Iran’s Deadly Purim Threat : An Israel News Radio Discussion with Kenneth R.Timmerman
We asked Ken Timmerman to join Rod Bryant and yours truly, Jerry Gordon, for this 21st Century Purim story on Israel News Talk Radio – Beyond the Matrixbecause it deals with the latest generation of Amalekites like the agagite Haman, King Ahasuerus’ vizier in the Queen Esther Megillah. One in particular is the founder of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Mohsen Rezai who is hell bent to destroy the Jewish nation of Israel as Haman the agagite tried to do but failed in ancient Persia.
Timmerman had just published a piece on Front Page Magazine, “Deadly Threat from Iran”. The tag line was “Former IRGC commander threatens to nuke Israel - and why he’s for real.” Rezai as you will recall threatened to “flatten Tel Aviv” after Israeli PM Netanyahu issued a demarche at the Munich Security Conference saying “would “act against Iran itself if Iran continued to invade Israeli air space, as they did when they sent a drone into Israel from an air base in Syria.”
Kenneth R. Timmerman
Timmerman safe housed General Rezai’s son Ahmad at his home in Maryland after he had fled the Islamic Republic. Timmerman discusses in the article and in our interview the long history of Iranian – North Korean cooperative nuclear and missile development. The story of that was relayed by General Mohsen’s son Ahmad in Timmerman’s 2005 New York Times, best-seller, Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran. The younger Rezai had traveled with his Revolutionary Guard father and an Iranian military delegation to China and North Korea. He viewed and heard firsthand how close Iran was back in 1993 to having operational nuclear weapons and the first efforts to create a nuclear capable missile.
Read this excerpt from Countdown to Crisis:
For nearly an entire week, the North Koreans escorted Rezai and his delegation to military bases all over the country. They split them into two groups. Rezai and the men who had already taken the tour plunged directly into negotiations. His deputy, Mohammad Baqr Zolqadr, the dark-skinned fanatic who had just come back from training Osama bin Laden’s terrorists in Sudan, led the second group, including his boss’s son.
Young Ahmad marveled when they were taken to a top secret airbase, carved out of the rock inside a mountain. As they entered, their North Korean hosts pointed out the thickness of the special blast doors, designed to withstand a direct nuclear hit. Deep inside the mountain they came to a huge cavern, where two dozen aircraft were parked like ducks in a row, nestled into each other’s wings. In separate store rooms carved out of the rock, the North Koreans had stockpiled missiles, fuel, and all the necessary maintenance equipment. They managed the entire complex from a modern control room, where flight officers surveyed the buried runway through a giant glass window, a bit like the control tower on an aircraft carrier. But most amazing of all was the underground runway, pitched at a steep upward slant. As the jets cycled up their engines, the jetwash was deflected by a blast wall and vented through a series of long tunnels to the surface to reduce the heat signature. The jets hurtled upwards using a catapult, similar to an aircraft carrier. At the end of the runway, doors opened onto the sky. The jets shot out, burner cans lit, like a missile emerging from a launch tube buried halfway up the mountainside.
At one missile test range the elder Rezai visited, Iranian engineers were working side by side with the North Koreans, preparing telemetry equipment for a test. They were working to extend the range of the missile known in the West as the No-Dong… The original specifications called for a Circular Error Probable (CEP) from between 1,500 to 4,000 meters, an unheard of margin of error in the West. This meant that just half of the missiles would fall within 1,500 to 4,000 meters of a target area. The key was making sure the new missile could carry a warhead large enough for the Chinese bomb design Iran is believed to have purchased from Dr. A.Q. Khan. Given the density of Israel’s population, it didn’t much matter where it fell.
This is an important story that should be widely circulated as it questions the basis of Clinton, Bush and Obama era negotiations and covert operations with Israel directed at delaying Iranian development of a nuclear weapons and missiles capabilities. That effort naively resulted in the July 2015 JCPOA and release of billions of sequestered Iranian oil revenues.
Timmerman also tells of his experience during the 1982 Lebanon War when he was a PLO hostage for 34 days that changed his views about the Palestinians and turned him into a supporter of the Jewish nation of Israel.
There is also the revelation that this writer was involved in with Timmerman and an ex-CIA covert operative endeavoring to reveal the public secret of Iran’s Qod’s Force involvement in the Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans, on September 11-12, 2012 at the Special Diplomatic Compound and CIA Annex in Benghazi. The evidence and facts had been presented in a redacted memoranda by former Defense Intelligence Agency Director and Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, before he was fired by President Obama in 2014. The same information was presented to Chairman Trey Gowdy of the House Benghazi Special Investigation Committee only to be told it was “too highly classified.” The story was told by Timmerman in his 2014 book, Dark Forces: the truth about what happened at Benghazi and his 2016 book, Deception: The Making of the You Tube Video, Hillary & Obama Blame for Benghazi.”
Timmerman is currently completing a novel, ISIS Begins which is due for publication in June 2018. For more on these topics related to the work of intrepid journalist, author veteran Iran watcher and Syrian Kurdish supporter, Ken Timmerman, consult his web site at: kentimmerman.com.
The Democratic party is in shambles, represented equally by Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf’s urging defiance of federal immigration laws and Broward County sheriff Scott Israel’s swanning on CNN, demanding more power, and saying he has given “amazing” leadership (true in a sense), as it emerges that his department ignored 20 warnings about the school murderer, and then waited outside listening to the gunfire while the shooter continued his massacre. It isn’t fair to saddle that whole party with those two, but they are not unrepresentative. Schaaf and Israel represent the crumbled alliance between the new wave, which reduces the population to atomized, aggrieved sub-groups, and the old hacks who rivet themselves on communities for decades with corrupt urban political machines. Like many other countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany, the United States now has only one party capable of governing the country.
The Democratic party emerged from the Obama interlude, in which political correctness required non-recognition of a flat-lined economy and a pacifist-isolationist foreign policy, to engage in a desperate struggle with a political death-wish. It narrowly resisted a McGovernesque trip into democratic Marxism with Bernie Sanders, and put all its chips on the Clintons. The party chairman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was forced out by the WikiLeaks hacked revelations that she had done a sandbag job on Sanders, and former chairman Donna Brazile recorded that Hillary Clinton had stolen the nomination by strangling the National Committee.
Practically the entire Democratic party had clambered aboard the Clinton bus, and when it went off the cliff, they all, including the Sanders/Warren reluctant passengers, joined the chorus that the election had been stolen by the Kremlin, with the treasonable complicity of Donald Trump, through a social-media campaign involving thousands of agents and flipping Wisconsin in particular. (This social-media campaign consisted of a few million dollars decrying the state of the country in a $2.5 billion election in which Clinton spent an unheard-of $250 million on attack ads on her opponent.) Trump was alleged to be a penurious debtor of the Kremlin, which promised to acquit his debt in exchange for future sacrifices of the national interest in favor of Russia. Historians of the future will wonder how anyone could take such an asinine narrative seriously, just as they will wonder how the country could have allowed 12 million unskilled foreigners into the U.S. without any process at all.
This was the gambit the Democrats bet on, piously citing the Steele dossier as the main source. CNN took it from BuzzFeed and claimed it was a mighty scoop, and exhumed Carl Bernstein to explain how this was the death knell of the Trump presidency. Hillary Clinton, in her risible novel about how she lost the election, blamed her defeat on treasonable acts by Trump, citing the dossier’s numerous defamatory fabrications as evidence, and concealing the fact that her campaign had commissioned the dossier. It was the dirtiest political trick in U.S. history. The Washington Post called the more than $10 million the Democrats ladled out for this salacious bunk a mere “talking point” for the administration.
The Democrats have been shamed by Mrs. Clinton, who misled the FBI about her illegal use of emails, is complicit in questionable activities at the Clinton Foundation, and suborned the Obama administration to align the FBI and important parts of the Justice Department with the least felicitous aspects of the Clinton campaign. Former FBI director James Comey almost certainly lied in sworn testimony before a congressional committee about when he determined that Mrs. Clinton should not be prosecuted on the email issue (where her claims of inadvertent erasure of tens of thousands of subpoenaed emails strains credulity, to say the least), and about when he learned that the Steele dossier was Democratic-party propaganda, “campaign information” as Mrs. Clinton now calls it. Comey probably committed a felony in removing a memo he wrote to himself about a conversation with the president on January 27 and leaked it to the New York Times, in order to cause the appointment of a special counsel on the Trump–Russian collusion question even though he stated that Trump was not a suspect, stated that the election outcome had not been influenced by Russia, and stated that Trump had not attempted to tamper with the Russian-collusion investigation that had already been in progress for about eight months.
Readers are familiar with the exposés that have occurred of the unprofessional activities of Mueller’s investigators and senior Justice Department officials, resulting in a number of demotions and firings, including, in emulation of his old chief Comey, that of deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe. Mueller continues grimly on and Trump has cooperated with him. Since Mueller’s mandate is everything to do with Russia and there is much evidence of Democratic collusion with Russia, he should be investigating that. Perhaps he will get to it. The president will have to respond to his questions as precisely as he can, under advice of counsel.
Mueller will then have to decide whether to wrap up at least this part of his inquiry and acknowledge the absence of evidence of Trump–Russian collusion, and move on to the Clinton and other aspects of the case, or to cross the Rubicon and try to engage, with former Trump campaign director Paul Manafort, in the great American prosecutors’ specialty of extorting and suborning inculpatory perjury with an immunity from prosecution for perjury and a very soft sentence for the original charges. I doubt that that would work in this case, because I assume Manafort, on receipt of the offer, would trade his evidence of the effort to extort perjured inculpatory evidence for a presidential commutation at least on the scale of Mueller’s offer, and expose the attempt at a corrupt plea bargain. Mueller is entitled to the hopeful presumption that he would not consider such a course, widespread though the practice is.
In the circumstances as they have evolved, the controversy over the surveillance of Carter Page is a sideshow. The Justice Department may have had reason to conduct surveillance on him (though that is unlikely, since he had been a cooperating witness), but if so, it should not have cited the Steele dossier as its reason for seeking the FISA warrant and renewing it. No sane Democrat believes there is any chance of removing the president. But those not in that category, such as Maxine Waters, Adam Schiff, and Jerry Nadler (who got himself elected ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee on his promise to impeach Trump if the Democrats can win a majority of congressmen), at least want to get a Senate trial, though there is no charge except that they profess to find Trump a menace to democracy and the rule of law, and no present chance of the president’s removal.
I doubt the Democrats will win the majority of the House this year anyway. However the Mueller investigation plays out, it should have the welcome effect of severely discouraging frivolous and vexatious attempts to criminalize partisan and policy differences in the nation’s highest offices, an anarchistic and evil habit that got its launch with Watergate. In winding down this nasty collusion fairy tale, Robert Mueller would not be saving Trump, who has nothing to fear from a nonsense-based Waters-Schiff-Nadler impeachment; he would be saving the Democrats from political mutants such as Waters, Schiff, and Nadler.
In their revulsion at Hillary, the Democrats have almost taken off their underclothing for the far Left. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Clinton protegée, has said that Bill Clinton should have resigned after the revelation of his abuse of women. Only fear of desecrating the unassailable shrine of the American presidency’s supreme objectifier of the once-gentler sex, John F. Kennedy, a rutting satyr in addition to his many more-attractive qualities, has prevented the Democrats from being taken over by militants demanding that the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial be renamed after Kate Millett and Caitlin Jenner.
The Democrats are now an almost completely dysfunctional party.
In the wreckage of the attempt to destroy Trump, whether he is impeached or not, the Democrats will have to decide whether to reassemble toward the center, or go happily to their execution with the Sanders-Warren flat-earth society. All the while, the president is moving with tactical cunning, exposing the Democrats as pro–illegal immigration and pro-sanctuary, but uninterested in the fate of the DACA migrants; anti–Second Amendment but afraid of the NRA; appeasing the Muslims indiscriminately while Trump artfully separates the Saudis and Egyptians from the duplicitous Pakistanis; and babbling hysterically about the Russians (whom Mrs. Clinton handsomely rewarded with contributors’ money), while Trump discreetly hammers Putin’s Russian mercenaries in Syria, killing scores of them two weeks ago.
The Democrats are now an almost completely dysfunctional party, in desperate need of a crushing defeat in 2020 to help them back to their senses. Barring a miracle of messianic reinvigoration from a now invisible source, that is what it shall receive.
Tariq Ramadan: Wicked, Depraved, and Coming to the End of His Rope
by Hugh Fitzgerald
This just in — extry, extry, read all about it — from Al Arabiya, no less, on Tariq Ramadan’s well-deserved calvary:
Organizers of a 2009 conference in Lyon, which has become an important sticking point in the rape charges against Swiss Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, have published evidence [his flight itinerary] that could be damaging to his defense.
The organizer of the Lyon conference was the Union des Jeunes Musulmans, whose members, in publishing that itinerary, have clearly abandoned Ramadan and decided to reveal the truth. And the two women who originally stepped forward to accuse Ramadan of rape are also Muslims. Have these people no loyalty to a fellow Muslim, especially this “great,” “prominent,” “eminent” and “profound” scholar, Tariq Ramadan? Apparently not enough. This must come as a terrific shock to him.
A woman using the pseudonym Christelle has claimed that Ramadan had sexually assaulted her in a French hotel room while Ramadan was in Lyon to speak at the conference.
Christelle reportedly told investigators that the attack happened “in the afternoon” of October 9, 2009, adding that “it was still daylight.”
Attempting to punch holes in her statement, Ramadan’s defense team claimed that he did not land at the Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport on October 9 until 6:35 pm, reaching the Hilton hotel at around 7:30 pm.
Organizers of the conference, which was titled “Living together, Islamophobia and Palestine,” have published Ramadan’s itinerary, which showed that the rape-accused scholar actually arrived at 11:15 am.
The itinerary was sent to Ramadan by the conference organizers – Union Des Jeunes Musulmans (Union of Young Muslims) – after he was invited on September 15, 2009. Initially, Ramadan’s office had requested that the scholar be on the London to Lyon flight that did in fact land at 6:35pm. But his office then sent a second email, according to Le Muslim Post, which requested that Ramadan be on the Madrid to Lyon flight that arrived at 11.15 am.
Ramadan’s itinerary shows that the rape-accused scholar arrived in Lyon at 11.15 am, despite his defense team saying he arrived at 6:35 pm, reaching the Hilton hotel at around 7:30 pm. (Le Muslim Post)
According to the schedule, published by Le Muslim Post, Ramadan was then due to speak at the conference at 5 pm, but he was reported as arriving late – at around 9 pm.
If the published itinerary is accurate, it theoretically allows for several unaccounted hours in his defense’s timeline.
Ramadan has denied raping or having sexual intercourse with Christelle, who is reported to have disability in her legs.
Vanity Fair magazine, which met the woman, said her lawsuit against Ramadan described “blows to the face and body, forced sodomy, rape with an object and various humiliations, including being dragged by the hair to the bathtub and urinated on.”
She also revealed that Ramadan had a small scar on his groin that would not have been noticed except in the case of close contact.
Christelle said that she received many SMS messages from Ramadan’s number, including a crucial one on October 10 at 19:29 – the day after the alleged assault – reportedly saying “sorry” for the violence, and also asking: “Do you want more? Not disappointed?”
Ramadan is currently being held in a French prison since February 2 on charges that he raped Christelle and another woman in Paris.
He has been imprisoned at the Fleury-Mérogis prison, south of Paris, as authorities investigate the charges. He could be held in long-term custody while the probe continues.
The Swiss academic, who is a grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, found fame after writing numerous books on Islam and the integration of Muslims in Europe.”
As a great many people know by now, Tariq Ramadan, “Europe’s foremost Muslim intellectual,” “the great Muslim thinker,” “this prominent theologian,” “this eminent Oxford professor,” “one of the world’s leading Islamic thinkers,” this “profound scholar,” this “great reformer of Islam” (a small sample of the preposterous praise lavished on Ramadan), has been accused publicly by two Muslim women in France of violent sexual assault, including rape, sodomy, beatings, threatening sexual blackmail (making public pornographic emails), and even threatening harm to the children of one of her victims unless she kept quiet. Two other Muslim women in France have accused him of similar violent sexual assaults, but not yet made themselves publicly known.
In Switzerland, four women have accused Ramadan of attempted sexual seduction and assault when he was their high school teacher and they his underage pupils. Finally, still another accuser, this one a Muslim woman in the United States, has just surfaced with her own charges, the details of which have not yet been made public. The hesitancy of some of his victims to come forward is understandable: Ramadan has a large and fanatical following, with two million Facebook friends and 200,000 followers on Twitter. His first accuser, Henda Ayari, having received thousands of death threats from Ramadan’s supporters, now must live under round-the-clock guard. You have to be very angry, and very brave, to accuse someone as powerful and sinister as Tariq Ramadan.
Ramadan was known for decades to the French authorities as a sex addict with a steady stream of women, both admiring girl-groupies and paid ladies, arriving at his various hotel rooms. Bernard Godard, the French government’s “Mr. Islam” at the Ministry of the Interior from 1997 to 2014, described his dissolute existence: “That he had many mistresses, that he consulted sites [presumably, pornographic sites, and sites where call girls could advertise online] that girls were brought to the hotel at the end of his lectures, that he invited them to undress, that some resisted and that he could become violent and aggressive, yes, but I have never heard of rapes, I am stunned.” It is we, of course, who should be “stunned” by the cynicism of the French authorities, who knew all this about Ramadan and did nothing either to warn or stop him, presumably because he was deemed useful as a voice for “Islamic moderation.”
Depraved beyond belief, Tariq Ramadan, this hypocrite lecteur, this monstrous Tartuffe, this trafficker in taqiyya, this peripatetic preacher of a diseased convivencia, padded about Europe, giving lectures on such subjects as “Islamic morality and ethics,” pocketing his fat honoraria, and having his unspeakable way with a succession of girls and women. He remained untouched, seemingly above the law, until accusations were finally made public by Muslim women who, last fall, emboldened by the #MeToo movement, were determined to make Ramadan pay for what he had forced them to endure. They described his assaults in such harrowing detail, that the French judiciary could not ignore them.
