Enjoy the Internet, Before Obama Abandons It to the UN

shutterstock_437778610.sized-770x415xcPJ MEDIA, BY CLAUDIA ROSETT, AUGUST 29, 2016:

In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, columnist Gordon Crovitz sounds an urgent warning about President Obama’s plans, during his final months in office, to fundamentally transform the internet. It’s an intricate tale, but the bottom line is that unless Congress acts fast, the World Wide Web looks likely to end up under control of the UN.

That would be the same UN that serves as a global clubhouse for despotic regimes that like to wield censorship as a basic tool of power. Russia and China occupy two of the five veto-wielding permanent seats on the UN Security Council. Iran since 2012 has presided over one of the largest voting blocs in the 193-member General Assembly, the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement. Among the current members of the Human Rights Council are Venezuela, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia — where blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced in 2014 to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, for blog posts the Saudi government considered insulting to Islam.

We’re talking here about the same UN which for generations has proven incorrigibly corrupt, opaque and inept at managing almost anything except its own apparently endless expansion and self-serving overreach. This is the UN of the Oil-for-Food worldwide web of kickbacks; the UN of the evidently chronic problem of peacekeepers raping minors they are sent to protect; the UN that can’t manage to adequately audit its own books, and offers its top officials an “ethics” program of financial disclosure under which they are entitled to opt out of disclosing anything whatsoever to the public.

This is the UN where a recent president of the General Assembly, John Ashe, died this June in an accident that reportedly entailed a barbell falling on his neck, while he was awaiting trial on fraud charges in the Southern District of New York — accused by federal authorities of having turned his UN position into a “platform for profit.”

So, how might this entrancing organization, the UN, end up controlling the internet? Crovitz in his Journal column explains that Obama’s administration is about to give up the U.S. government’s longstanding contract with Icann, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which, as a monopoly, operates “the entire World Wide Web root zone.”

If that sounds like a good idea, think again. This is not a case of Obama having some 11th-hour 180-degree conversion to the virtues of minimalist government. It works out to the very opposite. Here’s a link, again, to Crovitz’s column on “An Internet Giveaway to the UN.” Crovtz explains that as a contractor under government control, Icann enjoys an exemption from antitrust rules. When the contract expires, the exemption goes away, unless Icann can hook up with another “governmental group” so as to “keep its antitrust exemption.” What “governmental group” might that be? Well, some of the worst elements of the UN have already reached out. Crovitz writes:

Authoritarian regimes have already proposed Icann become part of the U.N. to make it easier for them to censor the internet globally. So much for the Obama pledge that the U.S. would never be replaced by a “government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution.”

This is far from the first time the UN has cast a covetous eye at the internet. For years, there have been UN proposals, shindigs and summits looking for ways to regulate and tax the Web. Recall, as one example among many, the 2012 UN jamboree in Dubai. Or 2007 in Rio. Or the 2009 Internet Governance Forum gathering in Egypt, inspired by the 2005 conference of wannabe-be web commissars in Tunis.

All that hoopla pales next to the alarming reality of Obama’s plan to cut loose Icann this fall, and let the economic and political currents carry it straight into the waiting clutches of the United Nations. Crovitz notes that the Obama administration, while preparing to drop Icann’s contract, has already “stopped actively overseeing the group,” with dismal results inside Icann itself. Crovitz concludes, “The only thing worse than a monopoly overseen by the U.S. government is a monopoly overseen by no one — or by a Web-censoring U.N.”

Lest that sound hopeless, Crovitz adds: “Congress still has time to extend its ban on the Obama administration giving up protection of the internet.” But not a lot of time. The deadline is Sept. 30th.

***

Secure Freedom Radio with Jim Hanson, Aug. 30, 2016:

KEVIN FREEMAN, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy, Creator of GlobalEconomicWarfare.com:

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  • Open society foundation attempted to block dissenters on the Internet
  • Why ICANN must be stopped

Egyptian Ambassador Takes Aim at Top Muslim Brotherhood Jurist

ISLAMIC SCHOLAR AL-QARADAWI POSES IN LONDON. REUTERS/Toby Melville

ISLAMIC SCHOLAR AL-QARADAWI POSES IN LONDON.
REUTERS/Toby Melville

CounterJihad, by Kyle Shideler, Aug. 30, 2016:

Last week the Egyptian Ambassador to the United States Yasser Reda used the opportunity of a Wall Street Journal op-ed to focus attention on the ideologues who promote and support terrorist violence, and called for United Nations efforts to curb terroristic speech with international policy instruments in a manner similar to terror financing. For the subject of their piece, Egypt’s Ambassador focused not on Islamic State’s Al-Baghdadi, or Al Qaeda’s Al-Zawahiri, but rather a man he identified as “the pontiff of terror,” Muslim Brotherhood leading cleric and sharia jurist Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

The Egyptians have good reason to fear Qaradawi, a long-accomplished jurist with “more than a hundred tomes on theological and jurisprudential issues” to his name, who in 2013 called for those who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohammed Morsi to be killed.

Qaradawi’s proclamations played a substantial role in the Arab Spring, particular legitimizing jihad in Libya against Qaddafi and in Syria against Hezbollah and the Assad regime. Qaradawi’s pronouncements also played a role in massive and highly anti-Semitic protests in opposition to Israel Operation Protective Edge against Hamas throughout the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

Prior to the Arab Spring, Qaradawi was perhaps best known for providing fatwas authorizing suicide bombings for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, and calling for the death of Americans during the occupation in Iraq in 2004.

Unfortunately Reda’s rebuttals falls into some common rhetorical pitfalls. In particular, Reda attempts to contrast Qaradawi’s support for suicide bombings with a prohibition against suicide found in Islamic law. While it’s admirable for the Egyptian diplomat to admit that Qaradawi deals in questions of Islamic jurisprudence and not an artificial “extremism” unrelated to questions of Islamic jurisprudence, Reda’s argument against Qaradawi’s positions lack a solid basis.

The very statement Reda quotes to condemn itself invokes Qaradawi’s defense against the charge. Reda quotes Qaradawi on Al Jazeera suggesting that suicide operations must be undertaken as part of a military effort by a Jamma (party or group) and not by a single individual. But Qaradawi’s formulation eliminates the possibility that a person has taken their own life only out of their own personal despair, and not in order that “they fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed.” (Sura: 9:39)

Even while making an effort to minimize Qaradawi’s juridical authority, Reda ultimately seems to accept that Qaradawi’s interpretation carries serious weight among his audience, and that those who hear his appeals to violence on the basis of sharia may act upon it.

Far too many western analysts cannot bring themselves to make even this reasonable concession to reality.

Reda also dispatches with the nonsense notion that Qaradawi’s views, which uphold suicide bombings, jihad and revolution are, in any way, the views of a “moderate.”

Qaradawi has been a bugbear for several Arab States, including Egypt, but also the United Arab Emirates, which designated Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) as a terrorist group.

Reda’s proposed solution raises some questions and some concerns. Reda proposes a United Nations apparatus to designate ideologues like Qaradawi, in the same manner as designating terror financiers, and to sanction them accordingly.

To begin with Qaradawi is already the head of a U.S. and Israeli-designated terrorist finance organization, the Union of the Good, as being designated by the United Arab Emirates.  Despite this no sanctions have ever been placed directly on Qaradawi or business associated with him.

Qaradawi, who has been banned from entry to numerous countries including the United States, France, and Ireland, faces an Interpol “red notice” seeking his arrest and return to Egypt to stand trial on charges of incitement to murder.

In other words, if the nations of the world were so inclined, the ability to take action against Qaradawi exists.

Yet Qaradawi continues to enjoy the patronage of Qatar and Turkey, nations that have sought to expand their prestige and position in the Muslim world through a mutually beneficial alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. As a result, it’s unlikely to see international consensus regarding an effort to sanction him for his calls to violence.

The other problem, of course is Egypt’s own history of seeking to utilize international forums to silence opponents have not always been focused on Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadist ideologues.

Instead Egypt (with the support of the United States), sponsored a 2009 resolution targeting freedom of speech under the rubric of protecting against religious discrimination. As Anne Bayesfky noted at the time:

…Ambassador Hisham Badr, was equally pleased–for all the wrong reasons. He praised the development by telling the Council that “freedom of expression . . . has been sometimes misused,” insisting on limits consistent with the “true nature of this right” and demanding that the “the media must . . . conduct . . . itself in a professional and ethical manner.”

