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17 mars 2017 5 17 /03 /mars /2017 12:36

Hezbollah Develops Domestic Arms Industry with Iranian Know-How

Lebanon transforms into a vassal state of the Mullahs.

 
 

Not many people have ever heard of Souk El Gharb, a sleepy Lebanese village perched on a mountain top overlooking Beirut but in 1983, this village was the scene of ferocious fighting between the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and an assortment of Syrian-backed leftist and Muslim anti-government militias. For a while, the LAF, backed by the United States, was holding its own against the militias, beating back several coordinated attacks and even mounting offensives of their own.

But the LAF was doing more than just winning; it was unifying the nation splintered after many years of civil war and Palestinian occupation. The bulk of the Palestine Liberation Organization – a foreign entity that had occupied nearly half of Lebanon for 10 years – had just been expelled by the Israel Defense Forces and a multi-national force (MLF) composed of U.S. Marines, French and Italian troops took up positions in and around Beirut to promote stability in the nation’s capital. Israel’s 1982 invasion and the presence of the MLF gave Lebanon a chance to re-assert its sovereignty.

But the LAF’s good fortune was short-lived. On October 23, 1983 Hezbollah suicide bombers slammed their explosive laden trucks into the U.S. Marine and French army barracks killing 241 U.S. military personnel and 58 French servicemen. In early 1984, the MLF withdrew and the LAF quickly unraveled in the face of overwhelming firepower. Lebanon once again fell under the malign influence of Syria and later Iran, through its Shia proxy force, Hezbollah.

In May 2008 the Lebanese government made one last effort to re-assert sovereignty over the nation, which was by now almost fully under the control of Hezbollah, and by extension Iran. The government declared Hezbollah’s parallel militarized telecommunication network to be illegal. It also sought removal of Beirut Airport's security chief Wafic Shkeir, who was a Hezbollah operative and was actively assisting Hezbollah with the movement of clandestine arms shipments and other contraband. 

Hezbollah responded ruthlessly and swiftly moved to the offensive, taking over government controlled buildings and neighborhoods while the LAF watched helplessly. Lebanon’s last gasp at freedom failed and the country was now firmly under the control of Hezbollah and the mullahs of the Islamic Republic.

Hezbollah terrorists openly operate in every part of the country and often times coordinate their activities with the LAF, which has been reduced to nothing more than a Hezbollah auxiliary force. Lebanon’s president, Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah stooge who is almost certainly on the terror group’s payroll, recently praised Hezbollah and stated that the LAF would fight alongside the terror group in any confrontation with the IDF. Aoun was only confirming what all of us already knew; that the LAF is a marginal entity that assumes a subordinate role in Lebanese affairs but conveniently serves as the nation’s fig leaf of sovereignty, giving Hezbollah the political cover it needs to pursue its nefarious agenda. 

More troubling however, is a report that recently surfaced in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida, alleging that Iran had constructed arms factories in Lebanon and transferred them over to Hezbollah. The paper, citing a high-level Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) source, noted that the factories are capable of producing a wide variety of sophisticated weapons including anti-tank guided missiles, surface-to-surface missiles and missile-carrying aerial drones. The factories have reportedly been built at depths of some 50 meters below ground. It is virtually impossible for these factories to have been constructed without the knowledge of the Lebanese government and the LAF.

The report if true, confirms Iranian Defense Minister Hussein Dehqan’s declaration that Hezbollah “now possesses the capabilities to build and produce any projectile or missile.” It also constitutes a blatant violation of UNSCR 1701 which calls for the “disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that…there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state.” 

The notion of an independent Lebanese state capable of exercising its sovereignty is however, under the present circumstances, laughable. The current government headed by Aoun serves the interests of the Islamic Republic and is wholly subservient to its wishes.

Israel has had past success in thwarting Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah by striking weapons convoys and arms workshops in Syria and Sudan but the construction of Hezbollah-run arms factories capable of producing sophisticated weaponry in Lebanon represents a brazen escalation of the status quo. The unspoken rules of the shadow war between Israel and Hezbollah allow Israel the freedom of action to strike at Hezbollah targets outside of Lebanon but an attack against Hezbollah in Lebanon would almost certainly invite Hezbollah retaliation and possibly ignite a wider conflict. This is something both sides wish to avoid but given Iran’s belligerency and aggressive posturing since Barack Obama’s disastrous JCPOA, full scale conflict might be inevitable sooner rather than later.

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17 mars 2017 5 17 /03 /mars /2017 10:02

Know Thine Enemy

Israel gets back on the phony peace process train.

 
 

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

There are iron rules of warfare. One of the most basic rules is that you have to know your enemy. If you do not know your enemy, or worse, if you refuse to act on your knowledge of him, you will lose your war against him.

This basic truth appears to have eluded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This week we have been beset by the bizarre and sudden appearance of Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s negotiations chief.

Greenblatt’s mission is apparently to reinstate the mordant peace process between Israel and the PLO.

The peace process that Greenblatt is here to reincarnate died 17 years ago.

In 2000, PLO chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat killed the peace process when he initiated a massive terrorist war against Israel, right after he rejected peace and Palestinian statehood at the Camp David peace conference.

In rejecting peace, the architect of modern terrorism made clear that his claim seven years earlier that he was willing to reach a compromise with Israel, based on partition of the Land of Israel between a Jewish and an Arab state, was a lie. As the nationalist camp had warned at the time and since, the PLO was not remotely interested either in statehood or in peace. Arafat’s willingness to engage Israel in negotiations that led to its transfer of security and civil control over Gaza and the Palestinian population centers in Judea and Samaria to the PLO was simply another means to the only end the PLO ever contemplated. It was a means of weakening Israel as a step toward achieving the PLO’s ultimate goal of destroying the Jewish state.

In 1993, when then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin agreed to recognize the PLO, his implicit assumption was that if Arafat was lying, Israel would walk away from the peace process. It would retake control over the areas it had ceded to PLO control and things would go back to the way they were before he made the gamble, indeed they would be better. Whereas for years Israel had been under pressure from the Europeans and the Americans to recognize the PLO, if Israel recognized the terrorist group and the PLO responded by showing that it remained dedicated to Israel’s destruction, the world that had been pressuring Israel would end its pressure.

The Europeans and the Americans would rally to Israel’s side against the PLO.

In 2000, after Arafat blew up the negotiations table with his suicide bombers, then-prime minister Ehud Barak announced triumphantly that he had ripped the mask off of Arafat’s face.

Now everyone would recognize the truth about the PLO. Now the Europeans and the Americans would rally to Israel’s side.

Of course, things didn’t work out that way.

In the seven years between Rabin’s decision to gamble on Arafat, and Barak’s declaration that the truth had finally come out, the Europeans and the Americans and the Israeli Left had become addicted to the notion that the PLO was a peace movement and that Israel and its so-called settlers were the reason that peace hadn’t been reached.

