Thursday, July 30, 2015

I believe Iran and Saudi Arabia, not John Kerry - Ethel C. Fenig

by Ethel C. Fenig

While Secretary of State John Kerry was busy blaming Israel for questioning the Iran deal thus potentially destroying his chances of winning the Nobel Peace Prize he feels he so richly deserves, Iran was busy confirming why Kerry deserves the Nobel Sucker Prize or the Nobel Prize for Endangering the World By Nuclear Iran.

Speaking publicly at a think tank, Kerry cleverly shifted the failure of his deadly crowning achievement to the tried and true usual victims -- the Israelis, the Jews.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the Council on Foreign Relations think tank on Friday that should Congress reject the nuclear deal with Iran, Israel might find itself more isolated and "more blamed by the international community."
Also on Friday, Kerry said in an interview with NBC that it would be a "huge mistake" for Israel to take unilateral military action against Iran.
Kerry was asked in the "Today" show interview if the nuclear deal would make an Israeli military or cyberattack on Tehran more likely.
"That'd be an enormous mistake, a huge mistake with grave consequences for Israel and for the region, and I don't think it's necessary," Kerry said. 
Israel, however, is accustomed to the idea of isolation for taking an unpopular stance while ultimately proven to be correct because a donkey and its owner predicted this thousands of years ago. As told in the Jewish Bible, Bamidbar, In the Desert, Numbers 23:8-9, weekly portion, Balak, a donkey's owner Balaam prophesied:
 “the nation (Israel) shall dwell alone, and not be reckoned among the nations” (Bamidbar 23:9)  Many see these words of Balaam as the formative statement of the relationship between Israel and the nations of the world. The Perennial anti-Semitism in the world and Israel’s international isolation would seem to prove that this indeed our destiny is to stand apart from other nations. On the other hand, one could argue the opposite, that the Jewish people are the people most involved and engaged with humanity. Judaism has had tremendous impact on the world. Jews have always been at the forefront on development of humanity as testified the number of Jewish Nobel prize winners and by the prominence of Jews in so many political and cultural movements.
Interestingly, Kerry did not mention that Saudi Arabia would also be more isolated and blamed by the international community because of its stated misgivings about the deal. Hmmm, maybe oil and its billions of dollars had something to do with that. Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia has realistic fears that Shiite Muslim Iran might bomb Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Muslim neighbors such as Pakistan, Dubai, and others which might keep their fears of isolation and blame at bay.  
Saudi Arabia's King Salman backs Israel over Iran nuclear deal concerns
King Salman of Saudi Arabia voiced misgivings about the Iran nuclear deal to Ashton Carter, the visiting U.S. defence secretary, on Wednesday, as the battle for hearts and minds over this month's agreement moved from the Middle East to Washington.
King Salman, who inherited the Saudi throne in January, expressed doubt about the nuclear deal's verification process, as well as questioning the "snap-back" mechanism for re-imposing sanctions if Iran violated its terms, Mr Carter told reporters. 
"Those are the same issues that we know will arise" during the agreement's implementation, said the defence secretary, who also announced that the king had been invited to Washington to meet Mr Obama.
But then an adviser to Khameni himself, whose collective ancestors invented chess, and are accustomed to thinking several steps ahead of their hapless counterpart Kerry, who still believes that the U.S. committed/commits atrocities but not the enemy, obligingly proved why Kerry is wrong and should be isolated and blamed by the international community for the terrible international danger he has engineered.
A top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed Saturday that the Islamic Republic would deny International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors any access to the country’s military sites, contradicting remarks by US officials following the signing of a nuclear agreement with Tehran last week.
“The access of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency or from any other body to Iran’s military centers is forbidden,” Ali Akbar Velayati, Khamenei’s adviser for international affairs, said in an interview with Al-Jazeera satellite TV. Velayati further stressed that the directive will be enforced regardless of interpretations by the P5+1 world powers to the contrary. 
Under the complex formulations in the agreement, Iran would have notice of 24 days for international inspections of suspect sites, a stipulation that was heavily criticized by Israel and other opponents of the deal. Skeptics say it is an ideal scenario for Iran to cheat.
Iran and the IAEA have, according to reports, signed a separate agreement regarding UN inspections at Parchin. This was denied by the head of Iran’s atomic agency on Friday.
“The AEOI and the IAEA do not have any separate agreement on visiting the Parchin military site,” Ali Akbar Salehi told the state-run ICANA news agency, referring to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, respectively.
Both Salehi’s and Velayati’s remarks appear to contradict a clause in the so-called road map signed by Salehi and IAEA chief Yukiya Amano on July 14, which Amano called “clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program.”
According to the joint statement released by the two at the time, Iran and the IAEA agreed on another separate arrangement regarding the issue of Parchin. Amano’s individual statement at the time reiterates that the road map contains “a separate arrangement regarding the issue of Parchin.”
US lawmakers opposed to the Iran agreement cite “secret side deals” within it, among them provisions for inspections of Parchin. These provisions were not previously revealed to Congress as part of its 60-day review process of the deal, something that is required by law.
Iranian president Rouhani also dismissed Kerry's huffing and puffing about "all options remain on the table", such as war if the Iranians violate any parts of the deal, stating 
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blasted the US officials' recent statements against Tehran after the country and the world powers reached a nuclear agreement in Vienna on July 14, calling on them to give up the bad habit of threatening Iran.
President Rouhani's remarks came after US State Secretary John Kerry threatened to use military action against Tehran if it failed to respect a historic nuclear deal sealed on 14 July.
"The US should know that it has no other option but respecting Iran and showing modesty towards the country and saying the right thing," President Rouhani said, addressing a large crowd of people in the Western city of Sanandaj on Sunday.
The Iranian president pointed to the Americans' catch phrase "all options are on the table" used by the US officials, and called on "the US officials and statesmen to decide to make changes in their political room; the table they are talking about has broken legs."
He said that Iran will continue its path to get rid of the (western) sanctions.
Contradicting his reassurances from five days before, on Tuesday, Kerry admitted to Rep. Morris Brooks (R-AL) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that why yes, Iran
        "may" kill Americans or Israelis. 
        "Well, do you believe that Iran is the world's foremost sponsor of terrorism?"
        "Yes," Kerry responded.
        "And that they will use the conventional weapons made available by the Iran nuclear treaty to kill Americans or                        Israelis?"
        "Well, they may," said Kerry. "They may. And we have, as you know, responded to that from 1979 when they took over              our embassy  forward, we have put sanctions in place specifically because of their support for terror."
But... Flip Flop ("I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.") Kerry, the deal you are so proud of, are so strongly advocating for lifts, abolishes, removes those very sanctions you voted for.
For sanctions/against sanctions all in one bill?  
Representative Brooks then asked:
Three months ago Iranian Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi stated that erasing Israel off the map is non-negotiable. Do you believe his comments accurately reflect Iranian government goals? Yes, no, or I don’t know?
Secretary Kerry: I think it accurately reflects some people’s rhetoric and some people’s attitude, but…
Mr. Brooks: In the Iranian government?
Secretary Kerry: I don’t think it’s possible for Iran to do that, and I think Israel has enormous capacity obviously…
But… Flip Flop Kerry, it is highly "possible for Iran to do that" because you warned Israel it would be blamed and isolated if they used its "enormous capacity obviously" so Iran would “do that” as promised.  Can or cannot?  Should or should not? 

