Friday, December 11, 2015

EU Makes Up Bogus Laws to Target -- Guess Who? - Denis MacEoin

by Denis MacEoin

  • Israel's occupation of the West Bank is fully legal under the terms of UN Resolution 242 (1967), which was carefully drafted to guarantee Israel's rights to remain there until such time as there is a "Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."
  • When the EU states that its aim is "to ensure the respect of Union positions and commitments in conformity with international law on the non-recognition by the Union of Israel's sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967," it refuses to recognize the validity of UN Resolution 242, and it gives no proper explanation of what is meant by "sovereignty."
  • As only Israeli armed forces will be required to withdraw in the event that such boundaries are created, the presence of Israeli settlements there will remain legal under the terms of the original League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which stipulates that there should be close Jewish settlement in all areas. Those Mandate provisions were incorporated in the UN Resolution 181, which established a Jewish and an Arab state.
  • The European Union has never demanded that China, Morocco, Russia, Pakistan or India -- all with territories under dispute -- label goods in ways like those demanded of Israel.
  • "The EU does not have a general set of rules for dealing with occupied territories, settlements or territorial administrations whose legality is not recognized by the EU. Rather, the EU has special restrictions aimed at Israel." -- Law Professors Eugene Kontorovich (Northwestern University) and Avi Bell (University of San Diego).
On December 7, 2015, Germany, of all countries, announced its support for the EU labelling of products produced on disputed land sometimes referred to as Israeli "settlements." Apart from the fact that Palestinians openly consider the entire country of Israel -- "from the River to the Sea" -- one big settlement, one can only marvel at what is now being imposed by the EU and, this week, by Germany.

Faced with the greatest crisis in its 22-year history -- an influx of millions of migrants from the Middle East, Africa, and Afghanistan -- the European Union spent much of November on its long-debated policy of the labeling of products from the disputed territories of the West Bank, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. On November 11, it demanded that exports (mainly fruit and vegetables) from these areas no longer be labelled "produced in Israel."

The four-page "Interpretative Notice on indication of origin of goods from the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967", issued by the EU's executive body, the 28-member European Commission, makes assumptions about Israel and the territories that have already been challenged by Israeli officials. It begins with the following paragraph:
(1) The European Union, in line with international law, does not recognise Israel's sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, namely the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and does not consider them to be part of Israel's territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law. The Union has made it clear that it will not recognise any changes to pre-1967 borders, other than those agreed by the parties to the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP)
If this is the basis for a discriminatory measure, it has little or no legal basis. The claim that their interpretation of Israeli rights in the territories mentioned is "in line with international law" raises the simple question: "which international law?"

Israel's occupation of the West Bank is fully legal under the terms of UN Resolution 242 (1967), which was carefully drafted to guarantee Israel's rights to remain there until such time as there is a "Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."

As no secure and recognized boundaries have been established, despite numerous attempts by the government of Israel to bring them about, Israel's presence there remains entirely legal. And as only Israeli armed forces will be required to withdraw in the event that such boundaries are created, the presence of Israeli settlements there will remain legal under the terms of the original League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which stipulates that there should be close Jewish settlement in all areas. Those Mandate provisions were incorporated into UN Resolution 181, which called for the establishment of a Jewish and an Arab state.

Similarly, the statement that the EU "will not recognise any changes to pre-1967 borders" is legally invalid as well as obnoxious. No such pre-1967 borders ever existed. The armistice lines, established in 1949 on the termination of the 1948-1949 war between Israel and its several Arab enemies, are not borders. And as the 1967 war was fought by Israel as a war of defence, its alleged "occupation" (which then included the Gaza Strip) of territories previously occupied by two of the belligerent states (Egypt in Gaza, and Jordan in the West Bank) is fully legal under the international laws of armed combat, principally under Article 51 of the UN Charter.

When the EU's Interpretative Notice goes on to state that its aim "is also to ensure the respect of Union positions and commitments in conformity with international law on the non-recognition by the Union of Israel's sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967," it clearly does not recognize the validity of a major international agreement, UN Resolution 242, and it gives no proper explanation of what is meant by "sovereignty."

The many debates over the occupation, international law, sovereignty status and so forth need to be addressed in their own right. Suffice to say here that the EU's blanket declaration of its enforcement of international law is seriously open to question. And, it must be added, its inclusion of Gaza in the occupied territories takes no account of the fact that Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005 and that no goods exported from Gaza have been labelled "produced in Israel" for over a decade.

The Israeli response to the EU decision was swift. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented:
"The EU decision is hypocritical and constitutes a double standard; it singles out Israel and not the 200 other conflicts around the world. The EU has decided to label only Israel, and we are not prepared to accept the fact that Europe is labeling the side that is being attacked by terrorism. The Israeli economy is strong and will withstand this; those who will be hurt will be those Palestinians who work in Israeli factories. The EU should be ashamed."
Netanyahu was backed by the leader of Israel's main opposition party, the Zionist Union, Isaac Herzog. He said that he "strongly opposes this harmful and unnecessary measure." Herzog called the ruling "a prize that Europe is bestowing for terror," and adding that it "serves only one purpose -- continuing the hate and regional conflict. Marking these products is an act of violence by extremists who want to further inflame the situation and the EU is falling into their trap."

Israel's Ministry for Foreign Affairs expressed further support for the determination that the new legislation is discriminatory. It pointed out the discriminatory nature of the decision: "It is puzzling and even irritating that the EU chooses to apply a double standard concerning Israel, while ignoring that there are over 200 other territorial disputes worldwide, including those occurring within the EU or on its doorstep. The claim that this is a technical matter is cynical and baseless."

Netanyahu and the Israeli Foreign Ministry are right. There are countless territorial disputes round the world. Ones that stand out are those in which a state illegally occupies or incorporates the territory of another people. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950, the country was incorporated into the People's Republic of China as an "Autonomous Region." When Spain and Mauritania withdrew from the Western Sahara in 1976 and 1979 respectively, Morocco annexed the area. It still occupies two-thirds of this vast (100,000 square miles) territory, despite the absence of any UN resolution recognizing its sovereignty there. Kashmir is controlled by no fewer than three countries -- India, Pakistan and China -- each of which holds a different part of the former princely state. This division has led to two wars between India and Pakistan, and remains hotly contested, without a formal international recognition of territorial rights. In 2014, Russia dispatched armed forces, started a war, and annexed Crimea, a territory that had been formally recognized as part of Ukraine. The UN General Assembly subsequently issued a resolution that called on the international community not to recognize any change to the status of Crimea.

