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Rubin Reports

Today’s brief kidnapping of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is another turning point in the Middle East, a warning signal to every Arab country looking to have relations with the United States.

The Libyan government was overthrown by a U.S.-led alliance which intended to bring democracy to Libya. However, Libya has since suffered anarchy and terrorism, including the killing of an American ambassador and three other U.S. officials last September 11, 2012. In other words, the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi –the only “successful” Middle Eastern initiative of the Obama administration — has been shown to be a house of cards.

This new incident is a response to a recent U.S. raid on Libya that captured an al-Qaeda terrorist who was the mastermind in planning several attacks on the United States. Al-Qaeda wanted to make it clear that the United States is no stronger than they in Libya. If America could seize a leading terrorist, then al-Qaeda could seize the prime minister.

Perhaps with that point being made, al-Qaeda released the prime minister hours later. But consider what was proven: the United States can’t protect an ally, no matter how high-level he is. No doubt Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, has taken note regarding the future with the Taliban.

Speaking of Karzai:

“‘Meanwhile, serious new irritants in the relationship have convinced Karzai that he was right to question American good faith in year-old negotiations on an idea,” wrote the Washington Post.  “The accord is considered critical for the international community to continue funding the Afghan government and shoring up its nascent security forces.”

“In the previously unreported incident, U.S. forces intercepted an Afghan government convoy and seized the leader in Logar province, Karzai spokesman Aimal Faizi said. In doing so, Faizi added, the Americans foiled a months-long bid by the Afghan government to wean the Taliban commander, identified by others as Latif Mehsud, from the battlefield and use him to help launch substantive peace talks.

“Faizi called the seizure a major breach of sovereignty. Although Karzai has not mentioned the case publicly, his private fury has been reflected in recent suggestions that Afghanistan might forgo a bilateral pact.”

Meanwhile, a U.S. raid targeting Somalia failed to capture a leading al-Qaeda terrorist, and of course al-Qaeda is an “ally” in Syria, being on the side the United States is supporting. And the United States is punishing Egypt as it fights an insurgency by al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, a move intended to help the Muslim Brotherhood. (It should be noted that the purpose of the Muslim Brotherhood’s sponsorship by the U.S. government is to fight al-Qaeda. But there’s not a single example of the Muslim Brotherhood or Salafists combating al-Qaeda, except possibly one or two in Iraq.)  [Watch this Egyptian activist lose his cool about the Muslim Brotherhood. Notice that while the U.S. government is of course on the side of the MB, Israel is of course on the side of the army, yet this irrational insane hatred of Israel is so clear, too. For a statement by a 'Kuewait scholar that he views antisemitism as an integral part of Islam, see here.]

What this all means is that the United States is weak and not an attractive ally.

And twelve years after the September 11 attacks, and after Obama’s recent declaration that it is defeated, al-Qaeda is still able to act.

“The evil that men do is remembered after their deaths, but the good is often buried with them.” — William Shakespeare, “Julius Caesar”

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It is amazing how much Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (ZTL) has been slandered or obviously misrepresented after he died at the age of 93 in Jerusalem a few days ago. It is symbolic of the demeaning and libeling of Judaism —not just Zionism—by others nowadays; it also illustrates the media misrepresentations due either to partisanship or ignorance among many who know they will not be caught or corrected .

But it is also amazing how many Jews, particularly outside Israel, try to use Ovadia Yosef in their  suicidal naivete.

Let me briefly explain.

Born in Baghdad in 1920 (how long ago and what a distant world that was!)  Rabbi Yosef was recognized as a genius from an early age. He was a great teacher and jurisprudent. But he was far more than that.

I will summarize his achievements in five points.

First, Yosef gave peace a chance. At a certain point, he was really willing to take a dovish stance politically. But then, when it was clear that the Palestinian Arabs didn’t want peace, Yosef, like the majority of others in Israel—including Sephardic Jews as well as myself and many of my friends– realized it wasn’t going to work.

This is the most interesting point seen by many Israelis–though the Western media keep it a big secret so that there is not sympathy or understanding for their position.

In 2003 Rabbi Yosef wrote:

“I want to clarify my position with regard to Yesha [the West Bank settlements]. Not once have I thought that the Halachic [Jewish religious law]  ruling which I issued at the time regarding ‘territories in exchange for peace’ is not valid and does not apply to the current situation. I had intended only a true peace, one in which Jerusalem and its surrounding neighborhoods would rest secure, in peace and harmony. But now we see that on the contrary, handing over territory from our holy land endangers lives.  We never intended such a peace. Therefore the Oslo agreement is null and void. For I am for peace and they are for war [Quote from Psalm 120] and we have no one to rely on but our Father in Heaven….”

“With much love, and one who seeks your well being with all my heart and soul; Ovadia Yosef.”

That is the obvious experience that changed millions of Israeli minds, making them sure that peace isn’t going to happen: the realization that handing over territory will not bring peace, that Arab states (and Iran or Turkey) will not accept Israel. The concept of ‘territories in exchange for peace’ is not valid and does not apply to the current situation; or at least it can and will be reversed by Islamists.

Second, he developed a Sephardic (or Mizrahi) Jewish (Middle East ) pride, identity and community and political institutions.

