Iran and US Fighting On Same Side Rattles Israeli Defense Officials

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
December 11, 2014

1065 (1)Confirmation that Iran has joined the air campaign against Islamic State (IS) terrorists in Syria won muted praise from U.S. officials last week. And that development has increased anxiety among Israeli defense officials that budding cooperation between Tehran and Washington will lead to dangerous comprises about Iran’s nuclear program and inadequate action confronting the Islamic Republic’s global terrorist network.

The biggest threat from that network lies just over Israel’s northern border in Lebanon.

On Sunday, according to international media reports, Israeli Air Force jets bombed targets in and around Damascus. The strikes likely targeted advanced weapons that were destined for Hizballah depots in southern Lebanon, often hidden in apartment buildings in Shi’ite villages.

With more than 100,000 rockets and missiles, Hizballah has the largest arsenal of any terrorist organization in the world, and its heavy involvement in the Syrian civil war on behalf of dictator Bashar al-Assad’s regime is giving it plenty of experience in ground warfare.

Israel did not confirm any involvement in the recent air strikes, but it is deeply involved in a covert war against an international Iranian-led weapons smuggling network that is designed to provide Hizballah and other radical terror entities around the Middle East with an array of sophisticated arms.

This network is run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, which oversees the smuggling of powerful weapons to Hizballah in Lebanon, often via Syria. The Iranian network also attempts to send arms to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, to radical Shi’ite militias in Iraq that fight the Islamic State, and to Shi’ite Houthi rebels that have taken over Yemen’s capital.

Iran’s Quds Force and Hizballah, both backers of the Assad regime, have set up terrorism sleeper cells around the Middle East and beyond, according to Israeli intelligence assessments. Some of these cells are routinely activated and ordered to strike Israeli and Jewish targets.

Israeli intelligence agencies quietly work to stop the planned attacks, any one of which, if successful, could spark a wider regional conflict.

Meanwhile, Tehran continues to pursue a nuclear program and develop ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

According to international media reports, Israel targeted shipments of Hizballah-bound weapons in Syria five times in 2013, and once in Lebanon in 2014. This has led Hizballah to retaliate by planting two bombs on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon appeared to hint at Israel’s role in the latest Syria strikes, by saying that “those who seek to arm Israel’s enemies will know that we can reach anywhere, at any time, and through any means to thwart their plans.”

As this covert, high-stakes struggle continues to rage against the background of Iran’s creeping nuclear program, a growing number of Israeli defense officials are expressing concern that the Obama administration may be willing to cooperate with Iran and its radical Shi’ite allies in the war against the Islamic State.

The officials stress the flourishing defense ties between Israel and the U.S., which are absolutely vital for Israeli security, and express gratitude for continuous American defense assistance.

However, some have become highly critical of the way the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State sees Iran as a de facto member.

Israeli defense officials wonder out loud whether the West, led by the U.S., is falling into a dangerous trap, by teaming up with the radical Shi’ite axis in the Middle East.

To be sure, no one within the Israeli defense establishment doubts the need to tackle the Sunni Islamic State. Israel is quietly providing any assistance necessary to the anti-ISIL coalition.

Yet it is the prospect of tactical cooperation between the U.S. and Iran against IS, and the danger that the cooperation could lead to Western concessions to Iran over its nuclear program that haunts some.

The failure by Washington to take tangible steps against Iran’s global terrorism network is also a source of concern. This network is growing in Syria, along with Iran’s presence there, and over the past 12 months, all of the cross-border terror attacks launched from Syria into northern Israel have been the work of elements linked to either Hezbollah or Iran, one senior military official has said.

These worries seem to be bolstered by comments like those recently made by Secretary of State John Kerry, who welcomed Iranian air strikes on Islamic State positions in Iraq, describing them as “positive.”

Unlike the Islamic State, the Shi’ite radical axis enjoys state sponsorship from an Islamic Republic that is three to six months away from nuclear weapons.

This situation makes it a more urgent problem for global security, and would seem to justify a stance that views both radical Sunnis and radical Shi’ites as threats to international peace.

Driven by an extremist religious-ideological doctrine, the Iranian-led axis views moderate Sunni governments which partner with the West – like Egypt and Jordan – as enemies, seeks to push American influence out of the Middle East, and promotes the idea of Iranian hegemony as a first step to establishing eventual Iranian global dominance.

Iran views itself as the authentic Islamic caliphate, and seeks to export its influence as far as possible. Eventually, it would like to fuel conflict across the region through its proxies under a nuclear umbrella.

“The success of the Iranian revolution influences to this day the ambition for an Islamic caliphate,” Ya’alon said this month, in an attempt to illustrate the imminent danger posed by Iran’s role in the world.

Disappointment in Israel has been expressed over what one official said was the West’s “support” for radical Shi’ites, and its willingness to ignore Iranian threats.

Israeli officials, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have expressed concern about the U.S. agreeing to a “bad deal” with Iran over its nuclear program since talks started. Thus far, those fears have not yet been realized.

The Tel Aviv-based Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center published a report last week that explicitly warned about Iranian-American cooperation against IS, which it said could occur at Israel’s expense.

“Despite Iran’s basic hostility towards the United States, and despite Iran’s subversion of American interests in the Middle East, it might collaborate with the United States against ISIS and the global jihad in Syria and Iraq, the common enemy,” the reportsaid. “Such collaboration might occur at Israel’s expense and harm its vital interests (for example, Iran’s concessions on the nuclear issue). In addition, collaborating against ISIS might increase Iranian influence in Syria and Iraq, and might also strengthen Hizballah’s status in Lebanon, possibly strengthening the Iranian-led radical camp in the Middle East.”

The report is another signal of concerns in Jerusalem that Washington’s war on IS could lead it to make concessions to Tehran on a nuclear program.

Such an outcome would entrench and legitimize Iran’s position as a state on the threshold of nuclear arms possession, an outcome that, in Jerusalem’s eyes, would jeopardize both regional and international security to an unacceptable degree.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books), which proposes that jihadis on the internet have established a virtual Islamist state.

White House Statement Ignores Brotherhood’s Continuing Hamas Support

797IPT News
December 5, 2014

The White House this week issued a statement explaining why it does not view the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. It was in response to an online petition which attracted more than 213,000 signatures in support of designating the Egyptian-based group.

The statement emphasizes a lack of “credible evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced its decades-long commitment to non-violence.”

The Brotherhood has another decades-long commitment, however, one that clearly endorses and supports terrorist attacks against Israel. That support began with Article Two of the Hamas charter, which clearly identifies it as “one of the wings of Muslim Brothers in Palestine.” It continues today with statements inciting and supporting Hamas attacks.

As the war between Israel and Gaza raged in August, a statement on the Brotherhood’s website translated by the Investigative Project on Terrorism praised “the valiant resistance factions [who] gave them [Palestinians] a lesson in heroism, faith, and courage. They decimated their soldiers and their officers…” Violent confrontation, the statement continued, “is the natural position which must be adopted with the heroes of Palestine, who have proven that the defeat of the Zionists as possible, which is closer when the will of the Umma [people] is united, with God’s will.”

President Obama publicly stood by Israel’s “right to defend itself against what I consider to be inexcusable attacks from Hamas,” including its indiscriminate rocket fire at Israeli civilian communities. The Brotherhood, by contrast, called for more attacks and “the defeat of the Zionists.”

That was not enough for the administration to question its “decades-long commitment to non-violence.” Other Brotherhood statements show that this is consistent rhetoric, even in more peaceful times.

