Author Archive

Hallelujah — North Korea thinks Trump’s nuts

June 24, 2017

Hallelujah — North Korea thinks Trump’s nuts, Washington Times

President Donald Trump speaks during the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

We want our enemies quaking in their boots, uncertain of how America might react.

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

North Korea, via its state-run Communist Party newspaper, put out the message that President Donald Trump’s a “psychopath” who needs to be curbed and controlled.

Hallelujah. North Korea thinks Trump’s a nutcase. It’s just such messaging that’s great for America — that’s great for America’s national security.

This is what the Communist Party newspaper wrote: “South Korea must realize that following psychopath Trump … will only lead to disaster.”

Awesome.

The more U.S. enemies regard U.S. leaders as basket cases, one cross word shy of flying off the handle and starting a worldwide war, the better. In terrorist lingo, that’s called Respect. And with respect, comes hesitation to act impulsively — something we surely want terrorists, murderous nations and despotic dictators to keep in mind as they go about planning their terroristic murderous, despotic aggressions.

We want our enemies quaking in their boots, uncertain of how America might react.

Leftists will wring hands and moan, wailing about the loss of America’s diplomatic prowess on the world stage. But let ‘em moan. America’s allies — our true allies — already know Trump’s not a live wire, poised to push the nuclear button. As for the rest? Fact is, diplomacy’s overrated.

We saw diplomacy under Barack Obama, and it brought us red line upon ISIS-expanding red line, with a little anti-Israel, anti-West Iranian treaty thrown in for good measure. North Korea loved America when Obama was in charge. The regime could shoot off as many test missiles as it liked without having to fear anything more than a strongly worded memo from the Obama administration.

Now, with Trump at the White House helm?

Why, there’s “Mad Dog” Mattis — and who the heck knows what he’s up to? The guy doesn’t even allow the press to travel with him. It’s almost as if — and perish the thought — but it’s almost as if he doesn’t care what the world thinks of him.

It’s almost as if he’s more focused on military matters than poll numbers and overseas’ perceptions.

And now Trump’s been labeled a “psychopath” by the brutal North Korean regime?

Well now, national security for America has indeed taken a turn for the better. We can all sleep safely knowing America’s enemies are having trouble sleeping safely.

Report: Trump May Exit Peace Talks After ‘Tense’ Kushner/Abbas Meeting

June 24, 2017

Report: Trump May Exit Peace Talks After ‘Tense’ Kushner/Abbas Meeting, Jerusalem Post, Asser Okbi/ Maariv Haskavua, Jpost.Com Staff, June 24, 2017

(“Abbas angrily accused Kushner and Trump’s lead international negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, of taking Israel’s side. . . ” After the Obama administration, he must be shocked. — DM)

Abbas and Kushner. (photo credit:REUTERS)

US President Donald Trump is reportedly weighing whether to pull out of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations following a “tense” meeting with White House senior staff and officials in Ramallah, according to London-based Arabic daily al-Hayat on Saturday.

The report claimed that Trump is to determine the future of reigniting Mideast peace talks in the near future, including  the possibility of withdrawing completely from the process.

The al-Hayat report came just days after a meeting between the administration’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, which was described as “tense” by an Abbas advisor present at the talks.

Abbas was supposedly furious with the president’s son-in-law after Kushner relayed Israeli demands to the 81-year-old Palestinian leader which included the immediate halt of payments to terrorists and their families.

Abbas angrily accused Kushner and Trump’s lead international negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, of taking Israel’s side and refused to commit to the request.

The report claims that the Trump administration was equally upset with Abbas after he failed to denounce the latest stabbing attack in Jerusalem, leaving 23-year-old St.-Sgt. Maj. Hadas Malka brutally stabbed to death in a terror attack last week. Ties were further strained after Abbas reportedly refused to meet  American ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

The Palestinian official also told the paper that the Americans demanded Palestinian officials curb inflammatory statements regarding Israel.

“(Kushner) will submit his report to the president and, after it is submitted, Trump will decide if there’s a chance for negotiations or it might be preferable to pull out peace talks,” the official said.

Abbas claimed that Israel is using the issue of payments to terrorists and their families as a pretext to avoid entering peace-talks, saying that the payments are a part of the Palestinian government’s “social responsibility.”

