Saturday, April 22, 2017

Obama’s Chickens Coming Home to Roost - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Ticking time bombs from Syria to North Korea.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam/

Democrats inherit the foreign policy crises of a thousand Republican presidential fathers, but the foreign policy crises inherited by incoming Republicans in the White House are always orphans.

Or at least that’s how the media likes to spin it.

If you believe your random mainstream media outlet of choice, North Korea and Syria were crises freshly spawned by this administration with no prior history. But these ticking time bombs are the direct result of the two terrible terms of his predecessor.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner’s years in the White House were the most dysfunctional, schizophrenic and senseless eight years of our national foreign policy. His domestic policy was a disaster, but it was a radioactive toxic waste dump with clear and consistent goals. ObamaCare, the abuses of the Justice Department, the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency were the naturally terrible outcome of left-wing policies being implemented with inevitably terrible results.

But Obama’s foreign policy was a wildly inconsistent mess. The Nobel Peace Prize winner couldn’t quite decide if he was a humanitarian interventionist or a pacifist non-interventionist. He couldn’t make up his mind if he wanted to take the side of the Sunnis or the Shiites in their Islamic unholy war. He didn’t know if he wanted to appease Russia or sanction it, to pivot to Asia or run the other way, to play another round of golf or replace his defense secretary for the fifth time.

Obama could be consistent on domestic policy because there were few hard choices to make. Government had to be constantly expanded and every arm of it enlisted in pursuing left-wing goals. Republican opposition was largely hapless. The “Irish Democracy” of the public response to ObamaCare was more effective at sabotaging it, but by the time anyone understood that it was far too late.

The world stage was a much more dynamic place with players who didn’t fit into Obama’s ideology. The Islamist democracy proponents got Obama to kick off the Arab Spring. When Gaddafi shot the Islamists in the streets, the interventionists got him to sign on to regime change in Libya. But then Syria boiled down to Sunni and Shiite Islamists shooting each other and interventionism hit a roadblock.

Obama stopped at his own Red Line and couldn’t figure out what to do next. His foreign policy had somehow boiled down to helping Shiites kill Sunnis in Iraq and helping Sunnis kill Shiites in Syria.

He was bombing and arming the same Islamists at the same time to improve relations with them.

Even a guy who thought they speak Austrian in Austria and celebrated Cinco de Cuatro had to know that something had gone horribly wrong with his foreign policy. When the Russians stepped in and promised to clean up the WMD mess in Syria, he was happy to take them up on the offer without looking at the fine print.

Like a badly programmed computer, Obama locked up in Syria because Islamists fighting Islamists didn’t fit into his left-wing code. He feared alienating either Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile appeasement not only failed to defuse the growing conflict with Russia, but poured more fuel on the flames. And bluffing China with a hollow pivot only sent the message that America was impotent.

Obama’s tenure was marked by two inexplicable wars; a surge in Afghanistan that failed to accomplish any of its goals while killing and crippling thousands of Americans, and an illegal regime change operation in Libya that left the country looking like Iraq. Obama and his fans don’t talk about either of these wars. And you can’t blame them. They make ObamaCare look like a shining success story.

But they’re not the biggest Obama disasters that President Trump inherited.

President Bush left Obama a largely stabilized Iraq. All he had to do was keep the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds working together. It wasn’t a cakewalk, but it was far from the mess that it had been or would be again. A decade ago though Democrats had been as obsessed with Iraq as they would be with Russia. Obama, like the leading non-Hillary candidates, ran on being against the war. So he pulled out instead.

Pulling out alone might have been disastrous because it would encourage the Shiite majority to trample on the Sunni minority. But Obama combined a pullout from Iraq with backing for Sunni Islamists nearly everywhere else, including next door in Syria, who helped swell the ranks of ISIS.

The threat of ISIS and other Sunni Islamists helped Iran get a firm grip on Iraq and Syria. The Arab Spring wedged it deeper into Yemen. And Obama was too worried that Iran would walk away from a potential nuclear deal to do anything about it. The nuclear deal sealed the deal for a resurgent Iran.

And that means that Russia is the dominant power in the region.

Obama alienated Egypt by backing the Brotherhood.  President Trump has been trying to undo that disaster. Obama backed Turkey’s totalitarian Islamist tyrant even as he quarreled with and then sidled up to Russia. The only remaining strong ally in the region capable of defending itself is Israel.

Meanwhile possible alliances in Asia fell apart as Obama dithered. The Philippines has an anti-American government that Obama further alienated during his disastrous final months in office. South Korea has fallen back into political instability at a time when it can least afford it while Japan stands alone.

Obama’s Asia pivot was exposed as another gimmick when he proved unwilling to defy the People’s Republic in the South China Sea. His diplomatic efforts seemed to prioritize ideological gestures toward Vietnam’s Communist regime over meaningful strategic alliances. Aside from the risk of war over China’s expansionism, this failed policy was cutting off the non-military China route to resolving North Korea.

This is the route that President Trump is now struggling to reopen again by restoring leverage.

Perversely, Obama did more damage with his failed Asia pivot than he would have done by staying out of it. The non-military option, like so much of diplomacy, depends on the perception of what we might do. In Asia, as in Syria, Obama made it painfully clear that he would do nothing. And the average totalitarian regime has difficulty grasping that different American governments really are different.

The Iran deal once again sent the message to North Korea that nuclear weapons can only benefit it. And that, when combined with Obama’s failures in Asia, funnels us into the military option in North Korea.

Back in Syria, Obama’s Red Line stranded us in the middle of an Islamic civil war and credibility crisis. Obama had handed over the keys to the region to Iran and Russia. America is now stuck trying to get them back.

President Trump chose to do it by going back to the point of collapse and enforcing Obama’s Red Line. It was a controversial choice, but it made a clear statement that presidential promises mean something. It also sent a message to Syria, Russia and Iran that just because we don’t want yet another war, doesn’t mean that they have a free hand to do anything they want.

