Refusing to cooperate with Iranian military

Michele Catanzaro

26 April 2013

Omid Kokabee, a former graduate student in physics who has been imprisoned in Iran since January 2011, has written in an open letter that he was being persecuted for refusing to cooperate with Iranian military projects. In another, private letter, he says these projects are related to nuclear applications.

“Is it a sin that I don’t want, under any circumstances, to get involved in security and military activities?” he asks. “I have just turned 30 years old after spending two years in prison, when I am eager to pursue scientific research,” he remarks. Nature received copies of the letters from Kokabee’s contacts, who asked to remain anonymous because of fear of retribution.

In the public letter (read Nature‘s English translation of the Kokabee letter from the original Farsi), addressed to Ali Sharifi, who Kokabee describes as his former roommate at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Kokabee says that he was asked to collaborate with the military before and during his detention, but always refused. 

Michele Catanzaro

26 April 2013

Omid Kokabee, a former graduate student in physics who has been imprisoned in Iran since January 2011, has written in an open letter that he was being persecuted for refusing to cooperate with Iranian military projects. In another, private letter, he says these projects are related to nuclear applications.

“Is it a sin that I don’t want, under any circumstances, to get involved in security and military activities?” he asks. “I have just turned 30 years old after spending two years in prison, when I am eager to pursue scientific research,” he remarks. Nature received copies of the letters from Kokabee’s contacts, who asked to remain anonymous because of fear of retribution.

In the public letter (read Nature's English translation of the Kokabee letter from the original Farsi), addressed to Ali Sharifi, who Kokabee describes as his former roommate at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Kokabee says that he was asked to collaborate with the military before and during his detention, but always refused. 

Iraq was a bottomless pit of money for grabs

Budget Cuts?? Hell, We’ve Lost More Money Than That.July 31, 2011 By Krell Here is a picture showing the size of a billion dollars in 100 dollar bills, relative to a person. Those smaller stacks in front of the huge pallets of bills are 100…

Budget Cuts?? Hell, We’ve Lost More Money Than That.



Here is a picture showing the size of a billion dollars in 100 dollar bills, relative to a person. Those smaller stacks in front of the huge pallets of bills are 1000 dollars and 1 million dollars, again in 100 dollar bills.








During the earlier part of the Iraq war, seems the operation was “cash strapped” so to speak because they needed some money to throw around. But this is not the kind of cash strapped that you or I could just go the ATM machine a couple of times for. This was SERIOUS CASH STRAPPED.

So the U.S. government decided to send off some money to Iraq in some military cargo planes. Pallets and pallets of 100 dollar bills loaded up into c-130 Hercules transport planes. Now I don’t know if everyone has seen the size of a C-130 plane but it is HUGE! They put tanks and helicopters in these things, no problem.



The amount of cash sent over? Around 12 billion dollars in 100 dollar bills, 361 tons of 100 dollar bills for a total of 21 loaded C-130 planes of cash. The largest transfer of cash in the history of the United States by far!

Do you want to know something crazier? They don’t know where most of it went.

Poof… gone… disappeared. As Rep. Waxman asked in 2007:
“Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone?”


12 Billion dollars! 

Let’s add up some numbers to show just how large 12 billion dollars can be.

How about we use the new deficit reduction bill and add up all the cuts to various agencies. I mean… it was so important to get these cuts in that the government basically shut down from doing anything else for weeks.
List of some cuts in the  Continuing Resolution Discretionary Budget Bill

THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

The Department of Labor is set to lose $870 million for the rest of the fiscal year from job training and creation programs,community college curriculum for dislocated workers and a fund that aims to prepare workers for new green jobs.

THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

The Women, Infants and Children program – which provides food and infant formula to low-income families- would receive $504 million less than it did last year.

THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation would take a cut of $53 million which means it would fund 134 fewer grants to outside researchers than it did in fiscal year 2010. That cut would translate to a loss of NSF support for 1,500 researchers and support personal.

