Friday, September 20, 2019

Ilhan Omar Discovers the Real Victim of 9/11: Ilhan Omar - Robert Spencer

by Robert Spencer

Of course. Who else could it possibly be?

The controversy began on the eighteenth anniversary of 9/11. Responding to Omar’s notorious statement that on 9/11, “some people did something” (which phrase was emblazoned on his t-shirt), Nicholas Haros Jr., the son of a woman who was killed in the World Trade Center bombing, declared: “Madam, objectively speaking, we know who and what was done. There is no uncertainty about that. Why your confusion? On that day, 19 Islamic terrorist members of al Qaeda killed over 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars of economic damage. Is that clear? I was attacked, your relatives and friends were attacked, our constitutional freedoms were attacked and our nation’s founding on Judeo-Christian principles were attacked. That’s what some people did. Got that now?”

Omar responded to Haros by playing the victim card: “9/11 was an attack on all Americans.” (She didn’t address whether or not it was an attack on Somalis.) “It was an attack on all of us. And I certainly could not understand the weight of the pain that the victims of the families of 9/11 must feel. But I think it is really important for us to make sure that we are not forgetting, right, the aftermath of what happened after 9/11. Many Americans found themselves now having their civil rights stripped from them. And so what I was speaking to was the fact that as a Muslim, not only was I suffering as an American who was attacked on that day, but the next day I woke up as my fellow Americans were now treating me as suspect.” 

Ilhan Omar’s message here is familiar, as many, many other Muslims have said it. After every jihad massacre and every jihad plot, we hear it again: the true victims of the attack are Muslims. 

But Omar’s claim that after 9/11, Muslims in the United States had “their civil rights stripped from them,” and that now she herself was being treated “as a suspect,” is entirely baseless. Contrary to the prevailing myth, there was no wholesale targeting of innocent Muslims after 9/11. FBI hate crime statistics year after year show Jews, not Muslims, as the primary victims of hate crimes. Muslims have not been stripped of any civil rights. 

In fact, the whole claim of Muslim victimhood after 9/11 is a scam. Jonathan S. Tobin reported for the Gatestone Institute in December 2017 that “the statistics published by the FBI over the last 17 years refute both the Islamophobia narrative and the claim of a widespread backlash against Muslims in the aftermath of terrorist attacks by Islamists.” The reality is that “the myth of a post-9/11 ‘backlash’ against Muslims is politically motivated and spread by groups such as the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which presents itself as a civil rights group, but was founded to serve as a front organization for the terrorist group Hamas. The effort to persuade the public that America is Islamophobic stemmed largely from the aim to shift the narrative about terrorism to that of an Islamist war on the West to one according to which Muslims are terrorized by and in the United States.”

The facts, however, never get in the way of the Left’s narrative, and in this case, no one in the establishment media dared to contradict Ilhan Omar’s fanciful claims, if they were even aware that they were false. One day this mendacious and extraordinarily corrupt official will fade from the scene, but as Shakespeare noted, “the evil that men do lives after them.” (Yes, that adage applies to migrant women of color as well as to the evil white supremacist males of establishment media myth). Many Leftist public figures before Ilhan Omar have used the kinds of charges that she makes here to stymie counterterror efforts and stigmatize counterterror analysts, and they’ve had great success with that. It is almost certain that that success will continue far longer than the public career of Ilhan Omar.

Robert Spencer


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France: Macron Sides with Iran's Mullahs - Guy Millière

by Guy Millière

The French officials act and speak as if the Iranian regime was totally honorable, and as if they did not discern the obvious: that the Iranian regime has destructive goals.

  • On September 14, just a few days after former National Security Advisor Ambassador John R. Bolton was comfortably disappeared from the administration, Iran inflicted major damage on a massive oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia,
  • Macron, in short, has done as much or more than any other European country to favor the Iranian regime -- more than Germany, and even more than the European Union itself. He could have chosen to act as a reliable ally of the United States, but the choice he made was a different.
  • The French officials act and speak as if the Iranian regime was totally honorable, and as if they did not discern the obvious: that the Iranian regime has destructive goals. The nuclear deal did not divert the regime from its goal of building nuclear weapons. The deal, in fact, floated the regime toward precisely that end. The American strategy of applying maximum pressure through economic sanctions seems the only non-military way to pressure this regime to change course.

During a visit to Washington in April 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron's main goal seemed to be convincing US President Donald Trump not to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. He tried seduction, hugging Trump incessantly, before turning to arrogance, saying in a speech before Congress: "France will not leave the Iranian nuclear agreement because we signed it. Your President and your country will have to face their responsibilities." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On August 25, in Biarritz, France, the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) reunited to discuss world problems. The situation in the Middle East was not on the agenda. French President Emmanuel Macron, the organizer of the summit this year, was about to force it in.

He had decided to invite to the summit Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. Macron did not warn his guests of Zarif's attendance until the last minute. His goal, it seems, was to bring about a meeting between the Iranian minister and US President Donald J. Trump. President Trump declined. Zarif had an informal conversation with Macron and some French ministers, then flew back to Tehran. But Macron did not give up. At a press conference the next day, he publicly asked President Trump to meet Iranian leaders as soon as possible.

