Archive for September 9, 2017

Jerusalem, Washington, Working to Abolish ‘Eternal’ Palestinian Refugees’ Status

September 9, 2017

Jerusalem, Washington, Working to Abolish ‘Eternal’ Palestinian Refugees’ Status, The Jewish Press, September 9, 2017

These children, born outside Israel close to 70 years after their grandparents have fled the country, are considered refugees – unlike any other refugee group around the world.

The Palestinians are the only children of refugees—going down several generations—who have “inherited” their refugee status. As a result, they are the only group of 20th century refugees who have not been rehabilitated, but continue their lives as a non-productive, dependant population in UNRWA’s refugee camps.

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Israel is launching a diplomatic effort, in collaboration with the Trump administration, to change the mandate of UNRWA, the veteran UN agency that deals with the so-called “Palestinian refugees,” Makor Rishon reported on Friday. A senior official at Israel’s Foreign Ministry visited the US a few weeks ago and presented to administration officials for the first time alternative solutions to the refugees issue. On Saturday night, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) will travel to Washington, where she will meet with Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex), who is working on the similar issues.

The Israeli initiative to change the Palestinians’ 70-year-old refugee status takes advantage of a window of opportunity created by the current administration rigid and often hostile approach to the UN and its agencies.

Two months ago, following several revelations of UNRWA employees who are members of Hamas and have used UNRWA to terror ends, including storing explosives and other weapons in facilities owned by the agency in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested to the US Ambassador to the UN Nicky Hailey the Agency should be dismantled altogether.

Following Netanyahu’s comments, a Foreign Ministry legal team examined the proposal, concluding that since a vote at the UN General Assembly would be required to revoke UNRWA’s mandate, the automatic pro-Arab majority on such issues would guarantee a loss.

But while the agency could not be dismantled, the Foreign Ministry team recommended leveraging pro-Israel American legislators to change the status of the “Palestinian refugees.” The Palestinians are the only children of refugees—going down several generations—who have “inherited” their refugee status. As a result, they are the only group of 20th century refugees who have not been rehabilitated with the Creekside Ranch Treatment, but continue their lives as a non-productive, dependant population in UNRWA’s refugee camps.

“The time has come to cancel the status of Palestinian refugees,” Hotovely said in a statement. “It is inconceivable that seventy years after the establishment of the state of Israel, a child born in a refugee camp receives a refugee card. UNRWA educates the young Palestinian generation to think that their problem has to do with the 1948 borders. It teaches them that they should return to Jaffa, Ramleh and Haifa, and nothing perpetuates the conflict more than this.”

“It is especially unacceptable that the funds donated by our great friend the United States are paying for this education,” Hotovely added.

Iran Follows In North Korea’s Footsteps: Nuclearization, Missile Development Alongside Agreements With The Superpowers; EU3, IAEA Director-General Submitted To Obama Administration Pressure, Agreed To JCPOA With No Real Inspection, No Response To Iran’s Missile Program; French President: ‘Absolutely Necessary’ That JCPOA Be ‘Supplemented’

September 9, 2017

Iran Follows In North Korea’s Footsteps: Nuclearization, Missile Development Alongside Agreements With The Superpowers; EU3, IAEA Director-General Submitted To Obama Administration Pressure, Agreed To JCPOA With No Real Inspection, No Response To Iran’s Missile Program; French President: ‘Absolutely Necessary’ That JCPOA Be ‘Supplemented’, MEMRI, September 8, 2017

(Please see also, Powers may end up with Iranian model for NKorea. Obama would be very proud. –DM)

Introduction

Top Iranian officials have stated in the past that Tehran is learning from the experience of North Korea in attempting to actualize aspirations for regional supremacy and gaining the status of a global nuclear power.

Iran has achieved both of these under the cover of an agreement with the superpowers that protects it from both attack and inspection, and allows it to proceed, legitimately and with the help of the superpowers, to develop its nuclear capabilities. These include detonation of a nuclear device “for research purposes” as well as the continued development of its missile program, without any restrictions whatsoever under the agreement.

Iran Follows In North Korea’s Footsteps

Like North Korea, which came to several agreements with U.S. administrations, i.e. the Clinton and Obama administrations, as well as with other superpowers, yet continued with its military nuclear program without allowing real inspection of its sites, and also continued to develop long-range ballistic missiles, Tehran is utilizing the JCPOA to develop its nuclear capabilities without allowing real inspection, while continuing to develop and freely test long-range missiles.

It was President Obama who pressured the EU3 – the UK, France, and Germany – and the International Nuclear Energy Agency (IAEA) to agree to no inspection of military and other suspect sites, and to keep the issue of missiles separate from the JCPOA, thus enabling Iran to do as North Korea has done, without any significant response from the West. Iran, which monitored the West’s reaction to North Korea’s activity, concluded that it could do the same, and this lesson has been expressed in statements by top Iranian officials.

For example, Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Larijani said in a September 2005 speech: “I recommend once again that you pay attention to the conduct of North Korea. After two years of dealings with North Korea, what have you got? You have accepted North Korea ‘s nuclear technology in the field of uranium enrichment. So accept ours now.”[1]

The Kayhan daily, which is affiliated with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, wrote in an October 12, 2006 editorial titled “Lessons from North Korea”: ” “[North] Korea has built a [nuclear] bomb before the American’s eyes, despite the great pressure it was under, and [despite] years of harsh international sanctions – and no one has managed to do anything [against it]. What this means precisely is that if any country, such as North Korea, concludes, for political or security reasons, that it must have nuclear weapons, it will ultimately succeed in implementing its wish – even if the whole world doesn’t want it to. The superpowers may manage to slow down [its] path [in going] nuclear, or may apply economic and psychological pressures on it and on its citizens – but   in the end the wish that arises from among the people is what prevails and determines the policy.”[2]

An article in Sobh-e Sadeq, the weekly of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), published in June 2008, called North Korea’s decision to destroy the cooling tower of the reactor at Yongbyon that month “a strategic deception” aimed at alleviating the pressure from the superpowers that oppose its nuclear activity. It added that the destruction of this facility could be a step towards another nuclear test. Also according to the article, the destruction of the tower, the use of which had long been suspended, did not prevent North Korea from being able to revive its activity, thanks to its knowhow, and with its stock of plutonium it could conduct at least another eight nuclear tests.[3]

The Iran Diplomacy research center, which is close to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, called, in April 2009, for careful study of the U.S. reaction to North Korea’s launch that month of a long-range missile, saying that the North Korean model could be applied to the Middle East.[4]

The conservative Iranian daily Resalat stated, following the North Korean missile launch, that the U.S. was weak and could not force its position on North Korea, which, it said, benefits from Russian and Chinese support. It added that the Obama administration was facing a difficult dilemma. If it adopted the harsh position of the preceding Bush administration, Obama’s conciliatory image would be harmed. If it gave in to North Korea, it would strengthen North Korea’s position in southeast Asia.[5]

Iran acted based on North Korea’s experience, but with greater sophistication, as manifested in the following aspects:

1. Instead of rejecting inspections out of hand like North Korea, Tehran created a framework under which only declared nuclear sites could be inspected, along with a different framework in which there would be no inspections of military and other sites, and gained full Western cooperation for this, in addition to tremendous benefits for itself. The West agreed to this Iranian scheme, and the President of the United States himself even explained on July 14, 2015, the day this agreement was announced, that “[t]he IAEA will have access where necessary, when necessary.”[6]Today, the U.S. is obligated to reconfirm every quarter that Iran is meeting the terms of the agreement even though inspection is limited to certain sites only.

