Biden’s Backers Planning Another Middle East War

By: Cliff Kincaid

President Trump departed from his prepared remarks, in accepting the Republican presidential nomination, when he said about the Obama-Biden Administration, “Remember this: They spied on my campaign, and they got caught. Let’s see now what happens.” This was a topic that deserves far more attention from the president in a public forum, perhaps an address from the Oval Office.

Alluding to the military-industrial complex, another major component of the bureaucracy, Trump said, “Unlike previous administrations, I have kept America OUT of new wars — and our troops are coming home.”

History will show that Republican President Dwight Eisenhower originally blew the whistle on the military-industrial complex, and Trump did the same with the Deep State.  Both of these bureaucratic monstrosities have united against Trump.

What the reaction to Trump has proven is that the intelligence community works with the military-industrial complex to get America involved in the affairs of other nations, creating chaos that leads to more wars and therefore more demands for American involvement. Trump has resisted their demands because he knows these wars weaken America and cost the lives of our brave soldiers.

In little-noticed remarks, Biden foreign policy adviser and former Obama official Anthony Blinken said, referring to Syria, “The U.S. is AWOL, we’re not in it. The Russians are in it. The Turks are in it. The Iranians are in it. We’re not. I can tell you this. I can’t guarantee success. I can guarantee that in a Biden administration, we’d at least show up.”

What this means, in practical terms, is military intervention on behalf of the Marxist Kurds, a movement created by a Soviet KGB agent, Abdullah Ocalan, and trying to carve out a new international Antifa nation of Rojava. As I noted last year, “The Obama policy of funding the Marxist PKK is what Trump has effectively stopped with his withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria.” The Obama/Biden policy could plunge us into a military confrontation with NATO member Turkey.

The sentence, “I can’t guarantee success,” is another recipe for another no-win war, coming on the heels of Barack Hussein Obama having ordered his CIA director John Brennan to fund and equip jihadists in Syria, producing a civil war that has already cost more than 500,000 lives. Trump has been trying to extricate America from this dangerous conflagration. Biden wants to get us back in the middle of it.

Under Joe Biden, we can expect more wounded warriors, who will be ordered to fight for one faction of Muslims over another. It is a no-win situation that has no favorable outcome for America.

In other significant remarks at the RNC, Trump’s former acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, said that the post gave him access to information that “made me sick to my stomach.” He was talking about the Deep State and Obama/Biden spying on the Trump campaign.

What we needed to hear from Grenell is what exactly made him sick to his stomach. He couldn’t be confirmed to his post so he had to occupy the position on a temporary basis. What he saw, during that brief period of time, was enough to make him sick.

We know the treason he saw up close must have been nauseating. It is sickening to any American, even on the outside observing this subversion, who respects our form of government. But how bad is it?

The suspicion is that intelligence agencies were using information obtained from secret recordings made by pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and that Epstein was himself an intelligence operative. Bill Clinton, an Epstein associate who flew on his private plane, is still so revered in the Democratic Party that he spoke at their convention, just as photos leaked showing him getting a massage from a young woman.

At this late stage, the fourth year of the Trump presidency, we are still waiting for the villains and culprits in the scandal known as Obamagate to be brought to justice. Only one FBI lawyer has been forced to plead guilty to one charge.

Trump’s comment about Obamagate, “Let’s see now what happens,” is simply not acceptable, coming as it does from the president of the United States as he still tries to save our country from the Deep State cabal.

It may make us all sick to our stomachs, but we have a right to know and are entitled to truth and justice. We have already waited too long.

The media smear those who recognize how Washington really works as “Q” conspiracy theorists, and demand that Republicans disavow the notion that there is a high-level conspiracy of corrupt officials and power brokers working to undermine our nation, perhaps using occult forces.

But Christians who take their Bible seriously understand that demonic forces are real. And whether Karl Marx was a Satanist or not, as one new book, The Devil and Karl Marx, discusses in some detail, he was a sick and demented individual who went down in history as a destroyer of nations and architect of mass murder.  He is one of the main forces inspiring death and destruction on America’s streets.

In his letter to President Trump, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America, Carlo Maria Viganò, said, “In recent months we have been witnessing the formation of two opposing sides that I would call Biblical: the children of light and the children of darkness.” He referred to the children of darkness being associated with the Deep State, “which you wisely oppose and which is fiercely waging war against you in these days…”

What the Trump presidency has proven, in a dramatic manner that has shocked and angered many, is that there is a “Deep State” of U.S. intelligence agencies and other like-minded bureaucrats who didn’t want him to win, and wanted him out of office before he completed his first term. And now we know that they want him out because they are planning to escalate American military involvement in the Middle East, bringing the world to the brink of an apocalypse involving Russia, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. The Blinken phrase “We’d at least show up” is how one of Obama’s former officials justifies returning to this quagmire.

