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January 2018


The protests in Iran today differ greatly from the ones in 2009. The latter were led by a devout Muslim and his hijab clad wife. Carping at Obama’s failure seems a waste of time.
For years Moslem apostates and critics have evoked a reformation within Islam. What is happening with a hurricane force in Iran is a revolution against oppressive theocratic regimes. This time it is against the chains of brutal and faith driven Sharia laws. Scarves are tossed to the ground, mosques and seminaries are pillaged, and the “honor “laws which proscribe even the holding of hands between men and women are being flouted.
This is not the Green Movement of 2009, and the people will fight for the end of the rule of mullahs. Remember that Iran was the fount of radical Islamic fervor, oppression, exile, executions and strict Sharia laws. Those are the shackles that are being broken by people of all ages who are willing to struggle for the purpose. God bless them! And Bravo to our president!

Palestinians: Always on the Wrong Side by Bassam Tawil

Palestinians also took to the streets to celebrate the 9/11 attacks carried out by al-Qaeda.

Another sign of Palestinian support for dictators and terrorists emerged in August 2017, when President Mahmoud Abbas sent the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, a telegram congratulating him for “Liberation Day.”

Something good has come out of the fiasco surrounding the Palestinian ambassador’s association with a global terrorist: The Indians realize now that Israel is their ally in the war on terrorism — certainly not the Palestinians, who again and again align themselves with those who seek death and destruction.

The Palestinians have an old and nasty habit of placing themselves on the wrong side of history and aligning themselves with tyrannical leaders and regimes. Every time the Palestinians make the wrong choice, they end up paying a heavy price. Yet, they do not seem to learn from their mistakes.

The latest example of Palestinian misjudgments surfaced last week when the Palestinian Authority “ambassador” to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, shared a stage with UN-designated terrorist and Jamat-ul-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed.

The two men appeared together at a rally that was held to protest US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Thousands attended the rally in Rawalpindi, which was organized by the Defense of Pakistan Council, an alliance of religious parties dominated by Saeed’s group.

Jamat-ul-Dawa has been blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people. Saeed is wanted by the US, which has offered a $10 million reward for his arrest. Pakistan, however, has turned down extradition requests and allows the terrorist to operate freely.

The appearance of the Palestinian Authority ambassador alongside Saeed drew sharp criticism from many Pakistanis and Indians alike.

Tarek Fatah, a Canadian-Indian writer and liberal activist who was born in Karachi, Pakistan, tweeted:

“Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, joins wanted jihadi terrorist Hafiz Seed on stage. Was the Palestinian Authority aware that Hafiz Saeed is the man who ordered the 2008 Mumbai attacks? Did the Palestinian Authority authorize this validation of India’s enemy No. 1?”

Thousands took to social media to express their outrage over the joint appearance of the PA envoy and the wanted terrorist. Many Indians criticized their government for voting against US President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the UN General Assembly. They also called on the Indian government to correct its mistake by strengthening its ties with Israel.

Pay Attention to Latin America and Africa before Controversies Erupt by John R. Bolton

Latin America and Africa have rarely rated as top U.S. foreign policy priorities in recent years, but 2018 may change that. Political instability and the collapse of national governments, international terrorism and its associated financing, and great power competition for natural resources and political influence could all threaten significant American national security interests next year. If several simmering controversies erupt simultaneously, Washington could find itself facing these crises with little or no strategic thinking to guide our responses.

In the Western Hemisphere, Cuba as of now is scheduled on April 19 to see the end of official leadership by the Castro brothers. Since seizing power from Fulgencio Batista in 1959, Fidel and Raul have embodied global revolutionary Marxism, defying U.S. opposition and repressing domestic dissent without compunction. But while loath to admit it, the Castros were always sustained by external assistance, by the Soviet Union until its 1991 collapse in turn prompted a near-terminal regime crisis in Cuba, and more recently by Venezuela’s dictatorship.

Moreover, despite Barack Obama’s revealingly ideological effort to extend a lifeline by granting the Castro regime diplomatic recognition, economic conditions did not improve and domestic political repression only intensified. Even beyond Cuba’s open contempt for Obama’s concessions, however, 2017’s still unexplained sonic attacks on American diplomatic personnel crossed the line. Denied by Havana but hard to imagine without its connivance, these attacks concentrated the new Trump administration’s attention. In November, the White House rolled back many of Obama’s changes, serving notice that harming Americans was unacceptable.

