Friday, March 9, 2018

Facebook’s Digital Reign of Terror - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

Social media website rejiggers the rules to rob Trump of almost half of his online traffic.

Social media behemoth Facebook launched a full-scale assault on President Donald Trump and conservatives earlier this year that has seen engagement on Trump’s Facebook posts plummet by 45 percent.

The crackdown on conservatives and the Republican Party’s standard-bearer came after a year of unyielding pressure from the mainstream media, politicians, and Facebook employees after President Trump’s stunning electoral upset in November 2016. The Left’s farfetched Russia-Trump electoral collusion conspiracy theory scapegoated Facebook, claiming the website spread Russian propaganda and fake news that helped Trump beat the yet-to-be-indicted Hillary Clinton.

No less a personage from the anti-Trump resistance movement than former President Barack Obama lobbied Facebook’s CEO to play rough and dirty with conservatives. At a poverty conference in South America a few days after the 2016 vote, Obama leaned on a then-skeptical Mark Zuckerberg to do something, presumably to help take his fingerprints off the electoral collusion hoax.

As the Washington Post reported:
Nine days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg dismissed as “crazy” the idea that fake news on his company’s social network played a key role in the U.S. election, President Barack Obama pulled the youthful tech billionaire aside and delivered what he hoped would be a wake-up call.
For months leading up to the vote, Obama and his top aides quietly agonized over how to respond to Russia’s brazen intervention on behalf of the Donald Trump campaign without making matters worse. …Now huddled in a private room on the sidelines of a meeting of world leaders in Lima, Peru, two months before Trump’s inauguration, Obama made a personal appeal to Zuckerberg to take the threat of fake news and political disinformation seriously, although Facebook representatives say the president did not single out Russia specifically. Unless Facebook and the government did more to address the threat, Obama warned, it would only get worse in the next presidential race.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was one of the lawmakers who openly threatened Facebook.
“You’ve created these platforms, and now they’re being misused, and you have to be the ones to do something about it … or we will.”

Although Zuckerberg made plans to hire thousands of content-reviewers, his capitulation still wasn’t complete.

As Karin McQuillan writes at American Thinker:                           
At first, Zuckerberg was impervious to the hysteria that fake news and Russian bots on Facebook had thrown the election to Trump. He knew it was nonsense, because he’s a numbers and data guy, and the reach of Russian accounts was pitiful.
Russian interference generated 129 real-world events that drew 340,000 Facebook users. If we look at the number of mobile active Facebook users for December 2016, we see that there were 1.74 billion. Thus, the Russians commandeered 0.000195402% of the Facebook users for that one month.
These Russians supposedly turned Rust Belt states into Trump country for a pittance.

They reportedly spent a grand total of $1,979 on Facebook ads to supposedly swing Democrat-blue Wisconsin to Trump, according to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.). They spent $823 in Michigan and just $300 in Pennsylvania.

The Russians’ money covered "about four-thousands of one percent (0.004%) of content in News Feed, or approximately 1 out of 23,000 pieces of content," Facebook Vice President and General Counsel Colin Stretch said in a prepared statement for a Senate panel last November.

Zuckerberg’s comment that it was “crazy” to think fake news on Facebook was a significant factor in Trump’s election was not well-received by Facebook employees, the media, and the big players in Silicon Valley.

“What he said was incredibly damaging,” a former Facebook executive reportedly told Wired. “We had to really flip him on that. We realized that if we didn’t, the company was going to start heading down this pariah path that Uber was on.”

“After the election, because Trump won, the media put a ton of attention on fake news and just started hammering us. People started panicking and getting afraid that regulation was coming. …and we decided to figure out how we could put together our own packaged program that shows how seriously we take the future of news.”

When Zuckerberg eventually caved, he offered a nonsensical justification for turning over Facebook’s newsfeeds to censors, left-wing activists, and the various left-wing fact-checking websites that pretend to be fair and balanced.
We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That's why we've always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness. But recently we've gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.
Got that? Zuckerberg is infantilizing Facebook’s users whom he apparently believes are too dumb to consume news without his helping hand.

In McQuillan’s estimation, Obama’s intervention was decisive in getting Facebook onboard with the Left’s program. The company’s business model held that the website was a platform for users, not a provider of content, something over which Facebook had no control or responsibility.

For the bulk of its existence, Facebook often gave in to pressure from the politically correct, feminists, gays, and Muslims, McQuillan writes.
Pamela Geller got fed up with being blocked and sued. A gun range owner was blocked after the Orlando shooting for offering free self-defense classes to LGBT. Pro-life crowdfunding a movie on Roe v. Wade was blocked, as were dozens of conservative Catholic websites. But these forays into censorship of conservatives were isolated, and often reversed with claims they had been done by mistake.
Financial pressure has come from an obnoxious European mega-corporation co-headquartered in London and Rotterdam.

