Friday, May 17, 2019

Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing reveal Brennan was the mastermind of the Russia hoax - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

The two people with the best track record of predictions give us a preview of coming attractions.

Anyone closely following the Russia hoax and its collapse understands that DC superlawyers Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing have by far the best track record in accurately calling out the nature of the scandal and identifying the coming revelations. I do not know either of them, and have not communicated with them personally, but judging from their public statements, and inferring from their career histories, they must have very highly placed sources talking to them about the case – and quite possibly asking for advice or acting as sounding boards – about future actions to ensure that the facts are properly aired and the persons responsible for the abuses are held to account. All of this in the face of the fiercest possible resistance by members of the deep state embedded in law enforcement, intelligence agencies, the DOJ, and the media – and maybe even in the White House staff.

Yesterday, they spent an hour with Sebastian Gorka on his Salem Radio syndicated talk show and gave us a preview of sorts about where the scandal is headed next. The entire show is available on YouTube, minus most of the commercial breaks, and well worth a listen. If you haven’t got much time, I suggest you start at about 20 minutes into the video and follow through to the end, 15 minutes later.

YouTube screen grab

The most important bombshell they released was that they believe that John Brennan, then-head of the CIA, was the core of the conspiracy. Victoria Toensing added that this is because Clapper is too dumb to pull off such an operation. 

They also revealed the Admiral Mike Rogers is happily willing to testify about the abuses that he uncovered, which actually triggered the initiation of the Russiagate plot. Recall that when he was head of the National Security Agency (NSA) which comprehensively monitors telecommunications, he discovered that political appointees in the White House were using its database on a huge scale to monitor political opponents, and acted to cut off that access. Suddenly cut off from their ability to spy on political opponents, and almost certainly fearful of public exposure should Hillary Clinton be defeated, the wheels were put in motion (with Brennan in the lead) to generate the Steele dossier and the FISA warrants to both spy on and tar the threat of a Trump presidency.

There is lot of other discussion that follows that is very intriguing, including consideration of the lack of whistleblowers in the FBI and DOJ among the numbers of people not in the top layer of political appointee management circles. That none of the career officials tasked with implementing the hoax spoke up at the time bespeaks a rot in the organizational culture that will not be corrected by mere changes in top level personnel. While President Trump and others are always careful to focus on the people at the top and exonerate the “99%” of the working level agents in the FBI (and by extension the DOJ), Toensing and DiGenova are not so sanguine. That people would remain silent when asked to implement actions that are clearly wrong indicates that the rot extends far below the political appointees.

Their discussion of William Wray, the FBI head who is still defending the agency, is indicative of the real source of the problem. As Toensing puts it: “The only thing he’s ever cared about is his next job.” That, in my opinion, is the real problem with federal (and other government) bureaucracies. To get ahead, you don’t make waves, you don’t call out problems, you just please the people who can help you get the next promotion.

Toward the end, they express confidence that the truth will come out because AG Barr is determined to get to the bottom of it. That is consistent with my own view that the only reason why Barr would have left his lucrative law practice to return to head the DOJ (and endure vilification from the Democrats fearful of the truth coming out) is his dedication to making sure that the institutions of justice return to the path of integrity and adherence to the design of the Constitution.

Hat tip: Roger Luchs

Thomas Lifson


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Muslim groups apologize for video of children singing about decapitation - AP and Israel Hayom Staff

by AP and Israel Hayom Staff

"We are deeply saddened to have hurt our partners in the Jewish community and beyond," Philadelphia Muslim groups say, following backlash over video of children speaking in Arabic about beheading Jews and liberating Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Muslim groups apologize for video of children singing about decapitation
The main entrance of the Muslim American Society Islamic Center in Philadelphia | Photo: AP

Declaring “the mistake is ours to own,” Muslim leaders in Philadelphia said and apologized Wednesday for an event last month, where children were captured on video speaking in Arabic about beheading Jews and the liberation of Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site.

The Muslim American Society’s Philadelphia chapter and the Leaders Academy, a gathering place for homeschooled children that rents space at the site, issued a joint statement on Wednesday that sought to explain how the questionable material found its way into an annual event meant to celebrate diversity in Muslim communities.

A video uploaded to the group’s Facebook page showed children dancing to a revolutionary anthem often used by Islamist groups, and two young girls reading from a prepared text. One said, “We will chop off their heads, and we will liberate … Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The contested site, revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The compound is the holiest site for Jews and the third-holiest site in Islam. It has been a flashpoint of violence in the past.

The Facebook video, which has since been taken down, sparked outrage and an ongoing investigation by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.

“Over the last decade our members have poured their soul and resources to create a harmonious, peaceful and engaged community,” the statement said. “We are very sad that within minutes all of this work was tarnished and we realize the mistake is ours to own. … We are deeply saddened to have hurt our partners in the Jewish community and beyond.”

The April 17 “Umma Day” event was intended to showcase diversity, with 18 countries represented and children singing songs from various Muslim cultures and wearing customary dress, according to the statement. Officials said that a volunteer aide who selected the songs out of a desire to represent Palestinian people “feels terrible she made a mistake” and has since stepped down. A large number of Palestinian immigrants attend Al-Hidaya mosque.

“The children did not understand this song as their command of Arabic is not advanced,” the statement said. The speech, it said, “was likewise a selection that primarily sought to highlight the children’s capacity to read and project Arabic rhetoric; however, they have not yet mastered enough grammar to comprehend the words.”

The Muslim American Society’s lawyer, Timothy Welbeck, said Wednesday that he didn’t know who chose the speech or why it was selected.