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

The resolution would cut $942 million from the funds enacted in fiscal 2010 for the Community Development Fund, which includes block grants designed to help rehabilitate housing and invest in primarily low-income neighborhoods.

THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Ha Ha… made you look. You don’t think any cuts are going to come from here did you? The Defense Department would be allocated $513 billion, a $5 billion increase from 2010 levels.
Okay, what does that add up to? WHAT? We’re only 2.37 billion and that’s only 4 C-130 transport planes worth. We still got lots more to equal those 20 planes.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

$148 million would be cut from programs to help juveniles avoid the criminal justice system

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

The measure would cut about 15 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency budget, decimating a program that provides money to states to reduce water pollution for a total of 1.35 billion dollars

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

The Department of the Interior could soon be prohibited from enforcing rules that protect animals such as wolves. Also a program that helps recover endangered species was slashed by $25 million, a 31 percent cut. And a wildlife grant that helps states manage at-risk species before they become endangered would be sliced by $28 million, also a 31 percent cut. Total of 53 million.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Cuts of $16.5 million from programs developing technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants and $6.3 million from nuclear energy programs. Apparently those “Carbon Emission Free” nuclear plants take priority over…carbon emissions.
So that brings the total of the amount of cuts to 3.92 billion dollars. But still not even close to that Iraq cash flotilla of 12 billion

THE SECURITIES & EXCHANGE COMMISSION

This well oiled machine is not going to receive any cuts at all. The Securities and Exchange Commission would receive a 7 percent increase in its budget or 1.185 billion to the agency, an increase of $74 million above the 2010 levels.

What could they possibly need more money for? Certainly not for audit forms or criminal investigations. Keep up the good work, you eagle eyed guardians of the wealthy.



U.S. Iraq inspector general report that concluded this week that $6.6 billion in shrink-wrapped cash the U.S. government previously feared had gone missing in the chaotic early days of the Iraq occupation has in fact been safely accounted for.
"The mystery of $6 billion that seemed to go missing in the early days of the Iraq war has been resolved, according to a new report," CNN national security producer Charles Keyes reported Wednesday. "New evidence shows most of that money, $6.6 billion, did not go astray in that chaotic period, but ended up where it was supposed to be, under the control of the Iraqi government, according to a report from the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction or SIGIR."
Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, had previously testified that as much as $6.6 billion of the $10 billion the United States shipped to Iraq had disappeared due to "weaknesses in [the Department of Defense's] financial and management controls," Keyes wrote, citing the bureaucratese from a previous SIGIR report.

The cash had in part been drawn from Iraq's own international assets, accrued during the pre-war, UN-run Oil for Food program. It was flown to Iraq in the wake of the U.S. 2003 invasion; the idea was that it would help pay for the Iraq reconstruction and development efforts under the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S.-led occupation outfit that dissolved in 2004. The original idea was to store most of the money in accounts in the Central Bank of Iraq; U.S. occupation authorities also apparently stored a few hundred million in a vault at one of Saddam Hussein's palaces they used as their headquarters for various cash needs.
After the Coalition Provision Authority dissolved in 2004, however, it wasn't clear where the funds had gone, the previous SIGIR report said. But apparently, the money was properly transferred to accounts held at the Central Bank of Iraq, the new SIGIR report found.

"But the inspector general's new report says almost all the $6.6 billion was properly handed over to Iraq and its Central Bank," Keyes writes. "'SIGIR was able to account for the unexpected [Development Fund of Iraq] funds remaining in DFI accounts when the [Coalition Provisional Authority] dissolved in June 2004,' the new report says. 'Sufficient evidence exists showing that almost all of the remaining $6.6 billion remaining was transferred to actual and legal [Central Bank of Iraq] control.'"

This is not to say that the mystery of all the billions and billions the U.S. spent in Iraq has been entirely resolved. The SIGIR report says that inspectors are still trying to piece together the fate of some of the few hundred million that U.S. officials stowed at one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces.

