If You Wondered Why Energy Independence Is Important

The Wall Street Journal posted an article yesterday about the drone attack on Saudi oil fields. The Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen have claimed credit for the attack.

The article reports:

The production shutdown amounts to a loss of about 5.7 million barrels a day, the kingdom’s national oil company said, roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude oil.

Officials said they hoped to restore production to its regular level of 9.8 million barrels a day by Monday. Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said lost production would be offset through supplies of oil already on hand.

The strikes mark the latest in a series of attacks on the country’s petroleum assets in recent months, as tensions rise among Iran and its proxies like the Houthis, and the U.S. and partners like Saudi Arabia. The attacks could drive up oil prices if the Saudis can’t turn production back on quickly and potentially rattle investor confidence in an initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, the national oil company.

The article concludes:

The Yemen war is a central front in a new and more aggressive foreign policy overseen by Prince Mohammed, who launched the intervention with a coalition of allied states in 2015. Under the prince’s watch, the kingdom also applied a blockade on neighboring Qatar, detained Lebanon’s prime minister, and sent a team of men to kill exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018.

A conservative kingdom with a Sunni Muslim majority, Saudi Arabia has been an opponent of Iran in a struggle for power across the broader Middle East since the 1979 revolution that toppled Iran’s monarchy.

The attacks on Aramco’s facilities are poorly timed for Aramco’s coming IPO and pose a challenge to oil officials after a changing of the guard in their leadership. Aramco last week picked seven international banks to help it list on Saudi Arabia’s domestic exchange, an IPO that could value the company at about $2 trillion dollars and come before the end of the year.

There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes here. This is part of the conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. At their core, both the Saudis and the Iranians want to bring back the former caliphate. The Ottoman Empire (which was that caliphate) existed until the early 1900’s. Many Muslims want that Empire restored. The argument is over who will rule the caliphate when it is established. Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are players in this conflict, as is ISIS. Jamal Khashoggi was a part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Descriptions of him as simply a journalist were misleading. Another part of this puzzle is the fact that Saudi Arabia is drawing closer to aligning with Israel because of the fear of a nuclear Iran. That also would be a cause for increased aggression from Iran.

Generally speaking, any terrorism that goes on in the Middle East can be traced back to Iran. They have been training and funding terrorists since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

I have no idea what impact this will have on world oil prices. I do know that Saudi Arabia will work to repair the damage as soon as possible. I have no doubt that Iran is violating the sanctions on its oil exports, so if the price of oil rises significantly, Iran may be able to pull itself out of its current economic difficulties and calm its population. America will continue to prosper as oil prices rise because we are now a net exporter of oil rather than a net importer. Because of the policies of President Trump, we are in a very different situation than we were during the oil crisis of the 1970’s.

This Might Be A Problem For The Obama Legacy

On Wednesday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, a book written by General James Mattis about his time as leader of U.S. Central Command from 2010 to 2013, overseeing military operations in the Middle East and Central Asia. Some parts of the book do not portray President Obama in a positive light.

The article reports:

“From my first day at CENTCOM, I knew we faced two principal adversaries: stateless Sunni Islamist terrorists and the revolutionary Shiite regime of Iran, the most destabilizing country in the region,” he writes. “Iran was by far the more deadly of the two threats.”

That’s not how the president under whom Mattis served saw it, though, and Barack Obama eventually fired the storied Marine general for what Mattis believes were his insistent warnings about the Iranian threat.

Mattis says Washington didn’t even inform him when Iran committed an “act of war” on American soil.

The duty officer at his Tampa, Florida, headquarters on Oct. 11, 2011 told him that the attorney general and FBI director had held a press conference to announce the arrest of two Iranians who had planned a bomb attack on Cafe Milano, a high-end restaurant in Washington that was a favorite of the rich and famous, including Saudi Arabia’s ambassador, Adel al-Jubeir.

As Mattis writes, “Attorney General Eric Holder said the bombing plot was ‘directed and approved by elements of the Iranian government and, specifically, senior members of the Qods Force.’ The Qods were the Special Operations Force of the Revolutionary Guards, reporting to the top of the Iranian government.”

The article concludes:

Mattis says his reaction to the Cafe Milano bomb plot contributed towards Obama’s decision to fire him abruptly.

