Kerry Negotiating Ceasefire w/Death to America Terrorists After They Attack US Ships

kerry_whitehousegov

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, October 14, 2016:

John Kerry never changes. Whatever happens, he can always be found rushing to appease the enemies of this country. After Iranian backed Houthi Islamic Jihadists attacked a US ship, Kerry has jumped into action to do his usual thing

As the U.S. launched missile attacks Thursday on Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, behind the scenes Secretary of State John Kerry has been trying to negotiate a temporary cease-fire and reinvigorate a political process to end the country’s civil war.

The conflict has dragged on for over two years now, since the Shiite rebels seized control of the capital of Sanaa in September of 2014. The conflict escalated in March 2015 and since then over 4,000 civilians have been killed, the U.N. has said.

“What the Secretary has been pushing hard for is to get back … to a cessation of hostilities, a 72-hour cessation of hostilities which can at least then create some kind of climate where a political dialogue or a dialogue can begin again,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said Thursday.

Here’s whom Kerry wants a dialogue with. The Houthis are not “rebels”, they’re Islamic Jihadists, backed by Iran. Their slogan is, “Allah Akbar, Death to America, Death to Israel, A curse upon the Jews, Victory to Islam.”

But part of that is Kerry and Obama’s slogan too. Meanwhile Obama’s NSC put out a statement warning the Saudis about further attacks on the Houthis.

U.S. security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank check. Even as we assist Saudi Arabia regarding the defense of their territorial integrity, we have and will continue to express our serious concerns about the conflict in Yemen and how it has been waged. In light of this and other recent incidents, we have initiated an immediate review of our already significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led Coalition and are prepared to adjust our support so as to better align with U.S. principles, values and interests, including achieving an immediate and durable end to Yemen’s tragic conflict. We call upon the Saudi-led Coalition, the Yemeni government, the Houthis and the Saleh-aligned forces to commit publicly to an immediate cessation of hostilities and implement this cessation based on the April 10th terms.

Maybe Kerry and the Houthis can bond over their mutual hatred of America.

Bolton on WikiLeaks Revelations: Hillary Clinton Thinks the World Must ‘Get Ready for Open Borders’

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Breitbart, by John Hayward, October 13, 2016:

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton discussed the latest WikiLeaks revelations of favors done for “FOBs” (Friends of Bill Clinton) in Haiti on Thursday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM.

“Just to start with, Haiti, it is a series of violations of AIDs, typical procurement practices,” Bolton pointed out. “Not that I would hold them up as the best in the world, but there arerules about competitive bidding, and rules against the directed award of contracts.” (AID is the United States Agency for International Development, also commonly referred to as USAID.)

“I can speak as an alumnus of AID, having been general counsel, the chief lawyer in the agency in the Reagan Administration, and also later being in charge of policy and budget. Things have changed, obviously, since then, but the main lines of competitive bidding have never changed,” he said.

“I just this morning, in fact, in the wake of all these emails, heard from a friend who was a former senior official at AID, that he was told by a career AID person that they had been told specifically by Cheryl Mills that they should direct contracts to some company that she had never heard of. And I think that’s the sort of favors being indicated in all these emails,” Bolton added.

“It’s just extraordinary that this kind of corruption – and that’s what it is. That’s what competitive bidding is designed to protect against, to get the best value for our tax dollars obviously, but to prevent this kind of political favor,” he explained. “And when the mainstream media finally talk about it, they don’t know we’ve moved toward objective reporting in America. I don’t see much sign of it, I must say.”

 Breitbart’s Washington Political Editor and SiriusXM host Matthew Boyle observed that the mainstream media and political class are “really stopping at nothing to try to keep Donald Trump from winning.”

Bolton responded:

Well, I think within the mainstream media, the Wall Street Journal editorial page some weeks back pointed out very well, they called the media – and really it’s true both with respect to the Obama Administration and the Clinton campaign – they called the mainstream media their stenographers. Whatever they put out, they write.

They’ve just abandoned all pretense of objectivity, and so it really comes down to whether the American voter can withstand this barrage of misinformation, and still make a clear choice about who they want for President and Senate and House, in all the various elections we’re going to see in less than a month now.

Bolton thought it was a little too early to draw comparisons between the 2016 presidential race and the Brexit vote, but added:

I think what was uncovered there has been something that’s happened in various American elections over the years as well. When people know what the politically correct answer is to a pollster – whether they’re doing it over the phone, whether they’re doing it automatically on a touch-tone phone, or whether it’s a real person interviewing them – they understand that their answers are gonna be seen by other people, and so they will tend, for their own protection, to give the politically correct answer, whether it’s what they really believe or not.

“So in the case of Brexit, there were undoubtedly people who didn’t want to say that they were going to vote to leave, so they either said Remain or undecided,” he continued. “It turned out to be a substantial number of people, and they prevailed on the referendum day, June 23. Now, whether that’s the case here, we don’t know, but I don’t think there’s any doubt people know what the politically correct answer is.”

Bolton said another WikiLeaks document revealing Hillary Clinton’s support for “open borders” was “not that different really, in fact it’s the same phrase that John Kerry used just a few months ago, to say that the world had to get ready for open borders.”

“It’s going to be very interesting, for example, to see if the new U.N. Secretary-General, who has held essentially that same position, pushes for that when he takes office on January the 1st,” Bolton said.

“And it ties into another statement in one of Podesta’s emails that was leaked, that it’s increasingly necessary for candidates, at least on his side, to have one public position and one private position. So, you know, if you like organized hypocrisy, if you like flat-out deceit, then that’s the campaign that’s taking it to new heights. Seems to me if this is something that matters still to the American people, they ought to reflect that in how they vote on Election Day,” he concluded.

 

Kerry terror solution: Media should cover less

Secretary of State John Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry

WND, by Garth Kant, Aug, 30, 2016:

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Americans would be better off if the media did not cover terrorism “quite as much,” and that “would do us all a service.”

Speaking to the press Monday during an appearance in Bangladesh, Kerry detailed his reasons for promoting the notion that when it comes to terrorism, ignorance may be bliss.

“It’s easy to terrorize. Government and law enforcement have to be correct 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. But if you decide one day you’re going to be a terrorist and you’re willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover it quite as much. People wouldn’t know what’s going on.”

‘Defeating Jihad’ author Sebastian Gorka on Secretary Kerry suggesting the media should cover terrorism less often and the significance of ISIS’s top member being killed:

Reaction to Kerry’s comments was quick and scathing.

“Par for the course,” Sebastian Gorka told WND.

“Nothing must endanger the ‘Narrative.’ Especially the truth,” added the anti-terrorism expert, frequent Fox News guest analyst and professor at the Institute of World Politics.

Former federal prosecutor and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy also ridiculed Kerry’s observations, telling WND they are “A reminder that for years we’ve been governed by people who are willfully blind to the fundamentalist Islamic doctrine that instigates jihadist terror, the devotional motivation behind it.”

“Secretary Kerry has been a key policymaker for four years and a Washington fixture for decades; yet to this day, he thinks the decision to become a terrorist (I guess I should say a ‘violent extremist’) is similar to trying out for ‘American Idol’ — they do it because they want to be on TV, so if it weren’t for TV it wouldn’t happen. Perfect,” he added.

The senior adviser for national security to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took a somber tone, echoing McCarthy’s observation that the Obama administration is engaged in willful blindness, and now encouraging the media to follow its lead.

Victoria Coates told WND, “Secretary Kerry has once again inadvertently revealed the truth of the Obama administration’s counter-terrorism policy. It’s not enough that they have willfully put on the blinders that prevent them from seeing the enemy for what it is: radical Islamic terrorism. Now they want the press to put those same blinders on the American people so they won’t, in the secretary’s phrase, ‘know what’s going on.’”

She warned that Kerry’s words could have serious consequences, adding, “ISIS, al Qaida, and whatever the al-Nusra Front are calling themselves this week have all no doubt taken heed of Secretary Kerry’s words and will continue to exploit their weakness. We desperately need to implement a foreign policy that is based on common sense defense of America’s interests, and is designed to counter the very real danger that we face.”

