Archive for December 2017

The worst of MSNBC in 2017

December 31, 2017

The worst of MSNBC in 2017, Washington Free Beacon via YouTube, December 28, 2017

Turkish Twitter Explodes with Genocidal Jew-Hatred

December 31, 2017

Turkish Twitter Explodes with Genocidal Jew-Hatred, Gatestone InstituteUzay Bulut, December 31, 2017

According to Islamists, all prominent figures beginning from Adam and Eve were Muslim, therefore all the lands where they lived were Muslim lands. Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Yazidism, and others are not belief systems which could also be respected. The believers of all those religions are occupiers in Muslim lands. They are not natives or honorable residents. They are not even communities whose rights and religious liberty should be respected as much as that of Muslims. They have, in fact, according to this view, abandoned the only true religion; they have therefore been cursed and will be punished by Allah unless they convert to Islam. If they are allowed to live despite that, it is all because of the “mercy” of Islamists — but they are always to remain inferior to Muslims.

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The statements of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — and those of Turks who share his worldview – are further evidence that fundamentalist Muslims oppose Israel’s very existence as a sovereign Jewish state. Their ire over Trump’s Jerusalem declaration has nothing to do with U.S. or Israeli policies.

Their fury stems from Jews existing in Israel as a powerful nation – not as dhimmis (second-class and persecuted people). Fanatic Muslims cannot get over the fact that Jews still live in, and are in charge of, supposedly their Muslim holy land.

To justify their rage, these radicals rewrite history. Their claims that Jerusalem is a Muslim holy city, for example, are false. While Jerusalem is mentioned 850 times in the Old Testament, it is not mentioned once in the Koran.

Although U.S. President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital drew condemnation from much of the Muslim world, one reaction stood out — that of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“Those who think they are the owners of Jerusalem today will not even be able to find trees to hide behind tomorrow,” he said, during a Human Rights Day event in Ankara on December 10.

Erdoğan was referring to a hadith (a reported saying by Islam’s prophet, Mohammed) about Judgement Day:

“Abu Huraira reported Allaah’s Messenger (sall Allaahua layhiwa sallam) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allaah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.”

Although U.S. President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital drew condemnation from much of the Muslim world, one reaction stood out — that of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. (Photo by Elif Sogut/Getty Images)

Radical Turks echoed Erdoğan’s sentiment on social media. Under the hashtag #KudüseSahipÇık (“Safeguard Jerusalem”), which quickly became a trending topic, Turkish Twitter-users expressed a seething Jew-hatred — not hatred of Israelis, but Jews. Here are some examples:

  • “I hope this will be a cause of war for us. I will spit on the blood of Jews.”
  • “[With each] Jew massacred, the world will get more relaxed, and say ‘I have got rid of those filths’.”
  • “The ummah [Islamic community] is ready for an intifada. They can exterminate the Jew.”
  • “To declare Jerusalem the capital [of Israel] means to start a new war in the Middle East. We have no fear of war. [The question is] Where will we bury millions of Jewish bodies? To touch Jerusalem means an end to Jews.”
  • “The Jew is cowardly. He cannot fight. He trusts his money, and recruits soldiers. But what we need is unity and livelihood.”
  • “For Jerusalem to belong to Muslims, not a single Jew should be left alive in Palestinian lands. It is either victory or victory.”
  • “Oh Allah! Do not take my soul before you grant me the privilege to engage in jihad against Israeli Jewish dogs.”
  • “There is only one thing to be said about Jews: There has never been a more cowardly, dishonorable, and peasant nation like them. The victory will definitely be ours.”

Some Twitter-users praised Hitler for killing Jews, while others condemned him for not doing a sufficient job. Then there are those who suggested persecuting Turkish Jews. Tagging Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, one user tweeted:

“Synagogues, the Israeli consulate and Jews… If we burn down, destroy and kill all of these things, will we be considered criminals now?”

Other Tweets in the same vein included:

  • “Close all synagogues in Turkey. Either arrest or deport all Jewish citizens. Close all the water lines to Israel. Then they will croak automatically.”
  • “What if we shut down synagogues and churches? And open Hagia Sophia [Christian Basilica in Istanbul] to [Muslim] worship?”
  • “Chain all the synagogues in Istanbul. Tolerance has limits. Jerusalem is the capital of Muslim believers.”

