Friday, December 6, 2019

Iran reinforces Bushehr, Abu Musa, as Netanyahu & Pompeo talk in Lisbon - debkaFile

by debkaFile

Netanyahu noted: “Iran is increasing its aggression as we speak. We are actively engaged in encountering that aggression”

Iran has poured reinforcements armed with missiles and air defense weapons into Bushehr on its central Gulf shore and the offshore island of Abu Musa, DEBKAfile’s military sources report.  In Lisbon, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday, Dec. 4, discussed the threats coming from Iran, as US officials reported increasing intelligence of potential Iranian aggression.

Addressing reporters, Pompeo hailed US-Israeli bipartisan relationship against Iran’s “destabilizing influence in the region,” while Netanyahu noted: “Iran is increasing its aggression as we speak. We are actively engaged in encountering that aggression,” he said.

As they spoke, unidentified aircraft struck a large Iranian weapons depot and base holding forces of the Revolutionary Guards’ Al Qods, Iraqi militias and Hizballah, near the Syrian-Iraqi border town of Abu Kamal. The nearby border crossing serves Tehran as a land corridor for transporting advanced weapons to Hizballah and other allies. Foreign sources report that this base has been repeatedly attacked by Israel in the past.

Our military sources note it just so happens that whenever the Israeli prime minister an US Secretary of State get together, an Iranian military target is usually is attacked either before, during or after their meeting.

Another of Iran’s arms routes to its proxies ran into trouble on Wednesday, when a US Navy destroyer for the first time intercepted a stateless ship in the Gulf of Oman found to be carrying a “significant amount of advanced missile components,” evidently being smuggled from Iran to the Yemeni Houthi insurgents. Tehran halted those consignments some months ago, our sources reported; this incident indicates they have been resumed.

At the same time, DEBKAfile’s military sources disclose Iran is heavily ramping up its military strength at Bushehr on its Gulf coast, including a large supply of ballistic missiles – in apparent expectation of an American attack or counterattack. Last week, the USS Abraham Lincoln strike group entered the Gulf from the Arabian Sea and docked at Bahrain opposite central Iran. 

Also reinforced in the last few days is the strategic Iranian island of Abu Musa, the site of a large IRGC military command post. This island is situated opposite the United Arab Emirates and the Strait of Hormuz. The reinforcements had come with large array of missiles, including sea-to-sea, surface and air defense batteries.

US intelligence officials also refer to “a possible Iranian arsenal” in Iraq (as DEBKAfile has more than once reported).  It was said to contain short-range missiles with a range of nearly 1,000km, close enough to reach Israel from Baghdad’s outskirts.

US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood said on Wednesday that there are indications that Iranian “aggression” could take place in the future amid “aggravating relations between Tehran and Washington.” Other US officials spoke of “consistent intelligence in several weeks” indicating a possible Iranian threat against US forces and interests in the Middle East. They referred to movements of Iranian troops and weapons that “could be put in place for a potential attack if ordered by the regime.”



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While Iran shoots protesters, Europe schemes to enrich the murderers - Jonathan S. Tobin

by Jonathan S. Tobin

Tehran’s violence against demonstrators is the worst in 40 years. Yet Europeans chose this week to double down on an effort to evade U.S. sanctions.


The news out of Iran should shock the conscience of the world. As The New York Times reported in a front-page article published on Monday, when Iranians tried to protest their government’s arbitrary decision to drastically raise gasoline prices, the regime responded with unprecedented force. Throughout the country, security forces, including units of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, have opened fire on unarmed citizens. According to the Times, in the first two weeks of the protests, anywhere from 180 to 450 persons have been killed, with at least 2,000 wounded and 7,000 persons arrested. This dwarfs the violence that took place in 2009, when a stolen election led large numbers of Iranians out to the streets. 

The news of what amounts to a case of mass murder on the part of the Islamist rulers of Iran has trickled out slowly due to the regime’s decision to create an Internet blackout throughout the country. But as corroborating accounts have become known in the West, the scope of the killings can no longer be denied. 

But perhaps just as shocking as the deaths ordered by the clerics who rule Iran is the reaction from Western Europe. The United States has strongly condemned the violence and vowed to step up the pressure it has exerted to force the Iranian regime to both renegotiate the nuclear deal it struck with the West and also change its behavior towards both its own people and those of neighboring countries. Europe, however, is not only signaling its lack of interest in the unrest inside Iran; it is also doubling down on efforts to keep Western cash flowing to Tehran in order for the regime to continue to maintain its hold on power. 

Indeed, just as the confirmation of the scale of the violence became clear, six more countries joined a new consortium aimed at evading U.S. sanctions on the rogue regime. Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden announced their decision to participate in the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, or INSTEX. The group, whose founding members are Great Britain, France and Germany, is an attempt to create a pathway to trade with Iran based on the barter of goods and services. In theory, these countries will now be able to carry on trade with Tehran without the use of U.S. dollars or involvement with the U.S. financial system.

That sounds innocuous, but its real purpose is to allow Iran to go on selling oil. Participants say they are doing this to preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that was sold to the world as a way to prevent Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon. But since it merely postponed an Iranian bomb and made such a catastrophe eventually inevitable, these excuses don’t pass muster. 

What Europe wants is not a way to preserve peace or to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon. What it wants is a way to keep profiting from a relationship with a brutal regime that is not only oppressing its own people, but remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

The venal nature of this scheme is not in question. European nations and businesses expected President Barack Obama’s pact with Iran to result in a Tehran gold rush for entrepreneurs and investors. They had no interest in nonproliferation or the danger that Iran’s quest for regional hegemony posed to the Middle East, or even the way it ruthlessly used terrorism to pursue its goals around the globe. What they wanted was a way to profit from a market that had been largely ignored by the West since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

But the gold rush never materialized, in large measure because many investors were rightly wary of becoming economic hostages to the ayatollahs. No investment—let alone the personal safety and freedom of those involved in trade with Iran—could be considered safe in a country where the rule of law doesn’t exist.

