The Value Of The Abraham Accords

On Monday, Robert Zimmerman posted an article at Behind the Black about the attack on Israel this past weekend. The article notes how the Abraham Accords, initiated during the Trump administration, helped protect the nation of Israel.

The article reports:

Over the weekend the Iranian attempt to bomb Israel drove home starkly the effectiveness of the Abraham Accords that Donald Trump pushed through during his term between Israel and a number of its Arab neighbors.

The effectiveness of the accords was not only illustrated by the moral and technical support given to Israel by the UAE and Bahrain (two accord signatories), the good will these agreements produced between Israel and the Arab world caused other Arab nations to add their own support as well.

First, when Iran tipped off several Arab countries of its intentions — which likely included both Jordan and Saudi Arabia (neither of which has signed the accords) — those countries then immediately passed that information to the United States, knowning full well it would then be passed to Israel. Iran had thought the Arab world was united with it, when in truth at least half the Arab world is now allied with Israel (either overtly or covertly).

Then Jordan denied Iran permission to use its airspace, and then followed this up by first opening its airspace to Israel and American fighter jets. All three then proceeded to shoot down Irans missiles and drones, preventing almost all from even reaching Israel.

The article concludes:

The situation of course remains very complex, but it will simplify enormously after Israel finishes Hamas off and then demonstrates its determination to rebuild Gaza as a sane place for both the Gazans and its neighbors. Despite the absurd screams of “genocide” by stupid Hama supporters, Israel’s neighbors very much want to get Hamas destroyed. They might mouth some complaints about the lose of civilian lifes in Gaza, but those protests are not to be taken very seriously. Hamas has done nothing for them except instill disorder and violence in the region. Remove it, and they know everyone will benefit.

The Trump administration was working toward peace in the Middle East. I am not sure what the Biden administration is working toward.

 

Things Not Being Said Publicly

On Saturday, Townhall posted an article about the continuing war in Gaza. Although the Biden administration and some other countries are putting pressure on Israel not to end Hamas, some countries in the Middle East are not in agreement with allowing Hamas to survive.

The article reports:

In the days after the brutal October 7 attacks executed by Hamas, Egypt knew what was going to happen. They deployed tanks to the border while their prime minister vowed that his country would sacrifice millions to keep their borders safe. He was not referring to Israel. So, what’s the latest? Well, Haaretz is reporting that Israel’s Arab neighbors are telling Jerusalem privately that they shouldn’t stop military operations until Hamas has been annihilated. They view them as a domestic threat:

The article includes a quote from an article in France 24:

The outcome of a joint summit of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in the Saudi capital highlighted regional divisions over how to respond to the war even as fears mount that it could draw in other countries. 

…The final declaration on Saturday rejected Israeli claims that it is acting in “self-defence” and demanded that the United Nations Security Council adopt “a decisive and binding resolution” to halt Israel’s “aggression”. 

It also called for an end to weapons sales to Israel and dismissed any future political resolution to the conflict that would keep Gaza separate from the Israeli-occupied West Bank. 

Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who before the war was considering establishing formal diplomatic ties with Israel, told the summit he “holds the occupation (Israeli) authorities responsible for the crimes committed against the Palestinian people”. 

…Some countries, including Algeria and Lebanon, proposed responding to the devastation in Gaza by threatening to disrupt oil supplies to Israel and its allies as well as severing the economic and diplomatic ties that some Arab League nations have with Israel, the diplomats said. 

However, at least three countries — including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which normalised ties with Israel in 2020 — rejected the proposal, according to the diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity. 

In a televised address Saturday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Arab leaders “have to stand up against Hamas”, which he described as “an integral part of the terror axis led by Iran”. 

Why is there so much talk about crimes committed against the Palestinian people and so little talk about crimes committed against Israelis on October 7th and before and after? Where is the concern for the rockets fired consistently on civilian populations in Israel since March 2006? How would America handle things if Mexico had been firing rockets into Texas since 2006?

How You Vote Impacts YOU!

On Tuesday, The Associated Press reported the following:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed Tuesday to extend their voluntary oil production cuts through the end of this year, trimming 1.3 million barrels of crude out of the global market and boosting energy prices.

The dual announcements from Riyadh and Moscow pushed benchmark Brent crude above $90 a barrel in trading Tuesday afternoon, a price unseen in the market since November.

The countries’ moves could increase inflation and the cost for motorists at gasoline pumps. It also puts new pressure on Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the United States, as President Joe Biden last year warned the kingdom there would be unspecified “consequences” for partnering with Russia on cuts as Moscow wages war on Ukraine.

Because of the Biden administration’s energy policies, we are not in a position to make any threats to any oil-producing country! Like it or not, fossil fuel is one of the major foundations of our economy. Fossil fuel powers the trucks that move products, the factories that produce products (those factories the Biden administration tax policies have not driven out of the country), and provides Americans with comfort and mobility. Under President Trump we were energy independent and inflation was under control. Until we go back to the policies that worked for the American people, our standard of living will continue to decline and inflation will continue to rise.