A June message called “resistance to the occupier Zionist enemy” – a sterilized reference to terrorism – “a legitimate right and a sacred duty approved by all laws and customs and constitutions, and it is the only viable way to restore rights and reply to aggression.”

An April 2010 statement, marking the 62nd anniversary of Israel’s creation – what Palestinians call the Nakba, or catastrophe – said the only acceptable path is to continue trying to destroy an existing country.

“T]he Zionist destruction will only be by an Islamic, Arab plan which rejects peace begging initiative proposed since 2002; rejects normalization measures with the Zionist entity; reviews peace agreements and diplomatic relations with it; rejects foolish negotiations between Zionists and Palestinians which are like negotiations between the lamb and the wolf pack,” the Brotherhood statement said.

The United States has considered Hamas a terrorist group since 1995, when President Bill Clinton signed an executive order decrying “grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists that disrupt the Middle East peace process” and threaten American national security.

The United States has a record of aggressively pursuing Hamas-support operations within the country. It shut down the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF)’s assets in December 2001, labeling it a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. This action was based on the foundation’s routing of millions of dollars to Hamas-controlled charities in the West Bank and Gaza. Later, the governmentprosecuted and a jury convicted the foundation and five former officials.

Internal records seized by the FBI and entered into evidence in that prosecution showed that HLF operated under the umbrella of a group called the Palestine Committee, which was created by the Muslim Brotherhood and tasked with supporting Hamas politically and financially.

Some might argue that was a long time ago. But a look at Brotherhood actions and rhetoric indicates it continues to be fully supportive of Hamas and its violent attacks against Israelis.

Reports earlier this week indicate that members of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood branch were arrested for trying to smuggle weapons into the West Bank to facilitate terror attacks.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, considered the Brotherhood’s most influential cleric, urged Muslimsto wage “the greatest battle of liberation” against Israel and the Jews in an online posting last month. Qaradawi, who also has a highly-rated program on Al-Jazeera, has an ever-expanding record of endorsing terrorist attacks and has prayed for the chance to “go to the land of Jihad and resistance” and “shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews,” before he dies.

Interpol issued a bulletin Friday indicating that Qaradawi, 88, was wanted by Egyptian authorities for “incitement and assistance to commit intentional murder.”

After Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood official, was forced from office in July 2013 in the wake of massive street protests against his rule, the Brotherhood’s political party posted a memo on Facebook inciting followers to take out their frustrations by burning Coptic churches.

“The Pope of the Church (Coptic Pope Tawadros II) took part in the ouster of the first elected Islamist president. The Pope of the Church charges Islamic Sharia with underdevelopment [and] stagnation,” the memo from the Freedom and Justice Party’s branch in Egypt’s Helwan Governorate, near Cairo, said.

“And for the Church to adopt a war against Islam and Muslims is the worst crime. For every action is a reaction.”

Before Morsi’s ouster, the White House welcomed a delegation of Muslim Brotherhood officials, even helping clear their path to avoid standard airport inspections as they landed in the United States.

State Department officials had numerous contacts with Brotherhood officials in the years leading up to Egypt’s Arab Spring revolution.

U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson reported in an April 2010 cable that Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie had “reaffirmed the MB was a non-violent” movement.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper similarly described the Muslim Brotherhood in February 2011 as “largely secular” and said that it “eschewed violence.” Four months later, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. planned to expand dialogue with the Brotherhood as part of a commitment “to engage with all parties that are peaceful and committed to nonviolence.”

Read more

Nuke Deal Elusive as Iran Digs in Heels Over ‘Inalienable’ Enrichment Rights

Anti-Iranian regime protesters chant outside the Palais Coburg in Vienna, where final negotiations over Iran's nuclear program continued Friday ahead of a November 24 deadline

Anti-Iranian regime protesters chant outside the Palais Coburg in Vienna, where final negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program continued Friday ahead of a November 24 deadline

kredo tweet

Washington Free Beacon, BY: :

VIENNA—Secretary of State John Kerry spent hours locked behind closed doors with Iran’s foreign minister early Friday as both sides rushed to reach a final nuclear agreement that sources say is becoming increasingly elusive as a result of Tehran’s intransigence.

As the United States seeks to impose clear and verifiable limits on Iran’s nuclear research work ahead of a Nov. 24 deadline, the Iranians have refused to cede any ground and are publicly insisting that its “inalienable” nuclear rights must be recognized under any final deal.

Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif spent several hours Thursday night and several more on Friday morning meeting in private, according to a senior State Department official. There is no indication yet that major headway has been made between the sides.

The foreign ministers from the negotiating countries, including the United States and Iran, are all gearing up to leave Vienna today, according to one source familiar with the status of the talks. While it remains unclear at this point if the leaders will return in the coming days, some have speculated that Zarif could be conveying the parameters of a tentative deal with higher-level officials in Tehran.

Any agreement that it is reached is likely to pave the way for another extension in talks as final details continue to be hashed out, the source said.

With neither the United States nor Iran appearing publicly before reporters in Vienna and answering questions, insiders in Washington and Vienna are becoming increasingly skeptical that the Obama administration will be able to deliver a deal the American people and Congress will find acceptable.

“The Iranians have refused to budge on the most basic elements—they want to keep the entire fuel cycle, and do so at a level that will allow them to breakout [with a nuclear weapon] whenever they choose so quickly no one will be able to stop them,” said one senior foreign policy strategist currently in Vienna for the talks.

The Obama administration is poised to ink a deal that includes many concessions to Iran before the Monday deadline comes around, according to a senior congressional aide who works on the issue of Iran.

“As Iran digs its heels against dismantling its enrichment program, eliminating its plutonium ‘bomb factory’ at Arak, and coming clean on its nuclear weapon, the worry is that the Obama administration will make more massive concessions and move to grant ‘nuclear amnesty’ to the terror-supporting mullahs in Tehran before Monday,” the congressional aide told the Washington Free Beacon.

“The Clinton administration gave ‘nuclear amnesty’ to North Korea in 1994 and North Korea exploded its first nuclear bomb little more than a decade later. So we’ve all seen this charade before,” warned the congressional source.

Many watching the talks unfold in Vienna remain skeptical that Iran will even hold up its end of any bargain that may be reached.

“If Iran agrees to something, history shows they will be lying—it will be the only time in 25 years Iran would not be secretly cheating on its nuclear obligations,” said the foreign policy strategist. “At this point, it seems that only more pressure will get Iran to dismantle its plutonium bomb factory and enough of its illicit nuclear infrastructure to assure us, our allies, Congress, and the American people that Iran won’t have the capability to build nukes.”

If Kerry and his team fail to deliver a deal that restricts many of the most controversial aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, Congress is likely to step in and impose new economic sanctions on Tehran—an outcome that will likely lead Iran to abandon any further negotiations.

“Without that [type of deal], there will be more sanctions on Iran, not fewer as Tehran seeks,” the source explained. “Even if that means a period of increased tension, Tehran won’t race ahead and will be back at the table soon, or it will soon again face a balance of payments crisis and economic default.”

However, Kerry’s version of a likely deal differs drastically from these parameters, which also are supported by a majority of Congress.

The Obama administration only hopes to delay Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon by about a year, according to U.S. officials quoted by the New York Times.

Congressional leaders have called this unacceptable, with many in the Senate promising to veto any final deal that caves to Iran’s demands to continue its nuclear enrichment regime.

