Friday, May 15, 2020

Biden's Pledge to Palestinian Terror - Joseph Klein


by Joseph Klein

Embracing the Israel-haters.




President Trump is keeping the Palestinian Authority’s feet to the fire until it resumes direct negotiations with Israel in good faith and ceases using its funds to subsidize Palestinians imprisoned in connection with terrorist acts against Israelis, or the families of jailed or dead terrorists. By contrast, the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden wants to return to the failed policies of the Obama-Biden administration. Biden recently stated that, if elected president, he “will reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem, find a way to re-open the PLO’s diplomatic mission in Washington, and resume the decades-long economic and security assistance efforts to the Palestinians that the Trump Administration stopped.” Biden demands an end to Israeli settlements and opposes annexation of any disputed territories, even if done for purely security reasons. 

President Trump signed the Taylor Force Act in 2018. This law prohibits certain economic support assistance that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority (PA) from being made available for the West Bank and Gaza unless certain conditions are met. The Department of State must certify that the PA, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and any successor or affiliated organizations, among other things, have terminated payments for acts of terrorism against U.S. and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been fairly tried and imprisoned for such acts, to any individual who died committing such acts, and to family members of such an individual. Either Biden intends to seek the repeal of the Taylor Force Act or just plans to ignore it, assuming he follows through with his pledge to “resume the decades-long economic and security assistance efforts to the Palestinians that the Trump Administration stopped.”

Although Biden claimed that he would not move the U.S. embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem, he said the embassy “should not have been moved.” Biden called the move "short-sighted and frivolous," even though Obama and prior presidents had promised to do the very same thing.

In 1995, while serving in the Senate, Biden voted for the Jerusalem Embassy Act which authorized moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. At that time, then-Senator Biden noted “the continued sham of maintaining our Embassy in Tel Aviv.” He declared, “Regardless of what others may think, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.” Biden added, “Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem will send the right signal, not a destructive signal. To do less would be to play into the hands of those who will try their hardest to deny Israel the full attributes of statehood.” 

Donald Trump promised to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and he made it happen. The president had the courage to follow through on the convictions that Biden had 25 years ago but has abandoned.

Obama and Biden had eight long years to change the trajectory towards a viable negotiated two-state solution but got nowhere. In playing their “honest broker” role, they distanced the U.S. from Israel and pressured Israel into agreeing to a moratorium on settlement building. This accomplished nothing except to harden the Palestinians' position. Yet Biden wants to reprise the Obama-Biden administration’s bankrupt approach, which yielded stalemate in the negotiations and imposed no consequences for Hamas’s rocket attacks launched against Israeli civilians and the incitement to violence against Israel by leaders of the Palestinian Authority.

Joe Biden is caving increasingly to the leftwing agenda on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the agenda of the progressive J Street, which endorsed Biden’s candidacy on April 17, 2020. In its endorsement announcement, J Street said that it intends to raise over $1 million for the campaign by Election Day.

J Street claims to support Israel but it is doing so in name only. The group, for example, lobbied against the Taylor Force Act. It is now pushing for pro-Palestinian planks in the Democratic Party’s 2020 platform that are critical of settlements and declare “formal opposition to Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank.”

The topic of conditioning U.S. aid to Israel rose to the surface at J Street’s confab last October when Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, declared, “Our aid is not intended to be a blank check.” He later told +972 Magazine, “It is important for the U.S. to take a very close look at whether or not our money should be going for activities that make it impossible to get to a two-state solution.” He was talking about aid to Israel.

On February 11, 2020 Ben-Ami embraced Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas after Abbas had denounced the Trump administration’s Mideast peace plan.

During the primary campaign, Bernie Sanders endorsed the conditioning of aid to Israel on how it treats the Palestinians. Last year, when Biden and Sanders were still competing for the Democratic nomination, Biden criticized Sanders’ position. “The idea that I’d withdraw military aid, as others have suggested, from Israel, is bizarre,” Biden said. “I would not do that.” But since Sanders decided to suspend his campaign and endorsed Biden, things have changed. Now that Biden is the presumed nominee and wants to secure as many Sanders supporters as he can in the general election, he has tacked further left. That is what Israel-hater Linda Sarsour and campaigner for Sanders said must be done if Biden wants Sanders supporters in his camp.

“We have to push him to the left,” Sarsour tweeted last March. During an interview Sarsour conducted on April 28, 2020 she said she would choose Joe Biden “because he’s not a fascist.” In the same interview, she said that “we have trillions of dollars that we send the state of Israel in military aid that is used to occupy the Palestinian people who are me.” During a digital town hall discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Biden’s presidential platform on April 23rd, Sarsour suggested that “there is some potential” for progressives to “force” Biden to shift his long-standing views on Israel. That was shortly before she equated Israel’s human rights record with North Korea’s. “Our taxpayer dollars are funding the continued occupation of the Palestinian people,” Sarsour said. “Like, North Korea commits outrageous human rights violations against the North Korean people, but guess what? We are not funding them, we are not bottom-lining their oppression.”

Sarsour is an avid supporter of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Back in 2012, Sarsour tweeted, “Nothing is creepier than Zionism. Challenge racism, #NormalizeJustice.”

Joe Biden should forcefully reject the support of Israel-haters like Linda Sarsour. Biden should also repudiate the endorsement of his candidacy by Progressive Caucus co-chairwoman Rep. Pramila Jayapal as well as her offer to “do everything I can to help him win back the White House.” Jayapal was one of only 16 House Democrats who voted against a non-binding resolution that opposed the BDS movement. Squad members Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and Rep. Ilhan Omar joined Jayapal in the opposition. So did co-chairman of Sanders' campaign Rep. Mark Pocan, who has since also endorsed Biden’s candidacy. But Biden has not pushed back. In his quest for the presidency, Biden has put out the welcome mat for Sanders supporters, irrespective of their views on Israel.

Emgage, which claims to be the largest Muslim political action committee in the country and originally backed Sanders’ candidacy, has come out in support of Biden. "I am honored to receive the endorsement of Emgage PAC,” said Biden in a statement. “I am excited to have Emgage PAC’s support to mobilize Muslim Americans to vote in November and elevate the voices of Muslim Americans across the country.” Emgage also endorsed Omar and Tlaib in 2018 and can be expected to do so again.

