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

British Prime Minister Explains Why Islamic State Threatens Security Like Never Before

He only gets it sort of. What needs to happen is we need to bomb the crap out of these barbarians and kill every one of them. Screw diplomacy – screw weak kneed politicians. Bomb them back to the stone age. Nuke the bastards.

Britain Now Says Terror Attack ‘Highly Likely’

Alarms sound over ‘imminent’ attacks on U.S.

08/29/14

Breaking: Judicial Watch reports an imminent terrorist attack warning on border

By: James Simpson
DC Independent Examiner

Judicial Watch, perhaps the most effective government watchdog, reports high-level federal law enforcement sources saying an attack along our southern border may be imminent. These sources claim that ISIS and al Qaeda personnel are present in Ciudad Juarez, a city on the Mexican border directly opposite El Paso, Texas. A warning bulletin has been issued to to DHS, FBI, Defense agencies and others warning that these groups intend to carry out these attacks using vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED). The report states:

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.”

The possible threat from “Third Country Nationals” or TNI has been reported a number of times on these pages and elsewhere. Most notably, former Border Patrol agent, Zachary Taylor stated ominously that the illegal immigrant border “surge” was a form of asymmetric warfare. While we focused on “the children” flooding the border near McAllen, Texas – who it turns out were not primarily children at all – elsewhere, TNIs, including many from hostile nations, are coming across by the thousands.

In a possibly related event, 20 illegals were filmed storming ashore from boats in San Diego, California, early Monday morning. They had apparently coordinated with others in San Diego as they were observed entering an alley where they were able to change clothes. Seven were captured but the rest got away. A second attempt was made on Tuesday at 1 am, but all 20 were apprehended by border agents on the lookout for them.

former Congressman, Lt. Col. Allen West, an experienced combat commander, suggested these could be “dry runs,’ i.e. experimental probes in the run up to something more serious. “There were many occasions,” he said, “when the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan would conduct probing tests to assess reactions…”

While the reported warning is specifically for the border, this is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, and right around the corner from 9/11 – a perfect opportunity to launch an attack anywhere in the U.S. And if you think they are not here already in force, I have a job for you on Obama’s national security team.

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?

08/28/14

Disarming the U.S. on the “Information Battlefield”

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Paul Goble, a specialist on international broadcasting and the propaganda war being waged over Ukraine, writes that “…as effective as [Vladimir] Putin’s disinformation campaign has been inside Russia, it has been even more successful beyond that country’s borders.” One problem, he says, is that the Western media treat Putin’s lies as just another point of view.

Another problem is that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the federal agency that oversees all U.S. civilian international media, seems to be completely clueless as to how to win the information war and make sure truth triumphs over lies.

The BBG just met in Washington, D.C. to hear from Ben Rhodes, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting. A press release said that Rhodes “reiterated the President’s commitment to U.S. international media,” such as Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. This sounds good, but what does it mean?

The release quoted Rick Stengel, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, as saying that the expansion of U.S.-sponsored Russian language newscasts are important, and that “Given the information battlefields we are seeing in Russia and Ukraine, this represents a true realization of your mission.”

In fact, the mission is clear, but the U.S. does not have an effective way to counter Russian disinformation—here or abroad. Putin takes advantage of the freedom that the U.S. gives his regime and its agents to operate in the U.S., but the U.S. is handicapped by restrictions on the media and non-governmental organizations in Russia.

Concerning the role played by the Western media, Goble contends that “…many Western outlets report what Moscow ‘says,’ while describing any Ukrainian government statement as ‘claims.’ Invariably, doing so is called objectivity but in fact it is anything but. Instead, it gives an opening to governments like Putin’s, which are prepared to lie and to spread their lies widely, confident that what they say, however untrue or outrageous, will be reported.”

This is one reason why the idea that Ukraine shot down the Malaysian plane, thinking it was Putin’s jet, has gotten so much attention in the West. It gets picked up as just another point of view, even though it is a blatant lie and was designed as such. Russia has a propaganda channel, Russia Today (RT), which broadcasts this disinformation inside the U.S. on a regular basis.

Showing his own receptivity to Russian propaganda, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul went on a new conservative news channel, Newsmax TV, to suggest that the government of Ukraine had shot the plane down. The former Republican congressman has been a regular guest on RT, and has wandered far from the days when he claimed to be an anti-communist.

Goble says many in the West fall victim to Moscow’s lies, “either out of a confusion between balance and objectivity, a conviction that all governments lie and that no one should be surprised, or a commitment to maintaining good relations with the Russian government no matter what it does.” It is not clear what motivates Ron Paul, but his acceptance of the Kremlin point of view makes a mockery out of his proclaimed devotion to liberty around the world.

