Archive for May 1, 2017

French Elections: Emmanuel Macron, a Disaster

May 1, 2017

French Elections: Emmanuel Macron, a Disaster, Gatestone InstituteGuy Millière, May 1, 2017

In the next election, in 2022, Catholic France may well see a Muslim candidate run — and win.

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Anti-West, anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish diatribes were delivered to enthusiastic crowds of bearded men and veiled women. One hundred and fifty thousand people attended.

Emmanuel Macron promised to facilitate the construction of mosques in France. He declared that “French culture does not exist” and that he has “never seen” French art. The risk is high that Macron will disappoint the French even faster than Hollande did.

On the evening of the second round of elections, people will party in the chic neighborhoods of Paris and in ministries. In districts where poor people live, cars will be set on fire. For more than a decade, whenever there is a festive evening in France, cars are set on fire in districts where poor people live. Unassimilated migrants have their own traditions.

Paris, Champs Elysees, April 20, 8:50 pm. An Islamic terrorist shoots at a police van. One policeman is killed, another is seriously wounded.

The terrorist tries to escape and shoots again. The policemen kill him. One hour later, the French Ministry of Interior reveals his name and his past. His name is Karim Cheurfi. He is a French Muslim born in an Islamized suburb of France. In 2003, he was sentenced to twenty years in prison for the attempted murder of two policemen. He was released before the end of his sentence. In 2014, he targeted a policeman and was sentenced again. And released again. In March, the police were informed that he was trying to buy military-grade weapons and that he contacted a member of the Islamic State in Syria. An inspector discovered that he had posted messages on jihadist social media networks expressing his willingness to murder policemen. The police searched his home and found several weapons and a GoPro video camera similar to the one terrorists use to film their crimes. The police and members of the French justice system did not think they had sufficient evidence place him under surveillance.

The Champs Elysées attack clearly shows that the French justice system is lax regarding dangerous people and that the French police pay only limited attention to suspects who are communicate with terrorist organizations and who seem to be hatching terrorist projects.

This terrorist attack summarizes everything that is broken in terms of security in France today.

Men with a profile similar to that of Karim Cheurfi have, in recent years, been responsible for most of the terrorist attacks in France and Belgium: Mohamed Merah, who killed three Jewish children and the father of two of them in Toulouse in 2012; Mehdi Nemmouche, who attacked the Brussels Jewish Museum in 2014 ; the Kouachi brothers, who committed the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015; Amedy Coulibaly, who murdered four Jews in the Saint Mandé grocery Kosher store Hypercacher; Samy Amimour and others who maimed and murdered 130 innocent people in the Bataclan theater in November 2015; Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who drove a truck into the crowd in Nice in July 2016, killed 86 people and wounded many others, and, among others, those who beheaded a priest in Normandy a few weeks after the attack in Nice.

The successive French governments under the presidency of François Hollande showed themselves to be appallingly weak and impotent.

A climate of fear has overtaken the country. Attendance at theaters has declined. The particularly targeted Jewish community — two-thirds of the attacks in France in the last five years targeted Jews — feels abandoned. When a Jewish cemetery was vandalized on March 30 in Waldwisse, eastern France, neither the media nor the political leaders reacted. A week later, in Paris, a Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi, was tortured and then thrown out of a window by a non-radicalized Muslim, simply because she was Jewish: the French media and political leaders, with the exception of the courageous MP Meyer Habib, also did not react. A silent gathering below the window was organized by some leaders of the Jewish community. Only Jews came; they were greeted by anti-Semitic insults by Arab Muslims in the neighborhood. The implantation of radical Islam in the country is intensifying. The annual meeting of “Muslims of France” (the new name of the French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood), took place on April 14-17 in Le Bourget, ten miles north of Paris. Anti-West, anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish diatribes were delivered to enthusiastic crowds of bearded men and veiled women. One hundred and fifty thousand people attended.

