Saturday, November 29, 2014

Obama’s Surrender to Iran - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

The extension gave the Iranians what they have most wanted out of the talks all along – more time within which to further develop their nuclear arms technologies while still gaining some relief from the economic sanctions. Indeed, Iran will continue to get its hands on $700 million per month in frozen assets under the terms of the nuclear negotiation extension.

Obama_IranThe commander of the Iranian Revolution Guards Corps, Iran’s top military force aligned with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, openly mocked the United States for having “clearly surrendered to Iran’s might,” according to a report quoted by the Washington Free Beacon. “Despite the military embargo on the Islamic Republic, there is no weapon that our military is not able to manufacture,” he added.

The commander, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, was commenting on the Obama administration’s agreement to a further seven-month extension in the talks with Iran over its nuclear program, which were supposed to have expired on November 24th. Sadly, Iran’s top military thug is right. The extension gave the Iranians what they have most wanted out of the talks all along – more time within which to further develop their nuclear arms technologies while still gaining some relief from the economic sanctions. Indeed, Iran will continue to get its hands on $700 million per month in frozen assets under the terms of the nuclear negotiation extension.

Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that “we would be fools to walk away.” As usual, Kerry was being played for a fool. And once again, the United States looks weak under President Obama’s failed leadership.

Iran’s leaders are out to prove to the world that Iran can be counted on to stand up to the “arrogant powers,” as Iranian leaders like to refer to the U.S. and its allies. So far, they are succeeding.

“In the nuclear issue, America and colonial European countries got together and did their best to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees, but they could not do so – and they will not do so,” said Ayatollah Khamenei on November 25th according to his personal website.

The year-long negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program have been going nowhere, even as the Obama administration was reportedly willing to allow Iran to maintain its own nuclear enrichment program. Dismantlement of large parts of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, presumably an original goal of the negotiations for the so-called P-5 countries (the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany), is no longer on the table, if it ever really was.  Iran’s missile program never was on the table. Nor were its possible imports of any nuclear materials, technologies and weapons delivery system components from North Korea.

Yet, the Iranians were still not satisfied with the offers they received during the negotiations. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani boasted in a television interview following the announcement of the talks extension that his country’s “centrifuges will never stop.”  He added that “Today we have a victory much greater than what happened in the negotiation. This victory is that our circumstances are not like previous years. Today we are at a point that nobody in the world [in which no one says] sanctions must be increased in order that Iran accept P5+1 demands. No one says to reach agreement we must increase pressure on Iran.”

Rouhani has a history of using negotiations as a delay tactic to achieve by stealth Iran’s strategic objectives. This time, Iran set out, in the words of its Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, to reach a final deal that will result in “a serious and not a token Iranian enrichment program coupled with removal of sanctions. This is the objective that we’re working on and this is the objective we will achieve.”

What additional evidence does the Obama administration need to demonstrate that Iran’s strategic objective is irreconcilable with a deal that would truly protect the world against Iran’s emergence as a nuclear-armed power? Apparently, they have learned nothing from the disastrous results of negotiations with North Korea. Instead of walking away from the talks after a year of futility and immediately reinstituting the full array of economic sanctions that have been melting away over the last year, the Obama administration buckled.

During the next seven months, the Obama administration will be deluding itself and sacrificing the security of the American people if it thinks that Iran will simply stand still and freeze all of its vast nuclear technology and production programs in place. According to Greg Jones, a senior research and nuclear analyst at the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, “They have a stockpile now that’ll probably support the production of about four nuclear weapons, and that’s slowly increasing over the course. It’ll probably gain another nuclear weapons worth by the end of June 2015 when this agreement runs out. So certainly that’s been continuing.”

John Kerry remarked that the Obama administration has “earned the benefit of the doubt” in agreeing to the further extension of talks, even though he conceded that “significant points of disagreement” remain. To the contrary, the administration has run out of excuses. Its quixotic quest for an elusive deal with a rogue state that continues to refuse the International Atomic Energy Agency access to all of its sites does nothing but raise more doubts about the administration’s intentions and competence.

For example, Iran has persistently refused to allow international inspectors to visit Parchin, Iran’s military facility where the agency seeks to probe for itself evidence that Iran may have been conducting experiments on nuclear detonators. Just days ago, the agency’s director Yukiya Amano complained that Iran was not cooperating “concerning issues with possible military dimensions.” Mr. Amano also warned that his agency, while able to assess Iran’s compliance with the interim agreement regarding its declared nuclear materials, was “not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

Yet Kerry’s message to Congress is to hold off on re-imposing or adding any sanctions at this time. Some members of Congress in both parties are understandably frustrated by the lack of concrete results. They believe that preserving the threat of increased sanctions if an acceptable, verifiable deal is not reached by a date certain is the most realistic strategy.

“The cycle of negotiations, followed by an extension, coupled with sanctions relief for Iran has not succeeded,” the outgoing Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said in response to the latest extension. “I continue to believe that the two-track approach of diplomacy and economic pressure that brought Iran to the negotiating table is also the best path forward to achieve a breakthrough.”

Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), whom has co-authored a sanctions bill with Senator Menendez, said it was now “critical that Congress enacts sanctions that give Iran’s mullahs no choice but to dismantle their illicit nuclear program.”

The chances for Congressional passage of a sanctions bill will improve next year when the Republicans take control of the Senate. However, President Obama is likely to veto such a bill. If the current extension runs out in June 2015 with no final deal concluded, expect the Obama administration to once again plead for more time so that it can kick the can down the road for the next president to handle – if it is not too late by then. Even worse, in a rush to try and improve his tarnished foreign policy legacy, President Obama may end up accepting just about any bone Iran offers him in a deal that he can spin as a positive achievement. The lethal consequences will be for the next president to worry about while the world becomes much less safe.

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.


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Obama Admin. Finds Thousands of “Lost” or Withheld IRS Documents - Michael Tennant

by Michael Tennant

From 2006 to 2013, Lerner was the head of the IRS’ Exempt Organizations Division, which approves applications for tax-exempt status. During a roughly two-year period beginning in early 2010, the agency indefinitely delayed the processing of tax-exemption applications from organizations that were perceived to be opposed to the Obama administration.

After many delays and denials, the Obama administration is finally releasing thousands of long-sought Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents that may shed light on whether the IRS shared confidential tax information with the White House and whether the agency was used by the administration to target political opponents.

On Monday, the office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informed the government-watchdog group Cause of Action that it had “located 2,500 potentially responsive documents” related to the organization’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request concerning TIGTA’s investigation of 2010 remarks by then-Council of Economic Advisers chairman Austan Goolsbee suggesting that Goolsbee had intimate knowledge of a corporation’s tax returns. Specifically, Goolsbee told reporters that “Koch Industries” was one of “a series of entities that do not pay corporate income tax.”

