Archive for January 17, 2018

Jerusalem Post Columnist Caroline Glick Joins Breitbart News

January 17, 2018

Source: Jerusalem Post Columnist Caroline Glick Joins Breitbart News – Breitbart

( One of my favorite columnists… –  JW )

Glick, the long-serving senior contributing editor and chief columnist for the Jerusalem Post, is one of the world’s most widely-read commentators on Israel and international affairs. She also writes about American politics from a staunchly pro-Israel perspective.

She is the author of several books — including, most recently, The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East (2014), which calls for Israel to annex the West Bank.

Glick, a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Assistant Foreign Policy Advisor in 1997 and 1998. In 2003, she covered the Iraq War from the front lines as a journalist embedded with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, and was the first Israeli journalist to report from liberated Baghdad.

She is also the adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC. A recipient of several major journalism awards, Glick travels around the world to advise policymakers about issues relating to global security.

Glick, a Chicago native, moved to Israel in 1991 and lives with her family in the town of Efrat, near Jerusalem. In Israel itself, she has fought against the left’s domination of popular culture, starting a satirical website and television show, Latma, which she ran from 2008 to 2013. She continues to write a weekly Hebrew language column for the Israeli daily Maariv.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to write for Breitbart readers about the realities of the Middle East, Europe and the wider world,” Glick said Tuesday.

“The Breitbart platforms are powerful and influential, and I hope and trust that by combining the international security expertise I have developed over the past 25 years, and the media genius of Breitbart.com, we can move the discourse in the US and worldwide to a safer place.”

She added: “I am thrilled that Breitbart CEO Larry Solov and Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow have asked me to join their groundbreaking team of professionals and thankful for the opportunity. Breitbart’s audience is powerful and wise.

“I met Andrew Breitbart when he came to Israel in 2007. I was immediately captivated by his passion and certainty that we could use the Internet to change the left-dominated public discourse.

“Andrew and I were fighting the exact same fight on different ends of the globe. I have always taken great comfort from Breitbart News’ successes, and it just seems natural for me to be combining forces now with the company he founded.”

Breitbart News CEO Larry Solov noted that Glick’s decision to join the site reflects Breitbart’s pro-Israel origins and ethos.

“A key inspiration for Breitbart News came during a trip to Israel in 2007, when Andrew Breitbart and I joined several conservative writers on a media trip to the Holy Land.

“A few years ago, we launched Breitbart Jerusalem to provide comprehensive coverage of Middle East news from an unabashedly pro-Israel perspective.

“Caroline Glick’s work epitomizes that philosophy, and she is the recognized thought leader among pro-Israel conservatives. We are very happy that she is joining the Breitbart News team.”

Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow explained Glick’s importance to the site’s long-term strategy.

“We have been working on building our relationship with Caroline Glick for several months, and we are very glad that she has decided to join us. Her commentary is the most incisive and influential of any columnist, left or right, on issues relevant to Israel and to American foreign policy in the Middle East.

“Breitbart News aims to lead the debate on America’s role in the world by providing cutting-edge news coverage, investigative journalism, and the best commentary and analysis. Caroline Glick is a key component of that strategy.

“We are excited about the audience Caroline will bring to the site, as well as the opportunity to ensure that Breitbart readers are the best-informed about Israel, America, and the Middle East.”

Glick further elaborated on her approach:

“Israel is America’s most vital, stable ally in the Middle East. For far too long, the discourse about Israel in the US media has hidden that basic fact, to the detriment of the security of the US and Israel alike.

“As the U.S. under President Trump moves beyond the failed appeasement strategies of the Obama administration and the failed democratization strategies of the Bush administration, it is imperative for the discourse in America to be based on objective reality, about the Middle East, and about the world as a whole.

“Only reality-based analyses can engender policies and strategies that will succeed in securing the U.S. and its allies.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Mass Migration Now Sole Cause of Population Growth in Germany

January 17, 2018

Mass Migration Now Sole Cause of Population Growth in Germany, Breitbart, Chris Tomlinson, January 17, 2018

JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

Mass migration has also brought increasing levels of crime with the German government only recently admitting the causal link between the rise of violent criminality and mass migration.

