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Bill Clinton Hours Before 9/11 Attacks: I Could Have Killed bin Laden

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard
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[HT: Truth Revolt]

Hours before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Bill Clinton told a group of Australian business leaders that he could have killed Osama bin Laden, but chose not to because the risk of civilian casualties was too great.

Former Australia Liberal Party President Michael Kroger appeared on Sky News’ Paul Murray Live on Wednesday and released an audio recording of a speech former president Bill Clinton gave to a group of 30 Australian business leaders just ten hours before the planes flew into the World Trade Center.

“Bill Clinton was answering a question from a member of the audience about international terrorism and he made some extraordinary remarks, which have hitherto remained in my vault,” Kroger told Murray. “It was only when we talked about Clinton and bin Laden last week and many, many people contacted me and said they were quite interested to hear what they’d forgotten — that Clinton was in Australia the day before the planes hit the World Trade Center.”  Kroger said he then remembered the tape and the comments Clinton made about bin Laden just a few hours before the planes hit the World Trade Center.

“I’m just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden — he’s a very smart guy, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about him, and I nearly got him once,” Clinton said to the business leaders on September 10, 2001. “I nearly got him. And I could have gotten, I could have killed him, but I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and killed 300 innocent women and children. And then I would have been no better than him.”

Clinton added, “And so I didn’t do it.”

Kroger said that in the days after the attack, those who had heard Clinton’s September 10th remarks were “saying, ‘My God! Did you hear what he said at the meeting? He could have killed bin Laden and he didn’t!’”

Kroger noted that thousands were killed in the attacks and “the world changed. The world changed. And we’ve never been the same since, whether it’s airport security, whether it’s planes not flying over countries that are at war … the world has never been the same since September 11, 2001 and there’s President Clinton admitting just a few hours before it happened that he could have taken out bin Laden but decided not to. So it was an extraordinary thing for the president to say.”

“Here was a moment in time when — terribly for the world —  this man, bin Laden, was allowed to continue with his terrorist activity as Clinton was made aware of where bin Laden was,” Kroger said.

Kroger also noted in the interview that the Rwandan genocide is another black mark against Clinton’s name. “He says in his diaries — in his autobiography — that he should have intervened in Rwanda and he didn’t and there was a massive slaughter that took place there and the Americans did nothing,” Kroger told Murray.

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Islamic Jizya: ‘Protection’ from Whom?

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Is jizya—the money non-Muslims historically paid their Muslim conquerors—meant to buy them “protection,” including from outside enemies, as modern Western academics maintain?  Or was it simply extortion money meant to buy non-Muslims their lives, as Islam’s scriptures mandate?

The word jizya appears in Koran 9:29: “Fight those among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, nor forbid what Allah and his Messenger have forbidden, nor embrace the religion of truth, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued(emphasis added).”

In the hadith, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, regularly calls on Muslims to demand jizya of non-Muslims:  “If they refuse to accept Islam,” said the Islamic prophet, “demand from them the jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay jizya, seek Allah’s help and fight them.”

Keeping the above in mind, consider the following July 18 report from Reuters:

Islamist insurgents have issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq’s dwindling Christian population to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death, according to a statement distributed in the militant-controlled city of Mosul….

It said Christians who wanted to remain in the “caliphate” that the Islamic State declared this month in parts of Iraq and Syria must agree to abide by terms of a “dhimma” contract—a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as “jizya.”

“We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword,” the announcement said.

“After this date [July 19], there is nothing between us and them but the sword,” it said.

The Nineveh decree echoes one that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the former name for the Islamic State, issued in the Syrian city of Raqqa in February, demanding that Christians pay the jizya levy in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection.

Note how straightforward the Islamic State’s words are—jizya, conversion, or death—compared to the language of Reuters, which twice invokes the concept of “protection” without explaining from whom:  1) “a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as “jizya”; 2) “demanding that Christians pay the jizya levy in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection.”

Reuters doesn’t bother to clarify this notion of “protection,” but rather leaves it vague, implying that the protection Christians receive is against some random elements.

The reason for this obfuscation is that Mideast academics in the West have been whitewashing the meaning of jizya for decades.  After all, the concept of jizya is one of the most ironclad proofs that Islam is innately intolerant of non-Muslims.

A very typical Western definition for jizya can be found in the Encyclopaedia Britannica: “The Muslim rulers tolerated the dhimmis [conquered non-Muslims] and allowed them to practice their religion. In return for protection [from whom?] and as a mark of their submission, the dhimmis were required to pay a special poll tax known as the jizya.”

Other academics have gone so far as to claim that non-Muslims paid jizya to buy Muslim protection against outside forces.  Consider the following excerpt from John Esposito, director of the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.  It essentially makes the idea of being subjugated to Islamic overlords and paying them tribute appear as an enviable position for non-Muslim minorities:

In many ways, local populations [Christians, Jews, and others] found Muslim rule more flexible and tolerant than that of Byzantium and Persia. Religious communities were free to practice their faith to worship and be governed by their religious leaders and laws in such areas as marriage, divorce, and inheritance. In exchange, they were required to pay tribute, a poll tax (jizya) that entitled them to Muslim protection from outside aggression and exempted them from military service. Thus, they were called the “protected ones” (dhimmi). In effect, this often meant lower taxes, greater local autonomy (emphasis added) …

The idea that jizya was extracted in order to buy “Muslim protection from outside aggression” is an outright lie—one that, as the equivocal tone of the aforementioned Reuters report indicates, has taken root in the West.

Equally false is Esposito’s assertion that jizya was paid to “exempt them from military service”—as if conquering Muslims would even want or allow their despised “infidel” subjects to fight alongside them in the name of jihad without first converting to Islam.

The root meaning of the Arabic word “jizya” is simply to “repay” or “recompense,” basically to “compensate” for something.  According to the Hans Wehr Dictionary, the standard Arabic-English dictionary, jizya is something that “takes the place” of something else, or “serves instead.”

Simply put, conquered non-Muslims were to purchase their lives, which were otherwise forfeit to their Muslim conquerors, with money. Instead of taking their lives, they took their money.  As one medieval jurist succinctly puts it, “their lives and their possessions are only protected by reason of payment of jizya” (Crucified Again, p. 22).

So jizya was, and is indeed, protection money—though protection, not from outsiders, as Esposito and others claim, but from surrounding Muslims themselves.  Whether it’s the first caliphate from over a millennium ago or whether it’s the newest caliphate, the Islamic State, Muslim overlords continue to deem the lives of their non-Muslim subjects forfeit unless they purchase it, ransom it with money.

There is nothing humane, reasonable, or admirable about demands for jizya from conquered non-Muslim minorities, as the academics claim. Jizya is simply extortion money. Its purpose has always been to provide non-Muslims with protection from Muslims: pay up, or else become one of us and convert to Islam, or else die.

And it is commanded in both the Koran and Hadith, the twin pillars of Islam.

In short, jizya is an ugly fact of Islam—one that, distort as they may, the academics can’t whitewash away, even as the world stands idly by watching its resumption in the twenty-first century.

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Three More Reasons Why Israel Should Destroy Hamas Now

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

1. Hamas has called for Hizballah to get involved, and ISIS is showing signs that it wants to get involved — but so far neither has actually happened yet.

Hamas is taking a pounding from the Israel Defense Forces. Its tunnels are being discovered and destroyed. Its rockets are being shot down by Iron Dome before they can do much harm to Israeli civilians. Hamas knows that it cannot stand up to the IDF directly, and that it cannot face the IDF alone. The trajectory that this war is on ends with Hamas decimated, if Israel is allowed to finish the job this time.

So Hamas is calling for Hizballah to attack Israel from the north. Hizballah has problems of its own, chiefly the Syria civil war and the threat to its patron Assad in Damascus. So far, Hizballah has lobbed in a few rockets but has not done anything meaningful. If it did, though, Israel would face a two-front war. It could win, but a second front makes it more difficult for Israel to finish off Hamas as a fighting force, and it increases the chances of civilian casualties which the terrorists and their media allies will exploit against Israel.

ISIS, the radical caliphate that the Obama administration has allowed to fester in Iraq, has announced that it wants to join the fight in Gaza. But Jordan stands in the way. But Jordan is weak and has unrest of its own to worry about.

It’s not out of the question that ISIS could infiltrate in sufficient numbers to launch attacks and even open up an eastern front against Israel. The prospect of a three-front war is real. Israel has faced far worse odds before and won, but it’s better that Israel go ahead and destroy Hamas without delay, than to go for a cease-fire that gives its enemies time to consolidate and coordinate.

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Israel Fires Back at White House Assertion That They Should Do More to ‘Live Up to Their Standards’

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Israel’s ambassador to the United States fired back at the White House for saying the Jewish state needs to do more to “live up” to its wartime standards.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Tuesday said the “Israeli right to self-defense is something that the president doesn’t just respect, he supports.”

“What we have also suggested is that Russia — that the Israelis need to do more to live up to the standards that they have set for themselves to ensure the safety of innocent civilians on both sides of that border, including Palestinian people,” Earnest said.

“So it is apparent from the reports that we have seen about the civilian deaths that there is more that the Israeli military can and should do to account for the safety of Palestinian civilians. It’s important to remember, though, that there is a distinction here, which is that Hamas is routinely targeting innocent civilians on the other side of the border. The Israeli military puts in place standards to try to protect Palestinian civilians — innocent Palestinian civilians. That said, we believe that the Israeli military should do more to live up to those standards.”

