Archive for the ‘Obama’s affinity for Islam’ category

Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen

March 29, 2017

Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen, American Thinker, Rabbi Aryeh Spero, March 29, 2017

(Please see also, Pope Francis Tells EU Leaders: Populism Is ‘Egotism.’ — DM)

Instead of fighting and becoming angry, we light candles and turn off the lights in tall buildings. We vow to fight a nonspecific theory called “terrorism” instead of protecting our borders from whom and where it is precisely coming. In response to the terrorism in our cities, we call for even more multiculturalism and appeasement. We have become the pitiful we, pathetic, because of Barack Obama’s repeated sermonette of: “That’s not who we are.” Whenever suggestions were made for the urgent need to monitor some of the mosques or the young men most likely to commit future terrorist acts against us, Obama would declare: “That’s not who we are.”

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

The fear and scrambling of citizens in London a few days ago was a humiliating scene, wherein a powerful city and its entire government came to a halt because of one man, an Islamist with an axe and a truck. We have seen similar things happen in other major Western cities. Humiliating the West is one of the primary goals of militant Islam. It is a victory for their deity, as demonstrated by the ubiquitous shouts of “Allahu Akhbar” prior to the terror act, a time-worn declaration of Islamic victory and humiliation of the infidel. The multiculturalists do not see it as a humiliation against us, for the us — an us with an identity — is no longer important or recognized by them. In contrast, those on the other side killing and reshaping us have a confidence and pride in their identity.

Instead of fighting and becoming angry, we light candles and turn off the lights in tall buildings. We vow to fight a nonspecific theory called “terrorism” instead of protecting our borders from whom and where it is precisely coming. In response to the terrorism in our cities, we call for even more multiculturalism and appeasement. We have become the pitiful we, pathetic, because of Barack Obama’s repeated sermonette of: “That’s not who we are.” Whenever suggestions were made for the urgent need to monitor some of the mosques or the young men most likely to commit future terrorist acts against us, Obama would declare: “That’s not who we are.”

When it comes to Islamic terror or shariah imposition, Obama and other globalists preach a type of defenselessness and impotence: something we have to abide. For many liberals, virtue signaling, the epitome of vanity, is more important than saving lives, even the lives of their countrymen.

Heroic people, however, know exactly who they are: They are those who defend their country and families from terrorism, death and injury. People with an identity know who they are and thus fight for it. Transnationalists don’t… and, with sophistry, try to stop others from doing so.

As uber-multiculturalists, these globalist leaders are making a nation’s accommodation to Islam, and the incorporation of Islamic ways and demands, the litmus test of multicultural compliance. Islam is their fast-track tool for transforming Western societies and is being catapulted by them into religious and cultural stardom. It is being romanticized as the new global commonality and outlook, a catchall for all that is right-minded and progressive. By being the new “victim” of Western intolerance and oppression, Islam is automatically elevated and ennobled as something enlightened and most tolerant, especially by those abandoning and running from their Christian ancestry and upbringing and seeking an exotic system in which to pour all their utopian and rebellious yearnings.

Many in the political class demonizing Americanism and nationalism are celebrating transnationalism, which is being pushed today by global multiculturalists. Until now, Western countries retained with pride their distinctive culture and norms, while recognizing and enjoying the varied qualities found in nations different than their own. Transnationalism is radically different. It wishes to denude each Western country of its uniqueness and severely marginalize that segment of the population wishing to preserve and live by the historic values and customs of their country. It is banal uniformity on a global scale, often a consequence of embarrassment and repudiation of anything overtly Christian or Old Testament.

Transnationalism takes power away from a country’s people and imposes laws and norms from above by an almost interchangeable global ruling class which treats its country’s patriots as malcontents and second class, as “unenlightened” citizens entitled to fewer freedoms than anti-nationalists or preferred minorities. The ruling class has more sympathy and identity with the ruling class of other countries than with citizens of their own country. It is cosmopolitanism run riot, so that American liberals, for example, feel a kinship more with Parisians than those from Peoria.

Whereas until very recently, highly patriotic leaders were chosen to lead countries, under the mantle of transnationalism leaders are advanced who downplay and characterize as “extreme” the patriotic members within society. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in America, Angela Merkel in Germany, as well as the Scandinavian and Flemish leaders, the EU and the Hague, are representative of those in an expanding political class and club who see their power deriving from a global multiculturalism that marginalizes conservative voters to ineffective fringes.

These leaders reinforce and aid each other by speaking to voters beyond their own country. They speak of the need of voters elsewhere to elect those candidates who will be part of a globalist order and fraternity upon which rests the “guarantee of peace, harmony, prosperity, and environmental purity”. Transnationalism is the age-old universalist and socialist dystopia come true, just under a new nomenclature. Those opposed are labeled xenophobic; those questioning open borders are labeled racist. No one has a right any longer to an opinion except those issuing leftist, transnational creeds. These accusations, the name calling, are some of the most powerful weapons in the globalist arsenal.

Many making the accusations of xenophobia live in rarified societies and neighborhoods or in high-end and fashionable apartment buildings with security guards and doormen, immune from the consequences of Open Borders, loss of manual jobs, overseas nation-building, and the harmful effects arising from perfunctory background checks and superficial vetting.

It is not American nationalism that warrants our alarm, rather transnationalism and fierce multiculturalism. In the name of faux morality and twisted tolerance it seeks to erase the identity, touchstones, and values that made us who we are. It imperils our future.

The Quest for Islam-Based Affirmative Action

March 6, 2017

The Quest for Islam-Based Affirmative Action, Front Page MagazineLloyd Billingsley, March 6, 2017

(Perhaps the whole notion of affirmative action — the embodiment of racist low expectations for racial minorities — should go away. — DM)

my_trusty_gavel

In late September, the White House office of Management and Budget proposed a new racial classification: MENA, standing for Middle East and North Africans and covering the vast area from Morocco to Iran. In the best politically correct style, many national, ethnic and racial identities disappear within the group category, like drops of water in a pond. MENA is essentially the rebadging of Muslims and as with other categories the basis for handing out government benefits and further dividing the nation into oppressed and oppressor classes. 