“We are now just a few days away from the Iran nuclear deadline. And the P5+1 appear poised to accept a weak deal with a regime that cannot be trusted,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.) said on Thursday. “Despite approximately $14 billion in direct sanctions relief, as well as incalculable indirect benefits to the Iranian economy and the nuclear program, Iran has repeatedly stated that it will never stop enriching uranium or take one step back in its research and development.”

General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, told Congress Thursday afternoon that the White House’s goals with Iran are flawed. Even if Tehran’s program is stalled, the U.S. intelligence community is not capable of detecting an Iranian nuclear bomb, Hayden said.

“Because of the covert nature of Iran’s activities, American intelligence alone will not be able to verify the agreement,” Ros-Lehtinen reiterated. “It is impossible to verify Iran’s nuclear program because as the Defense Science Board report has said, the capability to detect Iran’s undeclared or covert nuclear sites is either inadequate or does not exist.”

Meanwhile, Kerry is scheduled to meet with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond later Friday afternoon.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Kerry will travel from Vienna to Paris Friday evening for consultations with his European counterparts. It is unknown whether or not he will return to Vienna before the Nov. 24 deadline, a sign talks are at an impasse and western delegations will plot the way forward.

Also by Adam Kredo:

Are You There Allah? It’s Me, John Kerry

kerry-430x350by Daniel Greenfield:

A week before the anniversary of September 11, John Kerry announced that he had been given a divine mission to protect Muslim countries from Global Warming.

The Secretary of State had spent September arguing that the Islamic State was Un-Islamic. He told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs that it was a war against the “enemy of Islam.” Kerry was so eager to go native that he even switched from calling the Islamic State by the acronym of ISIL and instead joined Muslim governments in calling it by the more insulting Daesh.

The distinction made by Daesh is only intelligible to Arab Muslims, but our foreign policy has gone native by increasingly becoming obsessed with what they think, rather than what we think and what we need.

Some members of the Obama team had been accused of secretly converting to Islam, but only Kerry, whom no one had ever accused of believing in anything, seems eager to play a poor man’s Sheikh.

Kerry’s freelance Islamic lectures are as offensive as they are clueless.

When it came to the Mohammedan practice of enslaving non-Muslim women as sex slaves, Kerry insisted that the Islamic State’s claim that its actions were sanctioned by Islamic law was just as bad as the actual rapes. No doubt the Yazidi and Christian women who were being raped by Muslims would have agreed with the Secretary of State that their plight was just as terrible as the defamation of Islam.

After meeting with Muslim leaders, Kerry insisted that we had to delegitimize ISIS as Un-Islamic and “begin to put real Islam out there.”

It’s not the job of the Secretary of State to “put real Islam out there” and in deciding which Islam was the real Islam, Ayatollah John was functioning as an unlicensed Muslim leader.

ISIS Jihadists are denounced as Takfiris for declaring other Muslims to be infidels. Ayatollah John receives communion at the Paulist Center and then moonlights as a Muslim Takfiri by claiming that the Takfiris of ISIS are infidels.

This is the trap of “moderate Islam.” Once we distinguish a “good Islam” from a “bad Islam,” we have established the “good Islam” as a state religion. And then we have to support it and enforce its laws. Few leaders demonstrate the folly of trying to defeat Islamic terrorism by embracing Islam better than the Ayatollah of State.

Ayatollah John has not restricted his freelance Fatwas to disputes within Islam. Instead he has taken sides in religious disputes between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Read more at Frontpage

Obama to Spend $414 Mil to Rebuild Hamastan – Qatar top donor at $1 Billion #StopQatarNow

384-9XzEa.AuSt_.55-444x350Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield:

What’s a mere $414 million? That’s not even half a billion? And we’re in an administration that uses billion dollar bills as toilet paper.

Countries from around the world have pledged $5.4 billion to help rebuild the war-torn Gaza Strip

And that should do it until the next war in two years which will be partially paid for by all that money which Hamas diverts to rockets.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende announced the total Sunday at the close of a 30-nation donor conference in Cairo.

“The people of Gaza can not be held hostage to negotiations that may or may not produce the desired outcome. Letting Gaza fester while leaving the parties to their own devices is the surest way of setting ourselves up for another round of war a year or two down the road,” he said.

Actually putting more money into Hamastan is the surest way of rerunning this war a year or two down the road. But international diplomacy means never learning from history.

Among the biggest donors was Qatar, the Persian Gulf state with natural gas riches, which pledged $1 billion.

Qatar is also a prolific state sponsor of terror for groups such as ISIS and Hamas.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced an immediate American donation of $212 million, which is in addition to $202 million in humanitarian aid the U.S. had already committed.

Wasn’t that generous of him?

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the world community has “clearly recognized the massive needs” in Gaza.

But he said this “must be the last Gaza reconstruction conference.” He said the “cycle of building and destroying must end. Enough is enough.”

Sure. Put more money into Hamastan and then insist that it’s going to be the last time.

Also see:

A Look Inside The Secret Deal With Saudi Arabia That Unleashed The Syrian Bombing

Zero Hedge, by Tyler Durden, 9/25/2014:

For those to whom the recent US campaign against Syria seems a deja vu of last summer’s “near-war” attempt to ouster its president Bashar al-Assad, which was stopped in the last minute due to some very forceful Russian intervention and the near breakout of war in the Mediterranean between US and Russian navies, it is because they are. And as a reminder, just like last year, the biggest wildcard in this, and that, direct intervention into sovereign Syrian territory, or as some would call it invasion or even war, was not the US but Saudi Arabia – recall from August of 2013 – “Meet Saudi Arabia’s Bandar bin Sultan: The Puppetmaster Behind The Syrian War.” Bin Sultan was officially let go shortly after the 2013 campaign to replace Syria’s leadership with a more “amenable” regime failed if not unofficially (see below), but Saudi ambitions over Syria remained.

That much is revealed by the WSJ today in a piece exposing the backdoor dealings that the US conducted with Saudi Arabia to get the “green light” to launch its airstrikes against ISIS, or rather, parts of Iraq and Syria. And, not surprising, it is once again Assad whose fate was the bargaining chip to get the Saudis on the US’ side, because in order to launch the incursion into Syrian sovereign territory “took months of behind-the-scenes work by the U.S. and Arab leaders, who agreed on the need to cooperate against Islamic State, but not how or when. The process gave the Saudis leverage to extract a fresh U.S. commitment to beef up training for rebels fighting Mr. Assad, whose demise the Saudis still see as a top priority.

In other words, John Kerry came, saw and promised everything he could, up to and including the missing piece of the puzzle – Syria itself on a silver platter – in order to prevent another diplomatic humiliation.

When Mr. Kerry touched down in Jeddah to meet with King Abdullah on Sept. 11, he didn’t know for sure what else the Saudis were prepared to do. The Saudis had informed their American counterparts before the visit that they would be ready to commit air power—but only if they were convinced the Americans were serious about a sustained effort in Syria. The Saudis, for their part, weren’t sure how far Mr. Obama would be willing to go, according to diplomats.

kerry kasbah_1Said otherwise, the pound of flesh demanded by Saudi Arabia to “bless” US airstrikes and make them appear as an act of some coalition, is the removal of the Assad regime. Why? So that, as we also explained last year, the holdings of the great Qatar natural gas fields can finally make their way onward to Europe, which incidentally is also America’s desire – what better way to punish Putin for his recent actions than by crushing the main leverage the Kremlin has over Europe?

