09/2/14

The Watcher’s Council Weasel of The Week Nominations!!! – 09/02/14

The Watcher’s Council

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Hello and welcome to the Watcher’s Council’s new feature, ‘Weasel Of The Week’ feature, where we award the golden plastic Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be publicly slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations and check back Thursday to see which Weasel gets the votes and walks off with the statuette of shame!

Here are this weeks’ nominees:

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Governor Jerry Brown!

The Noisy Room: My nomination for Weasel of the Week is Gov. Jerry Brown for his promotion of Amnesty with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (who said the state of California was more “evolved” than other states) last week. He basically said that California and Mexico are now one: “If we can put a man on the moon, we can put a man from Mexico to California in 20 minutes.” In the name of justice, he is breaking the law and endorsing the invasion of the US and the eradication of her borders and sovereignty. California is the Petri dish for the rest of the nation and Brown is the slime in that dish that is producing a foreign invasion that has turned into a deadly plague to the American body. In the name of diversity, he is aiding in the destruction of the Republic.

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The British Government, represented by The Rotherham City Council!

The Glittering Eye: These weasels preferred letting more than 1,000 children be sexually abused by “Asian men” to being thought of as racist.

The Colossus of Rhodey: I nominate the British Government for failing to respond to, and for establishing the politically correct culture which led to, the raping/sexual exploitation of FOURTEEN HUNDRED children by (mostly) Muslim men from Pakistan in the years 1997-2013.

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Al Gore!

The Right Planet: Al Gore, who claimed in 2007 that the Arctic Ice Cap would be gone by 2013 due to the “devastating” effects of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming. But Steven Goddard recently reported, that not only has the Arctic Ice Cap not melted, but Arctic sea ice coverage has grown by 68% in the past two years (not to mention the fact there has been no global warming for the past 14 years).

Al Gore has been on a one-man crusade (in cahoots with the United Nations, et al., of course) to impose crushing “climate change” regulations and global taxes in order to curb the alleged global warming scourge–which really just amounts to a global wealth redistribution scheme that only benefits the globalists and the ruling elites, in my opinion. And I’m not alone in that assessment, to be sure.

Dr. Henry Wagner!

Rhymes With Right: Dr. Henry Wagner, Superintendent of Schools for the Dorchester County Public Schools in Dorchester County, Maryland was more than willing to publicly comment about the suspension of middle school teacher Patrick McLaw being suspended from his position for writing, publishing, and selling a pair of dystopian science fiction novels that involve school shootings in the year 2902 (yes, that is nine centuries from now) when news broke about the suspension.

But now that people are questioning the legitimacy of McLaw being suspended from his job, taken into custody by police and forced to submit to psychological evaluation as a threat to school security, Wagner is hiding behind the old dodge about protecting the rights of an employee to confidentiality in a “personnel matter” despite having previously intimated that McLaw constituted some sort of threat due to the decision to keep law enforcement personnel on McLaw’s now-former campus “for as long as we deem it necessary.”

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Secretary of State John Kerry!

Virginia Right!: “After a disastrous week during which Barack Obama made the stunning admission that he has no plan to deal with the terror group ISIS, rather than call all hands to the table and spend as long as it takes to formulate a strategy and a plan to deal with this menace, the Secretary of State, John Kerry, takes a fun filled holiday away from it all.

Kerry was captured in a photo op kiteboarding in Nantucket. Regardless of the threat to America and the American lives in the balance, Mr. Kerry could not be bothered to do his job.

This is the caliber of the people running this country.

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Attorney General Eric Holder!

Ask Marion: for paying people to stir the racial divide pot and start riots in Ferguson.

Well, there it is! Are these worthy weasels or what? Check back Thursday to see which Weasel walks off with the statuette of shame!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

09/2/14

Upcoming September Engagements for Trevor Loudon – 09/02/14

September

Wed., Sept. 3rd, 2014
Event: Organized Republican Conservatives of America — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Time: TBD
Place: Platte County, MO

Thur., Sept. 4th, 2014
Event: TBD — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Time: TBD
Place: Lees Summit, MO

Fri., Sept. 5th, 2014
Event: Clay County Conservative Alliance — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://libertymoteaparty.com/
Time: TBD
Place: Liberty, KS

Wed., Sept. 10th, 2014
Event: TBD — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Time: TBD
Place: Des Moines, IA

Thurs., Sept. 11th, 2014
Event: TBD — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Time: TBD
Place: Des Moines, IA

Tue., Sept. 16th, 2014
Event: Bears Ears Patriots — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://bearsearspatriots.com/
Time: 7:00 pm MST
Place: Craig, CO 81625

Wed., Sept. 17th, 2014
Event: Delta County GOP — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Time: 7:00 pm MST
Place: Bill Heddles Recreation Center
530 Gunnison River Drive
Delta, CO

Thur., Sept. 18th, 2014
Event: Grassroots Orgs — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Time: 6 pm MST
Place: Mesa County Library
530 Grand Avenue
Grand Junction, CO

Fri., Sept. 19th, 2014
Event: Mesa County GOP — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Time: 11:30 am MST
Place: Grand Junction, CO

Sat., Sept. 20th, 2014
Event: Adams County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Time: 5:30 pm MST
Place: Brittany Hill
9350 Grant Street
Thornton, CO 80229

Tue., Sept. 23rd, 2014
Event: Redlands Tea Party Patriots — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://redlandsteaparty.net/rtp/
Time: TBD
Place: Redlands, CA

Thur., Sept. 25th, 2014
Event: Newport Harbor Republican Women — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://www.nhrw.org/#/home/
Time: 11:30 am PST
Place: Pacific Club
4110 MacArthur Blvd
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Fri., Sept. 26th, 2014
Event: Greater Orlando Tea Party — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://www.greaterorlandoteaparty.org/
Time: 7:00 pm EST
Place: Eastmonte Civic Center
830 Magnolia Dr
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

Sat., Sept. 27th, 2014
Event: Breakfast Honoring Raphael
— Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://www.greaterorlandoteaparty.org/
Time: 9 am EST
Place: Tuscawilla Country Club
1500 Winter Springs Blvd
Winter Springs, FL 32708

09/1/14

Discontent

Arlene from Israel

While I am mindful of constraints on my time and the fact that it is Labor Day, I post to do follow-through and share some important perspectives.

Netanyahu has now made additional comments as to why he chose to embrace certain positions regarding Hamas, and what he might still do.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Credit: Flash 90

First, he explained why he called a halt to the fighting with Hamas when he did:

“…today, when I look around and I see Al Qaeda on the [border] fence, and ISIS galloping into Jordan and already in Lebanon, and in Lebanon there is Hezbollah that is a little larger than Hamas, and Iran that backs it, and Iran [itself] – and I say, in the face of these combined threats, we set a goal in the Cabinet, to deal Hamas a very severe blow, and we did this, with the thousand terrorists we killed, the senior commanders, the tunnels, the rockets… I decided not to put all of our resources into this single arena and not into other arenas.”

