Negrophilia: from Slave Block to Pedestal—America’s racial obsession

Negrophilia: from Slave Block to Pedestal—America’s racial obsession

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Negrophilia

In 2008, Americans elected Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th president of the United States. Being a black man, of course this was heralded as a monumentally historic event—the first black president in a country that was segregated a scant 50 years ago. A historic event, yes, whether or not one subscribes to theories of underhanded race politics, the evils of affirmative action and the cult of victimization in which many hold that black people still live. Yet, many were distressed by Obama’s election. Little was known about the man and his likely policies despite two published memoirs; his political history— and close circle of influence—evidenced the most far left liberal tendencies.

Nevertheless, he campaigned as a centrist. But his appeal also appeared clearly—in black and white. Negrophilia studies the undue and inordinate affinity for blacks (as opposed to antipathy toward them), that has been promoted by activists, politicians and the establishment press for the past 40 years and which has fostered an erroneous perception of blacks, particularly in America. The book dissects the dynamic of race relations and race politics with an emphasis on same since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, how these are likely to develop given a Barack Obama presidency, and how conscientious Americans may discern the deeper truths of these matters and thus develop healthier perceptions …

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Netanyahu on March 3 speech: ‘I am going there to try to stop the deal from happening’

Special to WorldTribune.com

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a local radio station that his speech next week to Congress is critical because he believes only Congress can at this point can stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

“I am writing the speech and it is important, because I am going there to try to stop the deal from happening,” he said on Feb. 27 according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.

Benjamin Netanyahu during a speech to Congress on May 24, 2011. / Avi Ohayon / GPO / Flash90

Benjamin Netanyahu during a speech to Congress on May 24, 2011. / Avi Ohayon / GPO / Flash90

“We remember the times when Persia tried to destroy us, and today in the same Persia there is a ruler who calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and they plan on doing it with nuclear weapons,” he said.

Netanyahu was addressing the widely-publicized concerns raised by the Left in Israel and the Democratic Party media in the U.S. that a rift between him and the White House over the March 3 speech to the Congress could permanently damage the longstanding U.S.-Israel alliance.

Netanyahu is expected in his speech to oppose the emerging nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1.

[Related: Fait Accompli: Bad Iran deal coming and in fact has already been decided, Feb. 24.]

Netanyahu said that he would have dinner with both Republicans and Democrats following the speech.

“I take it as a blessing. There was an invitation from both sides…this shows that there is a greater interest.” he said.

“According to the signs, in most of the U.S., there is support for Israel. So I can have differences with the U.S. president, that is legitimate, so what is not legitimate about us speaking our minds? Especially when the majority supports us.”

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Credit where credit is due: The Carter Administration and Iran’s fall to militant Islam

Special to WorldTribune.com

By Dario de Persis

The question of whose actions — or inactions — contributed to the downfall of the Shah of Iran in and by extension, the success of the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1978-79, is again relevant.

As was the case then, the U.S. and Israel are again preoccupied with the issue of Yraniin`power.

President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn with the Shah of Iran at a state dinner in the White House. / www.corbis.com

President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn with the Shah of Iran at a state dinner in the White House. / www.corbis.com

To be sure, the Shah had his share of shortcomings. But he was a reformer, secular, inclusive, and more importantly, a solid ally of the West and a stabilizing factor in the Middle Eastern region.

Thirty-five years later, one wonders if what was billed at the time as a genuine social revolution actually benefited the Iranian people and regional stability.

Many domestic as well as international factors led to the overthrow of the Shah. But the most important of all were the roles American leaders played in precipitating the outcome.

President Jimmy Carter and all his left-leaning advisers and officials, with the exception of Zbigniew Brzezinski favored or advocated the removal of the Shah. So were many ‘moralist’ politicians and members of Congress of all stripes — mostly out of sheer ignorance of geopolitics and lack of understanding of Middle Eastern history and culture.

Carter could not have chosen a more astute National Security Adviser than Brzezinski. But unfortunately for Iran as well as for long-term U.S. national interests, his counsel fell on deaf ears.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Robert E. ‘Dutch’ Huyser was dispatched to Iran on Jan. 4, 1979 to restrain the Iranian generals from mounting a coup d’état. His role and that of Gen. Al Haig was detailed in a column by the late William Safire for the New York Times on Jan. 18, 1980. He left Tehran on Feb. 11, having completed his mission.

