Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Iran Early Bird

Full Report
Unrest Update

1. Human chain in Tehran – As the Council of Guardians ratified the election results, thousands of Tehran residents went out onto the main streets of the capital and formed a human chain to protest against the voting process. Large numbers of security forces and anti-riot squads were on hand to monitor the demonstration, and according to reports, authorities cut power and telephone services in many areas where the protests were being held. Night-time cries of "Allah Akbar" from the roofs of buildings in Tehran and other cities went on for longer than usual too. 2. Memorial ceremony goes ahead despite Intelligence Ministry threats – Despite numerous threats from the Intelligence Ministry and guards at the Science and Industry University, students and the family of Kianoush Asa, who was killed in recent unrest on the campus, held a ceremony in his memory. Participants called out “Allah Akbar” and slogans such as “My brother, the martyr, I will demand your blood back” and “The student will die but will not give in.” Click here for pictures from the event.
3. Behind the walls of Evin Prison – Most people arrested during recent events in Iran are being held at Tehran’s Evin Prison. Among them are dozens of journalists and bloggers. Authorities are not providing answers to questions from families, who are most concerned about detainees who are being held in the facility’s Wing 209, which is known as the torture wing. Posted on the prison notice board is a list of several hundred prisoners and this is the only piece of information available to the families. The Reporters without Borders organization has received numerous reports of prisoners being subjected to torture and has asked for human rights representatives to be allowed to visit the prison, likening it to the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, following Pinochet’s coup and defining it as a bloody jail at which authorities are a law unto themselves.
4. IRCC claims it has “uncovered” a network for instigating a quiet revolution – The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have claimed that they uncovered a network codenamed “DARKOUB” (woodpecker) conspiring to topple the government in a “quiet revolution”. The IRGC added that further details will be disclosed soon.
5. Special committee to deal with cases of detainees – The spokesman for the Iranian Judiciary has announced the establishment of a special committee that will deal with the affairs of those arrested in the recent unrest. According to the spokesman, the committee will deal swiftly with the cases while upholding the detainees’ civil rights.
6. Javan daily: Abtahi can’t stop crying in jail – Since the arrest of Mohammad Ali Abtahi, Khatami’s former bureau chief and Karroubi’s election advisor, authorities have provided no information on his condition. The pro-Principlist Javan daily claims, however, that according to rumors, Abtahi has been crying constantly since his arrest and has expressed regret for his past actions.
7. Journalists arrested at Qaba Mosque clashes – During clashes outside Qaba Mosque on Sunday evening, security forces arrested a number of people, including two journalists – Shokoufeh Azar, who writes for the Sarmaye newspaper, and Kambiz Norouzi, the legal secretary of the Iranian Journalists Union. Azar’s family has yet to receive any information on her condition or whereabouts. Also during the same clashes, authorities arrested Nariman Mostafavi, a member of the Amir Kabir University’s Students Union, and Tara Sepahrifar, the secretary of the Sharif University’s Students Union. Mostafvi was released from detention a month or so ago after spending two months in solitary confinement.
8. Dr. Mahdi Khazali arrested – Dr. Mahdi Khazali, the director of the Hayan publishing house, was arrested yesterday after being summoned to the special court for religious figures. He has been transferred to an unknown location. Khazali was a prominent critic of the previous Ahmadinejad govermment and participated in recent demonstrations in Tehran. He is the son of Ayatollah Khazali, a member of the Council of Experts.
9. Sistan ve-Balouchestan University’s Students Union offices torched – Unknown individuals have torched the Students Union offices at Sistan ve-Balouchestan University. Security forces prevented students from entering the offices. Authorities at the university recently banned all activities of the Students Union on the campus. Click here for pictures.
10. Communication problems – Communication throughout Iran remains problematic for the third week running. Since the elections, most cellular telephones have been disconnected, text message services have been suspended and the Internet is running very slowly and is not accessible for the most part. Iran’s state comptroller has demanded an explanation from the communications minister.
11. Commentary in Reformist daily Etemad-e Melli: “When the people hear what they have lived and felt reported differently, clearly they will turn to other media; VOA on the rise – According to the daily: “In the past 12 days, the broadcaster that is no longer national has analyzed events in line with its blatantly biased policies. Many of the problems and offences that have occurred these days - and everyone knows the perpetrators were other people - are being attributed to the Iranian nation, whilst respected election candidates, their supporters and members of their headquarters have no platform or medium with which to defend themselves. They had long given up any hope in Voice and Vision and have further lost their means of information dissemination. Voice and Vision has gone further and is vigorously broadcasting this unfair news across the world. We should remember however that this policy entirely bereft of any trace of fairness, will do nothing but undermine public confidence. It makes people sit and watch foreign media and has achieved nothing for either officials or the public but to damage confidence. Reliable information from Iranian society indicates that the number of Iranians who are now customers of foreign media such as VOA television has increased several-fold from 12 days ago. There has been a 300 percent rise in the price of equipment allowing one access to other media. These lead us to conclude that the national broadcaster is busy finding customers for foreign media these days - an inadvertent piece of generosity now difficult to stop. The fact is that the nation does not remain in an information vacuum. People notice things in the city in which they live and breathe, and then see absolutely the opposite being reported on television that evening. This is a great danger for the system and its harm will not just affect the national broadcaster. We should remember that the national broadcaster is not a disposable phenomenon for the duration of 10th presidential elections. People should accept without doubts or hesitation any of its reports, statements or calls. But when the people hear what they have lived and felt reported differently, clearly they will turn to other media. Then, they [authorities or government supporters] will unfortunately use the result of these policies and Voice and Vision's approach to pin blame on the victims of recent elections, and tell them foreign media are defending and praising you!” )Etemad-e Melli, June 27(

The Political Scene

12. Guardian Council says election case 'closed'; approved the result of the 10th presidential elections and victory of Ahmadinejad - Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, secretary of the Guardian Council, in a letter to the interior minister has approved the result of the 10th presidential elections and victory of Mahmud Ahmadinejad. Iranian Guardian Council Spokesman Abbasali Kadkhoda'i. After an unsuccessful meeting with the representative of a candidate (June 29) , the Guardian Council decided to recount 10 percent of votes in front of the TV cameras…”very little discrepancies were reported in the recount.The ballot boxes were chosen randomly by a computer and almost every city in every province had a recount.

13. Iran electoral body looking into Mousavi's new proposals – Council of Guardians spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhoda'i has said that the council’s special committee is looking into Mir Hoseyn Mousavi's new proposals: “Mir Hoseyn Mousavi submitted his new proposals to the Council of Guardians in the final hours of Sunday. The Council considered his proposal as positive and in an attempt to build trust, it was decided to give him another chance and study his proposals in the morning session of the special committee… Some of the members of the special committee had a joint meeting with Mir Hoseyn Mousavi last night. We hope Mousavi's proposals will be examined by the end of the five-day deadline extension [Monday]. The outcome will be announced as soon as a decision is reached.”

14. Claim: 70-80 percent of ballots were marked with same pen and in same handwriting – According to Omidvar Rezaei, the brother of defeated presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei: “The Interior Ministry claims it has re-counted the votes from some of the polling stations, but this is an unofficial re-count. Even in this unofficial re-count, it turned out that 70-80 percent of the votes were made with the same pen and in the exact same handwriting, and they all contained the name of one of the candidates.”

15. State comptroller: Offenses were committed during elections, but unrest is not the way to go – Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, Iran’s state comptroller, said that the country’s current problems could be resolved in a peaceful manner. Nothing could be achieved through illegal means, he added, noting that offenses had been committed during the election process but that they must be dealt with legally and without unrest.

16. Ahmadinejad sends personal letter to head of Judiciary ordering an investigation into the death of Neda Aqa-Soltan – In a letter to the head of the Judiciary, Ahmadinejad writes: “The honorable Mr Hashemi-Shahrudi, the esteemed head of Judiciary. As you are aware, one of our honorable citizens by the name of Neda Aqa-Soltan was shot dead in suspicious circumstances by unknown elements in one of Tehran's streets on 20 June 2009. Given the widespread rumors and the extensive foreign media propaganda about this heart-rending incident and in view of the existence of witnesses and the abundance of other evidence, it seems certain that there will be interference by opponents and enemies in order to exploit the situation and attempts will be made to mar the pure face of the Islamic Republic. Therefore, please order the Judiciary to investigate the matter of the murder of the late Miss Aqa-Soltan with the utmost determination to identify and bring to justice the elements responsible for this crime and publish the results for the information of the honorable people (of Iran). With thanks Mahmud Ahmadinejad.”

17. Majlis members trying to stop Mousavi's television appearance – Several pro-Ahmadienjad Majlis members, headed by Hadad Adel and Rouholla Hosseynian, are trying to collect signatures for a proposal to prevent Mousavi from appearing on television. They have also written letters on the matter to the head of the Iranian broadcasting authority, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and the secretary of the Council of Guardians.

18. Hashemi-Rafsanjani: We must all work together to solve the problems - In his first public appearance since the election Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, chairman of the Assembly for the Discernment of Expediency for Government Affairs, called upon everyone to cooperate and empathize to overcome obstacles and solve problems.

19. Majlis Foreign Affairs and Security Committee members meet with Khatami – Members of the Majlis Foreign Affairs and Security Committee met with former Iran president Sayed Mohammad Khatami to discuss the recent elections and aftermath. According to the committee’s chairman, Khatami said he was committed to the supreme leader and the revolution and expressed willingness to help resolve the current problems.

