10/11/20

IPT Video Investigation: House of Lies – The Baseless Campaign to Smear Israeli Police Exchanges

By: IPT News | CCNS

A disturbing anti-Semitic smear took new root this summer during protests following George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer. At protests throughout the country, speakers claimed that programs that take police leaders to Israel to interact with their counterparts there directly lead to violence against Black people in America. The claims are accepted as a given by many, despite a lack of any evidence.

It’s not a new claim, and prominent voices including Linda Sarsour, Marc Lamont Hill, and Louis Farrakhan have promoted it.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism’s two-part video investigation, “House of Lies – the Baseless Campaign to Smear Israeli Police Exchanges,” shows that one of the main groups promoting this false narrative, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), warned in June that “Suggesting that Israel is the start or source of American police violence or racism … furthers an antisemitic ideology.”

But as viewers will, see that’s exactly what JVP did for three years, claiming that American police return from Israel more violent, leading to “extrajudicial executions, shoot-to-kill policies, police murders …” JVP hoped nobody would notice, but the IPT did.

The entire campaign is a lie. The IPT interviewed four police chiefs – two active and two now retired – who say their experiences couldn’t be more different from the anti-Israel narrative. There is no tactical training. Rather than discussing ways to oppress people, the chiefs all said they learned about the value of community policing and building relationships among diverse constituencies. They also learned how to best minimize the terrorist threat and to investigate in the aftermath of an attack.

No critic has produced a police official who says otherwise. Organizers of two police exchange programs say the opposition is rooted in anti-Israel bias, combined with an “intersectional” campaign to liken the Palestinian cause with the struggle for civil rights in America.

Jewish Voice for Peace Executive Director Stefanie Fox did not respond to a request for comment sent last month.

For more information about GILEE, click here. For more information about JINSA’s Homeland Security Program, click here.

Copyright © 2020. Investigative Project on Terrorism. All rights reserved. Originally published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.


10/11/20

Infidel – A Movie Review by Steven Emerson

By: Steve Emerson | CCNS

With the release of his spellbinding thriller and now leading box office hit “Infidel,” Cyrus Nowrasteh has now firmly established himself as one of the most talented, creative, and certainly the most politically courageous film directors –screenwriters in the United States. Nowrasteh has a mile-long list of film credits to his name but readers of the Investigative Project on Terrorism might especially remember a film of his, and his wife Betsy, that I reviewed in 2009 called, “The Stoning of Soroya M.”

It was based on a true story of a woman in Iran in the 1980s whose adulterous husband conspired with the local mullah and the male villagers to falsely accuse and convict the woman of her infidelity. I described the movie “as one of the most compelling, stirring, and riveting films I have ever seen,” a description that still holds today.

It was the first time in cinema that a stoning was re-created—and I believe the effect of having made that film finally shocked the world’s conscience at the time of the prevalence of such barbaric Islamist atrocities, and even put a halt—albeit only temporary—to the radical Islamist thugs who carried out such stonings of women in various areas of the Islamic world at the time.

In “Infidel,” Nowrasteh has also captured difficult but widespread and contemporary problems that many American “progressive” politicians, along with their mainstream media cohorts have preferred to shove under the carpet or worse: they would rather appease the Islamist bullies who perpetrate major acts of aggression, often hiding under the thinly-veiled shield of victimhood, a deception that has worked wonders for many Islamist groups and for Islamist regimes.

“Infidel” tells the gripping story of an American Christian blogger, played by Jim Caviezel, who is invited to speak at an interfaith dialogue conference in Cairo at the prestigious Al Azhar University. When the American professes his faith in Christ as God, he is immediately attacked by several Islamist hotheads who accuse him of “Islamophobia,” an artificially fabricated epithet, specifically designed to tar anyone who offends militant Islamists with the stench of racism toward Islam.

Accused of being an Islamophobe, the character played by Caviezel gets kidnapped by Hezbollah terrorists who smuggle him to Teheran where he is imprisoned, tortured, and arbitrarily sentenced to death on spurious charges of espionage by an Iranian mullah in scenes described by dissidents as nearly identical to the ones replicated by Nowrasteh. As in real life, the State Department bureaucrats don’t want to do lift a finger to help save the American blogger’s life lest they antagonize Iran, a sad but true replication of art imitating life, at least prior to 2016.

