As US relocates embassy to Jerusalem, al Qaeda leader condemns international system

Long War Journal, by Thomas Joscelyn, May 14, 2018:

On the eve of the opening of the US government’s embassy in Jerusalem today, al Qaeda released a new message from its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. The al Qaeda emir noted at the outset of his speech that there has been a “big uproar” over the Trump administration’s decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Trump has been “clear and frank,” revealing “the true face of the modern Crusade, which does not deal with retreat and reconciliation,” according to Zawahiri.

However, Zawahiri quickly pivoted away from the controversy over the embassy relocation, reiterating al Qaeda’s longstanding conspiracy theory: The entire international system is hostile to Muslims. Just being part of the United Nations makes one complicit in this alleged scheme, according to bin Laden’s successor.

Indeed, the title of Zawahiri’s speech, “Tel Aviv Is Also the Land of Muslims,” underscores his point. The embassy relocation is a small issue relative to the vast “Zionist-Crusader” conspiracy al Qaeda claims to oppose.

Zawahiri reminds his “Muslim and mujahidin brothers and the sincere scholars” that “all of the countries of the Islamic world which are members in the United Nations have recognized Israel by signing the United Nations Charter, which confirms the unity and territorial integrity of each of its states, including Israel.” From al Qaeda’s perspective, this is the original sin of the United Nations.

The al Qaeda leader claims that, by signing the UN charter, nations have agreed to leave “ruling by Sharia.” That is, they have agreed that they will not abide by the draconian laws Zawahiri and his ilk prefer. Instead, these nations are “satisfied” with governing and “ruling” according to the “decisions of the [UN] Security Council and the General Assembly,” including the decision in 1947 to partition the land.

Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are both “Islamic land,” in Zawahiri’s telling. True believers need “to liberate Palestine” and “all the other abodes of Muslims” after declaring the entire “criminal international tyrannical system” to be illegitimate. Zawahiri again calls for Muslim unity, a frequent al Qaeda motif, such that the ummah (worldwide community of Muslims) engages in “battle…on multiple fronts, not as separate groups that retreat before the imperatives of the greatest criminals.”

Zawahiri reminds listeners that Osama bin Laden identified America as the leader of this supposedly corrupt international system and, therefore, as the “first enemy of the Muslims.” Bin Laden first declared that Americans “would not dream of security until we actually live it in Palestine, and until all the disbelieving armies depart from the land of Muhammad.”

The goal is establish “the caliphate,” Zawahiri says, after uniting “around the word of tawhid.” This will require both dawa (proselytization) and jihad. And Muslims must not confuse their enemies for their friends, fighting “the battle of consciousness before the battle of weapons,” remaining “free of illusions.”

In the past, al Qaeda leaders have called on Muslims to use Syrian soil to “liberate” Jerusalem. The group uses this theme as a rallying cry for jihadists in Syria.

Zawahiri’s message is the 9th episode in his “Brief Messages To A Victorious Ummah” series, during which he has covered a variety of topics. Although Zawahiri can be long-winded, the lectures in this program are mercifully short.

Although the lecture series has been running since Aug. 2016, Zawahiri and his propagandists in As Sahab clearly timed the release of this episode to coincide with the US embassy relocation to Jerusalem. It demonstrates that, at times, al Qaeda is still able to time its media to current events. Zawahiri also remains a somewhat prolific commentator, regularly releasing messages from his hideout.

An English translation of the message was distributed via Telegram by Al-Tamkin Media, a propaganda outfit that regularly translates messages from al Qaeda’s senior leadership. The quotes in this article were adapted from Al-Tamkin’s rough translation.

Frank Gaffney: President Trump May Be ‘Undermined by His Own Subordinates’ After Strong UN Speech

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Sept. 20, 2017:

Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney joined SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily to review President Trump’s address to the UN General Assembly.

Kassam asked if Trump’s strong words against Iran during the speech presaged the end of the Iran nuclear deal.

“This is the question,” Gaffney replied. “Action is not so much what one needs to wonder about. I think there will be action. The question is, is it action consistent with what the president said yesterday?”

“This has been what’s so frustrating, I know, to all of us listening to this program and part of the Make America Great Again movement, is the president is being repeatedly and in fact serially undermined by his own subordinates,” he explained.

