Friday, November 20, 2020

Sidney Powell: Absent software fraud, Trump 'had at least 80 million votes' - Andrea Widburg

 

​ by Andrea Widburg

America's super-lawyer explains precisely how the election played out.

Sidney Powell, attorney extraordinaire, appeared on Newsmax's Greg Kelly Reports on Tuesday to explain what happened on Election Day and tell why she believes that Trump almost certainly got more votes than any president in American history.  Because Greg Kelly asks the intelligent, clarifying questions that we wish all journalists would ask, her appearance on his show is one of the best explanations of what happened with the Dominion voting software.

According to Powell, "Dominion has a long history of rigging elections.  That's what it was created to do to begin with."  Powell told about her whistleblower, a former high-ranking Venezuelan military officer who worked with Hugo Chávez when developers in Venezuela first created the software.  The whistleblower has signed an affidavit stating that the whole purpose behind the software's creation was to rig elections.

The software worked as promised, according to Powell.  "It was created ... so Hugo Chávez would never lose another election, and he did not after that software was created.  He won every single election."  Once the software proved its use, says Powell, Venezuela exported it.  "They exported it to Argentina and other countries in South America, and then they brought it here."

Powell hammered home a point we've tried to make at American Thinker, which is that the software constitutes foreign interference in American elections.  To understand the point Powell makes, you need to know that, in September 2018, Trump issued an "Executive Order on Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election."

In the order, Trump states that "the proliferation of digital devices and internet-based communications has created significant vulnerabilities and magnified the scope and intensity of the threat of foreign interference[.]"  Therefore, he declared a national emergency to justify his order.  The order mandates that the national security apparatus must investigate potential foreign interference within 45 days of an election and imposes harsh monetary sanctions on any foreign entity found to be involved in the interference.

Powell asserts that, because of Dominion's origins, as well as its Canadian headquarters, "[i]t's a foreign company no matter how you look at it, so they've already violated the president's order against foreign interference in our elections.  Our votes were actually eventually counted in Barcelona, Spain or Frankfurt, Germany on foreign servers."  Indeed, she says, "the corruption is actually worldwide.  It is going to upset countless numbers of elections across the country and around the world."

For Biden, Dominion's comforting presence in the election explains why he didn't bother to campaign.  He knew he had the election in the bag.  Incidentally — and this is I speaking, not Powell — Dominion's role in the election also exonerates Trump from charges that he campaigned wrong because one person or another will say if he'd just campaigned the correct way (more polite, less polite, more Hunter Biden, less Hunter Biden, more Wuhan virus lockdowns, etc.), he could have beaten the margin of fraud.

In fact, there was no way that Trump could beat the margin of fraud.  The traditional pre-election fraud was just icing on the cake.  The real election manipulation occurred at someone's desktop (as this older Bloomberg article explains about Latin American election fraud), with the person clicking away to ensure that Biden always ended the day with the greatest number of votes.

Powell explains specifically how Democrats rigged the vote for Biden.  What she's laying out also explains why statisticians, when looking at votes counts in the swing states, are finding crazy anomalies after 3 A.M., which is when those states temporarily stopped counting as they tried to figure out how to fight Trump's massive lead.

"The will of the people in this country," Powell told Kelly, "was that Donald Trump won in a landslide.  If we can get to the bottom of it, and I am determined to do that, I think we'll find he had at least 80 million votes.  The only reason the glitches happened in the system was because he was so far ahead, had so many more votes than they had calculated in advance, their algorithms wouldn't perform the functions they'd originally performed or were said to perform.  They couldn't make up the vote count [because] he had gotten so many hundreds of thousands more than they planned.  So that's why they had to stop the counting and come up with a way to backfill the votes or destroy votes for Trump while they fabricated votes for Biden."

In a just world, Trump's victory will be assured — and Sidney Powell, an American Amazon, is determined to make sure that justice is served.

Image: Sidney Powell on Greg Kelly.  YouTube screen grab.

 

Andrea Widburg  

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/11/sidney_powell_absent_software_fraud_trump_had_at_least_80_million_votes.html 

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What We Must Believe to Believe Biden Won - David Catron

 

​ by David Catron

The surreal list of innumerable irregularities.

 


The Democrats dismiss any mention of the innumerable irregularities that tainted the general election as little more than crackpot conspiracy theories. This is a convenient way to avoid addressing serious questions raised by serious observers, but it will further undermine confidence in key institutions that form the foundation upon which the republic stands. Public trust in government, media, and even science was already declining before Election Day. This trend will dramatically accelerate if Americans don’t get answers to questions such as the following: Why would the voters deliver the Democrats a comprehensive down-ballot drubbing yet hand the White House to the worst presidential candidate in living memory?

The only bellwether county out of the 19 that Biden won is located in Washington state, which long ago went to all mail-in ballots and one-party rule. We are expected to believe that this is a coincidence.

The last time a Democrat “won” the presidency while his party sustained a double-digit loss in the House was in 1960, during an election tainted by probable vote fraud in Illinois and Texas. Still, we’re expected to believe that Joe Biden achieved the same feat in 2020 with no skulduggery? Moreover, as Juan Williams admits in the Hill, “President Trump set a record last week by attracting the highest percentage of the non-white vote of any Republican presidential candidate in the last 60 years.” Yet we are expected to believe that, despite the worst showing among minorities of any Democratic nominee since JFK, Biden surpassed Barack Obama’s record-breaking turnout by 10 million votes?