In further questioning from presumably friendly Democrat Rep Alan Grayson (D-FL) then asked:
“Will implementation of the agreement increase Iran’s support for terrorism?”
John F. Kerry: “We have no way to know. I presume, in some places, possibly, only in the sense that they are committed to certain things that we interpret as terrorism, they don’t, and we’re going to continue to conflict on those issues.”
But... flip flopper, sir.  Wasn't a main purpose of the deal eliminating terror? Also, I thought strict guidelines were in place to guarantee no terror from Iran. And now you're telling the world "we have no know way to know" while admitting oh yes, "they are committed to certain things that we interpret as terrorism, they don't." Whose definition of terrorism prevailed in this agreement? Both? Just how are you "going to continue to conflict on those issues" if the conflict gets heated, really heated, you know heated as in the use of nuclear weapons which you won't be able to inspect?                         

"Secret side deals." Iranian denial of Kerry's statements. Iranian mockery of Kerry's reassurances.  Iranian contradictions of Kerry's promises.  Saudi Arabia's and others' -- who are too afraid to publicly agree with Israel -- grave doubts. The entire free world -- and large parts that aren't--fearful of Iran as a nuclear power, silently supporting Israel but too frightened to admit it.

Who to believe?  Who to trust?  Well, while I certainly don't trust and/or believe Saudi Arabia or Iran it is a sad commentary that I believe and trust their statements about the Iran deal more than the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's.  And for that I blame John Kerry.  Let's isolate him.  And not vote for this dangerous deal.  

Ethel C. Fenig


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

Canadian Islam Converts Plotted to Kill Jewish Children - Arnold Ahlert

by Arnold Ahlert

Lest they grow up to be adult Jews.

A Canadian courtroom was the scene for another revelation about the twisted mindset that animates Islamists. Amanda Korody, found guilty for her part in orchestrating a terrorist bomb plot, wanted to infiltrate a synagogue where she could kill "small Jews" so these children would be spared eternal damnation in hell.

Notes presented by police on Monday in British Columbia (BC) Supreme Court recounted a conversation between Korody's husband, John Nuttall, and an undercover agent. Nuttall, who was also convicted, told the agent his wife believed she would be doing the children the favor of sending them to paradise, because she believed "grown-up Jews" go to "eternal hell" when they die.

"I asked Nuttall how he thinks he will have access to Jewish kids and he said they were both white and could pass for Jewish," read Crown lawyer Sharon Steele from the March 2013 notes provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) undercover officer. "They will be regulars in the synagogue. They will gain the trust of everybody. And once they have everything they will get enough guns and ammo to go ahead with their mission."

Nuttall admitted that Jewish children were non-combatants, but he insisted they would be raised to hate Arabs and Muslims, the notes revealed. Yet he also conceded that "you never know, they may convert (to Islam) in their adulthood."