The second largest advertiser in the world, the multinational consumer-good conglomerate Unilever, has threatened to pull its ads from Facebook and Google if the platforms don’t crack down on content the company deems unreliable. "We cannot have an environment where our consumers don't trust what they see online," Unilever's chief marketing officer Keith Weed reportedly said. Concern-trolling, he added that digital media firms have to act before "advertisers stop advertising."

"It is acutely clear from the groundswell of consumer voices over recent months that people are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of digital on wellbeing, on democracy – and on truth itself," Weed said, according to the BBC.

Specifically, the Social Justice Warriors at Unilever have pledged to:
Not invest in platforms that do not protect children or create division in society
Only invest in platforms that make a positive contribution to society
Tackle gender stereotypes in advertising
Only partner with companies creating a responsible digital infrastructure
But as McQuillan sees things, it took Obama to push Facebook over the edge into glaringly obvious partisanship and intolerance.

Americans learned last year that a George Soros-funded hate site with ties to Hillary Clinton works with Facebook to censor its users’ newsfeeds.

Conservatives had already been complaining for years that Facebook deliberately de-emphasized and in some cases suppressed right-leaning voices, “a theory that could be fueled by the social media network’s ties to Media Matters, among the harshest critics of conservative figures and ideas,” the Washington Free Beacon reported at the time.

MMfA has glommed on to the Left’s current obsession with so-called fake news, “a loosely defined category of misinformation that has been invoked to attack everything from Russian propaganda efforts to political blogs deemed factually dubious.”

MMfA’s visceral contempt for the First Amendment’s speech protections was emphasized in a dossier it prepared for deep-pocketed leftists that the WFB obtained.

The document stated that the so-called alt-right "specializes in harassment and abuse and distinguishes itself from traditional right-wing media by its ability to self-organize.”

Without offering proof, the brief smeared such media outlets by making the ridiculous claim that they “operate on the edge of the law.” The document also smeared people in the alt-right movement as dimwitted bigots, claiming its “membership consists of weak individuals, often recruited into the movement because they fear or resent women and/or harbor racial animosity."

The digital reign of terror that Zuckerberg, an open-borders left-winger who supports Black Lives Matter, recently unleashed on those whose views he disagrees with consisted of a change in the newsfeed algorithm for the third-most visited website in the world. The algorithm selects which stories show up in each user’s newsfeed on the site, which has an estimated 2 billion monthly users. For those who don’t speak computer, Merriam-Webster defines algorithm as “broadly: a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end especially by a computer.”

The newsfeed algorithm isn’t some omniscient, politically neutral computer program that somehow randomly or objectively selects what to highlight in newsfeeds. It is controlled by flesh-and-blood human beings in Silicon Valley, a hotbed of leftism. If they change the variables or inputs in an algorithm, they change the results it generates.

As a for-profit business, Facebook can do whatever it wants, subject to its users’ and advertisers’ tolerance for its censorship and other left-wing shenanigans. Users could presumably cripple Facebook by ceasing to use it. That is not likely to happen anytime soon.

An antitrust investigation could still bring Facebook to heel, assuming the political will exists.

But that’s a pretty big assumption.

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."


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Pal-Arabs are counterfeit - Victor Sharpe

by Victor Sharpe

Why is there no ‘Palestinian’ rebel group mentioned in ancient Roman history, as for example the Jewish Zealots are?

Recently,  the Holocaust-denying head of Terror, Inc, known as the Palestinian Authority, one Mahmoud Abbas, upped his erstwhile mentor and arch terrorist, Yasser Arafat, by spewing yet another Arabian Nights hallucinatory diatribe at the United Nations Security Council. It went as follows:

“We are the descendants of the Canaanites that lived in the land of Palestine 5,000 years ago and continuously remained there to this day.”

We should remember that the grisly, blood soaked Arafat had claimed that those Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, were descended from the Philistines. But then the followers of the ‘religion of peace’ will tell you that even Adam was a Muslim. Loony tunes for loony people!

But let’s come back to reality and deconstruct the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians.
There is no such thing as a Palestinian people; no such thing as a Palestinian history; and no Palestinian language exists.

The present-day so-called ‘Palestinians’ are an Arab people sharing an overwhelmingly Muslim Arab culture, ethnicity and language identical to their fellow Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, with few if any distinctions.  They are primarily the descendants of those itinerant Arabs who illegally flooded British Mandatory Palestine from Arab territories as far away as Sudan, Egypt, Syria and what was Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).  They were attracted during the early decades of the 20th century by new employment opportunities provided by the Jewish pioneers, whose heroic efforts were turning the desert green again and restoring centuries of neglect that the land had endured under a succession of alien occupations.

