Thursday, August 17, 2017

Russia Assists Mullahs' Illegal Military Ambitions - Ari Lieberman




by Ari Lieberman


Enabling terror and and mayhem throughout the region.




​The Jerusalem Post, citing the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, reports that Iran used a Boeing commercial airliner to secretly transport offensive military hardware to Russia. According to Welt am Sonntag, two Iranian airplanes, including a Boeing commercial airliner, flew directly from Iran to the Russian occupied Khmeimim air base in Syria where the military hardware was unloaded onto trucks.

From Khmeimim, the trucks made their way to the Syrian port Tartus where they were off loaded onto a ship bound for the Russian Black Sea port city of Novorossiysk. The paper notes that the military hardware was sent to Russia for “service maintenance.” Welt am Sonntag also posted satellite imagery clearly showing an Iranian Boeing commercial airliner, purchased by the Iranians before the Shah’s overthrow, parked on the tarmac at Khmeimim.

Khmeimim airbase is Russia’s most important airbase in Syria and has been used by the Russian air force to conduct offensive operations against anti-regime forces. It has also been used by the Iranians to clandestinely transport military equipment to Hezbollah and other Iranian proxy forces. The most recent revelation demonstrates that Iran is using Khmeimim as a transit point for shipment of weapon systems to Russia that are in need of upgrade or maintenance.

Welt am Sonntag did not specify what type of offensive weapons were involved in this particular transaction but it did note it was in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. UNSCR 2231 calls upon Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” The cargo was likely ballistic missiles or their components.

Iran has flagrantly defied UNSCR 2231 by engaging in multiple ICBM test-fires and launches. The surreptitious nature of this particular undertaking was likely designed to obfuscate Russia’s role in disregarding a UNSC resolution, and one that it had a hand in formulating. 

The use of an Iranian Boeing commercial airliner to transport Iranian military hardware, and particularly offensive military hardware that violates a UNSC resolution, does not bode well for Boeing’s efforts to conduct business with the Iranians. Following the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran deal, two Iranian airline companies expressed interest in purchasing over 100 Boeing commercial airliners.

Iran Air placed an order for 80 planes. The deal is reportedly worth $16.6 billion. A second Iranian airline, Aseman Airlines, requested 30 737 MAX aircraft with purchase rights for an additional 30. That deal is reportedly worth $3 billion. Iran Air also placed an order with Boeing’s European competitor, Airbus, for purchase of 112 aircraft worth a reported $25 billion.

Both Boeing and Airbus require United States Treasury Department approval before the planes can be sold to Iran. Though Airbus is manufactured in Europe, it also requires Treasury’s approval because at least 10 percent of the airplanes’ components are of American origin.

Despite the JCPOA, Congress has demonstrated that it is in no mood for Iranian monkey business and recently passed legislation imposing additional sanctions on Iran aimed at punishing the Islamic Republic for its repeated ballistic missile transgressions, nefarious procurement efforts of dual use technology and support for terrorist groups. Moreover, despite certifying that Iran was in technical compliance with the JCPOA, President Trump has explicitly stated that Iran is not in compliance with the spirit of the accord.

Naturally, Boeing and Airbus want to consummate the lucrative deals. According to Boeing, the deal will provide 18,000 jobs for American workers. But those opposed to the deal correctly argue that in the Islamic Republic, there is no division between Iranian civilian institutions such as commercial airline companies, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Civilian infrastructure deemed useful to the IRGC has either been absorbed or appropriated by the Islamic Republic’s terror arm. The sighting of a Boeing commercial airliner parked on the tarmac of Russia’s most important military airbase in Syria, and its use in clandestinely transporting military contraband, represents no clearer proof of this fact.

The Iranian air force has been plagued with a series of major accidents – more than 200 in the last quarter-century – resulting in thousands of fatalities including senior IRGC officials. Sanctions against Iran have hurt its ability to safely transport men and material. With the purchase of new Boeings and Airbus commercial airliners, Iran will be able to discard its aging relics in favor of a fleet of modern Western aircraft. While some of these aircraft will be used for commercial purposes, there is absolutely no doubt that the IRGC will employ these dual use platforms to spread additional terror and mayhem throughout the region.      

Ari Lieberman

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267590/russia-assists-mullahs-illegal-military-ambitions-ari-lieberman

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Just Like the Good Old Soviet Days - Bruce Bawer




by Bruce Bawer


EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos strives to enforce "proper solidarity."




On November 13, 1968, Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, delivered a now-famous speech spelling out the “Brezhnev doctrine,” which was intended to justify the recent invasion of Czechoslovakia and to warn other Soviet satellites not to try to escape Moscow's orbit. The Czechs and Slovaks had wanted to tear themselves away from Soviet control and live in a free country like those of Western Europe; in Brezhnev's oration, this desire was transformed, via the magic of Kremlin Newspeak, into an attempt by “imperialist” countries to “sow dissension” in “individual socialist states,” thereby turning them away from “the principles of Marxism-Leninism.” While professing to “respect...sovereignty,” Brezhnev warned that any “deviation from socialism” was unacceptable and would necessitate “military assistance” by the USSR and its “allies” to any “fraternal country” facing “a threat to the socialist system.”

A brief glossary: imperialist was, of course, a euphemism for free and democratic; socialist, for totalitarian Communist; ally and fraternal country, for satellite or vassal or puppet state; military assistance, for a full-scale invasion by the Red Army, which would crush the democratic resistance and execute its leaders.

