Friday, April 29, 2022

Al-Aqsa Is Not Now, and Never Was, ‘Under Threat’ From Israel - Hugh Fitzgerald

 

by Hugh Fitzgerald

What the British used to call “the vivid oriental imagination” is at work.

 


Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Palestinian Authority all agree: Al-Aqsa Mosque has recently been “under threat” because those wild-eyed Israeli “settlers” – madmen all – were about to engage in the ritual slaughter of a lamb on top of the Temple Mount, as part of a diabolical effort to take over Al-Aqsa, bit by bit, and convert it to a synagogue. Those Palestinians, and especially the terrorists among them, have a rich fantasy life, what the British in the Middle East used to drily call “the vivid oriental imagination.”

A report by Nadav Shragai on the Palestinians exploiting the Temple Mount conflict as an excuse for another war with Israel can be found here: “Al-Aqsa Mosque is by no means under threat,” by Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom, April 17, 2022:

Hamas is trying—and may succeed—in dragging Israel into a conflict on multiple fronts, with the Temple Mount serving as the trigger, exactly as was the case in April 2021. This time, as on previous occasions, the cry is the modern blood libel that “Al-Aqsa is under threat.”For more than a week now, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have been spreading online stories about how a ritual Passover sacrifice will be carried out on the Temple Mount this year.

They’re knowingly lying now, just as they were in the past. They know the Temple Mount’s history over the last 55 yearsThey know that Israel has never allowed such a ritual to be performed. Moreover, via a number of channels, including Jordanian, Egyptian and American, the Palestinians—the radical Muslims among them—have received clarification that this year, too, no such ritual will be allowed to take place.

Ever since Israel took possession of the Temple Mount in 1967, it has forbidden Jews from making a ritual sacrifice of a lamb at Passover. This year was no different from the previous 54. When Raphael Morris, the leader of the fringe group Returning to the Mount, announced that the group would this year be offering NS 10000 (about $3,091 USD) to anyone who would perform the Pascal lamb sacrifice on Friday, April 15, the Israeli authorities raided his house, took away the lamb tethered inside, and prohibited him not only from visiting the Mount, but from getting anywhere near the Old City. There was never the slightest chance that the Jewish ritual sacrifice would take place. You wouldn’t know that, however, from the hysteria about such a possibility coming – still – from the Palestinians.

But Hamas and their ilk chose to ignore this and set the Temple Mount on fire because such a conflagration—geared to once again suck in Arab Israelis and pour gasoline on the already burning fire of terrorism—suits them at this time.

At this time, Hamas is not prepared for, and does not want, to fight the Israelis in Gaza. Instead it is trying to stir up trouble – incite violence – among the Palestinians in PA-ruled parts of the West Bank and among the Israeli Arabs. Spreading alarm about supposed Israeli threats to Al-Aqsa is the easiest way to rouse the Palestinians, and Israeli Arabs, to violence. 

The police have thus far been gentle, initially proposing that Waqf officials try to disperse the rioters themselves. This was a miske. Even if it wanted to—and it doesn’t—the Waqf is incapable of confronting Hamas. Some senior Waqf officials were and perhaps remain connected to Hamas.

So eager were the Israelis not to have to suppress the rioters themselves – they were trying to avoid a confrontation, not to create one, with the Arabs – that they suggested that the Jordanians, whose Waqf administers the mosque site, take charge of dispersing the rioters who were throwing rocks and other objects at the Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall. The Waqf refused, and the Israeli police, reluctantly, took on the messy task. It wasn’t easy; on Friday, April 15, the first day of the rioting, it took six hours to suppress the maddened Allahu-akbaring rioters.

Preparations for the riots and clashes, the largest seen since the IDF’s “Operation Guardian of the Walls” in the Gaza Strip last May, began on Thursday night and were carried out in the open. The stockpiles of rocks, bottles and explosives should have been confiscated the moment they began to pile up, and the rioters should have been pulled off the Temple Mount before, and not after, the riots began.

There was nothing hidden about the rioters’ plans. The day before the riots started, the weapons – rocks, bottles, explosives — were openly being piled up, ready for use the next day. Israel Hayom’s Nadav Shragai wonders why, at that point, the police did not confiscate those weapons before any of them could be used. Did the police think that if they tried to seize those weapons, the Arabs would certainly respond violently, using whatever weapons they already had in their possession, in order to prevent the whole stockpile from being confiscated? Perhaps the police thought that if they waited, perhaps calmer heads among the Arabs might prevail the next day. Was it worth waiting to see what the Arabs decided? Shragai thinks the police made a mistake, and so do many others in Israel.

But it is difficult to conduct oneself correctly when the public security minister is Labor’s Omer Barlev, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Ra’am Party, whose members have repeatedly identified with the worst of our enemies, is a coalition partner. Shamefully, it was only hours after the rocks were thrown at the Western Wall that the decision was finally made to act with greater force.

Shragai is contemptuous of Omar Barlev, as are many on the right, for the Minister of Public Security’s expression of concern about “settler violence,” which he has apparently exaggerated – only a few hundred settlers out of 500,000 in Judea and Samaria, after all, have been involved in retaliatory violence against the Palestinians. The power of the Arab Ra’am Party, that has not hesitated to make common cause with Palestinians against their own country, Israel, may also have played a part in delaying a firm reaction to the violence on the Temple Mount by the Israeli police. Hours went by, during which rocks and bottles were continuously thrown on worshipers at the Western Wall, before the police finally went into action to grab, disarm, and arrest the rioters. By that time, the violence had spread all across the Al-Aqsa esplanade, and the greatly outnumbered police were themselves the victims of Arab aggression, dodging rocks and Molotov cocktails, as they attempted to round up the most egregious malefactors.

As always when it comes to the Temple Mount, Jordan has played a double game. This time around, Israel went out of its way to coordinate with the Hashemite Kingdom. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz spoke to King Abdullah II and his people before Ramadan even began. The Jordanians were asked to ensure there was no nocturnal barricading inside the mosque. They succeeded at this for a few nights but failed on Thursday night.

Jordan’s King Abdullah is no profile in courage. He wants to keep his throne, and his head, for that matter. He will not do anything that could inflame the more than 60% of the Jordanian population that is Palestinian. He knows that Israel did not start the violence on the Temple Mount, and that the Israelis were perfectly willing to let the Jordanians, because of their role administering the Waqf, do the policing early on, before those intent on rioting had armed themselves. Had Jordanian police arrested a hundred or so Arabs on the Temple Mount on Thursday, after their stockpiling of rocks made their intentions clear, and before they had had a chance to arm themselves, as they did on Friday morning, the crowds might have sullenly dispersed. But Jordan shirked its responsibility. It didn’t want to be seen as keeping the Palestinians on the Temple Mount under control, for fear of how it would be viewed at home.