The article concludes:

In recent months, tensions eased slightly as Biden’s administration sought a deal with Riyadh for it to diplomatically recognize Israel.

But those talks include Saudi Arabia pushing for a nuclear cooperation deal that includes America allowing it to enrich uranium in the kingdom — something that worries nonproliferation experts, as spinning centrifuges open the door to a possible weapons program.

Prince Mohammed already has said the kingdom would pursue an atomic bomb if Iran had one, potentially creating a nuclear arms race in the region as Tehran’s program continues to advance closer to weapons-grade levels. Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a détente in recent months, though the region remains tense amid the wider tensions between Iran and the U.S.

Higher oil prices would also help Russian President Vladimir Putin fund his war on Ukraine. Western countries have used a price cap to try to cut into Moscow’s revenues. But those sanctions have seen Moscow be forced to sell its oil at a discount to countries like China and India.

This Is Not Good News For America

Today, NewsMax posted an article about the most recent meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The article reports:

OPEC and its allies met on Sunday to try to agree further cuts in production, sources told Reuters, as the group faces flagging oil prices and a looming supply glut.

The group, known as OPEC+, delayed the start of formal talks by at least three and a half hours due to members’ discussions on the sidelines of production baselines, from which cuts and quotas are calculated, sources said.

OPEC’s most influential members and biggest Gulf producers led by Saudi Arabia were trying to persuade under-producing African nations such as Nigeria and Angola to have more realistic output targets, sources said.

“Talks with African producers are proving to be difficult,” one OPEC+ source said. Gulf producer, the United Arab Emirates, was meanwhile seeking a higher baseline to reflect its growing production capacity, sources said.

OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, pumps around 40% of the world’s crude, meaning its policy decisions can have a major impact on oil prices.

Four sources familiar with OPEC+ discussions have told Reuters that additional production cuts were being discussed among options for Sunday’s session.

“We are discussing the full package (of changes to the deal),” one of the four sources said.

Three out of four sources said cuts could amount to 1 million bpd on top of existing cuts of 2 million bpd and voluntary cuts of 1.6 million bpd, announced in a surprise move in April and that took effect in May.

The article concludes:

Western nations have accused OPEC of manipulating oil prices and undermining the global economy through high energy costs. The West has also accused OPEC of siding with Russia despite Western sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

In response, OPEC insiders have said the West’s money-printing over the last decade has driven inflation and forced oil-producing nations to act to maintain the value of their main export.

Asian countries, such as China and India, have bought the greatest share of Russian oil exports and refused to join Western sanctions on Russia.

OPEC has denied media access to its headquarters to reporters from Reuters and other news media.

According to a U.S. News article written in January 2021:

MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) argues that nations with the ability to produce their fiat currency can issue as much money as they need, and as a result, they have no pressures when it comes to financing. In other words, the government cannot run out of money and it essentially has no financial constraints. While the government should have a budget, under this theory, the government doesn’t necessarily have to worry about the deficit because it can fund projects by printing new money from its central bank.

That seems to be the theory that the government is currently operating under. It is a theory that will prove disastrous for America.

Destroying The United States’ Economy

President Biden has not done a great job on economic issues, and things are about to get a lot worse for his administration. One of the main things that has kept the American dollar from being totally worthless is the fact that oil is traded in American dollars. That is now changing.

WallStreetMojo explains the Petrodollar as follows:

The petrodollar history stems from the Soviet Union’s breakdown (1991), following which the US became the only superpower throughout the materialized unipolar world. Subsequently, the world observed several destabilizations and crises to sustain the leadership of the petrocurrency structure.

The term emerged in 1973 when the US agreed to offer armed protection to Saudi Arabia. It also provided weaponry and other military supplies in an agreement involving the overall sale of oil in US dollars. Moreover, Saudi Arabia would recycle the surplus dollars into the American economic system using US treasury bills and bonds.

By 1975, all OPEC members embraced the petrocurrency arrangement and consented to oil export in US dollars. As a result, the American currency now contributes to almost two-thirds of the international economy. It is the reserve currency for most central banks worldwide since the US dollar is the chief currency needed for natural gas and oil trading.

On Wednesday, PJ Media reported the following:

The petrodollar — a term describing the post-WWII global system of trading in oil almost exclusively using the U.S. dollar — has literally built and buttressed the U.S. empire for decades.

Saudi Arabia has long been a stalwart supporter of the U.S. petrodollar, which it adopted in exchange for security provided by the dominant U.S. military.

But that arrangement may be about to change.

Via TVP World:

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, is open to discussing oil trade settlements in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, Saudi Minister of Finance, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, told media outlet Bloomberg in Davos on Tuesday.

If the Saudis were to open to talks about oil trade arranged in non-dollar currencies it would represent a significant threat to the current dominance of the U.S. dollar in the global oil trade.

Saudi Arabia is just the latest rat to contemplate leaving the sinking ship. Ghana recently announced intentions to purchase oil in gold instead of U.S. dollars moving forward. Russia, China, Brazil, India, and South Africa (BRICS) are reportedly cooperating to develop a “new global reserve currency.”