But back to the Saudis and how the deal to bomb Syria was cobbled together:

The Americans knew a lot was riding on a Sept. 11 meeting with the king of Saudi Arabia at his summer palace on the Red Sea.

A year earlier, King Abdullah had fumed when President Barack Obama called off strikes against the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. This time, the U.S. needed the king’s commitment to support a different Syrian mission—against the extremist group Islamic State—knowing there was little hope of assembling an Arab front without it.

At the palace, Secretary of State John Kerry requested assistance up to and including air strikes, according to U.S. and Gulf officials. “We will provide any support you need,” the king said.

But only after the Saudis got the abovementioned assurances that Assad will fall. And to do that they would have to strongarm Obama:

Wary of a repeat of Mr. Obama’s earlier reversal, the Saudis and United Arab Emirates decided on a strategy aimed at making it harder for Mr. Obama to change course. “Whatever they ask for, you say ‘yes,’” an adviser to the Gulf bloc said of its strategy. “The goal was not to give them any reason to slow down or back out.”

Arab participation in the strikes is of more symbolic than military value. The Americans have taken the lead and have dropped far more bombs than their Arab counterparts. But the show of support from a major Sunni state for a campaign against a Sunni militant group, U.S. officials said, made Mr. Obama comfortable with authorizing a campaign he had previously resisted.

To be sure, so far Obama has refrained from directly bombing Assad, it is only a matter of time: “How the alliance fares will depend on how the two sides reconcile their fundamental differences over Syria and other issues. Saudi leaders and members of the moderate Syrian opposition are betting the U.S. could eventually be pulled in the direction of strikes supporting moderate rebel fighters against Mr. Assad in addition to Islamic State. U.S. officials say the administration has no intention of bombing Mr. Assad’s forces”… for now.

But why is Saudi Arabia so adamant to remove Assad? Here is the WSJ’s take:

For the Saudis, Syria had become a critical frontline in the battle for regional influence with Iran, an Assad ally. As Mr. Assad stepped up his domestic crackdown, the king decided to do whatever was needed to bring the Syrian leader down, Arab diplomats say.

In the last week of August, a U.S. military and State Department delegation flew to Riyadh to lay the ground for a military program to train the moderate Syrian opposition to fight both the Assad regime and Islamic State—something the Saudis have long requested. The U.S. team wanted permission to use Saudi facilities for the training. Top Saudi ministers, after consulting overnight with the king, agreed and offered to foot much of the bill. Mr. Jubeir went to Capitol Hill to pressed key lawmakers to approve legislation authorizing the training.

And once the US once again folded to Saudi demands to attack another sovereign, it was merely a matter of planning:

Hours before the military campaign was set to begin, U.S. officials held a conference call to discuss final preparations. On the call, military officers raised last-minute questions about whether Qatar would take part and whether the countries would make their actions public.

Mr. Kerry was staying in a suite on the 34th floor of New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, where he was meeting leaders attending United Nations gatherings. He called his Gulf counterparts to make sure they were still onboard. They were.

The UAE, which some defense officials refer to as “Little Sparta” because of its outsized military strength, had the most robust role. One of the UAE’s pilots was a woman. Two of the F-15 pilots were members of the Saudi royal family, including Prince Khaled bin Salman, son of the crown prince. In the third wave of the initial attack, half of the attack airplanes in the sky were from Arab countries.

The best news for Obama: it is now just a matter of time to recreate the same false flag that the Saudi-US alliance pushed so hard on the world in the summer of 2013 to justify the first attempt to remove Assad, and once again get the “sympathy” public cote behind him, naturally with the support of the US media.

But how does one know it is once again nothing but a stage? The following blurb should explain everything:

Saudi players in attendance for the Sept. 11 meeting included Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who as the king’s spymaster last year ran afoul of Mr. Kerry over Syria and Iraq policy. U.S. officials interpreted his presence as a sign the king wanted to make sure the court was united, U.S. officials said.

Actually, his presence is a sign that the same puppetmaster who pulled the strings, and failed, in 2013 to remove Assad, and as noted above was at least officially removed from the stage subsequently, is once again the person in charge of the Syrian campaign, only this time unofficially, and this time has Obama entirely wrapped around his finger.

Also see:

  • The Reason Five Arab Countries Teamed Up with Obama –  A natural gas pipeline through Syria would break the Russian monopoly in Europe so this little “war” against the JV team could easily escalate into World War III under the auspices of the weakest US commander in chief in our nation’s history. (ncrenegade.com)

United States says role for Iran in tackling Islamic State

Syrian Ambassador to the U.N. Bashar Ja'afari waits to speak during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Iraq at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 19, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON

Syrian Ambassador to the U.N. Bashar Ja’afari waits to speak during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Iraq at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 19, 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON

(Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Iran had a role to play in a global coalition to tackle Islamic State militants who have seized swaths of Iraq and Syria and proclaimed a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.

“The coalition required to eliminate ISIL (Islamic State) is not only, or even primarily, military in nature,” Kerry told a United Nations Security Council meeting on Iraq.

“It must be comprehensive and include close collaboration across multiple lines of effort. It’s about taking out an entire network, decimating and discrediting a militant cult masquerading as a religious movement,” he said. “There is a role for nearly every country in the world to play, including Iran.”

Kerry’s remarks appeared to represent a shift away from previous U.S. statements indicating a reluctance to cooperate with Iran to confront the threat of Islamic State. The United States cut off diplomatic ties with Tehran during a hostage crisis after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The United States, president of the U.N. Security Council for September, called the meeting on Iraq as it builds an international military, political and financial coalition to defeat the radical Sunni Muslim group.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, this week said he had rejected an offer by Washington for talks on fighting Islamic State. Kerry said he refused to be drawn into a “back and forth” with Iran over the issue.

Shi’ite Muslim-dominated Iran is a key ally of the governments in Iraq and Syria.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country in the region that is both capable of and has shown unqualified determination to help the Iraqi government and coordinate with it to assist all those threatened by ISIL,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told the council.

“Any real and genuine initiative to remedy regional predicaments needs to originate from within the region and be based on regional cooperation. Combating extremism is not an exception,” he said, repeating Tehran’s official view.

Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are expected to hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly next week where Islamic State and Tehran’s nuclear program will likely be among key topics of discussion.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said 40 nations have pledged help to a coalition against Islamic State. French jets struck a suspected Islamic State target in Iraq for the first time on Friday, joining a U.S. bombing campaign that started a month ago when Iraq asked for help.

“In 2003, acting against Iraq was something that divided this council; in 2014, acting for Iraq and against the (Islamic State) … terrorists is a duty for all of us,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the U.N. Security Council, referring to French opposition to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

The U.N. Security Council on Friday adopted a statement urging “the international community, in accordance with international law, to further strengthen and expand support for the government of Iraq as it fights ISIL (Islamic State) and associated armed groups.”

The U.N. special envoy to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, said the United Nations estimates some 8,500 have been killed during clashes in Iraq since January and more than 16,000 injured.

“ISIL is a scourge that has brought untold sorrow to the people of Iraq and Syria,” Mladenov told the Security Council. “They have shown contempt for equality, fundamental human rights and the dignity and worth of the human person.”

The United States is also planning to carry out air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, while the U.S. Congress on Thursday gave final approval to Obama’s plan for training and arming moderate Syrian rebels to take on the militants.