Ramadan’s lawyers have tried to discredit the two French Muslim accusers who have so far come forward publicly. Henda Ayari, the first of them, has been carefully depicted by them as a publicity hound, hoping only to increase sales of her book I Chose To Be Free (J’ai choisi d’être libre), in which the salacious details of what she claims was Ramadan’s behavior toward her are set out. They further claim that after her “rape,” she tried to contact Ramadan many times. That’s hardly what a victim would do, they insist, but why not? For if that victim were trying to contact Ramadan in order to confront him, to express her anger, and, quite possibly, to get him to discuss what he had done, so that she might surreptitiously record any such admission, it would make perfect sense.
The lawyers have focussed most of their efforts on the second victim, known as “Christelle,” and her claim that she was attacked in the Hotel Hilton in Lyon on October 9, 2009 during the “afternoon,” when “it was still light out.”
Ramadan’s lawyers pounced on this. They claimed that Ramadan had taken a flight from London, landing in Lyon at 6:35, and he could not have arrived at the hotel until 7:30 at the earliest. And they further claim he was supposed to give his talk at 8:30 p.m. How would it have been possible, they ask, for Ramadan to have found the time to check in at the hotel, then meet with Christelle in the lobby at, say, 7:40, and then to engage her in conversation, persuade her to go to his room, do all the unsavory things to her of which she accuses him, and still be all fresh and ready for his talk at the Union des Jeunes Musulmans at 8:30 p.m?
The answer is: with that London-Lyon flight, landing at 6:35, it would not have been possible. But now we know: that was not the flight Ramadan took.
Ramadan, and his lawyers, have all along been lying (it is possible, though unlikely, that Ramadan lied even to his lawyers) about his flight to Lyon on October 9, 2009. The Muslim group he was to address that night provided French investigators with a copy of Ramadan’s itinerary. It turns out that while he had originally planned to fly to Lyon from London, arriving at 6:35, he changed his travel plans, and he instead flew not from London but from Madrid, on an early flight, and arrived in Lyon at 11:15 a.m., arriving at the Hilton at about 12:20, not 7:30 p.m., as he and his lawyers have been claiming.
And Ramadan also lied, apparently, about the time when he was supposed to give his talk. One of his defense lawyers said he showed up to give his talk, right on time, at 8:30 p.m. But that assertion was misleading. First, Ramadan — according to a member of the Union of Young Muslims — arrived not at 8:30 but around “9 p.m.” to speak. And as we now know, from the latest revelations from the Union of Young Muslims, Ramadan had been scheduled to give his talk at 5 p.m. He thus showed up not a half-hour late, but four hours late to his own talk. And neither Ramadan, nor his lawyers, has given an explanation for this.
It has now been firmly established, despite the steady stillicide of lies from Tariq Ramadan and his lawyers (unless, I repeat, he has lied even to them), and his Facebook friends, that he arrived in Lyon at 11:15, and showed up to give his scheduled 5 p.m. talk at 9 p.m., which gave him almost eight hours of free time, much of it was when, as Christelle testified, “it was still light out,” to engage in his afternoon’s chosen entertainment of rape, sodomy, insertion of various objects in various orifices, and dragging his helpless victim by her hair to the bathtub in order, as a special tariqian treat, to urinate on her.
And that is how Tariq Ramadan raised his serotonin level and put himself in just the right mood to address his adoring young Muslim fans at 9 p.m. They even chanted: “Even when he’s a bit late, Ramadan is worth the wait.” (No, they didn’t — but they might have). The theme of the conference was “Living together, Islamophobia and Palestine.” I’m guessing he declared himself appalled at Islamophobia, shed a ready tear for the poor “Palestinians,” and proclaimed his endorsement of “living together,” that is, a generous willingness of moderates like himself to share Europe with Europeans. The mediagenic Ramadan does not disappoint, and whatever he speaks on, he always delivers something uplifting, inspiring, even ennobling. But you’d expect nothing less, from the man whom TIME magazine once declared to be one of the “50 most influential people on the planet,” and who has rightly been called — in case you’ve forgotten — “Europe’s foremost Muslim intellectual,” “a profound scholar,” “a great Muslim thinker,” “a prominent theologian,” “an eminent Oxford professor,” and “one of the world’s leading Islamic thinkers.”
There'll be some changes made in part of the state of Syria from now on. In his brilliant new book, The Opinion of Mankind, discussing, among other things, theories of the state and how we should think about politics today, Paul Sagar contends that although the state remains the central unit of analysis in both domestic and international politics, its basis , nature, purpose, and normative authority are subjects of protracted disagreement and confusion. Nowhere is this more true than in the remarkable new political entity, run by Kurds in Syria, stemming from a democratic and humanistic revolution that has women's liberation at its center. That entity has some powers though it is not an ultimate decision making agency.
This is the advent of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, Rojava, (DFNS), in an area that got autonomy in 2012, and which created a de facto unit of three non-contiguous cantons, about the size of Connecticut, in March 2016. Politics are rarely tidy, or take undeviating forms. Though Rojava declared its independence, it is not a state but at the moment more a stateless democracy with local self governance and popular assemblies. The DFNS is not officially recognised by Syria, nor by any other state or international organization. In a statement by Mark Toner, then U.S. State Department spokesperson, the U.S. in March 2016 warned it would not recognise the self rule of an autonomous zone in Syria, and that the U.S. was committed to the unity and territorial integrity of Syria. That policy should be now be changed.
The world owes the Kurds proper treatment. They are an ethnic group who go back in Syria over 1,000 years. Perhaps the most famous Kurd was Saladin, the 12th century Kurd from Tikrit (now in modern Iraq) who defeated the Crusader states in the Levant and ruled most of the Middle East. The Kurds were ill served after World War I and the end of the Ottoman Empire. The Peace Treaty of Sevres signed on August 10, 1920, partitioned that Empire and provided for the future creation of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Mandatory Palestine including Transjordan. It also promised that part of the new country of Turkey, the predominantly Kurdish area lying east of the Euphrates,should have autonomy. Turkey agreed to accept this and to execute the consequent decisions.
However, Sevres was amended by the Treaty of Lausanne of July 24, 1923 that recognized the creation of the Republic of Turkey and its boundaries, and ended the demands of autonomy for "Kurdistan."
The moment has arrived for the Trump administration to recognise fundamental changes in the area, to change U.S. policy and support true allies, especially those like the Kurds wth a message of democracy and civil rights. This is even more the case in a period when Russia has been manipulating the U.S. media and part of Congress, sowed discord in the U.S. political system, and been unhelpful in solution of the brutal Syrian civil war. At a minimum argument, Kurdish forces in Syria have been playing a significant role in fighting and defending themselves against terrorist groups, ISIS among others.
The world is confronted by a Syrian regime that in a fierce air campaign continues with savage carnage to bomb the area of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, home to 400,000, in spite of the delayed and waterdowned resolution of the UN Security Council on February 24, 2018 for a 30 day nation wide cease fire, to be implemented "without delay", except for military operations against terrorist groups such as ISIS, Nusra Front, and al Qaeda. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has defied the international resolutions for a cease fire. It is imperative that a cease fire be applied across the whole country, including Afrin. This should apply also to Turkey which is warring against the Kurkish militia, the Kurdish People's Protection Units, YPG, in northern Syria. Turkey sees this as the branch of the Kurdistan Worker's Party, PKK, that it regards as a terrorist group. The U.S. is directly involved since the attack is in an area where U.S. troops are stationed.
In stark contrast to the Assad Syrian regime is the new entity, the DFNS, known as Rojava, the outcome of a so-called "secret revolution." Officially a secular system and presenting a challenge to Islamic Law, and based on gender equality, power is decentralized with village assemblies and communes, legislative councils and commissions.
What is outstanding is the prominence of Kurdish women. The role of women has been applauded for their strong performance in the armed forces. Female fighters in the Women's Protection Units, YPJ , played a key role in the siege of Kobani, and in rescuing Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar. The prominent Egyptian feminist writer and activist, and co-founder of the Arab Association for Human Rights, Nawal el Saadawi, complimented Kurdish women for their fight against ISIS, showing courage and great bravery. Those women are waging a battle against a patriarchal society, and for democracy, and defining the identity and honor of the world's women. The Equality Decree of November 10, 2014 in Syrian Kurdistan provided rights for women, equality "in all walks of public and private life."
In Rojava, womens organizations, whose functions change, are funded and run by volunteers, and provide a variety of services, control of gender violence especially honor killings, family mediation, legal support, safe houses for women and children, and personal economic and social empowerment. There are now rules against child and forced marriage, women must be 18 to marry, and they must consent to marriage, as well as against female genital mutilation, and domestic violence.
Women are participating politically in law making, holding political positions, and in co-presidencies. Some were candidates in the 2015 election. All administrative bodies have co-chairs, and 40% of any governing body must be female.
The Rojava entity can be seen as concerned not only as a national ethnic issue but as as a form of experiment in Middle East democacy, and an example of the importance of women in an area where women have traditionally been repressed. It could be a blueprint for other societies in the area. In any case, it is important that the Trump administration welcome and encourage it.
By challenging the spread of Sharia law, the archbishop of Canterbury is finally fighting for Christian values
So, reports Melanie Phillips in Mondays Times.There is a paywall so I’ll summarize:
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has finally admitted in his new book, Reimagining Britain that that Sharia law should never become part of the British legal system because it is incompatible with British laws.
The Church of England has a recent history of ‘appeasement’ with Welby’s predecessor, Lord Williams, suggesting in 2008 that the adaption of some aspects of Sharia Law would be ‘unavoidable’. Williams’ predecessor, Lord Carey, caught flack back in the day for saying that although most Muslims were “honourable and good people” Islam stood in opposition to “practically every other world religion”.
Although Sharia has no legal authority in Britain, nevertheless it has developed as a parallel form of jurisdiction in practice if not law.
The basic principle of a liberal democracy, is one law for all, Phillips says. Minorities should be able to establish their own communities of faith and culture, but these must not conflict with the fundamental laws and values of the host culture.
The retreat of Christianity in European culture has left a vacuum that is being filled by Islamic cultural colonialism. Since religion is essential for cultural health and coherence, post-Christian society makes the (false) assumption that secularism promotes freedom whilst Christianity divides. Phillips argues that it is in fact the freedom and equality found in basic Biblical precepts that bind and secularism that has shattered our sense of cohesion.
The hollowing-out process has been aided and abetted by the Church of England itself, which has internalised the view that Christian values are no better (and possibly worse) than those of other cultures. In this weakened state it has failed to stand up for persecuted Christians in the developing world and has sought to appease fanaticism by minimising or denying the differences between Christianity and Islam.
Examples of this given in Phillips’ article are: a 2002 Christian-Muslim seminar entitled Building Bridges convened by the then Archbishop of Canterbury in which papers given suggested equivalence even unity between the two faiths; and Bishop Kenneth Cragg who stated: “Magnificat and Allahu akbar are the sure doxologies with which our two faiths begin”.
The Archbishop, Phillips says, has spoken with courage about the need to resist Sharia. But she also thinks that his analysis - which emphasises secondary signs of cultural decay such as ‘rootlessness’, or the suggestion that different faiths must play equivalent roles in society - undermines the need to reestablish Christian faith as the bedrock of that society.
So, don’t get too excited:
The mouse may have roared — but it remains, alas, a mouse.
Contraband Flow into the United States Hinges on This Appointment
by Steve Hecht
Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales
President Donald Trump has made clear his concerns regarding Central American gangs active in the United States, but he is on the verge of missing a watershed moment. The appointment of the next justice minister in Guatemala, to take office on May 15, could significantly reduce narcotrafficking and illegal immigration.
Mexico cannot control its criminal cartels, which facilitate passage of illegal drugs and migrants from Central and South America. That makes Guatemala the key entry point to the United States. Its rural areas, especially along its porous 595-mile border with Mexico, are largely controlled by successors to Fidel Castro-supported guerrillas of the 1960-1996 internal armed conflict.
The Obama administration's Guatemala policy, thus far unchanged by President Trump, exacerbated the lack of state presence and lawlessness. To reverse this, Trump needs to override his own State Department and support President Jimmy Morales to appoint a competent, nonpartisan justice minister.
The Obama policy illegally forced out a justice minister to make way for Claudia Paz y Paz, who would execute his socialist agenda. She protected violent gangs that oppress rural inhabitants, attack large businesses, and invade private property. She also sabotaged local law enforcement.
Despite pressure from Hillary Clinton four years later in 2014, Guatemala's nominating commission did not include Paz y Paz in its list of six candidates from which the president had to choose. Her position went to Thelma Aldana.
Obama then obtained money from Congress to use as leverage to extend the mandate of the UN-created, George Soros-praised International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). The CICIG and US embassy pressured Aldana, vulnerable to corruption charges of her own, to prosecute along ideological lines.
To avoid a repeat in 2018 of their failure in 2014, the CICIG, the embassy, and Aldana attempted but failed to force changes to Guatemala’s constitution, including appointment of the justice minister. Now the collectivist alliance faces the same challenge as in 2014, but without Obama in office.
The alliance, including the co-opted judiciary, has frantically attempted to remove Morales from office. Despite a disparaging public-relations campaign, Guatemala’s congress has rejected the bogus criminal charges.
Morales’s decision to move Guatemala’s embassy to Jerusalem likely led to his meeting with Trump on February 8, which hastened the anti-Morales campaign. If Trump were to realize that his State Department is aiding the enemies of freedom and exacerbating conditions that promote gangs, illegal immigration, and narcotrafficking, he would change the Obama policy and support Morales.
The Obama agenda has been led by holdover Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon. Although Shannon has announced his resignation, his replacement won’t start before the Guatemalan justice minister is chosen, because his position requires Senate confirmation. Democrats will assure no replacement loyal to Trump is confirmed any time soon.
The progressive echo chamber in Guatemala and the United States has been vociferous, repeating the spin that the CICIG and Aldana are anti-corruption warriors while their opponents favor impunity. The CICIG has led a spate of arrests, as it seeks support in the United States for the State Department to pressure Morales to appoint a CICIG-approved justice minister.
For example, the Wilson Center in Washington, DC, will host an event on March 5 with CICIG Commissioner Iván Velásquez as a featured speaker. A spokesperson will also be there for two Guatemalan private-sector organizations that have supported the Obama policy against their own country’s interests.
The US embassy has expressed interest in the selection of the new justice minister. However, it has been silent regarding the nominating commission's many new unconstitutional requirements for candidates, including a certificate of moral solvency from the openly biased human-rights ombudsman. Apparently the State Department approves of removing political opponents through illegalities to help its candidate win.
In recent times, Guatemala's high-court rulings have followed the Obama-CICIG agenda. That includes the illegal reversals of Morales's persona non grata declaration of Velásquez and of the election of congressional leadership favorable to Morales.
Before Morales can appoint a justice minister who will enforce the law and not the collectivist agenda, the high court will likely annul the process. This would leave Aldana’s recently illegally named successor in her place to continue the agenda.
This month the US embassy posted a photo of the ambassador and Velásquez together, both with signs of “I love CICIG.” After initial support for Morales on his arrival, the ambassador’s about-face confirms the orders originate from Washington, likely from Tom Shannon.
If Trump lets his State Department impose a CICIG-chosen justice minister on Guatemala, the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs will continue. With support from Trump, Morales could pick a candidate to apply the law properly, to the benefit of both countries.
Steve Hecht is editor at large of the Impunity Observer and writes from Guatemala, where he has resided for more than four decades. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily of any organization with which he may be associated.
The news out of Europe continues to get more and more depressing. From Italy to Sweden, more and more refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers continue to pour into Western Europe. (The Eastern Europeans, being more sensible, are refusing to accept them.) The predictable result is more terror attacks, everyday street crimes, rapes, and murders being committed by people almost entirely from the Middle East and Africa, predominantly Muslim, people who refuse to assimilate and do not respect the host country's culture. Not only is the continent no longer safe, but the native populations are in danger of being replaced over time. What would have been unthinkable ten or fifteen years ago is now becoming a fact almost to the point of being irreversible.
Sadly, Europe's leaders (including the EU) and media remain oblivious to the disaster. Not only do they ignore the objections of the people, they misinform them. A case in point is the media and how they report crime.
In Sweden, for example, newspapers report incidents of crime as being committed by "youth" (ungdomer). That is uniformly the case with the new Sweden. Riots, rapes and assaults in places like the Rosengård area of Malmö or the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby are committed by young boys in their teens or men in their 20s. That they are immigrants or Muslims is left out of the report. Names of people arrested are not given until a conviction is obtained. If you were uninformed, you might conclude that there was a serious problem among Swedish youth. There isn't. You have to read between the lines when you see a term like ungdomer or the actual scene of the offense (no-go zones like Rinkeby) to know who actually commits the crime.
In the UK, offenders have been referred to as "Asians". To Americans, that implies Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Thais etc. To the Brits, however, their Asian population traditionally comes from South Asia, specifically India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. Most of the offenders, including the notorious sex groomers (who prostitute young, drug addicted runaway girls), originate from Pakistan.
The most laughable example, however, is Germany, where a report out of Berlin or the heavily-impacted Rhineland will refer to unidentified offenders as "southerners". To the uninformed reader that might conjure up images of beer-soaked Bavarians in lederhosen and funny green hats. They are actually referring to people from "southern countries" (Middle East-Africa). Even Sgt. Schultz would blush in embarrassment.
Similarly, if you watch European cops and robbers shows, which I do regularly, you would think Europe has always had the same criminal element as we Americans. That's because the bad guys are always either natives or from the former East bloc countries, Russians, Yugoslavians, etc. (They are the most convenient targets.) Granted, many of the crime shows available here are dated a bit, but safe to say, European shows are as politically correct as our own when it comes to casting villains.