That was reiterated yesterday aboard Air Force One by White House spokesman Eric Schultz, who said, “We’ve been very clear that Israel needs to do more to live up to its own standards to limit the civilian casualties.”

Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer told MSNBC he didn’t understand what standard the White House is talking about.

“No country in the world has set a higher standard than Israel. I would remind the White House spokesperson — I didn’t hear exactly what he said, but we have two-thirds of our country in bomb shelters,” Dermer said. “And I would ask him to ask himself a question. If 200 million Americans were in bomb shelters, would the United States use less force than we’re using? Would they take greater care with civilians than we’re using? I think — I think he knows the answer to that, and I think hundreds of millions of Americans know the answer to that.”

“We have the highest standards of any military in the world at keeping the civilians of the other side out of harm’s way. We drop leaflets, make phone calls, send text messages, tell people to evacuate areas. Right now our soldiers are fighting in areas that other countries faced with similar threats would never put their ground forces into. And we are taking great risk to our own soldiers.”

Dermer stressed that they “deeply regret any civilian casualties.”

“We don’t target them. But Hamas embeds itself in these civilian areas, in mosques, in hospitals, in schools. They use all their people as human shields. That’s the enemy that we’re fighting,” he said.

“…This is al-Qaeda. This is Israel’s al-Qaeda. That’s what Hamas is. They are committed to our destruction. They’re a genocidal organization. They don’t care about their own people. They were dancing on 9/11 — dancing. Hamas was dancing on 9/11 with thousands of Americans dead.”

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Syrian Defector Who Captured Images of Assad’s Brutality Appears Before Congress

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Appearing in disguise for his own protection, a Syrian army defector who witnessed and captured on film some of the brutality of the Assad regime appeared for the first time in public this morning for a special briefing on the Hill.

Going by the name “Caesar,” the defector smuggled more than 50,000 images of torture and starvation out of Syria, capturing killings that began soon after people started staging peaceful demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in March 2011.

“Caesar’s” photos detail the deaths of more than 10,000 dissidents between 2011 and 2013.

“What is going on in Syria is a genocidal massacre that is being led by the worst of all the terrorists, Bashar al-Assad,” he told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Clad in a blue hooded raincoat, Caesar said he’s never seen anything like what he witnessed except in historical photos of the Nazi extermination camps during World War II, and warned that more than 150,000 Syrians in Assad’s jails face the same fate as the people in his photos.

By conservative estimates, more than 170,000 have already been killed in the war.

“This is a crisis created and sustained by Bashar al-Assad, who responded to peaceful demands by Syrians for their universal rights with unspeakable violence – even against children. In doing so, he has placed his own grip on power above the very survival of millions,” Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said in facing the Syrian at the witness table.

Assad’s reign of terror has included “targeted killings, mass graves, ethnic cleansing, sexual violence, widespread torture, aerial bombardment of residential areas with conventional and chemical weapons, and the extermination of entire families.”

“Assad’s brutality, as we know, is underwritten by robust military and other support from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Syria is a humanitarian crisis, but a strategic challenge too, as Assad has pulled the entire region into violent chaos,” Royce said.

“Caesar’s” images were shown earlier this week at the Holocaust Museum in D.C.

“The killing continues today,” Royce added. “Pure and simple, these photos cry out for justice.”

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) said that the defector risking his life to appear before Congress was akin to grabbing lawmakers by the shoulders and saying “this has to matter.”

“We want to look away. But we must not,” said Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.). “This is happening right now in Syria, and we can do more to stop it.”

To see some of the graphic images presented at the briefing today, click to the next page.

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ISIS Threatens to Step Into Gaza Conflict, Fight the ‘Barbaric Jews’

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

 

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VIDEO: Hamas TV Tells Jews ‘We Will Totally Exterminate You’

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV aired this video on July 25, 2014, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute. In the clip, an unidentified imam at Deir al-Balah Mosque preaches genocide against all Jews.

Transcript: “Our doctrine in fighting you (the Jews) is that we will totally exterminate you. We will not leave a single one of you alive, because you are alien usurpers of the land and eternal mercenaries. You are the mercenaries of all times. Research the history, my brothers. Wherever the Jews lived, they spread corruption. Oh Muslims, didn’t you notice that Allah said: ‘They spread in THE land…’ The definite article in ‘THE land’ means the entire land. ‘They spread in the land corruption, and Allah loves not the corrupters.’”

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Bomb-Laden Tunnel Found in Gaza UN Health Clinic

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Another war crime committed by Hamas, reports the Times of Israel.

An Israeli elite squad searching for tunnels near Khan Younis uncovers a booby-trapped opening in a small UNRWA health clinic.

The troops send in sniffing dogs and a small robot to minimize damage to the structure, but despite the precautionary measures, the explosives rigged to the tunnel are detonated, demolishing the building on top of the soldiers.

Earlier reports indicated that a number of soldiers were injured.

The same brief post notes that Hamas has used IEDs and destroyed “thousands” of buildings in Gaza. In a sweep of 28 buildings overnight, the IDF found that 19 of them were booby trapped with bombs.

On a brighter note, the IDF believes that it’s just days away from destroying all of Hamas’ tunnels.

Instead of allowing Israel to finish the job, though, the Obama regime is ramping up its rhetoric against them.

The UN and the current US government are both unlikely to let Israel win.

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Three Reasons Why Israel Should Destroy Hamas Now

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Hamas started the current war with Israel. That is not even in dispute among serious people. Islamic terrorists are currently waging killing sprees against civilians in Nigeria, Iraq and Israel, among other places, but only when Israel stands up to defend itself does the world cry out for a cease-fire.

Why is that?

Anti-Israel bias and anti-Semitism have to be at least part of the explanation.

Israel should ignore calls for a cease-fire and destroy Hamas as a political and fighting force now. In fact, this war may be its last chance to defeat Hamas and have any possibility of getting to a two-state solution that stands any chance, however remote, of achieving peace.

1. Hamas’ evil is never going to be more obvious. Hamas weaponizes women, children and animals. Hamas started the current war and they have rejected five cease-fires (and counting). Hamas has been caught hiding its missiles in UNRWA schools. This week, Hamas leadership have re-iterated that their goal is to destroy Israel entirely. Hamas will never live with a two-state solution.

The Israel Defense Forces are making good progress destroying Hamas’ tunnels and missile arsenal. A cease-fire at this point only gives Hamas the chance to re-arm, force children to dig more tunnels, and rebuild Palestinian morale that shows evidence of eroding during this war. If Israel does not destroy Hamas now, there is always the chance that Hamas obtains even more powerful weapons, either from Turkey or Iran or another source, and uses them against Israel.

The Islamist revival that is powering terrorism all over the world may eventually abate, and the majority of Muslims may yet follow Egypt’s lead and reject the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood, but at the moment, Iran is still a radical threat, Turkey is becoming more radical, and Europe is succumbing to its own domestic Islamist threat and to its old habit of anti-Semitism. The way to bet right now is that global opinion of Israel is going to get worse, not better, over the next few decades.

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Committee Passes Resolution Condemning Obama for Taliban 5 Swap

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The House Armed Services Committee today advanced a bill to condemn President Obama for releasing five Taliban leaders in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Obama didn’t notify Congress before the early June swap, which brought to an end five years of captivity for Bergdahl. The administration claims they had to make an emergency decision because of concerns about Bergdahl’s health.

Bergdahl has completed his reintegration process and is now back on active duty in Texas while the Pentagon investigates the circumstances surrounding his capture.

The bill from Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), along with Reps. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), and Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), has 90 co-sponsors.

At the markup, committee chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) stressed that “Section 1035 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 requires the secretary of Defense to notify the appropriate committees of Congress not later than 30 days before the transfer or release of any individual detained at GTMO. There are no waivers to this clause. No exceptions. Period.”

“There is a reason for this statute.  It was written and approved by a bipartisan majority in Congress because of genuine concerns that dangerous terrorists were being released in a manner that allowed them to return to the battlefield,” McKeon said. “The provision requires the Secretary of Defense to convey detailed national security information to Congress so that Members may have a more complete understanding of the risks of sending GTMO detainees elsewhere, and what is proposed to mitigate those risks.”

After the bill markup was complete, the chairman said the committee “took one of many steps to hold the administration accountable for breaking the law and putting Americans at risk with their ill-considered transfer of senior Taliban terrorists.”

“The Armed Services Committee will also continue to insist on accountability as our official investigation into the transfer moves forward. There is still much about the president’s decision on transferring these terrorists, and the administration deliberations on informing Congress, that we must better understand,” he said. “Some might draw a partisan conclusion from today’s markup, but that is a false narrative.”

Rigell said he considered this “to be a serious matter and I am sobered by the topic.”

“In transferring the five senior members of the Taliban to the government of Qatar the president broke the law,” said the lead sponsor. “Specifically he has failed to uphold Article II Section 3 of the Constitution which states that the President must ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed’ and in doing so he has placed an unnecessary burden on the relationship between Congress and the administration.”

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New Caption Contest: Obama Says Muslims Built ‘The Very Fabric of Our Nation’

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 - by Myra Adams
Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

The Drudge Report linked to this Breitbart piece which is the source of our contest photo.

At a White House dinner on July 28 celebrating the end of Eid-al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan, President Obama released the following statement with the bold added by me for emphasis:

Statement by the President on the Occasion of Eid-al-Fitr

As Muslims throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to them and their families.  This last month has been a time of fasting, reflection, spiritual renewal, and service to the less fortunate.  While Eid marks the completion of Ramadan, it also celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other, especially those impacted by poverty, conflict, and disease.

