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The Most Underreported Foreign News Stories of 2013

These stories selected by our PJ Media columnists might surprise — and frighten — you.

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PJ Editors

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December 22, 2013 - 9:58 pm
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Every year there are a few events that fly under the radar of the media but have a seminal impact nonetheless. Five PJ Media columnists agreed to contribute their knowledge and expertise to tell us what they consider to be the most underreported foreign news stories of 2013.

Next week, we’ll feature more PJ Media columnists giving us their thoughts on the most underreported domestic news stories of 2013.

* * * * * * * * *

ANDREW McCARTHY

The most underreported foreign news story of 2013 is the pogrom against Christians in Islamic countries. It is doubtful that there is a close second place finisher. The story is gruesome and the rationale for both the killing and the silence about it lies in a mainstream interpretation of Islam – one that is far more prevalent in the Middle East than the West will admit.

The pogrom is the inexorable result of Islamic teaching and Western indulgence. It is, after all, directed at Christians because there are no more Jews left to persecute. The latter have long made their exodus from Muslim countries where Jewish communities once flourished. Despite this fact, and despite that fact that Muslims living in Israel enjoy more freedom and self-determination than in any Arab country of the Middle East, the West – very much including the United States – has legitimized the premise that Jews should be driven from East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, just as they were pressured to evacuate Gaza, in order to birth a Palestinian state.

The charter of Hamas, like the charter of Hezbollah, calls for the extermination of Jews. Yet the West increasingly treats these terrorist organizations as if they were regular political actors espousing respectable agendas. Moreover, all of the blather about a “two-state solution” always assumes an Israel in which Muslims live freely and a Palestinian state purged of Jews. The message to Islamic supremacists is clear: Aggression works and, for all our incessant chatter about toleration and diversity, there will be no comeuppance for the religious persecution and institutional discrimination innate in sharia governance.

Having established these principles, Islamic supremacists have now turned their hostile attention to the remaining Christian minorities in the Middle East. Life was no picnic for Copts in Mubarak’s Egypt, but at least they had some hope of the law’s protection. When Mubarak was ousted, the stepped up persecution of Christians was a direct result of the fallacy that popular elections serve to “democratize” countries bereft of democratic culture. Predictably, elections were contested on explicitly sectarian terms, with Christians portrayed as “enemies of Islam” and obstacles to the majority vision of a caliphate established pursuant to sharia tenets. Massacres against Christian communities and the torching of Christian churches and homes became standard fare. If anything, the situation has worsened since this year’s coup against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Muslims blame Christians for supporting.

Meanwhile in Iraq, where the United States endorsed the adoption of a sharia constitution, the United Nations estimates that a million Christians have fled the country in the last decade. In Syria, Christians are systematically targeted by the Sunni jihadists waging a civil war against the Assad regime. Thousands of Christians were evacuated from Sudan this year because the Islamic-supremacist government regards them as enemies of the sharia state. Similarly in Shiite Iran, where sharia is the law of the land, Christians are systematically imprisoned for practicing and preaching their faith.

Sadly, we could have written this essay at the end of 2012, and the story will be no different at the end of 2014. If Muslim societies are not confronted about religious persecution, they are encouraged to persist in it. That is our shame.

Andrew is a former federal prosecutor and New York Times bestselling author. He blogs at Ordered Liberty.

CLAUDIA ROSETT

The most underreported foreign story of 2013 is the decline of American power. Not that there hasn’t been plenty written about it. But there hasn’t been nearly enough. Since World War II, America has led the free world. That is changing, at an accelerating pace, with enormous implications around the globe. As America retreats, as America disarms, as America abandons its free-wheeling capitalist ways, gums up its economic engines, stiff-arms its allies and defers to its enemies, the openings grow ever larger for the shaping of a different and darker world order.

