Iran: Russians Using Iranian Airbases by Lawrence A. Franklin

Iran’s deepening military cooperation with Russia serves as a hedge, in the Iranian calculus, against any unilateral Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities during an interregnum between the Obama era and the inauguration of the next U.S. President in January 2017.

Moscow probably enjoys filling a vacuum created by U.S. refusal to be drawn too deeply into Syria’s civil war. Additionally, Russia’s air force is profiting by targeting training under wartime conditions, with little loss of personnel and equipment. Russia also most likely hopes to become the main arms supplier to Iran.

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council admitted on August 16 that Tehran is permitting Russian military aircraft to stage operations against Syrian rebels from an Iranian airbase.[1] Satellite photography previously confirmed Russian military aircraft on the tarmac of Iran’s Shahid Nojeh Airfield in 2015.

This is the first time, however, that Tehran is publicly confirming that it is allowing advanced Russian long-range bombers to use its main air base in Hamadan Province.

U.S. Held Cash Until Iran Freed Prisoners By Jat Solomon and Carol E. Lee

An Iranian cargo plane left Geneva with $400 million in cash after a flight with Americans aboard took off from Tehran in January

WASHINGTON — New details of the $400 million U.S. payment to Iran earlier this year depict a tightly scripted exchange specifically timed to the release of several American prisoners held in Iran, based on accounts from U.S. officials and others briefed on the operation.

U.S. officials wouldn’t let Iranians take control of the money until a Swiss Air Force plane carrying three freed Americans departed from Tehran on Jan. 17, the officials said. Once that happened, an Iranian cargo plane was allowed to bring the cash back from a Geneva airport that day, according to the accounts.

President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials have said the payment didn’t amount to ransom, because the money was owed by the U.S. to Iran as part of a longstanding dispute linked to a failed arms deal from the 1970s. U.S. officials have said that the prisoner release and cash transfer took place through two separate diplomatic channels.

But the handling of the payment and its connection to the release of the Americans have raised questions among lawmakers and administration critics.

The use of an Iranian cargo plane to move pallets filled with $400 million brings clarity to one of the mysteries surrounding the cash delivery to Iran first reported by The Wall Street Journal this month. Administration officials have refused to publicly disclose how and when the cash transfer authorized by Mr. Obama took place.

Executives from Iran’s flagship carrier, Iran Air, organized the round-trip flight from Tehran to Geneva where the cash—euros and Swiss francs and other currencies stacked on shipping pallets—was loaded onto the aircraft, these people said.

“Our top priority was getting the Americans home,” said a U.S. official.CONTINUE AT SITE

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Germany: “Islamist terrorism has arrived in Germany.” Figures released in July by Destatis, the government’s statistics agency, showed that more than 2.1 million people migrated to Germany in 2015. More than 33,000 migrants who are supposed to be deported are still in Germany and are being cared for by German taxpayers. Many of the migrants destroyed their passports and are believed […]


Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary Dick Morris offers a battle plan. Daniel Greenfield

The last time a Republican sat in the White House was in another decade that often feels like another century. After four years in which the economic potential of the country declined while the potential of Islamic terrorists grew, Republicans unnecessarily lost a winnable election in 2012.

Obama won his greatest victory over Republicans by convincing them to doubt themselves. Republicans turned their political movement into a party of defeat when they became convinced that their vision was too extreme, their base doomed to an inevitable decline and their politics out of step with the country.

And so, consumed with doubt and uncertainty, robbed of their passion, they lost.

This primary season, above all else, came down to two competing visions. Would the Republican Party continue to retreat from its identity, trapped by doubts and fears that its time had passed and that it must go left or perish? Or would it joyously and unashamedly embrace its identity while putting Obama and Hillary on the defensive

That question has been answered in full, but transforming that maelstrom of energy into a battle plan to actually defeat Hillary Clinton is a more complicated problem that the GOP is still struggling with.

And that’s what Dick Morris and Eileen McGann offer in their book, “Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary”. Few people know the Clintons better than Dick Morris who once stood at their side. And so few political experts could be better at offering a battle plan to beat Hillary. This is Dick Morris’ moment.

“Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary” is a comprehensive battle plan that focuses less on Trump than it does on Hillary. The bulk of the book is an analysis of Hillary’s weaknesses, both personal and political, the vulnerabilities of her deeply corrupted character and of her divided Democratic base.

Much like David Horowitz’s “Go For the Heart: How Republicans Can Win”, Morris and McGann argue that Trump can win by combining gut punches and emotional connections with voters on core issues.

Trump Takes Aim At Jihad: ‘Ideology of Death Must Be Extinguished’ Unveiling the Obama-Clinton Mideast catastrophe — and how the GOP presidential candidate plans to fix it. Joseph Klein

Donald Trump delivered a major foreign policy speech Monday in Youngstown, Ohio, entitled “Understanding The Threat: Radical Islam And The Age Of Terror.” He lashed out strongly against the Obama-Clinton foreign policies that have led to turmoil in the Middle East, unleashed ISIS and allowed Iran to enhance its power in the region and globally. However, rather than dwell on the mistakes of the past, Trump also outlined his own forceful approach to defeating radical Islamic terrorist organizations once and for all, which includes, but is not limited to, just ISIS alone.

“We cannot let this evil continue,” Trump declared. He decried “the hateful ideology of Radical Islam – its oppression of women, gays, children, and nonbelievers” in a way that President Obama and Hillary Clinton have utterly failed to do. “Anyone who cannot name our enemy, is not fit to lead this country,” Trump said. “Anyone who cannot condemn the hatred, oppression and violence of Radical Islam lacks the moral clarity to serve as our President.”

While Trump’s words were measured, the moral clarity of his vision and strategies to achieve it were crystal clear. “We will defeat Radical Islamic Terrorism, just as we have defeated every threat we have faced in every age before,” he declared.

Trump offered a number of specific proposals to counter radical Islamic terrorism, which he said he would implement as president both abroad and at home. He said that the era of nation-building will be “brought to a swift and decisive end,” if he becomes president. All actions, he added, should be oriented around the goal of halting the spread of radical Islam.

Trump acknowledged the need for international cooperation in achieving this goal, and even called for an international conference with our allies in the fight against radical Islamists. His administration, he said, will “aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS.”

“We will work side-by-side with our friends in the Middle East, including our greatest ally, Israel,” Trump said. “We will partner with King Abdullah of Jordan, and President Sisi of Egypt, and all others who recognize this ideology of death that must be extinguished.”

Obama, by contrast, went out of his way to snub Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Sisi, rather than draw closer together in the common fight against ISIS, Hamas and other radical Islamists.

Reversing his previous skepticism regarding the continued usefulness of NATO, Trump praised the mutual defense treaty organization for enhancing its anti-terrorism capabilities and said he would be prepared to have the U.S. “work very closely with NATO” to defeat Islamic terrorists.

The Left’s Reticence On Islam The fundamental incoherence of Marxist-inspired leftism. Bruce Thornton

Reprinted from

The bloody attack on gay night-club in Orlando by a Muslim, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, should be a wake-up call for progressives still unwilling to confront the illiberal core of radical Islam. The choice of target was not random, or just an expression of neurotic homophobia. Hatred of homosexuality is part of traditional Islamic sharia law, as is the punishment of death for transgressors. Today homosexuals are still being executed in Muslim majority nations like Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. But just as Islamic misogyny has been ignored or rationalized by the left, so too has this violent intolerance for diversity.

This romance of progressives with Islam reflects the fundamental incoherence of Marxist-inspired leftism. From the beginning, Marxism cast itself as a product of science and reason. By their laws of historical progress, tribalism and religion were backward superstitions doomed to obsolescence, and industrial capitalism a necessary stage in the relentless march to the communist utopia. Marx himself made clear his disdain for those cultures still clinging to the old ways and beliefs. Commenting on America’s 1846 war with Mexico, Marx said the U.S. had snatched California “from the lazy Mexicans, who did not know what to do with it.” Those backwards peoples who did not play their assigned role in the communist libretto were worthy only of scorn.