Brezhnev's message, filtered through all those euphemisms, was clear to the comrades inside the Iron Curtain: obey, or be invaded.

A little over a decade later, thanks to the rise of the Solidarity movement in Poland, the Soviets faced a crisis in which it was widely feared that the Brezhnev doctrine might shortly be invoked. From the New York Times, April 6, 1981:

Leonid I. Brezhnev, the Soviet leader, flew to Prague today amid intense speculation here and in Eastern Europe that a decision by Moscow on whether to intervene in Poland would come in the next few days....Even as Mr. Brezhnev left Moscow, the Soviet party newspaper Pravda demanded for the fourth straight day that Polish Communists crack down on the independent trade union, Solidarity, and argued in a front-page editorial that “any deviation, even the slightest” from Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy “brings with it grave consequences for socialism.”
Such, then, was the tyrannical power structure that characterized the Warsaw Pact and the rich lexicon of euphemistic rhetoric that the Kremlin and its toadies reflexively deployed in reference to it.

Flash forward to 2017. In June, the European Commission sues the governments of Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic for refusing to accept so-called migrants from the Middle East and north Africa who are currently working on their tans in Greece and Italy. The governments hold firm. On July 26, Moscow – sorry, Brussels – gives them an ultimatum: they have one month to snap into line. On the same day, an official at the Court of Justice of the European Union rules that the EC's migrant-relocation orders are legal. Well, naturally they're legal: the EU itself makes the laws under which it operates. Just as the system of government in the good old Eastern bloc provided no peaceful way for the oppressed masses to question or check or challenge Moscow's power, so the eminentos in Brussels have defanged their own subject peoples, fobbing off on them a parliament that has no authority whatsoever to initiate legislation and that is effectively subordinate to the unelected, autocratic Politburo – sorry, European Commission.

There are good reasons, needless to say, why Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic would prefer not to follow the EC's directives on migrants. Just look at a map of where European jihadist attacks have occurred in recent years. There's a simple reason why one city after another in western Europe has been targeted while eastern Europe has been almost entirely spared. It's called border control. Unlike most of the technocrats who run Western Europe, most of the leaders of Eastern Europe have put the interests of their own people above those of unvetted – and unvettable – foreigners claiming to be refugees.

Ever heard of Dimitris Avramopoulos? Don't worry, nobody else has either. Outside of his own homeland, Greece, where he was mayor of Athens, nobody has ever voted for him for anything. But he's a powerful man, holding the august title of EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship. On July 26, commenting on the disobedience of the duly elected Polish, Czech, and Hungarian governments, this Hellenic technocrat sounded for all the world like a Communist dictator – like Brezhnev trying to threaten and cajole Warsaw back into the fold. “There is still time,” said Avramopoulos darkly, “to change everything and come back to normality.” Normality – a fine Kremlin-worthy euphemism for obedience, deference, docility. Avropoulos then engaged in a bit of apparatchik-style finger-wagging: noting that, on the migrant issue, most EU states – especially Sweden – have been showing “proper solidarity” and “making enormous efforts in a real European spirit,” he expressed “regret that other member states continue to show no solidarity and to ignore our repeated calls to participate in this common effort.” Solidarity; European spirit; common effort – more cozy euphemisms for obedience. How do you say “Orwellian” in Greek?

Avramopoulos explained that EU action against the three recalcitrant countries had reached the second stage in what is known as an “infringement procedure” – a term that any Soviet commissar would have been proud to have come up with. Step one in this procedure involves “letters of formal notice” sent to the refractory governments. Step two is a second letter, this one officially called “a reasoned opinion.” Another nice turn of phrase: although the EU claims not to be a superstate, it has plainly arrogated to itself the role of deciding what is and is not “reasoned.” Step three: if this trio of contumacious children fails to knuckle under to Brussels within a month, they face the possibility of being dragged into the Court of Justice. Hefty fines, or worse, may result.

A couple of weeks go by. Poland, Hungary, and Czechia – that's what they want us to call them now – refuse to budge. On August 7, Italian socialist Matteo Renzi, a former prime minister and current candidate for a return to that office, says he'll use an “iron fist” to compel the three countries to “respect the rules” – a handy reminder that Mussolini, at least in his early years, was also a socialist.

Just like Brezhnev, the EU insists that it respects national sovereignty. Obviously that's as much of a lie now as it was then. Like the Warsaw Pact, the EU is no voluntary association of “fraternal countries”; it's a budding dictatorship, a malevolent colossus, an ongoing exercise in the amassing of undemocratic power and the dissipation of freedom. It's also a shaky vessel that's taking on so many non-paying passengers that it's destined to sink. The Brexiters were right to vote to jump ship – let's hope that actually happens. And let's hope the Poles, Czechs, and Hungarians stick to their guns. The quicker the EU founders and the peoples of Europe regain their sovereignty, the better for them, and the better for the cause of freedom in the world.

Bruce Bawer is the author of “While Europe Slept,” “Surrender,” and "The Victims' Revolution." His novel "The Alhambra" has just been published.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267520/just-good-old-soviet-days-bruce-bawer

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The libel that kills - Nadav Shragai




by Nadav Shragai

This is mainly the defense of democracy against the freedom to incite that is liable to lead to bloodshed and the loss of human life in the future.

Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement's outlawed Northern Branch, refers to himself as the Al-Aqsa sheikh, sailed on the Gaza blockade-busting Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, and for years has spoken of his vision for a global caliphate with Jerusalem as its capital. He is also the same man who for years has disseminated the false warning that "Al-Aqsa is in danger." 

His latest arrest, one of dozens, presents a legal question: Has this false suggestion that Israel is somehow planning to destroy Al-Aqsa mosque shifted from being an abstract claim to being an actual weapon, considering that it has motivated vehicular rammers, stabbers, shooters and murderers in recent years?

In practice, the answer is clear: This libel does indeed kill. Quite literally. Hundreds of attacks in recent years were motivated by this falsehood.

It is enough to consider the indictments issued against the attackers, as well as their own statements and Facebook pages, to understand that this libel -- rooted in the days of Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini -- has gone beyond the point of just venomous propaganda. It has been turned into an actual weapon, the equivalent of a suicide bomber, a Qassam rocket or a gun. Those who repeat this libel over and over are akin to an attacker who pulls the pin of a grenade or starts a timer on a bomb.

The most serious aspect of this problem is that this claim, directed at the Israeli government, is entirely unfounded. In fact, even those who endlessly repeat it don't always believe the things they themselves are saying. 

The only instance when a state commission of inquiry investigated Salah and his libel in depth was after the events of October 2000 (when unrest on the Temple Mount spiraled into the Second Intifada), in which 12 Israeli Arabs were killed. The Or Commission, a state-appointed panel, investigated the events.

We should remember the findings of the committee members, then-Supreme Court Justice Theodore Or, Hashem Khatib and Professor Shimon Shamir:

"It is implausible that Salah in fact believed that the government planned to destroy the mosques and build a temple in their place, as he claimed. There is no escaping the conclusion that his statements on the matter were aimed at gaining political capital, to recruit supporters and hone the struggle. 

"His calls to liberate Al-Aqsa through blood, especially as expressed in the mass festivals of rage he organized, served to escalate the tense atmosphere in the Arab sector on the eve of the October events." 

Since then, Salah has continued to make inflammatory remarks. He has paid for some of these remarks with time in prison, but it is very unlikely that he has changed his ways. 

The attempt to keep him behind bars is a legitimate attempt to protect the public from what amounts to a ticking time bomb. 

This is not an infringement on his freedom of religion nor is it a violation of the tenets of democracy or freedom of speech. This is mainly the defense of democracy against the freedom to incite that is liable to lead to bloodshed and the loss of human life in the future.


Nadav Shragai

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=19689

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Will Trump Act Alone on North Korea? - Robert Caskey




by Robert Caskey

Japanese officials said the two countries would take “concrete” steps to ensure the public is protected from the threat North Korea poses.

As North Korea continues to push the world closer to the nuclear abyss, U.S. secretary of defense James Mattis and U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson recently defined the United States’ policy toward Pyongyang as “strategic accountability,” in which Washington and its allies are standing fast against Kim’s provocations. While it’s unclear what this new doctrine will entail, wishy-washy diplomatic overtures are unlikely to convince Kim to relinquish his nuclear program. While Donald Trump successfully rallied China, Pyongyang’s only ally, and Russia in passing the recent UN Security Council’s (UNSC) decision to impose “the strongest sanctions ever,” diplomacy has clearly reached its end -- as U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said herself.

Only a few days before, the Trump administration put its foot down and proclaimed that the time for talk was over, now that the ICBM test revealed that the North has the capacity to launch missiles to American cities as far as the Mississippi. In a direct and blatant challenge to Washington, North Korea’s state media agency then said that the regime will soon send “unexpected gift packages” and called on the Trump administration to “wave a white flag”. The time to face the regime head-on is now. But what exactly could Trump do?

Pyongyang breaching a new military threshold shows that diplomacy, posturing and the imposition of sanctions have had no significant impact on North Korea’s ruling elite and have failed repeatedly to contain the threat Pyongyang poses to the world. After years of failed “strategic patience” under Barack Obama that have only helped to escalate the threat to America’s security to critical levels, Washington has no realistic diplomatic options to make North Korea surrender its nuclear program.

The limits of diplomacy

While Trump’s dropping of announced steel tariffs may have had something to do with China’s favorable UNSC vote, Beijing is anything but a reliable partner. The Middle Kingdom deeply mistrusts the U.S, and is generally too busy flexing its muscles at Washington instead of using its influence to force Pyongyang into submission. China has even sought to absolve itself of all responsibility on the North Korean issue by arguing that it is up to us alone to reduce tensions on the peninsula. Never mind the $2.2 billion in transactions that Beijing processed on Pyongyang’s behalf or that the regime’s ICBMs are paraded around on Chinese trucks. And China’s enforcement of sanctions has thus far been woefully inadequate anyway. Unwilling to cut the umbilical, Beijing will not suddenly change its ways now.

Even South Korea, the country facing by far the largest and most pressing threat from its neighbor’s tyrannical leadership, has gone “missing in action” in international efforts to pressure Pyongyang into stepping back from the precipice. Rather than addressing the escalating crisis over North Korea’s increasingly aggressive and erratic behavior, South Korean President Moon Jae-in saw fit to postpone emergency discussions with President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in favor of continuing his vacation -- does this remind you of certain former American president?

