Friday, January 2, 2015

UN Seeks to Criminalize Free Speech, Citing “Human Rights” - Alex Newman

by Alex Newman

While anti-Korean speeches and rallies by the Japanese group “Zaitokukai” are being used as the pretext to terrorize Japan into changing its policies and infringing on citizens' constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, the UN’s anti-free speech scheming has far larger aims. 

Under the guise of advancing what the United Nations refers to as “human rights,” the dictator-dominated global body is waging a full-blown assault on free-speech rights by pressuring governments to criminalize so-called “hate speech.” Indeed, working alongside radical government-funded activist groups and anti-liberty politicians around the world, the UN and other totalitarian-minded forces have now reached the point where they openly claim that what they call “international law” actually requires governments to ban speech and organizations they disapprove of. Critics, though, are fighting back in an effort to protect freedom of speech — among the most fundamental of all real rights.  

While Americans’ God-given right to speak freely is firmly enshrined in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, the UN and its hordes of “human rights” bureaucrats are currently terrorizing and bullying the people of Japan — among others — in an effort to drastically curtail speech rights. Pointing to a tiny group of anti-Korean activists holding demonstrations in Japan, politicians and self-styled promoters of “human rights” have also joined the UN in its Soviet-inspired crusade to ban free expression. The Japanese Constitution, however, like the American one, includes strong protections for freedom of speech. Still, that has not stopped the UN from seeking to impose its radical speech restrictions on Japan anyway.

At least two separate UN outfits, the dictator-dominated “Human Rights Commission” and the UN “Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” have condemned Japan so far this year for failing to criminalize free speech while demanding immediate bans. The UN racial committee even released a report calling on Japanese politicians to overthrow the nation’s Constitution and take “appropriate steps to revise its legislation” by criminalizing and punishing speech, rallies, and groups considered “hateful.” The outfit also demanded a "comprehensive law prohibiting racial discrimination."

The "human rights" committee, meanwhile, demanded that Japanese authorities “prohibit all propaganda advocating racial superiority or hatred that incites to discrimination, hostility or violence.” Even speech on the Internet is in the UN's "human rights" crosshairs for regulation and prohibition. While anti-Korean speeches and rallies by the Japanese group “Zaitokukai” are being used as the pretext to terrorize Japan into changing its policies and infringing on citizens' constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, the UN’s anti-free speech scheming has far larger aims.  

Incredibly, despite constitutional protections for free speech and the lack of any statute even purporting to criminalize free expression, Japanese courts have actually been relying on UN agreements to punish alleged “hate” speakers. Last summer, the high court in Osaka upheld a previous ruling against the Zaitokukai organization for its speeches and rallies outside of a North Korean propaganda "school" in Kyoto that brainwashes children into worshipping mass-murdering North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The group was ordered to pay more than $100,000 for its supposed hate speech — again, despite the Constitution’s protections for free speech and the lack of a “hate speech” statute in Japan.    

Also alarming to critics is that top members of the Japanese political class are already plotting to use “hate speech” laws to criminalize criticism of government and politicians. According to a recent report in the Economist magazine, revisionist politician Sanae Takaichi said “hate-speech” laws should be used to stop people from protesting government actions outside of Parliament. Lawmakers must be free to work “without any fear of criticism,” she explained, sending shivers down the spines of free-speech advocates. Apparently the totalitarian sentiment is widespread among the political class, though Japan’s justice minister has so far resisted UN calls to pursue “hate speech” schemes. 
Much of the UN’s lobbying against freedom of speech in Japan, as in other nations, revolves around the “International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination” and similar planetary thought-police regimes. The radical UN agreement, which took effect in 1969 but was not ratified by Japanese authorities until the 1990s, purports to criminalize “discriminatory expression.” Under the global body’s anti-free-speech regime, national governments are supposedly “required” to ban all speech that might justify or promote racial hatred, hostility, or discrimination — and punish the perpetrators.  

Then UN “Human Rights” Czar Navi Pillay, a South African who was widely ridiculed after her half-baked attacks on the United States in recent years, also offered some chilling insight into the dictator-dominated global body’s views on liberty. “Defining the line that separates protected from unprotected speech is ultimately a decision that is best made after a thorough assessment of the circumstances of each case,” she argued. In other words, any time somebody speaks, he or she must wonder whether their speech might run afoul of dubious UN notions of “hate speech” — to be decided after the fact.  

Of course, the issue at hand is not really “hate speech.” Threats and incitement to violence are already crimes in Japan and virtually the entire civilized world, so no new statutes are needed to rein in the excesses of racist hatemongers. Instead, the real issues include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, real rights, national sovereignty, constitutional governance, and self-government. While racist speech is certainly ignorant, tasteless, and collectivist, using laws to criminalize it is not only futile — as has been shown on countless occasions — but extraordinarily dangerous. Instead, the free marketplace of ideas is the best way to counter hatemongering.   

Even the notion of “hate speech,” though, has long been used to persecute innocent people for their political and religious beliefs. Across much of Europe, for instance, pastors and street preachers are regularly arrested and jailed for referring to homosexual activity as a sin. In Sweden, under the guise of waging war on “hate speech,” the Justice Ministry even investigated the Holy Bible. Meanwhile, at the global level, a broad coalition of Islamic dictators is seeking to criminalize criticism of Islam, its prophet, and the Quran worldwide using UN agreements.   

The tyrannical origin of hate-speech laws, meanwhile, was highlighted in detail in a 2011 report by the respected Hoover Institution, exposing the origins of the machinations within the mass-murdering regime ruling the Soviet Union. “The introduction of hate-speech prohibitions into international law was championed in its heyday by the Soviet Union and allies,” the paper on the “sordid origin of hate-speech laws” explained. “Their motive was readily apparent. The communist countries sought to exploit such laws to limit free speech.” Acceptance of hate-speech schemes by what remains of the free world, the report added, could have “devastating consequences for the preservation of free speech.”