The Israeli police stationed on the Temple Mount did not “invade” Al-Aqsa. It was those Arab rioters, who stockpiled rocks and other weapons inside the mosque, who were the true invaders, violating the sanctity of the place. It was those Arabs who from the 35-acre esplanade of the Temple Mount, tried to injure or kill, by throwing rocks down on them, the Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall far below. Given that, it is unconscionable for the Israeli police to have waited apparently for several hours before finally acting to push back, and disarm, the rioters.

It is the Jews of Israel who have bent over backward to accommodate the Arabs on the Temple Mount. When Israel took possession of the Temple Mount in June 1967, it might have insisted that Jews be allowed to pray at the holiest site in Judaism. At that point, still staggering from their recent loss, the Arabs would have been unable to oppose Israel’s wishes. Instead, in a move that many Jews have come to regret, the Israeli government. decided that it would prohibit Jews from praying aloud, or even praying silently, on the top of the Temple Mount. That’s how eager the Israelis were not to offend Arabs and Muslims. And Israel went even further. It severely limited the number of religious Jews allowed onto the Mount at any one time. Until 2003, only five – five! – were allowed to visit the Mount. By now, that number is up to 50. Compare that to the unlimited number of Arabs who are allowed on the Temple Mount, sometimes numbering up to 80,000. They can arrive at any time of day, every day of the week. But the Jews can only come, thanks to a decision of the Israelis themselves, during a designated four-hour period each day, and then only for five out of the seven days of the week. How many people around the world, who have been brainwashed by the media to believe that it is the Israelis who are trying to “take over” the Temple Mount, know these things?

 

Hugh Fitzgerald

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/04/al-aqsa-not-now-and-never-was-under-threat-israel-hugh-fitzgerald/

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Musk breaks silence on Biden disinformation board formation after Twitter buyout: 'Discomforting' - Andrew Mark Miller

 

by Andrew Mark Miller

The disinformation board has been widely slammed by conservatives on Twitter

 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared to react negatively on Twitter in response to the Biden administration’s establishment of a "Disinformation Governance Board" to combat online disinformation just days after Musk’s deal to buy Twitter.

"Discomforting," the South African billionaire posted on Twitter in response to a tweet from conservative commentator Steven Crowder comparing the newly established board to Nazi Germany.

Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk

Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

TRUMP WILL NOT RETURN TO TWITTER EVEN AS ELON MUSK PURCHASES PLATFORM, WILL BEGIN USING HIS OWN TRUTH SOCIAL

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified Wednesday that a "Disinformation Governance Board" had recently been created, days after Musk purchased Twitter, to combat online disinformation.

Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter in a deal worth more than $43 billion and take the social media company private.

Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter in a deal worth more than $43 billion and take the social media company private. (Reuters)

"The goal is to bring the resources of (DHS) together to address this threat," Mayorkas said, adding that the department is focused on the spread of disinformation in minority communities 

ELON MUSK CONDEMNS TWITTER CENSORSHIP OF NY POST’S HUNTER LAPTOP STORY: ‘OBVIOUSLY INCREDIBLY INAPPROPRIATE’

The move received immediate criticism from Republicans including from Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley who called the board a "disgrace" and accused the board’s executive director Nina Jankowicz, who previously served as a disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center, of being a "leftist radical."

Jankowicz has been slammed for previously seeming to dismiss the legitimacy of Hunter Biden’s laptop, which has been independently verified by multiple news outlets, and once referred to it as a "Trump campaign product."

Elon Musk speaks in Hawthorne, California, Dec. 18, 2018.

Elon Musk speaks in Hawthorne, California, Dec. 18, 2018.  (Robyn Beck/Pool via Reuters/File Photo)

Representatives for Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox Business.

 

Andrew Mark Miller is a writer at Fox News. Find him on Twitter @andymarkmiller and email tips to AndrewMark.Miller@Fox.com.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/musk-comparison-of-disinformation-board-nazi-germany-discomforting

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Jordan pressuring Israel to maintain status quo on Temple Mount - i24 News

 

by i24 News

As tensions at the holy site mount, Israel's government has made it clear it will not alter the existing status quo to avoid confrontation.

 

 

i24 News

Source: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/326564

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Putin's Genocide on Holocaust Memorial Day - Lawrence Kadish

 

by Lawrence Kadish

Even the normally moribund United Nations has been compelled to raise its voice about the growing evidence of war crimes.


If there are aliens who have taken a road trip to our remote part of the Milky Way they must be deeply appalled at what they continue to find here – most recently the calculated campaign by Putin's Russian Army to murder civilians in Ukraine. (Photo by MikhailKlimentyev/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

If there are aliens who have taken a road trip to our remote part of the Milky Way they must be deeply appalled at what they continue to find here – most recently the calculated campaign by Putin's Russian Army to murder civilians in Ukraine.

If those aliens have conquered time and space they would have found that their periodic visits have witnessed one form of genocide or another through virtually every century of human "civilization" on this globe.

Before going any further, it would be wise to define the term. Wikipedia says "Genocide is the intentional destruction of a people — usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group — in whole or in part. Raphael Lemkin coined the term in 1944,[1][2] combining the Greek word γένος (genos, "race, people") with the Latin suffix -caedo ("act of killing").[3]"

Historians suggest that they can chronicle the first act of genocide, Rome's march against Carthage, with Marcus Cato quoted as justifying the coming massacre by asking his fellow Roman Senators, "Who are the ones who have waged war most cruelly? ... Who are the ones who have ravaged Italy? The Carthaginians."

In the Roman Legion siege that followed, historians say that at least 150,000 Carthaginians perished, many of them civilians, with one Roman remarking that "the number of deaths was incredibly high..."

The tyrants that followed throughout history would probably describe that butcher's bill as just one day's worth of work: there would be much worse to follow. Historians say we still do not appreciate the ruthless brutality of Genghis Khan.

The 20th Century started with the Turks attempt to destroy the Armenians in a barbaric forced march during World War I that remains a dark stain on the history of mankind.

It would be the Nazis that would surely shock the aliens for, from their orbital perch, they would have seen the industrial might of a nation turned to killing men, women, and children in places that could only be described as murder factories. The aliens would be hard pressed to understand how a group of supposed humans would seek to kill off an entire portion of their own species.

Now Putin, with the indiscriminate bombing of civilians and the torture and execution of villagers, is leaving a wake of mass graves in Ukraine. Even the normally moribund United Nations has been compelled to raise its voice about the growing evidence of war crimes.