Spotlight: China, U.S. reach consensus at high-level security dialogue

June 24, 2017

Spotlight: China, U.S. reach consensus at high-level security dialogue, XinhuaNet, June 24, 2017

(The words sound friendly, but what do we get at what cost? — DM)

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (1st R) co-chairs a diplomatic and security dialogue with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (1st L) and Secretary of Defense James Mattis (2nd L) as Fang Fenghui (2nd R), a member of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) and chief of the CMC Joint Staff Department, also participates in the dialogue in Washington D.C., the United States, on June 21, 2017. China and the United States began their first diplomatic and security dialogue on Wednesday at the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. (Xinhua/Yin bogu)

At the dialogue, China the United States agreed to work closely on the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear issue.

Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to achieving the goal of “complete, verifiable and irreversible” denuclearization on the Peninsula.

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WASHINGTON, June 23 (Xinhua) — China and the United States reached an important consensus on the development of bilateral relations and security issues at a high-level dialogue held Wednesday in the U.S. capital of Washington D.C.

The First Round of China-U.S. Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, which was described by both sides as “constructive” and “fruitful,” represents a major step in implementing the consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump during their meeting in Florida in April.

Looking ahead, the two sides pledged to expand mutually-beneficial cooperation and manage differences on the basis of mutual respect, all in a bid to promote the steady development of China-U.S. relations in the long term.

FREQUENT DIALOGUES

Following Wednesday’s dialogue, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said such talks “provide an opportunity to consider how we’re going to engage and how we’re going to live with one another over the next 40 years.

“The action items we have agreed upon today have set a foundation for additional areas of cooperation and we look forward to our next interaction at this level and between our two presidents,” said the top U.S. diplomat.

Emphasizing the importance of high-level exchanges, China and the United States expressed their willingness to achieve a positive outcome for the Hamburg meeting between the two Presidents in July and Trump’s state visit to China later this year.

Meeting with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the White House on Thursday, Trump said he looked forward to meeting with Xi in Hamburg and visiting China. He also hoped that these high-level interactions will further promote the development of U.S.-China relations.

PRODUCTIVE MILITARY RELATIONSHIP

Fang Fenghui, a member of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) and chief of the CMC Joint Staff Department, participated in the dialogue co-chaired by Yang, Tillerson and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

At the dialogue, China and the United States recognized that their military-to-military relationship is an important component in the bilateral ties. The two sides agreed that the relationship between the militaries of the two powers should be “constructive, pragmatic, and effective,” according to a statement released Friday.

China and the United States are committed to implementing the annual military exchange program and enhancing high-level engagements, starting with the visits between the two defense ministers and the visit of the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff to China as soon as possible.

The two sides also “reaffirm the importance of building mutual understanding, and of reducing the risk of miscalculation between our two militaries,” said the statement.

MAINTAINING COORDINATION ON KOREAN PENINSULAR ISSUE

At the dialogue, China the United States agreed to work closely on the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear issue.

Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to achieving the goal of “complete, verifiable and irreversible” denuclearization on the Peninsula.

“The two sides are ready to continue their efforts to this end, including by fully and strictly implementing relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, and by promoting relevant dialogue and negotiation,” said the statement.

The two countries also reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula, according to the statement.

Kamala Harris Goes Silent When Confronted with True Sex-Based Oppression

June 24, 2017

Kamala Harris Goes Silent When Confronted with True Sex-Based Oppression, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, June 23, 2017

Last week, Sen. Kamala Harris became the left’s designated victim of the month because she was interrupted by Republican Senators during a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Harris kept interrupting the witness, Attorney General Jeff Session, so it’s debatable whether she had a genuine grievance. Nonetheless, the Democrats and their media allies were quick to level hackneyed allegations that, once again, sexist patriarchs have tried to silence a woman “speaking truth to power.”

The next day, two women with genuine grievances of sexism testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, of which Harris, regrettably, is a member. The women were our friend Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Q. Noman.

Both were born into deeply conservative Muslim families. Ayaan is a survivor of female genital mutilation and forced marriage. Asra defied Shariah by having a baby while unmarried.

Both have been threatened with death by jihadists for things they have said and done. Ayaan cannot appear in public without armed guards.

You might have thought that Sen. Harris would show considerable interest in what these victims of sexism had to say. If so, you don’t grasp that Harris’ slavish adherence to the left’s taboo against calling out Islamists trumps any real commitment she may have to women’s rights.

Here, as told by Ayaan and Asra in the New York Times, is what happened:

The Democrats on the panel, including Senator Harris and three other Democratic female senators — North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill — did not ask either of us a single question.

