Saturday, July 17, 2021

In Iran, Israel Rattles the Cage - Hugh Fitzgerald


​ by Hugh Fitzgerald

The Islamic Republic’s enemies neither slumber nor sleep, and can strike where they will.


No one has claimed credit for the two recent cyberattacks on Iran’s Transport Ministry. But we can hazard a guess as to who was most likely behind them.

Here’s what those unidentified, bur identifiable, saboteurs were up to on July 9:

Train services in Iran were delayed by apparent cyberattacks on Friday, July 9, with hackers posting the phone number of the country’s Supreme Leader as the number to call for information, state-affiliated news outlets reported.

Trains were delayed or canceled as ticket offices, the national railway’s website and cargo services were disrupted, with “unprecedented chaos at railway stations across the country,” the state broadcaster IRIB reported.

A notice on electronic boards at stations asked travelers to call a number which in fact belonged to the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, IRIB and the semi-official news agency Fars said.

“Long delays due to cyberattacks,” said another notice on station boards, Fars added.

IRIB later quoted a state railway company spokesman as saying technicians were checking the disruptions and denying that there were major delays.

That was on Friday. The next day, July 10, there was a large explosion at a park in Tehran, apparently caused by a stun gun. It is reported on here:

A large explosion was heard in Iran’s capital on Saturday, according to the Iranian Fars News agency.

Later reports indicated that the explosion was caused by a stun grenade – a device which explodes with bright light and a loud sound – which had been set up to go off in a park near an adjoining hospital building, a TV reporter said.

More important, the explosion was set off near the headquarters of the state radio and television.

Tehran Deputy Governor Hamid Reza Goudarzi, who is in charge of security issues in the city, visited the site.

“Just one explosion took place inside Mellat (People) Park,” he told the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Asked whether the incident was an attack, Goudarzi said: “We are investigating the dimensions and causes of the incident and we will provide information after we are sure.”

Deputy Security Chief for Tehran Province Hamidreza Goudarzi has been quoted by the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News as saying that the incident is under investigation, it was unclear at this time what caused it, and it is unknown whether or not it was an act of terrorism.

This explosion in the Tehran park was mainly an attempt to disturb the equanimity of the authorities. In a hundred sundry ways – with major attacks on nuclear facilities, petrochemical plants, power plants, missile sites, nuclear scientists, cyberwarfare with the Stuxnet computer virus, and sabotage at Natanz that destroyed thousands of centrifuges – the Islamic Republic’s nuclear project has been under severe assault. But other attacks, less deadly – including the cyberwarfare that caused “unprecedented chaos” in the railroads, or this stun gun explosion the next day — serve as less-deadly reminders that the Islamic Republic’s enemies neither slumber nor sleep, and can strike where they will.

And on Saturday, there was a second cyberattack on the website of the Transport Ministry, discussed here:

The website of Iran’s transport ministry was taken down on Saturday by what state television said was a “cyber disruption,” a day after an apparent cyberattack on the state railway company.

Computer systems of the staff of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development were the subject of the attack which resulted in the ministry’s portal and sub-portal sites becoming unavailable, the TV channel reported.

It didn’t give any indication of who it believed could have been behind the attack and did not say if any ransom demand had been made.

Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi warned on Saturday of possible ransomware attacks unless vulnerabilities in computer systems were dealt with, Iranian news outlets reported.

Iran says it is on high alert for online assaults, which it has blamed in the past on the United States and Israel.

We’ll see just how “high” that high alert turns out to be during the next few months, as the world witnesses more of those cyberattacks that will keep on rattling the Islamic Republic.

No one has claimed credit for any of these attacks. But they don’t need to. You know, and I know – and the Iranians know, too – who is almost certainly behind them. The same country that brought us Stuxnet, and sabotage at centrifuge plants, both aboveground and 50 meters underground, at Natanz, and whose agents managed to steal Iran’s nuclear archive, and engage in other acts of derring-do, including the targeted assassinations of five nuclear scientists. The same people who have been responsible since 2020 for “mysterious explosions” at petrochemical plants, power plants, and alleged missile sites around Iran. The Iranian dissidents in exile have written a letter to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, asking that little Israel keep up the good work in Iran. And of course, to the Islamic Republic’s great discomfiture and chagrin, little Israel will do exactly that.


Hugh Fitzgerald


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How the Air Force Academy Makes the Disloyal Military Leaders of Tomorrow - Daniel Greenfield


​ by Daniel Greenfield

Brainwashing the men and women who protect America to hate and destroy it.


[Frontpagemag Editor's note: The article below is a new edition of our Disloyal Military series. To learn about our 3-Part Series on the Disloyal Military, Progressive Fascists and Racist Mayors, CLICK HERE.]

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

In 2007, Mark Milley, then a mere colonel, was being interviewed about his experiences by Lynne Chandler Garcia. Now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley is defending critical race theory while Garcia, an associate professor at the Air Force Academy, teaches it.

The woman described by one student as "the worst professor I've had" back when she was teaching logic for the philosophy department at a community college recently came forward with a Washington Post op-ed announcing her enthusiasm for injecting Marxism into the Air Force.

"I teach critical race theories to our nation’s future military leaders because it is vital that cadets understand the history of the racism that has shaped both foreign and domestic policy,” the historically illiterate logic teacher wrote.

Garcia, whose bio states that she holds “military secret clearance”, is promoting a Marxist ideology in her “Politics, American Government, and National Security" course. The curriculum lists her course, which implicitly attacks the existence of America, as a ”contributor to the development and assessment of the National Security of the American Republic”.

The Air Force Academy admitted that, “some elements from CRT canon are included in the course to encourage critical thinking" (another academic term for Marxism), but claimed that critical race theory is not "endorsed by the institution as institutional doctrine.”

It has however been endorsed every other way.

The disloyal military leaders of tomorrow are being shaped in the corrupted Academy of today.

As the BLM race riots devastated American cities, former superintendent Jay Silveria, who had been handpicked by former Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein to head the Academy, told students that it was "a time to acknowledge that disparities exist in our nation and within our Force, and that we must all be willing to talk about the realities of social injustice."

Outside the world of Marxist wokeness “disparities” are the result of individual choices, talents, dedication and so forth, and in America have nothing to do with racism, since institutional racism was outlawed by the Civil Rights Act almost 60 years ago.

Silveria was echoing his boss’ call for outrage over George Floyd’s drug overdose death and his claims that America was somehow racist. Along with his push for a review of racial disparities.

“We have to acknowledge we have racism, we have bias,” Silveria insisted. That’s one man’s ideologically shaped opinion, but do our military recruits have to have that drummed into them by a community college logic teacher who lacks any credentials for making pronouncements that defame the country her institution and its students are supposed to be defending?