That is, by the time the true nature of Israel’s enemy had become clear, it was too late. It didn’t matter. In recognizing the PLO, Israel had legitimized it. Refusing to recognize the nature of its enemy, Israel had empowered it, at its own expense.

By the time Arafat removed his mask, the legitimacy he had received from Israel seven years earlier had rendered him untouchable.

The West had become so invested in the myth of PLO moderation that rather than punish him for his terrorist war, the Europeans and the Americans punished Israel for complaining about it. Indeed, the more Israelis Arafat’s henchmen murdered, the more committed the Europeans and the American foreign policy establishment and political Left became to the PLO.

Israel, in the meantime, became a diplomatic outcast.

In the 17 years since Arafat showed his true colors, neither he nor his heir Mahmoud Abbas ever did anything to indicate that the PLO has changed its spots. To the contrary. The PLO’s leaders have made clear over and over and over again that Arafat’s decision to reject peace in favor of never-ending war against Israel was no fluke. It was the rule.

The PLO doesn’t want a state. If it did it would have accepted sovereignty in Gaza 12 years ago, when Israel withdrew and took its citizens with it. If it wanted a state, then Arafat and Abbas would have accepted Israel’s repeated offers of statehood over the years.

The PLO that is greeting Greenblatt in March 2017 is the same terrorist organization it was when Arafat announced its formation in December 1964.

Given this unchanging reality, it is deeply destructive for Israel to continue paying lip service to the fake peace process. And yet, that is precisely what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is doing.

Trump’s election gave Israel an opportunity to finally get the Americans to recognize the reality they have spent the past 17 years refusing to accept. Unlike Barack Obama, Trump was not wedded to the notion that Israel, and its religious Zionist community, is to blame for the absence of peace. He was not obsessed with appeasing the PLO as his predecessors have been for the past generation.

Trump was not interested in getting involved with the Palestinians at all. But rather than seize the opportunity he was handed, Netanyahu seems to have decided to throw it in the trash.

He only agreed to discuss his strategic goal for dealing with the Palestinians after his cabinet forced him to do so on the eve of his trip to Washington last month.

At that meeting, Netanyahu said that he supports establishing a “Palestinian state, minus” that would have formal sovereignty but would be demilitarized. Netanyahu also offered that he envisions Israeli sovereignty being extended to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.

There are many problems with Netanyahu’s plan. But its most glaring deficiency is that it continues to treat the PLO as a legitimate organization rather than a terrorist organization.

By doing so, Netanyahu not only throws a lifeline to an organization that uses all the legitimacy Israel confers on it to weaken Israel strategically and diplomatically. He empowers Israel’s detractors in the US and Europe that have spent the past quarter-century blaming Israel for the absence of peace and acclaiming the PLO and its terrorist chiefs as moderates.

It is not surprising that Trump reinstated Obama’s demand that Israel curtail Jewish property rights in Judea and Samaria after Netanyahu pronounced his support for Palestinian statehood. If Netanyahu won’t disavow the anti-Israel diplomatic unicorn, then why should Trump? And if Trump is maintaining allegiance to the myth of PLO legitimacy, then it only makes sense for him to also adopt the patently absurd, and virulently anti-Israel, assumption that Jewish home building is the reason there is no peace.

Similarly, with Netanyahu willing to accept the PLO, and the concomitant assumption of Jewish culpability for the absence of peace, why would Trump consider replacing Obama’s anti-Israel advisers with advisers supportive of the US-Israel alliance? After Netanyahu left Washington last month, Trump decided to retain Yael Lempert as the National Security Council’s point person for the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio. According to a report in The Weekly Standard, Democrats in Washington long viewed Lempert as one of the most radical opponents of Israel in the Obama administration.

Trump also decided to keep on Michael Ratney, the former US consul in Jerusalem, as the man in charge of the Israeli-Palestinian desk at the State Department. Ratney’s appointment brought shouts of joy from anti-Israel activists led by John Kerry’s former negotiations chief Martin Indyk.

Perhaps these personnel decisions would have been made even if Netanyahu hadn’t maintained his allegiance to the lie of PLO legitimacy. But Netanyahu’s support for the PLO made it much easier for these opponents of Israel to keep their jobs.

By all accounts, Jason Greenblatt is a friend of Israel and a supporter of the US alliance with the Jewish state. Greenblatt studied at a yeshiva in Gush Etzion many years ago. On Thursday, he took the step that no US envoy has ever taken of meeting with the heads of the local councils in Judea and Samaria.

And yet, whatever his personal views may be, this week he came to Israel to discuss limiting the legal rights of Israelis in Judea and Samaria.

He was accompanied on his trip by Lempert.

Greenblatt visited with Abbas in Ramallah and delivered no ultimatum when he asked the Palestinian Authority “president” (whose term of office ended in 2009) to scale back the murderous anti-Jewish propaganda that permeates all facets of Palestinian society under the PLO.

Greenblatt politely listened as Abbas demanded that Israel agree to withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines in a future peace, agree to release terrorist murderers from its prisons and end all construction for Jews in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

Greenblatt then discussed continued US economic subsidization of Abbas’s terrorism- steeped kleptocracy, in the name of economic development.

In other words, whatever Greenblatt’s personal views on the issues, as Trump’s envoy, he put us all back on the phony peace train.

Netanyahu argues that Israel has to give legitimacy to the PLO and support Palestinian statehood, because if it doesn’t, then the Sunni Arab states won’t work with Israel in its efforts to stymie Iran’s regional power grab and stall its nuclear weapons program. This claim, however, is untrue.

The Saudis, Egyptians and Jordanians are working with Israel on countering Iran because they need Israel to help them to weaken Iran.

They need Israel to help them to convince the Americans to abandon Obama’s pro-Iranian Middle East policy.

In other words, Netanyahu is paying for Sunni support that he can get for free.

Rabin believed that Israel would emerge stronger from his decision to recognize the PLO, one way or another. Either Israel would achieve peace. Or Israel would get the Americans and the Europeans off its back once the PLO made clear that it was lying about wanting peace. Rabin was wrong.

Israel paid gravely for Rabin’s error in judgment.

It will pay a similarly high price, if not a higher one, if Netanyahu continues to repeat Rabin’s mistake of failing to know his enemy.

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15 mars 2017 3 15 /03 /mars /2017 15:30

Are you surprised? Iranian Fantasy Film Depicts Destruction Of U.S. 5th Fleet

Amidst growing tensions, a glimpse into the Islamic Republic's mindset.

 
 
 

Amid growing tensions in the Arabian Gulf, the Islamic Republic recently released a 90-minute propaganda film that features a showdown between the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet and the so-called, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). In the imaginary battle – which represents nothing short of sheer Iranian fantasia and wishful thinking – a lone Iranian naval vessel challenges and destroys the entire U.S. fleet. 

