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July 2016

Tear Up or Renegotiate the Obamabomb Nuclear Deal with Iran? The nuclear agreement has no legitimacy and does not restrain Iran sufficiently. Fred Fleitz

Today, a year after President Obama announced his “legacy” nuclear deal with Iran (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA), there is overwhelming evidence that the agreement is far worse than its critics believed. These concerns were recently exacerbated by a German intelligence report of efforts by Iran in 2015 to covertly acquire illicit nuclear technology from German companies. According to the report, “it is safe to expect” that Iran’s covert nuclear-procurement efforts are continuing.

The question now is how the next president should deal with the nuclear deal with Iran.

If Hillary Clinton wins the 2016 presidential election, I see no chance that she will tear up or renegotiate the Iran deal, since she owns it as much as President Obama does. Moreover, because of the divisive fight in Congress over the JCPOA last year, Clinton and the Democratic party are too invested in the nuclear deal to back away from it. Given how weak the JCPOA is and recent reports of Iranian cheating on the accord, I believe this means Iran would make substantial progress on its nuclear weapons program during a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Although Donald Trump has denounced the JCPOA as one of the worst international agreements ever negotiated, it is unclear how a Trump administration would deal with the Iran nuclear agreement. Trump has said he would try to negotiate a better agreement. Walid Phares, a top Trump foreign-policy adviser, reiterated this position in a recent Daily Caller interview in which he said Trump is “not going to get rid of an agreement that has the institutional signature of the United States.” According to Phares, Trump would renegotiate the agreement after consulting with his advisers and could send it back to Congress.

Other Republicans who have recommended that the next president not tear up the nuclear agreement include Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Rand Paul.

Newt Gingrich, another senior Trump adviser, takes a different view. Gingrich said in a July 10 Newsmax interview that he would advise Trump to tear up the nuclear agreement with Tehran on his first day in the White House. John Bolton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and many other Republicans share Gingrich’s position.

I give three reasons in my new book Obamabomb: A Dangerous and Growing National Security Fraud why the best course of action for the next president on the nuclear deal will be to terminate it on his or her first day in office.

A Northern Alliance? How the U.K. can liberate post-Brexit Europe from Brussels Gunnar Heinsohn

With its decision to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom has a rare opportunity to turn away from isolationism and strengthen world trade. The Brexit vote was widely seen as a narrow choice between European collectivism and British nationalism. But a third choice exists for the U.K.: creating an alliance of northern European nations.

A new Northern Union trade and security alliance would include nations that, like the U.K., bristle at the E.U.’s suffocating bureaucracy and its endless demands for cash. Finland, for example, bleeds money to subsidize the E. U.’s spendthrift southern members and Brussels’s never-ending schemes for rescuing the Euro. The nearby Scandinavian countries wonder why they should stay in the E.U. if the U.K. is no longer in the club. In fact, one Scandinavian country already goes it alone: Norway has unrestricted free trade via the European Economic Area (EEA) and maintains its own currency, in high demand worldwide. Iceland followed Norway’s path until beginning negotiations to enter the E.U. in 2010, but the tiny island republic, just emerging from bankruptcy, has wisely broken off negotiations with Brussels. Iceland isn’t averse, however, to forming a security partnership—especially one that offers an alternative to joining a 27-state behemoth. The Dutch, like the Finns, grudgingly pay their ever-rising dues to the E.U. But what if the Dutch could find a way out of the Brussels trap? What if this new way were free of national chauvinism and consistent with a constructive strategy of global outreach?

Even Scotland’s separatist movement would lose much of its escapist appeal if Edinburgh were to join with Dublin, Belfast, Cardiff, and London in a Northern Union. Fresh courage is being felt in Ireland. American firms continue to take root there as they seek to avoid the high taxes back home that put them at a disadvantage against their East Asian competitors. Though Dublin has never been shy about pocketing European funds, Ireland fears that Brussels might wipe out its tax advantages.

Small nations, such as Estonia, along with regions of existing countries, such as Flanders in Belgium, might also find reason to join a Northern Union. How much more hopeful would Flanders be about its future if it could break away from the Belgian federation (and from clueless Wallonia) and join a new economic and security union?