He alluded to Fallujah in Iraq. where American troops fought against the Islamists.  Once the US pulled out of Fallujah, the Islamists came back in and took over.  He didn’t want to create such a problem in Gaza – where Israel would take out Hamas, and then pull out, only to leave space for Islamists in Gaza to take over.

And he explained his reluctance to do another ground operation: “Why do I need to go in? If I can hit them from the air and get the effect of grinding them without risking soldiers’ lives, why should I go in?”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/184577#.VAOg95vlrIV

~~~~~~~~~~

And you know what?  I understand all of these reasons.  In fact, I enumerated them myself just days ago – when I explained why taking out Hamas completely might not be the best way to go.

However…I remain unsettled because the decision to terminate the fighting was made in a way that felt precipitous.  A beautiful and much-loved four year old child had been killed by Hamas mortar.  This saddened the heart of Israel. And then very shortly before the ceasefire was called, two other Israelis – Ze’ev Etzion, head of security for Kibbutz Nirim, and his deputy, Shahar Melamed – were killed and some four others wounded by mortar fire.

What is more, there was no reduction in the number of projectiles fired from Gaza into Israel in the hours before the ceasefire.  There was, instead, a horrendous barrage that persisted until the last second and I believe even a bit beyond.

That a ceasefire was agreed to precisely then gave the Israeli populace a sense that governmental resolution was lacking – that an adequate job had not yet been done.  It wasn’t, after all, an either/or question of stopping that very instant or having to go into Gaza and take out Hamas completely.  A continuation of the punishing bombing might have been possible for some additional days.  Perhaps another high level terrorist might have been taken out.  Or there might have been a foray of ground troops that headed for a specific target inside of Gaza and then pulled back.

Instead, what it felt like was that we took that last minute beating – with the deaths and the furious barrage – and then said, that’s it, guys, we’re done. And that didn’t feel like victory – no matter how accurate the prime minister’s description of the beating Hamas had taken.  It felt like caving. And, as I’ve said before, perceptions do matter.  Not just for our own populace, but because al-Qaeda and ISIS and all the others are watching.

~~~~~~~~~~

The fact that the agreement to accept the ceasefire was made just then, with that sense of precipitousness and lack of resolution, leads me to believe, still, that Netanyahu was under duress – that he did not decide this unilaterally, but had some “guidance” from the White House.

It is pretty much a given that presidential pressure was part of the picture – it would not be something unexpected.  The question remains (and we will likely never know) what the import of the threat was.  Was Netanyahu, for his part, too quick to concede – for indeed, it is the job of the prime minister to stand strong for Israel’s sovereignty? Or was the threat of a serious enough nature that what he did was prudent?

~~~~~~~~~~

I am mindful of the fact that Netanyahu did not take a vote in the Security Cabinet before deciding to agree to the ceasefire, it is said because he was unsure of securing its approval.  Were the bottom-line issues the ones he now enunciates regarding other dangers to contend with, etc., one would think that he would have discussed them with the members of the Cabinet; the fact that this didn’t happen also leads to questions as to what was going on.

The reason he now gives for not taking it to the Cabinet: he saved the ministers who would likely have opposed the ceasefire – Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan – the “dilemma of opposing a proposal whereby Hamas gave up all its demands.”  They were secretly pleased not to have to vote on this, he said.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Netanyahu-Toppling-Hamas-remains-an-option-372828

Well. These ministers will have to speak for themselves on this, but it sounds more than a bit hollow.
~~~~~~~~~~

Netanyahu has said that a “drizzle” of rockets launched from Gaza will not be tolerated.  This – tolerating a “drizzle” – has been a problem since the Hamas takeover of Gaza: “So, Hamas launched two rockets today.  No one was hurt. Are we going to start up over that? Let’s make a statement (or bomb an empty field where a launcher had been)   and then let it go.”  Thus was deterrence lost, as Hamas observed the Israeli readiness to be shot at, a little.

Now the terrorists must know that there cannot be even a single rocket launched or single instance of firing of mortar shells.  This is not only for deterrence, it is to provide a very necessary sense of security to the residents of the south.

What he has indicated is that the bombing Gaza has endured until now would be nothing compared to the attack that would ensue if they started launching rockets again.  This is by way of deterrence.  There is reasonable likelihood that Netanyahu will be tested on this: the negotiations in Cairo are due to begin and Hamas intends to demand a seaport, an airport, release of prisoners and all the rest.

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/08/31/report-indirect-cairo-talks-to-resume-this-week/

~~~~~~~~~~

Netanyahu is also saying something else:  “I never removed the goal of toppling Hamas, and I am not doing that now.”  (JPost citation above.)

And here, again, his statements lead to a confusion as to what his plan was, or his specified goal.  For he is still saying that the goal was to remove the danger of the tunnels and strike a hard blow to Hamas – goals he says we achieved.

This latest comment is presumably intended as deterrence: What he means, I trust, is that he didn’t want to focus on Gaza sufficiently to take out Hamas all the way, but if Hamas persists in its aggression, then he will have to adjust his goals and topple this terrorist group.  Would that he had been more precise in saying this.

~~~~~~~~~~

When I last wrote, a report from a Jordanian paper had surfaced that claimed Netanyahu and Abbas had met in Amman.  At that point there was no denial from Netanyahu’s office and it was most unsettling.

There have since been denials here in Israel:

http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/politics-and-military/politics/the-prime-minister-and-abbas-did-not-meet-in-jordan-7741

I was asked by an associate if this makes me feel better.  My answer: only marginally.  For Netanyahu did make inane statements about how he hopes Abbas will be a partner for negotiations.  That is, he hopes that Abbas will chose peace with Israel and not unity with Hamas.  But, as I have repeatedly pointed out, Abbas has already made his choice and is no moderate peace partner. The fact that Netanyahu – well knowing this – feels the need to make such a statement tells us a good deal about the duress he faces and what may be coming down the road.

There was a bit of a flap when Abbas allegedly claimed that Netanyahu had agreed to negotiate based on the pre-1967 border.  When it was vehemently denied here, a correction ensued.  There had been a mistake – it was Obama who agreed on this line, not Netanyahu.  And, indeed, this has been Obama’s position from the start.

~~~~~~~~~~

My wish for a long time now has been that Netanyahu would have the courage to state forthrightly and publicly that it is a mistake to talk about negotiations based on the pre-1967 border, because there was never such a border: There was only a temporary armistice line.

How can we remotely expect the world to understand this, if our head of state will not clarify?

~~~~~~~~~~

This, however, is encouraging, if true:

According to the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi, Kerry and Netanyahu recently had a conversation about restarting the peace talks, and Israel’s release of the fourth group of prisoners.  As Netanyahu was not receptive, Kerry apparently decided to cancel plans to come to this area.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Report-Kerry-and-Netanyahu-discussed-restarting-peace-talks-4th-prisoner-release-373069

Release of prisoners?  Netanyahu knows this would fly here in Israel like a lead balloon.

Reportedly, a PA delegation will be going to Washington, instead, to discuss “a new peace initiative.”