This wasn’t a case of benign neglect. At one point, Senator McCaskill said that she took issue with the theme of the hearing itself. “Anyone who twists or distorts religion to a place of evil is an exception to the rule,” she said. “We should not focus on religion,” she said, adding that she was “worried” that the hearing, organized by Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, would “underline that.” In the end, the only questions asked of us about Islamist ideologies came from Senator Johnson and his Republican colleague, Senator Steve Daines from Montana.

Ayaan and Asra nail the meaning of what went down:

[W]hat happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives when it comes to confronting the brutal reality of Islamist extremism and what it means for women in many Muslim communities here at home and around the world.

When it comes to the pay gap, abortion access and workplace discrimination, progressives have much to say. But we’re still waiting for a march against honor killings, child marriages, polygamy, sex slavery or female genital mutilation.

They will be waiting for a long time.

Ayaan and Asra continue:

[W]hen we speak about Islamist oppression, we bring personal experience to the table in addition to our scholarly expertise. Yet the feminist mantra so popular when it comes to victims of sexual assault — believe women first — isn’t extended to us. Neither is the notion that the personal is political. Our political conclusions are dismissed as personal; our personal experiences dismissed as political.

That’s because in the rubric of identity politics, our status as women of color is canceled out by our ideas, which are labeled “conservative” — as if opposition to violent jihad, sex slavery, genital mutilation or child marriage were a matter of left or right. This not only silences us, it also puts beyond the pale of liberalism a basic concern for human rights and the individual rights of women abused in the name of Islam.

Why aren’t leftists willing to call out Islamic extremism? Ayaan and Asra offer this explanation:

Partly they fear offending members of a “minority” religion and being labeled racist, bigoted or Islamophobic. There is also the idea, which has tremendous strength on the left, that non-Western women don’t need “saving” — and that the suggestion that they do is patronizing at best. After all, the thinking goes, if women in America still earn less than men for equivalent work, who are we to criticize other cultures?

This is extreme moral relativism disguised as cultural sensitivity. And it leads good people to make excuses for the inexcusable.

The silence of the Democratic senators is a reflection of contemporary cultural pressures. Call it identity politics, moral relativism or political correctness — it is shortsighted, dangerous and, ultimately, a betrayal of liberal values.

Ayaan and Asra have said it all. Almost. Another point needs to be made.

Sen. Harris and her fellow female committee members are cowards. If they believe Ayaan and Asra are presenting a misleading picture of Islam, based on their “exceptional” experiences, then take them on. Make the point by asking probing questions, the way Harris’ cheerleaders think she did with Jeff Sessions.

Harris wouldn’t do it. She probably recognized that Ayaan would have carved her up to the point that even her cheerleaders couldn’t have declared her the victor. So the supposedly fearless ace ex-prosecutor took the coward’s way out and tried to minimize the extent to which Ayaan and Asra were heard.

Ayaan and Asra conclude:

We believe feminism is for everyone. Our goals — not least the equality of the sexes — are deeply liberal. We know these are values that the Democratic senators at our hearing share. Will they find their voices and join us in opposing Islamist extremism and its war on women?

This is the only off-key note in their article. The goals and values of Ayaan and Asra are not the goals and values of Harris and most of her fellow Democrats.

As for the voices of Harris and her colleagues, what you hear, or in this case didn’t hear, is what you get.

DHS Denies Grant to Islamic Radicalization Enabler MPAC

June 24, 2017

DHS Denies Grant to Islamic Radicalization Enabler MPAC. Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, June 23, 2017

(One down and a bunch more to go. Does anybody CAIR care? — DM)


The Department of Homeland Security has ruled that the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) will not receive the $393,800 Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) grant approved by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson on Jan. 13, days before Johnson left office.

The DHS released its list of grant recipients on Friday. MPAC is not on it. The change came after “DHS utilized its discretion to consider other factors and information when reviewing applicants,” a spokeswoman said in an email to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “The Department considered whether applicants for CVE awards would partner with law enforcement, had a strong basis of prior experience in countering violent extremism, had a history of prior efforts to implement prevention programs targeting violent extremism, and were viable to continue after the end of the award period. These additional priorities were applied to the existing pool of applicants. Top scoring applications that were consistent with these priorities remained as awardees, while others did not.”

In a statement, MPAC acknowledged that working with law enforcement isn’t a priority: “Our position on this issue has consistently centered on community-led initiatives that improve mental health resources, access to counseling, and a host of other social services without the involvement or spectre of law enforcement.”