Like much of the military, the Air Force Academy was subjected to "critical conversations" that Silvera claimed would help those like him who were "confused, angry and need to discuss what is going on in our nation."

In July, the academy's football team and coaches – more authorities on things they don’t know - released a video supporting Black Lives Matter.

“Educate yourself on the role that race plays in our history,” a white coach demanded. "It’s time for me to recognize my bias," another white coach confessed.

"Black lives have not been and are not treated as equals in our society," players and coaches angrily chanted the mantra of critical race theory racists. "It’s not enough for us to be not racist. It’s time to be anti-racist."  This sentence is ideological garbage straight out of Ibram X Kendi’s racist book How To Be An Anti-Racist, which according to the leftist Kendi is by agreeing with him. Literally.

Superintendent Silveria did not condemn the video in which Academy employees used an official social media account to push a partisan racist message. Instead he doubled down on critical race theory, falsely claiming that "across our Nation we are also grappling with an outpouring of emotion and outrage over systemic racism and social injustice." To repeat. systemic racism was outlawed by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. If it exists, it’s illegal and there would be lawsuits collecting damages. If it exists, where are those lawsuits?

Instead of disciplining the coaches involved, he issued a memo to improve "diversity and inclusion" and falsely claimed that "systemic racism exists in our society" affecting "identity groups" based "on race, ethnicity, age, gender", and "sexual orientation."

Systemic racism can’t and does not exist except in a program like “affirmative action” which had to get a pass from the Supreme Court precisely because it is illegal. And yet the leadership of the Air Force Academy insisted on brainwashing future military leaders with Marxist lies.

“The Black Lives Matter movement is important and I understand the purpose and the oppression behind the movement,” Silvera told the Journal of Character and Leadership Development.

The Center for Character and Leadership Development, once tasked with inculcating ethics and purpose, was leading those “critical conversations” about racism based on disparities that are the results of inequalities that exist in all racial groups. And of course the epidemic of anti-white racism, the most prominent form of ignorant bigotry abroad today.

This year, a professor at the Center wrote an article in the journal calling not for a "post-racial mindset", but an "inherently anti-racism mindset" where “anti-racism” means accepting delusional fantasies of America as “white supremacist” society, when the opposite is the case. In the real world eight racial groups “of color” have greater incomes than whites, which would be impossible in the fantasy world that the Air Force Academy now claims exists.

Another article by two professors contended that "American freedom... is unequal and differentiated, especially by race, ethnicity, gender" and urged that the military should not be an apolitical institution but that the role of military leaders should be to help soldiers "understand and confront'' political debates. Otherwise "American military leaders may miss an opportunity to contribute constructively to a national debate on these important matters."

The military serves its national purpose when it is a killing machine superior to that of our enemies. Turning it into a social experiment kaffeeklatsch undermines its only legitimate purpose and makes us vulnerable to our enemies whose societies are the most oppressive and racist on earth.

The military and its leaders are being reshaped to serve the malignant purposes of our most determined enemies.

The USAFA once encouraged cadets to see themselves as part of something larger. Now it undermines that unity and cohesion with sessions that promote the "Native American Experience" and the "African-American Experience" urging those who "identify" with the group to segregate themselves by race and complain about their status within the military.

The identity politics rot continued as Silvera stepped down and was replaced by Superintendent Richard M. Clark. Just as Goldfein had made way for Brown, the first black Air Force Chief of Staff, Clark would be the first black superintendent of the Air Force Academy.

Clark described his son going to a BLM protest and suggested that much of the Air Force might feel the same way. “There’s probably an anger that we don’t even know about," he suggested.

It was ugly and dangerously inappropriate language for a senior military leader to use.

Instead of using his appointment as evidence of the country’s incredible opportunities for those like him, the new superintendent was carrying on the tradition of trashing America as racist

Earlier this year, the Air Force Academy announced that it was opening a special Diversity and Inclusion Reading Room in the McDermott Library in response to Floyd’s drug overdose death and the accompanying Black Lives Matter riots. The reading room boasted a post-it board encouraging students to jot down what diversity meant to them.

The McDermott Library already offers copies of Ibram X. Kendi's How To Be An Anti-Racist and Stamped From the Beginning, along with Ta-Nehisi Coates' rabidly racist screed, Between The World And Me, which demonized the police officers and firefighters who died to rescue trapped Americans on 9/11 as "not human to me", and described black crime as entirely the fault of whites.

Also available is Race Course Against White Supremacy, a book by domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Ayers actually bombed the Pentagon, and described it in his memoir in these words:  “Everything was absolutely ideal. … The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.”

The book by a domestic terrorist who bombed the Pentagon and invented the term “white skin privilege falsely claims that “the United States was conceived as a white supremacist nation” and “remains fundamentally dedicated to structures, institutions, and ideologies that construct and enforce white domination.”

The transformation of the Air Force Academy into just another radical campus has confused and angered many of its alumni who remember a very different institution. And it was different.

The United States Air Force Academy faculty had been made up exclusively of military officers for generations. That helped protect the USAFA from the academic decay of most colleges. But in 1994, a Democrat Congress forced the academy to integrate “civilian faculty”. Like the intellectually challenged and ideologically warped, Garcia.

While many students and faculty initially resisted the civilian academics, the radicals began to inject their leftist politics into the classroom and used them to sow dissension in the military ranks. Service branch academies, once fundamentally different from civilian colleges, are coming to resemble the campuses and curriculums of any left-wing college.

Air Force Academy courses like Class, Race, and Ethnicity in Society, and Gender, Sexuality, and Society, offer familiar narratives attacking Martin Luther King’s vision of a colorblind society as racist, and promoting the racist idea of skin privilege. And while it's not surprising to see identity politics embedded into English and Behavioral Science, the "socio-cultural" element in USAFA's History department is almost as bad with students being asked to analyze WW1 through the lenses of "colonialism, race" and "gender".

Race, gender, and class are a constant academic theme at USAFA. And race and gender are linked to leadership and accomplishment when it comes to ethics and values.

Lynne Chandler Garcia is not an outlier. She’s just one of the few civilian professors to go public outside Air Force circles about what’s really going on at the Air Force Academy.

Each Democrat administration has added another building block to the crisis that has decimated the integrity and allegiances of the Air Force Academy and much of the rest of the military.

The Clinton administration and its allies in Congress helped put the likes of Garcia and other leftist radicals in USAFA classrooms. The Academy hands out copies of Attitudes Aren't Free: Thinking Deeply about Diversity in the US Armed Forces, a text from the Obama administration, which promoted radical gender and racial ideas, including “privilege”, into the military.

Tragically, for our nation, the Biden administration is continuing Clinton and Obama’s destruction of the military.

