Thursday, April 24, 2014

Abbas' Fictional State

by Dr. Reuven Berko

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has heard about the latest videotape by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri, in which Zawahri calls Abbas a "traitor who is selling out Palestine," and has gotten cold feet.
But even without the tape, Abbas can imagine what the Islamists have in store for him, and his threat to "give the keys to the Palestinian Authority back to Israel" reflects the overall air of doom and gloom shared by him and his people over the crisis plaguing the peace talks.
Until recently Abbas and his people were under the impression that they would be able to leverage the pressure applied by the United States and European Union regarding the peace talks against Israel. The illusion of free achievements was backed by the Israeli Left's cries of gevald, fearing a "third intifada," a "boycott," or a "binational state."
The anxiety over the "indispensable" Abbas' resignation, which may saddle Israel with chaos across the Palestinian territories, has led the Palestinians to believe that they would be able to extort further concessions from Israel en route to a de facto Palestinian state, without making any concessions on their part, as the latter may be poorly perceived in the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic arena.
The latest round of peace talks has brought the Palestinians to a crossroads where a decision has to be made: they may have their state, but it would require of them to declare an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and recognize Israel as a Jewish state, which would spell the end for their demand for a right of return.
This imperative moment of truth has thrown the sly Palestinian strategy for a loop. As there is no way for the Palestinian Authority to "market" the concepts of the end of the conflict and recognizing Israel as a Jewish state to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the angry descendants of the Palestinian refugees, Abbas has opted for zigzag policies and excuses -- such as the stalled prisoners release -- to avoid making any dramatic decision.
With the Americans' help, the Palestinians have begun to gradually understand that Israel would never allow the return of the descendants of the refugees, or anyone else who seeks to see its demise. The fact that the Palestinians would have to take them into their own country, should one be formed, is perceived as existential disruption.
If the Palestinian state had any control over the Jordan Valley and its crossings, the situation would be exponentially worse, as Palestine would be flooded with terrorists from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Those returning to it would undoubtedly demand a redistribution of resources, including some of the liberated lands, thus prompting land disputes, and Jihad warriors from Syria -- backed by the local population -- would impose Shariah, or Islamic law, on the area.
Once the rais (president) no longer shelters under the umbrella of Israel's protection, the Islamists would reclaim the property stolen by Fatah and Abbas and his people would be hanged in the city square. The Islamists would then proceed to form a united Islamic emirate with Gaza Strip, the inception of which would take place against the backdrop of the terror groups' fight for power, all while the mujahideen execute murderous terror attacks against Israel, provoking disastrous punitive measures on Israel's part.
And at the ends of the day, it would be Israel that would be blamed, as usual, for the internal massacre across the Palestinian territories, as was the case with 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon.
The inception of a Palestinian state alongside Israel is a recipe for internal Palestinian disaster. The objective limitations of security and space would force Palestinian leaders to refuse the descendents of the refugees' demand for a right of return. The Palestinians would be forced to conduct transparent fiscal policies, devoid of the assistance of the Arab world and the West; they would have to put an end to corruption and take actual responsibility for their citizens, as they would have no "occupation" to blame for their failures.
But Abbas does not want a Palestinian state alongside Israel -- he wants one in its place. This is why he has decided to once again seek an alliance with Hamas -- his partner in the ultimate goal. As far as Abbas is concerned, the vision of a Palestinian state alongside Israel is, in the words of the late author Gabriel García Marquez, a "chronicle of a death foretold."

Dr. Reuven Berko


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New Israeli Satellite Eyes Iran Nuke Program, Terrorist Arms Smuggling

by Yaakov Lappin

An advanced satellite with radar sensors Israel launched into space earlier this month which is expected to enhance surveillance of the two greatest threats to Israeli and international security: Iran's nuclear program, and the extensive Iranian terrorist arms smuggling network.

The SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite, called Ofek (Horizon) 10, creates high definition, radar-generated images, that look as if they've been taken by an optical camera. As it circles the Earth every 90 minutes, it can hover over several targets, peering through all weather conditions to beam back data to Israel's Military Intelligence Directorate.

Once it becomes fully operational, it will assist Israeli efforts to catch any Iranian nuclear transgressions. This development comes as defense officials in Jerusalem continue to warily follow diplomatic negotiations between an Islamic Republic that has reached nuclear breakout status, and an international community that may, according to Israeli fears, lack the resolve to force Iran back from its nuclear advances.

The Ofek 10 spy satellite soared into orbit on board a Shavit (comet) rocket, produced by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). The latest launch, which was overseen by the Israeli Defense Ministry's Space Administration, means that Israeli intelligence can now fall back on several spy satellites to create one rolling evaluation of targets of interest, Amnon Harari, who heads the Space Administration, said this month.