Erdoğan’s statements — and those of Turks who share his worldview — are further evidence that fundamentalist Muslims oppose Israel’s very existence as a sovereign Jewish state. Their fury over Trump’s Jerusalem declaration has nothing to do with U.S. or Israeli policies. Their fury stems from Jews existing in Israel as a powerful nation – not as dhimmis (second-class and persecuted people). Fanatic Muslims cannot get over the fact that Jews still live in, and are in charge of, supposedly their Muslim holy land.

These reactions are also the most observable examples of Islamist genocidal hatred of Jews and extreme Islamist intolerance of a non-Islamic faith’s religious sensibilities and its national history.

To justify their rage, these radicals rewrite history. Their claims that Jerusalem is a Muslim holy city, for example, are false. While Jerusalem is mentioned 850 times in the Old Testament, it is not mentioned once in the Koran. Ever since King David made Jerusalem the capital of Israel some 3,000 years ago, the city has played a central role in Jewish existence. It only became a focus of Muslim agitation in 1980, when Israel adopted a Basic Law — equivalent to a constitutional provision — declaring united Jerusalem as its capital.

Muslims never declared Jerusalem their capital, even when they controlled the area later called “Palestine,” after their invasion in the seventh century. Instead, in the beginning of the eighth century, they built the city of Ramla and named it their local capital. Jordan also did not declare Jerusalem a Muslim capital when it controlled the city from 1948 to 1967. Moreover, during those 19 years, the only Arab leader who even visited Jerusalem was King Abdullah I of Jordan — who was assassinated there in 1951 by an Arab nationalist associated with the former mufti of the city.

It is true that Al-Aqsa Mosque is located in Jerusalem; the first reference to the mosque appeared in the 12th century. Yet, the common perception that the Temple Mount, where Al-Aqsa is situated, is the “third-holiest site in Islam” is based on a rhetorical ploy: Mecca is Islam’s holiest place; Medina is its second-holiest. For Jews, Jerusalem is the holiest city and the Temple Mount the holiest site; Judaism’s second-holiest site is the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, which Muslims usurped when they conquered the city in the 7th century and re-named it the Ibrahimi Mosque. If Muslims are entitled to have control over the city that hosts their so-called “third-holiest site,” why do they oppose Jewish control over the city that contains Judaism’s first- and second-holiest sites?

Many Muslims also often purposely muddy that Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Israel does not compromise the religious freedom of Muslims and Christians. In fact, the city has never in its history been as open to pilgrims from all religions as it has been under Israeli rule. By contrast, during the 19 years when the Old City and its holy sites were under Jordanian occupation, Jews — regardless of the origin of their passports — were prohibited to visit and pray there. Still today, Jews visiting the Temple Mount are prohibited from praying there.

Since the advent of Islam, Muslim regimes have destroyed — or converted into mosques — synagogues, churches, Buddhist and Hindu temples, and other non-Muslim places of worship. Accusing Israel of engaging in such behavior is both a projection and a propaganda device.

The false narrative about Jerusalem is part of what Moshe Sharon, Professor Emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, calls the “Islamization of History.” The basic attitude, he says,

“is that … all major figures of history basically are Muslim — from Adam down to our own time. So, if the Jews or Christians are demanding something and basing it on the fact that there was a king called Solomon or a king called David, or a prophet called Moses or Jesus, they say something which is not true or, in fact, they don’t know that all these figures were basically Muslim figures.”

He further explains:

“Anywhere which was connected with these people or with these prophets who were all Muslims becomes a Muslim territory. And therefore, when Islam was not in …the Middle East or other parts outside of the Middle East which are now Muslim… any place like this had to be freed, not to be conquered. … Islam appeared in history in the time of Mohammed — or reappeared in history from their point of view — as a liberator…”

…presumably of an Islamic religion that existed since forever and was distorted by religions which came along later: Judaism and Christianity.

That is why the struggle of Israel is also the struggle of the West against sharia-imposed historic revisionism and the slavery of dhimmitude, the second-class, “tolerated” status assigned by Islamists to Jews and other non-Muslims. It is a struggle for freedom in which the Jewish people take back their history and freedom from Islamist and other dictators and preserve them in their own ancient homeland.

