Friday, October 24, 2014

Israel's Security and Unintended Consequences - Richard Kemp

by Richard Kemp

Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.
The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.

When in 1942 American General Douglas MacArthur took command of the defense of Australia against imminent Japanese invasion, one of the plans he rejected was to withdraw and fight behind the Brisbane line, a move that would have given large swathes of territory to the Japanese.

Instead, he adopted a policy of forward defense: advancing northwards out of Australia to attack the Japanese on the island of New Guinea. MacArthur then went on to play a pivotal role in the defeat of the Japanese empire.

At the end of last year, during the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations involving U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, another extremely able and widely respected American General, John Allen, drew up a plan progressively to withdraw Israeli forces from the West Bank and hand over Israel's forward defense to a combination of Palestinian Arab forces, international monitors and technology.

Given the range of existential threats emanating from, or through, the West Bank today, known and unknown threats that will develop tomorrow, and the exceptional geographical vulnerability of the State of Israel, such a proposal is blatantly untenable. No other country would take risks with the lives of its people and the integrity of its territory by contracting out their defenses in this way -- nor should it.

General Douglas MacArthur (left) strongly believed in forward defense. General John Allen (right) also believes in forward defense -- but for U.S. forces only, not for the Israel's military defending its borders.

Britain, for example, where no such existential threats exist, even refuses to adopt the EU's Schengen arrangements, which would hand over the security of UK borders to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Spain, Italy and its other European neighbors. It is a long-standing opt-out that looks wiser by the day as international jihadist aggression against the West increases.

General MacArthur would never have recommended the "Allen Plan." MacArthur, however, was not then under the same political pressure as General Allen. If he had been, he would have repulsed it. In 1934, as Army Chief of Staff, he argued against President Franklin D. Roosevelt's intention to cut drastically the Army's budget with such vehemence that he vomited on the steps of the White House as he was leaving.

Would General Allen – or any other general today – recommend a similar plan to his own president, if it were not Israel's security, but the security of the United States, that was at stake? Of course he would not.

Indeed, U.S. generals unsuccessfully argued the opposite course of action when U.S. President Barack Obama decided on a total withdrawal of US forces from Iraq in 2011, a move that made inevitable the resurgence of large-scale violent jihad.

General Allen is now leading the American and allied forward defensive operations against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq [ISIS]. In the face of what he has defined as a "clear and present danger to the US," he is not recommending withdrawal of American forces back into the continental United States and reliance on Arab forces, peacekeepers and technology to protect U.S. interests. The reverse, in fact, is true.

The reverse is also true for the forward defensive operations of the U.S. and its Western allies against violent jihad in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mali, Somalia and elsewhere. All are significant threats to the West, yet none is as immediate and dangerous as the threat to Israel from an undefended West Bank.

Despite the determination of so many in the West erroneously to view the Israel-Palestine conflict as a mere territorial dispute that could be settled if only the so-called "occupation" ended, the forward defensive measures necessary for other Western nations are necessary for Israel as well. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank -- either now or at any point in the foreseeable future.

For those willing to see with clarity and speak with honesty, that conclusion has been obvious for many years. It is even more obvious, perhaps, for leaders with direct responsibility -- such as General MacArthur had in Australia in 1942 -- than for those who do not have to live with the consequences of their actions -- such as General Allen in Israel in 2013.

Recent events have made this reality even more certain. Through incessant rocket fire and the construction of a sophisticated tunnel system to abduct and massacre Israeli civilians on a large scale, Hamas has just delivered another powerful object lesson in the consequences of IDF withdrawal.

Fatah leaders may take a somewhat different stance for international consumption, but they ally themselves with the proscribed terrorists of Hamas. And, like Hamas, in reality they continue to reject the very existence of the State of Israel. They apparently continue to want only a one-state solution: Arab rule from the river to the sea, with the ethnic cleansing of the Jews that would follow.

They are consistently encouraged in this intent, both wittingly and unwittingly, by Western nations, particularly in Europe. Not least by Sweden's commitment in September to support a unilateral Palestinian state, the UK Parliament's recent vote for the same thing, and similar moves across Europe that are likely in the coming weeks and months.

Especially with such encouragement, there is no possibility that Palestinian Arab political leaders' rejection of the Jewish State will modify in the foreseeable future. The launch pad that an IDF-free West Bank would provide for attacks against Israel is so dangerous it makes even Gaza look about as threatening as Switzerland.

The external threats are at least as serious as those from within the West Bank. Despite the wishful thinking of many Western leaders and the alluring grins from Tehran, the Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. By funding and fomenting violence, Iran's leadership will continue to exploit the Palestinian Arab populations in both Gaza and the West Bank to these ends.

Those who are currently arguing for Israeli military withdrawal from the West Bank and the establishment of a sovereign state must have missed the war General Allen is fighting against the Islamic State [IS] and their jihadist bedfellows across the border in Syria. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them. In the hands of international monitors and Palestinian Arab forces, the West Bank would be wide open to them.

We have only to look at the reaction to aggression of almost all international peacekeepers over the decades to know they would not last five minutes. And we have only to look at the performance of the battle-hardened Syrian and Iraqi armies when confronted by Islamic State fighters to know how long Palestinian Arab forces would withstand such aggression, whether by infiltration or frontal assault.