In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.  That is why we stand with people of all faiths, here at home and around the world, to protect and advance their rights to prosper, and we welcome their commitment to giving back to their communities.

On behalf of the Administration, we wish Muslims in the United States and around the world a blessed and joyous celebration.  Eid Mubarak

After you digest all that and realize the statement above was ACTUALLY MADE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, here are your marching orders. Besides writing a snappy caption to the photo itself, readers can provide answers to the following questions:

What is Abe Lincoln thinking as he watches over the dinner?

What is on the mind of the young man standing to the right of President Obama?

What would the Founding Fathers think of this White House statement?

Now, as with all contests, we must be nice and stay classy or the IRS will pay you a friendly visit. (Sorry, folks, crashing hard drives is no excuse for not cooperating.)

Finally, all contest participants must take a stab at answering the most pressing question of the day:

Is that a flying monkey from The Wizard of Oz on Obama’s podium?

 

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Hamas: A Litmus Test for Libertarians

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

Recently, while making the libertarian case for support of Israel, I noted that Islamic totalitarianism manifest in the entity of Hamas presents a common enemy to the United States and Israel. Neither nation can suffer a world where the mandates of Islamic totalitarianism are put into practice.

That case was rejected by many professing libertarian associates, who in their response defended Islam and Hamas while demonizing Israel. Their response reminded me that, while professing activists from the various wings of the libertarian movement share many common enemies and many common causes, an important divide remains between objective libertarians (advocates of liberty and its political requirement, proper government) and anarchists who have appropriated the libertarian title.

The distinction is explored in a recent episode of The Peikoff Podcasts by Ayn Rand Institute executive director Yaron Brook. Answering why so many professing libertarians are anti-Israel, Brook explained:

I think that the libertarians who tend to be anti-Israel tend to be in the [Murray Rothbard wing] of the libertarian movement. They tend to be anarchists. They tend to have a deep rooted hatred of government. And it’s interesting [because] they tend to hate free governments more than they hate totalitarian governments. They tend to focus their hatred much more on the American government [and] on the Israeli government than they do on Hamas.

If you’re libertarian, that is if you claim to care about individual liberty, Hamas should be one of the top most hated regimes in the world. You should be celebrating that they are being destroyed and that the Palestinian people might have a chance to be freed from such a totalitarian evil regime like Hamas is.

And yet, libertarians don’t seem to care about the Hamas government, or actually support it, and they focus all their ire [and] all their hatred [and] all their focus on the Israeli government, a government that is in relative terms a rights respecting government, at least as rights respecting as any Western government. Essentially there’s free speech in Israel. There’s freedom of contract. There’s private property, not as much private property as those of us who believe in liberty would like, but much much better than 90% of the countries in the world.

… So I think that this is one of the ugliest manifestations of this fringe element – or not so fringe element – within the libertarian movement, their attitude towards Israel, their attitude towards the United States, their attitude towards foreign policy in general…

Upon further reflection, it occurs to me that advocacy of anarchy requires one to minimize the legitimacy of foreign threats while demonizing any action which government takes to protect citizens. After all, if government can be seen acting properly in defense of liberty, that stands as evidence against anarchism. In this way, anarchists masquerading as libertarians have boxed themselves into a philosophical corner which requires them to become apologists for evil.

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here. 16:05 minutes long; 15.51 MB file size. Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)

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Mashable Reports on Gaza War ‘…According the Palestinian Health Officials…’

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Last week we took a look at how tech and culture site Mashable.com is reporting the war in Gaza. Hamas terrorists started that war with kidnappings, murders, and then by launching rockets from Palestinian civilian areas into Israeli civilian areas.

Mashable has reported the war almost entirely from the Hamas/Palestinian point of view, refusing to label Hamas as terrorists, and playing up civilian casualties in Palestinian areas while failing to report on the fact that Hamas’ tactics constitute war crimes.

Today, Mashable runs a story on how Hamas is “showing off” an armed drone that it claims is an Israeli craft that it shot down. While casting some doubt on the overall story, here is how Mashable reports casualty figures in the ongoing war.

The drone war between Hamas and Israel is playing out against a bloody conflict on the ground. The Israeli military has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in the last three weeks, according to Palestinian health officials. During the same period, 44 Israeli soldiers and three civilians have died.

“…according to Palestinian health officials.”

That’s a key caveat, but Mashable fails to delve into it at all.

According to Hamas videos translated by MEMRI, the group instructs social media to report casualties in certain ways. Mashable appears to be following at least some of Hamas’ guidelines.

Following are excerpts from the guidelines:

“Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don’t forget to always add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.

“Beware of spreading rumors from Israeli spokesmen, particularly those that harm the home front. Be wary regarding accepting the occupation’s version [of events]. You must always cast doubts on this [version], disprove it, and treat it as false.

“Avoid publishing pictures of rockets fired into Israel from [Gaza] city centers. This [would] provide a pretext for attacking residential areas in the Gaza Strip. Do not publish or share photos or video clips showing rocket launching sites or the movement of resistance [forces] in Gaza.

Mashable, like most of the Western media, makes little to no distinction in its reporting between the number of Hamas operatives killed and true civilians killed. The Israeli point of view gets no pixels at Mashable.

Hamas also instructs its social media advocates to “Avoid entering into a political argument with a Westerner aimed at convincing him that the Holocaust is a lie and deceit; instead, equate it with Israel’s crimes against Palestinian civilians.” Shorter Hamas: Stay away from Holocaust denial!

Hamas wants its social media advocates to emphasize Palestinian casualties in human terms.

“The narrative of life vs. the narrative of blood: [When speaking] to an Arab friend, start with the number of martyrs. [But when speaking] to a Western friend, start with the number of wounded and dead. Be sure to humanize the Palestinian suffering. Try to paint a picture of the suffering of the civilians in Gaza and the West Bank during the occupation’s operations and its bombings of cities and villages.

That instruction in mind, take a look at this Mashable piece by Jon Snow, which we dissected last week. It is written entirely from the point of view of Palestinians, and especially Palestinian children. Any piece on Palestinian children should note what that society teaches them — namely, that killing Jews is their duty. Mashable never reports on videos like this, from Palestinian media, and it never reports that Hamas continues to publicly advocate for the total destruction of Israel.

YouTube Preview Image

Mashable appears to be following much of the Hamas social media playbook, including how it portrays pro-Palestinian protests in the West. Mashable reports on them with a neutral to positive take, ignoring or downplaying the strong evidence of ant-Semitism that pervades the protests.

Update: Mashable’s editorial position has consistently been anti-Russia in the Ukraine crisis. The site evidently doesn’t see all intolerant autocracies as equal.

Its man in Gaza, Jon Snow, had this bizarre take after the shootdown of MH17, which involved Russian technology and training.

In addition to reporting for Mashable, Snow reports for the UK’s Channel 4. He has two large platforms from which to push pro-Hamas storylines.

Update: Apparently Jon Snow knows nothing about Hamas’ abuse of journalists who report the truth.

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Audit Finds Poor Tracking of Weapons, Excess Arms Given to Afghans by Pentagon

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) audit found that “poor record keeping” has resulted in a sea of unaccounted weapons given to Afghan forces by the U.S. government.

Thanks to Pentagon efforts to train and supply the Afghan National Security Forces, the country’s military is now swimming in some $624 million in military equipment provided since 2004, including more than 747,000 weapons and pieces of auxiliary equipment. The total includes 465,000 small arms, such as AKs and M16s.

However, inventory inspections at depots found missing weapons and more weapons than the military needed, increasing the likelihood that U.S.-provided arms would fall into the hands of the Taliban and other jihadists.

The Defense Department uses two systems to track the weapons: the Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP), which tracks the exporting end, and the Operational Verification of Reliable Logistics Oversight Database (OVERLORD), which tracks the receipt of weapons in Afghanistan.

“Errors and discrepancies often occur because these two systems are not linked to each other and require manual data entry. When SIGAR compared the data in the two systems, it found that the databases did not always match; some records were duplicated, and some records were incomplete,” states the report.

“Of the 474,823 total serial numbers recorded in OVERLORD, 43 percent, or 203,888 weapons, had missing information and/or duplication,” auditors found. “24,520 serial numbers in OVERLORD and 22,806 weapon serial numbers in SCIP were repeated two or three times, meaning that there are duplicate records of weapons shipped and received. OVERLORD contained 50,304 serial numbers with no shipping or receiving dates, and SCIP contained 59,938 serial numbers with no shipping or receiving dates.”

At a Kandahar training center SIGAR auditors couldn’t even get a complete inventory report, while at the Central Supply Deport for the ANSF they found that 551 weapons on the books were not reflected in a hand count of inventory.

Investigators also found that their stock was more than 112,000 weapons over what was needed.

“For example, the ANA has 83,184 more AK-47s than needed because, prior to 2010, DOD issued both NATO-standard weapons, such as M-16s, and non-standard weapons, such as AK-47s. After 2010, DOD and the Afghan Ministry of Defense determined that interoperability and logistics would be enhanced if the ANA used only NATO standard weapons. Subsequently, the requirement was changed. However, no provision was made to return or destroy non-standard weapons, such as AK-47s, that were no longer needed. DOD officials told SIGAR that they do not currently have the authority to recapture or remove weapons that have already been provided to the ANSF,” states the report.