The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that “the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . .” which include taking action against anything meeting the description of “negative racial and religious stereotyping.” It also purports to “recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media” and supports “the media’s elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct” in relation to “combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

This is particularly worrisome since the U.N.-based effort is modeled on using “incitement to violence” to trigger legal penalties, which seems similar to the sort of trigger for sanctions proposed by Reda.

While it’s possible that the current proposal by Ambassador Reda is intended only to narrowly focus on the kinds of jihadist ideology promoted by clerics like Qaradawi, it pays to be cautious.

Still Reda’s editorial displays a rare level-headedness about the depth of the problem, and a willingness to call out not just jihadists but Islamic scholars and clerics who provide legitimacy to jihadist terror.

At a minimum however cooperation between U.S. and western countries and Arab states looking to crack down on Muslim Brotherhood ideologues and their networks would be a key turning point towards responding to the current threat, and one that the U.S. has largely turned a blind eye to. Certainly expanding current terrorism laws to include those, like Qaradawi, who provide ideological and material support to terror, along with including the Muslim Brotherhood as a designated terrorist group, would be a good first step towards “countering the pontiff of terror.”

Leaked Soros Memo: Refugee Crisis ‘New Normal,’ Gives ‘New Opportunities’ For Global Influence

Billionaire investor George Soros of Soros Fund Management attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener

Billionaire investor George Soros of Soros Fund Management attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener

Daily Caller, by Peter Hasson, Aug. 15, 2016:

A leaked memo from left-wing financier George Soros’s Open Society Foundations argues that Europe’s refugee crisis should be accepted as a “new normal,” and that the refugee crisis means “new opportunities” for Soros’ organization to influence immigration policies on a global scale.

OSF program officer Anna Crowley and program specialist Katin Rosin co-authored the May 12 memo, titled “Migration Governance and Enforcement Portfolio Review.”

The nine-page review makes three key points: OSF — which doles out millions to left-wing causes — has been successful at influencing global immigration policy; Europe’s refugee crisis presents “new opportunities” for the organization to influence global immigration policy; and the refugee crisis is the “new normal.”

Open Society Foundations is successfully influencing global immigration policy

One of the purposes of the review, Crowley and Rosin write in the introduction, is to “consider the effectiveness of the approaches we have used to achieve change at the international level.”

A section of the review titled “Our Work” describes how America’s least transparent think tank has worked with “leaders in the field” to “shape migration policymaking and influence regional and global processes affecting the way migration is governed and enforced.”

In a section titled, “Our Ambitions,” the authors explain: “Our premise for engaging in work related to governance was that, in addition to mitigating the negative effects of enforcement, we should also be supporting actors in the field proactively seeking to change the policies, rules, and regulations that govern migration.”

“We also believed that advances at the regional or international levels could create impetus for policy change or implementation of existing norms at the national level. We deliberately avoided the term ‘global governance’ because there is no single system at the global level for managing migration.”

The same section later states that IMI “has had to be selective and opportunistic, particularly at the global level, in supporting leaders in the field to push thinking on migration and better coordinate advocacy and reform efforts. We have supported initiatives, organizations, and networks whose work ties directly to our aims in the corridors.”

“Early on, IMI identified a handful of organizations able to engage on migration globally and transnationally, elevating IMI’s corridor work beyond the national level,” reads another section of the memo, entitled “Our Place.”

“These included key think tanks such as the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and advocacy networks such as the International Detention Coalition (IDC).” (The authors later note that MPI, a strong advocate of amnesty for illegal immigrants in America, “is sometimes criticized for its closeness to governments, [but] flexible funding from OSF has allowed it to maintain some independence from the governments it advises.”)

The memo also notes that “IMI played a central role in establishing and influencing the goals of two new [European Programme for Integration and Migration] sub-funds on the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and immigration detention.”

Europe’s refugee crisis presents “new opportunities” for OSF

The memo explains how Europe’s refugee crisis is opening doors for Soros’ organization to further influence global immigration policy.

The authors note that “the current refugee crisis is creating space to reconsider the governance of migration and the international refugee regime.”

One reason for this is that the developing countries that make up the Group of 77 at the United Nations were motivated by the refugee crisis to keep immigration issues on the “global agenda,” the memo states.

“The refugee crisis and the fear that the interests of migrants fleeing poverty, climate change, generalized violence, or natural disaster would be overlooked at these fora have generated a push from G77 countries to ensure other migration issues remain on the global agenda.”

They later explain that the current crisis provides “new opportunities” for influencing immigration policy on a global scale.

“The current climate presents new opportunities for reforming migration governance at the global level, whether through the existing multi-lateral system, or by bringing together a range of actors to think more innovatively. Our long-standing interest and investment in global work means we have many of the right partners and are positioned to help others navigate this space.”

Additionally, the review states, “The refugee crisis is opening new opportunities” for “coordination and collaboration” with other wealthy donors.

Europe’s refugee crisis: the new normal

According to the review, immigration policy-makers need to accept the refugee crisis as a “new normal.”

One of the conclusions listed in the memo is, “Accepting the current crisis as the new normal and moving beyond the need to react.”

SorosNewNormal-768x143

“Observing our partners as they respond and adjust to the new reality in light of the crisis in Europe and the Mediterranean, we see little attention given to long-term planning or fundamentally new approaches to advocacy.” The conclusion also stresses the need to fight back against “growing intolerance toward migrants.”

OSF has not yet returned The Daily Caller’s request for comment.

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

***

Also see:

U.S. Transfers 9 Yemeni Detainees from Guantánamo to Saudi Arabia

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, April 19, 2016:

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The Pentagon has announced the transfer of nine Yemeni detainees out of Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to Saudi Arabia as President Barack Obama prepares to visit the Gulf kingdom and continues his efforts to shut down the U.S. military prison.

The Pentagon made the announcement of Saturday’s transfers in a statement.

All nine prisoners are from Saudi Arabia’s next-door neighbor, Yemen, home to a war that has been raging since March 2015 between a Saudi-led coalition, backed by the United States, and Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.

The Saudi alliance, primarily made up of Sunni-led nations, has also been trying to restore the internationally backed government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

Overall, the majority of the 80 detainees who still remain at Guantánamo are from Yemen, which borders Saudi Arabia, and finds itself in the middle of a fragile United Nations-brokered ceasefire between warring sides. Peace negotiations were expected to resume Monday, but were delayed.

“Saudi Arabia runs a rehabilitation program to help former jihadists re-enter society. It has only taken in one other Yemeni prisoner, in 2007, and has mostly repatriated its own citizens from the facility,” reports The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). “The nine prisoners involved in the latest transfer had been in the Guantánamo detention center since 2002, and none had been charged with a crime.”

All nine prisoners arrived in Saudi Arabia Saturday evening, the kingdom has reportedly confirmed. A Pentagon statement announcing the transfer indicated that at least one of the individuals will be released without restrictions.

The Pentagon reveals:

On April 17, 2015, the Periodic Review Board consisting of representatives from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State; the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence determined continued law of war detention of [Mashur Abdullah Muqbil Ahmed] Al-Sabri does not remain necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, Al-Sabri was recommended for transfer by consensus of the six departments and agencies comprising the Periodic Review Board.

Of the 80 detainees held at Guantánamo, 26 have been cleared for transfer.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials, the WSJ reports that the Obama administration expects to release all prisoners approved for transfer by the end of the summer.

“Many of the prisoners remaining at the facility are Yemeni and are difficult to relocate because the U.S. must find third countries to accept them because of unrest in Yemen,” notes the WSJ. “Saturday’s transfer comes ahead of President Barack Obama’s trip to Saudi Arabia in coming days and is the largest single movement of prisoners in 2016.”

In a statement, the Pentagon expressed gratitude, thanking the Saudis for taking the prisoners:

The United States is grateful to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.

Saudi Arabia confirmed that the nine detainees arrived in the kingdom Saturday evening.

The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reports that the Saudi ministry of interior said Yemeni President Hadi requested the transfer, which was approved by Saudi King Salman.

