Saturday, September 28, 2013


"The Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area"
by Rosemary Cambra (Tribal Chair), Monica V. Arellano (Tribal Vice Chairwoman), Hank Alvarez (Tribal Councilman), Gloria E. Arellano (Tribal Councilwoman), Carolyn M. Sullivan (Tribal Councilwoman), Karl Thompson (Tribal Councilman), Concha Rodriguez (Tribal Councilwoman), and Alan Leventhal (Tribal Ethnohistorian), archived at []:
Introduction: Cultural and Geographical Landscape of the Greater Muwekma Territory,
10,000 Years Ago to European Contact in 1769

Over ten thousand years ago, before the waters of the Pacific Ocean passed through the gap now spanned by the Golden Gate Bridge and filled the interior valley-basins, the ancestors of the present-day Muwekma Ohlone along with the neighboring tribal groups had established their homes within this changing landscape. The people comprising these early tribal groups gave birth, hunted, fished, harvested a great diversity of seeds, fruits and vegetables, managed large tracts of land through selected burning, married, grew old and died within the greater San Francisco Bay region. Over these millennia the ancestral Muwekma Ohlone tribal groups along with their neighboring linguistic cousins inter-married and developed complex societies which anthropologists classify as ranked chiefdoms.
Many of the complex aspects of their social, cultural, religious and ceremonial institutions have been traced back through the archaeological record over a period of 4500 years within the greater Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta and macro-Bay Area regions, thus culturally and biologically linking this larger contiguous geographic area. Based upon this extensive archaeological record, it appears that sometime around 4000 years ago, these ancestral California tribal cultures developed a system of social ranking (meaning hereditary noble lineages and elites who controlled wealth, production, distribution and power) and there also evolved formal institutionalized religions. This culturally complex system of social distinction and control over resources was reflected in the elaborate mortuary (burial) treatment of the dead as expressed within the larger geographical area. Many of the social elites (nobility) were buried with grave wealth in the form of social and religious markers of distinction. Furthermore, many of these high lineage people during the *Early and Middle Periods (*these are temporal periods developed by archaeologists to distinguish cultural, economic, technological distinctions over time), were buried in extended positions, oriented toward the west, and placed in cemeteries that eventually developed into large earth mounds.
Such was the case within the greater San Francisco Bay region, beginning approximately 4000 years ago, when people were interred in what has become commonly known as the "shellmounds" located near or on the Bayshore.  One of these large mound sites, CA-SFr-7, was recorded by Nels Nelson from UC Berkeley in 1908. CA-SFr-7 is also known as the Crocker Mound or Bayshore Mound and is located just south of Islais Creek, near Hunter’s Point. Nels Nelson supervised a major excavation of this mound in 1910 and found it to be up to 3 meters deep. He also recovered 23 burials and associated artifacts. Over the past 100 or so years, these "shellmounds" have been misinterpreted by scholars and other "students of history" as remnant "villages", "kitchen middens", "garbage dumps" and "habitation sites", however archaeological evidence suggests to the contrary, that these mounds formally served as the final resting places for the elite and distinguished members (e.g. fallen warriors) of the many ancestral Muwekma Ohlone tribal societies living around the San Francisco Bay. These final resting-places are in fact, formal cemeteries and mortuary mounds of earth with areas that were also used for cremation. Many of these mortuary mounds contain some shell, ash, bone and charcoal, but evidence suggests that these were by-products of funerals, annual "Cry" or mourning ceremonies, cremation-related activities, or refuse supporting many people attending the funerals and other related ceremonies for over a period of several days.
In 1769, the evolution of these complex Ohlone societies was adversely impacted and became another casualty within the international arena of European colonialism. In that year, the Bourbon Monarchy of the Spanish Empire decided to expand its presence into Alta California. Thus began the first of a series of contacts between the Spanish colonial empire and the aboriginal Costanoan/Ohlone people (whom the Spaniards referred to as Costeños or Coastal People) living within the greater Monterey/San Francisco Bay regions. Although the term Muwekma is used as an identifier for the modern surviving Indian families of the aboriginal people of the greater San Francisco Bay region and whose direct ancestors were missionized into Missions Dolores, San Jose and Santa Clara, Muwekma also means "The People" in the Tamien and Chochenyo Ohlone languages spoken around the San Francisco Bay [note: collectively the Ohlone languages spoken in southern Napa, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo and San Francisco Counties have been classified as either Northern Costanoan or Muwekma by some anthropologists and linguists].
Late Eighteenth Century Land and Sea Explorations: Impressions of the Muwekma Ohlone People of the San Francisco Bay
During the early Spanish expeditions from Monterey into the San Francisco Bay region (1769 - 1776), the Spaniards encountered a number of Muwekma Ohlonean tribes and villages (rancherias) along the way. Accounts of these first hand encounters were kept by the priests and the military leaders of the expeditions and they provide important information in our understanding of the nature and complexity of 18th century Ohlone societies and aspects of their world-view. In simplistic terms, it appears in general that the Ohlone attitude towards the presence of strangers entering their territories was divided into two general considerations: strangers were considered as either enemies (and/or other powerful forces that could cause harm), or as distinguished visiting guests. Apparently, during this formative, contact/pre-mission period, the Spaniards were not viewed as enemies by the Ohlone they encountered, but rather in most cases thought of as powerful, non-hostile strangers, whom were invited to their villages and treated as distinguished guests. An example of one such encounter occurred on April 2, 1776, near the Carquinez Straits (North/East Bay), when Father Font documented the following account: [begin excerpt] We set out from the little arroyo at seven o'clock in the morning, and passed through a village to which we were invited by some ten Indians, who came to the camp very early in the morning singing. We were welcomed by the Indians of the village, whom I estimated at some four hundred persons, with singular demonstrations of joy, singing, and dancing. [end excerpt]
A year earlier in 1775, the first Spanish ship, San Carlos, circum-navigated the San Francisco Bay. On board was Captain Juan Manuel de Ayala, First Sailing Master and Map Maker, Jose de Canizares, and Father Vincente Santa Maria, who after having some initial contact with the Karkin-e (northern Ohlones), decided to go ashore on the south side of the strait, and visit a village located some distance inland. Father Santa Maria left us with the following account: [begin excerpt] There was in authority over all of these Indians one whose kingly presence marked his eminence above the rest. Our men made a landing, and when they had done so the Indian chief addressed a long speech to them... After the feast and while they were having a pleasant time with the Indians, our men saw a large number if heathen approaching, all armed with bows and arrows. ...This fear obliged the sailing master to make known by signs to the Indian chieftain the misgivings they had in the presence of so many armed tribesmen. The themi (chief), understanding what was meant, at once directed the Indians to loosen their bows and put up all of their arrows, and they were prompt to obey. The number of Indians who had gathered together was itself alarming enough. There were more than four hundred of them, and all, or most of them, were of good height and well built. [end excerpt]
Also, during this voyage, the San Carlos anchored off several of the islands in the bay, including Alcatraz and Angel Islands. Alcatraz was named Ysla de Alcatrazes (Pelicans) by Captain Ayala (although some believe this is actually Yerba Buena Island). On August 14, 1775, the San Carlos cast her anchor opposite a large island, which they named Santa Maria de los Angels (Angel Island) in honor of the Blessed Virgin as Queen of the Angels. On this island, they found two Ohlone rancherias and also evidence of religious/ceremonial activities. Father Vincente Santa Maria described some of the regalia found at one of the shrines: [begin excerpt] These were slim round shafts about a yard and a half high, ornamented at the top with bunches of white feathers, and ending, to finish them off, in an arrangement of black and red-dyed feathers imitating the appearance of the sun. ... This last exhibit gave me the unhappy suspicion that those bunches of feathers representing the image of the sun (which in their language they call gismen [the Ohlone word for sun] must be objects of the Indian's heathen veneration; ... [end excerpt]
The Post-Contact Muwekma Ohlone and their ties to the Yelamu Ohlone of San Francisco, Missions Dolores, San Jose and Santa Clara and the East Bay Rancherias: A Brief Historic Overview 1777 to 1906
The Yelamu tribal group of Ohlone Indians controlled the region comprising the City and County of San Francisco. According to the comprehensive mission record and ethnogeographic studies conducted by anthropologist Randall Milliken, it appears that the first four people from Yelamu were baptized by Father Cambon, and the others of the tribe were baptized by Fathers Palou and Santa Maria between 1777 - 1779. Apparently the first converts from the "rancheria de Yalamu· " into Mission Dolores also had relations with the neighboring rancherias (villages) of Sitlintac (located about 2.6 miles northeast of Mission Dolores), Chutchui, Amuctac, Tubsinte, and Petlenuc all located within the present boundaries of San Francisco. Sitlintac and Chutchui were located in the valley of Mission Creek. Amuctac and Tubsinte were established in the Visitation Valley area to the south. The village of Petlenuc may have been near the location of the Presidio. The Ohlone people from the Yelamu territory, as well as other tribal groups to the south, and across the East Bay, were missionized into Mission Dolores between 1777 to 1787. According to Fathers Palou and Cambon, the Ssalsones (the Ohlone tribal group located on the San Mateo Peninsula to the south), were intermarried with the Yelamu and called the Yelamu Aguazios, which means "Northerners".
Based upon genealogical information derived from the Mission Dolores records, the Yelamu Ohlone people of San Francisco were intermarried with other Ohlone tribal groups to the south and across the East Bay, prior to contact with the Spaniards. For example, Fathers Palou, Cambon, and Noriega over a period of time baptized the family of a Yelamu chief or captain named Xigmacse (a.k.a. Guimas) who was identified by Palou as the "Captain of the village of this place of the Mission". Father Cambon recorded two of Xigmacse’s wives, Huitanac and Uittanaca (who were sisters) as coming "from the other shore to the east at the place known as Cosopo". Recently some scholars have suggested that the ending "-cse" on a man's name (as in the case of Captain Xigmacse) served as an appellation of distinction or preeminence, thus identifying that person as a chief or one of distinguished status and high lineage. In another case of cross-Bay intermarriage between tribal groups involved a Yelamu woman named Tociom. Tociom had a daughter named Jojcote who according to Father Cambon was "born in the mountains to the east on the other side of the bay in the place called by the natives Halchis". The place called "Halchis" is the territory of the Jalquin Ohlone Tribe located within the greater Hayward/San Leandro/southern Oakland region.