All of the above disputes involve territorial claims that are essentially illegal, yet the European Union has never demanded that China, Morocco, Russia, Pakistan or India label goods in ways like those demanded of Israel. There are no labels saying "Product of Tibet (produced by Han Chinese occupiers)", "Crimean produce under Russian occupation," or "Western Sahara phosphates (extracted by Moroccan settlers)."

It gets worse. The European Union was a joint signatory (with the US, the UK, China, France, Russia and Germany) to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the notorious deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran that permits it to build nuclear weapons, despite its decades-long repeated violations of its commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In anticipation of the lifting of the sanctions against Iran, European diplomats and businessmen have been packing their bags and heading to Tehran to set up commercial deals that will allow the export of European products to Iran and the import of Iranian goods to Europe: a "Pistachio Deal." They are being encouraged to do so by European governments, such as the UK through its Trade and Investments wing. But Iran is the world's biggest terrorism-supporting state, and Tehran is still deeply engaged with fighting in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, while supporting Hamas in Gaza and manoeuvring to increase its influence in the West Bank.

This seemingly innocuous move, taken for purportedly "technical reasons," clearly reveals the racist, anti-Semitic underpinnings still alive and well in members of the European Union. It singles out Israel for treatment not meted out to other, larger countries, even where their occupation and annexation has led, and still leads to, conflict, crime, terrorism, and even repeated threats of genocide. Such a singling-out reflects the many other ways in which countries, world bodies (such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League, or the UN Human Rights Council) isolate Israel and hold it to arbitrary, fabricated standards not applied to any other country in the world.

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, of which this European labelling is a part, takes the issue of marking products even farther. It does not just involve itself only with capriciously directing commerce; it also tries to muscle academic, cultural, and scientific spheres. The EU directive on labelling is already being cheered as a justification of BDS policy. Ramallah-based Mahmoud Nawajaa, general coordinator for the Palestinian BDS National Committee has said labelling was a "sign that European governments are reacting to public opinion, civil society campaigning and Israeli intransigence and are becoming more willing to take some basic action against Israeli violations of international law." He did not, of course specify which laws were Israel was presumably violating.

Israel is not alone in rejecting the EU directive. On November 9, a bipartisan group of 36 U.S. Senators, led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), sent a letter to the EU's foreign policy czar, Federica Mogherini, to protest the EU's decision. They emphasized the potential of the directive to encourage and expand the boycott movement:
"As allies, elected representatives of the American people, and strong supporters of Israel, we urge you not to implement this labeling policy, which appears intended to discourage Europeans from purchasing these products and promote a de facto boycott of Israel, a key ally and the only true democracy in the Middle East... We are also deeply concerned that enacting this policy would lead to the broader boycott of Israel."
Similarly, a spokesman for Germany's ruling Social Democratic Party declared that the decision to label settlement products was not a step to protect customers, but would instead create a "stigma" against Israel. He added that the ruling was a "mistake."

It is not just American senators who find the EU measure offensive. Several academic lawyers specializing in international law have addressed its contents, and have found them inaccurate, contradictory and lacking in justice. One such lawyer, Jonathan Turner of "UK Lawyers for Israel," wrote in a personal communication on November 11:
Note that the Notice claims at the same time that: It is important that products from the West Bank and "East Jerusalem" cannot be labelled "product of Israel" because (1) the EU (channeling the authority to speak on behalf of "international law") does not recognize these areas as part of Israel and (2) consumers might be confused and think that the areas are part of Israel.
It is okay for products from the West Bank, "East Jerusalem" and Gaza to be labelled "product of Palestine" because (1) even though the EU doesn't recognize a state of Palestine, that doesn't make a difference and (2) magically consumers will not be confused.
In October 2015, just weeks before the EU directive was issued, two international law professors wrote a 35-page summary of the legal issues involved in the process. Eugene Kontorovich, professor of international law at Northwestern University, and Avi Bell, Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law and at Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law, published a paper titled "Challenging the EU's Illegal Restrictions on Israeli Products in the World Trade Organization". Among the points they make is that the EU labelling process is illegal according international law:
The EU's proposed measures restrict Israeli trade in violation of international trade law found in numerous multilateral treaties, including articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade; Articles IX, X and XIII of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs and Article 2.3 and 5.6 of the Agreement on the Applications Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, among others.
The discriminatory nature of the legislation is made clear in a precise manner:
Any justifications the EU could adduce for its policies are undermined by their admittedly discriminatory application. The EU does not have a general set of rules for dealing with occupied territories, settlements or territorial administrations whose legality is not recognized by the EU. Rather, the EU has special restrictions aimed at Israel. This violates the fundamental rules of the GATT/WTO system, under which even otherwise valid trade restrictions are void if not applied uniformly to WTO members. Thus Israel's successful assertion of its rights in no way involves having the WTO accept its position on the status of the territories.
Finally, they add a caveat addressing the technical point that the territories are not part of Israel:
EU arguments that these territories are not part of Israel are irrelevant in this context. The scope of the WTO agreements explicitly extend beyond a country's sovereign territory, and include territories under its "international responsibility." The drafting history and subsequent application of the GATT make clear that this involves territories under military occupation
In a much shorter but comprehensive piece written just after the EU announcement of its new policy, Avi Bell addresses some of the central issues. Like Jonathan Turner, he sees both contradiction and discrimination in the ruling:
The Notice says that when products from the Golan Heights, "East" Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza are sold in Europe, they must not be labeled as "products of Israel" because the EU believes that these areas are not sovereign parts of Israel under international law and, therefore, consumers would be misled if they were labeled "products of Israel." However, the Notice states that it would be lawful to label products from the West Bank and Gaza as "products of Palestine" (and maybe from "East" Jerusalem as well, though the Notice is ambiguous on this point) even though the EU does not recognize the sovereignty of a state of Palestine. This is because presumably European consumers only care that product labels reflect EU views of sovereignty under international law when this works to the disadvantage of Israel.
He also draws attention to a British legal precedent that contradicts the EU position:
The Notice claims that it is doing nothing more than providing guidance in response to "a demand for clarity from consumers, economic operators and national authorities." Yet, the Notice not only fails to cite any evidence of this alleged demand, it ignores a British Supreme Court decision that states quite explicitly that there is no such demand -- in the 2014 case of Richardson and another v. Director of Public Prosecutions, the Court ruled that "there was no basis for saying that the average consumer would be misled ... simply because [a product was] described as being [made in] Israel when actually it was [made in the West Bank]."
It is worth quoting further from this well-argued document. One of Bell's strongest points is made when he demolishes the EU's rights to establish international borders and its ability to legislate history:
The Notice presents its position on the borders between Israel and a future state of Palestine as those of "international law" as if the EU had the authority under international law to establish Israeli-Palestinian borders. In fact, not only does the EU lack this authority under international law, the EU is signed as a witness on Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements that state that the borders are to be established only by agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Similarly, the Notice claims that the EU "will not recognise any changes to pre-1967 borders, other than those agreed by the parties to the Middle East Peace Process" even though there were no pre-1967 Israeli-Palestinian borders. In fact, by trying to establish the pre-1967 Israel-Jordan and Israel-Egypt armistice lines as the new Israeli-Palestinian borders, the EU is trying to force changes to the pre-1967 borders contrary to the agreement of the parties to the peace process. Ironically, the EU is trying to rewrite history as well, since there is no country in the EU that viewed the armistice lines as borders pre-1967.
In the face of so many emphatic legal red lights, it is clear is that the directive would not have been issued at all if there had not been a strong pre-existing EU bias against Israel, its government and its people. Sadly, Europe has clearly returned to its oldest racist hatred. The past decade and more has seen a marked recrudescence of not only the old anti-Semitism in European states, but also the new anti-Semitism -- one motivated by a hatred of the Jewish state of Israel. The duplicitous attempt at a distinction between the hatred of individual Jews and the hatred of the Jewish state is demonstrated in the many instances above of unequal application of the law. There are means available for Israel to fight this bigoted "Jim Crow" ruling.[1]