Whatever happens to the Islamic State in the future, this resurgent Islamist belligerence is not a flash in the pan. On the contrary, it has been building for decades, and President Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and other world leaders acknowledge it as a generational struggle.

This means that for Israel, as far as the West Bank is concerned, both the enemy within and the enemy without are here to stay. And if the IDF has no choice but to remain in the West Bank to defend Israel, there can be no two state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be.

Nor can there be a one-state solution with democratic rights for all because that would spell the end of the one and only democratic and Jewish state and the beginning of a new autocracy and the next exodus of the Jews.

For those who do not want that to happen, the harsh reality is continuation of the status quo. But the status quo can be significantly improved, by gradual and progressive increases to PA autonomy in the West Bank, to the point where a state exists in virtually all aspects other than military security. That progress can only be achieved through low-key bilateral negotiations with concessions from both sides. It cannot be achieved by Kerry-like peace processes that demand big sweeping strokes to deliver groundbreaking, legacy-delivering announcements.

Nor can such progress be achieved in the face of a Western world that reflexively condemns every move Israel makes and encourages the Palestinian Arabs to believe that the fantasy of a two-state solution or a one-state solution on their terms can become a reality in the foreseeable future.

As so often in the paradoxical world of geopolitics, the well-meaning actions and words of national leaders and international organizations have unintended consequences. For the Israel-Palestine situation, the unintended consequences of Western actions are to deprive Palestinian Arabs of increased freedom and prosperity and to undermine the security of the only stable, liberal democratic state in the Middle East. If the West actually wants to help, its leaders need to face up to this unpalatable truth rather than continue to delude the Palestinian people as well as themselves.

Instead, Western leaders should use all available diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel and while they continue to brainwash future generations to believe in that goal.

Colonel Richard Kemp spent most his 30-year career in the British Army commanding front-line troops in fighting terrorism and insurgency in hotspots including Iraq, the Balkans, South Asia and Northern Ireland. He was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan in 2003. From 2002 - 2006 he heading the international terrorism team at the Joint Intelligence Committee of the British Prime Minister's Office.


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

Palestinian Statehood? - Louis René Beres

by Louis René Beres

The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.

When U.S. President Barack Obama announces in the United Nations that he wants a two-state solution for Israel and "Palestine," and when U.S. Secretary of State repeated it recently -- and when Sweden and the UK vote for a Palestinian State, and now possibly Spain and France -- they should be more careful what they wish for.

Although there is no lawful justification for offering statehood, but Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, on September 26, 2014, told the United Nations that "the hour of independence of the state of Palestine has arrived." Earlier, in 2012, the PA had already received elevated status from the UN General Assembly to that of a "nonmember observer state," but this elevation fell short of full sovereignty.

There can also be no justification -- ethical, legal, or geopolitical -- for waging war against the ISIS jihadis in Syria and Iraq, while simultaneously urging statehood for the Hamas/PA jihadis in West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza.

The so-called "Two-State Solution" approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, strongly reaffirmed by the US, Sweden and the UK, is founded upon multiple errors. For one, it still accepts the false Arab narrative of an Israeli "occupation."

Recurrent and virulent Arab terrorism against the Jews -- who have lived in the area for nearly three thousand years -- began many years before Israel's de jure statehood. The Hebron riots and massacre of 1929 are perhaps the best known example; and Arab terrorism continued throughout the British Mandate period, 1920-1948.

Organized Arab terrorism against the state Israel began the first hour of Israel's independence, in mid-May 1948.

The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority [PA] was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza.

What therefore, between 1964 and 1967, was the PLO planning to "liberate"? The answer, of course, was -- and still is -- all of Israel. These are precisely the "1967 borders" that President Obama has insistently identified as the appropriate starting point for peace negotiations, and that are generally recognized by military experts -- American as well as Israeli -- as the invitingly indefensible "Auschwitz borders."

Furthermore, the PLO was formally declared a "terrorist organization" in a number of major U.S. federal court decisions, including Tel-Oren v. Libyan Arab Republic (1984).

Then, almost ten years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, seeking peace with the fratricidal Palestinian factions, in 2005 forcibly expelled more than 10,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. Immediately, these ethnically cleansed areas, as a result of relentless and discriminatory Palestinian demands, were transformed by Hamas from productive agricultural and living areas to barren fields and, frequently, extended terrorist rocket-launching sites.

Since then, Israel has had to undertake several major self-defense operations against Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism, most recently, the Gaza War of this summer, Operation Protective Edge.

Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to full statehood in the civilized community of nations? It is sadly and abundantly clear that the Palestinians are actually seeking something very different from an "end to occupation." Both Fatah and Hamas, in their charters, daily declarations, non-stop incitement to murder, and official maps -- long familiar in Washington -- include all of Israel as a part of "Palestine." For both Fatah and Hamas, there has always been the disingenuous quest for a "One-State Solution," a not-so-secret code for demographically flooding Israel to make it an Arab state in which the Jews, who have lived on that and for roughly 3000 years, might continue there on sufferance as "tolerated" subjects or be completely expelled, depending on the speech. [1]

It probably has never even occurred to the U.S. Administration, Sweden or Britain that both Hamas and Fatah still identify their common ideological mentors as Hitler and Goebbels, two figures who remain ardent objects of admiration for the prospective rulers of a nascent "Palestine".[2]

At its core, President Obama's, Sweden's and Britain's policy toward Israel and "Palestine" reveals dangerous and hard-to-correct bewitchments of language. However untrue, the ritualistic canard of an Israeli "occupation" has now been repeated so often, and so authoritatively, that it is generally taken prima facie as irrefutable "fact."