Helping Emgage get out the vote for Biden in New York will be Debbie Almontaser, who was named recently as the Senior Advisor for Emgage NY. Almontaser and Linda Sarsour are friends. They have appeared together, including back in 2015 on NY1 Online. Almontaser gained notoriety back in 2007 when she resigned under pressure as principal of the Arabic-themed Khalil Gibran International Academy days after she was quoted defending the use of the phrase “Intifada NYC” as a T-shirt slogan. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -NY rallied to demand Almontaser’s reinstatement. She repaid the favor by working with CAIR in its attack on the counter-terrorism efforts of the NYPD and also by speaking at a major CAIR fundraiser.   

Joe Biden has been seeking the presidency for more than 30 years. Desperate to succeed with his final bid for the White House, Biden is willing to abandon his past strong support for Israel and accept help from progressive Israel-bashers.


Joseph Klein

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/05/how-bidens-policies-endanger-israel-joseph-klein/

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China's Coronavirus: How the EU is Betraying Europe - Con Coughlin


by Con Coughlin

As the EU -- has shown it is totally incapable of protecting the interests of member states, the governments of Europe are finally waking up to the reality that -- they will have to look after themselves.

  • Chinese ambassadors, particularly those based in Western capitals, simply resort to blackmail, threatening to deny governments vital medical supplies to cope with the pandemic if they do not comply with Beijing's wishes.
  • All these countries have good reason to want to stand their ground against Beijing. Italy has been the target of a skilful fake news campaign by Beijing with cleverly edited videos that show Italians showing their gratitude for China's help in the pandemic when no such demonstrations took place.
  • The French government was outraged after the Chinese embassy in Paris accused French care-workers of abandoning their posts, thereby causing elderly residents to die; while Germany has complained that Chinese diplomats tried to pressure officials to make positive statements on how Beijing was handling the coronavirus pandemic.
  • As the EU, by constantly capitulating to Beijing's demands, has shown it is totally incapable of protecting the interests of member states, the governments of Europe are finally waking up to the reality that, in order to defend themselves against China's bully-boy tactics, they will have to look after themselves.


The latest capitulation by the European Union in the face of Chinese intimidation demonstrates that, when it comes to protecting the interests of member states, the Brussels bureaucracy is no match for Beijing's new breed of warrior diplomats. Pictured: China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi at EU headquarters in Brussels, on December 17, 2019. (Photo by John Thys/AFP via Getty Images)

The latest capitulation by the European Union in the face of Chinese intimidation demonstrates that, when it comes to protecting the interests of member states, the Brussels bureaucracy is no match for Beijing's new breed of warrior diplomats.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, one of the more notable features of China's response has been the willingness of senior Chinese diplomats to intervene forcibly in defence of China's interests.

The interventions of these "Wolf Warrior" diplomats, so-called after a series of iconic Chinese action movies in which Chinese special forces vanquish their American foes, take several forms.

On one level, Chinese ambassadors, particularly those based in Western capitals, simply resort to blackmail, threatening to deny governments vital medical supplies to cope with the pandemic if they do not comply with Beijing's wishes.

On another level, they indulge in disseminating fake news, using social media platforms to propagate information that is patently false.

To deal with the growing menace posed by China's diplomatic community, it is vital, therefore, that the West take robust action to protect its interests, and to hold China to account for its role in causing the pandemic in the first place, and then trying to cover its culpability by launching a global campaign to conceal the origins of the outbreak.

Unfortunately, so far as the EU is concerned, the Brussels establishment has proved itself to be little more than a paper tiger when it comes to dealing with China's more aggressive diplomatic approach, as can be seen from the EU's most recent act of appeasement towards Beijing. The latest controversy concerns an article written by Nicolas Chapuis, the EU's ambassador to China, which was conceived to mark the 45th anniversary of EU-China diplomatic relations, and was also signed by all 27 EU country national ambassadors in Beijing.

The article was written for publication in the state-owned China Daily newspaper, but ran into trouble when China's foreign ministry objected to a reference in the article which suggested the coronavirus pandemic originated in China. The offending passage referred to the "outbreak of the coronavirus in China, and its subsequent spread to the rest of the world."

The article eventually appeared in print, but not before EU officials had agreed to remove this passage, prompting Mr Chapuis to remark, "It is of course regrettable to see that the sentence about the spread of the virus has been edited."

The EU's willingness to concede to Beijing's bully-boy tactics is not the first time in recent weeks that Brussels has been forced to capitulate to Chinese intimidation. Last month, the EU amended a report into China's disinformation campaign in Europe following pressure from Chinese officials. This prompted one outraged EU official to complain that the EU was "self-censoring to appease the Chinese Communist Party."

In this latest example of Brussels kowtowing to Beijing, the EU only has itself to blame: by seeking to publish the article, it was deliberately seeking to pivot towards China in what appeared to be a European attempt to seize upon a perceived lack of U.S. leadership during the pandemic.

Apart from making itself look weak and incompetent, the failure to publish the article in full has angered a number of European governments, who have themselves been targeted by Beijing's aggressive diplomatic tactics. This resulted in the Beijing embassies of countries such as Germany, France and Italy publishing the letter in full, complete with the reference originating in China and spreading from there to the rest of the world.

All these countries have good reason to want to stand their ground against Beijing. Italy has been the target of a skilful fake news campaign by Beijing with cleverly edited videos that show Italians showing their gratitude for China's help in the pandemic when no such demonstrations took place.

The French government was outraged after the Chinese embassy in Paris accused French care-workers of abandoning their posts, thereby causing elderly residents to die; while Germany has complained that Chinese diplomats tried to pressure officials to make positive statements on how Beijing was handling the coronavirus pandemic.

As the EU, by constantly capitulating to Beijing's demands, has shown it is totally incapable of protecting the interests of member states, the governments of Europe are finally waking up to the reality that, in order to defend themselves against China's bully-boy tactics, they will have to look after themselves.