What Made The West Great Is What Will Save Us Daniel Johnson

Western civilisation is threatened by an unprecedented array of external adversaries and dangers, ranging from Islamist terror and Russian or Chinese aggression to the fall-out from failed states. It also faces internal threats — above all the collapse of confidence in Judaeo-Christian values and democratic capitalism. What solutions do liberals and conservatives have to offer in answer to this predicament? Can either the Left or the Right rise to the challenge of the present crisis? Or are both political traditions mired in self-destructive mind-sets that prevent them from grasping the scale of the task, let alone reversing the decline of the West? I shall sketch a diagnosis and propose a cure for these pathologies of Left and Right, but I can only hazard a guess as to whether our political class is ready to take its medicine in time to save the day. The future of Western civilisation will depend on how well the present can mobilise the intellectual resources of the past.

I want to begin with the Right, because the crisis of conservatism on both sides of the Atlantic seems too deep to be explained by the vagaries of individual personalities or parties. The example that most obviously illustrates this comes from America, where the fiasco of the Republican nomination process is fresh in our minds. How could one of the oldest political parties in the world, drawing on the vast pool of talent provided by a great nation of more than 300 million souls, end up with Donald Trump? I will suggest three reasons, which I have discussed at greater length in an article in the April issue of Standpoint.

First, the revolt of the masses, a phenomenon first analysed by Ortega y Gasset in 1930, made it possible for a demagogue to appeal over the heads of the elites to the most plebeian and philistine instincts, the lowest moral denominators. On the American Right, we see the mastery of mediocrity, the apotheosis of the average, the triumph of Trumpery — a word that ever since Shakespeare has denoted something showy but worthless, empty or ridiculous talk, and deception.

Second, the backlash against political correctness — a pathology that has spread from the universities via the social media to permeate every nook and cranny of society — has found its champion in Donald Trump. He is certainly not the sophisticated critic of illiberal liberalism that conservatives should wish for; indeed, he is quite illiberal himself. But he has captured the field by shooting from the hip, indiscriminately targeting feminists, Hispanics, Muslims and just about anybody else who gets in his way. Indeed, Trump may even have given political correctness a new lease of life by reminding people why it originally emerged.

Third, Trump may appeal to the masses by denouncing the liberal elites who have failed America, but he belongs to those elites in a particular way: he is the embodiment of that “culture of narcissism” diagnosed by Christopher Lasch in the 1970s, when Trump’s mindset was formed. In an America where narcissists flourish, a reality TV host is a plausible president. The French Revolution ended by crowning a war hero as emperor. The American mutiny may end by inaugurating a paranoid, narcissistic megalomaniac as commander-in-chief.

He Calls Himself ‘Free Man’ A North Korean defector now works to free others By Jay Nordlinger

Jung Gwang-il does something unusual for a living: He sends information via helicopter drones into North Korea. The drones bear USB sticks and SD cards, which contain South Korean television shows, American movies, and more. This “more” includes videos of North Korean defectors, telling people back home what the outside world is like.

Jung himself is a defector. He survived the gulag and escaped North Korea in 2003. In May, he was a speaker at the Oslo Freedom Forum, where I sat down with him. I will relate his story in brief — a story full of horror, but leavened with majesty.

He was born in China in 1963. His grandparents had immigrated there from Korea in the 1930s. During Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Jung’s father, a professor, was hauled away. The entire family suffered. Jung’s mother took them to North Korea in 1969.

“This might seem crazy,” says Jung, “but when I arrived in 1969, North Korea seemed like a heaven, compared with China. In China, you could not eat three meals a day. In North Korea, you could.” The Jung family believed in Communism. That included Gwang-il. And he tells me, “My younger brother is still in North Korea, and he still believes in Communism.”

Gwang-il, however, had some doubts in the 1990s. The country was dying of starvation. “Every morning when I went to work, I saw ten, sometimes twenty new bodies piled up, most of them children who had lived on the streets. City officials took them away like bags of trash.” This made Jung wonder about what the regime had taught him: Were North Koreans really lucky to have the Kim family and the Communist Party ruling over them?

He spent ten years in the military. Then he worked for a trading company — a state company, of course, the only kind there is in North Korea. He did well. In one year, 1997, he brought in $700,000 for the regime. He was a good and productive citizen.

Then, in 1999, agents of the State Security Department came in the middle of the night and hauled him off. Jung was bewildered. There had to be some mistake. It transpired that one of his employees had accused him of being a spy for South Korea. Others conspired along with the main accuser. For Jung, there ensued ten months of torture.