Economically, France is in terrible shape. The unemployment rate remains above 10%. Nine million people are living below the poverty line –14% of the population. Economic growth is stagnant. Government spending accounts for 57% of GDP — 13% more than in Germany, France’s main economic competitor in Europe.

Month after month, polls shows that the French population is anxious, angry, immensely disappointed with current French policies. François Hollande ends his term with a popularity rating close to zero. He was so rejected and discredited that he decided not to run again for the presidency.

The first round of the French presidential election took place in this context, and one could expect that the French population would reject everything that looks like François Hollande’s policies and choose a new direction for the country.

That is not what happened; quite the opposite.

Benoit Hamon, the Socialist Party’s candidate, suffered a disastrous blow and received a mere 6% of the vote. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a far-left candidate who left the Socialist Party a few years ago and who supported Hollande in 2012, received a much higher score: 19% of the vote. He is an admirer of Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. Immediately after the anti-Semitic Islamic attack in Saint Mandé, he claimed that “Jewish extremism is more dangerous than Islamic extremism”. That statement did not hurt him.

Above all, Emmanuel Macron, a candidate close to Hollande won the race and will be elected President on May 7. He was Hollande’s senior economic advisor for more than two years, and the main architect of Hollande’s failed economic policies. He then became Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, and held that post until he entered the presidential race.

Emmanuel Macron, then Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs of France, at the Annual Meeting 2016 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2016. (image source: World Economic Forum/Michele Limina)

Most of Macron’s speeches are copies of the speeches Hollande made during his 2012 presidential campaign. What is known of Macron’s positions on most subjects show that they are the same position Hollande had during the last months of his mandate.

Throughout the campaign, Macron virtually never spoke about the danger of Islamic terror; when he did, he used words even weaker than those used by Hollande. After the Champs Elysees attack on April 20, he said: “imponderable” events had occured, and they “will be part of the daily life of the French in the years to come”. The next day, when asked what he would do to prevent other killings, he said that he could not “devise a plan to fight terrorism overnight”.

When he speaks about the economy, he sounds like Hollande: he uses vague terms, such as the need for more “social mobility” and “success for all”. He insists that he will maintain all the sclerosis dear to so many, such as the compulsory 35-hour workweek or the legal age for retirement: 62. He said that he would leave the almost-bankrupt retirement system the way it is. He promised additional regulations aimed at “saving the planet” and, in a classically socialist way, tens of billions of euros of government “investments” supposed to finance “ecological transition” and “public services”.

Sometimes, he makes remarks so dismaying that even Hollande would not have said them. In Algeria, in the presence of the National Liberation Front representatives, an organization that came to power by terrorism and massacring hundreds of thousands of “harkis” (Algerians who had chosen France), he said that the French presence in Algeria was a “crime against humanity“, and later promised to facilitate immigration from the Arab world and from Africa to France by preserving an “open and welcoming” France. He promised to facilitate the construction of mosques in France. He declared that “French culture does not exist ” and that he has “never seen” French art.

He quite often has shown that he is a political novice and that it is his first election campaign. He stumbled upon the words of his speeches and admitted to those listening to him that he did not understand the meaning of the sentences he had just read, which showed that he had not read what was written for him before reading it to the public.

How to explain his success in these conditions?

The first explanation lies in the moderate right candidate’s elimination. François Fillon had a credible and coherent program for the country’s recovery, but he could hardly speak about it. His campaign was quickly engulfed in a fake jobs scandal. He presented himself as an impeccable candidate: he appeared not so impeccable. A book recently published revealed that the scandal was meticulously orchestrated from a “shadow Cabinet” in the Elysee Palace. Fillon was never able to recover from it. His excuses were weak and contradictory. He confirmed his weakness by announcing his unconditional support for Macron immediately after the first round results were published. For the first time in more than fifty years, the moderate right will not have a candidate in the second round of a French presidential election. Showing their own weakness, most of the moderate right leaders followed Fillon example and decided to support Macron.

The second explanation for Emmanuel Macron success lies in a very elaborate communication strategy.