The disloyal military leadership is composed of some careerists who have learned to tell Democrat administrations what they want to hear and incorporate all their social agendas.

But others are the products of a military academic system that is as broken and corrupt as our civilian colleges, which have become one-party Marxist institutions.

When Garcia boasts of teaching "critical race theories to our nation’s future military leaders”, she’s taking pride in weakening the defenses of a country she hates.

The disloyal military leaders of tomorrow will be the products of Garcia’s classes, and political indoctrination sessions like them.

Better military leadership begins with restoring the integrity of the Air Force Academy and all service branch academies. Our country is barely surviving woke government and woke corporations, it will not survive the disloyal military leaders of a woke military.


Daniel Greenfield


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Biden Lifts Sanctions on Venezuela - Lloyd Billingsley


​ by Lloyd Billingsley

As Maduro and ally Communist Cuba crack down on democratic protesters.


“The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Monday lifted sanctions on the export of gas to socialist Venezuela,” Breitbart reported on Tuesday, “a boon to the dictatorship in Caracas and its patron government in communist Cuba, which struggles to suppress mounting opposition and calls for the regime’s total abolition.” The lifting of sanctions is significant because “Caracas has further served as an economic lifeline for Havana, supplying much of the regime’s energy needs on credit, with extremely lenient terms.”

As the U.S. announced the lifting of sanctions, the Miami Herald reported, Venezuela’s Maduro regime surrounded the home of opposition leader Juan Guaidó and arrested his former deputy Freddy Guevara. The U.S. move took the establishment media by surprise.

“The Biden Administration is also maintaining its predecessor Donald Trump’s confrontational stance on Venezuela and China, two of Cuba's closest allies,” Newsweek reported Tuesday, in a piece headlined, “Joe Biden Wounds Cuba, Venezuela and China's Hopes of Obama-Style Détente.” Back in February, Reuters reported that Biden was in “no rush” to lift sanctions on Venezuela but would consider easing them if Maduro showed he was ready to negotiate with the opposition.

Maduro did no such thing, and cracked down on the opposition even as the sanctions were lifted. Protesters in Caracas and Havana had grounds to believe the move aligned the United States with Cuban and Venezuelan regimes, and against those now suffering repression. Biden’s belated statement on the Cuban protesters, for example, was hardly “full throated,” as Newsweek claimed.

“We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic,” the White House statement said, “and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime.” So the protest is primarily about the pandemic and an openly Communist regime is only “authoritarian.” Contrast Biden with Bernie Sanders during the 2020 primaries. “We’re very very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba,” the Vermont socialist said, “ but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad.”

Cuban protesters bore signs denouncing la dictadura, but Biden would not say “dictatorship,” or “totalitarian,” much less “Communist.” Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked Biden press secretary Jen Psaki if Cubans wanted to leave because “they don’t like Communism.” Psaki said Cubans were “opposed to the oppression, to the mismanagement of the government in the country.” 

In similar style on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters “Cubans were “tired of the mismanagement of the Cuban economy, tired of the lack of adequate food and, of course, an adequate response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

On Tuesday Biden’s Department of Homeland Security boss Alejandro Mayorkas told Cubans “if you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States.” If individuals establish “a well-founded fear of persecution or torture, they are referred to third countries for resettlement. They will not enter the United States.”  As embattled Cubans might note, that marks a stark contrast to Biden’s open-border policy with “migrants” from anywhere else in the world.

“Freedom Floats: Cubans Risking Death to Cross Straits on ‘Chugs,’” headlines a July 2 report in Keysweekly. Since October, the U.S. Coast Guard has interdicted 512 Cubans. If the fleeing Cubans are intercepted “they are held at an undisclosed location and returned in groups to the island nation.” Flight from the Communist nation is not a new development.

According to the Library of Congress, “In the 1980s and 1990s, tens of thousands of hopeful emigrants attempted to flee by sea, chancing death by drowning, exposure, or shark attacks to make the 90-mile crossing. Many thousands rode only on flimsy, dangerous, homemade vessels, including inner tubes, converted cars, and cheap plywood rafts, or balsos. Hundreds of the balseros died on the journey.” For other accounts of the exodus see the Washington Post, from 1991, and a 2014 report in the New York Times.

As these and many other reports confirm, Cuba is so repressive that Cubans of all ages will flee the Communist dictadura in virtually anything that floats, risking their lives and leaving loved ones behind. Cuba was a Soviet colony but after demise of the USSR, Venezuela became the Cuba’s primary supporter. Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro transformed a prosperous nation into a socialist basketcase, but the regime still propped up the Cuban dictadura. Biden’s lifting of sanctions will reinforce that support.

Maduro regards Juan Guaidó as a U.S. puppet, the role Joe Biden plays for the composite character David Garrow described in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama.  His beloved Frank Marshall Davis, who got more than 2,000 words in Dreams from My Father, was an African American Communist who spent most of his life defending an all-white Soviet dictatorship. In similar style, the composite character president put time back on the clock for Cuba’s all-white Communist dictadura, headed for decades by white Sado-Stalinist Fidel Castro.

The composite character is a big fan of Black Lives Matter, and according to BLM Cuba is being “punished by the U.S. government because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty and self-determination.” A BLM statement blames the USA for Cuba’s problems and praises the regime for protecting “Black revolutionaries like Assata Shakur,” a reference to cop-killer JoAnne Chesimard, given asylum by Fidel Castro.

Joe Biden is such a fan of Black Lives Matter that he allows U.S. embassies to display BLM flags and banners.  Maybe the Delaware Democrat thinks Cubans “ain’t black,” if they don’t like their “authoritarian” government that mismanages the economy. If Cubans thought the addled Joe Biden was a friend of the Communist dictadura and an enemy of the Cuban people it would be hard to blame them.


Lloyd Billingsley


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The Folly of Something-for-Nothing Diplomacy in the Middle East - Gregg Roman and Gary C. Gambill


​ by Gregg Roman and Gary C. Gambill

Providing sanctions relief to the Iranians isn't going to entice them to compromise


The State Department's announcement Tuesday of a sanctions waiver that will allow Iran to access blocked funds in Japan and South Korea was the latest in a string of decisions indicating that President Biden's foreign policy team is afflicted with an appalling misunderstanding of the relationship between leverage and diplomacy. History has shown that diplomacy, the practice of influencing the conduct of a foreign entity through negotiations, without leverage, the "action or advantage" of applying pressure on an object (e.g. using a lever in the most instrumental sense of the term), tends not to go very far.

But that's not how Biden's advisers — many of them holdovers from the Obama administration — see it. By their reckoning, leverage is something that angers adversaries and sows mistrust of American intentions. If you want to turn over a new leaf with the angry and mistrustful, the reasoning goes, you have to build confidence by giving something for nothing.

