Archive for March 10, 2017

Rep. Chaffetz Subpoenas ATF Agents Involved in Obama’s Fast and Furious Op

March 10, 2017

Rep. Chaffetz Subpoenas ATF Agents Involved in Obama’s Fast and Furious Op, BreitbartBob Price, March 10, 2017

(Here is a clip from an appearance by Sharyl Attkisson before the Senate Judiciary Committee in January of 2015. She mentions Fast and Furious briefly, but devotes most of her time to the Obama administration’s apparent contempt for any media which had the audacity to report truthfully on its misdeeds. 

A comparative analysis of President Obama’s and President Trump’s relationships with the press would be interesting.– DM)

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz subpoenaed two agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to appear before his committee in connection with the Obama Administration’s gun-running program, Fast and Furious. Firearms from the former president’s scheme were allegedly involved in the 2011 murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico.

ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata

Chaffetz, who serves as chairman of the House Oversight Committee issued the subpoenas after the two ATF agents failed to appear voluntarily before the committee.

“I’m tired of hearing from just [Justice Department] management, I want to hear from the people that actually are on the front lines doing this,” Chaffetz told Fox News.

Chaffetz wants to hear directly from ATF Agent William Temple, special agent in charge of the Dallas Field Division, and Associate Director Ronald Turk. The hearing marks the first effort by Congress to re-open the investigation into President Obama’s Fast and Furious gun trafficking scheme since he left office in January. ICE Agent Zapata was killed by one of the guns involved in this program, and Special Agent Victor Avila was injured during the attack in Mexico.

Following the attack on the two ICE agents, Breitbart News reported:

Agent Zapata’s partner Victor Avila spoke out about the attack that left Agent Zapata dead and him wounded. His twin sister Magdalena Avila-Villalobos spoke for him in the Univision special on Fast and Furious. Avila is so scared and hurt by the attack he did not speak out until he knew he was in a secure location.

No one knows for sure why Agent Zapata and Agent Avila, assigned to the US Embassy, were asked to travel on road 57, a road controlled by the Zeta Cartel and extremely dangerous. They didn’t even know why they were given the mission to retrieve electronic surveillance equipment. The urgency made it even more suspicious.

Agent Zapata and Agent Avila met with American consulate agents in Monterrey and received 14 boxes of equipment. They did stop for something to eat on road 57 before heading back to Mexico City. About a half hour after leaving the restaurant they noticed two cars closely following them. Within seconds the vehicles surrounded them and 14 heavily armed men formed a circle around their car.

Unfortunately, Agent Zapata put the car in park, which forced the doors to automatically open. Agent Avila said they thought their diplomatic plates would protect them and the screamed they were American agents. The men didn’t care and demanded them to exit the vehicle.

The agents refused to leave their vehicle. They frantically tried to relock the doors, but instead Agent Avila accidentally lowered his window. A rifle and handgun came in through the small opening and the man opened fire. Agent Avila pressed the emergency satellite button, but it did not work. He also tried to place an emergency call to the embassy, the Mexican capital, and the First Post of the Regional Security Command. They told Avila a Mexican Federal Police helicopter would be there in 40 minutes.

90 bullets were fired. Five hit Agent Zapata and three hit Agent Avila in his right leg. Agent Zapata turned to Agent Avila and said, “I am going to die.” Agent Avila responded, “No, you are not going to die. Be strong, help is on the way, you are not going to die.

While in the rescue helicopter Agent Avila was informed Agent Zapata did, in fact, die.

On Thursday, the two ATF officials failed to appear before the committee looking into the assault on the agents. ATF Acting Director Thomas Brandon, an Obama Administration holdover appointed in 2015, claims he did not order the two ATF officials to skip the hearing Fox News reported. However, he said he agreed with their decision to bypass the Oversight Committee’s hearing.

The failure of the two ATF officials to voluntarily appear before Congress sparked the issuance of a subpoena and sharp rebukes from both sides of the aisle.

“That puts us in a kind of awkward position. We got the boss, ‘OK guys, you don’t have to show up.’ And that sends a hell of a message. That’s a problem,” Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the committee, said.

Chaffetz complained that the ATF “continues to insist” that his committee should not speak directly with the two officials.

Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas John Craft also failed to appear. Chaffetz said his committee issued the invitation to Craft late and he would not be issuing a subpoena for him at this time.