Israel designed the satellite to be able to maneuver easily over multiple targets, meaning that Military Intelligence operators can direct the radars not only at nuclear sites in Iran, but also at ongoing Iranian efforts to smuggle powerful weapons, including missiles and long-range rockets, to terrorist proxies such as Hizballah in Lebanon and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

Israel's intelligence agencies divide their time between watching the Iranian nuclear program and working to disrupt the arms smuggling network, in a covert campaign that sees frequent, yet classified, successes.

The nuclear program and the arms-to-terrorists program are interlinked threats. The former, if completed, would enable Iran to threaten Israel and Sunni states with mass destruction, and the latter already enables pro-Iranian terror groups to do Tehran's regional bidding and sow radicalism and instability. If Iran went nuclear, its terrorist arms program could serve as a potential delivery mechanism for a dirty bomb that could be deployed anywhere in the world.

As a result, Israel is heavily investing in upgrading intelligence capabilities.

Ofer Doron, who heads the IAI's Mabat Division, which develops space systems, said the new satellite has "an incredible ability to take photographs, and it is very small." The Ofek 10 can provide very precise, high quality images under all conditions, he added.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon alluded to the satellite's future role against Iran's conventional and unconventional proliferation activities when he stated that it would enhance Israeli capabilities to deal with threats "near and far, at any time of the day, and in all types of weather."

"This is how we continue to consolidate our enormous qualitative and technological edge over our neighbors," Ya'alon said.

Although Israeli officials have decreased the number of public statements expressing concern over the Iranian nuclear program, the issue remains at the top of the national security ladder in the eyes of the military and government, and considerable resources are being invested quietly to cope with the program.

Those efforts include ongoing refinements to a military strike option in the event that Iran is caught making a secret effort to break out to the weaponization stage.

The Iranian arms network represents the largest known program of state sponsorship of terrorism. It reaches far beyond Gaza and Lebanon, and includes Shi'ite militias and pro-Iranian terror groups in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Pakistan, the Far East, Afghanistan, and even Latin America, according to Israeli intelligence assessments.

Iran is also facilitating the arrival of thousands of Shi'ite foreign fighters into Syria, to fight on behalf of the Assad regime. Many of these militiamen may go on to form Quds Force cells when they return to their countries of origin, according to a report released in March by the Tel Aviv-based Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post's military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books), which proposes that jihadis on the internet have established a virtual Islamist state.


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British MPs Condemn Alleged Islamist School Takeover Plot

by John Rossomando

An alleged plot by Muslim extremists to subvert state schools in Birmingham, England and run them according to a rigid interpretation of Islam has angered members of the British Parliament.

A purported letter which surfaced in March detailed a plot to take over the schools, using dirty tricks to drive out headmasters and replace their staffs with people who supported the plot. Britain's Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) is investigating the rumored plot and plans to release a report in May.

Tahir Alam, one of the alleged plotters, denounced the letter as "a fabrication" and he called the allegations about the plot a "witch hunt" motivated by "Islamophobia."

Khalid Mahmoud, a Muslim Labour MP who represents Birmingham charged that "a small group of individuals" was trying to change the ethos of the schools under the cloak of secrecy. Mahmoud also claimed that that radical Salafists were attempting to impose their views on the majority of the city's Muslims.

A mother of one student who attends an affected school told the Daily Express newspaper that her daughter had been harassed by older boys who were denouncing girls who refused to wear veils and stay separate from the boys.

"My daughter tried to bring in an Easter egg for a friend and one boy grabbed it and smashed it against a wall," the mother said. "Another girl of about 11 brought in a little Easter bunny toy that she wanted to show her friends. They grabbed that off her too."

Such reports disturbed former British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, who said Muslim school leaders "must respect British values." He denounced what he called an effort to proselytize Islam in "an exclusive way and claim that those who are not of the Muslim faith are infidel and have fewer rights."

The Park View Educational Trust that runs the schools that have come under scrutiny said the reports have generated hate mail and were "causing unwarranted and unnecessary alarm" among affected families.

A senior source with the U.K.'s Department of Education told the Sunday Telegraph that an "overlapping web of connections" has been discovered and that the driving force appeared to be "explicitly Islamist."

The Ofsted reports are likely to result in Alam's ouster as chairman of the Park View Educational Trust and as chairman of Park View Academy – one of the affected schools, according to the Telegraph.

A separate Department of Education report found that girls at Park View and Golden Hillock, a sister school, were forced to sit in the back of the class, while Christian students at Golden Hillock were left to "teach themselves." An al-Qaida supporter was invited to speak at Park View.

Members of Birmingham's city council were informed of these problems in six months ago but took no action until the letter became public.

