Friday, January 28, 2022

How evil do you have to be to suddenly pull treatment from ailing Florida COVID patients? - Monica Showalter

 

​ by Monica Showalter

Joe Biden knows the answer to that.

Is Joe Biden trying to top the vile, cruel record of blue-state governors such as New York's Andrew Cuomo, who seeded COVID patients into the nursing homes?

It sure looks like it, given his strange, sudden, and absolute shutdown of monoclonal antibody treatments on patients who are being successfully being treated with the therapy in Florida. For vulnerable, sick people waiting in line for it, including those right up to the date of scheduled treatment, tough luck, go to the back of the line and see if you can find some other treatment, and hope your COVID does not progress to the morgue.

That's what Joe Biden is offering Florida, a red state that voted against him in 2020, that maybe, just maybe, he'd like to punish a little, not just for not voting for him but to erase its record of success on COVID. He seems to be out to punish Florida by ensuring that Florida's COVID death count descends to those of his favored blue states. Whatever Joe's motive here, there are no honorable answers as we explore this.

According to Fox News:

The Florida Department of Health announced that it is closing all monoclonal antibody treatment sites in the state after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rescinded emergency-use authorizations for two particular treatments for COVID-19.

The FDA announced on Monday that it is no longer permitting the use of bamlanivimab and etesevimab (used together) as well as the combination of casirivimab and imdevimab known as REGEN-COV, or Regeneron.

"Unfortunately, as a result of this abrupt decision made by the federal government, all monoclonal antibody state sites will be closed until further notice," the Florida Department of Health said in a statement.

 

Gov. Ron DeSantis has spoken out about this outrage, which stinks to high heaven:

"Without a shred of clinical data to support this action, Biden has forced trained medical professionals to choose between treating their patients or breaking the law," DeSantis said in a statement. "This indefensible edict takes treatment out of the hands of medical professionals and will cost some Americans their lives. There are real-world implications to Biden’s medical authoritarianism – Americans’ access to treatments is now subject to the whims of a failing president."

No clinical data. A sudden yanking, with zero time for patients to make alternate treatment arrangements. A bizarre claim that the treatments don't work, despite Florida's record of success. A death sentence to many.

What's the White House response to this ugly picture? Take a look at the grotesque Baghdad Bob-style responses from White House spokesweasel Jen Psaki to DeSantis's arguments:

 

The treatments don't work? No clinical data? But they do work, just look at Florida's results. The line that springs to mind is Galileo's: 'Eppur se muove.'

It gets worse:

In other words, "put some ice on it," as Bill Clinton used to say.

DeSantis has pointed out that most patients Florida is treating already have been vaccinated. To offer vaccines as a solution then is beyond insulting -- to patients, to medical personnel, to DeSantis, and to anyone with a grip on reality. The vaxxed are the ones coming down with the COVID. Her solution to them is 'more vaxxes,' which is the same as saying 'go die for me and don't be a problem.'

She later claimed that the White House sent other treatments, which in other reports was the Merck pill, which is unsafe for pregnant women, not to be used unless other treatments can't be used, and apparently no one wants because of its weak record of effectiveness against COVID, which is another insult.

Suffice to say, no normal leader or medical professional would pull a treatment from patients waiting in line or in the midst of treatments, particularly if that's the treatment they want. That's inhuman. That's vile. And as DeSantis points out, some people are going to die.

Should and when that happens, you can bet that the survivors are going to remember this. The Biden administration may think it's getting rid of old-people voters but there will be survivors who remember the last-minute denial of the treatment and aren't going to like it. What's more, who comes down with COVID the most? The obese, the diabetics, those with co-morbidities, and that pool disproproportionately includes black and Latino people. That should be an impressive selling point as Democrats seek to win back Florida.

But it offends everyone. The treatment was working. To claim it wasn't is a lie. The alternatives don't, to claim they do is another lie. And to tell sick vaccinated COVID patients who still have caught the disease that they need to get vaccinated is beyond insulting. They already know that the vaccines don't work, so to take away a treatment that does, and dismissively tell them to get vaxxed is something bordering evil.

What are these treatments? According to the Florida Department of Health:

Monoclonal antibody therapy can prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death in high-risk patients who have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19. These treatments are widely available in Florida.

  • Treatment is free and vaccination status does not matter. If you are 12 years and older and are at high risk for severe illness due to COVID-19, you are eligible for this treatment.
  • In clinical trials, monoclonal antibody treatment showed a 70 percent reduction in hospitalization and death.
  • For high-risk patients who have been exposed to someone with COVID19, Regeneron can give you temporary immunity to decrease your odds of catching the infection by over 80 percent.

Monoclonal antibody treatments can be prescribed by health care providers to individuals 12 years of age and older who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are at high risk for severe illness and hospitalization.

The site notes that under Florida law, anyone who has COVID and wants it can get it, they don't need to go through heavy medical authorizations, apparently because the treatment can be done preemptively, before a vulnerable patient even gets sick, just as the ivermectin treatment regimen can be administered that way, in both cases, it's harmless. It's available for free, but insurance is billed if patients have insurance. The treatments need to be done either preemptively or in the early stages of COVID, same as the ivermectin regimen, too.

It's been very, very successful in keeping Florida's COVID cases down. quite unlike the blue states with their mask, lockdown, and vaccine obsessions. Blue states' COVID death rates, unlike Florida's, are through the roof.

The White House claim that the Merck pill is better is total nonsense. Merck is a big Democrat donor, and as such, expects to be paid in kind for its cash to keep Democrats in power.

And that brings up the possibility of special interests being at work pulling the puppet strings of the Biden administration. Joe, after all, as Peter Schweizer's new book indicates, is purchaseable.

Could Big Pharma have been involved in this pulling of this treatment in Florida, some rival pharmaceutical company to AstraZeneca which makes this monoclonal treatment? Big Pharma has the highest number by far of "revolving door" officials moving back and forth between government and lobbying posts, with Open Secrets profiling 945 of them.

All of them donate to Democrats, but it's interesting that Pfizer, the most powerful of the lobbying influencers, has a 'thing' for its rival AstraZeneca.

Here's a recent headline that ran showing the extent of the rancor:

Pfizer set to oust AstraZeneca as top supplier of COVID-19 shots to poor nations

They definitely want to be Numbah One. They've got sharp elbows and seek to get rid of their rivals.