Actually, Abbas is falling back into his habit of making threats – re: the Security Council and the ICC now – in order to frighten us into making “peace” on his terms.  This will not work.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Israel has just designated about 4,000 dunams (988 acres) of land in Judea and Samaria, mostly in Gush Etzion, as state land.

This paves the way for construction to be done on the land, and, as could be anticipated, the US has objected because this is “counterproductive” to the “peace process.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/184623#.VAREY5vlrIU

What else is new?

~~~~~~~~~~

Reportedly -  there was no official word on this – the land will be used for building a community in memory of the three students kidnapped and murdered in June.

While I am all for memorials to the students, I object to the notion that we need a pretext to build in Judea and Samaria.  It is simply our right to do so.  In point of fact, Israel has been talking since 2000 about a community to be called Gva’ot, to be built on that land, starting with 1,000 housing units.  I hope to have more on this.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4566227,00.html

~~~~~~~~~~

I want to end here with information about the dangers of encroaching radical Islam, which in the end is not only a major problem for Israel, but for the entire world.

I note, first, that Islamic rebels have taken the area on the other side of the Golan border, and that from time to time shelling spills over.  With the war with Hamas, I did not focus on this but now hope to watch the situation with greater attention.  As I write, there is fierce fighting at the Quneitra crossing.

In a picture taken from the Golan Heights, smoke billows from the Syrian village of Quneitra following an explosion during fighting, between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels, near the Quneitra border crossing on August 31, 2014.

In a picture taken from the Golan Heights, smoke billows from the Syrian village of Quneitra following an explosion during fighting, between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels, near the Quneitra border crossing on August 31, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/MENAHEM KAHANA)

Credit: AFP/Menahem Kahana

~~~~~~~~~~

And then there is the issue of ISIS (the “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria), which in its determination and viciousness, makes the threat of Hamas pale considerably.

Please see this video of a news program on the issue by CBN (with thanks to Dov Shmuel Freedman for posting this on his FB page.):

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10154600234650393&set=vb.140647865392&type=2&theater

If can watch this with equanimity, you just do not get it.  Every single American ought to be terrified at this point, for ISIS is aiming for the United States, which is very vulnerable.  This is because the southern border of the US is porous and will permit the infiltration of ISIS terrorists, and because there are reported to be at least 100 people with US citizenship fighting with ISIS, who – thoroughly indoctrinated – may then return to America to generate terrorism.

With this all, Obama does not have a plan.  Obama does not have a plan.

CBN is a Christian station.  Their broadcasters have a vision that is clear – a vision that mainstream liberal media lack.  They end their program with prayer – and it is prayer that my Christian readers will embrace.  For my Jewish readers, I heartily endorse prayer, as well, of a Jewish nature.

~~~~~~~~~~

Clare M. Lopez, Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy and a former CIA agent, is an entirely reputable analyst with a strong background in issues of terrorism.

Credit: familysecuritymatters

I have had direct communication with her, and I respect her greatly – as it turns out, not just for her knowledge but her courage in speaking truth (emphasis to her quotes added):

Just days ago, she cautioned against a strong US response to ISIS before the US has an overall strategy in place.  “Any military action would be further complicated…if it were not clear which side the U.S. is on, either in the short term or in the overall war on terror.

“In any case, and for whatever motivations, there is no doubt this administration switched sides in what used to be called the Global War on Terror.”

Lopez believes Obama has essentially the same goals in the Mideast as the late Osama bin Laden: “to remove American power and influence, including military forces, from Islamic lands.”

http://www.examiner.com/article/cia-now-admits-that-president-obama-is-a-radical-islamic-enemy-of-america

Reports the Examiner:

According to a report by the Center for Security Policy, Mohamed Elibiary, a senior member of the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council, supports brokering a US partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood. “Two months ago, a firestorm erupted online after Elibiary tweeted that a ‘Caliphate’ is inevitable and compared it to the European Union.”