The UN, composed largely of brutal autocracies of various varieties, has also made its views on free speech rights perfectly clear. Just consider two examples documented by The New American in 2014. This summer, the head of a powerful UN agency, Director General Francis Gurry with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), threatened a journalist with criminal prosecution — for the "crime" of reporting on official documents alleging that he unlawfully sent U.S. technology to brutal dictators, retaliated against whistleblowers, and was involved in widespread corruption. More recently, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) physically removed the public and the media from a taxpayer-funded meeting in Moscow during which it decided to demand much higher global tobacco taxes.    

Even the whole UN notion of “human rights” should be viewed for what it is: a tool of tyrants to attack the real rights that have underpinned Western traditions since the Magna Carta. Indeed, unbeknownst to average Americans and humanity as a whole, the UN means something very different when it discusses “human rights” than, say, the unalienable, God-given rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. In the American system, rights such as self-defense, free speech, religious liberty, trial by jury, privacy, and property ownership are endowed by the Creator upon every individual — a truth that America’s Founding Fathers viewed as “self-evident.”

Because individuals’ human rights come from God, then, they cannot be legitimately infringed upon by any government. In fact, according to the Founders, government was instituted for the express purpose of protecting those God-given rights from infringement. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” explains the American Declaration of Independence, which formally gave birth to the independent United States of America. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.”

Under the UN’s version of “human rights,” however, “rights” are purportedly defined and granted to people by governments, dictators, treaties, and international organizations. Even more troubling, perhaps, is that they can be restricted or abolished by government at will under virtually any pretext, as the UN’s own “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” openly admits. Consider Article 29 of the declaration, which claims that the pseudo-rights can be limited “by law” under the guise of everything from “public order” to “the general welfare.”

Separately, the same article claims that everyone has “duties to the community” and that “rights and freedoms” may “in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.” For perspective, that would be like the First Amendment saying Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, unless that speech is being used to criticize Congress or otherwise makes Congress unhappy. Obviously, the two views on human rights are incompatible at a basic level. The two visions are actually almost opposites — unalienable God-given rights versus revocable government-granted privileges.       

More evidence of how the UN views “human rights” can be found with a brief examination of the composition of its “Human Rights Council,” the highest “authority” within the UN system on the issue. In November of 2013, the outfit selected the most barbaric regimes on the planet to sit on the body. Among the mass-murdering regimes selected to sit on the UN’s self-styled “human rights” entity, for example, were the communist dictatorships enslaving the people of China, Cuba, and Vietnam. The socialist regime in Namibia was selected for the council, too, joining the brutal socialist autocracy ruling Venezuela that recently disarmed law-abiding citizens with UN help.

Also appointed were the hardline Islamist tyrants ruling over Algeria and Saudi Arabia, which considers converting to Christianity a capital offense and which continues to publicly behead “apostates” and others, ISIS-style. If the genocidal mass-murdering maniac ruling Sudan had not withdrawn his bid in the face of a global outcry, his seat on the council was all but assured. Ironically, the current UN “High Commissioner for Human Rights” comes from Jordan, where converting to Christianity is a crime. Less than a decade ago, the UN Commission on Human Rights, which preceded the council, was actually chaired by none other than brutal Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

While UN attacks on free speech under the guise of pseudo-human-rights are growing bolder with every passing day, the controversial global outfit — widely ridiculed as the “dictators club” — has no plans to stop there. In fact, in the United States, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and more, the UN has been using its phony notion of “rights” to attack real rights — ranging from self-defense and parental rights to self-government and even freedom of the press. In the upcoming January 19 print issue of The New American (available by subscription), this magazine extensively documents the full-scale UN attack on the U.S. constitutional system and the unalienable rights of Americans using “human rights” as the weapon.

Rather than entertaining the outlandish and totalitarian demands of the dictators club against the free world, civilized nations and free peoples should force their governments to defund and withdraw from the UN. Only then will the non-stop UN attacks on freedom and real rights come to an end. Until then, though, humanity must firmly oppose the UN’s autocratic scheming at every turn — lest the people’s true unalienable rights be usurped and trampled under the guise of bogus “human rights.”

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at


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

Palestinian ICC Move Follows Intense NGO Lobbying - NGO Monitor

by NGO Monitor

Decade-long campaign by European government-funded groups, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty

Jerusalem - The decision by the Palestinian Authority to sign the Rome Statute, a step towards joining the International Criminal Court (ICC), follows more than a decade of intense lobbying and propaganda campaigns by NGOs (non-governmental organizations). These groups promote legal warfare, or “lawfare,” against Israel, according to Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor.

Detailed research by NGO Monitor documents the role of NGO superpowers such as Amnesty International and and Human Rights Watch, as well as European-funded NGOs Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Al Haq, Diakonia, and FIDH, in lobbying for such a move.

“Attempting to litigate the highly charged Arab-Israeli conflict in the ICC could spell the end of the court, and the NGOs and their European funders will be responsible,” said Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor Legal Advisor. “While the Palestinian leadership and the NGOs may get some short-lived propaganda victories in their political war, they may soon find they got more than they bargained for.”

NGO Monitor notes that European governments are major funders of the NGOs involved in these campaigns, often through secretive and irresponsible processes that lack transparency and accountability. Palestinian Center for Human Rights is funded by the EU, Norway, Ireland; Al Haq receives funding from Ireland, Belgium, Spain, and Norway; and FIDH is funded by France, EU, Sweden, Norway, and Ireland. Diakonia, a Swedish church-based NGO, is primarily funded by the Swedish government.

One of the main mechanisms for supporting legal warfare against Israel is the Secretariat, a joint funding framework of Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. Managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University, the Secretariat has supported NGOs’ legal campaigns in accordance with the Palestinian political narrative and goals.

“Ironically, in order to convince governments to support the ICC, Human Rights Watch has argued for years that the court would never be exploited for political maneuvers by the Palestinians.” continued Ms. Herzberg. “Once again, Human Rights Watch has been proven wrong.”

