Overlooking The Obvious

The U.K. Express posted an article yesterday about President Obama’s visit to the United Kingdom. The article included some interesting observations:

The article reports:

But senior Tory Iain Duncan Smith said it was “strange” for the president to advocate a surrender of power to Brussels that Americans would never accept.

The former Cabinet minister said: “I have a huge amount of respect for America’s unrelenting commitment to the patriotic principle of self-governance.

“President Obama and his predecessors have ferociously protected the sovereignty of the USA and I wish we could say the same of our leaders.

“What I do find strange is that he is asking the British people to accept a situation that he patently would not recommend to the American population.”

The former Cabinet minister said: “I have a huge amount of respect for America’s unrelenting commitment to the patriotic principle of self-governance.

“President Obama and his predecessors have ferociously protected the sovereignty of the USA and I wish we could say the same of our leaders.

“What I do find strange is that he is asking the British people to accept a situation that he patently would not recommend to the American population.”

The former Cabinet minister is overlooking one basic fact. Regardless of whether or not President Obama was actually born in America (just for the record, I believe he was), he does not represent the basic values of America. President Obama does not have a lot of respect for American sovereignty. He has allowed the United Nations to dictate American policy regarding refugees from Syria, and he has supported United Nations treaties that would clearly undermine American sovereignty and the U.S. Constitution. I think his stand on the United Kingdom and the European Union is perfectly consistent with his core beliefs. Because of the legacy of his father regarding the British, he sees both Britain and America as imperialistic countries. There is nothing in his background that has taught him to respect or value the sovereignty of western countries.

This is another example of President Obama moving away from the friends of America. He has not treated the British with the respect they deserve since he took office. Hopefully the next American President will repair the damage President Obama has done to our relationships with our allies.

Recent Fairy Tales I Have Encountered

Breitbart.com is reporting the following today:

Peter Altmaier who is both the German federal refugee coordinator and a member of Angela Merkel’s own Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) said that Mrs. Merkel will convert these misogynistic migrants’ attitudes toward women into something more in line with German progressive attitudes, reports the Kurier.

He sat on a panel at the Munich Security Conference Friday when a local politician told him that many migrants in local asylum centres refused to listen to the instructions of female workers and refused food and money from them demanding that they would only accept aid from fellow men.

Altmaier answered the question by saying that the asylum workers should tell each migrant who does not listen to a woman that he must respect women like he would respect Chancellor Merkel. “you have to explain to him that there are hundreds of thousands of “Angela Merkels” in Germany who have just as much to say,” and that they should treat women with the same reverence.

I hate to be a pessimist about this, but this is the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a long time. There are some very stark differences between western civilization (based on a Judeo-Christian ethic) and Islamic society (based on Sharia Law). One of those differences has to do with the role of women and the value placed on women as people. The migrants in question are simply behaving in a way that is culturally in tune with their upbringing–since German women are not fully covered, they are subject to groping and possible rape. This is not a simple matter of bad behavior–it is a matter of ingrained, learned behavior. The migrants have no incentive to change–they don’t believe that what they are doing is wrong.

This will not end well.

Coming To America?

The U.K. Daily Mail reported yesterday that under the new British welfare system, men with more than one wife will get extra benefits. My initial reaction to this is, “Are you nuts?”

The article reports:

Under the universal credit welfare system, which is not expected to be fully introduced until 2021, polygamous households will be rewarded with higher benefits, The Sunday Times reports. 

In the UK, it is illegal to marry more than one person.

Polygamous marriages, largely confined to Muslim families, are only recognised in Britain if they took place in countries where they are legal, such as Middle Eastern states, Pakistan and Zambia.

There no official figures but it is estimated that there may be as many as 20,000 polygamous marriages in the British Muslim community. 

Currently, a husband and his first wife are paid up to £114.85 a week. Subsequent spouses living under the same roof receive around £40 each. 

There is a basic premise in taxation and welfare systems–if you tax something, it decreases; if you offer a subsidy for something, it increases.

The article reminds us that in the United Kingdom, it is illegal to marry more than one person. However, polygamous marriages are recognized if they were legal in the country where they were performed. This is a further undercutting of one of the foundations of western civilization. If someone who is involved in a polygamous marriage decides to leave their home country, it should be understood that they would be better off going to another country that practices polygamy. Bringing polygamous families into western countries is simply not a good idea. In a similar vain, Muslims who feel justified by Islam to perform ‘honor killings’ should be told that should they not do that in a country that regards murder as a crime or they will be put in jail. There are many aspects of Islam that are simply not compatible with western civilization. It should be made clear to Muslims wanting to immigrate to western countries that they should be willing to adopt the customs of that country. If they are not willing to assimilate, they should be encouraged to go instead to a Muslim country.

Europe Is Waking Up, Are We?

Hot Air is reporting today that France has begun shutting down mosques. Before you begin screaming about religious freedom, let’s look at the results of their actions.

The article reports that the French have shut down mosques and raided homes of suspected terrorists. They have taken 232 people in custody or placed them under house arrest. More than 300 weapons were discovered in the raids of suspected terrorists’ homes. The items discovered were ammunition, Kalashnikov rifles, and terrorist propaganda videos.

The article reports:

But now even some of their own Imams are estimating that more than 150 more mosques may be closed. France really isn’t all that big… how many mosques do they have? To be fair to the French, though, what else are they supposed to do? They’re physically much closer to the home turf of several terrorists groups and thanks to the EU’s open border policies it’s far easier for the bad guys to move around. They’re dealing with an infestation and it needs to be stamped out. The methods probably appear harsh, but they’re doing what they need to do in order to survive.