If Obama vice-president Joe Biden wins the presidency, the opportunity for justice for the former Obama officials with blood on their hands is gone. “Let’s see now what happens” will be something we will remember in the future, as we may wonder why Obama and his henchmen escaped accountability. Time is running out.

Some say Trump’s RNC speech was too long. In fact, we need a speech from the president just as long or longer on the subject of the enemies within. It should be televised, in the same way President Eisenhower gave the nation that dramatic warning about the military-industrial complex.

Eisenhower’s speech was his final address from the Oval Office. Let’s hope that a Trump speech on the Deep State is not his farewell address as Biden and the Obama holdovers prepare to take the reins of power and plunge our nation into another war.

*Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. www.usasurvival.org.


“Triggered” Brazile Shows Need To Drain Fox News Swamp

By: Daniel John Sobieski

I watched the 2020 Republican National Convention on C-Span, largely because the screen is uncluttered with banners and preview windows and they hang around at the end of such events for a while, particularly when President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence or First Lady Melania was the last speaker. I would try to turn to Fox for analysis only to see first up the shining visage of a Marie Harf or a Juan Williams, the DNC mole from a parallel universe that has lately been obsessing about something called “Qanon violence” whatever that is.

Mornings at Fox have not been much better lately with the likes of former DNC Chair Donna Brazile who on Tuesday morning’s episode lost it entirely when questioned about the DNC’s failure to address and accept responsibility for the anarchy, the rioting, the looting, the burning and the deaths resulting from the Democratic Party’s push to empty the prisons, defund and otherwise neuter the police, and to not arrest or prosecute vigorously those perpetrating the violence. As Breitbart reported:

Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” host Brian Kilmeade cut away from former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile, also a network contributor, after she derailed a segment with conservative commentator Tammy Bruce.

While commenting on the first night of the Republican National Convention, Bruce said, “No Democratic has spoken out against the nature of what’s happening in Kenosha, Portland, Seattle, Baltimore, New York, Chicago. Americans have a choice, and the fact is that the Republicans are showing an expanse of what the American sensibility and what the American future is.”

Brazile said, “This is why the choir sounds like aa note coming from a scratched record. It sounds like I will never be an American in your world, because, after 400 years, my family cannot walk out of this house without fearing violence.”

Kilmeade said, “That’s not what anyone said.”

After an extended back and forth, Brazile said, “She ignores the reality of what is happening. She is ignoring it because I see it. Tammy, I see it every day. I see the violence, Tammy.”

She continued, “Coming from someone who does not live my existence — you do not recognize my existence, Tammy. You do not recognize my existence!”

Bruce said, “It’s a shame.”

Brazile shot back, “You are the shameful one. You are the shameful one. You cannot erase my history.”

Whatever was she ranting about?  No one is trying to erase her history or her version of history.  But it is Donna Brazile, not Tammy Bruce or anyone else, who is ignoring the reality of Democratic governors and mayors letting their cities be burned and their businesses looted in anarchy that has nothing to do with George Floyd or any social injustice real or imagined. It has everything to do with seizing power from Donald Trump, canceling our middle class, our culture and our Judeo-Christian system of law enforcement and justice

As it turns out, George Floyd’s “murder” may not be what happened, with a video showing him sitting unmolested in a police car saying he couldn’t breathe and later struggling with police, his body full of fentanyl, three times the lethal dose, and other deadly drugs. So what are the protesters going to do with this news? Rise up en masse, pull some sort of ghoulish Emily Litella double-take and shout, “Never mind?” As the Washington Examiner reports:

The Hennepin County medical examiner said that a fentanyl overdose may have been the cause of George Floyd’s death, court documents suggest.

Chief Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker said there was “no physical evidence suggesting that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation,” according to documents obtained by the court as part of a lawsuit from one of the officers involved in Floyd’s arrest, Tou Thao.

As the Daily Mail suggests in its reporting, George Floyd’s death might even be listed as a suicide, based on his reported and documented actions:

An attorney for one of the Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd’s killing claims the black man contributed to his own death because he overdosed on fentanyl during his arrest. …

Lane’s attorney Earl Gray has been trying to get the charges against him dropped, claiming there is insufficient evidence to establish the officer committed a crime.

In a memorandum filed in court on Monday, the attorney claimed that Floyd swallowed a ‘lethal dose’ of fentanyl as he was resisting arrest.

The attorney pointed to bodycam footage of the arrest in which he claims Floyd had a ‘white spot on the left side’ of his tongue when Lane and another officer first approached him following reports he had used a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a convenience store.

Gray has claimed in the memo that Floyd intentionally ingested ‘2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose’ after Lane ordered him to put his hands up to be taken into custody.

All he had to do is sit in the police car, like every other defendant who is initially arrested. While attempting to avoid his arrest, all by himself, Mr. Floyd overdosed on Fentanyl,’ the filing says.