2. Tehran took the issue of long-range ballistic missile development out of the negotiations for the JCPOA, and in the absence of an international treaty regulating the issue of long-term missiles, the Obama administration allowed Iran to continue to develop its missile capability to the point where it threatens the Middle East and the West. It should be noted that Iran calls its long-range missiles “defensive missiles” but that by any accepted standard they are offensive missiles; it also threatens the countries of the region with them.


On missile, in Hebrew and Farsi: Israel Should Be Wiped Off the Face of the Earth.” Photo: Fars, Iran, March 9, 2016. See also MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6349, Iran Launches Long-Range Missiles Emblazoned With Slogan: ‘Israel Should Be Wiped Off The Face Of The Earth,’ March 16, 2016.

3. The JCPOA was written in such a way that it expires after a certain time period, as do the restrictions and certain qualifications to which Tehran agreed.

4. The U.S. administration acquiesced to Tehran’s demand that its heavy water be stored in nearby Oman, its proxy, where it will be in immediate reach of Iran. The administration also acquiesced to Iran’s demand that it be allowed to continue developing advanced-generation centrifuges, such that after the JCPOA expires in 2025 it will be able to skip significant stages in its nuclearization process.<

What Inspection Did The EU3 And IAEA Agree To Under Pressure From The Obama Administration?

IAEA director-general Yukia Amano recently announced that the IAEA could enter any site in Iran to inspect it. But his statements are misleading, because the JCPOA does not allow real inspection of any nuclear site except for those declared by Iran. The following are the terms agreed to in the JCPOA by Amano and the Europeans:[7]

  1. The JCPOA created a unique inspection framework for Iran that bypasses the Additional Protocol, which allows inspection of military sites, which Iran accepted as a voluntary and unilateral step, and from which it can drop out without violating the JCPOA.
  2. The JCPOA transferred the authority to make clear professional decisions from the IAEA to a political supreme forum whose authority supersedes that of the IAEA – with the agreement of IAEA director-general Yukia Amano, who relinquished his status under pressure from Obama.
  3. The JCPOA set out a series of restrictions for conducting inspections; for example, any claim by the IAEA must not be motivated by an intent to damage Iranian military or security activity. This wording hands Iran the tools to prevent any inspection of any security or other site, by arguing that such an inspection is motivated by an intent to damage its military activity. The procedure demands that the information that casts suspicion on any of these sites and that prompts a request for inspection be revealed to Iran, Russia, and China – and this demand, which cannot be met, is aimed at stopping the inspection process in its tracks.
  4. The JCPOA created a political precedent for a non-credible inspection process, through closing Iran’s PMD (Possible Military Dimensions) file by a predetermined political decision and while negotiating with Iran about writing the IAEA report on the PMD – i.e. the file was not closed independently by the IAEA. That is, IAEA inspectors did not visit the sites, and the samples from these sites were taken by the Iranians themselves and handed over to the IAEA inspectors without any way of ascertaining that the sample taken is what was handed over. IAEA director-general Yukia Amano submitted to the Obama administration’s pressure to agree to this unprofessional and non-credible procedure, violating the trust placed in him and in the IAEA as an independent, professional, and authoritative body. This is because the Iranians made their acceptance of the JCPOA conditional upon the closure of their PMD file in this exact way, so that there could be no entrance to suspect military sites. Additionally, he submitted to Iran’s refusal to allow the IAEAto question Iranian nuclear scientists, and agreed not to mention the term “PMD” in the report focusing on this issue, because Iran opposed this. Furthermore, the IAEA report on the PMD issue stated that there was indeed suspect activity in Iran, but refrained from stating that the Iranian regime was responsible for it.

These were also clarified by Iran’s representative in the IAEA, Reza Najafi, in a September 21, 2015  interview with the ISNA news agency. He said: “I deny the Reuters report that the samples from Parchin were taken in the presence of IAEA inspectors. We ourselves took the samples. This is the red line for us, and no inspector is authorized to enter a military site and conduct an inspection. The visit of Amano and his deputy was strictly a general protocol visit; they had no equipment, not even a cellphone, their visit did not last more than a few minutes, [and it was] only  in order for them to see that there is nothing suspicious and that the claims about [Parchin] were completely wrong.”[8]

See also the following MEMRI reports:

French President Macron: It Is “Absolutely Necessary” That The JCPOA “Be Supplemented… As Far As The Use Of Ballistic Missiles Is Concerned”

French President Emmanuel Macron, in an August 29, 2017 Paris speech to a conference of French ambassadors, spoke of the need to fortify the JCPOA as part of the nonproliferation regime, and proposed “absolutely necessary” supplementation of it “as far as the use of ballistic missiles is concerned” after 2025 when the JCPOA expires. He said: “[T]his agreement [JCPOA] was improved thanks to the intervention of France. There is no alternative to the nonproliferation regime and we will be extremely strict as to its implementation. The framework of this agreement is good. It can be supplemented by some work [on it] after 2025 – an absolutely necessary work as far as the use of ballistic missiles is concerned.”[9]

* A. Savyon is Director of the MEMRI Iran Studies Project; Y. Carmon is President of MEMRI.

Appendix: Additional MEMRI Reports On The Subject

 

[1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 994, Iranian Nuclear Chief Ali Larijani: The West Should Learn the Lesson of North Korea, September 26, 2005.

[2] Kayhan (Iran), October 12, 2006. See also MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1321, Iranian Daily Close to Supreme Leader Khamenei: ‘If Any Country Such as North Korea, Concludes, for Political or Security Reasons, That It Must Have Nuclear Weapons, It Will Ultimately Succeed… Even if the Whole World Is Opposed…’ October 13, 2006.

[3] Sobh-e Sadeq (Iran), June 30, 2008.

[4] Iran Diplomacy (Iran), April 6, 2009.

[5] Resalat (Iran), April 6, 2009.

[6] Obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office, July 14, 2015.

[7] See Section Q of Annex of the JCPOA, pp 42-43, Apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/world/full-text-of-the-iran-nuclear-deal/1651. See also MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1325 – Discussion Of Iranian Violations Of JCPOA Is Futile; The Inspection Procedure Designed By The Obama Administration Precludes Actual Inspection And Proof Of Violations, August 18, 2017.

[8] ISNA (Iran), September 21, 2015.