Fox News reported on an ATF Inspector General report that was completed in 2012 but not released until March 1, 2016. Fox reported:

The IG said the ATF were aware in 2010 that Osorio and his brother might be trafficking firearms to Mexico, but they did not follow up or further investigate until after Zapata’s death.

Otilio Osorio and Riendfliesh were arrested in late February 2011 after the ATF confirmed weapons used in Zapata’s murder had been purchased by them.

The report faulted ATF for its handling of the case, saying there was “probable cause” to arrest Osorio and his brother “after ATF witnessed the Osorios complete a transfer of 40 firearms on November 9, 2010.”

The IG said: “Overall, we found numerous problems with ATF’s assimilation of information concerning [the suspects] … and the timeliness of ATF’s response to mounting evidence that they were committing firearms offenses.”

The report states that two weapons used in the murder of Agent Zapata and wounding of Agent Avila traced back to a Dallas-area gun show purchase by Otilio Osorio, and a purchase by Robert Riendfliesh at a gun store in Beaumont, Texas. The report continues, stating the ATF suspected the two men were trafficking firearms to Mexico but failed to further investigate the purchases until after the murder of Agent Zapata. ATF agents eventually arrested the two men in connection with the purchases.

Despite the length of time since the incident, the creation of the report, and its issuance, ATF Inspector General told Chaffetz he was not prepared for the hearing. “That’s a bunch of crap,” Chaffetz snapped at the ATF official. Chaffetz responded that he received a draft of the report in December.

Murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

The murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010 is also connected to the Fast and Furious gun-running scheme. Two guns involved in Fast and Furious were found at the scene of his murder. Terry and other members of his elite Border Patrol BORSTAR team engaged a group of Mexican bandits. The bandits opened fire. Terry was shot in the back and died before reaching the hospital.

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

The Terry family met with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump several times during the campaign. In an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas, the Terry family expressed hope that President Trump would get to the answers their family has been searching for over the past six years.

“I want people to grow a conscious and come clean as to what transpired, what was covered up and what the hell were they thinking,” Terry’s sister, Kelly Terry-Willis told Breitbart Texas.

She said she had heard many promises by many people. “If Mr. Trump can get those skeletons out and expose the truth then my family can finally get closure and justice for Brian,” Kelly explained. “I think there are a lot of people scared that just might happen. It may take time, and we will be patient, but the truth always reveals itself. I hope Trump can make that happen.”

On Friday, Terry’s brother, Kent Terry, spoke out about the new hearing and the subpoena issued to the two ATF officials.

“We have the House, Senate, and the White House now,” Kent Terry said. “There should be absolutely no reason we should fail to get the answers and accountability for the deaths of Agent Zapata and my brother. Their mothers have been put through Hell since these murders occurred. They deserve to know why their sons, who served every day, were killed by criminals armed by our government.”

“Enough time has gone by,” an exasperated Kent Terry explained. “I respect their hands were tied with the Obama Administration’s executive privilege taken on the Fast and Furious documents. But why hasn’t the Oversight Committee gone after the ATF agent who no longer works there? Why hasn’t the committee asked why who has been fired in connection with the program?”

The full report on the hearing held by the committee on March 9 is available on the Oversight Committee’s website. The committee is expected to hear from the two ATF officials under subpoena later this month.

Israel Targets Palestinian Gun Makers

March 10, 2017

Israel Targets Palestinian Gun Makers, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Yaakov Lappin, March 10, 2017

At first glance, the bridal gown shop in the Palestinian city of Nablus appeared innocuous. But behind the scenes, Israeli intelligence says, the store served as a front for a major West Bank gun parts distribution center.

“Components for weapons were continuously being sold out of there,” a senior Israel Defense Forces (IDF) source told The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

The store turned out to be part of a wide network of weapons dealers who had imported their lethal goods by ordering them on the internet, the IDF stated this week.

Nine suspects, including the store owner, are in custody, and additional members of the weapons trafficking ring remain at large. “They came from all walks of life and from varied layers of Palestinian society,” the source stated.

Since mid-2016, the IDF has been engaged in an intensive, large-scale campaign to seize as many firearms circulating in the West Bank as possible to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists.

A growing number of such firearms have been used in deadly attacks, such as the Sarona Market shooting in Tel Aviv last June in which two Palestinian gunmen murdered four people in a restaurant. The gunmen used locally produced automatic rifles, dubbed ‘Carlos’ due to their resemblance to the Carl Gustav Swedish sub-machine gun.