In the film, a fascinating subplot develops as a small covert but flourishing Christian movement, led by women (whose Christian husbands have all been jailed), comes to the American blogger’s rescue—again paralleling the historical and unprecedented emergence of an underground Christian movement in a fanatically anti-Christian Iran.

Nowrasteh deserves incredible credit for tackling all these hot button issues –revealing the Islamophobia accusation for the outrageous deceit for which it was created; portraying Hezbollah terrorists as the Islamist thugs they truly are rather than antiseptically describing them as a “political group” or as a simple “militia,” as some cowardly media outlets and European governments do; and not being afraid to represent the vicious murderous Mullahs in Iran as nothing more than Mafioso in turbans, rather than paying homage to policies espoused by politically correct apologists who still justify the horrific Khomeini Revolution and the tens of thousands of deaths it caused on the “interference” by the U.S. in 1953 in Iran in helping to overthrow the Marxist leader Mossadeq. As noted by Iran specialist Ray Takeyh in 2010, “… [R]esponsibility for the suffocation of the Iranian peoples’ democratic aspirations in the summer of 1953 lies primarily with those who went on to squash another democratic movement in the summer of 2009—the mullahs. It is they who should apologize to the Iranian people.”

If past is prologue, “Infidel” will of course likely be criticized by the high priests at the New York Times and Washington Post, whose entire “moral” compass on the Islamist spectrum—endorsing and propounding the deceit of Islamophobia, appeasing Iran, treating Hezbollah with the moral equivalence, even less, than it treats Israel, and refusing to pay any real attention to the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East—is totally torn asunder by “Infidel” or by Nowrasteh’s earlier works.

But beyond the politics, “Infidel” is simply great drama with pacing that will keep you on the edge of your seat or sofa. It grips you from the opening scene and doesn’t let you go, along with some wonderful acting, especially by the strangely charismatic British accented Hezbollah terrorist leader, played by Hal Ozsan. Caviezel delivers as always as only he could. Catch the film if you can while it still playing. Otherwise, be sure to watch it when it starts streaming VOD.


10/6/20

Court Rules Iran Owes $1.4B Over Presumed Death of FBI Agent

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Levinson was originally with the Drug Enforcement Agency before moving to the FBI and later assigned to a special operation for the CIA. Levinson’s family received a $2.5 million annuity from the CIA in order to stop a lawsuit revealing details of his work in Iran and to forestall any revelation of details regarding the arrangement between Levinson and the agency. Levinson had retired from the FBI in 1998 and had become self-employed as a private investigator; his specialty was Russian organized crime gangs, and he was even interviewed numerous times for television documentaries to discuss the topic. Both Levinson and the CIA analyst who hired him, Anne Jablonski, specialized in Russian organized crime and not Iranian issues.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A U.S. judge has ordered Iran to pay $1.45 billion to the family of a former FBI agent believed to have been kidnapped by the Islamic Republic while on an unauthorized CIA mission to an Iranian island in 2007.

The judgment this month comes after Robert Levinson’s family and the U.S. government now believe he died in the Iranian government’s custody, something long denied by Tehran, though officials over time have offered contradictory accounts about what happened to him on Kish Island.

Tensions remain high between the U.S. and Iran amid President Donald Trump’s maximalist pressure campaign over Tehran’s nuclear program. And though the U.S. and Iran haven’t had diplomatic relations since the aftermath of the 1979 U.S. Embassy hostage crisis in Tehran, America stills holds billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets that could be used to pay Levinson’s family.

In a ruling dated Thursday, the U.S. District Court in Washington found Iran owed Levinson’s family $1.35 billion in punitive damages and $107 million in compensatory damages for his kidnapping. The court cited the case of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who died in 2017 shortly after being freed from captivity in North Korea, in deciding to award the massive amount of punitive damages to Levinson’s family.

“Iran’s conduct here is also unique, given that — astonishingly — it plucked a former FBI and DEA special agent from the face of the earth without warning, tortured him, held him captive for as long as 13 years, and to this day refuses to admit its responsibility,” the ruling by Judge Timothy J. Kelly said.