Trump, in answering a journalist's question on the possibility of such a meeting, politely answered that such a meeting was possible, but only "if the circumstances were correct." The Iranian regime answered that first, the United States would have to remove all sanctions. The Trump administration did not bother to reply.

Macron then invited to Paris an Iranian delegation led by the deputy foreign minister of Iran, Abbas Araghchi "to try to define a common position to France and Iran." On September 3, the day after the delegation's departure, France reportedly proposed offering Iran a $15 billion line of credit. In response, Brian Hook, the United States Special Representative for Iran said on September 4, "We can't make it any more clear that we are committed to this campaign of maximum pressure and we are not looking to grant any exceptions or waivers." This statement meant that the French proposal to the United States was rejected.

The same day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran would speed up its uranium enrichment. He did not mention Macron's gambit.

This announcement apparently did not discourage Macron.

The Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and China, France, Russia, the UK, the US and Germany on July 14, 2015, but never signed by Iran - allowed the Islamic Republic to dispose of $150 billion that had been frozen in foreign banks. French leaders, evidently recognizing an economic opportunity, invited Rouhani to Paris.

When Macron's predecessor, President François Hollande, welcomed Rouhani in January 2016, he expansively announced that old disputes had to be discarded and that it was time to open a "new chapter in relations between the two countries." Agreements were signed; Rouhani said that Iran "fights terrorism", and Hollande meekly bowed his head.

One of the reasons the French government Donald Trump's election as bad news is that Trump indicated in 2015 that he considered the Iran nuclear deal to be a bad agreement from which he wished to withdraw.

When Trump was later elected president, it appears that saving the deal became Macron's highest priority.

During a visit to Washington in April 2018, Macron's main goal seemed to be convincing Trump to change his mind. He tried seduction, hugging Trump incessantly. He tried arrogance, announcing in a speech before Congress:
"France will not leave the Iranian nuclear agreement because we signed it. Your President and your country will have to face their responsibilities."
After Trump announced on May 8, 2018 that the US would be abandoning the nuclear deal, Macron apparently panicked and asked for an emergency meeting of European leaders. The European Union asked French and European companies to defy Trump, but ultimately, fearing American sanctions, some European companies stopped doing business in Iran.

France and Germany then tried to set up a mechanism to help companies bypass America's decision and continue doing business with Iran. A system of evading US sanctions on Iran, Instex (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges), was formally introduced in early 2019, but is still not operational. No major European decision-maker, it seems, wants to take the risk of using it and having a problem with the United States.

On September 8, days after Rouhani's statement on speeding up Iran's uranium enrichment, French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian summarized the French position. He said that Iran was making "bad decisions," but that France would try to help and "keep the dialogue going." He added, incorrectly but unflappably, that Iran had scrupulously respected the nuclear agreement until the moment the United States "sat on the deal." He further added, bewilderingly, that Iran had been "deprived of the benefits" it could expect from the deal -- referring, it seems, to the opportunity soon to engage in legitimate unlimited nuclear weapons development -- and how it was now necessary "to avoid the risk of regional destabilization." He did not specify which region. He threw in the criticism that "America prevents non-American companies from taking their decisions freely."

Macron and the French government know perfectly well that the nuclear deal was flawed, that it did not prevent the Iranian regime from pursuing its bellicose activities. Macron and the French government also know that Iran repeatedly violated the deal. They also know that Israel's Mossad intelligence services seized thousands of damning documents in Tehran. They were public information, disclosed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 30, 2018. French officials, however, continued to speak as if they knew nothing. They lied.

Sadly, they still persist in claiming that President Trump arbitrarily withdrew from the unsigned deal, and they pretend not to know what Trump said when he announced his decision:
"The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror. It exports dangerous missiles, fuels conflicts across the Middle East and supports terrorists, proxies and militias such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
"Over the years, Iran and its proxies have bombed American embassies and military installations, murdered hundreds of American service members and kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured American citizens. The Iranian regime has funded its long reign of chaos and terror by plundering the wealth of its own people...
"the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and over time reach the brink of a nuclear breakout. The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran, in exchange for very weak limits on the regime's nuclear activity and no limits at all on its other malign behavior..."
French officials also falsely claimed that Iran had not "benefited" from the deal. Iran, however, instead of making investments with foreign companies, Iran simply used the bulk of the $150 billion of unfrozen funds and credits to provide Islamic terrorist organizations with up billions to sow mayhem and death throughout the Middle East, attack the assets of the US and the UK, and knock out half of Saudi Arabia's oil production -- representing 5% of the daily global oil supply.

French officials speak of "regional destabilization" as if they did not see that Iran has already profoundly destabilized Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and the Gaza Strip.

French officials also disingenuously claim the need to defend free trade and free enterprise -- an excuse that is a transparent subterfuge to help a criminal regime.

They also never mention the innumerable human rights violations committed by the regime, and the despair and misery of the Iranian people. Nor do they ever speak of the harsh anti-Semitic rhetoric disseminated by most regime leaders and the incessant calls for the genocidal destruction of Israel by Iran's leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The French officials act and speak as if the Iranian regime was totally honorable, and as if they did not discern the obvious: that the Iranian regime has destructive goals. The nuclear deal did not divert the regime from its goal of building nuclear weapons. The deal, in fact, floated the regime toward precisely that end. The American strategy of applying maximum pressure through economic sanctions seems the only non-military way to pressure this regime to change course.