History has shown that diplomacy without leverage tends not to go very far.

An early sign of this thinking came with the administration's decision in February to announce the withdrawal of U.S. support for the Saudi war effort in Yemen and to unconditionally reverse the Trump administration's designation of the Iranian-backed Yemeni group Ansar Allah (more commonly known as the Houthis) as a terrorist organization. The apparent reasoning for these decisions was that they would demonstrate goodwill amid U.S. efforts to broker a ceasefire in Yemen and pave the way for negotiating a new nuclear deal with Tehran.

Presumably the administration expected that Iran and its Houthi proxies would reciprocate for the unilateral concession by changing their conduct for the better. But the opposite happened. Houthi rebels responded by launching a major ground offensive in Marib province and stepping up their missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, while Iran's nuclear provocations continued unabated.

Much the same thinking appeared to underlie Secretary of State Antony Blinken's April 7 announcement of plans to "restart" aid to the Palestinians with a package of at least $235 million aimed at "provid[ing] critical relief to those in great need, foster[ing] economic development, and support[ing] Israeli-Palestinian understanding, security coordination and stability.... as a means to advance towards a negotiated two-state solution."

The ostensible reasoning behind the Biden administration's ending of its predecessor's moratorium on aid to the Palestinians mirrors its Yemen strategy. Palestinians didn't much like the aid cutoff, and the United States needs to entice them to end their unwavering refusal to accept the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, the main sticking point in past U.S. efforts to broker an Israeli–Palestinian peace settlement.

Lavishing the Palestinians with aid in hopes of easing their rejectionism hasn't worked in the past. The Obama administration, which increased annual aid to a whopping $600 million, never succeeded in convincing Palestinian leaders to even meet with their Israeli counterparts, let alone make serious compromises. Providing aid and assistance without demanding major concessions in return emboldened and hardened the Palestinian position back then, and the same thing happened this time around — weeks later, Palestinians and Israelis were at war again.

Providing sanctions relief to the Iranians isn't going to entice them to compromise.

Providing sanctions relief to the Iranians isn't going to entice them to compromise their nuclear ambitions or roll back their burgeoning ballistic missiles program or support for terrorist groups across the Middle East. Like Palestinian leaders, they surely appreciate what Biden has done for them, but believe they are better off pocketing the gifts and continuing their rejectionism. Both have good reason to believe that the Biden administration won't reverse its decision without new provocations on their part.

Biden must demonstrate that the days of getting something for nothing are over.

The objective of diplomacy is to convince an adversary that it is better off conceding what is demanded. Biden does not need to demonstrate goodwill to Palestinian or Iranian leaders in order to do this — they already recognize that he is far more sympathetic to their position than his predecessor. If anything, it's imperative that he demonstrate that his goodwill has limits and that the days of getting something for nothing are over.


Gregg Roman is director of the Middle East Forum. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Gary C. Gambill is general editor at the Middle East Forum. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


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Frederick Douglass Versus the 1619 Project - Dinesh D'Souza


​ by Dinesh D'Souza

Critical Race Theory's big lie about American history.


How amusing it is to see the advocates of critical race theory (CRT) and the 1619 Project vehemently deny that their philosophy is even being taught in elementary and secondary schools. Most recently, teachers’ union president Randi Weingarten insisted that CRT is merely a subject of discussion in law schools and the legal community, not in the public school system.

Hogwash! Parents wouldn’t be mobilizing against CRT if they didn’t witness its divisive propaganda being dumped on their children. Ironically, we have the COVID lockdowns to thank for this. Ordinarily, parents aren’t exposed to what their children are being taught in school. But with online instruction, they can pop into their kid’s room and go, “They’re teaching him WHAT?”

If CRT and its ideological cousin the 1619 Project really aren’t being taught in schools, why would the teachers unions and the left worry about them being banned by state legislators? That would be like states banning unicorns. This is absolutely no problem, since there are no unicorns. Of course, the reason the unions and the left are up in arms is because CRT and the 1619 Project are being widely taught, and the state laws would curb these forms of indoctrination.

Taking a somewhat different approach, Gillian Brockell wrote a recent article in The Washington Post implying that CRT and the 1619 Project represent the very mainstream of American history, and that the great abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass would have been on board with their core premises. “Frederick Douglass had nothing but scorn for July Fourth,” her headline reads. “The Black abolitionist spoke for the enslaved.”

The article, however, like CRT and the 1619 Project, tells only half of the story. Let’s follow its narrative in some detail. Brockell recalls Douglass’s famous July 4 address (pdf), delivered in Rochester, New York, to the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society. The first part of the speech does indeed support Brockell’s account, because Douglass gives a savage indictment of how American independence looks to a black man.

“This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine,” Douglass says. “You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me by asking me to speak today?” Douglass here is not speaking for himself. After all, he had escaped slavery in Maryland 14 years earlier. He was not “a man in fetters.” Douglass, however, was speaking from the point of view of the slave, his former self.

“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?” Douglass continues. “I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all the other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.”

Already one can see Douglass’s speech as a masterpiece of rhetoric, each phrase building on the previous one, almost like a wave gathering force before crashing down on the audience. Yet as the speech moves on, Douglass makes a sharp and surprising turn. Far from denouncing the Fourth of July, far from scorning the Declaration of Independence as a charter of hypocrisy, far from blaming the Constitution for making an unholy pact with slavery—this is precisely what the critical race theorists do today—Douglass roundly affirms the founding as a “glorious liberty document” that launched “forces in operation” that “must inevitably work the downfall of slavery.”

Brockell has read Douglass’s speech. She knows about this “turn” in Douglass’s rhetoric. But she downplays it, quoting only a small part and suppressing the rest, and presenting even this tidbit as a sort of postscript, rather than the central point which Douglass was making. Why? Because the tidbit and its larger context completely undercuts her argument. Let’s probe deeper into what Douglass said.

Douglass argued in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln, who famously argued that in affirming the equality clause of the Declaration of Independence, the founders “meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should permit.” Lincoln and Douglass were both instruments of that enforcement. They helped realize the principles of 1776 and 1789.

Douglass’s point—and Lincoln’s too—is that there are two traditions in America, a tradition of enslavement and oppression, but also a tradition of emancipation and freedom. Both men regarded the Declaration of Independence and even the Constitution as part of the latter tradition. They also identified the Democratic Party with oppression and the Republican Party with freedom. Here’s a later remark by Douglass: “The Republican Party is the ship; all else is the sea.”