In his memoir ‘Mission to Tehran’ he writes that in a subsequent telephone call with U.S. officials, he was asked by the Under Secretary of Defense if he would be willing to go back and supervise a military takeover.

By that time it was too late. Gen. Huyser maintains that he consistently advised his superiors that the result of the departure of senior Iranian leadership would be the collapse of the Iranian Armed Forces. He adds that before their collapse, the Royal Guard alone could have mounted a successful military take over.

The Carter Administration’s lack of understanding of the consequences of radical change in a volatile region and disregard for the possible effects that such a sudden change would have on the balance of power, contributed greatly to the prolongation of instability and hostility in the region.

To this day, the U.S. continues to cope with its direct and indirect consequences and is still paying in blood and treasure.

The writer is a well-informed, longtime observer of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

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Rumsfeld on how to deal with ISIL threat, Valerie Jarrett and Vladimir Putin

Special to WorldTribune.com

Greta Van Susteren, Feb. 17, FOX News: They are savages. And tonight, more news breaking. ISIS militants have reportedly burned to death 45 people in Iraq. The horrifying slaughter taking place in the western Iraqi town of al Baghdadi, just five miles from an air base staffed by hundreds of U.S. Marines. Reports the victims may have been members of the Iraqi security forces.

And former secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, joins us. Good evening, sir. … It’s stunning, 121 Christians in Libya the other, and now this.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "The president has got two more years. It seems to me the only thing that could change it is not going to be the press. It's not going to be the Congress." / Chad J. McNeeley / Department of Defense.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: “The president has got two more years. It seems to me the only thing that could change it is not going to be the press. It’s not going to be the Congress.” / Chad J. McNeeley / Department of Defense.

Donald Rumsfeld: It is terrible thing that’s happening in our world. And it brings back to mind the period before World War II where people said I didn’t know or I was just following orders or it’s random. But when you systematically kill Jews and kill Christians and say that’s what you are doing, it’s not random. It’s purposeful. And it seems to me a lot of the country is still in a state of denial about it. And the only way you can deal with something like that is to put it up on the table, call it what it is, deal with it. And any idea that you can defend everywhere at every moment of the day or night against every conceivable technique is simply wrong. If you try to defend everywhere, you defend nowhere. The only way you can deal with it is to go after those people.

Van Susteren: Well, you know, I have done a little reearc( ₦ about an elusive enemy, terrorists. Not like a nation state where we know where they are, know their borders. This has been going on and on and on. It’s getting uglier and worse.

Rumsfeld: People are treating it like it’s new. And it isn’t. Back when I was President Reagan’s Middle East envoy, I recall there was something like 37 terrorist acts in 30 days in 13 different countries. And the difference today is that weapons are more lethal. And there is the media. So, it is dramatized and people see it and it — I think it was Lenin who said the purpose of terrorism is not to kill eopl%. Kt’s to terrorize them. It’s to alter their behavior. And the world sits by not really recognizing that the whole concept of trying to create an Islamic caliphate is fundamentally destructive of the whole concept of the nation-state that orders our world.

Van Susteren: … They are killing Jews and Christians. A lot of our viewers are on to it. It’s obvious to them. They are very disenchanted because they don’t know what this White House’s strategy is.

Rumsfeld: I think back to the 1930s when the Holocaust was going on and the Nazis were killing Jews by the tens of thousands and the United States government turned away ships filled with Jews from our ports. They ended up going down to the Dominican Republic and finally being admitted to their country by that dictator down there so many decades ago.

And the anti-Semitism that’s rising in the world today, we read about Jewish cemeteries being desecrated, synagogues being attacked. It’s important we not have a leadership vacuum, that we, in fact, take a problem, put it on the table, look at it, be honest about it, and then develop a strategy to deal with it, which is hard, admittedly. Once you decide you are worried about something, you have to say what your goal is. If you set a goal, somebody is not going to like it and criticize it. It takes courage to set a goal. It takes courage to develop a course of action to deal with that goal and perseverance. Even though life is tough. It’s going to be difficult. You are going to have failures and successes. But you have to be persistent and believe in what you’re doing. And if you deny what the problem is, you can’t even get started.

Van Susteren: We have new secretary of defense, as of today. What’s going to be his biggest challenge, do you think?

