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.

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.

Misplaced Concern For Human Rights

CBN News is reporting today that the United Nations has released a list of companies that have businesses in areas Israel captured as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War.

The article reports:

The list was designed to punish more than a hundred companies doing business in east Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. Israel froze ties with the council’s leader, accusing the office of serving the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanction) campaign.

Reaction came quickly after the report’s release and US Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) accused the council of persecuting Israel while protecting the world’s worst tyrants. He called on the body to “investigate the crimes of its own members instead of obsessing over the Jewish state.”

The UN has a history of actions against Israel. The United Nations Human Rights Council was created in 2006. Since then, it has issued 45 resolutions against Israel, about 45% of all country-specific resolutions issued. The United Nations Human Rights Council includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, Venezuela, and Libya. None of these countries are stellar examples of human rights.

The article notes:

After the release of the database Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to boycott those who boycott Israel, calling the Human Rights Council a “biased body that is devoid of influence.” His political rival, Benny Gantz, also condemned the publication, calling it a “dark day” for human rights.

Jason Greenblatt, one of the architects of President Trump’s Middle East peace plan, told CBN News the public should be pro-active against the boycott movement.

“First of all, shame on them. You know, they were working on this, they held it back and now after a peace plan is launched they go ahead and do that, shame on the Human Rights Council. The UN is a terrible place for Israel. I would actually encourage all of your viewers to write letters to [UN Secretary-General António Guterres] and protest that,” said Greenblatt.

…Ironically, any resulting boycotts would likely hurt Palestinians the most. For example, CBN News has reported how international pressure forced the SodaStream company to leave Mishor Adumim and move to Israel costing many of the 500 Palestinian employees their jobs.

“The Palestinians certainly stand to suffer if these types of measures are put in place. It will harm companies that employ Palestinians; it will harm companies that provide goods and services to Palestinians,” NGO Monitor’s Yona Schiffmiller told CBN News.

He also said the majority of the list’s information came from BDS linked groups.

“I think it’s also important to note that the activities these companies are being targeted for are completely legitimate. There is no international standard that bars business activity in occupied territories or in settlements,” Schiffmiller explained.

“Many of the companies that we’re talking about are conducting activities that are outlined in the Oslo Accords. So, these are internationally recognized agreements between Israel and the Palestinians that the UN is now completely disregarding by putting out this list,” he concluded.

The article concludes with actions that anyone can take to fight this:

Just last year, 600 businessmen and women from more than 50 countries will come to Israel to connect with and invest in Israeli business leaders for the second-annual ARISE conference.

“We’re really tackling some of the greatest crises around the world. And so, we’ve invited them to connect with Israeli businesses and meet face to face and create those connections and transactions that will help bring Israeli innovation to the world,” ARISE Founder and President Adv. Calev Myers told CBN News.

Over the last few years, various states in the US have passed laws against boycotting Israel. Schiffmiller said the international community is within its rights to stop supporting a UN body that’s potentially harming these companies.

STOP THE BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL! 
Sign the Petition
Text “STOPBDS” to 41-444
VISIT: CBN.COM/STOPBDS

Please do.

A Move In The Right Direction

CNS News posted an article yesterday about President Trump’s proposal to bring peace to the Middle East. The proposed plan allows Jerusalem to remain the undivided capital of Israel and offers financial incentives to Hamas and Hezbollah to end their reign of terror.

The article reports:

“Palestinians have been trapped in a cycle of terrorism, poverty, and violence, exploited by those seeking to use them as pawns to advance terrorism and extremism,” Trump said, adding that he returned from his visit “determined to find a constructive path, and it’s got to be a very powerful path forward in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

“To further this effort, I also met with President Abbas at the White House. Forging peace between Israelis and Palestinians may be the most difficult challenge of all. All prior administrations from President Lyndon Johnson have tried and bitterly failed, but I was not elected to do small things or shy away big problems,” he said.

The president said he delivered his “vision for peace, prosperity, and a brighter future for Israelis and Palestinians” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was on hand for the joint White House press conference.

The article concludes:

“As I have seen throughout my long career as a dealmaker, complex problems require nuanced, fact-based remedies. That is why our proposal provides precise, technical solutions to make Israelis, Palestinians, and the region safer and much more prosperous,” he said. “My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.”

Netanyahu has agreed to “endorse the vision as the basis for direct negotiations,” Trump said, calling it a “giant step toward peace.“

“This is the first time Israel has authorized the release of a conceptual map illustrating the territorial compromises it is willing to make for the cause of peace, and they’ve gone a long way,” Trump added.

I am never optimistic about peace in the Middle East, but this is an interesting proposal.

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):

 

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.

National Security Includes Immigration

On Sunday, The Clarion Project reported:

A Saudi student in New Mexico arrested for illegal possession of a handgun had a hit list of people he planned to kill.

The list included professors at the University of New Mexico, where he was an engineering student.

Hassan Alqahtani, 27, who also received his bachelor’s degree from UNM, turned himself in to authorities on Friday.