20. Closure of political parties - final step of a creeping coup - Mojahedin-e Enghelab Party describes closure of political parties as the final step of a creeping coup.

21. MP attacked for asking government to show tolerance - Parliamentarian Pezeshkian attacked while urging the regime to show tolerance towards critics and for defending the reformist candidates. Pezeshkian also criticized IRIB for not treating the election Pezeshkian, criticized the government for dissolving the Planning and Budget Organization and the lack of planning in the past few years. (pictures)

22. Ayatollah Musavi Ardebili: What is worrisome is when the people turn their backs on us - Ayatollah Musavi Ardebili met with National Security Commission: At this meeting Ayatollah Musavi Ardebili said “I do not want to judge which side is right in this struggle and have no intention of doing so, but there is an issue here and that is that we must not do anything to put ourselves in opposition to the people. We must not do anything to make them say the Islamic government is incompetent or that Islam cannot solve their problems. Whether some fellow did or did not win the election is not our primary concern. The primary concern is that the people must not think their demands will go unmet. The people must be satisfied and made content with the issues that have arisen….One way that could be considered for getting out of the existing situation is to have a group accepted and trusted by all sides consider the matter and make its judgment final…What foreigners say about us has no importance. Ultimately the enemy will be hostile and does not wish us well. What is worrisome is when the people turn their backs on us. If we have peace domestically and the people are happy we will have no fear of what is happening abroad." (Emruz. June 29)

23. Questions presented to Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani one of the prominent sources of emulation in his internet site :

a. Question (on using force against protesters): I am a soldier performing compulsory service; I was obliged during these incidents to confront the marchers. My question: Is confronting marchers and in some cases with physical violence and blows permissible or not? If it is permissible, to what extent may we discipline them? If it is between a physical confrontation with the people and disciplining by superiors, what is the requirement? Soldier Hassan

b. Answer: in any case it is not right to attack defenseless people Your duty is to be gentle and not confront the people, and if it is between a physical confrontation with people and a reprimand, your duty is certainly to accept the discipline and the reprimand. Assuredly in any case it is not right to attack defenseless people.

c. Question: As you know, in the last few days due to the issues arising from the election crowds have formed in Tehran. Since according to the Constitution the people are free to march provided they do not violate the principles of Islam, I therefore ask that you answer two questions: 1. Was this assembly--in which I personally took part and with God as my witness I did not think or act for a moment in violation of Islam--a violation of the principles of Islam or not? 2. If the answer is negative, wasthe behavior of the government's officials towards the participants in accordance with Islam and the Constitution or not?

d. Answer: These gatherings are the lawful rights of the people and are the only way for them to make their expectations and demands known to rulers. On the one hand the Constitution has also accepted that as a basic right of the people. For this reason the Ministry of the Interior based on this very law is obliged to grant permits so the people can protest within the law. If it does not do so the people are not at fault. Rather it is the Ministry of the Interior that must answer. Here the answer to the next question is clear. When the people ask the government for help declaring their legitimate and lawful demands, the government is obliged to cooperate and take the necessary steps. If it does not take action it has violated the law and irresponsible.

Diplomatic Affairs

24. Iran recalls Baku envoy after Peres visit – Iran's newly appointed ambassador to Baku, Mohammad-Baqer Bahrami, has been recalled to Tehran for "consultations” after Peres voiced "threats" against Iran during his trip.
25. Netanyahu’s Bar-Ilan speech was designed to ease pressure of U.S. administration – An article published on the Iran Diplomacy website by former Iranian ambassador to Jordan Mohammad Irani asks: “Has Netanyahu backed down from his positions?” Irani writes that the Israeli prime minister’s recent speech at Bar-Ilan University appears on first glance to be a retreat from his past positions, but is actually a step forward. Netanyahu’s new position, Irani says, is designed to ease U.S. pressure on Israel. Netanyahu’s peace initiative, Irani adds, only serves Israeli interests and is not a retreat at all. The Palestinians and Arabs will not get anything from it, he concludes.

26. IRGC: British Foreign Minister ran a website to incite riots The Revolutionary Guards Cyber Crime Center claims the British Foreign Minister ran a website to incite riots in Iran and to provoke the British population to take "an anti-Iranian posture."

27. FM spokesman: Iran ready for talks on its nuclear program – Foreign Ministry SpokesmanHassan Qashqavi at his weekly news conference: "As the president said a few days ago, the Iranian nation is always ready for talks [on the nuclear issue].”

28. Reacting to Merkel's remarks, Shiraz City Council calls for severing cultural ties with Germany – Four members of the Shiraz City Council have tabled an urgent motion calling for the severing of all current cultural relations and exchanges with Germany. The motion comes in response to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's "intrusive" remarks about the unrest in Iran. (Khorasan, June 29)

29. Iran says Sweden should pay for damage caused to embassy – The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman has said that Sweden should compensate Tehran for the damage caused to the Iranian Embassy in Stockholm when protesters stormed into the building on June 26. (Iran TV, June 29).

30. Iran wants to join Black Sea cooperation organization – During his meeting with the Bulgarian ambassador in Tehran, Iran's foreign minister stressed Tehran's interest in joining the Black Sea cooperation organization.
31. Saudi intervention in recent events in Iran – ‘Saudi Arabian opposition elements’ claim that the Saudi regime has been directly involved in recent events in Iran. According to the Saudi opposition sources, Saudi Arabia's National Security Council decided to take advantage of the unrest in Iran to undermine stability and security in the country.

32. Regime affiliated sources: Saudi Arabian intelligence service paying bribes to write against Velayat-e Faqihb – According to reports,the intelligence service of Saudi Arabia is paying some Arab press to write against the Shia and the inefficiency of the Islamic system based on Shia teachings. (Siast-e Ruz, June 29).

33. Brazilian author intervenes on behalf of Iranian doctor – Renowned Brazilian author Paulo Coelho has urged British authorities to extend the visa of Arash Hejazi, a student at Oxford University, so that he is not forced to return to Iran. Hejazi, an Iranian doctor, arrived in Britain a few days ago and said in an interview that he was alongside Neda Soltan when she was shot and had tried to save her life.

Security Affairs

34. Iranian ground forces begin war games – The Iranian Army’s ground force have started three days of war games dubbed as “Ali-Ibn-e-Abitaleb.” The Iranian forces are due to drill their power of commanders' command control in different regimens during military exercises in the southwestern provinces of Khuzestan and Ilam as well as the western province of Lorestan. The deputy commander of the forces, General Kioumars Heidari, said that different modern war tactics and methods for future combats with several scenarios designed and prepared by the commanders and officers would be drilled. He added that the command control centers enjoy modern equipment and advanced war systems, including telecommunications and command, engineering and obstruction and information processing, conduct and command electronic wars and psychological operations.

35. Traffic police officer killed in Zahedan – Two armed assailants shot and killed a junior local police officer as he was travelling to work in Zahedan on his motorbike. One of the assailants was arrested, while the other escaped on the killed policeman's motorbike. (Khorasan, June 29).

Economic Affairs

36. Iran to end gasoline subsidies – Iran President-electAhmadinejad has decided that all subsidies for private vehicularuse of gasoline should cease.Subsidies will still be provided for goods-carrying vehicles and for fishing vessels. The decision has been communicated by Vice President Parviz Davudi to the relevant executive bodies.
37. Average gasoline consumption per week as of last week: 65.3 million liters.
38. Iran, Qatar and Russia vying for OPEC Gas secretary-general position – OPEC Gas will elect a secretary-general at its session today in Qatar, with Iran, Russia and the host nation vying for the position in light of their large gas reserves.
39. Several countries ask to join OPEC Gas – Iran’s representative to OPEC Gas has announced that several countries have recently asked to join the organization. The requests would be discussed at the organization’s session in Qatar tomorrow, he said.
40. Finance minister: Inflation rate has fallen below 15 percent – Iran’s finance minister cites a report published by the International Monetary Fund and insists that the inflation rate in Iran has dropped from 25 percent to just below 15 percent. (Abrar, June 30).
41. Money and Credit Council revived - The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has decided to revive the Money and Credit Council two years after Ahmadinejad dissolved the policy-making body. CBI says it made the decision in collaboration with the president. The closure of the Budget and Planning Organization and 18 other high-ranking governmental boards such as the council has drawn criticism from many economists. The bank said in a statement that the council - the highest banking policy-making body - would hold its first session after two years on July 7 to consider "developments on last year's money and credit policies". Money and Credit Council members include the CBI governor, the Finance and Economy minister and two lawmakers.
42. Iraq to become Iran’s main trade partner – The chairman of Tehran’s Trade Organization has announced that Iran exports some $2.5 billion worth of goods to Iran every year, with the sum to increase to $4 billion in the field of goods and $2 billion in the field of engineering and energy services. According to the chairman, Iraq is set to become Iran’s principal trade partner.

Human Rights and Minorities

43. Lawyer of minors on death row arrested again – An organization calling itself “Stop the executions of youths” has announced that lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei has been arrested once again. Mostafaei represents 25 young Iranians who are facing the death penalty for crimes committed when they were minors. He was detained in Tehran some four days ago.
44. Authorities throw the book at Kargozaran newspaper editor-in-chief – The special court for media affairs has thrown the book at the editor-in-chief of the Kargozaran newspaper, charging him with publishing anti-Islamic material, disseminating propaganda, publishing false reports designed to sway public opinion and more.