The president was counting on his designated successor, Hillary Clinton, to get MENA approved by Congress in 2018 so it could be deployed in the 2020 Census. The new Congress should give MENA the boot, dump the entire classification system, and abolish race and ethnic preferences in government employment. 

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

“Court Commissioner Shama Mesiwala sees her new job as a way to represent her Muslim faith,” ran the February 21 headline in the Sacramento Bee. Presiding judge Kevin Culhane called the new Commissioner “highly accomplished,” and did not exaggerate.

Shama Mesiwala graduated magna cum laude in three years from UC San Diego and completed law school at UC Davis at 23. She then spent 13 years as a judicial attorney in the Third District Court of Appeal. As Court Commissioner, Mesiwala will command the same powers and duties as a trial court judge, but when selected for the post she did not emphasize her academic achievements or judicial experience.

“I’m really proud I can represent my faith in this way,” she explained.

As some locals pointed out, if a Baptist had been appointed Court Commissioner and used the job to “represent my faith,” that would have raised protests from the church-state squads. Nothing of the kind took place and Mesiwala supporter Karima Bennoune, a UC Davis law professor, saw the appointment as “an important sign of hope and a reminder of the importance of cultural diversity.” Mesiwala had also been concerned with “social justice for everyone” and her appointment was “a reminder of the very positive things we need right now.”

Readers could be forgiven for seeing a reference to President Trump, and the appointment of more Muslims in government as an appropriate response to his executive order on travel. According to UC Davis law alum Fatima Alloo, who has litigated with the ACLU on immigrant cases, there was more to it.

The majority of court commissioners, she wrote in an online comment on the Bee story, “are most likely to belong to Christianity than any other religion.” Shama Mesiwala “managed to break through and receive her position despite belonging to a faith that is often misunderstood, slandered and discriminated against in our society, Islam.”

The implication is that Muslims are an accredited victim group, therefore they should be given preference for positions such as court commissioner. In Mesiwala’s case, no other candidates were announced.

California’s anti-preference law forbids preference on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender in state employment, education and contracting. It makes no mention of religion, and the demand that Muslims be given preference for jobs would come as no surprise in California.

Since voters approved the anti-preference California Civil Rights Initiative in 1996, state officials have done everything in their power to avoid it. Governor Jerry Brown has always opposed the anti-preference law, but he supports a sanctuary state and maintains a double standard on refugees.

The Vietnamese Communists, more repressive than their Soviet sponsors, drove many to flee, including Janet Nguyen, born in Ho Chi Minh City in 1976. She became a California state senator but Democrats smacked her down for criticizing Tom Hayden, who supported the Communists. Governor Brown was strangely silent after the smackdown, with good reason.

As Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee noted, Brown opposed the influx of Vietnamese refugees and “even tried to block refugee flights into Travis Air Force Base.” On the other hand, Brown and the state Democrats now back the mass admission of Syrian refugees, whose plight, unlike that of the Vietnamese, is not due to the failure of U.S. policy. Even so, Assembly Bill 343 would give all refugees in-state tuition at public colleges and other goodies, including $5 million for translators, counselors and support staff, everything but free hors d’oeuvres.

Brown’s policy was to work with the 44th president to bring in more refugees, most of them Muslims. According to his narrator, the President Formerly Known as Barry Soetoro (PFKBS) attended a “predominantly Muslim school” in Indonesia, proclaimed that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” and refused to link Islam with any act of terrorism. Before the November election that president slid his side more assistance, with little notice in the old-line establishment media.

In late September, the White House office of Management and Budget proposed a new racial classification: MENA, standing for Middle East and North Africans and covering the vast area from Morocco to Iran. In the best politically correct style, many national, ethnic and racial identities disappear within the group category, like drops of water in a pond. MENA is essentially the rebadging of Muslims and as with other categories the basis for handing out government benefits and further dividing the nation into oppressed and oppressor classes.

The president was counting on his designated successor, Hillary Clinton, to get MENA approved by Congress in 2018 so it could be deployed in the 2020 Census. The new Congress should give MENA the boot, dump the entire classification system, and abolish race and ethnic preferences in government employment.

California voters did that way back in 1996. State leaders should follow the law and not extend preference to anyone on the basis of their religion, even if they seek to use a judicial position to “represent my faith.”

Raymond Ibrahim: How Trump Can Help Persecuted Christians and Protect Americans with One Move

February 6, 2017

Raymond Ibrahim: How Trump Can Help Persecuted Christians and Protect Americans with One Move, Jihad Watch

copts-in-ruined-church

During a recent interview on CBN, President Trump was asked if he thinks America should prioritize persecuted Christians as refugees. He responded:

Yes.  Yes, they’ve been horribly treated.  If you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, or at least very, very tough, to get into the United States.  If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair — everybody was persecuted, in all fairness — but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.

 Trump’s response is far different from that given by Barrack Hussein Obama back in November 2015. Then, as president, he described the idea of giving preference to Christian refugees as “shameful”: “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” he had added.

While Obama was making such lofty admonishments, his administration was quietly discriminating against Mideast Christians in a myriad of ways — including, as Trump pointed out above, by very obviously favoring Muslim refugees over Christian ones. Indeed, despite the U.S. government’s own acknowledgement that ISIS was committing genocide against Syrian Christians — and not against fellow Sunni Muslims — the Obama administration took in 5,435 Muslims, almost all of whom were Sunni, but only 28 Christians. Considering that Christians are 10 percent of Syria’s population, to be merely on an equal ratio with Muslims entering America, at least 500 Christians should’ve been granted asylum, not 28.

But questions of equal numbers aside, the idea of prioritizing Christian refugees over Muslims (which I argued for back in 2015) is not only more humane; it brings benefits to America as well.

