Are We Getting Ready To Redo The “Summer of Love”?

On Monday, The New York Post posted an article about a recent riot in Manhattan.

The article reports:

A mob of anti-Israel protesters chanted “Long live the Intifada” during a depraved celebration Monday night outside a downtown Manhattan exhibit that memorializes the murder and rape victims of the Oct. 7 Nova Music Festival, where 364 people were killed by Hamas terrorists.

The deranged pro-terror crowd lit flares and waved a flag associated with the Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah in front of the Nova Music Festival Exhibition on Wall Street during what was billed by organizers as a “citywide day of rage for Gaza,” according to video from the scene.

The protesters also yelled “Israel go to hell” and clashed with police during the gathering that drew swift backlash from Israel supporters.

The demonstration, organized by pro-Palestinian group Within Our Lifetime, began in Union Square, where some protesters unfurled a “Long live October 7th” banner, according to social media footage.

The article notes:

One of the exhibit’s organizers, music mogul Scooter Braun, condemned the demonstration in front of the venue late Monday in a social media post.

“I don’t understand why protesting a memorial for innocent music lovers who were raped and butchered and kidnapped helps,” he said in an Instagram Story. “Go see the @novaexhibition and see the truth instead of standing outside listening to yourself.”

Others offered sharper words for the protesters.

“How utterly evil do you have to be to protest outside a site that memorializes the 1,200 victims of October 7?” former speechwriter for the Israeli government Aviva Klompas tweeted.

“Tonight’s vicious targeting of the exhibition is not pro-peace. It is repulsive and vile,” added Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine in a post on X. “I condemn it in the strongest possible terms.”

I think it’s time to realize that demonstrators such as these are not pro-Palestinian–they are anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. We need to remember that some of the Palestinians who committed the atrocities on October 7th were people the Israelis had given jobs to and helped in other ways. The mentality of the Palestinians to think that raping and killing unarmed civilians at a music festival is acceptable is beyond my understanding. That kind of thinking is truly incompatible with a civilized society. I really think we should relocate everyone who thinks killing and raping innocent civilians is okay to a remote island somewhere and let them create their own society. Good luck.

Supporting Israel Publicly While Undermining Israel Privately

On Monday, Breitbart posted an article about the Biden administration’s efforts to undermine the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the middle of the war on Hamas.

The article reports>

U.S. President Joe Biden is reportedly attempting to force the “collapse” of the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the middle of a war against Hamas terrorists in Gaza and a potential war against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Biden has been increasingly hostile to Netanyahu in his public remarks, recently saying that Netanyahu is “hurting” Israel more than he is helping it through his conduct of the war. (Netanyahu fired back, saying that Biden was “wrong.”)

Now, New York Magazine reports that the Biden Administration is actively looking for ways to force Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition, which has been remarkably unified, to fall apart, which would bring about early elections. It reported (original emphasis):

One Israeli expert frequently consulted by American officials says, “I have been asked by a serious administration figure what it is that will force the Netanyahu coalition to collapse. They were interested in the mechanics, what can we demand which will collapse his coalition.”

In the event the new American position over Netanyahu remained unclear, Vice-President Kamala Harris left no doubts in a Friday interview with CBS News, which asked “Are the Israelis at risk of losing U.S. aid if this continues?” Harris replied: “I think it’s important for us to distinguish or at least not conflate the Israeli government with the Israeli people.”

In other words: Israelis, we’re with you. Netanyahu, be gone.

I don’t understand how anyone can want a cease=fire and an end to the war after October 7. Israel did nothing to provoke that attack, yet Israel is being criticized for retaliating. That is simply upside down.

Now That They Know The Truth, Will It Matter?

One of the lessons supposedly learned from the Holocaust was that it is easier to ignore the unthinkable than to deal with it. Unfortunately, the attack on Israel and the world’s response to that attack illustrate the fact that we have not learned that lesson.

On March 5th, CBN reported the following:

For the first time in nearly five months, a United Nations mission is recognizing Israel’s claims of Hamas brutality toward Israeli women and men on October 7th. Meanwhile, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah unleashed more rockets on northern Israel from southern Lebanon.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry welcomed the U.N. report issued by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, acknowledging that Hamas and other terrorist organizations committed sexual crimes in the attack last October.

Posting on X, the mission stated, “The UN also recognizes that the crimes were committed simultaneously in different locations and point to a pattern of rape, torture and sexual abuse. The report also acknowledges the existence of ongoing sexual crimes against the Israeli women and men being held hostage by Hamas and calls for the immediate release of the hostages.”

Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan called on the Secretary-General and Security Council to join the mission in condemning Hamas.

He had earlier challenged the international body, saying, “In the future, you won’t be able to claim that you didn’t know, just as the world claimed after the Holocaust that you were not exposed to the suffering and horrors. Those who remain indifferent are complicit in the crimes themselves.”

Erdan held up a tablet and played testimonies of women brutalized by Hamas, charging the U.N. with apathy and indifference.

A spokesperson for one freed hostage on the tablet was telling of her ordeal, saying, “And she went into the shower and while she was there one of the terrorists went inside, took his clothes off, with a gun towards her head told her to do everything he wanted.”

The IDF also declassified a call it intercepted from a Hamas terrorist, who is also a UNWRA-employee, and U.N. elementary school teacher.

The article also notes:

In the U.S., the State Department defended its meeting with war cabinet minister Benny Gantz who was invited to Washington without the authorization of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Spokesman Matthew Miller stated, “He (Gantz) has a critical voice in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. He’s an important figure in the sitting government of Israel. And so that’s why we engage with him.”

Miller added, “Our goal is clear to establish a comprehensive aid strategy that includes air, land, and sea routes to maximize the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza and ensure that aid is distributed to everyone in Gaza who needs it.”

This is an effort to undermine Israel’s war effort. The world has seen the horrors of Hamas and Hezbollah and their war on innocent civilians, yet it choses to criticize Israel for wanting to live in peace and safety.

Israel Lives In A Really Bad Neighborhood

On October 7th, Israel was attacked by Hamas. As a result of that attack, Israel has attempted to eliminate Hamas because it is an organization that foments terrorism against Israel. Israel seems to be doing a pretty good job despite opposition from people who are either unaware of the history and goals of Hamas or choose to ignore them. Unfortunately Hamas is not Israel’s only bad neighbor.

On Monday, The Daily Wire reported the following:

The Israel Defense Forces destroyed what it said were two large weapon depots belonging to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization inside Lebanon.

The strikes reportedly occurred near the coastal city of Sidon, which is roughly thirty miles north of the Israel-Lebanon border.

“IDF fighter jets struck two Hezbollah weapons storage facilities adjacent to the city of Sidon in Lebanon,” the IDF said in a statement. “The strike was carried out in response to the launch of a UAV toward the Lower Galilee in northern Israel.”

“An examination of the incident suggests that the UAV was most likely launched from Lebanon by the Hezbollah terrorist organization earlier today,” the statement continued. “The incident is under review. Furthermore, over the last few hours, IDF fighter jets struck Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure in the areas of Meiss El Jabal and al-Adisa in Lebanon.”

I sincerely believe that we should celebrate the elimination of terrorists regardless of what country they choose to abide in. The article includes video of the IDF blowing up the storage facilities.

The article concludes:

Hezbollah is considered to be the most powerful and well armed terrorist group in the world thanks to receiving roughly $1 billion a year from Iran.

The group has 20,000 to 25,000 full-time fighters with tens of thousands more in reserves, according to the IDF.

How much of that $1 billion comes from American taxpayers?

The Action And The Location Are BOTH Important

On January 2nd, Yahoo News reported that Israel has killed Saleh Arouri, a top official with the Palestinian militant group Hamas and three others.

The article reports:

An explosion in Beirut on Tuesday killed Saleh Arouri, a top official with the Palestinian militant group Hamas and three others, officials with Hamas and the Lebanese group Hezbollah said.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said the blast killed four people and was carried out by an Israeli drone. Israeli officials declined to comment.

If Israel is behind the attack it could mark a major escalation in the Middle East conflict. Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has vowed to retaliate against any Israeli targeting of Palestinian officials in Lebanon.

Hamas official Bassem Naim confirmed to The Associated Press that Arouri was killed in the blast. A Hezbollah official speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations also said Arouri was killed.

The explosion took place in Lebanon and killed officials in both Hamas and Hezbollah. This should be a warning to Hezbollah to avoid attacking Israel while Israel is engaged in the Gaza Strip.

The article concludes:

The explosion shook Musharafieh, one of the Lebanese capital’s southern suburbs, which are a stronghold of the militant Hezbollah group, which is an ally of Hamas. The explosion caused fire in Hadi Nasrallah street south of Beirut.

