Saturday, January 22, 2022

Why Was Texas Synagogue Jihadi Allowed Into U.S. Two Weeks Ago Despite ‘Long Criminal Record’? - Robert Spencer

 

by Robert Spencer

Giving the American people any answers doesn't seem to be a priority.

 


The family of Malik Faisal Akram, the Islamic jihadi from Britain who took hostages in Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, Saturday, has “demanded to know how he was allowed into America despite a long criminal record,” says the UK’s Daily Mail. More than just his family should be asking this question. How was this man able to storm a synagogue in Texas and take people hostage at gunpoint when he shouldn’t have been allowed into the United States in the first place? If anything shows how broken our immigration system is under the regime of Biden’s handlers, it is this entire episode.

Malik Faisal Akram’s brother Gulbar asked: “He’s known to police. Got a criminal record. How was he allowed to get a visa and acquire a gun?” Yeah. U.S. immigration law states that “any alien convicted of 2 or more offenses (other than purely political offenses), regardless of whether the conviction was in a single trial or whether the offenses arose from a single scheme of misconduct and regardless of whether the offenses involved moral turpitude, for which the aggregate sentences to confinement were 5 years or more is inadmissible” to the United States.

It has not been revealed how many convictions Malik Faisal Akram has, but presumably a “long criminal record” involves more than two. Does Akram’s “long criminal record” involve no convictions, or only one? Or did he get admitted to the United States by some official who was skirting the law? Is Old Joe Biden’s immigration system so broken at this point that essentially anyone, anyone at all, no matter what kind of criminal record he has, can get into the country?

In light of what he did when he got here, Americans need an answer to those questions, but it is not likely that any will be forthcoming and the Leftist establishment media sycophants certainly cannot be counted on to ask any administration officials any probing questions.

Old Joe Biden offered a vague and partial explanation of how Akram got the gun but said nothing about how he was allowed to enter the country in the first place: “I don’t have all the facts and neither does the attorney general, but allegedly the assertion was he got the weapons on the street, that he purchased them when he landed. And it turns out there were apparently no bombs that we know of, even though he said that there were bombs there as well. He apparently spent the first night in a homeless shelter — I don’t have all the details, so I’m reluctant to go into much more detail, but allegedly he purchased it on the street. What that means, I don’t know if he purchased it from an individual in the homeless shelter or a homeless community.”

Thanks, Joe. That was characteristically unhelpful and non-illuminating. Biden added a hint that his handlers will try to make this incident into a gun-control issue while continuing to ignore the immigration questions it raises, as well as questions about Islamic anti-Semitism and jihad violence in general: “The idea of background checks are critical, but you can’t stop something like this if someone is on the street buying something from somebody else on the street.”

We can’t even get straight answers about whether or not Akram acted alone: the FBI’s Dallas field office claimed that there was “no indication” that he worked with anyone else, yet the Greater Manchester Police in Britain on Sunday night arrested two Muslim teenagers as part of their investigation into the hostage-taking incident.

Meanwhile, Malik Faisal Akram’s local Blackburn Muslim Community posted a statement on Facebook that contained nary a word of condemnation for his actions: “Faisal Akram has sadly departed from this temporary world and returned to his Creator. May the Almighty forgive all his sins and bless him with the highest ranks of Paradise. May Allah give strength and patience to his loved ones in dealing with their loss.” Akram’s family, while condemning the attacks, declared that their primary goal was to give him an Islamic funeral: “Obviously our priority will be to get him back to the UK for his funeral prayers although we have been warned it could take weeks.”

The feds will no doubt work with the family to expedite this. The FBI has its priorities, too. But on no one’s priority list is giving the American people any answers as to why this was allowed to happen at all. Malik Faisal Akram should never have been admitted into the United States. The fact that he was is yet another indelible blot on the sorry record of the Biden administration.

Originally published at PJ Media

 

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/01/why-was-texas-synagogue-jihadi-allowed-us-two-robert-spencer/

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Thanks to Biden Administration's Weak Leadership, Iran-China Threat Growing - Majid Rafizadeh

 

by Majid Rafizadeh

The agreement between China and Iran, defying and challenging the US, also has a military dimension.

  • "China's leading diplomat underlined his country's readiness to expand cooperation with Iran in financing, energy, banking and cultural sectors despite" the US sanctions. – Tehran Times, January 15, 2022.

  • The agreement grants China significant rights over the Iran's resources and help to Iran in increasing its oil and gas production. Leaked information showed that one of its terms is that China will be investing nearly $400 billion in Iran's oil, gas and petrochemicals industries. In return, China will get priority to bid on any new project in Iran that is linked to these sectors. China will also be able to pay in any currency it chooses.

  • The partnership is not only going to assist the Iranian regime to skirt US sanctions, it also enables Iran to gain access to funds, empower its militia and terror groups in the region and continue advancing its nuclear weapons program.

  • The agreement between China and Iran, defying and challenging the US, also has a military dimension. Iran's armed forces are currently holding a joint naval exercise with China and Russia. Iran, posing a threat to the region and the United States, will also, in all probability, step up its acquisition of advanced weaponry and nuclear technology from China.

  • As the largest importer of Iranian oil, China will also have authority over Iran's islands, gain access to the oil at a highly discounted rate and increase its influence and presence in almost every sector of Iranian industry, including telecommunications, energy, ports, railways, and banking.

  • The real horror, as China and Iran's military and strategic partnership intensifies, is that the Biden administration's reluctance to take a firm stand against the mullahs and Beijing -- as with Afghanistan and now Ukraine -- can only have incalculably severe repercussions for the national security interests of the US and its allies, who may feel the need to start "hedging their bets" and seeking out presumably more reliable protectors, who may not have our best interests at heart.