Consider:

Unlike Muslims, Christian minorities are being singled out and persecuted simply because of their despised religious identity. From a humanitarian point of view — and humanitarianism is the reason being cited for accepting millions of refugees — Christians should receive top priority simply because they are the most persecuted group in the Middle East. Even before the Islamic State was formed, Christians were, and continue to be, targeted by Muslims in general — Muslim individuals, Muslim mobs, and Muslim regimes, from Muslim countries of all races (Arab, African, Asian) — and for the same reason: Christians are infidel number one. (See Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for hundreds of anecdotes before the rise of ISIS as well as the Muslim doctrines that create such hate for Christians.)

Conversely, Muslim refugees — as opposed to the many ISIS and other jihadi sympathizers posing as “refugees” — are not fleeing religious persecution (as mentioned, 99% of Muslim refugees accepted into the U.S. are, like ISIS, Sunnis), but chaos created by the violent and supremacist teachings of their own religion. Hence why when large numbers of Muslims enter Western nations — in Germany, Sweden, France, the UK — tension, crimes, rapes, and terrorism soar.

Indeed, what more proof is needed than the fact that so-called Muslim “refugees” are throwing Christians overboard during their boat voyages across the Mediterranean to Europe? Or that Muslim majority refugee centers in Europe are essentially microcosms of Muslim majority nations: there, Christian minorities continue to be persecuted. One report found that 88% of the 231 Christian refugees interviewed in Germany have suffered religiously motivated persecution in the form of insults, death threats, and sexual assaults. Some were pressured to convert to Islam. “I really didn’t know that after coming to Germany I would be harassed because of my faith in the very same way as back in Iran,” one Christian refugee said.

Is persecuting religious minorities the behavior of people who are in need of refugee status in America? Or is this behavior yet another reminder that it is non-Muslims from the Middle East who are truly in need of sanctuary?

The U.S. should further prioritize Christian refugees because U.S. foreign policies are directly responsible for exacerbating their persecution. Christians did not flee from Bashar Assad’s Syria, or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, or Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya. Their systematic persecution—to the point of genocide — began only after the U.S. interfered in those nations under the pretext of “democracy.” All that these policies did is unleash the jihadi forces that the dictators had long kept suppressed. Now the Islamic State is deeply embedded in precisely all three nations, enslaving, raping, and slaughtering Christians and other minorities.

Surely if U.S. policies were responsible for unleashing the full-blown jihad on Christians, the least humanitarian America can do is prioritize Christians as refugees? In fact, and as Trump pointed out during his CBN interview, it’s the opposite: according to one report, from May 1 to May 23 alone, 499 Syrian refugees were received into the U.S, 99% of them Sunnis. Zero Christians were admitted.

Questions of fairness and humanitarianism aside, there are also benefits in absorbing Mideast Christians refugees instead of Muslims. Christians are easily assimilated in Western societies, due to the shared Christian heritage and outlook, and regularly become productive members of society. Muslims follow a completely different blueprint, Islamic law, or Sharia — which calls for constant hostility (jihad) against all non-Muslims, and advocates any number of distinctly anti-Western practices (misogyny, sex slavery, death for “blasphemers” and “apostates,” etc.). Hence it’s no surprise that many Muslim asylum seekers are anti-Western at heart — or, as a German police union chief once said, Muslim migrants “despise our country and laugh at our justice.”

Mideast Christians also bring trustworthy language and cultural skills. They understand the Middle Eastern — including Islamic — mindset and can help the U.S. understand it. And unlike Muslims, Christians have no “conflicting loyalty” issues: Islamic law forbids Muslims from befriending or aiding “infidels” against fellow Muslims (click here to see some of the treachery this leads to in the U.S. and here to see the treachery Christians have suffered from their longtime Muslim neighbors and “friends”). No such threat exists among Mideast Christians. They, too, render unto God what is God’s and unto Caesar what is Caesar’s — not to mention they have no loyalty to the Islamic ideologies that made their lives a living hell in the Middle East, the Islamic ideologies that are also responsible for jihadi terror in America. Thus a win-win: the U.S. and Mideast Christians complement each other, if only in that they share the same foe.

All the above reasons — from those that offer humanitarian relief to the true victims of persecution and genocide, to those that offer stability and benefits to the United States — are unassailable in their logic.

President Trump understands this — even if most liberals and lying media don’t.

Obama’s Transparent Presidency

January 13, 2017

Obama’s Transparent Presidency, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, January 13, 2017

barack_obama_discusses_ukraine_with_national_security_staff

[During Obama’s Cario speech], he turned his attention to Israel and the Palestinians. Obama opened this section by presenting his ideological framework for understanding the conflict. Israel he insisted was not established out of respect of the Jews’ national rights to their historic homeland. It was established as a consolation prize to the Jews after the Holocaust.

That is, Israel is a product of European colonialism, just as Iran and Hamas claim.

In contrast, the Palestinians are the indigenous people of the land. They have been the primary victims of the colonial West’s post-Holocaust guilty conscience. Their suffering is real and legitimate.

Hamas’s opposition to Israel is legitimate, he indicated. Through omission, Obama made clear that he has no ideological problem with Hamas – only with its chosen means of achieving its goal.

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

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

President Barack Obama promised that his would be the most transparent administration in US history.

And the truth is, it was. At least in relation to his policies toward the Muslim world, Obama told us precisely what he intended to do and then he did it.

A mere week remains of Obama’s tenure in office.

But Obama remains intent on carrying on as if he will never leave power. He has pledged to continue to implement his goals for the next week and then to serve as the most outspoken ex-president in US history.

In all of Obama’s recent appearances, his message is one of vindication. I came. I succeeded. I will continue to succeed. I represent the good people, the people of tomorrow. My opponents represent the Manichean, backward past. We will fight them forever and we will prevail.

Tuesday Obama gave his final interview to the Israeli media to Ilana Dayan from Channel 2’s Uvda news magazine. Dayan usually tries to come off as an intellectual. On Tuesday’s show, she cast aside professionalism however, and succumbed to her inner teenybopper. Among her other questions, she asked Obama the secret to his preternatural ability to touch people’s souls.