Emmanuel Macron continuously benefited from François Hollande support and most of the last five years socialist ministers, but an allegedly neutral and apolitical political structure was created for him. It was called En marche! (“On the Move!”). The socialist ministers who joined him rallied On the Move!, and remained silent. Francois Hollande only announced his full support very late in the race. The communication strategy could work because Emmanuel Macron received the support of left-wing billionaires whom he helped when he was Minister of Economy, and who have close relations with the powers that be: Pierre Bergé, Xavier Niel and Patrick Drahi. These people also own most France’s mainstream media and were able to carry out strong media campaigns in support of Macron. No candidate in the French presidential election history has been on the cover of so many magazines and newspapers. Emmanuel Macron also enjoys main French investment banks support: he is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, which trains all senior civil servants and almost all French politicians since it was established in 1945 and, before joining Francois Hollande, he had a career in a financial institution.

The third explanation for Emmanuel Macron’s success is that the communication campaign in his favor has been largely devoid of any political content, just like On the Move. He was presented as a young man, embodying the “future”, a “renewal”, a “hope”, a “change”. For most of the campaign, Emmanuel Macron had no program. His program was only published on the internet six weeks before the election. The text is often meaningless. Fear is defined as a “daily anguish”. It says that France must offer “opportunities” and Europe must be a “chance”. Emmanuel Macron told socialists he is a socialist, then said that he is not a socialist at all when he addressed other audiences. Opinion polls have shown that many of those who voted for him in the first round were unaware of his proposals on any topic.

Those who designed Emmanuel Macron’s campaign took a lot of inspiration from Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and the result shows that they were right.

The result is also very distressing, because it shows that a massive communication campaign can be effective, even if it is full of empty words and seems to considers voters as idiots. Emmanuel Macron’s campaign effectiveness is also due to the fact that in France, virtually no media is likely to contradict what is said in the mainstream media: the French economy is a very state-based economy in which creating and sustaining media independence from the government and from government subsidies is almost impossible.

The second round of the French presidential election will take place on May 7. Emmanuel Macron will face the only remaining candidate, populist Marine Le Pen.

During the entire campaign, she was almost the only one to speak clearly about the Islamic terrorist threat (François Fillon did, too, but more discreetly) and to offer credible solutions to fight it. She was the only one to speak of the rise of radical Islam in France and to denounce the Muslim Brotherhood gathering at Le Bourget. She was the only one to stress the increasing perils resulting from uncontrolled immigration, and the risk of French culture disappearing. She was also the only one to mention the demographic change that occurs in France and in Europe because of the new migrants. She was the only one to denounce the Islamic anti-Semitism that relentlessly kills Jews in France. Unfortunately, she has a nearly Marxist economic program, close to that of Jean Luc Melenchon. She is the leader of the National Front, a party founded by her father, an anti-Semite, Jean-Marie Le Pen; although she has excluded her father and virtually all her father’s anti-Semitic friends from the National Front, she is nonetheless the party leader and is regarded as her father’s daughter.

Marine Le Pen and the National Front will be used as scarecrows to urge voters to rally massively behind Macron, in the name of a “Republican front” against “fascism.” The strategy was developed thirty years ago by the French left, under President Francois Mitterrand. It has always worked, and in a few days, it will work again.

Macron now has the support of the entire Socialist party, and the support of virtually all other politicians. He also has the support of all French Muslim organizations. The rector of the Great Mosque of Paris said that Muslims must “massively vote” for him. The Jewish community leaders also rallied on behalf of Macron. On May 7, he will likely get more than 60% of the vote.

Most will not be based on the support for a project; the risk is high that Macron will disappoint the French even faster than Hollande did. The French may quickly discover that he is just a man chosen by the French left to preserve an unsustainable status quo a little longer, and a member of the self-appointed élites who do not care about ordinary people’s problems, who consider that terrorist acts are “imponderable events”, and who believe that national identities can melt in a no-border globalized world. When the French discover who Macron is, there will be nothing they can do to change what they voted in.