Third, toward the nation as a whole, he did much to integrate Sephardim into a successful national identity to produce a united people. In the 1980s, there was a really potentially explosive conflict between Jews of Eastern and Western origins such that you cannot conceive of something like it today.

Fourth, Yosef was very successful in preventing a wall from developing between more and less pious Sephardic Jews, particularly compared to Jews of European origin. It was a huge achievement that many take for granted.

A Jew with European origins will usually be either secular, Modern Orthodox, or Haredi (“ultra-Orthodox,” which is a meaningless term). Most Sephardic Jews are probably far more open. My son compares them to a spectrum like Conservative (Masorti, traditional) and “ConservOdox (Conservative-Orthodox blend).

Fifth, Yosef integrated the Sephardim into the country rather than keeping them in isolation. Most of the Haredim try to avoid army service and paid jobs. This is unthinkable for the Sephardim.

Now, what are the negatives? The first was that the political party he created,  Shas, was very corrupt. Yosef trusted bad people to lead it.  The defense was that the Sephardim, the last historically to get that chance, were just getting their fair share. The result was that there was a lot of corruption.

The second was that in his late 80s, Rabbi Yosef became impatient and angrier. He made statements that were intemperate at times toward his Israeli opponents and the Arabs. I might point out, without excusing those words, that the Arabs deliberately murdered thousands of Jewish children, women, and men in terrorism (with fewer than ten reciprocations?) even though Israel was ready to agree to a two-state solution in 2000. Jewish terrorists, very few in numbers, were punished by law; Palestinian terrorists were never punished by their groups or their government; indeed, they were not even delegitimized.  On the contrary, they were held up as positive role models, as heroes.

Yosef never endorsed violence or terrorism. And also, as I said, he was just verbally tough against his Jewish opponents at times. )

Now, the punch-line. What characteristic did the Western and Israeli media highlight after 93 years of a near-saintly life? Of course, “anti-Arab racism!” (He also championed the immigration of Ethiopian Jews.)

And what does the mass media say about another famous religious leader, Shaykh Yosef Qaradawi, who has praised Hitler, advocated terrorism, genocide, violence, and revolution? He is often described as a moderate.

And what do the left-wing parts of the Israeli media do?

They pretend that Yosef never learned the lessons he voiced in his 2003 letter when he and many other Israelis realized that while they had wanted  ”true peace,” handing over land for peace didn’t work.

That, dear readers, is unfortunately why Israeli voters must act as they do. And that is why they are, unfortunately correct.

Israel was ready for a compromise peace but concluded correctly that it wasn’t possible because of the other side.  It is the biggest secret in the Middle East — something the left tells lies about; the Arabs reject; and well-intentioned doves cannot admit.

 

The United States now estimates it will take one year for Iran to get nuclear weapons; Israel says some months.

Is Iran a Lunatic State or a Rational Actor? It is neither;  it is a Rational Aggressor.

“One of the great unresolved questions of Barack Obama’s presidency,” says Time Magazine, ”is whether he can peacefully resolve  America’s conflict with Iran over its nuclear weapons’  program.

Ridiculously wrong.

One of the great unresolved questions of Barack Obama’s presidency is whether he can successfully resolve America’s conflict with Iran over its nuclear weapons’ program.

Time continues that the Obama-Rouhani handshake ”would  be the most important…handshake since the historic grip between Rabin and Arafat….”

Also wrong. Remember that while it has still not been admitted by the United States, that event 20! years later was a failure costly in lives. Israel must satisfy seemingly monthly American demands by releasing terrorists who murdered Israelis.

The handshakes of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with Hitler (the Munich agreement) and of the Nazi foreign minister and Stalin (the Nazi-Soviet pact) were also a historic grip, at the time peaceful but not ultimately successful.

Time continues, “It would only be a symbolic act, to be sure. But when it comes to international diplomacy, symbolism can go a long way.”

But it is not a mere symbolic act but the start of a foolish deal that Iran will break.

So is Iran a lunatic state or a rational actor? A hell of a lot more rational than U.S. foreign policy is today, as apparently has been the Muslim Brotherhood’s policy and trickery. After all, the UN jus elected Iran as Rapporteur for the General Assembly’s main committee on Disarmament & International Security without Tehran having to do anything.  And Obama will blame Congress for diplomatic failure if it increases sanctions. In fact diplomats doubt Iran will actually do anything anyway.

That’s not moderate but radical in a smart way.

More politely, Iran is a rational actor in terms of its own objectives. The issue is to understand what Iran wants. Policy is always best served by truth, and the truth is best told whether or not people like it. Iran is an aggressive, rational actor.

Remember: The problem is not that Iran is eager to use nuclear weapons but that the Obama Administration is not going to apply containment properly and credibly.  And that encourages Iran’s non-nuclear aggression and terrorism.

The hysteria over Iran, however, had also better get under control, even as the real, very threatening situation should be understood. Armchair theorists from far away may want to provoke a U.S.-Iran war. This is a bad idea.

The fact is that the history of the Iranian Islamic regime does not show suicidal recklessness. A key reason for this is that the leaders of Iran know they can be reckless without risking suicide. In other words, Iran did not face threats from the West commensurate with what Tehran was doing. Therefore, the risks it took were not suicidal. If apparently suicidal rhetoric does not produce suicide but serves a very specific purpose, that rhetoric is not in fact suicidal.

