Just a small comment on the Iranian protests. The people are protesting for many reasons, but some of them are economic–the price of food has skyrocketed, and people are hungry. They are also protesting the amount of money going to Hezbollah, Syria, Lebanon, etc. that the mullahs are sending in the hope of eventually setting up their Islamic caliphate. The money we gave Iran after the Iranian nuclear deal did not go to the people of the country–it went for military and terrorism purposes. That really isn’t a surprise, but we need to learn from that experience. It is time to use wisdom in our foreign aid–giving people money does not make people like us. If they hate us to begin with, why are we paying them to hate us? We need to remember that much of the hatred that is directed toward America is the result of dictators and tyrants using America as a scapegoat to blame for the problems in their countries. Some of the hatred is simply jealousy. America has been blessed as a nation. We need to appreciate what we have and share it where appropriate. A friend of mine from another country once told me that he was amazed at the generosity of Americans–we are among the first there to help after a disaster. We need to continue to help where help is needed, but we need to be more careful about how we distribute our foreign aid. Let’s help the people who align with us–not give money to countries that will use it against us.
Politico is not a right-wing website. Generally, it leans left. So why are they throwing President Obama under the bus? I don’t know, but Politico posted an article yesterday detailing how the Obama Administration blocked an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States. This is part of the price President Obama was willing to pay to get the Iranian nuclear treaty.
The article at Politico is long, but it is worth reading. I will try to summarize the main points, but I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire story.
The article reports:
…Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.
Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.
They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.
But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way, according to interviews with dozens of participants who in many cases spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, and a review of government documents and court records. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.
The article quotes someone involved in the investigation as saying that the program was blocked from the top.
The article further reports:
Obama had entered office in 2009 promising to improve relations with Iran as part of a broader rapprochement with the Muslim world. On the campaign trail, he had asserted repeatedly that the Bush administration’s policy of pressuring Iran to stop its illicit nuclear program wasn’t working, and that he would reach out to Tehran to reduce tensions.
The man who would become Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser and then CIA director, John BrennanJohn BrennanObama’s White House counterterrorism adviser, who became CIA director in 2013., went further. He recommended in a policy paper that “the next president has the opportunity to set a new course for relations between the two countries” through not only a direct dialogue, but “greater assimilation of Hezbollah into Lebanon’s political system.”
Anyone who knows the history of Lebanon understands that Hezbollah is not a force for peace, freedom, or stability.
The article goes on to detail money laundering by Hezbollah and the fact that Hezbollah has operatives in America planning terrorist attacks. It is very obvious in reading the article that the activities of the Obama Administration put Americans at risk. The efforts at ending the drug trafficking and money laundering will resume under the Trump Administration. At a time when America has major drug problems, it would be a really good idea to shut down any traffickers we can.
This is a map showing the geographical relationship between Saudi Arabia and Yemen:
Saudi Arabia said its forces intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen toward one of the kingdom’s major international airports on the outskirts of Riyadh.
A Saudi-led coalition launched a war against the Houthi rebels and their allies in March 2015 that grinds on today, a campaign overseeing by Crown Prince Mohammed.
The conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia is an expression of the Sunni vs. Shiite conflict. Both the Sunnis and the Shiites want a caliphate reminiscent of the Ottoman Empire covering the Middle East. The dispute is over who will lead it–the Sunnis or the Shiites.
The article further reports:
Only hours before the missile was shout out of the sky, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri resigned from his post in a televised address from Riyadh, offering a vicious tirade against Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah group for what he said was their meddling in Arab affairs.
‘Iran’s arms in the region will be cut off,’ Hariri said.
Iran-backed Yemeni Huthi rebels claimed responsibility for firing missile, which was targeting the airport, the Huthis’ Al-Masirah television said.
Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s southern neighbour, has been ripped apart by a war between the Saudi-backed government of president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Huthi rebels backed by Iran.
A Saudi-led coalition became involved in 2015 to help prop up Hadi’s government after Shiite Huthis seized the capital Sanaa.
The missile was knocked down by the Patriot missile system that the Saudis bought from America.
Katie Pavlich posted an article at Townhall today about an investigative report done by CNN. The report states that the Venezuelan government has been issuing official passports in Iraq to anyone who is willing to pay for them–even if they have ties to terrorism.
The article reports:
One confidential intelligence document obtained by CNN links Venezuela‘s new Vice President Tareck El Aissami to 173 Venezuelan passports and ID’s that were issued to individuals from the Middle East, including people connected to the terrorist group Hezbollah.