While we don't (yet) have the same type of problems as Europe, we still lament that the enemy cannot be defeated if we cannot name him. That is also true in Europe.
Svenska Islamiska Dagbladet, Or, Just The Last Few Weeks In Sweden
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sweden is blessed with economic prosperity, political stability, and the physical beauty of a lacustrine landscape, with forests of fir, and spruce, and pine. For at least the last two hundred years, the country has been unravaged by war. But instead of gratefully accepting their lucky lot, the Swedes, or at least those in the political, religious, and media elite, seem determined to make things worse for themselves. For the Swedes have in recent years allowed in hundreds of thousands of Muslims. The population of Sweden is about 10 million, and the latest estimate is that there are already at least one million Muslims in Sweden — a figure that has been calculated by Tobias Hubinette (in Sweden, a unique far-left figure who is alarmed by Islam) on the basis of counting immigrants and factoring in the much higher fertility rates for Muslim as compared with non-Muslim women.
Sweden, like Germany, is a highly desirable place for Muslim migrants, for they can live quite comfortably on the many benefits offered by the most generous of Europe’s welfare states: free or highly subsidized housing, free education, free medical care, family allowances (the bigger the family, the greater the allowances) and support for the unemployed. That last benefit has certainly discouraged Muslims from trying to find work. In 2015, only 494 of 163,000 asylum seekers — almost all of them Muslims — were employed within a year of arriving in Sweden. That may have been an unusual year, with a sudden jump in the numbers of asylum seekers, but since then, the unemployment rate for foreign-born migrants has always been between three and four times that of native Swedes. Clearly, Muslim migrants are in no hurry to find work.
How have Swedes reacted to the sudden challenge of seeing their country transformed, within less than a decade, by a Muslim population that is now 10% of the total ?
First, in September 2015, Bishop Eva Brunne of the Lutheran Church in Sweden called for removing all Christian symbols from the Seaman’s Church, including all crosses, and also to mark the direction of Mecca for Muslim worshippers. She said this would make the church “more inviting” to sailors of other religions — by that meaning, everyone understood, Muslims. She did not address, for it did not even occur to her, that while Muslims would find the Seaman’s Church more inviting to them because the church would be stripped of all crosses and other Christian signs — for how could anyone expect Muslims to endure the sight of crosses? — at the same time, this Christian church would be far less inviting to the very Christians for whom the Seaman’s Church was built.
The Bishop claimed that her proposal was simply to make the church conform to what is done in common prayer rooms at airports and in some hospital chapels. Her proposal triggered protests. Patrik Pettersson, a priest in Stockholm, wrote on his blog:
“The church chapel can not reasonably be equated with prayer rooms at airports and hospital chapels anyway. The Christian churches and chapels are not public areas at any time.”
And the Seamen’s Mission Director Kiki Wetterberg also disagreed with Bishop Brunne:
“I have no problem with Muslim or Hindu sailors coming here and praying. But I believe that we are a Christian church, so we keep the symbols. If I visit a mosque, I do not ask them to take down their symbols. It’s my choice to go in there,” she told the newspaper Dagen.
The past month has been a busy one for Islam-in-Sweden stories. In late January, the Swedes decided that the very best person to head the Swedish National Heritage Board was Qaisar Mahmood, a Muslim born in Pakistan. He was chosen for this position despite the fact that he has never studied — had not taken a single course — in Swedish history, Swedish literature, Swedish art, Swedish anything, and he proudly claims that “I know nothing about it [Swedish heritage].” What got him his initial job at the Swedish Heritage Board was that he claimed to have “participated in debates about culture and questions of identity,” had delivered lectures on the same theme, and he further stated how important it was to make the newest arrivals to Sweden, the Muslims, feel a “part of the culture,” which meant that the Swedish past should be scoured for evidence of early appearances of Muslims. Recently, in fact, a Swedish researcher, Anneke Larsson, believed that she had found, written in the Arabic script known as Kufic, the name “Allah” on some scraps of a Viking tapestry, a burial cloth. This caused great excitement in the archaeological establishment in Sweden, delighted at this “staggering” find that, if true, would have dated Islam, or Muslims, in Sweden, back to the time of the Vikings, that is, roughly between 800 and 1000 A.D. But then Stephennie Mulder, a researcher at the University of Texas, pointed out that the Kufic script only started to be used 500 years after the Vikings had disappeared. That put paid to that false story of the Islamo-Viking tapestry, but not to the eagerness with which some Swedes are still trying to backdate the Muslim presence in their country, in a display of what has correctly been described as “ethnomasochism.”
As Qaisar Mahmood moved steadily up the bureaucratic ladder at the Swedish National Heritage Board, he gave no signs of becoming interested in, or even of having decided to study, the Swedish national heritage. For him, culture was part of a narrative, and multiculturalists had to “create the narrative” that best promoted their interests. As a Muslim, he wanted to fashion a “national heritage” for Sweden that would reflect the “inclusivity” of the present. The Viking tapestry turned out to have nothing to do with Arabic script, or Islam, but archaeologists getting with the program have not given up hope. Their appetites have been whetted; the search goes on for an early appearance of Islam, no matter how brief or how bloody, in Sweden.
Mahmood sees as a main part of his task finding “how to make these people [Muslims] part of something.” But they already feel “part of something” — that is, Islam itself. And that faith keeps them from taking a sympathetic interest in the Swedish past or, indeed, in any pre-Islamic or non-Islamic culture which, for Muslims, belong to the “jahiliyya” or “time of ignorance” that exists before Islam arrives and comes to dominate.
Still in the first week of February, the four “center-right” parties in Sweden, known as the “Alliance” parties— the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party, and the Christian Democrat Party — proposed that newly arrived Muslim migrants be enrolled in Sweden’s volunteer home defense organizations. This, they claimed, could “contribute to the integration process.”
What would the Muslim migrants learn that would “contribute to the integration process” by being part of Sweden’s “home defense organizations”? In those defense organizations (there are 18 of them) they would not be taught the Swedish language, nor Swedish history, nor about the Swedish political system, nor about Swedish laws, including freedom of religion and equality of the sexes — in short, nothing about the culture of the country they had been allowed to settle in. They would learn how to use and take care of weapons. And, of course, they would also have access to such weaponry.
In a bill to the Swedish parliament, the four parties in the “Alliance” proposed that the ”newly arrived” Muslim migrants should be engaged in any of the 18 volunteer defense organizations:
“The volunteer defence organizations have a long history of social work and responsibility. We therefore believe that they can in a good way contribute in the integration process. Like many Swedes before them, the newly arrived could take part in meaningful activities and education and at the same time feel that they contribute to their new country.”
The purpose, according to those who introduced the bill, is to provide these migrants access to “important networks into the Swedish society and also prepare a way into the labour market.” The volunteer organizations have a “long history of social work and responsibility,” by which they surely mean that these organizations have historically taken in Swedes who are economically or socially marginalized, and who, working in these home defense organizations, regain their societal footing, gain access to “important networks” — that is, make contacts that might lead to gainful employment, possibly receive vocational training as well, and “learn to take part in meaningful activities” (following orders, working well in groups). And in addition, they learn how to handle whatever weapons are made available to the members of the “home defense organizations.”
But those Swedes who in the past were taken in by these home defense organizations were very different from the new Muslim migrants. They were not inculcated to feel only hostility toward non-Muslims, for they were non-Muslims themselves; they had no Qur’an to command them to take part in violent Jihad; they were looking to re-enter the world of work, not to rely for as long as they could — as so many Muslim migrants in Sweden now do — on the myriad benefits offered by the generous (to a fault) Swedish welfare state.
Muslim migrants are quite different. They do take to heart the Qur’anic commandments to conduct Jihad against the enemy, that is, all non-Muslims, not necessary through violence, but using whatever means that at the time are both possible and effective; they are not desperate to prepare themselves for gainful employment, and they have given every sign of wishing to remain contentedly dependent on the benefits of the Swedish state for as long as they can. Some of them will, on the other hand, be extremely interested in becoming part of the home defense organizations, where they will learn to handle weapons, and perhaps even be allowed to take the weapons home, as members of a “home guard” might ordinarily be permitted to do.
What makes the pollyannas who wrote this bill think that Muslim migrants have any need, or desire, to “feel that they contribute to their own country?” Their truest country is Dar al-Islam. They are Muslims in Sweden, not Muslim Swedes. The idea seems to be that training alongside Swedes will make them more willing to integrate, but the obstacles to integration are all on the Muslim side, to be found in the immutable Qur’an, which instructs Muslims “not to take Jews and Christians as friends, for they are friends only with each other” (5:51) and furthermore, to regard non-Muslims, it bears repeating, as “the most vile of creatures” (98:6).
Even if one believed that there was something Muslim migrants could participate in that would make them feel more a part of Swedish society, teaching them skills that can only make them more dangerous to Swedish non-Muslims is surely the worst way to do it. Instead, let them be “integrated,” if such is possible, by offering them the chance to show their willingness to work at menial tasks, as a sign that they have no intention of simply pocketing benefits without doing anything in return. Imagine seeing Muslim immigrants sweeping the streets, picking up litter, clearing roads of snow, helping feed the homeless, or even working in the fishing, lumber, and construction industries — work that needs doing, and that Muslim migrants should be willing to do (for pay) if they wish to be integrated into Swedish society. And if they refuse such tasks then it should be clear that they have come not to work but to pocket what benefits they can, and intend to drag out this parasitical existence for as long as possible. That should help change Swedish attitudes as to the wisdom of letting in large numbers of Muslim migrants. It is madness to encourage, as this bill sponsored by the “Alliance” does, the enrolling of Muslims, as soon as they arrive (and even before any vetting), in Swedish volunteer defense groups, where they will be taught the use of weapons of all kinds, and conceivably have access to such weaponry outside of the official training. It’s a preposterous idea, that could only be dreamed up by those who refuse to understand the threat of violent Jihad posed by Muslim Believers. Unfortunately, there seem to be quite a few such people among the Swedish political elite. Of all the jobs that the Swedish state should encourage Muslims to take, the least desirable, from the viewpoint of Infidels, is for them to become members of one of the Swedish Home Defense Organizations.
Still another sign of Swedish disarray is the response to a recent application by the Växjö Muslim Foundation to be allowed to broadcast the Call to Prayer. The Muslim application mentions as a reason why this should be granted is that Muslims should “feel at home” and “be proud of their culture.” Now the bishop of the area has declared his support for the claim. Bishop Fredrik Modéus writes on Facebook that it is “natural” that “different traditions and religions are heard” and that he “hopes to hear both church bells and prayer calls in our city.”
But the Muslim prayer call comes five times a day, beginning in the very early morning, waking non-Muslim inhabitants long before they would wish. And the last “call to prayer” is usually very late, between 10 p.m. and midnight (the time for all five prayers varying, of course, with the time of year), again waking many people who have just gone to sleep. For non-Muslims, the Call to Prayer is a noisy nuisance. Few would agree with Barack Obama’s claim that the Call to Prayer “is one of the prettiest sounds on earth at sunset.” And the Call to Prayer five times a day can now be obtained from hand-held devices properly programmed. Believers can wear on their wrists, or keep in their smartphone, their own personal muezzin. So there is no longer any need for broadcasting a muezzin’s amplified azan. The request is being made because Muslims, who know perfectly well they do not any longer require a muezzin to call them to prayer, want to be sure that non-Muslims are forced to hear the muezzin’s call. They want the Muslim presence to assert itself. They are intent on seeing just how far they can go in imposing their ways on the Infidels. To judge by Bishop Fredrik Modeus, they can go very far. Why Swedes need to discommode themselves, quite unnecessarily, by allowing this raucous Call to Prayer is unclear. The good bishop thinks it will allow Muslims “to show they are proud of their culture.” What kind of “culture” is this of which they should be proud? Isn’t it the “culture” of those who travel to distant lands and settle among those they are taught, by the Qur’an, to despise and to kill, convert, or subjugate? And is it really “pride” that they will feel if the Call to Prayer is loudly broadcast in Swedish cities and towns, or is it something else?
It is not “pride” that Muslims will feel but, rather, the triumphalism of underscoring the Islamic presence, through the quite unnecessary imposition of a loudly-broadcast Call to Prayer. Triumphalism is not the same thing as pride. Triumphalism is the insistence that “our God is greatest.” Imposing the Call to Prayer five times a day, reminding Swedes that we, the Muslims, are here, is fully consonant with the Qur’anic verse (3:110) that tells Muslims they are “the best of peoples” and the verse (98:6) that tells them that non-Muslims are the “most vile of creatures.” Bishop Modeus may be unfamiliar with those verses, and with much of the rest of the Qur’an, including the 109 Jihad verses; he may be unaware of when the first and last calls to prayers are made, and just how disruptively cacophonous they can be. Finally, he may not realize that the muezzin’s wail is unnecessary in the age of apps for smartphones that keep daily track of the proper prayer times, and alert the bearer. He ought to be made more aware of how Muslims view the meek acceptance of their demands by non-Muslims, regarding such acceptance not as a sign of ecumenical goodwill but, rather, as a sign of submission to the “best of peoples” by the “most vile of creatures.”
And that is Sweden today, with its political and religious elites still determinedly unwilling to recognize the meaning and menace of Islam, and instead responding in a way that can only be called — see the latest issues of SvenskaIslamiska Dagbladet — unhinged.
Islamist extremists are exploiting a range of “good” causes, according to a security think-tank. CHARITIES used by extremists who promote violence or hatred received £6million in tax relief last year, a bombshell report reveals. The £6million is the amount waived through the Gift Aid tax scheme. The cash write-off could be spent on producing radical material and events or pay for travel to conflict zones.
But the report makes clear it was used by non violent charities and individuals. . . accuses charities of supporting “the spread of harmful non-violent extremist views that are not illegal; by providing platforms, credibility and support to a network of extremists operating in the UK.”
One international charity mentioned in the paper is chaired by an Islamic preacher banned from entering the UK.
The report, Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing: How Islamist Extremists Exploit the UK Charitable Sector, has been produced by the Henry Jackson Society think-tank by its research fellow Emma Webb, a specialist in counter-extremism who studied 30 charities.
(She ) believes it could be the tip of the iceberg. She said: “It is outrageous millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is unwittingly being handed over to extremists.”
The report calculates that £6,066,952 a year in Gift Aid received by charities in its study would be enough to fund 27,000 NHS hospital beds, 264 new teachers or 229 soldiers.
Alec Guiness as John LeCarré's cold warrior George Smiley
Please put on some speed and have someone watch over new technological developments. Almost 170 years ago in the 1840s, Countess Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, and brilliant mathematician, pioneered and worked on a mechnical general purpose computer, considered to be the first computer program, invented even before computers existed. She died young, aged 36, but her influence is immense. She is a foremost role model for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Equally important, she inspired both computer pioneers, especially Alan Turing, considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artifical intelligence, who helped break the Nazi ciphers code in World War II.
One of the tributes to Lovelace is that the computer language "Ada,"created in 1979 on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense was named after her. Lovelace may well have understood the astonishing potential for computers and their impact on our lives. Yet, she might have been surprised by the revelations in recent weeks of the use made by Russians in using various devices, software control through computers, iPad, or smart phone, and cyberware to gain information and disseminate false information, fake news, to sow dissent. So called BlackEnergy Malware is said to have been used by Russian cyber espionage groups in Ukraine to target power facilities and other utilities, and complex industrial operations.
That interference probably had little or no impact on or changed few votes in the 2016 presidential election nor does it suggest evidence of any Trump-Russian "collusion." But convincing revelations have been presented of the great extent of Russian attemps to gather intelligence and influence opinion in the U.S., as elsewhere, not so much by human individual spies or agents as by other virtual methods, especially social media.
Of course spies and use of other methods for information or disinformation are not new. In World War II various unusual devices were used to obtain information, ravens to deposit and retrieve objects, pidgeons to warn of the enemy, cats with electronic transmitters to eavesdrop on conversations.
Intelligence gathering and subterfuges are familiar in history. The Greeks used the Trojan Horse to enter and destroy the city of Troy and win the 10 year old war. Today, "Trojan warfare" infects computers, collecting information or making changes in a security system, and has been inserted in the U.S. by hackers probably sponsored by Russian sources.
Collecting information is familiar in the Bible. Numbers :13 reports that Moses sent 12 spies, one from each Hebrew tribe, from Acacia to scout for 40 days the land of Canaan, especially Jericho. Ten of them thought that the area was a land of milk and honey, but that the cities were large and fortified, and the people there were strong, and so they advised against advance. But two, Joshua and Caleb, were more positive, and insisted "We should go up and take possession of the land." And as Louis Armstrong sang to us, "Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down."
Gathering intelligence and spying started early in the U.S, when the Second Continental Congress in 1775 set up the Committee of Secret Correspondence to attract foreign support for the American revolutionary cause. The Committee, in which Benjamin Franklin was the most active member, employed secret agents abroad to gain intelligence and conduct undercover operations.
Russian spying and attempts at disinformation are not new , but what is new is the sophistication and extent of the devices now employed.
Starting in the late 1920s , the Soviet Union used Russian and foreign born nationals, and U.S. and European citizens to transmit information of political, military, and industrial nature. It is sufficient to mention a few Americans who acted on behalf of the SU or were used by it: Earl Browder, General Secretary of the U.S. Communist party , the group controlled by J.Peters who recruited agents, the "Ware group," Alger Hiss, assistant Secretary of State, Harry Dexter White, assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Elizabeth Bentley, Julius Rosenberg executed, together with his wife Ethel, in 1953 for giving nuclear secrets, not to mention others who had infiltrated the U.S. atom bomb project.