John Rossomando


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Who are the Victims and Who Are the Victimizers?

by Douglas Murray

One year after the bombs went off at the Boston marathon, Brandeis authorities were so intent on avoiding the issues those bombs had raised, that they would rather point the finger at a critic of the radical ideology than do anything to criticize the ideology.
Is not the Palestinian leadership a viable negotiating partner with whom peace is just about to be achieved? How do you protest if the protesters are Muslims? Who are the victims and who are the victimizers? After all, "victims" cannot victimize, can they?
When we see a global bigotry and hatred such as this, we should identify it as such and demand, in the name of all that is decent, that it stop.
The great Western disease of today -- there could be quite a competition for that one -- is probably denial. Denial now runs right through the Western way of looking at the world. It is just unfortunate for us that it does not run through the rest of the world in the same way.

Take three recent examples, one in America, one in Britain and one absolutely everywhere.
One year ago, two young male immigrants to America -- to whom America had given absolutely everything -- repaid the favor by planting bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Their victims included an eight year old boy. This atrocity was carried out because the young men had absorbed the grievance culture and violent radicalism of a form of Islam, a strain of thinking that has not gone wholly undocumented in recent years.

Yet from the moment the bombs went off, most of the media tried as hard as possible to avoid the subject. After the whiny early stages ("Let's Hope the Boston Marathon Bomber Is a White American," as Salon so beautifully put it) there followed the obfuscation. Had the bomber of the Boston Marathon been someone who, say, had once attended a Tea Party rally, every columnist, and wider society, would be asking how such an atrocious ideology could come up from its wake. Intense scrutiny and introspection would be the order of the day.
The wish of columnist David Sirota on April 16, 2013.

But when the perpetrators turned out to be the Tsarnaev brothers, attention not only failed to focus on the kind of milieu from which the brothers had sprung, it actively turned away. So much so that, one year later, when Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a noted critic of the ideology the Tsarnaevs had absorbed, was due to speak and be honored just up the road from the finish line, she was disinvited.

The message underlying Hirsi Ali's mistreatment can hardly be overstated. One year after the bombs went off, Brandeis authorities were so intent on avoiding the issues those bombs had raised that they would rather point the finger at a critic of the radical ideology than do anything to criticize the ideology. As evidence, take Professor Jytte Klausen, author of a sloppily researched book on the Danish cartoons controversy who not only called for Hirsi Ali's disinviting, but also took the opportunity to smear her as a woman who was supposedly a liar and somehow "anti-immigrant." Incidentally this is the same Professor Klausen whose book was itself subjected to censorship when Yale University Press refused to publish it -- a book about cartoons -- with images of the cartoons in it. But onwards.

In Britain, The Independent reported the strange case of Andrew Moffat, a schoolteacher in Birmingham and author of "Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools." He felt forced to resign after a group of mainly Muslim parents at Chilwell Croft Academy, in Birmingham, said that they were not happy with their children being taught by a gay man because he might make them think being gay was all right. So off goes Mr. Moffat. Some Christian parents had complained as well. If only there had been more of them. Then everyone would know what to do.

But what to do when the main offense comes from Muslim parents? The answer is simple. Give up. If they had been Christian fundamentalists, all might have been fine. There might have been a celebrity campaign against the "militant" Christians, some protests outside the school, and Mr. Moffat could have remained in place and become a defiant hero. But it was Muslims, so instead he had to go. Because how do you protest if the protesters are Muslims? Who are the victims and who are the victimizers? After all, "victims" cannot victimize, can they? Can they?

All this culture of denial in America and Britain is disturbing. But it is small stuff compared to the greatest form of denial. That is the one which now, strangely, finds itself being spearheaded from America, and has, like some super-blockbuster film, gone global. This is the idea, as the Middle East "peace" talks inexplicably fail to come up with a lasting and durable peace, that the radical opinions of the Palestinian leadership may not be a factor. Is not the Palestinian leadership a viable negotiating partner with whom peace is just about to be achieved?

How many people who read their daily papers know what the Palestinian leadership actually says, or does? How many would even have heard of a routine and commonplace event, such as the recent interview with the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority's Olympic Committee and Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub?

Interviewed on official Palestinian television, Rajoub said that the Palestinians have nothing to lose, because they "live under a racist and fascist occupation." Asked by the interviewer if he expected things to get worse, he replied, "Sir, we have nothing to lose. What's worse? Do you think we are living in Sweden and have something to lose? We are living under a racist and fascist occupation. I'm telling you, if Hitler had come [here], he would have learned from them how to oppress humans and learned from them about concentration camps, extermination camps."

