Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

Muslims Call for Boycott of White House Iftar Over ‘Endorsement’ of ‘Israel’s Current Massacre’

Monday, July 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee encouraged Muslims to boycott tonight’s Iftar dinner at the White House in celebration of Ramadan, citing the administration’s support for Israel.

The dinner is scheduled in the State Dining Room for 8:55 p.m., after the sun goes down to break the daily fast in accordance with Islamic law. Ramadan ends July 28.

In a statement, the committee aid the “deplorable situation” in Gaza, “brought on by Israel’s U.S.-sanctioned illegal occupation of Palestine, has received no direct action from President Obama.”

“The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) will not be attending this year’s government iftars and calls upon members of the Arab and Muslim communities to join us in the boycott, including tonight’s White House Iftar hosted by President Barack Obama, given the government’s condoning of the current slaughter of Palestinians in Palestine and the spying of American Arabs and Muslims domestically,” the group said in a statement.

“In the government’s silence, Israel is committing a massacre in Palestine with the possibility of an all-out ground assault. Our American tax dollars have contributed to over 100 civilian casualties as of Monday morning, of which 70% are estimated by the United Nations to be women and children,” continued the statement.

The ADC cited recent reporting from Glenn Greenwald that revealed “the government’s indiscriminate and ongoing criminalization of the community” through NSA spying on some Arab and Muslim community leaders.

“Political engagement is important and having a seat at the table is crucial — but only when that seat is intended to amplify our voice as a community, not tokenize or subdue it… In lieu of this year’s government iftars, ADC asks that senior officials take immediate steps to end Israel’s current military operation in Palestine and abolish the problematic practices of the NSA regarding the illegal surveillance of our community,” said the ADC.

“If President Obama and the U.S. government truly seek to empower and connect with the Arab and Muslim communities, they must provide a forum for such dialogue to take place. While our request for a meeting with Secretary of State John F. Kerry continues to be ignored, we ask that senior officials meet with the community to discuss these important issues. Government iftars, such as the White House Iftar, are highly politicized events that will be taking place in the shadow of the government’s lack of representation of the community, and will provide no room for this productive dialogue.”

Asked about the boycott at the White House, press secretary Josh Earnest said the purpose of the Iftar dinner “is to observe a religious tradition that Muslims all around the globe are observing at this time of Ramadan.”

“It also is an opportunity for the president and other senior administration officials to pay tribute to the important role that Muslim Americans play in American communities all across the country,” he said. “There are immigrants to this country from a variety of regions of the world who are Muslim, and it is important for every American to understand that they are critical to the success of our country and inter-woven into the basic fabric that makes United States of America such a unique place to live.”

“We certainly respect the differences that some people may have on this — on these matters, but we would not want that to overshadow the efforts of the president and other senior administration officials to pay tribute to the contribution that so many American Muslims play in their communities.”

Read bullet | 51 Comments »

Pro-Palestinian Rioters Corner Jews in Paris Synagogues

Sunday, July 13th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

The Times of Israel reports:

Several thousand demonstrators walked calmly through the streets of Paris behind a large banner that read “Total Support for the Struggle of the Palestinian People”.

But clashes erupted at the end of the march on Bastille Square, with people throwing projectiles onto a cordon of police who responded with tear gas. The unrest was continuing early Sunday evening.

Media reports said that hundreds of Jews were trapped inside a synagogue in the area and police units were sent to rescue them.

A person in the synagogue told Israel’s Channel 2 news that protesters hurled stones and bricks at the building, “like it was an intifada.”

The event comes after a firebomb was hurled at a synagogue in the suburbs of Paris this past Friday night. Despite it being Shabbat, there were no injuries and only minor damage occurred. 

On July 8, the day Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, a teenage girl in Paris was physically assaulted by a man with a “Middle Eastern appearance” who pepper sprayed her while shouting, “Dirty Jewess, inshallah you will die.”

France, home to one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe, is second only to Russia in terms of Jewish immigration to Israel. According to Israeli politician and former Soviet political prisoner Natan Sharansky, “Something historic is happening. It may be the beginning of the end of European Jewry.”

According to Israel’s Channel 2 news, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, has confirmed that anti-Israel rioters attempted to enter two synagogues in central Paris. The rioters were stopped by French police.

Instagram user Jean-Baptiste Soufron posted a video from the Synagogue de la Roquette where pro-Palestinian activists were in the midst of a standoff with French police. One French Instagram user commented, “A shame for France ….far from the land of my childhood.” Another wrote, “The French media are responsible for inciting strong hatred and misinformation.”

Read bullet | 31 Comments »

Americans Also Targets in Hamas Attacks

Sunday, July 13th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

The above news clip represents what the average American hears on a daily basis regarding Operation Protective Edge, the latest military spate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has been going on (officially) since 1948. In the span of the 2 minute report, the Palestinian civilian casualties in Gaza were mentioned 3 times. What was not mentioned: These civilians have been instructed by their Hamas government to ignore the flyers and phone calls from the Israeli Defense Forces warning citizens to get out of the way of impending rocket attacks in their areas.

While an Israeli mother putting her baby to sleep in a bomb shelter is included in the report, what the reporter didn’t bother to tell you are the number of Israelis currently being hospitalized for shock. Nor did the report include the fact that this is just another day for the residents of Sderot, who’ve received a constant barrage of rockets since Israel relinquished Gaza back to the Palestinians in 2005. That’s nearly a decade of rocket fire, making the generation who grew up under these attacks old enough to train incoming school students in how not to suffer the inevitable PTSD associated with a lifetime of death threats flying through the air and landing in your back yard.

American audiences hear none of this because the majority of American and world media have fallen prey to Hamas’s most powerful ongoing terrorist operation: A disinformation and glasnost campaign designed to destroy western support for Israel through a constant barrage of media bias.

Here is how the disinformation and glasnost campaign has been executed in response to Operation Protective Edge :

Seed of Truth: Palestinian civilians are being killed by Israeli rocket fire in Gaza.

Pack of Lies: Israelis are safely protected in bomb shelters under the Iron Dome while their military targets innocent civilians in the impoverished Gaza Strip.

Ultimate Goal: Encourage American and worldwide support for the Hamas campaign to wipe Israel off the map and eliminate all evidence of the Zionist entity, including the Jewish people and their supporters, from the face of the earth.

The glasnost element is the most perverse. Hamas plays on the western disbelief in the idea of martyrs, portraying these women and children as “innocent civilian victims” of Israeli aggression. When speaking to the non-Western media, these dead are referred to in a term most recently used by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, “the Gazan martyrs.” Glasnost is the term for glorifying the leader’s image abroad. In this case, Hamas is using the bodies of women and children to shield their missiles in life and glorify their reputations in death.

Some news agencies and opinion sites are catching onto this disinformation campaign, willing to call it “media bias against Israel.” This is more than media bias. This is a calculated effort on the part of Hamas to sway world opinion against the only nation willing to confront and fight against Islamic terror. Therefore, whether the mainstream media is a willing partner in this endeavor makes no matter. The bottom line is, the media is marketing this disinformation to audiences in America and worldwide that are watching blind, with no Iron Dome to protect them.

Read bullet | 19 Comments »

House Affirms Support for Israel ‘As It Defends Itself Against Unprovoked Rocket Attacks’

Friday, July 11th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The House passed a bipartisan resolution by unanimous consent today to support Israel “as it defends itself against unprovoked rocket attacks from the Hamas terrorist organization.”

Reps. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.) introduced the resolution two days ago, and it was fast-tracked to the floor with more than 140 co-sponsors.

“I applaud the passage of this bipartisan resolution affirming U.S. support for Israel’s right to defend itself against violence,” said Israel, who is also chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It demonstrates the strong and unwavering partnership between the U.S. and the State of Israel and sends a clear message to Hamas and other terrorist organizations that acts of terror against Israel will not be tolerated.”

Cole said the House “reinforced its support of our friends in Israel during times of great tension and unrest in the region.”

