Saturday, November 16, 2019

Lessons from the latest missile war between Gaza and Israel - Yochanan Visser

by Yochanan Visser

ANALYSIS: As Israel staves off multi-front war with Iran, the Iranian axis aims to target Israel with GPS-guided missiles.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Iran’s real proxy in Gaza, succeeded this week in closing down much of Israel’s south and center by firing roughly 400 rockets at Israeli cities and communities in the Gaza belt, the coastal cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon as well as Modi'in, halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

During the two-day missile-war, it became clear that Hamas, which also is supported by Iran, didn’t want to join the Iranian proxy and didn’t want to risk another devastating war with Israel at this point in time.

Hamas was heavily criticized by Palestinian Authority and Gaza media and by ordinary Palestinian Authority Arabs on social media for not joining PIJ.

"Where is Hamas?" wrote a PA journalist on his Twitter account.

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, however, apparently saw the Israeli attacks on PIJ military infrastructure as an opportunity to weaken the rival terrorist group which currently has built up a larger rocket arsenal than the Sunni Islamist terror movement which is governing the Gaza Strip.

Hamas is facing increasing criticism for failing to improve living conditions in the impoverished coastal enclave and recently had to deal with internal dissent over bad governance.

The week before Israel assassinated Baha Abu al-Ata, a young Gaza Arab self-immolated to protest the dire living conditions in the coastal enclave.

The self-immolation of the 28-year-old Gaza orphan triggered outrage among the population in Gaza, which is fed-up with the way Hamas and the Palestinian Authority deal with the multiple problems in the Strip.

PIJ, on the other hand, can solely focus on its struggle against Israel and takes its orders from Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Soleimani wants its proxies in the PA and Gaza to keep the war of attrition against Israel going, and was behind the fact that Baha Abu al-Ata, the PIJ commander who was assassinated by the Israeli air force on Monday night became, what Israel Prime Minister Boinyamin Netanyahu called a walking "ticking time bomb."

The IAF used a Rafael produced Munice Spice-1000 missile to execute the target assassination that destroyed al-Ata’s apartment only, and not the rest of the building where al-Ata was sleeping with his wife.

Soleimani most likely will demand answers from Hamas, which receives $30 million per month from Iran for rebuilding itself as a powerful military force.

Israel reportedly relayed a message (via Egyptian officials) to Hamas shortly after "Operation Black Belt" began to the effect that the Israeli military would not target the movement as long as it stayed out of the fray.

Hamas, however, had its own reasons to stay out of the fight because it witnessed how al-Ata’s and PIJ’s influence in Gaza were growing by the day and how the Iranian proxy became a threat to its rule.

PIJ built-up a larger rocket arsenal than Hamas currently has (approx. 8,000) and has a fighting force of 15,000 well-trained men.

Sinwar’s refusal to join PIJ in its latest battle with Israel must, therefore, be seen as a tactical ploy to weaken its rival in Gaza and as a move to stave off another war with Israel now that he tries to stabilize Gaza economically.

This doesn’t mean that Sinwar, who is seen as one of the most radical "Palestinian" leaders, has moderated his views about Israel that released him from jail after 22 years under the Shalit prisoner swap.

The Hamas leader, who served a 4 life-time sentence in an Israel jail is interested in a long-term ceasefire with Israel for two reasons: to consolidate Hamas’ rule over Gaza and to prepare for the next war against Israel.

This must have been the first time that Israel and Hamas were de-facto working together during a conflict concerning Gaza: Hamas didn’t join PIJ’s fight and the Israeli military refrained from targeting Hamas.

Until now Israel has held Hamas responsible for everything that happens in Gaza and attacks on the Jewish State in particular.

Whenever a Palestinian terror group in Gaza carried out an attack against a target in Israel or when a Palestinian terrorist tried to infiltrate Israel IAF aircraft carried out reprisal attacks on Hamas targets in Gaza.

Netanyahu’s order to the Israeli military not to target Hamas this time was probably related to his conviction that a full-blown war with the Gazan terror groups in Gaza could easily lead to a multi-front war with all of Iran’s proxies in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

The Israeli PM has repeatedly made clear that his sole focus is on the increasing Iranian threat to Israel, and he apparently thinks Israel needs more time to prepare for such a war which could see thousands of rockets raining on Israel daily.

Time will tell if his strategy in the latest mini-missile-war was the right one, but one thing is for sure: Iran and Hezbollah too must have noticed that a relatively small force in Gaza succeeded in paralyzing half Israel by firing 400 crude rockets "only."

Another thing that the Iranian axis must have noted (again) is that Israel’s missile defenses are not able to intercept all rockets when they are fired in barrages as PIJ did and this should worry the Israeli military and political leadership.


Because in the anticipated future multi-front missile war the axis will try to target vital Israeli military and civil infrastructure with similar barrages of missiles, including GPS-guided ballistic missiles.

Yochanan Visser


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Dems’ Surreal Impeachment Circus Rolls On - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

Case built on hearsay, innuendo and manufactured “crimes” crumbles before our eyes.

The House Democrats’ impeachment investigation circus moved into its televised public hearing phase, presided over by ringmaster House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. The public hearings began on Wednesday. The way things are going, the Democrats will need all the comfort they can get from the therapy dogs who were brought to the Hill by Pet Partners, a therapy-animal registration organization, and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. The Ukraine case narrative the House Democrats have been trying to build against President Trump, centering on his July 25, 2019 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Trump’s alleged use of “irregular” channels to Ukrainian officials to push his personal political agenda, is turning into a quagmire. As Jonathan Turley, professor of law at George Washington University who testified as a constitutional expert in the Clinton impeachment hearings, wrote, “Democrats want to move forward on a barely developed evidentiary record and cursory public hearings on this single Ukraine allegation.” He added, “If Democrats seek to remove a sitting president, they are laying a foundation that would barely support a bungalow, let alone a constitutional tower. Such a slender impeachment would collapse in a two mile headwind in the Senate.”

