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January 2017

Don’t Defund the U.N., Just Say ‘Go!’ The organization of crooks and dictators needs us much more than we need it. By Andrew C. McCarthy

There are some swamps that we have to drain because they’re our swamps. Washington is our swamp. The lesson of the 2016 election is that people across the ideological spectrum are furious at Washington. Our incoming president won because he convinced enough people that, while Hillary was a swamp creature, he — the self-styled outsider non-politician — would make like a big, shiny Trump colander. But Washington is not going away; once the ooze seeps out, the idea is to build something better — like how New Jersey keeps building new stadiums on the marshy Meadowlands.
Well, good luck with that.
But look, even if we’re not very good at cleaning up our own messes, the fact that we know we should, that we know our messes sully us, is a sign of mental health.
So let’s see if that healthy instinct can help us grasp a principle that ought to be easier to apply: When it’s not your swamp and yet you’re being sullied by it, you don’t drain it. You leave it.
That’s what we ought to be doing about the United Nations.
Republicans are irate over the latest U.N. outrage, the Security Council resolution orchestrated by the Obama administration to reward Palestinian jihadists with territory while rendering Israel a pariah. In truth, the resolution is just business as usual at the U.N. It is also not nearly the worst use our post-American president has made of this ersatz global government.
As usual, though, the GOP response is a hollow gesture, couched in hot rhetoric. Congressional Republicans want to defund the U.N., a 193-nation boondoggle for which the United States alone pays well over a quarter of the freight — about 22 percent of the regular operating budget, and close to 30 percent of the much larger peacekeeping budget (for which we get more scandal than peace).
At best, denying our annual $3 billion payment would accomplish nothing. Defunding measures are called for periodically, whenever the U.N. induces a congressional tantrum over one or another of its obscenities. Even as one lawmaker fumes about shutting off the spigot, another is already saying, “Well, we don’t need to defund everything — after all, the U.N. does a lot of good.”
“A lot of good,” by the way, is an exaggeration. Sure, some U.N. officials are just as well-meaning as any other preening progressive. But the institution stinks, even in its humanitarian aid work. As Heritage’s Brett D. Schaefer notes, citing a 2012 academic study on best and worst practices among aid agencies, U.N. agencies consistently rank “among the worst and least effective performers.”
More important, if $3 billion seems like chump change to you in an age of unfathomable $20 trillion national debt, that’s the way Turtle Bay’s grubby globalists see it, too. They continue to plot international tax schemes (on carbon emissions, financial transactions, etc.), as well as the lucrative skim from redistributionist rackets like the “Green Climate Fund” and the new “Sustainable Development Goals.” The real goal, naturally, is a sustainable fund for the U.N., relieving it of reliance on finicky donors.

The Two-State Solution is a Zombie It can’t be dead because it never lived. Daniel Greenfield

“Is the two-state solution dead?”

The two-state solution, a perverse euphemism for carving an Islamic terror state out of the land of Israel and the living flesh of her people, is in trouble. The solution, which has solved nothing except the shortage of graves in Israel and Muslim terrorists in the Middle East, is the object of grave concern by the professionally concerned from Foggy Bottom to Fifth Avenue.

Obama set up his betrayal of Israel at the UN to “save” the two-state solution from Trump. The media warns that David Friedman, Trump’s pick for ambassador, is so pro-Israel that he’ll kill the “solution.”

But you can’t kill something that was never alive.

The two-state solution is a zombie. It can’t be dead because it never lived. It was a rotting shambling corpse of a diplomatic process. If you stood downwind of the proceedings, it looked alive.

Up close there was only blood and death.

Like the Holy Roman Empire, the two-state solution didn’t solve anything and it wasn’t in the business of creating two states. Not unless you count a Hamas state in Gaza and a Fatah state in the West Bank.

What problem was the two-state solution solving?

It wasn’t the problem of terrorism. Turning over land, weapons and power to a bunch of terrorists made for more terrorism. It’s no coincidence that Islamic terrorism worldwide shot up around the same time.

The consequences of giving terrorists their own country to play with were as predictable as taking a power drill to the bottom of a boat or running a toaster in a bubble bath. The least likely outcome of handing guns to homicidal sociopaths was peace. The most likely was murder. And that was as intended.

The problem that the two-state solution was solving was the existence of Israel; the Jewish Problem.

Spray the two-state solution over an irritating country full of Jews who managed to survive multiple Muslim genocides. Apply and wait for as long as it takes until the Jewish Problem is solved again.