Still, it disputed the loss of the grant, saying it would consider “all legal options…”

“The exclusion of groups like MPAC point to a DHS that is ineffective in coordinating with communities and unconstitutional in its treatment of a religious minority,” the statement said. “MPAC will continue challenging the trajectory of the Trump administration’s efforts in this space by advocating for a holistic approach that empowers rather than sidelines communities, focuses on all forms of violent threats, and fosters a climate of trust over fear.”

MPAC pledged to use the money for targeted interventions under its Safe Spaces program for people at risk for radicalization. Created in 2014, Safe Spaces aims to improve relations between Muslim institutions and law enforcement.

MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati introduced the program as an alternative to law enforcement agencies using informants to infiltrate mosques. The roll out meeting included Johnson, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., and other Muslim community groups including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Al-Marayati vehemently objects to anything that involves mosques or informants in terror investigations.

“Counter-terrorism and counter-violence should be defined by us,” he said at 2005 Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) conference in Dallas. “We should define how an effective counter-terrorism policy should be pursued in this country. So, No. 1, we reject any effort, notion, and suggestion that Muslims should start spying on one another. Everywhere I go either somebody tells me that officials have met with them publicly or they tell me that they know who those folks are that are representing law enforcement. So we know they have communicated one way or the other with the Muslim community.

“The question is how do you deal with it in a healthy, open, transparent manner? That is why we are saying have them come in community forums, in open-dialogues, so they come through the front door and you prevent them having to come from the back door,” Al-Marayati said.

Government agencies preferred CVE programs, especially during the Obama administration. But there’s no way to measure whether they work, a Government Accountability Office report issued in April said. The GAO “was not able to determine if the United States is better off today than it was in 2011 as a result” of CVE programs.”

The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Management offered similar criticism during a hearing last September. The committee has “no way of gauging whether CVE efforts have been successful – or harmful – or if money is being spent wisely,” said U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa.

MPAC may have won the grant simply because it is “the most organized group,” said Heritage Foundation counterterrorism scholar Robin Simcox. But that “is going down the wrong path. Often this means giving it to some very, very divisive voices who will play into the Islamist narrative; they will play off grievances. They will encourage a feeling of segregation and otherness, and we are promoting other problems for the future.”

MPAC promotes a narrative that Muslims are victimized by a hostile non-Muslim society, Simcox said. That message helps breed terrorists.

“I think it creates an environment where these radical ideas are in the ether, and it’s no surprise to me that somebody then [would] take that final step into violence,” Simcox said.

Research backs up Simcox’s assertion.

Grievances “framed around victimhood against Western foreign policy and military intervention” are among “a kaleidoscope of factors” in fueling extremism, Swedish jihad researcher Magnus Ranstorp has found.

MPAC’s recent messaging has emphasized threats to Muslim Americans’ freedom and security, including promoting a conspiracy theory that internment camps could be revived for them. In February, MPAC posted an image of Star Trek actor George Takei, on its homepage, with the heading “Stand Up for Muslims in the U.S.” The image linked to a petition in which Takei described his experience during World War II: “When I was just 5, my family was rounded up at gunpoint from our home in Los Angeles into an internment camp. We were prisoners in our own country, held within barbed wire compounds, armed guards pointing guns down on us.”

“A Trump spokesperson recently stated the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II “sets a precedent” for Trump to do the same today,” Takei wrote. [Emphasis original]

But that spokesman, former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie, had no role in the Trump transition and only spoke for himself. No one in the administration has endorsed such a scheme.

But Takei’s statement, which MPAC embraced, claimed that “Trump continues to stand by his plans to establish a Muslim registry and ban immigrants from ‘certain’ Muslim countries from the U.S. It starts with a registry, with restrictions, with irrationally ascribed guilt, and with fear. But we never know where it might lead.”

Takei didn’t start the internment analogy. “Challenging patriotis (sic) of AmMuslims is un-American – what happened to Japanese Americans-loyalty test, confiscating their wealth #CruzHearing,” Al-Marayati wrote a year ago, in a Twitter post he later deleted.

Promoting the internment conspiracy theory destroys the credibility of “soft Islamist” organizations like MPAC that don’t engage in terrorist acts themselves, yet validate the jihadist narratives, Simcox said.

Al-Marayati has long promoted the narrative that the U.S. is waging “war on Islam,” one of the most potent terrorist recruitment tropes.

He called U.S. counterterrorism policies a “war on Islam” in a 2009 interview with Al-Watan Al-Arabi. Al-Marayati also engaged in “war on Islam” rhetoric when he chided U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz a year ago for using the term “radical Islam” during a hearing about the Obama administration’s avoidance of using the phrase “So @SenCruz, do you want to have a war with Islam rather than a war on terrorists?” he wrote in a tweet he later deleted.