The Leaders Academy does not consider itself a school – a designation that would require it to register with the state Department of Education – but a gathering place for children following a state-approved cyber school curriculum. The Academy supplies tutors to keep the students on task and answer questions, according to Welbeck and also offers Arabic language and religious instruction.

The Leaders Academy and the Muslim American Society said that they have taken steps to prevent a repeat of what they called a “grave mistake,” including new operating procedures, a new advisory council and sensitivity training.

“We appreciate the very detailed and thorough statement and apology that was released today,” said Nancy Baron-Baer, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in Philadelphia. “We understand that people make mistakes. With that said … it’s incumbent on the adults in the room to understand what was being said and recognize that words like that are absolutely unacceptable at any time, in any language.”

The statement from the Muslim groups also said it has been targeted with abusive phone calls in the wake of the video and two protests at the building in which crowds shouted “hateful messages.” It said it has increased its security.

AP and Israel Hayom Staff


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The China Trade War: National Security On The Line - Michael Cutler

by Michael Cutler

Trump's response demonstrates uncommon leadership.

Add the trade war with China to a long list of crises driven by greed and globalism that President Trump inherited from a series of prior administrations, from both political parties

Since President Trump declared that, unlike previous U.S. Presidents, he would no longer permit China to ride roughshod over the United States, Wall Street whined about how a trade war with China would be costly to America and Americans by causing products from China to cost more; and likely diminish American exports to China as China retaliated by increasing tariffs on those U.S.  goods.

For Wall Street, the bottom line is the bottom line.  This is a very short-sighted and dangerous example of myopia, focusing on profits while ignoring threats to U.S. national security.

First and foremost, China is ruled by a totalitarian communist regime that is guilty of reprehensible human rights violations against its own citizens and is clearly working rapidly to expand its reach around the world by building its military capabilities. 

Earlier this year I wrote about Chinese Aggression Against The U.S.A.  As President Trump has noted, China has not only taken economic advantage against the United States but has engaged in widespread intellectual property theft (also known as industrial espionage).  Indeed, China has also engaged in committing widespread espionage where our military technology is concerned and, incomprehensibly, the United States has admitted hundreds of thousands of Chinese STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students and provided them with world-class education at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels.  Such students then become eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training that enables them to be gainfully employed by U.S. companies, including companies that develop technology of our military.

This provides access to U.S. companies that then become the targets of Chinese espionage.
China is also notorious for hacking computers in the United States that belong to our government, our military, corporations and even U.S. citizens.

On May 9, 2019 the U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release that announced, Member of Sophisticated China-Based Hacking Group Indicted for Series of Computer Intrusions, Including 2015 Data Breach of Health Insurer Anthem Inc. Affecting Over 78 Million People.

Here are several excerpts from the press release:
A federal grand jury returned an indictment unsealed today in Indianapolis, Indiana, charging a Chinese national as part of an extremely sophisticated hacking group operating in China and targeting large businesses in the United States, including a computer intrusion and data breach of Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem Inc. (Anthem).
The four-count indictment alleges that Fujie Wang (王 福 杰 in Chinese Hanzi), 32, and other members of the hacking group, including another individual charged as John Doe, conducted a campaign of intrusions into U.S.-based computer systems.  The indictment alleges that the defendants gained entry to the computer systems of Anthem and three other U.S. businesses.
“The allegations in the indictment unsealed today outline the activities of a brazen China-based computer hacking group that committed one of the worst data breaches in history,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski.  “These defendants allegedly attacked U.S. businesses operating in four distinct industry sectors, and violated the privacy of over 78 million people by stealing their PII. 
The indictment further alleges that the defendants then collected files and other information from the compromised computers and then stole this data.  As part of the computer intrusion and data breach of Anthem, the defendants identified and ultimately stole data concerning approximately 78.8 million persons from Anthem’s computer network, including names, health identification numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, employment information and income data, according to the indictment.
On April 9, 2019 CNN reported, Woman accused of illegal entry to Mar-a-Lago had numerous electronic devices, thousands in cash.

What was all but ignored by a series of reports about this woman, a citizen of China, Yujing Zhang, is how she was able to enter the United States with a visa but may have lied on her application for the visa in order to enter the United States; and then seek to gain entry to President Trump’s resort in Florida by deception to potentially carry out espionage.

And then, there is the huge issue of China flooding the United States with fentanyl.

On April 28, 2019 CBS News’ 60 minutes reported, Deadly fentanyl bought online from China being shipped through the mail.  

In addition to Chinese fentanyl being smuggled into the United States across the borders of the United States Chinese companies now ship fentanyl to the United States, relying in the U.S. Postal Service to deliver this deadly illegal drug and others, such as Carfentanyl to addresses in the United States.  In reality, it has become a chemical weapon of mass destruction.

For this report, one of the people interviewed by CBS Correspondent Scott Pelley was the United States Attorney for Cleveland, Ohio, Justin Herdman.

Here is an excerpt from the interview:
Justin Herdman: Carfentanyl is another 100 times more potent than fentanyl. Here you've got 300 grams of powder that could deliver a fatal dose to 150,000 people. Here you've got only five grams of powder which could deliver a fatal dose to over 250,000 people.
Scott Pelley: So if you touch this stuff, it could kill you?
Justin Herdman:  Yeah.
Scott Pelley: Just touch it--
Justin Herdman: There's a reason we have a medic standing by, Scott, and that's because-- an overdose is-- unfortunately it's something that we have to be prepared for, even--even dealing with it in an evidence bag.
Herdman showed us pills that look like prescription opioids but are dangerous counterfeits.

