Funding Countries That House Terrorists

On March 5th, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about one consequence of the Biden administration’s pause on liquefied natural gas production in America.

The article reports:

President Joe Biden’s pause on liquefied natural gas production is already turning into a major financial windfall for Qatar, even as the Gulf regime undercuts the United States and its allies by funding terrorists and sheltering fugitive Hamas leaders.

Qatar, which is the third largest LNG exporter after the United States and Australia, announced last week that it is expanding its natural gas production by 85 percent. The news came weeks after the Biden administration announced that it would freeze new domestic LNG export permits, a policy that many political observers viewed as a concession to climate activists ahead of the presidential election.

Brenda Shaffer, a senior adviser for energy at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said Qatar’s liquefied natural gas expansion was likely spurred by Biden’s policy announcement, adding that Doha will “benefit financially” from the pause.

“Nature doesn’t allow a vacuum. The United States is the biggest producer of natural gas in the world. To say that it’s going to put a pause or freeze for a few years, obviously [other countries] are going to pick up that market,” she said.

Energy experts told the Washington Free Beacon that Biden’s LNG announcement is already pushing buyers away from the U.S. market and toward adversarial competitors.

Limiting natural gas production in America does not limit the use of natural gas worldwide–other countries pick up the slack. Natural gas is a very clean fuel and does very little damage to the environment. The Biden administration’s energy policies have consistently negatively impacted Americans and benefitted America’s enemies. We need to go back to helping Americans and the American economy by becoming energy independent again.

Paying People To Attack Our Soldiers

On Tuesday, The Daily Caller reported that the Biden administration has given Iran access to another $10 billion in previously frozen assets. Iran is the major sponsor of terrorism around the world. Now they have more money to buy weapons to attack American soldiers stationed in the Middle East. I am sure the people who manufacture weapons are thrilled–they just got $10 billion in new sales.

The article reports:

The Biden administration is extending a sanctions waiver that will allow Iran continued access to $10 billion in previously frozen assets, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The four-month extension will allow Iran continued access to previously frozen $10 billion in electricity revenues for humanitarian aid, according to the AP. Critics of the Biden administration have said that giving Iran to access frozen funds will free up money in Tehran’s money reserves and allow them to carry on sponsoring terrorism.

The sanctions waiver will authorize Iraq to continue purchasing electricity services from Iran and give Tehran access to the billions in payments currently stored in the Iraqi banks, according to the AP. The Biden administration made assurances that Iran has only spent a small amount of the existing $10 billion and can only be used for humanitarian relief.

Does anyone believe that the $10 billion will be used only for humanitarian relief? Are we really that naïve?

The article concludes:

“Biden administration doubles down on giving $10 billion sanctions relief to Iran,” Richard Goldberg, senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said on X Tuesday. “Money is fungible. This is 100% budget support for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”

Iran supports a number of terrorist groups to carry out its will, including Hamas, which killed over 1,400 civilians in attacks on Israel that began on Oct. 7. Iranian-backed militias have launched 46 attacks on U.S. troops on U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East since the Hamas Oct. 7 attacks.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Killing Our Own Soldiers With Taxpayer Money

On June 9, posted an article about one unfortunate result of President Obama’s treaty with Iran.

In January, the U.S. Treasury transferred $1.7 billion to Iran’s Central Bank. Last month Iran’s Guardian Council approved an Iranian 2017 budget that instructed Iran’s Central Bank to transfer the $1.7 to the military.

The article reports:

Saeed Ghasseminejad, an associate fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, spotted the budget item. He told me the development was widely reported in Iran by numerous sources including the state-funded news services. “Article 22 of the budget for 2017 says the Central Bank is required to give the money from the legal settlement of Iran’s pre- and post-revolutionary arms sales of up to $1.7 billion to the defense budget,” he said. 

Republicans and some Democrats who opposed Obama’s nuclear deal have argued that the end of some sanctions would help to fund Iran’s military. But at least that was Iran’s money already (albeit frozen in overseas bank accounts). The $1.7 billion that Treasury transferred to Iran in January is different.

A portion of it, $400 million, came from a trust fund comprising money paid by the government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a U.S. ally, for arms sold to Iran before the 1979 revolution. Those sales were cut off in 1979 after revolutionaries took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held the American staff hostage for 444 days. The remaining $1.3 billion represents interest on the $400 million principle over more than 36 years.

The article notes that we are already subsidizing defense spending for Egypt and Israel. Essentially we are supplying money for arms to both sides in the Middle East. How does this ever lead to peace? Anyone who understands the Middle East also knows that at least some of this money will be used against U.S. soldiers. Why are we funding the enemy that is killing our soldiers?

The article concludes:

The irony here is that Iran has been pleading poverty in recent months. The country’s supreme leader and foreign minister have publicly complained that Iran’s economy has not seen the benefits expected from the Iran nuclear deal. And yet Iran’s 2017 $19 billion defense budget has increased by 90 percent from 2016, according to Ghasseminejad.

We now know where $1.7 billion of that came from.

The Big Picture In Syria

Michael Ledeen is a a “Freedom Scholar” at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is a reliable source of information on what is going on in the Middle East. Mr. Ledeen has the ability to step away from the obvious and see the big picture. Today he posted an article at the PJ Media website on the Israeli bombing of Syria.