There had been negative stories about AstraZeneca's vaccine not working properly early in the vaccine game, before anyone recognized that none of the vaxxes work all that well. There also were negative reports about Pfizer vaxx rival Johnson & Johnson's shot, as well as word getting out about J&J's link to fetal stem cell research. It's unknown if Pfizer planted those stories, but one thing we do know is that they are famous for underhanded tactics. Two that spring to mind are Pfizer's refusal to release news of the success of its vaccine until after the 2020 election, in order to deny any campaign advantage to President Trump over Joe Biden. Two is that they concealed the extent of their involvement with fetal stem cell research, claiming it was just distant and it turns out it wasn't. There also were stories about "breakthrough" cases coming from J&J vaccines alone, when my sources at Stanford Medical Center told me that the breakthrough cases were coming from all three vaxx makers, including Pfizer. That never got into the news until very late, as well. Manipulation? Seems possible.

This is clearly the worst of the worst of the moments of Bidendom, and there are many bad moments. The lies, political spite, and dismissively bad solutions are sure to alienate voters who need these treatments. DeSantis is showing the right fighting spirit and should consider stepping up alternative treatments such as ivermectin and hydrocychloroquine treatment regimes if possible, and suing the hell out of Biden & Co. in the courts. The inhuman Bidenite meddling and lying here absolutely shock the conscience.

Image: Twitter screen shot

 

Monica Showalter

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2022/01/how_evil_do_you_have_to_be_to_suddenly_pull_treatment_from_florida_covid_patients.html

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Hamas in Lebanon: Another Arm of Iran - Joseph Puder

 

​ by Joseph Puder

And another front from which to attack Israel.

 


Hamas is not only a menace to Israel through its enclave in the Gaza Strip; it is also a threat to Lebanon’s stability and its future as a sovereign state. Along with Hezbollah, Hamas is doing Iran’s bidding against Israel along the border and preventing the Lebanese authorities from asserting full control over the Lebanese state. If Hamas’ activities aren’t curbed, it will lead to a devastating war with Israel that Lebanon cannot afford.

Last month (December 10, 2021), a huge explosion occurred in the Burj el-Shemali Palestinian refugee camp adjacent to the ancient city of Tyre in southern Lebanon. The fire from the explosion reached a weapons depot belonging to Hamas, which contained assorted arms and ammunition. Hamas quickly closed the area and prevented the Lebanese security forces from having access to the site of the explosion, as well as keeping Palestinian factions from investigating the cause of the explosion.  According to Lebanon’s al-Nahar, December 11, 2021, following the explosion the Lebanese army cordoned off the area outside the camp but refrained from entering it. In thwarting Lebanese authorities from inquiring into the explosion, it seems Hamas is repeating Hezbollah’s tactics of making a mockery of Lebanese sovereign authority. Hezbollah has obstructed the investigation into the September 2020 massive explosion in the Port of Beirut warehouses, which it owns. In both the Tyre and Beirut explosions, the damage to humans and property was severe.

Hamas’ habitual disregard for human lives in the Gaza Strip has repeated itself in the Burj el-Shemali refugee camp in Tyre. In both cases, civilians have been used as “human shields.” The fact that Hamas placed its arms depot in the heart of a residential area proves the point. Following the funeral of a Hamas leader and engineer Hizma Ibrahim Shanin, who died as a result of the explosion, a firefight broke out between Hamas and Fatah armed men, resulting in the death of several Hamas operatives.

While Hezbollah operates along the Israeli-Lebanese border in clear contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 that called for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to deploy along the border, Hamas has now been firing rockets at Israel from the border area with Hezbollah’s apparent compliance, if not encouragement. The Lebanese civilian and military authorities have been unable or unwilling to disarm the various terror groups including Hamas, and are looking the other way on Hamas’ operations along the border.    

The Lebanese public has long demanded the disarmament of all militias and terror groups in the country, including naturally Hamas, as well as Hezbollah. The Taif Agreement of 1989 stipulated the following: “Disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias shall be announced. The militias’ weapons shall be delivered to the State of Lebanon within a period of 6 months, beginning with the approval of the national accord charter.” The Taif Accord had clearly not been enforced. While all other militias handed over their heavy arms, Hezbollah and the Palestinians did not. As a result, Hezbollah today exerts full political and military control in the Land of the Cedars due to its weaponry being far more sophisticated and numerous than that of the LAF (courtesy of Iran). In addition, many of the LAF soldiers are Hezbollah supporters. That makes the Shiite cleric Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, not Lebanon’s constitutional President Michel Aoun, the real power in the country.

The problem of Lebanon’s lack of sovereignty has added to the already severe economic and political crisis in the country. The 192,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have lived there for at least 70-years. The Palestinian leaderships through the decades have demanded that the Arab host countries deny the Palestinian refugees permanent status, let alone citizenship. It was a merciless act of using propaganda by the Palestinian and Arab leaders against the Jewish state, at the expense of Palestinian families. In Lebanon today, the Sunni-Muslims would like to enfranchise the Palestinians as full citizens. After all, they share the same culture, language, and religion. Christians oppose that because it would tip the demographic balance in the confessional system of governance, in favor of Muslims. Some have suggested that Lebanon send the Palestinians off elsewhere in the Arab world just as Kuwait did following the Gulf War. 

The Lebanese have good reasons for getting rid of the Palestinians. Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), having been ejected from Jordan in 1970, following their attempted takeover of the kingdom, have subsequently occupied Southern Lebanon and made it into “Fatahland” (named after Arafat’s Fatah faction) - a state-within-a-state. By accepting the 1969 Cairo Agreement, Lebanon legitimized the PLO, granting it control over Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and enabled the PLO terrorists to attack Israel. The 1982 war between Israel and Arafat’s terrorist organization helped Lebanon get rid of the menace called the Fatah that was greatly responsible for the savage Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) that killed over 100,000 and displaced over 1,000,000. Arafat and his gang of terrorists moved to Tunisia, but the many Palestinian non-combatants that remained should have been granted citizenship and adequate living or sent along with Arafat to Tunisia.

The Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon have become an extended arm of Hezbollah and its paymaster - the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hamas’ brand of political Islam coupled with its close identification with the Iranian Revolution has made it part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) tool in the region both inside the Gaza Strip and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria. Moreover, the explosion at the Burj el-Shemali Palestinian refugee camp has revealed the progress Hamas is making in constructing a military-terrorist base in Lebanon. Hamas aims to create another front from which to attack when it next provokes a war with Israel.

A report by the Alma Research and Education Center pointed out that Hamas has “Two operational units in Lebanon - el-Shimali and Khalid Ali. With the assistance of the Construction Bureau, the two operational units recruit members, train them in specialized combat skills such as sniping, anti-tank missile attacks, operating drones, and more. The units also develop and produce their own weapons – rockets, defensive drones, and small unmanned underwater vehicles. They set up operational cells while preparing attack plans against Israel.” The Report added, “Hamas’ activities in Lebanon occur with the assistance and supervision of the Iranian Quds Force.”