The explosion came during more than two months of heavy exchanges of fire between Israeli troops and members of Hezbollah along Lebanon’s southern border.

Since the fighting began on Oct. 8, the fighting has been concentrated a few miles (kilometers) from the border but on several occasions Israel’s air force hit Hezbollah targets deeper in Lebanon.

Earlier in the day, Hezbollah said its fighters carried out several attacks along the Lebanon-Israel border targeting Israeli military posts.

At some point we are going to have to admit that generally speaking, terrorists cannot be rehabilitated and need to be eliminated.

Israel Needs To Finish What Hamas Started

On Thursday, Townhall posted an article about the ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The article reports:

Speaking to his country and the world Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a choice to Iranian backed terrorist organization Hamas: Surrender or die. 

“We will continue the war until the end. Until the elimination of Hamas – until victory. Those who think we will stop are not connected to reality. All Hamas terrorists, from the first to the last, are mortal. They have only two options: surrender or die,” Netanyahu said. 

The article notes:

Meanwhile, Israel has offered Hamas a temporary pause in the fighting in exchange for another hostage release. That deal has been rejected by the terrorist organization, which continues to hold 150 people – including Americans – hostage in the Gaza Strip. 

Notice that it has been a while since the mainstream media has talked about the hostages. Possibly because talking about people who have been held hostage for more than two months goes against the mainstream narrative that Hamas is simply a group of oppressed people.

If Israel wants to survive as a nation, it needs to eliminate Hamas and Hezbollah (and stop Iran from funding both terror groups). Unfortunately, the Biden administration is so desperate for an Iranian nuclear deal, they will not support a total Israeli victory. Look for the attitude of the Biden administration toward Israel to begin to change gradually in the very near future.

Prepare For Supply Chain Problems

Remember the supply chain crisis caused by the Covid virus? Remember the problems parents had buying Christmas gifts for their children? We may be headed right back there only for a different reason.

On Sunday I posted an article about terrorism interrupting the flow of shipping through the Red Sea (article here). The article stated that because of a Houthis’ attack on one of their vessels, A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S is ‘pausing’ their ships heading for the southern entrance of the Red Sea.

On Monday, The BBC reported the following:

Oil giant BP has announced it is pausing all shipments of oil through the Red Sea after recent attacks on vessels by Houthi rebels.

The firm blamed the “deteriorating security situation” in the region as Iran-backed Houthis target ships they believe are bound for Israel.

Many freight firms have suspended journeys as the attacks continue.

BP said it would keep its “precautionary pause under ongoing review” and monitor the region.

Analysts suggested that if other large oil firms follow suit, oil prices could rise. Brent crude, the international benchmark foroil prices, increased to $78.44 per barrel.

“Right now it’s unclear how significant the impact will be,” said Gregory Brew, an oil historian and analyst at Eurasia Group.

“Though if more shipping companies divert their traffic, and if the disruption lasts more than a week or two, prices are likely to climb further.”

The Red Sea is one of the world’s most important routes for oil and liquefied natural gas shipments, as well as for consumer goods.

This is an international matter. The world needs to understand that Iran is funding the Houthis. Iran is also funding Hamas. Iran is also funding Hezbollah. There seems to be a pattern here. It’s time to put international sanctions back on Iranian oil and enforce them. One major move that the international community can make to slow down terrorism is to defund Iran. If they are not willing to unite to do that, look behind the scenes to see who benefits from the terrorism.

 

This Isn’t Really A Surprise

If you are expecting a ‘two-state solution’ that will bring peace to the Middle East, don’t hold your breath waiting for that solution. We already know that the Palestinian Authority (PA) was firing rockets into Israel as early as 2001. They are no more partners for peace than Hamas.

On Monday, Breitbart reported the following:

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Monday that Iran and Israel have only one thing in common: neither believes in a “two-state solution” for the Palestinians.

Other Iranian officials jumped in to clarify that Tehran believes all of Israel should be given to the Palestinians, annihilating the Jewish state.

Amirabdollahian told a forum in Doha devoted to the Israel-Hamas war that a state of “Palestine” should be created via referendum, with “only descendants of those who lived there prior to 1948 being permitted to vote.” 

The Iranian foreign minister was not referring to the descendants of Jews who have lived in the area since ancient times — he meant holding a “referendum” in which only the Palestinians would be allowed to vote. Iranian state media portray this proposal as a “peaceful” resolution to the Palestinian problem, but in practice, it would amount to the Palestinians voting to dissolve the state of Israel. 