Sometimes it is in America, sometimes in Britain, but always in the rest of the world whenever it considers Israel. Always it is the same strange response: denial. A denial to admit the realities of what is happening worldwide. A denial to face up to the reality that the Palestinian Authority [PA], meant to be the "partner" for peace, seems incapable of giving up on the culture of violence, death and anti-Semitism which has always been its trademark. A denial in the face of the continuous, daily, over-flowing quantity of evidence that, in 2014, the PA seems no closer than their forebears were in 1948 to recognizing the legitimacy of a Jewish state in the historic homeland of the Jewish people. "Surely this can't still be the case, can it?," people ask. So they ignore the bombs and the murders, such as that outside Hebron last week, and they ignore the incitement and terrorist-praising by the PA. All of which adds up to an outright denial of that responsibility which simple honesty surely demands -- that when we see a global bigotry and hatred such as this, we identify it as such and demand, in the name of all that is decent, that it stop.

Douglas Murray


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As China and Japan Prepare for War, American Forces Battle over Turf

by David Archibald

Many readers of American Thinker may be thinking that a war between China and Japan, with or without the US being involved, is precluded by the fact that it would be stupid and destructive. Nevertheless, the people who are actually going to fight that war are continuing to prepare for it. In the US forces, the Marines are seeing off an attempt by the Army to gain a role. The Marines believe that they won’t need any help in retaking the Senkakus from China. They are also concerned that the Army attack helicopters would suffer from corrosion while sitting on flat-decked ships at sea.

Among the pundits, Foreign Policy has come to the realisation that if China seizes the Senakakus, they might as well seize the southern half of the Ryuku island chain, the Yaeyama Islands, while they are at it. Militarily and morally, the Yaeyamas would be only a little bit more difficult than seizing the Senkakus but would come with plenty of basing opportunities and the benefit of partially enveloping Taiwan.

The Senkakus are too small and steep to host airfields. The Yaeyamas have seven airfields, which may be a clue as to why China is buying refurbished Il-76 heavy transport aircraft rather than waiting for its recently developed heavy lift aircraft, the Y-20, to come off the production line in sufficient numbers. It could be that China’s battle plan includes Special Forces capturing some of the Yaeyama airfields with immediate reinforcement delivered by the Il-76 aircraft so that they could be used to base fighter aircraft.

On the subject of airfields, China built one specifically for this war -- the Shuimen Airbase at 26° 56' 43"N, 120° 4' 37"E. It was built on top of a ridge about as close as one can get to the Senkakus on the Chinese mainland. From the Shuimen Airbase it is 400 km to the Senkakus and 500 km to the Yaeyamas. The Google Earth imagery shows an interesting camouflage pattern on the taxiways to the hardened shelters. The Shuimen Airbase also has a lot of apron area adjacent to the runway suggesting that it will be used to surge aircraft coming from other airbases in China.

Chinese shaping of the psychological battle-space continues. The latest development is the seizure of a Japanese cargo ship in China with the excuse being compensation for two Chinese ships leased by Japan in 1936.

The Japanese have announced the building of a radar station on the farthest of the Yaeyama Islands, Yoneguni. It will be protected by 100 troops.

With plenty of signs from the protagonists that a war is coming, what should Republican legislators do to get ahead of the curve, instead of just being reactive and flat-footed? The best thing that could be done right now is a bill requiring the expropriation of all Chinese-owned assets in the US upon the announcement by Japan that it has been attacked by China. The internment of Chinese nationals could follow, but it is important to freeze and seize Chinese financial assets immediately upon the outbreak of hostilities. This may end up being a warning system in that a sudden capital flight might mean that the attack was only hours away.

Back to the Army’s problem of having a role in this war. What the Army could do is establish a field base for its helicopters on one of the larger, less-populated islands of the Yaeyamas, such as Iriomote-jima. They won’t miss out on the war -- China will come to them.

David Archibald, a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., is the author of The Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short (Regnery, 2014).


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Libya: Jihadi Terror Leaders' Safest Haven

by Anna Mahjar-Barducci

Libya is the new jihadist front on the Mediterranean -- and just a few hours away from the centers of Europe.
Several security sources have confirmed that Belmokhtar is still alive and has moved, along with his troops, from Mali to a new base in the Libyan desert.
The leading jihadist commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar -- also known as Khalid Abu Al-Abbas, and by his nickname "Al-A'war" ("the one-eyed") -- is hiding in Libya. From there, according to security sources quoted in media reports, he is planning to mastermind terrorist attacks against Westerners and their interests across Africa's Sahel region.

Belmokhtar, born in Algeria in 1972, and an Algerian citizen, was a key member of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM]. After an internal power struggle, he decided in December 2012 to form a new group, known as the Signatories in Blood.
Jihadi commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

On January 16, 2013, armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, he led an attack against a Western-owned gas processing facility of In Amenas, Algeria. In the four-day siege of the complex, 39 hostages -- including U.S. citizens Frederick Buttacio, Victor Lynn Lovelady, and Gordon Lee Rowan -- were killed. After the assault, the U.S. State Department put a $5 million bounty on Belmokhtar.