Other Western powers have been more reluctant to launch military strikes in Syria, which could be seen to bolster President Bashar al-Assad. Western states have repeatedly called for Assad’s departure over his crackdown on popular protests in 2011 that sparked a civil war, now in its fourth year.

Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin warned that any action by an international coalition against Islamic State should be in line with international law and the U.N. Charter.

He said Russia, long an ally of the Syrian government, was “extremely concerned” about possible air strikes against the militants in Syria without the Damascus government’s approval.

“International counter terrorist operations should be carried out either with the approval of the sovereign government or with the approval of the U.N. Security Council,” Churkin told the council.

“Any other options are considered illegal and undermine international and regional stability,” he said.

No Place for Iran in ISIS Plans

3184128428Center For Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz:

Secretary of State John Kerry’s awkward denial that the United States has not proposed “coordinating with Iran” against ISIS suggests the Obama administration did indeed propose this and is engaged in damage control after its efforts were revealed by Iranian officials.

I wrote in a Sept. 3 Newsmax article that while the U.S. should attack ISIS — also known as ISIL and the Islamic State — in Syria even though this will help keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power, the United States must resist the temptation to draw Iran further into the crises in Iraq and Syria. I believe this because Iran bears significant responsibility for the outbreak of sectarian tensions in Iraq since 2011 due to its strong support for the Nouri al-Maliki government and by its training of Shiite militias that have massacred Iraqi Sunnis.

An increased Iranian presence in Iraq would alienate Iraqi Sunnis and make it more difficult to bring them back into the political process.

I believe the Obama administration has been unable to resist the temptation of trying to bring Iran into the battle against ISIS. According to The New York Times, Iranian officials claim they have rejected multiple invitations by the United States to join a coalition against ISIS.

According to the Iranian state news agency — IRNA — Iran’s President Khamenei recently said, “The American ambassador in Iraq asked our ambassador [in Iraq] for a session to discuss coordinating a fight against Daesh [ISIS].”

Khamenei said the Iranian government rejected this request.

Kerry’s denial of Khamenei’s claim was tortuous and hard to believe. Kerry said today that he is not going to get into a “back and forth” with Iran over whether his diplomats suggested that the U.S. and Iran join forces against ISIS. Kerry also said, “I have no idea of what interpretation they drew from any discussion that may or may not have taken place. We are not coordinating with Iran. Period.”

The Los Angeles Times reported today that the U.S. has been discussing ISIS with Iran. According to a Sept. 14 LA Times article, “The U.S., for its part, says it is not coordinating military efforts against Islamic State with Iran, though it has repeatedly discussed the issue with Iranian officials.”

Despite holding behind the scenes discussions with Iran about Iraq, Syria and ISIS, the United States vetoed Iran’s participation in an international conference that opened today in Paris on the ISIS threat. While I agree this was the right move, the Obama administration’s decision to publicly block Iran from the Paris ISIS conference while it conducts secret talks with Tehran on the same issues this conference will be addressing suggests Obama officials are trying to conceal what they are discussing with Iran from the American people and Congress.

So when do U.S. talks with Iran about ISIS become cooperation? More importantly, why is the United States using nuclear talks with Iran — which are going very badly — to discuss Iraq and Syria? What purpose could this achieve other than getting Iran more involved in these two countries.

It is fortunate that Iran revealed the overtures by Obama officials to coordinate on the ISIS threat since Congress can now demand answers from the administration about this latest foreign policy blunder and hopefully force the president to halt any efforts by his diplomats to draw Iran further into the crises in Iraq and Syria.

A Moral Distinction/ or I Stand With Israel

stand with IsraelBy  Justin O. Smith:

To hear Obama, his administration and Secretary of State John Kerry say that they were “appalled” by the “disgraceful act” of the United Nations School in Gaza being bombed on August 3rd by Israeli Defense Forces, after the IDF warned residents in advance of this attack, shows Obama’s and Kerry’s willingness to distort and misrepresent the facts and the reality of the situation, as they exploit the peace process through their thinly veiled anti-Semitic positions, in a vile, dishonest and stupid manner. They are so anxious to achieve peace at any cost, that they make no moral distinction between Hamas and Israel, which, in and of itself, is unconscionable and shameful.

Yes, it was a terrible scene, the dead Palestinian children. And yet, rather than condemn the Hamas terror government for starting this conflict, for firing missiles from behind the U.N. School, for hiding stockpiles of weapons near schools, mosques and hospitals and for abducting and murdering three Israeli teenagers, John Kerry offered a cease-fire deal that heavily favored Hamas and did nothing to ensure Israel’s security, while Pierre Krahenbuhl, UN official, condemned Israel’s act of self-defense as a “serious violation of international law”.

What then were Hamas’ attacks on Israel? Aren’t Israeli lives just as precious as Palestinian lives? And, isn’t it time for the U.S. and the U.N. to remove Hamas from the Palestinian-Israeli equation permanently?

During WWII, the Free World, the U.S. and the Allies did not wring their hands over hundreds of thousands of civilians killed by the fire-bombs at Dresden and the nuclear weapons used on Japan, because they were struggling to survive against the onslaught of the extreme evil of fascism, just as Israel now struggles against the horrific evil of Islamofascism. Israel’s counterattacks are warranted, especially in light of Islamofascist death squads recently using tunnels to mount attacks inside Israel.

Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu states that Israel’s war is with Hamas and not the Palestinian people, it is hard to be too sympathetic towards a people who repeatedly elected Hamas and exiled the Palestinian Authority to the West Bank. The Palestinian people chose to stay in Gaza, because by and large they are in complete agreement with the Hamas charter that seeks Israel’s destruction. So, the problem is with the Palestinian people for giving power to Hamas, who are terrorists to the core.

Turki al-Faisal, former Intelligence Chief for Saudi Arabia, recently stated, “Hamas readiness to cause a great deal of suffering … clearly shows Hamas is irresponsible.”

As Prime Minister Netanyahu stated on August 6, 2014 (Fox News), “We’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent civilian casualties. Hamas has gone to extraordinary lengths to cause civilian casualties. Imagine your home, your country targeted by death squads. What would you do?”

War crimes are being committed by Hamas. They tell their own people to stay in their homes and to die as martyrs for Jihad, so duplicitous video will show the “Palestinian suffering” at the hands of Israel. And all the while they bombard Israel; since June 2014, Hamas has fired approximately four to five thousand missiles into Israel, targeting civilians and military personnel indiscriminately.

In July Dov Hikind, Democratic Assemblyman from Brooklyn, stated on Fox News: “They (the Hamas terrorists) are rejoicing because they put civilians as human shields. America condemns Israel and they are thrilled … I asked the President of the United States, stop this,”

On July 9, Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri said, “The blood of the shahids (martyrs) killed in this campaign is the fuel of our victory.”

Adding insult to injury, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter recently abandoned all morality and called for the U.S. to recognize Hamas as a legitimate political group and delivered more of his frequent anti-Semitic statements against Israel. One must wonder if Carter would also call Al Qaeda “a legitimate political group.”

Even more disturbing, the Obama administration is relying on Qatar, an ally of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, for guidance during this conflict between Israel and Hamas. Secretary of State John Kerry defers the “peace process” to supporters of terrorism, because he believes Qatar’s Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyeh will be able to bring the Hamas terrorist government to the negotiating table. Kerry seems to forget that Israel is the U.S.’s long standing ally by treaty, not Hamas; but, this is not unusual for this administration, which has a major Muslim Brotherhood presence in the White House inner circle that has regularly exposed national security information, according to retired General Tom McInerney .