While the latest wave of arrests focused on traders who used the internet to import gun parts, most of those on the IDF’s target list manufacture and assemble guns in local workshops. Seven such workshops have been shut down since the start of 2017, and 84 guns have been seized by Israeli security forces, according to figures made available by the IDF.

“The terrorist threat picture has changed. In the past, the main threat was posed by organized, institutional organizations,” the senior security source said. “For the most part, these were hierarchical terror cells, with a clear division of labor. There was someone responsible for financing, someone else had the designated job of transporting the suicide bomber or gunman, etc. This threat still exists. Hamas is trying to organize such cells all of the time. But the main challenge these days comes from terrorists that we do not have prior knowledge about.”

Lone attackers, or small, localized cells with no organizational affiliation or background of security offenses, are far harder for intelligence services to detect, and these are just the type of terrorists who are likely to use firearms available in their surroundings. These types of attackers, some of whom have suicidal tendencies or personal crises, according to the source, often will attempt simple attacks, using whatever is at their disposal. This can take the form of knife or vehicle attacks, or picking up locally available weapons.

Guns in the West Bank can be purchased by Palestinians for many reasons; whether for personal protection, to defend families and clans, to fire at wedding celebrations, or to reinforce one’s sense of ego.

As long as the guns are cheap and affordable, the source warned, “anyone can get [them]. Many of the shootings cells we captured in the West Bank were armed with these types of weapons.”

A year ago, a locally produced Carlo rifle cost around 2,300 shekels in the West Bank, meaning that Palestinians could purchase it with a single month’s salary, or take the money from family members, before moving ahead with an attack.

“The Sarona Market gunmen had no outside financial support, but still managed to get their hands on their firearms. The suits they wore [to disguise their identities] cost more than their guns,” the source said.

“This is why we are in the midst of an intensive campaign targeting the manufacturing and trade of weapons and gun parts. Even if I can’t get rid of the illegal weapons phenomenon, I can make them less accessible, and much harder to traffic in them.”

The increased Israeli pressure makes it more difficult to obtain guns, and increases the odds of catching people before they can attack. They have to leave their village or neighborhood and move around with the firearms where they can be caught and intercepted by the IDF. “People will fear more getting caught and moving around with these firearms,” the source said.

The Palestinian Authority would also like to see these guns taken off the streets, the source said, since it encourages lawlessness and anarchy in some areas that pose challenges to its rule.

Nablus, Balata Camp (next to Nablus), and Hebron are gun manufacturing focal points, according to IDF assessments. In addition, areas like Ramallah, Kalandia, and Palestinian neighborhoods on the outskirts of Jerusalem have workshops that take air or toy guns and convert them into real firearms using stolen components.

Thefts from IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians, as well as trade with Israeli weapons traffickers who do not care where the guns end up provide other sources of terrorist arms.

Efforts by security forces to stem the tide were beginning to pay dividends, the source said. Today, a Carlo gun costs more than 6,000 shekels, as numbers dwindle.

“With time, we are seeing improvements,” he said. “We are seizing more than we did in the past, and our intelligence techniques have improved, so that we can capture guns not only in homes, but also in the manufacturing locations, and when they are moved around. This is a campaign. No single incident will stamp out the problem. So long as the profit from this trade is big enough compared to the fear of arrest or facing raids, many Palestinians will continue to be active in it. ”

Ultimately, he said, “over time, we will seek to decrease the number of guns and keep raising the price. This will result in less terrorists getting their hands on them, and resorting to less lethal attack forms, such as knife attacks. Our soldiers’ alertness [to knife attacks] means such attacks produce less casualties – meaning that our effort will boost security.”

Dr. Jasser shares his thoughts on the revised travel ban on Risk & Reward 03.06.2017

March 10, 2017

Dr. Jasser shares his thoughts on the revised travel ban on Risk & Reward 03.06.2017, Fox News via YouTube

Here’s How ISIS’ Female Enemies Celebrated International Women’s Day

March 10, 2017

Here’s How ISIS’ Female Enemies Celebrated International Women’s Day, Clarion ProjectRyan Mauro, March 9, 2017

Female fighters from the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), including the oldest and youngest soldiers. (Photo: Courtesy)

The Iraqi and Syrian Christians who stare daily into the darkness of genocide have, after a long and bloody period of patience and non-violence, formed self-defense forces, including an all-female force in Syria.

The Beth Nahrin Women Protection Forces is a branch of the 2,000-strong Syriac Military Council, a Christian militia that says it includes Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriacs. The Christian force is part of a U.S.-backed coalition named the Syrian Democratic Forces that includes Kurds and Sunni Arabs and is marching on Raqqa, the “capitol” of ISIS’ “caliphate.”