[9] Elysee.fr, August 29, 2017.

ANALYSIS: Iran’s deft use of ‘politics of the apocalypse

September 9, 2017

ANALYSIS: Iran’s deft use of ‘politics of the apocalypse, Al Arabiya, Tony Duheaume, September 8, 2017

In this Dec. 10, 1978 file picture, demonstrators hold up a poster of Ayatollah Khomeini. (AP)

Devouts adhering to the beliefs of Twelver Shiism believe that Muhammed al-Mahdi will appear in the clouds as the final end-of-times battle is taking place between the Shiite faithful and the armies of the nonbelievers. The interpretation of the Iranian regime puts the contemporary West and surrounding Arab states among the non-believing adversaries, against whom the regime avers the Mahdi would propel the Twelvers to victory.

One Iranian policy that will never change is the one adhered to openly by Ahmadinejad, which is hellbent on bringing about the return of the Hidden Imam through a catastrophic war with all nonbelievers.

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Before Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power in Iran through a violent revolution in 1979, his plan was in place for his own form of Shiite utopia, which would be led by clerics that adhered to the Twelver Shiite Muslim tradition of Muhammed al-Mahdi.

Traditionally known as the Hidden Imam, Muhammed al-Mahdi is believed by Twelver Shiites to be their messiah, and is said by his followers to be awaiting his return to earth, at a time when they will be suffering great tribulation. Responding to this, through a rigid form of theocratic political rule, Khomeini was determined to put in place a clerical government that would prepare for the Mahdi’s reappearance.

Having studied for years in exile, Khomeini became heavily influenced by various Sufi mystics, and had also studied the works of philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato. As is evident from his own poetry, he openly criticized spirituality and religion.

Adding his accumulated knowledge to that of past Persian dynasties, Khomeini knew exactly how to manipulate the Iranian masses, and exploiting their jealously guarded perception of their Persian identity, and that of the misrule of Mohammed Reza Shah, he propelled himself to power.

Once in power, Khomeini brought a Communist-style discipline into being, and moving away from the commonly held concept of religion of simply being the belief of the state and an ethical guide for the people, he introduced the notion of political control into Shiism, using a fanatically charged security system to dominate all aspects of everyday life.

Such was the rigidity of the political force put in place by Khomeini that his carefully crafted ideology took away a citizen’s individual identity, and through mass indoctrination replaced it with a collectivist society, where the state dominated all, and the people were fully subdued.

Iranian soldiers attend the swearing-in ceremony for Iranian president Hassan Rouhani for a further term, at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, August 5, 2017. (Reuters)

Theocratic mind control

Khomeini was a clever operator and knew exactly how to enslave the population. He would at first free the people from the control of his arch enemy Mohammed Reza Shah, who had thrown Khomeini into exile. But from his position of refuge in Paris, Khomeini urged the masses to stand up for their rights, stoking up the anger of the millions that eventually took to the streets of Iran, calling for them to continue their protests, denouncing the Shah’s claims to a religious dynasty, and calling for true Shiite Islam to return to the public domain.

Once Khomeini had overthrown the Shah to gain a firm hold on law and order, the masses had to be programmed to adhere fully to his ideology, and he did this by creating a personality cult for himself, which would set him up to be revered as God’s representative on earth until the appearance of Muhammed al-Mahdi.

To the faithful, Khomeini was perceived as a messianic-type being, whose teachings would provide the right course Shiite Islam needed to adhere to, leading up to the reappearance of the Hidden Imam, a philosophy which would continue through to Ali Khamenei, who succeeded him to become today’s Supreme Leader.

Devouts adhering to the beliefs of Twelver Shiism believe that Muhammed al-Mahdi will appear in the clouds as the final end-of-times battle is taking place between the Shiite faithful and the armies of the nonbelievers. The interpretation of the Iranian regime puts the contemporary West and surrounding Arab states among the non-believing adversaries, against whom the regime avers the Mahdi would propel the Twelvers to victory.

During his term as Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had confided to friends, how an apparition of the Mahdi had appeared to him, sending him on a divine mission to bring about a cataclysmic confrontation with the West, which he was convinced would hasten the Hidden Imam’s second coming.

Although during some of his most fervent outbursts, Ahmadinejad might have come across to the rest of the world as having been close to insane, he was in fact adhering to a radical form of religious thought, which was shared not only by many of the regime’s more fanatical hard-line hierarchy, but also by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, a large number of commanders in the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the entire force of Basij and that of Iran’s proxy terror organisation Hezbollah.

Iranian army troops march during a parade just outside Tehran, Iran, on April 18, 2017. (AP)

The brew of prophecy in politics

Where the IRGC is concerned, they see themselves as the “Guardians of the Revolution”, an honour bestowed on them by Khomeini himself. So, due to the protective position bestowed upon them to defend Shiism and the ideology of the Revolution at all costs, they are the most radicalized followers.

But the chilling part of this whole saga is that these zealous Iranians have enough military hardware behind them to start World War III, and their military arsenal will soon include a nuclear weapon, which they could use in their minds to precipitate the return of their Hidden Imam.

While in office as Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was so deeply immersed in Shiite apocalyptic theory, it virtually ruled all his political thinking, and such was his fanaticism toward the Mahdi’s arrival, he even called upon Allah to bring about the return of the Twelfth Imam during his September 2005 speech at the United Nations; a speech which baffled many members of the UN who were listening to him.

As far as the Shiite faith is concerned for Iran’s clerical leadership to keep the masses conforming completely to the ideology of Ayatollah Khomeini’s Twelver vision of utopia, they realise they need to control minds, which in the end keeps the cap on law and order, which in turn holds the state together, and most important of all, keeps them in power. But to aid them in this task, they saw to it that the whole of Iran’s school system teaches only Shiite ideals.

Persian Farsi is the only language taught to pupils, all forms of media are controlled by the state, and all other cultures except Persian have been almost entirely eradicated in the leadership’s bid to create a mind-controlled society.

One Iranian policy that will never change is the one adhered to openly by Ahmadinejad, which is hellbent on bringing about the return of the Hidden Imam through a catastrophic war with all nonbelievers.

Pamela Geller’s film: “Can’t We Talk About This?” | Islam & free speech

September 9, 2017

Pamela Geller’s film: “Can’t We Talk About This?” | Islam & free speech, Rebel Media via YouTube, September 9, 2017

Reporting on the Rohingya: “The Tip of a Huge Iceberg of Misinformation”

September 9, 2017

Reporting on the Rohingya: “The Tip of a Huge Iceberg of Misinformation” Jihad Watch

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar, is now all over the news, being taken to task for “not speaking out” against the mistreatment of the Rohingya, the Muslim minority in Myanmar, almost all of whom live in the western Rakhine State of Myanmar. 365,000 people have signed a petition demanding she be stripped of her Nobel Prize for not speaking out and denouncing the Buddhists of Myanmar; in Pakistan, a country renowned for its humane treatment of minorities, her photograph has been publicly burned; Al Jazeera has denounced her, and so has that champion of justice Tariq Ramadan.