"While the bulk of the money was transferred to the Central Bank of Iraq, $217 million remained in a vault in a former presidential palace and was held by the U.S. Defense Department and most was doled out for a variety of projects and payrolls, the report says," Keyes reported. A February 2008 SIGIR audit found that $24.45 million of the $217 million stored at the palace vault remained, and was later turned over to Iraq.

The next SIGIR report on DoD spending on contracting projects in Iraq is expected in January 2012--after the formal withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from the country.

190,000 weapons 'missing in Iraq'


The US military cannot account for 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to the Iraqi security forces, an official US report says.The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the Pentagon cannot track about 30% of the weapons distributed in Iraq over the past three years.
The Pentagon did not dispute the figures, but said it was reviewing arms deliveries procedures.
About $19.2bn has been spent by the US since 2003 on Iraqi security forces.
GAO, the investigative arm of the US Congress, said at least $2.8bn of this money was used to buy and deliver weapons and other equipment.
Correspondents say it is now feared many of the weapons are being used against US forces on the ground in Iraq.
Discrepancies
The GAO said weapons distribution was haphazard and rushed and failed to follow established procedures, particularly from 2004 to 2005.
MISSING IN IRAQ
AK-47 rifles: 110,000
Pistols: 80,000
Body armour pieces: 135,000
Helmets: 115,000
During this period, security training was led by Gen David Petraeus, who now commands all US forces in Iraq.
The GAO reached the estimate - 111,000 missing AK-47s and 80,000 missing pistols - by comparing the property records of the Multi-National Security Transition Command for Iraq against records maintained by Gen Petraeus of the arms and equipment he ordered.
Deputy Assistant Defence Secretary Mark Kimmitt told AFP the Pentagon was "reviewing policies and procedures to ensure US-funded equipment reaches the intended Iraqi security forces under the Iraq program".
Weapons delay
The report comes as a political battle rages in Washington over the progress of the war in Iraq.
Gen Petraeus and US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker are scheduled to report to Congress by mid-September on the success of efforts to halt sectarian violence and return Iraq to viable self-governance.
Meanwhile, at the end of July, the US Defence Department admitted that the US-led coalition in Iraq had failed to deliver nearly two-thirds of the equipment it promised to Iraq's army.
The Pentagon said only 14.5m of the nearly 40m items of equipment ordered by the Iraqi army had been provided.
The US military commander in charge of training in Iraq has asked for help in speeding up the transfer of equipment.
Iraq's ambassador to the US said the delays were hindering the fighting capacity of its armed forces.


http://www.trueworldhistory.info/ | A documentary on the privatisation of the Iraq war and the problems such policies have led to not least of all the creation of the militrary industrial complex. 

L’affaire des caporaux de Souain

In 1915, four French corporals were shot at a farm in Suippes for refusing to advance out of their trenches through the carnage of a World War I no man’s land. It was not only Corporals Theophile Maupas, Louis Lefoulon, … Continue reading

In 1915, four French corporals were shot at a farm in Suippes for refusing to advance out of their trenches through the carnage of a World War I no man’s land.

It was not only Corporals Theophile Maupas, Louis Lefoulon, Louis Girard and Lucien Lechat who had refused. The entire 21st Company of the 336th Infantry regiment, exhausted and already decimated by combat, was ordered over the trench at dawn on March 10.

Under withering machine gun fire, and with French artillery carelessly dropping shells just in front of their own lines, the 21st stayed put. Frantic to force the advance, the French commander ordered artillery to drive the troops ahead by shelling his own trenches — an order the artillerists refused to carry out unless someone put it in writing.

“ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD”

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire’s return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share,

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the Poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour:-
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault
If Memory o’er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway’d,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre:

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne’er unroll;
Chill Penury repress’d their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country’s blood.

Th’ applause of list’ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o’er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation’s eyes,

Their lot forbad: nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;
Forbad to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse’s flame.

Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.