“This issue will be compounded as the number of ANSF personnel decreases to lower levels in the coming years. Without confidence in the Afghan government’s ability to account for or properly dispose of these weapons, SIGAR is concerned that they could be obtained by insurgents and pose additional risks to Afghan civilians and the ANSF.”

SIGAR recommended that the OVERLORD and SCIP systems be reconciled within six months, that commanders work with the Afghans to complete a 100 percent inventory check, and that the Pentagon work on a plan to recover or destroy excess arms in the hands of the Afghans.

In commenting on a draft of the report, “DOD concurred with SIGAR’s first recommendation and partially concurred with the second and third recommendations.” Specifically, the Defense Department said it doesn’t have the authority to direct Afghan forces to complete the inventory, and that it’s the Afghan government’s responsibility to decided if they have too many weapons.

The 2010 defense bill required that the Pentagon “establish a program for registering and monitoring the use of weapons transferred to the ANSF.”

“The lack of adherence to these procedures, along with the lack of reliable weapons inventories, limits monitoring of weapons under Afghan control and reduces the ability to identify missing and unaccounted for weapons that could be used by insurgents to harm U.S., coalition, and ANSF personnel,” says the audit.

“The scheduled reduction in ANSF personnel to 228,500 by 2017 is likely to result in an even greater number of excess weapons. Yet, DOD continues to provide ANSF with weapons based on the ANSF force strength of 352,000 and has no plans to stop providing weapons to the ANSF. Given the Afghan government’s limited ability to account for or properly dispose of these weapons, there is a real potential for these weapons to fall into the hands of insurgents, which will pose additional risks to U.S. personnel, the ANSF, and Afghan civilians.”

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‘What Is Happening to the Christian Community in Iraq Is Genocide’

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) urged President Obama to immediately sign legislation passed by Congress to create a special envoy post to focus on the plight of religious minorities in the Middle East and South Central Asia.

The House on Friday sent to Obama’s desk a bill, originally introduced in the Senate by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and passed July 10, to encourage the appointment a special envoy to promote religious freedom among religious minorities in the Middle East.

“Time is of the essence,” Wolf said.  “Christianity as we know it is being wiped out right before our eyes in Iraq.”

The bill that was passed is modeled on legislation Wolf and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), the only Assyrian in Congress and a Chaldean Catholic, first introduced in 2011. The two are co-chairs of the Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus, and led an effort a month ago to pressure Obama to do more to help Christians coming under attack in Iraq.

“Absent immediate action, we will most certainly witness the annihilation of an ancient faith community from the lands they’ve inhabited for centuries,” wrote the lawmakers, joined by 53 bipartisan colleagues.

Wolf gave three speeches on the House floor last week to raise awareness about the plight of Christians in Iraq, and plans to do the same every day this week.

On Friday, Wolf read a statement from Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, on the crisis unfolding in Mosul.

“We are currently witnessing an unacceptable widespread implementation of extremist religious ideology that threatens the lives of all Iraqi’s who do not fit within its ever-narrowing perspective. While this situation stands to eradicate centuries of co-existence and culture in the region it also threatens to significantly and negatively impact these communities for generations to come,” the bishop said. “If left unchallenged, it is not Iraq alone that is at risk, but the potential is intensified for the replication of this ideology as a viable and legitimate model for others across the Middle East.”

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) has given Christians in the region an ultimatum to convert, leave, or pay hefty taxes.

“I believe what is happening to the Christian community in Iraq is genocide,” Wolf said.  “I also believe it is a crime against humanity. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – more commonly referred to as ISIS – is systematically targeting Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq for extinction.”

“Where is the Obama administration?” Wolf continued.  “Where is the Congress? Where is the West? More people need to speak out.  More should be done before it is too late.”

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Australian, Dutch Investigators Denied Access Yet Again to MH17 Crash Site

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A team of investigators from Australia and the Netherlands, determined to process the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine, was turned back for the second day in a row today.

The flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down July 17, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.

Michael Bociurkiw, the spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told CNN that teams “had traveled a fair distance to the crash site, probably a little over halfway there” with “the biggest ever contingent of experts attempting to get up there.”

“We had secured overnight, or at least we thought, assurances from both sides, the Ukrainian side and the rebel side, that we would have safe and unimpeded access. And then what happened near the town on the rebel side, there was quite loud shelling nearby. We took the decision ourselves, consulting with our Dutch and Australian friends, to turn the convoy around. It just didn’t seem safe to proceed,” Bociurkiw said.

“And we can’t say this enough. It’s unacceptable what happened. The site is vulnerable, as you know, to natural and manmade factors, and we’re really sick and tired of being delayed. This is the second day in a row now.”

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin spoke two days ago with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott as Australia’s request.

“The two leaders continued to exchange views on various aspects of the organization of a fair and independent international investigation of the Malaysian jet crash in Ukraine,” the Kremlin said. “They noted the need to consistently implement Security Council Resolution 2166, primarily the clause dealing with the termination of military actions by all parties as a prerequisite for ensuring the unhampered work of international experts in the catastrophe area.”

Bociurkiw said the team of experts on the ground “have been preparing for two days to get to work, to really actually accelerate their work, because everyone knows that time is of the essence.”

“We all know there are still human remains out there exposed to the elements, number one,” he said. “Secondly, it is one of the biggest open crime scenes in the world as we speak, and it is not secured. There’s no security perimeter around the 30 or 35 square kilometer site. So it is, again, vulnerable to many different factors. The experts are more than prepared to go there and resume that collection, retrieval of human remains, and also to examine the debris and then prepare it for probably transfer elsewhere.”

“We will keep trying every day. We will try again tomorrow. I’m sure in between now and then there will be very stern talks with both sides that we need to get there as soon as possible and unimpeded, because, again, it’s in nobody’s interest that these visits do not take place… We had thought that, for at least a few hours today the guns will be put down, the checkpoints will disappear, but that obviously did not happen.”

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Obama Tries to Lobby Netanyahu on ‘Unconditional Humanitarian Ceasefire’

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to press him to accept Secretary of State John Kerry’s cease-fire plan as Netanyahu ordered operations to continue “against the Hamas terrorists who violated the humanitarian truce which the UN requested for the residents of Gaza.”

“Yet again Hamas is cynically exploiting the residents of Gaza in order to use them as human shields. Hamas first rejected the Egyptian ceasefire initiative and afterwards violated last week’s UN humanitarian truce. It later violated the Red Cross humanitarian truce and has rebuffed the UN request for a humanitarian truce in order to allow the residents of Gaza to prepare for Eid al-Fitr,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement. “The IDF targets terrorist centers but if residents are inadvertently hit, it is Hamas which is responsible given that it has – again – violated the humanitarian truce that Israel acceded to.”

The White House said Obama “reiterated the United States’ serious and growing concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives, as well as the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza.”

“Building on Secretary Kerry’s efforts, the President made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement. The President reaffirmed the United States’ support for Egypt’s initiative, as well as regional and international coordination to end hostilities,” continued the readout of the call. “The President underscored the enduring importance of ensuring Israel’s security, protecting civilians, alleviating Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, and enacting a sustainable ceasefire that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs, while strengthening the Palestinian Authority.”

“The President stressed the U.S. view that, ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.”

Netanyahu’s office didn’t give any special mention to the call with Obama, but did release the prime minister’s reaction today to a call with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the UN Security Council called for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.”

“The Security Council Presidential Statement relates to the needs of a murderous terrorist organization that is attacking Israeli civilians and does not address Israel’s security needs, including the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip according to the principle laid down in the interim agreements with the Palestinians,” Netanyahu said. “The statement does not refer to attacks on Israeli civilians, or to the fact that Hamas has turned the residents of Gaza into human shields and uses UN facilities to attack Israeli civilians.”

“Israel accepted three UN proposals for humanitarian truces, and Hamas violated them all. Even now they are continuing to fire at Israeli civilians,” he continued. “Israel will continue to deal with the terrorist tunnels, and this is only the first step in the demilitarization. Instead of the funds of the international community serving the construction of terrorist tunnels for perpetrating large-scale attacks against Israeli civilians, the international community needs to act toward the demilitarization of Gaza.”

 

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“Angry Black Woman” Schools Students for Justice in Palestine

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

AfricanSlaves

Chloe Valdary, the self-titled “Lioness of Zion” wrote a public letter to the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) movement, published today in Tablet magazine. Valdary addresses the letter “from an Angry Black Woman” and delineates the student group’s hypocrisies, noting their nefarious misappropriation of African American history:

You do not get to pretend as though you and Rosa Parks would have been great buddies in the 1960s. Rosa Parks was a real Freedom Fighter. Rosa Parks was a Zionist.

Coretta Scott King was a Zionist.

A. Phillip Randolph was a Zionist.

Bayard Rustin was a Zionist.

Count Basie was a Zionist.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Zionist.

Indeed, they and many more men and women signed a letter in 1975 that stated: “We condemn the anti-Jewish blacklist. We have fought too long and too hard to root out discrimination from our land to sit idly while foreign interests import bigotry to America. Having suffered so greatly from such prejudice, we consider most repugnant the efforts by Arab states to use the economic power of their newly-acquired oil wealth to boycott business firms that deal with Israel or that have Jewish owners, directors, or executives, and to impose anti-Jewish preconditions for investments in this country.”

You see, my people have always been Zionists because my people have always stood for the freedom of the oppressed. So, you most certainly do not get to culturally appropriate my people’s history for your own. You do not have the right to invoke my people’s struggle for your shoddy purposes and you do not get to feign victimhood in our name. You do not have the right to slander my people’s good name and link your cause to that of Dr. King’s. Our two causes are diametrically opposed to each other.