Obama Sweet-talks Dictators, Yet Strong-arms Israel

By Moshe Arens

Dealing with U.S. President Barack Obama constitutes a major challenge for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It has been a long time since America last had a president as powerful as Obama, who controls both houses of Congress and is wildly popular among the American public. It is from this advantageous position that Obama has decided to confront Israel, and now the Israeli prime minister has to decide how to respond. . Meanwhile, the world's troublemakers in Tehran, Damascus, and Pyongyang are getting away with murder. As for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad, Obama has decided to sweet-talk them. Meanwhile Kim Jong-il is still waiting to see how the U.S. president will deal with him, as North Korea continues to threaten the world with its nuclear-tipped missiles. The exception to it all is Israel - Obama is telling Jerusalem in no uncertain terms what he expects from it. No doubt about it, the American leader has decided to use strong-arm tactics on America's long-time ally.

He has carefully and deliberately targeted the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria as the focal point of the pressure he has decided to apply on Netanyahu. For years these settlements have been castigated by Israel's enemies, and even some of its friends, as constituting an obstacle to regional peace - a sentiment also echoed by the Israeli left. With that kind of backing, Obama must have concluded that Netanyahu will have no choice but to buckle. That is why he and Hillary Clinton are keeping up the pressure.

"The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements... It is time for these settlements to stop," he declared in Cairo. To leave no room for doubt, Clinton emphasized that Obama was referring to all settlements, including Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Those who choose to take comfort in Obama's choice of words - he referred to "legitimacy" rather than "legality," and talked about "continued" Israeli settlements - are only fooling themselves. Obama has targeted all Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria as well as East Jerusalem's Jewish neighborhoods, and he does not intend to let go easily.

Netanyahu made a serious error of judgment in trying to parry Obama's opening serve by explaining the need for additional settlement construction due to the "natural growth" of the Jewish population there. Referring to the space required for kindergartens, nurseries and homes for newlyweds does not convince someone who does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement construction. Expecting heartfelt sentiments from your opponent in this game is not going to get us anywhere. Obama is playing hardball. While efforts to assuage the concerns of the Israeli public regarding relations with the U.S. - by saying that the settlement issue is negotiable - may leave an impression in Israel, they are falling on deaf ears in Washington.

Meanwhile, the world's troublemakers in Tehran, Damascus, and Pyongyang are getting away with murder. As for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad, Obama has decided to sweet-talk them. Meanwhile Kim Jong-il is still waiting to see how the U.S. president will deal with him, as North Korea continues to threaten the world with its nuclear-tipped missiles. The exception to it all is Israel - Obama is telling Jerusalem in no uncertain terms what he expects from it. No doubt about it, the American leader has decided to use strong-arm tactics on America's long-time ally.

He has carefully and deliberately targeted the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria as the focal point of the pressure he has decided to apply on Netanyahu. For years these settlements have been castigated by Israel's enemies, and even some of its friends, as constituting an obstacle to regional peace - a sentiment also echoed by the Israeli left. With that kind of backing, Obama must have concluded that Netanyahu will have no choice but to buckle. That is why he and Hillary Clinton are keeping up the pressure.

"The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements... It is time for these settlements to stop," he declared in Cairo. To leave no room for doubt, Clinton emphasized that Obama was referring to all settlements, including Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Those who choose to take comfort in Obama's choice of words - he referred to "legitimacy" rather than "legality," and talked about "continued" Israeli settlements - are only fooling themselves. Obama has targeted all Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria as well as East Jerusalem's Jewish neighborhoods, and he does not intend to let go easily.

Netanyahu made a serious error of judgment in trying to parry Obama's opening serve by explaining the need for additional settlement construction due to the "natural growth" of the Jewish population there. Referring to the space required for kindergartens, nurseries and homes for newlyweds does not convince someone who does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement construction. Expecting heartfelt sentiments from your opponent in this game is not going to get us anywhere. Obama is playing hardball. While efforts to assuage the concerns of the Israeli public regarding relations with the U.S. - by saying that the settlement issue is negotiable - may leave an impression in Israel, they are falling on deaf ears in Washington.

The right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria is a basic principle not subject to negotiations. There is more at stake here than mere rights to natural growth. Britain tried to abrogate these rights in the infamous MacDonald White Paper of May 1939. That document ended up in the trash bin of history. The Arab Legion tried to deny this right from 1948-1967, after destroying the Jewish settlements in the area, only to be driven out in the Six-Day War. And today, too, no coalition of friends or foes is going to succeed in this endeavor. The Israel prime minister has to make this crystal clear. The gauntlet has been dropped and it has to be taken up.

Succumbing to the pressure that is being applied on the settlement issue will only result in additional pressure on other issues, and before long Israel's position on matters of principle and substance will begin to crumble. This is not going to be easy, but Israel's staunch supporters in the U.S. will stand by it. It will be a test for the American Jewish leadership - and for the people of Israel.

There is more at stake here than mere rights to natural growth. Britain tried to abrogate these rights in the infamous MacDonald White Paper of May 1939. That document ended up in the trash bin of history. The Arab Legion tried to deny this right from 1948-1967, after destroying the Jewish settlements in the area, only to be driven out in the Six-Day War. And today, too, no coalition of friends or foes is going to succeed in this endeavor. The Israel prime minister has to make this crystal clear. The gauntlet has been dropped and it has to be taken up.

"Where Islam touched, there is no recognition of the ways of life of the people. Islam, being a way of life, swallowed all that was African in the peo

Rudolf Okonkwo

Even Obama cannot say it. But someone has to say it.

We cannot be talking about this season of hate without mentioning the steep decline into actionable hate by misguided black Muslims. The first time I met a black Muslim in America was in the 90s. I had just arrived from England and this man wearing a bow tie and three-piece-suit approached me with a copy of the Final Call newspaper – the official mouthpiece of Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam. He wanted me to buy the newspaper but I resisted. He told me it was the bestselling newspaper in America. I told him I was new in America but I was sure the Final Call could not be the bestselling newspaper in America.

“You’ve been brainwashed,” the man said to me.
“By whom?” I asked.
“By the blue-eyed white devils who run the world.”
“O’ yeah.”
“They don’t want you to know the truth.”
“Like what?”
“Like all the great things our forefathers did.”
“Like what?”
“Bro, you have to open your eyes. We have to get on with the program of our forefathers.”
“And what is that program?”

That was how we began a discussion about the world and the place of the black man in it.

“Why are you a Muslim?” I asked him at one point.
“Because my people were Muslims before the blue-eyed white devils bought us and brought us to America as slaves and forced us to be Christians and to worship a blue-eyed Christ.”
“O’ yeah.”
“But I am from Africa and my grandfather was never a Muslim nor was he a Christian.”

He was shocked when I said that.

“It is OK if you want to be a Muslim and follow Elijah Muhammed and changed your name to Muhammed, too. But don’t tell me you are trying to be like your forefathers,” I said.

And for four years, we continued our debate. Like some members of the Nation of Islam, he became a convert to Muslim while in prison on drug charged. He had accepted the myths of the Nation of Islam. He told with all the seriousness in his bones that the white man was made in a laboratory in Egypt by a black scientist named Yakub. By the time I left Virginia where I met him, he remained unchanged.

I must say that the Nation of Islam does not advocate militancy. Though separatist in ideology, it does not encourage its members to bear arms. Many young black men coming out of prison have instead joined the mainstream Islam. None of the Muslim converts arrested in recent bombing plots have been linked to the Nation of Islam.

The recent plot by some Muslim converts to bomb the Jewish synagogue in New York and the killing of an army recruiter by another Muslim convert in Arkansas have muddled things up. Before then, there was a group of Muslim converts, mainly from Haiti, who planned to blow up Chicago Sears Tower from their base in Florida.

Some of these people are carrying their misguided and misrepresented history and anger out in the open and are even planning to act on them. It concerns me. And it should concern you, too.

First of all, I came from a country where there are Muslims. Those who have Arabic features assume superior position over those who are black. In many instances, the black Muslims are totally disregarded, treated as inconsequential.

I have asked black Muslims mad at how white people treated black slaves to ask themselves were the millions of slaves the Arab world took from Africa were? They disappeared. They were used and disposed of. If not, the Arab world would be booming with its own share of black men and women.

I have asked black Muslims mad at the “war” between the West and Islam to look at the genocide in Darfur and find out how Muslims treat their black brothers and sisters.

In Africa, the homeland of all black people, Islam came from the Middle East and Christianity came from Europe and they all exerted inordinate damage. But where Islam touched, there is no recognition of the ways of life of the people. Islam, being a way of life, swallowed all that was African in the people.

All black people must think before they jump from frying pan to fire. And before you pick up arms to fight for those Talibans dying in Afghanistan, spare a minute for two million children who die of malaria each year in Sub-Saharan Africa. Those are your people. For real!

Insert photo caption or credit here


Peace Exists in the Middle East

Lilily Steiner
Tuesday June 30, 2009

Obama and the State Department are just ignorant, there is no other suitable word for it, polite or otherwise. They have not taken the time to go and visit what they negatively call "Settlements" and what I proudly call "Settlements". Same place, same set of facts, different perspective because they have not been to see it work.

A place where Jews, Arabs, Russians, Ethiopians, avram2_v4every religion, nationality, age and creed live, work, innovate and get along ­ this is anyone¹s definition of Peace in the Middle East. Ownership of land and borders can come later, but talk about reality on the ground, and where it is happening.

