.
You can understand why the regime would send out Susan Rice of a Sunday morning to spread a false narrative. It worked so well last time.
I was just culling the list of categories we link to our posts. Who cares about Mohamed Morsi anymore? Gone. Same with Barney Frank, even Ted Kennedy. But I stumbled a category we created called Amateur Hour. I debated keeping it, but we use it so rarely…I deleted it. I am so sad now.
The rest of the world must be looking at us and thinking this administrated is peopled by humiliated rejects from American Idol. Is the “She Bangs” guy free for Secretary of State?
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has one more stop on what has become a Middle East apology tour in the wake of his impolitic answer to a Harvard student’s question: Saudi Arabia.
After apologizing to officials from Turkey and the United Arab Emirates over the weekend, Mr. Biden is trying to connect with Saudi leaders, a senior official said, to clarify that he did not mean to suggest that Saudi Arabia backed Al Qaeda or other extremist groups in Syria.
The vice president’s troubles began Thursday when he declared, in a question-and-answer session at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, that the biggest problem the United States faced in dealing with Syria and the rise of the Islamic State was America’s allies in the region.
Turkey, Mr. Biden said, has admitted allowing foreign fighters to cross into Syria, while Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia funneled weapons and other aid to Syrian rebels that ended up in the hands of Al Nusra, Al Qaeda and other extremist groups.
Stupid Joe: you don’t tell the truth in this administration. This is what happens if you do.
The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.
A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria’s Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23.
The village has been described by Syrian rebel commanders as a reported stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front where U.S officials believed members of the so-called Khorasan group were plotting attacks against international aircraft.
But at a briefing for members and staffers of the House Foreign Affairs Committee late last week, Syrian rebel commanders described women and children being hauled from the rubble after an errant cruise missile destroyed a home for displaced civilians. Images of badly injured children also appeared on YouTube, helping to fuel anti-U.S. protests in a number of Syrian villages last week.
“They were carrying bodies out of the rubble. … I saw seven or eight ambulances coming out of there,” said Abu Abdo Salabman, a political member of one of the Free Syria Army factions, who attended the briefing for Foreign Affairs Committee members and staff. “We believe this was a big mistake.”
You can say that again, Abu. One almost six years old, and we’re still paying for it. As are more than a few innocent Syrian women and children.
Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, told Yahoo News that Pentagon officials “take all credible allegations seriously and will investigate” the reports.
At the same time, however, Hayden said that a much-publicized White House policy that President Obama announced last year barring U.S. drone strikes unless there is a “near certainty” there will be no civilian casualties — “the highest standard we can meet,” he said at the time — does not cover the current U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.
The “near certainty” standard was intended to apply “only when we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities,’ as we noted at the time,” Hayden said in an email. “That description — outside areas of active hostilities — simply does not fit what we are seeing on the ground in Iraq and Syria right now.”
No, of course not. Furthest thing from our minds. I’m sure the seven or eight dead women and children understand (even though I don’t).
I won’t BS you: I know (and have repeatedly written) that when you go to war, you sign on for anything and everything, the very little good, the overwhelming bad, and the disgustingly ugly. War is hell, as the general said.
But will this pack of jackals similarly level with us? Does their “areas of active hostilities” make any sense? Doesn’t an area become hostile when you deem it so by firing a Hellfire missile at it?
Obama seems to believe in war by Marquis of Queensbury rules. No boots on the ground, no civilian deaths. And if some do occur, well, we never promised you a rose garden.
And about the “boots on the ground” promise…
PS: The howls of indignation from the Left will begin in 3…2…1…1…1…
Dana Milbank, the liberal Washington Post columnist who can be tough on liberals, was at the White House for an antiwar demonstration in the wake of Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. A grand total of 22 people showed up.
Here’s what he quoted lefty activist David Swanson as saying:
“If George W. Bush were launching wars with Congress out of town, oh, it would be flooded. They would be screaming.”
Obama, said Swanson, “can get away with some abuses and worse and be forgiven because he engages in wars more eloquently and reluctantly, but the people who die in the wars are just as dead and the people who suffer from the sabotaging of climate agreements have their climate just as destroyed.”