Britain, during its Mandate over the territory, turned a blind eye to the flood of illegal Arab aliens entering, while at the same time often arbitrarily limiting Jewish immigration into the ancestral Jewish homeland.  This was a betrayal of the Mandate given to Britain to facilitate a Jewish Homeland in the geographical territory known as Palestine.

Yasser Arafat, the Egyptian born arch-terrorist, was fond of creating the absurd myth that Palestinian Arabs were descended from the Philistines.

Canaanites, without doubt, are mentioned in the Bible as the first known inhabitants of the Land of Israel before the first Hebrews, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives, settled there, and before Moses brought their descendants back to the Promised Land during the Exodus from Egypt.

The Canaanites lived both along the coastal plain and in the mountain regions, which run like a spine down the biblical territory of Samaria and Judea.  Their language was similar to Hebrew and their territory stretched north into present day Lebanon and included the present day Golan Heights.

The Canaanites were finally subdued, decimated and  intermarried and no longer exist as a distinguishable people.

The ‘Philistines’ were non-Semitic peoples who had entered the land from their homes throughout the Aegean Islands in general and from Crete in particular.  These ancient Cretans arrived in Southern Canaan and along the Egyptian coastline and were known as ‘Pelestim and Keretim’ by the Hebrew tribes.

It appears that their first settlement may have been Gaza.  Later they settled in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gat and Ekron: the Pentapolis.

Their territory was primarily along the coastal Mediterranean and they attempted at different times to invade Judah, but were turned back by the various Jewish Biblical heroes and finally defeated by King David. From that time onward, they were diminished as a threat and as a separate people, finally disappearing from history after King Hezekiah defeated them and Assyria exiled them. Any claim to lineage by the Arabs who call themselves ‘Palestinian’ is as absurd as that of links with the early Canaanites.

Moving fast forward to 73 CE, the first attempt of the Jews to reclaim their independence from the repressive yoke of Roman occupation ended when Jewish warriors and their families fled to the fortress of Masada from Jerusalem.  The Romans had destroyed the Jewish capital city Jerusalem, along with the Second Jewish Temple.  Masada is where the heroic last stand took place and where the surviving warriors and their families took their own lives rather than be sent as slaves throughout the mighty Roman Empire.

The Land where these stirring and epochal events took place was in the province known as Judæa.  There is absolutely no mention of any place called ‘Palestine’ before that time.

After the suppression of the Second Jewish Revolt in 135 CE against the continuing Roman occupation, the Emperor Hadrian replaced the name of Judea (Yehuda in Hebrew from which the name Yehudim, Jews, originates) with Syria-Palæstina after the ‘Philistines’ who were the ancient enemies of the Israelites.  Hadrian did so with the explicit purpose of effacing any trace of Jewish history.

No such name as Palestine occurs in any ancient document.  It is not written in the Bible, neither in the Hebrew Scriptures nor in the Christian Testament, not even in Assyrian, Persian, Macedonian, Ptolemaic, Seleucian or other Greek sources.  There is no ‘Palestinian’ people ever mentioned, not even by the Romans who invented the term. Yet, here again, the fantasist, Abbas, who ranted in the UNSC and then bid a hasty retreat, still claims Jesus was a ‘Palestinian.’

Why is there no ‘Palestinian’ rebel group mentioned, as for example the Jewish Zealots are? Why does every historic document mention the Jews as the native and aboriginal inhabitants, and the Greeks, Romans and others as foreigners dwelling in Judea while there is no mention of a ‘Palestinian’ people, neither as native or as foreigner?

What is more, there is no reference to any ‘Palestinian’ people in the Koran, although Muslims claim that their prophet was once in al-Aksa (meaning the farthest place) which Muslims, for political purposes, chose to be Jerusalem.

Saladin, a Kurd, knew the Jews and invited them to resettle in Jerusalem.  He had no trouble in recognizing Jerusalem as their capital city and the territory as their rightful Homeland.  But he did not know any so-called Palestinians and to claim that Palestinians are the original people of Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, is not only counter to secular history but is also opposed to Islamic history.

The so-called ‘Palestinians’ who claim Jerusalem want it so that they can take it away from the Jews for whom Jerusalem, known also as Zion, is the eternal, 3,000 year old Jewish capital.

Perhaps what links the modern day Arabs who call themselves ‘Palestinians’ with the ancient Philistines is that both are invaders.

The Philistines wanted to take from the Israelites the Holy Ark of the Covenant, while today’s so-called ‘Palestinian Arabs’ want to take from the Jewish people the Holy City of the Covenant – Jerusalem.

So let me close, beginning with the words of a Christian Arab, Joseph Farah, in Myths of the Middle East.  Farah has made his home here in America and knows of what he writes:

“There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians.

“Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Iraqis, etc.  Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 per cent of the Middle East lands.  Israel represents one-tenth of one per cent of the landmass.  But that’s too much for the Muslim Arabs.  They want it all.  And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today….No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough.”