Please follow the link to read the entire article. This is the reason Israel must fight Hamas until Hamas is destroyed. Then it must do the same to Hezbollah. At some point in the future there will be a showdown between Israel and Iran.

America’s Actions Are Not Helping End Terrorism

On Wednesday, Hot Air posted an article about Israel’s delay in its attack on the Gaza Strip.

The article reports:

The story about why Israel has yet to make a ground invasion of Gaza is becoming clear, and it is yet another embarrassment for the United States under Joe Biden.

Israel has been prepared to enter Gaza to eliminate Hamas, but the ground invasion keeps getting delayed. The reason why?

The US is unprepared to defend US military installations in the area.

If that is true, then every one of our current military leaders ought to be relieved of command.

On October 23rd, The National Review reported the following:

The IDF is getting antsy that further delaying the ground invasion of Gaza could hinder its goal of destroying Hamas, while the Biden administration is putting pressure on Israel to wait even longer for ongoing hostage negotiations to play out.

A ground invasion of Gaza has been reported as “imminent” for weeks following the October 7 massacre of Israeli civilians, leading to swirling speculation about what the hold-up was; but a clearer picture is starting to emerge.

The Times of Israel on Monday reported that

the Israel Defense Forces believes that in order to attain the objectives of the war against Hamas, laid out by government officials, the military must begin its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip sooner rather than later. . . .

After 16 days of airstrikes, the IDF has told the government that it is fully prepared for a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, and believes it can achieve the goals set out for it, even at the risk of heavy casualties to soldiers, and amid repeated attacks by Hezbollah in the north, The Times of Israel learned.

The new excuse by the Biden Administration looks utterly pathetic because it is an admission that despite decades of having troops and assets in the region, our military is not prepared to defend our interests.

That is quite the reality if true, and quite the message to our enemies if either true or false.

Do we want Israel to deal with the terrorists in Gaza or do we want more terrorism around the world?

Please follow the link to read the entire article. We need a new President.

The War For The Survival Of Israel

This is the link to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) website. It is a reliable source of what is going on in Israel, Gaza, and Lebanon. Notice that Lebanon has been added,

Today’s summary includes the following:

08:50
Over the past day the IDF struck over 320 military targets in the Gaza Strip

 The terror targets were struck based on IDF and ISA intelligence, and included tunnels containing Hamas terrorists, dozens of operational command centers (some of which concealed Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists) and more. The IDF struck targets that posed a threat to forces in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip who are preparing for ground operations, including dozens of mortar shell and anti-tank missile launch posts.

Overnight, an IDF tank thwarted a number of terrorist cells, including an anti-tank missile cell.

06:15
Overnight, the IDF struck the terrorist cell in Lebanese territory, along with an anti-tank missile launch post. The terrorist cell was planning to carry out an anti-tank missile launch towards the town of Shlomi.

02:07
A short while ago, the IDF struck Hezbollah terrorist targets, including a military compound and an observation post. Furthermore, an IDF aircraft struck a terrorist cell operating near the border along with the weapons in terrorists’ possession.

23:22
The IDF identified two Hezbollah terrorist cells in Lebanese territory. One cell was adjacent to the area of Mattat, and planned to launch anti-tank missiles toward Israeli territory. The other, located in Har Dov, planned to launch rockets. The IDF thwarted the attacks, striking the Hezbollah terrorist cells before they fired.

The article includes the following video:

At some point you have to ask yourself, “What kind of people would do this?”

Please follow the link to the IDF website. Updates are posted on a regular basis.

Something We Need To Remember

Chapter 12 of Genesis in the Bible describes the calling of Abram:

…2 I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will blessthose who bless youand cursethose who curse you;and allthe familiesof the earthwill be blessedthrough you.”4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had directed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.…

A close look at world history enforces this Bible verse. The sun never set on the British Empire until they reneged on the 1917 Balfour Declaration. That began the unraveling of their Empire. Maybe that was an incredible coincidence, but then let’s look at Germany after World War II. Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass” occurred on November 9 and 10, 1938. This was a night of violence against Jews and Jewish businesses that took place throughout Germany, annexed Austria, and in areas of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia recently occupied by German troops. On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. Germany was a divided nation for 51 years. On August 18th, 2005, Jewish residents in the Gaza Strip were forcibly removed from their homes with the approval of the American government. On August 29,2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. How many coincidences do we need to recognize that there might be a pattern.