As yet another anniversary is observed of Holocaust Remembrance Day we dare not lose our sense of outrage at this latest destruction of humanity by a ruler who believes himself above the law, above morality, and above the judgment of history. If there are aliens viewing from a great distance Putin's savagery, they need to know this civilization will never forgive or forget those who have committed the ultimate crime of genocide.

 

Lawrence Kadish serves on the Board of Governors of Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18474/putin-genocide-on-holocaust-memorial-day

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Human Rights Watch, ACLU, Amnesty Intl. Clutch Their Pearls in Horror At Elon Musk’s Purchase of Twitter - Robert Spencer

 

by Robert Spencer

They hate free speech and want you to think it's dangerous.

 


There has been one salutary effect of the weeks-long efforts of Elon Musk to gain control of Twitter, and the debate over the freedom of speech that ensued: now the Left’s foremost individuals and institutions are out in the open about their hatred for the freedom of speech. The authoritarian heart of the Left has been exposed, as has their war against the foundational principle of any free society: the right to express oneself even if one’s opinions don’t coincide with those of the powerful and/or moneyed elites. Barack and Hillary hate the freedom of speech and want you to think it’s a dangerous toy, too dangerous for you to play with. And now three pillars of the unctuous and hypocritical Leftist “human rights” establishment, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have come out against it as well.

Reuters, adopting the solemn, even funereal tone it reserves for significant Leftist setbacks, noted Monday that Musk has described himself as a “free speech absolutist” and has called the freedom of expression the “bedrock of a functioning democracy.” That’s exactly what it is, and that’s why Leftists are enraged that someone who believes such things has gained control of one of the foremost means of mass communication in our age. They had become complacent in their control of such outlets, as confident of the rightness of their power as much as any medieval king was in his divine election; but now their hegemony has been severely challenged, and so it’s time to try to shape public opinion by calling out the self-appointed and reliably Leftist “defenders of human rights” to explain to us why this is so very, very wrong.

Deborah Brown, whom Reuters describes as a “digital rights researcher and advocate” at Human Rights Watch, asserted: “Regardless of who owns Twitter, the company has human rights responsibilities to respect the rights of people around the world who rely on the platform. Changes to its policies, features, and algorithms, big and small, can have disproportionate and sometimes devastating impacts, including offline violence. Freedom of expression is not an absolute right, which is why Twitter needs to invest in efforts to keep its most vulnerable users safe on the platform.”

See, it’s all about preventing violence. As the Left relentlessly insists, conservative speech not only leads to violence, but in itself amounts to violence. If Twitter allows freedom of speech, people are going to get hurt. This argument would have a great deal more force if Human Rights Watch had ever called out Antifa or Black Lives Matter violence, or if the “white supremacists” that Biden and Merrick Garland and other Leftists keep insisting are the biggest terror threat the nation faces today actually showed themselves, or if HRW had ever shown concern about Leftist violence against those who dissent from its agenda. But HRW is not remotely consistent; it has never shown any concern for the violence that might arise from Leftist speech. What’s more, the warning that speech can lead to violence ignores the fact that even the most ardent free speech advocate is not in favor of allowing the free propagation of actual calls for violence or illegal activity. Evans is just employing a tested tool of the Left: the claim that speech simply must be restricted, because if it isn’t, people are going to get hurt. This remains spectacularly unproven.

Meanwhile, Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, declared that the real problem was Musk himself: “While Elon Musk is an ACLU card-carrying member and one of our most significant supporters, there’s a lot of danger having so much power in the hands of any one individual.” Yet that individual has declared his determination to let people speak whose opinions are marginalized and demonized by the political and media elites. The ACLU’s real concern seems to be that the cultural power that has been almost solely in the hands of the Left for so long may not be its exclusive property for much longer.

But Michael Kleinman, director of technology and human rights at Amnesty International USA, sees trouble ahead: “The last thing we need is a Twitter that willfully turns a blind eye to violent and abusive speech against users, particularly those most disproportionately impacted, including women, non-binary persons, and others.” Right. Those who call for violence and illegal behavior should indeed be deplatformed. But the self-anointed guardians of acceptable opinion have for far too long regarded any disagreement as violent, hateful, and abusive. If free society is to continue, that must end. All free people must hope that Elon Musk can actually make this happen. If he does, the reverberations will be felt far beyond Twitter.

 

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/2022/04/human-rights-watch-aclu-amnesty-international-robert-spencer/

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NY State top court throws out Dems’ gerrymandered congressional redistricting plan - Thomas Lifson

 

by Thomas Lifson

A huge blow to Democrats' prospects in the House of Representatives.

 

In a huge blow to Democrats’ prospects in the House of Representatives, the highest court in New York State threw out the Congressional redistricting map adopted by that state’s legislature. Nicholas Fando of the New York Times:

In a sweeping 32-page ruling, a divided New York State Court of Appeals chided Democrats for ignoring a constitutional amendment adopted by voters in 2014 to curb political influence in the redistricting process. The amendment also created a new outside commission to guide the process.

The judges additionally found that the congressional districts designed by Democrats violated an explicit state ban on partisan gerrymandering, undercutting the party’s national campaign to brand itself as the champion of voting rights.

Writing for the four-judge majority, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said that Democratic lawmakers created congressional and State Senate maps in a way that was “procedurally unconstitutional,” and that the congressional map in particular was “drawn with impermissible partisan purpose.”

As CNN notes:

A 2014 amendment to New York’s constitution created an independent redistricting commission that was obligated to draw a plan for the congressional map and present that plan to the state legislature for a vote. After the commission’s first sets of district lines failed in the legislature, the commission did not submit a second plan. At that point, the state legislature drew the now-blocked map.

Instead of allowing the Democratic-led state legislature to pass a new map, Wednesday’s decision returned the issue to lower court Judge Patrick McCallister, allowing him to work with a special master to draw the map. McCallister already appointed Jonathan Cervas as a special master and said the new congressional map will be issued by May 24.

FiveThirtyEight has a graphic that represents the map just rejected, and its change from ten years earlier:

 

In order to allow time for candidates to circulate petitions for a place on the ballot, the primary will have to be moved from June to August.  

What is most remarkable about this decision is that all 7 judges on the Court of Appeals were appointed by Democrat governors. But judges are not immune to the public’s attitude toward politics, and Governor Hochul, and by extension, the Democrat-dominated state legislature, have earned a high degree of distrust.

According to FiveThirtyEight:

 There are currently 19 Democrats and eight Republicans in New York’s congressional delegation, so this map likely would have resulted in Democrats gaining three House seats in the 2022 election and Republicans losing four, from just New York alone.

Meanwhile, Republican-dominated Florida has its own gerrymandered congressional redistricting map that, according to FiveThirtyEight “ it is a dream map for partisan Republicans, single-handedly adding four new Republicans to the U.S. House of Representatives.”

