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Brexit after Obama He came, he saw, he went. But did he conquer? By John O’Sullivan

The first opinion-poll results on President Obama’s intervention in the Brexit debate since he left London for Germany and the EU summit have now been published. They show two things of interest: a small movement toward the Leave campaign, and a clear majority of voters who disapproved of the president’s intervention.

Of four polls, all four shifted toward Leave, by between one and four percentage points. That still left Remain ahead in two polls, and Leave in the other two (but by smaller numbers, in or close to the margin of error). Probably the fairest interpretation is that Remain is slightly ahead but Leave is closing a small gap and that Obama helped to close it further.

Disapproval of Obama’s intervention is far clearer, however. Majorities of 55 and 60 percent were critical. This popular response was expressed in a cartoon of Obama seated opposite the Queen at a Palace dining table, saying airily, “She’ll have the fish” — as the Queen winces and the butler staggers back in horror.

But Obama is popular in Britain, and this reaction was not very harsh. It seems to have focused on his arrogance in telling the Brits that if they left the EU and wanted a separate U.S.-U.K. trade deal, they would have to go to the back of “the queue.” That word is a Britishism that commentators immediately cited as evidence that the speech had been written in Downing Street. It wasn’t personal arrogance so much as calculated pressure from both governments.

That episode illustrates one of the oddest elements in this referendum campaign. Though it’s quite common in modern politics (see Trump, passim) for outsiders and dissidents to denounce the overwhelming influence of “elites” or “establishments,” this is a rare occasion when the elites and establishments boast about it themselves.

New ISIS Threat in French Shows All Child Jihadis, Obama Images By Bridget Johnson

ISIS released a new video today reminiscent of the “nasheed” song threats preceding and succeeding the Paris and Brussels attacks.

The new twist this time? Children — aka ISIS “cubs,” as the terror group calls them — doing the singing, making threats in French translated into English.

The video features more images of President Obama than the one or two that are usually dropped into most ISIS videos and publications. With a backdrop of a child in ISIS garb wandering through a bombed neighborhood, superimposed images show Obama speaking at the United Nations, Obama shaking hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a bilateral meeting, Obama and Putin as well as Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at last November’s G20 summit in Turkey, and Obama again at the UN in two different scenes.

Secretary of State John Kerry is shown exchanging pleasantries with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Putin is also shown shaking hands with French President Francois Hollande.

Michael Warren Davis Much to Celebrate, More To Do

You can see it in the faces of the Left’s champions as voters and the tide of history oblige them to confront the wreckage their policies have wrought, from the divisive separatism of multiculturalism to the morass of red ink that mires the West’s economies. Damage done, now to fix it.
I love the label “reactionary”. It’s far more useful as an anti-Right insult than those slightly more common slurs – Nazi, fascist, etc. – because, well, obviously no prominent right-wing leader is looking to Hitler and Mussolini as models of good government. The “reactionary” label, while less stinging, is at least believable. It doesn’t stink of hyperbole. You can say of conservative politicians like Tony Abbott, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Nigel Farage, and Boris Johnson, “They’re just raging against the modern world,” and even those gentlemen’s most ardent supporters will have a hard time rebuffing your claim. Boris, by the by, is a new hero of mine. He speculated that President Barack Obama’s call for Britain to remain in the EU is “a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire”.[1] As if we all haven’t been thinking the same thing.

But when conservatives describe themselves as reactionary, it’s like a nuclear warhead has detonated in the conversation. The “reactionary” accepts that the status quo – unstable globalist economies, unfettered immigration, cultural deterioration, and the like – are indeed hallmarks of modernity, and so they reject modernity out of hand. “This is the way the world is!” the Left insists, “You can’t stop progress.” To which the neo-reactionary replies, “Then the world is ugly and wrong. And if this is what you call progress, then it, too, is ugly and wrong and ought to be undone.”

Britain? Moderates? How’s That Again? by Douglas Murray

A new poll of British Muslims found that a majority hold views with which most British people would disagree. For instance, 52% of British Muslims think that homosexuality should be made illegal. An earlier poll found that 27% of British Muslims have “some sympathy for the motives behind the attacks” at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last year.

