Sunday, 30 April 2017
The Questionable Case for Lifting Sudan Sanctions: Testimonies of Sudan Resistance Leaders-Part 3

Mr. Sodi Ibrahim, Executive Director of the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA-N) and Yunan Musa Kunda, SSRA-N External Relationship Coordinator

by Jerry Gordon and Deborah Martin

On April 26, 2017, the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights held a hearing on The Questionable Case for Easing Sanctions Sudan Sanctions The issue arose with the partial lifting by President Obama, just prior to leaving office in January 2017, of the 20-year economic sanctions against the Khartoum Regime of indicted war criminal Sudan President Omar Hassan al Bashir. A provision of the partial lifting of Sudan sanctions was a six month look back to determine if acts of terrorism and genocide have continued against the indigenous African people especially in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile Region. 

Over the past six months, The New English Review has published reports attesting to the continuing ethnic cleansing and genocide of indigenous peoples in these conflict regions citing specific instances of Khartoum Regime backed Janjaweed Militia- now renamed Rapid Support Force (RSF) or Peace Forces engaged in ethnic cleansing of villages and Internally Displaced Person Camps. The Janjaweed RSF Peace force is under the control of the National Intelligence Security Service (NISS) and Sudan Armed Force (SAF) Command. These reports have also uncovered a Secret Arab Coalition Plan that would replace indigenous people with Arab tribes to be completed prior to 2020. In many instances jihadist terrorists have been recruited from across the Sahel region and the Middle East. The objective of the Arab Coalition Plan is to resettle them in the lands formerly occupied by African tribal people with a view to creating a 150,000 man Jihad Army to create a Sharia-ruled Caliphate across the Sahel. The Arab Coalition Plan of the Khartoum Regime of President Bashir has the financial backing of the Emeriti members Gulf Cooperation Council and Saudi Arabia. These Jihadi recruits have been trained and organized in more than 16 camps in the Khartoum Region and equipped with arms and militarized pickup trucks. Further, there have been instances where the Janjaweed/ RSF Peace Forces have used prohibited chemical weapons of mass destruction coupled with bombings by Russian-supplied Antonov cargo planes of the Sudan Air Force on indigenous populations. And despite the evidence of abetting regional Islamic terrorism, the USAFRICOM, pursuant to so-called evidence of counterterrorism  cooperation by the Bashir regime has included it in quarterly security reviews at its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

For these reasons the authors solicited witness testimony from Sudan resistance leaders in Darfur and the Nuba  Mountains exposing the Bashir regime’s  Jihad genocide objectives of the Arab Coalition Plan .

Part 3  presents the testimony submitted to the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights of  Mr. Sodi Ibrahim, Executive Director of the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA-N) and Yunan Musa Kunda, SSRA-N External Relationship Coordinator.

Testimony of Mr. Sodi Ibrahim,

Executive Director of the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA-N)
Submitted to the US House of Representatives
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights
April 6, 2017

My name is Mr. Sodi Ibrahim. I am director of the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA-N). I thank you for the opportunity to present my views for the consideration of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights on the reinstatement of US economic sanctions against the regime of Sudan President Omar al-Bashir.  I will address what is behind the current Genocide in Sudan, why the Regime policies of marginalizing indigenous African people, why Arabization of the conflict areas in Sudan have intensified, what is the status as of today and the resistance movement needs.

Genocide in the Sudan

The problem of Genocide in Sudan is a policy based on an Islamic belief system. Starting in 1881 Sharia Law was declared in Sudan by the Mahdi. He did this in direct defiance of an Ottoman Empire edict that exempted Sudan from implementation of Sharia. The Mahdi wanted a country that was fully Islamic for Arab peoples. The plan was made to slowly cleanse the land of the Black Skinned peoples (Abiid) as he believed was called for in the Koran.

This ethnic cleansing went on slowly by choosing to disadvantage and marginalizes all black skinned people of any tribe. In the 1950’s, a coalition to rule Sudan was formed by Sadiq al Mahdi, the al Mirghani family and Dr. Hassan al Turabi. The goal of this coalition was to Arabize the whole of Sudan while looking to conquer all of Africa for the Islamic cause.

In 1964 Sadiq al Mahdi, descendent of the earlier Mahdi and one-time president of Sudan, gave a speech in the Cultural Center in Juba, Sudan in which he stated, "All you people (residents of Juba) need to leave Sudan. South Sudan is the stepping stone to the Islamization of all of Africa. We do not want you here. “The Government had adopted a policy of slow genocide.

The policies of marginalization continue.

In the 1980's Al Qaeda brought Bin Laden and the Muslim Brotherhood with their fundamentalism to Sudan which strengthened the desire for a fully Arab state.  Sharia was declared again in 1983 by President Numeri.  Dr. Hassan al Turabi and Sadiq  al Mahdi  during the same period preached that the Mahdi to come was arriving  soon since “it was  the 14th century since the hijrah ( migration from Mecca and Medina by the Prophet Mohammed)  and the Mahdi is coming to take over the world and we must be ready with a fully Islamic country. “

There was a major Arab (Muslim Brotherhood) conference in 1985 led by Dr. Turabi. Turabi immediately began to work against Christians.   The goal was to gradually eliminate them to cleanse the country.  When Bashir came to power in 1989, his goal was to speed up the cleansing of the country. He brought a severe government to power which used force to cause the Abiid and Kufr (infidels) to accept Islam or be killed.

 Arabization intensified

In 1994 Osama bin Laden from inside Sudan (with Bashir's agreement) declared a Holy War against the United States. Bin Laden was living in Sudan waging this holy war or Jihad.  Bin Laden had   lived in Sudan from 1983 when Sharia was declared. Bashir supported Bin Laden with all the resources of Sudan. The Bin Laden Fatwa was a declaration of war on the US that has never been rescinded.

There was also a war declared by the Bashir regime on the non- Islamic and black-skinned people as far as Khartoum were concerned. So the Khartoum Arab Government began destroying churches, burning people in them.  The Arabs were using advanced weapons to destroy people. They used starvation, spread disease, withheld vaccinations, provided no education, and outlawed local languages and cultures.  They attacked villages, raped women, and killed elders.   They used any means to destroy the people of black skin, to cleanse the land.

They trained militias: Janjaweed, Miseriya, al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Joseph Kony's Lord Resistance Army, Somali, Malians, Libyans, Syrians, and international jihadi from all over the world. They built training camps and provided weapons.   This was part of a two pronged strategy to:  1) take over and ethnically cleanse Sudan, and 2) ultimately take over and unify the world for Islam.

In November 1994 the Khartoum regime announced that they would never accept a government with separation of church and state making it clear that the "Arab only " form of Islam was in Sudan to stay and. conquer the rest of Africa and the world.

Status as of today.

The war declared against the US and the West has intensified yet again. Mujahedeen trained in Sudan fight in Syria. They accept the ISIS warriors as heroes and resettle their families in the Sudan by giving them the land of Darfurians that the Janjaweed/Defense Shield have forced to flee. Recently during SPLA-N fighting to stop these attacks the SPLA-N captured three Boko Haram International mujahedeen sent to the Nuba Mountains to fight for Khartoum. These fighters were instructed to kill everyone.

In the last year Khartoum has broken ceasefires more than 12 times.  Even following the US partially lifting the Sudan economic sanctions, the ceasefire was broken within a few days. Now Khartoum has used invested money against the black skinned Muslims and Christians to cleanse the land.

There have been 15 rounds of official negotiations to no avail.

Khartoum does not recognize the problem is its orders to kill the Abiid and others. No Sudanese can sign something that agrees to law that includes "kill the Abiid, Kufr, Christians, and Jews." The Sudanese have black skin why would anyone agree to commit genocide on yourself?  Khartoum refuses anything but Sharia law which calls for death of a majority of its citizens.

What do we need

We need you to work with us. They are committing Genocide.

Right now they are killing us. We fight to defend ourselves, while they attack to kill and fulfill the obligations of the Koran.

Recently 143 families ran to the bush to find roots as there is no other food.  They were attacked and now eight women are missing.

The UN has failed to stop this genocide, the sanctions have failed after 20 years of application

Genocide is supposed to be stopped by any means according to international law - please help us!

Testimony of Yunan Musa Kunda, SSRA-N External Relationship Coordinator

Submitted to the US House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights
April 26, 2017

My name is Yunan Musa Kunda, Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency North (SRRA-N) External Relationship Coordinator. I thank you for the opportunity to present my views for consideration of the Subcommittee on African Affairs on the reinstatement of sanctions against the regime of Sudan President Omar al-Bashir.

History of Genocidal War in Sudan

The war with Khartoum is a resistance war against the genocidal policies of this Arab Government that took over Sudan from the British in 1956. The Arab Government instituted Sharia Law,  which they said calls for the extermination of the black population in the country.  This Arab Government officially began reducing the black population by any means. People with black skin from many tribes all over Sudan resisted that effort. The Genocidal efforts of the Arab Government have not slowed genocide by many means since independence in 1956 even though many Arab leaders have come and gone. 

From independence from the British to the Ananya PeaceAgreement only one regime was considered to have commuted genocide. Then from 1983 the resistance flared again as the genocide from the Arabs intensified.  Southern Sudan continued to resist the genocidal activities of Khartoum until independencein 2011.

What was the purpose of this genocide? It was to subjugate and remove black people in Sudan. The Government in Khartoum as late as 2016 stated that their goal was to kill all black skinned people in the country or enslave them as they do in Mauritania. They do not want to see black- skinned people in the country of Sudan.

One of our heroes was Philip Gabush Yusef from the Nuba Mountains who wanted peace. The Khartoum Arab Government put him in prison to stifle his voice.

The Late Dr. John Garang fought because the Arab Khartoum Government berated black people. The South resisted Arabization until independence  in 2011. 

Another strategy of the Arab Khartoum government is to resist Christians. So "no Christians" is a slogan the Arab Government lives by.  Right now in Khartoum another wave of bulldozing church buildings is going on.  They are also burning churches and even health centers who serve the black or Christian population.

The strategy of Arabization

Immigration is encouraged by the Arab government in Khartoum. In the last few months 3,000 Syrians have immigrated to Sudan and been given nationality papers and landthat belonged to the black Sudanese the government displaced. Khartoum wants to change the demography of the country to be majority Arab. The immigration documents of those captured by the SPLA-N indicate Sudan as their country of origin when their language is not Sudanese of any sort. The reason for this strategy is to have the resources of the country in the hands of loyal Arabs rather than black citizens.  So when the Janjaweed or Peace Forces displace citizens they want them to go to refugee camps or be killed to dispossess them of their land. If the refugees flee to South Sudan there is little food in the camps, few schools, and very few medical services. The UN does not supply enough food. The push by Khartoum is ejecting indigenous people from their land to not return.

Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction – Chemical agents

The most recent strategy that The Arab Government of Khartoum has deployed against the black population are Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction acquired from the late Saddam Hussein in 2002. This strategy was used in late 2016 just before the US lifted sanctions.


Lifting sanctions has only encouraged the Khartoum Arab regime to continue to kill the black population of the country whether Christian, Muslim or traditional religion. We are defending ourselves yet we are not the instigators of  the violence here. We ask you to do more than reinstate the sanctions. We urge you to do whatever it takes to stop the genocide against black people in Sudan.

Part I is here and part II is here.

