Ethiopian Troops Fire On UN Staffers In Tigray After Defying Checkpoints

In the scramble to try to find out whats going in the Tigray province of Ethiopia, UN staffers were fired upon because they defied the Ethiopian army checkpoints.

Redwan Hussein, spokesman for the Ethiopian government’s task force for Tigray, explained to reporters that the U.N. team passed through two checkpoints without stopping. The continued further hastily driving into an unauthorized area.

“When they were about to break the third one they were shot at and detained,” he said.

The weeks old conflict has seen the federal Ethiopian government under PM Abi Ahmed crush the TPLF resistance in Tigray after they defied the central government. Ahmed has been focused on centralizing Ethiopia and breaking down the stranglehold over the Ethiopian economy that the TPLF has had over the last 20 years.

The UN staffers were told not to go into certain areas and they defied orders. Some were arrested and others shot at.

The international community has become worried about the Ethiopian conflict spiraling out of control and splintering the country along ethnic lines. Ethiopia is seen as a regional powerhouse, which is why China is hoping for a quick end to the conflict and a consolidation under Abi Ahmed’s moves. This is why Eritrea, who was once at war with Ethiopia has been interested in helping Addis Ababa put down the insurgency in the North. Both need stability in order to lock further Chinese investment across the Horn of Africa.

The UN’s defiance of Ethiopian orders in Tigray is more than just a mistake. There are those within the agency who seek a balance to Beijing’s expansion across the strategic Horn of Africa and may be willing to use Tigray to get it.

While there is a clear humanitarian crisis forming, the international community mostly European led appear to be exacerbating Ethiopian tensions with the outside world.

Jan Egeland, head of the internationalist Norwegian Refugee Council has jumped in, exhorting Addis Ababa to allow unfettered aid.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations chimed in as well:

Tigray may be a looming disaster, but it is unclear why the UN sees fit to focus outsized energy on it as opposed to the crisis between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh or even elsewhere on the African continent like Buhari’s ethnic cleansing of the Igbo.

This sort of over focus by Western international organizations unintentionally pushes countries like Ethiopia further into the pocket of China who asks no questions, except for demanding total obedience.

Is Israel Prepared for a New Lebanon War?

Yesterday marked ten years since the Second Lebanon War with Israel. The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset marked the day with a debate on the lessons learned  from the war to see if the home front is prepared for a possible future conflict.

While the chief of staff for the IDF`s Home Front Command, Brig. Gen. Dedi Simchi, says of the 257 local authorities, 235 will be able to handle – with varying degrees of success – a future emergency situation, and that an “excellent culture of emergency has developed in the national home front,” several MK’s argued that a lot of work is needed to prepare for a future conflict.

MK Mordhay Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) said the government must budget plans for fortification and the evacuation of civilians, if needed. “A war can – God forbid – leave us with thousands of people killed and damage to infrastructure to such an extent that we will have a hard time recuperating,” he stated. ”If we will not invest five billion shekels in fortification, we will sustain 50 billion shekel`s worth of damage.”

MK Eyal Ben-Reuven (Zionist Camp) said a conflict in the north ”is almost inevitable” but the region ”is not prepared for a war with 1,200-1,500 missiles falling daily.”

Committee Chairman Dichter lauded the Home Front Command for drawing the necessary conclusions immediately after the war, and said the issue of the local authorities` preparedness for a future conflict must be addressed.

”We must not leave question marks that will be exposed only in an emergency,” he said, adding that ”Hezbollah`s current [dire situation] gives us time to prepare the north, and this must guide us from an operational perspective.”

Considering the recent Hezbollah drone that penetrated Israel’s airspace in the Golan and talks in the Knesset of the dangers Israel faces from its neighbors, it is an opportune time for Israel to step up its security measures for the civilian population.


Bi-polar Islam: At War With the World…and Itself

The most significant undeclared contemporary war of our time is with Islam. The first salvo took place November 4, 1979, the day Iran took US citizens hostage in Tehran and held 52 of them against their will for 444 days.  While 9/11 was the worst single tragedy by far, it wasn’t the beginning. That was a wake-up call, which which has largely been ignored, especially by President Obama.