“Over the last several weeks, Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip, putting the lives of our Israeli friends in grave danger. As Israel combats these acts of terror, I am pleased that this resolution shows that America stands behind our friends,” he said. “I am also very proud that the Iron Dome, a joint Israeli-American project that intercepts missiles, has helped in the fight against terror and protected millions of lives. During these times of unrest, this technology is proving indispensable.”

The Iron Dome battery has enjoyed strong bipartisan support in Congress since they went into action in 2011.

The resolution “reaffirms [House] support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of the State of Israel, condemns the unprovoked rocket fire at Israel, and calls on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket and other attacks against Israel.”

It included an amendment from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) noting that Iran is an enabler of Hamas.

“Hamas and their supporters remain committed to armed struggle against Israel’s right to exist–as they deliberately target Israeli population centers using many weapons provided by Iran,” Royce said. “With these threats arrayed against Israel, we will continue stand with the Israeli people.”

A similar resolution has been introduced in the upper chamber by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and is expected to come to the floor for a vote next week.

When asked at today’s briefing if there is anything more the U.S. can do to stop the violence, White House press secretary Josh Earnest noted that President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from Air Force One yesterday.

“The president, in that telephone call, also did something that we have done several times publicly, which is reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against these attacks,” Earnest said. “That said, we also condemn the attacks this morning that were launched from Lebanon.”

“In the course of that telephone call, the president also expressed his concern about the risks associated with further escalation and emphasized the need for all sides in this dispute to do everything they can to protect the lives of civilians and restore calm,” he added.

“It is evident that civilians have been killed, including children; that’s tragic and we offer our condolences to the families.”

Read bullet | Comments »

Obama Calls Netanyhu for First Time Since Crisis Began

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today for the first time since the murder of three Israeli teens touched off the latest rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

“The president reiterated the United States’ strong condemnation of continuing rocket fire into Israel by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against these attacks. The president expressed concern about the risk of further escalation and emphasized the need for all sides to do everything they can to protect the lives of civilians and restore calm,” the White House said in a readout of the call.

“The United States remains prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities, including a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement.”

Press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama “once again expressed condolences to the people of Israel on the kidnapping and murder of teenagers Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach, and Naftali Fraenkel, who was an American and Israeli citizen, and urged that the perpetrators be brought to justice.” Obama expressed those condolences in a statement issued by the White House on June 30.

“The two leaders also discussed the situation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank,” today’s readout continued. “The president welcomed the arrest of suspects in the abduction and murder of Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir and expressed appreciation for the prime minister’s determination to see that they be brought to justice. He expressed concern about the beating and detention of teenage American citizen Tariq Khdeir and acknowledged Israel’s efforts to resolve this case.”

“The two leaders discussed the P5+1 negotiations with Iran and the president reiterated that the United States will not accept any agreement that does not ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes.”

Read bullet | Comments »

All Educated Women Are ‘Unoriginal and Common’ — Says Islamic Cleric

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

In order to expose the Islamist and Salafi mindset, Egyptian journalists continue posting and commenting on the assertions and observations made by the various clerics during former President Morsi’s one year reign and earlier, when the “radicals” felt especially free to speak their mind.

One of these, Sheikh Yusuf al-Huwaini—who earlier justified buying and selling captured “infidel” women for sex and said the face of a woman “is like her vagina”—was recently shown on video giving his thoughts on women, intelligence, and knowledge.

After he mocked women who, although wearing proper Islamic attire—including the niqab—still appear on television, including as authoritative hosts, he said the following:

On what basis does a woman appear on a satellite station facing millions of people all around the world?  And what sort of knowledge could this woman have to offer?  Knowledge belongs to men—knowledge belongs to men alone.  Any woman—with all due respect, lest some woman think I’m attacking all—any woman, no matter how high and advanced she appears, is unoriginal and common.

Read bullet | Comments »

Time Well Spent? Obama Isn’t Where He Needs to Be

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 - by Nathan D. Lichtman

I’m not going to delve into the situation in Israel. I’m only going to say that I am beyond saddened by the death of the kidnapped teens, appalled by the unleashing of rockets on Israeli cities, and concerned for Israel’s ability to defend herself. I will not even entertain the critics’ argument, that Israel is an aggressor, and deserves carnage and punishment. These arguments are made by people who do not know the history, and who do not have the courage to know what is right. Israel is the only free democracy in the Middle East, the biggest proponent towards peace, and the main funder of Gaza and West Bank services. And Israel is a sworn ally of the US.

This last statement is something President Obama has trouble remembering.

With rockets overhead and bomb sirens becoming a norm, Israel is in crisis. Since the situation escalated, Obama has not even made a phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Not any kind of reassuring message, nor any offer of support. Silence.

Remember President Bush, in 2003, said directly to then Prime Minister Sharon, “Israel must not feel constrained in defending the homeland.” But he’s a right-winger! In 1994, President Clinton spoke before the Israeli Knesset (parliament) and said, “Israel must always be able to defend itself,” and reaffirmed the US’ commitment to stand by our ally. So where’s Obama’s statement to the people of Israel? Not even a phone call?!?

Meanwhile, Obama has been in the Southwest of our country. He spoke of the need to reform our immigration policy, and asked for billions of dollars to strengthen border security as he enables a quasi-amnesty anyway. But, he was in Texas. Did he go to see the border he’s talking about? Did he look at what unique factors might need to be taken into account? Did he ask border patrol and local enforcement officers what could best be done?

President Bush did. He toured a long patch of the border in 2006, to ascertain what could be done to assist Federal law enforcement. This is after serving as Governor of Texas.

Obama did not. The Selfie-in-Chief claimed that he did not want to go actually look at our border, because he doesn’t like photo ops.

So he didn’t go to the border, and he hasn’t called Israel. What has our President had time to do in the past few days?

Obama has been watching the World Cup; he even dropped in on a party to cheer on our team. And, he knows how to dial a phone, because he called Soccer players Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey after their loss. And he had a debaucherous night of drinking, billiards, and mustache complimenting, in Denver.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a beer or several. And I have been avidly watching the World Cup—but not in detriment to my job. I would not fail to meet my obligations because I was too busy drinking, partying, and watching sports.

But calling foreign dignitaries and securing our borders are the President’s job responsibilities. Like literally—they are two of the only things the Constitution actually says he should do.

So Obama: it’s time to start putting your responsibilities first.

Read bullet | Comments »

California Dem Blasts Al-Jazeera on Al-Jazeera: ‘The Owners of This Network Fund Hamas’

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson
YouTube Preview Image

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) may not get an invitation to reappear on Al-Jazeera America, but he sure gave the network an earful in the segment he did get this week.

“Every one of those rockets is a war crime… every rocket that is not aimed at a military target but is aimed at a city,” Sherman said on a live feed from Capitol Hill. “The owners of this TV network help fund Hamas.”

He went on to call the Hamas offensive launched against Israel “open season on those of the Jewish faith.”

“The idea that you would have a TV clear effort to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible and then you on this TV station say, ‘well, maybe it’s not a war crime because it’s not successful — the rocket didn’t hit a kindergarten. It was aimed at a kindergarten but it didn’t hit a kindergarten. So then it’s not reprehensible.’”

Sherman defended Israel’s response to the Gaza rockets as “proportionate.”

“I don’t think there are always two sides to every story. Those who are trying to kill as many babies and children and women as possible, who rejoice in their death… no, you have one side in this conflict that is doing everything it possibly can to reduce and avoid civilian casualties and to prosecute those who engage in acts against civilians,” the congressman said.

“And then you have the Hamas side… which of course Qatar supports, which rejoices in how many babies they can kill, how many children they can kill. They name squares and provide subsidies to those who are able to kill civilians and they aim their rockets at civilian targets. That’s not two equal sides.”

Read bullet | 7 Comments »

Hagel: Uranium Seized by ISIS ‘Not a Threat Now’

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel indicated the administration isn’t particularly concerned with the uranium seized by ISIS terrorists in Iraq, saying the “old chemicals” aren’t weaponized.

