Friday, November 30, 2018

Palestinian aid groups perpetuate the conflict - Odelia Azoulay

by Odelia Azoulay

The U.N. and individual donor states would be wise to invest their energy and resources in finding a tenable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, rather than bolstering the humanitarian aid industry in the Palestinian territories.

On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations voted in favor of a plan to split Palestine into two states – one Jewish and one Arab. Arab leaders immediately rejected the plan and have continued to do so throughout the 71 years of the Jewish state's existence.

All of the solutions that have since been proposed have focused on the principle of partition, the most important among them, and the one that could very well be responsible for the current reality in which we live, was the 1993 Oslo Accords.

One of the less-discussed outcomes of the agreement was the rise of the human rights and humanitarian aid industry in the Palestinian territories.

The number of non-governmental organizations with a vested interested in perpetuating the conflict has multiplied ever since the Palestinian Authority was formed, creating a new social status whose existence depends entirely on foreign aid. Humanitarian aid and international funding mechanisms are no longer the means to promoting a solution but the objective.

Throughout modern history, it was civil society that laid the foundations for the creation of state institutions and paved the way for governance. In Palestinian society, however, the opposite is true. With the PA's founding, more aid organizations were established at the expense of effective and official government institutions. This reality has led to a deviation from the traditional spheres of NGO activity to the point that these organizations now have excessive control over many aspects of Palestinian life.

According to a 2016 report by the Palestinian NonGovernmental Organizations Network of some 130 volunteer associations following the PA's establishment, civil organizations are responsible for the supply of 60% of medical services and health insurance in the Palestinian territories. In other words, the majority of Palestinian civil society organizations not only perpetuate the conflict but significantly delay the development of the PA's own institutions.

Furthermore, instead of promoting some type of process for the resolution of the conflict, these organizations consistently act to exacerbate it. A code of conduct published in 2008 and signed by over 200 Palestinian organizations obligates its members to "align themselves with the national agenda that prohibits normalization with the occupier, whether in the field of diplomatic-security or development and culture." Let me repeat that: Palestinian organizations cannot cooperate with Israel or promote joint Israeli-Palestinian projects.

Last September, the Association of International Development Agencies, which counts among its members 80 different aid organizations that operate inside the Palestinian territories, published a report titled "25 Years to the Oslo Accords: Time for a New Narrative." These ungrateful organizations callously describe the international aid programs as "an attempt to cover up the failures of the Oslo process and Israel's violations of international law."

They claim the expensive and vital aid programs should be accompanied by legal efforts and diplomatic pressure directed not at the PA, of course, but Israel.

"Peace, development and security for millions of Palestinians can only exist if their rights are at the forefront of future peace talks and their protection is ensured," the association contends. There is no mention of a need for a solution that brings an end to the violence or the establishment of institutions, but rather just another desperate attempt to preserve the aid industry disguised as the defense of human rights.

The Oslo Accords, possibly the closest thing to Palestinian agreement to a partition plan, is also the plan that brought the rise of organizations that draw their strength from the accords' weaknesses. A World Bank report from the beginning of 2018 found that aid funds do not help to improve quality of life for residents in the territories, but rather contribute to the strengthening of the NGO elite. On the anniversary of the end of the British Mandate and the adoption of the partition plan and just over 25 years to the Oslo Accords, the U.N. and individual donor states would be wise to invest their energy and resources in finding a tenable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one that will be agreed upon by both sides instead of just bolstering the aid industry.

Odelia Azoulay is a researcher with NGO Monitor, a watchdog group that promotes greater transparency among foreign-funded Israeli nongovernmental organization.


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Where Can Asia Bibi Go? - Hugh Fitzgerald

by Hugh Fitzgerald

Only two places left where she might be safe.

Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row in a Pakistani jail, having been convicted of “blasphemy” on the testimony of Muslims, has at last been freed by a decision of the Pakistani Supreme Court. But her latest ordeal has only just begun, for she cannot possibly live safely in Pakistan, where massive crowds have been calling for her to be executed and where, during this past year, two high officials of the government who had criticized her prosecution were, as a consequence, murdered by Muslim fanatics.

The United Kingdom has refused to offer Bibi asylum, prompted by fears of violence by Muslims. The UK high commissioner in Islamabad is reported to have warned he could not protect his staff if asylum were granted by the UK. This led the Foreign Office, in turn, to ask the Home Office not to grant Asia Bibi’s request. And there was another fear as well. That was the concern that if Bibi were granted asylum by Her Majesty’s Government, Muslims could well riot in the U.K. itself.

In a demonstration of widespread pusillanimity, no country has yet stepped forward to offer this woman asylum.

So where can Asia Bibi go? There are two places where she just might be safe.

The first is the United States, where she could be offered not just asylum, but a place in the Witness Protection Program. Between 1971 and 2013 (the latest year for which figures are available), that Program has successfully protected 8,500 people (“witnesses”), along with 9,900 family members. The American government is unlikely to be worried about possible Muslim unrest should Asia Bibi be given asylum. While Muslims in the UK make up 5% of the population, in the US they make up only 1%, where, likely as a consequence, they are better behaved. The U.S is also 40 times bigger than the U.K. Should Asia Bibi come here, there’s more room to disappear in, with a government that has a ready network of safe houses, new identities, and, if need be, plastic surgery.

The second place where Asia Bibi should consider requesting  asylum is the Vatican. By doing so, Asia Bibi would be putting the islamophilic Pope Francis on the spot. He who has been insisting that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence” would be confronted with the reality of a Christian woman who, living in a Muslim land, falsely accused by Muslim coworkers of blasphemy against Muhammad, was sentenced to death. After spending eight years of her life in prison waiting for that sentence to be carried out, she was finally acquitted by the Pakistani Supreme Court. Two high-ranking Pakistani officials who had criticized the prosecution of Asia Bibi, the Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer, and the Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, were both assassinated as a result.

But how could Pope Francis, who has been endlessly critical of the West for not admitting all the migrants who want to be admitted, who has even compared those he calls “populists,” who wish ill to nobody, but only want to be able to control the number and kind of migrants admitted to their own countries, to Hitler, now turn down Asia Bibi? How could he who has insisted that Christ would have welcomed with open arms all those who might have asked him for asylum, no matter what their background or views, now turn down Asia Bibi’s request for asylum? Can he, who has claimed that a failure to welcome migrants is “rooted ultimately in self-centeredness and amplified by populist rhetoric,” now reject Asia Bibi, a genuine martyr for her faith who refused to convert to Islam, which might have ended her suffering? If the Pope were to reject her plea for asylum, could he ever again lecture those who want to limit the migration to their own countries, and especially to limit the number of Muslim migrants because of the menacing ideology that they bring with them in their mental baggage?