What, then, did Iran want?

Its basic goal was to be as powerful a regional hegemon as possible–including control over Syria and Lebanon. It would like to take leadership of all Muslims in the area. Today, however, it is clear that the Sunni Arabs reject Tehran’s leadership and will fight against it.

In other words, the ultimate extent of Iran’s zone of influence could only include part of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, southwest Afghanistan, Bahrain, and the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. That is the maximum, and Iran is far from achieving that goal. And it will probably never achieve it.

Iran’s influence is limited by the location of Shia Muslims. Not all Shia Muslims favor Iran, and pretty much all Sunni Muslims oppose it. Therefore, whatever the outcome is in Syria–in other words if the regime wins–Iran will at most keep its current levels of influence. But if the regime wins, the Sunnis will hate Iran even more and will fight against it harder.

So Iran still wants to get the most power without fearing reprisal.

Nuclear weapons are a defensive shield to carry out conventional aggression.

As I’ve insisted for many years, it is increasingly clear that Iran will get nuclear weapons. We should start discussions in that framework. The recent brilliant decision of the Iranian elite–who is not only more ruthless but strategically smarter than Western leadership–to pick a national security insider, who is at best a slightly moderate extremist, as president guarantees it.

The question is only: when will Iran get nuclear weapons? The evidence seems to show that this is several years away. (It would be interesting if that development was too late to affect Syria’s civil war, and such will probably happen.)

Why will Iran certainly get nukes?

First, the West isn’t going to take strong enough action to stop it, because the alternatives are deemed–perhaps accurately so–too risky. No surgical Israeli strike is going to stop it, and Obama will never support such a strike. Of course, there is a great deal of indifference about the potential victims and lots of greed about the money to be made from Iran. The sanctions may seem tough, but there are more holes than cheese. U.S. companies sensing profits as sanctions hopefully  fall are chomping at the bit.

After Ahmadinejad, though, there is perhaps a better money-making climate. His successor will further soothe Western willingness to battle on this nuclear issue.And of course they just don’t care that much about potential genocide in Israel.

Second, with international support at a low point, the logistical difficulties, and a U.S. president who is incredibly reluctant, Israel is not going to attack Iran to stop it from getting nuclear weapons. What Israel should and will do is to make clear it will attack Iran if there is any reason to believe that Tehran might launch nuclear weapons. It will build up a multilayer defensive and offensive system.

This is not mere passive containment but would mean assured massive retaliation.

Note that there is more than one potential victim of Iran’s nuclear weapons. People, including the Israelis, talk a lot about Israel. Yet the Sunni Arab states are increasingly involved in shooting situations with Iranian proxies. Unlike Israel, they won’t do anything and perhaps can’t, except to beg the United States to take strong action. But the U.S. won’t do so.

And of course everyone can just hope everything will turn out all right.

A rare piece of good news, however, is that before the “Arab Spring,” it was conceivable that Iran might become leader or hegemon of the Arabic-speaking world. Israel-bashing was an important tool to do so. Now the Sunni Muslims have their own successful–even U.S.-backed!–Muslim Brotherhood movement. They not only don’t need Iran any more, they fight against Tehran.

Pushed on the defensive with more limited prospects–and knowing the Israel card won’t work–Tehran has lots less incentive to stake its survival on that issue. The nuclear weapons arsenal isn’t intended for a big bang to get revenge on Israel, it’s intended to keep the current regime in power against a growing number of enemies.

Put bluntly, Iran won’t waste its nuclear weapons on Israel or, as they might put it in Tehran, to give Israel an “excuse” to attack Iran. No pile of quotes from Iranian leaders to the contrary changes anything.

The key factor is not an appeal to the “international community” to protect Israel. Israel’s power rests precisely in old-fashioned credibility and deterrence:

Only Israel can credibly destroy the Islamic regime.  And the Islamic regime in Iran knows that. 

Israel was so important in Iranian verbal declarations precisely because Israel could at one time be turned into a card that strengthened Iran’s appeal with the Arabs and the Sunni. Iran certainly had very few other cards. But the Sunni and Arabs don’t care about this, given the big change of the last two years. The Israel card–as shown by the Syrian regime’s failure with it–is worthless.

Note that while Iran has been the leading sponsor of international terrorism and poured invective out against Israel, Iran did not notably take any material action against Israel beyond terror attacks and its sponsorship of Hizballah, Hamas, and Syria–which were its allies at the time. Compared to Arab efforts in the second half of the twentieth century, this was not very much.

In other words, against Israel, the Tehran regime talked a big game but did relatively little.

On other issues, too, Iran did not act like a country bent on suicide. Against its Arab enemies, it did not take considerable risks. Iran could wage a proxy war against America in Iraq, because the United States didn’t do very much about it.

All of the above in no way discounts an Iranian threat. Yes, of course, Iran sponsored terrorism and sought to gain influence and to spread revolution. Yet it did not attack a single country in open terms of warfare. Remember, Iran was invaded by Iraq. And when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini himself was persuaded that the United States was entering the war against him, he quickly ended it, though he said that doing so was like eating snakes and scorpions; but that was necessary to preserve the regime.

