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20 octobre 2017 5 20 /10 /octobre /2017 12:23

Israeli, Russian & Iranian Interests Collide In Syria

Russia takes on key role in de-escalating tensions between Israel and the Mullahs.

 

On October 16, Syrian anti-aircraft units fired a SAM-5 anti-aircraft missile at Israeli planes conducting a reconnaissance mission over Lebanon. Israel frequently conducts these types of intelligence gathering operations over Lebanon to keep tabs on Hezbollah. The missile missed and all Israeli planes returned safely back to base. Shortly thereafter, Israel retaliated transforming the missile battery, located approximately 50 kilometers east of Damascus, into an expensive heap of scrap metal. Following the Israeli strike, an Israel Defense Force spokesman stated that Israel “hold[s] the Syrian regime responsible for the anti-aircraft fire and any attack originating from Syria.”

This isn’t the first time that the Syrians launched anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli fighter planes. In March, Israel intercepted and destroyed a Syrian SAM-5 missile with an Arrow anti-missile system. The Syrians had fired the missile during an Israeli air raid on a Syrian airbase known as T4 near the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, which was believed to be housing Iranian weapons destined for Hezbollah. While the missile missed, Israeli radar operators who were tracking its flight path feared that the missile, with its 478lb warhead would land in Israeli territory prompting the commander on the scene to order a launch.

These clashes underscore the volatile nature of the existing situation in Syria. With an airbase at Khmeimim, and a naval base in Tartus, and other forces scattered about the country, Russia maintains a formidable military presence in Syria. Israel and Russia maintain cordial relations but a miscalculation by a jittery Russian technician sitting behind a computer screen could trigger a clash between Israeli and Russian forces. 

Precisely because of this possible scenario, in 2015 Israel and Russia worked out a de-conflict mechanism designed to prevent accidental mishaps. The two sides routinely conduct high-level political meetings and phone calls to further enhance communication. This week Russia’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, met his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Liberman for high-level consultations. No doubt the two discussed the recent clash. According to the London-based Asharq al-Awsat, the Russian defense minister termed the Israeli operation a “dangerous hostile operation that almost caused a severe crisis.” That characterization is somewhat one-sided given that it was the Syrians who opened fire first.

Israel and Russia had tangled before. In July 1970, following a series of cat and mouse engagements, Israeli Phantom and Mirage aircraft shot down five Soviet MiG-21 fighter planes over the Suez Canal. Of course back then, Israel and the Soviet Union were bitter enemies and both sides were sporting for a fight. The fear today however, centers on accidental mishaps between two formidable powers and how best to avoid them.

The two defense ministers also discussed Iran and its Shia proxy Hezbollah. These two malevolent forces have increasingly played a dominant role in Syria and assisted Russia its campaign to prop up Assad and defeat the anti-Assad insurgent groups. Israel is concerned that Iran and Hezbollah will attempt to open a second front against Israel near the Israeli-held Golan Heights, and has aggressively acted to thwart this effort. 

In January 2015, the Israeli Air Force struck a combined Iranian-Hezbollah cell operating near the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, which resulted in the deaths of 12 senior Hezbollah and Iranian operatives. In December 2015, an Israeli strike in Damascus killed Samir Kuntar, a convicted child murderer and Hezbollah operative who was attempting to foment anti-Israel activities along the border. And in March 2017, an Israeli drone liquidated Yasser al-Sayed, a pro-Assad militia commander who was coordinating planned attacks against Israel with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Israel has asked Russia to ensure that neither Iranian nor Hezbollah forces would operate within 40 kilometers of the Israeli border. The Russian defense minister reportedly rejected the Israeli demand but yielded to a request to expand the existing buffer beyond the 10-15 kilometer zone already agreed upon. 

While Russia and Iran (and by extension Hezbollah) are allies, their interests are not necessarily congruent in all respects. Russia wants to continue to exert its influence over Syria and maintain its military bases. The Iranians wish to expand their Shia hegemony and confront Israel. It is not in Russia’s interests and serves no Russian purpose to see a clash between Israel and its enemies – Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

As such, Russia’s presence in Syria represents a double-edged sword for Israel. On the one hand, it somewhat constrains Israeli military action given the close proximity of Russian forces to Iranian, Hezbollah and Syrian forces. An Israeli strike could conceivably cause Russian casualties which in-turn could spark a political crisis. Moreover, Russia’s powerful military intervention in Syria’s civil war likely saved Assad and enabled Iran to maintain a dominant position in Syria. 

On the other hand, Russia’s interests in maintaining stability in Syria and good relations with Israel serve to prevent Iran from acting recklessly. The Russians will exert their heavy-handed influence over the Iranians to rein them in and keep them from moving close to the Israeli border. 

Meanwhile, while Shoigu was meeting with Liberman, Iran’s top military chief, Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, met in Damascus with his Syrian counterpart, Lt.-Gen. Ali Ayoub. The Iranian stated that his nation would not sit idly by while Syria was attacked by the “Zionist regime.” The Iranians are notorious dissemblers and much of what they spew amounts to hot air but their recent assertiveness – a product of political success through the calamitous Iran deal and military successes in Iraq and Syria – is deeply alarming. Regardless, as it has demonstrated on countless occasions, Israel will continue to act when the security of its citizens are threatened.

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20 octobre 2017 5 20 /10 /octobre /2017 02:00

The Global Failure of Globalization

Can we survive its collapse?

 
 

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

“We cannot allow to fall back into pre-globalization times,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned. 

Merkel was welcoming Obama back to Berlin for the last time. The election had been fought and won nine days earlier. And Obama and Merkel were defending globalism against President-elect Trump.

To Merkel and Obama, returning to pre-globalization times was every bit as mad as going back to the caves. Globalization had become synonymous with civilization. And its prophets, like Thomas Friedman, traced back its rise to the fall of the Berlin Wall in the city where Merkel and Obama were chatting.

But globalization didn’t bring down the Berlin Wall. Nationalism did. The pro-democracy activists wanted a country where the people had a voice. That’s the opposite of globalization in which there are no nations and only the influential figures of various stripes have any kind of impact.

Globalization built the Berlin Wall to unite East Germany with a Communist bloc built around a set of political ideas that disregarded nations and individual peoples. Leftists had drawn a deeply misguided lesson from the fall of Communism. Rather than attributing the fall to the overreach of central governments and unaccountable bureaucrats, they developed a new postmodern historical materialism of globalism. The Communist bloc had fallen not because of too much globalization, but because there wasn’t enough of it. There were still too many borders and nations. And they all had to fall like the Wall.

Where Communism had failed by being too narrow, globalism would succeed in creating a new world.

By the time Merkel and Obama were mourning what Trump’s victory and Brexit meant for globalization, Berlin had become a wonderful laboratory for observing the end results of their philosophy. Haunted by the specter of national decline and falling birth rates, Merkel had opened her country’s borders to a million Muslim migrants who had flooded in from the Middle East and from as far away as Afghanistan.  