Western civilization is at war. We can stand up and fight this war or we can play nice and lose this war (and our civilization). The people we are dealing with are playing three dimensional chess while we are playing checkers. They are also playing long term while we live in a microwave society. Unless the western world wakes up, this will not end well.

Unfortunately They Are Not All Refugees

Breitbart.com posted an article today which illustrates the problem with the refugees fleeing the Middle East.

The article reports:

A convicted terrorist has been caught trying to smuggle himself into Europe by posing as an asylum seeker, in a stark event proving correct those who warned of terrorists taking advantage of the European Union’s lax border controls.

Ben Nasr Mehdi, a Tunisian who was first arrested in Italy in 2007 and sentenced to seven years imprisonment for plotting terror attacks with an Islamic State-linked group, was caught trying to re-enter the country last month.

Authorities discovered him among 200 migrants who were rescued at sea and taken to the island of Lampedusa. Although he gave a false name, migration officers identified him through finger print records, the Independent reports.

German channel n-tv claims the Italian government initially tried to hide the story to avoid “panic” and “scare tactics”. The news did not emerge until several days after Mehdi had been detained last week.

The good news is that the people on the island had the wisdom to fingerprint the refugees and thus were able to catch Ben Masr Mehdi. The bad news is the claim that the Italian government tried to hide the story.

The article further reports:

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano has until now insisted there is no evidence that Islamist terrorists are smuggling themselves into the country among the thousands of migrants, but his ministry has admitted that Ben Nasr Mehdi is exceptionally dangerous.

When police arrested him in 2007, they found explosive detonators, poisons and guerrilla warfare manuals. Prosecutors said he had been part of a group that was setting up militant cells that had recruited potential suicide bombers.

Authorities intercepted phone calls in which he indicated he had supplied instructions and contacts to terrorists in Damascus, thus marking him out as a senior operative.

I hate to say this, but I am wondering if it would be wise to allow only women and children under the age of twelve to migrate for the time being. There is simply too much danger from young men (and unfortunately, young women) who have been fed hatred of the west and believe it is their religious duty to kill westerners. I truly believe that if we do not find a way to vet these refugees carefully, we will  pay a very high price in the near future.

The Problem With Syrian Refugees

On September 21, 2015, the Israel National News posted a story about an ISIS recruiter posing as a refugee at the Stuttgart Germany refugee center.

The article reports:

At the same time, a German finance ministry spokesman has acknowledged the seizure of “boxes” of fake Syrian passports, destined for sale and distribution to the new refugees from Syria and elsewhere.Bulgarian police confiscated 10,000 fake Syrian passports on their way to Germany.

As I reported on October 7:

Senior FBI officials recently testified that they have no idea who these people are, and they can’t find out what type of backgrounds they have — criminal, terrorist or otherwise — because there are no vetting opportunities in those war-torn countries.

Syria and Iraq, along with Somalia and Sudan, are failed states where police records aren’t even kept. Agents can’t vet somebody if they don’t have documentation and don’t even have the criminal databases to screen applicants.

The article in the Israel National News further reports:

Regarding the Syrian passports, an article in the German Tagespiegelreported that it is not only Syrians who are interested in them: “Refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan want to become Syrian in order to secure their recognition as asylum seekers in Western Europe. According to press reports, nine out of ten refugees who came from Macedonia to Serbia claimed they were Syrians.”

The EU frontier police chief, Fabrice Leggeri, recently told Europe 1 TV that the trade in fake Syrian passports originated in Turkey. “There are people who are now in Turkey, buying false Syrian passports because they have obviously realized that it is a windfall, since Syrians get asylum in all Member States in the European Union,” he said.

This tide of refugees needs to be examined very carefully. Refugees are people leaving horrible conditions in their home countries seeking a better life in another country. The unsaid part of this is that they will assimilate into their new countries and become peaceful citizens of their new country. We are already seeing some problems with this concept. On September 19th, I posted an article about Muslims who initiated a petition on Change.org urging the City of Munich to end the Un-Islamic Oktoberfest. That is not assimilation. The proper refugee behavior would be simply not to attend the festival–not immediately to attempt to change the culture of the country they fled to.

Refugees who want to assimilate into western countries should be welcomed. Those refugees who want to create Islamic enclaves in western countries should be sent back to other Arab countries in the Middle East. Otherwise–this is not a refugee crisis–it is an invasion.

The “Get Out of Jail Free” Cards In The Iran Deal

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal posted an opinion piece by Hooman Bakhtiar about the Iranian nuclear deal. Mr. Bakhtiar is an Iranian-American writer in Washington, D.C.

The article begins:

Congress is debating whether the nuclear agreement between Iran and the great powers goes far enough to curb Tehran’s illicit activities. But equally deserving of scrutiny are the nefarious characters whose names would be removed under the deal from Western sanctions lists.

Consider Anis Naccache, the Lebanese hitman who attempted to assassinate my great uncle Shapour Bakhtiar, Iran’s last prime minister under the shah. On a sweltering July day in 1980, a hit squad of five Lebanese, Iranian and Palestinian assassins led by Mr. Naccache approached a building in the Paris suburb of Neuilly. They posed as journalists, ostensibly to interview Bakhtiar, who had arrived in Paris a year earlier to launch a political campaign against the Islamic Republic before Ayatollah Khomeini’s nascent regime could entrench itself.

