Movie Critics Complain Eastwood Doesn’t Show Sympathetic Terrorist

Truth Revolt, by Mark Tapson, Feb. 15, 2018:

TruthRevolt friend Christian Toto over at HollywoodInToto.com has helpfully rounded up a sample of movie reviews of openly conservative director Clint Eastwood’s new terrorism drama The 15:17 to Paris. The film is based on the true-life Islamist attack on a Paris-bound train in 2015 that was quickly thwarted by three American heroes who happened to be passengers on that train.

“The 87-year-old icon drove liberal critics batty with his 2014 smash ‘American Sniper,’” Toto began. “Heroism? Sacrifice? All-American values? It’s like garlic to some film critics. They’d rather swoon at films depicting the U.S. Military in an unsavory fashion.”

Indeed they would, because the vast majority of film critics are Progressives whose kneejerk anti-Americanism kicks in with every movie that dares display a patriotic streak — such as Eastwood’s newest film, which stars the actual American friends who were on that train as the movie’s leads.

“A few critics hated how Eastwood didn’t give enough screen time to the terrorist in question, Ayoub El-Khazzani,” wrote Toto, such as this reviewer from The National Post:

15:17 to Paris overly simplifies the attack and its aftermath. The terrorist (Ray Corasani) snarls and wears sneakers, but there’s little more to him.

The movie’s not about him. The movie is about the three American heroes. And to the outrage of leftist reviewers, Eastwood apparently wasn’t inclined to depict a sympathetic terrorist. This is a Clint Eastwood movie, not a Rolling Stone magazine cover.

“Slate also has the sads about the terrorist’s lack of definition,” Toto noted, quoting the critic:

And the sense of wheelspinning only underlines the movie’s failure to make its antagonist more than a cartoon scowl with a Kalashnikov. The geese in Sully were more well-rounded characters.

“Slant Magazine joins the chorus, complaining about the terrorist’s abbreviated screen time”:

One misses the prismatic structure of the 15:17 to Paris book, which fuses multiple points of view—including El-Khazzani’s—and which is reduced by Dorothy Blyskal’s script to cut-and-pasted bromides.

The Daily Beast:

As for the villain in question, Eastwood primarily films his hands, sneakers, arms, and back, all as a means of making him some sort of faceless existential threat—a symbolic vehicle for [one of the Americans’] “greater purpose.” Mostly, though, it’s just another example of The 15:17 to Paris’ regrettable blankness.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette gripes that the film is too patriotic:

But at this point, there’s a certain repellent hubris about [Eastwood’s] patriotic formula: Make America grate again, on the rest of the world, in paint-by-numbers (red, white and blue), which happen to be the same as the Tricouleur — not that Mr. Eastwood makes any use or reference to that.

The Irish Times complains:

There’s a great deal of God-bothering throughout… [t]hose seeking geopolitics or any hint that US foreign policy helped forge Isis will be sorely disappointed.

Reviewer Rex Reed (he’s still alive?) strangely whines, “We never really learn much about the three leads or their take on terrorism…”

“Here’s a wild guess,” answers Toto, “they’re against it?”

The Daily Mail sneers at the main characters’ Christian faith and the “simplistic” conservative perspective on good and evil:

In that sacred American way, incidentally, their Christianity is not incompatible with an obsession with firearms….The ­narrative throbs with Eastwood’s ­conviction — shared, as we know, by President Trump — that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Better still, a good guy with a gun and a bible.

All these reviews are symptomatic of the left’s refusal to draw a line between good and evil, and to recognize which side of that line America is on.

I remember when the movie Black Hawk Down came out, about the failed Clinton-era military mission in Mogadishu that resulted in the downing of two American helicopters and an insane firefight with an armed mob of Somalis. Critics complained that the bad guys depicted in it were not fully developed as characters — as if everybody in a mob needs a backstory. Movie critics know that’s impossible and doesn’t make sense story-wise, but they simply hate it when Americans are depicted as heroes and enemies who happen to be non-white are not “nuanced” enough.