A jury found the pair guilty on June 2, following a trial lasting nearly four-months, and three days of judge's instructions that ran to more than 300 pages. Like the Boston Bombers before them, they intended to set off pressure cooker bombs outside British Columbia’s provincial legislature on Canada Day in 2013, an event thousands of people were expected to attend. They were convicted on one count each of conspiring to commit murder and possessing, or making, explosive devices. In May the judge dismissed another charge of knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity, for unspecified legal reasons.   

Following the verdict's reading, Nuttall made a heart shape with his fingers directed at Korody. 

Nuttal and Korody were arrested in July 2013 after police accused them of attempting to target the July 1 Canada Day celebrations in the B.C. capitol city of Victoria. Three pressure cooker bombs were placed outside the legislature prior to the expected crowd gathering, but undercover officers had already rendered them inoperable.

Convictions for the plot will not be entered until the latest phase of the trial is completed. It consists of defense lawyers arguing that RCMP investigators "entrapped" the pair of would-be jihadists. Prosecutor Peter Eccles, speaking outside court following the previous phase of the trial, denied that allegation. “They weren’t entrapped … it was done using old-fashioned undercover police investigation technique.” 

Video and audio surveillance tapes presented to the jury showed an undercover RCMP agent with ostensible terrorist connections befriending the couple, who were also shown discussing their ambition to engage in holy war as payback for perceived injustices perpetrated against Muslims. In several instances Nuttall referred to the Boston Bombers, whom he considered inspirational but amateurish, and hoped his attack would kill hundreds of innocent civilians. The pair believed killing innocent civilians, including women and children, was acceptable, provided they died as the result of collateral damage rather than specific targeting.

It was not the only attack they contemplated. Nuttall also listed additional targets in the Victoria area. They included a passenger ferry that travels between the Victoria and Seattle, a tourist-heavy area around the city's former wax museum, or a nearby military base, which Nuttall suggested attacking with automatic weapons.

Defense lawyers insist the elaborate, months-long sting was much too heavy-handed, with attorney Marilyn Sandford accusing the key undercover officer of frightening Korody into realizing the plot, lest Allah be disappointed by her failure to do so. 

The Court was told the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) sent a brief disclosure letter to the RCMP in late 2012. It identified Nuttal as a possible threat, yet by that time police had already confronted him on a number of other occasions, one of which included an exchange following a report by a friend of Nuttal, stating the suspect had claimed to have shot a Jewish woman. Nuttal denied that allegation during an interview with RCMP Cpl. Stephen Matheson. 

Matheson requested a mental health assessment after listening to Nuttall's radical, jihad-inspired views. A mental health nurse concluded Nuttall was sane, but might be developmentally delayed, the officer told the Court. Matheson also made the court aware of the suspect's criminal history, which included offenses ranging from kidnapping and robbery to aggravated assault. He also noted Nuttall had been kicked out of a number of mosques.

On Jan. 31, 2013, the CSIS alerted the RCMP that Nuttall had attempted to purchase potassium nitrate from pharmacies in the Lower Mainland. Potassium nitrate can be used to make homemade bombs.

Despite the defense attorneys' contentions, along with the mid-trial assertion by National Post columnist Brian Hutchinson, that these two were closer to being a "pair of wide-eyed, bumbling fabulists" than "terrorist masterminds," the evidence compiled by the RCMP was damning. During a recorded conversation, Nuttall insisted he was drawn to Islam because he was inspired by the mass murderers of 9/11 who had the courage to "stand up." He ultimately converted to Islam because he wanted "jihad." "I wanted jihad before I became a Muslim," Nuttall revealed in a video played for the jury. "I just wanted justice. ... When 9/11 happened, I became really interested with these people." 

When the conversion to Islam occurred is unclear, but Nuttall himself suggested he was ready for violence. "The first thing I said when I converted is, 'How do I worship my God?'" Nuttall says in the video. "And my second question was, 'Where is my gun? Let's go do jihad."

This is the last week of the trial's current phase before it is adjourned. It is scheduled to resume in October. The maximum sentence the couple faces remains unclear, and there is the possibility the judge could stay the guilty verdicts if he believes the pair were entrapped, or subjected to other abuses of the legal process. 

Regardless, one thing remains clear: Western nations will continue to be subjected to plots and attacks arising from "inspirational" jihad. Such realities remain inevitable when feckless leaders either refuse to acknowledge the source of the threat, or succumb to a political correctness that elevates the fear of being labeled Islamophobic over concerns for national security.

Arnold Ahlert


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

John Kerry Is Blowing the Iran Nuke Deal - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Want to buy a used nuclear Armageddon from Hanoi John?

It’s hard to imagine a worse salesman for the Iran deal than John Kerry. Kerry couldn’t sell himself to Americans as a presidential candidate. Now he has to sell a nuclear Armageddon to Americans.

National security was Kerry’s undoing during his presidential campaign. He had shot American soldiers in the back during Vietnam to build a base for his own political future. He had eagerly pandered to Marxist-Leninist terrorists who massacred native peoples and burned their churches. He had been for the Iraq War before he was against it and for Assad’s Syrian dictatorship before he was against it.

Now Kerry is supposed to sell the most controversial and explosive national security issue since the Cold War to a skeptical nation. And he’s doing just about as well as you would expect. 