Rumsfeld: He is a good man. In my view, he was a good appointment. I see him as a highly skilled technical person for the department. I’m not part of the Obama White House, but I have trouble believing that the people in the White House, with all the czars and the different factions in there, that — I mean, he is going to be the secretary of defense for this president, and this president was elected, so he will do a very good job down in the department. How successful he will be getting the president or the key people, Valerie Jarrett and the other people that are so influential in the department, to alter their behavior or advice or views, I don’t think that’s going to happen. The president has got two more years. It seems to me the only thing that could change it is not going to be the press. It’s not going to be the Congress. It would have to be people in his cabinet, people in his White House staff going in and saying, “Look, we have been wrong, we are making a mistake. We are going to have to calibrate and deal with this problem or the vacuum we have created is going to impose enormous cost on this country in time, in money, cost, and in blood.”

Van Susteren: What do you make of what’s going on in the Ukraine with Putin?

Rumsfeld: Well, it’s free play for Putin. He sees no — nothing that would dissuade him. Europe is impotent in dealing with this problem. They have allowed themselves to develop a degree of dependency on Russian oil and energy. And I don’t see them — Ukraine is enormously important. Right before our eyes, the world, not just the United States, but Western Europe is letting things happen there that, rather than dissuading further adventuresome behavior by the Russians, it encourages it. You have to ask what’s next? The Baltics? Central Asia? If a person is not dissuaded, they are going to do what they can do. People like that, they are not going to change their behavior unless there is some penalty for behaving the way they are behaving.

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The under-reported stealth war on Mideast Christians

Special to WorldTribune.com

By John J. Metzler

UNITED NATIONS — The spate of brutal and systematic attacks on Christian communities in Syria, Iraq and Egypt by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant has surged. Yet despite this targeted violence, there’s a climate of international indifference by many governments and even some Christian communities in the West towards this modern-day religious persecution.

Look at the recent roster of ISIL terror: in Libya, jihadi militants capture and then behead 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt. This barbaric attack prompted the UN Security Council to issue a statement condemning the “heinous and cowardly� murders. The Council added, “ISIL must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence and hatred it espouses must be stamped out.�

IsilGenocideThe UN’s Human Rights Chief Zeid Raaad Al-Hussein called the executions a “vile crime targeting people on basis of their religion.� This action carried out in the increasing lawlessness of Libya, was not the first time Coptic Christians or their churches have been attacked.

Speaking from Rome, Pope Francis stated, “It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants … the martyrs belong to all Christians.�

A week later in Syria’s remote Hassakeh Province, ISIL terrorists seized hundreds of Assyrian Christian women and children for a yet undetermined fate while 33 Christian villages were attacked.

In Iraq, ISIL’s lightening military advances into the northern cities such as Mosul have targeted minority groups such as Christians, Yezidis and Kurds. A recent UN Report on Iraq conceded, “The safety and security of members of Iraq’s diverse ethnic and religious communities in areas controlled by ISIL remain of grave concern, particularly the thousands of women and children who remain in captivity.�

After ISIL seized Mosul city, Christians were targeted for conversion to Islam or death. Christian houses were marked by the sign of “N� for Nazerene.

Middle Eastern Christians form an ancient quilt of Assyrian, Coptic, Chaldean Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Maronite Catholic communities from Egypt through Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Christians have formed a unique fabric in these overwhelmingly Muslim societies and have traditionally excelled in business, education and the arts. These are Arab Christians whose roots in the region stretch back two thousand years predating Islam.

During Syria’s secular regime before the civil war, Christians made up about ten percent of the population of 22 million people. In neighboring Lebanon, Christians comprised over a third of this once prosperous and secular land. Conflict and diaspora have dwindled their numbers.

The vengeful intolerance and white heat hated ISIL and its affiliates have for Mideast Christians, seems only matched for an equally hateful mass killings of fellow Muslims. Though the tiny Christian communities pose no real political threat to the IS rise, the very same communities can be held hostage for propaganda and intimidation value.

Vulnerable Mideast Christians have long been targeted by Al Qaida and Al Nusra terrorists. Just a year ago ISIL was proclaimed by President Obama as no more that a “junior varsity� terrorist organization. Six months later its warriors had seized large parts of northern Iraq and were at the gates of Baghdad. American airstrikes on IS started only in August, and while partially effective, have failed to stem the IS surge.

The rise of ISIL has initially been helped by the initial American underestimation of the threat and embarrassing indecision over policy. The wider reason rests with a regional power vacuum created in part by the Obama Administration’s indifference to the fate of Iraq’s fragile stability in the wake of the American troop pullout and a dithering disconnect on defense issues.

But does ISIL wish to use Christian persecution as a trap to lure Western (and let’s admit post-Christian countries) back into the Middle East cauldron? Possibly.

Significantly, despite the use of American and allied airpower against ISIL targets, changing the regional chessboard will require boots on the ground to counter, confront, and defeat this scourge.

But the troops should be Arab, not American as not to fall into the trap of “the Christian West� fighting Islam, of the French to revive the argument of an ex -colonial power, or the Turks to avoid the pitfall of the former Ottoman colonial ruler returning to the region.

ISIL strives to forcibly create a Sunni Muslim Theocratic State. We are not talking about a reasonably pluralistic state nor a typical Arab autocracy, but a medieval Islamic caliphate, where there’s no room for any religious nor social dissent.

It’s doubtful most Sunni Muslims favor this path but it is equally certain that ISIL intimidation and terror are quite convincing given no serious counterforce.

John J. Metzler is a U.N. correspondent covering diplomatic and defense issues. He writes weekly for WorldTribune.com. He is the author of “Divided Dynamism The Diplomacy of Separated Nations; Germany; Korea, China”, 2014

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Japan’s NTT Comm in talks to buy German e-shelter: source

By Yoshiyasu Shida

TOKYO (Reuters) – NTT Communications Corp is in talks to acquire German data center provider e-shelter for about 100 billion yen ($836 million), according to a source familiar with the matter.

An acquisition of e-shelter by Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Communications is the latest in the NTT Corp’s overseas expansion due to a dwindling home market.

NTT bought South African IT firm Dimension Data for 382 billion yen ($3.2 billion) in 2010, followed by takeover deals with a combined worth of 85.5 billion yen ($715.42 million) of two U.S. cloud computing firms, Virtela Technology Services Inc and RagingWire Data centers in 2013.

The talks were first reported by the Nikkei business daily.

E-shelter is a data center developer and provider founded in 2000. It has data centers in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Zurich, Vienna, and Munich.

($1 = 119.5100 yen)

(1 Japanese yen = $0.0084)

(Reporting By Yoshiyasu Shida; Writing by Teppei Kasai; Editing by Michael Perry)

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Oracle sues Oregon officials in healthcare website dispute

By Shelby Sebens

PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) – Oracle America Inc, the software giant in charge of developing Oregon’s failed health exchange website, has filed suit against five former staff and campaign advisers to the state’s former governor, saying they worked behind the scenes to kill the site for political reasons, court documents showed.

The company also gave notice to state administrators on Thursday, the same day it filed suit in Multnomah County Circuit Court, that it might file similar claims against former Governor John Kitzhaber and his former chief of staff, Mike Bonetto.

Oracle and the state are already fighting in court over who is to blame for the failed $240.3 million system, and the new lawsuit by Oracle seeks about $33 million in damages it says the company lost from the fallout over the Cover Oregon program.

The lawsuit says Kitzhaber’s staffers and advisers, who did not work for Cover Oregon, “improperly influenced” the decision to shutter the site and then blamed Oracle to defuse the political consequences. 

   Named in the lawsuit are Kitzhaber’s former campaign manager Patricia McCaig, consultants Kevin Looper and Mark Wiener, former business policy director Scott Nelson and former spokesman Tim Raphael.

Oracle argues the website was ready to go before the state decided to switch to the federal exchange in April. 

“The work on the exchange was complete by February 2014, but going live with the website and providing a means for all Oregonians to sign up for health insurance coverage didn’t match the former-Governor’s re-election strategy to ‘go after’ Oracle,” Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said in a statement. 

“Political operatives Patricia McCaig, Kevin Looper, Scott Nelson, Tim Raphael, and Mark Wiener acted in the shadows and took actions to undermine the ability of Oregonians to receive health coverage; create a false narrative blaming Oracle for the state’s failures; and ultimately interfere with Oracle’s business,” she said. 

Oregon was initially enthusiastic about the federal healthcare plan, known as Obamacare. But the Oracle-built site never worked and Oregonians were forced to submit paper applications. In April, Oregon moved to an exchange run by the federal government.

Kitzhaber resigned last week amid criminal probes into an influence-peddling scandal involving allegations that his fiancée used her position in his office for personal gain.

