WEEK OF FEBRUARY 22 THROUGH FEBRUARY 28
Egypt Launches War on ISIS, Al Qaeda & Muslim Brotherhood
FOJ Note: (Obama has America on the wrong side in Israel, and also in Egypt, and Libya, as well as Syria and Iran)
Feb. 28….(DEBKA) Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi has deployed his troops for all-out war on ISIS strongholds in Libya, the first Arab ruler to challenge the Islamists in a fellow Arab country. His intiative dramatizes the spillover of the Islamist State’s threat across the Middle East, and the fading impetus of the US-led coalition effort to reverse Islamic State gains in Iraq and Syria.
Our Washington sources report that the Obama administration’s planned spring campaign to free Iraqi Mosul from the Islamic State’s occupation is stuck in the sand. Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike accuse the president of having no clear war strategy and of holding back from the US-led coalition the fighting manpower necessary for a successful operation. Answering questions in the Senate WEdnesday, Feb. 25, the coalition commander, retired Gen. John Allen, said he had no hard-and-fast timeline for the war. Even so, US-led air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq remain sporadic, no better than pinpricks.
The Egyptian president was stirred into action by the barbaric beheading on Feb. 15 of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who had found work in Libya. El-Sisi first launched a series of air strikes against ISIS and allied Islamist militias in one of their Libyan strongholds in Darnah, following which he has now ordered Egyptian commando and marine forces to prepare for sea landings to seize the town and destroy the terrorist elements there, another landmark operation in the war on Islamist terror. .
Part of the Libyan terrorist movement and one of ISIS’s closest allies is the Ansar al-Sharia militia, which in September 2012 burned down the US consulate in Benghazi and murdered the US ambassador and three other American officials.
Egypt’s anti-terrorist operation has two fronts, one of which El-Sisi is planning to launch on Egypt’s longest-running front against the Islamist threat in the Sinai. There, Egyptian and ground forces will go into action against the ISIS affiliate’s hideouts. He is also considering aerial bombardments of the Gaza Strip to target Hamas’ military arm whose active collaboration with the jihadis has been confirmed by intelligence. Some of the militias which have divided Darnah, a Sinai town of app. 50,000, among themselves, have declared their territories provinces of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s Islamic Caliphate.
According to our military sources, Egyptian forces will be assigned to attack the town from the north after a beach landing. They plan to link up with allied Libyan militias commanded by the former Qaddafi regime general Khalifa Hifter, who will come from Benghazi to strike the town from the south. Khalif and his armed men have been pursuing a relentless war on the inroads made by al Qaeda in Libya, and the Muslim Brotherhood, (a group whom Obama supports) with quiet backing from Cairo.
Saudis Might Aid Israeli Attack Iran in Exchange for Concessions in Peace Process
Feb. 26….(Jerusalem Post) A from the Saudi foreign ministers have relayed this message in private to European sources. In private talks with European sources, the Saudis have expressed their willingness to cooperate with Israel on Iran, including use of Saudi air space by the IDF for a possible air strike, according to a report by Channel 2. Cooperation with Saudi Arabia would not come free, however. According to the report, the Saudi officials said they would need to see progress between Israelis and Palestinians before having enough legitimacy to allow Israel to use their air space.
Arab governments, not only Israel, have been expressing concern over the development of a deal with Iran over its nuclear program, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Talks with Iran over its nuclear program have instilled fear within some major Sunni states, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates that a nuclear arms race will break out in the region, and brought about speculation regarding the possible extension of a US nuclear umbrella to its non-nuclear-armed Middle East allies.
According to the Wall Street Journal, concerned Arab states said that a nuclear deal allowing Iran to keep its nuclear-producing technologies would likely drive nations in the region to develop nuclear capabilities in order to match those of Iran's. An Arab official, according to the WSJ, said that the collapse of negotiations with Iran is preferable to a bad nuclear deal, a comment similar to those previously iterated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
US and Arab diplomats say that, although Arab nations have avoided matching statements made by Israel, they share many of the same fears regarding a nuclear deal with Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported. Reports that the United States was negotiating a 10-year nuclear deal with Iran are not true, Obama’s White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal reported that the United States and Iran were exploring the option of a 10-year nuclear freeze as part of talks over Tehran's nuclear program.
Obama/Susan Rice: Netanyahu Visit to Congress 'Destructive'
Feb. 26….(Politico) National Security Adviser Susan Rice blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress, calling his March 3 address “destructive” to relations between the US and Israel. Rice, in an interview with PBS’ Charlie Rose on Tuesday evening, said the relationship between the two countries “has always been bipartisan” but that it has been hampered by partisan moves in recent weeks. “What has happened over the last several weeks, by virtue of the invitation that was issued by the speaker and the acceptance of it by Prime Minister Netanyahu two weeks in advance of his election, is that on both sides, there has now been injected a degree of partisanship,” Rice said. “It’s destructive of the fabric of the relationship between our two nations,” she said.
The Israeli prime minister on Tuesday declined an invitation from Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein to meet with Senate Democrats during his trip next week. Netanyahu will not be invited to meet with President Barack Obama during his visit, nor with Vice President Joe Biden and several congressional Democrats will not even attend his speech. Secretary of State John Kerry will supposedly be traveling abroad. “We want the relationship of the United States and Israel to be unquestionably strong, immutable, regardless of political seasons in either country, regardless of which party may be in power in either country,” Rice said in response to a question about the timing of Netanyahu’s visit, which comes two weeks before the Israeli elections. “
The Israeli leader, who was invited by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, intends to use the speech to warn against a nuclear accord that world powers are negotiating with Iran. The invitation was made without White House approval. Obama has ruled out granting Netanyahu a White House visit during his US trip, saying it wouldn’t be appropriate so close to Israel’s March 17 general election. The dispute over the Israeli leader’s congressional address is the latest clash between Obama and Netanyahu on issues including peacemaking with the Palestinians and how to contain Iran’s nuclear program.
What ISIS Really Wants & (It’s Prophetic Methodology)
* FOJ Note: This author offers a very insightful look into ISIS, and its beliefs, and why it is doing what it does.
(The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse.)
Feb. 24….(Graeme Wood/The Atlantic) What is the Islamic State? Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.
The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from a stay in US captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, to deliver a Ramadan sermon as the first caliph in generations, upgrading his resolution from grainy to high-definition, and his position from hunted guerrilla to commander of all Muslims. The inflow of jihadists that followed, from around the world, was unprecedented in its pace and volume, and is continuing.
Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and the Islamic State’s countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals, are online, and the caliphate’s supporters have toiled mightily to make their project knowable. We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of, and headline player in, the imminent end of the world.
The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior. We have misunderstood the nature of the Islamic State in at least two ways. First, we tend to see jihadism as monolithic, and to apply the logic of al Qaeda to an organization that has decisively eclipsed it. The Islamic State supporters I spoke with still refer to Osama bin Laden as “Sheikh Osama,” a title of honor. But jihadism has evolved since al-Qaeda’s heyday, from about 1998 to 2003, and many jihadists disdain the group’s priorities and current leadership.
Bin Laden viewed his terrorism as a prologue to a caliphate he did not expect to see in his lifetime. His organization was flexible, operating as a geographically diffuse network of autonomous cells. The Islamic State, by contrast, requires territory to remain legitimate, and a top-down structure to rule it. (Its bureaucracy is divided into civil and military arms, and its territory into provinces.)
We are misled in a second way, by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature. Peter Bergen, who produced the first interview with bin Laden in 1997, titled his first book Holy War, Inc. in part to acknowledge bin Laden as a creature of the modern secular world. Bin Laden corporatized terror and franchised it out. He requested specific political concessions, such as the withdrawal of US forces from Saudi Arabia. His foot soldiers navigated the modern world confidently. On Mohammad Atta’s last full day of life, he shopped at Walmart and ate dinner at Pizza Hut.
There is a temptation to rehearse this observation, that jihadists are modern secular people, with modern political concerns, wearing medieval religious disguise, and make it fit the Islamic State. In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse. The most-articulate spokesmen for that position are the Islamic State’s officials and supporters themselves. They refer derisively to “moderns.” They insist on governing precepts that were embedded in Islam by the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers.
The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic and to define as otherwise is foolish. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam. Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State, as some do, but pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s theological roots if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it.
In November, the Islamic State released an infomercial-like video tracing its origins to bin Laden. It acknowledged Abu Musa’b al Zarqawi, the brutal head of al Qaeda in Iraq from roughly 2003 until his killing in 2006, as a more immediate progenitor, followed sequentially by two other guerrilla leaders before Baghdadi, the caliph. Notably unmentioned: bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al Zawahiri, the Egyptian eye surgeon who currently heads al Qaeda. Zawahiri has not pledged allegiance to Baghdadi, and is increasingly hated by his fellow jihadists. But the split between al-Qaeda and the Islamic State has been long in the making, and begins to explain, at least in part, the outsize bloodlust of the latter.
Zawahiri’s companion in isolation is a Jordanian cleric named Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi, 55, who has a fair claim to being al-Qaeda’s intellectual architect and the most important jihadist unknown to the average American newspaper reader. On most matters of doctrine, Maqdisi and the Islamic State agree. Both are closely identified with the jihadist wing of a branch of Sunnism called Salafism, after the Arabic al salaf al salih, the “pious forefathers.” These forefathers are the Prophet himself and his earliest adherents, whom Salafis honor and emulate as the models for all behavior, including warfare, couture, family life, even dentistry.
Maqdisi taught Zarqawi, who went to war in Iraq with the older man’s advice in mind. In time, though, Zarqawi surpassed his mentor in fanaticism, and eventually earned his rebuke. At issue was Zarqawi’s penchant for bloody spectacle, and, as a matter of doctrine, his hatred of other Muslims, to the point of excommunicating and killing them. In Islam, the practice of takfir, or excommunication, is theologically perilous. The punishment for apostasy is death. And yet Zarqawi heedlessly expanded the range of behavior that could make Muslims infidels.
Maqdisi wrote to his former pupil that he needed to exercise caution and “not issue sweeping proclamations of takfir” or “proclaim people to be apostates because of their sins.” The distinction between apostate and sinner may appear subtle, but it is a key point of contention between al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Denying the holiness of the Koran or the prophecies of Muhammad is straightforward apostasy. Being a Shiite, as most Iraqi Arabs are, meets the standard as well, because the Islamic State regards Shiism as innovation, and to innovate on the Koran is to deny its initial perfection. That means roughly 200 million Shia are marked for death. So too are the heads of state of every Muslim country, who have elevated man-made law above Sharia enforcing laws not made by God. Following takfiri doctrine, the Islamic State is committed to purifying the world by killing vast numbers of people.
When a masked ISIS executioner says Allahu akbar while beheading an apostate, he’s doing so for religious reasons. Many mainstream Muslim organizations have gone so far as to say the Islamic State is, in fact, un-Islamic. It is, of course, reassuring to know that the vast majority of Muslims have zero interest in such spectacles. But Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-nonsense tradition.”
According to Haykel, the ranks of the Islamic State are deeply infused with religious vigor. Koranic quotations are ubiquitous. He regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous, sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. In Haykel’s estimation, the fighters of the Islamic State are authentic throwbacks to early Islam and are faithfully reproducing its norms of war.
Before the rise of the Islamic State, no group in the past few centuries had attempted more-radical fidelity to the Prophetic model than the Wahhabis of 18th century Arabia. They conquered most of what is now Saudi Arabia, and their strict practices survive in a diluted version of Sharia there. he last caliphate was the Ottoman empire, which reached its peak in the 16th century and then experienced a long decline, until the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, euthanized it in 1924. But the Ottoman caliphate is not viewed as legitimate, because it didn’t fully enforce Islamic law, which requires stonings, slavery and amputations, and because its caliphs were not descended from the tribe of the Prophet, the Quraysh.
ISIS leader Baghdadi spoke at length of the importance of the caliphate in his Mosul sermon. He said that to revive the institution of the caliphate, which had not functioned except in name for about 1,000 years, was a communal obligation. He and his loyalists had “hastened to declare the caliphate and place an imam” at its head, he said. “This is a duty upon the Muslims, a duty that has been lost for centuries. Muslims sin by losing it, and must always seek to establish it.” Like bin Laden before him, Baghdadi spoke floridly, with frequent Koranic criptural allusion and command of classical rhetoric. Unlike bin Laden, and unlike those false caliphs of the Ottoman empire, he is Qurayshi. Isis says the caliphate is not just a political entity but also a vehicle for salvation. Islamic State propaganda regularly reports the pledges of baya’a (allegiance) rolling in from jihadist groups across the Muslim world. He promotes a Prophetic saying, that to die without pledging allegiance is to die jahil (ignorant) and therefore die a “death of disbelief.” To be the caliph, one must meet conditions outlined in Sunni law, being a Muslim adult man of Quraysh descent; exhibiting moral probity and physical and mental integrity; and having ’amr, or authority. This last criterion, is the hardest to fulfill, and requires that the caliph have territory in which he can enforce Islamic law. The caliph is required to implement Sharia.
After Baghdadi’s July sermon, a stream of jihadists began flowing daily into Syria with renewed motivation. There are a reported the arrival of 100 fighters at one Turkish-border recruitment station every two days. There is still a steady inflow of foreigners, ready to give up everything at home for a shot at paradise in the worst place on Earth. In theory, all Muslims are obliged to immigrate to the territory where the caliph is applying these laws, and thus the reason for the massive influx of Western Muslims into Syria-Iraq.
All Muslims acknowledge that God is the only one who knows the future. But they also agree that he has offered us a peek at it, in the Koran and in narrations of the Prophet. During the last years of the US occupation of Iraq, the Islamic State’s immediate founding fathers, by contrast, saw signs of the end times everywhere. They were anticipating, within a year, the arrival of the Mahdi, a messianic figure destined to lead the Muslims to victory before the end of the world. A prominent Islamist Imam in Iraq approached bin Laden in 2008 to warn him that the group was being led by millenarians who were “talking all the time about the Mahdi and making strategic decisions” based on when they thought the Mahdi was going to arrive. “Al-Qaeda had to write to these leaders to say, ‘cut it out.’ For many Muslim believers, the long epic good-versus-evil battles and visions of apocalyptic bloodbaths are on the horizon!
Part of the mainstream Sunni prophetic themes appear all over the Islamic State’s propaganda. These include the belief that there will be only 12 legitimate caliphs, and Baghdadi is the eighth; that the armies of Rome will mass to meet the armies of Islam in northern Syria; and that Islam’s final showdown with an anti-Messiah will occur in Jerusalem after a period of renewed Islamic conquest. The Islamic State’s propagandists drool with anticipation of this prophetic event, and constantly imply that it will come soon. Now that ISIS has taken the Syran city of Dabiq, the Islamic State says the arrival of an enemy army there, and its defeat will initiate the countdown to the apocalypse. The Prophetic narration that foretells the Syrian/Dabiq battle refers to the enemy as Rome.
ISIS prophecy interprets the Koran as indicating the caliphate will expand and sack Rome & Istanbul. Some believe it will then cover the entire Earth. An anti-Messiah, known in Muslim apocalyptic literature as Dajjal, will come from the Khorasan region of eastern Iran and kill a vast number of the caliphate’s fighters, until just 5,000 remain, cornered in Jerusalem. Just as Dajjal prepares to finish them off, Jesus, the second-most-revered prophet in Islam, (behind Mohammad) will return to Earth, spear Dajjal, and lead the Muslims to victory. Mohammad, “The Islamic Holy Prophet said that one sign of the imminent arrival of the End of Days is that people will have for a long while stop talking about the End of Days,” and then hew will come.
Iran Seeks A Third Front Against Israel in the Golan
Feb. 23….(AP) Iran is seeking to open a "third front" against Israel using Hezbollah fighters on the Syrian Golan Heights, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday. Netanyahu said Tehran's attempts to entrench itself along Israel's borders was one of the biggest emerging security threats facing the Jewish state. "Alongside Iran's direct guidance of Hezbollah's actions in the north and Hamas's in the south, Iran is trying also to develop a third front on the Golan Heights via the thousands of Hezbollah fighters who are in southern Syria and over which Iran holds direct command," he said.
Speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said his ministers were to be briefed on "the security challenges developing around us, first and foremost Iran's attempt to increase its foothold on Israel's borders even as it works to arm itself with nuclear weapons."
Iran Has Direct Military Presence on Israel's Borders
(According to new report, Iran is establishing Hezbollah Syria organization and has a direct presence in Syria, particularly on Golan)
Feb. 23….(Israel Hayom) Geographically, while hundreds of kilometers separate Iran and Israel, in actuality the Islamic republic is already sitting on Israel's doorstep along the northern border, especially on the Golan Heights, according to a new report by the Middle East Media Research Institute. The authors, whose report is founded on research of Arab and Iranian media, write that in recent years "Iran has based its deployment in Syria on the establishment of a new Hezbollah Syria organization along the lines of Hezbollah Lebanon, as well as on the direct presence of Iranian forces in Syria, particularly on the Golan Heights."
According to the report, Iran's deployment in Syria, specifically the presence of its forces on the Golan Heights, "at first only as command posts and a limited number of special forces, reveals a trend of Iranian activity in the region that is direct, not only by proxy as it has been to date." The command posts, write the authors, are meant to operate "130,000 trained Iranian Basij fighters waiting to enter Syria," as is evident from statements by Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps senior official Hossein Hamedani in May 2014, which were censored and removed immediately after publication in Iran.
Senior Iranian officials have boasted in recent months that direct Iranian deployment on the Golan Heights creates a unified battle front against Israel spanning from Rosh Hanikra on the Mediterranean coast to Quneitra on the Golan. For example, in May 2014, Yahya Rahim Safavi, former IRGC commander and security affairs advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said: "Our strategic depth reaches to the Mediterranean, and above Israel's head."