The migrants were supposed to supplement the German workforce. Syrians would build the Mercedes coupes of tomorrow, Pakistanis would put together Siemens ultrasound devices and Somalis would produce Bayer’s pharmaceuticals. There would be no need for Germany to continue exploring the Japanese model of smarter automation to replace a falling population. Globalization would provide.

But the migrants weren’t coming to Germany to work. And they aren’t working. It’s still Germans and Eastern Europeans on the floor at Siemens, Mercedes and Bayer. The “refugees” came for Germany’s generous welfare programs. And they’ve wrecked enough of the country that Merkel wants to pay them to leave.

The welfare state so ubiquitous to Europe is there to compensate for the discrepancy between the expected standard of living and the declining options for earning that living. Globalization didn’t magically link together economies to create a new golden age. Its prophets, like Thomas Friedman, are being jeered as neo-liberals by a radicalized left looking more to East Germany than to Berlin.

Globalization moved jobs and production to countries with the lowest standards of living, the least human rights and the greatest government intervention in their economies. It’s no wonder that China thrived or that America declined in that environment. But at the same time it also moved immigrants with the lowest work ethic to America and Germany to benefit from the welfare programs that were meant to soften the economic impact of globalization on the native population.

The old immigrants had come to benefit from a booming economy. But if you want a booming economy with lots of entry level jobs, 21st century America is hardly the place to go. You can’t just walk off the street and get a manufacturing job that will take you up the ladder to the middle class.

The West gets two kinds of economic immigrants these days: scroungers and hustlers.

Hustlers can make their own opportunities. They’re the Koreans running local grocery stores and the Russian Jews starting revolutionary dot coms. But hustling demands creativity, smarts and an ambitious work ethic. Most immigrants are scroungers. They get by on some combination of welfare and semi-legal marginal jobs. If they have an ambition, it’s getting a comfortable government job.

Immigrants brought over as cheap labor quickly plug into the welfare state and become a net loss.

Globalization exports jobs and imports welfare scroungers making it a double blow to the West. The outbound jobs and the inbound migrant swarms punish countries with higher standards of living and human rights by depriving them of both. It’s hard to think of any better way to destroy a civilization.

The political and social gifts of globalization have been every bit as destructive as its economic effects. 

Globalization doesn’t just make it possible for a million Muslims to show up in Germany, but for transnational Islamic terror organizations like Al Qaeda or ISIS to operate. It’s no coincidence that they took off with globalization. Or that globalized Islamic terror networks have used the machinery of globalization: jet planes, trains, human trafficking, the internet and multicultural cities to wreak havoc.

Instead of binding the world closer together, globalization financed a renewed wave of aggression by former failed Communist states and enabled Islamic terrorists to strike deep in the heart of the West.

Globalization finances China’s expansionism program in the South China Sea and a growing conflict that could lead to a regional war. It allowed the Russians to turn Americans against each other by pretending to be everyone from Black Lives Matter to Republicans on the internet. And it allows Islamic terrorists thousands of miles away to coordinate devastating attacks across America and Europe.

The internet, once the symbol of globalization, hasn’t brought us together. Instead it tore us apart into warring tribes living in separate bubbles. A generation raised on the internet has become the most intolerant of free speech in a century. And even the pro-globalization media is demanding new means of censoring social media and the internet to fight “fake news” from the political opposition.

The ambitious dreams of globalization that once appeared to unite big government advocates on the left with free marketers on the right have become a nightmare. Their failures have led to a renewed affinity for Socialism and even Communism on the left. The rise of Bernie Sanders and the growing comfort with Socialism among Democrats are road signs of the rejection of a free market. And on the right, populist nationalism is displacing an unquestioning commitment to a free market.

But globalization is also a global failure. It has driven China into a blind alley of economic bubbles, compulsive spending and colonialism. China is rapidly replicating a century’s worth of Western economic progress in a matter of decades. And it’s replicating the same problems and the same dead end. It won’t find the solutions by seeking cheap labor in Africa or by distracting its population with a new war.

Globalization interlinks economies and societies often more by their weaknesses than by their strengths. It exports instability more easily than stability and conflict more easily than progress. 

Sophisticated systems are more vulnerable than primitive ones. It’s why Afghanistan and Iraq made more of an enduring mark on America than the other way around. In a globalized world, colonialism works in reverse with unstable societies exporting their instability to stable societies. The prophets of globalism marveled at the internationalization of culture. But culture in traditional societies goes far deeper than Marvel or Harry Potter. It’s only in the West, where culture, tradition and religion are being lost, that pop culture becomes culture. And that identity becomes equally shallow and unstable. 

Globalization isn’t bringing us to a bright new golden age, but to an old age of iron. The new colonialism is being carried out by those cultures with a strong sense of identity against post-moderns who lack it. The decline of Western nations doesn’t open the door to a world government, but to the rising power of China, Russia and Iran. All our social progress has left us more intolerant and divided than ever. 

Tearing down borders, physical, economic and cultural, hasn’t made us more open. Instead we live in hostile, divisive and unstable societies that pride themselves on their “openness” even as they unveil new schemes for censoring the internet, restraining free speech and punishing social dissent. 

Globalization is a dead end. Open societies are open internally and mutually to people and ideas that share the premise of that ‘openness’. Not with those who hate them. Free markets are free when they interact with other free markets, not totalitarian slave labor camps that can always win on price.

As globalization falls, we can rebuild functional nation states or be swept away with the global flood.

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18 octobre 2017 3 18 /10 /octobre /2017 08:45

Iran Plays Chess, We Play Checkers

And the Kurds pay the price for our mistakes.

 

The Iranian-backed attack in Iraqi Kurdistan is nothing short of disastrous for the United States, for U.S. interests and U.S. allies in the region, and for American prestige.

It’s a hockey-style power play by Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander Qassem Suleymani, and a direct challenge to President Trump, coming just hours after the President announced a new get tough policy on Iran.

A U.S. ally in Baghdad is attacking another U.S. ally in Kurdistan using U.S. weapons, including M1-A2 Abrams tanks, paid for with U.S. taxpayer dollars. And they are doing so under the watchful eyes of U.S. and coalition drones and fighter jets, which continue to control the skies over Iraq.

How in the world did we get here?

Even Democrats should be ready to admit by now that the American withdrawal from the Middle East under Obama and the Iran nuclear deal have emboldened the Iranian regime, while removing much of the hard-won leverage over Iran that sanctions had won for us.

Today, if we want to get tough on Iran, we can no longer call on our European allies to shut down Iran’s access to the international financial system. We can no longer impose gargantuan fines on a French or a German bank to punish them for violating those sanctions and to deter them from doing it again.

Today, our main leverage over Iran is military. We can bomb their forces in Iraq. We can intercept their ships. Eventually, we could take out their nuclear weapons production facilities.

If that sounds an awful lot like war, it’s because it is.