Now, with Venezuela on the ropes, the revolutionary legitimacy of the Castros set to disappear, and U.S. pressure increasing, how long the regime survives is an open question. Whoever follows Raul Castro may well be Cuba’s version of Egon Krenz, East Germany’s last Communist ruler after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

One major unknown is whether Vladimir Putin will see a strategic opportunity to reassert Russian influence in the failed Marxist paradise, or in other hemispheric weak points. Both Nicaragua (where, incredibly, the Sandinistas remain in power) and Honduras (which President Trump is trying to rescue from misguided Obama policies) are possibilities. While tensions will not likely return to Cold War levels, when U.S.-Soviet crisis over Cuba came close to igniting nuclear war, Russian meddling in Latin America could inspire Trump to reassert the Monroe Doctrine (another casualty of the Obama years) and stand up for Cuba’s beleaguered people (as he is now for Iran’s).

Venezuela’s tragic decline, first under Hugo Chavez’s comic-opera regime and now under Nicolas Maduro, his dimwitted successor, accelerated in 2017. A country that once had near-European living standards has seen its petroleum industry collapse through corruption, criminal negligence and lack of investment, with devastating consequences.

Support the Protests in Iran

Protests have erupted across Iran. From the country’s relatively modern cities to its more remote, fervently religious areas, Iranian citizens are challenging the despotic theocracy that rules over them. The protests began as dissatisfaction with a faltering economy bubbled over. They have since mushroomed into large-scale demonstrations for political freedom, demands for the removal of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s head of state, and even expressions of nostalgia for Reza Shah, the founder of the old secular Pahlavi dynasty.

The protests are different in origin from the Green Movement in 2009, which broke out when, after the systematic election-fixing the regime engages in proved insufficient, the mullahs took the added step of throwing the election to then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yet they present the most significant challenge to the regime since — and just as it did then, the clerical tyranny is cracking down. At least 21 people have been killed, and hundreds more have been detained.

The United States government should zealously support the protests against the tyranny of this regime. That would be a pointed departure from the approach of Barack Obama, who remained shamefully inert at the beginning of his term, despite the regime’s brutal crackdown on its people and the subsequent discovery of its secret nuclear facilities. Thus far, President Trump’s remarks are a good start. He has publicly criticized the regime ever since the protests gained steam, and tweeted that “the US is watching.” The Left has chided Trump on the grounds that his supporting the protesters will undermine their cause by allowing the regime to claim that the hated United States is fomenting their movement. But Khamenei is viciously anti-American, and he will blame the protests on the U.S. no matter what.

Indeed, he already has. On Twitter, Khamenei accused “enemies of Iran” — a thinly veiled reference to the U.S. — of using “the various means they possess” to “infiltrate and strike the Iranian nation,” despite the fact that these protests are local in origin. Opposition to the United States is a first principle of the Iranian regime, and it uses it to justify their grip on power.

To be sure, the United States has a limited ability to influence the ultimate outcome of the protests. It is difficult to glean accurate information from within Iran, thanks in part to the regime’s long-standing practice of shielding itself from journalistic scrutiny. Many of the political reformers that were instrumental in the Green Movement have been killed, detained, or placed under house arrest, making it difficult to identify an organized faction that the U.S. could easily assist. To the extent that we can, however, we should work to tilt the scales against the regime. In this case, American foreign-policy interests are aligned with the interests of Iranian civilians: In addition to being an authoritarian menace that denies its citizens human rights, Iran’s regime has been sponsoring terrorism across the Middle East and killing Americans for decades. If the regime is swept away, Iran has a chance to be a normal country that tends to its own interests instead of exporting jihad. That would be a boon for U.S. and global security.

Illegal Immigration And Crime The stunning numbers the Left cannot refute. Michael Cutler

On December 21, 2017 the Department of Justice issued a press release, “Departments of Justice and Homeland Security Release Data on Incarcerated Aliens—94 Percent of All Confirmed Aliens in DOJ Custody Are Unlawfully Present.”

The initial statistic cited in the title of that DOJ press release shows that there is a truly significant distinction to be drawn between aliens who are lawfully present in the United States and aliens who are illegally present in the United States, either because they have entered the United States illegally or they have violated the terms of admission after entering the United States via the inspections procedure at ports of entry.

The press release begins with the following statement:

President Trump’s Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports on data collection efforts. On Dec. 18, 2017, DOJ and DHS released the FY 2017 4th Quarter Alien Incarceration Report, complying with this order. The report found that more than one-in-five of all persons in Bureau of Prisons custody were foreign born, and that 94 percent of confirmed aliens in custody were unlawfully present.

Although immigration anarchists have consistently manipulated language, engaged in tactics of bullying and intimidation and, when all else failed, flat-out lied about every aspect of immigration, the Trump administration is providing the truth.

The DOJ press release, upon which my commentary today is based, lays out the cold, hard and unequivocal facts. It is significant to note that the title of the press release included the phrase, “confirmed aliens in DOJ custody” because all too frequently aliens who face deportation make false claims to United States citizenship to avoid being deported. Therefore there may even be more deportable aliens in federal custody, while the actual number of such aliens in local and state custody are unknown and unknowable particularly in Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary States.

