“When Israel attacks Iran — not if — the results of that war will reshape the Middle East in ways we can’t entirely predict. The one certainty will be that China will have far more influence there than it does now, and far more than we ever will have again.”

It’s all about Iran, as Riyadh no longer wants to hold hands with Washington.

After a year of campaigning for a seat on the UN Security Council, the Saudi Arabian government was elected to it on October 18. They turned it down, forcefully, the same day.

How could that be? No nation offered a Security Council seat has ever turned one down, not even one of the non-permanent seats the Saudis were offered.

The Saudi action pokes a large pin in the UN balloon. It’s not quite the same as the U.S. rejection of the League of Nations. It’s worse because the League was assumed to be an effective global arbiter of affairs. The U.S. rejected membership in order to preserve national sovereignty. The Saudis’ rejection of the UN was, in part, because they didn’t want to participate in anything so useless and ineffective.

The decision to reject the Security Council seat had to have been made — or at least acquiesced in — by King Abdullah, the 89-year-old head of the Saudi gerontocracy. Saudi foreign policy usually moves at a glacial pace. Given the proximity in time between the election of the Saudis to the seat and their rejection of it (only a few hours), the rejection could not have been a last-minute decision. It had to have been debated for many weeks within the Saudi regime.

DAVID GOLDMAN: PAX SINICA IN THE MIDDLE EAST? English-language media completely ignored a noteworthy statement that led Der Spiegel’s German-language website October 12, a call for China to “take on responsibility as a world power” in the Middle East. Penned by Bernhard Zand, the German news organization’s Beijing correspondent, it is terse and to the point: now that China imports more oil […]

Ignoring the Sharia Basis for Iran’s Persecution of Christians Andrew Bostom

A confluence of news stories last week, including, prominently, the release of a report by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, have highlighted the plight of Iranian Christians.

The salient findings from Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed’s report (issued online Tuesday 10/22/13), were as follows:

Sources communicate that at least 20 Christians were in custody in July 2013. In addition, violations of the rights of Christians, particularly those belonging to evangelical Protestant groups, many of whom are converts, who proselytize to and serve Iranian Christians of Muslim background, continue to be reported. Authorities continue to compel licensed Protestant churches to restrict Persian-speaking and Muslim-born Iranians from participating in services, and raids and forced closures of house churches are ongoing. According to sources, more than 300 Christians have been arrested since 2010, and dozens of church leaders and active community members have reportedly been convicted of national security crimes in connection with church activities, such as organizing prayer groups, proselytizing and attending Christian seminars abroad.

His report further noted allegations of additional abuses, including “various forms of legal discrimination…in employment and education,” as well as frequent cases of “arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment.”

Monday, 10/21/13, a day before the Special Rapporteur’s report was issued, Eddie Romero, a retired California pastor, who managed to enter Iran surreptitiously, staged a protest before Iran’s infamous Evin prison. Repeatedly proclaiming, “Let my people go,” in Farsi, Romero attempted to draw attention to the predicament of at least four Iranians, incarcerated for converting from Islam to Christianity—Farshid Fathi, Saeed Abedini, Mostafa Bordbar, and Alireza Seyyedian. (Detained for 24-hours in Iran, Romero was released and returned safely to the U.S. by mid-week.)

CHUCK BROOKS:Three Keys to Unlocking Tech Treasures Focus on Collaboration, STEM and ‘Foraging’ Brooks is vice president/client executive for the Department of Homeland Security at Xerox and a former legislative affairs director for DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate.

Recently, there have been exciting announcements about innovative breakthrough technologies, including 3-D printing, wearable smart watches and “nano” drug delivery capabilities. These and other cutting-edge technologies hold great promise. Enhancing the base of their development through collaboration, investment in the next generation of scientists, and “technology foraging” will fuel the manufacturing engines that transform our economic future and quality of life.

With the downturn in the economy and sequestration, spending on reasearch and development has suffered. But there are pathways that can help rectify the shortcomings in R&D investment, lessen redundancy and accelerate success.

One step is to establish greater collaboration among the three pillars of industry, academia and government.