Alqahtani allegedly had a gun and wanted to buy other guns. The FBI received a tip about Alqahtani’s illegal possession of a gun by a person who also reported that Alqahtani had compiled a “list of people who he wants to kill before he leaves the U.S.”

The list included the acquaintance of Alqahtani who tipped off the FBI.

The incident follows the deadly shooting at the Pensacola, Florida naval base, in which a 21-year old Saudi aviation student killed three and wounded eight when he open fired with a handgun.

Those who want to harm America already have people in place. We need to be very careful about who we allow to come to our country–for whatever reason. It really is the time to reevaluate the relationship between Saudi Arabia and terrorism. I understand that we need Saudi Arabia as an ally to counter Iran in the Middle East, but we are not being smart about the Saudis we allow into our country. Thank God they arrested this man before he had a chance to carry out his plans.

Hungary Steps Up To The Plate

The Gatestone Institute posted an article today about Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is the only European leader who is willing to protect the persecuted Christians fleeing the Muslim onslaught in the Middle East. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It gives detailed information about what is currently happening to Christians in the Middle East.

The article reports:

  • “Those we are helping now can give us the greatest help in saving Europe. We are giving persecuted Christians what they need: homes, hospitals, and schools, and we receive in return what Europe needs most: a Christian faith, love and perseverance”. — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Daily News Hungary, November 28, 2019.
  • “Our estimation is that more than 90 percent of Christian have already left Iraq and almost 50 percent of Christians in Syria have left the country”. — Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church.
  • European leaders, rather than being embarrassed, should make the condition of Christians under Islam the starting point of their conversations with Muslims.
  • “The fate of Eastern Christians and other minorities is the prelude to our own fate.” — Former French Prime Minister François Fillon, Valeurs Actuelles, December 12, 2019.

The article notes that western countries are not reacting to the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

The article reports:

In Europe, however, there is a solitary defender of persecuted Christians: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, whom the mainstream media love to peck at and attack. No other European government has invested so much money, public diplomacy and time on this topic. Writing in Foreign Policy, Peter Feaver and Will Inboden explain that aid to Christians come from “a few international relief organizations like the Knights of Columbus and Aid to the Church in Need, and the Hungarian government”. The Knights of Columbus alone raised $2 million to rebuild the Christian Iraqi town of Karamlesh.

“Those we are helping now can give us the greatest help in saving Europe,” Orbán recently said at an international conference, On Christian Persecution 2019, that he organized in Budapest. “We are giving persecuted Christians what they need: homes, hospitals, and schools, and we receive in return what Europe needs most: a Christian faith, love and perseverance”. “Europe is quiet,” Orbán went on. “A mysterious force shuts the mouths of European politicians and cripples their arms.” He said the issue of Christian persecution could only be considered a human rights issue in Europe. He insisted that “Christians are not allowed to be mentioned on their own, only together with other groups that are being persecuted for their faiths.” The persecution of Christians “is therefore folded into the diverse family of persecuted religious groups”.

According to Tristan Azbej, Hungary’s State Secretary for the Aid to Persecuted Christians, Orbán’s is the first European government to have a special State Secretariat “which has only one duty: To look after and monitor the destiny and the situation of the Christian communities all over the world, and if there is a need, we help.”

All western nations need to take part in saving the Christians that are being killed or marginalized in the Middle East. Some of the world’s most ancient Christian communities have been destroyed in the past few years. Western countries need to give these endangered minorities priority status in their refugee programs.

This Is A Form Of Antisemitism

The Federalist posted an article today about a recent decision by the EU’s Court of Justice (ECJ), the highest court in the EU. The court ruled that Jewish products made in contested areas of Israel must bear consumer warning labels.

The article notes:

Prior to the ruling, U.S. lawmakers in Congress fired warning shots, cautioning the EU that such a move would prompt the enforcement of American anti-boycott laws, thus endangering the EU’s trade with the United States.

Now, according to reporting by Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon, the Trump administration is ready to go to battle over the ruling. Currently, the United States is the EU’s largest trading partner.

The origins of the legal dispute stretch back several years to when the EU issued a mandate in 2015 declaring that products produced in the West Bank and Golan Heights be labeled as coming from an Israeli settlement, facially for the purpose of promoting “consumer protection,” although it’s unclear if that is actually achieved here. In late 2016, France became the first EU member state to attempt to enforce the mandate, resulting in the Israeli winery Psagot filing a lawsuit claiming that such a mandate violated the EU’s anti-discrimination laws.

Under the new rule, goods produced by Jews will be labeled as having been produced in an Israeli settlement, while goods produced by Muslims may be labeled as made in “Palestine,” indicating blatant discriminatory treatment. Unsurprisingly, Israel’s presence in the West Bank and the Golan Heights are the only contested areas in the world to be the focus of the labeling ire of the EU.