Rep. Louie Gohemert, R-Texas, was sarcastically wry, telling WND, “In a rare moment of honesty, John Kerry messaged that the media would do Democrats all a great service if the media covered up how badly things are going under his, Clinton’s, and Obama’s disastrous governance.”

He added, “Violent crime is rising, though not quite as fast as radical Islamic power. Fortunately for the Democrats, most of the mainstream media follows Obama administration directives.”

Former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who served for four years on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, and devoted herself to the issue of keeping the country safe from terrorists, told WND, “Isn’t that the Clinton/Obama pattern?”

Bachmann detailed a list of ways in which she said the administration has tried to keep the public in the dark:

  • “Hillary destroyed public records verifying the seamless pay for access scheme perfected by the Clinton foundation.”
  • “It was deny, deny, deny by the White House until they were forced to confirm ransom payments to Iran.”
  • “The White House refused to explain $1.3 billion in 13 illegally structured payments to Iran. The 13 payments were such an obvious lie, Obama said the administration wouldn’t answer the press’ questions, due to ‘confidentiality.’”
  • “Both Hillary and Obama shamefully and brazenly devalued American lives under fire by terrorists, while fantastically reconfiguring a fictional storyline of an actual terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed an ambassador and three others.”
  • “The White House refused to disclose where Obama was or explain to the press why he checked out for the night while innocent Americans were under fire for 13 hours in Benghazi.”
  • “Obama and Hillary continue to brag that Obamacare is a rousing success while it is imploding and impoverishing normal Americans. Neither Hillary nor Obama have created either wealth or jobs. What they do for a living is take by force what others create, and destroy U.S. society in the process.”

In his remarks, Kerry indicated that because terrorists seek to “divide” people, they are best ignored.

Referring to an attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh in July, Kerry called it “an outrage clearly designed to divide Bangladesh, designed to try to cut off this welcoming society from the outside world.”

“Dozens of smaller-scale attacks have been carried out during the past several years, often directed at members of religious minorities, foreigners, bloggers, and security officials, and the reason for this is obviously they want to divide you. They want to push people apart. They want to create internal strife,” he said.

At the same time, he insisted the West is winning the war against terrorism, claiming, “We are defeating Daesh (ISIS), and we will defeat Daesh. We will defeat al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, and we are on the road to achieving that now.”

Kerry blamed the popularity of terrorist groups on the lack of opportunity and jobs.

“And if we have too many young people who can’t go to school, or too many young people who are frustrated, or they can’t find a job – if we leave those minds out there for extremists to recruit, then it will continue, and none of us would be doing our jobs if we allowed that to happen.”

While in Bangladesh, Kerry also reiterated what he thinks is the real threat to civilization: climate change.

He tweeted: “By 2050, 15 million Bangladeshis could be displaced by #climatechange. US & Bangladesh committed to resiliency and clean energy future.”

National Review‘s Jim Geraghty scorched the secretary of state for his suggestion the media should ignore terrorism, quipping, “Even by John Kerry standards, this is pretty bad.”

“You can’t write satire about this administration anymore; it’s become too inherently contradictory and absurd,” he added.

Geraghty then tweeted, “AP ignores John Kerry’s advice, reports on 72 mass graves with 5,200 to 15,000 ISIS victims.”

Former U.N. Ambassador Jon Bolton tweeted, “Wow. #Kerry wants media to cover terror less. If this admin did a better job to stop #ISIS, media wouldn’t have so much to report!”

Fox News’ Todd Starnes: “Well, we already have a de-facto state-run media,” and, “Because sticking our heads in the sand always makes us safer.”

Security analyst and former Reagan administration Pentagon official KT McFarland: “Stop complaining about the media doing its job.”

Twitchy: “In other words, if only ‘the media’ would help blame terrorism on air conditioning and a lack of job opportunities, the Left’s agenda would be forwarded a little easier than it already is.”

Daniel Greenfield of FrontPage Magazine: “This is the sort of thing that gets said by the leaders of a failing regime who realize that their campaign to suppress reality is failing. So they insist that the media no longer just spin, but not report what is happening.”

American Thinker’s Rick Moran: “Kerry wants everyone else to stick his head in the sand about terrorism, too. We would do well to ignore him.”

Political analyst Karl Rove, “Thought an informed citizenry was critical to our republic’s existence. Apparently not Kerry’s view.”

Kerry in Nigeria: ‘Trouble Finding Meaning’ of Life Leads ‘Too Many’ to Terrorism

Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, Sokoto Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwai at the Sultan’s Palace in Sokoto, Nigeria, on August 23, 2016. (State Department photo)

Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, Sokoto Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwai at the Sultan’s Palace in Sokoto, Nigeria, on August 23, 2016. (State Department photo)

PJ MEDIA, BY BRIDGET JOHNSON, AUGUST 23, 2016:

On a visit to Nigeria today, Secretary of State John Kerry declared there are “far too many” who join terrorist groups like Boko Haram “because they have trouble finding meaning or opportunity in their daily lives.”

“Because they are deeply frustrated and alienated — and because they hope groups like Boko Haram will somehow give them a sense of identity, or purpose, or power,” Kerry said after meeting with local religious leaders to discuss community building and countering violent extremism in Sokoto, Nigeria.

“We see this in every part of the world — whether we are talking about the Lake Chad Basin or the Sahel, or a village in the Middle East or a city in Western Europe, it’s the same. When people — and particularly young people — have no hope for the future and no faith in legitimate authority — when there are no outlets for people to express their concerns — then aggravation festers and those people become vulnerable to outside influence,” he added. “And no one knows that better than the violent extremist groups, which regularly use humiliation and marginalization and inequality and poverty and corruption as recruitment tools.”

Kerry stressed that “one of our central tasks — and almost every single religious leader I just heard in the other room talked about this task — has to be to remove the vulnerabilities in our own position.”

“To effectively counter violent extremism, we have to ensure that military action is coupled with a reinforced commitment to the values this region and all of Nigeria has a long legacy of supporting — values like integrity, good governance, education, compassion, security, and respect for human rights,” he said.

The Obama administration has been critical of Nigeria’s military campaign against Boko Haram, charging that human rights are being violated as they target suspected terrorists.

“It is understandable that in the wake of terrorist activity, some people are tempted to crack down on everyone and anyone who could theoretically pose some sort of a threat. I caution against that today,” Kerry said. “Extremism cannot be defeated through repression or just creating fear. Fear instilled through repression invites not confidence; it invites contempt. It creates terrorists — trust creates citizens.”

Nigeria is about half Muslim and 40 percent Christian, with indigenous religions making up the balance. Kerry told the Nigerians that “those who would tear our communities apart — pitting one religion or one sect against another — they can only be defeated by citizens’ unyielding commitment to unity and mutual understanding.”

“Equality and tolerance; justice and mercy; compassion and humility — these are values that transcend religions, ethnicities, and all kinds of moral codes,” he said. “They are certainly in keeping with the teachings of Islam that have enriched the world for centuries.”

Kerry’s trip also included a meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and a sit-down with northern governors.

The Nigerian Army claimed Monday that “believed to have fatally” Boko Harm leader Abubakr Shekau. The army claimed the same back in 2014, only to have Shekau emerge alive and well.

“In what one could describe as the most unprecedented and spectacular air raid, we have just confirmed that as a result of the interdiction efforts of the Nigerian Air Force, some key leaders of the Boko Haram terrorists have been killed while others were fatally wounded,” spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka said in a statement, claiming the terrorists were killed during Friday prayers.

Deaths and injuries from Boko Haram attacks jumped 190 percent in 2015. Over the same period, the Nigeria-based terror group’s use of suicide bombers rose 167 percent. They pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014.

U.S. Sent Cash to Iran as Americans Were Freed

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaking with Iranian officials including his counterpart, Javad Zarif, after the agreement was reached in Vienna in July 2015. PHOTO: U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaking with Iranian officials including his counterpart, Javad Zarif, after the agreement was reached in Vienna in July 2015. PHOTO: U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT

Obama administration insists there was no quid pro quo, but critics charge payment amounted to ransom

WSJ, By JAY SOLOMON and CAROL E. LEE, updated Aug. 3, 2016:

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.

Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.

The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The settlement, which resolved claims before an international tribunal in The Hague, also coincided with the formal implementation that same weekend of the landmark nuclear agreement reached between Tehran, the U.S. and other global powers the summer before.

“With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” President Barack Obama said at the White House on Jan. 17—without disclosing the $400 million cash payment.

Senior U.S. officials denied any link between the payment and the prisoner exchange. They say the way the various strands came together simultaneously was coincidental, not the result of any quid pro quo.

“As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim…were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. “Not only were the two negotiations separate, they were conducted by different teams on each side, including, in the case of The Hague claims, by technical experts involved in these negotiations for many years.”

But U.S. officials also acknowledge that Iranian negotiators on the prisoner exchange said they wanted the cash to show they had gained something tangible.

Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas and a fierce foe of the Iran nuclear deal, accused President Barack Obama of paying “a $1.7 billion ransom to the ayatollahs for U.S. hostages.”

“This break with longstanding U.S. policy put a price on the head of Americans, and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures” of Americans, he said.

Since the cash shipment, the intelligence arm of the Revolutionary Guard has arrested two more Iranian-Americans. Tehran has also detained dual-nationals from France, Canada and the U.K. in recent months.

At the time of the prisoner release, Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House portrayed it as a diplomatic breakthrough. Mr. Kerry cited the importance of “the relationships forged and the diplomatic channels unlocked over the course of the nuclear talks.”

Read more

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State Department Spokesman Grilled Over Cash Payment to Iran

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Also see:

Obama Admin ALREADY Discriminates Against Syrian Refugees on Basis of Religion, They’re Just Christians

Hundreds of Assyrian families, some of them recently arrived from Islamic State controlled areas of Syria, attend Easter Sunday service at St. Georges Assyrian Church of The East in Sed El Baouchrieh, a working class suburb of Beirut.

Hundreds of Assyrian families, some of them recently arrived from Islamic State controlled areas of Syria, attend Easter Sunday service at St. Georges Assyrian Church of The East in Sed El Baouchrieh, a working class suburb of Beirut.

PJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE. AUGUST 1, 2016

Non-Muslim Syrian refugees have been virtually locked out by the Obama administration, according to current data from the State Department.

According to the Refugee Processing Center, of the 6,877 Syrian refugees that have arrived in 2016 through July 31st, 6,834 of those are identified as Sunni, Shia, or generic Muslim, meaning only 43 (0.7 percent) of refugees admitted have been non-Muslim.

That 0.7 percent of arrived refugees this year represents a statistically insignificant fraction of more than 2. 6 million Catholic, Syriac, Assyrian, and Greek Orthodox Christians, as well as Yazidis, other religions and atheists living in Syria, all of whom are being targeted by Islamic extremists.

This is odd since House Speaker Paul Ryan just yesterday announced that he was opposed to any religious test for entering the United States:

And yet the State Department’s own numbers show there is active discrimination going on targeting non-Muslim Syrian refugees.

According to The Gulf/2000 Project at Columbia University, the religious breakdown of the Syrian population 2008-2009 shows that Sunnis account for 15.98 million, or 73 percent of the population, while Shiites are 3.29 million, or 14.7 percent of the population. Those estimates show that Christians account for 2.04 million, or 9.3 percent of the population, while other religions account for 590,000, or 2.7 percent of the population.

This past March, Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that these minority religious communities in Syria were being targeted for genocide, as he announced at a press conference at the State Department:

My purpose here today is to assert in my judgment, (ISIS) is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control including Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims.

So where has been Speaker Ryan’s outrage over this active religious discrimination of non-Muslim minority Syrian refugees?

And why is Secretary of State Kerry overseeing a system of systematic religious discrimination of Syrian refugees by his own State Department against the very religious minority communities being targeted for genocide?

I’ve seen this discrimination by the State Department against Middle East Christians first-hand.

Two years ago I was introduced to an Egyptian Coptic Christian man who had fled Egypt and come to the U.S. after he was threatened by the Muslim Brotherhood after the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. The introduction was made by my friend, Father Anthony Hanna of the St. Mary and St. Mina Coptic Church in Concord, California, who has escorted me into Upper Egypt to survey the destruction by the Muslim Brotherhood of the churches and monasteries in August 2013.

The problem was that this man’s wife and children had been attacked in their village near Minya, where attacks against Christians continue until this day, and were in hiding with family members elsewhere in Egypt. They had hoped to visit their husband and father in the U.S.

With the assistance of several members of Congress who had given the family members letters of support, the family applied to visas with the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

And yet, the State Department denied their visa requests – a common complaint I’ve heard from Christians in Egypt and regularly from Coptic Church authorities.

So when Democrats and Republicans alike virtue-signal that they would NEVER countenance religious discrimination for refugees, it would be helpful for constituents and the media to remind them that the numbers clearly show there is ALREADY systematic religious discrimination against Christians and other religious minorities among Syrian refugees arriving in the U.S.

And despite the virtue-signaling, they have remained silent.

Al Qaeda in Iran

(Credit: Newscom)

(Credit: Newscom)

Weekly Standard, by Stephan F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, THE MAGAZINE: From the August 1 Issue:

Last week, President Barack Obama’s administration dismissed reports of Iranian support for al Qaeda as the product of fevered minds. Claims of collaboration between the Islamic regime and the terrorist organization are little more than “baseless conspiracy theories,” an Obama administration official told The Weekly Standard. “Anyone who thinks Iran was or is in bed with al Qaeda doesn’t know much about either.”

That group of ignoramuses apparently includes the Obama administration’s top official on terror financing. Adam J. Szubin, the Treasury Department’s acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, this week designated three senior al Qaeda officials operating in Iran. A statement explaining the designations says Treasury “took action to disrupt the operations, fundraising, and support networks that help al-Qaida move money and operatives from South Asia and across the Middle East by imposing sanctions on three al-Qaida senior members located in Iran.”

One of the three operatives is part of a “new generation” of al Qaeda leaders, replenishing the ranks of those who have been killed by the United States and its allies. Treasury identifies that man, Faisal Jassim Mohammed al-Amri al-Khalidi, as the chief of al Qaeda’s Military Commission and a key operative in al Qaeda’s global network, responsible for weapons acquisition and a liaison between al Qaeda leaders and associated groups.

This is not the first time the Obama administration has targeted the Iran-al Qaeda relationship. The Treasury and State Departments publicly accused the Iranian regime of allowing al Qaeda to operate inside Iran at least 10 times between July 2011 and August 2014. Testifying before Congress in February 2012, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the relationship as a “marriage of convenience.”

There is considerably more evidence of Iran’s support for al Qaeda in the collection of documents captured during the raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound on Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011. Senior U.S. intelligence officials have told The Weekly Standard that the document collection includes letters describing the nature of the relationship between Iran and al Qaeda and specific ways in which Iran has aided al Qaeda’s network and operations. The Obama administration has refused to release the documents to the public and fought to keep them hidden during the negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal.

The Weekly Standard contacted the Obama administration official who last week dismissed Iran-al Qaeda cooperation to see if the new designations changed his view that claims of Iranian support for al Qaeda are “baseless conspiracy theories.” He replied: “Al Qaeda has long used Iran as a transit and facilitation point between South Asia and the Middle East, sometimes with the knowledge of some Iranian authorities. At the same time, the Iranian government has imprisoned some al Qaeda operatives, and we believe today’s action provides another opportunity for Iran to take action against al Qaeda.”

Think about that for a moment. The Obama administration accuses Iran of harboring senior al Qaeda operatives and sanctions those operatives in an effort to prevent them from hurting America and its interests. But rather than scold Iran for continuing to provide safe haven to terrorists devoted to killing Americans, the administration spins the move as an “opportunity” for Iran.

An opportunity? Why would the Iranian regime need the U.S. government to provide an “opportunity” to take action against the very terrorists it has been supporting for more than a decade? This is illogical, insulting, and dangerous. But it is consistent with the kind of irresponsible whitewashing of the radical regime that has become a trademark of the Obama administration’s approach to Iran.