The Islamist understanding of history and geography, however, is completely different from scientific and historical facts.

According to Islamists, all prominent figures beginning from Adam and Eve were Muslim, therefore all the lands where they lived were Muslim lands. Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Yazidism, and others are not belief systems which could also be respected. The believers of all those religions are occupiers in Muslim lands. They are not natives or honorable residents. They are not even communities whose rights and religious liberty should be respected as much as that of Muslims. They have, in fact, according to this view, abandoned the only true religion; they have therefore been cursed and will be punished by Allah unless they convert to Islam. If they are allowed to live despite that, it is all because of the “mercy” of Islamists — but they are always to remain inferior to Muslims.

This is what Islamists assert and have acted on in the lands they rule. But science — including real history, archeology, and objective theological studies, among others — would disagree with the Islamists’ revisionist understanding of history.

It is natural that a religion claims that it is the only true one. But most do so by still recognizing and respecting other faiths and their histories. What is destructive and intolerant is if one religion denies the authenticity of other religions and dehumanizes and demonizes their believers. This distorted and misleading understanding of world history has also helped to create extremely oppressive and violent Muslim regimes that have never treated non-Muslims as equals.

An ideology that asserts that all of human history is actually its own history, and other faiths are just inventions created by frauds that led their believers astray, and that misled people who will burn in hell forever because they do not believe in the only eternal, true, and perfect religion, is not fit to create a tolerant culture that is respectful to, and accepting of, other faiths. That is why this denialist, supremacist, and totalitarian ideology has not been able to promote religious, cultural, or intellectual diversity at any time in history in the lands that it took over.

This denialist view on history, which recognizes nothing but Islam, is what mainly creates the enormous differences in understanding between the Islamists who falsely claim ownership of Jerusalem and the Jews of Israel who rebuilt their homeland and wish to live there in dignity.

The Islamists attempt falsely to Islamize history, by combining it with the hate-filled teachings in Islamic scripture openly claiming that Jews and other non-Muslims are “cursed by Allah” and “shall be killed off.” This revisionist history is how and why fundamentalists such as Erdoğan — and the Turkish Twitter-users who follow his lead — have no compunction about disseminating genocidal vitriol.

Their lies need to be exposed for what they are: anti-Semitism and falsehoods disguised as legitimate criticism of U.S. and Israeli policy.

Uzay Bulut, a Turkish journalist born and raised a Muslim, is currently based in Washington D.C.

Cartoons and Video of the Day

December 31, 2017

Via LatmaTV

 

 

H/t Power Line

The USS Al Gore?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks like a Happy New Year for the Forces of Freedom

December 31, 2017

Looks like a Happy New Year for the Forces of Freedom, American Thinker,Clarice Feldman, December 31, 2017

As I leave D.C. for a weekend in frosty New York City, thousands of people are taking to the streets of Iran to protest the corruption and mismanagement of the ruling mullahs.

The White House is not following the last president’s “bearing witness” to the pleas of the oppressed.  It has, instead, issued through the Department of State a release strongly supporting the protesters and asking “all nations to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption.”

I have to believe that the protesters are heartened by President Trump’s new view of the Middle East and our role in it and the change of rulers and outlook in Saudi Arabia.  While the prior U.S. administration sent pallets of cash to their oppressors, this president has stood firm.  And where once they might have feared Saudi intentions on their homeland, I think they see a new Saudi Arabia – desirous of bringing the region into the modern world, stamping out corruption and terrorism, and encouraging capital formation and investment as the collapse in oil revenue ends the days of easy living.  Lavish living based on little more than exploitation of oil, which the rise in U.S. production based on new energy policies makes the old Saudi way certain of diminishing returns.

Here, the special counsel and speculation about his operations continue.  For an up-to-date review of the publicly available information about Robert Mueller’s work, see Conservative Treehouse’s long, detailed account this week.