**********************************

Newly released statistics have revealed that the German population grew by 346,000 in 2016 due to mass migration, in a year where the number of births in the country did not exceed the number of deaths.

The statistics from the German Federal Statistical Office show that despite the very low birthrate in Germany, the population has continued to grow through mass migration. While the population grew by 346,000 in 2016, the numbers are still well below the growth of 978,000 in 2015 during the height of the migrant crisis, Die Welt reports.

According to the statistics office, 498,000 individuals migrated to Germany in total in 2016 but the German birth rate has remained very low with 118,000 more people dying in Germany than were born.

The number of foreigners as a part of the overall German population has also increased from 10.5 per cent in 2015 to 11.2 per cent in 2016 and the number is expected to continue growing in the future.

Analysts have predicted that Germany will again see population growth in 2017 as mass migration is once again expected to be the sole driver of growth as birthrates continue to lag behind deaths.

450,000 individuals are thought to have moved to Germany in 2017 and the deficit of deaths over births could be as high as 190,000.

In cities like Frankfurt, mass migration has changed the overall demographics of the city as native Germans have become a minority for the first time.

Frankfurt Becomes First German City Where Natives Are Minority http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/06/29/frankfurt-german-city-natives-minority/ 

For the first time, more than half of Frankfurt residents now have a migrant background, according to official data from the city’s Office of Statistics and Elections.

The mass influx of foreigners has also put strains on the German state with the costs for asylum seekers and other migrants numbering in the billions of euros.

Despite early predictions by economists that mass migration would lead to an economic boom for Germany, others have predicted that mass migration will harm long-term economic growth in the country.

Mass migration has also brought increasing levels of crime with the German government only recently admitting the causal link between the rise of violent criminality and mass migration.

India’s Modi abandons legacy of Muslim appeasement

January 17, 2018

India’s Modi abandons legacy of Muslim appeasement, American  ThinkerRichard Benkin, January 17, 2018

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has earned a deserved reputation as a no-nonsense opponent of appeasement.  His expansion of the India-Israel relationship and personal affinity with President Donald Trump and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have strengthened that perception.  The latest evidence that it is more than a perception came this week, when Modi’s government discontinued half-century-old government subsidies provided to Muslim pilgrims going on the Hajj.  The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims must carry out at least once, so long as they are physically and financially able – artificial conditions that the subsidy is intended to create.

That’s right: the government of India has been spending badly needed funds for one religious community’s annual pilgrimage.  (There is even a special terminal in New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport exclusively for Hajj pilgrims, which is closed for most of the year.)  Since 2008, about 120,000 Muslims have utilized the government money to go on the Hajj, according to the Indian government, costing the Indian people almost a half-billion dollars in the last five years alone.  This money now will be used for educational purposes, especially for girls who have been particularly underserved in accordance with community practice.

According to minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, “[t]his is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement.”  Putting an end to Modi’s predecessors’ policies not only does that, but also reduces the role of big government in India, which has been another major element in the prime minister’s actions thus far.  As he promised to do both during and since the 2013 election that brought him his landslide victory, Modi’s conservative government is eliminating the wasteful spending by leftist opponents, which they often carried out to garner the large and largely united Indian Muslim vote.

Satire | After Physical, Media Crushed That Trump Not on Deathbed

January 17, 2018

After Physical, Media Crushed That Trump Not on DeathbedE. Williams, January 16, 2018

WASHINGTON – A dispirited media had to agonize through a nearly one-hour press conference by President Trump’s doctor, in which he informed them the president is in excellent health. Mr. Trump endured a full physical, lab work, and a mental competency test last Friday.

After hearing the terrible news (to them) that Trump is not on his deathbed, members of the media relentlessly peppered the doctor with questions they hoped would provoke some tidbit of information they could twist to use against President Trump.