On June 30, 1922, however, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine -- anywhere they chose -- between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.

Today, Palestinian claims and policies are fashioned not so much as proper material for diplomatic negotiation (after all, the PA and Hamas are already pursuing accelerated Palestinian statehood outside the framework of previous bilateral legal arrangements with Israel), but rather as a lethal incantation, which still does not make its claim true.

One Israeli prime minister after another has attempted to trade land for peace and each has received, in response, only endless terror attacks, rockets, and protracted war. The reasons for the unrelenting lack of Palestinian reciprocity, generally unhidden and doctrinal[3] can easily be found in our daily newspapers. Both the PA and Hamas leaderships, for example, demand that Israel continue to have 1.8 million Arabs as full citizens of the Jewish State, but simultaneously insist that not a single Jew be allowed to remain as a citizen of the impending Palestinian state. This expectation, that Palestine will be "judenrein," or free of Jews, is a total contradiction of the original U.S. support for the Palestine Mandate, and of all authoritative international law.

Also widely disregarded is that Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were the principal aggressors in the openly genocidal Arab attacks that first began on May 15, 1948, literally moments after the new Jewish State's UN-backed declaration of independent statehood entered into force.

Already, back in 1918[4], Jerusalem's Muslim religious leader, Grand Mufti Hajj Amin el-Husseini, stated plainly: "This was and will remain an Arab land.... the Zionists will be massacred to the last man.... Nothing but the sword will decide the future of this country."

The U.S. Administration, Sweden and Britain also disregard that these same Arab states launched yet another aggression -- that of 1967, or the Six Day War. As a direct result, the so-called Israeli "occupation" followed. The Israelis pushed back their aggressors, then immediately tried to exchange the newly-acquired land for peace, recognition and negotiations -- only to be told, by the Khartoum Conference the same year, No, no and no.

No, no and NO. From left to right: 1) King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, President Nasser of Egypt, President Sallal of Yemen, Sheikh Sabah of Kuwait and President Arif of Iraq at the1967 Arab League Summit in Khartoum; 2) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas; 3) Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed -- not before 1948 and not before 1967. Moreover, UN Security Council Resolution 242 never promised a state of Palestine. Even as a non-state legal entity, "Palestine" ceased to exist when Great Britain relinquished its League of Nations mandate.

During the 1948-49 Israeli War of Independence, the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza came under the illegal control of Jordan and Egypt respectively. Nothing in prior international law, including the 1947 U.N. General Assembly partition resolution, had ever said anything about any Jordanian or Egyptian title to these lands. The West Bank and Gaza were simply seized -- those were the lands that were "occupied" -- by these two Arab states after their 1948 aggressions against Israel; and thereafter claimed, as a fait accompli, as the traditional (and no-longer legal in the post-UN Charter world) prerogative of an armed conflict.

These Arab aggressions in 1948 did not put an end to any already-existing Arab State of "Palestine" state. Ironically, what these aggressions did manage to accomplish was the deliberate prevention of an Arab state of "Palestine." From the start, it was, and continues to be, the major Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty. The current predicament of what to do with West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza is the direct result of Arab states' non-compliance with the original UN partition plan of 1947, for which the Jewish side, however reluctantly, had given its full approval.

* * *

A continuous chain of Jewish possession of the land was legally recognized after World War I, during the San Remo Peace Conference in April 1920. The Treaty of Sèvres was signed, in which Great Britain was given mandatory authority over "Palestine," based on the expectation that Britain would correctly prepare the area to become the "national home for the Jewish People": To wit:
"The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

In 1922, however, Great Britain, unilaterally, and without lawful authority, split off 78% of the lands promised to the Jews -- all of "Palestine" east of the Jordan River -- and gave it to Abdullah, the non-Palestinian son of the Sharif of Mecca. Eastern "Palestine" now took the name "Transjordan," which it retained until April 1949, when it was renamed "Jordan".

From the moment of its creation, Transjordan was closed to all Jewish migration and settlement, a clear betrayal of the British promise in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and a grave contravention of its core Mandatory obligations under international law.

In 1947, the newly formed United Nations, rather than designate the entire land west of the Jordan River as the long-promised Jewish national homeland, enacted a second partition. Jewish leaders reluctantly accepted the painful and unjust division. Ironically, despite this second allotment again giving complete advantage to Arab interests, the Arab states did not.

On May 15, 1948, exactly twenty-four hours after the State of Israel came into existence, Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, declared to a tiny new country founded upon the still-glowing ashes of Holocaust: "This will be a war of extermination, and a momentous massacre."[5]

This unambiguously genocidal declaration has been at the very heart of all subsequent Arab, Muslim and Islamist actions against Israel, including those of the supposedly "moderate," U.S.-supported Palestinian Authority leadership of Fatah. Even by the strict legal standards of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the actions and attitudes of Arabs and Muslims toward the microscopic Jewish state in their midst have remained genocidal.

Jurisprudentially, what they have in mind for Israel has a formal name: it is called crimes against humanity. Crimes against humanity, which include "Extermination," was one of three original counts of indictment at the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal, invoked pursuant to the London Charter of August 8, 1945.