As the role of the wives and mistresses of the key players becomes more obvious in the production, dissemination, and use (certainly to get a FISA warrant to spy on Trump and his associates) reveals, a subheading could well be “The Merry Wives of Dossier.”  As a reminder, the FBI has stated it was unable to find – despite over a year of searching – any evidence to support the dossier, an unverified political opposition research paper, contrived by Christopher Steele and paid for by Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and probably the lawyers hired by Obama and even the FBI itself.

In the meantime, no reporter seems to have bothered to check whether the wife of Andrew McCabe, deputy director of the FBI, who received a $700,000 campaign contribution for a state senatorial election (which she lost) from Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe, used all that money in her campaign.  As I understand it, campaign contributions not used by a candidate in Virginia may be kept by the candidate.  McCabe reportedly will retire in mid-March, when his pension kicks in.

The FBI general counsel has been reassigned, along with FBI agent Peter Strzok, an anti-Trump operative in the agency who actively sought to acquire and pay for the dossier.  In mid-January, the Department of Justice’s inspector general is expected to issue the first tranche of his two-part report on his investigation.

Here is the key charge to his office overlapping the work of the special counsel:

Review of Allegations Regarding Various Actions by the Department of Justice and the FBI in Advance of the 2016 Election

The OIG, in response to Congressional and other requests, is reviewing allegations regarding various actions by the Department and the FBI in advance of the 2016 election. The review will examine whether the Department and the FBI followed policies or procedures in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and whether certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations. The review also will examine allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters, that the Department’s Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs improperly disclosed non-public information and/or should have been recused from participating in certain matters, that other Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information, and that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a Twitter account to publicize this release, were influenced by improper considerations. The review will not substitute the OIG’s judgment for the judgments made by the FBI or the Department regarding the substantive merits of investigative or prosecutive decisions. If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review.

My online friend “Rattler Gator” expects that the key figures described in the summary at Conservative Treehouse will all be tagged with wrongdoing and explains why:

[I]t doesn’t really matter if Mueller is directly working for Trump. Either way, he’s essentially working for Trump. So are Peter Strzok & Lisa Page (because of powers and capabilities available to [NSA head] Admiral Rogers; this means… they don’t need to remember – it has been digitized for them).

A reminder: Peter Strzok led the charge to acquire and pay for the Steele dossier. James Baker, Sally Yates, Bill Preistap & Strzok used the dossier in their illegal spying on Trump, their coup attempt, and their targeting of General Flynn. Remember, also, the OIG investigation – encompassing a VERY BROAD review of allegations – dates back to January 12, 2017 and includes the following:

[1] Review of allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on July 5, 2016 – implicating Comey, Lynch, Bill Clinton, McCabe, among others, involved in the fraudulent clearance of Hillary Clinton by Comey’s FBI in July, as well as the crazy shut down / cover up of the Huma Abedin email investigation

[2] Review of Comey’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations

– implicating Comey, Lynch, Bill Clinton, McCabe, among others, involved in the fraudulent clearance of Hillary Clinton by Comey’s FBI in July, as well as the crazy shut down / cover up of the Human Abedin email investigation

[3] Review of allegations that Comey should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters

– implicating Comey and Andrew McCabe

[4] Review of allegations that the Department’s Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign and/or should have been recused from participating in certain matters

– implicating Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter Kadzik’s role investigating & working with Comey / McCabe to shut down the Huma Abedin investigation along with Kadzik’s collusion with the Clinton Foundation and John Podesta, etc.

[5] Review of allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information
– implicating the plethora of organized leakers along with the strategy employed by the Trump Administration (the leaks are real, the news is fake) to deal with these criminal violations … and who solicited said leaks.

[6] Review of allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain FOIA documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations

– this appears to implicate both Bill and Hillary Clinton but info was also released on Donald Trump’s father; however, the bulk of these records come from a 2001 FBI investigation into the pardon of Marc Rich (1934-2013), aka Marcell David Reich, by President Clinton in 2001; this specifically implicates Bill Clinton, Eric Holder, and Clinton’s then Chief of Staff John Podesta[.] …

Here’s the last sentence from that January announcement: Finally, if circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review. …

So… EVERYTHING is in play, including the revolving door between Google, the law firm of Perkins Coie, CrowdStrike, Fusion GPS, the Clintons, Soros and many other players.