John Kerry’s tour of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Council on Foreign Relations came with all the nervous tics, the stumbling statements and erratic claims that everyone has come to expect from the only man who could have possibly made Hillary Clinton’s Secretary of State tenure look good.

Asked whether he really believed that Iran, which is sitting on a mountain of oil and gas, just wants a peaceful nuclear program “to generate electricity”, Kerry admitted that it already has a military program. 

Then he insisted that we had to go through with the deal anyway so he wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of the ayatollah.

“I mean, do you think the ayatollah is going to come back to the table if Congress refuses this and negotiate again?... I mean, please. I would be embarrassed to try to go out—I mean, what am I going to say to people after this as secretary of State?,” Kerry whined.

The Secretary of State for the greatest nation in the world had been reduced to complaining that he would be too embarrassed to renegotiate the deal. Congress had to play it cool and stop embarrassing him in front of his cool new ayatollah friends.

Kerry couldn’t offer a direct answer to the question because he had already argued that Iran “believed deeply that they had a right to... have a peaceful nuclear program; because they resented the fact the United States had supported Saddam Hussein in Iraq”. Iran did restart its nuclear program during the war with Iraq, and, like most nuclear programs during wartime, it was as peaceful as a bomb. 

"O Allah, for your satisfaction, we sacrificed the offspring of Islam and the revolution," Ayatollah Khomeini wrote after the Iran-Iraq War. The letter quoted the need for "atomic weapons" and evicting America from the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s current Supreme Leader had told top officials that Khomeini had reactivated Iran’s nuclear program, vowing that it would prepare “for the emergence of Imam Mehdi.”

Imam Mehdi was never going to be impressed with a slightly lower electric bill.

Kerry had contradicted himself in a single response, admitting that the nuclear program had reemerged during the Iran-Iraq War while claiming that it was peaceful. 

But Kerry’s real focus was always on empathizing with the enemy.

“I know, the degree to which Iran felt isolated by that and the sort of impact of the choices that were made during that period of time. So we’re trying to make up for that now. We’re where we are. We’re not blaming anybody,” he offered in his new role as the Ayatollah’s infidel therapist.

He insisted that 24 days was plenty of time just to get access to an Iranian rogue nuclear site while admitting that, “The breakout time goes down to always somewhere in the vicinity of a month or two.” And he suggested that Iran would become peaceful because he had “friends” who had been to Tehran and told him it was “teeming with young people who all have smartphones.”

And Kerry just wanted to go to Tehran and hang out with all the teeming cool young people and their smartphones.

The need for approval from enemies of the United States was quintessential Kerry. Utterly unwilling to acknowledge that there was a different worldview on the other side of the table, he namedropped his opposite number as “Foreign Minister Zarif, who lived here in New York” as if a man who lived in the city couldn’t possibly be a fanatical enemy of the United States.

That would have come as a surprise to Mahmud Abouhalima or Leon Trotsky.
But Kerry had just begun embarrassing himself.

Challenged on welcoming back a terrorist state to the international arena, Kerry claimed that he had told the Iranians that their chants of “Death to America” were not helpful. Asked about other states getting nuclear weapons to compete with Iran, Kerry quipped that, “You can’t just go out and buy a nuclear weapon. You don’t ship them FedEx, you know.”

If Kerry had been paying attention in the Senate, he would have known that the Khan nuclear network which shipped kits of nuclear equipment and bomb plans, had been caught by Bush shipping crates to Libya. It wasn’t FedEx, but it was close. Bush had managed to achieve a complete shutdown of Libya’s nuclear program, while Kerry had legalized the other beneficiary of the Khan network in Iran.

This would have been a month’s worth of gaffes for any other politician, but for John Kerry, it was just one question and answer session gone wrong.

Kerry had already told PBS that Iran isn’t “allowed” to transfer any of the $140 billion in sanctions relief to terrorists because of a UN resolution, before admitting that Iran would probably do it anyway. Then he had backpedaled by claiming that money wouldn’t make much of an impact on terrorism anyway.

When asked about Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's threats to America and announcement that he would continue funding terrorists, Kerry spluttered that he doesn't "know how to interpret it at this point in time".

“Death to America” can be surprisingly nuanced when analyzed by a master of nuance like John Kerry.

Kerry had managed to torpedo a plan for air strikes on Syria through his own inept statements. Now he’s sabotaging another administration policy goal.

The more Kerry talks, the more he comes off as a car salesman pushing the latest gently used nuclear Armageddon. He stumbles unconvincingly from one rationalization to another, revealing more about his insecurities than his policies.

Every Kerry argument is a thread and it doesn’t take much tugging on it for the whole dirty garment to come apart in a snarl of rationalizations and half-truths. Like a bad liar, he instinctively contradicts himself. And like a worse liar, he follows it up with false choices and false accusations.

His every argument comes down to some version of “Well what’s your alternative” or “If we walk away now, we lose all credibility”. It’s the argument you expect to hear from a man who has sent his fortune off to a Nigerian prince, not the Secretary of State of the United States.

The conclusion to every Kerry argument is the desperate pessimism of, “We have no other choice.” While Iran’s leadership gleefully celebrates, Kerry tells us that there are no other options. The more he talks, the more he convinces everyone who listens that the United States lost.

Underneath it all is a persistent whine. It’s the tone of an overgrown teenager who just wants to hang out with all the cool Marxist-Leninist rebels, Islamic terrorists and Viet Cong bosses. Somewhere in his mind, Kerry is still a petulant teenager resentful that he has to justify his fun times with Zarif, who used to live in New York and probably knows lots of teenagers with smartphones, by testifying to Congress.

Kerry doesn’t care about Iran’s nukes or its breakout times and he resents having to memorize this stuff. What excites him is giving the finger to America and meeting up with enemies of this country. It’s how he began his career and it’s how he’s ending it now. The more questions he has to answer, the more flustered he becomes because we’re the mean parents embarrassing him in front of the cool ayatollah.

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


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

Hezbollah chief warns Arab states against fostering ties with Israel - Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff

by Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff

Moderate Arab nations' attempts to normalize relations with Israel are "very dangerous" and "must be countered," Hassan Nasrallah says in televised speech in Beirut • Arab states that pursue cooperation with Israel will "face dire consequences," he warns.

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah [Archive]
Photo credit: AP

Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff


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

PM: 'We aren't partners at the table; we are a meal on the menu' - Yoni Hersch, Shlomo Cesana, Eli Leon, Daniel Siryoti, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

by Yoni Hersch, Shlomo Cesana, Eli Leon, Daniel Siryoti, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

Netanyahu responds to news that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will skip Israel during upcoming visit to the region • CNN poll: 52% of Americans say Congress should reject deal with Iran • Kerry: "Nothing in this deal is built on trust. Nothing."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz during the public hearing before the House Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday
|Photo credit: GettyImages
Yoni Hersch, Shlomo Cesana, Eli Leon, Daniel Siryoti, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff  


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

Iraqi Leader Mithal Al-Alusi: ISIS is an Arab-Muslim Creation; I Long For Peace With Israel - MEMRI


In an interview with the Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai that was published July 5, 2015, Sunni Iraqi MP and leader of the Ummah Party Mithal Al-Alusi said that the Arabs and Muslims are responsible for the emergence of the Islamic State (ISIS). Arguing that ISIS the organization is an Arab and Muslim creation because it was they who allowed extremist views, a vengeance mentality, and nullification of the other, he called for combating this approach, and for uniting the Arab and Muslim ranks in the struggle against ISIS.
The newspaper asked Al-Alusi, who has visited Israel several times, about his position vis-à-vis the country, and he replied that he supports peace with Israel and longs for an Iraqi Embassy in Israel with an Iraqi flag flying atop it. He also called Iran an "insane actor" that is gambling with the lives of the Iranian people in its attempts to take over the region.
Following are excerpts from the interview:
Mithal Al-Alusi (Source: Al-Rai, Kuwait, July 5, 2015)

Iraq Should Rebuild Its Relations With Arab Countries
"Q: Iraq has been fighting ISIS and dealing with internal political crises. Is this the appropriate time to rebuild its relations with Arab countries?"
"A: Iraq is a founding member of the Arab League, and must rebuild its relations with Arab [countries]. The previous [Ba'thist] regime, even 50 years ago, did not act as a country but rather in accordance with the path of an absolutist ruler [i.e. Saddam Hussein], and this did not express the Iraqi state's level or ambitions. The current regime has also erred. Iraq should understand the importance of relations with the countries of the region. Saddam [Hussein] committed a crime when he invaded Kuwait, [when he launched] the Iran-Iraq war and internal wars, and [when he] killed Iraqis. It is time for us to act as a country, and no foreign minister, prime minister, or any other politician should do what he wishes."
End Ties With The U.S.
"Q: Is there a strategic dimension to Iraq's policy? Why do some parties insist on ending ties with the U.S.?"
"A: It might seem strange that this demand is made by democratic liberals whom I help lead, [but] I am among those who want to end ties with it. These ties are characterized by patronage and ambiguity. The Iraqis should not demand that the U.S. be their mother, father, and sponsor. [On the other hand,] the Americans should understand that U.S.-Iraq relations are an interest far removed from occupation and liberation, and from ideological aspects..."
"Q: Is it the U.S. that wishes to relinquish Iraq?"
"A: No. It would be an injustice [to say that]. The U.S. has paid, and is still paying, a heavy price in Iraq. It is unfair and unjust to attack it like this. The Obama administration claims that what is happening in Iraq is the legacy of Bush, and that the Iraqis have failed and do not want to succeed, because he hears from Iraqi politicians and leaders that they do not want the U.S."
ISIS Is A Product Of Extremist Islam, We Must Unite To Fight It
"Q: What is the future of the war against ISIS, which is spreading to Iraq's neighbors and to other countries in the region?"
"A: I am glad to see ISIS spreading to the Gulf states. This might be a shocking statement, but I mean no offense and certainly do not relish the death of anyone, either from the Gulf or from Israel. But we must all understand that ISIS is the disease of this generation, and could continue [to exist] for another 100 years. This crisis is not only Iraq's. We must fight our internal mentality – the mentality of vengeance and nullification of the other [that] created ISIS, the criminal terrorist organization that harms Islam and that committed a criminal terrorist act in Kuwait against our Kuwaiti sons, friends, neighbors, and brothers, and the [terrorist] actions in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and elsewhere. All these are the victims of ISIS. We must understand that this group is a terrorist organization that all must combat. We must all stand on a united front. If we agree to this, [it means] that we agree to a new world, without militias and weapons."
"Q: You have argued that [ISIS] will exist for 100 years. Will this become part of the political reality?"
"A: Terrorism is absolutely not going to end in less than 100 years... What drives a teenager from Europe – the continent of music, culture, art, and liberty – to grow his 'beard' and to adopt views that call for crime, killing, and cruelty, to leave behind happiness and freedom in order to join an exiled barbaric group? There is a global rebel movement that emerged because of a failure of culture, an economic crisis, or a lack of understanding. The propagandists of extremist Islam have exploited this to establish ISIS, and we must fight them by punishing anyone who commits a crime."
"Q: Who created ISIS?"
"A: It is our creation, not a Western or European or Crusader or Jewish or Israeli creation. It is a creation of the Arabs and Muslims, because we have failed to protect our society and have allowed these extremist views –to exist]."
"Q: Do you believe that the post-2003 circumstances in Iraq are what created ISIS, specifically after the dismantling of the previous entities?"
"A: There is no doubt that ISIS is the first phase in the development that was created from Al-Qaeda. And there is no doubt that [Al-Qaeda in Iraq founder] Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi played a significant role that made the creation of ISIS possible – as did the eight years of failure by the [Iraqi] government, and the great lies that it, and the parliament, told when they announced educational, security, and economic achievements, as well as reconciliation [among sectarian groups in Iraq]. It was all a lie. ISIS constitutes a reaction and a rebellion by the failed, the foolish, the criminal, and the wretched. ISIS has a pathetic lunatic [i.e. Al-Baghdadi] who should [be committed to] a psychiatric hospital – but at this time he is the leader of ISIS – [an organization] that was created as a result of the Arab-Islamic failure."
Iraq Is Suffering From A Crisis And A Dangerous Social Struggle
"Q: Will Al-Anbar remains in the hands of ISIS and suffer the same fate as Mosul?"
"A: The government has announced goals [including the liberation of Mosul and Al-Anbar], and Iraqi political forces [have also] stated that the liberation of Mosul and Al-Anbar is near. This is not true. We must acknowledge that most ISIS fighters – more than 90% of them – are Iraqis. They are members of the Abu Nimr, Abu Fahd, Abu Risha, and other tribes. There is a crisis and a dangerous social struggle, which will not be resolved solely by military means. We require a strategic action center to lay out the military foundations. We must prove to the citizens that the state and independent judiciary can deter the corrupt. Therefore, so long as the people see a government that cannot enact reforms, Al-Anbar and Mosul will not be liberated, and we [will] not [be able to] defend Baghdad."
Iran Will Not Take Over The Region
"Q: Isn't Iran is the most influential [country] in the region?"
"A: No. It is the most insane actor, which gambles with the lives of its sons, its people, and its history in order to [realize] the Iranian leaders' false vision. It is inconceivable that Iran will control the region someday, and it does not have the power to do so."
Iraq Is Not Ripe For True National Reconciliation
"Q: In light of the existence and continued expansion of ISIS, do you believe that Iraq's political scene would be forced to discuss solutions such as true reconciliation for deeply rooted crises?"
"A: Before we launch a project of national reconciliation, we must understand that rejecting the other is inhuman, savage, and not much different than ISIS itself. The Iraqi parties are not the only ones responsible for this failure – we all are. Reconciliation is a lofty project that will place citizenship, peace, and human rights at the top [of the agenda]. However, do we currently treat Christians and Muslims equally? When has the country [truly] been ripe [for reconciliation]? I believe that reconciliation is nonexistent."
Peace With Israel Is In Our Interest
"Q: Do you support normalization with Israel?"
"A: Yes. Israel is a state and I support peace with it. I want to see an [Iraqi] embassy [in Israel] and the Iraqi flag flying atop it. This is in our interest. I do not want to tie our interests [solely] to Abu Mazen



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IRS's fake search for Lois Lerner emails didn't even cover 5 of 6 possible sources - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

The agency’s ineptness -- or corruption -- resulted in 24,000 Lerner emails being lost when they were “accidentally” destroyed.

Face it: the IRS is a rogue agency, politicized, and contemptuously failing to undertake its duty to uncover evidence of political corruption within itself.  The fact that, unique among agencies of the federal government, it can presume guilt and force the taxpayer to prove innocence makes this abuse of power toxic to democratic republicanism.

Americans for Tax Reform has the evidence that the IRS is engaged in a cover-up of the illegal activities of Lois Lerner.
The IRS failed to search five of six possible sources of electronic media for Lois Lerner’s emails, according to documentation released by the House Oversight Committee on Monday.
Over the course of investigations into the Lois Lerner targeting scandal, Commissioner John Koskinen repeatedly assured Congress that he would provide all of Lois Lerner’s emails. But based on testimony from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), this did not occur. The agency’s ineptness -- or corruption -- resulted in 24,000 Lerner emails being lost when they were “accidentally” destroyed. 
According to TIGTA official Timothy Camus, the IRS had six possible sources to search for Lois Lerner’s emails:
“The hard drive would have been a source, Blackberry source, backup tapes a source, the backup tapes for the server drives and then finally the loaner lap tops.”
When asked how many of these sources the IRS searched, Camus says was unable to say for certain whether the IRS had searched any. Although Camus acknowledged that the agency employees initially checked her hard drive, it appears that more could have been done to recover data from this source. Instead, the hard drive was briefly checked and all data was deemed unrecoverable:
“We’re not aware that they searched any one in particular. They did – it appears they did look into initially whether or not the hard drive had been destroyed, but they didn’t go much further than that.”
The agency’s refusal to conduct due diligence in its search for Lerner’s emails meant that 1,000 emails were not found until TIGTA searched backup tapes. When asked why the IRS did not give these emails to Congress, Camus said it was because the agency never looked for them in the first place:
“To the best we can determine through the investigation, they just simply didn’t look for those emails.”
Commissioner Koskinen stated that the IRS took “extraordinary efforts” to recover any emails, but this is clearly not the case. Years after the investigations into the Lois Lerner targeting scandal began, the agency’s unprecedented obstruction has meant Americans are no closer to the truth.
Reps. DeSantis and Chaffetz have demanded Koskinen’s firing, or else they will hold impeachment hearings.  Those hearings should proceed with all deliberate speed.

Thomas Lifson


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The vultures circling over Syria’s carcass - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav

The situation in Syria these days is amazingly similar to this pastoral picture of death: the state is dying, and an entire flock of birds is beginning to peck at it in order to consume what is left, while quarreling with one another over various parts of the state.

Anyone who travels in the hills of the Galilee or the Golan Heights is familiar with the magnificent spectacle of a flock of ravens, eagles, kites or hawks circling in the sky over one point for many hours. We know why this happens: beneath the rotating circle is a cow, sheep or other animal, whose movements testify to the approaching moment of death when its body will become immobile. The birds of prey track the vital signs, and the weaker they become, the lower the birds fly. The moment the animal stops moving they invade to tear pieces of its flesh with their sharp beaks.

As long as the birds are in the air they circle, one behind the other, each one keeping a safe distance between them. But the moment that they pounce on the carcass they begin to quarrel with each other over the most desirable parts, especially if their collective appetite is larger than the size of the animal’s carcass.

The situation in Syria these days is amazingly similar to this pastoral picture of death: the state is dying, and an entire flock of birds is beginning to peck at it in order to consume what is left, while quarreling with one another over various parts of the state.

The first bird is the Kurdish minority, which resides in northern Syria, which was liberated from control of the state during 2012, and established an autonomous regime for itself with its own small military force, obtaining weapons, ammunition and training from their brothers-in-arms, the Peshmerga, the army of Iraqi Kurdistan. They are aware of the fact that the Turks are against the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish territory and therefore their spokesmen have said again and again for the four past years that they are not trying to secede from Syria and the only thing they demand is that the state recognize their cultural and linguistic needs. 

However, the more time passes, the more the Kurds understand that the state of Syria is becoming a thing of the past, and the developing reality in Syria – especially since the Islamic State began to take control on the eastern part of the state – imposed upon the Kurds the situation where they must take responsibility for their own fate; that they must establish an entity to defend themselves, both from the Islamic State in the South or from the Turks in the North. Such an entity could be called a “state”, even if it is not declared as such, and would be similar to that which exists in northern Iraq - and this drives the Turks mad.

The second vulture comprises a long list of Syrian militias, some of which have an Islamic-jihadist character (the most prominent among them being Jabhat al-Nusra) and some of which have a nationalist character (especially, the Free Syrian Army) or a local character. These militias began their operations in the poor neighborhoods of Daraa, Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo, and have won the generous support of the Gulf countries, especially Qatar. Later, for the entire year of 2013, they took control of the border crossing points to Turkey and Iraq and enabled the jihadists to pass freely into Syria. Today they control wide areas of the northern part of the state in the area of Aleppo-Idlib and are progressing westward toward the area of the coast populated by Alawites, while openly declaring their intention to physically destroy this infidel minority, which numbers about two million men, women and children. In the South as well, opposite the Golan Heights, they control a wide area and threaten Damascus from the South. 

The opening of the borders to jihadists has hastened the deterioration of the Asad regime but has also planted the seeds of the next calamity, because the flow of jihadists into the state has enable them to join the Islamic State – the third vulture – which invaded Syria in mid-2014. This state, which was founded in Iraq in the year 2004 as a branch of al-Qaeda, following the invasion by the Western coalition and the fall of Saddam Hussein, became increasingly radical, in the ideological-Islamist aspect as well as the operational-jihadist aspect, imposed the strictest form of Islamic Sharia law on the territories that it had conquered in Iraq and Syria and brought the filming of executions by beheading into fashion.

Today, the Islamic State rules sixty percent (!) of the territory of Syria, in Iraq, it controls territory in the eastern and the central part, which is a sparsely populated desert region, but it threatens to spread westward and take over Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo, whether it is fighting the Kurds, for example the cities of Kobane and Hasakah, or Jabhat al-Nusra. We must bear in mind that Jabhat al-Nusra was part of the Islamic State for two weeks, in June of 2004, but disassociated from it as a result of disagreements over how to relate to non-Muslims. In my opinion, it is possible that Islamic State will “convince” Jabhat al-Nusra, with ways that we have become familiar with, to join it, especially in light of the very broad common denominator that exists between the two organizations.

