Archive for April 2, 2017

Londonistan: 423 New Mosques; 500 Closed Churches

April 2, 2017

Londonistan: 423 New Mosques; 500 Closed Churches, Gatestone Institute, Giulio Meotti, March 2, 2017

(BREXIT seems to have come a few years too late. — DM)

British multiculturalists are feeding Islamic fundamentalism. Muslims do not need to become the majority in the UK; they just need gradually to Islamize the most important cities. The change is already taking place.

British personalities keep opening the door to introducing Islamic sharia law. One of the leading British judges, Sir James Munby, said that Christianity no longer influences the courts and these must be multicultural, which means more Islamic. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chief Justice Lord Phillips, also suggested that the English law should “incorporate” elements of sharia law.

British universities are also advancing Islamic law. The academic guidelines, “External speakers in higher education institutions”, provide that “orthodox religious groups” may separate men and women during events. At the Queen Mary University of London, women have had to use a separate entrance and were forced to sit in a room without being able to ask questions or raise their hands, just as in Riyadh or Tehran.

“London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together”, according to Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi, one of the Islamic preachers who now lead “Londonistan“, as the journalist Melanie Phillips has called the English capital. No, Rizvi is not a right-wing extremist. Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate for Literature, was less generous; he called the UK “a cesspit for Islamists”.

“Terrorists can not stand London multiculturalism”, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said after the recent deadly terror attack at Westminster. The opposite is true: British multiculturalists are feeding Islamic fundamentalism. Above all, Londonistan, with its new 423 mosques, is built on the sad ruins of English Christianity.

The Hyatt United Church was bought by the Egyptian community to be converted to a mosque. St Peter’s Church has been converted into the Madina Mosque. The Brick Lane Mosque was built on a former Methodist church. Not only buildings are converted, but also people. The number of converts to Islam has doubled; often they embrace radical Islam, as with Khalid Masood, the terrorist who struck Westminster.

The Daily Mail published photographs of a church and a mosque a few meters from each other in the heart of London. At the Church of San Giorgio, designed to accommodate 1,230 worshipers, only 12 people gathered to celebrate Mass. At the Church of Santa Maria, there were 20.

The nearby Brune Street Estate mosque has a different problem: overcrowding. Its small room and can contain only 100. On Friday, the faithful must pour into the street to pray. Given the current trends, Christianity in England is becoming a relic, while Islam will be the religion of the future.

In Birmingham, the second-largest British city, where many jihadists live and orchestrate their attacks, an Islamic minaret dominates the sky. There are petitions to allow British mosques to call the Islamic faithful to prayer on loudspeakers three times a day.

By 2020, estimates are that the number of Muslims attending prayers will reach at least 683,000, while the number of Christians attending weekly Mass will drop to 679,000. “The new cultural landscape of English cities has arrived; the homogenised, Christian landscape of state religion is in retreat”, said Ceri Peach of Oxford University. While nearly half of British Muslims are under the age of 25, a quarter of Christians are over 65. “In another 20 years there are going to be more active Muslims than there are churchgoers,” said Keith Porteous Wood, director of the National Secular Society.

Since 2001, 500 London churches of all denominations have been turned into private homes. During the same period, British mosques have been proliferating. Between 2012 and 2014, the proportion of Britons who identify themselves as Anglicans fell from 21% to 17%, a decrease of 1.7 million people, while, according to a survey conducted by the respected NatCen Social Research Institute, the number of Muslims has grown by almost a million. Churchgoers are declining at a rate that within a generation, their number will be three times lower than that of Muslims who go regularly to mosque on Friday.

Demographically, Britain has been acquiring an increasingly an Islamic face, in places such as Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets. In 2015, an analysis of the most common name in England showed it was Mohammed, including spelling variations such as Muhammad and Mohammad.

Most important cities have huge Muslim populations: Manchester (15.8%), Birmingham (21.8%) and Bradford (24.7%). In Birmingham, the police just dismantled a terrorist cell; there is also a greater probability that a child will be born into a Muslim family than into a Christian one. In Bradford and Leicester, half the children are Muslim. Muslims do not need to become the majority in the UK; they just need gradually to Islamize the most important cities. The change is already taking place. “Londonistan” is not a Muslim majority nightmare; it is a cultural, demographic and religious hybrid in which Christianity declines and Islam advances.

Thousands of Muslims participate in a public outdoor prayer service in Birmingham, England, on July 6, 2016. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

According to Innes Bowen, writing in The Spectator, only two of the 1,700 mosques in Britain today follow the modernist interpretation of Islam, compared with 56% in the United States. The Wahhabis control six percent of mosques in the UK, while the fundamentalist Deobandi control up to 45%. According to a survey from the Knowledge Center, a third of UK Muslims do not feel “part of British culture.”

London is also full of sharia courts. There are officially 100. The advent of this parallel judicial system has been made possible thanks to the British Arbitration Act and the system of Alternative Dispute Resolution. These new courts are based on the rejection of the inviolability of human rights: the values of freedom and equality that are the basis of English Common Law.