Is it not surreal and shameful to hear the ‘New York Times’ call Kerry “a loyal friend to Israel?”

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict really does not have a comprehensive solution, because it is purely Israel’s existence as a sovereign Jewish state in the middle of all Islam that troubles these Sons of Allah, Hamas. And, in their quest to destroy Israel, these terrorists, who follow the same Pan-Islamist agenda as ISIS, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda, will always play the double-cross and keep their people in squalor, poverty and conflict, until they send them to their deaths as martyrs, to kill and die: Israel’s only option is to pursue a One State Solution, annex Gaza, eradicate Hamas and annex the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

I find it shameful that, in the name of world peace, Obama, Kerry, the U.N. and many Americans and Europeans absolve one side alone, Hamas, of its hate, and, in the name of pacifism, they lead the confused and uneducated back three-quarters of a century to the time of the yellow star on the coat. And I find it shameful to see those hypocritical progressives, such as Jimmy Carter and John Kerry, communists and pacifists nourish the rise of a new fascism, most grim and revolting, as Hamas leaders, such as Khalil al-Hayya, use $440 million in annual U.S. aid to buy missiles to kill Jews.

I see it, yes, and I  stand with Israel. I stand with the Jews. I defend their right to defend themselves from being exterminated a second time. And disgusted by the anti-Semitism of many Americans, I am ashamed of this shame, the “president” and his administration that dishonors my Country.

Obama and Kerry behind one of most strategic mistakes in military history

Mideast Kerry US Isra_Cham640by Steven Emerson
Fox News.com
August 1, 2014

July 22, 2014: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri in Cairo.AP

The obsession by the Obama-Kerry administration with imposing a cease-fire on the warring parties in the Hamas-Israel war will go down in history as one of the most strategic mistakes in military history.

Here is a fact the administration deliberately and maliciously ignored: In the history of modern warfare, no terrorist group has ever honored a cease-fire. Hamas has broken every cease-fire it ever said it would honor. Every single one.

Even the Israel-Hamas 2012 cease fire, brokered by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was simply agreed to by Hamas to give it an opportunity to restock its military arsenal, pressure Israel to lift its restrictions on the import of cement and steel into Gaza – material that Clinton said would be used to build hospitals and schools, but in fact was used to build a network of underground tunnels into Israel and build a subterranean network of underground bunkers, weapons storage facilities and launching pads.

Hamas simply used the cease-fire to rebuild its military infrastructure and as predicted by Israeli military intelligence, would simply break the cease-fire when it felt ready to take on the Israelis once again.

And on Friday, Hamas did the exact same thing. It agreed, through its main financial backer Qatar (which is the world’s largest financial sponsor of terrorist groups including Hamas, Hizbollah, Al Qaeda and Al Nusra in Syria) and which the U.S. inexplicably anointed as its interlocutor to Hamas, that it would honor a 72-hour cease-fire initiated by the Obama-Kerry administration.

On Thursday night, Kerry proudly announced the cease-fire. But read the main sentence of his press conference.

“Then, as soon as the cease-fire is underway tomorrow morning – I talked to the Egyptian foreign minister tonight – Egypt will issue invitations to the parties to come to Cairo immediately in order to engage in serious and focused negotiations with Egypt to address the underlying causes of this conflict.”

“Underlying causes?” What in God’s name is Kerry talking about? That would be the equivalent of announcing a cease-fire with Al Qaeda after it killed 3000 Americans on 9-11 on the grounds that it needed to “address the underlying causes” of Al Qaeda’s war against the United States and the West.

Here is a little secret for Mr. Kerry: The underlying causes of the current Israeli-Hamas war, initiated by Hamas with its launching of tens of thousands of missiles into Israel and its use of underground tunnels from Gaza to carry out murderous attacks against Israel civilians, is that Hamas, like Al Qaeda, is a nihilistic radical Islamic organization dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state and the establishment of an Islamic caliphate.

The term “underlying causes” directly implies there are legitimate rational grievances by Hamas. Yes, the same “underlying causes” that motivated Adolph Hitler to carry out a worldwide war of conquest, including the Holocaust of six million Jews. Hamas is the embodiment of pure evil. And its motivation is the same as that of Al Qaeda and ISIS.

On Fox News, the former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain, Adam Ereli, summed up the conflict in words that accurately described the “underlying causes” behind the war between Israel and Hamas:

“…[W]hat we’re seeing happen between Israel and Gaza is not a localized conflict, but is much, is part of a much bigger regional war. And that war has Iran, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood on one side and it has the forces of what I would call reason and moderation on the other side – being Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the countries of the Gulf. And United States has an interest in ensuring that the forces of reason and moderation prevail.”

Mr. Ereli was right on point. But somehow this administration lost sight of its real strategic interests and instead embraced an agenda that has resulted in extensive damage to our national interests, which in turn has resulted in increasing the strategic threat to American national security.

This administration believes that Al Qaeda is bad but the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the parent of Hamas and Islamic Jihad as well as that of Al Qaeda, is a rational organization with “legitimate grievances” that can be negotiated with on the same basis that the U.S.can negotiate with Canada or Germany. That is why this administration has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood, starting with the first speech Mr. Obama gave in Cairo in February 2009, where the first two rows of “dignitaries” were 20 leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt hand-selected by the Obama administration.

Moreover, the Obama administration, according to an investigation carried out by my organization, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, lifted all visa restrictions on Muslim Brotherhood officials in their applications to visit the United States. In a report our organization will be releasing next week, more than 25 senior Muslim Brotherhood officials who had publicly called for jihad against the United States or the West, or had openly expressed their support for Hamas and Hezbollah, visited the United States in the past three years and met with senior U.S. officials. One of them, who served as vice president of a Muslim Brotherhood group that had called for the killing of Americans, actually met with President Obama in the White House.

So the “underlying causes” of the current war of annihilation carried out by Hamas against Israel is very simple: It believes that Israel needs to be destroyed paralleling the same agenda of Al Qaeda that believed the United States should be destroyed. We are talking about an organization that won’t be satisfied in the short term until every Jew in Israel is dead and in the long term until Western civilization is destroyed replaced by a worldwide Islamic caliphate.

Hamas on Friday succeeded in kidnapping an Israeli officer, after launching a suicide bombing against Israeli soldiers in a well-planned operation 90 minutes after the cease-fire had gone into effect.Immediately following the suicide bombing that killed several Israeli soldiers (still unreported), a group of up to 10 Hamas terrorists immediately descended upon the scene of the bombing where chaos reigned supreme, and kidnapped the Israeli officer in charge of the company stationed in Gaza.

Then Musa Abu Marzuk, a leader of Hamas in Cairo, who was invited to participate in the talks with the U.S. and UN officials on the cease fire, had the audacity to announce the kidnapping took place BEFORE the cease-fire went into effect. This was a manifestly demonstrable lie, as Israel would never have agreed to a cease-fire if it knew one of its soldiers had been kidnapped.

The Obama-Kerry administration’s obsession with imposing a cease-fire on Israel on the grounds that too many civilians were being killed in collateral damage (caused by the fact that Hamas used the Gaza population as human shields to protect its launching of missiles ensconced in hospitals, mosques, kindergartens and civilian apartment buildings) somehow convinced itself that Hamas was an organization with “legitimate” political grievances. Yes, the same type of radical Islamic group whose agenda parallels exactly that of the same radical Islamic groups that has killed thousands of Americans and Europeans and whose wars of aggression has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Christians in Syria and Iraq.