The article notes that Israel is the only country singled out for this treatment:

“No other territory, occupied, disputed, or otherwise is subject to such requirements,” noted Eugene Kontorovich, director of the Center for International Law in the Middle East at George Mason University. Kontorovich emphasized the peculiarity of the ruling. “In no other case does any ‘origin labeling’ require any kind of statement about the political circumstances in the area. This is a special Yellow Star for Jewish products only.”

Indeed, there are a multitude of contested areas throughout the world that produce goods for which the EU has deemed politicized labeling requirements unnecessary. Despite Russia’s occupation of parts of Georgia or Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara, nothing in EU law or greater international law requires labeling goods produced by Russia in occupied parts of Georgia as “Made in Georgia” or goods produced by Morocco in Western Sahara as “Made in Western Sahara.”

Just a side note about the concept of contested territories. If you look at a map of the land originally given to form a Jewish state, it not only includes the ‘contested territories,’ it includes Jordan. The country of Jordan was originally intended to be the Palestinian state (as there had never been a Palestinian state), but was turned over to the Hashemites. For pictures illustrating the history of Israeli territory, go here.

Somehow The Mainstream Media Is Failing To Mention This

Don Surber posted an article today pointing out what the mainstream media seems to be missing:

The House voted 354-60 to condemn President Donald John Trump’s decision not to get involved in a dispute between Turkey and Syria. If members were Syria-ous, they would have voted to declare war. Put up or shut up.

But 2 1/2 years earlier, these chicken hawks in Washington accused President Donald John Trump of trying to start World War III in Syria.

On April 7, 2017, President Donald John Trump ordered 59 cruise missiles to wipe out the air base from which the Assad government had launched a chemical warfare attack on Khan Sheikhun. He was dining with Chairman Xi at Mar-a-Lago at the time.

USA Today accused the president of risking World War III.

Jessica Estepa, then an editor in its Washington bureau, wrote, “Is this the start of World War III? That’s what people are worried about.”

The people she cited were Magneto’s Fear, Penguin, Deplorable Winner, and other intellectual luminaries on Twitter.

Article I Section 8 and the U.S. Constitution lists the powers of Congress. Among the powers listed is, “To declare War, grand Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning  Captures on Land and Water;”

The website U.S. Constitution notes:

Q108. “Who has the power to declare war?”

A. There is a short answer and a much longer answer. The short answer is that the Constitution clearly grants the Congress the power to declare war, in Article 1, Section 8. This power is not shared with anyone, including the President.

The President, however, is just as clearly made the Commander in Chief of all of the armed forces, in Article 2, Section 2. In this role, the President has the ability to defend the nation or to take military action without involving the Congress directly, and the President’s role as “C-in-C” is often part of the reason for that.

What this has resulted in is the essential ability of the President to order forces into hostilities to repel invasion or counter an attack, without a formal declaration of war. The conduct of war is the domain of the President.

This brings up the question, “If Congress is so concerned with the withdrawal of troops, why haven’t they declared war?” The answer is simply–the actions of Congress are not about Syria, the Kurds, Turkey, Russia or any other area in the middle east–they are about bashing President Trump. That has totally skewed their ability to be either consistent or rational.

If You Haven’t Become Somewhat Skeptical About News Photos, You’re Not Paying Attention

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about some recent film aired by ABC News that was described as ‘slaughter in Syria.’ There was only one problem. It seems that the film footage was actually from a nighttime machine gun demonstration at the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky. We’ve seen this sort of propaganda before, but it usually comes from middle eastern news sources (as in this instance).

The article in The Washington Examiner reports:

After seeing a comment from Wojciech Pawelczyk, I began making some calls. As of this writing, it appears ABC indeed aired footage recorded in the Kentucky and claimed it was from Syria. The network has since pulled the video.

“We’ve taken down video that aired on World News Tonight Sunday and Good Morning America this morning that appeared to be from the Syrian border immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy,” a network representative told the Washington Examiner. “ABC News regrets the error.”

A representative for the gun range also told the Washington Examiner that they are still investigating ABC’s reporting, adding further that the images aired by the network “look to be” from their Kentucky property.

“As of right now,” the representative added, “it seems to be our footage.”

Note that the sequence and shape of explosions is identical in the following ABC and Kentucky videos, as are some of the features of the terrain amid the explosions. But we might actually be dealing with two different videos of the same Kentucky live-fire event from slightly different angles. In the independent film of the live-fire event in Kentucky, you can clearly see taller objects in the foreground that seem to appear as silhouettes in the ABC footage:

The article concludes:

Earlier, on Sunday, ABC News anchor Tom Llamas also aired the allegedly shocking footage, claiming it showed a fierce Turkish attack on Kurd civilians.

“The situation rapidly spiraling out of control in northern Syria. One week since President Trump ordered U.S. forces out of that region, effectively abandoning America’s allies in the fight against [the Islamic State],” he said.

Llamas then described the video as it aired on-screen.

“This video right here appearing to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurd civilians in a Syrian border town. The Kurds, who fought alongside the U.S. against ISIS. Now, horrific reports of atrocities committed by Turkish-backed fighters on those very allies,” he added.