The US Doesn’t Have to Lose the Information War in Iran Why President Trump should immediately change the leadership of the Voice of America. Kenneth R. Timmerman

U.S. government broadcasting is a powerful tool that can be used to promote freedom and bolster anti-regime protestors in Iran. After all, that’s why Congress has appropriated some $740 million per year to finance it. Promoting freedom and waging an information war on America’s enemies is in our national interest.

But led by a stable of Obama appointees, the Voice of America and the Persian language service at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Radio Farda) are being used to support the Iranian regime and denigrate the leadership of President Trump.

While the Persian language services, after much public criticism, are now posting cellphone videos of the protests on their social media accounts, their on-air coverage has been tepid, with regular hosts “balancing” coverage of the protestors with coverage of the regime’s lies.

The VOA Central news bureau has been even worse. In a lead on-air “package” on the fourth day of protests, it regurgitated Iranian state media and statements from Iranian regime leaders, putting President Trump’s tweet of support for protestors in the 16th graph.

This was not an isolated example. The next day, VOA central news again parroted the Iranian government line and slammed President Trump:

Rouhani Rejects Trump’s Support for Iranian Protesters

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says U.S. President Donald Trump has no right to express sympathy for the Iranian people after referring to them as terrorists. Trump has praised protesters in Iran for rallying against the government’s economic policy…

As noted by former VOA broadcaster Ted Lipien, who runs the independent BBGWatch, the message was devastating: “Voice of America to Iranians: Government wants you to behave.”

We are in the midst of an anti-regime uprising all across Iran, and U.S. government broadcasting is essentially supporting the dictators, not the people. It’s an absolute disgrace.

VOA Director Amanda Bennett, who is married to the former owner of the Washington Post, clearly lives in a bubble, filled with the voices of Ben Rhodes, John Kerry, and Susan Rice, who have urged the Trump administration to keep quiet, just as Obama did the last time the Iranian people took to the streets en masse.

In a self-congratulatory Facebook post, Ms. Bennett (aka Mrs. Don Graham) said that VOA had launched a “live blog (on New Year’s Eve!) and filled it with original reporting from Iran… Considering that this all happened on a major holiday when we were working with a skeleton staff, I think we’re doing pretty good.”

How Trump Really Beat the Media By letting the media beat itself. Daniel Greenfield

President Trump’s end year remarks to the New York Times acerbically summed up his relationship with the media. “I’m going to win another four years… because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there.” The answering outburst of rage and contempt from the media burned all the hotter because the statement was not only intentionally provocative; it was also true.

The media has never been able to quit Trump. Its conviction that it can destroy him through coverage has repeatedly proven false. But that hasn’t stopped the media from throwing more coverage at him. And its motive for the non-stop coverage has always been the selfish pursuit of ratings, clicks and sales.

The New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN are all busy playing Trump-slayers when what they really want is four more years of rising subscriptions, ad sales and profits. Few politicians understand that conflict of interest better than Trump who has spent most of his adult life playing the media.

These days the media needs Trump more than ever. Its old purpose, reporting the news, is as dead as the telegraph. Reporting is expensive. It requires infrastructure and personnel. And it isn’t very profitable. In the age of the internet, few people will sit around and watch the pointless reporting from the scene of an event that was once the staple of local news and cable news.

And repurposing viral videos and stories can only fill so much of that hole. But the media doesn’t really report news either. Mostly it repurposes it to create narratives that it can then milk for days or months. Whether it’s a missing airliner, #MeToo or Russian collusion, the best narratives are part mystery, scandal and thriller. The news isn’t just fake: It’s metafictional. It turns real life into fodder for fiction.

The media has crossed the mirror’s edge where reality television, recreations of crimes and movies based on true stories once lived. It lives and dies by turning the news into a fictional narrative. And narratives are cheap. Every news network can run video of Mueller slowly walking down a hallway while a panel of experts discusses what the latest leak really means for President Trump. For the cost of a green room, a limo and a little promotion, CNN can have its very own House of Cards drama.

The View of the Blinkered By Victor Davis Hanson

When a director of the FBI admits he deliberately leaked to the press the contents of his own private notes, written on government time, of a confidential conversation with the President of the United States—a possible criminal offense—for the sole purpose of eliciting the appointment of a special counsel (a gambit which resulted in the selection of his friend Robert Mueller), then most Americans have no compunction about seeing FBI leadership as ethically compromised and something gone terribly wrong at the highest echelons of the once hallowed agency.

That is not “bashing the FBI,” but admitting that the current generation of leaders at the FBI and the Justice Department by their very behavior have bashed their own agencies and loyal and professional subordinates.