Iran is the kind of aggressor who was once described by Winston Churchill as a thief who went down the street rattling doors to find one that was open.

Second, Iran sought to defend itself by threatening antagonists with total destruction and by obtaining the ultimate deterrence, nuclear weapons. This does not mean one should sympathize with Tehran since, after all, it sought nuclear weapons to ensure its defense while it continued aggressive policies.

Iran can also complain about American encirclement. Of course, if it did not follow the policies that were being practiced, there wouldn’t be a U.S. motive for any such efforts. The point, however, is that the claim that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons so it could destroy itself by attacking Israel is just not demonstrated.

Thus, Iran is not a demonic, crazed, kamikaze country. It is simply a typical aggressor who wants to have insurance against having to pay the price of such continued activity. North Korea and Pakistan sought nuclear weapons for the same reason, and it is working for them.

Let’s approach the issue in another way. Suppose Iran helped the Syrian regime win the civil war. Would the danger to Israel be increased? No, certainly it would not be from a nuclear standpoint. Assad would reestablish control over a wrecked and tottering country where the damage would take years to rebuild. But the problem is that Iran will be more secure in defending itself which means it will be more aggressive, but now with nuclear weapons.

The use of nuclear weapons loses whatever the possession of nuclear weapons gains.

Iran would be relieved at the Syrian regime’s survival but would not be better able to carry on a (nuclear) war against Israel. The Sunnis would be prepared to cooperate with the United States against Iran and even, covertly, with Israel up to a point. Indeed, the ability of Sunni Islamists to attack Israel would be reduced because of their obsession with the principal danger.

Again, I don’t want Assad to win in Syria. I believe that Iran is a threat. I think Iran will succeed in getting nuclear weapons. I don’t think the Tehran regime consists of lunatics who cannot wait to immolate themselves in a fiery funeral pyre. They want to stay in power for a long time. Israel has an alternative of preemption if necessary. But the United States will never help stop Iran’s getting of nukes, but that is risky.

This analysis should be conducted in a sober fashion. I believe, indeed I see clearly, that Israeli policymakers understand these issues. We should remember that Iran is not an insane state and that there are threats other than Iran in the Middle East.

The problem is not that Iran is eager to use nuclear weapons but that the Obama Administration is unlikely to apply containment properly and credibly. And then its version of containment might fail.

 

Turkish Reader: Haven’t you understood yet that the US does not care about whether a Muslim country is ruled by Sharia [dictatorship] or by secular [democracy] law as long as that regime is pro-American? Isn’t this U.S. interests “über alles”?

Me: Yes I do care. First, no Islamist government is really going to be pro-American or pro-Western. Second, it won’t be good for that country’s people. Why should I feel differently to handing over Czechoslovakia to Nazi rule or Hungary to Communist rule than Turkey to Islamist rule?

—————

Already there are starting to appear evaluations of what President Barack Obama’s second term will be like. I think that even though the Obama Administration doesn’t know or have a blueprint, it is clear and consistent what the Middle East policy would be. It is a coherent program, though, as I say, it is not necessarily fully or consciously thought out. The plan would be for a comprehensive solution which will leave the Middle East situation as a successful legacy of the Obama Administration.

There are three main themes of this plan, though I’m not sure it has really taken shape. By 2016 they will all fail, and leave the West weaker.

The first is with Iran policy. The goal would be to “solve” the nuclear weapons’ issue by making a deal with Iran. One thing that is possible is that the Iranians just deceitfully build nuclear arms. The other possibility is that they will go up to the point when they can get nuclear weapons very quickly and then stop for a while. Probably either result will be hailed as a brilliant diplomatic victory for Obama.

This is how the nuclear deal is interpreted by Iran, in a dispatch from Fars new agency: “It seems that the Americans have understood this fact that Iran is a powerful and stable country in the region which uses logical and wise methods in confrontation with its enemies.” In other words, America is an enemy of Iran that has backed down. One thing Iran might get in a deal for “giving up” its nuclear ambitions would be something in Syria perhaps. It is possible that this deal would be in the shape of an unofficial partition of Syria, with the Bashar Assad regime surviving in 40 percent of the country including Aleppo and Damascus; another 40 percent would be controlled by a U.S.-backed rebels, mainly Muslim Brotherhood; and 20 percent would be a Kurdish autonomous area. I want to stress that I don’t believe that this would work, and it would in fact be the object of another Iranian stalling technique and effort to gain total victory.

Iran wants primacy at least in the Shia world – meaning Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. It would just require Iranian patience if Iran is willing to devote extensive resources to this enterprise until it could seize the whole country. The U.S. probably won’t provide ground troops, which is understandable. And would the U.S. provide military and economic aid to an al-Qaida-Salafi–Muslim Brotherhood regime? At any rate, the Iranians would either develop nuclear weapons or simply get to the point where they could if they wanted to and then stop, knowing that they could do so at any time. Of course, this would ignore Israel’s security needs to some degree.

And if a nuclear deal with Iran doesn’t materialize, you can tell who will be blamed from an article entitled, “A Nuclear Deal With Iran Is Within Reach, If Congress Plays Its Part,” in the prestigious magazine Roll Call.