British personalities keep opening the door to introduce sharia. One of Britain’s leading judges, Sir James Munby, said that Christianity no longer influences the courts and these must be multicultural — which means more Islamic. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chief Justice Lord Phillips also suggested that British law should “incorporate” elements of sharia law. The British cultural establishment is rapidly capitulating to Islamic fundamentalists in accepting their demands.

British universities are also advancing Islamic law. The official guidelines of the university, “External speakers in higher education institutions“, published by Universities UK, provide that “orthodox religious groups” may separate men and women during events. At Queen Mary University of London, women had to use a separate entrance and were forced to sit in a room without being able to ask questions or raise their hands — as in Riyadh or Tehran. The Islamic Society at the London School of Economics held a gala, in which women and men were separated by a seven-meter panel.

After the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, recommended self-censorship and “some restraint” in discussing Islam. The British ambassador in Saudi Arabia, Simon Collis, converted to Islam and completed the pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj. He now calls himself Haji Collis.

What will be next?

European Union – EU boss threatens to break up US in retaliation for Trump Brexit support

April 2, 2017

EUROPEAN Union boss Jean-Claude Juncker issued a jaw-dropping threat to the United States, saying he could campaign to break up the country in revenge for Donald Trump’s supportive comments about Brexit.

PUBLISHED: 02:14, Fri, Mar 31, 2017 | UPDATED: 12:47, Fri, Mar 31, 2017

Source: European Union – EU boss threatens to break up US in retaliation for Trump Brexit support | Politics | News | Express.co.uk

EbS

EU boss Jean-Claude Juncker

 

GETTY

Donald Trump has previously voiced support for Brexit

In an extraordinary speech the EU Commission president said he would push for Ohio and Texas to split from the rest of America if the Republican president does not change his tune and become more supportive of the EU.The remarks are diplomatic dynamite at a time when relations between Washington and Brussels are already strained over Europe’s meagre contributions to NATO and the US leader’s open preference for dealing with national governments.A spokesman for the bloc later said that the remarks were not meant to be taken literally, but also tellingly did not try to pass them off as humorous and insisted the EU chief was making a serious comparison.

They are by far the most outspoken intervention any senior EU figure has made about Mr Trump and are likely to dismay some European leaders who were hoping to seek a policy of rapprochement with their most important ally.Speaking at the centre-right European People Party’s (EPP) annual conference in Malta yesterday afternoon, the EU Commission boss did not hold back in his disdain for the White House chief’s eurosceptic views.

He said: “Brexit isn’t the end. A lot of people would like it that way, even people on another continent where the newly elected US President was happy that the Brexit was taking place and has asked other countries to do the same.“If he goes on like that I am going to promote the independence of Ohio and Austin, Texas in the US.”Mr Juncker’s comments did not appear to be made in jest and were delivered in a serious tone, although one journalist did report some “chuckles” in the audience and hinted the EU boss may have been joking. The remarks came in the middle of an angry speech in which the top eurocrat railed widely against critics of the EU Commission.

And reacting to the furore which followed them, EU Commission deputy chief spokesman Alexander Winterstein explained: “You will have seen that this is not the first time the President draws this analogy and I think he’s making a point that is as simple as it is valid.

“He does not suggest that certain states should secede from the United States and at the same time I think he considers it also not terribly appropriate for other heads of states to suggest that member states of the EU leave the EU. So I think that’s the comparison that he’s drawing.”

The outburst will be seen as totally inexplicable at a time when EU-US relations appeared to be on the mend, with Vice-President Mike Pence having completed a largely successful trip to Brussels and the commander-in-chief himself significantly softening his tone towards the EU project.

Mr Juncker did not criticise Britain at all during his speech, and only made reference to Brexit in relation to Mr Trump and the opportunities it presents for Europe to reform itself.

He told the audience in Malta: “Brexit isn’t the end of everything. We must consider it to be a new beginning, something that is stronger, something that is better.”

Speaking before him, EU Council president Donald Tusk was less reserved in his remarks about the UK vote as he tore into the populist politics which led to Brexit.The Polish eurocrat said the argument over sovereignty – epitomised by the Vote Leave slogan ‘take back control’ – was “a view that is both foolish and dangerous” and that the EU guaranteed countries’ strength of the world stage.He also accused populist politicians, such as the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders and France’s Marine Le Pen, of promoting “organised hatred” with their views on immigration.

The Muslim Brotherhood Swoops into Sweden

April 2, 2017

The Muslim Brotherhood Swoops into Sweden, Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, April 2, 2017

“Sweden needs to be a safe space for refugees… It is time to realize that the new Swedes will claim their space. And bring their culture, language and habits. It is time to see this as a positive force… Something new — The New Country”. — Video advertisement; last sentence spoken by a young woman in a hijab.