Just as important, U.S. sanctions that had been passed by Congress remained in place, even if the Obama administration was no longer enforcing them.

Once Trump pulled America out of the nuclear deal, he began reimposing and tightening sanctions that posed a particular challenge to Europeans, who were still lusting after Iran’s cash. Though Obama and his media “echo chamber” had claimed that the United States could never successfully enforce sanctions on Iran by itself without the permission of Europe, Trump quickly debunked that prediction. Faced with a choice of cutting off ties with the largest economy in the world or chasing a profit in Tehran, most have wisely decided not to mess with the Americans.

Western Europeans hope to evade U.S. sanctions with a barter system, though few financial experts think that it can work effectively to provide Iran with a reliable conduit to sell their oil.

Even if it was a viable option, what the Europeans are doing is essentially sending money to the same people, including the IRGC that also runs much of the Iranian economy, who are killing people in the streets and financing terrorists. Like the nuclear deal, which led to the United States sending Iran plane loads of palettes of cash and other foreign exchange, INSTEX is a lifeline for a tyrannical regime. The nuclear pact enriched and empowered the ayatollahs. INSTEX seeks to keep them in power by the same means, enabling them to go on shooting and torturing their own people, while threatening other nations like Israel.

Many supporters of Obama’s deal who are critical of Trump’s decision often like to pose as human-rights advocates when it comes to criticizing Israel, yet they are strangely silent about the atrocities going on in Iran. Perhaps just as outrageous as that hypocrisy is the willingness of supposedly enlightened Western Europe to try to prop up the Islamist regime with INSTEX just at the time when decent people should be doing all they can to isolate it.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.


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New IAEA head seeks answers from Iran - JNS

by JNS

The United States and Israel have been pushing the IAEA to look into Iran’s Turquzabad site, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described in a speech at the United Nations in 2018 as a “secret atomic warehouse”

The new director general of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency said on Tuesday that Iran still has to answer for the discovery of uranium particles at an undeclared site near Tehran. 

IAEA head Rafael Grossi told the AP in an interview that the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency is in talks with Iran about the discovery, and that it is “not a closed matter.” 

“The process continues. We have so far not received an entirely satisfactory reply from them, but the exchanges continue,” he said. 

The United States and Israel have been pushing the IAEA to look into Iran’s Turquzabad site, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described in a speech at the United Nations in 2018 as a “secret atomic warehouse,” the report noted.

Responding to criticism that the agency has been too soft on Iran, Grossi said, “The timely response to our questions is very important.” 

The Argentinian Grossi succeeds Yukiya Amano, who died in July, as head of the U.N. agency. He will serve a four-year term.

Despite recent violent protests in Iran and the harsh crackdown by its government, Grossi said agency inspectors continue to carry out their work, the report added.



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Explosion strikes Iranian weapons depot in Syria - Tzvi Joffre

by Tzvi Joffre

No information about the extent of the damage or any casualties has been reported.

Aerial view of the new Iranian border crossing between Syria and Iraq (photo credit: IMAGESAT INTERNATIONAL (ISI))
Aerial view of the new Iranian border crossing between Syria and Iraq

Large explosions were reported at an Iranian base in Al-Bukamal in eastern Syria after unidentified aircraft targeted a weapons depot at the site, according to the Step news agency.

A correspondent for Step reported that Iranian militias fired anti-aircraft fire at a reconnaissance aircraft that was spotted shortly before the attack. Shortly afterwards, unidentified aircraft attacked the weapons depot and large explosions were heard and fire could be seen from a distance.

No information about the extent of the damage or any casualties has been reported.
During a visit to Lisbon, Portugal on Wednesday in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Netanyahu pointed to Iranian activity in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Gaza and Yemen, and said that Israel is “actively engaged in countering that aggression.”When asked about the recent explosions heard in a Syrian weapons facility, Netanyahu chose to evade the question by saying "I don't comment on these kinds of things."
Sites controlled by Iran in the Al-Bukamal area have been targeted multiple times by airstrikes in recent months. A strategic border crossing between Iraq and Syria is located in the border town.
In November, the IDF struck tens of targets in Damascus, west of Damascus and the Syrian Golan Heights, belonging both to the regime of Bashar Assad and the Quds Force, within minutes in response to rockets that were launched towards Israel. All the targets were located within 80 km. of Israel’s border.

According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), 23 people, including 16 non-Syrians, most likely Iranians, were killed in the Israeli airstrikes. A senior Israeli defense official acknowledged that there were wounded and a number of Iranian fatalities. Numerous others were wounded, including a young woman who was wounded by shrapnel that hit the suburb of Qudsaya, west of Damascus.Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said following the strikes that “the rules have changed: Anyone who shoots at the State of Israel during the day will not sleep at night. Like last week and now this week. Our message to Iran’s leaders is simple: You are no longer immune. Wherever you stretch your tentacles – we will hack them off. The IDF will continue to protect Israeli citizens.”
Iranian forces and militias loyal to them are fortifying their positions in the Deir ez-Zor area in eastern Syria where Al-Bukamal is located, according to the SOHR. In September, at least 37 militants were killed in two airstrikes which also destroyed vehicles, ammunition depots, weapons and buildings in the Al-Bukamal area. Many of those killed were of Iraqi nationality.
In September, Fox News reported that Iran was building a classified military base near Al-Bukamal, less than 200 miles from an American position, with the intention of housing thousands of troops.
According to the report, the classified Iranian project is called the Imam Ali compound and is being completed by the IRGC. At least five different, newly constructed buildings surrounded by large dirt mounds could house precision missiles, Fox said. The other 10 less fortified storehouses in the base will likely hold ammunition.
The attacks in the Al-Bukamal area have been blamed on both Israel and Saudi Arabia.
"Saudi fighter jets have been spotted along with other fighter jets that have attacked facilities and positions belonging to Iranian militias," said an unnamed source to the Independent in Arabic. The attacks targeted positions belonging to the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in Albukamal and other areas near the Iraq-Syria border.
Saudi sources later denied the report, according to the Independent.
On September 9, airstrikes allegedly carried out by Israel destroyed a military base in the area under Iranian control, according to the SOHR.
Rockets were fired at Israel from the outskirts of Damascus by a Shi’ite militia operating under the command of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Quds Force after the attack on September 9.
Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post Staff and Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.

