In Failing to Stop the Islamic State, U.S. Ignores the Lessons of Auschwitz: By Marc A. Thiessen


Walking among the starvation cells and gas chambers where more than a million souls perished, it is hard to explain to my 12-year-old son how the free world allowed this happen. Why did the world’s democracies not stop the Nazi movement in its infancy — before it indoctrinated millions with its hateful ideology, took control of a great power, built its military might, invaded foreign lands and constructed death camps like the one here at Auschwitz?

The depressing answer is: for the same reason that the world’s democracies have done almost nothing to stop the rise of the Islamic State.

It is difficult to describe the feeling of spending a day at Auschwitz and then watching the images emanating from the Middle East, where the Islamic State is carrying out acts of unspeakable barbarism — beheading unbelievers; sticking decapitated heads on posts; burying women and children alive; randomly shooting pedestrians and motorists; even crucifying — yes, crucifying — its opponents.

So proud are the Islamic State’s leaders of these crimes against humanity that they broadcast them for the world to see on Twitter and YouTube. In one propaganda video, they show hundreds of victims being trucked to an execution site, where they are filmed pleading for their lives before being marched toward open pits and shot one by one. Islamic State militants recently tweeted a photo of a decapitated head with this message: “This is our ball. It is made of skin #WorldCup.”

When it takes over Christian neighborhoods, the Islamic State paints the letter “N” on the homes and businesses of Christians (marking them as followers of the Nazarene, a pejorative reference to Christians in Arabic) before confiscating them and giving them to Muslims. It runs camps where it indoctrinates children to believe that all non-Muslims are sub-human, “apostates” and “infidels” who should be exterminated. Vice News recently interviewed children undergoing such indoctrination by the Islamic State. One young boy looks into the camera and says “In the name of God my name is Daoud and I am 14 years old. I’d like to join the Islamic State and to kill with them, because they fight infidels and apostates.” Another declares: “We promise you car bombs and explosives. . . . I swear to God, we will divide America in two.”

Ian Tuttle :Another Blockade of the Port of Oakland Protesters Block a Ship Partly Owned by an Israeli Company — to Help End “Apartheid.”

The ZimPiraeus traversed the Panama Canal two weeks ago, then turned its 964-foot deck north, toward California, where it was scheduled to offload tens of thousands of tons of cargo at the Port of Oakland this weekend — just like 1,897 other container ships last year. But the ZimPiraeus, which arrived in San Francisco Bay on Sunday afternoon, is not unloading — and might not anytime soon.

The problem with the Piraeus is that Israel Corporation, Israel’s largest holding company, founded by the Jewish state’s government in 1968, owns 32 percent of the Piraeus’s operator, Zim Integrated Shipping Services. For the protesters who have formed picket lines at Oakland’s docks, the container ship moored in the bay is a symbol of “apartheid,” “Zionism,” and “imperialism.”

Last week posters appeared advertising a planned protest against the incoming ship: “Block the Boat, End Israeli Apartheid.” The sponsors — a Bay Area coalition of 70 organizations that includes such varied partners as the Arab Resource and Organizing Center and Critical Resistance, which opposes the “prison-industrial complex” – wrote: “Every week, the Israeli-owned Zim shipping line docks and unloads its cargo at the Port of Long Beach. Let’s boycott Israeli Apartheid and stop the ship from ever unloading in our town. From Seattle to Oakland to Los Angeles: Turn the Israeli ship around!”

Waving Palestinian flags and posters calling for the end of “Israeli apartheid” and for a “Free Gaza,” protesters first gathered on Saturday to find that the Piraeus’s arrival was delayed — a postponement protesters claimed as a victory. The Guardian reported that between 2,000 and 3,000 protesters participated in the demonstration; local media claimed it was about 500. The ship finally arrived on Sunday afternoon, but dockworkers from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 were unable to pass picket lines.

Zim is no stranger to this activity in Oakland. In 2010, pro-Gaza activists who were protesting Israel’s raid on a Turkish flotilla attempting to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip managed to turn away a Zim ship. The victory was short-lived: As even organizers acknowledge, a Zim ship unloads in the Port of Oakland about once a week. But they hope this latest demonstration will have a longer-term impact: “Our intention is to really build a movement here,” one organizer told The Guardian. “Our goal in the long run is for the workers themselves to refuse to unload that ship, stand with us, and take a position against Israeli apartheid.”