Biden’s “victory” seems even more implausible after an audit of his performance in remarkably predictive bellwethers. The Wall Street Journal reports that Biden had a nearly perfect record of losses in counties whose election results have presaged presidential winners for decades: “From 1980 through 2016, 19 of the nation’s more than 3,000 counties voted for the eventual president in every election. Only one … backed President-elect Joe Biden last week.” So, a candidate who campaigned from his basement lost 95 percent of these counties yet won the election? What of the fabled bellwether Ohio? Last month, the New York Times advised that if Trump didn’t win there it was over:

Four years ago, Mr. Trump built a particularly balanced coalition among Ohio’s white voters, winning across education levels. But his support in the state has waned over the past four years, particularly in the suburbs … Columbus’s growth, and the expansion of suburbs and exurbs into what used to be rural and blue-collar areas, might have once spelled an opportunity for Republicans. But under Mr. Trump the Republican Party has lost its footing among specifically these kinds of voters — and the growth in Franklin County plays into Mr. Biden’s hands.

Well, not so much. President Trump trounced Biden in Ohio, winning the state by 8.2 percent. Suddenly, AP demoted the state to a bit player in presidential politics:

As Ohio goes, so goes the nation. That’s the way it had been in presidential elections for more than half a century, until this year, when Republican Donald Trump won a decisive victory in the state while losing the presidency to Democrat Joe Biden. Biden becomes the first president elected without carrying Ohio since fellow Democrat John F. Kennedy in 1960. Trump’s statewide victory — his second, after carrying Ohio in 2016 — brings an end to Ohio’s role as a presidential bellwether and even puts its future as a battleground state in doubt.

What we are expected to believe here is that the bellwether counties discussed by the Wall Street Journal and the Buckeye State have been left behind by the rest of the nation in the long march toward the mandatory lockdowns and mask mandates that Biden wants to impose on the electorate. In reality, Trump won Ohio and the vast majority of these counties because absentee ballots were managed transparently according to long-standing and coherent guidelines in place long before the election. The only bellwether county out of the 19 that Biden won is located in Washington state, which long ago went to all mail-in ballots and one-party rule. We are expected to believe that this is a coincidence.

This brings us to ground zero for election fraud — Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth illegally changed its election rules before and during the voting process. Essentially, the Commonwealth Court and the Secretary of the Commonwealth ignored the General Assembly and the U.S. Constitution to rig the election on behalf of Joe Biden. The American Spectator’s Paul Kengor and Jeffrey Lord have covered this chicanery hereherehere, and here. We are expected to believe that such stories are conspiracy theories, despite videos showing Democrat election officials evicting Republican election observers from vote-counting locations and erecting physical barriers to prevent them from watching.

Finally, we come to the Smartmatic/Dominion software that was used to tabulate votes in the swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. As this Fox interview with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani reveals, this software was developed in Venezuela and banned from the U.S. a decade ago. It’s now been brought back into the country under the aegis of a subcontractor. Its major design feature is that it allows the vote counters to calculate how many votes they need to win. Jeffrey Lord has more here. The Democrats want you to believe this is a conspiracy theory. It isn’t. The Democrats knew they couldn’t beat Trump honestly, so they’re stealing the election.

In the end, to accept Joe Biden as our legitimate Chief Executive, we must believe the voters hammered the Democrats in congressional, state, and local elections, yet decided to elect the “leader” of their party president. We must believe that he dramatically underperformed among minority voters, yet received 10 million more votes than Barack Obama. We must believe that virtually all of the reliable election bellwethers were wrong. We must believe that all of the elections in the swing states were conducted honestly and that the Venezuelan software used to tabulate the votes was secure. All of this beggars belief. Joe Biden may be inaugurated in January, but he certainly wasn’t elected president.

Originally published at The American Spectator.

 

David Catron  

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/11/what-we-must-believe-believe-biden-won-david-catron/ 

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Watch: Giuliani discusses new cases of fraud - Arutz Sheva Staff

 

​ by Arutz Sheva Staff

Rudy Giuliani comments on the latest revelations of voting irregularities and how his team is responding.

 

 

Arutz Sheva Staff 

 Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/291568 

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Looks like Trump got more than 72 million votes - Carol Brown

 

​ by Carol Brown

"By any means necessary" is being played out every minute of every day as the left silences our voices and threatens those who stand in its way.

This election is the culmination of a four-year-long coup against the president.  Evil, lying, malicious people at home, and abroad, are on the verge of officially pulling off the greatest heist in modern history.

Trump has been deprived of his rightful victory, and Republicans — from elected officials to writers for conservative websites — seem eager to get on board with the overthrow of our government.

The most egregious claim is that there was no election fraud, as if any of these professional do-nothings and disloyal opportunists have conducted investigations.

 
Source.

As usual, integrity, bravery, and a commitment to the truth are in short supply.

A rare exception to the clamoring voices that suggest we should just move-along-there's-nothing-to-see-here is Sidney Powell, who stated during a Newsmax interview November 17 that it appears that Trump won 80 million votes and describes corruption on such a massive scale that it's impossible to fully wrap your mind around it.

 
YouTube screen grab.

What Powell presents with increasing detail is a complex and coordinated criminal operation that is staggering in scope.  Not only does it appear to involve multiple foreign nations, but we cannot rule out the involvement of our own CIA, among other agencies.

Think about that for a moment.

And if you feel as though that's too much to absorb, don't run away from it.

Yes, it is shocking, astounding, and unthinkable.  And yet, here we are.

Now is the time to be courageous.

The left is working overtime to threaten anyone who stands for the truth.  Those who do are put in grave danger.  Many are left to choose between country and personal safety.  This is not the kind of choice anyone should face in a free society.

"By any means necessary" is being played out every minute of every day as the left silences our voices and threatens those who stand in its way.

We must do everything in our power to get this right.  And we must do it now.

We are trembling at the precipice with our toes right on the edge.  Pulling back before we go over is all that matters.