The article goes on to detain some of Mr. Naccache’s other terrorist activities–he was a lieutenant of Carlos the Jackal, he lead a hostage taking of 11 OPEC oil ministers in Vienna. In the failed assassination attempt of Shapour Bakhtiar, Mr. Naccache killed a police officer posted in the building and an elderly French woman who lived in the building. He was convicted of murder and received a life sentence. Mr. Naccache was released by the French in 1990 after the ‘coincidental’ release of 16 French hostages held by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The saga continues:

In 2008 the European Union determined that Mr. Naccache was linked to Iran’s nuclear-proliferation activities—identifying his association with the same Bazargani Tejarat Tavanmand Saccal firm in its designation. Brussels added him to a sanctions list due to his alleged role in Iran’s nuclear program, not his terrorist past.

Now Mr. Naccache is set to be removed from the EU sanctions list under the nuclear deal. Joining him will be numerous other Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps leaders responsible for the deaths of many Iranian dissidents, U.S. servicemen in Iraq and civilians in Syria and elsewhere.

In their determination to cut a nuclear deal with Tehran, Washington and Brussels are rubbing salt into the wounds of the victims of Iranian terror. It is unclear how much, if any, due diligence has been conducted on the names that the mullahs insisted be removed from sanctions lists. An EU spokeswoman declined to comment on the delisting beyond confirming Mr. Naccache’s alleged illicit nuclear activities as the basis of the designation and his association with Bazargani Tejarat Tavanmand Saccal.

This is the deal President Obama is asking Congress to approve.

This Isn’t Anything New

From the time of the Iranian revolution in 1978, the goal of Iran has been to restore the Islamic caliphate that vanished with the end of the Turkish Empire. We need to remember that the caliphate existed about a hundred years ago–it is not ancient history. Therefore, the book that has been published by Iran on how to outsmart the United States and destroy Israel should not come as a surprise to anyone. What should come as a surprise is why would the United States negotiate with a country whose goal is to destroy one of our allies and eventually destroy us.

Meanwhile, yesterday The New York Post posted a story about a book called “Palestine,” published by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This charming masterpiece is described in the article:

Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state.

He uses three words. One is “nabudi” which means “annihilation.” The other is “imha” which means “fading out,” and, finally, there is “zaval” meaning “effacement.”

Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, which he describes as a European phenomenon. His position is instead based on “well-established Islamic principles.”

One such principle is that a land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. What matters in Islam is ownership of a land’s government, even if the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims.

Khomeinists are not alone in this belief.

Dozens of maps circulate in the Muslim world showing the extent of Muslim territories lost to the Infidel that must be recovered.

There is a tenet in Islam that says all land controlled by Muslims at any time must be regained to form the caliphate. That tenet has a lot to do with Iran’s desire to have a nuclear bomb.

The article also reminds us that Khamenei plans to eliminate Israel through making life so unpleasant there that the Jews leave and the land goes to the Arabs as a result of demographics.

The article concludes:

Khamenei boasts about the success of his plans to make life impossible for Israelis through terror attacks from Lebanon and Gaza. His latest scheme is to recruit “fighters” in the West Bank to set up Hezbollah-style units.

“We have intervened in anti-Israel matters, and it brought victory in the 33-day war by Hezbollah against Israel in 2006 and in the 22-day war between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip,” he boasts.

Khamenei describes Israel as “a cancerous tumor” whose elimination would mean that “the West’s hegemony and threats will be discredited” in the Middle East. In its place, he boasts, “the hegemony of Iran will be promoted.”

Khamenei’s book also deals with the Holocaust which he regards either as “a propaganda ploy” or a disputed claim. “If there was such a thing,” he writes, “we don’t know why it happened and how.”

This is what Iran’s leaders are preaching to their people and their allies in the Middle East. Do we really want to give succor?

In looking at the nuclear agreement with Iran, one has to consider the Islamic principle of taqiyya, loosely explained as “lying for the sake of Islam.” Taqiyya allows Muslims to issue two statements on any one issue–one to Muslims and one to non-Muslims. I have no doubt that what Iran is telling America about the nuclear deal is very different from what is being told to the Iranians. I pray that the Senate has the courage to turn down the nuclear deal with Iran.

Where To Find The Pathway To Greece

The Daily Caller posted an article today listing some of the things Bernie Sanders wants to implement if he becomes President. Among them are making public universities tuition free (will the teachers work salary free?) and a responsible pathway to citizenship for immigrants that is “achievable for people at the lower end of the economic spectrum. Because everyone knows America needs more low income people to collect money from the government.

Greece is going bankrupt because it has spent beyond its means. Does Bernie Sanders think America can continue to spend beyond our means and not suffer the same fate? The European Union is essentially imposing austerity on Greece as the cost of allowing Greece to remain in the EU. Evidently Greece did not have the self-discipline to impose fiscal restraint on itself.

It you want to follow Greece down the path the bankruptcy, vote for Bernie Sanders!

 

 

The June 30 Deadline For The Iran Talks Will Be Missed

ABC News is reporting that Iran‘s foreign minister is headed home to consult with Iran’s leaders before he returns to Vienna for further negotiations.

PJMedia is also covering the story.

PJMedia reports:

Iranian media said Mohammed Javad Zarif’s trip was planned in advance. Still, the fact that he was leaving the talks so close to the Tuesday deadline reflected his need to get instructions on how to proceed on issues where the sides remain apart — among them how much access Tehran should give to U.N. experts monitoring his country’s compliance to any deal.