The second theme would be an illusion that it would be possible to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a two-state solution but actually moving toward the Palestinian real goal which is an Arab Palestine. Period. Regarding this issue, it is probable that both sides would stall. Only Secretary of State John Kerry believes otherwise.

The Israeli side would mount a strategic retreat by gradual concessions hoping that the Obama Administration would end before too much damage was done. It is clear, for example, that prisoner releases, the granting of economic benefits and the entry of more laborers would be among the concessions given. Of course, this would also relatively ignore Israel’s security needs.

Brutus said in Shakespeare’s ”Julius Caesar” what would be appropriate on Obama’s relationship with Israel:

“Thou hast described/A hot friend cooling./ When love begins to sicken and decay,/It useth an enforcèd ceremony./There are no tricks in plain and simple faith.”  (“Julius Caesar,” Act 4, Scene 2.)

Meanwhile the Palestinians will also stall and constantly flourish the threat that they will seek unilateral independence, which might result in more U.S. concessions. But it is unlikely that the United States will pressure the Palestinians much or criticize them, no matter what they do. In the classical formulation of President Shimon Peres, “We will give and the Palestinians will take.”

The point is that probably not much progress—which is really moving backwards–will be made on the Israeli-Palestinian front.  Also of course the so-called “peace process” won’t affect any other regional issue positively.

The Islamists, Sunni or Shia, don’t want progress toward peace and will try to wreck it. That goes for the Muslim Brotherhood government in Tunisia and Gaza; the Islamist governments in Lebanon, Turkey and Iran, or the government and the rebels in Syria. In fact, the harder the United States works on peace, the angrier they will be.

The third theme has to do with the Sunni Muslim Islamists. The theory is that this movement is the best protection against al-Qaida. But if that’s true, why does the U.S. support the Syrian rebels when they form a united front at each opportunity to support al-Qaida? Similarly, while al-Qaida is much weaker in Egypt, the U.S has now backed the al-Qaida movement by refusing to back the army coup and by failing to back the army’s war against Islamists, especially in the Sinai.

More subtly, Turkey has an Islamist government and it is the favorite ally of the United States in the Middle East.

To summarize, it is likely that the last three years of the Obama Administration are going to be spent pursuing these three failed themes.

–Iran will continue to pursue nuclear weapons or at least aggression and that it will fool naïve Americans. Iran will be strengthened; U.S  allies will be weakened.

–On Israel-Palestinian policy likely no progress will be made toward a peaceful solution, but the Palestinians will try to make gains toward destroying Israel, although they would benefit more by grabbing a Palestinian state and then using it to strengthen (the two-stage solution). Instead they will lose their chance to get a two-state solution.

–And finally it is likely that the Sunni Muslim Islamists will let down the United States because, after all, they will never be pro-American. And they will intensify Sunni-Shia bloodbaths. So there will be much activity within the Obama Administration over the next three years and media reports will cheer it. As the Bard of Avon said, “It is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing.”

The “Arab Spring” is now officially over. Basically it accomplished nothing.

Will anyone speak these honest, obvious words?

It is officially over because Tunisia, whose revolution started the whole thing, has fallen apart.

Tunisia’s electoral democracy was as much a failure as Egypt’s. The governing Islamist party failed.

–The crisis paralyzed the county.

–Two moderate politicians were assassinated with Islamist involvement.

–The opposition walked out of parliament necessitating a caretaker government.

–The powerful trade unions protested.

–Islamist radicals created an increasing amount of violence, including the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis last year and terrorist attacks.

–The economy has been a disaster.

Egypt had a coup; Libya has the growing power of radical Islamist militias.

It’s over; it didn’t work; democracy failed.

Now comes the Age of Islamism, not the Age of Democracy. That means: Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza, or who knows.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper. –T.S.  Eliot

 

For one who has made a career as an international political analyst this is the equivalent to the end of the world.

Elizabeth O’Bagy was a Georgetown University graduate student. She wrote an article for Atlantic Monthly saying that most Syrian rebels are radical Islamists.

Of course. Everyone knows that, even the Syrian rebels.

But then O’Bagy got two new jobs.

One was for a consulting firm, the  Institute for the Study of War, that  would  get U.S. State Department dollars from an Obama Administration which wanted to give the money to those who portrayed the Syrian rebels as moderates.

The other was an advocacy group, the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a public relations firm for the Syrian rebels, which also wanted the Syrian rebels portrayed as moderates to get U.S aid.  By the way, the group is run by someone who also supports Hamas and is probably a Muslim Brotherhood front.

These are conflicts of interest.

But wait. There’s more. She then wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal that said the Syrian rebels are moderates.

The Wall Street Journal knew about the conflict of interest but said nothing. Why? Because they supported the Syrian rebels.

Now O’Bagy is all over the television news. Truth isn’t important, it is simply what policy people support.

And then she is taking Senator McCain on a visit to Syrian rebels, organized by a man who supports Hamas with two al-Qaida participants attending.

Then Secretary of State John Kerry says he depends on O’Bagy’s lying and corrupt statements. Well, after all he paid for them!

But a small group of people with memories expose the lies. By the way, while O’Bagy has presented herself as a PhD, she wasn’t even accepted for the PhD program!

So because she is exposed as a liar, she is fired.

But what about the lies she told?

Nothing.

