Iran and Germany: A 100-Year Old Love Affair by Amir Taheri

According to Küntzel, German leaders have at least two other reasons for helping Iran defy the United States. The first is German resentment of defeat in the Second World War followed by foreign occupation, led by the US. The second reason is that Iran is one of the few, if not the only country, where Germans have never been looked at as “war criminals” because of Hitler.

Die Deutschen und der Iran. Geschichte und Gegenwart einer verhängnisvollen Freundschaft
(The Germans and Iran: The History and Present of a Fateful Friendship)
By Matthias Küntzel
WJS Verlag. 352 pages, Hardcover.

As the 5+1 group ends another round of negotiations with Iran, commentators assume that the four Western powers involved — the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany — are united in their determination to curtail Iranian nuclear ambitions. However, in this fascinating book, German scholar Matthias Küntzel argues that Germany’s position on this issue may be closer to that of Russia rather than the United States — with Germany acting as “a shield for Iran against America,” as Germany’s former Foreign Minister Joshcka Fischer described his country.

Matthias Küntzel and his book, The Germans and Iran: The History and Present of a Fateful Friendship.

The reason, according to Küntzel, is the “special relationship” that Iran and Germany have built since 1871, when Germany emerged as a nation-state. Two years after Germany was put on the map as a new country, Nassereddin Shah of Iran arrived in Berlin for a state visit of unprecedented pomp.

It is not hard to see why the two sides warmed up to each other. For over a century Iran had looked for a European power capable of counter-balancing the Russian and British empires that had nibbled at the edges of Iranian territory in pursuit of their colonial ambitions. In 1871, Germany looked like a good ally. As for Germans, they saw Iran as their sole potential ally in a Middle East dominated by Britain and Russia. The friendship was put to the test in the First World War, when Iran refused to join the anti-German axis and suffered as a consequence. With the advent of the Nazi regime, Küntzel shows, a new dimension was added to the Irano-German relationship: the myth of shared Aryan ancestry. In World War II Iran again declared its neutrality, but was invaded by Britain and Russia after refusing to sever relations with Germany.

Anti-Semitism is Rising Again in Britain – These Are The Words That Could Stop It Melanie Phillips

The mask has been torn away. Supposedly anti-Israel protests over the Gaza war have convulsed Europe in the worst scenes of open Jew-hatred since the 1930s. In Paris, predominantly Muslim mobs screaming ‘death to the Jews’ have repeatedly tried to storm synagogues, torched cars and burnt Jewish-owned shops to the ground. In Berlin, demonstrators shouted ‘Gas the Jews’ while an imam beseeched Allah to ‘count and kill Zionist Jews to the very last one’.

In Britain, physical and verbal attacks on Jews have doubled. One woman was assaulted by a group of 50 protestors who heard her discussing Gaza on her mobile phone. Shouting ‘get her’ they surrounded and pushed her, calling her a Jew, Zionist, murderer and thief.

People are aghast. Yet this lynch-mob mentality has been building for years. Every time Israel takes military action to prevent further Palestinian attacks, it is falsely presented as the aggressive persecutor of the innocent.

Unless British Jews join this demonisation, they are deemed complicit with Israel’s ‘war crimes’. As a result, attacks on British Jews always spike during Israel’s wars. So much for the supposed distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Robert Spencer on “The Unasked Question About Islam” — on The Glazov Gang

Robert Spencer on “The Unasked Question About Islam” — on The Glazov Gang

This week’s Glazov Gang was joined by Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of thirteen books, including two New York Times bestsellers, The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). His latest book is Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In.

Robert joined the show to discuss The Unasked Question About Islam, analyzing the threat of Islamic Jihad and the West’s denial about it. He shed light on ISIS’s Islamic Inspirations, How Jihad Denial Enables Jihad, Why Jihadists are Welcome in the UK But Not Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, and much, much more.

Don’t miss it!


Recent events have propelled Christians United for Israel (CUFI) to the front row of pro-Israel organizations.

