More Good News From The Middle East

Yesterday Don Surber posted an article on his blog about the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, 59, the Head of Iran’s nuclear program.

The article reports:

“According to Iran Front Page News, Fakhrizadeh was killed by shooting, but before the shootout, his car has been stopped with an explosion at Mostafa Khomeini Blvd. Several others are also reportedly killed in the incident, but haven’t been identified yet.”

In the past, we could have credited Mossad with another fine job well done, but now I do not know about that this time.

Arab nations are normalizing relations with Israel after a decade or so of casual and unofficial cooperation among Israel and Saudi Arabia. Obama siding with Iran — giving the rogue state $170 billion to blow on building nukes and terrorizing Israel — sealed the deal.

Maybe Mossad had a little help.

Israel and its Arab nations share two things in common. They cannot allow Iran to beef up, and they cannot trust the United States to help them. President Donald John Trump may be the last friend they ever have in the White House.

They also know Red China is an ultimate threat.

The New York Times described the incident as “A brazen killing takes place in a drive-by attack.”

The article notes The New York Times comments:

“The killing is bound to provoke sharp reaction in Iran.

“Mr. Fakhrizadeh’s killing, whoever was responsible, could have broad implications for the incoming Biden administration. It is bound to set off a sharp reaction in Iran, as did the American attack on Jan. 3 that killed Qassim Suleimani, the Iranian major general who ran the elite Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

“The killing of Mr. Fakhrizadeh could complicate the effort by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to revive the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, as he has pledged to do, if the Iranians agree to return to the limits detailed in the accord.

“Israel has long opposed the deal, and if its agents were responsible for the killing of a man considered a national hero — in Iran, they will almost certainly be accused of being behind it — there could be political pressure in Iran to move forward with its current effort to gradually rebuild the stockpile of nuclear fuel that it gave up in 2015.

“American officials would not comment on the assassination on Friday morning, saying they were seeking information.”

The article at Don Surber’s blog concludes:

If the Supreme Court allows Democrats to steal the election, the new administration will quickly throw away President Trump’s gift of peace in the Middle East and side with Iran once again.

Follow the money. Red China owns Democrats now, and Red China supports Iran.

Israel and her Arab neighbors are on their own. Pray that they are strong enough to withstand the maelstrom Chairman Xi and his marionettes in Washington want to unleash.

Today, the allies showed they may be able to. They do not seem to have a choice.

Stay tuned.

Disturbing News From The Middle East

Most of the world wants peace in the Middle East. President Trump has been moving in that direction by normalizing relations between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors. However, not everyone in the region is in favor of peace. To some nations, war serves a purpose–it distracts from internal problems and can be a unifying force, it stimulates the economy by creating a demand for planes and weapons, and it often will strengthen the leadership position of whoever is in charge of the country fighting the war.

The United States Naval Institute News (USNI) News reported on Wednesday that two Russian Navy ships were seen in the Mediterranean Sea escorting an Iranian-flagged oil tanker to Syria.

The article reports:

Last week, the Iranian-flagged oil tanker Samah entered the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal. After a few miles, the 900-foot-long ship stopped reporting its position and destination. Evidence suggests the ship sailed to Syria, escorted by two Russian Navy ships, including a destroyer.

Russia’s role in protecting the shipment may change the dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean. In the past, Iranian tankers sailing to Syria have been intercepted by the U.K. Royal Navy. The Russian Navy escort could be viewed as a precautionary step, raising the political and military risks of any intervention by the Royal Navy or others.

Last July, an Iranian tanker destined for Syria, Adrian Darya-1, was seized by U.K. Royal Marines off Gibraltar. The British accused Iran of supplying Syria with oil in contravention of European Union sanctions. Iran quickly seized a British-flagged tanker in a likely retaliatory move. Eventually, in September, Adrian Darya-1 was released by a local court with the assurance that it would not deliver its oil to Syria – but days later, it transshipped its oil in Syrian waters.

The article concludes:

The Russian Navy has hinted it would be more active in escorting merchant ships in the region. After the Iranian delivery, the Russian Navy has publicized an exercise off Syria, meant to protect “smooth passage of civilian ships.” A simulated attack by a submarine was dealt with by Vice Admiral Kulakov, which may be intended to send a message to allies and potential adversaries alike that Russia will actively prevent any interference with the Iranian shipments.

Russia now maintains a permanent squadron in the Mediterranean, based in Tartus, Syria. This includes submarines and large warships. If Moscow decides the Iran-Syria oil run is now a regular mission for the Russian Navy, it’s set to complicate enforcement of international sanctions which could otherwise shut down one of the Syrian regime’s vital lifelines.

Russia has always wanted a ‘warm water port.’ It looks as if they now have one.

Why Is The Information Still Classified?

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article by Kenneth R. Timmerman about the 2012 attack on the embassy annex in Benghazi. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to the article as it is extremely complex.

The article reports:

US intelligence agencies are sitting on a treasure trove of documents that detail Iran’s direct, material involvement in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that cost the lives of four Americans. But until now, deep state bureaucrats have buried them under layers of classification, often without reason.