In the last month, the world media reports, 250,000 Rohingya have now fled the latest cycle of violence, that began with Rohingya attacks on the military in mid-August, for Bangladesh. In fact, Aung San Suu Kyi has spoken out, but not in the way that many expected. They wanted her to categorically denounce the Burmese military and to depict the Rohingya as entirely innocent victims of Buddhist attacks; this she has refused to do. She believes the story of the Rohingyas in Myanmar is more complicated than the outside world believes. She has noted that “fake news” about atrocities in Myanmar have been relied on by much of the world’s media. More than a few of the stories about the Rohingya have indeed been accompanied by photos purportedly showing the violence against them, but which, in fact, have turned out to be photos of other atrocities experienced by other peoples, having nothing to do with Myanmar. Even the BBC’s south-east Asia correspondent, Jonathan Head, concedes that “much of it [the photos, and the coverage]  is wrong.” A closer look reveals that many of the pictures supposedly from Myanmar have come from other crises around the world, with one of those tweeted by Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek even dating back to the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

Jonathan Head discusses at the BBC website four of the most widely-circulated photographs, ostensibly showing Rohingya victims of current Buddhist violence, that are examples of “fake news.” The first photograph, showing a number of bloated corpses, “does appear on several websites dated last year. This suggests the image is not from the recent violence in Rakhine state.’’ “Suggests” is British understatement for “clearly shows.”

The BBC has ascertained that the second photograph, of a woman mourning a dead man tied to a tree, was taken in Aceh, Indonesia, in June 2003, by a photographer working for Reuters.

The third photograph, of two infants crying over the body of their mother, is from Rwanda in July 1994. It was taken by Albert Facelly for Sipa, and was one of series of photos that won a World Press Award.

It has also been difficult to track down the fourth image, of people immersed in a canal, but it can be found on a website appealing for funds to help victims of recent flooding in Nepal.

In other words, not one of the four photographs widely distributed as examples of Rohingya suffering has anything to do with the Rohingyas. This is what the BBC’s south-east Asia correspondent has confirmed. Surely that ought to be made widely known, and just as surely, it won’t.

This “fake news” is, according to Aung San Suu Kyi, “simply the tip of a huge iceberg of misinformation calculated to create a lot of problems between different communities and with the aim of promoting the interest of the terrorists.”

Let’s refresh our memories of what has been going on in Myanmar this last month. All the news reports coming from Myanmar (Burma) tell the same story: tens of thousands of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority, have been fleeing into Bangladesh, to avoid the sudden upsurge in violence from both Burmese military and civilians. The Rohingya are presented as the innocent and long-suffering victims of “racist” Burmese Buddhists (Islam being, for propaganda purposes, a “race”). Only a handful of the reports mention, and only briefly, as if in passing, that the current violence began when, in mid-August, Rohingya fighters attacked 30 different police stations and an army base, as part of their campaign to stake their claim to Rakhine State, in western Myanmar, and showing themselves able “to strike terror in the hearts” of the Infidels to get it. The attacks left more than 70 dead, Muslims and Buddhists.

The Rohingyas unleashed still other attacks, and the Burmese army then retaliated, and the Rohingya continued to strike back during the last two weeks in August, and then there was more retaliation from the Buddhists. Many Rohingya have fled the retaliatory violence — a violence which they began — for Bangladesh, but it is their flight, and that retaliation by the Buddhists, which is getting almost all of the attention in the Western press, complete with photographs of victims of other conflicts who are presented as Rohingya (the “fake news” of which Aung San Suu Kyi complained), rather than what prompted it.

Seldom mentioned is that the August attack by the Rohingyas was preceded by a similar attack, last October, by the Rohingyas on the Burmese (Buddhist) police, and again, it was not their initial attack, but almost exclusively the retaliation by the Buddhist army, that was the focus of reports in the foreign press last fall. Reports of Rohingya villages being burnt down are reported uncritically. The Myanmar authorities have claimed that Islamic militants, having infiltrated Rohingya communities, have themselves been setting fire to houses in Muslim villages in order to get the world even more on their side. Instead of assuming these claims must be false, why not investigate them?

According to most of the world’s media, an unfathomable tragedy has been unfolding in Myanmar. The Buddhist majority, inflamed by rabble-rousing anti-Muslim monks, has been persecuting, killing, even massacring, members of the entirely inoffensive Muslim Rohingya minority in the western state of Rakhine (formerly, and in some places still, known as “Arakan”). An example of this hysterical coverage can be found in a report from, unsurprisingly, the pro-Muslim Guardian. It describes a sinister senior monk, Shin Parathu, who is repeatedly accused by the Guardian of “stoking religious hatred across Burma. His paranoia and fear, muddled with racist stereotypes and unfounded rumors, have helped to incite violence and spread disinformation.” One might note that no examples of these “racist stereotypes” are ever given. Could it be that the “stereotype” that this monk is accused of spreading has to do with depicting Muslims as intent on Jihad in the path of Allah, unwilling and even unable to integrate into a Buddhist society, and with a history, going back to 1942, of violence against Buddhists, that is the Rakhine people of Arakan State, and even attempting to join part of  East Pakistan, and through the late 1950s, and in the 1970s, and again in the 1990s, conducting a low-level insurrection against the Burmese state — all of which is true?

And while the Guardian insists that the Rohingya are never the instigators of violence, the policemen they attacked without warning and nine of whom they murdered last October, and the people they killed in 31 coordinated attacks in mid-August, and those Buddhists they have killed since, might beg to differ. The Western press remains resolutely unsympathetic to the Buddhists of Myanmar, unwilling to find out why those Buddhists might have reason to be alarmed.

The Western media have uncritically repeated the Rohingya claim that they have inhabited Arakan for many centuries or “since time immemorial.” Others beg to differ, among them a well-known historian, and author of many works on Burma, Professor Andrew Selth of Griffith University in Australia. He has stated categorically that the name “Rohingya” was taken by “Bengali Muslims who live in Arakan State…most Rohingyas arrived with the British colonialists in the 19th and 20th centuries.” It is true that a handful of Bengali Muslims drifted down to Burma over the centuries, but Professor Selth makes the important point — unknown to Western reporters — that the vast majority of Rohingyas are recent arrivals, their great migration made possible by the fact that Burma was administratively part of British India until 1937, which meant there was no formal border to cross.

Particularly disappointing for many in the West (not to speak of the reactions of Pakistan, Al Jazeera, and Tariq Ramadan) has been what they regard as the unforgivable silence of Aung San Suu Kyi, currently the head of the Myanmar government. For Aung San Suu Kyi was formerly the leader of the nonviolent opposition to the Burmese military, placed under house arrest by the generals, then freed, and awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. For more than two decades she was, for her continued defiance of the generals, and willingness to endure that house arrest, a darling of the international media. Since the end of military rule, which she helped to bring about, she has held a number of important government posts, and is now the State Counsellor (equivalent to Prime Minister) in Myanmar.