We are entering an era of opportunism — cruder and more dangerous than in a very long time. If America no longer plays the leading role in shaping the rules, then who does? Beijing’s politburo? Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin? The sprawling, unaccountable and morally corrupt system of the United Nations? All of them together, in a rising axis of technologically enhanced despotisms, while smaller powers try to cut whatever deals they can with the regional godfathers?

This past year saw many parts of this story covered in detail. There has been endless print about the U.S.-led diplomatic dalliance with Iran, from which Iranian officials emerged to announce their “inalienable right” to enrich uranium, while America officials advertised as an achievement a half-baked short-term nuclear deal that has been neither clarified nor implemented. Not only has the U.S. failed to stop the “unacceptable” Iranian bomb program; America has gone far to erode its own credibility in denouncing as unacceptable — yet de facto accepting — everything from rogue nuclear programs to the theft of massive amounts of information from its own National Security Agency. Where does this go?

There’s also been plenty written about the rise of Putin’s increasingly despotic and ambitious Russia — looming over Ukraine, and reasserting itself in the Middle East. This year brought the U.S. climbdown over Syria, in which the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons translated into gains for Moscow and irrelevancy for Washington. Another story was China’s territorial jockeying, along with Japan’s growing worry about the reliability of the old U.S. defense umbrella. On North Korea, there has been plenty of copy devoted to young hereditary tyrant Kim Jong Un conducting his maiden nuclear test — North Korea’s third since 2006 — while the U.S., alerted in advance, looked on.

And then there are such matters as the U.S. dollar, the world’s longtime reserve currency, and a mighty factor for generations in the relative stability of world finance and trade. There are by now reasons to wonder if the future of the dollar may be shakier than the future of Iran’s nuclear program.

I could go on, but the basic point is, there have not been enough stories connecting the dots (and there are some very big dots out there) to provide the larger picture of the real implications of America’s retreat. There is a world of turf and wealth, increasingly up for grabs. In the global war of ideas, America, engrossed in its own frenzy of fundamental transformation and regulatory sludge, is at best voting “present.” Increasingly, the tinder is being laid for conflagrations that seem unreal, unthinkable. Right up until the old question, why didn’t we see it coming?

Claudia is journalist-in-residence with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and heads its Investigative Reporting Project. She blogs at The Rosett Report.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The most under-reported story this last year is the same under-reported story every year.

What are the radical leftists up to and how is their Propaganda Machine going to cover it up this time

There was no in investigative reporting into Benghazi. What were we up to there? Why the need to jail an innocent man and make a "show arrest" out of it? Why put Rice on the morning Tour of Lies? What needed to be hidden so badly?
Why did Hillary feel that it no longer mattered?

Why did Obama let himself get eviscerated by Putin in the NY Times over Syria. What was tying Obama's hands...and put his speechifying on ice? Putin slapped him around like a little schoolgirl and Obama said not a peep. Nor did his lapdog media, which remains largely curled up at his feet.

The real stunner, however, is the failure to ask key questions about Obamacare. This story is not under-reported in volume of words, but rather, in quality of inquiry. HOW did a system spend hundreds of millions of dollars over 40+ months...and not even START a payment back end or security system?

WHY do Obama and Sebelius only show one meeting between them?

WHO was involved in designing the security system and what was their interaction with the White House?

WHERE was the White House when it became clear that the system could not safely launch, that it had no ability to accept payments, that it had no way to verify income...and who gave the go ahead to launch anyway?

Because, there is NO way this was unknown or withheld from the White House. No chance. None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