MPAC Whitewashes Jihad

Al-Marayati appeared on C-Span in 2014, and balked when asked why Muslims weren’t speaking up against jihadism: “Well I think we’ll call this violent extremism. And one thing we have to be clear about, we should not be countering jihad,” Al-Marayati said. “Jihad to the violent extremists means holy war. But jihad in classical Islam means ‘struggle.’ So let us at least not use religious terminology in fighting groups like ISIS. It just plays into their hands. They want this to be a war on Islam, a war on religion.

“We should be at war on criminal behavior, war against terrorism.”

Al-Marayati again rejected the connection between jihad and violence during a Jan. 25 debate with American Islamic Forum for Democracy founder and President Zuhdi Jasser. Jihad is not holy war, he said, but a struggle against oneself.

“We must allow the Muslims to reclaim their faith and not let Islam be defined by the extremist distortions of Islam,” Al-Marayati said.

Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna disagreed, writing that jihad only had to do with fighting and argued that purely spiritual jihad was spurious. MPAC co-founder Maher Hathout described himself as an al-Banna disciple.

“Many Muslims today mistakenly believe that fighting the enemy is jihad asghar (a lesser jihad) and that fighting one’s ego is jihad akbar (a greater jihad),” al-Banna wrote in his tract On Jihad. “This narration is used by some to lessen the importance of fighting, to discourage any preparation for combat, and to deter any offering of jihad in Allah’s way. This narration is not a saheeh (sound) tradition.”

Jasser sees a dichotomy between Al-Marayati’s public rejection of violent jihad and his group’s embrace of Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood-linked cleric Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi. MPAC hosted Ghannouchi at a 2011 dinner, and Al-Marayati flew to Paris in 2013 to attend a conference with Ghannouchi. The sheikh is a member of the International Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau.

Back in 1990, Ghannouchi spoke at a conference in Tehran, Iran where he called for the “destruction of the Jews” and invoked Ayatollah Khamenei’s “call to jihad” against America, “the Great Satan.” Ghannouchi aspired to wage “worldwide jihad,” a 1991 State Department cable said. Ghannouchi still favors violent jihad, 5 endorsing the Palestinian knife jihad against Israelis in 2015.

“The central problem with MPAC … is the schizophrenia with which they deal with American issues versus how they deal with global issues,” Jasser said. “The Islamists assume Americans are not very smart, so they are going to listen to their apologetics about jihad and then not connect it to what happens when the Ghannouchis of the world get into power.”

MPAC leaders have made their own pro-terrorist and anti-Israeli statements.

Al-Marayati didn’t seem to have a problem with Hizballah calling its terror campaign against Israel “jihad” in a November 1999 interview with PBS’s Jim Lehrer.

“If the Lebanese people are resisting Israeli intransigence on Lebanese soil, then that is the right of resistance and they have the right to target Israeli soldiers in this conflict. That is not terrorism. That is a legitimate resistance. That could be called liberation movement, that could be called anything, but it’s not terrorism,” Al-Marayati said.

Similarly, MPAC Public Affairs Consultant Edina Lekovic served as managing editor of Al-Talib, the defunct newspaper of UCLA’s Muslim Student Association, when it published an editorial saying Osama bin Laden was not a terrorist in its July 1999 issue.

“When we hear someone refer to the great Mujahid (someone who struggles in Allah’s cause) Osama bin Laden a ‘terrorist,’ we should defend our brother and refer to him as a freedom fighter; someone who has forsaken wealth and power to fight in Allah’s cause and speak out against oppressors,” the unsigned editorial said.

MPAC Defends Al-Qaida and Hamas Financiers

Another hit against MPAC’s credibility is its history of apologism for terrorist financiers.

Just after 9/11, Al-Marayati painted Muslims as victims after the federal government shut down the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) on suspicion it provided material support to al-Qaida. Its leader, Enaam Arnaout, had close ties with Osama Bin Laden, court documents show.

He had similar reactions after Treasury Department asset freezes in December 2001 targeted the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), which illegally routed charity money to Hamas, and the Global Relief Foundation, which provided assistance to Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaida.

“Selective justice is injustice – it does not help us in the war on terror and continues to project the image that the U.S. is anti-Islam,” Al-Marayati wrote in July 2002 press release posted on MPAC’s website defending all three charities.

Closing these terror-linked charities could send the message to Muslims abroad that America is intolerant of religious minorities, Al-Marayati said that October in a New York Times op-ed.