The campaign to prosecute Israeli officials at the ICC is bolstered by Israeli NGOs, such as Adalah and Yesh Din, which promote the falsehood that the Israeli justice system lacks due process in order to justify efforts for politicized international “war crimes” cases. Both are funded by European governments and the New Israel Fund (NIF).

Ms. Herzberg concluded, “Given that the Palestinians have committed tens of thousands of war crimes against Israeli civilians, they may find themselves facing prosecution not only for war crimes but crimes against humanity and genocide.”

For more information on NGO legal warfare against Israel, including the ICC campaign, see:
European funding for NGOs involved in the ICC campaign
NGO European Government Funders
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) European Commission through Oxfam
Norwegian Refugee Council
Oxfam Novib (Netherlands)
Christian Aid (UK)
Dan Church Aid (Denmark)
Trocaire (Ireland)
KZE through MISEREOR (Germany)
Al Haq Ireland
Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding Denmark, Netherlands Sweden, Switzerland)
Christian Aid (UK)
ICCO (Netharlands)
Diakonia (Sweden)
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Sweden
European Commission
Organisation internationale de la Francophonie

NGO Monitor


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

Obama's Dangerous Iran Gambit - Jonathan Keiler

by Jonathan Keiler

Turkey is an increasingly problematic and potentially hostile state, but for now it is a de jure American ally. [And] while some Sunni regimes (and terror groups) harbor broad anti-Western political ambitions -- Iran’s Shia regime is explicitly theocratic and apocalyptic.

The mainstream media is out to bolster the president’s coming “détente” with Iran as roughly outlined in his recent interview with NPR. But typical of Obama’s excursions off-teleprompter, the meandering multi-topic NPR interview hardly presents an analysis of American relations with Iran, as opposed to Obama’s penchants for bragging and wishful thinking, (e.g., outwitting the Iranian mullahs by agreeing with his interviewer that he is going to outwit them.)  A day before the NPR interview the Washington Post ran a headline touting the blooming alliance between United States and Iran in Iraq.  But I suspect the true rationale and outlines of Obama’s “grand bargain” with Iran are better explicated in a piece in the current Atlantic by Robert Kaplan, which serendipitously just arrived in my mailbox.

The Kaplan article is particularly interesting and worth analyzing in detail. While not quite in the same league as his Atlantic colleague Jeffrey Goldberg as a reliable Obama mouthpiece, it is still probably safe to assume that Kaplan’s piece presents the Obama administration blueprint for a coming reconciliation with Iran. Kaplan’s article even reads a lot like an Obama speech: Assertions of foreign-policy realism, invocations of inevitability, comparisons to admired former presidents, specious references to history, grand gestures, faulty stratagems, throwing friends and allies under various busses, and damning Israel with faint praise. 

The centerpiece of the argument appears to be that Obama’s Asian pivot (so far as ineffectual if not yet quite as disastrous as his other initiatives) is necessary, but conditional on rapprochement with Iran. In this view, the standoff with Iran prevents application of American power in the “Indo-Pacific” though why that is, beyond the marginal reallocation of some naval resources, is not explicated (Kaplan mentions Indian Ocean seaports but not American naval strategy.) Rather, as Obama has intimated, restoring relations with Iran would supposedly create a kind of grand strategic realignment comparable to Nixon’s opening to China in the early seventies. In the midst of the Cold War, that initiative served American interests vis a vis the Soviets, and made it easier for the United States to terminate our involvement in Vietnam, albeit with catastrophic results for many Southeast Asian nations. 

The pitch on Iran is that a similar détente would balance American interests as effectively as it did with China forty or so years ago. To buy in, one has to accept that the mess in the Middle East today threatens America as comprehensively as the Soviets did, and that restoring relations with Iran would advance American interests. But such an argument is specious in the extreme. 

Obama’s mishandling of the Syrian crisis, combined with his failure to secure a status-of-forces agreement with Iraq, led to the rise of ISIS, which now essentially constitutes a small bandit nation that threatens Iranian interests far more than American. The Iranians can assist in neutering ISIS, but will act against the group whether we choose to appease the mullahs or not. The United States doesn’t “need” Iran as Kaplan argues -- it’s more the opposite. 
In Kaplan’s (and likely Obama’s view) a cooperative Iran will rein in Sunni extremists western Iraq, and moderate Shia extremists in eastern Iraq. But it’s even more magical than that in Obamaland. A more pro-American Shia Iran will balance an increasingly Islamist and anti-American Sunni Turkey. “After all” Kaplan notes Turkey and Iran have “offset each other since the Safavid-Ottoman War of the early 17th Century [sic].” But why is a rapprochement with America a necessary condition for the Iranians to keep a militant Sunni Turkey at bay, when they did so for centuries before America even existed, much less had interest in the region? Answer -- it’s not.

But the reference to Turkish-Iranian hostility reaches a major issue Kaplan elides (along with Obama.) That is the nature of the Twelver Shia regime that controls Iran. Yes, Turkey is an increasingly problematic and potentially hostile state, but for now it is a de jure American ally. Not only that, but while some Sunni regimes (and terror groups) harbor broad anti-Western political ambitions (e.g., the reestablishment of Ottoman hegemony or a reborn Caliphate) Iran’s Shia regime is explicitly theocratic and apocalyptic.

The Battle of Chaldiran (1514) was the most famous engagement of the Savavid-Ottoman War. The clash saw musket-armed Janissaries cut down bow armed Safavid cavalry, producing a decisive Ottoman victory. It wasn’t that the Safavids were unaware of gunpowder weapons, but that they considered them unmanly, and believed their pleated bonnets (one pleat for each of the 12 holy imams of Shia Islam) would miraculously protect them from Sunni bullets, or at worst, send them directly to paradise. Four centuries later during the Iraq-Iran War, Shia imams sent thousands of Iranian teens into Iraqi minefields with much the same idea.