Rattler Gator reminds us: “Admiral Rogers has access to most everything incriminating; he has shared that with the OIG, who will now share with Congress; Sessions and the Department of Justice will prosecute from there.  General Flynn placed an Army of spooks into the system during his very-planned-to-be-brief tenure as National Security Adviser.  They have identified, documented and flushed most of the leakers; others have been left in place to aid continuing investigations. Flynn was the honeypot drawing out the bad actors while the Trump Administration, via Admiral Rogers, was able to identify, track and investigate them.”

I would like to believe this is true, and even if only a great deal of it is, I’d be satisfied that our move toward a banana republic has been scotched, but I’m not sure I’m that optimistic.  In any event, the inspector general can only lay out his findings, and then Congress and the attorney general will have to carry through to prosecute wrongdoing.

Many have been suspicious of Mueller.  His staffing and his public silence – along with the recent memory of the Ted Stevens and Lewis Libby political warfare – fuel these suspicions.  On the other hand, F.H. Buckley, whose judgment I value, offers up a more sympathetic view of Mueller and thinks he will wind down this operation well before November.

All of this is under investigation by Congress and the Justice Department’s inspector general, and a year later, we seem to be left with two possibilities: Either the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, or the Democrats had connived (and perhaps colluded) with the Russians and used all the tools at the Obama administration’s command to spy on a Republican challenger in the midst of a presidential campaign – and thus far, we’ve seen no evidence of Republican collusion.

Mueller now starts to look less like a flint-eyed Inspector Javert and more like a bumbling Inspector Clouseau, shining his flashlight into empty caverns when the real skullduggery lies in the sunlight behind him.

He’s no fool, however. He has to know this. And he’ll also know that the 2018 midterms look like a match-up between jobs and 3 percent GDP growth for the Republicans versus impeachment for the Democrats.  And what’s the evidence to justify an impeachment?  Just the ongoing Mueller investigation.

The special prosecutor is supposed to keep politics out of his mission, but it’s too late to do so when the investigation will be the chief campaign issue for one of the parties.

Were Mueller a liberal partisan, that’s just what he’d want.  Except I don’t think he’s a partisan.  I think he’s honorable.  That’s why the White House is confident that he’ll wrap up the investigation shortly, well before next November.

Well, we’ll see soon enough which view proves correct.  In the meantime, as Scott Adams notes, the president has demolished the GOP and reconstituted it; the DNC lacks a leader and funds; the Clinton and Bush dynasties are over; the public has learned to distrust the media; the NFL ratings are down; the FBI leadership has lost all credibility, as have the pundits, nearly all of whom “were wrong about Trump’s nomination, election, and successful (by Republican standards) first year”; federal government regulations are far fewer; Hollywood has alienated almost half its audience; North Korea’s economy has gone from pathetic to even worse; ISIS has been largely defeated; and we bade adieu to the Paris Accord and the TPP.

As for the economy, the stock market is up, employment is up, and the upper Midwest economy is growing its fastest in three years.

I don’t think any president in my memory has had such a consequential first year, and certainly none had the pathetic dossier and corrupt FBI and DOJ officials to contend with at the same time.

Of course, not everyone’s happy.  Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald announced he is selling all of his stocks in his children’s education accounts in anticipation of the stock market tanking.

@kurteichenwald

In preparation for a completely unpredictable Trump presidency, I sold all stocks in my kids’ education accounts today. I urge u to do same.

1:46 PM – Sep 26, 2016

He missed out on the Dow’s longest winning streak in 60 years and the S&P’s in more than 34 years.

Happy new year to you and your families.

As anti-regime protests spread, Trump tweets support for Iranian people

December 31, 2017

As anti-regime protests spread, Trump tweets support for Iranian people, Israel Hayom, Elliott Abrams, December 31, 2017

Friday’s New York Times coverage. . .  is titled “Scattered Protests Erupt in Iran Over Economic Woes.” More remarkably, consider the very first line:

Protests over the Iranian government’s handling of the economy spread to several cities on Friday, including Tehran, in what appeared to be a sign of unrest.