That map, too is being litigated in court, and may not survive.

 

Thomas Lifson

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2022/04/ny_state_top_court_throws_out_dems_gerrymandered_congressional_redistricting_plan.html

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China and Russia's 'Space War': Where Is The US? - Judith Bergman

 

by Judith Bergman

"Fifteen years after China's ASAT strike, we still lack the ability to defeat an attack on our space systems or launch an offensive strike if circumstances warrant." — US Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton (Ret.)

  • "Evidence of both nations' intent to undercut the United States and allied leadership in the space domain can be seen in the growth of combined in-orbit assets of China and Russia, which grew approximately 70% in just two years." — Kevin Ryder, senior analyst at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for space and counterspace, Air Force Magazine April 12, 2022.

  • Space has already become the scene of an ongoing "shadow war" in which China and Russia conduct attacks against U.S. satellites with lasers, radio frequency jammers, and cyber-attacks every day, according to General David Thompson, the U.S. Space Force's first vice chief of space operations.

  • "The threats are really growing and expanding every single day.... We're really at a point now where there's a whole host of ways that our space systems can be threatened.... Hostile action toward our space-based assets is not a question of 'if,' but instead, 'when.'" — General David Thompson, Washington Post, November 30, 2021.

  • "Fifteen years after China's ASAT strike, we still lack the ability to defeat an attack on our space systems or launch an offensive strike if circumstances warrant." — US Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton (Ret.), former commander of U.S. Strategic Command and Air Force Space Command, The Hill, April 12, 2022.

  • "The PLA [People's Liberation Army] will continue to integrate space services... to erode the U.S. military's information advantage." — Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, February 2022.

  • "If deterrence were to fail, we would face an adversary that has integrated space into all aspects of their military operations.... Space provides the foundation of everything we do as a joint force, from delivering humanitarian assistance to combat on the ground, in the air, and at sea.... We cannot afford to lose space; without it we will fail." — General John W. Raymond, U.S. Chief of Space Operations, Space Force News, April 5, 2022.

Space has already become the scene of an ongoing "shadow war" in which China and Russia conduct attacks against U.S. satellites with lasers, radiofrequency jammers, and cyber-attacks every day, according to General David Thompson, the U.S. Space Force's first vice chief of space operations. Pictured: A Long March 3B rocket, carrying the Beidou-3GEO3 satellite, lifts off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China's Sichuan province on June 23, 2020. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Space-based threats from China and Russia have grown exponentially in recent years, according to a new report on the issue by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), published April 12.

"Evidence of both nations' intent to undercut the United States and allied leadership in the space domain can be seen in the growth of combined in-orbit assets of China and Russia, which grew approximately 70% in just two years," noted Kevin Ryder, DIA senior analyst for space and counterspace. "This recent and continuing expansion follows a more than 200% increase between 2015 and 2018."

"Space is a warfighting domain now," said Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall in April.

"China's long-standing and extensive modernization program is the greatest challenge... Although China is the Department's pacing challenge, we also regard Russia as an acute threat."

Space has already become the scene of an ongoing "shadow war" in which China and Russia conduct attacks against U.S. satellites with lasers, radio frequency jammers, and cyber-attacks every day, according to General David Thompson, the U.S. Space Force's first vice chief of space operations. The attacks are "reversible" for now, which means that the damage to the attacked satellites is not permanent, but they amply demonstrate the intentions and abilities of the two main competitors of the United States in space.

"The threats are really growing and expanding every single day. And it's really an evolution of activity that's been happening for a long time," Thompson said in November 2021. "We're really at a point now where there's a whole host of ways that our space systems can be threatened."

China leads by far over Russia. "The Chinese are actually well ahead [of Russia]," according to Thompson. "They're fielding operational systems at an incredible rate." Some of those systems are ground-based, such as anti-satellite missiles (ASAT) and lasers intended to blind, damage, or destroy satellites. Others are space-based, such as orbiting "killer" satellites programmed to attack other satellites at a certain point in time, whether with blinding lasers, robotic arms or other means meant to destroy or incapacitate. According to the Pentagon's 2021 report to Congress on China's military capabilities:

"The PLA continues to acquire and develop a range of counterspace capabilities and related technologies, including kinetic-kill missiles, ground-based lasers, and orbiting space robots, as well as expanding space surveillance capabilities, which can monitor objects in space within their field of view and enable counterspace actions."

In January 2007, China tested its first successful ASAT, destroying one of its own inactive weather satellites and creating one of the world's largest space debris incidents. According to the Pentagon's 2021 report:

"The PRC has an operational ground-based Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile intended to target low-Earth orbit satellites, and China probably intends to pursue additional ASAT weapons capable of destroying satellites up to geosynchronous Earth orbit".

Russia tested another ASAT in November 2021, during which it successfully destroyed one of its inactive Soviet-era satellites, creating 1,500 pieces of debris in what General Thompson has called an "incredibly dangerous and irresponsible act." The ASAT was part of Russia's mobile missile defense complex known as Nudol, which, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency's new report, is "capable of destroying ballistic missiles and low-orbiting satellites." Russia is reportedly also developing an air-launched ASAT weapon that could be launched from aircraft, such as the Russian MiG-31, to target spacecraft in low earth orbit.

What is concerning is that the US appears to be at a grave disadvantage countering such attacks. "Fifteen years after China's ASAT strike, we still lack the ability to defeat an attack on our space systems or launch an offensive strike if circumstances warrant," Retired US Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, former commander of U.S. Strategic Command and Air Force Space Command, noted.

"Hostile action toward our space-based assets is not a question of 'if,' but instead, 'when.' Attacks are regularly occurring at lower thresholds. Our adversaries fully understand the U.S. military's reliance upon these systems and will seek to compromise or destroy them to gain a decisive advantage in any terrestrial conflict... The goal is to develop resilient, defendable capabilities that can withstand an attack, while also developing offensive options that will deter strikes against our systems in orbit."

While China has made it a goal to become the world's leading space power by 2045, China could overtake the United States by the end of the decade, according to General Thompson -- especially because China is putting up satellites at twice the rate of the United States.

"We are still the best in the world, clearly in terms of capability. They're catching up quickly... We should be concerned by the end of this decade if we don't adapt."

In addition, China's space station, Tinangong, is expected to become fully operational between 2022 and 2024. Three Chinese astronauts, one of them a former fighter pilot and another a People's Liberation Army (PLA) pilot, just landed back in China after spending six months in space working on the space station. China plans to continue conducting explorations on the moon, including establishing a robotic research station, and in March 2021 signed a memorandum of understanding with Russia on a joint lunar research station.