The only significant exchange in their conversation came when Dayan asked Obama about the speech he gave on June 4, 2009, in Cairo. Does he still stand by all the things he said in that speech? Would he give that speech again today, given all that has since happened in the region, she asked.

Absolutely, Obama responded.

The speech, he insisted was “aspirational” rather than programmatic. And the aspirations that he expressed in that address were correct.

If Dayan had been able to put aside her hero worship for a moment, she would have stopped Obama right then and there. His claim was preposterous.

But, given her decision to expose herself as a slobbering groupie, Dayan let it slide.

To salvage the good name of the journalism, and more important, to understand Obama’s actual record and its consequences, it is critical however to return to that speech.

Obama’s speech at Cairo University was the most important speech of his presidency. In it he laid out both his “aspirational” vision of relations between the West and the Islamic world and his plans for implementing his vision. The fundamentally transformed world he will leave President-elect Donald Trump to contend with next Friday was transformed on the basis of that speech.

Obama’s address that day at Cairo University lasted for nearly an hour. In the first half he set out his framework for understanding the nature of the US’s relations with the Muslim world and the relationship between the Western world and Islam more generally. He also expressed his vision for how that relationship should change.

The US-led West he explained had sinned against the Muslim world through colonialism and racism.

It needed to make amends for its past and make Muslims feel comfortable and respected, particularly female Muslims, covered from head to toe.

As for the Muslims, well, September 11 was wrong but didn’t reflect the truth of Islam, which is extraordinary. Obama thrice praised “the Holy Koran.” He quoted it admiringly. He waxed poetic in his appreciation for all the great contributions Islamic civilization has made to the world – he even made up a few. And he insisted falsely that Islam has always been a significant part of the American experience.

In his dichotomy between two human paths – the West’s and Islam’s – although he faulted the records of both, Obama judged the US and the West more harshly than Islam.

In the second half of his address, Obama detailed his plans for changing the West’s relations with Islam in a manner that reflected the true natures of both.

In hindsight, it is clear that during the seven and a half years of his presidency that followed that speech, all of Obama’s actions involved implementing the policy blueprint he laid out in Cairo.

He never deviated from the course he spelled out.

Obama promised to withdraw US forces from Iraq regardless of the consequences. And he did.

He promised he would keep US forces in Afghanistan but gave them no clear mission other than being nice to everyone and giving Afghans a lot of money. And those have been his orders ever since.

Then he turned his attention to Israel and the Palestinians. Obama opened this section by presenting his ideological framework for understanding the conflict. Israel he insisted was not established out of respect of the Jews’ national rights to their historic homeland. It was established as a consolation prize to the Jews after the Holocaust.

That is, Israel is a product of European colonialism, just as Iran and Hamas claim.

In contrast, the Palestinians are the indigenous people of the land. They have been the primary victims of the colonial West’s post-Holocaust guilty conscience. Their suffering is real and legitimate.

Hamas’s opposition to Israel is legitimate, he indicated. Through omission, Obama made clear that he has no ideological problem with Hamas – only with its chosen means of achieving its goal.

Rather than fire missiles at Israel, he said, Hamas should learn from its fellow victims of white European colonialist racists in South Africa, in India, and among the African-American community.

Like them Hamas should use nonviolent means to achieve its just aims.

Obama’s decision attack Israel at the UN Security Council last month, his attempts to force Israel to accept Hamas’s cease-fire demands during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, his consistent demand that Israel renounce Jewish civil and property rights in united Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, his current refusal to rule out the possibility of enabling another anti-Israel resolution to pass at the Security Council next week, and his contempt for the Israeli Right all are explained, envisioned and justified explicitly or implicitly in his Cairo speech.

One of the more notable but less discussed aspects of Obama’s assertion that the Palestinians are in the right and Israel is in the wrong in the speech, was his embrace of Hamas. Obama made no mention of the PLO or the Palestinian Authority or Fatah in his speech. He mentioned only Hamas – the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which shares the Brotherhood’s commitment to annihilating Israel and wiping out the Jewish people worldwide.

Sitting in the audience that day in Cairo were members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak rightly viewed Obama’s insistence that the brothers be invited to his address as a hostile act. Due to this assessment, Mubarak boycotted the speech and refused to greet Obama at the Cairo airport.

Two years later, Obama supported Mubarak’s overthrow and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to replace him.

Back to the speech.

Having embraced the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch, branded Israel a colonial implant and discredited the US’s moral claim to world leadership, Obama turned his attention to Iran.

Obama made clear that his intention as president was to appease the ayatollahs. America he explained had earned their hatred because in 1953 the CIA overthrew the pro-Soviet regime in Iran and installed the pro-American shah in its place.

True, since then the Iranians have done all sorts of mean things to America. But America’s original sin of intervening in 1953 justified Iran’s aggression.

Obama indicated that he intended to appease Iran by enabling its illicit nuclear program to progress.

Ignoring the fact that Iran’s illegal nuclear program placed it in material breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Obama argued that as an NPT signatory, Iran had a right to a peaceful nuclear program. As for the US and the rest of the members of the nuclear club, Obama intended to convince everyone to destroy their nuclear arsenals.

And in the succeeding years, he took a hacksaw to America’s nuclear force.

After Obama’s speech in Cairo, no one had any cause for surprise at the reports this week that he approved the transfer of 116 tons of uranium to Iran. Likewise, no one should have been surprised by his nuclear deal or by his willingness to see Iran take over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. No one should be surprised by his cash payoffs to the regime or his passivity in the face of repeated Iranian acts of aggression against US naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.

Everything that Obama has done since he gave that speech was alluded to or spelled out that day.

Certainly, nothing he has done was inconsistent with what he said.

The consequences of Obama’s worldview and the policies he laid out in Cairo have been an unmitigated disaster for everyone. The Islamic world is in turmoil. The rising forces are those that Obama favored that day: The jihadists.