International Women’s Day would have been better honored by broadcasting those words and telling these stories than by skipping work, politicizing the day or getting arrested for blocking traffic as the radical Muslim-American activist and left-wing star Linda Sarsour was.

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In America, some attention-seeking activists purposely got arrested by blocking traffic outside the Trump International Hotel so they could later become the face of so-called gender oppression.

Their PR stunt stole attention from the most powerful symbols of feminism: women in the Middle East—Christians, Kurds, Arabs, Yazidis—risking their lives to vanquish Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) as a step towards starting a new era for women in the region.

The Iraqi and Syrian Christians who stare daily into the darkness of genocide have, after a long and bloody period of patience and non-violence, formed self-defense forces, including an all-female force in Syria.

The Beth Nahrin Women Protection Forces is a branch of the 2,000-strong Syriac Military Council, a Christian militia that says it includes Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriacs. The Christian force is part of a U.S.-backed coalition named the Syrian Democratic Forces that includes Kurds and Sunni Arabs and is marching on Raqqa, the “capitol” of ISIS’ “caliphate.”

Watch a video about this force titled “Meet the Christian Women Fighting ISIS,” which shows a camp with 50 female recruits in the Kurdish area of northern Syria:

SIS is believed to still be holding many Yazidi women and girls as sex slaves and the other female Yazidis are determined to put an end to it. The Kurdish Peshmerga in Iraq has trained at least two female Yazidi forces, the 1,700-strong Sun Ladies and the Sinjar Women’s Units.

The Iraqi Kurdistan government is proud of how its Peshmerga forces put men and women on equal footing. The same goes for other Kurdish groups in Iraq that are fighting both ISIS and the Iranian regime, like the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI).

Clarion Project’s National Security Analyst Prof. Ryan Mauro in Iraq with female fighters from the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK)

The Syrian Democratic Forces include the Kurdish YPG group, with a female component known as the YPJ Women’s Defense Units. The Kurdish YPG is accused of being a branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist group by the U.S., E.U. and Turkey. The U.S. government nonetheless backs the YPG, disputing the claim that YPG and PKK are synonymous.

A Twitter posting from ANF News shows female Kurdish fighters purportedly handing out flowers to women in villages freed from ISIS and is accompanied with a quote: “We’ll liberate women from slavery, atrocity and make every day March 8 [International Women’s Day].”

Sunni Arab women are also in on the action. The U.S. military has proudly distributed pictures showing female fighters who belong to the Syrian Arab Coalition, another component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), being trained and armed ahead of the planned attack on Raqqa.

For the female Kurdish commanders, they are not only risking their lives to defeat ISIS but for the sake of the next generation of girls.

The commander of the female Kurdish forces in Syria, Rojda Felat, has vowed to free the Yazidi women enslaved by ISIS as part of a broader struggle for women’s rights. She said, “Wherever a man is threatening a woman, our forces will struggle against this,” according to a report referenced in a PJ Media article.

In an interview published on International Women’s Day, Felat spoke words that should stiffen the spine and inspire every women’s right activist:

“In the Middle East women are assigned traditional roles such as wife, mother, house-worker. With the establishment of the SDF, however, this has changed and traditional roles have been turned upside down … With the SDF, the women of our region have taken developments by the scruff of the neck and left their imprint on the direction of the battle. As a result, women have re-established themselves in every sphere of life.”

International Women’s Day would have been better honored by broadcasting those words and telling these stories than by skipping work, politicizing the day or getting arrested for blocking traffic as the radical Muslim-American activist and left-wing star Linda Sarsour was.

Memo to U.S. Mission in Vienna: Obama No Longer President

March 10, 2017

Memo to U.S. Mission in Vienna: Obama No Longer President, PJ MediaClaudia Rosett, March 9, 2017

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

Haley deserves applause for deflecting the pressures to start bargaining with Kim. Deals with North Korea do not work, and will not work while Kim remains in power. The long record of U.S. talks, deals and attempted talks with North Korea is one of humiliation and failure for the U.S., as North Korea’s dynastic Kim regime has repeatedly pocketed any gains, milked every concession, cheated on every agreement, and carried on with its atrocities and its nuclear missile projects.