In the past few days we have seen Hamas, located in the Gaza Strip attack Israel with a brutality beyond the ‘normal’ brutality of war. Unfortunately, America has not responded well.

On Sunday, The Western Journal posted an article about America’s response to the attack. Unfortunately we got it wrong. Fortunately the Tweet was taken down.

The article notes:

In a now-deleted tweet from the account of the U.S. Office Of Palestinian Affairs, the State Department wrote, “We unequivocally condemn the attack of Hamas terrorists and the loss of life that has occurred. We urge all sides to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks. Terror and violence solve nothing,” the tweet said.

This is a screenshot of the tweet:
War is a horrible thing, but you can’t live in peace next to people who want to drive you into the sea. Now is the time to destroy Hamas. It is probably true that Hezbollah will be drawn into the fight and will have to be destroyed also. Unfortunately that leads us back to Iran (hopefully they don’t yet have nuclear weapons) who is bankrolling both Hamas and Hezbollah. This is a dangerous time for the world. We all need to be praying, and we all need to understand that God’s covenant with Israel is forever. We need to act carefully and remember we are not the final answer.

Something To Watch

The Times of Israel posted the following headline yesterday:

Hezbollah denies border attack, says response to fighter’s death yet to come

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post reported:

Tensions remain high in the North after the IDF thwarted a Hezbollah terrorist attack Monday afternoon near Mount Dov along the border with Lebanon. The defense establishment is concerned Hezbollah might still carry out an attack against the military.

A Hezbollah cell, which numbered between three and five operatives, crossed the border, also known as the Blue Line, several meters into sovereign Israeli territory and was identified by the IDF, which opened fire on them with machine guns and tank shells.

The cell fled back into Lebanon without firing at the soldiers, IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman said, denying reports that anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) were fired during the incident.
“We have some tense days ahead,” he said.

While the condition of the Hezbollah cell members was unclear, the Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen news outlet reported that no Hezbollah fighters were killed during the failed attack. The soldiers were unharmed, the IDF said.

Hezbollah later released a statement saying there had been no clash along the border, and soldiers had fired on empty fields, making up the entire incident due to their “extreme fear” over a Hezbollah retaliation.

News from the Middle East generally resembles propaganda more than news, but the important thing to remember here is that both of these articles indicate that tensions are rising on the Israeli and Lebanon border. Please follow the links to read both stories for more information.

Good News For The Middle East

The biggest threat to peace in the Middle East is Iran. Iran has been a major fund source for terrorism around the world. Iran funds both Hamas and Hezbollah. The sanctions President Trump has placed on Iran have diminished those funds, but they are still flowing. The goal of Iran is to recreate the Ottoman Empire, which was a caliphate that ended after World War I. One of the major obstacles to the establishment of that caliphate is Israel. Anyone who has paid attention for the past seventy years or so knows that the goal of many of the countries surrounding Israel is to eliminate Israel as a nation. Israel lives in a tough neighborhood and relies on its scientists to create state-of-the-art defensive weapons. Yesterday The Daily Wire reported on a new technology Israel has developed.

The article reports:

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced on Thursday that it had conducted the first live demonstrations of its new Drone Dome-L counter-unmanned aircraft systems (CUAS) system which features an “integrated hard-kill high energy laser effector.”

“The system achieved 100% success in all test scenarios,” the company said in a statement. “Drone Dome is designed to address threats posed by hostile drones both in military and civilian sites, offering advanced solutions for maneuvering forces and military facilities, critical border protection, as well as civilian targets such as airports, public facilities, or any other sites that might be vulnerable to the increasing threat of both terror and criminal drones.”

The article includes the following video:

The better Israel is able to defend itself, the less likely its neighbors will attack her. That is a positive thing. It’s not as good as a peace treaty, but it does decrease the chances of war in the region.

 

How Soon We Forget

Most Americans are rejoicing at the killing of Qassim Soleimani, an Iranian terrorist with immense amounts of American blood on his hands. The political left and its media allies are anything but joyful–they want to know the justification for killing a man responsible for the killing and maiming of many American soldiers. Where were these outcries when President Obama was using drone strikes to kill American citizens without honoring their constitutional rights?