The effective sine qua non for a rapprochement with Iran, which both Obama and Kaplan know, is acquiescing to a nuclear Iran -- regardless of Obama’s mealy-mouthed appeals to Iranian nuclear restraint. Obama’s appeasement of the regime has already almost guaranteed a nuclear Iran -- if they are not nuclear capable already

A nuclear nation with a theocratic apocalyptic regime is an experiment without precedent, making comparisons with Nixon’s opening to China even more obtuse.  China is anything but an apocalyptic nation. Indeed, even China’s dalliance with Communism is really an aberration, as it defaults to traditional autocracy and mercantilism.  Iran on the other hand, has grown more radical, not less.

Finally, there is Israel. Kaplan excuses Obama’s hostility toward the Jewish state with that weak and overused leftist canard -- inevitability. No matter Obama’s personal predilections, a break with Israel was going to happen anyway because of “emerging geopolitics… with its vast and changing undercurrents of culture, geography economics and natural resource supply chains, and military acquisitions.” Obamaesque nonsense if ever there was. 

A logical view suggests that Israel, a growing, Western-oriented, technologically advanced, economically strong, militarily capable nuclear power, without a dog in the Sunni-Shia fight, is a critical asset in a troubled region, which could help relieve American military responsibilities if properly supported, as it did in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Cold War. Kaplan merely credits Israel with being a “valuable chess piece.” And as every chess player knows (the Iranians invented the game) every piece but one is expendable. I doubt Obama plays -- but sacrificing Israel as part of a phony “strategic calculation” -- would suit him well. 

Appeasing Iran will not bring stability to the Middle East, or give America flexibility in East Asia.  It is a fool’s errand, or in chess terms, a gambit that will end in disaster. As Obama telegraphs his moves, the mullahs await the endgame with glee.

Jonathan Keiler


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

Obama Frees a Nuclear Terrorist - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Not only was Mohammed Zahir a terrorist kingpin, but he was also a drug kingpin and the notebook suggested that his eye was on the United States of America.

wsWhich terrorist will Obama set loose next from Gitmo? A better question might be is there any terrorist he won’t free? Is there an Al Qaeda or Taliban Jihadist who poses too much of a threat to the United States for Obama to free with a lot of airline miles and Michelle Obama’s recipe for arugula fruitcake?

If Obama has a red line when it comes to releasing terrorists, we haven’t seen it yet.

There appears to be no threat that a terrorist can pose and no crime he has committed too severe to prevent him from getting a plane trip out of Gitmo at taxpayer expense.

The last releases saw terrorists rated as high risk freed by Obama. They included fighters with experience on the battlefield and covert operations. Obama set loose a suicide bomber, a document forger and a bomb maker who trained other terrorists to make bombs. Those are exactly the sorts of enemies whose license to Jihad will cost lives.

But that’s nothing compared to Obama’s latest gift to the Jihad.

When Mohammed Zahir was caught, among his possessions was found a small sealed can marked, in Russian, “Heavy Water U235 150 Grams.”

According to the classified report, the uranium had been identified by Zahir “in his memorandum as being intended for the production of an “atom bomb.”

Zahir was not just another captured Jihadist. He was the Secretary General of the Taliban’s Intelligence Directorate and was in contact with top leaders of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. His possessions included a fax with questions intended for Osama bin Laden and he had been arrested on suspicion of possessing Stinger missiles.

But that may not have even been the worst of it.

Among the items was a notebook containing references to large sugar shipments to Washington D.C. Investigators believed that sugar was used as a code word for heroin. The Black Sea stops mentioned in the notebook are major hubs for smuggling heroin and for nuclear smuggling as well.

Not only was Mohammed Zahir a terrorist kingpin, but he was also a drug kingpin and the notebook suggested that his eye was on the United States of America.

It was no wonder that Mohammad Zahir had been rated as posing a high risk, but Obama had already freed a number of other high risk Guantanamo Bay detainees. Yet Zahir was the closest thing to a major nuclear terrorist in United States custody. Freeing him was wildly irresponsible even by the standards of a leader who had sacrificed thousands of Americans in a futile effort to “win” Afghan hearts and minds.

Nor did Obama even bother with the plausible deniability of releasing him to a South American country, the way he had with his previous batch of ISIS recruits, or at least to Qatar. Instead Mohammed Zahir went back directly to the battlefield in Afghanistan.

Obama couldn’t have done more without handing over the blueprints for constructing a nuclear bomb.

And yet it wasn’t surprising that Obama would free Mohammed Zahir. He had already freed Zahir’s old boss, the Taliban’s Deputy Minister of Intelligence, as well as another senior Taliban intel official under whom Zahir had used to work. It just happened to be Zahir’s turn.

If the other Gitmo detainees freed by Obama are deadly, Zahir was part of an effort to engage in the mass murder of Americans using weapons of mass destruction. Considering how many Gitmo detainees returned to terrorism once they were released, it is highly likely that Zahir will go on doing what he used to do and that American soldiers and civilians will end up paying the price for Obama’s license to Jihad.

Zahir wasn’t released on his own. Accompanying him back to the motherland of terror were Khi Ali Gul, who was linked to Al Qaeda’s Haqqani Network, Shawali Khan, the member of group that merged with Al Qaeda and Abdul Ghani, who had frequently bragged about his high rank in the Taliban and had participated in rocket and mine attacks on American soldiers.

These men were assessed as very dangerous. Like the last batch released, they’re almost certain to return to the industry of terror.

Even as a $5 million bounty has been put on the head of Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, a Gitmo terrorist released for rest and rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia, the same mistakes that led to his release continue to be made.

Ibrahim al-Rubaysh returned to play a leading role in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Mohammed Zahir and his pals will have an even shorter trip to get back into the fight. They won’t even have to go through the charade of being rehabilitated before they return to their bloody trade.

With the release of the latest batch of Taliban figures, Obama is helping the Taliban rebuild its organizational structure at the top. Even while he’s declaring victory over the Taliban, he is helping the Taliban win.

And in the process he is sending dangerous men back into the fight. Men like Mohammed Zahir.