It was into this complex and rapidly changing world that a young Jalquin Ohlone man named Liberato Culpecse, at the age of 14 years old (born 1787) was baptized on November 18, 1801 at Mission Dolores, along with other members of his tribe. Seven years later in 1808, Liberato Culpecse married his first wife and she died before 1818. Presumably, after the death of his wife, Liberato was allowed to move to the Mission San Jose region, where he met his second wife, Efrena Quennatole. Efrena who was Napian/Karquin Ohlone was baptized at Mission San Jose on January 1, 1815. Father Fortuny married Efrena and Liberato on July 13, 1818. Liberato Culpecse and Efrena Quennatole had a son named Jose Dionisio (Nonessa) Liberato and a daughter, Maria Efrena. Both Dionisio and Maria Efrena married other Mission San Jose Indians and they had children who later became the Elders (including members of the Guzman and Marine lineages) of the historic Federally Recognized Verona Band (Muwekma) community residing at the following East Bay rancherias: San Lorenzo, Alisal (Pleasanton), Del Mocho (Livermore), Niles, Sunol, and later Newark. These Muwekma/Verona Band Elders also enrolled along with their families with the Bureau of Indian Affairs under the 1928 California Indian Jurisdictional Act.
The natural and cultural worlds of all of the Ohlone tribal groups were drastically devastated within the first 25 years after contact due to the establishment of Missions San Carlos, Soledad, Santa Cruz, San Juan Bautista, Santa Clara, San Jose and Dolores (San Francisco), the military Presidios at Monterey and San Francisco, and the intolerant alien order imposed by the conquering Hispanic Empire. Of the approximately over twenty thousand Ohlonean speaking people who inhabited the greater San Francisco/Monterey Bay regions in 1769, less than 2000 were left by 1810. Their numbers continually declined throughout the remaining Spanish/Mexican/Californio regimes, and the surviving intermarried Muwekma families eventually sought refuge, especially after the American conquest of California (1846-1848), on some formal land grants issued to them by the Mexican Government and later on the six East Bay rancherias located within their ancestral homelands. During the mid-19th century, as the rest of the central California Indian tribal groups were displaced and, at times, hunted down, Alisal (located near Pleasanton) as well as the other rancherias, became safe-havens for the Muwekma Ohlone Indians and members from the neighboring interior tribes who had intermarried with them at the missions. The Alisal rancheria was established on the 1839 land grant belonging to a friendly Californio named Agustine Bernal.
Years later, in the 1880s, the Hearst family purchased part of the rancho containing the rancheria and Mrs. Hearst permitted the 125 Muwekmas living at Alisal to remain on the land, and even employing some of them to do her laundry. During the early part of the 20th century, the Muwekma Ohlone Indians (later identified as the Verona Band by the BIA) became Federally Recognized as a result of the Special Indian Census conducted by Agent C. E. Kelsey in 1905-1906 and the ensuing Congressional appropriation bills of 1906 and 1908, which were passed to purchase homesites for landless California Indians. Concurrently, during this period of time, Mrs. Phoebe Hearst was responsible for funding the fledgling Department of Anthropology at U.C. Berkeley. Dr. Alfred L. Kroeber, one of the early pioneering anthropologists, helped develop the Anthropology Department at Berkeley, and later became known as "the Father of California Anthropology". During the early part of this century, there were approximately 20,000 Indians left surviving in California, a devastating decline from the estimated population of 1.5 million people at the time of Hispano-European contact in 1769. Realizing such a state of devastation, Kroeber and his colleagues and students embarked upon the task to try to "salvage" as much memory culture and language from the surviving communities and elders, in order to record detailed aspects about their culture before their passing. This effort culminated in the monumental publication by Kroeber in 1925 entitled The Handbook of California Indians. In this Bureau of American Ethnology's (Smithsonian Institution) publication, Kroeber wrote of the Costanoans (Ohlones): "The Costanoan group is extinct so far as all practical purposes are concerned. A few scattered individuals survive, whose parents were attached to the missions San Jose, San Juan Bautista, and San Carlos; but they are of mixed tribal ancestry and live almost lost among other Indians or obscure Mexicans."
For the surviving Costanoan/Ohlone people of the 1920s, they never read of this sentence of "extinction", nor did they embrace it. Instead, the Muwekma Ohlone continued maintain their Indian culture, although by this time completely landless, they like the other Ohlone/Costanoan tribal communities (Amah-Mutsun/San Juan Band from Mission San Juan Bautista) and the Esselen/Costanoans/Monterey Band from Mission San Carlos/Carmel/ Monterey region), continued to survive as distinct Indian communities and speak their respective languages as late as the 1930s. It is from the fieldwork of linguist and cultural anthropologist, J. P. Harrington, associated with the Bureau of American Ethnology, who worked in the greater Ohlone region from 1921-1939 with the last fluent elderly speakers of the Ohlone languages that we know much about the culture and changing world of the Costanoan/Ohlone people that bridged into 20th century. Presently, the grandchildren of Harrington's linguistic and cultural consultants comprise the Elders and leadership of the Muwekma Ohlone Indian Tribe of the San Francisco Bay, as well as those of Amah Mutsun and Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Nation.
The United States Government maintained a "Trust" relationship with these three "Costanoan" tribal groups from 1906 to 1927. In 1927, although landless, the Muwekma were administratively dropped or "no longer dealt with" (along with approximately 135 other Acknowledged California Indian communities) from their Federally Recognized status by Lafayette A. Dorrington, Superintendent of the Bureau of Indians Affairs in Sacramento. This unilateral administrative termination was enacted contrary to BIA policy and without any notification or due process to the tribes. Although, the Verona Band/Muwekma Ohlone families had enrolled with the Bureau of Indian Affairs under the 1928 California Jurisdictional Act, and have since organized themselves according to the Bureau's directives, they still have no right to be legally considered an Indian Tribe under federal law, without first obtaining reaffirmation and formally Acknowledged by the Secretary of the Interior.
The Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay: Shattering the Myth that the Ohlones were Never Federally Recognized
The Ohlone people have left a record of approximately 13,000 years of human history, and today they are still trying to overcome the onus of their sentence of "extinction" placed upon them by scholars, politicians, and anti-Indian activists, by continuing to educate the general public, academic institutions and the Federal Government through the historic record. After eight years of being in the petitioning process, and after the submittal of several thousand pages of historic and legal documentation, on May 24, 1996 the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Branch of Acknowledgment and Research (BAR) made a positive determination, but reluctantly acknowledged that: [begin excerpt] Based upon the documentation provided, and the BIA's background study on Federal acknowledgment in California between 1887 and 1933, we have concluded on a preliminary basis that the Pleasanton or Verona Band of Alameda County was previous acknowledged between 1914 and 1927. The band was among the groups, identified as bands, under the jurisdiction of the Indian agency at Sacramento, California. The agency dealt with the Verona Band as a group and identified it as a distinct social and political entity. [end excerpt]
Even after obtaining a positive determination of "previous unambiguous Federal recognition" the Muwekma still had to submit additional documentation in order to satisfy BAR, that the tribe minimally meet the seven mandatory criteria. Almost two years later, on March 26, 1998, as a result of submitting several more Exhibits, Division Chief of Tribal Operation, Deborah Maddox, issued a letter to the tribe stating that:
[begin excerpt] A review of the Muwekma submissions shows that there is sufficient evidence to review the petition on all seven of the mandatory criteria. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is placing the Muwekma petition on the ready for active consideration list as of March 26, 1998. [end excerpt]
After being placed on "Ready Status", the Muwekma Tribal Council, reviewed the Federal Registry and counted the number of tribes listed on both "Active Consideration" and "Ready Status". Muwekma was about the 24th tribe factoring in both lists. Based upon the calculation that BAR was processing tribal petitions at the now rapid rate of approximately 1.3 petitions per year, it became very clear that it would take BAR over 20 years before it would get to Muwekma’s documented petition. The Tribal Council also raised the question if there were any other tribes on either list with a determination of "previous unambiguous Federal recognition". The only other tribe with that determination was the Cowlitz Tribe of Washington State, which had already obtained a preliminary positive final determination for Acknowledgment. As a result the Muwekma Tribal Council decided that a wait of 20 or more years was not acceptable to the Tribe, and therefore, sought alternative remedies.
On December 8, 1999, the Muwekma Tribal Council and its legal consultants filed a law suit against the Interior Department/BIA — naming Secretary Bruce Babbitt and AS-IA Kevin Gover over the fact the Muwekma as a previously recognized should not have to wait another 20 or more years to complete their reaffirmation process.
On June 30, 2000, Federal District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina ruled in favor of the Muwekma Tribe and ordered the Interior Department to formulate a process to deal with the issues contained in Muwekma’s complaint (Civil Case No. 99-3261 RMU D.D.C.)
Between September to October 2000, following the court order, and after consultation with BAR staff, Muwekma submitted another two Exhibits which demonstrated how all of the currently enrolled members of the tribe are descended from full-blooded ancestors or siblings of ancestors listed on the Federal Indian Population Schedules of 1900 and 1910 for Washington, Murray and Pleasanton Townships, Alameda County, California and Kelsey’s 1905-1906 Special Indian Census.
As a result of the submittal of this documentation, on October 30, 2000, the Department of Interior’s, Branch of Acknowledgment and Research/Tribal Services Division of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, responding to the Court Order issued forward the following statements and conclusions:
[begin excerpt]
"Previously recognized tribal entity" -

