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Ruth King

Egypt: Saving the Sinai by Lawrence A. Franklin

Egypt could use the help of American desert-warfare Special Forces advisors, as well as actionable intelligence from trusted Bedouin desert trackers. Egypt might also improve relations with the Sinai’s principal Bedouin tribes and other locals by building, perhaps with US support, schools and health clinics.

Unless Egypt adopts a more effective military and political strategy against its jihadists, it could lose the entire Sinai, and the all-important Suez Canal, a prospect which would shake the foundations of both the regime and the region.

Egypt is no longer sovereign in the Sinai Peninsula. Islamic State terrorists, moving freely throughout the Sinai’s Northern Province, have been delivering stinging defeats on Egypt’s military and police convoys. The November 24 mass murder of Sufi Muslim worshippers by radical Sunni terrorists in the Northern Sinai Province underlines the Egyptian government’s loss of control in the area. If Cairo changes its tactics and strategy, however, the Sinai can be saved.

Initially, Islamic State terrorists in the Sinai Desert feasted on soft targets, such as Coptic Christian communities and local, lightly defended, police stations. The Egyptian military’s inability to prevent these attacks or subdue jihadist forces simply emboldened the terrorists. In mid-October, Islamic State jihadists even robbed a bank in the northern Sinai’s provincial capital, El-Arish, making off with about a million dollars to help finance their anti-government campaign. Large tracts of the northern Sinai are slipping out of Egypt’s control due to the military inefficiencies and counterproductive policies of government security forces.

These shortcomings include an unwillingness to change tactics, ineffective weapon systems for desert combat, and lack of proper logistical support. The troop convoys sent into the desert are “red meat” for the jihadists, “who mount sophisticated multi-tiered attacks and employ snipers to demoralize security forces.”

The jihadists station their lookouts atop high desert sand dunes to monitor the approach of security forces; convoys are visible from miles away. On one occasion, the terrorists were seemingly able to lure security forces into an ambush.

The advanced capability and sustainability of the Sinai jihadists is in part, a result of Hamas training and Iranian financial support. The sad fate of a police convoy upon which the jihadists inflicted heavy casualties underscores the typical military column’s overall vulnerability.

Another government vulnerability is political in nature. Cairo is failing in desert warfare against the jihadists also because it lacks the support of the Sinai’s Bedouin tribes. The ease with which Islamic State contingents navigate the desert’s dunes indicates that the terrorists have intelligence and logistical support inside Bedouin villages. The Islamic State’s “Sinai Province” was able to capitalize on the Bedouins’ hostility to the central government’s harsh treatment, such as scorched-earth tactics against villages near a recent military defeat of security forces. Egyptian military leaders has often penalized villages for allegedly not providing warning of proximate jihadist attacks.[1]

France Submits to Terrorism, Muslim Anti-Semitism by Guy Millière

In France, since 2012, more than 250 people were killed by Islamic terrorism — more than in all other European countries combined.

No other country in Europe has experienced so many attacks against Jews. France is a country where Jews are murdered because they are Jews.

“Muslim believers know very well what is happening. Only a minority is violent. But as a whole, they do not ignore that their birthrate is such that one day, everything here will be theirs”. — Luc Ravel, Archbishop of Strasbourg.

In Bagneux, France, on November 1, 2017, a plaque placed in memory of Ilan Halimi, a young Jew murdered in 2006 by a “gang of barbarians”, was destroyed and covered with graffiti. When a few days later, another plaque replaced it, the French government issued a statement that “hate will not win”.

There are many signs, however, that hate has already won and that France is sick. If these signs were already obvious a decade ago, they are even more obvious today. Voluntary blindness prevented them from being addressed.

Ilan Halimi was taken hostage in January 2006, then viciously tortured for three weeks. He was eventually abandoned, dying, on the edge of a road and died a few hours later.

Most of kidnappers, who were arrested a few days after the murder, were Muslims. They immediately confessed. They said they had chosen Halimi because he was a Jew and they thought that “all Jews have money”. Some added that Jews “deserve to suffer”.