ABC News reports:

The United States insists on more intrusive monitoring than Iran is ready to give. With these and other disputes still unresolved, the likelihood that the Tuesday target deadline for an Iran nuclear deal could slip was increasingly growing even before the U.S. confirmation.

The dispute over access surfaced again Sunday, with Iranian Gen. Masoud Jazayeri saying that any inspection by foreigners of Iran’s military centers is prohibited.

He said the attempt by the U.S. and its allies to “obtain Iran’s military information for years … by the pressure of sanctions” will not succeed.

But German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who joined the talks Friday, said Iran’s “nuclear activities, no matter where they take place,” must be verifiable.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Zarif met in Vienna for their third encounter since Saturday. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also is in Vienna, as is British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, while Russia and China are represented for now by deputy foreign ministers.

The article at PJMedia concludes with the truth:

The real question is how much of a cave-in to Iranian red lines the U.S. will agree to. Not being able to inspect military installations, as Iran insists, would almost certainly lead to widespread opposition not just in the U.S., but also in France, which has threatened to walk from the talks unless there is a strict inspections regime. And the president’s continued insistence that some sanctions on Iran be maintained for years will probably be negotiated away in favor of something approaching immediate lifting of most of the important sanctions on Iran’s financial and oil industries.

The extra time for negotiations won’t matter if it simply means more time for an American surrender. Kerry and Obama will do anything to get a deal and that’s what should worry everyone who thinks this is a bad idea.

The Canary In The Coal Mine

Tonight I attended an event at Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts, entitled, “From Austria to Israel: The Worldwide Assault on Christians and Jews.” The speakers were Elizabeth Sabatisch Wolf, Renya Matti, and Moshe and Leah Goldsmith. All of these people are on the front lines of the battle for Western Civilization, and each one had a story to tell.

Ms. Sabatisch Wolf was charged with hate speech in Austria when a journalist recorded a seminar on Islam she was conducting. The European Union does not have a First Amendment that guarantees the right of free speech, and the growing Muslim population of the EU is using the lack of free speech as a weapon to prohibit any criticism of Islam. Mrs. Sabatisch spoke about the growing problem of anti-Semitism in Europe as a result of Europe’s exploding Muslim population.

Ms. Matti is an Assyrian Christian who explained what is happening to Christians and Jews in the Middle East. She reminded us that radical Muslims want to eliminate anyone who does not practice Islam. Her family fled Syria and is now living in Austria. She mentioned that the groups that were attempting to overthrow the government of Syria had been killing Christians and Jews from the beginning of the Syrian civil war. There are no supporters of freedom in that war.

Moshe and Leah Goldsmith are a Jewish couple from Brooklyn who now live in Itamar, Israel. Itamar is in the center of Israel, in the region of Judea and Samaria. They have lived there for more than thirty years, and have witnessed terrorism first hand. Moshe was one of the first responders the night the Fogel family was murdered. They explained the way the media has misrepresented the fact that Judea and Samaria are in the heart of Israel and are an integral part of the country.

The event was a reminder that all of us have a choice to make. What are we going to do about radical Islam? It is not only a European problem; it is not only an Israel problem. After recent events in Garland, Texas, many of us have realized that it is also an American problem. As much as we may want to ignore it, radical Islam will not ignore us. It is time to educate ourselves to this major threat to our freedom and our lives.

Videos of tonight’s event will be posted at the Gates of Vienna website in the near future. It is time for all Americans to wake up and defend their freedom.

 

 

Why Nuclear Disarmament Is A Really Bad Idea

The Washington Free Beacon reported yesterday that Russia’s envoy to NATO has stated that Russia will bolster forces in Ukraine and has not ruled out bringing nuclear weapons into Ukraine.

The article reports:

“Everything that we do in Crimea fully complies with all obligations of the Russian Federation under international treaties. We do not violate anything, there are no prohibitions on us deploying certain weapons systems,” said Alexander Grushko, the envoy, when asked if nuclear arms would be placed in Crimea.

Grushko also declined to say whether nuclear arms currently are deployed inside the Ukrainian territory forcibly annexed by Russia in March 2014. He made the remarks in a video press conference from Moscow with reporters in Brussels, where NATO headquarters is located.

European Command spokesman Capt. Greg Hicks said Grushko’s comments were “rhetoric” and a “diatribe” that would not alter the NATO position on the issue.

Russia stopped worrying about NATO when President Obama changed his mind and did not sent the missile shield to Poland.

The United States Congress has asked that the secretary of defense notify them within seven days if Russia brings nuclear weapons into Ukraine and explain the U.S. strategy and response.

The article concludes:

There have also been U.S. intelligence reports indicating Russia plans to deploy nuclear arms in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, where Iskander short-range missiles are said to be deployed.

Grushko, meanwhile, also called on the United States to withdraw its tactical nuclear weapons from Europe, specifically from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey.

“I am talking about the practice of the so-called nuclear missions of the NATO states,” he said. “It’s not a new issue, it emerged before the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was signed in 1968.”

“It is strictly forbidden under the NPT. The first article of the treaty prohibits nuclear countries to convey any nuclear arms or other nuclear explosive devices to anyone directly or indirectly,” he added.

“The U.S. must pull out these nuclear bombs to its territory,” Grushko said. “It would be a serious contribution to strategic stability and security in Europe.”

The United States is believed to have around 200 nuclear weapons in Europe. Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal is at least 2,000 weapons.

If we do not stand up to the Russians at some point, there is a good possibility that they will seize control of more European territory that belongs to countries we are supposed to be allied with.