In similar statements made recently, Ali Saeedi, Khamenei's representative in the IRGC, claimed: "The borders of Islamic Iran have expanded all the way to the shores of the Mediterranean and the countries of the region are supported by Iran. We must prepare the ground for the globalization of the Islamic Revolution." IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said, "Today, the borders of Islamic Iran and [its Islamic] Revolution have expanded, and we are not defending our country from its own borders but are standing fast and fighting together with our Shiite and Sunni brothers against the front of the arrogance [i.e., the West, headed by the U.S.] many kilometers from Iran's borders."
However, Iran's goal in deploying on the Golan Heights is not limited to deterring Israel from attacking its nuclear program or defending its interests in Syria and Lebanon, it is also focused on arming Palestinian groups in the West Bank and Gaza. According to the authors, "It also meshes with the Iranian regime's ideological perception of Israel as an entity that must be eliminated. According to this perception, the West Bank must be armed, as the Gaza Strip was, in advance of eliminating the State of Israel.
Iran is also "building capabilities and ways of operating against Israel and against Jewish/Israeli targets worldwide." According to the MEMRI report, in late August 2014, IRGC Deputy Commander Hossein Salami said: "Destroying the Zionist regime is a very simple matter. It will take place gradually. It is a matter of divine faith, it is more than a mere wish for us." On November 26, 2014, Basij Commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi said: "The Iranian nation and Basij members are determined to hold victory prayers led by their imam [Khamenei] at the Aqsa mosque." The next day, IRGC Navy official Ali Razmjou said that the Zionist regime "will be eliminated from he world map in the near future thanks to the resistance of Basij and Hezbollah members throughout the world."
Iran Airlifts Thousands of Shiite Fighters to Syrian Port of Latakia
Feb. 23….(DEBKA) Debkafile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources have discovered a large-scale Iranian airlift is in progress for bringing thousands of Shiite fighters to the Syrian Mediterranean port of Latakia to reinforce the Syrian army forces falling back from the key city of Aleppo. Some of the flights are taking off from Baghdad airport. The Syrian rebels in heavy fighting Thursday and Friday, Feb. 19-20 repulsed a Hizballah-backed Syrian army offensive to recapture the town and took scores of Hizballah fighters prisoner. The incoming reinforcements are being transferred directly to the Aleppo battle-front in an effort to stabilize it and reverse the Syrian army’s retreat. The incoming reinforcements are made up of Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani Shiite militiamen.
The fact that Tehran was able to raise this force in less than 24 hours from the Syrian army’s defeat in Aleppo demonstrates Iran’s total military and strategic commitment to swift action for averting a Syrian-Hizballah retreat from a key front of the four-year old civil war. The Iranian planes are taking two routes to Syria, starting out either in Baghdad or Tehran. In Baghdad, they touch down in the military section of the international airport and collect the Iraqi Shiite militiamen destined for the Syrian battlefield. This step necessitated the consent of the Iraqi government and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The Iranian operation therefore exposes two exceedingly disturbing developments which are causing Israel’s army chiefs to burn the midnight oil: The fall of the Abadi government under Tehran’s sway is one; and Iraq’s direct involvement for the first time in the military actions of the Syrian civil war.
Debkafile’s military experts extrapolate from Tehran’s immediate readiness to transfer thousands of foreign troops into Syria to save Assad’s army from retreat, that the same response is to be expected from a possible setback of the same alliance in South Syria, especially when Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers are leading a Syrian-Hizballah-Shiite drive to capture the Golan town of Quneitra across from Israel’s lines.
Our sources add that President Barack Obama was in a position, had he wished, to intervene with Baghdad and hold back the Iranian troop airlift to Syria. This did not happened. The Obama administration’s inaction places it squarely behind Iran’s military steps in the Middle East and its direct intervention in key trouble spots.
An IAEA Report and Obama’s Blind Zeal for a Deal
Feb. 23….(Commentary Magazine) The decision by the Obama administration to cut Israel out of the loop when it comes to information about the secret nuclear negotiations with Iran has once again put the feud between the president and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu back into the spotlight. The decision was based on White House allegations that the Israelis were distorting the facts about the generous US offer to the Islamist regime. But a new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency about Iran’s refusal to allow inspectors to find out what’s really going on in their nuclear facilities puts this dispute in a very different light. With the Americans seeking to allow Iran the right to keep several thousand centrifuges and a nuclear stockpile, the stonewalling of the IAEA should cause observers to think carefully about the secrets Obama is keeping and whether they reflect the president’s zeal for a deal with Iran more than his past promises to stop them from gaining a nuclear weapon.
The IAEA reported yesterday that Iran was continuing to refuse to answer questions or allow inspections of sites that would reveal the extent of their military nuclear research. This is a crucial problem because without the UN body knowing what work Iran has done on nuclear weapons and designs, any accord based on incomplete Western intelligence or untrustworthy Iranian admissions would be meaningless. More to the point, if, as President Obama seems likely to do, the sanctions on Iran are lifted after a deal is signed, the gaps in Western knowledge of the Iranian program may allow the Islamist regime to simply proceed toward a weapon with facilities and research about which Obama is currently unaware.
The report said the agency “remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.” Because Iran has not provided explanations for the agency’s questions about all nuclear-related work, the report said, “the agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”
The problems with negotiating with Iran are well known. On the one hand, their negotiating tactics have always revolved around delaying tactics that seek to draw out the talks in such a way that their Western interlocutors are enticed to make a series of concessions in the hope that the Iranians will finally agree. Running out the clock in this manner both sweetens a potential deal for them, as Obama’s shocking abandonment of his past principles illustrates, as well as allowing their program extra time in which to get closer to their nuclear goal. These tactics have exploited President Obama’s open desire for détente with Iran. But in the absence of credible intelligence on their ability to “break out” to a bomb, Washington is negotiating in the dark.
The outline of a deal with Iran is already clear. As numerous reports have already established, Obama is prepared to allow Iran to keep most, if not all of its nuclear infrastructure in exchange for promises that it has no assurances will be kept. That will make Iran a threshold nuclear power even if it doesn’t violate the terms of the agreement. Once sanctions are lifted, it will be difficult, if not impossible to put them back in place. No matter how weak the deal or how unlikely Iran is to keep its word, President Obama will seize on it as a major foreign-policy achievement and not be inclined to question anything the Iranians do.
Thus, the Israeli alarm about this act of appeasement is more than justified. But even if you doubt Netanyahu’s judgment, the stonewalling of the IAEA should worry even the most ardent supporters of the president’s policy. Without firm knowledge of Iran’s capabilities and research, something that is unlikely to be obtained given the secretive nature of the regime and its extensive and widely dispersed nuclear facilities, US guarantees about stopping Iran long before a bomb can be constructed seem like hollow promises. Put in this context, Netanyahu’s sniping about US policy seems less like the pointless spat depicted in the US press and more like reasonable complaints about a dangerous and secret initiative that deserve to be treated seriously.
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 15 THROUGH FEBRUARY 21
Obama: 'Islam Was Woven Into the Fabric of Our Country at Its Founding
FOJ Note: Have you ever heard Mr. Obama say such a thing about Christianity in America. NO!! And he never will, and if he did the ACLU would sue him. This President is in my opinion a closet Muslim-Socialist, and I firmly believe he intends to CHANGE America into a Secularist-Socialist-Islamic Republic.
Feb. 21….(CNSNews.com) We hear a lot about the United States' Judeo-Christian heritage, but according to President Obama, "Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding." That's what the president told a White House conference on "countering violent extremism" on Wednesday. Obama has said similar things in the past: "I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story,” Obama said in a June 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt. "Islam has always been part of America," he said in a 2010 statement marking the start of Ramadan. And in a 2014 statement marking Eid, Obama said the holiday "also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy."
In his speech on Wednesday, Obama was making the point that Western nations must show that they "welcome people of all faiths," at a time when "extremists" are saying that Western nations are "hostile to Muslims." "Here in America, Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding. Generations, Generations of Muslim immigrants came here and went to work as farmers and merchants and factory workers, helped to lay railroads and to build up America. "The first Islamic center in New York City was founded in the 1890s. America's first mosque, this was an interesting fact, was in North Dakota." (It was established in 1929). Both of those milestones happened well after America's founding, however. In fact, the new nation's first dealings with Islam were tense and unpleasant.
According to a Heritage Foundation paper, shortly after America's founding, the United States "was dragged into the affairs of the Islamic world by an escalating series of unprovoked attacks on Americans by Muslim pirates, the terrorists of the era," who looted American ships and captured American sailors, holding them for ransom or selling them as slaves. The paper notes that America's struggle with Muslim pirates from the Barbary States (modern-day Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya) began soon after the 13 colonies declared their independence from Britain in 1776 and continued for roughly four decades.
In his remarks on Wednesday, President Obama said Muslim Americans now serve as police officers, firefighters, soldiers, "and in our intelligence communities and in homeland security." He said Muslim American heroes are buried at Arlington National Cemetery, "having given their lives in defense of all of us." "And, of course, that's the story extremists and terrorists don't want the world to know, Muslims succeeding and thriving in America. Because when that truth is known, it exposes their propaganda as the lie that it is. "It's also a story that every American must never forget, because it reminds us all that hatred and bigotry and prejudice have no place in our country. It is not just counterproductive. It doesn't just aid terrorists. It's wrong. It's contrary to who we are." So-called hate crimes against Muslims escalated in this country after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, attacks perpetrated by Islamic radicals, but they have never reached the level of hate crimes against Jews, according to the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Reporting statistics.
In 2013, for example, 62.4 percent of hate crime victims were attacked because of anti-Jewish bias, while 11.6 percent were victims of anti-Islamic bias. Compare that with the year before the 2001 terror attacks: In 2000, of the 1,699 victims of anti-religious hate crime, 74.6 percent were victims of an offender's anti-Jewish bias; and only 2.1 percent were victims of an offender's anti-Islamic bias.
President Obama on Wednesday stressed that US is not at war with Islam:"We are at war with people who have perverted Islam," he said. He also said the West and Islam are not in conflict; and that Islam is not incompatible with modern life, although in the same speech he urged other countries to invest in the education of both males and females, "because countries will not be truly successful if half their populations, if their girls and their women, are denied opportunity."
In a speech to the same summit on Thursday, Obama noted that many Americans don't personally know a single Muslim, and they form a distorted impression about Islam by what they hear on the news.
Israel's Netanyahu: 'What is There to Hide' in Obama’s Iran Deal
Feb. 21….(AP) Israel's prime minister said Thursday that he knows the details of the deal being forged with Iran over its nuclear program and asked "what is there to hide" after the US said it was withholding some information on the talks. Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks come a day after the Obama administration said it is keeping some specifics from Israel because it fears the close US ally has leaked sensitive information to try to scuttle the talks, and will continue to do so. "We know that Tehran knows the details of the talks. Now I tell you that Israel also knows the details of the proposed agreement," Netanyahu said. "I think this is a bad agreement that is dangerous for the state of Israel, and not just for it. If anyone thinks otherwise what is there to hide here?" he said.
Netanyahu has angered the White House with his open opposition to a deal he believes threatens Israel's existence, and by accepting a Republican invitation to address Congress about Iran in early March without consulting the White House, a breach of diplomatic protocol. The planned speech has caused an uproar in Israel as well, coming just two weeks before national elections. Netanyahu has rejected the criticism, saying it is his duty to lobby against the nuclear deal.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki questioned Netanyahu's claim to knowing the details of the deal. "Then the fact is that he knows more than the negotiators, in that there is no deal yet," she said. "Obviously, if there's a deal we'll be explaining the deal and explaining why and how it prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. And if that's the case and we come to a deal, it's hard to see how anyone wouldn't see that's to the benefit of the international community," she said.
Israel views a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat to its very existence, citing Tehran's repeated calls for Israel's destruction, its long-range missile program and its support for anti-Israel militant groups like Lebanon's Hezbollah.
Is Obama Readying USA for an NWO-Islamic Takeover?
*Food For Thought (Everything Obama and the Islamo-Nazi New World Order is now doing is designed to implement the “Final Solution” for the USA)
Feb. 21….(Canada Free Press) Tragically and with full malice aforethought, the beauty, simplicity and essential to thought subject of Logic is no longer taught in the US Public school system. As a note, little else that matters is now taught either. For the purposes of this column, I will deal with two forms of logic, as defined by the current on-line Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “A particular mode of reasoning viewed as valid or faulty” and “interrelation or sequence of facts or events when seen as inevitable or predictable.” I hope that these will assist those people who still cannot, according to their own words seem to fathom why Barack Hussein Obama does what he does and says what he says.
Note: Too many of these (many high profile) and, ostensibly, Conservative individuals seem to be extremely well-educated but, due to their statements of incredulity over Obama’s actions or lack thereof, are quite apparently lacking the power of even the most basic practice of logical reasoning. That leaves us with Occam’s Razor or “the solution amongst competing hypotheses with the fewest assumptions [the one that possesses the most facts] should be selected.” Obama is destroying the USA and replacing its legal citizens with Muslims and other illegals, in order to create a new country of his making. Logic requires rational reasoned thought, not emotion and false premises. Thus, I shall attempt to explain it to them for yet one more time.
Although they haven’t said it outright yet, the Obama syndicate members seem poised to soon say that Christians are actually responsible for their own beheadings and burning of the adults and children and infants. Obama recently said that Christians have done horrible things, too. But he had to go back to the over-a-thousand-years-ago Crusades to make his case. The Crusades were in effect because barbaric and enslaving Islam had taken over the Holy land. The Crusaders fought Islam to get them back. In Obama’s book “Audacity of Hope,” he writes, “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” Due to its atrocities against humanity, the political winds of the world currently seem to be against Islam, yet, Obama seems bent upon backing them all of the way. In fact, recently, Obama held two “private” meetings with Muslim Brotherhood members. Please remember that the Brotherhood is the parent of most of the terrorist groups currently on our planet. A handful of examples are available of indicators that Obama stands with and actually fully supports “radical” Islam are as follow:
· Obama still refuses to use the word Islam when speaking about Islamic terrorists
· Obama has had “secret” meetings (only recently disclosed) at the White House with the Muslim Brotherhood members in the last month
· Obama is working with radical Islamic ICNA in its just concluded 3-day “summit” on terrorism
· The Center for Immigration Studies advised that Obama imported 300,000 Muslims into the USA in 2013 and at least 70,000 Muslims in 2014
· In 2015, Obama ordered the US State Department to overload the immigration system in order to bring thousands of Jihadis into the USA as well as tens of thousands of more Muslims. One way or the other, Obama is determined to turn what was once the USA into an Islamic country
Every time ISIS or another Islamic terrorist group commits another beheading, live human burning, disembowelment of organs for, Obama makes excuses for them. At his press conference 19 February 2015, Obama said that the terrorists “may have legitimate grievances, WHAT?
Everything Obama and the Islamo-Nazi new world order is now doing is designed to implement the “Final Solution” for the USA, that of the North American Caliphate which Obama plans to head. President Ronald Reagan’s “America a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere” will be destroyed and extinguished at last. As it is, the last flicker of light in the world is very dim now. As I’ve written before, my ancestral family members built the United States of America from the ground up and I have been witnessing its dismantling. Although I view Barack Hussein Obama as a loathsome creature, even more offensive are those who refuse to lift a hand to stop him, and those who affected the pretense of being of, for and by the people but, who willingly betrayed their fellow humans for the promise of power in this planned New Dark World and a few pieces of silver. And, to them, I say whether you choose to believe it or not truth is truth and our Creator God is watching. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Islam Is 'Religion of the Sword;'
Feb. 20….(Christian Post) In the newest edition of its apocalyptic English-language propaganda magazine, the Islamic State terrorist organization refutes the long-standing mantra that Islam is a "religion of peace" and insists that Islam is a "religion of the sword." Countering the popular opinion that Islam calls for peace among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, an article in the seventh edition of Dabiq magazine states that Allah calls for Islam to be a religion of violence and any Muslim who believes otherwise holds a heretic view. "There is a slogan repeated continuously by apologetic 'du'at' [callers for Islam] when flirting with the West and that is their statement: 'Islam is the religion of peace,' and they mean pacifism by the word peace," reads the ISIS article, which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute. "How far is their claim from the truth, for Allah has revealed Islam to be the religion of the sword, and the evidence for this is so profuse that only a zindiq (heretic) would argue otherwise."
ISIS is notorious for its widespread torture and brutality against religious minorities, violators of ISIS' brand of Islamic law, and apostates. Many Muslims all over the world detest the Islamic State's violent actions, which include beheadings, burnings and merceless killings, and assert that the group's actions are not justified in the name of Islam. The Dabiq article, however, also claims that Allah and the Quran specifically call on Muslims to behead all non-believers. "Allah also described what should be struck with the sword, (Remember when your Lord revealed to the angels, 'I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike them upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip') [Quran 8:12]," the article continues. "He also said (So when you meet those who disbelieve, strike their necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either confer favor afterwards or ransom them until the war lays down its burdens), [Quran 47:4]."
ISIS' propaganda article further contends that the sword is the only way to reach the Islamic paradise. "His Messenger also described the sword as the salvation from evil and fitnah [strife]. He also described the sword as being the key to Jannah [paradise]," the article asserts. "He also declared that his worldly provision was placed for him in the shade of his spear and that the best livelihood for the Muslim in the future is what he takes with his sword from the kafir [unbelieving] enemy."
Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, a leading expert on ISIS' theology, agrees with the ISIS article in the sense that Western Muslims who believe that Islam is the religion of peace have a "cotton-candy view" of Islam and overlook "what their religion has historically and legally required." "People want to absolve Islam," Haykel says in an interview with The Atlantic. "It's this 'Islam is a religion of peace' mantra. As if there is such a thing as 'Islam'! It's what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts." Haykel adds that ISIS is interperetting the same text that peaceful Muslims are and presumes that ISIS militants are simply interpreting the Quran the same way early Medievil Muslims did. Haykel also notes that moderate Muslims choose not too act on the radical traditions presented in the sacred texts. "Slavery, crucifixion, and beheadings are not something that freakish [jihadists] are cherry-picking from the Medieval tradition," Haykel says. "ISIS fighters are smack in the middle of the Medieval tradition and are bringing it wholesale into the present day."