The risk to France in the next five years will probably be painful for the French. According to the Police, more than 12,000 radicalized Muslims live in the country and most of them are not under surveillance. The Police do not have the means to do more than they currently are doing, and Macron does not seem to care. The justice system is in the hands of judges who appear lenient to terrorists, and Macron seems to accept it. The flow of migrants will not stop, and Macron apparently does not intend to do anything about that. More and more, Muslims segregate themselves from French society in expanding Islamist mini-states.

Nothing Macron proposes can reverse the decline of the French economy and French society. Terror attacks will undoubtedly occur. Jews and others will undoubtedly be killed. Riots and discontent will undoubtedly take place.

On the evening of the first round of the election, there were riots in Paris and Nantes. On the evening of the second round of elections, people will party in the chic neighborhoods of Paris and in ministries. In districts where poor people live, cars will be set on fire. For more than a decade, whenever there is a festive evening in France, cars are set on fire in districts where poor people live. Unassimilated migrants have their own traditions.

In the next election, in 2022, Catholic France may well see a Muslim candidate run — and win.

Former Jordanian Culture Minister: No Problem With U.S. Moving Embassy To West Jerusalem

May 1, 2017

Former Jordanian Culture Minister: No Problem With U.S. Moving Embassy To West Jerusalem, MEMRI, May 1, 2017

In an April 30, 2017 article titled “Unpopular Statements,” Tareq Al-Masarwa, Jordan’s former culture minister and a senior columnist for the government daily Al-Rai, wrote that the U.S. can move its embassy to West Jerusalem[1] because the Palestinians and Arabs do not claim that part of the city. He called on the Arabs to face reality in light of the fundamental changes that have occurred in the Arab world in the last few years, and discard illusions of victory and fairytales about resistance.

The following are excerpts from his article:[2]

Tareq Al-Masarwa (image: Ahkelak.net)

“The Americans can move their embassy to the new [part of] Jerusalem [i.e. the western part] without sparking any serious rage among the Arabs. This is for the simple reason that the Palestinians and Arabs demand the Old City [of Jerusalem] – which they lost in the 1967 war, known as the Six Day War – as the capital of their state. I have not heard anyone demanding the 1948 part of Jerusalem [i.e., West Jerusalem], neither Hamas, the PLO nor anyone else.

“There is talk about U.S. President [Donald] Trump visiting the region [soon], including the hotspots of Israeli-Palestinian tension. Although the man is known for the promises he made before and after the elections, he can play the game of ‘Jerusalem the capital [of Israel]’ without causing awkwardness for [either] U.S. policy or his allies…

“I do not mean to seem like a spoil-sport. The U.S. president will meet Abu Mazen [Mahmoud ‘Abbas on May 3, 2017] and this meeting is meaningful, despite everything that is said about [Trump] constantly changing his mind according to his whim. The Palestinian president will demand a demilitarized state, to exit securely alongside Israel. The [late Palestinian] president Yasser Arafat also agreed at some point to the formula of ‘administrative autonomy’ in return for [permission to] return to Palestine. The Israeli occupation, [for its part,] has already come to terms with all the characteristics of the Palestinian state, except for the aspect of changing its basic designation [i.e., calling it a state rather than an authority or an autonomy].

“Today many things have changed, and much water has passed under the bridge, as the saying goes. It’s time to face the bitter reality. Who thought that the Syria disaster would enter its seventh year, that Iraq would [have to] borrow money to pay the salaries of its civil servants, that an Arab war would rage in Yemen, and that Libya would return to the state it was in before King Idris unified its three provinces?

“[King] ‘Abdallah II managed to revive the [Arab League] summit on the Dead Sea and to strike a pact of Arab cooperation in this region. It’s time to face reality as it is, without the illusion of victory and the fairytales about resistance, for we are not in the best of situations.”

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[1] Senior journalist ‘Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed made similar statements in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6764, Prominent Saudi Journalist: West Jerusalem Is Part Of Israel; Moving The U.S. Embassy There As Part Of Overall Peace Agreement Could Herald The End Of The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, January 31, 2017.