By contrast, CRT holds that there’s a single tradition, only enslavement and oppression, no genuine emancipation or freedom. That’s why the 1619 Project says virtually nothing about Douglass, and even Martin Luther King Jr. is barely mentioned. Its credo is that racism is built into the DNA of America not just from the founding but also from the country’s very beginning in 1619. So the deceit of the 1619 Project and CRT is that both exaggerate one tradition, conceal its association with the Democratic Party, and suppress the emancipation tradition and its inevitable association with the Republican Party.

Douglass ended his speech on a patriotic note that vividly contrasts with the way he began, and shows why he had no problem, in the end, with celebrating the Fourth of July and what it represented. Of the Constitution, Douglass later said, “Abolish slavery tomorrow, and not a sentence or syllable of the Constitution needs to be altered.” That’s because the document gives no support, no sanction, to slavery.

Douglass of course knew that the founders who approved the Constitution allowed slavery to continue beyond 1789, but his argument is that this compromise was necessary to get a union—the very union that would have the power to bring about the end of slavery. Slavery, Douglass concluded, is merely the “scaffolding to the magnificent structure, to be removed as soon as the building was completed.” Indeed, the founders delivered “the deadliest blow upon  

This article first appeared in


Dinesh D'Souza is an author, filmmaker, and daily host of the Dinesh D’Souza podcast.


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Putin's New Anti-Navalny Law - Jiri Valenta and Leni Friedman Valenta


​ by Jiri Valenta and Leni Friedman Valenta

Russia's decision to crush all political opposition seems a clear indication of how Putin fears Navalny and his influence over the Russian electorate....

  • Tatiana Stanovaya, a political analyst at Carnegie Moscow, "told CNN the law threatens not only opposition politicians but ordinary Russian citizens."

  • "The law is part of a larger campaign against anti-regime behavior in Russia... The battlefield has become much larger, now even a Russian citizen who participates in protests, retweets an opposition post or donates to opposition groups, face the risk of prosecution." — Tatiana Stanovaya.

  • Russia's decision to crush all political opposition seems a clear indication of how Putin fears Navalny and his influence over the Russian electorate....

  • A number of Russian opposition politicians have already been barred from taking part in elections or were persecuted for their support for Navalny or other pro-democracy groups.

  • "The process was held behind closed doors, and I myself did not participate in it. Even though we demanded it, I was not even invited." — Alexei Navalny, Instagram, as reported by CNN, June 10, 2021.

  • The Russian courts are a "laughingstock." — Alexei Navalny, Instagram, as reported by, June 10, 2021.

"The process was held behind closed doors, and I myself did not participate in it. Even though we demanded it, I was not even invited." — Alexei Navalny, Russian opposition leader, June 10, 2021. Pictured: Navalny appears on screen via a video link from prison, during a court hearing in the town of Petushki, Russia, on May 26, 2021. (Photo by Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images)

On June 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning "individuals designated as 'extremists' from running for public offices."

There is little doubt that the legislation signed by Putin is aimed largely at opposition leader Alexei Navalny, now in prison, and whoever supports him. According to CNN:

"The law prevents members of 'extremist' or 'terrorist' organizations from standing in elections for a period of three to five years... Founders and leaders of designated groups will not be able to run for elected office for five years... Employees or financial supporters of court-ruled extremist and terrorist organizations will be banned from running for office for three years."

Five days later, on June 9, Navalny's "Anti-Corruption Foundation," (FBK) and "Citizens Rights Protection Foundation" were declared by the Moscow City Court to be "extremist" organizations. According to CNN:

"The court ordered that FBK be liquidated and its property transferred into the ownership of the Russian Federation, according to a statement from the Moscow City Court's press service.

"The court also banned the activities of Navalny's regional political offices around Russia, which has mobilized protests in the past..."

The court's decision, subject to immediate execution, "also banned the activities of Navalny's regional political offices around Russia" which have upheld Navalny's "smart voting strategy" to support candidates not from Putin's party and which have organized protests in the past.

The ruling has been described by Navalny's lawyers as part of an "unprecedented crackdown" on his activities. It not only bans his allies from running in elections at every level, it also "grants authorities the power to jail activists and freeze their bank accounts," according to US News & World Report.

All this took place a week before the Putin-Biden summit.

Tatiana Stanovaya, a political analyst at Carnegie Moscow, "told CNN the law threatens not only opposition politicians but ordinary Russian citizens."

"The law is part of a larger campaign against anti-regime behavior in Russia... The battlefield has become much larger, now even a Russian citizen who participates in protests, retweets an opposition post or donates to opposition groups, face the risk of prosecution."

Navalny was imprisoned in January upon his return to Russia from Germany, where he had been recovering from poisoning by novichok, a nerve agent that had had been placed in Navalny's underpants in a hotel in Tomsk. Navalny asserts and has sought to prove, that his poisoning was ordered by agents of Putin.

In Russia, Navalny was immediately imprisoned for having failed to attend parole hearings while convalescing from the poisoning in a German hospital, part of the time in a coma.

The main reason for keeping Navalny imprisoned may well be to make sure that the popular leader is isolated and unable to get involved in organizing opposition to Putin's United Russia Party in upcoming electoral campaigns. Russia's decision to crush all political opposition seems a clear indication of how Putin fears Navalny and his influence over the Russian electorate -- despite the fact that Putin's United Russia party is presently the ruling political party in Russia and has constituted the majority in the chamber since 2007, and even though Navalny is now in prison and in ill health.

Putin, as he came for his June 16 summit with US President Joe Biden in Geneva, either ignored numerous questions from the American press about Navalny's condition, or discussed the situation without mentioning Navalny by name.

When alone with the press, Putin deflected criticism of his crackdown on dissenters by wrapping a justification for his own brutal repression in a criticism of the United States. He cited the actions in the US of the Black Lives Matter movement and the disarray in the Capitol on January 6: "We saw disorder, destruction, violations of law. We feel sympathy with the USA, but we don't want that to happen on our territory."

In an interview with NBC before the summit, Putin said that he could not guarantee that Navalny would be released from the prison alive.

"Look, such decisions in this country are not made by the president. They're made by the court whether or not to set somebody free.

"As far as the health, all individuals who are in prison, that is something that the administration of the specific prison or penitentiary establishment is responsible for. And there are medical facilities in penitentiaries that are perhaps not in the best condition."

According to the Guardian:

Putin maintained his longstanding avoidance of saying Navalny's name, referring to him as 'that person'. He said he hoped the jail medical service would do its job 'properly' but added: 'To be honest I have not visited such places for a long time.'"

Biden responded to the press about Putin's comments by saying that "Navalny's death would be another indication that Russia has little or no intention of abiding by basic fundamental human rights..."

"I made it clear to him that I believe the consequences of that would be devastating for Russia," Biden said.