The group advertised last week’s Washington D.C. Summit, held July 21, as a more compact two-day program. Last year’s conclave offered a three-day affair. But if anyone thought the faith-based pro-Israel organization was becoming less relevant, they would think otherwise after attending the latest confab.

At the very moment when the Jewish State was under a crushing vise of global criticism for its involvement in Operation Protective Edge, CUFI (pronounced koo-PHI and not koo-FEE) roused its American heartland membership in loud, rollicking support of Israel. It did so in the pivotal capitol of Washington D.C. at a pivotal time.

Led by firebrand evangelist Pastor John Hagee, some 4,800 foot stomping, shofar-blowing Christian delegates traveled from across the nation and some from overseas to attend the non-stop cavalcade of podium grandiloquence, towering video effects, mesmerizing Israeli music, and special informational sessions. Part tent revival and part political salvo, CUFI’s Washington Summit is patterned after the mega-gatherings staged by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in the same hall. CUFI speakers brought clarity and context to its attendees in the midst of the latest fog of the latest Arab-Israeli war.

Indeed, at the very hour CUFI’s convention gaveled open, the Jewish State was fiercely fighting moment-to-moment terrorist threats scampering over the Gaza border fence, paddling in from the sea, streaking in from the sky, and tunneling beneath the ground. Moreover, Jerusalem was contending with a well-financed highly-politicized adverse humanitarian political machine supported by American tax-deductible 501(c)(3) donations. So every round of CUFI applause and utterance of support was considered a precious gesture to beleaguered Israelis who right now need a friend.

CUFI’s long A-List roster of speakers included media personalities deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens from The Wall Street Journal, Bill Kristol from The Weekly Standard, and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer from PBS. No fewer than five members of Congress attended.

Particularly on fire were two speakers: Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of President of Major Jewish Organizations and investigative reporter Erick Stakelbeck from Christian Broadcast Network. Both wowed the crowd with history, insight, and reason as Israel tried to justify its right to exist–free from terrorism robustly financed by Qatari money and others.


While Israelis are fighting and dying, families huddling in bomb shelters and soldiers going off to face death, the men and women in suits and power suits moving through the great halls of diplomacy are using them as pawns in a larger game.

During the Cold War, Israel was a pawn in a larger struggle between the US and the USSR. Now it is back to being a counter in a larger game.

Israel’s function within the great halls of diplomacy was always as a lever on the Arab states. It was not an end, but a means of moving them one way or another. When the Arab states drifted into the Soviet orbit, the “Special Relationship” was born. The relationship accomplished its goal once Egypt was pried out of the Soviet orbit. It has lingered on because of the emotional and cultural ties of Israel and the US.

Now Obama is using Israel as a lever to push Egypt back into the Islamist camp. Egypt’s rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood broke the Arab Spring. Political Islam, which seemed to be on the ascendance, is back to being a freak show represented by terrorists and Turkey’s mad mustachioed dictator.

Egypt was where Obama went to begin the Arab Spring. Egypt is still his target. Israel is just the lever.

The reason Israel was never allowed to truly win any wars was because it was being used as a lever. By being a “good lever” during the Cold War, it could damage Egypt enough that the latter would come to the negotiating table overseen by the US and move back into the Western sphere of influence.

Israel couldn’t be allowed to win a big enough victory because then there would nothing to negotiate. Likewise, Israel wouldn’t be allowed to keep what it won because then there would be no reason for Egypt to come to the negotiating table. Sometimes Israel would even be expected to lose, as in the Yom Kippur War, to force it to come to the negotiating table.

Swap Egypt for the PLO and that’s how the disastrous peace process happened. Then swap the PLO for Hamas and that is where we are now.

Obama’s initial support for Israel’s war on Hamas was only to the extent necessary to bring the terrorist group to the negotiating table. And then once Hamas comes to the negotiating table, the White House will back its demands against Israel in exchange for getting the Brotherhood on board with its agenda.