In light of France's history of appeasing hostile regimes, France's attitude toward the Iranian regime is not really surprising.

In the past few decades, France tried several times to give priority to its immediate financial interests, even if it increased the danger to others and even ultimately to themselves. In 2001-2002, when France signed oil deals with Iraq, documents show that the French opposition to toppling Saddam Hussein was essentially based on a desire to save the oil deals. Three decades earlier, on November 18, 1975, after France had signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with Iraq, then Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein called the agreement "the first concrete step towards the production of the Arab atomic weapon." Had Israel not destroyed the nuclear reactor at Osirak on June 7, 1981, Iraq would almost certainly have been able to acquire nuclear weapons. The attempt of France today to prioritize its financial interests in spite of the Iranian regime's malign activities, is simply doing more of the same.

French leaders have often criticized -- or even attempted to obstruct -- the United States whenever it was confronted by enemies. On September 1, 1966, General Charles de Gaulle delivered a speech in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, harshly criticizing "American imperialism" in Vietnam. When US President Ronald Reagan described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire," the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed "reservations" about America's "risky hawkish attitude." When US President George Walker Bush designated North Korea, Iraq and Iran as the "axis of evil," French President Jacques Chirac spoke of his "fright".

French leaders have, in addition, rarely taken into account the fate of populations in countries with which potentially lucrative relations could be made. They never paid attention to the anti-Semitic speeches and calls for the destruction of Israel that erupted from leaders of the Muslim world. They have generally overlooked declarations of war from Israel's enemies. In 1967, shortly before the outbreak of the Six-Day War, General de Gaulle decided on an arms embargo against Israel. In 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel, French Foreign Minister Michel Jobert said that the "Arabs wanted to return home" and added that that it was "not necessarily an aggression." The indifference of French leaders toward Iran's threats towards Israel is all of a piece with well-established French political traditions.

France is not the only European country behaving this way toward the Iranian regime. When Angela Merkel realized that Macron had failed to convince Trump to stay in the nuclear deal, she went to Washington and she attempted to influence the president. To this day, Germany continues to endorse France's positions regarding Iran. Instex was born out of cooperation between the France and Germany. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas even went to Tehran to explain to the Iranian government how the trade instrument would work.

The European Union, as well, supports France's position.

Macron, in short, has done as much or more than any other European country to favor the Iranian regime -- more than Germany, and even more than the European Union itself.

He could have chosen to act as a reliable ally of the United States, but the choice he made was a different.

In a speech on October 31, 2017 before the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Macron said that "making human rights prevail is a fight, even for countries like France." It is sometimes difficult to see how Macron tries to make human rights prevail at all.

Political analyst Daniel Krygier wrote recently that "President Trump does not offer anything without getting something in return." Even if Trump were to decide to meet Rouhani, and even if it were a useless meeting, Trump would address it from a position of strength, and one hopes, without having conceded to anything.

On September 14, just a few days after former National Security Advisor Ambassador John R. Bolton was comfortably disappeared from the administration, Iran inflicted major damage on a massive oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia, disrupting half of Saudi Arabia's oil production and 5% of the world's daily oil supply. While Iran-backed Houthi insurgents, currently fighting a war with Saudi forces in Yemen, claimed responsibility, the US blames Iran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a tweet saying that "there is no evidence the attack came from Yemen" and added:

"Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply...

"We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran's attacks. The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression."

Trump might, nevertheless, meet with Rouhani in New York.

The French government issued a statement saying that the attack on the Saudi oil processing facility could "aggravate tensions and the risks of conflict in the region". Iran was not even mentioned.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said:
"Up to now France doesn't have proof permitting it to say that these drones came from such and such a place, and I don't know if anyone has proof.... We need a strategy of de-escalation for the area, and any move that goes against this de-escalation would be a bad move for the situation in the region."
"The attack," a French diplomatic source added, "does not help what we are trying to do."

Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.


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Iran's oil strategy could backfire - Peter Skurkiss

by Peter Skurkiss

If the mullahs want to play with fire, they should not complain when they get burned.

Apart from the apologists for the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran, all objective observers agree that the Iranian economy is being crushed by U.S.-imposed sanctions. But due to a combination of pride and religious fanaticism, the Iranian regime refuses to abandon its terrorist ways or to walk away from its ambition to possess nuclear weapons.

Being strangled by the U.S. sanctions, the mullah's ideal strategy could be summed up as follows: "If we can ship our oil, we'll see to it that nobody else can." But of course Iran lacks the ability to shut down oil exports from the Gulf. And if they even tried, the Iranians would invite a level of destruction on themselves that could collapse the regime or at the very least take many years to recover from.

So as an alternate strategy, Iran resorts to pinprick harassments — attacking a few oil tankers, capturing some others. The goal here is to cause disruption in the energy markets and prompt Europe and others to pressure the United states to return to the Obama nuclear deal.

But this harassment strategy is delicate. It has to be significant enough to achieve its objective, yet not breach the threshold that would result in a no-nonsense response. 

