According to the Pentagon:
A ballistic missile launched by Iran on Sunday [March 12, 2017] was North Korean in construction or design. …
This latest test could set Iran on a collision course with the Trump Administration, which has promised to take a hard line on Iran.
Why has President Trump not already torn up the “deal” Obama made with Iran? It really is “the stupidest deal of all time”, as President Trump himself called it.
Is the process of disempowering Iran starting with a warning to Iran’s nuclear-armed ally North Korea?
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday [March 17, 2017] issued the Trump administration’s starkest warning yet to North Korea, saying that a military response would be “on the table” if Pyongyang took action to threaten South Korean and U.S. forces.
Speaking in Seoul after visiting the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean peninsula and some of the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, Tillerson said former President Barack Obama’s policy of “strategic patience” towards Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs was over.
“We are exploring a new range of security and diplomatic measures. All options are on the table,” Tillerson told a news conference.
He said any North Korean actions that threatened U.S. or South Korean forces would be met with “an appropriate response,” turning up the volume of the tough language that has marked President Donald Trump’s approach to North Korea.
“Certainly, we do not want for things to get to a military conflict,” he said when asked about possible military action, but added: “If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action, that option is on the table.”
Nuclear co-operation between Iran and nuclear-armed North Korea is hastening the day when there will be a nuclear-armed Iran.
But at present, the alliance between Iran and Russia is even more dangerous.
This is from an article at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, by Anna Borshchevskaya, dated February 6, 2017:
It is going to be difficult to drive a wedge between Russia and Iran. Too many interests hold them together …
From Moscow’s perspective, the U.S. has been and will continue to be an enemy, no matter how hard any U.S. president tries to improve relations. Putin needs the U.S. as an enemy to justify domestic problems at home and he sees the current geopolitical order, anchored by the U.S., as disadvantaging him. Nothing short of a rearrangement of that order will satisfy Putin. Nobel Prize-winning author and journalist Svetlana Alexievich observed in October 2015 that Russians “are people of war. We don’t have any other history. Either we were preparing for war or we were fighting one. And so all of this militarism has pushed all of our psychological buttons at once.” Putin needs allies who share this worldview.
President Trump expressed two contradictory policies during his campaign: being tough on Iran and improving relations with Russia. These two goals are incompatible because Putin wants a partnership with Trump in Syria, but Syria is where Putin is most closely allied with Iran. In order to push Iran and Russia apart, Trump needs to resolve this contradiction. The recent Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan only brought Russia and Iran closer together, if anything, given their pledge to fight “jointly” against ISIS and al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat Fateh al-Sham [aka the al-Nusra Front]. This development will also make it even more difficult for Trump to ally with Russia on Syria.
So far, Putin has succeeded in balancing Israeli and Sunni interests with its growing relationship with Iran. But it is unclear how long Putin can sustain this policy. Certainly, Putin did not hesitate to discount Israel’s interests when it came to selling S-300 weapons to Iran. Indeed, it is not in Israel’s interest for Putin to continue supporting Bashar al-Assad and thereby expand Iran’s influence in the Middle East. The Trump administration could encourage and support U.S. allies like Israel in order to make it more difficult for Putin to maintain his balance of good relations with all sides. It should also step up security cooperation with its allies to demonstrate that it is still committed to the region.
In the long term, Russia and Iran diverge somewhat on Syria. Iran perceives Syria as within its sphere of influence, which is not very different from how Putin views the former Soviet Union countries that he does not consider real states. Iran is interested in exacerbating sectarian divisions in Syria so that the Assad regime becomes an Iranian client-state with no independent decision-making. Iran is also closer to Assad himself than Putin, who simply wants Assad or someone else like him to ensure his interests in Syria. He cares more about how he can leverage Syria in his relations with the West than Syria itself. At the same time, Putin also increasingly perceives the Middle East as falling within the Russian sphere of influence, albeit differently than Iran. Historically, Moscow always looked for buffer zones out of its sense of insecurity, and this is precisely how it feels now.