Let's push the truth out into the public sphere as boldly and as persistently as we can.  That includes being unwilling to use the 72 million number, which, every time it's stated, legitimizes the left's narrative.  And it means using language that is truthful.

This is a coup.

 

Carol Brown  

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/11/looks_like_trump_got_more_than_72_million_votes.html 

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Arabs Warn Biden: Do Not Embrace Islamists - Khaled Abu Toameh

 

​ by Khaled Abu Toameh

These Arabs are determined to prevent the Islamists from returning to power in Egypt or raising their heads in other Arab countries. It remains to be seen if the future US administration will cooperate in this effort.

  • "These observers pointed out that, behind the Council's statement, there is a Saudi message saying that the Brotherhood's rush to welcome and embrace Biden and its attempt to win his sympathy while inciting against important countries in the region will not change Saudi Arabia's steadfast position of considering the group a terrorist organization and a real incubator for all militant groups." — The Arab Weekly, November 12, 2020.

  • Abdullatif Al-Sheikh, the Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, responding to the Council's statement, said .... that his warning came out of concern for "our religion, our country, our citizens, and all Muslims." — Twitter, November 10, 2020.

  • The statement of the [Saudi] Council of Senior Scholars came after a long and careful study of the methodology and thinking of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood organization, which views non-Muslims as infidels."

  • "The group's [Muslim Brotherhood's] extremism and violence are an inherent feature of its ideology, and there is no point in reforming or changing it." — Dar-Alifta.org, November 11, 2020.

  • The analysts and experts added that the world has realized that the existence of this terrorist organization represents a real threat to the identity and stability of states, and stress that the Brotherhood group does not represent the approach of Islam.

  • Several Arab political analysts and columnists, particularly in the Gulf, have voiced similar sentiments. The message they are sending to Biden and the Democrats: We do not want to go back to the bad old days when the US administration aligned itself with Islamist terrorist groups.

  • These Arabs are determined to prevent the Islamists from returning to power in Egypt or raising their heads in other Arab countries. It remains to be seen if the future US administration will cooperate in this effort.

There is a growing fear in some Arab countries that a Biden administration may return to former President Barack Obama's policy of empowering and appeasing the Muslim Brotherhood. Pictured: Then Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (right), a Muslim Brotherhood member, meets with then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Cairo on July 14, 2012. (Photo by Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

In a clear message directed to a possible US administration under Joe Biden, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have warned against supporting the Muslim Brotherhood organization. They state that it gives birth "to extremist terrorist groups who wreak havoc on the country and the people."

On November 10, Saudi Arabia's Council of Senior Scholars, the kingdom's highest Islamic religious body, issued a warning amid growing fear in some Arab countries that a Biden administration may return to former President Barack Obama's policy of empowering and appeasing the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Saudi warning was immediately endorsed by Egypt's senior Islamic religious institute, Dar al-Ifta, and prominent Egyptian writers and political analysts.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which has congratulated Biden on his disputed victory in the US presidential election, is hoping that if and when he becomes president, he will not classify the organization as a terrorist group.

The Council of Senior Scholars, in a strongly worded statement, said that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group and "does not represent the true values of Islam."

The Council described the Brotherhood as a "deviant group that undermines coexistence within nations, stirs up sedition, violence and terrorism and pursues its partisan goals in an attempt to seize more power for itself under the cover of religion. The history of the organization of one of evil, strife, extremism and terrorism."

The Council said that the history of the Muslim Brotherhood reveals the full scale of the evil for which it is it is responsible and that it has inspired the formation of many extremist and terrorist groups that are responsible for atrocities all around the world.

The Council called on the public to be wary of the Muslim Brotherhood and its activities, and urged them not to join it, support it or become involved with its activities.

In 2014, Saudi Arabia blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Three years later, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt issued a joint statement in which they listed as terrorists 59 individuals, including prominent Muslim Brotherhood figures, and 12 charities of various nationalities.

The London-based Arab Weekly newspaper noted this month:

"Followers of Saudi affairs did not rule out that the statement of the Council of Senior Scholars was a response to the Muslim Brotherhood's exaggerated enthusiasm over Joe Biden's victory in the US presidential elections and its probable negative impact on Saudi-American relations.

"These observers pointed out that, behind the Council's statement, there is a Saudi message saying that the Brotherhood's rush to welcome and embrace Biden and its attempts to win his sympathy while inciting against important countries in the region will not change Saudi Arabia's steadfast position of considering the group a terrorist organisation and a real incubator for all militant groups."

Abdullatif Al-Sheikh, the Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, responding to the Council's statement, said that he has "warned against the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization for more than 20 years." He said that his warning came out of concern for "our religion, our country, our citizens, and all Muslims."

Al-Sheikh's statement is also seen by Arabs as a warning to Biden after the Muslim Brotherhood congratulated him on his "victory."

Egypt's Dar al-Ifta, an Islamic advisory, judicial and governmental body that offers Muslims religious guidance and advice through the issuing of fatwas (Islamic rulings) on various issues, expressed full support for the Saudi Council of Senior Scholar's statement against the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Egyptian group, also in a message seemingly directed to Biden, pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood "always seeks to divide societies and spread chaos and incite citizens to riot and engage in violence."

"The statement of the [Saudi] Council of Senior Scholars came after a long and careful study of the methodology and thinking of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood organization, which views non-Muslims as infidels... We call on various religious bodies, institutions and councils in the countries of the Islamic world to criminalize and prohibit the terrorist Brotherhood and to disavow it. The group's extremism and violence are an inherent feature of its ideology, and there is no point in reforming or changing it."

