Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Can Putin keep Hizballah from Israel’s borders? - debkaFile




by debkaFile

Israel, like Jordan, repeatedly put forward objections to this arrangement, especially in relation to its Golan border with Syria. Neither Washington nor Moscow was interested.


Israel’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon were on edge this week, as Prime Minister Binyamin prepared to raise Israel’s concerns about southern Syria at a critical meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem noted that he would be accompanied by Mossad Director Yossie Cohen. He has just returned from a failed attempt in Washington to draw the Trump Administration’s attention to the deteriorating security situation on Israel’s northern borders, where Russian Muslim troops are already in position.

Our sources report that he left Washington empty-handed for three reasons:

1. The White House was inundated in political crises on the home front.

2.  President Donald Trump had resolved to cut to the bone any US military involvement in the Syria conflict outside of the war on the Islamic State.

3.  Trump refused to hear of any compromise on his deal with Putin for cooperating in Syria, especially in the creation of de-escalation zones for gradually winding down the conflict.

Israel, like Jordan, repeatedly put forward objections to this arrangement, especially in relation to its Golan border with Syria. Neither Washington nor Moscow was interested.


This week, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis visited Amman to discuss Jordan’s concerns about the pro-Iranian Shiite militias landing close to its border with Syria.

Both their concerns were borne out in the last few days, when the Syrian army and its pro-Iranian Shiite allies including Hizballah launched four simultaneous warfronts at Deir ez-Zor in the east, Sweida in the southeast, Hama in the center and the Qalamoun Mountains on the Syrian-Lebanese border in the west - all with Russian air support, often including paratroop drops.


Gaining the upper hand on those four fronts, our sources point out, will restore Syria’s border regions with Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon to their status quo ante the outbreak of the 2011 civil war,  and bring Israel’s enemies closer than ever before to its northern door.


Their rapid battle momentum will effectively override the effect of the de-escalation zones established by the two presidents on two of Syria’s borders - with Russian support! Their Sweida offensive has already brought the Syrian army and Hizballah right up to the Jordanian border by circling around the Daraa de-escalation zone - under Russian cover.

This tactic is expected to be repeated in short order in the Quneitra zone which faces Israel’s Golan border, even though Russian troops are installed there as monitors, just as they are in Daraa..  


Furthermore, as Syrian government and pro-Iranian forces gain ground, the Syrian anti-Assad rebel front is breaking up, except for the Islamic State and other Islamist groups. Some former rebels are throwing in the towel or crossing the lines to Assad’s army. The disintegration of the Syrian resistance, if not halted, will sooner or later reach the rebel groups entrenched on the Syrian Golan. Israel will then see the buffer which served it as a security barrier for the past four years melting away.


Even if a Russian guarantee against Syrian and pro-Iranian forces reaching the Golan border is offered by Putin to calm Netanyahu’s worries, it will be of limited value - first, it was refused by Washington and second, it is unlikely to be respected. Although Russia is in a dominant position for determining Syria’s agenda, it is not the sole arbiter in Damascus. Iran and Hizballah - and even Bashar Assad - are quite capable of taking matters in their own hands and embarking on a limited expedition for heating up the border with Israel - if only as a reminder to Putin, Trump and Netanyahu that Israel will not be permitted to determine the situation on that border, only their own interests.


debkaFile

Source: http://debka.com/article/26191/Can-Putin-keep-Hizballah-from-Israel%E2%80%99s-borders-

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Intersectionality, the BDS Scam and Imperial Japan - Kenneth Levin




by Kenneth Levin


The lethal fairy tale of all "victimized" groups being interrelated.




With the coming start of another academic year, American college and university campuses will undoubtedly witness once more the screaming anti-Israel onslaught of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) crowd. As before, it will be led by the largely Muslim ranks of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and continue their campaign seeking -  as founders of both SJP and the BDS movement have explicitly acknowledged - the annihilation of the Jewish state.
And, as in recent years, SJP and others in the forefront of the BDS movement will seek to win support by invoking their particular version of “intersectionality.” The term refers to the concept that all victimized groups and identities are interrelated and face shared challenges. In the BDS version, members of all such groups and bearers of all such identities ought to join together and, in particular, rally to the Palestinian cause as the world’s paradigmatic example of victimization. They ought to work with their BDS brethren for the world-repairing fix of Israel’s destruction.
The BDS intersectionality ploy has, in fact, fallen on fertile ground in the current campus milieu. Campus groups ranging from feminist circles and LGBT advocates to ethnic and racial minorities - some African-American bodies, Asian-American associations, Hispanic organizations, Native American societies and others - have fallen in line behind the BDS pipers. 
Many others have pointed out obvious absurdities in this phenomenon: feminist groups supporting a cause whose chief adherents, both within Palestinian society and in the broader Arab and Muslim worlds, are overwhelmingly abusive of women, subjecting them to enforced subservience and widespread physical, not infrequently murderous, assault; LGBT advocates embracing those who uniformly mete out the most horrific treatment to LGBT individuals in their midst.
But the incongruence also extends to ethnic and racial minority groups that sign onto the BDS version of intersectionality. The supposed reasoning behind BDS outreach to these groups, and the latter’s responsiveness, is the claim of shared victimization by Western imperialism and white supremacism. But in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, this formulation sets reality on its head.
In fact, it was the Palestinians who were the benefactors of Western colonialism. In the post-World War I break-up of German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires and creation of new states on former imperial lands, the League of Nations gave Britain a mandate for creation of a Jewish National Home on a small part of former Ottoman lands. Yet Britain, pursuing what it saw as its own colonial interests, worked to subvert its Mandate responsibilities to the Jews and advance Arab interests, not least because it believed the Arabs would be more accommodating of British colonial policy. Thus, it fostered widescale Arab immigration into Mandate territory while repeatedly blocking Jewish access. In the course of doing so, and seeking to prevent Israel’s creation, it betrayed its commitments vis-a-vis both the League of Nations and, subsequently, the United Nations charter.
But the Big Lie at the heart of the BDS version of intersectionality and the BDS appeal for support from ethnic and racial minorities on American campuses goes beyond the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is a lie that can perhaps best be elucidated by analogy to a ploy adopted by Imperial Japan before and during World War II.
As it conquered huge swaths of territory from Manchuria in the north, down the eastern coastal regions of China, and then across southeast Asia, the East Indies, the Philippines, and elsewhere, Japan developed and promoted the concept of a “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” That is, it sought to cast its conquests as liberating lands from Western colonial powers and opening the way for a new, shared prosperity. Japan did indeed replace Western powers - particularly Britain, France and the Netherlands - in some of the territories it conquered. But, as in, for example, myriad atrocities against local populations from Nanking in China to the Philippines, Japanese forces brought not “co-prosperity” but a cruel new imperialism.
The BDS version of “intersectionality” is a variation on Japan’s “co-prosperity sphere,” a ploy hiding another flavor of supremacism and imperialism.
       