The latest threat assessment report of the US intelligence community, published in February, also makes it clear that while both Russia and China "increasingly see space as a warfighting domain", the greater threat comes from China. According to the report:

"The PLA will continue to integrate space services—such as satellite reconnaissance and positioning, navigation, and timing—and satellite communications into its weapons and command-and-control systems to erode the U.S. military's information advantage.

"Counterspace operations will be integral to potential military campaigns by the PLA, and China has counterspace-weapons capabilities intended to target U.S. and allied satellites. The PLA is fielding new destructive and nondestructive ground- and space-based antisatellite (ASAT) weapons."

In a recent speech, U.S. Chief of Space Operations General John W. Raymond described just how crucial space is to warfare and why it is paramount that the United States remain the preeminent space power:

"If deterrence were to fail, we would face an adversary that has integrated space into all aspects of their military operations. They use space to detect, track, and target our forces with long-range precision weapons. Space provides the foundation of everything we do as a joint force, from delivering humanitarian assistance to combat on the ground, in the air, and at sea. Our joint operational plans assume assured access to space. ... We cannot afford to lose space; without it we will fail."

 

Judith Bergman, a columnist, lawyer and political analyst, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18451/china-russia-space-war

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‘Al Qaeda Is on Our Side’: How Obama and Biden Aided Our Enemies in Syria - Robert Spencer

 

by Robert Spencer

What could possibly go wrong?

 


Jake Sullivan is Old Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor, and it’s clear from a revealing piece published in RealClearInvestigations Wednesday that he is just as wrongheaded, in over his head, and incapable of putting the interests of the American people first as the rest of the Biden team. In a lengthy investigative article, journalist Aaron Maté establishes that “Obama officials now back in office under President Biden coordinated with the jihadist franchise in an effort to topple the Syrian regime – while claiming they backed only the ‘moderate opposition.’” Sullivan was one of the foremost of those officials, and now he and others are back, having learned nothing.

Maté noted that “in waging a multi-billion dollar covert war in support of the insurgency against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, top Obama officials who now serve under Biden made it American policy to enable and arm terrorist groups that attracted jihadi fighters from across the globe. This regime change campaign, undertaken one decade after Al Qaeda attacked the U.S. on 9/11, helped a sworn U.S. enemy establish the Idlib safe haven that it still controls today.” In the course of this wrongheaded campaign, Sullivan, who was then Director of Policy Planning, wrote to his boss, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “AQ [Al Qaeda] is on our side in Syria.”

I was among the few who were calling attention to this astoundingly foolish policy at the time. On Sept. 17, 2013, I wrote at JihadWatch.org: “The U.S. is now officially on the side of al-Qaeda.” This was because of Barack Obama’s plan to arm and train “vetted” members of the Free Syrian Army. In September 2014, said the New York Times, “Mr. Obama said he envisioned the Free Syrian Army’s providing the ground presence needed to confront ISIS in Syria.” Obama also said: “We have a Free Syrian Army and a moderate opposition that we have steadily been working with that we have vetted.”

But the Free Syrian Army was not vetted, not moderate, and never actually in a position to confront ISIS. Nor did it ever do so. There were numerous reasons why Obama’s plan was unwise from the start. In July 2013, Free Syrian Army fighters entered the Christian village of Oum Sharshouh and began burning down houses and terrorizing the population, forcing 250 Christian families to flee the area. Nor was that an isolated incident. Worthy News reported that just two days after the attack on Oum Sharshouh, Free Syrian Army rebels “targeted the residents of al-Duwayr/Douar, a Christian village close to the city of Homs and near Syria’s border with Lebanon … Around 350 armed militants forcefully entered the homes of Christian families who were all rounded-up in the main square of the village and then summarily executed.”

The New York Times reported in August 2014 that, according to Abu Osama, a member of a Nusra Front brigade that participated in the attack, the Arsal assault was “a combined operation involving fighters from the Free Syrian Army, the Nusra Front and ISIS.” And PJ Media reported the following month that “multiple media reports indicate that the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) is operating openly with ISIS and other designated terrorist groups.”

And while all this was going on, Jake Sullivan and his colleagues in the Obama State Department assumed that the Free Syrian Army was a moderate force that was on their side and even that al-Qaeda was fighting on our side in Syria. Foreign Policy Journal reported in August 2015 that none other than Gen. Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), had confirmed that “not only had he studied the DIA memo predicting the West’s backing of an Islamic State in Syria when it came across his desk in 2012, but even asserts that the White House’s sponsoring of radical jihadists (that would emerge as ISIL and Nusra) against the Syrian regime was ‘a willful decision.’”

When Flynn was asked if “the administration turned a blind eye” to analyses explaining how the Syrian “rebels” against the Assad regime were actually Islamic jihadists who wanted to establish a hardline Sharia state in Syria, Flynn responded: “I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision … It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.” That is, arm those Salafist, al-Qaeda, and Muslim Brotherhood elements, and do all they could to enable them to succeed.

Now the same ignorant, fatuous, self-defeating team is back in charge at the State Department. What could possibly go wrong?

 

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/2022/04/al-qaeda-our-side-how-obama-and-biden-aided-our-robert-spencer/

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Robert Spencer’s Qur’an - Bruce Bawer

 

by Bruce Bawer

A new annotated Qur’an that belongs in every sensible citizen’s library.

 


Robert Spencer's The Critical Qur’an is coming out May 3. It has zoomed to the top: #1 bestselling Qur’an in the U.S. Pre-order: HERE.

The fate of the Western world has been bound up with Islam ever since that religion was founded - but its impact has been especially dire during the last few decades of mass immigration and large-scale terrorism. It’s obviously important, then, for people in the West to know as much as possible about Islamic values and beliefs. But where to find the facts, and how to know that they really are the facts? The Islamic Studies departments of universities, which are staffed almost entirely with devout believers and other apologists, won’t give you the real dope. Neither will most online resources or the overwhelming majority of the books on the subject issued by the large corporate publishers. One might assume that the solution lies in reading the Qur’an - but the English-language editions aimed primarily at non-Muslim readers are notoriously unreliable: the most problematic passages are routinely translated in such a way as to minimize the problems, and the editors, in their introductions, footnotes, and other apparatus, systematically put the most benign interpretations on everything.

Which is why the brilliant, prolific Robert Spencer’s newest book, The Critical Qu’ran: Explained from Key Islamic Commentaries and Contemporary Historical Research, is so immensely valuable. As Spencer himself writes in his introduction: “The Critical Qur’an is designed to equip the English-speaking reader with a knowledge of the Qur’an and how it is interpreted in Islam, and to see how mainstream Islamic commentators understand the text, particularly its passages that are most problematic for non-Muslim readers: the exhortations to jihad warfare, the Sharia provisions that call for the denial of various rights to women, and the like. In numerous other editions of the Qur’an, these are obscured with apologetic intent. Here, they are explained in full.”