But in her continuing refusal to condemn outright the attacks on the Rohingya, and in her insistence that in Myanmar there has been “violence on both sides” — for which there is ample evidence — Aung San Suu Kyi is now seen by many outside Myanmar in quite another light. Many have criticized Aung San Suu Kyi for her silence on the 2012 Rakhine State riots, when, after the rape and killing of a Buddhist woman by three Rohingyas, Buddhists retaliated, and then the violence escalated when hundreds of Rohingyas went on a rampage following Friday prayers at a mosque, throwing rocks and setting fire to houses and buildings. Four Buddhists, among them a doctor and an elderly man, died of multiple knife wounds. Recent accounts in the foreign media ignore all that. For the Western media, the narrative remains the same; the Rohingya are always the victims, and the Buddhist violence against them is always unwarranted.

The outside world deplores Aung San Suu Kyi’s refusal to condemn the Buddhists  and what they see as her general indifference to the ongoing mistreatment of the Rohingya by Burmese Buddhists. Twenty-three Nobel laureates and other “peace activists” signed a letter in November 2016 asking Aung San Suu Kyi to speak out about the Rohingya: “Despite repeated appeals to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, we are frustrated that she has not taken any initiative to ensure full and equal citizenship rights of the Rohingyas,” their Open Letter states. “Daw Suu Kyi is the leader and is the one with the primary responsibility to lead, and lead with courage, humanity and compassion.” But perhaps she has an understanding of the situation, based on an intimate knowledge of her country’s history, that the outside world does not possess.

Aung San Suu Kyi has refused to address accusations that the Muslim Rohingya may be victims of crimes against humanity, and in an interview with the BBC’s Misha Husain in March 2016, she refused to condemn violence against the Rohingya and denied that Muslims in Myanmar have been subject to ethnic cleansing. She insisted that the tensions in her country were due to a “climate of fear” (among the Buddhists) caused by a “worldwide perception that global Muslim power is very great.” And apparently, according to some reports, she was angry that the BBC had chosen a Muslim to interview her. Given the BBC’s history of pro-Rohingya advocacy, can you blame her?

What shall we make of this attitude from someone who had previously been put on a Nobel Peace Prize pedestal? Has she metamorphosed from being a moral exemplar to becoming a moral monster who needs correction, someone who, as researchers on state crime at St. Mary’s University in London claim, is “legitimising genocide”? It is genocide if you attempt to kill all the members of another racial or religious group; it is not genocide if you seek to expel them from your country because of the threat you believe they pose. When Eduard Benes in Czechoslovakia attempted to remove several million ethnic Germans from his country after World War II, based on what they had done before and during the war, in taking Germany’s side, and what he feared they might someday do again should Germany again become a threat, it was not “genocide,” and the Benes Decree, as it was known, was accepted by the West.

It’s not surprising that for the giddy globe’s Great and Good, as the Economist put it, her “halo has even slipped among foreign human-rights lobbyists, disappointed at her failure to make a clear stand on behalf of the Rohingya minority” and to “give details on how her government intends to resolve the violence faced by the long-persecuted Muslim minority.” Or might it just be conceivable that the well-educated Burmese liberal Aung San Suu Kyi knows more about the Rohingyas, and the past history of Muslims in her own country, Myanmar, than do her critics, and that that knowledge makes her more studied and nuanced in her judgments, less credulous about the Rohingya claims of innocent victimhood, and more sympathetic to the fears of the Buddhists of Myanmar?

If we examine the last 150 years of Burmese history, we may find that Madame Suu Kyi has more of a point than her foreign critics think. It is that history that is in the minds of, and explains the behavior today of, the Buddhists of Myanmar. In 1826, after the Anglo-Burmese War, the British annexed Arakan (Rakhine State), where almost all of the 1.1 million Rohingyas now in Myanmar still live, to British India. And they began to encourage Indians, mainly Muslims, to move into Arakan from Bengal as cheap farm labor. They continued to encourage this migration throughout the nineteenth-century. The numbers of Bengali Muslim migrants is impressive. In Akyab District, the capital of Arakan, according to the British censuses of 1872 and 1911, there was an increase in the Muslim population from 58,255 to 178,647, a tripling within forty years. At the beginning of the 20th century, migrants from Bengal were still arriving in Burma at the rate of a quarter million per year. In the peak year of 1927, 480,000 people arrived in Burma, with Rangoon in that year surpassing New York City as the greatest migration port in the world.  And many of these migrants were Bengali Muslims who joined the Muslims already in Rakhine State, renaming themselves the Rohingyas. The Buddhists continued to call them, as they still do today, “Bengalis.” And the immigration of Bengali Muslims continued for decades. In a 1955 study published by Stanford University, the authors Virginia Thompson and Richard Adloff concluded that “’the post-war (World War II) illegal immigration of Chittagonians [i.e., Bengali Muslims from Chittagong in East Pakistan] into that area [Arakan state] was on a vast scale, and in the Maungdaw and Buthidaung areas they replaced the [Buddhist] Arakanese.”

The Buddhist Burmese looked on helplessly at the arrival of these hundreds of thousands of Muslims, but there was nothing they could do against the policy of their British colonial masters. During World War II, the British retreat in the face of the Japanese led to a power vacuum, and simmering inter-communal tensions erupted, with the Arakanese Massacres of 1942, when 50,000 Buddhist Rakhines were killed by the Rohingyas in Rakhine (Arakan) state. In retaliation, the Buddhists then killed as many as 40,000 Rohingyas. (In another account, with much lower figures, the Rohingyas killed 20,000 of the Buddhists, who then killed 5,000 of the Rohingyas.) The origins of the mass killing instigated by the Rohingya Muslims in 1942 have a simple explanation: they had been left weapons by the retreating British, who had been assured that the Rohingyas would use the weapons against the Japanese. Instead, as soon as they acquired these arms, the Rohingyas attacked the Buddhists, mainly Arakanese, in Rakhine State, And after World War II, illegal immigration by Bengali Muslims “was on a vast scale.” For the Western media, none of this matters. History doesn’t count. For the Buddhists of Burma, this history matters a great deal.

And what the Rohingya did next also matters. In May, 1946 Rohingya leaders met with Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the Muslim leader who founded modern Pakistan, and asked that the northern part of Rakhine state be annexed by East Pakistan. Then, when Jinnah refused to interfere in Burmese affairs, they founded the Mujahid Party in northern Arakan in 1947. The aim of the Mujahid Party was initially to create an autonomous Muslim state in Arakan. The local mujahideen – that’s what the Rohingya warriors proudly called themselves — fought government forces in an attempt to have the mostly Rohingya-populated Mayu peninsula in northern Rakhine State secede from Myanmar (then Burma), and after that secession, the Rohingyas hoped that territory would be annexed by East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh). Fighting between the Rohingya and the Burmese state, then, is not a new thing; it has been going on intermittently since 1947, and it was started by the Rohingya. The Rohingya revolt eventually lost momentum in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and many of the Rohingyas surrendered to government forces.