“While I fully endorse civilian control of the military, I would not surrender my independent judgment. In 2010, I argued strongly against pulling all our troops out of Iraq,” Mattis writes. (Earlier in the book, he recounts a discussion he had on the subject in Baghdad with Vice President Joe Biden, who was in charge of Iraq policy but “ignoring reality” and uninterested in the considered opinion of the general in charge of operations there.) “In 2011, I urged retaliation against Iran for plotting to blow up a restaurant in our nation’s capital. In 2012, I argued for retaining a small but capable contingent of troops in Afghanistan. Each step along the way, I argued for political clarity and offered options that gave the Commander in Chief a rheostat he could dial up or down to protect our nation.”

The commander in chief chose another option: fire the CENTCOM leader.

“In December 2012, I received an unauthorized phone call telling me that in an hour, the Pentagon would be announcing my relief,” Mattis writes. “I was leaving a region aflame and in disarray.”

And the biggest threat in the region, Mattis says, then as now, was Iran. He predicted the Obama administration’s reluctance to punish Tehran for its bad behavior while the two sides negotiated a nuclear deal would come back to haunt the U.S. He concludes that “the Iranians had not been held to account, and I anticipated that they would feel emboldened to challenge us more in the future.”

Unfortunately I think that in the future we will see more situations where President Obama put his own search for a diplomatic victory ahead of the safety of Americans.

Using The American Court System Against Americans

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a ruling by Federal Judge Anthony Trenga.

The article reports:

Federal Judge Anthony Trenga, a George W. Bush appointee ruled on Wednesday that the US government’s watchlist of over 1 million people violates the Constitutional rights of those placed on the list.

Terror-tied CAIR [Counsel on American Islamic Relations] filed the lawsuit in 2016 challenging the constitutionality of the US government’s terror watchlist which currently has over 1 million people in a database the FBI has labeled “known or suspected terrorists.”

CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror funding case in US history, and they are now trying to force the US government to dissolve a list of people deemed to be dangerous terrorists.

The article includes an portion of an AP report:

The watchlist, also known as the Terrorist Screening Database, is maintained by the FBI and shared with a variety of federal agencies. Customs officers have access to the list to check people coming into the country at border crossings, and aviation officials use the database to help form the government’s no-fly list.

The watchlist has grown significantly in size over the years. As of June 2017, approximately 1.16 million people were included on the watchlist, according to government documents filed in the lawsuit. In 2013, the number was only 680,000. The vast majority are foreigners, but according to the government, there are roughly 4,600 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents on the watchlist as well as of 2017.

First of all, I would like to point out that people who are not American citizens do not have Constitutional rights. The American Constitution applies to Americans. CAIR was named an an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Case (the largest terror funding case in US history). If you are unfamiliar with the case, please look up the government exhibits in the case. Those exhibits include the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to use the freedoms we have as Americans to undermine our government. CAIR has many questionable ties to groups that do not have the best interests of America as a priority. CAIR has been using our court system against us for years. If this ruling stands, Americans will be less safe. We are slowly sinking back into the naivete that we had before September 11, 2001.

When Imagination Overtakes Truth

I think I have found one part of the source of the division in America. Breitbart posted the transcript of an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball. Chris Matthews interviewed national security analyst Malcolm Nance.

This is the transcript:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Malcolm, your feelings and thoughts on the last couple days? I haven’t talked to you since these [shootings] have happened.

MALCOLM NANCE: I think that we’re finally in for a great societal change where we’re finally addressing this issue. I wrote a book last year called The Plot to Destroy Democracy, and one of the chapters, I led off with the massacre of 68 children in Norway by the original white supremacist terrorist who created the concept of this terrorist manifesto — Anders Behring Breivik. And he did that because he thought “The Great Replacement” was underway in Norway and that the government was allowing unbridled immigration into that country. So in his trial, he said he massacred those children because he wanted to eliminate the next generation of liberal leadership from Norway as a warning. This country has had several of these mass incidents, but I think we’re overdue for a Breivik-style real massacre of a political nature…

These people feel that they are the foot soldiers and executors of what the disenfranchisement that the white race is feeling, and Donald Trump is giving them subliminal orders in their head. They are no different than the mobilized, self-starting, self-radicalized terrorists of ISIS here in the United States and Europe, who take cars and drive down streets. It’s just that they have a permissive environment in which they can get firearms and go out and attack their perceived enemies.