‘Given his intoxication level, breathing would have been difficult at best. Mr. Floyd’s intentional failure to obey commands, coupled with his overdosing, contributed to his own death.’

Don’t expect to get such reality-based information from the likes of the Fox News lineup of swamp creatures such as Marie Harf, Jessica Tarlov, Richard Fowler, Leslie Marshall. Austin Goolsbee, Richard Hahn, and the poster child for fairness and objectivity, Donna Brazile, who has done this before.

Donna Brazile, the disgraced former DNC leader and newly minted Fox News contributor who leaked debate questions to Hillary Clinton, got away with swearing at RNC Chairwoman Ronna Mcdanion the morning after Super Thursday, as Joe Biden called it, instead of being pulled from the air immediately as Fox would have cheerfully done to any conservative analyst who similarly ranted before telling say, the DNC Chair, to similarly “go To hell.”

McDaniel had appeared earlier on  “America’s Newsroom,” and opined that perhaps the withdrawal of Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg and the support of Beto O’Rourke was part of deal-making that included future cabinet positions and other future considerations in exchange for their endorsements and conveniently all showing up together at Joe Biden’s rally before the crucial Texas primary. McDaniel suggested, based on the 2016 nominating shenanigans that perhaps the DNC was once again conspiring to deny Bernie Sanders its nomination for president. This was the partisan analysis of a political operative in an election year, an opinion she was entitled to express, an opinion well-grounded in the historical record.

This struck a nerve with Brazile, who, asked to comment on McDaniel’s analysis, went off on a borderline incoherent rant that stunned Newsroom co-hosts Ed Henry And Sandra Smith who said nothing to correct the record or apologize to an equally stunned audience as Brazile went off the rails:

Ms. Brazile, a Fox News contributor and former interim Democratic National Committee chairwoman, became visibly irate during an appearance on “America’s Newsroom” after co-host Sandra Smith asked her to weigh in on comments made earlier on the program by Ms. McDaniel, who said a potential brokered Democratic convention would be “rigged” against the Vermont senator.

“Stay the hell out of our race,” Ms. Brazile responded. “I get sick and tired … of listening to Republicans tell me and the Democrats about our process. First of all, they don’t have a process. They are canceling primaries. They have winner-take-all. They don’t have the kind of democracy that we see on the Democratic side.

“And for people to use Russian talking points to sow division among Americans — that is stupid,” she continued. “So Ronna, go to hell! This is not about—”

“Whoa, whoa,” co-anchor Ed Henry interjected.

“No, go to hell,” Ms. Brazile repeated. “I’m tired of it, Ed.”

Again, it is hard to imagine a GOP or conservative getting away with this vitriol. Russian talking points? Really? Fox’s idea of analysis is to provide a forum for Brazile to cry, “Russia, Russia, Russia?” So impressed was Fox with Brazile’s eloquent and cogent analysis that she was back in the evening for post-election analysis and on “Fox and Friends” the following morning. This is typical for Fox News who has been veering to the left of late, a recent example being Neil Cavuto’s rewriting of history when he agreed with guest A.B. Stoddard that Trump lost all his 2016 debates with “cringeworthy” performances.

And then there’s Juan Williams, who recently reacted almost as irrationality when asked on an episode of The Five about Democratic responsibility and culpability for urban violence in Democratic-run cities. As the Daily Caller reported:

Juan Williams compared blaming Democrats for ongoing riots and “anarchist violence” to blaming President Donald Trump for “QAnon violence” during a Thursday discussion on Fox News’ “The Five.”

Guest-co-host Martha MacCallum played a clip of a former police officer being knocked down and assaulted on a New York City street.

“This was on 39th street,” MacCallum said. “This is basically midtown in the middle of the afternoon. They pulled 600 police officers off the streets, and now we are seeing this. So is this a mistake for Democrats to ignore this?”

“They haven’t mentioned it once, Juan,” MacCallum said, referring to the ongoing Democratic National Convention.

“There is not widespread violence in American cities,” Williams responded. “Let’s not buy into Donald Trump’s nonsense about American … violent crime in this country is down.”

“Stop it, Juan … You can’t be serious. I’m not Donald Trump. I’m telling you the facts. Every day I tell you the facts, Juan, and you keep shifting it to Donald Trump. It’s pathetic. You need to come up with a new talking point,” co-host Greg Gutfeld said.

Gutfeld continued and said, “the murders and shootings are up,” as Williams continued to speak at the same time.

“This is not anarchist violence by a small group in Portland, Oregon, that’s suddenly being blown into like, ‘oh that represents what is going on in American cities,’” Williams said. “That’s just wrong! That’s just a total distraction. The reality is that Democrats are not responsible for some violent anarchists no more than Donald Trump is responsible for QAnon violence or Proud Boy violence …”

“Qanon violence?” he said while laughing. “That’s funny. There is none. That’s funny. You are hilarious. You are hilarious.”