In 1967, the Jewish state, as a result of its unexpected military victory over Arab aggressor states after the Six Day War, gained unintended control over West Bank and Gaza. Although the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war is codified in the UN Charter, there still existed no authoritative sovereign to whom the territories could possibly be "returned." Israel could hardly have been expected to transfer them back to Jordan and Egypt, which had exercised unauthorized and terribly harsh control since the Arab-initiated "War of Extermination" in 1948-49, as well as the Arabs repeatedly using that territory to launch aggression against Israel. Moreover, the idea of Palestinian "self-determination" had only just begun to emerge after the Six Day War; it had not even been included in UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted on November 22, 1967.

The Arab states convened a summit in Khartoum in August 1967, concluding with "Three Nos": "No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it."

The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] had been formed three years earlier, in 1964, before there were even any "Israeli occupied territories." From their own candid statements in the PLO Charter of 1964 and the Hamas Charter of 1988 -- it is this very same territory -- all of Israel -- that they are now planning to liberate.

President Obama's still-proposed "Two-State Solution" derives from a misunderstanding based on ignorance -- legal, historical and conceptual -- of Israel and "Palestine."

Even if Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were to agree to a complete cessation of all so-called Jewish "settlement activity," no quid pro quo of any kind would be forthcoming from any quarter of the Arab/Islamic world.[6] There was none when Israel left southern Lebanon, none when Israel left Gaza and there is therefore reason to expect there will be none now.

Rather, what still seems in place, and backed by the President Obama, Sweden and the UK, is the PLO "Phased Plan" of June 9, 1974, which repeats the principle policies of the Palestinian National Council: to take what one can get, then to use that to take the rest "as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity."[7]

For Israel, any Two-State Solution would conclusively codify another Final Solution -- and simultaneously create another jihadist, enemy terrorist state

[1] "PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews", USA Today, Sept. 13, 2011.
[2] On this point, see Andrew G. Bostom, MD, especially the essay, "A Salient Example of Hajj Amin-al-Husseini's Canonical Islamic Jew Hatred," and also The Legacy of Jihad, 2005). Hajj Amin el-Husseini, preeminent Islamic leader during the World War II era, was viewed by Adolf Hitler, Goebbels, and the Waffen-SS, as a "Muslim pope." As Bostom further indicates, "The Nazi regime promoted this former Mufti of Jerusalem in an illustrated biographical booklet, printed in Berlin in 1943, which declared him Muhammad's direct descendant, an Arab hero, and the "incarnation of all ideals and hopes of the Arab nation." On pertinent connections between the current Palestinian movement and Nazism, see also: Jennie Lebel, The Mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin-el-Husseini and National Socialism, Paul Munch, Belgrade, 2007, p. 243; and Jeffrey Herf, The Jewish Enemy - Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust, Cambridge, 2006, pp 180-181.)
[3] See seminal writings by Dr. Andrew Bostom, above.
[4] Dr. Andrew Bostom in The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism (p. 92)
[5] Akbar al-Yom, Egypt, October 11, 1947, quoted by David Barnett and Efraim Karsh, "Azzam's Genocidal Threat," Middle East quarterly, Fall, 2011
[6] See, for consistently authoritative quotations from official Palestinian sources, PA and Hamas, Palestinian Media Watch, especially its regular special section on "Israel's right to exist denied." See:
[7] Article 4: "Any step taken towards liberation is a step towards the realization of the previous Palestinian National Councils." and Article 8: "Once it is established, the Palestinian national authority will strive to achieve a union of the confrontation countries, with the aim of completing the liberation of all Palestinian territory, and as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity."

Louis René Beres is a Professor of International Law in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University.


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Historic Justice: A Kurdish State Now - Mordechai Kedar

by Mordechai Kedar

The Kurds have a right to independence. Their lack of it until now is an unjust and tragic accident of history.

The borders of most of the Arab countries east of the Mediterranean were delineated in the period following WWI, on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. The borders were fixed on the basis of British and French interests and the ties those two countries had formed with local groups.

Two non-Muslim groups were granted independence: The Jews were given Britain's pledge – in the form of The Balfour Declaration – that it would help establish a National Home for them, and France granted the Christians dwelling north of Israel the country of Lebanon, as separate from Syria. The Zionist movement was active and visible in the political corridors of Britain, while the French empathized with the fears the Lebanese Christians held of becoming a minority in a country with a Muslim majority.

One ethnic group, the Kurds, was left without a state, and was, instead, divided among four countries: Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. The main reason for this was that the Kurds had no organization representing them on the European scene and no country that interceded for them. The Kurds were the really major sacrificial lamb of the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement. In every one of the nations to which they were appended, they are hated, denied their rights, pushed to the sidelines and persecuted. Hundreds of thousands of them have been murdered in struggles against the governments of the countries to which they were parceled out. Israel helped the Kurds in northern Iraq in the early 1970's.

The Kurd's problematic status led to their becoming fearless and imbued with a strong sense of national consciousness, so that, for the most part, they are able to overcome tribal loyalties and divisiveness in their midst. A feeling of being under siege and the need to fight constantly for their existence and basic rights has forced them to draft anyone who is able to hold a weapon That is how many Kurdish women were allowed to join the fighting force, in contrast to the Middle Eastern tribal tradition of relegating women to the task of caring for their homes and families.