From CIA officers, military contractors, and sources within US Special Forces, I have learned of the existence of at least 50 briefing documents that warned of Iranian intelligence operations in Benghazi. Some specifically predicted an Iranian attack on US diplomats and US facilities. Those documents have remained inaccessible, including to the Select Committee on Benghazi chaired by former US Representative Trey Gowdy.

The deep state is expert at hiding information that would have a negative impact on its members. The fact that the Select Committee on Benghazi cannot access certain documents relating to Benghazi is further proof of that.

The article continues:

By the summer of 2012, US intelligence and security officers in Benghazi and Tripoli warned their chain of command — including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens — that the Iranians were preparing a terrorist attack on the US compound in Benghazi. These increased Iranian preparations prompted the head of security for Stevens, Green Beret Colonel Andy Wood, to send a cable to his commanding officer in June 2012 that the Iranian-backed militia — Ansar al Sharia — had received their funding from Iran and were now sending their wives and children to Benghazi, as I reported in these pages previously.

Until now, the government has released just a handful of heavily redacted documents relating to Iran’s Benghazi operations. Throughout the Obama administration, officials with knowledge of the Quds Force presence in Benghazi, including security contractors who defended the CIA Annex in a 13-hour battle with the jihadis, were repeatedly threatened with prosecution if they revealed what they knew. Among them was the then-director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is amazing.

Sometimes The Domino Effect Is A Good Thing

Yesterday Sara Carter reported the following:

After last week’s historic peace deal brokered between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, Sudan wants in. The Sudanese Foreign Ministry Spokesman reportedly told Sky News Arabia Tuesday that it could quite possibly make a similar deal in the near future and didn’t deny having talks with Israel.

“There is no reason for the continuation of hostility between Sudan and Israel,” the Sudan’s FM said. “We do not deny the existence of contacts between the two countries.”

The article notes:

Notably, Sudan was the location where Arab nation’s declared they wouldn’t normalize ties with Israel and had three ‘nos’: “No negotiations. No recognition. No peace.” Yoni Michanie first pointed to this on Twitter Tuesday.

The article includes the following tweet:

This is a milestone. Sudan (and the other Arab countries) have to make a choice–do they want to submit to Iran or make peace with Israel and remain as independent countries? The goal of Iran is to restore the caliphate (the former Ottoman Empire) with Iran as the head. This would involve bringing all the Arab countries in the region under the control of Iran. Not every Arab country wants to give up their sovereignty. The behind-the-scenes negotiations of the Trump administration have brought the possibility of peace to the Middle East.

We Are Truly In The Political Silly Season

President Trump brokered a peace deal between Israel and the UAE. That is amazing. He was able to do that because Israel trusts him and because the UAE is aware of the danger Iran poses to the region. As expected, Joe Biden is taking credit for the peace deal.

Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article about the peace deal.

The article reports:

On Thursday, following the announcement of the historic peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made the astonishing claim that the Obama administration was partially responsible for preparing the way for the deal.

Biden said that “the coming together of Israel and Arab states builds on the efforts of multiple administrations to foster a broader Arab-Israeli opening, including the efforts of the Obama-Biden administration to build on the Arab Peace Initiative,” adding, “I personally spent time with leaders of both Israel and the UAE during our administration building the case for cooperation and broader engagement and the benefits it could deliver to both nations, and I am gratified by today’s announcement. It is a timely reminder that enmities and differences — even long standing ones — are not set in stone, and of the role American diplomacy can play,” as Fox News reported.

The article explains why the claim from Joe Biden is false:

The Arab Peace Initiative that Biden cited was proposed by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah at the 2002 Arab League Summit in Beirut, Lebanon, endorsed by that summit, and later endorsed at the 2007 summit in Riyadh. It called for full Israeli withdrawal from Golan Heights, which would leave Israel vulnerable to attacks from above it, withdrawal from the Biblical Judea and Samaria, where the ancient Jewish kings were crowned, and withdrawal from East Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount, the site of the Biblical temples, and for Jews, the holiest place on earth.

As it turned out, Israel never compromised on those issues, and yet the UAE has made peace, so Biden’s citation of the Arab Peace Initiative to buttress his claim that the Obama administration had anything to do with the deal is ludicrous.

The article notes the role the policies of the Obama administration played in this peace deal:

But in one sense, Biden is correct, albeit not for the reasons he cited. The Obama administration, by its support for the theocratic, despotic Iranian regime, the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, triggered Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia to link with Israel as all four countries were aware of the Iranian threat to all of them.

The Obama-Biden administration was probably the most hostile to Israel in American history. The administration repeatedly treated Israel as an obstacle to peace in the Middle East while praising Iran, a knows sponsor of terrorism.

It is the political silly season. We can expect much more of this before the election in November.

Wonderful News Brought To You By The Trump Administration

Sara Carter is reporting today that in a deal brokered by the Trump administration, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have normalized diplomatic ties.

The article reports:

“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” a joint statement released Thursday read.

“All three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from today’s historic achievement.”

This is the statement:

Although the Trump administration brokered the deal, the real responsibility for making the deal possible falls on the increased militancy of Iran. Both Israel and the UAE realize the Iran is continuing to fund terrorist groups in the Middle East with the intention of ruling the region. Iran and Turkey would both like to reestablish the caliphate that was dissolved when the Ottoman Empire fell. Their only disagreement is who will rule the new caliphate. That is what this deal is really about. Nevertheless, it is a much needed step toward stability in the Middle East.