Formal membership with a card and yearly subscription would probably not be the modus operandi of an organization working fundamentally to undermine societies in order to remake them in the image of Islam.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an organization the goal of which is to obtain an Islamic state, a caliphate, ruled by sharia — and to bring about that state — if necessary, by jihad.

It is an organization the Egyptian branch of which called for jihad as recently as 2015, thus belying claims that the Muslim Brotherhood is ‘peaceful’. As the murderous actions of Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood organization, clearly show, it is not.

A recent report has revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is well established in Sweden. The report — written at the behest of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency and commissioned precisely because of a lack of research on the MB in Sweden — caused an outcry against the authors. Twenty Swedish academics, who specialize in Islam and Muslims, protested the report[1]. They called it “substandard work”, which did not take account of “the extensive research available about Islam and Muslims in Sweden”.

According to the report, the MB has been operating in Sweden since the late 1970s in the guise of a number of Muslim-Swedish organizations, all centered around the Islamic Association in Sweden (IFIS), which itself was established in the mid-1990s as an organizational front for the MB.

IFIS has founded other organizations in Sweden, among which are Islamic Relief, Ibn Rush, and Sweden Young Muslims (SUM). These have not only given the MB a dominant position within so-called ‘Muslim civil society’ in Sweden, but also enabled it to amass considerable Swedish taxpayer funds that have helped consolidate its position.

The authors of the report conclude that the MB’s activists are “building a parallel social structure, which poses a long-term challenge in terms of Sweden’s future social cohesion”. The authors are being most diplomatic.

According to the report, the Muslim Brotherhood in Sweden promotes:

“…a system of ‘cultural pluralism’, where every minority group is on the same level as the majority group… The ideal is… that Sweden should be organized in different ‘groups’, each group having the right to practice its particular values. The Swedish population should, even though it is in the majority, be a group among other groups: all groups should have the same status”.

The prevalent idea of multiculturalism, and the accompanying identity politics, thus play directly into the hands of the MB. A video ad from a charity backed by the Swedish government constitutes a particularly blunt example of this kind of thinking. In it, Swedes are told,

“Sweden will never be what it once was. Sweden needs to be a safe space for refugees… It is time to realize that the New Swedes will claim their space. And bring their culture, language and habits. It is time to see this as a positive force… It is time to create a country together that is proud, inclusive and sustainable. Something new — The New Country”.

The last sentence is spoken by a young woman in a hijab.

There seems no reason for the hysterics among Swedish academics that the report appears to have provoked. In fact, they could easily fact-check the report simply by checking the website of the primary group mentioned in the report, the Islamic Association in Sweden (IFSI), which clearly states (at the bottom of the linked page) that it is a member of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE), generally acknowledged as an umbrella organization for local Muslim Brotherhood organizations from all over Europe.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2005, then-president of FIOE, Ahmet al-Rawi, said, when asked about ties with the MB, “We are interlinked with them with a common point of view. We have a good close relationship.”

If Swedish academics purporting to study Islam actually followed news from the Middle East, they would also know that Egypt’s former president, Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, when he became president of Egypt in 2012, included secretary general of the FIOE, Ayman Ali, on his presidential advisory board.

Not even Swedish academics should need further ’empirical’ proof to see that the Islamic Association in Sweden’s membership of FIOE constitutes de facto allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood. What Swedish academics are evidently ignorant of, however, is that the MB deliberately operates in a secretive manner. The UK government’s experts, in their own review of the MB, published in December 2015, wrote that “from its foundation the Muslim Brotherhood organised itself into a secretive ‘cell’ structure…This clandestine, centralised and hierarchical structure persists to this day”.

That deliberately opaque and secretive way of operating appears intended to create precisely the confusion and ignorance on the topic, evidently enfolding those academics who ought to know most about this topic. The obfuscation also makes it hard for authorities to crack down on the MB. As Mohammed Akif, the former General Guide and supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a former head of its Islamic Center of Munich, explained about the MB in an interview in 2005:

“We do not have an international organization; we have an organization through our perception of things. We are present in every country. Everywhere there are people who believe in the message of the Muslim Brothers. In France, the Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF) does not belong to the organization of the Brothers. They follow their own laws and rules. There are many organizations that do not belong to the Muslim Brothers. For example, Shaykh al-Qaradawi. He is not a Muslim Brother, but he was formed according to the doctrine of the Brothers”.

Formal membership with a card and a yearly subscription, Swedish-style, would probably not be the modus operandi of an organization working fundamentally to undermine societies in order to remake them in the image of Islam — as tidy as that would ’empirically’ make matters for Swedish academics.

The Swedish mainstream society would be wise to take this preliminary report extremely seriously, and not discard it. The Muslim Brotherhood is an organization the goal of which is to obtain an Islamic state, a caliphate, ruled by sharia — and to bring about that state — if necessary, by jihad. It is an organization the Egyptian branch of which called for jihad as recently as 2015, thus belying claims that the Muslim Brotherhood is ‘peaceful’. As the murderous actions of Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood organization, clearly show, it is not.