"What do you think happens when he's saying it's not about hurting Navalny, all the stuff he says to rationalize the treatment of Navalny, and then he dies in prison?... It's about trust. It's about their ability to influence other nations in a positive way."

Navalny's death might be somewhat of a setback for US-Russian relations, whether Putin believes it or not. Putin knows that the US is preparing new sanctions against Russia for Navalny's poisoning.

According to US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan:

"We are preparing another package of sanctions to apply in this case... It will come as soon as we have developed the packages to ensure that we are getting the right targets..."

No matter what Putin says, he seems, at least for now, to have given instructions to his underlings to ensure Navalny's survival in prison. If Navalny is lucky, he might even be released in September after Russia's election -- which Putin's United Russia party is expected easily to win.

Meanwhile, after the summit with President Biden, Putin defended the court ruling against Navalny "extremists" under the new law, by claiming that Navalny's group had shared instructions about how to make firebombs, an allegation denied by Navalny's legal team, who announced that in the court ruling, there was no mention of firebombs.

Another seemingly false accusation came from the judge who presided over the "extremists" ruling. Reuters wrote:

"'According to the judge, individuals associated with the Anti-Corruption Foundation and Navalny's headquarters used Nazi paraphernalia and symbols in their activities,' the lawyers wrote. But no actual link between the individuals and Navalny's organisations was established by the Prosecutor's Office, the lawyers said."

It is these manufactured accusations that are now apparently being used to support Putin's claim that the supporters of Navalny's organizations are "extremists" and must be banned from ever running for office, as should anyone who helps or contributes to their organizations.

A number of Russian opposition politicians have already been barred from taking part in elections or were persecuted for their support for Navalny or other pro-democracy groups.

In mid-June, Navalny wrote on Instagram: "The process was held behind closed doors, and I myself did not participate in it. Even though we demanded it, I was not even invited." The Russian courts, Navalny also wrote on Instagram, are a "laughingstock."

Jiri Valenta is a non-resident, Senior Research Associate with the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan and a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. He previously taught Soviet and East European Studies to four armed services at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and is the author and editor of several books.

Leni Friedman Valenta is a graduate of Brandeis and Yale (playwriting) and has written articles for the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, the Gatestone Institute, Circanada, The National Interest, Aspen Review and other publications.


Jiri Valenta and Leni Friedman Valenta


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The Lapid-Bennett government’s foreign policy “doctrine” - Caroline Glick


​ by Caroline Glick/b>

There is no tension because there is no competition. Lapid controls everything. Bennett is an afterthought, at best.


From Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s stunning assault against his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset, through Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s trip to Brussels and his speech before the Global Forum on Anti-Semitism, this week the Lapid-Bennett government’s foreign policy doctrine was fully exposed.

One of the novel aspects of Bennett and Lapid’s governing arrangements is that there doesn’t appear to be any tension between them on foreign policy. In all previous unity governments there were great tensions as the prime minister, who hailed from one side of the ideological spectrum and his foreign minister, who hailed from the other. Each pulled Israel’s foreign policy in opposite directions, with the prime minister ultimately gaining the upper hand.

There is none of that in the Lapid-Bennett government and this week we discovered why that is the case. There is no tension because there is no competition. Lapid controls everything. Bennett is an afterthought, at best.

Consider Bennett’s behavior on Iran.

Wednesday, Iran’s outgoing president Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran has the capacity to enrich uranium to 90 percent purity – the level of purity required to develop nuclear weapons. The day before Rouhani’s announcement, the Biden administration made clear that it will do nothing to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear armed state when on the one hand it announced that Iranian intelligence had attempted to abduct Iranian-American journalist and human rights activist Masih Alinejad from her Brooklyn home; and on the other hand, the administration announced that it is providing Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief by unfreezing Iranian government accounts in Japan and South Korea.

In his speech Monday at the Knesset, Bennett didn’t lay out a policy for preventing Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal in the face of U.S. support for the regime and its military nuclear program. Instead, he threw an adolescent fit against Netanyahu replete with weird mimicry and obvious slanders. Bennett alleged ridiculously that Netanyahu did nothing to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons during his long tenure in office.

Usually, shortly after a new prime minister enters office he flies to Washington to meet the U.S. President. Bennett is in no hurry. His meeting with Biden is scheduled for the second half of August.

The delay is telling. By the time he arrives at the White House, by Rouhani’s telling Iran will have reached nuclear breakout capacity. The Butcher of Tehran Ebraihim Raisi will have been sworn in as Iran’s new president. As Tuesday’s sanctions removal made clear, with or without a nuclear deal by mid-August, the Biden administration will have massively enriched Iran by lifting certain limitations on trade and unfreezing accounts.

In other words, by the time Bennett is scheduled to shake Biden’s hand, it will likely be too late to change the course of events on Iran.  

It was Lapid, not Bennett who rushed to meet with his U.S. counterpart Secretary of State Anthony Blinken almost immediately after taking office. In their meeting in Rome in late June, Lapid set out the government’s policy on Iran. He gave Blinken his pledge of “zero surprises.” That is, Lapid promised that Israel would not take action against Iran that wasn’t first coordinated with – or approved by – the pro-Iran Biden administration.

Having divested Israel from its power to independently act against Iran, this week, Lapid turned his attention to Europe. Tuesday, he participated in the monthly meeting of EU foreign ministers. In his address to his European counterparts, Lapid laid out his credo for strengthening EU-Israel ties.

In addition to sharing common values, (like “human rights and LGBT rights”), Lapid said, “I want to base our relations on something more, that usually isn’t discussed in international diplomacy: Optimism.

“Optimism is a political force,” Lapid exalted.

“I want for us to work together on this: On the chance of a better future.”

Every year, the EU spends millions of dollars financing the operations of non-governmental organizations that wage political warfare against Israel, often in cooperation with terrorist organizations. These EU-financed and directed NGOs wage boycott campaigns targeting Israeli companies, nationals, Jewish supporters abroad and companies that do business with Israel. They demonize the IDF and its soldiers. They sabotage government and military operations through lawfare in Israeli courts and international bodies. They seek to undermine Israel’s social cohesion by radicalizing Israeli Arabs and other minority groups. Some of the EU-financed groups are controlled by the PFLP terror group.

In his remarks, Lapid ignored all of this and tried to reduce this open hostility and aggression to a difference of opinion based on ignorance.

“I accept the idea that part of our dialogue involves moral judgement. I want to hear your views with an open heart. But it isn’t too much to expect that this dialogue will take into account that my house is under fire.”

Lapid arrived in Brussels as Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is preparing to wage another round of political war against Israel. This time, with the support not only of the EU, but of the Biden administration. As part of his preparations, Abbas submitted a list of 14 preconditions for the reinstatement of peace talks with Israel to Hady Amr, U.S. Assistant Deputy Secretary of State for Israel and the Palestinians and Biden’s candidate to serve as U.S. consul general in Jerusalem.