“Donald Trump is giving them Subliminal orders in their  head”? This passes as news reporting? Anyone who watched this travesty came away with a very distorted view of America and our President. These remarks are incendiary. These remarks will only encourage more unbalanced people to decide to take matters in their own hands. MSNBC should be put on trial for murdering journalism.

 

Some Politicians Are Playing With Fire

On June 25th Reuters reported:

Four men with suspected ties to the Islamic State militant group were captured on Tuesday by members of the Nicaraguan armed forces after entering the country illegally from Costa Rica, Nicaraguan police said.

The identities of three of the men matched those of suspects featured in an alert attributed to U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) warning that three possible terrorists had recently arrived in Central America.

In a statement, Nicaraguan police said two of the men were Egyptian nationals and the other two were Iraqi. The four were due to be deported back to Costa Rica, it added.

The Egyptians were named as Mohamed Ibrahim, 33, and Mahmoud Samy Eissa, 26, while the Iraqis were Ahmed Ghanim Mohamed Al Jubury, 41 and Mustafa Ali Mohamed Yaoob, 29.

The first three men were named in the HSI alert published by Mexican media on Monday, which identified them as possible members of Islamic State headed for the United States.

They were not coming here to improve their economic status.

The Problem With Illegal Immigration

Making the trip from Central America to Mexico to the southern border of America is dangerous. The trips are often funded by drug cartels smuggling drugs and trafficked children into America. Generally the people behind the funding are not people you would want to trust. There is also the matter of terrorists entering America in the midst of the overwhelming numbers of people coming here illegally. Meanwhile, the Democrats in the recent debate were all set to give free healthcare and other benefits to people who are coming here illegally. What about putting some money toward medical care for Americans and our veterans? Hopefully most Americans understand that free stuff is never free.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the promises Democrats are making to those who come to America illegally. Has it occurred to these Democrats that their words are a magnet encouraging people to join the caravans coming north?

The article reminds us of the cost of illegal immigration to Americans:

Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.

The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year, despite the rising loss of jobs to automation.

This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.

Flooding the market with cheap, foreign, white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor also shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations. It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment and wealth from the Heartland to the coastal citiesexplodes rents and housing costsshrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.

We elect people to office to represent us–not to put the interests of non-citizens above the interests of citizens.

One Small Step Against Terrorism

It is an open secret that Islamic supremacists operate training camps inside America. Most of the time these camps are allowed to operate without interference (I do question the wisdom of this). However, yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported on the breaking up of one of these camps.

The article reports:

A homegrown Islamic terrorist training camp was discovered in Alabama recently.

The property belongs to terrorist Siraj Wahhaj who was arrested at a camp in New Mexico.

Interesting coincidence.

ABC 3340 reported on Friday:

At first glance, it looks like an abandoned dump.

But this plot of land in Macon County, Alabama is described in an FBI search warrant as a “makeshift military-style obstacle course” belonging to a small group of terrorists led by Siraj Wahhaj who owned the property up a long dirt road but just a few miles from downtown Tuskegee.

The property, similar to another compound in New Mexico the group is now linked to where federal prosecutors say Wahhaj and four other suspects were training children to carry out deadly terror attacks on American soil.

FBI Assistant Director for the Counterterrorism Division Michael McGarrity told lawmakers on Capitol Hill there are 850 open domestic terrorism investigations, with 40% racially motivated violent extremism.

In the Alabama case the group may not have carried out an attack, but the remains of a child believed to belong to Wahhaj, who is being charged with kidnapping were also found on the property.

For other small town cases, Fuhrman (Tim Fuhrman, Former Special Agent with the FBI field office in Mobile, Alabama) says the engaged citizen is often the best defense.

Our open southern border does not help the situation. We have no idea who is entering our country or who is here. This camp in Alabama and the camp in New Mexico may only be the tip of the iceberg. Americans need to pay attention to the people around them. Where there are areas of the country that seem to be cordoned off, we need to ask questions.