Key figures in both BDS and SJP, the major group promoting BDS on campus, have close associations with Hamas, recognized as a terror organization by the United States, much of Europe, and even parts of the Arab world. For example, Congressional testimony has documented the links between American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), likely the most important sponsor of SJP and BDS, a number of leading personalities behind SJP and BDS, and Hamas.
Hamas, of course, calls not only for the annihilation of Israel but the murder of all Jews. In today’s campus atmosphere, that may count for very little as minority groups weigh their signing on with Hamas-affiliated BDS promoters. But consider Hamas policies beyond the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Hamas leaders have stated that their ultimate objectives go far beyond the destruction of Israel and entail the promotion of their brand of Islamist supremacism worldwide. They have at times allied with ISIS in this broader agenda, at times with other Islamist groups, and have taken their fight beyond the geographical boundaries of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
For example, in March, 2009, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, president of Sudan, was indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, a genocide targeting the Muslim but black, not Arab, people of Darfur. Later that same month, the Arab world unanimously rallied around al-Bashir as he attended the Arab League meeting in Doha, Qatar. But among those most supportive of al-Bashir, and most closely allied with him, was Hamas. In fact, Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk joined a handful of other key al-Bashir allies - the others being the speaker of Syrian president Assad’s parliament, an official of Hezbollah, and the speaker of non-Arab Iran’s parliament - in traveling to Khartoum to demonstrate solidarity with al-Bashir.
In addition, Hamas forces trained in Sudan, working with the people conducting the genocide in Darfur. And Hamas was likewise allied with Sudan as the latter pursued its mass murder and enslavement of Christian and animist blacks in the southern Sudan, a multi-decade campaign that took the lives of some two million southern Sudanese.  The southern Sudan gained its independence in 2011, but Darfur remains under the control of Khartoum and the slaughter in Darfur continues.
This is Hamas’s version of “co-prosperity” even as it seeks to enlist minorities, including African-American groups, to its cause under the rallying cry of a supposed shared history, shared interests and shared aspirations.
Are African-Americans who join the BDS bandwagon then simply BDS’s “useful idiots”? Some may well be, ignorant of the agenda of those they are embracing. But others likely don’t care about the BDS-Hamas connection and Hamas’s murderous associations and activities in, for example, sub-Saharan Africa. They are more concerned with pursuing a far-Left, anti-Western political agenda in the context of which the fate of black African targets of Islamism count for little. In this they are no different from many members of BDS’s Jewish auxiliary, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), who, rather than being BDS’s useful idiots, know BDS’s annihilationist anti-Israel agenda and actually share it. They, too, have often declared themselves hostile to Israel’s very existence, do not believe Jews should have the same right of self-determination enjoyed by other peoples, and have celebrated murderers of Israelis as social justice warriors.   
           
The same observation can be made of BDS’s feminist and LGBT fellow-travelers. Rather than being useful idiots, many are essentially indifferent to the treatment of women and LGBT individuals in Palestinian society, in the broader Arab and Muslim world, and, even more horrifically, in the world-view of Islamist groups such as BDS’s Hamas sponsors. Those feminist and LGBT BDS advocates, like the members of Jewish Voice for Peace, are more concerned with promoting a far-Left, anti-Western political agenda in the context of which Israelis are legitimate targets and truly victimized women and LGBT individuals are viewed at most as collateral damage.
But for the wider minority, and feminist, and LGBT communities on American campuses targeted for recruitment by the BDS movement, it would behoove individual members to do some research. However much their college and university teachers, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, have failed to prepare them for such research, they should familiarize themselves with the history and objectives and associations of SJP and the BDS movement before subscribing to the BDS version of intersectionality and embracing the lie of the BDS “co-prosperity sphere.”
Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist and historian and author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People under Siege.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267651/intersectionality-bds-scam-and-imperial-japan-kenneth-levin

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Islamic Invaders Plotted Another 9/11 in Catalonia - Daniel Greenfield




by Daniel Greenfield


“Kill all infidels and only leave Muslims who follow the religion.”



Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

Cambrils, Spain.

The road to September 11 wended its way through this Spanish town where Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker, met up with Ramzi bin al-Shibh, the former refugee to Germany and current Gitmo inmate, who had been serving as Osama bin Laden’s point man for the attacks that would kill thousands.

