Middle East

Face of the day

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Obama wants to stop female genital mutilation.

After my Face of the day yesterday about the man who had his genitals allegedly removed by a hospital in a circumcision gone wrong, I can only cross my legs in horror at the thought of my special bits being removed. Ask yourself what kind of mind set, what kind of attitude towards women does Genital mutilation reveal about a religion or race? Women are chattels much as they were more than a hundred years ago in European culture. Thank fully we have evolved but we are still dealing with religions and cultures that have not evolved. They control women and they mutilate women.

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The Middle East problem explained

This is probably the most important video about Israel ever made.

The Middle East conflict is framed as one of the most complex problems in the world. But, in reality, it’s very simple. Israelis want to live in peace and are willing to accept a neighboring Palestinian state.

And most Palestinians do not want Israel to exist.

As Dennis Prager explains, this is really all you need to know.

In 5 minutes, understand how Israel was founded, and how, since that auspicious day in 1948, its neighbors have tried to destroy it, again and again.

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Another terrorist ratbag gets his beans, this time in Syria

When you go and play in war zones there is a good chance that you will get killed. And so it has come to pass with a New Zealander fighting in Syria getting himself killed.

A New Zealander has been killed while fighting in Syria – the first Kiwi casualty in the civil war.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) said it is aware of “unconfirmed reports” a New Zealander has died fighting in the Middle East country.

It did not say when the death happened but confirmed the ministry provided consular assistance.

MFAT refused to release any further details, citing several reasons including privacy and a threat to national security.

The Kiwi’s death was also mentioned in a public statement by Syria’s permanent representative in New York, in which he referred to “criminals, mercenaries” from around the world.

“Thousands of innocent Syrians got killed, thousands were wounded, because of so-called cross border terrorists. They call themselves roundly speaking jihadists, they are not.

“For your information some of the terrorists who got killed came from Burkina Faso, some of them came from New Zealand … this is just to let you understand how absurd the issue we are dealing with.”

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Camel Jockey Disease found in US

They couldn’t used CJD for the disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease already has that so they called it MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

Nevertheless Camel Jockey Disease has made it to the US.

Along a stretch of rust-belt suburbia in Indiana, the Community Hospital in Munster now claims the dubious distinction of being the first U.S. facility to admit a patient with the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

State and federal health officials confirmed the first U.S. case of the virus on Friday. The patient, a male healthcare worker, had traveled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and began exhibiting symptoms upon his return to the United States, they said.

Separately, Saudi officials on Saturday said the rate of infections was on the rise in the country, where MERS was first discovered in 2012. The total number of cases in the kingdom is 396, of whom more than a quarter have died.

At Community Hospital, however, the news did not seem to create panic among Munster residents soon after it was broadcast on local news outlets. The emergency room was bustling with patients on Friday night, and every one of the nearly 20 seats in the dimly lit waiting area was taken.

“Nobody’s freaking out or anything, at least that I can see. Maybe they’re all wearing masks upstairs, but not down here,” said 24-year-old Michael Gibson, of nearby Hammond, Indiana, who had brought his girlfriend to the hospital for treatment.

He said he saw local news coverage of the MERS finding earlier that day, but trusted that the hospital took proper precautions to protect its patients. A previous visitor to the Community ER, he said that the number of patients seemed no lighter than normal.

The MERS patient had traveled via a British Airways flight on April 24 from Riyadh to London, changing planes at Heathrow airport to fly to Chicago. From there, he boarded a bus to Indiana. Munster, which is close to Indiana’s border with Illinois, is about a 45-minute drive from downtown Chicago.

Health officials in Britain were contacting any passengers who may have sat next to the patient. U.S. health authorities stressed the case represents a very low risk to the public.

But concerns remain, given how little is know about the way MERS is spread, other than it can be transmitted between people who are in close contact. That has made healthcare workers particularly susceptible to falling ill with the MERS virus, for which there is no treatment.

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KIwi al Qaeda sympathisers fighting in Syria

Andrea Vance reports on Kiwi al Qaeda sympathisers fighting in Syria, or attempting to fight in Syria.

New Zealand passport holders have been identified fighting alongside anti-Government forces in Syria, Prime Minister John Key says.

In some instances, the Department of Internal Affairs had cancelled their passports – some were dual nationality, including Australians, he said.

A small number also had their documents confiscated before they were allowed to leave for the civil war-torn Middle Eastern state, the prime minister said.

