Friday, September 9, 2016

The American Military and the Specter of an Untrustworthy Commander-In-Chief - Ari Lieberman




by Ari Lieberman


A track record of failure and fabrication puts military voters on edge.




In August 1993, Hillary Clinton’s husband Bill dispatched a force of U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force commandos to war-torn Somalia in an effort to seize the Somali warlord, Mohammed Farrah Aidid. Military commanders had assessed the need for armor and air cover to carry out the dangerous mission. They requested M-1 Abrams tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, as well as AC-130 gunships but the Clinton administration obscenely denied the request placing U.S. forces in a very vulnerable situation.

On October 3, a taskforce of lightly armed U.S. forces seized a good portion of Aidid’s political and military echelon in Mogadishu as they assembled for a meeting in the capital but the operation stirred a hornet’s nest and the troops began engaging Somali militiamen in urban combat. Two Black Hawk helicopters were subsequently shot down with rocket propelled grenades. The nature and dynamic of the mission rapidly changed from a lightening operation involving quick seizure and extraction to one of protracted urban combat pitting outnumbered and outgunned U.S. forces against thousands of Somali militiamen armed to the teeth with machine guns, RPGs, mortars and recoilless rifles.

Though the Rangers and Delta Force commandos ultimately prevailed, 18 soldiers were killed (some of the bodies were mutilated), 73 were wounded and a helicopter pilot was captured. Had the request for armor and air cover been granted, there is no question that the outcome of the Battle of Mogadishu would have been vastly different and U.S. casualties would have been minimal. Adding insult to injury, Aidid’s aides, captured at great cost and sacrifice, were quickly released on orders from the political echelon.

Bill Clinton should have resigned but instead passed the buck to his loyal secretary of defense, Les Aspin, who resigned in disgrace a few months later. Bill Clinton never served in the military, never went to military school and had no concept of what it means to be a soldier and send men to battle to fight and die. Clinton was and still is a power hungry, political opportunist and nothing more. His inexcusable actions, in denying our service members the best equipment, cost lives.

Fast forward 23 years. With her husband’s backing, Hillary Clinton now seeks the same office previously occupied by her husband. Like her husband, Hillary is a political opportunist with an insatiable lust for power. Her only foreign policy “achievement” was to transform Libya into an ISIS/al-Qaida haven through short-sighted and irresponsible interventionist policies. 

Hillary also shares a more ominous resemblance to her husband. Her complacency and sheer incompetence on the days leading up to September 11, 2012, needlessly cost the lives of four American heroes, including J. Christopher Stevens, the first U.S. Ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979.

The Islamist assault on the U.S. consulate office in Benghazi on the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks was meticulously planned and well-coordinated. Requests for beefing up security at the site were either ignored or denied by Hillary’s State Department. An additional contingent of U.S. military personnel or private military contractors could have meant the difference between life and death.

Despite Clinton’s best efforts to stage-manage the Benghazi hearings (as emails from the Clinton camp suggest), the Select Committee on Benghazi released a damning report that reflected poorly on the former secretary of state’s actions before, during and after the September 11, attack. Poor intelligence and needless bureaucratic bungling prevented rapid deployment of forces to the theater.

But it was Clinton’s web of lies, spun after the Benghazi assault, that truly highlight the wretchedness of this person. As countless emails reveal, Clinton was well aware that the consulate attack was premeditated and the work of trained Muslim terrorists. But that did not reconcile well with the narrative her boss was attempting to peddle to the American people – chiefly that al-Qaida was on the run and America was winning the war on terror. So instead, she along with Ben Rhodes and Susan Rice concocted a story about how an obscure YouTube video about Mohammed was responsible for the cold-blooded murder of four Americans. Clinton though, went one step further than the other Obama stooges. She told this lie not only to the American people but also directly to the family members of the victims of the attack.

Clinton is a serial fabricator who maintains a sociopathic-like lack of empathy for anyone or anything that stands in her way. That includes the families of the victims of Benghazi.  Like her husband, Hillary Clinton’s fateful decisions cost American lives and like her husband, she shirked responsibility and failed to own up to her faults.

A recent NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll suggests that Trump leads Clinton by a whopping 19 points among current and former members of the U.S. military. That group understands what it means to be Commander-in-Chief. It requires character, honesty and a proven track record of getting the job done. These traits and characteristics are sorely lacking in Hillary Clinton.


Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264106/american-military-and-specter-untrustworthy-ari-lieberman

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Reversing Obama’s Failed Foreign Policy Course - Joseph Klein




by Joseph Klein

How CIA Director John Brennan helps make Trump’s case.

Donald Trump delivered a major speech in Philadelphia on September 7th in which he detailed his proposals for a vastly strengthened military. He wants to reverse the downward trend of the Obama years. Echoing former President Ronald Reagan, Trump said that “Peace through Strength” are the “three crucial words that should be at the center of our foreign policy.”

To fulfill that ambition, Trump intends to increase military spending by tens of billions of dollars, which would allow him to enhance the number of active troops, fighter planes and naval assets. Moreover, as commander-in-chief, he would ask his generals to come up with a plan within 30 days to defeat ISIS and would order a thorough review of the nation’s vulnerabilities to cyberattacks.

"We want to defer, avoid and prevent conflict through our unquestioned military strength," Trump said. That requires “rethinking the failed policies of the past.”

“In a Trump administration,” he added, “our actions in the Middle East will be tempered by realism. The current strategy of toppling regimes, with no plan for what to do the day after, only produces power vacuums that are filled by terrorists.”