The Muslim insurrection by the Rohingya did not end, but was revived in the 1970s, which in turn led to the Burmese government mounting, in 1978, a huge military operation (Operation King Dragon) that inflicted great damage on the mujahideen, and bought a decade of relative calm. But again the Rohingya rose up against the Burmese state, and in the 1990s the “Rohingya Solidarity Organisation” attacked Burmese authorities near the border with Bangladesh. In other words, this war on the Buddhist Burmese conducted by the Muslim Rohingya has been going on – waxing and waning – ever since that massacre of Buddhist Rakhins in 1942. It  is by keeping in mind that  history,, and the memory, too, of how the Rohingya tried on several occasions to secede from Burma and become part of East Pakistan, that Buddhist fears of a Muslim takeover of northern Myanmar should be taken seriously, and viewed sympathetically. The Burmese monks who have recently been whipping up anti-Rohingya sentiment are not behaving out of motiveless malignity; they are keenly aware of all this history. The current reports by journalists are singularly one-sided, and lacking in any historical context. Not a single Western reporter has mentioned that 1942 massacre of the Buddhists by the Rohingya; not a single Western reporter has mentioned the attempts by the Rohingya to join Arakan state to East Pakistan. Not a single Western reporter has noted the Rohingya insurrections of the 1970s and 1990s. Not a single Western reporter has provided the data that shows just how many Bengali Muslims poured into Burma in the late 19th and early 20th century, that certainly calls into question their claim that “Rohingya have been living in Arakan from time immemorial.”  Not a single Western reporter has noted, either, that the Hui Panthays — a Muslim Chinese people — live in perfect security, free to practice Islam, in Myanmar, perhaps because that doesn’t fit the narrative of anti-Muslim mad monks that has been so successfully peddled in the West. Unlike the Rohingya, the Hui Panthay have not attacked and displaced Buddhists, as the Rohingya, Bengali Muslims, attacked and displaced the Buddhist Rakhine people in parts of Rakhine state.

Do the Buddhists in Myanmar have any legitimate reason to fear the Rohingyas?  We’ve already  noted the 1942 massacre of 50,000 Buddhists, and the large-scale Rohingya uprising in the early 1950s, and again in the 1970s, and then again in the 1990s, all of it underreported, or not reported at all, in the outside world. If you are a Buddhist in Myanmar today, you look around the globe and it appears that Muslims are everywhere on the march. In Europe there are now 44 million Muslims (including those in European Russia), with thousands more arriving every day, and the Muslims already in Europe have become a source of both steadily increasing terrorism and of ever-rising anxiety. Western leaders, from Pope Francis to Angela Merkel to Theresa May, appear to be falling all over themselves to make excuses for Muslim behavior and for Islam. The Buddhists of Myanmar feel they are alone, with the Rohingya supported not only by the worldwide umma, or Community of Muslim Believers, but also by Westerners who have completely accepted the Rohingya version of Myanmar’s history.

Ever since the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, Buddhists have been systematically mistreated in Bangladesh (East Pakistan), and have been pushed out, with a few still remaining in the Chittagong Hills Tract in Bangladesh. Some have fled to Myanmar, which has resettled them. And unsurprisingly, just as Muslims moved into the houses that the fleeing Buddhists left behind in Bangladesh, the Buddhists in Myanmar have given to some of those Buddhists who arrived from Bangladesh land taken from the Rohingyas, as a tit-for-tat exchange. The Buddhists of Myanmar assume that if the Rohingyas leave for Bangladesh, from whence they originally came, they can be given in recompense the villages that the Buddhists left behind in Bangladesh when they fled to Myanmar or to India proper.

For the Burmese — and not just a handful of monks — the Rohingyas are not a true indigenous people of Myanmar, but the descendants of the Muslims who began arriving from East Bengal in the 19th century.  Today’s Rohingyas, for the Buddhists in present-day Myanmar who are leading the anti-Rohingya campaign, are the same people who attacked Buddhists in Rakhine State in 1942, who tried to secede and join Pakistan in 1946, who, as self-described Jihadist warriors (“mujahideen”) conducted a violent insurrection against Burmese authorities that began in 1948 and lasted to the 1950s, in order to make Rakhine an autonomous state under Muslim control, and then, in a second attempt,  to possibly have it annexed by Pakistan. These are the same Jihad warriors who conducted an insurrection against the Buddhist government in the 1970s and again in the 1990s. For the Buddhist monks of Myanmar, the Rohingyas are  Bengali Muslims– the Buddhists have never called them “Rohingyas” but, rather, “Bengalis” — who migrated south to Burma, and are the local branch of the world-wide Muslim umma that has been in continuous warfare against Buddhists and Buddhism for centuries, and is again becoming more aggressive and violent all over the world.

When those Burmese monks look next door to India, they remember that in the 12th century, Muslim invaders pillaged Buddhist monuments and monasteries, leading to Buddhism’s final decline in that country. The monks know too that the last large group of Buddhists still remaining in the subcontinent, those in the Chittagong Hills tract in Bangladesh, are in danger of being completely driven out, or even disappearing,  because of repeated attacks by Muslims.

The monks remember the recent destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan by the Taliban, and that gigantic act of cultural vandalism reminds them of the thousands of Buddhist temples and statues and stupas and monasteries that were destroyed over the centuries by the Muslim invaders of India and its neighbors.

And then they think, too, of what Muslims have done to Hindus, in Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and especially in Kashmir, where 50,000 families of Kashmiri pandits, Hindus indigenous to Kashmir, have been forced out – to escape death — by Muslims. The mass killings of the Pandits, which almost no one in the West seemed to notice or care about, were taken to heart  by the Buddhists in Myanmar. It made them realize what could happen to them and how, like the Kashmiri Pandits, they were on their own in facing Muslim aggression. They read about such things as this (which I have previously posted, but it deserves re-posting):

“The days that followed the night of January 19, 1990 saw Kashmiri Pandits being killed in scores every day. Atrocities against KPs had become the order of the day. From Budgam to Brijbehara, from Kupwara to Kanikadal there was hardly a day when Kashmiri Pandits haven’t been killed. Most brutal forms of torture from gouging out of eyes, to cutting genitals, to burning bodies with cigarette butts and even chopping off body parts were used to kill Pandits. Sarwanand Kaul Premi, a noted scholar had nails hammered in place of his tilak. BK Ganjoo was killed in his home and his wife was asked to eat the rice soaked in his blood. Sarla Bhat a nurse was gang-raped before being killed and her naked body was thrown on the street. The killers of Ravinder Pandita of Mattan danced over his body. The bodies of Brijlal and Choti were tied to a jeep in Shopian and dragged for 10 km.”