If the Pope were to decide to give her refuge, as a good Christian should, he would immediately be subject to a barrage of ferocious criticism from Muslims around the world, including many death threats, which might make him start to recognize, as hitherto he has not, the violence that is so essential a part of Islam.

It’s hard to know what it will take to open the Pope’s mind to the meaning, and menace, of Islam. But the case of Asia Bibi just might do it.  He should answer her plea by inviting her, and her family, to live in the Vatican, pop. 1000, one of the best-protected places on earth. Contrary to popular belief, the Swiss Guards are not merely ceremonial, but are carefully chosen Swiss army veterans, often in plainclothes, armed with, and highly trained in using, the latest weaponry. There are about 125 of those Guards, and the same number of Vatican Police, who together equal one-fourth of the total population of Vatican City.

As for weaponry, the Pontifical Guards have the Sig P220 semi automatic pistol as their standard issue. It is made by famed firearms manufacturer Sig Sauer, and has one of the best reputations for reliability and quality. (Today, the Navy SEALs are known for their similar Sig Sauer P226 pistols). The Swiss Guard also uses Austrian-built Glock 19 pistols for deep concealment.

For heavier hitting longer-range modern firepower, the Swiss Guard has an array of Sig SG550 series assault rifles in different configurations. This includes some with short barrels and folding stocks (Sig SG552 Commando) for close-quarters battle (CQB) and vehicle carry, and others with longer barrels and scope setups for extended range engagements. They also have the Heckler & Koch MP7 personal defense weapon (PDW) that fires armor piercing small caliber rifle rounds. This weapon is extremely popular with elite units ranging from SEAL Team Six to presidential protection units around the globe. It would take too long to list all of their top-of-the-line weapons, but the point has been made: they are not relying on defending the Pope with those ceremonial halberds. They are as well-equipped as any comparable guard unit anywhere in the world. The Pope cannot claim he lacks the ability to protect Asia Bibi.

Asia Bibi is now, and will be as long as she lives, a standing reproach to the world’s Muslims, who stood by while she was first charged, and then convicted, of “blasphemy,” and who, during the past eight years of her monstrous imprisonment, have not raised the matter even once with any Pakistani official, nor at meetings of the O.I.C. Their silence signaled Islamic solidarity with the original persecutors of Asia Bibi. And her travails in not finding a final refuge are a standing reproach to the world’s non-Muslims as well.

The Pope could now do the very thing he usually calls on others to do: welcome this desperate asylum seeker. For he should be reminded of his own words, when in October 2016 he said “it is hypocritical to call yourself a Christian and to chase away a refugee, or anyone who needs your help.” He should, as both a simple Christian and as the Vicar of Christ, become the one protector who did not turn her down. The Pope could learn a lot about “authentic Christianity” from this martyr for her faith, and learn, too, about “authentic Islam” which millions of hate-filled rioters in Pakistan believe they are upholding when they bay for Bibi’s blood.

So, let the request for asylum be made quite publicly by Asia Bibi to the Pope. A martyr for her faith, she might have avoided the charge of blasphemy, and saved herself from the death sentence, and the eight years in prison waiting for the sentence to be carried out, had she at the very beginning been wiling to convert to Islam. But Asia Bibi was unwilling to leave the Christian faith. The Pope will have a hard time turning her away from his door, as Christ would never have done. And if he does that, he will have lost all moral authority — for those who think he still has any to lose — and be unable to pontificate, as has been his wont,  on the need for the West to welcome migrants.

So let us imagine that the Pope offers, and Asia Bibi accepts, his  permission for her to live at Vatican City, under his protection. He will be subject to every sort of abuse from Muslims, including death threats — which have already been coming his way from Muslims unaware of how supportive he has been of what he calls “authentic Islam.” He will now expose him to the threats of Muslim fanatics, the very people whom he has managed to overlook so far in his incessant reproaching of  the West. And Asia Bibi herself, of course, will continue to be subject to the same death threats she had been receiving in Pakistan.

Asia Bibi’s request for asylum in Vatican City would be salutary, whether that request is accepted or turned down. If the Pope turns her away, his own hypocrisy will be exposed, and he will no longer be able to lecture or hector the West for its “un-Christian” behavior toward mostly-Muslim migrants. He will be permanently shamed by his stunning failure to follow his own prescriptions.

If he grants her asylum, on the other hand, Pope Francis will be rescuing a high-profile Christian victim of Muslim persecution, putting the cruel application of Islamic “blasphemy” laws front and center on the world’s agenda, and in offering Bibi shelter, he will be taking a stand against those unjust laws himself. He will no longer be seen as the Defender of Islam that he has too often appeared to be. His own eyes might open wider as he learns more about the mistreatment of Christians and other non-Muslims, based on Qur’anic commands, and finds out about other Asia-Bibis, some of them imprisoned, with others martyred — put to death — for their faith, all over the Muslim-ruled lands. And if he could take in that knowledge, make sense of it, study the Qur’an and hadith — a tall order for this Pope who clearly has not felt the need — and manage to grasp how Muslims regard non-Muslims, as his more learned predecessor Pope Benedict did, he might help in the long struggle to save Europe, Christian and post-Christian, from the Jihad that now threatens it, and that so far Europe’s political and media elites have failed to recognize, out of fear of offending the tens of millions of Muslims already in their midst.

Hugh Fitzgerald


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Twitter's Jack Dorsey Lied to Congress - Daniel John Sobieski

by Daniel John Sobieski

Ever since Twitter’s cofounder expressed regret in inadvertently helping Trump get elected, Twitter has mounted a deliberate campaign to make sure it doesn’t happen again in 2020

I may be signing my own Twitter death warrant with this opinion piece but so be it if I dare to criticize and accuse the man who has more power to influence American political thought than Vladimir Putin ever could dream of having. That man is Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. By silencing conservative thought, he can control much of America’s political dialogue, with his minions deliberately steering it in a leftist direction reflecting their inner beliefs, while blaming it on inanimate software. Pushed to the wall, they bleat that the algorithm made them do it.