Among other things, Abbas demands that Israel remove its police forces from the Temple Mount and severely curtail the freedom of Jews to visit Judaism’s holiest site. He called for Jewish property rights in Judea, Samaria and unified Jerusalem to be abrogated, Jewish building outlawed and the destruction of around a hundred Israeli communities that have been built in Judea and Samaria since 2000.  He demanded the reopening of PLO offices in Jerusalem. He demanded that Israel agree to the opening of a U.S. consulate in Jerusalem to serve the Palestinians. He demanded an end to Israeli military operations in Area A of Judea and Samaria and a curtailing of those operations in Area B. He demanded the release of Palestinian and Israeli Arab terrorists from Israeli prisons. He demanded that all legal proceedings to evict Arab squatters from Jewish-owned buildings in Shimon HaTzaddik/Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood be withdrawn.

Abbas’s list is an expanded version of the preconditions he presented to the Obama administration in 2013. It shows that Abbas sees the Biden administration as beginning where Barack Obama left off. Obama’s last move was getting UN Security Council resolution 2334 passed in December 2016. Resolution 2334 defined Israel’s presence beyond the 1949 armistice lines, (in unified Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights) as a “flagrant violation of international law.”

Next week, Amr is scheduled to travel to the region to begin discussions towards restarting the long-lifeless “peace process.” Amr who has a public record of legitimizing terrorism Hamas is expected to agree with most of Abbas’s demands and adopt them as official U.S. positions.

Despite the fact that the Biden administration is closely coordinating its Palestinian policies with the EU, during his trip to Brussels Tuesday, Lapid chose to ignore the gathering storm, by adopting an apologetic tone. Although he embraced the establishment of a Palestinian state, Lapid suggested that conditions aren’t ripe for it right now because the Palestinians haven’t built a democratic society and are still fighting Israel.

All the same, he indicated he will accept constraining the rights of Jews in disputed territories. “We need now to ensure that no steps are taken that will prevent the possibility of peace in the future.”

He added, “We need to improve the lives of the Palestinians. Everything that is humanitarian, I will support. Everything that will build the Palestinian economy, I support.”

The Europeans were unimpressed. The EU statement summarizing the meeting with Lapid read, “In relation to the Middle East Peace Process, ministers once more stressed that the EU stands firmly for Israel’s security and condemns terrorism. At the same time, the EU expects Israel to offer a political perspective to end the conflict.”

Wednesday, Lapid turned his attention to the fight against anti-Semitism. Wednesday morning Israel Hayom reported that Bennett does not intend to appoint an advisor for Diaspora Jewry. For more than a generation, the Diaspora affairs advisor to the Prime Minister has played a central role in coordinating Israel’s fight against Jew hatred internationally. By opting not to fill the role, Bennett signaled that here too, he has no authority or power. Like foreign policy, this too, is Lapid’s issue.

Later Wednesday, Lapid set out how he plans to “fight” anti-Semitism: By redefining it.

In remarks before the Global Forum on Anti-Semitism Wednesday morning, Lapid said, “It’s time to tell the right story about the anti-Semites.”

“The anti-Semites weren’t only in the Budapest Ghetto [in the Holocaust]. The anti-Semites were also slave traders who threw people bound together with chains into the sea. The anti-Semites were the extremist Hutu in Rwanda who massacred Tutsis. The anti-Semites are Muslim fanatics who have murdered millions of other Muslims in the past century. The anti-Semites are ISIS and Boko Haram. The anti-Semites are people who beat LGBT people to death…Anti-Semitism isn’t the first name of hate. It’s the family name.”

With his universalization of Jew hatred, Lapid completed his presentation of the full panoply of his policies. Since taking over Israel’s foreign policy, Lapid has abrogated Israel’s independence of action against Iran. He has embraced appeasement of the Palestinians, truckling to the EU, and kowtowing to the Biden administration as national policies. To “strengthen” Israel’s ties to Jordan, as King Abdullah cozies up to Tehran, he has capitulated to all of Jordan’s demands. On the other hand, he has treated Israel’s allies in the EU’s Visegrad bloc with hostility and Israel’s Abraham Accords partners with indifference.

All of this makes clear that under Lapid’s stewardship, Israel’s foreign policy isn’t based on a strategy for advancing Israel’s national interests. It is based on sucking up to the cool guys – the progressives in America, the jetsetters in Brussels and the Palestinians whom both the progressives and the Europeans view as their cause celebre. And it is based on joining them in bullying the unpopular guys – the Central Europeans, the anti-jihadists Arabs, and the Israelis, (or in Lapid’s case, the right-religious bloc).

This is where Bennett’s temper tantrum against Netanyahu at the Knesset meets Lapid’s upholding of “optimism,” as the key to world peace. Both men see the world through the eyes of children – Bennett stars in the role of the rebellious teenager who despises his dad. Lapid is the social climber who builds his position by brownnosing the football team.

Unfortunately, as they play out their teenage fantasies together, neither Bennett nor Lapid is noticing that their interlocutors are not children. They are paying no attention to the interests and goals that motivate foreign powers. And they are unprepared to deal with the actual dangers rising against Israel from all quarters.

Originally published in Israel Hayom.


Caroline Glick


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Germany: ‘Islamist terrorism has developed…The number of terrorist actors and the danger they pose has increased’ - Robert Spencer


​ by Robert Spencer

Meanwhile, Muslim migrants continue to stream into Germany, with only perfunctory efforts (at best) made to determine their sentiments regarding jihad. The suicidal madness seems to have no end.

“German spy chief warns of Islamic State’s strength,” DW, July 13, 2021:

The head of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency has warned that the Islamic State is just as strong as it ever was — even without its caliphate. Terrorism experts agree that it has morphed into a powerful network.

The head of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, has given a rare interview specifically to warn that, despite appearances, terrorism remains a real threat to world order, even 20 years after 9/11.

Speaking to the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Monday, Bruno Kahl said that, though Europe and the US had not seen any more major terrorist attacks like those of two decades ago, “Islamist terrorism has developed further, and cost very many human lives. The number of terrorist actors and the danger they pose has increased.”

There have of course been major successes in the fight against the Islamic State in the past few years — especially the 2019 killing of the group’s self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the destruction of the “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq as a quasi state entity. But since then, said Kahl, IS has turned into a decentralized network, much like al Qaeda, whose suborganizations “are even spreading out.”

This isn’t exactly news, according to Mirna El Masri, a radicalization and terrorism researcher at the Hamburg-based German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA). “There had been indications in 2019 after the loss of its territories that IS had strengthened considerably,” she told DW. “On the other hand, new circumstances have exacerbated the situation in the past year, which might explain why Kahl has decided to talk about this now.”

