Monday, 10 May 2010
Kiddie Jihad: Child Bombers Terror's Newest Weapon
Kiddie Jihad: Child Bombers Terror's Newest Weapon
WASHINGTON – Islamic terrorists are always looking for new ways to escape detection and carry out their attacks. One of their latest ideas is using children as suicide bombers.
The growing phenomenon may soon spread beyond the Middle East to the rest of the world.
The Making of a Child Martyr
Strategies in the global war against Islamic terrorism are taking very different roads in 2010. The Obama administration hopes downplaying Islamic extremism may help when dealing with Muslim countries.
Terror groups, however, are taking extremism to new levels by indoctrinating Muslim children in the deadly art of suicide bombing.
"The state-sponsored illegal recruitment and education of innocent Muslim children to become suicide bombers and child soldiers is occurring throughout the Muslim and non-Muslim world," said Brooke Goldstein, founder and director of The Children's Rights Institute, an organization focusing on human rights violatios against children.
"In Pakistan, thousands of children are being educated in madrassahs," she said. "In Iraq, handicapped children are being blown up at polling stations. In Afghanistan, the Taliban is paying up to $12,000 per child, donated to them by their own families.”
Taliban leaders run training centers where boys as young as 11 years of age learn to be suicide bombers. Some are even younger.
A 6-year-old Afghan boy recruited in 2007 was told that his suicide belt would "explode into flowers."
A Deadly Pioneer
The modern-day pioneer of Islamic child martyrdom was the Ayatollah Khomeini.
He sent thousands of children to clear minefields during the Iran-Iraq War. Khomeini then passed the baton to Palestinian terror groups, who've shown no qualms about sending children to their deaths.
Goldstein examined the world of Palestinian child bombers in her award-winning film, The Making of a Martyr. “The state television, the school textbooks, the radio media, their print media, music videos are all teaching these children to become suicide bombers," Goldstein said. "They're teaching them to hate life and love death."
A Growing Global Phenomenon
This phenomenon is spreading through the Middle East to Iraq, the al Qaeda hotbed of Yemen.
"In Yemen, just about 50 percent of all combatants in the war between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels are under the age of 18," Goldstein explained. "A majority of those children are now being targeted to become suicide bombers."
The next battleground may be Great Britain. Due to growing extremism among young British Muslims, the government has started a de-radicalization program called The Channel Project.
"They have 230 children between the ages of 7 and 18 who they are now in the process of deradicalization education," Goldstein said.
In the meantime, she says international human rights groups like Amnesty International have shown little interest in the issue.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Erick Stakelbeck is a terrorism analyst for CBN News.
Posted on 05/10/2010 9:48 AM by Bobbie Patray
Monday, 10 May 2010
The 'VAT' cometh??
White House Won't Rule Out Value Added Tax, Which Would Hit All Income Levels
Thursday, April 22, 2010
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer
Washington (CNSNews.com) – The White House twice this week refused to rule out support for a value added tax (VAT) – also called a consumption tax, because it applies to items at every stage of production. Such a tax would affect purchasers at all income levels.
President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2011 assumes a deficit of $3.8 trillion. Meanwhile, the national debt is projected to climb to $20.3 trillion by 2020, nearly 90 percent of Gross Domestic Product, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs repeated his assertion, first made on Monday, that President Obama is not currently considering such a tax. But he did not give a definitive answer when pressed by reporters on whether the president would rule out a VAT if a fiscal commission appointed by the president recommends it.
“The debt commission, I think, meets later in the month. The president will open by speaking to them, and we look forward to their recommendations,” Gibbs told reporters. “The deficit commission, as you know, is comprised of Democrats and Republicans that will come forward with bipartisan recommendations, and the president looks forward to those recommendations.”
The president directed the bipartisan fiscal commission to come up with recommendations to deal with the escalating national debt and deficits. It is chaired former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, and former Sen. Alan Simpson, a Wyoming Republican.
A VAT taxes goods and services at every step of production, whenever value is added to them, such as when rubber is processed and then when it is turned into a tire, and so on down the line to the tire store where it is sold to the customer.Read more here.