When the Treasury Department shut down the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA) in 2004, saying it “provided direct financial support for” Osama bin Laden, Al-Marayati described it as “a bit disturbing that the announcement of shutting down another charity… [took] place just before the month of Ramadan in the peak of the election season.”

Arnaout pleaded guilty to violating the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and acknowledged that his group hid the fact it used a portion of its donations to fund terrorists overseas.

HLF’s leaders were convicted of providing material support to Hamas in 2008.

MPAC’s magazine, The Minaret, cast these charity closures in an anti-Semitic light in a political cartoon it published in its March 2002 issue. It shows President George W. Bush doing the bidding of Israel and the Anti-Defamation League knocking down a building with a foundation labeled “Islamic Foundations (Holy Land, Global Relief, etc.” The top of the building being knocked down says, “Relief for Muslim Orphans” and “Support for U.S. Muslim Free Speech.”

This was not an isolated incident. A January 2000 Minaret cartoon showed “The West” apologizing for the Holocaust and handing over money to an old woman holding a cane with the label “Jewish holocaust.” At the same time, an Arab wearing a keffiyeh labeled “Palestine” says, “Ahem ‘scuse me” followed by a person with a crutch and bandaged foot labeled “Indian genocide” and a black person emblazoned with “African slavery.”

During the 2006 Israeli war with Hizballah in Lebanon Al-Marayati similarly diminished the Holocaust.

“And as far as the Holocaust is concerned, we’ve come out very clearly saying that the Holocaust is the worst genocide, war crime, in the 20th century. We’re against Holocaust denial, but we’re also against people who exploit that as a way of shoving this kind of war propaganda and dehumanization of the Arab peoples and the Muslim peoples as if they have to pay the price for what Nazi Germany did to the Jews back in the 20th century,” Al-Marayati said in an interview.

“MPAC’s default position is that the government is on a witch hunt against Muslims, and that any identification of organizations or non-profits doing quote end quote humanitarian work must be anti-Muslim if they are identified as a terror group,” Jasser said. “And if they are found to support terror, they say they are not the rule; they are the exception.”

MPAC’s statements and actions suggest that DHS’s decision to rescind Johnson’s decision to award the CVE grant was the right thing to do.

An Epidemic of Lawlessness

June 24, 2017

An Epidemic of Lawlessness, Power LineScott Johnson, June 24, 2017

Taking the story at face value, we can conclude that the Post and its sources have done great damage to the national security of the United States. The Post attributes the leaks on which the story is based to “three dozen current and former U.S. officials in senior positions in government, including at the White House, the State, Defense and Homeland Security departments, and U.S. intelligence services. Most agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity…”

Again, taken at face value, the story buries this bombshell. Three dozen current and former U.S. officials in senior government positions have undertaken a campaign of gross lawlessness for their own purposes undermining the national security of the United States beyond anything Vladimir Putin can do.

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Yesterday’s Washington Post carried the Russia story of the day. Post reporters Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Adam Entous purport to deliver the goods on “Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault.” It’s a long, long story that is of interest from a variety of perspectives.

The Post purports to give us the inside story on the collection of intelligence on Russian interference in the presidential election and serve up the apologetics explaining the Obama administration’s passive response. Based on highly classified intelligence related to the Post, the CIA discovered Russian interference in the election while it was in process within months of the election in the last year of the Obama administration. According to the CIA intelligence, the interference came on the order of Vladimir Putin and furthered Putin’s desire to aid the election of Donald Trump as president.

The Post dates the critical intelligence “bombshell” obtained by the CIA to August 2016. The Post reports that CIA Director John Brennan deemed it so confidential that he withheld it from the President’s Daily Brief and conveyed it directly in writing to Obama by hand delivery.

The intelligence provided Obama administration officials plenty of time to do foil Putin’s plans. Indeed, administration officials concocted plans to punish and deter Russia from interference. The Post reports that “Obama administration secretly debated dozens of options for deterring or punishing Russia, including cyberattacks on Russian infrastructure, the release of CIA-gathered material that might embarrass Putin and sanctions that officials said could ‘crater’ the Russian economy. But in the end, in late December, Obama approved a modest package” (emphasis added). In other words, President Obama declined to take any action while it might still have done some good.

One might infer from story that President Obama “colluded” with Putin to defeat Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump. One might support the inference with Obama’s own comment open mic comment to Dmitri Medvedev that during Obama’s second term he would have more “flexibility” to cooperate with Putin.