Donald Trump is not exaggerating the utter failure of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. When President Obama began his first term in 2009. Iraq, Syria and Libya were relatively stable. Now they are failed states. The legacy left behind by the Obama administration, as Trump put it with particular focus on Hillary Clinton, “has produced only turmoil and suffering.”

CIA Director John Brennan said in an interview with the CTC Sentinel, published on September 7th, that "I don't know whether or not Syria and Iraq can be put back together again. There's been so much bloodletting, so much destruction, so many continued, seething tensions and sectarian divisions.”

Although not referring to President Obama or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by name, Brennan no doubt had them in mind when he said: “We saw with the Arab Spring, people, including here in the United States, optimistically thinking, ‘Well, if you just move out those authoritarian leaders, democracy is going to flourish, and people will welcome the opportunity to have a fully participatory political system.’ That ain’t the way it turned out.”

In a speech he delivered on May 19, 2011, Obama embraced the changes he saw coming as a result of the Arab Spring and proclaimed that “after decades of accepting the world as it is in the region, we have a chance to pursue the world as it should be.”

As Brennan said, “That ain’t the way it turned out.” The entire region is mired in deadly sectarian conflict, which has opened the door for ISIS and other terrorists to foment further violence and destruction. 

When President Obama took office, ISIS’s predecessor, al Qaeda in Iraq, was largely defeated. In a 2010 interview with then CNN host Larry King, Vice President Joe Biden was already predicting that with “90,000 American troops” coming home soon, Iraq could become one of the Obama administration’s “great achievements.”  Biden added: “You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government." 

At the end of 2011, when Obama removed all remaining U.S. troops from Iraq against military advice, he said, “we're leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people.”


Once again, to quote Brennan, “That ain’t the way it turned out.” Without a strong residual U.S. military force in place, the remnants of al Qaeda in Iraq were able to reconstitute themselves. They re-emerged from bases they had set up in Syria as the separate jihadist terrorist group, ISIS or the Islamic State. Here is how CIA Director Brennan described ISIS’s incredible growth in his interview with the CTC Sentinel:


“In some respects, they’re similar to a startup in the business world. Their numbers in Iraq were down to 600 to 800 or so after they were pummeled by the U.S. military and others. They had very limited capability. And then all of a sudden, as a result of things that were going on inside of Iraq and Syria, they regained momentum. And they grew exponentially, which then led to the separation between ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra.”

The Obama administration has waffled on Syria. Obama’s failure to follow through on his threat to use military force if Syrian President Assad’s regime were found to have used chemical weapons against its people emboldened not only the regime itself -- it emboldened the regime’s chief allies, Russia and Iran, to become more militarily involved in the conflict. ISIS and other jihadist terrorists also took advantage of what they perceived to be the weakness of a paper tiger U.S. president. Moreover, with the toppling of the Qaddafi regime in Libya and the resulting outflow of arms and jihadists to the fight in Syria, ISIS was able to expand its ranks and weaponry. 

Brennan pointed out in his interview how ISIS (which he calls ISIL) has used its headquarters base in Syria to expand its terror network worldwide. They have expanded, he said, including by “moving operatives that have experience on the battlefields of Syria and training and directing them to be part of refugee or migrant flows, or finding ways to get into countries or return to their home countries and carry out attacks.” Brennan added that “their external operations group, which is based mainly in Syria in the Raqqa area, is really trying to generate activity.” 

As for Libya itself, which was under relative control until the Obama-Clinton decision to force a regime change without any plan for the day after, Brennan said, “What Libya holds is a fair amount of ungoverned space and a lack of any type of government or rule of law that can be felt throughout the country.”

In short, President Obama’s own CIA Director John Brennan has described the horrendous consequences of Obama’s failed foreign policy in the most volatile region in the world, including the increased potential for more deadly jihadist terrorist attacks here at home. In effect, Brennan made Donald Trump’s case for him.   

Even before Trump gave his military policy speech, 88 retired generals and admirals came out with an endorsement of Trump, declaring that “the 2016 election affords the American people an urgently needed opportunity to make a long-overdue course correction in our national security posture and policy.” The letter’s authors warned that “enemies have become emboldened, sensing weakness and irresolution in Washington.”

Obama has belittled the United States on trips abroad and lectured Americans on showing more tolerance even right after lethal ISIS directed or inspired attacks on our soil. And Hillary Clinton wants to show “respect” to our enemies and “empathize with their perspective and point of view."

Donald Trump, by contrast, offered something in his speech that should be music to the ears of all Americans who believe in American exceptionalism. He said, ”Instead of an apology tour, I will proudly promote our system of government and our way of life as the best in the world – just like we did in our campaign against communism during the Cold War.” 

We cannot afford to continue along the same path as Obama-Clinton-Kerry have followed during the last eight years, for the sake of the security of our country and the future we leave to our children and our grandchildren.


Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264108/reversing-obamas-failed-foreign-policy-course-joseph-klein

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Always imperiled - Prof. Louis René Beres




by Prof. Louis René Beres

Jews, modern Israel and crimes against humanity.

Following discovery of Nazi Germany's kingdom of death at the end of World War II, the victorious allies drafted a special charter for an international military tribunal at Nuremberg.[1] Concluded on August 8, 1945, this historic document first defined "crimes against humanity"[2] as egregious violations designed to eradicate entire groups of people. Several years later, on December 9, 1948, the criminalization of these notably grievous crimes was further codified in a treaty known as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.[3]
 
This international legal agreement made punishable not only actual genocide, but also "conspiracy to commit genocide;" "direct and public incitement to commit genocide;" "attempt to commit genocide;" and "complicity in genocide."

