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BBC Wont Use Terms Terror or Terrorist
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday January 27, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Some people are afraid to call them Muslim terrorists because it is a value judgment. And some media believes that if they refer to Islamic mass murderers as terrorists they will be accused of showing a bias.

Me, --- I have a bias for the innocent victims who are slain by the Muslim mass murders who openly profess their desire to intimidate us, convert us and if that does not happen to destroy us.

I was floored when I read the comments of the head of the Arabic section of the BBC. This is the BBC's largest foreign section. The name of the depatment head is Tarik Kafala.

In an interview with the British newspaper The Independent Kafala described how he approached coverage of the terror attacks in France.
Kafala said "We try to avoid describing anyone as a terrorist, or an act as being terrorist."

He continued, "What we try to do is to say that 'two men killed 12 people in an attack on the office of a satirical magazine'. That's enough, we know what that means and what it is."

Kafala tried to explain his editorial style by saying "We know what political violence is, we know what murder, bombings and shootings are and we describe them." "That's much more revealing, we believe, than using a word like terrorist which people will see as value-laden."

How sad. And Kafala is just being a good BBC soldier. He is following the BBC guide book of style and usage which, he said, cautions that "the use of the words 'terrorist' or 'terrorist group' can create inconsistency in their use or, to audiences, raise doubts about our impartiality."

The BBC advises using words other than "terrorist", words such as "bomber", "attacker", "gunman", "kidnapper" or "militant".

The free press is supposed to promote freedom, not suppress freedom.

What a very sad state of affairs for the BBC.

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Yemen is a Real Mess
By Micah Halpern

Monday January 26, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Yemen is a real mess. The government resigned - and that is the least of their problems. Yemen is a country of 24 million people.
It is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East with an annual average income of about $1400.

Yemen is also the major base of al Qaeda in the Middle East. One of the al Qaeda groups working out of Yemen is al Qaeda of the Arab Peninsula. It is probably more potent, more powerful, more organized and has more members than any al Qaeda group anywhere in the world.

Another of the al Qaeda groups in Yemen goes by the name Houthi.
They have taken over Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, a city of nearly two and a half million people.

The United States has been trying to prevent al Qaeda from taking over Yemen. They have been training Yemeni military forces and using unmanned drones to strike al Qaeda and its leadership.
Unfortunately, the intelligence that the US has relied upon for their drones has been almost totally infiltrated by al Qaeda.

The military training and the use of drones simply falls shy of what is necessary to protect and save Yemen.

The day after the government resigned tens of thousands of people marched in the capital demanding a government and asking for order in an attempt to say "no" to al Qaeda. There was some violence.

The people of the capital city Sana'a do not want al Qaeda to take over. So what can be done?

Yemenis must create a group of loyal, dependable and trustworthy fighters who are capable of attacking al Qaeda directly. They need to seek out and strike at al Qaeda everywhere they live. These forces will need air support from the United States. They may also need to get support from their neighbor Saudi Arabia who abhors and detests al Qaeda.

The United States needs to immediately identify and support this group. They need to ply them with weapons and money and set them loose. This is the only way to stymie and defeat al Qaeda. Right now al Qaeda has the advantage of momentum. That energy must be reversed.

Time is of the essence. And right now time is not on the side of Yemen.

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Iran To Enrich More
By Micah Halpern

Sunday January 25, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Here is a peek into Iran's point of view on nuclear negotiations.

Yesterday the parliament in Iran began drafting legislation that would empower scientists to continue to enrich uranium in their new generation centrifuges.

There is a nuclear committee in the Iranian parliament and the spokesman, Hussein Naghavi Husseini, is quoted in the Iranian media
explaining the draft legislation.

He said: "This bill will allow the government to continue enrichment, using new generation centrifuges."
"The parliament's nuclear committee is working on the technical issues and details of this draft."

There is no doubt that the parliamentary committee is expressing the feeling of many Iranians and their leaders.

These politicians are not confident that an agreement with the West will benefit Iran. More than that -- they strongly believe that it is their inherent right to develop nuclear technology and the West has no place to limit that right.

For Iran it is an issue of pride and power.

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US Ban Embassy Workers from Israeli Public Transport
By Micah Halpern

Friday January 23, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

The United States Embassy in Tel Aviv has issued a travel warning to all employees.