Haykel also argues that it would be wrong to say that the Islamic State is un-Islamic just because ISIS' theology and tactics are barbaric and outdated. "The only principled ground that the Islamic State's opponents could take is to say that certain core texts and traditional teachings of Islam are no longer valid," he continues. "What's striking about them is not just the literalism, but also the seriousness with which they read these texts. There is an assiduous, obsessive seriousness that Muslims don't normally have."
The ISIS article concluded with the threat that Muslims will continue to draw their swords until Jesus comes to slay the Antichrist. "The sword will continue to be drawn, raised, and swung until 'Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him) kills the Dajjal (the Antichrist) and abolishes the jizyah [poll tax]," the article states. "Thereafter, kufr and its tyranny will be destroyed; Islam and its justice will prevail on the entire Earth. But until then, parties of kafirin will continue to be struck down by the unsheathed sword of Islam."
Obama: 'We Are Not at War With Islam'
Feb. 20….(CNN) President Barack Obama, speaking at his summit on countering violent extremism Wednesday, sought to strike a balance between appealing for more acceptance of Muslim-Americans while emphasizing the need to remain vigilant against radicals who could turn violent. "We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam," Obama said during his remarks, adding later that Muslim leaders "need to do more to discredit the notion that our nations are determined to suppress Islam." Obama went to lengths before the summit began to avoid linking extremism to the Muslim faith; his intent, aides say, was to avoid giving credence to the ideologies of Islamic State or al Qaeda terrorists.
President Obama gave a full-throated defense Wednesday of his refusal to identify terrorists as Muslim extremists, saying doing so runs counter to American values and would empower violent fanatics. “We must never accept the premise they put forward, because it is a lie. Nor should we grant them the legitimacy that they seek. They are not religious leaders. They are terrorists,” Obama said to loud applause at a White House summit on countering terrorism. “And we are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”
Obama described his approach to attacking extremism as taking on three challenges: Combatting the ideology of extremists, attacking poverty that helps set the stage for terror, and eliminating “political grievances that terrorists exploit.”
FOJ Note: Let me get this straight Mr. President; these Jihadists (not Muslims) are beheading people because their grievances are not being addressed, and their economic plight compels them to kill people who believe differently from them. (Mr. President, I have some nice swampland in Alaska for sale real cheap, interested?) I suppose we should not attribute any connection to the fact that the Islamic terrorists quote the Koran, and hold it up for pictures when they behead people.
ISIS Believes it is Hastening The End Times and Arrival of The Mahdi
Feb. 19….(CNN) Whenever ISIS carries out a new atrocity, whether it's beheading a group of Egyptian Christians or enslaving Yazidi women in Iraq or burning its victims alive, the big question most people have is: Why on Earth is ISIS doing this? What could possibly be the point? Adding to your list of enemies is never a sound strategy, yet ISIS' ferocious campaign against the Shia, Kurds, Yazidis, Christians, and Muslims who don't precisely share its views has united every ethnic and religious group in Syria and Iraq against them.
ISIS is even at war with its most natural ally, al Qaeda in Syria. The Nazis and the Khmer Rouge went to great lengths to hide their crimes against humanity. Instead, ISIS posts its many crimes on social media for global distribution with seemingly no thoughts for the consequences.
ISIS' beheading of the American journalist James Foley in mid-August galvanized much of the Western world against the group and led to an intensified US-led air campaign against ISIS, which, according to US military officials, has killed at least 6,000 of its fighters. The burning to death by ISIS of the Jordanian pilot, Muath al-Kaseasbeh, galvanized much of the Arab world against the group and has brought Jordan into the US-led campaign against ISIS in a much more aggressive manner.
The beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya by an ISIS affiliate led Egypt's air force on Monday to drop bombs on ISIS positions in eastern Libya. Former CIA director Robert Gates is reported to have kept a maxim on his desk that read, "As a general rule, the way to achieve complete strategic surprise is to commit an act that makes no sense or is even self-destructive."
ISIS keeps surprising the world and its actions do indeed seem to make no sense or are self-destructive. So what is going on here? A key window into understanding ISIS is its English language "in-flight magazine" Dabiq. Last week the seventh issue of Dabiq was released, and a close reading of it helps explains ISIS' world-view. The mistake some make when viewing ISIS is to see it as a rational actor. Instead, as the magazine documents, its ideology is that of an apocalyptic cult that believes that we are living in the end times and that ISIS' actions are hastening the moment when this will happen. The name of the Dabiq magazine itself helps us understand ISIS' worldview. The Syrian town of Dabiq is where the Prophet Mohammed is supposed to have predicted that the armies of Islam and "Rome" would meet for the final battle that will precede the end of time and the triumph of true Islam.
In the recent issue of Dabiq it states: "As the world progresses towards al-Malhamah al-Kubra, ('the Great Battle' to be held at Dabiq) the option to stand on the sidelines as a mere observer is being lost." In other words, in its logic, you are either on the side of ISIS or you are on the side of the Crusaders and infidels.
When American aid worker Peter Kassig was murdered by ISIS in November, "Jihadi John," the masked British murderer who has appeared in so many ISIS videos, said of Kassig: "We bury the first crusader in Dabiq, eagerly waiting for the rest of your armies to arrive." In other words, ISIS wants a Western ground force to invade Syria, as that will confirm the prophecy about Dabiq. We live in an increasingly secularized world, so it's sometimes difficult to take seriously the deeply held religious beliefs of others. For many of us the idea that the end of times will come with a battle between "Rome" and Islam at the obscure Syrian town of Dabiq is as absurd as the belief that the Mayans had that their human sacrifices could influence future events.
But for ISIS, the Dabiq prophecy is deadly serious. Members of ISIS believe that they are the vanguard fighting a religious war, which Allah has determined will be won by the forces of true Islam. This is the conclusion of an important forthcoming new book about ISIS by terrorism experts J.M. Berger and Jessica Stern who write that ISIS, like many other "violent apocalyptic groups, tend to see themselves as participating in a cosmic war between good and evil, in which moral rules do not apply."
This also similar to the conclusion of an excellent new cover story about ISIS in the Atlantic magazine by Graeme Wood who writes, "Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, 'the Prophetic methodology,' which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn't actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combated, has already led the United States to underestimate it." Amen to that.
ISIS members devoutly believe that they are fighting in a cosmic war in which they are on the side of good, which allows them to kill anyone they perceive to be standing in their way with no compunction. This is, of course, a serious delusion, but serious it is.
Iran's Houthis Start Battle to Control Red Sea Entry
(Shi'ite Houthi militia, after replacing Yemen's government, launches conquest of strategic port city of Aden controlling Eilat access.)
Feb. 19….(Arutz) Shi'ite Houthi militia, after replacing Yemen's government, launches conquest of strategic port city of Aden controlling Eilat access. The Shi'ite Houthi militia which is loyal to Iran and receives support from the Islamic regime has moved its conquest of Yemen into a new stage, opening its battle for the southern port city of Aden which controls access to the Red Sea and ultimately to Eilat and Israel. Earlier this month the Houthis established their temporary government, the Supreme Revolutionary Council, in the presidential castle in the capital city of Sana'a after besieging the previous government in the castle until it disbanded.
On Monday, the new government led by acting president Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi ratified a decision to take over control of the country and called on the UN Security Council to "honor the will of the Yemenite people," framing their coup as a locally supported event despite the fierce opposition the Houthi minority militia is facing having taken control. After being forced to resign, former President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi remains under house arrest enforced by members of the Houthi militia "Ansar Allah." The Houthi militia is concentrating its efforts on establishing a base of power in central Yemen, dispersing protests against it with live fire.
In addition, special forces loyal to the Houthis have begun operations to try and capture governmental buildings in the Aden district of southern Yemen, with reports surfacing of battles breaking out between the Houthis and local forces near the Aden airport.
Aden has become the central goal of the Houthis, as control of the port city allows domination over entry to the Red Sea through which commerce transverses to Israel and Europe. Foreign ministers of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council nations responded to the developments by expressing their concerns over the Iranian-backed conquest of Yemen, pressuring the UN Security Council to take action on the matter including issuing permission to conduct military operations in Yemen.
Intel: ISIS Planning Attacks on US Soil (ISIS is Growing)
(Cells already in place for spring, summer offensive)
Feb. 19….(WND) Egypt, now at the forefront of fighting ISIS, is warning it has intelligence revealing the global jihadist group is planning a worldwide offensive this spring or summer that could reach targets within the United States. Interrogations of ISIS members captured in recent weeks in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula Egyptian and information collected by Egyptian security forces indicate ISIS is planning ground offensives this spring and summer aimed at taking over more territory across the Middle Eastern and Persian Gulf, a senior Egyptian intelligence official told WND. Some of the information indicates the new offensive will not be limited to the Arab world. Timed to coincide with its planned surge, ISIS is plotting possible attacks using cells abroad. ISIS and its jihadist allies could activate cells to carry attacks in Europe and possibly within the US, the senior Egyptian official warned.
The official advocated the deployment of significant ground troops acting on multiple fronts to stop ISIS’ progression. He complained the Obama administration and international community has been hesitant to take major action against ISIS advances.
Egypt on Monday sent warplanes over the border into Libya to bomb ISIS targets after the terror group’s well publicized, savage attack on Egyptian Christians. Egyptian F-16 fighter jets reportedly struck ISIS training camps and weapons depots along Libya’s coast, including targets in Derna, where Islamic extremist groups have joined with ISIS.
One day earlier, ISIS allies released a video that appears to show the execution of 21 Coptic Christian prisoners. The Coptic Church is headquartered in Egypt. The Egyptian government reportedly dispatched its foreign minister to New York in a bid to rally international support for their military intervention in Libya. Last week, WND reported Egypt estimates ISIS and its allies currently boast an army of about 180,000 fighters. An Egyptian intelligence document, the contents of which were obtained by WND, warns that while the US has been attempting to maintain a coalition to fight ISIS, the Islamic terrorist organization has itself been hard at work building a sustainable coalition of jihadist gunmen. The 180,000 figure is up to six times greater than a CIA estimate from last September, which placed the number of ISIS fighters at between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters.
According to Egypt, ISIS has created an umbrella army with the Taliban, Al Shabab, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and local jihadist groups from Yemen, Mali, Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Egyptian Sinai.
There have been numerous claims of ISIS cells embedded in the US. Earlier this month, Michael Steinbach, head of the FBI’s counter-terrorism division, was asked by CNN whether or not there are ISIS cells in the US. Steinbach said, “There are individuals that have been in communication with groups like ISIS who have a desire to conduct an attack,” and those people are living in the US right now. He conceded the FBI finds it extremely difficult to track every American traveling abroad who can join ISIS or receive training by foreign terrorist organizations. “I’m worried about individuals that we don’t know about that have training,” Steinbach said. “We know what we know. But there is a number that’s greater than that that we don’t know.” “Once you get to Europe, you can easily get down to Turkey and into Syria,” he noted.
In August, former CIA officer Bob Baer told CNN he had been “told with no uncertainty there are ISIS sleeper cells in this country.” CNN cited two unnamed US officials rebutting the claim but still expressing concern ISIS militants with passports might travel to the US to launch attacks on American soil.
Obama Goes Golfing AGAIN as World Mourns Christian Martyrs
Feb. 18….(Breitbart) Obama also played golf on Sunday when the videotaped slaughter of Coptic Christians went viral globally. In response to the gruesome beheading video, Egypt began airstrikes in Libya against ISIS targets.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis denounced the brutal slaying. “Today I read about the execution of those twenty-one or twenty-two Coptic Christians,” said the Pope. “Their only words were: ‘Jesus, help me!’ They were killed simply because they were Christians.”
Obama hit the links before 8:00 am local time and played the Porcupine Creek Golf Course in Palm Springs with three of his Hawaii buddies. This is not the first time Obama has golfed amid beheading video releases. In September, just minutes after delivering a speech on the beheading of US journalist James Foley by ISIS, Obama went golfing. Later, Obama said he “should have anticipated the optics” surrounding his decision.
On Sunday, CBS’s Bob Schieffer said he was “bothered” that Obama “goes off to California to do a fundraiser” after ISIS announced the death of US aid worker Kayla Mueller. How Christians will react to Obama’s recent golfing decision remains to be seen. A week-and-a-half ago, Obama ignited controversy when he lectured Christians not to get on their “high horse” in the wake of ISIS immolating a live Jordanian pilot in a metal cage. As Obama put it, “during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”
Obama: A Friend to America’s Enemies
Feb. 18….(National Review/Quinn Hilyer) At the risk of being melodramatic, it must nonetheless be said: We are in a war for civilization itself, and Barack Obama is not on the right side. He is on the enemies side! We are in a battle for civilization because the Islamic State, which is darkness and evil personified, has declared war against us, and we in the West and the modernized Orient are, despite our flaws, the very repository of civilization. They are backwards; we are enlightened. They are warped; we are well-intentioned. They are inhuman; we are humane. They are soul-less; we are desirous, however imperfectly, of a grace beyond our ken.
The Islamic State, meanwhile, is aided in its anti-civilizational enterprise even by some of its nominal enemies. The Iran of the ayatollahs is a cancer on humanity, while Hamas and Hezbollah are its murderous allies, serving a “prophet” they make into a thug. Al-Qaeda and its affiliates still poison vast swaths of the Middle East and Africa. The Muslim Brotherhood bizarrely enjoys something approaching respectability in left-wing circles, although in reality it’s a vicious virus working toward death. North Korea is, of course, a black hole; Russia is led by a black-hearted villain. And in other places in the world, Marxists still peddle their poison.
Against those antediluvian influences, in the very heart of the Middle East darkness, only one nation fully embraces Western civilization. That nation is Israel. It is a representative republic. It guarantees civil rights and all the basic human rights. It is a land where commerce thrives, where faiths of all kinds are protected, where people walk free, and where Western civilization is cherished. Israel merits support not mostly because it is a haven for Jews in a hostile world, although history teaches that such a haven is necessary, but because it is a phalanx of liberty and decency behind enemy lines.
Yet Barack Obama, despite his longstanding fakery to the contrary, is a deliberate adversary to the Jewish State. Obama bolsters Hamas, undermines Israel diplomatically on almost all fronts, pushes Israel to give up land for essentially no benefit to it, leaks intelligence about Israel’s self-defense, works to marginalize Israel’s American supporters, and puts roadblocks in the way of Israeli efforts to protect itself from Iran. The problem is not just that Obama detests Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The real trouble is much more fundamental: The reason Netanyahu bothers Obama so much is that Netanyahu has the gall to fight for Israel’s just interests and for Israel’s survival. Even worse, from Obama’s perspective, is that Netanyahu believes in and defends not only Israel’s Jewishness but also its Western-ness. Against Obama’s rather obvious belief that the West has been, in world affairs, at least as much oppressor as liberator, Netanyahu fully embraces the values that animate the whole of Western Civilization.
To keep Netanyahu from fighting for the West, Obama is trying to destroy him politically, sending his minions to run a campaign in Israel against him. Yet that’s not the worst of it. After all, Netanyahu is more a master of Israeli politics than anything Obama can throw at him, besides, Israel will remain Israel even if Netanyahu loses the March elections. The worse way in which Obama works against the interests of the West is that he does not merely appease Iran, he seeks to partner with it.
Amazingly, Obama clearly sees Iran not as a mortal enemy but as a long-term force for stability in the region. Thus it is that Obama seems not only undisturbed by Iran’s continuing nuclear development but indeed welcoming of it, even though Iran is also developing missile capability with which it might launch the nukes. Yet anyone with any sense knows that Iran cannot be tamed as long as the ayatollahs rule. Anyone who understands power knows that even if Israel ceased to exist, an Islamist regional hegemon in the Middle East would not then settle down quietly into peaceful coexistence with the world’s nations; it would use consolidated power to wage an even more devastating war on the West. The ayatollahs feel no less strongly than the Islamic State does about the jihadist mandate to eradicate unbelievers who will not submit to sharia and Allah.
Meanwhile, the Russians, the South American Marxists in Venezuela and Ecuador and elsewhere, the North Koreans, and possibly the Chinese will not feel not grateful for American forbearance but emboldened by our weakness. Victor Davis Hanson suggested on NRO this month that Obama’s goal is a deliberately calibrated weakening of the United States. He aims to degrade American might, because he believes that “for America to quietly recede and give other nations a chance to direct their own affairs and become global actors would be far more equitable, leading to a world that far better represents heretofore unrepresented billions of people.”
Whatever Obama’s intentions, his actions will serve not to strengthen civilization but to weaken it. If the United States recedes as Obama seems to wish, those billions of people will not be “represented,” but even further subjugated.
Where is The Outcry in The Muslim World
Feb. 18….(Franklin Graham) The Islamic State beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians over the weekend, propping the severed heads on the victims’ backs, a barbaric slaughter that led Reverend Franklin Graham to ask, “Can you imagine the outcry if 21 Muslims had been beheaded by Christians?” he brutal killing of the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, who had been abducted in Libya by members of the Islamic State, was videotaped and the entire death film was posted online on Sunday, Feb. 15. It is entitled, “A Message Signed With Blood, To The Nation of the Cross.”
In a Facebook post on Feb. 16, Rev. Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said, “The militant Islamic terrorist group ISIS has released a video called A MESSAGE SIGNED WITH BLOOD TO THE NATION OF THE CROSS, showing the beheadings of the 21 Egyptian Christians who had been kidnapped in Libya.” “Can you imagine the outcry if 21 Muslims had been beheaded by Christians?” said Rev. Graham. “Where is the universal condemnation by Muslim leaders around the world?” “As we mourn with the families of those 21 martyrs, we’d better take this warning seriously as these acts of terror will only spread throughout Europe and the United States,” warned Rev. Graham. “If this concerns you like it does me, share this,” he said. “The storm is coming.” “Where is the universal condemnation by Muslim leaders around the world?” he asked.