Reuters obtained a letter written to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on July 8 from Iraq’s U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim, in which the envoy asks the world body for help to “stave off the threat” of the use of the 88 pounds of uranium compounds from the University of Mosul by terrorists.

“Terrorist groups have seized control of nuclear material at the sites that came out of the control of the state,” Alhakim wrote, adding that such materials “can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.”

“These nuclear materials, despite the limited amounts mentioned, can enable terrorist groups, with the availability of the required expertise, to use it separate or in combination with other materials in its terrorist acts,” he added.

“We were aware of that facility,” Hagel told reporters on a stop at the Naval submarine base at King’s Bay, Ga. “We’ve known about it for a number of years. And I think the best way to respond to it is — it is not chemical weapons munitions.”

“They are not weaponized. They’re old chemicals from many years ago,” he continued. “So, we know where they are. We’ve known about them, we’re keeping our eye on them, but again, they’re not munitions and they’re not weaponized.”

Under questioning, Hagel acknowledged that the compounds seized by terrorists are inherently dangerous.

“Well, there are toxins. That’s right. But again, they are not munitions. They are not weaponized. And there’s no question, if you venture into that — that area, there is danger. That’s right. And there is danger for those who happen to wander in there,” the Defense secretary said.

“But they are not a threat now in — in any way as a form of a weapon.”

Read bullet | 8 Comments »

Obama Administration Threatens Israel Under Fire

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

What do you do when you’ve got some time to kill in an Israeli bomb shelter? Start a spirited sing along, of course. If you’re a guest in the Dan Hotel in Jerusalem, your song of choice is Oseh Shalom, (A Prayer for Peace): “He who makes peace in High Places, He will make peace for us and for all Israel and let us say, Amen.”

Meanwhile, at the Ha’aretz peace conference (where right-wing Israeli politicians get punched by pacifist leftists), White House Mideast chief Phillip Gordon delineated a series of thinly-veiled threats, so thinly veiled, in fact, that he had to actually include the following phrase in his speech:

Let me be absolutely clear that these are not threats.

No, in fact, they came off more like a public relations campaign issued from a platform granted by an already hot far-Left crowd that makes no bones about their admiration for a two-state solution. Remove the veil and it is plain to see Gordon’s threat: Israel will  ”…embolden extremists on both sides, tear at Israel’s democratic fabric, and feed mutual dehumanization.”

Embracing an HBO-esque mobster tone, Gordon so politely “advised”:

Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians would help turn the tide of international sentiment and sideline violent extremists, further bolstering Israel’s security. We know all too well the troubles that can arise for Israel internationally when there is no movement on the political track, especially when settlement activity continues to make the potential peace map more difficult and to undermine international support for Israel. On this, I should also be clear of the United States’ longstanding position: we consider settlements illegitimate and an impediment to progress on peace negotiations. Settlement announcements would be a counter-productive reaction to the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teenagers.

…if we fail to come back to peace talks, renewed efforts to isolate Israel internationally and legitimize Palestinian statehood unilaterally are all but certain. The United States will do all it can to fight boycotts and other delegitimization efforts. But in many of these realms, particularly outside the Security Council, our ability to contain the damage is limited, and becoming more and more challenging. This is what American friends of Israel mean when they express concerns about the potential for Israeli isolation if peace talks do not succeed. Let me be absolutely clear that these are not threats. The United States will always have Israel’s back.

One thing is clear from this peace conference speech: Gordon and the Obama administration have Israel’s back …up against a wall. Ironically, peace conference attendees would later run to bomb shelters for cover as sirens indicated another Hamas rocket was on its way. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the same guy Gordon cites as a courageous and reliable peace partner, hasn’t uttered a word to stop his government’s partner from firing in Israel’s direction. Nor has he bothered to reveal that his own Fatah members are joining in the rocket barrage. In fact, the most this “peace partner” can say is, ”it all started when Israel fired back”.

Keep singing in those shelters, Israel. While the American people support you, our administration is failing you. He Who Makes Peace in High Places is our only hope.

Read bullet | 5 Comments »

AP: ISIS Has Seized Thousands of Rockets with Chemical Warheads

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

It’s a confirmation of reports in June that ISIS had taken control of a site where some of Saddam’s WMD arsenal remained.

Iraq has informed the United Nations that the Islamic State extremist group has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad where 2,500 chemical rockets filled with the deadly nerve agent sarin or their remnants were stored along with other chemical warfare agents.

Iraq’s U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon circulated Tuesday that “terrorist” groups entered the Muthanna site June 11 and seized weapons and equipment from the protection force guarding the facility.

AP likes its scare quotes. ISIS is a terrorist group that is in the early stages of forming a nation. It’s calling that nation a “caliph” to establish itself as the hub of the Islamic world. Now ISIS is holding some of the WMDs that the likes of AP convinced the world did not even exist.

Read bullet | 39 Comments »

Brookings Scholar Tweets: Israel Finally Dupes Hamas into Bombing Israel

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

Charles Lister of the Brookings Institution is a sought-after expert on the jihadist insurgency in Syria. But this morning he decided to wade into the Israel-Hamas conflict, tweeting out this gem:

Lister-Israel-HamasMissing from Lister’s 140 character analysis, however, is the fact that missiles from Hamas-controlled Gaza have been raining down on Israel all year, with 450 launched so far in 2014 — 250 of those within the past week and 80 yesterday alone. Fully 40 percent of Israel’s population — 3.5 million — live within range of missile strikes from Gaza. The vast majority of missiles launched from Gaza end up hitting non-military targets.

Of particular concern is that Hamas has been the recipient of longer-range missiles from Iran, including the Fajr-5 and the M-75, which has an effective range of 75km. This is why Hamas officials were bragging to the media back in March that in any future confrontation that the “heart of Israel” would be targeted. Just days before that boast, Israel stopped a Gaza-bound ship loaded with 40 long-range rockets that could travel as far as 160km (100 miles).

The 1988 Hamas Covenant also invokes a notorious Hadith calling for the genocide of Jews (article 7):

Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

Lister is currently a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center, which is funded by the State of Qatar. One of the chief architects of the recent rapprochement between Hamas and Iran (on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict) has reportedly been Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Attiyah, who visited Iran in late February.

Read bullet | Comments »

Republican Senator Blocks Paul Effort to Stop Aid to Palestinian Authority

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee blocked an effort by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to stop aid to the Palestinian Authority, saying that the bill shouldn’t be rushed through with unanimous consent.

Paul tried to get consent yesterday for the Stand with Israel Act, which stops all aid while the Palestinian government includes Hamas and refuses to recognize Israel.

But Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said the bill should be considered first by the Foreign Relations Committee, where Paul is a member.

“This is an issue I really believe the committee itself should deal with first,” Corker said.

Propping a photo of the three slain Israeli teens — Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16 — on the Senate floor, Paul resurrected his bill that was originally introduced on April 29. He unsuccessfully called for unanimous consent on the legislation on May 1.

“I don’t believe that foreign aid should go to countries that persecute Christians. I also don’t believe that foreign aid should go to countries that host terrorists within their government. I’ve had this belief for some time, but I’ve met with a great deal of resistance in the Senate,” Paul said. “…Your foreign aid, your hard-earned American tax dollars continue to flow to these countries no matter what their behavior is.”

The senator charged that “foreign aid is so entrenched in our national psyche that it goes on regardless of the behavior.”

“The Democrats came and said no. President Obama doesn’t want to give up the authority to continue sending money to these countries. Well, a week ago, we had another disaster. In Israel, three young teenagers were killed. The response of Hamas was to stand up and cheer. I can give you the direct response of Hamas — their political director said that — ‘Blessed be the hands that captured them,’” Paul said.

“They stood with glee and cheered when these three teenaged boys were killed in cold blood. These were not soldiers. These were civilians. The news reports are that Hamas has joined this unity government precisely because they are bankrupt. They want to get our money. That’s why they are joining the unity government. What is ours? Ours is a tepid please don’t behave that way. But we have no teeth. The same thing in Egypt, the same thing in Pakistan,” he continued.