Therefore, there was...and is... a reason that they felt compelled to launch something that was sure to collapse. And...that decision had to come from the White House. They had to know there was no security...and they launched. That decision had to come from the White House. Think about that for a moment...try to get your arms around it. And...if you come up with incompetence...you aren't getting it, at all.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Years ago I read a leader (editorial) in The Economist and some time later an article, I believe in the WSJ, by a German doctor who had worked for an NGO and decribed the North Korean gulag. I find it appalling that on both sides of the political spectrum politicians have chosen to look the other way and insisted on dealing with the NorKor government. They cannot hide behind ignorance: this is not the 1940s and we certainly know very well what is happening.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Twice in 2013 Israeli aircraft went engines on to attack Iran and
both times officials at the highest level of the U.S. Administration called their press contacts to inform them. This satellite intelligence could only be released with the approval of the President. By publishing the information before the aircraft entered Iranian airspace the mission would have been a disaster. Obama has been protecting the Iranian regime since he took office.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (65)
All Comments   (65)
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The most "under reported" issue is: If the Soros Junta/Obama Administration were acting as an agent of a hostile Middle Eastern power, what would it have done differently in the last five years?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The most under reported story is clearly and darkly the American citizenry's continuing apathy and ignorance about what's most important for them and their fellow Americans.
Too many of us continue to rely on others. We do not make up the third, activists, who made our War for Independence a success.
Similarly, we babble on about Babylon while, daily, tens of 1000's of children die of starvation, preventable diseases, and deliberate abuse. We are silent at the genocidal attacks on Christians in Africa and the Middle East, and the coming new holocaust of Jews remaining in Europe.
'O what fools we mortals be.'
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I want to respond to the "China is going to Dominate" meme. Everything said in this article was similarly said of Japan in the late 80's, and we all know how that turned out.

The many negatives the author ignores says more about what is going to happen with China, than all the positive things he mentions. I can't name a single Chinese company at the forefront of technology. But I can name hundreds of American, Japanese, European, South Korean, etc... If China is so dominate where is the Chinese Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Boeing, Toyota, Samsung, Mercedes, Rolls Royce, etc... I am also highly doubtful of the actual combat power of the Chinese military, which is more about appearance than actual combat tested performance.

Breaking trail for mankind's knowledge and developing that knowledge into useful products, is much different than having western businesses spending billions building you brand new efficient factories so you can play catch up, on the trail the west has already broken for you.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
You make good points (and haven't even mentioned Chinese corruption), but as Spengler often asks, who is the leper with the most fingers?

The US may have some iconic brands, but I would ask the following questions in a US/China comparison:

1. By 2008 the US military had exceptional experience in LIC, but, circa 2013, given RIFs, lack of maintenance, training and acquisition funds, and PC personnel and promotion polices, which military is most ready for a short, brutal high-tech war in East Asia?

2. Circa 2013, which society best inculcates values of hard work, delay of gratification and pride in national traditions?

30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
That you restricted your scenario to east Asia is telling. The U.S. Military projects its power all over the globe, simultaneously. Very few countries have any ability at all to bring military power to bear outside of their own region, China included.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
One has to wonder what would have happened to Nixon if Woodward and Bernstein didn't want to give Deep Throat their email address'.
When offered a huge story one of PJMs ace reporters seems a little loathe to follow up. If you are wondering why the press is such an abject failure you need not look to far.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
In fairness Menachem, can you explain how this would happen and the story wouldn't already leak in Israel,or America?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Because when the story was offered for follow up the " reporters " who were offered it sat on their hands. I have received personal email from Simon and Spengler. Why Ledeen is to busy to drop a line is beyond me. I still haven't heard from him.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
MBY, as you know, I'm a fan of your comments. But, I've met ML and he is a straight-shooter (one doesn't raise two sons who go on to serve as USMC officers w/o being a straight shooter) and heck of a guy.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
new MarcH, For the record Mr. Ledeen and I are no in direct communication on this matter. As far as your comments are concerned I have also made note of them, cogent and on point. Thank you for your kind words.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
should read " now in direct contact ". Sorry for typo.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
you've got it backwards. I replied to you, gave you my email, and am still waiting for your revelations. once again: michael.ledeen@gmail.com.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Done.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Michael I don't know what email you sent your note to but I never received it. I have it now and will send you the information now. Please let me know either here or by return mail that you get it.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"We're filling the role of World's Policeman ..."

Given that terrorism, nuclear proliferation and aggressive regional rivals are springing up like mushrooms, I'd say we haven't been doing too well in this role since at least 2008.