The Democrats are trying to establish what some of their more outspoken members have charged variously as President Trump’s “abuse of power,” “extortion,” “bribery” and a “shakedown.” They base their accusations of presidential “crimes” on the shaky allegation that President Trump used the leverage of withheld security assistance and the dangling of a White House meeting to improperly advance the president’s personal political interests over the national security interests of the United States. What has emerged so far, and will likely continue, is a desperate attempt by the Democrats and their friends in the mainstream media to make a mountain out of a molehill, using mainly hearsay and circumstantial evidence from witnesses in the foreign policy and national security establishment who don’t like the direction of President Trump’s policy towards Ukraine.

The Democrats have some fundamental problems that undermine their case. Much of their case relies on secondhand, thirdhand and even fourth-hand hearsay evidence. The bizarro world they inhabit is illustrated by this nugget from Democrat Rep. Mike Quigley, describing his understanding of what constitutes credible evidence: "Hearsay can be much better evidence than direct ... and it's certainly valid in this instance."

More substantively, the facts we know of so far run contrary to the Democrats’ narrative. President Zelensky was not aware that any security assistance had been withheld at the time of his July 25th call with President Trump. President Zelensky and Ukraine’s foreign minister have backed up President Trump’s denial of any improper linkage of the release of the security assistance to opening investigations in Ukraine of the president’s political opponents. President Zelensky said publicly that he did not feel “pushed” by President Trump. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said, as reported by Reuters, “I have never seen a direct relationship between investigations and security assistance. Yes, the investigations were mentioned, you know, in the conversation of the presidents. But there was no clear connection between these events.” In any case, the security assistance was released less than two months after the July 25th call with no investigation strings attached. President Zelensky did not make any public announcement committing to open the investigations that President Trump had requested during the call involving reported Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the role of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter with the corrupt Ukrainian energy company Burisma while his father was serving as the Obama administration’s point man in Ukraine.

The House Democrats’ first two witnesses testifying before the television cameras on Wednesday were William B. Taylor Jr., the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and George P. Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state. They each recounted their understandings of what they characterized as efforts by the president himself and by back channel intermediaries on his behalf to improperly pressure the Ukrainians to open investigations for President Trump’s personal benefit. If their testimony is any indication of things to come, the House Democrats are hurtling towards a totally partisan impeachment that will get nowhere in the Senate. Yet, in a vain effort to make something out of nothing, the House Democrats’ rising socialist star, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, turned the truth on its head as she usually does when she tweeted, “Today’s hearings put Trump’s own fingerprints all over the scene of the crime.”

House Democrats banked on their star witnesses’ credibility, based on their years of public service during Republican and Democrat administrations. However, whatever we may think of the two experienced diplomats’ credentials and professed patriotic desire to serve their country, their testimony revealed no firsthand evidence regarding President Trump’s actions or intentions. They both admitted during cross examination that they never spoke directly with President Trump. They did not listen themselves to the July 25th call. They had no firsthand knowledge of the president's motives in temporarily withholding security assistance from Ukraine, which in any case was not mentioned at all during the July 25th call according to the call memo. 

Ambassador Taylor conceded, in response to Rep. Jim Jordan’s questioning, that there was no mention of any linkage of security assistance dollars to investigating Burisma or the Bidens during three meetings with President Zelensky in which Ambassador Taylor testified that he did participate. Ambassador Taylor has previously admitted during his closed-door deposition that the Trump administration’s decision to provide the Ukrainians with lethal military weapons was a "substantial improvement" over what had been provided previously and “was a demonstration that we support Ukraine.” (p. 155) If President Trump resolved to condition military assistance to Ukraine on first receiving help from the Ukrainians for his personal political benefit, it makes no sense that he would have significantly expanded the military assistance program before receiving what he was after from the Ukrainians. Yet that is precisely what happened, undercutting a key element of the Democrats’ narrative.

As to the corruption problem in Ukraine, Deputy Assistant Secretary Kent stated during his public testimony that the “pervasive and longstanding problem of corruption in Ukraine included exposure to a situation involving the energy company Burisma.” Mr. Kent admitted that he had been concerned about Hunter Biden's role on the board of Burisma and had raised the issue of a perceived conflict of interest with a member of then-Vice President Biden’s staff. Nothing happened. Hunter Biden remained on Burisma’s board. Mr. Kent further testified that Ukraine should still investigate Burisma’s corruption, which is precisely what President Trump has been asking for. Whether Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy might be affected by such an investigation, because it could involve Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma while his father was vice president, should not be a reason to scuttle a thorough investigation. Yet the fallacious premise of the Democrats’ case seems to be that it was somehow inherently wrong for President Trump to ask for the reopening of the Burisma corruption investigation because he might be running against Joe Biden next year. In other words, following this premise to its absurd conclusion, Joe Biden deserves immunity as long as he is a presidential candidate. Talk about corruption!

When both witnesses were asked during their public testimony whether they believed that President Trump had committed an impeachable offense, they ducked.

Since much of what we heard from Ambassador Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary Kent was a secondhand rehash of what has already been reported, the mainstream media and Democrats had to pretend that there was a new “bombshell” during the testimony that they must relentlessly track down. This is likely to be the pattern, as Democrats desperately hope that repetition of unsubstantiated charges and the addition of a few hyped pieces of peripheral evidence will finally turn their molehill into a mountain.