The hotel where Atta and Osama’s man met is a few blocks away from where the Muslim terrorists climbed out of their crashed car, drawing knives, axes and machetes, before a police officer working overtime to earn extra money shot most of them dead on the spot outside the Club Nautic.

The distance between where Atta was planning 9/11 and the latest terror attack in Spain is 110 meters. Stroll past a pub, a hair salon and a real estate agency in this seaside resort town and you’re there.

Cambrils hadn’t been the original target of the terrorists. Their dream target was the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona. When their bombs went off prematurely, they went to Cambrils and Las Ramblas in Barcelona because it was likely to have foreign tourists that they could run over, stab and mutilate.

The consistent pattern of the big Islamic terror attacks in recent years, from the Boston Marathon to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, from Bataclan to the Manchester Arena, from the Champs-Élysées to London Bridge, is to look for nightlife spots or crowds of tourists all packed into the same place.

The Sagrada Familia, which at completion will be able to hold 14,000 people, would have been a target closer to the scale of September 11. When Pope Benedict arrived in ’10, 6,000 people were able to fill the cathedral. Around 10,000 visitors tour the building every day. Had the terrorists been able to move their original plot along, the way that Atta and Al-Shibh did theirs, thousands might have died.

The message of Driss Oukabir had been clear. “Kill all infidels and only leave Muslims who follow the religion”.

That’s always been the “sacred” mission of Islam. The bloody chapters of the plot played out in Cambrils, where the terrorists were gunned down as they tried to butcher pedestrians, Barcelona, where pedestrians were run over in a van, and Alcanar, where the terrorists squatted a house and filled it with gas canisters and TATP explosives before the whole thing was accidentally blown sky high.

But the Jihad didn’t come from these places. It came, as always, from an Islamic population center and its satellite mosque.

Ripoll, Spain.

Like the river that adjoins it, the history of this small Catalan town of 11,000 flows back to the beginning of human history. Dig in the right places and you can find everything from bronze axe heads to Roman tombs. These days you can also find Muslim terrorists squatting in their mosques and plotting murder.

The small Spanish town has a Muslim population of 1,000. Or 9% of the population. That’s far above the national average. It also produced 8 of the 12 suspects in the Barcelona attacks.

Catalonia was once occupied by the Moors. It’s under Islamic occupation again. Half of the ISIS arrests in Spain have been made in Catalonia. In a few decades, Catalonia went from consisting of Catholics and atheists to a 7% Muslim population. That amounts to around 510,000 Muslim settlers in the region.

To put that into perspective, there are more Muslims in Catalonia than in some European countries. From their perspective, Catalonia is Al-Andalus. It’s an ancient Islamic territory that is rightfully theirs.

37.5% of Muslims jailed for terrorism came from Catalonia.

“I tell you, Spain is the land of our forefathers and, Allah willing, we are going to liberate it, with the might of Allah,” an ISIS terrorist had declared.

Muslim demographic migration and settlement has been conquering Catalonia. But the Islamic State has been less patient about swamping Spain through birth rates and asylum requests.

The Jihad in Ripoll came from its mosques which were centered around Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty.

Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty might be dead or alive. Some think he died when the explosives in that squatted house in Alcanar blew up. Others think he might have made it to Morocco where he had told acquaintances that he was bound. Or perhaps he once again made it under the radar to Brussels.

The Moroccan Imam had started out as a drug smuggler. He had reportedly served time with one of the ’04 Madrid train bombers. Links have also been drawn to the Brussels airport bombing last year. The mosques who hired him and whom he was associated with are denying any knowledge of his mission.

One mosque’s president claimed that terrorism was the act of “crazy people”. He insisted that, “Islam is peace.” The latest Islamic atrocities however contradict that tired nonsensical cliché.

Abdelbaki Es Satty was Moroccan. As were most of the terrorists. Four sets of brothers made up much of the Spanish terror cell. Beyond religion, the Jihadists were also a tightly knit clan. A family.

While the Moroccan Muslims were out for blood in Spain, a Moroccan Muslim went on a stabbing spree targeting women in Finland. It’s unknown if there was a connection, but as with Atta and Cambrils, the terror routes are transnational. Catalonia is a perfect Islamic terror hub because of its proximity to France. Satty veered between Morocco and Brussels while plotting terror in Spain.

While Europeans debate about the EU, Muslims already live in a world of open borders. They swarm in on boats from Libya to Italy, they travel from Turkey through Eastern Europe to reach Germany, they move between the emerging terror hubs of Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Sweden. They cross over from America into Mexico and from Canada into America. And then back to Canada.

In Ripoll, Mayor Munell insists there's no integration problem. “There is no problem of living together.”

There are never any problems. Just unexplained explosions. Screams and booms. The sound of bones breaking against a wall and the angry roar of a motor. And, above them all, the cry of, “Allahu Akbar.”

Meanwhile the same lies are told and retold.

The terrorists were irreligious. The Islamic community claims to know nothing about them. Or about Satty. The president of one of the mosques sneered, “I doubt if any of them could tell you the color of the carpet in the mosque.” If only they had come more often, they wouldn’t have turned to terror.

But the names of two of the terrorists are listed as donors to the mosque. And it’s the Imam who turned them on to terror.

Still it’s easier to ignore the terrible truth of Islamic terror. Even when it hits close to home.
In Cambrils, in Alcanar and Barcelona, the world briefly changed. The fifth Jihadist in the Cambrils car managed to stab a woman in the face before he was taken down. In Alcanar, body parts fell from the sky. Younes Abouyaaqoub, the last wanted member of the cell and the driver of the Barcelona van, shouted, "Allahu Akbar."

And then the police shot him.