President Obama was put in place to manage America’s decline–not to make America great again. President Biden is finishing what President Obama began.

I Guess That Didn’t Go Too Well

On Saturday, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about President Biden’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia. It was not a rave review. The article pointed out that although the American media covers for the frailty and obvious mental challenges President Biden exhibits, the international press does not. America’s enemies also take note of the obvious physical (and mental) weakness of our President.

The article includes the following:

From MbS (Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud) as interpreted: “We agree on many things, but we differ on a few others. Every country has its own culture and circumstances. I respect yours, you respect mine. Do not impose your culture on us. Do not impose your beliefs on us.” … “We agree we need to do more for climate change, but you guys are doing it wrong by favoring certain energy sources over others. The world needs energy security. We need all energy sources including oil & gas. We are doing our part on both fronts: climate change & energy security.” … “The stage of a country’s economic & social development must be considered in climate change negotiations.” … “We are increasing our production capacity to 13 million barrels per day (from 12 mb/d), but that is it. We cannot do more.”  The message here is: You guys do your part and invest more if you want to avoid energy crises, recessions, and unemployment. Do NOT blame us!

Remember, America was energy independent under President Trump. Inflation was under control because the energy industry was earning money and paying taxes to the government–the government was not borrowing large amounts of money not backed by anything. Bringing back American energy independence would do a lot toward stabilizing our economy–bringing in tax revenue and slowing inflation.

Just for the record, no one is entirely sure exactly who called for the murder of Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, and I am not saying the murder was justified. However, it should be noted that Khashoggi did have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and might well have been plotting to overthrow the rule of the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia. That is a possibility that needs to be considered when discussing his murder.

This Could Easily Crash The American Economy

In explaining why oil is traded in American dollars, Quora reports the following history:

Allegedly, In a series of meetings, the United States — represented by then U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger — and the Saudi royal family made an agreement. The United States would offer military protection for Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, and in return the Saudi’s would price their oil sales exclusively in United States dollars (in other words, the Saudis were to refuse all other currencies, except the U.S. dollar, as payment for their oil exports). By 1975, all of the oil-producing nations of OPEC had agreed to price their oil in dollars and to invest surplus oil proceeds in U.S. government debt securities in exchange for similar offers by the U.S.

That agreement has propped up the American dollar during Washington’s wild spending binges. It has allowed America to create the massive debt we now have without going bankrupt. Just for the record, high inflation makes it easier to pay off that debt.

Yesterday Yahoo News posted an article that is not good news for the future of the American dollar.

The article reports:

Saudi and Chinese officials are in talks to price some of the Gulf nation’s oil sales in yuan rather than dollars or euros, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The two nations have intermittently discussed the matter for six years, but talks have reportedly stepped up in 2022, with Riyadh disgruntled over the United States’ nuclear negotiations with Iran and its lack of backing for Saudi Arabia’s military operation in neighboring Yemen.

Nearly 80 percent of global oil sales are priced in dollars, and since the mid-1970s the Saudis have exclusively used the dollar for oil trading as part of a security agreement with the U.S. government, according to the Journal.

The talks are the latest in an ongoing effort by Beijing both to make its currency tradeable in international oil markets and strengthen its relationship with the Saudis specifically. China previously aided Riyadh in construction of ballistic missiles and consultation on nuclear power.

Conversely, the Saudi-U.S. relationship has been increasingly frayed in recent years. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman initially put forth a public image as a reformer, liberalizing the country’s policies on women’s rights and criminal justice.

However, the 2018 assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been catastrophic for both the crown prince’s public relations offensive and relations with Washington. The rift intensified after President Biden, who has said the assassination should make the kingdom a “pariah,” took office.

During the same period, China’s economic relationship to Saudi Arabia has grown closer, with the kingdom providing 1.76 million barrels of oil a day to the country in 2021, according to the Journal, citing China’s General Administration of Customs. While the country plans to maintain the dollar for the majority of its oil trading, a shift by the Saudis could create a domino effect for China’s other major oil suppliers, such as Russia, Angola and Iraq.

I am not a financial expert and would not presume to tell anyone what a safe investment would be for the future, but I can say that this is not good news for the American economy.

America On The World Stage

Remember when the Trump administration managed to negotiate peace deals between Israel and many of her Arab neighbors? During the Trump administration, we were on the road to peace. Now, not so much.

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal posted an article about President Biden’s recent outreach to leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in an attempt to build support for Ukraine and tamp down oil prices.

The article reports:

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the U.A.E.’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan both declined U.S. requests to speak to Mr. Biden in recent weeks, the officials said, as Saudi and Emirati officials have become more vocal in recent weeks in their criticism of American policy in the Gulf.

…The Saudis have signaled that their relationship with Washington has deteriorated under the Biden administration, and they want more support for their intervention in Yemen’s civil war, help with their own civilian nuclear program as Iran’s moves ahead, and legal immunity for Prince Mohammed in the U.S., Saudi officials said. The crown prince faces multiple lawsuits in the U.S., including over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

It should be noted that in addition to being a journalist, Jamal Khashoggi was quite probably an active member of the Muslim Brotherhood (article here). I don’t support the brutal murder of Khashoggi, but I do think that facts have been omitted and slanted by the media in reporting the event.

