Thursday, April 2, 2015

PM Pans World Silence over Iran General's Call to Destroy Israel - Ari Soffer



by Ari Soffer

Netanyahu reacts to Basij commander's 'wiping Israel off the map' comments, says P5+1 can and must insist on a better nuclear deal.



Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded Wednesday to yesterday's statement by a senior Iranian military official that Israel should be "wiped of the map", once again criticizing international powers for softening their stance on Iran's nuclear program while Tehran simultaneously pursues an ever more aggressive foreign policy.

"Yesterday an Iranian general brazenly declared and I quote: 'Israel's destruction is non-negotiable', but evidently giving Iran's murderous regime a clear path to the bomb is negotiable," Netanyahu said of the comments by the Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) Force, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi. 

"This is unconscionable," Netanyahu declared.

"I agree with those who have said that Iran's claim that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes doesn't square with Iran's insistence on keeping underground nuclear facilities, advanced centrifuges and a heavy water reactor," he added. "Nor does it square with Iran's insistence on developing ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) and its refusal to come clean with the IAEA on its past weaponization efforts."

Turning from Iran's nuclear program to its increased use of terrorist and other proxies to expand its control over the wider Middle East, the prime minister noted how "at the same time, Iran is accelerating its campaign of terror, subjugation and conquest throughout the region, most recently in Yemen," where Shia Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, have ousted the Yemeni government.

"The concessions offered to Iran in Lausanne would ensure a bad deal that would endanger Israel, the Middle East and the peace of the world," he continued, echoing statements he made earlier this week in which the PM warned the deal under discussion is worse than he had feared.

"Now is the time for the international community to insist on a better deal," Netanyahu insisted.

"A better deal would significantly roll back Iran's nuclear infrastructure. A better deal would link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to a change in Iran's behavior.

"Iran must stop its aggression in the region, stop its terrorism throughout the world and stop its threats to annihilate Israel. That should be non-negotiable and that's the deal that the world powers must insist upon."

Netanyahu's comments come after the US confirmed it would be once again extending the deadline for a deal with Iran, after the recent March 31 deadline came and went yesterday.

It is the third deadline to have been missed by P5+1 negotiators.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said enough progress had been made to warrant an extension, although there still were "several difficult issues" to bridge.

Iranian negotiator Hamid Baidinejad meanwhile, said his country was in no rush to reach a deal.

"The negotiations will end when solutions have been found," he said, in comments cited by the BBC. "We are not watching the clock."

It has been charged that President Barack Obama is "desperate" to seal a deal and score a foreign policy "achievement," even as Israel and other sources warn the deal threatens to leave the Islamic regime with the ability to rapidly produce a nuclear arsenal at the time of its choosing.

Strengthening concerns that a bad deal is being formed, an aide to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who defected last week revealed the American negotiating team is just speaking "speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the P5+1 countries and convince them of a deal."


Ari Soffer

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/193501#.VRwDguGzd-8

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Mullahs’ Expanding Empire - Majid Rafizadeh



by Majid Rafizadeh

Historically speaking, the Islamic Republic’s militaristic and imperialistic ambitions have not been announced publicly since after the Carter administration. More fundamentally, as the final nuclear deal approaches, as Tehran witnesses the weakness of Washington and other powers, and as Washington decides to overlook Iran’s militaristic and imperialistic activities in the region, Tehran has become more emboldened and vocal when it comes to its military expansion.


Hezbollah-Fighters-300x214President Obama has spent a great extent of political capital on the nuclear talks, attempting to protect his superficial Middle East and nuclear “legacy” after leaving office. Nevertheless, he has also failed to act on several other crucial platforms, including the recent expansion of the Ayatollah’s military presence in the region and their heightened repressiveness domestically.

First, when it comes to Iran’s performance on human rights issues, does President Obama not consider Iran’s legacy on human rights violations?  Is he not indirectly legitimizing these human rights abuses by totally turning a blind eye on the ruling clerics’ actions? By concentrating on his nuclear deal with Iran and his own legacy, will President Obama recognize that he is betraying human rights activists in Iran?

Having been so concentrated on the nuclear deal and appeasement of the Iranian leaders, President Obama has totally disregarded the ongoing human rights abuses in Iran. The ruling mullahs’ atrocities against women, youth, and religious minorities, as well as their suppression of basic human freedoms (press, speech, and assembly) have been completely ignore by President Obama.

When it comes to the mullahs’ militaristic and imperialistic expansion, the Islamic Republic is publicly boasting about having control over several capitals in the region from Sanaa to Beirut and Baghdad to Damascus. This is mainly due to the Obama administration’s weakness to act.

Historically speaking, the Islamic Republic’s militaristic and imperialistic ambitions have not been announced publicly since after the Carter administration. More fundamentally, as the final nuclear deal approaches, as Tehran witnesses the weakness of Washington and other powers, and as Washington decides to overlook Iran’s militaristic and imperialistic activities in the region, Tehran has become more emboldened and vocal when it comes to its military expansion.

The ruling clerics are emboldened to an extent that they do not fear publicly announcing their regional hegemonic ambition. Zakan, who is Tehran’s representative in the Iranian parliament and close figure to the Iranian supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, bragged about having control over Arab capitals by pointing out: “Three Arab capitals have today ended up in the hands of Iran and belong to the Islamic Iranian revolution.”  He added that Sanaa will soon be under the grip of the Islamic Republic as well. According to him, most of Yemen’s territories will be soon under the power of the Shiite group, the Houties, supported by the Islamic Republic.

The Islamic Republic’s ambitions to expand its empire during the nuclear talks amid regional insecurities is done through several platforms. Central figures such as General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the al-Quds forces, which is the foreign branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), hardliners such as Ali Reza Zakani, and the Supreme Leader himself play crucial roles in fulfilling Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions.