The film’s protagonist is a Qassem Soleimani look-a-like. Soleimani heads Iran's Quds Force, the elite military unit responsible for fomenting much of the region’s chaos and bloodshed. The Quds Force currently maintains an active presence in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Afghanistan. The film’s director claims that the Iranian government was not involved in the film’s production or financing but that assertion is difficult to fathom. Iranian films must first meet with the mullah stamp of approval before being released to the public and rogue filmmakers who defy strict censorship rules run the grave risk of being given a one-way ticket to Iran’s notorious Evin Prison.    

The mullahs enjoy delving in military fantasies that end with imaginary victories but they have short memory spans. The last major military confrontation between U.S. and Iranian naval forces occurred in 1988 and ended badly for the Iranians. The U.S. Navy sunk six Iranian warships and destroyed two Iranian oil platforms in a single day. The Iranian leadership got the message loud and clear.

Amateurish and childish as it is, the film provides the West with insight into the Islamic Republic’s aggressive mindset. It portends troubling developments and should be viewed in the wider context of repeated Iranian provocations.

In early March, a U.S. Navy surveillance ship was harried by Iranian naval vessels near the Strait of Hormuz in two separate incidents. In the first incident, an Iranian frigate closed to within 150 yards of the USS Invincible. In the second, armed Iranian speed boats approached to within 600 yards of the Invincible. A U.S. Navy spokesman termed the Iranian actions “unsafe and unprofessional.”

Against this backdrop, Iran announced that its highly mobile, Russian made S-300 air defense system is now fully deployed and operational. The S-300 is a formidable anti-aircraft system that poses a direct challenge to fourth generation jet fighters such as the F-16, F-15 and F-18 and represents a leap forward for Iranian air defense capabilities. The platform is said to possess a range of at least 125 miles and is capable of simultaneously tracking and striking multiple targets.

Russia withheld delivery of the system to Iran but lifted its ban in 2015 following Obama’s détente with the Islamic Republic. Iran also claimed that it will soon be producing improved domestic versions of the missile but the Islamic Republic often exaggerates its technological achievements and claims of this nature must be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism. In 2013, Iran unveiled what it claimed to be a domestically produced 5th generation fighter with stealth capabilities but aviation experts quickly dismissed the Iranian claim as a bad fake.

Nevertheless, the deployment of the S-300 represents a dangerous escalation. The S-300 can be used as an offensive weapon and will be utilized to safeguard Iran’s vast nuclear facilities and secretive military research centers.

On March 9, the commander of the IRGC “Aerospace Force,” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh announced that the IRGC successfully test-fired a domestically produced ballistic missile that struck a floating barge from a distance of 250km. He claimed that the missile, dubbed the Hormuz-2, is capable of accurately striking targets as far as 300km (186 miles). The missile could very well be a copy of the sophisticated Russian Yakhont cruise missile or its less sophisticated cousin, the Chinese C-802.

The Iranians have already transferred both of these weapon systems to their mercenary Shia proxy force, Hezbollah. The provocative test launch was designed to project strength and to signal to the Trump administration that the Navy’s 5th Fleet is vulnerable.

Trump has already noted that the Iranians are “playing with fire” and has slapped additional sanctions on the regime for violating United Nations Security Council resolution 2231, which calls on Iran to refrain from developing and test-firing ballistic missiles. Clearly however, the recent U.S. action has had no effect on the mullahs who seem eager for a showdown with America. 

The Obama administration’s pathetic efforts to engage with the Islamic Republic and satiate its imperialistic appetite with ransom payments, lobbying efforts, uranium shipments and $150 billion in sanctions relief has only served to strengthen and embolden the regime. 

In the meantime, while the U.S. and its allies – including Britain and Israel – ponder their next moves, the malignant Islamic Republic continues to expand its hegemony, solidifying its stranglehold over the Mideast from Baghdad to Beirut, Damascus to Sana'a.  

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15 mars 2017 3 15 /03 /mars /2017 15:27

Voir mon article à ce sujet - Trump Embraces The PLO Fantasy

The new president is gearing up to make the same mistake as his predecessor.

 
 

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

US President Donald Trump is losing his focus. If he doesn’t get it back soon, he will fail to make America great again or safe again in the Middle East.

After holding out for a month, last week Trump indicated he is adopting his predecessors’ obsession with empowering the PLO.

This is a strategic error.

There are many actors and conflicts in the Middle East that challenge and threaten US national interests and US national security. Iran’s rise as a nuclear power and regional hegemon; the war in Syria; Turkey’s abandonment of the West; and Russia’s regional power play all pose major threats to US power, security and interests. The Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, Hamas and other Sunni jihadist movements all threaten the US, Europe and the US’s Sunni allies in the region in a manner that is strategically significant to America.

None of these issues, none of these actors and none of these threats are in any way related to or caused by the PLO and its interminable, European-supported hybrid terror and political war against Israel. None of these pressing concerns will be advanced by a US embrace of the PLO or a renewed obsession with empowering the PLO and its mafia-terrorist bosses.

To the contrary, all of these pressing concerns will be sidelined – and so made more pressing and dangerous – by a US reengagement with the PLO .

And yet, over the past week, Trump has indicated that the PLO is now his focus.

Last Friday, Trump spoke on the telephone with Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas is head of the PLO and the unelected dictator of the corrupt, terrorism-sponsoring, PLO -controlled Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria.

According to media reports, Trump told Abbas – whose legal term in office ended eight years ago – that he views him as a legitimate leader. According to the official White House report of the conversation, Trump also reportedly told Abbas that he supports reaching a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Such a deal, to the extent it is ever reached, involves expanding PLO control over Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem at Israel’s expense.

Trump also invited Abbas for an official visit to Washington. And the day after they spoke, the Trump administration moved $250 million in US taxpayer dollars to Abbas’s police state where for the past 25 years, Abbas and his cronies have enriched themselves while feeding a steady diet of antisemitic, anti-American jihadist bile to their impoverished subjects.

To build up his credibility with the PLO , Trump put his electoral pledge to move the US embassy to Jerusalem on ice. The real estate mogul ordered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to deny Jews the right to their property and their legal right to use state lands in Judea and Samaria.

And swift on the heels of that conversation with Abbas, Trump’s chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt was dispatched to Jerusalem to begin empowering the PLO at Israel’s expense.

According to media reports, Greenblatt intended to use his meeting Monday with Netanyahu to reject Netanyahu’s commitment to build a new Israeli town in Samaria. Greenblatt was also reportedly intending to dictate the parameters for yet another round of negotiations with the PLO.

After meeting with Netanyahu, Greenblatt continued on to Ramallah to embrace Abbas.

Also during his stay, Greenblatt is scheduled to meet with IDF generals who are responsible for giving money and providing services to the PLO.