This type of peace exists now in the Middle East ­ it exists in lots of places within Israel, and it has always existed in areas that are labeled as "Settlements". From the very first settlement, before the creation of the state of Israel, Jews have always reached out to their Arab neighbors and successfully integrated them into their lives and celebrations. They have done and continue to do this out of innate hospitality, but also for selfish reasons; there are 22 Arab countries, each of them enormous both in geographical size and population, it was never Israel¹s intent to take them over or conquer them, but to live together with them in Peace.

How stupid do you need to be to believe Israel wants to conquer the whole of the Middle East for a Jewish Homeland? First of all there are not enough Jews in the whole world to populate it, and second of all, it is just a ridiculous premise.

The facts show that Israel shares it knowledge and natural resources with the world as well as its Arab neighbors, despite the political conflicts and war, and it is much greater giving than getting on Israel¹s part.

If you want Peace, get the Arabs to model some of what is going on in the settlements, on Arab lands, and then it won¹t matter who has sovereignty over it. Ariel is the newest University in Israel. It has 11,000 students, 500 are Arabs ­ the number would be higher, but the Arabs are afraid their own families and friends will kill them if they are found to be studying at an Israeli institution. Ariel University is in the heart of the largest Settlement, it is a Settlement to be proud of, both the city and the University. Every University classroom has an Israeli Flag. Every student, including the Arab students must take a course in Jewish Heritage each semester.

There are no problems, all the student¹s cross the green line to come and study each day. This "Settlement" should be expanded, not stopped on threat of destruction. ­ It is a MODEL OF PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

Just because the Arab PR machine coined the phrase "Settlements are an obstacle to Peace in the Middle East" does not make it true, it is just a case of tell a lie often enough and loud enough and people will believe it. Even the President and State Department of the U.S.A.

I am not asserting that there has never been a crazy person in a settlement, but I am yelling from the rooftops that there are thousands of individual stories of cooperation and living and caring together in the settlements than there are negative incidents. It is always, and I will state this again, it is ALWAYS the attacks by Arabs on the settlements, which create the negative press for the settlements, when these settlements are the victims in the attacks.

We have the model in Gaza of what happens when Settlements are disbanded.

Even the Arabs, who lived and thrived there, did not pick up and continue a lucrative industry that would have made them and their children proud, instead, they destroyed it and so now remain poor and beholden to their extremists. They then compound this by assisting in the distribution of arms and ammunition to destroy the very Jewish people who were helping them feed and clothe their children before they forced them to leave.

I want to call on all Settlers to make yourselves known. Write about who you are and what you do and let the world see that you are kind, and creative; professionals, blue collar workers, what you do with your lives and your families. I know you help with sick, orphaned and troubled teens, I know you have interests as far reaching as classical music to obscure bohemian pottery and rock music, but let the world know, connect to people with the same hobbies, interests and dreams, and let them know you are proud to be Settlers and why you are proud ­ you took a piece of land that the Arabs never believed would be anything but desert and you make it bloom and flourish each and every day.

Share your stories of Peace in the Middle East today, let everyone know about the Arabs that live and work among you happily and who given the choice would never chose to be a citizen of a Palestinian State, because there is no Peace in Arab communities or villages with anyone other than other Muslims.

What the stupid, blind, idiotic world is suggesting is not Peace in the Middle East, but an apartheid that will forever separate the Jews and the Arabs. Settlements should be applauded and looked up to as a model upon which to base Peace. Each and every person who went out and made a home for themselves in the areas won by Israel in 1967 when it was attacked on all fronts by its Arab neighbors, each and every person who took a risk in developing a home in these uncharted areas that were left barren and empty for so many years, each of you should be so proud of what you have achieved and accomplished ­ and if you do not live there and do not know what those achievements and accomplishments are, then go and visit, go and look, and see the reality, not the empty words of those that do not want to live in peace and do not care if their children ever do. Be proud to be a settler, you have done wonderful things ­ now share them with the world.

Comment: "Settlements" are villages, towns and cities, inhabited by Israeli citizens, living in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria.

Palestinians' violent past

The Miami Herald

"After the 1948 War of Independence, Jordan occupied the West Bank, and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip for almost 20 years. Eastern Jerusalem was in Arab hands, ruled by the King of Jordan. And yet the Palestinians never rose against these Arab states, never demanded independence, never demanded to establish a capital in Jerusalem." It seems that although the Israeli government and moderate Palestinians agree on the need to restart the peace process with a view to reaching a permanent resolution, there is serious disagreement on what the real obstacle to peace is. Many in Europe and in the United States view the Israeli settlements in the West Bank as the single greatest obstacle to peace. But historical perspective as well as the recent past show otherwise.

Arab violence toward Jews in the Holy Land began decades before the state of Israel was established. It had nothing to do with ''occupation'' or with ''settlements,'' and everything to do with preventing Jews from establishing their own state on their historical land.

After the 1948 War of Independence, Jordan occupied the West Bank, and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip for almost 20 years. Eastern Jerusalem was in Arab hands, ruled by the King of Jordan. And yet the Palestinians never rose against these Arab states, never demanded independence, never demanded to establish a capital in Jerusalem.

Acts of terror

In the 1950s and 1960s, Arab Fedayeen terrorists launched dozens of attacks against Israeli civilians. This was not a protest movement, nor was it a fight to ''liberate'' any land. There were no settlements and no occupation. The terrorists simply wanted to kick the Jews out of the Middle East, refusing to recognize the Jewish state's right to exist. They used terrorism in an attempt to change that reality.

In 1964, three years before any Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Palestinians established the PLO, which began carrying out indiscriminate terror attacks against Israeli civilians. There was no occupation, no Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, no settlements. East Jerusalem was Arab. And yet, instead of building a peaceful state of their own alongside Israel, Arafat and his band of terrorists wanted to eliminate the Jewish state, which only occupied half of the land allotted to our two states by the United Nations.

Jordan, Egypt and the rest of the Arab world could have given the Palestinians their own homeland on the same land they demand today, not one inch less. They could have handed them Jerusalem as their capital on a silver platter.

Recent experience shows that whenever Israel made concessions to the Palestinians, those concessions were rewarded not with reciprocal concessions, but rather with more violence, terrorism and intransigence. After Israel pulled out of Lebanon, the Hezbollah terrorist organization continued launching missiles against us. Not a single Israeli soldier is on Lebanese soil, yet Hezbollah claims to be a ''resistance'' movement. Resistance against what? Against Israel's very existence.

In 2005, Israel pulled out all its soldiers from the Gaza Strip and dismantled settlements in Gaza and the West Bank. The Palestinian response came in the form of 8,000 rockets launched against Israeli towns and villages. There is no occupation in Gaza. No settlements in Gaza. No soldiers in Gaza.

We'll honor pact

The settlements never have been and never will be an obstacle to peace. If and when we negotiate a territorial agreement with the Palestinians, we may well dismantle more settlements.
We will fulfill our side of any agreement. But history shows that dismantling settlements and making territorial concessions only make the Palestinians hungrier for blood. For us, uprooting families from their homes is a painful concession that we have made again and again. It has brought us more violence and more death. For the Palestinians, these concessions are a sign of weakness, causing them to launch even more terror attacks.

The real obstacle to peace is the refusal of the Arab world to truly accept the existence of a Jewish state on our historic land. Although it occupies one-thousandth of the combined size of Muslim states, Israel's existence in the Middle East is, to most Arabs, unacceptable and should be fought to the last drop of (Israeli) blood. They fight not for land, but for our destruction and elimination. Pressuring Israel to dismantle the settlements is dangerous because it will not bring peace to the Middle East. It will bring more violence, more terrorism and more Israeli deaths. Unfortunately, we learned this lesson years ago.

Ofer Bavly is consul general of Israel to Florida.

Comment: "Settlements" are villages, towns or cities, inhabited by Israeli citizens, living in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria.

COP:The Censorious Left's Global Warming Denier Deniers

David Limbaugh
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

There is so much misinformation on the subject of global warming and so little consensus -- as to what environmental changes are occurring, whether human behavior is contributing to them, whether they are causing significant environmental damage, and whether the proposed cap and trade legislation would do anything to alleviate any of this -- it is no wonder our freedom-hating majority in the House insisted on cramming it through before they could even read, much less digest, what it contained. It would be bad enough if they passed innocuous legislation to address an alleged problem (man-caused global warming) without first verifying there is a problem and then analyzing and assessing the extent of it, but it's outrageous that they would pass a measure that could have crippling effects on our economy and American taxpayers.

Who do these people think they are -- that they can claim a mandate to do anything they want to, that they can grab as much power as they want, that they can transform our government overnight into an enemy of the people, with no fear of accountability? Oh, I know; the government has already behaved like the people's enemy all too often, but never on the scale we're witnessing today -- from a party that had the audacity to accuse President George W. Bush of abusing his authority.

Just where is the journalistic skepticism in today's dominant media culture or the professed open-mindedness of Democrats?

What is their response when people have the temerity to challenge their assertions on catastrophic global warming? It is ridicule and abuse. Not only are the doubters flat-earth Neanderthals; they are darn near treasonous, according to the dogmatic left.

You don't believe me? In a piece about the cap and trade bill, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote, "As I watched the (global warming) deniers make their arguments, I couldn't help thinking that I was watching a form of treason -- treason against the planet."