The so-called “bombshell” was Ambassador Taylor’s revelation that a member of his staff told him last week he overheard President Trump on a phone call with U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland last July. The staffer was at lunch with Ambassador Sondland at the time. “The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone asking Ambassador Sondland about ‘the investigations,'” Ambassador Taylor testified. The staff member then reportedly asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. “Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for,” Ambassador Taylor said. The staffer has been identified as David Homes, a counselor for political affairs at the embassy in Ukraine, who will testify in a closed session on Friday.

Even if what Ambassador Taylor’s staff member first reported to him, more than three months after the overheard conversation, happened exactly as he said, so what? It adds nothing of substance to the Democrats’ case. The memo of President Trump’s July 25th call with President Zelensky already revealed President Trump’s interest in having the Ukrainians open “investigations” into the Bidens’ activities in Ukraine as well as into reported Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential election. At the end of the day, whatever his frustrations with Ukraine were that President Trump shared privately with Ambassador Sondland, he lifted the security assistance suspension at issue without any strings linked to the investigations. Considering Ambassador Sondland’s direct communications with President Trump and his role as an “irregular” channel on the president’s behalf to Ukraine’s leaders, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Prystaiko’s statement on Thursday about his interactions with Ambassador Sondland is highly instructive: “Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigations.”

There is no real bombshell here. There has not been any bombshell since the House Democrats began their travesty. Instead, the House Democrats’ political theater is turning into a bomb that Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, described as a “low-rent Ukrainian sequel” to the Russian collusion hoax. Yet the Democrats are persisting with more scheduled public hearings, including an appearance on Friday by Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S.'s former ambassador to Ukraine. Several other witnesses are expected to testify next week. The Democrats and their media pals can spin all they want. Their manufactured narrative of alleged wrong-doing by President Trump is collapsing under its own weight.

Joseph Klein


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Democrats, Tyranny, and Income Inequality - Bruce Thornton

by Bruce Thornton

How progressives mask their envy and lust for power.

The Democrat presidential primary frontrunners are in a heated bidding war for voters, proposing policies with price-tags in the trillions of dollars. Elizabeth Warren wants to spend $49 trillion over the next decade on “Medicare for All” and wholly subsidize college tuition, among other government transfers. Bernie Sanders doubles-down by pledging $97.5 trillion. And let’s not forget the “Green New Deal” fantasy, estimated to cost anywhere from $51 to $93 trillion over ten years.

On the one hand, these promises are typical of the bribes politicians promise voters. But in the past, these promises by progressives have led to many costly, budget-busting programs put in place with the help of establishment Republicans who accepted the assumptions of big-government technocracy. As a result, we are looking at the accelerating approach of fiscal shipwreck when debt, deficits, and entitlement spending collide with the demographic iceberg.

Since simple math, prudence, and common sense are ignored by these latest schemes to “rob selected Peter to pay collective Paul,” we have to excavate the underlying, ancient ideas that have driven the progressive program for nearly a century. We can start with the shibboleth of “income inequality,” which is the “crisis” that serves a much more sinister notion: radical egalitarianism, a favorite instrument of the tyrant.

First, we should point out that “income inequality” is a statistical artifact that doesn’t capture the reality of America’s economic condition. A recent Wall Street Journal column by Phil Gramm and John F. Early marshals the data refuting this popular progressive canard. According to census data for 2017, the top 20% of earners have 17 times more income than the bottom quintile. But as Gramm and Early write, “The measure fails to account for the one-third of all household income paid in federal, state and local taxes. Since households in the top income quintile pay almost two-thirds of all taxes, ignoring the earned income lost to taxes substantially overstates inequality.”

The census data also fail to include the annual $1.9 trillion redistributed to American households, mostly to the bottom quintile, 89% of whose resources come from 95 federal programs that transfer wealth. And 80% of this wealth comes from the top 10% of taxpayers. Even after taking into account the state and payroll taxes the bottom quintile pays, when these transfers are added to household income it jumps from the official $4,908 to $50,901. As Gramm and Early conclude, “America already redistributes enough income to compress the income difference between the top and bottom quintiles from 60 to 1 in earned income down to 3.8 to 1 in income received.”

Clearly, “income inequality” is about something else: radical egalitarianism, the bane of representative democracy for 2500 years. The Greeks changed the world when they invented constitutional government, in which the people are citizens ruled by law rather than subjects ruled by force. Even more transformational was ancient Athens, the first state to empower the masses, including the poor, and give them political equality. Yet it soon became clear that there was a pernicious consequence to this development: radical egalitarianism.

Aristotle said this tendency to radicalize equality arises “out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal.” Since, however, talent, virtue, and industry are not equally distributed, man’s innate envy and resentment will demand that power be used to force equality. And the greatest, most visible sign of inequality is that of property:  “From the protection of different and unequal faculties for acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results,” which leads to “a division of the society into different interests and parties,” as James Madison wrote in Federalist 10. Our Constitutional structure of divided and balanced government was created to minimize the factional strife that always ends in concentrated, tyrannical power.