And Greenblatt doesn’t have the Palestinians to himself.

Following Trump’s conversation with Abbas, plans were suddenly afloat for Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump to visit Israel and spend an afternoon with Abbas in Ramallah.

If things develop as reported, then Trump is serious about embracing the PLO and intends to have his top advisers devote themselves to Abbas and his henchmen. If that is the case, then Trump is setting himself, his advisers, his daughter and the US up to fail and be humiliated.

The PLO is the Siren that drowns US administrations. It is to the PLO that America’s top envoys have eagerly flown, gotten hooked on the attention of the demented, anti-Israel press corps, and forgotten their purpose: to advance US national interests.

If Trump is serious about repeating this practice, then rather than repair the massive damage done to the US and the Middle East by his two predecessors, the 45th president will repeat their mistakes. Like them, he will leave office in a blaze of failure.

To understand why this is the case, three things must be clear.

First, the PLO will never make peace with Israel. There will never be a Palestinian state.

There will never be a peace or a Palestinian state because the PLO wants neither. This is the lesson of the past 25 years. Both Abbas and his predecessor Arafat rejected peace and statehood multiple times and opted instead to expand their terrorist and political war against Israel.

Why did they do that? Because they are interested in two things: personal enrichment – which they achieve by stealing donor funds and emptying the pockets of their own people; and weakening, with the goal of destroying Israel – which they achieve through their hybrid war of terrorism and political warfare.

The second thing that needs to be clear is that the Palestinians are irrelevant to the rest of the problems – the real problems that impact US interests – in the region. If anything, the Palestinians are pawns on the larger chessboard. America’s enemies use them to distract the Americans from the larger realities so that the US will not pay attention to the real game.

Iran will not be appeased or defeated if Trump empowers the PLO in its war against Israel and continues feeding PLO leaders’ insatiable appetite for other people’s money.

The Sunni jihadists will not beat their swords into plowshares if the US coerces Israel to cough up land to the PLO . To the contrary, they will be emboldened.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not move his forces out of Syria or stop giving nuclear technologies to Iran if the US turns the screws on Israel. Putin will come to the conclusion that Trump is either weak or stupid to damage Israel, the US’s most serious ally.

And of course, Israel will not be better off if Trump decides to push it back onto the peace train which has caused it nothing but harm for the past quarter century.

Trump’s election opened up the possibility, for the first time in decades, that the US would end its destructive obsession with the PLO. For three months, Israelis have been free for the first time to discuss seriously the possibilities of applying Israeli law to all or parts of Judea and Samaria. And a massive majority of Israelis support doing just that.

On the Palestinian side as well, Trump’s election empowered the people who have been living under the jackboot of Abbas and his cronies to think about the possibility of living at peace with Israel in a post-PLO era. Polling results indicate that they too are eager to move beyond the Palestinian statehood chimera.

But now, it appears that Trump has been convinced to embrace the PLO obsession. The same entrenched bureaucrats at the State Department and the same foreign policy establishment in Washington that brought the US nothing but failure in the Middle East for a generation appear to have captivated Trump’s foreign policy. They have convinced him it is better to devote his top advisers to repeating the mistakes of his predecessors than to devote his energies and theirs to fixing the mess that Obama and George W. Bush left him with. They have gotten him to believe that it is better to empower the PLO than develop coherent strategies and plans for dealing with the problems of the region that actually endanger US interests and imperil the security and safety of the American people.

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15 mars 2017 3 15 /03 /mars /2017 15:20

No More Gravy Train for the United Nations

Trump administration contemplates 50% reduction in U.S. funding.

 
 

Bureaucrats and diplomats at the United Nations are scrambling to adjust to the new Trump administration. One thing seems certain. The Obama days of wine and roses for the UN are over. The Trump administration is reportedly laying the groundwork for cuts of at least 50% to U.S. funding for United Nations programs. U.S. diplomats warned key UN member states  to “expect a big financial restraint” on American spending at the UN at a meeting earlier this month in New York City, according to sources cited by Foreign Policy

The United States spent nearly $10 billion in total on the United Nations in 2015 alone, based on available data. This includes U.S. payment of 22 % of the UN’s regular budget and about 28.5% of its peacekeeping budget, which together add up to over $3 billion annually. The U.S. has contributed billions of dollars more in voluntary donations to various UN agencies, programs and flash humanitarian appeals. Based on available 2015 data, cutting just the U.S. voluntary contributions by 40 % would save about $2.7 billion a year.

It has been estimated that the U.S.’s mandatory assessment for funding of the UN’s regular budget is more than that of 176 other UN member states combined. The 56 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation are estimated to have constituted approximately 8.6% of global production in 2015. However, they only paid 5.6% of the UN’s regular budget and 2.4% of the UN’s peacekeeping budget.

United Nations mandatory assessed budget funding is based on the socialist formula of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” The starting point is to calculate each member state’s mandatory budget assessments based on the proportion of each member state’s gross national product in comparison to the global gross national product. However, that is only the starting point. Many “less developed” nations’ assessments are then adjusted downward through manipulative concessions such as a debt burden discount and a low per capita income discount. Wealthier nations find themselves having to make up the shortfalls.

The United States is bearing an unfair burden in the funding of the United Nations. Yet the U.S. has only one vote out of 193 member states in the General Assembly when it comes to approval of the final budget for which it pays the lion’s share. This redistributionist practice must end and give way to more equitable sharing of mandatory assessments so that all member states have some real skin in the game.

The UN is also way overdue for a major overhaul, including significant cuts in its bloated budgets.For example, UN bureaucrats based in New York have been receiving net remuneration (i.e., take-home salary) at a level about 25% higher than that of their U.S. equivalents, according to the International Civil Service Commission.  There are highly generous benefits that the UN provides its staff on top of that. UN salaries and benefits need to be frozen, or even rolled back, to eliminate any differential that still remains with what comparable U.S. civil servants receive, as a condition for continued U.S. funding. 

The UN’s aid agencies are cumbersome and non-transparent. One independent study published a few years ago concluded that “many of the UN agencies have an extremely bad record on transparency” and are “among the least accountable aid agencies.” UN agencies also carry heavy overhead costs, which reduce the amount of contributions from donor countries going directly to those who need the assistance. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and United Nations Population Fund “actually spend more on administrative costs than aid disbursements (129% and 125%, respectively),” according to the study. The UNDP also has the highest salary/aid ratio at 100 percent. Perhaps for that reason, the UNDP’s transparency record is particularly bad.

The United States in 2015 contributed $266 million to UNDP funding, out of which it made $74,500,000 in voluntary contributions without any specific direction as to how the money should be spent. At minimum, the Trump administration should eliminate this unspecified voluntary contribution until the UNDP can prove to U.S. auditors that it is in full compliance with U.S. government transparency requirements and that the UNDP has sharply reduced its overhead costs.