The Satellite Tells The Real Story

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about a recent explosion in Iran. The Iranian government claimed that the explosion that rattled nearby Tehran on Friday took place in a civilian area of Parchin and not at their secret nuclear-weapons research or missile research facilities. They even supplied photos of a burnt industrial gas tank, photos which turned out to be not entirely convincing.

The article reports:

An explosion that rattled Iran’s capital came from an area in its eastern mountains that analysts believe hides an underground tunnel system and missile production sites, satellite photographs showed Saturday.

What exploded in the incident early Friday that sent a massive fireball into the sky near Tehran remains unclear, as does the cause of the blast.

The unusual response of the Iranian government in the aftermath of the explosion, however, underscores the sensitive nature of an area near where international inspectors believe the Islamic Republic conducted high-explosive tests two decades ago for nuclear weapon triggers.

…Western analysts viewing the European Commission satellite photos believe that the explosion took place in a missile-building or missile-assembly area underground. The Iranians have moved a substantial part of their missile program underground over the years to hide it from these same kinds of satellites, but intelligence agencies have a pretty good idea where those locations are and what the Iranians are doing with them.

Still, the missiles aren’t a secret themselves; the Iranians openly brag about their capabilities, even to the point of photoshopping to make them look even more impressive. Why not just tell the truth, if this was an industrial accident? Perhaps because it wasn’t an industrial accident. Iran’s militias in Syria have come under attack by air over the last 24 hours, with Israel being suspected of launching the strikes:

The article concludes:

This brings us back to Parchin and Iran’s missile production and development. Right now, Iran has the missile technology to target Israel, but not a nuclear warhead to put on one of them — we think, anyway. Israel might have decided to slow down their missile production with an act of sabotage at Parchin, perhaps in part just to demonstrate they can do it. Iran has spent the last few years creeping up on Israel via the civil war in Syria, and Israel might have just delivered a kidney punch in return.

That might be why Iran isn’t too keen on admitting that they have holes in their security, let alone have suffered a setback on military production. Theocratic tyrannies don’t last long when their subjects realize their incompetence, and this one’s already on thin ice after shooting down a Ukrainian passenger flight a few months ago. Or so we hope.

Israel (and a number of Arab countries in the Middle East) have a vested interest in preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power with missiles and warheads. Iran has made known its ambitions to create a caliphate in the area. Missiles and warheads would probably make that possible. Israel will do all it can to prevent that.

Mixed Emotions On This

Just the News updated its article about Michael White, a Navy veteran who was recently returned to the U.S. from Iran.

The article reports:

An Iranian doctor living in Florida has in recent days been allowed to return to his country in an apparent exchange with Tehran in which a U.S. Navy veteran was returned last week to America.

The doctor, Matteo Taerri, pleaded guilty late last year in connection with attempting to export a filter to Iran that he said was for vaccine research. However, U.S. authorities said the filter required a license because it could be used for chemical and biological warfare, according to the Associated Press. Taerri was also accused of orchestrating a series of bank deposits less than $10,000 to evade federal reporting requirements.

The article further reports:

Last week, Michael White, the Navy veteran, was returned to the U.S.

White, of California, was detained in July 2018 while visiting a girlfriend in Iran. He was convicted of insulting the country’s supreme leader and putting private information online, the wire service also reports. White had been released from prison in March on a medical furlough and was awaiting his return.

Earlier last week, Iranian scientist named Sirous Asgari returned to Tehran after being acquitted in a federal trade secrets case and deported. He was working on a U.S. Navy project at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

I am glad that Michael White was able to return to America, but I am concerned about the price we paid for that return. How many more Americans will Iran take hostage in order to get their intelligence assets out of America?

Who Is Paying Our Colleges?

On Friday, The National Review posted an article titled, “U.S. Colleges Have Accepted $6 Billion in Undisclosed Donations from Foreign Governments, DOE Probe Finds.” Great. No wonder we are sending children to college respecting America and getting them backl home hating America.

The article reports:

The Department of Education has discovered at least $6 billion in unreported donations to American universities from adversarial foreign nations, Townhall reported on Friday.

The DoE revealed its updates in a May 19 letter to Congress and a subsequent briefing to several ranking House Republicans who are conducting an investigation into the foreign funding of U.S. educational institutions.

The investigation was spurred by increasing reports of Chinese funding at U.S. educational institutions, including the prevalence of Confucius institutes on U.S. campuses. Confucius institutes are Chinese-government funded centers which ostensibly promote Chinese language and culture, but which U.S. agencies have warned spread propaganda for China’s government.

“Some [Institutions of Higher Education] leaders are starting to acknowledge the threat of foreign academic espionage and have been working with federal law enforcement to address gaps in reporting and transparency,” the letter from the DoE’s Office of the General Counsel reads. “However, the evidence suggests massive investments of foreign money have bred dependency and distorted the decision-making, mission, and values of too many institutions.”