The dead will be buried. The surviving terrorists will be imprisoned. The families of the victims will grieve. And in the towns and cities of Catalonia, another Islamic cell will start building more bombs.


Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267656/islamic-invaders-plotted-another-911-catalonia-daniel-greenfield

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Trump Must Stop North Korea from Striking American Soil - John R. Bolton




by John R. Bolton

Will America and its allies be safe employing Cold War-style policies of containment and deterrence, or are we safe only if rogue states's nuclear and missile capabilities are eliminated?

Yet another tumultuous week in domestic affairs, starting with the Charlottesville tragedy and ending with Steve Bannon departing the Trump White House, drove the continuing threats of international terrorism and nuclear proliferation off America's front pages. The media's vicissitudes may be inevitable, but they constantly produce "surprising" strategic developments that were both predictable and long in the making.

In that vein, one of the Trump administration's principal legacies could well be that North Korea (and Iran) became full-fledged nuclear-weapons states on its watch. If so, the risks of radical Islamic terrorism will also increase correspondingly. Certainly, President Trump's predecessors made critical blunders in counter-proliferation policy, thereby laying the foundation for this potentially massive failure. But historical blame rests inevitably with the administration that missed the last clear chance to prevent it.

The mortal risk that terrorists will acquire nuclear (or chemical and biological) weapons is all too clear. ISIS claimed responsibility for Thursday's deadly terrorist attack in Barcelona, which now appears part of a larger, more complex effort, foiled in part by Spanish authorities. Friday's terrorist knifings in Finland added to the grim news. Imagine these or other terrorist attacks that deployed weapons of mass destruction. 


Ironically, North Korea warranted media attention last week only because of Bannon's remark, in an interview just before he left government, that no real military option exists against Pyongyang's nuclear capabilities. The media, however, largely bungled the significance of his comments, determined instead to prove broader intra-administration disagreements on national-security policy. Unfortunately, whatever the internal dynamics, President Trump's nuclear-proliferation advisers appear far closer to Barack Obama's views than anyone would have predicted.

The press quickly contrasted Bannon's "dovish" remark that "there's no military solution here" with Secretary of Defense James Mattis's "hard line." But note carefully what Mattis actually said last week: "There are strong military consequences if the DPRK initiates hostilities." That statement is not "hard line." It simply expresses what nearly every American believes: If we are attacked, we will retaliate, presumably with devastating force. I don't understand Bannon to be anywhere close to opposing retaliation if North Korea were to obliterate New York.

Paradoxically, on Iran, press reports portray Bannon as nearly alone among Trump's senior advisors in advocating U.S. abrogation of Obama's disastrous nuclear deal. Whether Trump now pursues his personal inclinations to withdraw, repeatedly expressed publicly, or whether he will be smothered a third time by internal administration advocates of the deal, remains to be seen.

Mattis's statement is consistent with what he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote in a Wall Street Journal column last week: They want to eliminate the North's nuclear and missile programs through "carrots and sticks" diplomacy, and they ask North Korea to seek "international acceptance," an approach that has repeatedly failed for 25 years.

Instead, U.S. policy on North Korea and Iran should turn on one central point: Will America and its allies be safe employing Cold War-style policies of containment and deterrence, or are we safe only if rogue states's nuclear and missile capabilities are eliminated?

The Trump administration is now the fourth in a row whose stated objective is the latter, but its policies are indistinguishable from its three predecessors, the failure of which have brought us to the current crisis. Maintaining these policies will enable Pyongyang to continue building an extensive nuclear and ballistic-missile arsenal. History will record today's events as the "First North Korean Nuclear Crisis," soon followed by the "Second North Korean Nuclear Crisis," and so on into the indefinite future.

Even as the authors of prior administrations's failed efforts are forced to confess their failure, they blithely propose instead, as Obama adviser Susan Rice recently did, that we "tolerate" a North Korean nuclear-weapons capability. And surely, that is where we will finish if we fall for dangerously facile Cold War analogies. A series of nuclear standoffs with the likes of North Korea and Iran, whose cost-benefit analyses in no way resemble Moscow's back in those good-old Cold War days, is hardly a scenario we should wittingly embrace.

The preferred outcome is resolving the threat by eliminating its source, namely North Korea's regime, preferably by reuniting the two Koreas under the South's model, or failing that, by a coup replacing as much of the current leadership as possible. North Korea is manifestly more than a Northeast Asia problem. Kim Jong Un would unhesitatingly sell any technology it possessed, including nuclear, to anyone with hard currency. Iran is one such potential customer. Terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda, befriended by wealthy governments or individuals, could also be buyers.

Accordingly, if the regime-change options fail, then a preemptive military strike to eliminate the North Korean and Iranian programs may well be the only way to avoid decades of nuclear blackmail by Pyongyang, Tehran and inevitably others, including the terrorist groups who might acquire weapons of mass destruction. Israel has twice before reached this conclusion, in 1981 against Iraq and in 2007 against Syria. It was not wrong to do so.

The terrorist and weapons-of-mass-destruction threats are converging. Fortunately, no terrorists have yet laid hands on these assets (that we know of), but the complexity of terrorist attacks, as Barcelona demonstrates, may again be on the increase. Short media attention spans may be a contemporary inevitability, but the disease should not spread to U.S. national-security decision makers. President Trump's unwavering objective should be to stop the birth of two new nuclear-weapons states. If he fails, we are all at risk.


(Image sources: Missile test - US Navy; Map & flag - Wikimedia Commons/Acdx)
This article first appeared in The Hill

John R. Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is Chairman of Gatestone Institute, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad".


Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10880/stop-north-korea

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Recognizing the Real and Present Enemy: Radical Islam, Not Russia - Alexandre del Valle




by Alexandre del Valle

Equally, if not more, important to combat are those Islamist movements that condemn terrorism but spread their ideology "peacefully" in our countries.

  • In the military and strategic sense of the word, an "enemy" is an entity that truly threatens our short- and long-term survival and vital interests -- not one that simply does not share our concept of democracy and human rights.
  • Another dangerous geopolitical mistake made by Western societies is viewing only Islamic terrorist groups as enemies and targeting them in a vacuum. Equally, if not more, important to combat are those Islamist movements that condemn terrorism but spread their ideology "peacefully" in our countries.
  • Before launching military campaigns on behalf of human rights, we in the West should first invest in strengthening our values at home, and encourage our Muslim minorities to adopt those values, rather than let them fall into the hands of radical Islamist organizations. The West must stop demonizing its own Judeo-Christian-European identity and rid itself of multiculturalist extremism.
Defining post-Soviet Russia as the main enemy of the West, while considering the Sunni Islamic monarchies of the Middle East and neo-Ottoman-Islamist Turkey as allies or friends, is a dangerous geopolitical mistake. The primary interest of the West and the main mission of NATO is not to demonize regimes it does not like, such as Putin's authoritarian kleptocracy or other non-democratic states that do not pose a direct military threat. Rather, it is to safeguard our land, sea, airspace and populations.

In order to accomplish this, however, we have define the "enemy." In the military and strategic sense of the word, an enemy is an entity that truly threatens our short- and long-term survival and vital interests -- not one that simply does not share our concept of democracy and human rights.

Radical Islamism meets this definition, since its adherents aim to replace our way of life in the West through their antagonist theocratic system of Sharia (Islamic law). This is a clear challenge to our democratic-secular order and to Judeo-Christian civilization.

Islamic terrorists are tools -- a human non-conventional weapon employed even by "friendly" organizations (for example, the Muslim Brotherhood, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Muslim World League, World Islamic Congress) and states (such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Kuwait and Qatar) to destroy the West. They do this by playing a double game: They are our economic allies, but simultaneously support those who openly aim to subjugate our nations to Sharia.

Russia may be an enemy of Ukraine; it is perceived as a threat to Poland, as well. However, it does not aim to destroy Judeo-Christian civilization. On the contrary, post-Soviet Russia espouses Orthodox-Christian values that are similar to those of many Western Christian conservatives. Nor does Moscow plan to attack the United States.

Another dangerous geopolitical mistake made by Western societies is viewing only Islamic terrorist groups as enemies and targeting them in a vacuum. Equally, if not more, important to combat are those Islamist movements that condemn terrorism but spread their ideology "peacefully" in our countries. Theirs is not merely a fundamentalist or revivalist doctrine, such as that espoused by certain Christian or Jewish groups, but rather a totalitarian political-religious ideology, capable of jeopardizing all of humanity. This is because its ultimate goal is to dominate the world, much like Nazism and communism.

Therefore, sending troops to Middle Eastern countries to fight terrorists on the battlefield is useless when the radical Islamist ideology of those terrorists is being spread "legitimately" in mosques and madrassas in the region and on our soil, often with the support of our governments and multiculturalist lobbies. In other words, tackling the "foot soldiers" while allowing the doctrine to flourish is an exercise in futility.

Another problem the West has yet to grapple with is philosophical -- it cooperates with Muslim states and opens up its societies to radical Islamist groups without any form reciprocity. Muslim countries and non-governmental organizations take advantage of Western democracy to engage in activities -- such as proselytizing -- that they themselves prohibit. In the West, they enjoy freedom of speech and religion. At home, they imprison or execute non-Muslim and Muslim "apostates" alike.

As the late political philosopher Karl Popper wrote in The Open Society and Its Enemies:
"If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them."
The current situation can be traced back to decades of geostrategic errors and counter-productive wars. One classic example among many -- such as in Pakistan, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia and Macedonia -- was Operation Cyclone, the CIA backing of a jihadist group, the Mujahedeen, against the Red Army, prior to, during and after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan at the end of 1979.

This short-sighted move, to support a fanatical Islamist group to fight a different enemy, was born out of an "anti-civilizational" paradigm -- one that minimizes the power of culture and religion as driving forces. It is a model still used by many Western strategists, who compare American aid to the Mujahedeen to that given to the Nicaraguan Contras in 1981 and to the Polish Solidarity movement in 1980.

It is a false comparison. Unlike the fanatical Mujahedeen and their fighters, the Contras and Solidarity trade unionists had no megalomaniacal, totalitarian goals. Their only aim was freedom from tyranny.

Today, it is imperative that we not allow internal battles in Washington to prevent us from acknowledging the wider conflict, which rears its ugly head with every car-ramming attack in a European capital, and to create a strategy to save the West from its most immediate enemy.

A three-pronged approach is in order:

Before launching military campaigns on behalf of human rights, we in the West should first invest in strengthening our values at home, and encourage our Muslim minorities to adopt those values, rather than let them fall into the hands of radical Islamist organizations.

The West must stop demonizing its own Judeo-Christian-European identity and rid itself of multiculturalist extremism.

A new "Pan-Western" strategy should be created to enhance and cement the U.S.-Old Europe bond, and to encourage Russia to be a part of it. It is time to focus on the actual enemy -- the one on our doorstep placing our societies in its crosshairs.