“He makes these speeches, or he makes these pronouncements, or he tweets the sorts of things that are redolent of the campaign, and what he stood for, and what he promised – only to have H.R. McMaster, or Jim Mattis, or particularly Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, almost immediately sallying forth and saying, ‘Well, what the president really meant to say was exactly the opposite,’” Gaffney lamented.

“In this case, of course, we have Rex Tillerson sitting down with the so-called ‘Perm 5 Plus One,’ which is U.N.-speak for the gang that put together this Iran deal – I call it the ‘Obama bomb deal’ – plus the Iranian foreign minister. Obviously, the pressure is going to be intense, not just from the Iranians but from the Europeans, to walk back from what the president said,” he warned.

“I pray that Rex Tillerson won’t do it because I think the president got it exactly right. This is a defective deal. It is an embarrassment to the United States that Barack Obama perpetrated it – and, by the way, that Republicans in Congress enabled him to get away with imposing it upon the rest of us. We need to get out from that thing right away. I think John Bolton had that exactly right, and I commend everyone his alternative approach. I hope that’s what Rex Tillerson will be promoting, but I don’t hold my breath on it,” said Gaffney.

Kassam mentioned the argument advanced by French President Emmanuel Macron that the North Korean crisis makes the case for keeping the Iran deal alive because Iran’s nuclear ambitions are now held in check by the kind of oversight North Korea has never received.

“Rubbish,” Gaffney snorted. “This is forgetting the actual lessons of all of this, of course, which are that indeed we made a deal with the North Koreans that was supposed to prevent them from getting the bomb, not unlike we’ve done with the Iranians, and it did not work out.”

“To the contrary, we’ve now got them with not only atomic weapons and missiles with which to deliver them, but now it appears a hydrogen bomb,” he argued. “The so-called ‘strategic patience’ of the Obama administration, unfortunately, followed on the heels of incompetence and malfeasance under both the Clinton administration that made that deal with the North Koreans, and the George W. Bush administration, so there’s a bipartisan fault here. This is not a model to be extolled or held up as the way to deal with Iran.”

Kassam found President Trump’s strong condemnation of socialism to be the most remarkable and encouraging moment of his speech, especially given that a majority of the nations in the UN General Assembly consider themselves socialist to some degree.

“It was tough love, without probably the love,” Gaffney quipped. “The president was laying out the hard truth, and it was incredibly important that he did so – and that he did so to the socialists in that place.”

“Not only are there large numbers of socialists, or communists for that matter, in the UN I mean, it basically is a socialist enterprise. It’s all about redistribution of wealth and power under the auspices of successive socialists, including the guy who is currently running it – the Secretary-General is an old socialist from Portugal. These are people who, I believe, actually think this is the way of the future, so it was very important,” he said.

“But again, it has to be backed up. Let me just say, I think in addition to not having his subordinates undermine him – which they do again, and again, and again, without any consequences – we also have to take actions, Raheem,” he told Kassam.

“I mean, it’s one thing to be telling the North Koreans and ‘Rocket Man’ that you’re toast if you think about pursuing with those hydrogen bombs threats to us. It’s another to actually put into place the capabilities to assure that everybody understands that that’s not an empty threat,” he stressed.

“The rhetoric has been more or less good,” Gaffney judged. “I think you’re absolutely right that the MAGA movement was heard, and brought back ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ That’s a twofer. One, it’s important in its own right to be calling the enemy what it is, and also that it demonstrates how important the base is. We need to make sure the president is hearing us all the time. I know that he does through your channel, but we need it more elsewhere. In this case in particular, we have got to make sure that we are backing up with credible military capabilities the rhetoric that the president is using.”

Kassam turned to Gaffney’s recent blog post, “Freedom’s Friends Must Denounce, Not Dignify, the SPLC and CAIR.”

“We’ve been talking a lot, and rightly so, about what’s being done to freedom of speech – arguably sort of the foundational freedom in our Constitution and for our republic,” Gaffney said.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center and Islamist Muslim Brotherhood sharia supremacist groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, have been making – I’m sorry to say even under this administration, under a Republican-controlled Congress – great strides to try to impose the kind of restrictions you’re very familiar with, of course, on your side of the pond,” he said, referring to speech codes in the United Kingdom, where Kassam resides.

Gaffney said these speech restrictions “are designed to basically promote sharia blasphemy restrictions: you must not give offense, particularly to Muslims.”

“The Southern Poverty Law Center has been central to that agenda. They have been working assiduously to defame people who speak the truth about these sorts of issues,” he charged.