Don't get me wrong. It's not really newsworthy when leftists incline toward criminalizing their political opponents. Both Krugman and his colleague Frank Rich wrote columns last month essentially blaming President Barack Obama's critics for the murders of abortion doctor George Tiller and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum security guard.

But I digress. While President Obama says that global warming "science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear" and Krugman says the "warming deniers" have "contempt for hard science," the record reveals a different story. If anyone has contempt for hard science, it is the Krugman leftists, who, either because of their political agenda or ideological predispositions, refuse to acknowledge -- let alone consider -- opposing opinions, even when they come from "hard scientists."

One way they deal with the very real fact that there is significant opposition to their dogmatic conclusions is to personally attack their opponents, usually saying evil corporations with vested interests in destroying the planet have bought them off. Just as often, they simply out-yell, ridicule, ignore or attempt to silence them. Remember when MIT's Richard Lindzen acknowledged that many scientists refuse to publicize their dissent to make "their lives easier"?

I would like to know how Krugman and Obama would explain away the fact that more than 31,000 scientists, including more than 9,000 with Ph.D.s, have signed a petition urging the United States government to reject the global warming agreement known as Kyoto -- "and any other similar proposals" -- because the "the proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind." Another 100 scientists have endorsed a newspaper ad by the Cato Institute challenging the president's "facts" on global warming.

But these authoritarian leftists don't just scoff at the hard science contradicting their conclusions about global warming and the extent to which man is contributing to it. In their close-minded arrogance, they completely eschew any scientific inquiry into whether cap and trade legislation would have any appreciable impact on the alleged problems.

But if they are so sure of their scientific position, why are we reading reports -- from the CBS Political Hotsheet, no less -- that "the Environmental Protection Agency may have suppressed an internal report that was skeptical of claims about global warming, including whether carbon dioxide must be strictly regulated by the federal government, according to a series of newly disclosed e-mail messages"?

That's right; the Hotsheet reports that "less than two weeks before the agency formally submitted its pro-regulation recommendation to the White House, an EPA center director quashed a 98-page report that warned against making hasty 'decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data.'"

What say you, President Obama?

If you and your comrades are so sure of your science, why -- other than, perhaps, your mission to destroy capitalism -- are you silencing and/or ignoring dissenting science?

Copyright © 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

Sarkozy to Netanyahu: Get Rid of Lieberman

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz Sarkozy: Get Rid of Lieberman

During their meeting last week in Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to
replace Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman with opposition leader Tzipi Livni. Netanyahu's office declined comment, but the Foreign Ministry response was less diplomatic. "With her and [Defense Minister E Barak you can make history," Sarkozy told Netanyahu, according to a Monday night report on Israel TV's Channel 2 News. "I have always accepted Israeli foreign ministers, and I loved to have Tzipi Livni here at the Elysee [Pala, but with [Lieberma I can't." The French leader allegedly also made a dismissive hand gesture when mentioning the Israeli Foreign Minister. Livni, he added, made a strategic mistake in refusing to join Netanyahu's cabinet.

In addition to Netanyahu, three Israeli officials reportedly heard the undiplomatic statements by Sarkozy.

In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu apparently tried to mollify the French leader by saying that Lieberman's public persona is different than the impression one gets of him in private conversation. Sarkozy retorted by saying that far-right, anti-Semitic French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front is also "pleasant" in private conversations.

"You can't compare the two men," Netanyahu said. "Lieberman is not Le Pen." The French leader then denied he was trying to compare them at all.

This week, the Prime Minister's Office refused to comment on the content of Netanyahu's talks with Sarkozy, adding that Foreign Minister Lieberman has the Prime Minister's full support.

Lieberman's public relations advisor, Tzahi Moshe, commented Monday that, if true, Sarkozy's comments constitute a "serious and intolerable... intervention of the president of a respected democratic country in the affairs of another democratic country."

In a statement from the Foreign Ministry Monday night, officials insisted, "We expect every political institution in Israel to condemn this blatant intervention of a foreign country in our private affairs, no matter what its political stance."

Minister of National Infrastructure Uzi Landau, a leader in Lieberman's Israel Beiteinu party, reacted to the Channel 2 report on Tuesday morning in an interview on IDF Radio.

"It's difficult for me to believe that a leader of a friendly country could make such remarks," Landau said, "but were I the Prime Minister, and such comments were made in my presence, I would bang on the table and object. That's how a prime minister should conduct himself to defend his country's honor."

"Not every frog-eater can interfere with Israel's sovereignty." -- MK Ben-Ari

Knesset Member Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said Tuesday in response to the French president's statements that "the Prime Minister should have made it clear that not every frog-eater can interfere with Israel's sovereignty." Adding that "the French chutzpah" was not the main problem, Ben-Ari observed, "Netanyahu failed to understand that Sarkozy and Obama do not just want to replace Lieberman with Livni, but to turn Netanyahu into Livni."

MK Ahmed Tibi of the Arab nationalist Ra'am-Ta'al party had a very different reaction. "The international community has started to absorb the danger of the fascism being taught by Lieberman," he said.

In May of this year, Foreign Minister Lieberman made his first diplomatic tour of Europe. He visited Paris and met with the Secretary General of the Presidency, Claude Guéant, but not with President Sarkozy himself.

Comment: Western arrogance-never in a life time would any French President allow outsiders ,especially Israel, to tell them how and who may govern. France, the same country who continued to do business with SH of Iraq while the world was trying to topple him-who has the higher moral authority?

COP:Cap-and-Trade: What's Next?

Sen. James Inhofe

The House passed a sweeping energy and global warming cap and trade bill Friday. This bill, titled “America’s Clean Energy and Security Act,” or better known as Waxman-Markey, is the Democrats’ answer to the worst recession in decades: a national energy tax -- a tax designed to impose economic pain through higher energy prices and lost jobs. Or, as a recent Washington Post editorial put it, the bill “contains regulations on everything from light bulb standards to the specs on hot tubs, and it will reshape America’s economy in dozens of ways that many don’t realize”… The fact is that the Waxman-Markey bill is just the latest incarnation of costly cap-and-trade legislation that will have a devastating impact on the economy, cost more American jobs by pushing them overseas and drastically increase the size and scope of the federal government. Here in the Senate, we have successfully defeated cap-and-trade legislation in 2003, 2005, and most recently in 2008. Now, just a year later and with the economy in a deep recession, it is hard to believe that many more senators would dare vote in favor of legislation that would not only increase the price of gas at the pump, but cost millions of American jobs, create a huge new bureaucracy and raise taxes by record amounts.

I appreciate that my Democratic colleagues desperately want to pass this bill. They argue that cap-and-trade is necessary to rid the world of global warming and to demonstrate America’s leadership on this noble cause. But their strategy is all economic pain for no climate gain.

This is a global issue that demands a global solution, yet cap-and-trade advocates argue that aggressive, unilateral action is necessary to persuade developing countries such as China and India to enact mandatory emissions reductions. But recent actions by the Obama administration, and by China and other developing countries, continue to prove just the opposite. They continue to confirm what I have been arguing for the past decade: that even if we do act, the rest of the world will not follow.

The logic is not difficult to understand. Carbon caps, according to reams of independent analyses, will severely damage America’s global economic competitiveness, principally by raising the cost of doing business here relative to other countries that have no mandatory carbon policies. So jobs and businesses will move overseas, most likely to China. This so-called “leakage effect” would tip the global economic balance in favor of China and other strategic competitors of the U.S. Clearly, unilateral U.S. action redounds to the benefit of China and to the great detriment of the U.S.

By itself, China has a vested interest in swearing off carbon restrictions, in order to keep its economy growing and lift its people from poverty. Add unilateral U.S. action into the mix, and we give China an even stronger incentive to oppose mandatory reductions for its economy.

The Chicago Tribune, a newspaper I don’t often cite, seems to understand this. … The editorial states: “The bill's sponsors are still trying to resolve questions over whether and how to impose sanctions on countries that do not limit emissions. That's crucial. Those foreign countries would enjoy a cost advantage in manufacturing if their industries were free to pollute, while American industries picked up the tab for controlling emissions.”
China understands this all too well. I believe they will actively and unfailingly pursue their economic self-interest, which entails America acting alone to address global warming. …

With China and other developing countries staunchly opposed to accepting any binding emissions requirements, we should be asking a more fundamental question: What, exactly, are we doing this for? If the goal of cap-and-trade is to reduce global temperatures by reducing global greenhouse gas concentrations, and if China and other leading carbon emitters continue to emit at will, then how can this supposed “problem” be solved?

Well, if you accept the alarmist science that anthropogenic gases are causing a catastrophe, then reducing global greenhouse gas concentrations is the solution. But the unilateral solution -- again, that American must act first to persuade China and others to follow -- is nowhere in evidence. The only thing America gets by acting alone is a raw deal, and the planet is no better off.

My Democrat colleagues want to sweep this reality under the rug. They argue that cap and trade will not only be the leash that pulls China along, but also that it will solve our economic woes, create millions of new green jobs, and promote energy security.

Now, of course, these are laudable goals. And Republicans have a simple answer to this. Let’s provide incentives, rather than taxes and mandates, to produce clean, affordable, and reliable sources of energy, whether it’s nuclear, wind, solar, clean coal, or natural gas. Cut the red tape. Encourage private investment. Let all technologies compete in the market place. However, that is not what the Democrats are proposing in the Waxman-Markey bill…

In fact, that bill does the exact opposite. It closes access to affordable sources of energy by trying to price certain kinds of energy out of the market. It picks winners and losers that will leave places like the Midwest and the South paying higher energy prices to subsidize areas in the rest of the country. And it creates more bureaucracy that will only increase the costs that consumers bear and add more layers of regulation on small businesses.