The second platform that the Islamic Republic is utilizing is sponsoring, financing, equipping, training and advising loyalist and heterodox Shiite groups across the region. The number of these militia groups is on the rise and they operate as a pawn to serve the geopolitical, strategic, economic, ideological and national interests of the ruling clerics.

Recently, the Kurdish Iraqis have accused the Islamic Republic of sending addition 30,000 fighters and military experts into Iraq. Iran’s military institutions have infiltrated every aspect of the security institutions in several countries.

In addition, Iranian leaders boast about their role in Arab states, projecting Tehran as a savior for the Arab world. As Zakani stated, according to Iran’s Rasa new agency “had Hajj Qassem Soleimani not intervened in Iraq, Baghdad would have fallen, and the same applies to Syria; without the will of Iran, Syria would have fallen”.

The expansion of Iran’s military and loyalist-militia groups in the region transcends Tehran’s political ambitions. The ideological tenet of this expansion and Tehran’s growing regional empire (under the banner of Popular Mobilisation Forces: an umbrella institution of Shia armed groups) are crucial facets to analyze.

Since President Obama appears to overlook the imperialistic, militaristic expansion, as well as the increasing repressiveness and human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic, Congress needs to act. Congress should ensure that any nuclear deal or easing of sanctions will not give the ruling clerics a mechanism to consolidate their atrocities. This can be fulfilled by pressuring the administration to focus and empower the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to create offices in the Islamic Republic in order to monitor human rights standards. In addition, the administration should use the US military bases in the region as a platform to pressure Iran’s expansionists and imperialistic ambitions in the region.


Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a former senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf project at Columbia University. He can be reached at rafizadeh@fas.harvard.edu. Follow Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2015/majid-rafizadeh/the-mullahs-expanding-empire/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

New Likud MK's War Against Anti-IDF NGO 'Breaking the Silence' - Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar



by Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar

Oren Hazan created a cover story and fed radical leftist group falsehoods to prove how it uses uncorroborated lies to attack IDF.

According to NGO Monitor, Breaking the Silence's donors include the European Union, George Soros's Open Society Institute (US), the New Israel Fund and Norway, among others.
 
Oren Hazan becomes an MK
Oren Hazan becomes an MK
Knesset spokesperson
 
Incoming Likud MK Oren Hazan has been waging an effort to fight the radical leftist NGO Breaking the Silence, charging that the group which is infamous for its attempts to delegitimize the IDF relies on false testimony against IDF soldiers.

Channel 10 reported on Tuesday that Hazan approached the leftist NGO under an assumed identity as "Assaf Hazan" after Operation Protective Edge, and made up stories about IDF misconduct to expose how the group passes off uncorroborated falsehoods as fact in their attacks on the IDF.

Hazan explained his contact with Breaking the Silence was part of an effort planned together with the Samaria Residents' Council, meant to "expose the lies" of the organization.

"I'm really not surprised that the radical leftist organization Breaking the Silence ran to the media, which of course was happy to cooperate with them," Hazan wrote on his Facebook page in response to the Channel 10 report. "So friends, it's time to burst another lie from Breaking the Silence, a radical leftist organization that took as its goal to harm IDF soldiers and our state."

The new MK acknowledged he used the name "Assaf Hazan" and gave testimony to activists in the organization, "all as part of an operation planned by me together with the Samaria Residents' Council, to expose the lies of Breaking the Silence and to prove once and for all, with photographed and documented facts, the corrupt methods in which the organization gets false testimony against IDF soldiers."

Hazan noted that the false testimony later leads to arrest orders "against the best IDF officers, heroes of anonymous missions and wars, which more than once end with wounded and dead for the defense of the state of Israel against its cruel enemies who seek to harm it."

He said he will reveal his findings about the organization and its methods in the near future, adding "just like a good investigator I built a cover story for myself with a name, e-mail and cell phone, and I arrived with this story to give testimony to members of the organization."

"I'm just off of a moving evening in which I was sworn in as a member of the Israeli Knesset, but I can promise you that also in the legislative body I will continue to protect and defend IDF soldiers," vowed the MK.

"I will prevent any harming of the best of our sons who pay with their blood and lives so that we can all live here in the land," said Hazan. "I will reveal in public the ways of working, methods, false testimony solicitation and foreign funding to Israel of this radical body, Breaking the Silence."

According to NGO Monitor, Breaking the Silence's donors include the European Union, George Soros's Open Society Institute (US), the New Israel Fund and Norway, among others.

Breaking the Silence was active in promoting “war crimes” charges against Israel after the Gaza fighting in January 2009, says NGO Monitor. These charges were based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay “testimonies.”

Even the leftist Ha’aretz has written that Breaking the Silence “has a clear political agenda, and can no longer be classed as a ‘human rights organization.’ Any organization whose website includes the claim by members to expose the ‘corruption which permeates the military system’ is not a neutral observer.”


Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/193491#.VRv1L-Gzd-8

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Saudi Military Intervention in Yemen - Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah



by Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah


Founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation
Vol. 15, No. 10     March 31, 2015  
  • The Saudis did not conduct detailed, top-level discussions with the Obama Administration on U.S. support for the operation until a few days before the beginning of the air strikes.
  • It appears that the Saudis have little trust in the U.S. administration and suspected that the Obama administration’s Iranian agenda would lead it to stop the Saudi coalition acting against the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.
  • Moderate Arab countries have come to the conclusion that they must fight for the survival of their regimes and that terrorism identified with the Sunni jihadists is the main factor for instability. Their scorched earth practices offer fertile ground for the incursion of “heretical” Shiite forces from Iran.
It is hard to believe that the Saudi military intervention in Yemen came as a surprise to U.S. intelligence agencies.