Posted on 04/30/2017 5:17 AM by Jerry Gordon and Deborah Martin
Sunday, 30 April 2017
Art Under — And Out From Under — Islam (Part III)

by Hugh Fitzgerald

As discussed in Art Under And Out From Under Islam (Part I), MoMA has been eager to score political points against Trump’s ban by rather confusedly claiming that Western artists have learned so much from the “colonized” (and by implication, Islamic) peoples, and that the creations of Muslim artists put on display somehow prove how wrongheaded is that temporary ban on visas for Muslims from seven countries (only 12% of the world’s Muslims, held up for only 90 days). There is no logical link, of course, but what does mere logic matter when we are protesting a “racist executive order”? Exactly how those artists have been harmed is unclear. None of them have not been prevented from continuing to make art, or to show it anywhere they want; none of those whose works are being shown have apparently been affected by the ban. Nonetheless, the display of some works by Muslim painters was proudly described in ArtNews as a “riposte” to Trump’s “racist executive order.”

I suggested that art museums in the Western world, if they wished to treat of “Art and Islam,” might do better to use their resources for exhibits devoted to the greatest destruction of art in world history, that which has been conducted by Muslims, over 1400 years, vandalizing or destroying many different works of art and architecture – frescoes, mosaics, paintings, statues, synagogues, churches, Hindu and Buddhist temples — wherever Muslims conquered. For this would alert people in the West to one more possible consequence of Muslim demographic conquest that they have not considered.

And there is another issue, involving “Art Under – And Out From Under — Islam,” to which a second exhibit could be devoted. This would be about not the destruction of existing art and artifacts by Muslims, but rather, about the limits placed by Islam on artistic creation by Muslims themselves because of the hadith – to be found in both of the most reliable (Sahih) collections of Al-Bukhari and Muslim, in which Allah’s Messenger reports that “angels have declared that they will not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture” — that has led to a ban, in Islam, on depictions of living creatures. That means no portraits, and no paintings which include depictions of humans (or animals), even if they are only secondary to the main subject matter. Landscapes are acceptable, as long as there is no human figure, however small, in the painting; so, obviously, is abstract art. There have been artists willing to break this ban, especially in secular, rather than religious art. But the ban itself still stands, and has had its chilling effect on Muslim artists, whose highest expression has been in mosque architecture and Qur’anic calligraphy. For 1400 years, Muslims have been prevented by their own faith from enjoying the freedom of artistic expression that non-Muslims take for granted. If true solidarity with Muslims is to be offered, instead of MoMA posturing about “racism,” it should offer an exhibit that shows what those artists have lost by the limitations their faith imposed on what was admissible to create.

Let a few galleries be given over to this exhibit of “Art Under – And Out From Under — Islam.” One might be called the “Islamic Portrait Gallery,” and on its walls would be telling rows of frames, all of them empty. A second gallery would have paintings by Western artists: some portraits, landscapes that contained figures large and small, others that were purely landscapes, while still others would be examples of abstract art, Kandinsky or Mondrian, of such color-field painters as Frank Stella. And finally, photographs of the geometric patterning inside the walls of mosques, possibly hung side by side with photographs of the frescoes, mosaics, paintings, and statuary to be found in churches, of subjects sacred and profane, by way of telling contrast. Visitors to the exhibit could be given cards on which the works displayed would be listed, and might be asked to check, next to each work named, whether it would be, for Muslims, Halal or Haram. That should reinforce their understanding of what that hadith has meant for Muslim artists and Islamic art. Muslim artists should welcome this sign of solidarity, not deplore it. Their real plight – not the 90-day ban on entry to the U.S., but the 1400-year ban on their freedom to depict human beings – is a subject fit for treatment by a major museum.

The two exhibits devoted to “Art Under – And Out From Under — Islam” could also be put on simultaneously. The first would heighten awareness of how Muslims have through history treated the art and artifacts of non-Muslims, right up to the Islamic State’s recent rape of Palmyra. The second would heighten awareness of how Islam has constrained artistic expression, and implicitly suggest, with its examples from Western art, the kinds of things Muslim artists might have created but, halted by a hadith, never had the chance.

Is it conceivable that MoMA would ever put on such shows? Not under present management. Those running the museum seem more exercised about a 90-day ban on immigration for 12% of the world’s Muslims than about the future of either Western or of Islamic art. After all, why should an art museum trouble itself about art, when there’s all that “racism” and “Islamophobia” to complain about? But let us allow ourselves to believe that eventually some enlightened curators and connoisseurs, and some deep-pocketed donors too, will become truly “subversive” – that word favored by art dealers and museum curators alike, as they flog their wares — and decide that museums have a responsibility to show what Islam has meant both for non-Muslim art over the centuries, and for the creative possibilities available to Muslim artists. Such an exhibit would truly “educate and challenge” visitors – as ArtNews complacently claimed MoMA’s exhibit of Muslim artists does. “Art — Under And Out From Under — Islam,” will be strong medicine, true, but given the museum world’s chronic illness, it may turn out to be just what the doctor ordered.

First published in Jihad Watch.

Posted on 04/30/2017 5:06 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 30 April 2017
Exclusive: Downing Street suspect was 'White Beast' jihadi's friend

The terror suspect arrested with a bag full of knives in Westminster was close friends with a British jihadist who died fighting for an Islamist terror group in Africa, the Telegraph can disclose.

Mohammed Khalid Omar Ali, 27, who is in custody for a suspected attack on Downing Street, can now be revealed to have travelled to Gaza in a charity convoy with Thomas Evans, known under the terror name as the notorious White Beast. The pair, who were both in their early 20s at the time, were part of a seven week aid mission in 2010 with the charity Road to Hope, photos show them smiling together.

Evans' mother Sally Evans said she believed the trip, which saw them stuck in Libya for a time, radicalised  her son. Her son was shot while fighting for Somalia-based al-Shabaab, which has links to al-Qaeda, in Kenya in 2015 at the age of 25.

A year earlier security reports reveal he and a woman believed to be White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite - the world's most wanted woman - were jointly involved in a brutal atrocity which left 70 people dead.

Last night detectives from Scotland Yard were continuing to question Mr Ali, 27, on suspicion of offences under the Terrorism Act and possession of offensive weapons after he was detained by armed police in Whitehall on Thursday afternoon. Ali, who was born overseas but is a British national, was living in Tottenham, north London, and had been under surveillance as the subject of an active anti-terrorism investigation. He is reported to have spent several years in Afghanistan returning only recently.

Just hours after his arrest, anti-terror police thwarted another and unrelated "active plot" which saw a 21-year-old woman shot in Willesden and six others arrested in a series of raids. One was Mohamed Amoudi, 21, a Yemeni-born British citizen who studied physics at Queen Mary University in east London. In 2015?? he was stopped with two sixth-form students in Turkey on suspicion of travelling to Syria, charges which were later dropped.

Mr Amoudi has previously attended a talk by controversial cleric Haitham al-Haddad at Queen Mary Student Union in 2014. It comes after a 2015 report into extremism at campuses by the group Student Rights, found that Queen Mary hosted the second highest number of extremist events at any UK University in 2013-14.

Armed officers apprehended him as he got off a bus on Willesden High Street on Thursday. A woman with him was also detained.

Just half an hour later officers then fired CS gas into a nearby property and shot a woman. Eyewitnesses described how the woman, who was dressed in Islamic clothing, shouted "don't touch me" as paramedics fought to save her life.

Posted on 04/30/2017 2:51 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 29 April 2017
The Center Will Hold in France

by Michael Curtis

French electors have sent a message to traditional political parties, we can get along without you very well. Instead, the country in the second round of voting on May 7, 2017 for president of France has a choice between two outsiders, one a Europhile, the other a Eurosceptic, battling for the prize. Some desperate citizens pondering the choice wonder who would the 15th century Joan of Arc support as the personification of France as General Charles de Gaulle had done fifty years ago. For whom will they vote or will they abstain?

In the first round of voting on April 23, 2017, France witnessed the emergence, familiar in some European elections in Hungary, Poland, Denmark, and to some extent in the UK and the US, of two issues. One was registration of discontent with the existing establishment, elites, globalization, and immigration, and emphasis on nationalism. The other is perception that the era of ideological politics may be over.

The striking phenomenon in the complex result of April 23, with 27% voting for left candidates, 48% for right wing candidates, and others unclassified, is the break with French traditional voting as the vote for mainstream party candidates was reduced to only a quarter of the total. The traditional mainstream left and right candidates had won 56% of the vote in the first round of the presidential election in 2012. In 2017 the mainstream conservative Francois Fillon (Les Republicains) got 19.9%, while the Socialist Leo Hamon got only 6.3%. The energetic far left populist Jean-Luc Melanchon ( Les Insoumis or Unsubmissive Free) got 19.6%, and did well in the Paris banlieue of Seine-Saint-Denis.

The “outsiders” in April 2017 got 45% between them. The result was particularly disappointing for the French Socialist Party that was reformed at the Epinay Congress in June 1971 by integrating left wing republican groups, leading to the ascendancy of the French left for almost a quarter of a century.

The choice for electors is therefore between Emmanuel Macron, the pro-business, socially liberal, Europeanist, the man who has never held elected office and formed his own political party, who got 24% of the vote, and Marine Le Pen, the president of the far right Front National (FN) who got 21.3%. The conventional wisdom is that Macron will win since none of the unsuccessful candidates have urged support for Le Pen on May 7. Recognizing this, to broaden her support, Le Pen stepped down as president of FN to portray herself as a patriotic candidate for all the French, above partisan considerations.

But Le Pen did not help her cause by the choice of an interim replacement as leader of the party. First the nominee was Jean-Francois Jalkh, a vice president of the party, who in an interview in 2005 had questioned the historical fact of the use of Zyklon B gas by Nazi Germany to exterminate Jews. He aggravated the situation by denying he had made the comment that from a technical point of view it is impossible to use Zyklon in mass exterminations since it takes several days to decontaminate a space where the gas has been used.  He is reported to have said the use of gas chambers by Nazi Germany was "technically impossible." He also attended a mass in a Paris church for Marshal Petain, head of the Vichy regime. After criticism, he turned down the role as party leader. In his place, another FN vice president Steve Briois, mayor of Henin-Beaumont has been chosen. The party still suffers from “issues of democratic hygiene.”

Though the US and French presidential elections are not exactly comparable, it is noticeable that, in similar fashion to the voting for Donald Trump, major cities did not vote for Le Pen: she obtained 5% in Paris, 8% in Bordeaux, 9% in Lyon. She won a number of Departments, (regions) gaining much of the working class vote, but not the urban, well educated, pro-European, areas.  

Le Pen had done better than she did in 2012, by 1.2 million more votes, but less well than her party had done in recent years when the FN obtained 25.2% in Departmental elections, and 27.3% in regional elections. Apparently, she did not benefit from revulsion against the terrorist attack in the Champs Elysees, the heart of Paris, three days before the first round, when one policeman was killed and three others injured. ISIS acknowledged responsibility.

Le Pen immediately denounced Islamism as "a monstrous totalitarian ideology that has declared war on our nation, on reason, on civilization." She called once again for border checks, arresting all suspects on France's terror watch list, deporting foreign suspects, and ending French citizenship for dual nationals. She adheres to her program: priority for French nationals in jobs, housing, and welfare; reduce or end immigration; tax foreign workers and imports, and full sovereignty for France.

There is another interesting parallel with the 2016 US presidential election. Allegations have been made, though so far none proved, that Russia interfered by supporting Donald Trump. The Macron camp has banned two Russian news outlets, Sputnik news agency, and RT TV channel from his events, because he claims they are undermining his campaign by issuing propaganda, fake news, and false information against him. They may be responsible for the allegations that Macron is a puppet of US political and financial elites, and for rumors of a gay relationship. Not coincidentally, Le Pen was received by President Putin in the Kremlin in March 2017.