With its attack, either by itself directly or through its surrogates, on the Saudi oil-production facilities, Iran may have crossed that threshold.

The payback for this brazen attack does not have to be extracted immediately or even directly. To date, Iran has played the low-cost asymmetric warfare game to its advantage. But there's no reason why its enemies can't turn the table and return the favor. In this regard, Iran is highly vulnerable.

The drop in Iranian oil export revenues already has the Iranian economy reeling with high unemployment and inflation. Now President Trump is increasing the sanctions. America can to more do cripple Iran, but it doesn't have to.

More than 90 percent of Iran's oil exports flow from a single point: Kharg Island. A single sortie would be more than enough to simply eliminate Iran from global oil markets. And because Kharg Island lacks a bridge to mainland Iran, Iran would find it impossible to restart its exports without American approval.

Another point of vulnerability is the port of Bandar Abbas. That's where three quarters of Iranian imports come into. Both Bandar Abbas and Kharg Island are choke points. The U.S. Navy could shut down both ports in an afternoon. But that's not needed. Virtually any enemy of Iran can use a swarm of drones, as Iran did to the Saudis, to severely damage Bandar Abbas and Kharg Island or shut them down with a cyber-attack.

The point is that to date, the Iranians have had a free hand in playing offense in the Middle East — in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and the Gulf waters. There is no law of nature prohibiting others to do the same to Iran. This is not to say it will happen — only that it easily could. If the mullahs want to play with fire, they should not complain when they get burned.

Peter Skurkiss


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An ISIS aircraft mechanic caught trying to disable the same system that brought down two other 737s? - Monica Showalter

by Monica Showalter

So much for disgruntled mechanics with labor beefs trying to get overtime...

They're still out there.

And it was quite disturbing to learn that, contrary to what the press had so smarmily assured us about a supposedly disgruntled aircraft mechanic who got caught trying to disable a Boeing 737, the guy had ISIS video on his cell phone.

"American Airlines Mechanic Accused of Plane Sabotage May Have Ties to Terrorists, U.S. Says," the New York Times headline reported.

Up until now, the press had been assuring us that the whole thing was a labor issue, citing officials. According to the New York Times:
"Alani stated that his intention was not to cause harm to the aircraft or its passengers," the criminal complaint said. "Alani explained to law enforcement that he was upset at the stalled contract dispute between the union workers and American Airlines, and that this dispute had affected him financially. Alani claimed that he tampered with the target aircraft in order to cause a delay or have the flight canceled in anticipation of obtaining overtime work."
Doesn't everyone with labor beefs against his boss have ISIS video murders on his cell phone?

As Jim Treacher (hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit) notes, "Weird Coincidence."

It's all but certain that mechanic-from-hell Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani might just have been motivated by ISIS's brand of Islamism, not a woikin' man's desire for more overtime.

The gullible media reported it otherwise, always eager to look the other way on Islamist terror.

But this one sentence from Treacher's report stands out:
Oh, and Alani's phone also had a news story about a plane crash in Indonesia last year, with specific information about the plane's airspeed control system. The same thing he was caught tampering with.
This rather raises the question of whether those aircraft were also disabled in this manner — one in Ethiopia, the other in Indonesia, both of which have suffered from Islamist terror or been in the vicinity of it.

The two crashes not only killed hundreds of innocent people, but also wrought havoc on the airline industry, with some airlines having to ground planes, and sent Boeing's stock into a tizzy, cutting it 15% after the crashes, and wrought havoc with its orders. 

Now, it's possible that the freak took note of the crashes and tried to re-engineer some more of them for himself as a guy who saw the accidents and got ideas.

But it's just as likely that he or his confederates might have engineered those 737 crashes of the past year as terrorist-admiring aircraft mechanics. Boeing up until now has been blamed for the crashes, and called a heartless, wicked, incompetent corporation, with faulty manufacture of equipment, and has since been trying to argue that crew error was the real problem.

Now, the issue of tampering by malevolent insiders is a distinct possibility. And it must be investigated, because the lawmen have caught one of them in the act. This Alani case, is an indicator that this sort of thing can and almost did go on. Alani, after all, never expected to get caught, and unlike many terrorists, he didn't announce to the world his bad deed as soon as the aircraft got off the ground. No bulletin boards, no crazy manifestos, no chatter, so far as is known. Just someone who wanted to destroy the Western world through its own mechanisms and leave it blaming itself.

It's seems to be a case for reopening these aircraft crash cases, doing intensive background checks on the mechanics who worked on these aircraft, and looking for evidence on the dark net of this kind of "inspiration" getting around. 

They're still out there, and this seems to be the latest risk from these monsters, worth looking at, getting to the bottom of, and taking action on. 

Monica Showalter


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Racist Exam Questions? - Walter Williams

by Walter Williams

Lowering standards for equality and social justice.

The U.S. Department of Justice has recently sued the Baltimore County government alleging that its written test for police officer recruits was unfairly biased against black applicants. It turns out that black applicants failed the written test at a rate much greater than white applicants. That results in fewer blacks being trained and hired as police officers. John A. Olszewski Jr., Baltimore County Executive said: "A law enforcement agency should look like the community it serves. As I have said repeatedly since taking office, I am committed to increasing diversity in the county's Police Department."