How soon we forget. Somehow - in the midst of the latest iterations of a Middle East "peace process" - a key point has been generally overlooked. This point is that the still-ongoing objective of various Arab/Islamic states and Islamic movements remains fully identical to the earlier goal of Hitler's "Final Solution."

For much of the Arab/Islamic world, annihilation of "The Jews" also remains a pretext for ritual celebration. It is true, of course, that this contemplated genocide is now directed against the institutionalized state of the Jews - the State of Israel, which represents the individual Jew in macrocosm - but the core exterminatory motives are unchanged. Moreover, under binding international law, war and genocide are not mutually exclusive.[4] Any Arab/Islamic war to "liquidate the Zionist entity" would be jurisprudentially indistinguishable from what happened to the Jewish People, before and during the Second World War.

In the eyes of the Arab/Islamic world, Israel is often the newest face of a very old hatred. Whatever enemy passions were once directed "only" against flesh-and-blood individuals can now be focused upon Jews who are bound together in a Jewish "entity." In essence, "The more things change," so goes the well-worn French expression, "the more they remain the same."
Since 1948, unhidden plans for extermination of the Jewish State have been animated by age-old fanaticisms. Among pertinent elements of the Arab/Islamic world, issues of land and politics remain a cover for certain carefully orchestrated convulsions of outrage. These enemies of Israel do not read Clausewitz;[5] rather, they are more comfortable with Mein Kampf.

They do not really "think" about Israel. On this more visceral subject, they erupt.

The political issues of territory and "negotiations" concerning Israel are almost always subterfuge. For the most part, therefore, war and terror against Israel are now little more than a newer and more efficient means to commit crimes against humanity. Should Iran or any Arab state or movement be permitted to acquire nuclear or even certain biological weapons, the plausible result to Israel could well be another Jewish genocide.     

Beginning in 1938, small groups of predominantly Jewish scientists from Central Europe living in the United States began to express well-founded fears that Nazi Germany could build nuclear weapons. About two years after Albert Einstein transmitted these unique apprehensions to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his now-famous letter of August 1939, the United States launched the Manhattan Project. In part, at least, this unprecedented effort was the result of a perceived danger, by Jewish émigrés, of an existential threat to the then widely dispersed European Jewish communities.

Today, it is the moral and legal responsibility of all "civilized nations" to recognize another existential peril. This time the genocidal danger is posed to the already-ingathered Jewish population of the State of Israel. Should it ever have to face the prospect of a nuclear Iran, or indeed of any Arab state or movement with atomic or certain biological weapons, Israel might have no rational choice but to act preemptively. After all, this is exactly what Prime Minister Menachem Begin undertook on June 7, 1981, when Israel's Operation Opera successfully destroyed Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor.[6]

Operation Opera, best described under international law as a permissible act of "anticipatory self-defense,"[7] was a tangible application of the "Begin Doctrine." This doctrine clearly affirmed Israel's policy to deny certain weapons of mass destruction to particular enemy states. It was drawn directly from Prime Minister Begin's awareness that the developing nuclear threat then facing Israel was merely a new form of an old cry - that is, to "slaughter the Jews."

In principle, at least, the Begin Doctrine ought to be reinvigorated, not sotto voce, but expressly, "out loud." Now, as during the Holocaust, Jews face a threat of mass murder, only this time as citizens of the very state created specifically to prevent such a threat. Today, the prospective genocidal danger to Jews is not that nuclear weapons could be used by a murderous state against assorted other states in order to gather or acquire physical custody over individual Jewish victims. Instead, it stems from intentions toward that single Jewish state which was re-created precisely for the eternal protection of all Jewish bodies.[8]

In a staggering but incontrovertible irony, the threat of a nuclear genocide against Jews affects only those Jews who live in the Jewish State. Logistically, with the concentration of more than six million Jews within a country that is half the size of Lake Michigan, genocide has effectively become a much simpler operational task. This means that the Zionist solution to what Herzl called the "Jewish Problem" could sometime actually make easier what Hitler had infamously called the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question."

There are remedies, of course; most urgent and prospectively important are those steps taken to enhance and maintain Israel's plans for conventional and unconventional deterrence.[9] To be sure, Israel should also prepare for assorted forms of war-fighting,[10] but, optimally, it must always be preferable to survive without any actual military engagements. In the seemingly timeless words of the ancient Chinese strategist, Sun-Tzu, "Subjugating the enemy's army without fighting is the true pinnacle of excellence."[11]

Routinely, Israel comes under international pressure to dismantle and renounce its still undeclared nuclear weapons capacity. In the name of "fairness," dozens of countries, including virtually all Arab/Islamic states, and certain others in "civilized Europe," insistently demand that Washington push Israel to accept a regional "nuclear weapon free-zone." Significantly, however, any future Israeli move to comply with such generally contrived pressures could substantially accelerate Israel's apocalyptic disappearance.

International law is not a suicide pact. From the standpoint of criminal intent, Israel cannot be properly compared to various Arab and other Islamic states whose only rationale for weapons of mass destruction is manifest aggression and/or total war.[12] It is certain, moreover, that Israel's still undeclared nuclear weapons exist only for national survival and self-protection, and that these weapons - which, accordingly, have never been acknowledged, let alone flaunted or brandished - would be used only in a distinctly last-resort reprisal, and only for reasons of  literal survival.[13]

The employment of nuclear weapons for national survival could be entirely permissible in those particular circumstances that were identified by the International Court of Justice on July 8, 1996. In that Advisory Opinion ("The Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons"), the Court ruled as follows: "The threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law. However, in view of the current state of international law, and of the elements of fact at its disposal, the Court cannot conclude definitively whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defense, in which the very survival of a State would be at stake."