In the 1930s, Jewish shops, businesses and goods were labelled with Jewish stars and the word "Jude." Everyone thought that this style of crude anti-Semitism had vanished from our towns and cities. Yet today, sadly, the same racism has returned at the highest level of European government.
Denis MacEoin is a former editor of the Middle East Quarterly, a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Gatestone Institute, and the author of numerous books and articles on the Middle East and Islam.

[1] Kontorovich and Bell's analysis provide important guidelines for how to tackle the problem through legal means:
  • Israel must begin the process of preparing to assert its international trade rights in the WTO's dispute resolution system, a quasi-judicial forum with authority to overturn measures that violate these rules.
  • This would then be followed by formal consultations with EU trade officials, a required "out-of court" step before invoking the WTO dispute resolution process.
  • The process should be monitored at the ministerial level or by a special interministerial committee. It is important to note that even the beginning of formal consultations does not commit Israel to bringing a dispute to a panel, and even then the matter can be narrowed or settled at any time. The substantial majority of WTO disputes never result in a ruling, but are settled diplomatically. However, bringing a dispute provides for diplomatic leverage that would otherwise be absent.
  • It is extremely likely that the EU would respond to Israeli moves towards the WTO with a vocal and forceful reaffirmation of its position. This is commonplace in WTO disputes. Israel must be prepared to not be intimidated by such protests. The likely consequence of a failed WTO approach will be no worse than a failed diplomatic one, and the chances of success are much higher.
  • If other steps fail, Israel should vigorously pursue a challenge to the measures through the WTO's dispute resolution system. The WTO has the power to rule the EU measures illegal. Moreover, it can authorize various forms of retaliation and self-help by Israel.

Denis MacEoin is a former editor of the Middle East Quarterly, a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Gatestone Institute, and the author of numerous books and articles on the Middle East and Islam.


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

Why Does Obama Call ISIS 'ISIL'? - Amil Imani

by Amil Imani

The distinction is worth more than just one letter.  It is hugely important.

Many who closely follow the dueling Islamic terror narratives emanating from the White House are mystified by Mr. Obama's inability (or deliberate unwillingness) to utter the phrase "Islamic terrorists."  Many are curious, too, about why he refuses to call ISIS "ISIS," steadfastly insisting instead that everybody in his administration call the terror group "ISIL."  What's the difference, and why is it important?  The agendas behind each diverge widely.  In fact, the variance between the two is elephantine in scale.

ISIS stands for the "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria," a terror group controlling a large swath of both Iraq and Syria in which the terrorists claim to have established a "caliphate," a state in which Islamic sharia law is imposed upon all living in the area, anyone who fails to adhere to strict Muslim guidelines has his head removed.  Obama's contrary assertions aside, ISIS is by no means contained.  In fact, the savage group (which prefers to be called the "Islamic State" or "IS") has metastasized on maps like immense pools of blood covering the ancient borders that once divided parts of Syria and Iraq.

ISIL, Obama's preference, stands for the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant."  According to, "[t]he Levant in its geographical sense comprises the following political entities: the west part of Syria, Lebanon, west part of Jordan, Palestine (West Bank and Gaza Strip), Israel and Sinai (Egypt)."  Other sources claim that it also encompasses parts of Turkey.  All of these states embrace Islam, with one very notable exception: Israel, our only "blood brother" ally in the region that all Islamic terrorists want gone, violently and forever.

That Obama uses ISIL in discussing the terrorists is extremely telling and chilling.  To those of us who keep our fingers on the pulse of Middle Eastern geopolitics, the distinctions separating ISIS and ISIL are by no means meager.  It's readily apparent that Obama considers both Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, thorns in each of his sides.  Since 2009, his atrociously dismissive treatment of Netanyahu has been highly embarrassing, shocking, and outrageous, especially to those of us who cherish our relationship with the Jewish state.

Israel has proven itself a tried and true friend since its return to its ancient homeland in 1948.  Despite some disagreements between the U.S. and the Jewish state, no previous president has shown such a hideous and blatant disregard for Israel's head of state as has Obama.  Nor has any previous president ever considered (to our knowledge) or suggested in a way bordering on insistence that Israel relinquish the land it now controls by contracting to its pre-1967 borders.  Obama wants just that.  Why?  For Israel, a return to those boundaries would be suicidal, shrinking the country to a width of a very svelte nine miles and making it essentially indefensible.