In another act of raging idiocy, Moon has decided to undermine the South Korea-Japan alliance by triggering a review of the “irreversible” 2015 Comfort Women Agreement struck between Seoul and Tokyo. The U.S.-brokered agreement was regarded as a major breakthrough in bilateral relations, and was connected to hopes that both countries would bury the hatchet: Japan issued an official apology and paid millions to victims and their families. But instead of making peace, the Moon regime and an NGO with shady North Korean ties that claims to speak on behalf of surviving comfort women, have decided to up the pressure on Tokyo by building provocative statues commemorating the victims: in front of Japan’s embassy in Seoul, in Atlanta, GE, or in Germany.

But even with Seoul in thrall to nationalist sentiment, and China playing hot potato, Trump is not alone. The President and Japan’s Abe agreed to take “further action” against Pyongyang during a lengthy telephone conversation in July. Japanese officials said the two countries would take “concrete” steps to ensure the public is protected from the threat North Korea poses. Despite the tough talking, experts fear military action is not an option, on account of the fact that any retaliation from North Korea would pose an unacceptable level of risk to both Koreans and Americans.

But it wouldn’t be the first time that Trump would prove experts wrong. Since it is now clear that neither China nor South Korea can be counted on, the U.S. and Japan need to call the shots and raise the costs for Pyongyang. While showing strength via launching apparent tit-for-tat intercontinental ballistic missile tests and issuing sanction after sanction can only go so far, a coalition of the willing must now deploy resources and make it clear to Kim that his behavior will not be tolerated. Otherwise, more apathy will just embolden Pyongyang, which could very easily decide that it is worth launching a nuclear attack targeting the homeland.

Which is why military strikes and covert operations, while not ideal, are better options at this point than doing nothing. And if we were to take Lindsey Graham’s word for it, this is exactly what Trump is thinking: "If there’s going to be a war to stop [Kim Jong Un], it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here. And he has told me that to my face," claimed the failed presidential candidate on NBC’s Today show.

Trump was right to launch strikes when he learned the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons against its own people, and correctly called out Barack Obama for failing to tackle the threat posed by Islamists during his Presidency. For America and our allies, Trump should apply the same lessons to North Korea’s crackpot rogue regime and prevent a psychopath from holding the world hostage to nuclear threat.

Robert Caskey

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/08/will_trump_act_alone_on_north_korea.html

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Trump Takes Aim at the “Alt-Left” - Matthew Vadum




by Matthew Vadum


The president won’t let the racist and violent Left off the hook for Charlottesville violence.




President Trump’s politically incorrect insistence on blaming radical leftists for their rightful share of the violence on Saturday in Charlottesville is being met with predictable howls of outrage by the Left and the media.

At the protest, alleged neo-Nazi James Alex Fields, used his car to plow into a crowd of counter-protesters not far from the scheduled rally at Emancipation Park. About 20 people were injured, one of them fatally. Paralegal Heather D. Heyer, 32, was killed.

But left-wingers who descended in force on the rally site attacked people with bats and clubs, a fact President Trump stubbornly clings to despite intense pressure from the media and the rest of the Left to drop it. The people holding the “Unite the Right” rally may not all have been upstanding citizens, but holding and expressing views that are unpopular, even widely considered to be morally repugnant, is no reason to deprive those people of the right to express themselves in public.

President Trump has repeatedly denounced the right-wing extremists who organized the rally but at the same time he has stood up for their First Amendment rights. Trump stirred up a hornet’s nest during a press conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan yesterday when he was pushed by reporters to lay the blame for the violence in the Virginia college town exclusively on the “alt-right” and right-wing extremists such as neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and skinheads.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) defended the violent left-wing fascists he euphemistically describes as counter-protesters. "The violence in Charlottesville was not caused by the 'alt-left,' (whatever that may be)," the failed 2016 Democratic president contender tweeted. "It was caused by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists."

That neo-Nazis and white-supremacists were involved in the melees is true, but Sanders isn’t telling the whole story.

President Trump filled in the blanks.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at the alt-right?” Trump said to journalists who sputtered with rage at his impudent refusal to toe the line. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

The president continued:
Let me ask you this. What about the fact they came charging — that they came charging, with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. So, you know, as far as I'm concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day. Wait a minute. I'm not finished. I'm not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day.
“Is it the same level as neo-Nazis?” a reporter asked.

“I will tell you something,” Trump said.
I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it, and you have - You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I'll say it right now. You had a group, you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.
So what is the alt-left?

Alt-left, a play on the phrase alt-right, has been popularized by conservatives such as WND’s Joseph Farah and radio and TV host Sean Hannity, an ardent defender of President Trump. Both alt- phrases aren’t easily defined and are hurled as epithets, though alt-left seems to have even less of a fixed meaning than alt-right.

Academic Paul Gottfried is credited with coining the term "alt-right" in 2008. He wrote that he gave a speech in which he called “for an ‘Alternative Right’ to combat the high degree of neoconservative control over the intellectual Right.” Left-wingers say alt-right refers exclusively to white-nationalists, white-supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the like.

The alt-left, which is “racist to its core,” is “a movement of phony self-righteousness and ‘compassion’ that it uses to gain power,” Farah has written. “It will do anything and say anything to achieve its goal of hammerlock control not only of government, but every significant cultural institution – from schools, universities and the press to churches, foundations, Hollywood and unions.”

Whether it flowed from the alt-left or the plain old Left, there was a great deal of leftist violence at the site of the “Unite the Right” rally, as John Hinderaker has documented.

Take a moment and drink in the indignant tone of an Associated Press report on the Trump Tower presser. The AP piece slams the president for daring to say “there is blame on both sides” for civil unrest in the town in Albemarle County where Thomas Jefferson lived. Trump is “appearing to once again equate the actions of white supremacist groups and those protesting them.”