The cornerstone of collaboration should be based on knowledge transfer; sharing of research tools, methodologies and findings; and combining mutual funding resources to meet shortfalls. This can be accomplished by combined public/private-sector policy and working group initiatives that will eventually lead to formal strategies and implementation.

The federal government is the largest funder of R&D. There is no better resource than the government’s national labs for employing cooperative partnering and smart technology foraging. The nation’s 40 federally funded R&D centers spent over $18 billion on research and development last year. Those labs are composed of the best and brightest scientific minds.

The Devil and the Jews, from the Palestinian Authority:Palestinian TV repeats what was once the preserve of Christian Europe in equating Jews with the Devil….SEE NOTE


Amid the ongoing (secret) negotiations over a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians, this, according to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), is the very latest on what the Palestinian Authority is pushing to its viewers: men, women and children alike. PMW reported:

“During Ramadan, Palestinian Authority TV broadcast an Egyptian cartoon series for children called The Raids of Prophet Muhammad.

“One episode taught children that the Devil and the Jews were on the same side, both desiring the defeat of Muhammad. The cartoon shows the Devil ecstatic because he saw that the Jews who were filled with “hate and loathing” for Muhammad schemed to unite the Arab-pagan tribes to fight Muhammad.”

The full story, with the video is represented here.

A Model of Interfaith Dialogue: A Southern Baptist Dr. R. Robert Mohler Brigham Young University By Paula Bolyard
“I do not believe that we are going to heaven together, but I do believe we may go to jail together.”

These days, interfaith dialogue is often reduced to a slogan — a Coexist bumper sticker, perhaps, or a vow to embrace diversity. The words “brutal honesty” are perhaps not the first that come to mind when we think of interfaith dialogue because our culture has trained us to avoid offending people at all costs. Disagreeing with others or speaking too forthrightly — particularly about religion — is not considered to be virtuous. Americans in the 21st century are so sensitive and so fragile that they must be shielded from uncomfortable truths, we are told.

And then there is Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who demonstrates how intellectual and spiritual honesty can be noble and even preferable to false unity.

Dr. Mohler recently gave an address at Brigham Young University, showing how we can share an interfaith dialogue that is both respectful and honest. Oftentimes those with substantive theological differences will seek to find common ground while truth is sacrificed in the process. Mohler managed to accomplish both in his address to almost 400 students and faculty at the nearly packed auditorium at BYU.

Mohler expressed that he respected his audience enough to acknowledge their differences:

I come as a Christian theologian to speak explicitly and respectfully as a Christian—a Christian who defines Christianity only within the historic creeds and confessions of the Christian church and who comes as one committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to the ancient and eternal Trinitarian faith of the Christian church. I have not come as less, and you know whom you have invited. I come knowing who you are—to an institution that stands as the most powerful intellectual center of the Latter-Day Saints, the most visible academic institution of Mormonism. You know who I am and what I believe. I know who you are and what you believe.

In a world where conflict and disagreement are often seen as the enemies of the common good, Mohler walked to the podium and gave truth its rightful place of honor in his dialogue with those in attendance. While it might have been tempting in that situation to exude a more conciliatory tone, emphasizing only areas of agreement, Mohler made it clear from the start that he recognized the differences and wanted to begin a dialogue coming from a place of truth.

Breaking Ranks With The Left — on The Glazov Gang

This week’s Glazov Gang was joined by John Duffy, a Film Producer from the South Bronx, Ann-Marie Murrell, the National Director of, and Orestes Matacena, a Filmmaker whose latest project is, dedicated to the memory of the Jewish resistance in the streets of Warsaw in WWII.

The Gang gathered this week to discuss Breaking Ranks With The Left. The discussion occurred in Part II and focused on each guest’s brush with the totalitarian inferno. The segment ended with the Gang members’ analysis of Obama’s War on America and how Americans can best safeguard their freedoms:

Part II:

In Part I, the Gang focused on Orestes Matacena’s new film project, The dialogue focused on Matacena’s goal to pay tribute to all those who fought in the resistance against the Nazi occupation in Europe, the Middle East and Africa during WWII.

The Gang discussed why the lessons of that resistance are so crucial for our generation to grasp — as the West confronts IslamoFascism and the Obama administration’s destructive agenda.