They were tried behind closed doors. The leader, Youssouf Fofana, spat his bile against Jews and vehemently shouted the name of Allah during the whole trial, so the court could not hide that he was an Islamic anti-Semite. He was sentenced to “life” in prison — which in France means 18 to 20 years. If he had not assaulted his guards in the prison, he would already have be released. The other members of the gang, described by the prosecutor in a watered down way as “thugs looking for easy money”, were quieter and were handed down relatively light sentences. Today, almost all “the barbarians” are free.

Even books, accentuating the whitewash, describe the crime as just an ugly “sign of greed” among “poorly educated young people”.

Mugabism Without Mugabe The transition from one dictator to another is met with false cheers from his court.Theodore Dalrymple

We need more often to be reminded than informed, said Doctor Johnson, and if anyone needed to be reminded of how fragile and temporary the exercise of power is, and how changeable are courtiers and flatterers, especially of dictators, he could not do better than look at the website of the Bulawayo Chronicle, one of Zimbabwe’s newspapers of record.

On November 10, one of its main stories was the unveiling of a plaque commemorating Harare International Airport’s change of name to the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, a process presided over by His Excellency Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe himself, who “reiterated his gratitude on behalf of himself, his family and the entire country [for] the honour bestowed on him, saying it has brought joy to all Zimbabweans.” One is irresistibly reminded of a poem by the Nicaraguan poet and priest, Ernesto Cardenal, Somoza desveliza la estatua de Somoza en el Estadio Somoza (Somoza unveils the statue of Somoza in Somoza Stadium).

According to the newspaper report, the renaming was done “to match the stature of President Mugabe, a global icon.” The Minister of Transport told the president that the airport “is part of your legacy [and] wise leadership,” because “you have given priority to infrastructure and utility development in the country for the entirety of the people of Zimbabwe,” while another minister, Goneril-like, said that the renaming demonstrated “the pride [of] Zimbabweans in President Mugabe.”

Could these be some of the same ministers who, 11 days later, refused to attend a cabinet meeting called by Mugabe, who by then had been expelled from the ruling political party, the Zimbabwe African National Union—Patriotic Front? And could it be that the war veterans who, on November 9, wanted Mugabe’s wife to be made vice president were the same war veterans who, one week later, were calling for the president’s resignation? It could: the rats were leaving the sinking ship.

Zimbabwe’s next president will be Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as the Crocodile, the end of whose road the Chronicle was gleefully proclaiming only eight days ago, when he was expelled from the party with the unanimous agreement of ten regional committees.

John O’Sullivan Conduct Unbecoming

Liberation has wrought two problems. The lesser, as chivalry has died, is sexual harassment by those with power over someone they desire. The greater problem as the old restraints atrophy is that we don’t live in a world without rules but in one where they are unknown until broken.

It took less than two weeks before the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal and its impact on cultural politics spread from Hollywood and Broadway to the Westminster Parliament in London. “Sexminster” and “Kneegate” are the names of the scandal locally. It’s being treated by the media as an outbreak of sexual harassment among MPs so shocking that it may bring down Theresa May’s Tory government.

Yet one can’t help noticing that so far the total of all reported “offenses”—which range widely from one rape to two reports of Ministers touching knees surreptitiously over dinner—is only a small fraction of the rapes and serious assaults alleged against Weinstein alone. Whatever pretensions the House of Commons may still cherish, it’s very far from being Hollywood-on-the-Thames.

News and rumors of sex emerge with every twist of the 24-hour cycle, however. So, with that qualification, here is a quick summary of recent news from Babylon:

A dossier prepared by anonymous “researchers” alleged that forty Tory MPs were known to be guilty of sexual harassment of young aides and researchers. Some MPs and their harassed aides on the list, however, promptly stood up to identify themselves and to firmly deny the charges. Two of the MPs are taking actions for libel. The number of Tory MPs in the dossier has now been reduced to 25.
Though not mentioned in the dossier, a number of Labour figures were soon led into the dock. One MP was charged with aggressively vulgar sexual advances in a bar a decade ago; another with hinting broadly to a young Labour sympathizer that he nursed feelings that made her feel “uncomfortable” (he envied the young man who was her lover); and the third case, mentioned above, was that of a Labour apparatchik outside Parliament accused of rape by another young activist.
As the tumbrils began to roll, more names were outed. One former Tory Minister, married and once mentioned as a possible PM, was found to have sexted to a young woman after interviewing her for a job. (He decided not to offer her the job but risked texting her anyway.) Another Tory MP has been accused of putting his hands up the skirts of women MPs in the elevator—the only accusation so far that mimics the odd Hollywood stories of producers, writers, and actors masturbating in front of women they were hiring or working with. A third Tory, Charlie Elphicke, has in effect been expelled from the Tory benches by the Whips’ Office which also passed allegations involving him onto the police. He has not been told what the allegations are, however, and the police have not yet taken any action against him.