A Washington, DC conference exposes the desires by Muslims and non-Muslims alike for a Middle East with freedom of speech and religion that many would only describe as a fantasy

(Washington, DC) Millions of Muslims “are looking for a way out of their misery,” Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (CDHR) President Executive Director Ali Alyami stated at a July 17 Washington, DC, panel. Yet the Saudi dissent Alyami’s discussion with his fellow panelists of the modern Middle East only emphasized how difficult an escape from this misery for Muslims and non-Muslims alike would be.

“I am not an expert in any religion,” Alyami confessed during an event held ideologically incongruously at the leftwing Institute for Policy Studies. (IPS Fellow Phyllis Bennis, a supporter of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions or BDS against Israel, appeared in the adjacent kitchen during the panel.) But “Islam is not a faith; it is a way of life,” Alyami distinguished from other faiths, however comprehensive Christianity, for example, might have been in the past. “It is all God’s” in Islam in contrast to Jesus’ oft-cited separation between God and government (Caesar), Alyami elaborated.

“I like to think for myself,” Alyami stated in explaining how he personally drifted away from Islam’s encompassing embrace. Obedient to Islam’s daily schedule of five prayers beginning with a pre-dawn devotion, Alyami’s parents awakened him regularly at four a.m. Yet Alyami’s parents offered no good answer when asked why he could not pray to God according to a personal plan, an incident that led to lifelong questioning. Saudi Arabian religious authorities, he has condemned in a previous interview, “set themselves up as superior humans who must not only be worshiped, but fed by poverty-stricken people in the form of religious extortion: The Zakat system.”

Modern Muslims are emulating Alyami in unprecedented numbers, he argued, either calling for Islam’s enlightened reform or abandoning the faith altogether. Young Saudis, for example, spend more time viewing internet pornography than attending mosques. Accordingly, Alyami seeks dialogue with, not damnation of, violence-prone Muslims, even as he sometimes receives telephoned death threats. “You are being used as a tool,” he says to them, often prompting intellectual engagement. Although Muslim societies face a “bloody, long” revolution for freedom, Alyami remains optimistic of ultimate success. “The future will be bright for the Arabs” and others.

While discussing a decades-old “Saudi menace” supporting Islamic supremacism worldwide, though, Religious Freedom Coalition Chairman William J. Murray indicated significant barriers blocking a benign understanding of Islam. “No matter what good is done in the name of Islam, we always have the words of Muhammad to go back to,” words of Islam’s prophet whose import is often far from innocent. Evil done in Christianity’s name, by contrast, contradicts Jesus loving message. A moderate Muslim once claimed to Murray in Turkey that Islam has never had a reformer like Christianity’s Martin Luther. “Yes, you have had many,” Murray countered; “you have killed them all.” Muslims “almost need a Jesus Christ” who could fundamentally change Islam’s canons, rather than a reforming Luther, Murray argued.

More Fundamental Change From Our President by Tom McLaughlin
Illegal aliens are coming across our southern border because they can. Neither Democrats nor establishment Republicans want to stop them, but ordinary Americans do. Why?

Four years ago I flew to Tucson, Arizona, rented a Jeep, and drove down to the Mexican border at Nogales. I wanted to see for myself what was going on down there. I turned right just before the Mexican crossing and drove west along International Street on the US side of our primitive border fence. There, I encountered several modified, four-door, white and green, Dodge pickup trucks scurrying around in a futile effort to stop the flood of illegals constantly sneaking over, under, and through the flimsy international “barrier.”

The first agent I was able to speak with was, lucky for me, from Maine. He talked freely at first, telling me they arrested over 57,000 illegals just in Nogales during the previous year, down from over 100,000 two years previously, but he indicated that many more than that got through. Somewhere between twelve and twenty million are in the US illegally. Many are on welfare, including thousands in Maine. When I told the agent I was a columnist (wish I’d never done that), he clammed up and referred me to “public information officers” back at headquarters in Nogales who gave me the runaround, erased pictures from my camera, and escorted me off the base. The Border Patrol hierarchy under the Obama Administration wanted to keep a lid on information back then, and it’s only gotten worse since.