Data compiled by The New York Times (NYT) provides background information on the detainees:

  1. Ahmed Umar Abdullah al Hikimi is a 43-or 44-year-old citizen of Yemen. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  2. Abdul Rahman Mohamed Saleh Naser is a 35-or 36-year-old citizen of Yemen. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  3. Ali Yahya Mahdi al Raimi is a 32-or 33-year-old citizen of Yemen. As of January 2010, the Guantánamo Review Task Force had recommended him for transfer. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  4. Tarek Ali Abdullah Ahmed Baada is a 37-or 38-year-old citizen of Yemen. He was transferred to an undetermined country on April 16, 2016.
  5. Mohammed Abdullah al Hamiri is a 33-or 34-year-old citizen of Yemen. As of January 2010, the Guantánamo Review Task Force had recommended him for transfer. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  6. Ahmed Yaslam Said Kuman is a 35-year-old citizen of Yemen. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  7. Abdul Rahman Umir al Qyati is a 39-or 40-year-old citizen of Yemen. As of January 2010, the Guantánamo Review Task Force had recommended him for transfer. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  8. Mansoor Muhammed Ali Qattaa is a 33-or 34-year-old citizen of Yemen. As of January 2010, the Guantánamo Review Task Force had recommended him for transfer. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  9. Mashur Abdallah Muqbil Ahmed al Sabri is a 37-or 38-year-old citizen of Yemen. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.

Soon after assuming the highest office of the land in 2009, President Obama, through executive order, established an interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force to review all cases and release those deemed eligible based on various factors, including security issues.

As required by law, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter informed the Republican-controlled Congress of the Obama administration’s intent to release the prisoners Saturday to Saudi Arabia.

President Obama has pledged to shut down the Guantánamo prison, but has met resistance from a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

Nevertheless, the Pentagon has submitted a proposal to Congress to close down the facility, which includes a provision to transfer prisoners deemed too dangerous for release to U.S. soil.

Transferring Guantánamo prisoners to the U.S. is prohibited by law.

Also see:

Obama Admin Open to U.N. Measures Focused on Israel

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, April  14, 2016:

The Obama administration says it “will carefully consider” what are expected to be a series of United Nations Security Council Resolutions aimed at Israel in the coming months, generating accusations in Congress that Washington is preparing to abandon Israel at the U.N., according to State Department officials and congressional sources apprised of the measure.

U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon that no decisions have been made yet about several draft resolutions being informally circulated in Turtle Bay, but that the administration is open to considering future drafts.

“We will carefully consider our future engagement and determine how to most effectively advance the objective we all share in achieving a negotiated two-state solution,” a State Department official not authorized to speak on record told the Free Beacon.

The administration has struggled this week to publicly articulate a consistent position on the issue.

State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Monday that the administration is open to U.N. action on Israeli settlements, but on Tuesday declared that the administration is flatly “opposed” to such action and would likely veto an Israel-focused measure.

Anne Patterson, an assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, testified to Congress on Wednesday that the administration has not yet committed to opposing future resolutions.

Asked by the Free Beacon to clarify the administration’s stance late Wednesday, a State Department official said that while the administration remains opposed to any “one-sided” action targeting Israel, it would not commit to vetoing all resolutions focused on Israel.

“Our position has not changed with regard to action at the U.N.,” the official said. “We continue to oppose one-sided resolutions that delegitimize Israel or undermine its security, but we are not going to speculate on hypothetical resolutions or other actions by the Security Council at this time.”

There are at least two drafts being circulated at the U.N. Security Council centered on the Jewish state, and more are expected in the months ahead.

One measure, led by the Palestinian Authority, seeks to formally condemn Israeli settlement activity, while a second measure, spearheaded by France, seeks to define the parameters for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian impasse.

A second U.S. official familiar with the U.N. action emphasized that the administration does not yet have a stance on those specific resolutions or future resolutions.

“There’s not much new here. This and other drafts have been floating around for some time,” the official told the Free Beacon. “Nothing has been formally introduced or circulated in the [Security] Council. We have no position on the informal draft.”

Meanwhile, Patterson’s testimony has generated frustration among lawmakers, who fear that the administration is planning to stand down when the U.N. Security Council takes up action focused on Israel.

Patterson also had difficulty explaining how the administration will react to the new U.N. resolutions aimed at Israel.

“Will the administration state unequivocally that we will not introduce, we will not support, that we will block, that we will veto any resolution at the U.N. Security Council that seeks to impose a two-state solution on Israel or that offers some artificial timeline for negotiations,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.) asked Patterson during a hearing.

“I can’t say without seeing a resolution,” Patterson responded.

Pressed by Ros-Lehtinen, Patterson continued to dodge the question.

“A draft exists and I haven’t personally seen it,” Patterson said.

“Do you think perhaps this lack of clarity to say, ‘We vetoed it before, we’re going to veto it again’ [is causing confusion]?” Ros-Lehtinen asked, describing the situation as “worrisome.”

“All I can say is that I think the administration’s record on this is pretty clear,” Patterson said, referring to the administration’s veto of past resolutions centered on Israel.

One senior congressional source working on the issue told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration appears to be setting the stage to endorse new U.N. action on Israel.

“It’s pretty clear the administration has been shifting the goal posts on this even though it should be a simple question to answer: Will the administration keep with longstanding U.S. policy and veto any resolution at the UNSC that would impose a resolution on Israel?” the source said.

“It’s worrisome because everyone keeps focusing on this ‘one-sided’ phrase that keeps getting thrown out, but who decides what a one-sided resolution is?” the source said. “If it’s the same people who decided what ‘consulting’ Congress meant during the [Iran] negotiations or the shift in Cuba policy, then there should be real cause for concern there. The president is still legacy shopping and I don’t think it would be a stretch to imagine him once again upending established U.S. policy and undermining what is supposed to be the bedrock of our policy of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Also see:

Iran Missile Tests Possible Violation of U.S. Sanctions, U.N. Resolutions

REUTERS/FARSNEWS.COM/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

REUTERS/FARSNEWS.COM/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

Breitbart, by John  Hayward,  March 9, 2016:

Iran conducted another round of illegal ballistic missile tests on Tuesday, and they may prove to be an even more egregious violation of sanctions than the launch in October. Iran openly defied the United Nations and United States — which an Iranian general described as “our main enemy” — and threatened to walk away from President Obama’s nuclear deal.

“State media announced that short-, medium- and long-range precision guided missiles were fired from several sites to show the country’s ‘all-out readiness to confront threats’ against its territorial integrity,” AFP reported. The Iranian broadcasts included pictures of the launches, which included ballistic missiles with ranges of up to 2,000 kilometers.

AFP notes these missile exercises were dubbed “The Power of Velayat” by Iran, a “reference to the religious doctrine of the Islamic republic’s leadership.” More specifically, it apparently refers to a book by the revolutionary Ayatollah Khomeini, in which he argued that Islamic sharia law should rule over secular government, administered by clerical “guardians” — the essence of “hardline” political thought in Iran.

The launches were conducted by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is under the command of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not President Hassan Rouhani. This leads to suspicions the missile tests were a demonstration of internal power and international defiance by the Iranian “hardliners,” after big “moderate” victories in the recent Iranian parliamentary elections.

“Our main enemies, the Americans, who mutter about plans, have activated new missile sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran and are seeking to weaken the country’s missile capability,” said IRGC Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh in a TV interview. “The Guards and other armed forces are defenders of the revolution and the country will not pay a toll to anyone… and will stand against their excessive demands.”

For all his alleged “moderation,” AFP notes that President Rouhani said in response to the prospect of fresh sanctions against Iran over missile violations: “Any action will be met by a reaction.”

Those reactions include a threat to walk away from Obama’s nuclear deal, if the U.S. insists on holding Iran to parts of the deal it doesn’t like.

“If our interests are not met under the nuclear deal, there will be no reason for us to continue. What makes us remain committed to the deal is our national interests,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said on Tuesday, during an address to an Iranian legal council. He implied that it would be America that nullified the deal, by imposing any further sanctions against Iran.

CNN quotes U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner saying on Tuesday that if the Iranian missile launches were confirmed as violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions, the U.S. would ask the United Nations to take an “appropriate response,” without specifying what that response might be.

“There are strong indications (this) test is inconsistent with U.N. Security Council 2231,” said Toner, referring to the relevant United Nations resolution. “If confirmed, we intend to raise the matter in the U.N. Security Council. We will also encourage a serious review of the incident and press for an appropriate response.”