Obama saw foreign policy in the social justice terms of the left. Trump and his people see a geopolitical struggle. His predecessor believed that we had to atone for our historical crimes. Trump understands that at the root of local crises like Syria and North Korea is a larger contest with Russia and China. It’s the worldview that Obama had sneeringly dismissed as rooted in the Cold War in his debate with Romney.

And yet it’s far more useful than Obama’s incoherent foreign policy whose three pillars were Islamism, appeasement and global warming.

President Trump believes that global stability comes from the stability in the relationship between world powers. Syria and North Korea are just the ways that Russia and China test us to see how far they can push. His goal is to achieve stability from the top down by reaching an understanding with the other powers. And to do that he has to undo the credibility crisis that he inherited from Barack Obama.

Obama left behind plenty of domestic and international ticking time bombs, from ObamaCare to Iran, and Trump’s first years in office will be occupied with finding ways to keep the bombs from going off.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

CIA’s Brennan Conspired with Foreign Spies - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

More proof of Democrats’ seditious impulses.

Although Russians may have aspired to influence the November election, the real election meddlers were Democrats in the Obama administration who conspired with foreign intelligence agencies against Donald Trump’s campaign, new media reports suggest.

The key player, we are learning, is the already infamous John O. Brennan but FBI Director James Comey also played a role. From January 2009 to March 2013, Brennan was Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and then Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from March 2013 until Obama’s last day as president.

George Neumayr explains at the American Spectator how pro-Islam, pro-Communist Brennan appears to have masterminded the operation.
Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to [then-National Security Advisor] Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.
Drawing from a news article in the Guardian (UK), Neumayr adds:
Brennan got his anti-Trump tips primarily from British spies but also Estonian spies and others. The story confirms that the seed of the espionage into Trump was planted by Estonia. The BBC’s Paul Wood reported last year that the intelligence agency of an unnamed Baltic State had tipped Brennan off in April 2016 to a conversation purporting to show that the Kremlin was funneling cash into the Trump campaign.
Estonians were indeed tense after Trump’s seeming ambivalence about NATO on the campaign trail and the prospect that as president he might leave that former Soviet province at the mercy of Russian President Vladimir Putin. British spy agencies, too, were rife with Trump-haters.

The Guardian reports that Robert Hannigan, then-head of the British foreign surveillance service, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), “passed material” to Brennan in summer 2016.

The claim about GCHQ involvement surfaced a month ago.

On March 16, Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano accused GCHQ of working with the Obama administration to spy on Donald Trump, citing unnamed sources. The United States and United Kingdom are in fact parties to a multilateral intelligence cooperation pact. This five-way intelligence alliance among the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Canada is called Five Eyes (FVEY). It obligates the countries to work together in the area of signals intelligence (SIGINT). SIGINT is the gathering of intelligence related to communications between individuals (COMINT) and or from electronic signals not directly used in communication (ELINT).

When Brennan took over the CIA, he brought along fellow-travelers.

He dragged along “a raft of subversives and gave them plum positions from which to gather and leak political espionage on Trump,” Neumayr writes. He also “bastardized standards so that these left-wing activists could burrow in and take career positions. Under the patina of that phony professionalism, they could then present their politicized judgments as ‘non-partisan.’”

An official in the intelligence community told Neumayr that “Brennan’s retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with ‘Hillary for president cups’ and other campaign paraphernalia.”

Neumayr cuts through the obsequious flattery the Guardian article bestows on its intelligence community sources, writing that things were so bad that Brennan’s CIA “operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump.”

“To ensure that these flaky tips leaked out,” Neumayr writes of the dubious pro-Trump plot by the Kremlin, “Brennan disseminated them on Capitol Hill. In August and September of 2016, he gave briefings to the ‘Gang of Eight’ about them, which then turned up on the front page of the New York Times.”

This was part of Brennan’s audition for the Hillary White House. Eager to retain his CIA post, the perennial excuse-maker for the Muslim Brotherhood also hated Trump for his alleged “Muslim ban,” which offended Brennan’s raging case of Islamophilia. In college Brennan spent a year in Cairo studying Arabic and taking Middle Eastern studies courses. He later was awarded a graduate degree in Middle Eastern studies.

Brennan and crew also helped to torpedo Mike Flynn, President Trump’s first short-lived National Security Advisor, because he “planned to rip up the Obama-era ‘reset’ with Muslim countries.” After reading the transcripts of Flynn’s calls with the Russian ambassador, “[t]hey caught him in a lie to [Vice President] Mike Pence and made sure the press knew about it.”

Not surprisingly, Brennan is one of the key reasons the Obama administration did so little to combat jihadists domestically. After Muslim lobbies supposedly put pressure on him, in 2011 Brennan purged all mentions of Islam and jihad from law enforcement counter-terror training materials. He assured those groups that the Obama administration’s worse-than-useless “Countering Violent Extremism” program had been ideologically purified and pretended the miniscule white-supremacist movement was just as big a threat as head-cutting Muslim savages.

Throughout his service in the Obama administration, Brennan regurgitated the regime’s dangerously idiotic talking points about Islam. It’s not like he needed convincing.

Brennan has spoken of "the goodness and beauty of Islam," which he calls "a faith of peace and tolerance." "The tremendous warmth of Islamic cultures and societies," he said, typically makes visitors from non-Muslim lands feel very "welcomed."

Brennan was the CIA’s station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. “I saw how our Saudi partners fulfilled their duty as custodians of the two holy mosques of Mecca and Medina,” he said. “I marveled at the majesty of the Hajj and the devotion of those who fulfilled their duty as Muslims by making that privilege — that pilgrimage.”

Former Marine John Guandolo, who worked in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, identified Brennan as an enemy operative who converted to Islam.

Brennan admitted he supported the Kremlin-funded Communist Party USA at the height of the Cold War, even voting for CPUSA presidential candidate Gus Hall in 1976. That fact alone should have instantly and permanently disqualified Brennan from all national security-related government posts.

