…One of the more frustrating and fruitless conversations in modern politics is with a Trump supporter who just insists that Trump can be trusted. But trusted to do what? If you want boots on the ground in the Middle East, Trump’s your guy. If you want America to stop sending its soldiers to die on foreign soil, Trump’s your guy. If you want higher taxes, Trump’s your guy. If you want lower taxes, Trump’s your guy. The list goes on…
Read more at NRO.
Source: National Review
Agustin Blazquez: America Is Turning Into Communist State
Filmmaker and American citizen Agustin Blazquez never thought his native Cuba would
become a communist country, but now he sees the same radical shift happening in America.
In this exclusive video interview for The Daily Caller News Foundation, he says the left has been clever by using “very non-threatening words,” like liberal, progressive and concerned citizens, for advancing government control of American lives
“Watching President Barack Obama travel to Cuba, he says, made him ‘want to throw up.’ This was a ‘betrayal to victims of communism.'”
The truth about Cuban politics is hard to find because of media spin and propaganda dominating American discourse.
For Blazquez, watching American youth embrace avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, strikes him as “absurd.” It is the end result, he says, of the cultural marxist education and media propaganda that has anesthetized too many Americans who do not defend the values that made America exceptional.
Watching President Barack Obama travel to Cuba, he says, made him “want to throw up.” This was a “betrayal to victims of communism,” the filmmaker of “Covering Cuba” says. Blazquez adds there are “so many [Nelson] Mandelas” in Cuban prisons, who are tortured, denied medical attention and abused.
Yet, prominent black elites from America, including most incredibly to him, the Congressional Black Caucus, are wined and dined by the political elites but are blind to their “betrayal of blacks in Cuba.” Read the rest of this entry »
Rick Moran writes: The new year has gotten off to quite a start. Shia Iran and the Sunni Arab states have broken relations and are beginning to sound a lot like belligerents ready to go to war. The Chinese stock market tanked by nearly 7% while the Dow bled 300 points to open the year. And with the Iowa caucuses 30 days away, we will soon be faced with the probable choice of electing a screeching liberal harridan or a screaming celebrity tycoon.
But beyond that, there are at least 10 reasons why the global outlook for 2016 is so bad, we will end up envying the ostrich. The Eurasia Group has issued its annual list of the political and geopolitical trends that threaten stability, and if only a couple of these trends end up materializing, we’re going to wish we never woke up on New Year’s Day.
1. The Hollow Alliance
The trans-Atlantic partnership has been the world’s most important alliance for nearly 70 years, but it’s now weaker, and less relevant, than at any point in decades. It no longer plays a decisive role in addressing any of Europe’s top priorities.
2. Closed Europe
In 2016, divisions in Europe will reach a critical point as a core conflict emerges between Open Europe and Closed Europe — and a combination of inequality, refugees, terrorism, and grassroots political pressures pose an unprecedented challenge to the principles on which the new Europe was founded.
3. The China Footprint
The recognition in 2016 that China is both the most important and most uncertain driver of a series of global outcomes will increasingly unnerve other international players who aren’t ready for it, don’t understand or agree with Chinese priorities, and won’t know how to respond to it.
4. ISIS and “Friends”
For 2016, this problem will prove unfixable, and Isil (and other terrorist organisations) will take advantage of that. The most vulnerable states will remain those with explicit reasons for Isil to target them (France, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United States)…(read more)
Source: PJ Media
Killing sparks renewed fears of growing radicalization of Islamic fundamentalists
DHAKA, Bangladesh— Syed Zain Al-Mahmood reports: Another Bangladeshi blogger was hacked to death in Dhaka on Friday—the fourth such attack on writers who had been critical of Islam this year—raising renewed fears about growing radicalization in the South Asian country.
Police and family members said 40-year-old Niloy Chattopadhyay, who wrote under the pen name Niloy Neel, was killed by machete-wielding assailants who entered his home in the capital on Friday afternoon.
His wife, Asha Moni, said four men entered their two-room apartment under the pretext of renting a room and attacked her husband.
Krishnapada Roy, a joint commissioner of police in Dhaka, said the attack appeared to be “a targeted killing” and that police would pursue all leads.