Again, Juan, what in the world is Qanon violence? Where is it happening? The answer is that it isn’t and doesn’t exist except in the fevered recesses of Juan Williams’ brain. Something on the Democratic talking points Donna Brazile and her cohort of Democratic moles inside Fox missed? Maybe Joe Biden knows. Oh, he forgot.

President Trump has commented on the decline of Fox News as an objective source of information, particularly its weekend lineup. As the Washington Examiner reported:

President Trump criticized Fox News’ weekend lineup, saying they were loading up with Democrats, making them worse than CNN.

“Watching @FoxNews weekend anchors is worse than watching low ratings Fake News @CNN, or Lyin’ Brian Williams,” Trump said Sunday on Twitter. “Like CNN, NBC is also way down in the ratings. But @FoxNews, who failed in getting the very BORING Dem debates, is now loading up with Democrats & even using Fake unsourced @nytimes as a ‘source’ of information.”

“@FoxNews is changing fast, but they forgot the people who got them there!” Trump added.

So it would seem that FOX continues to embrace its latest Democratic heartthrob, Donna Brazile. The continued listing to starboard of Fox News, which rose to prominence precisely because it cut through the politically correct swamp fog that passed as media news just as Donald Trump sliced through the swamp itself on his way to the White House, was on full display on Fox News. It’s time to drain the Fox News swamp as well.

* Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.


Did the COVID-19 Virus Cause the Chinese Miners’ Deaths in 2012?

By: Col. Lawrence Sellin (Ret.) | CCNS

Probably not. That is, the latest attempt to demonstrate that the COVID-19 pandemic arose from a naturally-occurring transmission from animals to humans has failed, leaving a laboratory origin as the only logical conclusion.

In April 2012, six miners in the Mojiang mine in southwestern China’s Yunnan province became sick with a pneumonia-like illness after spending between 4-14 days removing bat feces. Three eventually died.

Virologist Jonathan Latham and molecular biologist Allison Wilson believe that the miners’ illness resulted from being infected with bat coronavirus during a cave clean-up project, which genetically adapted to human infection within one of the miners and evolved into SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biological samples from that miner eventually found their way to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where unfrozen samples of the fully human-adapted SARS-CoV-2 infected a laboratory worker and began the pandemic.

The Latham-Wilson theory is at least partially based on a translation of a 66-page master’s thesis from the Chinese medical doctor, Li Xu, who treated the miners and sent their tissue samples to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for testing.

The patients had a high fever, a dry cough, sore limbs, and, in some cases, headaches — all symptoms now associated with COVID-19.

Unfortunately, without a detailed differential diagnosis, COVID-19 is difficult to distinguish from histoplasmosis, a respiratory infection caused by the inhalation of fungal spores of Histoplasma capsulatum found in bat and bird droppings, especially when the droppings are disturbed by demolition or clean-up projects.

Similar to COVID-19, histoplasmosis causes symptoms of fever, chills, head and muscle aches, dry cough, chest discomfort, and fatigue, appearing between 3 and 17 days after exposure.

The mildest forms of histoplasmosis cause no signs or symptoms, but severe infections can be life-threatening, which are usually associated with people with compromised immune systems or preconditions.

The severity of histoplasmosis is related to the number of spores one inhales, but, unlike COVID-19, it is not contagious

Four of the six miners, including the three that died, had spent the longest times in the mine, fourteen or more days. The two miners with the mildest symptoms had spent only four days in the mine. The three deaths were associated with secondary bacterial infections and compromised immune systems.

All the infections began within the 3-17 day incubation period for histoplasmosis, although no specific test for that infection appears to have been done and anti-fungal medication had mixed results.

None of the miners tested during the hospitalization period were positive for viral infection and the CT scans were slightly more indicative for histoplasmosis than COVID-19.

In addition, there are several weak links in the Latham-Wilson theory that SARS-CoV-2 evolved within one of the miners, which was later released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in a laboratory accident and caused the COVID-19 pandemic.

First of all, such an extensive genetic evolution needed to go from its closest bat coronavirus relative, RaTG13, to SARS-CoV-2, about 1,200 nucleotides, has never been described to occur in a single patient.

Furthermore, the structure of RaTG13’s receptor binding domain, which binds to the human cell is sufficiently different from that of SARS-CoV-2, making an initial human infection by RaTG13 to begin a human adaptation process highly unlikely.

Even if bat to human transmission had occurred in the miners and high adaptation for human infection was achieved, there is no record of any human to human transmission, despite no extraordinary precautions being implemented during the hospitalization.

The simplest explanation for the Mojiang miners’ illness in April 2012 is the fungal infection, histoplasmosis.

That conclusion still leaves open the question as to the true origin of SARS-CoV-2.