Some of the questions shouted by the media to the presidential doctor included:

“How much could we pay you to issue a statement saying the president is mentally deranged?”
“Is there any hope of reversing the president’s Republican tendencies, so he would seem more rational?”
“Did you test the president for signs that he may be a zombie?”
“Are there any chants or prayers we could perform in our press rooms that would make the president drop dead?”
“Should Mr. Trump take a sudden turn for the worse, could Hillary still become president? Please?”
“Which anti-depressants would you recommend for those of us in the media who are clinically depressed after hearing today’s health report?”
“How strongly could you see the president’s racism on his x-rays?”
“Did the president’s blood work show any collusion with Russia, or any other country?”
“Is this the wrong week for those of us in the media to stop sniffing glue?”
“Would it be possible for us to conduct an autopsy on the president this afternoon to confirm with our own eyes what you’re telling us?”
“How do you square your diagnosis that the president is mentally fit, with the fact that he’s wrong on every issue?”
“Did you thoroughly examine the president’s s***hole?”

The media continues to embarrass itself, and seems happily oblivious about it.

How Mattis softened on Iran — for now

January 17, 2018

His position on Iran may not last much longer. But for now, it’s a striking change.

Defense Secretary James Mattis hasn’t been a dove. But he has sought to minimize the chances of a bigger confrontation with Iranian forces and their proxies in the region. | Alex Brandon/AP Photo

By WESLEY MORGAN 01/16/2018 05:00 AM EST

Source: How Mattis softened on Iran – Politio

{I seriously doubt General Mattis has changed his attitude towards Iran. What’s changed is the administration’s approach, his job title, and his boss. You can bet he’s had it up to here with Iran, but I believe he will defer to a different, yet aggressive approach in dealing with Iran and it’s spreading influence in the Mideast. This is pretty much par for Politico. – LS}

As former President Barack Obama’s top commander in the Middle East, then-Gen. James Mattis pushed for military strikes to punish Iran for arming anti-American militias in Iraq.

But as President Donald Trump’s defense secretary, Mattis has softened his stance and emerged as one of the administration’s chief voices of moderation toward Tehran.

Mattis’ position may not last much longer, however, as the U.S. war against the Islamic State transitions into a struggle for territory and influence between America’s allies and Iran’s. But for now, it’s a striking change for the former military commander who repeatedly clashed with the Obama administration’s diplomatic approach — and who once described the top three threats in the Middle East as “Iran, Iran and Iran.”

In the past year, Mattis has openly contradicted Trump by testifying that Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran “is something that the president should consider staying with.” (Trump declined once again to scrap the agreement Friday despite repeated pledges to do so.) And with U.S. troops and their Iranian counterparts often in close quarters in Iraq and Syria, Mattis has so far declined to take a confrontational approach to limiting or rolling back the influence of Tehran and its proxies.

The shift has surprised some insiders.

“For those who were looking for Qasem Soleimani to drop dead the first year of Secretary Mattis’ tenure, that hasn’t happened, obviously,” said one senior administration official, referring to an Iranian general accused of interfering with American interests in the Middle East.

One reason for Mattis’ new stance: As the Pentagon’s civilian leader, he must balance a much larger menu of global challenges than when he led the U.S. military’s Central Command between 2010 and 2013, according to current and former administration officials with experience on Iran policy who know Mattis well.

Another factor is the change in presidents: Instead of working for a commander in chief he viewed as weak on Iran, he now works for one who at times appears to be picking a fight.

“He has to be very sensitive to where the president is,” said James Jeffrey, who was Obama’s ambassador to Iraq when Mattis headed Central Command. “With Obama, he had a president who was very reticent to challenge Iran militarily … so he was forward-leaning, and that probably hurt his relationship with Obama.”

Now, Jeffrey said, Mattis is “dealing with a president who is both extremely aggressive on Iran and very volatile. So he has to be the cautioner, the balance of reason, the ‘look before you leap’ guy. You see him doing this with North Korea, and you see him doing it with Iran.”

Mattis’ office did not respond to a request for an interview.

Trump’s rhetoric about Iran has been aggressive, especially when it comes to the nuclear deal. As a candidate, Trump railed against what he called the “worst deal ever,” and as president he called it “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” even as he has repeatedly punted on killing it.

Last fall, the administration imposed new sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, and Trump has hailed the popular protests against the Iranian regime — promising that the protesters would “see great support from the United States at the appropriate time.”

Mattis hasn’t been a dove, either. He has called Iran “the world’s largest state sponsor of terror” and last year authorized a rare strike on Iran’s ally, the Bashar Assad regime in Syria, for its use of chemical weapons against civilians. And he has overseen the shoot-down of Iranian drones when they strayed too close to U.S. forces.