Historically, the Muslim Brotherhood has spawned other terrorist organizations, such as Al Qaeda — which, in turn, has spawned ISIS.

The Swedish headlines in March have been filled with news about the return of 150 ISIS fighters to Sweden. A Swedish minister has already said that they should be “integrated back into society”.

The Swedes would do well to pay attention to the influence of extremist groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, or the long-term result might not be what many Swedes would like.

______________________

[1] The report was commissioned by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, a state authority, as a preliminary feasibility study, gauging the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence in Sweden before engaging in further study and research.

Panelists Prove Jewish Voice for Peace is Neither

April 2, 2017

Panelists Prove Jewish Voice for Peace is Neither, Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, April 1, 2017

There’s a simple way to end global oppression, racism and immediately create a world overflowing with “equality, dignity and human rights,” panelists agreed Saturday morning during a Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Conference in Chicago.

Simply eliminate Zionism from the planet.

“Arguing for a softer, less harsh, nicer version of capitalism, colonialism and racism won’t do it,” said Black Lives Matter leader Rachel Gilmer. “Many liberal Zionists believe that the problem with Israeli apartheid is simply a few bad policies, or Netanyahu, or the wall, but the problem is with the ideological foundation of the state itself: Zionism. Zionism at its core is white supremacy.”

While JVP claims its mission is to “end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians,” the conference so far has failed to mention any plan that keeps Israel intact. That’s not a surprise. JVP prides itself for playing a key role in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that pressures corporations, churches, and colleges and to drop investments in Israel.

“A world without Zionism is a world without oppression” and create “equality, dignity and human rights,” said panelist Lubnah Shomali of the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights. It also would mean Shomali’s claim ignores human rights violations by Palestinian leaders against inside the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority use intimidation to silence journalists who dare to engage in peaceful criticism, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported in 2016. Journalists face arrest and detention for exposing corruption. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas flout international law by issuing death penalties, using torture and extrajudicial killings.

While speakers during Saturday’s “Let’s Talk About Zionism” panel tossed around “apartheid” accusations, they ignored the rights enjoyed by Israeli Arabs, including representation in Knesset and prominently in Israel’s judiciary.

No one on the JVP panel mentioned this. Neither did anyone advocate a peaceful resolution to the conflict that leaves Israel intact.

Jewish Voice for Peace, therefore, let an entire panel push the message that Zionism, the belief in a national homeland and refuge for Jews, should not exist.

Ethiopian Jewish activist Efrat Yerday, an Israeli citizen, also claimed that Israel engaged in racism by forcing Ethiopian Jews to convert to rabbinical Judaism.

Ethiopian Judaism contains numerous elements that predate modern rabbinical Judaism and has similarities with Ethiopian Christianity. This caused Israel’s rabbinate to mandate that the Ethiopians convert first.

“Zionism does not only dispossess Palestinians, but it also dispossesses in a very sophisticated way, non-white Jews. Being Jewish is highly identified with being white because of Zionism,” Yerday said. “This early fantasy that was shaped by the visionaries was to be a small Europe in the heart of the barbarian Middle East.”

Ironically, Yerday noted that Ethiopian Jews were able to peacefully demonstrate and protest against what they perceive as injustices against them. Such a display would not be allowed in neighboring Arab countries or in areas ruled by Palestinians.

And she didn’t try to reconcile the “Israel is racist” line with the history of how thousands of black Ethiopians became citizens. In 1984, Israel rescued 16,000 Ethiopian Jews in a secret airlift. That was followed by “Operation Solomon” in 1991, in which 14,000 Ethiopians were flown out in just 36 hours. And the country named an Ethiopian immigrant, Yityish “Titi” Aynaw, as Miss Israel in 2013. Like any other country, there is racism in Israel, she said. But “it’s something that Israel is trying to fix and it’s actually improving,” she said.

Israel’s enemies have tried connecting Zionism with racism for decades in an effort to delegitimize Israel.

During her remarks, Shomali lamented the fact that a 1975 United Nations resolution condemning Zionism as a form of racism was repealed in 1991. Her case for labeling Zionism as a form of racism relies on a cherry picked one-sided history dating back to Israel’s 1948 independence. Zionism developed as a purely secular movement that hijacked Judaism, she said. The two were not intertwined.

“There had to be a link made between secular colonialism, secular Zionism and religious Judaism,” Shomali said. “Members of the Zionist movement went to religious Jews around the world and told them that … God is telling you to come to Palestine. You are the chosen people. This is the promised land. A land without people for a people without a land, knowing full well that Palestine was not a land without people.”

Zionists used the forcible transfer of populations to cleanse Palestine of Arab natives, she said.

The role Arab governments and militias played in creating the so-called Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe, appears nowhere in her analysis. She never mentioned the rejected 1947 U.N. resolution offering the Arabs a state. Nor does she mention that Arabs started the 1947-1948 war in Palestine.