Such human adaptation described by Latham and Wilson could occur by “passaging,” which is the deliberate placing of live viruses into cells or organisms to which they are not adapted for the purpose of making them adapted – that is, accelerated evolution.

The specific adaptation for human infection seen in SARS-CoV-2 could be achieved by “passaging” a bat coronavirus through genetically-engineered mouse models containing humanized receptors, a laboratory technique used in China since 2007.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, who previously worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and conducted basic and clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a member of the Citizens Commission on National Security. His email address is [email protected].


UAE-Israel Peace Deal Challenges Iranian, MB Camps

By: Yaakov Lappin | CCNS

The peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel is an important boost to the formation of a strategic Middle Eastern alliance between Israel and moderate Sunni states.

The pact takes Israel’s central role in cooperating with Sunni Arab states out of the shadows. A boost to regional stability, the peace agreement will enable expanded cooperation on defense and intelligence affairs, trade, investment, joint technological development, and could foster positive religious-cultural dialogue.

No less importantly, it also deals a blow to two radical Islamist forces that are determined to destabilize the region, threatening Israel and Sunni-Arab countries alike. The deal threatens these forces’ ability to control the region’s dialogue about Israel’s presence, Islam, and challenges to some extent their ability to promote a dark vision for the future.

The Iranian-Shi’ite axis is the first of those radical forces that stand to lose from the agreement. Iran and its armed proxies – militant, well-armed Shi’ite militias deployed across Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen – have reacted vehemently against news of the pact, reflecting deep concern over its implications.

The second force concerned about the agreement is the Muslim Brotherhood camp, which is led by Turkey and includes Hamas, Qatar, and hardline Sunni political Islamists across the region.

Both the Iranian axis and the Muslim Brotherhood camp are inherently threatened by the UAE-Israel pact since it challenges their ideology and the justification they provide for their destabilizing actions.

“The [Iranian] regime fears the emergence of a new international alliance that will have greater power to contain its hegemonic regional aspirations, and there is a new urgency to the need to prove to the Iranian people that the government’s imperialist foreign policy works to their benefit,” said Doron Itzchakov, an Iran specialist from the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Itzchakov explained that the Iranian regime’s leadership is “covering its embarrassment and apprehension with a stream of defamation and threats,” including a statement by Iranian Parliament Speaker Muhammad Bakr Qalibaf, who called the agreement “despicable and a betrayal of human and Islamic values,” and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who warned the UAE’s leaders “not to open their gates” to Israel. A special adviser to the speaker of Iran’s parliament stated that “Abu Dhabi’s behavior has no justification, turning [its] back on the Palestine cause. With that strategic mistake, UAE will be engulfed in [the] Zionism fire.”

Israel and several Sunni Arab states share a vision of the threat Iranian axis poses, a fact that has helped to push the Gulf states closer to Israel.

Cities and strategic sites in Saudi Arabia have come under missile fire from the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, which, like Hizballah, are armed by the Iranian Quds Force. The Houthis claimed to have fired a cruise missile at the UAE’s nuclear power plant in 2017 (though the UAE said no missile targeted its plant). Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been engaged in a bloody war with the Houthis, though the UAE withdrew its forces from southern Yemen last year.

Several ships docked at UAE ports were sabotaged last year in attacks widely attributed to Iranian forces, and the Islamic Republic has repeatedly threatened the Gulf states’ ability to export oil, in retaliation for sanctions on Iran’s own oil exports.

The Gulf states clearly recognize that the threat posed by Iran’s quest for hegemony is the same threat that is seeking to turn Syria into a network of missile bases that target Israeli cities. They see that the Iranian axis has already turned Lebanon into a frontline Iranian military attack post that threatens Israel with 130,000 projectiles, and is active throughout the region to subvert and threaten countries in its way. Iran has repeatedly sought to destabilize and set up terror networks in Bahrain.

This recognition of these common interests led the foreign minister of the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to state in 2019 that Israel was justified in attacking Iranian targets in Syria.

“Every nation has the right to defend itself when it’s challenged by another nation, yes,” he said when asked about Israeli strikes.

Few statements exemplify the common danger faced by Israel and moderate Arab states better than the threat released in July by a Houthi intelligence officer, who warned that his organization has a “bank of vital and important targets” in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

The formation of a Middle Eastern coalition of states that views radical Islamist actors as severe threats could mean enhanced coordination and the sharing of intelligence, as well as defense technology.

Israel is a world leader in the development and deployment of drones and cyber defense systems, while its intelligence-gathering capabilities on Iranian activities are well known throughout the region. Such assets could be shared with the UAE – a fact that nearby Iran will surely be displeased about. The possibility that a succession of other Gulf states, such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, eventually will follow the UAE’s path will also disturb the Ayatollah’s regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The Iranian regime appears to be fighting a losing domestic battle to convince its population that allocating resources to attacking Israel and supporting Hizballah and Hamas are vital Iranian national priorities. Iranian protesters have openly questioned this rationale.