Because of what is known from the historical context in this particular case, we are using the Indian population schedules of the 1900 and 1910 Federal Census of Alameda County, California, as evidence to approximate the composition of the group.
The petitioner has presented several analyses of its current membership as descendants of persons enumerated on (1) the Indian population schedules if the 1900 Federal Census of Alameda County, California, (2) the 1905-1906 "Kelsey Census" of non-reservation Indians of Alameda County, California, and (3) the sole Indian population schedule of the 1910 Federal Census of Alameda County, California. The petitioner’s documents and responses to prior TA letters include detailed person-by-person analyses of individuals on the Kelsey census and the 1910 Federal Census, summarizing all primary source evidence found for each individual. This evidence documents each person’s birth and/or baptism, marriage(s), death, appearance(s) as a parent or godparent in church records, appearances on other censuses, and participation or mention in records resulting from the California Indians Jurisdictional Act of 1928 (45 Stat 602). While the petitioner’s reconstruction of the historical band draws chiefly from the Kelsey census and the sole Indian schedule of the 1910 Federal Census of Alameda County, the BAR review also considered the Indian schedules of the 1900 Federal Census of Alameda County.
"Do current members "descend from" a previously recognized tribal entity?"
… Analysis of the petitioner’s genealogical data indicates that 134 of a total of 397 current members (representing 34% of the membership) are direct descendants of Indian persons appearing on the Indian population schedules of the 1900 Federal Census for this county. The same 134 current members are also direct descendants of a slightly different set of Indian persons appearing on the 1905-1906 Kelsey census. A total of 68 current members (17% of the membership) are direct descendants of Indian persons enumerated on the Indian population schedule of the 1910 Federal Census; however, if direct descendants of siblings of the 1910 Indians are included, that total jumps to 279 members (of 70% of the membership). When combined with the members who have both types of ancestors), 100% of the membership is represented. Thus, analysis shows that the petition’s membership can trace (and, based on a sampling, can document) its various lineages back to individuals or to one or more siblings of individuals appearing on the 1900, "Kelsey", and 1910 census enumerations described above.
[end excerpt]
Over the past 21 years, the Muwekma have politically, spiritually and culturally revitalized themselves and formed a formal tribal government in compliance with Congressional and the Department of the Interior's criteria. Presently, the Muwekma Tribe is seeking reinstatement and reaffirmation as a Federally Acknowledged Indian Tribe. The Muwekmas have spent these past 21 plus years conducting research and submitted to the Branch of Acknowledgment (BAR) over several thousand pages of historical and anthropological documentation as part of the petitioning process.
As Muwekma Elders are passing, the Muwekma Tribe has yet to advance through the "Recognition Process" for complete reaffirmation of its Acknowledged status. For other tribes it has been a long and difficult ordeal as well. For example, it took the Cowlitz Tribe of Washington 22 years to go through the Recognition Process and the Samish Tribe of Washington waited 25 years, including litigation in Federal Court for 8 years, before they won their Federal Recognition. As a result of their litigation, the Federal Courts decided that the Department of the Interior, BIA and BAR denied "Due Process" the Samish Tribe. Presently, there are over 200 unacknowledged tribes in the United States petitioning for recognition. After coming "back from extinction", the Muwekmas now face, along with approximately 40 other California Indian Tribes, BIA bureaucratic inaction and obstruction. The Muwekmas, who have never left their ancestral homelands, have been waiting for a response from the United States Government since 1906. In 1972, as a result of the 1928 California Indian Jurisdictional Act, the U.S. Government made a token payment of $668.51 (this sum calculated with interest back to 1852) as just compensation for the illegal acquisition (theft) of California land, minerals, and resources. This payment was issued to help California Indians build their futures upon.
As a result of the vision of the Muwekma Tribal leadership in laying out the only plan of action that the Federal Government will respond to, a lawsuit, the Muwekma have potentially paved the way for other previously Federally Recognized tribes to follow: a court ordered Fast Track. Based upon the court’s decision the Branch of Acknowledgment and Research has until July 30, 2001 to make its preliminary determination and the final determination no later than March 11, 2002.
After all said and done, it will be approximately 96 years after the Verona Band was first Federally Acknowledged, and perhaps now the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area, can be treated as an equal in the eyes of other Federally Recognized Indian Nations and the larger dominant society, some of whom still seeking to erode the rights of the aboriginal inhabitants of this continent.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Republic of Somaliland

The governmental entity known as the Republic of Somaliland is an expression of nationalism by members of the Somali nation. The entity is an attempt at gaining foreign recognition, and foreign aid, by the Security Council of the United Nations, all of whom not only refuse to recognize Somaliland, as doing so is considered "breaking up" the jurisdiction known as Somalia which the UN Security Council recognizes as the only legitimate jurisdiction, despite not having a governmental entity for itself other than the one which the Security Council created, which does not have any means of resource distribution or authority beyond its governmental building in Mogudishu city.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

People's Republic of Paraguay

"Guerrilla ataca a agentes especiales"
2013-09-20 from "AP" []:
ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay -

La banda guerrillera Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo atacó a tiros el viernes a un grupo de agentes especiales de la policía en el interior de una hacienda, informó el ministro del Interior Francisco de Vargas.
"Los ataques fueron del EPP (siglas de la organización guerrillera) pero no hubo heridos en nuestras fuerzas", informó el ministro, que dijo que el hecho ocurrió en el terreno de la finca agrícola Guaraní, a 400 kilómetros al norte de Asunción.
El funcionario dijo que los agentes repelieron el ataque, pero se desconoce si hubo heridos entre los guerrilleros, que dejaron en las inmediaciones del rancho un comunicado escrito a mano.
"Tomaremos represalias no solo contra los matones (guardias de seguridad de las haciendas) sino también contra los oligarcas responsables del asesinato de nuestros compatriotas", dice el escrito.
"Paz para los oligarcas es un país sin guerrilla, ganancias de maravillas, bien repletas sus arcas, es por eso que invierte tanto dinero en la persecución del EPP que es el brazo armado del pueblo", dice el texto exhibido por el periodista Elvio Alvarenga, corresponsal en Concepción del diario La Nación, de Asunción.
El presidente Horacio Cartes, en entrevista con The Associated Press el miércoles último, dijo que la guerrilla "creó un Estado adentro de otro Estado" en los norteños departamentos de San Pedro y Concepción, justificando el despliegue del ejército hasta esos lugares a un costo administrativo inicial de 420.000 dólares.