The use of government power to create economic equality has been at the heart of the progressive movement for over a century. Theodore Roosevelt’s breakaway Bull Moose Party in 1912, though unsuccessful at the ballot-box, nonetheless laid out the aims progressives still pursue today––taking federal control over what TR called the “malefactors of great wealth.” At the party’s convention, Indiana Senator Albert Beveridge mixed TR’s class-warfare rhetoric with utopian goals, a rhetorical mixture we are still hearing today from the Democrats. Beveridge contrasted “social brotherhood” with “savage individualism,” and demonized “reckless competition.” The the cure was the Progressive motto, “Pass the prosperity around”–– rhetoric echoed in Barack Obama’s “you didn’t built that,” “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money,” and “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

This utopian goal was explicit in Beveridge’s speech: “There ought not to be in this Republic a single day of bad business, a single unemployed workman, a single unfed child,” or a “day of low wages, idleness, and want.” Equally prophetic was his means for achieving these aims: “We aim to put new business laws on our statute books which will tell American businesses what they can do and what they cannot do,”  expressing a sentiment earlier expressed by Theodore Roosevelt in his 1911 New Nationalism speech. In it he proposed that the right to property could be limited according to the values of the “advocate of human welfare, who rightly maintains that every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.” This means a “policy of a far more active government interference with social and economic conditions.” And the government he had in mind was the “national government,” which “belongs to the whole American people. . . . The betterment which we seek must be accomplished, I believe, mainly through the nation government.”

Over the subsequent century this ambition for increased concentration and expansion of federal power has been realized. FDR’s New Deal and Second New Deal, armed with “new instruments of public power” housed in new government agencies and funded by the federal income tax, increased entitlement spending and government regulation to improve “social and economic conditions.” As a result, today the federal government spends nearly 70% of its annual $4 trillion budget on entitlement and social welfare spending, and on interest payments on the $22 trillion national debt. The Democrats ignore this ill omen, as it does the recent record of the Obama presidency. Obama multiplied government regulations, entitlement programs, and the debt, and the economy averaged a bit more than 2%, and growth was historically low for a post-recession economic recovery.

Yet the Dems today are preparing to field a presidential candidate who promises not to revert to Obama’s failed policies, but to double- and triple down on them. Nor is there an economic crisis that could, as the Great Depression did for FDR, give cover for such dirigiste policies. On the contrary, since Inauguration Day of 2016, Trump’s economic policies have unleashed our economy, setting records for stocks, employment levels, and wage growth, with GDP averaging a full point higher than during the Obama years. The United States is a global economic powerhouse, even as the progs’ economic model, the European Union, is struggling. Whatever vigor the EU economies do have is the result of backing off intrusive regulations––as have the Scandinavian countries held up as exemplars by the Dems––and counterproductive policies like Elizabeth Warren’s “wealth tax,” abandoned by 8 of the 12 countries that had one in 1990. And the Democrats seldom note that the EU’s average per capita GDP is $38,500, compared to the US’s $59,531, and that Europeans pay an average 21.3% regressive consumption tax.

Perhaps the progressives are economic illiterates, or just bad at math. Maybe they have forgotten even recent history, like Ronald Reagan’s economic miracle. Maybe they’re starry-eyed “idealists” who actually believe in utopia, the road to which is lined with mountains of corpses. But 2500 years of political history suggest a simpler answer: the eternal lust for power and human vices like envy, which the Greeks, de Tocqueville, and the American Founders identified as the engines of civil strife and dissolution.

We need to be familiar with the long history of tyrannical power even when it is masked by prosperity, which fools people into thinking they can afford pie-in-the-sky policies that have serially failed to deliver the goods. And we should pay close attention to the willful deceptions of progressive rhetoric like “income inequality.” Lies are the instruments of tyranny, truth the oxygen of democracy. We will not always be as rich as we are today, and the reckoning of our feckless fiscal policies is going to be here much quicker than we think. Then may come the conditions in which a tyrannical regime flourishes. And there’s no guarantee that when the despot comes, he or she will be a “soft” one.

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.


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Schiff Show’s Stalinist Back Story - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Democrats never supported Ukraine, and never resisted Russian aggression.

As California Republican Devin Nunes pointed out, Wednesday’s impeachment hearing was not a one-off but a televised sequel to the bogus Russia probe that tagged Donald Trump as an agent of Russia. When that one flopped, Democrats quickly ginned up the low-rent Ukrainian sequel, produced and scripted by Democrat intel boss Adam Schiff, who now claims he did not know the identity of the anonymous “whistleblower.”

“Same Schiff, different day,” as Fox News dubbed him, did trot out star diplo-witnesses George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary for Europe, and ambassador William Taylor. Despite long experience, neither had met with president Trump, and neither was on the Trump call to Zelensky in July. Everything the pair presented had trickled down through multiple layers of hearsay, which Democrat Mike Quigley contended was better than direct evidence.

Taylor and Kent could cite nothing in the president’s call that amounted to a high crime or misdemeanor that would justify impeachment proceedings. The bow-tied Kent did confirm that all U.S. aid, including security assistance, is conditional. Taylor was dismayed that President Trump had established an “irregular channel,” to pursue his foreign policy goals. As Tom Jones put it, such back channels happen all the time.

Taylor knew that, and in his openings statement, following his secret audition with the Schiff squad, the ambassador laid out the broader back story to the hearings. “We must support Ukraine,” Taylor said, “Russian aggression cannot stand.” As the television audience was to understand, like the expert diplo-witnesses, the Democrats have always defended Ukraine and deployed against Russia. As  it happens, they haven’t.

POTUS 44’s hot-mike aside to Dimitry Medvedev that he would soon have “more flexibility” emerged several times in the hearing. Schiff said it didn’t matter because it happened in 2012 and Russia didn’t invade Ukraine until 2014. This was hardly the only issue.