“Rod Rosenstein, amazingly, went to what was billed as a civil rights conference in Birmingham last week and gave a speech,” Gaffney said, referring to the Deputy Attorney General. “It was mostly about civil rights, but by his presence, he dignified an event that was holding up both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Council on American Islamic Relations. They had speakers, they were participants in this program, they were considered to be just great champions of civil rights – when, in fact, they are trying to take away that key civil right of freedom of expression. It’s scandalous.”

Of the recent revelations that President Trump appears to have been correct about the Obama Justice Department wiretapping Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign, Gaffney said, “I think what we’re seeing dribbling out slowly, inexorably, is evidence that the Obama administration was engaged in political warfare.”

“I mean, ‘dirty tricks’ doesn’t begin to describe it,” he said, describing the Obama administration’s conduct as “political warfare that makes Nixon’s plumbers in Watergate look like pikers.”

“These were people that were using the instruments of the State, the Deep State if you will – the intelligence community, the law-enforcement community, and of course the National Security Council, Ben Rhodes and his whole disinformation operation and political warfare capabilities – to destroy those like Donald Trump and his campaign that they feared might actually prevent them from having a third term,” Gaffney charged.

“This is why it’s so important to get to the bottom of this, and not be distracted by these deflections, and misinformation, and special prosecutors who are off on a red tear to get us away from the reality that Barack Obama and his minions are Watergate on steroids,” he said. “We need to know the full truth of it.”

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern

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Trump’s America-first UN speech was the best of his presidency

President Donald Trump speaks during the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, September 19, 2017. Mary Altaffer | AP Images

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, Sept. 19, 2017:

President Trump delivered the most America-first speech of his presidency in front of the United Nations Tuesday morning in New York City. It was a no-holds-barred address that shined a light on the threat posed by the enemies to the free world, such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and the global “radical Islamic terror” groups. Trump’s language adopted the “peace through strength” philosophy popularized by former President Ronald Reagan, and his promotion of American exceptionalism is sure to fire up the base that elected him president.

Trump took a 180-degree turn away from the Obama administration’s soft posture and rhetoric on Iran and radical Islam. He promised to hold accountable the terrorist regime in Tehran and separated the Iranian people from their fundamentalist rulers, demanding that the regime “stop supporting terrorists” and “begin serving its own people.”

He castigated the nuclear deal with Iran, which was negotiated by the Obama administration along with the P5+1 world powers. Trump said that the world would see “very soon” America’s future position on the deal. He has until October 15 to decide whether the U.S. will cancel its involvement in the nuclear accord or remain in the deal for another 90 days.

After taking a brief hiatus from identifying the threat that is the global jihadist movement, President Trump again warned of “the Islamic extremist” threat that continues to menace the free world across the globe. “We will stop radical Islamic terrorism, because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation and, indeed, to tear up the entire world,” Trump declared.

“No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles,” Trump said of the “depraved regime” in North Korea. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” Trump added of dictator Kim Jong Un, promising never to settle for anything less than a de-nuclearized Pyongyang.

Attacking the ideology of the Maduro regime in Venezuela, the president stated: “The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.” He said that the U.S. would not sit idly by while “the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.”

Moving to Syria, Trump described the Assad dictatorship that rules Damascus as a “criminal regime.” He went on to discuss how Assad uses horrific methods in bombing his own countrymen and is seemingly indiscriminate about whether they are men, women, or even innocent children.

On Tuesday morning, Trump delivered a Reaganesque, America-first speech that is sure to fire up conservatives and his base of support. In front of their representatives, he took direct shots at the rogue regimes of the world. Time will tell whether President Trump can make good on the best speech of his presidency with the needed policy outcomes to follow through on his rhetoric.

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.

***

TRANSCRIPT  – Remarks by President Trump to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

No, Trump: The UN’s problem is not ‘bureaucracy,’ it’s despotism

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, Sept. 18, 2017:

President Trump delivered remarks at the United Nations Monday morning, arguing that the international body has yet to reach its “full potential” because there is simply too much “bureaucracy and mismanagement” in its current structure.

“The United Nations was founded on truly noble goals,” President Trump said in New York City, before getting to the heart of his message. Despite an increase in U.N. funding, Trump said, “we are not seeing the results in line with this investment.”

“We seek a United Nations that regains the trust of the people around the world. In order to achieve this, the United Nations must hold every level of management accountable, protect whistle-blowers and focus on results rather than on process,” Trump said.