To general surprise, Emmanuel Macron, an attractive 39 year old, personable and empathetic, from an upper middle class professional family, emerged as a formidable candidate. He was not completely unknown having been a former banker working for Rothschild Bank in Paris, and serving for about a year and a half as a senior advisor and economic minister in the Hollande administration. But he was not yet a familiar or popular figure, nor did he have a natural constituency to support him. He refers to himself as neither left nor right nor as a centrist, but as someone of the left open to ideas of the right. He is politically untested and formed his own group En Marche! (let's go), and appeared as a pro-Europeanist.

Macron's main advantage has been luck in his opponents. The more well-known Francois Fillon, the leading conservative candidate at one point, lost strength because of the accusations against him of embezzling parliamentary funds by paying his wife for fake jobs at which she did little or nothing. Melenchon, a somewhat more jovial version of Britain's Jeremy Corbyn, is pro-Palestinian. Both the Socialist and the Republican vote collapsed. President Hollande decided not to run again for president, and the moderate Alain Juppe was defeated in the primary race of the conservatives.

Macron’s political opinions were and are still not well known, and he has quoted Albert Camus, “the task of our generation is preventing the world from coming undone.” But his unusual marital situation received considerable attention. As a 15 year old he fell in love with his married school drama teacher, twenty four years older. Now 39, Macron is married to the 64 year old Brigitte, a former French literature and Latin teacher who worked in Jesuit schools.  

What is important is that Macron, if elected President, will be the youngest French leader since Napoleon. Without a substantial political party to support him, he will have a legislative problem, though he has stated that if elected his group will run candidates at the next parliamentary National Assembly election in June 2017 for all the 577 constituencies.

The choice may be difficult for some electors on May 7, but one group of electors, French Jews, has a clear choice, even though a small number voted for Le Pen, as 13% had done in 2012. Le Pen has been trying to disassociate herself from the antisemitism prevalent among some members of her party, especially her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of her party. Still, her comments on the Holocaust, her called for banning of wearing the kippah, and other religious objects, in public, and her proposal that French nationals cannot have an Israeli passport suggest her disassociation may be more politically strategic than moral principle.

However, the Jewish predicament remains though anxiety has slightly improved. The numbers of Jews leaving France for Israel has declined. In 2016 it was 5,000 compared with 8,000 in 2015, and 7,000 in 2014. The indiscriminate terrorist attacks in various parts of France and in Paris suggest that Jews are not the only group targeted. Jews are in as much danger in the Galeries Lafayettes as in the area in which Hyper Cacher, the kosher grocery store attacked by terrorists in January 2015,  is located. Nevertheless, for Jews Macron is part of the “republican front,” not a candidate of hate.

Posted on 04/29/2017 7:46 AM by Michael Curtis
Saturday, 29 April 2017
The Questionable Case for Lifting Sudan Sanctions: Testimonies of Sudan Resistance Leaders-Part 2

Testimony of Gen. General Abdalaziz Adam Alhilu, SPLA/N General commander/Chief of staff of SPLA/N and Deputy Chairman of the SPLM

by Jerry Gordon and Deborah Martin

On April 26, 2017, the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights held a hearing on The Questionable Case for Easing Sanctions Sudan Sanctions. The issue arose with the partial lifting by President Obama just prior to leaving office in January 2017 of the 20 year economic sanctions against the Khartoum Regime of indicted war criminal Sudan President Omar Hassan al Bashir. A provision of the partial lifting of Sudan sanctions was a six month look back to determine if acts of terrorism and genocide have continued against the indigenous African people especially in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile Region. 

Over the past six months, The New English Review has published reports attesting to the continuing ethnic cleansing and genocide of indigenous peoples in these conflict regions citing specific instances of Khartoum Regime backed Janjaweed Militia- now renamed Rapid Support Force (RSF) or Peace Forces engaged in ethnic cleansing of villages and Internally Displaced Person Camps. The Janjaweed RSF Peace force is under the control of the National Intelligence Security Service (NISS) and Sudan Armed Force (SAF) Command. These reports have also uncovered a Secret Arab Coalition Plan that would replace indigenous people with Arab tribes to be completed prior to 2020. In many instances jihadist terrorists have been recruited from across the Sahel region and the Middle East. The objective of the Arab Coalition Plan is to resettle them in the lands formerly occupied by African tribal people with a view to creating a 150,000 man Jihad Army to create a Sharia-ruled Caliphate across the Sahel. The Arab Coalition Plan of the Khartoum Regime of President Bashir has the financial backing of the Emeriti members Gulf Cooperation Council and Saudi Arabia. These Jihadi recruits have been trained and organized in more than 16 camps in the Khartoum Region and equipped with arms and militarized pickup trucks. Further, there have been instances where the Janjaweed/ RSF Peace Forces have used prohibited chemical weapons of mass destruction coupled with bombings by Russian-supplied Antonov cargo planes of the Sudan Air Force on indigenous populations. And despite the evidence of abetting regional Islamic terrorism, the USAFRICOM, pursuant to so-called evidence of counterterrorism  cooperation by the Bashir regime has included it in quarterly security reviews at its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

For these reasons the authors solicited witness testimony from Sudan resistance leaders in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains exposing the Bashir regime’s Jihad genocide objectives of the Arab Coalition Plan .

Part 2  presents the testimony submitted to the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights of  General Abdalaziz Adam Alhilu SPLA/N General commander/Chief of staff of SPLA/N and Deputy Chairman of the SPLM-N.

Testimony of General Abdalaziz Adam Alhilu
SPLA/N General commander/Chief of staff of SPLA/N and Deputy Chairman of the SPLM-N
Submitted to US House of Representatives
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights
April 26, 2017

My name is Gen. Abdalaziz Adam Alhilu, General Commander of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army –North (SPLA/N in the Nuba Mountains). I thank you for the opportunity to present my views for consideration of the Subcommittee on African Affairs on the reinstatement of sanctions against the regime of Sudan President Omar al-Bashir. The hearing subject raises fundamental questions.  What should be done to deter Khartoum from their murderous plan since sanctions do not work, what might really work? Also what we can do to make the new Administration in Washington, DC administration understand our problem?

The Nuba, Funj and Darfur were the first targets of the National Islamic Front (NIF) state sponsored terrorism against its own citizens for the last 30 years. That same behavior forced South Sudan to opt for independence. The NIF is using Sharia Islamic laws to rally the Arabs in the North and legitimize the ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Africans and Christians in Sudan.

Note that Islamic Jihad was declared against the Nuba people regardless of religion or belief in 1992, and it is still in effect as of today.  The Arabs in the North are using the Jihad declaration by Muslim Clerics and the NIF to absolve themselves from any guilt conscience, when they raid, kill (3,000,000), burn villages (400,000), and rape, enslave loot and displace the African citizens and communities. In the name of Jihad, the Arabs  organized themselves as PDF, Mujahedeen, Rapid Support Force (RSF) support the NIF Islamic Army or so called Sudan Armed Force (SAF) in that holy war (Jihad).

That is the internal effect of the Sharia Laws. Externally it is even far reaching and dangerous to International peace and stability.

Since 1989 the NIF regime in Sudan turned into a strong hold for the Sunni International Islamic Movement (Muslim Brotherhood) worldwide. Sudan engaged in creating indoctrination and training ground for all Sunni based terrorist organizations (Al-Qaeda, ISIS, al-Nusra Front, and Boko Haram). Most people overlook Sudan, thinking Turkey is more dangerous. However, the Islamists in Turkey may be soon in full control of the state machinery to use it in the interest of the International Islamic Movement given the recent national referendum vote.

Others think Iran is more dangerous. While Iran may be leading Shiite sect, they are a minority in the Islamic world compared to Sunni Sects.

The International Islamic Movement represents the spearhead of the Pan Arabism Movement, pitted against the West in what has been called the Clash of Civilizations. Given the superiority of the West in terms of weaponry, the Islamists use strong nationalist zeal and hate to spearhead non- conventional warfare tactics and weapons to tilt the balance. 9/11 was an example. Something unexpected in the West , that Islamist  would resort to using civil aviation planes to execute the most dangerous terrorist operation in history targeting the iconic World Trade Center in New York , the Pentagon in northern Virginia  and the White House in Washington, DC.

Let us remind ourselves that, the first attempt on the World Trade Centre in 1993 was organized and conducted by the Muslim Brotherhood. The bombings of the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam US Embassies in 1998 was perpetrated by bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In short, Sharia Laws and the terrorist nature of the Sudan regime are behind many of the internal and external problems we see today from the Sudan.

What should be done?

In order to end the genocide in Sudan, the USA should put more pressure on the Khartoum National Congress Party (NCP) regime of indicted war criminal President Omar al-Bashir to repeal and abrogate the Sharia Laws, in order to pave the way for peaceful and democratic transformation in the Sudan. This can be done through internationally supervised peace talks. If there is genuine secular and conventional democracy, the Islamists will not survive. They will transform over time, provided that they are deprived of the Sharia divine right to rule and terrorize using the resources of Sudan.

Removal of Sharia Laws, will stop Sudanese Islamists from enjoying state cover to practice terrorism and supporting Jihadists and terrorists globally from the Muslim ummah. It will stop human trafficking, money laundering and migration from Africa to the West.  Khartoum is masterminding the destabilization in the Sub- Sahara Sahel Region and beyond in Chad, Central African Republic, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Egypt and Libya.

Do not let the Bashir NCP regime in Khartoum fool anyone, with its deception plan. They say they can cooperate with the US and its allies in the war against terrorism. If they are not party to that, how could they get information about the terrorists? It is open political gaming with the Western intelligence agencies in order to have the sanctions against the NCP regime lifted. After lifting the sanctions they will resume and continue their old ways of support for Jihad and ethnic cleansing of indigenous African people in the Sudan and the Sahel.

They do not share common values of human rights, freedoms, rule of law with the USA, in order for them to provide all the information requested on the terrorist movements.They only trust their mentors and supporters of the International Islamic Movement.

Islamists can change on their own and deliver democratic transformation in Sudan and other countries. That is mere propaganda. The very nature of the organization and the Islamic teachings will prevent them from refraining from Jihad terrorism.

For the interest of peace and stability in Sudan, the Sahel region and internationally, the Bashir NIF / NCP regime should be have to be dismantled either peacefully or by force.

Thank you for the opportunity to presenting my views as Commander of the SPLA-North in the Nuba Mountains.

Part I is here. Part III is here.

Posted on 04/29/2017 7:21 AM by Jerry Gordon and Deborah Martin
Saturday, 29 April 2017
Art – Under And Out From Under – Islam (Part II)

by Hugh Fitzgerald

If those who work in our museums want to enlighten audiences about Muslims and Art, they should consider two aspects of the subject that have received practically no attention.

First, a museum wanting to treat the subject of Islam and Art should give visitors a sense of what Islam has meant for much of the world’s art. The greatest destruction of art in the history of the world is that wrought by Muslims, over 1400 years, on the art (architecture, artifacts), sacred and profane, of non-Muslim civilizations. Some of that art has been religious in nature: the thousands of Buddhist and Hindu temples and temple complexes in India razed by Muslims; the thousands of churches vandalized, razed, or turned into mosques, in North Africa and the Middle East; or more recently, the 58 synagogues in Jerusalem’s Old City, one dating back to the 13th century, and others hundreds of years old, all destroyed by Muslims between 1948 and 1967 — need to be shown, before and after their destruction.