The Kurd's situation has worsened radically since Islamic State appeared on the scene in Iraq and Syria several months ago. This cruel terror organization attacks and eliminates anyone who is not a Sunni Muslim, as we all witnessed with regard to the terrible fate that befell the Yazidi tribe: murder, masses dead of starvation, the sale of women as slaves in the market and forced conversion to Islam. Muslim Sunni communities fare no better unless they join Islamic State and their men become members of the organization's gang of murderers.

Most of the Kurds are Sunni Muslims, but they have not joined "Islamic State", so they must fight on to keep from being annihilated. The city of Kobane has been at the center of this battle for a month now, and all the sides involved are playing a dirty game with the lives of the Kurds dwelling there. Assad positively enjoys seeing them flee to Turkey, the Turks hate them and would not help them until a few days ago, the West is busy with the Ebola virus and with trying to save Baghdad and Iraq – and only the Iraqi and Turkish Kurds wish to go to Kobane with their weapons in order to come to the aid of their besieged brethren.

The world in general and the countries in proximity to the Kurds in particular have proven to them once again – if any of them was in need of additional proof – that only the Kurds can help the Kurds.  Only Kurdish strength, a Kurdish military force and a Kurdish state can guarantee that the Kurdish people will be able to live a normal life, the kind of life a nation that has its own state can lead. This is first and foremost an ethical position, because every nation that has achieved independence for itself is morally bound to stand with the Turks so that they, too, are able to live as a free people in the land they have inhabited for thousands of years. They are not immigrants, they are not invaders, and they will not go anywhere else.

Meetings of exiled Kurds have been taking place lately to come up with ideas for moving towards some level of self government for the Kurds, while looming in the background there is the Turkish threat to squash any trace of Kurdish independence in what was once the land of Syria.

The Kurds in Syria, however, are fully aware of their Iraqi brothers who have had a government, parliament, army, communications and economic system of their own in an independent region for twenty years, with minimal ties to Iraq. Kurdish refugees are travelling worldwide trying to elicit well-deserved financial and public support for their plight. The world – its nations, organizations and citizens – simply must support them.

The world must tell the Kurds: It is time for your redemption. It is time to announce the death of the artificial countries of Syria and Iraq, created in the Sykes-Picot Agreement; it is time to re-arrange the Middle East in accordance with the interests of its own peoples, not those of Britain and France.

Colonialism disappeared seventy years ago, and the time has come to erase that colonialist heritage – that is, the borders of Syria and Iraq. What happened to Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and the USSR is the model for redesigning the Middle East. All three came apart on ethnic lines and most are now developing, tranquil and legitimate modern states. Ukraine is doing the same thing right now. This is a natural process in a world where ethnic origins are of great significance to most of the public, where groups are willing to wage war with one another due to differences in language, culture and tradition.

As far as this is concerned, the Middle East is no different from Europe. Here, too, loyalty to traditional frameworks – tribe, people, religion and sect – are stronger than loyalty to a modern state. That is why the post WWI nations, especially Syria and Iraq, failed in the main goal of a state: to find a place in the hearts of their citizens, to create an Iraqi and Syrian national ethos, to exchange the traditional loyalty and identity with that of modern statehood. That is why the Kurds are still defined as Kurds – by their neighbors as well as by themselves – and not as Syrians, Iraqis, Turks or Iranians.

The West and particularly Israel, must take a moral stance – which also happens to be a realistic stance – and support, both in word and deed, the legitimate rights of the Kurds to full independence and to a state like all the other peoples of the world. That is the only way to free them from decades of suffering brought on by long-extinct colonial interests. All those nations so eager to recognize a "Palestinian people", a fictitious "people" whose existence was unknown before the 1970's, a "people" without its own language, culture, ethnicity or territory – let's hear them for the Kurds. The Kurds are a real nation, much more deserving of recognition and rights than the virtual Palestinian "people".

Turkey will not be pleased with international recognition of Kurdish rights. The Turks massacre the Kurds mercilessly; in the last thirty years alone, the Turkish army murdered tens of thousands of Kurds in Turkey and Iraq. The world – from an ethical point of view - must tell the Turks that "enough is enough, the time has come for you to recognize the legitimate rights of the persecuted and oppressed group for whose suffering you bear a good deal of responsibility."

The Arab government of Iraq will make some noises about not wanting a Kurdish state taking oil and territory from Iraq. But if and when a Kurdish state is established, a good many Iraqi Arabs will breathe a sigh of relief. Assad's heart will also rejoice once the world liberates him from the Kurds - and the Iranians, who have a small number of Kurds in their country, will begin to worry that their Kurds will also want to separate from the country that rules them only because of the British.

If the Iranian Kurds continue their efforts to have an independent state and begin to fight for it, they might inspire other minorities who live in Iran to demand ethnic rights and even the legitimate right to become a separate entity. This scenario is just as possible in Iran as it is in Iraq, Syria and Turkey and might lead to an Iranian civil war and collapse, another possible positive outcome of a Kurdish state in Syria.

No less a positive outcome would be felt in dealing with Islamic State. The Kurds are proving that they are just about the only force in the region that is steadfastly battling Islamic State. Other countries – Turkey and Iran – have not rushed to send their soldiers to the battlefield, and might never do so. The West and several Arab nations are limiting their involvement to air power, which cannot destroy Islamic State. If ground forces that can search each house, basement, apartment and ditch do not join the war, Islamic State will not be defeated. In that case, Islamic State will probably be around for a good number of years and the world will accept its existence as a fact.