Mr. Chattopadhyay is the fourth blogger critical of Islam to be murdered in Bangladesh this year. American-Bangladeshi writer Avijit Roy, who championed atheism through his Mukto-Mona [Freethinker] blog, was killed in a machete attack in February. Two other writers, both admirers of Mr. Roy, were killed by suspected Islamic militants in similar attacks in March and May.
The rise of religious extremism in Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority nation of 160 million people, could affect regional stability, analysts say. Read the rest of this entry »
President Obama has full confidence in OPM Director Archuleta: http://t.co/n9Y9hZTdw4
— John Sexton (@verumserum) June 18, 2015
The president’s desperation for a foreign-policy legacy is leading toward a bad nuclear deal—and a dangerous one
“The Arab world has entered a war phase that may go for decades. Its special threat is that the struggle is not only an essential one—Sunni vs. Shia, in a fight to the end—but that it engenders and is marked by what British Prime Minister David Cameron has called ‘the death cult.’ Many in the fight have no particular fear of summoning the end of the world.”
Syria, red lines, an exploding Mideast, a Russian president who took the American’s measure and made a move, upsetting a hard-built order that had maintained for a quarter-century since the fall of the Soviet Union—what a mess.
In late February, at a Washington meeting of foreign-policy intellectuals, Henry Kissinger summed up part of the past six years: “Ukraine has lost Crimea; Russia has lost Ukraine; the U.S. has lost Russia; the world has lost stability.”
“Nuclear proliferation has been a problem for so long that we no longer talk or think about it. But in the current moment in the Mideast, we’re not talking ‘nuclear proliferation’ in the abstract. It’s more like talking about the spread of nuclear weapons among the inmates of an institution for the criminally insane.”
What Barack Obama needs is a foreign-policy win, and not only for reasons of legacy. He considers himself a serious man, he wants to deal constructively with a pressing, high-stakes international question, and none fits that description better than Iran and nuclear weapons. And so the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Here is the fact. The intention behind a deal—to stop Iran from developing, and in the end using, nuclear weapons—could not be more serious and crucial. The Arab world has entered a war phase that may go for decades. Its special threat is that the struggle is not only an essential one—Sunni vs. Shia, in a fight to the end—but that it engenders and is marked by what British Prime Minister David Cameron has called “the death cult.” Many in the fight have no particular fear of summoning the end of the world.
“There are many reasons nuclear weapons have not been used since 1945. One is that the U.S. was not evil and the Soviet Union was not crazy. It was also a triumph of diplomacy, of imperfect but ultimately sound strategic thinking, that kept the unthinkable from happening.”
Once Iran has what used to be called the bomb, there will be a race among nearby nations—Persian Gulf states, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey—to get their own. As each state builds its arsenal, there will be an increased chance that freelancers, non-states and sub-states will get their hands on parts of it.
The two most boring words in history are “nuclear proliferation.” Jimmy Carter made them so on Oct. 28, 1980, when, in a presidential debate, he announced that his 12-year-old daughter, Amy, had told him that the great issue of the day was the control of nuclear arms. America laughed: So that’s where the hapless one gets his geopolitical insights. Read the rest of this entry »
“In a way it was Churchillian — not in delivery; it was not up to Bibi’s norm — but in the sonorousness and the seriousness of what he said…And it was not Churchill of the ‘40s. This was the desperate Churchill of the ‘30s.”
“And it was not Churchill of the ‘40s. This was the desperate Churchill of the ‘30s. This was a speech of, I think, extraordinary power but great desperation.”
ISIS police sentence musicians to 90 lashes because they were playing an ‘un-Islamic’ electronic keyboard
Chris Pleasance for Mail Online: Islamic State religious police have been filmed beating musicians and destroying their instruments as punishment after they were discovered playing an ‘un-Islamic’ keyboard.
“The men were pictured being hit across the back and legs with a wooden stick in a public square after ISIS’s fanatical Islamic enforcers ruled their electric keyboard was ‘offensive to Muslims’.”
Another picture shows two keyboards and what appears to be a lute smashed to pieces after raids thought to have taken place in Bujaq, a few miles to the east of Aleppo in Syria.
According to text posted along with the images on a file sharing website, the musicians were punished with 90 lashes alongside a man caught impersonating a ‘hisbah’.