In November of last year, I posted a story about Ukraine that included the following:

A deal was signed on February 5, 1994, by Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, John Major and Leonid Kuchma—the then-leaders of the United States, Russia, United Kingdom and Ukraine—guaranteeing the security of Ukraine in exchange for the return of its ICBMs to Moscow’s control. The last SS-24 missiles moved from Ukrainian territory in June 1996, leaving Kiev defenseless against its nuclear-armed neighbor.

That deal, known as the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, was not a formal treaty but a diplomatic memorandum of understanding. Still, the terms couldn’t be clearer: Russia, the U.S. and U.K. agreed “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine…reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine.”

I don’t think we have lived up to our part of the bargain. Ukraine is one more country that we are supposed to be allied with that the Obama Administration has treated very badly.

Good News For Britain

David Cameron has won a resounding victory in the British election. Prime Minister Cameron has spoken out strongly against terrorism and has been a leading voice in enunciating the threat that radical Islam poses.

Yahoo News is reporting today on some of the Prime Minister’s other policies:

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he would press ahead with a planned referendum on the country’s membership of the European Union and he promised Scotland the most devolution “anywhere in the world” after his resounding election victory.

“Yes, we will deliver that in-out referendum on our future in Europe,” Cameron said as he addressed the media after visiting Queen Elizabeth to start the process of forming a new government.

Cameron said he would move ahead as fast as possible with a plan to give more powers to Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly for the pro-independence Scottish National Party.

Congratulations, Prime Minister Cameron. Best wishes for a successful term.

This Really Isn’t A Surprise

Reuters is reporting today that Britain has told a United Nations panel in charge of sanctions on Iran that there is an active Iranian nuclear procurement network linked to two blacklisted firms.

The article reports:

“The UK government informed the Panel on 20 April 2015 that it ‘is aware of an active Iranian nuclear procurement network which has been associated with Iran’s Centrifuge Technology Company (TESA) and Kalay Electric Company (KEC)’,” the Panel of Experts said in its annual report. The panel monitors Iran’s compliance with the U.N. sanctions regime.

KEC is under U.N. Security Council sanctions while TESA is under U.S. and European Union sanctions due to their suspected links to banned Iranian nuclear activities.

Iran, which is has been under sanctions for years, has a long history of illicit nuclear procurement using front companies and other methods of skirting sanctions.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Iran is not an honest negotiator, and America needs to break off talks with them at least until the American prisoners they hold are released.

 

If You Are Concerned About The Nuclear Deal With Iran, Here Is Your Plan Of Action

Hugh Hewitt posted an article on his website today about the recent developments in the Iranian nuclear deal.

The article reports:

Now that Iran has announced (1) there is no deal unless sanctions are lifted on day one and (2) there will be no “anytime, anywhere” access to military facilities, Democrats up for re-election in 2016 and 2018 face a dilemma even if they are indifferent to national security. Both are deal killers (as should have been the continuation of support for the Iran-backed killer militias of the region and export of existing enriched uranium stockpiles and closing of Fordo.)

…Like the vote on the Iraq war, the vote on the Corker-Menendez will haunt senators for a decade or more to come.  Indeed it will haunt them in history.

The article then lists the Democrats facing re-election in 2016 and 2018 and the phone number to contact them.

The article then lists links to interview Hugh Hewitt has done in recent days regarding the Iranian nuclear deal. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to the article and read more about the nuclear deal. To agree to this deal should be regarded as treason.

This Seems To Be A Rather Unagreeable Agreement

Yesterday the Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the nuclear agreement reached with Iran.

The article reports:

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the Obama administration of misleading the American people and Congress in a fact sheet it released following the culmination of negotiations with the Islamic Republic.

Zarif bragged in an earlier press conference with reporters that the United States had tentatively agreed to let it continue the enrichment of uranium, the key component in a nuclear bomb, as well as key nuclear research.

Zarif additionally said Iran would have all nuclear-related sanctions lifted once a final deal is signed and that the country would not be forced to shut down any of its currently operating nuclear installations.

Following a subsequent press conference by Secretary of State John Kerry—and release of a administration fact sheet on Iranian concessions—Zarif lashed out on Twitter over what he dubbed lies.

Zarif has told reporters that the agreement allows Iran to continue its nuclear program.

It seems the only concession made in the negotiations was that the sanctions on Iran would be lifted. I don’t see any evidence that Iran gave up anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Sense Is Obviously Becoming More Rare

On Thursday, MSN News reported that the European Union human rights court has ordered France to pay thousands of euros to Somali pirates for violating their rights.

The article reports:

The Somali pirates were apprehended on the high seas by the French army on two separate occasions in 2008 and taken back to France for trial.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said that French authorities should have brought the pirates before a judge “without delay” when they arrived on French territory after being held at sea. The EU’s top human rights court said French authorities were wrong to keep the pirates in custody for an additional 48 hours before bringing them before a judge.

“Nothing justifies such an additional delay,” the court said in its verdict, adding that it constituted a “violation of their rights to freedom and security”.

France was ordered to pay between €5,000 and €2,000 ($6,100 and $2,500) to each pirate for “moral damages”, plus amounts varying from €3,000 to €9,000 ($3,700 and $11,200) to cover legal costs.

They are pirates. They earn a living by attacking ships, stealing and kidnapping and killing innocent people. They gave up their rights to freedom and security when they chose piracy as a profession. Would the court have ruled this way if any of its members had any personal knowledge or experience with Somali pirates?