The article at Townhall reminds us that Venezuela is a close ally of Iran. Iran is the backer and money behind Hezbollah. Until 9/11, Hezbollah was the most prevalent terrorist organization in the work, and before 9/11, responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist organization. A dubious honor at best.
The article further reports:
ISIS, which has taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria, has hundreds of millions of dollars at its disposal to purchase official passports. Additionally, the terror army has set up their own fraudulent passport system.
President Trump recently signed an executive order barring all refugees and visas holders from seven countries, including Iraq and Syria, without proper vetting procedures.
I think this report shows the wisdom of that ban.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is not a friend of America. The group was created in 1994 and has been named by the US government a co-conspirator for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas.
The article reports:
CAIR-Florida reflects the same violent extremism of its parent organization. In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers shouted, “We are Hamas,” “Let’s go Hamas,” and “Hamas kicked your ass.” Following the rally, the event organizer, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, wrote in Arabic, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”
CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly has referred to Hezbollah as “basically a resistance movement” and “absolutely not a terrorist organization” and, in August 2014, tweeted, “Israel and its supporters are enemies of God…” In December 2010, CAIR-Florida CEO and Statewide Regional Operations Director Nezar Hamze repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas, when given numerous chances to do so, stating “I’m not denouncing anybody. I’m not getting involved in the politics.”
Today, apart from his full-time roles with CAIR, Hamze is a full-time Deputy at the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO). He was referred for the job by Scott Israel, the current Sheriff, who calls Hamze his “friend.” Israel hired Hamze against the advice of all three BSO Majors who had evaluated Hamze during the hiring process. In May 2013, they unanimously signed a form stating, “At this time, I do not recommend Officer Hamze for employment…” Hamze was found to be lying on his polygraph exam about “use of illegal drugs” and about “buying illegal drugs.”
Why was this man hired? Please follow the link above to read the entire article–this man is not working for the safety of the citizens of Broward County.
Yesterday the BBC posted an article about the ongoing war in the Middle East. I generally don’t trust the BBC as a source on the Middle East because I feel that they are biased against Israel, but in this case, the article provides a lot of good information.
The article included a map showing where things currently stand:
The article states:
Russia’s defence ministry says it has used a base in western Iran to carry out air strikes in Syria.
Tupolev-22M3 long-range bombers and Sukhoi-34 strike fighters took off from Hamedan on Tuesday, a statement said.
Targets were hit in Aleppo, Idlib and Deir al-Zour provinces, it added. Local groups said 27 civilians had died.
It is reportedly the first time Russia has struck targets inside Syria from a third country since it began a campaign to prop up Syria’s president last year.
Iran is Bashar al-Assad’s main regional ally and has provided significant military and financial support since an uprising against him erupted in 2011.
…Russia has been operating jets and helicopters from bases in Syria for the past year, but this is the first time that Moscow has deployed aircraft to a third country in the region.
Reports indicate that up to six Tupolev Tu-22M3 bombers – known by the Nato codename of “Backfire” – are now operating from an air base in western Iran.
These planes – originally designed as a long-range strategic bomber – have already been engaged in the Syrian air campaign but operating from bases in southern Russia. Placing them in Iran dramatically reduces the duration of their missions. The Russian defence ministry says that an unspecified number of Sukhoi-34 strike aircraft have also been sent to Iran.
Their deployment marks an intensification of the Russian air campaign – perhaps a reflection of the scale of the fighting in and around Aleppo – and it is a demonstration of the growing warmth in ties between Moscow and Tehran, the Syrian government’s two closest allies.
This is not good news.
The article concludes:
Also on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch alleged that Russian and Syrian government aircraft had been using incendiary weapons in civilian areas in violation of international law – something Moscow has denied.
A review of photographs and videos indicated there were at least 18 incendiary weapon attacks on rebel-held areas in Aleppo and Idlib between 5 June and 10 August, the US-based group said. Witnesses and emergency workers reported at least 12 civilians wounded in five of the attacks.
President Obama is in the process of forming an alliance with Russia to fight ISIS. That is a serious mistake. The only reason Russia is involved in this is to prop up Bashar al-Assad, to cement its relationship with Iran, and to regain the status it had as a world power before the Soviet Union dissolved. Vladimir Putin is not our friend and should be handled as carefully as a scorpion.
NBC News is reporting today that President Obama stopped the CIA from executing a plan to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power in 2012. The President’s reluctance to do anything to end the Syrian Revolution had serious consequences–the rise of ISIS.