“Thieves are regularly pictured having their hands or arms amputated in public squares amid crowds of onlookers, while adulterers have been executed.”
The Arabic term generally refers to the obligation on Muslim leaders to uphold the law, but in this context likely refers to a local official or tribal elder.
According to the online post, which claims to have come from ISIS’s information office in Aleppo, a man caught smuggling cigarettes was also punished with 50 lashes.
Since taking control of large parts of Syria and Iraq last year ISIS claims to have formed a Caliphate in the Middle East, and has taken to enforcing strict Sharia law within its borders.
Thieves are regularly pictured having their hands or arms amputated in public squares amid crowds of onlookers, while adulterers have been executed.
After the men had been beaten the instruments were destroyed. ISIS has been enforcing a terrifying vision of Sharia law across its so-called Caliphate, including executing people for breeding pigeons.
Israeli Intelligence Arrests Local Islamic State Cell: ‘Just Before Executing an Attack, Practicing on Animals How to Behead People’Posted: January 18, 2015
JERUSALEM – Israel’s Shin Bet security service says it arrested the first known Islamic State cell operating inside the country.
The intelligence agency said Sunday that the seven cell members belong to the country’s Arab minority.
It said they were caught just before executing an attack and were practicing on animals how to behead people. Read the rest of this entry »
‘The Last Thing President Obama is Going to Do is Take Some Sort of Personal Action that Indicates a Real Show of Solidarity with Cartoonists Who Offend Muslims’Posted: January 13, 2015
Why didn’t President Obama go to Paris?
Jim Geraghty writes:
…The simplest explanation…is that President Barack Obama doesn’t want to put his personal stature and credibility on the line to support something like Charlie Hebdo. Since those awful attacks, we’ve witnessed a lot of allegedly intellectual leftists offer versions of “the attacks were terrible, but —” and then explaining why Hebdo was offensive, hate speech, and unnecessary provocation, foolish, etc., and imply that the magazine isn’t really worth defending and that the world would be a better place if these immature, impudent cartoonists would stop making fun of one of the world’s great religions.
[Also see Mollie Hemingway’s 4 Reasons We Shouldn’t Be Surprised Obama Snubbed Paris at The Federalist]
There’s very little evidence to suggest that Obama disagrees with this progressive intellectual reaction, that while satire of Islam is theoretically legal, the consequences of enraging Muslims is too much trouble and risk to be worthwhile.
“Obama’s absence from Paris smashes America’s reputation as the world’s physical and philosophical anchor for freedom.”
— Tom Rogan
We saw this in the response to Hebdo before, and the infamous YouTube video that the administration cited as a scapegoat for the Benghazi attacks. To a lot of progressives, while depicting Muhammad or mocking Islam shouldn’t be banned,
it should be discouraged, and a presidential appearance at that rally and march would be too close to an official endorsement of the magazine and its contents…
Obama would never support going into a magazine and shooting people. But he’s a famously thin-skinned public figure who thinks he has a particularly powerful connection and understanding of the Muslim world because he spent some childhood years in Indonesia. He is so mono-focused on “de-escalating” tensions with the Muslim world that he thinks about how he would advise ISIS…(read more)
Obama’s Paris Snub Wasn’t an Oversight
Byron York dismisses the White House’s falsehoods and explores the intentional decision to be absent:
The White House reaction to the attacks in France, going back to the first reports of shots fired at Charlie Hebdo, has been noticeably subdued. Obama had scheduled last week as a time to roll out some upcoming State of the Union proposals in trips to Michigan, Arizona and Tennessee.
When world events intruded, the president stubbornly stuck to his schedule, mentioning France only briefly before introducing his plan for free tuition at community colleges.
Then came the unity march. No, it was not essential that Obama himself attend. But there’s no doubt he should have sent Vice President Joe Biden — why is there a VP, if not to go to big foreign events? — or at least Secretary of State John Kerry.