To preserve its security and sovereignty, the Lebanese authorities must curtail Hamas’ activities in Lebanon before the latter involves Lebanon in an unwanted war with Israel. The consequences of such a war will doom all efforts to resuscitate the Lebanese economy and its political life. 

 

Joseph Puder

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/01/hamas-lebanon-another-arm-iran-joseph-puder/

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Presbyterian Church USA Joins the Hamas-American Bund - Civis Americanis

 

​ by Civis Americanis

The Presbyterian Church USA's blatantly reckless, unfair, and unfounded accusations against Israel make it a dupe, stooge, and useful idiot for terrorists such as Hamas and Hezb'allah.

Presbyterian Church USA's (PCUSA's) Stated Clerk Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II proclaimed on Martin Luther King Day, "The continued occupation in Palestine/Israel is 21st-century slavery and should be abolished immediately …I would also hope that the Jewish community in the United States would influence the call to join the US government in ending the immoral enslavement." Slavery and human trafficking are felonies in Israel just as they are in the United States, and Nelson's false implication that Israel or American Jews condone slavery in any way, shape, or form makes PCUSA a leading member of the Hamas-American Bund.

This is by no means an implication that PCUSA supports, whether through word or deed, terroristic violence by Hamas. My understanding is that PCUSA condemns all violence. Its blatantly reckless, unfair, and unfounded accusations against Israel make it nonetheless a dupe, stooge, and useful idiot for terrorists who shoot up Israeli schools (Ma'alot), murder Israeli athletes (Munich), blow up Israeli Seders and pizza shops, bash in the heads of Jewish children with rifle butts, cut up Jewish families with knives, fire rockets at Israeli cities, impose apartheid-like conditions on Arab women and Christians, use Arabs as human shields, and abuse LGBT people. PCUSA is therefore an enabler for terrorists in roughly the same manner that equally useful idiots were enablers for Hitler during the 1930s.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has condemned the PCUSA's behavior. Steve Gutow, the president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, described PCUSA's guide on Zionism as "worthy of a hate group, not a prominent American church." 

PCUSA Equivocates on Israel's Right to Exist

"Presbyterians and Palestine" asserts that, "President Harry Truman, in part to curry favor with Jewish Americans prior to an upcoming election, would in May recognize the nascent State of Israel." This is not consistent with Truman's side of the story, and Truman was known for his honesty and character. The PCUSA page continues, "Greenslade responded to the reporter: '…The hasty action of the President in recognizing the State of Israel while the whole question was before the United Nations is deeply resented and difficult to explain.'" The web page also uses anti-Semitic phrases like "Jewish aggression" and "Israeli depredations." The article also comes across as blaming Israelis, as opposed to the governments that started the 1948 war, for the Nakba (catastrophe) which PCUSA claims relates only to the displacement of Palestinians but many construe as the establishment of Israel inside its 1948 borders.

PCUSA's flirtation with denial of Israel's right to exist through (1) the implication that Harry Truman recognized Israel to "curry favor with Jewish Americans," which incorporates the anti-Semitic "divided loyalty" slur in the bargain, (2) denunciation of Truman's action as "hasty," and (3) use of the word "nakba" reinforces its role as little better than a propaganda organ for Hamas and related terrorist organizations.

PCUSA: Where Women's and LGBT Rights are Slogans

PCUSA also claims to be socially progressive, and it does support LGBT rights in the United States and allows women to be ministers. This support for women and LGBT people ends, however, where "Palestine" begins. It is safe to hold a gay pride march in Tel Aviv, and women can be anything in Israel including Prime Minister. Haaretz reports, on the other hand, "At risk of harassment, torture or worse from Hamas or members of their own families, queer Gazans often hide away in fear." The Guardian reports, "A Hamas-run Islamic court in the Gaza Strip has ruled that women require the permission of a male guardian to travel…"  You cannot say credibly from one side of your mouth that you are for women's and LGBT rights when the other side of your mouth shills for entities that treat women as second-class citizens and LGBT people even worse.

PCUSA Met with Hezb’allah Terrorists

PCUSA's role as a dupe, stooge, and useful idiot for vicious terrorists is not limited to Hamas. Even the left-leaning Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) found the meeting of PCUSA elder Ronald Stone and others with Hezb’allah terrorists too extreme to tolerate. "During this meeting, Elder Ronald Stone of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary praised Hezbollah for its 'expression of goodwill towards the American people' and 'initiative for dialogue and mutual understanding.'" And what is  Hezb’allah's "goodwill towards the American people"? This makes PCUSA a useful idiot for the world's hostes humani generis, an enabler for pure unadulterated evil, and part of the Hezb’allah-American Bund in the bargain.

Elder Stone went on to say that “relations and conversations with Islamic leaders are a lot easier than dealings and dialogue with Jewish leaders." When you are a stooge and useful idiot for terrorists, you will find them very easy to get along with until you are no longer useful to them.

Presbyterians Should Leave PCUSA

Most of us learn at a very early age to respect other people's religious beliefs. When what you call your religion, however, crosses the line to incitement of hatred of other religions, whether it's the Westboro Baptist Church's position that God hates almost everybody but the WBC, or PCUSA spewing anti-Semitic canards and enabling entities that murder Jews, you forfeit that protection and respect. Others can and will rightfully denounce what you call your "religion" as a front for agendas that are abominations to the values of every single religion on this planet. I am not talking about Presbyterianism; I am talking about what PCUSA calls Presbyterianism, just as I do not denounce Christianity when I condemn the appalling behavior that WBC calls Christianity. The latter behavior is in fact antithetical to Christianity; if you die and find yourself with Fred Phelps, you went to the wrong place. Denunciation of the depraved violent ideology that Hamas calls Islam is similarly not a condemnation of Islam, nor is condemnation of what Jewish Voice for Peace does under color of Judaism anti-Semitic.

I regard PCUSA as it is currently governed as nothing more than an enabler for terrorists, abusers of women, abusers of LGBT people, and abusers of Jews, Christians, and peaceful Muslims. I perceive PCUSA's current governance as no more representative of Presbyterianism than Charles Coughlin was of Catholicism.  Dr. Nelson called for Jews to join him in attacking the reputation of Israel; I urge in return that Presbyterians leave Nelson's organization in favor of other Presbyterian organizations, and many have already done so.

Image: Presbyterian Church USA

 

Civis Americanis is the pen name of a contributor who remembers the lessons of history, and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way. He or she is remaining anonymous due to the likely prospect of being subjected to "cancel culture" for exposing the Big Lie behind Black Lives Matter.