The Obama administration provided Iran with billions of dollars through the nuclear deal despite having evidence in its possession that the country was providing safe haven to senior al Qaeda terrorists and despite acknowledging, publicly, that some of those funds would be used for terror. The administration kept secret crucial details of the agreement from Congress, concessions that the Iranians are now citing, convincingly, as evidence that they fleeced the United States and its partners. The administration withheld from the public and from Congress documents from the bin Laden raid that make clear the extent of the support Iran has provided al Qaeda over the years.

And now the Obama administration pretends that another public accusation of Iran’s complicity in al Qaeda’s terror is just an “opportunity” for the terror-sponsoring regime to stop doing what it is committed to doing?

Iran’s support for al Qaeda is not a “baseless conspiracy theory.” It’s a dangerous reality.

Stop ISIS by Sending in Comedians??

sitc

The Gorka Briefing, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, April, 13, 2016:

Bono was in Washington telling lawmakers to fight ISIS by sending in the clowns – comedians such as Amy Schumer, Borat and Chris Rock. I hope they’re going to have Delta Force and JSOP protecting them, or their comedy skit won’t last long. I was on Sirius XM Patriot Radio talking with Stephen Bannon about this and other issues.

MORE:

U2 singer Bono tells Congress comedy can help in fight against extremists (Los Angeles Times)

British rock star Bono showed up Tuesday on Capitol Hill to plead for more money for refugees — and to offer a novel suggestion on how to fight violent extremists.

Bono said comedy should be used to help defang extremists sowing chaos in the Middle East and driving millions of families from their homes.

“When you laugh at them when they are goose-stepping down the street, you take away their power,” he told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.

To counter the propaganda of extremists and totalitarian regimes, Bono suggested the Senate “send in” Amy Schumer, Chris Rock and the actor behind the character Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen. . . . (read more)

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: ‘Lone Wolf,’ ‘Violent Extremism’ Are Vague Terms Designed to ‘Make the Average Voter Stupid’ About Threat of Jihad (Breitbart National Security)

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, National Security editor for Breitbart News and author of the new book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, joined host Stephen K. Bannon on Wednesday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily to talk about the security challenges posed by the great Middle Eastern migration to the West.

Gorka did not think much of rock singer Bono’s suggestion to defeat ISIS by sending comedians Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, and Sacha Baron Cohen to “laugh at them while they are goose-stepping down the street” to “take away their power.”

“Well, I hope they’re gonna have Delta Force and JSOP protecting them, because they’re gonna get beheaded,” Gorka said of this bizarre proposal. “They put their foot on ISIS caliphate territory, and they’re dead, because they’re infidels.”

“I don’t think Bono understands: we are infidels, including him in his bulletproof little bubble,” Gorka continued. “He’s actually a worse kind of infidel, because he’s ‘infecting’ the Muslim world with his culture. He really doesn’t get it.”

He pointed out that the “bulletproof bubble” idea is important to understanding where the elites are coming from, because they’re literally out of touch with the effects of mass migration, while the common citizens of Western nations enjoy no such protection. “These people are the hard targets. They’ve got their armed security personnel, they’ve got their SUVs, they’ve got their private jets. Of course he’s gonna say, ‘Let’s have a concert, let’s have a comedian, and that’s gonna solve it all.’”

“If the people you’re talking to see you as people to be enslaved or killed, then you just don’t understand it. You’re in an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ fantasy world. The President and Bono included,” Gorka said.

He warned this willful blindness among Western political and cultural elites is causing us to lose the war against jihad, saying he couldn’t even see giving post-9/11 America an “F” grade on its response. “We get an incomplete,” he said. “We are not even on the battlefield. When you look at the ideology, you look at how they’re recruiting.”

He noted that 2015 saw “the highest incidence of jihadi plots on U.S. soil since September the 11th.”

“The day before San Bernardino, both the Commander-in-Chief and Secretary Kerry said, ‘We are winning, ISIS is contained,’” Gorka recalled. “Well, you know what? I guess the jihadis didn’t get the memo, because they are winning. They’re taking territory, they’re recruiting upwards of 80,000 jihadis, and look at Brussels, look at Paris.”

Gorka said President Obama’s occasional photo ops at locations like CIA headquarters could not conceal the fact that “he’s not into national security.”

“He just is not interested. You look at the body language, the verbiage he uses – it doesn’t excite him. He wants to be a celebrity on the golf course, or at the fundraisers for the DNC. That’s what excites this man,” Gorka continued.

He said the Administration’s preference for vague euphemisms for Islamist terrorism was part of a concerted effort to “keep you stupid.”

“Lone wolf, violent extremism – that’s designed to make the average voter stupid, so you don’t understand the threat, so that you disconnect the dots,” he charged. “These are people who will not talk truth to this enemy, because they do not believe in the existence of evil.”

“If you don’t believe in the existence of objective truth, you cannot believe in evil, and they will never call our enemies evil,” Gorka explained. “We don’t even use the word ‘enemy’ today. Think about that. We don’t use the word ‘enemy’ as a government.”

Having worked extensively with law enforcement and counter-terrorist officials, Gorka testified that “all of those guys get it,” describing them as angered by “institutional political correctness.”

“We need to change the leadership, but it’s the political appointees, it’s the brainwashed young Schedule C guys and girls in D.C.,” who present the major obstacle to winning the war against jihad, in Gorka’s estimation.

“We have operators that get it, and they’re angry, and they’re frustrated. We have to help them and enable them, because we will win this war,” he declared, recalling Ronald Reagan’s often-quoted strategy for handling Russia in the Cold War: We win, they lose.

Gorka said victory would require a commitment from every American, including civilians. “Your role starts with educating yourself, educating your loved ones, and educating your neighbors at the barbecue this weekend. You need to understand the enemy,” he urged, offering his book, and his Gorka Briefing website, as educational resources.

At TheGorkaBriefing.com, he said visitors will find free downloadable copies of “the enemy’s books, the books on jihad, from Qutb, Malik, Azzam, Ayman al-Zawahiri.” Gorka urged the audience to “listen to them, read them, understand the threat, and educate yourself so we can win this war.”

Looking back at the intense, coordinated political and strategic effort needed to contain communism, Gorka said he realized the “sad truth,” during his early days as a Defense Department employee, that “we cannot win this war with the current system we have.”

He warned that presently only “outsiders” to government power, like himself, are talking about the true nature of the jihadi threat, a situation he compared to Winston Churchill’s status as a lonely, easily-dismissed voice warning of the growing Axis menace before World War II.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00AM to 9:00AM EST.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka Recalls Homeland Security Official Citing 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing As Evidence of the ‘Real’ Terrorist Threat (Breitbart National Security)

During his Wednesday appearance on Breitbart News Daily with host Stephen K. Bannon, Dr. Sebastian Gorka recalled an incident that perfectly captures our government’s institutional blindness to the threat of jihad.

“I go out to a capital of one of our great states. I get given, by the local P.D., eight hours to explain the mind of jihadis, to state and local law enforcement,” he began. “And I do the data dump – the stuff I do at Bragg, the stuff I do for the Marines. Eight hours of ‘what does the enemy believe, and what’s it going to take to defeat him?’”
“After eight hours of delivering it, a young, pretty girl comes up to me. She’s clearly not a LEO, she’s not a law enforcement officer,” he continued. And she says, ‘Dr. Gorka, you’re clearly very clever, but I really disagree with most of your analysis. Because I am from the Department of Homeland Security’ – and she gives me her card, and she says, ‘You do know that the primary threat to these officers, and to America, is from right-wing extremists and militias.’”

Astounded that she could have retained this view after listening to eight hours of contrary information, Gorka asked, “Really? Could you give me one example of a threat, of a plot as significant as San Bernardino, or the Boston bombing?”

Her reply, after a bit of fidgeting and stammering, was to offer Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing – which, as Gorka noted, occurred twenty-one years ago.