 

 

Sad News From Nigeria

On Thursday, Open Doors USA reported:

They came at night. And they came with death on their minds. On Monday, April 29, around 8 pm, Boko Haram fighters invaded the Christian community of Kuda near Madagali in Adamawa State in northeastern Nigeria. The terrorists surrounded the community and went door to door, killing as many as 25 people.

The next day, they returned.

As security agents and community members prepared for the burials of their loved ones, Boko Haram members were spotted approaching for a second attack on the grieving community. As a result, funeral preparations were abandoned as bereaved believers, those from neighboring communities and security agents fled.

Since the attack, many more villagers have fled the town. Christian leaders in the area told Open Doors, “We are in danger, we have no one to fight for us to end this killing of our people.”

The incident is the latest in a long line of attacks by Boko Haram in the area–a stronghold for fighters loyal to Abubakar Shekau (known to be the leader of Boko Haram) and they operate from hideouts in the forests nearby, stealing supplies, killing villagers and attacking security forces.

More than 27,000 people have been killed in the decades-long bloody insurgency and 2 million others displaced by Boko Haram.

Religious persecution is a problem. In October 2017, Townhall reported:

Anti-Christian persecution is at an all-time high world-wide, according to a recent report from the international Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need. The report, which tracks worldwide persecution from 2015-2017, found that 75 percent of religious persecution was directed at Christians.

The report also found that “in 12 of the 13 countries reviewed, the situation for Christians was worse in overall terms in the period 2015-17 than within the preceding two years.”

“In almost all the countries reviewed,” the report says, “the oppression and violence against Christians have increased since 2015 – a development especially significant given the rate of decline in the immediate run-up to the reporting period.”

John Pontifex, the report’s editor commented that “in terms of the numbers of people involved, the gravity of the crimes committed and their impact, it is clear that the persecution of Christians is today worse than at any time in history.”

Pray for the Christian church. Persecution of Christians is happening around the world. In America it is more subtle–Christians are attacked verbally or with lawsuits when they take a stand that reflects Biblical values. Christians are mocked when they express Christian principles–remember the attacks on Mike Pence when he stated that he would not be seen in a restaurant with a woman other than his wife. In America, Christians are still free to practice their faith, but there are no guarantees. All of us need to protect the freedom of religion and the freedom to express our religious views in public.

Our Representatives Need To Speak More Carefully

The New York Post today posted an article about some recent comments by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar regarding the events of September 11, 2001.

Congresswoman Omar recently stated the following in a speech she made at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last month– “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” First of all, CAIR was founded in 1994–before September 11, 2001. Second of all, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Trial. That is the trial where the government exhibits include the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to undermine the government of America. The government exhibits are on line. Please look them up if you haven’t yet looked at them.

Meanwhile, The New York Post today posted an article that I believe is the correct answer to Congresswoman’s statement.

The article states:

On 9/11/01 my son, firefighter Jimmy Riches was murdered along with close to 3,000 American citizens by Muslim terrorists.

I rushed to Engine 4 in Lower Manhattan when I heard what was happening. That’s where my son worked.

As I came over the Brooklyn Bridge, the towers had both already fallen. All the rigs at the firehouse were gone, so I knew they were all at the World Trade Center.

When I got there, I saw the death and destruction — people lying there dead and mangled.

We picked up the bodies and saw how gruesome it was. Those people died a horrible death.

We were there for 9 months picking up body parts, pieces.

We found my son’s body six months later, March 5, 2002. He was at the North Tower. We got to bury him.

People talk about closure, but that’s not closure. I’ll never get closure until my son walks through that door again.

It was the worst day for me, to lose my son and all those other people. They went to work that day to help people and they ended up murdered.

My son died doing his job, helping others in distress. The American public said NEVER FORGET 9/11!

Now, we have people who were working down there getting sick and dying. It hasn’t ended.

Congresswoman Omar owes a lot of people an apology. Unfortunately Congresswoman Omar represents her district. She will probably be in the House of Representatives for a while. This is what happens when immigration without assimilation is allowed.

The Day Before

This is an updated version of an article I posted on September 10, 2008:

Today is September 10, 2018. Seventeen years ago, it was the day before. We were all going about our business, enjoying a beautiful fall, and making plans for the future. I wonder, if we could have seen into the future, is there anything we would have done differently that day.