Arab political analysts and experts in Islamic fundamentalist movements said they considered the statement of the Council of Senior Scholars in Saudi Arabia as "a new blow to the terrorist group" and that it exposes the group's "tricks to attract young people to its deviant discourse."

The analysts and experts added that the world has realized that the existence of this terrorist organization represents a real threat to the identity and stability of states, stressing that the Muslim Brotherhood group does not represent the approach of Islam.

Saudi political analyst Dr. Ahmed al-Rukban said that the Council of Senior Scholars is the legislative body in the Kingdom and is considered reliable on the issues of the Arab and Islamic nation with regard to domestic and foreign policy.

Al-Rukban warned that the Muslim Brotherhood and its followers have always used Islam "to penetrate many sectors and agencies in Saudi Arabia and other countries." The Muslim Brotherhood, he added, is financially supported by Turkey.

Mounir Adeeb, a researcher on Islamic extremist movements and international terrorism, said that the statement of the Council of Senior Scholars reveals the truth of the Muslim Brotherhood. He praised the Council for its "bold, brave and clear" description of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

Saudi writer Mohammed Al-Saaed revealed that after the Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed in Saudi Arabia in 2014, "the terrorist group secretly tried to sneak back through the window." The Brotherhood activists sought to "jump on the technocratic jobs that began to spread in the wake of the great development in the kingdom and to infiltrate and attack society whenever the opportunity arises," he commented.

Noting that the Muslim Brotherhood carried out several terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia between 2003 and 2006, Al-Saaed wrote: "The terrorist organization has become a despicable and treacherous organization."

Egyptian Islamic scholar Saad Eddin Al-Hilali expressed concern that Biden, if elected, will continue in the footsteps of Obama and endorse the Islamists. Al-Hilali called on Egyptians to be wary of the Islamists, "who were previously supported by Obama and will now be supported by Biden." Biden, he said, "will complete Obama's march, but I want to remind the Egyptians that Egypt rejected political Islam [by removing Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, from power]. Now, Egypt stands firmly on its feet and is saying no to trafficking in religion."

Egyptian media personality Mustafa Al-Faqi also expressed concern over the possibility that a Biden administration would embrace the Muslim Brotherhood. "Biden endorsed the approach of Obama, who wanted to spread Islamism in the region," Al-Faqi said. "Obama saw the Muslim Brotherhood as part of the national opposition. This is nonsense."

The Saudis and Egyptians are hardly the only Arabs who are worried about a renewed alliance between a Democrat-led administration and the Islamists.

Several Arab political analysts and columnists, particularly in the Gulf, have voiced similar sentiments. The message they are sending to Biden and the Democrats is: We do not want to go back to the bad old days when the US administration aligned itself with Islamist terrorist groups.

These Arabs are determined to prevent the Islamists from returning to power in Egypt or raising their heads in other Arab countries. It remains to be seen if the future US administration will cooperate in this effort.

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Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute. 

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'No free lunch' for Lebanon any more, donor states warn - Reuters and ILH Staff

 

​ by Reuters and ILH Staff

Western powers seeking to rescue Lebanon's teetering economy have given the country's leaders an ultimatum: there will be no bailout unless they form a credible government to overhaul a bankrupt state – and do it quickly.

 

'No free lunch' for Lebanon any more, donor states warn
Lebanese President Michel Aoun | File photo: AFP

Western powers seeking to rescue Lebanon's teetering economy have given the country's leaders an ultimatum: there will be no bailout unless they form a credible government to overhaul a bankrupt state – and do it quickly.

France, the United States and other donors who repeatedly came to Lebanon's aid since the 1975-90 civil war are losing patience with its politicians, many of them familiar faces in charge during the country's descent into economic crisis.

Huge protests erupted against the ruling elite last year as people blamed them for looking after vested interests while national debts mounted. The pandemic further strained resources and a huge port blast in August destroyed large areas of Beirut.

As dollars run low, basic goods including some medicines are in short supply and more people in Lebanon are falling below the poverty line.

French President Emmanuel Macron, a natural ally given Lebanon is a former French colony, rushed to the city after the explosion and tried to convince politicians to introduce at least partial reforms to confront the emergency.

But rival factions are still mired in turf wars, and Lebanon has not formed a new government since the last one was brought down by the blast and its aftermath. As in previous deadlocks, each side blames the other.

In talks in Beirut last week, Patrick Durel, an adviser to Macron on the Middle East and North Africa, made clear that while Paris remains committed, "we will not bail them out unless there are reforms", according to two sources who were present.

"Those times have changed", he said.

Graffiti at the site of the catastrophic explosion at the Port of Beirut expresses the writer's opinion about who is the responsible party for the Aug. 4 Beirut Port explosion (REUTERS/Hannah McKay)

A Western diplomat said France was still trying to host a planned conference on rebuilding Beirut by the end of November, but doubts remained.

"There are no developments," the diplomat said. "The Lebanese politicians are back to their way of doing business and what's worrying is the complete disregard for the population."

US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea, speaking to an online conference of the CSIS think-tank in Washington on Friday, said the United States "gets that Lebanon matters" and that "avoiding state failure...has to be first and foremost."

But she added: "We can't really want it more than they do."

Shea said there would be no bailout without reforms.

"We got smart," she said, adding there would be "a step-by-step approach and no free lunch."

Saad Hariri, the Sunni prime minister-designate under the country's sectarian power-sharing agreement, is struggling to form a cabinet.

Some sources say efforts have been complicated by recent US sanctions against Gebran Bassil, the son-in-law of President Michel Aoun who heads the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Lebanon's largest Christian party.

Bassil was sanctioned on corruption charges and ties with the Iran-backed Shi'ite paramilitary group Hezbollah, Lebanon's most powerful party and a strike-force for Tehran across the region, which Washington deems a terrorist organization.