Similarly in Britain, the Soviet Union began in the 1930s recruiting communist sympathizers, bright graduates from elite universities. The most notorious were the Cambridge Five, Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, John Cairncross, and Anthony Blunt, a leading art historian and Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures who confessed to being a Soviet spy.
A rather enticing and infriguing story has in February 2018 been published with allegations about Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party MP for Islington in London since 1983, and now leader of the Labour Party, who met in 1986 and 1987 on at least three occasions with Czech Communist "diplomats", agents, part of the Soviet bloc. The question being currently asked is whether Corbyn was any kind of informer, or simply naive and innocent in what John Le Carre has called "a cause the world barely remembers." Corbyn, given a code name COB, was regarded by the Czech spies as a "person of interest," and was contacted by the Czech secret police that was dissolved in 1990 after the Soviet Union ended as did the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, a satellite state of the Soviet Union.
Spies are still used, even if not as glamous and notorious as Mata Hari, the Dutch exotic dancer, executed in 1917 as a spy for Germany in World War I, but new technology has replaced the once simple spying devices, invisible ink, secret codes, blind drops on park benches or in hollow trees. They have been replaced by sophistication, doctored images, falsehoods posted on social media, documents intended to divide and sow discord and confusion among Americans, invention of fake personalities, use of Bots, software application that performs an automated task over the Internet, "troll farms," state sponsored commentators who post deliberately inflamatory or provocative comments.
Noticable in all this were fake impersonations such as Black Lives Matter activists and white supremists, fake news, conspiracy theories, hacker attacks, dissemination of disinformation disguised as educational or scientific reports, activism in political blogs, participation in staged political rallies, posing as U.S. activists.
Detection of these activities is obviously difficult. Evidence now available illustrates the role of the Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency. This agency, employing 100 persons, and bankrolled by the shadowy figure , the 56 year old Vevgeny Prigoizhin, former small time criminal, hot dog street vendr, now restaurant and catering businessman known as "Putin's chef," has played a major role as an arm of Russian foreign policy, including financing a Russian "troll factory." IRA instructed its workers in the use of graphics and videos, employing people with coding and social media skills, and some English, to create fake personalities among other tasks. One of those tasks was a false video of an African-American woman being killed by white police officer in Georgia.
A formidable task is ahead for the U.S. institutions, governmental and private. Official governmental bodies are concerned with protection of national security and the public interest to overcome the foreign targeting of groups, by demography, geography, gender, and political points of view. Perhaps an even greater role must now be played by private US organizations.
No one favours censorship or silencing of dissent, but it is wise to recognize that the Internet is now a dangerous place used for improper purposes including organizing rallies, protests, and even distribution of bank cards and money transfers. Major companies, Facebook with its 2 billon users, Twitter, and Alphabet's you tube are relucant to remove material, even if they contain falsehoods. They confine themselves mainly to those materisls promoting hate speech or child pornography. However, they must do more, to vet their sites more carefully, to limit the use of propaganda tools, to prevent any financing by foreign interests, and to be held more accountable to prevent foreign disinformtion campaigns.
Secret Minutes of Sudan President Bashir Reveal State Support for Islamic Terrorism
by Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah, Jerome B. Gordon, Deborah P. Martin
Sudan’s President Bashir is caught up in an ongoing campaign of deceit and deception in the face of roiling domestic and regional problems threatening the long-term viability of his Muslim Brotherhood regime. He has engaged in phony threats of regional war against Egypt and Eritrea to deflect attention of riots of bread, high unemployment and his foreign adventures in Yemen, support for Islamists and Muslim Brothers seeking to overthrow regimes in Libya and Chad, giving away Red Sea ports to Turkey’s Erdogan to further his Ottoman revival hegemony in Africa. Then, he gets caught fostering enslavement of Sudan migrants in the slave markets in Libya violating his deal with the EU to monitor and intercept migrants.
It is all part of his Arab Coalition Plan to ethnically cleanse the conflict areas of Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile of indigenous African people. In addition to exploiting the natural resources, especially gold and crude oil, he is bringing in Arab jihadists granting them Sudanese citizenship and nationality to attain his ultimate goal of recruiting a 150,000 man Rapid Support Force/Janjaweed Army. This would fulfill the grand design of overthrowing adjacent regimes in the Sahel of Africa creating a Caliphate ruled from Khartoum under Islamic Sharia Law. The toll to date of his nefarious plan has been more than 600,000 killed, over 5 million displaced internally and several hundred thousand who have fled to UNHCR camps in Chad, Central African Republic and elsewhere in Africa. We have provided copious details in our book, Genocide in Sudan: Caliphate threatens Africa and the World that highlighted secret National Congress Party (NCP)/Islamic Movement plans and memos.
The latest example of how Bashir and the NCP regime deception plans are found in Presidential Minutes of December 11, 2017 signed by Dr. Abdallah Fodul Minister of Presidential Affairs. This document is not complete as we have obtained only three pages. However, the information is important because it describes how President Bashir’s Muslim Brotherhood regime supports Islamic extremist terrorism in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Somalia and other African countries. We have translated the document from the original Arabic to English. See here.
Among the secret memo contents covered in this review are:
Sudan Debt and Economic Realities;
The commitment to the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen;
Support for Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State resistance in Libya and Somalia
The charade that war against indigenous African people in Darfur is over.
Efforts to convince US to delist Sudan from State Sponsors of Terrorism
The SITREP that lies
Sudan Debt and Economic Realities. The Minutes addressed the economic bind the country is in and suggestions by the EU and others, especially the IMF about priority areas for development. It states:
As for European countries, they requested 3 projects from us during the African Union Summit. They are democracy, human rights and good governance. And these projects we should complete them through ‘elastic’ measurements. One who accept should be committed with these measurements and the one who did not accept it should be treated him as breached the international law. Anyone who accept should be committed with these measurements and the one who did not accept it should be treated him as breached the international law.
“Elastic measurements “refers to the rules and regulations established by the regime during the National Dialogue Conference and modified by the President Bashir to suit the NCP policy and strategy.
An IMF report issued in September 2017 cited the country’s difficult straits:
In 2016, economic activity grew at a modest rate of 3.5 percent while inflation increased to 17.8 percent. The fiscal deficit was stable at 1.6 percent of GDP despite shortfalls in oil related revenues, and the external trade deficit moderated owing largely to the depreciation of the real exchange rate. In 2017, weaker domestic demand—partly due to a reduction in energy subsidies by the government in late 2016—is expected limit growth to 3.2 percent. The impact of higher energy prices and rapid monetary expansion to help finance large remaining subsidies pushed inflation to 34 percent in July. The fiscal deficit is expected to widen to 2 percent of GDP. While the external current deficit is moderating due to the impact of higher energy prices and a depreciated real exchange rate, international reserves remain low.
The report of IMF Article 5 team echoed the EU recommendations:
“Economic conditions in Sudan remain challenging in the face of persistent fiscal deficits, high inflation, and economic sanctions.
The economic outlook hinges on implementing bold and broad-based reforms to stabilize the economy and strengthen growth.
The expansion of social safety nets to support the most vulnerable and reforms to improve the business environment to engender strong, broad-based growth are critical.”
Sudan Prime Minister General Backri Hassan Salih blames it all on the war in Darfur on the conflict zones of South Kordofan. He is cited in this Presidential Minutes saying:
The war delayed us greatly and one of its consequences is the economic problems that we are living in today and political differences that we are witnessing. The government spent huge amounts of money over the past few years with the aim of bringing security in Darfur region. Praise be to Allah! Darfur is now secured. In the next phase, we should speak about adopting the dialogue as a method of solving the problems. We say that the strategy of international community is to achieve peace through dialogue and agreement not fighting. The overall reform stands at the head of economic reform that strengthening its structure and social reform to resolve the confrontation with vulnerable groups affected by the program of economic reform. The reform of the civil service, the development of human resources, review of its legislation and the mechanism because the treatment of economic sector even during the past years did not produce tangible results after reduction of exports and the rise in the price of gold and the dollar.
The explosion of domestic violence in early 2018 triggered by economic protests over lack of bread, high unemployment and hyperinflation indicate that the Bashir regime had ignored the warnings of international agencies that this would be the result. Added to that was the $7.3 billion court award by a US Federal appeals court in Washington DC in July 2017 for Sudan’s role in facilitating the August 1998 US Embassies bombing by Al Qaeda that killed 224 and 5,000 injured in Kenya and Tanzania.
The commitment to the faltering Saudi-led Yemen campaign that Qatar pays for.
When Bashir cut a deal with the Saudi King Salman to supply troops and air support in the Kingdom campaign in Yemen in 2015 against the Houthi rebels-backed by Sudan’s ally Iran, it was for a desperately needed $6 billion. Three years along, the war in Yemen is in a virtual stalemate, fraught with missile attacks, heavy air bombardment, a massive Cholera epidemic outbreak and competing Sunni internal factions on the cusp of dividing the country on north south lines.
Nevertheless, as attested by comments cited in the secret Minutes, Bashir was willing to continue participation for pay:
The rapid developments witnessed by Yemen put the Arab alliance in a critical situation (impasse) and increased pressure on Sudan because it sided with Qatar or the states of boycott (Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain) use it (the Qatar problem) as a weapon and they are aware of besieging the people not the regime. Whatever situations, we will not withdraw our forces from Yemen; although Emirate and Saudi Arabia have not fulfilled all their obligations.
Bashir wanted to avoid the squabble between the UAE and Qatar, while committing his forces to the Yemen conflict, although he alleges that neither the UAE nor Saudis have fulfilled “obligations.” It is illustrative of Bashir playing the double game in terms of preserving relations with key financier and Muslim Brother ally in the Islamic movement, the Emir of Qatar, while keeping a line out to both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Illustrative of the Islamic Movement agenda is the close cooperation with Qatar on Islamic Movement activities in Africa while having Qatar pay for Sudan’s military commitment to the UAE-Saudi Yemen foray. That effectively amounts to Bashir’s contribution to ‘curbing’ Iran’s influence in the region. Rather cynical, as the regime June 2017 Secret Political Crisis Committee minutes say it would reach out to Tehran, its former terrorism partner. The Presidential Memo notes:
We have to contribute to curbing Iran’s influence and look strongly at the region and work to stabilize Yemen and the return of the legitimate government. And we have participated in the Assif-al-Hazem (Saudi-led Coalition) from the beginning with aircrafts and presence of forces in the ground. We must continue our active and strong participation. And on the other hand, we work with Qatar to cover the portion of payments that Saudi Arabia and Emirate have not paid.
Support for Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State resistance in Egypt, Libya, Syria and Somalia
In Genocide in Sudan we documented Bashir’s support for Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State activities in both Libya and Chad. These Presidential Minutes extends that to include support for Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State in Syria and affiliate Al Shabaab in Somalia. Note this citation:
We have now become an influential force in the region. We have done our duty for our brothers in Libya and we have provided support to the revolutionaries with all that we could and opened Jihad door for our children in the Islamic Movement. They joined hands with their brothers from Egypt and African countries; and they have gone out together with their brothers from Sudan to perform a duty in Libya and Syria. As we have managed and provided aid to our Somali brothers, we have opened all our educational institutions to their students when their country collapsed. Our brothers in the Islamic Movement requested us to take care of the Islamists in the land of Somalia. We sent to them some medical doctors; even now we are striving to achieve unity, security and stability in Somalia. Helping them does not harm us, because there is no tribe in Africa that has no presence in our land.
The last sentence refers to the Bashir regime’s doctrinal belief that every tribe in Africa is represented in Sudan. No one in western media, diplomatic or intelligence sources reveals Bashir’s strong support of Jihadists in Africa, which includes the Somalis. Khartoum’s belief more than suggests that Africa belongs exclusively to Muslim communities and they should help the Jihadists everywhere. This whole paragraph validates our findings in Genocide in Sudan that Sudan is part of the Islamic State affiliate resistance in Syria, Libya and Sudan. The Bashir regime sees its duty to support Islamic revolutions and jihad. This means that ‘helping with the war on terror’ means helping to ‘fuel’ that war and justifies keeping Sudan’s designation by the US as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The charade that war against indigenous African people in Darfur is over.
One glaring item of self-serving propaganda is that Darfur has been “pacified” and that the staged disarmament campaign has been successful. Note this from the Presidential Minutes:
Praise be to Allah (God). Darfur is secured now. There is no rebellion and the disarmament plan has succeeded; even the weapons that are not handed over are hidden. The use of weapons is prohibited in Darfur and now they are completely disappeared. And whoever remained of the rebels, we are not afraid of them and prepared for them if they come peacefully or as a warrior. We suggested that whoever wanted to return from displaced camps we would provide them all their needs from security to basic services and have a complete program of development in Darfur through the initiative and contribution of Qatar establishing Darfur Development Bank in Darfur with the participation of the Islamic Development Bank.
In Genocide in Sudan we documented that the “disarmament” campaigns against Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Darfur were staged by the Bashir regime. It was a patent cover-up to please the Americans. These faux campaigns against the backdrop of protests by camp residents often concluded with rampages by Rapid Support Force (RSF)/Janjaweed with resulting killings and rapes. The UNAMID forces deployed at IDP camps, as attested to by a former UN official, were neutralized. “Providing IDP camp residents needs” is typically Orwellian argot by the Bashir regime. The real plan is to take IDP residents out by fighting or scattering elsewhere.
The regime offers revitalization packages for people who want to leave the IDP camps and go back to their land. The regime is suggesting that the instability is over, so the IDP's believe they can go home safely. However, according to sources on the ground, the RSF/Janjaweed continues to terrorize indigenous African farmers both on their land and on their way home. The attacks prevent them from returning to their villages and land. Even if they make it, staying safe is impossible. Some IDPs are killed; others are beaten. It is especially true in South Darfur. Then, when the land is abandoned, it is handed over to the families of RSF Janjaweed recruits and ISIS émigrés from the Islamic Movement (IM) in Africa and the Middle East as reward for their cooperation and service to the IM. The farmers are left jobless in the cities.
The spin on getting state sponsorship of terrorism lifted by the US
When the Trump Administration lifted Sanctions on October 6, 2017 that was followed a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and team arriving in Khartoum on November 16, 2017 to hold discussion on outstanding issues. That ended with the matter of gaining evidence to support the lifting by the US of the Sudan designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. Hence this Presidential Minutes of December 11, 2017 addressed how the Bashir regime would address that.
Here is the spin the Minutes put on it:
Because of our relations with the US Administration, there is a lot of change following the visit that we have well prepared; in which we have provided an insight on the development that the country is witnessing and the National Dialogue and the entry of the country into a new phase. We could say that this stage made relationship between the two countries go forward, which would lead to the lifting the name of Sudan from the list of states supporting terrorism; especially as they witnessed our cooperation with them and relations with CIA since the end of 1990s.
And we have provided security clarifications that contribute to attracting economic investments, reassuring the members of Congress that mostly belong to the class of businessmen to see Sudan is the land of opportunities, and we speak about the discontent of US companies from the boycott system to motivate Washington to lift sanctions or to make exceptions to granting licenses through the Office of American Assets Control.
The reality is that there was little of value the Bashir regime gave to the CIA in the 1990’s, except perhaps allowing Carlos the Jackal to be seized by French Intelligence agents in 1994 in Khartoum and whisked for prosecution in France. Moreover, one of the authors had the experience of receiving a publically distributed 2007 document signed by President Bashir allowing mujahedeen to kill US aid workers in Khartoum. A USAID official and his driver were killed four months later in January 2008. No reprimand of the Bashir regime was made.
Moreover, alleged counterterrorism information on the whereabouts of terrorist Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army was a thin reed. The specific location of Kony was actually obtained by co-author, General Abdallah and provided to US Army who subsequently did nothing with it. Finally, the information on state support for Islamic Movement terrorism revealed earlier makes it unlikely that the State Department ‘state sponsor of terrorism ‘ designation should be lifted.
The SITEP that lies
The Presidential Minutes then puts out a SITREP on how it managed with the National Intelligence Security Service to buttress internal security in spite of the internal resistance groups. It goes to great lengths to portray Sudan as pacified. Note some of its citations of alleged successes:
As for attempts of obfuscation, it is propaganda and rumors with no purpose but to target and disrupt our plan. The armed movements are behind it in order to destabilize security and stability, because they know that organization (National Intelligence and Security Services) has played a huge role in supporting security stability and development alongside its participation in the armed forces and other regular forces in all theatres of operations and have achieved great victories in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Also the NISS has contributed to the achievement of internal security in cooperation with police forces and other regular forces.
This amounts to confirming genocide in Darfur and the major conflict zones
The ceasefire has been declared on all fronts in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and we are working to attract some of the movements and bring them in the homeland to join the peace in line with the conditions of Dialogue and the National Reconciliation witnessed by the Sudan.
The regime has repeatedly made and broken ceasefires with resistance groups to its advantage.
There is importance of continuing the proceedings of current political and economic measures to ensure the weakening of the regime of Juba (South Sudan) and make it preoccupied with internal issues with a balance that is not prejudicial to regional strategic stability and does not produce negative affect to Sudan.
This is an admission by the regime of its intent to destabilize South Sudan.
These recommendations from this secret meeting reveal the strategy that the Bashir Regime intends to follow in its information Jihad war of deception. It demonstrates why lifting sanctions was premature and why Sudan is still a ‘state sponsor’ of Islamic terrorism.
Maintaining relationship with US and exploiting relations with Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate, Qatar, Kuwait and Ethiopia to lift Sudan from the list of states supporting terrorism
Benefit from the relationship with Italy to put pressure on European Union countries and invite investors and businessmen to exploit opportunities existing in Sudan
Assign the concerned parties to provide necessary requirements to finance the required military deals demanded from Russia.
The First Deputy Prime Minister, the Prime Minister, directs the ministers not to make any statements which would interfere with Sudan’s external relations; and to activate a mechanism of coordination between the foreign minister and press minister regarding to foreign relations
The National Intelligence and Security Services to continue to control the press releases that affect Sudan foreign relations and activities of the Sudan government external and internal.