Con Coughlin is the Telegraph's Defence and Foreign Affairs Editor and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16016/china-coronavirus-how-the-eu-is-betraying-europe

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International Kangaroo Court to Investigate Israel for War Crimes - Lawrence A. Franklin


by Lawrence A. Franklin

A recent Jordanian newspaper article reinforces the claim that Bensouda secretly colluded with the PA to target Israel.

Translations of this item:
  • According to the ICC's charter, the Court cannot investigate the conduct of non-signatory states of the 1998 Rome Statute that established the Court. Israel, like the U.S., is not a signatory of the statute.
  • Bensouda, by accepting the Palestinian Authority (PA) as plaintiff, further violates the Rome Statute: the ICC is only permitted to investigate allegations brought by a sovereign state. There is no State of Palestine. There are no established boundaries of any possible future Palestinian state. There is no population of a sovereign state to act as a plaintiff....
  • Bensouda's decision appears to undercut the ICC's already damaged reputation that it is neither independent nor impartial. The ICC's budget is limited and increasingly hostage to the UNGA. The UN also appoints the ICC's panel of judges, an intrinsically political process, subject to bloc voting in the UNGA.
  • The spokesman for the 45-member PA Executive Committee that briefed the ICC is Dr. Ghazi Hamad, deputy foreign minister of the terrorist group Hamas, which is unquestionably dedicated to destroying Israel. The committee also includes representatives of two other terrorist organizations besides Hamas, namely, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF).
  • A recent Jordanian newspaper article reinforces the claim that Bensouda secretly colluded with the PA to target Israel. This collusion between Bensouda and the PA may explain the optimism of longtime Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat that the ICC's investigation will ultimately be successful.
  • Bensouda has already proved her bias by her conduct in a previous investigation of baseless charges of systemic human rights abuses by British military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The International Criminal Court is a straightforwardly politicized international body whose judgments continue to betray a mindset of bias. Pictured: The International Criminal Court in session, in The Hague, on July 8, 2019. (Photo by Eva Plevier/AFP via Getty Images)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) appears ready to begin an investigation of alleged war crimes committed by Israeli soldiers against Arab civilian citizens of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Fatou Bensouda, the ICC's Chief Prosecutor, announced on April 30 that she would proceed with the investigation if the ICC's pre-trial judges instruct her that she is on solid ground to launch the inquiry.

Even if the judges give Bensouda the go-ahead, it still appears that jurisdictional prohibitions exist, as enumerated in the Hague-based court's founding document. According to the ICC's charter, the Court cannot investigate the conduct of non-signatory states of the 1998 Rome Statute that established the Court. Israel, like the U.S., is not a signatory of the statute.

Bensouda, by accepting the Palestinian Authority (PA) as plaintiff, further violates the Rome Statute: the ICC is only permitted to investigate allegations brought by a sovereign state. There is no State of Palestine. There are no established boundaries of any possible future Palestinian state. There is no population of a sovereign state to act as a plaintiff, even though representatives of the PA have delivered a brief of charges against Israel and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

The New York-based Lawfare Project, representing several pro-Israel NGOs, underscores the incongruity of the prosecutor's position in incorrectly proffering that any proposed Palestinian state would be achieved by international negotiations, rather than by agreed-upon Israeli-Palestinian face-to-face negotiation, to which the Palestinians have been unwilling to commit. This intransigence could presumably continue in perpetuity, which seems to be the Palestinians' current game plan. The Israelis then are theoretically supposed to hold all of the disputed territories "in mothballs" forever until the Palestinians might one day feel like showing up at the table? The Lawfare Project therefore posits that these talks are a political rather than judicial matter. The State of Israel and several other "Free World" democracies such as Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, in an appeal to the court, have labelled the Chief Prosecutor's actions jurisdictionally irregular and illegal.

Bensouda on April 29 "reiterated her position that Palestine is a state for the purposes of transferring criminal jurisdiction over its territory to The Hague." She rests her claim to legitimacy on a judgment by the ICC's former Chief Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo. He counseled that if the Palestinian Authority could achieve recognition by the United Nations as a non-member state of its General Assembly (UNGA), then the ICC could consider Palestinian claims of human rights abuses by the IDF. The UNGA admitted "Palestine" as a non-member state in 2015, by passing Resolution 67/19.

Bensouda's decision appears to undercut the ICC's already damaged reputation that it is neither independent nor impartial. The ICC's budget is limited and increasingly hostage to the UNGA. The UN also appoints the ICC's panel of judges, an intrinsically political process, subject to bloc voting in the UNGA. The political paralysis of the ICC rendered the Court unable to adjudicate upon human rights abuses and genocide in several past crises: the war crimes of the Sudanese paramilitary forces beginning in 2003 in Darfur, Sudan, and the massacres inflicted on Syria's civilian population by the Syrian national army in that country's ongoing ten year civil war.

It is difficult to divine whether or not Bensouda, a Muslim from Gambia in West Africa, has a deep-seated animosity toward Israel. It certainly is possible, though, even if she were from another religion or country, that Bensouda, whose term of office ends in 2021, might not be impervious to anti-Israeli propaganda crafted by elements of the Palestinian Authority.

The spokesman for the 45-member PA Executive Committee that briefed the ICC is Dr. Ghazi Hamad, deputy foreign minister of the terrorist group Hamas, which is unquestionably dedicated to destroying Israel. The committee also includes representatives of two other terrorist organizations besides Hamas, namely, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF).

According to Palestinian Media Watch and Jordan-based Jaffra News, the pre-trial procedures orchestrated by Bensouda may have been part of a charade in an attempt to burnish the ICC's image of impartiality. Bensouda also met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyah on February 15. A recent Jordanian newspaper article reinforces the claim that Bensouda secretly colluded with the PA to target Israel. This collusion between Bensouda and the PA may explain the optimism of longtime Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat that the ICC's investigation will ultimately be successful.