There are some other UN budget items that the Trump administration should put on the chopping block for cutting U.S. contributions right away.

For example, the United States is presently contributing more than $340 million a year to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). In 2015, the U.S. made $158,600,059 in voluntary contributions to UNRWA without any specific direction as to how the money should be spent. Since UNRWA’s establishment in 1948, the U.S. has spent approximately $5 billion propping up what was supposed to be an agency for temporary relief until the original refugees leaving Israel after it declared its independence could be resettled in neighboring countries.

Today, while the U.S. throws more good money after bad, UNRWA hires terrorists, teaches hate against Jews in the schools it runs, and perpetuates a permanent refugee status for millions of Palestinian descendants whom UNRWA would still consider refugees even after an independent Palestinian state is established within which they can live. Continued U.S. funding of UNRWA should be put on the chopping block for major cutting, if not elimination altogether.

The Trump administration should also reverse the Obama administration’s decision to join and fund the dysfunctional UN Human Rights Council. This travesty counts some of the world’s worst human rights abusers as its members, while it spends much of its time and resources hounding Israel. The 2016-2017 estimated budget for the Human Rights Council alone is over $43 million. The State Department should be directed to withhold from the U.S. contribution to the regular budget of the UN an amount equal to the amount that would be allocated for the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, has on more than one occasion attacked President Trump for pursuing policies resulting in what he recklessly claimed were human rights abuses and violations of international law. In 2016 alone, the U.S. made a voluntary contribution of $17,439,877 towards funding the budget of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. This should not be repeated while Zeid al-Hussein remains in charge. 

In 2015, the United States made $150,300,000 in voluntary contributions to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) without any specific direction as to how the money should be spent. The UN’s own Internal Audit Division found virtually no oversight of usage of funds that have been given to UNHRC’s various partners. The U.S. voluntary contributions for unspecified purposes is far larger than any other country. It should be pared way back, pending a complete examination and approval of the UN’s refugee vetting program and UNHRC’s oversight mechanisms. 

Starting in 2020, the more “developed” countries, including the United States, are supposed to contribute collectively $100 billion a year to a UN Climate Fund. The U.S. could find itself paying about $22 billion a year into this unaccountable UN fund, if a formula similar to that used to calculate the U.S.'s regular UN budget assessment is utilized. As one of his last acts as president, Barack Obama pledged half a billion dollars to the UN climate fund as sort of a down payment. The Trump administration should cancel Obama’s pledge and make it clear that the U.S. has no intention of contributing the many billions of dollars the UN will be looking for from the United States starting three years from now.

The UN’s peacekeeping operations need a thorough review and reform from top to bottom. As Ambassador Haley said during her confirmation hearings, “It’s been devastating to see the exploitation, the fraud, abuse that’s happening,” referring to the fact that peacekeeping troops sexually abused the very people they were sent to protect and have been getting away with it. 

2014 report by the UN’s own Office of Internal Oversight Services found a “persistent pattern of peacekeeping operations not intervening with force when civilians are under attack.” Little has changed since the report was issued, as evidenced by UN peacekeepers in South Sudan doing nothing to stop South Sudanese troops from attacking civilians last year.

Whistleblowers have been silenced. Mid-level people have been scapegoated, while senior management has been shielded from any real accountability. 

The UN General Assembly approved $7.86 billion for 15 peacekeeping operations for the 2016/2017 fiscal period. The U.S. is paying 28.57% of that budget. The U.S. assessments have kept creeping up, with waivers of previous caps set by Congress. Enforcing a previously set cap of 25%.would save U.S. taxpayers many millions of dollars. Moreover, the United States should refuse to agree to the creation of new, or expansion of existing, UN peacekeeping operations until the Department of State can verify that peacekeeping reforms specified by the U.S. have been adopted by the UN General Assembly and Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Virtually nothing the U.S. pays for at the UN should be off the table for re-examination and potential cutting. It is time to end business as usual at the United Nations, even if some sacred cows are sacrificed in the process.

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11 mars 2017 6 11 /03 /mars /2017 17:18

How Israel Transformed Itself into a High-Tech Military Powerhouse

New book by Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot recounts the amazing military journey of the Jewish State.

 
 

The Weapon Wizards
Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot
St. Martin’s Press, 304 pp.

On March 1, 2011 Hamas terrorists fired an RPG-29 anti-tank rocket from a concealed position in Gaza at an Israeli Merkava IV tank on routine patrol near the border. What occurred next represents a milestone for armored warfare. The Merkava was equipped with the new Israeli-made Trophy active protection point defense system, providing the tank with a 360-degree bubble-shaped arc of protection. The Trophy’s radar detected the incoming projectile and destroyed it by firing a burst of metal pellets. That was the first time such a system was ever successfully tested under real combat conditions. Israel was also the first nation to deploy such an innovative platform. 

But the Trophy performed another technological feat that fateful day. It simultaneously calculated the trajectory of the incoming rocket to determine the source of fire and instantly transmitted the coordinates by interfacing with another Israeli innovation known as the Tzayad battle management system. Soldiers in the theater were instantly apprised of the enemy’s position and seconds later, the Hamas terror cell was liquidated with accurate counterbattery fire. This seamless integration of battlefield technology has dramatically reduced the sensor to shoot cycle, enabling rapid elimination of the enemy.

This minor skirmish caused somewhat of a stir in military circles but was largely unknown to the ordinary public. Trophy’s impressive combat effectiveness in this and subsequent skirmishes has persuaded the U.S. military to adopt the platform for its M1A2 Abrams tanks. The Tzayad BMS has been adopted by the Australian military and at least one Latin American country. 

In November 2012, the world was introduced to another Israeli technology wonder known as the Iron Dome, a system designed to swat short-range Katyusha rockets from the skies. Dramatic video displayed around the world demonstrated Israel’s technological prowess. 

On November 14, 2012 following a series of provocations by Hamas, an Israeli airstrike liquidated Ahmed Jabari, the commander of Hamas’ armed wing. His movements were being tracked by an Israeli-made drone hovering silently above. A missile slammed into his vehicle instantly vaporizing him and his terror cohorts. It was a clean kill with no collateral damage.

Hamas then began firing hundreds of rockets into Israel as far north as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. But Hamas was in for another rude awakening. Iron Dome was able to shoot down 90% of all rockets that were targeted for destruction. One of the brilliant features of the Iron Dome system is that its radar can determine if the rocket will land in an urban area or open spaces devoid of people thus saving resources.

Iron Dome proved its mettle once more during Operation Protective Edge and is continuously being upgraded for even greater accuracy. More batteries are being deployed in the north for an eventual showdown with Hezbollah and the platform was recently successfully launched from a naval vessel demonstrating the system’s potential use in protecting Israel’s offshore gas rigs. Iron Dome is part of Israel’s multi-tiered missile defense shield, which also consists of platforms like David’s Sling for intermediate range missiles and the Arrow for long-range ICBMs.