Indeed they are - and hurrah for that. About time! Spencer, the single most nearly indispensable student of Islam in our time, provides an introduction to each of the Qur’an's 114 suras (chapters), explaining its title, clarifying its theological significance, expounding upon its role in Islamic tradition, and discussing any textual issues. He also states whether it is one of the earlier suras, purportedly revealed to Muhammed when he lived in Mecca (the limited number of suras that sound relatively benign date to this period), or one of the later (and not at all benign) suras, which were supposedly revealed during Muhammed’s later years in Medina, and which are viewed by Muslim believers as “abrogating,” or superseding, the gentler Meccan ones.

In addition, Spencer provides a dizzying array of footnotes, some of them veritable essays on key topics in Islam. In them he points out any Biblical borrowings, influences, or parallels (“This passage is loosely based on Genesis 2:19”) and any contradictions between the footnoted verse and other passages of the Qur’an: “The identification of Iblis as an angel here contradicts 18:50, which states that Iblis is a jinn”; “Allah here creates the universe in eight days, but at 7:54, 10:3, 11:7, 25:59, 32:4, and 50:38, he does it in six days.” (For any believing Muslim, it is impossible to acknowledge that the Qur’an contains any internal contradictions at all.) Spencer draws reader attention to Qur’anic statements of objective physical reality - for instance, about the sky and stars (“the sky would fall upon the earth were it not for the fact that Allah holds it up”) and the male and female reproductive systems - that are wildly at odds with actual cosmological and biological fact, and that are thus, for Muslims, causes for concern as well as sources of embarrassment, given the unassailable claim, to which all Muslims are obliged to subscribe, that the Qur’an was dictated to Muhammed directly by Allah and is thus entirely without error.

Spencer’s annotations also draw the reader’s attention to passages that have played a significant role in shaping Muslim views on various topics. The sentences beginning at verse 4:34, for instance, have influenced Islamic attitudes toward women in a major way. The passage itself reads in part as follows: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend of their property. So good women are obedient, guarding in secret what Allah has guarded. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, give them a warning and banish them to separate beds, and beat them.” Spencer’s gloss, also in part: “Wife-beating exists in all cultures, but only in Islam does it enjoy divine sanction.”

And here’s Spencer on verse 4:24: “Allah forbids Muslims to marry women who are already married, except slave girls….According to Islamic law, once a woman is captured and enslaved, her marriage is immediately annulled. This verse is the basis for the practice of seizing infidel women and making them sex slaves, practiced in the modern age by the Islamic State (ISIS), Boko Haram, and other jihad groups.” At 65:4, in the sura entitled “Divorce,” Spencer makes sure that readers don’t miss a passing reference to wives “who do not yet menstruate” - which, as he puts it, “assumes that the believers will be marrying, and divorcing, prepubescent girls.” An assumption that, alas, is still valid in the twenty-first century.

Many of Spencer’s footnotes comment on passages that reflect telling contrasts between Islam and Christianity. For example, he underscores that “there is nothing akin to Jesus’s ‘turn the other cheek’ (Matthew 5:39) in the Qur’an.” And he observes that “Islam considers Muhammad as just a human being, yet he cannot be depicted and insults to him must be avenged, while Christianity considers Christ divine and yet has no problem with visual depictions of him, and bears insults of him with patience, or at the very least without responding violently.” 

Furthermore, Spencer highlights the fact that “there has been no development in Islam of the historical and textual criticism that has transformed the ways Jews and Christians understand their scriptures today. This is in large part because there is no doubt about the Qur’an and no questioning of it; to study it in a historical-critical way would be impious in itself.” Then there’s this: “In a notable departure from the Christian concept of martyrdom, Allah allows Muslims to deny their faith when forced to do so” - a highly useful and oft-employed dodge known as taqiyya, which the Qur’an slickly distinguishes from lying, even though there’s no real distinction at all.

For anyone familiar with the Bible, the experience of reading this unexpurgated, candidly footnoted Qur’an can’t help but provide powerful insight into the stark contrast between Christianity and Islam. Anyone searching in the Qur'an for gospel-like passages about love, kindness, and forgiveness (or parables about virtuous non-believers, such as the good Samaritan) is wasting his time. In fact, the Qur’anic passages about non-believers - which have had a profound impact on Muslim attitudes toward non-Muslims - could hardly be less congenial. Indeed, to examine just a few of the passages that Spencer flags for having influenced those attitudes is to acquire a vivid sense of just how students of the Qur'an have been taught to view the infidel. A few samples of Spencer’s commentaries on those passages:

  • In a footnote to verse 2:8, Spencer notes that the Jews’ rejection of Islam is the reason “why most Muslims don’t accept the idea that the Jews have any right to the land of Israel.” 
  • Commenting on verse 2:18, Spencer notes that “[t]he charge that those who do not believe in Islam are ‘deaf, dumb, and blind’ (cf. 2:171) is an indication of the Islamic assumption that those who reject Islam are not operating in good faith, but are suffering from a moral defect.”
  • The passage beginning at verse 2:63, Spencer notes, is one of the scriptural foundations “for the common tendency among Islamic jihadis today to refer to Jews as apes…or as both apes and pigs.”
  • At verse 4:76 (“Those who believe fight for the sake of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight for the cause of taghut [idols]”), Spencer notes: “there is no moral gray area in jihad warfare; the believers fight for Allah, while the unbelievers fight for Satan. Osama bin Laden began his October 6, 2002, letter to the American people with two Qur’an quotations, this verse and 22:39.81.”
  • The “equation of unbelievers with animals” in verse 8:55, notes Spencer, “is another indication that unbelievers are worthy of no respect or consideration.”
  • Verse 8:60, notes Spencer, “is the Qur’an’s third mention of the imperative to strike terror in the unbelievers.”
  • Verse 9:111, he notes, “has become in the modern age the rationale for suicide bombing.”
  • Verse 9:29, Spencer notes, “is the one place where Muslims are explicitly directed to make war against and subjugate Jews and Christians, the ‘People of the Book’...”
  • By way of illuminating a rather murky statement at 39:9, Spencer sums up the Qur'anic view of Muslims and infidels: “The unbelievers are not equal to the believers, for the believers are the ‘best of people’ (3:110) while the unbelievers are ‘the most vile of created beings.”’ (98:6). There is no compatibility of this with the idea of the equality of dignity of all people as created by the same God.”
  • Spencer underscores the thrust of verse 40:10 by noting that “Allah hates the unbelievers even more than they hate themselves.”
  • Commenting on verse 56:79, Spencer notes that “[n]on-Muslims, because they are unclean (see 9:28), are not to touch the Qur’an. This was why American guards at the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where many jihad terrorists were held, would only touch the Qur’an while wearing gloves.”
  • And finally, there’s Spencer’s annotation of verse 98:6-7. The Qur'anic text reads: “Indeed, the unbelievers among the people of the book and the idolaters will remain in the fire of Gehenna. They are the most vile of created beings. Indeed, those who believe and do good works are the best of created beings.” Spencer’s comment: “This verse is one of the most striking examples of the Qur’an’s dehumanization of unbelievers.”