Well, duh. The battle in Charlottesville was largely between right-wing fascists and the left-wing fascist poseurs of antifa who try unconvincingly to pretend they’re not fascists.

“There is no inconsistency between neo-Nazis being criminals and thugs and antifas sharing the blame for the violence in Charlottesville,” points out Hinderaker. “They are criminals and thugs, too.”

But “[i]n the AP’s telling, the antifas were just ‘protesting’ the white supremacists. No mention of fighting, no reference to baseball bats.” He adds, “Who, exactly, brings bats and clubs to a demonstration?”
The AP wants us to believe that Trump’s statements were a disaster. His aides “stood in silence,” John Kelly “crossed his arms and stared down at his shoes,” Sarah Sanders “looked around the room trying to make eye contact with other senior aides.” And “[o]ne young staffer stood with her mouth agape.”
The AP never questions, however, that what Trump said was true. In fact, it was indisputable. The antifas, a fascist group that has also rioted at Berkeley, Seattle and other places, typically wears black clothes and masks, arms its members with baseball bats, ax handles and 2x4s, and often attacks random people on the street. Its behavior in Charlottesville was not much better than usual. New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg tweeted, “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.”
That a New York Times reporter finally recognized how hateful and destructive the “hard left” can be ought to warm every patriotic American heart.

It’s not much, but it’s a start.

Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267597/trump-takes-aim-alt-left-matthew-vadum

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Big Plans on the Hard Left for November 4 - J. R. Dunn




by J. R. Dunn

After the political failure of Obama, the collapse of Hillary, the cannibalism visited on Bernie and his followers, it’s apparent that the American left is a spent force, and this kind of political kabuki is all that remains for them.

One thing overlooked in the uproar over Charlottesville is that this was, evidently, merely a dress rehearsal for a much larger-scale effort planned for this Autumn. Activist groups on the left evidently have something big in store for November 4th. The idea seems to be a revival of the 1971 “Days of Rage” – an effort to shut down the country as a whole to force a change in government.

Thanks to one of many political mailing lists that AT finds itself on, we received an email last Sunday from the “Stop Mass Incarceration Network,” a little-known left-wing agitation group, one of many single-issue offshoots (contrary to general belief, the left carries out most of its activities through these small, mostly under-the-radar outfits. The mechanism for this was outlined in Scott Powell’s classic study, Covert Cadre).

Following a number of paragraphs of chest-beating concerning the Charlottesville confrontation, the message, which was sent out over the name of an activist claiming to be named Carl Dix, goes on to declare this:
…we must build off of this resistance to act to end the nightmare of this fascist regime by taking to the streets on November 4th and staying in the streets to drive this regime from power. RefuseFascism.org is holding regional conferences to organize for doing this. Get connected to these regional conferences and get organized for November 4th…
…And we need to go from resistance to mobilizing to end the nightmare of the Trump/Pence regime. Right now these fascists, from Trump on down, are moving very quickly to hammer into place their fascist regime and this must be STOPPED. The organization Refuse Fascism has called for people to come into the streets and public squares and cities and towns across the country beginning on November 4 and stay in the streets day after day and night after night until the DEMAND is met: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO! For this to happen, everybody needs to be at August 19 regional conferences to organize and mobilize for this.
A brief check of various links reveals a number of Facebook pages
put up by similar small organizations all announcing their participation in the November 4th uprising.



There [is] little else to be found on these pages, apart from some choice lefty sloganeering. Presumably they’ll begin to fill up with plans and information following the August 19th meeting mentioned above. (And don’t ask why Zuckerberg isn’t doing something about this – there’s no point.)

Among other things, this serves to get President Trump off the hook concerning his comments about the threat coming from “many sides.” He was dead right, and now there’s no denying it.

If all this were aimed only at “White Supremacists,” I’d say go to it – that would be a battle in which both sides should lose, and one well worth seeing. But of course, it isn’t. It’s aimed at anyone who disagrees with the hard left, specifically Donald Trump and his administration, and beyond that, average everyday Americans who have no direct involvement in politics at all, in the tradition of the left going back to the Paris Commune of 1870 (“Why must I be shot -- I know nothing of politics,” an innocent bourgeois cried. “That is why you must be shot,” a communard answered.)

It’s very likely nothing will come of this, that it’s just another left-wing wish-fulfillment pantomime of a type carried out by leftists every year – if not every six months – since the 60s.

Another factor involved here concerns the simple fact that once the resistance turns serious and the rioters start dying, the revolutionary army tends to evaporate rather quickly, as occurred during the last mass revolutionary spasm in the spring of 1970. After Kent and Jackson state – four and nine fatalities, respectively, in both cases triggered by leftist actions -- it became a little difficult to scrape up a convincing People’s Liberation Army. In short order, the hard core turned to bombings and bank robberies, along the lines of the SLA and the Weathermen. But it may take a larger effusion of blood to get the same effect today, whether we like it or not. 

After the political failure of Obama, the collapse of Hillary, the cannibalism visited on Bernie and his followers, it’s apparent that the American left is a spent force, and this kind of political kabuki is all that remains for them.

Clearly, the left has failed in the U.S., as they have everywhere else. Their plans have proved empty, their carefully structured systems have ossified to the point of paralysis, their pleas and promises are mere repetitions of rhetoric that was old in the 1930s. They have nothing to offer except violence, hatred, and eventual extinction. But they can still do a lot of damage as they go down the chute, keeping in mind that their descent may involve a process lasting decades.