Direct press to provide positive aspects for the visit of the US Deputy Secretary of State to Sudan to cover up the impression left by the lack of meeting the president and the impact on the development of relations with the clarification that the meeting did not occur because the date of the visit coincided with the President’s interior visits to the states.
Direct the press and the media to talk about the Egyptian role in South Sudan and other neighboring countries that is directed against the Sudan and Ethiopia
Direct the media to ignore any decisions or declarations from the International Criminal Court
Continue to ban Egyptian manufactured products regardless of their ‘validity’ and seek to limit the flow of Sudanese travelling to Egypt for treatment in the Arab Republic of Egypt
Support situations of Egyptian opposition when Presidential election is near and activate its role
Work to neutralize Marshal Khalifa Hafter and his aides to disrupt his relations with Egypt and United Arab Emirate
Direct the media to highlight the advantages of economic reforms and to prepare for the consequences of the increase of the prices caused by damages happening to the other countries caused by demonstrations and out of public order.
France pledges 1,500 jail places to isolate radicalised inmates
France will create 1,500 new places in its jails to isolate Islamist extremists and prevent them from converting other prisoners, the prime minister announced as he unveiled a major new plan aimed at stopping young people becoming terrorists.
“Islamist radicalisation is a menace for our society,” said Edouard Philippe, unveiling the plan that includes measures on dealing with the hundreds of French men and women - and their children - who have returned from the battlefields of Syria and Iraq or are expected to do so.
Mr Philippe travelled along with a dozen government ministers to the northern city of Lille to present the programme which comprises a total of 60 measures and puts the emphasis on prevention.
The plan is the third programme in less than four years to try to prevent and control the phenomenon, which many other European states are also grappling with, of disaffected young people turning to radical Islam and sometimes to terror. I wouldn't say they were disaffected - they are perfectly well adjusted in their own context. which iswar with the infidel.
"This is a plan of mobilisation,” said the prime minister. “It's a battle the state alone cannot fight." The new plan involves prisons, schools, social workers and the sports world, among others, on local and national levels.
"No one has a magic formula for 'deradicalisation' as if you could de-install dangerous software," said Mr Philippe.
A total of 512 people are currently serving time for terrorism offences in France and a further 1,139 prisoners have been flagged as having been radicalised.
The Prime Minister said he would create 1,500 places in separate prison wings for radicalised inmates, with 450 of them to be ready by the end of this year.
He also announced plans for three new centres that will attempt to reintegrate radicals referred by French courts, including jihadists returning from fallen Isil strongholds in Syria and Iraq. When I saw the headline I expected a sort of super Chateau d'if, or maybe a revamp of Devil's Island. Left, Chateau d'if, not le supermax Francais.
A first de-radicalisation trial ended in failure last July, when a centre in western France that operated on a voluntary basis closed its doors after less than a year due to a lack of volunteers.
Another measure will make it easier to reassign civil servants who show signs of radicalisation to jobs that do not involve contact with the public. At least the French authorities have noticed danger the infiltration of the Civil Service poses; the British government have facilitated the demise of ours.
Last Saturday a march for women’s rights took place in Berlin, organized by Leyla Bilge, an ex-Muslim and member of AfD. But a narrow street on the route made it easy for Leftists to block the marchers and according to reports the police were less than enthusiastic in keeping the route open so that the marchers could proceed. In reading the comments section on this report at Gates of Vienna I noticed an entry which caught my attention:
Antifa is part of an unholy alliance which stands against the West …This includes, some say, high-level arms and drug traffic… This is, perhaps, another conspiracy theory, but there is, no doubt, some truth in it. These partners think, perhaps, that they can help each other in fighting the West, and, after they win (let us pray this doesn’t happen!) discard one another…There are places in which we can see both drug traffic and terror organizations, especially Islamic ones, in action. One such place is the Triborder, in South America, where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet: It is said to have hosted some high-level Hizbollah members. Relatively few people are aware of that, but it is a danger for the future. Ex-CIA station chief Brad Johnson has an interesting YouTube video about this.
So I checked it out.
This video, an interview with ex-CIA Station Chief was made in 2017 shortly after the Manchester Arena bombing in which twenty-three people were killed, including the attacker, and over 500 were injured. Ex-station chief Brad Johnson has some interesting things to say about the way in which terrorist groups operate around the world. Considering what he has had to deal with, Johnson is relaxed and matter-of-fact but then I guess you might need to be when dealing with this nightmare.
In the interview Johnson is asked a series of questions about militant Islam, and the combined threat of militant Islam with a resurgent classical leftism. Some of his answers are shocking. It is therefore worth remembering who these people are, how they work and. what they plan.
There is a long discussion about something called the Manchester Manual which is the ur instruction manual from which most Jihadi publications derive.This document was found as a result of investigations made after the 2005 London bombings in which 52 people were killed and over 700 wounded. After that event British Intelligence raided many safe houses throughout the UK. In one of these houses they found a computer and on the computer was a document - a training and recruiting manual. Because it was found in Manchester it became known as the Manchester Manual.
The MM itself is divided into 13 or 14 chapters – much of it stolen from British Special Forces material and rewritten for the purposes of al Qaida back in the day. There are many documents like this in circulation, but the MM is the template for them all. Subjects include who to recruit, how to spy and collect information, where to rent safe houses, including a complete manual on how to run a terrorist operation in a foreign country, how to set up security - this includes designating tasks to specific people on your team – some stand and fight to the death, some destroy documents, some escape with documents, etc. This division of labor Johnson says, has proved to be exactly how they have operated in real raids.
Johnson also discusses a jihadi magazine called RUMIYAH which contains advice and information that he says is closely followed by terrorists. RUMIYAH No. 9 for example deals with issues like moral justification - that is what is and isn’t halal (clean). For example, it’s halal to kill men women and children, and to attack schools. What the magazine advises usually takes place, he says.
In one issue of this magazine there is advice on how to set up operations that, although small, are still very effective in creating absolute terror – for example attracting people via an ad for an apartment rental or a job interview but killing them instead. Advice: set up a place in advance where screams cannot be heard and have a room ready in which to dump the bodies. Good also is to bring people in on a schedule so that every hour or half hour you bring another person in for their ‘interview’ or to ‘see’ the rental, and as they come in you slaughter them – i.e. slit their throats. Johnson warns that this kind of action is already planned for the USA.
The Triborder issue doesn’t appear until the end of the video. It is preceded by a discussion of how leftists have taught Islamists to play the victim card effectively. The interviewer refers to Carlos the Jackal, who is reported to have said that that the only way to topple the USA is through a combination of Islam and the Far Left. The interviewer asks what Johnson thinks of that. He replies:
I couldn’t agree more and Carlos the Jackal, by the way is an extraordinarily interesting character. He has written several books recently about asymmetrical warfare and is a big promoter of the extreme left joining up with the Islamic terrorists and is one of the world’s biggest philosophical promoters of this asymmetrical warfare, which is what we face with terrorism.
He wrote a little book that was on asymmetrical warfare and how to destroy the United States – and that book is required reading for much of the military of South America that’s gone to the left, like Venezuela. It’s required reading for every one of their officers.They have to be familiar with this and understand the concepts of asymmetrical warfare, how to cooperate with Islamic terrorism and so on – which if that doesn’t worry you about our southern border you’re not paying attention.
There’s a large Arabic-descent population in certain areas of South America. Certainly, the Triborder area, as It’s known, is famous for that – certainly a hotbed for this type of activity. So, these terrorist groups have made inroads there and have a friendly audience in many of these places, so it’s an absolute danger and I would add one more thing on that, and it’s really one of my pet peeves and why I do these interviews.
It’s that we have to defend ourselves – we have to go after these people. ….These guys are now killing our innocent civilians in the streets and we’re not really going after them the way we need to, to stop this. We can win this, and it doesn’t require a brain surgeon to figure out how to do it. It’s a combination of the US military and US Intelligence. And what have we done under the previous administration in those 8 years? Gutted the military and gutted the CIA to run these intelligence operations, and those two need to be put back at full force and let loose to get these guys and track them down and kill them. There is no other way.
A lot of people on the left are making claims like – oh we need to give them a job, we need to reeducate them, this that and the other – it’s nonsense. There are a lot of pictures on these recruitment things I’ve been talking about, of terrorists who die with a smile on their face – that’s what they do – they take photographs of these individuals dead with smiles on their faces because they refused treatment that would save their lives because they want to be a martyr. So their conviction is such that if wounded they refuse treatment so that they can die and go to heaven as a martyr. And you think you’re going to convince those people to take a job? It’s just absolute nonsense.
Our politics is getting silly. Canadians can and must do better
Canadians are more lighthearted than the world generally credits, but we aren’t frivolous. Our government is hovering on the edge of that sinkhole
by Conrad Black
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Sean Kilpatrick/CP
It is becoming increasingly difficult to take Canadian politics seriously. The prime minister is in India, but essentially on a prolonged photo-opportunity (including self-taken photos), and a touristic visit with his family, with a very thin official schedule. There is nothing wrong with that, and it is an immense and fascinating country, but he must be aware that news photographs of the Trudeaus in pious attitudes and adapted costume before eastern religious statuary and hobnobbing with controversial people was bound to incite a good deal of mirth and audible derision.
His father did a bit of that, but managed to pass himself off plausibly as someone who knew a fair amount about the mysteries and folkways of East and South Asia, had travelled there extensively as a younger man, and was respectfully received by the highest authorities with whom he had substantive discussions when he went as prime minister. He adjusted his wardrobe somewhat, but was a renowned and discriminating clothes horse and sometimes dressed in eastern and sub-continental fashion at home. Whether it was a pose or not, Pierre Trudeau conveyed the impression of being on a serious mission of conciliating the world’s great regions to the extent Canada could play such a role.
The first Canadian leader to visit India was Louis S. St. Laurent in 1954, and he was most hospitably and respectfully received in extensive discussions by the long-serving Indian leader, Jawaharlal Nehru. They used to meet at Commonwealth leaders’ sessions when it was a much less numerous and more important grouping than it is now, and co-operated to some degree in ending the Korean War, and later in the Suez affair (though as usual, the Americans did the heavy lifting, and most of the useful fighting). Pierre Trudeau knew a little of the drama of India and of the squalor of what Mahatma Gandhi called its “hundred thousand dung-heaps,” (villages), even if he didn’t frequent them. Justin Trudeau was greeted on arrival last week by the Indian minister of agriculture. There seems to be some mixing in sectarian politics, especially in respect of the Sikhs and Muslims. Justin Trudeau shouldn’t get into that.
He did eventually meet the prime minister, Narendra Modi, but it is unlikely that anything serious will result from their talks. The general tenor of press comment in Canada is that the country is tiring of exercises in the elegance of the Trudeaus; the country knows they are elegant and most Canadians are happy for that, as most were impressed by the worldliness of Pierre Trudeau. But two-thirds of the way through this mandate, a potentially dangerous number of Canadians think their government and its leader should be more preoccupied with public policy beyond institutionalized feminism and truckling to the so-called Indigenous nations.
The prime minister of Australia is about to take half his government to the United States for intensive discussions of a wide range of issues, and it won’t be a costuming occasion
The British government is grappling with Brexit; the new French government with revitalizing the sclerotic French state; the Germans with assimilating a million refugees and gradually asserting Germany’s natural strength in central Europe. The Poles and Hungarians and Austrians and Czechs are reconciling democracy with more authoritarian traditions, and much more successfully, especially in Hungary, than is commonly admitted in the Western media. Some of the leaders are more competent than others, but at least they all are busy trying to do something. Whatever anybody thinks of the current American president, he is working hard and trying to de-escalate the Korean crisis, assist Ukraine, has led the destruction of ISIL and is trying to salvage part of Syria, is enjoying an economic boom which he largely authored, is working on immigration reform and infrastructure renewal, and is diligently meeting with relatives of victims of school massacres to avoid the recurrence of such horrible tragedies. The prime minister of Australia is about to take half his government to the United States for intensive discussions of a wide range of issues, and it won’t be a costuming occasion. Canadians are grateful, when they think about it, that we have fewer problems than most other large countries, and Canadians are more lighthearted than the world generally credits, but we (Canadian citizens and residents) aren’t frivolous. The present government is hovering on the edge of that sinkhole in the perceptions of the people of Canada and of the world.
It must be said that the run-up to the next election in the largest province, Ontario,
with 37 per cent of Canadians, is not a majestic progress to dignified popular consultation either. I was one of those who was outraged by the putsch against Patrick Brown, then leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, over the allegations of two youngish women who claimed that he had made inappropriate advances on them, stopping well short of the imputation of crimes. The accusations have changed, the journalism is suspect; and one of the aggrieved has vanished for a prolonged vacation in an exotic and distant place where she is more likely to encounter an astonishingly accoutred Justin Trudeau than anyone self-describing as an Ontario Progressive Conservative. (It’s about time to drop the antiquarian Progressive, as it is for the NDP to stop claiming to be New, after nearly 60 years.)
Everything about the abrupt exit of Patrick Brown is fishy
Everything about the abrupt exit of Patrick Brown is fishy, including his apparent acquiescence in it. And as he tries to resurrect his career and run to succeed himself, he is facing a barrage of improvised piety from his acting successor and a defeated former rival (Mr. Vic Fedeli), and a hail of integrity questions about his acquisition of a home with a large mortgage on it. The vague insinuation is abroad that he might have received a loan for the down payment from someone who then became a nominated Progressive Conservative candidate by suborned favouritism. The integrity commissioner (a title that could have been devised by George Orwell), in the circumstances, will have to deal with this very quickly. Unless there is a serious problem and not just the conjuration of lateral suspicion-innuendo piled on hearsay and topped up by malicious hypotheses, another uncorroborated taint-and-flee operation, Brown should be welcomed to the race and as a candidate for re-election as an MPP. Given the questionable nature of his removal as leader, it is the best way to heal the party’s divisions and score a public relations coup for the official opposition just about 10 weeks before the election writ comes down. Preventing him from standing for election on the basis of the pastiche of tepid suppositions that has come to (first) light so far would be a monstrous injustice, compounding the unworthy schemings and writhings that have already occurred.
It all causes me to redouble my support of Caroline Mulroney as leader of the opposition and then as premier. She is all one would ask: intelligent, bilingual, glamorous, accomplished, impeccable in all things, a break from the dismal past, and someone who could sweep the province. She would head a fine team. Please let this great province not have more of the same — an inexorable march to the repossession of the residences of the people by bankrupt hydro utilities. I would also like to add a word of appreciation for Tanya Granic Allen. I would not recommend her as party leader. But in these times the presence of an articulate, fearless, and sane upholder of the sanctity of life from the hair-trigger abortionists, euthanasia-enthusiasts, suicide-routinists, and those nostalgic for capital punishment, and an abstainer from the view that any mention of theism is counter-inclusive and sullies the rites of state with the superstition of church, is welcome. Indeed almost, if I may, a Godsend.
If they play it right, the Ontario Conservatives can have a brilliant election. The Conservatives need Caroline; Ontario needs the Conservatives; Canada needs a well-governed Ontario, and though it isn’t widely recognized, the world needs a Canada it can take seriously. We can do it.
Syria‘s complex and dangerous battleground - An interview with Shoshana Bryen of the Jewish Policy Center
by Jerry Gordon
The Syrian battlefield has become complicated. In the post-Islamic war phase we find Iran threatening Israel with extinction with drones and precision missiles, permanent bases with 20,000 Shia mercenaries from Afghanistan, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Iraq. All controlled by Revolutionary Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani seeking to extinguish the Jewish nation, a US ally. Then there is US NATO “ally” Turkey headed by Islamist President Erdogan invading the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in Syria’s northwest frontier seeking to destroy Kurdish YPG units backed by Assad regime forces. Turkey’s military force is backed by the misnamed “Free” Syrian Army composed of refitted Al Qaeda and former ISIS fighters. 60 miles to the East of Afrin, at Manbij, Turkey has demanded withdrawal of US forces supporting Kurdish YPG Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). US commanders have refused Erdogan’s threat of an “Ottoman slap’. Further, in Eastern Syria, a combined armored force of Russian mercenaries, Assad and Iranian backed proxies attempted to cross the Euphrates River to seize the oil and gas fields at Deir ez Zor from US coalition backed YPG-led SDF forces, only to be virtually destroyed with hundreds of casualties by US air, artillery and drones. Unclear are the objectives of Russia, the US and Israel in this multiple dimensional geo-political chess game in Syria with Frenemies, Turkey and Iran.
Here is a sampling of questions and responses by Shoshana Bryen.
WEBY : Was there a connection between the Iran drone intrusion into Israeli airspace and the Russian/Iranian and Assad task force attack against US – backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces in Eastern Syria?
Bryen: It was a weekend of “testing” and I don’t think it matters whether it was coordinated or not. Some things were:
The Iranians were testing, but they met an Israeli counter-test – the Israelis let the drone enter Israeli airspace so they could capture the pieces.
The air defense capability Israel took out was manned, in part, by Russians. Oddly, there were no Russians where the bombs fell.
The betting is that the US knew there were Russians embedded in the attack force – but not Russian regulars.
The odd thing there was that there was an attack at all. It was a de-confliction zone; the US had been there for weeks with no problem; the Syrians had shown no interest in the Americans.
The US did a very good job in repelling – you can see that their orders are clear: kill the bastards. The Russians and the Americans downplayed the incident. The Russians didn’t want to be exposed. The Americans didn’t want to embarrass them. The next thing will be to see if the Turks really attack the US-protected Kurds and. Whether the Syrians attack the Turks to protect the Syrians.
WEBY: Israeli PM Netanyahu clashed with Iranian FM Zarif at the Munich Security Conference over Iran’s presence in Syria and its pursuit of nuclear capable missiles on display at the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. What are Israel’s options contending with Iran’s threats closing on its borders and from afar?