“Girja Tikoo, a school teacher in Bandipora, was gang-raped before being killed. There are hundreds of such stories. One can almost write a book on the people who suffered at the hands of the terrorists while the meek and feeble Indian state looked the other way. A notorious terrorist named Bitta Karate alone killed more than 20 Pandits and had no shame accepting the same. …More than a thousand Pandits were killed, tortured and raped.”

The exodus, meanwhile, carried on.

The Buddhists of Myanmar have also noticed the long-running terrorism of two Muslim groups, Abu Sayyaf and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, in their attempt to gain independence for Muslim-majority islands in the Philippines; the two groups have been responsible for more than 100,000 dead. And they know about the more than 30,000 attacks by Muslim terrorists since 9/11/2001, against many different indigenous non-Muslims – Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists — in such non-Muslim lands China, India, Australia, the Philippines, Russia, Israel, Great Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, the United States, as well as the persecution and killings of Christians by Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria, Algeria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Somalia, Yemen, and Indonesia.

And every day brings fresh news, from somewhere in the world, of atrocities committed by Muslims, whether members of the Islamic State, or of Al-Qaeda, or of other groups under other names, or by lone-wolf mujahideen determined to fulfill their duty to engage in violent Jihad, to sow terror, and to kill Infidels. And the Buddhists in Myanmar  begin to think, given that so many powerful countries in the West seem unable to handle their domestic Muslim problems, and given, too, the unwillingness of the non-Muslim peoples to band together in a counter-Jihad, that they can rely only on themselves, and that history teaches them that they must retaliate with ferocity. They believe that the Rohingya, or almost all of them, arrived in Myanmar from the late 19th century on, and were not, as the Rohingyas claim, in Myanmar “from time immemorial.” Of course, they wish to encourage the Rohingyas, whom they regard as a distinctly foreign group (“Bengalis”), with a history of violence and insurrection, to leave Myanmar for the Bengal region from which, the Burmese know, the Rohingyas originally came.

Is it so difficult to imagine that those Buddhist monks feel that it is they, their religion, their Buddhist culture, that are now imperiled, by Muslims following the same texts as those who put a virtual end to Buddhism in India, and who have carried out attacks on the last remnant of Buddhists in present-day Bangladesh, and have destroyed so much of the art and artifacts of Buddhist culture in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang in western China, Indonesia? For these monks, who are aware of how destructive a triumphant and triumphalist Islam has been for Buddhism, it is they, the Buddhists in Myanmar, who are on the permanent defensive. From the outside, looking in, with the Buddhists constituting 95% of Myanmar’s population, their worries seem unwarranted. But they see what happened in India, to both Buddhists and Hindus, when ruled by a very small group of Muslims, and history teaches them to worry. They see themselves not as the assured masters of their own country, but as needing to protect  themselves, and some of them believe they should preemptively strike against, and attempt to drive out, the local representatives of Islam, an aggressive and fanatical faith, as Myanmar Buddhists see it, that has driven Buddhism out of so much of Asia.

This recapitulated history is not meant as approval of any unprovoked attacks on the Rohingya civilians. There is no doubt that tens of thousands of Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh in recent weeks, harried by both the Myanmar military and by Burmese civilians. It is meant, however, to remind people that before condemning the Buddhists of Myanmar with such ferocious one-sidedness, and denouncing Aung San Suu Kyi for daring to have a more nuanced view of the situation (and after all, it would have been easy for her to satisfy her foreign critics, and retain her status as a human-rights paladin, by denouncing the Buddhists and declaring the Rohingyas completely innocent, but she refused, and refuses still), one ought to consider the history of the Muslims in that country, when and from where they arrived, and how they have behaved toward the indigenous Buddhists over the past century.

History tells a tale far more complicated than is acknowledged by those issuing these blanket denunciations of the Burmese Buddhists. If those who keep demanding of Aung San Suu Kyi, with such self-righteous indignation, that she “must” speak out about the Rohingya, were to learn a bit more about the history of Myanmar, they might not be quite so ready to denounce her. They have been ferocious in their responses because they are fearful; history has taught them to be so. Because of Islam, Buddhism has disappeared from so many places, including its birthplace, India. The local Buddhists think of Myanmar, despite how it may look to the outside world, as being one of the last redoubts of Buddhism, and under Muslim attack, both diplomatic and military; they want to end the Rohingya (“Bengali Muslim”) problem once and for all.

Should the history of Muslim-Buddhist relations in Myanmar be better known, with journalists taking it upon themselves to learn about, and then to transmit, this history, it is possible that the “international community” would address the current violence differently. Imagine the effect on Myanmar’s anxious Buddhists if those now lecturing them so unsympathetically instead demonstrated by their statements that they were well aware of the flood into Myanmar of Muslim migrants over a half-century, recognized that the inter-communal violence in 1942 had started with massacres by the Muslim side against unsuspecting Buddhists, conceded that the Rohingyas had tried for many years, as self-described mujahideen, to seize part of Myanmar, and to make it an autonomous Muslim state, and that it is this past, as well as the actions over many centuries of Muslims against  Buddhists (and Hindus) in south Asia, that has deeply affected how the Burmese Buddhists view their own situation.

That might help calm the Burmese Buddhists, make them feel less anxious, now that their fears were not being cavalierly dismissed, but given a sympathetic hearing. And they, in turn, might ratchet down their own violence if they no longer feel quite so alone. It should be possible for the West to come to its senses about the Rohingyas and the Buddhists of Myanmar. What is needed is for the Western media to study the history of the Rohingyas in Myanmar, when they arrived, and from where, and what has been the nature of their interactions with the Buddhists. And the Western journalists on whom we rely will learn that beginning in the 1940s it was the Rohingyas who struck first against the Buddhists, militarily with the massacre of 50,000 in 1942, and diplomatically with the appeal to Pakistan’s president in 1947 to make Arakan (Rakhine State) part of Pakistan, and continued to strike against the Buddhist authorities in Myanmar intermittently, over several decades of conflict. That history can’t be restated often enough.

Aung San Suu Kyi has steadfastly refused to one-sidedly condemn Myanmar’s Buddhists, a denunciation ardently desired by those who know so little of that country’s history, and she has suffered for it. Among the  Nobel Prize Winners who denounced her, Malala Yousafzai, as “a fellow Nobel Prize winner,” has from Pakistan cast Aung San Suu Kyi into the outer darkness. The Taliban, of course, have denounced the Buddhists of Myanmar for their unspeakable behavior (they are shocked, shocked). Even Ramzan Kadyrov, the murderous Muslim despot who rules Chechnya, with ludicrous exaggeration, has compared what is happening in Myanmar to the Holocaust. Everyone is outraged by Aung San Suu Kyi — Al Jazeera, Tariq Ramadan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Mohammmad Javad Zarif, Desmond Tutu, Nicholas Kristof. No one will speak up for Aung San Suu Kyi, because no one wants to go to the trouble of study the last century of Burmese history.