In the case of the churches and Hindu and Buddhist temples, drawings based on verbal descriptions will have to do, since no “before” photographs exist; in the case of the synagogues in the Old City, such “before” and “after”photographs are available. Other photographs could show the vandalized mosaics and frescoes inside the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (and similar vandalism that was done to the Hagia Sophia in Trebizond). There might be photographs of the National Museum in Kabul, before and after the Taliban got through with it. Similar before-and-after photographs of the National Museum of Iraq, showing what happened to it in the days following the American invasion (and civil order broke down in the immediate chaos), when Muslim Arabs had a chance to show their appreciation of pre-Islamic artifacts, could also be on display.

Finally, photographs of two recent acts of massive destruction by Muslims deserve to end the exhibit. On one wall of the last gallery, photographs of the Bamiyan Buddhas, in their undamaged state, and as they were being prepared for destruction with explosives, and finally, a photograph of what little was left of those giant statues after the destruction. In the same gallery, on the opposite wall, photographs of the most recent act of Muslim art appreciation, showing what the Islamic State has done to the Roman temples and triumphal arches in Palmyra, a World Heritage Site, could be mounted. Pride of place should be given to the Temple of Baal (Bel), described by many as the premier archeological site in Syria, which now, thanks to ISIS fanatics, lies completely in ruins.

That’s an exhibit worth putting on, for it brings to the public’s attention something that is perfectly appropriate for a major art museum — more Metropolitan than MoMA — to provide: that is, to display, and to wordlessly deplore in photographs and reconstructions, the deliberate and sustained destruction of many of the world’s artistic treasures, starting nearly 1400 years ago, and continuing right up to the present day, by Muslims. For this threat is not only a thing of the past, nor a threat only in Muslim-majority countries. It is a living, breathing threat today, and that threat has increased pari passu with the growth in the Muslim population in Europe. For why should Muslims, once they achieve effective numbers and power, not act as they always have acted when given the chance?

Such an exhibit devoted to giving visitors a better sense of that destruction, of which few are sufficiently aware, would have a salutary effect. It would make non-Muslims more conscious of one of the possible consequences of the takeover, through demographic conquest, of much of Western Europe. The word “takeover” does not necessarily require having attained a majority. A determined and cohesive Muslim minority could work its will long before that. Works of art that offend Muslim sensibilities would be vulnerable to demands for their removal from public view, or worse, could be objects of vandalism or destruction. It is disturbing to think what might happen, in some imaginable future, with the removal or destruction of art deemed haram, from the Louvre, the Prado, the Alte Pinakothek, the Rijksmuseum, the National Gallery, the Uffizi. That should concentrate European minds on the possibility, painful to consider and yet perfectly plausible, of Muslims in the future treating the art of non-Muslims in Europe as they have treated such art elsewhere (in North Africa, the Middle East, Anatolia, India) in the past.

First published in Jihad Watch.

Posted on 04/29/2017 5:49 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 29 April 2017
The Europeans are smug as ever, but have less and less reason to be

by Conrad Black

I have just returned from Europe, where there has been an irritating outburst of complacency over recent political events there, from quarters with no right to indulge in it. The huge sigh of pan-European relief over the first round of the French election is completely unjustified. The only candidate who looked and sounded like a president of the French Republic, François Fillon, came third, because of unproved and politically motivated allegations of improper payments to his Welsh wife. The front runner is an untried, practically unknown, glib 39-year-old who claims to be a reformed socialist, Emanuel Macron. He has never been a political candidate before and is married to his former schoolteacher, 24 years his senior.

Only two points behind him, and heading into the run-off election in two weeks of the two top candidates, is the National Front leader Marine Le Pen, a podgy and not particularly well-spoken woman who looks and sounds like the overbearing wife of a village butcher. On Sunday night, the French and foreign media made much of the fact that she ran only slightly ahead of her father Jean Marie Le Pen when he stood against President Jacques Chirac 15 years ago. But in 2002, Chirac quintupled his vote on the second ballot. He was no world beater, but was the incumbent president, had twice been premier, and a successful mayor of Paris (and had scooped a good deal more public money than Fillon’s wife is claimed to have done).

Marine Le Pen expelled her father from the party he founded for disparaging the Holocaust (in which several hundred thousand French perished) when he was 87 years old, and she is not really much of an extremist herself. The great, rich nation of France is in an appalling condition of prolonged misgovernment and national decline, and Ms. Le Pen should take between 40 and 45 per cent of the vote next weekend. There is no reason for optimism that Macron, if elected, and with no party to run in the immediately following legislative elections, will fare any better than hapless François Hollande, who has festered unsuccessfully in the Elysee (presidential) Palace for the last five years.

It is one of the ironies of modern international politics that the French, one of the most avaricious, individualistic and imaginative peoples in the world, have been so seduced by a hopeless, inert, desiccated socialism.

Last Sunday night was a sad television evening: the other presidential candidates were unrelievedly ludicrous, kooks most of them, with no physical presence and little forensic skill, and the quality of French news telecasters has plummeted along with the stature of the politicians. Few present with the magnificent, if often annoying, confidence of the leading French media personalities of earlier times, and the noticeably diverse group speaks French indifferently, at best. There is nothing visible remaining of the drama, culture and theatricality of the first 40 years of the Fifth Republic under de Gaulle, Pompidou, Giscard d’Estaing, and Mitterand. De Gaulle resolved the centuries-long battle between monarchists and republicans by founding a monarchy and calling it a republic: the early presidents were, and seemed to be, elected kings. Sunday night looked and sounded more like a mayoral election in Quebec City.

It is one of the ironies of modern international politics that the French, one of the most avaricious, individualistic and imaginative peoples in the world, have been so seduced by a hopeless, inert, desiccated socialism. When Richelieu, otherwise one of the greatest statesmen in European history, imposed an absolute and centralized government in the 17th century, he almost aborted democracy and doomed France to a struggle ever since between an over-mighty state and revolutionary libertarianism.

The final outcome of this election is not a foregone conclusion and Le Pen has risen steadily in the polls and is now over 40 per cent against Macron. She wants out of the European Union and there is nothing good in any predictable results for the smug little cabal of anti-democratic and unaccountable gremlins in Brussels, who have already almost fumbled Britain out of the Euro-fantasy, to justify their self-satisfaction.

The British election, June 8, promises to be the greatest landslide in that country since Stanley Baldwin swept 470 MPs (out of 630) in 1931, and was then prevailed upon by King George V to prop up the amiable former Labour party leader Ramsay MacDonald, who had almost no support, as prime minister for four years. The current prime minister, Theresa May, is cautious and seems adequately competent. The opposition parties are fragmented and unfeasible. The Liberal Democrats, now down to nine MPs, could get some support as an anti-Brexit party, but probably not many constituencies. The Scottish Nationalists, despite the usual boastful crowing of separatists (including in this country), will almost certainly lose some ground to the local Conservatives. May will have a strong mandate but enjoys limited public enthusiasm. Except for the ineffable Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, it is a humdrum government with little style or panache.

If Macron wins and Angela Merkel returns for a fourth term as German chancellor in the elections in September, though probably in another cumbrous grand coalition with the chief opposition party, the Social Democrats, they may bully Brussels into offering a two-tier Europe. This would be a common market with political integration only for those countries that wished it; a re-elected May government could conceivably accept that and sell it to the country.

Such an outcome would eventually produce a pantomime-horse Europe. The Grosse Deutschland of ancient Teutonic ambitions would emerge, but assembled by example and co-prosperity rather than by coercion as has been unsuccessfully attempted in the past. It would include the Balkan countries, Czechs, Austrians, and possibly the Dutch and probably the Poles. There would be a Mediterranean-tier led informally and with frequent comedic interludes by France. And the outliers would be led by Britain in its role going back to Wolsey’s time of favouring different European powers successively with agile flexibility while oriented more to the English-speaking world across the seas.

If Angela Merkel is re-elected as German chancellor, the Social Democrats may bully Brussels into offering a two-tier Europe: a common market with political integration for those that want it.

The long-running farce of Italian public life could also imperil the coherence of Europe. The leading party in that country is now even more bizarre than some of the French political confections, and is led by a comedian barred from public office by previous misconduct, and has an obscenity as its rallying slogan. The Italians and Greeks have never managed a hard currency in 2,500 years, and are addicted to inflation to expand the money supply and maintain the public accounts.

The Germans have the opposite preoccupation: a phobia about unsound money, but a need for some monetary weaklings in the eurozone, to facilitate the export of German-engineered products, as long as the Berlin government doesn’t become vulnerable to the domestic charge of bankrolling too many Mediterranean beach bums. This fissure between hard and soft currency countries, and Brussels’ authoritarianism and unanswerability either to its chaotic and impotent European Parliament or to the major constituent governments, are the main problems of the Euro-project and there is no remedy in sight nor any personalities with the imagination and authority to have an obvious aptitude to put things right. The best believable scenario is some sort of two- or three-level evolution as described above. Such a result could occur in spontaneous stages, but not without a good many stressful and abrasive moments. (Canada has sent Stéphane Dion on a very uncertain mission as ambassador to the European Union.)

Europe is not under threat from Russia; Germany and the U.K. are fairly robust, and France will recover eventually. Italy always gets by, and the second echelon of European states —  Spain, Poland, Netherlands, the Czechs, and Scandinavia — are doing fairly well. It is a tired but not mortally enervated continent. But the quick fix and instant return to world leadership of a united Europe was moonshine from the start, as de Gaulle and Margaret Thatcher foresaw.

As always, for better and worse, returning to Canada was a resumption of serenity.

First published in the National Post.

Posted on 04/29/2017 5:30 AM by Conrad Black
Friday, 28 April 2017
The Questionable Case for Lifting Sudan Sanctions: Testimonies of Sudan Resistance Leaders-Part 1

General Abakar M. Abdallah of Sudan United Movement

by Jerry Gordon and Deborah Martin

Janjaweed militia members

On April 26, 2017, the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights held a hearing on The Questionable Case for Easing Sanctions Sudan Sanctions The issue arose with the partial lifting by President Obama, just prior to leaving office in January 2017, of the 20-year economic sanctions against the Khartoum Regime of indicted war criminal Sudan President Omar Hassan al Bashir. A provision of the partial lifting of Sudan sanctions was a six month look back to determine if acts of terrorism and genocide have continued against the indigenous African people especially in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile Region. 

The hearings was chaired by Rep.Chris Smith (R-4th CD NJ) and Ranking Member Rep. Karen Bass (D -37th CD CA). Among the witnesses who are slated to appear are:

Mr. Brad Brooks-Rubin
Policy Director
The Sentry
[full text of statement]

Mr. David Dettoni
Senior Advisor
Sudan Relief Fund
[full text of statement]

Mr. Mohamed Abubakr
The African Middle Eastern Leadership Project
[full text of statement]

The Honorable Princeton N. Lyman
Senior Advisor to the President
United States Institute of Peace
[full text of statement]

Watch the archived video  webcast of the hearing:

Over the past six months, The New English Review has published reports attesting to the continuing ethnic cleansing and genocide of indigenous peoples in these conflict regions citing specific instances of Khartoum Regime backed Janjaweed Militia- now renamed Rapid Support Force (RSF) or Peace Forces engaged in ethnic cleansing of villages and Internally Displaced Person Camps. The Janjaweed RSF Peace force is under the control of the National Intelligence Security Service (NISS) and Sudan Armed Force (SAF) Command. These reports have also uncovered a Secret Arab Coalition Plan that would replace indigenous people with Arab tribes to be completed prior to 2020. In many instances jihadist terrorists have been recruited from across the Sahel region and the Middle East. The objective of the Arab Coalition Plan is to resettle them in the lands formerly occupied by African tribal people with a view to creating a 150,000 man Jihad Army to create a Sharia-ruled Caliphate across the Sahel. The Arab Coalition Plan of the Khartoum Regime of President Bashir has the financial backing of the Emeriti members Gulf Cooperation Council and Saudi Arabia. These Jihadi recruits have been trained and organized in more than 16 camps in the Khartoum Region and equipped with arms and militarized pickup trucks. Further, there have been instances where the Janjaweed/ RSF Peace Forces have used prohibited chemical weapons of mass destruction coupled with bombings by Russian-supplied Antonov cargo planes of the Sudan Air Force on indigenous populations. And despite the evidence of abetting regional Islamic terrorism, the USAFRICOM, pursuant to so-called evidence of counterterrorism  cooperation by the Bashir regime has included it in quarterly security reviews at its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

For these reasons the authors solicited witness testimony from Sudan resistance leaders in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains exposing the Bashir regime’s Jihad genocide objectives of the Arab Coalition Plan.