Schofer’s words did not quite mesh with Haley’s polite dismissal of pressure for “talks and negotiations.” Rather, Schofer repeated what was for years the refrain of the Obama administration — and of former Secretary of State John Kerry, in particular — offering Pyongyang, under conditions North Korea had previously agreed to, and then violated, the option of returning to the bargaining table:

We have consistently communicated to Pyongyang that we remain open to meaningful negotiations based on the understandings reached by all members of the Six-Party Talks in the 2005 Joint Statement.

As the Trump administration now toils to reduce the threats and clean up the mess bequeathed by Obama’s “global approaches” — including Obama’s gross failure to block North Korea’s prolific nuclear-weapons advances of recent years — perhaps it’s not too much to ask that America’s Mission to the UN in Vienna get entirely on board with the new administration, even if that entails updating its web site to reflect in full that Trump, not Obama, is now the president.

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Quite likely you don’t spend a lot of time following the doings of Andrew J. Schofer, a career State Department officer who is currently the Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna (UNVIE). Nor was Schofer anywhere high on my radar until this week, when he delivered a statement on North Korea that seemed to me slightly at odds with what Ambassador Nikki Haley was saying at the United Nations in New York. Which sent me to the web site for his legation in Vienna … but before I get ahead of myself on that, here’s a bit more background.

Haley, at a UN press stakeout in New York, following a Security Council meeting this Wednesday on North Korea, said that while the U.S. reevaluates how to handle North Korea, “all options are on the table.” But Haley also went out of her way to imply that the Trump administration is far from eager to accede to pressures, such as those from China, to default to talks or deals with North Korea. Referring to North Korea’s tyrant, Kim Jong Un, Haley told reporters:

I appreciate all of my counterparts wanting to talk about talks and negotiations. We are not dealing with a rational person.

To my mind, Haley may be wrong in her assessment of Kim Jong Un as irrational. We can debate whether Kim is actually a madman incapable of rational calculation, or a wily thug, who in the interest of maintaining his hereditary totalitarian throne has been proving adept, like his forebears, at calibrating what he can get away with in the way of threats, hostage-taking, assassinations, executions, extortion rackets, and nuclear missile projects — all in the interest of consolidating his grip on power and expanding his reach.

But wherever one comes down on the crazy-Kim question, Haley deserves applause for deflecting the pressures to start bargaining with Kim. Deals with North Korea do not work, and will not work while Kim remains in power. The long record of U.S. talks, deals and attempted talks with North Korea is one of humiliation and failure for the U.S., as North Korea’s dynastic Kim regime has repeatedly pocketed any gains, milked every concession, cheated on every agreement, and carried on with its atrocities and its nuclear missile projects.

Which brings me to the statement delivered this Wednesday in Vienna by U.S. Charge D’Affaires Schofer, at a meeting of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. Schofer’s words did not quite mesh with Haley’s polite dismissal of pressure for “talks and negotiations.” Rather, Schofer repeated what was for years the refrain of the Obama administration — and of former Secretary of State John Kerry, in particular — offering Pyongyang, under conditions North Korea had previously agreed to, and then violated, the option of returning to the bargaining table:

We have consistently communicated to Pyongyang that we remain open to meaningful negotiations based on the understandings reached by all members of the Six-Party Talks in the 2005 Joint Statement.

Whether Schofer on matters involving North Korea is genuinely out of sync with Haley, or with the Trump administration generally, I don’t know. But I do know this: Schofer’s statement was different enough from Haley’s, and similar enough to those of the Obama administration, that after reading it I went looking for more information on the web site of the U.S. Mission currently run by Schofer in Vienna — an important legation, not least, because it represents the U.S. at the IAEA.

It is also, as it turns out, a legation that is in some respects almost two months out of date on a major change at the White House — meaning the inauguration on Jan. 20 of a new president. Perhaps someone at the State Department should remind Schofer that Obama has left office? Here’s an excerpt from the web site of the U.S. Mission in Vienna (boldface is mine):

UNVIE’s mission is to conduct effective multilateral diplomacy with International Organizations in Vienna to advance President Obama’s commitment to design and implement global approaches to reduce global threats and seize global opportunities.

Yes, this is small stuff, in its way — that seven weeks after Trump’s inauguration, the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna has not gotten around to fully updating its web site. (Surely the problem here is one of carelessness, not political bias among career foreign service officers.) But details matter, especially in the symbolically freighted realms of diplomacy.