But he has also sought to minimize the chances of a bigger confrontation with Iranian forces and their proxies in the region.

One area where that has been on display is the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Among analysts who say that the war has widened Iran’s influence in the two countries, a common fear is the establishment of a “land bridge,” or uninterrupted ground resupply route, from Iran through Iraq into regime-controlled territory in Syria.

After U.S.-backed militias liberated the Syrian city of Raqqa last fall, Iranian-backed forces made a dash for the Iraq-Syria border that some saw as the final step in building the land bridge. Iran hawks had criticized the Pentagon for closing one of its two remote border outposts ahead of that move, saying that keeping it open might have prevented the land bridge from coming to fruition.

But at a recent news conference, Mattis downplayed that fear. “I don’t think there’s a land bridge right now,” he told reporters, saying Iranian-backed forces don’t have the kind of unfettered access across the border that the phrase suggests.

As the war against the Islamic State winds down this year, however, and the Pentagon settles on a new role for U.S. troops in Iraq and, especially, Syria, Mattis may approve tougher pushback against Iranian interference, the current and former officials said.

That means he would revert to his old hawkishness if he thinks the situation warrants it.

Mattis also remains concerned about Iranian land access to Syria, despite his public denial, according to the senior administration official.

“He has given direction to CENTCOM to make sure that we are postured to disrupt that,” without being “alarmist about what the Iranians are trying to do,” the official said. He added, “As we transition away from ‘defeat ISIS,’ our military posture will stay there. … Countering Iranian influence is very much part of that calculus.”

Andrew Exum, who oversaw Middle East issues as a Pentagon official under Obama, agreed that Mattis’ restrained approach on Iran during his first year at the Pentagon might give way to a more aggressive one in year two.

In 2017, Exum said, Mattis was focused on finishing the fight against the Islamic State that he inherited from the Obama administration. This year, though, “the Trump administration is now appropriately moving on to some of the unfinished business we left for them,” including starting to roll back Iranian influence now that ISIS is out of the way.

The fate of postwar Syria may be decided in part by the on-again, off-again U.N.-brokered negotiations known as the “Geneva process.” Those talks are seen as the main hope that the future of the Syrian regime and the rebel groups opposing it can be decided diplomatically.

During a trip to Europe in November, Mattis said publicly for the first time that he supported the Geneva diplomatic process. For Syria watchers, it was the first hint he had given of a potential future U.S. military mission in Syria with broader goals than simply defeating ISIS, the Pentagon’s stated mission in the country.

Jeffrey said Mattis’ remarks suggested he sees a role for U.S. troops in backing the Kurdish and Arab rebels they aided against the Islamic State, and preventing those battlefield allies from being subsumed by the regime and its Iranian patrons. “That’s a way to pressure the Syrians and Iranians and ultimately the Russians to accept a political process that will create something other than the horrors of the Assad regime,” Jeffrey said.

But what form that pressure might take is unclear.

Eric Edelman, who was the Pentagon’s top policy official during the George W. Bush administration, said one way would be to continue using U.S. special operations forces and air power to advise and back up the same Kurdish and Arab militias alongside which they’re already fighting — only now with an aim toward empowering them against attacks from Iranian-backed forces. “You have to have your own forces there behind them so they have leverage in any political negotiation,” he said.

But American troops are in Syria under the legal justification of fighting an offshoot group of Al Qaeda, the group against which the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force is targeted. Military action to take on Iran and its allies in Syria would fall outside that authorization and might require additional permission from Congress.

With thousands of U.S. and coalition troops deployed in Iraq, where they are vulnerable to retaliation by large militias that Iran has advised and armed, the risks of any kind of U.S.-backed military action to roll back Iranian gains in Syria are high, Jeffrey said.

But the alternative won’t be appealing to a defense secretary who still sees Iran as the greatest regional threat, either.

“Imagine if we were pushed out of Iraq and Russia and Iran inherited the victory in Syria. It would be a huge American defeat,” Jeffrey said. “So it’s a fairly precarious position that Mattis is sitting on top of.”

PM Netanyahu is welcomed to Ahmedabad 

January 17, 2018

Truly breathtaking to see India’s reception of Israel…

 

.