UnCorked: Ireland’s Pseudo-Academic Anti-Israel Hate-Fest by Denis MacEoin

This will not be an academic conference in any real sense of the word. It is, from the outset, a hate-fest of international anti-Zionist, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric and distortion. It is totally without balance.

Some of those 45 participants will be more vehement in their criticism of Israel, but none, so far as is known, is wholly without some degree of association with bias. How do we know this? First, because a significant majority of the participants have made no secret of their support for the boycott of Israeli academics.

For more than 3,000 years, the “original ‘aboriginal’ inhabitants” were the Jews” – along with Ethiopians, Nubians, Carthaginians, Phoeneicians, and eventually the Romans, Christians and eventually several Arab Muslim imperialists, culminating in the Ottoman Turks. The Jews were the people who inhabited Canaan; the Jews are why Judaea is named Judaea. An Arab “Palestine”, bluntly, never existed. If the Jews do not belong in Israel, then the Europeans do not belong in New Zealand, Australia or North and South America.

Prominent at Southampton, and again planning to address the conference, were some of the leading academic activists working both in the universities and outside for the destruction of Israel, regardless of whether that means the expulsion or genocide of the country’s Jewish population.

In “Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust,” Richard Falk compared some Israeli policies with regard to the Palestinians to the Nazi record of collective punishment, warning (unbelievably) that Israel may be planning a Holocaust in the same way Nazi Germany did. It is arguable that he has done more than any other figure to inspire loathing for Israel worldwide.

This conference is an outright attack on everything academic work is about. Many are already protesting in the hope that UCC can be persuaded to recognize the threat to scholarship that such a conference poses for academic teachers and researchers everywhere.

The passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 on December 23 2016 has upset more than one apple cart.[1] By declaring that Israeli settlements have no legal validity and are a “Flagrant Violation of International Law”, the resolution has handed the Palestinians a weapon as powerful as any they have used against the Jewish state in their many physical attacks upon it for more than a century. Lawfare has for many years now replaced warfare (although not terror) as the Palestinian method of choice for the long-term elimination of Israel; this new resolution, even if only advisory, is a major step along the way to declare, not just the settlements but the entirety of Israel itself as illegal.

Almost all countries in the world, along with the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Arab League and the Socialist “Left” now consider the Zionist project to create a living space for Jews to be a colonialist conspiracy against the “aboriginal” inhabitants of a legendary state of “Palestine”. They are conveniently “forgetting” – with a significant dose of anti-Semitism – that for more than 3,000 years, the “original ‘aboriginal’ inhabitants” were the Jews – along with Ethiopians, Nubians, Carthaginians, Phoenicians, and eventually the Romans, Christians and eventually several Arab Muslim imperialists, culminating in the Ottoman Turks. The Jews were the people who inhabited Canaan; the Jews are why Judaea is named Judaea.

An Arab “Palestine”, bluntly, never existed. If the Jews do not belong in Israel, then the Europeans do not belong in New Zealand, Australia or North and South America.

It seems that US President Barack Obama, along with the UN, the OIC and much of Europe – especially France – would like to destroy Israel, and in its place create yet another mangled Syria out of whatever is left, fought over by a mixture of sects, terrorist organizations and political factions.

UN Security Council Res. 2334: A Victory of Jihadism by Bat Ye’or

Led astray from their primary mission, these international organizations have become tools of corruption or terrorism, reinforcing global Islamic power. Those who vote are heads of state, motivated by interests and ideologies that are often criminal, and not all of which represent the opinions of their people whom they tyrannize, including those from European “democracies”.

In 1948-49, Egypt seized Gaza, Syria stood their ground on the Golan, and Transjordan colonized Judea, Samaria and the Old City of Jerusalem. Their Jewish inhabitants were killed or driven out by the Arab colonists, who seized their homes and destroyed their synagogues and cemeteries. Fighting ceased on armistice and cease-fire lines, there was no peace and no international borders were recognized.

Europe rushed to adopt the French position in 1973 and, along with the OIC, planned political measures designed to destroy the Jewish State by denying its sovereign rights and its cantonment on an indefensible territory. Resolution 2334 is now the icing on the cake of this policy, which forms the basis for a Euro-Islamic policy to merge in all EU political and social sectors, as well as in promoting globalism and the enforcement of the UN’s supranational decision-making powers.