Rebel factions have been battling to topple President Bashar al-Assad since 2011.

Key refused to say how many Kiwis have been fighting, or give any details.

He knew of no prosecutions, saying “it was handled in a different way”.

The revelation comes after weekend reports that Australians were “flocking” to the front line. Across the Tasman, the government fears the fighters will return as hardline radicalised Islamists, ready to launch domestic terror attacks.

“Yes, there is likely to … have been a small number of New Zealanders who have fought with the rebels in Syria,” Key said today.

“There are a small group of people that have gone to Syria to fight. There’s a small group that were going to Syria that we stopped … we have physically stopped some and we are clearly aware of others who are in Syria.”  Read more »

Clapped out Iranian Navy ships ‘threaten’ US shores…snigger

Clapped out Iranian ship 'menacing' US shores

Clapped out Iranian ship ‘menacing’ US shores

Some ships from the Iranian Navy are currently marauding in the Atlantic Ocean in a deployment that is a supposedly response to U.S. naval deployments near Iran’s coastlines and they are sending a message.

In other news the Afghan Air Force are going to fly their stealth bombers to the edge of US airspace just to add to the tension.

This must be a worrying time for the seppos,  we should offer our air combat wing in case they need some back up.

Iranian warships dispatched to the Atlantic Ocean will travel close to U.S. maritime borders for the first time in a bid to send ‘a message’ to the White House.  Read more »

Muslims, always seem to find new and interesting ways of shortening their followers lives

The religion of peace doesn’t seem too keen on wanting women to live….making it hard for paramedics to attend to a heart attack victim.

A Saudi university student has died of a heart attack after male paramedics were prevented by authorities from entering the women-only campus to treat her for more than an hour.

Thousands of people took to twitter to vent their anger at the treatment of Amna Bawazeer and blame the kingdom’s segregation rules for her death.

She collapsed at King Saud University in the country’s capital Riyadh on Wednesday at about 11am but did not get seen by the ambulance crews until 12.45pm.

When they were finally allowed to care for the victim she had died, it was reported.

The university’s rector, Badran Al-Omar, denied the report, saying there was no hesitation in letting the paramedics in. He added that the university did all it could to save the life of the student.   Read more »

Global Warming strikes the Middle East

For the time in more than 100 years snow has fallen in Egypt, and in Jerusalem.

Global Warming strikes again.

It’s a festive scene that’s adorned countless Christmas cards… and, for once, the Holy Land actually became a snow covered winter scene.

The ancient city of Jerusalem, which normally basks in fierce heat, was dusted with a light covering of snow during a freak blizzard.

And snow fell on the streets of Egypt for the first time in 112 years as one of the worst winter storms to hit the Middle East in living memory set in.

The rare sight of pristine white precipitation greeted stunned residents of Cairo this morning who took to social media to express their shock at the unsettling weather in the usually sweltering capital.

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Obama doesn’t want America to be the World’s Police

It is clear that Obama doesn’t really want to go to war over a bunch of bad wogs in Syria. THere are no good options in battling in Syria.

Andrew Sullivan comments:

The money quote for me, apart from the deeply moving passage about poison gas use at the end, was his description of a letter from a service-member who told him, “We should not be the world’s policeman.” President Obama said, quite simply: “I agree.” And those on the far right who are accusing him of ceding the Middle East to Russia are half-right and yet completely wrong. What this remarkable breakthrough has brought about is a possible end to the dynamic in which America is both blamed for all the evils in the world and then also blamed for not stopping all of them. We desperately need to rebuild international cooperation to relieve us of that impossible burden in a cycle that can only hurt us and the West again and again.  Read more »

Some sensible thoughts on Syria

Stephen Franks blogs about a discussion in his office over Syria, especially over the Onion satire piece about Syria.

[The Onion is ] Funny as usual.

However, jokes aside, I think it buys into a misunderstanding about what is going on there.  The pieces just don’t fit the public narrative. Although, I must acknowledge “John’s Law” –  those who think it is a conspiracy don’t understand the power of the plain old  f—   up.

I don’t agree with the portrayal of Assad as in the least insane.  Only a few years ago he was being feted (and, ahem,  wined and dined)  by pretty much everyone as a practical reformer, trying to bring Syria out from under his fathers murderous shadow (remember, his father had a whole town liquidated to quell a rebellion).  Acts of horror abound in the Middle East, where strength and lack of pity are virtues.  Read more »