The article in The Wall Street Journal concludes:

But the Saudis and Emiratis have declined to pump more oil, saying they are sticking to a production plan approved between their group, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and a group of other producers led by Russia. The energy alliance with Russia, one of the world’s top oil producers, has enhanced OPEC’s power while also bringing the Saudis and Emiratis closer to Moscow.

Both Prince Mohammed and Sheikh Mohammed took phone calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, after declining to speak with Mr. Biden. They both later spoke with Ukraine’s president, and a Saudi official said the U.S. had requested that Prince Mohammed mediate in the conflict, which he said the kingdom is embarking on.

Despite his claims to the contrary, President Biden has cut American energy production drastically. Until the restrictions that the Biden administration has put on energy companies and their drilling are lifted, the price of gasoline will not go down. The solution to the current high prices at the gas pump is for America to become energy independent again. Nothing short of that will solve the problem.

 

What Is The Role Of The Government In Marriage And Divorce?

The dilemma I am about to share has not yet been reported in America, but I suspect it is only a matter of time. This story takes place in Denmark. Therefore, I share this article as food for thought as to how much power the government should have over marriage and divorce.

On Thursday, Front Page Magazine reported the following:

One of the many appalling challenges that have confronted Western European authorities since mass Muslim immigration began several decades ago is the arrival of adult – often elderly – men with underaged girls whom they identify as their wives.

Such marriages, of course, are not just permitted but encouraged under Islam. Muslims are taught to look in all things, big and small, to the example of their prophet, and they all know that one of the treasures of Muhammed’s harem – often described as his most beloved wife – was Aisha, whom he wed when she was six and deflowered when she was nine.

Needless to say, the pedofile alliances that are ubiquitous in the Islamic world – and legally sanctioned (or tacitly accepted) in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and elsewhere – are invariably arranged and forced on girls by their parents. They’re also usually cousin marriages. The BBC’s website provides a helpful whitewash – I mean, justification – of such unions: “Arranged marriages ensure that Muslim marriages are based on compatibility rather than lustful feelings.” Yes, because there’s nothing more compatible than a 70-year-old husband and an eight-year-old wife. At least you can be pretty sure that the little girl isn’t feeling a hell of a lot of lust.

The article continues:

Støjberg’s (Inger Støjberg – a Liberal Party member of Parliament who was then serving as Minister of Immigration, Integration, and Housing in Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s center-right government) initiatives, then, offended media hacks and ivory-tower buffoons. But they also made her a national heroine, and arguably the most popular politician in Denmark.

Now, confronted with the child-bride issue, Støjberg didn’t disappoint. At first she decided to offer the girls – 23 in all – the option of divorce. Then, realizing that many of the girls, if offered a choice, would likely be under immense family pressure to stay with their “husbands,” she ordered that all of them – except for five who were between the ages of 15 and 17 – be severed at once from their so-called spouses and granted instant divorces. Between February 10 and March 18, eighteen “couples” were separated.

But Støjberg’s swift action on child brides landed her in hot water. Immigration officials and other government bureaucrats maintained that she had no power to end marriages, even if they involved minors. The European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child were both cited – not, mind you, in favor of saving girls from statutory rape, but in favor of allowing child molesters to keep on molesting.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. A heroine has gone to prison to protect children.

There are two sides to this story–balancing the protection of children and the rights of the government. I don’t ever want the government telling anyone they have to get a divorce, but I don’t want pedophilia allowed either.

I think we are going to have to look carefully at our immigration policies to see if we will permit these pedofile alliances to continue when immigrants enter the country. America has rules regarding pedophilia and the protection of children. Many of the Arab cultures do not. If people want to come to America, I think they need to follow our rules. However, I don’t want to give the government the right to demand a divorce.

Questionable At Best

Yesterday Front Page Magazine posted a rather disturbing article about some of the Biden administration’s policies in the Middle East.

The article reports:

Iran and its proxies have targeted the US with missile strikes in Iraq. Its Houthi proxies have struck at Saudi Arabia from Yemen. So even as Biden is helping lubricate the flow of money to Iran’s terror machine, is pulling anti-missile batteries out of Iran’s way.

You’ll have to navigate some media spin for the story.

The Pentagon is pulling approximately eight Patriot antimissile batteries from countries including Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, according to officials. Another antimissile system known as a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad system, is being withdrawn from Saudi Arabia, and jet fighter squadrons assigned to the region are being reduced, those officials said.

…US forces in Iraq have come under fire from Iranian and proxy missiles. Either pull all the troops out of harm’s way or keep protecting them. Removing missile defenses while keeping thousands of American forces there just invites Iran to attack our troops.

…Iran is escalating. Biden is appeasing. As usual.

A senior defense official said the equipment withdrawals amount to a return to a more traditional level of defense for the region. Under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. actively deployed defensive systems as well as troops, jet fighter squadrons and naval warships to support its maximum pressure campaign against Iran.