The Muslim Brotherhood camp, for its part, is also vehemently opposed to the agreement because it weakens its regional position. Sunni Islamists have long accused Arab governments of seeking normalization with Israel, and instead of denying the claim, the UAE has emerged to own it, in a bold maneuver that pushes back against the radical rhetoric.

Hamas Political Bureau chief Ismail Haniyah condemned not only the pact but also Egypt’s support for it, describing the agreement as “a violation of Arab and Islamic consensus as well as a stab in the backs of the Palestinian people.”

The UAE and Turkey are rival states, and Turkey, which has become increasingly hostile to Israel, and hosts Hamas operatives on its soil, has threatened to suspend ties with the Gulf state in recent days.

The UAE and other Gulf countries view Turkey as part of the Muslim Brotherhood club that rejects their moderate interpretation of Islam and their drive to create prosperity and stability in the Middle East.

Qatar, which is sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, but which also hedges its bets and maintains a low profile, unofficial ties with Israel, has been involved in a two-year diplomatic crisis with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, both of which accused Doha of supporting terrorism.

According to the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news agency, Qatar has in recent days launched a massive campaign to influence Arab public opinion via media channels it funds, primarily Al Jazeera, against the landmark UAE-Israel agreement.

Ultimately, the UAE’s decision to normalize ties with Israel has alarmed Islamists and put them on the defensive.

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


Is Analysis of COVID-19 Origins Based on Chinese Communist Party’s Lie?

By: Col. Lawrence Sellin (Ret.) | CCNS

Ever since it was first identified as the closest relative to the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2, the bat coronavirus RaTG13 has been at the center of hundreds of scientific articles attempting to trace the origin of the pandemic.

But is RaTG13 real or has the global scientific community been chasing a false blip on the radar screen?

According to China’s narrative, in 2013, “bat woman” Zheng-Li Shi and her team from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were asked to investigate the virus profile of a mine shaft in Yunnan Province after six miners contracted pneumonia with symptoms similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

After sampling the mine shaft for a year, the researchers identified a diverse group of bat coronaviruses from bat fecal samples, one of which was designated RaBtCoV/4991 (National Institutes of Health GenBank accession number KP876546), whose partial sequence was published in a 2016 Virologica Sinica article.

After that, RaBtCoV/4991 virtually disappeared from the scientific literature, until 2020, when it was inexplicably renamed RaTG13.

In their article in Nature (February 3, 2020) Zheng-Li Shi and her colleagues stated that the coronavirus RaTG13 showed a 96.2 percent sequence identity with SARS-CoV-2 and, therefore, “RaTG13 is the closest relative” forming a distinct lineage from other coronaviruses and supporting China’s persistent claim that SARS-CoV-2 is naturally-occurring.

Since then, nearly all the scientific research studying the origin of SARS-CoV-2 has been based on the assumption that it evolved from RaTG13.

Unfortunately, RaTG13 is not actually a virus because no biological samples of it exist. It is a sequence of a virus for which there are now serious questions about the accuracy of that sequence.

In a July 31, 2020, Science article Zheng-Li Shi admits that her laboratory never cultured the virus confirming that RaTG13 exists only on paper.

China has long implied that RaTG13 was “re-discovered” in 2020 after the onset of the pandemic via a search of its coronavirus database.

That claim was echoed by Peter Daszak, President of the EcoHealth Alliance and long-time collaborator of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“We found the closest relative to the current SARS-CoV-2 in a bat in China in 2013. We sequenced a bit of the genome, and then it went in the freezer; because it didn’t look like SARS,” he stated.

Contrary to those claims, there appear to be 33 separate reads of the genetic sequence for RaTG13 on the NIH database between June 2017 and October 2018 of which only Chinese or selective Western scientists could have been aware.

Already in May 2020, comments were appearing on scientific blogs about the unusual mutation pattern between RaTG13 and SARS-CoV-2 as expressed by the ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions.

The former mutation produces a change in the amino acid and a possible structural alteration and the latter represents only a change in a single nucleotide without a subsequent change in the amino acids or structure.

That analysis suggested a mutation pattern that would not be compatible with a natural evolutionary process.

Two scientific studies have recently been published “The anomalous nature of the fecal swab sample used for RaTG13 genome assembly as revealed by NGS data analysis” and “Anomalies in BatCoV/RaTG13 sequencing,” both of which raise serious and detailed questions about the accuracy of the RaTG13 sequence, the latter stating unequivocally:

“The sequencing of BtCoV/RaTG13 cannot be considered to be valid or honest as is, and any publications…that cite or use RaTG13 as critical pieces of information or proof must be immediately invalidated and retracted.”