“Some will argue that foreign aid is a way to project American power. Well, if it is, we ought to be projecting American values. We should project what America stands for. We shouldn’t be saying here’s some money, do with it what you will.”

YouTube Preview Image

More: 

Booker, Paul Aim to Restore Welfare Benefits for Nonviolent Drug Offenders

 

Read bullet | 12 Comments »

US ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Brigades Surrender Weapons, Pledge Allegiance to Islamic State

Monday, July 7th, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

The heart of the Obama Administration’s policy to overthrow Assad in Syria has been the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which has been provided U.S. taxpayer-financed weapons training, small arms, and, most recently, TOW anti-tank missiles.

This has been done under the pretense that the State Department has carefully selected the FSA as “vetted moderates,” ensuring that those weapons wouldn’t end up in the hands of Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

Many, including myself, have scoffed at this policy since the State Department has a poor track record in recent decades of identifying “vetted moderates,” expressing concerns that there was never any guarantee those weapons wouldn’t end up in the hands of terror groups.

But reports emerging from Syria confirm those fears stating that FSA brigades in eastern Syria have surrendered their arms and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State announced recently by ISIS:

Sources and eyewitnesses in the border town of al-Bukamal east Syria informed Zaman Alwasl that many factions affiliated with FSA have pledged allegiance with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) amid a huge public attendance, where their weapons have been handed over to “ISIS”.

The source said brigades of Ahl Al Athar, Ibin al-Qa’im, and Aisha have pledged allegiance to the State after clashes that ended quickly for the benefit of ISIS, while the leader of these brigades and factions have fled to the countryside of al-Bukamal into neighboring towns in Deir Ezzor province.

In fairness, the FSA as “vetted moderates” policy has been a laughable bipartisan folly, receiving support from John McCain and Lindsey Graham, among other Republicans.

But past incidents of US-backed FSA weapons caches falling into the hands of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra over the past year have not prompted any reconsideration of this policy. Thus, it is unlikely that this most recent dramatic setback is going to give either the Obama administration or McCain GOP foreign policy orbit a moment of pause.

Read bullet | Comments »

ISIS Caliph Emerges, Threatens Another Holocaust

Monday, July 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi used to live in the shadows. But as his ISIS terrorist army is taking over Iraq and President Obama isn’t doing anything about it, al-Baghdadi has come out of hiding to declare himself the caliph.

The State Department said today it has “no reason to doubt” that the shadowy leader of a powerful Iraqi terror group revealed himself before a crowded mosque over the weekend, providing the first clear picture of the violent extremist who now believes himself to be the prince of all Muslims.

For years the public only saw Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (IS) formerly known as ISIS or ISIL, in a couple grainy pictures, like the one posted on the U.S. Rewards for Justice program wanted poster offering $10 million for information leading to his capture. But Friday a man looking very much like al-Baghdadi stepped into the spotlight, giving a fiery sermon at a mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul in which he called for all Muslims to follow him.

“I was cursed with this great endeavor,” a 21-minute video of the event shows the man saying in Arabic. “Obey me in my obedience to God, disobey me if I disobey God.”

Al-Baghdadi’s ISIS group is threatening to unleash a new Holocaust.

A Twitter post Thursday by supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now calling itself the Islamic State (IS), has promised a Holocaust against the Jews.

“The Real Zionist Holocaust is Predicted in the Hadiths! The Hour [resurrection] will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, and the tree will say: “Oh, Muslim, servant of God, there is a Jew behind me, kill him! THE PROMISED Holocaust,” the terrorist group’s Islamic State Media a graphic posted on its @ISIS_Conquests’s Twitter account said.

This hadith has proven popular with Islamic extremists of all stripes, ranging from IS toHamas – and even on television in the Middle East.

Daniel Pipes, an expert on jihadism, said the hadith likely was a recruitment tool.

“​Yes, ​calling for a holocaust against Jews refers to a violently anti-Semitic strain among jihadis and will surely appeal to some of them,” Pipes said in an email to the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Want some comfort in this dangerous world? Here’s the US Central Intelligence Agency, showing the world that they’re on this ISIS threat.

Read bullet | Comments »

What an Islamic Caliphate Would Mean for the West

Monday, July 7th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim


I was recently interviewed by CBN News’ George Thomas on the rise of the Islamic State, its aspirations for caliphate, and what all that means for free peoples around the world:

YouTube Preview Image

Read bullet | Comments »

Intel Community Unified on Threat of ‘Largest and Richest Enclave of Radical Terrorism in History’

Monday, July 7th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who just returned from Afghanistan with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), says the intelligence community is unified in its assessment that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL) is a direct threat to the United States.

“According to director of national intelligence, the FBI director and most of our intelligence community, ISIS presents a direct threat to the homeland in Syria, now Iraq,” Graham told CBS on Sunday. “Americans and Western Europeans are going to help their cause. And they can flow back here. So, yes, they are a direct threat to the homeland and they’re getting much stronger as we speak.”

“I think it’s important to recognize that we did have this situation stabilized, thanks to the surge, that we could have left a residual force behind which would have stabilized the situation,” McCain said.

“This is not like a hurricane or an earthquake. This didn’t have to happen. This is a failure of United States policy. And, by the way, there still is none that I can discern, either a policy or a strategy, to handle this situation.”

McCain called the new caliphate, which encompasses an area stretching across Syria and Iraq that eclipses the size of Jordan, “the largest and richest enclave of radical terrorism in history.”

“And one of the things that we need to do, of course we want Maliki to be replaced, but we got to stop ISIS first. And that means that we’re going to have to do airstrikes. And we need to step up our support for the Free Syrian Army that is really right now getting very badly beaten,” McCain said.

“…You’re going to see the same result in Afghanistan. We just came back from there. They feel abandoned.”

“I think the big fear I have about what we’re doing in Afghanistan is that we have great capability now. We can watch a part of the world that is a safe haven for terrorists. Thirteen years after 9/11, there are more safe havens. There are more terrorist groups with more weapons and more capabilities than before 9/11, and we’re having less capability, less presence,” Graham said.

“If we get down to 1,000 troops by 2017, and dismantle our eyes and ears in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it will haunt us far worse than Iraq. The counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan is a front-line defense against — for the homeland and it is being destroyed by this idea of leaving completely in 2017,” he continued.

“Mr. President, reverse your course. Keep our counterterrorism capabilities in effect to protect us here at home.”

McCain stressed that they’re not advocating combat troops.

“We’re advocating leaving sustaining capability to give them the capabilities that they don’t have right now,” he said.

Related: 

DHS Secretary: ‘Obviously We’re Concerned Any Time a Terrorist Organization Acquires Territory’

Read bullet | 14 Comments »

Obama’s Secret Directive Supporting Global Islamism

Monday, July 7th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

recent Gulf News report sheds some light on how and why the United States helped bring the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies to power, followed by all the subsequent chaos and atrocities in the Mideast region.

Large portions of the report follow with my commentary interspersed for added context:

Dubai: For the past decade, two successive US administrations have maintained close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Libya, to name just the most prominent cases.

The Obama administration conducted an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2010 and 2011, beginning even before the events known as the “Arab Spring” erupted in Tunisia and in Egypt. The President personally issued Presidential Study Directive 11 (PSD-11) in 2010, ordering an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood and other “political Islamist” movements, including the ruling AKP in Turkey, ultimately concluding that the United States should shift from its longstanding policy of supporting “stability” in the Middle East and North Africa (that is, support for “stable regimes” even if they were authoritarian), to a policy of backing “moderate” Islamic political movements (emphasis in bold added throughout).

And we have certainly witnessed this shift.  Chaos and the Islamic ascendancy in the Middle East and North Africa never flourished as under the Obama administration—and precisely because the administration shifted from supporting stability under secular-minded autocrats.