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

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Naomi’s Prayer - Lloyd Billingsley

 

​ by Lloyd Billingsley

Feminist author Naomi Wolf confronts the “forces of darkness” now battling for “the human soul.”

 


“It is time to start talking about spiritual combat again, I personally believe. Because I think that that is what we are in, and the forces of darkness are so big that we need help.”

That may sound like someone from EWTN or TBN but it’s Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth, Misconceptions, and Vagina. Wolf once called UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, “a woman without a uterus,” though Wolf had no children at the time and Kirkpatrick had three. So Wolf’s brand of feminism is not exactly friendly to distinguished women of conservative inclinations. Recent events have brought about a radical change.

On January 9, Wolf authored, “Is it Time for Intellectuals to Talk about God?” a 3,868-word essay subtitled, “It’s a New Dark Age. Evil abounds. Is a postmodern embarrassment about discussing spiritual matters, keeping us stupid and putting us in danger?” The object of this spiritual battle is nothing short of the human soul, and one side is “targeting the human body that houses it.” Since the dawn of the pandemic, Wolf finds, the feminist rallying cry of “our bodies, our choice” has been abandoned.

“The rest of the world, at least on the progressive side in the United States, became increasingly cult-like and insular in its thinking, since March of 2020.” At that time,  “lifelong critical thinkers, journalists, editors, researchers, doctors, philanthropists, teachers, psychologists — all began to repeat only talking points from MSNBC and CNN, and soon overtly refused to look at any sources –even peer-reviewed sources in medical journals – even CDC data – that contradicted those talking points.” (italics original)

Wolf is talking about “my people, my tribe,” all those “feminist health advocates” who were “silent in view of HHS warnings that the spike protein from MRNA vaccines may accumulate in the ovaries.” These “luminaries of feminist health activism,” failed to speak out and “two or three of us who did were very visibly smeared, in some cases threatened, and in many ways silenced.”

This was all part of the “edifice of evil too quickly erected, too complex and really, too elegant, to assign to just human awfulness and human inventiveness.” Wolf decries

this dilution even of parents’ sense of protectiveness over the bodies and futures of their helpless minor children, this acceptance of a world in which people can’t gather to worship, these suddenly-manifested structures themselves that erected this demonic world in less than two years and imposed it on everyone else.

As she notes:

I felt around us, in the majestic nature of the awfulness of the evil around us, the presence of ‘principalities and powers’ — almost awe-inspiring levels of darkness and of inhuman, anti-human forces. In the policies unfolding around us I saw again and again anti-human outcomes being generated: policies aimed at killing children’s joy; at literally suffocating children, restricting their breath, speech and laughter; at killing school; at killing ties between families and extended families; at killing churches and synagogues and mosques; and, from the highest levels, from the President’s own bully pulpit, demands for people to collude in excluding, rejecting, dismissing, shunning, hating their neighbors and loved ones and friends.

When it comes to evil, on the other hand, Wolf could be understating the matter. 

At the Wuhan Institute of Virology, controlled by China’s Communist Party, scientists deployed gain-of-function research to make viruses more transmissible, and more lethal. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, funded that research then lied about it.

In early 2020, Fauci opposed President Trump’s ban on travel from China and recommended destructive lockdowns that caused untold suffering and loss. Dr. Fauci authorized trials of the cytotoxic drug AZT on foster children in New York. Children are at low risk for COVID but Dr. Fauci wants to vaccinate them beginning in the first grade. If embattled parents called that evil it would be hard to blame them.

Naomi Wolf recently spoke at a gathering of “medical freedom advocates” who continued to gather through the depths of the lockdown. In this pleasant company, Wolf again started to pray and speak publicly about God, with good reason:

We who are Jews, though, do have a history and literature that lets us talk about spiritual battle between the forces of God and negative forces that debase, that profane, that seek to ensnare our souls. We have seen this drama before, and not that long ago; about eighty years ago.

In 2022, therefore, we stand in need of help from a Being, “better armed to fight true darkness, than ourselves alone.”

Thanks Naomi, and as Victor Laszlo might say, welcome back to the fight.

 

Lloyd Billingsley

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/01/naomis-prayer-lloyd-billingsley/

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Pakistan and Terror in Texas - Saurav Dutt

 

​ by Saurav Dutt

A state sponsor of terrorism should be labeled what it is.

 


Just recently, a British-Pakistani gunman identified as Muhammad Siddiqui entered a Colleyville, Texas synagogue and held the rabbi and two congregants hostage until they managed to escape -- and the gunman was shot down. We now know that Siddiqui's demand was targeted around the release of an imprisoned Pakistani terrorist, one Aafia Siddiqui. 

It has long been known, in India at least, but seemingly not acknowledged internationally, that terrorism is deep-rooted within Pakistan and Siddiqui’s sole focus on Aafia Siddiqui makes abundantly clear what his motive was. The U.S. has danced with this particular devil on far too many occasions, and such a dance has previously involved Aafia who, contrary to Pakistan’s protestations, is no Joan of Arc. 

In July 2008, U.S. forces in Afghanistan arrested Aafia Siddiqui—a Pakistani national who was a U.S.-educated neuroscientist and wife of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad’s nephew—on charges of terrorism. During her interrogation she allegedly grabbed an unattended rifle and was wounded in the process; this led to subsequent extradition to New York, where she was sentenced to eighty-six years in prison. 

Rather than take her terroristic tendencies at obvious face value and condemn her to deserved imprisonment, Pakistan instead took it upon itself to deify her, citing her case as one emblematic of chronic injustice. Pakistan’s president, prime minister, and foreign minister all brought up her case with their American counterparts, and the Pakistani senate called on the United States to release her.

"Lady al-Qaeda" -- as she became known -- did not trouble the front pages of many newspapers in the U.S., but her arrest did kick into gear widespread anti-American demonstrations, which even audaciously demanded that Pakistani authorities suspend the delivery of supplies for the war effort in Afghanistan. Pakistan was not content to stand idly by while a terrorist was incarcerated -- instead it ensured that her case consistently occupied headlines in media houses.  

While groups like al Qaeda or the Islamic State are populated with citizens of other countries whose governments condemn them unequivocally, the bizarre deification of Aafia Siddiqui merited a quite different response from Pakistani officials who continued to fall over themselves to revel in her supposed victimhood, justify her behavior and actions, and continue to argue that she was a victim of western imperialism and injustice. While many in Pakistani streets continue to condemn her incarceration, it is certainly perturbing to know that such adulation has made its way to Blackburn in the North of England where Siddiqui's ideological "brother" felt compelled to do something about it. 