ISIS, which Obama allowed to develop and grow, has become the ideological guide not only of jihadists in the Middle East but of Muslims in the West as well. Consequently it has destabilized not only Iraq and Syria but Europe as well. As the victims of the Islamist massacres in San Bernardino, Boston, Ft. Hood, Orlando and beyond can attest, American citizens are also paying the price for Obama’s program.

Thanks to Obama, the Iranian regime survived the Green Revolution. Due to his policies, Iran is both the master of its nuclear fate and the rising regional hegemon.

Together with its Russian partners, whose return to regional power after a 30-year absence Obama enabled, Iran has overseen the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Sunnis in Syria and paved the way for the refugee crisis that threatens the future of the European Union.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Islamist leader, was a principle beneficiary of Obama’s admiration of Islamism. Erdogan rode Obama’s wave to destroy the last vestiges of the secular Turkish Republic.

Now he is poised to leave NATO in favor of an alliance with Russia.

Obama and his followers see none of this. Faithful only to their ideology, Obama and his followers in the US and around the world refuse to see the connection between the policies borne of that ideology and their destructive consequences. They refuse to recognize that the hatred for Western civilization and in particular of the Jewish state Obama gave voice to in Cairo, and his parallel expression of admiration for radical Islamic enemies of the West, have had and will continue to have horrific consequences for the US and for the world as a whole.

Cairo is Obama’s legacy. His followers’ refusal to acknowledge this truth means that it falls to those Obama reviles to recognize the wages of the most transparent presidency in history. It is their responsibility to undo the ideological and concrete damage to humanity the program he first unveiled in that address and assiduously implemented ever since has wrought.

Obama’s Betrayal of Israel

January 13, 2017

Obama’s Betrayal of Israel, Gatestone InstituteGuy Millière, January 13, 2017

(Please see also, Israel is the legal occupant of the West Bank, says the Court of Appeal of Versailles. — DM)

President Obama’s decision not to use the US veto in the UN Security Council and to let pass Resolution 2334, effectively sets the boundaries of a future Palestinian state. The resolution declares all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem — home to the Old City, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount — the most sacred place in Judaism — “occupied Palestinian territory,” and is a declaration of war against Israel.

Resolution 2334 nullified any possibility of further negotiations by giving the Palestinians everything in exchange for nothing — not even an insincere promise of peace.

The next act is the Orwellian-named “peace conference,” to be held in Paris on January 15. It has but one objective: to set the stage to eradicate Israel.

In this new “Dreyfus trial,” the accused will be the only Jewish state and the accusers will be the OIC and officials from Islamized, dhimmified, anti-Israel Western states. As in the Dreyfus trial, the verdict has been decided before it even starts. Israel will be considered guilty of all charges and condemned. A draft of the declaration to be published at the end of the conference is already available.

The declaration rejects any Jewish presence beyond the 1949 armistice lines — thereby instituting apartheid. It also praises the “Arab Peace Initiative,” which calls for returning of millions of so-called “refugees” to Israel, thus transforming Israel into an Arab Muslim state where a massacre of Jews could conveniently be organized.

The declaration is most likely meant serve as the basis for a new Security Council resolution on January 17 that would recognize a Palestinian state inside the “1967 borders,” and be adopted, thanks to a second US abstention, three days before Obama leaves office. The betrayal of Israel by the Obama administration and by Obama himself would then be complete.

The US Congress is already discussing bills to defund the UN and the Palestinian Authority. If Europeans think that the incoming Trump administration is as spineless as the Obama administration, they are in for a shock.

Khaled Abu Toameh noted that the Palestinian Authority sees Resolution 2334 as a green light for more murders and violence.

Daniel Pipes recently wrote that it is time to acknowledge the failure of a “peace process” that is really a war process. He stresses that peace can only come when an enemy is defeated.

Resolution 2334 and the Paris conference, both promoted by Obama, are, as the great historian Bat Ye’or wrote, simply a victory for jihad.

The Middle East is in chaos. More than half a million people have been killed in the Syrian war and the number is rising. Bashar al-Assad’s army used chemical weapons and barrel bombs against civilians; Russia has bombed schools and hospitals.

Syrians, Christians, Yazidis, Libyans, Yemenis and Egyptians all face lethal treats. Iranian leaders still shout “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” while buying nuclear equipment with money from lifted sanctions. Turkey is sliding toward an Islamist dictatorship, and unable to stem attacks against it.

The only democratic and stable country in the region is Israel, and that is the country U.S. President Barack Obama, in the final weeks of his term, chooses to incriminate. His decision not to use the US veto in the UN Security Council, to let pass Resolution 2334, effectively sets the boundaries of a future Palestinian state. The resolution also declares all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, home to the Old City, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount — the most sacred place in Judaism — “occupied Palestinian territory,” and is a declaration of war against Israel.

UNSC Resolution 2334 nullified any possibility of further negotiations, by giving the Palestinians everything in exchange for nothing — not even an insincere promise of peace. US Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech five days later confirmed Obama’s support for the resolution. Kerry, like US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, used the existence of Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria as a pretext to endorse the position of Palestinian leaders, who want to ethnically cleanse Jews from these areas. But this was just a prelude.

The next act is the Orwellian-named “peace conference,” to be held in Paris on January 15. It has but one objective: to set the stage to eradicate Israel.

Organized by François Hollande, a failed French President who will leave power in four months, it was supported from the start by the Obama administration. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called it “the new Dreyfus trial.” The accused will be the only Jewish state and the accusers will be the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and officials from Islamized, dhimmified, anti-Israel Western states. As in the Dreyfus trial, the verdict is known before it starts. Israel will be considered guilty of all charges and condemned to what its accusers hope will be the beginning of its end.

2208Is Barack Obama planning another betrayal of Israel at next week’s Paris “peace conference,” organized by French President François Hollande? Pictured: Obama and Hollande in Washington, May 18, 2012. (Image source: White House)

Some commentators have compared what will happen in Paris to the 1942 Wannsee Conference in Nazi Germany, because the aim seems clearly to be the “final solution” of the “Jewish problem” in the Middle East. A draft of the declaration to be published at the end of the conference is already available. It affirms unreserved support for the “Palestinian Statehood strategy” and the principle of intangibility (that the borders cannot be modified) of the “1967 borders,” including East Jerusalem, the Old City and the Western Wall.