On May 30, 2012, The New Yorker posted an article that included the following:

The Obama Administration has sought and killed American citizens, notably Anwar al-Awlaki. As the Times noted, “The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel prepared a lengthy memo justifying that extraordinary step, asserting that while the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process applied, it could be satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch.” In other words, it’s due process if the President thinks about it. One wonders how low the standard for “internal deliberations” are—if it might be enough if Obama mulled it over while walking his dog. And if an American whom the President decides is a threat can be assassinated in Yemen, where Awlaki was hit, why not in London, or Toronto, or Los Angeles? (Awlaki’s teen-age son, an American citizen who had not been accused of anything, died in a separate strike.)

The New Yorker was one of the few publications questioning what was going on.

The conservative media has a much more realistic view of the killing of Soleimani.

Frank Gaffney, Jr.,  posted the following at the Center for Security Policy today:

President Trump’s liquidation of Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian terrorist with immense amounts of American blood on his hands, has not only exacted a measure of revenge for Iran’s murderous jihadism. He has struck a direct blow at the regime in Tehran that brutally oppresses its own people and increasingly threatens ours. 

Soleimani’s assassination must now be followed up with an intensified campaign aimed at empowering Iranians to bring about, at last, the removal from power of the rest of the thugs who have, for forty years, called for “Death to America.”

As we take necessary steps to deter the mullahs’ retaliation in-theater, we must also act immediately to roll up Soleimani’s foreign legion, the terrorist group known as Hezbollah. It has units inside the United States who inevitably will be ordered, later if not sooner, to attack targets in this country.

The Washington Examiner reported yesterday:

The U.S. killing of Qassim Soleimani In Baghdad on Thursday ends an enduring threat. At least in the short term, however, it will unleash Iranian retaliation. The leader of the external action arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Soleimani long led that regime’s efforts to destroy its enemies and expand its revolution.

From an explosive campaign that killed hundreds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, to supporting Bashar Assad’s regime with legions of Shiite fighters and IRGC operatives, to conducting a campaign of bombings and assassinations and intimidation across the world, Soleimani was a master of his very dark arts. He was a serious and continuing threat to U.S. lives and interests. Indeed, Soleimani masterminded a failed 2011 plot to blow up the then-Saudi ambassador and dozens of diners in a Washington, D.C., restaurant.

Still, Soleimani’s killing, apparently alongside Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, the Kataib Hezbollah leader responsible for recent rocket attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, is striking. Trump might call it justice for this week’s attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, or the recent killing of a U.S. contractor in Iraq, or an act to disrupt Soleimani’s plotting against America. Regardless, it illustrates a major strategic escalation in President Trump’s Iran policy. Soleimani’s standing in Iran and the IRGC in particular makes President George W. Bush’s 2008 killing of top Lebanese Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh seem irrelevant in comparison. This is a very big deal.

Trump’s shift here is hard to overestimate. Until now, Trump had been keen to keep avenues of diplomatic intercourse open toward Iran. Trump had avoided direct military retaliation against Iran even after it downed a U.S. drone last summer. But this killing slams the door on diplomacy in a most public way. Soleimani was a hero of the revolution and will now be regarded as an heir to Husayn ibn Ali, the martyr of Shiite martyrs. Revenge will now rise to the very top of Iran’s agenda. A global terrorist campaign of uncertain duration is likely. In the context of Iranian domestic political instability and deep economic pressures on the regime, Iran might also use this killing as an excuse to destabilize oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz. Each of those developments would require immediate American deterrent response.

We have killed an important terrorist. There will be a response. However, the response will no longer be under the leadership and direction of that terrorist. I am not sure how much we have impacted the worldwide terrorist network that Soleimani led, but we have impacted it. The killing of Soleimani is important for the future of Iran and the future of terrorism worldwide. Hopefully it is a step toward freedom in Iran.

James Bond, Eat Your Heart Out!

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article today about the escape of former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn from house arrest in Japan. It’s an amazing story. Mr. Ghosn, who is 5 feet 6 inches tall escaped in a box used to transport musical instruments.

The article quotes The New York Post:

In a bizarre scheme allegedly orchestrated by his wife in the US, a group of ex-special forces soldiers posing as musicians specializing in a Gregorian band and toting music equipment strolled past Japanese security guards and entered the pad, according to the Lebanese news channel MTV.

Ghosn, who stands at just under 5-foot-6, climbed into “one of the boxes intended for the transfer of musical instruments,’’ the news station said — possibly a roughly 6-foot-tall double-base case.

He was then carted out in the case when the group left, after a “logical time for a concert had passed,” MTV said.