Mr. Ledeen reminds us that the bombing of Syria by Israel was not really about Israel–it was about Iran and Russia. He also points out that the success of the attack was embarrassing to the Russians as they have supplied antiaircraft systems to both Iran and Syria and Israel seemed to have no problem getting past those systems.

The article at PJ Media reports:

The primary Israeli targets seem to have been Iranian missiles shipped from Iran to Syria, reportedly pending transfer to Hezbollah. They are capable of carrying chemical warheads, which may explain President Obama’s quick support for Israel.

The attacks came after more than a month of diplomatic activity:

–On Thursday, April 25th, the United States announced that we had evidence that the Syrians had used chemical weapons. That announcement was not merely the result of internal American deliberations; it came after several meetings with allies following claims of chemical attacks from the Syrian opposition in late March.

The article at PJ Media gives the timeline of the diplomatic activity regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but it also deals with the larger picture.

The article notes:

These discussions were undoubtedly about the “big picture” as well as the specific question of chemical weapons. I cannot imagine the Israelis not sharing their view of Iran’s regional strategy, which they believe includes a contingency plan (named after Quds Force commander Qasem Suleimani) for the occupation of Syria if Assad were to lose control.

…Syria’s centrality in Iranian strategy was voiced by Mehdi Taaib, who heads Khamenei’s think tank. He recently stated that “Syria is the 35th district of Iran and it has greater strategic importance for Iran than Khuzestan [an Arab-populated district inside Iran].”

Iran’s strategy includes domination of Iraq, which they could use as an operational base if Syria falls.

SIDEBAR: You may have noticed that casualties in Iraq are now running at roughly half those in Syria, as the Iranians apply the same methods they used unsuccessfully against us: foment civil war by the use of terror and religiously inspired mass movements.

We have been engaged in a proxy war with Iran for a number of years. It really is time to go after the root of the problem rather than continually fighting small wars that have no end in countries surrounding Iran.

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Which Way Did The Money Go ?

The Washington Free Beacon posted a story today about the lifestyle of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Mr. Abbas has allegedly deposited nearly $13 million in U.S. taxpayer aid into a secret bank account.

The article reports:

The Obama administration is not providing proper oversight for the $600 million in U.S. foreign aid to the P.A., Schanzer ( Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies) noted.

“Washington should simply acknowledge that there is a problem,” he said. “The staff at the U.S. Consulate General in East Jerusalem reportedly knows that Palestinians believe their ruling elites are corrupt. But for reasons that are not entirely clear, the State Department has yet to issue a clear statement to address the issue, or what it intends to do about it.”

Elliott Abrams, a former national security adviser for George W. Bush, recounted the behind-the-scenes talks he had with Arab leaders who refused to support the P.A.’s corrupt institutions.

“I can tell you from my own experience, as an American official seeking financial assistance for the P.A. from Gulf Arab governments, that I was often told, ‘Why should we give them money when their officials will just steal it?” said Abrams, who noted that 82 percent of Palestinians believe their government is unethical. “Corruption is an insidious destroyer not only of Palestinian public finances but of faith in the entire political system.”

It seems to me that cutting aid to the Palestinians might be a very easy way to cut some government spending. If Mr. Abbas chooses to take part in ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous,’ the least he can do is do it on his own dime–not the backs of American taxpayers.

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When Political Bias Overcomes Common Sense

If you go to Wikipedia (not my favorite source, but sometimes a good source of basic information), you can find a list of aircraft hijackings from the 1940’s through June 2012. It’s a rather long list, and what is noteworthy on that list is the fact that during that time there has only been one successful hijacking of an El Al airlines airplane. If you understand that Israel is the target of numerous terrorist organizations, this is a somewhat amazing statistic. Obviously Israel understands some things about preventing terrorism that the rest of us need to learn. Well, that may be true, but don’t tell the Obama Administration.

Yesterday reported that the Obama Administration launched the Global Counterterrorism Forum in September. The article mentions the film ‘Hear their Voices’, which tells the stories of eleven survivors of terrorist attacks from Pakistan, Jordan, Northern Ireland, Uganda, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Spain, Columbia, and the United States. When the plans for the Global Counterterrorism Forum were announced in June, there were some questions as to why Israel was not included (the supposition was that Israel was excluded at the request of Turkey). The Obama Administration promised that they would be included, then reneged on their word.

The article reports:

Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said: 

“What we’re seeing is a trend of Israel being left out of the global discussion on terrorism, while Israel was extremely helpful during the beginning stages of this conversation. The [Obama] administration is downplaying the struggle that Israel has been enduring. I believe to a certain extent, this is due to regional politics, and it’s disconcerting to see this change. It just looks like a quiet effort to downplay the issue.”

Maybe we need to look at who is doing the terrorist attacks to see if there is a pattern. Who is training the terrorists? Who is teaching the hatred that encourages terrorism? I’ll give you a hint–it’s not Israel. As I write this, Muslims are killing Christians in Nigeria, and Muslim jihadists are killing people in the Philippines. Since the fall of the government in Egypt, Coptic Christians are being routinely killed. There is a pattern here. The Obama Administration is working very hard to ignore that pattern. As Sun Tzu stated, “Know your enemy before going into battle.” The Obama Administration does not want to know their enemy and is taking the world down the same errant path. Any serious effort to fight terrorism would include Israel–they have suffered the highest number of terrorists attacks and have learned how to prevent many of them and how to deal with them when they happen. It is foolish to omit Israel from the community of nations attempting to fight terrorism.

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