The Trump administration could emphasize to Putin that Russian and Iranian interests in Syria are bound to clash in the future, and therefore an alliance with Iran can only go so far. But most of all, the U.S. needs to be present in the region and regain its leadership position. Putin preys on weakness and has perceived the U.S. as weak for years. He stepped into a vacuum in the Middle East, especially in Syria, that was created by America’s absence. By taking an active role in the region, the U.S. would limit Putin’s influence, including his alliance with Iran.
The article ends with a statement that seems to contradict the one with which the quotation opens.
Can the US “limit Putin’s influence, including his alliance with Iran”, or is it “going to be difficult to drive a wedge between Russia and Iran”?
The Russian-Iranian alliance is extremely dangerous for the US and the world. Can President Trump weaken it? Can he disengage Russia from Iran? Can he subdue Russia’s intensifying belligerence? Will he tear up Obama’s “deal” and put an end to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear bombs and the missiles to deliver them to the Middle East, Europe, and America?
Is there a plan to achieve all that, a process starting with the much-needed, long-delayed, serious warning to North Korea?
A Muslim woman of Palestinian descent, Linda Sarsour, was one of the chief organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, January 21, 2017.
Along with Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian woman and convicted terrorist, Rasmea Yousef Odeh, helped organize “A Day Without a Woman” demonstrations on March 8, 2017.
Both demonstrations purported to be for “women’s rights”, though they were more discernibly protests against the Republican administration under President Trump and against the Republican Party. Their mobilization is an aspect of the fierce opposition that the American and international Socialist Left is conducting against the popular choice of capitalism, individualism, and the nation-state – recently proved by voters in the US and Britain.
Principles that the feminist movement claims to stand for are: equality with men, freedom of way-of-life choices, freedom from legal and cultural restraints particular to women, sexual freedom and absolute personal control over their own bodies.
Here are those ideas as (presumably) expressed by feminists:
- Working to increase equality: Feminist thought links ideas to action, insisting we should push for change toward gender equality and not just talk about it.
- Expanding human choice: Feminists believe that both men and women should have the freedom to develop their human interests and talents, even if those interests and talents conflict with the status quo. For example, if a woman wants to be a mechanic, she should have the right and opportunity to do so.
- Eliminating gender stratification: Feminists oppose laws and cultural norms that limit income, educational and job opportunities for women.
- Ending sexual violence & promoting sexual freedom: Feminists feel that women should have control over their sexuality and reproduction.
Feminism in fact has long since ceased to be a movement for women’s social and political equality with men, and become a sub-group of the international Left. But those principles are widely and generally considered fair and acceptable, so we will for the moment rate feminism according to its best aspirations. Above all feminism is conceived of as a women’s liberation movement.
Now, to come to the point, Linda Sarsour, feminist, urges the adoption of sharia law.
Here, briefly, is how sharia law applies to women*:
• A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
• A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
• Girls’ clitoris should be cut (Muhammad‘s words, Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).
• A woman can have 1 husband, who can have up to 4 wives.
• A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
• A man can unilaterally divorce his wife; a woman needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
• A divorced wife loses custody of all children over 6 years of age or when they exceed it.
• Testimonies of four male [eye-]witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
• A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
• A woman’s testimony in court, allowed in property cases, carries ½ the weight of a man’s.
• A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
• A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).
• A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.
Linda Sarsour apparently sees no incompatibility – glaringly obvious though it is – between the principles of feminism and the tenets of sharia. (Have any feminists noticed it? It doesn’t seem so.)
She does, however, say that it is impossible for a woman who supports Israel to be a feminist.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
Prominent Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, a leader in the feminist movement, said in an interview published Monday that Zionists cannot be feminists. …
It just doesn’t make any sense for someone to say, “Is there room for people who support the state of Israel and do not criticize it in the movement? There can’t be in feminism. You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none. There’s just no way around it.”
In fact, Palestinian women in Israel have equal rights with all other citizens – the same rights citizens have in all the Western liberal democracies. They do not have these rights in Islamic countries.
The actual disabilities of women under sharia law, and in Muslim custom and culture generally, are far greater and more oppressive even than the letter of sharia law demands. It is no exaggeration to say that the status of a woman in traditional Islam is that of a slave.