Some may suggest there is no such war. Others claim it is the West that has declared war on Islam. Neither statement is correct. The fact is Islam has declared war. War on democracy, the West, the US, Israel, Jews, Christians and all “infidels,” which includes other Muslims. We are in perilous times. The very fabric of the free world is under attack. Unless democratic nations, especially the US, acknowledge this and take steps to combat the threat, Islam may eventually engulf everyone and everything.

The most important and powerful leader in the free world is the President of the United States. He should be at the forefront of this battle. Yet President Obama has steadfastly refused to correctly identify what everyone else knows — the United States (and the free world) is in the crosshairs of Islam. Their goal is to see the Islamic flag over the White House.

New normal

If you are one of those who doesn’t think we are in a crisis, consider this- Prior to the ’79 takeover of the US embassy in Iran, how often did you hear these terms: “jihad,” “Islamic fundamentalist,” “martyr,” “Allah,” “alluah Akbar,” or “Sharia law?”

Today they are commonplace and exemplify the new normal the US and the world lives with. In fact it would be an unusual day if we didn’t hear any of these terms.

I recall when it was possible to walk out to the gate at the airport to meet an incoming passenger. How about when there was no such thing as an airport security check? I guess I’m only showing my age….

Not all Muslims

Before going further, an important distinction should be made. Am I suggesting this war is with all Muslims? No. Not all Muslims are fundamentalists. In fact the majority are not. Yet the terror from the minority is affecting almost everyone, whether Muslim or not in one way or another.

Thus an obvious question becomes how many fundamentalists are there?

Estimates vary widely. Some say it’s as low as 3%, others up to as much as 50% or more, depending on your source. Statistics on this are rare and generally without credible references. This is where some simple math is quite telling. Current population statistics indicate there are 1.65 billion Muslims worldwide. (This is not in dispute) For the sake of this article I’ll use a conservative estimate of 10% being fundamentalists. That means 90% are peaceful.

If 10% are fundamentalists, that translates to 165 million. If all of them lived in one country it would rank #8 in the world. These are numbers no one should dismiss or take lightly.

True Muslims

The next question is who are the “true” Muslims, the 90% or the 10%? Sheer numbers tend to suggest the 90%. Yet is this really the case? Let’s drill down a bit deeper.

The non-violent Muslims will tell you Islam is a religion of peace and the fundamentalists have hijacked it. While peaceful Muslims may indeed be sincere in their commitment to non-violence, are they correct by accusing fundamentalists of hijacking Islam? This needs to be addressed soberly.

The fundamentalists who commit violence in Allah’s name consider themselves to be the true Muslims. In fact they will tell you the ones who accuse them of hijacking Islam are not true Muslims.

Yet both peaceful and fundamentalist Muslims look to the Quran as their holy book.

How can two different groups both claiming to be Muslim read the same holy book and see things so differently? Is one group making claims about the Quran that are false?

Before examining this closer keep one thing in mind. There are approximately 40,000 Christian denominations. Wide differences exist among them on numerous topics. Yet would it be fair for a Pentecostal to accuse a Presbyterian of not being a Christian?

There is one holy book for those who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: the Bible, albeit different books are used by Christians (New Testament) and Jews (Torah/Prophets/Writings), and some differences exist between Catholic and Protestant versions.  While there is a wide range of interpretations of scripture, a Presbyterian considers himself just as much a Christian as a Pentecostal.

This same principle applies to Muslims.

Due diligence requires examination of the Quran to see if there are verses which substantiate the fundamentalist view of condoning violence.

Violence condoned

There are numerous verses in the Quran which make it clear that violence is not only condoned, it is required against disbelievers. This includes against peaceful Muslims who do not engage in violence as instructed in the Quran. Altogether there are over 160 verses in the Quran which support violence or jihad.

Plus, there is clear disdain for Jews and Christians.

What’s also noteworthy is Mohammed himself supported violence. He was responsible for numerous killings, which included massacring several hundred Jews of the Qurayza tribe in Medina in 627.

Today Muslim religious leaders continue their calls for Jewish blood.