What about the  State Department taking advice from a Hamas supporter?

Nothing.

What about U.S. policy being based on the lie that Syrian rebels are moderate?

Nothing.

What about U.S. policy being made by Kerry and McCain without confronting the lie?

Nothing.

What’s the new act in the saga of O’Bagy?

She is rewarded for being a serial liar and a friend of the Muslim Brotherhood by being hired in McCain’s office. The senator says she is a good researcher.

When the history of this era is written—maybe by crayon—this saga will be the perfect example to use.

And here is an advisor to the DHS–just promoted–who  is proud to have the symbol for the Islamic Revolution, R4BIA, on his twitter profile.  He’s also using his twitter profile to claim that any Christians slaughtered by Muslims probably had it coming because they must have insulted the Muslims first. Nice guy. He was personally appointed to his post at the DHS by Janet Napolitano.

 

 

How to Turn a Campus into an Indoctrination Center

September 27th, 2013 - 11:22 am

If you want to understand how the far left controls campuses, consider this story.

There is no university program more supportive of the Arab nationalist (historically), Islamist, and anti-Israel line in the United States than Georgetown’s programs on Middle East studies. Every conference the university holds on the Middle East is ridiculously one-sided. The university has received millions of dollars in funds from Arab states, and it houses the most important center in the United States that has advocated support for a pro-Islamist policy.

One day in 1975, not long before he died, the great Professor Carroll Quigley walked up to me when I was sitting in the Georgetown University library. Everyone was in awe of this brilliant lecturer (remind me to write him a tribute explaining why he was so great). I thought he might have remembered me from my extended explanation that I was late for class one day because I had rescued a sparrow and taken it to a veterinarian (true).   I vividly recall that detail, because I couldn’t think otherwise why he would want to talk to such a lowly person.

[In fact  the  classroom where Carroll Quigley taught his main class was Gaston Hall, where decades later Obama demanded to cover up the cross before he spoke there! What would this pious Catholic have said?!]

“May I sit down?” he asked.

“Of course!” I said, stopping myself from adding that it was an honor. Without any small talk, he launched into a subject that clearly weighed on his conscience. “There are many who don’t like your people.”

What was he talking about? I thought, is he talking about Jews?

He explained that he had just come from a meeting where it was made clear that the university had a problem. They were getting Arab money, but on the secret condition that it was for teaching about the Middle East but none of it could be used to teach about Israel. How was this problem to be solved?

Simple. They would call the institution to be created the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. It was explicitly expressed that this was how the problem would be dealt with.  Quigley was disgusted. Ever since then, I have referred to that institution as the Center for Contemporary Arab Money.

Georgetown was the place that accepted tens of thousands of dollars from Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi–who was, of course, very active in promoting anti-American terrorism–to establish an endowed chair in Middle East studies. When the president of the university backed down due to bad publicity, the professor who had been named to the post responded by calling the Jesuit university president a “Jesuit Zionist.”

This same professor–and I am not joking in saying that compared to today, he was a fine scholar and a comparatively decent man given what goes on now–was also a personal friend of Palestinian terrorist leader Nayef Hawatmeh and an outspoken Marxist.

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Can it be more obvious? Thirteen Syrian rebel groups–including the most important in Aleppo and Damascus–demand an Islamist state in Syria and say they don’t care what the official rebel, U.S.-backed politicians say.

By the way, only one of these groups is an al-Qaida group, Jabhat al-Nusra. There is also the large Salafi Islamist group, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiya. The others include the powerful Liwa al-Tawhid (Aleppo) and Liwa al-Islam. Both groups operated as part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) umbrella.

What about the U.S-backed Free Syrian Army? As the GLORIA Center’s Syria expert Dr. Jonathan Spyer put it: “This is much of the Free Syrian Army.”

The Syrian rebel statement, distancing these militias from the FSA’s leadership said, “These forces call on all military and civilian groups to unite in a clear Islamic context that… is based on sharia (Islamic) law, making it the sole source of legislation”. “The [Syrian] National Coalition and the proposed government under Ahmad Tomeh [the Obama Administration- supported “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood puppet who wields little power] does not represent us, nor do we recognize it,” said 13 of Syria’s most powerful Islamist rebel groups.

In other words, the rebels themselves deny they are “moderates”. Note that when the United States tried to get the Syrian rebels to denounce al-Qaida over a year ago they all refused. They would rather alienate America than al-Qaida.

A question that comes up is would not the people of Syria suffer? The tragic truth is that they will suffer either way. Of course, there will be ethnic massacres. First, the Sunni Muslims will be slain; then the Christians, Druze, Kurds, Shi’ites, and Alawites will be massacred. How many hundreds of refugees will Arab and Western countries absorb?

The current civil war will not be the last war.  There will be a civil war between the victorious partners, at least the Brotherhood-types and al-Qaida, and perhaps the Salafists. Then there will be a war between the Sunni Islamists (al Qaida and Brotherhood-types) and the Kurds. There has already been fighting between al-Qaida style organizations and other Sunni Islamist rebels against the Kurds. Intra-Sunni Islamist rebel infighting is increasingly occurring. Al-Qaida groups have also fought one another and other rebel groups.