The "World Policeman" has just had a long visit to Dunkin' Donuts and is now snoozing in the squad car under a tree with the radio turned off while hood rats let the air out of his tires
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Beyond the question of which of these stories is "the most underreported" is the bigger question why none of them merited any serious coverage at all in this country.

The mass media cover-up of all bad news for Obama is reminiscent of the state media in the Soviet Union. There are no real "leaks" in the wall.

Fox does report some, but as Stacy "The Other" McCain has pointed out, their top-rated cable audience is only 11% of the audience the broadcast networks and PBS still draw. There are no major newspapers willing to offend Democrats, either.

30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nice thought, if that technology becomes generally available. At the current rate, only the very rich will see it. The rest of us will have Obamacare.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The most under-reported story of 2013 are the advances made in biotechnology, genetics, rejuvenation, and nanotechnology.
These will fundamentally transform our lives and what it means to be human.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
China’s shore-to-ship missiles can sink a U.S. aircraft carrier 200 miles or more from its shores (its missiles reach space and go straight down, and our countermeasures aren’t designed for that sort of threat).

Planning failures in the Pentagon is another underreported threat. It's been obvious for 20 yrs now that the primary conventional war threat is Communist China, but here we leave our Navy incapable of stopping regional aggression. Even its client state, N. Korea, is humming along just threateningly fine.

We build hypersonic hyperagile fighters & bombers that are of no use against our primary threat, Moslems. Five years ago Prez Barack Hussien stopped a deeper bunker buster bomb. That device sure would've come in handy right now, with the Persians ready to go thermonuclear; its leaders have even boasted about wiping a neighboring country off the map.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Outstanding and frightening articles all around.

I read PJM as thoroughly as I can to keep informed. At times, I begin to feel overwhelmed by the broad-based onslaught happening within our country. It gets so bad that I have to take a break from reading at times.

There is excellent journalism happening here. I humbly suggest an addition to some articles, if possible. Considering that this site's existence began with the concern over what was happening in our country, I ask that the authors occasionally considering including some ways for the readership to get involved (beyond writing to a Congress which has ceded its powers). Identify reputable organizations that are working to solve a problem, or mitigate a problem, or are working to counter the forces that encroach upon our Constitution. This cannot be done for every story, but it certainly can be done for some. I realize this is not the normal form of journalism, but these are not normal times.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Holy Prophet, SemperFi, Monkey2111,

Thank you for thoughtful replies. I should have outlined what I already do on an individual basis.
- Tea Party meetings
- Monetary donations (TrueTheVote, TPP, Capitol Resource Institute, Project Veritas, NumbersUSA, ACLJ, NRA, NRA-ILA).
- Use my Facebook to post selected articles and memes to get the word out on various issues. Only do one or two a day, so that my friends will actually look at/read them.
- Twitter account, so that I can publicly register my support or opposition on a topic, and be able to do so immediately. I have tended to prefer this to writing letters to newspapers because at least this way I know it will potentially be seen. Letters to the Ed are more uncertain, but I may try this again based on SemperFi’s encouragement.
- I routinely sign petitions at ACLJ.
- Occasionally attend school board meetings

So in making my suggestion, I was indeed referring to something like Monkey’s crowd-sourcing idea, because I feel like I have done about as much as an individual can. I will continue of course, but am looking for additional ways to work alongside like-minded patriots. Wasn’t PJM supposed to be moving to a structure where eventually we could “friend” each other so that we could begin making contact separately from these boards?

Monkey2111,
I am totally onboard with your disinterest in hearing about how things are too far gone. We need blunt talk to wake up our sleeping brethren, but we are NOT past the point of no return. I also resonate with your NSA discussion, and considering how the IRS is being used I fully expect that my donor list of conservative organizations has me in line for an audit quite soon. My position is already known. I like your account avatar pic, and I suspect we share a common background. I think I need to get a copy of Mark Levin’s book; I keep hearing about it.