The intro to the show he anchored,ABC World News Tonight, also claimed of the footage: “A border town, bombarded by Turkey’s military!”

The footage would indeed be stunning were if actually from northern Syria. It would be horrific were it actually to show a Turkish assault on Kurd civilians. But it does not show that. The footage, which appears to be from 2017, shows American gun enthusiasts putting on a terrific pyrotechnic show for an audience in Kentucky. In fact, the Machine Gun Shoot and Military Gun Show, which involves the very popular night shoot, is a bi-annual event at the Kentucky gun range. People love the show. They love it so much, in fact, that they record it and post footage of it to social media. …

It is astonishing that ABC appears to have aired Kentucky gun range footage during prime-time news segments on the clashes in Syria and that no one at the network — not a producer, not a fact-checker, and certainly not an on-air personality — caught the errors before they aired.

When the mainstream media has a narrative, they will use whatever resources they can to promote that narrative. Don’t believe anything you currently see in the mainstream media. They are not interested in reporting accurate news–they are interested in remaking America into something that would negatively impact the lives of everyday Americans.

 

Give Peace A Chance

The news media is melting down at hearing that President Trump has withdrawn troops out of northern Syria ahead of a Turkish military advance to expel Kurdish forces from the area. There are a few things that they might consider before jumping off of a cliff. First of all, Turkey is a member of NATO (I realize that their allegiance has shifted away from NATO under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but they are still a member.). Second of all, the struggle between the Turks and the Kurds has been going on for a long time. Frankly, it is something they need to work out themselves. Our presence is not really helpful in this situation.

Breitbart posted an article about the troop withdrawal today.

The article reports:

President Donald Trump on Monday defended his administration’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops out of northern Syria and warned Turkey that he will “totally destroy and obliterate” if it engages in activities deemed “off limits” in the war-torn country.

“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),” Trump tweeted.

The article concludes:

Nonetheless, President Trump dismissed critics of his decision, stating it is time for the U.S. to halt fighting “ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.”

I agree. Hopefully, we can use economic pressure against Turkey to prevent a humanitarian crisis. We have been at war in the Middle East for more than eighteen years. We can’t fight a real war there because some in Congress will use the war for political purposes, so we need to come home.

I pray that we can begin to use economic pressure rather than troops to fight wars in the future.

Comments On John Bolton And Robert O’Brien

I haven’t said anything about John Bolton’s leaving the White House. I think John Bolton is an honorable man who has served his country well. I also think some of his ideas were not in harmony with the ideas of President Trump. John Bolton sees traditional war as an option is almost all cases. I think the time has come to put the idea of traditional war on the back burner. We now live in the era of cyber wars, trade wars, ‘Nintendo wars’ and wars that involve the theft of intellectual property. Because of the great political divide in America, America is not capable right now of fighting a war until we win. The politics in Washington are such that war is used as an opportunity to bash the other party rather than to advance the cause of peace, freedom, or our national security.

Robert O’Brien has been appointed to replace John Bolton as National Security Advisor.

According to a post today at The Conservative Treehouse:

Robert C O’Brien … is currently the State Department’s special presidential envoy for hostage affairs.  A founding partner of the Los Angeles-based law firm Larson O’Brien.

NYT – Mr. O’Brien served with Mr. Bolton when he was President George W. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations and has advised Republican candidates like Mitt Romney, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz. In both the Bush and Obama administrations, Mr. O’Brien worked on an initiative to train lawyers and judges in Afghanistan.  (link)

People describe O’Brien as similar to his friend John Bolton without the virulent twitchy trigger finger. In his capacity as special envoy for hostage affairs, O’Brien wrote a letter to Swedish prosecutors urging them to release A$AP Rocky.  According to CBS O’Brien’s work “on Rocky’s case endeared him to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and one of his top advisers.”

I believe Mr. O’Brien is the right person for this job. His links to some mainstream Republicans may help heal some of the divisions in the party. It also seems that he has some very strong diplomatic skills.

We need to understand that there is an effort to draw America into another war in the Middle East. The effort is underwritten by the globalist community that seeks to weaken America. America is one of the last obstacles to global governance. Americans like our freedom. We like our inexpensive energy. We like our prosperity and our growing economy. We like our economic mobility–the ability to move from poverty to the middle class to wealth. Note that these are the things that the radicals in our country are attacking. As long as America is strong and its people have hope, we will remain free and continue to be an obstacle to those who seek global power.

Sometimes Warnings Are There For A Reason

Common sense is not a flower that grows in everyone’s garden. When someone warns you about something, they may actually know something you do not.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about bloggers Jolie King and Mark Firkin. They announced in 2017 that they would be going on an international trip to “try to break the stigma around travelling to countries which get a bad rap in the media.” What could possibly go wrong?

Last Thursday, the BBC reported:

Two Australian citizens detained in Iran have been identified as Jolie King and Mark Firkin.

Ms King, who also holds a UK passport, and Mr Firkin were blogging their travels in Asia and the Middle East.