Linda Sarsour will not be contradicted by the mainstream media or Democrats because she is seen by the Left as a Palestinian and therefore a victim.
Rasmea Odeh will be excused by the media and Democrats for bombing and murdering, because her victims were Israeli Jews.
The opposition that the American and international Socialist Left is conducting is most successful in the universities, where its activists use brutal physical violence against their perceived enemies, while simultaneously claiming to be intimidated victims needing protection from the speaking of ideas they don’t want to hear. The nearest representatives of their perceived enemies are fellow Jewish students – nearest and so most easily bullied and assaulted. They are picked on as the vulnerable part of the otherwise tough Big Enemy, whose names are: President Trump; the Republican Party; the Constitution; America; the nation-state; individual freedom; Western civilization.
*This summary is from a Christian source. It was the most succinct we could find for our purposes in this article, and we did consult other sources to confirm its accuracy.
Here is Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the iniquitous United Nations, making an excellent speech about the vicious antagonism the UN has displayed “for decades” towards Israel. Apart form her mention of the impossible “two-state solution”, which is not the policy of President Trump, what she says is just, sensible, and long needed.
Nevertheless, the UN must be destroyed!
In general, American women are the most free, privileged, protected, cared-for, amply-fed, well-housed, choicely arrayed, luxury-supplied, opportunity-rich group of human beings that has ever existed. They are not excluded from any career. Wealth and power are available to them, and many women achieve both.
Yet millions of American women are discontented with their lot. It’s hard to imagine what they need but haven’t got. However, they invent sad tales of not getting paid as much as men, and complain that they themselves must pay for their own aids and devices to prevent them conceiving children, and for children they do conceive being aborted. They want the state to pay for all that. This, they say, is one of their “rights”. They want to be wards of the state. They do not care to be free.
This was made apparent by the Women’s March for … Well, what it was for was not made clear. But it was certainly against the presidency of Donald Trump, who had been inaugurated the previous day. They hate him, and they wanted to show him, and show the world, that they hate him. That at least can be said with confidence about the purpose of the March.
It was not only an unintelligent affair, reflecting not at all well on the women’s ability to think, it was also a hideous and obscene sight. Many of the women dressed themselves up as giant vaginas. Some carried banners promoting love, as for instance “Love trumps Hate”. But the celebrity women who addressed the multitudes rather contradicted that. One of them, the rock-star Madonna, spoke of “blowing up the White House”.
Linda Sarsour was a chief organizer of the March. She calls herself a “racial justice & civil rights activist”. She is a director of the Arab American Association of New York, and a passionate advocate for sharia law. She tweets about how good it is – eg. “shariah law is reasonable and once u read into the details it makes a lot of sense.”
So her remedy for the discontent of American women is to live as Muslim women do in those countries where sharia law is applied.
What would this mean in practice?
A Pakistani woman, a professional writer, Khadija Khan, describes at Gatestone what Muslim women endure:
A bitter truth, often glossed over in the name of “tradition”, is the religious teachings and the responsibilities of a Muslim woman. Most glossed over is the violence that men are still allowed to inflict on their women in the name of their religion and culture on such a massive part of the planet.
This brutality not only takes place in ISIS-held territory but across most Muslim societies. All around you, you see women killed, molested, imprisoned, maimed and incarcerated while their men sugar-coat the abuse as “modesty”, “honor”, “divine law” or even “justice”.
In addition to warning would-be ISIS recruits of the horrors that await them if they jump onto the bandwagon of terrorist organizations, let us take a look into “normal” Muslim societies.
Women in Saudi Arabia, in the name of laws and “traditions”, are kept effectively non-existent. They are forced, outside the house to wear full-body covering, abayas. Most full coverings for women are black, which absorbs heat, and are made of non-porous cloth — not cotton — in the scorching heat.
Women are also not allowed to drive, they cannot leave the house without a male guardian, they are liable to be flogged, stoned to death or beheaded if found guilty of even the smallest infractions, and often, as in being raped, even if they are factually innocent. …
In Iran, women are forced to cover themselves and need a guardian to step outside the home, if they want to be “protected”. Bicycling is prohibited.
Women are also forced to live with an abusive husband, as dictated by abusive marital laws and social taboos.