FOJ Note: Not only is there not any shock and outcry in the Muslim world over these hideous, and depraved actions by these Islamic Jihadists, but our Muslim appreciative President adds insult to the murders of these Christians by once again doing nothing, except putting in another round of golf. His actions are simply disgraceful and insulting to every American!
Obama & Iran Have A Done Nuke Deal, Despite Israel’s Concerns
Feb. 18….(DEBKA) Some US and Israeli media have reported that the Obama administration reduced the exchange with Israel of sensitive information about its nuclear negotiations with Iran, because Binyamin Netanyahu has leaked “details of the US position to the media.” The fact is that US President Barack Obama and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani have already agreed on the final draft of a comprehensive nuclear accord. Its terms are therefore an open secret. The deal would be in the bag if Iran’s paramount leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei could be brought round to endorsing it.
The Iranian leader preserves a sphinx-like silence on the deal, which has nothing to do with Binyamin Netanyahu, but does in fact refute Obama’s propaganda game that pins the blame on the Israeli prime minister. For five years, Obama ran a back-channel dialogue with Iran. Then too he kept its content secret not just from Israel but from other closely affected allies, Saudi Arabia and certain Gulf emirates. Israel at times offered Washington relevant intelligence on Iran, but was rebuffed by Obama.
The Israeli political opposition campaigning against Netanyahu and his Likud party for the March 17 election has seized on this dispute to accuse him of jeopardizing the country’s strong ties of friendship with the United States, when in fact it is a one-on-one brawl with the US president. Relations would be seriously harmed only if Obama went all the way and cut off military and intelligence ties, a step that would hurt America’s strategic interests no less than Israel’s.
Yet only last week, Washington had to admit that US intelligence had been taken by surprise by the fall of the pro-American regime in Yemen and Sanaa’s takeover by the Iranian-backed rebel Houthis. While reluctant to admit as much, the administration was deeply disappointed by this act of deceit by Tehran, on which the White House counts heavily for military and intelligence cooperation as a trusted ally in the future war against the Islamic State.
Out of Obama’s intelligence loop on Iran, Israel may be equally reluctant to share its intelligence data on Yemen or even on the situation in Syria and Iraq. Israel’s Netanyahu is not the only Middle East stand-out against Obama’s Iranian policy. Other leaders are in even worse relations with Washington. The Obama administration and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi are not even on talking terms, much like the late Saudi monarch Abdullah who died last month. His successor, King Salman has yet to make his intentions towards the United States known.
Are Islamists Embedded in the White House?
Feb. 18….(WND) In the wake of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, beheading 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, retired US Air Force Gen. Tom McInerney is slamming the Obama administration for failing to take obvious military steps to destroy the terrorists and identify radical Islam as the motivating factor for the atrocities committed throughout the region. McInerney is a Vietnam veteran and rose to the No. 3 position in the Air Force during his career in uniform. He is now a Fox News military analyst.
On Sunday, ISIS released a new video depicting the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt on a beach in Libya. US-led airstrikes have been aimed at ISIS since August, after the terrorists beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. However, McInerney said the operations could be far more intense and would quickly cripple the enemy if done right. “I think the air campaign is not nearly the intensity we needed,” McInerney said. “It’s not even an air campaign. It’s somewhere between seven and 15 sorties a day when we absolutely need upward of 100-200 sorties a day. I’m calling for 200. We need to be attacking the ISIS capital of Raqqa (Syria) 24/7. We need to close the highway between Raqqa and Mosul, Iraq.” He said those steps would quickly tighten the noose around ISIS. “Nothing can move on that highway,” he said. “If it’s moving, we’ll destroy it. We’ll kill their commerce. We’ll kill their ability to feed people in their ‘Islamic State.’ That’s going to require between 100-200 sorties a day, plus we’re going to need constant surveillance reconnaissance assets over the area.”
McInerney added, “Let’s get serious on this. The president has elected not to get serious. The Pentagon wants to do this, but the White House is holding back.” In addition to McInerney’s frustration with the military tactics being employed against ISIS, he is livid over the Obama administration refusing to define the motivation behind the threat. Calling the rise and expansion of ISIS the result of “what happens when good people do nothing to fight evil,” McInerney said the Obama administration is keeping its head in the sand about how the ideology of this movement must be confronted. “The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is a radical Islamic organization,” McInerney said. “Al-Qaida, which attacked us on 9/11, is a radical Islamic organization. Hamas in the Gaza Strip is a radical Islamic organization. All these organizations that people hear about are radical Islamists. The Iranian government is a radical Islamic organization.”
The general said it is incumbent for President Obama to stop avoiding the elephant in the room and clearly state who and what America is fighting. “Until the president identifies the threat that we are facing as radical Islam, it makes it very difficult to defeat the threat,” he said. “I just can’t say it any clearer. It’s important that this White House and this president identify the threat for what it is.” Obama was vacationing in California over the Presidents’ Day weekend. The only White House responses to the ISIS beheadings or Saturday’s terrorist attacks in Denmark came from written statements. In a very short response to the shootings in Copenhagen, a three-sentence statement from a National Security Council spokesperson never referred to terrorism or radical Islam. On Sunday, a statement from White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest referred to the 21 slain Coptic Christians only as “Egyptian citizens.” McInerney is mystified by the lengths to which the administration goes to avoid references to radical Islam.
The High Cost to America of an AWOL President
Feb. 17….(Breitbart) In the recently released, but largely unheralded, National Security Strategy of the United States, the new buzz-word was “strategic patience.” As our unarmed Marines hastily departed Yemen, and ISIS closed in on their fellow devil-dogs in Iraq, the President was more than showing patience: he was making video about taking selfies.
The new National Security Strategy of the United States, which was a year late and strangely dropped on a Friday, a technique usually reserved for documents the administration doesn’t want to be read, opens with a a letter from President Obama. In it, he states that his answer to the threats and challenges that face the nation is “strategic patience.” Instead of tackling the dangers of the word proactively and head-on, America will play a waiting game. This fits neatly into previous approaches from the White House that have emphasized “leading from behind.” Given the geopolitical realties of today’s world, American voters should draw their own report card of what a reactive and “patient” approach has brought the Republic in the last six years:
The Global Jihadist Movement: Not only is Al Qaeda not on the ropes, but ISIS /The Islamic State has overtaken it as a fully-fledged insurgency which is so powerful that latest reports have it attacking the base in Iraq where US Marines are deployed to assist the Iraqi army in standing itself back up after being routed last Summer. As media attention focuses again on the Middle East, especially after the gruesome immolation of Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, the Jihadist movement grows ever stronger in Africa, with Boko Haram killing thousands and enslaving hundreds of Christian girls. Back home, we have the unprecedented statement by the director of the FBI that the Bureau is investigating ISIS activity in 49 states of the union. (Every state except Sarah Palin’s Alaska).
On the Shia side of this global war, we see that not only is Iran very deftly outmaneuvering the administration when it comes to its nuclear program, its proxies are gaining ground in South Asia and the Middle East, most especially in Yemen, where the Houthis have captured the capital. This despite the fact that Yemen was lauded last year by the President as one of the true success stories of his counter-terrorism strategy.
The most populous and important Arab Muslim state, Egypt, has not responded well to “strategic patience,” or rather, strategic neglect and rejection of the White House. When the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammad Morsi was deposed by General Sisi, Cairo became the black sheep of the region as far as the administration is considered. This despite the fact that now-president Sisi is the only Muslim leader since 9/11 to openly call for a “religious revolution” in Islam aimed against the violent jihadists that threaten his nation as much as ours.
With the “pivot to Asia” declared by then-Secretary Clinton resulting in nominal, if any actual, redirection of our attention to the region, China has proceeded to build up its military and use it to intimidate its neighbors and lay claim to new territories in ways that could very easily lead to a shooting war in the region.
And in Europe, Vladimir Putin has managed to break a 60-plus year international taboo by using force to redraw borders and annex the territory of a neighboring state. Clearly, the former KGB colonel believes in being a pro-active leader.
This is just a short version of a disturbing list that could be made much longer. The empirical truth on the ground is that we have enemies at home and abroad, enemies who believe neither in “leading from behind” nor in “strategic patience.” At the same time, the most powerful nation the world has ever seen has a Commander-in-Chief who is Absent With Out Leave.
Op-Ed: Holocaust 2? More Horrifying than the Original
(Obama should be personally driving Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Congress)
Feb. 17….(Arutz) Never again? It's Again! We are so smart and prepared. If we should ever see before us Nazis and concentration camps then we will jump to action and make sure it doesn't happen. After all, we learned our lessons from history and now we will never allow such an event, era or episode to occur again. While we have our eyes wide open to catch any glimpse of iron crosses and the first sighting of an upper lip, cropped, dark mustache, we are blind to the very true real fact that the Holocaust is here once more. And this one's not going to be as recoverable as the last one.
Obama can go to the Saudi king's funeral, there is no election there. Obama can rekindle relations with Cuba, there is no election there. The iconic six million number calculating the amount of Jews killed, in Holocaust No. 1, is hauntingly the same census of Jews living in the Jewish homeland of Israel right now. The last genocide required great trial and error, innovation and time in order for the Nazis to figure out how to gather, kill and dispose of the Jews.
This time the Jews are gathered in one spot, six million. Iran drops a nuclear bomb while the world watches. The possibility exists that Spielberg-esqe talents will then make movies about it again, museums will memorialize, memorials will erect facilities, artists and writers will produce Nobel works and the American Jews will scream, "Never again, again!" That aftermath is just a supposition because sticks and stones will break my bones but nuclear weaponry is forever. Islamic caliphate, extremist, radical, murderous terrorists with atomic weapons, dirty bombs and long range missiles along with a short sighted Washington rewrite a Holocaust disaster movie for the US to star in as well.
In short, there will be no Western World to write about it or build the museums; it will be a global disaster, one big crematorium. And if you don't believe this scenario then you're the guy in the old Holocaust movie that was naked and walking into the gas chamber saying, "I hope the shower is warm."
So when the Prime Minister of Israel is invited by one of the branches of the US Government (there are three, there is no king) and he wants to once again plead for a non-nuclear Iran, everyone should listen to him. US President Barack Obama should personally drive him over to Congress. The after-the-fact excuse that Obama is not even going to meet with him because Israel is having an election, goes directly to the aortic heart valve relationship of the United States of America and Israel. The other countries in that region and elsewhere don't have elections. Obama can go to the Saudi king's funeral, there is no election there. Obama can rekindle relations with Cuba, there is no election there. Obama can negotiate with the Supreme Ruler Ayatollah of Iran, they don't have elections there. And to Vice President Joe Biden who already announced that he will not attend Bibi's speech due to some phantom overseas trip to nowhere, Joe should cancel or postpone it because the Islamic Hitler has the A-Bomb!
Netanyahu should accept every invite to speak about the Holocaust 2 threat, whether it comes from the White House janitor, Monica Lewinsky, Al Sharpton, David Letterman or even the Joint Houses of the United States Congress. The Middle East is radicalized; Europe is done; Japan is beheaded; South America is corrupted; where should Israel's Prime Minister talk? In the future Holocaust 2 Museum, there will be an entire wing devoted to Obama and Biden and this moment in history when they negotiated with the nuclear Nazis in Tehran and didn't want a Jewish leader to even talk in Washington.
Jordan Bombing ISIS in Iraq, Egypt Bombing ISIS in Libya
FOJ Note: (Where is President Obama? Where is American defense of Christians?)
Feb. 17….(DEBKA) Egyptian air strikes bombed Islamic State targets in Libya at dawn Mon. Feb. 16, hours after a video was released showing the mass beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians. The targets were officially described as “Islamic State camps, training sites and weapons storage areas” across the border. The video released in Libya came six days after an ISIS-affiliated Sinai group aired a video depicting the beheadings of 10 alleged collaborators with Israeli and Egyptian intelligence, altogether 31 savage murders of Egyptians have been perpetrated in less than a week.
President Abdel Fatteh El-Sisi went on national television Sundaynight to warn that Cairo would “choose the necessary means and timing to avenge the criminal killings.” He declared seven days of national mourning. A major Islamist-Egyptian confrontation has thus spilled over into Libya from the multiple fronts already stretching from Sinai and the Suez Canal into the Egyptian heartland.
Debkafile’s military sources report that late last month, the Egyptian military’s high command resolved to cut down on ground operations on its western border against ISIS infiltrators from Libya and focus on aerial operations. Large air force contingents were transferred to the Libyan border last week. Monday morning they took to the air for their first strike in pursuit of three objectives:
1. To obstruct the ISIS-linked group’s advance on the Libyan capital Tripoli, after the jihadis overran most of Sirte, the port town along the coast from the capital.
2. To break up the Islamist buildup concentrated in the eastern Libyan towns of Benghazi and Darnah.
3. To hit ISIS command centers in eastern Libya and its smuggling networks, which are currently regulating most of the arms traffic from Libya via Egypt into Sinai and thence to Iraq, Jordan and the Gaza Strip.
Our military sources expect Egypt to follow up on its air strikes with marine landings on the Libyan coast against the Islamic forces on the move there. No one has fathomed until now how ISIS managed to surreptitiously transfer large numbers of fighters from Iraq to Libya. The officers smuggled into Sinai from Iraq most likely built a secret land bridge linking Iraq-Sinai, Egypt proper and Libya. The 21 victims, Egyptian Coptic workers shown on the Libyan Islamists’ video, were seized in December and January from the coastal town of Sirte which has fallen under control of Islamic groups. The video was labeled “A message signed with blood to the nation.” "We have seen the painful video and confirm the execution of Egyptians kidnapped in Libya," Coptic Church spokesman Bolis Halim told the official Middle East News Agency in Cairo. The footage released by IS online shows handcuffed hostages wearing orange jumpsuits being beheaded by their black-suited captors in a coastal area. Sunni Islam’s top body, Al-Azhar, condemned the “barbaric” beheading of the Copts. “Al-Azhar received the news of the execution of a group of innocent Egyptians with great sorrow and grief,” Al-Azhar said in a statement. “Al-Azhar stresses that such barbaric action has nothing to do with any religion or human values.”
Palestinian Authority Pays Palestinians to Kill Jews
Feb. 17….(Israel Today) It is by now no secret that the Palestinian Authority uses large portions of the international financial aid it receives to provide salaries and other payouts to terrorists who kill Jews. But a fresh investigation by journalist Edwin Black has revealed that this is not some automatic, blind welfare system, but rather a very deliberate effort to reward those who have chosen the path of violence, and therefore encourage others to do the same.
America today contributes about $400 million a year in direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, and another $400 in other assistance and investments. The European Union provides a similar amount. In 2011, Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch spoke before the US Congress to explain how this money was being cynically used to encourage the slaughter of Israeli Jews by paying healthy monthly salaries to those sitting in Israeli jails, or to the families of terrorists killed during successful attacks. A year later, two Hamas operatives from the Gaza Strip admitted to an Israeli court that they had gotten into terrorism game in order to earn a decent living. Killing Jews, they said, was the best way to secure a good and steady income.
Last summer, Israel’s Knesset was shocked to learn that in 2012 the Palestinian Authority had paid no less than $150 million to jailed terrorists and their families. It was further revealed that these salaries were determined on a sliding scale according to the length of the terrorists’ sentence. In other words, the more Jews killed, the worse the sentence and the bigger the reward.
In the course of his research, Black successfully sued to gain access to previously court-sealed documents pertaining to cases heard before US courts. Those documents revealed what Black called a “meticulous, exacting official process” in which Palestinian leaders all the way up to President Mahmoud Abbas were involved in the direct reward and encouragement of terrorism against Israel’s Jews. One example from the documents details the case of a Palestinian Authority police officer who in 2002 participated in a number of terrorist attacks that left a total of 12 Israelis dead and many more wounded. Following his capture, Israel sentenced the officer to 13 life sentences. The case was only reviewed in 2009, but the Palestinian Authority decided to retroactively compensate the terrorist policeman back to the time of his incarceration. He was even later given promotions and accompanying pay raises while sitting in an Israeli jail. A second example involved a terrorist, also a member of the Palestinian Authority security forces, who was killed while carrying out an attack that left two Israelis dead on the streets of Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Social Affairs subsequently determined that this terrorist, like many others, was “martyred while performing his national duty,” and that his closest living relative, his mother, would be compensated accordingly. Black concluded by noting that “most taxpayers in donor countries have no idea that their well-intended money is actually financing the flames of terrorism.”
Islamic State is Overrunning Iraq
Feb. 16….(CNN) ISIS, or the Islamic state, is gaining ground in Anbar Province, an important area near the capital city Baghdad that contains both the country's second largest dam and a large US military airbase. The ruthless terrorist group could carry out a massacre on the residents of the Anbar town of Jubbat al-Shamiya if reinforcement are not quickly provided, an Iraqi tribal leader warned Saturday.
CNN reports that Sheikh Naim al-Gaoud of the Albu Nimr tribe urgently appealed for more US assistance in fending off ISIS, warning that the resistance could "collapse within hours" if tribal forces retreat. Al-Gaoud asked for more weapons for tribal fighters, either from the US or the Iraqi government, or the US to send ground troops. The lives of residents of Jubbat al-Shamiya will likely be lost if ISIS successfully invades the town, Al-Gaoud warned.
On Friday, US helicopter gunships helped Iraqi ground forces fight Islamic State militants, who seized parts of the strategic city of Al Baghdadi and attacked a key US Military base nearby. American troops had seem to have deepened involvement in the fight against the Sunni terror group. The gunship support was extended after militants from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, attacked Iraqi government forces from three directions and took control of large parts of the western town of al-Baghdadi Friday, CNN reported.