Instead of continuing to malign Aung San Suu Kyi, why not give her a chance to explain publicly why she thinks so many Buddhists are anxious about the Rohingyas? In her BBC interview mentioned earlier, she referred to a “climate of fear” (among Myanmar’s Buddhists) caused by a “worldwide perception that global Muslim power is very great.” Isn’t that “worldwide perception” correct? Isn’t that “climate of fear” one that many people, not just in Myanmar but in the most advanced states of Western Europe, now experience? Let her not be dismissed, but taken seriously when she maintains that all this history ought to be taken into account by those so quick to pronounce one-sided judgements on the conflict today between the Buddhists and the Muslim Rohingya.

Giving her that chance of a hearing should create sympathy for the Buddhists who now feel besieged and alone in Myanmar, as the Western media paints them as oppressors who have no legitimate fears. It would also be salutary for Unbelievers elsewhere to be reminded that Muslim aggression is directed not just against the West, but against all the rest. Give Aung San Suu Kyi the chance to tell the story of her own country. If Myanmar’s Buddhists feel that their side of the story is getting out, they will feel less alone and, as a consequence, less reliant on violence. But the more the West ignores the history of which they are keenly aware, the more they will feel the need to resort to violence.

Right now things have heated up again in Myanmar. But note exactly what happened: after a period of calm, 400 Rohingya attacked and killed nine policeman in coordinated attacks on three border posts last October. The attackers call themselves the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. The Burmese military then went after those Rohingyas they believed were responsible for those attacks. After a few months of low-level fighting, quiet on both sides prevailed. But this past August, the conflict began again with 31 coordinated attacks by the Rohingya in a single night. The Myanmar military responded ferociously. It was that response by the Buddhists that was covered by the Western media, while they gave short shrift to the attack by the Rohingyas that instigated the violence. For reasons that deserve to be pondered, the Western media accept only the Rohingya version of history, in which their killing of 50,000 Buddhists in 1942 is never mentioned, nor their attempt to split off Rakhine State from what was then Burma, and to make it part of East Pakistan, nor their decades of intermittent insurrection. And today, even on those occasions when it has clearly been the Rohingyas who’ve attacked first, they are always depicted in the foreign press as  despairingly responding to non-stop Buddhist oppression. We’re all supposed to forget who started the fighting both last October, and this August, and too many, unfortunately, do.

If someone as clear-headed as Aung San Suu Kyi is reluctant to accept the world media’s version of events in her country, that is, presenting it as a simple-minded morality tale, with the Rohingyas always the victims, and the Buddhists always the victimizers, haven’t her decades of fighting for human rights earned her the right to a hearing? Don’t we have enough examples of Muslims conducting Jihad who have managed successfully, as masters of propaganda, to present themselves as more sinned against than sinning? See, for example, the “Palestinians” who, over the past half-century, despite committing every conceivable atrocity, are in much of the world depicted as being “oppressed” by the very people, the Israelis, who are the constant victims of those atrocities.

There may be reasons why Aung San Suu Kyi deems it unwise to discuss publicly the mass murder of Buddhists in 1942 by the Rohingya, or their history of insurrection against the Burmese (Myanmar) state in the 1950s,1970s, and 1990s, or to speak more generally of how the spread of Islam led, centuries ago, the virtual disappearance of Buddhism in India. Such remarks could make the Buddhists even more anxious about the Rohingya, because they know they are true, and make the Rohingya and other Muslims even more enraged, because they know they are true. Perhaps she’s afraid that such a discussion would simply stir up more violence, when she is trying to tamp things down. But let’s at least find out what, if anything, Aung San Suu Kyi wishes to say on the matter. It might prove salutary and bracing to hear, from a genuine heroine, her views on the Rohingya matter, in the past and present, since the world chooses to ignore that history. It might be useful to remind the world of what is on the minds of people in Myanmar, whose mental timeline is longer than the latest tweet, and to hear her explanation, too, of why Buddhists in Myanmar feel so anxious not just about that history, but about the Muslims now seemingly on the march elsewhere in the world. Let’s give her a chance to be hear, instead of denouncing her so ferociously for thinking it is not irrational for the Buddhists of Myanmar to be alarmed, and for them to want to avoid the fate of too many others who, despite their numbers, in the end succumbed, as did the Buddhists in Afghanistan and India and Indonesia, to those who brought Jihad.

The Nuclear Option: Trump’s Rebuke of Washington GOP Should Surprise No One

September 9, 2017

The Nuclear Option: Trump’s Rebuke of Washington GOP Should Surprise No One, BreitbartCharles Hurt, September 8, 2017

The swamp gets sloshed! Republicans stunned! GOP reeling! Blindsided!

Blindsided? Seriously?

President Trump cuts a dirty little deal with Democrats and the swamp rats are surprised? They scurry for cover like cockroaches when the lights flick on.

Holy frog juice, these people are even dumber than we thought. These swamp denizens are even more delusional than we thought.

And these people are supposed to be political experts.

The hopeless debt-addled addicts in Congress got sent to rehab after last November’s intervention election, and ever since they keep promising they really learned their lesson this time. Now we find they are still doped up — meth-rotted teeth, glassy-eyed — and still shooting up treasury ink.

Rep. Kevin Cramer, North Dakota Republican, said he “gasped” when he learned of Mr. Trump’s deal with the devilish Democrats.

“Wow,” he said. “I was at dinner last night where that was not in anybody’s dream.”

Former Senate GOP leader Trent Lott cringed over how “embarrassing” it was to have the president lay bare such a split with Republicans in Congress.

Somebody needs to reread “The Masque of the Red Death.”

We have on our hands an economic, bureaucratic and political plague, and these people in the swamp are still clutching their pearls, gasping into their lace gloves and fretting over proper manners at the garden party that went broke long, long ago.

Let’s review: Since the start of the year, President Trump has tried working with Republicans. He gave them a sterling, phenomenal Supreme Court justice.

Despite all the venom from so many Republicans in Washington during last year’s general election, Mr. Trump helped the party keep seats in all four special elections where Republicans competed.

And despite the acrimony, Mr. Trump has been generous in explaining to Washington Republicans all the things that matter most to actual voters in America. He has worked strenuously to make good on the promises that got him — and many Republicans — elected last year.

For their part, Republicans refuse to hear Mr. Trump’s advice. They backstab him and leak fake stories to the fake media about his White House.

They join in with the barking, mouth-frothing hyenas to investigate this Russia canard and threaten the president’s family and personal fortune.

They call him a racist because he — rightly — called out the leftist thugs who agitate for a race war in this country.

And, finally, these syphilitic Washington Republicans are, apparently, constitutionally incapable of actually accomplishing anything.

Forget that Mr. Trump got elected promising to repeal Obamacare. Republicans have won four straight elections on that very same promise!

And they can’t even get that done, even as Mr. Trump stands at the end of Pennsylvania Avenue, holding his pen, weeping ink.

Yet these bozos are surprised that Mr. Trump finally had enough and is now playing footsie with Democrats?

And these are the “good guys” in Washington. Dear Lord, help us!