In Their own Words

Pre 1967:

“There is no such country as Palestine.  ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented.  There is no Palestine in the Bible.  Our country was for centuries part of Syria.  ‘Palestine’ is alien to us.  It is the Zionists who introduced it.” Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937.

“There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not.” Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946

“It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria.” Representative of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956

Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:

“The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 CE hardly lasted, as such, 22 years.”
Post 1967:

“There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese.  We are all part of one nation.  It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity….the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes.  The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel.” Zuhair Muhsin, military commander of the PLO and member of the PLO Executive Council.

“Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria.  You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria.  Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people.” Syrian dictator Hafez Assad to the PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

“As I lived in Palestine, everyone I knew could trace their heritage back to the original country their great grandparents came from.  Everyone knew their origin was not from the Canaanites, but ironically, this is the kind of stuff our education in the Middle East included.

“The fact is that today’s Palestinians are immigrants from the surrounding nations! I grew up well knowing the history and origins of today’s Palestinians as being from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Christians from Greece, Muslim Sherkas from Russia, Muslims from Bosnia, and the Jordanians next door.

“My grandfather, who was a dignitary in Bethlehem, almost lost his life at the hands of Abdul Qader Al-Husseni after being accused of selling land to Jews.

“My father used to tell us that his village Beit Sahur (The Shepherds Fields) in Bethlehem County was empty before his father settled in the area with six other families.  The town has now grown to 30,000 inhabitants.” Walid Shoebat.

Reports from travelers to the Holy Land before its rebuilding by modern Zionism:

“There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilee); not for thirty miles in either direction….One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings.  For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee….Nazareth is forlorn….Jericho lies a mouldering ruin….Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation….untenanted by any living creature

“… A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds….a silent, mournful expanse, a desolation….

“We never saw a human being on the whole route….Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere.  Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country… Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes….desolate and unlovely…” Mark Twain, “The Innocents Abroad”, 1867.

In 1590 a ‘simple English visitor’ to Jerusalem wrote: “Nothing there is to be seen but a little of the old walls, which is yet remaining and all the rest is grass, moss and weeds much like to a piece of rank or moist ground.” Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund.

“The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil.” British archaeologist, Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s.

“Palestine is a ruined and desolate land.” Count Constantine François Volney, 18th century French author and historian.

“The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents.  They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities.  They created nothing in it.  Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters.  The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it.” – Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s.

“The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population.” James Finn, British Consul in 1857.

“The area was under populated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880’s, who came to rebuild the Jewish land.  The country had remained ‘The Holy Land’ in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people.

“Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants – both Jewish and Arab.  The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts.  Houses were all of mud.  No windows were anywhere to be seen.  The plows used were of wood.  The yields were very poor.  Schools did not exist.  The rate of infant mortality was very high.  The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert.  Ruins were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants.” The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913.

That the world has fallen hook, line and sinker for duplicitous Arab propaganda speaks to the success of one of the biggest scams ever perpetrated. And Mahmoud Abbas is still at it!

Victor Sharpe traces the Israel-Islam conflict in his four-volume set  (previous volumes here) titled, Politicide, The Attempted Murder of the Jewish State, and provides the reader with an immense amount of information about the biblical and post-biblical history of the Jewish homeland: Israel.He is a prolific freelance writer with many published articles appearing in leading websites dealing with the threat posed by resurgent Islam not only to Israel but to Western and Judeo-Christian civilization.


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Democrats must be made to pay a price for coziness with Farrakhan - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

Farrakhan's open and proud hatred of Jews was once again on display two weeks ago, when he delivered his "Saviours' Day" address, condemning "Satanic Jews" (again).

The narrative that the left has created about President Trump being a racist and the GOP as the home of David Duke can be flipped on its head and used to great electoral advantage, if only Republicans will take full advantage of the opportunity presented by revelations concerning deep ties of key Democrat officials with Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan's open and proud hatred of Jews was once again on display two weeks ago, when he delivered his "Saviours' Day" address, condemning "Satanic Jews" (again).
"Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out, turning men into women and women into men," Farrakhan said in his keynote speech.
"White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God's grace, has pulled a cover off of that Satanic Jew, and I'm here to say your time is up, your world is through," Farrakhan said towards the end of his speech.
The Democrats have been in bed with Farrakhan for years. Barack Obama secretly met with him in 2004, and with the aid of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), he kept that secret from the public until after his presidency was over.

