Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Netanyahu catches Obama in Iran-nuclear flip-flop - Herb Keinon

by Herb Keinon

PM points out elements "apparently" in nuclear deal that Obama said last year are things that Iran does not need in order to have a peaceful program.

 Obama Netanyahu

Obama and Netanyahu. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pre-election flip flop on a two state solution, which he later walked-back, will pale in comparison to a US presidential zig-zag if Netanyahu reported accurately to the Knesset on Tuesday on what will be in the nuclear accord being negotiated in Lausanne.

“The biggest threat to our security and our future was and remains Iran's attempts to arm with nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said 

at the ceremonial opening of the 20th Knesset just hours before the self-imposed deadline for reaching a framework deal between the world powers and Iran.

“The agreement being put together in Lausanne paves the way for that result. Apparently it will leave in Iran's hands underground facilities, the [heavy-water] reactor at Arak, advanced centrifuges. All those things that only a few months ago we were told, rightfully so, that they were not vital to a peaceful nuclear program.”

It was US President Barack Obama who said that each of those elements was not needed for a peaceful program.

Obama, during a question-and answer session at the Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution in Washington in December 2012, said the following:

“In terms of specifics, we know that they don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordow in order to have a peaceful nuclear program.

“They certainly don’t need a heavy-water reactor at Arak in order to have a peaceful nuclear program.  They don’t need some of the advanced centrifuges that they currently possess in order to have a limited, peaceful nuclear program,” Obama said at the time.

Netanyahu chose his words carefully, saying these elements will “apparently” be in the agreement, since the details of the deal are still being worked out, and have not been released.

Herb Keinon


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

Obama wants to turn America against Israel - Ed Lasky

by Ed Lasky

His plan to pursue policies inimical to the America-Israel relationship was clear form the earliest days of his presidency. In July, 2009, he had Jewish leaders at the White House, reportedly telling them that he sought to put “daylight” between America and Israel. There has been a lot of coverage over his treatment of Israel over the last few years

Barack Obama wants to fundamentally transform something besides America.

As most informed Americans know by now, Barack Obama is a man with grandiose visions of himself.

According to Barack Obama, President Obama’s accomplishments have vaulted him into the pantheon of the greats: Lincoln, Roosevelt and Johnson. His nomination victory speech marked the moment “when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal” according to, once again, Barack Obama. He was a better political director than his political director and a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, reported…Barack Obama. The sense of grandiosity is dangerous in any president as is the view that a president can do whatever he wants -- the conception of the presidency as held by …you guessed it…Barack Obama. When Barack Obama declared he yearned to go full Bulworth in his second term when he would no longer be on the ballot, pundits pondered how he would wield his power.

One primary goal has become increasingly apparent. He wants to fundamentally transform America’s feelings towards and support of Israel, one of our most reliable and key allies. He has been doing so in ways that should offend every America, because the methods he has used are contrary to our best and most honored traditions.

When questions first arose regarding his controversial relationship with the anti-American, anti-white, and anti-Semitic Jeremiah Wright (whom he called his “moral compass” and “political mentor”), the media were eager to dismiss allegations that he shared -- or even heard Wright express -- such beliefs. This was so despite Barack Obama having previously said he attended almost every sermon Wright gave; despite having his daughters baptized by Wright; despite giving the bulk of his charitable donations to Wright’s church; despite borrowing one of Wright’s favorite phrases, (not “God Damn America” and not any of the many anti-Israel tropes) “Audacity of Hope,” for the title of one of his books; and despite approvingly quoting Wright’s “white man’s greed runs a world in need” in the same book.  (A sampling of Wright’s  anti-Israel hits be found in Barack Obama and Israel.)  Among a raft of other screeds, Wright complained that America was too close to Israel.  Later, Wright’s anti-Semitism became clearer when he blasted “them Jews” for keeping him from talking with Obama once he became president.  The New York Times quoted Wright as predicting that if more people knew about his closeness to Barack Obama and his own views, "a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell." 

Now why would that be?  Perhaps he thought the media might pick up on Wright’s close friendship with Louis Farrakhan, who said Hitler was a great man and Judaism was a gutter religion. Or the fact that the two of them went on a fundraising mission to seek money from Libyan dictator, terror-supporting Muammar Gaddafi.  Or that Wright decided to bestow an award on Farrakhan. His church’s magazine also published anti-Semitic screeds from Hamas leadership. Perhaps that was the reason that Barack Obama told a Palestinian activist in Chicago that he had to tone down his views towards Israel for campaign reasons and his campaign joined with a compliant media to obscure this history and his relationship with Wright and to attack the messengers who wanted to make these facts more transparent.