Pakistan has developed a Teflon-like ability to shield itself from international condemnation, whether it involved its embrace of Aafia or even in continuing to let those responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks—terrorist attacks which killed international citizens—to roam free. Pakistan’s intelligence service knowingly provided al Qaeda leader Usama Bin Laden with safe-haven and protection. And while the Biden administration pensively debates the consequences of the Taliban rampage through Afghanistan as if the Taliban are distributing baklava sweets, the reality is that the Taliban’s seizure of Afghanistan last summer was in true essence a Pakistani invasion. 

The Colleyville hostage situation should be a wakeup call to the world -- and especially to the United States and the United Kingdom. Joe Biden and Boris Johnson should follow the lead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, and decipher with crystal clarity that Aafia and Muhammad Siddiqui are not anomalies, but tried-and-tested products of Pakistan’s state policies. 

The time has come for those world leaders to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism. 

 

Saurav Dutt is a TIME and Esquire featured author and political analyst. He can be found at @sd_saurav on Twitter.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/01/pakistan-and-terror-texas-saurav-dutt/

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Iranian Attacks in Iraq Reflect Weakness, Disarray - Jonathan Spyer

 

​ by Jonathan Spyer

The current malaise of Iran's proxy strategy in Iraq is not being exploited by the US and its allies.

The uptick in rocket and drone attacks appears more as a kind of ritual response to second anniversary of the killing of IRGC/Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani than as the opening salvo of an effort to expel Western forces.

A series of bomb and grenade attacks have taken place this month in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. They were directed at financial facilities and political offices associated with a number of factions currently taking part in negotiations toward the formation of a new Iraqi government.

These incidents follow a number of rocket and drone attacks on US and coalition facilities in Iraq and Syria. The latter came after the marking of the second anniversary of the killing of IRGC/Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and Popular Mobilization Units leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis by the US on January 3, 2020.

There is no great mystery regarding who is responsible for these incidents. Given the nature of the targets, they were clearly carried out by pro-Iran elements. But the timing and nature of the incidents, and their intensity, are significant. They are an indication not of Iranian strength, but rather of the relative disarray and confusion observable in the pro-Iran camp in Iraq at the present moment.

There is no great mystery regarding who is responsible for these incidents.

First, the Baghdad attacks. These took place following the opening of the new session of the Iraqi parliament, on January 9. The sites targeted were the headquarters of three political parties – the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), the Taqadum Coalition and the Azm Alliance. The latter two are lists representing the Iraqi Sunni Arab population. Two financial institutions associated with the Kurdish Democratic Party – the Kurdistan Bank and the Kurdish-owned Cihan Bank – were also targeted.

There were no deaths in any of these incidents. A number of people were wounded.

KDP, Azm and Taqadum are non-Shia political formations currently engaged in negotiating with the Shia Sairun list of Muqtada al-Sadr for the formation of a governing coalition that would exclude the pro-Iranian elements. No group claimed responsibility for the incidents in Baghdad. But it may be stated with near certainty that these grenade attacks were the pro-Iran militias expressing their displeasure, in their own inimitable style.

The attacks are the latest indication of the relative disarray in which the Shia militias and the Iranian interest in Iraq find themselves, since the elections of October 10.

In those polls, the militia-supported Fatah list suffered a precipitous decline in support, and subsequent representation in the 329-member Iraqi parliament. Thanks to disorganization, disunity and a misreading of a new electoral law, leading to faulty election tactics, the Fatah list went down from 48 seats in the parliament to 17. Governments in Iraq in recent years have consisted of coalitions, bringing together disparate and even opposed elements. The pro-Iran element needs to be in government, in order to maintain the legal status of its militias, continue the flow of funds to the Popular Mobilization Units (the official body that gives the militias their legal status) and ensure that no serious attempt at dismantling or confronting the Iranian parallel state by a government in Iraq takes place.

The decline in electoral representation was the result not of a loss of popular support for the pro-Iran camp, but of simple mismanagement. In terms of votes, the Fatah list received more than that of Sadr – 670,000 to 650,000. Disunity, mistaken tactics and incompetence produced the drastic difference in the allocation of seats.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has resisted intimidation efforts by Iran-backed Shia militia groups.

Months of unrest in Baghdad followed as the militias, specifically Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl Al-Haq, organized protests by members of their movements and militiamen, demanding a recount of the results. Tensions reached their height with a drone attack on the residence of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in November. But the unrest and attempts at intimidation failed to achieve their objective. No recount was forthcoming.

At the opening of parliament on January 9, pro-Iranian factions, now organized in the "Coordination Framework," sought to disrupt proceedings. Specifically, they tried (and failed) to prevent the election of Mohammed Halbousi, leader of the Sunni Taqadum list, as speaker of the parliament.

The appointment of Halbousi to this position has been interpreted by many Iraqi analysts as indicating that Sadr intends to seek to form a government with his main, non-Shia allies, rather than seeking to create a unity coalition involving both main Shia blocs.

The grenade attacks were the response of the pro-Iran element to this development. They targeted those non-Shia elements, which Sadr will need as the basic building blocks for any coalition excluding the Shia militia element.

The attacks on US and coalition positions, meanwhile, included the launching of four rockets on the US Embassy in Baghdad on January 12, two drone attacks on the Ain al-Asad base in Iraq's Anbar Province, and rocket fire on the Coalition/Syrian Democratic Forces' "Green Village" base in eastern Syria. There were no fatalities. The US-led coalition responded to the rocketing of the base in Syria with artillery fire on the source of the rockets. This was near the town of Mayadin, in an area controlled by the Iran-supported militias just west of the Euphrates river and close to the Iraqi border. The Qassim al-Jabbarin Brigade, a front for Ktaib Hezbollah, claimed responsibility for the firing on Ain al-Asad.

There are no indications that operations on this level will shift the small but significant US deployments in Iraq and Syria. The uptick in rocket fire appears more as a kind of ritual response to the killings of Soleimani and Muhandis than as the opening salvo of a determined effort to expel Western forces.

Regarding the actions against political opponents, the next hurdles for the parliament will be choosing a new president, and then a new prime minister, over the next two months. The Iranians and their militias are pursuing a familiar "strategy of tension," designed to produce a feeling of intimidation among opponents and deter them from clear moves in the direction of exclusion of the Iranian interest from a role in government.

Muqtada al-Sadr

It is now Sadr's move. Muqtada al-Sadr himself, of course, is hardly a consistent opponent of the Iranians. It may well be that he will continue to prefer to weave a complex and inconsistent path between the Iranians and their enemies, rather than enter a path toward confrontation between his own militia and those of Tehran. But the very fact that the key decision now is in the hands of Sadr is testimony to the rudderlessness of Iranian strategy in Iraq at present.