A Saudi F-15 fighter aircraft
A Saudi F-15 fighter aircraft

Such a critical act, code-named “Operation Storm of Resolve” (Arabic: Asifat al-Hazm), involved coordination with nine other Arab partners, contacts with Pakistan, and the deployment of Arab air power in Saudi Arabia. It could not have gone unnoticed even by the most negligent officer in the U.S. intelligence agencies whose vigilance of the area is one of their top priorities. Moreover, a week or so before the first Saudi wave of attack, the U.S. Administration chose not only to evacuate its diplomats from Aden but also to withdraw a small contingent of Special Forces deployed in the Al-Anad airbase in the vicinity of Aden.

From different accounts relating to the decision-making process that led to the military intervention, it is known that traditional U.S. allies (such as Turkey and Egypt) began to discuss the military coalition at the beginning of March, following the visit to Saudi Arabia by Turkish President Erdogan who expressed his support for the operation. It was no surprise to hear afterwards that Turkey provided logistical support, verbally attacked Iran and called on Iran and the militant groups to withdraw from Yemen.

On March 4, Saudi King Salman pressed Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to “boost the number of troops in the kingdom,” the Financial Times1 reported.

The coalition was ultimately created on the weekend preceding the Saudi attack at a meeting held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis, the main actors in the play, did not conduct detailed, top-level discussions with the Obama Administration on U.S. support for the operation until a few days before the beginning of the air strikes. The Saudis and their allies spoke about different options but none went into specifics.

Incredibly, General Lloyd Austin, head of the U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that the U.S. learned the Saudis were going to attack Yemen only one hour before the operation was launched. In other words: the U.S. was taken by surprise and the Saudis had succeeded in their deception plan.2

U.S. Central Command chief General Lloyd Austin met with Saudi Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman in February 2015. (SPA)
U.S. Central Command chief General Lloyd Austin met with Saudi Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman in February 2015. (SPA)

The conclusion is obvious: The Saudis have little trust in the U.S. administration and suspected that the Obama Administration’s Iranian agenda would lead it to stop the Saudi coalition acting against the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen. The Saudis have expressed very clearly on many occasions their opposition to a nuclear Iran and, as noted by Israeli leaders, see the Administration reaching a “bad agreement” with Iran.

The Saudis are exasperated by the Obama Administration’s courtship of Iran — the same Iran that supports their enemies in Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and Iraq, and claims control of four Arab capitals (Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Sana’a).  Saudi Arabia decided it was time to draw the line between the main two camps fighting over hegemony in the Middle East (the Iran-led axis versus the moderate-Arab camp led by Egypt and Saudi Arabia) and demanded that the U.S. choose sides in the war.

This may explain why the Saudis discussed with the U.S. different options in Yemen but never went into details about their military intentions. It is evident that the Saudis perceived that the U.S. did not approve of such a move after the Americans expressed reservations about such intervention.

This could explain the low-profile U.S. “logistic and intelligence support” given to the operation. As in the “lead-from-behind” 2011 Libyan war strategy, the U.S. chose to stay “under the radar” to avoid openly associating with the operation it had to accept after the fact as a reality. The U.S. administration, taken by surprise, did not react immediately. Only two days later Obama called the Saudi king to express half-hearted U.S. support.

The Saudi coalition also has another dimension: For the first time since 1948 the Arabs have succeeded in creating a military coalition aimed at an Arab state and not linked to the Arab-Israeli conflict. While Arab armies joined the military coalition in the first Gulf War, the coalition was led by the United States and was built around the American and international forces that took part in the campaign against Saddam Hussein. The Arab forces served more as a fig leaf.

Today, moderate Arab countries have come to the conclusion that they must fight for the survival of their regimes and that terrorism identified with Sunni jihadists and the extremist ideology of Salafi Islam is the main factor for instability.  Their scorched earth practices offer fertile ground for the incursion of “heretical” Shiite forces from Iran.

Islamic organizations classified by the different regimes as terrorist groups have become the main target of the moderate regimes. This is the concept at the core of the pan-Arab force to be created as an intervention force to back Arab regimes under attack. Egyptians have pointed to Libya as being the next target for an Arab military intervention, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for Arab military intervention in Gaza (meaning against the Hamas).
* * *
Notes
Financial Times, March, 4, 2015, Saudis to press Pakistan for more troops,  http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/5d00fbfe-c16e-11e4-8b74-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3VxB4ds9a
Bloomberg View, March 27, 2015, Eli Lake & Josh Rogin, How Saudis took the lead in Yemen, http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-03-27/how-saudis-took-the-lead-in-yemen

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah

Source: http://jcpa.org/article/saudi-military-intervention-yemen/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Tufts Prof Thomas Abowd: Jews Colonial Usurpers in Jerusalem - Andrew Harrod



by Andrew Harrod

Carrying revisionist history to absurd heights, he speculated during audience questioning that the centrality to Judaism of the Western Wall, a remnant of the Jewish temple destroyed in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., is an "invention of relatively recent construction."


Thomas Abowd
Israel "has built a whole national mythology out of the City of David" in a "weaponization of myth," stated Israel-hating Tufts University professor Thomas Abowd on March 17 at Washington, DC's anti-Israel Jerusalem Fund think tank. Condemnation of "Israeli Colonial Racism" described in a Powerpoint presentation formed his lecture's central theme, which incongruously presented Jews as colonial usurpers in their own ancestral national homeland before an audience of about twenty.