As the Trump administration now toils to reduce the threats and clean up the mess bequeathed by Obama’s “global approaches” — including Obama’s gross failure to block North Korea’s prolific nuclear-weapons advances of recent years — perhaps it’s not to much to ask that America’s Mission to the UN in Vienna get entirely on board with the new administration, even if that entails updating its web site to reflect in full that Trump, not Obama, is now the president.

Jihadis Living on Support Payments from the Europe They Vowed to Destroy

March 10, 2017

Al Harith’s story reveals the depth of one of Europe’s biggest scandals: the jihadis’ use of European cradle-to-grave entitlements to fund their “holy war”. Europe gave them everything: jobs, homes, public assistance, unemployment benefits, relief

by Giulio Meotti
March 10, 2017 at 5:00 am

Source: Jihadis Living on Support Payments from the Europe They Vowed to Destroy

 

  • Al Harith’s story reveals the depth of one of Europe’s biggest scandals: the jihadis’ use of European cradle-to-grave entitlements to fund their “holy war”.
  • Europe gave them everything: jobs, homes, public assistance, unemployment benefits, relief payments, child benefits, disability payments, cash support. These Muslim extremists, however, do not see this “Dependistan”, as Mark Steyn called the welfare state, as a sign of generosity, but of weakness. They understand that Europe is ready to be destroyed.
  • Filled with religious certainty and ideological hatred for the West, not required to assimilate to Europe’s values and norms, many of European Muslims seem to feel as if they are destined to devour an exhausted civilization.
  • Public policy goals instead need to be to move people off welfare — shown to be basically a disincentive to looking for work — and toward personal responsibility. There need to be legal limits on the uses to which welfare funds can be put — for example, welfare funds should not to be used for purchasing illegal drugs, gambling, terrorism or, as there is no free speech in Europe anyway, for promoting terrorism. One could create and fine-tune such a list. Disregarding the limitations could result in losing benefits. This would help fight the ghettoization and Islamization of Europe’s Muslims. The cycle of welfare and jihad needs to be stopped.

Four years ago, the British liberal newspaper, The Guardian, ran a story about the “survivors of Guantanamo“, the “victims of America’s ‘icon of lawlessness'”, “Britain’s survivors of the detention centre that has been called the ‘gulag of our times'”. The article featured a photograph of Jamal al Harith.

Al Harith, born Ronald Fiddler, a Christian convert to Islam, returned to Manchester from detention at Guantanamo Bay thanks to activism of David Blunkett, Home Secretary of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. Al Harith was immediately welcomed in England as a hero, the innocent victim of the unjust “war on terror” after September 11. The Mirror and ITV gave him £60,000 ($73,000) for an exclusive interview about his experience at Guantanamo. Al Harith was also compensated with one million pounds by the British authorities. The victim of the “gulag of our times” bought a very nice house with the taxpayers’ cash.

A few weeks ago, al Harith made his last “journey”: he was blown up in Mosul, Iraq, on behalf of the Islamic State. Al Harith had also been recruited by the non-governmental organization “CAGE” (formerly known as “Cageprisoners”) as part of its testimony advocating the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Celebrities such as Vanessa Redgrave, Victoria Brittain, Peter Oborne and Sadiq Khan appeared at CAGE’s fundraising events. The NGO has been funded by the Joseph Rowntree Trust, a fund created by the chocolate magnate, and by the Roddick Foundation, the charity of Anita Roddick. Al Harith was also invited to the Council of Europe, to give testimony against retaining Guantanamo.

Al Harith’s story reveals the depth of one of Europe’s biggest scandals: the jihadis’ use of European cradle-to-grave entitlements to fund their “holy war”. Europe gave them everything: jobs, homes, public assistance, unemployment benefits, relief payments, child benefits, disability payments, cash support. These Muslim extremists, however, do not see this “Dependistan”, as Mark Steyn called the welfare state, as a sign of generosity, but of weakness. They understand that Europe is ready to be destroyed. They have no respect for it. From Marseille to Malmö, many Muslim children have been raised to despise the societies that have made them so comfortable. Most Islamists in Europe are now living on support payments from the nations they had vowed to destroy.

A few days ago, the Danish press revealed that the Danish government has been paying sickness and disability benefits to Muslim extremists fighting in Syria for the Islamic State. “It is a huge scandal that we disburse money from the welfare fund in Denmark for people who go to Syria,” said Employment Minister Troels Lund Poulsen. The terrorists who struck Paris and Brussels have also used the generous British welfare system to fund their jihad. It is emerging from a trial in the UK that Mohamed Abrini, known as “the man with the hat” after the deadly attack at Brussels airport, received £3,000 in benefits before flying to Paris and disappearing.