The letter also states, “Certain institutions have yet to produce requested emails, metadata, and other information regarding business relationships with, and faculty funding from, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Russian foreign sources.”

The DoE had already announced its own investigation into foreign funding of U.S. universities in February. Besides China, officials are looking into funding from Qatar, Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

America is a unique experiment. We have survived past the normal 200 years that a democracy can exist without self-destructing. The main reason for that is that we are a representative republic–not a democracy. But we need to remember that our freedom is always one generation away from being lost. If we continue to mis-educate our children from kindergarten through college, we will lose our freedom. We definitely need to remove foreign money from all of our education–from kindergarten through college. America is quite capable of teaching its own children and educating them on the value of their freedom and the great gift this country is.

 

Whoops

MSN is reporting today that 19 sailors were killed and 15 others wounded when an Iranian warship accidentally fired upon another warship during a training exercise.

The article reports:

The incident took place during training in the Gulf of Oman, a sensitive waterway that connects to the Strait of Hormuz through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes. Iran regularly conducts exercises in the area.

The frigate Jamaran fired at a training target released by a support ship, the Konarak. However, the support ship stayed too close to the target and was hit, state broadcaster IRIB said.

“The incident took place in the perimeter of Iran’s southern Bandar-e Jask port on the Gulf of Oman during Iranian Navy drills on Sunday afternoon, in which 19 sailors were killed and 15 others were injured,” state TV said, quoting the navy.

Fars news agency quoted an unidentified military official as denying some Iranian media reports that the Konarak had sunk. The navy statement said investigations were undergoing regarding the cause of the incident, student news agency ISNA said.

IRIB said the Dutch-made Konarak vessel, which was purchased before Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, had been overhauled in 2018, and is equipped with four cruise missiles.

My sympathies to the families impacted, but not to the government that made this possible.

This Is A Dangerous Game

Yesterday American Military News posted an article (and pictures) about a group of Iranian warships playing ‘chicken’ with American warships in international waters of the North Arabian Gulf. That is a dangerous game.

The article reports:

The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said late Wednesday that 11 Iranian ships harassed multiple U.S. warships in international waters today, and captured the dangerous encounter in photos and a video.

USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Firebolt (PC 10), USS Sirocco (PC 6), USCGC Wrangell (WPB 1332) and USCGC Maui (WPB 1304) were conducting joint operations along with U.S. Army AH-64E Apache helicopters when the encounter occurred.

The Iranian vessels came within 10 yards of USCGC Maui’s bow, and 50 yards from USS Lewis B. Puller. U.S. ships were forced to take action to avoid colliding with Iranian boats.

U.S. crews issued radio warnings, five blasts from ships’ horns, and sounded acoustic noise makers, but were ignored by Iranian crews.

After an hour, Iranian crews finally responded and turned away from the U.S. warships.

“The IRGCN’s dangerous and provocative actions increased the risk of miscalculation and collision, were not in accordance with the internationally recognized Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) ‘rules of the road’ or internationally recognized maritime customs, and were not in accordance with the obligation under international law to act with due regard for the safety of other vessels in the area,” U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement.

There are a number of possible motives for this harassment of American ships. If the Iranian government can focus its population on a common enemy, the Iranian people might overlook the severe economic problems the country is currently having. Also, if the Iranian government can drag America into a war in the Middle East, that will significantly drain America’s wealth and resources. We have seen that principle at work for the past twenty years. Either way, Iran is playing a dangerous game–they are not dealing with Barack Obama or Jimmy Carter–they are dealing with a President who believes in America and its right to defend itself. I expect there will be some reaction to this from the White House. We may not see it–it may happen behind closed doors, but I do believe President Trump will hold Iran accountable for their actions.

Going Further Into Debt To Support Terrorism

On Friday, The Daily Wire posted an article about some of the recent discussions happening in Congress. The article notes the Senator Ted Cruz has criticized Senator Diane Feinstein because she is trying to appropriate money to send to Iran (the world’s major fund source for terrorism).

The article reports:

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz unloaded on his Democratic colleagues on Friday in response to Sen. Dianne Feinstein sending a letter to President Trump declaring that she is “disappointed” in his administration’s plan to block funding to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran. The Democrats’ demand of Trump to help Iran get $5 billion in aid, Cruz noted, comes “at the exact same time” that they are “blocking desperately need relief to small businesses in America.”

The article continues:

In late March, a group of Democratic lawmakers — among them Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), and Rashida Tlaib (MI), and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin calling for the easing of U.S. sanctions on Iran during the coronavirus pandemic, a request that was dead on arrival. Iran has since requested $5 billion in aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In response to the Trump administration indicating that they have no intention of allowing the terror-sponsoring state to get the massive infusion of money, Sen. Feinstein sent her own letter on Thursday expressing her disappointment.

The timing of the letter was unfortunate for Senator Feinstein:

Feinstein’s letter was issued the same day that Senate Democrats blocked an urgent request from Sec. Mnuchin to increase the amount of cash in the emergency small business loan program recently established by Congress from $350 billion to $600 billion.

In response to the pair of moves, Cruz called out Feinstein and the Democrats for what he suggested were some backward “priorities.”