There is some question about precisely what Iran launched last night, as Reuters notes images broadcast on Iranian TV of the most advanced missile Iran claimed to test, the Emad, appeared to come from the October test. The administration will want to confirm illegal missile tests before taking any further action.

In addition to the belligerent statements of defiance quoted above, the Iranian government argues that these missile tests were not violations of the Security Council resolution Toner cited, because the missiles cannot carry nuclear warheads.

On Tuesday afternoon, the White House said the Iranian missile launch was not a violation of the nuclear agreement, although the question of whether they violated U.N. Security Council resolutions remains:

***

Iranian State Television Flaunts Anti-Israel Ballistic Missile Launches

For the second day in a row, Iranian state television has broadcast propaganda videos that show the launch of several ballistic missiles with anti-Israel intent.

A video released Tuesday shows the inside of an underground tunnel used for launching the missiles. It features an Israeli flag painted on the ground which Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, members are meant to walk over on their way to launch.

Wednesday’s video shows another two missiles labeled with “Israel must be wiped off the Earth” in Hebrew. Persian-language media headlines included the Hebrew message in order to emphasize the IRGC’s anti-Israel intentions. The missiles were reportedly precision-guided Qadr missiles that put Israel within striking range.

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC aerospace division, said that the tests were meant to intimidate Israel.

“The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2,000 km (1,200 miles) is to be able to hit our enemy the Zionist regime from a safe distance,” Hajizadeh said. “Israel is surrounded by Islamic countries and it will not last long in a war. It will collapse even before being hit by these missiles.”

Iranian officials have brushed off the launches as part of their national defense capabilities, arguing that they are not in violation of the nuclear agreement implemented in January. The nuclear deal will free Iran from ballistic missile restrictions in eight years.

However, the tests do stand in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which states that Iran should not partake in “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Speaking in Jerusalem Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden said that the U.S. would “act” if Iran violated the nuclear deal and would keep an eye on threatening conventional military activity.

“There is no need to doubt that the United States has Israel’s back,” Biden said.

Also see:

The UN’s ‘violent extremism’ scam: What to say when ‘radical Islamic terror’ is too scary

FILE -- Sept. 21, 2009: The United Nations headquarters in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

FILE — Sept. 21, 2009: The United Nations headquarters in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Fox News, by Anne Bayefsky, Feb. 11, 2016:

There is a dangerous scam gaining traction at the United Nations, backstopped by the White House. It’s called “violent extremism.”  Given the U.N.’s long and undistinguished history of being unable to define terrorism, and an American president who chokes on the words “radical Islamic terrorism,” pledges to combat “violent extremism” have become all the rage.

It turns out that the terminological fast one is a lethal diplomatic dance that needs to be deconstructed, and quickly.

In 1999, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) adopted an “anti-terrorism” treaty stating that “armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination…shall not be considered a terrorist crime.”

In practice, that means it is open season on all Israelis, as well as Americans and Europeans who get in the way.  Each of the 56 Islamic states, and what the UN labels the “State of Palestine,” is a party to this treaty.

The September 11 terror attacks then launched a growth industry in U.N. counter-terrorism chit-chat and paraphernalia.

Year-after-year, Islamic states have prevented the adoption of a UN Comprehensive Convention Against Terrorism by refusing to abandon their claim that certain targets are exempt.

In 2001 the U.N. Security Council created the Counter-Terrorism Committee. But it is unable to name a state sponsor of terrorism. In fact, from 2002 to 2003, Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism, was a member.

In 2005 the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, once chaired by Colonel Qaddafi’s Libya, created the U.N. expert on “the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism” – as if countering terror is not about protecting human rights.

In 2006 the General Assembly adopted a Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  It manages to cast terrorists as victims.  “Pillar Number One” starts by worrying about “conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.” “Youth unemployment,” for instance, purportedly results in “the subsequent sense of victimization that propels extremism and the recruitment of terrorists.”

In 2011 the UN established the Counter-Terrorism Center – at the initiative of Saudi Arabia.  The Saudis threw $100 million at the venture and became chair of the “Advisory Board.”  Saudi financing of radical charities and “academic” exercises around the world are somehow left out of Center events on investigating and prosecuting terror financing.

Integral to the-best-defense-is-a-good-offence routine, has been the constant unsubstantiated allegation of an “Islamophobia” pandemic.

For the first decade of the 21st century, the Islamophobia charge was hurled in UN resolutions on the “defamation” of Islam or the “defamation of religion.” Defamation meant the freedoms of human beings should be trumped by the “rights” of “religion.”

In 2009 “defamation” was repackaged by the General Assembly as “human rights and cultural diversity.”  Ever since, the over 100 countries of the “Non-aligned movement” vote against Western states and demand the freedoms of human beings be trumped by “cultural diversity.” And that’s cultural diversity Iran-style. In December 2015, the UN resolution praised Tehran’s Centre for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity – the brainchild of former Iranian President and well-known human rights aficionado Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In the last six weeks alone, Islamic states have staged two UN meetings focusing on “Islamophobia and inclusive societies,” and “countering xenophobia.”  Two weeks ago, the servile Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon couldn’t mention “antisemitism” on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz without connecting it to “anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Of course, the Islamophobia drumbeat skips right over the xenophobia, antisemitism, and exclusivity that is endemic – and officially-sanctioned – in Islamic states.

This is the substrate from which Ban Ki-moon has now manufactured a “Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.”  Introduced in January, the General Assembly is meeting on February 12, 2016 to push the plan forward.

After one mention of “ISIL, Al-Qaida and Boko Haram,” the Plan insists that violent extremism “does not arise in a vacuum. Narratives of grievance, actual or perceived injustice…become attractive.” “It is critical that in responding to this threat,” stresses the Plan, that states be stopped from “overreacting.”  Topping “conditions conducive to violent extremism” is “lack of socioeconomic opportunities.”

Here we go again. The bigots, fanatics and killers are allegedly driven by our annoying insistence on fighting back – which the Plan astonishingly calls “the cycle of insecurity and armed conflict.”

As per usual in U.N. negotiations, the Obama administration has jumped on board while Islamic states are holding out for greater elaboration of their grievances and even more “nothing to do with religion or Islam” clauses.

The U.N.’s idea of a win-win is an illusory “global partnership to confront this menace” that allows states to define violent extremism any which way they want:  “This Plan of Action pursues a practical approach to preventing violent extremism, without venturing to address questions of definition.”

Only U.N. con-artists could present refusing to identify a problem as the most practical way to solve it.

More practically speaking, the latest Palestinian terror wave began by pumping bullets into a young mom and dad in front of their little kids for the crime of being Jews living and breathing on Arab-claimed land. In U.N. terminology, Eitam and Naama Henkin were “extremist settlers.”

So to all you extremist lovers of liberty: beware the violent extremists in U.N. clothing, and the morally-challenged commanders in chief bringing up the rear.

Anne Bayefsky is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. Follow her on Twitter @AnneBayefsky.

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.”

 

UN Plan to Prevent “Violent Extremism” Ignores its Primary Cause

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Frontpage, by Joseph Klein, Jan. 19, 2016:

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is operating from the same playbook as President Obama when it comes to addressing the threat of global jihad. They both deny that such a religiously-based threat exists. Just like Obama, Ban Ki-moon uses the euphemism “violent extremism,” without linking it to its primary ideological source – Islam.

The global terrorist scourge is driven by Islamic supremacy and the jihadist war against the “infidels” that are embedded in sharia law. That is not to say that the jihadists are the only terrorists in the world. However, to diffuse responsibility by contending that violent extremism is found in all faiths ignores the fact that the only global terrorist network threatening our way of life today is bound together by the teachings of Islam.

In the Secretary General’s remarks to the UN General Assembly on January 15th introducing his “Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism,” he said that “the vast majority of victims worldwide are Muslims.” Obama said essentially the same thing last February at his Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, lamenting that it is “especially Muslims, who are the ones most likely to be killed.”

Both Ban Ki-moon and President Obama omitted to say that the killers are also primarily Muslims. Moreover, they left out entirely any mention of the ongoing genocide being conducted by Muslims in the name of Allah against Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East.