After a Koch Industries attorney told the Weekly Standard “that the administration may have crossed a line by revealing tax information about Koch Industries,” the White House quickly denied that Goolsbee had obtained his information from tax returns. Rather than settle the matter, the denial, which seemed to contain additional information discernible solely from tax returns, only added fuel to the fire. Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee asked TIGTA to investigate the matter; TIGTA agreed to do so.

An August 2011 e-mail from Treasury Special Agent Daniel Carney indicated that the investigation had been completed, but the report was not released to the public, the senators who had requested the investigation, or Koch Industries. Although the e-mail stated that the report could be obtained via a FOIA request, the administration refused to release it to Koch Industries on four separate occasions, once even saying it could neither confirm nor deny that the report had been compiled.

Cause for Action got into the act in October 2012, filing a FOIA request for the report and related documents. Again TIGTA tried the neither-confirm-nor-deny gambit, so Cause for Action took the government to court. Finally, in September 2014, a federal judge — with obvious scorn for the administration’s claim that even admitting the report existed would constitute an illegal release of tax returns — ordered TIGTA to confirm or deny the existence of the report. Apparently sensing that the jig was up, TIGTA not only confirmed that the report had been written but also decided to release the relevant documents. In a November 24 email to Cause for Action, TIGTA informed the group that it had located the 2,500 potentially responsive documents and could process them in full by December 15.

“This disclosure, coming only after Cause of Action sued TIGTA over its refusal to acknowledge whether such investigations took place, and after the Court ordered TIGTA to reveal whether or not documents existed, signals that the White House may have made significant efforts to obtain taxpayers’ personal information,” the organization said in a statement released Tuesday.

Just a few days earlier, on November 21, TIGTA made an even more stunning announcement: Tens of thousands of supposedly lost e-mails from former IRS official Lois Lerner, the central figure in the agency’s targeting of conservative organizations, had been found. From 2006 to 2013, Lerner was the head of the IRS’ Exempt Organizations Division, which approves applications for tax-exempt status. During a roughly two-year period beginning in early 2010, the agency indefinitely delayed the processing of tax-exemption applications from organizations that were perceived to be opposed to the Obama administration.

“Lerner was in charge of the review practice, had knowledge of the practice and allegedly did nothing to stop it,” recalled Forbes’ Kelly Phillips Erb. “It has also been suggested that she may have even encouraged and/or expanded the practice. All of those allegations, however, have been tough to prove because, in addition to Lerner’s refusal to testify before Congress, there’s no real evidence: a number of Lerner’s emails from the time period in question went missing.”

Indeed, in June, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the House Oversight Committee that because of a (suspicious) series of hard-drive crashes among Lerner’s division, all of the e-mails being sought by Congress were probably gone for good. (Koskinen, by the way, knew about the missing e-mails in April but informed Congress only after the fact was revealed in a court case.) Five months later, the agency would admit in court that it hadn’t even bothered looking for the e-mails, believing they were unrecoverable.

But, lo and behold, TIGTA has now managed to locate “up to 30,000” of the supposedly unrecoverable emails, according to the Washington Examiner. TIGTA “informed congressional staffers from several committees ... that the emails were found among hundreds of ‘disaster recovery tapes’ that were used to back up the IRS email system.”

Investigators have already “combed through 744 disaster recovery tapes,” the Examiner reported, and “they are not finished looking.” By the time they’re done reviewing the 250 million e-mails on the tapes, “officials said it is likely they will find missing emails from other IRS officials who worked under Lerner and who said they suffered computer crashes.”

Koskinen — who, the Wall Street Journal observed, “is pulling off the impossible task of destroying what little credibility [the IRS] has left” — released a boilerplate statement in response to TIGTA’s announcement: “The IRS welcomes TIGTA’s independent review and expert forensic analysis. Commissioner Koskinen has said for some time he would be pleased if additional Lois Lerner emails from this time frame could be found.”

“This is an extraordinary statement, in that it suggests the only way an agency can be held accountable for producing subpoenaed documents is if an outsider tosses the joint,” the Journal remarked. “Either the IRS didn’t bother to investigate these tapes or, more alarming, it did and chose not to produce the results.”

Lawmakers seeking the documents also responded to TIGTA’s recovery of the Lerner e-mails.

“Though it is unclear whether TIGTA has found all of the missing Lois Lerner e-mails, there may be significant information in this discovery,” House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told the Examiner. “The Oversight Committee will be looking for information about her mindset and who she was communicating with outside the IRS during a critical period of time when the IRS was targeting conservative groups. This discovery also underscores the lack of cooperation Congress has received from the IRS. The agency first failed to disclose the loss to Congress and then tried to declare Lerner’s e-mails gone and lost forever. Once again it appears the IRS hasn’t been straight with Congress and the American people.”

In a statement, Senate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said that their committee’s report on the matter would be delayed beyond the end of the current Congress while they awaited and then reviewed TIGTA’s findings.

The Obama administration insists that any wrongdoing at the IRS was the work of lower-level staffers and certainly did not involve the president or other high-ranking officials. But if that is the case, why has the administration fought to keep documents related to the Goolsbee and Lerner affairs under wraps, even to the point of lying about their existence? When TIGTA finally produces the documents, we may well find out; chances are it won’t be pretty.

Michael Tennant


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Is CAIR a Terror Group? - Daniel Pipes

by Daniel Pipes

We who follow the Islamist movement fell off our collective chair on Nov. 15 when the news came that the United Arab Emirates' ministerial cabinet had listed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as one of 83 proscribed terrorist organizations, up there with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS.

This came as a surprise because the UAE authorities themselves have a record of promoting Islamism; because CAIR has a history of raising funds in the UAE; and because the UAE embassy in Washington had previously praised CAIR.

On reflection, however, the listing makes sense for, in recent years, the Islamist movement has gravely fractured. Sunnis fight Shi'is; advocates of violence struggle against those working within the system; modernizers do battle against those trying to return to the seventh century; and monarchists confront republicans.

This last divide concerns us here. After decades of working closely with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and its related institutions, the Persian Gulf monarchies (with the single, striking exception of Qatar) have come to see the MB complex of institutions as a threat to their existence. The Saudi, Emirati, Kuwaiti, and Bahraini rulers now view politicians like Mohamed Morsi of Egypt as their enemies, as they do Hamas and its progeny – including CAIR.

While the Gulf monarchs have not become any less Islamist, they have acquired a clear-eyed appreciation of the harm that MB-related groups can do.

Having explained why the UAE listed CAIR on its terror manifest, we must a second question: Is the listing warranted? Can a Washington-based organization with ties to the Obama White House, the U.S. Congress, leading media outlets, and prestigious universities truly be an instigator of terrorism?

UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan explains why his government considers CAIR to be terrorist.