Bryen: The best would be a continuation of the upheaval inside Iran .First because it might actually topple the government. It’s the accumulation of smaller quakes that eventually causes the big one. Second, if the Iranians have to look over their shoulder at their own people, it is harder to expend resources abroad. Aside from that, Israel has both defensive and offensive options. It allowed the drone to enter Israeli air space; it also had options for destroying it over Syria. Israel has just taken out 60% of Syria’s air defenses; leaving Iran as well as Syria with fewer defenses. There is more of that coming. Russia appears to have known about it
WEBY: What is Putin’s role in the Syrian conflict and his alliance with both Iran and Turkey?
Bryen: Russia is clearly the top dog here – Russia and Iran are in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate government, Assad’s government. Turkey is not – it is an invader and has longstanding poor relations with Syria, not only over the Kurds. As for Russia/ Iran - it is an unsteady relationship at best. Putin would prefer Shiite Muslims to Sunni ones, but not by much. Historic adversaries in the Middle East and Central Asia, they are cooperating on this one, but there is a HUGE snag – Russia always prefers to operate from abroad, in this case by having legitimate military bases in the country but not using those bases to interfere on the ground. Their political control comes from Moscow, reinforced on the ground only if necessary. Iran on the other hand, wants to operate from inside Syria to control its holdings in Iraq and Lebanon as well as Syria. How long their love-affair lasts – well, it’s not a love affair. As for Russia/Turkey again, remember that they’re historical adversaries – including because Sunni Turkey support Sunni separatists in Chechnya and Dagestan and other places. And in this case Turkey is killing Kurds – who are part of the Russian/Syrian plan for the future.
Grooming gangs that preyed on 700 vulnerable girls and women in and around Newcastle developed an "arrogant persistence" because the authorities locked up the victims rather than the offenders, a Serious Case Review has found.
In some cases the victims of the gangs were placed in secure accommodation because of what was seen as their poor behaviour, while the offenders were seen to be innocent and went unpunished.
n early 2014, two women came forward to talk about the abuse they and many other victims had suffered. The review found a "stark contrast between the approach" taken by Newcastle City Council, the police and other agencies before and after that point.
Unlike some other areas, Newcastle agencies did not try and sweep this under the carpet but actively went looking for it and as a result a large number of perpetrators were arrested and prosecuted, and victims saved from further trauma.
My report makes a number of recommendations, in particular the need to carry out research that improves understanding of why people offend in this way, so we can be better at preventing it. Sadly, it is still happening in Newcastle and other cities."
– David Spicer - report author
Other high-profile cases of sexual exploitation, such as in Rotherham, have seen allegations of a cover-up of what was happening. In Newcastle, today's review found there had been no evidence of a lack of response, or a lack of concern, or fears around being seen as racist by investigating the issue. It said there was "no evidence of impropriety by any person in a position of authority." The failure before 2014 seems to be one of ignorance. After 2014 the police seem to have acted robustly, once they were woken.
The report has also made a number of recommendations to the government.
Men from Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Iranian, Iraqi, Kurdish, Turkish, Albanian and Eastern European backgrounds have been convicted of abusing girls and vulnerable women in Newcastle. The review said "information available about likely profiles of perpetrators and what drives their activities including the extent to which cultural values and attitudes are relevant is very limited. There is an urgent need for guidance to robustly address these issues."
...only one defendant agreeing to help the inquiry, and he denied guilt, blaming a government cover up. "In fact he didn't accept that he'd done anything wrong... He felt the victims were responsible for their own abuse."
The report continued: "If convicted for rape in his home country, he would be beheaded or buried up to the neck and stoned. He was asked about what he thought about the United Kingdom and influences in his education. He said you can get anything here - any sex, drugs, alcohol. There is no control. He spoke in a derogatory way about lack of morals in British girls and did not go with Muslim girls because there are not many of them."
The report also noted that Newcastle was notably different from other high-profile cases of sexual exploitation, because victims also included many vulnerable adults. . . The report recommended: "The Government should urgently issue guidance or advice on addressing sexual exploitation of vulnerable adults."
Other findings included:
The national compensation scheme for victims of violent crime "discriminates particularly unfairly" against victims of sexual exploitation who can be denied compensation because of involvement in other crimes that may be the result of the abuse they have experienced
If authorities do not recognise the sexual exploitation of children and vulnerable adults in their area "it is because they are not looking hard enough"
With the Democrats’ Russian obsession having dwindled to absurdity, President Trump can continue to move the country forward.
by Conrad Black
President Donald Trump walks to Marine One to depart for travel to Florida from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington (Leah Millis/Reuters)
It is both dismal and amusing to see the rationalizations of the diehard Kremlin collusionists after Robert Mueller’s spurious indictment of the 13 Russians who will never encounter the vagaries of U.S. justice. The charge of conspiring against the United States is nonsense, and the whole ambiance of the investigation now is that of a phantom consolation prize for the absence of a crime, a victim, or a culprit, all amplified by the hollow sanctimony of an official America that has meddled countless times in the elections of other countries (usually for the general good of the Western alliance). The desperation of the Trump impeachers is piquant: This indictment doesn’t cover hacking — where might that lead? And the fact that Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein said, “This indictment refers to no Americans,” and that it contains no allegation of affecting the election result or of collusion by Americans, may mean that perhaps another indictment will. It is to this pathetic wisp that the New York Times’ Tom Friedman’s claim of a Russian assault on American sovereignty equivalent to Pearl Harbor and 9/11, and Senator Mark Warner (D., Va.)’s thousand Russian agents delivering Wisconsin to Trump on election night, have been reduced.
It is all, and always has been, nonsense. The Russian activities Mueller has attacked began before Trump had announced his candidacy, were favorable to Sanders and the Green candidate, Stein, as well as to Trump, and were almost entirely Internet advertisements decrying the state of the country in terms many Americans would sadly endorse — violence, corruption, poverty, crime, racism, etc. — in a presidential campaign in which the major candidates spent $2.5 billion, and Mrs. Clinton spent the unheard-of sum of $250 million on attack ads. This was her version of “going high when they go low”: She was obviously speaking of money spent, not moral tone. And that was without counting the 10 to 12 million dollars the Clinton campaign contributed to assembling the outrageous Steele dossier, which Mrs. Clinton cites in her book as evidence of the ”treason” Trump committed with Russia to cheat her of the election. Trump critics are correct to say that this piffling pseudo-prosecution is not “a complete vindication,” in that it is not an explicit exculpation, but it is a stark confession of the extent of the collusion fiction.
When the rabidly Americophobic British newspaper the Guardian is reduced to finding evidence of collusion in Trump’s supposed generosity to Russia, the Red Queen is made to sound like Louis Brandeis. We must be fairly close to the point where it is impartially recorded that Trump–Kremlin collusion was a nasty fairy tale commissioned and paid for and carpet-bombed on the media by the Clinton campaign, and used to infect and mislead the Justice Department and the FBI, by senior Clinton-campaign and Obama-administration officials. The Steele dossier remains the only visible justification for a false Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against Carter Page and, incidentally, the Trump campaign; and for the Mueller investigation itself, even though that investigation was prompted by fired FBI director James Comey with an illegal leak to the New York Times of a memo of contested accuracy that was probably illegally removed government property. Mueller arrived after Comey had dismissed the Steele dossier as “malicious and unverified” and after the Trump-hating Clinton-helper Peter Strzok, whom Mueller inexplicably recruited, had reluctantly concluded that there was “no there there.”
With this Russian indictment and whatever flailing about Mueller may commit over hacking and WikiLeaks, Mueller can make his gesture to the fact that the Russians nibbled ineffectually at the edges of the 2016 election, and use that as his cover to withdraw from the whole misconceived collusion foolishness in which the United States is being reduced to a laughingstock for the whole world. Or, Mueller can exercise the plenitude of his mandate and unearth the proportions of the chaos caused by the Steele dossier (which the egregious Senator Warner assured us “is taken seriously by the British, our ally”). It is an astounding tale that is emerging of Clinton political mischief tainting the entire justice system and misleading tens of millions of Americans to imagine their political system was being manipulated by foreigners and might have produced an illicit presidential-election result. This is the exposure that must be made, and while I would not necessarily favor prosecuting them all, Mrs. Clinton, Comey, deputy FBI director McCabe, and quite possibly former senior Justice Department officials including Loretta Lynch and Sally Yates, have committed offenses that put them in the danger zone of indictable acts. Instead of Keystone Kops charges against untouchable Russians and shock-and-awe intimidation of prior bit-players for alleged tax offenses and minor indiscretions, Mueller should lay this immense, scandalous rotten egg before the country. If he can’t face that challenge and service, he should shut down this charade so that Attorney General Sessions can end his recusal and we can bring on the main event and identify the authors of this monstrous farce.
As his greatest problem melts, President Trump has an opportunity to build on the new need of Democrats to be more cooperative than their mindless obstructionism until recently has permitted. To build on the historic success of his tax reform, Mr. Trump should cut across party lines and do the right and surprising thing, as President Lyndon Johnson did with civil rights, President Nixon did with China, and President Reagan did with arms control. He should reaffirm the right of all qualified people to own handguns and rifles, but sharply tighten access to automatic weapons, require licenses to carry concealed weapons, fund substantial security in all schools and for public meetings, including religious services and concerts, and intensify the collection of relevant behavioral information and response to it (an area bungled by the FBI and local authorities in the Parkland, Fla., massacre last week). Gun supporters cannot justify a laissez-faire legal framework, but will continue to be able to collect and enjoy guns if they meet high but reasonable criteria. This might not have interdicted the Las Vegas murderer, but would have flagged the Parkland misfit. All unauthorized firearms should be seized.
As his greatest problem melts, President Trump has an opportunity to build on the new need of Democrats to be more cooperative than their mindless obstructionism until recently has permitted.
The other march the president could usefully steal legislatively, and bring the Democrats into formation with him, would be to increase the infrastructure proposal to the $4.5 trillion that is generally recognized to be needed, and fund the increase from anticipated reductions in the gasoline price resulting from increased U.S. production, by maintaining the present price and applying the differential to this program. The anti-Trump resistance is collapsing and we are almost back to normal political blocking and tackling. With these notches in his belt, he would have a chance of complete immigration and health-care reform in the second half of his term. There will be plenty of opportunity for the president to gloat about the collusion idiocy; now is the time to make Washington work and build credentials as a negotiator and champion of the system, and not just the great outsider. He has brought down the walls like Joshua at Jericho; now is the time to bury gridlock and rebuild public confidence that America’s legislators are not just the corrupt, ineffectual lobbyists-in-waiting that a great many Americans, with some reason, think they are.
Sudanese asylum seeker Munir Mohammed volunteered for a UK "lone wolf" mission in Facebook chat with an IS commander. He enlisted "strong-willed" pharmacist Rowaida El-Hassan to advise on chemicals for a bomb after they met on dating website SingleMuslim.com.
On arrest in December 2016, Mohammed had two of the three components for TATP explosives as well as manuals on how to make bombs and ricin poison.
But the bungling terrorist failed to get the final ingredient, buying acetone-free nail varnish in Asda by mistake days before his arrest.
Sentencing at the Old Bailey, Judge Michael Topolski QC jailed Mohammed for life with a minimum of 14 years.
El-Hassan, his "willing" and "enthusiastic" partner, was jailed for 12 years plus five years on extended licence.
The court heard that Mohammed arrived in Britain in the back of a lorry and claimed asylum in February 2014. He became "frustrated" at being kept in limbo for three years and appealed to Labour MP Margaret Beckett for help with his immigration problems. Using false identity documents, he worked at Kerry Foods in Derby, making sauces for supermarket ready meals, and wooing a potential British bride he met online.
He was drawn to University College London graduate El-Hassan's skills as a pharmacist. In turn, she was looked for a simple man to "vibe with on a spiritual and intellectual level", according to her dating profile. By the spring of 2016 the pair were in regular contact on WhatsApp and had met three times in a London park near El-Hassan's home.
The court heard that since her conviction, El-Hassan's two children had been taken to live in Sudan.
A father accused of allowing his six-year-old daughter to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) has been acquitted. The 29-year-old taxi driver from Bristol is alleged to have confessed to a passenger that he had allowed her to be cut, saying it was a "tradition".
A court order is in place to ensure the child’s anonymity, so the dad cannot be named for legal reasons. It is agreed until the report of abuse, no other reports had been made concerning the defendant’s children. When the dad was arrested his mobile phone and iPad had no evidence of FGM material. He has no reprimands or cautions to his name.
However, Judge Julian Lambert described the medical evidence as "wholly inconclusive at its highest". He instructed jurors at Bristol Crown Court to find the defendant not guilty.
It was the crown's case an injury to the girl's genitalia was FGM. The court was told the case relied "largely, if not entirely upon, on an alleged admission made in a taxi journey".
"There is no evidence put by the prosecution as to when or how any alleged mutilation is said to have taken place," Judge Lambert told the court. He described the prosecution case against the man, who is originally from Somalia, as "deeply troubling". He also said the account of the key witness - an anti-FGM campaigner - was "inconsistent".
"X [the girl] has always denied she had any form of mutilation. The defendant says no such thing took place. The jury cannot convict the defendant of this offence unless they are sure that [the father] knowingly exposed X."
Sami Ullah, who is a trustee of the anti-FGM campaign group Integrate UK, told the jury the driver had condemned the practice as “ignorant” before saying that he had had it done to his own daughter.
Photographs taken by a paediatrician in Bristol called in to examine the girl showed a 2-3mm lesion on her genitals. By the time she was examined by a specialist in London three weeks later the mark had disappeared.
A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service described the prosecution as unprecedented. She added: “The CPS considered this case in accordance with the code for crown prosecutors and decided that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute for an offence of child cruelty and it was in the public interest.
“The judge at Bristol crown court had the opportunity to hear the evidence live and challenged. He then made a decision to stop the case yesterday. We respect the judge’s decision and will not be appealing.This was an unusual and unprecedented case for the prosecution..."
DCI Leanne Pook, Avon and Somerset police’s lead for FGM and lead officer for this case, said after the ruling: “Our priority from the outset of this investigation has been to safeguard any vulnerable children and protect them from harm. “We carried out a challenging two-year investigation, supported by professionals from a range of partner agencies, which resulted in evidence being passed to the Crown Prosecution Service and a charge being authorised for a child cruelty offence.
A previous attempt at prosecuting an instance of FGM failed because the defendant, a doctor, showed that he was repairing his patient who, having endured FGM as a child, had to be cut open as an emergency in order to give birth. He was not performing the abuse, he was dealing with its unwanted consequences
That the authorities have chosen two such cases, both unlikely to achieve a conviction to prosecute goes to show their reluctance to deal with this wicked abuse of girls. This was a sop thrown to campaigners. For the two years that the prosecution was pending the police and CPS could point to a case or cases 'in the pipeline'. Now it has failed, through being an unlikely example they can say 'very difficult to prosecute' blah blah, 'not in the child's interest' blah blah, Judge very concerned - censuredus, etc.
There have been many post mortems about this event but A Glitch in the Matrix in my opinion, is one of the best. This is because it is a kind of cri de coeur from a young man who admits he identifies as a liberal but whose interactions with Peterson have caused him to start asking questions. For David Fuller and others the Ch4 interview was:
…a glitch in the matrix where the limitations of the old operating system are laid bare and something new pokes through.
As a result of that meeting Fuller says he realized that Peterson would probably soon become one of the most recognized and “important thinkers of our age", but at the time he could not possibly have imagined how the Canadian clinical psychologist would break through to a mass audience. A few weeks later the interview with Newman was aired and the answer became obvious.
Millions watched the it online, tens of thousands commented, and an overwhelming majority saw through the not-very-attractive Rottweiler interviewing style of Newman, along with the intellectual paucity of the MSM’s pre-programmed ideas.
“This was a nearly terminal case of close-mindedness” said one representative comment on the net.
A Glitch in the Matrix is a 54-minute podcast/documentary in which Fuller focuses on the question, “What does this glitch say about the state of the mainstream media and the culture at large”?
In the film a group of 40-something pundits weigh in with their analyses.This is the demographic probably most affected by years of male-female force-fed ideologies – which Peterson characterizes as “fragmentary mythologies”.
Point one was really about the clash between New and Old media.
The mainstream media is based on an old dying model that is being replaced by new media and new technology so quickly that its faults are becoming glaringly obvious. Fortunately, thanks to YouTube podcasting and however else you get shows like this one the MSM's stranglehold on information - which really is a stranglehold on your ability to think clearly about the issues of the day, is crumbling at an incredible rate. Now the question is who and what will replace it? People are figuring out ways to have these important and dangerous conversations that are completely ignored by the mainstream.
Rubin argues that the ‘intellectual dark web’ people, i.e. Peterson, Eric Weinstein, Sam Harris and many others are more influential at this point than ‘whatever collection of cable news pundits you can come up with’. What unites them is the feeling that the ideas running Western culture over the past few generations are breaking down and in the chaos of the moment there is an attempt to find new ones – and this is happening almost entirely online.
In the aftermath of the Trump election which came as such a shock to most of the media, Jordan Greenhall of Deep Code Situational Assessment describes how the “blue church” MSM - The Guardian, the BBC, the New York Times Channel 4, NBC. CNN etc. began to be challenged by a new web-based insurgence or ‘red religion’:
During the (JP/CN) interview we see an example of a delusional framework that appears to be largely incapable of perceiving or reacting to reality in real time. But much more interesting is what happened afterwards – which was the self-healing and policing mechanism of the larger social consensus – of how the blue church reactively goes about maintaining the integrity of its frame. So, what ended up happening was there was a break in the frame – there was a glitch in matrix – the mechanisms of the blue church reacted to the endeavor to control the frame and to convert it into a way of making sense of what occurred but still maintain the integrity of its frame. It was fallback position that was reactive, almost instinctual – no – precisely instinctual- pure habit – there was no – thoughtfulness or even strategic action there. It was ‘if X then Y’.