Dick Armey: Democrats Will Impose Value Added Tax On Top of All Other Taxes
Thursday, April 22, 2010
By Nicholas Ballasy, Video Reporter
(CNSNews.com) – Economist and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) said he “always believed” the Democrats would impose a Value Added Tax (VAT) on top of all existing, current taxes when they took control of the House, Senate and White House. Armey also said the VAT is the most “insidious tax of all.”
In an exclusive interview with Armey on Capitol Hill, CNSNews.com asked, “Paul Volcker, a senior economic adviser to President Obama, and several members of Congress, including Speaker Pelosi, have floated the idea of the VAT tax being implemented on top of current taxes. Would you support something like that? Why or why not?”
Armey said, “Absolutely not. Look, in 1994, I studied – actually, starting in the fall of ’93 – I studied all tax options out there, and I, of course, settled on the flat tax as the best option for a lot of reasons. The Value Added Tax was always the most insidious tax of all, and I always saw that – I’d seen that back in ’77.”
“But, I always believed that when the Democrats got the majority in both the House and the Senate – and I’ve told this to people for years – when they get the House and the Senate and the White House, they’re going to add a Value Added Tax to the existing income tax,” said Armey. Read more here.
Europe's VAT Lessons
Rates start low and increase, while income tax rates stay high.
As Americans rush to complete their annual tax returns today, there is still some consolation in knowing that it could be worse: Like Europeans, we could pay both income taxes and a value-added tax, or VAT. And maybe we soon will. Paul Volcker, Nancy Pelosi, John Podesta and other allies of the Obama Administration have already floated the idea of an American VAT, so we thought you might like to know how it has worked in Europe.
A VAT is essentially a national sales tax that is assessed at each stage of production, with the bill passed along to consumers at the cash register. In Europe the average rate is a little under 20%. (See the nearby chart.) In the U.S., a federal VAT would presumably be levied on top of state and local sales taxes that range as high as 10%. Some nations also exempt food, medicine and certain other goods from the tax.
VATs were sold in Europe as a way to tax consumption, which in principle does less economic harm than taxing income, savings or investment. This sounds good, but in practice the VAT has rarely replaced the income tax, or even resulted in a lower income-tax rate. The top individual income tax rate remains very high in Europe despite the VAT, with an average on the continent of about 46%.
Europe's individual income tax rates have fallen since the 1980s, following the U.S. lead in the Reagan era, and European corporate tax rates have come down even more sharply. But the drive of this decline has been global tax competition, not the offsetting burden of the VAT.
In the U.S., VAT proponents aren't calling for a repeal of the 16th Amendment that allowed the income tax—and, in fact, they want income tax rates to rise. The White House has promised to let the top individual rate increase in January to 39.6% from 35% as the Bush tax cuts expire, while the dividend rate will go to 39.6% from 15% and the capital gains rate to 20% next year and 23.8% in 2013 under the health bill, from 15% today. Even with these higher rates, or because of them, revenues won't come close to paying for the Obama Administration's new spending—which is why it is also eyeing a VAT.
One trait of European VATs is that while their rates often start low, they rarely stay that way. Of the 10 major OECD nations with VATs or national sales taxes, only Canada has lowered its rate. Denmark has gone to 25% from 9%, Germany to 19% from 10%, and Italy to 20% from 12%. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation recently calculated that to balance the U.S. federal budget with a VAT would require a rate of at least 18%.
Proponents also argue that a VAT would result in less federal government borrowing. But that, too, has rarely been true in Europe. >From the 1980s through 2005, deficits were by and large higher in Europe than in the U.S. By 2005, debt averaged 50% of GDP in Europe, according to OECD data, compared to under 40% in the U.S.
Thanks to the recession and the stimulus, U.S. federal debt held by the public has now reached about 63% of GDP and is headed higher, but the OECD forecasts that the 30 wealthiest nations will see debt burdens "exceed 100% of gross domestic product in 2011." Debt levels in France, Germany, Spain and Italy are expected to have increased by 30 percentage points of GDP from 2008 to 2011. Greece has a VAT rate of 21%, but its debt as a share of GDP is 113%. Read more here.
Posted on 05/10/2010 9:47 AM by Bobbie Patray