The agreement between China and Iran, defying and challenging the US, also has a military dimension. Iran's armed forces are currently holding a joint naval exercise with China and Russia. Iran, posing a threat to the region and the United States, will also, in all probability, step up its acquisition of advanced weaponry and nuclear technology from China. Pictured: Iranian, Russia and Chinese warships during a joint military drill in the Indian Ocean on January 21, 2022. (Photo by Iranian Army Office/AFP via Getty Images)

The ruling mullahs of Iran are strengthening their ties with the Chinese Communist Party as well as conveniently violating US sanctions without facing any repercussions from the Biden administration.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian visited China on January 15, 2022 and met with his counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. During his visit, the regimes announced the launch of their new 25-year partnership. As Iran's leaders and news outlets celebrated, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian pointed out:

"At the start of New Year 2022, I am very pleased to visit China on my first official visit as foreign minister. Mr. Wang Yi, China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister, and I reached an important consensus in the beautiful city of Wuxi, Jiangu Province, over a wide variety of topics ranging from the Comprehensive Partnership Program to consultations on the Vienna talks... Simultaneously with the talks in China, we had prepared the groundwork for announcing today the day of the start of the implementation of the comprehensive agreement on strategic cooperation between the two countries."

The plan that the Chinese and Iranian leaders are referring to is linked to a 25-year deal reached between Tehran and Beijing in March 2021; it now enters the stage of its implementation.

According to the agreement, China will continue to import oil from Iran in spite of US sanctions. According to the Tehran Times: "For his part, the Chinese foreign minister approved of his Iranian counterpart's views expounded in his op-ed published in China's Global Times. Wang said that the Iranian foreign minister's views show the promising horizon in relations between Tehran and Beijing. China's leading diplomat underlined his country's readiness to expand cooperation with Iran in financing, energy, banking and cultural sectors despite" the US sanctions.

The agreement grants China significant rights over the Iran's resources and help to Iran in increasing its oil and gas production. Leaked information showed that one of its terms is that China will be investing nearly $400 billion in Iran's oil, gas and petrochemicals industries. In return, China will get priority to bid on any new project in Iran that is linked to these sectors. China will also be able to pay in any currency it chooses.

The partnership is not only going to assist the Iranian regime to skirt US sanctions, it also enables Iran to gain access to funds, empower its militia and terror groups in the region and continue advancing its nuclear weapons program.

China, when it was recently asked to cut its imports of Iranian oil according to the US sanctions, brushed off the Biden administration. Beijing is most likely aware that the Biden administration will not be taking any tangible actions against either China or Iran. China anyhow, despite the sanctions, has been buying a record amount of oil from Iran and Venezuela. By comparison, during the Trump administration, China's oil imports from Iran had reached their lowest level.

The agreement between China and Iran, defying and challenging the US, also has a military dimension. Iran's armed forces are currently holding a joint naval exercise with China and Russia. Iran, posing a threat to the region and the United States, will also, in all probability, step up its acquisition of advanced weaponry and nuclear technology from China.

China, for its part, will be deploying 5,000 members of its security forces on the ground in Iran. As the largest importer of Iranian oil, China will also have authority over Iran's islands, gain access to the oil at a highly discounted rate and increase its presence and influence in almost every sector of Iranian industry, including telecommunications, energy, ports, railways, and banking.

Iran also, after many years of trying, has become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). In September 2021, the SCO -- despite the Financial Action Task Force global financial watchdog having placed Tehran on its terrorism financing blacklist -- agreed to elevate Iran's status from observer to full member.

The real horror, as China and Iran's military and strategic partnership intensifies, is that the Biden administration's reluctance to take a firm stand against the mullahs and Beijing -- as with Afghanistan and now Ukraine -- can only have incalculably severe repercussions for the national security interests of the US and its allies, who may feel the need to start "hedging their bets" and seeking out presumably more reliable protectors, who may not have our best interests at heart.

 

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

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18159/iran-china-threat

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The Russia-China Axis of Authoritarianism: Part I - Soeren Kern

 

by Soeren Kern

"Ukraine and Taiwan both show how easily U.S. weakness — or even the mere perception of weakness — could unravel the strained networks and alliances that support the American world order and usher in a new era of global conflict and instability...."

  • "Putin's apparent indifference towards Western warnings is understandable. He has been hearing the same empty promises of decisive action, typically accompanied by expressions of grave concern, ever since the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008.... Putin's recent list of security demands makes clear that he seeks to reassert Russian domination throughout the post-Soviet space. This will enhance Russia's claims to superpower status while exposing the inability of the Western powers to keep their promises. " — Tinatin Khidasheli, former defense minister of Georgia.

  • "For Beijing, success would translate into a commanding strategic position in Asia, undermining the security of Japan and South Korea, and allowing China to project power into the Western Pacific.... For the American alliance, a Chinese takeover of Taiwan would be a devastating blow. At a stroke, the United States would lose its status as the pre-eminent power in Asia, according to most U.S. and regional military experts. If America were unwilling or unable to defend Taiwan, its network of allies in the Asia-Pacific — including Tokyo, Seoul and Canberra — would overnight be far more vulnerable to military and economic coercion from China." — David Lague and Maryanne Murray, "The Battle for Taiwan," Reuters.

  • "Vladimir Putin has invaded two democratic neighbors in just over a decade. Letting him do it a third time would set the global system back decades. Appeasement does not work any better now than it worked for Neville Chamberlain in the late 1930s. China will be watching U.S. support to Ukraine, and it will inform their calculus regarding Taiwan." — Retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis, the former supreme allied commander at NATO, in an interview with the New York Times.

  • "I strongly urge President Biden not to make concessions at the expense of our strategic partner Ukraine in response to the Putin regime's provocative military buildup. This would not only fail to de-escalate tensions, it would also embolden Vladimir Putin and his fellow autocrats by demonstrating the United States will surrender in the face of saber-rattling. Particularly in the aftermath of the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Nord Stream 2 capitulation, U.S. credibility from Kyiv to Taipei cannot withstand another blow of this nature." — U.S. Representative Mike McCaul of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

  • "Ukraine and Taiwan both show how easily U.S. weakness — or even the mere perception of weakness — could unravel the strained networks and alliances that support the American world order and usher in a new era of global conflict and instability.... The Putins and Xis of the world are probing for those weaknesses, watching the results, and calculating their next move." — Michael Schuman, a China scholar at the Atlantic Council.

Many observers agree that China is closely watching the U.S. response to Russia's activities in Ukraine, and that the challenges posed by Russia and China are a test of American credibility. A failure to deter Russia and China would deal a potentially crushing blow to the post-World War II liberal international order. Pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on June 5, 2019. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

As Russia continues its troop build-up along the border with Ukraine, China has markedly increased its military activity near Taiwan. The twin geopolitical flashpoints, separated by 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles), are raising concerns that Russia and China could coordinate or conduct concurrent military offensives that the United States and its allies may find difficult to stop.