FBI Director Comey’s hands are also not clean.

CNN reports that the FBI relied on the discredited “piss-gate” dossier to win approval from a secret court for permission to monitor the communications of Carter Page, a member of the Trump campaign. That Comey would act based on a dossier that is so ridiculous on its face that, among other things, it accused Trump of paying prostitutes to urinate on a hotel room bed in Moscow, suggests a strong desire on Comey’s part to hurt the Trump campaign.

Meanwhile, the Never Trumpers in the intelligence community can’t stop lying. Now they’ve fed more seeming nonsense to the media in order to keep the fake, faltering Trump-is-a-puppet-of-Putin story alive.

Citing unidentified American sources, Reuters is reporting that an official Russian think tank, the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, drew up plans “to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system.”

Three current and four former U.S. officials reportedly “described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election.” Of course, it is not at all clear that U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded any such thing because no evidence, apart from the same anonymous statements recycled endlessly on CNN, has been made public.

The first document was “a strategy paper written last June that circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government but was not addressed to any specific individuals.” It urged the Kremlin to conduct “a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama,” all seven of these mysterious spooks reportedly said.

That Russia could even fantasize about having a bigger Russia-lover in the Oval Office than Barack Obama, the most pro-Russian U.S. president of all time, is difficult to fathom.

Obama advanced Russia’s interests in so many ways, according to Robert G. Kaufman. In 2009 he killed President Bush’s missile defense program for the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. Then he renegotiated the New START nuclear arms agreement, which curbed the U.S. missile defense arsenal while letting the Russians add to theirs. In March 2012 Obama was caught on an open microphone telling then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to wait until after the upcoming election when he would be able to make even more concessions on missile defense. As Russia engaged in what one expert called the largest military buildup since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Obama flipped off Mitt Romney during a presidential debate. After Romney on the campaign trail referred to Russia as “without question, our No. 1 geopolitical foe,” Obama mocked him, saying “the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” And Obama did virtually nothing but talk when Putin invaded Ukraine.

“Thanks to Obama's reset, Putin believes more than ever that he can achieve his consummate objective of reversing the outcome of the Cold War,” Kaufman adds. “No wonder Putin thought he could wage a cyber campaign to delegitimize the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.”

A second document from the institute that was drawn up in October counseled that Hillary Clinton was probably going to prevail in the election. That paper urged Russia to halt its pro-Trump propaganda campaign consisting of efforts by “state-backed media outlets, including international platforms Russia Today and Sputnik news agency, to start producing positive reports on Trump’s quest for the U.S. presidency, the officials said.”

Given that Russia Today and Sputnik are virtually unknown among American news consumers, it is hard to imagine anything they might broadcast or publish having much of an impact on an American election.

But it is becoming increasingly obvious that Russia didn’t do much, if anything, to influence the election.

John Brennan and others in the Obama administration used America’s taxpayer-funded national security apparatus to engage in espionage against an opposition presidential campaign, an incoming administration, and that administration’s transition team.

The whole campaign aimed at convincing Americans that President Trump was a tool of Russia was created by Democrats for their illicit purposes.

Almost every day new evidence emerges proving that point.

Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

The terrorist hunger strike comes with demands - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

The terrorist demands only lack a paid vacation on the Riviera with their families. Don't worry, the PA will take care of that.

There are about 5500 Palestinian Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, most of them sentenced to prison terms for security-related offenses, including murder, planning terror attacks and funding them.  Almost every one of them was convicted in the courts, with a few under administrative detention. Every so often, they demand an upgrade in their living conditions and if these demands are not met, there is always someone who launches a hunger strike in order to put pressure on Israel to capitulate.

For years, mainly due to the prisoners' ability to have mobile phones smuggled into their prison cells, there has been close contact between the terrorist prisoners and the civil and political system outside the prison walls. In many instances, the heads of the PLO and Hamas make decisions after receiving the acquiescence of what they called the "Jailed Movement." The PA government has a "Minister of Prisoners" whose sole task is to take care of their needs and help their families. 

It is important to note in this context that the terrorists see themselves as  freedom fighters, not as criminals, and are therefore do not use the Hebrew term for prisoners (asir) when talking about themselves, using instead the term for prisoners of war (shavuy). They are divided along terror group membership lines, PLO, Hamas, Jihad, Popular Front and others. Disputes among the different groups are reflected in how the prisoners get along with one another. Often, the prison service assigns prisoners to rooms according to their organizational affiliations, in order to prevent conflicts within the prison walls.

The uninterrupted contact the prisoners have with the outside world has led to their deep involvement in political and public processes taking place in the . Palestinian Authority. There are various ways in which this is accomplished. as some put their names up for election, some vote in elections, and others relay instructions for terror attacks from jail. They constantly ask their friends on the outside to kidnap Israeli soldiers or civilians to be used as bargaining chips for their freedom.  The PA continues to use government funds to pay thousands of shekels monthly to families of prisoners. 

Prisoners have held several hunger strikes since 1969 – they called strikes in 1972, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1999, 2004 and 2012, every six years on the  average. The last strike was called five years ago, so the idea of a hunger strike is nothing new.

This time the event was set off by Marwnan Barghouti, head of the Fatah organization in Ramallah, who announced the start of a hunger strike. Born in 1958, Barghouti represents the intermediate generation of Fatah leadership and is 22 years younger than Mahmoud Abbas. The fact that he is from Ramallah, in contrast to Abbas who was born in the Galilee city of Tsfat (Safed), grants him legitimacy that Abbas lacks.

Barghouti was captured in 2002, during the apex of the second Intifada and in 2004 was sentenced to 5 life sentences and another 40 years for the murders he was convicted of committing. The liberality of the prison services allowed him to meet visitors freely, thereby making it possible for him to lead a political life from within his cell and to top it all off, run for a slot on the PLO Central Committee where he took first place – although he was in the middle of a life sentence without eligibility for parole.