He denies the corruption charges.

The main sticking point, official sources say, is Aoun and Bassil's insistence on nominating Christian ministers in an 18-member government. Hariri wants all ministers to be specialists and not affiliated to political parties.

A source close to the talks said some involved identified Bassil as the main obstacle to a cabinet being formed. Bassil denies the accusations, saying that since others were able to nominate ministers, his party was entitled to the same.

A source familiar with Hezbollah's thinking said that Durel asked the group to try to persuade Bassil, a close ally, to soften his stand, but that Hezbollah was reluctant to exert further pressure on him as it could weaken him further.

Several sources said the current standoff was suicidal for the country, which is running through its foreign reserves fast. They are estimated at just $17.9 billion.

Because of the sanctions, which US ambassador Shea acknowledged were part of the outgoing Donald Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, Tehran and allies are opting to wait until Trump leaves office.

But some officials in Lebanon warned against playing the waiting game.

"The message from the French now is clear: no government, no reform, then au revoir, merci," said a senior political source familiar with the talks.

"And if the French wash their hands of this, then who will still look at us? The Gulf? The US? Nobody.

"At the end of the day, they don't know how to deal with exceptional times and challenges...We're still dealing with government formation as if these are normal days."

Shea said donors had to "stick to their guns", otherwise the political elite would not take them seriously.

"If they don't feel the sense of urgency to form a government how can we keep the pressure on them?" she said. "They look at us and say 'try to make us reform – It'll be fun watching you'."

 

Reuters and ILH Staff  

Source: https://www.israelhayom.com/2020/11/19/no-free-lunch-for-lebanon-any-more-donor-states-warn/ 

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Bahraini FM: Israel ties 'will pave the way to a dawn of peace for the entire Middle East' - Ariel Kahana , JNS and ILH Staff

 

​ by Ariel Kahana , JNS and ILH Staff

In tripartite meeting with PM Netanyahu, Bahrain FM Al-Zayani in Jerusalem, US Secretary of State Pompeo says normalization agreements "tell malign actors like the Islamic Republic of Iran that their influence in the region is waning and that they are ever more isolated, and this shall forever be until they change their direction."

 

Bahraini FM: Israel ties 'will pave the way to a dawn of peace for the entire Middle East'
Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani speaks during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Wednesday | Photo: Menahem Kahana / Pool via AP

The normalization deals between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain are a victory for peace and religious freedom in the Middle East, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said ahead of a trilateral ceremony in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani aimed at advancing the Abraham Accords.

Pompeo noted that "these agreements are important for so many reasons, important to the whole world.  Indeed, as I travel the world, countries that you might not expect are thankful for the work that Bahrain, and the United Emirates, and Israel are now going to do together.

He said, "These agreements open up wonderful opportunities for commerce and economic development.  Today I saw a beautiful Gulf Air commercial aircraft sitting out at the airport when I landed.  They also tell – these agreements also tell malign actors like the Islamic Republic of Iran that their influence in the region is waning and that they are ever more isolated, and this shall forever be until they change their direction.

"They also advance religious freedom. Muslims will be able to more easily pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, thanks to the new flights through Abu Dhabi and Manama."

Pompeo added that the normalization agreements "set down a marker—a marker for the future of the Middle East" with "a common vision for peace, security, and prosperity."

In his remarks, Netanyahu said, "Three peace agreements in six weeks.  I don't think it gets much better than that." He noted that "this is the first-ever official ministerial visit from the Kingdom of Bahrain to the State of Israel.  It marks another important milestone on the road to peace between our two countries and peace in the region. The peace between Israel and Bahrain is built on solid foundations of mutual appreciation and shared interest.  Like Israel, Bahrain respects the past while embracing the future.  And we are unleashing a tremendously potent economic force and a force for peace for the benefit of both our peoples."

Netanyahu said that the tripartite meeting would enable "the free flow of ideas, innovators, entrepreneurs between Israel and Bahrain - both directions. And we are unleashing a tremendously potent economic force and a force for peace for the benefit of both our peoples. And we're not doing this in the distant future.  We're doing it right now as we speak, and it's happening with astonishing speed. Israelis are flying to Bahrain. Bahrainis are flying to Israel. The sky is no longer the limit."

Netanyahu asked Al-Zayani to "convey to King Hamad my heartfelt admiration for his visionary and courageous leadership. In 2019, His Majesty hosted a regional economic summit that brought together Bahrainis, Israelis, Americans, representatives from across the Middle East and beyond.  And I think that meeting, which was pooh-poohed at the time, was actually a harbinger of good things to come.  It was a tremendously important step on our common path to reconciliation and peace.  Today, King Hamad and I are building a bridge of peace that many others will cross in the future."

Al-Zayani, who was making his first official trip to Israel, said that he had been "greatly encouraged" by his meetings with President Reuven Rivlin and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

"As during last month's visit to Bahrain by National Security Advisor [Meir] Ben-Shabbat and US Treasury Secretary [Steve] Mnuchin, discussions continue to be productive, forward-looking, and held in a positive and constructive atmosphere.  We definitely have something to work with, and I am optimistic for the future.

"During my meeting with President Rivlin, I conveyed the greetings of His Majesty King Hamad and the people of Bahrain to the president and people of Israel, looking forward to overcoming and rebuilding from the current COVID-19 pandemic, and underlining our readiness to cooperate on healthcare and post-pandemic recovery.  With Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary Pompeo, I will be discussing how we can achieve the objective of the Abraham Accords in practical terms and underlining Bahrain's appreciation for the United States role in delivering them.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani hold a joint press conference in Jerusalem, Wednesday (Menahem Kahana / Pool via AP)

Al-Zayani said he was "thankful also for the condolences I received from the president and from the Foreign Minister Ashkenazi following the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and for their very kind words on the late prime minister's life and achievements."