Known for going against the grain, Valdary’s statement cuts to the core of the Pro-Palestinian movement’s attempts to draw a correlation between the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and America’s civil rights movement. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, whose member groups include chapters of national organizations CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and Jewish Voice for Peace, as well as SJP, devotes an entire section of their website to “Black America and Palestine Resources“. A quote from Palestinian American academic Edward Said motivates their campaign:

The late Edward Said wrote in the year 2000 that, to understand US policy towards the Middle East, “one must pay close attention to an aspect of America’s history mostly ignored by or unknown to educated Arabs … the contemporary treatment of the African American people, who constitute roughly 20 per cent of the population, a not insignificant number”.

Said co-founded the field of critical theory known as postcolonialism, a racist school of thought “…that interprets history, politics, and culture in the context of [white] Western domination and oppression.” The roots of postcolonial theory influenced the racist and anti-Semitic Black Nationalism of the 1960′s. Instead of campaigning for civil rights, the movement focused on “elevat[ing] racial separatism into a religious doctrine and declar[ing] that whites were doomed to destruction.”

Postcolonialism is a defense of human shields, of schools and hospitals being used as terrorist launching pads, of children growing up only to strap bombs to their chest in order to destroy the “white” menace. Valdary’s letter is a clarion call to renew the civil rights movement championed by both blacks and Jews that was so grossly distorted by racist theorists like Malcolm X and Edward Said. All those who “stand for the freedom of the oppressed” must confront and correct the racist lie that defends slaveholders like Hamas based on the color of their skin.

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U.S. Evacuates Tripoli Embassy Personnel by Land to Tunisia

Saturday, July 26th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Defense Department was called in to evacuate all staff from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli in what the State Department called a “temporary staff relocation” to Tunis.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said “at the request of the Department of State, the U.S. military assisted in the relocation of personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli” today. There were reportedly 150 staff there including 80 Marines.

“All embassy personnel were relocated, including the Marine security guards who were providing security at the embassy and during the movement,” Kirby said. “The embassy staff was driven in vehicles to Tunisia.”

“During movement, F-16′s, ISR assets and an Airborne Response Force with MV-22 Ospreys provided security. The mission was conducted without incident, and the entire operation lasted approximately five hours.”

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the U.S. is “grateful to the Government of Tunisia for its cooperation and support” and that the staff would travel “onward” from there.

“Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya,” Harf said in a statement this morning. “We are committed to supporting the Libyan people during this challenging time, and are currently exploring options for a permanent return to Tripoli as soon as the security situation on the ground improves. In the interim, staff will operate from Washington and other posts in the region.”

“Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top Department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly. Security has to come first. Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions,” she continued.

“We will continue to engage all Libyans and the international community to seek a peaceful resolution to the current conflict and to advance Libya’s democratic transition. We reiterate that Libyans must immediately cease hostilities and begin negotiations to resolve their grievances. We join the international community in calling on all Libyans to respect the will of the people, including the authority of the recently-elected Council of Representatives, and to reject the use of violence to affect political processes. Many brave Libyans sacrificed to advance their country toward a more secure and prosperous future. We continue to stand solidly by the Libyan people as they endeavor to do so.”

Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon simply said “as Americans evacuate from Tripoli, I want to express my deep gratitude for the U.S. forces who have been on standby alert there.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with all Americans in Libya,” McKeon added. “I wish them a safe return, and for the safety of American troops watching over them.”

Libyan airspace has largely been closed due to the violence. The Libya Herald reported that Libyan Airlines planes were being hit on the tarmac in missile attacks on Tripoli International Airport.

A Maltese oil worker was abducted in recent days and Turkey told all of its citizens to leave the country.

The ongoing violence threatens to derail a meeting of Libya’s House of Representatives planned in Benghazi on Aug. 4.

 

 

 

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McKeon: White House Request That Congress Repeal Iraq Force Authorization ‘Past Absurd,’ ‘Dangerous’

Friday, July 25th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee ripped into the White House for trying to lobby House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on a vote today regarding the authorization of military force in Iraq, noting “if the administration fought terrorists with half the tenacity they fight straw men, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

The resolution from Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Walt Jones (R-N.C.) directed President Obama “pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove United States Armed Forces, other than Armed Forces required to protect United States diplomatic facilities and personnel, from Iraq.”

It passed 370-40, with 37 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the resolution.

National Security Advisor Susan Rice sent Boehner a letter before the vote stressing that Obama has “made clear that if American interests are threatened, ‘we will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when we determine that the situation on the ground requires it.’ The President has made exceedingly clear that he will consult closely with Congress and leaders in Iraq and in the region.”

“While we understand the House of Representatives will consider this resolution that supports the President’s position, we believe a more appropriate and timely action for Congress to take is the repeal of the outdated 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq (P.L. 107-243),” Rice continued. “With American combat troops having completed their withdrawal from Iraq on December 18, 2011, the Iraq AUMF is no longer used for any U.S. government activities and the Administration fully supports its repeal. Such a repeal would go much further in giving the American people confidence that ground forces will not be sent into combat in Iraq.”

Armed Services chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said when Boehner told him about the Rice letter, “I thought he was joking.”

“Obama Administration officials are warning us daily that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is ‘worse than al-Qaeda’ and an extreme threat to the American people. The American people aren’t worried that the president will send the military back to Iraq. They’re worried about a deadly terrorist state that can hit us from Wall Street to Main Street. They’re worried that this president refuses to do anything, at anytime, in any way, to stop the flood of national security crises that are popping up around the globe,” McKeon said.

“Why on earth is the president’s national security advisor pleading with Congress to help build Americans’ confidence that the president will not confront a clear and present danger to the United States? He needs no help there. Where is her plan to stop this looming threat? Where is her request for additional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to monitor the situation? Why isn’t she over here, building support to stop a common enemy? Why is she fighting Congress instead of ISIS? Why on earth is she refighting the 2003 Iraq War in 2014?”

McKeon said Rice’s move “isn’t just absurd.”

“We’re past absurd. This is dangerous. This administration is fiddling while the world burns, and now they’re demanding Congress play with them,” he said.

“If the administration fought terrorists with half the tenacity they fight straw men, we wouldn’t be in this mess. It is my sincere hope that someone comes to their senses on Pennsylvania Avenue, before something worse happens.”

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Gallup: If You Oppose Israel, You’re Probably an Uneducated Democrat

Friday, July 25th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Gallup has released a new poll on Americans’ opinions of the conflict in Gaza. It’s no surprise that Republicans tend to side with Israel, and Democrats tend to believe that Israel’s military actions against Hamas are unjustified. Fully 47% of Democrats take that view, compared with just 31% who back Israel. That, plus independent voters’ ambivalence toward Israel, helps explain why the Obama administration is not backing Israel more strongly than calling for a (now rejected) cease-fire. Their base does not back Israel.

The educational differences on the issue are found in this chart.

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The more educated one is, the more likely one is to believe that Israel is taking justified action against Hamas terrorists.

Younger Americans tend to go left on everything from socialism to redefining marriage, and lack of support for democratic Israel against Hamas terrorists is no exception. This is despite Israel’s long history of supporting women’s and minority rights, while the Palestinians side with extremism that denies women and non-Muslims their rights.

This poll is a warning: If the rising millennial generation doesn’t change its attitudes in a hurry, Israel cannot count on American support for more than few more years.

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Terrorist Tycoons: Meet Hamas’ Richest Men

Friday, July 25th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Palestinians project an image of poverty and powerlessness to the world. While most Palestinians do live in poverty, especially when compared to their Israeli neighbors, Globes profiles several Hamas leaders who have used their positions to amass incredible wealth while their own people suffer.

Hamas’ terrorist tycoons include Dr. Musa Abu Marzook. He was a US-based Hamas fundraiser who was arrested for supporting terrorism in 1995. After serving two years in prison, he was freed and allowed to leave. Marzook kept the money he raised for Hamas, left the US and resides in Gaza. He is estimated to be worth $2 to $3 billion now and maintains numerous ties to terrorists including al Qaeda, according to the Globes report.

Marzook is followed closely in wealth by Khaled Mashaal, who is estimated to be worth about $2.6 billion.

Following them is one of Hamas’ most public faces, Ismail Haniyeh. He is said to be worth about $4 million, which he has registered in the names of various family members to conceal the true size of his fortune.

According to Globes:

The question of where these officials got their money exposes the corrupt system used by Hamas through its control of the money pipelines in the Gaza Strip. They treated the money as their own personal possession. “Most of the money that went into the pockets of people in the Gaza Strip was obtained through tunnel deals and the creation of a flourishing smuggling market, which it is believed has created several hundred millionaires in the Gaza Strip, although most of the people there don’t live like that. The man pulling the strings from Egypt with the tunnels is none other than the number two man in the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat el-Shater. His connection with Hamas was ostensibly for Islamic religious purposes, but they actually built a prosperous business, which earned phenomenal profits,” Elad says.

The Arshaq Al-Awsad (Middle East) newspaper, one of the most prestigious in the Arab world, recently reported that at least 600 millionaires were living in the Gaza Strip – the same people sitting on the money pipelines there.