Our domestic tensions embolden our enemies. By Victor Davis Hanson

Here is a sampling of some recent news abroad:

A Russian guard attacked a U.S. diplomatic official at the door to the American Embassy in Moscow, even as NATO leaders met to galvanize against the next act of Russian aggression.

The Islamic State continued its global terrorist rampage with horrific attacks in Baghdad and Istanbul.

Iran rebuffed United Nations warnings and defiantly boasted that it will continue testing ballistic missiles. German intelligence believes that Iran, empowered by the release of $100 billion in impounded cash, is violating its recent American-led nonproliferation deal in an effort to import nuclear bomb-making technology.

North Korea conducted a test (unsuccessful, apparently) of a submarine-based guided missile.

There are various ways of interpreting these ominous events.

They could represent just more empty chest-thumping by our enemies.

Or, because this is an election year in the U.S., enemies are posturing in order to advance their agendas, as they often do in times of uncertainty about who will be the next president.

Or, Obama is perceived as an exceptionally lame lame-duck president who is hoping to wind down his tenure in passivity, without a major incident abroad that might imperil his presidential legacy.

Or, after the explosive rise of ISIS, the disaster in Benghazi, the failed reset with Russia, the unchecked Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, the concessions in the Iran deal, the veritable implosion of the Middle East, and the president’s counterproductive sermonizing about Brexit, enemies sense that the U.S. is directionless. These enemies may be unsure whether America still wishes to — or even can — exercise its traditional leadership of the free world and remain the custodian of the post-war international order.

But perhaps there is yet another catalyst prompting such events.

The United States appears to be entering another era of dangerous internal instability similar to the one it endured in the 1960s-1970s.

After the attacks by radical Islamists in San Bernardino and Orlando, Americans did not rally together as they had after 9/11. Instead, almost immediately, the country was torn further apart. About half the nation saw the terrorist killings as a reason for stricter gun control rather than a reason to fear the continuing spread of radical Islamic terrorism. The other half worried that political correctness and the president’s refusal to even mention radical Islamic terrorism are eroding the ability to deter it.

America’s enemies draw their own conclusions.

After the Orlando attack, al-Qaeda urged lone-wolf terrorists in the U.S. to focus exclusively on white targets. The organization’s leaders apparently worry that if terrorists again hit minority communities, it will prompt a bickering America to blame itself rather than give full credit to the attackers.

After the recent deaths of two black men in confrontations with police (in Minnesota and Louisiana), followed by national Black Lives Matter protests and the killing of five law-enforcement officers in Dallas, it might appear to our enemies abroad that the American superpower is internally unwinding into tribalism in the fashion of the Balkans, Iraq, or Lebanon.

As in the case of Islamic terrorism, America seems to have no answers to racial tensions. Half the country believes African Americans are inordinately targeted by police and that inner-city violence can be attributed to a long history of racism, national neglect, and economic stagnation. The other half blame disastrous social-welfare and big-government policies for creating dangerous dependencies and a dearth of jobs in America’s inner cities, as well as a popular culture that glorifies rather than discourages the excesses of many young black males.

One America believes that the Obama administration genuinely tried, but so far has failed, to resolve the tensions between inner-city residents and police. The other America thinks Obama sought to leverage those tensions for political reasons.

Either way, most of America privately thinks that Islamic terrorist acts and racial tensions are going to get far worse — a perception that is probably shared overseas as well.

Our enemies increasingly may gamble that provocations won’t elicit a U.S. reaction. Or that even if America did respond, the resulting domestic divisions and turmoil would diminish the effectiveness of the response.

How Lebanon humbled, but didn’t break, Israelis : Matti Friedman

On the 10th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War — another chapter in Israel’s long, painful, and unfinished conflict in Lebanon — an excerpt from the new book ‘Pumpkinflowers’ examines the impact of decades in Lebanon on the Israeli psyche.

Author and journalist Matti Friedman spent much of his IDF service in the late 1990s in South Lebanon at an isolated base called Outpost Pumpkin, an experience he details in his acclaimed new book,Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story. In this excerpt, published here to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, Friedman examines the effect that Israel’s Lebanon entanglements have had on its leaders and people. The years of the Lebanon “security zone,” he believes, taught Israelis that they cannot shape the Middle East to their will and that their fate is not entirely in their own hands. Instead of despairing, however, Israelis have found an admirable way of living with a profoundly troubling reality.