Faced with the newest form of organized Jewish extinction, Israel's leaders should soon remind the world - explicitly, and not sotto voce - that the "Begin Doctrine" remains fully consistent with the established right of anticipatory self-defense under international law. Following such an appropriate jurisprudential reminder, it must then make prompt tactical preparations to prevent a looming Jewish genocide by implementing a number of established military means, including, inter alia, comprehensive plans for the preemptive destruction of various enemy nuclear and/or prospectively nuclear targets and infrastructures. Other coordinated and corollary Israeli efforts must simultaneously be directed at particular regime targets, ranging from pertinent national leadership elites, to those individual scientists in different parts of the globe who recognizably fashion or prepare to fashion nuclear weapons for certain genocidal purposes.       

The defensive killing of enemy scientists making mega-weapons for dangerous regimes is not an unprecedented practice by Israel or the United States. Nor, by any means, is it necessarily a violation of international law.[14] Of course, very similar Israeli/American tactics of "targeted killing" must remain in place against selected terrorist leaders, and should be extended to any such leaders with discernible plans to create nuclear (or certain biological) weapons of mass destruction.        

During World War II, a number of Arab leaders visited Berlin to meet with Hitler. There, they enthusiastically offered their own armed forces to extend the European annihilation of Jews to portions of the Islamic Middle East. At that time the Allies did everything possible to prevent the wartime nuclearization of Germany and, very successfully, at least for that moment, to create an atomic monopoly for the United States.

Today, aware that it cannot rationally permit a single Arab state or movement or Iran to ever acquire atomic weapons of mass destruction, Israel must prepare to do whatever is needed to prevent another Jewish genocide. This is now a genuinely sacred obligation, not only to Israel's increasingly imperiled population, but also to the sacred memory of those murdered Six Million who must now sleep in the dust.[15]

"We are often asked," said the late Italian Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor, Primo Levi, in The Drowned and the Saved, "as if our past conferred a prophetic ability upon us, whether Auschwitz will return." To answer such a galvanizing question, it is first necessary to understand that an "Auschwitz return" would not resemble its original form. Instead, it would take the shape of certain calculated enemy attacks upon Israel using nuclear or nuclear and biological weapons. It follows that for Jews to best guard against any future crimes against humanity must mean, above all else, to prevent wars of genocidal intent being launched against the State of Israel.

-----------
Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) was born in Zürich, Switzerland, at the end of World War II. His Austrian-Jewish grandparents were murdered at the SS-killing grounds in Riga, Latvia. Professor Beres is the author of many books and articles dealing with genocide and crimes against humanity, and also on Israel's nuclear strategy. His twelfth and latest book is Surviving amid Chaos: Israel's Nuclear Strategy https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781442253254/Surviving-Amid-Chaos-Israels-Nuclear-Strategy

Sources:
[1] See Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Concluded at London, 8 August 1945, Entered into Force, 8 August 1945, 82 U.N.T.S. 279. 
[2] See Charter, supra, Article 6 (c): CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.
[3] See Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Concluded at New York, 9 December 1948. Entered into force, 12 January 1951. 78 U.N.T.S. 277.
[4] According to Articles II and III of the Genocide Convention, genocide includes any of several listed acts "committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such." So long as Israel is recognized as the institutionalized expression of the Jewish People, any acts of war intended to destroy the Jewish State would be ipso facto genocidal.
[5] See, especially, Carl von Clausewitz, On War (1832).
[6] See Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Israel's Strike Against the Iraqi Nuclear Reactor 7 June 1981, a collection of original articles and lectures by Yitzhak Shamir, Rafael Eitan, David Ivri, Yaakov Amidror, Yuval Ne'eman, Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto, and Louis René Beres. See also: Louis René Beres and COL. (IDF/ret.) Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto, "Reconsidering Israel's Destruction of Iraq's Osiraq Nuclear Reactor," 9 Temple International and Comparative Law Journal, 437 (1995).
[7] For extensive treatment of this concept under international law, see new book, by this author, Louis René Beres, Surviving amid Chaos: Israel's Nuclear Strategy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2916), especially Chapter 5, "Convergences of Law and Strategy."
[8] In this connection, there are designated Torah concepts that describe a collective Israeli soul, a "Knesset Yisrael," that is made manifest by the many millions of bodies revealed in space and time as individual Jews. For this particular philosophic insight, I am indebted to Yehuda HaKohen, Parshat Shoftim (September 5, 2016).
[9] Such steps could fully support the authoritative expectations of international law. Always, the adequacy of international law in protecting individual states must depend upon more than formal treaties, customs, and general principles. This position on adequacy flows logically from the still-decentralized or "Westphalian" structure of international law. The term "Westphalian" derives from the Peace of Westphalia, which concluded the Thirty Years War in 1648, and consecrated the still-extant balance-of-power world of international relations.
[10] Regarding expected consequences of nuclear war fighting, see, by this author: Louis René Beres, Apocalypse: Nuclear Catastrophe in World Politics (1980); Mimicking Sisyphus: America's Countervailing Nuclear Strategy (1983); Reason and Realpolitik: U.S. Foreign Policy and World Order (1984); Security or Armageddon: Israel's Nuclear Strategy (1986); and Surviving amid Chaos: Israel's Nuclear Strategy (2016).
[11] See The Art of War, Chapter 3, "Planning Offensives." See also, by this author: Louis René Beres, "Lessons for Israel from Ancient Chinese Military Thought: Facing Iranian Nuclearization with Sun-Tzu," Harvard National Security Journal, Harvard Law School, October 24, 2013.
[12] On the crime of aggression under international law, see: Resolution on the Definition of Aggression, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Dec. 14, 1974.
[13] On Israel's "bomb-in-the-basement," see, Louis René Beres, "Looking Ahead: Revising Israel's Nuclear Ambiguity in the Middle East," Herzliya Conference Policy Paper, Herzliya Conference, March 11-14, 2013 (IDC, Herzliya, Israel).
[14] Assessments of the lawfulness of assassination or targeted killing as expressive of anticipatory self defense must always include careful comparisons with all alternative forms of preemption.  If the perceived alternatives to assassination were all seen as larger-scale resorts to force taking the form of defensive military strikes, a utilitarian or "balance-of-harms" standard could readily favor assassination.
[15] Here, again, Torah teachings and international law plainly reinforce each other. Ahavat Yisrael, or "love of Israel," requires a Jewish leader not only to defend his people against ongoing harms, but also to act, where necessary, in anticipation of certain security threats, especially where those threats would reach presumptively existential levels. An obvious example today would be the continuing threat of a nuclear Iran, although it is markedly less obvious that any residual Israeli resort to "anticipatory self-defense" could still be successful.