As this Congress winds down, news comes that a House Committee is belatedly investigating whether Dorsey lied to Congress during recent testimony. My only question is whether his lips were moving:
A top House committee that oversees the U.S. telecommunications industry is now reviewing whether Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lied to Congress during a hearing about Twitter’s controversial history of arbitrarily censoring content published by the site, an aide for the House Energy and Commerce committee told The Federalist.
“The committee is aware of Twitter’s actions and is currently reviewing Mr. Dorsey’s testimony,” the aide said after Twitter suddenly banned Jesse Kelly, a Marine combat veteran, writer, and popular radio talk show host, without explanation.
As The Federalist reported on Monday, Dorsey was not truthful about his or his company’s response to death threats against prominent conservatives -- including against Meghan McCain shortly after the death of her father, former Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) -- nor was he truthful about whether Twitter policies discriminated against users based on their politics. It is a federal crime to provide false testimony to Congress…
“I want to start by making something very clear,” Dorsey testified on September 5, 2018. “We don’t consider political viewpoints, perspectives, or party affiliation in any of our policies or enforcement decisions, period.”“Our policies and our algorithms don’t take into consideration any affiliation, philosophy, or viewpoint,” Dorsey claimed again later in the hearing.
Horsefeathers. That tremor on the Richter scale is the result of conservatives like Twitter target actor James Woods is the result of Twitter conservatives falling on the floor laughing. The Twitter policy known as “shadow banning” is based on ideological rules that tilt sharply to the left. The followers you can reach restricted. Routine purges of conservative followers are conducted. A politically incorrect hash tag can put a crosshairs on your Twitter account. You never know if your tweet is reaching anyone at all. 

In the age before cable, there was an iconic sci-fi program called The Outer Limits whose opening featured a series of test patterns, flickering screens and a narrator who solemnly intoned, “Do not attempt to adjust your television set. We will control all that you see and hear.” Today that is a chilling reality as social media giants like Twitter routinely censor what people can see and hear on their sites.

For example, Thanks to James O’Keefe of Project Veritas we know some of the details of, methods, and reasons for Twitter’s pro-active censoring of conservatives:

Twitter direct messaging engineer Pranay Singh admitted to mass-banning accounts that express interest in God, guns, and America, during a Project Veritas investigation.

“Just go to a random [Trump] tweet and just look at the followers. They’ll all be like, guns, God, ‘Merica, and with the American flag and the cross,” declared Singh, who was secretly recorded by Project Veritas reporters. “Like, who says that? Who talks like that? It’s for sure a bot.”…
“So if there’s like ‘American, guns,’ [in the account bio] can you write an algorithm to just take all those people out?” asked one undercover reporter.
“Umm, yeah, it’s actually how we do it,” Singh replied. “You look for ‘Trump,’ or ‘America,’ or any of, like, five thousand, like, keywords to describe a redneck, and then you look, and you parse all the messages, all the pictures, and then look for stuff that matches that stuff… You assign a value to each thing, so like Trump would be .5, a picture of a gun would be like 1.5, and if the total comes up above a certain value, then it’s a bot.”
Twitter has even gone after the likes of the iconic Matt Drudge, former Breitbart news editor Milo Yiannopoulos, and Dilbert creator Scott Adams, as well as engaging in a practice called “shadow banning” to limit the access and exposure of largely conservative accounts.

Yiannopoulos is familiar with the suppression of free speech and the First Amendment by the politically correct left, having a speech at UC Berkeley canceled after violent riots by the politically intolerant left. Pundits have dubbed the suppression of conservative speakers on campus the “heckler’s veto” which allows the arbiters of political correctness to deny a forum to those they disagree with.

Yiannopoulos is also familiar with another form of suppression of free speech, this time in social media forums such as Twitter called “shadow banning”. Tweets of the kind President Trump is famous for are banned from being seen by other than a given account’s followers, limiting visibility. Twitter and its support team claim it is merely spanking temporarily those that violates their rules and terms of service, but Yiannopoulos thinks it is political correctness run amok with the goal of, as at Berkeley and elsewhere, of silencing conservatives:
Rumours that Twitter has begun ‘shadowbanning’ politically inconvenient users have been confirmed by a source inside the company, who spoke exclusively to Breitbart Tech. His claim was corroborated by a senior editor at a major publisher.
According to the source, Twitter maintains a ‘whitelist’ of favoured Twitter accounts and a ‘blacklist’ of unfavoured accounts. Accounts on the whitelist are prioritised in search results, even if they’re not the most popular among users. Meanwhile, accounts on the blacklist have their posts hidden from both search results and other users’ timelines…
The pattern of shadowban reports, which skews towards the alt-right, the populist right, and cultural libertarians, follows close on the heels of Twitter’s establishment of a “Trust and Safety Council” packed with left-wing advocacy groups, as well as Islamic research centre the Wahid Institute...
With shadowbans now confirmed by an inside source, there is little room for doubt that the platform is intent on silencing conservatives. Furthermore, it has demonstrated a complete lack of regard for transparency, concealing its shadowbanning system from users and hiding its political bias behind a veneer of opposition to online abuse…
Yes, it is Twitter’s sandbox and, yes, there are spammers uninterested in any real dialogue. Yes, there are pornbots and photos any reasonable person would find offensive. There are Twitter equivalents to yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre. But Twitter has gone beyond enforcing rules of civility to enforcing its view of political correctness, punishing conservatives who use social media, particularly those who are good at it. 

It is no accident. It is not an “error”. It is intentional. Ever since Twitter’s cofounder expressed regret in inadvertently helping Trump get elected, Twitter has mounted a deliberate campaign to make sure it doesn’t happen again in 2020.

Dorsey, of course, claims that “mistakes have been made” and he has repented of Twitter’s sins, but Jesse Kelly’s recent experience belies that. Twitter, for example, has instated a war on so-called “dead-naming” which can get you permanently banned. You cannot on Twitter refer to transgendered individuals by their original gender or name. Don’t you dare call Chelsea Manning “Mr. Manning”.

We know what happens when you violate Twitter’s rules. Let’s see what happens to Dorsey for violating Congress’ rules. 

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications. 


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Rabbi: Obama appointees prevent Pollard from completing parole in Israel - Gil Hoffman

by Gil Hoffman

“It’s clear that the Justice Department is still staffed by Obama holdovers who are not favorable to Israel, because this decision is clearly against the State of Israel.”