When I asked the spokesperson for the Secretary General why the Secretary General did not acknowledge the fact that the vast majority of global terrorists today are Islamists, the spokesperson responded that “the Secretary‑General’s focus is not on targeting or pointing finger at one ethnic group, one religious group, or people who claim to act in the name of a particular religion.”

This begs the question as to why the Secretary General took pains to assert that Muslims constitute the majority of terrorists’ victims but refused to acknowledge that the vast majority of perpetrators are also Muslims.

The Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism describes what it calls the “drivers of violent extremism.”  These drivers include, according to the UN document, lack of socioeconomic opportunities, marginalization and discrimination, poor governance and violations of human rights, prolonged and unresolved conflicts, radicalization in prisons, collective grievances, and exploitation of social media.

Obama offered essentially the same explanation for the growth of violent extremism put forth by Ban Ki-moon. A key problem, he said, was lack of economic opportunity that trapped people –especially young people – “in impoverished communities.”

Obama added: “When people are oppressed, and human rights are denied — particularly along sectarian lines or ethnic lines — when dissent is silenced, it feeds violent extremism.”

Ban Ki-moon and President Obama both have argued that Islam itself is blameless. It is, in Ban Ki-moon’s words, the “distortion and misuse of beliefs” that are to blame. At his February 2015 Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, President Obama called out what he described as “the warped ideologies espoused by terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL, especially their attempt to use Islam to justify their violence.”

However, the truth is that Islam itself contains the seeds for the violence that is such a prominent part of jihad. Jihadists using violence as a tactic to impose Islam as the world’s only “legitimate” belief system are following the path laid down by Prophet Muhammed himself and his early followers, according to their literal words and acts.

The proposed actions to address the problem of “violent extremism,” both Ban Ki-moon and Obama agree, include better education, more opportunities for women, better governance, and respect for human rights including freedom of expression and freedom of religious belief.  The UN Secretary General and President Obama base their common strategy on their shared utopian belief that peoples from every country and culture embrace a common set of “universal” human rights, as expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration’s preamble states:  “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

However, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, despite its enlightened vision of the inherent dignity and fundamental rights of all human beings, is far from being a truly universally accepted creed. Muslims reject it to the extent that it conflicts with sharia law.

While Muslim member states of the United Nations, with the notable exception of Saudi Arabia, signed the Universal Declaration, they disavow its Western, secular-based principles. Islamists refuse to be ruled by any human rights document that deviates from what they regard as the divinely-inspired sharia law.

As the Islamic response to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation foreign ministers adopted The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam in 1990. After reciting a litany of human rights that it pledges to protect, the Cairo Declaration subjects all of its protections to the requirements of sharia law. “The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification to any of the articles of this Declaration.” (Article 25)

By making Islamic law the sole authority for defining the scope of human rights, the Muslims’ Cairo Declaration sanctions limits on freedom of expression, discrimination against non-Muslims and women, and a prohibition against a Muslim’s conversion from Islam. Such restrictions on freedoms directly contradict the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Saudi Arabia and Iran, the leading Muslim majority countries today representing the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam respectively, may be at odds with one another regarding certain sectarian and geopolitical issues. However, they both purport to govern according to sharia law, which is used to justify their religious intolerance, brutal suppression of dissent, misogyny and capital punishment for blasphemy, apostasy, adultery and homosexuality. It is Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism which has helped fuel the jihadists inside and outside of Saudi Arabia seeking to forcibly purify Islam from the influence of “infidels.” And Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, as it seeks to fulfill the vision of Ayatollah Khomeini, the late founder of the Iranian Islamic revolution, to kill the infidels and ensure “that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.”

Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has rejected the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which he claims is reflective of a “culture of dominance.” Instead, he said “the answer is return to Islam, and recourse to Divine revelation.” He called for the use of “Islamic sources (the Quran and the Sunnah) in legal matters.” Presumably, what the Supreme Leader described as the “Islamic mode of thinking in society” would explain the Islamic Republic of Iran’s arbitrary imprisonment, torture and the killing of political dissidents and members of minority groups. The “Islamic sources in legal matters” evidently serve as the basis for the regime’s discriminatory laws against women, among other repressive laws.

In 2013, Iran was rewarded by the UN for its vows of global conquest with a seat on the General Assembly’s disarmament committee. Last year Iran was rewarded for its horrendous record of abuses against women with membership on the executive board of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. And as of January 16, 2016, Iran has been welcomed back into the international community with the lifting of sanctions and the unfreezing of assets worth approximately $150 billion.

The Saudi Sheikh Saleh Al-Lehadan, head of the Supreme Judiciary Council, expressed back in 2008 the religious intolerance that lies at the heart of the leading Sunni country’s practice of Islam: “After getting rid of the Jews in our Arab land, we must turn to the Christians. They have three options: either they convert to Islam, or leave, or pay Jizia (protection taxes).” With the help of the Islamic State and al Qaeda that receive funding from Saudi Arabia, this ambition is on its way to being realized, and even expanded to reach throughout the Middle East and beyond.

The same Saudi sheikh and head of the Supreme Judiciary Council also said: “Women who are raped by men are themselves to blame. They provoke men by the way they dress or walk.”

Last year Saudi Arabia was rewarded for its horrendous human rights record with a seat and leadership position on the UN Human Rights Council.

Coddling the leading jihad exporting countries and pretending that sharia law can ever be reconciled with so-called “universal” human rights values will render all plans of action to prevent “violent extremism” an utter failure.

Planned UN ‘hub’ in Washington aims to influence US counterterrorism strategy

A view of the entrance to Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). (Credit: UN)

A view of the entrance to Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). (Credit: UN)

Fox News, by George Russell, Nov. 19, 2015:

EXCLUSIVE:  The chief United Nations human rights agency, with the Obama administration’s apparent blessing, is creating a new “regional hub” for itself in Washington, to use as a center for organizing against the death penalty, among other things, and for affecting the legal frameworks, policies, and strategies of American counterterrorism.

In a management plan covering its activities through 2017, the agency, known as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, or OHCHR, puts the U.S. in the same category for that counterterrorism “alignment” effort as countries like Iraq and Uganda.

The fast-tracked human rights “hub” also has a number of more nebulous “thematic” objectives for the U.S., which include, according to an OHCHR information document, “the establishment of national participatory bodies for reporting and implementing recommendations of human rights mechanisms” and the aim of “widening the democratic space” with the aid of undefined “National Human Rights Institutions.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE INFORMATION DOCUMENT

It may also involve, as OHCHR notes in its management plan, “increasing advocacy for ratification of human rights treaties and withdrawal of treaty reservations” — meaning exceptional carve-outs that nations — including those like the U.S., with a federal division of power — can make to limit their acceptance of international agreements.

In the case of the death penalty, for example, U.S. refusal to join in a U.N- sponsored global moratorium is based on the fact that such criminal justice measures also are the responsibilities of individual states.

Nonetheless, as OHCHR’s management plan notes, “in addition to global efforts to abolish the death penalty by 2017, OHCHR expects to have contributed to a moratorium on the application of the death penalty or pending a moratorium, increased compliance with relevant international human rights obligations in countries such as Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, South Sudan, the United States of America and other countries in Asia and the Americas.”

The OHCHR puts the U.S. in the same category for its counterterrorism “alignment” effort as countries like Iraq and Uganda.

All of those themes, along with OHCHR’s view of itself as  “the principal advocate for human rights within the U.N. system,” seem likely to bring the U.S. into closer proximity to the U.N.’s tangled, proliferating and often sweepingly contradictory notions of international human rights law — and also, perhaps, to the notoriously dictatorship-riddled, 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council.

Among other things, the Council, which has been far more enthusiastic about condemning alleged human rights transgressions in Israel than in any other nation, creates mandates for OHCHR, which also serves as the Council’s bureaucratic support.

The Obama administration reversed the policies of George W. Bush to join the Council in 2009, and served consecutive three-year terms that ended last month, claiming victories during that time in focusing the Council on gay rights and criticism of human rights practices in North Korea and Iran.

While no longer on the Council, the administration now seems comfortable with bringing the U.N.’s human rights approach into closer contact with U.S. legislators, lobbyists, human rights activists and, perhaps most importantly, financial appropriators, before it leaves office at the end of next year.

Indeed, the OHCHR “hub” — which will cover not just the U.S. but “North America and the English-speaking Caribbean” — already has a warm advance welcome from the administration that also seems aimed at letting the new U.N. outpost arrive smoothly under Washington’s political radar.