One of the most striking examples, but far from the only one.

Indeed, the Qur'an is packed with passages that point up - incessantly, repeatedly, obsessively - the utter contrast between Muslims and non-Muslims , with the former always being described as virtuous and the latter as evil, repulsive, indeed just short of subhuman, invariably deserving of abuse and murder, and without question marked for eternal punishment. It’s impossible for a Jew, Christian, or secular Western reader to peruse this book and not recognize that people who were raised on the Qur'an and who’ve heard it preached from in mosques every weeks of their lives can’t very easily be reconciled to the idea of viewing non-Muslims as fellow humans, to say nothing of friends.

Indeed, to read this book is to be struck time and again by its feverish preoccupation with the infidel, with the evil of apostasy, with the mischievous attempts by miscellaneous miscreants to turn believers away from Allah, with the coldblooded way in which believers should relate to infidels, with the obligation of believers to make war on infidels, with the nature of the punishments that should be meted out to infidels, and with the nature of the eternal suffering that awaits infidels in the hereafter.

Simply put, it’s a book rich in hatred and drenched in death, again and again calling for the faithful to murder, exhorting non-believers to kill themselves, and reminding the reader that believers await an afterlife in paradise and non-believers an afterlife in hell. To read this holy book is to understand the malice toward the infidel that countless Muslims have demonstrated, in one way or another, in our time.

Given this malice, why have so many Muslims relocated to the West? At least part of the answer can be found in verse 4:100, in which, as Spencer explains, “the Qur’an states the cardinal importance of ‘emigration for the cause of Allah,’ that is, moving to a new land with the intention of bringing Islam to it” - and, one might add, bringing it to Islam. Food for thought for Europeans and North Americans whose countries have become increasingly Islamized in recent decades, and whose inhabitants, to an alarming extent, are still in the dark about the motives of their new fellow countrymen.

Have I made it clear what a remarkable accomplishment The Critical Qu’ran is? Breathtaking in its ambition and achievement, it’s a monumental contribution to the effort to educate Western readers about the bellicose ideology that masquerades as a Religion of Peace. Line by footnoted line, it brings a desperately needed level of clarity and candor to a field of study that’s awash in deceit, deception, and duplicity. The only question now is how many readers will avail themselves of the wisdom that this book holds out to them - and that may well mean, for them, the difference between submission and survival.

 

Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/04/robert-spencers-koran-bruce-bawer/

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

The terrible unintended consequences of the Biden presidency (unless they were intended) - Patricia McCarthy

 

by Patricia McCarthy

Can all this damage done be chalked up to stupidity and incompetence, or is it by design?

 

From the moment Donald Trump rode down that escalator, the American left began its campaign to destroy the man and prevent him from being elected.  Leftists' efforts included falsifying a fraudulent banking scheme, wiretapping his phones, and the fabrication of the Russia hoax.  Despite all their devious and illegal plans, to their horror, Trump won the election, so they doubled down, determined to drive him from office.

For nearly three years, with the aid of the FBI, the DOJ, and the CIA, they sought to make absolutely certain he could not be re-elected.  The Clintons, the Obamas, and their activist worker bees in and out of Congress worked tirelessly to destroy Donald Trump.  For four years, Marc Elias traveled state to state to get election laws changed to facilitate the cheating they planned.  Nancy Pelosi let the cat out of the bag when she said, "I feel very confident that Joe Biden will be elected president on Tuesday.  Whatever the end count is on the election that occurs on Tuesday, he will be elected, on January 20th he will be inaugurated President."

She knew the fix was in.  David Bossie's film Rigged lays out how Mark Zuckerberg funneled at least $400 million into numerous states for the drop boxes that, as Dinesh D'Souza's film 2000 Mules will show, were used to submit false ballots by the thousands.  Mike Lindell says he has proven the voting machines were easily hacked and vote counts altered across the country.  No law enforcement agency has addressed why the vote counting stopped at around 11:00 on election night when Trump was ahead in the four key battleground states.  There's no doubt in my mind that the election was stolen.

As a result of all the left's skullduggery, the American people are facing the highest inflation in forty years.  The invasion across the southern border has brought over two million illegal migrants into the country since Biden took office.  Many of these people are being secretly flown to cities throughout the country.  Count on it: the Democrats plan to give them all amnesty so they can vote.  They assume they will all vote Democrat, but one has to wonder if that is true; they are all fleeing crime-ridden totalitarian tyrannies.  They just might opt for a law-and-order civil society.

On top of this obvious moonbattery, the Biden administration has eviscerated our once-world-class military by weeding out Trump-supporters and those who chose to remain unvaxxed.  The damage this progressive cult has done has crippled America in nearly every way possible.  As Steve Feinstein has written, "[t]hese Democrat policies have tangibly and dramatically degraded the quality of life in America[.]"

Inheriting a nation that was energy independent under Trump, Biden put an end to that on day one.  To say his botched withdrawal from Afghanistan was catastrophic is a gross understatement.  He left billions of dollars of state-of-the-art military equipment there and effectively handed Bagram AFB to the Chinese.  Thirteen young Americans were killed needlessly, and thousands of Americans were left stranded to the Taliban.

We do not know as yet, but Biden's folly with Putin and Ukraine could lead to nuclear war.  Biden's devastatingly poor judgment has knocked the dollar off its hundred-year run as the global currency while Putin's ruble has rebounded.  None of the above would have happened or would be happening if Trump were still in office — and everyone knows this.  In short, this administration is the most destructive in American history by any measure.  Biden's Cabinet is the most incompetent in history.  The nation may never recover and the criminal cabal that put him in office is responsible.

Thanks to investigative journalists Peter Schweizer and Miranda Devine, we know that Biden and his son Hunter are congenitally corrupt and virtually owned by the Communist Party of China.  They also used Ukraine as a financial playground, as did the Clintons.  Under the circumstances, it is not outside the realm of possibility that COVID was part of a plan to see Trump ousted from office, to make mail-in ballots seem necessary and to destroy the Trump economy in one fell swoop.  We know that Fauci and his evil pals obsessed with making viruses more dangerous have long-term ties to China, as does Biden, and as do numerous other NeverTrumps in Congress.