Elad describes how the system worked and to how much money (huge amounts) Hamas leaders were exposed: “Senior Hamas leaders charged a 25% ‘tax’ and $2,000 on every disassembled vehicle coming through the tunnels. There are hundreds of smuggling tunnels from Egypt to Gaza, and these are the types of tunnel Israel has been less busy in destroying, because Egypt has destroyed many of them. From June 2007 until 2010, $800 million in cash was transferred in tunnel deals (according to information from Hamas money traders). Hamas also taxes Gaza merchants on everything traded, from boxes of vegetables to luxury cars, and the leaders scoop the money into their pockets.”

In summary, Elad says, “This is corruption at the highest level… What has united the Palestinian leaders all throughout the years is the saying, ‘We have to get rich quick.’ This is how the regime sees it. Their leaders have no shame.

The PLO’s Yasser Arafat was reportedly worth $1 billion when he died.

In addition to its graft, oppression and corruption, Palestinian leaders also live on money provided to them by the United States and Europe. The US and Europe pay hundreds of millions in aid to the Palestinians every year, mostly through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Some of that aid ends up in the hands of the Palestinian government, including Hamas, despite US law against supporting terrorism and despite the fact that Hamas is still a designated terrorist organization. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel this week pledging $47 million more aid to the Palestinians, while calling for a cease-fire as Israel pounds Hamas forces, tunnels and weapons caches.

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Deli Food for Thought

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - by Nathan D. Lichtman

Israel hasn’t been feeling the love lately. Not only are they in the midst of a literal war with Hamas, but also a PR war. I already wrote about how long it took President Obama to even make a phone call to Prime Minister Netanyahu, but his failure to lead has gotten worse, and has dictated another response from me.

This FAA debacle is indicative of an Administration that is throwing around its political leverage to bully Israel into succumbing to their harmful cease-fire demands. They prohibited all US flights from landing at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. They haven’t even prohibited flights to Moscow, Kiev, or anywhere near Ukraine—and we just witnessed a plane shot out of the sky there! But Israel gets flights canceled?!?

John Kerry’s lobbying hard for a cease-fire arrangement, which would be more restrictive and harmful to Israel than the Egyptian one…which Israel accepted. Think about that: Egypt, a country that has traditionally not gotten along with Israel, is promoting a less-harsh cease-fire than the US Secretary of State.

Meanwhile, a coincidence—Israel gets flights banned. I think it’s more than a coincidence.

Israel relies heavily on tourism. In 2013, Israel had 3.5 million visitors, which propelled the market to a $12 billion industry. The situation in Israel has already slammed its tourism profits. According to a Yahoo Travel article: “’It is devastating us economically,’ said Leon Avigad, the developer of Brown Hotels, a small collection of boutique hotels in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. ‘We are losing tons of money by the minute. The entire profit from the summer is wiped out.’” And Avigad said these things in the days leading up to the flight ban.

So the FAA, under Obama, really hit Israel where it hurts. An already suffering tourism trade, and they ban flights… Doesn’t seem like how we should be treating one of our top allies.

Obama is flexing his muscles, likely because he can’t seem to get away with it against Putin. Israel, he thinks, is one situation he can dominate. His egotistical and radical nature leads him to assert himself into this problem, not on Israel’s side, but by condemning them with bad cease-fire proposals and by essentially threatening them economically.

It’s no wonder why Marc Schulman, of Newsweek, reports, “On a number of different levels, there is a growing sense of frustration with the Obama administration among average Israelis.”

So, rather than stay in Washington and deal with these problems, Obama went on another fundraising trip these past couple days. This time, he came to my neck of the woods—Los Angeles. Probably to get some of that big-time Hollywood money for the Democrats.

As an aside, his motorcade has been mucking up the traffic here pretty badly, even getting the nickname “Obamajam.” They even closed down a street, keeping a woman from crossing while in labor. He wasn’t even at the scene while this was going on.

But back on topic, the Jewish community here, in LA, is very close to the events in Israel, with pro-Israel rallies going on often and with much fervor. I, personally, attended New Community Jewish High School in the San Fernando Valley area of the city, and just found out that a fellow alumnus has been hospitalized after a bomb went off near him in Gaza. Max Levin was serving as a part of the Israeli Defense Forces, when the incident occurred. He is in stable condition, but wounded. I don’t know him, as he graduated several years after I did, but it touches the community. Out of my small private high school alone, 26 alumni currently serve in the IDF.

So with Obama being seen as a hindrance to Israeli needs, or maybe even a counterforce, what did he do while here?

Our photo-op-in-chief went to the famous Canter’s Deli, a Jewish deli that’s been in the predominantly Jewish Fairfax district for almost 85 years. The patronizing President figured he would show his support for the Jewish community by eating a rye bread sandwich and schmoozing.

I cannot believe the condescension he is exposing here, especially just after telling Governor Perry that he doesn’t participate in photo-ops.

We need a leader, not a schmoozer, and we need a President who will stand up for our allies.

Oy gevalt!

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Caliphate Adds Tourism Sector with Passport-Free Travel

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

isistour

The Islamic State has added a tourism sector to lure the ummah to the large swath of territory ISIS seized in Syria and Iraq:

Running twice-weekly tours from Syria’s Raqa to Iraq’s Anbar, ISIS buses fly the group’s black flag and play militant songs throughout the journey.

One of the first clients was Chechen militant Abu Abdel Rahman al-Shishani, aged 26, who took his new Syrian wife on honeymoon, according to activist Hadi Salameh.

“Just after they got married, he took her to Anbar. These militants are very romantic,” Salameh joked.

But the two weren’t able to sit together, because “women sit in the back, and men at the front. The bus driver plays militant songs all through the ride, and the ISIS black flag flies over the bus.”

ISIS proclaimed a “caliphate” last month straddling Iraq and Syria. According to a rebel from eastern Syria, the tours started operating immediately afterwards.

…Salameh said the group’s tour buses “start their journey in Tal Abyad (on Syria’s Turkish border) and end in Iraq’s Anbar. You can get off wherever you want, and you don’t need a passport to cross the border.”

The activist, who lives in Raqa and uses a pseudonym to avoid retribution from IS, told AFP via the Internet the company is for profit.

“Of course it’s not free. The price varies, depending on how far you go on the bus,” Salameh said.

Clientele has primarily been foreign fighters who speak English; a translator on board points out the sights. Tours run on Wednesdays and Sundays.

No word on whether this is one of the caliphate’s tour guides:

 

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Is Tech Site Mashable.com Siding with Hamas Terrorists?

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Mashable.com, one of the largest tech and culture websites on the planet, appears to be taking a side in the ongoing war in Gaza.

The site best known for posts about things buried in software user agreements and happy photo ops with the president who claims that he isn’t interested in photo ops is taking a decidedly pro-Hamas editorial point of view as it and Israel fight in Gaza.

That war started when terrorists linked to Hamas, which is itself categorized as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department and the European Union, kidnapped three Israeli teenagers and later executed them. One of those teenagers, 16-year-old Naftali Frankel, also had American citizenship.

On June 14, when Mashable reported on the boys’ kidnapping, in describing Hamas it put “terrorist group” in scare quotes.

Even after the boys’ bodies were discovered, Mashable made sure to distance Hamas from the murders.

Hamas soon began to launch some of its estimated 10,000 to 20,000 rockets at Israeli population centers. Israel has responded with an air, land and sea campaign to destroy Hamas’ tunnels and its rocket arsenal.

Israel is going out of its way to avoid civilian casualties, while Hamas places civilian casualties at the center of its strategy. Hamas targets Israel’s civilians, and it places its weapons close to Palestinian schools and hospitals to force Israel to choose between risking killing Palestinian civilians to destroy those weapons, or leave its own civilians at risk if it does not destroy those weapons. If Palestinian civilians die in Israeli attacks, they become part of the group’s propaganda. If Israel decides not to strike Hamas weapons caches near civilian targets, then some Israelis will be attacked with those very weapons.

Mashable’s coverage of the conflict has tilted away from Israel, the Middle East’s sole democracy and one in which Arabs can become full citizens, and toward Hamas terrorists. Where Hamas rules, as in much of the Islamic world, Christians and Jews are at best second-class, are systematically persecuted and are often subjected to pogroms.

In an Associated Press story on the “disappearance” of rockets that Hamas hid in UN schools to which Mashable contributed reporting, the AP and Mashable hide the lead down in the sixth paragraph, and even then avoid calling Hamas what it is.

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. secretary-general on Wednesday said he was “alarmed” to hear that rockets were placed in a U.N.-run school in Gaza, and now “have gone missing.” He also demanded a full review of such incidents.

A spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon expressed the U.N. chief’s “outrage and regret” at the placement of weapons at a site run by the global organization. This has happened at least twice so far in the current conflict, according to the U.N.

“Those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children,” U.N. staff and anyone seeking shelter, the statement said.

The rockets had been placed at one of the schools run by the U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza (UNRWA).

Once they were found, “in accordance with standard practice, UNRWA handed them over to the local authorities. Since then, they have gone missing,” Ban’s deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq, said in an email Wednesday evening.

The Islamic militant group Hamas controls Gaza. The U.S., Israel and the European Union all consider Hamas a terrorist organization, but the U.N. does not.

The entire story is written to hide what Hamas was doing — hiding its rockets in UN-run schools, rockets it uses against Israel’s civilian population. Both of those acts are war crimes.

In the most biased story Mashable has run on the conflict to date, the site takes cues from Pallywood and puts a dying Palestinian child front and center. This is the kind of propaganda story Hamas hopes comes from Israel exercising its duty to defend its people.

In “‘Am I Going to Die, Daddy?’ The Child in Gaza Asked,” reporter Jon Snow states that “If the Israelis have proved anything, it is that there is no such thing as a forensic strike.” Snow never allows for the fact while Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties, while Hamas feeds on them.