When Secretary Mnuchin asked for more money to help small business, the  Democrats in Congress acted the same way they have in the past:

As the New York Post’s editorial board explains, instead of agreeing to the desperately needed increase in cash on Thursday, the Democrats “issued partisan demands”: “They insisted the new money include $60 billion for ‘community-based lenders’ that serve minorities, women, nonprofits and other groups. And the bill also had to OK an immediate $250 billion for cities, states, hospitals, food stamps and other needs.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) explained in response that “everything is an opportunity.” This was an “opportunity” to address “disparities” she suggested are plaguing the country.

“And if they don’t get their way, no one gets a dime more,” the Post’s editorial board noted. “Never mind that businesses face bankruptcy or that 17 million people filed for jobless benefits in recent weeks.”

We don’t need term limits–we need intelligent voters who remember these antics when they vote in November.

I Suppose This Is Good News

Fox News reported yesterday that ISIS is advising terrorists not to travel to Europe for jihad. It’s a little ironic to me that ISIS is protecting its members from the flu while instructing them to engage in suicide missions.

The article reports:

ISIS’ al-Naba newsletter contains “sharia directives” urging its healthy members not to enter “the land of the epidemic” to avoid becoming infected, the New York Post reported Sunday.

But any sick jihadists already in Europe should stay there — presumably, to sicken infidels, the paper reported. The Sunday Times of London first reported on the newsletter, according to the paper.

The “healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic and the afflicted should not exit from it,” the ISIS newsletter advises, according to the Post.

…Ten people have died from the coronavirus in Iraq, where 110 cases have been reported, according to John Hopkins University which is tracking the endemic. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Europe is now the virus’ epicenter.

Iran has also become an epicenter for the coronavirus.

On February 28, The New Yorker reported:

Iran, a country of eighty-three million people, has now become one of the global epicenters of the coronavirus—with the highest mortality rate in the world. Based on official numbers, the mortality rate in Iran has fluctuated daily, between eight and eighteen per cent, compared to three per cent in China and less everywhere else. Iran is also unique, because a disproportionate number of confirmed cases are senior government officials. On Thursday, the Vice-President, Masoumeh Ebtekar—who gained fame in 1979 as Sister Mary, the spokeswoman for the students who seized the U.S. Embassy and took fifty-two Americans hostage—announced that she, too, had contracted the coronavirus. The day before, she had attended a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet. Two members of parliament, including the chairman of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, have also been infected, as has the mayor of a district in Tehran and a senior cleric who had served as Iran’s Ambassador to the Vatican. One of the lawmakers, Mahmoud Sadeghi, tweeted on Tuesday, “I send this message in a situation where I have little hope of surviving in this world.” The former Vatican Ambassador, who was eighty-one, died on Thursday.

The article in The New Yorker notes:

The first mention of the disease by the government was a report of two deaths in the city on February 19th. Initial reports indicate that the carrier of the virus may have been a merchant who travelled between Qom and Wuhan, in China, where COVID-19 is believed to have originated. The outbreak is estimated to have begun between three and six weeks ago, which would mean that the two Iranians who died could have been sick and infecting others for weeks.

The fact that the virus has impacted many high-level officials in Iran might be the result of the close relations between the Chinese government and the Iranian government. It seems that China’s failure to tell the truth about the virus has impacted both their friends and their enemies.

All Cultures Are Not Equal

The political left has made a career of criticizing western culture. Somehow they have avoided noticing the scientific advancements western culture has been responsible for, the modern conveniences that help protect our rivers from pollution, and the clean energy that helps with carbon emissions. Somehow the critics have also overlooked the women that have contributed to the scientific knowledge of the west. Well, every now and then an article comes to light that illustrates that the knowledge of science and germs is so much a part of western culture that we take it for granted.

Breitbart posted an article today that illustrates what happens when science gets overruled by religious extremism.

The article reports:

Devout Iranian Muslims are releasing online videos showing the faithful licking and kissing shrines to show they have no fear of infection during the country’s escalating coronavirus outbreak.

Officials have confirmed 978 cases in Iran and 54 deaths, the highest death toll of any country outside China. But religious leaders continue to reject advice from the Health Ministry to close holy sites to help stop the spread of infection.

Instead the videos, which have reportedly emerged from Iran’s coronavirus epicentre of Qom, show Islamic devotees spreading misinformation about the virus while forcing young children to also take part.

…Touching and kissing surfaces in shrines is a common practice for pilgrims, and religious hardliners argue the holy sites of Qom are “a place for healing.”

But many Iranians are worried the clerical establishment is not taking the outbreak seriously, while Iranian health workers have reportedly admitted the number of people that have died from coronavirus could be five times more than government figures claim.

Still many hold a contrary view that Islamic faith will beat any virus.

“There are people who say that this shrine spreads coronavirus. I’m here to lick the tomb so that I can fall ill. This way, I’ve removed the virus. You can come and visit,” one man says in a video.

U.S. Department of State senior advisor for public affairs Len Khodorkovsky shared a clip, captioning it: “Don’t do this. Ever. But especially during the coronavirus outbreak.”

Another video from the city of Mashhad, where the Imam Reza shrine is located, shows a man licking the shrine and reportedly saying: “I have come to lick the Imam Reza shrine so that I contract this disease and allow others to visit the shrine with peace of mind”.