Not only that, the Zionists called on Arab inhabitants of the then proposed state of Israel to remain and work for “peace and progress as sovereign equals” in October 1947. The day after the U.N. partition vote, the Jewish agency called for “fruitful cooperation” with the Arabs. In August 1948, John Bagot Glubb, commander of Jordan’s Arab Legion, told the London Daily Mail, “Villages were frequently abandoned even before they were threatened by the progress of war.”

JVP’s rabid hatred of Israel comes into even clearer focus Sunday, when it gives the stage to Rasmieh Odeh, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group convicted for leading two 1969 bombing attacks in Jerusalem. One of those bombings targeted a grocery store and killed two college students.

This conference and the choice of speakers is just another reminder that Jewish Voice for Peace opposes the Jewish State and its prescriptions will lead to anything but peace.

Russia? No, the Pony in the Manure Is the Corruption of our Intelligence Officials

April 2, 2017

Russia? No, the Pony in the Manure Is the Corruption of our Intelligence Officials, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, April 2, 2017

There’s so much in print and online about the House and Senate intelligence committees and Russian “collusion” with Trump that I can’t blame people with real lives to lead who just throw their hands up and garden or go hiking. Some will assume there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere, as Ronald Reagan used to joke about the kid digging through manure. I think there is, but it isn’t that Russia corrupted the 2016 election, it’s that Obama and his closest aides, including some at the highest level in the intelligence community, illegally intercepted one or more Republican candidates’ communications before the election, circulated them widely to their cohorts and then tried to use this information to defeat and later to hamstring Trump when Hillary — to their surprise — lost the election.

I also suspect that the attacks on Flynn have nothing to do with his Russian contacts which he disclosed, but, rather, to misdeeds respecting the Middle East, particularly Iran, the country he observed as Obama’s head of the DIA.

The Surveillance and “Unmasking” of Trump and his Associates 

We learned this week that surveillance of Trump began long before he was the Republican nominee, and that the names in the intercepted communications were “unmasked” — that is, identified by name or context — by someone high up in the intelligence community.

In addition, citizens affiliated with Trump’s team who were unmasked were not associated with any intelligence about Russia or other foreign intelligence, sources confirmed. The initial unmasking led to other surveillance, which led to other private citizens being wrongly unmasked, sources said.

“Unmasking is not unprecedented, but unmasking for political purposes… specifically of Trump transition team members… is highly suspect and questionable,” an intelligence source told Fox News. “Opposition by some in the intelligence agencies who were very connected to the Obama and Clinton teams was strong. After Trump was elected, they decided they were going to ruin his presidency by picking them off one by one.”

Nunes and Surveillance Reports

The best summation of this week’s distraction — respecting chairman of the House intelligence committee, Devin Nunes — is Victor Davis Hanson’s which I urge those of you interested to read in its entirety.

First, the central question remains who leaked what classified information for what reasons; second, since when is it improper or even unwise for an apprehensive intelligence official to bring information of some importance to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee for external review — in a climate of endemic distrust of all intelligence agencies?[snip] Nunes also said that the surveillance shown to him “was essentially a lot of information on the President-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.” Further, he suggested that the surveillance may have involved high-level Obama officials. When a reporter at Nunes’ second March 22 press conference asked, “Can you rule out the possibility that senior Obama-administration officials were involved in this?” Nunes replied, “No, we cannot.” Ipso facto these are startling disclosures of historical proportions — if true, of an anti-constitutional magnitude comparable to Watergate. Given the stakes, we should expect hysteria to follow, and it has followed. [snip]

Some notion of such intrigue, or rather the former nexus between Congress, the Obama administration, the intelligence agencies, and the monitoring of incoming Trump officials, was inadvertently disclosed recently by former Obama-administration Department of Defense deputy assistant secretary and current MSNBC commentator Evelyn Farkas. In an interview that originally aired on March 2 and that was reported on this week by Fox, Farkas seemed to brag on air about her own efforts scrambling to release information on the incoming Trump team’s purported talks with the Russians. Farkas’s revelation might put into context the eleventh-hour Obama effort to more widely disseminate intelligence findings among officials, one that followed even earlier attempts to broaden access to Obama-administration surveillance.

In any event, the White House invited  the highest ranking  members of the House and Senate intelligence committees to come view the documents themselves. Adam Schiff did, and reported he’d seen what Nunes had, after which he did not deny the intercepted communications contained nothing about Russia or Trump. They clearly were of no national intelligence significance, but rather, as Hanson noted, were evidence that the prior administration was snooping on political adversaries using the apparatus of the state to do so.

We also learned this week that Hillary (despite her uncontested mishandling of classified information when she was Secretary of State), and her aides, including Farkas, were given access to classified information long after she left the Department of State which, with Farkas’ admission on MSNBC, underscores the apparent misuse of intelligence from her end.