For one thing, the spread of the coronavirus in the Middle East region has weakened the Iraqi government and increased the desperation of many people, which has turned refugee camps in northern Syria into particularly good IS recruitment centers. The longer the pandemic continues, El Masri said, the more it will help IS.

The Islamic State has also learned to adapt its strategies, according to El Masri. Commanders have been subdivided into specific operational sectors in the region, taking over decision-making responsibilities. The latest reports also suggest that IS fighters have withdrawn completely from urban areas, but are able to move freely in the open country simply by avoiding state forces, especially near the city around the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor.

IS has also developed new business models, adopting organized crime tactics such as demanding illegal taxes along oil and trade routes and using hotels, real estate and even car dealerships to launder money between Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

“That has made it more difficult to see and monitor for German and international intelligence agencies,” said Eric Stollenwerk, terrorism and Sahel region researcher for GIGA, who agrees that the group is still very powerful in both Syria and Iraq. “Beyond that, it has strong connections with other regions in the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa and especially the Sahel region,” he added.

Kahl told DZ that there is only one way to stop the development of terrorist organizations such as IS: “The imposition of the monopoly of state power, the erection of state structures, the guarantee of security.” That, he argues, is where European and Western powers can help countries such as Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria. “We have to support the states in regaining control or at least to maintain it where it can be maintained,” he said….


Robert Spencer


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The EU Leaders Join North Korea in Welcoming Iran's Mass Murderer President - Majid Rafizadeh


​ by Majid Rafizadeh

"That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran"

  • By handpicking a mass murderer to be president, the Iranian regime is sending a strong message to the Iranian people and the world that it will not respect human rights.

  • How could a leader of a democratic country congratulate a mass murderer?

  • The people of Iran, like those of Hong Kong and now Cuba, have been struggling and fighting to change their regime, while European governments and leaders of democratic countries -- including the current administration in the United States -- have basically been sending a message to the people: We do not care about your aspiration for justice, rule of law and human rights; instead we are going to partner with your authoritarian leaders.

  • Europe's leaders have also been totally disregarding calls by human rights organizations to investigate Iran's mass murderer mullah -- who will also most likely be the next Supreme Leader of Iran.

  • "That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran..... The circumstances surrounding the fate of the victims and the whereabouts of their bodies are, to this day, systematically concealed by the Iranian authorities, amounting to ongoing crimes against humanity. — Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, June 19, 2021.

  • It is indeed shameful, and a blow to the people of Iran and advocates of human rights and democracy, that European governments and leaders of democracies are joining North Korea to congratulate Iran's mass murderer president -- and wishing him success!

By handpicking a mass murderer to be president, the Iranian regime is sending a strong message to the Iranian people and the world that it will not respect human rights. Iran's President-elect Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, on June 21, 2021. (Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

The leaders of the European Union, who preach about human rights and democracy, are not only turning a blind eye to the Iranian regime's handpicking of a mass murderer, Ebrahim Raisi, to be the next president; they are also now joining North Korea in congratulating the ruling mullahs and their new President Raisi.

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, issuing a message congratulating Iran's new incoming president, stated that he is "confident" friendly relationships between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Austria would continue. "In his message," wrote the Islamic Republic News Agency, ".... he wished success for president-elect Raisi and said that his country, as the host of multinational negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal, is ready to make any cooperation. He expressed hope that the Vienna talks will yield fruit in the near future."

How could a leader of a democratic country congratulate a mass murderer? What kind of message is he sending to the Iranian people who boycotted the elections and called on the international community to investigate the new mullah president?

By handpicking a mass murderer to be president, the Iranian regime is sending a strong message to the Iranian people and the world that it will not respect human rights. Yet, to enhance the regime's legitimacy, Iran's Ambassador to Austria, Abbas Bagherpour, bragged:

"President @vanderbellen in an official message cordially congratulated President-elect Dr. Ebrahim Raisi @raisi_com, wishing him every success, referring to 7 centuries of friendly relations, re-assuring him of continuation of multi-faceted bilateral relations in every fields."

Switzerland's President Guy Parmelin also congratulated the "Butcher of Tehran" and wished him success. The Iranian Students' News Agency, a state-controlled outlet, reported:

"Swiss President in the message wished success for Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi in his new position, expressed confidence that good bilateral relations between Iran and Switzerland during the presidency of Raisi will be strengthened more than ever.

"He also stressed that Switzerland is committed to strengthening dialogue and cooperation with Iran aiming at increasing stability and prosperity in the region, and considers it in the interest of all."

Those are more blows to the people of Iran. The people of Iran, like those of Hong Kong and now Cuba, have been struggling and fighting to change their regime, while European governments and leaders of democratic countries -- including the current administration in the United States (for instance here, here and here) -- have basically been sending a message to the people: We do not care about your aspiration for justice, rule of law and human rights; instead we are going to partner with your authoritarian leaders.

The Iranian human rights lawyer Kaveh Moussavi tweeted:

"Shame on you, President of Austria, congratulating a mass murderer who through massive fraud has muscled his way to the Presidency of Iran. We are going to remember this abject cowardice when we rid Iran of this murderous kleptocracy! Don't say we didn't warn you!"

Europe's leaders have also been completely disregarding calls by human rights organizations to investigate Iran's mass murderer mullah -- he will also most likely be the next Supreme Leader of Iran. Amnesty International's Secretary General Agnès Callamard said out:

"That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran. In 2018, our organization documented how Ebrahim Raisi had been a member of the 'death commission' which forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed in secret thousands of political dissidents in Evin and Gohardasht prisons near Tehran in 1988. The circumstances surrounding the fate of the victims and the whereabouts of their bodies are, to this day, systematically concealed by the Iranian authorities, amounting to ongoing crimes against humanity."

It was also under Raisi's watch as the head of Iran's Judiciary that nearly 1,500 people were killed during the widespread protests of 2019, many were tortured, and high profile people such as the champion wrestler Navid Afkari were executed.

Callamard added:

"As Head of the Iranian Judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi has presided over a spiralling crackdown on human rights which has seen hundreds of peaceful dissidents, human rights defenders and members of persecuted minority groups arbitrarily detained. Under his watch, the judiciary has also granted blanket impunity to government officials and security forces responsible for unlawfully killing hundreds of men, women and children and subjecting thousands of protesters to mass arrests and at least hundreds to enforced disappearance, and torture and other ill-treatment during and in the aftermath of the nationwide protests of November 2019."

It is indeed shameful, and a blow to the people of Iran and advocates of human rights and democracy, that European governments and leaders of democracies are joining North Korea to congratulate Iran's mass murderer president -- and wishing him success!


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


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