That is so sad.

The Law Of Unintended Consequences At Work

Evidently the coronavirus has been around since December. China kept quiet about it, and when it spread to Iran in January, Iran kept quiet about it. One of the ‘advantages’ of a totalitarian regime is the ability to keep the public from knowing about a pending epidemic. Well, there seem to be some consequences of the fact that China and Iran chose to remain silent about the problem. As of now, Iran has the highest number of deaths outside of China.

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that after the death of Commander Soleimani,  Democrat Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif in a secret meeting in Munich. The meeting was in February.

The article includes a quote from the Israel National News:

This year’s Munich Security Conference may go down in history as the COVID-19 viral super-spreader “event of the century,” if not in all of recorded history. That’s because the Munich 2020 event took place from February Friday 14-Sunday 16, and Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif attended.

Unknown to apparently all the high security-minded attendees, FM Zarif was likely carrying much more than the dark secret that the COVID-19 virus had already begun rampaging through the highest echelons of the Iranian government and society. FM Zarif , or one of his minions, was likely carrying the actual COVID-19, and infected who knows how many of the world’s highest and most influential politicians at the Munich event.

In fact, US Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat from Connecticut, not only met FM Zarif, but met him in Zarif’s hotel suite where there was likely a rat’s nest of COVID-19. Unless drastic steps are taken, Sen. Murphy may become the Typhoid Mary of COVID-19, and infect the entire US Senate and House of Representatives.

As of February 28, 2020 there were officially 210 actual deaths in Iran. Unofficially, there have been over 500 reliably reported Iranian deaths. But, what is very unusual about the Iranian deaths is that a large number of extremely high ranking government officials in Tehran, the capital, have actually caught the disease and have died. The officially “First reported” Iranian case was on February 19. Working backward from the 19th, that means COVID-19 was likely already circulating in Iran from middle-to-late January when FM Zarif, or one of his staff, could have caught the disease.

I don’t wish anyone ill, but it seems like violating the Logan Act might be the least of Chris Murphy’s problems.

Ignoring The Law Because You Think You Can

On Tuesday, CNS News reported the following:

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) confirmed Tuesday that he met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on the sidelines of a security conference in Germany at the weekend, justifying his decision to do so by saying that “if [President] Trump isn’t going to talk to Iran, then someone should.”

There is little doubt that Iran is an enemy of America. Why is a member of Congress meeting with their Foreign Minister?

The article continues:

Murphy said he also wanted to request the Iranian regime’s help in bringing the civil war in Yemen to an end; and to push for the release of Americans incarcerated in Iran.

“I don’t know whether my visit with Zarif will make a difference. I’m not the President or the Secretary of State – I’m just a rank and file U.S. Senator,” Murphy wrote.

“I cannot conduct diplomacy on behalf of the whole of the U.S. government, and I don’t pretend to be in a position to do so.”

“But if Trump isn’t going to talk to Iran, then someone should. And Congress is a co-equal branch of government, responsible along with the Executive for setting foreign policy. A lack of dialogue leaves nations guessing about their enemy’s intentions, and guessing wrong can lead to catastrophic mistakes.”

Senator Murphy may consider Congress a ‘co-equal branch of government,’ but the President is the person who conducts foreign policy. Congressmen on their own do not have that authority.

The article concludes:

The 1799 Logan Act prohibits unauthorized persons from negotiating with foreign governments which have a dispute with the United States. No-one has been convicted for violating the act.

In 2015, 47 Republican senators signed a letter to the Iranian regime suggesting that a nuclear agreement between President Obama and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would be an executive agreement which another president or Congress would be empowered to abrogate.

The initiative prompted some critics to invoke the Logan Act.

Among the Democrats who condemned the letter was Murphy, who accused the signatories of “undermining the president.”

“I can’t even imagine the uproar if Democratic senators [had been] writing to Saddam Hussein in the lead up to the Iraq War,” Murphy told the National Journal at the time.

I guess that was then and this is now. It’s amazing how quickly the rules change for the Democrats.

Did The American Press Cover This?

The U.K. Daily Mail posted a video today of Iranian students refusing to walk of American and Israeli flags. Please follow the link to view the video. It is an amazing step forward for protesters in Iran. There have been a lot of protests in Iran lately–some sponsored and paid for by the government and some protesting that government. The thing to remember about Iran is the population demographic. Because of the tremendous loss of life during the war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988, there is a generation of Iranians that is essentially missing. The median age of the Iranian population is 30.1 years, and generally speaking these young people want to westernize the country. The government represents a generation that is dying and desperately trying to hold on to its power.

The article at The U.K. Daily Mail reports:

This is the incredible moment hundreds of Iranian students refuse to step on the American and Israeli flags amid anti-government marches in the country and a warning to its leaders from Donald Trump to ‘not kill protesters’. 

The clip taken at Shaheed Beheshti University on Sunday shows crowds deliberately avoiding walking over the Stars and Stripes and the Star of David before furiously berating those that do. 

Ali Khamenei’s regime is said to have painted the flags at the main entrance of the university for students to walk over as a sign of disrespect. 