Monday, September 16, 2013

In memorial to the nations who met at Sogorea Te

Feathers, tied with leather string to the trees adjacent to Mare Island way in Vallejo, at the foot of the Napa River, near Sogorea Te.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Islamic Caliphate of the World

* Islamic Caliphate of Sinai [link]
* Islamic Caliphate of Iraq
* Islamic Caliphate of Afghanistan
* Islamic Caliphate of Somalia

The following articles are written by opponents of an Islamic Caliphate, but are included because the Dawnstar INC website moderator lives within a jurisdiction with an anti-Caliphate censorship regime which targets anyone viewing information from organizations upholding the creation of a Caliphate as "terrorist threats", therefore articles from supporters for the creation of the Caliphate are not available.

2012-02-21 "‘Caliphate Conference’ Seeks to Islamize Europe, US" by Soeren Kern []:
A Muslim fundamentalist group is organizing a conference focused on turning Austria and other European countries into Islamic states.The “Caliphate Conference 2012” will be held on March 10 in the Austrian town of Vösendorf, situated just south of Vienna. The main theme of the event will be “The Caliphate: The State Model of the Future.”The conference is being organized by Hizb ut-Tahrir [Party of Liberation], a pan-Islamic extremist group that seeks to establish a global Islamic state – or caliphate – ruled by Islamic Sharia law.Hizb ut-Tahrir — which is banned in many countries, including Germany, but is free to operate in Austria — is virulently opposed to Western capitalism and democracy and seeks to extend the future caliphate to Europe and the United States.According to a promotional video (in German) for the conference, “the Islamic Caliphate is the only social and political system that has the right solutions to the political, social and economic problems of humanity.”Hizb ut-Tahrir has been banned from holding a similar conference in Belgium that had been scheduled for March 4. The group also organized a Caliphate Conference in Amsterdam last July, 2011, and well as a year earlier in Chicago in June, 2010.Analysts say the open nature of the conference in Vienna indicates that Hizb ut-Tahrir is enhancing its recruiting efforts among European Muslims.According to Steven Emerson, a leading authority on Islamic extremist networks, Hizb ut-Tahrir is emulating the three-stage process by which Muslims established the first Islamic caliphate after the death of the Islamic Prophet, Mohammed, in the year 632.During the first stage, Hizb ut-Tahrir builds a party by cultivating a small number of supporters to engage in recruitment and propaganda. In the second stage (which Hizb ut-Tahrir is now entering in Europe and the United States), the group educates Muslims in order to recruit a larger group of people to join Hizb ut-Tahrir and support its revolution. Finally, having won the support of Muslims, Hizb ut-Tahrir moves to establish a Sharia-ruled Islamic government.While Muslims are busy working to Islamize the West from within, they simultaneously insist that Westerners should not be allowed to criticize these efforts.The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a group of 57 Muslim countries that purports to be the collective voice of the Muslim world, sponsored an anti-Islamophobia symposium in Brussels on February 15 and 16, 2012.The first-of-its-kind event was entitled “Smearing Islam and Muslims in the Media,” and was “aimed at establishing information mechanisms to face up to the slanderous campaigns against Islam in the media.”The workshop was part of the so-called Istanbul Process, an aggressive effort by Muslim countries to make it an international crime to criticize Islam.The explicit aim of the Istanbul Process is to enshrine in international law a global ban on all critical scrutiny of Islam and Islamic Sharia law.Based in Saudi Arabia, the OIC has long pressed the European Union and the United States to impose limits on free speech and expression about Islam.But the OIC has now redoubled its efforts and is engaged in a determined diplomatic offensive to persuade Western democracies to implement United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution 16/18, which calls on all countries to combat “intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of … religion and belief.” (Analysis of the OIC’s war on free speech can be found here and here.)Resolution 16/18, which was adopted at HRC headquarters in Geneva in March 2011, is widely viewed as a significant step forward in OIC efforts to advance the international legal concept of defaming Islam.However, the HRC resolution — as well as the OIC-sponsored Resolution 66/167, which was quietly approved by the 193-member UN General Assembly on December 19, 2011 — remains ineffectual as long as it lacks strong support in the West.The OIC therefore scored a diplomatic coup when the Obama Administration agreed to host a three-day Istanbul Process conference in Washington, DC on December 12-14, 2011. In doing so, the United States gave the OIC the political legitimacy it has been seeking to globalize its initiative to ban criticism of Islam.Following the Obama Administration’s lead, the European Union now wants to get in on the action by hosting the next Istanbul Process summit.Up until now, the European Union has kept the OIC initiative at arms-length. But Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the OIC, says the EU’s recent offer to host the meeting represents a “qualitative shift in action against the phenomenon of Islamophobia,” according to the International Islamic News Agency (IINA), the OIC’s official news and propaganda organ. According to the IINA, “The phenomenon of Islamophobia is found in the West in general, but is growing in European countries in particular, in a manner different from that in the US, which had contributed to drafting Resolution 16/18. The new European position represents the beginning of the shift from its previous reserve over the years over the attempts by the OIC to counter ‘defamation of religions’ in the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations.”The IINA report continues: “Officials in the Cultural Affairs Department of the OIC said that the European Union’s offer to host the third meeting (the first was in Istanbul in July, and the second in Washington, DC last December) is considered a promising new possibility of solving this problem. The ‘Istanbul Process’ will have an added momentum by holding the meeting in Europe, which is more affected by the phenomenon of Islamophobia and hostility towards Islam.”According to the OIC, the anti-Islamophobia workshop in February was of “particular importance” as it was held only weeks before the upcoming UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva from February 27 – March 23, during which time Resolution 16/18 will come to a second vote.In September 2011, an OIC organ called the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IESCO), organized a seminar in Brussels on “how to deal with stereotypical images of Islam in European television programs.”The seminar was designed to help European journalists “identify characteristics of stereotypes about Islam in European television programs, highlight the dangers of defamation of religions, and clarify the distinction between freedom of expression and the right to cultural difference, the commitment to the Islamic cultural identity and the struggle against racism and hatred.”In her latest book titled “Europe, Globalization, and the Coming of the Universal Caliphate,” Bat Ye’or, a leading scholar on Islam in the West, writes that the OIC is essentially a “would-be universal caliphate” which exercises significant power through the European Union, the United Nations and other international organizations.Ye’or describes an OIC strategy manual, “Strategy of Islamic Cultural Action in the West,” in which the OIC asserts that “Muslim immigrant communities in Europe are part of the Islamic nation.” The document goes on to recommend “a series of steps to prevent the integration and assimilation of Muslims into European culture.”According to Ye’or, “The caliphate is alive and growing within Europe…It has advanced through the denial of dangers and the obfuscating of history. It has moved forward on gilded carpets in the corridors of dialogue, the network of the Alliances and partnerships, in the corruption of its leaders, intellectuals and NGOs, particularly at the United Nations.”

2013-03-09 "Will the World See a New Caliphate?" by Tom Robinson from "Good News Magazine" []:
What can we expect will happen as Islamists take charge in the nations of the Arab uprisings? Turkey and other experiments in Muslim democracy give us some precedent. And on the horizon, the Islamist dream looms—a restored empire of Islam. What does this mean for the future of the Middle East and the world?
Instead of a freedom-oriented Arab Spring, as cheery enthusiasts have hailed it in the face of toppled dictators, the Middle East is actually beset by a deepening Islamist winter (see "Winter Advisory: The Arab Spring That Wasn't "— intended as a prelude to this article). Does this relate at all to Bible prophecy, and does Scripture indicate where these trends may be leading?
Of course, Islamist rule has a long history in the Middle East, going all the way back to Muhammad, founder of Islam, in the seventh century. He set the example of spreading his new religion by the sword, taking control of the entire Arabian Peninsula in the space of 10 years (622-632). After his death, he was followed by other rulers called caliphs, from the Arabic khalifah, meaning "successor" (to Muhammad) or "representative" (of Allah to mankind). And the caliph's dominion was known as the caliphate (Arabic khilafa and Turkish Hilafet ). Under the caliph, the dominion was governed by a religious hierarchy following Islamic law and jurisprudence—sharia.
After the first four Rashidun or "rightly-guided"caliphs, the caliphate passed to dynasties of rulers. The Ummayads (7th-8th centuries) and the Abbasids (8th-13th centuries) at their height ruled territory stretching from Spain all the way to India. The rival Shiite Fatimids (10th-12th centuries) took over much of the territory for a time. Following the Mongol invasions from the east in the 13th century, the caliphate ceased to actually rule. But it was revived under the Turkish Ottomans when they took control of most Arab lands (16th-20th centuries).
After the fall of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, Kemal Ataturk imposed a secularist state onto Turkey and dragged it into the Western sphere. Various kings and dictators took over the Arab states. These allowed principles of sharia as part of national rule to varying degrees, but not nearly to the satisfaction of most Muslims in the region. And in any case, they failed to all come together into a single ummah (supranational community) under a single caliph.