Abowd presented material from his bizarrely titled book, Colonial Jerusalem: The Spatial Construction of Identity and Difference in a City of Myth, 1948–2012. An opening slide of a map depicting "Jerusalem from 1948-1967" portrayed Israeli Jews as imperialists in a Zion where the "new Israeli state occupied the west side, the Jordanian state the east side." Although Hebrew-founded Jerusalem is of central importance to Judaism and has had a restored Jewish plurality/majority since the mid-nineteenth century, he rejected calling Jerusalem Israel's "eternal, immutable capital." Quoting the late anti-Israel charlatan Edward Said, Abowd dismissed this claim as among "representations that exist outside of history." Carrying revisionist history to absurd heights, he speculated during audience questioning that the centrality to Judaism of the Western Wall, a remnant of the Jewish temple destroyed in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., is an "invention of relatively recent construction."

He condemned Israeli destruction of a 700-year old Arab neighborhood (originally founded by Moroccans) facing the Western Wall immediately following Israel's 1967 liberation of Jerusalem from Jordanian control. This clearance—pictured on his book's jacket—facilitated the development of what he cynically called a "religio-national space" in a plaza in front of Judaism's central national and religious shrine. Another of his Powerpoints, however, showed a 1920s photo of Jews praying at the Western Wall while crowded into the narrow alley that ran between the wall and residential buildings. This image demonstrated the difficulties, including Muslim harassment, Jews in the past faced in accessing the Western Wall in a city with numerous overlapping archeological layers of development.

Abowd's criticism of the "Zionist project" extended to the rest of Jerusalem. "Zionist planning circles" have "radically transformed the demographics" of Israel's capital, he claimed, by placing "Jewish settlers" in areas called "neighborhoods," supposedly to create a "friendly little place." The result has been "one of the most segregated cities in the world," more so than Detroit, with "segregated, policed, and surveilled" streets. Abowd failed to mention that communal self-segregation is often the Middle Eastern norm, due in part to Islamic strictures limiting interactions with non-Muslims.

Facts did not impede Abowd's false narrative, as he repeated the canard that the Simon Wiesenthal Center was building a Museum of Tolerance on the site of the Muslim Manilla Cemetery. He also claimed that Israel's parliament, the Knesset, occupies farmland once belonging to the Arab village of Sheikh Badr, one of many lost by Arab refugees during Israel's 1948 war of independence. Yet the Knesset's site is leased from the Greek Orthodox Church. He also lamented a public park and bird sanctuary amidst Sheikh Badr's ruins and former fields without explaining the impropriety of this development in metropolitan Jerusalem, as if all such former village sites were sacrosanct.

For Abowd, Jerusalem manifested Zionism's "logical elimination" of a local culture under racism that was "explicit and implicit in Israeli laws." Like the French settlers of colonial Algeria, Israeli Jews "just want the indigenous population out," he asserted. Zionist settlement, however, actually attracted Arab immigration to Palestine and Israel's Arab population has grown despite refugee flight in 1948. Israel's Arab population, combined with Arabs in the Palestinian territories under Israeli military control, forms the basis of "demographic time bombs" he cited correctly as being commonly discussed in Israeli politics. Such themes reflect legitimate Israeli concerns of maintaining a state both democratic and majority-Jewish–not racism as he alleged.

Moving beyond Jerusalem, Abowd's false charges included the slander that Israel discriminates against the purchase and leasing of land by Arabs while ignoring how Palestinian authorities have imposed death penalties upon those who sell land to Jews. "Exclusionary" by-laws of iconic Zionist organizations like the Jewish National Fund reserved land purchased with private diaspora Jewish contributions for Jewish settlement. Such restrictive covenants affecting about thirteen percent of Israel's territory (not ninety percent as Abowd falsely alleged) face increasing Israeli legal challenges, as do wills in the United States making inheritance conditional upon marrying a Jew. (Muslim institutions in Israel also reserve their land for Muslim Arabs.)

In Abowd's vision of Israel, Jewish citizens have no national link to their land, but sought for no logical reason to conquer a dry, resource-poor area. He mocked the Bible as a "celestial real estate guide" and derided that in Israel "even in secular schools the Bible was taught as history," as if the Bible had no historic value among other abundant evidence of the ancient Hebrew presence in Israel. Such erroneous and ahistorical beliefs inform propagandist Abowd's ominous call for a "full or partial decolonization of Palestinian land," part of the ongoing work by many Middle East studies professors to insidiously delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state.


Andrew E. Harrod is a freelance researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project; follow him on twitter at @AEHarrod. He wrote this essay for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

Source: http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/14688

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Hillary's Baggage - Kenneth Eliasberg



by Kenneth Eliasberg

The woman knows that she is going to run for president in 2016; knows that she is carrying a ton of baggage from her first lady years in the White House that she would like to put behind her; knows that the Republicans (as inept as they are) are going to dig out all these skeletons in her closet; yet engages in this form of clearly inappropriate conduct that she has to know is going to come out in the course of her quest for her own stint in the White House. This is much more than Clintonian arrogance and/or duplicity; this puts in relief Hillary’s greatest failing – lack of judgment.

Hillary Clinton’s latest misadventures are not just so typically Clintonian, but more to the point, they reveal a fatal flaw in the woman’s makeup -- she has absolutely no judgment! Now you can write off the three current scandals (her private email account use while serving as secretary of state; the foreign donations to the Clinton foundation while also serving in that capacity; and, most recently, her brother Tony and her campaign advisor Terry McAuliffe receiving preferential visa treatment for their friends or clients by the Department of Homeland Security) as just another manifestation of Clinton arrogance. But that would barely scratch the surface as to what it reveals about Hillary.