As Thomas Jefferson reportedly said in relation to the Barbary Pirates, an earlier jihadi Muslim confederacy that declared war on America: sanctions are the only option between appeasement and war. Obama just removed sanctions. QED.

But the Trump administration is not without blame. 

The President instructed his national security team to take a fresh look at our overall strategy toward the Islamic State of Iran early in his presidency. To show how serious the administration was, national security advisor Michael Flynn “put Iran on notice” in an on-record briefing on Feb. 1.

And then, something happened. Rather than continue the “get tough” policy by decertifying the Iran nuclear deal, imposing new sanctions and other measures as Flynn was recommending, the President fired Flynn and other hard-line advisors, and everything turned to mush.

I am not dissing the new Iran strategy the President rolled out on Friday, far from it. My Iranian dissident friends drew much encouragement from the President’s willingness to take an all fronts approach against the Iranian regime, not just focus on its nuclear weapons program. The fact that he mentioned the regime’s dreadful record of human rights abuses and political repression was significant. 

But does it really mean the U.S. is finally ready to provide material support to a pro-freedom coalition in Iran to spark a popular uprising against the regime? 

Don’t hold your breath. The Deep State would never abide by it.

But Qassem Suleymani wasn’t going to wait to find out. Perhaps assuming – correctly – that the U.S. President was leaning out over his skis, he decided to act decisively to test the President’s resolve.

Want to get tough on the Iranian regime, Mr. President? Then bomb the Iranian-backed militias attacking our Kurdish allies in Northern Iraq and send U.S. special forces to capture Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleymani, a war criminal who has the blood of more than a thousand U.S. soldiers on his hands. (Watch a video of how Iran killed our soldiers in Iraq here).

Because that’s what Suleymani is daring you to do. And he’s betting, you won’t lift a finger to help the Kurds or to threaten him in any way.

In Middle East parlance, that makes Suleymani – not Donald Trump – the strong horse, the one to be feared and respected.

To be fair to Suleymani, he has been advancing his pieces like a brilliant chess player, springing his trap on us at precisely the moment when it would cause us the most damage.

First, in 2014 as ISIS was preparing its assault on Mosul and the Assyrian Christian and Kurdish regions of Northern Iraq, he instructed his puppet, then Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, to order the Iraqi army to withdraw from Mosul ahead of the ISIS advance. 

That left Mosul defenseless and accounts for why ISIS was able to take over the city in a matter of hours without a fight.

Maliki fled briefly to Iran after his role in the abandon of Mosul was revealed in the Iraqi media, and was soon replaced by Qassem Suleymani’s new front man, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.

Same puppet-master, new puppet.

Next, he recruited 100,000 Iraqi Shiite fighters into the Hasht-e Shahbi militia, known in English as the Popular Mobilization Units, or PMU. They might be Iraqis, but they are owned by Qassem Suleymani and his Quds Force.

When the U.S. decided to rearm the Iraqi military to join the fight against ISIS, Suleymani positioned PMU units to fill the vacuum when ISIS left. 

As I learned in July while on a reporting mission to northern Iraq, the PMU faced off with the Kurdish peshmerga all across the Nineveh Plain and was already threatening to confront them in Kirkuk.

As the U.S.-backed Iraqi army drove ISIS out of Iraq, Suleymani’s PMU raced to the border with Syria, opening a land bridge for Iran into Syria and Lebanon, putting Iran on Israel’s northern border directly for the first time.

Today, Suleymani and his strategy ally, Turkish president Erdogan, want to jerk the leash of Iraqi Kurdish president Massoud Barzani to make him realize who really calls the shots in the region.

Guess what: for all of Donald Trump’s welcome bravoura, it’s not the United States. 

One immediate goal both the Turks and Iranians share is to eliminate safe havens in Iraqi Kurdistan for the PKK and PJAK, Turkish and Iranian Kurdish dissident groups. Both have reiterated that demand in recent days.

Beyond that, they want to make Barzani kneel as a vassal to his suzerain, and abandon all hopes for Kurdish independence. That can only happen if the United States drops its support for the KRG.

Barzani himself has made bad moves. He has recklessly endangered his Queen (Kirkuk), while not defending his King (Erbil). And while doing so, he has tweaked the nose of his only committed ally, the United States, and alienated his local rivals, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan of former Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, who died on October 3.

Barzani appears to have realized he has overstepped with his ill-timed and poorly-prepared referendum, and has agreed to cede the K-1 airbase and other positions south of Kirkuk to Iranian-backed Iraqi government forces south of Kirkuk.

So far, the Pentagon is pretending that nothing is happening, just a bit of maneuvering among friends.

This is not just embarrassing, it is dangerous, wrong-headed, and will lead to total disaster. We’ve already lost Iraq, thanks to Obama’s withdrawal in 2011. Now we are about to lose the last ally on the ground that we have, the Kurds.

It’s time for the United States to face facts and recognize that an independent, united Iraq ceased to exist several years ago, and that the only way for us to check Iranian domination of the region is to support a united, independent and democratic Kurdistan, with U.S. military bases in Kirkuk and Erbil.

To get there will require a great deal of hands-on diplomacy, because Barzani has shown himself to be reckless, unreliable and undemocratic. We need to working the ground, aligning the players.

We need to be playing chess, not checkers.

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18 octobre 2017 3 18 /10 /octobre /2017 08:40

Bowe Bergdahl Pleads Guilty to Desertion and Misbehavior

The final saga to a disgraceful prisoner exchange.

 

Three years ago, Susan Rice, Obama’s obsequious national security advisor and the one who infamously blamed the Libyan consulate outrage on a YouTube video, noted on ABC News that Bowe Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction,” and further stated that Bergdahl “wasn't simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield.” Three years later, Rice was forced to choke on her words. Her absurd comments represented the zenith of mendacity, and for an administration primarily known for deceitfulness, spin and echo chambers, that’s saying something.

On Monday, Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The latter charge could mean life behind bars for the deserter while the former carries a five-year term. Bergdahl deserted his post in June 2009 sparking frantic search and rescue efforts to retrieve him. He was later captured by the Taliban. Some within the military, citing a surge of more accurate targeting of U.S. soldiers following his capture, believe that he provided the enemy with information on U.S. Army troop movements.

Bergdahl’s pre-sentencing trial date begins on October 23. Three service members who were wounded by hostile fire while searching for him will likely testify. Two of those wounded sustained permanent life-altering injuries.  Navy SEAL Jimmy Hatch now walks with permanent limp thanks to a Taliban bullet to the leg. Hatch’s comrade, Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Mark Allen, wasn’t so “lucky.” He took a bullet to the head while searching for the deserter and is now permanently confined to a wheelchair and unable to talk.

Rice’s skewed characterization of Bergdahl’s military service record wasn’t simply drivel spewed by someone speaking out of abject ignorance. Rather, her comments were a sad reflection of her ex-boss’s convoluted mindset where things such as morality, decency and integrity played second fiddle to ideologically-driven, political expediency. Obama had always wished to close the Guantanamo facility and the Bergdahl exchange was an expedient way for him to dump five hard-core terrorist detainees.