[2] Al-Rai (Jordan), April 30, 2017.

Why China ‘urgently’ recruiting Korean-Chinese interpreters for town near North Korea

May 1, 2017

Why China ‘urgently’ recruiting Korean-Chinese interpreters for town near North Korea, Korea Times, Park Si-soo, May 1, 2017

(Please see also, Krauthammer: U.S. does have cards to play against North Korea. Might China be preparing for reunification with North Korea instead of an invasion? — DM)

A Chinese government document ordering the town of Dandong to recruit Korean-Chinese interpreters. / Captured from the Oriental Daily

A Chinese town near the border with North Korea is “urgently” recruiting Korean-Chinese interpreters, stirring speculation that China is bracing for an emergency situation involving its nuclear-armed neighbor.

The Oriental Daily, a Hong Kong-based news outlet published the story on Apr. 27, including a photo of a Chinese government document ordering the town of Dandong to recruit an unspecified number of Korean-Chinese interpreters to work at 10 departments in the town, including border security, public security, trade, customs and quarantine.

The document did not specify the reason behind the unusual, large-scale recruiting. But experts and local citizens said the move indicated that China was bracing for a possible military clash between the United States and North Korea.

This might trigger a huge exodus of North Koreans to border towns in China.

Whether this dismal scenario will become a reality is largely up to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned that the world’s superpower will strike North Korea’s nuclear facilities if Kim proceeds with a sixth nuclear test or test fires an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The Dandong administration also has ordered its officials to work rotating night shifts since April 25, according to South Korea’s news agency Yonhap.

Meanwhile, China has dismissed reports that it has sent 150,000 additional troops to its border with the North.

Half of Prominent Jihadis Tied to “Non-Violent” Islamism, New Study Shows

May 1, 2017

Half of Prominent Jihadis Tied to “Non-Violent” Islamism, New Study Shows, Investigative Project on Terrorism, April 30, 2017

(Please see also, MEF Sues DHS for Hiding Information on Its Funding of Islamists. — DM)

Purportedly non-violent Islamist groups not only serve as potential incubators for radicalization and violence – they also continue to engage in violent incitement, encouraging others to carry out terrorist attacks.

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Half of the prominent jihadists profiled in a new study by The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics had ties to supposedly non-violent Islamists prior to joining terrorist organizations.

The study’s authors – Mubaraz Ahmed, Milo Comerford, and Emman El-Badawy – explore pathways to militancy among 100 prominent figures within the wider Salafi-Jihadi movement. The individuals examined derive from the Middle East and Africa, across multiple generations. Some of the findings suggest that membership or ties to non-violent Islamist organizations can be associated with an individual’s trajectory towards violence and terrorism.

51 percent of the terrorists under study were previously connected to Islamist groups that claim to be non-violent, including “bodies that are not necessarily political activist organizations but form a functioning arm of existing Islamist groups, such as youth wings, student associations, and other societies.” Since membership in Islamist groups is often secretive and sometimes prohibited in various Middle Eastern countries, the authors acknowledge that the proportion of jihadists with Islamist affiliations are likely higher.

Some of the case studies explored in the report include Djamel Zitouni, the leader of the Armed Islamic Group who was previously a member of an Islamist organization that supposedly eschewed violence – the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS). Senior Al-Qaeda leaders, including Abdullah Azzam and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, were involved with or direct members of the Muslim Brotherhood before turning to violent jihad.

One in four of the jihadists examined had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood or its affiliated groups.

Another interesting finding shows that 65 percent of the sample had been imprisoned at some point throughout their lives, some of whom served time before engaging in violent jihad. There has been growing concern for years about Islamist radicalization of potential terrorist recruits in prisons worldwide.

The study shows that personal networks are critical in the formation and development of the global Salafi-jihadi movement.

“Our data links the leaders of Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS today to the forefathers of the movement through people they met in prison, at university, and on the battlefield,” write the authors.