FBI Director James Comey and former DNI James Clapper

As for Comey, Hanson notes:

There is no need to rehash the strange political career of FBI director James Comey during the 2016 election. As Andrew McCarthy has noted in his recent NRO analyses, news accounts alleged that Comey’s FBI investigations of supposed contacts between General Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador were shared with Obama-administration officials — but why and how we are not sure. Comey himself was quick to note that his agency is investigating supposed collusion between Team Trump and Russia, but he refused to comment on whether or not the FBI is investigating possibly inappropriate or illegal intercepts of Trump officials and the surely illegal dissemination of intercepted info through leaks to favorable media.

But there’s much more to be said about him and his “investigation” which seems to be continuing only to cover his own backside.

The FBI was concerned that the ill-secured DNC internet communications were being hacked and sought to examine them. The DNC refused and engaged an outfit called Crowd Strike to do the job. Crowd Strike reported the Russia had likely tapped their server. There’s no explanation of why Crowd Strike was chosen, why the FBI allowed this, and why it apparently relied on that outfit’s findings. Recently Crowd Strike has walked back many of its claims after a VOA report that the company misrepresented data published by an influential British think tank.

And then there’s the dossier compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. If you recall, this dossier was commissioned through a DC firm, Fusion GPS, by Hillary to dig up opposition research on her opponents, and when she dropped it, unnamed Republicans followed up on the contract. At some point (accounts vary about how this occurred), dog in the manger John McCain got it and widely distributed it to the press and political figures. These Republicans, too, dropped the service, at which time the FBI picked it up, though they claim not to have paid GPS. Comey apparently has based his still ongoing “investigation” on it. The dossier is utter bunk. Ironically, it is Fusion GPS that is tied to Russian intelligence.

“It is highly troubling that Fusion GPS appears to have been working with someone with ties to Russian intelligence — let alone someone alleged to have conducted political disinformation campaigns — as part of a pro-Russia lobbying effort while also simultaneously overseeing the creation of the Trump/Russia dossier,” writes [Senator] Grassley.

Akhmetshin hired Simpson and Fusion GPS last year to work on a campaign to roll back the Magnitsky Act, a law passed in 2012 which imposed sanctions against a handful of Russian criminals accused of human rights violations.

The law was named in honor of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who was killed by jail guards in 2009. Magnitsky was working for Bill Browder, a London-based investor who once operated in Russia, when he uncovered a $230 million fraud being carried out by the Russian government.

After Magnitsky’s death, Browder began lobbying U.S. lawmakers to enact sanctions against Russian criminals engaged in human rights abuses.

In a FARA complaint submitted in July, Browder laid out the case that Akhmetshin conducted a covert lobbying campaign to hinder the Global Magnitsky Act, an expansion of the original law.

The report is not worthy of consideration, but the FBI and Rep. Adam Schiff did apparently rely on it, drawing into question the FBI’s “independence from politics” and Schiff’s credulity or venality:

Citing current and former government officials, the New Yorker reported the dossier prompted skepticism among intelligence community members, with the publication quoting one member as saying it was a “nutty” piece of evidence to submit to a U.S. president.

Steele’s work has been questioned by former acting CIA director Morell, who currently works at the Hillary Clinton-tied Beacon Global Strategies LLC. Beacon was founded by Phillippe Reines, who served as Communications Adviser to Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state. From 2009-2013, Reines also served in Clinton’s State Department as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategic Communications. Reines is the managing director of Beacon…

Morell, who was in line to become CIA director if Clinton won, said he had seen no evidence that Trump associates cooperated with Russians. He also raised questions about the dossier written by a former British intelligence officer, which alleged a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia…

Morell pointed out that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Meet the Press on March 5 that he had seen no evidence of a conspiracy when he left office January 20.

“That’s a pretty strong statement by General Clapper,” Morell said.

Regarding Steele’s dossier, Morell stated, “Unless you know the sources, and unless you know how a particular source acquired a particular piece of information, you can’t judge the information — you just can’t.”

Morell charged the dossier “doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think.”

“I had two questions when I first read it. One was, How did Chris talk to these sources? I have subsequently learned that he used intermediaries.”

Morell continued:

And then I asked myself, why did these guys provide this information, what was their motivation? And I subsequently learned that he paid them. That the intermediaries paid the sources and the intermediaries got the money from Chris. And that kind of worries me a little bit because if you’re paying somebody, particularly former FSB officers, they are going to tell you truth and innuendo and rumor, and they’re going to call you up and say, “Hey, let’s have another meeting, I have more information for you,” because they want to get paid some more.

I think you’ve got to take all that into consideration when you consider the dossier.’

Maybe Comey is continuing the investigation to blur his own role in the Obama administration’s improper and illegal snooping on his party’s opponents. He has not closed the investigation despite its apparently flimsy basis, perhaps to protect himself. He was supposed to report this investigation in a timely manner to the Congressional and Senate intelligence committees and did not.

As a correspondent with some knowledge of these matters related to me:

“When push comes to shove, no investigation gets opened, no FISA order is applied for, without James Comey’s say-so.  They can bluster, but it’s damned hard to get rid of an FBI Director without a very, very public stink.  He could have said no, but he didn’t.  That means the investigation is bound to focus on him.  And count on it — the decision to short circuit Congressional oversight was probably pushed on him by those same people, but once again, it was ultimately his decision.  He could’ve gone to the Committee, but he didn’t.  His decision, his responsibility.”