But “bureaucracy and mismanagement” have little to do with the U.N.’s failure to reach the aforementioned goals. Over the past few decades, the United Nations has merely served as cover for rogue states with totalitarian ambition. These nations and groups now utilize the U.N. as a pulpit to harass and bully nations that don’t subscribe to authoritarian regional agendas.

The U.N.’s inherent flaw comes in its foundationally collectivist, idealistic structure. Following the horrors of World War II, the U.N. was founded on the noble cause of maintaining international peace and security. But with its one-country, one-vote system, the United Nations will act as a body that enables iron-fisted regimes so long as unfree countries continue to outnumber free countries.

Even if it was running with 100 percent efficiency, the institution would still be churning out resolutions and reports that undermine freedom and prosperity.

Moreover, the veto power included in the UN Security Council cannot do much to produce powerful sanction packages and/or human rights initiatives, due to the adversarial nations of China and Russia having a permanent seat at the table.

Totalitarian nations with common interests have used the U.N. as a machine to advance their collective agenda. One such prominent group, the 57-state Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is notorious for pushing U.N. policy that adheres to Islamic supremacist ideals. The OIC blocks discussion on issues such as Islamic terror and the human rights abuses that occur inside Muslim-majority countries.

But it’s not just outside bodies that cause problems at the U.N. Its longstanding institutions have been corrupted to their cores.

The U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Turtle Bay’s most influential U.N. body, has turned into a tool for notorious regimes. Several dictatorial nations maintain good standing on the council, including Venezuela, Cuba, Qatar, and other nations with horrific domestic human-rights records. Instead of promoting human rights, the UNHRC churns out resolution after resolution attacking the nation of Israel, while ignoring the real atrocities being committed across the globe on a daily basis.

In its heyday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was revered as an agency dedicated to the preservation of important global institutions. Today, UNESCO acts as an Islamic supremacist propaganda machine, attacking Jewish and Christian claims to holy sites in Jerusalem.

Other agencies, such as the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), has promoted the destruction of Israel and helped perpetuate Arab-Israeli hostilities. During Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas, UNRWA-owned construction materials were found in Hamas terror tunnels. The terrorist group also utilized UNRWA schools to stockpile its missiles.

Despite its anti-American agenda, the United States continues to contribute about $3 billion annually to the United Nations — about a quarter of its annual budget. U.S. citizens also keep the U.N. subsidiaries afloat (e.g. UNRWA, UNESCO, UNHRC) via hundreds of millions in donations.

According to Freedom House, 67 countries suffered net declines in overall freedom last year (while 36 registered gains). “Bureaucracy and mismanagement” is not the problem at the United Nations, as Trump believes. The problem at the United Nations is the fact that totalitarian nations outnumber the free ones, and control its agenda.

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.

Also see:

Robert Spencer: Do Islamic Jihadis Really Lack A Basic Understanding of Islam?

Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, Aug. 9, 2017:

My latest over at the Geller Report:

Pope Francis and H. R. McMaster and John Kerry and so many other learned imams have assured us over the years that Islamic terrorism has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam, and now there is proof, or what purports to be proof, in the form of a study from no less august an authority than the United Nations.

The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism has released a new study claiming that Islamic State jihadis “have low levels of education and ‘lack any basic understanding of the true meaning of jihad or even the Islamic faith.’”

The study found that most of these jihadis “saw their religion in terms of justice and injustice rather than in terms of piety and spirituality,” and that the typical jihad warrior “is most likely to be male, young and disadvantaged economically, educationally, and in terms of the labour market. He is also more likely than not to come from a marginalised background, both socially and politically. Most were unemployed, or underemployed, and/or said that their life lacked meaning.”

This study directly contradicts the results of another new study that was conducted in Germany, which found that “the widespread view that radical Muslims know little about Islam is wrong.”

Which study are we to believe? Well, this one reinforces the common view that a typical jihadi “is most likely to be male, young and disadvantaged economically, educationally, and in terms of the labour market.”

Yet study after study (of a more honest variety) has shown that poverty and lack of opportunity don’t really cause terrorism at all. The Economist reported in 2010: “Social scientists have collected a large amount of data on the socioeconomic background of terrorists. According to a 2008 survey of such studies by Alan Krueger of Princeton University, they have found little evidence that the typical terrorist is unusually poor or badly schooled.”

In the same vein, CNS News noted in September 2013: “According to a Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009, ‘Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.’ One of the authors of the RAND report, Darcy Noricks, also found that according to a number of academic studies, “Terrorists turn out to be more rather than less educated than the general population.”