Prof. Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) was born in Zürich, Switzerland, at the end of World War II. His Austrian-Jewish grandparents were murdered at the SS-killing grounds in Riga, Latvia. Professor Beres is the author of many books and articles dealing with genocide and crimes against humanity, and also on Israel's nuclear strategy. His twelfth and latest book is Surviving amid Chaos: Israel's Nuclear Strategy https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781442253254/Surviving-Amid-Chaos-Israels-Nuclear-Strategy

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/19459

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

France: On Its Way to Being a Jew-Free Nation? - Robbie Travers




by Robbie Travers

When chants of "Death to the Jews," ring out publicly, is it surprising that people might actually begin to think that killing Jews is just fine?

  • Incitement to murder Jews was described by the French press as "mild mannered".
  • In 2014, supposed anti-Israel protesters attacked a Paris synagogue and trapped the congregants inside. The attackers' chants apparently included "Death to the Jews," "Murderous Israel," and "One Jew, Some Jews, All Jews are Terrorists."
  • The terrorist attacks on Jews in France are the culmination of years of Jew-hatred tolerated with little official criticism.
  • With ISIS and Hamas banners and flags flying, groups in Paris pledged the genocide of the Jews with impunity. When chants of "Death to the Jews," ring out publicly, is it surprising that people might actually begin to think that killing Jews is just fine?
During the past 15 years, it is estimated that tens of thousands of Jews have fled France.

Of these, approximately 40,000 have fled to Israel, according to Israeli figures. Many thousands of others have fled to Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. France is increasingly becoming a nation in which it is no longer safe to be openly Jewish.

To explain why so many Jews are leaving Europe, it helps to understand the increasingly toxic context developing in France for Jews.

Synagogues and Jewish schools across France are regularly guarded by police officers and soldiers. Jews in Europe see their holy sites and places of worship under threat.

In December 2015, 14 Jews were poisoned by a toxic substance which had been smeared on to the keypad to access a Paris synagogue. No one was killed by the poison, but "25 firemen rushed to the synagogue, where they treated congregants and traced their condition to the daubed lock."

Another Paris synagogue was vandalized and a window smashed. Synagogues seem to be one of the targets in a new wave of anti-Semitism rising across France and Europe.

On the way to a synagogue, a 13-year-old boy was called a "dirty Jew" and then seriously assaulted. The attackers are said to have attacked the boy because of he wore a skullcap. Only 71 years after the end of one of the darkest periods of European history, after which we pledged "never again," it seems to have become open season to hate and persecute Jews.

The terrorist attacks on Jews in France are the culmination of years of Jew-hatred tolerated with little official criticism. In 2014, supposed anti-Israel protesters attacked a Paris synagogue and trapped the congregants inside. The attackers' chants apparently included "Death to the Jews," "Murderous Israel," and "One Jew, Some Jews, All Jews are Terrorists."

It seems people who openly call for hatred against Jews, to the point of murder, can now claim to be just "anti-Israel," rather than anti-Semitic. Incitement to murder Jews was described by the French press as "mild mannered". When talk of racial murder is dismissed in such a way, is it any wonder that radical clerics continue to preach vicious dehumanising hatred that culminates in violence?

If the media were more accurate, it would describe these "anti-Israeli" protesters as "anti-Semitic" and "inciters of violence and genocide."

When swastikas are painted in one Paris' largest squares by those claiming to oppose Israel, and ISIS and Hamas banners and flags are flying, and groups pledge the genocide of the Jews with impunity, is it any wonder that individuals might support these groups? When chants of "Death to the Jews," ring out publicly, is it surprising that people might actually begin to think that killing Jews is just fine?

Both far-right Islamists and neo-Nazis joined forces in Paris during a "Day of Rage." More than 17,000 of them marched, chanting "Jew, France is not for you." Is it surprising that Jews are flee the country in increasing numbers?

When Islamists chant outside a central Paris synagogue, "Hitler was right," whilst some of his victims still walk this earth, is it surprising people in French society may start to emulate him, or at least aspire to?