It is difficult to imagine the present confusion and disarray taking place under the stewardship of Soleimani and Muhandis. Esmail Ghaani and Abd al Aziz al-Mohammadawi, their respective replacements, are evidently not of the same caliber. From this point of view, the current impasse of the Iranian position in Iraq (and elsewhere) is perhaps the most authentic testimony to the skills of these two slain commanders. It is an interesting confirmation of the importance of individual leaders, for all the significance of structures and systems.

The current malaise of Iran's proxy strategy in Iraq is not being exploited by the US and its allies.

Finally, of course, from the point of view of Iran's enemies, it is testimony to the correctness of the decision to remove them. It is perhaps unfortunate that the current malaise of Iran's proxy strategy in Iraq is not being exploited by a determined, clear strategy on the part of the US and its allies. Rather, these are at present mainly the passive beneficiaries of Iran's difficulties.

 

Jonathan Spyer is a Ginsburg/Milstein Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.

Source: https://www.meforum.org/62961/iranian-attacks-in-iraq-reflect-weakness-disarray

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Forbidden Campus Speech - Richard L. Cravatts

 

​ by Richard L. Cravatts

Who decides what words can and cannot be used in teaching?

 


As difficult as it is to believe that someone on a contemporary university campus could be so socially tone-deaf that they would publicly utter an ethnic slur, professors do regularly find themselves the target of indignant parties they have “harmed” with their careless, often inappropriate speech.

Consider, for instance, the case of Jackie Buell, an assistant professor in Ohio State University’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, who made an outrageous anti-Semitic slur when she referred to “Jewing down” people in an October 18th online lecture.

“Anybody been to Mexico?” Buell said in a video leaked by a student.

“You know, I mean, Jewing down is a way of the world down there, right? You want to buy a blanket and (it) has $5 on it, and you say, ‘I’ll give you $2 for it.’ They say, ‘No.’ You just start walking away. They say ‘Three dollar,’ right? They just want to get what they can out of it. But now they come to this country. We get people that come in the market all the time that want to Jew us down on the vegetables, right?” [Emphasis added.]

This may well be an example of irresponsible, unconscious anti-Semitism, especially given the fact that professor Buell offered up a lame, almost unbelievable excuse for her utterances when she weakly apologized by saying that she had not intended “to be offensive to any particular group,” presumably meaning Jews in particular, and that, she stupefyingly contended, “I have never associated the word ‘Jew’ with any particular person or group.” 

Of course, “Jewing” someone down, for Buell and others who use the phrase pejoratively or otherwise, means bargaining with someone, negotiating back and forth until a price is acceptable to the buyer, with the obvious and not too hidden reference to long-held attitudes about Jews, money, miserliness, conniving, and usurious and the shrewd manipulation of finances—an unflattering anti-Semitic trope that has followed Jews since Medieval times.

While Buell’s slurs were immediately condemned by OSU’s Hillel and Chabad, and her statements launched a further investigation by the University, noticeably absent were the paroxysms of outrage and denunciation by the campus moral scolds who usually waste no time in launching an inquisitory campaign of censure, condemnation, and shaming typical of the current cancel culture which punishes transgressors.

Groups have been skillful in protecting and promoting their identity as victims, and a professor who is careless or self-destructive enough to utter racist or ethnic slurs in classrooms is inevitably made the target of the self-righteous, woke mob.

Because Jews are currently considered to enjoy “white privilege” and are not normally included in campus victim groups, when anti-Semitic speech or behavior targets them there is regularly little blowback—and especially if such anti-Semitic speech involves a discussion of Israel and Zionism. But an errant professor who makes slurs against blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, or the LGBTQ community is likely to find him or herself embroiled in a campaign to punish and even expel them from campus.

On campuses, there is a vocabulary of oppression and certain words have become so charged that they have been rendered unspeakable, so toxic and demeaning because of their historic association that their use is essentially prohibited—even, and this is the problematic aspect of this development, when certain words are used in an academic context and for an academic purpose, and not as a slur.

At Emory University’s School of Law, for example, another faculty member found himself vilified for daring to use what is alleged to be the homophobic term “fag” when he was discussing a case in his torts class, Snyder v. Phelps, concerning the noxious Westboro Baptist Church. According to a student in his class, on September 2nd, Associate Professor of Law Alexander Volokh “. . . decided that he wanted to refer to the Westboro Baptist Church by their ideology and not by their name, so he says, ‘The God hates F-slur church. Those guys.’” 

In response to the horror of a professor having used the "f" word in reference to a case about a church that regularly demonstrates publicly with their trademark slogan “God hates fags” emblazoned on placards, more than 100 law students, administrators (including the Law School’s dean), and faculty staged a walk-out from classes to protest “against the use of slurs in our classrooms.”

But in defending his use of the "f-word," Volokh, who not coincidentally chairs the University Senate’s Open Expression Committee, wrote in an email that the use of that word, and its attendant power, is central to understanding the legal arguments of this specific case and that sanitizing the expression, using instead “the f-word,” diminishes one of the key pedagogical points. “Expurgating downplays the offensiveness of the term,” he observed. “I think it’s appropriate to get the full force of the term in a case where the offensiveness is relevant to the legal principles being covered.”   

Emory’s law school had already experienced turmoil from students when two of its professors had used the most inflammatory and sensitive word of all, the “n-word,” the third rail of vocabulary. In addition to Emory, law professors have used the “n-word" at the University of Oklahoma, UC-Irvine, University of Ottawa, Stanford, and Wake Forest, among others, and have faced almost universal condemnation from their respective administrations, fellow faculty, and students—and particularly black students. Offending professors were rebuked and sometimes reassigned, offended students were offered counseling and alternate course sections, and the moral scolds on campus joined a chorus of denunciation against those daring to utter this forbidden word.

But is this reaction to such words as “n-word” and "f-word"—particularly in the context of studying legal cases where these specific terms are essential to understanding the underlying legal argument—reasonable and justified?

Why should students be able to force a set of prohibitions on what language can and cannot be used in teaching? Why should one word be deemed so morally and linguistically objectionable that it is forbidden to be used in any context—including legitimate educational ones? Why should the word “n-word”—which students are very likely to have heard in their own lives in rap music, comedy routines, on the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, even in conversations with their peers if they are themselves black—why would only this word be purged from use at universities?

The answer to that question, according to Professor Randall Kennedy of Harvard Law School is that it shouldn’t.

“’[N-word’] is a part of the lexicon of American culture about which people, especially lawyers, need to be aware . . ,” Kennedy wrote.