Dreams of a restored caliphate -
Since the Ottoman fall, many devoted Islamists have dreamed of reestablishing the caliphate. One such dreamer was the Egyptian Hassan al-Bannah, who in 1928 founded the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that has benefited most from the Arab Spring uprisings. The caliphate's restoration remains the Brotherhood's goal.
Moreover, the caliphate has been a recurring theme in recent speeches of Islamist leaders. As pointed out in the companion article on the Arab Spring, one celebrated Brotherhood preacher claimed that the election of Mohamed Morsi as president in Egypt was prelude to a coming Islamic caliphate—a United States of the Arabs with Jerusalem as its capital. And Morsi then acknowledged that Jerusalem's conquest was indeed the goal. Yet so many in the West can't fathom that such rhetoric is at all serious. They won't even accept that Morsi would rule as an Islamist hardliner despite his ramming through a sharia-based constitution, confident that he will conform to Egyptian politics as usual as the realities of governing set in.
Former U.S. federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy comments on this notion in his new book Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy: "Then there are the eternal optimists who try to pass themselves off as hard-headed pragmatists. Their theory is that governing will make the ruler accountable to the public; consequently, the practical responsibilities of the offices to which they've been elected will tame Islamist politicians. They will evolve, coming to see that sharia and anti-Semitic, anti-Western animus are just not compatible with running a government in the modern world. Governing will transform them into moderates... "[But] has Iran gotten more moderate over the last thirty years? Has Hamas's election in Gaza... helped that terrorist organization evolve?... The election of Islamic supremacists in Turkey has moved that country toward extremism, not away from it"(2013, p. 19).
Indeed, Turkey and other recent attempts at democracy in the Muslim world give us indications of developments that will follow elections of Islamists into power in Arab nations. Furthermore, as we will see, Bible prophecy also shows where events are headed. Will they end in a restored caliphate? Or will freedom come to the Middle East at last?

"The Turkish Model" -
We should give some consideration to Turkey, as it's looked at by many in the West as a model for the Arab world—"the Yellow Brick Road to the sparkling Oz of 'Islamic Democracy'"(p. 75). U.S. President Barack Obama cherishes his friendship with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan—his go-to counterpart in the Middle East, whom he has looked to for advice on regional issues, including the Arab Spring. The problem in seeing Turkey as such a model is that its tradition of democracy has nothing to do with Islam. Just the opposite, Kemal Ataturk made Turkey a secular state, although the population remained predominantly Muslim.
Erdogan, on the other hand, is an Islamist —"a Muslim Brother who drank deep the lessons of the master, Hassan al-Banna"(p. 2). Since he became prime minister in 2003, a year after his Islamist "Justice and Development Party"(AKP in Turkish abbreviation) came to power, Erdogan has been leading Turkey away from democracy.
For the West and concerned secularists in his own country, Erdogan has sometimes presented himself as upholding secularism while merely allowing Islam free expression in the public sphere. But this is a man who in 1998, four years prior to his party's takeover, said effectively, "Democracy is just the train we board to reach our destination." And what destination is that? Perhaps his words that followed, adapted from a nationalist poem, provide a clue: "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets [mosque towers] our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers."
Of course, returning Turkey to the Islamist camp has not been an overnight task—though it has proven far easier than it was for Ataturk to impose secularism. It was a split in Turkey's non-religious parties that allowed the AKP to take over parliament with just a third of the popular vote. Yet in the decade since, Erdogan has managed to play his hand well at several turns, at length overcoming the Kemalist "deep state,"the inner sanctum of state officials with military backing that long maintained the secular order against Islamist ingress.

A slow Islamist takeover of Turkey -
So where is Turkey today? Erdogan has focused on education promoting Islamic principles, his AKP party moving to establish many new universities with Islamist leaders—part of an effort to reshape the culture. Furthermore, notes McCarthy: "The prime minister also moved to lower the mandatory retirement age for various categories of government technocrat . . . [which] enabled the Islamists to depose incumbents from thousands of positions—including over 40 percent of the republic's 9000 judgeships. "In their place, adherents of the AKP's Islamist ideology were installed. Meantime, to degrade further the judiciary's vital role in upholding the secular order, Erdogan refused to enforce judicial rulings and threatened to abolish the Constitutional Court, a key component of the deep state"(p. 80).
Turkey is now ranked as the world's worst jailer of journalists—with scores imprisoned, some sentenced to as many as 166 years. And things have definitely worsened under sharia's repression of women in the country: "As female employment craters, the rate at which women are murdered has zoomed by 1400 percent. In 2002, when the AKP was first elected, there were sixty-six reported cases of 'honor killings'—murders of women and girls at the hands of family members who consider themselves shamed when sharia norms were violated. In just the first seven months of 2009, the number was 953"(p. 83, emphasis in original). On the foreign policy front, Erdogan has cut off longstanding ties with Israel, accusing the Israelis of state terrorism. Meanwhile he has embraced Iran (as has Egypt's President Morsi). And the Turkish leader has even offered himself as a character witness for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, indicted for international war crimes because of his ethnic cleansing campaign in Darfur—Erdogan stating that "a Muslim can never commit genocide."
He's even had Turkey donate hundreds of millions of dollars to the government of Gaza, ruled by the terror group Hamas. "That is to say, Turkey is now bankrolling Hamas. Erdogan has taken his country from NATO ally to terror sponsor"(p. 116). Do we imagine better for Egypt and the other Arab Spring countries where Islamists have gained power? If anything, it will be far easier to impose Islamic rule on these countries accustomed to authoritarian rule and sharia principles than it has been for Erdogan to transform Turkey from its decades of secular democracy.

Iraqi and Afghan forays into democracy as preview -
Perhaps more closely paralleling the Arab Spring countries are the two countries the United States and other Western nations liberated from dictatorial rule and turned over to new constitutions and democratic processes. How has that worked out?
These are now, as McCarthy puts it, "a pair of sharia states hostile to American interests (Iraq is an Iranian satellite; Afghanistan verges on a Taliban re-conquest), to go along with a regional cavalcade of jihadists and totalitarian Islamists, now swaddled in sovereign legitimacy thanks to the subordination of democratic culture to democratic procedures —as if electing a class president somehow made the third grade a 'democracy' and the schoolyard bullies a 'political party'"(p. 41, emphasis in original). U.S.-backed Afghan President Hamid Karzai has even suggested that Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader formerly ousted from power by the U.S. invasion, run for president in the next election!
We should also consider the plight of Christians. In the past few years, thousands of Christians have been murdered in Iraq, and hundreds of thousands more have fled to other countries in fear.
In Afghanistan, the United States twice had to exert great pressure to whisk away individuals who were to be executed for converting from Islam to Christianity—one of them released on the pretext that he was "not of sound mind"(for what else would a person who leaves Islam be?). In Egypt, according to a 2011 Pew survey, 84 percent of the people want the death penalty imposed for those abandoning Islam— 84 percent! The percentage is quite high in other Muslim countries as well. And how's this for women's rights under sharia in Afghanistan? "At the end of 2011, Karzai's office announced that the president had magnanimously commuted the prison sentence of a nineteen-year-old woman who was serving a twelve-year term imposed by an Afghan court after she was convicted of . . . having sex out of wedlock . . . with a relative who had raped her. Karzai's rationale for the pardon? The woman had cured her indiscretion by agreeing to marry the rapist, whose child she had borne during her jail term"(p. 47, emphasis in original). Such is the outcome of democracy in nations where those desiring the imposition of Islamist rule are in the majority. And appallingly the West, including the United States, has advocated for and continues to support this outrage. (See "Puzzling U.S. Support for Islamists Over Moderates ".)

What's to follow?
So, what can we expect will now follow? Certainly, the fallout from the Arab uprisings is still ongoing. Expect a tightening of sharia's grip in Egypt and throughout the Arab world and in other Muslim nations—and more misleading assurances from Western leaders and media that there's no cause for concern. Also look for further conflagration where revolution has not stabilized. With Libya awash with weapons and many flowing to neighboring countries, al-Qaeda in North Africa and other terrorists have been strengthened.
The French intervened in Mali in January 2013 to prevent terrorists from taking complete control there after they had already overrun much of the country. And following the many people killed at the end of the Algerian hostage crisis just after, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the Islamist threat in this region requires "a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months."
Furthermore, there is the grave danger of chemical weapons being unleashed by Bashar al-Assad in Syria as he struggles to survive. Yet others worry over Assad being toppled by the jihadists allied against him and his chemical weapons and the rest of his vast arsenal falling into terrorist hands.