As a former Algerian soldier with experience from training camps in Afghanistan, and as a member of the Armed Islamic Group [GIA] in Algeria, he rose quickly to the high rank of "emir" (commander). Later, he was one of the co-founders of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which evolved into AQIM.

As a commander in AQIM, Belmokhtar conducted kidnapping operations against Westerners. Later, while in the north of Mali, fighting against Western and African military intervention in the area, he established his own group.

Although his career as a terrorist seemed to have come to an end when, in March 2013, the Chadian government announced that he had been killed in combat in Mali, U.S. intelligence and military officials were wary of confirming Belmokhtar's death.

Several security sources have confirmed that Belmokhtar is still alive and has moved, along with his troops, from Mali to a new base in the Libyan desert. Malian security sources further say that Belmokhtar intends "to control the entire Sahel from the Libyan territory."

In an interview to the Libyan press agency LANA, Malian President Boubaker Keita said that Belmokhtar represents a menace for the region. "If this news [that he is still alive] is true," he said, "we are under a serious threat. Belmokhtar is a very dangerous figure. I am sorry that he was not killed in my country as previously announced and that he managed to move to Libya. There is not going to be peace in the whole region of the Sahara as long as he is alive."

The news that he managed to escape a huge manhunt staged by the international military forces in the Sahel is doubtless helping to build him into a legend and attracting more young people to jihadism.

In addition, Libya is undergoing a period of uncertainty and weakness. The country is in a political vacuum and unable to pursue a war against terrorism. After gunmen recently attempted to attack family members of Libya's interim Prime Minister, Abdullah Al-Thani, he handed in his resignation.

The Egyptian media outlet Al-Ahram Weekly wrote that leaked reports linked the attack to pressure exerted on Al-Thani's choice of members of his cabinet. According to the article, the pressure on the former PM was to appoint certain people as Ministers of Defense, Interior and Finance, in addition to the Head of Intelligence.

One thing is certain: Belmokhtar will try to take the maximum advantage of the present Libyan instability. He knows the ground well and can rely on a local network of support.

Belmokhtar also reportedly spent several months in Libya in 2011 and received logistical aid from Islamists in Libya for the attack against the gas plant in Algeria.

Belmokhtar's presence in Libya is not only alarming -- more than anything it is a testimony that the country is becoming a safe haven for Islamist terrorists. Libya is, in fact, the new jihadist front on the Mediterranean -- and just few hours away from the centers of Europe.

Anna Mahjar-Barducci


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More Heavy Weaponry for Syrian Rebels?

by Joseph Klein

President Obama is considering ramping up military support to the Syrian rebels, who are increasingly dominated by jihadists. American anti-tank missiles have already appeared in videos in the hands of rebel forces. According to an April 21st report in Time Magazine, the White House is now considering sending the rebels shoulder-fired surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles known as manpads. In the wrong hands, such missiles could be used to take out commercial aircraft.

Senator John McCain is pushing the Obama administration to take that risk. To combat the Assad regime’s use of barrel bombs dropped on civilian populations from government helicopters, McCain said in a March interview with Time Magazine that he was “willing to take the risk of a manpad, the risk of them falling into the wrong hands.”

McCain’s willingness to take the risk of anti-aircraft missiles getting into the wrong hands is wrong-headed for several reasons. The most obvious reason is the blowback the United States and its allies will suffer when jihadists fighting in Syria take the weapons they have looted from the so-called “moderate” rebels and use them against us. Nearly half of the rebel fighters are “jihadists or hardline Islamists,” according to a summary by The Telegraph of a report the IHS Jane’s defense consultancy group issued last year. And they are the best trained and equipped forces amongst the Syrian opposition.

Al Qaeda-linked groups have set up training camps in Syria, which they are using to prepare foreign jihadists for their return from Syria to spread their attacks more widely. This includes jihadists from Western countries such as the Rayat Al-Tawheed group, the British jihadist faction in Syria, that has posted an image of the White House with the caption “Wait a while there will come to you mounts carrying lions in shining armour battalions followed by battalions.” Put weapons capable of shooting down commercial aircraft in the hands of these jihadists and we won’t have to wait awhile before reaping the consequences.

Another reason not to pour such weapons into the Syrian conflict at this stage is that we are way too late to make any material difference in the eventual outcome. Assad is winning the war slowly but surely, with help from Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. The anti-aircraft missiles may have a marginal impact in slowing Assad’s offense down further in some locations. However, they will not be able to completely stop the barrel bombs and other lethal weapons Assad is using with such success against the opposition.