At this point the administration, if it truly wants to limit the damage to our own national security and reverse the strategic threat to the survival of Israel, needs to be honest with itself and acknowledge its historic mistake in its approach to the Muslim Brotherhood and its stepchild, Hamas. The Muslim Brotherhood is the godfather of all Sunni terrorist groups, from Al Qaeda to Hamas, a fact these groups openly admit.

This is a classic war of good versus evil. The only difference between the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist offspring is the deception perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood in portraying itself as opposed to violence and committed to political pluralism. Nothing could be further from the truth. All one needs to do is read the covenant of the Muslim Brotherhood in which it states its commitment to carry out jihad to dominate the world, read the contemporary incendiary statements of Muslim Brotherhood officials issued in Arabic and not in English, and observe the Muslim Brotherhood hatred and persecution of of Christians, secular women, non-believing Muslims, infidels and gays.

This administration’s current policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood extends from the legitimacy it has conferred on the Muslim Brotherhood organization overseas and its chief patron, Qatar, to the embrace of Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the United States. This administration has gone so far as to ban the mention of the term “radical Islam” and to claim that the word jihad means only peaceful struggle and not violent commitment to impose Islam, which is the genuine historic and religious definition of jihad.

Reversing these policies would not only help protect the long term strategic interests of the United States but would also protect and help in the growth of the community of genuine Muslim moderates who in the end are the only key to reversing the growing threat of radical Islam in the world today.

Steven Emerson is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and the executive producer of a new documentary about the Muslim Brotherhood in America “Jihad in America: the Grand Deception.”

Obama: “Immediate, Unconditional” Surrender of Israel to Hamas

obama-netanyahu (1)Front Page, by Daniel Greenfield:

Leadership. Obama has phoned up Netanyahu and come out on the side of demanding an “immediate unconditional” ceasefire that will leave Hamas and its rockets and attack plans intact.

Hamas has repeatedly violated every ceasefire, but this comes from Obama’s phone call with Netanyahu, making this another demand for a unilateral Israeli ceasefire.

The terms are:

Israel will stop defending itself. Obama will work toward Hamas’ development and economic needs, e.g. foreign aid and an end to the Israeli blockade.

Hamas gets money and open doors for smuggling weapons. Israel gets another war next year.

Building on Secretary Kerry’s efforts, the President made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement. The President reaffirmed the United States’ support for Egypt’s initiative, as well as regional and international coordination to end hostilities.

The President underscored the enduring importance of ensuring Israel’s security, protecting civilians, alleviating Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, and enacting a sustainable ceasefire that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs, while strengthening the Palestinian Authority. The President stressed the U.S. view that, ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.

Obama is walking back a little bit of Kerry’s Qatari ceasefire proposal, but not by that much. He threw in support for Egypt’s initiative, but Qatar and Turkey are still in there as “regional and international coordination”.

Kerry’s ceasefire proposal didn’t mention Israel’s security needs at all and briefly mentioned security last. It looks like the same scenario in which Hamas’ demands are specified and enumerated, while Israel’s are filed under “security”.

Obama mentions Israeli security first, but the the rest looks like the same list of Hamas demands for an end to the Israeli blockade.

Disarmament and demilitarization are mentioned in the final sentence, but only in the contest of a lasting solution, which implies that they are a long term outcome, while Hamas’ demands happen in the short term.

“The president underscored the United States’ strong condemnation of Hamas’ rocket and tunnel attacks against Israel and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Minus the ‘defending itself’ part.

This has become one of the Orwellian addendum to everything. Obama demands that Israel stop defending itself and then “underscores” that Israel has the right to defend itself.

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Bewildering American Move – Operation Protective Edge

 

Published on Jul 27, 2014 by Avi Melamed

Avi Melamed discusses the latest cease fire draft proposal submitted by US Secretary of State, John Kerry and why it was rejected by Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia.
Avi Melamed, former Israeli Senior Official on Arab Affairs and former Intelligence Official and educator, is today an Independent Middle East Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Regional Expert and lecturer specializing in the current affairs of the Arab and Muslim world and their impact on Israel and the region. Avi is also the Rosenzwog Overseas Middle East expert at the Eisenhower Institute, Washington DC. http://www.avimelamed.com

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Also see:

Will Obama Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory Over Hamas?

tunnel2By Andrew C. McCarthy:

Important columns by former attorney general Michael Mukasey and Caroline Glick make the point that in Israel’s defensive war against Hamas, the main thing to focus on is not the missiles; it’s the tunnels. Perhaps more significantly, they demonstrate that the Obama administration, in its mulish appeasement of the Muslim Brotherhood-Sunni supremacist axis that even Islamic governments (indeed, even the Saudis) are shunning, is subverting a golden opportunity to achieve decisive victory over Hamas – the necessary precondition if there is ever to be a stable Israeli-Palestinian settlement.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Judge Mukasey explains that Hamas’s strategic plan for jihad against Israel hinges on the large and sophisticated network of tunnels into Israel that the terror organization built while ruling Gaza during the years since Israel’s 2005 evacuation. While much attention has been drawn to “Iron Dome,” the Israeli air defense system that has responded to Hamas rocket-fire, the trigger for the Israeli ground offensive was more likely the challenge posed by the tunnel network. That challenge, Judge Mukasey writes, “became obvious on Saturday when eight Palestinian fighters wearing Israeli military uniforms emerged from a tunnel 300 yards inside Israel and killed two Israeli soldiers in a firefight.” He elaborates:

The tunnel network gave [Hamas] the ability to launch a coordinated attack within Israel like the 2008 Islamist rampage in Mumbai that killed 164 people. Recall that in 2011 Israel released more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, more than 200 of whom were under a life sentence for planning and perpetrating terror attacks. They were exchanged for one Israeli soldier,Gilad Shalit, who had been taken hostage in a cross-border raid by Hamas. Imagine the leverage that Hamas could have achieved by sneaking fighters through the tunnels and taking hostages throughout Israel; the terrorists intercepted Saturday night were carrying tranquilizers and handcuffs.

Caroline Glick strikes the same note in her latest column:

We have known for years that tunnels were a central component of Hamas’s logistical infrastructure. What began as the primary means of smuggling weapons, trainers and other war material from Hamas’s sponsors abroad developed rapidly into a strategic tool of offensive warfare against Israel.

As we have seen from the heavily armed Hamas commando squads that have infiltrated into Israel from tunnels since the start of the current round of warfare, the first goal of these offensive tunnels is to deploy terrorists into Israel to massacre Israelis. But the tunnels facilitate other terror missions as well. Israel has found tunnels with shafts rigged with bombs located directly under Israeli kindergartens. If the bombs had gone off, the buildings above would have been destroyed, taking the children down with them.

Other exposed shafts showed Hamas’s continued intense interest in hostage taking. In 2006 the terrorists who kidnapped Cpl.Gilad Schalit entered Israel and returned to Gaza through such a tunnel. Today the presence of sedatives and multiple sets of handcuffs for neutralizing hostages found in tunnel after tunnel indicate that Hamas intends to abduct several Israelis at once and spirit them back to Gaza.