The draft declaration rejects any Jewish presence beyond these borders — thereby instituting apartheid — and praises the “Arab Peace Initiative,” which calls for returning millions of so-called “refugees” to Israel, and thus the transforming of Israel into an Arab Muslim state — where a massacre of the Jews could conveniently be organized.

The declaration is most likely meant to be the basis for a new UN Security Council resolution that would endorse the recognition of a Palestinian state in the “1967 borders” as defined in the declaration. The new resolution could be adopted by a second US abstention at the Security Council on January 17, three days before Obama leaves office. The betrayal of Israel by the Obama administration and by Obama himself would then be complete.

On January 20, however, Donald J. Trump is to take office as President of the United States. Trump sent a message on December 23: “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” He added explicitly that the U.S. “cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect.”

On January 5, the US House of Representatives approved a text harshly criticizing Resolution 2334. Congress is already discussing defunding the UN and the Palestinian Authority. If Europeans and members of UN think the incoming Trump administration is as spineless as the Obama administration, they are in for a shock.

Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens recently wondered if the creation of a Palestinian state would alleviate the current Middle East chaos. His answer was that it would not, and that the creation of a Palestinian state would be seen as a victory for jihadists. He also noted that the Palestinian Authority still behaves like a terrorist entity; that an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria would encourage Hamas and lead to the creation of another terrorist Islamic state in the West Bank, and that an Israeli withdrawal is something that most Palestinians do not even want:

“[A] telling figure came in a June 2015 poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, which found that a majority of Arab residents in East Jerusalem would rather live as citizens with equal rights in Israel than in a Palestinian state.”

Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab journalist who has never yet been wrong, noted that the Palestinian Authority sees Resolution 2334 as a green light for more violence, murders and confrontation. He added that if presidential elections by the PA were held today, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would win by a comfortable margin.

In another important article, Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes writes that it is time to acknowledge the failure of a “peace process” that is really a war process. He stressed that peace can only come when an enemy is defeated. He predicts that for peace to come, Israel must win unambiguously, and the Palestinians pass through “the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair.”

Jihadi indoctrination, as well as the financial aid given to Palestinian terrorists, have been paid for by the United States, France, and other Western European nations. That too should stop.

Resolution 2334 and the Paris peace conference, both promoted by Obama, are, as the great historian Bat Ye’or wrote, simply victories for jihad.

The Man Who Most Deserves to be DNC Chairman

January 5, 2017

The Man Who Most Deserves to be DNC Chairman, Front Page MagazineJohn Perazzo, January 5, 2017

keithellison

In a recent interview with the Fox Business Network, legal scholar Alan Dershowitz announced that because of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison’s past ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, he (Dershowitz) is prepared to “resign [his] membership to the Democratic Party after 50 years of being a loyal Democrat” if Ellison is named as the next DNC chairman.

It’s actually hard to figure out exactly what’s got Mr. Dershowitz in such a snit. It’s not as if Ellison represents some type of sudden, radical departure from what has become the mainstream Democratic position regarding race and religion. In fact, when it comes to racialism and anti-Semitism, Ellison is a mere piker compared to Barack Obama, for whom Dershowitz voted twice. That would be the same Barack Obama who spent 20 years worshiping in the church of a racist Jew-hater named Jeremiah Wright; the same Barack Obama whose longtime close friend and mentor, Professor Rashid Khalidi, was a devoted ally of the late Jew-killer extraordinaire, Yasser Arafat; the same Barack Obama whose policies toward Israel were described by a Likud Party chairman as “catastrophic”; the same Barack Obama who, according to Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, has plunged “Israel’s ties with the United States” into “a crisis of historic proportions”; and the same Barack Obama who, in an act of historic treachery just a few days ago, permitted the passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement-building in the West Bank.

By any metric one chooses, Keith Ellison’s resumé makes him an absolutely perfect choice to continue this proud Democratic tradition of endlessly stoking the fires of racial and religious antagonism.

While attending law school in 1989-90, for instance, Ellison, who had converted to Islam in 1982, wrote several student-newspaper columns where he: (a) stated that the U.S. Constitution is “the best evidence of a white racist conspiracy to subjugate other peoples”; (b) advocated slavery reparations as well as the creation of a geographically self-contained “homeland” for black people in the Southeastern United States; (c) praised the Jew-hating Nation Of Islam (NOI) organization for “all of its laudable work”; and (d) defended the incendiary NOI spokesman Khalid Abdul Muhammad—a black supremacist who once praised a black gunman for killing six white commuters (and wounding fourteen others) in a racially motivated atrocity aboard a New York City train—as a hero who possessed the courage to “just kill every goddamn cracker that he saw.”

In February 1990, Ellison participated in sponsoring Kwame Ture (a.k.a. Stokely Carmichael) to speak at his law school on the topic of Zionism’s ties to “imperialism” and “white supremacy.” The speech was replete with anti-Jewish slander—hardly a surprise, given that Ture, who in the ’60s had called for “killing the honkies,” was now in the habit of proclaiming that “the only good Zionist is a dead Zionist.”

Ellison supported, and was affiliated with, the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan for at least a decade, from the late 1980s through the late ’90s. Notwithstanding Farrakhan’s long, well-documented history of venom-laced denunciations of “white devils” and Jewish “bloodsuckers,” Ellison described him as “a role model for black youth” who was “not an anti-Semite”; as “a sincere, tireless, and uncompromising advocate of the black community and other oppressed people around the world”; and as “a central voice for our [black people’s] collective aspirations.”

When Farrakhan supporter Joanne Jackson—the then-executive director of the Minneapolis Initiative Against Racism—asserted in 1997 that “Jews are among the most racist white people I know,” Ellison declared that he and his NOI comrades “stand by the truth contained in [Jackson’s] remarks.”