The Times Online reported the following as far back as April 2005: “Three-quarters of the Al-Qaeda members were from upper middle-class homes and many were married with children; 60% were college educated, often in Europe or the United States.”

There are innumerable examples of affluent Muslims becoming jihad terrorists. One was Maher “Mike” Hawash of Portland, Oregon, a well-regarded Intel executive who made $360,000 a year at the crest of a highly successful career. Around the year 2000, Hawash began to become more religious, growing his beard long, rejecting the nickname “Mike,” and attending the supremacist Islamic Center of Portland. Ultimately he served a seven-year prison term for conspiring to aid the Taliban.

What’s more, there is plenty of evidence that Islamic State jihadis know the Qur’an well. One Malaysian Muslim said that the Qur’an led him to join the Islamic State. A Muslima in the U.S. promoted the Islamic State by quoting the Qur’an. An Islamic State propagandist’s parents said of him: “Our son is a devout Muslim. He had learnt the Quran by heart.” A Muslim politician from Jordan said that the Islamic State’s “doctrine stems from the Qur’an and Sunnah.” There are innumerable other examples of this.

So this UN study appears to be simply an advertisement for the failed policies that the West is already implementing regarding the jihad threat. They have to keep pumping out propaganda such as this, because their policies are such obvious failures, they can only be shored up by lies.

Trump throws wrench in U.N. plan to ‘replace’ U.S. population

Most Somali refugees start out here, at the United Nations Daadab refugee camp on the Kenya-Somalia border. Between 5.000 and 11,000 Somalis per year are sent to the United States and distributed to dozens of cities, along with thousands of other U.N.-selected ‘refugees’ from Syria, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan.

WND, by, Liam Clancy, July 23, 2017:

WASHINGTON – In the last year of his presidency, Barack Obama and his administration worked tirelessly with the United Nations to expand the definition of “refugee” to include economic migrants and drastically increase the numbers being resettled in the United States.

And he found a willing partner in the Republican-controlled Congress, which funded not only more refugees but provisions for record numbers of unaccompanied minor children, so-called UACs, showing up at the border from Central America.

In the fall of 2016 Obama hosted the U.N. Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in New York, where he and other world leaders used rhetoric strikingly similar to the concept of “replacement migration,” a U.N. plot to replace the population of a given country with migrants and “refugees” from the developing world.

WND recently reported on the scheme, revealed in a U.N. document prepared in the year 2000 entitled “Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Aging Populations?

The report details the plunging birthrates across Western Europe, Russia, Japan and the United States and identifies a solution: mass migration from the Third World into these “aging and declining” nations.

The 17-year-old document makes the case for mass immigration as necessary to replace the aging populations of developed countries. Without the migration of populations from the developing world, it reasons, economies will suffer because of labor shortages and falling tax revenues.

“Therefore, among the demographic variables, only international migration could be instrumental in addressing population decline and population aging in the short to medium term,” the report concludes.

Obama’s stated goals before the Leaders’ Summit last fall were to increase financing for global humanitarian appeals, as well as double the number of resettlement slots and use “alternative legal pathways,” such as student and family-based visas, for refugees to enter the United States.

A report by the influential Brookings Institute included reasons to support Obama’s plan to increase resettlement, stating: “For receiving countries, migration has already become the most important source of demographic growth and renewal for wealthy societies.” This is the goal of “replacement migration.”

“The so-called benefits of replacing a country’s population with Third World migrants is bogus and imaginary,” said Leo Hohmann, author of a 2017 investigative book, “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad.”

Hohmann said that while the costs of refugee resettlement are understated, often ignoring refugees’ heavy use of public assistance programs such as food stamps and Medicaid, refugee advocates also like to overstate the economic impact of refugees in the work place.

“For example, even after five years in America, 60 percent of refugees use food stamps, compared to 15 percent for native-born Americans,” Hohmann said, citing statistics provided by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Yet, when Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services and the other resettlement agencies show up in a city to inform leaders of their intention to send refugees, they talk about how the new arrivals will open businesses and boost the local economy, Hohmann said.

“It’s a bunch of lies and half truths,” he said. “They’re never told the rest of the story.”

Minnesota, for instance, earlier this month approved an additional $600,000 to treat a measles and tuberculosis outbreaks mostly within its Somali and Hmong refugee communities, and that was on top of the $1.5 million the state had already allocated for these outbreaks this year.

