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Showing posts from May 23, 2016

Refugees, Radicals and the Assaults on German Women

(AINA) -- The sexual molesting of over 100 women in several German cities on New Year's Eve has triggered outrage in Germany and throughout the Western world. It strikes at a core value of the contemporary West: the right of women to be treated with dignity and respect and not to be subjected to unwelcome sexual advances.

The reports that the perpetrators were hundreds of men of North African and Arabic appearance have unleashed a bitter debate in Germany between those who have linked the event with the massive influx of refugees to Germany in 2015 against those who refuse to link the sexual attacks with the refugee issue.

Can a direct line be drawn between the sexual assaults and refugees? To answer that question, thought should be given to the profile of refugees entering Germany last year. They represent many nationalities: Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans, Moroccans, Algerians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Nigerians and a host of other nationalities. The diverse nationalities involved sugg…

The New Coalition to Destroy the Islamic State

The raw Sunni recruits in crisp camouflage uniforms, popping off rounds at the firing range at a U.S. training camp here, illustrate the dilemma for the United States as it seeks to form a strong military force to drive the Islamic State from its capital, Raqqah.

The United States could try to build the Sunni army it would want, ideally, to capture Raqqah, a Sunni city. But that might take years. Or it can go with the army it has, which is dominated by the tough, experienced Kurdish fighters from the YPG militia. They're anathema to Turkey, to the north, and to the official Syrian political opposition. But the rampaging Syrian Kurds get the job done.

The United States is trying to do some of both, by building a new opposition coalition under the makeshift banner of the "Syrian Democratic Forces," or SDF, which integrates Sunnis, Christians, Turkmen and other inexperienced fighters with the larger, powerhouse that is the YPG. That's not ideal politically but it makes mi…

Syrian army kills 125 rebels in central Hama province

At least 125 militiamen with the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and likeminded groups have been killed by the Syrian army in the central province of Hama, state news agency SANA reported on Saturday.

Those militants were killed during a military offensive near the town of Hur Binafsuh in Hama countryside, said SANA, adding that the military forces managed to break the siege imposed by the rebels on the Thermal Station of the nearby town of Zara on Saturday.

During the actions, over 125 militants were killed, said SANA, adding that armored vehicles have also been destroyed.

The Nusra Front and the Ahrar al-Sham have recently unleashed a broad offensive on the town of Zara south of Hama, committing a massacre against civilians of the town, who are largely adherent to the Alewite sect, to whom the ruling elite in Syria belongs.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed or wounded, and tens kidnapped by the Nusra militants in Zara, which prompted the Syrian army to carry out a counter offensive to …

The US War Machine’s Annual Budget Could Buy Every Homeless American a $1 Million Home

By Jay Syrmopoulos

Washington, D.C. – In 2015, the United States spent more on its war machine than the next six countries combined, with a total of $596 billion spent on military expenditures. This week the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with roughly $602 billion slated to be spent on military programs and armaments in the 2017 budget.

To put this amount in perspective, the U.S. spent more on its military than the next six nations combined, with China coming in second at $215 billion, followed by Saudi Arabia at $87 billion, Russia at $66 billion, with the United Kingdom, India and France spending roughly $50 billion each on defense expenses.

When looking at this spending in context, the U.S. not only spends more than the next six countries combined, but spends almost triple the amount on military expenses than the second biggest defense spender in the world, China, according to data from the Stockholm Internatio…