By traditional, the echo chamber spinners mean Obama’s old appeasement policies.

Sometimes I wonder if the Biden administration isn’t simply trying to see how much damage they can do to America in a short time.

Why We Need To Maintain Energy Independence

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about some investment plans by the Communist Chinese.

The article reports:

Reuters reported Wednesday that “major Chinese investors” are in talks to buy a stake in Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) mentioned the possibility of selling some Aramco stock in a television interview Tuesday.

…Reuters immediately noted China’s state-owned PetroChina and Sinopec previously expressed interest in buying up to five percent of Aramco in 2017. 

Aramco raised almost $30 billion with its initial public offering in 2019, providing a significant amount of the money needed to finance MBS’ “Saudi Vision 2030” plan to diversify the Saudi economy. 

The IPO ended up selling about 1.7 percent of the company’s stock, much of it to Saudi and Middle Eastern buyers. The record-breaking results were considered something of a disappointment compared to MBS’ original vision of selling 5 percent of the company and raising $100 billion.

The scaled-down IPO was partly a consequence of investors disputing the $2 trillion corporate valuation the Saudis put forward, and partly because Aramco was uncomfortable with some of the transparency requirements demanded by foreign investors. The dogged efforts of Iran’s terrorist proxies in Yemen to blow up Aramco facilities with missiles and drones were not helpful.

On Wednesday, “several sources” confirmed Chinese investors were part of the deal MBS mentioned in his interview, pointing to a sovereign wealth fund called China Investment Corporation (CIC) as a potential buyer.

The Renegade Tribune noted the following on November 7, 2018:

Nixon’s decision in 1971 to withdraw the United States from the gold standard greatly influenced the future direction of humanity. The US dollar rose in importance from the mid-1950s to become the world reserve currency as a result of the need for countries to use the dollar in trade. One of the most consumed commodities in the world is oil, and as is well known, the price is set by OPEC in US dollars, with this organization being strongly influenced by Saudi Arabia.

It is therefore towards Riyadh that we must look in order to understand the workings of the petrodollar. After the dollar was withdrawn from the gold standard, Washington made an arrangement with Riyadh to price oil solely in dollars. In return, the Saudis received protection and were granted a free hand in the region. This decision forced the rest of the world to hold a high amount of US dollars in their currency reserves, requiring the purchase of US treasuries. The relationship between the US dollar and oil breathed new life to this currency, placing it at the centre of the global financial and economic system. This privileged role enjoyed by the dollar allowed the United States to finance its economy through the simple process of printing its fiat currency, relying on its credibility and supported by the petrodollar that required other countries to store reserves of US treasuries in their basket of currencies.

This arrangement continued to sustain itself in spite of numerous wars (the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan), financial crises (the Black Monday of 1987, the Dotcom bubble of 2000, and Lehman Brothers’ subprime crisis of 2008), and the bankruptcies of sovereign states (Argentina in 1998). The explanation is to be found in the credibility of the US dollar and the US itself, with its ability to repay buyers of treasury bonds. In other words, as long as the US continues to maintain its dominance of the global financial and economic system, thanks to the dollar, its supremacy as a world superpower is hardly questioned. To maintain this influence on the currency markets and the special-drawing rights (SDR) basket, the pricing of oil in US dollars is crucial. This explains, at least partially, the impossibility of scaling down the relationship between Washington and Riyadh. Nobody should delude themselves into believing that this is the only reason why Saudi-US relations are important. Washington is swimming in the money showered by Saudi lobbies, and it is doubtful that those on the receiving end of such largesse will want to make the party stop.

Think about what the impact of large amounts of Chinese cash into Saudi Arabia might have on the current arrangement of the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency. China has wanted to undo that arrangement for some time. Also consider the impact of the runaway spending proposals of the Biden administration and the impact they will have (if passed) on the value of the U.S. dollar. We may be headed for a perfect storm. One thing that would help us weather than storm would be energy independence.

Losing Energy Independence

There are two groups of people who are attempting to end America’s energy independence–OPEC (The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and the Democrat Party. OPEC is fighting American energy independence because it represents competition and loss of OPEC’s worldwide influence. I am not really sure what the Democrat Party stands to gain by fighting American energy independence except that the position opposes President Trump’s position, which seems to be their platform–if President Trump is for it, we’re against it.

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the resistance to America’s energy independence.

The article reported:

The battle to win U.S. energy independence has been long, hard and well worth it but the industry is facing new foreign threats from OPEC as well as right here at home from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Biden wants to ban U.S. fracking, which was the key to our winning the war of energy independence. The former vice president at one point has said “no new fracking” — which, because of the nature of the shale decline rate, would end the U.S. shale revolution. This would not only cost the U.S. thousands of high-paying jobs, it would allow other countries to fill the void and produce more oil and gas.

…Biden has also said he has a goal to completely eliminate fossil fuels. While all men are created equal, energy sources are not. The move to fossil fuel alternatives in the near future is not reasonable and handicapping the U.S. energy industry will only put U.S. energy security at risk.