In 2016, Iranian professor Sadegh Zibakalam, who has avoided walking on the flags in the past, said: ‘It is a sign of disrespect toward that nation. Placing the flag of a country on the ground and stepping on it is an error, a sign of disrespect toward that nation.’

Thousands had on Saturday gathered in front of the gate of the Amirkabir University of Technology near the former US embassy in Tehran to protest the government and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for mistakenly downing a civilian passenger plane.  

President Trump issued a stark warning to the leaders of Iran Sunday, tweeting: ‘To the leaders of Iran – DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. 

‘More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!’

Stay tuned. America is once again standing up for freedom. We can’t and shouldn’t ‘nation build,’ but we can certainly encourage other people to work for freedom in their own countries.

Sometimes I Just Have No Words

We need to keep in mind that Qasem Soleimani was a terrorists. He was responsible for the killing and injuring of hundreds of American soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was responsible for killing hundreds of Iranian civilians who were protesting the current regime. He was the coordinator of various terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East and in other parts of the world. He was not simply a high-ranking government official in Iran–he was a cold-blooded murderer.

Below is some of the insanity of the American media in dealing with the death of Soleimani (posted on YouTube January 10th):

 

A Serious Mistake

U.S. officials are stating that they are confident that the Iranian airline that crashed in Tehran, Iran, on Tuesday night was hit by an Iranian missile.

Scott Johnson posted the following at Power Line Blog today:

Taking into account the Iranian regime’s obvious lying about the cause of the downing of the Ukrainian jetliner leaving Tehran this past Tuesday combined with the regime’s subsequent refusal to turn over the aircraft’s black boxes, and a reasonable person — say, the American Spectator’s Scott McKay — would infer that the regime shot it down one way or another.

Now comes word that “U.S. officials said Thursday it was ‘highly likely’ that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed a Ukrainian jetliner late Tuesday, killing all 176 people on board….The crash came just a few hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops amid a confrontation with Washington over the U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general last week. Two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence, said they had no certain knowledge of Iranian intent. But they said the airliner could have been mistaken for a threat.”

The Gateway Pundit reported the following today:

Al Hadath Dubai News reported a missile took down the Ukrainian flight after the crash on Wednesday.

(Tweets were translated)

Al Hadath: Preliminary images of the Ukrainian plane suspected of being hit by an Iranian missile

The majority of the passengers on the plane were Canadians and Iranians. It will be interesting to see if Canada responds to this at all.

Follow The Money And The Speaking Engagements

On Friday, The Gateway Pundit posted an article with the following headline, “Dem Senator Chris Murphy – Who Lashed Out at Trump Following Soleimani’s Death – Is Frequent Speaker at NIAC Council – the Iranian Regime’s US Lobby House.”

The article reports:

On Thursday the United States killed General Qassim Soleimani, a top commander of Iran’s al-Quds Force, in an airstrike at Baghdad’s International Airport. The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. Seven people were reportedly killed in the airstrike.

Following the death of Commander Soleimani Democrat Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) lashed out at President Trump for assassinating the Iranian al-Quds terrorist leader.

The Senator Tweeted an objection to the fact that Soleimani was killed without the assent of Congress and that he felt the assassination would set off a war.

The article continues:

Senator Murphy has been has a history of supporting Iran’s mullahs.
Murphy is a routine speaker at the NIAC Council, the regime’s lobby house in the US.

In fact, Trita Parsi, the regime’s top activist at NIAC, has praised Senator Murphy for his support of NIAC’s efforts.

NIAC’s Trita Parsi praised Sen. Murphy for being a hero of the Iran deal.

I wonder how much of the money involved in the Iran deal somehow found its way into the pockets of some of our Congressmen.

The Person Not Mentioned

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article posted an article about the other major terrorist that was killed in the attack on Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qasem Soleimani.

The article reports:

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qasem Soleimani wasn’t the only major-league terrorist killed in the drone strike ordered by Donald Trump. Also killed was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a top Iraqi paramilitary leader whose long, bloody career includes attacks on American and other Western embassies, as well as being a founder of Kata’ib Hezbollah, a group responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq.

In 2009, the U.S. sanctioned both al-Muhandis and Kata’ib Hezbollah as terrorist entities.

In some ways, killing al-Muhandis was more significant than the death of Soleimani. He’s been an active terrorist against the U.S. since the occupation of Iraq and helped create the umbrella Shia militia group Hashd al-Shaabi. Hashd was originally founded to fight ISIS in Iraq, but has morphed into a shadow organization exercising political and military control of Iraq on behalf of Iran.

The article concludes:

The Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) is ostensibly part of the Iraqi security services. But Muhandis ran it as his own little fiefdom, defying the Iraqi government on occasion in order to do the bidding of his masters in Tehran.

Today the PMF and allied militias control large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria, where they are allied with President Bashar Assad and the Lebanese Hezbollah. Israel and the U.S. view the groups as part of an aggressive Iranian campaign to dominate the region.

Over the summer, PMF groups blamed Israel for mysterious drone attacks that targeted their positions in Iraq. The strikes eventually lead to the restructuring of the PMF to integrate them into the Iraqi military. The restructuring was approved by Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi.