The most significant example of this is how the Obama administration threw Hosni Mubarak—a U.S. ally for three decades—under the bus in order to support the Islamists, most specifically the Muslim Brotherhood.  And we saw how that ended—with another revolution, hailed as the largest revolution in human history, with the average Egyptian accusing Obama of being a terrorist supporter.

To this day, PSD-11 remains classified, in part because it reveals an embarrassingly naïve and uninformed view of trends in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

“Embarrassingly naïve and uninformed view” is synonymous with the “orthodox and mainstream view pushed forth by Mideast studies professors and academics,” especially those with political influence, such as the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies of Georgetown University, in Washington D.C.  Such programs, which I’m only too well acquainted with, begin with false—that is, “embarrassingly naïve and uninformed”—premises, namely: that the source of all the region’s woes are (formerly) U.S.-propped autocrats (reality is that dictators don’t create such societies but rather are the natural outcome of Islamic societies and are the ones most prone to keeping law and order—compare Iraq under Saddam and Iraq now, as a “democracy,” with “ISIS” proclaiming a caliphate).

Mideast academics have also long spearheaded the idea that there are “moderate” Islamists and “radical” Islamists, and that the U.S. should work with the former (in reality they are all radical—to be an Islamist is to be radical—the only difference is that the “moderate” Islamists don’t wear their radicalism on their sleeves, even as they work toward the same goals that the more open “radicals” work for, namely, a Sharia-enforcing caliphate)… Keep reading

Read bullet | Comments »

GOP, Dem Reps Visit Netanyahu, But No Call from Obama

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Two members of Congress met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today to convey their condolences for the killings of three teens and to express their support for Israel.

Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, were kidnapped from the kibbutz Kfar Etzion in the West Bank on June 12. Naftali was a dual citizen with an American passport. Their bodies were discovered this week.

The visit from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), ranking member of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, comes as the White House said Wednesday that President Obama had not called Netanyahu.

“I don’t have any calls to read out at this point, or any calls to give you an indication that we’re planning — but as we consider calls like that, we always have a discussion about whether to read them out and if we’re in a position to do so, I’ll make sure that you guys are informed,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

Following their meeting with Netanyahu, Ros-Lehtinen and Deutch said in a joint statement that “these last few days have been a trying and difficult time for the people of Israel after the bodies of three of their sons were found.”

“As an entire nation mourned, we mourned with it. We conveyed our deepest sympathies to Prime Minister Netanyahu and reaffirmed to our closest ally, the democratic Jewish State of Israel, that the United States stands firmly with it as it struggles to cope with the tragic loss of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad and as it seeks to bring the perpetrators to justice,” the lawmakers said.

Deutch and Ros-Lehtinen also discussed with Netanyahu “the threats that Israel faces as the stability of the region continues to deteriorate.”

“The growing threat of extremism in Syria and Iraq, and the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear weapons program, could have severe repercussions throughout the region, and these toxic obstacles put both Israel and U.S. national security interests at risk,” they said. “We vowed to continue our unwavering support for the people of Israel and their safety and security, and will do whatever we can to ensure Israel maintains her qualitative military edge so that she can defend herself from all threats.”

At a eulogy for the boys on Tuesday, Netanyahu reminded mourners that “a deep and wide moral abyss separates us from our enemies.”

“They sanctify death while we sanctify life. They sanctify cruelty while we sanctify compassion,” he said. “This is the secret of our strength; it is the foundation of our unity.”

 

 

Read bullet | 8 Comments »

The Obama Arc of Assad

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Assad regime was an enemy of the United States for decades. The gangsters sided with Saddam, they sided with Iran, they helped out Hizballah, they fomented violence in Lebanon, they have been an enemy of Israel. Nasty people.

Until Hillary Clinton came along. When she was Secretary of State of the United States, she labeled baby Assad a “reformer.”

That was too ridiculous for the Washington Post to swallow.

“There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.”

–Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on “Face the Nation,” March 27, 2011

It was also too ridiculous for Clinton to defend.

“I referenced opinions of others. That was not speaking either for myself or for the administration.”

–Clinton, two days later

If you didn’t agree with those opinions, why did you tout them? Why give them a bipartisan veneer?

Time goes by, Assad the “reformer” dictator faces an Arab Spring uprising, and pretty soon he’s a gas-spewing monster who must go.

President Obama and European leaders called Thursday for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign, after months of his violent crackdown on protesters. The rhetorical escalation was backed by new U.S. sanctions designed to undermine Assad’s ability to finance his military operation.

“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way,” Obama said in a written statement. “For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

Time goes by, ISIS rises up in Syria and Iraq, establishes a caliphate, chops off some heads, threatens the world, shows off some captured SCUDs, does what Islamists do — and now the Obama government has a strange new respect for one Bashar Assad.

As President Obama slowly but surely increases the U.S. military presence on the ground in Iraq, his administration is grappling with the immediate need to stop the ISIS advance and push for a political solution in Baghdad. The 3 1/2-year grinding civil war is Syria has been put on a back burner for now. Some officials inside the administration are proposing that the drive to remove Assad from power, which Obama announced as U.S. policy in 2012, be set aside, too. The focus, these officials argue, should instead be on the region’s security and stability. Governments fighting for survival against extremists should be shored up, not undermined.

“Anyone calling for regime change in Syria is frankly blind to the past decade; and the collapse of eastern Syria, and growth of Jihadistan, leading to 30 to 50 suicide attacks a month in Iraq,” one senior Obama administration official who works on Iraq policy told The Daily Beast.

In effect, the American government has been in a limited partnership with the Assad regime for almost a year. The U.S., Russian, and Syrian governments made a deal last September to destroy Assad’s stockpile of chemical weapons—and relied on Damascus to account for and transport those weapons, in effect legitimizing his claim to continued power.

Indeed. That legitimized Putin in the same stroke. It enhanced his standing in the Middle East too.

So here we are now, allying with a reformer gas-weapons using monster who must go, but who also must stay, at least for now.

Supposing that ISIS is defeated and Assad hangs on, which is a big leap at this point, do we then go and invoke the “responsibility to protect” that got us involved in Libya and topple the gas-spewing-reformist-monster-who-must-go-except-when-we-need-him-to-stay?

 

 

Read bullet | 5 Comments »

Is Obama Giving Up, or Going Soviet?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

If you listen to progressives these days, the Supreme Court has granted corporations the power to compel their employees to go to church. It has empowered corporations to tell women to throw away their contraceptives. Five of the men on the court have declared full jihad against all of the women of America. Next stop, subjugation, revocation of the right to vote, and the end of women’s rights in America.

All of that is absurd, of course. The Hobby Lobby case was a too-narrow win for religious freedom and private property rights. But it’s making for amusing theatrics around the country as Democrats grapple with the fact that the man atop their party is an incompetent buffoon, and the American people have figured that out, and the Democrats are stuck with him.

Two years ago, I coined a phrase that stuck. In June of 2012, President Obama suspended the federal government’s immigration law enforcement agreements with the state of Arizona. He did this to retaliate for that state passing a modest law with the aim of getting a handle on the growing chaos on its border with Mexico. Obama was “going Soviet” on Arizona, I wrote, and Rush Limbaugh and others quickly picked up the phrase to describe what was going on. What I meant by “going Soviet” was that Obama was clearly punishing Arizona and singling it out to make an example of it for other states, especially red states. The phrase reaches back into the history that they no longer teach in our schools, to a time when the Soviet Union existed and was as brutal to its own people as it attempted to be to the rest of the world. People who stepped out of line would find themselves subjected to abuse by their own government. On the extreme end, the USSR literally starved millions of Ukrainians to death. The American press, led by the New York Times, helped the Soviets cover up their ghastly crimes. The US media has served a similar function during Obama’s reign.

In June of 2012, Obama punished Arizona for its attempt to enforce immigration law. In those days, none of us had any idea that the Obama IRS was also systematically punishing Tea Party groups by dragging out their tax-exempt application processes and subjecting them to invasive and abusive questioning. Most of us had no idea that True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht was being subjected to abuse from a litany of executive branch agencies. “Going Soviet” was more applicable than we knew, two years ago. We did not know that the IRS was criminally releasing conservative groups’ donor information to their leftwing enemies. AG Eric Holder’s refusal to investigate that was still in the future.