Let’s prove all of Clint Eastwood’s critics irrelevant by making The 15:17 to Paris another pro-American blockbuster.

Will President Trump Prosecute Terrorist Group CAIR & Those Supporting It?

Understanding the Threat,  by John Guandolo, Feb. 15, 2018:

We at Understanding the Threat (UTT) speak the truth – using facts and evidence – about real threats facing our communities here in the United States.

Here is a fact:  The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a Hamas organization.

Here is another fact:  Hamas is a designated terrorist organization.

Here is another fact:  CAIR itself is a designated terrorist organization in the U.A.E.

Here is another fact:  U.S. governent officials (State Department), state officials (Ohio Democrats), local school boards (San Diego), and others work with CAIR.

Here is another fact:  Media outlets across the nation continue to identify CAIR as a “muslim civil rights group.”

Because UTT speaks truth about the global Islamic movement, including Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Muslim Brotherhood, it is no surprise to us suit-wearing jihadi groups (legally “terrorists”) like CAIR attack us on several fronts.

CAIR works with their Marxist accomplices in the media in an attempt to smear UTT as an organization and individually.

The Marxist anti-law enforcement Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) attempts to brand UTT as an “extremist” group, while at the same time promoting and defending this representative of a designated terrorist group Hamas – CAIR.

CAIR relies strongly on cowardice and ignorance among local, state and national leaders – who would rather be silent and “liked” by Marxists and jihadis than do the right thing no matter what the cost.  These “leaders” become willing accomplices when their silence allows the terrorists to advance their agenda.

Hamas is a terrorist organization and, therefore,  a threat to the United States and needs to be destroyed.

There has never been a lack of evidence to indict CAIR as a Hamas organization, there has only been a lack of will.

Will President Trump show a strong will and dismantle CAIR and the jihadi/terrorist network in America?

Whenever UTT travels the country to speak truth boldly about this threat, CAIR contacts the venue hosting us, and requests that the venue be closed off to us.  Think about this – Hamas asks venues to deny our first amendment rights, and some of those managing venues, including law enforcement and Christian colleges, have acquiesced.

When UTT’s John Guandolo, Chris Gaubatz, and Billy Vaughn travel around the country speaking about the Islamic threat, citizens frequently ask, “What can we do?”

UTT has an aggressive strategy to dismantle the jihadi network here in the US, and as part of that strategy we are asking our readers and supporters to continue to help us spread the truth about CAIR to media, law enforcement, legislators, pastors, priests, and rabbis, and to citizens in general.

Today’s blog post is a call to action – you can help UTT and the broader war effort today.

  1. We ask you to share UTT’s short write-up entitled, “CAIR is Hamas” with everyone you know via every outlet you can – facebook, twitter, phone calls, emails, etc.
  2. Every time CAIR comes to your town to have a conference or speak, contact the venue and ask them why they are allowing representatives from a terrorist organization – Hamas – to use their venue.
  3. If you have a CAIR office in your state/town, contact your local FBI office and state police and ask them why they are not prosecuting them and shutting them down.
  4. When a local organization – like the San Diego school board – openly works with Hamas (dba CAIR) citizens should rise up and ensure those supporting these terrorists are removed from their positions.
  5. We also ask you to join us in our 25 forFreedom Campaign to help us put freedom on the offensive where it belongs.  Please commit to a $25 per monthly donation so we can continue to take the fight to the enemy and put freedom back on the offensive where it belongs.  Click here NOW to join the 25 for Freedom Campaign.

Federal Judge Strikes CAIR-Hamas Reference From San Diego Suit

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  

A federal judge partially granted a motion Monday by San Diego’s Unified School District (SDUSD) to strike references to the Council on American Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) ties to Hamas from a lawsuit seeking to block the school system from working with CAIR.

The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund’s (FCDF) claims the school district violatedthe First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14thAmendment and California law by enacting a CAIR supported anti-Islamophobia/anti-bullying program last spring.