There is only one way to deal with this menace once and for all: Israel has to be allowed to win, an argument I posited yesterday, here. As Ms. Glick points out,Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood, which makes it a big piece of the global jihad. Besides being every bit as much America’s enemy as Israel’s, Hamas is now not only motivated but more lethally capable than it has ever been:

Hamas’s rapid advances in both tunnel and missile technology are deeply worrisome. At a minimum, they indicate that if it is allowed to end the current round of fighting as a coherent, relatively well-armed terrorist army, Hamas will be able to rapidly rebuild and expand its capabilities. As a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas is not a stand-alone terror group. It is part of a much larger web of Islamic jihadist terror groups including al-Qaida and its affiliates as well as the Shi’ite Hezbollah.

But there is a big positive in the equation. As part of the Brotherhood and the global jihad, Hamas is also more isolated than it has ever been. As those of usopposed to U.S. intervention in Syria have contended, by not interrupting our enemies while they were squaring off against each other, we’d see their relations rupture. That is exactly what has happened.

Read more at National Review

As Gaza Battles Rages, Kerry Elbows In

Wounded IDF soldier evacuated from fighting in Gaza Strip, July 21, 2014 Source: AFP/Menahem Kahana

Wounded IDF soldier evacuated from fighting in Gaza Strip, July 21, 2014
Source: AFP/Menahem Kahana

by IPT News:

Updated: The IDF announced that seven more soldiers were killed in fighting Monday, bringing the death toll to 25 since the fighting began.

Israeli forces killed 10 terrorists Monday morning as they emerged from a tunnel inside Israel. In addition, there were dozens of terrorists in the tunnel wearing Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) uniforms, officials say.

The latest attempted infiltration shows the depth of the Hamas tunnel network. As Operation Protective Edge ends its second week, troops continue to discover and destroy tunnels each day. Yet, enough remain intact to allow Hamas to continue firing rockets at Israeli cities and to try sneaking into Israeli towns near the Gaza border.

similar attempted infiltration Thursday was thwarted when 13 heavily-armed terrorists were killed near a kibbutz in southern Israel.

The IDF released footage of Monday’s attempted infiltration:

 

Israeli troops announce uncovering and destroyed new tunnels each day. But they are discovering that the tunnels have “multiple exit and entry points … making them difficult to track and demolish,” the New York Times reported.

Meanwhile, uncertainty continues about a Hamas claim Sunday that it kidnapped an Israeli soldier. The announcement triggered jubilant street celebrations in the West Bank and Gaza. Fatah, the party which runs the Palestinian Authority and which allegedly stands against the Hamas-instigated violence, featured images of the celebration on its official Facebook page. One picture showed Fatah members handing out sweets “out of joy over the abduction of a soldier by the Palestinian resistance on the blessed soil of Gaza.”

But the name Hamas gave for the soldier was similar to one of 13 elite troops killed in fighting Sunday morning in Shejaiya. Two of those Golani Brigade soldiers killed were Americans who moved to Israel.

“There is no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumors are untrue,” Israel’s United Nations Ambassador Ron Prosor said on Sunday. But in an interview with CNN Monday morning, government spokesman Mark Regev was less absolute.

“It could just be Hamas bravado. We’re looking into it,” Regev said.

Meanwhile, on the heels of being caught on a live microphone mocking Israel’s “pinpoint operation,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to be in the region today to push a return to a ceasefire which ended a similar conflict in 2012.

Kerry wasn’t invited and his presence won’t be helpful, said former Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.

Kerry brings with him a “long history” of failed diplomacy, Oren told Israel’s Channel 2 on Monday.

Meanwhile, Israeli jets reportedly bombed a site in Sudan Monday that was holding an arsenal intended for Hamas, including long-range missiles.

And last week we reported on the United Nations Relief and Human Works Agency discovery of 20 Hamas missiles hidden inside a UN school in Gaza. The agency issued a statement of outrage. Then, incredibly, it gave the rockets back to Hamas.

A senior Israeli official said the move showed that the UN agency has developed “battered-wife syndrome” and “attempts to ingratiate itself with Hamas.”

Also see:

 

In Egypt, Kerry has sympathetic words for Muslim Brotherhood. Whose side is he on?

javadi20130815073631807-300x180by Allen West:

I’ve asked the question before and continue to ask, whose side is the Obama administration — if not all Democrats — on? According to Foxnews.com, “In a hastily-organized trip marked by extraordinarily tight security, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Egypt on Sunday, embarking on a weeklong tour of Middle Eastern and European capitals where he will try to rally support for the embattled central government in Iraq.”

Wait a minute — I thought it was up to the Iraqi government to figure this little situation out for themselves? ISIS marches on and Shiite clerics are threatening the United States of America, all the while Iran is poised to become a regional hegemony. And the Obama administration hints that it’s willing to work with Iran to resolve the crisis in Iraq. Confused yet? So far lots of talk and declarations, but nothing to halt the advance of a radical Islamist army.

But what really alarmed me were these words from a Kerry aide:

“We do not share the view of the Egyptian government about links between the Muslim Brothers and terrorist groups like ISIS [the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq]. [Egyptian leaders] need to include, and find ways to reach out to, the Muslim Brothers. … With regard to the challenge that the Muslim Brothers pose, I would characterize it more as a political challenge than a security challenge.”

Lunacy, pure unadulterated lunacy and this is what we’re sending to represent the United States? This is naiveté and incompetence but the more frightening prospect is collusion and complicity.

Read more 

Obama Adds Insult to Injury for Sharia-Condemned Young Mother in Sudan

1401911517362.cachedBy Nina Shea:
Khartoum says Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian, must hang for “apostasy.” Soon she’ll be flogged. Her husband is American, but the U.S. may require a DNA test to prove her infants are, too.
On death row in Sudan last week, Meriam Ibrahim gave birth to a girl, whom she named Maya. The 27-year-old prisoner of conscience is now a step closer to the gallows. On May 15, Meriam was sentenced to be hanged for apostasy from Islam, but the execution was ordered delayed until the then-8-month pregnant defendant delivered and weaned the baby.Notwithstanding its assertion last weekend that Meriam would be released “in a few days,” by Monday Sudan had made it clear it has no such intention. Her defense lawyer is now pursuing legal appeals, but Meriam’s  only real hope of being spared lies in the moral pressure created in the court of public opinion.

Meriam’s case turned on the question of her religious identity—whether she is lawfully a Christian, a faith she inherited from her Ethiopian Orthodox mother and embraces, or whether, because her father was a Muslim, she too must be a Muslim, even though he abandoned the family when she was young.

The Sudanese court determined that she was a Muslim under sharia law and, after she refused to renounce Christianity at trial, convicted her of apostasy. It also found her guilty of adultery for marrying a man who is Christian, which is forbidden to Muslim women in Sudan, and, for that, the court ordered that flogging with 100 lashes be added to her punishment.

The cruel treatment and flagrant denial of religious freedom are shocking even by Sudan’s abysmal human rights standards. The case has received wide attention in the international media, and it has stirred high level outrage. British Prime Minister David Cameron, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and various U.N. rights experts are among those who have raised their voices in protest.  Mia Farrow has started a hashtag campaign (#FreeMeriam) and others are circulating petitions.

But from one quarter there has been noticeable silence. For over two weeks since the verdict was announced there has been no public statements in defense of Meriam from President Barack Obama or any high level U.S. government official. The U.S. State Department spokesperson said the agency was “deeply disturbed” by the sentence imposed on Meriam but “understood that the sentence was open to appeal”, thus seeming to suggest that the administration is heartlessly preparing to stand by and passively watch the process play out .

Read more at Daily Beast

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