Jerusalem News (18 April, 2013, Iyar 8, 5773)
1. Potential Hostilities between Shiite Iran and the Sunni Arabs
The silent love affair between Tehran and the Arab Left by Khalid AmayrehÂ
2. The EU and Austria Versus Western Israelites.
THE CRASH OF CIVILIZATION. The Weak Link in the Iran Fight By Lee Smith
3. The Cuban diet: eat less, exercise more - and preventable deaths are halvedÂ by Jeremy Laurance
The silent love affair between Tehran and the Arab Left
Khalid Amayreh , Saturday 13 Apr 2013
For Iranian Shia clerics, any authentic political Sunni model is more than undesirable and unwanted. It actually constitutes a mortal threat to Iran's ultimate strategy of spreading Shiism in the Arab world.
It is well known that the raison d'etre of Shiism, especially the Jaafari Ithnashari (the Twelvers) is to destroy or at least undermine Sunni Islam. Iran does, of course, deny any bad intentions to that effect, but actions speak louder than words.
In Egypt, Iranian money is flowing unimpeded to fill the coffers of the Egyptian opposition, especially the Nasserist group headed by Hamdeen Sabbahi.
The Iranian goal is to weaken and topple the so-called "rule of the Ikhwan" in order to make it easier for the clerics of Qom and Najaf to spread Shia polytheism in the largest Arab country of 90 million.
In context, it is not really unthinkable to presume an Iranian role in triggering religious sectarianism between Muslims and Copts in Egypt, since this would create more trouble for Egyptian Islamists.
In Tunisia, Iranian money is channeled to secular and socialist parties and groups for the purpose of unseating and undermining the quasi-Islamist movement, An-Nahdha.
And in Bahrain, Iran-funded Shias seem hell-bent on turning the country into a Shia fiefdom, which would be used as a foothold for invading Saudi Arabia and taking over the Makki Haram, in order to transform the paramount Muslim sanctuary into a pagan temple where 12 mini gods called imams are worshipped instead of God Almighty.
But the main battlefield as far as Iran is concerned remains Syria. There, the traditional Iranian designs would convert Syria into a Safavi state orbiting Tehran or Qom in 30 or 40 years. However, the Syrian revolution seemed to have reversed or even turned these Iranian dreams upside down.
Now, the Iranian goals seem to have become more modest and realistic. Iran now wants to keep the arch-murderer of Damascus in power a few more years in order to enable the esoteric Alawite sect and other smaller Shia sects (the Jaafari, Ismaeli and Druze) a better bargaining position in order to ensure better power-sharing arrangements in the post-Assad Syria
2. The EU and Austria Versus Western Israelites.
THE CRASH OF CIVILIZATION.
The Weak Link in the Iran Fight
By Lee Smith
Â No. 378
April 10, 2013
It isn't exactly news that Europeans have been soft on Islamism. Indeed, accommodating and capitulating to Islamic demands has driven European civilization to self-immolation. Favoring Islam has not been confined to accepting laws to limit the free expression of non-Muslims, or accepting Islam court rulings that allow wife beating or "honor-killing." The acceptance of such violations of Western values and principles has probably been made easier by Europeans' long-standing deep-seated anti-Semitic sentiments, a prejudice that affects Europe's anti-Israeli stands.
.... In early February, the Bulgarian government fingered Hezbollah as responsible for the Burgas bus bombing that killed five Israelis and the Bulgarian driver. At the time this happened, the EU leadership made all sorts of attempts to damp down the clamor (mostly from Washington, to its credit) for finally putting Hezbollah on the EU list of terrorist organizations. Since then, a Hezbollah operative has been convicted of terrorist activity on Cyprus for identifying areas frequented by Israeli tourists suitable for attack.Â Still, there is no action on the part of the EU to move the Party of God to the list.
The EU has refused to denounce Islamist terrorism, under the guise that such action would, in the case of Hezbollah, destabilize Lebanon and lead to terrorist attacks on European soil. ....
The lack of a backbone has made the Europeans very flexible when it comes to sanctions on Iran. Governments, bankers and businessmen have continued quite often to openly make deals with Iran.
Lee Smith cites a recent horrific event in Vienna that is shows that Austrians, who have produced leaders like Adolph Hitler and his apologist Kurt Waldheim, haven't changed much in the 21st century. ....As Smith details, Austria and Iran have had a longstanding and disturbingly cozy business relationship. The U.S.-led sanctions regime imposed on Tehran is not something the Austrians are about to pay strict attention to.
The Vienna government's cowardice and cravenness points to something rotten about Austria-but also, more ominously, about Europe, which has emerged as the weak link in the West's standoff with the Islamic Republic and its allies. ...
Last month, on the 75th anniversary of the Anschluss, 40 percent of Austrians said that things under Hitler weren't all bad. One can bat away this fact as irrelevant to Austria's current policies and postures, but it is decidedly not: If the Fuhrer looks pretty good in the rear-view mirror then the Islamic Republic is certainly acceptable.
In 1984, Austria's was the first foreign minister to visit Iran after the Islamic revolution, and in 1991 then-President Kurt Waldheim was the first Western leader to make the trip. Waldheim was greeted by then-President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who praised the former Nazi officer for his "anti-Americanism" and "anti-Zionism." Since then, Austria and Iran have done a lot of business together.
3. The Cuban diet: eat less, exercise more - and preventable deaths are halved by Jeremy Laurance, Independent.co.uk
10 April 2013
IN a unique natural experiment, researchers have observed how a nation that lost an average of 5kg per head over five years contributed to a halving of the death rate from diabetes and a one third reduction in deaths from heart disease.
The natural experiment occurred in Cuba which was plunged into crisis in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its experience demonstrates what could be achieved elsewhere if the same changes could be brought about, without an economic crisis.
Food and fuel were in short supply in Cuba from 1990 resulting in millions going hungry and having to abandon their vehicles and walk.
Cars and buses virtually disappeared from the roads as fuel supplies dried up, and farmers had to abandon motorised machines and work the fields manually. The Government issued one million bicycles to keep the population on the move.
Between 1990 and 1995, the average Cuban consumed fewer calories than they expended each day, leading to an average weight loss of 5kg.
Deaths from diabetes began to fall in 1996, five years after the start of the weight loss period, and remained low for six years. Deaths from heart disease and stroke which had been declining slowly since 1980 suddenly went into free fall from 1996.
By the late 1990s, however, Cuba was beginning to recover and as the economy grew so did waistlines. Levels of physical activity fell.
The consequences were seen in a surging prevalence of diabetes and rising rates of heart disease and stroke which, by the mid-2000s were back to their pre-crisis levels.
The international team of researchers from Spain, the US and Cuba, say that the "Cuban experience" from 1980 to 2010 demonstrates that within a relatively short period, modest weight loss in the whole population can have a profound effect.
The Cuban crisis was unusual in that it did not occur suddenly, as in a time of war, but developed slowly over a number of years, and was not accompanied by social breakdown. People continued to go to work and school and the Government maintained its strong tradition of public health and continued surveillance of medical trends.
Professor Willetts writes: "The current findings add powerful evidence that a reduction in overweight and obesity would have major population-wide benefits."