The more that schools validate the idea that this hurt is justified in the circumstances outlined, the more that that feeling will be embraced, and the more that there will be calls to respect that feeling of hurt by avoiding (even perhaps by dint of threatened punishment) what is said to trigger it.

Other legal scholars concur with Professor Kennedy. “Professors certainly shouldn't use epithets, racial or otherwise, to insult people themselves,” suggested Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law at UCLA. “But when they are talking about what has been said, I think it's important that they report it as it was said. This is often called the ‘use-mention distinction.’" This means that if a slur is uttered in a way to deliberately attack an individual, almost everyone would admit that this type of use is never acceptable and should rightly be condemned when it occurs. But if one of these troublesome words is mentioned, referred to, or cited as part of an academic or legal text, and especially if the term is germane to the case being discussed, it should not be treated as a slur, nor should the speaker of it be condemned or punished for having used it.

In a culture in which elementary school students are exposed to textbooks with graphic depictions of oral sex, condom use, transgender sexuality and body changes, and explicit accounts of gay relationships, often complete with graphic illustrations, it is difficult to understand why law students have to be shielded from words that are not only relevant to their instruction but are an integral part of the case materials and public documents they read, including Supreme Court decisions. A third-grader can be taught about oral sex but a law student cannot hear the word “f-word” or read the word “n-word,” a word that appears in legal cases, incidentally, more than 10,000 times?

We force children to confront adult topics in the name of tolerance but infantilize older students to protect them from “harmful” speech and words. This would be dismissed as silliness were it not for the fact that careers have been ruined, faculty suspended or fired, and individuals made into pariahs for uttering words that some, in their moral rectitude, have decided cannot be spoken.

“Anyone hurt by hearing this word mentioned (or even used, when not used to denigrate),” observed Mark Mercer, a professor of philosophy at Saint Mary’s University, and the president of the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship, when referring to use of the word “n-word,” “is not attuned to the academic project of trying to understand the things of the world. Those who are hurt by hearing a teacher speak a particular word need to be initiated into the world of academic endeavor; they don’t need, and shouldn’t be, mollified.”

If words, even poisonous or triggering words, are unbearable to a student, perhaps that person does not belong in an academic setting in the first place and moral busybodies should not be determining what may be said and what may not be said on university campuses.

 

Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., a Freedom Center Journalism Fellow in Academic Free Speech and President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, is the author of Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/01/forbidden-campus-speech-richard-l-cravatts/

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Rep. Tenney calls for Biden's impeachment after covert migrant flights revealed - Joshua Q. Nelson

 

​ by Joshua Q. Nelson

Reps. Malliotakis and Tenney sound off on migrants being secretly flown into suburban New York

Video: Congresswomen on video exposing Biden’s covert migrant resettlements

New York Republican lawmakers Nicole Malliotakis and Claudia Tenney blasted President Biden Thursday after leaked footage revealed migrants being flown to a suburban part of the state. 

"This is a complete, aggravated dereliction of duty, which is why last night on Twitter I called for Joe Biden to be impeached and removed. His primary obligation as the commander-in-chief and president of the United States is to enforce our laws, to live up to his oath, to enforce our border security and to tell the truth to the American people," Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., told "Fox & Friends."

LEAKED VIDEO SHOWS FEDERAL CONTRACTORS FLYING MIGRANTS TO SUBURBAN NY: 'BETRAYING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE'

Leaked video shows migrants being transported on secret charter flights under the cover of night from southern border states to Westchester, New York. 

"The government is betraying the American people," a federal contractor told a Westchester County police officer in a conversation recorded on the officer’s body camera on the tarmac of a Westchester airport on Aug. 13, 2021. 

The footage was obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Reports first surfaced of such flights back in October when the New York Post captured video of the scene at the airport in  White Plains, New York.

"Our government is completely out of control right now. They have lied to us. They've lied to the American people," Astorino, who is running as a Republican for the governor of New York, said Wednesday on Fox News’ "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

Astorino said he personally saw the migrants being put on a bus to a Costco, where they were "then released into cars into the community."

 

 

Video

The 51-minute footage of the August incident shows Westchester Police Sgt. Michael Hamborsky peppering federal contractors early in the morning with questions about the after-hours flights and why local police were not provided details. 

"You’re on a secure facility here; we really don’t know anything and we’re in charge of security," he told one of the contractors.

"This is anti all our security stuff," Hamborsky said. 

Such flights first streamed into the suburban airport from places such as McAllen, and Houston, Texas, last August, according to the New York Post. They only stopped after the outlet captured footage of the scenes back in October.

Video exposes White House’s covert migrant resettlements

 

 

  Video

Malliotakis said aiding and abetting illegal immigration is a violation of the law. 

"And you have it coming from the president of the United States. It is completely unacceptable. The Supreme Court ruled that he had to reinstate Remain in Mexico and he’s clearly not done that," Malliotakis said.  

"In addition to that, you know that the drug cartels are making billions and billions of dollars every month with human trafficking, drug trafficking. We have the highest rate of fentanyl deaths in this country. Among 18 to 45-year-olds, it is the leading cause of death. Yet this president is on the side of the drug cartels and not the American people. We have many pieces of legislation that will address this very issue but we need to take the House first."

Fox News' Emma Colton contributed to this report.

 

Joshua Q. Nelson is a reporter for FoxNews.com. You can find him on Twitter @joshuaqnelson.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/media/video-biden-secret-migrant-flights-new-york-tenney-impeachment

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The Houthis Belong on the Terrorist List: The 'Humanitarian Crisis' Manipulation - Pete Hoekstra

 

​ by Pete Hoekstra

What the Houthis and similar groups see is: Extortion works, let's keep doing it!

  • The humanitarian situation in Yemen is indeed unbearable, but it is the Houthis who are causing and compounding it.

  • If the international community wants, it can pay a ransom to the people causing the suffering. It is a form of manipulation.... What the Houthis and similar groups see is: Extortion works, let's keep doing it!

  • The Houthis are backed by Iran, just like its designated terror proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas. All three terror groups are disruptive forces in the Middle East, and used by Iran in its efforts to undercut U.S. influence in the region and threaten Israel and the Gulf states.

  • The government of the internationally recognized Republic of Yemen also has presented intelligence showing that the Houthis work with al-Qaeda and ISIS to spread terror and conflict in the country.

  • The problem, therefore, is not just the Houthis, it is also Iran. When the Houthis are not listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), Iran is effectively invited to advance its nuclear weapons program and "export its revolution" -- with no obstruction.

  • Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda and ISIS are not groups that have earned the trust of the international community to help alleviate humanitarian crises anywhere in the world, ever.