Part I presents the testimoniy submitted to the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights of: Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah, Chairman of the Sudan United Movement (SUM).


Testimony of Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah

Chairman of the Sudan United Movement (SUM)
Submitted to the US House of Representatives
Subcommittee on Africa and Global Human Rights
April 26, 2017

My name is Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah. I am Chairman of the Sudan United Movement (SUM). I thank the United States Congress and this Committee for their continuous commitments in supporting the oppressed people of the Sudan (Darfur, Southern Kordofan, Blue, Beja, and Mannassir) in their struggle to achieve peace and stability.

I am a member of the Zaghawa tribe and a native of Darfur. I served 23 years in the Chadian Army rising to the rank of Lt. General. I am a graduate of the US Army Intelligence School located at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, the US Army War College and the Counterterrorism program of the National Defense University located at Fort McNair in Washington, DC. I wish to apprise the Subcommittee of the status of the Jihad genocide being committed in Darfur by the National Congress Party (NCP) regime of indicted war criminal, Sudan President Omar al-Bashir. The facts on the ground in Darfur do not justifying continuing the partial lifting of US Sanctions against the Bashir Regime. Moreover, the regime is pursuing aggressive ethnic cleansing of Darfurian indigenous African people and their replacement with Arab tribes and international terrorist groups recruited for the NCP Regime Rapid Support Forces (RSF-Reorganized Janjaweed militias).

 President Bashir’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continually pillages and loots everything from the villages and the Internally Displaced Population Camps in Darfur. They rape women, burn homes, destroy water sources, damage crops, seize grazing animals on farms and fruit plantations. President Bashir’s objective is to inflict poverty and entirely remove the population of Darfur from their land and replace them with new settlers the regime brings in from foreign states. Bashir’s NCP regime continually commits Genocide on the people of Darfur, Kordofan, and the Blue Nile. Therefore, there is an urgent need to stop him from committing further atrocities.

The current security situation is worse and human right abuses in Darfur are continuing despite the fact that President Obama partially lifting Sudan’s twenty years of US economic sanctions imposed at the result of President Bashir’s support of terrorism and violation of human rights. The actions of genocide, war crimes and human right abuses have not ended in Darfur, Kordofan, and Blue Nile that have occurred for over 15 years. The situation remains the same. Killing, torturing, rape and ejection continue in all parts of Darfur, Kordofan and the Blue Nile. Furthermore, the regime continues recruiting, training, and financing of Arab tribal militias and terrorism. Former US President Obama’s cooperation with the Islamic regime in Khartoum undermined United States engagement directed at preventing human right violations and protection of the  innocent population targeted by the Sudan regime’s long years of brutality.

We are presenting this testimony with the objective of informing the United States Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights on the current volatile security situation and human right violations in Darfur and Kordofan caused by the regime’s Janjaweed militias and the reasons behind the Khartoum regime’s continual commission of atrocities against innocent civilians. We request the US Subcommittee on Africa to urge President Trump’s Administration to reverse President Obama’s decision and reinstate vigorous economic sanctions against the Sudan regime. Further we are requesting assistance for the Sudan United Movement to disarm Janjaweed militias leading to possible regime change in Sudan. This would assist in establishing a democratic system of government that respects the rights of all Sudanese people.

While Obama partially lifted economic sanctions against the genocidal Bashir regime, its Janjaweed militias, renamed “Peace Forces”, massacred over 80 people in Nertiti and Geneina in Central and Western Darfur regions in early January 2017.  The indicted war criminal President Omar Hassan Ahmed al Bashir’s Islamic Peace Forces have been committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against the African population of non- Arab origin since the 1980s. Following the partial lifting of economic sanctions the Regime’s “Desert Shield” Militias killed and wounded over 119 people in Sodari, South Kordofan in April, 2017. The massacring of over 119 innocent civilians by the Bashir’s militias illustrates the regime’s continual human rights violation not only in Darfur but in the other conflict regions of Sudan. Nothing has changed on the ground.

With the objective of furthering the Islamic extremist ideology, they have extended killing to the innocent population of the adjacent Central African Republic and Chad. This is all part of the National Congress Party regime’s plan to establish through ethnic cleansing of African tribes a Caliphate in the Sahel sub-region of Northern Africa.

The regime recruits, trains, organizes these militias and provides them with trucks, arms and logistic supplies. It unleashes them with full authority to kill anyone who opposes the implementation of the Arab Coalition policies which seeks to make demographic changes not only in Darfur but in the whole African Sahel Sub-region culminating in the establishment of a Caliphate. The primary role of the Arab militias is to ensure the survival of the regime and create a veritable Jihadist under the banner of the Islamic movement of the Muslim Brotherhood.

On April 18, 2017 the regime deployed 7, 000 militia some of whom it brought in from Libya and had been organizing and training in the area of Jelly, Kabcabiyia, North Darfur. Organizing and deploying these militias in line with the regime’s policies to implement the Arab Coalition Plan. The Arab Coalition Plan was found in the Arabic Language version of 11 pages captured during the fighting between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) (Reorganized Janjaweed Militias) and Darfur rebels in October of the year 2014 in Donkey Hush, North Darfur. The document was found in an abandoned military truck of the RSF.

The document contains statements or evaluations of the Arab Coalition project that began in 1987 and has been continuously update through the last evaluation in 2014. The objective of President Bashir’s regime and its Janjaweed militias is to eradicate the people of Darfur and occupy the land. We have translated the document into English to reveal what is behind the Arab coalition organization in cooperation with the Khartoum regime creating and arming of Janjaweed militias.

The most important part of the document is the evaluation of 2014 in which they distribute the entire Darfur region to different Arab tribes.  They intend to finish their project prior to the year 2020. If the Arab Coalition Plan is left unchecked and Janjaweed militias are not disarmed the genocide human right atrocities in Darfur will continue. The Arab Coalition is not only supported by the Bashir regime but also by the Arab League and Arab governments in Middle East.

It is unfortunate that Darfur people become prey to the oil rich Middle East Arab States who stand firmly behind Bashir supporting him financially and politically. The worse thing is to see the international community embracing the Arab regime of Khartoum and witness African countries not only distancing themselves from Darfur but not even understanding what is the real cause of the problem. They just blindly support Bashir’s genocidal regime. Darfur genocide is one of the world’s longest genocides and is visible to all. Darfur’s problem is more than the conflict between the Darfur resistance movements and the Bashir regime.  It is the Arab policy of establishing a Caliphate in the African Sahel region. We request the US government address this crisis not as simply conflict between two parties. This conflict has three parties: (1) indigenous people or original citizens of Darfur, (2) the new Arab settlers that the regime brings from foreign countries that constitutes the Janjaweed militias; and, (3) the Khartoum regime and its Arab Cabal, notably Saudi Arabia and State of Qatar that supports President Bashir financially.

Why did President Bashir select Darfur to be used as baseline to create a Caliphate in the African Sahel Region? Geographically Darfur occupies a strategic location linking the African sub-Sahara Sahel region Middle East and Europe through the vast Sahara desert to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The region is an important strategic location in the continent linking West African nations and North Africa. Since the early days of Islam; the Darfur region has been a crossing point where people coming from different directions met. Based on its strategic location, the Sudan government makes this region a hub for all extremist and transnational terrorist groups.

These groups include al Qaeda, Janjaweed, and Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) currently present in areas of Merlin Camp and Ain al Khadra near Kafia Kingi and Mountain Abu-Rassin Central African Republic (CAR), Mali Jihadists, Boko Haram, and ISIS.  These groups are integrated in the RSF, while Central African rebels are currently operating with some SELEKA factions in CAR. Others include South Sudan rebels, Chadian rebels, and ISIS. These groups are trained and organized in Sudan prior to sending to their various regions of operation. One example is the South Sudan Islamic Liberation Movement that Ali Tamim Fartak is organized in Niyala, capital the South Darfur region. These groups regularly move back and forth between the countries in the region, the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. Darfur is a land locked region that links all the roads from sub-Sahara Africa going to Middle East, Egypt and Europe via the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

The Forces of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) were initially deployed in 2007 in Darfur with the mandate to protect civilians. Unfortunately these forces came under the strict control of the Sudan’s regime. Therefore; it could not conduct independent operations without permission from the Sudan’s security forces. As a result it has become completely ineffective and consequently failed to provide security for the vulnerable indigenous Darfurian population. Neither could it write credible reports on human right violations carry out by the Janjaweed militias. The organization became in effect a puppet of the National Congress Party regime of President Bashir.

Since the inception of UNAMID in Darfur none of its reports on human right violations and none of its forces protect any civilians threatened by the Janjaweed militias. Most of the killing, rape, torture, and other human right abuses in Darfur pass without recording and notification of the international community because of the ineffectiveness of UNAMID force deployed in Darfur. For example, when UNAMID reported that regime security forces conducted mass rape of 200 women in Tabit; the Sudan regime summoned its chief representative and threatened to withdraw its forces from Sudan. Since then none of the UN or AU agents have spoken of the Tabit mass rape that occurred in 2015.

Peace will not come to Darfur without support of US Congress and US Administration. Peace in Darfur will not come without replacement of Bashir and disarming the Janjaweed militia and removing terrorist groups from Darfur.

The Khartoum regime has no intentions of making peace in Sudan. The regime is using peace negotiations and dialogue as a means of deceiving the international community to allow it to remain in power and continue atrocities against the vulnerable population of Darfur. What has been achieved from these false peace negotiations and false peace agreements signed whether in Abuja, Nigeria, Doha, Qatar or elsewhere? Have any of these initiatives brought peace in Darfur?  Why do we believe that this regime wanting to bring peace?

The US bilateral talks were held at the time while the NCP government in Khartoum continuously finances and provides safe havens to international terrorists and their organizations. The Islamic extremist regime of Khartoum used negotiations with Obama’s Administration to attack the civilian population in Jebel Marra using weapons of mass destruction. The Amnesty International’s report “Scorched Earth Poisoned Air” report issued on September 29, 2016 presented a credible explanation of the use of smoke type chemical agents. The organization interviewed several people from Jebel Marra and provided pictures of the victims exposed to these prohibited chemical agents. As a result, we recommend to US Congress urge President Trump’s Administration not to help NCP regime escape responsibility for crimes it is committing against the people of Sudan.

Under the cover of these false peace deals Russian supplied Antonov cargo planes continually drop bombs on population settlements including chemicals agents. Janjaweed militias continue massacring and plundering unprotected populations and properties in Darfur. Women are systematically raped at gun point. Following these peace deals for Darfur, more people are displaced, more villages are burned, more men are tortured and killed, more women are raped, and more atrocities are committed. 