Whenever opinion poll results come out, nearly the entire Muslim community, including nearly all Muslims in the media and all self-appointed groups of “Muslim community leaders” try to prove that the poll is a fraud.

If I had always known my “community” harboured such views, and a poll revealing this truth came out, I would be deeply ashamed. But when such polls emerge about the opinions of British Muslims, is that there is never any hint of introspection. There is no shame and no concern, only attack.

If there were indeed a “moderate majority,” when a poll comes out saying that a quarter of your community wants fundamentally to alter the law of the land and live under Sharia, the other 75% would spend their time trying to change the opinions of that quarter. Instead, about 74% of the 75% not in favour of sharia spend their time covering for the 25% and attacking the polling company which discovered them.

One often hears about the “moderate Muslim majority.” ‘After any terrorist attack, politicians tell us that, “The moderate majority of Muslims utterly condemn this.” After any outrage, commentators and pundits spring up to say, “Of course the vast majority of Muslims are moderate.” But is it true? Are the vast majority of Muslims really “moderate”?

A number of factors suggest perhaps not — most obviously the problem repeatedly revealed by opinion polls. Time and again, the results of opinion polls in the Western world, never mind in the Middle East or North Africa, show a quite different picture from the “moderate majority” aquatint.

True, such polls can often show that, for instance, only 27% of British Muslims have “some sympathy for the motives behind the attacks” at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last year. True, that is only between a quarter and a third of British Muslims sympathizing with the blasphemy enforcement squad. On other occasions, such as recently in Britain with a new ICM poll commissioned by Channel 4, they find that a majority of Muslims hold views with which most British people would disagree. So for instance, the recent ICM poll found that 52% of British Muslims think that homosexuality should be made illegal. That’s a striking figure. Not 52% of British Muslims saying homosexuality is “not their cup of tea” or that they are “not entirely on board with gay marriage,” but 52% of British Muslims thinking that homosexuality should be made a crime under the law.

US, EU taxes fund event honoring Jerusalem bus bomber By Dan Calic

On April 18 Abd al-Hamid Abu Spour, a 19 year old Palestinian Arab, destroyed two public transportation buses in Jerusalem. There were numerous injuries, two of whom remain hospitalized, one with severe burns. This was the first bus attack during the 7+ month long intifada being waged against Israelis, which has resulted in at least 34 deaths to date.

The one person killed in the attack was the perpetrator himself. All Palestinian factions welcomed the attack. In the eyes of many Muslims, dying while committing a terror attack means Abu Spour is a “shahid,” or martyr for Allah.

His family has lashed out saying he acted in “self-defense,” and “only you Israelis are guilty.” Such inflammatory rhetoric while disturbing, is not unusual from many Arab Muslims. However in this case reaction to the attack has gone beyond the family. It has taken on an official flavor.

On Monday, a week after the attack, a gathering took place at the UNRWA refugee camp in Aida, near Bethlehem. The location has a huge monument of a lock and key, symbolizing the defiant goal that the Palestinian Arabs will one day root out the Jews and take over the land they believe belongs to them.

The “festivities of the martyrs” event took place under the aegis of UNRWA (United Nations Relief Works Agency). To think the official body representing the world’s community of nations is celebrating terrorism is bad enough. However, that is not the worst of it. The number 1 financial donor to UNRWA is the US, by far. The EU and UK are #2 and #3 in financial support. Their combined total represents over 50% of UNRWA’s donor support.

Virtually no media coverage

US and UK citizens should ask themselves how they feel about having their hard earned taxes paying for events that honor terrorists.

Aside from this there is another troubling element to the UNRWA sponsored event.

One might think a public event honoring terrorism sponsored by a branch of the United Nations would be widely covered by the media. Yet, when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict most of the world’s media seems to come under a spell of double standard. The abnormal becomes normal, the unacceptable turns into acceptable, and the victim is often seen as the bully.

Turkey’s Islamic Supremacist Foreign Policy by Uzay Bulut

“We have never been involved in an attack against Turkey … we were never involved in such an action… Davutoglu wants to pave the way for an offensive on Syria and Rojava and cover up Turkey’s relations with the ISIS which is known to the whole world by now.” — YPG (Kurdish) General Command.