So how did a tiny nation, the approximate size of New Jersey with only 8 million people become a high-tech military superpower? How did Israel, whose exports in its formative years included false teeth and oranges, become a leader in military technology producing everything from battle tanks to killer drones to spy satellites? The answer can be found in The Weapon Wizards, an insightful and enlightening book co-authored by Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot.

The authors attribute Israel’s unique success to a number of factors. Israel invests more than any other country in Research & Development. Approximately 4.5% of the nation’s GDP is invested in R&D and 30% of this amount is allocated towards military applications. In addition, Israel’s hierarchal structure is very informal leading to the free exchange of ideas. For example, the F-16 maintenance technician does not feel constrained in voicing his or her opinion to an air force general regarding the plane’s features and characteristics.

Israel is also a leader in creating specialized military units that are designed to foster technical growth and innovation. In almost all cases, Israeli engineers and scientists that design and work on projects for the Israeli military have themselves served in the military and often draw upon their own military experiences. For them, the weapon system’s features are more than just theoretical.

But perhaps the most compelling reason proffered by the authors for Israel’s military technology successes is its unique geo-political situation. Surrounded by genocidal enemies on all fronts, from Hezbollah to Hamas, Iran to ISIS, Israel cannot afford to relax and be complacent. It must constantly innovate in order to be at least one step ahead of the enemy. As Haim Eshed, the father of Israel’s satellite program dryly informed the authors: “The shadow of the guillotine sharpens the mind.”

That statement, the authors argue, aptly sums up Israel’s predicament and in that high-pressure environment, Israeli creativity and genius thrives. Tiny Israel has in a short span of time become a military powerhouse and a leading exporter of military platforms and cyber technology. From Star Wars-like missile defense shields to spy satellites, Israeli technology has become cutting edge and sought after worldwide.

Messrs Katz and Bohbot’s masterful, well-researched account of how Israel transformed itself into a military superpower is both engrossing and informative. The reader, whether novice or expert will walk away with an appreciable understanding of the dangers Israelis face on a daily basis and how they utilized these daunting challenges to their supreme advantage to both gain the upper hand against their enemies and prosper diplomatically and economically. 

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11 mars 2017 6 11 /03 /mars /2017 17:16

Trump vs Obama

Two men. One fight for America.

 

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

Obama is a coward.

Trump will call someone a name while Obama will anonymously source a smear through three levels of staffers, political allies and reporters.

Trump called CNN “Fake News” on camera. Obama sourced Operation Rushbo, targeting Rush Limbaugh, through a variety of White House people and left-wing allies. Trump will boot reporters he doesn’t like. Obama authorized secretly hacking the emails of a FOX News reporter. Trump had an openly hostile conversation with the Prime Minister of Australia. When Obama wanted to call Netanyahu “chickens__t”, he did it by having one of his people anonymously plant it with a reliable media sycophant, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, before later having a spokesman disavow it.

Poultry ordure doesn’t smell any worse than that.

But Obama is very careful to launch dirty attacks without getting any on his hands. The insults are anonymously sourced. The retaliation comes out of the bowels of the bureaucracy. And he only finds out about it from the media. That allows him to retain what he cares about most: his popularity.

Obama and his people like to think that their dishonesty is a superpower. They pat themselves on the back for stabbing everyone else in theirs. Sometimes their smugness over how well they use the media to lie and smear gets out of control. Like the time Obama’s Goebbels, Ben Rhodes, boasted to the New York Times about how easy it was to fool everyone about the deal to protect Iran’s nuclear program.

After Trump won, it was business as usual.

Obama put on his best imitation of decency while his people went on preparing to undermine Trump at every turn by smearing him, wiretapping him and doing everything possible, legally and illegally, to bring him down. It was the same phony act that he had pulled for eight years, bemoaning the lack of bipartisanship while ruling unilaterally as a dictator, destroying the Constitution while hectoring us about our values, denouncing racism while organizing race riots, complaining about the echo chamber while constructing one and lecturing us on civility while smearing anyone who disagreed.

Trump’s killer instinct lies in understanding that hypocrisy conceals weakness. That is what powered him through the primaries and then through an election. His instinct is to grapple directly with a target. That is also the source of his popularity. Meanwhile the source of Obama’s popularity is his hollow likability. He’s likable only because he is almost always too cowardly to say what he really thinks.

Americans have seen the real Trump: because he is, in his own way, always real. Obama is always unreal. When Trump and Obama have appeared together, Obama seemed less real. He is a brand wrapped in all sorts of images that have nothing to do with who he really is.

Trump has always understood that Obama’s bravado was hollow. Obama boasted that he would have defeated Trump. Then he went on to try to do that with attacks from behind the scenes routed through government loyalists and media operatives while pretending that he had nothing to do with any of it.

But Obama and his people had learned nothing from how Trump had won the election. When Trump is attacked, his response is to go directly for the attacker, no matter what the argument is or how it’s sourced. Trump doesn’t get bogged down in debates or befuddled by media echo chambers that are so totally enveloping that they resemble reality. He just smashes past them to the source of the smear.

That is exactly what he did by calling out Obama’s eavesdropping. He bypassed all the layers that Obama had put in place to insulate himself from involvement in the attack, the media echo chamber, the staffers who handed information to the media and the government loyalists who provided the information to the staffers, to strike at the wizard behind the curtain.

And, in doing so, he made a mockery of Obama’s bravado.

When Obama boasted that he could have beaten Trump, he meant that he could have done so using the same tactics that worked so well against McCain and Romney. Like most of the media, he had failed to understand that these tactics don’t work against Trump because he is a moving target.

Trump created his own brand. Unlike most presidential candidates, he doesn’t need consultants, and unlike most Republicans, he isn’t worried at all about likability. That’s why he won an election and still has majority support for his policies, including the most controversial ones, despite poor likability.

Obama is obsessed with being liked. In the media space, effective messaging depends on likability. But Trump upended the same formula that had ruled presidential politics since Nixon vs. Kennedy. Instead he casually tosses likability aside to grapple with opponents, rivals and enemies. Trump won this election by forcing opponent after opponent to either fight him on his own terms or back away.

This includes the media, which has tried to grapple directly with him, with disastrous results.

The Obama machine, a massive propaganda matrix that alternates between lying and gaslighting, is not built to handle Trump. And Obama isn’t built to handle Trump either. Obama’s hipster transgressiveness made him seem cool when up against Romney or McCain, but everything Trump does embodies real transgressiveness. The machine is built on limiting the freedom of action of Republicans by intimidating them with political correctness and potential smears. But Trump doesn’t care about any of that.