CAIR can rightly be so characterized. True, it does not set off bombs but, as the UAE's foreign minister explains, "Our threshold is quite low. … We cannot accept incitement or funding." Indeed, CAIR incites, funds, and does much more vis-à-vis terrorism:

Apologizes for terrorist groups: Challenged repeatedly to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups, CAIR denounces the acts of violence but not their sponsors.

Is connected to Hamas: Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and many other governments, indirectly created CAIR and the two groups remain tight. Examples: in 1994, CAIR head Nihad Awad publicly declared his support for Hamas; and the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), a Hamas front group, contributed $5,000 to CAIR; in turn, CAIR exploited the 9/11 attacks to raise money for HLF; and, this past August, demonstrators at a CAIR-sponsored rally in Florida proclaimed "We are Hamas!"

The Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas front group, made an early $5,000 donation to CAIR to help establish it.

Settled a lawsuit: CAIR initiated a libel lawsuit in 2004 over five statements by a group called Anti-CAIR. But two years later, CAIR settled the suit with prejudice (meaning that it cannot be reopened), implicitly acknowledging the accuracy of Anti-CAIR's assertions, which included:
  • "CAIR is a terrorist supporting front organization that is partially funded by terrorists";
  • "CAIR … is supported by terrorist supporting individuals, groups and countries";
  • "CAIR has proven links to, and was founded by, Islamic terrorists"; and
  • "CAIR actively supports terrorists and terrorist supporting groups and nations."
For two years, 2004-06, CAIR sued Anti-CAIR, eventually to settle with prejudice.

Includes individuals accused of terrorism: At least seven board members or staff at CAIR have been arrested, denied entry to the US, or were indicted on or pled guilty to or were convicted of terrorist charges: Siraj Wahhaj, Bassem Khafagi, Randall ("Ismail") Royer, Ghassan Elashi, Rabih Haddad, Muthanna Al-Hanooti, and Nabil Sadoun.

Is in trouble with the law: Federal prosecutors in 2007 named CAIR (along with two other Islamic organizations) as "unindicted co-conspirators and/or joint venturers" in a criminal conspiracy to support Hamas financially. In 2008, the FBI ended contacts with CAIR because of concern with its continuing terrorist ties.

On learning of the UAE listing, CAIR called it "shocking and bizarre," then got to work to have the Department of State protest and undo the ruling. Nothing loath, department spokesperson Jeff Rathke noted that the U.S. government, which "does not consider these organizations to be terrorist organizations," has asked for more information about the UAE decision. The UAE minister of state for Foreign affairs replied that if organizations can show that their "approach has changed," they are eligible to appeal "to have their names eliminated from the list."

Pressure from the Obama administration might reverse the UAE listing. Even so, this will not undo its lasting damage. For the first time, an Islamist government has exposed the malign, terroristic quality of CAIR – a stigma CAIR can never escape.

Daniel Pipes ( is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2014 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.


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US Syrian Policy Getting everyone Mad at us - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

Pretty rough treatment of the Obama administration in this New York Times piece on our Syria policy.

The contradictions are obvious. We're fighting ISIS. President Assad is fighting ISIS. But we have an announced policy of getting rid of Assad. But we're helping Assad by bombing the most effective force fighting against him. 

And when your head stops spinning, you will be exactly in the same place that most rational people in the world are; total confusion.
American and Syrian warplanes screamed over the Syrian city of Raqqa in separate raids this week, ostensibly against the same target, the Islamic State militants in control there.
“The fundamental disconnects in U.S. strategy have been exposed and amplified” as Islamic State militants have advanced in central Syria in recent weeks, said Emile Hokayem, a Syria analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Like Mr. Assad’s opponents, he contends that extremists cannot be defeated without ending decades of harsh Assad family rule and empowering the disenfranchised Sunni Muslims who drive the insurgency.
In the first raid, on Sunday, United States warplanes hit an Islamic State building, with no report of civilian casualties. On Tuesday, Syrian jets struck 10 times, killing scores of civilians, according to residents and Islamic State videos.
The back-to-back strikes, coming just days after President Bashar al-Assad of Syria declared that the West needed to side with him in “real and sincere” cooperation to defeat the extremist group, infuriated Syrians who oppose both Mr. Assad and the Islamic State. They see American jets sharing the skies with the Syrians but doing nothing to stop them from indiscriminately bombing rebellious neighborhoods. They conclude, increasingly, that the Obama administration is siding with Mr. Assad, that by training United States firepower solely on the Islamic State it is aiding a president whose ouster is still, at least officially, an American goal.
Their dismay reflects a broader sense on all sides that President Obama’s policies on Syria and the Islamic State remain contradictory, and the longer the fight goes on without the policies being resolved, the more damage is being done to America’s standing in the region.
More than two months after the campaign against the Islamic State plunged the United States into direct military involvement in Syria, something Mr. Obama had long avoided, the group has held its strongholds there and even expanded its reach. That has called into question basic assumptions of American strategy.
One is that the United States can defeat the Islamic State without taking sides in Syria’s civil war. Another is that it can drive the group out of Iraq while merely diminishing and containing it in Syria, pursuing different approaches on each side of a porous border that the Islamic State seeks to erase.
Whoever told our president that we could bomb ISIS in Syria and not help get rid of Assad should be fired. It's nonsense. There comes a point where our policy is  making more enemies than friends and should be either abandoned or radically altered; i.e., joining the fight against Assad. I say let the rebels - including Islamic State - defeat Assad and then sort out the aftermath by themselves. Considering how disastrously our intervention worked out in Libya, it would appear to be the only policy that makes sense.

But given our current actions, common sense doesn't enter into the calculation. 

When will we ever learn?

Rick Moran


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President Obama: Major Player in the 21st Century Oil Wars - Michael Bargo, Jr.

by Michael Bargo, Jr.

Since 2009, when President Obama started his first term, his actions show that he has blocked the Keystone XL pipeline to benefit a big financial contributor to the Democratic Party, Warren Buffet.

The Democratic Party has portrayed itself as champions of the environment and keepers of a green, natural earth. They have consistently portrayed the oil industry as a greedy enterprise that spoils the planet and indentures the working class so that the few can become super wealthy. While the Democrats promote this image, a look at the actions of President Obama may tell a different story.

Ever since he first took office in 2009, Obama has become personally involved in, and should be seen as the major player in, what can only be called the “Oil Wars” of the early 21st century. Under his administration, middle-class Americans have paid the highest prices for gasoline in history and he has done little to either lower prices or free the American oil market from the control of foreign oil producers. 

There are several issues related to the oil business where President Obama has interfered with free market forces. These are in the exploration of oil, the procedures used to obtain oil, and the transportation of oil. All three impact the product of oil and ultimately the price Americans pay for gasoline. 