Synagogues are not the only institutions facing serious threats. Jewish schools across France are under heavy guard by police and soldiers.

French soldiers guard a Jewish school in Strasbourg, February 2015. (Image source: Claude Truong-Ngoc/Wikimedia Commons)

The tragedy is that we have allowed French and European societies to need these guards by tolerating those promoting injustice, prejudice and hatred.

Paul Fitoussi, principal of the Lucien de Hirsch Jewish school in Paris, summarises why France has become so toxic for Jews:
"People nowadays think it is dangerous to be Jewish in France because there was a series of events: The kidnapping and murder of Ilan Halimi ten years ago, the terror attack at the Jewish school in Toulouse four years ago, the stabbings in Marseille, last year's attack at Hyper Cacher market - there is a problem. For the French, worrying about security issues is new to them. I talk to the police but they do not know what to do. They brought armed soldiers to the schools, but I know that in the long term this is not a solution."
There seems to be a common thread running throughout the incidences above and attacks on Jews today. In the Ilan Halimi case, the victim was targeted on the basis of his race, and the perception that being a Jew made him wealthy. A similar attack was noted by a fifth-grader at the Lucien de Hirsh school. He said his attackers, foreign in origin, "asked if I was Jewish, I said yes, they said that the Jews are full of money, and if I did not give them my coat, they will kill me." It seems that stereotypes of Jewish wealth perpetuated often by Islamists and others now seem commonplace in French society, and individuals are increasingly threatened with murder, robbery and extortion.

Not even public transportation is safe for Jews; in December, 2015, a man on a train in Paris verbally abused a group of Jews, stating that he wished to kill them. "If only I had a grenade here," he said, "how do you call it, a fragmentation grenade, I would blow up this wagon with the f**king Jewish bastards."

There has also been, since 2000, a troublingly large increase in the number of violent anti-Semitic attacks by Muslims in France. Multiple official figures have illustrated that in the last 20 years, the number of violent anti-Semitic acts has tripled. In France in 2014, there were 851 recorded anti-Semitic incidents, more than doubling the total from 2013.

Jews may represent less than 1% of France's expanding and diverse population, but they are the victim of 40%-50% of France's recorded racist attacks.

Jews are only the start of where Islamists begin to target people to whose existence they seem to object. Next, Islamists come for the LGBT, as seen in the Orlando shooting and with ISIS throwing gay people off buildings, and of course Christians, as we have seen in slaughtered in just one small example on a Libyan beach; and most frequently other Muslims, the majority victim of Islamists. Evidently no one is safe, and that includes all of us.

Perhaps it is best to finish on a note inspired from the work of Martin Niemöller (1892-1984), a prominent Lutheran pastor and scathing critic of Adolf Hitler. Consequently, Niemöller spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, but had the fortune to survive.

His timeless poem does not need much transposing:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Robbie Travers, a political commentator and consultant, is Executive Director of Agora, former media manager at the Human Security Centre, and a law student at the University of Edinburgh.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8856/france-jews

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Can the GOP stop Obama's internet giveaway? - Rick Moran




by Rick Moran

GOP lawmakers have long warned that the administration's plan to relinquish its authority over ICANN -- could give authoritarian countries like China and Russia an opening to make an online power grab

As the October 1 deadline approaches for the us to turn over control of ICANN, the domain name non profit, to the international community, several congressional Republicans are vowing to fight the move because they say it's dangerous and premature.

Politico:
GOP lawmakers have long warned that the administration's plan to relinquish its authority over ICANN, the global nonprofit that manages the internet's domain name system, could give authoritarian countries like China and Russia an opening to make an online power grab. Now, as the actual date of the transition approaches — Oct. 1 — Republicans are looking at throwing up new obstacles.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is pledging to make the issue his primary focus this month, beginning with a floor speech on Thursday, in which he's expected to rail against the Obama administration's strategy. Cruz has already launched a website claiming the president is “giving away the internet," complete with a spinning countdown clock against a black background. And he's scheduled a hearing of the Senate Judiciary oversight subcommittee he chairs next week to “investigate the possible dangers” of the plan.
Meanwhile, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said Wednesday that language to delay the transition could be included in the continuing resolution to fund the government past this month. And House Republicans are considering their options in the coming appropriations bill, a GOP aide confirmed this week.
“I don’t think the foundation has been appropriately laid for this,” Thune said in an interview. “Some members are adamantly opposed to transition, period, and a lot of them just think now is not the time, and it really just hasn’t been vetted, and it’s not ready yet.”
Can Republicans succeed in stopping the transfer? They can definitely delay it - perhaps for a couple of years - but the momentum for international control of the internet is very strong. And tech companies are fully supportive of the giveaway. Most of them have already made their peace with the dictators and willingly go along with the censorship. 

But a broader concern has to be is the international community ready for the responsibility?  ICANN has not demonstrated the independence necessary to resist individual countries from imposing their will on the internet. The danger is that ICANN will become a tool of powerful nations like China and Russia, which would threaten internet freedom.

Obama refuses to follow the simple, time tested adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." This transfer is being done to kow tow to Arabs, the Russians, and Chinese who have their own ideas of what "internet freedom" means and it's not what our idea of the concept is.


Rick Moran

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/09/can_the_gop_stop_obamas_internet_giveaway.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Obama’s Iranian Cash Laundromat - Rachel Ehrenfeld




by Rachel Ehrenfeld

The President who initiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actionaka The Iran Deal, is a sophisticated politician who deliberately and elaborately misled the American people about his concessions to the mullahs

I was wrong! In early 2013, my article “The American Babe In The Iranian Wood,” noted, “President Obama and his administration’s incomprehensible handling of Iran, as clueless, overconfident and counterproductive; not a good recipe for dealing with a sophisticated and determined adversary.”  