Trump is willing to throw everything into an attack. Obama’s people build complicated traps that he walks through without thinking twice. Obama plays chess. Trump overturns the board.

Obama’s strategy was to create so much chaos that the White House wouldn’t be able to get anything done. Instead it would ricochet from scandal to scandal. Similar tactics had proven quite effective in the second terms of Reagan and Bush. But Trump thrives on chaos. Many of his supporters want him to be a disrupter. Chaos translates to effectiveness. The more noise he makes, the more he’s changing things.

President Trump has made it clear that in response to these attacks, he will directly challenge Obama. And that breaks down Obama’s entire plan of using proxies to do his dirty work while he gives inspiring speeches. Trump will not let Obama get away with attacking him and then hiding behind phony idealism.  And he intends to make the Obama machine into the issue in these attacks.

Obama’s plan involved a gradual emergence to deliver more sanctimonious lectures about “who we are”. It did not involve getting directly into a fight with Trump. But, as his other opponents discovered, Trump doesn’t give you a choice.

The favorite quote of Clinton’s damage control man Chris Lehane came from Mike Tyson. “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Obama’s people like to think that this is what they’ve done to Republicans, Iran Deal opponents, police officers and even President Trump. But Trump is showing them what the expression really means.

Obama had a plan. Then Trump punched him in the mouth.

The plan to entangle key Trump people in scandals hit a roadblock. Instead the wiretapping accusations have become the issue. And Obama’s people have been forced to come out and offer cautious denials.

And Obama and his dirty tricks have been dragged out from behind the curtain.

Trump and Obama are two very different men. Their personalities, as much as their politics, will define this conflict. The media routinely accuses Trump of having totalitarian instincts. But the true totalitarians are men like Obama those who hypocritically use the machinery of government to go after their opponents while pretending to be virtuous. President Trump has always fought his fights directly.

And the battle for America has only begun.

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11 mars 2017 6 11 /03 /mars /2017 17:13

Trump Immigration Executive Orders are Already Working

Illegal border crossings drop an astounding 40% in one month.

 
 

A statement issued by Homeland Security Secretary Jack Kelly, concerning data compiled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, noted that there has been a marked decrease in illegal border crossings at the U.S.-Mexican border this year between January and February, “as measured by apprehensions and the prevention of inadmissible persons at our southern border.”  In January there were 31,578 apprehensions, while in February there were 18,762. This 40 percent drop is in contrast to previous year comparisons of January and February, during which there had been a 10-20 percent increase in apprehensions of illegal immigrants.  

The trend is in the right direction, even without the border wall already in place that President Trump promised during the campaign.  According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data cited by Homeland Security Secretary Kelly, “in the period from Oct 1, 2016 to the Presidential inauguration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 157,000 apprehensions of illegal immigrants – a 35 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, with family units increasing by more than 100 percent. However, since President Trump took office on January 20, we have seen a dramatic drop in numbers.”

Some of the decline may be due to seasonal factors. However, more robust enforcement in the wake of President Trump’s issuance of two executive orders intended to boost such enforcement of the nation’s existing immigration laws are clearly having a deterrent effect. Since the Trump administration’s implementation of these executive orders, according to Secretary Kelly, we are seeing apprehensions and the turning away of inadmissible persons at our southern border “trending toward the lowest monthly total in at least the last five years.”

What makes the robust enforcement regime introduced by President Trump’s executive orders even more effective is the termination of the practice commonly known as "catch and release," whereby illegal immigrants have been routinely released in the United States shortly after their apprehension for violations of immigration law. Thus, illegal immigrant traffic is slowing due to the deterrent effect of more rigorous enforcement, while those caught having entered the country illegally are not allowed to simply roam free pending their immigration hearings.

“As directed in my memoranda implementing the President’s executive orders, we remain committed to carrying out fair, impartial and humane enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws,” said Secretary Kelly in his statement. “We will remain vigilant to respond to any changes in these trends, as numbers of illegal crossings typically increase between March and May. However, the early results show that enforcement matters, deterrence matters, and that comprehensive immigration enforcement can make an impact.”

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos clearly does not like what he is seeing with regards to current U.S. immigration policy. He wants open borders. 

Tucker Carlson of Fox News confronted Ramos during an interview Wednesday night with a statement Ramos made in February: “I’m a proud Latino immigrant here in the United States. You know exactly what is going on here in the US. There are many people who do not want us to be here and who want to create a wall in order to separate us. But you know what, this is also our country. Let me repeat this, our country, not theirs, it’s our country.”

Carlson then asked Ramos, “Who’s the us, and who’s the they? Whose country is it?” Ramos equivocated, but said that by 2044 “the white population will become a minority, it will be a minority/majority country, that is precisely what I’m saying. Latinos, Asians, African-Americans, whites, it is our country Tucker.” Carlson reminded Ramos that “you are white, obviously, you are whiter than I am. You’ve got blue eyes,” and then questioned what Ramos meant “by white or Latino.” Ramos ended up by declaring that one’s country of origin in Latin America makes one a Latino, regardless of ethnicity.

Thus, by Ramos’s own logic (or, more accurately, illogic), any Latino from South America, Central America or Mexico wanting to enter the United States should be allowed to do so without restriction because it is their country too.  

This same open borders premise underlies objections to President Trump’s new executive order temporarily suspending the admission of refugees worldwide for 120 days. The new order also suspends the entry for 90 days of people from six designated terrorist-prone countries whom do not have green cards or previously issued visas to enter the United States. The new order replaces the previous executive order that was held up in the courts. It is due to take effect on March 16th.

In addition to narrowing the scope of people temporarily subject to the entry suspension, Iraq was removed from the original order’s list of affected countries. Any suggestion of preference for religious minorities has also been removed.

Democrats willing to gamble with American lives wasted no time in pouncing on the new order. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer bemoaned, “A watered down ban is still a ban. Despite the administration’s changes, this dangerous executive order makes us less safe, not more, it is meanspirited, and un-American.” A temporary pause on entry from countries even the Obama administration identified as terrorist-prone will make us less safe? What alternative universe does Senator Schumer inhabit?

Schumer’s counterpart in the House, Nancy Pelosi, tweeted, “This is the same ban, with the same purpose, driven by the same discrimination that weakens our fight against terror.” Keeping out would-be terrorists weakens our fight against terror? Evidently, just like with her Obamacare bill, she did not take the time to actually read the new order and compare it to the original version before impulsively tweeting her unfounded objections.

The state of Hawaii is already challenging in court the executive order. So is the state of Washington, which had successfully sued to halt the implementation of the original order. Washington’s governor has also signed an executive order of his own restricting state agencies from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. 