Tzvi Joffre


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We Are All George Zimmerman Now - George Zimmerman

by George Zimmerman

I have now taken up the cause of bringing America back together again, and I intend to do it by revealing how the country was deceived.

Most people know my name, George Zimmerman, largely due to negative stereotypes propagated by the media as a result of the 2012 incident in Sanford, Florida, in which Trayvon Martin died.

Unfortunately, most people don’t recall the fact that I was exonerated of any wrongdoing after a thorough investigation by the Sanford Police Department in March 2012. They had interviewed dozens of witnesses, analyzed 911 calls, and examined the physical evidence of my broken nose, the lacerations on the back of my head, as well as the bruised knuckles of my assailant. 

George Zimmerman in 2012, following the incident
Photo via the State of Florida

This was all backed up by eyewitness Johnathan Good who told police that he saw me screaming for help while blows were coming down on me “MMA style.”

At the conclusion of the police investigation, Sanford Chief of Police Bill Lee announced that my actions were taken in self-defense and there were no grounds for my arrest. It was not even a “stand your ground” case. What followed immediately was a campaign of race-based defamation and incitement against me, led by Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump.

I am the last person who ever expected to be accused of being a bigot. I am Hispanic. My mother is from Peru. I speak fluent Spanish. I was an Obama supporter and a social activist. Just a year earlier, I had led a community-wide effort to get justice for Sherman Ware, a homeless black man who had been attacked by the son of a white police officer. I was also active in a mentoring program where I spent my spare time (and money) with black teens whose parents were in prison.

The Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump, quickly recruited for his incitement efforts Al Sharpton, a man who was infamous for the 1989 Tawana Brawley race hoax and other incidents of mayhem based on racial incitement over the years. Then, Obama’s Department of Justice sent representatives to Sanford to “investigate,” but they instead helped organize protests demanding my arrest. As the protests heated up and Crump’s false narrative was repeated by the media ad nauseam, even fair-minded people began to demand my arrest without cause. Then, out of the blue, Crump produced a recorded interview of a “phone witness,” whom, he said, was Trayvon Martin’s 16-year-old girlfriend, “Diamond Eugene.”

In the recorded interview with Diamond Eugene, Crump openly led the witness. She mostly just echoed everything Crump said. Two weeks later, prosecutors went to Miami to interview 16-year-old Diamond Eugene under oath. That’s when, as I recently learned, 18-year-old Rachel Jeantel appeared, claiming she was Diamond Eugene. Despite the discrepancy in name and age, prosecutors interviewed Rachel Jeantel anyway and used her obviously false statements to issue an affidavit of probable cause for my arrest. The rest is history.

Hollywood filmmaker Joel Gilbert just released a film and book of the same name, The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America. He investigated the public records and made a discovery – Rachel Jeantel was an imposter. She was not “Diamond Eugene.” She was not Trayvon’s girlfriend. She was not on the phone with him before our altercation. She lied in court about everything she claimed to have heard over the phone in order to send me to prison for life.

In The Trayvon Hoax, Gilbert not only proves that Rachel was a fraud, he actually finds Trayvon’s real girlfriend, Diamond Eugene, studying Criminal Justice at Florida State University, of all things! Gilbert also identifies those who knew about the witness fraud, such as Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton, now a 2020 Miami Dade Commissioner candidate. Gilbert also identifies the attorneys who likely knew and/or should have known about the witness switch.

The damage the trial did to me and my family has been devastating. I suffered from PTSD and, as a result, acted out for a few years before finally returning to the person I was. I was kicked out of college due to threats against the staff by the New Black Panthers. I lost my career path to become an attorney, and to this day I cannot work or even circulate in public. In 2015, someone tried to kill me. The bullet missed my head by inches, and the shooter got 20 years in prison. Today I remain in hiding, as does my family due to constant threats, which appear almost daily in rap songs and social media rants.

Ironically, Trayvon Martin and I ended up having much in common. We were both used to divide America for a political agenda. Since the trial, I have watched in horror as those who incited against me have divided America along racial lines. Black Lives Matter started as a result of my acquittal. BLM took its vigilante act to Ferguson, and the resulting "Ferguson Effect" led to a sharp rise in homicides in black neighborhoods. Even today, Benjamin Crump continues his false race narrative (and defames me) in his new book entitled, Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People.

I have now taken up the cause of bringing America back together again, and I intend to do it by revealing how the country was deceived. I feel that if I can expose and hold accountable those at the origin of this evil witness fraud, the healing can begin.

I have hired attorney Larry Klayman in his private capacity, founder of Judicial Watch and now Freedom Watch. I am suing Rachel Jeantel, Brittany “Diamond” Eugene, Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, Benjamin Crump, prosecutors Angela Corey, Bernie de la Rionda, John Guy, the state of Florida, the FDLE, and HarperCollins Publishing for in excess $100 million. I don't care about the money as much as I care about the truth coming out in discovery and at trial.

Racheal Jeantel lied under oath to deprive me of my constitutional rights and send me to prison for life. The others either suborned perjury or lied under oath to hide their knowledge of the switch of the legitimate phone witness, Diamond Eugene, for Rachel Jeantel, whom they knew was an imposter. My lawsuit is online and can be viewed or downloaded here: Zimmerman v Sybrina Fulton, Crump et al.