Draining the Swamp at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Skirmish over acting directors foreshadows a battle ahead. Joseph Klein

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has become ground zero in President Trump’s fight to “drain the swamp” permeating the deep state in Washington, D.C. This bureau was created during the Obama administration under the draconian Dodd-Frank Act, with the purpose of regulating various financial products directly affecting consumers, such as mortgages, credit cards, bank accounts and student loans. Barack Obama’s pick to run the agency as its director was Richard Cordray, who used the unilateral powers of his office to browbeat financial institutions, large and small. Mr. Cordray resigned late last week. A duel broke out between two claimants for the position of “acting director” to fill the vacancy left by Mr. Cordray until President Trump nominates, and the Senate confirms, his successor as director. Mr. Cordray tried, just before his resignation, to install his own pick for acting director, while President Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney, someone he trusts to jump start immediately the changes he believes are necessary to place some reasonable constraints on the run-away, unaccountable regulatory bureaucracy. For the moment, a federal court has supported the authority of the Trump administration’s appointment, but the opposition is considering various options, including an appeal. While it’s doubtful an appeal will succeed, it doesn’t look like the Deep State is ready to concede this battle just yet.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was originally the idea of then-Professor and now-Senator Elizabeth Warren, who regularly attacks anything connected to the financial industry. To ostensibly protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from any political interference, Congress granted the bureau’s director extraordinary unilateral powers. It also decided to delegate to the Federal Reserve Congress’s constitutional authority to appropriate the funds to run the bureau.

Before resigning his post a week earlier than planned, Director Cordray sought to extend his bureau’s overbearing regulatory regime for as long as possible by handpicking his own “acting director” to replace him temporarily. He did this through the artifice of appointing a deputy director, Leandra English, just before his resignation took effect. He based his action on ambiguous language in the Dodd-Frank Act, which he claimed empowered his just-appointed deputy director to automatically take over as the “acting director” upon his departure.

President Trump promptly used his authority, as the head of the executive branch, under a provision of a separate statute dealing with the filling of temporary vacancies, to appoint his own acting director, Mick Mulvaney (who is also serving as the budget director). The president served notice that he would not allow the swamp to continue as is at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Pelosi Pleads “Icon” Defense for Conyers’ Sexcapades A sleeping giantess has been awakened. Matthew Vadum

Nancy Pelosi’s head-spinning defense of her Democrat colleague, the credibly accused serial sexual predator John Conyers Jr., is throwing a spotlight on the appalling double-standard Democrats apply when their own are under fire.

Of course, it is axiomatic that the more important the politician being accused of sexual wrongdoing is to the left, the more creatively and vigorously left-wingers will defend him.

But in this new era of populism, Americans are demanding accountability for the powerful. Public revulsion over sex-related abuses is mowing down the powerful like blades of grass. Hollywood’s answer to Caligula, Democrat mega-donor Harvey Weinstein, was the first to fall, and new stories of rape and his otherwise farm animal-like behavior seem to come out hourly. It takes a lot for the money-hungry left-wingers at HBO to cancel a blockbuster series like “House of Cards,” but that’s exactly what they did after actor Kevin Spacey was credibly accused of trying to force himself on an underage boy years ago. The political career of that crazed frat-boy who can’t keep his hands to himself, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), is now hanging on by a thread as the trickle of loyal Democrats abandoning him is growing into a raging river.

Republicans and conservatives are no angels but hardly any have gotten caught up in this great awakening that began in the autumn. This helps to explain why mainstream media shrieking about unproven sexual misconduct allegations against President Trump and Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama keeps growing louder.