The article reports:
It’s long been known that then-CIA Director David Petraeus recommended a program to secretly arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in 2012 to pressure Assad. But a book to be published Tuesday by a former CIA operative goes further, revealing that senior CIA officials were pushing a multi-tiered plan to engineer the dictator’s ouster. Former American officials involved in the discussions confirmed that to NBC News.
In an exclusive television interview with NBC News, the former officer, Doug Laux, describes spending a year in the Middle East meeting with Syrian rebels and intelligence officers from various partner countries. Laux, who spoke some Arabic, was the eyes and ears on the ground for the CIA’s Syria task force, he says.
The article noted that the President, who must approve all covert operations, never approved the action.
The article further reports:
Petraeus and others who supported the plan believe it could have prevented the rise of ISIS, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, the European refugee crisis and the tens of thousands of civilian deaths that have happened since, the former officials say. President Obama and many other analysts strongly disagree.
Elements under discussion at the time included not only bolstering Syrian rebels, but pressuring and paying senior members of Assad’s regime to push him out, the former officials said. The idea was that the Syrian civil war could then have been peacefully resolved–a huge uncertainty.
Laux ultimately resigned in frustration — over that and other issues — after it became clear the Obama administration would not move forward.
…But former senior U.S. officials point out that the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, had not yet begun fighting in Syria in significant numbers in 2012. Many players in the region, they say, were waiting to see what the United States would do.
Interfering in civil wars in foreign countries is risky. Libya did not turn out well, and initially Egypt did not turn out well. However, in the case of Syria, not getting involved probably created more problems than it solved.
Part of the problem here is the cultural differences between western culture and the Middle East. The Middle Eastern culture has very little respect for anything but force. President Obama’s lack of action was seen as weakness and viewed as something to be taken advantage of. Unless America elects a leader who is viewed as strong by our enemies, we can expect the problem of ISIS and Hezbollah to grow. We shouldn’t be sending our troops overseas at every moment, but we need to project enough strength to prevent nations and groups that are less than friendly to us from taking advantage of perceived weakness.
CBN News posted a story today that provides a little bit of background about the continuing conflict in the Middle East. It seems rather ironic that ISIS and Iran, (Shia vs. Sunni) Islam agree on “death to America” and “death to Israel,” but are fighting each other to the death. So what is going on?
The article explains:
“The Sunni and the Shia now are very much at loggerheads,” he (Matthew Levitt, with the Washington Institute) explained. “And while they may share hatred of Israel, they may share hatred of the West — certainly, suspicion of the West, this sectarianism is the dominant issue right now.”
The main battleground right now for this intra-Islam conflict is Syria.
On the Sunni side, there are ISIS, al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups. These groups, who’ve also been known to battle each other, have been supported to various degrees by Sunni governments in the region, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
On the Shia side are Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, both of whom are propping up the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
This Sunni-Shia conflict is also raging in Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen.
Mr. Levitt explained that Sunni Muslims make up about 85 percent of the world’s Muslim population, while Shia make up about 15 percent.
Although the Islamic governments in the Middle East all tend to be repressive, not all of these governments support terrorism. One of the interesting consequences of the ongoing conflict between Sunni and Shia and of Iran’s continuing push to obtain nuclear weapons is the alliance that is growing between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Egypt has dealt with the Muslim Brotherhood, and Jordan and Saudi Arabia are in the sights of the Brotherhood. The plan the Brotherhood voiced a few years ago was to take down the dictatorships in the Middle East, then take down the governments ruled by royal families. That was to be the basis of the new caliphate which both the Sunni and Shia Muslims would like to establish. The debate is not about establishing the caliphate–the debate is over who will control it once it is established. All things considered, ISIS is no more brutal than the government of Iran–they are simply more pubic about it. It won’t matter whether the Sunnis or the Shia control the caliphate–the caliphate will be brutal.
Mona Charen posted an article at National Review Online today about President Obama’s understanding of the national security threats to America. While speaking at a Nuclear Security Summit, President Obama stated, “I continue to be much more concerned, when it comes to our security, with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan.”
The article reports:
The president was speaking at a meeting of the Nuclear Security Summit, a conclave of nations who agree to certain worthy actions such as converting their reactors from the use of highly enriched uranium to newer versions using low-enriched uranium, beefing up security at nuclear facilities, improving radiation detection at air and sea ports, and so forth. Fifty-seven nations and entities (the EU and U.N. included) participate in this process. But the Islamic Republic of Iran is not on the list.
The article reminds us that the most likely way for terrorists to obtain a nuclear weapon would be from Iran.