The segment ended with a focus on ObamaCare’s Website Disaster:


The Jewish people’s considerable rights to the land of Israel are founded upon several bases:

Jews have been on the land for close to 4,000 years, most notably within eastern Jerusalem (where the Old City and the Temple Mount are located), and Judea and Samaria – all places where ancient Israelite heritage is marked. Jews, in fact, are the indigenous people of Israel, present not only historically, but with continuity over the centuries.

In modern times there are legal precedents for establishing the Jewish claim to Israel: This is with reference to the San Remo Conference, the Mandate for a Jewish Homeland in Palestine, confirmed in international law, and more.

These Jewish rights have certainly not diminished over the years. Yet there is a prevailing perception that this is the case – that there has been a rethinking of what properly accrues to the Jewish State of Israel. A revisionist perception, we might say.

This perception has been fueled by Palestinian Arab leader Mahmoud Abbas and his cohorts, who – in insisting ad nauseum that Israel’s proper place is behind the “1967 border” – reveal themselves to be major advocates of the dictum that, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

Of course this business of a “1967 border” is a lie: there was no border established to Israel’s east after the War of Independence ended in 1949, only a temporary armistice line. The armistice agreement was not even with a “Palestinian people,” but with Jordan. Nor did Security Council Resolution 242 require Israel to pull back fully from Judea and Samaria, which was secured defensively during the Six-Day War in 1967.


There are things that Obama just doesn’t understand. Like math. And health care. And alliances.

Alliances are as vital to foreign policy as a website that works is to online health care enrollment, but Obama has given every sign of not understanding the concept of alliances. When Hillary Clinton came to Moscow bearing her misspelled Reset button, the button was real and reset every alliance to zero.During his two terms, Obama has managed to wreck nearly every alliance the United States had. The only alliances that survived were so low-pressure that even he couldn’t manage to destroy them.Obama’s alliance vandalism pushed aside allies and courted enemies. If a country hated the United States, overtly and openly, then he was there bowing to it as low as he could go. If a country had an existing alliance with us, it was in big trouble.

From Latin America to Eastern Europe to the Middle East, the shock waves of the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton reset passed leaving behind destroyed relationships and empowered enemies.

Poland learned that Obama cared more about showing Vladimir his flexibility than about defending the nations liberated from the grasp of the red bear. Israel learned that Obama would put Iran first and Egypt and Tunisia found out that Obama only had eyes for the Muslim Brotherhood.

It took a lot for Obama to lose the Saudis, but now even they have turned on him. America’s greatest Middle Eastern frenemy was an enemy who pretended to be our ally. The frenemy game had paid off for Saudi Arabia with American soldiers being sent off to protect the House of Saud, but by Obama’s second term, the Saudis had figured out that they could do better by being our open enemies than by pretending to be our friends.

The Saudis, who had always been noted for being subtle, stopped being subtle when a member of one of their think tanks openly declared, “We are learning from our enemies now how to treat the United States.”

There is no better metric of contempt in a region where everyone wears a false face than honesty like that. The Saudis have decided that we are no longer even worth lying to. They believe that we have become so worthless that they can tell us what they really think of us.

Our technocracy is detached it is from competence. It’s not the technocracy of engineers, but of “thinkers” who read Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas Friedman and watch TED talks and savor the flavor of competence, without ever imbibing its substance.

These are the people who love Freakonomics, who enjoy all sorts of mental puzzles, who like to see an idea turned on its head, but who couldn’t fix a toaster.

The ObamaCare website is the natural spawn of that technocracy who love the idea of using modernity to make things faster and easier, but have no idea what anything costs or how it works.

It’s hard to have a functioning technocracy without engineers. A technocracy made in Silicon Valley with its complete disregard for anything outside its own ego zone would be bad enough. But this is a Bloombergian technocracy of billionaires and activists, of people who think that “progress” makes things work, rather than things working leading to progress. showed us that behind all the smoother and shinier designs was the same old clunky government where everything gets done because the right companies hire the right lobbyists and everything costs ten times what it should.

If the government can’t build a health care website, how is it going to actually run health care for an entire country is the obvious question that so many are asking. And the obvious answer is that it will run it the way it ran the website. It will throw wads of money and people at the problem and then look for programs it doesn’t like to squeeze for extra cash.