Yet e’en these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelt by th’ unletter’d Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e’er resign’d,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing lingering look behind?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
E’en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
E’en in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who, mindful of th’ unhonour’d dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, —

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn;

‘There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high.
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

‘Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove;
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or cross’d in hopeless love.

‘One morn I miss’d him on the custom’d hill,
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

‘The next with dirges due in sad array
Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne,-
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.’
The Epitaph
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.
Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melacholy marked him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Misery all he had, a tear,
He gained from Heaven (’twas all he wish’d) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode
(There they alike in trembling hope repose),
The bosom of his Father and his God.

By Thomas Gray (1716-71).

Click to view slideshow.

L’Aisne demande à la République de reconnaître les soldats fusillés pour l’exemple de 14-18

Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb.[1] Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer of French soldiers who refused to continue a suicidal attack. Dax attempts to defend them against a charge of cowardice in a court-martial.

Cobb’s novel had no title when it was finished, so the publisher held a contest. The winning entry came from the ninth stanza of the famous Thomas Gray poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard“.[2]

“The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”

Paths of Glory is based loosely on the true story of four French soldiers during World War I, under General Géraud Réveilhac, executed for mutiny in Souain, France; their families sued, and while the executions were ruled unfair, two of the families received one franc each, while the others received nothing. The novel is about the French execution of innocent men to strengthen others’ resolve to fight. The French Army did carry out military executions for cowardice, as did all the other major participants. However, a significant point in the film is the practice of selecting individuals at random and executing them as a punishment for the sins of the whole group. This is similar to the Roman practice of decimation, which was rarely used by the French Army in World War I


jobs are expected to be opened to women

By Phil StewartWASHINGTON | Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:39am EST(Reuters) – Three years before he lifted the U.S. military’s ban on females in front-line combat, Leon Panetta grew acutely aware that women in senior positions were already risking – and losing – …

By Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON | Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:39am EST


(Reuters) - Three years before he lifted the U.S. military's ban on females in front-line combat, Leon Panetta grew acutely aware that women in senior positions were already risking - and losing - their lives when a would-be informant blew himself up at a CIA base in Afghanistan.

Panetta was CIA director at the time of the December 2009 attack in Khost, Afghanistan, and two women -- including one who headed the CIA base -- were among the seven Americans killed.

A senior aide cited it among the experiences that helped shaped Panetta's thinking about women in war even before he took over the Pentagon in 2011, and inherited the difficult job of writing condolence notes to the families of fallen troops - men and women.

More than 150 women have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001, and nearly 1,000 have been wounded.



"Every time I visited the war zone ... I've been impressed with the fact that everyone -- everyone, men and women alike -- everyone is committed to doing the job," Panetta told reporters on Thursday.

"They're fighting and they're dying together. And the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality."

So, with perhaps just weeks before he steps down as defense secretary and retires to private life, Panetta on Thursday was able to seal his legacy as the man who lifted the 1994 ban on women in front-line combat roles. It came after he helped finish the job of integrating openly serving gay and lesbian service members in 2011, with the elimination of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Panetta took an important step toward making more opportunities available to women last year, with an initial move to open around 14,000 additional jobs to women but leaving more than 230,000 off-limits. At the time, the aide recalled Panetta being unsatisfied, asking privately "why can't we do more?"

Panetta on Thursday credited the military's top brass for putting forward the proposal this month to lift the ban on women in front-line combat roles. An OK from the generals and admirals was crucial buy-in that would be necessary for the proposal to work. The integration will be gradual, through 2016, and it's unclear which roles may remain off-limits.

"I was very pleased when I got that recommendation, because it was a fulfillment of what we had talked about and what we wanted to achieve," Panetta said.

OBAMA STAYED OUT OF PENTAGON DELIBERATIONS

Aides described regular meetings over the past year with service chiefs on the issue, sometimes in the ultra-secure Pentagon briefing room known as "The Tank."

Panetta said he also regularly spoke with President Barack Obama on his efforts to provide more opportunities to women.