The woman knows that she is going to run for president in 2016; knows that she is carrying a ton of baggage from her first lady years in the White House that she would like to put behind her; knows that the Republicans (as inept as they are) are going to dig out all these skeletons in her closet; yet engages in this form of clearly inappropriate conduct that she has to know is going to come out in the course of her quest for her own stint in the White House. This is much more than Clintonian arrogance and/or duplicity; this puts in relief Hillary’s greatest failing – lack of judgment.

This pattern of incompetence and dishonesty has dogged her path at every step in her undistinguished career. The only action that Hillary has taken that might be regarded as a “positive accomplishment” was marrying Bill Clinton and riding his coattails to positions of prominence, where she not only failed to “accomplish” anything that might be regarded as positive, she consistently revealed her inability to lead, her willingness to lie with impunity, and to screw up with regularity.

These disturbing qualities became apparent upon her leaving Yale with her failure to pass the District of Columbia Bar examination, a feat rarely accomplished by a Yale Law School graduate. First, the D.C. Bar exam has never been regarded as one of the country’s more difficult bar exams, and second, 80% of graduates of first-tier law schools (and Yale is at the top of the heap) pass the bar exam -- any bar exam -- on their first effort. Hillary, with characteristic ("what-difference-does-it-make?") insouciance, brushed this failure off with the romantic notion that, since her heart was in Arkansas (with Bill and where she passed the bar exam), this was a message to her that she should follow her heart. She then went to work on the staff of the House Judiciary Committee, which was considering the impeachment of Richard Nixon at the time. She worked for the committee’s chief counsel, Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat and a former professor at the University of Santa Clara Law School, who found her work legally inadequate and ethically flawed. As a consequence, she was one of only three attorney-employees of the committee over the course of Zeifman’s tenure that he considered unworthy of a positive reference. Indeed, Hillary and the Clintons left such a sour taste in Zeifman’s mouth that, not only did he point out his displeasure with Hillary in his 1995 book about the Committee’s activities, Without Honor, he wrote a lengthy monograph some 10 years later excoriating Hillary Clinton’s scurrilous behavior (Hillary’s Pursuit of Power), in which he details many of Hillary’s indiscretions and displays of incompetence. Things did not improve from there; indeed, they only went downhill.

1) Arkansas -- She did little of note in her stay in Arkansas, either in her capacity of wife of its attorney general and then governor, nor in her work at the Rose Law firm. When the National Law Journal labeled her as one of the 100 most “influential” attorneys in the country (because of her relationship with the state’s attorney general and governor) she tried to pass this off as one of the country’s 100 best attorneys (for which she was taken to task by the National Law Journal). Arkansas is where she entered into the infamous Whitewater transaction which dogged her path to the White House. Also, you may recall the fraudulent futures transaction she entered into in which, thanks to her relationship with a Tyson Chicken attorney with the right market connections, she managed to turn $1,000 into $100,000. She explained this bit of stock market alchemy as the result of her having read the Wall Street Journal. (which market pundits said had about a million to one chance of being the case).

Two of her Rose Law firm cohorts, Vince Foster and Webster Hubbell, accompanied her to Washington -- Foster committed suicide and Hubbell went to prison (where he received a substantial “consulting” fee for not giving Hillary up -- how many imprisoned consultants do you know of who are so handsomely compensated?).

2) White House First Ladyship -- Her stay in the White House was marked by numerous scandals, and, with the exception of her husband’s reckless sexcapades, every one of them was due to some action engaged in by Hillary. There is no need to rehash this unpleasant period, but since the woman is running for president, it might be wise to remember Travelgate, Filegate, the Rose Law Firm billing records (that magically showed up in one of her rooms some two years after they had been subpoenaed), etc., etc. The list goes on an on, and, again, every nonsexual scandal could be laid at her doorstep. And even the sex scandals were a farce insofar as Hillary is concerned; she not only stood by her man (contrary to her having informed us that she was no Tammy Wynette), she savaged the women with whom he inappropriately behaved as shameless bimbos. How’s that for the behavior of a feminist “icon”?

However, in all fairness, she did accomplish one thing -- her imperious, arrogant, and incompetent handling of the one function her husband entrusted to her, HillaryCare, was instrumental in delivering to her husband the first Republican House in 40 years. The election of 1994 was a Republican rout, and Hillary played an instrumental role in producing it; no one energizes Republicans like Hillary Clinton. One of the key players who worked on HillaryCare, J. Bradford DeLong, an economics professor at U.C. Berkeley and a Democrat, said this about Hillary (with respect to her handling of HillaryCare):
My two cents’ worth -- and I think it is the two cents’ worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994 is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life. Heading up health-care reform was the only administrative job she has ever tried to do. And she was a complete flop at it. She had neither the grasp of policy substance, the managerial skills, nor the political smarts to do the job she was then given.And she wasn’t smart enough to realize that she was in over her head and had to get out of the Health Care Czar role quickly.
How’s that for a ringing endorsement? This from a Democrat, and not just any Democrat, a U.C. Berkeley college professor, and you can’t get much more Democratic than Berkeley -- it is the heart of Democratic darkness in a completely Democratic region. In short, HillaryCare was her only management assignment, and she screwed that up so badly that it was one of the key causes of her husband’s getting the first Republican House in 40 years.

Finally, even on leaving the White House, Hillary couldn’t do so with dignity -- she took the government’s furniture with her. The Clintons were really a class act!

3) Senator From New York -- On being retired from the White House, she carpetbagged her way into a position as Senator from New York (things broke nicely for her here since, not only was Moynihan retiring, but Guiliani, who  would have been a formidable opponent; was unable to run against her due to health problems. In her years in the Senate, she failed to do anything of note other than fairly meaningless actions such as bridge dedications, you will search in vain for a praiseworthy accomplishment.