Pelley then asked the obvious question:
Scott Pelley: Where did all this stuff come from?
Justin Herdman: It's from China. It's manufactured in China. These are all related to cases that involve the mail or the use of the postal system. So this, somebody  put this into a box, sealed it up and sent it through the postal system.
The United States Postal System has been, for many years, the most reliable way to smuggle drugs from China to the U.S.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Cronin, the prosecutor whose case against a Chinese smuggler served as the predication for the 60 Minutes report was also interviewed. 

Here is the segment of his interview that underscores China’s complicity in the poisoning of America:
Matt Cronin: It is a fact that the People's Republic of China is the source for the vast majority of synthetic opioids that are flooding the streets of the United States and western democracies.  It is a fact that these synthetic opioids are responsible for the overwhelming increase in overdose deaths in the United States. And it is a fact that if the People's Republic of China wanted to shut down the synthetic opioid industry they could do so in a day.
Last year my article Google vs. Border Security was predicated on a CNN report about how  Google opposes President Trump’s efforts to secure our borders and has refused to help the U.S. military but is happy to work with the Chinese government to launch a search app in China that would block sensitive websites and search terms to comply with Chinese government censorship.

Decisions by corporate and government leaders must be based on two fundamental concerns: survival and morality!

Michael Cutler


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A Bearded Bus Driver Enforces Muslim Dress Code in Paris - Hugh Fitzgerald

by Hugh Fitzgerald

Welcome to Islamic Law in France.

In Paris, the “affaire de la jupe” (Affair of the Skirt), reported on in French here  is one of those seemingly small contretemps, involving Muslims in the West, that circumstances turn into something much bigger.
It begins with two women, North African in origin, who were waiting, at 11 p.m. for city bus #60, at the Botzargis bus stop. When the bus pulled up to the stop, the bearded driver looked them over, refused to open the doors, and took off. One of the women ran after the bus, and when it stopped at a red light, she asked the driver, through his window, why he hadn’t picked them up.. He told her that she was dressed incorrectly, in a skirt. He looked disapprovingly at her legs. By her appearance he knew she was ethnically Arab, and therefore believed she ought to have been islamically modest in her dress. No skirts. And that is why, he explained unapologetically,, he had refused to pick her up. A city bus, but a Muslim driver, enforcing an Islamic dress code.
Things might have ended there, for all concerned, but for the fact that the woman in question is 29 years old, and the daughter of a famous Algerian poet, Kamel Bencheikh, an apostate who lives in France and is, he proudly says, an ‘islamophobe.” (by which he means not someone with an “irrational fear” of Islam but, rather, with a deep knowledge of and dislike of the faith). When Bencheikh heard the story from his daughter Elise he posted a piece about it, and also wrote about the incident on his Facebook page, demanding that the driver be punished.
But what happened then was even more disturbing than the original incident of the bearded driver of a city bus enforcing an Islamic dress code. Facebook took down Kamel Bensheikh’s account on his Facebook page because, it said, his post tended to “incite hatred.” Thus does the world’s main social media platform decide to censor a perfectly reasonable expression of outrage by a father at the treatment of his daughter. She had, after all, been refused service at 11 o’clock at night, and left with another woman to fend for themselves in a dangerous area of Paris (Buttes-Chaumont). There was nothing in Bencheikh’s posting that “incited hatred”’; he was angry with the driver, and expressed that anger. But anger is not hate; he nowhere “incited hatred” as Facebook, in removing his account, falsely claimed. He asked himself: why does the social network accuse him of inciting hatred with this post?
Indeed, as soon as the facts of the incident were revealed, the French political class reacted on Twitter, asking RATP (the public transportation company) to provide the necessary sanctions against the driver.. Here are just a few of their responses. Valérie Pécresse: “If the facts are proven they are scandalous.”Jean Messiha:”The woman’s father posts her story on Facebook, which immediately deletes it. Are we still in France? “And Lydia Guirous, spokesperson for the Republicans, was even more radical: “There is an EMERGENCY need to eradicate political Islam in France.” Valérie Boyer affirms that “religious extremism has no place in our Republic. Our freedoms, our rights must be preserved!”
“This guy who drives a bus paid for by my taxes prevented my daughter, who holds a valid Navigo pass and therefore in good standing, who has never had anything to blame for getting on… Just because she wore a skirt,” her father the poet said.. He described the driver as a “Maghrebin” and “Islamist.” . And he demanded a public apology from RATP, which, for its part, said that the driver does not acknowledge “the facts as presented in the press.” However, the Régie (the administration of the bus service) has, however, opened “disciplinary proceedings” against him for “lack of service”. Francilians [people of the Ile-de-France region] can see, every day, that they are very often driven by bearded people,… How many drivers refuse to drive a bus [for some religious reason]? And with the arrival of Ramadan, some people are openly asking themselves the question of passenger safety, because can a driver who does not drink, does not eat all day long, be sure of all his means? Can’t he lose his attention, even for a second?”
The bus driver may well face disciplinary action, as the French are in no mood to allow Muslims on the public payroll to enforce their own notions of Islamic morality on those they assume are Muslims, and whose outfits were therefore to be judged according to Muslim standards. In fact, neither of the women involved was Muslim.