Illegal aliens are coming across our southern border because they can. Life on our side is better than it is where they come from, whether they want to work under the table or just go on the dole. Neither Democrats nor establishment Republicans want to stop them, but ordinary Americans do. Why? Because while life improves for the illegals, their presence here makes life more difficult for working-class Americans. According to a study last month from the Center for Immigration Studies and reported at National Review Online: “Net employment growth in the United States since 2000 has gone entirely to immigrants, legal and illegal.” Taxes have risen dramatically in many US states and cities to pay for education, healthcare, housing, food, and jails for illegals and their children. Hospitals and schools are overwhelmed in border states, and wages are driven down for blue-collar workers here, especially blacks.

Now President Obama is expected to grant amnesty to five million of them by Executive Order. Tea Party Republicans in the House are threatening impeachment if he does. The Christian Science Monitor quotes senior White House Advisor Dan Pfeiffer saying: “The president acting on immigration reform will certainly up the likelihood that [Republicans] would contemplate impeachment at some point.” Ironically, Obama seems to relish that prospect, perhaps because it will encourage more Democrat voters to go to the polls in November, trying to keep control of the Senate.

Exploiting the I-Word :It’s the Democrats Who Love Talking About Impeachment: Jonah Goldberg

‘Sorry to email you late on a Friday, but I need your urgent support,” Nancy Pelosi wrote me.

The House minority leader went on to explain that “for the first time in history, Congress voted to sue a sitting president.” And, “Today: the White House alerted us that they believe ‘Speaker Boehner . . . has opened the door to impeachment.’

“What Republicans are doing to President Obama is historic — and offensive,” she wrote. And then, in a bright bold red text that can’t be done justice in black and white, she chided me, “With everything happening right now, I’m a little disappointed to see that you haven’t had a chance to chip in to defend President Obama.

“Jonah — we could use your support today.”

Nancy (apparently we’re on a first-name basis) went on to promise that ALL GIFTS ARE TRIPLE MATCHED!

This was only one of a bushel of such e-mails from the Democratic party. I particularly like the ones from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee referring to the “red alert impeachment deadline,” complete with a scoreboard slowly ticking upward toward $2 million. “We now have a shot at hitting our $2,000,000 goal to defend the President — and defeat Boehner’s Republican House.”

No doubt as karmic payback for grave sins I committed in a past life, I am on all of the Democratic fundraising lists. In terms of whipped-up urgency aimed at low-information voters, there’s nothing special about these importuning missives. I can’t count how many times I’ve been told that if I don’t chip in $5 — right now! — the Koch brothers will throw another puppy into the furnace of their land-raping dynamo.

But what is interesting about these e-mails is the transparent glee. Far more than Republicans, Democrats love talking about impeachment. Not just Pelosi and the DCCC, but White House spokesman Josh Earnest, Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer, and first lady Michelle Obama all chummed the waters with the I-word, igniting a frenzy among reporters who pretend that this is a real thing.

Issa’s Onto Something The Oversight Committee Has Raised Legitimate Questions About the White House Political Office. By Scott A. Coffina

At this writing, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is engaged in a dispute with the White House over a subpoena that committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) issued to David Simas, director of the White House Office of Political Strategy & Outreach (OPSO), demanding that Mr. Simas appear at a hearing to consider whether OPSO is complying with the Hatch Act. The White House has resisted the subpoena, refusing to produce Mr. Simas for the hearing on the grounds of executive privilege. On July 25, the committee passed a resolution that rejects the White House’s claim that Mr. Simas, as an assistant to the president, is immune from being required to appear before the committee.

It is unclear where this dispute goes from here. The White House undeniably has legitimate separation-of-powers concerns about subjecting an assistant to the president (one of the president’s closest advisers) to process from a co-equal branch of government, even if the White House could be overstepping its bounds under the federal district court’s decision in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers by declaring that Mr. Simas is absolutely immune from even appearing before the committee.