The article states:
While we are clinking glasses with Iran in negotiations in Vienna, the U.S. State Department continues to list Iran as a state sponsor of terror. In 2012, Iran participated in planned terror attacks in India, Thailand, Georgia, and Kenya. It provided aid and training to the Taliban, Shiite groups in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and continues to cooperate in various ways with al-Qaeda. The president should curl up some evening with the State Department’s country reports. They’re not beclouded by wishful thinking.
President Obama has made numerous attempts to make friends with Iran. Iran has used these attempts to have sanctions lifted and continue its nuclear program. The sanctions that were in place were seriously hurting the Iranian economy. Unless the economy improved, it was going to be difficult for the current mullahs to stay in power–they needed the sanctions lifted. Had the sanctions stayed in place, there might have been a chance for a regime change in Iran. Now that the sanctions have been lifted, that opportunity has passed.
The article concludes:
If Obama does lose sleep worrying about nuclear terrorism, he should drop his naïve parlay with Iran. He may fondly envision a new cordiality between old foes. That’s not what they see.
Naivete is not an attractive trait in an American President.
The article explains the roots of the alliance:
The question is, how did this deadly alliance come into existence? For decades, immigrants, legal and illegal, have been arriving in Mexico from Lebanon. This population has been growing steadily, and has a certain level of favorability with Hezbollah. One of the creations of Hezbollah in Mexico is that of well-connected global drug dealers, like Ayman Joumaa. Joumaa, indicted in 2011 is of Lebanese heritage, and has been linked to Hezbollah, and Mexico’s Los Zetas cartel. With the help of the Los Zetas, and companies like The Lebanese Canadian Bank, Ayman Joumaa has laundered between $850 and $900 million.
In addition to forming an alliance with the drug cartels, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard and Quds forces are learning Mexican culture, as well as Spanish, and are starting to blend in with native-born Mexicans. That way, when they illegally cross the border into America, they are simply assumed to be run-on-the-mill Mexican illegals. Los Zetas was the group that was going to be paid to bomb the Israeli Embassy in Washington, and the Saudi and Israeli embassy in Argentina. The alliance with Middle Eastern terrorists will simply expand their reign of terror into the United States. The Mexican government has not been successful in fighting the drug lords–even without their alliance with terror–the drug lords are brutal and have little regard for human life.
The article concludes:
The lure of criminal activity and the drug trade, coupled with the presence of Hezbollah and Iranian Quds forces in neighboring Mexico present the United States with a major threat at its borders. Dr. Matthew Levitt, senior fellow and director of terrorism studies at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, as reported in CNS News.com in 2010 stated that Hezbollah’s ties to Latin American drug smugglers poses a “significant” threat for U.S. national security and “In the event the nuclear confrontation with Iran gets worse rather than better, having a militant organization like Hezbollah on, and even within our border- it certainly does pose a threat”. The obvious question is whether or not the United States is taking the necessary precautions to counter what is likely to become an even larger problem if left undeterred.
This is certainly a strong argument for securing the border before we proceed with immigration reform.
Yesterday the Washington Times reported that American soldiers will be taking part in a Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping force in Egypt. Ultimately about 400 American troops will take part in the 9-month mission aimed at curbing riots. The troops will be stationed at checkpoints along the Sinai Peninsula. They’re also tasked with reporting violations to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. My first question here is “Who will be commanding these American troops?”
The United Nations is probably one of the most anti-Israel organizations in the world. Last year the United Nations Human Rights Council called for a boycott on all companies doing business in Israel (rightwinggranny.com). How can anyone expect the United Nations to report honestly on peace treaty violations? The United Nations observers in Lebanon has been silent as Hezbollah has built up its weapons (Reuters). Why would their actions in the Sinai be any different?
In April the Reuters article linked above reported:
“Under pressure, a multi-national force is like an umbrella that gets folded up on a rainy day,” Yaakov Amidror, Netanyahu’s national security adviser, said in a Tel Aviv University speech.
“Has Hezbollah avoided bringing any kind of rocket, missile or other arms into southern Lebanon because UNIFIL is there?” he said. Israel believes Hezbollah has amassed 60,000 rockets, including 5,000 with heavy warheads capable of hitting Tel Aviv.
“Under their (UNIFIL) mandate, they cannot stop Hezbollah and confiscate its arms, but they can write a report. There has been no UNIFIL report about any weapon of any Hezbollah person since UNIFIL has existed,” Amidror said.