The city of Al Baghdadi, also known as Khan al Baghdadi, is in Al-Anbar province and about 9 miles from the US Military's Ayn al-Assad Air Base. ISIS also launched an assault on the airbase, after which the US military deployed Apache attack helicopters. Iraqi ground forces managed to kill the attackers and the Apaches safely came back to the base without having to fire a shot. Robert Baer, a former CIA officer, was quoted as saying that the US forces seem to have deepened involvement of its troops. "I think what we're seeing here is mission creep. The Iraqi army is not up to the task. And without the United States Air Force and the military on the ground, a lot of these bases would be overrun." More than 300 US Marines are stationed at the base, which is nearly 25 square miles, to train members of the Iraqi 7th Division.
Obama Administration to Stop Updating Israel on Iran Nuclear Talks
Feb. 16….(Times of Israel) he US has stopped updating Israel on progress in talks with Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program, Channel 2 reported Sunday. The report was quickly denied in Israel and the US. According to the TV report, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice has cut off contact with Israeli National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen on the talks. It also quoted chief US negotiator Wendy Sherman as saying that she will no longer keep Israel informed of the attack. The channel characterized the move as revenge for Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress next month, which has raised the ire of the Obama administration.
But US National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey said this report is false. “National Security Advisor Rice maintains regular contact with her Israeli counterpart National Security Advisor Cohen on the full range of issues of mutual concern to our nations, and will in fact meet with him later this week at the White House,” Baskey said. “We also continue our frequent and routine contact at various professional levels within the intelligence, military, and diplomatic spheres.”
A senior State Department official delivered the same message: “Conversations continue with Israel on the Iran nuclear negotiations,” the official said. “Under Secretary Sherman met with Israeli NSA Cohen and Minister for Intelligence and Strategic Planning [Yuval] Steinitz in Munich and will see NSA Cohen again this week (the Iran negotiations were obviously the main topic of conversation). And Secretary John Kerry continues his conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu about this issue, as has always been the case.”
Diplomatic relations between the two allies have reached new lows in past weeks over the invitation to address Congress, which bypassed the White House. Netanyahu accepted an invitation last month from Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the speaker of the US House of Representatives, to speak to Congress, but the White House complained that Boehner had not cleared the invitation with President Barack Obama or Democrats in Congress. Boehner said on Sunday that he invited Netanyahu to address Congress without White House approval in order to avoid “interference,” and accused the Obama administration of “animosity” against the Israeli leader. Boehner said he felt it was important to do an end-run around White House meddling, amid a raging debate over whether to soften sanctions on Tehran. “I wanted to make sure that there was no interference,” he said about his decision to issue the invitation to the Israeli leader. “There’s no secret here in Washington about the animosity that this White House has for Prime Minister Netanyahu,” Boehner told the Fox News Sunday television program, adding, “frankly, I didn’t want them getting in the way.” “It’s an important message that the American people need to hear,” Boehner, the top House Republican, added. “I’m glad that he’s coming and I’m looking forward to what he has to say.”
Obama, a Democrat, has refused to meet Netanyahu during his Washington trip next month, saying diplomatic protocol forbids him from doing so, since the Israeli leader is up for re-election on March 17. The two leaders have had a famously frosty relationship, which has grown even more tense as a result of the disagreement over Netanyahu’s upcoming speech. Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany, known as the P5+1, have been seeking a comprehensive accord with Iran that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb in return for an easing of economic sanctions. Netanyahu has vowed, despite the presidential snub and pushback from Congressional Democrats, to deliver his speech to Congress as negotiators work toward the political outline of a deal by March 31.
ISIS Militants Shown Beheading Christian Hostages in Libya
Feb. 16….(Fox News) A video released on Sunday by militants in Libya claiming loyalty to the Islamic State terror group purports to show the mass beheading of Coptic Christian hostages. The video, which appeared on the Twitter feed of a website that supports Islamic State, depicts several men in orange jumpsuits being led along a beach, each accompanied by a masked militant. The men are made to kneel and one militant, dressed differently than the others, addresses the camera in North American-accented English. "All crusaders: safety for you will be only wishes, especially if you are fighting us all together. Therefore we will fight you all together," he said. "The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama Bin Laden's body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood."
The men are then laid face-down and simultaneously beheaded. The killings raise the possibility that the Islamic militant group, which controls about a third of Syria and Iraq in a self-declared caliphate, has established a direct affiliate less than 500 miles from the southern tip of Italy. One of the militants in the video, speaking English, makes direct reference to that possibility, saying the group now plans to "conquer Rome."
The makers of the video identify themselves as the Tripoli Province of the Islamic State group, the Islamic militant group that controls about a third of Syria and Iraq. The militants had been holding 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians hostage for weeks, all laborers rounded up from the city of Sirte in December and January. It was not clear from the video whether all 21 hostages were killed. It was one of the first such beheading videos from an Islamic State group affiliate to come from outside the group's core territory in Syria and Iraq.
The Coptic Church in a statement called on it followers to have "confidence that their great nation won't rest without retribution for the evil criminals." The Egyptian government declared a seven-day mourning period and President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi convened an emergency national security meeting to discuss a response. El-Sissi sent condolences to "the victims of terrorism," according to a statement released by the presidency. "These cowardly actions will not undermine our determination" said el-Sissi, who also banned all travel to Libya by Egyptian citizens. "Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals."
Since the 2011 uprising in Egypt, thousands have traveled to neighboring Libya in search of jobs, despite advice from their government not to go to one of the most dangerous countries in the region. Egyptian authorities have responded by suspending most flights to Libya and issuing travel warnings. Yet, Egyptian workers remain undeterred, and still line up outside the Libyan Embassy in Cairo in search of visas.
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 8 THROUGH FEBRUARY 14
American Aid Worker Kayla Mueller Killed at Hands of ISIS 'Surrendered to God' During Captivity, Drew Comfort From 'Deep Christian Faith'
Feb. 13….(Christian Post) The aid worker had been held hostage by ISIS since August 2013, The Guardian noted. Supporters of ISIS said last week that Mueller had been killed during a Jordanian air strike, and though the US confirmed the news, it could not determine the cause of her death. Mueller was reportedly taken by militants in Syria while working at a hospital run by humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières. In a letter to her family written sometime in the spring of 2014, she asked them not to worry and claimed that she was being treated with respect and was unharmed.
She said that her deep Christian faith gave her comfort during her captivity: "I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator because literally there was no else but God and your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall."
The aid worker had traveled to Syria to help provide aid to refugees and those suffering in the ongoing civil war. Before that she also worked for humanitarian initiatives in India, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Mueller said in a 2013 interview with the Prescott Daily Courier, a newspaper from her hometown of Prescott, Arizona: "I find God in the suffering eyes reflected in mine, if this is how you are revealed to me, this is how I will forever seek you."
Fox News revealed further details about Mueller's capture in a report on Wednesday, and noted that she had spent several months being transferring between holding cells, and was held both at a children's hospital in Aleppo, and the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.
President Obama revealed that the US had made an attempt to rescue Mueller, but the operation was unsuccessful. "I deployed an entire operation, at significant risk, to rescue not only her, but the other individuals who had been held, and probably missed them by a day or two," Obama told Buzzfeed in an interview. Fox News' Catherine Herridge reported Tuesday that the Obama administration knew the location and building where Mueller and the other Western hostages were being held but waited more than five weeks before attempting a rescue. Mueller became the fourth US citizen to die at the hands of ISIS, following fellow aid worker Peter Kassig and journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff in 2014. The president said, however, that no matter the cost, paying ransom to the jihadists is not an option. "It's as tough as anything that I do, having conversations with parents who understandably want, by any means necessary, for their children to be safe," Obama said. "We will do everything we can short of providing an incentive for future Americans to be caught." Obama vowed to bring those responsible for Mueller's death to justice. "Kayla represents what is best about America, and expressed her deep pride in the freedoms that we Americans enjoy, and that so many others strive for around the world," he added in a White House statement. "In how she lived her life, she epitomized all that is good in our world."
Mueller's family said that they are proud of her work, and noted that she lived with a purpose. The family added: "We remain heartbroken, also, for the families of the other captives who did not make it home safely and who remain in our thoughts and prayers. We pray for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria."
Florida Student Reprimanded for Saying “God Bless America”
Feb. 13….(Fox News) A Florida high school student was disciplined after a national atheist organization took offense when he concluded the morning announcements by saying “God Bless America.” A spokesperson for the Nassau County School District told me the student at Yulee High School deviated from the approved script on the morning of Feb. 9th and uttered the words “God Bless America,” apparently causing angst among two atheist students. “It wasn’t part of the scripted morning announcements,” district spokesperson Sharyl Wood said. “The principal took the appropriate steps in speaking with the student and disciplining the student.” Disciplining the student? What’s the penalty these days for asking God to bless America – 30 lashes?
Instead of reporting their angst to the principal, the atheist students reached out to the American Humanist Association. The AHA’s legal arm, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, fired off a testy letter to the principal and school district on the students’ behalf. “It is inappropriate and unlawful for a public school to start the school day with an official statement over the intercom stating, ‘God Bless America,’ for such a statement affirms God-belief, validates a theistic worldview and is invidious toward atheists and other nonbelievers,” the American Humanist Association wrote in a letter to the principal of Yulee High School.
The AHA said the student violated the Constitution and broke the law by invoking God’s name over the public address system. They demanded the school immediately cease and desist under the threat of a lawsuit. “The daily validation of the religious views of God-believers resigns atheists to second-class citizens,” the AHA wrote in their letter. “Because attendance is mandatory, the students have no way of avoiding this daily message either.” Later that day, the AHA received a mea culpa from the principal assuring them such behavior would not happen again.
Secret Iranian Network Arming Middle East Terror Networks
Feb. 13….(Fox News) As conflicts and civil wars rage across the Middle East and North Africa, a shadowy covert cell operating under the Iranian government is fueling the bloodshed. Unit 190, a secret arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force made up of about two-dozen employees, has for years smuggled arms to these conflict zones. After an extensive investigation tracing the land, air and sea routes used by the Quds Force to move weapons to Hezbollah, Hamas and now the Houthis in Yemen, Fox News has also learned from western intelligence sources the name of the Iranian man who is a key player in Unit 190: Behnam Shahariyari, born in 1968 in Ardabil, northwest Iran.
According to western intelligence sources, Shahariyari runs a network of straw companies, which skirt sanctions packing RPG's, night-vision equipment and long-range rockets in powdered milk, cement and spare vehicle parts. “Very often arms and explosives were placed in trucks underneath legal cargo in order to hide them,” said Michael Eisenstadt, director of Military and Security Studies programs for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
In May 2007, when Turkey intercepted containers filled with 122mm mortar shells and explosives destined for Hezbollah via Syria in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1747, the bill of lading had Shahariyari's signature on it. A hangar in the civilian section of the international airport in Tehran near the Iran Air terminal reportedly serves as a warehouse for Unit 190, according to western intelligence sources who provided Fox News with a photo of the hangar.
In fact, the US Treasury has sanctioned front companies used by the Quds Force’s Unit 190 to transport weapons to Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups in the Middle East in direct violation of UN Security Council resolutions. “Many times when you see the United States government imposing sanctions on so-called ‘commercial businesses’ in Iran, it's in reality the Quds Force that they are trying to sanction,” said Ali Alfoneh, an Iranian-born political scientist at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
On Dec. 21, 2010, the US Treasury designated a shipping company, Liner Transport Kish, for providing material support including weapons to Hezbollah on behalf of the Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC. Formed in 2003, the company is based on Kish Island off the coast of Iran in the Persian Gulf. Its manager, Sayyed Jabar Hosseini, is also an employee of Unit 190. “There are several major Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf region which serve as shipping points for Iran's armed transportation to the region,” Alfoneh said.
More recently, in January 2013, the US Navy intercepted 40 tons of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles on board a boat named the Jeehan-1, weapons that western intelligence officials say were destined for the Houthis, the very rebels who just took control of Yemen's capital, forcing the evacuation of the US Embassy on Wednesday. “We know that there is a relationship between the Houthis and Tehran,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday. “We've been very clear on multiple occasions about our concerns about the tentacles that Iran has throughout the region, specifically with support to groups and organizations that aren't doing anything to increase stability in the region.”
In October 2012, explosions rocked Khartoum. Video from that night shows the factory in the southwest part of Sudan's capital where Iran stored the weapons that intelligence officials say they planned to distribute overland through Egypt into the Gaza Strip and elsewhere across the Middle East. “Apparently, that was a compound that was probably used as a transshipment point,” Eisenstadt explained. “The Iranians would bring in arms from Iran to Port Sudan and they would bring the arms to this transshipment point awaiting re-transport over land to Gaza or to other points in Africa.” It's since been reported that eight Israeli F-15 fighter jets bombed the Iranian weapons stockpile in Sudan that night.
It is not the first time Israel has intercepted Iranian arms shipments: in March 2014 the Israeli navy stopped a commercial ship called the Klos-C which was filled with Syrian long range rockets. In March 2011, it also intercepted the Victoria with Iranian C-704 shore-to-sea missiles onboard, reportedly destined for Gaza. Iranian fingerprints have been noticed on illicit shipments all across the region.
Netanyahu: Obama and I Have a 'Profound Disagreement' on Iran Nuke Deal
Feb. 12….(AFP) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted Tuesday he has a "profound disagreement" with President Barack Obama over efforts by the US and world powers to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. However, he said he is still trying to minimize the impact of the dispute on his country's relations with the United States. "We do have today a profound disagreement with the United States administration and the rest of the P5+1 over the offer that has been made to Iran," Netanyahu's office quoted him as saying. Iran and Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany have been seeking a comprehensive accord that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb in return for an easing of economic sanctions.
In his statement, Netanyahu said what the P5+1 was offering in the negotiations "would enable Iran to threaten Israel's survival." "This is a regime, Iran, that is openly committed to Israel's destruction," he said. "It would be able, under this deal, to break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time, and within a few years, to have the industrial capability to produce many nuclear bombs for the goal of our destruction."
Obama has refused to meet Netanyahu during his trip to Washington next month, saying diplomatic protocol forbade him from doing so, as the Israeli leader is fighting for re-election on March 17. "This is not a personal disagreement between President Obama and me. I deeply appreciate all that he has done for Israel in many fields," said Netanyahu. "Equally, I know that the president appreciates my responsibility, my foremost responsibility, to protect and defend the security of Israel. "I am going to the United States not because I seek a confrontation with the president, but because I must fulfil my obligation to speak up on a matter that affects the very survival of my country. "I intend to speak about this issue before the March 24th deadline and I intend to speak in the US Congress because Congress might have an important role on a nuclear deal with Iran."
Syrian Army & Iranian/Hizballah Troops March to Israel’s Golan Doorstep
FOJ Note: Could this military strategy by Iran/Hezbollah/Syria have implications for the prophesied destruction of Damascus. I think it could.
Feb. 12….(DEBKA) A large-scale offensive by the Syrian army has been launched in southern Syria, the broadest campaign in that region in the nearly-four year conflict, aimed to control positions on Israel’s Golan border. Israel curtailed an earlier campaign on Jan 18 with an air strike which killed a dozen Iranian and Hizballah officers scooping out the Golan town of Quneitra for their new base. Among them were the commander of Iranian forces in Syria, Revolutionary Guards general Mohamad Ali Allah Dadi and a senior Hizballah officer Ali al-Tabtabani. This cut short a move to seize a forward position in the northern Golan and adjacent Hermon.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon then reiterated that Israel would not permit Iran and Hizballah to create a military enclave there for their forces to jump-start terrorist strikes and rocket attacks against Israel. On Jan. 30, Hizballah leader, Hassan Nasrallah stood up in Beirut for to give a furious speech to dictate terms: If Israel persisted in its refusal to live with an Iranian-Hizballah presence on the Golan, there would be war, he shouted. On Feb. 2, the influential Iranian lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the majlis foreign affairs and security committee, declared that the account with Israel over the Quneitra attack was still open and more “operations” were coming.
And now, elements of the Syrian army’s Ninth Division and 121st Brigade armed with 50 T-72 tanks are leading a sweeping Iranian-Hizballah offensive dubbed “Operation Ali Allah Dadi for Quneitra Martyrs.” With them are 4,000 Shiite fighters imported by Iran for the battle and several hundred Hizballah gunmen, all under the command of Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers. The operation started out with an Iranian-led force advancing on the southern Syrian town of Deraa, part of which is held by Syrian rebels, and heading for the junction of the Syrian-Jordanian and Israeli borders. Strong dust and sand storms over the region this week restricts visibility and kept Syrian fighter jets grounded. Nonetheless, the Syrian-Hizballah-Iranian force, by dint of its superior numbers and fire power, were able to drive Syrian rebels out of many of the sectors they held and push them back toward the Israeli border. By Tuesday night, ground reconnaissance had sighted the advancing force reaching a line 5-6 km south and east of Quneitra and in position to capture the Syrian Golan town.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem emphasized that Israel’s efforts to create a buffer zone on the Golan, like the security enclave it maintained in South Lebanon, would not succeed. The object of the Quneitra offensive is clearly to root out Syrian rebel forces, claimed to be backed by Israel, from the positions they hold facing the Israeli Golan. To replace them, a token Syrian contingent made up mostly of Shiite fighters trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and an armed Hizballah force will move in.
Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah are intent on forcing Israel to swallow the presence of their forces on the threshold of central and southern Golan, after their bid to park opposite the northern sector and the adjacent Hermon mountains was pre-empted by the Israeli air strike on their advance guard. This last challenge has so far gone without an Israeli response. Heavy weather conditions over the region offer Netanyahu and Ya’alon a few days’ space for determining their next move. But doing nothing will let Tehran come out of their Act III as the winner and clinch the finale of the struggle for a forward position on Israel’s Golan doorstep.