At Least Someone Is Standing Up For The Ukraine

Yesterday the U.K. Telegraph reported that there was a very tense exchange between Vladimir Putin and David Cameron at the G20 summit.

The article reports:

The Russian president is reportedly planning to leave the summit early on Sunday and miss its official lunch in response to repeated criticism from western leaders.

The move comes after Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minister, threatened to “shirt front” Mr Putin – a form of physical confrontation. Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, told Mr Putin: “I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I’ll only have one thing to say to you – get out of the Ukraine.”

Mr Cameron told Mr Putin that he is at a “crossroads” and could face further sanctions after the pair held “robust” discussions on Ukraine.

During a tense 50 minute meeting Mr Cameron warned that Russia is risking its relations with the West and must end its support for Russian separatists.

Let’s remember how we got here. In March of this year the U.K. Daily Mail reported:

As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama won $48 million in federal funding to help Ukraine destroy thousands of tons of guns and ammunition – weapons which are now unavailable to the Ukrainian army as it faces down Russian President Vladimir Putin during his invasion of Crimea.

In August 2005, just seven months after his swearing-in, Obama traveled to Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine with then-Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar, touring a conventional weapons site.

The two met in Kiev with President Victor Yushchenko, making the case that an existing Cooperative Threat Reduction Program covering the destruction of nuclear weapons should be expanded to include artillery, small arms, anti-aircraft weapons, and conventional ammunition of all kinds.

After a stopover in London, the senators returned to Washington and declared that the U.S. should devote funds to speed up the destruction of more than 400,000 small arms, 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles, and more than 15,000 tons of ammunition.

It gets worse. In March of 2014, Newsweek Magazine reminded us:

 A deal was signed on February 5, 1994, by Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, John Major and Leonid Kuchma—the then-leaders of the United States, Russia, United Kingdom and Ukraine—guaranteeing the security of Ukraine in exchange for the return of its ICBMs to Moscow’s control. The last SS-24 missiles moved from Ukrainian territory in June 1996, leaving Kiev defenseless against its nuclear-armed neighbor.

That deal, known as the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, was not a formal treaty but a diplomatic memorandum of understanding. Still, the terms couldn’t be clearer: Russia, the U.S. and U.K. agreed “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine…reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine.”

 I am not convinced that any of the countries involved have lived up to that agreement. America has done very little to ensure the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine (we gave up Crimea very easily, and it is very rarely spoken of in the news).

However, there is good news in this–as the price of oil falls, the economy of Russia will also spiral downward. If America begins sending natural gas to Europe, Russia will lose part of the bullying tactics they have employed in the region. Also, just to make it even more interesting, as the price of oil falls, Venezuela will also continue its economic spiral downward. The falling price of oil will also impact some of the despots in the Middle East that have had a strangle hold on American diplomacy for generations.

American energy independence is important as a security matter, but it is also very important as a component of American foreign policy. As the price of oil falls, we will begin to see the impact of that decrease in international politics.

Facts Are Such Inconvenient Things

Yahoo.com posted an article yesterday about President Obama’s speech at the United Nations. The article pointed out how the President spun the statistics in order to paint a picture that was not entirely true.

Here are a few examples of the spin:

OBAMA: “Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth.”

THE FACTS: Europe as a whole has cut a bigger proportion of its emissions.

From 2005 to 2013, the period cited by Obama, the European Union reduced carbon dioxide by 13.9 percent, compared with a 10 percent reduction in the U.S. Because the United States pollutes more, it has reduced more raw emissions than the EU — cutting raw tonnage by 649 million tons since 2005, compared with Europe’s reduction of 614 million tons. But Europe has cut a bigger proportion of its emissions.

…OBAMA: “So, all told, these advances have helped create jobs, grow our economy, and drive our carbon pollution to its lowest levels in nearly two decades — proving that there does not have to be a conflict between a sound environment and strong economic growth.”

THE FACTS: About half of the 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions the U.S. has achieved in recent years can be attributed to the economic recession, not any specific actions from the Obama administration. Obama’s comments also left out that U.S. carbon emissions rose 2.9 percent from 2012 to 2013, the first increase since 2007, because higher natural gas prices spurred more coal use.

OBAMA: “We’re helping more nations skip past the dirty phase of development, using current technologies, not duplicating the same mistakes and environmental degradation that took place previously.”

THE FACTS: The U.S. is actually sending more dirty fuel abroad even as it takes steps to help other nations transition to cleaner energy. The U.S. has cuts its own coal consumption by 195 million tons in six years. But according to an AP analysis of Energy Department data, about 20 percent of that coal was shipped to power plants and other customers overseas. Emissions from that coal were not eliminated but rather moved to other countries. As well, the U.S. exported more products refined from oil — another dirty fuel — than it imported, starting in 2011.

…OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: From a White House background document: “The Climate Action Plan is working. In 2012, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell to the lowest level in nearly two decades.”

THE FACTS: That plan has nothing to do with reductions in emissions in 2012 because it was not announced until June 2013. Moreover, two of its cornerstone regulations — controls on new and existing coal-fired power plants — are at this point just proposals. The administration isn’t expected to complete those rules until next year and some states may not submit plans until after Obama leaves office. The statement also leaves out the fact that in 2013, emissions in the U.S. rose for the first time since 2007.

I don’t know if the listening audience at the United Nations believed what the President said or not, but President Obama obviously has a very casual relationship with the concept of truth.