This is not the first time the NCP regime has been accused of using weapons of mass destruction in Sudan. It used them in South Sudan in 1999 and again in South Kordofan and Blue Nile in 2016. Despite several reports accusing the radical Islamic government of using prohibited weapons, the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) has done nothing. It is unfair and unacceptable for UNSC to maintain silence and not question President Bashir or investigate the episodes in Jebel Marra on the use of chemical weapons. We request US government investigate of the Bashir regime use of chemicals weapons and treatment of wounded victims.

In conclusion.

President Bashir of Sudan continually commits genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity on the African population of non-Arab origin in Darfur, Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur. President Bashir’s failure to sign genuine peace agreements and breaching ceasefires aggravated the security situation in conflict areas in Sudan that endangers the lives of the indigenous civilian population. President Bashir continually recruits trains, and arms Janjaweed militias and transnational terrorist groups causing the security instability of Sudan notably in Darfur and the conflict areas. The true intention of President Bashir and his Janjaweed militias is to implement the Arab Coalition Plan we recovered from an abandoned Rapid Support Force truck in Donkey Hush, Darfur in 2014. What is happening in Darfur is continuous destruction of indigenous African population with intention to make a complete a total ethnic cleaning and demographic change?

Part II is here. Part III is here.

Posted on 04/28/2017 4:03 PM by Jerry Gordon and Deborah Martin
Friday, 28 April 2017
"Free Speech" at UC Berkeley

by Gary Fouse

It seems like a century ago that a young man named Mario Savio launched something called the "Free Speech Movement" at the University of California at Berkeley. Ever since, the university has prided itself as the birthplace of free speech, which might draw a hoot from our founding fathers.

To be sure, controversial speakers from Louis Farrakhan to Vicente Fox to radical Oakland-based imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali have found a friendly environment at Berkeley, but for conservative speakers, the idea that they too might enjoy the right to speak without a riot ensuing has proved far more elusive.

In fact just this year, three speakers from the right have learned the hard way that they have no free speech rights at UCB.

Take Milo Yiannopoulos, for example. His February speech was cancelled at the last minute when students and other anarchists rioted at the site of the venue. People were beaten and $100,000 of property damage resulted while campus police posed as potted plants. Only one arrest took place. The unlucky chap seems to have gotten in the way of a local campus gendarme who was probably writing a parking ticket.

Then there was David Horowitz, scheduled to speak April 12. The university administration put so many barriers in his way (like moving the venue to some undisclosed broom closet a mile off campus) that he figured there was no use speaking to two or three homeless people who might stumble in by mistake.

Now comes Ann Coulter (who, like Horowitz, has spoken at UC Irvine without incident). She was scheduled to speak this week at "The Home of the Free Speech Movement." When the little rascals threatened to give her the Yiannopoulus treatment, the university panicked. The campus police were afraid there would be violence. The school tried to reschedule the event to September (probably during school break). They said they had no room available. Just like Horowitz, they put up condition after condition-which she agreed to- before her sponsors threw in the towel.

Understandably, the College Republicans and Young Americas Foundation at UCB, who attempted to sponsor these events, are frustrated and convinced they cannot get fair treatment from a feckless administration that hides under its collective desk at the first sign of trouble. (Believe it or not, UCB's outgoing  chancellor, Nicholas Dirks, was found to have had an escape hatch built into his office in case protesters got too close.)

If student and community thugs try to shut down an event, that's what the cops are there for-at least in the good old days when I was in law enforcement. Campus cops, of course, are under the direct control of the university administrators. The result is that riots go unpunished and the heckler's veto is king.

As illustrated above, universities all over the country are learning that putting administrative roadblocks in the way of conservative speakers is a good way to shut down an event and avoid disruptions altogether. Forcing conservative groups like the College Republicans to post inordinately high security insurance fees, or hold their events in the daylight hours during classes at off-site locations or in halls too small to accommodate large crowds are methods increasingly being used as tools to keep conservative speakers off campus. It belies the very purpose of universities, which is to expose students to a wide variety of viewpoints on controversial issues. The result is one huge echo chamber.

Contrary to what some think, the quick fix is not to demand that the universities hire more conservative professors. This is a culture that has been building since the 1960s. It will not change overnight. In addition, few conservatives are interested in making a career in  a university setting. Who wants to put up with that aggravation?

What is needed is a drying up of funds from donors and tax payers-to say nothing about students deciding to go elsewhere. Just ask the University of Missouri after the Black Lives Matters protests drove prospective students to other schools. Mizzou is hurting big time in the pocket book due to a lack of students.

Another thing that needs to change now is having campus cops stand down when events are being disrupted or shut down by violence. Instead, arrests should be made and prosecution and expulsion must ensue. Would be disruptors must know that campus police and administrators will take whatever measures to ensure that freedom of speech applies to all. The purpose of campus police is to keep order on campus and protect people and property. They seem to have forgotten that at UC Berkeley.

In one respect, however, justice has been served. Milo Yiannopoulos, David Horowitz and Ann Coulter have brought national attention to UC Berkeley and universities in general. Public awareness is the first step to bringing change where change is badly needed.

Posted on 04/28/2017 2:19 PM by Gary Fouse
Friday, 28 April 2017
Unleashing Arrogance, Complacency, and Mediocrity

by Theodore Dalrymple

Unleashing Demons: The Inside Story of Brexit is one of the worst books on any subject that I have read in a long time. It is a blow-by-boring-blow account of David Cameron’s referendum campaign, principally in the media of mass communication, to keep Britain in the European Union. It was written by Craig Oliver, whose job was director of politics and communications in David Cameron’s administration, a title instinct with dishonesty. At least one knows what a second-hand car salesman does.

But a very bad book may, in its own way, be highly instructive, as this one is. If mediocrity can ever be said to shine, then it shines from these pages. The writer, though a journalist, has no literary ability whatsoever. He writes entirely in clichés, there is not a single arresting thought in over 400 pages, wit and even humor are entirely absent, and he seems unable to use a metaphor, almost always tired to begin with, without mixing it (“We are likely to succumb on this if they get on their high horses and cry foul”). He has no powers of analysis and no sense of history; there is no plumbing his shallows.

Nevertheless this was someone at the center of power for several years. Everyone around him, including the Prime Minister (the dullest man ever to hold the position), comes off as just as uninteresting as he; though it has to be admitted that the author could make Talleyrand seem a bore. The one outstanding quality that these mediocrities seem to share is ambition. It is disconcerting for the citizen to be faced so starkly by the fact that ambitious mediocrity is now the main characteristic of those who rule him.

Mr. Oliver provides no context for the referendum on Brexit, the calling of which was an act of absolute folly. Such was Cameron’s political incompetence that it seemed never to have occurred to him that a vote on so profound a constitutional issue should not be held and decided on the basis of 50 per cent plus one of the votes cast. In the event, the whole direction of the country was changed by the votes of 37 per cent of the eligible population, not exactly an overwhelming mandate for change; only too predictably, indeed, it was a recipe for social conflict and division. On this, the author is silent.

Had those who were shocked or horrified by the result objected to the form of the referendum before it was held, they might have had some grounds for subsequent complaint. To demand overturning the result of the vote that they complacently did not expect, absent any protests beforehand, made it look as if they believed their own votes to keep the United Kingdom in the European Union should have counted for more than those who voted to leave. The implication: They were wiser than, and morally superior to, those of a different opinion from themselves.

The reason that these philosopher-kings didn’t object beforehand was that they were confident that the vision of the anointed (to use Thomas Sowell’s pithy phrase) would triumph. So wedded to that vision is the author that he does not feel it even necessary to explain why Britain should have voted to remain in the EU. Beyond saying that serious economists, chief executives of large companies, the Governor of the Bank of England and the director of the International Monetary Fund were in favor of Britain remaining (which is, in essence, the argument from authority) he provided no arguments for his opinion—though, in fact, such arguments existed, the most convincing, at least to me, being Lord Falkland’s famous principle that when it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change. Of course, when and whether change is necessary is always a matter of judgment, for no condition is perfect; but you don’t wreck a room just because there is dust on the mantelpiece.

However, the main reason the author provides no arguments for his views is that he believes that there are simply no arguments against them, and that therefore everything goes by default. Apparently, anyone who is capable of reading a book must, almost by definition, agree with Mr. Oliver. Over and over again he says that the push to exit the EU was based purely on xenophobia and propaganda lies. One does not refute xenophobia or propaganda.

Unfortunately, to say that there were no arguments on the other side is itself a lie. It would be vain to deny, of course, that lies and xenophobia played no part in the campaign to leave, just as it would be vain to assert that Britain’s manifold problems are principally caused by its membership of the European Union rather than by, say, the abysmally low cultural level of its population, including of the most highly educated class (as this book amply demonstrates). Culture is as much a matter of character as of education, and it is precisely character that our leaders lack.

But the most eloquent man on either side of the debate was Daniel Hannan, a man who speaks Spanish and French better than Oliver writes English, and who argued that leaving the European Union would make Britain more open to the rest of the world, not less; that far from being isolationist little Englanders, as alleged by their opponents, those in favor of the Brexit were not little Europeaners who had failed to notice that Europe was no longer the center of the world.

Part of the weakness of the book is that its author, though allegedly open to the outside world, shows no particular knowledge of it—not even of France, a mere 20 miles from our coast. If he had read its press during the campaign, he would have realized that the criticisms lodged by French commentators and even former French government ministers was just as scathing as that of Hannan and other articulate Brexiteers—namely that the EU is corrupt, bureaucratic, cumbersome, archaic, inhibitory of enterprise, economically dysfunctional, and undemocratic, and that its two most recent major innovations, the single currency and free movement across borders, had been disasters for many of its members. The only difference between the French critics and the British was that the former thought the EU was reformable, and the latter did not.

Though the author was Mr. Cameron’s director of politics, whatever that might be (certainly not an elected position), he shows no interest in, or even awareness of, the political dimension of the question of Britain’s EU membership. He writes as if the referendum was only about economics and immigration, ignoring that it was also a sounding of the public’s view of the EU’s self-proclaimed goal of ever-closer union. He therefore does not ask what the purpose is of that ever-closer union, what problem or problems it is supposed to solve, or where pursuit of this goal is likely to lead sooner or later.

This blithe unawareness of the political dimension is evident in the admiration Mr. Oliver expresses for a man called Bill Knapp, an American consultant (in what, exactly?) who came over “to sharpen lines for the PM’s Question Time appearances and the wider TV debates”—a tacit admission that David Cameron is a dullard, left to his own devices a terminal bore. Knapp’s “easy charm belies a razor sharp brain,” he writes. “His thoughts are interesting. Almost fact free—appealing to common sense or emotion.” And here is one of Mr. Knapp’s  interesting thoughts: The purpose of the EU is the single market.

This establishes pretty conclusively that the consultant is either an unscrupulous liar or an ignoramus. The purpose of the EU has never been, and is certainly not now, the single market. Only someone completely lacking in political insight could take what such a man says seriously.

Unleashing Demons will prove a valuable social document if it causes future historians to wonder at the low intellectual level of people at the center of power in Britain at the beginning of the 21st century. Having spent the entire book saying that those who wanted to leave had no argument, Mr. Oliver writes, seven pages before its end (on page 401):

And yet even I, who am as metropolitan and liberal on immigration as they come, questioned being part of an organisation that insists on having unlimited freedom of movement to work. It seems to me it is an unsustainable situation that countries with such varying economies can continue with this system.