His plan to pursue policies inimical to the America-Israel relationship was clear form the earliest days of his presidency. In July, 2009, he had Jewish leaders at the White House, reportedly telling them that he sought to put “daylight” between America and Israel. There has been a lot of coverage over his treatment of Israel over the last few years (a chronology of those actions can be found here and another treatment can be found here).

The Democratic Party has been moving away from support for Israel for years. This has been proven by poll after poll regarding the party affiliation of those who sympathize and support Israel. There was a visual manifestation of this reality three years ago.  During the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama had maneuvered through his minions to remove from the plank longstanding support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Reacting to criticism from the Republican Party, efforts were made to restore the language. Pandemonium ensued, since many delegates objected to the restoration, and made their anger known. Other changes were made that escaped the radar screen but signaled diminished support for Israel by Democrats. However, Obama is acting as an accelerant; as president he has demanded all Democrats support his anti-Israel policies, pulling them farther away from supporting America’s one true ally in the region as he has led the liberal breakup with Israel. Will Democrats continue to be AWOL when it comes to defending Israel from their president?

However his plan to turn other Americans against Israel has received scant attention. His agenda is to permanently drive a wedge between Israel and Americans that will last many years after he has left the Oval Office.

He chose as an early adviser Daniel Kurtzer, who had co-written a book advocating that the way to weaken and pressure Israel was to take steps to weaken its support among Americans.  A similar course of action was seemingly advocated by Samantha Power, also a key foreign policy adviser during his campaign (she complained about criticism of Obama being all about “what was good for the Jews”) is [sic] and now America’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

So how has he sought to turn Americans against Israel?  Barack Obama seems determined to portray Israel as a racist nation.

In 2006 when “flying over the Palestinian territories” he used the term “separation barrier” when describing the security fence that was erected to stop the massive number of suicide attacks that were killing so many Israelis.  Separation barrier is redolent of racism -- as in “keeping the races separate,” as in “separate but equal.”  Most people refer to it as a security fence or, in some areas, a wall. His comment elicited little response at the time but given what followed maybe more people should have been alerted to the use of such loaded words.

What followed? John Kerry’s description of an Israel he said was at risk of becoming an “apartheid nation.”  Administration spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that President Obama shared John Kerry’s views.

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted an invitation to speak before a joint session of Congress, Barack Obama worked to ensure that many members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) would boycott the speech. Obama and company created a racial controversy over a petulant political spat. Obama is a master of manufacturing outrage.

According to Newsweek’s Jonathan Broder, South Carolina Democrat James Clyburn, a powerful Congressman and a long-time member of the CBC, Netanyahu’s speech was an "affront to America's first black president.” A Democratic Congressional aide says “the Congressional Black Caucus is gone” [for Israel].

When, during the closing days of Netanyahu’s campaign, a Facebook posting on his campaign website tried to motivate his supporters to vote by conveying the message that Arab citizens of Israel were coming out in “droves” (helped along by Obama’s machinations within Israel to bring down Netanyahu, including the use of taxpayer money to do so). The language may not be the most felicitous, but similar rhetoric warning of massive turnout in support of opponents is a common practice during campaigns -- certainly Barack Obama himself has done the same during his campaigns-without eliciting charges of racism. As Jeff Jacoby wrote in Obama’s Hypocrisy with Netanyahu:
The candidate who captivated America with his promise to transcend partisan and racial rancor turned out to be the most consistently polarizing president in modern history. He hasn’t scrupled to inject barbed racial comments into the nation’s political discourse, but if he has ever candidly apologized for doing so, it must have been on deep background. Obama’s contempt for Netanyahu is nothing new, but before he lambastes other political leaders for their “divisive rhetoric,” the president really ought to take a good look in the mirror.
But Barack Obama has pounced on this posting and has refused to listen to Netanyahu’s repeated apologies and clarifications.  Obama, who focuses on polls, surely knows that African-American support for Israel is declining.  Is he trying accelerate that downward trend? Was Obama playing the race card?