Mohammed Zahir may not go back to his old tasks of smuggling heroin to Washington D.C. or trying to assemble materials for an atomic bomb. Or this top Taliban intelligence official may decide to pick up where he left off. It’s bad enough that Obama is empowering Iran’s quest for a nuclear bomb, but now he has also managed to aid the Taliban’s search for weapons of mass destruction.

Americans no longer expect the man in the White House not to release terrorists. We no longer expect him not to release dangerous terrorists who will go on to kill Americans. Now we also know that it’s useless to expect him not to release terrorists caught trying to assemble materials for a nuclear bomb.

We’ve tried to grade Obama on a curve when it comes to national security, but the curve just got nuked.

The very lowest possible expectation we can have of Obama is that he won’t release a nuclear terrorist. And even this lowest of all possible expectations proved too much for him to live up to.

Which terrorists will Obama release next? The answer appears to be all of them.

Obama had sought to take Osama alive so he could receive a trial in civilian court. The SEALS put a stop to that plan and to Osama, but if they hadn’t, then next week we might be seeing Osama bin Laden boarding a plane to Qatar or Afghanistan with a can of uranium tucked under one arm.

Daniel Greenfield


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

Gruber in 2009: ObamaCare Unaffordable, Rationing (a.k.a. Death Panels) Inevitable - Selwyn Duke

by Selwyn Duke

And the more we find out who Gruber really is, the more odious he appears. As Howley reported earlier this month, referring to a January 2012 San Francisco podcast appearance the professor made, “Infamous Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber told people not to read Obamacare ... and said he designed it by ‘throwing stuff at the wall’ in one of his most characteristic public speeches.

ObamaCare is technically known as the Affordable Care Act, but it has now been revealed that legislation architect Jonathan Gruber admitted in 2009 that the bill would be anything but affordable. In fact, he said it lacked cost controls and that, inevitably, certain individuals would have to be denied care — all while Barack Obama was telling voters just the opposite.

Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor, instantly became one of America’s most disliked elitists early last month when a 2013 video clip was uncovered in which he said that “a lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter” had enabled ObamaCare to pass. Now an October 2009 policy brief, presented by the Daily Caller, provides more details of the deception. As the website’s Patrick Howley writes, by Oct. 2009:

Gruber had already personally counseled Obama in the Oval Office and served on Obama’s presidential transition team. Obama, meanwhile, told the American people that their premiums would go down dramatically.
“The problem is it starts to go hand in hand with the mandate; you can’t mandate insurance that’s not affordable. This is going to be a major issue,” Gruber admitted in an October 2, 2009 lecture, the transcript of which comprised the policy brief.

The MIT professor then tacitly acknowledged that what critics were saying — that ObamaCare was just an unworkable first step toward more complete government control of healthcare — was correct, despite its supporters’ protestations to the contrary. As Gruber also stated:

So what’s different this time? Why are we closer than we’ve ever been before? Because there are no cost controls in these proposals. Because this bill’s about coverage. Which is good! Why should we hold 48 million uninsured people hostage to the fact that we don’t yet know how to control costs in a politically acceptable way? Let’s get the people covered and then let’s do cost control.

And in keeping with the economic principle that price caps always lead to shortages (which will translate into rationing in this case), Gruber also acknowledged in his brief:

The real substance of cost control is all about a single thing: telling patients they can’t have something they want.... It’s about telling patients, “That surgery doesn’t do any good, so if you want it you have to pay the full cost.”
... There’s no reason the American health care system can’t be, “You can have whatever you want, you just have to pay for it.” That’s what we do in other walks of life. We don’t say everyone has to have a large screen TV. If you want a large screen TV, you have to pay for it. Basically the notion would be to move to a level where everyone has a solid basic insurance level of coverage. Above that people pay on their own, without tax-subsidized dollars, to buy a higher level of coverage.”

And Gruber and his socialized medicine bills have a history of deception. The professor, whose bio informs that he was “a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort,” also stated in his brief, “How specific should this [ObamaCare] legislation be? In Massachusetts our legislation was deliberately quite vague. It said things like, ‘We should have a mandate if it’s affordable but we’re not going to define affordable. We’re going to have subsidies but we’re not going to specify what they are. There should be a minimum benefit package but we’re not going to tell you what it is.’”

And the more we find out who Gruber really is, the more odious he appears. As Howley reported earlier this month, referring to a January 2012 San Francisco podcast appearance the professor made, “Infamous Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber told people not to read Obamacare ... and said he designed it by ‘throwing stuff at the wall’ in one of his most characteristic public speeches. In between taking personal shots at conservatives, he actually thanked congressional Democrats for voting against their constituents.” Gruber also outlined Obama’s deception in that podcast, saying:

I wish that President Obama could have stood up and said, ‘You know, I don’t know if this bill is going to control costs. It might, it might not. We’re doing our best. But let me tell you what it’s going to do....
If he could make that speech? Instead, he says “I’m going to pass a bill that will lower your health care costs.” That sells. Now, I wish the world was different. I wish people cared about the 50 million uninsured in America.... But, you know, they don’t. And I think, once again, I’m amazed politically that we got this bill through.

And that getting a bill through — any bill — was the priority explains what at the time seemed inexplicable: Nancy Pelosi’s infamous March 2010 comment, “[W]e have to pass the [ObamaCare] bill so you can find out what is in it.” It didn’t matter what was in it and how unworkable it was as long as that first step toward government-controlled healthcare was taken. As Gruber also admitted in the podcast:

Even if we knew how to control health care costs, we couldn’t do it politically. So what do you do? You’re President Obama and the Congress, you promised you’re going to control health care costs.... Your pollsters have told you that the American public doesn’t actually care about insurance coverage; all they care about is health care cost.... What do you do? Well, you do what I like to think of as sort of a “spaghetti approach.” Throw a bunch of stuff against the wall and see what sticks.

They did, and now Americans are stuck with a government boondoggle and the bills.