Baltimore City uses Municipal Police Selection Test. You can examine some sample questions at its website. I'd like to know which of the questions are either unrelated to police work or racist. Many jurisdictions use The National Police Officer Selection Test. You can examine some of the sample questions at its website. Again, I'd like to know which of the questions are unrelated to police work or are racially biased questions. In addition, it has been found that MPST and POST are successful predictors of law enforcement training success and job performance.

Black performance on police exams is simply the tip of the iceberg of a truly tragic cruelty. That cruelty stands front and center when one examines the education that most blacks in Baltimore receive. Several years ago, Project Baltimore began an investigation of Baltimore's school system. What they found was an utter disgrace. In 19 of Baltimore's high schools, out of 3,804 students, only 14 of them, or less than 1%, were proficient in math. In 13 of Baltimore's 39 high schools, not a single student scored proficient in math. In five Baltimore City high schools, not a single student scored proficient in math or reading. Despite these academic deficiencies, about 70% of the students graduate and are conferred a high school diploma. A high school diploma attests that the holder can read, write and compute at a 12th-grade level. Obviously, the diplomas conferred on students who have not mastered reading, writing and computing are fraudulent.

When a person who cannot read, write and compute very well takes a written employment exam, including that to become a police officer, he is going to encounter difficulties. His difficulties are not caused by any racially discriminatory aspect of the test. His difficulties are a result of not having acquired what he should have acquired by the time he finished high school. But that is not how such a person sees it. He sees that he has a high school diploma just as a white applicant has a high school diploma. To him, any difference in treatment and outcomes must be the result of racial discrimination. Thus, the U.S. Department of Justice sued, claiming that the written test for police officer recruits was unfairly biased against black applicants. 

The conclusion that Baltimore County's written test for police officer recruits was unfairly biased against black applicants is tragic. It allows Baltimore public schools to continue to produce fraudulent education. You say: "Hold it, Williams! You can't blame everything on schools." You're right. One cannot blame schools and teachers for students who are hostile to the education process. One cannot blame schools and teachers for a rotten home environment or derelict parents. But there is one thing entirely within the control of educators. That's their power to issue diplomas. When they confer high school diplomas on youngsters who cannot read, write and compute at or near a 12th-grade level, they are engaging in fraudulent conduct.

Dr. Thomas Sowell's research in "Education: Assumptions Versus History" documents academic excellence at Baltimore's Frederick Douglass High School and others. This academic excellence occurred during an era when blacks were much poorer and faced gross racial discrimination. It's worthwhile reading for black people to learn the capabilities of other blacks facing so many challenging circumstances. I'm wondering when the black community will demand an end to an educational environment that condemns so many youngsters to mediocrity.

Walter Williams


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Blasey Ford’s Allies Threatened Key Witness to Lie About Kavanaugh - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Obstruction of justice anyone?

One year ago, in a confirmation hearing gone wild, Democrats and their media allies smeared President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a gang rapist and evil man, unworthy not only of the high court but his current post on the DC Appeal Court. Kavanaugh was duly confirmed, and a year later comes a new accusation of sexual misconduct. As the New York Times teased the story in a tweet, “having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun.”

The accusation came from Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, authors of the new book The Education of Brett Kavanagh: An Investigation. By all indications, the book shapes up as bogus, but it did contain something worthy of attention. As Pogrebin and Kelly told Alisyn Camerota of CNN, the New York Times omitted a key detail.

The alleged source of the accusation was Christine Blasey Ford’s lifelong friend Leland Keyser. Like Ford, she opposed the Kavanaugh nomination, but she declined to be interviewed by the reporters. And according to the Kaiser’s friends, Kaiser did not recall “having a penis thrust in your face,” as the Times so delicately put it. On the other hand, Pogrebin and Kelly did break some new ground.

In their new book, Brandon Morse notes, the authors bury a single line near the end. As Keyser told the authors, “I was told behind the scenes that certain things could be spread about me if I didn’t comply.” Keyser did not specify the “certain things,” that could be “spread,” but given the charges in the Kavanaugh hearing it is possible to guess. Pogrebin and Kelly did not pursue the point, but there was more to the story.

According to a Daily Wire report by Amanda Prestigiacomo, Keyser’s son Alex Beckel and her former husband Bob Beckel, a prominent Democrat, are both on record that she “was pressured by Blasey Ford allies to lie during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings about the incident.”

Keyser’s son Alex set up a GoFundMe account stating that his mother, despite her lifelong friendship with Blasey Ford, “faces great personal hardship. The harsh glare of the public eye has taken a tremendous physical, emotional, and financial toll on her.” Leland Keyser “did what was right when she had everything to lose and nothing to gain,” the post reads, referring the reader, interestingly enough, to Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court, by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino.

“We interviewed more than 100 people,” Hemingway told Fox News. “We got our facts right.” The New York Times reporters, “left out the most important piece of information” and “their supposed allegation against Kavanaugh was based on a false premise.”

The establishment media did not suggest that the threats against Leland Keyser could be grounds for legal action. For his part, President Trump defended his nominee and even suggested Justice Kavanaugh should sue the New York Times. For the real story, Kavanaugh supporters might have a look at Justice on Trial, and recall the vicious smear campaign of 2018.