He also wants to portray Israelis as opponents of a two-state solution with the Palestinians by seizing on a mistaken media report that seemed to indicate Netanyahu was backtracking on his previous support of a two-state solution. He was not; Netanyahu merely stated that given the chaos that rages across the region and the repeated Palestinian rejection of peace deals, he could not see the conditions as being ripe “today” for a Palestinian state. But the facts did not matter, nor did repeated clarifications and corrections of that mistaken report. The White House did not even reach out to the Israelis to confirm the report. Obama saw an opportunity to tar all Israelis as rejecting the possibility of a Palestinian state and willfully promoted this distortion. As Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico wrote:
Obama went further than he or anyone around him had before. Then just when he seemed to be wrapping up, he dug in some more.
“I took him at his word that that’s what he meant, and I think that a lot of voters inside of Israel understood him to be saying that fairly unequivocally,” Obama said.
Therefore, from his bully pulpit (and bully is the right word) he castigates Israelis as being opposed to a Palestinian state.

Polls have shown for many years that Israelis want a two-state solution but they have learned through the bitter experience  (and many wounded and killed) of giving up Gaza to the Palestinians that, given current reality, Palestine is likely to become another terror state.

There are certainly signs that he sees Israelis as being oppressors, colonialists and imperialists and now he wants to use his powers of persuasion to promote those views to other Americans. He may use proxies to do so. A recent example was his Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough telling J Street (an anti-Israel group posing as a pro-Israel group) that Israel’s “occupation that has lasted for 50 years must end.”

Barack Obama’s relationship with J Street shows his desire to conquer and divide the Jewish community and turn American Jews against Israel. He has actively courted and promoted J Street and close allies were among its founders. George Soros, an early and generous supporter of Obama’s nascent political career, hid his pivotal funding of J Street at its inception from prying eyes (and J Street lied about Soros’s funding when asked) until the disclosure of his support was unwittingly disclosed. Obama has given respectability and influence to J Street that it had previously lacked; sending top officials to address their conferences and inviting its leadership into the inner sanctum of the White House.

There are more problematic aspects of Barack Obama’s campaign to turn Americans against Israel. He and his proxies have indulged in tropes that have a doleful history. For hundreds of years Jews have been accused of being warmongers, leading the nations they reside in to war. When Congressional opponents of Obama’s appeasement of Iran suggested his “negotiations” were heading in the direction of arming the mullahs with nuclear weapons, the White House dared them to admit they want war:
"If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so," Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokeswoman, said in a statement. "Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed”.
Of course, they do not want war, they want a tougher agreement that may prevent war.  But Obama laid down the gauntlet and accused them of wanting to wage war on Iran. Given Obama’s history of eagerly surrendering to tyrants (Assad, Castro, Putin) people are fearful he will do so with the number one terror-sponsoring nation on earth, responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans.

Jews are often the first target in such campaigns. Obama gave a speech in 2006 against the Iraq War and pointed fingers at who was responsible:
"Opposed to the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in the administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throat…."
This is disturbing. Obama ignored the role of Colin Powell, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice and other movers and shakers in the Administration. But Perle (who never even served in the Administration) and Wolfowitz (who was a Deputy Secretary) have been lumped together by many anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists as Jews who led us into the Iraq War to serve the interests of Israel. Why make 2 Jews, one of whom had zero role in the government, as the “culprits” behind the war?

Recently, Barack Obama gave us further insight into his views when he publicly lashed out at Senator Robert Menendez for supporting a tougher approach towards Iran by accusing him of acting at the behest of “donors.”

Barack Obama is trafficking in tropes and canards -- dog whistling to the anti-Semitically inclined -- that he (as a self-declared “student of history”) should know have a tragic history. Casting aspersions such as these canards has, finally, raised concerns “about the intentions being signaled by the language the White House is using” While some have questioned whether Barack Obama is anti-Semitic and others declare him to be, as has Mark Levin, one should recall that during the campaign in 2008, when controversy arose over his views towards Israel, he boasted “nobody has spoken out more fiercely on the issue of anti- Semitism than I have."  He was ridiculed by Jake Tapper of ABC News for the claim. But he does have a funny way of showing his bona fides as the world’s greatest fighter against anti-Semitism.

Why welcome of Al Sharpton, with a long history of anti-Semitism and with an American-style pogrom to his credit, to the White House as his point man on race? One of his favorite bloggers is Andrew Sullivan, who traffics in anti-Semitic tropes. Why call Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan among his closest friends among world leaders when Erdogan has been on a non-stop campaign to spread anti-Semitism throughout the region?