(With thanks to Andrew B.)

~~~~~~~~~~

Is it too late to save America?  I pray not. But in the end, only Americans can answer this question.

Coming full circle, I suspect that the state of affairs in the American administration, as we’re seeing it, provides clues as to what Netanyahu likely must cope with.  This is with regard to what Obama might stoop to in making threats.  But it is also an indicator of how very alone Israel stands: America does not have our back at all but quite the contrary.

08/31/14

Obama Works Towards a US/Iran Alliance

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

This explains so much.

Michael Ledeen writing at Pajamas Media.

iran

They DO have a strategy, but they prefer to appear indecisive. That’s because the strategy would likely provoke even greater criticism than the false confession of endless dithering.

The actual strategy is detente first, and then a full alliance with Iran throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It has been on display since before the beginning of the Obama administration. During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies. The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the shah’s rule, as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.

Ever since, President Obama’s quest for an alliance with Iran has been conducted through at least four channels: Iraq, Switzerland (the official U.S. representative to Tehran), Oman and a variety of American intermediaries, the most notable of whom is probably Valerie Jarrett, his closest adviser. In recent months, Middle Eastern leaders reported personal visits from Ms. Jarrett, who briefed them on her efforts to manage the Iranian relationship. This was confirmed to me by a former high-ranking American official who says he was so informed by several Middle Eastern leaders.

The central theme in Obama’s outreach to Iran is his conviction that the United States has historically played a wicked role in the Middle East, and that the best things he can do for that part of the world is to limit and withdraw American military might, and empower our self-declared enemies, whose hostility to traditional American policies he largely shares.

If we look at the current crisis through an Iranian lens, our apparent indecisiveness is easier to understand, for it systematically favors Iran’s interests. Tehran’s closest ally is Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. If Assad were to be overthrown by opposition forces hostile to Iran, it would be a devastating blow to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has committed tens of thousands of fighters (from Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij) to shore up the Damascus regime. Everything Iran does in the region revolves around the necessity of preserving Assad’s tyranny.

Obama surely understands this. It therefore made no sense to bomb Syria in the otherwise baffling about-face on the “red line” a year ago. In like manner, the refusal to take decisive action today against the Islamic State caters to Iranian and Syrian concerns. Remember that ISIS was supported by Iran and Syria as a weapon against anti-Assad and anti-Iranian forces (from the Kurds to the FSA), none of whom is receiving serious American support.

It is exceedingly unlikely that Mr. Obama will do anything that would threaten Assad’s rule or Iran’s power. To do so would be tantamount to abandoning his core strategy of creating a U.S.-Iranian alliance that would make Tehran the major regional power and Washington a friendly kibbitzer and adviser.

It is even more unlikely that Mr. Obama and his spokespeople will confess to actually having a strategy, because of the political firestorm that would result. Better to be thought a fool than to remove all doubt, after all.

08/30/14

ISIS Barbarians At Our Gates

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

According to a release by Judicial Watch, ISIS is operating in Ciudad Juarez, located in Mexico along the US border just across from El Paso, Texas:

Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.

Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.

Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source. “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.” An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.

ISIS is here… They are a clear and present danger now on our porous Southern border thanks to the feeble leadership of our Marxist President. Judicial Watch issued an urgent warning from what Tom Fitton described as ‘golden sources,’ who claimed there was an imminent threat of car bomb attacks from Juarez across our border. Our government immediately denied there was any threat – nothing to see here. To which Fitton roundly stated, they’re lying to you and being oh, so dishonest. Shocker there. Other reports cited social media warnings from ISIS militants and an online video showing James O’Keefe in a bin Laden mask sneaking into the US from Mexico. That’s hokey – you can’t lay that at O’Keefe’s feet when the entire world has known our border has been wide open forever, just begging for a terrorist attack. O’Keefe merely highlighted the threat.

What’s more… DHS surely knew Judicial Watch was about to release the warning:

The Department of Homeland Security quickly denied claims on Friday from a watchdog group that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has militants stationed in Juarez, Mexico who plan an ‘imminent’ attack against the United States.

A DHS spokesman was bewildered, telling MailOnline that ‘we are aware of absolutely nothing credible to substantiate this claim’ made by Judicial Watch, a center-right group.

‘In Mexico?’ the official said on the phone. ‘I haven’t seen that at all.’

An hour before Judicial Watch’s report surfaced, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said publicly that his agency and the FBI ‘are unaware of any specific, credible threat to the U.S. homeland’ from the terror network.

And during a late-morning media briefing, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said flatly that ‘the most detailed intelligence assessment that I can offer from here is that there is no evidence or indication right now that [ISIS] is actively plotting to attack the United States homeland. That’s true right now.’

Earnest better check to see if his pants are on fire, because he knows that is a crock of you-know-what. ISIS is here already — and I mean here in the US with sleeper cells. Don’t fall for the ‘incompetence’ line here – these asshats know good and well what is going on and are looking for political cover before it hits the fan. As Fitton pointed out, ‘it’s a non-denial denial.’ And here is the quote of the month and I love this from Tom Fitton:

Citing Johnson’s use of words like ‘credible’ and ‘specific,’ Fitton said, ‘You could drive a truck bomb through that loophole. DHS has not denied our story.’

Judicial Watch is not disclosing their sources out of fear for their safety and rightly so. A warning bulletin of an imminent terrorist attack was issued to ‘agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies,’ instructing them ‘to aggressively work all possible leads and sources’ to head it off. Good luck with that since we don’t search trucks crossing the border. The commander of Fort Bliss has also been allegedly briefed on this. What do you say we shut down the freaking border before a nuke goes off in Texas or Arizona? Hell… I don’t even want one going off in California, although it is tempting.

This is not a game… it is deadly serious. If we don’t stop this, a lot of people are going to die and it will happen over and over. And guess what? Obama and Holder will just let it — I’m sure they have a ton of excuses all lined up as the blood and body parts flow. They want the death, destruction and mayhem this will bring. And Obama’s Jayvee has now joined with al-Qaeda and are actively planning a party on or around 9-11. Bring out the party favors and the Burqas boys… it’s Jihad time on the Southern border.

There are now multiple sources (Fox News, Breitbart, Judicial Watch) out there with multiple bulletins that are screaming something very wicked this way comes and fast. In response to a dire and elevated risk, what does our esteemed leader do? Nothing, except maybe golf a little more.

Here’s a map of the threatened area:

I have friends and family near there. If something that could have been prevented goes down, there will be literal hell to pay.

I trust the word of Tom Fitton and Judicial Watch. Remember, these are the guys that have uncovered the liars at the IRS and DOJ. If they say this is imminent and urgent, then I would tighten my belt and get ready for a probable impact. They didn’t release this lightly.

More from Fitton:

‘I can’t say who in Washington knows about this,’ Fitton said. ‘But to be sure, this is exactly the type of information that this administration would have an interest in minimizing, downplaying and withholding, to distract from the disaster on the border and the national security threat there.’

But Earnest, President Barack Obama’s chief spokesman and lead sycophant, told reporters on Friday that America’s border crisis is over ‘for now.’ Right… Nothing to see here. Ignore the violence, the bodies and the bombs. I mean the FBI’s terrorist assessment doesn’t even mention Islamic terrorism, so surely it can’t touch us here (again) at home. Must be those damned white Tea Party people, right? Well, our government may not (cough) believe they exist, but radical Islamists certainly believe in their existence and are coming for us.

Oh, and they are clever little buggers. In Syria, a laptop was found that came from ISIS and on that computer were instructions on how to weaponize bubonic plague in bombs. Hmmmm. Choose your poison guys — biological warfare, nukes or just exploding death. ISIS has got you covered.

Allen West states it bluntly once again and hits the nail on the head (if only he were our President — sigh):

Here’s what the laptop of doom suggests: “Use small grenades with the virus, and throw them in closed areas like metros, soccer stadiums, or entertainment centers. Best to do it next to the air-conditioning. It also can be used during suicide operations.”

The longer ISIS is allowed to exist — and 110 pinprick airstrikes is not degrading their capability — the more time they will have to develop their schemes and plans. Time is not on our side, but it seems that Obama believes he can just dither all the day long. Or perhaps, Obama doesn’t really want to deter ISIS — and certainly not attack them. You have to ask, if Obama has been receiving his daily national security briefs, why would he allow this threat to develop and metastasize into what it is today? Or maybe he does not take any security briefs at all? How could any American president allow such a direct threat to exist and publicly admit he has no plan?