Fast forward two years, and Obama has been re-elected but he is already a lame duck when it comes to getting anything done in Congress. No one there trusts him. The Democrats have no relationship with him. The Republicans have been burned and, even if they wanted to strike a deal with him, sentient ones know that he will re-write whatever deal is crafted before the ink on his signature is dry. Pass a full immigration reform deal, and he will strip out all of the enforcement components and grant sweeping amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. He may even do what President Clinton did once, and speed up citizenship for millions of illegal aliens ahead of an election — so they can register and vote.

The polls show where Obama’s actions and untrustworthiness have led. He is rated the worst president since World War II. His personal popularity has crashed. Americans now say that we would all have been better off if Mitt Romney had been elected president in 2012. Obama has failed to help veterans, despite his explicit promises to reform the Veterans Administration. His foreign policy is a flop, and now Russia is on the march from one direction and the Islamic State, a new caliphate, is on the march in another. American influence is at such a low ebb that Russian pilots will soon be flying over Iraq to help that country and Iran push back against the Islamists. Either out of cluelessness or malice, Obama still wants to arm Syrian rebels, many of whom are Islamist radicals too.

And then there’s the Texas-Mexico border. Two years ago, Arizona’s border was in crisis mode, and Obama responded by punishing that state. Today, Texas is being flooded by illegal aliens.

Read bullet | 88 Comments »

ISIS Chief: After Iraq, Next Stop Rome

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Presented without comment, because it speaks for itself.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic State stretching across Iraq and Syria, has vowed to lead the conquest of Rome as he called on Muslims to immigrate to his new land to fight under its banner around the globe.

Interesting timing. With the Muslim prayer recently held at the Vatican and all.

Baghdadi, who holds a PhD in Islamic studies, said Muslims were being targetted and killed from China to Indonesia. Speaking as the first Caliph, or commander of the Islamic faithful since the dissolution of the Ottoman empire, he called on Muslims to rally to his pan-Islamic state.

“Those who can immigrate to the Islamic State should immigrate, as immigration to the house of Islam is a duty,” he said in an audio recording released on a website used by the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

“Rush O Muslims to your state. It is your state. Syria is not for Syrians and Iraq is not for Iraqis. The land is for the Muslims, all Muslims.

“This is my advice to you. If you hold to it you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills.”

They’re jihadists without borders.

Hassan Hassan, an analyst at Abu Dhabi’s Delma Institute, wrote that Baghdadi provided the most radical challenge since the emergence of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. “The whispers of support to a caliph in Afghanistan are now replaced by clear words and acts, amplified by social media,” he said. “Jihadism has evolved significantly. It is no longer limited to narrow “elitists” who travel to distant countries to wage jihad. Today’s jihad is more sophisticated and individualised and can be waged everywhere.”

Everywhere, indeed. Everywhere.

Read bullet | 10 Comments »

U.S. Heads for Final Nuke Negotiations as UN Confirms Iran Weapons Exports

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

United Nations investigators have determined that Iran has been violating the arms embargo as the U.S. heads back to the negotiating table with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.

Deputy Secretary William J. Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman, and National Security Adviser to the Vice President Jacob J. Sullivan left today for Vienna, according to the State Department.

The delegation is barreling toward a July 20 deadline for a final agreement with Iran.

But Reuters reported Friday on a confidential report that found Iran shipping arms to Sudan.

The UN panel concluded that a shipment of rockets and other weapons, concealed on the Klos C and seized by Israel in March, originated from Iran and could have been headed to Sudan as a transit point for Gaza or  points in Northern Africa.

House Foreign Affairs Committee  Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) called the report “more evidence of Iran’s destructive and destabilizing role in the region.”

“Iran was caught red-handed — this shipment is likely the tip of the iceberg. This report should be released for all to see,” Royce said.

“During testimony in front of the Committee in March, Secretary Kerry pledged to take action once all the facts are known—I urge him to do so now,” the chairman added. ”Tehran has shown no interest in playing a constructive role in the region. Imagine an Iranian regime unrestrained by any international sanctions.”

At Monday’s White House press briefing, spokesman Josh Earnest even downplayed the involvement of Iran in Iraq.

“It is not in the interest of Iran for there to be this sectarian strife, instability, these grotesque acts of violence and terrorism being perpetrated on their borders; that it’s in the best interest of Iran for there to be a — for them to have a stable neighbor,” Earnest said.

“And the best way for Iraq to be stable and to confront the destabilizing threat that’s posed by ISIL is for the political leadership in Iraq to come together and unite the country in the face of that threat. And by uniting the country and governing in an inclusive way, Iran can have the kind of stable neighbor on their border that they would like to have, that’s in the best interest of their country.”

The Syrian Coalition, though, countered that the move of ISIS through Iraq was “Iranian-made.”

“Assad, Iran’s arm in the region, was not predicting the outcome of the conflict, but was planning to create a new reality in the region with the help of his allies,” said coalition vice president Nora Al Ameer.

Read bullet | 5 Comments »

Obama a Day Away from Missing Congressional Deadline for Syria Plan

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama faces a congressional deadline tomorrow to deliver a plan on dealing with the crisis in Syria, and there are no signs that the administration is going to meet it.

A bipartisan resolution passed the Senate by unanimous consent on April 3 — introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and co-sponsored by lawmakers as diverse as Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — “expressing the sense of the Senate concerning the humanitarian crisis in Syria and neighboring countries, resulting humanitarian and development challenges, and the urgent need for a political solution to the crisis.”

The resolution noted that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at the time had registered more than 2,500,000 Syrian refugees, nearly 80 percent of whom are women and children, and by the end of this year the United Nations estimates the number of refugees will increase to 4,000,000.

“Nearly 500,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict are children under the age of five, and more than 11,000 children have been killed and thousands more have suffered severe injuries, including burns, shrapnel wounds, the severing of limbs, and spinal cord injuries.”

It stressed that “70 percent of Syria’s health professionals, up to 80,000 people, have fled the country, cases of typhoid, tuberculosis, polio and other diseases are rampant and increasing, and medical personnel inside Syria are deliberately targeted by parties to the conflict.”

While calling on the international community to step in and condemning the violence that has wracked the country for more than three years, the resolution concluded by calling on Obama “to develop and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress within 90 days from adoption of this resolution a strategy for United States engagement in addressing the Syrian humanitarian crisis, to include assistance and development, and protecting human rights inside Syria and in the region.”

As Oxfam notes in its countdown clock, his 90-day window runs out tomorrow.

“Since 2011, the fighting that has devastated Syria has driven nearly 10 million people from their homes. Close to 2.8 million—more than half of whom are children—have fled to neighboring countries. Syria’s people, and those who are giving them refuge, desperately need help to meet their basic needs for food, clean water, shelter, and medical care. The US has been generous with humanitarian aid for those affected by the conflict; however, the Obama Administration has not yet delivered a plan for how to address and end this crisis,” the aid organization notes.

“In a rare showing of bipartisan unity, the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution in April calling on President Obama to deliver to Congress a strategy for how the US can address the crisis that is now destroying so many lives. Will President Obama meet the July 2 deadline requested by the Senate?”

Read bullet | Comments »

Obama Adds More Troops to Iraq Deployment

Monday, June 30th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Since President Obama announced on June 19 that he would be sending 300 military advisers to Iraq, the number of U.S. personnel deployed has incrementally crept up.

Today, Obama notified House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate President Pro Tempore Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) as required by the War Powers Resolution that he ordered “approximately 200 additional U.S. Armed Forces personnel to Iraq to reinforce security at the U.S. Embassy, its support facilities, and the Baghdad International Airport.”

“This force consists of additional security forces, rotary-wing aircraft, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support,” he said. “This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat. This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed.”

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement that the additional personnel arrived in Iraq on Sunday and today “from locations within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.”