He noted that "throughout all the meetings, it has been obvious the intention and keenness of all sides to ensure that the peace we are pursuing will be a warm peace that will deliver clear benefits to our peoples. We intend to focus on areas including trade, investment, entrepreneurship, tourism, banking, health, education, communication, technology and innovation, to name just a few."

Al-Zayani noted Bahrain looked forward "to the commencement of air services between Bahrain and Israel from the start of 2020.  We will see up to – up to 14 weekly flights from Bahrain to Tel Aviv, and we'll add flights to Eilat and Haifa and up to five weekly cargo flights.  To kickstart this process, I am happy to announce that commencing from the 1st of December, the e-visa system will be implemented in both Bahrain and Israel to allow for our citizens to travel freely between the two countries.

"In addition," he said, "we will soon witness the reciprocal opening of the two countries' embassies.  It is through such foundational context that we begin to nurture and build the networks of investment, business, tourism, culture, and so much more that can further solidify and add value to our joint efforts.  I am therefore confident that this emerging cooperation between Bahrain and Israel will pave the way to a dawn of peace for the entire Middle East.

"The peace we are pursuing will be a warm peace that will deliver clear benefits to our peoples," said Al-Zayani.

JNS.org contributed to this report.

 

Ariel Kahana , JNS and ILH Staff 

 Source: https://www.israelhayom.com/2020/11/19/bahraini-fm-israel-ties-will-pave-the-way-to-a-dawn-of-peace-for-the-entire-middle-east/ 

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Another Doomed Peace with Islam - Raymond Ibrahim

 

​ by Raymond Ibrahim

From a temporal and myopic point of view, the recent settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan may seem like progress. But a sober look at the Christian-Muslim relations in this region shows the truth.

"Peace" was recently achieved between Armenia and Azerbaijan, who had been fighting for nearly two months, after the Christian nation agreed to cede its ancestral lands in Artsakh to its Muslim neighbor.

From a temporal and myopic point of view, such a settlement may seem like progress; from a long point of view, it is a regress and reflective of the continuum of Armenian-Islamic history and relations: in exchange for peace, Christians have always been forced to cede territory to Muslims.  After all, the heart of the Muslim world — the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia Minor — were all Christian before the sword of Islam invaded.

Before Islam violently conquered eastern Anatolia (Asia Minor) in the eleventh century, Armenia was significantly larger than today.  For over a thousand years, however, Muslim Turks chipped away at and absorbed ethnically Armenian territory.  What is happening today is simply part of that continuum. 

The Chronicle of Matthew of Edessa (d. 1144), an Armenia historian who lived during the initial conquests, makes all this clear.  According to this valuable historical resource, in 1019, "the first appearance of the bloodthirsty beasts ... the savage nation of infidels called Turks entered Armenia ... and mercilessly slaughtered the Christian faithful with the sword."  Three decades later, the raids were virtually nonstop.  In 1049, the founder of the Turkic Seljuk Empire himself, Sultan Tughril Bey (r. 1037–1063), reached the Armenian city of Arzden, west of Lake Van, and "put the whole town to the sword, causing severe slaughter, as many as one hundred and fifty thousand persons."

Other contemporaries confirm the devastation visited upon Arzden.  "Like famished dogs," writes Aristakes (d. 1080) an eyewitness, the Turks "hurled themselves on our city, surrounded it and pushed inside, massacring the men and mowing everything down like reapers in the fields, making the city a desert.  Without mercy, they incinerated those who had hidden themselves in houses and churches."

Eleven years later, in 1060, the Turks laid siege to Sebastia (which, though now a Turkish city, was for the preceding 400 years Armenian).  Six hundred churches were destroyed, "many and innumerable people were burned [to death]," and countless women and children "were led into captivity to Persia."

Between 1064 and 1065, Tughril's successor, Sultan Muhammad bin Dawud Chaghri — known to posterity as Alp Arslan, one of Turkey's unsavory but national heroes — laid siege to Ani, the fortified capital of Armenia, then a great and populous city.  The thunderous bombardment of Muhammad's siege engines caused the entire city to quake, and Matthew describes countless terror-stricken families huddled together and weeping.  Once inside, the Islamic Turks "began to mercilessly slaughter the inhabitants of the entire city ... and piling up their bodies one on top of the other[.] ... Innumerable and countless boys with bright faces and pretty girls were carried off together with their mothers."

Not only do several Christian sources document the sack of Armenia's capital — one contemporary succinctly notes that Muhammad "rendered Ani a desert by massacres and fire" — but so do Muslim sources, often in apocalyptic terms: "I wanted to enter the city and see it with my own eyes," one Arab explained.  "I tried to find a street without having to walk over the corpses.  But that was impossible."

Such is an idea of what Muslim Turks did to Christian Armenians — not during the Armenian Genocide of a century ago, but one thousand years ago, starting in 1019, when the Turkic invasion and subsequent colonization of Armenia began.

From here one can understand why many Armenians are not pleased with their government's recent surrender of even more land, to the point of storming parliament and "beating Parliament Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan unconscious in front of his family."

After recounting the devastation visited upon Armenia at the hands of the Turks in the eleventh century, Matthew of Edessa wrote: "That was the beginning of the misfortunes of Armenia.  So, lend an ear to this melancholy recital."

This has proven to be an ominous remark, for Matthew's recitation was, indeed, just "the beginning of the misfortunes of Armenia," whose "melancholy recital" continues to this day, as the ever shrinking nation makes more concessions that, in the long term, will likely have been in vain.