I am bringing this action not only to get justice for myself, but for all those Americans who are falsely accused of racial animus as well as those victimized by fake witnesses and unscrupulous prosecutors.

This lawsuit is also for the Bell family, whose sons were falsely accused of involvement in a tragic gym accident that caused the death of Kendrick Johnson. This lawsuit is for Officer Darren Wilson of Ferguson, whom even Eric Holder had to admit was falsely accused of shooting a man who allegedly put his hands up. This lawsuit is for the police officers in Baltimore, both black and white, who were falsely accused of harming Freddy Gray in order to justify mob violence. This lawsuit is for Brett Kavanaugh and any future Supreme Court nominees falsely accused of crimes they did not commit to prevent their nominations.

More than anything else, this lawsuit is for the America I grew up in and still believe in, an America of equal justice for all, where race hoaxes and fake witnesses have no place, an America where the content of one's character, not race, is the basis for one's judgement of another.

With my lawsuit, I hope to make a strong statement that false witnesses will not be tolerated, not in Seminole County Court or any court, and not in the United States Senate chambers. False witnesses must face consequences, or they will continue to ruin lives of innocent people. There is nothing more un-American and irreligious under the Ten Commandments than to bear false witness.

I look forward to succeeding in my court actions and hope to have enough funds to found a center for falsely accused persons of all races, those railroaded by charlatans, prosecutors, and an all too willing establishment media.

George Zimmerman


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Winning the Minority Vote the Right Way - R. Quinn Kennedy

by R. Quinn Kennedy

Instead of failed social programs that keep minorities enslaved and voting for Democrats year after year, helping them prosper would win Republicans the minority vote

Democrats are panicked by President Trump’s increasing popularity within black and Hispanic communities. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, Donald Trump has the support of over 34% of black registered voters. Neither the left nor the right could have imagined quite a shift four years ago.

While leftist media outlets such as the New York Times and CNN dismiss and even ridicule Trump’s poll numbers with minority voters, black and Hispanic workers have a surplus of personal anecdotes that underscore the reality of higher wages and the lowest unemployment rates in U.S. history (5.5% and 3.9% respectively). In addition, Trump’s popularity has been bolstered by long-term investment capital pouring into low-income communities through the highly successful Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

In an unexpected rebuke to never-ending assertions of racism by leftists and the national media, President Trump has received the lion’s share of credit for last year’s First Step Act. This law has been embraced by minorities as a substantial criminal reform bill that has challenged many to reconsider their blind support of Democrats. Add to that efforts by the White House to aid ex-felons in finding jobs and it is easy to see why Trump is winning support from unexpected places.

Backing from the minority community is good news for those of us wanting the president’s re-election efforts strengthened heading into 2020. It’s not only President Trump who will benefit from the positive outcomes his policies have had throughout black and Hispanic communities. Purple district Republicans find themselves in an enviable position due to the rising tide of minorities walking away from a Democratic party that for fifty years has been long on promises while substantially devaluing the quality of their lives.

Urgent steps need to be taken by Republicans, however, in order to maintain this trend over the long term.

Throughout inner-city communities across the country, restlessness among black and Hispanic families is being rightly directed at local school districts that leave their young people unable to read or perform basic math. Malcolm X correctly stated, “Without education, you are not going anywhere in this world.” As businesspeople of color such as Robert Smith and Gisel Ruiz gain prominence, there is finally a broadening realization within minority communities of the tangible relationship between educational success and personal financial success.

Republicans can capitalize on the left’s staggering inner-city failures two ways: First, by creating national dialogue and introducing bills on Capitol Hill around facilitating school choice, voucher programs, and charter schools in low-income Opportunity Zones. Any of the three are a proactive means for underserved communities to gain access to better education.
Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Secretary, is an enormous advocate of school choice, vouchers, and charter schools. Ms. DeVos has the boldness and tough-as-nails skin to help Donald Trump make these forms of education one of Congress’ top priorities heading into his second term. Along with Republicans in the House and Senate, the president should put a full court press on Democrats, to the point of shame, until they acquiesce to school choice, voucher programs, and charter schools in Opportunity Zones where schools are failing.

This is not a proposition with a short-term outcome. It could understandably take years for black and Hispanic groups to fully grasp the material impact education alternatives have made on their communities. Still, it is a result worth pursuing that will not only benefit the party that drives these alternatives, but more importantly elevates America’s most vulnerable citizens who have long been oppressed at the hands of Democrats and so-called community activists. Just as minorities are citing Trump as the reason for low unemployment, blacks and Hispanics will undeniably acknowledge that it was the party of Lincoln that pushed for radical and meaningful education reform.

Second, President Trump should make it his top priority to roll out a nationwide plan that provides high school-aged students with skills training that is delivered independent of public schools.

A nationwide study conducted by America’s Promise Alliance revealed that the average inner-city student dropout rate starting from their freshman year is a stunning 47%. These “dropout factories” produce so few graduates because students and their families find little incentive or personal value in attending.

Establishing trade schools within inner cities would give teenagers opportunities for genuine career paths in trades that provide real earning potential.

Consider this: The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2017, the individual median annual income was a mere $31,099. At the same time, the average plumber’s apprentice earned $32,390 annually. The average plumber earned $64,790 -- nearly twice that of U.S. median annual income. Trade workers in the oil and gas industry, avionics, heavy equipment operation, HVAC, and electrical installation trades, to name just a few, have the prospect of even higher earnings.

By creating an aggressive program that establishes high school level trade schools within inner cities, teens from low-income families who complete training, work in a trade and subsequently marry another person with a skilled-labor job could easily have a dual household income well in excess of $100,000 per year. Think about the transformational power such a nationwide program would have on black and Hispanic communities. Instead of being spoon-fed the politics of envy, low-income families would be given the prospect of prosperity.