His view is strengthened by Comey’s obfuscation at a Congressional hearing:

The counter-intel investigation, by his own admission, began in July 2016. Congress was not notified until March 2017. That’s an eight month period – Obviously obfuscating the quarterly claim moments earlier.

The uncomfortable aspect to this line of inquiry is Comey’s transparent knowledge of the politicized Office of the DNI James Clapper by President Obama.

The first and second questions from Stefanik were clear. Comey’s understanding of the questions was clear. However, Comey directly evaded truthful response to the second question. When you watch the video, you can see Comey quickly connecting the dots on where this inquiry was going.

There is only one reasonable explanation for FBI Director James Comey to be launching a counter-intel investigation in July 2016, notifying the White House and Clapper, and keeping it under wraps from congress. Comey was a participant in the intelligence gathering for political purposes — wittingly, or unwittingly.

As a direct consequence of this mid-thought-stream Comey obfuscation, it is now clear — at least to me — that Director Comey was using his office as a facilitating conduit for the political purposes of the Obama White House.

John Brennan

It’s possible that the tissue-thin, incredible Steele “dossier” was not the only disinformation source. At the Spectator there’s a plausible account of how Obama’s CIA director John Brennan worked with Hillary and certain Baltic figures to discredit Trump with the charge of collusion with Russia.

Brennan pushed for a multi-agency investigation of the Trump campaign, using as his pretext alleged intelligence from an unnamed Baltic state. That “intelligence” was supplied at the very moment Baltic officials had their own political motivation to smear Trump.

“Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was — allegedly — a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign. It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States,” reported the BBC’s Paul Wood.

Is it just a coincidence that Brennan got this tape recording from a Baltic State intelligence agency in April when officials in the Baltic States were up in arms over candidate Trump? Recall that in March of 2016 — the month before Brennan allegedly got the recording from Baltic spies — Trump made remarks about NATO that the press was hyping as hostile to the Baltic States. [snip]

Hillary and her allies in the media seized on these remarks and ripped Trump on the false claim that, if elected, he would “pull out of NATO,” leaving Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia to fend for themselves against Russia.

Such fearmongering set off an anti-Trump panic in political circles within the Baltic States. Out of it came a steady stream of stories with headlines such as: “Baltic States Fearful of Trump’s Nato Views” and “Estonian Prez Appears to Push Back on Trump’s NATO Comments.”

[Snip]

Both Brennan and officials in the Baltic States had strong incentives to help Hillary and hurt Trump. That Brennan and some Baltic spies teamed up to inflate the significance of some half-baked intelligence from a recording isn’t surprising. Only in such a feverish partisan milieu would basic questions go unasked, such as: Is it really a good idea to investigate a political opponent on the basis of a lead provided by a country that wants to see him lose?

Flynn

Flynn was Obama’s head of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) and served only days under Trump. Reports this week initially made it appear that he was under investigation for ties to Russia, but it is more obvious to me that he knows about skullduggery by the prior administration in the Middle East, most likely Iran, and wants protection against the sort of unwarranted prosecutions Ted Stevens and Lewis Libby suffered at the hands of vindictive Democrats and their minions. The charges against him are being leveled by former Obama aide Sally Yates, who has utterly discredited herself earlier by her demonstrably false claim that the White House blocked her from testifying to Congress when the documentation clearly shows she was not.

Perhaps the easiest thing to do is to just consider everything the Democrats say, directly or through the media, which just prints as truth handouts from the same Democratic sources, as a lie. You’d save a lot of time and most likely be right.

 

David’s Sling to come online as latest component to Israel’s air defense shield

April 2, 2017

Source: David’s Sling to come online as latest component to Israel’s air defense shield – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

ByJPOST.COM STAFF
April 2, 2017 12:07

 

Israel’s medium-to-long-range missile interceptor is due to become fully operational on Sunday afternoon.

David's Sling

David’s Sling, the final piece of Israel’s air defense shield, is set to come online Sunday afternoon.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel and Brig.-Gen. Zvika Haimovich, commander of the Aerial Defense Division are due to attend the launching ceremony.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Netanyahu said that “this afternoon we are going to make the anti-missile defense system David’s Sling fully operational. It is important news, all of Israel’s civilians have experienced the important achievement of the Iron Dome systems against strategic short-range missiles in the last campaign against Gaza.”

“David’s Sling is a system that covers the ranges in between, it has immense significance [when it comes to] Israel’s security, and I would like to praise the people of the Defense Ministry, the IDF, research and development and all the other elements that acted to enable this system to be operational. We are defending the homefront,” he added.

Israel’s air defenses currently include the Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets and the Arrow system which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. The David’s Sling missile defense system is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to-long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 to 300km.