“And his wife and children, and their spouses and children — while keeping Levinson’s memory alive — have had to proceed with their lives without knowing his exact fate. These are surely acts worthy of the gravest condemnation,” the judge added.

Iranian state media and officials in Tehran did not immediately acknowledge the ruling in a case in which Iran offered no defense. Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday from The Associated Press.

In a statement, Levinson’s family called the court’s award “the first step in the pursuit of justice.”

“Until now, Iran has faced no consequences for its actions,” the family said. “Judge Kelly’s decision won’t bring Bob home, but we hope that it will serve as a warning against further hostage-taking by Iran.”

Levinson disappeared from Iran’s Kish Island on March 9, 2007. For years, U.S. officials would only say that Levinson, a meticulous FBI investigator credited with busting Russian and Italian mobsters, was working for a private firm on his trip.

In December 2013, the AP revealed Levinson in fact had been on a mission for CIA analysts who had no authority to run spy operations. Levinson’s family had received a $2.5 million annuity from the CIA in order to stop a lawsuit revealing details of his work, while the agency forced out three veteran analysts and disciplined seven others.

09/27/20

A Text Without Context

By: Tabitha Korol

In her book, The Shepherd’s Granddaughter, Anne Laurel Carter drops her young readers into the middle of a land without its history, a situation without context, and a story without perspective, but her message is meant to influence innocent students.  It is a tutorial in subterfuge, a tale woven on an invisible loom, where the circumstances are unseen, the actions undefined, and the slander insidious.  This is my seventh children’s book review and it has left me reeling.

***

We meet Amani at age 6, eager to be a shepherd like her grandfather, Seedo.  His two sons (her father and uncle) and his grandson (Amani’s brother) apparently have other interests and Amani loves being with the sheep.  However, there is no resemblance to Johanna Spyri’s joyous tale, Heidi, as this author has a political mission.  We immediately learn that Amani’s people have lived “under the Mediterranean sun” for a thousand years and that this land, by default, should be theirs.  If that were the case, might that same rule also apply to the Jews who have lived in Poland for more than a thousand years? Does mere residency grant consequential ownership?

No, that is not the case. In Ambassador Yoram Ettinger’s “Palestinian claim of continuity,” he quotes British cartographer and Dean of Westminster Abbey, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, who observed in 1856, “for miles and miles there was no appearance of life or habitation” in Sinai and Palestine.  The labor migration into the British Mandate was notably Egyptian, but also Syrian, Yemenite, Persian, Afghan, Hindu, Bedouin, Bosnian, and more – at least 25 different nationalities. The point being that the majority of residents in Judea, Samaria, and pre-1967 Israel were recent migrants.

Grandfather explains that the mountain wolves were dispossessed by the Israeli “occupation.” It is more likely that the wolves fled due to the din of the systematic shelling into Israel by Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan, and the all-out “Six-Day War,” when Israel made a vital pre-emptive strike that resulted in its re-occupation of the West Bank (Judea, Samaria), Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, Old City of Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.  And since then, the Arabs, now self-proclaimed Palestinians, have never ceased their terrorist raids.

As they navigate the grazing areas, Amani sees terraced olive trees and areas where Israelis destroyed entire groves.  Again, the author allows us to believe that Israelis wantonly cause destruction; the truth is withheld.   Property demolition is a method Israel has used in these territories that came under its control because of winning the Six-day War.  The procedure is considered a form of deterrence or collective punishment, as the terrorist is forced to consider the effects of his actions on his family.  When Amani observes the occupation, checkpoints, security zones, and helmeted soldiers, Seedo justifies, “We’ll never have peace through violence.  They don’t trust us.”  His statement, both prophetic and instructive, remains unexplained but implies that he knows the terrorists who are responsible for the local damage and the Israeli backlash, including the eventual demolition of their property.

During family conversations, they speak of Israelis building new highways and new settlements (neighborhoods) throughout Palestine (Judea, Samaria), and are heading their way. Amani’s uncle Ammo, angry that Palestinians live like refugees, wants only to fight with weapons.  As they watch TV, they learn of battles on city streets, riots, protesters decrying the new highways, people crying, blood-stained sidewalks, a suicide bombing in Israel, 11 young people killed in two explosions.  Israeli soldiers block the old road to disallow passage through the eastern gate.  Ammo wants his people to live in houses on Palestinian land.  The author, Carter, does not explain that this land is disputed territory that falls under the purview of UN Resolution 242, which calls on Israel to withdraw from territories captured if and when its neighbors agree to live in peace, and not as long as the terrorism continues.  Palestinians have refused all proposals of peace, using their UN funding for weaponry, terror tunnels, and payments to mothers of martyrs instead of building infrastructure and establishing a country.