Some Perspective On The Ukraine

On Thursday the U.K. Telegraph posted an article by Edward Lucas about the situation in the Ukraine. Obviously, events there are moving very quickly. The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article by Mark Almond yesterday. Both articles point to the danger of the spread of the unrest in the Ukraine. Please follow the links to the articles. There is a lot of information in both articles.

The article in the Daily Mail reminds us that the Ukraine is made up of both Russians and Ukrainians. Each group has their own concept of what the country’s relationship with Europe and Russia should be. There is a serious division among the population of the country.

The article in the Telegraph states:

Without Vladimir Putin, Ukraine would be at peace today. It was Russia which forced Ukraine to shun the economic agreement offered by the EU in October, launching a crippling trade war against Ukrainian exports. It was Russia which offered cheap gas and soft loans as the Ukrainian economy tottered. It was Russia which installed hundreds of “advisers” in key Ukrainian public bodies and ministries, including the SBU secret police, to ensure that they toe the Moscow line. Without Russia’s silent putsch, Ukrainians would have not have needed to build barricades in the streets in protest at the regime’s misrule. Even then, without the continued and escalating Russian pressure on Mr Yanukovych, the conflict could have been defused.

We have seen enough of Putin to know that he will not let the Ukraine move toward Europe politically and economically without a fight. President Putin has openly stated that his dream is to bring back the old Soviet Union.

The Telegraph reports:

But Russia’s interference in Ukraine has intensified in recent months, just as Western efforts have floundered. European policymakers still cling to the notion that talks with Russia can bring a mutually beneficial solution to Ukraine’s agony. That is a false hope. The Kremlin does not like win-win solutions. It likes outcomes in which it wins, and its detestable Western rivals lose, preferably humiliatingly – this, for Mr Putin, is a matter of personal prestige. In short, though the EU finds the whole notion of geopolitics old-fashioned and unappealing, geopolitics is happening on its doorstep. And it is losing.

America is out of the game, too. The Obama administration has neglected its European allies since the day it took office. Its senior official dealing with Ukraine, Toria Nuland, is admirably energetic – and blunt (she recently declared “F— the EU” in a phone call to her ambassador in Kiev, bugged and then leaked by Russian intelligence). But she lacks the clout to make the wheels of policy turn in Washington. Without Moscow’s interference, the EU and United States could marshal their modest resources to make a difference. Faced with Russia in all its implacable fury, both are outgunned. The fallout from Edward Snowden’s leaks of secret material from the National Security Agency has corroded and weakened the transatlantic alliance: fury with American snooping in countries such as Germany has paralysed what should be vital discussions on security.

Hopefully this will end with freedom for the people of the Ukraine, but I am not optimistic. I remember how hard Poland fought to be free of the Soviet Union. Putin does not give up easily, and he does not compromise.

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Social Media And The Holocaust

The Blaze posted a story today about an Israeli-based social media genealogy company that is using the Internet to help match property stolen by the Nazis to heirs of the victims. A website called My Heritage founded by Gilad Japhet lets people build their family trees on line. The names on that website are being matched up with the names of businesses and properties seized by the Nazis during the reign of Adolph Hitler so that restitution can be made to survivors and heirs.

The article reports:

“We are only just seeing the huge impact that social media will have on Holocaust history,” said Robert-Jan Smits, the director-general of the European Union’s commission for research and design. “We are moving from dusty archives to digitized databases.”

One of the driving forces behind the new push has been Gilad Japhet, CEO and founder of Israel-based MyHeritage, a social media website with about 70 million registered users worldwide that lets individuals build their own family trees online.

A few months back, Japhet read a report about the Claims Conference’s list of over 40,000 buildings, stores and factories that could not be matched with their original owners. Japhet matched some names on the list to the millions of names that users had posted on MyHeritage’s family trees online.

This is fantastic. The article explains:

Japhet put together a team of five employees and had them write a computer program that automatically matches the names on the Claims Conference’s list with those on the virtual family trees. So far, they have been able to match about 150 names on the list with names on the family trees. They expect to continue working on this project for several more months.

Nothing can make up for the suffering the Jews went through under Adolph Hitler, but it is wonderful to know that members of families who lost everything will be compensated.

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Making Anti-Semitism Official

Last week the Daily Caller reported that the European Union has forbidden its member states from funding Israeli individuals or organizations based in the contested territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The article states:

In new guidelines that were originally published on June 30 and are scheduled to go into effect on Friday, the 28 nations that make up the E.U. are no longer allowed to contribute financially to or cooperate in any way with organizations that are headquartered beyond the historic “Green Line” that divides the West Bank from the rest of Israel.

Significantly, the guidelines also define East Jerusalem as one of the illegal Israeli settlements that cannot receive future funding. East Jerusalem includes Old City landmarks like the Temple Mount and the Western Wall that are central to thousands of years of Jewish faith and history, making Israeli agreement with the ruling very unlikely.

It’s amazing sometimes how some organizations rewrite history. In April 2011, the American Thinker posted an article stating:

…Except that there was no “border” on Israel’s eastern flank from 1948 until 1967 — only a 1949 armistice line that marked the farthest westward military penetration by Jordan during Israel’s War of Independence when half a dozen Arab armies unsuccessfully tried to exterminate the nascent Jewish state.

The 1949 armistice line was never recognized internationally as a “border.”  Neither of course were Jordan’s aggression and illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem since  they occurred in flagrant violation of the 1947 UN partition plan to divide British Mandate Palestine between a Jewish state and an Arab state.

Israel needs defensible borders. Israel lives in a tough neighborhood where its neighbors won’t even admit that it has a right to exist there. The European Union is definitely coming down on the wrong side of history.