Turkey, the fourth bird of prey, has invested great efforts into toppling Asad and his regime, because it is led by an infidel group, the Alawites, and because of the genocide that was carried out against Sunni Muslims, who opposed the rule of Asad’s father ever since he took control of the state at the end of 1970. Erdogan was infuriated when Bashar began to walk in his father’s path, slaughtering demonstrators starting in March 2011; therefore Turkey has supported anyone who opposed Asad for the past four years. However, to its surprise, Syria fell victim to two birds of prey that Turkey is not at all interested in having on its border: the Kurds and Islamic State. Therefore, in recent days, Turkey has begun vigorous activity, both in the military sphere and the political-diplomatic sphere, in order to create a “security zone” within Syria, for the length of its border with Turkey. The explanation for external consumption is that this zone is supposed to protect the Syrians who are fleeing from the battles, instead of entering Turkey and joining the almost million Syrian refugees who are already there, but the true Turkish intention is to take control of part of Syria in order to prevent the Kurds from establishing a Kurdish entity on its southern border.

The fifth bird of prey is Hizb’Allah. This Shi’ite organization watches with anxiety as Syria falls prey to the Sunni birds, and it fears, very much fears, that they will not stop at the border, a border that they do not recognize, and will continue westward in order to separate Shi’ite heads from their necks. Hizb’Allah already has taken control of areas of Syria that abut the border of Lebanon in the areas of Arsal, Hermel, Qusayr and Homs, in order to stop the ranks of jihadists while they are still in Syria and before they enter the Lebanon Valley where many Shi’ites live, in the vicinity of the city of Baalbek.

The sixth bird of prey is the Druze in southern Syria. After many years spent as part of the regime, they wake up one day and see that it is collapsing, with the military units that had been encamped in southern Syria disappearing in order to protect areas that are more sensitive and important to the regime, such as the capital Damascus and the Alawite area on the coast; and so the Druze are abandoned to their bitter fate meted out by the Islamists’ knives. The Druze increasingly understand that only a political, independent, armed and determined entity, trained for battle, will be able to defend them, both in the Druze Mountain and the Khader enclave on Mount Hermon. Israel and Jordan stay in the background and aid the Druze as much as they can.

The seventh bird of prey is the Iranians. In Syria there are thousands of fighters belonging to the Quds Force, which belongs to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and on two fronts – Idlib and Qalamoun Mountain – the Iranians are the ones who are waging the war and giving the orders to the Syrian and Hizb’Allah military units. General Qassem Suleimani, the commander of Quds Force, is on the scene, and he draws on the rich battle experience that he accumulated in the Iran-Iraq War during the eighties and from supporting the Shi’a militias in Iraq in their war against the coalition forces led by the U.S. beginning in 2003. Despite the fact that his hands are smeared with American blood, he suits the U.S. quite well since the U.S. hopes that the Iranians in Syria will do something serious against the Islamic State. This also partially explains the American eagerness to come to a nuclear agreement with Iran.

There are reports that the Iranians have begun to transfer families from Iran to the Alawite territory, but these reports must be seen as dubious. Nevertheless, we must not forget that in Syria there are sites that are holy to Shi’ite Islam, so Iran could take over of parts of Syria claiming to be “guarding the holy sites”. Why not?

The eighth bird is the Russians. They will do anything they can to help Asad, especially with the weapons that flow from Russia via the port of Tartus to his depleted forces. Russia will not see a single penny from all of its investments in Syria, and it might lose access to the last seaport that it has in the Mediterranean Sea. It may be that Russia will take control, “temporarily”, of Tartus and Latakia “to protect the population”, meaning, to protect its interests in these port cities.

This is how Syria is now falling prey to the various vultures. These days the American government has named a new envoy to Syria, Michael Ratney, a polished, Arabic speaking diplomat, who has filled many roles in the Middle East, including general consul in Jerusalem. Ratney’s most important task will be to make some order among the birds of prey, to assure that something of the Syrian carcass will also remain for the American eagle.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar


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Several killed in reported Israeli strike on Syrian territory - Or Heller

by Or Heller

Arab media reported several casualties, after a vehicle was attacked by an aircraft on the Syrian Golan Heights. According to reports, the attack is attributed to Israel and Hezbollah fighters are among the dead. The IDF does not comment on the reports

Arab media reported on Wednesday several people were killed in an attack of a vehicle near the village of Hader, in the Syrian Golan Heights. An office Hezbollah source told the "Al Jazeera" that in the attack, which he attributes to Israel, two operatives from the organization were killed. He also claimed that a drone of the IDF carried out the attack.

Lebanese "Al-Midian" Channel reported that three additional people were killed in the attack. The three were members of the "Popular Committees" – a militia that supports the Assad regime and helps Hezbollah in the fighting in Syria. According to estimates, the group that was attacked was on its way to carry out an attack on the border fence.

The defense establishment is not responding to the reports, saying "we do not comment on foreign media reports."

Or Heller


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