A failure to deter Russia and China — deterrence, especially military pre-positioning near the area under threat, is the least costly way to avoid war — would deal a potentially crushing blow to the post-World War II liberal international order. That system, whose principles and norms — including adherence to the rule of law, respect for human rights and the promotion of liberal democracy, as well as preserving the sanctity of territorial sovereignty and existing boundaries — has regulated the conduct of international relations for nearly 80 years.

Analysts warn that the crisis in Ukraine, which China presumably is closely watching, may represent a turning point in world politics. An invasion of Ukraine would open the door for Russia to extend its military tentacles to countries in the Baltics and Eastern Europe. It could also embolden China to invade Taiwan, which would allow Beijing to set its sights on economic powerhouses Japan and South Korea, as well as on other regional allies of the United States.

Observers worry that Russia and China — so-called revisionist authoritarian powers seeking to establish a post-Western global order that extols autocracy over democracy — may leverage control over Ukraine and Taiwan to carve out exclusive spheres of influence in their respective parts of the globe.

If they succeed in dividing the world into zones of exclusive control, Russia and China would effectively collapse the Western global order and restore the unstable international system of great power rivalry that existed before — and ended with — the two world wars of the twentieth century.

Analysts are divided over the question of whether Russia and China ultimately will use military force to achieve their territorial ambitions, but nearly all agree that if they do, it will be because Moscow and Beijing feel emboldened by their perception that the West — led by the United States and Europe — is weaker and more divided than at any other point in recent memory.

Russia and Ukraine

A massive build-up of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border has been fueling speculation of an imminent invasion. In recent months, Russia has deployed at least 100,000 troops on Ukraine's eastern border, according to satellite images. An American intelligence document obtained by the Washington Post assessed that Russia is planning a multi-front offensive involving nearly 200,000 troops. The unclassified document, which included satellite photos, showed Russian forces amassing in four locations near Ukraine. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has warned that Russia will be ready to invade in late January 2022.

Analysts are divided on what is motivating Putin. Some believe that he is using the Ukraine issue to deflect from domestic problems, including runaway inflation and a divisive push for Covid vaccine passports. Others say that Putin is fixated on restoring Russian control over Ukraine and other former members of the former Soviet Union.

In July 2021, Putin penned a 7,000-word essay — "On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians" — in which he outlined the basis for his claims against Ukraine. He openly questioned the legitimacy of Ukraine's borders and argued that modern-day Ukraine occupies "the lands of historical Russia." He concluded: "I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia."

Putin's essay was variously characterized as "a final ultimatum," "a masterclass in disinformation," and "one step short of a declaration of war."

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, in a hard-hitting article, described Putin's arguments as "short on accuracy and long on contradictions." He added:

"President Putin's article completely ignores the wishes of the citizens of Ukraine, while evoking that same type of ethnonationalism which played out across Europe for centuries and still has the potential to awaken the same destructive forces of ancient hatred."

Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko said:

"Putin's article claims to be about history, but in reality it is about the future and not the past. Ukraine holds the key to Putin's dreams of restoring Russia's great power status. He is painfully aware that without Ukraine, this will be impossible.

"Putin's essay does not actually contain anything new. Indeed, we have already heard these same arguments many times before. However, his article does help clarify that the current conflict is not about control over Crimea or eastern Ukraine's Donbas region; it is a war for the whole of Ukraine. Putin makes it perfectly clear that his goal is to keep Ukraine firmly within the Russian sphere of influence and to prevent Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration."

Max Seddon, Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times, wrote:

"Analysts say Putin's desire to rid Ukraine of Western influence is underpinned by a conviction that it is an inalienable part of the 'Russian world,' a Moscow-centric sphere of influence rooted in the Soviet Union and the Tsarist empire.

"Putin has described the collapse of the USSR ... as 'the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century' and has questioned the grounds on which Ukraine broke off from Russia.

"Following Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, Putin likened the Ukrainian peninsula, where Vladimir the Great — the first Christian ruler of Rus, a medieval state ruled from Kyiv — was baptized in 988AD, as 'Russia's Temple Mount' — a notion that has no theological basis but cast Putin as the protector of Russians everywhere."

Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine's former foreign minister, added:

"Putin has a sense of mission on reinstalling a new kind of empire. It's sitting very deep in his mind. Any separate path of Ukraine would be highly damaging to the Russian mythology."

Tinatin Khidasheli, former defense minister of Georgia, warned:

"Putin's apparent indifference towards Western warnings is understandable. He has been hearing the same empty promises of decisive action, typically accompanied by expressions of grave concern, ever since the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008....

"Firmly worded Western statements of condemnation did not deter Putin from seizing and annexing Crimea. Nor have they succeeded in facilitating the withdrawal of Russian forces from eastern Ukraine or Moldova....

"We are currently witnessing the logical continuation of this historical process, with Russia's ambitions now extending to all the countries of the former Warsaw Pact.

"Putin's recent list of security demands makes clear that he seeks to reassert Russian domination throughout the post-Soviet space. This will enhance Russia's claims to superpower status while exposing the inability of the Western powers to keep their promises. Crucially, it will also allow Putin to safeguard his own political future....

"None of this was inevitable. Like all bullies, Putin retreats when confronted by genuine strength and advances only when he senses weakness.... In order to cut Putin back down to size, all that is necessary is for Western actions to finally match Western words."

Swedish scholar Anders ├ůslund concluded:

"Make no mistake: by denying Ukraine's right to independence, Putin is setting the stage for war. The West must quickly decide what it is willing to do to prevent it."

China and Taiwan

While Russia has been threatening Ukraine, China has significantly increased its military and diplomatic intimidation of Taiwan, an island that, since 1949, has been governed independently of mainland China.

Taiwan considers itself to be a sovereign state, but China says it is a breakaway province that will be taken by force if necessary. In an October 2021 speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed that Taiwan would be "reunified" with China:

"No one should underestimate the Chinese people's staunch determination, firm will, and strong ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled — and will definitely be fulfilled."

In July 2021, in a speech marking the 100th birthday of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, Xi promised to "smash" any Taiwanese attempts at formal independence:

"Solving the Taiwan question and realizing the complete reunification of the motherland are the unswerving historical tasks of the Chinese Communist Party and the common aspiration of all Chinese people. All sons and daughters of China, including compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must work together and move forward in solidarity, resolutely smashing any 'Taiwan independence' plots."