Besides Israel, Jordan and the Kurds in Northern Iraq have been stalwart friends and allies.  Jordan is one of the 65 countries Obama claims are actively "engaged" in taking ISIS/ISIL out.  In reality, roughly 60 nations in that vaporous coalition are contributing little or nothing to the cause but allowing their country's names to appear on a meaningless list.

One exception, Jordan's King Abdullah II, is an eager participant in the war on ISIS.  He traveled to Washington to ask Obama for more weapons so Jordan could better defend itself and play a larger role in the regional fight.  In like manner, the Kurds, who constitute one of the fiercest fighting forces in the region, have been enormously supportive of the U.S., but they are fighting ISIS with guns from WWII.  They too have requested contemporary weaponry.  The plaintive requests from both have been ignored.  Why were they rebuffed?

Some very suggestive hints can be snipped from the speeches Obama has given, especially in Muslim countries during his humiliating "Apology (we prefer 'Apostasy') Tour."  This was where Obama fondly reminisced about his Muslim roots in Indonesia, where he and his mother moved with the latter's second husband, Lolo Soetero, who adopted Obama and renamed him "Barry Soetero."  An examination of Barry's Indonesian school record (a form ubiquitous on the web) lists his "Citizenship" as "Indonesian," a country that did not allow dual citizenship when Soetero (Obama) lived in Indonesia, which means Barry had to have relinquished his U.S. passport.  Finally, and significantly, his "Religion" is listed as "Islam."

When he became president, as he traveled through Muslim lands, he spoke wistfully of Islam.  During multiple speeches he said "the holy Quran teaches" so many times we lost count, and he claimed that the Muslim call to prayer at dawn was "the prettiest sound on earth."

He was amazingly quick to support the Muslim Brotherhood-inspired Arab Spring by encouraging the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and endorsing Mohamed Morsi as the new Egyptian leader.  Morsi was a high-ranking member of the Brotherhood, an insidious, duplicitous organization seeking to foment widespread adoption of sharia law and surreptitiously funnel funds to Islamic terror groups.

Taken together, all of this gets us closer to understanding why Obama refuses to call Islamic terrorists what they are.  His use of ISIL could be a strong indication that he supports re-establishing Muslim rule and sharia law throughout the Levant, and good riddance to Israel.

The somewhat murky and contradictory understanding of which religious tenets Obama truly follows has caused some thorny questions to arise.

If he was a Muslim, when did he turn his back on Islam (his biological father's and stepfather's faith) and become a Christian?  The answer may lie in a story appearing at the Washington Times website and at the Daily Caller.

The Washington Times reports, "Several people who know Barack Obama well perceive him as Muslim. Most remarkably, his half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, has stated: 'My whole family was Muslim.' Her whole family, obviously includes her half-brother, Barack."  The same article highlights some doubts about Obama's "Christian" conversion.  His spiritual adviser, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, was asked about how he helped Obama renounce Islam.  Stunningly, however, Wright claims he's not sure Obama actually did convert from Islam.  That, of course, is not proof he isn't a Christian, but it certainly raises eyebrows.

Edward Klein, who authored The Amateur, a book about Obama, told the Daily Caller that he interviewed Wright (and has him quoted on tape), who told Klein that he (Wright) "made it comfortable" for Obama to accept Christianity without having to renounce his "Islamic background."

We believe it's time to stop whispering about what much of the nation is thinking, but we leave it up to you to decide why Obama calls ISIS ISIL, why he can't bring himself to call Islamic terrorists what they are, and why he acts in a manner that supports Islam over Christianity at every opportunity.

Amil Imani


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

How to Defeat ISIS Now—Not ‘Ultimately’ - John McCain and Lindsey Graham

by John McCain and Lindsey Graham

Hat tip: Dr. Carolyn Tal

In short, America must not only win the war, but also prepare to win the peace. The U.S. has repeatedly failed to do this, and cannot afford to yet again.

In his address on national television Sunday night, President Obama insisted that he has a strategy to destroy Islamic State, also known as ISIS. But what Americans see instead is an incremental, reactive, indirect approach that assumes time is on our side. It is not. This danger is growing nearer: from attacks in Paris and Beirut, to the bombing of a Russian airliner, to the ISIS-inspired shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. What’s needed is a strategy to destroy ISIS—not “ultimately,” as the president said last year, but as quickly as possible.
During a recent visit to Iraq, we saw the damage that U.S. and coalition forces are inflicting on ISIS. Recent operations to retake Sinjar and Ramadi, together with the daily blows of counterterrorism operations, represent tactical progress. This is a testament to the able leadership of the civil-military teams in Baghdad and Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region.
However, significant challenges remain. The Iraqi government is weak and beholden to Tehran. Iranian controlled-militias are among the strongest forces on the ground, and Tehran is seeking to replicate the Hezbollah model in southern Iraq. The training of Iraqi security forces has been slow, and the building of support for the Sunni tribal forces even slower. At the current pace, Islamic State will still control Mosul and Raqqa, the Syrian city that ISIS claims as its capital, at the end of next year. Meanwhile, ISIS is metastasizing across the region, to Libya especially.
After more than a year of an indecisive military campaign, the U.S. still does not have the initiative. The threat is growing and evolving faster than the administration’s efforts to counter it. What’s needed is a comprehensive civil-military strategy to destroy ISIS quickly, while creating conditions that can prevent it, or a threat like it, from ever re-emerging. In short, America must not only win the war, but also prepare to win the peace. The U.S. has repeatedly failed to do this, and cannot afford to yet again.
Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, has said that he does not want foreign ground combat forces to be introduced on a large scale. Neither do we. What we do want is additional U.S. troops to perform discrete tasks: improve and accelerate the training of Iraqi forces, especially Sunni tribal fighters; embed with and advise Iraqi units closer to the fight; call in airstrikes from forward positions; and conduct counterterrorism operations. This will likely require two to three times as many forces as the U.S. has in Iraq now.