“Thousands of settlers from Anatolia were shipped in by the Turkish government to occupy former Greek villages and to change Cypriot demography — in the same manner the occupying Ottoman Empire once did in the 16th century.” — Victor Davis Hanson, historian.

Turkey, for more than 40 years, has been illegally occupying the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus, historically a Greek and Christian nation, which it invaded with a bloody military campaign in 1974.

What Turkey would call a crime if committed by a non-Turkish or a non-Sunni state, Turkey sees as legitimate if Turkey itself commits it.

Between March 29 and April 2, 2016, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, paid a visit to Washington D.C. to participate in the 4th Nuclear Security Summit hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama.

In an interview with CNN broadcast March 31, Erdogan said, “We will not allow an act such as giving northern Syria to a terrorist organization… We will never forgive such a wrong. We are determined about that.”

Asked which terror organization he was referring to, Erdogan said: “The YPG [Kurdish People’s Protection Units], the PYD [Democratic Union Party] … and if Daesh [ISIS] has an intention of that sort then it would also never be allowed.”

Erdogan was thereby once again attempting to equate Islamic State (ISIS), which has tortured, raped, sold or slaughtered so many innocent people in Syria and Iraq, with the Kurdish PYD, and its YPG militia, whose members have been fighting with their lives to defeat genocidal jihadist groups such as al-Nusra and ISIS.

The question is not why Erdogan or his government have such an intense hatred for Kurds. Turkey’s genocidal policies against the Kurds are not a secret. Turkey’s most recent deadly attacks are ongoing in Kurdish districts even now. The more important question is why Erdogan thinks that Turkey is the one to decide to whom the predominantly Kurdish north of Syria will belong — or who will not rule that part of Syria.

On February 17, Turkey’s capital, Ankara, was shaken by a car bomb that killed 28 people and wounded 61 others.

Palestinians: University Students Vote For Terror by Khaled Abu Toameh

Palestinian political analysts said that the Hamas victory is an indication of what would happen if general elections were held these days in the West Bank.

The 3,481 students who voted in favor of the Hamas-affiliated list want to see the destruction of Israel.

Both Hamas and the PFLP are strongly opposed to any peace process with Israel. They continue to call for terror attacks against Israelis. The results of the election mean that most of the students at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, not Gaza, support groups that have chosen terrorism over peace.

The Hamas victory at Bir Zeit University also shows that it does not matter how much money you pour on Fatah’s campus supporter; a majority of students would still prefer to vote for terror groups that do not believe in Israel’s right to exist.

The main charge against Fatah is that it has failed to reform and pave the way for the emergence of new and younger leaders.

“Fatah needs an internal shake-up before it faces more defeats.” –Sufyan Abu Zayda, a senior Fatah official from the Gaza Strip.

Hamas leaders also called for holding long overdue presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories. They said they had no doubt that their movement would easily defeat Fatah.

Under such circumstances, it is not a good idea to promote the idea of free and democratic elections in the Palestinian territories. Worse, the talk about a renewed peace process and a two-state solution has become a tasteless joke.

A U.S. Spy Left to Hang Washington has abandoned a CIA agent facing jail in Europe.

The threat from terrorism is worse than at any time since 9/11, even as the West has limited its capacity for self-defense. One example of the latter is the way the Obama Administration has abandoned former CIA agent Sabrina De Sousa.

Ms. De Sousa was one of 26 U.S. officials convicted by Italy in 2009 for their role in the rendition of a radical Egyptian cleric. A Portuguese-American dual national who currently resides in Portugal, she received a seven-year sentence from an Italian court (later reduced to four years). Last week Portugal’s highest court cleared the way for her extradition to Italy under a European arrest warrant.

CIA agents working with their Italian counterparts in 2003 captured the cleric, known as Abu Omar, who was suspected of recruiting fighters for Islamists in Iraq, among other things, and transferred him from Milan to Egypt, where he says he was tortured. Egyptian authorities eventually released Abu Omar without charge, though Italy later convicted him in absentia on terror charges.