As part of the U.N. ceasefire that ended Israel’s inconclusive 2006 war with Hezbollah, UNIFIL’s mandate was enhanced to include “assisting” the Lebanese army with keeping guerrilla “personnel, assets and weapons” out of south Lebanon.
Israel is America’s only true ally in the Middle East. We need to protect them–not aid and abet their enemies. The countries surrounding Israel train their children to hate Israel and to grow up to be soldiers or suicide bombers to destroy Israel. This is a picture of a kindergarten graduation in Gaza that I posted last June (rightwinggranny.com)::
Israel lives with this threat every day. We need to be sure that we are helping combat the threat–not becoming part of it. Our future as America depends on it.
The article reports:
Israeli jets bombed Syria on Sunday for the second time in 48 hours. Israel does not confirm such missions explicitly – a policy it says is intended to avoid provoking reprisals. But an Israeli official acknowledged that the strikes were carried out by its forces.
“It would not be unusual for them to take aggressive steps when there was some chance that some sophisticated weapons system would fall into the hands of people like Hezbollah,” the U.S. intelligence official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Israel is much closer to the war in Syria than America and has a much more vital interest. Bashar al-Assad is aligned with Hezbollah, a terrorist organization sponsored by Iran which frequently fires rockets at Israel from various locations. It is suspected that the rockets Israel stopped might eventually wind up in Lebanon aimed at Israel.
The article further reports:
Rather than an attempt to tip the scales against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Israel’s action is seen more as part of its own conflict with Iran, which it fears is sending missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syria. Those missiles might hit Tel Aviv if Israel makes good on threats to attack Tehran’s nuclear program.
Another Western intelligence source told Reuters the latest attack, like the previous one, was directed against stores of Fateh-110 missiles in transit from Iran to Hezbollah.
Israel has made it clear that it will take action to prevent Iran from going nuclear. It is in the interest of Israel to make sure that if it attacks Iran the allies of Iran that surround Israel have a few rockets as possible.
The war in Syria is a civil war, but it is also a war between terrorists. Hezbollah supports Bashar al-Assad, a Shiite, and many of the rebels have ties to Al Qaeda, which tends Sunni (the majority population of Saudi Arabia). The problem with the war is that if America gets involved, both sides will unite and turn against the ‘infidels.’ At the present time the Obama Administration is said to be negotiating with some of the ‘moderate’ rebels, but there are some serious questions as to how much power the moderates have with the rebels. If America chooses to arm the rebels, we could be shipping arms to Syria that will be used against American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in the very near future. Our best bet is to do anything we can to get innocent civilians out of Syria and let the terrorists fight it out among themselves. Israel has more of a reason to get involved because Hezbollah is already sending rockets against her, and because Israel will be directly involved regardless of who wins. It is in Israel’s best interests to limit the number of rockets going from Iran to Syria so as to limit the number of rockets that will be coming in their direction when both sides stop fighting each other.
This attack on the rockets heading for Syria could be seen as a backdoor attack on Iran or as a warning to Iran. I suspect there will be retaliation against Israel and further action by Israel. By making it public that America was not notified until after the attack, it is quite possible that Hezbollah terrorist cells in America will not be activated in response.
Boston.com posted some of the details of the blast today.
The article reports:
Investigators have also recovered components of the bombs, enabling them to determine what they consisted of two 6-liter pressure cookers packed with nails, ball bearings, and other metal. The makeshift bombs were placed in black duffel bags, the official said.
Putting nails, ball bearings, and metal objects in these pressure cookers assures that there will be serious injuries. This type of bomb has been used in Iran, Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan.
Bombs with this type of shrapnel have been used by Hezbollah against Israel for a number of years.
This was a horrendous event. I am sure that those responsible will be found and held accountable. Forensic science is very thorough–there will be sufficient evidence to find the people who did this. However, that really doesn’t make life any easier for the families that were impacted by this event. Please remember them in your prayers.
Iran‘s nuclear program has nothing to do with generating energy. Iran has openly stated that it is working toward the destruction of Israel. This is not a country that is interested in being part of a peaceful family of nations. Recently, they were caught again engaging in activities that undermine peace in the Middle East.
On Friday World Net Daily reported that a Revolutionary Guard spokesman, Ramadan Sherif, confirmed that Iranian General Hassan Shateri was killed when Israeli aircraft bombed a convoy in Syria that had been on its way to Lebanon.
The article reports that Iran described Shateri’s mission in Lebanon as rebuilding public schools, hospitals and mosques that had been impacted by the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War.