They seem to be aware of this, and eager to carry out as much havoc as is humanly possible. This is very likely the plan for November 4th.

Unless something changes, we can look forward, at the very least, to mobs in the streets, assaults by black-clad masked goons, shops destroyed, cars overturned and set ablaze, everything that we’ve seen recently in Berkeley, Ferguson, and Baltimore. Supported as it is by the media, academic, and entertainment spheres, and with the people supposedly “in power” showing no awareness that any of the sort is happening (can anyone picture Ryan or McConnell actually responding to this?), it will continue until an end is put to it – very likely by a jaw-dropping episode of violence.

So circle November 4th on your calendars. On the date, avoid college campuses, federal buildings, and similar sites. Make necessary appointments for some other date. Pay attention to the news to assure that you won’t be inadvertently driving into a madhouse. Avoid wild conspiracy theories and rumors – they don’t help anyone but the agitators. Above all don’t panic. Fear God, dread naught, and keep your powder dry.

J. R. Dunn

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/08/big_plans_on_the_hard_left_for_november_4.html

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Jordanian Writer: Arabs' Tendency To Believe In Conspiracy Theories Prevents Internal Reform - MEMRI






by MEMRI


"Conspiracy theories have spread to most areas of life in our Arab world, and their proponents apply them to every event that occurs, to the point that we hear explanations that evoke derision and laughter and fly in the face of logic and common sense".


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'Abd Al-Hamid Al-Majjali 
(image: Al-Dustour, Jordan)
In his July 17, 2017 column, 'Abd Al-Hamid Al-Majjali, columnist for the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour, wrote that the Arabs tend to believe in conspiracy more than any other people in the world. He added that, although this tendency is partly justified, since the West has indeed interfered in the Arab countries and brought disasters upon them, it is irrational to apply conspiracy theories to all events occurring in the Arab world today, such as the Arab Spring revolutions. He warned that the tendency to resort to such theories harms the Arabs by thwarting any efforts of change and reform.

The following are excerpts from his article:[1] 


"The Arabs seem to believe in conspiracy theories more than any other people in the world and [constantly] use them to explain events, political, social and other. Such theories are reassuring and require little mental effort. They do away with logic as long as there is some ready-made concept that can be utilized and believed at any given time and in any give place.

"History is full of [genuine] conspiracies, and what causes the Arabs to resort to conspiracy theories more than other [peoples]... is the dark history of the other, namely the West, in its relations with the Arab region. The past barbarity of the West – [barbarity] that today [takes the form of] gentler intervention in our region and hides behind false humane principles – was the reason for most of our disasters, whose repercussions are still felt today and will continue to be felt [even] in the distant future...

"Although this justifies the Arabs' penchant for conspiracy theories, it is nevertheless unrealistic and irrational to explain every event as an outcome of some foreign plot hatched in dark chambers in the West... [The tendency to] ignore the real reasons for the changes and events in our lives and blame them on others keeps us from analyzing events objectively, and thus thwarts any attempt at change or internal reform, as long as [we continue to believe that] the reason for events is the other and not our own misdeeds...

"Conspiracy theories have spread to most areas of life in our Arab world, and their proponents apply them to every event that occurs, to the point that we hear explanations that evoke derision and laughter and fly in the face of logic and common sense.

"The proponents of these theories dismiss [the notion that] the Arab peoples are capable of acting and rising up against tyranny. As far as they are concerned... the Arab Spring was a foreign conspiracy in which external forces embroiled the Arab peoples in a rebellion against their own rulers. Who [can] believe that Western intelligence [agencies] selected a police station in one of the cities of southern Tunisia and arranged with [the policemen there] to target the vendor [Muhammad] Bouazizi,[2] and later incited the people of that city to protest against police oppression, so that the protests spread to the rest of Tunisia and people rose up against the oppression of the Bin Ali regime? Wasn't that what happened? And who [can] believe that Western intelligence entered one of the homes in the [Syrian] city of Dera and encouraged some kids – who for weeks had been watching the masses chant 'the people want to topple the regime' on the satellite channels – to go out and naively scribble this slogan on a wall? Since the [Syrian] regime is foolish and oppressive, it used oppressive measures against these kids and their families and committed criminal acts – and this was the seed of the Syrian revolution. Had the Syrian regime acted wisely at that moment, nothing would have happened...

"Some people even doubt the existence of ISIS after everything that happened and is still happening, and ask where the ISIS [fighters] in Mosul have disappeared. Do you really need to ask that? They are dead and underground. They were buried without it appearing on the [television] screens. Did you see the bodies of the Iraqi soldiers who were killed by the thousands? Armies do not exhibit the bodies of [their] dead during a war. Did we see [pictures of] the Egyptian soldiers killed last week in Sinai?

"This is nonsense. It is the malady of conspiracy theories... which keeps the Arab mind from [recognizing] the accurate facts, even the most self-evident of them. True, there was foreign intervention which led the popular uprisings to be hijacked for many reasons, too numerous to list here. But it was the Arab peoples who carried out these uprisings, without anyone prompting them or conspiring [against them]... These were spontenuous revolutions that were later diverted from their original course by outside elements.

"It will be a long time before conspiracy theories are subjected to scientific and rational thought that explains events [in an objective manner], at least in the Arab region. These theories still infiltrate the Arabs' collective mind, driving out reason – and that is just one of our innumerable disasters."
 