It is not the first time that the role of the welfare state emerges in the Islamic infrastructure of terror:

  • The family of Omar Abdel Hamid el Hussein, the terrorist behind the attack in Copenhagen in February 2015, which killed two people, received money from Danish social programs.
  • British Islamist Anjem Choudary, convicted of encouraging people to join the Islamic State, urged the faithful to leave work and to seek unemployment benefits to devote full-time to war against the “infidels”. Choudary himself pocketed £25,000 a year in benefits.
  • In Germany, when the newspaper Bild ran an analysis of the 450 German jihadists fighting in Syria, it found that more than 20% of them have received benefits from the German state.
  • In the Netherlands, a jihadist named Khalid Abdurahman appeared in a video of the Islamic State in front of five heads just cut off. The Dutch newspaper Volkskrant revealed that he had been declared “unfit for work” and was paid for a treatment of claustrophobia.

Europe’s welfare system has created a cultural toxin for many in a sullen, unproductive Muslim underclass who live in the segregated enclaves such as the banlieues of Paris or “Londonistan”. Filled with religious certainty and ideological hatred for the West, not required to assimilate to Europe’s values and norms, certain of these European Muslims seem to feel as if they are destined to devour an exhausted civilization.

Muhammad Shamsuddin, a 39-year-old London-based Islamist, was featured in a documentary called “The Jihadis Next Door.” Shamsuddin, a divorced father of five who lives on state handouts and claims he cannot work because he has “chronic fatigue syndrome,” was filmed preaching hate against non-Muslims on British streets. (Image source: Channel 4 video screenshot)

Public policy goals instead need to be to move people off welfare — shown to be basically a disincentive to looking for work — except in extraordinary cases, and toward personal responsibility. There need to be legal limits on the uses to which welfare funds can be put — for example, welfare funds should not to be used for purchasing illegal drugs, for gambling, for terrorism or, as there is no free speech in Europe anyway, for promoting terrorism. One could create and fine-tune such a list. Disregarding the limitations could result in losing the benefits. Measures such as that would will help fight against the ghettoization and Islamization of Europe’s Muslims.

Who is winning here? Democracy or Islamic extremism? The cycle of welfare and jihad needs to be stopped. Now.

Trump vs Obama

March 10, 2017

Trump vs Obama, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, March 10, 2017

Trump and Obama are two very different men. Their personalities, as much as their politics, will define this conflict. The media routinely accuses Trump of having totalitarian instincts. But the true totalitarians are men like Obama those who hypocritically use the machinery of government to go after their opponents while pretending to be virtuous. President Trump has always fought his fights directly.

And the battle for America has only begun.

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Obama is a coward.

Trump will call someone a name while Obama will anonymously source a smear through three levels of staffers, political allies and reporters.

Trump called CNN “Fake News” on camera. Obama sourced Operation Rushbo, targeting Rush Limbaugh, through a variety of White House people and left-wing allies. Trump will boot reporters he doesn’t like. Obama authorized secretly hacking the emails of a FOX News reporter. Trump had an openly hostile conversation with the Prime Minister of Australia. When Obama wanted to call Netanyahu “chickens__t”, he did it by having one of his people anonymously plant it with a reliable media sycophant, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, before later having a spokesman disavow it.

Poultry ordure doesn’t smell any worse than that.

But Obama is very careful to launch dirty attacks without getting any on his hands. The insults are anonymously sourced. The retaliation comes out of the bowels of the bureaucracy. And he only finds out about it from the media. That allows him to retain what he cares about most: his popularity.

Obama and his people like to think that their dishonesty is a superpower. They pat themselves on the back for stabbing everyone else in theirs. Sometimes their smugness over how well they use the media to lie and smear gets out of control. Like the time Obama’s Goebbels, Ben Rhodes, boasted to the New York Times about how easy it was to fool everyone about the deal to protect Iran’s nuclear program.

After Trump won, it was business as usual.

Obama put on his best imitation of decency while his people went on preparing to undermine Trump at every turn by smearing him, wiretapping him and doing everything possible, legally and illegally, to bring him down. It was the same phony act that he had pulled for eight years, bemoaning the lack of bipartisanship while ruling unilaterally as a dictator, destroying the Constitution while hectoring us about our values, denouncing racism while organizing race riots, complaining about the echo chamber while constructing one and lecturing us on civility while smearing anyone who disagreed.