I was sitting not long ago along one of the boulevards in Tel Aviv. The Middle East had succumbed in recent years to chaos and butchery dwarfing our own conflict in one tiny corner of the region. But our country was relatively calm, at least for a time, thanks not to anyone’s goodwill but to the force of our arms.
The promenade was full of teenagers in tank tops, tattooed riders of old-fashioned bikes, men with women and men with men and women with women, speaking the language of the Bible and of Jewish prayer. There were old people sipping coffee outside a restaurant, and some music. The country was going about its improbably cheerful business on a weekday evening.

Beyond the city were the neighborhoods of middle-class apartments with parking lots of company Mazdas, the kinds of places where I found many veterans of Outpost Pumpkin when I went looking for them to write this book, most having first passed through Goa or the Andes for decompression before coming back to their families, finding work as programmers and accountants and settling down to watch their kids on the swings. All of this is more than our grandparents, the perpetual outsiders of the ghettos of Minsk and Fez, had any right to expect.
Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story

Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story

But it seemed for a moment — and this can happen to me in a cafe in my corner of Jerusalem, or picking up my children at school, anytime — that the buildings on either side of the boulevard were embankments, and the sky a concrete roof.

Obama Used Taxpayer Dollars to Fund Anti-Netanyahu Campaign Daniel Greenfield

There’s plausible deniability here, but it’s not very plausible as the only real purpose for the organization being funded was to undermine Netanyahu. And when the media complains about Israel’s suspicion toward NGO’s, this is a prime example of why they have become such a problem. Foreign governments keep using them to try and control Israeli politics.

The campaign’s explicit goal was to elect “anybody but Bibi [Netanyahu]” by mobilizing center-left voters. . . .

The State Department permitted One Voice to use a taxpayer-funded grant to build valuable political infrastructure—large voter contact lists, a professionally trained network of grassroots organizers/activists, and an impressive social media platform—for the putative purpose of supporting peace negotiations. But during the federal grant period, OneVoice devised a plan to target Prime Minister Netanyahu; immediately after the grant period ended, OneVoice deployed its taxpayer-funded campaign resources to launch the largest anti-Netanyahu grassroots organizing campaign in Israel in 2015. Despite OneVoice’s known history of political activism in Israel, the State Department did nothing to guard against the clear risk that OneVoice could engage in electioneering activities using a taxpayer-funded grassroots campaign infrastructure after the grant period. Remarkably, according to the State Department, OneVoice’s conduct was fully compliant with Department regulations and guidelines.

Among the report’s most damning findings, evidence was found that the “durable campaign resources” built during the grant with taxpayer dollars included “a larger voter contact database, a professionally trained network of grassroots activists across the country, and an enhanced social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. OneVoice was even permitted to use State Department funds to hire an American political consulting firm called 270 Strategies — run by Obama 2008 campaign veterans — to train its activists in how to execute a ‘grassroots mobilization’ campaign.”

The Case for Kurdish Statehood Palestinian nationalism, the Kurds and double standards. Noah Beck

Reprinted from InvestigativeProject.org.

Why has the West been so supportive of Palestinian nationalism, yet so reluctant to support the Kurds, the largest nation in the world without a state?

The Kurds have been instrumental in fighting the Islamic State (ISIS); have generously accepted millions of refugees fleeing ISIS to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG); and embrace Western values such as gender equality, religious freedom, and human rights. They are also an ancient people with an ethnic and linguistic identity stretching back millennia and have faced decades of brutal oppression as a minority. Yet they cannot seem to get sufficient support from the West for their political aspirations.

The Palestinians, by contrast, claimed a distinct national identity relatively recently, are less than one-third fewer in number (in 2013, the global Palestinian population was estimated by the Palestinian Authority to reach 11.6 million), control land that is less than 1/15th the size of the KRG territory, and have not developed their civil society or economy with nearly as much success as the Kurds. Yet the United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League, and other international bodies have all but ignored Kurdish statehood dreams while regularly prioritizing Palestinian ambitions over countless other global crises.

Indeed, in 2014 the UK and Sweden joined much of the rest of the world in recognizing a Palestinian state. There has been no similar global support for a Kurdish homeland. Moreover, Kurdish statehood has been hobbled by U.S. reluctance to see the Iraqi state dismantled and by regional powers like Turkey, which worries that a Kurdish state will stir up separatist feelings among Turkish Kurds.