As the intelligence and security news service DEBKAfile explained:
“The newly-armed rebels have gained not much more than the capacity to hold on to their present lines for a while longer. But ultimately, they cannot prevent the combined weight of the Syria army, Hizballah and Iraqi Shiite Iraqis, who continue to stream into Syria, breaking through those lines.”
Vladimir Putin will also be only too happy to further arm the Assad regime and counter anything the U.S. might be sending, if for no other reason than to embarrass Obama.

Senator McCain’s goal of using the anti-aircraft missiles to stop the Assad regime’s barrel bombing is unachievable, unless we were to get sucked into establishing a complete no-fly zone over the country and staying militarily involved for the long haul. However, there is no appetite among most Americans to get involved in yet another protracted war in the Muslim world, nor should there be given the dismal results we have seen in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan under Obama’s leadership. Even if Assad and his henchmen were to be removed, no secular democracy will follow in their wake. Anarchy along the lines we are seeing in Libya, with power vacuums filled by jihadists bent on creating an Islamic caliphate in Syria, will follow. More Christians and other “infidels” will be persecuted and murdered. Assad’s removal will not end the suffering of the Syrian people. The barrel bombs that Senator McCain wants to stop, even at the risk of seeing our own lethal weapons end up in the “wrong hands,” will be replaced with beheadings and other atrocities done with those very same “wrong hands.”

President Obama’s apparent openness to providing more advanced weaponry to the Syrian rebels at this stage of the conflict could well be the result of his meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah last month, where Saudi concerns about U.S. resolve in dealing with the Assad regime and Iran’s nuclear threat were discussed. In bowing to the wishes of the Saudi government for more direct U.S. military aid to the Syrian rebels, Obama may have gotten some breathing room from the Saudi leaders as he tries in vain to negotiate a comprehensive, verifiable nuclear deal with Iran. If so, Obama is putting the interests of the United States behind those of a fanatical Sunni Muslim regime that has spawned global jihad and sees Syria as another beachhead to advance that cause.

President Obama would do well to focus on far more strategically important concerns to the United States, such as stopping the world’s biggest sponsor of terror, Iran, from acquiring nuclear weapons by whatever means are necessary, and dealing effectively with a resurgent Russia.

Joseph Klein


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In Africa, a Real War on Women'

by Clifford D. May

Last week, more than a hundred Nigerian students, girls between the ages of 15 and 18, were kidnapped by the al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists of Boko Haram. Most of the girls are still being held. That should be a big story, don't you think?
Few major-league journalists do. The U.N. has not been moved to rhetoric, much less action. American and European feminists have not mobilized. As I write this, the abductions are not featured on the websites of Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch. "In the News" on the Congressional Black Caucus website one finds instead: "Black lawmakers appeal to Pentagon over hairstyle ban."
What is the explanation for such widespread lack of interest? Is it because Africa -- including Nigeria, the continent's most populous country with what this year became its largest economy -- seems remote? Is it because those who have declared the "Global War on Terrorism" over are loath to call attention to yet another active battlefield? Is it because acknowledging that self-declared Islamic jihadists are persecuting "infidels" in a growing list of countries would shatter the fashionable, multicultural Western worldview?
Some details of the attack: In the wee hours of April 14, a convoy of about 60 trucks and motorcycles arrived at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria.
Boko Haram has long been active in this area. Indeed, in early March there had been a statewide school closure because of the threat posed by this Islamist terrorist group, whose name means "Western education is forbidden." In recent days, however, schools reopened to allow students to take examinations and earn certificates that would make it easier for them to find jobs.
According to some reports, the terrorists were disguised as soldiers. They told the students, mostly Christians, that they were in danger and must leave their dormitories quickly, and that the trucks would take them to safety. According to other reports, the students were forcibly herded into the vehicles after a gun battle with school security guards, two of whom were killed.
The motorcyclists accompanying the trucks into the bush prevented the girls from jumping out. A few managed to escape after the vehicles in which they were riding broke down.
As I write this, it appears that between 20 and 40 of the 107 kidnapped girls managed to get away.
What are the terrorists doing with those still held captive? Enslaving them. They will make them cook and clean, and perhaps provide sexual services. A Nigerian Christian girl abducted by Boko Haram last November told Reuters that she had been forced to convert to Islam and had been used "as bait to attract enemies," who were then killed.
Also last week, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a bomb attack that slaughtered more than 70 people at a bus station in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. That act of terrorism received scant international attention as well.
Since its founding in 2002, Boko Haram has been responsible for thousands of murders. Schools have been preferred targets, along with churches. There also have been attacks against mosques whose clerics and worshippers were considered insufficiently sympathetic to the jihadist cause. In 2011, Boko Haram suicide-bombed a U.N. compound in Abuja as well.
Nevertheless, the prevailing narrative on the Left is that the conflict stems from poverty and inequality rather than Islamist ideology and a lust for power.
"The Nigerian state has, by and large, failed its population," writes Simon Allison of Britain's Guardian newspaper. "It may be awash in oil wealth, but none of that trickles down into the population, which has yet to see much in the way of material benefits from an independent Nigeria. Who wouldn't be looking for an alternative?"
His perspective is ahistorical. As The New York Times' West Africa bureau chief in the mid-1980s, I spent a fair amount of time in Nigeria. Despite poverty, Muslims and Christians generally got along, and what sectarian tensions arose rarely turned violent. If anything, the Muslim north of the country seemed safer than the chaotic Christian south.
What changed? For one, a determined campaign of Islamic radicalization, funded largely by Saudis and Iranians.
Allison laments that Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has "abandoned any form of diplomacy." Ah yes, if only Nigerian diplomats would sit down with the slave drivers of teenage schoolgirls and discuss their grievances all this unpleasantness could be amicably settled. Perhaps British and American diplomats should be inviting al-Qaida's leaders to join them for talks in Vienna as well.
They could, for example, reach out to Nasir al-Wuhayshi, No.2 of al-Qaida's global operations. He has recently been seen in a video broadcast on jihadist websites of a high-level al-Qaida meeting in Yemen. Addressing his comrades, he makes clear that his organization's goal is to strike the U.S. again. "We must eliminate the cross," he says, referencing what he sees as Christian power. He adds: "The bearer of the cross is America."
Boko Haram is proud to be one of al-Qaida's African franchises, along with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
"We are together with al-Qaida," Boko Haram spokesman Abu Qaqa told reporters in Nigeria by phone last November. "They are promoting the cause of Islam, just as we are doing. Therefore they help us in our struggle and we help them, too."
Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar Shekau, has vowed that it will not be long before his organization can "comfortably confront the United States of America." Most analysts regard that as bluster. On the other hand, getting a few terrorists from Nigeria into the U.S. is not an extraordinarily complicated project. And it is made easier when the watchdogs aren't watching.
Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on national security, and a foreign affairs columnist for The Washington Times.