There are three outrages here. One has to do with this particular driver, who will be judged by the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP), the company that runs the transport services in the Ile-de-France. He is likely to lose his job; his behavior was clearly unacceptable. A second outrage is that there have been similar cases of Muslim bus and taxi drivers imposing their own notions of morality on would-be passengers, but who have gotten away with it because the people they interfered with were not well-connected, unlike the daughter of the famous poet Kamel Bensheikh, someone who instantly commands a wide audience. And the third outrage has to do with Facebook itself. How does Facebook explain its decision to remove the page of Kamel Bencheikh because it supposedly “incited hate,” though nothing in his post remotely resembled such incitement? The French government needs to look at what Facebook and other social media platforms censor, so far without oversight by anyone.

This “affaire de la jupe” may seem small, but in France it has loomed large, for it is one of those seemingly trivial events, whereby Muslims, little by little, attempt to impose their own rules on the larger society. In this case, thanks to the articulate apostate Kamel Bencheikh, such an attempt did not succeed. He’s in the driver seat, and the bus driver is not, and if the French political class and public have their way, that driver won’t ever be again.

Hugh Fitzgerald


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Socialism Leaves South Africa in the Dark - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

What happened when a nation tried Bernie Sanders’ power plan.

Nearly 150 years after electricity came to South Africa, the country is in the dark. The blackouts can strike at any time and then lights, hot water and even major industries vanish into the darkness.

Storing perishable food in the fridge has become a gamble. The meat you buy today may be inedible tomorrow if the rolling blackout arrives and lasts long enough to destroy all the food you cooked.

With rolling blackouts that can last for as long as twelve hours, South Africans have grown used to eating by candlelight and heating water the old-fashioned way. Those who can afford it have been stocking up on generators. But the demand is so high that it can take a month to even obtain a generator.

It’s not just homes and small businesses. Factories and mines are struggling to maintain the country’s industrial base when power can vanish for the entire workday. Traffic lights run off the same power grid and when it goes into ‘load-shedding’ mode, the roads become a snarled maze of honking cars.

South Africa is out of power. The load-shedding blackouts are a last-ditch effort to avert a national blackout that will send the entire country spiraling into a deeper and more enduring darkness.

At the center of the disaster is Eskom: South Africa’s state-owned power company. The socialist relic has had many scandals over the years, but its dysfunction reached epic proportions under the ANC. The African National Congress still carries a mythical luster in the United States due to the Mandela name, but it has thoroughly alienated both the country’s white population and its black middle class.

Key figures in the ANC, including Nelson Mandela, were members of South Africa’s Communist party. And under ANC rule, Eskom, the largest state-owned enterprise in South Africa, suffered massive thefts. Earlier this year, a government investigations unit tried to track down $9.6 billion in stolen Eskom funds.

And that may only be the tip of a melting iceberg.

With elections coming up, the blackouts are politically inconvenient to the government, and the opposition Democracy Alliance is accusing the ruling ANC of blowing through a secret diesel budget to keep the system up and running until the elections are over. And then the real blackouts will begin.

Eskom meanwhile is dominated by the Union of Metalworkers which has its own political movement, the Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Party, founded due to ANC proposals to break up Eskom. The SRWP is a Marxist-Leninist movement whose manifesto calls for abolishing private property ownership.

“We will nationalize the land and place it under the control of a worker state," its national chair, Comrade Irwin Jim, the general secretary of the Union of Metalworkers, declared. "Under a Socialist government, no one will own land, therefore allowing for the worker-controlled state to decide how land is allocated, farmed and used."

Considering how well South Africa has done with state and worker control over electricity, giving the SRWP control over all the land would lead to famine and the deaths of millions.

But when it isn’t calling for a Marxist dictatorship, the SRWP is fighting the privatization of Eskom.

South Africa’s power supply is in the hands of Marxists who are fighting the more moderate Marxists. The SRWP doesn’t care if Eskom’s debts bankrupt South Africa or its blackouts leave the country in the dark. The ANC knows that it if it doesn’t find a way to keep the power on, it will lose the middle class.

The Marxist SRWP is fighting to maintain Eskom’s failing coal plants while the ANC has proposed bringing in private companies to supply renewable energy. The power struggle puts South Africa in the unique position of being the only country where the Left is fighting against solar and wind power.

That’s because the comrades of the Union of Metalworkers fear losing control if solar power comes in.

The ANC tried to cope with power problems by building two huge coal plants. Medupi and Kusile instead became hugely expensive boondoggles that continually break down because of overuse, staff incompetence and poor planning. Eskom’s engineers and brass were unqualified ANC cronies brought in through affirmative action, and were incapable of managing a project of this scale. The power plants that were meant to provide for South Africa’s future are rated as being only 40% reliable.

While the SRWP is calling for massive investments in Eskom, there’s no more money left. A $5 billion bailout hasn’t helped. The only remaining hope for the failing socialist utility is huge loan from China. While the socialists blame each other for the blackout, others are turning to the free market.

2016 didn’t just usher in political revolutions in the United States and the United Kingdom.

That was also the year that the ANC lost Johannesburg. Mayor Herman Mashaba, the Democracy Alliance candidate, is a successful entrepreneur and former chair of the Free Market Foundation. And he’s had enough of Eskom. The libertarian politician announced that he’s going to protect the city from the socialist blackouts by striking a deal with the independent power producers whom Eskom hates.

The Democracy Alliance’s victory in Johannesburg highlighted the ANC’s collapse among both the white and black middle class. Americans tend to see Mandela’s triumph as a victory against racism. But apartheid was already collapsing. The ANC’s victory put former Communists in charge of the country.

The blackouts, the corruption, thievery and even murder are the inevitable outcome of that disaster.

If the Democracy Alliance wins over the middle class, the ANC will be reduced to fighting for welfare votes against more radical movements like the SRWP and Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters by implementing portions of their program of nationalization, redistribution and socialist terror.