They speak of armed Jewish neighbors chasing Palestinian farmers from their orchards, burning down houses, suggesting that they are the aggressors, attacking without reason.  These are neighbors who are retaliating against the source of terrorist attacks, but until the terrorists are apprehended, it is Israel’s policy to respond with disciplinary action – temporarily shutting down power, imposing a provisional curfew, and positioning tanks to enforce house arrest, which also inflicts a financial hardship for those who cannot go to work.  These activities are not explained to the young readers; neither are they told why  Amani’s father, uncle, and brother are periodically arrested and released.  Amani’s brother Omar gives her a book, Al Naqba (The Catastrophe), referring to the (self-)evacuation of 600,000 Palestinians in 1948.  Carter offers no history, no context, no comment.

As bulldozers approach the north valley, Omar, cries out, “They want our land, our water, they want to drive us out.  A man has the right to defend himself on his own land.”  Their mother, Mama, talks about the past and the “massacre” in her village when the Israel Defense Forces attacked.  Omar claims the right of defense, that Israel wants Palestinian water.  The truth is that Israel supplies Palestinians with water. In fact, Israel has doubled the amount that was stipulated in the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement (9/28/95, signed in Washington) to combat the desert water crisis.  The Palestinian Authority pays Israel $3 million per year for their water, which constitutes less than 10 percent of the water they consume.

Mama’s tale of the massacre is Carter’s revival of the most infamous Massacre that Never Was.  It occurred in Jenin, April 2002, when 16 Palestinian terror bombings killed 102 Israeli civilians.  The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) reported first 3,000, then 520, Palestinians killed, adding unchallenged quotes and false allegations that were repeated in at least half-hourly sensational reports.  When finally Doctors without Borders went in and were met with the undeniable stench, they reported that the body count was unearthed corpses from adjacent cemeteries.  The BBC was fully responsible for all the libelous coverage, falsehoods, accusations of “war crimes against humanity.” Sir Quentin Thomas noted: This was “a straightforward lie unwittingly, but very effectively, served by the BBC, that caused terrible damage and pain.” Carter, knowingly or otherwise, refrains from clarifying that the horrors were never committed.  Knowing only what Mama says, the young readers will conclude that Israel is worthy of loathing. Further, Mama’s village was not “confiscated,” but “recaptured” by the invaded country.

To exacerbate the already damaging narrative, Carter adds two gratuitous Jewish characters to the story.  One is a rabbi who joins the demonstrating Palestinian blockade that chants, “This is our land,” as they seek to stop the Caterpillar equipment from preparing the peak for paving. Certainly, the Jews have their share of collaborators or leftists, but the novelist’s inclusion is psychologically coercive, implying that this individual represents a large percentage of Israelis. 

The second is Jonathan, a teenage boy about Amani’s age, whose “settler” father shot one of Amani’s sheep.  He is sympathetic to Amani and rejects his father’s actions and the conflict.  He says, “My father says a real Jew defends the Holy Land.  I don’t know what a real Jew is anymore  My grandparents saw so many Jews die in the camps. They believed in a homeland where Jews would be safe, but I can’t believe they meant this.  The settlement destroyed your life.”  The author’s message is that the traumatic injustice suffered by the Jewish generation of the Holocaust has goaded them into visiting something similar on a defenseless people.  However, there is no historic precedence to prove that Jews are a vindictive people, but quite the opposite.

The Jews are the indigenous people and legal residents on the land, yet Carter disparages the defensive actions of the Israelis while remaining non-judgmental about the terrorism, which, in essence, is a continuation of the Islamic jihad that has spread throughout the world over 14 centuries.  The novelist has used two Jewish conspiratorial voices to support the Palestinian narrative.