In 1967, once again, the combined armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan invaded Israel to destroy it, but this time Israel took back all the land that had been lost in 1949, that had become Judenrein [free of Jews], Arabized and Islamized. These were areas from which the Palestinian Jews had been driven out, and that Europe referred to as Jewish colonies. They are called Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

No European nation protested against the Islamic colonization of Jewish-Palestinian areas, the expulsion of their Jewish inhabitants and the seizure of their belongings, or against the persecution of Jews in Arab countries.

An artificial Palestinian Arab “people” was created in order to replace the people of Israel. A European army of forger-historians and Arab Christian dhimmis transferred the historic characteristics of the Jews onto them. Names of towns and regions were Islamized: Jerusalem was called Al-Quds and “the West Bank” replaced Judea and Samaria.

Israelis, guilty of existing, were expected to apologize for that, humbly to maintain their enemies and suffer their terrorism without protesting or defending themselves. Their crime? They refused to mingle with and disappear into dhimmitude by giving up their rights and their history to the people created by the Euro-Arab alliance to replace them.

It is the turn of Europeans to see a replacement population be created in their countries, with all the rights that are being taken away from them. It is their turn to be forced to renounce their national, historic, cultural and religious identity, to apologize and take the blame for existing. It is their turn to be forced to monitor their borders and guard their airports, their schools, their trains, their streets and their cities with soldiers. European governments that contemplated the destruction of Israel worked together with the enemies of Israel to destroy their own people, their sovereignty, their security and their freedoms.

The recognition of the legitimacy of Israel’s return to its homeland is the essential condition of Islamic peace with the world, because it will abolish the jihadist ideology.

‘Hidden Figures’ Review: Breaking Barriers of Space, Race and Gender How three black women in the segregated South helped put a man into orbit By Joe Morgenstern

‘Hidden Figures” brings news that keeps you thinking with amazement, “Who knew?” Its larger subject, set in the early 1960s during the height of the Cold War, is a story that had already been told definitively, or so we may have thought, by Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff” and the movie based on his book—Project Mercury and America’s race with the Soviet Union to put a man into space. But who knew that NASA depended, at that pioneering time, on flesh-and-blood mathematicians (they were called computers) to calculate flight trajectories until sufficiently powerful transistor-and-punch-card computers came on line; that many of those gifted people were black women, working together in a segregated unit at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.; and that one member of the unit played a crucial role in the flight that made John Glenn the first American to orbit the Earth?

This remarkable story within a story focuses on three of the women: Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), whom Glenn considered indispensable to his Friendship 7 mission; Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), who mastered computer language early on and eventually—meaning ever so belatedly—became NASA’s first black supervisor; and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), who, by way of becoming a graduate engineer, had been forced to petition the city of Hampton in order to take extension courses she needed, since they were being given in an all-white high school.

As is inevitably the case when a fiction film is based on a nonfiction book, events have been telescoped and dramatic liberties taken. (Theodore Melfi directed from a screenplay that he and Allison Schroeder adapted from the book by Margot Lee Shetterly. The cinematographer was Mandy Walker.) The tone is earnest, with dialogue that sometimes plods when you want it to fly—a running time of 127 minutes doesn’t help the pacing—and a couple of pieces of casting are infelicitous: Jim Parsons gives a flat performance as the fictional Paul Stafford, NASA’s lead engineer, and Glen Powell is years too young to play John Glenn, who looks like a gung-ho frat boy. (Kevin Costner, by contrast, brings a dry wit and some needed bite to another fictional role, that of NASA manager Al Harrison.)

A Prison Bigger Than All of Western Europe Without the Russian exile system, perhaps the greatest machine of evil in human history, we’d have no ‘Crime and Punishment.’ Bartle Bull reviews “The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars” by Daniel Beer.

In late December 1849, in the brief hour of midday winter light, 28 young Russian gentlemen were marched up the steps of a wooden platform in St. Petersburg’s Semyonovsky Square. The platform had been hung with black cloth; the prisoners were given peasant cloaks of white. Soldiers lined the snowy plaza.

It took a czarist official half an hour to read out the death sentences. At last a firing squad raised its weapons. And then, hoofbeats muffled in the snow, a young officer came galloping across the square bearing an order of clemency from Czar Nicholas.

Stripped of rank and possessions, their clothes swapped for tattered prisoner garb, the convicts were sent off in fetters on carts to Siberia. One of the young men was Fyodor Dostoevsky. With “Crime and Punishment,” “The Brothers Karamazov” and other works, he would inaugurate an extraordinary phenomenon: the glorious contribution to world literature of the Russian exile system, the greatest sustained machine of evil in human history.