To be fair, we might consider the explanation that Obama was just a pusillanimous pussy disinclined to protect the interests of the United States from our enemies. Perhaps Obama’s passivity was overdetermined and several of the possible explanations apply. Certainly some explanation beyond any offered by the Post’s sources is called for. The possibilities are endless.

By contrast, however, the Post’s reportage offers no evidence of Trump’s “collusion” with the Russian interference intended to assist Trump’s election. Zero. Nada. Not even by inference.

Perhaps evidence of Trump “collusion” is beyond the scope of the Post’s story. If the Post had obtained such evidence from its numerous sources, however, it would be in the story.

So far as I can tell, sophisticated commenters on the story take it at face value and consider it on the terms presented by the Post. See, for example, David French’s NRO column and Tom Rogan’s Examiner column.

The story comes complete with this revelation: “Obama also approved a previously undisclosed covert measure that authorized planting cyber weapons in Russia’s infrastructure, the digital equivalent of bombs that could be detonated if the United States found itself in an escalating exchange with Moscow. The project, which Obama approved in a covert-action finding, was still in its planning stages when Obama left office. It would be up to President Trump to decide whether to use the capability.”

I’m sure Putin is grateful for the heads-up from the Post. You don’t have to be a CIA officer of analyst to figure that out.

Now like much of the Post story, this is a piece of highly classified intelligence whose disclosure violates the oaths of those who gave it to the Post. The violation of a solemn oath by a witness is commonly taken to detract from the credibility of the witness’s testimony. Consider, moreover, that the Post did not place its sources were not under oath when they confided in Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Adam Entous. The intelligent reader would be well within his rights not to believe a word they say.

If we believe it, however, this pertinent fact should be added. The disclosure of highly classified intelligence by government officials seriously violates the espionage laws of the United States. It is in all likelihood felonious several times over in the case of each of the Post’s numerous anonymous sources.

The Post and its reporters are accomplices to the crimes committed by their sources. They have disseminated highly classified intelligence to the enemies of the United States — as the left has lately discovered Putin and Russia to be.

Taking the story at face value, we can conclude that the Post and its sources have done great damage to the national security of the United States. The Post attributes the leaks on which the story is based to “three dozen current and former U.S. officials in senior positions in government, including at the White House, the State, Defense and Homeland Security departments, and U.S. intelligence services. Most agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity…” As for the requirement of anonymity imposed by the Post’s sources, see the paragraph above.

Again, taken at face value, the story buries this bombshell. Three dozen current and former U.S. officials in senior government positions have undertaken a campaign of gross lawlessness for their own purposes undermining the national security of the United States beyond anything Vladimir Putin can do.

Trump Derangement Syndrome Has Become the New Plague

June 24, 2017

Trump Derangement Syndrome Has Become the New Plague, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, June 23, 2017

Younger generations, of course, get this. They hear it in the schools and they watch it on television and it’s shoveled at them on BuzzFeed and the like. They are given little chance to think for themselves. And if they do, they know the risks.

Meanwhile, The Plague keeps spreading.  In the 1330s the “Black Death” took about a third of Europe. It’s unlikely things would get that bad in this country on a personal level, but our democracy is already being littered with symbolic corpses, logical thought among the earliest and most consistent of victims.

Does anyone have an antidote to Trump Derangement Syndrome? I think I hear something scampering around my basement. Either it’s one of the plague rats of my generation spreading its… okay… I won’t say it.

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

To what can we ascribe the continuing metastasis of Trump Derangement Syndrome, which has come to infect America, and indeed the world, almost to the level of a true plague?

The most recent of the seemingly endless incidents/outbreaks range from the ridiculous (hapless movie star Johnny Depp making a joke about assassinating the president and then recanting it…his agent must have called) to the genuinely creepy (a Democratic Party official declaring he was glad Steve Scalise was shot).

Yes, this last one was about a congressman, not the president. But we know the atmosphere that condoned it — the same atmosphere that enabled thirty GOP congressmen either to have been violently attacked or to have had their lives threatened since the beginning of May. (Such things did not happen BT/Before Trump.)

In the case of Depp, it was not so much his pathetic remarks that horrified — the actor is in the midst of a public nervous breakdown — but the raucous approval of his comments by the Glastonbury Festival audience, as if he had just given a shout-out to the local football team.