Pelosi has put some distance between herself and the Michigan lawmaker since her Sunday appearance on “Meet the Press,” which was an unadulterated public relations debacle for the California congresswoman who serves as House minority leader. But her stunningly tone-deaf TV performance shows the normal rules still don’t apply to Democrat dinosaurs like Conyers, currently the longest-serving member in Congress. The TV spot has also done significant damage to the Democrats’ brand as the party that champions women.

Eighty-eight-year-old Conyers, who was first elected to Congress in 1964, is “an icon” who deserves due process and respect, Pelosi told a slack-jawed Chuck Todd.

“John Conyers is an icon in our country,” she said of the big-city Sixties radical. “He’s done a great deal to protect women,” Pelosi said, referencing his support for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Her laudatory remarks were promptly echoed by other Democrats in Congress.

Evidence suggests Conyers has also done a great deal to harm women, treating them like sexual playthings.

Conyers has acknowledged he settled a 2015 sexual harassment claim for $27,000 of taxpayer funds without admitting wrongdoing. He silenced his alleged victim by forcing her to sign a nondisclosure agreement. He has temporarily stepped down as ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee while he is being investigated.

Four other female Conyers employees signed affidavits saying he sexually harassed them.

In the 2015 case, Conyers settled with an ex-employee who claimed she was terminated for refusing to “succumb to [his] sexual advances.” Still bound by the nondisclosure agreement, the victim has reportedly asked for the prohibition on speaking publicly about what happened to be lifted.

According to apparently authentic redacted affidavits, the lawmaker “repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sexual favors, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public.”

Calling Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas’ is the Best Way to Fight Racism Trump isn’t hurling a racial slur at a white leftist liar. He’s exposing a racist. Daniel Greenfield

“On the shores of her Cambridge mansion, by the shining Charles River waters, stood Elizabeth Warren, pointing with her finger at the White House.”
The Song of Warrenwatha

Senator Elizabeth Warren, America’s greatest living fake Indian, is outraged.

“There he was, at a ceremony to honor Native Americans,” the former Harvard Law prof, who claimed to be Native American on account of her grandfather’s high cheekbones, fumed, “And President Trump couldn’t even make it through a ceremony to honor these men without throwing in a racial slur.”

The “racial slur” was calling a woman who is as Indian as the pilgrims, Pocahontas.

Taunting an American Indian that way might be a racial slur. Taunting Warren that way doesn’t insult her race. The millionaire former asbestos lawyer is as white as cottage cheese. It insults her character. It reminds everyone that Warren is as much a fighter for the “little guy” as she was a Cherokee.

The Senator from the High Cheekbones Tribe of Harvard isn’t just a fake Indian. She’s a fake class warfare activist.

And a fake everything.

Warren was a Republican before she turned Socialist. Before she was fighting corporations, she was helping corporations deny compensation to asbestos victims. And before she was protesting the high cost of education, Harvard Law was paying her $350,000 to teach a single course. A multinational corporation owned by billionaires then gave her a $525,000 advance to tell her tale of rising from “poverty” to fight for ordinary people who don’t get their own chair funded by Wall Street lawyers.

It would take a heart of stone not to make Pocahontas jokes about a blue-eyed scam artist so shameless she passed herself off as Harvard Law School’s “first woman of color.” A grifter whose campaign tried to prove she was really Indian by citing the work of her cousin who wrote the ‘Pow Wow Chow’ cookbook containing such authentic Indian recipes as Cold Omelets with Crab Meat and Mexican Oatmeal Soup.

Unfortunately the Cold Omelets with Crab Meat recipe turned out to be plagiarized from the braves of the New York Times. Warren’s Cherokee claims are as fake as her outrage over being exposed as a liar.

There’s only one racist in this story. It’s Elizabeth Warren.

Puerto Rico Doesn’t Want Reform The Promesa law, not Hurricane Maria, is the real culprit behind the island’s troubles.By Mary Anastasia O’Grady

It has been 10 weeks since Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico. The devastation was fierce. Yet it cannot explain why almost half the generating capacity of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) is still down.

Credit for that goes to Congress, which in June 2016 passed the Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act, a k a Promesa. It opened the door to debt defaults that violate the Puerto Rican constitution and U.S. law. As is always the case when the rule of law takes a back seat to politics, it has fueled chaos.