Global warming? Seriously?
Medea Benjamin of Code Pink was asked why so few on the left oppose Obama. “‘He’s totally defanged us,’ she said, citing his party, his affability — and his race. ‘The black community is traditionally the most antiwar community in this country. He’s defanged that sentiment within the black community, or certainly voicing that sentiment.’”
Blaming the brothers. Again.
Andrew Sullivan, a conservative who largely became an Obama booster, is equally incredulous:
“The way in which Obama supporters have lamely acquiesced to this reckless war fomented by a dangerous executive power-grab is more than a little depressing. It strikes me as uncomfortably close to pure partisanship. I can’t imagine them downplaying the folly of this if a Republican president were in charge.”
Some of us knew they were full of it a decade ago and more.
“Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” a former senior Pentagon official “who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq” told the Daily Beast.
C…A…very good, sir, just one more letter.
A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report reveals that President Barack Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.
The GAI report also included a breakdown of Obama’s PDB attendance record between terms; he attended 42.4% of his PDBs in his first term and 41.3% in his second.
The GAI’s alarming findings come on the heels of Obama’s 60 Minutes comments on Sunday, wherein the president laid the blame for the Islamic State’s (ISIS) rapid rise squarely at the feet of his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” said Obama.
“It’s pretty well-known that the president hasn’t taken in-person intelligence briefings with any regularity since the early days of 2009,” an Obama national security staffer told the Daily Mail on Monday. “He gets them in writing.”
The Obama security staffer said the president’s PDBs have contained detailed threat warnings about the Islamic State dating back to before the 2012 presidential election.
“Unless someone very senior has been shredding the president’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate predictions about ISIL have been showing up in the Oval Office since before the 2012 election,” the Obama security staffer told the Daily Mail.
Nearly two months on since the US began air strikes against Islamic State (IS) positions in northern Iraq, there are signs that the militants are adapting to the new reality.
Witnesses and tribal sources in IS-controlled areas have reported a drop in the number of militant checkpoints and fighters using mobile phones less, apparently to avoid being targeted by air raids.
Militants have also been seen to ditch conspicuous convoys of armoured vehicles in favour of motorcycles, and there are reports of them planting their black flags on civilian homes and facilities to try to confuse target-spotters.
Darn, that was going to be my Halloween trick! At least I can still wear this costume:
Too soon? Sorry.
Many of the buildings already struck by coalition bombers are reported to have been evacuated prior to the strikes.
A tribal sheikh from a village south of Kirkuk said IS fighters had “abandoned one of their biggest headquarters in the village” when they heard the air campaign was likely to target their area.
“They took all their furniture, vehicles and weapons. Then they planted roadside bombs and destroyed the headquarters,” said the sheikh, who declined to be identified.
“It’s a well-tried and tested formula,” said defence and security expert Paul Gibson, a retired British Army brigadier.
“Once [militants] start facing air strikes, the first thing they’ll do is to reduce the targets available to the coalition forces. They will disperse and reduce their communications by mobile and radio so their electronic signature is reduced.”
I hope Obama ordered a mega-shipment of Allen Edmonds loafers. I don’t see how he’s going to keep that “no boots on the ground” pledge.
US-led airstrikes against the Islamic State terrorist group (IS or ISIS) in Syria continue Saturday night, but are failing to slow the jihadis’ advance on the Kurdish border town of Kobane.
Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Unit (YPG), backed by fighters from the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), have been engaged in a fierce battle with ISIS, as the Islamists seek to seize control of the key town on the border with Turkey.
But though US airstrikes – which President Barack Obama pledged would “degrade and destroy” ISIS – have extended from Iraq to Syria to aid the defense of Kobane, local sources say the strikes have been largely ineffective.
“They struck empty buildings,” YPG’s chief of defense for Kobane, Ismat Sheikh Hassan, told The Independent. “ISIS fighters used to be there but they left, so they haven’t helped us. If anything, they are now fighting harder to push forward before there are more strikes.”
Maybe if Obama put the latte down when he saluted the men who serve at his command, he’d see how badass they are, and how a few of them might actually scare ISIS. Fireworks don’t seem to be doing the trick.