Carter evidently has no concern whatsoever with context, perspective, history, and the consequent dissemination of falsehoods. The danger is that her story will be accepted at face value by the young and undiscerning.  Only those who understand the substory of this tale will realize that Amani’s father, uncle, and brother are terrorists, and it is because of them that Amani and her family have lost everything.

Tabitha Korol

www.amazon.com/dp/B08CP9DMZH

09/24/20

9/11 Remembered

By: Steve Emerson | CCNS

Nineteen years later, this day is still considered a watershed moment in the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans. We still remember the 2,977 innocent souls in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania who died at the hands of Islamic extremists operating underneath the loose radar and wide cracks dividing our law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

In those 19 years, we have tried to fix the scandalous technical holes and gaps that existed in the very agencies designed to protect us. Looking back, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security’s record stopping Islamist terrorist attacks—although far from perfect – has stymied the dreams of al-Qaida, ISIS, and others to execute an attack of a similar magnitude.

At the same time, there remains an unwillingness within the media, law enforcement, and other government agencies to speak candidly about the ideological motivation driving the threat – radical Islamism – and an unhealthy embrace of activist groups that whitewash that threat.

This country is playing with fire. For if you can’t even mention who your enemy is, then you will never defeat it. Yes, we all recognized what al-Qaida stands for and stated that it was our enemy. We defeated the core group and took out its leader. The same with ISIS.

After 9/11, I re-released my documentary, “Jihad in America: Terrorists Among Us” in memory of all those who perished. I chose today to release it on our website, as a reminder that the seeds of the attack were planted years before any hijackings. May the memories of those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001, and in all subsequent terrorist attacks, be forever remembered as our nation’s heroes.

Jihad in America: Terrorists Among Us –

This film tracks down a network of Islamic Extremists among us in New York, Boston, New Jersey, Texas, California, Oregon, Florida, and Kansas, detailing their hatred and violent intentions against Christians, moderate Muslims, and Jews in the United States.

Listen to Islamic radicals, telling their followers to carry our Jihad on U.S. soil.

See the fundraising structure in America that supports terrorists and the legitimization of radical Islamic groups. hiding behind “charitable” fronts.

This video is an educational call to action for the American public, to provide U.S. law enforcement authorities with the tools they need to deal with this real threat to the American way of life.

The Islamic extremists who promote and carry out Jihad, are as great a threat to moderate Muslims as they are to Christians, Jews, and to all Americans.

This article was originally published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Steve Emerson is a member of the Citizens Commission on National Security.

09/24/20

Video: 9/11 Came From Riyadh & Tehran – Interviews with Clare Lopez

By: Citizens Commission on National Security

Disturbing – and frightening – revelations come to the surface.

With the 19th anniversary of 9/11 having just passed, Frontpage Mag editors have deemed it vital to run the special Glazov Gang episode in which Clare Lopez unveils how 9/11 Came From Riyadh & Tehran, revealing the many highly disturbing and frightening facts that we are simply not allowed to know.

Don’t miss it!

And make sure to watch our 2-Part-Special with Clare on Post-9/11 – Helping Saudis Slip Away and Revealed: Osama’s Post-9/11 Safe Haven in Iran.

[1] Post-9/11 – Helping Saudis Slip Away.

[2] Revealed: Osama’s Post-9/11 Safe Haven in Iran.

These were originally posted at FrontPage Mag

09/23/20

Mask or Burka — Two ways to one goal … submission

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

Growing up in a society ruled by a religious deep state drove me to begin thinking about living elsewhere in the world in spite of the fact that Islamic Sharia was not yet constitutional before I left Egypt. The imposition of and control by religious rules and my inability to counter them frustrated me to no end. Despite my youth, I had a tremendous amount of self-control, but I had not a go along, get along personality, and knew it best to remove myself from the dysfunctional culture of the Nasser regime.

My angst began during my elementary years when I attended a private Christian school run by the Coptic Christian Church and its non-profit organization. Our Christian religion education hour was forfeited and spent outside playing in the schoolyard while enrolled Muslim students attended the Islamic religion class inside with a special Islamic teacher. At an impressionable age, I sensed the injustice of this and felt marginalized.