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Muslim Gang Rapists in France: “The French are all Sons of Whores”

by Daniel Greenfield

Muslim colonialism. It’s everywhere you don’t want to be.

An eighteen-year-old girl got off the regional rail at Évry station, and made a call on her cell phone. Four individuals jumped on her, and dragged her to a near-by park. They stripped her of everything, then they undressed her and raped her, taking turns. An indescribable rape of barbaric cruelty. The gang of four tortured her for more than two hours before leaving her, bleeding. A driver in a passing car took her and called for help. She had enough strength to file a complaint.
Thanks to her detailed description and the video surveillance images, the police arrested the four suspects in less than twenty-four hours, and their DNA confirmed their guilt. The questioning began on March 31 in the afternoon. The four rapists are minors: two of them are thirteen, one fifteen, and one seventeen. Three Turkish brothers, one Moroccan. Special facts: the eldest, seventeen, had been released six months earlier after serving two thirds of a two-year sentence for the rape of the son of a gendarme sub-officer. Released without surveillance. Now he is a repeat offender. Two of the others have already been arrested for armed robbery. Four criminals, three repeat offenders – all minors!
During the questioning, and from what we know about the investigation, the minors did not express the slightest remorse. On the contrary, they expressed their hatred: yes, they would not have touched the girl if she had been a Turk; yes, they attacked her because she was French and “the French are all sons of whores”. The judge who jailed them indicted them for gang rape and barbarity, but also, and this is very rare, for racism.
This attitude is fairly typical as is the problem of repeat young offenders, which the article later addresses.

France has few useful responses to the decay of its society under the pressures of Islamic colonization. It can’t impose the more brutal policing norms of the Muslim world and even in the Muslim world they don’t suffice to protect Muslim women from violence. Rape and sexual harassment are endemic and they are curtailed only by chaperoning women or keeping them inside.

That’s how broken Muslim culture is. And that breakage has spread to France.

Daniel Greenfield


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Obama's Minimum Wage Fallacy

by Derrick Wilburn

Over the past few weeks President Obama has been on a tour of the nation making speeches and amping-up the rhetoric in his efforts to raise the federal minimum wage. As is typical for this president, he has done as much as he can “on his own” (presidential speak for governing via the issuance of Executive Orders.) On February 12, 2014 the President issued an Executive Order requiring the minimum wage to be paid employees of companies doing contract and sub-contract work with the federal government be raised to an initial $10.10 per hour. “Initial” being a key word in the previous sentence. The exact wording of this XO leaves the door wide open for future pay hikes:

“Sec. 2. Establishing a minimum wage for Federal contractors and subcontractors. …shall be at least