Previously, Xi said that Taiwan "must and will be" reunited with China. He also warned that China reserved the right to use force to bring Taiwan to heel.

Beijing has reinforced its hostile rhetoric by sending record numbers of fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ). An ADIZ, which extends 12 nautical miles from a country's coast, serves as a buffer between international airspace and a country's territorial airspace. An ADIZ allows countries to monitor and respond to aircraft before they actually enter their airspace.

The number of large-scale incursions — so-called gray-zone warfare, which entails using irregular tactics to exhaust a foe without actually resorting to open combat — notably increased after U.S. President Joe Biden took office. Thomas J. Shattuck, deputy director of the Asia Program at the US-based Foreign Policy Research Institute, noted:

"After President Joseph Biden took office, the incursions became more provocative in nature, and the use of fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers increased significantly throughout 2021. During Biden's first days in office, the PLA conducted two consecutive days of exercises in Taiwan's southwestern ADIZ, which simulated an attack against the nearby USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group. This two-day exercise, which included 28 aircraft, marked the highest number of aircraft to enter Taiwan's ADIZ since September 2020. During Biden's first month in office, fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers were used in ten incursions — a significant bump in usage from 2020."

Analysts are divided over the question of whether China will invade Taiwan. Some argue China does not yet possess the naval and logistics capability successfully to launch an all-out invasion across the choppy waters of the Taiwan Strait, which create a natural moat. Others note that an invasion would be a highly risky gambit; a failure would damage the prestige of the Chinese Communist Party and possibly lead to its downfall.

In an extensive Reuters report — "The Battle for Taiwan" — analysts David Lague and Maryanne Murray interviewed two dozen military planners from China, Taiwan, the United States, Japan and Australia on their views of how China may try to seize Taiwan, and how the United States might stop it.

"Chinese control of Taiwan would dramatically reinforce the Communist Party's prestige at home and eliminate the island as a viable model of a democratic alternative to authoritarian Party rule. It would also give China a foothold in the so-called first island chain, the line which runs through the string of islands from the Japanese archipelago to Taiwan, the Philippines and Borneo, which enclose China's coastal seas.

"For Beijing, success would translate into a commanding strategic position in Asia, undermining the security of Japan and South Korea, and allowing China to project power into the Western Pacific. But Beijing also has an incentive to be cautious: If America and its allies intervened against a takeover attempt, they could inflict heavy losses on an untested Chinese military that has not fired a shot in anger for decades. Defeat could weaken the Party's hold on power....

"For the American alliance, a Chinese takeover of Taiwan would be a devastating blow. At a stroke, the United States would lose its status as the pre-eminent power in Asia, according to most U.S. and regional military experts. If America were unwilling or unable to defend Taiwan, its network of allies in the Asia-Pacific — including Tokyo, Seoul and Canberra — would overnight be far more vulnerable to military and economic coercion from China. Some might switch allegiance to Beijing, analysts say. Some might seek nuclear weapons to boost their own security."

Russia and China

Many observers agree that China is closely watching the U.S. response to Russia's activities in Ukraine, and that the challenges posed by Russia and China are a test of American credibility.

In an interview with the New York Times, retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis, the former supreme allied commander at NATO, noted:

"Vladimir Putin has invaded two democratic neighbors in just over a decade. Letting him do it a third time would set the global system back decades. Appeasement does not work any better now than it worked for Neville Chamberlain in the late 1930s. China will be watching U.S. support to Ukraine, and it will inform their calculus regarding Taiwan."

In a statement, U.S. Representative Mike McCaul of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said:

"I strongly urge President Biden not to make concessions at the expense of our strategic partner Ukraine in response to the Putin regime's provocative military buildup. This would not only fail to de-escalate tensions, it would also embolden Vladimir Putin and his fellow autocrats by demonstrating the United States will surrender in the face of saber-rattling. Particularly in the aftermath of the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Nord Stream 2 capitulation, U.S. credibility from Kyiv to Taipei cannot withstand another blow of this nature."

On December 15, Putin and Xi, in a video call, vowed to defend each other's interests against the United States and its allies. Yuri Ushakov, a foreign policy adviser to Putin, said that the Russian president had told his "old friend" Xi about the "mounting threats to Russia's national interests from the US and the NATO bloc, which consistently move their military infrastructure close to the Russian borders." Xi reportedly replied that he sympathized with Putin and "especially stated his support."

Ushakov added that Xi said China and Russia now had a relationship that was stronger than an alliance. "At present, certain international forces are arbitrarily interfering in the internal affairs of China and Russia under the guise of democracy and human rights, and brutally trampling on international law and the norms of international relations," Xi said, according to Chinese state television.

Select Commentary

In a report — "Will Russia Invade Ukraine? Moscow's Threat to European Security" — published by the UK-based Henry Jackson Society, Ukraine expert Taras Kuzio warned:

"A weak Western response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine would send the wrong signal to China. After all, 'Putin speaks of Moscow's eternal bond with Kyiv in nearly the same way that Chinese leaders demand reunification with Taiwan.' With Russians and the Chinese viewing Ukraine and Taiwan respectively as part of their homelands, whatever the West does — or does not do — in response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine will be eagerly watched in Beijing. China supports Russia's ultimatums. A 'potential nightmare scenario' in 2022 would be 'Russia invading Ukraine and China launching a military campaign to take back Taiwan.'"

Michael Schuman, a China scholar at the US-based Atlantic Council, in an essay — "China is Watching Ukraine With a Lot of Interest" — wrote that the Ukraine crisis is a crucial test of American global power, and that the United States is facing the "stiffest challenge" to its global primacy since the fall of the Soviet Union:

"How Xi interprets (or worse, misinterprets) the outcome of the Ukraine standoff could influence whether and how China tries to reunify with Taiwan, and thus has implications for the security and stability of East Asia....

"The fate of Ukraine has become intimately entangled in this renewed big-power competition.... At stake is the balance of power between the U.S. and Russia in Eastern Europe. The outcome, though, could reverberate well beyond the region, and well into the future, affecting whether American power will remain strong enough to maintain peace and advance democracy — or whether the world's autocracies will claw back clout that they lost decades ago.