Blasey Ford made it known she would only testify if the FBI investigated first. Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and other Democrats echoed this demand, but former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova wasn’t going for it.

“This is utter nonsense,” diGenova told Tucker Carlson of Fox News. Blasey Ford “really doesn't want to testify. Because when she does, she is going to look like the loon she is. She may very well believe everything she’s saying, and that is one of the signs of lunacy, believing something that isn’t real.” And her lawyer was “even loonier.” Kavanaugh had already endured six FBI background checks and the Bureau was on record that it would do nothing with a 36-year-old accusation.

This writer wondered how Blasey Ford’s 911 call might have gone down, and Milo Yiannoupoulos donned a dress and had go his own self. Blasey Ford’s own performance, delivered in the voice of a 15-year-old girl, truly defied satire, but the smear campaign on Kavanaugh was all business. New York Times reporters Pogrebin and Kelly provide a half-baked regurgitation even more bogus than the original charges, but this smear is not a one-off.

As Victor Davis Hanson told Laura Ingraham of Fox News, the new/old allegations are part of a “revolutionary movement and it’s anti-constitutional.” The accusers are saying to America “You can elect your president, but he can’t govern if we investigate him for 22 months. You can nominate a Supreme Court Justice, you can have hearings, you can confirm him, but we're going to say so many terrible things and demonize him that for all practical purpose we’re going to render him emasculated.”

After last year’s confirmation hearings, Hanson described the accusatory Democrats as “The New Jacobins,” concluding, “if they prove successful, then everything is imaginable—and nothing is sacred.”

Lloyd Billingsley


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A wind of anti-Zionism batters Israel - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

Liberman, who made himself a name as a right wing hawk, has lately embraced the secular anti-religious agenda. And militant secularism and Zionism rarely coexisted.

Israeli journalism is now working hard to affect the possible outcomes of these new elections:

  • A unity government between Likud and Blue & White, with or without Binyamin Netanyahu.
  • A new Likud-Liberman government.
  • A Likud-Labour government.
  • A center-left government with external Arab support.
  • New elections.
In all this talk, we are missing the point. Israel is being  battered by a wind of anti-Zionism.

Both Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are certainly Zionist patriots. But who can really be sure that once in power they will uphold the Israeli vocation of being the nation state for the Jewish people?

Liberman, who made himself a name as a right wing hawk, has lately embraced the secular anti-religious agenda. And militant secularism and Zionism rarely coexisted.

The extreme left still holds on, divided between the mutilated Labour and the new defeatist Democratic Camp. In case of a unity government, the Arab Joint List would lead the opposition and the government should share some security information with them.

What also could they ask of Gantz? Money for their communities and an anti-Zionist agenda. I respect the Haredi parties, but they have some problems with Zionism. And religious nationalism? Yamina didn't succeed enough and Otzma didn't pass the threshold, ending its fate as another Ehud Barak.

Israeli society is strong, vital, its identity is visible and proud and in the last few years the authorities have been able to approve some very good laws about the Jewish character of the state. But we also know that everything can change in a minute.

Last week, Israel was on the news for talking about the annexation of the Jordan Valley and some part of Judea and Samaria (all or only C Area). Today, Ayman Odeh is celebrating a big success, Bibi Netanyahu risks finishing out his days like a David Ben Gurion in the desert, the secularist mood is rampant and Eretz Israel has lost some of its defenders. 

I pray all will turn out well for the Jewish state and people. 

Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.


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An election where the tail wagged the dog - Jack Engelhard

by Jack Engelhard

Ilhan Omar has every reason to rejoice, as does Rashida Tlaib (D. Michigan), as together, their team, the Arab Joint List, has managed to vote as a bloc, giving it 12-to-13 Knesset seats, A good day for the two anti-Zionist congresswomen.

Ilhan Omar -- she may yet get her wish, if Benjamin Netanyahu is unseated, and if her appeal to oust Netanyahu comes true. 

By the time you read this – who knows? Netanyahu may once again have pulled it off.

Either way, the Democrat Congresswoman from Minnesota, frequently under fire for anti-Semitism, has every reason to rejoice, and the same goes for Rashida Tlaib (D. Michigan), as together, their team, the Arab Joint List, has managed to vote as a bloc, giving it some 12-to-13 seats, and hence entitled to be named the Jewish State’s third largest Party.  

You heard that right.

Not that Israeli voters pay those two any attention. It just seems that way.

This means that the Arab influence is rather huge in Israeli governance. The Joint List leader, Ayman Odeh, put it like this: “The main difference in this vote is the turnout among Arab citizens. There’s no doubt that this is what made the difference. Without that, Netanyahu would already be prime minister.”

So there you go…in case you thought Jews are smart. In science, technology, medicine, law, literature, agriculture, ethics, yes, they are winners. The best and the brightest.

Check out the Nobel Prizes.

But in politics, or when seated at the negotiating table with an opponent, they turn dull and wonder how they got their pockets picked so thoroughly and so clean.

You mean, they haven’t gotten the message, from last April’s failure, that when you spread yourself so thin, party to party, you tend to vaporize?

The Arab voters figured it out. That is how they, more so than Liberman, get to call the shots, and therefore get to have a hand in deciding Israel’s shape and fate for years to come.

That may be an exaggeration, even if it turns out to be Gantz. But for the love of Zion, it should never have gotten this close…close to where the tail wags the dog.

Netanyahu has issued a wake-up call; meaning a plan to go forward with all right-wing parties together at last. Finally? Finally, some political smarts?

Or finally all these scattered true-to-Zion parties realized how deftly they’d been outsmarted when each decided to go it alone rather than as an unbeatable unit. 

Perhaps a lesson for next time.

Meantime – let’s hear no more about “apartheid.”

Certainly not when it comes to Israel.

Not when every single vote counts equally whether Arab or Jew.

Nor when minority Arabs gets to dictate terms to majority Jews.

Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.
He is the author of the international book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal.” His Holocaust to Montreal memoir “Escape from Mount Moriah” has been honored from page to screen at CANNES. His Inside Journalism thriller, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” is being prepared for the movies. Contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website:


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Contesting the Progressives’ Takeover of Vermont - John Klar

by John Klar

It has taken nearly 50 years for the hippie conquistadores to seed their Bohemian denizens in Bernieland. The out-of-state invaders’ commune colonialism is about to clash with the locals.

Recently, the state of Vermont announced that pension and health benefits for state employees and teachers are underfunded to the tune of $4.5 billion (in a tiny state of just 627,180 residents). Then, in protest against Trump administration rule changes, it diverted some $750,000 from state coffers (each year, indefinitely) to fund abortion services through Planned Parenthood rather than continue to accept federal subsidies which had been proffered since 1970. 

Many Vermonters, like most Americans, are struggling to pay their property taxes. I live on land passed down to me from my great-great-great-great-grandfather, in a house I built by sawing timbers on the 6.5 acre lot, on a foundation I constructed with granite block. There is no mortgage -- and also no running water, no septic system, no plumbing or electric, and the driveway is impassable without four-wheel drive. But our real estate taxes are just under $2,500 annually, roughly equivalent to a $65,000, 30-year mortgage at current rates. Yet, in 30 years that phantom tax mortgage will not be paid off -- it will be massively larger.

Vermonters love their state, but most are struggling to afford to live here. Many are paying $10,000 or more annually in real estate taxes on family land, which is often in a “current use” conservation program -- but still the taxes escalate. Retirees sell up and live in RVs, “going mobile” to avoid taxes. Young people seek tiny houses to shrink what the Vermont government can siphon off from their incomes. But still the government bureaucracy swells, regardless of the underlying economy.

Vermont boasts the fifth highest property tax in the nation, but the 24th lowest median income, and the 19th lowest home values. In stark contrast, neighboring New Hampshire has the second highest real estate taxes -- but no sales tax, and the sixth highest median income in the nation. Meanwhile, Vermont offers the fourth largest amount of welfare benefits per capita in the nation, granting $42,350 annually in pre-tax equivalents:
Vermont offers a minimum wage higher than most of its neighboring states, so why would some choose not to work? Americans on welfare in Vermont can earn over $20 per hour based on the pre-tax wage equivalent of their assistance benefits. That equates to a $10.36 per hour difference — more than double — the earnings for residents working minimum-wage jobs in the state.

Concurrently, that $4.5 billion pension shortfall was calculated using an absurd state prediction that all future pension investments will fetch an annualized return of 7.3%. This is an ambitious (if not fraudulent) accounting gimmick. Real market returns (even without a cyclical economic contraction or stock market correction) will fall short of these rosy falsehoods, so that pension deficit is thus likely at least $8 billion. Placed in perspective, that $750,000 that Vermont gave away this year butting heads with Donald Trump (using taxpayer dollars) would amount to $8 billion in approximately 10,667 years! Or, if Vermont bolstered its pension at the rate of $750,000 daily, the funds would balance (if benefits were capped!) in about 29.2 years.

Whatever one’s position on government-funded abortions, Vermont took the money for pre-planned ideological warfare at taxpayer expense. These are elected legislators and officials, who act with utter impunity. Vermont could never borrow $8 billion legally, so to promise and then not fund these pensions is a blank check with no voter oversight.