In fact, because of demand drops due to the COVID-19 shutdowns, many alternative fuels have also seen setbacks in investment and are not viable. The truth is the road to get the world off of fossil fuels will be much longer than the original goal of energy independence and in some form, we will be using fossil fuels for energy for generations to come.

Having a presidential contender looking to curb the U.S. energy industry comes at a time when threats from foreign actors are rising amid allegations they have conspired to try to bankrupt the U.S. energy industry so that we return to depending on them for our economic and national security.

While Saudi Arabia and Russia denied it, many believe that the goal of an oil production war in the midst of COVID-19’s oil demand collapse was to once and for all neutralize and bury the hard-won U.S. energy independence.

Does anyone remember the gasoline crisis of the 1970’s? Because we were almost totally dependent on foreign oil, we had gas lines and high gasoline prices. Does anyone really want to do that again? Energy independence is an economic issue, a national security issue, and a geopolitical issue. It determines our economy, our national security, and can influence our foreign policy. The less dependent we are on foreign oil, the more free we are to stand up to tyrants in countries with large supplies of oil. Energy independence should not even be debatable–it it necessary for the survival of our republic.

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.

 

A Very Mixed Blessing

CNBC posted an article yesterday (updated today) that because OPEC has not been able to reach an agreement about oil prices with its allies (led by Russia), Saudi Arabia has cut its oil prices and increased its production. A price war is expected to follow. This is great news for consumers, but horrible news for American oil production.

The article reports:

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude and international benchmark Brent crude are both pacing for their worst day since 1991.

WTI plunged 18%, or $7.36, to trade at $33.92 per barrel. WTI is on pace for its second worst day on record. International benchmark Brent crude was down $8.44, or 18.7%, to trade at $36.80 per barrel. Earlier in the session WTI dropped to $30 while Brent traded as low as $31.02, both of which are the lowest levels since Feb. 2016. 

“This has turned into a scorched Earth approach by Saudi Arabia, in particular, to deal with the problem of chronic overproduction,” Again Capital’s John Kilduff said. “The Saudis are the lowest cost producer by far. There is a reckoning ahead for all other producers, especially those companies operating in the U.S shale patch.”

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia announced massive discounts to its official selling prices for April, and the nation is reportedly preparing to increase its production above the 10 million barrel per day mark, according to a Reuters report. The kingdom currently pumps 9.7 million barrels per day, but has the capacity to ramp up to 12.5 million barrels per day.

The article concludes:

“$20 oil in 2020 is coming,” Ali Khedery, formerly Exxon’s senior Middle East advisor and now CEO of U.S.-based strategy firm Dragoman Ventures, wrote Sunday on Twitter. “Huge geopolitical implications. Timely stimulus for net consumers. Catastrophic for failed/failing petro-kleptocracies Iraq, Iran, etc – may prove existential 1-2 punch when paired with COVID19.”

But others, including Eurasia Group, believe that Saudi Arabia and Russia will eventually come to an agreement.

“The most likely outcome of the failure of the Vienna talks is a limited oil price war before the two sides agree on a new deal,” analysts led by Ayham Kamel said in a note to clients Sunday. The firm puts the chances of an eventual agreement at 60%.

Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli said Sunday that oil “has become a bigger problem for markets than the coronavirus,” but also said that he does not foresee prices falling to the Jan. 2016 lows.

“Saudi Arabia can’t tolerate an oil depression – the country’s fiscal breakeven oil prices remain very high, Saudi Aramco is now a public company, and MBS’s grip on power isn’t yet absolute. As a result, the [government] won’t be so cavalier in sending oil back into the $30s (or even lower),” he said in a note to clients Sunday.

OPEC has played this game before. In the 1970’s oil crisis, OPEC boycotted America because of our support of Israel. When American energy companies responded by drilling wells to meet the need, OPEC dropped the boycott and lowered the price to put those companies out of business. I suspect there may be an attempt to do that again, but I am not sure we are as vulnerable as we were then. If America continues on the path to energy independence, our oil prices will be less vulnerable to foreign manipulation. We may have to pay a little more than the price the Saudis will drop to for our oil, but it would be worth it in the long run. Hopefully we have people currently in charge that are looking long term rather than short term.

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.

While We Were Sleeping

Yesterday The Houston Chronicle reported that the Justice Department charged eight people — including a prominent political donor to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and a Lebanese-American businessman who was a witness in Robert Mueller’s investigation — with conspiring to conceal the source of more than $3.5 million in donations to Clinton.

The article reports:

The 53-count indictment unsealed in federal court in Washington detailed efforts by Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja and George Nader to conceal the true source of the millions of dollars in campaign contributions, which prosecutors allege were made to gain influence with high-level political figures, including Clinton.

Khawaja, who lives in Los Angeles and is the owner of the online processing company Allied Wallet, is accused of making the donations in his name, his wife’s name and his company’s name, even though they were actually funded by another businessman, Nader.

As they arranged the payments, Nader was in touch with an official from a foreign government about his efforts to gain influence with the prominent politicians, prosecutors charge. The government is not identified in court documents.