"Leaders such as Putin and Xi may see an opportunity. 'The problem for Biden is that their view is that they should test him at all times, and they are. And he has so far not really passed those tests with any distinction,' Danielle Pletka, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told me. 'This is a very important period.'

"Xi may believe that Taiwan is drifting in a direction harmful to China's national interests, just as Ukraine has strayed ever further from Moscow's orbit. Taiwan's independent-minded president, Tsai Ing-wen, has tried to reduce the economy's reliance on China and strengthen ties to the U.S. and other countries.' Washington, too, has sought closer links. Officially, the U.S. still upholds a 'one China" policy and does not formally recognize the Taipei government. But it's not hard to discern why Xi might think otherwise....

"In light of all this, Xi will be scrutinizing the situation in Ukraine for useful intelligence about which tools Biden can and ultimately will employ to pressure Russia to back off, how much he is willing to give up in a potential compromise with Putin, and how effectively the U.S. president works with allies and even his own diplomats. China's leader, in other words, will be looking to measure the level of American resolve....

"Ukraine and Taiwan both show how easily U.S. weakness — or even the mere perception of weakness — could unravel the strained networks and alliances that support the American world order and usher in a new era of global conflict and instability.... The Putins and Xis of the world are probing for those weaknesses, watching the results, and calculating their next move."

Analyst Seth Cropsey, in commentary titled "The Two-Headed Fight for Ukraine and Taiwan," wrote that Russia and China are working together to upend the existing world order:

"Although separated by geography, Ukraine and Taiwan occupy similar positions in the Russian and Chinese strategic experience and historical imagination. Capturing each is essential to all other strategic objectives. For Russia, taking Ukraine would secure its hold on the Black Sea and open other pressure points against vulnerable NATO members Romania and Bulgaria. For the Chinese Communist Party, seizing Taiwan would allow the country to break out of the First Island Chain and conduct offensive operations against Japan, the Philippines and even U.S. territories in the Central Pacific.

"Historically, post-Soviet Russia's ruling oligarchy has cultivated intense grievances against independent Ukraine. It is a living reminder that Slavic peoples need not live under one flag. Taiwan is proof that Chinese-speaking peoples are fully capable of governing themselves. The modern Communist Party stems from a brutal revolutionary regime that savaged the Chinese people, murdering millions through its messianic ambitions and sheer incompetence. Only by consuming Taiwan can China confirm its superiority. Given the political capital the Communist Party has invested in subduing Taiwan, it may no longer have a way to de-escalate even if it wanted to.

"The clearest obstacle to Russian and Chinese escalation is Ukraine's and Taiwan's affiliations with the U.S. and its allies....

"Roughly concurrent offensive operations in two hemispheres would overstress American and allied resources.... The U.S. must begin thinking about its strategic challenges globally, not in regional segments. This is a contest for Eurasia — and thus for the world."

 

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

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18158/russia-china-axis
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Who are the Oath Keepers? - John Green

 

by John Green

I don’t find the past performance of the Oath Keepers to be particularly alarming. However, I find the past performance of our government to be extremely alarming.

Hearing the Department of Justice describe them, one would think that the Oath Keepers are the scariest bunch of anti-American knuckleheads to come down the pike since the Ku Klux Klan.  Given that a bunch of them were just arrested for plotting an insurrection -- that the FBI assured us wasn’t an insurrection -- this is a good time to get to know who they actually are.

Media coverage of the group is sprinkled with terms like “right-wing extremists,” “anti-government extremists,” and “far right militia.”  Like any story, the reporting about the Oath Keepers can be spun to support a narrative or to give an unbiased assessment.  The MSM has chosen to go with the narrative.  One has to look beyond the scare quotes, and assess what the organization has actually done to get a true sense of its nature.

The Oath Keepers was founded in 2009 by Stewart Rhodes.  It is a national, but loosely knit organization, created to resist violations of civil liberties by the government.  In 2009, that sounded like conspiracy nut thinking.  But since the organization’s founding, we’ve been treated to Crossfire Hurricane, two impeachment show trials, COVID shutdowns, election 2020, and our own government targeting parents as domestic terrorists.  What sounded crazy in 2009 sounds prescient in 2022.

Stewart Rhodes is an army veteran (a paratrooper) and a Yale Law School graduate.  He understands what our Founders intended for America, and has served to defend it.  He believes that the Democrats see illegal immigration as a way to get more votes -- pay no attention to those canceled border wall contracts.  He also believes the Democrats would like to confiscate everyone’s guns -- because that’s exactly what they’ve said.  He considers BLM to be a communist front organization -- which isn’t a big leap given that its leaders are trained Marxists.  Such crazy thinking can’t be tolerated -- if you’re a Democrat or a deep state operative.  In short, Rhodes is only an extremist if the ideas of freedom, limited government, and self-determination are now extreme.

The organization’s name is a reference to the oath that all soldiers and law enforcement officers swear -- to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.  Although anyone can join, a large percentage of the membership is comprised of people who have taken that oath in either law enforcement or the military.  Is that what the propaganda ministry calls “extremist”?  Consider this: If all of our government officials complied with the oath they have sworn (looking at you Merrick Garland), would America be better or worse?

The Oath Keepers has local chapters across the country which operate with great autonomy.  The national organization will sometimes support local chapter initiatives.  However, sometimes the national organization also steps in to tell a local chapter to “knock it off” if they stray off course.  In other words, the organization grants its chapters great latitude to serve their communities but polices them to ensure they don’t become radicalized.

What has the Oath Keepers done to earn the “far right militia” label?  In 2014, members of the Oath Keepers participated in a standoff with federal authorities at the Bundy ranch in Nevada.  Cliven Bundy was in a conflict with the government over grazing rights for his cattle.  He was eventually arrested and held in jail for nearly two years.  In 2018, a federal judge declared a mistrial with prejudice -- meaning Bundy could never be retried.  The judge reached that decision because of what she called “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct.”  The case was never decided on its merits, but in Bundy’s prosecution, the government displayed the very tyranny which members of the Oath Keepers have sworn to resist -- and which their critics claim doesn’t exist.

In 2015, the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson MO triggered widespread rioting.  The Oath Keepers provided protection to store owners from vandals and looters after the police refused to do so.  They were doing exactly what Asian shopowners did in 1992 after the Rodney King incident.  Extensive news reporting claims that their presence alarmed the rioters.  There’s no word on how the property owners felt about their presence.  Apparently, in 21st century America, the notion that people have a right to protect private property has become “extreme.”