One of POTUS 44’s first actions in 2009, Democrats failed to recall, was to cancel missile defense for U.S. allies Poland and the Czech Republic. Those defenses were the subject of Russian complaints, and in her vaunted Russian re-set, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave the Russians virtually everything they wanted.

When Russia did invade Ukraine, they got only blankets and MREs. As the late Charles Krauthammer said, the arsenal of democracy had become the wardrobe of democracy. If veteran diplomat William Taylor was proclaiming “we must resist Russian aggression,” Democrats weren’t listening.

During the 1980s the Polish Communist regime imposed martial law, and Secretary of State Caspar Weinberger accurately called Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski a “Russian general in a Polish uniform.” Under President Reagan, the United States backed the Solidary movement, supported dissidents across the Soviet empire, and launched the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Democrats such as Sen Kennedy derided such defense as “Star Wars” and Kennedy even sought to enlist help from Communist Russia to defeat Reagan in 1984. That bid failed, Reagan won a second term, and in 1989 the Berlin Wall came tumbling down.

Back in 1972 nobody heard Democrat George McGovern say “we must support Ukraine, Russian aggression cannot stand.” Presidential candidate McGovern sought to appease the Russian Communist dictatorship and never took up the cause of anti-Communist dissidents or subject states such as Ukraine.

In the 1930s, as part of his collectivization program, Josef Stalin engineered a man-made famine that took millions of Ukrainian lives. Guardian correspondent Malcolm Muggeridge broke the story but Walter Duranty of the New York Times wrote that all was well and no famine was taking place. Those articles, for which Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize, played a role in U.S. recognition of the USSR under the administration of Democrat Franklin Roosevelt.

During World War II, FDR claimed that Stalin only wanted security for his country and “I think if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing in return, noblesse oblige, he won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.” It didn’t work out that way, and contrary to FDR hagiographers, FDR did in fact acquiesce in the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe without a struggle.

From that day forward, Democrats never supported Ukraine in any meaningful way and few Democrats challenged Russian aggression. Long after Khrushchev’s revelations of Stalin’s mass atrocities in 1956, Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders honeymooned in the Soviet Union. As Mark Levin has noted, Sanders’s cherished “right” to “free” health care and such comes right out of the 1936 Stalin Constitution.

About that time, Stalin was staging show trials of potential rivals featuring wild charges, coached testimony, and the verdict determined up front. That is the pattern of Adam Schiff’s impeachment show, a cavalcade of lies with a Stalinist stank wafting far and wide. This fraud is what must not stand if the republic as we know it is to survive.

Lloyd Billingsley


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Jeremy Corbyn Poses a Potent Threat to Western Security - Con Coughlin

by Con Coughlin

Mr Corbyn's instinct is to be more sympathetic to the views of Russia, Iran, North Korea and the Assad regime in Syria than Britain's long-standing allies in Washington and Europe.

  • By far the most likely casualty of a Corbyn government would be the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, where there is a strong likelihood that other member states of the alliance will be deeply reluctant to share highly sensitive material with a British prime minister who has spent his entire political career openly associating with regimes and groups that are utterly hostile to the West and its allies.
  • At the heart of his hard Left approach to foreign policy lies a deep hatred for the US and its role in safeguarding the interests of the Western democracies.
  • Thus Mr Corbyn's instinct is to be more sympathetic to the views of Russia, Iran, North Korea and the Assad regime in Syria than Britain's long-standing allies in Washington and Europe.

Mr Corbyn makes no secret of where his true sympathies lie. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

With the British general election now well underway, Britain's allies need to give serious consideration about how they would deal with Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour party's hard left candidate, in the event of him becoming prime minister.

The prospect of Mr Corbyn entering Downing Street is of particular concern for the US given the current level of close cooperation that currently exists between Washington and London, especially regarding national security issues.

As one highly influential American security source told me earlier this week, "A Corbyn government would not just be a disaster for Britain. It would be a disaster for the US and other Western allies who work closely with London on a whole range of global security issues."

One of the pillars of the so-called "special relationship" between London and Washington, for example, are the close ties they share on military and intelligence cooperation. Britain's nuclear deterrent relies heavily on American technology to enable the Royal Navy's fleet of specially-adapted submarines to fire Trident missiles armed with nuclear warheads.

It is a similar picture on the intelligence-sharing front, where the close level of cooperation between the American and British intelligence services forms the bedrock of the elite Five Eyes intelligence network, with Canada, Australia and New Zealand being the other members of an alliance that was originally established during the Second World War.

Consequently, serious questions are now being asked in Washington and other key Western capitals about the likely implications of a Corbyn victory in next month's general election and whether, with the Labour leader resident in Downing Street, they will be able to maintain the same level of military and intelligence-sharing cooperation.

By far the most likely casualty of a Corbyn government would be the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, where there is a strong likelihood that other member states of the alliance will be deeply reluctant to share highly sensitive material with a British prime minister who has spent his entire political career openly associating with regimes and groups that are utterly hostile to the West and its allies.

From supporting the IRA at the height of its campaign to kill and maim British troops in Northern Ireland and Britain to, more recently, associating with Islamist terror groups sucj as Hamas and Hezbollah, Mr Corbyn makes no secret of where his true sympathies lie.

It is a similar picture with regard to the Labour leader's global vision. At the heart of his hard Left approach to foreign policy lies a deep hatred for the US and its role in safeguarding the interests of the Western democracies. Thus Mr Corbyn's instinct is to be more sympathetic to the views of Russia, Iran, North Korea and the Assad regime in Syria than Britain's long-standing allies in Washington and Europe.