Well, Mr. President Barack Hussein Obama, ISIS has a plan and their plan is not based upon what they will not do, or aren’t willing to do. Obama is conveying the message that he wants to avoid engaging and fighting ISIS. ISIS is conveying the message that they will kill anything and anyone who stands in their way — the way of restoring Islamic dominance.

So, whose side is Obama on?

This is directly Obama’s doing and fault and can be laid squarely at his feet. He brought on the border crisis intentionally to do away with our borders and sovereignty. Along with the Democrats and many of the Republicans, he has refused to secure our border and enforce the law in the name of voting demographics and cheap labor. Jerry Brown has all but given California back to Mexico. The Border Patrol is handcuffed and can’t do their job… orders have been issued to release illegal immigrants, including violent felons, from jail… 10′s of thousands of illegal immigrant children are being bussed to every corner of the US, with special emphasis on Conservative areas to change the voting block there… violence, drug trafficking and human slavery have skyrocketed on the border and Americans are told that our borders have never been safer or more secure. That we should do this for the children and trust our glorious leaders. Lenin and Stalin would have been impressed.

Saudi Arabia is now warning that there will be attacks here in the West within a month or two, if we do not confront the enemy and put them down:

Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) – King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is “rapid” action.

“If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” he said in remarks quoted on Saturday by Asharq al-Awsat daily and Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya television station.

“Terrorism knows no border and its danger could affect several countries outside the Middle East,” said the king who was speaking at a welcoming ceremony on Friday for new ambassadors, including a new envoy from Saudi ally the United States.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is warning that ISIS is actively promoting and encouraging supporters to take advantage of the porous Texas-Mexico border to carry out terrorist attacks against US citizens – they also released this in a document yesterday. Texas knows what is at their doorstep and what is coming and they are getting ready for a fight. We all should be getting ready, because the time has finally arrived that fighting Islamic terrorists will be the greatest battle of our lives. It will be a fight to the death – Islam against everyone else and it will be brutal. Radical Islamists have no pity, only the will to conquer, rape and pillage.

Britain has raised their terror level to severe — one step below critical. Even the Brits realize that things are about to get very, very real. ISIS is also threatening the Pope and Italy is on alert. Let’s not forget the million or so Christians, Muslims and others who have been slaughtered in all of this as the Caliphate sweeps the planet. It’s only getting started folks. You want a plague? Well, look no further.

The terrorist chatter on communication channels and social media is off the charts. It far eclipses the traffic pre-9-11. Obama won’t raise our threat level because frankly, he doesn’t give a crap. Americans might want to move to do something before a nuke goes off on the White House lawn and the black flag of ISIS is raised there for realsies.

The ISIS barbarians are at our gates and Obama is holding those gates wide open… maybe it’s time for the American people to bypass the Executive Branch, just as Obama bypasses Congress, to protect our borders and our people from Islamic terrorists and Jihadist hordes. I say bomb the asshats back to the Stone Age wherever we find them. Level the playing field and leave nothing but rubble and dust.

08/29/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 08/29/14

The Watcher’s Council


Back from the Dead: The Return of the Evil Empire

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“If I have learned one thing from life, it is that race is the engine that drives the political Left. When all else fails, that segment of America goes to the default position of using race to achieve its objectives. In the courtrooms, on college campuses, and, most especially, in our politics, race is a central theme. Where it does not naturally rise to the surface, there are those who will manufacture and amplify it.” – Ward Connerly

“…Liberals see racism where it doesn’t exist, fabricate it when they can’t find it and ignore it within their own ranks.” – Michelle Malkin

“Since neither black animosity nor the Left’s falsehood of “racial tensions” is based on the actual behavior of the vast majority of white Americans, nothing white America can do will affect the perceptions of many black Americans or of the leftist libel.” – Dennis Prager

This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s Blackgammon: Eric Holder Plays the Game in Ferguson, is my contention that the Obama Administration’s obsession with the Michael Brown shooting has little to do with justice, civil rights or ultimately even with Michael Brown himself.

Here’s a slice:

Backgammon, on the surface, is a pretty straight forward game. You roll the dice and move your pieces. But beneath that seeming openness are hidden strategies that may only reveal themselves later.

Today, Eric Holder traveled in person to Ferguson, Missouri, where the Aug. 9 shooting of black teen& Michael Brown by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson during an altercation has sparked massive violence, looting, protests and media coverage.

Holder’s version of the game was revealed as he made his moves today in Ferguson.Ostensibly he was there to oversee the massive Federal investigation of the Brown shooting with the goal of trying to arraign Officer Darren Williams on civil rights charges should the St. Louis County Grand jury fail to charge him with murder ala’ George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case in Florida. But this was essentially a campaign stop at government expense.

Read his remarks here and note the parts I’ve emphasized:

“I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a black man,” Holder told Ferguson residents at a community meeting. “I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over. … ‘Let me search your car’ … Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me.”

“The eyes of the nation and the world are watching Ferguson right now,” Holder told a group of community leaders assembled at a local community college. “The world is watching because the issues raised by the shooting of Michael Brown predate this incident. This is something that has a history to it, and the history simmers beneath the surface in more communities than just Ferguson.”

Let’s translate this, shall we?

“See Y’all, I’m black just like you are and that comes first before anything. So I understand your totally justified rage and anger against the white power structure. It’s them that are on trial, not just a police officer although he’ll do as a symbol ofeverything you feel whitey and the police have done to you over the years.That white power structure, you know, those white Republican Tea Partyers have always oppressed you,and this is just the latest outrage. I understand that, and that police officer looks just like them so they’re going to try to protect him. But since we’re in charge, we’re going to do our very best to see that you get what you want. Because remember, I’m black and I look like you and so does the president, so you all need to vote Democrat in November to make sure we stay in charge.”

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was former AP Middle East correspondent Matti Friedman writing in Tablet Magazine with An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth, submitted by Joshuapundit. The ‘most important story on earth’ is Friedman’s satirical way of referring to media coverage of Israel and he gives you an insider’s view of exactly how this story is twisted, propagandized and misrepresented by the media… and more importantly, why. Some of the reasons will astound you.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Starting next week, the Watcher’s Council is adding an exciting new feature!

Every Tuesday, the members of the Council will nominate a Weasel of the Week… some public figure who merits special singling out for ignominy, stupidity, cowardice, corruption or just a particularly evil deed. The Council members will provide a short explanation for their choices and the nominations and explanations on why each choice is worthy of being singled out for special attention will appear Tuesday morning.

We’ll vote, (we’re working on making this public, so you can weigh in) and every Thursday the winner of our own special Mark of Shame, The Weasel of the Week, will be highlighted in all his or her putrid, despicable glory. Who will it be?

Don’t miss it!

Okay, here are this week’s full results. Both GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD and The Razor were unable to vote this week, but neither were subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

08/28/14

Not a Pretty Picture

Arlene from Israel

After I posted yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the nation in order to explain/defend the war with Hamas and the decision to accept the ceasefire now.  He left me decidedly underwhelmed and considerably uneasy.

Yes, it is true, as he says, that Hamas has been hit harder than ever before, that in the end it sought the ceasefire and that nothing was given to Hamas by Israel.  But… but…

He also said, “We can’t say definitively that the goal of bringing sustained quiet has been reached, but the goal of hitting Hamas hard has been achieved.”

He himself refers to sustained quiet as a goal, and, indeed, it is precisely what he’s been consistently promising the people of Israel, even as recently as a week ago:

restoring quiet for a prolonged period along with a significant blow to the terrorist infrastructure.”

And yet he threw in the towel without having achieved that “quiet for a prolonged period.”

As a matter of fact, even though it is frequently claimed that he never intended to bring Hamas down, he did allude to precisely this just eight days ago“

We have not given up on our goal to overthrow Hamas and its leadership.”

And so?