In 2016, the Oath Keepers proved just how subversive they were -- they endorsed Donald Trump for President.  In his campaign, Trump pledged to fight against the corrupt elite, so it was a birds of a feather thing.  But siding with the hated Trump against the corrupt elite, made Rhodes an enemy -- at least of the corrupt elite.

After the election in 2020, Rhodes questioned the legitimacy of the election.  His embrace of the “big lie” moved him and his organization firmly into the “threat to America” category, as judged by the Democrat party.  He’s in good company.  Over half of all Americans believe the election was affected by fraud.

Rhodes has also accused Joe Biden of being in the pocket of the Chinese government.  Where could he have gotten that idea?  Could it be because Joe shared an office with a Chinese businessman?  Could it be that his son, Hunter, has had lucrative business dealings with the Chinese -- and Hunter’s laptop has evidence that the “big guy” was getting 10 percent of the take?  Could the fact that Hunter launched a new "money for influence" business after President Asterisk was inaugurated have given Rhodes that idea?

When one looks beyond the scare quotes, there has been nothing out of the mainstream about the opinions or actions of the Oath Keepers.  Unfortunately, to our leftist dictator wannabes, “mainstream” has come to mean “extreme.”

As for the indictment of Stewart Rhodes and his fellow travelers: the DoJ claims that they intended to conduct an armed paramilitary operation on January 6, 2021, to interfere with official congressional business.  There are a couple of hurdles the government will need to overcome in prosecuting that case:

  • None of the Oath Keepers were armed on January 6
  • No paramilitary operation was conducted on January 6

The Feds are going to need to answer a couple of tricky questions for the jury.  How do they know what the Oath Keepers intended to do?  If they intended to conduct an armed insurrection, why didn’t they?  Given the FBI’s lost credibility, and the DoJ evolution to being a political enforcer, whatever evidence they have will not be presumed accurate, but will be subjected to extensive vetting.

As the financial guys say: Past performance is the best predictor of future behavior.  So, what have the Oath Keepers done in the past?  They’ve defended the property rights of private citizens, protested an election that half of America thinks was stolen and accused Biden of being a Chinese puppet.  Stewart Rhodes must have learned a thing or two about the Constitution at Yale Law.  All of his organization’s past activities have been entirely consistent with the Constitution -- freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, property rights, and government by the people.  Unfortunately, we live in an America in which one of the two political parties believes those positions are extreme.  The issue isn’t the Oath Keepers.  The issue is our current political environment. 

I don’t find the past performance of the Oath Keepers to be particularly alarming.  However, I find the past performance of our government to be extremely alarming.   There have clearly been subversive activities going on in America, but the Oath Keepers aren’t the only suspects.  We don’t know what the Oath Keepers actually did, or didn’t do, on January 6.  Given the recent behavior of the FBI, the DoJ, and the propaganda ministry, I’ll withhold judgment until the evidence has been thoroughly vetted.  I’m not taking the government’s word for anything.

Image: Oath Keepers

 

John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He currently writes at the American Free News Network (afnn.us).  He can be followed on Facebook or reached at greenjeg@gmail.com.

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2022/01/who_are_the_oath_keepers.html

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While Israel Preserves Al Aqsa, Muslims Destroy Other Religions’ Holy Sites When Given a Chance - Ezequiel Doiny

 

by Ezequiel Doiny

Where is the outrage?

Islamic triumphalism has a lamentable history of demolishing the holy sites of other religions and replacing them with mosques.

On January 10, 2022, Arye Savir reported in World Israel News:

Unknown individuals from the Palestinian Authority (PA) have again caused damage to the Biblical-era site of the Prophet Joshua’s altar on Mount Ebal....

The latest damage was discovered by volunteers of Shomrim Al Hanetzach, (Preserving the Eternal), a project dedicated to the preservation of the archaeological treasures situated throughout Judea and Samaria.  They reported damage to the altar’s walls and the falling of stones on its eastern side....  The PA has paved a road that passes near the site of the altar.... Part of the ancient fence that borders the site was dismantled and its stones were crushed using a gravel crusher to serve as a substrate for the paving of the road.  The site’s location in Area B, under PA administration, enables it to operate unhindered….

Below is a list of other Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist holy sites desecrated or converted into mosques. Sadly, the destruction has triggered revenge destruction of the replacement mosques in some cases.

Temple Mount in Jerusalem

The Temple Mount is to Judaism as Mecca is to Islam; Jews around the world face Temple Mount when they pray, Muslims face Mecca even when on or around Temple Mount. The Temple Mount is the holiest site for Judaism. It is the site of the two Jewish Temples. Muslim conquerors built two mosques there. Despite having their holiest site safe and secure in Mecca, Muslims desecrated Jewish archaeology in Temple Mount and built their Mosques there. Simon Sebag Montefiore describes, in his book Jerusalem, the Arab Conquest of the Eastern Roman Empire (Chapter 16, page 166) that Arabs built the Al Aqsa Mosque in Temple Mount to make Muslims the legitimate heirs of Jewish sanctity. Today, Arabs do not allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.  During the Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem (1948-1967) Jews were not allowed to pray at the Western Wall either.

Al Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall of the Second Temple in Jerusalem

While Israel preserves Al Aqsa, Muslims destroy Jewish holy sites when given a chance.  The Jewish Temple was not only destroyed by the Romans 2000 years ago, it continues to be destroyed by the Arabs today.  If the Palestinians assume responsibility over the site, they will have the freedom to destroy much more.

Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron

The Jewish Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are undeniably buried there.  Muslims built a mosque there.

A surge in church-mosque conversion followed the 1974 Turkish Invasion of Cyprus.

Many of the Orthodox churches in Northern Cyprus have been converted to mosques.  Turkey has been steadily destroying the Christian artistic and cultural heritage of Northern Cyprus.

Hundreds of Greek Orthodox churches in Turkey were converted into mosques to make a statement of the supremacy of Islam over other religions.

Hagia Sophia, the seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, was converted into a mosque. (President Erdogan has resumed Muslim prayers at the site).

Columbus reached America in 1492 shortly after Muslims conquered Constantinople (in 1453). Muslims have the same claim to Hagia Sophia that Columbus had of the Mayan Pyramids.