Israel did not ask itself what the election of a convicted murderer and terrorist to the top job in the an organization reveals about the organization that elected him. Is this organization, one of the PLO's main institutions, worthy of negotiations and of a state? What does this say about the organization's leader, Mahmoud Abbas, who allows a convicted terrorist murderer to put  his name on the list of those running for the position of organization head?

Despite Barghouti's election victory, he was not given a decision-making position in the PLO. For him, that signals his being pushed to the sidelines, an especially important issue now that there is an ongoing search for a successor to the current chairman. Abbas has been PA chairman, PLO head and Fatah leader since Arafat's death in 2004.

A good many prisoners, mainly those who are not Fatah members, feel that  Barghouti called for the hunger strike for personal reasons – to climb a bit higher on the leadership ladder, without taking into account the sufferings of other prisoners. That explains why only about a sixth of the terrorist prisoners announced that they would join the strike. It is worthwhile to mention that in the past, many prisoners announced their participation in hunger strikes but continued eating as usual, in private.

Without a doubt, within the prison walls, there is a struggle going on between the state and groups of terrorists.  On the surface, it seems as though the state has the upper hand and can do as it wishes inside the prisons, but the situation is actually much more complex than that. The state is not interested in pushing the jailed terrorists to the point of desperation and violence that could ignite the  streets of the Arab cities in Judea and Samaria. On the other hand, the state cannot allow murderers to run the prisons. 

That is where the list of perks the prison authority grants prisoners stems from, a list that is amended each time there is a strike or sometimes at the initiative of the prison authority. This is the complete list of demands the convicted terrorists have compiled - this time. The reader is invited to read the list and judge for himself, noting my comments in parentheses:

The "Jailed Movement"'s Demands:

1. Communication:

Having public pay phones available for all Palestinians jailed in every section of every Israeli jail in order to allow humanitarian contact with relatives (After former MK Basal Ghattas was caught smuggling mobile phones to terrorist prisoners, this important source of phones dried up and that  is why it is first on the list).

2. Visits:

a. Reinstatement of the cancelled second Red Cross visit.

b. Visits every two weeks with no cancellations allowed to be authorized by anyone..

c. No banning of any first or second degree family member from visiting a prisoner (even if the relative is not allowed to enter Israel because of his terror involvement).
d. Doubling visiting hours from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.

e. Permission for prisoners to be photographed with their families every three months (for the social networks).

f.  Installation of equipment for the benefit of visiting family members at the entrance to the prison.

g.  Admission of children and grandchildren under the age of 16 on every visit

3.  Medical Issues 

a. Closing what is called "the Ramle Prison Hospital" because it cannot provide the necessary care. (They want a hospital outside the prison)

b. Putting an end to the policy of medical neglect. (Why not sue for this through the courts?).

c. Regular medical checkups (Can't they go to court for this as well?).

d. Performing surgery quickly as is done in the case of emergencies (Let the Israelis wait for their turn, as they do interminably now, but not convicted terrorists...).

e. Allowing specialists into prison clinics.

f. Freeing seriously ill prisoners as well ss those who are handicapped or suffering from life-threatening diseases.

g. Not charging prisoners for medical care.

4.Female prisoners:

Acceding to the demands of female priisoners and to their needs, allowing them to have gender separate transportation and direct contact without any barriers during visits.


Demands regarding the "Bosta", the vehicle used to transport prisoners, a word whose source is the word "Post" i.e. mail [- Arabs cannot pronounce the P sound.]

a.More consideration for prisoners being transported in a "bosta." (They want to sit next to the driver where there is a door that can be opened, not in a locked cab behind the driver.)

b. Returning prisoners to tbeir cells from clinics and court appearances instead of letting them off in halfway houses.

c. Refurbishing the halfway houses and serving refreshments there.

6. More satellite channels, adding those that the inmates want (like Jihad media channels, al Jazeera from Qatar, Hamas-run al Aksa, Hezbollah's al- Manar and Iran's al-Alam).

7. Installing air conditioning in prisons, especially in Meggido and Ramle.

8. Bringing back the kitchens in every prison [rather than the current centralized food distribution], placing them under the sole supervision of the Palestinian Arab prisoners (including srlecting the menu? Caviar anyone?)

9.Belongings: Allowing books, newspapers, articles of clothing, food and personal effects to be brought to prisoners during visits. (Making it easier to smuggle in sim cards for mobile phones.)

10. Putting an end to the policy of solitary confinement.

11. Putting an end to administrative detention (so that Israel will be forced to expose its anti-terrorist intelligence network in the courts, thereby burning the  sources from which the IDF learns about terrorist activities).

12. Academics: Reinstatement of the Hebrew U's Open University courses (what's wrong with Arab universities like Beir Zeit or Alnajach?).

13. High school: Official permission to sit for Israeli matriculation exams (one must always plan for the future...).

End of document. 

Let the reader decide what his opinion is of these demands, and ask himself two short questions:

a. In what country anywhere in the world would terrorists, convicted murderers, dare to demand these things?

b. What normal country would allow itself to give in to these demands - or even to enter into serious negotiations about them? 

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from the Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky, Editorial advisor and Op-ed Editor, Arutz Sheva

Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

France: A Guide to the Presidential Elections - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

"Those who come to France are to accept France, not to transform it to the image of their country of origin. If they want to live at home, they should have stayed at home." — Marine Le Pen.