And that will transform South Africa into a war zone or another Zimbabwe.

South Africa is losing billions to the blackouts as factories, mines and businesses shut down. Eskom was always a time bomb. It existed to produce artificially cheap electricity. State-owned utilities are a popular socialist gimmick. They’re so popular that Senator Bernie Sanders ran on a similar pledge.

In the seventies, the program of America’s future socialist celebrity politician was ominously similar to that of the SRWP. “The oil industry, and the entire energy industry, should be owned by the public and used for the public good,” he proposed in 1973.

In 1976, he suggested seizing Vermont’s private electric companies, claiming that it would result in cheaper rates and revenues that the government could then spend on social welfare.

"I favor the public ownership of utilities, banks and major industries," he stated in an interview.

South Africa’s rolling blackouts, families forced to turn to kerosene lamps, to firewood, and to generators is a graphic demonstration of what Bernie’s power play would have done to America.

Socialism in South Africa means being unable to store food in your fridge. It means eating dinner in the dark and finding your way around your building by using the light on your smart phone. It means that your business may need to shut down because there will be no power and no customers.

Like the ANC, socialism promises everything and instead takes everything leaving you in the dark.

Socialism doesn’t work. Like South Africa’s power plants, it’s only a matter of time until it breaks down.

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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The Third Gulf War has already begun - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

The location and number of vessels in the Straits of Hormuz that were sabotaged by Iran this week send a clear message from Iran to Trump, and the US president will not take that lying down.

On Monday morning, May 12, 2019, four oil tankers sailing in international waters were attacked as they made their way out of the Straits of Hormuz towards the Indian Ocean. The details of the sabotage are still unclear as these words are being written: who attacked, where they escaped to, how they attacked and how much damage they inflicted.  My intuition tells me that Western Intelligence agencies, certainly the American ones, know exactly who attacked and how the sabotage was accomplished.

All the media pundits are pointing an accusing finger at Iran, situated in direct sight of the Hormuz passage, and blaming it for the quadruple attack. It is not the first time Iran has behaved in this manner. On July 25, 2018, ten months ago, two Saudi tankers, sailing south of the Red Sea opposite the Hudeida port north of the Bab el Mandeb Straits, were attacked. The attackers were the Houthi rebels in Yemen who have been in direct conflict with the Saudis for years, but one month after the attack a senior Iranian officer admitted that the Houthis acted at Iran's request.

No one thinks that this week's attack was perpetrated by anyone other than Iran. The location and number of vessels attacked send a clear message from Iran to Trump:  If you want war you will get war, and we, the Iranians, are not afraid of you, your arrogant boasting, US military might in the Persian Gulf or aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln sent by you to the Gulf last week along with the auxiliary vessels surrounding it.

The US aircraft carrier was deployed to the Persian Gulf after US Intelligence identified unusual movements of Iranian ballistic missiles which seemed to signal preparation for launching them. John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, announced in a statement: "The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime. But we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or regular Iranian forces."

The Iranians did not let this pass quietly, with their spokesmen rivaling one another in seeking to threaten the US. Iran is walking a tightrope, assuming that the US does not want a war and will not take significant steps against the Islamic Republic, since in contrast to the situation prevailing during the 1991 and 2003 previous Gulf Wars when NATO and Australian armies fought side by side with the US,  European NATO members, particularly  Germany, France and the UK, who signed the 2005 nuclear deal with Iran and are still bound by it although the United States bowed out, are vehemently opposed to a conflagration. 

I consider the attack on the Saudi tankers this week the first shot in a third Gulf war, because the US, especially under Donald Trump's leadership, cannot allow itself to be humiliated this way by Tehran. After all, two and half years ago, even before entering the White House, Trump talked about "making America great again." The attack on the Saudi tankers has furnished him with the reason for waging war against Iran, and I will not be surprised if before long, we are witness to US attacks on Iranian targets such as the port the attackers sailed from and Iranian nuclear power plants.

As the United States views it, attacks on vessels in the Straits of Hormuz are meant to destabilize the world's economic and political order. These waters are international even though they are in close proximity to Iran. Any damage to the transport of oil from the Persian Gulf to the rest of the world deals a massive blow to the international economy, as it will lead to a sharp rise in oil prices, insurance for vessels carrying oil and costs to consumers for a large number of products. 

Trump demands the Iranians enter into negotiations for a new nuclear deal, while the Iranians demand that the United States apologize for leaving the existing deal. Both sides have moved rapidly to the point of threats and actions, and the chance of a direct clash is becoming more imminent by the day.

In Iran there are two vying trends of thought: The radical Revolutionary Guards, who were against the nuclear deal from the start because it limited the development of an Iranian atomic bomb, would like the situation to deteriorate in order to force the US to remove the sanctions it placed on Iran and return to the nuclear deal. Opposing that idea is the moderate position of Foreign Minister Zarif, who believes that Iran must begin to act according to accepted international rules of the game, refrain from angering the US and ignoring international law, in hopes that the next eighteen months can pass without significant entanglements until the November 2020 US presidential elections bring back the Democrats. They, it is expected, will remove the sanctions and return to the nuclear deal. 

The attacks on the Saudi tankers show that Supreme Leader Khamenei supports the Revolutionary Guards' position and is willing to endanger his country in order not to give in to the forces of "The Arrogant Ones," the expression denoting America in Ayatollah rhetoric. 

Persian Gulf air is saturated with oil vapor while oil and gas facilities are everywhere, and Iran is easily able to deal a swift and mortal blow to the economies of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Emirates. There is a serious potential for deterioration leading to war and it is highly likely that in the near future we will see a head-on clash between Iran and the United States.