Iran Marks Islamic Revolution Anniversary with 'Down with Israel' Signs
(With Iranians calling for the death of America and Israel, President Rouhani vows to 'spare no effort' to protect Islamic Republic's nuclear rights.)
Feb. 12….(YNET) Iran marked the anniversary of its 1979 Islamic Revolution on Wednesday with massive rallies, with many chanting against the US and Israel as the country tries to reach a permanent deal with world powers over its contested nuclear program. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, addressing a crowd of thousands in Tehran, pledged to "spare no effort" to protect the Islamic Republic's rights as it negotiates. "The sanctions have not forced Iran to enter the talks but the impracticality of the all-out pressures on Iran and the significant advancements in Iran's peaceful nuclear program made the United States come to the negotiation table," Rouhani said. "Iran is seeking a 'win-win' outcome in the nuclear talks with world powers."
In recent years, Iran has used the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution to demonstrate against the West over its sanctions for the country's disputed nuclear program. The West fears Iran's nuclear program could allow it to build nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, like power generation and medical research. Iran reached an interim, one-year deal with the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany in November 2013 to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of some sanctions. Negotiators later agreed to extend talks until June 30, with hopes of reaching a rough deal in March. Wednesday's events commemorate February 11, 1979, when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted US-backed Shah Reza Pahlavi. America helped orchestrate the 1953 coup that overthrew Iran's popularly elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, which brought Pahlavi to power and set the stage for decades of mistrust between the countries.
Obama’s Foolish Middle East Policies Opening Doors for Russia
Feb. 11….(WND) Vladimir Putin’s visit to Egypt marks a low point in US-Egyptian relations, weakening an alliance formed 35 years ago, when President Carter negotiated the Camp David Accords with Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, contends a retired Army general.
Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, a founding member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, told WND the Russians filled a void after the Obama administration cut off military supplies and equipment to Egypt in response to the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood-backed president, Mohamed Morsi, which set the stage for Gen. Abdel-Fatal al-Sisi to become president. Vallely noted that in October 2013, after the Obama administration suspended military aid to Egypt, Sisi turned to Russia. The move was followed by Putin’s first visit to Egypt on Feb. 12-13, 2014, which resulted in Cairo’s decision to purchase some $2 billion of weapons from Russia.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, another founding member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, concurred. “It is amazing how fast the Obama administration has turned some of our most loyal allies against us. Egypt was the keystone of our Mideast Policy for 40 years,” McInerney said. Egypt is “vital,” he said, “because it controls the Suez Canal, plus airspace to enter and exit the Middle East as well as the crucial partner in the Israeli Peace Treaty, and we have now forced the Egyptians to look to Russia for support. How could we let this happen?”
Clare Lopez, senior vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, warned Putin is a “shrewd operator who, like his predecessors, prioritizes a Russian presence in the Middle East.” “We must know that wherever the Kremlin is able to establish a foothold will be used to the detriment of our friend and partner, Israel, to perpetuate historical KGB relationships with Islamic terror operatives, and to oppose US strategic interests in the region,” said Lopez, a former CIA officer and another current member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. “Squandering our decades-long partnership with Egypt is dangerous, foolish and entirely unnecessary,” she said.
The Washington Institute for Near East Politics reported that between 1979 and Obama’s decision to suspend military aid to Egypt last October, the US provided Egypt with nearly $70 billion in funding. More than half went to purchase American-made equipment. The Washington Institute further reported a $1.3 billion per year US security-assistance grant accounting for 80 percent of Egypt’s military’s annual procurement budget. “Sisi had no choice but to fill the void left by the Obama administration’s decision with the military aid that Russia was willing to provide,” Vallely said.
Vallely said that since declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization in December 2013, Sisi has been fighting a threat to the Suez Canal, combating ISIS in the Sinai and worrying about ISIS now aligning with the al-Qaida-affiliated militia and the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood in Libya on Egypt’s western border. Meanwhile, al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists are gaining strength in Nigeria and Somalia to the south of Egypt.
WND reported an interim report by the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi concluded the Obama administration “switched sides” in the war on terror in Libya in 2011 when the White House and State Department under Hillary Clinton chose to arm al-Qaida-affiliated militia and the Libyan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in their effort to oust Muammar Gadhafi by force. “Russia has stepped up to provide the arms Egypt needs to defend itself against the radical Islamic terrorists al-Sisi faces on all sides,” Vallely said. He was referring to a report that Saudi Arabia has agreed to finance the weapons Egypt purchases from Russia.
Valley said the Obama administration has managed to destroy and reverse some nearly 35 years of US foreign policy in the Middle East, with Egypt now returning to Russia. Egypt had a close relationship with the Soviet Union had in era of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, from 1956 to 1970. “Egypt has a real concern about security, and the United States is not there to help as we should be helping,” Vallely said. “This is typical of the changes the Obama administration has made in US foreign policy in the Middle East,” he said. “With the Obama administration supporting the al-Qaida militia in Libya and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, it’s a great illustration how an errant foreign policy undertaken by the US State Department and a White House national security team has managed to drag the United States down lower and lower in credibility throughout the Middle East.”
Sisi: Muslim Brotherhood is Source of Islamic Extremism
Feb. 11….(Jewish Press) In a particularly pointed interview conducted with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi by German journalists, Sisi called for a “reformation” of Islam, said that ISIS and all other Islamic extremists descended from the Muslim Brotherhood, and agreed that true Muslims must take action against the extremists who are hurting other Muslims as well as insulting Allah.
Sisi was asked about his recent talk at Egypt’s al-Azhar University in which he called for a kind of reformation in Islam. He explained that there is a problem now because while “the Koran represents the absolute truth,” there are differing interpretations of it. Sisi proposed at the Azhar conference that “wrong and distorted ideas” be removed from the religious discourse. The subject of the conference was “freedom of choice,” and Sisi said “the right to choose a particular faith, whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim is an inherent part of our religion.”
In addition to simply removing the false interpretations of Islam, Sisi agreed that Muslims must take action against those who falsely interpret their religion, in other words, they must be willing to confront those extremists who are distorting Islam. While Sisi was prepared to go where a few, but only a few other Muslim leaders dared to go on this topic, he was more than open to the softball pitch by the German journalists when they asked whether ISIS or the Muslim Brotherhood was the greater threat.
Sisi’s response may not have been the one US President Obama would have wished for, but it could not have been a surprise. He said that the two terrorist groups are essentially the same, they “share the same ideology.” However, as far as Sisi is concerned, the Muslim Brotherhood spawned all the other current Islamic extremist groups, including ISIS. (FOJ Note: Yet, Mr. Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt!)
President Obama has recently been harshly criticized for having visitors at the White House who, as members of the “political wing” of the Muslim Brotherhood, had been members of the former Egyptian government. The Egyptian president tied the Muslim Brotherhood’s fundamentalist belief that terrorists ascend to paradise when they die as martyrs as the progenitor for modern Islamic terrorism.
The journalists repeatedly jabbed Sisi with charges of oppression and denial of human rights under his administration, each time pointing to specific examples. At least as reflected in the transcript of the interview, Sisi handled the accusations calmly. He offered as explanations for the critical views of what he has had to do in his country to cultural differences or naive perceptions of reality in one of the most troubled regions of the world.
Obama Warns Netanyahu: Don't Sour Iran Talks in Congress Speech
Feb. 11….(YNET) US President Barack Obama on Monday warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against souring nuclear negotiations with Iran with his planned Congress address. It does not make sense to sour the negotiations a month or two before they're about to be completed and we should play that out. If, in fact, we can get a deal, then we should embrace that," the president said in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "If we can't get a deal, then we'll have to make a set of decisions and, as I've said to Congress, I'll be the first one to work with them to apply even stronger measures against Iran," he said. "But what's the rush? Unless your view is that it's not possible to get a deal with Iran and it shouldn't even be tested. And that, I cannot agree with, because as the president of the United States, I'm looking at what the options are if we don't get a diplomatic resolution. And those options are narrow, and they're not attractive," the president added.
However, despite the "real differences" between the American administration's position and that of Israel on Iran, "that's separate and apart from Mr. Netanyahu coming to Washington," Obama said. When asked about the decision not to meet with Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister visits Washington next month to address Congress on the Iranian threat, Obama reiterated that the decision was made due to the proximity to the elections in Israel. Her added that "as much as I love Angela, if she was two weeks away from an election, she probably would not have received an invitation to the White House, and I suspect she wouldn't have asked for one." He went on to say that the decision also "has to do with how we do business, and I think it's important for us to maintain these protocols because the US-Israeli relationship is not about a particular party." Netanyahu is due to address a joint session of Congress about Iran's nuclear program on March 3, just two weeks before Israeli elections, following an invitation from John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House. Boehner's invitation has caused consternation in both Israel and the United States, largely because it is seen as Netanyahu, a hawk on Iran, working with the Republicans to thumb their noses at Obama's policy on Iran. As a result, Israeli officials told Reuters they are considering whether Netanyahu should speak to a closed-door session of Congress, rather than in a prime-time TV address, so as to drain some of the intensity from the event, a source said.
Another option is for the prime minister to make his speech at the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington the same week, rather than in Congress. Officials in Netanyahu's office said that for now his schedule had not changed. "In the past days the prime minister has been approached several times about his trip to the United States," one official said. "At the moment there is no change in the plans.The American president warned the prime minister not to let the relationship between the United States and Israel be "clouded with what could be perceived as partisan politics." "This isn't a relationship founded on affinity between the Labor Party and the Democratic Party or the Likud and the Republican Party. This is the US-Israeli relationship that extends beyond parties and has to do with that unbreakable bond that we feel and, and our commitment to Israel's security and the shared values that we have," Obama said.
Netanyahu, meanwhile, was not concerned about what his visit may do to US-Israel ties. "From the state's establishment to this day, there have been significant disagreements between Israel and the US and relations remained strong. This will be the case this time as well," he said during a launch event for the Likud's Russian-language elections campaign.
On nuclear negotiations with Iran, the US president said issues and gaps in negotiations have been "sufficiently narrowed and sufficiently clarified" and that the so-called P5+1 group has now offered Iran a deal that "allows them to have peaceful nuclear power but gives us the absolute assurance that is verifiable that they are not pursuing a nuclear weapon." The issues, he said, were no longer technical but rather political. "The issue now is whether Iran has the political will and desire to get a deal done," Obama said. "If Iran has no aspiration to get nuclear weapon, there should be a possibility to get a deal," Obama said.
ISIS Has Killed American Girl, Kayla Muellar
Feb. 11….(Fox News) The parents of Kayla Mueller, the Arizona woman who was taken hostage by ISIS in August, 2013, have confirmed their daughter died while in the hands of the terror group. "We are heartbroken to share that we've received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller, has lost her life," Carl and Marsha Mueller said in a statement. "Kayla was a compassionate and devoted humanitarian. She dedicated the whole of her young life to helping those in need of freedom, justice, and peace." It was not clear how the confirmation was made. ISIS claimed last week she was killed by a Jordanian airstrike, but offered no immediate evidence.
President Obama issued a statement Tuesday, also acknowledging the death of the 26-year-old. "It is with profound sadness that we have learned of the death of Kayla Jean Mueller," Obama said. "On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I convey our deepest condolences to Kayla's family, her parents, Marsha and Carl, and her brother Eric and his family, and all of those who loved Kayla dearly. At this time of unimaginable suffering, the country shares in their grief.";
FOJ Note: Kayla Mueller was working along the Turkish-Syrian border with a group from Doctors Without Borders. She was in the middle of one of the largest, most dangerous refugee problems in the world in a place where hundreds of thousands have been sentenced to a life wandering through a wasteland of a civil war that has destroyed Syria. She carried no weapon other than good will. She wasn’t there for a big salary, media attention or the pursuit of celebrity. Clearly, what she was doing was who she was. And she was not a novice when it came to lending herself to those in need.
According to reports in her hometown newspaper, she had volunteered at a women’s homeless shelter and a HIV-AIDS clinic in Prescott. Before she arrived in Turkey, she had been to India and Israel helping in refugee settlements there. She was learning Arabic to better communicate with those crushed and on the run from violence. On the morning that she was supposed to catch a bus in Aleppo for the return to Turkey she became one of “the disappeared.” (captured by ISIS) And for all these months, from the summer of 2013 to last week, her parents along with a few family members worried about her disappearance.
Kayla Mueller’s parents had been told last July that she would be killed unless Pakistani neuroscientist, and terror suspect, Aafia Siddiqui was released from a US jail. he worked with the aid groups Support to Life and the Danish Refugee Council, assisting women and children who crossed into Turkey as refugees. She also made some trips into Syria to help reconnect family members separated by the fighting.
In a letter to her father on his birthday in 2011, Kayla wrote: ‘I find God in the suffering eyes reflected in mine. If this is how you are revealed to me, this is how I will forever seek you.’ ‘I will always seek God. Some people find God in church. Some people find God in nature. Some people find God in love; I find God in suffering. I’ve known for some time what my life’s work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering.’
Netanyahu: US, Iran Galloping Towards Deal Which Threatens Israel
(Prime Minister Netanyahu says US, Iranian commitment to reach nuclear deal with Iran by March a danger to Israel, vows Israel 'will do everything, take any action to foil this bad deal.)
Feb. 9….(YNET) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated once again his promise to stop at nothing to prevent Iran from reaching nuclear capabilities, or maintain the ability to do so quickly through a deal with the west. His comments came US Secretary of State Kerry met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif Friday and again Sunday in Munich, where the top US diplomat stressed Washington's commitment to seeing the deadline met. "The major powers and Iran are galloping toward an agreement that will enable Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons, which will endanger the existence of the State of Israel," Netanyahu said at Israeli government's weekly cabinet meeting.
Netanyahu took aim at Kerry and Zarif, saying that their intention to complete a framework agreement by the end of March, forces Israel to take action. "From this (commitment stems the urgency of our efforts to try and block this bad and dangerous agreement. "We will continue to take action and to lead the international effort against Iran's arming itself with nuclear weapons. We will do everything and will take any action to foil this bad and dangerous agreement that will place a heavy cloud over the future of the State of Israel and its security," Netanyahu said. Kerry ruled out extending a March 31 deadline for Iran nuclear talks unless the basic framework of an agreement is hammered out, speaking in an interview aired Sunday. "The only chance I can see of an extension at this point in time would be that you really have the outlines of the agreement," Kerry said in the interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" taped Saturday in Munich.
Global powers have been struggling for more than a year to pin down a comprehensive deal to rein in Iran's suspected nuclear program, after an interim accord was struck in November 2013. After their meeting Sunday, Zarif appeared to rule out any new extension to tough negotiations with world powers. Kerry said outlining the basics of the agreement was crucial before a possible extension could be considered, but reiterated his preference for sticking to the target date. "But if we're not able to make the fundamental decisions that have to be made over the course of the next weeks, literally, I think it would be impossible to extend," he told NBC. "I don't think we would want to extend at that point. Either you make the decisions to prove your program is a peaceful one, or if you're unable to do that, it may tell a story that none of us want to hear."
After missing two previous deadlines, the group known as the P5+1, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States, set a March 31 deadline for a political agreement. That would be followed by a final deal setting out all the technical points of what would be a complex accord by June 30.
Obama is Aiding Iran’s Middle East Hegemonic Ambitions
Feb. 9….(DEBKA) The strings of the pro-Iranian Houthi rebels’ coup which toppled the Yemeni government in Sanaa were pulled from Tehran and Washington. US intelligence and shared US-Iranian support helped the Houthis reach their goal, which is confined for now to parts of central Yemen and all of the North. Friday, Feb. 6, the rebels dissolved parliament and seized power in the country of 24 million. They propose to rule by a revolutionary council. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his cabinet who were forced to resign last month are under house arrest.
Debkafile’s Saudi intelligence sources reveal that the dominant figure of the uprising was none other than Ali Abdullah Saleh, president of Yemen from 1990 until he was ousted in 2012. A member of the Zaydi branch of Shiite Islam like the Houthis, he led them to power with the same enthusiasm with which he fought their insurgency during his years in power. By rallying his supporters in the army, intelligence and security services, he enabled the rebels to take over these departments of government and overpower the Hadi regime with only minimal resistance. They were also able to commandeer $400 million worth of modern American munitions.
The Houthis secretly call themselves “Ansar Allah” and have adopted the “Death to America, Death to Israel” slogans routinely heard in government-sponsored parades and demonstrations on the streets and squares of revolutionary Tehran, and yet Mr. Obama has lent them his support.
The six Arab countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, led by Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, issued a statement Saturday, Feb. 7, calling for the UN Security Council to "put an end to this coup, an escalation that cannot be accepted under any circumstances.”
The Iranian-US gambit has resulted in different parts of Yemen falling under the sway of two anti-American radical forces, the pro-Tehran Houthis and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The new Saudi King Salman starts his reign with a double-barreled threat facing the kingdom from its southern neighbor, Yemen, posed by an Iranian pawn and a proactive branch of Al Qaeda. Ten days ago, when US President Barack Obama visited Riyadh, the Saudi monarch voiced his concern about the alarming situation developing Yemen. However, Obama replied noncommittally with general remarks.
In Washington, administration spokesmen Saturday tried pouring oil on the troubled waters roiled by US support for the Iranian maneuver in Sanaa and the return of Abdullah Saleh to the Yemeni scene. “We’re talking with everybody,” one US official said, explaining that the United States was ready to talk to any Yemeni factions willing to fight Al Qaeda. His colleagues tried to downplay Tehran’s hand in the Houthi coup. “The Houthis get support from Iran, but they’re not controlled by Iran,” said another official in Washington.
Our military and intelligence sources report that Yemen is not the only Middle East platform of the joint US-Iranian military, intelligence and strategic performance. The second act is unfolding in Iraq.
Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates, Jordan and Israel are therefore watching the evolving US-Iranian cooperation in fighting al Qaeda’s various affiliates in the region with deep forebodings, lest it is merely a façade for the Obama administration’s espousal of Tehran’s regional ambitions. It is hard for those governments to make up their minds where to look for the most acute menace to their national security, the US-Iranian nuclear deal taking shape, or the give-and-take between Washington and Tehran in Yemen and Iraq.
Why Obama Attacks Christianity in Defense of Islam
Feb. 9….(WND) Why would President Obama, who professes to be a Christian, apparently harbor such animosity toward what he claims is his own faith? The latest example came during his remarks Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast, but it was hardly the first time Obama has criticized Christianity or defended Islam.
In order to better understand what Obama truly believes, WND looked at the history of Obama’s relationship with religion, beginning with those most recent remarks. “And lest we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said at the breakfast. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ,” he added.
Incensed critics are interpreting those remarkable words as both an attack on Christianity and a defense of Muslim atrocities. As WND reported, among the many Christian leaders outraged by the president’s comments, one Catholic leader called for Obama to apologize, pointedly noting that the Inquisition was political, and the Crusades were a defensive effort against jihad. WND CEO Joseph Farah interpreted Obama’s remarks as an excuse of Islam, by drawing an equivalence between the current murderous reign of terror perpetuated by Muslim radicals and long-past misdeeds by Christians long-since condemned by virtually all Christians.
Marc Thiessen, former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush, was incredulous, stating on Fox News Thursday evening, “It was evangelical Christians who fought slavery and Jim Crow. It was William Wilberforce who led the campaign against slavery. It was Martin Luther King who fought segregation.” Thiessen wondered why the president would criticize those who criticize ISIS atrocities, asking, “What does he mean by get off our high horse? And what kind of person looks at a video of a man being burned alive and his reaction is to say ‘Let’s not forget, we in the West did that, too’?” “With all due respect, the Crusades were almost a thousand years ago. The Inquisition was in the 15th century. ISIS is burning people alive today. Now. Not Christians,” he added. Thiessen drew a parallel of his own in Obama’s comparison, remarking, “It’s fascinating that he said people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. Has he ever said ISIS has committed terrible deeds in the name of Muhammad? Or in the name of Islam? No. He said they kill in the name of religion. He won’t call it Islamic radicalism, which is a problem.”
Obama made another remark the Christian faithful may find particularly perplexing, implying their religion is not necessarily more true than any other faith: “I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt, not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.”
As to what Obama believes is the truth, a look at his past comments and actions regarding religion, especially Christianity, may be illustrative. Obama has a history of omitting references to God and Christianity.
Two years ago, WND reported he issued a statement endorsing the National Day of Prayer but excised virtually any reference to Christianity, the primary faith of the nation’s founders. In 2009, he did cite the prayers of the Continental Congress and President Lincoln’s call for prayer during the Civil War. But he started turning the next year, mentioning “God” only twice, asking for “blessings” and “guidance.” The closest reference to the nation’s Christian heritage was a reference that the US “counts freedom of conscience and free exercise of religion among its most fundamental principles.”
By 2012, Obama’s proclamation was merely giving thanks “for our democracy that respects the beliefs and protects the religious freedom of all people to pray, worship, or abstain.” In 2013, his text included “faith” only to reference it as “our faith” and recognized “God” only for delivering liberties and guidance. Obama has repeatedly removed the phrase “endowed by their Creator” from the line in the Declaration of Independence that reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
In 2013, WND reported that eventual GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain believed that was no slip of the tongue, saying, “I believe it was intentional because he did it three times.” He added, “With all of his teleprompters, how could you not put that in there? No. I believe it was intentional.” By WND columnist Chuck Norris’ count, Obama dropped “their Creator” seven times in just a two-month span in 2012.
In 2009, WND reported Obama, while admitting that America has “a very large Christian population,” told the Turkish press that “we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.” In a speech in Cairo, Egypt, in June 2009, Obama said that he felt it “part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
Also in 2009, Obama told a French reporter, “If you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.” (In fact, in 2008 Christians made up 76-percent of the population at 173 million, religious Jews 1.2-percent at 2.6 million, and Muslims only 0.6-percent at 1.3 million.) And in May 2011, WND learned that in October 2009, one of Obama’s faith advisers, Eboo Patel, a Muslim activist from Chicago, compared al-Qaeda to what he called Christian “totalitarians” in the US and Jewish “totalitarians” in Israel. In February 2010, Obama named Patel to his Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Patel is part of the official speaker’s bureau of the Islamic Society of North America, an unindicted co-conspirator in a scheme to raise money for Hamas.
Perhaps the most infamous example of what critics consider Obama administration hostility toward Christians was the demand by the IRS that conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status reveal the contents of their prayers. Obama, who professes to be a Christian, has expressed many fundamental beliefs which most Christians likely would find flabbergasting, and would disagree. He’s not sure there is an afterlife, or a heaven or hell. He has confessed he is not “sure what happens when we die.” Before campaigning for president, Obama expressed doubts about the inerrancy of Scripture. In his memoir, “Audacity of Hope,” Obama said he believed in the evolution of man from primates and did not believe, “as many evangelicals do,” that the Bible is without error.
In a 2004 Chicago Sun-Times interview, Obama said: “I am a Christian. I’m rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people. That there are values that transcend race or culture, that move us forward, and there’s an obligation for all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility to make those values lived.”
Obama Refuses to Publicly Condemn Islamic Brutality By Name
Feb. 9….(Canada Free Press) President Obama has been publicly condemned for his recent comments at a National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. During this service, Obama pointedly avoided condemning recent Islamic terrorist actions, especially the brutal and barbaric actions of ISIS. nstead, Obama, like most Islamic terrorist apologists, (i.e. Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star columnist) tried to indirectly defend Islam, by badmouthing Christianity and Catholicism.
Obama made a point of reminding his audience of all the horrible things medieval people did in the name of Christianity ( waging war during the Crusades) and Catholicism (torture and death during the Spanish Inquisition) Obama, in referring to recent events of Islamic terrorism, but not specifically naming it as such, lectured: ” Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” Yes, hundreds of years ago, terrible deeds were committed in the name of religion. But this not the point. Islamic radicalism, Islamic terrorism, Islamic brutality- call it what you want- If it drinks like a camel and walks like a camel, it is a camel!!! The point is that Islamic radicalism, Islamic terrorism, Islamic brutality, call it what you want, If it drinks like a camel and walks like a camel, it is a camel!!! Is happening now!!!
Just recently, the world witnessed the horrific scene of a Jordanian pilot, placed in a cage, who was then burned alive by his ISIS captors. The video of this horrible death was then distributed online worldwide. As has been suggested, this heinous act was never performed by the Nazi war criminal Dr. Mengele. And this act was clearly done in the name of Allah.
Roger Simon, a well-known writer and political analyst, had a brilliant explanation for why Obama primarily lectured his audience on the Crusades and slavery, done “in the name of Christ”, while failing to publicly call Islamic terrorism to account. Simon suggested that we should first look at Obama’s criticism of ISIS, which Obama described as ”a brutal vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism, claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.” Note the use of the word “religion,” not “Islam,” or the even more telling “Mohammed,” a warlord who married a little girl and a figure, one can safely say, not very much like Christ. Nevertheless, Obama can attack Christians and name them in a speech, but not Muslims. According to Roger Simon, the reasons for Obama’s conduct are as follows:
Obama is not a religious person. He rarely goes to church, except for political purposes.
Obama is nominally a Christian person. But more importantly, Obama identifies emotionally from his youth in Indonesian madrassas and from his ideological predisposition, with Third World Muslims.
So now, Obama is confronted with those same Muslims behaving like barbarians across Africa and the Middle East and sometimes into Europe and America. Obama’s reaction is shame. This is the same reaction for the majority of Muslims throughout the Islamic world, shame. Islam has been described as a shame culture. This is the kind of society that will go berserk, violent and murderous over cartoons. The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo also took great delight in mocking Jesus Christ, the Pope and Jewish rabbis in very tasteless cartoons. But no representatives from these religions went on a killing spree against the Charlie Hebdo writers and editors.
The argument is that Obama is very much a part of this Muslim culture. And the suggestion is that Obama is genuinely and quite deeply ashamed of the religion, he, in part, came from. The problem is that Obama, the president of the United States and one of the most powerful people in the world, cannot adjust to or accept the calamities that Islam is causing.
Unlike the President of Egypt, Obama cannot even call it or publicly name it-Islamic terrorism. Obama cannot call a “camel a camel”. I also believe, like Roger Simon, that Obama’s emotional and cultural attachment to Islam and his failure to adjust or accept Islamic terrorism and brutality, explain his determination to whitewash the behavior of Iran and make a deal with the equally murderous and brutal Iran, that will jeopardize the safety and security of the whole world. I also believe that this is a horrible situation. For these above reasons, President Barack Obama is absolutely the wrong human being to be leading the West at this point in history. Heaven help us.
Obama, Biden, & Kerry are Boycotting Netanyahu
Feb. 9….(Israel Today) Is the Obama Administration interfering in Israel’s upcoming elections? Recent statements and moves by America’s leaders sure would seem to suggest so. Last week, both Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry announced they would not be in attendance when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint session of the US Senate dedicated to the threat of a nuclear Iran. Yet, both Biden and Kerry have met numerous times with Israeli opposition leaders, and continue to meet almost daily with Iranian (Israel’s sworn enemy) representatives.
The White House has been furious with Netanyahu over the planned appearance, which Obama officials insist had breached protocol by being organized without their approval and involvement. Just days after letting everyone know they wouldn’t be on hand to greet and listen to Netanyahu, both Biden and Kerry met with Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich, Germany on Saturday. And this just a month before Israel’s March 17 elections. In Herzog’s own description to Channel 10 News, the episode represents “a complete boycott of Netanyahu.
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 1 THROUGH FEBRUARY 7
Netanyahu: ISIS Burns People Alive, Iran Hangs Them in City Square
Feb. 6….(Jerusalem Post) Israel’s leaders sent condolences to Jordan on Wednesday following Islamic State’s brutal murder of captive Jordanian pilot Lt. Mouath al-Kasaesbeh, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drawing parallels between Islamic State and Iran.
Netanyahu, during a visit to the Hermon Brigade base on the Golan Heights with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, said he wanted to send his condolences to King Abdullah II and the Jordanian people for the “grisly murder” of the pilot. “In the Islamic State of ISIS, they burn people alive; in the Islamic State of Tehran, they hang them from cranes in the public squares,” he said. “Both are motivated by an extreme ideology of militant Islamic terrorism that has a cruelty that is unbounded.” But, the prime minister added, “the greatest danger to the future and the security of the world is that this extremism will be backed up by nuclear weapons. This is something everyone must oppose.”
Netanyahu said he went to the base with Ya’alon to “view the IDF preparations against the new front, terror front, that Iran is seeking to establish here in the Golan Heights.” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also sent his condolences, issuing a statement saying that Israeli citizens have “been dealing with cruel terror of every kind for 66 years,” and both “identify with Jordan’s]pain and support the harsh and decisive Jordanian response to the event.” Jordan swiftly executed two al-Qaida affiliated terrorists (who were already on death row) in response to the killing of the pilot. “King Abdullah must be praised on his quick and powerful response to this despicable terror. Already this morning they executed a terrorist which ISIS had wished to have released, as well as another al-Qaida operative. Soon they will execute more terrorists imprisoned in the Kingdom,” Liberman said.
World leaders must respond to terrorism, particularly that of Islamic State, in a similar manner, the foreign minister said. “Terror cannot be defeated with words and declarations, but rather with harsh actions.” It was forbidden to negotiate with terrorists or to carry out prisoner swaps with them, he said. “They must be annihilated and eradicated as the king of Jordan has done.” “The world needs strong leadership which is obligated to destroy Islamic terrorism, including ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaida and their partners,” he said.
Jordanian Fighter Jets Strike Hard at ISIS
Feb. 6….(WND) Jordanian fighter pilots carried out devastating sorties against ISIS early Thursday, making good on their king’s vow of vengeance for the horrific burning of a captured airman, whose hometown the jets buzzed triumphantly after the mission. Reports from the Middle East said the latest strikes killed 55 members of ISIS, including a senior commander known as the “Prince of Nineveh.” Jordanian state-run media did not specify where the strikes took place. They came a day after King Abdullah stepped up his angry rhetoric at the terrorist army in neighboring Iraq and Syria following the horrific death of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who was burned alive in a cage in a shocking atrocity caught on a videotape released by Islamic State on Tuesday. “The blood of martyr Muath al-Kaseasbeh will not be in vain and the response of Jordan and its army after what happened to our dear son will be severe,” said King Abdullah in a statement released by the royal court on Wednesday. A day earlier, he told US lawmakers in Washington, where he had been on a diplomatic mission when the video was released, that Jordan would fight Islamic State until it ran “out of fuel and bullets.”
Jordan had previously been divided on its participation in airstrikes against Islamic State, with many questioning why the country was involving itself in the fight. But rage expressed on the street and given clear voice by the king has shown public sentiment in Jordan, where the military is revered, is solidly behind the newly invigorated campaign.
Jordan’s information minister, Mohammad al-Momani told AFP: Amman was “more determined than ever to fight the terrorist group Daesh,” using another name for Islamic State, which is also commonly referred to as ISIS. And a government spokesman said Jordan would step up its role in the US-led fight against the militant group. King Abdullah has said Jordan's response "will be harsh because this terrorist organization is not only fighting us, but also fighting Islam and its pure values." In a statement Wednesday, he pledged to hit the militants "hard in the very center of their strongholds." Jordanian officials have not presented details of their response, but said they would be working closely with their allies in the anti-Islamic State coalition.
Obama: Christians Have Been Guilty of Terror Too!
Feb. 6….(My Way) President Barack Obama on Thursday condemned those who seek to use religion as a rationale for carrying out violence around the world, declaring that "no god condones terror." "We are summoned to push back against those who would distort our religion for their nihilistic ends," Obama said during remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. He singled out the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, calling the militants a "death cult," as well as those responsible for last month's terror attacks in Paris and deadly assault on a school in Pakistan.
Obama offered a special welcome to a "good friend," the Dalia Lama, seated at a table in front of the dais among the audience of 3,600. Earlier Obama, seated at the head table, pressed his hands together in a prayer-like position and bowed his head toward the Dalai Lama, then gave him a wave and a broad smile. It was the first time the president and the Tibetan Buddhist leader attended the same public event, with China objecting to foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama because of his quest for greater Tibetan autonomy from Beijing. Obama's three previous meetings with the Dalai Lama have been private because of the sensitivity of the situation.
But in a show of White House support for the Dalai Lama, he was seated at a table with top Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Actor Richard Gere, a friend and follower of the Dalai Lama, was also nearby. The Dalai Lama fled to exile in India after a failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. Obama on Thursday called him "a powerful example of what it means to practice compassion and who inspires us to speak up for the freedom and dignity of all human beings." The president joked that it's a rare event that can bring together the Dalai Lama and NASCAR, after retired driver and commentator Darrell Waltrip gave the keynote address. Waltrip told how he had accepted Jesus Christ as his savoir after a 1993 crash left him wondering what would happen if he died. "If you've never gotten on your knees and asked him to forgive you of your sins, you're just a pretty good guy or a pretty good gal? You're going to go to hell," Waltrip said.
Obama had a more non-denominational message for the audience that also included prominent leaders of non-Christian faiths. The president said that while religion is a source for good around the world, people of all faiths have been willing to "hijack religion for their own murderous ends." "Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ," Obama said. "In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. "So it is not unique to one group or one religion," Obama said. "There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith." Obama called for all people of faiths to show humility about their beliefs and reject the idea that "God speaks only to us and doesn't speak to others."
Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas and the author of the upcoming book, “Countdown to the Apocalypse: Why ISIS and Ebola Are Only the Beginning,” said there are two problems with Obama’s comparison. “When Christians act violently they are acting in opposition to the teachings of their founder, Jesus Christ,” Jeffress told me. “They cannot cite a single verse in the New Testament that calls for violence against unbelievers. On the other hand, radical Islamists can point to a number of verses in the Koran calling for Muslims to ‘crucify the infidels.’”
On Wednesday a United Nations watchdog group reported that Islamic militants were crucifying Iraqi children and burying them alive. Others had been sold as sex slaves and boys as young as 18 had been used as suicide bombers, Reuters reported. “They are following the example of their founder Muhammad who slaughtered and beheaded those who opposed him,” Jeffress said. While the Crusades were terrible, Jeffress pointed out they were a response to hundreds of years of Muslim aggression, an issue he writes about in his book.
As you might imagine, the president’s remarks did not go over well among conservatives. My friend Michelle Malkin put it nicely: "ISIS chops off heads, incinerates hostages, kills gays, enslaves girls. Obama: Blame the Crusades," she tweeted. I was puzzled by something else President Obama said: "We are summoned to push back against those who would distort our religion for their nihilistic ends." What did he mean by “our religion”? Whose religion? And why did he compare the Crusades to ISIS?
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan Suspected of a Secret Nuclear Weapons Pact
Feb. 5….(Business Insider) The visit by the chairman of Pakistan's Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee will likely prompt concern in Washington and other major capitals that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have reconfirmed an arrangement whereby Pakistan, if asked, will supply Saudi Arabia with nuclear warheads. The main meeting on Gen. Rashid Mahmoud's itinerary was with King Salman, the topics discussed were reported as "deep relations between the two countries and a number of issues of common interest."
General Rashid also saw separately Defense Minister Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who presented him with the King Abdulaziz medal of excellence, as well as Deputy Crown Prince and Interior Minister Muhammad bin Nayef and Minister of the National Guard Prince Mitab bin Abdullah. The only senior Saudi absent from the meetings appears to have been Crown Prince Muqrin.