Is the acceptance of the right of the Kurds to independence as a fact less probable than that of Islamic State? In a situation where the Middle East is collapsing, it is imperative to begin the process of building alternatives to its failed states. A Kurdish state could well be a new and well ordered beginning for the modern history of the Middle East, with a better chance of succeeding than the one that followed WWI and failed in most instances. A Kurdish state will be the "coming thing" in the region and open the Middle East "Spring of Nations", 166 years after a similar "Spring" began in Europe.

Mordechai Kedar


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Terror in Canada - Nichole Austin

by Nichole Austin

michael-zehalf-bibeauThe nation of Canada is reeling today from a brutal terrorist attack in the capital city of Ottawa that claimed the life of Canadian reservist Nathan Cirillo. The attacker has been identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a 32-year-old convert to Islam, who was killed by authorities as he opened fire inside the Canadian Parliament. The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were deliberately struck by a speeding vehicle driven by another Islamic convert, leaving one soldier dead. The twin attacks have demonstrated that even the unassuming nation of Canada is not immune to the threat of Islamic terrorism, which once again has been allowed to flourish under a lax regime of global leadership.

Shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, Zehaf-Bibeau, using a keffiyeh to cover his face and brandishing a long-barreled rifle, approached the Canadian National War Memorial, dedicated to the memory of Canadian soldiers who have lost their lives in defense of their country. Clp. Cirillo was standing watch at the Tomb of the Unknown solider when he was shot in the abdomen by Zehaf-Bibeau at point-blank range. Zehaf-Bibeau then ran into the Canadian Parliament, where he was killed following a shoot-out with authorities.

Cpl. Cirillo, a 24-year-old father, was rushed to the hospital, but tragically succumbed to his injuries. A parliamentary guard sustained a gunshot wound to the leg during the attack and is said to be recovering.

Warning signs for Canadians have abounded in recent weeks. In early October, reports broke that an ISIS-connected terrorist plot, allegedly targeting a shopping mall and the U.S. embassy in Ottawa, had been thwarted by authorities. A day before the public learned of the attack, Canadian intelligence and security agencies briefed Canadian lawmakers on the threat of Islamic radicalism growing inside the country. However, while officials ultimately downplayed the idea that an attack was imminent, less than a week ago the government quietly raised the domestic terrorism threat level to medium for the first time in four years.

“This week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world,” a visibly shaken Prime Minster Stephen Harper said in a statement to the nation Wednesday. Harper vowed that the attack would lead Canada to “strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts, and those of our national security agencies, to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home.”

Worried Canadians should not be heartened by Harper’s pronouncements given what we have learned about officals’ alleged monitoring of Zehaf-Bibeau and other like-minded terrorists embedded in Canadian society. Zehaf-Bibeau, born Michael Joseph Hall, had been known to Canadian authorities for his jihadist proclivities and potential for violence. He had recently been designated by the government as a “high-risk traveler” and had his passport seized out of fear that he was liable to commit acts of terrorism abroad. Despite a long criminal history of drug trafficking, credit-card forgery, robbery, and multiple stints in jail, Zehaf-Bibeau could not be taken off the streets.

The disconcerting facts surrounding Zehaf-Bibeau are eerily similar to those of Martin Couture-Rouleau, a.k.a. “Ahmad LeConverti” (Ahmad the Converted), the Canadian Muslim convert who ran a car into two Canadian soldiers on Monday in the Quebec city of Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, claiming the life of one of the victims. Couture-Rouleau was arrested and questioned in July when he attempted to fly out of Canada to Turkey. Couture-Rouleau’s passport had also been seized in an attempt to prevent him from traveling abroad and taking up arms with fellow Islamic terrorists.

Ninety other individuals like Zehaf-Bibeau and Couture-Rouleau are reportedly on a Royal Canadian Mounted Police watch list due to suspicion that they have or are planning to participate in militant activities abroad. At least 80 individuals present in the country are believed by Canadian intelligence to have gone overseas to participate in terrorist activities, and as many as 145 Canadians around the world are said by intelligence to be actively involved in terrorist groups.

The same is true for many Western countries. Approximately 100 individuals from the U.S. are believed by the National Counterterrorism Center to have attempted to leave the country to fight alongside ISIS jihadists. The FBI estimates that a dozen Americans are currently fighting in Iraq and Syria, while Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) reports that that some 40 U.S. citizens have been allowed re-entry into the country after fighting with ISIS. According to the Obama administration, this is their right.

“Ultimately, an American citizen, unless their passport is revoked, is entitled to come back,” FBI Director James Comey declared earlier this month. “So, someone who’s fought with ISIL, with an American passport wants to come back, we will track them very carefully.”

Yet the events in Canada of the last several days have cast doubt on the reliability of the purported “careful tracking” strategy.

“If you want to go to Syria and Iraq, please go, but never come back,” Geert Wilders told FrontPage’s Jamie Glazov on this week’s episode of The Glazov Gang. In this prophetic warning against the policy of barring known ISIS jihadists from exiting Western countries, Wilders pinpointed why Canadian soldiers like Cpl. Cirillo needlessly, and tragically, lose their lives at the hand of jihad. By refusing to allow highly “motivated” jihadists to leave, Western governments have made, in Wilders’ words, “our own streets, our own airports, our own train stations, our own malls, very dangerous places to be.”