Mr Corbyn's high regard for the ayatollahs even resulted in his undertaking the controversial role of being a contributor for Press TV, the Iranian-run propaganda channel, where he was paid the equivalent of around $30,000 until the channel was banned by British regulators for its part in filming the detention and torture of an Iranian journalist. MoreoverMr Corbyn has never apologised for his association with the broadcaster, and claiming his appearances over three years allowed him to raise "a number of important human rights issues".

Another example of Mr Corbyn's pro-Iranian bias can be seen in his frequent public association with members of Hezbollah. In a speech made to the British-based Stop the War Coalition, he called members of Hezbollah and Hamas "friends". Consequently there can be little doubt that, in the disastrous event that he becomes Britain's next prime minister, he would insist that Britain pursue a far more sympathetic approach to Tehran.

Another area of concern for Britain's allies would be Mr Corbyn's close association with other Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Mr Corbyn has appeared at a number of rallies with Hamas leaders, and his pro-Islamist sympathies were revealed again earlier this week when, speaking on the campaign trail, he criticised the Trump administration's recent special forces operation that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, claiming that the US should have made more of an effort to take him alive.

The possibility, therefore, that Mr Corbyn could be Britain's next prime minister needs to be given serious consideration by the US and other allies. The presence of a hard-Left leader in Downing Street could have serious implications for the future well-being of the Western alliance.

Con Coughlin is the Telegraph's Defence and Foreign Affairs Editor and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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France: An "Inverted Colonization" - Guy Millière

by Guy Millière

"If the way I dress disturbs you, leave my country". — Signs at a demonstration, October 27, 2019.

  • Soon after, Muslim organizations that had asked for students to have the right to wear the veil in schools also asked for a change in the school curriculum -- in history, so that Muslim civilization would be presented in a more "correct" and "positive" way.
  • "If the way I dress disturbs you, leave my country". — Signs at a demonstration, October 27, 2019.
  • "Any criticism of Islam is now blasphemy." — Ivan Rioufol, columnist, Le Figaro, November 4, 2019.
  • Details lead one to see that the anti-Christian acts were mostly acts of church vandalism, the anti-Semitic acts were very often violent attacks against Jews or cemetery desecrations, and that the anti-Muslim acts were almost only anti-Muslim graffiti or the laying of slices of bacon the entrance to a mosque or in the mailbox of a Muslim organization. No Muslims were physically attacked.
  • "We are not in a project of assimilation." — Yassine Belattar, former advisor to French President Emmanuel Macron, October 27, 2019.
  • Éric Zemmour has suggested that France is threatened not by a risk of "partition", but by an inverted "colonization".

(Image source: iStock)

On October 12, 2019, a meeting of the Regional Council of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté was held in Dijon, a quiet town in central France. A woman wearing a long black veil was in the audience, apparently accompanying a group of students. All at once, the head of the National Rally party group at the Regional Council, Julien Odoul, rose and said that the presence of a woman wearing an Islamic headscarf in a public building was incompatible with the values ​​of the French Republic:
"We are in a public building, we are in a democratic enclosure. Madame has all the time to keep her veil at home, in the street, but not here, not today. It's the Republic, it's secularism. It's the law of the Republic, no ostentatious signs."
He was neither threatening nor violent, yet his words immediately upset others in the room. A boy, apparently the son of the veiled woman, rushed crying into her arms. She then left the room slowly, accompanied by other children.

The event was immediately highlighted in newspapers and television throughout France. Odoul was described as a provocateur and a "despicable Islamophobic racist". The leaders of French political parties asked Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally party, to apologize and to expel Odoul from the party. She replied that Odoul had been "clumsy" and "should have remained silent". She did not, however, expel him from the party.

A petition, "How far will we let hatred towards Muslims go?", in the newspaper Le Monde, described France as "a country where Muslims are stigmatized" as "victims of racism", "segregation" and "ostracism". Without mentioning a recent terrorist attack at Paris police headquarters where four police employees were murdered by a colleague, Mickaël Harpon, a convert to Islam, the text denounced the decision of some public agencies to "monitor the signs of radicalization among their Muslim employees".

The petition also did not mention that it was this attack that prompted public institutions to establish preventive measures. The petition was signed by 90 Muslim writers, actors and university professors, as well as a few non-Muslim intellectuals. Since then, more than 230,000 people have signed it.

A few days later, another petition, signed by a hundred Muslims, was published in the weekly Marianne. The entry was entitled, "The veil is sexist and obscurantist". The entire text was about the Islamic headscarf:
"Wearing a veil is an ostentatious sign of a retrograde, obscurantist and sexist understanding of the Qur'an. Veiling women exists to stigmatize their presence in the public space".
Since then, debates on the Islamic veil in France have proceeded non-stop.
From the US or the UK, such discussions might look strange, but France is a country where belonging to a religion has long been considered a private affair that absolutely must not invade the public sphere.

Additionally, the widespread appearance of the Islamic hijab in France is relatively recent. It has quickly become much more than the sign of a religion. Many now regard the veil as a banner of radical Islam, and as the symbol of an organized attempt profoundly to transform the society of France.

Attempts to bring the hijab into French schools and high schools on a large scale began in 1989. Soon after, Muslim organizations that had asked for students to have the right to wear the veil in schools also asked for a change in the school curriculum -- in history, so that Muslim civilization would be presented in a more "correct" and "positive" way.

A few years after that, teachers began reporting to the Ministry of National Education that it was now impossible to talk about the Holocaust in class without being interrupted by Muslim students' statements that were negative and anti-Semitic. The Ministry of National Education obligingly modified history programs; Muslim civilization is now described in French textbooks as having brought much to the world and to Europe. Any reference to the continuing practice of slavery in the Muslim world, or massacres committed by Muslim warriors, was withdrawn.