No fewer than seven members of the CBC have ties with the hate-monger:
California Reps. Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, Illinois Rep. Danny Davis, Indiana Rep. Andre Carson, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, New York Rep. Gregory Meeks and Texas Rep. Al Green have all attended meetings with Farrakhan while in Congress, according to photos, videos and witness accounts of the meetings reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. ...
Davis has a personal relationship with Farrakhan and is unbothered by Farrakhan's position on "the Jewish question," he told TheDCNF on Sunday. Davis called Farrakhan an "outstanding human being" in an interview with The Daily Caller in February and said he has regularly visited with Farrakhan. ...
Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), repeatedly attended meetings with Farrakhan while in Congress, according to photos and videos reviewed by The DCNF and Farrakhan's own statements.
Ellison now is claiming – perhaps accurately – as Peter Hasson reports, that "other Democrats don't care about his ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite."
"None of my colleagues ever asked me about that, only reporters," Ellison told the Post. "I am telling you, no one cares. I've been all over Minnesota, all over Alabama, all over Missouri, all over Pennsylvania and Connecticut, and nobody ever asked me about this. People ask me about wages, about pay, about health care, about guns, about immigration. They ask me all kinds of challenging questions. But for some reason, some folks in the Fourth Estate think that this Farrakhan thing needs to be inquired about instead."
In his interview with the Post, Ellison never denied meeting with Farrkahan in Congress.
Imagine if the second-in-command of the Republican Party had been caught meeting with David Duke multiple times, after claiming no ties, and then went on to say that Republicans don't care about such meetings. Can anyone doubt that CNN would put aside the MSM obsession with Russia and denounce the GOP as openly racist and demand the official's firing? The media would be joined by many Republicans, who want nothing to do with racists. It is, in fact, unthinkable that such ties would ever be tolerated in the first place.

The Republican Jewish Committee has already demanded the resignations of the Farrakhan Seven. John Kass of the Chicago Tribune:
[I]f you're of the left, and happen to be a Democratic Party politician, you can get away with making excuses for notorious anti-Semite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
And when those excuses are made, the left is largely silent.
Even New York Magazine asks why it's so hard to condemn Farrakhan's anti-Semitism.

I would love it if President Trump would turn his Twitter account toward asking why the Democrats tolerate ties to Farrakhan in the party leadership and congressional delegation. And with the midterms approaching, how about ads telling voters that if they vote Democrat, they could hand power to supporters of Farrakhan and those who see nothing wrong with him? There is video of Farrakhan's hateful rhetoric, and there's that picture of Obama smiling next to Farrakhan. It is well past time to brand Democrats as the party of hate.

Almost certainly, the Democratic Party as a whole is loath to antagonize the CBC by demanding the severing of ties, much less resignations. The party wants a gigantic black turnout. But Democrats should be made to pay a price with the majority of Americans, who find Farrakhan's bigotry unacceptable.

Thomas Lifson


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Erdoğan's Turkey has no Place in NATO - Burak Bekdil

by Burak Bekdil

The founding values of NATO, such as the safeguarding of freedom and the principles of liberal democracy, individual liberties and rule of law, are rare commodities in today's Turkey.

Originally published under the title, "Turkey and NATO: From Loveless to Hateful Marriage."

Erdoğan and Putin in Istanbul, 2012
The West's self-imposed Pollyanna game over Turkey a decade or so ago seemed delusional to most Turks who knew the true nature of the Islamist politician lauded as a pro-reform, pro-West democrat. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, western leaders argued, would consolidate Turkey's democratic system, bring the country closer to its western allies and even win a historic membership in the European Union. Erdogan's Turkey would be a perfect bridge between western and Islamic civilizations, thus being a role model for less democratic Muslim nations.