The second half of the 19th century saw the rise of oil baron John D. Rockefeller, who used a combination of business maneuvering and political influence to build up a great oil fortune. A major part of his ability to dominate America’s oil supply was through transportation of the oil. There were two competing methods then, as today: via rail and pipeline. 

Since 2009, when President Obama started his first term, his actions show that he has blocked the Keystone XL pipeline to benefit a big financial contributor to the Democratic Party, Warren Buffet. Crude oil prices reached their all-time high in 2008. Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased a 22% shared of the Burlington Northern Railroad for $34 billion dollars in 2009, Obama’s first year. Since then President Obama has consistently rejected plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Another politician who is financially involved in Nebraska’s Democrat Senator Ben Nelson, who happens to own between $1.6 and $6 million of Berkshire Hathaway stock. 

Of course, these Democrats used the green language and reflect a concern for the environment. But they have fought against construction of the Keystone XL primarily because Warren Buffet bought into the Burlington Northern Railroad so he could reap immense profits by transporting oil by rail. The pipeline would greatly interfere with his plans and profits. Transportation by rail is slower and carries its own set of environmental concerns. 

President Obama has also acted to maintain high gasoline prices for the middle class and poor by banning shale drilling on federal land. The recent drop in gasoline prices is due to the fact that the Saudis don’t want the American-owned oil fields to compete with them. The huge increase in oil production brought on by shale fracking has provoked the Saudis to sell their oil at lower prices, lowering the price to $77 per barrel. Their production costs are lower and they are able to sell for less.  They hope to stamp out the American shale oil supply. Small communities across the U.S. are illegally banning fracking.  

The president has also made a weak argument that crude from the XL pipeline would only be exported, and not end up lowering prices for Americans. That position would be more believable if Obama consistently acted to lower gasoline prices for America’s working class, and he has clearly not done so.

President Obama’s choices clearly prove that he is more concerned with maintaining the flow of campaign cash from billionaires such as Warren Buffet than helping American families make ends meet. He has a reckless disregard for the financial disaster of the last six years, and actively obstructs anything that can make life easier for the middle class and poor.  

Another benefit Obama gets from high gasoline prices is taxes: the higher the price, the more taxes are paid to big states run by Democrats. There are only seven states that charge a percentage tax at the fuel pump. Illinois, Obama’s home state, is one of them. Those who buy gas in Chicago are paying an additional state tax of 6.25% while 42 states have no additional sales tax of that type at all. All of this points in one direction: that Obama’s main concern is to keep money from taxpayers’ pockets flowing to states run by Democrats, and to maintain the flow of campaign contributions from billionaires such as Warren Buffet. Not since the late 1800s has a politician played such as an important role in using federal power to control oil production.

Readers may remember that when gasoline first reached four dollars a gallon under President George W. Bush, he announced that federal lands and offshore areas would be open to drilling. This simply announcement lowered the price of gasoline, in just four months, back to $1.43 a gallon. However, President Obama’s party likes high gasoline prices, they keep his vast army of state and local political officials in power. The U.S. Energy Information Administration is tasked with recording the prices of gasoline by state. But President Obama suspended the collection of price information by state in February 2011 and none are available since then.

And all the while the media allow him to get away with the phony rhetoric that he is concerned with the environment, the middle class, and poor. President Bush was called an “oil man” because he once has a small investment in an oil-drilling firm. But he acted to lower the price of gasoline, and President Obama has not. The price of gasoline was consistently lower under the term of President Bush than it has been under President Obama. Obama should be called the “oil man” based on his policies. That he covers up this strategy with talk of green energy and a concern for kitchen-table finances is particularly disturbing.  

John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J P Morgan, and the other great robber barons could not have grown their power and influence without the cooperation of the political leaders of their time. President Obama uses his green energy rhetoric and federal control over energy regulatory agencies to promote his party’s agenda. He supports the Democratic national machine both through environmental group campaigns and most importantly, through gasoline taxes. 

It is interesting to note that if David Axelrod had been John D. Rockefeller’s public relations consultant, he probably would have stated that Rockefeller was the original advocate of protecting animal rights and the environment. He saved the world’s whales by popularizing the use of kerosene in lamps, and saved millions of horses from the unethical treatment of being used to haul wagons in America’s cities through his creation of vast quantities of gasoline. Not to mention how Rockefeller greatly improved the air quality and environment of America’s city streets by ridding them of horse manure. 

When the history of today’s “oil wars” is written President Obama will be seen as the major political player in forcing the middle class to suffer high gasoline prices. 

Michael Bargo, Jr.


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The Extremist, Radical New Israel Fund and Its Funders - Ronn Torossian

by Ronn Torossian

-- organizations like the New Israel Fund (NIF) which empower terrorists must be shunned.

During these sensitive times, as the world is a kinder-box [sic] due to Muslim extremists, Jewish extremists must also be rejected. As Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor recently said in United Nations speech, “Most people believe that at its core, the conflict is a battle between Jews and Arabs or Israelis and Palestinians. They are wrong. The battle that we are witnessing is a battle between those who sanctify life and those who celebrate death.” The Ambassador is right – which means organizations like the New Israel Fund (NIF) which empower terrorists must be shunned. The New Israel Fund supports groups that hurt the Jewish State.
An NIF grantee, the Executive Director of the Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF), received $332,625 from 2011-2013 in grants from the New Israel Fund and recently called Israel “racist,” and “murderous,” and described the country as a “temporary Jewish apartheid state.” She actively promotes the Palestinian ‘right of return.’ Other NIF grantees demand boycotts of the State of Israel, and contribute to gross Anti-Semitism by funding campaigns for Breaking the Silence who tour college campuses to accuse Israel of war crimes.  These organizations are outside the consensus. As The Algemeiner Journal reported New Israel Fund is “a controversial foundation that supports dozens of Israel related causes, many of which are considered hostile to the Jewish State.”

Thankfully today it was revealed that Birthright and Young Judea will no longer work with New Israel Fund. New Israel Fund is associated with funding boycotts of Israel and programs to support the Israel Defense Forces, hence the Jewish community is rejecting these extremists. As Algemeiner added, “NIF actively supports organizations like Machsom Watch, which harass Israeli soldiers while on duty at checkpoints, Breaking The Silence which dispatches former Israeli soldiers on international tours accusing the IDF of human rights violations and war crimes, and +972 magazine, which offers a ready stream of anti-Israel articles and opinions pieces. During the recent Gaza war, New Israel Fund dispatched emergency grants to fund anti-Israel protests in Israel.”

NIF donors support extremists’ viewpoints with barely any support amongst the democratic electorate of Israel. While one constantly hears about donors on the right, why is the left given a pass when they help fund anti-democratic behavior?