The death of Muhandis is a tremendous blow to Iranian influence in Iraq. Since Hashd exercised influence throughout the region, his death will be felt from Damascus to Beirut to Tehran. Muhandis was seen as something of a hero by many Shias in Iraq. But the fact is, he was a murderous, hateful fanatic who was an enemy of the United States and a threat to American interests and personnel.

We need to leave Iraq. However, eliminating some of the Iranian terrorists working in that country would be a really nice legacy.

The View From The Iranian People

The Gateway Pundit reported the following yesterday:

Iranians online are cheering the assassination of Iran Quds Force leader Major General Qassem Soleimani by a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad early Friday local time, with many thanking President Trump with a hashtag that reads: #TnxPOTUS4Soleimani. Many observers regarded Soleimani as the second most powerful person in Iran behind the Supreme Leader.

It was just Wednesday that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei trash talked President Trump, saying, “That guy has tweeted that we see Iran responsible for the events in Baghdad & we will respond to Iran. 1st: You can’t do anything. 2nd: If you were logical —which you’re not— you’d see that your crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan… have made nations hate you.”

Please follow the link above to the article to see all of the Tweets from Iranian citizens thanking President Trump for his actions. Soleimani was part of the tyrannical regime that the Iranians are trying to overthrow, and Soleimani had no problem killing his fellow countrymen.

 

The Insanity Of The Mainstream Media

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon reported the following:

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper compared Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps killed in an American airstrike on Thursday, to French president Charles de Gaulle, a leader of the French resistance against Nazi occupation during World War II.

“Soleimani is—it’s difficult to convey how revered he is in Iran. Imagine the French Foreign Legion, at the height of the French empire. This guy is regarded in Iran as a completely heroic figure, personally very brave,” CNN host Fareed Zakaria said.

“I was trying to think of somebody, and I was thinking of de Gaulle, although he became the leader of the country,” Cooper said.

Soleimani was a terrorist. He has a lot of American blood on his hands. He was planning further attacks on Americans around the world.

A friend on Facebook noted the following:

The UN Security Council banned Soleimani from leaving Iran because of his extensive use of surrogates in other countries to commit terrorist acts. His presence in Iraq was in and of itself an act of war. He was there organizing part of a group of about 20,000 IRANIAN soldiers planning to attack the US embassy in military fashion. The first attacks were just to evaluate our defenses before the real attack they were planning.

Not any more.

It is wonderful having a leader who stands up to our enemies instead of sending them planes loaded with millions of dollars in cash to fund their killing of Americans.

It is a shame that our media has become so biased that they complain when our President protects Americans.

The Quest For Freedom

Hong Kong protests have been in the news for a while, but there is not a lot being written about what is currently happening in Iran. The protests in Iran are the largest since the protests nine years ago. This time the protesters know that America is cheering for them.

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line about the protests in Iran.

The article reports:

The New York Times reports on the protests against Iran’s repressive regime. It calls them the most intense since 1979. The 1979 protests, of course, led to the overthrow of the Shah.

The mullahs were the target of strong protests in 2009. But the Times supplies evidence that the current wave is even more intense.

The 2009 protests are believed to have resulted in 72 deaths over a period of many months. The current protests have led to 180 to 450 deaths in just four days.

More significantly, the nature of the protesters appears to be different. Students led the 2009 protests. Reportedly, the current protesters are mainly unemployed or low-income men between the ages of 19 and 26, and the protests are centered not at universities but in working class neighborhoods.

This makes sense because the current protests were triggered by economic grievances, especially an increase in gasoline prices. The Times acknowledges that the Trump administration’s sanctions against Iran are “a big reason” for the economic squeeze.

The difference in the nature of the protests is significant because unemployed and low-income youths have less to lose than university students. They are less likely to cowed for long.

The article states that it is doubtful that this protest will lead to an overthrow of the mullahs, but it may be a step toward that end.

A Policy That Is Working

It is not really in the interest of anyone (other than Iran) for Iran to successfully build an atomic bomb. Iran is a major supporter of terrorism around the world, and no person on earth will be safe if Iran successfully builds a nuclear weapon capable of reaching Europe or North America. The Iran nuclear deal did not stop Iran’s nuclear program–it simply postponed it until President Obama was out of office.

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article today about the impact of President Trump’s Iran policy on the economy of Iran.

The article reports:

Iran has been roiled by demonstrations against the dramatic increase in the price of gasoline that was dictated by the government earlier this month. The demonstrations have been brutally suppressed, with somewhere between 100 and several hundred protesters killed by police. For several days, the mullahs pulled the plug on internet service to prevent videos of the protests and police brutality to be seen by the outside world.

So why is Iran in turmoil?

The article explains:

In other words, the Trump administration’s sanctions are working. Iran’s government, short of cash, was forced to dramatically raise the price of fuel, even though it knew what the reaction would be. And the resulting explosion–the analogy to the Yellow Vest protests in France is obvious–has shaken the regime.

Trump’s policy of using sanctions to starve the mullahs of cash contrasts favorably with Barack Obama’s inexplicable policy of sending $100 billion dollars to the regime in exchange for empty promises.

President Trump’s policy toward Iran is working.