“I’m an American now, and I believe in this nation, and although I’ve got Hungarian blood, I have to be optimistic,” Gorka told Bannon. “The guys I work with are not this woman. If you’re going to the Eighteen Alphas, to the Green Berets, to the special agents in the FBI, to the Marines who deploy to Iraq – if you look at our local, state law enforcement – all of those guys get it. They get it, and they’re angry at the institutional political correctness you discussed.”

***

Dr. Gorka was on Hannity last night with Bo Dietl – a must watch!

Many more interviews at thegorkabriefing.com 

Would Iraqis want help from a country they don’t trust?

iraq

Constitution, by Joe Scudder, April 11, 2016:

Don’t the Iraqis want help in combating ISIS? Many probably do. But watch this news report and notice the anomalies.

Does this seem strange to you? ISIS has invaded Iraq, carved out a portion of its territory, and committed mass atrocities. Yet  has to make a sudden trip to make sure that are going to keep fighting. Why should a politician from thousands of miles away have to go make sure that the Iraqis are willing to fight such an immediate threat? Do they not understand what ISIS is?

No, according to a State Department report, they understand ISIS. ABC News reports,

The Iraqi public, the report says, is “keenly aware of [ISIS’s] true nature” and the polling showed that “nearly all Iraqis have unfavorable views of [ISIS] and oppose its goals and tactics, with no significant variation across religious sects and ethnic groups.”

So they hate ISIS as they should. The problem is that they don’t trust the United States.

Despite the United States spending billions of dollars and spilling American blood in the fight against ISIS, as many as one third of Iraqis believed as recently as last fall that the U.S. “supports terrorism in general or ISIL [ISIS] specifically,” according to a recent U.S. State Department report. Forty percent of the country said the U.S. is purposefully “working to destabilize Iraq and control its natural resources.”

The figures come from State Department polling cited in a State Inspector General report that was published online last week. The report, which used data from October to November 2015, focused on how well the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was implementing the sixth of nine directives from the Obama White House’s strategy to counter ISIS, namely, “Exposing [ISIS’s] True Nature.” While the report found that the embassy was working diligently to counter ISIS’s messaging, mostly with America’s own information about coalition military victories, the White House directive didn’t exactly apply as written.

I’ll leave the accusation about the U.S. wanting to control Iraq’s resources alone. I don’t know that it is true even though I think the Iraqis cannot be blamed for believing it, even if it is false.  What about the U.S. supporting terrorism?

That is exactly what we did in Libya under the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The Iraqis aren’t being fools. They are simply reading the news.

Consider this recent post from the Ron Paul Institute: “US Delivers 3,000 Tons of Weapons And Ammo To Al-Qaeda & Co in Syria.”

It reads in part,

US and Turkey supported “rebels” took part in the recent attack on Tal al-Eis against Syrian government forces which was launched with three suicide bombs by al-Qaeda in Syria. This was an indisputable breaking of the ceasefire agreement between Russia and the US It is very likely that some of the weapons and ammunition the US delivered in December were used in this attack.

Millions of rifle, machine-gun and mortar shots, thousands of new light and heavy weapons and hundreds of new anti-tank missiles were delivered by the US. Neither Turkey nor Jordan use such weapons of Soviet providence. These weapons are going to Syria where, as has been reported for years by several independent sources, half of them go directly to al-Qaeda.

No wonder the Iraqis don’t want help from us. They think we’re a major source of their problem.

Do we really want the government increasing our taxes and debt to interfere in that part of the world? What has it purchased for us so far?

Joe Scudder is the “nom de plume” (or “nom de guerre”) of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

ISIS Genocide against ‘People of the Book’ — How Long Will Kerry Continue to Talk around It?

John Kerry

National Review, by Nina Shea, March 16, 2016:

For five months, the State Department has indicated that Iraq’s Yazidi community should be declared a target of ISIS genocide but meanwhile has been less sure about ISIS’s intentions toward Middle East Christians. Tomorrow is Secretary John Kerry’s congressional deadline for officially determining whether Christians, along with the Yazidis and possibly others, face genocide by ISIS. Insisting that department lawyers need a little more time to struggle with the evidence, Kerry promises his decision soon, if not this week.

This shouldn’t be a hard case. Few groups have publicized their brutality toward Christians in real time and in technicolor as ISIS has. Christians, among others, have been declared genocide victims by Pope Francis, the EU Parliament, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and the U.S. House of Representatives, in a bipartisan, unanimous vote on March 14, in the heat of election season.

All along, the State Department has demonstrated that it is not just being abundantly cautious and slow in ruling that the atrocities against Christians is genocide but that it is simply unwilling to use that designation specifically for Christians. Rather than carefully reviewing the evidence, as it claims, it has ignored it.

For months, State officials claimed they lacked facts about the Christians and then did nothing about it. Rather than follow the precedent of Secretary Colin Powell, who collected evidence for determining genocide in Darfur, Kerry refrained from dispatching fact finders in the case of the Middle Eastern Christians. When some 30 Christian leaders wrote on December 4 to request an opportunity to brief Kerry, he failed to answer. With only a month remaining until its March deadline, State Department officials asked the Knights of Columbus, which had been running TV spots on the Christian genocide, to prepare a written report of the facts. Before it was even completed, those same officials, meeting with Iraqi Chaldean Catholic leaders, told them that a genocide determination for Iraqi Christians was not in the offing. State suggested that terms such as “persecution,” “ethnic cleansing,” or “crimes against humanity” — terms that carry less moral and legal weight — be used instead.

The Knights on March 9 presented their weighty, 300-page report, based in part on a fact-finding mission that used the Darfur fact-finders’ questionnaire. The Knights list over a thousand instances of ISIS’s deliberately massacring, killing, torturing, enslaving, kidnapping, or raping Christians. This catalogue of horrors, however, may still not be enough.

Genocide is a crime of intent, and State Department officials, overlooking such ISIS declarations as “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women,” have had trouble determining whether ISIS aims to destroy all or part of the Christian communities in its territory and is thereby committing genocide as defined in the United Nations’ Genocide Convention. State’s troubles may be explained in part by its reliance on a 30-page trip report of the Holocaust Museum’s office of genocide prevention. That report finds that ISIS, far from intending to destroy Iraqi and Syrian Christian communities, respects them as “People of the Book,” and seeks to peacefully coexist them.

The report takes at face value ISIS’s claims of a jizya option, as does the State Department in its annual religious-freedom report for 2015. The museum report uncritically asserts that “IS specifically notes that its treatment of the Yezidis differs from its treatment of ahl al kitab, the ‘people of the book,’ Christians and Jews, who had the option of paying the jizya (tax) to avoid conversion or death.”

The museum report repeats such ISIS claims and lets them stand unchallenged. Purporting to quote ISIS fighters on why they reject a Mosul Christian’s attempt to stay and pay the jizya — “we wanted to meet with your priests and they said no” — the report neglects to give the Church’s side of the story. It gives the impression that ISIS gave Iraq’s Christians a reasonable deal but that Christian leaders refused it and therefore have themselves to blame.

That conclusion is reinforced in another passage in the museum report: “It is unknown whether Christians who were given the option to pay a jizya or leave, instead of convert or face death, would still be given this option should they return now.” This speculation, of course, is preposterous. ISIS doesn’t respect Christians. It beheads or enslaves them. The museum report is compromised by its failure ever to present the viewpoint of Christian leaders.

Also see:

Kerry Having ‘Additional Evaluation’ Done to Decide if Slaughter of Mideast Christians is Genocide

156021_0002By Terence P. Jeffrey | February 24, 2016:

(CNSNews.com) – Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Assistance today that he is having an “additional evaluation” done to help him determine whether the systematic murder of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East—at the hands of the Islamic State and others—should be declared “genocide.”

“I will make a decision on it as soon as I have that additional evaluation and we will proceed forward from there,” Kerry said.

Kerry was responding to a question put to him by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R.-Neb.), who is the sponsor of a resolution that would declare on behalf of Congress that it is in fact genocide.

The resolution expresses “the sense of Congress that those who commit or support atrocities against Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities, including Yezidis, Turkmen, Sabea-Mandeans, Kaka‘e, and Kurds, and who target them specifically for ethnic or religious reasons, are committing, and are hereby declared to be committing, ‘war crimes,’ ‘crimes against humanity,’ and ‘genocide.’”