War without end, amen. Syria will be turned into a smoking ruin for a generation, perhaps 20 percent of the population will flee. This is no war of liberation but a tragedy.

Will America give hundreds of millions to the Syrian economy? Will it train and reform the Syrian Islamist army? Will it advise the Brotherhood against al-Qaida while ignoring ethnic massacres?

But yes the greater strategic danger by an edge is Iran. Yet why would America be expected to handle this danger, an America that is taking the wrong side in Egypt? Better to keep Washington away from being a rent-an-army for the Arab League in direct engagement in Syria.

There is, however, another factor. There are now boots on the ground of Iranian troops in Syria. You think Russia will take care of that as well? Actually, the regime is in long-range trouble. It is running out of reliable soldiers to fight for it. Iranians and their Shi’ite Islamist proxies will predictably make up for these numbers.

These are the unpalatable choices. That’s why President Obama has now changed a regulation prohibiting U.S. aid from being paid to terrorists, believe it or not.

That doesn’t mean we should want the regime to win. It is certainly in U.S strategic interests for the rebels to prevail.  But have no doubt that when they do defeat the regime, the rebels will blame the United States and Israel–though they opposed the regime and helped the rebel side–as well as Iran, Russia, and Hizballah for their problems. They will fight against peace, be willing to stage anti-American terrorism, and be against U.S interests. This could be justified by the defeat for Iran but don’t be over-enthusiastic

 

 

 

“Iran is Now Moderate” Is A Joke

September 22nd, 2013 - 10:50 am

I have never understood why anyone expected any U.S. action on Iran’s nuclear program. Basically there was never any chance the U.S. would undertake any armed action or allow Israel to do so. That may be a good idea, and it may have been inevitable.

But there was no chance in anything else, even if Barack Obama might never have been president. Here’s what was going to happen:

–The U.S. would impose economic sanctions.

Yet there was never a chance these would fully succeed. There was too much cheating, and China, Russia, and Turkey were among those that were exempt.

–Negotiations would fail because Iran would stall, play games, and try to use trickery.

–So Iran would eventually get nuclear weapons.

–The U.S. would then use containment. That would not necessarily be bad but the point was containment as in the Cold War or merely a narrow containment to try to prevent the use of nuclear weapons?

Yet now something very weird has happened:

Hassan Rouhani won the election.

Let’s review. Rouhani is a veteran national security official. He was backed by the regime. The voters would not be allowed a choice of a reformer so they could only vote for a phony one.

Now what then happened?

“President Rouhani says Iran will never develop nuclear weapons.” But that is what Iranian leaders have always claimed!

The Los Angeles Times applauded that ten dissidents were released. But they weren’t even though the newspaper said, ”It’s Rouhani’s strongest signal yet that he aims to keep a pledge to improve ties with the West”. But he didn’t do it!

“Rouhani said I have full authority to make a deal with the West. But that’s what they said too!

He then implied that he reversed Iran’s denial that the Nazis committed a Holocaust of Jews. But even that turned out to be a lie, as you can see here

They also had a phony New Year’s greeting to the Jews. Rouhani added a Jew to the UN delegation of Iran, no doubt to tell how well they were treated. So Rouhani loves the Jews and wants to make peace.

Obama swallowed the bait, eagerly.

But note that Rouhani does not have a moderate record–he has bragged about fooling the West about Iran’s nuclear program before–and meanwhile Iran now has troops in Syria. What suckers Americans are. They’ll still be talking about Iranian nukes on the day they get them and probably that’s true for  Syria giving up chemical weapons, too.

But no it is Israel that wants to plunge the world into war. The New York Times writes:

“Netanyahu Scoffs at Iranian Overtures, Setting Stage for Showdown With U.S.”

It is Israel that “scoffs” and that scoffing is setting up a U.S.-Israel “showdown” because America would understandably rather have a nice peace than a war with Iran. Yet there is no indication that experience shows Israel might be right.

The Times writes:

“Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, moved quickly to block even tentative steps by Iran and the United States to ease tensions and move toward negotiations to end the nuclear crisis, signaling what is likely to be a sustained campaign by Israel to head off any deal.”

But this is a lie. Netanyahu cannot “block” an initiative and if Obama wants talks he will have them. And it is assumed that the initiative will succeed “toward negotiations to end the nuclear crisis.” Peace in our time!

Yet there is one more piece of poison. The reader is warned that there will be “a sustained campaign by Israel to head off any deal.” Israel will frantically try to head off an attempt to make peace. Bad Israel!

In fact it is obviously others who want to claim a deal is certain and Iran wants one.

Like Vladimir Putin on the Syria deal it is Rouhani that gets an op-ed, in the Washington Post instead of the Times, to make his claim and be cheered.

Already there has been a pay-off for Iran in a series of European Union court decisions which recommended the removal of unilateral sanctions against dozens of Iranian firms, including crucial shipping lines. The European states show they are eager to drop sanctions because of the money  to be made.

Rami G. Khouri writes: “The positive possibilities that could emanate from the escalating signs of a direct Iranian-American engagement are dazzling in their intensity and historic in their scope. Rarely in modern history has the Middle East region experienced such a hopeful moment as this, when one major diplomatic shift towards productive American-Iranian relations could positively impact half a dozen conflicts in the region.”

On what evidence?