Rabbi: Obama appointees prevent Pollard from completing parole in Israel
Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer convicted of spying for Israel, exits following a hearing at the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York City, May 17, 2017. (photo credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

Former US President Barack Obama is to blame for the US Justice Department’s rejection of an official request from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard to serve out the remainder of his parole time in Israel, sources close to Pollard told The Jerusalem Post.

Netanyahu had been working for months with the US Justice Department to try and ensure Pollard’s transfer to Israel, under the federal guidelines of treaty transfer, which enable convicts to complete their parole in the country of their citizenship. When he first became prime minister in 1996, Netanyahu’s government granted Pollard citizenship.

The Justice Department said the request was denied, due to “the severity of Pollard’s crimes.” However, Pollard’s rabbi, National Council of Young Israel executive vice president emeritus, Rabbi Pesach Lerner, provided a different explanation.

“This bureaucratic solution was acceptable to all, as a means to finally put an end to the Pollard issue and allow the 33-year-old wounds to heal,” Lerner said. “The people [who]...deny that request are Obama era holdovers and the same people who have created the severe restrictions that Pollard, while on parole, must live with.”

Pollard was paroled on November 20, 2015, after having served 30 years of his 45-year sentence of life in prison for passing classified information to an ally. He is on parole for the final 15 years, during which he must remain in his New York apartment from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., wear a tracking device at all times and have any computer he uses monitored by government software.

Lerner said reports that the parole conditions will be eased in two years are “a blatant lie,” because the same rationale used to prevent him from moving to Israel could also be used to deny easing his conditions.

“Once the government falsely claims that Jonathan’s full release may pose a security risk for the US, they will have to maintain that lie in five and 10 years, until his parole is fully over after 45 [years],” Lerner said. “It’s clear that the Justice Department is still staffed by Obama holdovers who are not favorable to Israel, because this decision is clearly against the State of Israel.”

Gil Hoffman


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Switzerland: "Creeping EU Accession" - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

Swiss resistance to EU domination

  • The EU has now increased the pressure by resorting to blackmail: Brussels is making its recognition of Switzerland's SIX Swiss Exchange, the fourth-largest stock market in Europe, contingent on Swiss acceptance of the framework agreement.
  • The measure was opposed by a coalition of Swiss business groups, which convincingly argued that it was a question of economics and access to international markets for the export-dependent country. "Ultimately, it is about maintaining prosperity in Switzerland and keeping the companies and jobs here," said Monika Rühl, director of the business group Economiesuisse.
  • "The SVP rejects a one-sided submission to EU institutions, aimed at establishing an institutional connection of Switzerland to the EU apparatus, with a dynamic EU legal takeover and, ultimately, the subordination of Switzerland to the EU Court of Justice. A dynamic adoption of EU law would be another massive erosion of our direct democracy." — Swiss People's Party.
Swiss voters have resoundingly rejected a referendum calling for the Swiss Constitution to take precedence over international treaties and law. 

Two-thirds (66.2%) of voters in the November 25 referendum opposed the "self-determination" initiative, put forward by the eurosceptic Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei, SVP), the largest party in the Swiss parliament. 

SVP leaders had argued that the new law was necessary to safeguard national sovereignty from further encroachment by supranational organizations such as the European Union and the United Nations. 

The Swiss government countered that the proposal would undermine Switzerland's economic stability as it would require Bern to amend existing bilateral agreements with the EU, the country's largest trade partner, to bring them into compliance with the Swiss Constitution. 

The proposal's defeat comes ahead of pending decisions by the Swiss government over whether to sign a wide-ranging EU "framework agreement," and a controversial UN "migration pact." 

Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but has gained access to the European single market by signing a series of bilateral agreements in which Switzerland has given away large slices of its national sovereignty, including control over boundaries and immigration. In all, Switzerland has more than 120 bilateral agreements that govern its relations with the European Union. 

The EU is now pressing Switzerland to sign a comprehensive "framework agreement" that would require Bern to cede even more sovereignty to Brussels. The EU, for instance, wants Switzerland to subject itself to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). If Switzerland complies with the demand, the ECJ would outrank the Swiss Supreme Court as the final arbiter of legal disputes in the country. 

The EU has now increased the pressure by resorting to blackmail: Brussels is making its continued recognition of Switzerland's SIX Swiss Exchange, the fourth-largest stock market in Europe, contingent on Swiss acceptance of the framework agreement. Switzerland's current stock exchange agreement with the EU expires at the end of December; failure to renew it would deprive the Swiss exchange of EU-based business that generates more than half its volume. Swiss leaders have said they doubt that any proposed treaty could win the backing of parliament or voters in a referendum under the Swiss system of direct democracy.  

Bloomberg News encapsulated the dilemma facing Switzerland:
"The Swiss government now faces the prospect of choosing between two evils: agree to the EU framework deal only to have it torpedoed by voters in a referendum, or renege on the treaty and risk reprisals from Brussels that hurt the economy."
A key point of contention in Swiss-EU relations revolves around a long-running dispute over the EU's "Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons." The agreement, which Switzerland signed in June 1999, allows EU citizens to live and work in Switzerland, and vice versa. The original agreement applied to 15 EU member states, but with the enlargement of the European Union in 2004, 2007 and 2013, the agreement now applies to 28 EU member states, including the poorer countries in Eastern Europe. 

In an effort to curb the increasing amount of crime associated with immigration, Swiss voters in November 2010 approved a referendum to deport foreigners who commit serious crimes in Switzerland. 

The EU warned that deporting EU citizens for any reason would be a violation of Switzerland's treaty obligations regarding the free movement of persons. The Swiss parliament, seeking to avoid economic reprisals, eventually passed a watered-down law aimed at reconciling the will of Swiss voters with Switzerland's obligations under EU law. 

SVP MP Adrian Amstutz argued that in its zeal to please the EU, the Swiss parliament's new deportation law would prove to be worthless in practice:
"According to the parliament's implementation of the law for the deportation initiative, courts would have the possibility to put aside a deportation — even in the case of the most serious offenses — via the hardship clause. Current legal practices show that judges would frequently make use of this option. As a consequence, hardly any foreign criminals would be deported."
In February 2014, Swiss voters approved a referendum to reintroduce quotas for immigration from EU countries. Proponents of the quotas argued that foreign workers were driving down wages and increasing demand for housing, health, education and transport. 