US Embassy employees are not permitted to use public transport or to come within 1.5 miles of the borders of Syria, Jordan or Lebanon without permission.

The statement from the US Embassy reads "Because of concerns about security on Israel's northern borders, US government personnel are currently required to obtain advance approval if they wish to travel within 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) of the Lebanon border, or travel on or east of Route 98 in the Golan Heights."

Banning public transport is an exaggerated response.

No doubt terrorists have targeted public transportation, but public transport is a way of life in Israel. The suggestion that US embassy personnel are not safe while performing the most basic of Israeli daily activities is not just truly insulting to Israeli society, it is a total misunderstanding of the situation.

Barring personnel from approaching a hostile border makes sense. But shutting off employees from buses and the trains sends the wrong message. And it does not make them safer.

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Lone Wolf Terror in Israel
By Micah Halpern

Thursday January 22, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

There was another lone wolf terror attack in Israel.

The perpetrator is a young Arab man from Tulkharam. He boarded a Tel Aviv bus and started stabbing - attacking 13 people. He ran and was shot in the leg by police as he attempted to escape. He was arrested.

The terrorist explained that he perpetrated the terror because of Israeli actions in Gaza over the summer. He said that he was excited by the internet videos he saw and by internet discussions about seeking revenge.

There are certain givens about lone wolf attackers against Israelis.
The lone wolf in Israel is almost always:

A young Arab man in his 20's or 30's.

Angry over a family member who was wounded, killed or interrogated by Israel.

The attack is often an initiation rite or an attempt to prove something.

The attacker is almost always illegally in Israel.

Lone wolves attack public transport because that is where Israelis are stationary - waiting for a bus or train, sitting and traveling. The public transport system makes Israelis easy targets for the lone wolf.

At this stage it is pretty clear who the "lone wolf" is. Now Israel needs to put a stop to the terror. It will take intel and a strong security presence.

Israel needs to advance its intelligence on people who illegally infiltrate the country. They need to stop them and watch them.

It is not an easy task, but Israel needs to clamp down on these lone wolves. And they need to do it soon.

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Hamas Building New Tunnels
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday January 21, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

We have known some of the details since the battle with Gaza ended.
Now we know more. More details and specifics that further our understanding - not conjecture, not hypothesis.

Since the end of the 50 day conflict, Hamas has been reconstructing, recreating and digging new tunnels.

Tunnels into Egypt. Tunnels into Israel. Tunnels within Gaza. Tunnels, tunnels and more tunnels. And with these new tunnels comes newer, more sophisticated technology.

According to Israeli intelligence Hamas learned from their experience in fighting Israel and they are applying those lessons in their new tunnels.

And Israel has begun to counter. The IDF engineering corps that focuses on these tunnels is called Yahalom (Diamond). Yahalom is adding hundreds of personnel to their unit. Not only is Israel significantly increasing the size of this specialized unit, they are also upgrading the status of its commander. The commander, once a Lt. Colonel, will now receive the rank of Colonel.

Israel must anticipate the technological advancements Hamas will use and develop strategies and practical devices that can defeat them.

This expanded engineering corps is essential.

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Israel Kills Iranian General in Syria
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday January 20, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Yesterday I discussed the Israeli attack on Syria that actually struck Hezbollah.

It is now clear, from Arab news reports and video, that 6 Hezbollah members were killed and 6 Iranians were killed including an Iranian general. Iran has confirmed his death.

The airstrike was not against a location or a base but against two vehicles, two SUVs. One was a Jeep Cherokee and one was a Kia Sorento. Both were travelling in the northern section of Quneitra, seven miles from the Israeli border.

The video shows that both vehicles totally destroyed. Burnt out and blown to bits. Just pieces remained. UN witnesses said that they saw two drones fire but news reports cite Hezbollah witnesses saying that an Israeli helicopter shot two missiles that destroyed the cars.

The difference between what we knew at first and what we know now is important. A strike against two vehicles with six people in each vehicle means a great deal. It means that these people were planning and plotting and sketching out responses to a potential attack by Israel on Iran. And the presence of an Iranian general seven miles from the Israeli border is very significant and is extremely telling.

That Israel knew and stopped the plot was very impressive.


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