Even as the march wound its way through Paris, the White House sent out yet another sign of its unseriousness. Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Tomasky almost makes a good case here, but his credibility is strained by some perplexing comments. For example, the worst kind of wishful thinking is revealed in statements like this: “If states were to alter their conceptions of sharia law so that blasphemy and apostasy were lesser crimes, or preferably not crimes at all…” Well, of course we prefer they’re “not crimes at all”. Islamic legal scholars are pretty much on record preferring otherwise. I’d prefer that fresh coffee be delivered to my desk each morning by a team of pink unicorns. Who wouldn’t? But in the real world, I still have to go out and get my own coffee. To adherents and advocates of sharia law — perhaps not in its western world incarnations and deviations – but certainly in the Islamic world, to recommend liberalizing sharia to the point of irrelevance is itself arguably blasphemous. Or at the least, unrealistic to the point of being dangerously blind. Perhaps I’m wrong, maybe sharia has more potential to be flexible than I’m aware of. But current global trends certainly suggests otherwise.
Further, Tomasky’s flimsy defense of CAIR is questionable, and his call for maturity is rank snobbery disguised as insight: “Groups like CAIR and leading intellectuals and imams have been denouncing acts like these for years. It’s just that they don’t often make the news when they do it. So let’s please just grow out of that one,” he writes. Really? Let’s not grow out of that one, Mr. Tomasky. Terrorist front-group CAIR pays lip service to such things, but their blood-soaked insincerity is as ripe and thick as their FBI rap sheet. Let’s not even pretend that CAIR is a legitimate organization, if we’re trying to have a serious discussion. Those complaints aside? It’s a good article. And a worthwhile debate to have. Anyone willing to defend blasphemy, and advocate reform, is one of the good guys. Read the whole thing here, at The Daily Beast.
Today, Saudi Arabia will flog a blogger for blasphemy. We may not be able to stop terrorists from killing, but can we pressure states?
Michael Tomasky writes: Today, Saudi Arabia will flog a blogger for blasphemy. We may not be able to stop terrorists from killing, but can we pressure states?
As you go about your business today and think once or twice (as I hope you will) of Charb and his colleagues in Paris, spare another thought for Raif Badawi. He is, or was, a blogger in Saudi Arabia. Not the most agreeable place to ply the trade, as he learned in 2012 when he was arrested and charged with using his web site, “Free Saudi Liberals,” to engage in electronic insult of Islam. I read on Jonathan Turley’s blog that today, Friday, he will receive the first dose of his sentence in the form of 50 lashes.
“Have a look at this telling research from Pew on blasphemy and apostasy laws around the world. We do see that a few European countries have them on the books: Germany, Poland, Italy, Ireland, a couple more. In these countries, the punishment is typically a fine. Maybe in theory a short stint in the cooler, but in reality the laws in these countries are rarely enforced, and in some countries there hasn’t been a prosecution in years or decades.”
Badawi’s crime was to run a web site that “violates Islamic values and propagates liberal thought.” Interesting that those who sat in judgment of him found those two sets of beliefs to be incompatible. He was originally sentenced to seven years and 600 lashes. A huge international outcry ensued. He was retried, and sure enough his sentence was adjusted. It was increased—to 10 years and 1,000 lashes. But give the Kingdom credit for its sense of mercy: The lashes will be administered only 50 at a time.
Like Nick Kristof, I have been gratified to see that my Twitter feed has been bursting to the rafters with tweets from Muslims and Arabs condemning the Paris attacks in the strongest possible terms. Gratified but not surprised. Anyone who’s paid attention has known for some time now that there are millions of Muslims and Arabs (obviously, not all Muslims are Arabs, and vice versa) who espouse and fight for liberal secular values. I know some. They’re some of the most courageous people I’ve ever met.
“The most notorious states are Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, where death is an acceptable legal remedy. In 2009, a Pakistani Christian woman got into a religious argument with some Muslim women with whom she was harvesting berries. Asia Bibi, as she is known, was arrested and sentenced to death.”
It’s high time—and if this tragedy has prodded Western culture to turn this particular corner, then that’s one good thing that will have come of it—that we stop demanding of Muslims and Arabs that they denounce acts of terrorism just because they’re Muslims and Arabs. Read the rest of this entry »
There are two sets of American misconceptions here. The first is to play up Mansouri as representative of the UAE as a champion of gender equality, when in fact the UAE is objectively quite bad on women’s rights, and the fact that we allow them such a lowered bar represents a soft bigotry of lowered expectations. The second is to repeatedly contrast the UAE with Saudi Arabia in a way that explicitly frames Saudi gender restrictions as the default for Arab and Muslim societies, when in fact Saudi restrictions are freakishly unique and widely reviled in the Muslim world.