Sita Ram Goel wrote a book describing the destruction of multiple Hindu Temples and their replacement with Mosques in India.

The Babri Mosque in Ayodhya (North India) was built on the site of a Hindu Temple. In 1992 a mob of 150,000 Hindus razed the mosque. Nobel Laureate writer V. S. Naipaul has praised the act for “reclaiming India’s Hindu heritage”.

The Great Temple of Keshava Rai at Mathura was one of the most magnificent Hindu Temples ever built in India. The Temple was demolished in 1670 and, on its site, a mosque was built.

The Somnath Temple in India was destroyed by Muslim invaders and converted into a mosque. In AD 1025, Mahmud destroyed and looted the temple, killing over 50,000 people who tried to defend it. After independence, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel pledged on November 13, 1947, that the temple would be reconstructed. The mosque was not destroyed but carefully relocated. In 1951 Dr. Rajendra Prasad performed the consecration ceremony. The temple construction was completed on December 1, 1995. The then-President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, dedicated it to the nation.”

Kashi or Varanasi is the most sacred site in Hinduism and the worship of Lord Shiva as Vishveshvara goes back to ancient times. The temple was demolished several times by Muslim invaders and was reconstructed again and again by Hindu kings. A mosque was built which still stands.

The Grand Mosque of Damascus, also known as the Umayyad Mosque, was converted from a church dedicated to John the Baptist in 705

Ezekiel’s tomb in Iraq.

Ariel Arkham reported on these pages: “…The Jerusalem Post and various watchdog groups have reported that the Iraqi Cultural and Antiquities Authority are implementing plans to erect a mosque on top of Ezekiel's Tomb. Last month, the process began as the ancient Hebrew inscriptions adorning the inside of the Tomb were defaced, perhaps irrevocably, and covered over by plaster…”

The Tomb of the Prophet Jonah in Mosul (Iraq), an ancient Jewish Holy Site was destroyed.

Daniel’s tomb. Another Jewish Holy Site was destroyed in Iraq.

Ezra’s tomb in Iraq.  The Complete Pilgrim reported “Ezra...personally led five thousand Jews back to Judea, after which he read the entire Torah to the populace of Jerusalem in an effort to inspire and reinvigorate them spiritually. Later, he established the precursor to the council of the Sanhedrin which would later become the supreme religious authority of the Jewish people....  In later years he spent much time traveling back and forth between Judea and Mesopotamia, inspiring his fellow Jews to return. He died in Mesopotamia sometime in the late 5th century BC. His shrine was one of the most venerated sites in Iraq until the 20th century, when most of the local Jews emigrated to Israel.”

On February 15, 2015, Israel Today reported

Arab media last week reported that Islamist forces operating in the south of the country had seized control of an ancient shrine revered as the tomb of the biblical scribe and priest Ezra.”  Pan-Arab news website Al-Araby reported that the militants had destroyed large portions of the shrine...According to Al-Araby, the terrorists had cut off all access to the Tomb of Ezra to prevent journalists from reporting on their conquest and destruction of the holy site….

Tomb of Samuel near Jerusalem

Turkish tourists have begun holding regular visits to a Jewish prayer space at a holy site outside of Jerusalem, intentionally interfering in the locals’ prayer services in what some say is a bid to push Jews out of the space.

According to a report by Makor Rishon Sunday, Muslim tourists have begun holding regular pilgrimages to Samuel’s Tomb just outside of Jerusalem.

The compound, which is located entirely in Area C, under full Israeli control, and located between Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood and the Givat Ze'ev suburb' is considered sacred by both Jews and Muslims.

The site has been informally divided between the two, with a functioning mosque on the premises and a space designated for Jewish prayer next to the tomb itself.

Rachel’s Tomb near Jerusalem.

UNESCO has declared that Rachel’s Tomb near Jerusalem is the Bilal ibn Rabah mosque – endorsing a Palestinian claim that first surfaced only in 1996 and which ignores centuries of Muslim tradition.

As opposed to the Temple Mount and the Cave of the Patriarchs which also serve as the location of mosques, Rachel’s Tomb never served as a mosque for the Muslims. The Muslim connection to the site derives from its relation to Rachel and has no connection to Bilal ibn Rabah, Mohammed’s first muezzin.

Destruction of the Buddhist library of Nalanda University in India.

Destruction of the World's two largest standing Buddhas (Afghanistan).

Destruction of Joseph's tomb. In 2000 the Palestinians destroyed Joseph’s tomb. Sidney Brounstein wrote for the Los Angeles Times:

Where is the outrage? Imagine what would have happened if Jewish police stood by and allowed a Jewish mob to destroy a Muslim holy place! Does the destruction of a Jewish holy place by an Arab mob while Palestinian police stand by (after promising to protect it) deserve no more than inclusion in a list of other damage done by rioters? Is this an acceptance of attacks on Jews and things Jewish as a normal part of life?

It makes a mockery of any thought of giving Arabs any control of Jewish holy places. The destruction of dozens of such places in the Old City of Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, along with the exclusion of Jews entirely from their most holy site, the Western Wall, was clearly of a piece with the current destruction.”

Photo credit: Rosewoman CC BY 2.0 license

Ezequiel Doiny is author of Obama's assault on Jerusalem's Western Wall

 

Ezequiel Doiny

Source:  https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2022/01/while_israel_preserves_al_aqsa_muslims_destroy_other_religions_holy_sites_when_given_a_chance_.html

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Bill Maher torches Sotomayor for botching COVID facts: 'That's really ignorant for a Supreme Court justice' - Joseph A. Wulfsohn

 

by Joseph A. Wulfsohn

The HBO star also calls out AOC for going to Florida and wonders why Kyrie Irving can't play home games

"Real Time" host Bill Maher returned from his holiday break Friday and took aim at liberals for their responses to and handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Along the way, the HBO host commented on U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, NBA player Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Maher kicked off the show's panel discussion by listing all the COVID restrictions the United Kingdom is lifting from mask mandates to vaccine passports, saying "They're getting back to normal, we should follow this."

U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., argued the U.S. has been "gradually transitioning to normal" and touted the Biden administration rollout of the vaccine, but Substack journalist Bari Weiss said she's "done with COVID."