Based on the aforementioned information, the following conclusions can be drawn-

  • There is a wide range of Muslims
  • The Quran sanctions violence
  • Mohammed himself condoned and engaged in violence
  • The Quran indicates disdain for non-Muslims
  • Muslims are both peaceful and violent
  • Fundamentalists are Muslims
  • They have not hijacked Islam

With respect to whether Islam is a peaceful religion, after confirming what the Quran says, it would seem such a characterization is not only naïve, it’s incorrect, possibly dangerous. Further, if a Presbyterian doesn’t have the right to say a Pentecostal is not a Christian, it follows that a peaceful Muslim doesn’t have the right to say a fundamentalist is not a Muslim.

If a “true believer” is one who follows everything in their holy book, and the fundamentalists are adhering to this, how should we view peaceful Muslims? While I believe they are indeed Muslims, can it be the fundamentalists are actually the true Muslims?

What’s the takeaway?

The free world should open its eyes, understand there is a war going on. Ignoring it won’t eliminate it. In fact doing so will allow it to continue unabated. We should stop letting naïveté and political correctness govern our views or our laws. Difficult decisions will need to be made, and soon.  If the status quo continues, the lifestyle free people are accustomed to will soon become a thing of the past.

Years ago there was a commercial by a manufacturer of engine oil filters that suggested not to ignore the importance of changing filters when necessary. The closing words of the commercial were “pay me now… or pay me later.”

IDF to Hamas: Please Stop Hating Us

The war of words continues today between Hamas and Israel.  Of course it should be assumed that Hamas who has never heeded any warning from the IDF will keep their tradition of running straight into a wall. In the tradition of the IDF’s war of stern warnings Major General Yoav Mordechai Poli threatened Hamas saying that unless they cease coercion and incitement of those who cross over into Israel, Israel will have no choice but to close the crossings.

Gaza Strip – Crossings
This is analogous to Jews pleading with Hitler to stop murdering us. Hamas doesn’t care about land crossings or the residents of the strip. Any closure will feed into their propaganda.  That being said, if we don’t want violent enemies entering Israel then don’t let them in, but don’t pretend to use it as a weapon against an enemy force steeped in the ideology of global Jihad.

Preparing for War Means Be Prepared

If Hamas is truly preparing for another round of fighting then the IDF needs to be prepared as well.  No slogan or warnings will do. Making sure the enemy is severely destroyed is the only real solution to the conflict.  This requires killing Hamas leaders and the eventual reconquering of the strip in order to finally flush out the Jihadist vipers that are busy readying themselves for Israel’s destruction.

The Great Unwinding Has Begun

[dropcap]D[/dropcap]espite the US Treasury’s best market manipulation, which may or may not save US Stocks for the day, the inevitable stomach turning feeling that the World is once again out of control is unmistakably in the air. There has been a subtle feeling that this could be the reality for months now and as Iran’s oil came into the global market, crude’s collapse has been assured. With oil down below $27 a barrel, the market rout that has been underway since the first of January will assuredly continue.

Courtesy Bloomberg

In all honesty, the global recovery since 2008 has not really been a recovery.  Propped up by cheap credit and a farce of a fracking and shale industry as well the emerging markets, which have been more fictional than fact, the economy should have given way a long time ago.  Humans like to live in a bubble. So long as there has been available credit the false economy could continue lying.

Keynesian Economics is Bringing Everything Else Down

The game that has been played by the central bankers for the last few decades has reached the end.  Over manipulation of the markets which has flowed from the statist policies rooted in Keynesian Economics has warped the global economy.  This unraveling is picking up pace and threatens to derail the global economy.

Listen to the Podcast Below

Keynesian Economics never made much sense. The idea that central banks could increase deficit spending to ensure economic growth in times of stagnation would eventually be over used. The only surprise is that is has taken this long for a real decoupling to begin.

From Economic Collapse to War

One thing is certain. When global economic stresses increase to an unacceptable level, geopolitical friction begin to stir. Russia cannot sustain itself with oil as low as it is.  Neither can the Arab nations or Iran.

With no reason to keep the guns holstered expect Russia and Iran to be on the move. After all, the best way to raise oil prices is war. If there is war then why not make the most of it and restore some lost territory in Ukraine and other areas Mother Russia once had.

For Israel’s part, the economic level of most of its citizens have always been borderline poverty.  If the tech bubble bursts the government will have to instill emergency measure.  Of course, Israel has always functioned on a different wavelength and there is no reason to assume it won’t do so this time as well. Of course if there is real war, all bets are off.