In the twentieth century, however, the Western proletariat ignored Marx’s laws of history and did not ignite the communist revolution. They preferred to take advantage of the expanding wealth created by free-market capitalism, and to join the hated bourgeoisie. Communists then looked to the Third World, where the postwar anticolonial movements promised the worldwide revolution the workers of the West had betrayed. “Natives of the underdeveloped countries unite!” cried Jean-Paul Sartre, replacing the old “workers of the world” with the oppressed victims of European colonization.

Thus was born Third Worldism, the modern reboot of the old noble savage myth. Once considered primitives that needed to be civilized, now non-Westerners were idealized. Their exotic customs and mores, and their simpler, more authentic lives, were held up as reproaches to the “air-conditioned nightmare” of the repressed bourgeois West and its soul-killing, mass-produced consumerism. The tyranny and cultural dysfunctions of these newly liberated peoples, and the persistence of their old tribal intolerance and violence, were ignored or rationalized as understandable reactions to continued Western oppression.

Mrs. Clinton’s Blame Game Politics is all about identifying villains — the wrong ones. By Kevin D. Williamson see note please

Kevin Williamson is a fierce #NeverTrump member…..His words are hollow if he cannot choose #NeverHillary….rsk

The politics of blame are a funny thing. We will blame anybody and everybody for any and all imaginable problems — except the people who actually have blame coming.

Nobody really cares very much about evidence, reason, argument, etc. What they care about is telling a story with good guys and bad guys, and that the right people are cast in each role.

For the left, that shapes everything from economic thinking to foreign policy.

For example, we hear a great deal about economic “inequality,” a term that, in an open and dynamic society, means almost nothing. What the Left wants it to mean is that the poor are poor because the rich are rich, and that the middle class is struggling because corporate profits are high and billionaire playboys forget how many yachts they have. But that simply is not the case, as anybody who has even a passing familiarity with the actual economics literature on the subject can tell you. A $10-an-hour job pays $10 an hour because $10 an hour gets you somebody who can do that job. If both Bob and Sam can do the job and Bob wants $12 an hour while Sam will do it for $10 an hour, it’s a $10-an-hour job, and Sam has it.

It’s not the case that it would have been a $12-an-hour job if only the CEO made $500,000 a year instead of $700,000. (The average salary for a U.S. CEO is in fact a little less than $200,000 a year; those wild numbers you see in the news are for the CEOs of a relatively small number of very large global firms; in the same way, the compensation figures for the category “basketball coaches” can go very different ways depending on whether you’re talking only about the NBA or including high-school coaches.) It is true that costs get shifted around within and between companies, and it’s probably true that they get shifted more onto lower-wage workers than higher-wage workers, because those workers are, generally speaking, less in demand. (That’s why they are lower-wage workers.) But CEO pay usually isn’t a real big chunk of a corporation’s financial picture. In 2011, Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, was the highest-paid CEO on God’s green Earth, and his paycheck, large though it was ($376 million), amounted to about three-tenths of 1 percent of Apple’s revenue that year. The groundskeepers and secretaries in Cupertino don’t get paid what they get paid because of fluctuations within an approximately 0.3-percent-of-revenue outlay.

You might see some compensation-rejiggering effects from a proportionally much larger outlay, such as the 24.2 percent of its profit Apple paid in taxes that year.

Because we have a free market in labor, it isn’t always clear or straightforward how changes in companies’ expenses affect workers’ compensation. It’s not like Apple or Walmart or GE can simply declare a wage and expect programmers, warehousemen, and engineers to just show up. Workers have choices, too, though some have more choices than others. But if you think that paying the CEO a lot drives down workers’ wages, wouldn’t you also think that other expenses would put downward pressure on wages, too? And which would produce the heavier pressure: $376 million for the CEO or $8.3 billion for the IRS?