Defining post-Soviet Russia as the main enemy of the West, while considering the Sunni Islamic monarchies of the Middle East and neo-Ottoman-Islamist Turkey as allies or friends, is a dangerous geopolitical mistake. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

Alexandre del Valle is a French writer, professor, columnist and political commentator focusing on radical Islam, new geopolitical threats, civilizational conflicts and terrorism. He is the author, most recently, of "Les vrais ennemis de l'Occident: Du rejet de la Russie à l'islamisation des sociétés ouverte" ("The real enemies of the West: From the rejection of Russia to the Islamization of open societies").

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10872/enemy-russia-radical-islam

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Spain: Barcelona Attack Was Preventable - Soeren Kern




by Soeren Kern

Ada Colau, Barcelona's leftwing mayor, however, has repeatedly refused to "fill Barcelona with barriers," insisting that it must remain "a city of liberty."

  • The measures to place bollards or planters in public areas were never implemented in Barcelona because the leaders of the Catalan independence movement did not want to be seen as taking orders from the central government in Madrid.
  • Far more difficult to explain is why no one reported suspicious activity at the chalet.
  • Although some Catalans are having second thoughts about the wisdom of promoting Muslim mass immigration as a strategy to achieve Catalan independence, at least 10,000 Catalans with links to the separatist movement have actually converted to Islam in recent years.
As details emerge of the August 17 jihadist attack in Barcelona, the evidence points to one overarching conclusion: the carnage could have been prevented if a series of red flags had not been either missed or ignored.

The failure to heed intelligence warnings, enhance physical security and report suspicious activity are all factors that facilitated the attack, which had been in the planning stage for more than six months.

The attack was also enabled by the idiosyncrasies of Spanish politics, especially the tensions that exist between the central government and the leaders of the independence movement in Catalonia, the autonomous region of which Barcelona is the capital.

Failure to Install Bollards on Las Ramblas

The Barcelona attack could have been prevented had municipal officials complied with an order to install bollards, vertical poles designed to prevent car ramming attacks, on the Rambla, the city's main tourist thoroughfare.

On December 20, 2016, one day after a Tunisian jihadist drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 56, Spanish National Police issued a circular ordering all central, regional and municipal police departments in Spain to "implement physical security measures to protect public spaces" to prevent jihadist attacks "in places with high numbers of people." The circular advised:
"Municipalities should protect these public spaces by temporarily installing large planters or bollards at access points to hinder or prevent the entry of vehicles."
The measures were never implemented in Barcelona because the leaders of the Catalan independence movement did not want to be seen as taking orders from the central government in Madrid.

After receiving the directive, Catalan autonomous police, known as the Mossos d'Esquadra, accused the central government of "alarmism" and insisted that it would not order municipalities in Catalonia to implement this "indiscriminate measure." The Mossos also claimed to have the jihadist threat under control, that local police were trained to "detect symptoms or radicalization," and that there were "no concrete threats."

After the Barcelona attack, Deputy Mayor Gerardo Pisarello blamed the absence of bollards on the Catalan Interior Ministry. "The City of Barcelona has never refused to install bollards. Whenever it has been requested, we have done so," Pisarello said. Ada Colau, Barcelona's leftwing mayor, however, has repeatedly refused to "fill Barcelona with barriers," insisting that it must remain "a city of liberty."
El Periódico de Catalunya, a paper based in Barcelona, elaborated:
"The total absence of police collaboration between the Mossos d'Esquadra, which is the police force deployed on the ground, and the National Police and the Civil Guard translates into huge security deficiencies. The relationship between police forces — influenced by the political situation — is terrible and, in the case of the Mossos and the National Police, it is open war.
"The result is that the information services of the Mossos, on the one hand, and those of the National Police and the Civil Guard, on the other, do not exchange information. The cooperation is reduced to the personal relationships of individual agents who, without the knowledge of their superiors, exchange information and put safety first."
On August 19, hours after the jihadist attack in Barcelona, Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido repeated that it would be "appropriate" for all municipalities to comply with the December circular. His ministry issued a new letter calling on municipalities to install safety measures in the neuralgic points of cities. It remains to be seen if Catalan officials will now implement the recommendations.


Too little, too late.
Police officers line the street on Las Ramblas on August 18, 2017, near the scene of the previous day's terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Failure to Heed Warnings

In June, the CIA reportedly warned Catalan police that Barcelona was being targeted by jihadists: "Two months ago the Central Intelligence Agency warned Catalan police of a threat to Las Ramblas," according to El Periódico.

Additionally, on June 30, two weeks before the Barcelona attack, a Twitter account associated with the Islamic State warned of an impending attack against al-Ándalus, the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France occupied by Muslim conquerors from 711 to 1492. Many jihadists believe that territories Muslims lost during the Christian Reconquest of Spain still belong to the realm of Islam and that Islamic law gives them the right to re-establish Muslim rule there.

It remains unclear why Catalan authorities failed to increase security in light of the warnings and threats. El Periódico wrote:
"In recent years Barcelona has become a city known all over the planet. Both because of its attraction as a tourist destination and because of the media impact of the Barça football club, the Catalan capital is a world icon. In the eyes of the jihadists, that makes it a priority objective, as they seek to attack sites that generate a great impact at the international level.
However, neither the authorities nor the citizens seems to have realized that their city is on the same list of targets as other major cities such as New York, Paris, London or Madrid."

Failure to Report Suspicious Activity

The jihadists prepared for the Barcelona attack at a chalet in the beachfront town of Alcanar, situated 200 kilometers (120 miles) south of Barcelona. A year ago, the terror cell "occupied" the property, which was foreclosed and had been vacant. Squatters are protected by Spanish law, so it is common for youth in Catalonia to take over vacant properties. This may explain why neighbors did not contact the police.