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Obama Administration and UN Announce “GLOBAL POLICE FORCE” to Fight “Extremism” IN US CITIES

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Atlas Shrugs, by Pamela Geller, Oct. 1, 2015:

Yesterday, Loretta Lynch announced before the United Nations that the Attorney General’s office, in collaboration with several US cities, will form a global law enforcement initiative called the Strong Cities Network. This is the implementation of UN rules and laws on US soil, bypassing Congress and circumventing the Constitution. (thanks to Noisy)

The UN is a sharia-compliant world body, and Obama has insisted that jihad is not exclusive to Islam (which it is). So will the UN, driven largely by the sharia-enforcing  OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) and pro-Islamic Obama, use a “global police force” to crush counter jihad forces?

I suspect this global police force will be used to impose the blasphemy laws under the sharia (Islamic law).

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Department of Justice, September 28, 2015 (thanks to Debra)

Launch of Strong Cities Network to Strengthen Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism

Cities are vital partners in international efforts to build social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.  Local communities and authorities are the most credible and persuasive voices to challenge violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations in their local contexts.  While many cities and local authorities are developing innovative responses to address this challenge, no systematic efforts are in place to share experiences, pool resources and build a community of cities to inspire local action on a global scale.

“The Strong Cities Network will serve as a vital tool to strengthen capacity-building and improve collaboration,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “As we continue to counter a range of domestic and global terror threats, this innovative platform will enable cities to learn from one another, to develop best practices and to build social cohesion and community resilience here at home and around the world.”

The Strong Cities Network (SCN)  – which launches September 29th at the United Nations – will empower municipal bodies to fill this gap while working with civil society and safeguarding the rights of local citizens and communities.

The SCN will strengthen strategic planning and practices to address violent extremism in all its forms by fostering collaboration among cities, municipalities and other sub-national authorities.

“To counter violent extremism we need determined action at all levels of governance,” said Governing Mayor Stian Berger Røsland of Oslo while commenting on their participation in the SCN.  “To succeed, we must coordinate our efforts and cooperate across borders.  The Strong Cities Network will enable cities across the globe pool our resources, knowledge and best practices together and thus leave us standing stronger in the fight against one of the greatest threats to modern society.”

The SCN will connect cities, city-level practitioners and the communities they represent through a series of workshops, trainings and sustained city partnerships.  Network participants will also contribute to and benefit from an online repository of municipal-level good practices and web-based training modules and will be eligible for grants supporting innovative, local initiatives and strategies that will contribute to building social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.

The SCN will include an International Steering Committee of approximately 25 cities and other sub-national entities from different regions that will provide the SCN with its strategic direction.  The SCN will also convene an International Advisory Board, which includes representatives from relevant city-focused networks, to help ensure SCN builds upon their work.  It will be run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a leading international “think-and-do” tank with a long-standing track record of working to prevent violent extremism:

“The SCN provides a unique new opportunity to apply our collective lessons in preventing violent extremism in support of local communities and authorities around the world”, said CEO Sasha Havlicek of ISD.  “We look forward to developing this international platform for joint innovation to impact this pressing challenge.”

“It is with great conviction that Montréal has agreed to join the Strong Cities Network founders,” said the Honorable Mayor Denis Coderre of Montreal.  “This global network is designed to build on community-based approaches to address violent extremism, promote openness and vigilance and expand upon local initiatives like Montréal’s Mayors’ International Observatory on Living Together.  I am delighted that through the Strong Cities Network, the City of Montréal will more actively share information and best practices with a global network of leaders on critical issues facing our communities.”

The Strong Cities Network will launch on Sept. 29, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT, following the LeadersSummit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism.  Welcoming remarks will be offered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, who will also introduce a Keynote address by U.S. Attorney General Lynch.  Following this event, the Strong Cities International Steering Committee, consisting of approximately 25 mayors and other leaders from cities and other sub-national entities from around the globe, will hold its inaugural meeting on Sept. 30, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT.

Also see:

In fiery speech, Netanyahu challenges UN on moral grounds

New York – Armed with unfilltered criticism for the United Nations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an aggressive speech to the international body’s annual gathering in New York on Thursday, charging its members with hypocrisy in its treatment of Israel and with failure to contain extremism across the wider Middle East.

With defensive rhetoric, he targeted the assembly for passing more resolutions against Israel for its handling of the Palestinians last year than against the government of Syria, which has presided over a war claiming the lives of over 300,000 people. He criticized member states for “encouraging Palestinian rejectionism” instead of direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions, one day after a Palestinian flag was raised at UN headquarters.

And yet the most poignant moment of the speech involved no remarks at all, as Netanyahu, in his seventh UN General Assembly address, asked the body if it had forgotten the lessons of the Holocaust just seventy years since its founding.

He quoted from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, from its president and its military commanders, all reiterating a familiar pledge: Israel, a state where six million Jews reside, must be annihilated, sooner rather than later.

“Seventy years after the murder of six million Jews, Iran’s rulers promise to destroy my country, murder my people,” Netanyahu said. “And the response from this body— the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here— has been absolutely nothing. Utter silence. Deafening silence.”

Silence followed the charge as the prime minister surveyed the room with a stoic stare. None spoke or moved in the audience as Netanyahu, at the lectern, remained quiet for nearly a minute.

“As someone who knows that history, I refuse to be silent,” he finally said to applause from the hall. Repeating a line he has delivered in Washington, he added: “The days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies— those days are over.”

The speech was Netanyahu’s first major address since the Iran nuclear deal survived a debate over its merits in the US Congress. Its architects from the United States, Europe, Russia and China met to discuss implementation of the deal earlier in the week.

“Ladies and gentlemen, check your enthusiasm at the door,” he said of the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “It makes war more likely.​”

He warned that international investors were preparing to flood a “radical theocracy with weapons and cash” and warned that, “when bad behavior is rewarded, it only gets worse.” The deal, he said, amounts to a marriage between radical Islam and nuclear power.

“Under this deal, If Iran doesn’t change its behavior— in fact, if it becomes even more dangerous in the years to come— the most important constraints will still be automatically lifted by year 10 and by year 15. That would place a militant Islamic terror regime weeks away from having the fissile material for an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs,” he said. “That just doesn’t make any sense.”

And the JCPOA, he continued, has already led Iran to rapidly expand its network of terrorist proxies worldwide and spend “billions of dollars on weapons and satellites.” As an example of that network, Netanyahu detailed a well-armed cell of Hezbollah that has been identified in Cyprus, and warned that the organization— listed by the United States and European Union as a terrorist organization— was setting up similar cells in the Western hemisphere.

“We will continue to act to stop the transfer of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syrian territory,” he said. Israel has periodically struck convoys traversing Syrian territory, but future missions have been complicated by a growing presence of Russian forces in the region.

While acknowledging that the deal is proceeding toward implementation— he asked the UN to enforce the JCPOA with “more rigor” than the six past Security Council resolutions on the nuclear issue that Iran had “systematically violated”— Netanyahu retained Israel’s option to defend itself against Iranian aggression.

“We have, we are and we will” defend ourselves, Netanyahu said, once again earning some applause.

Netanyahu personally engaged in a bruising battle on Capitol Hill over the deal, pitted against US President Barack Obama, who lobbied for its survival. The support of only one third of one house in Congress was required to preserve the agreement, and 42 senators ultimately chose to endorse it.

In Thursday’s address, he thanked Congress for debating the deal on its merits and characterized the rift with Obama as a “disagreement within the family.” And he underscored that, in spite of the public battle, the US remains Israel’s most valuable ally.

Netanyahu is scheduled to visit the White House next month.

After spending the majority of his speech condemning Iran and the deal over its nuclear work, he turned to the Palestinian issue, responding largely to a speech delivered the day before by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In that address, Abbas appeared to disavow commitments made between Israel and the Palestinian Authority since the Oslo Accords were first signed in 1993.

“I am prepared to immediately resume direct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority without any preconditions whatsoever,” Netanyahu said. “Unfortunately, President Abbas said yesterday that he is not prepared to do this. I hope he changes his mind.”

Abbas, in his speech, said the international community should treat Palestine as an independent state occupied by a foreign power.