As a preface to his question, Fortenberry told Kerry about a young Syrian man who had been murdered by jihadists after refusing to renounce his Christian faith.

“I had the extraordinary privilege of being in the room with Pope Francis when he, in a very powerful moment, was given a small cross, a Christian crucifix,” said Fortenberry. “That crucifix had belonged to a young Syrian man who had been captured by the jihadists, and he was told to choose: Convert or die. And he chose his ancient faith tradition. He chose Christ, and he was beheaded.”

“His mother was able to recover the body, recover this cross, and bury him,” said Fortenberry. “She fled to Austria, which set the stage for this moment which I witnessed.”

“Mr. Secretary, this is repeating itself over and over and over again against Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in the region,” said Fortenberry.

“What I’m urging here today,” said Fortenberry, “is that you use the authority and power of your office to call this genocide, to help restore the rich tapestry of the ancient faith traditions in the Middle East, to stop this assault on human dignity and civilization itself.”

Kerry said he is now considering declaring the targeting of Middle East Christians and other religious minorities in the region a genocide.

But, Kerry said, he has asked for “further evalution” to be done before he makes a final decision.

“I share just a huge sense of revulsion over these acts, obviously,” Kerry said. “None of us have ever seen anything like it in our lifetimes. Although, obviously, if you go back to the Holocaust, the world has seen it.

“We are currently doing what I have to do, which is review very carefully the legal standards and precedents for whatever judgment is made,” he said.

“I can tell you we are doing that,” he said. “I have had some initial recommendations made to me. I have asked for some further evaluation. And I will make a decision on this. And I will make a decision on it as soon as I have that additional evaluation and we will proceed forward from there.”

Here is the transcript of the exchange between Fortenberry and Kerry:

Fortenberry: Mr. Secretary, I had the extraordinary privilege of being in the room with Pope Francis when he, in a very powerful moment, was given a small cross, a Christian crucifix. That crucifix had belonged to a young Syrian man who had been captured by the jihadists, and he was told to choose: Convert or die. And he chose his ancient faith tradition. He chose Christ, and he was beheaded.

His mother was able to recover the body, recover this cross, and bury him. And she fled to Austria, which set the stage for this moment which I witnessed.

Mr. Secretary, this is repeating itself over and over and over again against Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in the region. In 2004, Colin Powell, when he was secretary of state, came before Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and I believe you served on that committee at that point, and declared what was happening in Darfur to be a genocide.

There are 200 members of Congress in a bi-partisan fashion, we’ve put our names on a resolution that is forthcoming that declares this genocide. There is a growing international consensus in this regard. The European Parliament has passed something similar. The U.S. Catholic Bishops, Pope Francis has spoken out, Hillary Clinton has called it such, Marco Rubio, the international association of genocide scholars.

I want a note as well a word of thanks to you and President Obama for the quick action on Mount Sinjar that actually saved the lives of women and children, countless persons who would have been wiped out and victimized.

So, what I’m urging here today is that you use the authority and power of your office to call this genocide, to help restore the rich tapestry of the ancient faith traditions in the Middle East, to stop this assault on human dignity and civilization itself. And to set potentially the conditions that we are all hoping and praying for that re-establishes stability and reintegration of these ancient faith traditions into the fabric of the communities in the Middle East entirely.

I think the stability, the future stability, of the entire region depends upon this.

Kerry: Well again Congressman thank you for a very moving and eloquent description of the problem. And I appreciate, you were lucky to be in that room to witness that, and I certainly appreciate your reactions to it. And I share just a huge sense of revulsion over these acts, obviously. None of us have ever seen anything like it in our lifetimes. Although, obviously, if you go back to the Holocaust, the world has seen it.

We are currently doing what I have to do, which is review very carefully the legal standards and precedents for whatever judgment is made. I can tell you we are doing that. I have had some initial recommendations made to me. I have asked for some further evaluation. And I will make a decision on this. And I will make a decision on it as soon as I have that additional evaluation and we will proceed forward from there.

I understand how compelling it is. Christians have been moved in many parts now of the Middle East, I might add. This is not just in Syria, but in other places there has been an increased forced evacuation and displacement, which is equally disturbing, though it’s not—you know, they aren’t killing them in that case, but it’s a removal, and a cleansing ethnically and religiously, which is deeply disturbing. So we are very much focused on this. And, as I say, I will make a judgement soon.

Fortenberry: They have taken the conditions for life as well as life away from Christians, Yazidis, and religious minorities. And I bring up the declaration by former Secretary of State Colin Powell to demonstrate the power that the declaration actually has, because in doing so he helped put a stop to that grim reality there in Darfur.

I know you share deep sympathies in this regard. I just urge you, and plead with you, partner with us. There is a growing consensus that this is not only true and real but I think, again, it sets the condition for whatever the future settlement we have to have.

***

Watch this powerful video put out by Center for Security Policy. And be sure to check out their new website counterJihad.com

The End of Christianity in the Middle East?

Obama’s Syria Non-Strategy is Imploding

1896925188 (2)

CSP, by Fred Fleitz, Feb. 16, 2016:

Secretary of State John Kerry got the headline he was looking for last week when the press reported that the United States and Russia agreed on a cease-fire in Syria that would allow the delivery of food and humanitarian aid.

Kerry actually said a “cessation of hostilities” had been agreed to, not a cease-fire.  Kerry also referred to this development as a “pause” in hostilities that would begin in one week “after consultations with Syrian parties.”

Kerry’s careful wording reflected the reality that the Syrian government and Syrian rebels have yet to accept this agreement.  Kerry also omitted another glaring problem with this so-called cessation of hostilities: it will not apply to Russian air strikes.

The reason for this is that the agreement excludes attacks on ISIS and the al Qaeda-backed al-Nusra Front because they are terrorist groups.  Russia is using this exception to justify continuing its bombing of other Syrian rebel groups by falsely claiming they are terrorists.

President Obama objected to Russia’s position by issuing a statement on Sunday calling on Moscow to cease “its air campaign against moderate opposition forces in Syria.”

The cease-fire agreement was the latest in a series of diplomatic initiatives by the Obama administration to make it appear that it is doing something about the Syria crisis.  The agreement was in response to the stalled peace process begun by Kerry last fall that produced a vague outline for peace talks.  This outline called for a peace process that would lead to “credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution and elections” to be administered under UN supervision.”  It also was agreed that formal peace talks under UN auspices would begin on January 1st.

The peace talks outline left several major issues unresolved.  There was no agreement on a cease-fire or the political future of Syrian President Assad.  There also were disagreements over which groups would be designated terrorists and disallowed from attending the talks.

Instead of moving toward a peaceful resolution after the November peace outline, Russia and Syria intensified hostilities.  Aided by Russian bombers and Iranian fighters, the Syrian army last month began an assault on the rebel stronghold of Aleppo, causing an exodus of 50,000 refugees.  The residents of several rebel towns are facing starvation because of a new Syrian army strategy called “surround and starve.”

The peace talks were delayed until February 1 because of stepped up attacks by the Russian and Syrian militaries and differences on who should participate in the talks.  There were indirect talks from February 1-3 that ended when the main Syrian opposition party withdrew due to the Syrian army’s siege of Aleppo.  The talks were then suspended until February 25.

In response to the worsening Syrian humanitarian crisis due to starvation in besieged rebel-held cities and towns, Secretary Kerry said last week he wanted an immediate cease-fire to allow the delivery of food and humanitarian aid.  Russia countered by proposing a cease-fire to begin on March 1, a proposal that was criticized by many observers who claimed such a delay probably was intended by Moscow to give Russian and Syrian forces time to take more rebel-held territory before ceasing hostilities.

Desperate to get his cease-fire, Kerry decided to accept an cease-fire compromise plan that (1) delayed a possible cease-fire for another week; (2) has not been agreed to by Syrian parties and (3) excludes Russian airstrikes.