“Will Iran trade Al-Assad?, says al-Ahram. When it looks like Iran is actually escalating the civil war  ”Syria deal holds a lesson for Barack Obama – talk to Iran,” says an op-ed in the Financial Times. Reuters calls the regime a “centrist government.”

The Guardian tells us: “After years of seeing their personal freedoms and political demands quashed, young Iranians hope the efforts of the new government led by President Hassan Rouhani will create open up [sic!] Iranian society and restore the country’s standing on the world stage.” On what evidence?

About the only article reminding us that Tehran is an ideological and sworn enemy of America that wants to deceive it was by Ray Takeyh, an Iran expert who has worked at the National Security Council. Speaking of an article in an Iranian newspaper he said:

“The article stressed that former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s confrontational policies and reckless rhetoric had caused the international community to perceive Iran as threatening and dangerous. In that context, Iran’s quest for nuclear empowerment was bound to be resisted by the great powers. And cleverly manipulated by the United States and Israel, the United Nations censured Iran and imposed debilitating sanctions on its fledgling economy.

“The editorial went on to say that to escape this predicament, Iran had to change its image. A state that is considered ‘trustworthy and ‘accountable’ is bound to be provided with some leeway. Iran can best achieve its nuclear aspirations not by making systematic concessions on the scope of its program but by altering the overall impression of its reliability as a state.”

Otherwise, all problems can be settled with the  Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, with the help of Russia and Turkey. Israel, in contrast, is unreliable, preferring an avoidable confrontation. Funny, so Iran no longer regards America as the Great Satan but as the Great Sucker.

Beware of Iranians bearing gifts, and even more of Iranians that aren’t.

Here is an article on Iran’s secret terror war against America.

New York Times Endorses Genocide

September 18th, 2013 - 8:50 am

Oh no! Chuckle. The New York Times now favors the extinction of the Jewish state. Shudder. Let’s see. Sulzburger fought in the Confederate army; then the newspaper virtually ignored the Ukrainian famine and the Holocaust, then reported that Fidel Castro was a moderate, then reported Islamist terrorists are moderates.

That’s a pretty accurate record right?

Look, I know the author of the one-state solution article and I can tell you he’s been pushing this drivel for at least 35 years. People in Israel don’t want to be turned into a repressive Sharia state from a flourishing country a model of prosperity and one of the highest world ratings of happiness.

I might mention that Israel won every war and has a far stronger army. It is even the great Arab hope for bashing Iran and an ally of Egypt and Jordan!

So what is this nonsense? The headline of this article is accurate.

I remember an evening when I was invited to a couple that were well-known anti-Israel activists.

We had pleasant enough conversation until late in the evening when I thought we had agreed on a West Bank- Gaza state living alongside Israel. Then the guy said, “But of course Israel will not be allowed to remain as a state.”

You can tell what your opponents really think if you listen to them. If you doubt that you should listen some time to what Palestinians say. I’ve been doing that for decades.

But of course this is nonsense. And in fact it is an endorsement of de facto genocide—make no mistake about it.

What is true, though, is a changing atmosphere. The Democratic Convention rejected by a majority vote that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel (It also voted by a majority against G-d).

Now a lot of administration officials, including Vice-President   Joe Biden, are speaking at J Street. You should understand that this not a liberal, pro-peace group but an organization created by a former Arab lobbyist to destroy Israel, or at least support for it. among the American people and especially Jewish community and Congress.

I will just quote what Jesse Jackson said several years ago. I don’t mean this to be taken literally, but it a sign of h the transformation Obama’s anti-Israel views are, except of course to the majority of American Jews.

Like this one. Can you imagine a foreign policy team more hostile to Israel? Jackson, of course,was not a part of that team, but can see the obvious.

The New York Post just quoted him as having said in a French speech in October 2008 that “Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades” will lose much of their clout when Obama enters the White House.

Speaking at the World Policy Forum event in Evian, France–the place where Jewish refugees were doomed at a 1938 conference--Jackson promised 70 years later–”"a”fundamental change.” Jackson “criticized the Bush administration’s diplomacy and said Barack would change that,” because, as long as the Palestinians hadn’t seen justice, the Middle East would “remain a source of danger to us all.” Of course, Palestinians have been given billions of dollars and offered a state but still staged thousands of terrorist attacks since then and still denied Israel’s right to a state.

It’s called argument through blackmail. Can you imagine what massacres there would be? How about a one-state army commanded by Palestinian Arab generals? Jews who most of the Arabs hate and revile being reduced to the status of minority Christians in the Middle East. Terrorists will have full access everywhere. Can this be advocated by anyone serious? Nobody but a fool or liar (probably the latter) could advocate such a thing,

And Israel has had nothing to do with the Afghan Taliban, the Iran-Iraq war, al-Qaida,’the Egyptian revolution, the Tunisian revolution, and the Syrian civil war.

The Obama Administration denied Jackson’s words at the time but since then has proven them. Even an Egyptian government makes no difference if it wants to fight terrorism and preserve the peace treaty rather than the opposite policy.

But then why has the Obama Administration kept enthusiastic support from AIPAC? Because of the strategic situation. The prince is the prince and Israel hopes that one day–it hopes in vain–that Obama will act against Iran.

But just for three more years.