“Israel has destroyed the foundations upon which the political and security agreements are based,” Abbas said. “We therefore declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all its responsibilities as an occupying power.”

Shortly after Abbas’ speech, the Quartet on the Middle East— comprised of the UN, EU, US and Russia— released a statement reiterating its goals: A negotiated two-state outcome “that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for Statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation that began in 1967 and resolves all permanent status issues in order to end the conflict.”

The group warned that a continuation of the status quo may imperil the viability of a two-state plan.

The UN has adopted twenty resolutions condemning Israel in the past year— far more than on any other issue or against any other nation, including Syria, which has been the subject of one resolution. Netanyahu cited the figure as an example of the body’s “obsessive bashing of Israel.”

In his call for direct negotiations, Netanyahu said: “We owe it to our peoples to try.” Both he and Abbas were directly involved in a nine-month negotiations process brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry which, in July 2014, collapsed without results.

“President Abbas, here’s a good place to begin: Stop spreading lies about Israel’s alleged intentions on the Temple Mount. Israel is fully committed to maintaining the status quo there,” he said. Both the Quartet and UN’s secretary-general Ban Ki-moon have condemned incitements to violence on the holy site in recent days.

“Don’t use the Palestinian state as a stepping stone to another Islamist dictatorship in the Middle East, but make its something real,” Netanyahu added. “We can do remarkable things.”

But the PA responded on Thursday evening by rejecting the premise of the prime minister’s argument: Netanyahu, PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat said, has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of genuine interest in peace.

“Members of his camp have continually sabotaged every attempt at a meaningful peace process.  The Palestinians have never placed conditions on peace,” said Erekat. “Palestinians have demanded that Israel abide by the obligations it has already made to the Palestinians, which Israel has yet to fulfill.”

“As Mr. Netanyahu tells the world he wants to negotiate for two-states, he has built the largest illegal settlement enterprise seen in modern history,” he continued.

Debate over Israeli-Palestinian peace has been a consistent topic in the UN’s annual debate, and this year has been no exception: Speeches by leaders from France to Lesotho have called for a settlement, using their precious time on the international stage.

One leader who avoided the issue was the president of the United States. In his Monday address, Obama did not mention either Israel or the Palestinians once.

For his part, on the issues of Palestine, Iran and the role of the international community, Netanyahu’s message had a common theme: Israel remains a democracy, with values consistent with the liberal tenets of the United Nations’ founding charter.

Both in silence and with fiery rhetoric, he called on fellow members to celebrate that tradition.

“Stand with Israel because Israel is not just defending itself,” he concluded. “More than ever, Israel is defending you.”

AT THE U.N., OBAMA REFUSES TO SEE THE CHAOTIC WORLD HE HAS MADE

ISIS-beheading-Christians-Libya-ap-640x480Breitbart, by John Hayward, Sep. 28, 2015:

President Obama’s address to the U.N. General Assembly on Monday morning was a rambling journey through a fantasy world where his foreign policy hasn’t been an unmitigated disaster.

Perhaps the most bizarre moment came when he tried to tout his Libyan adventure as asuccess.

There was plenty of tough-guy posturing that intimidated absolutely no one.  The Russian and Iranian delegations were especially good at looking bored and unimpressed when he called upon them to do this-or-that because The World supposedly demanded it. Obama hasn’t figured out he’s the only leader at the U.N. eager to sacrifice his nation’s interests to please The World.

Obama made the weird decision to vaguely threaten Russia over its invasion of Ukraine by claiming that The World would not stand idly by and allow it… when that’s exactly what The World, and especially First Citizen of the World Barack Obama, has been doing.  He essentially pleaded with Iran to stop supporting terrorist proxies and pursuing its aggressive regional ambitions, and focus on their economy instead.  (Of course, in Obama’s vigorous imagination, the U.S. has been enjoying an economic boom under his stewardship, instead of an endless grinding non-recovery and limp, sporadic growth, after Obama’s spending doubled the national debt in a single presidency.)

It was bad enough that the President talked about American troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan as the triumphant conclusion of an effective policy, rather than the hideous blunder that allowed ISIS to create a terror state, al-Qaeda to rise from the ashes, and the Taliban to begin planning its return to power.  At the same moment Obama was speaking, the Taliban was conducting a major offensive in Afghanistan, on par with the importance of ISIS taking Mosul in Iraq.  Obama’s pitifully small “New Syrian Force” of U.S.-backed rebels just handed a good deal of its American equipment over to al-Qaeda, and no one really knows what became of the unit itself.  Their predecessors were destroyed by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in Syria, with less than half a dozen survivors still on the field.

When Obama boasted of the Libyan operation as the successful removal of a tyrant, jaws must have hit the floor around the room.  Libya is an unholy disaster, a wasteland of warlords fighting to keep ISIS off their turf.  It’s a key gateway for the incredible migratory tide blasting out of Africa and the Middle East and now surging across Europe.  And yet, Obama portrays it as laudable example of tyrant removal… while modestly admitting that “our coalition could have, and should have, done more to fill a vacuum left behind.”

Of course he blamed everyone else in the “coalition” for the disaster in Libya.  He’s Barack Obama.  The day may come when he takes responsibility for something, but today is not that day, and tomorrow isn’t looking good either.

The scary thing about Obama is that he believes so completely in the power of his own rhetoric.

He thinks he can reshape reality with his words.  When he scolds the Iranians for their “Death to America!” rhetoric by saying bloodthirsty chants don’t create jobs, he’s asking Iran to live up to the silly talking points he foisted off on the American people to cover the Iranian nuclear deal.  He’s commanding Iran to act like the enlightened, responsible nation-state he gambled the future of Israel, America, and much of the Western world on.

The Iranians, on the other hand, see no reason to knock off the “Death to America!” chants, disband their theocracy, and begin spending their days arguing about stimulus bills.  Belligerence has gotten them everything so far.  They’ve been rewarded for it… by Barack Obama.  They’ve got $150 billion in sanctions relief coming their way.  They can afford to send a few guys to sit in the U.N. General Assembly with pissy expressions on their faces while Obama rambles on about how geo-political crime does not pay.  They know for a fact it pays, quite handsomely.  The Iranians are already using their Obama loot to reinforce terror proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah, and secure Bashar Assad in power.

Ah, yes, Bashar Assad… the dictator Obama still blathers on about removing from power, even as his own diplomatic apparatus gets used to the idea Assad is not going anywhere.  The only really good part of Obama’s speech was when he spent five seconds glaring at the Syrian ambassador before launching into his denunciation of barrel bombs and chemical weapons.  But you know what?  That Syrian ambassador gets paid enough to take a few seconds of hairy eyeball from the ineffectual American president.  The Russians are smoothly replacing American influence across the Middle East, in partnership with Iran.  The new order is taking shape.  Obama isn’t going to reverse that process by telling aggressive, bare-knuckle conquerors they should be ashamed of themselves.

The other dangerous thing about this delusional President is his belief in the “judgment of history.”

He’s constantly hitting on the idea that all of the world’s villains are on the wrong side of history, and will find themselves buried in the sands of time any day now.  It’s a dodge, a way of Obama evading responsibility.  Bashar Assad is going to remerge from the Wrong Side of History in pretty good shape.  ISIS is very comfortable there, as is Iran.  Qaddafi didn’t assume room temperature because History caught up with him. Vladimir Putin has a lovely view of Crimea from the wrong side of history.  The history of Europe is being reshaped by the tramping of a million “refugee” feet.

In every example, Obama clings to the idea that he can change the world by talking and scoring debate points, while his adversaries seize territory and control the course of events.  It’s not as though Obama has some deep-seated reluctance to use deadly force – there have been a lot of deaths by drone strike since he won that Nobel Peace Prize.  What Obama lacks is commitment.  His foreign policy is all about gestures and distractions.  He cooks up half-baked plans that will blow up a terrorist here and there, so he can’t be accused of doing “nothing,” but he won’t do anything that could cost him political capital at home.  Even Libya was half-hearted and calculated for minimum risk, which is why the place went to an even deeper Hell after Qaddafi was overthrown.

Obama talks as if he’s taken action against numerous crises, but all he ever did was talk about them.  The men of action are stacking up bodies, and raising flags over conquered cities, while this President is writing speeches and trying to win applause from editorial boards.  The men of action know that Obama’s promises all have expiration dates, his vows of action always have escape clauses, and no matter how he loves to boast that he heads up the most powerful military the world has ever seen, he’s done everything he can to make it weaker.