Nichole Austin


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Getting It Exactly Wrong - Russ Vaughn

by Russ Vaughn

FOX News is reporting that the Canadian government is responding to the terrorist attack in Ottawa by ordering all Canadian service members to avoid wearing their uniforms in public so that they do not present themselves as available targets.  The order is in response to ISIS's recent public urging to its minions in Western societies to seek out and murder military men and their families, as well as yesterday’s shooting of the unarmed ceremonial soldier at the Canadian monument paying tribute to past soldiers’ sacrifices and military achievements.

Hiding its warriors is exactly the opposite of the tactic that a nation with any sense of national fortitude, not to mention dignity, should be using when it comes under attack by terrorists.  Instead of kowtowing to terrorist threats and ordering his soldiers into hiding, the Canadian prime minister should order all Canadian reserve forces onto national active duty and instruct Canada’s military command that all active-duty personnel will be required to carry a loaded military-issued weapon – at the very least a prominently displayed sidearm, either hip-mounted or in a shoulder holster.

In support of such a display of arms, the Canadian military should immediately present to its forces up-to-the-minute classroom and range instruction on how to respond to a terrorist event that unfolds in their presence, with heavy emphasis on immediate and permanent elimination of the threat to innocent Canadian citizens.  They should be taught to shoot to kill, to destroy in the shortest possible time the threat to them and other citizens.  They should be taught to disregard the ingrained tendency to shout commands to halt and desist and instead put rounds on target.

Good grief, Minister Harper, where the hell is the strength that built your huge frontier country?  Are you so neutered by political correctness and fear of violence that you would instruct your military forces to hide among your helpless civilians?  Sorry, Harper, but that is a weasel’s response when your country is threatened.  It is time, man, to set loose your sheepdogs to protect your sheep.

ISIS has declared its intent to bring death to America by urging traitors among us to murder military service members and their families.  The evidence indicates that these Muslim terrorists have mounted such attacks on American service members in the past and, on the occasion of the Fort Hood shooting, their families as well.  But this is the first time that we have seen a general public call by any jihadist organization for American embeds to attack the families of our warriors.  We, as a country, should consider that call for miscellaneous murder of innocents to be a major change of the rules of engagement and respond accordingly.

I predict that the day the first American soldier’s family is murdered by ISIS thugs will be the first day of the eventual, but total, destruction of this deadly Islamic infestation.

Russ Vaughn


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Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame - James West

by James West

Police set up a perimeter near Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Canada.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today gave a master class in calm, credible breaking-news reporting.

Anchored by the unflappable Peter Mansbridge, news of the shootings in Ottawa unfolded live on the CBC much like they do here in the United States: lots of sketchy details, conflicting reports, unreliable witnesses, and a thick fog of confusion. All of that was familiar. What was less familiar was how Mansbridge and his team managed that confusion, conveying a concise and fact-based version of fast-moving events to viewers across Canada and the world.

This live bit of level-headed reporting by Mansbridge, from around 11:10 a.m. Wednesday, should be given to journalism students around the country. It basically contains everything you need to know about why CBC did its audience proud:
MANSBRIDGE: And so, the situation is, as we say, tense and unclear. And it's on days like this—we keep reminding you of this and it's important—it's on days like this, where a story takes a number of different pathways, a number of changes occur, and often rumors start in a situation like this. We try to keep them out of our coverage, but when they come, sometimes from official sources, like members of Parliament, you tend to give them some credence. But you carefully weigh it with what we're also witnessing. It's clear that the situation is not over. It is clear the police are in an intense standby situation and continue to be on the lookout, and until somebody blows the all-clear on this we will continue to stay on top of it and watch as the events unfold.
Watch below, courtesy of the CBC:

The broadcast was deliberative and deferential to the facts even when they were sparse. Exacting and painstaking, but never slow or boring, Mansbridge weighed the credibility of every detail, constantly framing and reframing what we knew and, most crucially, how we knew it. He literally spoke the news as it happened, using his experience not to opine nor fill the gaps in his knowledge, but to provide the necessary support for his team's reporting.

Getting things wrong during fast-moving live coverage is, of course, common. Coverage of the Washington Navy Yard shooting last year got the details wrong early and often: It misstated the perpetrator's name, age, and how many guns he had. Following the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013, there was false coverage about the identity of the bombers, and anonymous sources leading journalists to nonexistent bombs and arrests. On the Media's handy "breaking news consumer's handbook" is a great roundup of the reporting errors that get repeated every time there is a mass shooting.

No newscast, especially live news, is immune to mistakes, and during the initial haze of leads and counterleads, it's easy to point fingers. But for the six-some hours of CBC broadcasting I watched off-and-on (mostly on) today, I never once felt lost in the wall-to-wall speculation that has characterized so many recent breaking-news broadcasts in the United States.

It seems like others on Twitter agree that CBC did pretty damn well today:

James West is senior producer for the Climate Desk and a contributing producer for Mother Jones. He wrote Beijing Blur (Penguin 2008), and produced award-winning TV in his native Australia.