Japanese authorities had the door to his home under 24-hour video surveillance — but, per an April court agreement, Ghosn’s camp didn’t have to turn over each month’s recordings until the 15th of the following month, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Ghosn is believed to have been spirited out of the country on a chartered Bombardier jet from Kansai International Airport in Osaka — a six-hour drive from Toyko — around 11:10 p.m. Sunday, the Journal said.

The plane landed at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul early Monday, reports said. Ghosn then boarded a smaller plane belonging to the Turkish company MNG Jet Havacilik AS that departed about 30 minutes later for Rafic Hariri Airport in Beirut, Lebanon.

Japanese authorities apparently had no idea that their most high-profile detainee had fled until hours later — and only then, from an MTV reporter.

The station worker approached Matahiro Yamaguchi, the Japanese ambassador to Lebanon, at a party in Beirut around 6 p.m. Monday and asked about Ghosn’s fleeing, The Guardian reported.

The stunned ambassador said his administration knew nothing about it — and spent the next few minutes furiously texting before abruptly leaving the event.

The article in The New York Post continues:

Lebanon authorities claimed Ghosn entered the country legally via the use of a French passport — although it’s unclear how.

Lawyer Hironaka said he still has Ghosn’s three passports, for Lebanon, France and Brazil, that his client had to turn over as a condition of bail.

“It would have been difficult for him to do this without the assistance of some large organization,” Hironaka told reporters.

The article at Power Line Blog reminds us that nothing happens in Lebanon without the approval of Hezbollah. Interesting.

 

 

Testing, 1, 2, 3, Testing…

Iran is very unhappy that President Trump has put economic sanctions on that country and has not been willing to withdraw them until there is a change in behavior. I would like to mention that paying protesters to shout “Death to America” might not be the pathway to having the sanctions lifted. There are a few things at work regarding the attack on the American Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. The first is aggravating President Trump enough so that America is drawn further into the never-ending war in the Middle East. So far the President has resisted that temptation. The second fact is simply being so annoying that President Trump does something that the American left and international community can condemn him for.

Breitbart posted an article today about the attack.

The article reports:

Iran-backed militiamen behind an attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, have begun retreating from the area on Wednesday following a threat from President Donald Trump to hold Tehran accountable for the siege.

“Supporters of the Kataib Hezbollah militia who had spent the night camped outside the embassy began dismantling their tents and leaving the area, saying they had won a victory and would now seek the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq through the nation’s parliament,” the Washington Post reports.

Did Iran really believe they would not be held accountable for the siege?

The article continues:

The development comes after Department of Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced on Tuesday evening the deployment of 750 U.S. soldiers to the region in response to the attack. Esper said additional troops are prepared to ship out for reenforcement if needed.

Earlier Tuesday, President Donald Trump blamed Iran for orchestrating the attack and threatened the country will pay a “very big price.”

“The U.S. Embassy in Iraq is, & has been for hours, SAFE! Many of our great Warfighters, together with the most lethal military equipment in the world, was immediately rushed to the site. Thank you to the President & Prime Minister of Iraq for their rapid response upon request,” the president tweeted.

The article concludes:

The violence comes as Iran and its allies have faced unprecedented mass protests in recent months and after heavy U.S. sanctions on Iran that have cratered its economy and raised tensions across the region. In Iraq, the protesters have been angered at their own government’s corruption and economic mismanagement, as well as its close ties to Tehran.

Stay tuned.

The Threat Is Still There

Yesterday NJ.com posted an article about Alexei Saab, 42, of Morristown, New Jersey, who was also known as Ali Hassan Saab, Alex Saab, and Rachid. Mr. Saab has been arrested for offenses related to his support of Hezbollah. He has been in custody since July.

The article reports:

A LinkedIn page identifies Saab as the director of information technology at a Morristown energy firm, which said he was terminated in July, but would not say why. He was also listed as an adjunct lecturer at Baruch College. Officials there did not immediately return calls for comment.

But the 33-page federal criminal complaint unsealed in New York on Thursday, replete with photos and diagrams purportedly collected as part of his alleged intelligence gathering mission, outlined a long-running operation that began long before he swore allegiance to the United States, and continued for years.

“Even though Saab was a naturalized American citizen, his true allegiance was to Hezbollah, the terrorist organization responsible for decades of terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.

The article also notes:

Earlier this year, a federal court in New York convicted Ali Kourani, 34, a Lebanese-born U.S. citizen of charges that he bought weapons and plotted attacks in the city on behalf of Hezbollah. He was said to be surveying targets that included JFK International Airport and a federal building in Manhattan.