BILL MAHER CALLS OUT AOC FOR DISMISSING ‘WOKENESS’ CRITICS, CHALLENGES HER TO APPEAR ON HIS SHOW

"We were told you get the vaccine, you get the vaccine and you get back to normal. And we haven't gotten back to normal. And it's ridiculous at this point," Weiss said. "I know that so many of my liberal and progressive friends are with me on this and they do not want to say it out loud because they are scared to be called anti-vaxxed or to be called science denial or to be smeared as a Trumper. 

"I'm sorry," she continued, "but if you believe the science, you will look at the data that we did not have two years ago and you will find out that cloth masks do not do anything. You will realize that you can show your vaccine passport at a restaurant and still be asymptomatic in carrying Omicron. And you realize, most importantly, that this will be remembered by the younger generation as a catastrophic moral crime."

"We were told you get the vaccine, you get the vaccine and you get back to normal. And we haven't gotten back to normal. And it's ridiculous at this point." 

— Bari Weiss
Bari Weiss

Bari Weiss

Weiss pointed to the recently announced "indefinite" virtual learning at schools in Flint, Michigan, and the growing self-harm among young girls, arguing "that is why we need to end" the lockdowns and declaring it a "pandemic of bureaucracy."

BILL MAHER RAILS AGAINST ‘TOXIC’ DEMOCRATS: ‘YOU’VE BECOME THE PARTY OF NO COMMON SENSE'

Torres pushed back, stressing the major death toll COVID had on Americans, particularly in New York City where he's from. 

"Most New Yorkers saw a level of death and suffering we've never seen in our lives and that's the source of the concern about COVID," Torres said. "I mean, I reject the notion that the response to COVID has been worse than the disease itself."

"I reject the notion that the response to COVID has been worse than the disease itself."

— U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y.
Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y.

Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y. (Office of Rep. Ritchie Torres)

Maher cited the number of COVID deaths by states per 100,000 people, highlighting Mississippi, New Jersey and New York among "the worst," asking "could there be two states more unlike" than West Virginia and Massachusetts, which ranked No. 10 and 11. 

‘The atmosphere is just different’

He then pointed to Florida, which he called the "poster boy for keeping s--- open," which ranked at No. 17, and concluded, "So, New York and New Jersey did worse than Florida."  

"New York and New Jersey did worse than Florida."

— Bill Maher

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE

BILL MAHER SLAMS MSNBC FOR PINNING YOUNGKIN WIN ON ‘WHITE IGNORANCE’: ‘I DON’T THINK THAT HELPS'

"We did worse because we're a densely populated hub of international travel," Torres defended his home state. 

"Florida is home to all the old people in America," Maher shot back. "I was just in Florida. I've been there a few times since this started. The atmosphere is just different. I'm not moving to Florida. I'm not promoting Florida. I'm just saying AOC just went to Florida and had a good time without a mask on. … The atmosphere was just night and day from California, which was gloomy and the Andromeda strain was out there. And you went to Florida and I'm just saying- yes, there are different factors… but basically, they stayed open and went on with life and didn't do a helluva lot worse and maybe did better."

"AOC just went to Florida and had a good time without a mask on. … The atmosphere was just night and day from California, which was gloomy."

— Bill Maher
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was spotted in Florida with her boyfriend amid a coronavirus spike in New York City, in a photo published by National Review. She later tested positive for the virus.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was spotted in Florida with her boyfriend amid a coronavirus spike in New York City, in a photo published by National Review. She later tested positive for the virus. (National Review/Anonymous)

The HBO star pivoted to vaccines, pointing out how they don't prevent disease or the spread of the disease as they were previously advertised but can help prevent death from COVID. Those facts, he says, "counteracts" the argument that vaccines "protect other people."

‘Nothing to do with science’

"This is I think where Democrats look bad. Like, 'We're the people of science' and then a lot of what they do has nothing to do with science like suggesting you wear masks outside. There's no science to that," Maher said. "Or that the virus can get me when I'm walking in a restaurant but not when I'm sitting down. There's so much mindless bureaucracy! [NBA star] Kyrie Irving can play on the road but not home games!' That- it's just stupid!"

"Kyrie Irving can play on the road but not home games! … It's just stupid!"

— Bill Maher
Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving.

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving. (Associated Press)

BILL MAHER, CHRIS CUOMO CLASH ON DAVE CHAPPELLE'S NETFLIX SPECIAL: IT ISN'T ‘TRANSPHOBIC’

Sotomayor slammed

He then pivoted to the recent Supreme Court hearing that challenged the Biden administration's vaccine mandate and how Justice Sonia Sotomayor made wild assertions about COVID, like claiming over "100,000" children were currently in serious condition at hospitals with the disease and that COVID was a "blood-born virus."

"They were all listening to NPR," Weiss quipped.

"Exactly," Maher replied. "I mean, that's really ignorant for a Supreme Court justice. So don't be the ‘We’re the people who believe in science,' but you don't have the facts! I read this before, like 41% of Democrats last year thought that over 50% of people who got COVID were hospitalized. It was less than 1%."

"That's really ignorant for a Supreme Court justice. So don't be the ‘We’re the people who believe in science,' but you don't have the facts!"

— Bill Maher
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor sits during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 23, 2021. 

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor sits during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 23, 2021.  (Getty Images)

"But I'm sorry, if you're watching cable news all day, right? That's what you're gonna think," Weiss said. "There is misinformation and not just on podcasts and the internet. It's also on cable news. I think the biggest thing to me about the Democrats is… the Democrats is supposed to be the party of the little guy… You know what the Democrats are now comfortable with, or seemingly comfortable with? A two-tiered system in which the haves get to go into a restaurant, laugh with their friends for hours and the people serving them are masked and wearing gloves. Where they get to walk, as AOC did, at the Met Gala while in the background the staff looked like they were in 'The Handmaid's Tale.' I mean, this is, this is a look that is unbelievably detrimental to them."

"And jobs," Maher added. "The people with, you know, the consulting jobs, whatever bulls--- they do, they get to say at home and order the food out and do s--- by Zoom and whereas the working-class people who are breathing their s----y air all day. It's going to create class resentment. I mean, it looks like the liberals are always suggesting sacrifices they themselves don't have to take part in."

 

Joseph A. Wulfsohn is a media reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to joseph.wulfsohn@fox.com and on Twitter: @JosephWulfsohn.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/media/bill-maher-sonia-sotomayor-coronavirous-aoc-kyrie-irving

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