Indeed. But what is the EU if not a procrustean political bed whose purpose is to fuse very different countries in the hope that something powerful will emerge, so that European politicians may play a role on a larger stage than their own? Who would have heard of Mr. Juncker if he had remained a former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Mr. Barroso he had remained a former Prime Minister (and Maoist student agitator) of Portugal, or Mr. Kinnock had he remained but a failed leader of the British Labor Party?

First published in the Library of Law and Liberty.
Posted on 04/28/2017 7:26 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 28 April 2017
Art Under — And Out From Under — Islam (Part I)

by Hugh Fitzgerald

Saloua Raouda Choucair, Poem Wall, 1963–65.

This past February, Art News published an article about an exhibit at MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) that it described as an “Elegant Riposte to Trump’s Travel Order.” Here’s that “Elegant Riposte”:

Less than a week after President Trump signed an executive order banning citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has responded by installing works by artists from those countries, including the late Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid, the Sudanese master Ibrahim El-Salahi, and the young Iranian painter Tala Madani, in the galleries devoted to its permanent collection.

Alongside each work is a placard that reads:

This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States, according to a presidential executive order issued on January 27, 2017. This is one of several such artworks from the Museum’s collection installed throughout the fifth-floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum, as they are to the United States.

The additions so far are almost uniformly impressive and well-considered, broadening the geographical and cultural scope, as well as the political implications, of MoMA’s collection galleries.

In the gallery devoted to Matisse, the curators have installed a remarkable work from 1962 by the Iranian Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, who is 80 this year. It is a deliriously patterned geometric drawing of Zenderoudi and his father, more than seven feet tall and made with felt-tip pen and ink on paper, and it plays beautifully with the Matisse’s glorious color, emphasizing the vital role that art and textiles from the Middle East and surrounding areas played in the Frenchman’s work. (Just a few steps away is Matisse’s 1915–16 masterpiece The Moroccans, which shows a man in a turban looking out at a white-domed mosque.)

Like Tate Modern and a handful of other major Western institutions, MoMA has been making efforts in recent years to broaden its reach beyond the European and American canon, expanding its holdings of art from the Middle East and elsewhere, but it is notable that many of the works installed here have long been in the museum’s collection. They just have not regularly been on view. The Zenderoudi was acquired the year it was made, and a potent little abstraction by the great El-Salahi, The Mosque (1964) was purchased the year after it was made, and has now found a home in the museum’s Picasso gallery, across the way from his Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), a work heavily influenced by African art. Let us hope that some of these new inclusions stick, even after the order and the president who signed it are long gone.

The African art that influenced Picasso in his Demoiselles d’Avignon were sub-Saharan masks having nothing to do with Islam; placing El-Salahi’s The Mosque in the Picasso gallery implies a connection between Picasso and Islamic art that does not exist.

The story of modernism in the West is, of course, a story of global travel, of intercontinental influence, and of colonialism with artists in the United States and Europe looking to other countries and cultures for inspiration.

Why does “colonialism” come up here? Because we must be reminded of the West’s wickedness on every possible occasion, and what is an article in Art News on MoMA’s “riposte” to Trump if not such an occasion? Yet just how important for Western artists was this contact with the “colonized” lands and peoples? Matisse is always adduced, for those bright North African colors and fabrics and artifacts that he painted, and Picasso for his African-mask period (1907-1910), but how many other important Western artists of the 20th century were similarly influenced in their art, and especially, how much did the art of the “colonized” Muslims influence Western art? Out of the many thousands of Western artists, how many, or how few, found such inspiration in those “colonized” lands?

It is also a story of forced displacement, wars forcing artists to become refugees and seek safety abroad. Tala Madani’s 2007 video Chit Chat—a work finely attuned to current developments, showing a variety of old men conspiring and then spewing bile—sits in a room with a Marc Chagall, who fled Occupied France in 1941 and came to the United States along with so many other vanguard artists of the time.

The implication is that Muslim artists wanting to come to America from Muslim countries are “fleeing for their lives” from persecution. They are not. Those who want to come to America want to leave their unpleasant countries, mainly to further their careers. They are economic refugees, or the children of such refugees. They should not be likened to Jewish artists who had to flee for their lives from the Nazis. But MoMA wants you to think of Tala Madani in connection with Chagall, a Jewish refugee who had to flee the Nazis, and to think of other Muslim immigrants, too, supposedly so cruelly denied entry by Trump, we are asked to believe, simply for being Muslims. But Tala Madani, born in Iran, and raised from childhood in the U.S., is not one of those whom “wars forced…to become refugees” – her parents simply sought better lives in the U.S. Finally, Madani has not herself been affected by the latest ban. She continues to live in L.A., doing quite handsomely. She’s exactly the kind of “artist” now in great favor; the description of her latest solo show at an L.A. gallery conveys something of her inimitable style, for it offers “a new body of paintings by Tala Madani and her fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. Inside Shitty Disco a penis projects a cave-painting. Other figures project mise-en-scenes from their assholes.” Clearly an artist not to be missed.

One room over, where a major Picabia has long been displayed, a large photograph of what appear to be billiard balls by the Iranian-born German photographer Shirana Shahbazi hangs not far from Marcel Duchamp’s To Be Looked at (from the Other Side of the Glass) with One Eye, Close to, for Almost an Hour, which Duchamp made in 1918 in Buenos Aires, where he lived after first heading to the United States to get away from the Great War.

The photograph by the Iranian is lent a borrowed sheen by being in the same room as this work by Duchamp.

There will be those who will say that a move like this is just a gesture, that it offers no concrete help to the more than 100,000 people whose visas have been revoked as a result of this racist executive order. In a sense, they are right. Only a fundamental political reversal can begin to repair the damage that has been done. But until that shift happens—and it will—every institution with a belief in the free sharing of ideas, in combating Islamophobia, and in ensuring the safety of victims of war has an obligation to support those causes in the ways that they can. That is what the museum is doing right now.

What ARTNEWS calls a “racist executive order” had nothing to do with “race.” (It is maddening that this idiotic charge has to be continuously rebutted, but so be it. Once again, for the nth irrefutable time: Islam is not a race.) The order had to do with security, and what many – though not, of course, writers for Art News – believe is a perfectly reasonable precaution to take: that is, to temporarily ban people from a handful of countries where terrorist groups — Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Al-Shebab, Hezbollah — are known to be operating right now, until such time as the American government has a better sense of how to conduct that ballyhooed “extreme vetting.”

And why does MoMA think its mission ought to be “to support those causes [as preventing the American government from adopting those security measures it deems prudent, and that some might even deem insufficient] in the way they can,” by turning its galleries into AgitProp centers? And why should MoMA be in the business of “combating Islamophobia” – a tendentious term used to bully and silence sober critics of Islam, by depicting them as know-nothings, suffering from an irrational “hatred” of Islam, when their real sin is that they know too much about Islam not to be alarmed?

Acting quickly and wisely, MoMA has managed a feat that is far too rare in the museum world: it has made its collection a living, breathing thing, responsive to current events, and ready to educate and challenge visitors. Artworks have unique powers—the ability to transmit complex ideas instantaneously, to highlight unseen histories, and to question the status quo. MoMA is letting those powers get to work.

The air at MoMA and Art News is thick with self-righteousness and self-congratulation. Apparently for a museum’s collection to be “a living, breathing thing,” it must reflect the latest headlines (“responsive to current events”), a strange insistence, given that so much of the greatest Western art treated subjects and themes that were beyond, had little to do with, the political, the quotidian, the passing parade. From Giotto to Leonardo, Michelangelo, Piero della Francesca, Rembrandt, Titian, Vermeer, Chardin, Velazquez, Vermeer, Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Derain, Picasso, Munch, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Balthus, Morandi, and so many others, one would have a hard time – save in a handful of cases, such as Goya’s “Los Desastres de la Guerra” and “Picasso’s “Guernica” — finding painters “responsive to current events,” that is, reflecting in their art the immediate political concerns of the day.

MoMA has decided its task is no longer that of displaying art for art’s sake – apparently that’s not enough any more for any self-respecting art museum — but to take political sides, and to deplore what Art News calls the “racist executive order” of President Trump. That “racist order” affects Muslims and non-Muslims alike, but only from seven countries, six of which are known to harbor fighters from the Islamic State, or Al-Qaeda, or Al-Shebab, that is Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, and Somalia, and one, Iran, known to support Hezbollah terrorists and repeatedly demonstrate that it regards the U.S. as its longstanding and permanent enemy. Far from trying to ban all Muslims, Trump’s executive order affects only 12% of the world’s Muslims, and the ban itself lasts only for 90 days. This is nothing like the complete ban on Muslim migrants that Trump the candidate suggested until “we can figure what the hell is going on.” And given the potential threats to national security, does this watered-down version seem outrageous?

This is not to deny that the subject of “Art Under Islam” deserves attention. It does, but not the kind of attention MoMA and ArtNews are giving it by tying it into a protest over Trump’s ban. What deserves to be covered – what Islam has meant for the world’s art, and what Islam has meant for the individual Muslim artist — will be dealt with in the second and third installments of this piece.

First published in Jihad Watch.

Posted on 04/28/2017 6:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 28 April 2017
Guatemala Violates Foreign-Aid Agreement

US Ambassador, UN Commissioner Work against Alliance for Prosperity Objectives

by Steven Hecht

Attorney General Thelma Aldana and Cicig Commissioner Iván Velásquez interact with members of Congress during a session on changes to the Guatemalan Constitution. (El Periódico)


Policy intentions matter little, outcomes do. US taxpayer dollars are flowing to Guatemala, but local officials and the Obama-appointed ambassador are turning the aid objective on its head.

In 2015, the US Congress passed the Alliance for Prosperity, included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, to “address the key factors in such countries contributing to the migration of unaccompanied, undocumented minors to the United States.”

Among the specific spending criteria, an objective is to “implement reforms, policies, and programs to improve transparency and strengthen public institutions, including increasing the capacity and independence of the judiciary and the Office of the Attorney General” [emphasis mine].

Guatemala is now violating this by pursuing constitutional changes proposed and promoted illegally by the UN Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), the Guatemalan Attorney General Thelma Aldana, and US Ambassador Todd Robinson.

Under the current Constitution, Guatemala chooses magistrates and the attorney general through nominating commissions that include university rectors, the Bar Association, and the deans of the country’s law schools. The proposed “reforms” would create a seven-person National Judiciary Board comprised of three members chosen by the country’s judges — one justice of the peace, one lower-court judge, and one appeals-court magistrate — alongside one Supreme Court-appointed lawyer from outside the judicial branch and three professionals from other fields chosen by the first four members.

How can individuals from the lowest rung of the judicial branch be the best people to select magistrates for the highest courts? Constitutional-law expert José Luis González has explained to the Impunity Observer that “The board will be controlled by members of the judicial branch and will have the power to intimidate the other branches of government.”

Former Attorney General Conrado Reyes says, “While not ideal, the current system is superior to the proposal, because it disperses power and includes independent law professionals — the Bar Association and law-school deans — from outside politics and the judicial branch.”

The US Congress’s stated intent of foreign policy toward Guatemala was not to concentrate power in the judiciary at the expense of the other branches of government. Such concentrated power in Venezuela saw the judiciary simply cancel the legislature. Guatemala’s judiciary is, not coincidentally, now dominated by magistrates ideologically chosen and supported by Ambassador Robinson and his radical allies descended from the Castro-supported insurgents in Guatemala’s internal conflict (1960-1996).