This automatic reaction by the rabble is just another example of the reach of Trump Derangement Syndrome, where assassination talk is de rigueur and Trump is regarded as a combination of Daddy Warbucks and Caligula with a little of The Joker thrown in. (Just the other day, author Michael Chabon told an Israel Radio interviewer that he wakes up every morning with the hope that Trump “is going to have a massive stroke, and, you know, be carted out of the White House on a gurney.” The surprised Israeli interviewer told Breitbart he naturally thought Chabon was just joking, but then realized he wasn’t. )

Of course the Congress, with its astoundingly tedious and extraordinarily phony Russia investigations, has congressmen and senators competing on an infinite loop to see who… mirror, mirror, on the wall… can be the most hypocritical of all. (Winner so far: Senator Mark Warner. Runner-up: Rep. Adam Schiff). They help spread the infection, scratching scabs that were, at best, of the most tangential interest months ago, until they gush blood all over again, keeping the Russia controversy alive and kicking, at least until  Jon Ossoff makes his presidential run of 2032. (Not sure I’m joking.)

And speaking of competitions, the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN are no longer actual news organizations but contestants locked in a non-stop gladiatorial to dethrone Donald Trump via ceaseless leaks, most of which are either disinformation or absurdly trivial, and virtually all of which are illegal in the first place. But they don’t care. It doesn’t even seem to bother them that their journalistic reputations may be affected. They are infected. By this New Plague.

So they carry the infection on, spewing the bacterium, spreading the TDS Plague as assiduously as did the rats of the Middle Ages, the hated Yersinia pestis, no antidotes allowed, not on their pages anyway. At Blue State cocktail parties from Manhattan to Brentwood, people dare not open their mouths to say a tiny thing in favor of Trump, even to old friends, for fear of eternal ostracism. In our schools, conservatives are not allowed to speak. Patriotic films are only made if Clint Eastwood agrees, or maybe now Mark Wahlberg, on a nice day.

And then, of course, there are the #NeverTrumpers who still can’t stand Trump because he’s… well, I’m not sure I ever understood them in the first place, but I guess it’s because he’s vulgar. He may have gone to Wharton but talks as if he’s gone to Queens College.

All this is occurring although Trump, since taking office, has been, in his actions, a basically middle-of-the-road president, rather like, of all people, Bill Clinton after he made his accommodation with Gingrich. Of course, unlike Billy boy, he hasn’t misbehaved, to my knowledge, in the Oval Office. More precisely, Trump governs slightly from the right as Clinton governed slightly from the left. The differences are not greater than we have seen many times before.

Yet the Plague grows, edging almost inexorably toward violence. Why?

The “Deep State” bureaucrats feel their jobs are in jeopardy. I get that. But the rest?

May I suggest that what we are witnessing in our culture (and outwardly across the globe, because willy-nilly the U.S. is still the leading factor) is a form of mass hysterical conformism. I emphasize the conformism because by nature most human beings are conformists — we want to get along.

My generation —  I regret to say since I was part of this — was nurtured in a kind of counter-cultural conformity, everyone in tie-dye and smoking joints, thinking the same inchoate ideas. Peace and Love. Hey, hey LBJ… You’re part of the solution or you’re part of the problem…. Power to the People. Right on! Tune in, turn on, drop out!

As we grew up — taking over media, entertainment, and the schools — we formed a new cohort that was as truly conformist (probably more) as the generations before us. That New Conformism (actually pretty old at this point) generated this New Plague — how could it not, even though Donald was (technically) one of them — with everyone against Trump no matter what, pass it on. Otherwise, you will be read out of the new version of the hipster Volvo-becoming-Tesla country club. Trump was too Rat Pack for us (too like our parents or what our parents thought was cool). We wanted a smooth, black dude or, failing that, a righteous Latina, whatever that was. These days not even the Dalai Lama is acceptable.

It was all image. Almost none of it was substance, although we wanted to pretend it was. We were Eliot’s hollow, stuffed men, the ghosts of our parents’ Greatest Generation. But the image prevailed anyway — bland and unexamined as it was. Clichéd. Our image. John Lennon lite. It’s everywhere now. (“Imagine there’s no Donald. It isn’t hard to do.” Right, Michael Chabon?)

Younger generations, of course, get this. They hear it in the schools and they watch it on television and it’s shoveled at them on BuzzFeed and the like. They are given little chance to think for themselves. And if they do, they know the risks.

Meanwhile, The Plague keeps spreading.  In the 1330s the “Black Death” took about a third of Europe. It’s unlikely things would get that bad in this country on a personal level, but our democracy is already being littered with symbolic corpses, logical thought among the earliest and most consistent of victims.

Does anyone have an antidote to Trump Derangement Syndrome? I think I hear something scampering around my basement. Either it’s one of the plague rats of my generation spreading its… okay… I won’t say it.