But the exchange, which carried a hefty price tag of nearly $1 million, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer, left the administration facing two potential powder kegs with severe legal, political and security implications. Obama and his sycophants, including Rice and Ben Rhodes, therefore embarked on a campaign of deceit aimed at garnering sympathy for Bergdahl. 

The release of the detainees without giving Congress adequate notice violated the law and posed a legal hurdle for the administration. Under the National Defense Authorization Act, a law passed by Congress and signed by Obama, the administration was required to provide notice to four Senate and four House committees at least 30 days prior to the release of Taliban detainees from Guantánamo. But notice was only given by phone on the actual day of the exchange, which occurred on May 31, 2014. Consequently, the chief counsel for the Government Accountability Office determined that the Pentagon had illegally spent the money used to facilitate the prisoner exchange. 

As he had done countless times before (and after), Obama dismissed this legal transgression saying that he had consulted with the Justice Department beforehand and was assured that the manner in which the prisoner exchange occurred was perfectly legal. In other words, Obama consulted his echo chamber, which provided him with the necessary political cover. A similar scenario was to unfold two years later when the Obama administration paid the Iranian regime protection money and provided it with $1.7 billion as ransom in exchange for the release of four American hostages unlawfully imprisoned by the Islamic Republic.  

The Bergdahl scandal caused a second and perhaps more serious problem for the administration. The Five terrorists released for Bergdahl, the so-called Taliban Five, were among Guantanamo’s most notorious terrorists. They were religious zealots and hard core murderers and there was a better than 50 percent chance that they would resume their death trade.

Obama’s sycophantic supporters tried to fool the public into believing that the recidivist rate among released Guantanamo detainees was low. The figure of 5 percent was casually tossed about but that figure was nothing but a skewed fabrication and the percentage was alarmingly higher. In fact, in March 2015, reports surfaced that at least three members of the Taliban Five were attempting to communicate or otherwise reconnect with known terrorist networks. 

One need not be an intelligence expert to understand that radical Muslim terrorists, steeped in loathing of the West will revert to their old ways at the very first opportunity. Moreover, the Taliban Five were not only imbibed with hatred, they possessed skills of the terror trade, bomb-making and otherwise, that made them manifestly more dangerous and indispensable to Taliban and Al-Qaida terror networks.

All this did not matter to Obama and his acolytes. What was of paramount importance was that Guantanamo had five less detainees and that the administration secured the release of an American soldier who ostensibly served his country with “honor and distinction.” The Bowe Bergdahl fiasco adds to a laundry list of lies that the Obama administration peddled to the American people through their well-oiled echo chambers. Sadly, they will never have to account for their maleficence but we can take solace in the fact that under the Trump administration, Bergdahl will get his comeuppance. 

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10 octobre 2017 2 10 /10 /octobre /2017 03:47

THE AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY HOSTS DESTROY ISRAEL EVENT

Hamas, Hezbollah and BDS in a Jewish organization.

  

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

The American Jewish Historical Society was founded to study and preserve Jewish history. These days it’s instead partnering with Jewish Voice for Peace: an anti-Israel BDS hate group that defends anti-Semitism and which sponsored talks by an anti-Semite who accused Jews of drinking blood.

The fruits of the AJHS and JVP partnership have been a series of events attacking Israel.

Coming up in late October is “The Balfour Declaration: Support for a Jewish Homeland or Jewish State?”

The two speakers are Robert Herbst, the coordinator of the Westchester chapter of JVP, and Jonathan Kuttab, who advocates a one-state solution for eliminating Israel. He had tweeted, "EU no longer considers #Hamas a terrorist group. Time for US to do same."

Kuttab has defended Islamic anti-Semitism by claiming that the “distrust Moslems feel towards Jews” is due to “two acts of betrayal by Jewish tribes against the Prophet.” And that Jews suffer from a “Holocaust Syndrome” of entitlement. He justified hijacking planes, described suicide bombers as “taking the supreme sacrifice” and defended Hezbollah as “an armed-resistance movement”  

He has claimed that the "Jewish community gradually consolidated its power, wealth, and influence in all sectors of society" especially in "crucial sectors like banking, finance, media” where "their influence both as individuals and an organized community far exceeded their numbers" and that their power strengthens “conspiracy theories about ‘Jewish control’ that are reminiscent of the infamous “’Protocols of the Elders of Zion.’”

Robert Herbst and Jonathan Kuttab are both supporters of a one-state plan for eliminating Israel.

The American Jewish Historical Society is co-sponsoring a JVP anti-Israel event by two opponents of Israel, one of whom has defended Hamas. An organization that hands out the Emma Lazarus Award, named after a passionate Zionist, at its posh dinners is hosting attacks on the existence of Israel.

The “Jewish Homeland” or “Jewish State” argument is a hook for contending that the Balfour Declaration didn’t endorse Israel, but some sort of Jewish Bantustan within a Muslim country.

That worked so well for the Christians and Jews of the Middle East.

The American Jewish Historical Society is not only co-sponsoring a one-state event by an anti-Israel hate group. But it’s also hosting it at the Center for Jewish History’s headquarters. AJHS is a component of the Center for Jewish History. And the partnership between AJHS and JVP sheds light on the controversy over the appointment of David N. Myers, an anti-Israel activist, to head the Center for Jewish History.

During the Myers controversy, the Center took pains to disassociate Myers and themselves from JVP because a JVP handout had listed him as a “JVP Academic Advisory Board Member.” But in reality the Center, through AJHS, has an ongoing relationship with JVP.

The Balfour event was not AJHS’ only partnership with JVP. In December, the AJHS will feature “Rubble Rubble”, a play by Dan Fishback based on his trip to Israel. Fishback is a BDS supporter and a member of the JVP Artists Council. His goal is to “normalize Jewish anti-Zionism”. AJHS and JVP members get discounted admission. The venue is once again the Center for Jewish History. Specifically the Leo and Julia Forchheimer Auditorium at CJH. Leo Forchheimer’s philanthropy had left its mark on Israel. What would he think if he knew the anti-Israel purposes that CJH is putting his gift to?

A third AJHS-JVP event featured Efrat Yerday, an anti-Israel activist, accusing Israel of racism.

Efrat has claimed that, "Zionism does not only dispossess Palestinians, but it also dispossesses in a very sophisticated way, non-white Jews. Being Jewish is highly identified with being white because of Zionism."

AJHS will claim that it is only offering different perspectives. But when it comes to Israel, there’s only one perspective.

“Balfour” and “Rubble Rubble” are to be part of AJHS’ “1917: How One Year Changed the World”. The exhibition is supposed to cover WWI, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the Balfour Declaration. But the only Balfour program on the list questions whether Israel should even exist. The exhibition closes with Fishback’s anti-Israel agenda. And these are the only listed AJHS programs that focus on Israel.

JVP is also the only organization that AJHS chooses to partner with on political events.

The American Jewish Historical Society appears to be uninterested in holding any pro-Israel events. It’s uninterested in partnering with pro-Israel groups. Instead it’s providing a forum for a BDS hate group.

And it’s no mystery why.

The AJHS Academic Council is packed with anti-Israel activists. Lila Corwin-Berman, the chair of the AJHS Academic Council who also serves on its board of trustees, is a member of the Open Hillel Academic Council. Open Hillel seeks to "open" the campus group to BDS and other anti-Israel views.

Berman has defended the anti-Israel hate group IfNotNow, which employs JVP tactics, and condemned efforts to fight BDS. She signed a petition in support of BDS activists being allowed to enter Israel.

Other AJHS Academic Council members who signed the pro-BDS activist petition include Ari Kelman, Riv-Ellen Prell, Deborah Dash Moore, Rachel Kranson, Libby Garland and Kirsten Fermaglich.

When we look at what is going on in CJH’s components like the AJHS, the elevation of David N. Myers to head CJH is unsurprising. Myers is a symptom of the problem. As is AJHS’s partnership with JVP. A great deal of shocking behavior is taking place inside Jewish organizations whose inner workings most people in the Jewish community generally pay very little attention to.

Unlike CJH, the American Jewish Historical Society is an organization that dates back to the 19th century. Its perversion by the radical anti-Jewish and anti-Israel left to serve anti-Semitic narratives is tragic.

And yet it’s inescapable.

Even as the Myers scandal continues to simmer, the AJHS partnership with JVP is making the choice painfully clear. The radical anti-Israel left will not be satisfied with embedding “moderate” opposing voices into Jewish organizations. Instead it seeks to normalize the furthest extremes of anti-Israel hatred.

And it will not be satisfied with anything less.

During the Myers controversy, defenders of his appointment, including some figures named here, claimed that it was an issue of apolitical scholarship. Is co-sponsoring events with a hate group that has sponsored talks by a woman who accused Jews of drinking blood also apolitical scholarship?

The anti-Israel leftists at the AJHS are clearly not leaving their politics at home. And support for them and for Myers cannot be distinguished from support for their views. Not when JVP is at AJHS.

We all have choices to make. Sometimes the choices are murky. Other times they are simple and easy.

When the American Jewish Historical Society hosts and co-sponsors an event by a BDS hate group attacking the existence of Israel and featuring a speaker who had defended terrorism and anti-Semitism, the choice becomes easy. Either you stand with BDS, Hamas, blood libels and those who want to destroy Israel or with Jews.

As the anti-Israel radicalism of the left grows, such choices will become even more obscenely simple. But they will not be any less difficult.

Opposing the anti-Israel left makes many important enemies and wins few friends. The anti-Israel left has built networks that can blacklist, smear and silence almost anyone in an academic field.

Speaking out against hate is easiest when it’s weakest. It’s hardest when it’s strongest.

When we think about Nazi Germany, we remember those who spoke out. We don’t remember those who were too intimidated and uncertain to rise against anti-Semitism when they saw it and heard it.

History tells us why so many people are afraid to do the right thing when it counts. It also tells us how irrelevant history makes them.

There are lessons here for the Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society, for those on the inside who see the corruption of their organizations every day and for those on the outside who are worried about speaking up. There are lessons here for all of us.

If you can’t speak out against the American Jewish Historical Society’s partnership with a hate group linked to a literal blood libels and a speaker who defends Hamas, when will your voice be heard?

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10 octobre 2017 2 10 /10 /octobre /2017 03:45

IRAN DEAL SENATOR CORKER ACCUSESTRUMP OF WW3

  

Hell hath no fury like a senator scorned.

Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like “a reality show,” with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”

“He concerns me,” Mr. Corker added. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”

Yes, the politician who helped make the Iran Deal happen really cares about America. And Corker's rhetoric sounds exactly like the stuff coming from the Iran Firsters. We mustn't be rash. Or there will be WW3. Which the Iran nuke sellout is doing such a bang up job of preventing. 

Of course this is catnip to the left. 

Corker is headed out the door and looking to get a cozy slot. And so the mask is finally coming off.

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5 octobre 2017 4 05 /10 /octobre /2017 05:52

TALKS, HAMAS IS THE GREAT VICTOR

Fatah's surrender to Hamas.

 

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

On Tuesday, a delegation of 400 Fatah officials from Ramallah, led by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, arrived in Gaza to officially surrender to Hamas.

No, the ceremony isn’t being portrayed as a Fatah surrender to Hamas. But it is. It’s also an Egyptian surrender to Hamas.

How is this the case? Ten years ago this past June, after a very brief and deadly assault by Hamas terrorists against US-trained Fatah forces in Gaza, the Fatah forces cut and ran to Israel for protection. Fatah politicians also headed for the border and then scurried into Fatah-controlled (and Israeli protected) Ramallah. Ever since, Hamas has served as the official authority on the ground in Gaza. Its personnel have been responsible for internal security and for Gaza’s borders with Egypt and Israel.

Despite their humiliating defeat and removal from Gaza, Fatah and its PA government in Ramallah continued to fund Hamas-controlled Gaza. They paid Gaza’s bills, including the salaries of all the PA security forces that were either no longer working or working double shifts as stay at home Fatah gunmen and up and coming Hamas terrorist forces.

The PA paid Hamas’s electricity bills to Israel and it paid Israeli hospitals which continued to serve Gaza.

Internationally, the PA defended Hamas and its constant wars against Israel. The PA and Fatah, led by President-for-life Mahmoud Abbas, continued to use Israel’s defensive operations against Hamas as a means to ratchet up their political war against Israel. The latest victory in that war came last week with Interpol’s decision to permit the PA to join the organization despite its open support for and finance of terrorism.

For most of the past decade, the PA-Fatah has allocated more than half of its EU- and US-underwritten budget to Hamas-controlled Gaza. It has defended its actions to successive delegations of US lawmakers and three US administrations. It has defended its actions to EU watchdog groups. No amount of congressional pressure or statements from presidential envoys ever made a dent on Abbas’s strident devotion to paying the salaries of Hamas terrorists and functionaries.

But then, in April, Abbas cut them off.

Ostensibly he cut them off because he was under pressure from the US Congress, which is now in the end stages of passing the Taylor Force Act. Once passed, the law will make it a bit more difficult for the State Department to continue funding the terror- financing PA.

While the Taylor Force Act is the ostensible reason for Abbas’s move, Palestinian sources openly acknowledge that congressional pressure had nothing to do with his decision.

Abbas abruptly ended PA financing of Hamas in retaliation for Hamas’s decision to open relations with Abbas’s archrival in Fatah, Muhammad Dahlan.

From 1994, when the PA was established, until 2007, when Hamas ousted his US-trained forces from Gaza, Dahlan was the Gaza strongman.

Once one of Abbas’s closest cronies, since 2011 Dahlan has been his archenemy. Abbas, now in the twelfth year of his four-year term in office, views Dahlan as the primary threat to his continued reign.

As a consequence, he ousted Dahlan from Fatah and forced him to decamp with his sizable retinue to the UAE. There Dahlan enjoys exceedingly close ties with the Nahyan regime.

The UAE is allied with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi. Both view Hamas’s mother organization the Muslim Brotherhood as their mortal foe. As a result, Sisi and the UAE as well as Saudi Arabia sided with Israel in its 2014 war with Hamas.

Since May, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been in open conflict with Qatar. Qatar, which sponsors the Muslim Brotherhood, has long sponsored Hamas as well.

Since the start of the year, the UAE has been interested in prying Hamas away from Qatar. And so with the blessing of his UAE hosts, Dahlan began building ties with Hamas.

Recognizing Dahlan’s close ties to the UAE and through it, with Sisi, Hamas, which has been stricken by Sisi’s war against it, and particularly Sisi’s enforcement of the closure of Gaza’s border with Egypt’s Sinai, was quick to seize on Dahlan’s initiative.

The talks between Dahlan and Sisi on the one hand and Hamas on the other were ratcheted up in April after Abbas cut his funding to Gaza.

In May, Hamas formally cut its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.

In exchange, Sisi permitted the Rafah border crossing with Gaza to open for longer hours and permitted Gazans to transit Egypt en route to their religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, among other things.

To build its leverage against Abbas, beginning in the spring, Hamas began describing Dahlan as a viable alternative to Abbas. The UAE agreed to begin financing Hamas’s budget and to help pay for electricity.

Against this backdrop, it is self-evident that Abbas didn’t send his own representatives to Cairo to negotiate a surrender deal with Hamas because his aid cut-off brought Hamas to its knees. Abbas sent his people to Cairo because Hamas’s double dealing with Dahlan brought Abbas to his knees.

As for Sisi, Hamas has also played him – and the UAE.

Over the past few months, Hamas has been rebuilding its client relationship with Iran. A senior Hamas delegation visited Tehran last month for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s swearing-in ceremony.

They met there with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and with senior Revolutionary Guards commanders.

A month earlier, senior Hamas terrorist Salah Arouri, who lives under Hezbollah protection in Beirut, paved the way for the reconciliation in a meeting under Hezbollah sponsorship with senior Revolutionary Guards commander Amir Abdollahian.

Following the meeting in Tehran, Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar extolled Hamas’s relations with Iran as “fantastic.” Sinwar also said that Iran is “the largest backer financially and militarily” of Hamas’s terrorism apparatus.

Concerned about Tehran’s growing influence in Gaza, and through it, the Sinai, where Sisi continues to fight against an Islamic State-backed insurgency, Sisi has an interest in tempering Hamas’s client-ties to Tehran.

So just as Abbas has decided to restore financing to Hamas to keep Dahlan at bay, so Sisi has decided to embrace Hamas to keep Iran at bay.

In all cases, of course, Hamas wins.

The fact that Hamas has just won is obvious when we consider the unity deal it just concluded with Fatah.

Hamas made one concession. It agreed to break up its civil governing authority – a body it formed in response to Abbas’s decision to cut off funding in April. In exchange for agreeing to disband a body it only formed because Abbas cut off its funding, Hamas receives a full restoration of PA funding. The PA will fund all civil service operations in Gaza. It will pay the salaries of all civil servants and security personnel in Gaza. It will pay salaries to all Hamas terrorists Israel freed from its jails.

In other words, the PA will now be responsible for keeping the lights on and picking up the garbage.

And Hamas will be free to concentrate on preparing for and initiating its next terror war against Israel. It can dig tunnels. It can build missiles. It can expand its operational ties with Hezbollah, Islamic State, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Fatah.

In the wake of Hamas’s leadership’s meetings in Tehran, Sinwar told reporters that Hamas is now moving full speed ahead toward doing all of these things. Sinwar said that Hamas is “developing our military strength in order to liberate Palestine.” He added, “Every day we build missiles and continue military training.”

Thousands of people, he said, are working “day and night” to prepare Hamas’s next terror war against Israel. And indeed, two weeks ago, two Hamas terrorists were killed when the tunnels they were digging collapsed on them.

Tuesday’s surrender ceremonies tell us two things.

First, the notion that Fatah is even remotely interested in defeating Hamas is complete nonsense. For 10 years since its forces were humiliated and routed in Gaza, Fatah has faithfully funded and defended Hamas. Abbas’s only concern is staying in charge of his Israeli-protected fiefdom in Ramallah. To this end, he will finance – with US and EU taxpayer monies – and defend another 10 Hamas wars with Israel.

The second lesson we learn from Hamas’s victory is that we need to curb our enthusiasm for Sisi and his regime in Egypt, and for his backers in the UAE. Sisi’s decision to facilitate and mediate Hamas’s newest victory over Fatah shows that his alliance with Israel is tactical and limited in scope. His decision to side with Israel against Hamas during Operation Protective Edge three years ago may not repeat itself in the next war.

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5 octobre 2017 4 05 /10 /octobre /2017 05:46

French Authorities Drop the Ball in Marseille Slaughter

Terrorism continues to spike in France while French officials ignore the obvious.

 

On October 1, a Muslim man of North African descent in his 30s arrived at Saint-Charles station in Marseille with one purpose in mind – to murder as many people as possible in the name of Islam. His first victim, a 20-year-old medical student from Marseille never stood a chance. The assailant lunged at her with a knife whose blade measured 8 inches, and stabbed her repeatedly while screaming “Allah Akbar.” He fled the scene but returned shortly thereafter to claim his second victim, a 21-year-old trainee nurse from Lyon. According to sources, one of the victims also had her throat slit.

The cold-blooded and depraved murder of the two young women failed to satiate terrorist’s lust for blood. After murdering his second victim, he ran toward soldiers patrolling as part of Operation Sentinelle, who shot him dead. In Western Europe, this is the new normal but the situation is particularly acute in France, which has experienced a rolling wave of terrorism since 2012. The country currently resembles an armed camp with the deployment of thousands of soldiers and police armed with automatic weapons, patrolling sensitive locations. But apart from increased security, France appears unable or unwilling to do more to counter the threat.

The Marseille slaughter could have easily been prevented but French authorities imbibed with a combination of political correctness, laziness and just plain stupidity, allowed it to occur. The terrorist who committed the gruesome attack was known to law enforcement. He was a recidivist whose rap sheet included a laundry list of petty crimes. In fact, just days before the attack, he was arrested for shoplifting but inexplicably released despite the fact that he possessed at least seven fake identities. The man, who informed the police that he was homeless, had given them a Tunisian passport in the name of Ahmed H, born on November 9, 1987 at Bizerte. But a quick fingerprint check would have revealed that he was lying through his teeth. Unfortunately, the fingerprint verification was performed after the Marseille slaughter. 

French law enforcement officials attempted to deflect responsibility by claiming that the man had no known terrorist ties and that shoplifting offenses generally result in a police report and a court summons to appear at a later date. The proffered excuse is disingenuous at best. For years, French law enforcement officials have been cognizant of the nexus between criminal activity and radical Islamic terrorism. Several well-researched and detailed studies have confirmed this interconnection. In fact, as many as 80% of those who have committed terrorist attacks in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and elsewhere in Western Europe in the name of Islam have criminal records with lengthy rap sheets that include drug dealing, petty larceny, assault and identity theft.

As noted, the terrorist who committed the Marseille outrage was a serial shoplifter and an identity thief. Khalid Masood, the UK terrorist who carried out the Westminster car-knife attack in March had a number of convictions for causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) possession of offensive weapons and public order offenses. Kobili Traore, the Muslim man who brutally beat elderly Jewish pensioner Sarah Halimi, while yelling Islamic and anti-Semitic slogans, and then proceeded to throw her out of a third-floor window to her death had spent several years in prison for acts of aggravated violence and drug dealing. Amedy Coulibaly, the terrorist who stormed the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in Paris killing four, had previously been jailed for dealing in stolen goods, drug trafficking and robbery. Brothers Ibrahim and Salah Abdeslam, who were part of the gang that perpetrated the deadly Paris attacks in November 2015, were drug users and traffickers. The bar the duo owned in Molenbeek, a district of Brussels, was shut down by police for being a drug den.

The list is endless. There exists a symbiotic relationship between Islamic terrorism and non-ideologically driven criminality. For the hard core or petty criminal, Islam represents a pathway for redemption. The terrorism component enables the assailant to continue his violent or deceitful activities while claiming that these activities are being performed in the name of Allah. Some violent recidivists are simply drawn to the cruel and sadistic aspects of radical Islam.

Islamic terrorists frequently recruit from the rather large pool of criminals who domicile in Western countries but feel no loyalty to their host countries, despite the fact that these liberal democracies often provide them with outrageous entitlements including subsidized housing and stipends. The Islamist recruiter offers the criminal a pathway for redemption through religion but at the same time, takes advantage of the skills offered by the criminal to implement the terrorist scheme. For example, a drug dealer can use proceeds to finance a terror operation while an identity thief has the know-how to either forge or illegally obtain identity papers. The violent felon is often knowledgeable in the use of firearms or has the necessary connections to obtain illegal firearms and explosives. 

The Marseille slaughter could have been averted had French law enforcement officials performed their due diligence. Had they fingerprinted the assailant before, rather than after he committed his outrage, they would have discovered his multiple identities. That would have constituted sufficient grounds to detain him until his identity could be verified for certain. 

But in France cravenness and laziness go hand-in-hand. Politically correct officials do not want to be accused of racial profiling. At the same time, they do not wish to be bothered with bureaucratic paperwork necessary to flush out potential terrorists. And so, the petty criminal was sent on his merry way only to commit an unspeakable slaughter the very next day. 

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5 octobre 2017 4 05 /10 /octobre /2017 05:40

France’s Islamic WWIII

Afghanistan is safer than Paris.

 

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb made it official. France is "in a state of war”.

It’s not just rhetoric. Bombs turn up in a posh Parisian suburb. Two young women are butchered at a train station. And it’s just another week of an Islamic World War III being fought in France.

From the November attacks in 2015 that killed 130 people and wounded another 400+, to the Bastille Day truck ramming attack last year that killed 86 and wounded 458, the war is real.

French casualties in France are worse than in Afghanistan. The French lost 70 people to Islamic terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. And 239 to Islamic terrorist attacks in France.

The French losses in Afghanistan were suffered in over a decade of deployment in one of the most dangerous Islamic areas in the world. The French losses in France were suffered in less than two years.

There’s something very wrong when Afghanistan is safer than Paris.

10,000 French soldiers were deployed in the streets of their own country in Operation Sentinelle after the Charlie Hebdo - Kosher supermarket attacks in 2015. Thousands of French soldiers are still patrolling, guarding and shooting in French cities which have become more dangerous than Afghanistan.

Operation Sentinelle has deployed twice as many French soldiers to France as to Afghanistan. And French casualties in the Islamic war at home have been far higher that they were in Afghanistan.

When the French intervened to stop the Islamist takeover of Mali, they suffered a handful of losses. The 4,000 French soldiers came away from Operation Serval with 9 casualties and Operation Barkhane amounted to 5 dead. The Gulf War? Another 9 dead. It’s a lot safer to be a French soldier fighting Al Qaeda in a Muslim country than a Parisian civilian going to a concert in his or her own city.

French casualties in the struggle with Islamic terror in just the last two years are approaching the 300 casualties of the Korean War.

France is at war. That’s why there are soldiers in the streets.

Its new anti-terrorism bill creates a permanent state of emergency. Suspected extremists can be placed under “administrative detention” in their own homes and neighborhoods under police surveillance and remote monitoring.

Pop-up checkpoints can appear in public spaces that are designated as “security zones” where anyone can be stopped and searched. Mosques can be shut down for six months. Public gatherings can be banned. Warrantless searches can be conducted within miles of potential targets.

The Interior Ministry will have police state powers. And it will be able to wield quite a few of them without having to go through the formality of asking judges nicely for permission.

Some of these measures should be familiar. France is the new Israel.

France's Interior Minister called the anti-terrorism bill, a "lasting response to a lasting threat". The choice of words recognizes that Islamic terrorism is here to stay.

The “State of War” is permanent. And France has no plans for winning the war. Instead it’s trying to get better at playing defense. And that’s what most Western domestic counterterrorism efforts amount to.

France is just taking the lead because it has the biggest problem.

The British put soldiers on the streets after the Manchester Arena bombing. The Italians and the Belgians began deploying soldiers in cities around the same time that the French did.

When an illegal alien Muslim terrorist due to be deported murdered two young women in Marseille while shouting, “Allahu Akbar”, French soldiers opened fire. The 24-year-old who shot the terrorist was a reserve member of a regiment of combat engineers in the French Foreign Legion.

The French Foreign Legion isn’t off fighting in a foreign desert somewhere. It’s fighting in France.

French soldiers are told to loudly announce, “Stop or I Shoot”. And then open fire. And that’s what he did. And French soldiers are being forced to learn the phrase and expect to come under attack.

In February, French soldiers were attacked by a Muslim terrorist outside the Louvre. The Egyptian Jihadist shouted, “Allahu Akbar” and came after them with a machete. One soldier from the 1st Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes was wounded. The attacker was shot down.

The 1st Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes had been deployed to Afghanistan and Mali. Now they were at the Louvre. You don’t need to be Napoleon to know that counts as a major retreat.

A month later, a Muslim terrorist shouted "I am here to die in the name of Allah" while holding a female air force soldier hostage at Orly Airport.

He got his wish courtesy of her fellow soldiers.

In August, six soldiers from the 35th Infantry Regiment were hit by a BMW driven by a Muslim terrorist. Members of a regiment which had been deployed in Afghanistan were sent to a military hospital after an attack in the wealthy Levallois-Perret suburb of Paris. A year earlier, soldiers from the 5th Infantry Regiment had been hit by a Tunisian shouting, “Allahu Akbar” while they were guarding a mosque.

France has entered its longest state of emergency since the Algerian War. The 2015 attacks saw its first state of emergency since 1961. But where is France supposed to withdraw from this time? Paris?

It was one thing to abandon the beleaguered Algerian Christians and Jews to Muslim terror. And to abandon them a second time when they fled to France only to face persecution by their old Islamic neighbors who had tagged along and settled down in Marseille. But can France abandon the French?

The issue once again is colonialism. But the new colonists are Algerians, Tunisians and other Islamic imperialists who have settled in France and wave the black flag of the Jihad over their no-go zone settlements in French cities. And they have made it abundantly clear that they will not stop there.

Last year, former Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that, "Every day attacks are foiled... as we speak."

And it’s no wonder. Thousands of Muslim settlers left France to fight in Syria and Iraq. Valls was looking at 15,000 potential threats domestically. France has one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe. We don’t know exactly how many millions of Muslim settlers live in France. But we can measure their growth by the expansion of the terror threat. Islamic terrorism is, despite the spin, reducible to Islam.

There is no Islamic terrorism without Islam. As Islam expands, so does Islamic terrorism.

France is in the middle of a civil war. The civil war is based on religious differences. As the religious divide between the Islamic colonists and the militantly secular French government increases, the violence will worsen. The outcome of the war will determine whether France will be a secular republic or an Islamic state. The Jihadists have a plan for winning the war.  The French authorities don’t.

And what goes for France also goes for Western Europe. And for the West.

The French combination of social appeasement and police state enforcement isn’t working. The same model ultimately fails wherever it’s applied. Breaking up terror cells and stopping attacks is far better than the alternative, but the scale of the problem will always continue increasing because of demographic growth and a globalized terror infrastructure.

Demographics dictate that France’s terror problem will only keep growing. And the French authorities understand this. That’s why its governments increasingly talk about Islamic terrorism as a lasting threat.

Our War on Terror has squandered endless blood and treasure while avoiding the root cause. Western nations deploy massive armies to root out small terror networks while allying with their Gulf backers. Soldiers patrol major cities waiting for a terrorist or several terrorists to attack. Meanwhile the mosques that indoctrinate them to hate and kill non-Muslims are also protected by those same soldiers.

That’s not how you win a war. It’s how you lose everything.

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3 octobre 2017 2 03 /10 /octobre /2017 13:09

Israel Takes On the Shia Crescent

How Obama enabled the rise of Iran in Syria and why Israel is taking action.

 
Despite Israel's repeated warnings, Barack Obama's reckless appeasement of the Iranian regime has enabled its rise as a hegemonic threat in the Middle East region as well as a threat to international peace and security. In 2009, Obama turned his back on millions of dissidents in the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities, who were peacefully protesting the rigged election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. In 2011, Obama precipitously removed the remaining U.S. combat troops from Iraq, giving rise to ISIS’s re-emergence in Iraq from its bases in Syria. The radical Shiite Iranian regime purported to come to the “rescue” of both countries from the Sunni terrorists, turning Iraq into a virtual vassal state of the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the process. Obama's disastrous nuclear deal with Iran legitimized Iran's path to eventually becoming a nuclear-armed state, while immediately filling its coffers with billions of dollars to fund its aggression. 

Meanwhile, Syria has become ground zero for Iran's execution of its regional ambitions, which is to establish its Shiite Crescent connecting with its allies, including Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. This plan has included the establishment of a land route that Iranian-backed militias secured in June, beginning on Iran’s border with Iraq and running across Iraq and Syria all the way to Syria’s Mediterranean coast. This road makes Iran’s job easier in supplying arms by land, as well as by air and sea, to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and to equip Iran’s own forces fighting inside of Syria in support of Assad. This helps explain why Iran has placed so much importance on helping the Syrian regime establish control over the Deir ez-Zor area in eastern Syria, near the Iraqi border.

“Everything depends now on the Americans’ willingness to stop this,” said an Iraqi Kurdish official who was quoted in a New Yorker article. However, U.S.-led coalition forces apparently have done next to nothing to stop this major advance in Iran’s Shiite Crescent expansion. “Obama ran down our options in Syria so thoroughly, by the time this administration took over,” said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “The Iranian influence is spreading because they are so heavily involved in regime activities,” Tabler added. “It’s a new monster.”

Furthermore, Iran has funded and armed its terrorist proxy Hezbollah, which has sent its militia from its home base of Lebanon to fight alongside Assad's forces.  And Iran has used Syria as a transit point for shipment of sophisticated rockets to Hezbollah in Lebanon for future use against Israeli population centers. Despite the fact that Hezbollah has American blood on its hands, the U.S.-led coalition has chosen not to do anything about Hezbollah’s presence in Syria, bought and paid for by Iran.

While Israel chose not to take sides in Syria's civil war with military intervention of its own, it has bombed weapons storage facilities and convoys inside Syria for its own protection. Just recently, on September 7th, Israeli jets struck a Syrian weapons facility near Masyaf, which was reported to have been used for the production of chemical weapons and the storage of missiles. Israel will also do what is necessary to repel Iranian-backed forces if they edge too close to areas near the Golan Heights, shrinking the buffer between Israel and Iranian controlled territories.

However, such tactical measures may not be enough to thwart Iran’s larger ambitions. In light of intelligence reports that Assad may be ready to invite Iran to set up military bases in Syria, Israeli leaders have concluded that they cannot wait until the Trump administration decides to deal more forcefully with Iran's growing use of Syria as a staging area for carrying out its expansionist Shiite Crescent strategy.  “Their overriding concern in Syria is the free reign that all the major players there seem willing to afford Iran and its various proxies in the country,” wrote Jonathan Spyer in an article for Foreign Policy. As long as nobody else is addressing the concern Iran’s growing control raises in a satisfactory manner, “Israel is determined to continue addressing it on its own.”

At least, Israel has a more sympathetic ear in the Trump administration than it did in the Obama administration for raising its concerns about Iran’s growing threat, not only to Israel but to U.S. interests in the region and beyond. President Trump’s sharp denunciation of the Iranian regime during his address to the UN General Assembly represented a welcome departure from the Obama administration’s milquetoast approach to Iran. 

As the U.S.-led coalition continues to drive ISIS from its bases of operation in Syria, the Trump administration has proclaimed its intention not to allow Iran to turn Syria into its own satellite, as Iran has essentially done in Iraq. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said that the “so called liberation of areas by Assad’s forces and Iranian proxies could actually accelerate the cycle of violence and perpetuate conflict rather than get us to a sustainable outcome.” He claimed that the Trump administration’s “objectives are to weaken Iranian influence across the region broadly,” without discussing the means to accomplish those objectives.

Whether the Trump administration follows through remains to be seen. In the meantime, Israel will have to deal with the fallout of Iran’s ambitions in Syria itself.

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