They were reportedly arrested 10 weeks ago near Tehran but news of the arrest, and that of another British-Australian woman, came to light on Wednesday.

Australia said it had repeatedly raised their cases with Tehran, including in a meeting between officials last week.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she had lobbied on their behalf in a meeting with her Iranian counterpart.

She described the detentions as “a matter of deep concern” on Thursday, and confirmed that assistance had been offered to the families of the three detainees.

“[We] hope to see Mark and Jolie safely home as soon as possible,” their families said on Thursday.

The situation comes amid growing tensions between the West and Iran.

Several dual nationals have been detained in Iran in recent years, including the British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Relations between the UK and Iran have also been strained in recent months by a row over the seizure of oil tankers in the Gulf.

I guess maybe the media discourages people from traveling to certain places for a reason. We need to remember that not every country in the world plays by the same rules.

 

The House Of Representatives Accomplished Something Good

On Tuesday The Hill posted an article about the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the bill titled, “Opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel.” A similar bill was introduced in the Senate, but was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations on March 25, 2019. No further action has been taken on the Senate bill.

The final vote was 398 yeas, 17 nays, 5 voting present, and 12 not voting. (The numbers are from the U.S. House of Representatives website.)

The article at The Hill notes:

The resolution’s opponents included progressive freshmen Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who support the BDS movement.

House Democratic leaders brought the resolution to the floor under a fast-track process that required a two-thirds majority for passage and limited debate to 40 minutes. No one spoke in opposition to the resolution during the allotted debate, but the two progressives delivered floor speeches earlier in the day to express why they’d vote against it.

Tlaib, citing her family’s Palestinian roots, said she “can’t stand by and watch this attack on our freedom of speech and the right to boycott the racist policies of the government in the state of Israel.”

Someone should point out to Tlaib that Palestinians have full rights in Israel. They are more free and more prosperous than the Palestinians that live anywhere outside of Israel.

The article continues:

Lawmakers opposed to BDS stressed that the boycott movement against Israel is unlike other boycotts in American history, arguing that it espouses anti-Semitic views and undermines the prospects for peace in the long-running Palestinian conflict

“Here’s the thing about the global BDS movement: I don’t believe it promotes racial justice or social change at all. It promotes a one-sided view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that seeks to marginalize Israel, that would deny the Jewish people the right of national self-determination,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said during floor debate.

“You want to criticize a government, that’s your right. You want to stop buying products from a certain country, that’s also your right. But participating in an international commercial effort that undermines Israel’s legitimacy and scuttles the chances of a two-state solution isn’t the same as an individual exercising First Amendment rights,” Engel added.

Unfortunately, the Palestinians have illustrated the fact in recent years that they are not interested in becoming a positive member of the global community. In 2005 Israel removed its settlers from the Gaza Strip and turned the land over to the Arabs. Up until that point the Gaza Strip was the home of greenhouses that supplied fruit and vegetables around the world and had a flourishing economy. The first thing the Arabs did was destroy the greenhouses (and thus destroyed the basis for the thriving economy). Since that time the Gaza Strip has been used as a base for firing rockets and building terrorist tunnels into Israel. Money given to the Arabs that was earmarked for humanitarian purposes has been instead used to buy weapons and build tunnels. The Palestinians do not want to exist peacefully in a two-state solution–they want to destroy Israel.

The following is taken from an article I posted in January 2018:

Until the Palestinians stop training their children to kill Jews, there will be no peace in the Middle East. The BDS Movement is simply another way to attack Israel. I am glad most of the House of Representatives understood that.

Unfortunately This Is Going To Require A Response

Fox News is reporting today that two tankers flying British flags have been seized by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz.

The article reports:

Fox News has learned that a second Liberian tanker operated by a British company was also seized by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and was seen on maritime tracking services making a turn, headed towards Iran.

President Trump said Friday that Iran is “nothing but trouble” and that “we heard one, we heard two,” tankers were seized.

Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz earlier Friday amid growing tensions in the region.

The Stena Impero, which has a crew of 23 onboard, “was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters,” Stena Bulk, the shipping company that owns the vessel, said in a statement. “We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces, in a statement on their website, say the ship was seized for “non-compliance with international maritime laws and regulations” and is being brought to an unnamed Iranian port, according to the Associated Press.

Websites tracking the ship’s path show it turning sharply in the direction of Iran’s Qeshm Island, instead of its intended destination of Saudi Arabia.

“We are urgently seeking further information and assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf,” a U.K. government spokesperson told Fox News.

In July 2018 Reuters posted the following:

With a third of the world’s sea-borne oil passing through it every day, the Strait of Hormuz is a strategic artery linking Middle East crude producers to key markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and beyond.

That dynamic has changed slightly due to the fact that America now exports more crude oil than they import. The countries that will be hurt by problems in the Strait of Hormuz will be Europe, India, and China. I am sure that America will be willing to help Europe, Russia will also increase her oil production. The price of oil will rise sharply, but it is doubtful that the Strait will remain closed.