President Obama is still clinging to a romantic vision of the “Arab Spring” as a flourishing of democracy, despite all evidence to the contrary.  He’s giving the same foreign policy speeches he gave in 2009 because he can’t bear to live in the world he made.  He talks about filling vacuums and voids… but those voids are already filled, by hard characters with plans to make the most of the extraordinary opportunity Barack Obama afforded them.

***

 

FIGHTING ISLAMICIZATION AND ANTISEMITISM IN AMERICA

IMG_0667-640x480Breitbart, by ADELLE NAZARIAN, Sep. 8, 2015:

LOS ANGELES, California — A new form of antisemitism is taking place in America’s public schools via textbooks, activists say.

They are spearheading a nationwide movement to thwart the Islamic indoctrination of America’s youth. Their efforts started in Williamson County, Tennessee when a concerned mother contacted Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN) founder and President Lori Cordoza-Moore in response to several troubling passages in her son’s textbook.

PJTN was established in 2001 in response to 911. Three years later, it evolved into a task force to challenge the unconstitutionality of textbooks being used in public schools nationwide that contain passages teaching kids to be anti-American, antisemitic and “anti Judeo-Christian” through what activists say is Islamic indoctrination.

This past Tuesday, the David Horowitz Freedom Center hosted an event at the Luxe Hotel in Los Angeles where Cordoza-Moore, who also serves as a Special Envoy to the U.N. for the World Council of Independent Christian Churches, and Bill Becker, who is the CEO and general counsel for Freedom X, addressed a sold-out crowd detailing their efforts. (Freedom X is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to preserving religious freedom of expression.)

The concerned Tennessee mother said her son came home from his ninth grade high school one day and challenged the Bible’s statement that the Jews have the legitimate right to the land of Israel, after reading a public school-issued school text book by the Pearson publishing company–the same company behind Common Core standards.

“The quote she found basically legitimized Palestinians blowing themselves up in a Jerusalem restaurant because they were waging a war against Israeli government policies and army actions,” she said. “And sometimes distinguishing terrorism from political violence can be difficult.” The 2001Sbarro pizzeria bombing, to which she referred, was part of a series of coordinated Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israel known as the Second Intifada.

Following an extensive PR blitz and placing massive pressure on Pearson to remove the historically inaccurate passages or face failure, Pearson texts were successfully removed from the Tennessee school district and a change in protocol for publicly-funded schools also took place.

Cordoza-Moore’s efforts have now expanded nationwide, and her group educates media professionals and Christians around the globe about the dangers of this “new antisemitism,” providing them with tools to use to apply pressure and bring about change.

Becker compared what’s happening in American public schools to indoctrination under Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. “Education in the Third Reich served to indoctrinate students with the nationalist-socialist world view. Antisemitism was the overwhelming topic in every Nazi-era, German school curriculum.” Becker explained that the publication company that was responsible for publishing picture-books while Hitler was in power “demonstrated that antisemitism was taught to children before they were six, seven and eight-years-old.”

Additionally, teachers were required to teach children racial theory. “For the German people, racial theory meant the ‘Jewish problem.’” Part of this manual on the “Jewish problem,” he explained, maintained that German children had “an inborn aversion to Jews.” Becker said public schools are teaching children a skewed version of Islam:

Kids today are learning that Islam is a good religion, Christianity is a bad religion, Judaism is a bad religion, and we need to be tolerant to Islam. Forget about Christians and Jews; they are the antagonists. That’s what they are being taught, along with homosexuality being good and heterosexuality being bad.

Cordoza-Moore said that some of the textbooks being used in American schools actually violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution because they tend to favor the establishment of the religion of Islam over all others.

“It is our moral responsibility to defend our Jewish brethren and stand in support of Israel,” she said, explaining it is “Israel’s historical, archeological, legal, and biblical rights to an ancient homeland.”

This past February, Breitbart News published a story about Islamic indoctrination being taught in Los Angeles public schools.

Bill launched to halt refugee resettlement

Somali community in Lewiston, Maine, one of many cities and towns where the U.S. State Department, working with the U.N., has sent large contingents of refugees.

Somali community in Lewiston, Maine, one of many cities and towns where the U.S. State Department, working with the U.N., has sent large contingents of refugees.

WND, By Leo Hohmann On 07/31/2015:

A Texas congressman has introduced legislation that would halt the resettlement of United Nations-certified refugees in the U.S. pending a full study on the program’s impact on the nation’s economy and national security.

Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, introduced the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act, or HR 3314, which places an “immediate suspension on allowing immigrants into the United States under the refugee resettlement program, until the Government Accountability Office (GAO) completes a thorough examination of its costs on federal, state and local governments.”

According to U.S. government data, nearly 500,000 new immigrants have come to the U.S. under the resettlement program since President Obama took office – with the state of Texas and its taxpayers taking in more than any other state.

Since 2002, a total of 69,490 refugees from more than a dozen countries have been resettled in Texas. That does not include “secondary migration,” which involves refugees moving into Texas after first being resettled elsewhere.

Texas, California lead the way

The Lone Star State absorbed 7,214 refugees in fiscal 2014, followed by California with 6,108 and New York with 4,082. Michigan received 4,006 refugees and Florida 3,519 to round out the top five. Minnesota, when secondary migration is included, also makes the top five with more than 4,000 refugees arriving every year.

The refugees pour in from Iraq, Somalia, Burma, Bhutan, Cuba, Afghanistan, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and even Syria, the world’s most active hotbed of jihadist activity.

And it’s not only major urban centers receiving refugees. Cities like Amarillo, Texas; Manchester, New Hampshire; Twin Falls, Idaho; Lewiston, Maine; Wichita, Kansas; and St. Cloud, Minnesota, have been slammed with thousands of refugees from the Third World over the past decade. Most arrive with no English or job skills, and the nine major resettlement agencies that get government cash to do the resettlement work typically only provide aid for three to five months. After that, the refugees are mainly the responsibility of state and local governments.

Almost all of America’s refugees are selected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

After they are assigned to the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are responsible for screening them for connections to foreign terrorist organizations. FBI Counter-terrorism Deputy Director Michael Steinbach testified before Congress in February that it is impossible to screen refugees from a “failed state” like Syria, where the U.S. has no boots on the ground and no access to reliable law enforcement data. Somalia has similarly devolved into chaos.

‘Economic and social costs’ wearing on communities

“It is extremely unsettling that the Obama administration would continue to expand the U.S. resettlement program at such an irresponsible pace in light of our economic and national security challenges,” said Babin in a statement on his website. “While this program may be warranted in certain situations, it is continuing at an unchecked pace. For the past decade, the U.S. has been admitting roughly 70,000 new refugees a year, with little understanding of the economic and social costs on our communities.”

The costs of the resettlement program have ballooned to $1 billion a year, according to the government, and that only covers the costs of grants used to administer the program. The $1 billion figure does not include the cost of social welfare programs that refugees immediately qualify for upon entry into the country.

“Our legislation institutes a common-sense pause in the program so that we can better understand the long-term and short-term costs that this program has on local governments, states and U.S. taxpayers,” Babin said. “It also gives us an opportunity to examine potential national security issues related to entry and resettlement, particularly as federal law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned about home-grown terrorists.”

Resistance growing in South Carolina, Idaho, Minnesota

A public backlash against the refugee resettlement program has sprung up in recent months in several communities, including Spartanburg, South Carolina; Twin Falls, Idaho; and St. Cloud, Minnesota.

The refugee resettlement industry, which includes legions of immigrant rights advocates, lawyers and community organizing groups funded by George Soros, the Rockefeller and Ford foundations, among others, churned out a document in 2013 on how to deal with so-called “pockets of resistance.”

The document, authored by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, one of the nine government contractors doing resettlement work, advised refugee advocates to research the backgrounds of local people who oppose resettlements and turn them over to the Southern Poverty Law Center for public shaming as “racists” and “anti-Muslim” bigots.

This strategy has already been employed to varying extents in Spartanburg, St. Cloud and Twin Falls as residents have become organized and started demanding answers about how many refugees will be arriving, from what countries, and what the social and economic impact will be on school systems, job markets, health care and housing.

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