A senior administration official said Obama had privately encouraged Panetta to take the step but had stayed out of internal Pentagon deliberations.

Panetta also had an ally in General Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military officer, who, as commander of the 1st Armored Division in Iraq in 2003 came to learn how the role of women in the military had changed over the years.

On his first foray out of the forward operating base, Dempsey jumped into an armored vehicle and slapped the soldier manning the turret gunner around the leg, and said, "Who are you?"

"And she leaned down and said, 'I'm Amanda,'" Dempsey recalled. "So, female turret-gunner protecting (me, the) division commander. And it's from that point on that I realized something had changed, and it was time to do something about it."

Panetta described a similar experience when he came face-to-face with a military that had changed tremendously in the near half-century since he joined the Army as an intelligence officer in 1964.

"It's been almost 50 years since I served in the military and to go out now and to see women performing the roles that they are performing and doing a great job at it, I think it ... encouraged me," Panetta told reporters.

He noted that he had six grandchildren, half of them women and the other half men.

"I want each of them to have the same chance to succeed at whatever they want to do," he said.

"In life, as we all know, there are no guarantees of success. Not everyone is going to be able to be a combat soldier. But everyone is entitled to a chance."

(Additional reporting by Steve Holland and David Alexander; Editing by Warren Strobel and Doina Chiacu)




24 January 2013 Last updated at 21:01 GMT


A senior defence official said about 237,000 jobs would be newly open to women "who can meet the standards".



President Barack Obama said: "This milestone reflects the courageous and patriotic service of women through more than two centuries of American history and the indispensable role of women in today's military.

"Many have made the ultimate sacrifice, including more than 150 women who have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan - patriots whose sacrifices show that valour knows no gender."

Mr Panetta hopes to have the process complete by 2016.

The US is likely to have withdrawn all combat troops from Afghanistan well ahead of that time.

Some jobs are expected to be opened to women this year, while others - including for special forces such as the Navy Seals and the Delta Force - could take longer.
Tammy Duckworth on Capitol Hill (3 January 2013) Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth is a high-profile US combat veteran

One of the most high-profile female combat veterans in America is US Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat who lost her legs when the Army helicopter she was piloting in Iraq was shot down.

On Thursday, she quipped on NBC's Today show: "I didn't lose my legs in a bar fight. I'm pretty sure I was in combat."

Restrictions were first eased a year ago, when the Pentagon opened up 14,500 roles, closer to the frontline, which had previously been off limits to female personnel.

In November, a group of four women in the military sued the defence department over the ban, arguing that it was unconstitutional.

One of the plaintiffs, Marine Corps Capt Zoe Bedell, said existing rules had blocked her advancement in the Marines.

During the Iraq and Afghan wars, US female military personnel have worked as medics, military police and intelligence officers, sometimes attached but not formally assigned to frontline units.

As of 2012, more than 800 women were wounded in those wars, and more than 150 have died.

Women comprise 14% of America's 1.4 million active military personnel.

?????

In revolutionary Tunisia, 2012 saw a political struggle between the small but violent minority of Salafis or hard line fundamentalists, and, well, everybody else. Salafi attacks on unveiled women provoked a huge anti-Salafi rally in the capital, Tunis. In summer, some Salafis attacked an art exhibit in tony LaMarsa. In September, Salafis of a more al-Qaeda mindset set fire to the parking lot of the American embassy and looted some of its offices. The leader of the movement for political Islam in Tunisia, the al-Nahda Party’s Rashid Ghanoushi, was caught on tape warning the Salafis that if they continued to be so provocative, they risked instigating a civil war like that in Algeria (where some 150,000 Algerians died in a struggle between secularists and Muslim fundamentalists in 1991-2002).