The latest report that I have heard is that there are actually three tankers that have been seized. This is an international problem and should be handled by the international community in unison.

Elections Have Consequences

The Daily Caller posted an article today about a planned resolution that will be introduced in Congress this week by Democratic Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar.

The article reports:

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar says she will introduce a resolution this week supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The freshman Congresswoman told Al Monitor on Tuesday that her resolution approving of a boycott of one of America’s allies will be an exercise in “American values,” and a stand for the First Amendment. The move comes after President Donald Trump accused Omar and other progressive congresswomen of being anti-American.

“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” she told the outlet. “And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”

I don’t have a problem with anyone exercising their First Amendment rights. However, it is interesting to me that a Congresswoman would introduce a bill approving a boycott of one of America’s strongest allies. Israel is the only truly free country in the Middle East–it is the only country that allows people to worship whatever god they serve. The Congresswoman has shown herself to be anti-Semitic in previous statements, and this resolution simply reinforces that idea. Last time I checked, antisemitism was a form of racism. It seems that some of the charges this woman is making against the President might apply to her.

Moving Cautiously In A Time Of Crisis

Breitbart is reporting today that President Trump called off a military strike on Iran last night at the last minute. The strike would have been in retaliation for Iran’s shooting down of an unmanned drone.

The President is right to exercise caution here. The younger generation of Iranians are not happy about the way the Mullahs are running the country. The younger generation would very much like to westernize Iran. They tend to be pro-American. For America to launch an attack (justified or unjustified) might change that dynamic. That dynamic is what will eventually bring down the Mullahs.

The article reports:

President Donald Trump confirmed Friday he pulled back a military strike on Iran after he learned the number of possible casualties.

“We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on three different sights (sic),” Trump revealed on Twitter. The attack was planned in retaliation for Iran shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone on Thursday in international waters.

Trump said prior to the strikes he was told by a general the casualties could be up to 150 people.

“Ten minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone,” he wrote.

Trump added that he was in “no hurry” for additional military conflicts with Iran but warned them against obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The president recalled the recent history of the United States relationship with Iran noting that former President Barack Obama “made a desperate and terrible deal” that included over a billion in cash.

“Iran was in big trouble and he bailed them out,” Trump said. “Gave them a free path to Nuclear Weapons, and SOON.”

The president added that Iran continued to shout “Death to America” despite the deal, which he terminated as president.

“They are a much weakened nation today than at the beginning of my Presidency, when they were causing major problems throughout the Middle East,” Trump said. “Now they are Bust!”

There needs to be a response to the continuing aggression of Iran. However, that response does not have to be immediate and it does not have to involve civilian casualties.

Good News

Yesterday Fox News reported the following:

The caliphate has crumbled, and the final offensive is over. While the official announcement hasn’t yet been made – Fox News has been told that this village, the last ISIS stronghold, is liberated.

It’s the first time since we’ve been here in Syria for five days that the bombs have stopped dropping and the gunfire has disappeared. We have witnessed the end of the caliphate – the brutal empire that once ruled over 8 million people – is gone.

Troops here are now bringing down the black flags of ISIS. The flags no longer fly over the town, instilling fear.

…None of the main surviving ISIS leaders have been caught inside Baghouz. Instead, they left their men to fight alone. It’s thought they prepared ahead for the insurgency.

The scale of the devastation here is incredible. And everyone acknowledges that without U.S. support, it would have taken far longer.

For four-and-a-half years, ISIS held this territory, ruling over it with an iron fist. It was the terrorist group’s heartland – and they were so dug in that the only way to push them back was to flatten whole villages. The devastation here goes on for miles – and craters like this are a reminder of the critical role played by U.S. airpower. Military jets still fly overhead.

SDF fighters are all so grateful to the U.S., not just for their help in the battle, but now for its decision to leave troops here when it’s done. Reports now suggest the figure may be around 1,000 staying.

We need to leave enough of a force to prevent ISIS from reassembling. As the article stated, the leaders fled and left the lower ranking members to fight. That means the leaders are still somewhere, possibly plotting how to take power again. I don’t want to fight the battles for all of the people in the Middle East, but if our assistance means that the bad guys will lose power,  I think we need to be ready to assist.

This Didn’t Happen In A Vacuum

There is a bit of a dust up right now within the Democrat Party as to how to handle some recent anti-Semitic remarks by Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Unfortunately this is not the first time in this Congress that anti-Semitic remarks have been made. The difference is that some of the new Congressmen are not willing to condemn those remarks. Speaker Pelosi., with her eye on retaining Democrat control of the House of Representatives, is in the difficult position of harnessing the energy of the new Representatives while not alienating Jewish voters who generally support Democrats. But we need to take a look at where we are and how we got here.

Ilhan Oman represents the 5th Distict in Minnesota, which includes Minneapolis.

On March 5th, PJ Media reported the following about Minneapolis:

Which brings us to Little Mogadishu, in the city soon to be formerly known as Minneapolis, where the good people of Minnesota — of Scandinavian, German, and Irish stock —  have been busily importing people from perhaps the most culturally alien region of the world, Muslim East Africa, whose charming natives are unlikely to follow the traditional immigrant path outlined above. In Charles Dickens’s masterpiece, Bleak House, Mrs. Jellyby ignores her own brood while busily organizing aid to Africa; today’s Mrs. Jellybys have instead have brought East Africa to them.

…A group of Somali volunteers including Abdirahman Mukhtar, left, and Abdullahi Farah gave out pizza and tea to young people from a stand Friday in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.The men hope by connecting with youth and engaging them in conversation they can combat the shootings that have recently plagued the neighborhood. After the  latest spasm of gang violence, Minneapolis’ Somali residents and business owners on Monday stepped up their calls for help from City Hall and police headquarters to help curb the senseless shootings that they say too often go overlooked. On Friday alone, five men of Somali descent were shot in separate attacks, one fatally.

The Somali immigration is largely the result of United Nations policies.

This is the district Ilham Oman represents. The Somali population has not assimilated. It has brought Somalia with it. She represents the views of the people who live in her district.

Representative Rashida Tlaib, another freshman in the House of Representatives, has come out in support of Representative Oman. Representative Tlaib represents Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. The district includes parts of Detroit and surrounding areas. The district is largely Muslim.

So how did Michigan become a Muslim enclave in America?

Michigan radio posted an article in 2014 that explains the Michigan demographic.

There’s a legend in the local Yemeni community that Henry Ford once met a Yemeni sailor at port, and told him about auto factory jobs that paid five dollars a day. The sailor spread the word, leading to chain migration from Yemen and other parts of the Middle East.

We don’t know if that chance encounter ever really happened.  But we do know that in the early days, Ford was more willing to hire Arabs than some other immigrants—or African-Americans.

And they did seem to follow Ford. A new Arab community, one that now included many Muslims sprung up around his first factory in Highland Park. In fact, the first purpose-built mosque in the US was located in Highland Park.

But that community only lasted for a few years.

“As Henry Ford then moved, and opened a new factory, the Rouge plant, in Dearborn, the Arab Americans followed him there,” Stiffler says.

Plenty of Arab Americans worked outside the auto industry, though. As Detroit’s population boomed, so did a need for grocery stores. In the 1920s, Arab Americans ran hundreds of them.

Stiffler says that created an enduring—and visible—commercial legacy.

The two main Representatives that have come out in support of Representative Oman are Representative Tlaib and Representative Ocasio-Cortez. Note that all three are freshmen in Congress and may not yet be aware of some of what goes on behind the scenes. I suspect a lot of Democrat campaign money comes from the Jewish community and Speaker Pelosi may be trying to keep that money coming while keeping younger voters in the Democrat party.

While the Democrats squabble about what to say about anti-Semitism in their party, Representative Oman sits of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. That, at least, needs to change.

Knowing Who Your Friends Are

There will be an attempt to impeach President Trump within the next few months. It will happen as soon as the Democrats can actually come up with some sort of charges. However, the ground work is currently being laid–in the Senate. Mitch McConnell has lined up the Senators he will need by undermining the President’s decision to pull many of our troops out of the Middle East. Pay attention to which Senators voted to undermine the President in taking troops out of the Middle East. Those are the Senators who will be called upon to vote for impeachment. Also, note that a lot of people make money when our troops are overseas. Those are the people making large campaign contributions to those opposing the President.

Below is a video of Rand Paul’s response to the bill:

Stellasplace1 posted the following this morning:

The Senate passed an amendment yesterday demanding that President Trump keep American troops actively engaged in war in the Middle East. The cloture vote in favor was 68-23, which includes 43 Republicans. Think of it. Most of our Republican Senators are in favor of continuing USA war presence in Afghanistan and Syria. Why?

It finally passed by a majority of 70 to 26 — opposed by only three of the 53 Senate Republicans. According to AFP/Yahoo News, the amendment will eventually be incorporated into a broader security law on the Middle East.

The Senate finally flexes their muscles and who do they attack? The President of their own party. It seems to me that if the Senate disagrees with President Trump and wants US forces to remain in Afghanistan and Syria, why don’t they just formally declare war?

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the deep state’s nuclear attempt to get President Trump out of office before America realizes that he is actually accomplishing things that are making their lives better.

The Truth Is Slowly Coming Out

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was a horrible crime. It should not have happened. However, some of the misleading reporting of the event is now coming to light. The first thing to remember when viewing this crime is that alliances in the Middle East are complex, sometimes illogical, and often hidden. All three of these elements play a role in this crime.

Breitbart posted an article by John Hayward on Wednesday with the title, “Hayward: Washington Post Admits Khashoggi Let Qatar ‘Draft Material’ for Columns.”

Breitbart reports:

The new Post article conceded that Khashoggi was a political activist and admitted his writing may have been “shaped” by the government of Qatar, including an executive linked to that government “drafting material” for Khashoggi’s columns.