Ya think? “Appeared” to be a sign of unrest? What else was it, a sign of support for the ayatollahs? And note the Times title again, telling you these protests are all about the economy – a conclusion contradicted by the words being shouted by the protesters, as the BBC tells us. In fact, buried down in the Times story, we do find that in Kermanshah “protesters shouted anti-government slogans like ‘Death or freedom,’ ‘Care for us and leave Palestine’ and ‘Political prisoners must be freed.'” Does that sound like a “protest over economic woes”?

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This piece is reprinted with permission and can be found on Abrams’ blog “Pressure Points.”

In the last few days there have been anti-government protests all over Iran. The BBC reports this as of Friday night, in a story titled “Iranian cities hit by anti-government protests.”

Anti-government demonstrations that began in Iran on Thursday have now spread to several major cities.

Large numbers reportedly turned out in Rasht, in the north, and Kermanshah, in the west, with smaller protests in Isfahan, Hamadan and elsewhere.

The protests began against rising prices but have spiralled into a general outcry against clerical rule and government policies. …

What began as a protest against economic conditions and corruption has turned political. …

Slogans have been chanted against not just Mr. Rouhani but Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and clerical rule in general.

Demonstrators were reportedly heard yelling slogans like “The people are begging, the clerics act like God.” Protests have even been held in Qom, a holy city home to powerful clerics.

There is also anger at Iran’s interventions abroad. In Mashhad, some chanted “not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran”, a reference to what protesters say is the administration’s focus on foreign rather than domestic issues.

Other demonstrators chanted “leave Syria, think about us” in videos posted online.

Videos posted on social media appear to show clashes between security forces and some demonstrators in Kermanshah.

Now compare Friday’s New York Times coverage. It is titled “Scattered Protests Erupt in Iran Over Economic Woes.” More remarkably, consider the very first line:

Protests over the Iranian government’s handling of the economy spread to several cities on Friday, including Tehran, in what appeared to be a sign of unrest.

Ya think? “Appeared” to be a sign of unrest? What else was it, a sign of support for the ayatollahs? And note the Times title again, telling you these protests are all about the economy – a conclusion contradicted by the words being shouted by the protesters, as the BBC tells us. In fact, buried down in the Times story, we do find that in Kermanshah “protesters shouted anti-government slogans like ‘Death or freedom,’ ‘Care for us and leave Palestine’ and ‘Political prisoners must be freed.'” Does that sound like a “protest over economic woes”?

The Times story is written by its bureau chief in Tehran, Thomas Erdbrink, one of the very few Western reporters (he is Dutch) accredited to report for U.S. media. Must he pull punches for fear of being expelled from Iran? After all, this is a regime that has invaded embassies (most recently, for example, the British Embassy in 2011) and in 2009 the entire BBC bureau there was shut down and the BBC’s correspondent expelled. In 2014, Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian was arrested and then imprisoned for 18 months. He and his wife are now suing the government of Iran for their maltreatment and torture while in captivity.

So perhaps it is wise for reporters in Tehran to watch what they say. But the Times’ report and headline that these are merely economic protests are misleading. Both should be corrected.

Meanwhile the U.S. State Department issued a very strong statement on these protests – which rightly regards them as political:

We are following reports of multiple peaceful protests by Iranian citizens in cities across the country. Iran’s leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos. As U.S. President Donald Trump has said, the longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are Iran’s own people.

The United States strongly condemns the arrest of peaceful protesters. We urge all nations to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption.

On June 14, 2017, Secretary Tillerson testified to Congress that he supports “those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of government. Those elements are there, certainly as we know.” The secretary today repeats his deep support for the Iranian people.

The Iranian people rose up against their oppressors in June 2009. Now we are again seeing that this regime rules by brute force, is widely despised, and would be dismissed by the people if ever they got a chance to vote freely.

Elliott Abrams is a senior fellow for Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

SATIRE | 2017: Hillary Clinton Celebrates Another Year Not Spent in Prison

December 31, 2017

2017: Hillary Clinton Celebrates Another Year Not Spent in PrisonThe Barbed WireE. Williams, December 31, 2017

Clinton knows that if the system worked today the way it did 40 years ago, she would have been in prison years ago and never could have even run for president in 2016. As the calendar moved from 2017 to 2018, Hillary, surrounded by her yes men and yes women, raised her glass of champagne and said, “Help me celebrate with a toast to corruption! Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

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NEW YORK – “I still don’t know how I did it!” the two-time presidential loser remarked about the fact that she still isn’t in prison as 2018 arrives. “The evidence against me is overwhelming and, after Trump took office, I just knew my luck would run out this year. Thank God for Jeff Sessions, huh?!”