Irwin Jacobs, a co-founder of Qualcomm is a major donor to The New Israel Fund, as is his fellow San Diegoan, The Leichtag Foundation.  While The Fohs Foundation claims that their position is “not to look back, not to criticize Israel or place blame, but rather to promote opportunity going forward,”, yet by supporting the New Israel Fund, they stand with calling Israeli soldiers war crimes.  That is out of bounds – and responsible donors must reject these extremists.

From the Edith and Henry Everett  Foundation who fund The Jewish Book Council, Joint Distribution Committee, American Friends of Israel Sci-Tech Schools and others, one fails to comprehend why they would want to be associated with the New Israel Fund, which Professor Gerald Steinberg recently described as an organization that “..claim to support Israel and human rights principles, they enable the highly destructive activities that do the opposite. By the time these funders acknowledge this failure and end their support, the damage will be done.”

From the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund to The Irving Harris Foundation, Arnold Hiatt to many others, The New Israel Fund annual report is a study in those who seek to fund campaigns which support boycotts of Israel, supporting Anti-Semitism on campus, and prosecuting Israeli war crimes.  The supporters of these causes are all visible in the New Israel Fund annual report.

The New Israel Fund has decreased in funding from $37 Million in 2010 to $27 Million in 2013. This dangerous extremist organization neglects the reality on the ground and the will of the people. 

America’s closest Middle East ally, Israel, faces a grave enemy of terrorists and despots, and supporting organizations which undermine the Israel Defense Forces and encourage boycotts of Israel are simply dangerous.

Ronn Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and respected public relations experts. Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the 25 largest independent American PR firms, which was named PR Agency of the Year by the American Business Awards. He is the best-selling author of For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations


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Pollard and the US Government: A Polity of Amorality - Barouch Levy

by Barouch Levy

Jonathan Pollard was rebuffed in the US administration's parole board in an act devoid of mercy or any consideration for acts that likely saved thousands, because the polity of Obama's administration is one of extreme amorality.

After the recently reported decision, in which Jonathan Pollard's request to be paroled was rejected, he was returned to confinement in a North Carolina penitentiary, as his imprisonment goes in to its thirtieth year. If, as been said, the parole board is by law totally subordinate to the wishes of the Justice Department's demands in parole reviews, then last  summer's parole hearing, is just an expression of how the Obama administration views the matter.

One of the signs of a protestor in the disturbances following the Ferguson verdict was,"Black lives matter". Perhaps this sign was directed at Obama. Certainly Jewish lives are of little concern to him.

 The presentation by the administration representatives at the hearing leaves little room for interpretation. As media reported last week, the presentation was haughty, mean spirited and cruel. "The government's representatives spoke menacingly, treated Pollard with contempt….Those present described the hearing as a 'kangaroo court', even a 'lynching'."

It is stunning to anyone who has a little bit of Jewish empathy or human decency, to read how the Obama legal representatives dealt with a man to whom many people feel they owe their lives, as result of his courage and deeds. Clearly,the fact that the residents of Israeli cities, during the First Gulf War, or before it, may have escaped being consumed by an Iraqi gas attacks, because of Pollard, was not a mitigating consideration in the Administration's arguments for continued punishment, at the parole board. 

Even more telling, as to the value system of this administration, is this blocking out or denial of this consideration, which should have been of paramount importance in a parole judgment of this type. This total lack of consideration can also be seen when President Obama was interviewed on the outset of his trip to Israel.  In regard in action on behalf of Jonathan Pollard, he responded quite nonchalantly, "He has committed a very serious crime,", and "He's serving his time."

How ironic..One of the signs of a protestor in the disturbances following the Ferguson verdict was,"Black lives matter".Perhaps this sign was directed at Obama. Certainly Jewish lives are of little concern to him.. Certainly not the life of Jonathan Pollard.  How could it be otherwise.? Empathy, decency and morality do not coincide with politics of amorality

Such behavior by the Obama administration should really surprise no one, including those Jews who continue to continue to place their undivided loyalty in this talented mouthpiece of liberalism. But actually, the polity of this administration,is a polity of more than liberalism. It is a polity of amorality. 

The words of Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America, describing the Obama  Administration's comments on a UN resolution during last summer's Gaza War, highlight the principles which guide this administration. "We are appalled that President Obama has chosen to join this initiative in a Security Council resolution which would give a tremendous victory to Hamas , a moral one by having the military activity of both Hamas and Israel condemned as if they were of equal moral equality. The Obama administration has appeared to have climbed on board of this shabby, fraudulent, and dishonesty document, which represents amoral politics at its lowest common denominator."  

When presented with the question to as to the wisdom of negotiating with Iran or concluding agreements with it in regard to  its nuclear program, concern with lack of trust in Iran, in the present and the future, is dismissed . In a presentation before the the Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs, Chief Negotiator, Wendy Sherman said,.."…these negotiations do not rely on trust. Any long term deal we agree to, must be based on verifiable actions and constraints that convince us …that Iran is not building a nuclear bomb." 

Ostensibly, this is just hard-headed realism.  However, in other instances when it is asked as to what is the role of trust,  in relations with Iran, we see the safety of the world is to depend on such things as mutual interests and "intrusive" monitoring devices. The demand that Iran comply by any kind of acceptable moral code, obviously so lacking, or a  defense from threat based on the moral imperative on the part of the U.S., to identify condemn and resist evil is nonexistent. "We did not enter into these negotiations on a basis of trust.", she said.  Similarly the conclusion of negotiations, to end in an agreement with a near nascent nuclear power and the prevention in of a terrorist regime from acquiring and using nuclear weapons, is to be a solely technical professional matter.

Pollard was asked by a Jewish questioner how he could embroil the American Jewish community in the affair and damage the position of the American Jew in society. He replied quite simply, "What was I supposed to do?"

Confronted with the reality of the mortal threat posed to the lives of Israeli population, which the intelligence  formation he saw revealed,  led him to realize that action on his part was imperative. When he saw that he was blocked from having the information forwarded to prevent a possible tragedy of mass proportions, due to the intelligence embargo on transfer of information to Israel, specifically on such matters, he took the matter into his own hands. 

"I would rather spend the rest of my life in jail than mourn for thousands of Israelis who died as a result of my cowardice." This is what he said, Jonathan Pollard, a devout man motivated by a higher cause. His words invoke the memory of another man from a religious, moral, background, Nathan Hale, who was executed for gathering intelligence to protect the American colonists against the tyranny of the British Empire. Unfortunately, as each day passes Hale's words "I only regret that I have but one life to give for by country" and Pollard's are acquiring an ominous similarity, G-d forbid.

The words of MK Moshe Feiglin on March 6, 2013, underscore the heroism of Jonathan Pollard. "We have to look at Jonathan Pollard through Jewish, Israeli, and, Zionist eyes. Jonathan Pollard is an Israeli agent who preformed a service for us… Jonathan Pollard is a hero. He is a hero of Israel. He is a hero who risked his life for us. Who knows how many of us he literally saved."  In an interview given on Febuary28, 2006, commenting on Pollard's imprisonment, Feiglin stated that he was"…subject to physical and mental torture that would drive a normal person mad." 