“Capabilities provided include a detachment of helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, which will bolster airfield and travel route security. Similar to the U.S. security personnel who arrived in Baghdad earlier this month to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, they will integrate with existing U.S. embassy security teams,” Kirby said.

“The presence of these additional forces will help enable the embassy to continue its critical diplomatic mission and work with Iraq on challenges they are facing as they confront Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).”

In addition to this, Kirby continued, “the approximately 100 personnel already prepositioned in the Central Command region — previously announced by the Defense Department in mid-June — will also move forward to Baghdad to provide security and logistics support.”

“These forces are separate and apart from the up to 300 personnel the president authorized to establish two joint operations centers and conduct an assessment of how the U.S. can provide additional support to Iraq’s security forces as they confront the grave threat posed by ISIL,” he said.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked at today’s briefing whether Obama was “hopeful” that U.S. allies would contribute to security forces in Iraq.

“I would assume — and I think with a lot of confidence — that the leaders of these other countries will be making a similar calculation to the one that the president has made, which is that our interest in that country — or our activity in that country will be governed by what the president assesses to be in the best interest of American national security,” Earnest said.

“That will continue to be the criteria that the president will use as he makes decisions about U.S. actions there, and I assume that other countries and other country’s leaders will be making a similar calculation.”

Read bullet | 12 Comments »

Obama, Cruz Offer Contrasting Statements on the Murders of Three Israeli Teenagers

Monday, June 30th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Shortly after Israeli forces discovered the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens, President Barack Obama offered the following statement.

11:25 P.M. U.S. President Barack Obama strongly condemned the murder of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers but called upon Israel and the Palestinians “to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation.” Obama said: “I extend my deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel – who held Israeli and American citizenship. As a father, I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that the parents of these teenage boys are experiencing. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of terror against innocent youth. From the outset, I have offered our full support to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to find the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice, and I encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue working together in that effort. As the Israeli people deal with this tragedy, they have the full support and friendship of the United States.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has been a vocal critic of how Obama has handled nearly all issues, including the Middle East, terrorism and Israel. Cruz sent out this statement reacting to the killings today.

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today released the following statement regarding news that the three Jewish teenagers who had been kidnapped by Hamas have been found dead.

“The brutal murder Hamas carried out of three innocent Jewish teenagers is a terrorist-led atrocity that demands justice,” said Sen. Cruz. “While we lift Gilad Shaer, Naftali Frankel, and Eyal Yifrach and their loving families up in prayer, we must also act. Hamas is, unequivocally, a terrorist organization with blood on its hands that must be condemned on the world stage. There should be no path forward for Hamas to have any role in any future government formed by the Palestinian Authority, and no nation should accommodate, legitimize, or negotiate with this group that engages in the killing of innocent civilians. The Palestinian Authority should immediately renounce Hamas and actively work to expel Hamas from civil society. The United States should stand unequivocally with the Nation of Israel as it responds to this brutal terrorism and acts forcefully to protect its people.”

Hamas is officially designated a terrorist group by the US State Department.  President Obama refused to name them in his statement, preferring vague references instead. The kidnappers are believed to be connected to Hamas, and the group praised the kidnapping, blessed the kidnappers and claimed that the three teens were “soldiers” of Israel.

Update: Arabs threw stones and paint at the ambulance as it carried the bodies of the murdered teens.

Read bullet | 14 Comments »

Netanyahu Vows to ‘Eradicate’ Hamas

Monday, June 30th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Earlier today, Israeli security announced sad news. The bodies of three Israeli teens, one with dual American citizenship, had been discovered. They had been kidnapped by terrorists with links to Hamas. The captors reportedly shot the teens to execute them shortly after abducting them. Hamas had played its usual game, distancing itself from the kidnappers while praising their actions.

Today, after an emergency cabinet meeting , Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would act forcefully and “eradicate” Hamas.

“We will not stop until Hamas is completely destroyed,” Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister Dannon Danon said after the meeting, according to CNN.

Hamas has ruled since Palestinians elected them to power in Gaza in 2006. Hamas, which the US government officially recognizes is a terrorist group, recently formed a unity government with Fatah in the West Bank.

Read bullet | 12 Comments »

Gary Oldman & the Right’s Latent Antisemitism

Monday, June 30th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

We all know by now that actor Gary Oldman denounced political correctness in his recent interview with Playboy magazine. However, if you’re only a reader of conservative news sources, you most likely aren’t aware of the fact that Oldman dropped the n-word repeatedly, used a grotesque and derogatory slang word for the female anatomy, and included one of the oldest and most offensive Jewish American stereotypes in his rant:

Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him—and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, “That f***ing kraut” or “F*** those Germans,” whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, “Isn’t that shocking?”

Conservative news readers couldn’t possibly be aware of these immoral platitudes because the story was covered in right-wing media with the following headlines:

Conservative Star Gary Oldman Denounces Liberal Hollywood, Hillary Clinton

Scott Whitlock, the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center, published a report in NewsBusters that focused on Oldman’s anti-Hillary comments and criticism of Obama. Whitlock prefaced Oldman’s quote about Pelosi being a “c**t” with the statement, “In the Playboy interview, Oldman used offensive and vulgar language to complain about political correctness.” The article was promoted on Facebook with the following statement: “What this Hollywood Star Just Said About Liberals Will Make You Stand and Cheer.”

Gary Oldman Rails Against PC “Crap,” Liberal Double Standards in Hollywood

Josh Feldman at Mediaite made Oldman’s grotesque comment regarding Nancy Pelosi the centerpiece of his short coverage of the now infamous Playboy interview. But when it came to the Hollywood Jews, he summarized Oldman’s antisemitic rant down to, “He said so many ‘f***ing hypocrites’ condemned Gibson, but they privately use words like he did.”

Gary Oldman Attacks Outrage Culture in Playboy, Gets Outraged Response

Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist crowed about reading “the entire interview” and quoted several excerpts, except for the ones about the Jews who run Hollywood, n*****s, and f*gs. Because those wouldn’t really help support her point that “people lost their everliving minds” over Oldman’s belief that “political correctness is crap,” a belief Hemingway and her editors at the Federalist wholeheartedly share.

Famous Actor’s Fiery Rant Against “Political Correctness,” Hollywood Double Standards — and His Theoretical Nancy Pelosi Joke Will Make Jaws Drop

Jason Howerton’s story from The Blaze did not originally include the comments. It was later “updated with additional comments from Oldman’s interview,” including the Hollywood comment that every other conservative-leaning news outlet I’ve found so far has failed to print.

When I confronted conservative friends over their defense of Oldman’s commentary, I was told that I was “getting my panties in a bunch” over being “noogie’d” for the greater good of the anti-PC campaign. When I asked what the dividing line was between being anti-PC and pro-antisemitism, I was told that I was insinuating that my friends were antisemitic, and therefore I should issue them an apology. Again, I pressed the question and, again, I received the same response: In essence, I was being a touchy, oversensitive Jew.

Read bullet | 129 Comments »

Bodies of Three Kidnapped Israeli Teens Found

Monday, June 30th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Terrible news from Israel, via ABC News.

The bodies of three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped in the West Bank earlier this month have been found north of the city of Hebron, a source confirmed to ABC News today.

Hamas, the Palestinian militant group accused by Israel of taking the boys, has denied kidnapping the teens, though senior Israeli and Palestinian officials agree that the abductors were likely tied to — or part of — Hamas but operating without orders from the organization’s leadership.

One of the teens, 16-year-old Naftali Frenkel, had dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship and his family is from Brooklyn, N.Y. The two others were Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet with Israel’s parliement and deliver a statement. A military response is likely.

h/t Right Scoop

Read bullet | 7 Comments »

Thanks to US Dithering, Iraq Buys Used Fighter Jets From Russia

Friday, June 27th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The United States fought for a decade to establish a democratic government in Iraq. But it has only taken a couple of years to see that government go sectarian, see much of its territory taken over by Islamists, and see it establish alliances with our enemies in Syria and Iran.