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The Democratic Campaign Platform: Lie to Win - Cindy Simpson

by Cindy Simpson

President Obama “giftwrapped” the truth Monday, when he told Al Sharpton that Democratic candidates are lying when they distance themselves from him.  The Washington Post summed it up:
Obama’s comments not only “suggested the election was indeed something of a referendum on him…but that Democratic candidates are actually on-board with him -- something most of them have made pains to argue is not the case.  Obama's comments are the kind of thing Democrats might privately say to assure donors and the party base, but wouldn't really say in public.”
In other words, straight from the mouth of one liar to another: “Do what you need to do to win.”

Habitual lying -- a proclivity of Obama extensively documented by American Thinker contributor Jack Cashill in his new book, “You Lie!” -- is a disorder that has infected the entire Obama administration, as scandal after scandal festers in the “culture of deception” that pervades the White House.

It’s the culture created, as Andrew McCarthy observed in his column on the Obama administration’s handling of the Ebola outbreak, when “incompetence meets mendacity.”  The vastness of this deceptive culture reaches beyond the Obama administration into the entire Democratic Party, on full display in midterm campaigning across the country.

Take the example of candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, Senator Mitch McConnell’s opponent on the Kentucky ballot.  After listing multiple examples of Grimes’s lies, Breitbart’s Michael Leahy described her campaign operation as a “culture of deception.”

Grimes has certainly produced plenty of slick commercials in which she promises she is “not Barack Obama.”  Running as another “Great Democrat Rural Hope,” she tells voters she disagrees with Obama on “guns, coal, and the EPA” -- but intrepid undercover reporter James O’Keefe’s hidden camera documented how perfectly her campaign follows Obama’s deceptive playbook.

Caught on tape, several staffers admitted that Grimes is lying about her support of coal, calling it all a “lying game.”  As one prominent campaign donor put it to another of O’Keefe’s cameras, “She’s gonna f*** [the coal industry] as soon as she’s elected. She can’t say it straight up. She’s going to do what she has to do to get elected and then she’s gonna f*** ‘em.”

Sound familiar?

Yes, Americans, you can keep your health insurance and your doctor. 

Yes, Kentuckians, you can keep your coal and your guns.

And yes -- Democrats think that the voters who cling to those lies are stupid.

Democratic candidates also count on the fact that their supporters who do recognize the lies and deceptive strategies are as unprincipled as the candidates themselves.  As McCarthy further observed, it’s as if “the fibs told to escape the latest jam are more admired for craftiness than condemned as breaches of trust.”

It’s even sadder to realize that even after millions of dollars worth of McConnell campaign ads that point out Grimes’s lying, somewhere in the neighborhood of 44% of Kentucky voters still plan to vote for her. Thousands of voters who apparently really are as stupid or as unprincipled as the Democrat campaign thinks they are.

Although some prominent Democrats have blasted the Grimes campaign as being “disorganized,” as a Kentuckian constantly bombarded with commercials, ads, and robo-calls, I can tell you how very Alinsky-ized it appears. Her campaign may appear disorganized, but listening to her speeches, like this one at a “rally,” reveals the community organizer in her. She may not need teleprompters on both sides of her at the podium, but it is obvious how “rehearsed and scripted and pandering” she really is.

In fact, local reporters have complained that Grimes limits “reporters to just a question or two here and there, during which she doesn't stray from what often sound like scripted answers.”

Grimes won’t even admit that she voted for Obama. As reporter Keith Koffler noted:  Sure, it’s a sad commentary on Obama. But it is also, quite simply, one of the most craven performances I have ever seen on the campaign trail.”

“Craven” is the word. And it also describes several other Democratic Senate candidates with the same MO.

After Grimes non-answer, Charles Krauthammer concluded that Kentucky voters should be wondering if they can “trust her to speak straight on anything else.” Chuck Todd observed: “if you can't find a way to stand behind your party's president, you can disagree with him but can't answer that basic question and come across looking ridiculous. I think [Grimes] disqualified herself.”

While Todd’s conclusion appears reasonable, in essence it captures the Democrat dilemma -- candidates can’t answer that basic question without exposing either themselves or the President as liars.

After the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced it had pulled its support for Grimes in Kentucky, Keith Koffler speculated on the reasons:
It’s not clear to me if this is because they don’t think she can win – she’s down only by a few points to McConnell – or if it is actually in retaliation for her disloyalty to the president, who has raised large sums for the DSCC.  I hope it’s in retaliation because, certainly, she deserves as a matter of principle to be denied access to money he has raised.
Of course, Koffler assumes that the party still holds some principles -- positive ones, that is.

But really, we should wonder -- will the party that tells lies together, stay together? While the nation gradually loses its trust in Obama, Democrat candidates should (or at least, might) begin losing trust in their leader and the party.

Columnist Walter Hudson, writing about “the number one reason why the left always wins,” noted:  “They don’t care about the means. They don’t care about the process. They only care about the results.”

Apparently, Democrats don’t care about character either.

“Grimes,” observed Koffler, “must assume that having character is not a qualification Kentucky voters are interested in.”

Alison Grimes is simply a prettier version of the politician Barack Obama. A vote for Grimes is a vote for Obama. It’s a vote for every single one of his failed policies.  It’s a vote for Obama’s lies.  It’s a vote for more lying, this time delivered with a southern accent.

Grimes and fellow Democrats can run on their platform of lies, but they can’t hide from the truth.

Cindy Simpson


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