The article at World Net Daily (WND) reports:
However, informed Middle Eastern security officials speaking to WND identified Shateri as the Quds Force commander responsible for coordinating the arming of Hezbollah in Lebanon, including restocking the terrorist group with advanced missiles.
The Quds Force is a special unit of the Revolutionary Guard responsible for what the Guard calls its “extraterritorial operations.”
When reality does not picture the truth as she sees it, Representative Pelosi obviously has no problem changing the truth. Yesterday the Washington Post posted a story about a recent picture of all of the women in the House Democratic Caucus. Sounds fine, right? Well, not so fast. Some of the women in the Caucus missed the photo shoot, so they were photo-shopped in.
The article reports Representative Pelosi’s response when asked about the picture:
“It’s an accurate historical record of who the Democratic women of Congress are. It also is an accurate record that it was freezing cold and our members had been waiting a long time for everyone to arrive and that they had to get back into the building to greet constituents, family members, to get ready to go to the floor,” she said.
It’s a photo-shopped picture. A photo-shopped picture is not an accurate record–it’s an altered record. Does this woman not know the difference between reality and fantasy? Was it also okay when Hezbollah photo-shopped pictures of damage done to Lebanon by the Israeli Defense forces? Was it also okay when Iran photo-shopped pictures of test firing missiles? Photo-shopping is a propaganda tool, why is it being used by a Congresswomen to create something that did not happen?
The article reports:
The news website, Now Lebanon, cited Hezbollah officials saying that the 29-year old telecommunication engineer, Hussein Fahs, has crossed to Israel carrying with him $5 million in embezzled money from the group. Fahs is also head of Hezbollah’s operational communications network.
In September, Fahs, who is native of southern Lebanon, was arrested along with other four Hezbollah members over the suspicion of embezzling the group’s funds and collaborating with Israel, Yoni Alpert’s Terror Watch.
Think about this for a minute, if he embezzled $5 million, he was probably handling considerably more money than that. Where did that money come from? That is the questions I would love to see the answer to. My guess is that it came from Iranian oil sales.
Yesterday the Washington Free Beacon reported that the U. S. State Department has selected Salam al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), to participate in a human rights forum in Poland.
The article reports:
Al-Marayati has been a vociferous critic of Israel, once suggesting that Israel should be put “on the suspect list” for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. His organization, MPAC, has requested that militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah be removed from the list of United States-designated terrorist groups.
Al-Marayati’s inclusion in the U.S. delegation attracted the ire of Jewish leaders and others who feel he is the wrong person to represent America at a forum focusing on human rights and tolerance.
The State Department stood by al-Marayati Thursday, telling the Free Beacon that the Israel critic is “valued and highly credible.”
Please follow the above link to the Washington Free Beacon to read the entire story. Sometimes I wonder who the State Department is working for.
CBN News posted a story today about one of the possible causes of the current riots (protests) in the Middle East. Admittedly, the attacks on they Libyan and Egyptian Embassies were probably related to the anniversary of the September 11 attacks and the call for the release of the blind sheik, but there is another aspect of the story.
Gary Lane at CBN reminds us:
At a recent gathering of his supporters in Beirut, Nasrallah (Hezbollah‘s Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah) called on the international community to adopt a law that would prohibit attacks against any “divine” religion.
“We are living through a period of unease. We are also seeing incidents of intolerance and hatred that are then exploited by others. Voices of moderation and calm need to make themselves heard at this time,” Ban told the assembly Tuesday.
“We all need to speak up in favor of mutual respect and understanding of the values and beliefs of others. The United Nations must rise to the moment,” he said.
Read the fine print here–the law the Muslims want would prohibit attacks against any ‘divine’ religion. Who determines which religions are ‘divine’?
Hang on to the First Amendment–it is coming under attack from the U.N.
One of the suspects, Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, was reportedly handed over to the United States on Sunday because he is a United States citizen.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
…The US citizen was carrying a false Belizean passport and was identified as Rafic Moha-mmad Labboun Allaboun.
Authorities arrested him following a series of investigations by US intelligence agencies that found that he forms part of a terror cell operating in central America, according to Mexican newspaper Reforma.
How easy would it have been for any one of these men to cross the border into the United States?
The article reports:
A spokesman said the plane, an F-4 Phantom, was dealt with “according to the laws that govern such situations”, the state news agency Sana said.
The Turkish prime minister said his country would “take the necessary steps” once all the facts were known.
Meanwhile, the violence in Syria continues and escalates.