Why, then, do my colleagues believe that creating a national energy tax is necessary? It’s all rooted in global warming science. In fact, just last week the Administration produced yet another alarmist report on global warming, which of course is nothing new. It takes the worst possible predictions from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report and attempts to localize them to instill fear throughout the country. It’s no surprise that such a report was released just in time for the House vote on Waxman-Markey. However, what’s becoming clear is that despite millions of dollars spent on advertising, the American public remains rightly skeptical of the so-called ‘consensus’ on global warming. This is why my colleagues are now forced to talk more about green jobs and energy security, since the fear mongering isn’t working. …

Any isolated U.S. attempt to avert global warming is a futile effort without meaningful, robust international cooperation. No one disputes this fact. The American people need to know what they will be getting with their money: all cost with no climate benefit.

And we mustn’t forget where the Senate stands on global warming treaties. As senators may recall, in 1997, the Senate voted favorably 95-0 on the Byrd-Hagel resolution. Byrd-Hagel stated that among other things, the U.S. should not sign any international climate change treaty that would: 1) mandate greenhouse gas reductions from the U.S. without also requiring new, specific commitments from developing countries over the same compliance period; and 2) result in serious economic harm to the United States. I think Byrd-Hagel still commands strong support in the U.S. Senate. Therefore, any treaty the Obama administration submits must meet the resolution’s criteria, or it will be easily defeated. Proponents of securing an international treaty are slowly acknowledging that the gulf is widening between what the United States and other industrialized nations are willing to do and what developing countries like China want them to do. I suggest the gulf has always been wide, and will continue to widen. Recent actions by the U.S. and China continue to confirm my belief.

Take China’s initial reaction to the Waxman-Markey bill. The bill, hailed on Capitol Hill as a historic breakthrough, went over with a thud during international negotiations. Get this: Waxman-Markey, which will be economically ruinous for the U.S., was criticized by China for being too weak.

Another troubling aspect coming out of those meetings was the U.S. government’s official submission. Many here in the Senate may be surprised to learn that that this administration’s position is to let China off the hook. Nowhere in the U.S. submission to the conference do we require China to commit to any binding emission reduction requirements before 2020. In fact, before 2020, the submission only asks for “nationally appropriate” mitigation actions, followed by a “low carbon strategy for long term net emissions reductions by 2050.” I would submit that this position is perfectly suited for the U.S. Instead, we give the best to China and leave America with Waxman-Markey.

So what then, is the Chinese government’s idea of a fair and balanced global treaty? Well, the Chinese believe the U.S. and other Western nations should, at a minimum, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. For comparison’s sake, Waxman-Markey, which could become the official U.S. negotiating position, calls for a 17% reduction below 2005 levels by 2020…

Finally, and most telling of all, the Chinese and other developing countries collectively argue that the price for reducing their emissions is a massive 1% of GDP from the U.S. and other developed countries.

So, let me get this straight: China opposes any binding emission reduction targets on itself; China wants the U.S. to accept draconian emission reduction targets that will continue to cripple the U.S. economy; and on top of that, China wants the U.S. to subsidize its economy with billions of dollars in foreign aid. In the final analysis, one must give China credit for seeking its economic self-interest. I sure hope the Obama administration will do the same for America…

Mr. Inhofe, a Republican, is ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

How ‘Cap and Trade’ Bill Will Further Cripple the Economy

The Editors

After a contentious session in the House last Friday, the largest tax increase in history – the Waxman-Markey bill – passed 219-211. Touted as a “jobs” bill by its supporters, how many Americans realize that the jobs created will not benefit Americans, but the nations of China and India?. On its face, the bill is part of a noble cause – noble, of course, if you believe that man is responsible for global warming (even though the trend toward global cooling is more evident than ever). In a nutshell, manufacturers will only be allowed a certain amount of carbon emissions. Those who have emissions to “spare” can trade them to other companies that need more. Those who go over the limit will be taxed.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Let’s Save The Earth™! Until, of course, you realize that all living beings are carbon-based and we all “emit” carbon when we exhale in the form of carbon dioxide. Will individual people end up being taxed just for breathing? But we digress.

Naturally, those companies that are taxed for their emissions will pass the cost on to consumers, driving up the cost of goods and services everywhere. How this helps our tanking economy is still unclear. But there’s an even more worrisome aspect to all of this. Energy prices for all will go up. Perhaps the wealthiest among us can weather such increases, but as the Wall Street Journal points out,

Hit hardest would be the "95% of working families" Mr. Obama keeps mentioning, usually omitting that his no-new-taxes pledge comes with the caveat "unless you use energy." Putting a price on carbon is regressive by definition because poor and middle-income households spend more of their paychecks on things like gas to drive to work, groceries or home heating.

The Congressional Budget Office – Mr. Orszag's former roost – estimates that the price hikes from a 15% cut in emissions would cost the average household in the bottom-income quintile about 3.3% of its after-tax income every year. That's about $680, not including the costs of reduced employment and output. The three middle quintiles would see their paychecks cut between $880 and $1,500, or 2.9% to 2.7% of income. The rich would pay 1.7%. Cap and trade is the ideal policy for every Beltway analyst who thinks the tax code is too progressive (all five of them).

But the greatest inequities are geographic and would be imposed on the parts of the U.S. that rely most on manufacturing or fossil fuels – particularly coal, which generates most power in the Midwest, Southern and Plains states. It's no coincidence that the liberals most invested in cap and trade – Barbara Boxer, Henry Waxman, Ed Markey – come from California or the Northeast.

President Obama, as part of his claim that this is a jobs bill, said, “There is no longer a debate about whether carbon pollution is placing our planet in jeopardy. It's happening. And there is no longer a question about whether the jobs and industries of the 21st century will be centered around clean, renewable energy. The question is, which country will create these jobs and these industries?"

Whenever you hear anyone say, “There is no longer a debate…” about anything, check your baloney detector. Has Obama spoken to the people of Spain lately? According to a study released in April, “Every ‘green job’ created with government money in Spain over the last eight years came at the cost of 2.2 regular jobs, and only one in 10 of the newly created green jobs became a permanent job.”

Gosh, where do we sign up?

To recap: energy and goods will become more expensive, and any creation of “green” jobs will come at the expense of others. Plus, the bill is chock full of other goodies, such as you not being able to sell your home until a government “expert” deems it environmentally friendly.

And to make this extra-special, Carol Browner of the EPA admitted to reading “major portions” of thebill – but would not state that she had read all thousand or so pages.

The eight Republicans whose votes put this bill in the “bipartisan” category are:

Mary Bono Mack - California
Washington Office: Phone: (202) 225-5330 Fax: (202) 225-2961
Palm Springs Office: Phone: (760) 320-1076 Fax: (760) 320-0596
Hemet Office: Phone: (951) 658-2312 Fax: (951) 652-2562

Michael Castle - Delaware
Washington Office: Phone: (202) 225-4165 Fax: (202) 225-2291
Wilmington Office: Phone: (302) 428-1902 Fax: (302) 428-1950
Dover Office: Phone: (302) 736-1666 Fax: (302) 736-6580
Georgetown Office: Phone: (302) 856-3334

Mark Kirk - Illinois
Washington Office: Phone: (202) 225-4835 Fax: (202) 225-0837
Northbrook Office: Phone: (847) 940-0202 Fax: (847) 940-7143

Leonard Lance - New Jersey
Washington Office: Phone: (202) 225-5361 Fax: (202) 225-9460
Westfield Office: Phone: (908) 518-7733 Fax: (908) 518-7751
Flemington Office: Phone: (908) 788-6900 Fax: (908) 788-2869

Frank LoBiondo - New Jersey
Washington Office: Phone: (202) 225-6572 Fax: (202) 225-3318
NJ Office: Toll Free: (800) 471-4450 Phone: (609) 625-5008 Fax: (609) 625-5071

John McHugh - New York
Washington Office: Phone: (202) 225-4611 Fax: (202) 226-0621
Watertown Office: Phone: (315) 782-3150 Fax: (315) 782-1291
Plattsburgh Office: Phone: (518) 563-1406 Fax: (518) 561-9723
Mayfield Office: Phone: (518) 661-6486 Fax: (518) 661-5704
Canastota Office: Phone: (315) 697-2063 Fax: (315) 697-2064

Dave Reichert - Washington
Washington Office: Phone: (202) 225-7761 Fax: (202) 225-4282
Mercer Island Office: Phone: (206) 275-3438 Fax: (206) 275-3437

Christopher Smith - New Jersey
Washington Office: Phone: (202) 225-3765 Fax: (202) 225-7768
Hamilton Office: Phone: (609) 585-7878 Fax: (609) 585-9155
Whiting Office: Phone: (732) 350-2300 Fax: (732) 350-6260

The Senate will take up the bill after the Independence Day break. If you’d like to make your concerns known, be sure to contact your senators.

Brought to you by the editors and research staff of FamilySecurityMatters.org.

Obama tells Jews to stop building homes – in Israel!

Aaron Klein


JERUSALEM – The Obama administration told the Palestinian Authority the "golden era" of Israeli construction in sections of Jerusalem and the strategic West Bank will soon come to an end, a top PA negotiator told WND. "The U.S. assured us that for the first time since 1967, we are going into a period where there will not be allowed a single construction effort on the part of the Israelis in the settlements, including in Gush Etzion, Maale Adumum and eastern Jerusalem," said the negotiator, speaking from Ramallah on condition his name be withheld.