The system that reached its apotheosis under Stalin in 1937-53 had its origins in the late 17th century. In 1708, the bishop of the city of Tobolsk, western Siberia’s gateway to the penal continent to the east, explained that diseased elements of the body politic had to be excised and discarded “in the same way that we have to remove harmful agents from the body.” For the next 250 years, Siberia, one and a half times the size of western Europe, would be the cesspit for Russia’s human excreta. Penal labor camps would kill at least 12 million exiles in Stalin’s time alone, according to the historian Robert Conquest.
The House of the Dead

By Daniel Beer

Knopf, 464 pages, $35

The exile system’s czarist heyday in the long 19th century (1801-1917), under the last five Romanov rulers, is the focus of “The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars,” by British academic Daniel Beer. Mr. Beer’s excellent book will for some time be the definitive work in English on this enormous topic.

The members of Dostoevsky’s rebellious circle were romantic socialists partly inspired by the memory of an earlier, more famous and far more romantic band of true rebels, the Decembrists. Well-bred young officers who mounted an amateurish putsch against Czar Nicholas I in December 1825, the Decembrists earned history’s love with their sincere if foolhardy reformist idealism. It did not hurt their cult that they were followed to Siberia by beautiful wives renouncing forever the soirees of Petersburg. Eventually the Decembrists settled around Lake Baikal to found libraries and establish string quartets long after the czar had cut short their sentences. CONTINUE AT SITE

Detained in Turkey: A Journal Reporter’s Story Foreign correspondent Dion Nissenbaum describes being jailed at a detention center for 2½ days, with no contact with his wife or colleagues

The knock on the door of our third-floor apartment, not far from Istanbul’s historic Taksim Square, came shortly after dusk on Dec. 27. Three plainclothes Turkish policemen stood by the winding marble staircase in the hall with a letter, under orders from the Interior Ministry.

“You are under investigation,” a polite young officer told me (through a translator he’d called on his cellphone) as my wife and 7-month-old daughter looked on. “You are going to be deported, so pack a bag. We don’t know how long this is going to take.”

In the 14 months that I’d been based in Istanbul as a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, I had covered a dizzying series of events, including the failed July 2016 coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. We were preparing to move back to Washington in early January. But I knew that a visit from Turkish police was an ominous development.

More than 80 Turkish writers, journalists and editors are now behind bars under the country’s counterterrorism laws, which have grown more expansive since the coup. Turkey has sent high-profile journalists to maximum-security prison and shuttered more than 140 media outlets since the failed coup. Turkish authorities say that journalists often cross the line into promoting terrorist propaganda in stories about Turkey’s fight against Kurdish separatists or its campaign against those accused of links to the alleged coup plotters.

Western reporters aren’t immune. In 2015, two Vice News reporters from the U.K. were detained for a week after being accused of working with a terrorist organization while reporting on Kurdish insurgents in southern Turkey. An Iraqi colleague of theirs was held for 131 days. All three could face 50 years in prison after being charged with aiding Kurdish separatists—a charge that they deny.

My own case seems to have been in reaction to a tweet. Three days before Christmas, Islamic State released a gruesome 19-minute video that showed two men whom the jihadist group said were captured Turkish soldiers being burned to death. It instantly struck me as major news, likely to trigger a storm of outrage in Turkey. As I began to report on it, I retweeted a still image from the video that showed the shackled men in their military fatigues as the flames crept toward them.

My retweet set off a torrent of Twitter rage. “Do not forget this son of a whore’s face Istanbul,” one man wrote above a screenshot of my profile picture. The editor of a prominent pro-Erdogan newspaper (who has 72,000 Twitter followers) called for me to be deported. Angry Turkish nationalists accused anyone who spread the story of helping to promote Islamic State’s twisted agenda. Within minutes, I undid the retweet, but the damage was done. CONTINUE AT SITE

In Spy-Agency Revamp, Michael Flynn Shows His Influence Donald Trump’s pick for national-security adviser has been skeptical of the intelligence community By Gordon Lubold and Shane Harris

In 2010, then-Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn, at the time the top U.S. military intelligence official in Afghanistan, slammed the U.S. spy apparatus he helped to oversee as bloated and out of touch. Four years later, he was fired as the head of the military’s largest intelligence agency—in his view for speaking truth to power about the inadequacies of the nation’s national security preparedness.

Today, Gen. Flynn, who retired in 2014 as a lieutenant general, is in a position to again push his views of how America should protect itself, this time as President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for national security adviser.