With the prospect of implementation, Democrats, because they simply can’t help themselves, would try to add as many layers of bureaucracy to these programs as possible. To subvert this, Republicans can write legislation that frames oversight of community trade schools in a way that federal and state regulation is abated while still securing safe learning and working standards. In contrast to how things are typically done in Washington, implementation of such a plan can be unbelievably simple.

To foster success and longevity, this type of program would require strong legs on which to stand once the student nears completion of his skills training. For this reason, it’s vital that the legislation offer tax incentives to employers who provide paid, hands-on apprenticeships during what would normally be considered the student’s senior year.

Finally, by stipulating that allocated student funds within a school district be channeled to the trade school the student attends, there would be no additional expense to the American taxpayer. Rather, trade school graduates could result in hundreds of thousands of new middle-class taxpayers with the result being a monetary windfall for state and federal coffers.

Would deviations of public funds have a negative financial impact on inner-city schools? Minimally. Most inner-city students attending trade schools would be the same ones who would have dropped out of local schools. Districts that aren’t already receiving funding for dropouts would experience very little financial effect. With little to no financial impact on local schools, anticipated cries of foul by leftists could be easily negated.

Within a single low-income community, as few as four to five trade schools would be able to offer training in 30 or more different trades. America is truly the land of opportunity and high school level trade schools are a pragmatic way to provide black and Hispanic communities with income opportunities that are critically absent through traditional inner-city schools.

If the Republican goal of implementing skills training and better education for low-income communities is solely for political gain, these programs will fail just as dreadfully as any Democrat-inspired social program that ever lived. However, when the goal is to truly uplift black and Hispanic families, Republicans will surely benefit -- as will our country as a whole. Within the successful policies of Donald Trump’s first three years lies the proof.

Instead of failed social programs that keep minorities enslaved and voting for Democrats year after year, helping them prosper would win Republicans the minority vote the right way.

R. Quinn Kennedy


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Germany: All EU Members Must Take in Migrants - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

The continuing debate over migration is, at its core, about European federalism and the degree to which the European Union will be allowed to usurp decision-making powers from its 28 member states

  • The continuing debate over migration is, at its core, about European federalism and the degree to which the European Union will be allowed to usurp decision-making powers from its 28 member states.
  • If everything goes according to plan, the draft legislation would be adopted by the European Parliament in the second half of 2020 when Germany holds the presidency of the EU. It would then be ratified by the European Council, made up of the leaders of the EU member states.
  • "We fundamentally reject illegal migration. We also reject allowing smuggling gangs to decide who will live in Europe." — Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.
  • "The V4's [Visegrád group: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia] position is clear. We are not willing to admit any illegal migrants into central Europe. The success and security of central Europe is thanks to our pursuit of a firm anti-migration policy, and this will endure.... Hungarians insist on our right to decide whom to allow into our country and with whom we wish to live." — Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has unveiled a new plan to reform the European asylum system. A leaked draft of the proposal shows that all member states of the EU would be required to take in illegal migrants. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has unveiled a new plan to reform the European asylum system. A draft of the proposal leaked to the media shows that all member states of the European Union would be required to take in illegal migrants.

Countries in Central and Eastern Europe are opposed to mandatory relocations on the basis that decisions about the granting of residence permits should be kept at the national level. They have noted that by unilaterally imposing migrant quotas on EU member states, unelected bureaucrats in Brussels are seeking to force the democratically elected leaders of Europe to submit to their diktat.
Indeed, the continuing debate over migration is, at its core, about European federalism and the degree to which the European Union will be allowed to usurp decision-making powers from its 28 member states.

Seehofer presented his four-page plan to reform the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) to the new president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in Brussels on December 2. She is expected to unveil her migration proposals in February 2020, ahead of Germany's six-month presidency of the European Council which begins in July 2020.

The new plan is aimed at replacing the European Union's Dublin Regulation, a law that requires people seeking asylum in the EU to do so in the first European country they reach.

Southern European countries — especially Greece and Italy — have complained that, in the context of mass migration from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the current system places an unfair and disproportionate burden on them. They say that all EU member states should take equal responsibility for migrants reaching European shores.

At the height of Europe's migration crisis in September 2015, some EU member states voted to relocate 120,000 migrants from Italy and Greece to other parts of the bloc. This number was in addition to a July 2015 plan to redistribute 40,000 migrants from Italy and Greece.

Of the 160,000 migrants to be "shared," nine countries in Central and Eastern Europe were ordered to take in around 15,000 migrants. Although the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia voted against the agreement, they were still required to comply.

In September 2017, the European Union's highest court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), ruled that the European Commission, the powerful executive arm of the European Union, has the legal right to order EU member states to take in so-called asylum seekers. It also ruled that EU member states have no legal right to resist those orders.

Hungary and Slovakia, backed by Poland, argued that the European Union broke its own rules and exceeded its powers when it approved the quota system with a "qualified majority" — around two thirds of the bloc's members. They also argued that the relocation scheme is a direct violation of the Dublin Regulation.

The European Court of Justice ruled that a qualified majority vote was sufficient because the EU "was not required to act unanimously when it adopted the contested decision." The ruling, which did not mention the Dublin Regulation, concluded: "The mechanism actually contributes to enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis and is proportionate."

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó called the court ruling "outrageous and irresponsible" and "contrary to the interests of the European nations, including Hungary." He added: "The decision puts at risk the security of all of Europe and the future of all of Europe as well."

In November 2019, the European Court of Auditors reported that of the 160,000 migrants intended to be shared by EU member states, ultimately only 34,705 people (21,999 from Greece and 12,706 from Italy) were relocated.

The leaders of France and Italy, during a recent bilateral meeting in Rome, called on the European Union to introduce a new, automatic system of taking in migrants. French President Emmanuel Macron said that he was "convinced that an automatic European mechanism is needed for the reception of immigrants," and that EU countries that refused to take part in the scheme should be "seriously penalized."