Mentioning CAIR’s Hamas ties in the litigation was “impertinent, immaterial and scandalous,” school district officials claimed in December. Including references to CAIR’s Hamas connection and the fact some of its officials had been convicted on terrorism charges is intended to “inflame the public.”

Court evidence from a terror-financing trial show that CAIR was formed by Muslim Brotherhood officials to serve a Hamas-support network operating in the United States during the 1990s. The FBI cut off non-investigative contact with CAIR in 2008, explaining that, “until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

The policy remains in effect.

This is relevant because CAIR has made “prioritized public schools as ground zero to advance its religious mission,” the FCDF argued, saying it matters because the school district gave “a divisive religious group … unprecedented decision-making authority” in a public school program.

The judge disagreed.

“Given the lack of pertinences or materiality to this case, their inclusion … is likely intended to ‘besmirch’ Defendants and cast them in a derogatory light based on SDUSD’s relationship with CAIR,” wrote U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant.

CAIR’s relationship with Hamas, “whether true or not,” predates its work with the school district and is “superfluous historical allegations that should be stricken,” she ruled.

The judge preserved provisions in FCDF’s amended complaint relating to CAIR’s hostility to Israel and allegations it “promotes discriminatory bias against non-Muslim students on the basis of their religion.” While they may be “distasteful” and “unsavory,” those provisions could call into question the “objectivity and accuracy” of CAIR-provided instructional materials.

The Fight of Our Lives

A new documentary exposes the growing threats to the West.

Front Page Magazine, by Mark Tapson, Feb. 8, 2018:

Editor’s note: The world premiere of The Fight of Our Lives will be held at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California on Monday evening, February 19, through the support of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. For details, click here.

“Civilizations, empires, great powers, can fall apart very fast. Collapse can come suddenly, like a thief in the night. And we should be very wary of assuming that our civilization, the civilization of the early 21st century West, will oblige us by declining gradually.”

That warning from noted historian Niall Ferguson is the opening and the theme of the vital new documentary The Fight of Our Lives: Defeating the Ideological War Against the West from filmmaker Gloria Z. Greenfield.

Greenfield’s previous work includes Body and Soul – The State of the Jewish Nation in 2014 (which I reviewed for FrontPage Mag here), Unmasked Judeophobia in 2011, and The Case for Israel – Democracy’s Outpostin 2009. She is the president of Doc Emet Productions, the simple and powerful motto of which is “Truth in film.” Unlike, say, propagandist Michael Moore’s front-and-center, demagogic presence in his films such as Fahrenheit 9/11, director Greenfield gets out of the way and crafts her narratives about anti-Semitism, history, Judeo-Christian values, freedom, and democracy from the authoritative, articulate arguments of the many intellectuals who lend their expertise to her projects.

Such is the case with her latest documentary, which features compelling observations and insights from well-known historians, journalists, and thinkers such as Niall Ferguson, Victor Davis Hanson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Alan Dershowitz, Melanie Phillips, Bruce Thornton, Raymond Ibrahim, Brooke Goldstein, Ibn Warraq, Alan West, and many more respected commentators from academia, human rights organizations, and think tanks. [Full disclosure: I am included among the featured speakers, as are David Horowitz Freedom Center Fellows Thornton and Ibrahim.]

The Fight of Our Lives addresses the various internal and external threats facing Western civilization today, and cautions that if we don’t recognize these grave dangers now and rouse ourselves to resist and overcome them, then it is no hyperbole to say that the West as we know it will come to – as Ferguson warned – a swift and inexorable end.

The film groups topics into seven “chapters”: “Utopian Masks” (about the subversive internal threats of cultural relativism and multiculturalism), “Crumbling Towers” (on the political radicalization of the university), “Weaponizing Identity” (on the gender and race conflicts that have sprung up with the rise of identity politics), “Breaching the Gates” (on the threat of global Islamic supremacism in the West, whether through terrorism or subversion), “People of the Book” (regarding the Islamic persecution and genocide of Christians and Jews), and “Durable Values” (on the assaults against the values that have made the West great, such as the freedom of speech). It concludes with a chapter on “Standing Up,” which exhorts us, the heirs of the Western tradition, to push back against our enemies and defend our heritage and our future.