Furthermore, the White House leaked to the media a story that Israel was “spying” on America and “stealing our secrets” during the “negotiations” with Iran. Israel denied the allegations. Information gleaned from the Iran talks likely came from eavesdropping on the Iranians and disclosures from the French -- who have serious problems with the weak approach Obama has taken with the Iranians. Allies, by the way, spy on one another all the time. America spied on Angela Merkel and the story the White House leaked about “Israel spying on America” came from American spying on Israel. But the image of the perfidious Israelis spying on America is indelible -- and shameful. There are reasons people feel that “the claims of Israeli spying are part of an intentional American campaign to undermine Israel's standing among the American public and their elected officials.” Investors Business Daily titled an editorial against this outrage “Libel is Obama’s Latest Weapon in his War on Israel” for a good reason.

Earlier in his presidency, when there were future campaigns to come, Barack Obama agreed that policy differences with Israel were to be dealt with diplomatically and privately, free from the glare of klieg lights. Now that he is no longer on the ballot he has been shining a bright line on them and focused his ire and anger not just on Netanyahu and not just on Israel but on American supporters of Israel. He has been portraying Israel in a way that he has not portrayed Putin’s Russia, the mullahs of Iran, and radical Islamic terrorists. Why the disparate treatment?

His goal is to undermine support for Israel among Americans, and he intends to carry on not just until the end of his presidency but, taking a leaf from former President Jimmy Carter, will do so for many years after he leaves office as part of his Grand Plan to continue to fundamentally transform America and Americans’ views of Israel.

Ed Lasky


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

Iranian forces advancing toward Israel's border in the Golan - James Lewis

by James Lewis

Needless to say, Obama's endless surrenders to Iranian demands make this an optimal time for Iranian aggression. The mullahs know he can be pushed around over and over again.

The Times of London is confirming what I wrote about over a month ago:
Iran is close to putting its forces on Israel’s northeast border for the first time, as its allies crush rebel groups in the Golan Heights area of Syria.
This is probably a UK government leak, or at least confirmed by the government.

Things could fall apart very quickly, with the Saudi-led military alliance attempting to invade Yemen (against Iranian and Houthi forces), and the Iranian El Quds Brigade attacking Israel and possibly Jordan from their known presence in Syria. 

In the absence of US support, Israel may be forced to escalate fast, to preempt Iranian long-range missile attacks as well as a Golan Heights armored assault. Since an Iranian strike at Israel would have to cross Saudi Arabia, the Saudis could believe they were being attacked -- which is also possible. 

Needless to say, Obama's endless surrenders to Iranian demands make this an optimal time for Iranian aggression. The mullahs know he can be pushed around over and over again. As I wrote in February, the Iranians are
moving as fast as possible to capitalize on a historic moment of Western weakness, collusion, and accommodation. The mullahs remember what happened when Ronald Reagan won over Jimmy Carter. They have less than two years to grab whatever they can.

James Lewis


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

Abbas Wants Arabs to Bomb Gaza Strip - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is calling on Arab countries to launch a military strike against the Gaza Strip -- even as the PA plans to bring "war crimes" charges against Israel for doing exactly the same thing in the summer of 2014.
The Arabs are allowed to attack the Gaza strip to remove Hamas from power, while Israel is not even allowed to launch airstrikes at those who are firing rockets at its cities.
The PA's call should be brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court if and when Abbas proceeds with his plan to file "war crimes" charges against Israel for its war against Hamas.
This call should also be brought to the attention of Western governments and international human rights organizations that condemned Israel during Operation Protective Edge.
They also need to ask Abbas whether he also plans to file "war crimes" charges against his Arab brethren once they start bombing the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Authority (PA), whose leaders say they are planning to file "war crimes" charges against Israel over its last war with Hamas, is now calling on Arab countries to launch a military strike against the Gaza Strip, similar to the Saudi-led campaign against Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.

The call to launch an Arab military strike against the Gaza Strip was made by Mahmoud Habbash, a senior advisor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Commenting on the Saudi-led military operations in Yemen, Habbash, who also holds the post of Chief Islamic Judge, said in a Friday sermon at a mosque in Ramallah: "Protecting legitimacy in an Arab country is a duty of all Arab leaders. They must take the initiative to strike with an iron fist against those who come out against legitimacy, regardless of the time and place, starting from Palestine. What happened in the Gaza Strip was a [Hamas] coup. There should be no dialogue with those behind the coup and they must be hit with an iron fist."

The following day, Abbas himself hinted that he too would like to see the Arab states launch a military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Addressing the 26th Arab League Summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, Abbas declared: "I hope the Arab states carry out the same policy that they are in Yemen in the case of all Arab nations that suffer from internal conflicts -- such as Palestine, Syria, Libya and Iraq."

When Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in the summer of last year in response to the firing of rockets at Israeli cities, the Palestinian Authority and its leaders, including Abbas, were quick to condemn Israelis for allegedly perpetrating "war crimes" against Palestinians.

But now the same Palestinian Authority, which condemned Israel over Operation Protective Edge, is calling on Arab armies to launch a military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

For Abbas and his top advisors, it is fine if the Gaza Strip is attacked, so long as Israel is not the attacker. In fact, the PA is inviting the Arab states to do exactly what the Israel Defense Forces did in the summer of 2014: to launch airstrikes against terror bases belonging to Hamas and other radical groups inside the Gaza Strip.

Don't worry, we won't let Israel attack you...
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (right) shakes hands with Hamas's leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, during negotiations in 2007 for a short-lived unity government. (Image source: Palestinian Press Office)

If anything, the appeal to Arab countries to extend their airstrikes from Yemen to the Gaza Strip smacks of hypocrisy.

If the Palestinian Authority openly favors military action against Hamas, why was it opposed to Israel's use of force to destroy the Islamist movement's rocket launchers and ammunition? And why is the PA leadership now planning to file "war crimes" charges against Israel at a time when it, too, is calling on Arab countries to attack the Gaza Strip?

Obviously, the PA believes it is acceptable for an army or armies to attack the Gaza Strip, on condition that it is not the Israel Defense Forces trying to stop Hamas's rocket attacks.

The PA wants the Arabs to attack the Gaza Strip not in order to stop the rocket attacks against Israel. Rather, it wants the Arab armies to help it in its efforts to remove Hamas from power so that the PA will be able to return to the Gaza Strip, from where it was expelled in 2007.

It is not clear at this stage if any Arab countries will accept the Palestinian Authority's invitation to launch a military strike against the Gaza Strip. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf States are too busy trying to stop Iran and its puppets from seizing control of more Arab countries. They are also too busy fighting the growing threat from the Islamic State terrorist group.

But what is clear, meanwhile, is that the PA is continuing to show its true colors by condemning Israel for using military force against Hamas on the one hand, while urging Arabs to use military force against Hamas on the other hand.

The Palestinian Authority's call for an Arab military strike against Hamas has sparked a wave of protests in the Palestinian territories. Thousands of Palestinians marched in the Gaza Strip, chanting slogans denouncing Abbas and calling on him to step down.

The PA's call for military intervention in the Gaza Strip should be brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court if and when Abbas proceeds with his plan to file "war crimes" charges against Israel for its 2014 war against Hamas. This call should also be brought to the attention of Western governments and international human rights organizations that condemned Israel during Operation Protective Edge.

What they need to know is that Abbas in fact supports military action against Hamas, but has a problem when it is carried out by Israel. Arabs are allowed to attack the Gaza Strip to remove Hamas from power, while Israel is not even allowed to launch airstrikes against those who are firing rockets at its cities. They also need to ask Abbas whether he also plans to file "war crimes" charges against his Arab brethren once they start bombing the Gaza Strip. 

Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Khaled Abu Toameh


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

Revived Questions about Huma Abedin - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

Someone with Abedin’s background shouldn’t be anywhere near the levers of power in Washington.

Yet Hillary Clinton trusted her with vital secrets of state and then erased their electronic correspondence.

Huma and HillaryRepublican lawmakers are probing why Hillary Clinton’s longtime Islamist aide Huma Abedin was allowed to work at the State Department under a special, part-time status while simultaneously working at a politically-connected consulting firm.

Demands for information are coming from Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) after the public learned both women used Clinton’s private Internet server and email accounts for Department of State correspondence.

But that’s only part of the endless sleaze and intrigue surrounding Clinton.

The media has also reported that Sidney Blumenthal, the Clinton administration damage-control expert known for his relentless attacks on Clinton family enemies and for being the father of Israel-hating pseudo-journalist Max Blumenthal, was apparently doing freelance work for Mrs. Clinton. Clinton tried to hire the elder Blumenthal at State but the Obama White House nixed the appointment because of Blumenthal’s aggressively slimy attacks on Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.

After Blumenthal’s email was hacked in 2013, it was revealed that “starting weeks before” the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, “Blumenthal supplied intelligence” to then-Secretary Clinton that was “gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer.”

Reports got some of the details wrong, according to the Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto.

“The reporters asked the most obvious question and got a partial answer: ‘A Clinton spokesman told Gawker and ProPublica . . . that she has turned over’—meaning to the State Department—’all the emails Blumenthal sent to [Mrs.] Clinton,'” he writes.

That is incorrect, Taranto notes. “[I]n reality she turned over no emails, only printouts,” which are of limited value as evidence.

Meanwhile, as evidence continues to accumulate that Clinton’s cavalier approach to state secrets put U.S. national security in jeopardy, the shady background of Abedin, who has known ties to the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood, is barely acknowledged on Capitol Hill.

Instead of examining Abedin’s disturbing family ties that make her employment by the U.S. government a threat to national security, Grassley is honing in on the sweetheart arrangement that allowed the operative to get on the public payroll while raking in money from private consulting.

Well, it’s a start, at least.

Grassley complains that many previous requests to the Department of State for information have gone unanswered, so now he is sending requests to the agency’s inspector general and to Clinton’s successor, Secretary of State John Kerry.

It was about two years ago that Grassley demanded information about Abedin after she moved from being a full-time deputy chief of staff for Clinton to part-time status and then began working at Teneo, a politically connected consulting firm that claims to bring “together the disciplines of government and public affairs.”

In a July 2013 letter the State Department indicated Abedin was employed full-time from January 2009 to June 2012. It also indicated she did not disclose outside employment when ending her full-time status. The department kept her on as an adviser-expert, apparently at the hourly rate of $74.51 with maximum pay of $155,500 per year.

“A number of conflict-of-interest concerns arise when a government employee is simultaneously being paid by a private company, especially when that company (is) Teneo,” Grassley wrote in a March 19 letter to Kerry.

Grassley asked in the letter “what steps the department took to ensure that … Abedin’s outside employment with a political-intelligence and corporate-advisory firm did not conflict with her simultaneous employment at the State Department.”

“She converted from a full-time employee … with seemingly little difference in her job description or responsibilities,” he wrote. In essence Abedin retained the same job and was later hired by Teneo and the Clinton Global Initiative.

“It is unclear what special knowledge or skills Ms. Abedin possessed that the government could not have easily obtained otherwise from regular government employees,” Grassley wrote.

Grassley’s questions also come after the House Benghazi Select Committee learned that the former secretary of state deleted all the emails investigators were interesting in looking at.

On Friday, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said in a statement, “We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary [Hillary] Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server.”

Destroying the electronic correspondence could be a federal crime since the documents were under congressional subpoena. As Byron York writes in the Washington Examiner,
“There’s no doubt Clinton withheld information that Congress demanded she turn over, and some Republicans believe the documents she destroyed were covered under a subpoena as well. But a look at the story behind the subpoena and other document requests from congressional Benghazi investigators is a tale of obstruction, delay and frustration that underscores the limits of Congress’ power to investigate Benghazi. Clinton and her aides had the means to make life very difficult for Republicans trying to learn the full story of the attacks in Libya, and they did just that.”
Disturbingly, Republicans have yet to focus on Abedin’s ties to the world of Islamic terrorism.

Born in 1976 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Abedin’s connections to the Muslim Brotherhood run deep. (She is also reportedly just as haughty and unpleasant to deal with as Clinton herself.)

Her mother is Saleha Mahmood Abedin, widow of the late Zyed Abedin, an academic who taught at Saudi Arabia’s prestigious King Abdulaziz University in the early 1970s. The year after Huma was born, Mrs. Abedin received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1978 the Abedins moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Abdullah Omar Naseef, then-vice president of Abdulaziz University, hired Mr. Abedin, a former colleague of his at the university, to work for the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), a Saudi-based Islamic think tank Naseef was then in the process of establishing. Mr. and Mrs. Abedin became members of the editorial board of IMMA’s publication, the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. According to Andrew C. McCarthy, IMMA’s “Muslim Minority Affairs” agenda is “to grow an unassimilated, aggressive population of Islamic supremacists who will gradually but dramatically alter the character of the West.”

Naseef himself was a Muslim extremist with ties to al-Qaeda. In 1983 he became secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), a militant organization with links to Osama bin Laden. Mrs. Abedin became an official representative of MWL in the 1990s. When her husband died in 1994, Mrs. Abedin became the IMMA’s director. She currently serves as editor-in-chief of its journal.