  • "What poses a problem is not Islam, but certain behaviors that are said to be religious and then imposed on persons who practice that religion." — Emmanuel Macron.
  • "Those who come to France are to accept France, not to transform it to the image of their country of origin. If they want to live at home, they should have stayed at home." — Marine Le Pen.
  • "It [France] is one nation that has a right to choose who can join it and a right that foreigners accept its rules and customs. — François Fillon.
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon has called for a massive increase in public spending, a 90% tax on anyone earning more than €400,000 ($425,000) a year, and an across-the-board increase in the minimum wage by 16% to €1,326 ($1,400) net a month, based on a 35-hour work week.
  • Benoît Hamon has promised to establish a universal basic income: he wants to pay every French citizen over 18, regardless of whether or not they are employed, a government-guaranteed monthly income of €750 ($800). The annual cost to taxpayers would be €400 billion ($430 billion). By comparison, France's 2017 defense budget is €32.7 billion ($40 billion).
Voters in France will go to the polls on April 23 to choose the country's next president in a two-step process. The top two winners in the first round will compete in a run-off on May 7.

The election is being closely followed in France and elsewhere as an indicator of popular discontent with mainstream parties and the European Union, as well as with multiculturalism and continued mass migration from the Muslim world.

If the election were held today, independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, who has never held elected office, would become the next president of France, according to most opinion polls.

An Ifop-Fiducial poll released on April 21 showed that Macron would win the first round with 24.5% of the votes, followed by Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-establishment National Front party, with 22.5%. Conservative François Fillon is third (19.5%), followed by Leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon (18.5%) and radical Socialist Benoît Hamon (7%).

If the poll numbers are accurate, the two established parties, the Socialist Party and the center-right Republicans, would, for the first time, be eliminated in the first round.

In the second round, Macron, a pro-EU, pro-Islam globalist, would defeat Le Pen, an anti-EU, anti-Islam French nationalist, by a wide margin (61% to 39%), according to the poll.

Nevertheless, most polls show that the race is tightening, and that two candidates who up until recently were considered also-rans — Fillon, who has been mired in a corruption scandal, and Mélenchon, who has performed well in recent presidential debates — are narrowing the lead that Macron and Le Pen have over them.

An Elabe poll for BMFTV and L'Express released on April 21 showed Macron at 24%, Le Pen at 21.5%, Fillon at 20% and Mélenchon at 19.5%.

The numbers indicate that neither Macron nor Le Pen can be absolutely certain they will proceed to the May 7 runoff. It remains to be seen if the April 20 jihadist attack on three policemen in Paris will bolster support for either Fillon or Le Pen, both of whom have pledged to crack down on radical Islam, and both of whom are competing for many of the same voters. Adding to the uncertainty: Some 40% of French voters remain undecided.
Following are the main policy positions of the top five candidates:

Emmanuel Macron

Macron, 39, a former investment banker, was an adviser to incumbent Socialist President François Hollande. If elected, he would be France's youngest president. A long-time member of the Socialist Party, Macron served in Hollande's cabinet for two years as economy minister until August 2016, when he resigned to launch his own political movement, En Marche! (On the move!).

Macron, whose core base of support consists of young, urban progressives, has been called the "French Obama." He insists that he is neither left nor right and has tried to position himself in the political center, between the Socialists and the conservatives — and as an alternative to Le Pen's populism.

Macron is business friendly and has called for cutting corporate taxes and for investing in infrastructure. He sparked outrage in February when he described France's colonial legacy in Algeria as a "crime against humanity."

His meteoric rise has been propelled by a scandal which has damaged the standing of Republican candidate François Fillon, and because the Socialists fielded Benoît Hamon, an unpopular candidate.
Macron's policy positions (platform here) include:
  • European Federalism: Macron has repeatedly called for a stronger European Union. At a January 14 political rally in Lille, he said: "We are Europe, we are Brussels, we wanted it and we need it. We need Europe because Europe makes us bigger, because Europe makes us stronger."
  • Immigration: Macron has repeatedly praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door migration policy, which has allowed more than two million mostly Muslim migrants into Germany since January 2015.
In a January 1, 2017 interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung, Macron accused critics of Merkel's open-door migration policy of "disgraceful oversimplification." He said: "Merkel and German society as a whole exemplified our common European values. They saved our collective dignity by accepting, accommodating and educating distressed refugees."
In a February 4 rally in Lyon, Macron mocked U.S. President Donald Trump's pledge to build a wall with Mexico: "I do not want to build a wall. I can assure you there is no wall in my program. Can you remember the Maginot Line?" he said, referring to a failed row of fortifications that France built in the 1930s to deter an invasion by Germany.
  • Islamic Terrorism: Macron has said he believes the solution to jihadist terrorism is more European federalism: "Terrorism wants to destroy Europe. We must quickly create a sovereign Europe that is capable of protecting us against external dangers in order to better ensure internal security. We also need to overcome national unwillingness and create a common European intelligence system that will allow the effective hunting of criminals and terrorists."
  • Islam: Macron has said he believes that French security policy has unfairly targeted Muslims and that "secularism should not be brandished to as a weapon to fight Islam." At an October 2016 rally in Montpellier, he rejected President Hollande's assertion that "France has a problem with Islam." Instead, Macron said: "No religion is a problem in France today. If the state should be neutral, which is at the heart of secularism, we have a duty to let everybody practice their religion with dignity." He also insisted that the Islamic State is not Islamic: "What poses a problem is not Islam, but certain behaviors that are said to be religious and then imposed on persons who practice that religion."

Marine Le Pen

Le Pen, 48, a former lawyer and the youngest daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the National Front party, has campaigned on a nationalist platform. She has called for a referendum on pulling France out of the European Union, abandoning the euro single currency, halting immigration and restore controls at French borders.

Le Pen, who has been called the "French Trump," has vowed to fight radical Islam, close extremist mosques and forcibly deport illegal immigrants.

On March 2, the European Parliament voted to lift Le Pen's immunity from prosecution for tweeting images of Islamic State violence. Under French law, publishing violent images can be punished by up to three years in prison and a fine of €75,000 euros ($79,000). Le Pen posted the images in response to a journalist who compared her party's anti-immigration stance to the Islamic State. She denounced the legal proceedings against her as political interference in the campaign and called for a moratorium on judicial investigations until the election period has passed.