The EU warned that any restrictions on access to the Swiss labor market would violate the agreement on the freedom of movement of persons, and threatened "serious consequences." The Swiss parliament again yielded to EU pressure, this time by passing watered-down restrictions on immigration. 

Another flashpoint in bilateral relations involves the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In November 2014, the ECHR prohibited Switzerland from sending Afghan asylum seekers back to Italy. Although Italian authorities had agreed to take them back, the ECHR ruled that doing so would violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Prohibition of Inhuman and Degrading Treatments) because of overcrowding and poor conditions at Italian asylum facilities. 

SVP leader Christoph Blocher criticized the ECHR for ignoring the principle of subsidiarity, which holds that decisions should be taken, if possible, at the local level:
"Don't we trust federal judges to decide on human rights issues? We had those principles written into our constitution well before the ECHR. The problem with the convention is that it decides things from far away. The consequences, what happens next, don't concern the judges."
Martin Schubarth, a former Swiss federal judge, echoed those concerns:
"It is unacceptable that a small panel of [ECHR] judges, who generally lack the expert knowledge about the [Swiss] legislative authority, handle matters in an undemocratic way instead of the [Swiss] authority itself."
In February 2018, Swiss public television SRF reported that the European Commission had presented the Swiss government with a 19-page "sin list" of Swiss violations of EU law. 

Switzerland's ongoing disputes with the EU, and the concomitant erosion of Swiss sovereignty, prompted the SVP to sponsor the referendum to ensure the precedence of Swiss law. 

The sponsor of the initiative, SVP MP Hans-Ueli Vogt, expressed surprise at the scale of the defeat — a rare setback for the SVP, one of the most successful anti-EU parties in Europe — but said he would continue to fight against "creeping EU accession." 

The measure was opposed by a coalition of Swiss business groups, which convincingly argued that the referendum was a question of economics and access to international markets for the export-dependent country. "Ultimately, it is about maintaining prosperity in Switzerland and keeping the companies and jobs here," said Monika Rühl, director of the business group Economiesuisse. 

Some Swiss newspapers described result of the referendum as a "fiasco" and a "serious setback" for the SVP. Others were more circumspect. "The object of the initiative was very legitimate: it was about national sovereignty and its relationship with international law in a globalized world," noted La Liberté, a paper based in Fribourg. The Geneva-based L'Express added:
"The SVP suffered a defeat because it failed to mobilize and convince beyond its base. The voters wanted a pragmatic assessment between international law and national law. Depending on the situation, one or the other should apply. The definitive prevalence of one over the other, on the other hand, is not shared by the majority."
La Tribune de Genève wrote: "What the Swiss have supported this Sunday is a pragmatic, negotiated, piecemeal approach to our national interests. Voting is in no way a declaration of love to a European Union in crisis." 

The Swiss People's Party said that despite the loss, the referendum "brought a welcome and suppressed debate about the relationship between Swiss law and international law and the importance of direct democracy." The SVP added that its fight for Swiss self-determination would continue:
"First of all, the SVP demands that Switzerland not join the UN migration pact. We are counting on the pledges of the representatives of the other parties, that at the very least it is presented to the parliament with the aim of holding a referendum on the matter, so that Swiss voters can have their say about such a far-reaching pact. "Secondly, the SVP rejects a one-sided submission to EU institutions, aimed at establishing an institutional connection of Switzerland to the EU apparatus, with a dynamic EU legal takeover and, ultimately, the subordination of Switzerland to the EU Court of Justice. A dynamic adoption of EU law would be another massive erosion of our direct democracy."

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.  


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Trump Didn’t Create Europe’s Resentment - Bruce Thornton

by Bruce Thornton

He just refuses to tolerate its arrogant elites.

Speaking in Paris at the centenary of the Armistice, French president Emmanuel Macron (caricatured above) made some silly comments about nationalism. Recycling tired clichés about nationalism’s guilt for both World Wars, he called nationalism the “betrayal of patriotism” and warned about the “old demons coming back to wreak chaos and death.”

Apart from the ideological prejudices and historical ignorance on display from a globalist watching the “rules-based international order” tottering even as he speaks, Macron was also aiming his barbs at President Trump, who identifies himself as a proud nationalist. Macron punctuated his point by later calling for the creation of an “EU army” because “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.”

For NeverTrump globalists from both parties, a scolding from a European, even one accompanied by preposterous threats, is the QED of their indictment of Trump’s numerous offenses. But contrary to such naïve admiration, long before Donald Trump, the European ruling elite, especially the French, have looked on the U.S. with resentment, contempt, and envy.

The history of just the last 27 years illustrates how little Trump has to do with European attitudes towards America. By the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Europe and its dreams of ever-closer integration into a larger transnational federation was a few years away. Suddenly there was geopolitical space for a new “superpower” freed from the old Cold War strictures. Though belonging to NATO and a committed ally of the U.S., increasingly by the early 90s the European elite often appeared to comprise a “non-aligned” movement committed to peace and global development. It also was open to transcending the old, Manichean communist-capitalist dichotomy that had long fretted European communists and socialists, not to mention more recent leftist parties like the Greens. Even before the collapse of the Soviets, “third way” alternatives were touted such as “Eurocommunism,” or frauds like “communism with a human face” were proposed and implemented. Of course, the Warsaw Pact peoples living under communism knew every human face had a boot eternally stamping it.

With the Soviet Union off the table, Europe could find space for greater independence and autonomy, and get out––though not completely––from under dependence on its powerful, arrogant American protector and its capitalist excesses.

Some saw dangers in this new arrangement, however. The collapse of one of the two poles suddenly left a new world: not one with two equally destructive nuclear powers precariously balanced by Mutually Assured Destruction, but one global “hyperpower,” as French foreign minister Hubert Védrine fretted. It was one thing for European elites to tolerate America’s outsized power and influence when posing as an equal partner in a defense pact to which one contributed little more than what NATO chief Lord Robertson called “military pygmies.” It was another to lose an adversarial counterbalance to that overbearing ally, some ideological leverage to use against the American bully when he got too arrogant or too inclined to go his own way. Europe needed an alternative to “American conditions,” the old anti-American shorthand for everything Americans do that Europeans don’t like, such as working too much and earning too much money, or sacrificing social justice and equality to greater profits and economic inequality.