A decade later, obliviousness has turned into bitter feelings, but Pollyanna is still out there, all smiles. In the words of Fabrizio F. Luciolli, president of the Atlantic Treaty Organization: "Since sixty-five years [sic], a mutual commitment binds Turkey and NATO, which can hardly be scratched by contingent interests or frictions, or replaced by new strategic directions. In its dialogue with Turkey, NATO once again reveals its unique role as transatlantic forum for political consultation on security issues."
Turkey-optimism is not a new phenomenon in the West. But it is fascinating that it still finds buyers in the marketplace of ideas.
A Phony Ally
Turkey has not arrived where it stands today overnight.
In April 2009, Turkey and Syria held a joint military exercise – the first of its kind between a NATO member and a Russian-armed and trained client state. In September 2010, Turkish and Chinese aircraft conducted joint exercises in Turkish airspace. This, too, was a first for a NATO air force. In 2011, before finally providing NATO forces with logistical support for their anti-Qaddafi campaign, then-Prime Minister Erdoğan angrily asked, "What business can NATO have in Libya?"
In 2012, Turkey became associated with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a dialogue partner. (Other dialogue partners were Belarus and Sri Lanka; Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran, and Mongolia acted as observers.) Since then, Erdoğan has repeatedly stated that Ankara will abandon its quest to join the EU if offered full membership in the SCO... In 2013, Turkey announced the selection of a Chinese company for the construction of its first long-range air and anti-missile defense system, reassuring its western allies that local engineering would make the Chinese system interoperable with the US and NATO assets deployed on Turkish soil. (The contract was eventually scrapped.)
Beginning in 2015, Turkey came under international suspicion for systematically and clandestinely abetting various jihadist groups in Syria, including, allegedly, ISIS. Speculated to have included logistics and arms, this support reflected Ankara's distinct approach to the Syrian theater: while the West's primary goal has been to fight ISIS, Erdoğan has sought to topple Syria's Alawite President Bashar Assad and install a Sunni, pro-Turkey, and Islamist regime in his place.
In December 2017, Ankara officially announced that it would acquire two Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, making it the first NATO member state to operate such systems. To be sure, Turkey is also discussing with Eurosam, a European consortium, the development and co-production of a similar system for its future air defense architecture. But that hardly gives any relief to western capitals
where policymakers are now wondering, among other concerns, how a NATO ally will simultaneously operate a Russian-made air defense system and the planned, US-led, multinational F-35 strike fighters.
Turkey, a partner in the Joint Strike Fighter group that builds the F-35, has ordered a batch of 116 future stealth fighter jets. But its growing relations with Moscow and its recent military campaign in Syria have added to calls for an F-35 boycott. It is not a secret that Washington is quietly weighing that option as Erdoğan threatens to extend his military campaign in Syria to areas (Manbij and the east of the Euphrates) where US troops are aligned with Kurdish militias. Ankara has deemed these militias terrorist organizations and thus legitimate targets. This is not the typical war scenario NATO's first and second largest armies would normally envision.
A Grim Future
Then there is the problem of like-mindedness. The founding values of NATO, such as the safeguarding of freedom and the principles of liberal democracy, individual liberties and rule of law, are rare commodities in today's Turkey.
In January 2018, the annual Freedom in the World report, produced by the US NGO Freedom House, classified Turkey as "not free" for the first time since the report series began in 1999. The country had lost its status as "partly free" due to a slide in political and civil rights, Freedom House noted.
Also in January, the World Justice Report, an independent organization seeking to advance the rule of law around the world, said that Turkey fell to the 101st position out of 113 countries in its 2017-18 Rule of Law Index.
The future may be gloomier. At a time of rising xenophobia and anti-western sentiments across Turkey, Erdoğan's campaign for the November 2019 presidential elections will undoubtedly target the "evil powers of the West," adding to the isolationist (that is: anti-NATO) Turkish psyche.
Erdoğan's militancy will likely strike a chord among his constituents. According to a December 2017 survey by the Turkish pollster Optimar, 71.9 percent of Turks are "against the US" while 22.7 percent are "partly against the US." This in sharp contrast to the 62.1 percent approval rating among Turks for closer relations with Russia.
A survey of 393 Turkish businessmen has likewise found 66 percent of them to have an unfavorable opinion of the US; while a survey by Kadir Has University in Istanbul (in December 2017) found that 64.3 percent of respondents viewed the US as the top security threat to Turkey.
Russian President Vladimir Putin could not have possibly found a better partner than Erdoğan for his attempts to divide and weaken NATO.

Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based columnist and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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Crafting a US Response to Turkish Intransigence - Gregg Roman

by Gregg Roman

McMaster's speech highlighted an emerging recognition among Trump administration officials that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Turkey poses a pernicious threat to US interests in the Near East.

Originally published under the title, "Navigating the U.S. Collision Course with Turkey."

Erdoğan has been repositioning Turkey as an adversary of the United States for years.

In a rare public policy speech in mid-December, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster singled out Turkey as one of the two leading state sponsors (alongside Qatar) of "radical Islamist ideology." The Turkish government protested the statement as "astonishing, baseless and unacceptable," which means it was a pretty good start. McMaster's speech highlighted an emerging recognition among Trump administration officials that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Turkey poses a pernicious threat to US interests in the Near East. Since McMaster's speech, Erdoğan has invaded Afrin, Syria (a city then controlled by America's Kurdish allies), massacring women, children and the elderly; promoted the use of child soldiers in his fight against the Kurds; and undermined U.S. sanctions against Iran. A Manhattan Federal District Court's guilty verdict against a Turkish banker accused of helping Iran evade sanctions speaks volumes about the growing threat posed by Erdoğan's Turkey. Although Erdoğan was not charged in the case, "testimony suggested he had approved the [defendant's] sanctions-busting scheme" to launder billions of dollars for Iran beginning in 2012, according to the New York Times.
No more silence. No more favors. No more trust. No more second chances.