This injustice came on top of an already damaged sensibility as I had been exposed since birth to caustic accusations from loudspeakers directed toward Christians during the five daily Islamic prayers (Azan). As a child, this felt like torture to me. It began daily at the aurora and ended around supper time.

Once a week on Friday at 10:00 in the morning I would watch what I called a massive incubator of hate assemble before my eyes. Islam, with its political and cultural privilege, was able to dominate the Cairo street below our apartment balcony with a thirty-meter distance of prayer rugs in preparation for the day’s prayer gathering. This menacing and threatening spectacle separated our home from the rest of the city.

Dreading the late morning when I would be forced to hear the amplified microphone shriek through our shut windows and vibrate our apartment walls the anticipation was enough to unnerve me at a very young age. This was a type of torment for me as I was unable to escape the chanted prayers of hatred spewed out against Christians and Jews – the expression of Islam in the heavenly, Arabic language.

In all these ways at an early age, I learned how powerful the majority mind-set could be in a culture, enough to overwhelm others with actions even when no laws existed to back them up. At the same time, we were bombarded with messaging from the president of the country who falsely claimed to bring us liberty and democracy just like the free world. Henceforth, the difference between what I witnessed and what I heard from officials became my education in cultural and government hypocrisy.  This condition was essentially unlivable especially if one’s definition of freedom included equality and individual will.

I finally left Egypt for Europe where I could breathe and speak freely. After some time had elapsed and I returned for a visit to my family, Sadat was already the Egyptian president, and there was a visible increase of Islamic legalism. Seeing a “chador” worn in the street (a black-tented woman walking) for the first time in Cairo shocked me because I knew immediately that her high-profile was seen as submission to a state-religious system against the will of the people. Until then, the burka (face covering) had forced women’s anonymity only in the poverty sections of the city.

Understanding all the spurious parts of the worldwide pandemic lockdown from the time of its “outbreak,” I have experienced the same “shock of the chador in Egypt” moment at the sight of masks worn in the United States under prolonged Covid-19 restrictions despite data proving the pandemic was non-existent with a survival rate of 99 percent. In both cases, the ignorant and fearful have been persuaded to submit.

When the Islamic deep state in Egypt began to spread Islamic fundamentalism through a media campaign and force face coverings for Islamic women against their will there was also great shame for Christian women who refused to do the same. Both virtue signaling and shame have been motivational for mask-wearing in the US as the media spreads fear of a “pandemic.”

In the West, a neighbor wearing a mask chastises another for choosing not to wear a mask even reporting them to retailers who in turn feel bullied into refusing service to unmasked customers or risk penalties. This relates to the Ramadan penalties in Egypt for retailers who dare to open coffee shops and restaurants and face arrest. Egypt, like the US to date, has no laws making noncompliance a crime, however, the influential and indoctrinating information from the TV renders laws unnecessary.

As Muslim women are discouraged against speaking out about their conditions of life in Islamic cultures, the face-covering is effectively a muzzle silencing them. In 2020, the free world populations experienced a similar sensory deprivation. Local regions mandate compliance without allowances to contest it on any basis and are bolstered by the national media campaign promoting masks and social distancing continuance as it censors varying opinions.

At the root of the mask and the burka mandates lie something more than meets the eye. At least since Nasser, Egypt’s government has been linked to Muslim Brotherhood power and its Freemasonic origins within the state to use religious fatwas as civil law to assert ultimate power and control by the state. What is the takeover of personal health by the state if not medical tyranny functioning much like a religion for those who refuse to think for themselves and sort out the truth. This proves there is more than one way for the state to sink the human spirit into lockstep and achieve the goal of humanity’s subordination.

09/22/20

Clare Lopez on American Truth Project to Discuss 9/11 and Lessons Learned

By: Citizens Commission on National Security

CCNS member Clare Lopez was a recent guest on the American Truth Project with Barry Nussbaum to talk with him and another guest, Dr. Bill Warner. The topic was about revisiting the attacks on America on 9/11/2001. What lessons did we, and should we have learned about Islam? It’s a fascinating discussion.  about Biden’s unexpected response to a question from CBS News about whether or not he had taken a cognitive test. Biden’s response was quite unexpected. They also discuss possible scenarios for the upcoming presidential debates.