Maale Adumim is located in eastern Jerusalem. Israel reunited the eastern and western sections of Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Six Day War. Eastern Jerusalem, claimed by the PA for a future state, includes the Temple Mount.

The negotiator told WND the positions of the PA and U.S. regarding ongoing Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem "are closer than ever."

"The U.S. used to differentiate between natural grown and adding new communities. Not anymore. No construction will be allowed, not even natural growth," the PA negotiator said.

"Natural growth" means adding additional housing to existing communities to accommodate the needs of a growing population.

(Story continues below)

The negotiator spoke yesterday just before Defense Minister Ehud Barak took off for Washington, D.C., for meetings with the Obama administration.

The negotiator claimed that while Barak might reach an understanding with the U.S. regarding possible West Bank movements, such a deal would be for Israeli political purposes and wouldn't translate into actual Jewish construction on the ground.

The Obama administration recently demanded Israel halt all settlement activity, including natural growth, in apparent abrogation of a deal made by President Bush to allow for natural growth.

The deal was forged just prior to Israel's 2005 retreat from the Gaza Strip. It was confirmed by Sharon aide Dov Weissglas in 2005, and in a Wall Street Journal column last week by Elliott Abrams, a former deputy national security adviser to Bush who reportedly negotiated the arrangement. The deal was in line with an official letter from Bush the year before stating Israel cannot be expected to withdraw from the entire West Bank and that the Jewish state would retain major settlement blocs there.

The West Bank borders major Israeli cities and is within rocket firing range of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Israel's international airport.

Military strategists long have estimated Israel must maintain the West Bank to defend itself from any ground invasion. Terrorist groups have warned if Israel withdraws, they will launch rockets from the West Bank into Israeli cities.

Many villages in the West Bank, which Israelis commonly refer to as the "biblical heartland," are mentioned throughout the Torah:

The book of Genesis says Abraham entered Israel at Shechem (Nablus) and received God's promise of land for his offspring. He later was buried in Hebron.

The nearby town of Beit El, anciently called Bethel, meaning "house of God," is where Scripture says the patriarch Jacob slept on a stone pillow and dreamed of angels ascending and descending a stairway to heaven. In that dream, God spoke directly to Jacob and reaffirmed the promise of territory.

And in Exodus, the holy tabernacle rested in Shiloh, believed to be the first area the ancient Israelites settled after fleeing Egypt.

Iran Early Bird

On The Streets

1. British Embassy personnel released – British Embassy workers have been released just 24 hours after Iran's intelligence minister accused them of being involved in the unrest in the country.

2. Karroubi’s presence and rumors of Mousavi's presence at mosque memorial service brings thousands onto streets –Mousavi's presence and rumors of Karroubi and Khatami's presence at Qaba Mosque memorial for Neda Soltan brought thousands of the capital’s residents out onto the streets yesterday. The masses were making their way to the mosque when large numbers of Basij forces surrounded them and told them they were participating in an illegal gathering. Click here for clip from event. Meanwhile, Iranian bloggers have called on the public to create a chain of people today at 17:30 from Tajrisha Square to Rah Ahan Square – as a quiet protest against the election results. More video footage (here, here, here). Mir Hossein Mousavi did not attend the service, but talked to the mourner via cell phone conected to a loudspeaker.

3. Efforts to silence “Allah Akbar” cries continue – Sistan ve-Balouchestan University officials have locked the doors to all the dormitory roofs on campus in an effort to prevent students from calling out “Allah Akbar” from the tops of buildings. The students said in response that they would continue their cries from inside the dorms.

4. Arrests at Saturday mourning rally – Security and Basij forces arrested 20 women at a mourning rally in Laleh Park in Tehran on Saturday. According to reports, due to a shortage of space at Evin Prison, the detainees were transferred to the capital’s Shapour jail.

5. Arrest of pro-Mousavi artists – Following the arrests and subsequent release of singer Hosseyn Zaman, security forces have now detained more pro-Mousavi artists, including film and theater actors Roosta and Mahtab.

6. Two Ahwaz students abducted – Two Awaz Oil College students, Hossein Rahini and Amin Nikzade, have been abducted by unknown assailants. The two were involved in student protests outside the institution. Students at the college have announced that they will stage demonstrations until the two are released.

7. Basij forces abducting wounded – Human rights activists are reporting that Basij forces are going to hospitals around the country and preventing medical personnel from speaking with individuals injured from the ongoing unrest and are not allowing them to ask patients how they were hurt. The activists say that some of the injured have been abducted and taken to unknown locations. According to one eye-witness, individuals who are not seriously hurt are choosing to stay away from the hospitals and medical treatment centers, fearing what may happen to them there. Rumors tell of ambulances taking people to detention centers rather than for treatment.

8. Click here to view clip from Saturday in which security forces are seen beating two youths.

9. Restrictions on journalists' movements – Iranian authorities continue to impose severe restrictions on journalists in the country and are not allowing them to freely roam the streets and write reports on the ongoing events. Iranian websites are saying that very little information is getting out of the country, including about the events last night at Qaba Mosque. Many Iranian websites have not been updated since yesterday afternoon.

10. Intelligence Ministry commandeers pro-Mousavi website – Iranian websites are reporting that the pro-Mousavi Kalameh website has taken over by officials from the Intelligence and Interior ministries. The reports add that the site’s managers have been arrested and that unreliable information is now being posted on the site.

11. Mousavi condemns the propaganda campaign and official accusations labeling him a foreign agent.

12. Minister of Intelligence Mohseni-Ezhe'i interviewed to Iranian TV. Key points (For the complete interview please contact –Terrogence)

a. Iran has confronted the global arrogance, hegemonic powers and the great Satan - Over the past 30 years a number of plots had been planned to disrupt, including planting bombs, creating terror and rallying organized unrest….one group of people arrested were supported and provided with information by the Americans.

b. We cautioned some of the people who were trying to take actions through SMS, websites, weblogs or other means. We summoned some of them. We invited some of them. We referred some of them to the Judiciary.

c. American-Zionist terror activity - America has been active in supporting the group (Jundallah – TG) that was active in the east (of Iran)…the Anjoman-e Padeshahi (Royal Society which was accused of planting the bomb in Shiraz). The Zionists were clearly supporting them.

d. The enemy is pursuing a velvet revolution in Iran - There was no organized fraud in the elections at all…the enemy is pursuing a velvet revolution in Iran. Certain Western countries such as Britain and America are seriously active in promoting a soft overthrow, which is a kind of velvet revolution. They are brewing many plans under various covers. They are recruiting, and they are getting close to some of our political activists. In certain areas, under the cover of training, conferences and so on, they are pursuing their plans…enemy is training people for velvet revolution.

e. "Just see how many satellite channels in Farsi language have been launched by the British, Americans and certain other countries especially to propagate against our country. Just see how many radio channels there are. How many websites and weblogs are propagating (against the system) plus military threats? They realized that it (military threat) is useless. Our dear people are not scared of military threats…If our people see what the Western media, the British media, the American media, VOA, BBC Persian and other channels do to propagate the protests these days - some of their channels even train people to protest - to motivate the rioters, for unreasonable and direct interference in our domestic affairs, then they will understand who will be happy with such incidents and who is after taking advantage of them”.

The Political Scene

13. Iran's Interior Ministry to review permit for activities of Reformist parties – Mahmud Abbaszadeh-Meshkini, the director-general for political affairs at the Iranian Interior Ministry, has confirmed that the activities of political parties are continuously being monitored by the Article 10 Committee of the Interior Ministry. Commenting on reports suggesting a review of the permit for the activities of some parties such as the Participation Party, Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization and Militant Clerics Society, Abbaszadeh-Meshkini said: “The secretariat of the Article 10 Committee continuously monitors the activities, interactions and provocations of parties… This committee is by law duty-bound to have continuous supervision over the activities of [all] parties. The final decision on whether the mentioned parties can resume their activities depends on the decision of the committee in its forthcoming weekly meeting.”

14. Mousavi calls on Council of Guardians to declare elections null and void – In a new letter to the Council of Guardians, Mousavi demands that the elections be declared null and void. He also calls for the matter to be handed over to an independent commission to be agreed upon by the candidates and sources of emulation.

15. Proposal to set up temporary government? – Unofficial websites are quoting a political source on the fact that the election issue is yet to be resolved. According to the source, one of the current proposals concerns the establishment by the Expediency Council of a temporary government and the holding of new elections within six months to a year. The source says that Iran’s supreme leader and senior sources of emulation in Qom support the idea. Nateq Nuri has been named as a candidate to head the temporary government.

16. University and seminary lecturers and researchers issue statement calling on Council of Guardians to build trust with the elite and the public – The statement, signed by 678 lecturers and researchers, says: “We firmly ask the Council of Guardians and other bodies involved in the process of the elections to abide by the law and provide convincing and trust-building explanations to the elite and the public. We also urge judicial bodies to speed up the examination of committed offences and crimes and violations of security in public and private domains in order to sooth the pain of those who have suffered… We fully support the firm remarks of the eminent leader, which have left no room for negligence or ambiguity, as the final word and seriously urge all esteemed candidates and their supporters to end the their media war and illegal gatherings, which have provided rioters with the opportunity to invade the territories of individuals and the society, and call on them to pursue their demands and objections within the legal framework in order to restore calm in the country.” (ILNA. June 27)

17. Qom Seminary lecturers and researchers send letter to Supreme Leader – Some 150 lecturers and researchers from the Qom Seminary have sent a letter of support to Supreme Leader Khamenei. The lecturers and researchers write that Iran is currently at a very sensitive crossroad of the revolution and there are those who are trying to stir civil war in the country. They stress their commitment to Islam and the supreme leader and reconfirm their support for him.