I have no answers for Syria–some of the people rebelling are as bad if not worse than the people in charge. We need to make some effort to protect the innocent civilian population, but I am not convinced that we should want to help arm the rebels or support them in any way.
The little news analysis block next to the news story stated:
The tone of the Syrian statement was strictly factual, and there was no expression of regret. If the plane did indeed violate Syrian airspace, that, and the apparent ease with which it was shot down, will be a considerable embarrassment to the Turkish government.
Hezbollah‘s TV station in Lebanon, al-Manar, which was among the first to report the incident, described it as “a clear message to Nato” about the perils of outside military intervention in the Syrian crisis.
I have no idea what it will take to bring peace and stability to Syria. I just hope that there is someone with some degree of power who does.
The article states:
But intervention, even if by air or through stealthy military assistance, requires some sort of strategy, and right now the United States does not seem to have any coherent one. We expected that post-Qaddafi Libya, and an Egypt without Hosni Mubarak, would be far better. They might be some day. But right now, emerging Islamic republics are hardly democratic. Some seem every bit as anti-American as were the dictatorships they replaced — and they could be even more intolerant of women, tribal minorities, and Christians.
The point is not that we should support only idealists who promise an Arab version of Santa Monica, but that we do not oust one monster whom we are not responsible for only to empower one just as bad whom we would be responsible for.
Our success in overthrowing tyrants in the Middle East is not matched by any success in what the dictatorships were replaced with. Sharia Law is enshrined in the constitutions of both Iraq and Afghanistan and will be in the Egyptian constitution. All we have done is replace one bad ruler with another bad ruler. That is not what America has done in the past, nor should it be what America does in the present.
Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Mr. Hanson brings remarkable insight into the question of what we should be doing about the slaughter that is currently going on in Syria.
Today’s Wall Street Journal (no link–subscribers only) has an editorial entitled, “The Daqduq Disgrace.” It deals with terrorist Ali Musa Daqduq, a Hezbollah operative involved in the planning of the kidnapping and murder of American soldiers in Karbala in 2007, who is also guilty of arming and training Iraqi insurgents. Daqduq is in Iraqi custody. It is expected that Daqduq will be released.
The article reports:
The Administration contends that its hands were tied by the U. S.-Iraq status-of-forces agreement negotiated by the Bush Administration, which required Iraq’s consent–not forthcoming–to remove any prisoners from the country. But it’s hard to see why that stipulation would apply to Daqduq, who is not an Iraqi citizen (he is a Lebanese national).
The Administration considered bringing Daqduq to the U.S. for trial in federal court or a military tribunal (showing that the status-of-forces deal was not insurmountable).
The article in the Wall Street Journal points out that the place for Daqduq to go was Guantanamo. Unfortunately, although the Obama Administration has not been successful in its attempts to close Guantanamo, it has refused to send anyone there.
Daqduq will receive a hero’s welcome in either Beirut or Tehran. It is a shame that politics have prevented us from locking up someone who will probably do harm to America in the future.
The Washington Times posted an editorial yesterday about the strange explosions that have recently occurred at some of Iran’s nuclear sites.
The article reports a recent event:
The blast came two weeks after Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Gen. Hasan Tehrani Moghaddam and 20 other IRGC members were killed in a massive explosion at a base near the village of Bidganeh, southwest of Tehran. The base was a test site for Iran’s ballistic missile program. Official sources said the blast was the result of an accident while munitions were being moved, but the general’s brother, Mohammad Tehrani Moghaddam, said it happened during a missile test. “It was related to an intercontinental ballistic missile,” he was quoted in the Iranian official press, “It was a completely high-tech, confidential process.” These comments were later scrubbed from the website where they first appeared.
No one is in a hurry to explain exactly what the cause of the recent explosions is.
The editorial lists recent events surrounding Iran’s nuclear program:
The two explosions join a growing list of unusual and deadly events related to Iran’s secret weapons programs. In late June 2011, five Russian nuclear scientists who had been assisting Iran’s nuclear program died in a plane crash outside the northern Russian city of Petrozavodsk. In November 2010, Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari was killed in Tehran when a motorcyclist placed a bomb on the window of his car and sped away before it detonated. Another scientist, Fereydoun Abbasi, was wounded in an identical attack the same day. In August 2010, Reza Baruni, the mastermind of Iran’s top-secret military drone project, was killed when three explosions destroyed his house. The official version blamed a gas leak. The same day that Baruni died, three unmanned aerial vehicles launched from an unknown location smashed into the dome of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor, killing five. Tehran later claimed this incident was part of a readiness test.