Socialist Youth Leader Lies About Her Rapists’ Ethnic Backgrounds Leftist madness in Germany reaches new heights. Stephen Brown

It is an old story: A self-hating leftist willing to sacrifice anyone and anything, even herself, on the altar of political correctness for the sake of the latest, trendy, political cause.

Last January, Selin Goren, the spokesperson for the national youth wing of the Left Party, a far-left German political party, was attacked late one night close to her family’s apartment in Mannheim. With her grandparents visiting from Turkey, Goren had stepped out to get some fresh air.

At a playground, she noticed three young men hanging around, drinking alcohol. But unfortunately, she did not notice one of them sneaking up on her. He threw her to the ground and, with his two accomplices, forced her to perform a sex act before robbing her.

This is not an uncommon event nowadays in Germany. The number of young female and child victims of sexual assault has increased dramatically since Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed, unscreened, more than one million migrants, primarily from the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, to pour into the country in a few months.

But what Goren, described as a “convinced socialist,” did next was not only uncommon, but disgraceful – and probably illegal: She lied to police. Which Goren herself revealed in an interview in the German publication, Der Spiegel, in early July.

The nature of Goren’s lie concerned her attackers’ ethnic background. She told police they were a “mixed group” of white Germans and youths of immigrant appearance. And they spoke only German.

Twelve hours later, however, after being persuaded by a friend, Goren, of immigrant background herself, returned to police with the truth. There were no white Germans and her assailants spoke only Arabic or Farsi.

So why did Goren lie about her own violation?

The future, socialist politician, who is involved in migrant issues and has visited Middle Eastern refugee camps, provided the answer herself in “an open letter to a fictional refugee,” which she posted on Facebook (since deleted). Namely, she did not want her rape to bring migrants into disrepute and “fuel aggressive racism.”

“I am really sorry that your sexist and line-crossing treatment of me could help fuel aggressive racism,” she wrote. “I’m going to scream…I will not stand by and watch, and it can happen, that racists name you as the problem. You’re not the problem. You’re usually a wonderful human being who deserves as much as any other to be safe and free.”

This incident is a good example of how poisonous and self-destructive the leftist ideology really is.

Firstly, it seems incredible that someone who postures so publicly as such a compassionate and caring human being as to visit refugee camps would so heartlessly sacrifice and endanger other women’s safety for the sake of her twisted beliefs. In case she had forgotten, her lie had caused police to look for the wrong persons, leaving the culprits free to rob and rape again. And equally hypocritical is the fact that she is a “representative of a political organization that, next to feminism, has anti-racism inscribed on its flag.”

Secondly, her rapists are not “wonderful” human beings, but criminals who need to be removed from society as quickly as possible. They have already brought themselves into disrepute by their actions. So there is no cause for worry on that account.

Investigate #BlackLivesMatter for Black Nationalist Terror Expose the front group behind black nationalist terror. Daniel Greenfield

Prominently displayed on the #BlackLivesMatter website is a quote from cop-killer Assata Shakur. The Black Panther cop-killer worshiped by the violent racist hate group is listed by the FBI as a domestic terrorist.

A racist domestic terrorist was the ideological inspiration for #BlackLivesMatter. It is not surprising that the group’s campaign against the police led to the murder of police officers.

At the memorial service in Dallas, Obama vehemently defended the hate group against all criticism. He insisted on repeating the myth of “peaceful” protests that suddenly turn violent despite the long history of violence in #BlackLivesMatter protests and the calls for the murder of police officers by activists at #BlackLivesMatter events.

Obama has the best of reasons for covering up the ugly truth about #BlackLivesMatter and the hate groups associated with it. The massacre of police officers in Dallas was neither shocking nor unexpected.

A #BlackLivesMatter supporter had already murdered two police officers in New York. The disturbing rise in the murder of police officers had gone mostly unreported because it was politically inconvenient.

A larger attack was inevitable. It was only a matter of when.

The Justice Department was warned that the New Black Panther Party was advocating the ambush assassinations of police officers. Obama’s DOJ, which had protected the black nationalist terror group through everything from voter intimidation to major terror plots, laughed off the threat.

Micah Xavier Johnson, the Dallas black nationalist terrorist, had attended meetings of the People’s New Black Panther Party whose members were present with weapons at the scene of the anti-police hate rally. Despite the claims that Johnson was a random lunatic with no connection to the otherwise “peaceful” protest, his brand of lunacy was mainstream among groups such as the New Black Panther Party and the New Black Panther Party had supporters at the highest levels of government.