The U.S. government has clearly expressed its dissatisfaction with Bensouda's status by revoking her visa to the United States. This action follows similar illegal charges by Bensouda and her push to investigate allegations that U.S. soldiers committed war crimes in Afghanistan. Bensouda has already proved her bias by her conduct in a previous investigation of baseless charges of systemic human rights abuses by British military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Notwithstanding Bensouda's possible collusion with members of the PA, both Israeli and independent investigatory panels have declared Israel's actions during conflicts with Palestinian terrorist forces to be fully in keeping with the laws of warfare. Independent observers, such as retired British Army Colonel Richard Kemp, a member of the Gaza Commission, has attested to the panel's refutation of charges that the IDF committed war crimes during "Operation Protective Edge" in Gaza. Kemp, who has called Israel's defense forces "the most moral military in the world," has repeatedly described how false allegations are leveled against the IDF despite Israel's painstaking efforts to avoid civilian casualties.

Even the ICC's main funder, the United Nations, eventually had to scuttle the Goldstone Report, which one analysis by NGO Monitor, written by a collection of experts, accused of being "a study in evidentiary bias", "abusing human rights for political warfare", "tainted to the core" and "a failure of intelligence."

Legal affairs journalist Yonah Jeremy Bob writes that the IDF conducted at least 500 probes and more than 30 full inquiries into actions taken by Israeli soldiers during the 2014 Gaza conflict. In 2015, a commission of military figures from several democratic states that reviewed the military operations by Israel in the 2014 Gaza war established that "the IDF not only met its obligations under the Law of Armed Conflict but often exceeded these on the battlefield at significant tactical cost."

Both the U.S. and Israel have chosen wisely not to join the ICC, thus avoiding the danger of their military personnel being scrutinized by a straightforwardly politicized international body whose judgments continue to betray a mindset of politicization and bias.


Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16001/international-kangaroo-court

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European Parliament slams PA over its anti-Israel incitement in schools - Ariel Kahana


by Ariel Kahana

The body, which is generally pro-Palestinian in its resolutions, published the results of its vote on whether to condemn the Palestinians on Thursday, with surprising figures: There were 402 MEPs in favor, compared to 263 who were against the resolution, and 13 who abstained.


The European Union issued on Thursday a strong condemnation of the Palestinian incitement against Israel in school textbooks.

The European Parliament, which is generally pro-Palestinian in its resolutions, published the results of its vote on whether to condemn the Palestinians on Thursday, with surprising figures: 402 were in favor, compared to 263 who voted against the measure, and 13 who abstained.

The measure may suggest that the MEPs were affected by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE) and other organizations, which have over the past several years taken pains to show just how widespread the anti-Israel incitement is in Palestinian Authority schools.

The MEPs also voiced concern over the use of European taxpayer's money to fund programs in Palestinian schools because of its potential misuse to promote terrorism.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs appointed a commission of inquiry to examine this matter but it has yet to submit its findings.

IMPACT-SE CEO Marcus Sheff told Israel Hayom: "There now must be a moment of truth for the European Union. Will it continue to ignore the parliament that oversees its spending? Will the European Commission now publicly release the freshly minted report on the Palestinian Authority's textbooks? Governments, legislators and over a million Palestinian children know what's in the textbooks. Classifying the report is senseless and frankly, seems highly suspicious."


Ariel Kahana

Source: https://www.israelhayom.com/2020/05/14/european-parliament-slams-pa-over-its-anti-israel-incitement-in-schools/

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Report: Iran building new tunnel at Syria military base - Elad Benari


by Elad Benari

Iran reportedly building new tunnel at the Imam Ali military base in eastern Syria which is capable of storing advanced weapons systems.


Iran is building a new tunnel at the Imam Ali military base in eastern Syria which is capable of storing advanced weapons systems, according to satellite images and analysis obtained by Fox News.

Images captured on May 12 show bulldozers at the entrance of the structure that is estimated to be around 15 feet wide, the report said.

Satellite shots from April 1 show an excavator and bulldozers near where the new construction took place.

Intelligence analysis conducted by Image Sat International (ISI), a civilian satellite company, indicates the tunnel is fit to be used for the storage of vehicles carrying advanced weapons systems, according to Fox News.

This conclusion was drawn from looking at similar tunnels that were dug over the past nine months on the same complex. One such tunnel, two miles away, was bombed in March, forcing the Iranians to abruptly stop construction.

Fox News was first to report the existence of this Iranian military base in September 2019, citing multiple Western intelligence sources. The compound, that sits along the Iraq/Syria border, was targeted with air strikes less than a week later.

There have been several air strikes attributed to Israel which targeted Iranian-linked sites in Syria over the past two years.

Although reports this month said Israeli defense officials believe Iran is reducing its footprint in Syria, analysts at ISI said the construction of the new tunnel shows Iran plans to continue operating in this area.


Elad Benari

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/280217

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The Religious Freedom of a Nation May Depend on One Small Cake Shop - Daniel Greenfield


by Daniel Greenfield

And the Left is determined to destroy it.




Masterpiece Cakeshop, a small family business that sits opposite a car wash in the Mission Trace Shopping Center, has survived a Supreme Court case and is struggling through the pandemic.

The challenges of running a small business during shutdowns, food supply disruptions, and economic turmoil aren’t unique to the Colorado cakeshop which specializes in custom designed cakes. But Jack Philips, the cakeshop’s masterpiece creator, has also spent 8 years battling for his religious freedom.

And the struggling cakeshop off South Wadsworth is dealing with its third lawsuit.

“Since its birth in the fires of the French Revolution, the political left has been at war with religion," David Horowitz wrote in Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America.

Eight years is a short time to wait to destroy a cake shop in a struggle that has gone on for centuries.

Jack Philips is a devout Christian. Masterpiece Cakeshop is closed on Sundays. And while he loves detailing glazed flour petals for weddings, his art expresses his deepest moral convictions.

That’s why he won’t even bake cakes for Halloween.

Six years of religious persecution appeared to have ended when the Supreme Court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had discriminated against Jack’s religious beliefs after the Commission had not only ordered him to make cakes celebrating gay weddings, but its members had compared his dissent to slavery, and rejected the idea that religious freedom deserves to be respected.