According to the UK Daily Mail, “critics quickly dismissed the deal as ‘not worth the paper it’s printed on.’”  For many reasons, this agreement is very unlikely to succeed.  Syrian rebel forces will not back it for long – if at all – because it locks in the gains made by the Syrian army on the ground over the last few months.  I also doubt the Syrian rebels will go along with a cease-fire plan under which the Russians continue bombing them.

The Assad regime has never fully cooperated with any cease-fire agreement and probably will not abide by this deal if it materializes.  Syrian President Assad appeared to indicate his regime will not honor the cease-fire when he said on February 15 that no one is capable of organizing this agreement and ensuring that terrorists – the word Assad uses to refer to all armed groups that oppose him – adhere to it.

Meanwhile, America’s allies are openly criticizing the Obama administration’s Syria policy.  The outgoing foreign minister of France this week called the U.S. policy “ambiguous.”  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said American inaction is responsible for a “sea of blood” in Syria.

Obama’s Syria policy also has begun to be criticized by liberal foreign policy experts and groups, including Emile Hokayem, a senior fellow with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, who described it in a February 5, 2016 Foreign Policy article as “calculated dithering.”

So how could the Obama administration be a party to this ludicrous “cessation of hostilities” agreement?  I explained the reason in Fox News Opinion op-eds in May and September 2015: Mr. Obama’s Iraq-Syria strategy is a “non-strategy” to do as little about the crisis in these countries for the rest of his presidency so he can hand this mess to a future president.

This non-strategy has consisted of limited airstrikes and a handful of raids by U.S. special forces.  Strict U.S. rules of engagement for airstrikes in Syria have frustrated U.S. pilots who claim they have blocked 75% of them, according to the Washington Free Beacon.  This included avoiding bombing ISIS-controlled oil refineries in Syria because of possible environmental damage.  The U.S. changed this policy when France began bombing these refineries after the Paris terrorist attacks in November.

Russia and Iran have filled the power vacuum in Syria caused by President Obama’s non-policy.  This has allowed the Assad army to make major gains on the ground and Russia and Iran to significantly increase their influence in the region at the expense of the United States.

Making things worse, the Financial Times reported on February 12 that Syrian rebels are so frustrated with the gains by the Syrian army and the lack of support from the United States and the international community that they are mulling joining ISIS and the al-Nusra Front, the al-Qaeda franchise in Syria.  One Syrian rebel told the Financial Times:

“They said: are you doing this for America?  America left us to be killed by Russian warplanes night and day . . . there’s no reason to be a proxy for the foreign powers fighting ISIS.”

This is not the first report of moderate Syrian rebels joining jihadist groups out of frustration with the support they have received from the West.  But the Financial Times report may be significant because it may reflect how few moderate rebels are left, a development that raises serious questions as to whether there will be no one but jihadists left to run a post-Assad government if the Syrian leader ever steps down.

What we’re seeing in Syria is the implosion of President Obama’s Syria non-strategy.  Although this approach has worsened the Syrian crisis and is severely undermining America’s global credibility and security, Secretary Kerry’s new Syria cease-fire agreement is the latest indication that Mr Obama has no intention of changing course.  President Obama is stubbornly determined to be an ex-president who can claim he ended wars and did not get the United States into a new war – even if this means leaving a catastrophe in Syria that will require his successor to send a U.S. ground force.

World Powers Agree to ‘Cessation of Hostilities’ as Assad Vows to ‘Retake All of Syria’

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Feb. 12, 2016:

The Washington Post’s report on the big announcement immediately cast doubt upon just how much “cessation” we can expect. Secretary of State John Kerry said the declaration was “unanimous,” but hedged by saying it was merely unanimous “words on paper,” and “What we need to see in the next few days are actions on the ground.”

Those actions on the ground will apparently still involve Russian bombs detonating, just not quite as many of them:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the projected date for ending at least some of his country’s airstrikes in Syria is a week from Friday, but he emphasized that “terrorist” groups would continue to be targeted, including the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria that is involved in the fight against President Bashar al-Assad. The group in some instances fights alongside rebel forces supported by the United States and its allies.

The determination of eligible targets and geographic areas is to be left up to a task force of nations, headed by Russia and the United States, that will adjudicate differences of opinion. It is expected but by no means guaranteed that signatories to the agreement will be able to persuade their proxies and allies on the ground, including Assad and the hundreds of opposition groups fighting against him, to honor the terms.

Kerry and Lavrov emphasized that the agreement is not perfect and will require the goodwill and determination of all involved.

Not much “goodwill” could be detected in the interview with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad posted by AFP shortly after Kerry’s announcement. He vowed that his armed forces would “retake all of Syria,” acting against “terrorist” forces “without any hesitation.”

Assad then complained that due to the involvement of outside parties – i.e. the diplomats currently bubbling about a cessation of hostilities – his “solution” to the Syrian civil war “will take a long time, and incur a heavy price.”

The Syrian dictator also rejected United Nations allegations of war crimes perpetrated by his military and allied forces, and gave Europe a veiled warning that more refugees, with more terrorist mixed in, would be coming their way, if Western nations did not withdraw their support from opposition groups and let Assad finish them off.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke of a “qualitative” change in U.S. policy, moving away from calls to ramp down Russian airstrikes to a process of active U.S.-Russian cooperation, which would mean the United States was helping Russia take out Assad’s opposition. Kerry, of course, acted like he had no idea what Lavrov was talking about.

The U.S. also seemed taken aback by Russian allegations that American planes were responsible for the recent bombing of two hospitals in Aleppo.

The best anyone seems to be realistically hoping for is reducing the bloodbath around the Syrian city of Aleppo, and making it safer for humanitarian aid to reach besieged civilians. The Washington Post speculates that if Assad’s patrons in Russia and Iran do consider a reduction of hostilities, or actual cease-fire, it will be because they have largely accomplished their objectives, making it possible for the Syrian military to recapture Aleppo.

With a little more bloodshed, Russia, Iran, and Syria can hope to break the back of Assad’s effective military opposition, bringing more amenable rebel factions to the table for a negotiated settlement that will fall well short of ejecting the Assad regime from power, and isolating the Islamic State as a final enemy, which the international coalition will destroy on Assad’s behalf.

While U.S. Secretary of State Kerry was talking about working toward a cease-fire and negotiated settlement of the Syrian civil war, Russia left no doubts about what it expects the ultimate resolution to look like.

“Just look at what happened in Afghanistan and many other countries,” said Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev. “The Americans and our Arab partners must think well: do they want a permanent war? It would be impossible to win such a war quickly, especially in the Arab world, where everybody is fighting against everybody. All sides must be compelled to sit at the negotiating table, instead of unleashing a new world war.”

“You have no one power that can act alone,” Medvedev added. “You have Assad and his troops on one side and some grouping, which is fighting against the government on the other side. It is all very complicated. It could last years or even decades. What’s the point of this?”

On Thursday, one U.N. diplomatic source told Reuters the Russians were “stringing Kerry along” with talk about cease-fires and humanitarian issues, while they finished the business of arranging a battlefield victory for Assad: “It’s clear to everyone now that Russia really doesn’t want a negotiated solution but for Assad to win.”

Another diplomatic source summed up the Syrian endgame by saying, “It’ll be easy to get a ceasefire soon, because the opposition will all be dead. That’s a very effective ceasefire.”

 

U.S. Conditions IS Libya Fight on Unity Government

US Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) and Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (R) hold a bilateral meeting before a summit regarding Islamic State with the foreign ministers of 23 countries from Europe, the West and the region, as well as by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on February 2, 2016 in Rome. Reuters/Nicholas Kamm/Pool

US Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) and Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (R) hold a bilateral meeting before a summit regarding Islamic State with the foreign ministers of 23 countries from Europe, the West and the region, as well as by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on February 2, 2016 in Rome. Reuters/Nicholas Kamm/Pool

CSP, by Kevin Samolsky, Feb. 2, 2016:

February 2, 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry met with officials from 23 nations in Rome to discuss combating IS. Secretary Kerry addressed his growing concerns of the Islamic State’s (IS) presence in Libya especially. The growing fear is that the terrorist organization will take advantage of the lack of stability to control oil fields to further finance its operations.