The leaked draft of Seehofer's proposal states that the Dublin Regulation creates "clear imbalances" as "in 2018, 75 percent of all applications for international protection were lodged in only five member states."

The document argues that the Dublin Regulation is "inefficient" because "in the entire EU, applicants are transferred to the member state (originally) responsible in only 3 percent of cases," which means that in practice asylum seekers are not sent back to the country of first arrival.

The key part of the document calls for asylum applications to be assessed immediately upon arrival at the EU's external border. From there, a newly created European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) would "determine" which member state is responsible for taking in the applicant and processing his or her application.

Seehofer's plan is intended to be permanent and not limited to crisis situations. Notably, the plan does not address the issue of returning illegal migrants back to their countries of origin.

The plan studiously avoids using the politically explosive term "quota" and replaces it with "fair share" (gerechter Anteil). The document also omits the term "mandatory," although it is assumed throughout that the migrant relocation scheme will be compulsory for all EU member states.

If everything goes according to plan, the draft legislation would be adopted by the European Parliament in the second half of 2020 when Germany holds the presidency of the EU. It would then be ratified by the European Council, made up of the leaders of the EU member states.

The new European Commissioner for the Promotion of the European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, expressed support for the scheme:
"Migration Commissioner Ylva Johansson and I met Horst Seehofer. We completely agree with Germany. We need this consensus from all Member States, and we are working hard to achieve it."
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, however, voiced his opposition to the German plan. In an interview with the Czech news agency ČTK, he said that he saw through Seehofer's semantics:
"We fundamentally reject illegal migration. We also reject allowing smuggling gangs to decide who will live in Europe. We reject quotas and I am surprised that this issue has once again returned to the negotiating table. I hope that the new European Commission will put a stop to this."
Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said that the Czech Republic would "coordinate our position" with the other members of the Visegrád Four (V4), a cultural and political alliance of four Central European states — the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that the V4 would not bow to EU pressure to accept migrants:

"The V4's position is clear. We are not willing to admit any illegal migrants into central Europe. The success and security of central Europe is thanks to our pursuit of a firm anti-migration policy, and this will endure.

"This is why central Europe is one of the most successful regions of the European Union today, and its engine of growth. We do not tolerate any kind of pressure and we Hungarians insist on our right to decide whom to allow into our country and with whom we wish to live."

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


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ICC Prosecutor concerned about Israeli annexation of Jordan Valley - Yonah Jeremy Bob

by Yonah Jeremy Bob

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's final decision could have a massive impact on Israel legally, diplomatically and in terms of the country’s image.

Five years after launching a preliminary review, International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said Thursday that she is concerned about potential Israeli moves to annex the Jordan Valley.

Bensouda made the comment in a key section of her annual report reviewing a range of conflict areas around the world which she is probing.

Her final decision could have a massive impact on Israel legally, diplomatically and in terms of the country’s image.Like her 2018 annual report, Bensouda once again said that she was close to a broader decision about whether to delve deeper into the war crimes debate relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Bensouda’s term expires in mid-2021 which means that the fall 2020 report will be her last major chance to issue a decision on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Though Bensouda’s 2018 report hinted that a decision might come down by mid-2019, it seems that her decision may have been pushed off by a combination of conflict with the US administration as well as the ongoing Gaza border conflict between Israel and Hamas.The three main issues she is probing are alleged war crimes related to: the 2014 Gaza War, the settlement enterprise and the March 2018-present Gaza border conflict.

Yonah Jeremy Bob


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Pelosi Palooza - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Stalinist-friendly San Francisco Democrat aims to undo the 2016 election from abroad.

“By coming here, we want to say to everyone we are still are still in, the United States is still in.”

That was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the United Nations climate conference in Madrid this week, with an all-Democrat delegation in tow. What the United States was “still in,” according to Pelosi, was the climate accord from which President Trump had withdrawn.

“We aren’t here to talk about impeachment of the president of the United States,” Pelosi proclaimed, “We’re here to talk positively about our agenda to save the planet for future generations.” On the other hand, the Speaker’s actual agenda was already on full display.

With Judiciary Committee boss Jerrold Nadler gearing up for impeachment hearings in Washington, Pelosi was countermanding President Trump’s decisions and claiming to represent the United States. From a UN platform in a foreign country, Nancy Pelosi echoes the Democrat charge that Donald Trump is an illegitimate president who stole the 2016 election. In effect, she now tells the world that Trump will soon be gone, and this comes as no surprise.

The supposedly moderate Pelosi has reversed herself and green-lighted the impeachment proceedings as a solemn duty for the benefit of the nation. In other areas the Speaker remains remarkable consistent, and revealing.

“Thanksgiving is an all-American holiday,” Pelosi said in a statement last week. “when our country recognizes the great blessings that have been bestowed upon our nation.” The Bible’s wisdom in the Book of Ecclesiastes, Pelosi explains, “is echoed in the song ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’ by Pete Seeger.” He is the only person named in her message, without the back story of the strumming Stalinist.

Seeger joined the Communist Party in 1942, after the Stalin-Hitler Pact and in 1945 became director of People’s Songs, Stalinist evangelism wrapped in populist pieties. At that time, as Bobby Gentry might say, everything was an “Ode to Uncle Joe.”

Seeger was not the most talented American Stalinist, trailing Paul Robeson, Lillian Hellman, and others, but he never flagged in zeal. In his emeritus years, Seeger joined the campaign to “Free the Cuban Five,” operatives of the Communist Castro regime that gave Seeger a prize. As it happens, the banjoist Bolshevik was not Pelosi’s only Stalinist star.