Goble writes that the real challenge is “countering disinformation campaigns,” and that an effective response “requires the development of channels to deliver alternative messages, including international broadcasting.” He goes on to say that “… if the U.S. had a capacity to broadcast to the Russian people directly, Moscow would not have been able to shape Russian public opinion in the way that it has.” This comment reflects Putin’s largely successful effort to ban or restrict international broadcasting inside Russia.

Since there is no level playing field at the present time, would it be proper for the U.S. government to close down the offices of RT in the U.S.?

Goble told this writer, “Closing down RT would be one thing. Expelling Andranik Migranyan and his operation would be an even better bet.?”

He is referring to another Russian propaganda operation known as the so-called “Institute for Democracy and Cooperation” in New York, described by Goble as “responsible for promoting Moscow’s views in the United States.”

The website of this Russian “think tank” says that it “actively creates and develops relationships with leading NGOs, universities, and research centers,” including:

  • New York University
  • University of California
  • Stanford University
  • Carleton University (Canada)
  • The Council on Foreign Relations
  • The Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • The National Democratic Institute
  • The Center for the National Interest
  • The Kennan Institute
  • The Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (SUNY New Paltz)
  • The International Republican Institute
  • The National Committee on Foreign Policy of the United States
  • The Russian American Cultural Heritage Center
  • The Foreign Press Association.

Goble notes that the group’s director, Andranik Migranyan, “gained notoriety earlier this year when he suggested that Adolf Hitler would have gone down in history as the greatest German leader of all time if he had stopped before invading Poland.”

Migranyan had written that “Hitler was gathering German lands,” and that if he had stopped at “uniting, without a single drop of blood,” Germany with these so-called German lands, “he would be remembered in his country’s history as a politician of the highest order.”

Russian activist Vladimir Kara-Murza commented, “Perhaps someone could remind Andranik Migranyan and his Kremlin overseers of the track record of this ‘politician of the highest order’ and ‘gatherer of German lands’ prior to 1939—including the establishment of concentration camps and the public burning of books; the purges of ‘non-Aryans’ and the creation of the Gestapo; the closure of newspapers and political parties and the establishment of a one-man dictatorship; the Nuremberg racial laws and Kristallnacht.”

If the U.S. isn’t going to expel Migranyan and his crew, then why not close down RT? It seems that the Obama administration believes that foreign propaganda channels like RT have the same First Amendment rights that apply to American citizens.

Rick Stengel has written about RT’s “disinformation campaign” towards Ukraine and has summarized its various disinformation themes.

“Yet, even so,” he goes on, “I would defend the right of RT to broadcast. The First Amendment protects speech that we reject as much as speech that we embrace. The State Department facilitates RT’s coverage by giving them unrestricted access to our briefings. No one is arguing that RT should be taken off the air the way Moscow has abruptly ended the license that allows Voice of America to broadcast to Russians.”

The U.S. didn’t have this attitude toward Nazi propaganda activities before and during World War II. Our attitude then was that Nazi agents operating inside the U.S. should be investigated and exposed by official committees of the U.S. Congress. Our objective then was to thwart aggression and expose our enemies. The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was passed in response to Nazi propaganda activities. The U.S. was concerned about the Nazi movement developing on American soil.

FARA is still on the books and could be applied to Russian propaganda activities. At the very least, RT could be forced to label its broadcasts as propaganda, as required by this law. Plus, American taxpayers should not be forced to pay to put RT on the air through dozens of public television stations around the country.

In a major scandal that we have covered for several years, taxpayer-supported MHz Networks distributes RT as well as Al-Jazeera, the voice of the Muslim Brotherhood, on public TV stations under the rubric of “Programming for globally-minded people.”

Florida broadcaster Jerry Kenney notes that the federally-funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funneled $27,580,113 into MHz Networks and its affiliates in fiscal year 2011.

As we have previously reported, “Kenney hired a lawyer to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, arguing that the contracts between the public TV stations affiliated with Commonwealth are being improperly used for the purpose of broadcasting foreign propaganda in the U.S.” Violations of these rules can result in financial fines and revocation of broadcast licenses.

But the rules and regulations are not being enforced, almost as if there are those within the U.S. government who want Russia’s disinformation apparatus to thwart a tough foreign policy response to Russia.

The facts are clear: not only is the U.S. facilitating Russian propaganda operations, but our tax dollars are going to make it all possible.

Is there anyone in Congress willing to expose and stop this insanity?

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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/

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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.

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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

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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.