This predicament created much angst among some European leaders in the 1990’s. But the opportunities seemed greater. The “international rules-based order” was given new authority by the disappearance of MAD, and by the U.S.’s binge of military cuts, the so-called “peace dividend.” Nor was the U.S. a “hyperpower” to worry about, for the Europeans claimed America still had a rival in the E.U. As French President Jacque Chirac instructed the world: “The bipolar we have known is finished, and the world of tomorrow will be multipolar. One of these essential poles will be Europe.” That didn’t mean, of course, spending billions on creating militaries that would give credibility to a boast like “essential.”

Then was when we started hearing more about Kantian “postmodern” foreign policy that had progressed beyond the Cold War balance of apocalyptic power. These non-lethal policies inflated the importance of Europe’s “soft-power” like culture, wealth, diplomacy, international institutions, multilateral covenants, and transnational agreements. With no existential Cold War threat, the soft-power tail began to wag the hard-power dog. The misbegotten multinational agreement on Iran’s nuclear development program remains of the best example of such “postmodern” naivete that ends the in appeasement of aggressors.

This “postmodern” dream, however, was quickly exposed as a chimera. From 1992 to 1995 in Bosnia, then 1998 to 1999 in Kosovo, two vicious conflicts provided Europe with gruesome footage of horrors not seen since World War II. And the “essential” European “pole” of the new European postmodern order was helpless to stop the slaughter that Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Poos confidently had said, “If one problem can be solved by Europeans, it is the Yugoslav problem. It is not up to the Americans or anyone else.”

Except whether the Europeans liked it or not, it was also America’s problem; camouflaged, of course, with the usual NATO fig-leaf. First the non-lethal, postmodern solution of “engagement” and diplomacy were tried, and failed. U.N. “safe areas” in Bosnia became cruel Orwellian jokes, as rounding up refugees for “space spaces” made it more convenient for their enemies to slaughter them. U.N “peacekeepers” were compelled to watch as thousands were executed. European contributions to NATO forces faced stiff political opposition at home, and even the willing were hard-pressed to contribute, given their scant supplies of materiel and men. England, the biggest military in Europe, could provide only 4% of the aircraft and munitions used in the operation. It was once again the Americans who had to fly the bulk of the sorties, provide most of the precision-guided munitions, and generate the intelligence.

This humiliation on Europe’s doorstep created even more resentment against the U.S, as high-flown rhetoric collided with Europe’s conflicting political, cultural, and ethnic identities; and with its failure to match its geopolitical pretensions with sufficient military resources. Two decades later nothing has changed. Macron’s and Merkel’s recent threat to create a “European Army” is as empty as Jacques Chirac’s boast that Europe would be an “essential pole” in the post-Cold War “multipolar” world.

Finally, for a last example of rank hypocrisy on the part of those touting a “postmodern foreign policy” and the “rules-based international order” that supposedly trump national interest, consider the months George Bush wasted in 2002-2003 in the run-up to the second Iraq War. A member of the “rules-based international order,” neocon division, Bush tried for months to cajole the U.N. Security Council into authorizing the war that the Senate approved, even though the U.S. already had sufficient casus belli under international law in Saddam Hussein’s serial violations of the terms of the first war’s settlement. Of course, despite his diplomatic efforts, Bush was still accused of being a “warmonger” and “failing miserably at diplomacy,” as Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle put.

Even more unseemly was that Germany and permanent Security Council member France lobbied several other non-permanent members of the Council to block the Resolution. Worse yet, along with Belgium the two countries formally objected to Turkey’s request for NATO defensive materiel, and as a result, Turkey did not allow the U.S. coalition to attack from Turkish territory.

At the time, of course, like their Democrat ideological cousins, France and Germany justified their behavior with appeals to the magical power of “diplomacy” and the “rules-based order” to reign in a psychopathic butcher slowly squirming out of the loosening sanctions “box” by using the corrupt U.N. Oil for Food Scandal. In the case of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder was in a tough reelection campaign, and German voters are reliably pacifist and anti-American, so poking the U.S. in the eye played well on the hustings. For France, its arms manufacturers and oil developers were eager to go back to the lucrative business they had enjoyed for years with Hussein, who at one time single-handedly subsidized half of France’s arms industry. The tottering sanctions regime promised a return to the good times of big profits and fat bribes.

In the end, the greatest champions of the “rules-based international order” embodied in the U.N. actively subverted endorsing the punishment of an outlaw regime that had flouted with impunity 17 earlier U.N resolutions, instead of restoring credibility to that failed and corrupt organization.

Nothing has changed, by the way. The Europeans today are scrambling to find some way to keep doing business with Iran now that Trump has reimposed sanctions. Only those who still take seriously the lofty rhetoric of moralizing internationalism should be surprised. As George Washington wisely said, “It is a maxim founded on the universal experience of mankind, that no nation can be trusted farther than it is bound by its interests.”

Despite the “rules-based international order,” the nations of Europe have always pursued their interests, and if necessary at the expense of ours. That’s what sovereign nations do in the real world. What has ended is the American voters’ patience with haughty foreign elites who simultaneously despise, lecture to, and fleece us––all while watching some Americans grovel before a dying culture without enough gumption to reproduce or defend its civilization and values.

Trump isn’t the cause of the resentment and contempt European elites have held for Americans for years. He just violated their codes for manners and decorum, and refused to tolerate their arrogant hypocrisy. But across Europe millions of people are rejecting their elites and pushing back against the globalist technocratic utopia. Trump’s straight talk and braggadocio might just represent the last chance for the magnificent civilization that birthed our own to recover its nerve and former glory.

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase.


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Have a Very Intolerant Day - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Celebrate the International Day of Tolerance with intolerance to the UN.

November 16 is National Button Day, National Fast Food Day and International Tolerance Day: if you’ve never heard of International Tolerance Day, that just shows how intolerant you are.

International Tolerance Day was celebrated at the World Tolerance Summit at the Armani Hotel in Dubai. A photo of the event shows three Arab Muslim men in burnooses sitting under the Summit's subtitle, "Prospering from Pluralism: Embracing Diversity through Innovation and Collaboration."

The UAE is an Arab Muslim entity. Good luck obtaining citizenship if you aren’t an Arab Muslim. Leaving Islam is forbidden, but the government has a special site encouraging infidels to convert to Islam.

Diversity is great. As long as it’s limited to Muslim men. Pluralism is fantastic. But you’re not allowed to leave Islam. And tolerance is applied equally to Muslim men and other Muslim men on Tolerance Day.