And yet the political mafia that had tormented him all these years made it clear that it wasn’t going to stop. DNC Chair Tom Perez vowed to continue the fight in a press release calling for "equality" in "bakeries". 211 Congressional Democrats, including Senator Michael Bennett, and future Governor Jared Polis, had filed a brief against the small cakeshop. After the ruling, Polis vowed to “stand strong.”

The Human Rights Campaign, a massive LGBT lobby with a $43 million budget, had submitted not one, but two amicus briefs against the cakeshop. One of those briefs featured a variety of celebrity chefs who make more in one day than Masterpiece Cakeshop and Jack Philips have in their entire existence.

The HRC claims to have raised $20 million for Obama.

The entire Left, from LGBT pressure groups like GLAAD, to the SEIU, the NAACP, the American Psychological Association, the American Bar Association, the cities of Los Angeles and New York, and even the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, poured down briefs.

They weren’t going to leave Jack alone.

And so, the Supreme Court ruling didn't provide much of a break for the small family business which had been forced to cut its staff and get out of the wedding cake business entirely to avoid more lawsuits.

The radicals seeking a confrontation began placing orders for cakes with Satan, upside down crosses or pentagrams on them. Philips believed that one of his tormentors was Autumn ‘Adam’ Charlie Scardina, a local lawyer, who at one point allegedly tried to order a red-and-black cake with an image of Satan on it.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission has yet to determine that there is a civil right that obligates a Christian baker to design and bake a cake with Satan on it, but after the Supreme Court took up the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, Scardina called to order a gender transition cake and was turned down.

Scardina then filed a complaint. That was in 2017.

The timing of the attempted order, “moments after news broke that the U.S. Supreme Court would hear Jack’s first case”, makes it obvious that this was not a legitimate attempt to obtain a cake, but a fallback legal strategy to continue the harassment in case the Supreme Court ruled for religious liberty.

The Commission found Jack liable for not making Scardina’s gender transition cake. But the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the small business, sued the state for discrimination. And the Colorado AG agreed to drop the case if the cakeshop would drop its suit.  Instead of appealing the dismissal, Scardina sued the cakeshop in the District Court for the City and County of Denver.

The lawyer is demanding over $100,000 and a jury trial to punish Jack for the cake that wasn’t.

Scardina had not been placing an order in good faith, but seeking to entrap the cakeshop by first placing an order for a birthday cake and then announcing that it was also a gender transition cake.

That’s not how you order a cake, but that’s how a radical familiar with the law entraps a good man. And Scardina's site is titled, "Attorney and Activist". While Scardina accuses Philips of deception, it’s the “attorney and activist” who was being deceptive by misleadingly structuring the cake request.

Scardina claimed to have heard ads for Masterpiece Cakeshop in 2017 and ordered the cake in a "hopeful" mood. In fact, Scardina had been harassing Philips since 2012, sending him taunting emails that mocked his religion. The Satan cakes alone suggest a calculated pattern of harassment.

Despite claiming that the cake was needed to celebrate Scardina’s gender transition, the name Autumn appears all the way back in 2013 paperwork for the Adams County Department of Human Services. It even appears in the records of the California Bar Association. Since Scardina moved to Colorado in 2008, that cake order would have been a very belated celebration of the alleged gender transition.

The lawyer harassing Masterpiece Cakeshop had been working for Adams County for seven years. Scardina is familiar with the system and is exploiting it to harass a religious man for his beliefs.

Jack Philips won two lawsuits, one initiated by Scardina’s complaint to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, but no matter how many legal cases he wins, the harassment campaign continues.

After the Supreme Court cracked down on the Commission’s hostility to Jack’s religious beliefs, his tormentors decided to pursue a strategy of more directly harassing him through the courts.

Paula Greisen, the lawyer who is representing Scardina, also represented Craig and Mullins, the gay couple who had originally sued Masterpiece Cakeshop, making this the case that never ends.

The Left has the resources to continue harassing, threatening, and suing Philips indefinitely.

If Scardina loses, the next case has almost certainly already been prepped and waiting in the wings. The Left will not stop until it has smashed a small cakeshop tucked into the side of a shopping center.

Can one small business owner who is already on the brink stand up to 8 more years of this? The religious freedom of a nation may hinge on the determination of one cakemaker to resist a machine of hate.

As the Alliance Defending Freedom filing notes, "Phillips has suffered enough. The state’s past prosecutions generated death threats and vandalism and cost Phillips seven years of his life, 40% of his family income, and most of his employees — harms that endure even though he eventually won his legal fights. This crusade against Phillips and his faith should stop once and for all."

What’s at stake is not a cake, but a primordial struggle between religion and a radical cult as David Horowitz had described in his groundbreaking book, Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America.

"Radicals in America today don't have the political power to execute religious people and destroy their house of worship," David Horowitz wrote in Dark Agenda. "Yet they openly declare their desire to obliterate religion."

Destroying freedom of conscience is not a civil rights cause, but a crusade against religion.

The Supreme Court’s ruling penalized the egregious hostility by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the very idea of religious freedom, but didn’t settle the fundamental First Amendment question at stake.

And as long as that question remains unsettled, the harassment will continue.

In defending his right not to bake a cake that violates his beliefs, Jack Philips and his small cakeshop stood in front of a vast national bulldozer that seeks to destroy the very idea of religious freedom. The Supreme Court victory by the beleaguered small business didn’t save his business, it made him a target.

The Left understands that destroying Jack, even if he wins every court case, will make an example out of him. And until the Supreme Court upholds his inalienable freedom to be true to his faith, not only Jack, but every person of conscience will have his or her freedom held hostage in Lakewood, Colorado.

Until the freedom of that small cakeshop is settled, none of us are truly free.
 


Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/05/religious-freedom-nation-may-depend-one-small-cake-daniel-greenfield/

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New York COVID-19 Nursing Home Scandal Signals that States Must Protect Elderly - Rovvy Lepor


by Rovvy Lepor

New York forced nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients, killing thousands. They weren't the only ones...


Residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are dying at alarming rates due to mismanagement and dangerous policies in a number of states. Harmful state policies such as sending COVID-19 positive patients to these facilities and excessively reducing liability dramatically aggravate COVID-19 cases in nursing homes, undoubtedly bringing more death and illness to America’s seniors, and must be stopped immediately.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration was responsible for a policy that mandated nursing homes to admit, or readmit, nursing home residents still contagious with COVID-19 after hospital stays, thereby spawning outbreaks at facilities previously free of the virus. This dangerous policy, which was reversed on May 10, contributed to many of the approximately 5,400 nursing home deaths through May 11 in New York, amounting to more than 5% of the 100,000 nursing home residents in the state, and has been an unmitigated disaster. Such foolish and incomprehensible policies increase COVID-19 fatalities and must not be permitted.

Cuomo recently signed a law drafted by a pro-Democrat health care lobbying group that offers New York nursing homes legal immunity, something that would likely foster further carelessness at the state’s nursing homes. Any legislation that directly or indirectly promotes carelessness in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis is a recipe for disaster.

According to a May 3 article in the Associated Press:
Nowhere have the industry’s efforts played out more starkly than in New York, which has about a fifth of the nation’s known nursing home and long-term care deaths and has had at least seven facilities with outbreaks of 40 deaths or more, including one home in Manhattan that reported 98.
New York’s immunity law signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo was drafted by the Greater New York Hospital Association, an influential lobbying group for both hospitals and nursing homes that donated more than $1 million to the state Democratic Party in 2018 and has pumped more than $7 million into lobbying over the past three years.
While the law covering both hospital and nursing care workers doesn’t cover intentional misconduct, gross negligence and other such acts, it makes clear those exceptions don’t include “decisions resulting from a resource or staffing shortage.”
And, according to Richard J. Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, as reported in a May 7 report in Politico: “State health officials… also directed nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients, even after the AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine came out against the policy and other states followed suit,” and “that policy was, unfortunately, one of the things that led to a lot of avoidable harm…”

The federal government must ensure that any state with policies that make seniors more vulnerable to COVID-19, stop those policies immediately. On May 10, after a widespread outcry over New York’s COVID-19 nursing home policy, Cuomo reversed New York's directive, requiring that nursing homes not take in patients until they test negative. He also announced that all nursing homes must test all staff twice per week to prevent the spread of the virus.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom is attempting to get nursing homes and assisted living facilities to accept COVID-19 patients, albeit preferably separated from the rest of the facility. If this policy remains unchecked, it would likely result in a spike in nursing home deaths in California associated with COVID-19. So far, at least 41% of COVID-19 deaths in California are from nursing homes with an estimated 72% of COVID-19 deaths in Long Beach, CA coming from nursing homes.

Notwithstanding the rate of COVID-19 in California’s nursing homes, Newsom approved a plan to effectively bribe nursing homes and assisted living communities to accept COVID-19 positive patients, paying small facilities of 6 or fewer residents $1,000 a day to accept them, with undisclosed rates for larger facilities. Like New York and New Jersey, this reckless policy is all but certain to lead to a very significant spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths in California’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities and therefore must be stopped.

In Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order that requires admission of COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes. Fellow Michigan Democrat Rep. Leslie Love criticized this policy, saying that introducing “seniors with the virus still recovering from the virus, into an environment with, well, seniors, just didn’t seem -- it’s not a good idea.”

Similarly, New Jersey had also called on nursing homes to admit COVID-19 positive patients. As of May 12, New Jersey reported that 52% of the COVID-19 related fatalities in the state were at 518 of the state’s long-term care facilities, or 4,953 out of 9,508 total deaths. The total number of cases in New Jersey’s facilities was 26,476. With an estimated 44,000 residents in New Jersey nursing homes, about 60% of nursing home residents have contracted COVID-19 and 11% of New Jersey nursing home residents have died from it (or 18.7% of those infected).

As of May 12, reported nursing home deaths from COVID-19 in New York and New Jersey alone account for about 37% of a total of at least 28,100 reported deaths of residents and staff at nursing homes nationwide out of over 153,000 infected. In total, about 7,700 nursing homes and long-term care facilities in the United States have cases of COVID-19. Total nursing home deaths comprise about one-third of about 82,000 COVID-19 deaths nationally. The fact that both states are COVID-19 hotspots and have dangerous nursing home policies means that these states added fuel to the fire, and the resulting conflagration was no surprise.

The first step toward saving lives must be for the federal government to review the nursing home COVID-19 policies of every U.S. state and territory and do whatever possible to compel the correction of harmful policies. The federal government has the power to decertify substandard facilities. In light of this, the federal government should inform all long-term care facilities nationally, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, that admission of any COVID-19 positive patients to their facility in a manner that may risk the health of other patients is automatic grounds for immediate decertification.

At the same time, the federal government should inform governments of states and territories that any policy that endangers the health of residents is unacceptable and the federal government will do all in its power to ensure that such policies do not remain in force. Instead, states and territories should set up alternative housing designated exclusively for COVID-19 patients with the assistance of the federal government, when requested. This is of particular importance in light of disastrous nursing home policies (as in New York) that have endangered nursing home residents and caused numerous deaths.

One possible model for this is Washington State, which has three nursing homes that plan to open special COVID-19 units. Similarly, Connecticut and Massachusetts designated special facilities solely for COVID-19 patients. Proper separation of nursing home residents from those infected with COVID-19 could help save many lives.

It is also important that when states seek to pass legislation that protects nursing homes and long-term care facilities from liability, that it be done thoughtfully and without too much influence by lobbying groups. While legislation should offer nursing homes limited protection, it should not be crafted in a manner that even implicitly encourages negligence, and should certainly not make nursing homes and long-term care facilities effectively immune from liability. Otherwise, such legislation could actually drive more negligence and result in future spikes in the numbers of COVID-19 infections and related deaths.

This is even more important now that more states are moving toward opening up their economies, which is projected to significantly increase COVID-19 cases. Therefore, it is critically important that the federal government work with state governments to ensure that their policies work to diminish COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, rather than increase them, particularly when it comes to keeping COVID-19 patients separate from those free of the virus. The federal government should work with states to ensure that any legislation that offers some protection from liability to nursing homes should also ensure that nursing homes and staff remain accountable for negligence, particularly where there is legal basis to argue that such negligence likely led to the spread of the virus.