Kitzhaber’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. Of those named in Thursday’s lawsuit, Wiener and Looper declined comment and the others could not immediately be reached.      

(Reporting by Shelby Sebens; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Beech)

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Uber security breach may have affected up to 50,000 drivers: LA Times

(Reuters) – About 50,000 of Uber’s driver names and license numbers may be in the hands of an unauthorized third party due to a data breach that occurred last year, Los Angeles Times reported, citing the ride service provider’s managing counsel of data privacy.

The company could not say how the security vulnerability was first discovered because the matter is currently under investigation, according to the report. (http://lat.ms/1DiWfWP)

Uber was not immediately available to comment.

(Reporting By Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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Ex-school employee pleads to obstruction in Steubenville rape case

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – A former school employee in Ohio pleaded guilty to obstruction in a rape case involving a 16-year-old girl that drew national attention after supposed images of the incident circulated on the Internet, the state’s Attorney General office said Friday.

William Rhinaman, former information technology director for Steubenville City Schools, pleaded guilty to obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor.

Rhinaman was indicted in 2013 by a special grand jury that looked into whether officials had tried to thwart the investigation into the rape by two Steubenville High School football players.

Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove sentenced Rhinaman to 90 days of jail, 80 of which are suspended upon completion a year of probation and 40 hours of community service. He will also have to pay court costs and fees.

Rhinaman had previously pleaded not guilty and was scheduled to go on trial in May. Steubenville is about 35 miles (56 km) west of Pittsburgh.

The case drew national attention after a photo and video online appeared to document the assault of the girl while activists denounced a cover-up by school officials.

In March 2013, two high school football players were found guilty as juveniles of assaulting the girl.

Other school employees were charged by the special grand jury. In some cases the indictments were dismissed, and in other cases school employees pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and received minor jail sentences.

(Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Alan Crosby)

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American blogger killed in Bangladesh machete attack

DHAKA (Reuters) – Machete-wielding assailants hacked to death an American critic of religious extremism in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, in the latest of a series of attacks on writers who support freethinking values in the Muslim-majority nation.

Avijit Roy, a U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin, and his wife and fellow blogger, Rafida Ahmed, were attacked on Thursday while returning from a book fair. Ahmed was seriously injured.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called it “a shocking act of violence” that was “horrific in its brutality and cowardice.”

Psaki told a regular news briefing she had no information as the motive for the attack, but said the United States was ready to assist the investigation.

The attack comes amidst a crackdown on hardline Islamist groups, which have increased activities in recent years in the South Asian nation.

Police retrieved two machetes from the site, but have not yet identified any suspects. They said they were investigating the involvement of Ansarullah Bangla Team, an Islamist extremist group based in Bangladesh that claimed responsibility on Friday for the murder.

Roy’s family said Islamist radicals had been threatening him in recent weeks because he maintained a blog, “Mukto-mona,” or “Freemind,” that highlighted humanist and rationalist ideas and condemned religious extremism.

“Islamist radicals are behind my son’s murder,” Ajay Roy told reporters on Friday after filing a murder case with police.

“We mourn but we are not out,” read a black banner on the site.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric condemned the attack, telling reporters that the United Nations hopes “the perpetrators will be quickly brought to justice through the due process of law. It is very important that the space for freedom of expression and civil society be upheld in Bangladesh.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based press freedom watchdog, called for a swift and thorough investigation.

The Center for Inquiry, a U.S.-based nonprofit group Roy wrote for, said it was “shocked and heartbroken” by the murder.

“Dr. Roy was a true ally, a courageous and eloquent defender of reason, science, and free expression, in a country where those values have been under heavy attack,” it said in a statement.

Media group Reporters Without Borders rated Bangladesh 146th among 180 countries in a ranking of press freedom last year.

In 2013, religious extremists targeted several secular bloggers who had demanded capital punishment for Islamist leaders convicted of war crimes during Bangladesh’s war for independence.

Blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was killed that year in a similar attack near his home in Dhaka after he led one such protest demanding capital punishment.

In 2004, Humayun Azad, a secular writer and professor at Dhaka University, was also attacked by militants while returning home from a Dhaka book fair. He later died in Germany while undergoing treatment.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul and Serajul Quadir in Dhaka and Louis Charbonneau in New York; Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom in Washington; Writing by Krista Mahr; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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