Mrs. Abedin is also a member of the board of the International Islamic Council for Dawa and Relief (IICDR), which has long been banned in Israel because it has ties to Hamas. (In Arabic, dawah, or dawa, means the proselytizing or preaching of Islam.) She also runs the Amman, Jordan-based International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC), a Muslim World League affiliate that self-identifies as part of the IICDR. The league, according to McCarthy, “has long been the Muslim Brotherhood’s principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology.” IICWC promotes strict Sharia Law and advocates the rescission of Egyptian laws that forbid female genital mutilation, child marriage, and marital rape.

Mrs. Abedin is a founding member of the Muslim Sisterhood, a pro-Sharia organization consisting of the wives of some of the highest-ranking leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian opposition newspaper Al-Liwa Al-Arabi has reported that Muslim Sisterhood members: “smuggle secret documents”; “spread the Brotherhood’s ideology by infiltrating universities, schools and homes”; “fulfill the interests of the Brotherhood”; and “organiz[e] projects which will penetrate [the Brotherhood’s] prohibited ideology into the decision-making in the West … under the guise of ‘general needs of women.’” Nagla Ali Mahmoud, wife of Mohammed Morsi, the Islamist who was elected president of Egypt in June 2012, is a member of the Muslim Sisterhood.

When Huma Abedin returned to the U.S. and was an intern in the Clinton White House between 1997 and some time in 1999, she was a member of the executive board of George Washington University’s radical Muslim Students Association (MSA). The MSA had extensive ties to al-Qaeda.

From 1996 to 2008, Abedin was employed by IMMA as assistant editor of its Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs.

Her brother, Hassan Abedin, an associate editor at the journal, was at one time a fellow at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. During his fellowship, the Center’s board included such Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated figures as Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Abdullah Omar Naseef. Huma’s sister, Heba Abedin, is an assistant editor with the journal.

Someone with Abedin’s background shouldn’t be anywhere near the levers of power in Washington.

Yet Hillary Clinton trusted her with vital secrets of state and then erased their electronic correspondence.

What are these two women hiding?

Matthew Vadum


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

The Formation Of A Sunni Arab Military Coalition – An Historic Shift In Facing Iranian Expansionism - Y. Carmon and Y. Yehoshua

by Y. Carmon and Y. Yehoshua

By forming this alliance, the Arab countries have proven that they remain a force to be reckoned with in the region, even in the wake of the nearly five years of political division and deterioration of security that followed the Arab Spring.

Sunnis Take Their Destiny Into Their Own Hands

The Saudi-led joint Sunni Arab coalition that is fighting the Houthi in Yemen constitutes an historic shift in the Sunni pushback against Iran's expansion in the region, as 10 countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, and Pakistan, with Turkish support – have formed a military-political coalition and launched Operation Decisive Storm that aims to restore the ousted Sunni regime in Yemen. This operation, that received immediate logistical and intelligence aid from the U.S., was termed by Arab media "an overall change in Arab politics" and a precedent in which "Arabs take their destiny into their own hands" and send a stern message to Iran and to the entire world.[1]

Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni countries consider the Houthi a proxy of Iran, which is endeavoring to occupy a fourth Arab country, after Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. The Houthi aspirations to take over all of Yemen, not just the northern region that they currently control, while at the same time threatening to take over Bab El-Mandeb, places Saudi Arabia and other countries such as Egypt and Sudan in grave strategic danger.

With its back to the wall, Saudi Arabia wisely formed an alliance of Sunni countries to transcend internal differences and act together against their common enemy – Iran. The building of this alliance, begun during the reign of Saudi King 'Abdallah and continued by King Salman, required inter-Arab diplomatic efforts to reconcile between states hostile to each other, such as Qatar and Egypt, and to effect a rapprochement with pro-Iran Sunni countries, such as Sudan.

By forming this alliance, the Arab countries have proven that they remain a force to be reckoned with in the region, even in the wake of the nearly five years of political division and deterioration of security that followed the Arab Spring. As they face down the Houthi, the Sunni countries are sending a message to both Iran and the West that they are tired of Iran's expansionism and will no longer allow it to threaten their interests. 