The Biden administration is consumed with wokery to the point that its members value the LGBTQ++ "community" over all other Americans.  Biden was duty-bound by a promise to Jim Clyburn to select a black woman to the SCOTUS.  He chose the most radical black woman he could find, a woman who said she was unable to define the word "woman" because she is not a biologist!  She has long made clear her sympathy for procurers and users of child pornography.  This would seem to line up with the left's agenda to sexualize, to groom, very young children.  The appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson does not bode well for the integrity of the Court, nor does the DOJ's war on parents, A.G. Garland's "domestic terrorists," as if they have no right to be informed about what their children are being taught in school.  The criminalization of parents and the destruction of the nuclear family would seem to be fundamental to their goal.

Add to this dire, fascist docket the reign of criminal-friendly mostly Soros-funded district attorneys around the nation such as George Gascon and Chesa Boudin in California, Kim Foxx in Chicago, Kim Gardner in Missouri, Larry Krasner in Philadelphia, et al., and crime is out of control.  As murder, robbery, drug abuse, sexual abuse, shoplifting, and random attacks on innocent civilians and police officers are all on the rise, these pro-criminal D.A.s turn the perpetrators back onto the streets within hours of their committed crimes, where they quite naturally re-offend.

The rally that took place on January 6 was transformed into an "insurrection" by the left, most likely instigated by FBI operatives in the midst.  The FBI has refused to admit they had agents dispersed throughout the crowd whose job it may have been to incite some violence.  Pelosi firmly rejected Trump's offer of 10,000 National Guard troops; the Dem plan was to foment exactly what occurred that day.  What has been done to those who were present and may have walked into the open doors to the Capitol is equivalent to an American Abu Ghraib.  That Republicans in Congress have allowed those people to be so badly treated is worse than a disgrace; it is truly evil.  As Einstein said, "the world is a dangerous place to live — not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."  This administration has proven to be something akin to evil.

Donald Trump was the best president in modern American history.  If he were still in office, if the election had not been fraudulent, we would still be energy independent.  He would have ended the lockdowns and the mask and vaccine mandates, and the economy would have begun recovering much sooner.  The southern border would be secure.  There would be no war between Russia and Ukraine.  But the NeverTrumps cared not a bit about the American people.  They cared only about removing the outsider from their swamp.  They feared his pledge to drain that swamp, to expose all their personal get-rich arrangements, all of them essentially corrupt.  While in office, Trump was the most investigated president in U.S. history and they've got nothing on him.  Not one thing.

When Obama came to office, he liked to think he was elected to manage our decline.  It was Obama who weaponized the FBI, the CIA and the DOJ.  Obama hated America; he set back race relations at least fifty years.  With the advent of Black Lives Matter, the Democrat party lurched farther to the left; they've now gone so far left that they are aligned with the CCP.  It is as though they have adopted Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 as a handbook for the running of the United States.  Can all this damage done be chalked up to stupidity and incompetence, or is it by design?  Is the Biden administration being run by his handlers in China and the arms dealers here who need war to line their pockets?  Does anyone know?


Joe Biden image (edited) from a YouTube screen grab.

 

Patricia McCarthy

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2022/04/the_terrible_unintended_consequences_of_the_biden_presidency_unless_they_were_intended.html

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EU accuses Russia of 'blackmail' after it cuts gas to Poland, Bulgaria - Caitlin McFall

 

by Caitlin McFall

Russian gas giant Gazprom cuts gas access to Poland and Bulgaria after they refused to pay up in rubles

 

Head of the European Union accused Russia of "blackmail" Wednesday after it moved to cut gas access to Poland and Bulgaria for refusing to pay up in rubles.

Russian-owned gas giant, Gazprom, said earlier in the day that it had shut off gas to the two EU nations in retaliation for unpaid energy bills for the month of April when they refused to abide by Moscow’s demands and pay in the Russian currency. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the stipulation that all nations must pay gas fees in rubles in late March as an attempt to bolster his flagging economy amid stiff international sanctions.  

European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen, right, preside at the main event of the "Stand Up for Ukraine" global campaign for pledging funds for Ukraine and its refugees, at the Palace on the Water, in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday, April 9, 2022.

European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen, right, preside at the main event of the "Stand Up for Ukraine" global campaign for pledging funds for Ukraine and its refugees, at the Palace on the Water, in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday, April 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

URSULA VON DER LEYEN CALLS RUSSIA'S DECISION TO HALT GAS 'BLACKMAIL'

"The announcement by Gazprom that it is unilaterally stopping delivery of gas to customers in Europe is yet another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail," EU President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.

"This is unjustified and unacceptable. And it shows once again the unreliability of Russia as a gas supplier," she added.

Von der Leyen said that EU nations were "prepared for this scenario" and remained in close contact to identify other means of supplying Poland and Bulgaria with their energy needs.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki further condemned the move by Russia as "blackmail" and vowed in front of his nation's parliament that Warsaw would not be intimidated by Moscow. 

Morawiecki said he believed the abrupt cutoff was in retaliation for sanctions Warsaw implemented on 50 Russian oligarchs and businesses, including Gazprom, Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the launching ceremony of the Gazprom's Amur Gas Processing Plant, via a video conference, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on June 9, 2021.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the launching ceremony of the Gazprom's Amur Gas Processing Plant, via a video conference, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on June 9, 2021.  (Getty Images)

US, EUROPEAN UNION ANNOUNCE JOINT TASK FORCE TO REDUCE EUROPE'S DEPENDENCE ON RUSSIAN GAS

Poland received 45 percent of its gas needs from Russia, but the Polish prime minister said his nation would be fine given previous gas arrangements made with other countries.

A new pipeline dubbed the "Baltic Pipe" will direct gas from Norway and Poland – which only relied on nine percent of its energy needs from gas to begin with.

The pipeline is set to be complete by the end of the year. 

FILE - A Belarusian worker on duty at a gas compressor station of the Yamal-Europe pipeline near Nesvizh, some 81 miles southwest of the capital Minsk, Belarus, Dec. 29, 2006.

FILE - A Belarusian worker on duty at a gas compressor station of the Yamal-Europe pipeline near Nesvizh, some 81 miles southwest of the capital Minsk, Belarus, Dec. 29, 2006. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits, File)

Warsaw pledged earlier this year to cut gas reliance on Russia by the end of 2022 in retaliation for its deadly war in Ukraine. 

The EU said it was working on a "coordinated" response to Russia’s move and vowed to stand behind Poland and Bulgaria.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Caitlin McFall 

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/world/eu-accuses-russia-blackmail-gas-cut-poland-bulgaria

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