For if history is any indicator, true and permanent peace between Armenia and its Muslim neighbors will be achieved only when the Christian nation has ceded itself into nonexistence.

Note: Quotes from Matthew of Edessa were excerpted from the author's book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West.

 

Raymond Ibrahim  is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/11/another_doomed_peace_with_islam.html 

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The Al-Masri Assassination: Another Iranian Intelligence Failure - Dr. Ardavan Khoshnood

 

​ by Dr. Ardavan Khoshnood

Al-Masri’s very presence in Iran exhibited the close relationship Tehran has with the Sunni terrorist organization, and his slaying shows the weakness of Iranian counterintelligence.

Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah, image from FBI Most Wanted Terrorist list via Wikipedia

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,825, November 19, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: On August 7, 2020, the number 2 figure in al-Qaeda, Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah (known as Abu Muhammad al-Masri), was gunned down in Tehran. Al-Masri’s very presence in Iran exhibited the close relationship Tehran has with the Sunni terrorist organization, and his slaying shows the weakness of Iranian counterintelligence. The regime’s frustration at this intelligence failure will likely be expressed through acts of violence. It will probably reform its counterintelligence community and may ask for assistance in this endeavor from both Russia and China.

On Friday, August 7, 2020, at around 9:00 pm, shots were heard in the prosperous Pasdaran district of Tehran. Two individuals on a motorcycle had gunned down a man and a young woman as they sat in a white Renault. Five shots were fired at the car of which four hit the targets.

The next day, the Iranian Labour News Agency stated in a short notice that the two people who had been killed in the shooting were not Iranian and appeared to have been from Lebanon. Mashregh News provided more information, stating that the shooting had taken place in the Golestan area on Pasdaran Avenue and that the deceased were a 58-year-old male history professor named Habib Daoud and his 27-year-old daughter, Maryam. The Hamshahri also said the deceased were not Iranian and spoke Arabic.

Two days later, Tabnak wrote a longer piece on the matter confirming the information provided by the above news outlets. Curiously, however, Tabnak added that the homicide occurred across the street from the home of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the former commander of the Popular Mobilization Committee, known as al-Hashd al-Shaabi. Al-Muhandis was killed on January 3, 2020 together with Qassem Soleimani, the previous commander of the Iranian Quds Force, via an American drone strike near Baghdad International Airport.

The facts of the case were recently revisited by The New York Times (NYT), which disclosed that the two individuals killed in the Pasdaran district were not Habib Douad and his daughter Maryam but Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah and his daughter Miriam. Abdullah, more commonly known by the nom de guerre Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was al-Qaeda´s crown prince.

Al-Masri was notorious for his role in masterminding the 1998 attacks on the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es-Salaam, which caused the deaths of more than 200 people and wounded more than 4,000. According to the NYT report, Israeli operatives are believed to have carried out the assassination at the request of the United States.

Iranian FM spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh denied that al-Masri was in Iran at all, let alone that he had been assassinated inside the country. He advised the American media to resist being “entrapped by the Hollywood-style scenarios fabricated by the US and the Zionist regime’s officials.”

There are several indications that the individual killed in Tehran was indeed al-Masri. First, the age of the dead man coincides with that of al-Masri. Second, there is no evidence that a Lebanese history professor named Habib Daoud ever existed. Third, the name of the killed female (Miriam) matches the name of al-Masri´s daughter (Maryam), as does her age. And fourth, the assassination was carried out on the anniversary of al-Masri’s attacks on the American embassies in Africa 22 years before.

The slaying of al-Masri is important for two reasons: 1) the presence of one of al-Qaeda’s foremost leaders in Tehran illuminates the close relationship Iran has with that Sunni terrorist organization; and 2) the regime’s failure either to protect al-Masri or uncover the plan to assassinate him is yet another in a long string of major counterintelligence failures and embarrassments for the Islamic Republic.

Iran has suffered numerous counterintelligence failures across its different organs, the foremost occurring at the Ministry of Intelligence (MOI) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

An earlier counterintelligence failure was the assassination of four Iranian nuclear scientists between 2010 and 2012. In all the assassinations a motorcycle was used—the same modus operandi as the assassination of al-Masri. The killings of the Iranian nuclear scientists are alleged to have been conducted by Israeli operatives. The regime’s response to the killings was to arrest more than a dozen Iranians allegedly working with the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence organization. At least one of those arrested, Majid Jamali Fashi, was hanged.

Another major counterintelligence failure occurred in 2018, when Israeli operatives managed to raid a warehouse in Tehran—closely protected by the counterintelligence organization of the IRGC—and steal more than 100,000 documents, images, and videos related to Iranian nuclear plans. This was a fiasco for Iranian counterintelligence. Because of their access to those documents, Israel and (most likely) US intelligence were able first to identify sensitive locations related to Iran´s nuclear program and the IRGC´s missile program and then attack those locations through several mysterious explosions that occurred in Iran in 2020.

The most important counterintelligence failure, which also concerns the IRGC, was the inability to protect former Quds Force chief Soleimani, who was killed by US drone strike in early January 2020. Iran answered that action by executing Mahmoud Mousavi Majd for being linked to the CIA and the Mossad.”

The repeated counterintelligence debacles demonstrate the regime’s serious weakness and incompetence in this sphere. While the MOI as well as the intelligence organization of the IRGC are highly active both domestically and abroad, and are occasionally successful (as seen, for example, in Iraq), the counterintelligence units of these organizations—primarily the IRGC, which is responsible for safeguarding the most important military sites of the country and the IRGC’s missile program, as well as protecting itself from infiltration—are weak, disorganized, and unstructured.