Le Pen is also under investigation for allegedly misusing EU funds to pay for party staff, including a personal bodyguard. She has denied any wrongdoing and said the investigation was aimed at undermining her campaign. "The French can tell the difference between genuine scandals and political dirty tricks," she said.

Le Pen's policy positions (platform here) include:
  • European Federalism: "Everyone agrees that the European Union is a failure. It did not deliver on any of its promises, particularly on prosperity and security.... That is why, if elected, I will announce a referendum within six months on remaining or exiting the European Union..."
  • Immigration: Le Pen has said that she wants to cut immigration to no more than 10,000 people a year. She has also called on migrants to adapt to French culture: "Those who come to France are to accept France, not to transform it to the image of their country of origin. If they want to live at home, they should have stayed at home."
  • Islamic Terrorism: Le Pen has repeatedly vowed to crack down on Islamic terrorism. On February 5, she said: "In terms of terrorism, we do not intend to ask the French to get used to living with this horror. We will eradicate it here and abroad." After the April 20 jihadist attack in Paris, she reiterated: "We must tackle the root of the evil. It is Islamist fundamentalism, the ideology that their terrorists are harnessing."
  • Islam: Le Pen has vowed to restrict the practice of Islam in the public square. She wants to ban all visible religious symbols worn in public, including Muslim headscarves and Jewish skullcaps. She has compared Muslims praying in the streets to Nazi occupation: "For those who want to talk a lot about World War II, if it is about occupation, then we could also talk about it [Muslim prayers in the streets], because that is occupation of territory. It is an occupation of sections of the territory, of districts in which religious laws apply. It is an occupation. There are of course no tanks, there are no soldiers but it is nevertheless an occupation and it weighs heavily on local residents."

François Fillon

Fillon, 63, a former Prime Minister under President Nicolas Sarkozy and now the Republican candidate for France's 2017 presidential election, has pledged to defend traditional French values and identity. "This country is the daughter of Christianity, as well as the Enlightenment," Fillon has said. "I will put the family back at the heart of all public policy."

Fillon, who has been called the "French Thatcher" for his conservative policies, wants to end France's 35-hour work week, cut public spending by €100 billion ($107 billion), shrink the size of government by cutting 500,000 civil service positions, abolish a wealth tax and reduce immigration. He also wants to invest heavily in national security.

Fillon had been favored to win this race until he became the subject of a criminal investigation over allegations that he used government money to pay his wife and children more than €1 million ($1.1 million) for jobs they never did. He faces charges of embezzlement.

Fillon's policy positions (platform here) include:
  • European Federalism: Fillon has said that he is not in favor of more European integration. In an essay for Le Monde, he wrote: "Let's put aside the dream of a federal Europe. It is urgent to re-establish a more political functioning, so Europe can focus its action on well-defined strategic priorities."
  • Immigration: Fillon has called for quotas limiting immigration based on the capacity to integrate. At a rally in Nice on January 11, he said: "France is generous, but it is not a mosaic and a territory without limits. It is one nation that has a right to choose who can join it and a right that foreigners accept its rules and customs. We have six million unemployed and nearly nine million poor people. Immigration must be firmly controlled and reduced to a strict minimum."
  • Islam: Fillon has vowed to exert "strict administrative control" over Islam in France. He has also described radical Islam as a "totalitarianism like the Nazis." After the April 20 jihadist attacks, Fillon repeated his pledge to crack down on radical Islam. "Any movement claiming Salafism and the Muslim Brotherhood will be dissolved," he said.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon

Mélenchon, 65, is head of the newly-established La France Insoumise ("Unsubmissive France"), a political movement supported by the Left Party and the French Communist Party. Mélenchon, who has been called the "French Bernie Sanders," has campaigned on an anti-capitalist, anti-globalization platform and vowed to put an end to "economic liberalism." He has called for a massive increase in public spending, a 90% tax on anyone earning more than €400,000 ($425,000) a year, and an across-the-board increase in the minimum wage by 16% to €1,326 ($1,400) net a month, based on a 35-hour work week.
Mélenchon's policy positions (platform here) include:
  • European Federalism: Mélenchon has pledged to redefine France's future relationship with the European Union. He has promised to negotiate a "democratic reconstruction" of European treaties, and to withdraw from the EU if it fails to meet his demands. "Europe, we'll change it or leave it," he said during an interview with France 2 television on April 7. He has also questioned France's continued use of the euro single currency.
  • Immigration: Mélenchon is opposed to immigration quotas. He called for undocumented workers to be legalized. He has called for re-establishing a ten-year residence permit for foreigners, and for all children born in France to obtain automatic citizenship.

Benoît Hamon

Hamon, 49, the Socialist Party nominee, was a former education minister under President Hollande but quit the government in protest of its pro-market policies. Although he defeated former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, a party heavyweight, in the primary run-off on January 29 by a margin of 58% to 42%, he is now polling last among the top five candidates.

Hamon has promised to establish a universal basic income: he wants to pay every French citizen over 18, regardless of whether or not they are employed, a government-guaranteed monthly income of €750 ($800). The annual cost to taxpayers would be €400 billion ($430 billion). By comparison, France's 2017 defense budget is €32.7 billion ($40 billion).

Hamon, who has been called the "French Jeremy Corbyn," in reference to the leader of the British Labour Party, also wants reduce the French work week from 35 to 32 hours and make it more difficult for companies to fire people. He wants to legalize cannabis and impose a tax on robots and computers; the tax would apply to any technology that takes away jobs from humans.