09/21/20

When Iran Buys Arms, Tanks and Air Defense Systems, Blame Europe

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: The 3rd Khordad system, which is based on the Russian S-300 and shot down a U.S. sophisticated large Global Hawk US drone in June 2019. Iran is the major supplier of weapons to Syria.

Iran’s foreign minister says the country will meet its strategic needs by purchasing weapons from Russia and China, and has no need for European weapons once the UN embargo is lifted in October.

Iran announces mass production of domestic main battle ...

(Bloomberg) — European governments that aren’t backing the U.S. re-imposition of United Nations sanctions on Iran are wedded to the “silly” 2015 nuclear deal and haven’t proposed an alternative for preventing new conventional arms sales to Iran, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said.

With European powers stressing their commitment to the accord on Sunday, Pompeo doubled down on the U.S. decision to invoke the “snapback” of sanctions in a dispute that’s helped estrange President Donald Trump’s administration and Europe.

“The Europeans who have not joined us in this, they know we’re right,” Pompeo said on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “They tell us privately they don’t want the arms sales to come back” and expressed this view in a letter “that they’re very concerned about these arms sales.” He didn’t elaborate on who sent the letter or when.

The U.S. on Saturday said that all of the UN resolutions on Iran that were in place before the 2015 deal — from a ban on arms deals to restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile activity and its nuclear enrichment — have now gone back into effect. But 13 of 15 Security Council members say they don’t consider the U.S. move valid.

Can’t Proceed

“It is illegitimate for the U.S. to demand the Security Council invoke the snapback mechanism” because it is no longer a participant of the deal, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun wrote in a letter to the Security Council on Saturday that was seen by Bloomberg News.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also weighed in on the disagreement on Saturday, noting in a letter that he couldn’t proceed in acting upon the U.S. snapback because of the “uncertainty over whether or not the process” was “indeed initiated”.

Although Europeans have expressed private concern, “they haven’t lifted a finger, they haven’t done the work that needs to be done” or have outlined an option to the U.S. snapback, Pompeo said. “I hope they’ll join us. I hope they get to the right place. They’re still wedded to this silly nuclear deal that was signed now five years ago.”

Weapons Purchases

Absent the snapback, Iran would be able to resume buying arms, tanks, and air defense systems, Pompeo said. “All of those in a couple of weeks would have been permitted to have been sold,” he said.

European powers on Sunday stressed their commitment to the nuclear agreement.

“We have worked tirelessly to preserve the nuclear agreement and remain committed to do so,” the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and the U.K. said in a statement. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said the accord is “a key pillar” of nuclear non-proliferation that deserves support.

Since quitting the accord in 2018, the Trump administration has plowed ahead with efforts to undermine the deal, ratcheting up sanctions on Iran and threatening allies if they do business with the Islamic republic. Trump is expected to speak on Tuesday to the UN General Assembly, which is being held virtually this year.

The U.S. campaign has united partners such as the U.K., France, and Germany with Russia and China, all of whom have sought to salvage the accord. Their support for the deal has left the U.S. isolated on the United Nations Security Council.

Why U.S., Other Powers Differ on Iran Nuclear Deal: QuickTake

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, at a cabinet meeting on Sunday shown on state television news, called the U.S. move a sign of “certain failure” which only demonstrates that President Donald Trump’s strategy has resulted in “maximum isolation” for Washington.

On Saturday, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps threatened Iran would set U.S. military outposts in the Persian Gulf “on fire at once” if its adversary tried to start a war.

To enforce those measures, if countries like Russia and China disregard them, the U.S. could use tools such as secondary sanctions on shippers, insurers, and banks. It could even threaten interdictions of ships at sea.

Read More: Iran Warns U.S. Against War Before UN Sanctions Showdown

“In the coming days, the United States will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable,” Pompeo said in his statement on Saturday. “Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until Iran reaches a comprehensive agreement with us to rein in its proliferation threats and stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed.”

Speaking Sunday at a church in Plano, Texas, Pompeo, said he prays that “the Iranian people that they will get a government that they deserve that respects the dignity of the lives of the Iranian people.”

The Iranian rial hit a low on the unregulated open market on Sunday, weakening 4.6% compared with last week and briefly breaching 280,000 per U.S. dollar, according to two currency trading channels on the Telegram messaging app.