The lack of any biological sample of RaTG13 available for independent testing and the growing volume of evidence raising questions about the accuracy of the RaTG13 sequence, places in doubt the validity of all the scientific studies using RaTG13 as a basis for comparison.

Without RaTG13, the entire theory of a naturally-occurring COVID-19 virus collapses.

This column was originally published at WION.

(Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, who previously worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and conducted basic and clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a member of the Citizens Commission on National Security. His email address is [email protected].


The Value of the U.S.-Saudi Relations

By: Clare Lopez | CCNS

Date Originally Written: 22 August 2020

Date Originally Published: 27 August 2020

Author and/or Article Point of View: The author writes from a perspective that realistically assesses U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives in the Middle East region. This assessment concludes that many factors—among them diplomatic, economic, ethical, military, and political—shape U.S. policy, but that regarding the U.S.-Saudi relationship, core national security interests compel the partnership.

Summary: Changes underway within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s leadership are significant and substantive. It is in the U.S. national security interest to acknowledge and encourage those changes, even while urging more progress in areas that concern America’s ethical foundations, like human rights.

Text: This article is written in response to “Assessing the Relationship Between the United States and Saudi Arabia—An Unethical Partnership With Multiple Purposes?,” authored by Lt.Col Matthias Weinger, an Austrian Army officer that was published at RealClearDefense on August 3, 2020. That piece argued that the U.S. partners with Saudi Arabia purely out of economic considerations—a need for Middle East oil—and in unethical disregard for the Kingdom’s poor human rights record. That premise is not only inaccurate but insulting to the leadership of both countries.

To begin, the U.S. under the Donald J. Trump administration has become energy independent for the first time since 1957. What that means is that in 2019, even though it still imported energy, the U.S. overall produced more energy than it consumed. This milestone was achieved thanks to a booming oil and natural gas industry and new drilling technologies like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Additionally, the Saudi national oil company Aramco and the U.S.’s Haliburton have been working together since 2018 under a deal to boost the Saudi output of natural gas. This effort is part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 economic plan. Although it has shown somewhat uncertain progress, it is a much-needed blueprint to diversify the Saudi economy, attract foreign investment, and spur economic modernization. The point here is that the U.S. no longer is hostage to an energy lifeline from the Middle East: we not only produce enough of our own energy, but American oil experts are actually helping Saudi Arabia to expand its own energy production.

Next, we should address the lingering legacy of 9/11. While Al-Qa’eda jihadis carried out those horrific attacks under Taliban protection with deep Saudi involvement, the Iranian regime in Tehran, in fact, originated, directed, and executed the plot with the help of its Shi’ite terror proxy Hizballah. Nearly nineteen years after September 2001, it is amazing that so many still seem unaware of the findings of the Havlish, et al. v. bin Laden, et al. legal case, in which Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York federal court ruled in December 2011 that Iran and Hizballah were co-responsible with Al-Qa’eda for 9/11. To date, while the leadership of Saudi Arabia has changed profoundly, that of Iran and Hizballah has not. This is an important distinction we must make in viewing the evolving situation in the region.

A strategic-level understanding of the critical importance of key Middle East waterways likewise is necessary if we are to arrive at accurate assessments about the players currently involved in vying for control over them. As this author wrote in “The Bab al-Mandab Strait Must Not Fall to Iran”] on July 27, 2020, Saudi Arabia and its Coalition are fighting to keep that important waterway from falling under Iranian regime threat. Looking at a map of the Arabian Peninsula and its surrounding areas, we can see that the Bab al-Mandab connects the Arabian Sea to the Red Sea and Suez Canal. Who controls—or is able to threaten—that Strait commands access to some of the most important shipping channels in the world. The U.S. supports Saudi Arabia and its Coalition partners in their effort to prevent the Iranian regime and its Houthi rebel proxies from gaining such a position from which to threaten international freedom of the seas. Maintaining free and open navigation in international waterways is in the security interest of all of us.

Finally, the remarkable changes underway in Saudi Arabia must be acknowledged. Since the June 2017 rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to a position of de facto leadership in the Kingdom, Saudi Arabia has seen changes unimaginable even a few years ago. Although as noted above, MBS’ Vision 2030 has not gone as smoothly as hoped for, bold new policies to diversify the Saudi economy towards a high-tech future as well as changes in ancient social mores have shaken up the country and brought widespread support especially among its youthful population for its millennial Crown Prince. Women now may drive, cafes, movie theaters, and sports stadiums are open to mixed-gender patrons, the powers of the dreaded religious police have been severely curbed, and many Wahhabi clerics languish in prison. Perhaps the most notable of these changes was the decision in April 2020 by the Saudi Supreme Court to end flogging as a criminal punishment. The reason this, unlike other merely social changes, is so significant is that flogging is one of the hudud punishments; that is, it’s part of Islamic Law (shariah). Abolishing flogging is the first time the Saudis have ever officially instituted national-level law that counters shariah.