In February 2000 Ellison gave a speech at a fundraising event sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, on whose steering committee he previously had served. Also in attendance was the former Weather Underground terrorist Bernardine Dohrn, a longtime Obama friend and political ally who had once devoted her life to the goal of fomenting violent revolution across the United States. Incidentally, that 2000 fundraiser was held on behalf of onetime Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist Kathleen Soliah, after her apprehension for the attempted murder of some Los Angeles police officers. Ellison called for Soliah’s release, and also spoke favorably of such high-profile killers and leftist icons as Mumia Abu Jamal, Assata Shakur, and Geronimo Pratt.

But alas, America would still have to wait another six-plus years before Ellison would finally grace the U.S. Congress with his presence. Following his electoral triumph in 2006, Ellison’s victory party featured a number of his supporters shouting “Allahu Akbar!”—the traditional battle cry of Islamic jihadists.

Between 2006 and 2016, Ellison spoke at a minimum of twelve fundraising events sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization whose co-founders had close ties to the Islamic Association for Palestine, which functioned as a public-relations and recruitment arm for Hamas—the infamous horde of missile-launchers and suicide bombers committed to the mass murder of Jews. At one of those dozen CAIR fundraisers, Ellison urged his listeners to support Sami al-Arian, the former University of South Florida professor who already had confessed to aiding and abetting the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which, like Hamas. has always had a fondness for the smell of dead Jews.

Ellison has also spoken at numerous conventions held by organizations like the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim American Society, and the Islamic Circle of North America, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the the North American Imams Federation—all of which are closely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, you may recall, advocates the use of violent jihad for the creation of a worldwide Islamic caliphate ruled by strict Sharia Law, and is the parent organization of both Hamas and Al-Qaeda.

But apart from that, the Brotherhood is quite moderate.

In 2007 Ellison denounced what he called the baseless “persecution” of several officials of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) who were being tried on charges that they had funneled millions of dollars to Hamas. The trial ended with a hung jury on most counts, but the following year the HLF defendants were retried and convicted on all charges.

In a July 2007 speech, Congressman Ellison likened the Bush Administration’s military response to the 9/11 attacks, to the manner in which the Nazis had exploited the 1933 burning of the Reichstag in Berlin: “It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted.”

During “Operation Cast Lead” (OCL)—a December 2008/January 2009 military operation in which Israel sought to quell the aggression of Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza—Ellison made it quite clear that his hatred for America was equaled by his contempt for Israeli Jews. Stating that he was “torn” on the issue, he refused to support a nonbinding House resolution “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza” and “reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel.” In September 2009, Ellison called for an end to all U.S. aid to Israel.

In 2009 as well, Ellison met with Mohammed al-Hanooti—a leading U.S.-based fundraiser for Hamas—at a campaign event for Virginia House of Delegates candidate Esam Omeish, who had previously exhorted Palestinians to follow “the jihad way” in their struggle against Israel.

While Ellison is fond of pro-jihadists like al-Hanooti, he’s not too keen on Muslims who seek to persuade other members of their faith to reject jihad and Islamic supremacism. In the fall of 2009, for instance, Ellison disparaged Zuhdi Jasser, a Muslim activist who has consistently warned about the threat that political Islam poses to the West, as an Islamic “Uncle Tom.”

During his 2010 congressional re-election bid, Ellison accepted campaign contributions from such notables as Jamal Barzinji and Hisham Al-Tali—both of whom had previously served as vice presidents of the Saudi-dominated, pro-jihad International Institute of Islamic Thought, and both of whom had been identified by the FBI as U.S. leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In September 2012 Ellison condemned a portion of the Republican Party Platform which stated that “there must be no use of foreign law by U.S. courts in interpreting our Constitution and laws.” Characterizing this as a manifestation of anti-Sharia intolerance, the congressman said: “It’s an expression of bigotry.… They’re demonstrating hatred toward Muslims.… [T]hey’re the party that is basically a bigoted party and they have now officially declared themselves against a whole segment of the American population …”
During Operation Protective Edge—a 2014 Israeli military incursion that was launched in response to a dramatic escalation in rocket fire against Israel by Hamas-affiliated terrorists in Gaza—Ellison pennedWashington Post op-ed arguing that any ceasefire should be predicated on Israel ending its blockade of Gaza. Curiously, he made no mention of the fact that the blockade, which explicitly permitted the import of humanitarian supplies and other basic necessities, had been implemented out of necessity in 2007, due to Hamas’s relentless importation and deployment of deadly weaponry from its allies abroad.

Also in 2014, Ellison was one of only eight Members of Congress to vote against a House Resolution to increase the amount of U.S. financial aid that was earmarked to help Israel maintain and develop its Iron Dome missile-defense system—a system that had successfully intercepted 735 Hamas rockets aimed at Israeli population centers during Operation Protective Edge.

To be fair, we should note that Ellison is no less concerned about Israel’s national security than he is about America’s. Indeed, when President Obama announced in September 2015 that he planned to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S. during the ensuing year, Ellison said: “Ten thousand is not enough. Aren’t we the people who say, ‘give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses’? We must do more for families who are not safe in their own homeland.” He said this in spite of the fact that the Islamic State‘s bloodthirsty savages had openly vowed to secrete their own terrorist operatives into the refugee masses, as well as the fact that high-ranking government officials like FBI Director James Comey, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, CIA Director John Brennan, and FBI Deputy Assistant Director Michael Steinbach had all said that it would be impossible to reliably screen out terrorists posing as refugees.

In 2015 as well, Ellison voiced his unequivocal support for the passage of the Iran Nuclear Deal, which allowed the Islamist regime in Tehran to enrich uranium, build advanced centrifuges, purchase ballistic missiles, fund terrorism, and have a near-zero breakout time to a nuclear bomb approximately a decade down the road. “This deal is a triumph of diplomacy over war and proves negotiation is an excellent method of peacemaking,” said Ellison.