As for rationing, Gruber may be well situated, along with being well disposed, to take on that role. His bio also tells us that in 2006 he “became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that [Massachusetts healthcare law] effort.” And some may wonder if, like left-wing “bioethicist” Ezekiel Emanuel, he wants to die at 75 and thinks others should as well or if, when the time comes, he will cling to life — and to every life-extending procedure available to the connected. And it is hard to imagine that the Gruberesque Death Panels won’t be occupied by those equality-preaching elitists who, somehow, always end up being more equal than others.

Selwyn Duke


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Common Core: Continuing the lies that Divide America - Mary Anne Marcella

by Mary Anne Marcella

There is an antidote to this mind poison our children are being fed. I have had opportunities to teach American history the way I learned it. It is easy and natural to teach children the story of America in a way that fills them with pride.

If you look at the “peaceful protestors” talking part in the recent demonstrations across America, what do you see?  Young people who are products of the public school system. If you listen to the “peaceful protestors” what do you hear? Lies about America that were “taught” in the public schools. As if we need another reason to be cynical regarding Common Core, it continues the lies the built Ferguson. There is no doubt that our schools are places where a leftist agenda is being pushed but it gets even more sinister. Are we deliberately encouraging these protests and the resulting civil unrest?    

The unrest and the “change” we are seeing in the attitudes of the young is the result of several different factors, one being what is taught in the public schools. For example, History used to teach civics and love of country. Nowadays, history isn’t even considered an important subject. History teachers and the history curriculum do not show America positively. Children used to learn about the history of America in a way that instilled pride. These children grew up to build America, the most desirable country ever to exist.  Instead of continuing the lessons which made America the envy of the world, we are presenting a picture of America that causes our children to question its’ goodness.

As a public school teacher, I have noticed the same broken record played over and over.  I remember watching a movie about Emmet Till with a class of 11 year olds. The movie shows Till, an innocent, black 14 year old, who whistled at a white woman in Mississippi in the 1950s.  As punishment, he died at the hands of white men in a gruesome way.  The school movie spared no horrific detail. The white cops were vile. Their disdain for Emmet and his family was revolting. The screen showed us the actual photo taken at Emmet’s wake, of his face swollen from being beaten and left in the river for days, for far too long. The all-white jury took an hour to come back with a “not guilty” verdict. The murderers laughed and celebrated after the verdict was read. When the movie was over, my class of mostly black students wanted to “kill white people” over the sad injustice.  No doubt this was the desired reaction.  

For a long time, I debated whether I should show this movie, even during black history month. I did not understand the point in enraging these kids with this one horrific event without also explaining that his death sparked a movement and angered whites throughout the country as well. Not to mention that we can find examples of horrific crimes committed by blacks against whites where justice was not served. 

Since February is also presidents’ month I decided to show a movie about Thomas Jefferson. While all my students knew Emmet Till by fifth grade, none knew Jefferson. I got a movie from the school library. I was sharing with the class some wonderful things about Jefferson, some of his famous quotes and why he is my favorite president. The kids were interested, receptive, and impressed. The movie was going well until…. Slaves built Monticello. A black boy turned to me and asked if Jefferson owned slaves.  

Over and over we see the same pictures in the schools. Beginning in kindergarten, we see hundreds of Africans chained together on slave ships and being forced to America, many of them dying miserably during the voyage. We aren’t told they were sold by other Africans. There are many more examples. Even if the worst is true, it’s at the point where I wonder what the point is. I know many black teachers I work with will say that these horrific events occurred and that these things need to be taught.  OK. Are we all happy with the results? Are we portraying America fairly?  Or are we (obviously) trying to make a political point?

Michael Brown is not Emmet Till. Today’s cops are not the cops of the 1950s. The grand juries of today are not the grand juries of 1950. Yet truth doesn’t matter. To these (black and guilt-ridden white) kids, now is the time to avenge these acts. They are being encouraged by our political leaders, teachers, athletes, celebrities, and the media. None of this is good for any kid, black or white. What good is tearing down and the country that they call home and dividing people? 

There is an antidote to this mind poison our children are being fed. I have had opportunities to teach American history the way I learned it. It is easy and natural to teach children the story of America in a way that fills them with pride. I know this because I’ve done it. I’ve had classrooms children from every background. By June they were proud to call themselves American and crying when listening to the “Star Spangled Banner”.  But I am one teacher in a school district with 1.1 million kids. Besides, Common Core tells me exactly what to teach. My students are tested on exactly what the experts want them to know. I am rated on whether they have “learned” the information that the creators of Common Core have deemed is a proper education.      

There is no doubt that the “peaceful protestors” feel justified and empowered. They are true believers and have been programmed from an early age (Let’s get them even earlier with universal pre-K). Where we will be as a country if we allow the progressives to have full control and even more time to teach this hate for America via Common Core? Do we want a United States of America? These things have been put into motion and we are seeing the results. What’s it going to take for people to connect the dots? 

Mary Anne Marcella is a parent and public school teacher who wants the best for her children and her students. She resides in New Canaan, CT with her family. Her views are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of others in the education field. or Twitter MaryAnne@maryannemercog


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Davutoglu and Mashaal: A Marriage Made in Heaven - Burak Bekdil

by Burak Bekdil

Unfortunately, Turkey is neither democratic nor stable -- nor developed. The world's most credible pro-democracy institutions list Turkey in their democracy indices as either "not free" or a "country with major democratic deficit."
Sadly, this is how democracy has evolved in Turkey.

In the heat of August 1980, Necmettin Erbakan, leader of the now-defunct National Salvation Party and founding father of political Islam in Turkey, published two articles, "Jerusalem and Zionism," and "Anarchy and Zionism." In the latter, he likened Zionism to an "octopus with numberless arms." Some of those arms were "communism, capitalism, freemasonry and racism."

Before that, in much of the 1970s, Turkey had been captured by political violence. It had killed on average a dozen people each day in clashes mainly between ultra left- and ultra right-wing militants.