The spreading Islamist revolution -
What about the Arab monarchies, such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia? So far they've remained secure against the Arab uprisings. But the Muslim Brotherhood is agitating in these countries to spread the revolution. Numerous analysts believe they will be next to fall.
Lebanese-born author and commentator Brigitte Gabriel said in December that despite claims that U.S. Special Operations troops are stationed in Jordan over concern about what's happening in Syria, "the truth is that our Special Ops [personnel] are positioned in Jordan to protect King Abdullah, because King Abdullah right now has only two-percent approval in his country. The majority of people would vote the Muslim Brotherhood if elections are held in Jordan today"(quoted by Chad Groening, "Prediction: Jordan the Newest 'Arab Spring' Addition,", Dec. 11, 2012).
Elections were held in Jordan in January, but the Muslim Brotherhood boycotted them because electoral rules favor the monarchy. Of course, the Brotherhood will continue to press for changes that would allow its candidates to prevail.
Among the Palestinians, it appears a rapprochement is coming between the rival factions of Fatah and Hamas, but rapprochement with the Israeli Jews is out of the question. In line with recent Muslim Brotherhood calls in Egypt, the Palestinian Chief Islamic Judge Tayseer Al-Tamimi said this on Dec. 31, 2012: "The caliphate will be restored after this tyrannical rule [by Israel] comes to an end. This is already the beginning of the end for the tyrannical rule. The Arab revolutions against injustice, tyranny, and oppression will bring its end, and the caliphate will be restored. What we are seeing in Egypt are birth pangs. The struggle between Islam and others, and all the conspiracies that aim at stopping the train that has already set out to liberate Jerusalem and to restore Islamic rule. Jerusalem will be the capital of the caliphate, Allah willing"(posted at the Middle East Media Research Institute [MEMRI] website, Jan. 7, 2013).
This echoes Erdogan's earlier mention of democracy as the train to reach the Islamist destination. And the ultimate destination is indeed a restored caliphate on its way to taking over the world. With the rate at which things are moving, perhaps the train is not too far from the station.

Clues from Bible prophecy -
Bible prophecy does appear to tell us, in Psalm 83, that the world will see a confederation of Middle Eastern peoples intent on wiping out Israel—which will evidently involve the Arabs, the Palestinians, the Turks and others in the region.
Daniel 11 similarly speaks of an end-time "king of the South"who will reignite the age-old struggle against a power to the north—centered in Europe since Roman times—with the land of Israel caught up in between. This will provoke a retaliatory war resulting in the European occupation of many Middle Eastern lands, including Israel.
The confederation and southern power in these prophecies could well be a restored Islamic caliphate, which now seems to be on the rise—although this is not a specific biblical requirement. The Bible mentions only the people and lands involved, not their governance. But given who and where these people are, Islam seems the most likely factor in their cohesion. It is certainly today's most powerful driving force in the region—and has been so for more than 13 centuries.
Some analysts in assessing the near future see the Islamization of the Middle East as almost inevitable. Given the failure of military dictatorships, Islamic rule beckons as a promising ideal for many Muslims. It seems they will have to live under its crushing boot to get it out of their systems, as many in Iran now have (though the Islamists maintain control there). Yet this will not really be enough to free the people, as vast numbers will not recognize their own plight, being enslaved to wrong thinking.

The long winter will cease -
On Palestinian television Dec. 2, 2012, the wife of a Hamas parliament member told an interviewer regarding a woman's role in that culture: "She instills in her children the love of Jihad and martyrdom for the sake of Allah. If every mother were to prevent her son from waging Jihad for the sake of Allah, who would wage Jihad? Who would support Palestine? "Palestine is dear to us, and its price is paid with our body remains and our lifeblood . . . I am constantly praying: 'Allah, make the end of our days be in martyrdom.' I pray for this even for my husband and my children. None of us want to die in our beds. We pray that Allah will grant us Paradise" (posted at MEMRI).
This is dumbfounding and heartbreaking —and devastating to any notions of freedom in the Islamist-dominated Middle East. How does one reason or negotiate with this conviction held by millions of people? It is not rational but is the product of generational programming and outright demonic deception and influence on a colossal scale. The fact is, something monumentally earthshaking must break this evil hold on people's minds to truly set them free. And rest assured, something will. As the Bible foretells, unimaginable cataclysm will engulf the world, and people will suffer under tyranny as never before. Then, Isaiah 19:20-21 tells us, the people of Egypt "will cry to the Lord because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them. Then the Lord will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day." In that day, Egypt will finally be at peace with Israel (verses 24-25). Yes, at long last Jesus Christ will come to save the Egyptians and all humanity—and all will come to know the true God.
The truth is that all have been slaves to wrong thinking to varying degrees. In that day, deception will be lifted and ancient hatreds will cease. The devil and his minions will be banished, and peace will reign under the wonderful Kingdom of God. At the end of man's perpetual winter, the springtime of the genuine paradise of God awaits. May it come swiftly!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Islamic Caliphate of Sinai

Includes the jurisdictions of Sinai and Gaza, but recognizes the jurisdiction of Allah without borders, the Islamic Caliphate of the World [link]

"Egypt launches new assault on militants; Military operation in Sinai Peninsula is largest in years"
2013-09-09 from "Associated Press":
CAIRO — Egyptian helicopter gunships and tanks pounded suspected hideouts and weapon caches of Islamic militants on Saturday in the northern Sinai Peninsula in what locals say is the largest operation in the lawless region for years. Nine militants and two soldiers were killed during the raids, security officials said.
Officials say that the military is hunting hundreds of militants believed to be responsible for a series of attacks in the region they overran after the fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The militants, the officials say, belong to a number of well-known al-Qaida-inspired groups that seek the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate in northern Sinai, a region bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Attacks in the region have increased following the July 3 military coup that toppled President Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist, prompting the military offensive.
Early Saturday, resident say they saw winding columns of trucks and armored vehicles pour into the area. Some said they hadn’t seen soldiers on foot in their villages in decades. Communications were jammed for hours, as authorities seized control of two telephone exchanges.
Military helicopters hovered overhead in a dozen villages concentrated near two border towns of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweyid, security officials said. Airstrikes targeted shacks believed to be gathering points of militants, they said. Soldiers later stormed homes searching for suspected fighters.
“Successive strikes are aimed at causing paralysis of the militant groups and cutting communications between each other,” a security official said. “The offensive is carried out within a timeframe where there will be periods of calm for intelligence before resuming once again.”
“We aim for cleansing the whole region of militants and prevent them from coming back,” he added.
Other officials said two soldiers were killed in a nighttime attack by militants in the town of Sheikh Zuweyid in northern Sinai. The soldiers were there as part of the offensive. 
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to publicly brief journalists.
In a statement, Army spokesman Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali said nine suspected militants were killed on Saturday and nine others detained.
Earlier, another official said “dozens” were wounded in the Sinai offensive. Conflicting casualty figures come from militants taking away the corpses of their comrades and treating their wounded, a security official said. Smoke could be seen rising from villages and troops set up a cordon to prevent militants from escaping as others combed the area, he said.
Troops arrested a number of suspected militants but others managed to escape to mountainous areas in central Sinai, an official said.
In the past, militants used a vast network of underground tunnels linking Egypt with Gaza as a way to escape security crackdowns. However, over the past two months, the military has destroyed more than 80 percent of them, stemming the flow of weapons, militants and goods into Gaza, a territory under an Israeli-imposed blockade.
Sheik Hassan Khalaf, a tribal leader from al-Joura, one of the targeted villages in the area, said the assault was “by far the largest operation we have seen and the one we have been waiting for.” As he spoke, the sound of helicopter rotors could be heard. 
“Starting today, you will not hear of attacks on army or police checkpoints as before. They either have to flee or get arrested,” Khalaf said.
Another tribal leader in the area offered a different account of the operations. He called the raids “arbitrary,” citing one incident where army troops attacked the house of a pro-government tribal sheik in the village of al-Dhahir. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of retribution.
A leader of an ultraconservative Salafi group in el-Arish, Hamdeen Abu-Faisal, accused the government of spreading “false and fabricated reports” about targets and causalities in order to rally support from the population.
“There are many question marks over the government-led operations in Sinai,” he said. “There is violence and counter violence. But targeting the innocent, demolishing civilians’ houses or destroying mosques serves no purpose.”
It remains difficult for journalists to gather information on Sinai operations. Ahmed Abu-Draa, a Sinai-based journalist, has been under arrest since Wednesday and faces a military investigation after questioning military statements about its operations. 
The military-backed government says it is waging a “war on terrorism” against Sinai militants and those who commit violent acts during protests over Morsi’s ouster. Suspected Morsi supporters have attacked police stations, government buildings and churches.
In one of the most dramatic attacks amid the unrest, Egypt’s Interior Minister survived a suicide car bomb explosion Thursday in an eastern Cairo neighborhood. Authorities said one person was killed and 22 wounded, while the minister escaped unharmed.
On Saturday, three mortar rounds were found tied to railway tracks linking the Suez Canal cities of Suez and Ismailiya, a security official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