In the sometimes-heated back and forth about the subpoena, some have questioned the legitimacy of the committee’s inquiry into the activities of OPSO, because there have been no allegations publicly voiced that OPSO has been operating in violation of the law. Nevertheless, there is ample justification for the investigation.

First, this administration has an abysmal record of complying with the Hatch Act, which restricts the partisan political activity of executive-branch employees. In 2010, the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, offered Representative Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania a government position if he would drop his primary challenge to Senator Arlen Specter. A former White House counsel preposterously claimed that this was legally justified as advancing the “legitimate interest” of the Democratic-party leadership by avoiding a divisive primary and retaining Sestak’s congressional seat. The president declined to punish then–HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius after the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which enforces the Hatch Act, found in 2012 that she had violated it by urging the crowd at an official event to reelect President Obama and elect other Democrats. Then–secretary of labor Hilda Solis is on tape soliciting a subordinate to attend a political fundraiser and to encourage others to attend as well — a clear violation of the Hatch Act. Finally, the evidence that the IRS targeted for extra scrutiny groups with conservative-sounding names that applied for tax-exempt status, or delayed their approvals to keep them out of the political arena, indicates Hatch Act violations there as well. Such an atmosphere of noncompliance with the Hatch Act alone raises legitimate questions about whether the White House is adhering to the law in the activities of OPSO.

Second, the circumstances of the rebirth of the White House political office in January, after President Obama closed the Office of Political Affairs three years earlier, provide further justification for the committee’s investigation.

Brooks Mania and the Problem with Our Media By Amity Shlaes

So the God of Books exists after all.A journalist who could treat businessmen fairly is seeing a big boost to his popularity.

That was the thought of many of us when we saw Business Adventures leap to the top of the bestseller lists. For decades now, this volume by the late John Brooks has enjoyed an intense following among business writers. So has the rest of Brooks’s work, especially Once in Golconda, a collection of articles — fables, almost — about the 1920s. Someone, way back when, even called Brooks the “La Fontaine of finance writers.”

Nonetheless, for whatever reason, the rest of the reading public — whether in the 1990s, the Aughts, or the current decade — did not appear to share the journalists’ enthusiasm. In the case of Once in Golconda, some conjectured that it was the title choice that was fatal. Where, or what, in heck is “Golconda”? A mythical kingdom in India, it turned out. Brooks’s 1920s volume, some of us speculated, might have endured had he titled the book “The Roaring Twenties.”

As it turns out, it was not a better title that Brooks needed but a billionaire. For when earlier this summer news got out that Bill Gates rated Business Adventures his top read, and that Warren Buffett had given Gates the book, it became a bestseller all over again, four decades after it first appeared.

Some of the reasons that billionaires like Brooks have already been noted in the past weeks’ rush of Gates-approved Brooksmania. The first is that Brooks approaches start-up entrepreneurs in relatively friendly fashion. As Slate noticed, Brooks, like Michael Lewis after him, admires young businessmen with icon-busting ideas. Lewis profiles the innovations of Billy Beane and his statistical sidekick, Paul DePodesta, in scouting baseball players. Brooks likes young risk-takers too: His account of a young energy engineer and his firms’ efforts to escape the ambiguities of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s insider-trading rules will make any young entrepreneur breathless. Brooks captures failure of youthful projects as well. The most beautiful article ever written about a product fiasco is Brooks’s account of the folly of the Edsel automobile at the Ford Motor Company. The final line is one not of despair but of triumph: Brooks’s conclusion in “The Fate of the Edsel” is that “failure can have a certain grandeur success never knows.”

A second reason Brooks enraptures is that he captures challenges ubiquitous in business but a bit obscure for popular television or even Morning Joe: intellectual property and noncompete agreements, for example. One of his best is “One Free Bite,” the story of a young scientist named Donald Wohlgemuth who walked over from B. F. Goodrich to a competitor, International Latex, and then discovered, to his shock, that Goodrich objected. Brooks traces the story of how Goodrich dragged the young man into court to stop him sharing secrets of the space suit they were designing for Mercury astronauts.