After chronicling several heart-breaking cases of kids caught up in the crossfire, Snow rhetorically asks “Can they really be the acceptable collateral damage of targeting militants?”

The tone of the entire piece puts the moral responsibility for all casualties in Gaza not on Hamas, the terrorist group that is still dedicated to destroying Israel and which started the current conflict, but on Israel.

Snow ends his piece with this:

I was amazed to find a small sachet of shampoo as I went to a cold shower tonight — salty again. Obviously, you cannot make bombs out of shampoo and so there is no embargo on it. But clearly you can make bombs from paint because there isn’t any. This is the most wretchedly unpainted urban place I have ever been.

And beyond it all, why won’t they talk? This cannot go on. It is the children, tomorrow’s Palestinians, who are paying the price.

Today’s and tomorrow’s Israelis are paying a price too, are they not? You wouldn’t know it from reading Jon Snow, or indeed anything published at Mashable.

Snow’s piece fits well within Hamas’ anti-Israel propaganda. Why is a tech site like Mashable publishing it?

The closest that the site gets to fair reporting is probably this piece on Jews and Arabs who are making friends and more despite the conflict. Even this piece, though, plays up Arabs’ peaceful intent and ignores the anti-Semitism that pervades Arab culture and communications around the world.

The fact is, whether Mashable is aware of it or not, Palestinian voters elected Hamas to power knowing full well that that would mean war with Israel. And polls find that Palestinians continue to want to destroy Israel.

In the current war, Hamas and the Palestinians who still support Hamas are getting what they want.

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Bipartisan Bill Moving Forward to Condemn Obama for Taliban 5 Release

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The House Armed Services Committee will next week bring up a bipartisan resolution condemning President Obama’s release of five Taliban leaders in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Obama didn’t notify Congress before the early June swap, which brought to an end five years of captivity for Bergdahl. The administration claims they had to make an emergency decision because of concerns about Bergdahl’s health.

Bergdahl has completed his reintegration process and is now back on active duty in Texas while the Pentagon investigates the circumstances surrounding his capture.

On Tuesday, the committee will consider a bill from Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), along with Reps. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), and Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), to condemn the commander in chief.

The bill has a total of 82 co-sponsors. It:

(1) condemns and disapproves of the failure of the Obama administration to comply with the lawful 30-day statutory reporting requirement in executing the release of five senior members of the Taliban from detention at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba;

(2) expresses grave concern over national security implications that may arise due to the release of Taliban officials, including the national security threat to the people and Armed Forces of the United States and complications of the current efforts of the United States to combat terrorism worldwide;

(3) expresses grave concern over the repercussions of negotiating with terrorists, and the risk that such negotiations with terrorists may further encourage hostilities and the abduction of Americans as a means of further prisoner exchanges;

(4) stipulates that further violations of the law set forth in section 1035 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Public Law 113-66; 10 U.S.C. 801 note) and section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 (Public Law 113-76) are unacceptable;

(5) declares grave misgivings about the prospect of any other similar transfers from United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, even if undertaken pursuant to statutory requirements; and

(6) expresses that the Obama administration’s release of the five detainees has burdened unnecessarily the trust and confidence in the administration’s commitment and ability to constructively engage and work with the legislative branch, and therefore works against what is in the best interest of the people of the United States.

Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), who noted after the transfer that administration officials were giving contradictory information to lawmakers, stressed that “when the president takes his oath of office, he is duty bound to  follow the laws set by the American people.”

“Here, his office broke a law that was originally adopted by his own party in the Senate, passed by a large bipartisan majority in Congress and signed by the president himself.  Just as the president must do his duty, so must Congress,” McKeon said. “Congressman Rigell’s legislation sends the clear message that following the law isn’t optional.”

“President Obama’s actions in regard to the prisoner exchange ignore the law and put our national security at risk. America is not a monarchy and no president is king,” said Rigell, who has previously noted the president’s imperialist tendencies in an amendment last summer chiding Obama to abide the War Powers Resolution. “The House is prepared to remind the president of this. This bipartisan resolution is an official repudiation of President Obama’s actions, and I appreciate the chairman’s leadership in bringing this important resolution to the committee for a markup.”

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Obstructionist Lawmaker Wants More Info From White House Before OKing Arms To Iraq

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Stupid Repub…oh wait.

An influential Democratic senator threatened Thursday to block U.S. arms sales to Iraq if Congress doesn’t get an assessment of Iraqi forces and assurances the weapons won’t fall into the hands of extremist militants.

In a testy exchange, Sen. Bob Menendez lashed out at senior State Department and Defense Department officials appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he chairs.

The New Jersey senator, who has previously held up the transfer of Apache helicopters to Iraq, said lawmakers haven’t been informed about potential military assistance to Iraq or about its troops’ capability to push back the growing insurgency by rebels calling themselves the Islamic State.

“You know, this committee has jurisdiction over arms sales,” Menendez said. “And my reticence to arms sales to Iraq has in some respects been proven true when in fact we had much of our equipment abandoned and now in the hands of (Sunni extremists).

“So unless you are going to give us a sense of where the security forces are at, moving forward, this chair is not going to be willing to approve more arms sales so they can be abandoned to go to the hands of those who we are seriously concerned about in terms of our own national security.

It seems Menendez is frustrated by the lack of information and clarity coming from the Most Transparent Administration ever. When chastised by a member of Team Lightbringer about believing leaks, the party boy from New Jersey replied:

“Well, the absence of having information leads me to only publicly reported resources,”

Barack Obama may yet become the uniting force that all the hopeychangeys dreamed about: we could very well all end up disliking him.

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Islamic State Orders All Women in Mosul to Undergo Genital Mutilation

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

There is no “war on women” in the United States. Those who claim that there is are either cynical are woefully misinformed.

There is a very real war on women in Iraq.

The Irish Times says that the Islamofascists are behaving like Islamofascists in the lands they now hold in Iraq.

Militant group Islamic State has ordered all girls and women in and around Iraq’s northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), the United Nationssaid today.

The “fatwa” issued by the Sunni Muslim fighters would potentially affect 4 million women and girls, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Jacqueline Badcocktold reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil.

“This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed,” she said.

Obviously the caliphate’s thugs are most directly to blame for this. Maliki bears some blame as well.

But President Obama deserves a share of the blame for abandoning Iraq. This real and brutal Islamist war on women has his fingerprints on it.

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Images of Syrian Victims Poached for Hamas Propaganda

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

More than 170,000 people have been killed in Syria as the world has largely ignored the slaughter. So, Hamas figured it could poach some of those victims for its own use without the world noticing:

 

 

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Cruz: Is the FAA Ban on Flights to Israel Really an Obama Economic Boycott?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The US FAA has extended the ban on flights into Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, citing increased risk after a Hamas rocket landed within a mile of the airport. Hamas is calling the ban a “great victory,” while several European countries are following up with flight bans of their own.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is now asking, is the FAA’s decision really based on risk, or is it a stealth economic boycott of Israel?

In a press release, Cruz notes that the FAA still allows flights into Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, all of which are under constant terrorist threat.

Sen. Cruz also notes that so far in the current battle with Hamas, the terrorist group has launched over 2,000 rockets. Only one has landed anywhere near Ben Gurion.

Mindful of the shootdown of MH17 last week, Cruz also notes that that shootdown was accomplished by a sophisticated BUK anti-aircraft missile made by Russia. Yet the FAA still allows flights into Ukraine.

According to Sen. Cruz’s statement, tourism is an $11 billion industry in Israel. Thanks to the FAA’s ban, though, tourist charters are canceling trips at a 30% rate, costing the Israeli economy enormously. At the same time, Secretary of State John Kerry arrive in Israel — at Ben Gurion, incidentally — pledging $47 million in aid for the Palestinians, which really means more money for Hamas.

Taking the impact of these decisions together with Kerry’s previous statements, in which he has accused Israel of being an “apartheid state,” Cruz wonders what is behind the FAA’s decisions — true risk or politics?

Read Sen. Cruz’s full statement on the next page.

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Hamas Threat to Israel’s Airport Demands a New Strategy: Let Israel Win

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Hamas launched a powerful rocket that landed within a mile of Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport. Israel has opened an alternative airport in Negev.

The US Federal Aviation Administration overreacted to the Hamas rocket, by banning American carriers from landing at Ben Gurion, temporarily. Secretary of State John Kerry has flown to the Middle East to try and arrange a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Michael Bloomberg, of all people, showed stronger leadership by flying into Ben Gurion and publicizing his flight, to show that it is still safe.

Hamas is believed to possess from 10,000 to 20,000 rockets. The terrorist group has used that arsenal to start the current round of fighting by firing those rockets at Israeli civilian population centers.

Israel has responded by going after Hamas in as precise a manner as possible, to avoid civilian casualties. That is no easy feat when Hamas deliberately hides its weapons in schools and when its fighters do not wear uniforms and who themselves hide among civilians, using them as human shields. When those civilians are inevitably killed, Hamas then uses them for propaganda against Israel.

At this point, what would a cease-fire achieve?

For Israel, a temporary and untenable “peace.” For Hamas, it would achieve quite a lot. A cease-fire would leave its rocket arsenal intact. It would also leave the threat that Hamas could shut down Israel’s main international airport, at any moment, intact.

For Israel, that is an intolerable threat. Hamas could cut Israel off from the rest of the world, or at least from its strongest ally, any time it wants, just by firing one of its thousands and thousands of rockets near the airport.