Another Israeli Parliament member, Eliezer Cohen, had this to say. "I am a good friend of Aviam Sella, who received the information from him. (Pollard) I don't know all the material he received but I know part of it. For, example, when Israel attacked of the PLO headquarters inTunis (1985) it was with information supplied by Jonathan Pollard. We in the state of Israel are obligated to support him and obtain his release from prison. There are many threats which could harm the security of Israel, for example ground to ground missiles,  missiles with chemical warheads. If he had access to such information people should understand that he helped in these areas."

The rather halting, limited information release, seen in the video of Cohen, indicate that there are many powerful people in Israel who were not pleased with this release of information to the public. Those same people were some of those in the Israeli government who were responsible for the shameful expelling of Jonathan Pollard from the Israeli embassy in Washington, where he sought refuge from Federal authorities, and the initial denial by Israel of having any connection with him.

Those in the Israeli government who know exactly what information Israel received from Pollard and operate in such an unscrupulous way, would not hesitate to deny the status which statements such as those of Knesset member Feiglin and Cohen award to Jonathan Pollard. The reason they don't dare to do so is because they cannot. The truth of statements like these are undisputed in Israel. Jonathan Pollard's status in Israel as a hero is an acknowledged and growing reality. It is about time that this is the case, wherever men  of integrity dwell.

As for the opponents and enemies of Pollard, who accuse him of all kinds of wrong doings, most notably of criminally damaging US. security, the opposite is true. If Pollard had indeed damaged American security, someone amongst his numerous detractors over the last 30 years should have been able to prove this.. But proof of this has ever been given. Nor will it ever, because it cannot be given. 

Excuses for not publicizing or allowing public access to such "proofs", i.e. fabrications, has been based on the excuse of the need for secrecy in security matters. In the past this excuse was lame and now has become absurd.  Therefore, the inescapable conclusion is that statements about Pollard's alleged criminality , including the one mentioned here by Obama, are baseless and false. 

In the amoral political environment fostered by the Obama administration, the differentiation between truth and falsehood has little value. Even Pollard's supporters in the U.S.,callng for an an immediate release on the grounds of  injustice, of an overly harsh sentence, compassion and time served, balance their pleas with lesser accusations of  infringement on security, which also have no basis in reality. 

Whether overwhelmed by this polity and its absence of integrity, or perhaps fear that a total refusal to take any part in this anti-Semitic lynching, would result in their own victimization, real voices of truth in the Pollard affair are few. The American counterpart of Emile Zola, in the Dreyfus Affair, who  shouted his famous words, "J'accuse", did much to save the honor of France and defend the French values of liberty, fraternity, and equality during the anti-Semitic hysteria there more than 100 years ago, has yet to appear. 

If he does appear, not only will Jonathan Pollard be released and his courage and morality recognized, but the sliding into the abyss of the politics and polity of amorality in the United States, which the present leadership is abetting, will, with G-d's help, be halted.

Barouch Levy


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Political Landslides Shake Europe - Peter Martino

by Peter Martino

All along the Mediterranean and to the north, parties opposing the EU-mandated austerity policies are growing spectacularly.
The rise of tax-and-spend parties (or rather tax-other-countries-and-spend parties) reinforces the rise of parties such as UKIP in the north.
In the Netherlands, the anti-establishment Party for Freedom (PVV), of Geert Wilders, is currently the biggest party in the polls. Wilders has consistently opposed the bailing out of countries such as Greece and Spain with Dutch taxpayers' money.

Last week, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) won a landmark victory in the Rochester & Strood by-election. With this win, UKIP secured its second Member of Parliament. The UKIP candidate, Mark Reckless, won 42.1% of the votes, thrashing the Conservatives (34.8%), Labour (16.8%) and the Liberal Democrats (0.9%). It was the first time ever that UKIP stood in Rochester & Strood. The party won votes from all the major parties. The Conservatives lost 14.4% of the votes, Labour 11.7% and the Liberal Democrats a whopping 15.5%.

UKIP is expected to do very well in the British general elections next May. Last month, a poll predicted the party could win up to 25% of the vote in these elections. In the 2010 general elections, the party had only 3.1%.

UKIP stands for the preservation of the Britain's national identity. It opposes the European Union (EU) and wants Britain to remain a sovereign nation rather than become a state of a federal Europe. The party is also critical of mass immigration, in particular from Eastern Europe. Though Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader, carefully avoids the issue of Islam, the party has also become the refuge of voters who worry about Islamization. Above all, however, the party embodies the dissatisfaction of the electorate with the traditional political establishment.

Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party [UKIP] (Image source: Euro Realist Newsletter/Wikimedia Commons)
As such, UKIP is part of a broad trend that can currently be perceived all over Western Europe.

In Spain, a poll this week said that Podemos, a brand new party that was established only nine months ago, is currently the largest party in the country with 28.3% of the vote. The governing conservative Partido Popular of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy would finish second with 26.3% and the Socialist Party would get only 20.1%. Three years ago, in the November 2011 general elections, the Partido Popular won 44.6% of the votes.

Unlike UKIP, Podemos is a party that clearly belongs to the left of the political spectrum. Podemos (the Spanish for We can) was founded by "anti-capitalist" academics and trade unionists who want to "oppose the dominating EU politics from the left." Unlike UKIP, Podemos does not want to abolish the EU. On the contrary, since Spain is receiving billions of euros in EU subsidies, a majority of the Spaniards clearly want their country to remain an EU member state.

However, the party opposes the austerity policies that the EU is imposing on Spain as a prerequisite for the continuation of the flow of EU subsidies. Both the Spanish Socialist Party and Prime Minister Rajoy's Partido Popular are perceived by voters as implementing the same set of EU-prescribed policies. In this regard, Podemos does resemble UKIP, which also accuses the British political establishment of simply implementing EU mandated policies. In Britain's case, the dissatisfaction with the EU stems mostly from British taxpayers having to pay billions to the EU, which are then transferred to countries in the south of Europe, where governments use them to fund welfare programs. In this sense, the rise of leftist tax-and-spend parties (or rather tax-other-countries-and-spend parties), such as Podemos, reinforces the rise of parties such as UKIP in the north of Europe.

Indeed, all along the Mediterranean, parties opposing the EU-mandated austerity policies are growing spectacularly. One of the keynote speakers at Podemos' recent first-ever party congress was Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece's neo-communist party Syriza. In last May's European elections, Syriza became Greece's biggest party with 26.5% of the votes, ahead of the governing Nea Demokratia party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Syriza draws on the same kind of sentiments as Podemos and is popular for exactly the same reasons. The same is true of Italy's Five Star Movement, led by the comedian Beppe Grillo, which, with 21.2% of the vote, became the country's second largest party in last May's European elections. And the same is even true for the Front National of Marine Le Pen in France. Ms Le Pen claims that without the euro, the EU's common currency, there would be "no need for austerity." Drawing on anti-EU sentiments, the Front National became the largest French party in last May's European elections with 24.8% of the vote.