Fuller points out that Cathy Newman’s determination to turn the (original) interview into a conflict has something to do with the soon-to-be outmoded nature of television. Broadcast television has a very limited amount of time to accomplish its task, and at the same time they are trying to make everything as salacious as possible. It relies on forcing the story because everything must happen in the now, within the next 5 minutes, and this is not conducive to real conversation or real thinking.
The film also deals with some of the issues surrounding the original interview – the relations between men and women in our culture.
In a conversation with Camille Paglia, Peterson stresses his belief that in the postmodern world, there is now only the archetypal Tyrannical Father – the destructive force of masculine consciousness on the one hand, and nothing but the benevolent Great Mother on the other hand. No balance, no cohesion no sanity: “It’s an appalling ideology which is sucking the vitality out of our culture”.
Finally, he says, we are living in a tumultuous time because:
It is the time for discussion of First Principles – and First Principles are virtually at the level of theology - because they are the things that you just assume and then move forward from. So, what should we assume – well, how about the dignity of the human soul? Let’s start with that. You can’t treat yourself properly or have a relationship, stabilize your family or have a functional society without that…So what does it mean to the human soul to have dignity? (It means) you are participating in creation itself. You do that with actions and language and you get to decide if you are tilting the world a bit more towards heaven or a bit more towards hell and that’s actually what you are doing.
If the outcome of this now renowned interview can start the kind return to First Principles that Peterson speaks of here, it would be wonderful. I hope that happens, but the internet itself is vulnerable to restriction so let’s just hope enough people get the message before it’s too late.
Peace Negotiations in the Middle East Should Not Be a Little Late this Year
by Michael Curtis
The saga is ended but the malady lingers on. In his address on February 20, 2018 at the UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East, Mahmoud Abbas, at 82 now in the thirteenth year of his four year term as President of the Palestinian Authority (PA) asserted that the United States was not an honest broker on issues concerning the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Washington, he said, had "contradicted itself and its own committments, and has violated international law." Abbas is not universally regarded as an expert on international law, and his reference to its violation apparently referred to President Donald Trump's decisions to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Rejecting the U.S., Abbas proposed that to solve the "Palestine question" it is essential to establish a multilateral interntional mechanism emanating from an international conference that should be held later in 2018.
The histrionic statement by Abbas was immediately put in a true perspective in four ways. First, his rejection of the U.S, was accompanied by his version of the Palestinian Narrative of Victimhood. Palestinian residents, he claimed, were the direct descendants of the Canaanites who lived in the land 5,000 years ago and continually remained there to this day. Whatever his other qualities, Abbas brought the dead to life, since the Canaanites, pagan idol worshippers, disappeared from history many centuries ago.
Secondly, he was followed to the rostrum by Danny Danon, Israel's Ambasssador to the UN who argued that the only way forward to end the conflict is direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. But, more important was the fact that Abbas walked out of the chamber when Danon began speaking, a vivid illustration of the Palestinian's lack of interest in rational discussion, and avoidance of direct talks with Israelis. As a consequence, Danon, with some justification, accused Abbas of being the problem, not part of the solution. He pointedly asked Abbas, "What have you done to better the life of a single person in Ramallah or Gaza?"
Another rebuke came from Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, who insisted not only on the U.S. role as a key mediator but also that without it the Palestinians would get nowhere. The U.S. was ready to talk with Abbas: the choice she said is "yours but we will not chase after you." Haley also spoke sharply in reply to Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian "negotiator" who never negotiates, and who said that she should shut up and realise that the Palestinian leadership was not the problem. Her reply was that she would not shut up and would speak some hard truths. Indeed she stated, the Palestinian leadership was the problem.
The third factor is that the Trump administration is indeed working on a peace plan, with which Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations, are involved, and which is fairly well advanced.
The UN Security Council itself is not presently proposing a plan, but the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process, Nickolay Mladenov, on February 20, 2018, an advocate of a two state solution, called on all sides to reject violence, and condemned terror. He explicily replied to statements of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that settlement building is the best way to respond to Palestinian terrorism. Mladenov, a Bulgarian politician and diplomat, who once worked for George Soros, replied that settlement construction was not a morally appropriate way to respond to murder. He strongly denounced the expansion of the settlement enterprise as compensation for Israeli deaths. His practical suggestions were twofold: transfer parts of Area C, in the West Bank, from Israeli military control to the civil control of Palestinians; and the need for Palestinians to advance their institution building.
The essential problem with this kind of formulation, well meaning though it may be, is its equation of violence by both sides. But this has not been the case since May 1948 when five Arab armies attacked the newly created State of Israel. The starting point in genuine analysis is that the violence and the provocation comes from one side and is continuous. Moreover, the Palestinians justify and praise the violence as has been shown on many occasions, such as the remark after the September 26, 2017 attack on a settlement outside Jerusalem when an Arab killed three Israelis. The PLO Fatah leaders praised the work of this "martyr."
Only on a rare occasion has Abbas criticized Palestinian terrorism. In a phone call to Netanyahu he condemned the attack on July 14, 2017 on the Temple Mount, though he referred to the area as the holy Al-Aqsa mosque, when three Arab-Israelis killed two Israeli police officers and injured three others. A continuing concern is that the Palestinian Authority pays the stipends, some $347 million, of families of security prisoners in Israeli prisons, or of perpetrators of violent attacks on Jews.
The key question is whether Israel has a serious Palestinian partner with whom to make peace? Even if Abbas is straightforward, which is questionable, the problem remains of Hamas which is trying to be part of the official Palestinian leadership. Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007 after the civil war with rival Fatah over which group should govern the area with its 2 million people. Since then, Hamas has fought three wars against Israel, and has a heavily armed military wing of 25,000 with possession of a considerable force of rockets, and engaged in building tunnels to commit aggression against Israel.
Fatah and Hamas are still unclear whether as a result of negotiations the West Bank and Gaza will form a single political entity. On October 11, 2017, a meeting between the two groups, a kind of reconcilation, took place. Fatah was supposed to assume full control of the Gaza Strip by December 1, which in fact has not been done. However the PA did stop cutting off electricity supplies to Gaza, and stopped cutting salaries of government employees. However, in November 2017, Hamas formally relinguished security control of key crossings from Gaza to Egypt and Israel to the PA.
There are hopeful signs. Other countries, including France, Egypt, and Jordan, have sought an equitable solution to the conflict. French President Emmanuel Macron did suggest in December 2017 to Netanyahu that an Israeli freeze on settlement construction could be a helpful first step. On February 15, 2018, Macron hosted in Paris a Palestinian-Israeli economic summit, in the attempt to reinforce mutual economic cooperation and maintain stability. Some agreement appeared to have been reached on a few issues; increasing commercial activities, investment, and Palestinian imports of consumer goods. Already in April 1994 France had brokered the Paris Protocol on economic relations , a form of customs union, between the two sides. According to it, Israel collects the import taxes and transfers to the PA the taxes on goods intended for the occupied territories. The PA can impose direct and indirect taxes, and set industrial policy.
Egypt can play a helpful political role as mediator, especially now it has made a major economic deal with an Israeli energy company, the Delek group. The agreement, a $15 billion deal, is for Israel to supply an Egyptian company with 64 billion cubic meters of gas over the next decade. Delek is partnered with the Texas based Noble group which has developed Israel's offshore gasfields.
Politically, since President Abddel Fattah al Sisi came to power in 2013, Egypt and Israel have cooperated in action agsinst ISIS terrorists in northern Sinai, and increased security cooperation. In addition, Israel already has a $210 billion deal with Jordan to supply it with 6 billion cubic meters of gas.
The ghost in peace making presently is the issue of investigations in Israel concerning Netanyahu of allegations of corruption, bribery, acceptance of gifts, helping donors, trying to gain favorable press coverage of his actions. They may be a threat to his political survival, but it is uncertain at this point whether Netanyahu, now 68, is a "political corpse" or whether the allegations are a "witch hunt."
Yet, irrespective of the answer, Netanyhu's personal problems, or whether "the Netanyhu era is over" do not pose an obstable to presentation of plans for peace negotiations and a solution of a final status to end the conflict.
This is the opportunity for the Trump administration to press ahead with its proposals. While recognising that Israeli settlements in the West Bank may have complicated making peace, Trump is aware that Netanyahu, in spite of some rumors to the contrary, has not proposed legislation annexing any part of the West Bank. He is also aware of the pernicious and nonsensical remarks of Abbas at the UN that Israel was a "colony," and that Israel occupied "Palestine" in 1948, not in 1967. The moment of truth has arrived for the Trump administration to play a key role in helping to end the conflict.
For Tariq Ramadan, the news gets worse and worse. First, there were the charges against him in France, where two Muslim women, Henda Ayari and a woman known only by an alias, “Christelle,” both accused him of extreme sexual violence and rape. He now sits in a French prison, waiting trial, his sudden claim about having multiple sclerosis having been deemed insufficient to allow him to await trial without being held in custody. And there are two more Muslim women in Paris who have made claims against him but not yet come forward publicly, for fear of what his followers might do. It is not an idle threat. Henda Ayari, who was the first to accuse Ramadan, has received thousands of death threats from Ramadan’s most fanatical supporters, and is now under 24-hour guard — possibly for years to come.
After France, new accusations against him appeared in the Journal de Geneve, in Switzerland, where four women claimed that when they were his pupils at a high school in Geneva, and between the ages of 14 and 18, he had tried to sexually molest them, and in all but one case succeeded. No doubt the Swiss authorities are still investigating these accusations, and will wait their turn to charge him, as they surely will, once the judges in Paris have reached their decision.
And now comes the latest news: while the peripatetic lecturer was in the United States, spreading his message of “moderation” from coast to gullible coast, and being lionized as a great Muslim intellectual, delivering his Deep Thoughts on Islamic morality and ethics, he also managed to find the time to dally, in his own fashion, with at least one Muslim victim, who now has found a brave Muslim lawyer, Rabia Chaudry, to help her, and though the charges have not yet been yet made public, they surely have to do with sexual violence, possibly including rape.
Rape-accused Muslim academic Tariq Ramadan could now face charges in the United States after American attorney Rabia Chaudry said she had referred an alleged victim to a federal prosecutor this week.
Ramadan is currently being held in a French prison since February 2 on charges that he raped two women in Paris and Lyon.
Chaudry confirmed to Al Arabiya English that she had referred “a Muslim victim” to the prosecutor, declining to comment on the matter further or explaining exactly what the US victim had accused Ramadan of.”
The attorney had written in a Facebook post, however, that she was “guessing there will be more [victims]” to come forward.”
Chaudry is clearly not going to be intimidated by threats from Ramadan’s supporters. She briskly dismisses the claims of his supporters, stating that “this is not a vast international conspiracy” (i.e., a “Zionist plot,” or a “plot by islamophobes.”
And she pithily explains how unlikely it is that Ramadan could be wrongfully convicted, noting the similarity of the charges against him, by at least nine women, in three different countries, with possibly more to follow: “This is also not how people are wrongfully convicted. Wrongfully convicted people are not accused of multiple similar crimes in different countries. In fact, they usually have completely clean records other than one accusation that ends up being false.”
Ramadan has been imprisoned at the Fleury-Mérogis prison, south of Paris, as authorities investigate the rape charges. He could be held in long-term custody while the probe continues.
The Swiss academic, who is a grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, found fame after writing numerous books on Islam and the integration of Muslims in Europe.
He traveled frequently to give talks around the world and was also a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the University of Oxford.
Commenting on the French judicial proceedings, Chaudry wrote:
“I don’t know much about the French legal system other than it seems to have a lower evidentiary threshold than the US. The standard is not beyond a reasonable doubt. The standard is an intimate conviction, i.e. jurors’ impressions based on the evidence [sic]. I also don’t know if that[sic] there is a plea process but if there is one it might be better for him than a trial in which the witnesses confront him and testify – imagine a jury reacting to that.”
“I know this is hard on our community, but it does not serve us to bury our heads in the sand. He will likely serve time in prison, and it will likely be a just result,” she added.
A Muslim Daniella, come to judgment. She’s a brave woman.
Ramadan and his lawyers and followers have tried everything. They tried to silence Henda Ayari with death threats. She now has 24-hour security. They tried to depict her as a publicity hound, intent on accusing Ramadan in order to sell more copies of her book (I Chose Freedom), in which she claims Tariq Ramadan appears as the monstrous character “Zoubeyr.” Nobody seems to have bought this, and for good reason. Who in their right mind would seek publicity if it meant thousands of death threats and the need for round-the-clock security? His lawyers have savaged “Christelle,” trying without success to punch holes in her testimony, while his followers suggest that she and Ayari might be part of a plot against Ramadan. But the absurd charge of a “Zionist plot” never did gain traction, given all the evidence against him, and given, too, that Ramadan’s accusers in France were Muslims (as is his latest accuser, in the United States).
Finally, the last desperate attempt to spring Ramadan — the sudden claim of multiple sclerosis, an illness never before mentioned by Ramadan, which his lawyers insisted was “not compatible” with imprisonment — led the French court to order a thorough medical examination, and the doctors who conducted that examination concluded that his state of health was indeed “compatible with his continued remaining in prison.” Ramadan remains in prison, until his trial — it could be months, even as much as a year, away.
And meanwhile, the wheels of justice elsewhere — in Switzerland, and then, quite possibly, in the United States and (do you doubt it?) in the United Kingdom too (how many Oxford girls were brought to bed after having been smitten by the smoldering looks of the Grand Panjandrum of Islamic Thought?) — grind exceeding slow, but, alas for Tariq Ramadan, “the great Muslim intellectual” of hallmark-card sentiments and ithyphallic impulses, they do grind.
Muslim protests in India are calling for a boycott of Pampers products after claiming to have seen the word 'Mohammed' in the face of a cartoon cat which appears on its nappies. The lines illustrating the whiskers, nose, mouth and left eye of the smiley feline allegedly bear a close resemblance to the Prophet's name when written in Arabic or Urdu.
The image on the hygiene product has been branded an 'insult' to Islam by critics, and protesters have staged 'Pampers burnings'.
Activists from the Islamic group Darsgah Jihad-o-Shahadat yesterday lodged a formal complaint about the nappies at Dabeerpura Police Station in Hyderabad, reports the Deccan Chronicle.
In a letter to police, the group said Pampers - owned by US multinational Procter & Gamble - had 'hurt the feelings' of the Muslim community and called for the products to be taken off the shelves immediately. It stated: 'Even with (the) bare eye it is been identified that the name of Prophet (PBUH) can be seen printed on it in Urdu/Arabic.'
The Prophet Mohammed, it added, was a 'holy personality in Islam' and the 'disrespect cannot be tolerated'. The letter went on to say: 'Arrest them and punish them.'
Azam Shariff said: 'Maybe it's the fault of the creative team but whatever the case is, directly or indirectly, it's manifesting the name of (our) holy Prophet. That is a sheer desecration, it's insulting. Don't use the products until they change this, until they apologise.'
Erdogan: “What kind of NATO membership is this? What kind of NATO alliance is this?”
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who always likes to tell us what he really thinks, is at it again. Last year he accused the people of Germany — and of the Netherlands too — of being “Nazis” for not allowing political rallies targeted at Turkish residents in Germany. He also called Angela Merkel guilty of “Nazism” for suggesting that the EU reconsider its relationship with Turkey — i.e., possibly end the talks about Turkish accession to the group. “What happened is Nazism,” said Erdogan in response. “What happened is fascism.” And the Germans were called “Nazis” yet again because, according to Erdogan, they refused Turkish requests for help in suppressing Kurdish separatists that had been made, he preposterously claimed, 4,500 times. “Mrs Merkel, you are supporting terrorists,” he said. And now he threatens to deliver an “Ottoman slap” to the Americans if they continue to fund the Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Unit) in Syria. But that’s only the latest of many threats he’s made about the YPG.
In January, he accused the U.S of supporting “an army of terror” because it wants the Kurdish fighters of the YPG in northeastern Syria, who proved to be the most effective force against ISIS, to be a major component of the border forces guarding the frontier between Syria and Turkey. They would be there as well to help suppress any possible resurgence of ISIS. For Erdogan, any Kurdish group anywhere could help the Kurdish separatists inside Turkey, and has to be suppressed. For Erdogan, all Kurds are “terrorists” — it doesn’t matter that the Syrian Kurds were the best fighters against the most dangerous of real terrorists, those of ISIS. And in his view, if his attack on the Syrian Kurds goes directly against American policy — well, Erdogan doesn’t give a fig for the Americans. His forces have been let loose on the Kurds in Syria; this occurred after the Americans had made clear they wanted 30,000 Syrian Kurdish troops to guard the Syria-Turkey border. To mark the moment when the Turkish forces moved into Syria to attack the Kurds directly, worshippers in 90,000 mosques in Turkey prayed the Surah al-Fath, the 48th chapter of the Qur’an, in which those engaged in Jihad are promised material rewards taken from those they defeat; the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament called the Turkish attack on the Kurds in Afrin a “jihad.” In Erdogan’s orchestra, no one sounds a secular Kemalist note.
And then, taking things to a still higher level of hostility, Erdogan’s men promised that American troops in Syria may be hit. “Accusing the US fighters of wearing ‘terrorists’ clothes’ (i.e, YPG uniforms) that may be hard to distinguish, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag warned that anyone fighting alongside the Kurds ‘is our target.’”
He added that “there is no chance that we will make a distinction at this point” between the Kurds and the US fighters.
He might have said something else. He might have said that “we will do our best to avoid hitting American fighters. It is certainly going to be difficult. Nonetheless, we will try.” A different tone, a different emphasis. But instead, he — and his boss Erdogan — wanted to be as tough as possible on the Americans. This is not the behavior one expects from a NATO ally.