That Erdoğan was secretly weakening U.S. sanctions right when Iran was feeling the pinch should come as no surprise. He has been repositioning Turkey as an adversary of the United States for years — covertly aiding ISIS in Syria (before switching sides on a dime to align with Russian forces), overtly embracing Hamas terrorists, flooding Europe with migrants, and hosting an international summit condemning U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to name just a few of the lowlights. While wishful thinkers still hold out hope that U.S.-Turkish relations are strained by short-term concerns and eventually will rebound, a growing chorus of voices led by Daniel Pipes contends that "Erdoğan's hostile dictatorship" has passed the point of no return and cannot be reconciled with American interests and values. Erdoğan's increasingly brutal methods of governance, particularly since a July 2016 failed coup against his regime, is wholly unbecoming of a NATO ally. In late December, he issued an emergency decree that effectively legalizes politically-motivated lynching.

Why does the United States continue to allow Erdoğan's malign behavior in the region? And, more importantly, what should policymakers do about it?

For Washington, it is time both to up the ante in seeking a course correction from Erdoğan and to prepare for the worst. This path forward should be guided by the following basic principles.

No more silence

Since Erdoğan goes out of his way to lambast the United States at every turn, Washington should make a practice of not holding back when it censures his behavior.

The United States should speak out against Erdoğan's continuing oppression of minority Kurds, in Turkey and in neighboring Syria and Iraq. In particular, it should call for the release of Kurdish political leaders jailed by Erdoğan, such as Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chair of the Kurdish-dominated Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). The US should invite Kurdish representatives to visit Washington for high-profile meetings at the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon.

No more favors

Last June, the United States International Trade Commission issued a report finding that Turkey has been subsidizing the sale of steel reinforcing bars (rebars) in the United States, a judgment that ordinarily leads to the imposition of anti-dumping tariffs. As of yet, this hasn't happened. But it must.

More serious penalties should await Turkey for purchasing the S-400 missile system from Russia last year, which clearly ran afoul of new U.S. sanctions on Russia (the manufacturer of the S-400 has been explicitly blacklisted by the State Department). The White House should immediately put to rest speculation that it intends to waive these penalties.

No more trust

Whichever direction Erdoğan's ambitions take Turkey, one thing is certain — his regime cannot be trusted with sensitive military technology and intelligence. The United States should expel Turkey from the nine-nation consortium producing the next-generation F-35 fighter jet. The risk that the plane's technological secrets will find their way from Turkey to Russia or Iran is too great.

The United States should remove dozens of nuclear weapons presently stored at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey. Although adequate safeguards are in place, these weapons serve no practical purpose (aircraft stationed at the base cannot load them) and their continued presence might be misconstrued as a U.S. endorsement of Erdoğan's reliability as an ally.

No more second chances

Erdoğan's government arrested more than a dozen American citizens of Turkish descent — including a NASA scientist who happened to be visiting family—in the wake of the July 2016 coup attempt. These arrests, as well as those of tens of thousands of Turkey's own subjects, are based on unspecified allegations concerning these individuals' involvement in the coup. Most incarcerated Americans were denied consular access until recently. At least seven are still being held in Turkish prisons— more or less as hostages. Erdoğan has offered to trade them for the extradition of a political rival living in the United States. While on a May 2017 visit to Washington, Erdoğan ordered his security detail to viciously attack peaceful protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence. A similar, equally appalling episode happened when he visited in 2016.

Washington must make it crystal clear to Erdoğan that any further egregious violations of the laws of the United States, the sanctity of its soil, or the rights of its citizens will result in immediate sanctions banning him and his lieutenants from stepping foot in this country (or inside one of its embassies) ever again.
In conclusion, while Turkey's relative political stability, economic strength and military power make it a desirable ally, they also make it a formidable enemy. Now is the time to make it clear to Erdoğan and his subjects that America no longer plays nice with its enemies.

Gregg Roman is director of the Middle East Forum.


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Racial Quotas Kill Kids - Ann Coulter

by Ann Coulter

Obama's dangerous school discipline policies are at not just reaping consequences in Parkland.

President Obama did a lot of bad things, but pound for pound, one of the worst was the January 2014 "Dear Colleague" letter sent jointly by his Education and Justice Departments to all public schools threatening lawsuits over racial discrimination in student discipline. The letter came after years of his administration browbeating schools for their failure to discipline every race of student at the same rate.

As the Huffington Post put it: "American Schools Are STILL Racist, Government Report Finds." The evidence? "Five percent of white students were suspended annually, compared with 16 percent of black students, according to the report." Q.E.D.

According to theory, there's NO WAY blacks and Hispanics are doing things that require more school discipline than whites or Asians. So if more black students are expelled than Asians, well, gentlemen, we have our proof of racism. To comply, schools would have to stop suspending black kids for breaking a teacher's jaw, but suspend Asians for dropping an eraser. 

Using the same logic, I could close the achievement gap between blacks and Asians in a single day by going to every principal's office in the country and burning the transcripts. (Liberals are saying, "You know, that's not a bad idea.") 