And Israel? The results for Israel may be far from simple, because there is a distinct possibility that if violence erupts in the Straits, the Hezbollah will decide to use its missile arsenal against Israel. Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza will not sit idly by either, and may enter the action, receiving  their instructions from Iran. 

Will Israel respond to this kind of attack resolutely and immediately as it has promised, sending Lebanon back to the Stone Age? What will Israel do to Gaza? Only Trump and Netanyahu know the answers to those questions.

It is entirely possible that the Iranians and their Lebanese and Gazan allies are relying on Putin to prevent Trump from overreacting, expecting him to use the weight of Russian military power to stop the American war machine. I, however, highly doubt Putin will want to antagonize the US for the sake of Iran, a country for which he has little affection. To Putin, the Iranians are partners, even allies, but only when carrying out important missions such as preserving the Syrian regime, purchasing another Russian nuclear power plant, or setting the world's natural gas prices – but to sacrifice Russia in a war against the US may result in an international holocaust, and that is much more than Putin is willing to even consider. At the end of the day, Putin knows exactly what the Ayatollahs think of those who drink vodka and eat pork.

If I were one of Khamenei's advisors, I would tell him to be wary and to keep away from any group to which Donald Trump, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo belong, especially since this group happens to control the largest and most deadly military might in the world. However, I am not one of Khamenei's advisors, and that is why he is putting his regime and country into existential danger.

Israel must be prepared for any scenario that could take place in Lebanon and Gaza, and wish a heartfelt godspeed to the American army as it makes its way to its crucial missions in the land of Persia.

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

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


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The Iranian Government's 40 Years of Hatred Towards America - Majid Rafizadeh

by Majid Rafizadeh

As long as the ruling mullahs remain in power, the Islamic Republic will continue its acts of terror and deep antagonism against Americans, their Sunni neighbors, the lands they try to control

  • It was Iran, not the US, that breached international law by carrying out the US Embassy takeover in Tehran.... It was also Iran, not the US, that immediately began using its proxies, such as Hezbollah, to commit terrorism and incite antagonism towards America.
  • Should the mullahs be appeased for killing thousands of Americans? For continually taking Americans as hostages? For being the leading executioner of children in the world? For ranking the first in the world per capita when it comes to executing people? For being the world's top state sponsor of terrorism? For making every possible effort to damage US national security and scuttle US foreign policy objectives?
  • The Iranian government's hatred towards the US often seems the most important reason for its existence. As long as the ruling mullahs remain in power, the Islamic Republic will continue its acts of terror and deep antagonism against Americans, their Sunni neighbors, the lands they try to control -- such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, parts of Gaza and Venezuela, Lebanon -- and the West.

Iran breached international law by carrying out the 1979 US Embassy takeover in Tehran. Iran detained and humiliated 52 Americans and did not release these hostages for 444 days, the longest hostage-taking in modern history. Pictured: Two of the American hostages held by Iran after the takeover of the US Embassy, November 4, 1979. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

The argument that the US must take an apologetic stance towards the theocratic establishment of Iran is being repeatedly made without the evidence of any effectiveness to back it up.

Former President Barack Obama created this policy, and insisted that it would be successful. Even as Iran flaunted its disregard for the American government, as well as human life, President Obama would continually apologize to the Iranian leaders. He made it sound as if America was to blame for initiating the hatred that the Iranian government projects toward the United States.

But let us get the historical facts straight. Hatred and deep antagonism towards the US, Israel and the Jews are indispensable pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran. When the ruling mullahs came to power in 1979, it was not the US that started the hatred by criticizing or opposing the ruling clerics. In fact, former President Jimmy Carter welcomed the Islamic Republic and viewed Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a good religious holy man. According to recently declassified documents, the Carter administration even paved the way for Khomeini to return to Iran.

Such amicable behavior and support from the US, however, did not change Tehran's policies. The Islamic Republic still publicly declared its revolutionary ideals, which, from the outset, included standing against Israel and the US.

It was Iran, not the US, that breached international law by carrying out the 1979 US Embassy takeover in Tehran. Iran detained and humiliated 52 Americans and did not release these hostages for 444 days, the longest hostage-taking in modern history.

This was the beginning of the journey of hatred. It was also Iran, not the US, that immediately began using its proxies, such as Hezbollah, to commit terrorism and incite antagonism towards America.
Hezbollah has been accused of terrorist attacks, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut, in which 241 U.S. Marines were killed; the 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing in Beirut; the 1984 United States Embassy annex bombing in Beirut; as well as the 9/11 attacks in the United States, for which federal courts ordered Iran to pay $7.5 billion to the families of the victims of the horrific attack. Hezbollah and Iran were also reportedly behind the 1992 attack on Israel's Embassy in Buenos Aires during which 29 people were killed, as well as bombing the USS Cole.
It was the Iranian government that provided aid to Al Qaeda to carry out terrorist attacks against the US. A New York court found that "The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran ("Iran") has a long history of providing material aid and support to terrorist organizations including al Qaeda, which have claimed responsibility for the August 7, 1998 embassy bombings."

The New York federal court added that "Iran had been the preeminent state sponsor of terrorism against the United States and its interests for decades. Throughout the 1990s — at least — Iran regarded al Qaeda as a useful tool to destabilize U.S. interests. As discussed in detail below, the government of Iran aided, abetted and conspired with Hezbollah, Osama Bin Laden, and al Qaeda to launch large-scale bombing attacks against the United States by utilizing the sophisticated delivery mechanism of powerful suicide truck bombs."