There has been some speculation that Israel is the force behind these events. Even if they are, I doubt that we will ever know. However, it’s good to know that someone is watching Iran’s nuclear program.
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research posted a report this month on the growing Hezbollah Threat in Latin America. The report is written by Roger Noriega, a senior State Department official from 2001 to 2005, a visiting fellow at AEI and managing director of Vision Americas LLC, which represents foreign and domestic clients.
Some of the highlights of the report:
Hezbollah’s presence in Latin America dates to the mid-1980s, when it began sending operatives into the notoriously lawless region known as the tri-border area (TBA)—where the borders of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet—to use it as a principal safe haven for fundraising, money laundering, recruitment, training, plotting, and other terrorist-related activities.Their activity also includes drug and arms trafficking, counterfeiting, forging travel documents, and pirating software and music. Their resulting proselytizing has led to the creation of numerous Hezbollah cells, with an estimated 460 operatives in the TBA by mid-2000.
Hugo Chávez’s track record of anti-Americanism and support for terrorist groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia is well-established, but his making common cause with a radical Islamic theocracy in waging asymmetric warfare (unconventional and irregular methods used by a weaker opponent against a stronger opponent) against the United States truly speaks to the depths of his fanaticism. He has allowed Iran to mine uranium in Venezuela and has worked assiduously to undermine economic sanctions against the Iranian regime (for which Venezuela has, in turn, been sanctioned). In recent years, moreover, Venezuela’s Margarita Island has eclipsed the infamous TBA as the principal safe haven and center of Hezbollah operations in the Americas.
The report concludes:
US and other government authorities have identified and sanctioned some of the leaders of these networks, and US law enforcement agencies—led by the Drug Enforcement Administration—have made great efforts to assess and confront this threat by building cases against foreign officials and sanctioning commercial entities that provide support to this criminal terror organization. However, this dangerous network requires a whole-government strategy, beginning with an interagency review to understand and assess the transnational, multifaceted nature of the problem; educate friendly governments; and implement effective measures unilaterally and with willing partners to disrupt and dismantle their operations.
The stakes are clear. In a May 2011 visit to Bolivia, Iranian Defense Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi proclaimed that in the event of any military confrontation between Iran and the United States, “The strong Iran is ready for enemy-crushing and tough response in case of any illogical and violent behavior by the U.S.” There is every reason to believe that such a response would utilize every weapon in Iran’s arsenal, including Hezbollah. But we do not have to wait until an outbreak of military hostilities between the United States and Iran to confront Hezbollah’s continuing efforts to consolidate its presence and expand its influence in the Western Hemisphere. The United States and responsible governments in Latin America need to act now, precisely so that we do not have to respond later.
Please follow the above link and read the entire report. The report is footnoted and contains a lot of information Americans are not hearing from the American press. We need to wake up and start paying attention.
As anyone who has ever had to deal with dandelions on the front lawn knows, you don’t get rid of weeds until you pull out the roots. We need to remember that as we continue in the War on Terrorism.
Reza Kahlili posted an article today at his website A Time To Betray entitled “Jihadist at the Gate.” Mr. Kahlili (not his real name) is a former Iranian Revolutionary Guard member who worked undercover as a CIA agent for several years in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
In his article, Mr. Kahlili points out some of the recent events regarding Iran:
In May, I reported that the Revolutionary Guards were building a missile base in Venezuela (Opinion: Iran is Building a Secret Missile Installation in Venezuela). The leaders of Iran and Venezuela hailed what they called their strong strategic relationship, saying they are united in efforts to establish a “New World Order” that will eliminate Western dominance over global affairs.
He also reports:
The Islamic regime in Iran now has enough enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs. They continue to defy four separate sets of UN sanctions and will soon be arming their missiles with nuclear warheads. Not only will they destroy Israel, but with only one nuclear armed missile for an Electromagnetic Pulse attack, they could bring about the demise of America, as promised by the leaders of Iran. Should that attack occur, over two- thirds of the U.S. population will lose their lives.
If that’s not enough, they have now announced the existence of Hezbollah cells in the U.S. and in the heart of Europe. Their only mission is to destroy the West. The radicals in Iran truly believe that the timing is right, that the time is now for the final glorification of Allah!
I have no idea how to deal with Iran. I do know that they are behind most of the terrorism in the world. Please follow the link to A Time To Betray to see Rahim Poor Azgadi, the theorist of the Iranian regime, explain the goals of the current government of Iran. We need to seriously consider how to deal with the root of world-wide terrorism rather than merely attacking the symptoms.