Moral brigades by the name of Gasht e Ershad (“guidance patrol”) coerce females to behave “decently”. Now Sharia patrols and curbs against women also exist in England and France – an indication where these extremists want to drive the West.
In parts of France, women cannot go out onto the street “unaccompanied” or even enter a café. “Here,” men tell them, “we do things like in our home countries!”
In a province of Indonesia, Aceh, a woman, accused of being intimate with her boyfriend, is caned in front of a jeering crowd. Later, a photograph of the screaming woman is published as a token of pride for the men who had just exacted this “justice” – on her; no consequence for the boyfriend. It was a lesson to remind women to submit to their place in society.
Under the newly proposed Sharia laws, women are also forced to be accompanied by a male guardian to “protect” them. Banda Aceh also banned women from entertainment venues after 11pm unless they are accompanied by a male family member. Aceh district has also banned unmarried men and women from riding together on motorbikes.
Turkey last year presented a bill for tackling its widespread child-marriage issue: the Turkish government introduced a bill that pardons a rapist if he marries his victim. The victim is not consulted. After the rage of the masses, the bill was withdrawn – at least for the time being.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said at a news conference in Istanbul:
We are taking this bill in the parliament back to the commission in order to allow for the broad consensus the president requested, and to give time for the opposition parties to develop their proposals.
The government seems determined to bring it back after making some minor changes.
Many Muslim countries follow similar restraints, effectively keeping women under house-arrest. All forms of exploiting women are presented as divine law, sharia, in which women have no say, which they are unable to use in their own defense, and which they are forced to accept as their fate. …
In Pakistan, the hudood ordinance, promulgated in 1979 to curb outside-of marriage-sex, has actually turned out as a monstrosity for female rape victims.
The ordinance demands, under sharia law, that a rape victim be grilled in a court of law as if she is the perpetrator. She is asked to produce four male witnesses to prove her case or else she is booked as having committed adultery and having already confessed to the crime.
These are countries where men are not only permitted, but invited, to consider woman a pet to be killed, [or] burned with acid … to preserve a family’s “honor”.
These laws, put in place by the governments and the clergy, provide a safe escape for criminals, such as those who kill their women and claim it is in the name of “honor”.
A killer can be pardoned in court by the victim’s next of kin, who, thanks to much clan intermarriage, is usually a family member of the assailant as well. The judge, with the stroke of a pen, therefore lets these criminals walk free. …
Afghanistan remains perhaps the most brutal country in terms of women’s rights violations.
Farkhanda Malikzada, for instance, a 27-year-old seminary student accused by a fortune teller, a custodian of a shrine, of burning a Quran, was simply thrown to a hound-like mob of men who beat and burned her to death – in front of a number of police officers and cameras in broad daylight. Most of the identifiable assailants were never punished, while the fortune teller who unleashed this horror had his death sentence commuted. Investigators also revealed that Farkhanda might have questioned sexual orgies by the shrine’s custodians, who were later found inside the holy place with condoms and Viagra. …
Being covered in black, non-porous cloth in the desert heat; being stoned to death or beheaded; being confined to a house as a brood-mare and servant, effectively enslaved, unable to leave or earn an independent living, are the reality that millions of women are made to suffer every day – supposedly for their “protection”. … These discriminations are imposed by the mullahs as religious obligations. …
The deeper horror is that all these abuses – child marriage, confinement, genital mutilation, rape, torture, and legal discrimination – have accomplices. These enablers are often well-meaning people from the West, “multiculturalists” who are reluctant to pass judgement on other people’s customs no matter how brutal they might be. What they are really doing, however, is providing crucial support for savage injustices either by sweeping them under the carpet or by defending barbarism as “cultural norms”.
Madonna – she who spoke of “blowing up the White House” (the implication being that this would destroy President Trump) – is an admirer of Fidel Castro.
So is the criminal professor, Angela Davis, another leading light of the discontented marching woman.
So they would like to live under a Castro government?