Hamon's policy positions (platform here) include:
  • European Federalism: Hamon favors further European integration, especially on social issues. He has also called for "a process of social convergence with a national minimum wage set at 60% of each country's average wage." He has also called for the reformation of eurozone governance. "Only a complete revision of the European treaties could give the eurozone an institutional framework capable of correcting the founding mistakes of the Economic and Monetary Union," he wrote in a policy paper.
  • Immigration: Hamon has said that France does not have an immigration problem. In an interview with Le Parisien, he said: "Immigrants now occupy low-skilled jobs for which there is little competition with French workers. I think our country does not have an immigration problem." Hamon favors "a more equitable" distribution of asylum seekers in Europe and believes that France can accommodate more. He wants to allow migrants to obtain work permits after three months of being present in France. He has called for doubling the number of asylum seeker reception centers.
  • Islam: Hamon has come under fire for appearing to turn a blind eye to Islamic customs. In December 2016, after France 2 broadcast undercover television footage of daily life in Sevran, a heavily Islamized suburb of Paris, Hamon defended the Muslim practice of prohibiting women from entering bars and cafés. "Historically, there were never women in the coffee shops," he said. He added that "the French Republic is to blame for the fact that there are social ghettos where today public spaces can be off limits to women."

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

The Iranian Nuclear Agreement Should Not Be Extended - Sarah N. Stern

by Sarah N. Stern

The Iranian Nuclear Agreement should not be extended

As I write these words, the Iranian nuclear agreement that was brokered by the Obama administration is sitting on President Trump’s desk. It requires presidential certification of compliance every 90 days, and the president is deliberating on whether or not to certify. 

My answer is an emphatic, unqualified, and resounding “No”.

Firstly, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear regulatory agency, has already certified that Iran has been out of compliance with the deal. The most recent IAEA report specifies that Iran has already exceeded its limit of heavy water under the agreement. Heavy water can use unrefined uranium as a fuel, shortcutting the expensive process of enriching uranium to rapidly produce a nuclear bomb. This is happening, as we speak, in Arak.

Beyond that, since the deal was struck in July of 2015, Iran has conducted as many as 14 missile tests, in brazen defiance of UN Resolution 2231.

Then there is the process of verification, which is inherently flawed. Anything that Iran deems as a “military site” is, according to Iranian leadership, off limits to inspectors. These include those “military sites” which we don’t even know about. That means that the IAEA’s means of obtaining critically important information is via a letter certifying compliance written by the government of Iran. That is akin to releasing murderers and rapists from prison and having them certify in a letter that they are no longer committing murder and rape.

And the Iranians gave their own soil samples from Parchin, where explosive nuclear tests took place. Senator Jim Risch of Idaho compared this to the NFL allowing a football player to mail in his own urine samples as part of a drug test. 

Thanks to Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and CIA Director and former Congressman Mike Pompeo, we now know of the existence of multiple secret side deals made with the Iranian regime. 

We know that the deal was not even allowed to be voted upon as a treaty because Mr. Obama made an end-run around the U.S. Constitution, as well as around the Congress, by going first to the UN, and then presenting it to Congress as a fait accompli.

We also know that the deal that the Majlis, the Iranian Parliament, voted on, was more than 1000 pages long, while the agreement that we saw in the United States was only 159 pages long.

The reason the agreement is so utterly flawed is that President Obama was hell-bent on securing this deal as his foreign policy legacy. He basically refused to acknowledge the Iranian government for what it is: an apocalyptic, messianic regime that believes that destroying Israel and America will bring about the coming of the 12th Imam, (the Shia Messiah). Equipping this sort of regime with nuclear weapons presents a clear and present danger to the survival of the United States, Israel, and to the Sunni Arab nations, as well as much of Europe.

We recall that President Obama began his first administration on an apology tour to the Muslim world, and had a difficult time articulating a belief in American exceptionalism. And we know that even until his last day in office, Obama vehemently refused to articulate that radical Islamic terrorism exists.

Mr. Obama and his ilk sees all the worlds actors as morally equal. There is no distinction between those who would obliterate entire innocent populations so that their theology or political entity would reign supreme, and those who would never even entertain such a thought. Such a world view makes one incapable of acknowledging that certain nations, such as the United States, Israel, Britain, etc., are morally capable of possessing a nuclear bomb, because they are responsible enough to use it only for morally correct reasons, and other nations, like Iran, are not.

We know that the Obama administration had absolutely no qualms about deceiving the American people about Iran’s intentions. We recall that Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes, in a May 5, 2016 article in the New York Times magazine, openly boasted of manufacturing the belief that Iran’s new leadership was more “moderate,” and thus willing to make, and keep, a nuclear deal with the U.S. and the West.

Since the deal was negotiated, the Iranians have received more than 100 billion dollars in unfrozen assets, and the regime has been further enriched by corpulent, lucrative deals since the sanctions have been lifted. This has been used, in good part, to enrich and empower Iran, and to help the Islamic Republic destabilize the globe in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and in Saudi Arabia.

We have long known that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of global terrorism through its support of Hizb’allah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and at times, even Al Qaeda.

By certifying that the Iranians have been in compliance, the United States will be continuing the Obama administration’s policy of willful blindness combined with grand deception about the Iranian regime and its destructive behavior. 

We are now witnessing how North Korea’s possession of a nuclear bomb is allowing them to threaten its neighbors, Japan and South Korea, with almost total impunity. We now have a tiny window of opportunity to prevent this from happening with Iran. President Trump should seize this opportunity and refuse to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal.

We can’t afford another rogue regime able to threaten the world with nuclear weapons.

Sarah N. Stern is Founder and President of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, EMET, an unabashedly pro-Israel and pro-American think tank and policy institute in Washington, DC


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Border Security Is National Security - Michael Cutler

by Michael Cutler

Yet GOP leaders will still withhold the funds for a wall along the U.S./Mexican border.

On April 9, 2017 The Hill reported that Democrats were winning the fight over the wall.
The Democrats have been adamant about preventing the construction of that wall.  Therefore if they are winning then America and Americans are losing.
As this report noted:
Despite President Trump’s request for more than $1 billion to fund the Mexican border wall this year, GOP leaders are expected to exclude the money in the spending bill being prepared to keep the government open beyond April 28.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the choice is pragmatic and the money will come later.
But the issue has become a political thorn in the side of GOP leaders who are facing pushback from Republicans voicing concerns over the diplomatic fallout, the disruption to local communities and the enormous cost of the project, estimated to be anywhere from $22 billion to $40 billion.
With Democrats united against new wall funding, it’s unlikely the Republicans have the votes to get it through and prevent a government shutdown.
Ever since I have spoken out about the issue of immigration and national security, including during my appearances at Congressional hearings and when I provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission, I have been clear that simply building a wall along the U.S./Mexican border would not solve the immigration crisis.