Ultimately, America must seek to keep these forces in Iraq. If they leave again, the threat will return, and the U.S. will have to intervene once more. The main obstacle, once ISIS is destroyed, is Iran, which seeks to use Iraq as a base from which to project its malign influence. Iraqis must win the peace, but Americans have a major stake in their success, and a unique role to play in helping them. The only way to do so is to be present.
In Syria, there is no coherent strategy to destroy ISIS or negotiate an end to the civil war, which is the only way to win a lasting peace. The administration’s military and political efforts are misaligned. Diplomatically, the White House is seeking a political settlement that removes President Bashar Assad from power. But militarily, by only addressing ISIS and not the Assad regime’s assault on the Syrian people, the administration is effectively acquiescing to the very Russian, Iranian and Syrian forces that are fighting to keep Mr. Assad in power. This will only lengthen the conflict, strengthen ISIS and exacerbate the refugee crisis.
After the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, the U.S. cannot go on like this. A coherent strategy is necessary to destroy ISIS and end the conflict as soon as possible. America must work with its coalition partners to establish and protect zones inside Syria where refugees can be safe; to deny the Assad regime the use of its air power, especially its horrific barrel bombs; and to impose real costs on Russia if it continues to target moderate opposition groups.
Unlike in Iraq, there is a role for U.S. ground combat forces in Syria. Indigenous fighters such as the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian Kurds have fought bravely against ISIS. But the reality is that no ground force exists today that is both willing and able to retake Raqqa. Nor will one emerge on its own. So the U.S. should lead an effort to assemble a multinational force, including up to 10,000 American troops, to clear and hold Raqqa and destroy ISIS in Syria. Such a force could also help to keep the peace in a post-Assad Syria, as was done in Bosnia and Kosovo. Here, too, if the West wins the war and leaves, it should not be surprised if violence and extremism return.
Finally, the U.S. needs to seize the initiative and roll back ISIS’ regional expansion. This will require a greater forward presence of U.S. military and intelligence teams that can map its networks and destroy them. At the same time, ISIS’ ability to spread is directly related to the collapse of political order. Unless America does more to help these countries make the transition to just and inclusive governments, ISIS will find havens to pursue its evil ends.
President Obama is fond of invoking lessons from America’s recent wars. The simplest and most important lesson, however, is the one he rarely mentions: Apocalyptic terrorists cannot be allowed to have sanctuary in ungoverned spaces, from which to plan attacks against the West. Over the past seven years, those conditions have grown across the Middle East and Africa. If these threats are not removed now, and quickly, no one should be surprised when America gets attacked again.
John McCain is a U.S. senator from Arizona. Lindsey Graham is a U.S. senator from South Carolina. Both are Republicans


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

NY Times covers up an inconvenient truth for Palestinian Authority - Steve Feldman

by Steve Feldman

A shocking sin of omission from the former paper of record.

They’ve done it again -- and then some!

The New York Times has a history of prominently featuring articles when Israel or Israelis allegedly misbehave, while burying articles when Israel or Israelis or Jews are the victims.

It happened again last week -- Dec. 1 -- with a staggering omission compounding the Times’ pattern.

The Times published an article updating a particularly shocking and heinous act: The Palestinian-Arab attack on Israeli athletes, coaches and referees at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.

The widow of one of the slain Olympians has offered new and particularly gruesome revelations about the attack based on information supplied by German authorities: All of the Israelis were beaten by their captors, and at least one of the Israelis murdered in the Olympic Village was tortured and his genitals mutilated by the Palestinian-Arabs.  There is photographic evidence of the mutilation.  

The electronic version of the article is categorized under “Sports.”  A footnote indicates the print version was published on page B10 of the New York edition.

The article by Sam Borden is substantial in length, with more than 1,300 words.  However, whether ironically, shockingly or predictably: Two prominent words that should be in the article are not: “Mahmoud Abbas.”

Abbas -- who today is simultaneously the president of the Palestinian Authority, chairman of the PLO (the P.A.’s dominant group) and chairman of Fatah (the PLO’s largest faction) -- financed the attack. One would think that such a fact deserves at least a mention if not a full paragraph.  One would think.

Some background: In 1972 Abbas was a member of the Central Committee of the Fatah movement and served on the Palestine National Council and the PLO Executive Committee.  These were terrorists, after all. Abbas had to have known that the money was not going to be used to line the boulevards of Ramallah and Jenin with flowers.
Abbas is also known by his nom de guerre: Abu Mazen.

News of Abbas’ involvement in the Munich massacre was first revealed in 1999 by Abu Daoud in his memoir about the attack. It was Daoud who planned the attack. He verified Abbas’ role in a subsequent interview in Sports Illustrated headlined “A Painful Visit” by S.I.’s Don Yaeger.

Daoud was observing Abbas’/Mazen’s role in the peace process and at the now-famous Oslo Accords signing ceremony on September 13, 1993, on the White House lawn:

Noted Daoud: “Do you think that … would have been possible if the Israelis had known that Abu Mazen was the financier of our operation? I doubt it.”

The Palestinian-Arab terrorists, operating under the guise of “Black September,” attacked the Israelis at the Olympics ostensibly to garner the release of 200 Arab terrorists held in Israeli jails.  But the mutilation and torture of the Israelis at Munich makes the attack more than merely a political act.  After killing two Israelis almost immediately, the nine remaining Israelis were held in a hostage-drama broadcast live throughout the world, and in America covered memorably by ABC’s Jim McKay.  The terrorists took the Israeli hostages to an airport where together they were to fly to Cairo.  An attempt by German authorities to rescue the Israelis was botched and all of the Israelis were killed as was a German policeman and some of the terrorists.

The New York Times might not think that Abbas’ role in this savagery and stain on the Olympics is fit to print or note online, but we do.

Steve Feldman


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Jihad in San Bernardino and CAIR’s Cover-Up - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

The standard deflections to hide Islamic terror.


Last week while the bodies of 14 American victims of jihadism in San Bernardino, Calif. were still warm, the terrorist-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) leapt into damage-control mode.

CAIR, which the United Arab Emirates designated a year ago as a terrorist group, got to work crafting a narrative about the mass-murdering Muslim married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. CAIR's immediate objective was less about defending the two dead killers than preventing Islam, the most blood-drenched religion in recorded history, from being blamed for this latest massacre committed in the name of the Islamic deity, Allah. As they fashioned a template for lazy, gullible, or sympathetic reporters to embrace, CAIR officials behaved as if Farook and Malik were strange outliers and bad Muslims.