The sole source of anarchy and chaos in Turkey, Erbakan then wrote, was Zionism.

Shortly after the publication of Erbakan's articles, on Sept. 6, 1980, his party organized the infamous "Jerusalem meeting" in the central Anatolian city of Konya, an Islamist stronghold to this day. Thousands, including children, shouted "Death to the Jew" and marched through the city. Six days after the demonstration, the military staged a coup d'état. The generals not only wanted to crush warring extremists, but also religious fundamentalists. 

Little has changed in Konya's political demographics since the 1980 coup. It still boasts being the center of Turkish political Islam even though, ironically, the city's name is a Turkish distortion of its original medieval Greek name "Ikonion." This August, three-quarters of residents of Konya voted for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who became the president of the country, with 51.5% of the nationwide vote. Like most of Turkey's cabinet ministers and ruling MPs, Erdogan comes from the ranks of Erbakan's school of political Islam.

But these days Konya is even more loudly proud of one of "its own sons." Former Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Erdogan's choice, was elected party leader and prime minister this summer.

Last weekend, Davutoglu gathered a regional party congress in his native Konya, where enthusiastic locals and party loyalists called him "a true grandson of the Ottomans."

The party congress looked like any other congress of the ruling Justice and Development party [AKP]: a fawning crowd, cheering, singing and shouting pro-Davutoglu (and pro-Erdogan) slogans, and waving Turkish and Palestinian flags. But there was more.

Davutoglu's guest of honor at the party congress in Konya was Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas's political bureau and the darling of Messrs Erdogan and Davutoglu -- a feeling that is apparently not unrequited.

Taking the stage, Mashaal congratulated the Turkish people "for having Erdogan and Davutoglu." Thundering applause, Palestinian flags waving passionately and thousands of AKP fans shouting, "Down with Israel!"

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal addresses the AKP regional party congress in Konya, Turkey, on December 27, 2014.

Mashaal, who lives in exile in Qatar, shyly boasting an opulent life style, voiced his hopes that, together with the Turkish leaders, that they would "liberate Palestine and Jerusalem."

"A democratic, stable and developed Turkey," he said, "is a source of power for all Muslims. [A] strong Turkey means a strong Jerusalem, a strong Palestine."

Unfortunately, Turkey is neither democratic, nor stable -- nor developed. The world's most credible pro-democracy institutions, most notably Freedom House, list Turkey in their democracy indices as either a "not free" or a "country with major democratic deficit."

The country is scene to constant political bickering, and neighbors, next to Syria and Iraq, one of the world's most unstable regions. Its per capita income is a mere $10,000.

In his speech, Davutoglu accused Israel of "attempts to reduce the Islamic character of Jerusalem," and repeated that Turkey and Palestine have a common stance (against Israel). He also declared a new mission for Turkey: the self-declared guardian of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque.

"Turkey will do whatever needs to be done to protect Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque," he said. More thundering applause, more Palestinian flags waving and more "Down with Israels."

Whenever there is a visiting foreign dignitary, a head of state or a prime minister, Davutoglu would usually meet with his guest bilaterally for an hour or two. In Konya, his tête-à-tête with Mashaal lasted for four and a half hours -- a span not surprising, given the lucrative engagement with "all things Palestinian." Playing the champion of the "Palestinian cause" has traditionally been a smart vote-catcher in the Turkish lands, especially in Konya.

Thirty-four years ago, the people of Konya had to take to the streets to shout "Death to the Jew," wave Palestinian flags and chant all possible Quranic slogans -- and clash with the military for doing it. Today, they enjoy the Islamist ritual at the regional congress of the country's ruling party, with "a son of their city" running the show from the seat of the prime minister.

Thirty-four years ago, their hearts and minds were united with their Palestinian brothers, but a public "Jerusalem meeting" could earn them a jail sentence. Today, failing to stand by the "Palestinian cause" could earn someone a jail sentence, if not a good public beating. Sadly, this is how democracy has evolved in Turkey.

Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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Summing Up 2014 in the Middle East - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

In summary: the year 2014 was a challenging one for Israel, Europe and the rest of the world. These challenges will only get bigger, crises deepen, disputes spread, Iran will obtain nuclear arms, ISIS will grow, America will not have the first place it held until four years ago and Europe will continue sinking under waves of Islamic immigration that are turning European culture into something that is a far cry from liberal values, openness, modernity and democracy.

2014 was a year in which we witnessed the continued deterioration of the modern Arab state, while in contrast, two older poitical frameworks rose in popularity.

Syria is undergoing a long and bloody process of disintegration. Assad controls about a quarter of the country, including Damascus, part of Haleb in the north, the coastal strip and the Ansari mountains where the Allawites, his non-Muslum brothers, are to be found. Two new frameworks arose on the ruins of Syria: an independent Kurdish area in the northeast and Islamic State on about 30% of Syrian land. The Kurds feel a strong connection to their Iraqi brothers and have no intentions of being under Arab domination ever again.

Iraq's future is unclear: on the one hand, a somewhat stabilized political system has succeeded in switching the prime minister without too much unrest, but on the other hand, the country has not been able to stop the Islamic State jihadists from conquering a third of its territory, including Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq and the main center of its oil industry. Islamic State threatens Baghdad from the advanced positions it has overrun in the besieged city's suburbs, in the town of Ramadi. Several of the regions in Iraq declared autonomy in September in response to the dysfunctional central government. If this trend continues, Iraq is liable to become a federation of autonomous units, and that may turn out to be a harbinger of what the future holds for other countries in the middle east.

Yemen is paralyzed by a regime infected with tribalism and by two armed and anti-establishment entities that are tearing the country apart: Sunni al Qaeda and Shiite Khuts who conquered the capital in December and succeeded in dictating their conditions to the country. Iran is arming and financing them, getting closer to having dangerous influence on the Bab el Mandeb Straits, the southern passageway for international shipping on its way from eastern Asia through the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea, Suez Canal, the Mediterranean and Europe.