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The Roots Of The Collapse In Cyprus

Yesterday the New York Times posted an article about a decision made by the European Union in October 2011 that began the unravelling of the banks in Cyprus.

The article reports:

“It was 3 o’clock in the morning,” recalled Kikis Kazamias, Cyprus’s finance minister at the time. “I was not happy. Nobody was happy, but what could we do?”

He was in Brussels as European leaders and the International Monetary Fund engineered a 50 percent write-down of Greek government bonds. This meant that those holding the bonds — notably the then-cash-rich banks of the Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus — would lose at least half the money they thought they had. Eventual losses came close to 75 percent of the bonds’ face value.

The decision resulted in the country of Cyprus, with a gross domestic product of 18 billion euros, taking a hit of four billion euros. Laiki, also known as Cyprus Popular Bank, alone took a hit of 2.3 billion euros. This is not the sole cause of the banking collapse in Cyprus, but it is a major factor.

The article further reports:

As well as hitting Cyprus over its banks’ holdings of Greek bonds, the European Union also abruptly raised the amount of capital all European banks needed to hold in order to be considered solvent. This move, too, had good intentions — making sure that banks had a cushion to fall back on. But it helped drain confidence, the most important asset in banking.

“The bar suddenly got higher,” said Fiona Mullen, director of Sapienta Economics, a Nicosia-based consulting firm. “It was a sign of how the E.U. keeps moving the goal posts.”

The European Union did what it needed to do to protect itself–it did not look at the long-term consequences of its actions, and its actions were tilted toward the interests of the larger countries in the E.U.  Cyprus never really had a chance.

The article further reports:

After the Greek write-down, Cyprus compounded its problems by dithering on whether to seek a bailout from the European Union. At first, it appealed to Russia, which provided a 2.5 billion-euro loan in December 2011. But this money quickly ran out, and when Cyprus did finally go cap-in-hand to its European partners for a lifeline, it received a rude shock: Germany, already gearing up for an election this year, wanted not just budget cuts and other conventional austerity measures but a complete overhaul of Cyprus’s economic model, built around financial services for foreigners seeking ways to dodge taxes and, Berlin suspected, launder dirty money.

“They did not want the Cypriot model to exist as it did — they wanted Cyprus to stop being a financial center,” said Pambos Papageorgiou, a former central bank board member who is now a member of parliament and on its finance committee. “It was very brutal, like warfare.”

Mr. Papageorgiou complained that the European Union had shown “the opposite of solidarity” in its dealings with one of its weakest and most vulnerable members.

The role Cyprus played in harboring money from questionable sources is not unique and has occasionally in the past gone unpunished. I recently watched a documentary about the role the Swiss banks played in holding the wealth the Nazis confiscated from the Jews of Germany. Most of that money still sits in Swiss banks. There was no reason the banks of Cyprus would have assumed that their business model would face a day of reckoning.

The article concludes:

“We are looking at a very grim future for Cyprus,” said Michael Olympios, chairman of the Cyprus Investor Association, a lobbying group. “Even firm believers in European project like myself see now that it was a bad idea and that we should have at least stayed out of the euro.”

As jobs disappear and the economy contracts, Mr. Olympios said, faith in Europe will wither. “I used to be a believer. Not anymore.”

There is such a thing as giving a small people too much power. ‘Nuff said.

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Making Friends All Over The World

On Friday the U. K. Mail posted an article entitled, “A Meddlesome Obama Should Keep His Nose Out Of Our Affairs.” Wow. How’s that for diplomacy? What is this about?

The article reports:

…Yet it was outrageous for a White House official to warn this week that our membership of the EU was ‘in the American interest’ and that pulling out would be a mistake.

State Department official Philip Gordon may hold a post that is the equivalent to a junior under-secretary in our Foreign Office but he is the authentic voice of the Obama administration.

His unwelcome interference in this country’s internal affairs comes at a most sensitive time, considering that David Cameron is soon due to make a major speech on the subject — and is expected to say whether we are to be offered the in/out referendum that the majority of voters want.

Ironically, those on the Left who normally revile America — for its interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, support of Israel and alleged mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay — are happy to use the U.S. official’s remarks as a stick with which to beat Mr Cameron.

…As for Mr Gordon’s specific comments about the possibility of Britain holding a referendum on our future membership of the EU, he reveals America’s own myopia.

He said: ‘Referendums have often turned countries inwards.’

Such a remark is pretty rich coming from an American whose country is one of the most parochial societies in the world. What’s good for the U.S. should be good for Britain.

Mr Gordon and his Washington buddies must accept that we, too, should be able to decide what our national interest is — whether America likes it or not.

How to win friends and influence people…

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The Saudis Bring Reason To OPEC

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is meeting this week. The Financial Times reminds us that oil prices have dropped from $128 a barrel in March to a current price of about $100. The drop is partially due to the financial difficulties in the European Union and the general slowdown in the world’s economy. Normally when the price of oil drops, OPEC calls for a decrease in production so that the price will rise again (supply and demand works!).

Recently OPEC has been producing more oil than its quota in an effort to lessen the impact of the oil sanctions that Europe and America have placed on Iran in an attempt to end Iran’s nuclear program. Saudi Arabia seems to be responsible for the increase–Ali Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, told the Financial Times in March that he would like to see lower oil prices  “that will not hurt the global economic recovery”.

The Saudis have called for higher oil output levels despite the lower prices. I would love to be a fly on the wall (one who understood whatever language is spoken) at the coming OPEC meeting!

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