CAIR is a U.S. outpost of international jihadism. It is an enemy propaganda organization posing as a Muslim civil rights group. It performs the same function as the Nazi-created German-American Bund in the years leading up to America's entry into World War Two and the Communist Party USA during the Cold War. (CPUSA members were required to swear allegiance to Moscow.) Such groups propagandize on behalf of hostile foreign powers, winning some converts and neutralizing opposition.

A main goal of CAIR, whose longstanding ties to the terrorist underworld have been exhaustively documented at DiscoverTheNetworks and elsewhere, is to affect America's domestic and foreign policy. CAIR wants to make America safe for Sharia law and bully Americans into not questioning Islam, a religion that has been generating a massive body count for 1,400 years.

In the words of one critic, CAIR exists to undermine law enforcement and U.S. national security. The group's goal “is to create as much self-doubt, hesitation, fear of name-calling, and litigation within police departments and intelligence agencies as possible so as to render such authorities ineffective in pursuing international and domestic terrorist entities.”

To recap, the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 2, Farook and his Pakistan-born wife dropped off their six-month-old daughter at her grandmother's home. Around 11 a.m. they opened fire at the Inland Regional Center where Farook's fellow San Bernardino Health Department employees were assembled for a training session and Christmas party. Before the attack, Malik reportedly used social media to pledge her allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (Days after the attack, Islamic State's official radio station praised the duo and described them as "supporters" of the group.) The couple left 14 people dead and 21 wounded and were gunned down about four hours later in a shootout with police. When their rented townhouse in Redlands was searched, authorities found thousands of rounds of ammunition and a dozen pipe bombs. It was the "75th Islamist-inspired terrorist attack or plot in the U.S." since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Heritage Foundation.

Before much was known about the perpetrators, the media spent the afternoon that day speculating about the shooters, predictably blaming conservatives, Tea Party supporters, and militia groups.

Left-wing politicians ghoulishly used the mass-casualty event to push for more gun control.
President Obama demanded "common sense gun safety laws" and called for a law blocking individuals on the "No Fly List" from legally purchasing firearms, a measure that would almost certainly violate the Constitution.

Democratic candidates for president tripped over each other as they raced to express choreographed outrage on Twitter. Hillary Clinton urged "action to stop gun violence." Bernie Sanders whined, "This sickening and senseless gun violence must stop." Martin O'Malley declared, "Enough is enough: it's time to stand up to the @NRA and enact meaningful gun safety laws."

But after a few hours details of the assault began to surface and the Left lost control of the narrative as it became increasingly obvious this was a jihadist attack.

As soon as Farook was publicly identified as a suspect, CAIR set up a presser for that evening.

“We condemn this horrific and revolting attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured,” CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said in an announcement posted on Facebook. “The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence.”

At the hastily arranged press conference, Farhan Khan, brother-in-law of Farooq, was paraded before the TV cameras to say, well, nothing -- at least nothing that implicated Islam in the killings.

Asked if Farook was religious, Khan stumbled. "There's no comment. I mean, [the] investigation is going on. You would know what it is. I have no idea. I have no idea. Why would he do that? Why would he do something like this? I have absolutely no idea. I am in shock myself. I'm [a] normal person."

Khan's handler, Ayloush, who is also a California Democratic Party executive, pretended Islam played no role in the attack.

"We don't know the motive. Is it work, rage-related? Is it mental illness? Is it extreme ideology? At this point it's really unknown to us and it is too soon for us to speculate."

Two days later, Ayloush changed his tune, blaming America for the shootings. "Let's not forget that some of our own foreign policy, as Americans, as the West, have fueled that extremism," he told CNN's Chris Cuomo. "We are partly responsible. Terrorism is a global problem, not a Muslim problem. And the solution has to be global. Everyone has a role in it."

At the Dec. 2 presser, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, religious director of the Islamic Society of Orange County, also exonerated Islam. "We have condemned all violence everywhere because human life is precious and we respect and honor the human life," he said.

"At the same time I would urge everyone to please do not implicate Islam or Muslims because what, whosoever has done that, our faith has nothing to do with that it. Our faith is against this kind of behavior."

But that's not the kind of thing Siddiqi said previously, according to reports.

Siddiqi praised suicide bombers in 1995, saying, "Those who die on the part of justice are alive, and their place is with the Lord, and they receive the highest position, because this is the highest honor."

In a 2000 White House protest against Israel, he said, "America has to learn -- if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come!"

In 2007 Siddiqi defended jihad. He described jihad as,
a struggle for peace and justice, so that you establish peace in the world, you establish justice in the world, and defend your own rights -- the right of life, the right of property, the right of dignity and honor and freedom, and the right of your religion. So you defend yourself for that, and you defend other people who are suffering and oppressed. So jihad may take a military action, but it is not always a military action.

The Sunday Times' (UK) Washington bureau chief Toby Harnden was appalled by the presser. At 11:58 p.m. he tweeted, "This CAIR press conference is kind of an obscenity. It shouldn't be carried live on air."

Seven minutes later he seemed to imply the press conference was Muslim propaganda. "Weird weird weird @CNN right now. No mention of Islam & then live to CAIR presser w[ith] multiple people saying it's nothing to do with Islam."

Not surprisingly, CAIR's Religion of Peace storyline was barely challenged by the media. Instead the media focused on Farook and Malik, scratching its head as it searched for a motive for the killings. The couple's ties to Islamic terrorist groups were examined but the violence that has been part and parcel of Islam since it was created went unexplored. A valuable opportunity to educate the public about Islam and its incompatibility with free societies was missed.

And the fact that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton feels free to feature the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Huma Abedin in a "I am proud to be a Muslim" fundraising email campaign underscores how ignorant the media, Democrats, and even some Republicans are about the nature of Islam even though it is infiltrating American institutions right before their eyes.

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s proposal about banning Muslim immigration resonates with Americans not because they are bigoted but because they are painfully aware that the Obama administration is not only not defending Islamists but is providing them with political cover and excuses.

Americans are sick and tired of being lied to.

Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative reporter and the author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."


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The war between the coalitions, the Gordian Knot or our Age - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Two coalitions are battling for control of the Middle East. America belongs to neither of them.