As it turned out, and as every new expose of yet another secret deal shows, President Obama was anything but a clueless Babe.  The President who initiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actionaka The Iran Deal, is a sophisticated politician who deliberately and elaborately misled the American people about his concessions to the mullahs, accommodating their nuclear agenda and giving them some $150 billions, purportedly to help strengthen their economy. All the while acknowledging that “some” of that money will pay for the regime’s military expansion and even to fund their terrorist activities.  Why was the U.S. President so keen on building up his nation’s sworn enemy’s nuclear capabilities? What was his motive in empowering the mullahs and fueling Iran’s intervention in and destabilization of the Middle East and beyond? 

Also, where were the United States’ partners to the Iran Deal? The United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China -- plus Germany, and the European Union (EU) participated in the negotiations and signed on. Why? 

While the prospect of opening the Iranian market to business was tempting, why would any country, especially with geographic proximity to Iran, be interested in facilitating the belligerent Islamic Republic’s development of nuclear weapons? Has greed overcome existential fear? Or perhaps by the time the deal was announced Iran’s uranium enrichment program was close to or already a fait accompli. In that case, why not partake in the Obama administration’s magic show and reap real profits afterward?   Perhaps this can explain why most of the murky details were not leaked.  

In the years leading up to the agreement, the President never failed to threaten the tightening of sanctions on Iran. But at least since early 2013, Iran has received billions of dollars in sanctions relief as incentives to attend negotiations with the United States and others in Geneva; this despite the fact that from March 2012, until January 2016, when the U.S. lifted the sanctions, Iranian banks had no access to the Belgium-based SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) system. So how did the regime access the billions of dollars it was given? Were those payments also sent in bundled cash of non-U.S. currencies on chartered flights, under cover of darkness, as the administration’s $400 million ransom?  

The President not only denied the cash ransom delivery to Iran, but went on to claim: “The reason that we had to give the cash is precisely because we were so strict in maintaining sanctions, and we do not have a banking relationship with Iran that we couldn’t send them a check and we could not wire the money.” Thus it was not surprising to hear that additional $1.3 billion in settlement were sent in a similar manner to Iran.

The news nixed the provisions of a new congressional Republicans’ bill to stop further settlement payments. And for PR purposes, the proposed bill also demands that Iran “returns the $1.7 billion to the U.S. and pays the American terrorism victims.” Surely no one expects that to happen.

Take for example the payments paid by the Administration to Iran for transferring goods to and from Afghanistan through the Iranian Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas, since early 2013. That’s when the Administration decided to ignore the sanctions and instead of shipping the goods through Pakistan, it chose the Iranian port. This became such a lucrative business that Iran has opened another port on the Gulf of Oman at Chabahar to further facilitate transshipment through Iran. How did Iran access the U.S. payments? 

Soon after the Iran deal was announced, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s began complaining that Iran’s banks had difficulties accessing international markets because some sanctions were not lifted  - due to its sponsorship of international terrorism.  In response, the Obama Administration publicly chose to circumvent U.S. the sanctions and its anti-money laundering laws to help Iran’s access to the international banking system.

The U.S. has strict federal Anti-Money Laundering laws, requiring “banks and certain other financial institutions, which tend to have extra-territorial effect, through requirements for US banks to control their relationships with correspondent and shell banks to prevent money laundering.” Nonetheless, the Administration publicly suggested allowing Iran “access to U.S. dollars through offshore clearinghouses.”  Was this a new arrangement or the first the public heard about such an arrangement?  

What we already know is enough to cause major concerns. But will we ever find out how much money was Iran given? Probably not. We only hope to not find out the hard way what it was given for.


Rachel Ehrenfeld

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/09/obamas_iranian_cash_laundromat.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Palestinians: "Women are Witches" - Khaled Abu Toameh




by Khaled Abu Toameh

This is stuff fed to Palestinian schoolchildren: lies about history, lies about geography, and now lies about Palestinian women.

  • The offensive references to women, who are depicted as witches and demons in Palestinian school textbooks, should not come as a surprise. Recently, it was revealed here that several Palestinian lists contesting the October 8 local elections have replaced the names and photos of their female candidates with images of roses and pigeons.
  • "This is completely unacceptable because it presents women as the cause for all disputes and evil in Palestinian society." — Lubna Al-Ashkar of the Women's Technical Affairs Committee.
  • "This will create a negative image of women in the midst of our children -- one that will be difficult to change in the future." — Amal Khraisheh, chairwoman of the Palestinian Working Woman Society.
  • It is true that women as witches is a novel defamation for President Mahmoud Abbas and his crew. Yet Palestinian Authority defamation of others, including Israel, is far from new. This is stuff fed to Palestinian schoolchildren: lies about history, lies about geography, and now lies about Palestinian women.

Palestinian schoolchildren who returned to their schools last week are being taught that women are witches and Tel Aviv is an Arab city. They are also being exposed to maps that ignore Israel's existence.

Despite all Palestinian Authority (PA) claims to the contrary, then, the new textbooks hardly promote peace and coexistence between Palestinians and Israel.

A new school curriculum published by the PA last week has drawn sharp criticism from many Palestinians, who say the textbooks demonize women and contain "factual and historical" errors.

The controversial version of the curriculum for grades 1-4 was launched by PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah during a ceremony in Ramallah, on the eve of beginning of the new school year.