The Kurds and Kurdish-speaking Yezidis are once again caught in the grip of the Sunni-Shia vice · Against this background and often isolated, their special relationship with Israel stands out for the good: military advice, equipment and training are only some of the ways Israel has helped the Kurdish struggle for independence · “They only have trust in Israel,” says Brigadier General (res.) Tzuri Sagi, the man who led the Kurds to their stunning victories against Iraq in the sixties and seventies

A little while ago, an Israeli called his car repair shop in the village of Tira. The word Kurdi was part of the shop owner’s name. The man on the other end answered in English. Only then did the Israeli realize he’d accidentally called the office of Massud Barazani, President of Kurdistan, in Irbil.

This incident is an amusing sign of a long history of positive ties between Israel and the Kurds. The intimate friendship began in 1965, and to this day serves as a model for the convergence of interests and shifting alliances in the Middle East between Iran, Iraq and other players in the region.

The man who more or less built the Kurdish army and led it in two wars against the Iraqi army is Brigadier General (res.) Tzuri Sagi. Today from his home in Ramat-Hen in the aptly named Tzanhanim (Paratroopers’) Neighborhood, he is seeing the region he knows so well being torn apart by genocidal ISIS members rampaging around in their trucks. Even harder to endure is the Kurds’ apparent inability to stop them.

“What’s happening now is a war of Shiites against Sunnis – with the Shiite axis lead by Iran and the Sunni axis led by Turkey, and I wish both sides much success,” Tzuri told me as we sat next to the old kitchen table in his house. “But within all that, we need to help the Kurds. Turkey wants the oil in Western Iraq. If the Kurds lose control of the sources of oil in their possession, their situation will become very difficult. I would even help the Kurds from the air. It could be good practice for the air force. Instead of destroying terror targets in Gaza, which I don’t know what that means – attack ISIS targets. I don’t know what this ISIS is; I know it has remnants of Saddam’s army and they’re disconnected from the Sunnis in Iran.”

The weakness the Kurds are showing is surprising. In Sagi’s opinion, ISIS went after the [Kurdish-speaking] Yezidis because they’re the weakest group and this is the way of people in the region – to attack the weak. “The Kurds apparently became wealthy and more bourgeois and didn’t understand what they’re facing fast enough.” [A point confirmed in a recent analysis by military historian Kenneth Pollack – A.W.]


The kosher controversy at Sainsbury’s speaks to a profound problem: acquiescence to anti-Semitism

Were you outraged by a Sainsbury’s store’s decision over the weekend to hide away its kosher foods in an attempt to placate anti-Israel protesters? You should have been. For this incident, though seemingly a one-off, speaks to a profound problem in Europe today – the respectable classes’ acquiescence to anti-Semitism; their willingness to accept anti-Semitic sentiment as a fact of life and to shrug it off or, worse, kowtow to it.
The kosher incident took place at the Sainsbury’s in Holborn in London. When a mob of anti-Israel protesters gathered outside the store, the manager took the extraordinary decision to take all kosher products off the shelves lest the protesters target them and smash them up. Kosher foods, of course, are Jewish not Israeli; they are part of the Jewish dietary requirement, not part of any kind of Israeli food corporatism. To shamefacedly hide away such foodstuffs in order to appease a gang of hot-headed Israel-haters is an attack on a religious people and their rights, not on the Israeli state. That in Britain in 2014 we have store managers taking kosher foods off public display should be of concern to anyone who hates prejudice and racism.

So does this mean Sainsbury’s is anti-Semitic? No. It doesn’t even show that anyone at the Sainsbury’s in Holborn is anti-Semitic. But it does shine a light on the modern phenomenon of acquiescence to anti-Semitism, the rank unwillingness of influential people and institutions to face up to anti-Semitic sentiment and their preference for moulding the world around it rather than challenging it. Imagine if a Sainsbury’s manager suggested that the best way to deal with a racist in his store was to remove the black employees who were offending him. There would be outrage. Yet this weekend, in central, apparently civilised London, a manager decided that the best way to deal with people possessed of a possibly anti-Semitic outlook was to hide away the Jew stuff, lest they see it and feel disgusted by it.


Israel must preserve itself if it wishes its light to be seen.
I have often wondered why a people that professes itself, as the prophet Isaiah said (Isaiah 49:6), to be “a light unto the Nations” — something that it manifestly is, as any objective study of its world-benefitting discoveries and humane military practices would demonstrate – is so often a darkness unto itself.

For example, a video clip has just surfaced of a Palestinian mother whose child was saved by Israeli doctors, gleefully proclaiming that she will raise that child to become a shahid, a suicide “martyr,” who will repay his gift of life by slaughtering Jews. The doctor and nurses are presented as smiling and full of fellow-feeling for someone who hopes her son will destroy them and their homeland. Why are Jews so eager to help those who seek to destroy their children? The moral calculus on the part of Israeli benefactors is self-destructively skewed.

On a similar note, I wonder why Israeli officialdom tarried so long before acknowledging Philippe Karsenty’s documentary evidence proving that the Palestinians staged the travesty at the infamous Netzarim Junction and the presumed death of Mohammed al Dura, for which Israel was duly blamed. Why was Israel so slow to proclaim its innocence and so prone to take seriously the scurrilous charges leveled against it?

More recently, a report [1] reveals that the IDF is preparing to defend itself against potential charges of war crimes for its campaign in Gaza to defend Israel from thousands of rocket attacks launched by Hamas at Israeli civilian communities. Yet the fact remains that it is not the IDF that is guilty of war crimes, but Hamas itself, which deliberately targeted non-combatants and conscripted its own civilians as human shields, while Israel cripples its military effectiveness by warning Gazans of impending strikes.

Compounding the absurdity, for years after the Gaza withdrawal up to the present day, Israel has been furnishing an avowed and determined enemy with food, fuel, electricity, medical supplies, and building materials. Earlier embargos on certain dual-purpose items were eased in 2010 and 2012. According to IDF estimates [2], 181,000 tons of gravel, iron, cement and wood entered Gaza via Israeli crossings in the last half year alone. I know of no other nation on earth that would stockpile and replenish a bellicose entity devoted to wiping every one of its supplier’s citizens off the face of the planet.


It’s hard to have sympathy for anyone in the Ferguson affair — the cops, the demonstrators, the pontificating politicians, the exploitative media or we its pathetically loyal audience that keeps tuning in. The whole event plays out like the umpteenth rerun of the famous quote from Marx about history repeating itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

By that accounting we should all be at Aristophanes, Moliere or Groucho (pick your favorite farceur) times ten by now.

Unfortunately, however, it’s farce with virtually no comedy, no humor. The Ferguson affair is a grim business indeed, particularly grim watching the latest nightly edition — the eighth one! — on television Monday evening. On and on it goes, the roundelay of police and demonstrators, tear gas and bloviation. We even have the old standbys from the O.J. trial (Dr. Baden Baden Baden) making an appearance for the second of who knows how many autopsies to be conducted. Where is Marcia Clark? And there must be someone Alan Dershowitz can represent? Admittedly, the good professor has hands full with the Israeli-Palestinian conflagration, but he has retired from Harvard Law so he should have some free time to multi-task. And most of all — where’s Geraldo? It’s hard to believe he’s not on the scene by now, flagellating us all about America’s perpetual racial crisis.

(To his credit, Fox’s Shepard Smith wondered aloud Monday whether the media was actually exacerbating the situation and might help things by going home.)

By now you’re thinking, what’s Simon doing making light of this? Okay, it’s a media circus but an eighteen-year old kid died here, even if he was a bit of stoned thug who liked to beat up clerks in convenience stores just to make off with a box of cigars. He didn’t deserve to die.

No, and neither did several hundred — or is it thousands — or even tens of thousands — who died in a similar time frame.


In the movie Wall Street, the character Gordon Gecko expounds to an audience of shareholders, “Greed is good.” Gecko, a Wall Street tyrant whose specialty was destroying companies for profit, eventually gets his due in the end. But there are real life market manipulators that prowl the shadows of Wall Street and in the genre of biotech the greed of the market manipulators sometimes kills.

People with a cursory understanding of market manipulation understand the tactic of “short and distort.” This is a type of securities fraud in which market manipulators short sell a stock and then spread negative rumors about the company in an attempt to drive down stock prices. Sometimes this fraud is originated by a company’s competitors. Other times it is fueled exclusively by greed. And while a successful short and distort campaign may glean hefty rewards for those who perpetrate the crime, the fiscal malfeasance is often fatal for the company that is attacked.

A good example of this is playing out in real time.

On Monday, July 30, 2014, Galectin Therapeutics, a company working on a promising avenue in the fight against kidney, liver and lung fibrosis, as well as melanoma, issued a statement about findings from a cohort 2, phase 1 drug trial. The company has received “fast track” status from the FDA. CNBC reports that no FDA fast tracked drug that has advanced to “breakthrough drug” status has failed to come to market. And with excellent cohort 1 results, it appeared as though the company was well on the way to developing cures for diseases which exist today as terminal. But while the results of the cohort 2 trial were considered positive in the eyes of subject experts, the market manipulators saw an opportunity to defraud the investors and the public, inflicting tremendous damage on the company and the company’s work on a cure for these diseases.


According to the New York Times’ Peter Baker, “In this summer of global tumult, the debate in Washington essentially boils down to two opposite positions: It is all President Obama’s fault, according to his critics; no, it is not, according to his supporters, because these are events beyond his control.”

Mr. Baker entirely misses the point. The global tumult is, largely, Mr. Obama’s fault because he has so drastically reduced America’s influence that events are beyond his control. That has become so obvious that even Hillary Clinton understands.

President Obama is extremely sensitive to criticism of his foreign policy, as one would expect given his multifarious failures. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton had her presidential campaign reined in last week when she dared criticize Obama’s policy. She contended, in an interview with the Atlantic magazine, that Obama’s failure to support “moderate” Syrian rebels created a vacuum that enabled the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has — so far — been able to seize about half of Syria and a third of Iraq.

Obama responded by calling her criticism “horse****,” which it resembles closely.

Clinton’s memoir of her State Department daze, Hard Choices, does say that she advocated strongly for arming the Syrian rebels, or at least the good guys among them (of which there were none.) But Clinton’s position was as variable as the weather. Her book says that after she left the State Department, on September 9, 2013 for those who are following the facts, she visited Obama and told him it was crucial to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the Syria conflict, which is a far cry from military support for the rebels.



Queen Beatrix of Holland attends an Orchestral Concert. The Conductor, who just happens to be Muslim, proceeds to give the Queen a lecture and to proselytize about Islam and how she should personally believe in Allah.

The members of the Orchestra stage a walkout! Great to see people with the courage of their convictions! Wonder what would have happened if he had tried that at the Kennedy Center? Probably would have gotten a standing ovation…

Keith B. Payne And Mark B. Schneider: Russia Always Cheats On Arms Treaties

Since 1963’s nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Moscow’s policy seems to be comply if convenient, otherwise violate.

On July 29, the Obama administration announced that Russia has violated its obligation under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty “not to possess, produce or flight test a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 to 5,500 kilometers; or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles.” The administration’s sudden candor is welcome. Yet its new compliance reportalleging that the Russians tested a missile prohibited under the INF treaty—doesn’t address other apparent treaty violations.

The INF violation fits into a long pattern of Soviet-Russian misbehavior that can only be described as “compliance if convenient.” Moscow appears to observe arms-control commitments when convenient but violates them when not. This contrasts sharply with America’s scrupulous adherence to the letter and often the supposed “spirit” of treaty commitments, long after Moscow has ceased to do so.

Unclassified presidential and State Department reports have documented Moscow’s violation of all the major arms-control agreements, particularly those limiting nuclear arms and testing. Moscow violated the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty shortly after it came into force, when Soviet nuclear tests vented radioactive debris beyond the boundaries of the Soviet Union. Washington did not publicly address most treaty violations. Over time the U.S. appears rarely to have threatened any real consequences for Moscow’s noncompliance—perhaps helping to explain why Russia violates treaties with such abandon.

One exception was President Reagan, who presented a refreshingly realistic take in 1982: “Simply collecting agreements will not bring peace. Agreements genuinely reinforce peace only when they are kept. Otherwise, we are building a paper castle that will be blown away by the winds of war.” Reagan followed up with annual reports that depicted the scope and significance of Soviet violations.