Far more difficult to explain is why no one reported suspicious activity at the chalet. During the course of several months, the jihadists collected more than 100 large gas canisters, which investigators believe were to be used as car bombs. An explosion on August 16, the night before the Barcelona attack, leveled the property. Investigators later found traces of the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP), also known as the "Mother of Satan," a substance widely used by members of the Islamic State in Europe.

Failure to Follow-Up on Leads

Police found the remains of at least two people in the rubble of the Alcanar chalet. The head of the Mossos d'Esquadra, Josep Lluís Trapero, confirmed that one of the bodies was that of Abdelbaki Es-Satti, a Muslim cleric who is suspected of organizing the terror cell and radicalizing its members.

Es-Satti, a Moroccan national who lived in the Catalan town of Ripoll, served in a local mosque. He was a convicted drug trafficker who had spent four years at a prison in Valencia, where he is believed to have met Rachid Aglif, known as "The Rabbit," one of the main plotters of the 2004 Madrid bomb attacks that killed 192 people and wounded 2,000. Police are now looking into whether Es-Satti was involved in the ISIS attacks on the Brussels airport and metro in 2016.

Ali Yassine, the director of the mosque in Ripoll, said that he had reported Es-Satti to local police more than a year ago as part of a security protocol to monitor Muslim preachers. Authorities did not place him on a watch list, however, even though he had been convicted of trafficking drugs and violating Spanish immigration laws.

Catalan Migration Policy Fuels Radicalization

Catalonia not only has the highest Muslim population in Spain, it is also one of the most Islamized regions of the country. Catalonia has 7.5 million inhabitants, including an estimated 510,000 Muslims, who account for around 7% of the total Catalan population. In some Catalan towns, however, the Muslim population is above 40% of the overall population.

In his book "Jihadism: The Radical Islamic Threat to Catalonia," Catalan terrorism analyst Jofre Montoto estimates that at least 10% of the Muslims in Catalonia are "radicals" who are hardcore believers in the "doctrine of jihadism."

A five-page diplomatic cable, dated October 2, 2007, described the link between mass immigration to Catalonia and the rise of radical Islam in the region:
"Heavy immigration — both legal and illegal — from North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria) and Southeast Asia (Pakistan and Bangladesh) has made Catalonia a magnet for terrorist recruiters. ... The Spanish National Police estimates that there may be upwards of 60,000 Pakistanis living in Barcelona and the surrounding area; the vast majority are male, unmarried or unaccompanied, and without legal documentation. There are even more such immigrants from North Africa. ... They live on the edges of Spanish society, they do not speak the language, they are often unemployed, and they have very few places to practice their religion with dignity. ... Individually, these circumstances would provide fertile ground for terrorist recruitment; taken together, the threat is clear....
"There is little doubt that the autonomous region of Catalonia has become a prime base of operations for terrorist activity. Spanish authorities tell us they fear the threat from these atomized immigrant communities prone to radicalism, but they have very little intelligence on or ability to penetrate these groups."
Many of Catalonia's problems with radical Islam are self-inflicted. In an effort to promote Catalan nationalism and the Catalan language, Catalonian pro-independence parties have deliberately promoted immigration from Arabic-speaking Muslim countries for more than three decades, in the belief that these immigrants (unlike those from Latin America) would learn the Catalan language rather than speak Spanish.

Although some Catalans are having second thoughts about the wisdom of promoting Muslim mass immigration as a strategy to achieve Catalan independence, at least 10,000 Catalans with links to the separatist movement have actually converted to Islam in recent years.

It is believed that two out of every ten Catalan radicals who belong to the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), a far-left political party, are converts to Islam. The ERC, which now governs Catalonia, has vehemently refused to sign a cooperation agreement with the central government in Madrid to fight jihadist terrorism.

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10887/barcelona-attack

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Suppose BLM and Antifa Are Just Democratic 'Muscle' like the Old KKK - Christopher Chantrill




by Christopher Chantrill

Is Trump right? Is the problem really “both sides?” Or is one side more to blame?

Steve Bannon is saying that the real Trump administration, of populist nationalism, is over. And I suppose it is, given that Bannon is no longer on the inside bashing heads.

Bannon said, as he walked out the door, that he commends the Democrats for starting a race war, because economic nationalism will beat a race war every time.

Bannon’s remarks, made to the NeverTrumpers at Weekly Standard, reminded me why Trump won the Republican nomination and the general election in 2016.

The reason that Donald Trump won the Republican nomination was that he stood up for ordinary Republican voters that liberals routinely name and shame as racists, sexists, and homophobes. That’s why he beat out Ted Cruz (R-TX) and the GOP squishes.

Ordinary middle-class Republicans know that, at any moment, they could be accused of racism by some SJW at work and lose their job. They are afraid; they want a president who will stand up for them.

The reason Donald Trump won the election was that his economic nationalism appealed to the white working class that is dying of despair, abandoned by the Democrats forty years ago. They want a president who will Make America Great Again.

Then came Charlottesville, and Donald Trump showed that he had our back. The problem, he said, is both sides. If President Trump does nothing more in his presidency, he has at least declared left and right extremists equivalent.

But is he right? Is the problem really “both sides?” Or is one side more to blame? When you lay Black Lives Matter and Antifa against Stormfront and the modern KKK, which is the bigger threat to democracy?

I think that the answer depends on which groups deliver “muscle” for their side.

Let’s go back to Reconstruction and the decade of 1865 to 1876. In that era the KKK, according to lefty Eric Foner in his Reconstruction, operated as a guerrilla force making the occupation of the South an expensive proposition for the Union Army and its associated scalawags and carpetbaggers. In 1876 the Republicans gave up on the South; they had bigger fish to fry up north, and so they abandoned the black freedmen to the tender mercies of the Democrats.