Government only grows bigger -- whether state, federal or local. Eventually, governments become parasitic viruses that devour their host victims, which is precisely what is occurring in Vermont. The 49th in population (only Wyoming is smaller), Vermont is an easy target for the progressives who have long targeted it for socialist subjugation experiments. Just as the Vermont Attorney General and Governor openly dip into Vermonters’ pockets to fund abortions and transgender surgeries, so have progressives long salivated at the idea of conquering this tranquil state precisely because it is tolerant. A 1972 Playboy magazine article (“Taking Over Vermont”) laid out the plan now maturing to fruition:
“The short answer to all this -- revolution -- is impossible when armed revolt by the citizenry at large would inevitably be put down by the military might at the disposal of those in control. We see the best way out in rededicating this nation to its heritage: reopening the frontier, where alienated or deviant members of society can go to live by their new ideas: providing a living laboratory for social experiment through radical Federalism; and tutoring effective political communication in a multimedia society . . .The goal of this takeover would be to establish a truly experimental society to which new solutions to today’s problems could be tried, an experimental state which would serve as a new frontier and encourage imaginative local innovation [and], by its example, spur change to society as a whole.”
Those “alienated and deviant members of society” are indeed imposing their new ideas on Vermonters: labeling natives racist, championing the progressive front of extremist abortions, transgender surgeries, schoolchildren activism, carbon taxes, and minimum wages. As desired, the locals are fleeing their native lands:
….recent research from the Legislature suggests that it’s working-class and middle-class residents that Vermont is at risk of losing. By proportion, only a small number of wealthier households come to Vermont.” “Blue collar workers, those with low and moderate incomes … have decided to move away from Vermont,” Gov. Phil Scott said at a press conference Thursday…. Vermont’s wealthy new arrivals tend to be on the younger side, between 26 and 44, with incomes over $200,000 a year — including both single and joint filers.
Vermont’s progressives are deliberately heaping financial burdens on native Vermonters, even as they pile government rewards on welfare recipients and government employees, Vermont’s progressives are deliberately heaping financial burdens on native Vermonters, even as they pile government rewards on welfare recipients, government employees, and favored progressive interests like Planned Parenthood, and “social justice” groups. Black Lives Matter and Antifa are welcome: locals are denigrated and condemned. The state is infamously offering $10,000 payments (from poor Vermonters’ pockets) to wealthy out-of-staters to relocate here. 

That 1972 Playboy article was prescient:
Blumstein and Phelan acknowledge the potential explosiveness:
The first great test of the experimental program will be the safeguarding of the rights of the indigenous population…. At a widely publicized vigil in front of Calvin Coolidge’s birthplace at Plymouth, they reiterate “Jamestown Seventy’s” warning that “If the new majority becomes involved in fragmented political bickering, the traditionalists might maintain the balance of power” despite our numbers.
It has taken nearly 50 years for the hippie conquistadores to seed their Bohemian denizens in Bernieland. After a failed effort in the late 1990s to “Take Back Vermont,” the real “first great test” is brewing. The “new majority” will indeed be fragmented, then dispersed, as the indigenous Green Mountain population is woke and galvanized into a voting block of its own. ‘s Takeoer of z: Vermonters’ tolerance of these foreigners has expired. In 2020, Vermont will flip red, sharply reversing the fortunes of those who misjudged this brave little state. The natives simply can’t afford not to reclaim their heritage.

Photo credit: Ken Lund

John Klar


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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Israel and Hezbollah are on a collision course - Shimon Shapira

by Shimon Shapira

Israel's working assumption has to be that Nasrallah will not be satisfied with firing a few antitank missiles at Israeli military installations and vehicles.

Many experts express admiration for Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. From senior military officers to scholars and journalists, Nasrallah’s every gesture and statement is analyzed. Nasrallah is reliable, say his admirers. He makes promises and delivers. He is faithful to his patrons in Tehran, despite Lebanon's attempts to restrain him.

However, all that can be said of Nasrallah with certainty is that he is a consummate actor and liar who has raised manipulation to an art form.

Nasrallah closely follows everything published about him and Hezbollah, not only in Israel but also abroad. He attributes great importance to the words and commentaries of senior Israeli officers both past and present.

He pays particularly close attention to those "experts" who provide details and outline the enormity of Hezbollah’s military threat, naming of the most endangered places and sites inside Israel.

Senior Israeli security officials assert that in the next war the boundary between the military and the civilian fronts will be blurred due to the accuracy and size of Hezbollah's missile arsenal.

The more details provided in Israel on these matters, the more pleasure and encouragement Nasrallah derives. He believes that Israeli society is weak and unprepared for war, and will do anything to avoid a confrontation with Hezbollah.

The critical question, however, is what he will do. Assuming that Israel will not allow the establishment of precision-missile factories in Lebanon, and also that Hezbollah (and Iran) is not going to stop trying to establish such factories, what will happen if the next (and third) time such a factory is discovered, Israel simply strikes instead of releasing information about them? How will Nasrallah react?

Israel's working assumption has to be that Nasrallah will not be satisfied with firing a few antitank missiles at Israeli military installations and vehicles. Possible responses range from sending suicide drones into northern Israel with the objective of striking military and civilian targets, to firing rockets at military installations and towns close to the border fence.

Such a response on Nasrallah’s part could develop into a broader confrontation, even though Nasrallah does not want an all-out war with Israel.

It needs emphasizing that at the end of the day, Nasrallah does not set Hezbollah's strategic goals, let alone those of the Shiite militias in Syria, many of which work without Nasrallah’s involvement. Their goals are set by Iran and carried out by the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who is personally supervising Hezbollah’s military operations.

It has been reported that Soleimani arrived in Beirut immediately after the recent Hezbollah antitank rocket attack to meet with Nasrallah.

It is the commander of the Quds Force, representing Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who sets the boundaries of the conflict.

The Lebanese constraint exists but they are meaningless to Iran as it pursues its strategic goal.

This article first appeared on the website of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Reprinted with permission from

IDF Brig. Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira is a senior research associate at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He served as military secretary to the prime minister and as chief of staff of the Foreign Ministry. He is the editor of the Jerusalem Center eBook Iran: From Regional Challenge to Global Threat.”


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