Purportedly non-violent Islamist groups not only serve as potential incubators for radicalization and violence – they also continue to engage in violent incitement, encouraging others to carry out terrorist attacks.

For example, on Wednesday, a senior Muslim Brotherhood member, ‘Izz Al-Din Dwedar, called for an “intifada” targeting Egyptian embassies around the world, in a Facebook post translated by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

In protest of death sentences handed to members of the Brotherhood in Egypt, Dwedar suggested for violent action on May 3.

Egyptians abroad should “protest [outside] Egyptian embassies and lay siege to them, and steadily escalate [their actions], up to and including raiding the embassies in some countries, disrupting their work and occupying them if possible, in order to raises awareness to our cause,” wrote Dwedar.

MEF Sues DHS for Hiding Information on Its Funding of Islamists

May 1, 2017

MEF Sues DHS for Hiding Information on Its Funding of Islamists, Middle East Forum, May 1, 2017

(Is the “deep state” again the problem? The Department of Justice should confess judgment and agree to the release of all pertinent records following a diligent but prompt search. — DM) 

In July 2016 then-DHS Secretary Jeh C. Johnson assured lawmakers that CVE grant applicants would be carefully vetted.

“The CVE program should be canceled altogether,” said Sam Westrop, director of MEF’s Islamist Watch project. “And guidelines should be put in place to make sure that extremist groups like MPAC never receive taxpayer money to counter extremism.”

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Philadelphia – May 1, 2017 – The Middle East Forum has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to secure the release of documents related to the Obama administration’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) grant program.

The grant program, which began last year, is intended to assist “efforts at the community level to counter violent extremist recruitment and radicalization to violence,” but MEF was concerned about U.S. Islamist groups – themselves radicals – receiving CVE funds. Indeed, grant recipients have included the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), an organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and a long history of sanitizing Islamist terrorism.

On January 10, MEF filed a detailed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with DHS seeking documents about the selection criteria and specific decisions in awarding CVE grants. The request indicated that the documents are mostly located at the DHS Office for Community Partnerships (OCP), headed by George Selim.

Having failed to receive even a response to its request within the 20-day period mandated by law, MEF contacted DHS. Finally, on March 23, DHS FOIA officer Ebony Livingston informed us that the request had been routed to the Federal Emergency Management System (FEMA), which found no pertinent records.

On April 26, MEF filed a lawsuit alleging that DHS violated the law by not only failing to produce the documents, but failing even to conduct a search for the documents.

The complaint, prepared by attorney Matt Hardin, a specialist in FOIA litigation, seeks injunctive relief compelling DHS “to search for and produce all records in its possession responsive to plaintiff’s FOIA request.”

“We filed a detailed FOIA request, specifying the documents we were looking for and where they likely were,” said MEF Director Gregg Roman. “DHS not only failed to produce the documents, it failed even to conduct a search and closed our case without bothering to tell us. This is not just unacceptable but illegal.”

The case has been assigned to Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. It bears noting that Judge Lamberth previously handled FOIA litigation concerning former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.

“The CVE program should be canceled altogether,” said Sam Westrop, director of MEF’s Islamist Watch project. “And guidelines should be put in place to make sure that extremist groups like MPAC never receive taxpayer money to counter extremism.”


The Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank, is dedicated to defining American interests in the Middle East and protecting America from Islamist threats. It achieves its goals through intellectual, activist, and philanthropic efforts.

Democrats vs. Free Speech

May 1, 2017

Democrats vs. Free Speech,  Power LineJohn Hinderaker, April 30, 2017

It’s happening all across the country, not just at bastions of photo-fascism like Berkeley and Middlebury. The University of Arkansas one of many recent instances. Wherever Democrats predominate, they enforce orthodoxy. I seriously believe they would shut us all up, if they could get away with it.

The way Michael Ramirez portrays Berkeley goes for the entire Left. Click to enlarge:

“Now I can sit down, relax, and burn a good book.” Heh.