Cohen said with the current escalation of tensions with Iran, it is not surprising that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would be taking a hard look at known Hezbollah operatives and networks in the US “and if warranted, taking aggressive enforcement action.”

The article concludes:

While the U.S. Attorney’s office said Saab was a Morristown resident, records only show a Morristown post office box, listed as his residence for his voter registration. At two other addresses in Jersey City associated with Saab in public records, there was no answer when a reporter knocked on the doors. Several living in the neighborhood said they did not know him.

The charges against Saab include providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy, receiving military-type training from a foreign terrorist organization, unlawful procurement of citizenship to facilitate international terrorism and citizenship application fraud.

Hezbollah is funded by Iran. Much of the money paid to Iran in the Iran deal brokered by President Obama has gone to various terrorist groups. Iran is one of those groups. For further information on the behind-the-scenes strategy that sold the Iran deal, see the following article posted on May 10, 2016. The article cites a New York Times interview of Ben Rhodes, the former creative writer who worked in the Obama administration to sell foreign policy to journalists and thus to the American public.

Mohammed Morsi Has Died

The Daily Caller is reporting today that former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has died following his collapse in an Egyptian courtroom.

The article reports:

Morsi was 67. He has been in custody since his ousting as president in 2013 during a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, which he represented, reported BBC.

Morsi was being tried on espionage charges when he passed out and was taken to a hospital, reported TIME.

His presidential term was short-lived after he was elected in the country’s first free elections in 2012 after the expulsion of former President Hosni Mubarak. Morsi broke out of prison in 2011 during the uprisings against Mubarak and was sentenced to death in 2015 for the jail break after being removed from power. He was sentenced for conspiring with Hamas and Hezbollah militants to break out, but the death sentence was overturned in 2016.

…President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has led Egypt since 2014. El-Sisi has promoted peaceful relations between Christians and Muslims in his country, including by presiding over the opening of a cathedral, but Egypt’s human rights record is far from perfect. For example, an Egyptian TV journalist was sentenced to prison for a year in January and fined 3,000 Egyptian pounds after interviewing a gay man on his show in August 2018, Egypt state-run media reported.

President el-Sisi was essentially put in place by the military to end President Morsi’s reign of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is not actually a democracy, but the military seems to run it with a fairly even hand–allowing most people to quietly practice their faith.

Israel Continues To Fight For Its Existence

The Israeli Defense Forces released the following photo today:

The Washington Post posted an article today about the Israeli effort to destroy these tunnels.

The article reports:

Israel on Tuesday began to destroy Hezbollah tunnels dug under its northern border, an operation launched with much fanfare at a time when embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a corruption investigation and accusations of being soft on security. 

The military said it had exposed one of the Lebanese militant group’s tunnels that crossed into Israeli territory in what it dubbed “Operation Northern Shield.” A military spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, said that “several” tunnels had been monitored for “quite a long period of time” and that the operation had been planned for a year and a half. 

…Iran’s regional hegemony has also been a driving foreign policy concern of the Trump administration. U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said the United States “strongly supports” Israel’s efforts to stop tunneling into its territory. “More broadly, we call on Iran and all of its agents to stop their regional aggression and provocation, which pose an unacceptable threat to Israeli and regional security,” Bolton said.  

Israel has been using what it says is new technology to detect and destroy tunnels built by Hamas in the south, under the fence with Gaza. However, the tunnel destroyed on Tuesday was the first on the northern border. 

These tunnels are another reason why sanctions on Iran are a good idea. Hezbollah is funded by Iran.

Iran

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.

Currently There Are More People Being Thrown Under The Bus Than Are On The Bus

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.

The Middle East Heats Up

Yesterday the U.K. Daily Mail reported that Saudi Arabia had shot down a missile from Yemen aimed at one of the kingdom’s major international airports on the outskirts of Riyadh.

This is a map showing the geographical relationship between Saudi Arabia and Yemen:

The article reports:

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.

Not Comforting News

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.

 

 

Inviting The Fox Into The Hen House

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.

Front Page Magazine posted an article today about Nezar Hamze, the head of the Florida chapter of CAIR, who is also a Deputy at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

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.

The Mess In The Middle East

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:

MiddleEastAs you can see, the situation is a mess. The article was not about the map; however, the article was about a shift in the execution of the war by the pro-Bashar al-Assad forces in Russia and Iran.

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.