The popularity of these parties is still rising. A recent poll in France revealed that Marine Le Pen might win the next French presidential elections, not just in the first round, but also in the decisive second round. It is the first time ever that the FN leads in a presidential poll against France's two major parties, the Socialist PS and the Center-Right UMP.

In the countries to the north, however, the popularity of the parties opposing the EU subsidization of the southern countries is rising equally spectacularly. In the Netherlands, the anti-establishment Party for Freedom (PVV) of Geert Wilders is currently the biggest party in the polls. Wilders has consistently opposed the bailing out of countries such as Greece and Spain with Dutch taxpayers' money.

In neighboring Germany, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party established last year to oppose eurozone bailouts, is shaking up politics with its astonishing wins in recent state elections. In Sweden, the Sweden Democrats (SD), opposing both immigration and the EU, won 13% of the vote in last September's general elections, but their popularity keeps rising. Last week, an SD spokesman said the party is currently expected to win up to 18% of the vote.

All across Europe, the electorate is deeply dissatisfied and disillusioned with both the Conservative and the Social-Democrat parties of the political establishment. Voters no longer see much difference between the traditional political protagonists, who are perceived as imposing an EU agenda that, for various reasons, is seen as bad for the country.

In Europe judging by the polls, political landslides are on the way.

Peter Martino


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

Turkey and the Kurds - Uzay Bulut

by Uzay Bulut

For decades Turkey's official policy was: There are no Kurds -- so there is no problem.
"They wanted to send us a message through a beheading, a throat-cutting. This was an organized attack against our party. The [Turkish] state wanted to behead our party administrator in our party building. Behind this attack was the state itself." — Selahattin Demirtas, co-Chairman of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP).

Turkey: A Laboratory of Various Methods of Oppressing the Kurds

In Turkey, the approximately 20 million Kurds do not have any national rights, autonomy, or even primary schools where they can be educated in the Kurdish language.

The real population of Kurds in Turkey is not known; the Turkish state has not carried out a census of Kurds.

That policy may be deliberate: the Turkish regime seems to prefer to deny everything that is related to Kurdish existence. Turkey's state authorities, before the AKP came to power in 2002, said that when the Turkish republic was established, there were no Kurds – just "mountain Turks," and that Kurdish is not a "real" language. Since then, however, thanks to pro-Kurdish parties, the Turkish government can no longer refer to them that way. The problem remains, however, that the government still does not officially recognize the Kurds and still keeps denying them the autonomy they feel is their right.

For decades, that was Turkey's official policy: There are no Kurds – so there is no problem.

Denial was accompanied by state terrorism, carried out in massacres, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, unlawful arrests and, of course, torture.

In the 1990s, for instance, scores of Kurdish villages were razed and residents forcibly evacuated.

At least three million Kurds were displaced and left homeless, with 3,438 Kurdish villages destroyed and burned down by Turkish soldiers. [1]

Even a Turkish parliamentary commission concluded that in the 1990s, more than 3,000 villages and farm settlements were burned, razed and emptied of their inhabitants, and some 378,000 people displaced.

Velat Demir, the president of the Association of Solidarity and Assistance for the Families of Missing Persons, and one of the victims, says that due to the Turkish state violence he lost four members of his family.

Demir explained that estimates of the number of disappeared, between 1990 and 1994, range between 850 and 1.300. "Different figures are given because in Turkey there has not yet been a joint effort among civil society organizations to develop a database. Some say 500, some say 5.000 people. We think this is a big shortcoming."

As the Turkish pressure on Kurds has been huge and its methods of subjugation have been varied, many have become assimilated. But a great many have resisted assimilation, and demand that their rights for autonomy be recognized.

Turkey still does not recognize the Kurds, but in the 2000s, had somewhat to change its ways – albeit insidiously. In some of his public speeches now, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan refers to Kurds as "his Kurdish brothers," but still denies their rights just as former Turkish leaders did. In Turkey's constitution, for instance, Kurds are not recognized as a distinct ethnic community.

On September 15 of this year, when Kurds tried to open three primary schools in the Kurdish provinces of Diyarbakir, Sirnak and Hakkari finally to get some education in their native language, the schools were forcibly closed down and sealed by the Turkish Ministry of Interior and Turkish police the following day.

The Turkish state, which has not built a school for Kurds, has, however, built hundreds of jails in which to incarcerate them when they demand national or human rights.

Between 2009 and 2012 alone, hundreds of Kurdish activists, politicians, academics and journalists were arrested and imprisoned, and Turkish jails are still filled with Kurdish political prisoners.

Turkey's killing of Kurds also still continues. The Diyarbakir branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD) reported that since 1988, at least 580 Kurdish children have been killed by the Turkish state. Of these, 197 children have been killed during the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) since 2002.

The policy of the Turkish state toward the Kurds, ever since Turkey was established more than 90 years ago, in 1923, has been as follows:

Deny the Kurdish identity. Assimilate the Kurds into the Turkish culture. If they refuse, humiliate them until they get sick and tired of being Kurdish. If they do not get sick and tired, terrorize them into silence. If they refuse to be silent, just kill them off: You will either be a Turk, or I'll destroy you.

Attacks against Kurds by Turkish nationalists, police or troops all across Turkey have been on the rise in recent weeks and seem to result from of this mindset.

The Death of Kader Ortakaya

Kader Ortakaya, 28-year-old Kurdish sociologist and human rights activist, was shot dead on the Urfa-Kobani border on November 6, after the Turkish army reportedly attacked both sides of the border with gas bombs and bullets.

Ortakaya was an M.A. student in Istanbul's Marmara University, and also a member of the Social Freedom Platform and Free Art Initiative.

Members of the Free Art Initiative had been in the Kurdish town of Suruc for 25 days, and sleeping in tents in the border villages as a "peace guard." They reportedly wanted to form a human chain between Suruc and Kobani (in Syria) to show solidarity with the people of Kobani and to attract the world's attention to the dangers of the Islamic State (IS).

During a gathering, Ferhat Tunc, a well-known Kurdish singer, who had been forbidden to make a statement, was making one anyway. Turkish troops attacked the protesters with gas bombs and bullets, and opened fire on the people in Kobani on the other side of the border, as well.

Turkish troops shot Kader Ortakaya just after she had crossed the border from Turkey into Syria..

She was declared dead at the Kobani hospital; it is not known if she died in the hospital, or was dead upon arrival.