“Much of the praise starts with the assumption that Arab societies are inherently backward”
What these misconceptions have in common is to endorse the idea, which originates with ultra-conservative Islamists and Islamophobic racists, that Muslim and Arab countries will naturally set a lower standard for women’s rights. It buys into the condescending assumption that there are Western women and there are Arab women and they should expect different tiers of liberation because the latter’s societies are inherently less advanced. Read the rest of this entry »
— Andreas Fagerbakke (@afagerbakke) September 6, 2014
A French Soldier (in uniform) was attacked in Paris while conducting his “anti-terrorist” duties. The soldier’s throat was stabbed by knife-wielding man described by police as “bearded, of North African origin and wearing a light coloured jihab’ under a jacket.”
Fears were raised shortly after an attack in Woolwich London that there would be copy-cat attackers. The assailant “He pounced on the 23-year-old soldier outside a Virgin store in La Defence, the business district of the city which was packed with Saturday afternoon shoppers.”
The French soldiers wounds were “serious enough” and he is currently being treated at Percy hospital.
‘The attack happened just after 6pm,’ said a police source. ‘The soldier was stabbed repeatedly, most notably in the throat. The attacker ran away and the military are still looking for him, supported by the police. He is around 30 years old and of Arab appearance.”
President Hollande said authorities are investigating if there are any connections between the incident in Paris and the attack in Woolwich, London.
For the third morning in a row, Arabs rioted on the Temple Mount, attempting to attack groups of Jews who sought to visit the holiest site in Judaism during the Sukkot holiday. Police again Thursday deployed large numbers of officers to keep the Arabs from attacking the Jews.
Police have reported that there were mild protests during recent days, but video footage showed dozens of young Arabs actively trying to attack Jews who were visiting the Mount. In one video, a Wakf official is seen threatening to break the camera of a Jew filming footage of the Arab rioters.
Earlier in the week, Arutz Sheva reported on a large Arab riot that greeted Jews who attempted to visit the Temple Mount on the first day of Chol Hamo’ed, the intermediate days of Sukkot. “When we went up on the Temple Mount, we were greeted with cries of ‘Allah is Great,’” said Asaf Fried, one of the members of a group that visited the Mount Tuesday. “The police again did nothing, even towards the end of the visit when the Arabs really came close to us and blocked our exit, shouting, ‘We will expel the Jews in blood and fire and will butcher Jews.’ The police still did nothing,” and the group of Jews escaped without harm, Fried said.
During the rioting, police arrested five Arabs for attacking a police officer. One Jewish worshipper was detained as well, police said, for failing to listen to their instructions.On Tuesday, police arrested Likud activist Moshe Feiglin, along with another Israeli, for attempting to pray at the site. On Wednesday, Rabbi Yehuda Leibman, director of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva was taken into custody for allegedly praying at Judaism’s holiest site. Later in the day, 87-year-old Dr. Menachem Ben-Yashar, a long-time activist for Jewish rights on the Mount was arrested. Also detained was Elyashiv Sherlo, son of Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, head of the Petach Tikva yeshiva.
Jewish activists once again called on police to learn how to respond more effectively to Arab riots, and to establish a procedure at the Temple Mount similar to that at the Machpelah Cave – allowing Jews access to the site, at least on Jewish holidays.
By David Lev >> via Security – News – Israel National News
- Israel: Islamists Riot On Temple Mount, ‘We Will Expel The Jews In Blood And Fire And Will Butcher Jews’ (midnightwatcher.wordpress.com)
- Arabs Riot for Third Day on Temple Mount (menorahblog.typepad.com)
- Arabs riot at Temple Mount for third consecutive day (israelnationalnews.com)
- Video of Muslims harassing peaceful Jews on Temple Mount (ifaynsh.wordpress.com)
- Confrontation on Temple Mount leads to arrests of five Arabs, one Jew (timesofisrael.com)
- Temple Mount Closed to Jews (jewishpress.com)
- More Jews Arrested for Praying on Temple Mount (jewishpress.com)