~~~~~~~~~~

It has been frequently observed that Netanyahu changes his goals from time to time.  There are those who see this as a maneuver designed to confuse his enemies.  But many believe it simply signals a lack of strategic planning.

Whatever the case, Netanyahu gave up the fight too soon, and the question remains why.

I would like to share what I believe we are seeing. This is not to justify what he has done, but to attempt to understand it.

These are very tough times for Israel – with virulent anti-Israel riots in many parts of the world, the BDS movement, and more.

To demonstrate how horrendously tough things are, I share a link to a video showing accusations of war crimes committed by Israel made in the British Parliament.  It was sent to me by a very horrified reader in England.  (Margaret, I thank you.)  You don’t even have to see the entire thing to get the picture.

It should have been a no-brainer, that the only democracy in the Middle East is the good guy when doing battle with a terrorist entity that launches rockets by the thousands at its civilians. The fact that this is not the case indicates what a perverted and convoluted world we live in. I do not make light of this, or what it takes to contend with it.

~~~~~~~~~~

I believe to stand strong at the helm of the Israeli government in the face of the current climate requires a spine of steel.  But, regretfully, Netanyahu – whose position is not to be envied – certainly appears to have a backbone made of more pliable stuff.

Mahmoud Abbas of the PA (I refuse to refer to him as “president,” since his term ran out eons ago, although the world conveniently ignores this) has declined to sever his connection to Hamas or to disavow the unity agreement.  After meeting with Hamas’s Mashaal in Qatar recently, he announced he had a new “peace plan”:  He was going to go to the UN Security Council and get them to set up a “timetable” for Israel to withdraw from Judea and Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem, and declare a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.  If this didn’t work, he was going to join the ICC and charge Israel’s leaders with war crimes.

A lot of this is bombast. The Security Council cannot, under international law, establish a state. And if the PA joins the ICC, its own leaders are liable. But it’s troublesome bombast, nonetheless.

~~~~~~~~~~

The visit to Israel of retired US General John Allen immediately prior to the ceasefire was clearly not without significance. He came to discuss the “peace process,” which would take place after the ceasefire.

Peace process? With the PA that is wedded to Hamas??

The position of the current US administration, as of prior administrations, is that the matter of a Palestinian state must be resolved via negotiations.  Obama thus would also find Abbas’s threats troublesome, and would seek to promote the resumption of those “peace negotiations” in order to undercut him.

My guess is that Obama offered to veto all proposals for a Palestinian state that would be brought to the Security Council, if Netanyahu agreed to a ceasefire and then to move towards negotiations with Abbas.  Once the ceasefire had been announced, there were statements from the US administration about how they had Israel’s back, etc. etc.

~~~~~~~~~~

In the course of his statements yesterday, Netanyahu said Abbas had “to choose which side he is on.”  But he hoped Abbas will continue to want a diplomatic process with Israel and an eventual agreement. 

Excuse me?  There was only one proper response for Netanyahu to have made when the suggestion was advanced that we resume negotiations: “Peace process? With the PA that is wedded to Hamas?”  Quite clearly, Abbas has already chosen.  But he’s being promoted as a moderate and at some level our prime minister is ready to go along with this or is on the cusp of doing so.

This is not in Israel’s best interests and I believe Netanyahu is allowing himself to be maneuvered into a very destructive position.

For starters, the PA is being promoted as the party to oversee the crossings into Gaza and the reconstruction.  Not only would Abbas not be inclined to buck Hamas, his people would not have the power to do so.

~~~~~~~~~~

To make matters worse, the story has broken in the Jordanian daily Al’ad, which cites diplomatic sources that say that before the ceasefire Netanyahu and Abbas had met secretly in Amman. The prime minister’s office had no comment – which means it’s not denying it.

While the Jordanian report did not specifically indicate what the two discussed, it did allude to various roles the PA would likely be playing. Among them, it would do the fundraising for Gaza reconstruction. The PA is notorious for its level of corruption. A joke if ever there was one. But there we are.

~~~~~~~~~~

This scenario will have to be watched carefully.

But there is more that has to be watched, as well:  It is all very fine that Netanyahu says Hamas hasn’t gotten anything from Israel. I would add “yet.” The negotiations on the serious issues won’t be held for a month and this is where Israel must stand firm.

Netanyahu spoke a great deal about reconstruction in return for demilitarization.  I don’t see any talk about demilitarization in the current first agreement (as I understand it, the details of that agreement aren’t even public), and I don’t know that this is even on the prime minister’s agenda any longer.  This is a serious matter.  Even if new weaponry is prevented from being brought in – Hamas still has 2,000 rockets and can manufacture additional ones.  What is more, Hamas is skilled at bringing in weapons in parts, which can be more easily smuggled.

He spoke as well about new alliances in this part of the world – by which he means changing attitudes on the part of “moderate” Arab states such as Saudi Arabia as well as on the part of the EU. True enough that Hamas is more isolated now and that the world is beginning to wake up with regard to jihadis because of ISIS.  But how will this play out? Will it amount to any more than an eagerness to promote Abbas over Hamas?

08/27/14

A Second Look

Arlene from Israel

I’m sure that – after today’s assessment – I will take a third and a fourth and fifth look at the ceasefire declared last night in Gaza.  In many ways this is an evolving situation,  more complex than it might have seemed at first blush.

I begin by noting that impressions do matter – especially where deterrence is concerned.  If Hamas appears to be the victor, that impression reverberates internationally in a way that is detrimental to our concerns.  And in any event the sight of celebrating Palestinian Arabs in Gaza, which we have been shown in news video clips over the past several hours, is extraordinarily galling.

Palestinians celebrate what they said was a victory over Israel following a ceasefire in Gaza City August 26, 2014 (Reuters / Mohammed Salem)

Credit: Reuters

However, there are a couple of points that must be made with regard to this “victory” celebration.

The first is a reminder that the Arabs always win.  Even when they have been very soundly defeated, they will let you know that they have won.  This approach stems from their honor-shame culture, which simply does not allow for anything that might be considered shameful.

Bassam Tawil, writing now in Gatestone, refers to “the pathetic way Arabs boast to convince themselves that they won every war the Israelis defeated them in.”

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4653/hamas-victory

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The second is that they may be celebrating the end of the fighting more than a victory: because of Hamas’s “martyr” policy, the people of Gaza have had a very hard time.  It was Mahmoud Abbas (please note this) who made the announcement in Arabic to the people of Gaza.  I saw a sub-title translation, and if it is correct, he said there was now a permanent ceasefire.  Permanent? Then they’re done with running from Israeli bombs? Or standing still in order to get hit? A good time to celebrate.

~~~~~~~~~~

We did not succeed in bringing Hamas to its knees, in order to get them to simply stop firing rockets at us – which would have been the best outcome.  Perhaps, had we not agreed now to the ceasefire, we might have.  That, I would say, is the major frustration here – and certainly it constitutes a good part of what deprives us of a solid sense of victory.

But what must be clarified is that we certainly did a huge amount of damage to them.  On the face of things, this is obvious, but it needs to be said.

According to some analysts, even though Hamas did not stop launching rockets – they defiantly launched them even into the beginning of the ceasefire – they agreed to that ceasefire because they were beaten down.

Wrote Steve Emerson, citing a report from Israel security officials (emphasis added):

“…amid the report’s assessment that Hamas had lost much of its will to fight, the terrorist group agreed to the latest Egyptian-brokered ceasefire.

“There is growing discontent among the Hamas ranks, as the group suffered significant terrorist casualties, destruction of vital military infrastructure, rocket construction capabilities, and major destruction of its sophisticated underground tunnel network, the Post report said. Israel’s successful targeted assassination of senior Hamas leaders severely disrupted the terrorist organization’s command and control structure, and even resulted in the desertion of rank and file terrorists from battle.

“In light of the assassinations, growing suspicion of Israeli intelligence infiltration also forced Hamas to halt the use sophisticated technologies in the battlefield, significantly reducing its ability to fight. The growing mistrust and panic led Hamas to summarily execute over 20 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel.