SemperFi80,
I am careful about the allusions I make to end times eschatology, because with the wrong crowd it makes them stop listening. I’ll think about yard signs again, but had them routinely stolen during the last two election cycles so I’ll have to get creative if I want to use them on a continual basis.

Holy Prophet,
Keep the faith. I love my country, but I have come to realize that I need to be more concerned about God’s kingdom than my beloved republic. Truthfully, I have been putting less time into political solutions and more time into learning to follow God’s plan.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'd like to throw some questions at you about the TEA party etc, but don't have time right now--if we share a background, you should enjoy this parody:

http://www.duffelblog.com/2013/12/general-mattis-crosses-potomac-100000-troops-president-senate-flee-city/
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hilarious blog, and interesting article.

My favorite so far is the "U.S. Military to respond with Overwhelming Concern in South Sudan"http://www.duffelblog.com/2013/12/south-sudan-us-military/
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Forti, I suggest writing letters to the editor in your local newspaper. It may seem like a small venue for some, but it is accessible, and mentioning the parallels between today and the biblical end-times prophecies can help wake-up even the most sophoriphic of local readers.

Another useful action is to make your voice heard in some of the online opinion surveys. It seems tiny, but those paid questionnaires (eg. Repeal Obamacare?) feed directly into the survey-driven political system. Don't skimp on responding to online requests for political opinions!

Finally, another small thing that is so often overlooked is to post signage outside one's home. Billboard space can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and every property owner has free billboard space right in their front yard. You probably don't live on a thoroughfare, but even on residential streets a well-place "Impeach Now" sign can change a few minds over time.

You can make a difference!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was planning to think this through more, and eventually post it on an applicable thread at Belmont Club, but, if not now, when?
So--fortibus85, I have precisely the same reaction sometimes.

(2) What we need is a sociopolitical SIOP, crowdsourced. Scattered throughout articles and comments here on PJMedia there are dozens of suggestions of potentially effective action(s) we can take. Because they're scattered though, it is difficult to appreciate the range of options open to us. Collecting and organizing them by subject or type would be a first step. Some examples that come immediately to mind are Wretchard's suggestion from Words, that we actually each become another Breitbart as far as media coverage. L3 recently mentioned a website wherein there is a description of an alternative to Obacare. I haven't looked at it yet but he seemed to be describing a states-based, free market solution. Likewise, even though this is not material found on PJMedia, Mark Levin's The Liberty Amendments outlines a possible strategic goal.

Let me say upfront that I'm not interested in hearing about how we're too far gone, nothing we do will ever work, we're going to end up embroiled in a second civil war etc. One or all these possible responses are quite possibly true, however, no battle is ever a sure thing. You train, you prepare, and then you fight and what happens, happens. I would go so far as to assert than anyone who truly believes that the culture war will go hot and who isn't on the verge of dying anyway, really has no choice but to agree with me. If it's true the FedGov is the enemy, and is abusing NSA tech--every last one of us is already "blown." Even those who only lurk have had their visits recorded and will be the first put up against the wall and shot alongside the rest of us. Therefore, a certain interest in self preservation should motivate (if more motivation is needed) us to consider doing what we can to change what we can and prevent the worst possible scenario, and the second worst possible scenario. I intend to think further and attempt to expand on my idea in the near future. It is frustrating to realize that although the net has done a great job of allowing us to create an online community of like-minded folks, the real possibility of compromised comm, even for peaceful political activism makes actually using the advantages of community, problematic.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
... but these are not normal times.

These are unprecendented times. The nation has crossed a bridge leading to big, permanent trouble. Or bridges, plural, ncluding the ones for healthcare, energy, race and more. Even the rule of law has been abridged. We're no longer a nation of laws, we're a nation of lawyers, and we get 44,000 more of them every year.

Given that Congress has folded, and that the federal judiciary is firmly in the grasp of globo-socialists, the game will be played out on a lopsided field called the media, where the fictive, elided and sensual let the news entertainer override reality with ease.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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