Ambassador Todd Robinson and Judge Yassmin Barrios, whose ruling in a prominent political case was overturned for having violated the defendant’s constitutional rights. (US Embassy Guatemala)

The methods Robinson, Cicig Commissioner Iván Velásquez, and Aldana have used are those of rulers such as Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela. Article 137 of the Guatemalan Constitution prohibits foreigners from involvement in amendments, and Article 154 prohibits public officials from activities not specified as their duties. Changing the country’s constitution is outside the realms of the attorney general and the Cicig commissioner. Article 277 lists who can propose constitutional reforms, and making any of them a conduit for the true promoter would violate the law.

According to González, “The mere presence in Congress of the attorney general and the Cicig commissioner while members debate these ‘reforms’ violates the Constitution and, considering how they have abused their power in various cases, intimidates members to vote for what they otherwise would not. This explains the repeated violations of parliamentary procedure and other violations of law regarding these ‘reforms.’”

Even worse is the participation of Robinson. Various columnists and Member of Congress Fernando Linares have denounced him for threatening members of Congress with Cicig investigations and visa cancellations if they don’t vote for the “reforms.”

Congressman Linares, the most outspoken opponent of the “reforms,” faces bogus discrimination charges for a stand he took in Congress while discussing pending disabled-persons legislation. The US consulate then revoked his visa days before he could travel to Washington, DC, to meet with members of the US Congress.

US congress members clearly need better information. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), for example, recently stated that “If Guatemala’s leaders support Thelma Aldana and Iván Velásquez … we will do our part by supporting the Alliance for Prosperity, but if there are attempts to undermine [them], then [they] should look elsewhere for support.”

Similarly, Representative Norma Torres (D-CA) presented a resolution to the House of Representatives to reaffirm the commitment “to fighting corruption in Central America.” She added, “In Guatemala, we have seen Cicig lead the way under the strong leadership of Iván Velásquez.”

The promotion of constitutional “reforms” by Robinson, Velásquez, and Aldana to make the judiciary the dominant branch of government is sufficient reason to review policy towards Guatemala. This country in Central America deserves particular attention, because it is where illegal persons and materials must pass on their way to the United States through Mexico.

Guatemala is an unlocked backdoor into the United States. According to US Customs and Border Protection, in 2014, Central Americans apprehended on the southern border outnumbered Mexicans for the first time. In 2016, it happened again. All pass across Guatemala’s 595-mile border with Mexico.

The US ambassador, an Obama holdover, has promoted policies harmful to Guatemala and to the United States. If the constitutional changes go into effect, Guatemala will struggle to reverse course when the Trump administration undoes the Obama policy.

First published in the Impunity Observer
Posted on 04/28/2017 5:50 AM by Steve Hecht
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Man plotted attacks on Buckingham Palace and Elton John concert

From the Guardian and the Hounslow Gazette

A teenager has admitted plotting a bomb attack in London, having researched potential targets including Buckingham Palace and an Elton John concert. Haroon Syed, 19, who pleaded guilty on Thursday at the Old Bailey, was “researching, planning and attempting to source” materials for homemade explosive devices for use in the UK.

The court heard how Syed tried to get weapons online, including a bomb vest or explosives, and trawled the web to find a busy area in the capital such as Oxford Circus to launch a mass casualty attack.

Syed was caught chatting online with officers from the British Security Service, who posed as a fellow extremist who could help him source the weapons.

The defendant, from Hounslow in west London, will be sentenced at a later date. He pleaded guilty to a plot running from April to September 2016 to get materials for a bomb to stage attacks. The judge, Michael Topolski, warned Syed this was “a grave offence, and he would consider if a life sentence was merited”.

Syed’s brother, Nadir Syed, 24, was last year convicted and jailed for life for plotting to behead a poppy-seller or police community support officer on Remembrance Sunday.

In legal papers prepared for his defence, Syed was described as "highly vulnerable due to family history, lack of education, addiction to violent online games and the arrest and imprisonment of his brother."

According to his defence, he was groomed by radicals online but he never intended to carry out an attack. His lawyer Mark Summers QC argued he should have been given help by the Prevent de-radicalisation group rather than steered in the opposite direction. 

He said: "The proper response of the State should have been to engage Prevent to help this young man, to steer him away from the path it was feared he was going down, rather than guiding him down it."

Posted on 04/27/2017 10:19 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Whitehall incident: Terror attack in Westminster foiled as man is arrested 'with backpack of knives'

From The Telegraph and the Daily Mail

Police have foiled a suspected terror attack in Westminster after a man was arrested in a "stop and search" with a "backpack full of knives".

Armed police swooped on Whitehall, close to the offices of the Treasury where they detained the suspect five weeks after the terror attack that killed five people.

A spokesman added: "The man, aged in his late twenties, was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism. Knives have been recovered from him. He is being detained under the Terrorism Act and is in custody in a south London police station. Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command are continuing their investigation, and as a result of this arrest there is no immediate known threat."

The arrest was made as part of an ongoing operation and it is believed the man was already known to police.

Eyewitnesses described seeing two large knives on the ground close to the scene of the arrest. One described the man as being of mixed race with short hair and a short beard.


Posted on 04/27/2017 9:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Huma Abedin's Family under Federal Investigation

Paul Sperry writes in WND:

While Hillary Clinton loyal aide Huma Abedin was reportedly sidelined in the final stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign as a result of Abedin’s husband’s child-porn scandal, she was potentially an even greater liability than known. It turns out Anthony Weiner wasn’t the only family member under investigation.

In fact, the U.S. Justice Department has been actively prosecuting two other Abedin family members – for conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud – and she along with the State Department, where she previously worked for Clinton, are mentioned in the federal case, court records show.

Other documents reveal the same allegedly crooked kin solicited Abedin for help at State in a deal that netted more than $1.2 million in federal grants.

These undesirable family connections, revealed here for the first time, raise fresh questions about influence peddling at the State Department under Clinton, who is now reportedly working with Abedin on a political comeback.

Abedin’s relatives were major donors to the Clinton Foundation. And Abedin drew a salary from the Clinton Foundation, while at the same time working for the government.

Records show that her first cousin, Omar Amanat, is under federal indictment for cheating investors in Kit Digital Inc. of millions of dollars between 2009 and 2012, forcing the tech start-up to go bankrupt in 2013. He has been placed under house arrest as he awaits trial, which is scheduled for Oct. 2.

Another Abedin cousin, Irfan Amanat, is under indictment in the same case. He was arrested in December after returning to the U.S. from the United Arab Emirates.

Prosecutors say Omar Amanat illegally diverted millions of dollars from investments in Kit Digital “for his personal use,” including “luxury properties in Manhattan.” He “never disclosed these misappropriations to investors,” who were misled about the value of the company by false balance sheets. He has pleaded not guilty.

Recent letters, Part 1 and Part 2 here, from attorneys for Omar and another co-defendant asking the judge to ease their detention reveal that Omar once warned Huma while she was at the State Department that she and other family members were under threat of being “hurt” by “special collection agents” trying to recover stolen funds. Court exhibits reveal that Omar was worried about Huma’s safety and contacted the State Department to make her “aware of this incident.”

Moreover, Kit Digital appears in State Department emails sent to Abedin from Amanat and a business partner. In June 2009, not long after starting Kit Digital and just months after his cousin was named deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Clinton, Amanat helped his business partner solicit Abedin for State favors on behalf of Soliya Inc., which was in partnership with Kit Digital. Summit Entertainment, a film company Amanat held a controlling stake in at the time, also stood to benefit.

Huma's indicted first cousin Omar Amanat

Huma’s indicted first cousin Omar Amanat

“Thanks for getting in touch. Would love to arrange a meeting,” Abedin replied in a June 23, 2009, email to Amanat and Shamil Idriss, who heads New York-based Soliya Inc.

In May 2010, Clinton helped Soliya get access to U.N. funding by making the U.S. a participant in a U.N. high-tech media initiative called the Alliance of Civilizations. Then in October 2010, the State Department directly awarded Soliya $1.25 million for a media technology project.

“Huma helped Omar make KIT appear more valuable because of its association with the Alliance of Civilizations, which was approved by Hillary and funded in part by U.S. grants,” said an attorney familiar with the case. “This helped Omar raise money for KIT, which he and his brother misappropriated for other purposes. Approximately $6 million has vanished.”

Amanat took KIT Digital public in August 2009.

At the time, Amanat, known as a “serial swindler,” was in personal bankruptcy and being sued by other investors. Despite his reputation, he still managed to gain special access to the government thanks to his ties to his well-positioned cousin and the Clinton Foundation.

Records show that Amanat and several other family members and related charities have together donated as much as $1.2 million to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative, as well as the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

Amanat, who personally contributed as much as $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation, was appointed to the Council on Foreign Relations during the time that Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of state.

While the FBI has closed its espionage investigation into Clinton’s unsecured private email server, its public corruption investigation into the Clinton Foundation remains open. It’s not clear if this still-active probe overlaps with the Amanat fraud investigation. However, investigators reportedly continue to look into alleged “pay-for-play” schemes involving the Clinton State Department and the Clinton Foundation and its wealthy donors, as well as entities that paid the Clintons millions of dollars in speaking fees.

Judicial Watch and other government watchdog groups have charged that the Clinton Foundation was a pay-for-play operation that rewarded its benefactors with State Department favors.

Meanwhile, Abedin’s estranged husband, former Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, remains under federal investigation for child pornography. The laptop Weiner used to communicate with an underage girl was seized by the FBI and helped derail Clinton’s presidential bid when FBI Director James Comey announced in October that some of her emails to Abedin had been found on it.

The emails were stored on a Yahoo account. Interestingly, federal investigators say Omar Amanat tried to scrub emails from his own Yahoo account so they couldn’t obtain them as evidence.

In 2008, “Omar Amanat emailed Irfan Amanat and requested his help to ‘delete all of my emails from the Yahoo site but download them onto my laptop,'” a December court filing says. “Omar Amanat expressed ‘concern about them subp[0]ening Yahoo at some point.'”

Amanat’s attorney, Eric Creizman, did not respond to requests for comment. Attempts to reach Abedin were unsuccessful. Former Clinton campaign press secretary Nick Merrill did not reply to questions.

Though never reported in the media until now, the Abedin and Amanat families are not only related but very close, maintaining roots in New Jersey going back decades.

In fact, Omar Amanat’s parents, Sharif and Hamida Amanat, once hosted Huma Abedin’s parents, Syed and Saleha Abedin, at their New Jersey home when Huma’s ailing father had to move back temporarily from Saudi Arabia to undergo a kidney transplant. The Amanats helped the couple continue publishing their Saudi-based journal promoting Shariah law from the U.S. In fact, Omar’s mother, Hamida Amanat, has contributed articles to the journal.

“Dr. Sharif Amanat and his precious wife Hamida created an environment so congenial and supportive that without it it would have been impossible to function effectively,” a recovering Syed Abedin wrote in a 1991 issue of his “Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs Journal.” “I have no words to thank them.”

Omar and Huma, who are related through their mothers, who are sisters, have also maintained a long and close-knit relationship.

Property and financial records show that in 1999, when Huma was in Washington working as a White House aide to then-first lady Clinton, Omar used her D.C. condo as one of the addresses for another of his start-ups, Tradescape Corp.

After Omar Amanat sold Tradescape to E-Trade in 2002 for $100 million in stock, he started the Amanat Family Support Trust, which names cousins as well as immediate family members as beneficiaries – meaning Huma Abedin would stand to benefit from his family trust.


Posted on 04/27/2017 9:41 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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