“Harry Bridges was arguably the most significant labor leader of the twentieth century,” Pelosi wrote in the Congressional Record in 2001, on the 100th anniversary of Bridges birth. Bridges was “beloved by the workers of this nation, and recognized as one of the most important labor leaders in the world” and his International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen's Union was “the most progressive union of the time.”

In reality, Harry Bridges was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party USA, directly approved by the Kremlin. True to form, Bridges “progressive” union obeyed every twist and turn of the Party line. In 1948 and 1952, the Communist Party did not field candidates and instead backed the Progressive Party. Bay Area lawyer Vincent Hallinan was the Progressive Party candidate for president in 1952, and Nancy Pelosi is a veteran cheerleader for the Hallinan family.

By 1968, the Communist Party was again fielding candidates and in 1976 Gus Hall got a vote from college student John Brennan, who would go on to head the CIA. In 1979, American Communist Angela Davis won the Lenin Peace Prize and in 1980 and 1984 Davis joined the ticket under Gus Hall. Ronald Reagan crushed them, and as notes, after that the CPUSA urged voters to support the Democrat Party. The influence still shows.

Like the Communists, the Democrats maintain a single party line on most issues and mouth the same slogans in lockstep fidelity. They choose for their congressional leader not some thirty-something rising star capable of proven accomplishments and capable of working across the aisle. They pick a leftist fossil like Nancy Pelosi, in Congress since 1987, an aging champion of Harry Bridges and Vincent Hallinan, and careful to give thanks for Pete Seeger.

In 2016, Nancy Pelosi signed a statement celebrating New Left Icon Tom Hayden, a high-profile supporter of the Vietnamese Communist regime that deployed the speeches of Hayden and Jane Fonda as a sound track for torture sessions of Americans. The statement hailed “the movement for social justice that lives on in the platform and the people of our Party.”

Throughout the Cold War, the Democrat Party was a servile appeaser of Communist Russia, with Sen. Ted Kennedy even seeking covertly to deploy Russian aid against Reagan in 1984. After the victory of Donald Trump in 2016, the Democrats changed course and erupted in McCarthyite rage.

“What do the Russians have on Donald Trump, politically, financially and personally?” Pelosi wondered in July of 2018, during the height of Mueller probe hysteria. Pelosi postured as an opponent of impeachment but a look at the current Democratic field convinced her to go all-in on the hearings by serial prevaricator Adam Schiff, essentially a Stalinist show trial.

With Nadler’s sequel gearing up and President Trump in London for a NATO meeting, Nancy Pelosi flies to Spain and tells the world “the United States is still in.” And now abide Schiff, Nadler and Pelosi, but the greatest of these is Pelosi.

Lloyd Billingsley


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Nadler's Impeachment Circus - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

Dem-picked law professors put on a rage-filled clown show.

The House Intelligence Committee approved its Democrat majority report on Tuesday claiming there was "overwhelming evidence" that President Trump committed misconduct in office and obstruction. The “overwhelming” evidence consisted of no more than an accumulation of hearsay and presumptions. It is contradicted by direct evidence that President Trump demanded nothing from Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also denied that there was any pressure exerted on him by President Trump, and he said recently that he “never talked to the President from the position of a quid pro quo.” On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee took over the impeachment circus. The House Judiciary Committee’s first public hearing consisted of a supposedly academic discussion by constitutional law experts on impeachment. Before kicking off the public hearing, Chairman Jerry Nadler summed up his not so scholarly approach in a closed-door session with Democrats as follows; “I’m not going to take any sh*t.” He just likes to dish it out like his comrade, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

The professors who testified before the House Judiciary Committee were Noah Feldman (Harvard Law School), Pamela S. Karlan (Stanford Law School),  Michael Gerhardt (University of North Carolina School of Law), and Jonathan Turley (George Washington University Law School). Three out of the four experts called to testify were hand-picked by the Democrats, stacking the deck against President Trump. The Republicans’ single choice was Professor Turley, a Democrat himself but relatively open-minded compared to the Democrats’ choices.

Professors Feldman, Karlan and Gerhardt, not surprisingly, concurred that President Trump had committed "the impeachable high crime and misdemeanor of abuse of power." Professor Turley disagreed.

Professor Feldman interpreted the “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” impeachable offense as meaning "Abuse of the office of the presidency for personal advantage or to corrupt the electoral process or to subvert the national security of the United States.” He added that “if we cannot impeach a president who abuses his office for personal advantage, we no longer live in a democracy. We live in a monarchy or we live under a dictatorship.”

Then Professor Feldman jumped to the conclusion, based on “the testimony presented to the House” – virtually all second, third or fourth hand -  that President Trump abused the official power of his office by seeking “a personal political and electoral advantage over his political rival, former vice president Joe Biden, and over the Democratic Party.” Somehow channeling the Founding Fathers’ thoughts, Professor Feldman said they “would expect the House of Representatives to take action in the form of impeachment” against President Trump. Professor Feldman even imagined a meeting with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton in the afterlife, when they would ask regarding President Trump’s alleged wrongdoing, “what did you do?” Impeachment, he said, must be the answer.

Professor Feldman claimed that President Trump’s actions constituted bribery under the Constitution. Trying to explain away the significance of the fact that Ukraine received, with no strings attached, the security assistance that had been temporarily placed on hold, Professor Feldman asserted that even attempting to withhold aid from Ukraine was impeachable. President Trump’s legitimate concerns about lingering corruption in Ukraine, Ukraine’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the failure of European nations to contribute their fair share to Ukraine’s defense are evidently irrelevant to this Harvard Law professor.

Professor Karlan, who donated $1000 to the presidential campaign of Sen. Elizabeth Warren last July, also testified as to her understanding of the Founding Fathers’ intentions. She proceeded from the unproven claim that President Trump “used the powers of his office to demand that a foreign government participate in undermining a competing candidate for the presidency” to declare that the Founding Fathers would have been horrified. She said that President Trump’s actions cut to the heart of the democracy and endangered the right to vote, without providing a cogent explanation of what she meant. And she threw in the Emoluments Clause for good measure.