Within hours, Palestinians, particularly female activists, voiced resentment over the new curriculum and called on the PA leadership to remove it immediately. Some Palestinians denounced the curriculum, which was drafted by a team of Palestinian educational experts, as a "scandal" and a "distortion of facts." They said that a curriculum full of errors and "distortions of facts" was a guaranteed recipe for raising a new generation of illiterate and misinformed Palestinians.

PA officials, arguing that the new curriculum was an experimental one and is open for amendments and development, have promised to make corrections in the textbooks.

So what exactly is it that enraged the critics about the new textbooks, prompting such sarcasm concerning the education process in Palestinian schools?

A map in one of the textbooks refers to the West Bank city of Ramallah as the "center of Palestine," while Jerusalem is referred to as a city that is located south of Ramallah.

Critics argue that this terminology turns Ramallah, the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority leadership and government, into the de facto capital of the Palestinians. This, they add, undermines the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. "Why has Jerusalem been marginalized in the new textbooks?" critics asked. "This is indeed disgraceful!"

Another error in the textbooks relocates the interior West Bank city of Bethlehem to the coast of the Gaza Strip. "Bethlehem now has its own beach," was one of many sarcastic remarks made by furious Palestinians who took to social media to condemn the new curriculum. A Palestinian from Hebron commented: "The residents of Hebron are also demanding that our Ministry of Education give us a beach like the one they gave Bethlehem."

The new textbooks are also being criticized for referring to Tel Aviv in a map of "Palestine" that does not mention Israel. The map refers to Tel Aviv by its Arabic name, Tal Al-Rabi'a. Critics argue that it is a mistake to refer to Tel Aviv by its Arabic name because this is an Israeli city that was established "on the ruins of Arab villages." They claim that Tel Aviv is a modern name that "is not linked to the history of Palestine." The map of "Palestine" in the textbooks extends from the city of Safed in the north to Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

But all this is nothing compared to the demonization of women, who are depicted in first- and second-grade Islamic Education textbooks as witches and sorceresses -- and this is really catching flak.

One image features a witch under the Quran verse that reads: "I seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the accursed." Another image of a witch is accompanied by a verse from the Quran that refers to the "evil of malignant witchcraft."

Critics say that associating women with witchcraft is extremely disrespectful and offensive towards Palestinian women.

"Children in grades 1 and 2 are being taught that women are witches or hags," they protested. "The lesson they are being taught is that the first half of society is Muslim, while the second half is infidel."

Palestinian female activists expressed outrage over the depiction of women as witches and sorceresses, saying this would consolidate the negative stereotyping of women the eyes of children.

"Using women in this manner harms their image... and is an insult to their sacrifices," remarked Lubna Al-Ashkar of the Women's Technical Affairs Committee (WATC), a group that was established in 1992 to ensure women's participation and inclusion of their issues in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. "This is completely unacceptable because it presents women as the cause for all disputes and evil in Palestinian society. Witchcraft and sorcery are not restricted to women alone, and we call on the Ministry of Education to quickly amend the images."

Amal Khraisheh, chairwoman of the Palestinian Working Woman Society, a nongovernmental organization aiming for gender equality and the eradication of all forms of discrimination against Palestinian women, also lashed out at the offensive depiction of women in the textbooks. She said that the "atypical" images featuring women as witches and sorceresses "enhance the masculine culture about the status of women in society and obliterate the sturdy and developmental womanly presence by limiting it to sorcery and witchcraft."

Khraisheh pointed a finger at the "Palestinian political system" and the Palestinian Legislative Council (the elected parliament, which has been paralyzed since 2007 because of the power struggle between Fatah and Hamas) for the "illogical mistakes" in the new school curriculum. She said that the absence of supervision over the performance of the Palestinian Authority government and its various bodies, especially the Ministry of Education, has done injustice to Palestinian women and distorted their image in the eyes of children. "This will create a negative image of women in the midst of our children -- one that will be difficult to change in the future," she cautioned. "We will do our utmost to change this negative impression of women."

Ironically, the enraged women and other critics have received support from an unexpected party: a senior official with the PA's Ministry of Wakf and Religious Affairs, Majed Sakr. He explained that the offensive images of women and associating them with sin, witchcraft and sorcery is "unacceptable" in Islam. He called for conducting a renewed study of the textbooks to correct mistakes and false perceptions, as well as any typos.

The offensive references to women, who are depicted as witches and demons, should not come as a surprise to women's groups and human rights organizations. Recently, it was revealed here that several Palestinian lists contesting the October 8 local elections have replaced the names and photos of their female candidates with images of roses and pigeons. The female candidates are referred to as the "wife of" and "sister."

And so, the PA leadership in Ramallah is again caught with its pants down. It is true that women as witches is a novel defamation for Abbas and his crew. Yet PA defamation of others, including Israel, is far from new. This is stuff fed to Palestinian schoolchildren: lies about history, lies about geography, and now lies about Palestinian women.


Women as witches is a novel defamation for President Mahmoud Abbas and his crew. Yet Palestinian Authority defamation of others, including Israel, is far from new. Left: A depiction of a witch, from a new Palestinian Authority school textbook. Right: A depiction of a Jew as a demon, from a 2013 posting on the Fatah Facebook page.
Women as witches is disturbing indeed. Perhaps most disturbing of all, however, is the continued Palestinian blindness to the fact that demonizing others is a deadly boomerang that will turn -- and already is turning -- back to cut off its very own head.

  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter
Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8889/palestinians-women-witches

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.