There was one man who was living in a different world than the rest of us–even on September 10. His name was Rick Rescorla. He was the vice president for security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, a brokerage house with 2,700 employees in the World Trade Center in the south tower on floors forty-four through seventy-four and 1,000 employees in Building Five across the plaza. Because of the foresight of this man, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter lost only six employees in the bombing of the World Trade Center. His story is told on his website, RickRescorla.com.

Rick felt strongly that the terrorists who had attempted the first World Trade Center bombing would try again. He asked his company executives to move from the towers, but the company’s lease went until 2006. Rick held evacuation drills on a regular basis in spite of the grumbling of his fellow employees. Every few months all 2,700 employees would march down the stairs and out of the building in an evacuation drill. On September 11, 2001, by the time the second airplane hit the second tower, most of the company’s employees were already out of the building. There were three employees missing, and Rick and two other people went back into the building to find them.   All six were killed when the building collapsed.¹

I tell this story today for two reasons. First, Rick Rescorla is a hero whose foresight saved many lives. Second, Rick Rescorla understood that there were terrorists who wanted to destroy America even before there was a “war on terror”. We need to think back to September 10, 2001, and remember what our innocence was like and the price we paid for it. Thank God for a man who chose not to be innocent.

  1. Most of the information in the above two paragraphs is from the book BREAKDOWN by Bill Gertz (subtitled “How America’s Intelligence Failures Led to September 11”).

This Is Not Encouraging

Breitbart is reporting today that a terrorist on trial in Germany has stated that the Islamic State terror organization sent him to Germany telling him to disguise himself as a refugee. This certainly illustrates the need for careful vetting of refugees in all western countries.

The article reports:

The three Syrians, aged between 19 and 27, came to Germany during the migrant crisis in 2015 and were arrested in September of 2016 at asylum homes in Ahrensburg, Großhansdorf and Reinbek near Hamburg, Suddeutsche Zeitung reports.

For the last eight months, the judges in the court have tried to determine whether or not the men were sent by the Islamic State, or whether they were radicalised independently.

The eldest defendant, 27-year-old Mohamed A., confirmed to the judge that he had been commanded by the Islamic State terror group to infiltrate the wave of refugees and wait in Germany for further instructions.

The 27-year-old said that he trained with the terror group in its former capital of Raqqa for three months with four different weapons before heading to Europe. An Islamic State member also gave him a forged passport along with a sum of $1,500.

The article concludes:

The German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) released a report in late 2016 claiming that hundreds of jihadists have come to Europe disguised as refugees, and last year the Heritage Foundation released a report showing that asylum seekers made up 54 percent of the suspects in terror plots uncovered in Germany.

Letting in young men from Islamist countries without extreme vetting is national suicide. Those judges attempting to block that vetting need to held accountable when we discover (note I said when–not if) terrorists masquerading as refugees in America.

About That Treaty…

It is no secret that Iran has been a major provider of funds and arms for terrorists in the Middle East and other areas in Asia and Africa. The Iranian nuclear treaty does not seem to have slowed their arming of terrorists or their belligerent attitude.

Yesterday Fox News reported that a U.S. Navy ship stopped a shipment of arms going from Iran and likely headed for Yemen.

This is one of the pictures from the article:

IranianArmsShipmentThe article reports:

The Navy said the shipment included 1,500 AK-47s, 200 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and 21 .50-caliber machine guns.

After the U.S. seized the weapons stash from the dhow, a traditional sailing vessel, the Navy let the crew go. A U.S. official told Fox News current rules do not allow western naval forces to seize the crew in addition to illicit cargo. “You have to find a country willing to prosecute,” the official said. 

A defense official reached by Fox News would not reveal the nationality of the dhow’s crew.

Last month, Iran announced that it tested missiles marked with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out,” in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution tied to the recent nuclear deal. The resolution forbids Iran from working on its ballistic missile program for eight years and bans sales of its conventional weapons.

It is becoming very obvious that the only reason Iran was even willing to negotiate the recent nuclear deal was that it wanted the economic sanctions lifted. It is also becoming very obvious that even stricter sanctions need to be imposed. Iran is acting as a major supporter of terrorism. That needs to stop. Allowing Iran to continue arming terrorists and building a nuclear program to wipe out Israel is simply the suicide of western civilization. To allow Iran to continue its present behavior will have horrible consequences in the not-to-distant future.