[1] Al-Dustour (Jordan), July 17, 2017.
[2] A Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire on 17 December 2010 after the authorities confiscated his wares. The incident was a catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the broader Arab Spring.


MEMRI

Source: www.memri.org

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More arrests as terror stalks Jerusalem again - debkaFile




by debkaFile

Finding the UAE funding Hamas terror was somewhat of a shocker to Israel. 




[Editor's note: Though I'm sure that Debka's sources are much more extensive than mine, I have not seen anything to corroborate the claim that the UAE is funding terror from Gaza.]

Three major Israeli counter-terror operations in a week (Aug.10-16) are a measure of the intensity of terrorist plots for the commission of mass-casualty strikes in Jerusalem.

On Aug. 10, a combined effort of the Shin Bet, the police and the IDF, led to five Palestinians from Hebron being intercepted in the Palestinian Jerusalem neighborhood of El Azaria on their way to an attack. No details of this plot were released. But it was obvious that the five terrorists, armed with guns and explosives, were only stopped at the last minute from reaching the center of Jerusalem, just 15 minutes drive from El Azaria, and conducting a major attack.

Then, on Saturday, Aug. 12, a Palestinian woman knifed a man on Suleiman Street in East Jerusalem, mistaking him for a Jew. He turned out to be a local Arab Christian and was not badly hurt, before a police patrol nabbed the woman.

On Sunday, Aug. 13, a suspect was shot in the foot while resisting arrest at Bet Tsafafa, in southern Jerusalem . The police later reported they acted on a Shin Bet tipoff that the suspect, a resident of the mixed Abu Tor neighborhood, was primed for a terror operation.

On Monday, Aug. 14, indictments were filed at the Jerusalem district court against three residents of East Jerusalem on charges of plotting a shooting attack, as well as targeting police forces and persistent rock attacks on traffic - all in Jerusalem. They were also accused of planning to loose gunfire and explosive devices on vehicles using the Nablus bypass. This group therefore harbored ambitions for a widespread terrorist offensive in and outside Jerusalem.


Although Israel’s security authorities are cagey with the information they release on the mostly covert war they wage on Palestinian and Israeli Arab terror, three geographical areas may be marked out as significant: They are metropolitan Jerusalem including Bethlehem; Hebron - the city and mountain district; and the Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, northeast of Tel Aviv, which was the home town of the three gunmen who shot dead two policemen on Temple Mount on July 14.

Each location occupies a special place on the terror map.

The terrorist networks of Hebron and its environs are mostly tied ideologically and operationally to the extremist Palestinian Hamas. In the past fortnight, Hamas was found to be receiving large sums of money, most of it coming from sources in the United Arab Republic in the Persian Gulf. Some of the cash was funneled to Judea and Samaria and provided those networks with an extra incentive to go into action.

Finding the UAE funding Hamas terror was somewhat of a shocker to Israel.  After all, the emirate formally joined the anti-terror coalition that US President Donald Trump created during his visit to Riyadh and later to Israel in early April.


The terrorist cells operating in Jerusalem mostly belong to Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, or its militia, the Tanzim. Most are fringe groups that are not directly associated with their leaders. But the fact that they are free to perform acts of violence against Israelis is worrying Israeli security authorities.

The networks of Umm al-Fahm and its rural villages appear to be ideologically inspired by the outlawed Northern Branch of the Israeli Arab Muslim Movement (which is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood), or directly tied to the Islamic State command center in Syria.


At least 20 Israeli Arabs are known to have crossed into Syria to fight in ISIS ranks, some of them from Umm Al-Fahm.


Last Friday, Aug. 11, an indictment was filed against two residents of the town, who were preparing to leave for Syria and join the Islamic State. They were being helped by a former resident who had already reached Syria and was fighting with ISIS. One of the accused belonged to the same Jabarin clan as the murderers of police officers on Temple Mount.


Then, on Tuesday, Aug. 15, police arrived at the Umm Al-Fahm home of Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the banned Northern Branch of the Israeli Muslim Movement, with a warrant for his arrest. He was accused of publicly inciting to violence and terror and membership of an illegal organization.

Salah has been in and out of Israeli prisons for years over his fiery hate-filled sermons, which regularly call on his followers to “fight for the liberation” of Al Aqsa. Last year, he was locked up for calling on Israeli Arabs to join a Palestinian uprising against the state of Israel.

However, this time, the wide publicity given to his arrest so soon after the Temple Mount clashes - in an attempt to press charges serious enough to keep him behind lock and key for the long term - has brought the firebrand sheikh solid sympathy among sections of the Israeli Arab populace.

Obviously, Israel’s sovereign presence on Temple Mount, which is holy to three monotheistic faiths and claimed by Muslims, is an abidingly explosive issue. Last month’s crisis centering on the shrine, appears to have abated - but only on the face of it. The embers of the conflagration continue to simmer under the surface of the site and the city.



debkaFile

Source: http://debka.com/article/26187/More-arrests-as-terror-stalks-Jerusalem-again

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Russia Feels American Pressure - Emil Avdaliani




by Emil Avdaliani

-- the potential for cooperation is limited




BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 561, August 16, 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Russian-US relations have reached their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.  President Donald Trump has signed a new package of anti-Russian sanctions into law and increased the US military presence across former Soviet territory and eastern Europe. He also sent VP Mike Pence on a tour of Estonia, Montenegro, and Georgia – a trip viewed by Moscow as western encroachment on an area it considers a buffer zone. This standoff does not mean the two superpowers will not be able to find common ground in other areas, but the potential for cooperation is limited. Former Soviet territory will likely remain a major confrontation line between the US and Russia.