Political scientists use the term "coalition" to describe a form of consolidation achieved by independent entities - countries or political parties, for example - allowing them to work together on a particular issue for a specific period, such as forming a government or fighting a war. It is understood that the members of a coalition to continue to differ, remain separate and maintain their independence, while working together for a period of time because they share a common interest or worldview.

There are different levels of unity in a coalition. There are firm, consolidated coalitions on the one hand, and fragile, shaky ones on the other. There are coalitions where the connection between the members is stronger than it is with other bodies and there are coalitions where at times, some of the members are more unified than others. There are even coalitions that include parties who are diametrically opposed or normally hostile to one another, but who agree to lay down their arms temporarily and cooperate on an issue that is important to both.

The Arab world is a laboratory in which all the existing types of coalitions are put to the test and ordinary citizens serve as the guinea pigs.

A coalition usually has a leading, central figure, someone who can forge mutually beneficial agreements with each member while trying to smooth over disagreements, disputes and opposing interests in order to create a wide and unified coalition.  That is why one often sees coalition members sparring with one another despite their being members of the same entity.

Middle Eastern coalitions, for example,  are made up of local, marginal and external members. The locals are the countries and organizations in the region, the marginal ones are the non-Arab entities in the Middle East – Turkey, Iran and Israel – while the external ones are the USA, Russia and Europe (at present, the EU, but formerly individual countries such as Britain and France).

And today, the Middle East serves as the battleground for a struggle between two coalitions which include every type of member, local, marginal and external. 

The Sunni coalition is led secretly by Saudi Arabia, the country that sees itself as the leader of Sunni Islam. Members on various levels of loyalty are Turkey, Qatar, the United Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan and Islamic State which has footholds in Nigeria (Boko Haram), Sinai, Libya and Tunisia. Jordan and Islamic State are at loggerheads ever since Islamic State burned a Jordanian pilot to death and launched threats to conquer Jordan, but their dispute is currently kept on a low flame.

The opposing coalition is headed by Russia, with honorary members the Assad Regime, Iran, Shiite Iraq and Hezbollah, whose joint agenda is fighting the Sunni coalition.  Russia is not acting to help the Shiites (it is highly doubtful that a random citizen on the streets of Moscow knows about the Shiite-Sunni conflict) but for strategic reasons. Russia sees Assad as a local  foothold on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and the basis for achieving Russia's Middle Eastern aspirations, which include control of a port and over territory.

Other entities have joined Russia – the countries who have done so are Iraq and Iran, the organizations are Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iraq's al Hashd al Shabi – both of them Shiite groups who view Russia as the strong, resolute power in the area, free of political and moral constraints and willing to use its massive power in order to achieve its goals.

The Ayatollahs of Iran and Lebanon's Nasrallah do not share Putin's megalomaniac dreams, but have their own Iranian-Islamist-Shiite dream. At present, they are hitching a ride on the Russian bear's back because, while pursuing his own interests, he is doing the dirty work against the Sunni Saudi coalition and Islamic State for them.

What seemed like the natural order for decades was that the West, led by the United States of America, was on the side of the Saudis and the Emirates who faithfully supplied the West with its energy needs. Starting in the 1950s, America was the power that, through NATO, prevented the USSR from taking over the Gulf States, including the Iran of the Shah.  

The picture became clearer after the USSR, to all intents and purposes, annexed Syria and Iraq under a socialist Baath regime, as well as Libya, southern Yemen, and organizations like the PLO, the Popular Front and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Today, the West has left or fled from the struggle for the Middle East and is not part of any coalition. NATO, after its failure in Libya, and the US, after the defeats it suffered in Afghanistan and Iraq, have decided not to enter the Middle Eastern chaos again, and are straddling the fence: they do not back Russia, not after it exposed the West's treachery in Ukraine, but they cannot support the coalition that includes Islamic State. Saudi Arabia, the largest supporter of Islamic State, is left on its own as the main axis and source of economic strength activating the Sunni coalition. 

The internal problem shared by the members of the Saudi, Turkish and Islamic State coalition is that ISIS keeps upsetting the apple cart by massacring people in France, the US, Nigeria and other locations, worrying the Europeans and Americans to the core. Marine Le Pen's victory in the local French elections, and Donald Trump's remarks about stopping the immigration of Muslims to the US are evidence of the great fear the West has when it comes to Islam in general, whether Sunni or Shiite. The West keeps out of the Middle Eastern conflict for psychological and practical reasons – it simply has no solution to suggest to the warring sides. 

As a result, there is an unbalanced war in progress, between a Shiite coalition with strong global backing, resolute and determined and unfettered by morals and legal constraints – read Russia, and on the other side, the Sunnis, who have no global power willing to join the fight with them. In the long run, it looks like the Shiites will win, especially since Russia's growing intervention makes it a very uneven battle. Putin has no problem flattening cities, villages and towns to ground level, and killing masses of people on the way. 

The world stays silent. The UN Human Rights Council is busy with Israel and cannot be disturbed in order to check on Russia's activities.

The West has abandoned Saudi Arabia and its friends, to the point that it is willing to sign an agreement with Iran that allows it to achieve nuclear power – knowing that that power's first assignment will be Saudi Arabia. If Israel is another victim of Iran, Europe will not cry very hard, as long as the petro-billions of Iran continue to turn the motors of European industry and economy.  

The West will also not go out of its way to help another NATO member, Turkey, if that country is attacked by Russia, the head of the opposing coalition. Did we say treachery?

Israel, as part of the local geography, cannot afford the luxury of staying out of the Middle Eastern ball park. Netanyahu realized that Russia is the global power that is willing to shed blood and provide funding in the region, and has been doing everything he can to reach understandings with that power. Erdogan did not see it coming and totally destroyed his relations with Russia.  

The strange situation that has been created by Israel's standing with Russia puts the Jewish state in a coalition that has as its members Iran and Hezbollah, who came to Assad's aid along with Russia. Does this mean there may be a modus vivendi struck between the Ayatollahs and Israel? Not necessarily, because, as was mentioned above, there are coalitions whose members continue to fight one another, despite the relationship each maintains with the main pillar of the coalition, in this case, Russia. 