One of the main reasons why the Islamic Republic’s intelligence and specifically counterintelligence programs are weak is that the regime insists on employing individuals on the basis of their loyalty to the revolution and the regime, not on the basis of their knowledge or skill. Devaluing knowledge and talent in the service of an obsession with ideological loyalty has contributed to the regime’s weakness in intelligence and counterintelligence. The organizations are further weakened by the regime’s inability to provide proper counterintelligence training and education.

These weaknesses are used by opponents of the Iranian regime as they conduct covert operations on Iranian soil. While these operations undoubtedly harm the regime, it is vital to beware of its thirst for vengeance. As it is unable to provide effective counterintelligence, the regime will try to compensate for that deficiency through executions, assassinations, and espionage.

The Islamic Republic’s weak counterintelligence division is without doubt its Achilles’ heel. The regime knows this full well. After al-Masri’s death, it is likely to seriously reform this division with a focus on the IRGC and the MOI. One question that remains to be answered is how big a role the regime´s closest allies, Russia and China, will play in training and improving Iranian counterintelligence.

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Dr. Ardavan Khoshnood, a non-resident Associate at the BESA Center, is a Criminologist and Political Scientist with a degree in Intelligence Analysis. He is also an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Lund University in Sweden. @ardavank 

Source: https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/the-al-masri-assassination-another-iranian-intelligence-failure/ 

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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Trump's Only Road to Victory - Alan M. Dershowitz

 

​ by Alan M. Dershowitz

Let us remember that as a matter of law and constitutionality, Joe Biden is not yet the president-elect.

  • I just received an email asking me to sign a petition demanding the disbarment of President Trump's lawyers for their advocacy. That is McCarthyism pure and simple. Lawyers are entitled to advocate all reasonable and ethically permissible strategies that serve the interest of their client.

  • Let us remember that as a matter of law and constitutionality, Joe Biden is not yet the president-elect. He has been coronated by the media, by politicians and by most Americans. But to officially become president-elect requires, at the very least, certification by enough states to give him the 270 required electors. That has not yet occurred.

  • Biden is the presumed president-elect, the likely president, even the probable president, but he is not officially the president-elect for legal and constitutional purposes.

On several occasions in the 19th century, no candidate received enough electoral votes to win the presidency. Pictured: The Electoral Commission, comprised of House Members, Senators, and Supreme Court Justices investigates disputed Electoral College ballots after the 1876 presidential election, on February 16, 1877. The Commission awarded all the disputed ballots to Rutherford B. Hayes, who became president by a single electoral vote. (Image source: Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper via Library of Congress)

President Trump has only one road to victory, and it would require a perfect storm that at this moment seems unlikely. The goal of the Trump legal team is not to get 270 electoral votes for their client. That seems beyond the realm of all possibility. The goal is to question Vice President Biden the 270 he needs for the Electoral College to select him as president. Since this is a zero-sum game, how is it possible for Biden to be denied the 270 without Trump reaching that number?

The answer to that question provides the clue to what the Trump legal team is trying to do. If enough electoral votes are still being contested by mid-December, and if fewer than 270 electors are certified by their respective states by that date, then Biden could -- in theory -- be denied the necessary 270. If that were to happen, then the election would be thrown into the House of Representatives, as it was on several occasions in the 19th century.

Under the Constitution, the House votes for president not by individual members, but by state delegations. Each state gets one vote, and so 26 states are required to elect a president. Although there are more Democrats than Republicans in the House of Representatives, there are more states with a majority of Republican representatives. Accordingly, if the election were to go to the House, the Republicans would determine the next president.

I am not advocating this strategy or approving it. As a constitutional analyst, I am simply laying out the possibility that our Constitution provides. This possibility dictates the strategy being pursued by the Trump legal team.

Nor am I condemning the Trump lawyers who are seeking to implement this strategy. I just received an email asking me to sign a petition demanding the disbarment of President Trump's lawyers for their advocacy. That is McCarthyism pure and simple. Lawyers are entitled to advocate all reasonable and ethically permissible strategies that serve the interest of their client. That is what President Trump's lawyers are doing. They are, of course, obliged to operate within the rules of law and ethics, but I see no evidence that they are not doing so.

This long shot strategy requires, for its success, a perfect storm of favorable court decisions, favorable actions by several secretaries of state, and favorable numbers from recounts and other challenges. It would not be enough to win any one state, even Pennsylvania. There would have to be more than 35 electors not certified in time to vote. That is unlikely in the extreme, but it is theoretically possible.

This perfect storm scenario may explain why President Trump has neither conceded nor called off his legal challenges. But it does not explain why the Trump administration has thus far not cooperated with the Biden transition team. There is no good reason why such cooperation should not be forthcoming, especially with regard to Covid-19 and national security issues. The Trump administration could begin to provide cooperation with the Biden transition team without President Trump conceding or calling off his challenges.

Let us remember that as a matter of law and constitutionality, Joe Biden is not yet the president-elect. He has been coronated by the media, by politicians and by most Americans. But to officially become president-elect requires, at the very least, certification by enough states to give him the 270 required electors. That has not yet occurred. Nor has his opponent conceded defeat. Biden is the presumed president-elect, the likely president, even the probable president, but he is not officially the president-elect for legal and constitutional purposes.

So let the recounts continue. Let the judicial challenges go forward. Let the president say whatever he chooses about the election. These are all part of our democratic system of elections.

But let us move forward with the transition by having the Trump administration cooperate with the Biden transition team. That, too, is the American way.

 

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of the book, Guilt by Accusation: The Challenge of Proving Innocence in the Age of #MeToo, Skyhorse Publishing, 2019. His new podcast, "The Dershow," can be seen on Spotify, Apple and YouTube. He is the Jack Roth Charitable Foundation Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16771/trump-road-to-victory 

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