(i) $10.10 per hour beginning January 1, 2015; and
(ii) beginning January 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, an amount determined by the Secretary of Labor”

Yes, the $10.10 per hour is just a beginning. After that it’s apparently an amount to be determined at the discretion of whatever the Labor Secretary believes to be “fair.” We do not know who will be the Secretary of Labor come 2016 but it’s reasonable to assume it will be an individual who shares the President’s and Thomas Perez’s (current Secretary of Labor) fundamental views on the “fairness of pay.” Indeed all of this President’s cabinet positions are occupied by far-left-of-center ideologues; it is inconceivable that if a change were to be made, he would fill this seat with someone who may side with employers over employees. (In other words, federal contractors, get ready to shell out even more come 2016.)

Federal contractors having been dealt with via XO, the President is now is forced to deal with the pesky obstacle of our constitutional legislative bodies, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, in order to realize his vision of raising the federal minimum wage for all employers and not just those getting a check from the Department of the Treasury to make or help make payroll.

In the aforementioned tour stops, the President continues to state, “Raising the minimum wage will lift millions out of poverty,” most recently before a fawning audience at the University of Michigan. While the constant mantra of “everybody deserves a fair shot” and “we don’t believe in opportunity for just a few at the top” are great for soliciting crowd response, the issue here isn’t how loud you can get a gathering of college students to yell, it’s what are the real-world truths and what policy tact should we pursue in order to legitimately help America’s laborers? The data simply does not support the notion that raising minimum wage lifts people at the bottom of the economic ladder out of poverty. In fact, it does the opposite. Poverty does not drop with minimum wage hikes it increases dramatically every time the minimum wage is raised.

First there's the ‘non-factual-analysis-common-sense’ test of this. Raising the minimum wage from its current $7.25 to $10.10 per hour would be a gross increase of $2.85 per hour before taxes and other deductions. If we assume zero deductions and a 35 hour work week, $2.85 x 38 hours = a weekly increase of $99.75. Again, not taking any deductions into account. About one hundred additional dollars a week is going to "lift a family out of poverty"? The very notion is ridiculous and the statement an insult to any thinking person's intelligence.

The statistical and factual analysis makes the President's statement even more ludicrous.

The Fair Minimum Wage Acts of 2007 and 2012 have raised the federal minimum wage by 70 cents per hour, three times. In 2007 the minimum wage was $5.15 per hour, in 2008 it was raised to $5.85, in 2009 to $6.55 and in 2010 to $7.25.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Dept. of Labor;

- in 2007 there were 37.3 million people living in poverty
- in 2008 39.8 million
- in 2009 43.6 million, and
- in 2010 46.2 million

In 2012 the Census Bureau reported the number living at or beneath the federal poverty threshold (individual filing singularly, $11,670/annual income; couple filing jointly $15,730) rose to 46.5 million. (2013 numbers are not out yet.) Raising the minimum wage seems to put people -- millions of people-- into poverty. 
Considering the number of times the President has made this statement (that “Raising the minimum wage will lift millions out of poverty”), we are left with two possibilities. Either our President is ignorant of these facts, or, he is not ignorant of them at all but is intentionally lying to advance an agenda that will add to the woes of the poor.

I choose to believe the latter. The fact is that most in this nation are not aware of this adverse relationship between minimum wage hikes and numbers living in poverty. Stating, “We need to raise the minimum wage to help the poor” sounds good. Therefore there is little political risk in continually making this false claim. In fact not only is it not politically risky it’s actually quite politically shrewd. The perception that Democrats are in favor of the poor and underclasses and Republicans favor the wealthy and upperclasses is quite real, alive and well. A Democrat President running around the nation banging the "raise the minimum wage to help the poor" drum only adds to the misconception that he and his political party are the one's "looking out for" those in lower economic classes. As just demonstrated, it’s the polar opposite of the truth but a masterstroke of manipulating the ignorant masses.

Not only does the President sell the “I’m looking out for the little guy” myth but in each of these stops and speeches he’s careful to demonize Republicans in congress for their opposition to minimum wage increases. Screaming about Republican resistance to raising the minimum wage advances the other misconception about Republicans only caring for the rich and looking out for big business. “They don’t want to see the little guy get ahead, they’re only concerned with protecting the one percent.”

It’s a shame that we have a President so willing to divide our nation and a greater shame that he’s do so using completely false information. Not misleading, not half-truth – false. By opposing minimum wage hikes the Republicans are actually the ones protecting millions from falling into or deeper into poverty; by supporting such hikes the Democrats are dooming the poor. And our President is preying on the ignorance of those very same impoverished and working poor to try and assure they stay that way. After all, who cares if they’re perpetually poor so long as they’re perpetually voting Democrat?

Derrick Wilburn


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