Niall Ferguson speaks on the cultural consequences of the recent tsunami of migrants and purported refugees from Muslim countries into Europe, the heart of what used to be called Christendom. That civilization, he claims, may not be around by the end of the century – or it may have changed so much that it’s unrecognizable. The United States, with its rapidly growing Islamic population and influx of illegal aliens across our southern border, is facing a similar demographic transformation.

But we are facing a more significant threat by way of a subversive ideological assault. “The threat from within comes from the people who want to undermine the basis of Western civilization,” says journalist Melanie Phillips. She points out that the Baby Boomer generation was heavily influenced by the political philosopher Antonio Gramsci, who urged revolutionaries to infiltrate the organs of culture – the media, academia, entertainment – and “turn the mind of the West against itself.” That infiltration and indoctrination, as others in the documentary discuss, has been shockingly successful, particularly in our educational institutions.

Attorney Alan Dershowitz, for example, decries “the light fog of fascism which seems to be descending on the universities” and which poses a tremendous danger for the future of Western values. “In universities there is almost a kind of an intellectual masochism, the sense that we should not be proud of the values that we stand for, that we even need to engage in a kind of a ritual self-flagellation,” says Kenneth L. Marcus from the Louis D. Brandeis Center. “There is too little in our universities being taught about what the admirable aspects of the Western tradition are,” declares Jeffrey Herf of the University of Maryland.

The influence of multiculturalism, as historian Victor Davis Hanson and The Lawfare Project’s Brooke Goldstein point out, has resulted in a moral relativism and a chilling effect on free speech, as any criticism of non-Western cultures is now deemed to be hate speech. Raheel Raza of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow points out the inconvenient truth that not all cultures are created equal; a culture which subjects homosexuals to grisly executions and women to female genital mutilation and honor killings is not on the same moral plane as one which defends individual rights, freedom, and gender equality. But that’s an unacceptable judgment to make in our relativistic culture now.

Speakers such as the Tikvah Fund’s Ruth Wisse, McGill University’s Philip Carl Salzman, and myself address how identity politics has fragmented society into tribal conflicts among races and between the sexes.  Radical feminism, for example, is carrying out an assault on gender relations and masculinity that has contributed to the breakdown of the family unit, an alarming decline of the birth rate in the West, and an emasculated society that is too timid to defend itself from the threat of an aggressively male-dominated Islamic sub-culture within the West, a culture which is outbreeding us.

The Hoover Institution’s Ayaan Hirsi Ali and TBN host and terrorism expert Erick Stakelbeck, among others, discuss the danger of refusing to identify Islam as a supremacist ideology intent on destroying the West and establishing a worldwide caliphate in its place. Meanwhile, such authorities as the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Shimon Samuels and the Freedom Center’s Raymond Ibrahim state that a literal genocide is being waged in the Middle East against Christians and Jews, who are targeted even in Europe and the United States as well, while the West wrestles impotently with self-loathing and willful blindness.

There is much more to this documentary. With The Fight of Our Lives, Gloria Greenfield has created a riveting and disturbing, but ultimately enlightening and inspirational, clarion call for the Western world to wake up and reverse its decadent course before it’s too late. Its urgent message is one that deserves as wide an audience as possible.

In the film, Niall Ferguson recalls Edmund Burke’s observation that civilization is a pact between the dead, the living, and the yet unborn. I cannot stress enough how important it is to view The Fight of Our Lives, take its message to heart, and honor that pact by standing up when and where you can in defense of the West.

For more information on the film, the filmmakers, and the featured commentators, click here.

Guandolo: How Muslim Brotherhood Compromised the FBI & National Security

Go to Understanding the Threat and read today’s post, How Badly is The U.S. Government Penetrated by Terrorists?