Last year, Bernie Sanders used his influence to secure, for Ellison, a major role in formulating the Democratic Party’s platform for the presidential election campaign. As terrorism expert Steven Emerson reports: “Ellison and other delegates supporting Sanders wanted the Democratic Party platform to delete a description of Jerusalem as Israel’s ‘undivided capital’ and wanted to gut language opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement targeting the Jewish state.”

At the Democratic National Convention last July, Ellison was a featured speaker in a session held by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation—part of an alliance of anti-Israel organizations that promote the Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Ellison himself supports BDS, a Hamas-inspired initiative that aims to use various forms of public protest, economic pressure, and court rulings to advance the Hamas agenda of permanently destroying Israel as a Jewish nation-state.

But lest you think that Ellison’s only qualifications for the post of DNC chairman are his Jew-hatred, his admiration for Islamist radicals, and his utter contempt for his own country, don’t neglect to credit him also for the high regard in which he held the late totalitarian dictator and mass murderer Fidel Castro. After Castro died this past November, Ellison sang his praises as a “revolutionary leader” who had nobly “confronted a system of government that excluded everybody except the military and the money-rich”; who had “[stood] up for peace and freedom in Africa”; who had “[taken] on the South Africa apartheid military forces and defeated them”; who had “deployed doctors anywhere … people were sick”; and who had “made medical education very available [and] made medicine available.”

So, here’s to Keith Ellison—in hopes that he will get the DNC chairmanship that a man of his caliber so richly deserves.

US Ambassador to India Richard Verma denounces “unacceptable rhetoric” against Muslims

November 2, 2016

US Ambassador to India Richard Verma denounces “unacceptable rhetoric” against Muslims, Jihad Watch

“We see this in many parts of the world, with growing pockets of intolerance and anti-immigrant sentiment. This has included instances of unacceptable rhetoric against Muslims, including in the United States, and particularly during this Presidential campaign season.”

Verma here echoes the common Leftist/mainstream media conflation of concern about jihad terrorists coming into the country with “anti-immigration sentiment” and “unacceptable rhetoric against Muslims.” No advocate of the massive migrant influx has ever addressed the problem that Trump (who is clearly Verma’s target) is trying to address: how to keep jihad terrorists from entering the country from among peaceful refugees. They just say they will “vet” the migrants, when that vetting has been shown to be deeply flawed and ineffective. To call the concern over jihadis entering the country “anti-immigrant sentiment” is patently dishonest: no one — no one — is concerned about Hindu or Buddhist or atheist or any other kind of migrants. There is only concern over one group, and it isn’t because they’re “brown,” it’s because many of them are lethal.

Verma also conflates this concern over jihadis with “unacceptable rhetoric against Muslims.” Once again, this is unfair and untrue. Neither Trump nor anyone else of substance has engaged in any rhetoric denigrating Muslims as a whole. The concern is about jihad terrorism. If the Muslim community would actually work against jihad terrorism in an honest, transparent manner, there would be no problem. Instead, the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has more than once advised Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement. In January 2011, its San Francisco chapter featured on its website a poster that read, “Build A Wall of Resistance / Don’t Talk to the FBI.” In November 2014, CAIR-Florida’s “14th Annual Banquet Rooted in Faith” in Tampa distributed pamphlets entitled “What to do if the FBI comes for you” and featuring a graphic of a person holding a finger to his lips in the “shhh” signal.

Another CAIR pamphlet, entitled “Know Your Rights: Defending Rights, Defeating Intolerance” featured a graphic of the Statue of Liberty likewise making the “shhh” symbol. Cyrus McGoldrick, a former official of Hamas-linked CAIR’s New York chapter, even threatened informants, tweetingwith brutal succinctness: “Snitches get stitches.” Zahra Billoo of CAIR-San Francisco regularly tweets that Muslims have no obligation to talk to the FBI, and should contact Hamas-linked CAIR if the FBI asks to talk to them.

Is that “unacceptable rhetoric,” or can such rhetoric only be uttered by foes of jihad terror? Hamas-linked CAIR and its allies routinely tar any discussion of how jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and make recruits among peaceful Muslims as “hate speech” against Muslims as a whole. Verma is just repeating their talking points, heedless of the fact that his rhetoric is directed toward silencing all opposition to jihad terror, as all such opposition has been characterized as “hateful” by these Islamic supremacist groups.

No U.S. official, moreover, should ever denounce “unacceptable rhetoric.” The message of the First Amendment is that any rhetoric that isn’t advocating violence or criminal activity is acceptable. But this administration is, of course, on record against the First Amendment in numerous ways.

richard-verma

“US Ambassador to India Richard Verma denounces ‘unacceptable rhetoric’ against Muslims,” PTI, November 1, 2016:

NEW DELHI: US Ambassador to India Richard Verma today reached out to Muslims here, denouncing “unacceptable rhetoric” against the community, particularly during the ongoing Presidential campaign in US, and in pockets of “intolerance”.

Verma said that any form of discrimination was “unjustifiable” and stressed on the need to embrace diversity, which he said was the real promise in the shared values of India and the United States.

Delivering a lecture at the Jamia Millia Islamia University, Verma said Indo-US relation was at the central level, crediting the leaderships at New Delhi and Washington for the upswing in ties, which he said will continue “well into the future”.

“Strains to the international order, compounded by globalization and economic inequality, are also bringing to the fore voices who seek to exploit our fears and build barriers to cooperation.

“We see this in many parts of the world, with growing pockets of intolerance and anti-immigrant sentiment. This has included instances of unacceptable rhetoric against Muslims, including in the United States, and particularly during this Presidential campaign season,” Verma said.

Responding to a question on the anti-Islam sentiments in US, Verma said no explanation can justify discrimination against any individual, while underlining that a broad swathe of the population was not discriminatory.

He called for the coming together of “like-minded partners” to overcome challenges like terrorism and asymmetrical warfare, cyber threats, environmental degradation and climate change in the 21st century.

Describing India and US as “melting pots” that celebrate diversity, respect minority rights, freedom of religion, protect free speech, the Indian-origin diplomat said Maulana Azad’s message of diversity and knowledge holds more importance than ever….