The third constitutional expert to testify on behalf of the Democrats’ impeachment narrative was Professor Gerhardt. He claimed that President Trump’s behavior was “worse than the misconduct of any prior president.” In offering his views as to why President Trump should be impeached, this professor displayed rank hypocrisy by contradicting what he said seven years ago when defending then-President Barack Obama at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Obama administration's abuse of power.

Professor Gerhardt said about President Trump, "The record compiled thus far shows the president has committed several impeachable offenses." This is the same pile of hearsay and assumptions that the other Democrat witnesses relied on without any critical analysis. He accused President Trump of committing bribery, obstructing justice, and obstructing Congress. “If Congress fails to impeach here, then the impeachment process has lost all meaning, and, along with that, our Constitution’s carefully crafted safeguards against the establishment of a king on American soil,” Professor Gerhardt added.

Professor Gerhardt had no problem reciting his claims of abuses of power by President Trump based on flimsy evidence. He even misstated the “record compiled so far” in his opening statement. “The ‘favor’ he requested from Ukraine’s president,” said Professor Gerhardt, “was to receive – in exchange for his release of the funds Ukraine desperately needed -- Ukraine’s announcement of a criminal investigation of a political rival.”

The “favor” mentioned in the call memo detailing President Trump’s July 25th phone call with President Zelensky had nothing to do with the Bidens. It was a request for opening an investigation into alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential election. There is no direct factual evidence that President Trump tied release of the security assistance to Ukraine to any announcement of any investigation. The aid was not discussed at all during the July 25th call, according to the call memo. In fact, the Ukrainians did not even know about the hold on the aid until late August. The aid was released on September 11th without any conditions pertaining to an investigation announcement.

Professor Gerhardt ascribed corrupt political motives to President Trump for his actions in relation to Ukraine. The professor had no interest in considering any legitimate reasons within President Trump’s constitutional authority for his actions, irrespective of whatever political ramifications might have resulted. Professor Gerhardt simply assumed the worst and characterized President Trump’s actions as impeachable offenses. Yet when the shoe was on the other foot seven years ago and the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee was conducting its hearing into Obama administration abuses of power, Professor Gerhardt bent over backwards to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. “The fact that a president's constitutional choices have political ramifications does not make them political or purely partisan acts,” Professor Gerhardt said back then. “Nor should those ramifications be confused with the arguments that support, or oppose, the constitutional judgments in question.”

In the face of far more compelling evidence of Obama’s multiple usurpations of legislative power, his failures to faithfully execute the nation’s laws, and abuse of his executive powers in trampling on the fundamental freedoms of speech, the press and religion, Professor Gerhardt shamelessly declared, “For myself I think it is pretty obvious that there has been no abuse of power.” He went on to say that Obama had been “transparent, open  and deliberative and reasonable.” Professor Gerhardt also made excuses for the Obama administration’s stonewalling of Congressional investigations. “The judgment about whether executive privilege applies is, at bottom, a constitutional choice, albeit one that obviously has political ramifications,” Professor Gerhardt said back then. Checks and balances, he emphasized, in defending Obama's resistance to congressional demands. Now he claims that “there is more than enough” evidence to charge President Trump with the “impeachable offense” of “obstruction of Congress.”

Professor Gerhardt expressed no worries about the highly partisan nature of the current impeachment proceedings launched against President Trump. Falling back on the House’s “sole power of impeachment,” the professor apparently forgot Alexander Hamilton’s warning in Federalist Papers No. 65. To refresh the professor’s memory, Alexander Hamilton warned that in the heat of the moment “there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.”

We don’t even have to go back to the Founding Fathers to find concern about a congressional proceeding run by a majority of one party examining alleged abuses of power by a president from an opposing party, especially with an election approaching. We can look to Professor Gerhardt himself. At the congressional hearing seven years ago into the Obama administration’s abuses of power, Professor Gerhardt advised the committee members to “do what you can to ensure the hearings do not deviate from a legitimate constitutional inquiry into political theater.” After all, he said, the American people would soon have their say in the upcoming presidential election. And those hearings were not even impeachment proceedings. The professor provided no such advice this time to the Democrats trying to ram through,  on a strictly partisan basis, an impeachment without due process or substantial evidence of wrongdoing, just as we approach another presidential election.

Finally, Professor Turley had his turn. He brought some much-needed legal professionalism to the Nadler show. Noting that he is not a Trump supporter and did not vote for him, Professor Turley called out the impeachment proceedings as he saw it. "I believe this impeachment not only fails to satisfy the standard of past impeachments, but would create a dangerous precedent for future impeachments," he said. He added that “impeachments have to be based on proof” and not on “presumptions.”

Professor Turley pointed out such obvious deficiencies in the Democrats’ case as a “lack of evidence of a corrupt intent.” As for the charge of obstructing Congress by not turning over requested materials, Professor Turley said that President Trump has gone to the courts and “he’s allowed to do that. We have three branches, not two.”  He told the committee members, "If you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts. It's an abuse of power, it's *your* abuse of power." That is called checks and balances, something that Professor Gerhardt forgot about this time.

Professor Turley also criticized the Democrats’ rush to judgment on impeachment, remarking that “fast is not good.”

The House Judiciary Committee is the latest arena for the Democrats’ three-ring circus impeachment proceedings. They are picking at straws with no credible evidence to support their case. They presented three legal experts with obvious anti-Trump bias declaring that President Trump is guilty of impeachable offenses, based on the Democrats’ flimsy hearsay-upon-hearsay evidence and presumptions. One of their witnesses, Professor Gerhardt, applied standards totally at variance with what he used to excuse Barack Obama’s far graver actions.

It is time to bring down the curtains on this partisan theatrical sideshow.

Joseph Klein


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