Libya has been in turmoil since the NATO-backed ousting of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011. The Libyan government is currently split between an internationally recognized government in Tobruk, the General National Congress (GNC), and an unofficial government in Tripoli led by the Islamist Libya Dawn faction. Libya Dawn was able to force the GNC out of the Tripoli in 2014, and the international community has been working ever since to unite the two governments.

Libya Dawn and the GNC signed a UN-brokered agreement to unify the government last December. However, it is unclear what Libya Dawn hopes to get out of the agreement, as it was their decision to attempt to seize power following election losses that led to the current fissure.

While the Libya Dawn government may claim they want to end hostilities and unite the government, it’s likely just a play to regain power.

Libya Dawn is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and the enemy of the El-Sisi government in Egypt. This had led to the decision by Cairo to fully back the GNC and openly opposed any agreement that would return the Islamists to legitimate political power. Egypt has been the driving force behind Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s anti-Islamist “Operation Dignity” campaign which has seen battlefield gains against the Islamist factions.

IS has become a growing concern to North African nations. The Free Fire Blog recently discussed the growing connections between the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and IS’s growing trade network with Hamas in Gaza. In Libya, IS has taken control of Sirte, a city that links east and west of Libya, and has launched numerous attacks around the country.

International Business Times reported last year of IS threatening to wage war on Libya Dawn, but those hostilities may subside while both sides are being targeted by Egyptian and UAE airstrikes.

Breitbart News reports on troubling news of possible cooperation  between IS, Al Qaeda (AQ), and the Muslim Brotherhood within Libya. This merger would threaten any chance Libya has at stability, and if the Brotherhood were to take over, it would further threaten the neighboring government of Egypt.

Libya’s hopes for stability are quickly fading, and the Obama Administration may be apart of the blame. The Obama Administration allowed for weapon shipments to be sent to armed rebel groups during the uprising against Qaddafi. Some of these weapons fell in the hands of jihadist groups which allowed them to fight for control of Libya once Qaddafi was killed.

While the U.S. initially armed rebel groups, it has taken a step back from Libya. Instead, the Obama Administration has harshly criticized those who take part in Libya’s issues through violence, especially the UAE and Egypt. It seems ironic for the Administration to criticize others for trying to stop terrorism when they were the ones who facilitated it.

Libya’s stability is crucial against the fight against terrorism. Terrorists have beensmuggling fighters through Libya to Europe and Syria. Libya is also an important connector between Islamic State’s home base in Syria and it’s efforts in West Africa. Without a stable government to prevent this, it will continue to threaten the stability of the region.

While Secretary Kerry may be worried about IS in Libya, there must be a greater focus on the wider Islamist threat to the country. The Muslim Brotherhood poses just as large a threat to Libyan stability as IS, and if they are given any political legitimacy it will only serve to expand jihadist activity in the country. Despite the Obama Administration’s insistence to the contrary, a GNC victory over Libyan Dawn would have a better impact on security than enforcing upon Libya a unity government that neither side really wants.

The Iran nuclear agreement is national security fraud

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Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz,  Jan. 19, 2016:

As the Obama administration celebrates what it claims is a great victory for its nuclear diplomacy with Iran, many Americans are scratching their heads and wondering how we got to this point given the many examples of Iranian bad faith and belligerent behavior since the nuclear deal was announced last July. For example…

  • Because the IAEA declared that Iran met the requirements to roll back its nuclear program to what the nuclear deal calls “Implementation Day,” it will receive approximately $150 billion in sanctions relief even through Iran is still designated by the United States as a state sponsor of terror and was listed in a June 2015 State Department report as the world’s leading terrorist state.
  • Over the last six months, Iran increased its support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah, its terrorist proxy.
  • Iran is threatening Saudi Arabia by backing a Shiite insurgency in Yemen.  Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states broke off diplomatic relations with Iran this month after the Saudi embassy and a consulate in Iran were ransacked.
  • Iran tested ballistic missiles in October and November even though President Obama and Secretary Kerry said last July that under the deal Tehran would abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions for eight years calling on it to halt its missile program.  (The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Iran for the missile tests yesterday but Foundation for Defense and Democracy Executive Director Mark Dubowitz called them “symbolic and ineffective.”)
  • Iran fired rockets last month near a U.S. aircraft carrier.  It also detained and humiliated 10 U.S. Navy sailors last week.
  • At the same time, few Americans understand that Iran keeps its nuclear infrastructure under the nuclear deal and will be allowed to expand it.
  • Iran will continue enriching uranium under the nuclear deal with 5,000 uranium centrifuges and will be developing more advanced centrifuges while the deal is in effect. This will occur even though when Barack Obama became president, his administration supported the Bush administration’s effort to stop the spread of uranium enrichment technology and strengthened a nuclear technology sharing agreement with the UAE which required it to not to pursue this technology.  
  • Although Iran agreed to remove the core of a plutonium-producing heavy water-reactor, it will be rebuilt and redesigned with Chinese assistance.  While the redesigned reactor will produce less plutonium, it also will help Iran to master this technology.
  • Although President Obama and Secretary Kerry said Iran sent all of its enriched uranium out of the country, they failed to mention that this was a swap for an equivalent amount of uranium ore that can be converted into enriched uranium in a few months.
  • President Obama said last July that the issue of Iran’s past nuclear weapons work would be addressed. The IAEA issued a report on this issue in December that said Iran failed to fully cooperate and provided some answers to investigators that were false. The report also said Iran engaged in nuclear weapons research until 2009.  Despite this report, the United States voted with other IAEA members last month to close the IAEA’s file on this issue.
  • Although nuclear deal has weak verification provisions, the Iranian parliament made them even weaker last October when it ratified an amended version of the deal containing new language on dismantling Israel’s nuclear weapons program, requiring that sanctions under the agreement be cancelled and not suspended, forbidding IAEA inspections of military installations, and barring IAEA interviews of Iranian military officers and scientists.

And then there is the issue of the “swap” of five American hostages for seven Iranian criminals held in U.S. prisons and the removal of 14 other Iranian criminal and terrorists from the INTERPOL wanted list.  As objectionable as this sounds, President Obama and Secretary Kerry failed to mention that Oman paid Iran $500,000 ransom each for the release of the Americans and that several were brutally mistreated while incarcerated.  At least two other innocent Americans plus a U.S. green card holder are still being by Iran.

Given these factors, how can the Obama administration claim Iran has complied with the nuclear agreement? 

How can it justify providing over $150 billion in sanctions relief that Tehran is likely to spend on terrorism and destabilizing the Middle East?  

How can the United States reward a state that used Americans as hostages to advance its policy goals?

How can Obama officials say this nuclear deal is a great diplomatic success?

The answer to these questions is this: because the Obama administration wanted a legacy nuclear agreement with Iran so badly they made any concession necessary to get one. 

When Iranian officials refused to give up their uranium enrichment program, the U.S. said they could keep it. 

When Iran balked on including restrictions on ballistic missile tests in the agreement, they were removed.  

To get around Tehran’s refusal to answer questions about its past nuclear weapons work, this issue was moved into a secret side deal between the IAEA and Iran.

The Obama administration also took Iran’s sponsorship of terror and its meddling in the Middle East off the table.  The deal drops U.N. and EU sanctions on Iranian terrorist individuals and entities.  Even worse, the U.S. encouraged Iran to play a more active role in Iraq which is driving tensions between the Shiite government and Iraqi Sunnis.

The Iran nuclear agreement is national security fraud. It will not stop or slow Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. 

The deal’s weak verification provision will not detect Iranian cheating. 

Seeing itself as the big winner in the nuclear deal, Iran probably will beemboldened to expand its efforts to destabilize its neighbors and sponsorship of terrorism using the estimated $150 billion in sanctions relief it won in the deal.

How did Iran reach the nuclear deal’s Implementation Day?  Because the Obama administration rigged the game by setting the bar so low that Iranian compliance was assured. 

That’s how desperate President Obama was to get his legacy nuclear deal with Iran. 

That’s what led to a disastrous agreement that will may do enormous damage to international security for decades to come.

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