In the Jim Crow South, the KKK guerrillas now became the “muscle” for the Democratic Party. And the KKK role, apparently, was not so much to lynch blacks as to intimidate whites who might have a soft spot for the freedmen.

Now, ask yourself: are Stormfront and today’s KKK anyone’s political “muscle” today? Certainly not. For just about anyone on the right they are an embarrassment. We wish they would go away.

Now let us turn to Black Lives Matter and Antifa. Are they marginalized groups that liberals and Democrats are ashamed of? Certainly not. All over my liberal neighborhood in liberal Seattle there are We Believe yard-signs that proudly announce that Black Lives Matter. And just this weekend the New York Times and the Washington Post have written pieces saying there is nothing to see here on leftist violence.

The conclusion is obvious. Black Lives Matter and Antifa are “muscle” groups that perform the same function for today’s Democrats that the KKK performed for the Jim Crow South. They intimidate from Berkeley to Middlebury to Charlottesville, and the ruling class gives them a pass, just as the police and the judges did for the KKK back in the days of the Solid South.

Is their job to “muscle” ordinary middle-class Republicans, or rank-and-file Democrats?

I don’t know. I suspect that the job of the liberal “muscle” groups is to make the utterly marginalized Stormfront and KKK and associated groups into a menace, to justify the escalation of the liberal war on the ordinary Americans that SJWs call racists, sexists, and homophobes.

Otherwise people might get the idea that the job was done 50 years ago when the Civil Rights Acts made it illegal in these United States to discriminate on the basis of race or sex. People might ask: are there no police? Are there no FBIs? Are there no Civil Rights Divisions?

Otherwise people might get the idea that America under the liberal ruling class is a country designed by, for, and on behalf of liberals. Just this week Richard Florida, he of the “creative class” and yeasty “ideopolises,” has a book out admitting that the creative class cities are just places that cater for the well-to-do and banish ordinary people to the margins. They “created economic growth only for the already rich, displacing the poor and working classes.”

On this view you might think that the Trump voters are not racist sexist homophobes, but genuinely suffering under the unjust rule of the liberal “creative classes” and their BLM/Antifa enforcers, and that they elected Donald Trump to redress their grievances.

But I couldn’t possibly comment.


Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/08/suppose_blm_and_antifa_are_just_democratic_muscle_like_the_old_kkk.html

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Lightning bugs the NORKs - Russ Vaughn




by Russ Vaughn

Was it the January introduction of Lightnings that perhaps bugged the blustery North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, to rein in his threats of nuclear annihilation for possible targets ranging from Seoul to San Francisco?

Was it the January introduction of Lightnings that perhaps bugged the blustery North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, to rein in his threats of nuclear annihilation for possible targets ranging from Seoul to San Francisco? I refer to the deployment of a squadron of Marine F-35B aircraft from Yuma Marine Corps Air Station in Arizona to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan back in January of this year. North Korea has long been under the watchful eye of two squadrons of Air Force F-16 Wild Weasels out of Misawa Air base in Northern Japan, planes designed to swoop in at the outset of a conflict and destroy the enemy's ground-to-air radars and missile defenses and thus deny the enemy any further ability to defend against succeeding attacking air forces.

Those Weasels were a serious strategic threat prior to the arrival of the F-35s. Now, because of the F-35's incredibly advanced sensor packages that bring their highly enhanced defense and attack capabilities to the fight, as well as their ability to communicate all that targeting data to the Weasels, those F-16s at Misawa represent nothing short of the certain death of North Korea's air defenses, including her Soviet-era air force. From undetectable standoff positions, the Marine F-35s would be able to provide all manner of aerial defense as well as enhanced target selection for those Air Force Weasels as they chew their way through North Korea's air defense assets like a bunch of...well, mad weasels. 

It's not as though the Weasels would be the only American air forces streaking in if Kim should go ballistically stupid. Far from it: F-15s, F-16s, F-18s, and other aircraft from bases in South Korea and Japan, as well as from America's carrier strike groups, would all be vectored in on what is actually a fairly small target, equal in size to a slice of coastal California from Marin County to San Diego going inland a little over ninety miles to include Sacramento.* That's not much area when you're able to muster an air armada of that size. And we haven't even mentioned our strategic bomber forces that would be targeting Kim's massed infantry, artillery, and armor, which would quickly become defenseless, with their air defenses seriously degraded and their air cover utterly destroyed on the ground and in the air.

The F-35s, communicating with many of those squadrons of other U.S. aircraft, would enhance the performances of many of those older weapons platforms. And the F-35s are able to strike important targets themselves. With their futuristic target acquisition capabilities, these F-35s can locate and strike any objective in North Korea without Kim and his high-hatted marshals ever knowing that death and destruction are on the way until they're vaporized. North Korea's air force, while large, is essentially an outdated, outmoded force that will require some luck to outlast Saddam Hussein's if we go in after it. The addition of the F-35 Lightning to that battle plan just makes the reality of such swift destruction all the more certain.

I think, perhaps, that young Kim has noticed the flickering Lightnings on his narrowing horizons. If not, he will at some time in his future likely experience the Lightning's strike, blasting, burning, and roiling his country into senseless rubble. Unfortunately, that decision is his. Kim has shown some past ingenuity in killing those who anger him, by anti-aircraft gun or feeding them to starving dogs. Rather than yield his absolute power, he just may decide on a novel method of suicide: by Lightning.

So be it...

*No, it's not possible to get the commander-in-chief to consider that option, no matter how desirable it may be.

Russ Vaughn

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/08/lightning_bugs_the_norks.html

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