4) Secretary of State -- This period can be quickly dismissed by noting that it began with her “Russian Reset” blunder (you would think some one in our State Department was smart enough to know the correct word and clue her in) and finished with the Benghazi fiasco (for which she took responsibility but was never held accountable -- what good is responsibility without accountability?  In between these notable bookends, she traveled a million miles and watched the globe burn while she circled it. It is important to note that no one died in Watergate; four Americans died at Benghazi, thanks to Hillary’s failure of leadership (which, at the outset, she tried to paper over by blaming the entire fiasco on a video, for which she shamefully promised parents of the deceased the video producer would be punished). Nixon, on whose impeachment proceedings she worked, was pilloried for his Watergate behavior and ultimately driven out of office. Hillary fobbed the whole thing off in her Senate testimony with her brazen and shameless retort to Senator Ron Johnson’s query on the matter -- what difference at this point does it make? Unfortunately, Johnson was so taken aback by her shameless outburst that he neglected to point out that it made all the difference in the world to the people who were sitting behind her, i.e. the families of the men who died at Benghazi because Hillary failed to respond to the now deceased ambassador’s request for additional security for the Benghazi facility.

5) As A Campaigner: Dull, Plodding, Gaffe Prone, And Unlikeable -- Alright, we have looked at her scandal-plagued past, what does she look like now? The same, as far as character is concerned, but now we have to deal with the uninspiringly dull campaign speeches in which her lies are packaged. Also, not only is she dishonest, she is gaffe prone, tone deaf, and does not comfortably connect with an audience. For example her complaint that she and her husband were dead broke when they left the White House -- as a consequence, no doubt, of running up mortgage debt on the  two million dollar homes they were purchasing for their post-presidential residences (one in D.C., the other in Chappaqua, New York, to establish residence there as a basis for her senatorial run). And even in the course of acquiring some of that debt, a minor scandal occurred in connection with Terry McAuliffe’s assistance in financing the project. Also, she and her husband have been taking in huge gobs of money for their book efforts and speeches.

Then she made the outrageously stupid statement that “businesses” don’t create jobs, suggesting that government does (no doubt a Freudian slip, reflecting the general job-creation approach of the Dems, i.e. if there is a problem, government is the solution -- in contrast to Reagan’s observation that government is the problem, not the solution). Finally, she comes across as angry and unlikable -- probably because she is angry and unlikable. When informed of this quality during her 2008 campaign, she seemed taken aback, shedding a few tears, thus reassuring her admiring public that she was indeed a feeling person.

Now this unaccomplished fraud gets $300,000 a speech to inform her audience of absolutely nothing of consequence. In the end, perhaps this says more about her audience than it does about her; that is, why would any one pay that kind of money to a person who not only accomplished nothing, but is a charmless political hack? By way of concluding this piece, I would recommend that the reader follow Professor Delong’s advice, i.e. “Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life.”


Kenneth Eliasberg

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/04/hillarys_baggage.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Senate majority leader admits lying to sway a presidential election - James Longstreet



by James Longstreet


And now it is clear he was not only incorrect, but intentionally lying.  Reid went off the truth grid to stir hostility toward Romney and thus affect a presidential election.  Much of the lying was conducted from the official podium and with the weight of his office in support.

We recall the then-Senate majority leader standing in the Senate chambers, speaking to a nation and on the Senate record, declaring that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney did not pay taxes.

And now it is clear he was not only incorrect, but intentionally lying.  Reid went off the truth grid to stir hostility toward Romney and thus affect a presidential election.  Much of the lying was conducted from the official podium and with the weight of his office in support.  
Shame on Harry Reid.

And where is the outrage? 

In this video (at 0:45), Harry Reid is asked if he regretted his declaration that Mitt Romney didn’t pay his taxes.  Reid answers, “He didn’t win, did he?”



His answer reveals so much.  It tells us about Harry Reid, it tells us that he lied, it tells us why he lied, and it tells us much about the “journalist” who sat there and smiled at the clever-sounding response and failed to provide the strong follow-up question. (That makes you a liar, Senator Reid, doesn’t it?)  It tells us about the accepted lack of ethics by high government officials, and it tells us much about those who share senatorial responsibilities with this man and are his peers and who choose not to draw up censorship or worse charges.  It tells us about the other Democrat senators who are now stoic and thus give silent approval.

Harry Reid libeled and slandered Mitt Romney, and the Democratic Party is complicit in its support of Reid’s false accusations. 

And of course we will hear that “everyone does it,” and “that was two years ago.”  That doesn’t hold water.  But the lack of outrage, the lack of ethical concern from our leadership, does explain why we have sunk as a nation.  How can such dishonesty and duplicity be tolerated?


James Longstreet

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/04/senate_majority_leader_admits_lying_to_sway_a_presidential_election.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

IRGC-Affiliated Journalist Urges Iraqis To Forsake Arabism For A Shi'ite-Iranian Identity - MEMRI



by MEMRI


In a March 14, 2015 article titled "The Unification of Iran and Iraq Is Inevitable," Hassan Hani Zadeh, an editor of the Iranian news agency Mehr, which is affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), urged Iraqi citizens to renounce their Arabism and embrace the true Islam, i.e. Shi'ite-Iranian Islam.
In the article, which was published on Mehr's website, Hani Zadeh recalled the deep religious and historical ties between the Iranian and Iraqi peoples, and then claimed that all of Iraq's troubles stem from one reason only: the racist hatred of the Arab countries towards the Shi'ites, and their opposition to Iraq's Shi'ite majority ruling over the Sunni minority in Iraq. He noted that no Arab general, whether Sunni or Shi'ite, has come to Iraq's aid in its war against ISIS, whereas Iranian forcesled by Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani rushed to the aid of the Iraqis, both Sunnis and Shi'ites. Hani Zadeh therefore advised the Iraqis to renounce their "primitive false Arabism" and embrace instead the "authentic Islam" of Iranian Shi'ites.
It should be noted that this is the second call this month by a prominent Iranian figureurging to unify Iran and Iraq. In early March 2015, Ali Younesi,an advisor to President Hassan Rohani, said that Iran is an empire and Iraq is its capital, and called for substantial cultural unityamong the peoples that comprised the Persian Empire, particularly the Iranian and Iraqi peoples.[1]
The following are excerpts from Hassan Hani Zadeh's article.[2]