2013-07-05 "Egyptian, Israeli military alerts prompted by Islamist mutiny threat from Sinai and first attacks" from "Debka Files" [‎]:
A new Egyptian crisis arena:  the Egyptian and Israeli armies Friday, July 5, raised their alert levels on either side of the Sinai border after the Muslim Brotherhood declared Sinai its center of revolt and revenge for the Egyptian army’s ouster of Mohamed Morsi as president Wednesday, July 3.
Following a multiple Islamist attack in northern Sinai, the Egyptian army went on high alert in the Suez and North Sinai provinces. The Sinai border crossings to the Gaza Strip and Israel were closed. The army spokesman in Cairo denied declaring an emergency – only a heightened alert.
Israel has imposed a blackout on news from this tense region, but debkafile reports reinforcements were sent in Friday to boost the IDF units standing ready along the Egyptian border.
 Egyptian forces also shut down all three underground passages running from the mainland to Sinai  under the Suez Canal. Egypt’s Third Army was deployed to secure them, under the command of Maj. Gen. Osama Askar.
Further measures imposed for guarding Suez Canal cargo and oil shipping against possible rocket fire from central Sinai included the stationing along its banks of Patriot anti-missile batteries and anti-air weapons systems, according to debkafile’s military sources.
Around one-third of the world’s oil supplies from the Persian Gulf pass through the Suez Canal on their way to the Mediterranean and Europe.
 These emergency measures were clamped down Friday after the Muslim Brotherhood established a Sinai "War Council" to mount a rebellion against the army in collaboration with the radical Palestinian Hamas and Jihad Islami as well as the al Qaeda-linked Salafist groups in the Gaza Strip and Sinai.
The ousted Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy is seen by intelligence sources as designed to transform the Sinai Peninsula into an area of revolt and a base for attacking Israel. They are counting on the army having its hands too full with maintaining security in the mainland cities of Cairo, Alexandria and the Nile Delta to have troops to spare for Sinai. They intend to demonstrate that the military are incapable of at one and the same time fighting the Egyptian people, defending Western shipping in the Canal and Gulf of Suez and preventing attacks on Israel.
The new Sinai War Council set up by Morsi’s followers released a video tape threatening that “rebel’ forces would target any army and police personnel found in Sinai in retribution for the military coup.
debkafile’s military sources also report that Maj. Gen Ahmad Wasfi, head of the Egyptian Second Army, said after an emergency meeting at the headquarters of Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi Friday that the Egyptian army “would use force to prevent the creation of an Islamic caliphate in Sinai.”
The new Islamist coalition launched its “revolt” Thursday night, July 4, by firing a couple of Grad rockets at Eilat. They exploded harmlessly outside Israel’s southernmost town. Israel’s military spokesman has drawn a curtain of secrecy of the event. However, the IDF’s Adom Brigade and its three sub-units, along with the Gaza division, were known to have been placed on high alert.
The Islamist Sinai War Council struck again Friday morning, with a multiple attack by Salafist gunmen associated with Hamas and Jihad Islami in northern Sinai. They fired rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and heavy machine guns at Egyptian military intelligence headquarters in northern in Rafah and El Arish airport as well as several Egyptian military and border guard facilities.
Our sources report they attacked in wave after wave, the gunmen shooting from heavy machine guns and rocket launchers mounted on minivan as they raced around. Army helicopter gun ships were finally brought in to halt the assault. No word on casualties or the scale of episode has been released.

2013-05-20 "Unanswered questions on Sinai" by Abdel Latif el-Menawy []:
Sinai's problems have certainly not been resolved. What we can agree on is that problems are mounting in the peninsula. What could have been resolved before has become a thornier issue and extremely difficult to resolve. This is down to an impulsive manner which has been adopted by the government when dealing with national security issues - a manner that has increased problems and further complicated them.
The extreme decline in concern over in what is happening in Sinai, in addition to leaving it as prey for "terrorist" groups, is the beginning of the collapse of the state's authority over Sinai.
The reasons for this collapse are not only the security problems that Sinai suffers from; nor are they a product of leaving Sinai's doors wide open for extremist groups reveling in it anyway they want, or considering it Gaza's garden instead of considering it an important part of Egyptian land that Egyptians scarified their blood to regain.
The major reason is the style of governance adopted towards this issue ever since the current government assumed power. Under the current regime, Sinai has become a hotbed for the world's terrorists and a safe haven for anyone escaping pursuit. The world's terrorists rushed to go to Sinai considering it as the Caliphate state that the Brotherhood granted them.
The crisis is not limited to this. But Sinai has become a permanent and stable residence and so, old as well as new jihadi and al-Qaeda groups that we've heard of before, begin to spread. Borders on the other side were opened for their Islamist extremist and jihadi relatives to reside in Sinai doing whatever they want, attacking Egyptian police and army, kidnapping their members and also killing them.

Sinai’s suffering?
It is certain that the current situation, after soldiers were kidnapped by "terrorist" groups raises a lot of questions, condemnations and interpretations. These questions must be answered. It is not acceptable to consider this abduction as an expression of the suffering of Sinai's people and a reflection of their chronic problems because this suffering and these problems had already existed before but they have never reached this extent of kidnapping soldiers.
The second issue is that Sinai's people disagree with the general logic of resorting to abduction for the sake of having the state meet their demands even when it came to demands of releasing their family members. Ever since explosions in Dahab, Taba and Sharm al-Sheikh and the detentions that followed of people from Sinai, residents of the latter protested to call for the release of their family members but the situation did not escalate to resorting to abduction. Another thing is that those whom demands are being made to release are not those who have been arrested without evidence against them in the case of the armed attempt to raid a police station in el-Arish, as they've previously said.
Another point that raises questions is that the current regime has not taken a single positive step that confirms its commitment to reach a solution or address the problems in Sinai. On the contrary, its behavior has always been one that raises a lot of suspicions regarding the extent of the regime's holding on to Sinai or regarding the regime's concern in resolving its residents' problems. and not resolving other problems at the expanse of Sinai and its people. This raises further questions that must be answered as well.
What is the current regime's political stance regarding the destruction of the Gaza tunnels? Why hasn't there been a single political stance that confirms commitment and desire to destroy these tunnels especially since there is no justification for them anymore with the permanent opening of the Rafah border?
Why hasn't there been one clear stance regarding the mechanism of the operation to hunt down "terrorist" groups in Sinai? What is the real role of the Islamist movements in the dialogues that they speak of with jihadi groups? Has this style of launching dialogue been agreed on before and met with political and popular support?
The most important question is why hasn't a single politician affiliated with the regime stood up to tell the Egyptians who killed the soldiers in the month of Ramadan last year and why were they killed? The most important of condemnations is linked to accepting to negotiate with the abductors and to the commitment of he who holds the presidency office to seriously look into their demands. Whom are these negotiations being held with? Who accepts to pave way for negotiations with "terrorists? Who is holding these negotiations and why?
My final question is: Will these negotiations prompt anyone who has a problem with the state to kidnap a policeman or a soldier to get what he wants?

2012-11-13 "Egypt security uncovers militant group’s ‘caliphate’ plan to conquer state" []:
Egyptian security has recently uncovered a document circulated among armed groups and which details a plan to “conquer” Egypt and restore the Islamic caliphate.
The document, entitled the “Conquest of Egypt,” was handwritten by a militant called Karim Ahmed Bedeiwi, who was killed in a recent police raid on a flat in the district of Nasr City in eastern Cairo.
The flat was reportedly was used as a weapons warehouse and the headquarters of a terrorist cell, security sources were quoted as saying by the online version of the Egyptian newspaper al-Wafd.
This document, the sources added, was distributed among 22 jihadist cells that operate under an umbrella group, which later came to be known as the Nasr City cell, and together form an intricate terrorist network that connects Cairo to other Egyptian governorates.
The “Conquest of Egypt” offers a detailed account of a plan by militant Islamists to seize power in Egypt and establish an Islamic caliphate.
The document mentions a series of steps that need to be taken to achieve their goal to “conquer,” they include assassinating the president, the Coptic pope, and several political and security figures.
This plan would coincide with a series of simultaneous bombings in several vital establishments as well as the Suez Canal, while main roads between Cairo and other Egyptian governorates and communication networks are to be taken over by the militants.
The plan also revealed that in addition to the Pope, the militants were going to target the Coptic community in general whether by assassinating and abducting prominent Coptic figures or carrying out terrorist operations in areas densely populated by Copts or known as their favorite gathering places.
The purpose, the document said, was to ignite a sectarian strife that not only rids the country of its Christian minority, but one that also undermines the structure of the Egyptian society.
According to security sources, the main purpose of the bombings is terrorizing the people so that they would not take to the streets in protest.
Certain strategic cities like Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Port Said, and Ismailia, according to the document, were to be turned into military barracks.
The 22 cells, sources explained, possessed large numbers of advanced weapons and bombs that were brought from the Sinai Peninsula and Libya.