John Guandolo gave a very good talk last November for Brannon Howse on the subversive Muslim Brotherhood movement in the US:

Proof Entire Muslim World Has Admitted Human Rights Means Sharia:

Understanding What Islam Means By Peace, Freedom, Justice, Terrorism, Innocents & Human Rights:

 

#Obamagate Raises the Question: Should We Repeal FISA?

Angelo Codevilla says yes. John Guandolo says no.

Jail the Guilty, Repeal FISA, at American Greatness by Angelo Codevilla, February 6, 2018

The House Intelligence Committee’s summary memo of highly classified FBI and Justice Department documents confirms what has been public knowledge for over a year: Some of America’s highest officials used U.S. intelligence’s most intrusive espionage tools to attempt to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and then to cripple Donald Trump politically. Being of one mind with the rest of the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, these officials acted symbiotically and seamlessly with them, regardless of any cooperation that may have existed.

The party-in-power’s use of government espionage to thwart the opposition violates the Fourth Amendment and sets a ruinous precedent. Having done so under color of law—specifically, the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)—makes it a lot worse.

Unfortunately, the summary memo—to say nothing of the Democrats’ and their kept media’s reaction to it—focuses largely on whether the FBI and Justice Department dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s as they obtained a warrant from the FISA court to do the spying. This misrepresents high crimes as merely technical violations. Worse, it risks leaving in place a law under which those in charge of the government may violate the basic tenets of American political life with reasonable hope of impunity.

FISA’s Origins
Prior to FISA, American intelligence agencies had done national security electronic surveillance under the president’s power as commander in chief of the armed forces. The president and his agents were responsible for doing it properly. I was part of the Senate Intelligence Committee staff that drafted FISA in 1978. The legislation was meant to answer complaints from leftists who sued the FBI and the National Security Agency after learning they had been overheard working against the United States during the Vietnam War. They wanted to extend the principle that no one may be surveilled without a court order to Americans in contact with foreigners.

But the main push for FISA, in fact, came from the FBI and NSA. Wishing to preclude further lawsuits, the agencies issued Congress an ultimatum: no more national security wiretaps unless each tap has the approval of a judge (thus absolving them of responsibility). FISA established a court to review warrant applications for national security electronic surveillance, in secret and without contrary argument. It commanded the agencies to observe procedural safeguards for the Americans involved.

I opposed FISA as a Senate staffer. I also argued against the legislation in an American Bar Association debate with Antonin Scalia, who was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School at the time. My view then and now is that the FISA court creates an irresistible temptation to political abuse and that officials would interpret any procedural safeguards accordingly.

The Memo Reveals a Bigger Problem
In what is arguably the key passage of the Nunes memo, the committee states:

Neither the initial application [for surveillance of the Trump campaign] in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier [which was a basis for the application] were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.

If that’s true, then the officials who signed the applications—including FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, acting Attorney General Sally Yates, then-acting Attorney General Dana Boente, and then-acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—are guilty of misrepresenting material facts to a federal court. All of them belong in the slammer—for at least a little while.

And at some level, they know this. Hence the public relations campaign to downplay the crime. For example, the New York Times on February 2 quoted David Kris, who served as President Obama’s head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. According to Kris, if the FISA application merely told the court that “Mr. Steele’s research was motivated to undermine Mr. Trump’s campaign,” then “the FISA application would be fine.” Note well what narrow distinction, subject to a wide latitude of interpretation, supposedly separates a high crime from “that’s fine” under the law.

But the FISA court’s procedures and requirements—inherently subject to self-interested interpretation as they are—are of far less importance than the fact that FISA was a big mistake to begin with. The law removed responsibility for the substance of executive judgment from the shoulders of the very people who make such judgments.

Today, Comey, Rosenstein, and others may well believe their own claims that they were merely turning government’s neutral wheels and that the judges would judge. Nonsense. They decided to become partisans in the 2016 presidential campaign because they were as convinced as were countless others of their class that they had the right and the duty to protect America (and their place in it) from unworthy challengers.