Recent tensions between Moscow and Washington could drive the two superpowers to a deadlock. On July 30, Russia retaliated against the US by ordering 755 American diplomats to leave the country. Moscow’s move came after Washington toughened its own anti-Russia sanctions (although the Russian move was intended more as a countermeasure against former US President Barack Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in late 2016).

Moscow cannot afford to impose serious countersanctions, as they would cause greater harm to the much-troubled Russian economy than they would to the US. Consider, for example, the case of NASA, which depends largely on Russian engines. Stopping their export could cause significant difficulties for the US aerospace industry, but for the Russian economy, it would represent a loss of approximately $1 billion in revenues in a couple of years.

The relationship, troubled as it is, has not necessarily hit rock bottom. On August 1, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “the [US-Russia] relationship was at a historic low since the end of the Cold War, and it could get worse.” On August 3, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev tweeted that any hope for improvement in relations was lost with Trump’s sanctions.

There are reasons for Moscow to be worried. American politicians openly state how supportive the US will be towards eastern European countries and Georgia in the event that Russia increases its military capabilities in the region. This US resolve was highlighted recently when VP Mike Pence visited Estonia, Georgia, and Montenegro.

A steady US/NATO military and security buildup is underway in eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. Georgia, for example, hosted the biggest military exercises ever held on its soil, in which US forces took part along with other allies. Washington has also outlined its position that any progress with Moscow would depend entirely upon the latter’s ceasing its military and financial support for pro-Russia separatists in east Ukraine, Georgia’s breakaway territories of Abkhazia, and South Ossetia.

Rather than compromise, the Russians have in fact expanded their military bases in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and other breakaway territories across the former Soviet space. As an international relations realist, Putin knows the only hope of pressuring Washington is to gain an advantage in other theaters where Moscow has significant political leverage.

However, despite strained relations, Moscow and Washington still share similar – if limited – perspectives in several areas. Syria is first among several potential points of cooperation. Russia and the US share a vision of defeating ISIS, and there was even a joint announcement of a ceasefire in southwestern Syria in early July. To both countries’ credit, the ceasefire still holds.

East of the Syrian battlefield, Afghanistan could be another theater for cooperation. Russia fears a spillover of militancy from both the Taliban and ISIS across the Afghan border into Central Asia, and would not oppose a US presence in Afghanistan as a bulwark against it.

Yet another geographic area of possible Russian-American cooperation could be the Korean peninsula, where the situation is heating up. The Pyongyang leadership is rigorously pursuing its nuclear program and has made significant progress in successfully testing its ICBM. Both Moscow and Washington are concerned that North Korea’s military capabilities could deal a final blow to the policy of non-proliferation.

However, there are limits to these areas of converging interests. In Syria, for instance, Russia’s grand strategy of linking the Syrian crisis with the Ukrainian one in order to gain diplomatic advantage in negotiations with the west has failed. In Afghanistan, the US suspects Moscow of providing military support to the Taliban, while in North Korea, Washington does not openly rely on Russian support. Washington recently criticized both Moscow and Beijing for not doing enough to stop the North Korean nuclear program.

Russian-US relations have reached their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. There do exist several theaters in which the two superpowers can work together, but there are significant limits that will block any breakthroughs. There is thus little possibility for any rapprochement between the two powers across the former Soviet space. Different geopolitical readings on Ukraine, Georgia, and wider eastern European security make near-term progress in Russia-US relations improbable at best.

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BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family


Emil Avdaliani teaches history and international relations at Tbilisi State University and Ilia State University. He has worked for various international consulting companies and currently publishes articles focused on military and political developments across the former Soviet space.

Source: Emil Avdaliani

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Iraqi-American Shi'ite Imam Moustafa Al-Qazwini In Sermon At Islamic Educational Center Of Orange County, California: ISIS Is The Production Of Israeli Intelligence - MEMRI




by MEMRI

"Most of their officers were trained in Israel, including Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi"

In a sermon delivered in Orange County, California, Iraqi-American Shi'ite Imam Dr. Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini said that ISIS was the production of Israeli intelligence. "Most of their officers were trained in Israel, including Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi," he said. The sermon was posted on the YouTube channel of the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County on June 23.




Imam Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini: "All of you know who established ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and all of these terrorist organizations. 


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"You know very well. You know who paid for them, who financed them, who helped them, who purchased weapons for them, who even trained them, who protected them. 


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"You know that. This is not the production of Islam. Islam is not responsible for ISIS. There are certain agencies and governments, who established... They put hand in hand to establish ISIS, to demolish Islam from within. 


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"This was the plan. And every day we discover... It's not... We don't discover... The rest... We knew this... We knew the story from the beginning. When ISIS occupied Mosul three years ago, I gave a speech in Iraq. I said: 'ISIS is the production of the Israeli intelligence.'


MTV61613.JPG


"The Israeli intelligence... Most of their officers were trained in Israel, including Abu Bakr Al-Baghadi, who went to hell, I think, two or three days ago." 


MTV61614.jpg






MEMRI

Source: https://www.memri.org/tv/iraq-american-imam-qazwini-isis-produced-by-israeli-intelligence

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