And Russia, according to Bloomberg News by way of Stars and Stripes.

Iraq has bought used fighter jets from Russia and Belarus to battle Islamist militants after long delays by the U.S. to deliver F-16 planes left troops without air support, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says.

Maliki, in an interview with BBC Arabic, blamed the U.S.’s “long, very slow way” for delaying the delivery of 36 aircraft. “We shouldn’t have just bought U.S. jets, we should have bought British, French and Russian jets to provide air support. If we had air support, none of this would have happened,” he said, according to excerpts e-mailed by the BBC.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Obama left one when he cut and ran from Iraq. Putin is happy to step in and make a little money. If Baghdad’s government survives, Putin will surely parlay today’s assistance into influence over a whole lot of things in Iraq. Russia Today, the Kremlin-backed Western news agency that employs Larry King these days, sure is crowing about helping Iraq.

But at least Obama can give a good speech.

Read bullet | Comments »

Administration Loses Its Special Envoy for Mideast Peace Negotiations

Friday, June 27th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The special ambassador appointed to oversee the Obama administration’s drive for a Mideast peace deal is leaving his post and returning to his think tank.

Martin Indyk, who was U.S. ambassador to Israel during the Clinton administration, was director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution when the White House called on him to guide negotiations last summer.

Earlier this month, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Indyk was “absolutely” still on the job when reporters asked whether he was still at work on the peace process, derailed by Fatah and Hamas forging a unity pact.

When asked if there were any plans for Indyk to return to the region, Harf replied, “Not to my knowledge.”

Secretary of State John Kerry today announced that the U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations will be returning to the Brookings Institution.

Deputy Special Envoy Frank Lowenstein will now serve as the Acting Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.

“Ambassador Indyk has invested decades of his extraordinary career to the mission of helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a lasting peace. It’s the cause of Martin’s career, and I’m grateful for the wisdom and insight he’s brought to our collective efforts,” Kerry said.

“Martin’s simply invaluable, a terrific partner and friend, and he played a vital role in the progress that was made in the negotiations. He’ll continue to work for peace, and as we’ve all said many times, the United States remains committed not just to the cause of peace, but to resuming the process when the parties find a path back to serious negotiations,” he added. “I am very grateful to Martin for his indefatigable efforts and creativity, and I look forward to continue working closely with him.”

Read bullet | Comments »

Sen. Cruz Demands Release of Kidnapped Israeli Teens: ‘Hamas…Give Those Boys Back Now.’

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

YouTube Preview Image It’s been two weeks since the abduction of three Israeli Yeshiva students in the West Bank. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) stood before photos of the kidnapped boys on the Senate floor on Thursday and gave an impassioned plea for their release.

Just imagine if these were your children…or any child you know. Just imagine if it was your child who was kidnapped for 14 days and you don’t know where they are or even whether they are still alive. These boys, all smart, hard-working, diligent students were taken on their way home from school. They were waiting at the bus stop. They were only 5 minutes away from their school — one of the finest Yeshivas in all of Israel. These boys weren’t doing anything wrong. They are innocent school children.

Cruz noted that Israel’s Shin Bet has identified two Hamas members as key suspects in the abduction, which he said is “business as usual” for the “violent terrorist organization.”

These two individuals are members of Hamas, a vicious terrorist organization that seeks Israel’s destruction and has launched thousands of rockets into Israel, killing innocent civilians. Those rockets have also killed dozens of Americans in Israel. Now they have kidnapped three schoolboys.  Sadly, this is business as usual for Hamas. This is the same terrorist organization with which the Palestinian Authority recently joined in a so-called “unity” government. There can be no more illusions that Hamas has any role in any future government formed by the Palestinian Authority.  They must not receive any further recognition or legitimization. Hamas is a violent terrorist organization ready and eager to brutalize the most innocent. Hamas is a terrorist organization that kidnaps three innocent school boys.

Sen. Cruz demanded that Hamas return the boys — Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah, and Gilad Shaer — to their families.

Hamas, give the boys back. Hamas, give those boys back now. The full weight of the world should bear down on Hamas to give them back safely and immediately. If they do not, we should use all of the available means to stand unequivocally with Israel for however long it takes to find these boys and to bring them home. These are teenagers who were targeted for who they are, who have done no wrong, who have done nothing that comes near to deserving what has happened to them that day while waiting at the bus stop to go home from school.

Cruz said that since the kidnappings,  there have been no pictures or videos of the boys. Their families have received no word about their whereabouts or their conditions. He asked Americans to pray for the missing young men.

It’s easy for us to become desensitized to violence. Desensitized to terrorism. It’s easy for us to forget that these are three teenage boys whose families desperately want their boys back. I ask that all of us lift them up in prayer. I pray for their safe return. I pray that they will soon be home with the families, who so dearly love them and miss them. And I pray that God will cover them with a shield of heavenly protection. And I pray that America will stand strong — will shine a light and do everything possible to apprehend the terrorists and bring these boys home.

Read bullet | 6 Comments »

Obama Wants to Throw $500 Million Into Syria’s Civil War

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

I’m sorry, what?

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Thursday requested $500 million from Congress to train and equip what the White House is calling “appropriately vetted” members of the Syrian opposition. The request comes as the administration is trying to put some form to the president’s surprise announcement last month of plans for a $5 billion counterterrorism fund to provide training for operations in vulnerable countries in the Middle East.

The training program would be the most significant action yet by the United States in the conflict in Syria, which has spilled over the border now to Iraq, where a Qaeda-inspired insurgency is threatening the American-backed government.

Why is the idiot king more interested in toppling Assad than in helping Iraq’s government survive? Besides the fact that he’s the idiot king?

Who is going to “appropriately vet” the Syrian opposition, which includes everything from a handful of pro-Westerners to thousands of jihadists? Who? Will it not take putting some Americans on the ground in that civil war to do that?

The Syrian civil war is of interest to the United States, but it’s a sideline compared to the interests at stake in Iraq. There, the democratic government that was born out of massive American effort and expense, blood and treasure, is under mortal threat. If it goes down, Iraq disintegrates, it becomes a radical caliphate, it gets sliced up between neighboring powers including Iran. Or, if we do nothing and it survives, it will only survive with the help of the Iranians and the Syrian regime and maybe covert Russian help — making Iraq their puppet.

But Obama has pulled himself away from the World Cup to seek money that the United States does not have, to help the take down the Syrian regime, and replace it with…what, exactly?

If Obama gets his way here, America goes a bit deeper in debt to China to help midwife another Islamist regime in the Middle East.

Read bullet | 6 Comments »

Latest ISIS PR Move: Jihadists and Their Cats

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant, aka ISIL or ISIS, aka the successor to al-Qaeda in Iraq, has taken social media terrorism to a whole new level since the group began storming through Iraqi cities. In addition to tweeting pictures of their parades, guns, swimming parties, shopping, cupcakes and truck decals…

 

 

 

Now, apparently jihadists and their cats are a thing, because what better way to burnish their pop-culture creds than furry animals?

 

 

 

 

Still haven’t seen them issue motivational posters with the phrase “Dogs wag, cats wage jihad.”

Read bullet | 8 Comments »

Who is Launching Airstrikes in Iraq?

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Tuesday there were rumors that someone was launching airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq. The US government denied having anything to do with it.

The AP reports that it’s Syria that’s doing the work that Americans won’t do.

U.S. officials say there are indications that Syria launched airstrikes into western Iraq Tuesday in an attempt to slow the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency fighting both the Syrian and Iraqi governments.

Officials said the strikes appeared to be the work of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, which is locked in a bloody civil war with opposition groups. The target of the attacks was the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has been fighting along with the rebels opposed to Assad and has since moved swiftly across the border into Iraq.

The White House said intervention by Syria was not the way to stem the insurgents, who have taken control of several cities in northern and western Iraq.

Iraq is getting help from Iran on the ground, and Syria in the air. Eh, I’m sure the mullah-Assad alliance will work things out for the best in Baghdad…

Read bullet | Comments »