As a new year approaches, most people look back to assess whether the closing year was a good one or a bad one for them personally. For Hillary Clinton, the determining factor every year is whether she was able to stay out of prison.

“Look, everybody knows I’m guilty as hell,” she admitted. “I’m the OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony, and Bonny and Clyde of politics, rolled into one. Even my cat understands I got away with murder. I just don’t know what they’re waiting for. The crimes are there, the FBI’s cover-up for me is there…..you’d have to be a moron not to realize it. Yet, here I am. Still walking free. Somebody pinch me!”

Hillary said she doesn’t know what 2018 will hold for her, but likes her chances of staying out of prison as long as President Trump allows his incompetent attorney general Jeff Sessions to run the Department of Justice.

Clinton knows that if the system worked today the way it did 40 years ago, she would have been in prison years ago and never could have even run for president in 2016. As the calendar moved from 2017 to 2018, Hillary, surrounded by her yes men and yes women, raised her glass of champagne and said, “Help me celebrate with a toast to corruption! Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Amid protests, social media access restricted on Iran cellphones 

December 31, 2017

Source: Amid protests, social media access restricted on Iran cellphones | The Times of Israel

Authorities says demonstrators were using encrypted messaging app Telegram to organize unrest; Instagram also limited

Iranian students protest at the University of Tehran during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017. (AFP/ STR)

Iranian students protest at the University of Tehran during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017. (AFP/ STR)

Access to the popular photo-sharing and messaging apps Instagram and Telegram was restricted on cellphones in Iran, media in the country reported on Sunday, after three days of protests in many cities.

Access to Telegram, an encrypted messaging platform that the government has accused of fomenting violence during the protests, was cut in the early afternoon, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency and other media.

The CEO of Telegram, Pavel Durov, confirmed on Twitter that the service had been blocked in the country.

Iranian authorities are blocking access to Telegram for the majority of Iranians after our public refusal to shut down https://t.me/sedaiemardom and other peacefully protesting channels.

State TV’s website cited an anonymous source who said the decision was “in line with maintaining peace and security of the citizens.” The source added, “With a decision by the Supreme National Security Council, activities of Telegram and Instagram are temporarily limited.”

Earlier, a third night of unrest in Iran saw mass demonstrations across the country in which two people were killed, dozens arrested and public buildings attacked.

Internet was temporarily cut on cellphones on Saturday night but restored not long after.

Videos on social media overnight showed demonstrations in Isfahan, Mashhad and many smaller cities, but travel restrictions and limited coverage by official media made it difficult to confirm reports.

Semi-official conservative outlets confirmed an evening attack on a town hall in Tehran and showed protesters attacking banks and municipal buildings in other parts of the country.

Iranian students protest at the University of Tehran during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017. (AFP/ STR)

The demonstrations are the biggest since the Green Movement protests of 2009 against the re-election of the ultra-conservative ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which were violently repressed.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who came to power in 2013 promising to mend the economy and ease social tensions, was set to make a special statement Sunday afternoon, apparently to address the protests.

The protests began over high living costs and the struggling economy before spreading quickly to other areas and turning against the Islamic regime as a whole.

The anti-government protests appear to have been propelled in large part by poorer sections of society, angry over high unemployment, soaring prices and financial scandals.

Iran’s economy has improved since its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which saw Iran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the end of some international sanctions. Tehran now sells its oil on the global market and has signed deals to purchase tens of billions of dollars’ worth of Western aircraft.

That improvement has not reached the average Iranian, however. Unemployment remains high, and official inflation has crept up to 10 percent again. A recent increase in egg and poultry prices by as much as 40%, which a government spokesman has blamed on a cull over avian flu fears, appears to have been the spark for the economic protests.

While the protests have sparked clashes, Iran’s hard-line paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and its affiliates have not intervened as they have in other unauthorized demonstrations since the 2009 election.