Libya continues to sink into the mire of blood, fire and tears. In the last four years, years that began with high hopes for an "Arab Spring", more than 100,000 people have been killed in the country, most of them in struggles, battles and disputes among tribal and familial militias, with oil acting as the fuel that lights the bonfire of violence.  This past year there was evidence of a split on geographic lines, with two coalitions beginning to coalesce: one in Tripoli, in the west of the country, and the other in Benghazi, in the east. The lack of a functioning central government opens the door for violent Islamic organizations, some connected to al Qaeda and some to Islamic State, to stake out their own enclaves.

Islamic state is the biggest and most significant new phenomenon that occurred in the Middle East in 2014. Although the organization was founded ten years ago as the al Qaeda of Aram Naharaim (Mesopotamia), today it is challenging not only al Qaeda but also the Middle East and the entire world. Everyone can see that Islamic Stae presents a direct threat to national order by threatening to conquer other countries and create alternative governments, as well as by serving as the source for jihadist ideas that use media networks to spread the Jihad war throughout the world.

During the first half of 2014 Islamic State (ISIS) succeeded in conquering a third of both Iraq and Syria, sparsely populated but oil rich areas. Turkey helps Islamic State by exporting the oil it produces to Europe, also providing logistic aid. Qatar helped Islamic State until it was forced to stop doing so in December 2014. Islamic States' achievements are attributable to its  ability to spread fear all around itself using horrific videos of beheadings, merciless shootings and the starving to death of tens of thousands of heretics – such as the Yazidi.

Islamic State absorbs many of the Sunnis in conquered regions of Syria and Iraq into the ranks of its fighting forces, while thousands of volunteers from all over the world – Muslims and prospective converts –  join as well. Jihadists even come from Western countries, planning to fight the west and force it to follow Islam. The Islamic State's ruler has adopted the name Abu Bakr al Bahghdadi and appointed himself "Caliph", ninety years after the Caliphate was abolished by Attaturk. Islamic State sees itself as an alternative to all the political agreements forced on the Islamic world by colonialist, heretic nations. ISIS erases borders set up by Britain and France, it does not accept international law which it replaces by the most extreme form of Sharia law: beheads heretics, flogs sinners, sells slaves in the open market and chops off the hands of thieves.

New volunteers join ISIS daily, and it intends to be here forever while directly threatening the countries around it – Jordan, Lebanon and Iran. This is why Iran is arming and supplying the Kurdish militia, the Peshmarga, in hopes the militia will succeed in dealing with the ISIS threat. Not a few nations, both Arab and European, have established an airborne force to deal with ISIS from the air, but it is a mistake to think that airstrikes can destroy a country that is three times the size of Israel. Only infantry, conquering an area and searching house to house, basement to basement and storeroom to storeroom, can put ISIS in its place.

Egypt succeeded in establishing el Sisi's government despite the public disapproval of the US, which for a long time after Morsi was deposed in 2013 saw him as remaining the legitimate and lawful president. Egyptian steadfastness, supported economically and politically by the Saudis and United Emirates, succeeded in standing up to the Americans despite Qatar's open endorsement of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Jihad and ISIS.
That same Egyptian single mindedness, joined by Saudi Arabia and the United Emirates, also succeeded in forcing Qatar to submit to their agenda and cease its support of terror, the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS and to stop using the al Jazeera media network as a propaganda tool for the Muslim Brotherhood and the terror organizations they created. Will Qatar continue obeying Saudi dictates? Time will tell. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates will have to keep their eyes open, especially behind the scenes.

Saudi Arabia also succeeded in inflicting much damage on Iran by producing more oil than it normally would, thereby lowering the price on the world market. The Saudis went it alone once they saw the West bowing to Iranian intransigence and lightening the economic sanctions imposed on the nuclear-bomb-starved Ayatollah state. The coming months may prove once more that Saudi singlemindedness is more effective than America's way of doing things.
Tunisia is the only spot in the Arab world where there is some hope. This is the country where the "Arab Spring" began four years ago and it went through a period of trial and error, checked out political Islam and returned to its liberal, modern and secularist way of life. Ths country has proved that a nation can deal with inner conflicts in legitimate ways, without violence (unlike Syria) without bloodshed (unlike Libya) without revolutions that spawn the rule of dictators (unlike Egypt). However, Tunisia must deal immediately and decisively with the Jihadis groups that have settled in its southern region and receive fighters, arms and money from neighboring Libya and Algeria.

The Palestinians are turning to the international stage, trying with all their might to get a recognized state. The Arab world, distracted by problems such as ISIS, has neither the time or the patience to deal with the Palestinian issue, leading the PA to turn to the world for recognition. European politicians are falling over themselves to recognize a Palestinian state so as to please Muslim voters. Israel may find itself facing a Palestinian state – which will without doubt become a Hamas state – just because some unemployment-frightened European politicians vote for establishing that state on the hills of Judea and Samaria, the birthplace of the Jewish people.

The world is still impressed by the existence of a Palestinian nation, created just recently, partly as a result of the idea of some holier-than-thou Israelis. Jerusalem is considered part of the Palestinian state for one reason only – so as to uproot the holy city from the Jewish entity, knowing full well that without Jerusalem, the entire state will cease to exist. The world must awaken, understand the problem and realize that if Israel falls to Islam, Europe will be next - and not much later.

In summary: the year 2014 was a challenging one for Israel, Europe and the rest of the world. These challenges will only get bigger, crises deepen, disputes spread, Iran will obtain nuclear arms, ISIS will grow, America will not have the first place it held until four years ago and Europe will continue sinking under waves of Islamic immigration that are turning European culture into something that is a far cry from liberal values, openness, modernity and democracy.

The challenges facing the state of Israel are becoming more and more complex. Syria's demise has lessened the threat on Israel, but other threats are on the horizon: Iran and ISIS gaining strength on the one side, Europe and America getting weaker and weaker on the other.

The soon to be elected Israeli leadership will have to give its attention to all of them.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar


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