Perhaps only their failure to dot the i’s and cross the t’s may make it possible for them to be jailed for their crime. But because their successors may be similarly motivated and more careful, it behooves us to erase doubt about who is responsible for electronic surveillance by repealing FISA.

***

FISA is a Constitutional & Needed Weapon in This War, by John Guandolo, Feb. 4, 2018:

With news full of reports about the fraudulent dossier used to obtain the FISA warrant to intercept communications of Carter Paige and the release of the memo last week, the following is provided to UTT readers to help them understand what it takes to obtain a FISA warrant, that FISA is constitutional, and that FISA is needed for the national security of America.

F.I.S.A. stands for the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act, and was legislated by the U.S. Congress in 1978 to ensure American citizens were protected from overzealous government intrusion into their privacy in the name of “national security.”

The FISA Court provides a means for the U.S. government to collect on subjects of sensitive/classified investigations (counterintelligence and terrorism for example) without endangering sources and means of the investigation.

FISA judges are federal judges who have been confirmed by the U.S. Senate and chosen by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Understanding the Threat’s President John Guandolo served as a Supervisor in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters during his career in the FBI.  In that capacity, he was the affiant – one who swears to the veracity of an affidavit – in support of numerous FISA warrants.

When an FBI agent in the field needs a FISA warrant, he/she contacts their supervisor at FBI headquarters who acts as the affiant for the warrant.  The two work through the affidavit, sometimes over 100 pages long, until the FBIHQ Supervisor is satisfied the legal standard of Probable Cause is met and the facts are verified.

The FBIHQ supervisor works with a Department of Justice attorney, and the cover sheet for the affidavit must be signed off by a DOJ official.  The affidavit is also reviewed and signed off by the FBI Director or Deputy Director.

It is not unusual for the FBI supervisor and DOJ attorney to meet with the FBI Director over a weekend at his home while the Director reviews the affidavit, asks questions, and is satisfied the affidavit can go to the judge.

Then the FBI supervisor and DOJ attorney sit before the FISA judge who reads the affidavit and asks questions.  When the judge signs the affidavit, the technical process begins to intercept the subject of the investigation.

This entire process is legal, constitutional and an important tool in the national security toolbox for dedicated servants inside the government.

In the current case before us, FBI and Department of Justice leaders put forth an affidavit that – as the memo released last week makes clear – was fraudulent and the FBI knew it.  The dossier from Christopher Steele was fabricated and purchased by Hillary Clinton/DNC, and yet this information was not provided to the FISA judge during the initial application for the FISA warrant nor at any of the three times when the warrant was renewed.

In a vacuum, these actions are violations of federal law.  At a minimum, this is perjury and tampering with a federal election by those involved.

But it is much worse than that.

Robert Mueller’s investigation was predicated on a request for Special Counsel which did not allege any crime.  The FISA warrant for Paige was predicated on lies using a source known by the FBI to lack credibility (Steele).

In reality, these actions – efforts to tamper with a federal election and, now, undermine and overthrow a duly elected President of the United States – constitutes “Sedition.”

***

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Also see:

Nunes memo raises question: Did FBI violate Woods Procedures?

Attkisson on New Strzok-Page Texts: What’s in the 5 Months of Messages We Haven’t Seen?

Grassley-Graham Memo: Dossier Author Christopher Steele Lied to FBI, FBI Didn’t Tell FISA Court

The Other Secret Dossier

Latest FBI Texts: ‘Hillbillys,’ ‘OUR Task,’ Obama ‘Wants to Know Everything’

BREAKING: Senate Homeland Committee drops BIG document dump on FBI’s Hillary email investigation [READ THEM HERE]

Exclusive — Rep. Paul Gosar: Obama’s Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS Scandals All Connected to DOJ, FBI Corruption in Trump Probe

Outraged About The FISA Court? Maybe You Should Think About Who Is Surveilling You

Breaking: All Contacts On Anthony Weiner’s FBI Confiscated Laptop Leak Including Clinton, Soros, Gore (Updated)