Prepa blames its disastrous post-hurricane decisions on a shortage of cash. Yet in the immediate aftermath of the storm, a group of Prepa bondholders offered the company fresh debtor-in-possession financing that included a swap of $1 billion in existing debt for $850 million in new bonds and $1 billion in new cash.

Puerto Rico rejected the offer. “The bondholders’ proposal is not viable and would severely hamper and limit Prepa’s capacity to successfully manage its recovery,” Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority said at the time. It added that the offer had the “appearance” of “being made for the purpose of favorably impacting the trading price of existing debt.” Heaven forbid.

More unthinkable was ruining the “flat broke” image the commonwealth has been cultivating so it can write down debt and skip the matching requirements necessary to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency funds. It’s also more convenient to tap taxpayers than to borrow money from private entities asking for accountability. This is particularly true for a state-owned monopoly like Prepa, which is as much a political instrument as it is an electricity company. CONTINUE AT SITE

The Relationship Charade: Walking on Eggshells is not Reconciliation by Linda Goudsmit

Many articles have been written about the growing trend of adult children choosing estrangement in American families. The recent Thanksgiving holiday has highlighted this alarming movement toward the dissolution of family bonds of love and loyalty. What is the source of this dreadful shift? What happened to honor thy father and mother?

Sheri McGregor, M.A. has written an important book titled Done With The Crying that explores the disturbing increase in families with adult children who disown their parents. There are, of course, appropriate conditions for estrangement but the current trend appears baffling to the 9,000 confused and grieving parents surveyed who cannot fathom why the children they have loved for a lifetime are choosing to reject them. Done With The Crying attempts to help devastated parents accept their loss and move on with their lives. McGregor is asking “What now?” I am asking “Why now?”

Generation gaps between parents and their adult children have traditionally been resolved with courtesy, respect, and a sense of humor. Adult children honored their parents even when they disagreed with them and chose a different path for their own lives. A fundamental level of gratitude for the parent’s efforts and dedication allowed the differences to be minimized and the family bonds maximized. What has changed??

The bewildered parents McGregor describes cannot accept the estrangement because they simply do not understand it. She describes the staggering lack of respect, restraint, gratitude, and overarching sense of entitlement in adult children’s demand for parental conformity including restricting their parents’ freedom of speech. In the upside-down world of self-seeking millennials the parent/child role has been reversed. Parents are expected to conform to their adult child’s new norms. If the parent refuses the adult child withdraws himself to a “safe space” seeking protection from the “toxic” ideas of his parents. Toxicity, like hate speech, has been redefined as anything the adult child opposes.

Social Media, Fake News, and Free Speech Bruce Thornton

Free speech has come under attack on two fronts since Donald Trump was elected president. Many unhappy with his victory charge that Russia interfered in our election on his behalf by using social media like Facebook and Twitter, which should be held responsible for the content on their sites. Meanwhile, some political activists and politicians are calling for a revision of our free speech laws to prevent “hate” speech and “fake news” from polluting the public square. Everybody is complaining about false or biased reporting that is distracting and confusing voters with disinformation and appeals to unsavory emotions. One of the pillars of American exceptionalism, the right of citizens to speak freely, no matter how rough or hateful their words, seems to be tottering.

The revelations that Russian propaganda exploited social media to affect the outcome of the election has resulted in Twitter, Facebook, and Google executives getting hauled before Congress to answer questions about the parts their businesses may have played in supposed Russian electoral interference. According to the testimony of these executives, Russian-sponsored Facebook ads reached 135 million American voters over 32 months, and the New York Times reports “more than 126 million users potentially saw inflammatory political ads bought by a Kremlin-linked company, the Internet Research Agency.” Many Congressmen from both parties demanded to know what social media companies will do to control the dissemination of questionable or hostile information.

Similarly, even before the violent demonstrations by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia last summer, critics were demanding a revision of our First Amendment in order to make it resemble the laws in Europe that prohibit “hate speech” and speech that attempts to “spread, incite, promote, or justify hatred based on intolerance.” The “free marketplace of ideas,” critics argue, in the age of the internet is no longer adequate for sorting out “legitimate” speech from hateful propaganda that, if left unchecked, could lead to political tyranny, as happened in Germany under Nazism in the in the 1920s and ’30s. The safety of the larger political community should take precedence over the right of individual citizens to speak their minds.