One may say that such changes are internal to the Saudi Kingdom and affect U.S. interests only in the sense that such progress on the human rights front is always welcome to nations that value the principles enshrined not only in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights but our own Declaration of Independence. But then, we come to another change in official Saudi policy that profoundly affects the entire Middle East region, including places where the U.S. has many important alliances and partnerships. That change is the growing relationship of Saudi Arabia with the Jewish State of Israel, the U.S.’s own most important ally in the region. Other neighbors like Egypt and Jordan were the first to conclude peace treaties with Israel. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the first to land a commercial aircraft (carrying coronavirus supplies for the Palestinians) at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport. But behind the scenes, contacts between Israel and regional representatives from Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and others have been growing in a way few expected.

The growing threat of a nuclear-armed Iran surely plays a key role in both the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries’ gravitation towards Israel and the U.S.’ open support for such rapprochement. Arms sales to all of the above are part of it, too, as Saudi and other GCC states are interested in Israeli technology. But it would be wrong to view these developments from a purely mercantilist perspective, without taking into consideration the overwhelming security concerns that bring the GCC, Israel, and the U.S. into increasing alignment. It’s a convergence of factors, some admittedly opportunistic, that drives the new reality. However, it must be recognized that tectonic plates are, in fact, shifting—and in the direction of greater regional stability, which is a positive for all of us. U.S. national security leadership must remain alert, but not cynical, about the direction of events in the Middle East. America’s relationship with the young Saudi Crown Prince is a linchpin for those developments, possibly for decades to come.

This column was originally published at RealClear Defense.


California’s $35M Mail-In-Voting Campaign Tied to Biden

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Say it isn’t so… and hat tip to Lara, the investigative journalist for this stellar work.

You may remember Anita Dunn, the former Obama White House that praised Mao Zedong. Well, she too is a campaign advisor to Joe Biden… she is in the thick of it all.

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California to spend $35 million on mail voting campaign run by firm with ‘Team Biden’ ties

A public affairs and consulting firm known for working with Democrats has been awarded a $35 million contract for a new California campaign to encouraging voting during the pandemic.

SKD Knickerbocker, which has crafted successful campaigns for many Democrats and has championed issues like same-sex marriage and police reform, was awarded the contract on Aug. 13 after an expedited approval process, said Paula Valle, chief communications officer for California Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s office.

The firm is run by CEO Josh Isay, who ran Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer’s 1998 campaign. Other notable employees include former Obama communications official Anita Dunn and Hillary Rosen, a longtime media figure who also worked with California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. On its site, the firm lists itself as supportive of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying it is “proud to be a part of Team Biden.”

Heather Wilson, the managing director and head of the firm’s California office, said its clients range from politicians to corporations to public interest groups and nonprofits.

“As a public affairs firm, a great deal of our work (including this Vote Safe campaign) is nonpartisan,” Wilson said in an email.

Valle said those working on the campaign, both on the firm side and the government side, are nonpartisan and do not have ties to specific politicians.

The state is preparing for a tumultuous election season in light of the coronavirus.

In May, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to send every registered California voter a mail-in ballot ahead of the Nov. 3 general election. Newsom issued another order in June changing the format of in-person voting in some counties to allow for social distancing. Padilla’s office, which oversees elections, is now launching a campaign to inform voters of the changes and challenges of the November election.

The $35 million for the campaign, dubbed “Vote Safe California,” was part of more than $111 million allocated in the state’s annual budget to the Secretary of State’s office with the goal to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on the election and provide associated voter education and outreach.”

According to documents obtained by the Sacramento Bee, The contract asks the firm to develop strategic messaging across several media platforms, with special attention given to reaching first-time mail voters and those with language and disability barriers.

The process of awarding the contract did not follow a traditional schedule, Valle said. Normally, a bid process in California can take three to six months, but because of how close the election is and the urgency of the message, the process was expedited, she said.

The original request for proposals went out on July 17, and seven firms submitted plans. A group of six people in the Secretary of State’s office narrowed the field to three finalists: SKD Knickerbocker, Grace Public Affairs, and Mercury Public Affairs.

There was no lowest bidder for this contract, Valle said. Because the Legislature had already directed the office to spend $35 million on a voter outreach campaign, state officials instead focused on how each firm proposed spending the money. The administrative fee charged by each finalist was about the same, she added.

Jessica Millan Patterson, chair of the California Republican Party, said in a statement that California’s election chief should know better than allowing “Team Biden” to run California’s absentee and get out the vote efforts.

“This $35 million expedited state contract screams conflict of interest, and the abuse of power calls into question his integrity,” she said. “Under this Democrat regime, our elections are simply being run by nothing more than a bunch of political hacks.”

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*** Top recipients of SKG Knickerbocker are found here where candidate Biden is at the top. Additional reading here.