For decades, Riyadh has been judged a supporter of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, providing financing in return for a widely assumed understanding that, if needed, Islamabad will transfer technology or even warheads. It has been noticeable that changes in leadership in either country have quickly been followed by top-level meetings, as if to reconfirm such nuclear arrangements. Although Pakistani nuclear technology also helped Iran's program, the relationship between Islamabad and Riyadh has been much more obvious.
In 1999, a year after Pakistan tested two nuclear weapons, then Saudi defense minister Prince Sultan visited the unsafeguarded uranium enrichment plant at Kahuta outside Islamabad, prompting a US diplomatic protest. Last year, as Riyadh's concern at the prospect of Iranian nuclear hegemony in the Gulf grew, Pakistan's chief of army staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif, was a guest of honor when Saudi Arabia publicly paraded its Chinese CSS-2 missiles for the first time since they were delivered in the 1980s. Although now nearly obsolete, the CSS-2 missile once formed the core of China's nuclear force. Pakistan's first nuclear devices were based on a Chinese design.
Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, visited the kingdom January 23 for the funeral of King Abdullah and had also been there a couple of weeks earlier to pay his respects to the ailing monarch. The civilian leader and his military commanders have an awkward relationship, in an earlier term of office, Nawaz Sharif was overthrown in a military coup and sent into exile in Saudi Arabia, but Pakistan's nuclear program seems above any civil-military partisanship. The visit by General Rashid comes a day after Pakistan announced the successful flight-testing of its Raad air-launched 220-mile-range cruise missile, which reportedly is able to deliver nuclear and conventional warheads with pinpoint accuracy. While chairing his first cabinet meeting as prime minister yesterday, King Salman announced there would be no change in Saudi foreign policy. In its own way, today's top-level meetings with the Pakistani military delegation seem to confirm this statement, adding perhaps an extra awkward complication to the Obama administration's effort to secure a diplomatic agreement with Tehran over Iran's nuclear program.
Kerry: US and Iran Moving Closer to Nuclear Deal
Feb. 4….(Jerusalem Post) European diplomats have told Israeli officials in recent days that the United States and Iran are moving closer to an agreement that would allow the Islamic Republic to keep a large number of centrifuges in return for guaranteeing regional stability, Army Radio is reporting on Tuesday.
According to EU officials, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, have discussed increasing the number of centrifuges which Iran would be permitted to keep. In exchange, the Iranians would undertake an obligation to bring their influence to bear in order to ensure quiet in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.
European diplomats are quoted by Israeli officials as saying that the US in recent weeks has made significant concessions in its talks with Iran, so much so that it is willing to permit Tehran to operate 6,500 centrifuges while lifting sanctions that have hurt its economy this past decade. The Europeans have told the Israelis that these concessions were offered in exchange for Iranian promises to maintain regional stability. According to Army Radio, the EU is opposed to the proposed linkage between the nuclear issue and other geopolitical matters. In fact, the Europeans suspect that Washington is operating behind Brussels’ back and that Kerry has not bothered to keep them in the loop in his talks with Zarif.
Israel is concerned that the Obama administration’s willingness to allow Iran to keep centrifuges would in effect render Tehran a “nuclear threshold state,” enabling it to assemble a nuclear bomb within months if it so chooses. Such a scenario is unacceptable to the Israelis. This is not the first time in recent days that reports have emerged regarding American concessions to Iran in the nuclear negotiations. This past weekend, Obama administration officials denied an Israeli television report that Washington had agreed to 80 percent of Iran’s demands. “That’s complete nonsense,” a senior US official told The Jerusalem Post, responding to a report by Channel 10 on Friday.
The United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany are negotiating with Iran toward a comprehensive agreement over its nuclear program, hoping to clinch a political framework by the end of March. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been working the phones with Democratic lawmakers in Washington to temper their concerns over the political nature of his speech to a joint session of Congress, scheduled for March 3. The latest deadline for a final settlement is June 30. The urgency of the matter, and not partisan politics is what motivated Netanyahu to violate diplomatic protocol and accept the Republican leadership’s invitation to address Congress on the need for more sanctions against Iran, Channel 10 quotes officials in Jerusalem as saying.
The White House says it will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and both the prime minister and the US president say that no deal at the negotiating table is better than a bad one. The standards for a bad deal remain hotly contested between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, growing frustrated with hard-line resistance to a nuclear deal, accused opponents of effectively “cheering on” the other side in the grueling negotiations with world powers. Rouhani, faced with rising popular concern over his unfulfilled election pledges to fix the economy, blamed hard-line interference in part for the talks’ halting progress. “The other side applauds their own, but here in our country, it is not clear what [the critics] are doing. It is as if they are cheering on the rival team,” Rouhani he told a public gathering, quoted by the official IRNA news agency. “And when we ask them what they are going, they answer: ‘We are criticizing and criticism is a good thing. This is not criticism, it is sabotage of national interests and favor for partisan politics,” he said. “Criticism is not about booing, it is not about slander and character assassination. Criticism is about showing a better and clearer way so that [we can] reach our goals faster.” Hard-line sentiment is centered in the security establishment led by the Revolutionary Guards and in the powerful Shi’ite clergy.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s ultimate political authority, has so far backed the nuclear talks but has also continued to denounce foreign “enemies” and “the Great Satan” to reassure hard-liners for whom anti-US sentiment has always been integral to the Islamic Revolution.
ISIS Burns Jordanian Pilot Alive in Cage
Feb. 4….(DEBKA) A new Islamic State video released Tuesday, Feb. 3, purported to show Jordanian Air Force pilot Lt. Mu’ath al Kassasbeh, aged 27, being burned alive. This was a gruesome departure designed for Arab enemies, from the barbaric beheadings practiced by the jihadi terrorists till now. The young pilot was captured by ISIS when his plane crashed over Syria on December 24. Jordan agreed to free a female Al Qaeda suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi, who was under sentence of death, in exchange for the pilot and a second Japanese hostage, the journalist Kenji Goto.
The young pilot’s ghastly execution, the first penalty paid by an Arab combatant in the US-led coalition fighting ISIS, presents the Arab members of that coalition with a painful dilemma. Will Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates decide to stay in and quit the war on the brutal jihadists? The horror of the pilot’s ghastly fate is likely to act as a backlash against Jordan's involvement in the US-led coalition fighting ISIS. The pilot’s isfamily, who had been holding a vigil at a guest hall set up for them in Amman, has argued consistently that the fight against the Islamic State was not an Arab but a US-European war. This line resonated widely in the other Arab countries aligned with the coalition.
Jordan’s King Abdullah and other Arab rulers will find it extremely hard to persuade their service units to stick to the fight on ISIS after they have viewed the fate of the young Jordanian pilot understand the terrifying punishment they face as Arab prisoners falling in the same hands.
Islamist State Plots Terror Attacks Inside Tehran
Feb. 3….(DEBKA) The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has launched a new terror offensive against Iranians, their followers and other Shiites. It was kicked off Sunday, Feb. 2 with an attack on a Damascus bus carrying Lebanese Shiite pilgrims to shrines in Syria. Nine people were killed and at least 20 injured. ISIS has set its sights next on the Muslim Shiite heartland, Iran and its cities – especially the capital Tehran.
The Damascus bus attack is ascribed by some sources to a Saudi suicide bomber by the name of Abu al-Ezz al-Ansari. The claim that the Syrian rebel Jabhat al-Nusra was the perpetrator was false, say debkafile’s intelligence and counter-terrorism sources. This group does not go in for Saudi recruits and certainly not suicide bombers of that ilk.
ISIS fingered Nusra to conceal its own responsibility for the attack and its real target. Our sources reveal that the Islamic State attacked the Shiite pilgrims in order to get at a high-ranking officer of Hizballah’s armed wing, who was on the bus. Hizballah headquarters in Beirut has imposed deep hush on his death and identity. But because they could not pretend the bus explosion did not happen, they pinned it Monday on “takfir infidel groups” which they say collaborate with Israel.
This attack revealed most significantly that Hizballah has begun covering the tracks in Syria of its top Hizballah men by inserting them among Shiite pilgrims traveling by bus from Lebanon to Damascus. They are camouflaging the movements of their top men in Syria by an elaborate security net, ever since an Israeli air strike on Jan. 18, killed around nine Hizballah and Iranian officers, including the Iranian general, Ali Allah Dadi. Still, ISIS agents were able to find the bus and blow it up, indicating deep hostile penetration of the Iranian and HIzballah forces assigned to Syria to fight for Bashar Assad.
Conscious of the Islamic State’s next plans, the Iranian Al Qods Brigades commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, paid an unscheduled visit to Beirut last Thursday, Jan. 29, for urgent talks with Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah and briefings for the organization’s military council members. Their most pressing concern was the detailed ISIS program, which is ready to go, for a broad new campaign of terror against Iranian and pro-Iranian targets in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and the Iranian homeland.
More and More Jews Visiting Temple Mount
Feb. 3…..(Israel Today) The number of Jewish visitors to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount saw a significant boost over the past year, despite ongoing efforts to discourage non-Muslims from ascending the holy plateau and a firm ban on all Jewish and Christian prayer. Last month, the Temple Institute made a “freedom of information” request to the Israel Police regarding the Jewish visits to the Temple Mount. The group was pleased to learn that no fewer than 10,906 Israeli and foreign Jews had come to Judaism’s holiest site in 2014. By comparison, 8,528 Jews visited the Temple Mount in 2013, and there were just 5,658 Jewish visitors in 2009.
For those who advocate full freedom of religion at the Temple Mount, those numbers were encouraging, especially given that Jews and Christians are only permitted to visit the holy site three days out of every week, and even then only at very restricted hours. The issue of the Temple Mount has increasingly been the focus of tense debate within Israel’s Knesset in recent years. Last February, the Knesset held its first ever discussion on extending fully Israeli sovereignty over the site, which is presently managed by an Islamic Trust (Waqf). It is at the Waqf’s request (demand?) that Jews and Christians are not allowed to utter even silent prayers while visiting the Temple Mount, and outbreaks of Muslim violence over any perceived violation has ensured that Israeli authorities do their best to honor the Muslims’ conditions.
Many Israeli lawmakers are increasingly frustrated by this situation, which they deem to be a total surrender to the dictates and threats of radical Islam. They want Israel to become the official overseer of the Temple Mount.
Netanyahu Fires Back at 'Obama Army' Plotting his Defeat
(Demands injunction against US-linked group trying to swing Israeli election)
Feb. 2….(WND) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party hit back Sunday at a US-linked organization staffed with former Obama campaigners now working to defeat Netanyahu in an upcoming general election. Victory 2015, or V15, attracted US media attention after it hired 270 Strategies, a consulting firm whose senior leadership is comprised mostly of former top staffers for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
During a press conference Sunday, the Likud Party officially accused V15 and other related nonprofits of being supported “through millions of dollars funneled from Europe, the US and the New Israel Fund and international factors interested in bringing down Prime Minister Netanyahu” who think “that all means are appropriate.” The Likud further called for Israel’s Central Elections Committee to outlaw V15′s activities to “ensure the integrity of the election.” The party today will be filing an official complaint with the Committee seeking an injunction against V15, Likud sources said.
Reacting to the developments, Uri Wollman, V15′s spokesman, told WND his organization will not stop its campaign to ensure a center-left coalition forms the next government in Israel. Wollman accused Netanyahu and the Likud of “fabricating” a relationship between V15 and the Obama administration. “We have no relation to any US political party, the White House or the State Department,” Wollman told WND.
Confirming the official Likud complaint, the contents of which were shared with WND, Wollman conceded the V15 effort against Netanyahu is funded primarily by three private philanthropists, two of whom are American: S. Daniel Abraham, the billionaire founder of the Slim Fast food line. Abraham is a major donor to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Foundation. Daniel Lubetzky, a social entrepreneur whose OneVoice Movement is partnered with V15. Alon Kastiel, a Tel Aviv-based businessman and owner of multiple local venues, including bars, clubs and hotels.
WND previously visited V15′s Tel Aviv headquarters and interviewed the group’s founder, Nimrod Dweck, who explained the ultimate goal of his campaign was to ensure “center and left parties will form the next coalition.” V15′s headquarters is actually the offices of a US-UK group calling itself OneVoice. OneVoice bills itself as an “international grassroots movement that amplifies the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians, but it has a clearly leftist tone.
The US State Department is also listed as a partner of OneVoice on the group’s website. V15′s complete takeover of OneVoice’s Tel Aviv offices, however, may raise some questions not only about the grant usage, but also about the State Department’s current partnership with OneVoice. Indeed, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has called for an investigation into the State Department’s ties to OneVoice and the group’s anti-Netanyahu effort. Aside from the State Department, OneVoice is also openly partnered with Google, the UK Labour Party and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
For its anti-Netanyahu campaign, OneVoice and V15 recently hired 270 Strategies, whose founder is ex-Obama campaign staffer Jeremy Bird. Bird served as a data analyst and a deputy director for Obama’s 2008 campaign and was the national field director for the president’s massive re-election machine. Bird’s team of 45 staffers includes 16 members who worked directly for Obama’s campaigns. Most of the former Obama staffers hold senior posts at the firm. Others worked for the Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee or grassroots groups involved in progressive efforts, including a group to enroll Americans in Obamacare. A closer look at Bird’s consulting firm as well as its working relationship with the Israeli groups finds he is just one of scores of former senior Obama election campaign staffers now working on the anti-Netanyahu effort.
Israel: We May Have to Send Planes to Iran Tomorrow
Feb. 2….(Times of Israel) Israel’s air force commander gave an apparently unintended insight into his priorities and preoccupations, when he remarked during comments about the defense budget that Israel might need to send its attack planes to Tehran at very short notice. Speaking about the imperative for the government to allocate additional funding to the armed forces, Israel Air Force chief Major-General Amir Eshel declared that “there’s no one in this room who’d be prepared to ride in a car as old as our planes. I’m telling you, no-one. Yesterday these planes were in Gaza, and tomorrow we may send them to Tehran.” The remarks were not delivered in the tone of a threat, but rather as a statement about a possible mission that would require up-to-date equipment.
Eshel’s comments, broadcast Sunday on the local Channel 2 News, came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid sparred over the national budget, with Netanyahu earlier Sunday asserting that, in the wake of the summer’s 50-day Israel-Hamas conflict, “We need a significant increase of several billion in the defense budget.”
Netanyahu has repeatedly vowed that Israel will prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapons capability, acting alone if necessary. In a major address last week in which he highlighted Israel’s role in confronting worldwide jihadist terrorism, and expressed Jerusalem’s full support for the American-led offensive against the Islamic State organization, the prime minister took pains to stress that the struggle against Sunni radicalism should not lead the world to neglect the threat of Shiite extremism, championed by Iran. The greatest threat to world peace, Netanyahu said, would be a nuclear-equipped Iran. “You would see things you never imagined could be possible,” he said, describing a scenario in which the regime in Tehran succeeded in obtaining nuclear weapons. “Horrors you couldn’t even contemplate come to fruition. The ultimate terror. A terrorist regime with the weapons of the greatest terror of them all. We must not let that happen.”
In an address to the UN General Assembly last October, Netanyahu said Israel would act on its own if necessary to stop Iran attaining nuclear weapons. There should be no confusion over this, Netanyahu said, warning that “Israel will never acquiesce to nuclear arms in the hands of a rogue regime that repeatedly promises to wipe us out… If Israel is forced to stand alone” against that threat, “Israel will stand alone,” he said, though it would know that it was also defending others.
Despite Obama’s Rhetoric, ISIS Continues its Jihad
Feb. 2….(DEBKA) Saturday night, January 31, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant capped a month of atrocities by beheading its second Japanese hostage, Kenjo Goto, a 47-year old journalist. Jordan vows to do everything its power to save the Jordanian pilot Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh, but it may be too late. In January alone, the Islamists are known to have killed at least 70 people in 10 targeted European and Middle East countries. This is a modest estimate since exact figures are not available everywhere - like in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. ISIS terrorists trailed their horror that month through France, Spain, Belgium, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Libya.
US President Barack Obama, who heads a 20-state coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq, strongly condemned the Goto murder. Secretary of State John Kerry, trying to sound positive, commended the recovery of the Syrian town of Kobani by Kurdish forces as “a big deal.” ISIS was indeed forced to concede defeat in battle under US air strikes. But Kerry forgot to mention that the battle is far from over: the Islamists pulled back from Kobani’s districts, but are still pressing hard on the walls of the town and heavy fighting for its control continues.
If Kobani is the only military gain achieved by US-backed forces in months of coalition effort, who will be able to stop the brutal ISIS offensive going forward in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East? Debkafile’s counter-terrorism and intelligence sources report that the high command of the Islamic State functions at present with machinelike efficiency in pursuit of its goals. The name of Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi has been circulated widely as ruler of the Islamic “caliphate” he founded in parts of Syria and Iraq. But behind the scenes, he is assisted by a tight inner group of 12-15 former high officers from the Baath army which served the Saddam Hussein up until the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Members of this group ranged in rank from lieutenant-colonel to general.
Ex-Maj. Gen. Abu Ali al-Anbari, its outstanding figure, acts as Al Baghdadi senior lieutenant. He also appears to be the brain that has charted ISIS’s current military strategy which, our sources learn, focuses on three major thrusts: the activation of sleeper cells in Europe for coordinated terrorist operations: multiple, synchronized attacks in the Middle East along a line running from Tripoli, Libya, through Egyptian Suez Canal cities and encompassing the Sinai Peninsula; and the full-dress Iraqi-Syrian warfront, with the accent currently on the major offensive launched Thursday, March 29, to capture the big Iraq oil town of Kirkuk.
Debkafile was first to report the arrival in Sinai during the first week of December of a group of ISIS officers from Iraq to take command of their latest convert, Ansar Beit Al-Miqdas.
Another former Iraqi army officer was entrusted with coordinating ISIS operations between the East Libyan Islamist contingent and the Sinai movement. Their mission is to topple the rule of President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi.