Israel’s first project with Trump An Iranian proxy war is brewing. Caroline Glick

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.

Israeli officials are thrilled with the national security team that US President-elect Donald Trump is assembling. And they are right to be.

The question now is how Israel should respond to the opportunity it presents us with.The one issue that brings together all of the top officials Trump has named so far to his national security team is Iran.

Gen. (ret.) John Kelly, whom Trump appointed Wednesday to serve as his secretary of homeland security, warned about Iran’s infiltration of the US from Mexico and about Iran’s growing presence in Central and South America when he served as commander of the US’s Southern Command.

Gen. (ret.) James Mattis, Trump’s pick to serve as defense secretary, and Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Michael Flynn, whom he has tapped to serve as his national security adviser, were both fired by outgoing President Barack Obama for their opposition to his nuclear diplomacy with Iran.

During his video address before the Saban Forum last weekend, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that he looks forward to discussing Obama’s nuclear Iran nuclear deal with Trump after his inauguration next month. Given that Netanyahu views the Iranian regime’s nuclear program – which the nuclear deal guaranteed would be operational in 14 years at most – as the most serious strategic threat facing Israel, it makes sense that he wishes to discuss the issue first.

But Netanyahu may be better advised to first address the conventional threat Iran poses to Israel, the US and the rest of the region in the aftermath of the nuclear deal.

There are two reasons to start with Iran’s conventional threat, rather than its nuclear program.

First, Trump’s generals are reportedly more concerned about the strategic threat posed by Iran’s regional rise than by its nuclear program – at least in the immediate term.

Israel has a critical interest in aligning its priorities with those of the incoming Trump administration.

The new administration presents Israel with the first chance it has had in 50 years to reshape its alliance with the US on firmer footing than it has stood on to date. The more Israel is able to develop joint strategies with the US for dealing with common threats, the firmer its alliance with the US and the stronger its regional posture will become.

The Fact-Challenged Women of ‘The View’ Brag About Their High Fact-Checking Standards By Debra Heine

On “The View” Wednesday, the notoriously fact-challenged women on the panel proudly touted their show’s reputation for being a trusted news source during a discussion about “fake news.”

The women compared their high fact-checking standards to what they say are the low standards of the conservative media website Breitbart.

Newsbusters noticed that Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Whoopi Goldberg were very impressed with their own credibility.

JOY BEHAR: We give opinions but when we give facts it’s checked with ABC News

Whoopi Goldberg and Sunny Hostin agreed, to audience applause:

SUNNY HOSTIN: Absolutely. [claps] Absolutely.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Or — you know, we don’t just go to one place. We don’t just go to one place. We actually have — we are held to a different standard. We have to look at many different places before we can say that’s what’s happening.

HOSTIN: Everything is sourced. Everything is sourced.

I don’t watch what PJ Media’s Christian Toto calls “the dumbest show on television,” but I did recently catch Whoopi and Co. on YouTube talking smack about Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Juanita Broaddrick, three women (out of many) who claim to have been sexually harassed and/or assaulted by former President Clinton.

I’m interested to know how many layers of fact-checking they went through in order to be able to confidently proclaim on their show last October that these women (who had never willingly slept with Bill Clinton) were “tramps” who had slept with Bill Clinton.


Israel, through no fault of its own, is a pariah nation almost completely surrounded by larger nations that do not even recognize the existence of the State of Israel. Iran routinely refers to Israel as the “Little Satan,” and European nations typically take overtly anti-Israeli policies to curry favor with Islam. Yet Israel is not alone in being disparaged for no reason other than that it is small and its enemies are large.

Taiwan, the Republic of China, is a free land that has political and civil values precisely like what we ought to want the rest of the world to have. Freedom House has only two nations in Asia stretching from Sinai to Sakhalin listed as “Free,” Japan and Taiwan, which has a freer press than even Israel or South Korea. The contrast between Taiwan and most nations in Asia is as stark as the contrast between Israel and the nations surrounding it in west Asia and north Africa.

Freedom House gives Taiwan the “1” rating (the highest rating) for political rights and “2” for civil rights, exactly the same rating as Israel. China, by contrast, is listed as “unfree,” the worst category, and it has a “7” rating (the lowest rating) for political rights and a “6” (the second lowest rating) for civil rights.

Taiwan is a prosperous land, despite the absence of natural resources. The island’s per capita GDP is $47,000 per year – higher than Germany or France or Canada – and just as Taiwan is as free and democratic as Israel, Taiwan is as prosperous as Israel, despite, like Israel, having no real wealth except the diligence and intelligence of its people.

The per capita income in China is that is 30% of the per capita income in Taiwan. The per capita income of Jordan and Egypt, to pick two peaceful nations as close to Israel as China is to Taiwan, is 30% of the per capita income of Israel. Indeed, Taiwan has a high per capita income than any nation in Asia – including Japan and South Korea – except Singapore.

Taiwan has no fewer than five political parties with seats in its national legislature and ten parties with seats in municipal or county government. Tsai Ing-wen, elected like Trump earlier this year, was the first woman to be elected president of the Taiwan, and real feminists (there aren’t any, of course) would be thrilled that Trump talked to her when Obama and Hillary did not.

Our attitude toward Taiwan reeks of the same sort of sick double standard we are used to seeing in how nations that ought to know better deal with Israel. Both states represent the answer to virtually all our national security and diplomatic problems. Indeed, Taiwan and Israel are, in a practical sense, our two best allies in the world.

Is the Selection of General Mattis a Signal for Us to Expect a Continuation of COIN Philosophy? John Bernard

Let Them Fight or Bring Them Home: Is the Selection of General Mattis a Signal for Us to Expect a Continuation of COIN Philosophy?

History can be either a Schoolmaster or a Mistress. It depends on the intent of the reader. It also depends on what the reader considers sacrosanct. We all tend to hold certain things as so inviolable as to make objective questioning that might breach that privately held trust, unacceptable.

This is all fine when the only thing that might be defiled is our personal conscience or even the feelings of another.

But when the thing or person questioned, has power and the ability to send men and women, who have selflessly granted those certain powers unfettered access unto death, those things and people thought to be untouchable, must be questioned. When President Elect Trump announced, he was selecting General Mattis as his Secretary of Defense I was simultaneously elated and troubled.

I will not apologize for applauding the selection of a Marine Corps General to the highest influential position for the Military especially given Mattis’s demonstrated love for Marines, and the Corps. At the same time, I reserve the right to criticize what I believe to be the single most destructive decision made in the past 15 years of war; the decision to shift from a Hunt and Kill strategy to the historically failed, Counter Insurgency Operation (COIN).

This move from the violent – and effective, hunt and kill strategy to COIN really made national headlines following the second Battle of Fallujah. The Media and certain Political types were quick to credit General Petraeus’s institution of COIN strictures in the years that followed, for pacifying Al Anbar Province but the truth is, it was most certainly the surge of US uniforms that forced the Insurgents to displace.

It is astonishing that Military Leaders, including Mattis and Petraeus would so willingly adopt a strategy that history teaches us, has not been successful in its 76 years as a formal battlefield doctrine. It has failed to produce the intended result in every single application while simultaneously producing a grotesque and vaulted pile of body bags filled with the lifeless bodies of America’s Best, who were tricked into believing that America’s civilian government and her upper echelon military staff actually cared about a successful, and victorious conclusion to the wars that ended their lives.

It is a damnable truth, that Marines and all American War Fighters win every battle we enjoin, and that the political and upper military strategists manage to lose the wars. This, is the legacy of COIN warfare.

All the major conflicts we have witnessed since the publication of the Small Wars Manual in 1940 and with the notable exclusion of World War II which was not governed by this insanity, have failed to produce a Victor or a repentant enemy.

Following World War II, there were several major shifts in the geo-political landscape, the first being the establishment of the United Nations. The Charter literally placed a perverted choice before each member Nation; accept the Charter, or retain complete National autonomy.

Many will argue with this assessment but in truth, a Nation and its leadership cannot serve two masters; the National people it represents or its allegiance to an outside entity which does not share the concerns of that Nation. The UN was the Orwellian concept made manifest and placed all member nations on notice that the needs of the “world”, outweighed the needs of the individual nations. While that concept may play well on the big screen depicting non-existent alien beings and a fanciful future galactic societal construct, it is a pitiful and treacherous way for a Nation’s Leader to treat the people he has sworn to protect.

Amnesty International Attacks Democracies, Forgives Islamist Tyrannies by Giulio Meotti

“Morally bankrupt.” – Salman Rushdie, author with a $600,000 bounty from the Iranian regime on his head, speaking of Amnesty International.

Amnesty International sponsored a rally in Brussels, where Islamist speakers celebrated the 9/11 attacks, denied the Holocaust and demonized gays and Jews.

It seems that Amnesty turned its back on the battle of human rights in favor of a grotesque anti-Western bias. The Economist accused Amnesty of “reserving more pages to human rights abuses in Britain and the United States than in Belarus and Saudi Arabia.”

Amnesty’s secretary general compared Soviet forced-labor camps, where three million people died of hunger, cold and executions, to a US military base where no prisoner has died, and which has prevented countless innocent civilians from being blown up.

“Canada is obliged to arrest and prosecute Bush for his responsibility for crimes under international law including torture”, said Susan Lee, Amnesty International’s Americas programme director. Amnesty’s also charged Obama of “war crimes.” The Western “war on terror”? According to Amnesty, “it is sowing fear.” US drone strikes? A “war crime.”

Alan Dershowitz summarizes Amnesty International’s definition of Israel’s “war crimes”: “Whatever Israel does to defend its citizens.”

A report by NGO Monitor detailed “Amnesty’s repeated examples of ‘lawfare’; systematic flaws in the reporting of human rights abuses; limited understanding of armed conflict leading to erroneous claims and incorrect analysis; and violation of the universality of human rights, including a consistent institutionalized bias against Israel through double-standards.” There are even Amnesty’s officials who called the Jewish State “a scum state”.

There was a time when Amnesty International defended victims of ideological repression such as the wife of Soviet writer Boris Pasternak, Olga Ivinskaya, who spent years under arrest and persecuted for her husband’s refusal to bow down to the Kremlin. Now, the Times of London has documented links between Amnesty International’s officials and “networks of Islamists.”

According to Amnesty International, the centers that host migrants arriving in Italy, known as “hotspots,” are like concentration camps. This is what you learn from Amnesty International’s new report, which accuses Italy of nothing less than “torturing” migrants. The report features a sequence of testimonies, never proven, that describe methods worthy of a South American military junta.

Israel smart tracker aims to keep tabs on insulin shots Device snaps on to disposable insulin pens, helps patients monitor dosage times and quantities By Shoshanna Solomon

Israeli startup Insulog, which has created a device that helps diabetes patients keep track of their insulin doses, on Wednesday started a campaign to raise $50,000 via the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

The funds, said CEO and founder of the Ramat Gan-based firm Menash Michael, will help the company get the necessary US Food and Drug Administration and European permits to market the product. Contributors to the campaign will be able to get the product for $119, delivery of which will take place in summer 2017 when the approvals are in place, he said.

Diabetes patients who use an insulin pen to inject the hormone must remember to take the right dose at the right time, to help maintain stable sugar levels in the blood and to avoid over- or under-dosing, which could lead to life-threatening situations.

Even the most conscientious of patients can have a tough time managing the condition: they need to remember what they ate along with when they took their last dose of insulin and how many units they injected.

Indeed, Michael, who has suffered from Type 1 diabetes for over 30 years, ended up in the emergency room after he accidentally over-injected himself with insulin. After that experience, he came up with the idea for the smart, connected insulin tracker, the Insulog, to help diabetic patients like himself keep track of their medication regimen.

Smart sensors

The device, which snaps on to most types of disposable insulin pens, is equipped with smart sensors follow the pen vibrations and that reset each time a new dose of insulin is administered. An algorithm analyzes the clicks of the insulin pen, record the amounts taken and sends the information to a smartphone app. The pairing with the app enables users to view their entire injection history and share the information with their physician.

When the Insulog device is turned on for reuse, it displays data from the user’s most recent dose, showing when the last injection was administered and the quantity taken.

After his overdose, “now, I am hyper-alert of my insulin intake, and Insulog helps me to never make that mistake again,” said Michael, who founded the company in 2014. “There are hundreds of millions of people in the world who could greatly benefit” from the device, he said.

Castro’s Torture of American POWs in Vietnam: An Untold Story by Jamie Glazov

The death of communist tyrant Fidel Castro has yielded much-deserved coverage of the monstrous nature of his tyrannical rule.

What has gone virtually unreported, however, is the direct and instrumental role Castro played in the torture and murder of American POWs in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The story of Castro’s atrocities against American soldiers in this conflict is rarely ever told, least of all by our mainstream media.

During the Vietnam War, Castro sent a gang of his henchmen to run the “Cuban Program” at the Cu Loc POW camp in Hanoi, which became known as “the Zoo.” As Stuart Rochester and Frederick Kiley have documented in their book Honor Bound in a chapter entitled “The Zoo, 1967–1969: The Cuban Program and Other Atrocities,” one of the primary objectives of this “program” was to determine how much physical and psychological agony a human being could withstand.

Castro selected American POWs as his guinea pigs. A Cuban nicknamed “Fidel,” the main torturer at the Zoo, initiated his own personal reign of terror. He was described in documents based on POW debriefings as “a professional who was trained in psychology and prison control in Russia or Europe.”

Among Fidel’s torture techniques were beatings and whippings over every part of his victims’ bodies, without remission.

Former POW John Hubbell describes the horrifying ordeal of Lt. Col. Earl Cobeil, an F-105 pilot, as Fidel forced him into the cell of fellow POW Col. Jack Bomar:

The man [Cobeil] could barely walk; he shuffled slowly, painfully. His clothes were torn to shreds. He was bleeding everywhere, terribly swollen, and a dirty, yellowish black and purple from head to toe. The man’s head was down; he made no attempt to look at anyone. . . . He stood unmoving, his head down. Fidel smashed a fist into the man’s face, driving him against the wall. Then he was brought to the center of the room and made to get down onto his knees. Screaming in rage, Fidel took a length of black rubber hose from a guard and lashed it as hard as he could into the man’s face. The prisoner did not react; he did not cry out or even blink an eye. His failure to react seemed to fuel Fidel’s rage and again he whipped the rubber hose across the man’s face. . . . Again and again and again, a dozen times, Fidel smashed the man’s face with the hose. Not once did the fearsome abuse elicit the slightest response from the prisoner. . . . His body was ripped and torn everywhere; hell cuffs appeared almost to have severed the wrists, strap marks still wound around the arms all the way to the shoulders, slivers of bamboo were embedded in the bloodied shins and there were what appeared to be tread marks from the hose across the chest, back, and legs.


The consensus in Israel is that the relationship between the Jewish state and the United States is going to improve in a Trump administration, says former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Zalman Shoval.

On a recent visit to Washington, D.C., Shoval told me that he believes Donald Trump and his cabinet picks so far have a more “realistic” view of the Middle East than President Obama, who from his first days in office, “perhaps before, believed it was his calling to fix once and for all, all matters between the U.S. and the Arab and Muslim worlds, as expressed in his Cairo speech. … This gives Trump in the hearts and minds of more than a few Israelis a head-start.”

Shoval said he believes the issue of a Palestinian state — the objective of U.S. foreign policy over several administrations — has become less concerning than the regional and international threat posed by a nuclear Iran. He likes recent statements by secretary of defense-designate Gen. James Mattis about the way forward in dealing with an unstable Iran, believing Mattis recognizes that as important as it is to defeat ISIS, the real threat in the Middle East is Iran.

It’s not only the nuclear deal that bothers Shoval, though he believes Iran will eventually have a bomb, unless it is stopped. It is also bothersome that Iran continues with its terrorist activities, subsidizing anti-American and anti-Israel groups around the world because radical mullahs think their god has ordered them to do so. That makes any kind of diplomatic agreement with nations Iran regards as “infidels” impossible.

Even when the battle for Mosul is over and victory has been declared over that ISIS stronghold, Shoval believes, “what it really will mean is that the Iranians and the Shia are going to be the real victors. They will continue their attempts to build a territorial corridor all the way to the Mediterranean along with Hezbollah, which is not only a threat to Israel, but also something the so-called moderate Arab states look at with a great deal of concern.”

If You Like Your Longevity, You Can Keep Your Longevity By Claudia Rosett

After decades of improvement, life expectancy in America is no longer on the rise.

Over the past few years, the increasing longevity that was once the norm has stalled out. In 2015 American life expectancy actually declined, year-on-year, by about a month, shrinking to 78.8 years. So we read this week in the Wall Street Journal, under the headline “Nation’s Death Rate Rises as Progress Against Heart Disease Stalls,” and in USA Today’s dispatch, “Has U.S. life expectancy maxed out? First decline since 1993.”

Similar alarms have been clanging for some time now, including three stories in the New York Times last year: “Death Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Americans, Study Finds”; a report this June on the broader trend, “First Rise in U.S. Death Rate in Years Surprises Experts”; and a story this September titled “Maternal Mortality Rate in U.S. Rises, Defying Global Trend, Study Finds.”

In story after story, we read about demographers and medical experts puzzling over what’s gone wrong. They point to heart disease, obesity, drug use, stroke, Alzheimer’s, suicide. The USA Today article notes that since World War II, it’s been rare to see a rise in U.S. mortality rates, and such spikes have usually been linked to highly specific events such as the spread of AIDS in the early 1990s, or a “nasty flu season” in 1980. By contrast, what we’re seeing now are rising mortality rates involving a broad range of causes, especially among middle-aged Americans.

Missing from all these accounts is a single word that ought to command unblinking attention: Obamacare.

Or, if you prefer the full title: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as the signature achievement of Obama’s first-term. It is a big part of his legacy, a cornerstone of his 2008 campaign promise of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” It is a big part of the legacy Obama is now urging President-elect Donald Trump to preserve.

Pete Hegseth for Secretary of Veterans Affairs There is no better man to clean up the shocking problems at the VA. By Deroy Murdock

President-elect Donald J. Trump should nominate soldier and veterans advocate Pete Hegseth as his secretary of veterans affairs. The VA bureaucracy has devolved into a deadly mess, and this energetic, telegenic, passionate reformer is exactly the man to upend it.

Hegseth is 36, and his age would put a spring in the step of a Cabinet that, so far, has more than a touch of gray around the temples. Millennials and Generation Xers should be heartened to see a contemporary advise Trump. But his youth notwithstanding, Hegseth has seen plenty since graduating from Princeton University with a degree in politics in 2003.

As a major in the U.S. Army National Guard, Hegseth battled the Taliban in Afghanistan, helped liberate Samarra, Iraq, and kept his rifle at the ready as he guarded radical Islamic terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. For his outstanding service as an officer, he earned two Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

Out of uniform, Hegseth has been a voice for vets. He served as Vets for Freedom’s executive director. And as its CEO, he grew Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) into the nation’s largest center-Right vets group. Concerning those still deployed, Hegseth presses for policies to help GIs win military engagements, rather than those that merely stop them — as did President Obama’s ISIS-creating, premature withdrawal from Iraq.

At CVA, Hegseth inspired his members to demand a better deal for vets. Decrying the lethal delays at VA hospitals in Phoenix and beyond, Hegseth wrote in 2014:

In the military, such a pattern of command failures would be met with decisive action — the underperforming leader would be replaced, period. But that strong performance standard doesn’t exist at the VA, and thus executives can be shifted from one post to the next, with little regard for performance or results.

From rallies to TV interviews to congressional testimony, Hegseth pushed the Veterans Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act and the VA Management Accountability Act. Congress approved both measures with broad, bipartisan majorities, and Obama signed them into law.

“No one has been more effective than Pete Hegseth in advocating reform of veterans’ health,” former House speaker Newt Gingrich told American Military News. CVA’s Dan Caldwell said, “Pete was tireless in working with Congress and other stakeholders, holding countless meetings with House and Senate members, staff, and organizations around the nation to push VA reform to give veterans more choice and better health care.”

Unfortunately, the Obama administration has slow-walked the new rules that should expand vets’ health-care options and ease the dismissal of inept, obstructive, sadistic VA functionaries. Consequently, too many VA facilities remain macabre:

• An unidentified dentist at Wisconsin’s Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center resigned on December 3. Rather than treat patients with sterile, disposable equipment — per VA regulations — he improperly cleaned and sterilized his own gear. Hence, he may have infected 592 veterans with hepatitis and HIV. (Tomah also was dubbed “Candy Land” because of alleged opioid over-prescription by its doctors.)