President Trump’s "executive order inflicts a grave injury on Muslims in Hawaii,” Hawaii's complaint says. One of the plaintiffs, a member of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, is upset that his Syrian mother-in-law will not be able to visit him while the travel suspension remains in effect. In other words, this plaintiff insists he has the right to demand that his Syrian non-blood relative be given a visa immediately to visit him in the United States. Apparently the state of Hawaii agrees that allowing such a visit to take place right away is more important than allowing the president of the United States, acting under explicit federal statutory authority, to temporarily suspend entry from Syria if he determines it necessary to protect the American people. Why doesn’t the plaintiff travel to meet his mother-in-law overseas instead, if he simply cannot wait? The state of Hawaii can even pay for his travel, which would be a lot cheaper than wasting taxpayers’ money on a lawsuit. 

"Hawaii is special in that it has always been non-discriminatory in both its history and constitution," Attorney General Douglas Chin explained. "Twenty percent of the people are foreign-born, 100,000 are non-citizens and 20 percent of the labor force is foreign-born."

Lofty principles such as non-discrimination are fine, but their restatement in this context is completely out of place. Apparently, the opponents of President Trump’s executive order believe that foreigners from any country seeking to enter the United States for any reason, no matter what the circumstances in their home country affecting U.S. national security, should have a constitutional right favoring their entry that overrides national security considerations. Not to admit them is somehow discriminatory. 

Meanwhile. proponents of an open border between Mexico and the United States think nothing of the safety and economic impact of uncontrolled immigration on American citizens. 

As Tucker Carlson asked Jorge Ramos, “Whose country is it?”

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8 mars 2017 3 08 /03 /mars /2017 05:44

'Women’s Strike' Platform Calls For Destruction Of Israel

And craven Democrats predictably remain silent.

 
 

The relentless campaign to undermine the Trump administration and question the legitimacy of the 2016 election continues apace. The left has an embarked on a Jihad of sorts to embarrass and derail the new administration in a desperate bid to undo the choices made by the American people. 

In Congress, Democratic lawmakers – despite the fact that they’re in the minority – are resorting to every trick in the book to delay and impede President Trump’s nominees. The latest to fall victim to this unscrupulous charade is Trump’s deputy attorney general nominee, Rod Rosenstein. Democratic lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee have vowed to “use every possible tool” to block the nomination.

Meanwhile, elements within the media elite have continued to propagate fake news in connection with Russia and the 2016 elections. Despite the fact that there is not a scintilla of evidence substantiating allegations of collusion between Trump’s campaign staff and Russia or that Russian interference with the 2016 election had any impact on the outcome, the purveyors of fake news – principally the New York Times, MSNBC and CNN – continue to suggest otherwise.

Former Obama administration officials, frustrated by their monumental electoral loss and watching helplessly at the reversal of eight years of legacy, have joined forces with leftist lawmakers and media elites. Loretta Lynch, Obama’s corrupt attorney general who secretly met with Bill Clinton (to discuss “grandchildren” and “golf”) while Hillary was under FBI investigation, is on record encouraging anti-Trump chaos and even called for “blood.” That sort of irresponsible talk appears to green light violence and lends fuel to an already volatile situation.

The fourth tier of the anti-Trump campaign involves mass protests, sit-ins and street demonstrations.  The media elite like to portray these protests as grassroots but they are anything but. They represent a fringe minority, a cross-section of anarchists, fascists, Marxists, anti-Semites and radical feminists whose sole aim is to spread hate and sow the seeds of chaos. According to Breitbart News, many of the groups involved in organizing anti-Trump hate fests are financed by leftist billionaire George Soros through his “Open Society Foundations” organization.

One such group has scheduled a “Day without a Woman” rally for March 8. The group’s organizers represent the who’s who of the radical left but two stand out as among the worst of a rancid bunch. 

The first is Angela Davis, a former Black Panther radical, unrepentant Marxist, notorious supporter of the BDS movement and purveyor of anti-Semitic canards, including the false claim that Israel practices Apartheid against Arabs. 

During the height of the Cold War, Davis openly cavorted and collaborated with autocrats from Cuba and the Soviet Union. Her notorious brushes with law enforcement are well known. In 1970 her mug landed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. She earned that dubious distinction as a felonious fugitive in connection with her role in a bloody kidnapping-murder incident at a Marin County courtroom in California that left a judge dead and a prosecutor paralyzed for life.

The second is Rasmieh Odeh. According to published reports, this vile woman has at least nine aliases. For those unfamiliar, a summary of Odeh’s life of terror, Jew-hatred and fraud can be found here.  She was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and in 1969, helped place a bomb in a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two Jewish youth in their early 20s. She served 10 years for her role in the plot but was released in a prisoner swap. Eventually, Odeh made her way to the U.S. where she fraudulently obtained citizenship by lying about her past during the naturalization process. Her criminal case is currently pending before the federal courts. 

With malevolent organizers like that, it comes as no surprise that among the group’s litany of demands is a call for “the decolonization of Palestine” and the dismantling of “all walls, from prison walls to border walls, from Mexico to Palestine.” It is rather ironic that a feminist protest, which ostensibly seeks to advance woman’s rights, chooses a platform that delegitimizes and demonizes the only nation in the Mideast that protects women’s rights. The platform defies reason but then again, leftist anti-Semites are prone to anything but reason. Theirs is an ideology that is rooted in the same form of fascism that drives the radical right. 

If the Democratic Party has an ounce of decency left in its decayed coffers, it would unequivocally disavow the organizers of the March 8th event and repudiate their platform. Sadly and predictably, with leaders like Keith Ellison, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders – who either share the pernicious views of Davis and Odeh or are too craven to oppose them – this will not occur.  

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7 mars 2017 2 07 /03 /mars /2017 13:07

50,000 Refugees Without Minority Religion Priority is a Disaster

 
 

The diminished travel pause is out. Despite being watered down, expect the usual left-wing lawfare agents of Islamic terrorism to fight it just as hard. And expect activist judges to violate the law just as hard in blocking it. 

While it does defend the previous executive order's effort to provide aid to persecuted Christians, while claiming that it wasn't selective to Christians, it doesn't appear to include language emphasizing religious minorities.

  Executive Order 13769 did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion.  While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion.  That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities -- whoever they are and wherever they reside -- to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances.

Meanwhile it tries to hold down the number of refugees to 50,000.

Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any entries in excess of that number until such time as I determine that additional entries would be in the national interest.

50,000 is far too many. Especially without emphasizing real refugees. At best we're going to continue getting a flow of Rohingya invaders from Burma. Burma justly doesn't want them. That doesn't mean we should take an invasive settler population that Burma doesn't want. Mostly it will mean that the Syrians and Iraqis will keep on cramming in. And unless we change how we select refugees, not through the UN or the usual international agencies, that won't change. What's really needed is an effort to dismantle the infrastructure of the refugee system.

There is a mention of local involvement.

 (d)  It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees.  To that end, the Secretary of State shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

That's nice. And hopefully it leads to something. 

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