Hassan Hani Zadeh (image: alaan.cc)

The Spread Of Terrorism In Iraq Results From "The Hidden Arab Hatred" Against Shi'ites

"It is time that the Iraqi people say their final word and choose between primitive Arabism and authentic Islam, and shake off the dirt of Arab disgrace. 

"There is no doubt that, throughout history, the Iranian and the Iraqi peoples have been bound by strong religious and historical ties, though these relations saw periods of conflict that had negative effects on the religious and social ties between Iran and Iraq. 

"Iraq, an ancient Arab country, has an extensive culture, both [pre-Islamic] and Islamic – but most Arab countries look at [Iraq] only from a sectarian point of view, which indicates the degree of racism prevailing in the Arab countries' [attitude] toward Iraq. In recent years, specifically since the fall of the criminal Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraq has gone through a difficult period, because, contrary to what was customary in [this country], the majority [there] managed to build a modern democratic regime that had not been known among the Arab countries. [But] the majority of the people of Iraq is known for its creedal association with the blessed family of the Prophet Muhammad [i.e., the Shi'a]. This is the main reason for the hostility of the Arab regimes, especially in the Arab countries surrounding Iraq, toward this country. 

"The events in Iraq and the spread of the terrorist groups that destroy the security of its people all result from this hidden Arab hatred against the followers of the family of the Prophet in Iraq. Iraq is not the only target of this rancor and hidden enmity. Rather, every Arab or non-Arab group affiliated with the school of the family of the Prophet [i.e., the Shi'a] is likewise subjected to this kind of hatred. Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen are among the countries that suffer harassment for sectarian reasons, and thousands of Shi'ites have been the victims.

"When speaking of Iraq, we cannot help considering what is going on in this country and what the Iraqi people – Sunnis, Shi'ites, Kurds and Christians [alike] – suffer at the hands of terrorist groups. These groups have spread throughout Iraq, especially in the north and the west, due to the demographic characteristics of those regions. It is the surrounding Arab countries that helped the terrorist groups to spread in the northern and western parts of Iraq, where these groups find fertile ground and from where they can expand to the rest of Iraq. The sectarian [i.e., Sunni] Arab view of Iraq is well known and does not require elaboration; the surrounding Arab countries do not want to see a government of the [Shi'ite] majority [ruling] over the [Sunni] minority in this country, because of the historic enmity to the [Shi'ites], which is centuries old.

"Because of the hidden Arab enmity towards the [Shi'ite] majority, Iraq has not enjoyed stability since 2003, and Iraqi statesmen must [therefore] adopt a new realistic policy detached from false slogans. Iraq needs to don new garb instead of the traditional Arab head-gear and robe; it should turn to a new culture without racism, one that is compatible with the demographic and religious reality in Iraq."

"All The Arab Generals, Sunni Or Shi'ite, Are Now In The Nightclubs Of Las Vegas. They Don't Care About What Goes On In Iraq"

"Iraq, currently in a very difficult situation from a security point of view, has not found any Arab general to save it from the harassment of the terrorist groups. All the Arab generals, Sunni or Shi'ite, are now in the nightclubs of Las Vegas. They don't care about what goes on in Iraq and they have not offered help or military advice. In contrast, the Iranian military leaders rushed to aid the Iraqi people, and more specifically [to the aid of] the people of Tikrit, whose [overwhelmingly Sunni] demography is well-known. By doing this they demonstrated to the whole world that Iran [unlike the Arabs] does not distinguish between Shi'ites and Sunnis and that all the religious groups are equal in its eyes.  

"A famous Iranian general risked his life and went to the most dangerous region in the world to offer his military expertise to the Iraqi army and the Popular [Mobilization] Forces in Tikrit [a Shi'ite militia], for the sake of the Iraqi people. Where are the Arab generals? Why don't they go to Tikrit to help their brethren in Arabism and Islam? In the past ten years Iraq has had a very bitter experience, through which it discovered the falsehood of the Arab claims and the dishonesty of the tears they shed for the Iraqi people. Now it knows who is an enemy and who is a real friend. Hence, the Iraqi people, and specifically the parliament, should work to unite with their true friends and shed the costume of false Arabism – because all the troubles of Iraq are caused by the Arabs who seek to do harm to the Iraqi people and do not wish it well. 

"How does Iraq benefit from being a nominal member of the Arab League, which looks at the Iraqi people with sectarian eyes? Why do the Arab countries of the Cooperation Council of the Persian Gulf [i.e., the GCC] not allow Iraq to join this group? Is this not clear proof that the six states of this wretched council do not consider Iraq to be an Arab country?

"Therefore, it is high time that the Iraqi people make a final decision and choose between primitive false Arabism and authentic Islam, and shake off the dirt of Arab disgrace."

Endnotes:
[2] Mehr (Iran), March 14, 2015. It should be noted that Mehr published the article in both Persian and Arabic, but the Persian version was subsequently removed from the site. The translation presented here is based on the Arabic version.

MEMRI

Source: http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/8500.htm

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Erdogan Raising "Devout Generations" - Burak Bekdil



by Burak Bekdil


"[Education] is now being used to raise an obedient generation that will serve the government." — Sakine Esen Yilmaz, Secretary General of a secular teachers' union.
Christian Pastor Ahmet Guvener managed to get his daughter, also a Christian, an exemption from mandatory Islamic religious classes in her Turkish school, but he soon found out this was not an easy task. Schoolteachers offered the girl three options: take as an elective course, "the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the Quran," or basic religious knowledge -- or fail the year. After the father spoke to the press, the school offered his daughter an alternative: an elective course in "astronomy."

For the Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a pious Sunni man is, by definition, a more decent man than any other. Therefore, he reasons, a pious Sunni youth is better than any other youth.

In 2012, (then prime minister) Erdogan openly declared that his political ambition was "to raise devout generations." The opposition protested that it was not a government's mission to raise devout or non-devout generations; that in a secular country this choice belonged to parents, not to the government. In response, Erdogan said: "Should we, then, raise atheist generations?" He does not understand. He evidently will not.

At an inauguration ceremony in March 2015, Erdogan proudly said that the number of "imam school" students had risen from a mere 60,000 to 1 million. That is wonderful news for Erdogan, himself a graduate of an "imam school."

Erdogan does not hide his divisive and discriminatory thinking on Turkey's "two youths." In a recent public speech to supporters of his Justice and Development Party (AKP), including big groups of "pious youths," Erdogan labeled as "vandals" millions of young Turks, who in the summer of 2013 protested against his government in countrywide mass demonstrations. Then he addressed the "good" boys and girls: "It is you who, with your hard work, moral values, knowledge and energy, represent this country's future."

Education, Erdogan seems to calculate, is one of the most strategic tools to achieve his ambitions about raising "devout generations." It is for this reason that his government has the habit of resorting to every possible tactic to force children into piety and keep them away from whomever he considers a bad influence -- the "bad ones," whom he calls vandals.

Recently, two "vandal" schoolchildren, who wrote "Where is Berkin? on the blackboard, were sent to their school's disciplinary board for punishment.

Berkin Elvan died in 2014 at the age of 15, after nine months in a coma, after a tear gas canister shot by the police hit his head at the time of the 2013 protests in Istanbul. He had gone out to buy a loaf of bread. Since his death, Erdogan has been insisting that the boy was a terrorist.

But Erdogan's systematic classroom indoctrination, in favor of piety and against dissent, is more problematic than just two schoolchildren being sent to the disciplinary board.

Turkey's compulsory religious education classes, which the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) last September declared violated the right to education, put pressure not only on non-pious Muslims, but on Muslim parents and non-Muslim Turks, too.

Turkey's President (then Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan participates in a celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the religious "Imam Hatip" school system, January 2014. (Image source: Türkiye Gazetesi)

A directive sent early in February to Turkish schools by the Education Ministry states that only Christian and Jewish students will be exempt from compulsory religion classes, which overwhelmingly teach the virtues of Sunni Islam.

To implement the system, the "religion" field on a student's identity card will be checked to see if he or she can be exempted from the compulsory classes. If the field is left empty (as most atheist parents do), or if any religion other than Christianity or Judaism is written, the student will be obliged to take the class. The directive is a draconian move from the earlier system, which simply allowed a student to drop the religion class if either parent was Christian or Jewish.

One frustrated father told Hurriyet Daily News that he is Christian and his wife is Muslim, and they would now have to change their son's identity card details. "We had left the religion field on our child's identity card empty to allow him to decide when he turns 18. Now I will be forced to have them write Christian on the card," he said.

In another incident, also in February, Christian Pastor Ahmet Guvener managed to get his daughter, also a Christian, an exemption from mandatory Islamic religious classes in her Turkish school; but he soon found that this was not an easy task. Schoolteachers offered the 17-year-old girl three options: take as an elective course either of "the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the Quran" or basic religious knowledge -- or fail the year. Guvener said that the incident seriously damaged his daughter emotionally, and accused the school of forcing religious education on students. Eventually, after the father spoke to the press about the case, the school offered his daughter an alternative: an elective course in "astronomy."

"[Education] is now being used to raise an obedient generation that will serve the government," says Sakine Esen Yilmaz, Secretary General of a secular teachers' union.

Erdogan behaves as like an unhappy father who has two children: one that he adores and the other, a maverick, to whom he can never teach the manners that a good, pious, Muslim father thinks are essential for decent upbringing. The maverick child constantly refuses to be like his devout and obedient brother. Hence the constant fighting at the Erdogan home, and his increasing frustration about the vagabond child.

Ironically, perhaps, the maverick brother is sorry about the family's misery, and often stands up against the father, for which he gets punished. The good child is happy. The father is not. The father will not have peace until the maverick child has been educated into piety and has learned to respect the father unconditionally.

The problem for Erdogan is that the maverick child has grown beyond his years to "change radically." For Erdogan, this is a losing family war. Too bad for Erdogan that his maverick child, half of Turkey's youth, cannot just be disowned.


Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5416/turkey-devout-generations

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Noha Hashad's exodus from Egypt - Emily Amrousi



by Emily Amrousi

Egyptian nuclear scientist Noha Hashad expressed interest in Israel and found herself under the scrutiny of Egyptian intelligence, who interrogated her under suspicion of spying for Israel • She was imprisoned for 11 years, tortured and left handicapped.


"Israel is like a jewel, a diamond, I am very fortunate to be here." Egyptian nuclear physicist Noha Hashad fled to Israel in 2011
|
Photo credit: Michel Dot Com


Emily Amrousi

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=24561

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Share It