Gen. Flynn and senior Trump advisers are eyeing potential structural changes to components of the U.S. intelligence community. The Wall Street Journal reported this past week that transition team officials have discussed paring back the authorities of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and reducing the size of its staff, and also discussed possible changes at the Central Intelligence Agency.

The effort is still the subject of internal discussions, and the Trump transition team has made no formal plans, people familiar with the discussions said. Sean Spicer, a Trump spokesman, said Thursday that discussions have been “tentative,” and denied there were plans for an overhaul.

“The president-elect’s top priorities will be to ensure the safety of the American people and the security of the nation, and he’s committed to finding the best and most effective ways to do it,” Mr. Spicer said.

But Mr. Trump’s aggressive skepticism of the intelligence community clearly echoes Gen. Flynn’s views on both the organization and the quality of national intelligence and the need for changes, according to officials familiar with the transition team and Gen. Flynn. As the president-elect’s closest adviser on national security, he briefs Mr. Trump on developments and sits in on classified presentations from U.S. intelligence officials.

The Trump transition team said Gen. Flynn wasn’t available to comment.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Trump has questioned intelligence conclusions that Russia-linked hackers intervened to help him win the election. Current and former intelligence officials have said that they see Gen. Flynn’s influence in those tweets and in Mr. Trump’s frequent allusions to the intelligence community’s botched 2002 analysis of Iraq’s suspected weapons program.

“I absolutely see Mike Flynn’s fingerprints on that,” said a former U.S. official with ties to the Trump transition who is familiar with Gen. Flynn.

Proposed changes to the Office of Director of National Intelligence have been offered for years by critics who said the office had grown too large and beyond its original scope. In that respect, some officials said Gen. Flynn’s proposals could be the latest iteration of longstanding proposals. Others also detect a whiff of revenge.

Gen. Flynn was removed as head of the agency by James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, and Michael Vickers, the civilian head of Pentagon intelligence at the time, because of his poor management of the agency, said U.S. officials who were familiar with his removal. CONTINUE AT SITE


Western media and policy-makers try to seduce Israel to misread Palestinian and Islamic terrorism, to make-believe that “one’s terrorist is someone else’s freedom fighter;” that Palestinian terrorism is a reaction to occupation; that Palestinian terrorists are “lone wolves” not institutional….

6-minute-video: Israel facing Western seduction

6-minute-video: Iran – a clear & present danger to the USA
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
YouTube 6-minute-video on-line seminar on US-Israel and the Mideast
Video#29: http://bit.ly/2hVvebW; entire 40-video-seminar: http://bit.ly/1ze66dS

The Ayatollahs’ pursuit of nuclear capabilities – irrespective of the July 2015 agreement with the US – aims to achieve a mega capability, in order to remove the mega US obstacle to their 2,500-year-old mega goal of dominating the region and the globe….

6-minute video: Iran’s curriculum reflects Ayatollahs’ policy
Ambassador (ret) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
YouTube 6-minute-video on-line seminar on US-Israel and the Mideast
Video#30: http://bit.ly/2iSO5m8; entire video-seminar: http://bit.ly/1ze66dS

The July, 2015 agreement between Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and Germany has not moderated the Ayatollahs, according to a June, 2016 study by Prof. Eldad Pardo of Iranian K-12 school textbooks, which are the most authentic reflection of the mission, strategy, tactics, character, worldview and general direction of rogue regimes, such as the Ayatollahs….

The text of the 40-video-YouTube seminar on US-Israel relations and the Middle East is available at: http://theettingerreport.com/

Pence hails House motion on Israel, ‘our most cherished ally’ VP-elect applauds resolution calling Security Council’s anti-settlements resolution a ‘one-sided’ obstacle to peace

Vice president-elect Mike Pence on Thursday hailed a vote by the US House of Representatives declaring a United Nations Security Council resolution a “one-sided” obstacle to peace.

The House resolution was seen as a rejection of the Obama administration, which did not veto UNSC Resolution 2334 condemning Israeli settlements as illegal.

“Great to see strong bipartisan vote in Congress opposing recent UN resolution against our most cherished ally,” Pence tweeted early Friday morning. “America stands with Israel.”

House Resolution 11 declared the UN motion a “one-sided” effort that is an obstacle to peace, placing disproportionate blame on Israel for the continuation of the conflict and encouraging Palestinians not to engage in direct, bilateral negotiations.

Passed by a vote of 342-80, the measure puts the lower chamber of Congress firmly against President Barack Obama’s decision to withhold the US veto power from shielding Israel against the censure.