A Salafi (Arabic: سلفي‎) is a Muslim who emphasises the Salaf («predecessors» or «ancestors»), the earliest Muslims, as model examples of Islamic practice.[1] The term has been in use since the Middle Ages but today refers especially to a follower of a modern Sunni Islamic movement known as Salafiyyah or Salafism, which is related to or includes Wahhabism, so that the two terms are often viewed as synonymous.[2] Salafism has become associated with literalist, strict and puritanical approaches to Islam and, in the West, with the Salafi Jihadis who espouse violent jihadagainst civilians as a legitimate expression of Islam.[3] It’s been noted that the Western association of Salafi ideology with violence stems from writings done «through the prism of security studies» that were published in the late 20th century, having persisted well into contemporary literature. [4] More recent attempts have been made by academics and scholars who challenge these major assumptions. Academics and historians use the term to denote «a school of thought which surfaced in the second half of the 19th century as a reaction to the spread of European ideas,» and «sought to expose the roots of modernity within Muslim civilization.»[5]
Just who, or what groups and movements, qualify as Salafi remains in dispute. In the Arab World, and possibly even more so now by Muslims in the West, it is usually secondary to the more common term Ahl-as-Sunnah (i.e., «People of the Sunnah«) while the term Ahl al-Hadith (The People of the Tradition) is more often used in the Indian subcontinent to identify adherents of Salafi ideology, a term which in the Middle-East is used more to indicate scholars and students of Hadith. All are considered to bear the same or similar connotation and have been used interchangeably by Muslim scholars throughout the ages, Ahl al-Hadeeth possibly being the oldest recorded term used to describe the earliest adherents[6] while Ahl as-Sunnah is overwhelmingly used by Muslim scholars, including Salafis as well as others, such as the Ash’ari sect, leading to a narrower use of the term «Salafi».[7] The Muslim Brotherhood includes the term in the «About Us» section of its website[8] while others exclude that organisation[9] in the belief that the group commits religious innovations. Other self-described contemporary salafis may define themselves as Muslims who follow «literal, traditional … injunctions of the sacred texts» rather than the «somewhat freewheeling interpretation» of earlier salafis. These look to Ibn Taymiyyah, not the 19th century figures ofMuhammad Abduh, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, and Rashid Rida.[5]
According to the 2010 German domestic intelligence service annual report, Salafism is the fastest growing Islamic movement in the world.


In a recent crackdown on radical Islam, German authorities have launched nationwide raids on an ultra-conservative religious group – the Salafists. They’re suspected of having links to extremists and posing a threat to democracy. But for years the movement has enjoyed conditions that’ve made it thrive, as Oksana Boyko reports.

A group of Salafists attacked an art exhibition, Le Printemps des Arts, in La Marsa, (north suburb of Tunis) destroying some of the art works deemed blasphemous to Islam. The small, yet grave incident, soon grew in proportion when hundreds of Salafists – or thugs – attacked a police station in La Marsa, burnt a tribunal in Sidi Hussein (south of Tunis) and stopped police and firefighters from intervening. Clashes with police were reported in two neighborhoods throughout metropolitan Tunis and coastal city Sousse.

The aftermath led to a curfew, starting from Monday, June 12th, after the escalation of violence, in Metropolitan Tunis, Sousse, Monastir, Tabarka, and in other inland regions, including Gabes and Ben Guerdane.

An Interior Ministry official was quoted by the media as saying 162 people had been detained and 65 members of the security forces wounded in the incident.

In revolutionary Tunisia, 2012 saw a political struggle between the small but violent minority of Salafis or hard line fundamentalists, and, well, everybody else. Salafi attacks on unveiled women provoked a huge anti-Salafi rally in the capital, Tunis. In summer, some Salafis attacked an art exhibit in tony LaMarsa. In September, Salafis of a more al-Qaeda mindset set fire to the parking lot of the American embassy and looted some of its offices. The leader of the movement for political Islam in Tunisia, the al-Nahda Party’s Rashid Ghanoushi, was caught on tape warning the Salafis that if they continued to be so provocative, they risked instigating a civil war like that in Algeria (where some 150,000 Algerians died in a struggle between secularists and Muslim fundamentalists in 1991-2002).