The West's blindness has allowed the Middle East to become a Russian monopoly, although 25 years ago, when the USSR collapsed, all the experts were sure that the world controlled by the opposing forces of the USSR and the US had turned into a world led by the US alone. In today's Middle East, that situation has reversed itself, and the ruling monopoly is now the one led by Russia. Israel must relate to this development, especially now that the West has turned into a hollow reed and Saudi Arabia is left to fight Russia without the backing of any global power.

Since it has been discovered that the San Bernardino terrorist became a radical Islamist while in Saudi Arabia, the chance that the US will come to that country's aid in its struggle with Russia are very slight. Trump says out loud what many American's feel behind the mask of political correctness: they don't want any Muslims, neither Syrian, Saudi or Iranian. The US has achieved energy independence, so as far as many Americans are concerned, Russia is more than welcome to the Middle East. And if Israel disappears while this happens, another problem will be solved, one that many Americans are heartily sick of hearing about. 

Happy Festival of Lights to all.

Written in Hebrew for Arutz Sheva, translated by Rochel Sylvetsky, Arutz Sheva Op-ed and Judaism editor.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar


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Why aren't the Arabs fighting ISIS? - Ari Yashar

by Ari Yashar

Experts discuss why Arab coalition states dropping out as West picks up speed - internal Islamic war with Iran at the center of things.

Many have been puzzled at the way in which Arab members of the US-led coalition bombing Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq have quietly been ending their involvement, even as the West escalates its own.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are only running one mission against ISIS targets a month, a US official revealed to CNN earlier this week, while Bahrain stopped in the fall as did Jordan in August.

The change comes even as US President Barack Obama has breached his promises and deployed US Special Forces, and the UK, France and Germany are all starting to take a much wider role in the fight against ISIS.

Fawaz Gerges, a Middle Eastern Studies professor at the London School of Economics, told CNN on Thursday that a proxy war in Yemen between Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies on one side and Shi'ite Iran on the other is a key reason the Arab states are dropping out.

Saudi Arabia began leading a coalition of states including Egypt, Jordan and the UAE last year to oppose the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in their attempted conquest of Yemen.

"The critical shift was the coalition in Yemen," said Gerges. "You're talking about a major 24/7 war. The Saudis and the Emiratis - the two countries with the most capacity in terms of air power - are flying fighter jets over the skies of Yemen, so that's why you really have to prioritize the fight in Yemen over the fight against ISIS."

"The Arab states, including Jordan - after the incident with the pilot (burned to death by ISIS) - are laying low," added the expert. "ISIS doesn't just exist in Syria and Iraq - it has major constituency supporters in almost all Arab countries, including Saudi, Kuwait, Lebanon and Jordan. So they want to really minimize the risks."

Explaining the depth of the internal threat, Gerges called to "remember that one of the largest contingencies within ISIS are the Saudis. They're not just fighters, they play leadership roles - and ISIS has carried out major attacks in Saudi, both against Shi'ite mosques and against (other) Saudi targets."

"Let Iran deal with it"
Gerges explained that the Sunni Arab states have until now been loath to get too involved in the fight against ISIS because doing so would strengthen Iraq and Syria, both of which are key allies of their fierce rival Iran.

"There's been the idea that ISIS is a bigger challenge for Iran and its allies than it is for the Arab states, even though this feeling is changing now."

"ISIS has threatened not only Iran and the (Shia-)dominated regimes in Iraq and Syria but even the Sunni-dominated Arab states," he said, elaborating on the shift in consciousness.

However, Ghadi Sary, a Middle East expert at Chatham House, told the news site that Arab military intervention in Syria or Iraq is highly unlikely - not least of all because Damascus and Baghdad wouldn't allow it.

"I think it's going to be very hard for that to happen - you've seen the Iraqi reaction to the presence of the Turkish army in northern Iraq," Sary said, noting how Iraq ordered Turkey to withdraw its troops and tanks out of the country on Monday after they entered to guard training centers without permission.

"It is important for any intervening army to have the backing of the central government, or at least the army in the country, (including) the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who everyone will see as impossible to work with," he added.

Sary also argued that Arab armies commonly control matters inside their own countries, but are less prone to taking international action.

"For most of these countries, the over-involvement by the army in the internal affairs of the state has become acceptable, but when it comes to foreign intervention, it becomes problematic," he said.

"We're seeing the Egyptian army focus on the Sinai and its internal problems, we're seeing the Syrian army doing that, and in Yemen it's almost seen as the Saudi army cleaning up their own backyard - but not really intervention on the international level."

Ari Yashar


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Kerry admits futility of US CO2 cuts in Paris speech - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

“40 seconds that should turn the global warming world upside down”

In a classic gaffe (accidentally telling the truth), Secretary of State John Kerry admitted in a speech to the COP21 global warming festival in Paris that US CO2 emissions cuts -- even to zero – would not solve the imaginary global warming crisis. Steve Milloy of and Breitbart calls it, “40 seconds that should turn the global warming world upside down.”
Kerry’s exact words:
The fact is that even if every American citizen biked to work, carpooled to school, used only solar panels to power their homes, if we each planted a dozen trees, if we somehow eliminated all of our domestic greenhouse gas emissions, guess what – that still wouldn’t be enough to offset the carbon pollution coming from the rest of the world.
If all the industrial nations went down to zero emissions –- remember what I just said, all the industrial emissions went down to zero emissions -– it wouldn’t be enough, not when more than 65% of the world’s carbon pollution comes from the developing world.

Kerry continues to insist that CO2 is a pollutant, a contention that flies in the face of the fact that it is a natural part of the atmosphere, is exhaled by every form of fauna, and promotes agricultural yields. This contention was accepted by the Supreme Court of the United States in its 2007 Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency decision, and reaffirmed in 2014. Milloy comments that Kerry’s remarks may have legal standing:
In the 2007 Supreme Court decision giving EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gases, the Supreme Court was careful to note that, although EPA couldn’t solve the global warming problem all at once or by itself, it was allowed to make incremental progress on the problem. Kerry’s admission shows that the U.S. government knows that such progress is simply not possible.
This admission should find its way into the ongoing litigation of EPA power plant rules and it should blow them up.
Politically, Kerry’s admission means that the very expensive regulations on CO2 emissions that have driven up electric power costs among many other financial penalties are purely symbolic. And opponents can point to Kerry’s own words.

Thomas Lifson


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