Until COVID-19 has been defeated, Republican and Democrat leaders should work together to limit the spread of the virus in the general population and in long-term care facilities as much as possible. While many important successes have been achieved, mistakes have been made, as well. Instead of finger pointing, it is high time that politicians learn from those mistakes in order to prevent further fatal errors. Countless lives are depending on it.


Rovvy Lepor

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/05/new_york_covid19_nursing_home_scandal_signals_that_states_must_protect_elderly.html

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MSM pretending Dem pols unmasking Flynn is no big deal, not even worth mentioning - Thomas Lifson


by Thomas Lifson

This time, the scandal cannot be covered up. Indictments, confessions, and convictions are on their way.


The biggest political scandal in the history of the Republic is finally being exposed, and the dominant corporate media are pretending nothing usual is going on. The unmasking of the unmaskers of General Flynn's telephone call is the camel's nose under the tent of the Obama administration's conspiracy to sabotage the incoming Trump administration, using the vast resources of the federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies using Deep State operatives within them.

According to the Media Research Center, the broadcast television networks, still the largest source of news for the American public, virtually deep-sixed news of the exposure of the names of those spying on the incoming Trump administration. ABC's and NBC's evening news broadcasts totally ignored the story, while CBS slanted its coverage (emphasis added):
While Wednesday's CBS Evening News was the only broadcast network to mention that Lieutenant General Michael Flynn's unmaskers had been exposed after two Republican senators released the evidence, anti-Trump White House correspondent Paula Reid downplayed the significance of the three-page list of names. She also stepped up to defend presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, whose name appeared on the list most recently.
CBS tucked the latest Flynn case revelation into a one-minute brief following a coronavirus report very critical of President Trump. "Well, Margaret, unmasking is when a senior government official requests to know the identity of the U.S. citizen in an intelligence report. It's something that happens thousands of times a year," Reid declared to downplay the significance of what was exposed.
Sorry, Ms. Reid: political appointees spying on their incoming successor's administration with only a few days left in office does not happen "thousands of times a year."

I realize that many readers are by now convinced that nothing will happen as a result of this latest scandal to come to light, but I disagree. The reason is simple: the leak of the phone call to David Ignatius of the Washington Post was a felony, and thanks to Ric Grenell's declassification, the federal prosecutors now have a finite list of suspects to question, and then they can seek warrants for their electronic communications (such as phone calls to Ignatius) — with the same criminal penalties for lying to federal investigators that resulted in a 5-year prison sentence for General Fynn's coerced "confession." Moreover, unmasking for political, not intelligence purposes is also a crime. What intelligence purpose justified Joe Biden's unmasking? Or that of Obama's ambassador to Italy, where George Papadopoulos was being pursued?

These are questions that investigators for the Durham probe can legitimately demand answers to.

Given the number of people who have lied under oath already as part of this cover-up, I have little doubt that there will be indictments. Those who are facing criminal prosecution will start to sing.

It's one thing to ignore this unmasking. But indictments and guilty verdicts or pleas cannot be bottled up. Not with the internet in place.

As this gigantic, historic scandal is prosecuted, the world will see which media outlets were covering up, not covering it.

Photo credit: Defense Intelligence Agency.

Thomas Lifson

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/05/msm_pretending_dem_pols_unmasking_flynn_is_no_big_deal_not_even_worth_mentioning.html

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New Nuclear Threats to the U.S.: Better to Deter Them or Play Dead? - Peter Huessy


by Peter Huessy

Without nuclear modernization, unfortunately, the United States cannot keep a credible nuclear deterrent against its nuclear armed enemies

  • At present, exactly zero percent of America's nuclear platforms are modernized.
  • Worse, when, in 2017, General Hyten... warned of the Russian threat, a common counter-narrative in the U.S. arms control community – and shared by some members of Congress -- was that simply by proposing to modernize a then-rusting nuclear deterrent, the United States was "leading an arms race."
  • Even these critics, however, had to know that it takes years to research, develop, test, and then build highly complex nuclear forces, so that no new U.S. nuclear deployments would even be able to start until 2029.
  • Russia has already completed 87% of its arms race while the US is just putting on its track shoes. The door to an arms race was opened long ago -- but by Russia, not the United States.
  • Without nuclear modernization, unfortunately, the United States cannot keep a credible nuclear deterrent against its nuclear armed enemies -- not only Russia but also China, whose nuclear arsenal is scheduled to double in the next decade, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The current U.S. administration inherited a nuclear deterrent 40-50 years old. Its submarines had first been deployed in 1981, its B-52 bomber cruise missiles in 1982, and its Minuteman land-based missiles in 1970. Pictured: The ballistic missile nuclear submarine USS Rhode Island. (Image source: U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Rebecca Rebarich)

Now that 184 countries are grappling with the medical and economic convulsions of China's CCP coronavirus that seems to have originated in a bio-warfare laboratory in Wuhan, what other catastrophes might be headed our way, especially ones we have been forewarned about?

What if America's adversaries might start to believe that because the US has a Covid-19 crisis on its hands, the nation might be distracted and vulnerable, so that now might be a good time to strike? If such adversaries think the US does not have a strong deterrent, does that make it an even more tempting target?

Last month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said that by the end of 2020, Russia will have modernized 87% of its nuclear arsenal, up from its current 82%.

Many Americans might shrug it off and say that the Russians are simply being their normal selves, just like the Soviets, year after year, building and modernizing their nuclear weapons.

Many Americans might also assume that the United States would be keeping up to make sure that the Russians were not about to get the nuclear drop on the US, right?

Not quite.

The United States, in fact, remains considerably behind the Russians. For nearly three decades after the end of the Cold War, a euphoric United States stopped taking nuclear deterrence seriously. The current administration, therefore, inherited a nuclear deterrent 40-50 years old. Its submarines had first been deployed in 1981, its B-52 bomber cruise missiles in 1982, and its Minuteman land-based missiles in 1970.