Kerry should not have gone to Israel to mindlessly try to broker another cease-fire.

He should have gone to Israel to tell Hamas unambiguously that the United State supports Israel’s right to self-defense, and that if Hamas does not turn over all of its rockets immediately, that the United States supports Israel’s right to destroy the entire arsenal by means and methods of its choosing.

In other words, Kerry should have gone to Israel to tell Hamas and the world that the United States supports Israel and its right to defeat Hamas once and for all.

Negotiating with Hamas has proven to be futile. It’s time to let Israel win.

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Survey Says Millennials Think Socialism is a Joke

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

The Reason Foundation just released a survey proving the failure of the American public education system. But, according to Derek Thompson in The Atlantic, we might as well just laugh at it:

3. Far less important, but entertaining nonetheless: Millennials don’t know what socialism is, but they think it sounds nice.

I predict that any readers over the age of 30 will absolutely love this fact about voters under the age of 29. Forty-two percent of Millennials think socialism is preferable to capitalism, but only 16 percent of Millennials could accurately define socialism in the survey.

Say what you want about the tenets of national socialism, dude, at least it’s an ethos that young people can define in an Internet survey.

A number of my PJMedia colleagues jumped on the survey with the usual complaint that “kids these days” want everything handed to them on a silver platter. Conservatives in general fail to address the far more creepy comedic love affair with socialism because we fail to understand the media that informs the Millennial generation.

Case in point: The “Jon Stewart takes on Gaza” debacle. Times of Israel editor David Horovitz did an excellent job ripping the comedian to shreds for his stereotypical, biased account of the meanie Israelis versus the poor Palestinians. Conservative media proceeded to join in the dissection 15 years too late. From the day he took the anchor’s chair on the set of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart has attempted to be the court jester of the hipster elite. An admitted leftist, he was a psych major turned stand-up comedian who makes no bones about being a professional satirist – nothing more. Yet, the bulk of the millennial news audience share goes to Stewart and his former Daily Show co-star, Colbert Report comic actor Stephen Colbert. Knowing this, why should we be the least bit surprised that Millennials are laughing about the real issues facing the world and our country today, including socialism?

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Dem Chairmen to Obama: Don’t Wait for Europe to Get Tough on Russia as National Security is at Stake

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A trio of Senate Democratic chairmen channeled their “outrage over the wanton destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17″ today to directly ask President Obama to consider designating the Donetsk People’s Republic a foreign terrorist organization.

Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, asked Obama to impose broad sanctions on Russia’s defense sector as well as energy and finance industries.

“Evidence compiled since the crash, along with efforts to hide evidence and block international investigators, indicates the culpability of Russia and the separatist militants it supports in Ukraine. The attack on the Malaysia Airlines jet follows the downing of a Ukrainian AN-26 transport plane three days earlier, as well as the shooting down of a Ukrainian SU-25 attack jet and the downing of several Ukrainian government helicopters –  the Donetsk People’s Republic has claimed responsibility for each of these acts,” the senators wrote.

They noted how the separatists have controlled the crash site with many bodies uncollected after six days, tampered with evidence and scooped up the flight recorders before OSCE investigators could get their hands on them.

“President Putin may have publicly stated that all sides should allow an investigation into the downed airliner, but Russia’s actions belie his words,” the chairmen wrote. “These contemptible actions cannot go unanswered.  We strongly urge you to aggressively exercise your authorities under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and other relevant statutes to impose immediate broad sanctions against Russia’s defense sector, including state-owned Rosboronexport, in order to prevent Russia from providing weaponry, equipment, or assistance and training to separatists in Ukraine.”

The Russian arms giant that has been the target of so much consternation in Congress since President Obama lifted its sanctions in 2010 recently marketed to Malaysia the Buk missile system believed to have taken down the Malaysia Airlines jet.

Lawmakers have been trying to block U.S. funds from lining the pockets of Rosoboronexport — Russia’s state-owned arms behemoth that has raked in more than $1 billion in Defense Department contracts since 2011. President George W. Bush had placed a ban on doing business with the firm in 2008.

“We further urge you to explore the possibility of designating the Donetsk People’s Republic as a foreign terrorist organization. Increasing evidence of their human rights violations in Eastern Ukraine – including abductions and torture – demonstrates that their actions have threatened the lives of innocent Ukrainians, not to mention those unfortunate innocents merely traveling in civilian airspace over Ukraine,” the senators wrote.

“We understand and strongly support your efforts to coordinate the imposition of sanctions with our key European allies in order to ensure their maximum intended effect, and we encourage further cooperation in pursuit of this goal. However, the United States must not limit its own national security strategy when swift action will help fulfill our strategic objectives, support an independent Ukraine, and counter malignant Russian interference.”

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FAA Empowers Hamas, Sets Stage for Israel’s Long Term Win

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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A loser in the PR battle, Hamas decided to move their international offense to a new front today. Taking advantage of the Malaysian airliner downed by pro-Russian rebels, Hamas is now targeting air traffic entering Israel. Israel National News reports:

A rocket hit a home in the city of Yehud, near the airport, on Tuesday morning. Having failed to cause significant casualties due to Israel’s extensive defense systems, Gaza terrorists have focused rocket fire on the area in hopes of disrupting Israeli air travel.

Delta Air Lines was the first to suspend service, rerouting an Israel-bound flight with 273 passengers and 17 crew members to Paris, as if France is really a safer place for Israel lovers right now. Not long after, the Federal Aviation Administration barred flights to Israel for 24 hours. Air Canada, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM and Turkish Air followed suit. The State Department (whose official tweeted #UnitedforGaza this past weekend) rushed to clarify that the FAA’s move was “in no way politically motivated”.

Israel’s Transportation Minister released the following statement in response to the flight cancellations, rightly observing:

“Ben Gurion Airport is safe — takeoffs and landings — and there is absolutely no need to be concerned about the security of planes and passengers. There’s absolutely no reason why American airlines in particular should stop their flights and thus hand a prize to terrorism.”

The brash action of Hamas may have larger ramifications than even they realize. Analysts are already commenting on the long term impact of the airline safety concerns:

The implications are enormous. Whether intended or not, Hamas has made the case as to why its rocket arsenal and infrastructure must be dismantled no matter the cost. It also has justified why Israel cannot give up security control of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”). Hamas has to fire a long way to scare away air traffic, but from the West Bank it’s practically a stone’s throw.

Regardless of how Israel chooses to handle the West Bank, the actions taken by Hamas today have made two things very clear: Hamas has no problem holding America and the rest of the world hostage, and right now Israel is the free world’s last, best and only hope.

 

 

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Obama: Pro-Russia Rebels Demonstrating ‘Kind of Behavior That Has No Place in the Community of Nations’

Monday, July 21st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama added a brief statement to his schedule this morning to come to the podium and ask Russian separatists in Ukraine what they’re trying to hide at the MH17 crash site.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday that OSCE monitors were only allowed 75 minutes at the crash site Friday and fewer than three hours on Saturday, all confined to a small area. “The site is not secure, and there are multiple reports of bodies being removed, parts of the plane and other debris being hauled away, and potential evidence tampered with. This is unacceptable and an affront to all those who lost loved ones and to the dignity the victims deserve,” Psaki said.

The location of the black boxes was also uncertain, with rumors over the weekend saying that the rebels turned the flight recorders over to Moscow.

“Now, international investigators are on the ground. They have been organized. I’ve sent teams. Other countries have sent teams. They are prepared. They are organized to conduct what should be the kinds of protocols and scouring and collecting of evidence that should follow any international incident like this,” Obama said on the South Lawn of the White House.

“And what they need right now is immediate and full access to the crash site. They need to be able to conduct a prompt and full and unimpeded, as well as transparent investigation. And recovery personnel have to do the solemn and sacred work of recovering the remains of those who were lost,” he added.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared a demilitarized zone around the crash site, but the separatists are still hampering the investigation.

“As investigators approached, they fired their weapons in to the air. The separatists are removing evidence from the crash site. All of which begs the question: What exactly are they trying to hide?” Obama said. “Moreover, these Russian-backed separatists are removing bodies from the crash site, oftentimes without the care that we would normally expect from a tragedy like this. This is an insult to those who’ve lost loved ones. This is the kind of behavior that has no place in the community of nations.”

The president said that given Russia’s “extraordinary influence” over the separatists, Russian President Vladimir Putin should have greater pull in getting them to behave.

“President Putin says that he supports a full and fair investigation, and I appreciate those words, but they have to be supported by actions,” Obama said. “The burden now is on Russia to insist that the separatists stop tampering with the evidence, grant investigators who are already on the ground immediate, full and unimpeded access to the crash site.”

“If Russia continues to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and to back these separatists, and these separatists become more and more dangerous and now are risks, not simply to the people inside of Ukraine but the broader international community, and Russia will only further isolate itself from the international community, and the costs for Russia’s behavior will only continue to increase,” he added.

Putin made his own address earlier today, insisting “no one should and no one has the right to use this tragedy to pursue their own political goals.”

“I believe that if military operations had not resumed in eastern Ukraine on June 28, this tragedy probably could have been avoided,” Putin said. “…All those who are responsible for the situation in the region must take greater responsibility before their own peoples and before the peoples of the countries whose citizens were killed in this disaster.”

Poroshenko told CNN this morning that he doesn’t see “any differences from the tragedy of 9/11″ and the shooting down of the civilian airliner.

“We should demonstrate the same way of reaction,” said the Ukrainian leader.

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