Several other artists and activists, including Ali Baran, Adil Aslan, Naif Aslan and Mustafa Kilic, age 75, were wounded and hospitalized.

Video Footage of Turkish Troops Meeting with ISIS

This video footage (here and here) of Turkish troops meeting with ISIS members was released on October 27. The footage shows the soldiers and ISIS members chatting and saluting each other on October 22.

The Turkish army issued a statement saying that the soldiers were "merely warning two persons that the area was a minefield."

Turkish soldiers chat with ISIS members on the Syrian border, October 22, 2014.
Kurdish protestor shot and lynched in Izmir as police stand idly by

JINHA, a Kurdish news agency based in Diyarbakir, broadcast a video about Ekrem Kacaroglu, a father of three, shot in the head in the province of Izmir on October 7 while protesting ISIS attacks against Kobani.

The video shows Turkish nationalist mobs lynching the 38-year-old Kurd after he was shot. Wounded, he fell to the ground. While he was lying wounded on the ground, a mob of Turkish nationalists lynched him. The police just stood by as the aggressors kicked him while shouting, "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah is Greater!"]

Kurdish Footballer Deniz Naki flees Turkey for Germany after attack

Deniz Naki, a Kurdish footballer born in the Kurdish province of Dersim in Turkey, was attacked in Ankara for posting anti-ISIS statements on social media and expressing his support for the Kurdish town of Kobani in Syrian Kurdistan.

After the attack, Naki cancelled his contract with Genclerbirligi, an Ankara team for which he had been playing for a year, and fled to Germany, where his family resides.

Naki has a tattoo of Dersim (the Kurdish name of the province where Kurdish people were massacred in 1937-38) and Azadi (a Kurdish word for "Freedom") on his arm, which caused him to receive threats.

For about six months, Naki had been exposed to threats and insults for his postings about his Kurdish and Alevi identity on Facebook, and said he thought he was being followed.

Last week, he was physically attacked as he left the facilities of his football team:
"As I just left the facilities, three people shouted at me: 'Are you the Kurdish, Alevi Naki?' They surrounded me, constantly swearing at me about my being Kurdish and Alevi. They shouted at me about Kobani and asked why I wrote 'Dersim' but not 'Tunceli' [the Turkish word for the same province] on my arm. As I tried to calm them down, the man on my left suddenly punched me in the face. I was shocked. I punched him back and ran away," he told Turkey's daily Birgun.
"There were three people and I was afraid that they might have guns or knives. They continued swearing at me as I ran. They said 'ISIS will f…k you.' And they said that this was just a warning".
Shortly after, Naki boarded a flight to Germany, and said that the attack would not cause him to give up his values, but that he would continue his career there out of concern for his safety.

An ISIS-Style Attack against a Kurdish politician in Ankara

On November 3, a Turkish nationalist stabbed Ahmet Karatas, a member of the Party Assembly of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), in his throat. Seriously wounded, Karatas was taken to the hospital.

The attack came after President Erdogan, on November 2, warned the HDP that, "Our patience has limits. If that limit is crossed, I do not even want to think about what might happen." Earlier, the HDP had asked its supporters to take to the streets on November 1 to protest ISIS attacks on Kobani and the government's reported support of ISIS. [2]

After the attack, Yalcin Akdogan, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, stated that the attack on Karatas was a "provocation" -- supposedly by people who want to start armed conflicts between the PKK and the Turkish army again, and to end the "resolution process" to resolve the Kurdish wish for autonomy through negotiations with Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the PKK.

The "resolution process" is the name of proceedings that reportedly got started in 2012. The government claims that it has been negotiating with Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the PKK, to end armed conflicts between the PKK and the Turkish army.

But no concrete steps for constitutional and legal reform towards the recognition of the Kurds' right to self-rule have been taken ever since.

So Akdogan was implying that Karatas was attacked because "some people" – whether Turks or even Kurdish nationalists -- wanted to end the negotiation process with Abdullah Ocalan and restart violence and armed conflict.

Selahattin Demirtas, co-chairman of the HDP, replied in a press conference on November 5:
"This was not a provocation. It was an organized attack against our party. The [Turkish] state wanted to behead our party administrator in our party building. Behind this act is the state itself.
The prime minister said that he was calling on everyone to react to the HDP. He launched a lynching campaign against us. But apparently, this was not enough, so they wanted to send us a message through a beheading, a throat cutting
The aggressor did everything to behead Karatas. He attempted to murder him in a calm manner. He did not even feel the need to hide his identity. He left his phone there. This is the message they are sending to us: They tell us that 'we will cut off your heads.' And this is our reply to them: Even though you cut off our heads, our bodies will not surrender to you.
Moustafa Mohamad, a Syrian Kurd, on a hunger strike for Kobani in Washington D.C.

Meanwhile in Washington D.C., as Kurds in Turkey and Syrian Kurdistan are exposed to attacks by ISIS and Turkish nationalists, Moustafa Mohamad, a Kurdish activist from Syrian Kurdistan, has been on a hunger strike for Kobani since October 21.

"I am on a hunger strike to take part in the pain and suffering of my people," Mohamad said. "To honor its resistance, to share its agony, to show its daily grunt and deprivations, I decided to go on a hunger strike to tell Washingtonians, who visit a popular site called Dupont Circle, that Kobani is fighting and they should support it."

"I want Kobani to prevail in the way [West] Berlin did during the Cold War. I also want the Islamic State out of Kurdish lands in Rojava as well as southern Kurdistan," said Kani Xulam, the spokesperson of the American Kurdish Information Network (AKIN), who is helping Moustafa Mohamad during his hunger strike.

"I think the international community is realizing that the Turkish ruling circles are not bothered or threatened by the extremism of Islamic State. What billions of dollars could not have accomplished for the Kurds and Kurdistan has been delivered to us: healthy and honest political recognition, on a silver platter.

I curse the Islamic State today and want them to be destroyed. Tomorrow, I will thank it and the Turkish ruling circles for the services rendered."[3]
Uzay Bulut is a Turkish non-Kurdish journalist based in Ankara.

[1] According to the Migrants' Association for Social Cooperation and Culture.
[2] These were Erdogan's exact words:
"It has been five years since we started this process. First, we called it the 'opening process,' then the 'national unity and brotherhood process,' and now we call it the 'resolution process.' The HDP calls on people to take it to the streets. It says 'this is not for violence.' Then why are you calling on people to pour into the streets? [Instead, you can] hold a demonstration. When you say "take to the streets,' it means 'wear a mask, take your stick, take your molotov cocktail, and burn down certain shops.' The security forces and citizens are worried. That is why; I say the patience has its limits. If that limit is crossed, I do not even want to think about what might happen."
[3] From an interview with both men by the author.

Uzay Bulut is a Turkish non-Kurdish journalist based in Ankara.


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