Like most terrible global ideas, International Tolerance Day was invented by the UN. Or specifically by UNESCO around the time that Bosnia and Herzegovina joined up before becoming enmeshed in a genocidal war. Because nothing says tolerance like genocidal ethnic conflicts at the United Nations.

Key conferences were held in Russia, Korea and Turkey: three countries in a permanent state of war.

The Turkey tolerance conference featured a renewal of Turkey’s emergency law after over 10,000 Kurds were killed by Turkish authorities. After the Korean tolerance conference, North Korea sent armed infiltrators across the border. And during the Moscow tolerance conference, Chechen Islamic terrorists attacked a hospital and took thousands of hostages. The 1995 score read: Intolerance 3, Tolerance 0.

But that’s always the way it is at the UN where tolerance is on the menu, but never on the plate.

International Tolerance Day led to the Year of Tolerance in 1995. It wasn’t very successful as the Bosnian War was still going on, the First Chechen War was underway, and the Taliban were wrapping up their takeover of Afghanistan. The Turks were tolerantly killing the Kurds, the Kurds in Iraq were killing each other, Bill Clinton decided to bomb the Serbs, and the United Nations retreated from Somalia.

And that was the last Year of Tolerance.

The Year of Tolerance Hell spawned the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize to commemorate the Year from Tolerance Hell and the 125th birthday of Gandhi, who had urged the British to surrender to Nazi Germany and suggested that “the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife.”

Since then a day of tolerance is about as much tolerance as anyone could manage.

Tolerance Day sits on the imaginary UN calendar between World Philosophy Day, and World Toilet Day. Like every UN holiday, it’s an utterly useless exercise in spreading awareness of things and of making commitments to improve or end other things whether they be philosophy, tolerance or toilets.

The 25th anniversary of International Tolerance Day has passed with less fanfare than World Toilet Day. UNESCO hasn’t become famous for promoting tolerance, but for spreading anti-Semitism. In October, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Permanent Observer to UNESCO described the ugly scene after the historical moment when the first UNESCO French-Jewish director-general was inaugurated.

"The day that Azoulay was inaugurated, I left the ceremony with some 15 Ambassadors and UNESCO officials. Number 3 in the hierarchy ran after me. In earshot of his colleagues, he shouted: 'Shimon, are you now happy to have your Jew as director-general?'”  

That’s what tolerance look like at UNESCO and the UN.

According to UNESCO, its mission is to “deepen the binds of a single humanity, through understanding, dialogue and knowledge.” And occasional anti-Semitism. Hating Jews is one of those few things that Islamist sheikhs, European technocrats and American social justice crybullies can all agree on.

What better way to bind humanity together than finding common ground on hating Jews?

That’s why UNESCO, like the rest of the UN, divides its time equally between pointless hearings and sessions whose only purpose is justifying the hefty restaurant budgets of its personnel, and blaming Israel for everything under the sun, and in solar systems, galaxies and universes far beyond the sun.

As Hitler and Stalin knew, you can’t “deepen the binds of a single humanity” without hating and murdering a whole lot of people in general and Jews specifically along the way.

And Tolerance Day doesn’t look much better in America.

Tolerance Day is hard enough. Don’t even think about expanding it to a year, a month or even a week.

Last year, Riverside-Brookfield High School in Illinois tried to expand it into Tolerance Week with Monday as Gender Equality Day, Tuesday as LGBT Pride Day, and Friday as Minority Empowerment Day. Board members and parents objected to the left-wing agenda. Pro-tolerance board members then expressed intolerance toward Trump supporters. And an intolerant time was had by all.

At Gonzaga University in Washington State, this year’s International Day of Tolerance involved the director of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane accusing white people of intolerance.

The trouble with tolerance is that tolerant people rarely go around advocating it. Tolerant people tolerate, rather than advocate. And tolerance advocates urge intolerance in the name of tolerance. Much like destroying the village to save it and making peace by fighting wars, the tolerant are the most intolerant people around. That’s why the International Day of Tolerance began with genocide.

The United Nations says all the right things and does all the wrong things. The tolerant ends always justify the intolerant means whether at UNESCO or Riverside-Brookfield High School.

Once you get past the idealistic rhetoric about our common humanity, the genocide begins. How else are we ever going to make that common humanity happen without repressing everyone who disagrees?

Idealistic tyrannies always turn murderous as the idealists demonize everyone who isn’t on the same page with their utopia. The good thing about the UN is that it’s too inept to commit genocide. Instead its delegates, diplomats, staffers, peacekeepers and janitors stand around whenever a genocide happens worriedly wringing their hands and urging all the participants to stop and let the UN finish the job.

The United Nations never stops talking about peaceful coexistence and never actually practices it. The International Day of Tolerance, like World Philosophy Day and World Toilet Day, is a bizarre fantasy of world government by a powerless body of bureaucrats which couldn’t figure out how to use a toilet, never mind philosophy or tolerance, and which has never done anything useful in its existence.

Powerlessness ought to have taught the UN humility. But the less power the UN has, the more grandiose its fantasies of world government become. It demands tolerance, but it never returns it.

The world doesn’t need a fantasy world government to teach it intolerance in the guise of tolerance. As the UN has demonstrated so often, its members are fully capable of being intolerant on their own.

The best to celebrate the International Day of Tolerance is to stop tolerating the United Nations.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.


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Democrats Stand With Foreign Rioters - Michael Cutler

by Michael Cutler

Democrats did not raise any objections when under the Obama administration, pepper spray and other such less than lethal force were used -- but they become unhinged whenever President Trump acts to protect America and/or Americans.

The news footage of the thousands of members of the “migrant” caravan showed young men throwing rocks at U.S. Border Patrol agents and attempting to charge the U.S./Mexican border.  The Border Patrol agents were clearly under attack and had only two courses of action to take. The beleaguered agents could step aside or even retreat and permit their positions to be overrun by hundreds or even thousands of illegal aliens among whom are likely criminals, gang members and even those affiliated with terrorism, who would then disperse into the United States where the abject lack of resources would enable them to meld into communities across the country, particularly those jurisdictions that have been proclaimed “Sanctuary Cities.”  Alternatively, they could stand their ground and defend the border to prevent the illegal and un-inspected entry of these invaders.  In order to protect themselves, however, these agents would need to deploy either lethal or less-than-lethal force.