At the same time, as the Ministry of National Education remained deaf to what professors were reporting, several of them decided to write a book, Les Territoires perdus de la République ("The Lost Territories of the Republic"), published in 2002, under the direction of the historian Georges Bensoussan.

The book may have prompted Luc Ferry, Minister of National Education at the time, to ask an academic, Jean-Pierre Obin, to launch an investigation and write a report, which was delivered in September 2004. It emphasized that the situation was extremely serious; that history teachers could not talk about the Holocaust in the presence of Muslim students; nor could they talk about Israel or the Crusades. Furthermore, as the theory of evolution did not conform to the Koran, biology teachers, could not speak about evolution. Wherever Jewish students were in contact with Muslim students, the report continued, they were harassed, and when a serious incident took place, school officials did not punish the aggressors but instead advised Jewish parents to enroll their children somewhere else. Muslim girls, the report pointed out, did not wear a headscarf inside school, but an increasing number were not only wearing it as soon as they were outside the school grounds, but also harassing Muslim girls who did not wear one. The mainstream media immediately said that the report was "Islamophobic". The report had no effect.

Meanwhile, the suburbs of large cities where Muslim communities were growing became neighborhoods where girls and women who did not wear the veil were insulted, assaulted, sometimes raped or even subjected to gang rapes in cellars. In Vitry, near Paris, in October 2002, an unveiled Muslim young woman, Sohane Benziane, 17, was burned alive. In Marseille, another unveiled Muslim woman, Ghofrane Haddaoui, 23, was stoned to death. When non-Muslim families, who did not want to submit to the law of gangs and Islamists, gradually left, the neighborhoods became places where every woman knew that to go out unveiled was dangerous.

To many, the veil became a sign of oppression against women, and associated with areas that were becoming no-go zones -- zones urbaines sensibles ("sensitive urban zones"). In 2006, there were 751 of these in the country, where non-Muslims were generally excluded, apart from exceptional circumstances.

In these no-go zones, in the autumn of 2005, riots broke out. The French government was confronted with a situation beyond its control, and had to rely on Muslim organizations and imams to restore the calm. No-go zones had become autonomous Muslim areas on French territory.

In the years that followed, the Muslim population grew larger and Muslim organizations gained even more importance, especially the French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood -- then called the UOIF (Union of Islamic Organizations of France), which is now called Muslims of France. Popular preachers, such as Hassan Iquioussen or Tariq Ramadan (since 2018, indicted for several rapes), said in the mosques that the hijab is an "Islamic obligation" stemming from the need for women to be "modest". These preachers added that forcing Muslim women not to wear a veil in public spaces was a way to "force them to stay at home". They accused whoever opposed the veil of wanting to "exclude" Muslim women from society. Muslim women belonging to those organizations began to repeat these views.

By now, the Islamization of France has gained considerable ground. Veiled women can be seen everywhere. Other women know that if they wear a dress or a skirt that might be seen as immodest, they run a risk. Zineb El Razhoui, a journalist who used to write for the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, has said that all French women, including non-Muslim women, are now threatened. She went on to document the explosion of the number of sexual assaults in France: 235,000 complaints for rape or attempted rape were filed in 2018 -- 62,000 more than in 2016. In 2005, 9,993 complaints of rape or attempted rape were filed, a figure at the time considered alarming.

The result is that El Razhoui has received thousands of death threats, in both Arabic and French.

Georges Bensoussan, in his book Une France soumise ("A Submitted France"), published 15 years after The Lost Territories of the Republic, noted what is happening to all French women: a widespread fear of going out alone, especially in the evening.

In debates on television, veiled Muslim women invited to speak say that wearing a veil is their "choice" and that the French must "adapt to Islam".

On October 27, a demonstration against "Islamophobia" in Paris gathered hundreds of veiled women. They held signs saying, "If the way I dress disturbs you, leave my country" and "Stop the persecution of Muslims". One of the organizers interviewed on television said:
"Muslims in France are suffering under growing persecution. They want to forbid us to be Muslims. France is our country. Those who do not like it must go elsewhere. "
On October 30, French President Emmanuel Macron claimed to react and gave an interview to the weekly Valeurs Actuelles. "I fight with all my strength against sectarianism", he said, but immediately added, "I do not want to fall into a trap and I will never say: sectarianism equals Islam".

A columnist, Ivan Rioufol, wrote in the daily Le Figaro that everyone knows the only sectarianism in France today is Islamic sectarianism and that those remarks were laughable. He also wrote, "The mechanism of intimidation is triggered .... Any criticism of Islam is now blasphemy."

Macron is not the only person who avoids using the word "Islam". All debate on the topic has disappeared from newspapers and television stations in France. Virtually all French journalists, when they speak of the no-go zones, use only the official term: "sensitive urban areas".

The journalists note signs of "radicalization" among young people in the suburbs, but do not dare to say what kind of "radicalization". When a knife attack is committed by a Muslim (knife attacks against passers-by are now frequent in France), the assailant is described as having committed an "inexplicable" act or as suffering from a mental disorder. Although the convert to Islam who murdered four police employees at the Paris police headquarters was originally described as having committed a "terrorist act", a few days ago, the French Ministry of Justice said that a thorough examination of the facts had led the judges to conclude that what had happened was merely a "professional dispute" with no terrorist motive.