While former President Barack Obama was busy apologizing to, and appeasing Iran, the Islamic Republic continued its terror against the US by carrying out unneighborly acts such as detaining 10 U.S. Navy sailors, humiliating them, and releasing a video of the episode. The list goes on.
The US has nothing to apologize for. Why should the US appease the Iranian leaders? Should the mullahs be appeased for killing thousands of Americans? For continually taking Americans as hostages? For being the leading executioner of children in the world? For ranking the first in the world per capita when it comes to executing people? For being the world's top state sponsor of terrorism? For making every possible effort to damage US national security and scuttle US foreign policy objectives?

The Iranian government's hatred towards the US often seems the most important reason for its existence. As long as the ruling mullahs remain in power, the Islamic Republic will continue its acts of terror and deep antagonism against Americans, their Sunni neighbors, the lands they try to control -- such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, parts of Gaza and Venezuela, Lebanon -- and the West.

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Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu


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A huge Supreme Court decision you never heard of - Peter Skurkiss

by Peter Skurkiss

Liberals are freaking out.

One of the things that separates leftists from normal people is their passion for political power. It is all-consuming. Among other things, this gives the Left the ability to plot and plan well in advance. This is clearly evidenced by leftists' patient march through American institutions. This was done not in one fell swoop, but step by step through the years. In solidifying their gains, the liberals are hyper-vigilant to any regression from what they've achieved in a way conservatives can only envy.

A recent little noticed U.S. Supreme Court decision illustrates this latter point. This was Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt. In it, the Court ruled 5 to 4 that the Constitution doesn't permit a state to be sued by a private party without its consent in the court of a different state. So what's the big deal? The big deal is that the Franchise Board v. Hyatt overturned a 1979 Court decision to the contrary in Nevada v. Hall.

What puts more bite in the Franchise Board v. Hyatt decision is that Chief Justice John Roberts assigned Clarence Thomas to write the majority opinion. Thomas is an originalist more than he is a conservative. A Court conservative, at least how liberals would define one, would honor the principle of stare decisis. This means that once a decision is made, it stays made. Thomas instead approaches cases according to the original intent of the Founding Fathers. He believes if an initial decision was wrong per the original intent of the Constitution, it should be overturned. 

This has the four Court liberal dissenters — Stephen Breyer, Ruth Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan — in a tizzy. What has them and their soul mates throughout the liberal establishment in panic mode is not the particulars of the Franchise v. Hyatt case itself, but the fact that it overturned a precedent. As Justice Breyer said: "Today's decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the court will overrule next."

Putting flesh on the bones of that complaint is Erwin Chermerinsky, the dean of the University of California, Berkeley Law School. Chermerinsky was the one who argued the case for Hyatt, the loser. He wrote that the decision was really about "how the Court is going to treat precedent when issues like abortion, affirmative action, and gay and lesbian rights return to the court."

The always alert liberal hive is reacting.
"The Right-Wing Supreme Court Is coming for Roe v. Wade," is the headline on The Liberals are "warning us" that Roe is in "mortal danger," booms the Washington Post. The New York Times is rushing out an op-ed piece by a law professor. "The Supreme court made clear on Monday that Roe v. Wade may soon no longer be the law of the land," it begins.
There you have it. Liberals see much of the radical and anti-democratic social structure they forced on the country through the Court's blatant overreach threatened. This fear is compounded by the fact that the Left knows that President Trump is likely to have the opportunity to make two and perhaps three more appointments to the Supreme Court before he leaves office. 

Most of the attention to Donald Trump's MAGA policies focuses on the revitalizing of America's economic base. But through his court appointments at various levels, the president is helping to make America's soul great again, hopefully returning us to normalcy.

Peter Skurkiss


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Trump's Cold War with China - Alexander G. Markovsky

by Alexander G. Markovsky

While Donald Trump's critics see the trade war through the prism of a hundred-dollar price increase for washers and dryers or impact on the cost of footwear, Trump sees the rise of China as a major economic and geopolitical threat.

When an article begins with, “Just about everyone understands…” or “There can be little doubt…” you know that the author has a weak case.

Investors Business Daily’s post, dated May 10th begins just like that:
“Just about everyone else understands that the Trump trade war will be bad for US investors, consumers, retailers and manufacturers. The trade war will hit consumer spending and could freeze business investment in the US. It will damage American business prospects in the world's second largest economy. It will hurt global growth and pressure global financial markets. The longer this takes to sink in, the greater the damage to the U.S. economy.”
While Donald Trump’s critics see the trade war through the prism of a hundred dollar price increase for washers and dryers or impact on the cost of footwear, Trump sees the rise of China as a major economic and geopolitical threat.

Trump understands what most economists and Investors Business Daily are missing. In this new world economy, the United States does not have a competitive advantage by virtue of high productivity based on superior organization and advanced technology. Nowadays, if you know what you want and have the money, practically anything can be bought. Project financing is available to anyone anywhere in the world, provided by multilateral lenders and a syndication of investors worldwide. The technologies are available to anyone willing to pay for them, and information is available to anyone with a computer or an iPhone.

In this environment, America is in mortal disadvantage with China. If Chinese enterprises employing modern technologies do not have to comply with the U.S. environmental and safety regulations and pay their workers in a day what their American counterparts make in an hour, this country cannot possibly succeed. American industries are under a military-style assault by China that includes, but is not limited to, manipulating currency, dumping, stealing technologies and know-how, and counterfeiting American products.