We all know that the Border Patrol opted to deploy teargas, a less-than-lethal force, that succeeded in repelling the attempted breach of our border, although it was reported that approximately 50 aliens did manage to enter the United States, but were quickly apprehended and taken into custody by the Border Patrol.

It would certainly appear that the agents demonstrated discipline, restraint and professionalism in managing to bring a very dangerous situation under control without the loss of life.  Incredibly, rather than commending these valiant federal agents, Democrats and members of the mainstream media have attacked the agents.  They complained that these “asylum seeking migrants” should have been quickly processed and permitted to enter the United States.  They complained bitterly that the use of teargas was wrong and had the potential to injure women and children who were in the front of the surging mob.

On Tuesday, November 27, 2018 I was a guest on Fox & Friends First to discuss the situation in Tijuana, Mexico where the confrontation occurred.  During my segment the anchors of the program noted the hypocrisy being exhibited by the Democrats and who did not raise any objections when under the Obama administration, pepper spray and other such less than lethal force were used to stopped an attempt by illegal aliens to overpower the agents and breach the border. But they become unhinged whenever President Trump acts to protect America and/or Americans.

In fact, when the issue of hypocrisy exhibited by the Democrats was raised, I was compelled to cite how none other than Chuck Schumer had, in 2014, called for creating a new federal law to punish those who trespass on critical infrastructure or national landmarks by imposing a five-year prison sentence for that crime.

Aliens who evade the vital inspections process conducted at ports of entry are, at a minimum, trespassing on the United States.  This is a violation of law and poses a threat to national security and public safety.

On October 13, 2014 Schumer posted a press release on his official website which announced that because of dangers created by trespassers, particularly in this era of terrorism, that he had proposed legislation that would make trespassing on critical infrastructure and/or landmarks a federal crime with a maximum prison sentence of five years.

His press release stated:
Schumer pointed to the fact that New York City is a top terror target, and the recent incidents of trespassing on critical infrastructure including, when two white flags were placed atop the Brooklyn Bridge, a Pro-Palestinian flag was flung from the Manhattan Bridge and a foreign tourist took a joy-walk along the supports of the Brooklyn Bridge. In March, a 16-year old boy climbed to the top of the World Trade Center to take a photo of himself, and has since been arrested for climbing a water tower in New Jersey, yet another example of critical infrastructure. Schumer said that the NYPD has done great work in pursuing these recent cases, but it is clear that a federal law is needed to better deter this behavior and to increase available punishments.
The press release went on to state:
“With terror threats at a high, it must be made loud and clear to any would-be trespassers, adrenaline junkies or potential criminals that the federal government and the NYPD take trespassing on critical infrastructure and national monuments very seriously; a law that makes this a federal crime and raises the current maximum jail time from one to five years would help deter this behavior, and provide the NYPD with stronger tools to combat this disturbing trend.”
However, Schumer, who actually cited the antics of a 16-year-old boy in his press release, had declared that anyone who trespasses, including “adrenaline junkies,” should face a five-year prison sentence. 

However, when aliens trespass on the United States, even where violence is concerned, Schumer and his Democratic colleagues are determined to provide those illegal aliens with U.S. citizenship!

Another issue I raised during my interview is the way that women and their young children were positioned at the head of the surging mob in Tijuana, thereby putting them in harm’s way.  The tactic of using women and children as “human shields” is a tactic seldom seen anywhere but in the Middle East.  This brings us back to the potential that Hezbollah may have a hand in organizing this massive caravan, as I noted in my article, "The Impending Alien Invasion."

One final point, and an issue I raised when I was interviewed on Newsmax TV on November 26, 2018, became the title of the account of my interview that was published on the Newsmax website: "Michael Cutler to Newsmax TV: 'Those Flags Are a Lie Detector' |"

I noted that President Trump has made much about the supposed “migrants seeking asylum” who were waving the flags of their home countries.

President Trump’s concerns are reasonable and, indeed, spot-on.

The term “asylum” carries strong emotional implications.  Often images of the Holocaust come to mind, the Jews and others fleeing from the Nazis and concentration camps.

Indeed, aliens who seek asylum are supposed to be able to articulate credible fear” that because of their religion, race, ethnicity or political views they face persecution or worse in their home countries.

It would be incomprehensible that true refugees or asylum seekers would be waving the banner of their home countries that subjected them to persecution or oppression. 

Yet there is no shortage of men in the caravan who are waving the flags of their native countries.

The point that I made during my interview was that it is often difficult to determine the honesty and truthfulness of individuals who are being interviewed by law enforcement authorities.  Those members of the caravan who would wave those flags of their native countries are making an irrefutable statement, they are not fleeing persecution but are seeking to enter the United States for other reasons, known only to them.

The Democrats who are challenging the tactics of the valiant Border Patrol agents to repel the invasion of thousands of illegal aliens while demanding that these aliens be granted asylum is encouraging still more aliens from around the world to head for the borders of the United States.

It is likely that because so much emphasis and resources of the Border Patrol and the military have been focused along the U.S./Mexican border near Tijuana, that Mexico that other parts of the porous U.S./Mexican border may be less able to detect and stop illegal entry by illegal aliens and contraband.

These factors should cause consternation among all Americans and all politicians irrespective of political affiliation.  The oaths of office taken by federal agents, members of the Armed Force and members of Congress do not make any distinctions about political affiliation.  However, it has become crystal clear that the Democrats are rooting for the aspiring illegal aliens and seeking to undermine the elements of the Department of Homeland Security that enforces and administers our nation’s immigration laws.

The wall that President Trump has wanted to construct since his first day in office would have been extremely helpful today, but then, neither side has wanted to actually secure that dangerous border or take the other steps such as hiring an adequate number of ICE agents, essential to imbue the immigration system with real integrity.

In point of fact, the lack of integrity of the immigration system is paralleled by the abject lack of integrity of the leadership of both political parties.

The official report, 9/11 and  Terrorist Travel was prepared by the members of the 9/11 Commission staff that consisted of federal agents and attorneys.

This report focused specifically on the ability of terrorists--not just the 19 hijackers--but other terrorists as well, to enter the United States and embed themselves in communities throughout the country as they went about their deadly preparations to carry out an attack. 

The first paragraph of the preface of this report shall serve as the “final word” for my article, today and should be required reading for all of our political “leaders”:
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.

Michael Cutler


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