Trump’s killer instinct lies in understanding that hypocrisy conceals weakness. That is what powered him through the primaries and then through an election. His instinct is to grapple directly with a target. That is also the source of his popularity. Meanwhile the source of Obama’s popularity is his hollow likability. He’s likable only because he is almost always too cowardly to say what he really thinks.

Americans have seen the real Trump: because he is, in his own way, always real. Obama is always unreal. When Trump and Obama have appeared together, Obama seemed less real. He is a brand wrapped in all sorts of images that have nothing to do with who he really is.

Trump has always understood that Obama’s bravado was hollow. Obama boasted that he would have defeated Trump. Then he went on to try to do that with attacks from behind the scenes routed through government loyalists and media operatives while pretending that he had nothing to do with any of it.

But Obama and his people had learned nothing from how Trump had won the election. When Trump is attacked, his response is to go directly for the attacker, no matter what the argument is or how it’s sourced. Trump doesn’t get bogged down in debates or befuddled by media echo chambers that are so totally enveloping that they resemble reality. He just smashes past them to the source of the smear.

That is exactly what he did by calling out Obama’s eavesdropping. He bypassed all the layers that Obama had put in place to insulate himself from involvement in the attack, the media echo chamber, the staffers who handed information to the media and the government loyalists who provided the information to the staffers, to strike at the wizard behind the curtain.

And, in doing so, he made a mockery of Obama’s bravado.

When Obama boasted that he could have beaten Trump, he meant that he could have done so using the same tactics that worked so well against McCain and Romney. Like most of the media, he had failed to understand that these tactics don’t work against Trump because he is a moving target.

Trump created his own brand. Unlike most presidential candidates, he doesn’t need consultants, and unlike most Republicans, he isn’t worried at all about likability. That’s why he won an election and still has majority support for his policies, including the most controversial ones, despite poor likability.

Obama is obsessed with being liked. In the media space, effective messaging depends on likability. But Trump upended the same formula that had ruled presidential politics since Nixon vs. Kennedy. Instead he casually tosses likability aside to grapple with opponents, rivals and enemies. Trump won this election by forcing opponent after opponent to either fight him on his own terms or back away.

This includes the media, which has tried to grapple directly with him, with disastrous results.

The Obama machine, a massive propaganda matrix that alternates between lying and gaslighting, is not built to handle Trump. And Obama isn’t built to handle Trump either. Obama’s hipster transgressiveness made him seem cool when up against Romney or McCain, but everything Trump does embodies real transgressiveness. The machine is built on limiting the freedom of action of Republicans by intimidating them with political correctness and potential smears. But Trump doesn’t care about any of that.

Trump is willing to throw everything into an attack. Obama’s people build complicated traps that he walks through without thinking twice. Obama plays chess. Trump overturns the board.

Obama’s strategy was to create so much chaos that the White House wouldn’t be able to get anything done. Instead it would ricochet from scandal to scandal. Similar tactics had proven quite effective in the second terms of Reagan and Bush. But Trump thrives on chaos. Many of his supporters want him to be a disrupter. Chaos translates to effectiveness. The more noise he makes, the more he’s changing things.

President Trump has made it clear that in response to these attacks, he will directly challenge Obama. And that breaks down Obama’s entire plan of using proxies to do his dirty work while he gives inspiring speeches. Trump will not let Obama get away with attacking him and then hiding behind phony idealism.  And he intends to make the Obama machine into the issue in these attacks.

Obama’s plan involved a gradual emergence to deliver more sanctimonious lectures about “who we are”. It did not involve getting directly into a fight with Trump. But, as his other opponents discovered, Trump doesn’t give you a choice.

The favorite quote of Clinton’s damage control man Chris Lehane came from Mike Tyson. “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Obama’s people like to think that this is what they’ve done to Republicans, Iran Deal opponents, police officers and even President Trump. But Trump is showing them what the expression really means.

Obama had a plan. Then Trump punched him in the mouth.

The plan to entangle key Trump people in scandals hit a roadblock. Instead the wiretapping accusations have become the issue. And Obama’s people have been forced to come out and offer cautious denials.

And Obama and his dirty tricks have been dragged out from behind the curtain.

Trump and Obama are two very different men. Their personalities, as much as their politics, will define this conflict. The media routinely accuses Trump of having totalitarian instincts. But the true totalitarians are men like Obama those who hypocritically use the machinery of government to go after their opponents while pretending to be virtuous. President Trump has always fought his fights directly.

And the battle for America has only begun.