Among the anti-antiterror left, his case became emblematic of the evils of rendition. Italian prosecutors in 2004 launched an investigation and Italian courts eventually convicted, in absentia, the CIA agents, including Ms. De Sousa, and a U.S. Air Force colonel for their alleged participation in the affair. All of the convicted Americans had left Italy by the time the court case was under way.

Ms. De Sousa was acting in her official capacity and following U.S. policy during the 2003 rendition. Yet the U.S. government never asserted diplomatic immunity in her case, although it asserted a similar immunity on behalf of at least one other American involved in the affair.

When Ms. De Sousa sued the CIA, State and the Justice Department for failing to invoke immunity on her behalf, Justice argued that immunity is asserted for the benefit of the government, not of an individual employee. That’s a sound principle and is exactly why the government should act to protect Ms. De Sousa. Failing to do so sends a terrible signal to other U.S. operatives in the field. CONTINUE AT SITE

Netanyahu Stands Firm on Peace Talks Israeli prime minister reiterates need for bilateral negotiations without third-party mediation By Rory Jones

Alas, he stands firmly on weak knees…he should scuttle all negotiations….rsk
TEL AVIV—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday poured cold water on a French initiative to restart peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, saying the two sides should be speaking directly rather than through a third party.

“Israel adheres to its position that the best way to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is direct, bilateral negotiations,” said a statement from Mr. Netanyahu’s office. “Any other diplomatic initiative distances the Palestinians from direct negotiations.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault last week said he would invite ministers from the U.S., Europe, Middle East and Asia to Paris on May 30 to discuss a framework for a new round of peace talks, aiming to host an international conference later this year that would include Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

France first suggested the international conference in January, the Israeli leader expressed similar concerns at that time too.

A spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry said the prime minister’s statement didn’t completely rule out Israeli officials attending a conference as no invitations to the two sides had been sent out yet.

After welcoming the French initiative last week, Palestinian negotiators slammed Israel’s pessimism over the plan.

“The Israeli government’s call for bilateral negotiations is not a call for the achievement of the two-state solution, but an attempt at legitimizing its settlement enterprise and the imposition of an apartheid regime,” said Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which represents Palestinian political factions in peace negotiations. “We call upon the French Government and the rest of the international community to take immediate steps in order to give peace a chance.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has sought support from the international community in recent years at forums such as the United Nations and International Criminal Court in a bid to create a Palestinian state. CONTINUE AT SITE

Setting the Record Straight on Britain, America, and World War II By Victor Davis Hanson

While in London last week, President Obama waded into the upcoming British referendum about whether the United Kingdom should stay in the European Union.

Controversy followed his lecture about the future of the Anglo-American relationship should Britain depart the EU. Obama also implied that without an EU, the United States might again be dragged into European squabbling, as it had been in the prior world wars.

Americans might take this occasion to reflect on Britain’s role in World War II.

Before the war, the League of Nations had done nothing to deter the future Axis powers from invading or annexing Albania, Austria, China, Czechoslovakia, and Ethiopia.

Britain’s alliance with France might have deterred Nazi Germany had Winston Churchill, not Neville Chamberlain, been prime minister in 1939. Or an isolationist United States might have helped had it been willing to conclude a defense pact with the Western European democracies.

What ensured a war were the appeasement of Nazi Germany by Britain and France, the isolation of the United States from global responsibilities, and the collaboration of the Soviet Union with Adolf Hitler. All three developments combined to convince Hitler that he could bully or invade his neighbors without consequences.

America entered the war on Britain’s side in late 1941, after more than two years of war that saw Hitler consolidate a continental empire larger than the present European Union. The United States declared war on Nazi Germany and fascist Italy on December 11, 1941 — but only after the two Axis powers declared war on us first. Had Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini not declared war after Japan’s December 7, 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, America may well have concentrated on defeating Imperial Japan and stayed neutral in the European theater.

Great Britain was the only major power to fight for the entire duration of World War II, from its beginning after the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 until the surrender of the Japanese in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

In late June of 1940, after the fall of Western Europe, Britain was the only major power in the world still resisting Nazi Germany. Otherwise, all of Europe was either occupied by Hitler, neutral, or supposedly neutral but surreptitiously aiding the Third Reich with shipments of supplies.