All the brilliantly degreed economists of the past decade could not craft policies to achieve even 3 percent growth. All the wittiest and “in the know” advisors had little clue about how to radically reduce illegal immigration. All the supposedly empathetic and moral crusaders more or less wrote off a broad swath of America as clingers, deplorables, and irredeemables—losers in a preordained global world—whose lack of the right stuff earned them deserved oblivion.

The result is that the deities of Washington and New York still do not quite know how and why Trump was elected, or why he well might be reelected—the result of half the country’s profound lack of confidence in the morality and competence of the coastal and gentry managerial classes. And to the degree our elite think they know why many Americans believe that their reputations are undeserved, it is a revelation so disturbing that they are not by background, education, and experience capable of understanding, appreciating, or responding to it.

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The Never-Ending Mueller Witch Hunt: An Affront to the Constitution By James Lewis

Over the holidays, Robert Mueller, the special counsel, leaked word to the hate-Trump media that in the coming year of 2018, he would not stop with a simple failure to find any truth in the “Russian collusion” charges against POTUS Trump. In a display of truly Stalinist police abuse, Mr. Mueller will keep going until he finds a crime, any crime at all.

The FBI, apparently led by Trump-hater Strzok, performed a raid on the Paul Manafort home while the family was still asleep, a surprise intimidation tactic commonly used by Hitler’s Gestapo against innocent civilian families, with the purpose of frightening and punishing unarmed victims without due process. In the absence of a pattern of illegal defiance of the law by Manafort, the Strzok team flagrantly violated the law and should be disciplined, if not fired altogether. But Manafort was apparently cooperating.

Also over the holidays, the New York Times tried to revise its previous story about the Steele dossier, claiming that the fraudulent “evidence” presented to the FISA court was not based on the Steele dossier at all, but was confessed by a minor Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, and attributed to Russian sources. By revising the narrative to make Papadopoulos responsible for a report on Russian disinformation to Australian officials, who passed it on to the U.S., the Times is erasing the timeline of its previous allegations. The Russia collusion accusation has collapsed, and the NYT is busily revising history. The public has previously been told that Christopher Steele, the “former” MI6 spy, was hired by various Trump enemies to make up the Russian collusion dossier.

Mueller’s witch hunt is a blatant affront to the United States Constitution, especially Amendments I-IV. It is unconscionable, and if the Executive Branch cannot intervene due to political pressure, the United States Supreme Court must step out of its role of passive bystander and permit a direct appeal to the highest court by the legally abused parties, prominently (but not solely) Paul Manafort and family.

Previous special prosecutors have been allowed to blackmail scapegoats like Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby into confessions of process crimes for which they were never initially charged. This is the logic of a “bill of attainder” and “ex post facto law,” legal snares to enable a conviction on anything the victim is accused of, even if it is a process crime obtained as a result of double-binding the victim into lying under oath. It is the legal logic of bloody witch-hunting mobs, which wants to see a bloody carcass, any carcass at all for any reason at all. It is repugnant to the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Damage Control Level at ELEVEN: Fusion GPS Speaks Out By Liz Sheld

Two Fusion GPS cracker jacks have penned a curious editorial for The New York Times to try and repair their business image (honestly, who would hire these guys? Clients aren’t keen on hiring firms at the center of federal and congressional criminal investigations) and to re-calibrate the RUSSIA collusion investigation yarn which is in tatters.

No matter what spin these dervishes are spitting out in the Times, here’s what you need to know: Fusion GPS, paid by a cut out for the Clinton campaign and the DNC, hired a former British spook to get dirt on President Trump. The Ex-spook got his information from RUSSIAN government operators and then the Trump hating spooksuits at the FBI and DOJ used this RUSSIAN propaganda to trick the FISA court into permission to spy on Hillary Clinton’s political opponent.

It’s that simple.

The garbage editorial tries to make the case that there are mountains of evidence of Trump’s relationship with the RUSSIANS and how their “salacious and unverified” dossier merely corroborated “credible allegations” of a Trump-RUSSIA partnership to win the election for Trump.


Such evidence is only ominously hinted at in the op-ed but never provided and it’s certainly not apparent based on the information leaked by Trump-foes like Rep. Adam Schiff and former director of national intelligence James Clapper. Even holier-that-thou former FBI director James Comey has admitted the details in the dossier remain “salacious and unverified.” So how exactly did their work product corroborate this phantom evidence that has never been revealed?

But the Times set up this partisan stinkbomb op-ed with a sad attempt at narrative shift the day before. In a story titled “How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt” the Times wants you to forget that back in April 2017, they reported a lengthy and detailed story all about purported RUSSIAN collaborator Carter Page as the center of the RUSSIA collaboration nexus. Now, with this new story, The New York Times introduces RUSSIA collusion reboot.