“Mid-range commanders allegedly fled with their families from conflict zones to avoid having their houses destroyed, producing a sense of mistrust and abandonment among remaining fighters. In one case, 14 Hamas fighters were reportedly trapped in a tunnel for 20 days with no supplies while their commanders failed to even attempt a rescue effort. Some are believed to have starved to death.”

http://www.investigativeproject.org/4547/decimated-hamas-accepts-ceasefire-claims-victory

This is a picture of Hamas as the loser with claims of victory that are very hollow.

~~~~~~~~~~

And we are being provided with a picture of Hamas that has now agreed to terms it could have had previously.

Writes Ron Ben-Yishai in YNet:

“In Jerusalem and the Defense Ministry’s Kirya compound in Tel Aviv they are rubbing their hands in satisfaction – and quite rightly so. After a short-lived war of attrition of just one week, even without a fresh ground incursion, Hamas blinked first and agreed to the outline of the initial ceasefire proposed the Egyptians – the outline of which it had received before Israel sent its ground troops in weeks ago.

“Hamas has not even received the ‘minor agreement’ it could have secured eight days ago, before it violated the ceasefire the last time. Israel, however, has not ceded on anything, rather simply agreed to the ceasefire approved by the Cabinet back in mid-July, a few days after the start of Operation Protective Edge.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4564522,00.html

~~~~~~~~~~

Does this mean, then, that I have re-thought the situation and now believe the ceasefire was a good thing, and that Israel is the uncontested winner?

No, my friends, it does not.  While I have provided balance in the above, there are still some very serious considerations, some very serious problems.  I am not sure we know yet how much we have won, or have failed to win.  Many of us wanted a clear win, and that it is not.

~~~~~~~~~~

Ben-Yishai, cited above, also says this (emphasis added):

”Granted, the organization is badly wounded, has had all of its military capabilities taken away and more than a thousand of its fighters lost their lives…And yet, there is no satisfactory answer that will ensure the safety of the border communities against mortars, short-range rockets and even anti-tank missiles that could be fired on a bus carrying children to school in the Eshkol Regional Council or the Negev.

“The indefinite ceasefire that took effect Tuesday evening is a tactical win that, for the moment, does not guarantee long-term, stable calm for the Western Negev communities or the whole of Israel. It was indeed Hamas who sought the ceasefire, even pleaded for it, but the organization is known to be a serial violator of ceasefires, and the need to hurt and shed the blood of the Israelis has often overcome its survival instinct and concern for the Palestinians under its control.”

So, Hamas is down, but not out – and this does not qualify as a clear win for us.

~~~~~~~~~~

This, certainly, is how the residents of the communities near Gaza are feeling.

Itamar Shimoni, Mayor of Ashkelon, believes any compromise with Hamas is a surrender to terror. (Emphasis added)

The residents of Israel and the south wanted to see a decision in this campaign, but this will apparently not happen.

We wanted to see Hamas defeated and begging for its life; instead we see Israel running to the negotiating table at every opportunity.”

The head of the Eshkol Council, Haim Yelin, said that he will not ask the residents of his region to return to their homes.He told Channel 10 news, “In Jerusalem there appears to be a ceasefire. I don’t know what they are talking about. In Jerusalem they feel safe…but not us.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/184469#.U_32lJvlrIV

Quite frankly, this is shameful: the people of the south deserve better.  They were told, by Netanyahu himself and the military leaders, “be patient, be strong…it will be OK.”  But it is not OK.

~~~~~~~~~~

On his Facebook page, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (head of Yisrael Beitenu) has written:

“It is forbidden to make peace with Hamas, and as long as Hamas exists it’s impossible to make peace. As long as Hamas rules in Gaza, it is impossible to ensure the security of Israeli citizens, and impossible to reach a peace agreement.

“…we opposed a ceasefire under whose cover Hamas will be able to continue and grow, and manage additional campaigns against Israel at a time convenient to it.

As long as the Hamas regime is not overthrown – the threat of rockets and tunnels remains. We must stand firm on Hamas not receiving any diplomatic achievement thanks to this ceasefire.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/184481#.U_39P5vlrIU

~~~~~~~~~~

And Times of Israel editor David Horovitz has written a thoughtful piece that I suggest you read in its entirety. He says (emphasis added):

“Support for Netanyahu’s handling of the conflict will rise again if time, and the long-term ceasefire terms, prove that Hamas has been marginalized and de-fanged.  Many Israelis, indeed, will come to hail him for not having ordered a far more extensive ground offensive into the treacherous heart of Gaza where Hamas lay in wait, with the consequent likely loss of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of soldiers’ lives.

But if Hamas is not marginalized, if it proves capable of rebuilding its tunnels, restocking its rocket arsenals, and plotting new strategies toward its goal of Israel’s annihilation, the Israeli strategy for handling this conflict will have been a failure, and the popularity of the prime minister will be far from the most central of Israel’s concerns.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/those-hamas-victory-celebrations-should-not-be-easily-dismissed/

~~~~~~~~~~

There are those who declare that because we didn’t do the full job, the entire war was “for nothing.” I vehemently disagree.  If for no other reason than that we took out the tunnels which led into Israel and which were going to be used by Hamas to massacre large numbers of Israelis, it was for something.  In addition to which, we have weakened Hamas considerably.

Anyone who calls this “for nothing,” in my opinion desecrates the memories of those soldiers who gave their lives – so that innocent people in the south would not be massacred, and so that Hamas would be weakened.

~~~~~~~~~~

It is, however, also a given that Netanyahu was not as strong as he should have been in this war.  I have written innumerable times that he makes decisions while watching over his shoulder, and indeed, it was true here as much as it has ever been.  He is forever watching world opinion.  The question is whether this is ever a valid way to proceed – there are a lot of hazards to Israel out there. But what this means is that sometimes he fails to pay attention to the needs of Israel’s citizens.

A horrendous example of this has come to light, and I shudder even as I share it here – but share it I will:

According to a Channel 10 report on Monday, five mortar barrels were aimed at Kibbutz Nachal Oz, and mortars were shot at the kibbutz repeatedly.  Residents of the kibbutz “claim the IDF told them that three of the barrels are embedded adjacent to schools where displaced Gaza residents are taking shelter, and therefore the IDF did not strike them to eliminate the threat.

“They add that the IDF said the two other barrels are located adjacent to the houses of residents that the IDF was unable to contact during the course o the 50 day operation so as to ask them to leave and avoid harming them.  As a result, the IDF likewise decided not to strike.”

The fear of course was being accused of “war crimes.” But this is ludicrous.