2011-08-17 "EGYPT: Nearly 20 alleged gas pipeline saboteurs arrested" by Amro Hassan []:
One man has been killed and nearly 20 Islamist militants, suspected in recent attacks on a police station and a natural gas pipeline supplying Israel, have been arrested in recent days in a sweeping military operation in the Sinai Peninsula. More than 1,000 Egyptian soldiers have been taking part in Operation Eagle against  armed extremist groups believed to be responsible for the recurring assaults in the peninsula since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. The Sinai pipeline has been targeted five times over the last six months. On July 30, two police officers and three civilians were killed when 100 masked gunmen riding motorcycles and carrying flags with Islamic slogans attacked a police station in the city of Arish. A security source, who spoke to state media on condition of anonymity, said militants were arrested Tuesday shortly before planning to bomb the pipeline near the city of Arish. On Monday, the first day of the operation, the state news agency MENA reported that Palestinians and Egyptians were captured and one gunman was killed in a raid on militant hideouts. Concerns over the security situation in Sinai intensified on Aug. 2 when a group referring to itself as Al Qaeda's wing in Sinai called for the creation of an Islamic caliphate in the peninsula. Authorities later claimed that the jihadists responsible for attacks on the Arish police station and the pipeline were linked to Al Qaeda’s Sinai wing. The unrest in the region has political and tribal overtones. Many Egyptians are opposed to Cairo selling natural gas to Israel, especially following disclosures that Mubarak's regime gave the Jewish state below-market prices. The matter has been further complicated by Egypt's long battle with Bedouin tribes who smuggle weapons, cars, food, building materials and other items through tunnels and into the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip. A 1979 peace accord between Egypt and Israel limits the number of Egyptian soldiers in Sinai. But on Monday, Israeli public radio announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had accepted an Egyptian request to deploy extra forces in the troubled peninsula.

2012-08-08 "Sinai attack clearly Egyptian operation - expert" by Yekaterina Kudashkina []:
Yoram Schweitzer, a Senior Research Fellow at Israel's Institute for National Security Studies, giving us more details of the Sinai incident.
The Israeli side as part of the drill procedures was waiting for an attack to come, but it didn’t know exactly when, where, at what time and in what form. Whenever it happens the forces react according to the drill and manage to curtail the operation and to block it. The fact that they managed to enter the Israeli territory on few kilometers was due to the surprise and the magnitude of the attack. But still it was prevented after de facto.
As for the group itself, we still don’t know who was behind it. It was definitely coming from Sinai. Whether there was an involvement of people from Gaza is still unknown. But it is quite clear that this was an Egyptian operation. There are several groups that have been involved in terrorist attacks from Sinai and this is probably one of them. Although according to some information that is already published, from Israeli sources, by leading journalists, it may have been an organized network, not necessarily one of these leading organizations. But we still don’t know.
So, it might be either kind of ad-hoc network of local Bedouins from the Sinai desert or one of the organizations that have already operated in the past. We still have to wait for few days and I’m sure that we will get claiming of responsibility by one of these organizations. It seems that these were very determined people. It was quite well organized. They had enough ammunition, they had vests. So, they not only took control of one of the armored vehicles of the Egyptians but they had their own equipment. So, it seems to be very well planned, probably for quite a long time, by people who are very determined and it seems to be a very professional job.

Q. What could be the implications of this attack?
A. I suppose that the best news is the fact that it was prevented and caused no harm the Israeli side, it helped Israel to restrain its countermeasure. On the other hand the Egyptians suffered part of the casualties, or most of the casualties if you wish, and thus it may force the Egyptians to do what they had to do for quite a long time, but I’m not sure that it will be done. The Egyptians should have taken control of the situation send more skilled forces to the area trying to regain their sovereignty and dominance in the area which they failed to do until now. So, the consequences for the Israeli side because of the lack of casualties on the Israeli side and the quick and effective operation of the Israelis, Israel can restrain itself and not do anything on the ground and let the Egyptians take care of things.

Q. Now the Egyptians seem to be insisting on increasing the amount of their troops in the Sinai Peninsula. Is it acceptable for Israel?
A. Look, I think first of all it is not only a matter of quantities of the Egyptians because I think when Israel reopened the agreement, according to the agreement there is a venue for the Egyptians and the Israelis to decide together on the increase of forces there. Israel has already let the Egyptians, with the consent of the Egyptians, to increase their forces there. But it is the matter of political decision, military determination and quality of soldiers that are being sent, rather than only the quantity. It is not a matter of increasing the quantity, the quantity could have been increased and more effective even by the Israeli-Egyptian previous consent.

Q. Dr. Schweitzer, as an expert in low intensity conflict, how would you describe the role of the Bedouins?
A. It is quite known that there are groups or clans among the Bedouin population that are taking active part in these operations. They were involved in the suicide attacks and the other attacks in 2004 and 2006 there. And they are definitely involved in the operations now. In any case, that part of the groups operating in Sinai whether it is ex-Islamist convicts that were released and others are enjoying the support and hospitality of Bedouins there. That is something quite well known. But there are groups within the Bedouins who have adopted these Islamist-Salafi-Jihadists doctrine and are recruited to be part of the game and they are helping others who flooded from Egypt and other places to the Sinai Peninsula in order to organize, to attack both the Egyptian installations in order to create what they see as a “free Sinai”, they see “free Sinai” as a part of the Sinai caliphate; and part of it is in order to increase their attacks against the Israelis. One of the claims of responsibility is by of one the groups that operate within Sinai Peninsula calling itself the Shura of Mujahideen, they say that they recognize no border except the Allah’s border which means that they don’t recognize the border in Sinai and the border between Israel and Egypt, and thus not recognizing Israel etc.

Q. So, what we are witnessing is the implications of the Arab Spring processes?
A. I think they are taking the opportunity of the lack of effective Egyptian control over Sinai in order to increase their operations. They are moving freely to Gaza and from Gaza to Sinai, not only groups from Gaza – Salafists, Jihadists and also Hamas – but other Salafist groups are coming from Gaza to Sinai to smuggle men, to train and to operate from Gaza to Israel, and from Sinai towards Israel plus with the backing of the Egyptians – of Bedouins and others – that are operating from Sinai by their own merit towards Israel.

Q. But this is quite a desperate picture what we are having now.
A. It is not desperate, it is part of reality. And I think it was quite well realizable. Even in the public domain we published an article about a year ago that described this process and now we see it materializing in a much more severe way. I think it is a matter of determination and allocating resources by the Egyptians cooperating with Israel. And I think we may confront it, but it a much more risky situation.

Kaqchikel - San Jose Nacahuil liberated zone within Republic of Guatemala

"11 die in Guatemala - some tie act to corruption"
2013-09-08 from "Associated Press" []:
San Jose Nacahuil, Guatemala --
A group of men in a stolen car shot 29 people on the main street of a poor indigenous town in the mountains outside Guatemala City, killing 11 in an incident that some residents blamed on corrupt police officers.
Officials blamed the attack on gang violence but that was greeted with skepticism in San Jose Nacahuil. Residents expelled the national police six years ago and set up a community police force that patrols with sticks and machetes, and officials said the community had low crime rates in recent years.
Eight of the dead were shot in a cantina. The majority of the wounded were shot in the street between the cantina and a second, older establishment owned by the same local businessman. Two of those shot in the street died, along with a man shot in the second cantina.
Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla said the National Civil Police sent a patrol car to the town Saturday night after receiving an anonymous call reporting fears of an imminent attack. Officers "determined that everything was OK and the patrol car left," he said. "One hour later, the attack happened."
A relative of the cantina owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of official retaliation, said the owner reported that the police arrived without warning, said they were checking the permits for the new cantina and demanded a $60 bribe to approve them. When the man refused, the relative said, the police told him to get all minors out of the bar and left.
"He came home, said the police had come to ask for the papers and asked him for 500 quetzales. Then when he didn't give it to them, they told him not to sell liquor to minors and get them out of the bar," the relative said. "Soon afterward I heard the shots. It seems like he hid in the bathroom and they killed him there."
The Kaqchikel Maya town of about 7,500 people some sits 11 miles northeast of Guatemala City.
Lopez Bonilla noted that the town has had a troubled history with police, with none stationed there because villagers burned down the police station several years ago. Residents said the incident erupted after the police falsely accused local men of kidnapping.
Relatives mourn victims slain in the mountain town of San Jose Nacahuil, near Guatemala City. Photo: Moises Castillo, Associated Press