However, I have come to compare the wall along that problematic border to the wing on an airplane.  Without a wing and airplane certainly would not fly, however, a wing by itself would go nowhere.
In other words, that border must be made secure and other deficiencies in the immigration system must simultaneously be effectively addressed including, of course, the vital issue of the effective enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.
The 9/11 Commission determined that multiple failures of the immigration system enabled not only the terrorists of September 11, 2001 but other terrorists, as well, to enter the United States and embed themselves as they went about their deadly preparations.
We have seen similar patterns in the terror attacks that have been attempted and/or successfully carried out in the United States in the years following the attacks of 9/11. 
The preface of the official report,  “9/11 and  Terrorist Travel - Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” begins with the following paragraph: 
"It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one."
To go from the philosophical perspective to the pragmatism of the real world, on April 12, 2017 ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) posted a news release, Foreign national extradited and pleads guilty to human smuggling conspiracy that included these three paragraphs:
Sharafat Ali Khan, 32, a Pakistani citizen and former resident of Brazil, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to smuggle undocumented migrants into the United States for profit before U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton of the District of Columbia. Kahn was extradited to the United States from Qatar on July 13, 2016. Judge Walton scheduled Khan’s sentencing hearing for July 6, 2017. 
According to admissions in the plea agreement, between March 2014 and May 2016, Khan and other co-conspirators organized and arranged the unlawful smuggling of large numbers of undocumented migrants to the United States. For their smuggling operation, Khan admitted that he and his co-conspirators used a network of facilitators to transport undocumented migrants from Pakistan and elsewhere through Brazil and Central America and then into the United States by land, air or sea travel. Khan further admitted that he was responsible for managing safe houses for the migrants and arranging a network of associates in other countries to serve as escorts during different legs of the smuggling route. Khan also admitted that voyage included harsh conditions that caused a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death – including lengthy foot hikes with little food and water through the Darien Gap, a dangerous tropical forest area in Panama.
HSI New York investigated this case, with assistance from HSI Brazil, Mexico, Panama and Washington, D.C. field offices, the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force, FBI-Miami, the Human Smuggling Cell, the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) in Brazil, the Brazilian Federal Police and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant support with the defendant’s extradition and foreign legal assistance requests.  The Justice Department thanks the Government of Qatar for their assistance with the extradition in this case. Senior Trial Attorney Michael Sheckels of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard DiZinno of the District of Columbia are prosecuting the case.  
On April 12, 2017 the Washington Times reported about this case in an article, Sharafat Ali Khan smuggled terrorist-linked immigrants, that began this way:
Federal authorities wrangled a guilty plea Wednesday from a Brazilian man who ran one of the Western Hemisphere’s more flagrant alien smuggling operations, sneaking dozens of illegal immigrants from terrorism-connected countries into the U.S. from 2014 to 2016.
Sharafat Ali Khan specialized in smuggling illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh over to the West, where they would be staged in Brazil before being sent north to try to penetrate the U.S.
One of the men Khan helped smuggle into the country was an Afghan who authorities said was involved in a plot to conduct an attack in the U.S. or Canada and had family ties to members of the Taliban.
Neither the ICE news release nor the Washington Times article reported on the fact that the Tri-Border region of Brazil hosts terror training camps.  
While there was no mention of that the smuggling operation had an involvement in that dangerous region of Brazil, the fact that the smuggler had resided in Brazil and that he and the illegal aliens he smuggled into the United States are citizens of countries that are associated with terrorism had first landed in Brazil on their way to the United States, certainly raises this disturbing possibility.
To gain a better understanding of the threats posed by this region of Brazil, it is important to read a paper, Islamist Terrorist Threat in the Tri-Border Region that was published by Jeffrey Fields, Research Associate, Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
While some politicians who oppose the construction of the wall seek political “cover” by advocating the use of technology on the U.S./Mexican border, especially drones, in reality drones are costly and all but essentially worthless.
On January 6, 2015 the Washington Post published an article, U.S. surveillance drones largely ineffective along border, report says that was predicated on an audit performed by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security on the use of drones by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Nearly on year later, on November 2, 2016, the New York Times reported, Drones, So Useful in War, May Be Too Costly for Border Duty.
Although it has been said that there is no need to state the obvious, perhaps where the issue of drones is concerned, what should be obvious is not obvious.
Drones cannot make arrests.  It would be far more effective and less costly to fly Border Patrol agents in helicopters than to deploy unmanned drones to surveil the border.  airborne agents onboard helicopters who spot illegal aliens entering the United States can land and take the illegal aliens into custody.  
Additionally, if agents on the ground are attacked, drones can only provide images of the incident so that other agents can head to the location to back up the agents who are under attack.  
Border Patrol agents on helicopters can land immediately and come to the aid of their embattled colleagues.
Similarly, sensors may help agents identify the entry of illegal aliens as they enter the United States, but the it will again require Border Patrol agents to have to respond to arrest them.
A secure wall can prevent those illegal entries in the first place.
It must be presumed that politicians who take issue with these points do so because they want to keep that human tsunami of illegal aliens and possibly narcotics, coming across our borders.
It has been said, “Elections have consequences.”  We the People need to instruct our elected representatives that the way that they vote on legislation and funding have consequences for them.

Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent who rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. For half of his career he was assigned to the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission as well as state legislative hearings around the United States and at trials where immigration is at issue. He hosts his radio show, “The Michael Cutler Hour,” on Friday evenings on BlogTalk Radio. His personal website is


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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