A Salafi (Arabic: ?????) is a Muslim who emphasises the Salaf ("predecessors" or "ancestors"), the earliest Muslims, as model examples of Islamic practice.[1] The term has been in use since the Middle Ages but today refers especially to a follower of a modern Sunni Islamic movement known as Salafiyyah or Salafism, which is related to or includes Wahhabism, so that the two terms are often viewed as synonymous.[2] Salafism has become associated with literalist, strict and puritanical approaches to Islam and, in the West, with the Salafi Jihadis who espouse violent jihadagainst civilians as a legitimate expression of Islam.[3] It's been noted that the Western association of Salafi ideology with violence stems from writings done "through the prism of security studies" that were published in the late 20th century, having persisted well into contemporary literature. [4] More recent attempts have been made by academics and scholars who challenge these major assumptions. Academics and historians use the term to denote "a school of thought which surfaced in the second half of the 19th century as a reaction to the spread of European ideas," and "sought to expose the roots of modernity within Muslim civilization."[5]
Just who, or what groups and movements, qualify as Salafi remains in dispute. In the Arab World, and possibly even more so now by Muslims in the West, it is usually secondary to the more common term Ahl-as-Sunnah (i.e., "People of the Sunnah") while the term Ahl al-Hadith (The People of the Tradition) is more often used in the Indian subcontinent to identify adherents of Salafi ideology, a term which in the Middle-East is used more to indicate scholars and students of Hadith. All are considered to bear the same or similar connotation and have been used interchangeably by Muslim scholars throughout the ages, Ahl al-Hadeeth possibly being the oldest recorded term used to describe the earliest adherents[6] while Ahl as-Sunnah is overwhelmingly used by Muslim scholars, including Salafis as well as others, such as the Ash'ari sect, leading to a narrower use of the term "Salafi".[7] The Muslim Brotherhood includes the term in the "About Us" section of its website[8] while others exclude that organisation[9] in the belief that the group commits religious innovations. Other self-described contemporary salafis may define themselves as Muslims who follow "literal, traditional ... injunctions of the sacred texts" rather than the "somewhat freewheeling interpretation" of earlier salafis. These look to Ibn Taymiyyah, not the 19th century figures ofMuhammad Abduh, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, and Rashid Rida.[5]
According to the 2010 German domestic intelligence service annual report, Salafism is the fastest growing Islamic movement in the world.



In a recent crackdown on radical Islam, German authorities have launched nationwide raids on an ultra-conservative religious group - the Salafists. They're suspected of having links to extremists and posing a threat to democracy. But for years the movement has enjoyed conditions that've made it thrive, as Oksana Boyko reports.



A group of Salafists attacked an art exhibition, Le Printemps des Arts, in La Marsa, (north suburb of Tunis) destroying some of the art works deemed blasphemous to Islam. The small, yet grave incident, soon grew in proportion when hundreds of Salafists - or thugs - attacked a police station in La Marsa, burnt a tribunal in Sidi Hussein (south of Tunis) and stopped police and firefighters from intervening. Clashes with police were reported in two neighborhoods throughout metropolitan Tunis and coastal city Sousse.

The aftermath led to a curfew, starting from Monday, June 12th, after the escalation of violence, in Metropolitan Tunis, Sousse, Monastir, Tabarka, and in other inland regions, including Gabes and Ben Guerdane.

An Interior Ministry official was quoted by the media as saying 162 people had been detained and 65 members of the security forces wounded in the incident.

Bush’s legacy

Published on Dec 13, 2015 Abby Martin interviews retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former national security advisor to the Reagan administration, who spent years as an assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell during both Bush administrations. Today, he … Continue reading

Published on Dec 13, 2015
Abby Martin interviews retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former national security advisor to the Reagan administration, who spent years as an assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell during both Bush administrations. Today, he is honest about the unfixable corruption inside the establishment and the corporate interests driving foreign policy.