China has become a manufacturing plant for American corporations and profits from the manufactured goods sold on the American market have built the economy rival to the U.S. The burgeoning wealth allowed China to build modern military capabilities, construct the islands in the South China Sea, threaten Taiwan, and initiate expansion in Africa and Latin America. 

It is not Russia, with a tiny GDP of about 10% of the U.S. and the population of 150 million, that challenges American interests. China, with its massive economy and military strength, has been acting as a geopolitical adversary during the last few decades. Although vastly outmatched by the U.S. in resources, technology and, above all, military capacity, Chinese have often imposed their own preferences by a nonchalance of psychological pressure against the material advantage of the feeble American administrations. The emergence of Donald Trump inaugurated a new era in America-Chinese relations. Trump is reversing the strategic trend and turning it against China, threatening to regress China’s history for generations. Hence, it is not a trade war -- it’s a cold war.

In this cold war, Trump has the upper hand and sees no reason to compromise anything. The United States remains the world-dominant economic power that is enjoying a booming economy.
International trade, although very important, is not a key building block of the U.S. economic expansion. For China, on the other hand, international trade is existential.

The imposition of tariffs compounded with a lower corporate tax rate in the U.S. forces American companies to move manufacturing out of China. Most of them are expected to come back to the U.S., although some will relocate to Vietnam or other low labor cost environments. In any event, China is losing, while America is gaining. The longer the negotiations go on, the more companies make a move, and once gone they are not going back. That is exactly Trump’s ultimate objective -- to weaken China by depriving it of revenue.

Trump has trapped China in Zugzwang position -- the situation in a chess game where a player has to make a move, although any possible move will only worsen his position. If China does not accept Trump’s demands, the high tariffs would go into effect. Since China’s economy has a limited domestic consumption, losing American market will have a devastating impact.

If China does accept Trump’s demands, it would have to pay for American technologies that it currently enjoys via forced transfer or outright theft and, also cease utilizing all the other shenanigans that ensure China competitive advantage.

Cato the Elder, the Roman senator, is reputed to finish every speech with a call “Carthago delenda est” -- “Carthage must be destroyed.” Donald Trump could paraphrase it as “China must be destroyed.” Trump sees it not just as a case of national dignity and self-respect, but an imperative for our economic survival. 

Alexander G. Markovsky is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, a conservative think tank that examines national security, energy, risk-analysis and other public policy issues. He is the author of Anatomy of a Bolshevik and Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat Communism, She Adopted It. He is the owner and CEO of Litwin Management Services, LLC. He can be reached at


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Local Arab denies Jews responsible for deadly Duma arson - Ido Ben Porat

by Ido Ben Porat

Arab resident of Duma tells private investigator that Jews weren't responsible for deadly 2015 arson that killed three Palestinian Arabs.

Four years after three Palestinian Arabs were killed in a fire in the village of Duma in Samaria, a neighbor has gone on record denying that Jews were responsible for the deadly blaze.

One July 31st, 2015, a fire broke out in the home of the Dawabsheh family in the village of Duma in the middle of the night, killing 18-month old Ali, and leaving three other members of the family injured. Weeks later, both of the parents, Said Muhammaned Hassan Dawabsheh and Riham Hassand Dawabsheh, succumbed to their injuries.

Hebrew graffiti was found at the site, including the word “Revenge” in Hebrew, leading Israeli investigators to treat the arson as an act of Jewish terrorism.

Police claimed a group of Israeli youths hurled firebombs at the Dawabsheh home, sparking a fire which eventually consumed much of the house.

New testimony from a neighbor of the Dawabsheh’s, however, contradicts claims by Israeli police, suggesting that the fire was not set by Jewish arsonists.

The man, an Arab resident of Duma who lived next door to the Dawabsheh family, told a private investigator his recollection of the incident, saying it was “nonsense” that Jews were involved. He claimed that the fire was sparked in connection to a separate arson in Duma, by locals who were involved in an internal dispute with another resident of the village.

The neighbor claimed that after sparking a fire in another house in Duma, owned by their rival, the Arab arsonists believed the Dawabshehs had spotted them, and sought to kill them, to ensure there would be no witnesses.

Neighbor: “That’s nonsense, forget it.”

Private Investigator: “What do you mean nonsense? What happened there? It wasn’t the Jews that did it I think.”

Neighbor: “No not at all, there’s nothing. The first arson wasn’t for them. Not for them at all.”

Investigator: “What do you mean ‘not for them’?”

Neighbor: “They [the Arab arsonists] didn’t come for them to burn their house initially. There was another man who was working with Jews, who was a thief, and made all kinds of problems. Now he bought a house in Shechem [Nablus]. He had told people that he’s in Shechem, in some restaurant called such and such. So people knew his house [in Duma] was empty. So they went out to torch his house.”

A second house in Duma was targeted by arsonists during the same night the Dawabsheh home was hit, which the neighbor interviewed by the private investigator claims was the primary target of the Arab arsonists he blames for the fires.

Neighbor: “At the same time [as the first arson], they [the Dawabsheh family]…were going back to their home to go to sleep. They turned on the light. The people who were setting the fire thought that they [the Dawabsheh family] had seen them and knew they were the arsonists.”

“They thought that they saw and knew who had made the fire, so they burned” the Dawabsheh home, “so they wouldn’t reveal who burned the house. You get what I mean?”

The neighbor also claimed that Israeli investigators failed to take the testimonies of Duma residents.

A video recording of the interview with the Duma resident has been forwarded to the Honenu organization, which has assisted in the defense of the Israeli youths accused in the arson.

A string of subsequent fires in Duma, including some in homes owned by members of the Dawabsheh clan, have not been linked to Jews.

Ido Ben Porat


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