Another hidden cost, which is almost never talked about, is that of educating the refugees’ children, most of whom require expensive tutors and translators, Hohmann said, pointing to migrant-heavy school districts like Wichita, Kansas, where students speak more than 50 languages.

None of these costs are subtracted from the supposed economic benefits of importing refugees to come up with a net economic impact, Hohmann said.

The official pledge given by the United States at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees included the following statement:

“The United States admitted 85,000 refugees in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 – 15,000 more than in FY 2015 – and pledged to increase its refugee admissions to 110,000 in FY 2017. The United States also increased alternative pathways of admission into the United States, providing special immigrant visas to more than 11,000 people at risk from Iraq and Afghanistan in FY 2016 – an increase of over 4,000 from FY 2015.”

A day before the Leaders’ Summit, the U.N. convened at the U.N. Summit for Refugees and Migrants 2016, and statements from top U.N. officials at the event revealed that “replacement migration” continues to be a top priority for their global agenda.

“Replacing populations in the West with those from the Third World is also seen by the globalists as a great way to redistribute the world’s wealth,” Hohmann said. “We ship many of our manufacturing jobs to the Third World and they ship us their poor masses who can take advantage of our generous welfare programs while working in the factories that have not yet been outsourced. That’s a double whammy used against the American middle class, impoverishing Americans while improving the financial lot of those in poor countries.”

Expanding the definition of ‘refugee’

H.E. Peter Thomson, president of the U.N. General Assembly, made remarks at the 2016 summit that the U.N.’s commitment toward migrants is not restricted to refugees, but toward economic migrants as well, declaring that those migrants “in search of opportunity and a better life for their children” deserve the same rights as those “fleeing armed conflict and the brutal effects of war.”

The U.N. included the economic rights of migrants in a major document for the first time with its Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson echoed that sentiment at the summit, saying that “Development programs are crucial and a key priority. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognized the contribution migration makes to economic progress. We must harness that positive energy.”

The summit also produced the New York Declaration, a document signed by all U.N. member states that makes alarming promises to protect not only legitimate refugees fleeing war zones, but migrants as a whole – even those who would not qualify as “refugees” under the Geneva Accords.

For example, the New York Declaration includes a promise to “Protect the human rights of all refugees and migrants, regardless of status,” as well as a statement to “Strengthen the global governance of migration by bringing the International Organization for Migration into the UN system.”

The International Organization for Migration is a radically pro-migrant U.N. group, and has declared emphatically that migration is both “necessary” and “inevitable.” The group was formally added into the U.N. system at the conclusion of the 2016 summit.

The New York Declaration reveals a plan for the future, including a commitment to “Start negotiations leading to an international conference and the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018… migration, like other areas of international relations, will be guided by a set of common principles and approaches.”

With the election of President Donald Trump, the United States has lowered refugee admissions from Obama’s 2017 goal of 110,000 to just over 50,000, a move that drew intense criticism from pro-migrant groups – and possible push-back from the U.S. State Department.

This is not surprising, given that the State Department under Obama was extremely pro-migrant as evidenced by its actions at the two U.N. migration summits, and the department remains staffed predominantly with Obama holdovers.

“There is still many, many holdovers from the Obama administration the State Department,” Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, told WND.

Mehlman said Trump has left many top positions in the State Department unfilled, and this is stifling the president’s agenda. “If you want to have your agenda carried out, you need people in place to carry it out.”

However, with the recent Supreme Court ruling on Trump’s “travel ban,” it appears Trump has stopped the refugee flow to the United States, at least temporarily. His refugee cap to 50,000 was reached on July 12, and with the travel ban in effect, refugees cannot be admitted until the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, unless they can prove they have a “bona fide” family tie in America.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make a final ruling on Trump’s travel ban in October.

“The latest travel ban ruling says he can limit the number of refugees entering the United States, but what will happen remains to be seen,” Mehlman explained.

Iran’s Lebanese Missile Factories in “New and Very Dangerous Phase”

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
July 18, 2017

Recently-built Iranian missile factories in Lebanon can produce powerful weapons for Hizballah and are part of a wider trend that could set the region on fire, a senior former Israeli defense source has told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).

“There is no doubt that this is a new and very dangerous stage,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said about the fact that Iran has for the first time placed military production industries directly in Hizballah’s possession.