The "school-to-prison pipeline" argument for racial quotas in discipline was hatched in education schools and black studies departments. What I want to know is: How did they test the idea? 

To validate the theory that recording students' criminal behavior produces students with criminal records, we divided students into two groups. Group A we continued to suspend when they acted up; Group B we would not suspend no matter what -- even when they engaged in their little mischief, like cracking heads with crowbars, dropping teachers off buildings, using a switchblade to cut other students' eyes out.
RESULT: At the end of the year, Group B had better records. 

Were the researchers really in suspense about how the experiment was going to turn out? I could have told them at the beginning that their odds of success were tremendous -- unless they forgot halfway through and began accidentally suspending students in Group B. 

But the Obama administration said: Wow! That's amazing. Do you think other schools could replicate those results? 

One of the administration's models was Broward County, Florida. Which is kind of important, now that we know that it was Broward's official policy to make it impossible to arrest students like Nikolas Cruz, thus allowing him to amass a cache of firearms, walk into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and murder 17 people. 

The "school-to-prison pipeline" nonsense may not be the explanation for every school shooting, but it is absolutely the explanation for THIS school shooting. No matter what Cruz did, no matter how many times his crimes were reported to the sheriff or school officials, there was no way a lad with a name like "Nikolas Cruz" was ever going to leave school with a record. 

Broward County's innovative idea of eliminating school discipline captivated Obama's Department of Education. It was expressly cited by the department's Civil Rights Division with the notation: "New model for other jurisdictions?" 

Last October -- nearly a year into the Trump administration -- Broward Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie humbly noted that the district was receiving "invitations from around the country, including from The White House and Federal Office of Civil Rights, to share details about the historic reforms" on school discipline. 

Either: Liberals truly believe that all races commit crimes at exactly the same level, frequency and intensity; OR they are willing to have people die for their political agenda. 

Conservatives didn't pick this school shooting as the test case for gun control. It was liberals who were going to ride the Parkland shooting all the way to the midterms. They thought they had a beautiful story about the evil NRA. 

Not the mass shooting in Orlando -- because of the obvious immigration angle. Not San Bernardino -- for the same reason. Not Las Vegas -- probably for the same reason, but we'll never know because law enforcement has issued only lies and nonsense about that shooting. 

The media did all the hard work of making sure Parkland was the only topic on anyone's mind, with everyone demanding that we "do something!" 

And then we got the facts. Cruz's criminal acts were intentionally ignored by law enforcement on account of Broward's much-celebrated "school-to-prison pipeline" reforms. 

Thank God for the internet, or we'd never have known the truth. 

Admittedly, most of the harm done by the policy that enabled Cruz is not usually a mass shooting. The main damage done by the "school-to-prison pipeline" idiocy is: broken bones, smashed teeth, traumatized students, making it impossible for other students to learn, having a bad influence on marginal students and teachers sinking into depression. 

Check at your local school for the full results. Thanks to the Obama administration, this crackpot theory is sweeping school districts across the nation! 

The next time Democrats control Congress and the presidency, we will have racial quotas for prisons, too. When that happens, you better hope the government hasn't taken your guns. 

Ann Coulter


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How many Jews live in Judea and Samaria? - Baruch Gordon

by Baruch Gordon

Updated to Jan 1, 2018, new report includes a census of each Jewish town in Judea and Samaria and shows growth from previous years.

Children in Samaria
Children in Samaria
Shmaya Tiram
The precise number of Jews in Judea and Samaria has been released by former National Union MK Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz in a report which he calls the "West Bank Jewish Population Stats." Katz carefully chose the terminology in order to reach the broadest possible audience of international journalists and statesmen.

Based on Israel's Population Registry, the precise number of Jews in Judea and Samaria is 435,159, as of January 1, 2018. The statistic does not include the some 315,000 Jews who dwell in the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, which is also technically the "West Bank."

Unlike any other report of its kind, Katz's shows the breakdown of each Jewish town in Judea and Samaria and presents growth over the last five years in clear graphic format.

When Katz was first elected to the Knesset in 2009, he began publishing the report after seeing that key statesmen (even in Israel) were clueless as to the number of Jews in Judea and Samaria. "While diplomats and media the world over were promoting a solution that calls for the expulsion of Jews from Judea and Samaria, no one ever paused to research how many Jews actually live there," said Katz. "It was as though this key statistic was being purposely suppressed," he added.

Using his privileges as an Israeli Parliament member, Katz began submitting multiple inquiries to Israel's Population Registry and compiling the data.

The report has caused numerous journalists and diplomats to ditch the two-state solution, saying that the Jewish presence in the region has reached proportions which are irreversible.

Sign up at to receive the detailed, color report.

Baruch Gordon


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