Operation Decisive Storm is also an assurance that the Syria scenario – in which Sunnis' failure to intervene produced an arena where its two main enemies, the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Islamic Republic of Iran, are fighting each other for regional hegemony – would not recur. It has repositioned the Sunni states as a Sunni establishment alternative in the struggle against Iran, which so far has been waged almost exclusively by extremist Islamist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Now, as the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh writes in its editorial, "Tehran will think a thousand times before approaching another Arab country." It added that this was because "for decades, there has been no joint Arab military action against a common enemy."[2] In a similar vein, the Bahraini daily Akhbar Al-Khaleej stated: "This military surprise is a declaration by all the Arab countries of their determination, assertiveness, and absolute objection to the foreign plots to interfere in our affairs – particularly Iran's provocative interference."[3]

Implications For The U.S. And The West

In response to the formation of the Saudi-led Sunni coalition, the U.S. immediately showed its support, with logistical and intelligence assistance. Even before Operation Decisive Storm kicked off, the U.S. had supported Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi's war against the Houthi, and had considered his presidency legitimate. However, at the same time, and to the displeasure of the Gulf states, it refrained from accusing Iran of supporting Houthi attacks, claiming that there was no proof.[4]

Operation Decisive Storm was a wakeup call for the U.S. and the Obama administration, signaling that there was still an active and dominant Sunni force that could mobilize the entire Arab and Muslim world, including Turkey and Pakistan, against Iranian expansionism, and that the Western view of the Arab world as hopelessly disintegrated and divided – and of Iran as the only player capable of acting as sheriff to stabilize the region – is wrong.

In assisting Decisive Storm, then, the U.S. has acted realistically, mobilizing to support the Sunnis much more than it ever has before. Prior to the U.S. announcement of support, the media in many Arab Sunni countries had been highly critical of U.S. foreign policy, calling it pro-Iranian.[5] Now, however, following its declaration of support, this criticism appears to have abated.

The Aims Of The Sunni Coalition: Defeat The Houthi, Achieve Limited Political Goals

The Saudis' great strategic move has a realistic political goal: In addition to the effort to completely neutralize the Houthi military strength, by destroying their weapons caches, restricting flights, taking over ports, and so on, it also aims to achieve a political solution, to represent all Yemeni groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the Houthi.

Efforts To Direct "Decisive Storm" Momentum To Promotion Of Additional Sunni Arab Goals

The March 28-29, 2015 session of the Arab League – an organization that has lost much of its clout since the onset of the Arab Spring – retroactively approved the Sunni move against the Houthi, and also offered the organization a chance to bolster its strength to promote other Sunni Arab military measures. The Al-Madina editorial expressed hope that "the alliance that was in fact first formed to deal with Yemen must inescapably continue also in other places such as Syria and Libya."[6]
Egyptian President 'Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi, who has repeatedly called the security of the Gulf states a red line, used the momentum of Operation Decisive Storm – originally aimed at defending the Gulf states against Iran – to attempt to realign the Arab world along the lines of Arab nationalism and under Egyptian leadership. He concluded his speech at the Arab League session by repeating "Long live the Arab ummah" three times, as had Egyptian president and pan-Arab leader Gamal 'Abd Al-Nasser. 

Also expressed in the Gulf press was the hope that this resolute pinpoint Sunni move against Yemen's Houthi could be expanded into joint Arab activity in other fields as well. The Bahraini daily Akhbar Al-Khaleej noted, "This could be the start of a new Arab way in decisively and determinedly dealing with all problems and crises threatening the Arabs and harming their security." Likewise, Al-Riyadh stated that the Arab League "has been resurrected today as a breathing, speaking, acting body. It is as though it awaited someone to awaken it from its slumber – and along came 'Decisive Storm' to awaken Arabs to a different reality." It went on to promise: "The coming days will reveal a new reality, in which the Arabs will impose their agenda on the forces of the West and on the way they are handling the Iranian nuclear dossier, peace in the Middle East, and the Syrian crisis."[7]

However, it is doubtful whether this Sunni joining of forces – which has to date been used only to defend against Iran – could be expanded to encompass Al-Sisi's other stated goals, among them amending the Arab League charter, establishing a joint Arab army, and reviving pan-Arab values. This is because aside from the Iranian issue, there has been significant and unresolved disagreement among the Arab countries on a number of issues in recent years, including the Palestinian problem and the fight against ISIS.

*Y. Carmon is President and Founder of MEMRI; Y. Yehoshua is Vice President for Research and Director of MEMRI Israel..

[1] Al-Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Akhbar Al-Khaleej (Bahrain), March 29, 2015.
[2] Al-Riyadh, March 29, 2015.
[3] Akhbar Al-Khaleej, March 20, 2015.
[6] Al-Madina (Saudi Arabia) March 30, 2015. The Qatari daily Al-Sharq also called for the coalition to intervene in Syria; March 30, 2015.
[7] Al-Riyadh, March 29, 2015.

Y. Carmon is President and Founder of MEMRI; Y. Yehoshua is Vice President for Research and Director of MEMRI Israel.


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

Share It