“It points to the fact that Lebanon is not a state, but a branch of Iran that is controlled by Hizballah, and that Iran, after the nuclear agreement, feels that it can do everything because no one dares harm it,” he added.

Tehran’s alliance with Moscow gives the Islamic Republic “extraordinary power, and hence, Iran allows itself to do what it has not dared do without the alliance with Russia,” the source said.

Russia depends on Iran to safeguard the Assad regime in Syria, the source noted. Iran is testing Israeli red lines by arming the radical Shi’ite Iranian proxy, Hizballah, with potentially dire consequences.

“When Israel is forced to act after Iran and Hizballah cross all of the red lines, Lebanon will be destroyed, because Iran and Hizballah have turned it into one big weapons storage facility, and the world is silent,” the source said.

“Anyone who dreams about Israel accepting, in a future arrangement [with the Palestinians], any kind of international force that will have any kind of role, should examine the utter uselessness of UNIFIL [the United Nations force stationed in southern Lebanon], which has yet to report on a single rocket or missile out of the 120,000 that exist in Lebanon. For Israel, UNIFIL is more of a nuisance than a benefit,” the source said.

Earlier this month, France’s Intelligence Online magazine reported that one factory was under construction in northern Lebanon, with the second being built on Lebanon’s southern coast.

The production center in northern Lebanon was designed to make Fateh 110 medium-range missiles, which puts most of Israel in range and carries a warhead of 500 kilograms, according to the report.

The IPT interviewed defense experts about the factories in March, and noted the sites represent a disturbing boost in the Shi’ite terrorist army’s ability to self-produce weapons.

Israeli officials have gone on record in recent weeks to confirm the factories’ existence, including Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, and the chief of Israel’s Military Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Herzl Halevi. Hizballah is “establishing a military industry in Lebanon with Iranian support,” Halevi said.

Eizenkot told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee earlier this month that the Israeli military had placed the Iranian “precision project” – the drive to produce new guided projectiles, and to improve the accuracy of existing projectiles – at “the top of our priority list.”

The program is “mainly ongoing in factories in Iran and Syria, and they are trying to promote it in Lebanon,” Eizenkot said.

He also seemed to suggest there was a difference between the current threat posed by Iran’s guided missile program and the future potential threat, if left unchecked.

The IDF was not resting on its laurels in the face of Iran’s efforts to manufacture and spread these weapons, Eizenkot said. Currently, “these abilities are very limited, and therefore, we must remain proportionate and not be alarmed. The IDF is working in regards to the [Iranian precision] project all of the time, through a wide range of tools that are best not talked about. We are working with the intention of avoiding a deterioration [of the security situation].”

Emily Landau, head of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, told the IPT that the factories “signal a new escalation in Iran’s weapons proliferation in the region.”

Not only do they serve Iran’s objective of continuously arming Hizballah, they are also designed to “overcome the vulnerability of transport vehicles transferring weapons from Iran via Syria, to Lebanon,” Landau said, in reference to international media reports about repeated Israeli strikes on Iranian-Hizballah weapons convoys in Syria.

Iran seems to hope that setting up missile factories in Lebanon would eliminate opportunities to attack future international weapons trafficking runs.

“All of these activities are in blatant violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 [which called on making southern Lebanon a weapons free zone, with the exception of Lebanon’s official army],” Landau said. “The world seems to ignore this violation. The international community should be called out on turning a blind eye to what Iran is doing. This should not be Israel’s problem alone.”

The factories feed “into Iran’s very problematic regional profile,” Landau said, “which is connected to the nuclear deal as well, and should all be on the table in the Trump administration’s Iran policy review.”

For now, Israel appears to trying to deter Iran from starting up the factories, and has reportedly issued explicit warnings to Tehran to that effect.

Meanwhile, Israeli media reports say that Iran wants to create an airbase in neighboring Syria. Iran’s plans include the leasing of a ground military base for thousands of Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias and a naval base.

“These steps represent a move by Iran to establish a long-term presence in Syria and pose a threat to Israel,” Israel’s daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a dramatic statement, rejecting the ceasefire in southern Syria brokered by the United States and Russia, saying it fails to suppress Iranian attempts to consolidate its military power in the war-torn country.

“Israel is aware of Iran’s expansionist goals in Syria, Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.

Yaakov Lappin is a military and strategic affairs correspondent. He also conducts research and analysis for defense think tanks, and is the Israel correspondent for IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly. His book, The Virtual Caliphate, explores the online jihadist presence.

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