18. Keyhan editorial slams West's efforts to intervene in Iranian domestic affairs –Under the headline, "Iran's turn," a Kayhan daily editorial harshly slams the G8 statement in support of the demonstrators, stressing that it represents the latest in the West's efforts to intervene in Iran's domestic affairs. According to Kayhan, the Ahmadinejad government received overwhelming support from the Iranian people and thus has the power to make decisive decisions for the country. The editorial adds that the government also has proof that the U.S. and European governments are not interested in a change of attitude towards Iran. "The United States must know that just as Iran knows how to solve the problems quickly – something it will not do, of course – it also has the amazing and unexpected ability to cause new problems for the Americans. As an Iranian saying goes: 'One should not complain about what one receives in return.'"

19. Aftab-Yazd: Re-count committee is a sham – An Aftab Yazd editorial criticizes the Council of Guardians' decision to set up a committee to re-count some of the votes from the June 12 election, declaring it a sham. The editorial says that the committee members are not objective and are pro-Principlists. One of the committee members, Khader Adal, is a Principlist camp leader and has been very outspoken against the Reformists in recent years. "In light of all of this, one must ask the question: When it comes to this fateful matter, are there those who are truly trying to resolve the problems, or are they only trying to fulfill their obligations?" the editorial asks.

The Diplomatic Scene

20. More calls for Nokia boycott – After Nokia admitted selling cellular telephone equipment to the Iranian government, Iranian bloggers and citizens have intensified their calls for a boycott of the phone company and its products.

21. Khamene'i lashes out at West – Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei says the Iran will deal with the crisis under the law while relying on national unity, commenting that legal measures are the only solution to the issues that the country has been facing since the 10th presidential elections on June 12. "The people's emotions, especially that of the youth, must not be toyed with and they should not be pitted against one another as the Iranian nation, regardless of the differences of opinion, is a united nation that has good relations with the [Islamic] establishment," he said. He urged political parties not to play with one another's feelings and added: "If the nation and political elite are united in heart and mind, the incitement of international traitors and oppressive politicians will be ineffective..."They [the West] express their opinions about Iran in a manner that one would think all their other problems have been resolved and only the Iranian problem remains… However, what they do not understand is that wherever they politically set foot in it becomes tainted in the eyes of the Iranian nation… Their support will only have a negative effect as the Iranian nation knows during the eight-year sacred defense [the Iraq-Iran war] when their homes were bombarded and destroyed by missiles and chemical weapons were used against them, these governments showed no concern and [instead] aided the enemy of the Iranian nation… Their concern and show of humanitarianism is not befitting of these governments and when they voice support for the Iranian nation and certain figures, their intentions are clear and the people are well aware of them.”

22. National Security and Foreign Policy Committee member urges strong confrontation against foreign embassies that were involved in the recent unrest – Karami Raad, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, has called for a strong confrontation against those foreign embassies in Iran that were involved in the recent post-election unrests in Tehran saying: “The method they used to make contact with the rioters on the scene was noticeable... These contacts were not hidden from the eyes of the security forces and they were under control completely in a way that the foreign policy and national security bodies of the country could confront them at an appropriate time.” (Fars News Agency, June 27)

23. Bahrain parliamentary delegation visits Iran – A parliamentary delegation from Bahrain has arrived Iran to attend meetings on cultural diversity and justice. (Fars News Agency, June 27)

24. Majlis speaker in Algeria – Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani is on a visit to Algeria to attend an inter-parliamentary session of the Islamic Conference. During his address to the conference, Larijani called on the United States to stop intervening in the affairs of other countries.

Security Affairs

25. Tanker hijacking thwarted – The Iranian Navy has claimed that it prevented an Iranian tanker from being hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.

Economic Affairs

26. Budgeting saved 27 million liters of fuel a day – Majlis Energy Committee member Seyed Ali Adyani has announced that the government’s fuel budgeting policies led to a saving of 27 million liters of fuel a day. Without the budgeting, Iran was consuming more than 90 million liters of fuel a day.

27. Iran signs deals with foreign petrochemical companies – The National Iranian Petrochemical Industries Company has signed three new contracts with foreign companies for implementing projects in the field. The Iranian company is also cooperating with South Africa, Turkey, Indonesia and India in five more petrochemical projects.

28. Another senior Oil Ministry official ousted – Mahdi Karbasyan, chairman of the board of the oil industry workers’ pension fund, has been ousted from his post. His dismissal comes just days after the dismissal of Akbar Torkan, former deputy oil minister for planning affairs.

29. Exports to Iraq up – According to reports, Iran has upped its oil, gas and gasoline exports to Iraq.

Human Rights and Minorities

30. Oppression of Baha’i-minority community continues – Unknown individuals have attacked stores belonging to two Baha’i-minority residents, Peyman Shademan and Akbar Pour Rhosseyni, in Semnan. Human rights activists are also reporting that over the past few days, government offices in Semnan have prepared a list of Baha’i-minority citizens and have posted it on notice boards in the city. The human rights activists have expressed concern regarding the list, commenting that it could lead to serious problems and even endanger the lives of the Baha’i citizens. Meanwhile, the New York Times has published an extensive report on the distress facing the Baha’i-minority community on the backdrop of the recent events in the country. According to the report, “Deeming the faith an apostasy, Iran's fundamentalist Shia government has denied Baha’is higher education, confiscated Baha’i property, desecrated Baha’i cemeteries and refused to recognize Baha’i marriages.”

31. Marriage ranked only fourth on list of young Iranians’ priorities – According to a study carried out by Iran’s National Youth Organization, marriage lies only fourth on the list of young Iranians’ priorities. Employment was ranked first (28 percent), economic issues came in second (22 percent) and education and university acceptance were ranked third (17 percent). Only 7 percent of young Iranians said marriage was their principal objective.

32. Iranian Philharmonic Orchestra to play perform classical works in the summer – The conductor of the Iranian Philharmonic Orchestra has announced that during the summer, the orchestra will perform works by some of the most renowned international composers such as Rossini, Mendelssohn and others.

Upcoming Events

33. July 1-3: Ahmadinejad to attend African Union summit – Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address the upcoming African Union summit in Libya.

34. August 20- 21 – Iran will take part in an international volleyball competition in Italy.

COP:Polar bear expert barred by global warmists

Mitchell Taylor, who has studied the animals for 30 years, was told his views 'are extremely unhelpful’ , reveals Christopher Booker.
Christopher Booker
Published: 5:20PM BST 27 Jun 2009 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5664069/

According to the world's leading expert on polar bears, their numbers are higher than they were 30 years ago Photo: AP

Over the coming days a curiously revealing event will be taking place in Copenhagen. Top of the agenda at a meeting of the Polar Bear Specialist Group (set up under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission) will be the need to produce a suitably scary report on how polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming. This is one of a steady drizzle of events planned to stoke up alarm in the run-up to the UN's major conference on climate change in Copenhagen next December. But one of the world's leading experts on polar bears has been told to stay away from this week's meeting, specifically because his views on global warming do not accord with those of the rest of the group.
Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.

Dr Taylor agrees that the Arctic has been warming over the last 30 years. But he ascribes this not to rising levels of CO2 – as is dictated by the computer models of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and believed by his PBSG colleagues – but to currents bringing warm water into the Arctic from the Pacific and the effect of winds blowing in from the Bering Sea.

He has also observed, however, how the melting of Arctic ice, supposedly threatening the survival of the bears, has rocketed to the top of the warmists' agenda as their most iconic single cause. The famous photograph of two bears standing forlornly on a melting iceberg was produced thousands of times by Al Gore, the WWF and others as an emblem of how the bears faced extinction – until last year the photographer, Amanda Byrd, revealed that the bears, just off the Alaska coast, were in no danger. Her picture had nothing to do with global warming and was only taken because the wind-sculpted ice they were standing on made such a striking image.

Dr Taylor had obtained funding to attend this week's meeting of the PBSG, but this was voted down by its members because of his views on global warming. The chairman, Dr Andy Derocher, a former university pupil of Dr Taylor's, frankly explained in an email (which I was not sent by Dr Taylor) that his rejection had nothing to do with his undoubted expertise on polar bears: "it was the position you've taken on global warming that brought opposition".

Dr Taylor was told that his views running "counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful". His signing of the Manhattan Declaration – a statement by 500 scientists that the causes of climate change are not CO2 but natural, such as changes in the radiation of the sun and ocean currents – was "inconsistent with the position taken by the PBSG".

So, as the great Copenhagen bandwagon rolls on, stand by this week for reports along the lines of "scientists say polar bears are threatened with extinction by vanishing Arctic ice". But also check out Anthony Watt's Watts Up With That website for the latest news of what is actually happening in the Arctic. The average temperature at midsummer is still below zero, the latest date that this has happened in 50 years of record-keeping. After last year's recovery from its September 2007 low, this year's ice melt is likely to be substantially less than for some time. The bears are doing fine.

Comment: Obama group and followers are opaque, not transparent-can you not see this?