Black Lives Matter Is Pushing Our Cities Back to the Brink To listen to some of the protesters, the Milwaukee shooting was the excuse for the riot, not the reason. By David French

What happens when a city combines body cameras, a “model” law requiring independent investigations of police shootings, and a police chief so committed to reforming the way cops interact with the black community that he’s profiled on public radio’s immensely popular program This American Life? What happens in that same city when a black cop shoots an armed black suspect toting a stolen gun — a gun the suspect reportedly refused to put on the ground despite repeated commands? Do the legal reforms increase community trust? Or does the city erupt in riots and violence?

If you chose “riots and violence,” you’re correct. That’s exactly what happened in Milwaukee this weekend in response to the police shooting of Sylville Smith. Police pulled Smith over on Saturday afternoon, he fled from the scene, and police gave chase. Smith was carrying a stolen handgun. An officer with six years’ experience caught Smith, reportedly ordered him to drop the gun, and opened fire when Smith failed to comply, shooting him the in the chest and arm. Smith died.

According to police, the shooting was caught on camera. (The footage has not yet been released.) But rather than wait for the evidence or for any semblance of an investigation, hundreds of Milwaukee residents rioted, burning police cars, looting stores, and attacking police. Indeed, to listen to some of the protesters and political leaders, the shooting was merely the excuse for the riot, not the justification. Here’s one protester telling reporters that riots are happening because “rich people, they got all this money, and they not . . . trying to give us none.”

The Great Regression Today, it seems that Orwell’s 1984 would better have been titled 2016. By Victor Davis Hanson

Technical progress is often associated with moral and political regress, a theme as ancient as Hesiod’s seventh-century b.c. poem Works and Days.

In 200 b.c., not a male could vote freely in Hellenistic Greece, but the so-called Antikythera analogue computer could predict astronomical cycles in a way unimaginable 250 years earlier in Periclean Athens.

The uncanny ability to craft the great dome of Hagia Sophia did not imply that the people of Constantinople in a.d. 537 had retained many freedoms from the impoverished Roman Republic of 700 years earlier.

We are in such a period of rapid breakthroughs in technology, consumerism, and scientific advancement — equally matched by cultural, social, and political ruin.

Take the question of free speech. Fifty years ago leftist student activists — without iPads and Facebook pages — fought for “free speech areas” in university plazas where they could voice unpopular and even uncouth expression.

Not today.

We may be able to communicate in a nanosecond and send photo images in real time on our cell phones, but someone who was a student at UC Berkeley in the 1960s would today be shocked that there is less free speech on campus than a half-century ago — unless he is a tenured dean who helped to implement the censorship he once opposed.

If a junior faculty member were to write a paper on the racialist undertones of Black Lives Matter, the lack of factual evidence for a campus rape epidemic, or the connection between radical Islam and terrorism, he would likely have to struggle for tenure.

It is not just that a John Ford western could not pass current PC muster, but even modernist raunchy satire such as the 1980s TV hits In Living Color and Married with Children, or the comic career of a Teri Garr or Victoria Jackson, or a movie like True Lies simply could not pass today’s Ministry of Truth.

Free-speech activists, homosexual-rights advocates, feminists, and democracy reformers all privately accept that they are as free to attack the fundamentalism of the Christian Right as they are in real danger — both to their persons and to their careers — should they question Koranic support for widespread current Muslim discrimination against women, gays, and religious reformers. Political correctness has become synonymous with either cowardice or careerism — or both. We damn “Islamophobia” to win social brownie points, but we tune out when there is mention of honor killings or female circumcision. Cheap silence is always preferable to principled but risky dissent.

Orwell was wrong only on his dates. Had he entitled his novel 2016, we would immediately have recognized his parallels to the present “overseas contingency operations,” “violent extremism,” “undocumented immigrants,” and “man-caused disasters.” The campus diversity czar is our Big Brother. Imagining that all lives matter is a thought crime. Due process on a campus today is counter-revolutionary, and proper sexual congress among students is to be scripted as a politically correct act, as if we were all Orwell’s Winston Smith and Julia. Is the Junior Anti-Sex League with its red sashes far behind?