A 2018 investigation by The Associated Press detailed that Khawaja, Allied Wallet and top executives contributed at least $6 million to Democratic and Republican candidates and groups. The donations earned Khawaja access to Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign and a post-election Oval Office visit with Trump.

Clinton is not identified by name in the court documents made public Tuesday, but there are repeated references in the indictment identifying the candidate as a woman. Federal donor records show Khawaja gave millions of dollars to Democratic candidates, including the main political action committee supporting Clinton’s campaign. He also donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural fund.

Nader is already in federal custody on unrelated charges accusing him of transporting a dozen images of child pornography and bestiality. He had provided grand jury testimony in the special counsel’s Russia investigation about his efforts to connect a Russian banker to members of Trump’s transition team. He had also worked to advance Saudi Arabia’s agenda to the Trump administration.

This may be only the beginning of draining the Washington swamp. Hopefully there is more to come.

This Needed To Be Done

Yesterday CBN News posted an article about President Trump’s visit to the United Nations.

The article reports:

On Monday, President Donald Trump made history with a big push for the United Nations to truly focus its attention on global religious liberty

On the first day of a three-day scheduled visit during the UN’s General Assembly, the President’s big focus was a meeting about the worldwide persecution of religious minorities, especially Christians.

The event called a “Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom,” was attended by key evangelical leaders including Franklin Graham, Paula White, Jentezen Franklin, Tim Clinton, and Cissie Graham Lynch. The president was introduced by Vice President Mike Pence.

President Trump began his remarks by saying, “The United States is founded on the principle that our rights don’t come from government, they come from God.”

He said the facts are clear that 80 percent of the world doesn’t enjoy the same protection for religious freedom that US citizens enjoy.

Trump said it was an “urgent moral duty” for world leaders to stop crimes against faith.

“The United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution, to stop the crimes against prisoners of faith, to release prisoners of conscience,” Trump said.

The Trump administration has hosted annual meetings on the topic in Washington, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced during this year’s event that he would create an international alliance dedicated to the issue.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission includes the following members: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, South Africa, and Pakistan. In most of these countries, religious freedom is an impossible dream. In South Africa, white farmers are being murdered and their land taken. This is the United Nations President Trump is working with. I admire his effort, but I believe that the United Nations has become so corrupt that they are no longer an organization capable of working toward either peace or freedom. They need to be kicked out of New York City and dissolved.

 

If You Wondered Why Energy Independence Is Important

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

The article concludes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Might Be A Problem For The Obama Legacy

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

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

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

The article concludes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Would You Really Trust This Person Out On Bail?

Yesterday CNBC posted an article about Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyers negotiating bail for their client. Jeffrey Epstein is willing to post bail as high as $100 million. Would you take that deal?

The article notes a few things that might cause someone to hesitate before agreeing to the deal:

“We know they have found photos of young women in his home,” Farmer (Annie Farmer, one of his accusers) noted, referring to what prosecutors have said was a “vast trove” of lewd photos of young women or girls that investigators discovered in Epstein’s New York residence.

Before the accusers spoke, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller said that a number of other witnesses contacted authorities after Epstein was recently indicted, and that prosecutors are trying to corroborate their allegations against him.

Rossmiller also revealed that investigators found in Epstein’s $77 million Manhattan townhouse a locked safe containing “piles of cash” and “dozens of diamonds,” as well as an expired passport dating to the 1980s from another country that has Epstein’s photograph on it — but with a different name and a stated residence of Saudi Arabia.

Rossmiller also said that “many, many photographs” of young-looking girls were found in the safe, and that the prosecutors have identified at least one person among them who claims to be a victim of Epstein’s.

Fake passports, diamonds, piles of cash…would you trust this person out on bail?

The Geo-Political Impact Of America’s Energy Independence

In January of this year, Forbes Magazine reported:

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published their 2019 Annual Energy Outlook. Whenever your optimism on the prospects for U.S. energy infrastructure waivers, this will restore your confidence. The outlook for domestic energy production is bullish, and in many cases more so than a year ago.

For example, in their 2018 report, the EIA’s Reference Case projected that the U.S. would eventually become a net energy exporter. Now, thanks to stronger crude and liquids production, they expect that milestone to be reached next year.

We have reached that milestone. So what is the impact? Fist of all, we are free of the threat of an oil boycott by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). The oil embargo placed on the United States by OPEC in the early 1970’s rapidly increased gasoline prices and caused shortages at the gas pumps. We don’t want to do that again. Aside from the impact on average Americans, we need gas to fuel our military. However, being energy independent does not entirely free us from having to be nice to Arab countries that don’t like us. Because of an agreement made between Richard Nixon and Saudi Arabia, oil is traded in American dollars. This is one of the reasons American dollars still have value despite our large national debt. The Saudis have been responsible for seeing that oil continues to be traded in American dollars, so it is in our best interest to be nice to them. The Saudis are also moving toward a friendlier relationship to Israel because of fear of Iran. Being energy independent allows us to support the nation of Israel without fearing another oil embargo.