Before diving into the Washington Post’s revelations, it is sadly necessary to restate for the record that nothing disclosed in the piece justifies his murder by Saudi agents at the consulate in Istanbul in October. Being honest about who Khashoggi was, and taking a closer look at connections he preferred to keep secret, is not the same thing as blithely accepting his murder.

The Washington Post reported on December 22:

Among Khashoggi’s friends in the United States were individuals with real or imagined affiliations with the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood, and an Islamic advocacy organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, regarded warily for its support of the public uprisings of the Arab Spring. Khashoggi cultivated ties with senior officials in the Turkish government, also viewed with deep distrust by the rulers in Saudi Arabia.

After leaving the kingdom, Khashoggi sought to secure funding and support for an assortment of ideas that probably would have riled Middle East monarchs, including plans to create an organization that would publicly rank Arab nations each year by how they performed against basic metrics of freedom and democracy.

Perhaps most problematic for Khashoggi were his connections to an organization funded by Saudi Arabia’s regional nemesis, Qatar. Text messages between Khashoggi and an executive at Qatar Foundation International show that the executive, Maggie Mitchell Salem, at times shaped the columns he submitted to The Washington Post, proposing topics, drafting material and prodding him to take a harder line against the Saudi government. Khashoggi also appears to have relied on a researcher and translator affiliated with the organization, which promotes Arabic-language education in the United States.

Breitbart further reports:

Reaboi (David Reaboi at Security Studies Group) found it shocking the Washington Post would suddenly disclose these details and complicate the Khashoggi narrative unless the paper was trying to get out in front of even more damaging revelations to come.

“Rumors have floated inside the Beltway about the contents of Khashoggi’s text messages and, potentially, evidence of wire transfers from Qatar found at his residences in Turkey and in Virginia,” he noted.

To me, the following paragraphs are the most important in the Breitbart article:

If carefully chosen facts, heavily promoted narratives, and strategic falsehoods are the artillery of information warfare, then suppressed details are its stealth fighters and commando squads. Reaboi found the Saudis incredibly clumsy and perhaps breathtakingly arrogant to go radio-silent for a few days after Khashoggi’s death and leave the information warfare battlefield wide open for Turkey and Qatar, which effortlessly seized control of the Western media narrative.

Turkey effectively controlled the entire Western media apparatus with strategic leaks about the case, with some wild stories “confirmed” by anonymous Arab officials Reaboi suspects of being Qatari.

The story behind the death of Khashoggi may continue to unfold.

The Opposition To President Trump

If you had any doubt that the mainstream media is doing everything it can to discredit President Trump, these two Twitter tweets should dispel that doubt:

In all honesty, I have no idea whether or not it is a good idea to bring home troops from Syria. It does seem to me that we have been fighting in the Middle East since 2001 and have accomplished little. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That is a fairly accurate description of the wars we have been fighting in the Middle East. A new approach is needed. I am not sure what that new approach will be, but obviously the last approach is not working very well.

Meanwhile, the tweet above is what blind opposition to President Trump looks like.

 

Realizing The Threat To European Civilization

Reuters posted an article today reporting that Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has decided not to sign the Global Compact For Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The agreement was approved on Friday by all 193 U.N. member nations except the United States, which pulled out last year.

The article reports:

“This document is entirely against Hungary’s security interests,” Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a news conference, adding: “This pact poses a threat to the world from the aspect that it could inspire millions (of migrants).”

Hungary, along with Poland and Czech Republic, has taken a tough stand against the admission of migrants, putting it at odds with the European Union, but striking a chord with voters by arguing that irregular immigration threatens European stability, and fencing off Hungary’s southern borders.

Szijjarto said the U.N. pact was “extreme, biased and facilitates migration.

“Its main premise is that migration is a good and inevitable phenomenon … We consider migration a bad process, which has extremely serious security implications.”

France, Germany, and Sweden have all experienced drastic increases in crime due to the influx of immigrants from Muslim countries. Unless the immigrants are willing to assimilate (and most of them are not), the attitudes of the immigrants towards women and other western cultural norms have been a problem. Hungary has recognized this and acted accordingly.

The solution to the massive migration to Europe from Africa and the Middle East is for the people in the African and Middle Eastern countries to clean up their act. Generally speaking, in the countries the migrants are coming from, the wealth and the law are controlled by a select group of people in charge. I don’t blame these people for fleeing, but they need to stay and fight. If you look at the pictures of the migrants, the majority of them are men between the ages of about eighteen to thirty-five. They are fleeing rather than joining together to fight for economic (and other) freedoms. I wonder if these migrants were forced to remain in their home countries if they would be willing to fight for those countries.

This Could Really Be Interesting

The Gateway Pundit posted an article yesterday about a recent statement by Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari. Hossein Jaberi Ansari has told Western officials that if they do not pressure President Trump to reconsider withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal, he will release the names of the people who were bribed to pass the deal.

The article includes two recent tweets:

This is truly a get-out-the-popcorn moment.