  • Delay or failure to re-list the Houthis will only allow the problem to metastasize and further spread across the Middle East -- exactly the objective of Iran's regime. The Houthis' attacks on the UAE has shown the Iranian-backed terror proxy's reach expanding to build fear; they have already threatened more attacks.

  • How the U.S. addresses the threat posed by the Houthis will be closely watched by Iran's friends, the Russians and the Chinese. It will be watched by Iran's other proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas. It also will be watched closely by the friends of the U.S., including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia, the Philippines, Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

  • Allowing the Houthis -- and Iran -- unchecked freedom to terrorize the Middle East will only make the humanitarian crisis expand in scope and severity. Iran, Russia and China are saber rattling. The Biden Administration needs to show it will protect our allies, immediately redesignate the Houthis as an FTO, and make aggression unthinkable to our adversaries – not reward them.

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is indeed unbearable, but it is the Houthis who are causing and compounding it. The U.S. and the international community can no longer ignore or reward the malign behavior of Iran or the Houthis. Allowing the Houthis -- and Iran -- unchecked freedom to terrorize the Middle East will only make the humanitarian crisis expand in scope and severity. Pictured: Houthi forces in Sanaa, Yemen on April 8, 2021. (Photo by Mohammed Huwais/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. and the international community can no longer ignore or reward the malign behavior of Iran or the Houthis.

International pressure is growing to redesignate Yemen's Houthi rebels as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), but pushback is emerging from humanitarian groups who fear it could exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The concerns of these groups are not unfounded, but failure to relist the Houthis will not address the underlying, root cause of the issue -- Iran's destabilizing effects on the Middle East executed in concert with its terrorist proxies, which include the Houthis.

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is indeed unbearable, but it is the Houthis who are causing and compounding it.

The Houthis, it seems, are holding the people of Yemen hostage, as bargaining chips to dictate the terms of allowing humanitarian aid. If the Houthis are designated as terrorists, it seems, they will not let in humanitarian aid, and the civilians of Yemen will suffer. If the international community wants, it can pay a ransom to the people causing the suffering. It is a form of manipulation. It is called blackmail. Unfortunately, this kind of inverted arrangement -- high price, low suffering -- usually ends up making humanitarian crises worse. What the Houthis and similar groups see is: Extortion works, let's keep doing it!

Instead of rewarding the Houthis by delisting them, the U.S., the media, the international community, and humanitarian organizations need to call them out for their crimes against humanity, condemn them, and hold them to the harshest account.

There is no doubt about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The statistics are horrific, and the human suffering cannot be disputed. But while some are arguing that the humanitarian crisis is the reason the Biden Administration should not reinstate the Houthis to the FTO list, the hypothesis is wrong. In fact, it is exactly because of the growing calamity that the U.S. must redesignate the Houthis as an FTO.

Yemen has a poverty rate of 75%. In 2020 it reported over 200,000 cholera cases, in a country of roughly 29 million people. The NGO Humanity & Inclusion estimates that two-thirds of the population needs humanitarian assistance. It also estimates that 16 million are "food insecure", 15 million lack access to clean water, and 4 million are displaced. Staggering numbers indeed.

But these numbers highlight exactly why re-designating the Houthis as an FTO needs to take place. The Houthis are backed by Iran, just like its designated terror proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas. All three terror groups are disruptive forces in the Middle East, and used by Iran in its efforts to undercut U.S. influence in the region and threaten Israel and the Gulf states.

Iran's regime, since it came to power in 1979, has been working to spread its influence and "export its revolution" even further. The recent drone and missile attacks by the Houthis against civilians in the United Arab Emirates have destabilized global oil prices and further terrorized innocents on the Arabian Peninsula.

The government of the internationally recognized Republic of Yemen also has presented intelligence showing that the Houthis work with al-Qaeda and ISIS to spread terror and conflict in the country. The U.S. knows well the threat al-Qaeda poses to the international community. The world also knows how ISIS treated civilians under its control during the period when it governed a self-declared Caliphate covering parts of Syria and Iraq, from roughly 2014-2017. We can never forget the pictures of individuals being hurled off buildings or burned alive in cages.

The problem, therefore, is not just the Houthis, but also Iran. When the Houthis are not listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, Iran is effectively invited to advance its nuclear weapons program and "export its revolution" -- with no obstruction.

Iran has a history of violence and threats against America and its allies. Iranian agents plotted to blow up the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in our nation's capital. More recently, Iran plotted to kill the then U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks and kidnap and kill Iranian American journalist Masih Alinejad from her Brooklyn home. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has threatened the life of Salman Rushdie and this month released a video depicting the assassination of former President Donald J. Trump.

Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis, al-Qaeda and ISIS are not groups that have earned the trust of the international community to help alleviate humanitarian crises anywhere in the world, ever.

Forestalling the redesignation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization will only worsen the situation in the short- and long-term. Delay or failure to address the issue will only allow the problem to metastasize and further spread across the Middle East -- exactly the objective of Iran's regime. The Houthis' attacks on the UAE has shown the Iranian-backed terror proxy's reach expanding to build fear; they have already threatened more attacks.

There is no expectation that redesignating the Houthis as an FTO will resolve the issue or that humanitarian suffering in Yemen will end soon. However, failing to list the Houthis as an FTO will not resolve the issue either. Worse, it will only further Iran's and the Houthis' malign behavior. This issue has been ongoing for years; the U.S. and the international community need to confront the problem at its core. That means increasing pressure, and not rewarding Iran or the Houthis for terrorism.

The international community greatly appreciates the role that humanitarian organizations have played and are playing to serve those in need in Yemen. But these groups must assist the international community in holding Iran and the Houthis accountable for the suffering they are inflicting on the people of Yemen.

How the U.S. addresses the threat posed by the Houthis will be closely watched by Iran's friends, the Russians and the Chinese. It will be watched by Iran's other proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas. It also will be watched closely by the friends of the U.S., including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia, the Philippines, Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. If you are beginning to see a pattern, it is because it exists.

Allowing the Houthis -- and Iran -- unchecked freedom to terrorize the Middle East will only make the humanitarian crisis expand in scope and severity. Iran, Russia and China are saber rattling. The Biden Administration needs to show it will protect our allies, immediately redesignate the Houthis as an FTO, and make aggression unthinkable to our adversaries – not reward them.

 

Pete Hoekstra was US Ambassador to the Netherlands during the Trump administration. He served 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the second district of Michigan and served as Chairman and Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. He is currently Chairman of the Center for Security Policy Board of Advisors.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18177/yemen-humanitarian-crisis

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