American energy independence also has a potential impact on our relations with Russia and Europe.

In July 2018, The Washington Post posted an article about Europe’s dependence on Russian oil.

The article notes:

Putin has proved through his actions that he views everything as a potential tool to gain an advantage economically, politically and militarily. One of his most powerful tools is Russia’s energy resources, and he has used Europe’s reliance on these resources to strengthen his position. Some European leaders have been all too willing to take the bait.

This was the point President Trump was making at a NATO summit this month. He caused a stir for speaking undiplomatically in a room of diplomats. He was also pointing out what everyone in the room already knew: Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas undermines its security.

Trump also understands, as he demonstrated this week in his talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, that the United States can and should help solve this problem. By supplying our own natural gas reserves to Europe, the United States can loosen Putin’s economic grip on the region.

The article concludes:

By increasing exports of American natural gas, the United States can help our NATO allies escape Russian strong-arming. America is the world’s leading producer of clean, versatile natural gas. There are two export facilities in the United States. able to ship natural gas overseas — one in Maryland and one in Louisiana. Three more are due to be operational by the end of this year, and at least 20 additional projects are awaiting federal permits. We must speed up these approvals to give our allies alternatives to Russian gas.

We have plenty of natural gas to meet Americans’ needs and increase our exports. Independent studies have found that prices will remain low even with significant gas exports. Now we just need to clear away the regulatory hurdles and show our European allies that U.S. natural gas is a wiser option than Russia’s.

When Putin looks at natural gas, he thinks of politics, he thinks of money and he thinks of power. It is in America’s national security interests to help our allies reduce their dependence on Russian energy. We need to make clear how important it is for their own security, as well.

Our NATO alliance is strong. Ending Europe’s dependence on Russian energy will make it even stronger.

An energy-independent America is good for America, good for Europe, and good for Israel.

This Is How We Change Our Schools

The following is a March 19th Press Release from Americans for Peace &Tolerance, a Boston-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence in an ethnically diverse America by educating the American public about radical ideologies that undermine the academic integrity at American High Schools and Universities:

NEWTON RESIDENTS SUE CITY’S SCHOOL COMMITTEE, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, PRINCIPALS AND TEACHERS FOR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST JEWS AND ISRAELIS
 
Ideological/Political Curriculum Teaches Propaganda Instead of Facts

 
NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS. On March 12, 2019, Newton taxpayers filed a lawsuit in Middlesex Superior Court against the Newton School Committee, Superintendent of Schools David Fleishman, the principals of the Newton high schools, and certain high school history teachers. Plaintiffs are asking for a court order that would compel Newton school officials to stop indoctrinating students with anti-Semitism, bigotry against Israel, and Islamist religious dogma as part of the high school history curriculum. This suit was made necessary because the embattled school administration is shielding its teachers from scrutiny and refusing to supervise what is being taught in its classrooms. The taxpayers claim that Newton Public Schools (NPS) has deliberately failed and refused to comply with the Equal Rights Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution, with the Massachusetts Student Anti-Discrimination Act, and with civil rights regulations that require schools, through their curricula, to encourage respect for the human and civil rights of all individuals regardless of race, identity, religion, color, sex, and national origin.
 
The extensively documented 469 page legal complaint, available here, details the lengthy history of Newton residents’ efforts to have NPS address and correct the factually flawed teaching. Plaintiffs and their attorney were provided with an enormous volume of factual documentation by Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) Executive Director Ilya Feoktistov, whose investigations over the past several months formed the basis of this action. 
 
“In looking for the sources of the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bigotry in the Newton curriculum, we discovered a few bad apple teachers who view their teaching positions as giving them license to promote their personal political agendas,” said Mr. Feoktistov. “We are also looking closely at a common pattern with these politicized teachers — most, if not all, have taken professional development courses developed with foreign funding by the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”
 
“Newton history teachers and school administrators must think either that anti-discrimination laws do not apply to them, or that these laws do not protect their Jewish and Israeli students,” said the President of APT, Charles Jacobs. “There is no academic freedom to brainwash students with fake history and pro-Arab or anti-Semitic propaganda that is, these days, alarmingly too common on the left in America.”
 
Evidence described in the complaint shows how Newton teachers teach that Jews and Christians deliberately forged their holy texts to contradict the Muslim Qur’an; that Zionism has “little connection” to Jewish history in “Palestine;” that the Jews took advantage of the Holocaust to gain sympathy for Zionism at the expense of “Arab plight;” and that the Israelis treat the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews. After being taught all this, students are asked to debate whether there should be a one- or two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. 
 
Karen Hurvitz, attorney for the taxpayers, stated that her clients are not asking for money damages, even though defendants have certainly caused years of incalculable damage by their insistence on teaching impressionable students materials that slander Israel and Jews. “This is the type of teaching that leads to anti-Semitism — and it has. The taxpayers here are merely asking NPS to perform their duties and obey the law, which requires that their curriculum encourage respect for all people. Education should be based on fact, not on stereotypes and propaganda.”

This is how you handle educational indoctrination.

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.