If this report is true, a mortar from one of those guns, which could have been silenced by the IDF, is what killed little Daniel Tragerman.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/184482#.U_4DfZvlrIU

~~~~~~~~~~

What remains to be seen now is how strong Netanyahu will be in the follow-up to the war, as he deals with the international community.  Herein lies the key.

In my next posting, I want to take a look at the role of the international community – Obama, Kerry, the UN, the EU, et al – and of Mahmoud Abbas.

And I will close today by citing one more commentator who segues into this issue. Avi Issacharoff writes (emphasis added):

“…unless there is a 180 degree turn in Israeli policy relating to Abbas, the ceasefire will change nothing and the next escalation is only a matter of time.”
http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamass-humiliation-and-israels-looming-defeat/

I will return to this critical issue.  We all have a great deal of work to do.

08/27/14

Worse and Worser

Arlene from Israel

The truth: There is no entirely satisfactory resolution to our war with Hamas (the war that is not called a war).

Aside, of course, from that “ultimate” resolution in which we would fully retake Gaza and banish all terrorists and jihadis – thereby creating a peaceful situation in Gaza and a situation of deterrence with regard to terrorists in other locales – and then rebuild Gush Katif, helping the former residents to return.

Certainly I am among those who dream of such a thing.   And I do believe in the importance of dreams.  I know that there would be no Israel without dreams and the courage to act upon them.

But I also know that this vision is not about to be realized. There are a variety of factors that are arrayed against us and render this scenario severely problematic. I’ve covered them before:

[] The fact of the network of tunnels means we would pay a large price in the lives of our young soldiers – a price that would be difficult for the nation to bear.  That is not to say our dedicated young soldiers would not go with willingness, for they would – bless them for their dedication and for long life.  But many deaths would have a corrosive effective upon the morale of the nation and would cause serious doubts to be raised about the operation.

[] The expense of this war, which would be prolonged, and of then assuming responsibility for the Arabs in Gaza who would remain would create a tremendous fiscal drain on the nation that many would consider unacceptable.

[] As soon as Hamas and related jihadi groups were banished, there would be an incredible international push for Abbas and his “moderate” cohorts to control Gaza as a step towards a Palestinian state.  (More on this below.)  There are a host of international problems associated with this.

[]  Perhaps most significantly, the drain on our military resources might render us ill-equipped to do battle with Hezbollah in Lebanon and radicals in Syria who are at our border in the Golan, should this become necessary.  Yes, I just wrote, above, that were we to banish radicals from Gaza, we would have great deterrence power.  But what if, while we were in the course of fighting that extended war in Gaza, Hezbollah decided that it would be a great time to attack us from the northern front?  It could be that we need a certain portion of our forces and equipment kept at the ready for other attacks and that IDF planners are reluctant to become too enmeshed in Gaza right now. And here I didn’t even mention Iran.

And so we must resign ourselves to something less.

~~~~~~~~~~

Some of my readers have written to me to tell me what the Israeli government “must” or “should” do.  They learned that I was sometimes less than receptive to this.  For I believe there are many extenuating factors that make it difficult if not impossible for someone from the outside to judge precisely what “must” or “should” be done.  In responding to critics, I have tried to give the government reasonable latitude – understanding that there is always much that is going on under the surface.

What I had wanted to consider today were possible resolutions in real terms that took into account a variety of different and often painful factors – part-way or not totally satisfactory resolutions, but resolutions that might be considered a gain nonetheless.

HOWEVER… we seem to be caught now in a situation that is very far from satisfactory resolution.  Too far.

From my perspective there had to be certain parameters to any resolution: Hamas should not be rewarded for its attack on Israel.  It should not receive something as enticement to get it to stop firing upon us.  It should be sufficiently vanquished so that it would petition us for a respite.  (“Sufficiently vanquished” does not mean finally defeated.)

Most importantly, Israel must (now I use that word) convey strength.  And Hamas must be prevented from re-arming (leave aside the question of whether it would have to  surrender the rockets it currently has).

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Just hours ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted a ceasefire as proposed by Egypt, which went into effect at 7 PM Israel time.  All of its parameters are not yet known, and so I will have to return to this. But I have searched my sources of information and have yet to discover anything about this that conveys Israel’s strength.

Thus – while I am prepared to learn more – I find this very disturbing.

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In a nutshell now: The ceasefire, accepted also by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, is for a month.  At the end of the month, negotiations would begin on the demands of each side: from our side, demilitarization of Hamas; from the Hamas side, lifting of the blockade of Gaza, building of a seaport and airport, release of prisoners, etc.

This ceasefire, then, is another temporary one, albeit for a longer period of time.  It is not permanent, and in point of fact is likely to fall apart once the difficult issues are approached.  What would happen then is that Hamas – which would have had a month to regroup and manufacture more rockets – would begin to launch rockets again.  And where does a month leave us? Right at the time of our High Holidays.

Oh great.

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At this time, the restrictions for Gaza fishermen will be relaxed, with the limit being extended to six nautical miles. And apparently two crossings will be opened under Israeli supervision to allow in humanitarian supplies and building supplies for reconstruction.  (What kind of materials?)  It is entirely unclear what sort of supervision there would be inside of Gaza to make certain that the materials were used appropriately or who would oversee the reconstruction.  What would UNRWA’s role be?

I am not finding anything definitive in terms of the PA role, which might include oversight of reconstruction.  Certainly there had been much made previously of anticipated PA supervision at crossings, and I do believe that Egypt has already consented to PA supervision at the Rafah crossing into Egypt.

A statement was made recently by a representative of the EU, who said that the EU wanted to be involved.  How? They would supervise the PA to be sure it was doing the job it was supposed to do at the crossings. That’s reassuring, is it not?

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It should be noted here that Netanyahu approved the ceasefire without allowing a vote in the Security Cabinet, even though Naftali Bennett had requested one. Clearly, the prime minister had unease about whether the Cabinet would approve this move.  This action, while unpalatable, was legal.

Netanyahu had been doing very well in polls of the Israeli electorate until this week, when his approval rating dropped some 17%, to 38%.  I anticipate considerable distress within the government, the Knesset and the electorate in the wake of Netanyahu’s current decision.

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One source I encountered now said that in a month Israel would resume negotiations with the PA. That this was going to be pushed on us is no surprise, but I believe this is still a projection for down the road – not a statement of Israel’s commitment at present.

I think of everything I find this prospect most offensive.  Abbas is the good buddy of Hamas’s Mashaal.  Representatives of Fatah sat at the negotiations during ceasefires with Hamas, and spoke for Hamas.  Abbas has never renounced the “unity government.”  Yet we are supposed to consider the PA “moderate,” a partner for peace.  This is the sort of stuff that drives me to consider running my head into the wall.

Retired US general John Allen came to town last night to meet with Israeli officials regarding the renewal of peace talks after there is a ceasefire.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/top-us-general-in-israel-for-post-ceasefire-talks/

Who knows what message Allen conveyed from Obama to Netanyahu and how this played into Netanyahu’s decision to accept the ceasefire proposal.

Gen. Allen was the one who came here to design a “security plan” for the Jordan Valley that was supposed to advance our negotiations with the PA some months ago; Israel rejected his ideas.

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Israeli officials are pointing out how badly damaged Hamas is as a result of the fighting. This is certainly the case, but what happened is that Hamas, with its back to the wall, adamantly refused to stop launching those rockets.  The entire scenario continued far longer than Israeli military had anticipated it would – we were entering a war of attrition, which is something Israel wanted to avoid – especially as residents of the south had left their homes and were demanding quiet.