On October 31, the French Ministry of the Interior said that 33 policemen had been reported to their superiors as having been "radicalized", yet they were not removed from the police force. When Alexandre Langlois, Secretary General of the Vigi Police Union, stated in June that the number of "radicalized" policemen in France is actually far larger, he received a year's suspension.

It would be misleading to say that Muslims are persecuted in France. An official report on the figures of anti-religious acts in France in 2018 noted that more than a thousand anti-Christian acts had been committed; 541 anti-Semitic acts (64% more than in 2017), and 100 anti-Muslim acts. Details lead one to see that the anti-Christian acts were mostly acts of church vandalism; the anti-Semitic acts often consisted of cemetery desecrations and violent attacks against Jews, and that the anti-Muslim acts involved almost only anti-Muslim graffiti or laying slices of bacon at the entrance to a mosque or in the mailbox of a Muslim organization. No Muslims were physically attacked.

As Jews represent less than one percent of France' population, the number of attacks against Jews is alarming. Sammy Ghozlan, president of National Office of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA), said on television that almost all aggression against Jews had been committed by Muslims.

Since 2012, terrorist attacks by Islamists in France have claimed 263 lives. On October 29, an 84-year-old veteran, Claude Sinke, opened fire on the Bayonne mosque in southwestern France, and injured two people. That was the only violent attack against Muslims committed in France.

The only journalist who, in spite of court convictions and threats raining down on him, dares to speak openly about Islam, is Éric Zemmour. He has not yet been silenced. Those who have asked for his exclusion from the media have so far not met with success -- but have not given up. Zemmour participates in a daily talk show on C News television channel. Several companies that advertised on C News tried to boycott the channel until he was removed. Most French political leaders declared that they would not accept an invitation from C News until Zemmour was fired. An article signed by several left-wing journalists was published on the web magazine Mediapart to demand the total and permanent exclusion of Zemmour from all media:
"It is criminal to give him access to any audience. Racism, calls to hatred and violence against minorities are crimes! Zemmour was sentenced for inciting hatred. Hatred! The crimes against humanity committed during World War II started with hate speech."
Muslim organizations, calling for demonstrations in front of C News every week, also said that their rallies would last until Zemmour "disappears". During a demonstration on November 2, one of the organizers, Abdelaziz Chaambi, listed in a police database for his ties to violent Islamic organizations, called Zemmour a "filthy monster" and a "Zionist bastard". Chaambi was warmly applauded by the crowd.

Although C News has not, so far, bowed to the pressure, it nevertheless issued a statement that Zemmour's programs would now be broadcast after lawyers carefully checked their contents to see that any controversial material was removed.

Those who accuse Zemmour of racism or inciting hatred and violence have never quoted a racist phrase or incitement to hate or violence by Zemmour: there are none. Zemmour was condemned for saying that "in innumerable French suburbs where many girls are veiled, a struggle to Islamize a territory exists". In France today, saying that girls in the suburbs are veiled and that there is a desire to Islamize the territory ends up condemned by the courts.

Zemmour, seemingly pessimistic, said a year ago that he is "fight[ing] for the survival of France", but fears it is "a battle already lost". He has suggested that France is threatened not by a risk of "partition", but by an inverted "colonization". He could be proven right.

In September 2017, the economist Charles Gave published an article, "Tomorrow, the Demographic Suicide of Europe", in which he explained that all data indicated that unless a deep and unlikely change occurs, France, before the end of the 21st century, will be predominantly Muslim. He added that the current Muslim minority will have such weight, that in thirty years, by 2050, France will have submitted to Islam. Demographers who study the issue, such as Michèle Tribalat, confirmed the finding. Gave was immediately denounced in the mainstream press as "Islamophobic" and as having adopted "foolish reasoning".

Imams in French mosques and the Muslim world do not seem to think that Gave's reasoning is foolish, and say it openly. On March 12, the imam of al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem announced:
"In 2050, France will be an Islamic country. We believe that Muslims will have a country that will bring Islam, its guidance, its light, its message and its mercy to the people of the West through jihad, for the sake of Allah ... At the time of the Ottoman Empire the Muslims had conquered Poland and Austria, and the call to prayer was recited there; the Islamic nation is able to recover its original identity, and spread Islam, Allah willing. The means at our disposal are the conversion to Islam and the payment of the jizya [protection tax, ed.], or we will ask the help of Allah to fight the infidels ".
The fight against the "infidels" is already underway.

A growing number of French citizens have been converting to Islam. Victor Loupan, a commentator on Christian radio Notre Dame, said:
"We don't know the numbers. But if you walk the streets, you will be struck by the number of white European people wearing Islamist clothing ".
A French-Lebanese journalist, Maya Khadra, said in an interview on Al-Hurra television, that one of her friends had interviewed young French Muslims in the suburbs of Paris and asked them why they accepted money from the French state while saying that they hate France. They answered: "What they pay us is the jizya [Islamic protection tax]".

One of Macron's advisors, Yassine Belattar, recently said, before resigning on October 17,
"We are not in a project of assimilation. France must get used to the fact that we remain. They do not realize what we have prepared: that is our children".
In an interview with a branch of Muslims of France called the Collective Against Islamophobia, Fatima E., the veiled woman challenged by Julien Odoul, said that her life was "totally destroyed"; that her son had "nightmares" and that she was planning to file a complaint for "public incitement to racial hatred". A photograph of her with her son was widely circulated in French newspapers; she received thousands of messages of support. Referring to her complaint, a lawyer, Gilles-William Goldnadel, spoke of "outrageous victimization". He noted that her son had attracted the attention of many journalists, but that the orphaned children of the four policemen murdered by Mickaël Harpon did not interest anyone.

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


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