At present, exactly zero percent of America's nuclear platforms are modernized.

This dangerous "procurement holiday" dates back to the end of the Cold War in 1991, when leaders in the West presumably imagined that modernized systems would no longer be needed.

The problem is, presidents and Congresses have been warned. The US has known for some time that the Russians are fully modernizing their nuclear weapons. The US has also been aware that the Russians were increasing the role of nuclear weapons in their security strategy, and had also adopted a policy of "escalate to win." In this strategy, the Russians would use, or threaten to use, nuclear weapons early in a crisis, based on the assumption that in face of such threats, the United States would stand down.

Several years ago, for example, the Commander of U.S. Strategic Command, the senior U.S. military officer responsible for nuclear strategy, General John Hyten, told Congress that by 2020, the Russians would have fully modernized at least 70% of their nuclear arsenal.

Hyten not only warned about the Russia's new "escalate to win" policy; he also took stock of the fact that while the United States had decided -- belatedly -- to modernize its nuclear forces, it was still nearly 15 years away from fielding its first modernized nuclear platform. Regrettably, not everyone in Congress and the nuclear disarmament community listened. For many in politics, after all, it was assumed that the U.S. would "reset" relations with Russia and nuclear threats were happily diminishing toward a "global zero."

Worse, when, in 2017, General Hyten, (now Vice Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff), warned of the Russian threat, a common counter-narrative in the U.S. arms control community -- and shared by some members of Congress -- was that simply by proposing to modernize a then-rusting nuclear deterrent, the United States was "leading an arms race."

Even these critics, however, had to know that it takes years to research, develop, test, and then build highly complex nuclear forces, so that no new U.S. nuclear deployments would even be able to start until 2029.

An ideological attachment to the arms control catechism of the day, particularly among the advocates of "global zero," trumped any common-sense support of the potential necessity, even to use as a deterrent, for U.S. nuclear modernization.

Instead, what many disarmers proposed was the elimination of more than half of U.S. nuclear armed submarines, and 100% of America's land-based nuclear missiles and air-launched nuclear cruise missiles -- all eliminated unilaterally, without the Russians reducing anything

In 2018, nuclear critics in the Democratic party, now in the House majority, called for the unilateral "roll back" of the entire ICBM leg of the US nuclear Triad (land, sea and air) to curtail a supposedly "overly aggressive nuclear strategy" by the Trump administration. The proposal appears intended to prevent a presumed "expansion" of the US nuclear arsenal.

Ironically, the Trump administration's nuclear modernization effort at that time was nearly identical to the Obama administration's effort: keeping America's nuclear forces strictly within the New START Treaty limits. The Trump administration's policy at the time did not seek to expand the U.S. arsenal by even a single nuclear warhead.

Even today, however, despite Russia's confirmation that its nuclear forces are nearly fully modernized, and that the new U.S. modernization effort may not be putting new forces in the field until 2029, the same nuclear critics still do not seem to understand the strategy of deterrence: if you look disarmed and easy to overrun, you are inviting aggression, but if you do not look easy to overrun, people might think twice before attacking you. Former President Ronald Reagan called it, "Peace through strength". It was how, in large part, by building up the US nuclear arsenal and promising subsequently to build robust missile defenses, he induced the Soviet Union, unable to keep up, to collapse.

Even so, one unilateral disarmer inexplicably wondered recently if the current U.S. planned nuclear modernization effort might somehow open "the door to an expensive nuclear arms race".

This critic may be unaware that Russia has already completed 87% of its arms race while the US is just putting on its track shoes. The door to an arms race was opened long ago -- but by Russia, not the United States.

Sputnik News reports:
"Russia's nuclear forces have received or are in the process of receiving a series of new weapons in recent years, including the RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, the Avangard hypersonic boost-glide vehicle, and the Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic cruise missile. The maritime leg of the country's nuclear triad has seen the deployment of the new Borei class of strategic missile submarines equipped with R-30 Bulava ballistic missiles. Russia has also upgraded its fleet of Tu-95MS 'Bear' and Tu-160 'White Swan' bombers, increasing their range and capabilities and equipping them with new cruise missiles."
The current U.S. administration is fully aware of the Russian challenge and has robustly funded a U.S. nuclear deterrent. The modernization plan was approved by Congress -- although there is a worrisome emerging decline in the margin of support.

Without nuclear modernization, unfortunately, the United States cannot keep a credible nuclear deterrent against its nuclear armed enemies -- not only Russia but also China, whose nuclear arsenal is scheduled to double in the next decade, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency.

It is widely anticipated that the scope of U.S. nuclear deterrent modernization might be a debate topic this election year.

Some members of the House and Senate, may again push unilaterally to reduce much of America's nuclear arsenal to a level even as low as 20% of Russia's current deployed nuclear arsenal.

U.S. lawmakers may also again push to require that Congress must first approve any presidential decision to use nuclear weapons, thereby making a timely U.S. response to a surprise enemy nuclear attack virtually impossible.

Still other members of Congress may push to pass a new legal requirement that the United States pledge not to use nuclear weapons, even if the country was attacked and suffered millions of casualties from enemy biological, chemical, or cyber weapons.

Is this, then, the right time for the U.S. to stop nuclear modernization or hamstring its nuclear deterrent strategy? History illustrates how deadly being unprepared to face real threats can be, as in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the terrorist attacks of 9-11 or the coronavirus pandemic.

However serious these events were, most people probably know how much worse the outcome would be if an adversary initiated the use of nuclear weapons against the United States.

By now, the U.S. should know that its nuclear-armed adversaries are serious about using nuclear weapons -- either straightforwardly or for coercive leverage -- if they think they can get away it and avoid painful retaliation. The only sensible plan, therefore, is for the United States to maintain a nuclear deterrent second to none, to deter not only the threat of nuclear weapons but their straightforward employment, should it come to that.

In the election this November, Americans face a choice -- whether to continue with the planned modernization of America's nuclear forces, or yet again to kick nuclear modernization down the road and again pretend that nuclear threats -- that are potentially existential to the United States -- do not in fact exist.

Peter Huessy

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15995/new-nuclear-threats

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