Hear a rare insider’s view of what interests are behind U.S. wars, the manipulation of intelligence, the intertwining of the military and corporate world, and why the U.S. Empire is doomed.

The plans to implement martial law in America have been taking shape for decades, hidden behind “Continuity of Government” contingency planning. Now, with public outcry over the banker bailout bill at fever pitch, all of the pieces are in place for the U.S. Army to start policing American citizens.

U.S. Marine Jon Turner strips his medals at the “Winter Soldier” hearings


same action, different honors

http://news.yahoo.com/obama-awards-medal-honor-young-us-marine-193935264.html WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Thursday bestowed the highest U.S. military honor on Dakota Meyer, a young and humble Marine who defied orders and barreled straight into a ferocious “killing zone” in Afghanistan to save 36 lives … Continue reading

http://news.yahoo.com/obama-awards-medal-honor-young-us-marine-193935264.html

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Thursday bestowed the highest U.S. military honor on Dakota Meyer, a young and humble Marine who defied orders and barreled straight into a ferocious “killing zone” in Afghanistan to save 36 lives at extraordinary risk to himself.

“You did your duty, above and beyond,” Obama told Meyer after reciting his dramatic story. Though the corporal and a fellow Marine were going against orders — commanders considered their effort too dangerous — they were doing what they thought was right, Obama said.

The president placed the Medal of Honor ribbon around Meyer’s neck, patted his back and shook his hand as the audience in the White House East Room applauded.

At age 21, Meyer charged through heavy insurgent gunfire on five death-defying trips in an armored Humvee to save 13 Marines and Army soldiers and an additional 23 Afghan troops pinned down by withering enemy fire.

Meyer killed at least eight insurgents despite suffering a shrapnel wound in his arm as he manned the gun turret of the Humvee and provided covering fire for the soldiers, according to the military.

He had been supporting a patrol on Sept. 8, 2009, into a village in the Ganjgal Valley on the day of the ambush.

Meyer and the other Americans had gone to the area to train Afghan military members when, suddenly, the village lights went out and gunfire erupted. About 50 Taliban insurgents on mountainsides and in the village ambushed the patrol.

As the forward team called for air support that wasn’t coming, Meyer, a corporal at the time, begged his command to let him head into the incoming fire to help.

Four times he was denied his request before Meyer and another Marine, Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, jumped into the Humvee and headed into the fray. For his valor, Rodriguez-Chavez, a 34-year-old who hailed originally from Acuna, Mexico, would be awarded the Navy Cross.

“They told him he couldn’t go in,” said Dwight Meyer, Dakota Meyer’s 81-year-old grandfather, a former Marine who served in the 1950s. “He told them, ‘The hell I’m not,’ and he went in. It’s a one-in-a-million thing” that he survived.

Meyer and Rodriguez-Chavez began evacuating wounded Marines and American and Afghan soldiers to a safe point. Meyer made five trips into the kill zone, each time searching for the forward patrol with his Marine friends — including 1st Lt. Michael Johnson — whom Meyer had heard yelling on the radio for air support.

With Meyer and Rodriguez-Chavez ready to test fate a fifth time, a UH-60 helicopter arrived at last to provide overhead support. Troops aboard the chopper told Meyer they had spotted what appeared to be four bodies. Meyer knew those were his friends and he had to bring them out.

“Dakota, I know you’ve grappled with the grief of that day, that you said your efforts were somehow a failure because your teammates didn’t come home,” the president said. “But as your commander in chief and on behalf of everyone here today and all Americans, I want you to know it’s quite the opposite.”

Meyer and Obama chatted informally Wednesday evening, on a patio outside the Oval Office, over a beer.

In the ceremony, Obama praised Meyer’s humility and work ethic, noting that he would not even take a call from the president during his shift at a construction job because he was working. He is now out of the Marines. So they two arranged to talk over his lunch hour. Obama jokingly kidded him with thanks for taking the call.