After that warning, the commander of American troops in Syria, Lieutenant General Paul Funk, speaking in Manbij, a city that the YPG holds and that the Turks now threaten to in invade, issued his own warning to Erdogan:
“You hit us, we will respond aggressively. We will defend ourselves,” the U.S. commander, Lieutenant General Paul Funk, said in a direct warning to Turkey in the interview published on Feb. 7.
Then, an enraged Erdogan came back on February 13 with his “Ottoman slap” remark.
“It’s obvious that those who say, ‘If you hit us, we’ll hit back hard,’ have never in their lives gotten an Ottoman slap,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech at parliament on Tuesday [February 13] responding to remarks by the top U.S. commander in Syria to the New York Times. “If those who come and go as they like through Turkey think they’re going to go stirring things up in places without paying for it, they’ll soon see that’s not the case.” (He is referring to American forces using the air base at Incirlik.)
The comments mark an escalation in rhetoric against the U.S., whose backing of the Syrian Kurdish YPG has enraged Turkey, which labels the group as a terrorist organization and has invaded Syria to combat it. That incursion has created an unprecedented military face-off between the two largest armies in NATO, with U.S. forces fighting alongside the YPG while Turkey attacks it, first in Afrin and soon, if we are to believe its threats, in Manbij.
How did we get here, with Turkey, the NATO member that now calls other NATO members “Nazis,” “terrorists,” and supporters of an “army of terror,” that further threatens to “target” any American troops fighting alongside Kurds in Syria, and by way of enraged reply to Lt. General Funk’s warning that if American forces are hit (by the Turks), they (the Americans) will respond in kind, warns that the Americans will get “an Ottoman slap”? Let’s consider the political trajectory of the outrageous Recip Tayyip Erdogan.
In 2003, Recep Tap Erdogan was elected Prime Minister of Turkey, a post he held until 2014. In that year, he was elected President of Turkey, a post he still holds. As Prime Minister, he required that the military — the ultimate guarantor of Turkish secularism — be reined in, made subject to greater civilian control. To this end, he exploited two supposed coup attempts by the military, to gain control over the army by arresting, and putting on trial, senior officers. These two coups — “Sledgehammer” and “Ergenekon” — were both fabrications, but Erdogan cleverly exploited the fear generated by these supposed plots in order to weaken the military. When hundreds of officers were arrested and put on trial, that discouraged others, even if, in the end, those officers were all exonerated in both “Sledgehammer” and “Ergenekon.”
A real coup d’etat was attempted on July 15, 2016, when military men in Ankara and Istanbul tried to seize power (over 300 people, including fellow soldiers, died), but was quickly put down. Those involved called themselves the Peace At Home Council, and they proclaimed their anxiety over the erosion of secularism, the elimination of democratic rule, and the disregard for human rights. But few joined the original plotters, and Erdogan quickly rounded them up. He accused them of doing the bidding of Fethulleh Gulen, supposedly organizing the coup from his exile in Pennsylvania. Erdogan had more than 140,000 people detained and more than 50,000 arrested. Tens of thousands lost their jobs. No link of this abortive coup to Gulen has been proven, which has not stopped Erdogan from constantly denouncing the dark sinister forces he wants us to believe are headquartered in rural Pennsylvania. That the Americans won’t hand Gulen over to him is one of his many grievances against his NATO “ally.”
Erdogan has been bolstered, and so has his party, the AKP, because the Turkish economy is doing well. He has not been shy about rewarding himself. He has had built as his presidential residence the Ak Saray, or White Palace, with more than 1100 rooms, that cost $630 million to build. Sixteen Turkish soldiers, each dressed in a costume representing a different period of Turkish history, line an interior staircase of this palace. It is clear that Erdogan dreams of rivaling the Ottoman despots. He is well on his way, having outsmarted the army and outmaneuvered his civilian opponents.
Erdogan has also been busy re-islamizing secularist Turkey. Here are some of the things he has managed to accomplish, taking care not to trigger a military coup, both while Mayor of Istanbul and as Prime Minister:
1. Between 2002 and 2013, the Turkish government built 17,000 new mosques. Many more have been built since, and more still are now being planned. In addition, thousands of Ottoman-era mosques have been repaired and refurbished. Erdogan is building a gigantic mosque on the Asian side of the Bosporus, which can accommodate 30,000 worshippers.
2. When Erdogan first came to power, women working in the public sector were still banned from wearing the hijab, including teachers, lawyers, parliamentarians and others working in state-run institutions. In recent years, the Justice and Development Party has lifted bans on wearing the hijab in schools and all state institutions. Now those teachers, lawyers, parliamentarians are not merely allowed, but encouraged, to wear the hijab by the AKP. Even female ministers and judges have taken to wearing hijabs. The wives of Erdogan, Gul (the former president of Turkey), and other ministers all appear in public ostentatiously hijabbed.
3. After traditional madrasas were banned by Ataturk, Imam-Hatip schools were set up to take their place. These are vocational education institutions designed to provide religious education and train imams, but now offering a regular academic curriculum as well, open to students who are not training to be imams. The clergy in Turkish mosques are government appointed and many imams are trained in Imam-Hatip schools.
In 2002, there were 65,000 students involved in Imam-Hatip schools. That number grew by ten times, to 658,000 in 2013, and it was recently announced that the number of Imam-Hatip students has now reached more than one million. The islamization of young minds proceeds apace.
4. Compulsory religious education in schools has been introduced. Courses on “the life of Prophet Muhammad” and “the Qur’an” have also been made mandatory.
5. The lower age-limit for taking courses on the Qur’an has been eliminated. Until now, children had to be at least 12 years old before they could attend Qur’an classes. This has been abolished by Erdogan’s government, allowing Qur’an courses even for preschoolers.
6. Bans on alcohol advertising are now in place, whereas secular Turkey always allowed them. The AKP passed a bill in 2013 that banned any advertising of alcohol within 100 meters of a mosque or school.
Blurring out depictions of alcohol on television and in films has also been made mandatory.
The selling of alcohol has now been banned from student dormitories, health institutions, sports clubs, educational institutions and gas stations. All sale of alcohol anywhere is now banned after 10pm.
7. Sharia-compliant Islamic banking has greatly expanded, and the state-owned Ziraat Islamic bank now has more than 200 branches.
At every turn, Erdogan has managed to best his perceived enemies, and to deal ruthlessly with them. There have been mass firings and arrests of military men, university professors, journalists, doctors, lawyers, even high school teachers, all ostensibly because of their roles in the attempted coup Erdogan insists was masterminded by Fethulleh Gulen. Almost 10,000 of those arrested have been military officers, including many of the highest rank. He’s used the coup to crush all potential opposition. And now Erdogan seems more secure than ever in his powerful post.
What this history of Turkey in recent years makes clear is that while Ataturk’s reforms once seemed to be forever, it was not Kemalism, but rather its nemesis, Islam, that appears to be prevailing, under the relentlessly re-islamizing despot Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Right now he has completely cowed his secularist opposition. He has dealt with his opposition as ruthlessly as Vladimir Putin has dealt with his.
Turkey has always been held up in the West as an example of a Muslim country that could successfully tame Islam, limit its role in society and politics, and make possible the modernization, through systematic secularisation, of the country in every important respect. That’s how Turkey appeared to be going for more than seventy years, in the direction Ataturk had set, until Erbakan and, much more thoroughly, Erdogan and his AKP party, arrived on the scene to re-escort Islam back onto the center of the Turkish stage. There is no moral in tow, no lesson to be derived here, other than recognizing that the secularists grew too confident and complacent, having come to believe that after 70 years, Kemalism would remain forever. They ceased to watch like a hawk the forces of a newly-invigorated Islam, and assumed that the army would always step in if the forces of secularism were threatened. They did not realize how wily and dangerous Erdogan, the despot who became the standard-bearer of Turkey’s re-islamization, would turn out to be. Erdogan used the Turkish application for membership in the E.U., and the stringent human-rights requirements the country now had to meet to be considered for such membership, to weaken the Turkish military, which for 70 years had been the final guarantor of Kemalism.
Under new legislation, Erdogan could remain as President until 2029. But not everyone in Turkey is delighted with his despotic rule, nor reconciled to his incessant promotion of Islam. The secularists no longer can count on an army coup to protect them, as happened in decades past. Though they have been silenced for now, they still exist in large numbers. They can do little but bide their time. Should Erdogan overreach and stumble as self-made sultan, as could well happen, either from a military humiliation at the hands of the Syrian Kurds or, in an act of enormous folly, by taking on the Americans in Syria, delivering an “Ottoman slap” that would be returned tenfold, his popularity would suffer. His grandiose neo-Ottoman visions would now be seen as absurd, and he could become an object of amusement, no longer feared, and once such a figure receives his comeuppance, he cannot recover.
Should that happen, the secularists might manage to return to power, backed by a newly-chastened and much more wary military. The Turkish secularists, one hopes, will not repeat their previous mistakes. They took Kemalism too much for granted, and their complacency gave the wily Erdogan the opening, and time, he needed to begin to re-islamize much of Turkish society. The secularists should hold fast to the example of Ataturk, who patiently, and systematically, outmaneuvered those who opposed his reforms, in order to make sure that, should Erdogan finally lose his grip, his successor will be from the Kemalist camp. And the job of protecting Kemalism should not be a task left to the military alone, as happened in the past, but it must become the duty of every Turkish secularist, civilian and military, both to explain and to defend the legacy of Ataturk.
Right now, Turkish forces are attacking the very Kurds whom the American military has for several years supported with weapons and training, and who showed their mettle in the war against ISIS. Turkey’s military officials claimed within the first few days of their attack on the YPG in mid-January that their warplanes had struck 108 out of a total of 113 Syrian Kurdish militia targets in the Farina region, including a military airport. But after those initial strikes, the Turkish military have gotten bogged down. The town of Afrin itself (in the canton of Afrin) has been under artillery fire and attack from all sides, since January 19. Erdogan originally promised that Turkish forces in Syria will “vanquish” the Kurdish militia, and that he would “strangle” the American-backed Kurdish force “before it’s even born.” But almost a month into the conflict, those Kurdish forces have not been either vanquished or strangled, and they are still holding the city of Afrin, and the war goes on. The news reports describe Turkey as “America’s NATO ally.” This is misleading. Turkey is “a fellow member of NATO,” but over the last few years has been ever less of an American ally, and now the Erdogan regime has made Turkey into America’s foe.
It is the Kurds, not Erdogan’s Turks, who are the natural allies of the Americans. They showed it in Syria, fighting so effectively, while coordinating with the Americans, against ISIS. They showed it too in Iraq, where American soldiers were startled by the contrast between Kurds and Arabs. The openly pro-American Kurds remained deeply grateful for the air cover the Americans had provided them from 1991 on, preventing Saddam from continuing his genocidal campaign — “Operation Anfal” — against the Kurds. The Iraqi Arabs, on the other hand, both Sunni and Shi’a, remained hostile to the Americans, despite the latter having removed a monstrous dictator and his terrifying regime. American soldiers took their R-and-R in Iraqi Kurdistan, for their commanders knew they would be safe there; to this day, there has not been a single terrorist attack against the Americans in Iraqi Kurdistan. Were the Kurds to attain an independent Kurdistan, beginning with Rojava in northeastern Syria, that new polity could potentially lead to the adhesion of the six million Iraqi Kurds, 93% of whom voted for independence in the referendum held in September 2017. Then there are the six million Iranian Kurds, whose desire to join an independent Kurdistan would naturally increase if that Kurdistan were not a mere vision, but became a reality, with eight million Kurds (two million from Syria, six million from Iraq) and the land they live on.
The Iranian military would try to crush its own Kurds from seceding. But it will be harder now to suppress Iran’s Kurds than ever before. Iran’s military is now involved simultaneously in several theaters of war. In Yemen, Iran is fighting, through its Houthi proxies, the Saudis, whose bombing campaign continues without cease. In Lebanon, the Shi’a Hezbollah are another proxy of Tehran that receive money and weapons from Iran. In Syria, Iran is now fighting Israel, both through Hezbollah and Assad’s army, and increasingly, taking on Israel directly, as with the Iranian drone intrusion into Israel that triggered the recent deadly attack by the Israeli air force, not just on Syrian air defenses, but on Iranian bases in Syria. Iran, in other words, is already engaged on several fronts, and as a consequence would find it very difficult to permanently subjugate six million Iranian Kurds should they attempt to secede. An independent Kurdish state, carved out of Kurdish areas in both Syria and Iraq, has a better chance than ever to become reality, given the military and political weaknesses of the regimes in Damascus and Baghdad. Such a state could supply weapons and volunteers to Iranian Kurds — weapons that might be provided, too, by the United States or Israel, neither of which wishes Iran well and would welcome the chance to weaken it from within.
Erdogan, of course, does not want any Kurds, anywhere, to enjoy self-determination. In his worldview, that’s to be invoked only for “Palestinians.” What he sees as Turkey’s national interests flatly contradict those of the United States. Now it is time to look steadily and whole at Erdogan and not allow Turkey’s membership in NATO to give it a pass. With his mass roundup of 60,000 political opponents, and his imprisonment of journalists — Turkey has jailed more journalists than any other country in the world — Erdogan has given conclusive evidence that he is no democrat. Real democracy is about more than elections. It’s also about not jailing your opponents, it’s about allowing a free press. Erdogan fails on both counts. Real democracy is exactly what NATO was formed in 1949 to defend, against the Soviet Union. Turkey was a democracy when, in 1952, it was admitted to NATO. But it is no longer a democracy in the Western sense, even if it holds elections. Erdogan, ensconced in the 1100-room palace he has had built for himself, having jailed thousands of his political opponents and with many honest journalists still jailed, is no democrat, but a new Sultan. Continued Turkish membership in NATO — even without Erdogan’s unhinged verbal attacks on several NATO members and his threats to deliver an “Ottoman slap” to the Americans — becomes ever more grotesque, for his despotic rule violates both the letter and spirit of NATO membership.
How valuable has Erdogan’s Turkey been as a NATO ally? Turkey did not permit the American military to use the Incirlik air base in the way it wanted to during the second Iraq war. Erdogan has consistently denounced Israel, which, though not a member of NATO, is certainly a key American ally in every sense — both a Western democracy, and a powerful military ally. Erdogan has seemingly gone out of his way to ruin the former good relations Turkey had with Israel, beginning with his furious public attack on Shimon Peres at Davos, his hysterical reaction to the Mavi Marmara incident, his accusing Israel of having indiscriminately massacred innocent babies and children during its war with Hamas in Gaza, and declaring that “it isn’t anti-Semitism to criticize an administration that massacres, kills babies, children, innocent babies, children, in their homes, mosques, hospitals, schools, beaches, parks, without any discrimination.” He has been a constant defender of Hamas, which he has described as “not a terrorist organization,” has praised the Muslim Brotherhood, and has made himself the primary champion, even more than any Arab state, of the “Palestinians.” There is evidence that, back in 2006, Turkey may even have allowed Iran to move weapons through its territory to Hezbollah. He was the most vocal opponent of Trump’s Jerusalem Embassy move. Erdogan has, as one prominent Turkish exile put it, a “conspiratorial antisemitic worldview.” He’s accused Israel of “keeping Hitler’s spirit alive.” Pro-Erdogan journalists repeatedly describe Erdogan’s arch-enemy Fethulleh Gulen in antisemitic terms: “Fethullah Gülen is sharp witted. He quickly smells of money and power. Because he is a Jew. That’s the reason he loves Israel almost to the point of sickness,” Sabah columnist Erin Ramo?lu wrote in December 2016, “…where his cunning comes from, why the CIA has gotten hold of him and his love of Israel can be understood from the family of this clown [Fethulleh Gulen].” Erdogan has not distanced himself from any of this.
A despot and an antisemite, full of resentment against America, Israel, and Europe, Erdogan has no business being in NATO.
What should the Americans do now? The American government could make sure that Erdogan understands that any attack by Turkish forces in Syria that injures or kills even a single American soldier will be met by an overwhelming military response, akin to that which the Israelis just inflicted on the Syrian air defenses and Iranian bases in Syria. But that’s only one part of the response.
The Americans can end the farce of Turkey’s membership in NATO. They should call for an extraordinary meeting of NATO to discuss the behavior of this new, anti-kemalist, islamizing, despotic, anti-Western Turkey. The bill of particulars should include the fact that Turkey, alone among NATO members, has authoritarian rule rather than democracy; that Erdogan has refused to cooperate militarily with a NATO ally, when he denied the American military the use of the Incirlik air base just before the Iraq war; that he has accused Israel of “keeping Hitler’s spirit alive” while he has found nothing wrong in defending “Palestinian” terrorists; that he has jailed 60,000 political opponents, shut down 187 media outlets, forced 2,500 journalists to lose their jobs, imprisoned another 150 journalists whom he describes as “terrorists”; that he has called fellow members of NATO — Germany and the Netherlands — “Nazis” and, in his latest outrage, he is now attempting to destroy a military force, the Kurdish YPG, that for years has been the closest military ally in Syria of the Americans.
For Erdogan, that malignant but unturbanned Turk, all Kurds are terrorists, no matter whom they have been fighting or what they have accomplished. He doesn’t like the fact that the American government refuses to abandon its Kurdish allies in Syria, who were the best domestic fighters against ISIS and whom the Americans see as providing the most effective security even now on the Syrian-Turkish border. And to warnings from Washington to stop attacking the Syrian Kurds, he asks “What kind of NATO membership is this? What kind of NATO alliance is this?”
Those are exactly the right questions, but Recep Tayyip Erdogan is exactly the wrong person to be asking them.
NATO membership is not a right but a privilege. It’s a privilege that Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made sure he, and Turkey, do not deserve.
“A Christian is more than a person who is living up to a system of ethics. A Christian is more than a person living a good moral life. A Christian is a person in whom Christ dwells.” Billy Graham, 1958, Charlotte