Together the systems will provide Israel will a comprehensive protective umbrella able to counter threats posed by both short and mid-range missiles used by terror groups in Gaza and Hezbollah as well as the threat posed by more sophisticated long-range Iranian ballistic missiles.

The system comes online as tensions have risen along both the northern and Gaza border.

Hamas has threatened to retaliate against Israel following the assassination of a senior operative and Syria has threatened to fire Scud rockets towards Israel should the Jewish state continue striking targets in the war-torn country.

Hezbollah is known to have various long and medium-range missile systems, including the Iranian-made Fajr-5, the M-600 rockets, Zeizal-2, and the shorter-range M75 and Katyushas. But according to a senior IDF officer in the IAF’s Air Defense Division, the terror group is continuously working and acquiring missiles with larger warheads and longer range.

It is believed that in the next war with the Lebanese terror group Israel will be bombarded by thousands of rockets possessed by Hezbollah.

David’s Sling is a joint Israeli-US project, with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems collaborating with American defense contractor Raytheon, which also produces the Patriot missile system. Other components of the system were developed by Elta- a subdivision of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)- which developed the system’s radar, and the Elisra subdivision of Elbit Systems, which developed the command and control mechanisms.

Is the Iranian regime facing a Kurdish uprising?

April 2, 2017

Source: Is the Iranian regime facing a Kurdish uprising? – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

By
April 1, 2017 22:06

Kurds are divided among the states of Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran. East Kurdistan, or Rojhelat as Kurds call it, is the Kurdish area in Iran.
A KURDISH peshmerga soldier stands at a lookout near Bashiqa in northern Iraq

During the Newroz Kurdish spring New Year celebrations, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) called on Kurds in Iran to hold widespread celebrations across the Kurdish areas.

“This call was well received by the people of Kurdistan and these celebrations were heavily politicized, and in some cases and places it was a direct opposition to the regime,” writes Mustafa Hijri, the secretary-general of the PDKI.

The PDKI was founded in 1945 and has been at the forefront of the struggle for Kurdish rights for 70 years. Since last year there have been increased clashes between Kurdish fighters and Iranian forces, particularly the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“Some of our Peshmerga [Kurdish fighters] units and groups are stationed inside East Kurdistan [in Iran] and are with and amongst our people, conducting organizational and political activities,” says Hijri. “The regime is terrified of these activities from these independent militant groups, along with the presence of our Peshmerga Forces inside the homeland, and the widespread support and assistance to our forces.”

Kurds are divided among the states of Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran. East Kurdistan, or Rojhelat as Kurds call it, is the Kurdish area in Iran. Whereas the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq enjoys autonomy and Kurds in Syria have carved out a semi-autonomous area since 2014, Kurds in Iran lack many rights.

Iran plans to hold elections in May and the world’s eyes will be focused on whether the country takes a turn toward a more extreme-right government or remains with its current leadership that has been attempting to open the country more to the West since the Iran nuclear deal.

“My message to the world is to not fall for the Iranian propaganda and so-called election, because there is no such thing as a free and fair election [in the Islamic Republic],” assert Hijri. “This regime is not capable of holding a fair and free election; the supreme leader selects the so-called representatives and the president. These representatives hold no power or authority to bring about any change, and the last four years of President [Hassan] Rouhani is a prime example of this fact.”

The PDKI describes Kurdish life in Iran as one where people live under “militarization” with “oppressive, suppressive, marginalizing, exclusionary policies and practices along with state-sponsored and state-sanctioned discrimination, denial and violence.” Will Kurds, who make up around 10% of Iran’s 77 million people, boycott the election? Hijri thinks that those who do vote will only do so because of coercion.

Since the PDKI was forced into exile following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, it has maintained itself in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. In the 1990s, Iran tried to attack its bases and in 2011 threatened to attack the border area of Iraq should Kurdish activity continue.

According to Hijri, the Islamic Republic has intensified pressure on Baghdad to expel Iranian-Kurdish political parties from Iraq. This would include not only the PDKI, but presumably also other Iranian-Kurdish parties such as the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK) and Komala. “A hundred [Iraqi] politicians and parliamentarians have thus far signed the motion and their goal is to expel East Kurdistan political parties.”

As the battle for Mosul comes to an end, the Iraqi central government may face tensions with the Kurdish region. This involves not only pre-2014 struggles over disputed areas that were put on hold when ISIS attacked Iraq, but also tensions over the Iranian relationship with Baghdad and the close relations the Kurdish region has with Turkey. The Iranian Kurds are caught in the middle of potential disputes, fighting an Iranian regime that is at the height of its power, while the Kurdish region in Iraq fears being destabilized by any cross-border fighting.

Iranian Kurds are also divided into several factions, which may undermine their ability to generate any kind of major uprising. However, if the US were to designate the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, that could give impetus for a focus on Kurdish demands in Iran. Certainly the success of Kurds in Syria and Iraq is an inspiration to those in Iran who would like to see the Kurdish flag flying freely on Newroz and other national days.