Humberto Fontova, writing at Townhall, depicts the life of women under Castro:
Rock-star Madonna — who headlined the Women’s March while surrounded by women, blacks, and especially black women – has often expressed her affection for Che Guevara. Her fondness for the co-founder of a totalitarian regime that outlawed rock music while jailing and torturing the most blacks and women in the modern history of the Western Hemisphere included Madonna’s tweeting the psychopathic mass-murderer and war-monger a “Happy Birthday!” last year. …
Vintage Stalinist Angela Davis also headlined the Women’s March. Her devotion to the war-mongering mass-murderers Fidel Castro and Che Guevara dates back decades — back to the Peace & Love years , when so many other “peace-niks” and “flower-children” were similarly smitten.
Fidel is the leader of one of the smallest countries in the world, but he has helped to shape the destinies of millions of people across the globe.
And another woman famous in the world of popular music also addressed the marchers:
Yoko Ono – famous peace-nik, women’s rights activist and Beatle-wife — also made the scene at Women’s March. Here you’ll find her worshiping the co-founder a regime that tortured the most women political prisoners in the modern history of the Western hemisphere, that brought the world closest to nuclear war, and that criminalized Beatles music. …
The regime co-founded by the idols of Women’s March headliners jailed and tortured 35,150 Cuban women for political crimes, a totalitarian horror utterly unknown—not only in Cuba—but in the Western Hemisphere until these icons of American “Women’s Rights Activists” assumed absolute power. …
Their prison conditions were described by former political prisoner Maritza Lugo. “The punishment cells measure 3 feet wide by 6 feet long. The toilet consists of an 8 inch hole in the ground through which cockroaches and rats enter, especially in cool temperatures the rat come inside to seek the warmth of our bodies and we were often bitten. The suicide rate among women prisoners was very high.” When suffering their tortures most of these women were in their 20’s. …
Thousands of Cuban women have drowned, died of thirst or have been eaten alive by sharks attempting to flee the horrors imposed on the Cuban people by the icons of the Women’s March.
But the marching women would prefer to live under the dictatorship of Castro than under democratically-elected Donald Trump?
Why yes. That is the only sense that can be derived from what they say so passionately.
They are used to getting what they want. They have everything the cornucopia of America can pour out for them, but their spokeswomen say that they’d be better off under sharia law, or in Cuba.
So why should they not have life under sharia law? Life under the Castro regime in Cuba?
And of course they can.
Nothing is preventing them from going to live under sharia law – in Pakistan, for instance. Nothing is stopping them from moving to Cuba.
We say: go, girls, go!
Only you will have to pay for your own passage to these utopias. Cruel President Trump will not allow the state to give you your fares.
What a shame! What a disgrace! What an oppression! What a tragedy!
The great Pat Condell on the subject of Evil HQ, aka the United Nations:
THE UN MUST BE DESTROYED!
Will a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, under a Republican leader in the White House, be determined and energetic enough to start the painfully needed destruction of that iniquitous institution, the United Nations?
Congressional Republicans are moving quickly to denounce the United Nations for its recent Security Council resolution deeming all Israeli settlements “flagrant violation[s] of international law.”
More than 100 members of Congress have formally condemned the resolution, the Times of Israel reported.
GOP lawmakers in both chambers have decided to introduce resolutions targeted at the UN once Congress reconvenes. Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran and Florida Rep. Dennis Ross are both slated to introduce disapproval resolutions against the international body.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) indicated that he did not know whether the chamber would vote on Moran’s resolution or a similar one. …
Several aides have said anti-UN action will receive bipartisan support.
But only the denouncing of the recent Security Council resolution against Israel is expected to “receive bipartisan support”. Not defunding it – which would mean the beginning of the UN’s end, since the US provides nearly a quarter of its funds. The Democrats want to keep the UN alive. Democrats, in line with the whole of the international Left, see it as the bud of a World Government which History, on whose side they are, will bring to full flowering.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also announced his intention to advance an initiative aimed at defunding the United Nations, but it would be unlikely to earn bipartisan support in the Senate, the report said.
We quote from World Government – the Ultimate Nightmare, of May 11, 2016 (to be found in full under Pages in our margin):
The United Nations, that ghastly powerhouse of corruption, hypocrisy, and injustice, is envisaged as the nascent institution of world government.
Liberal left opinion tends to be against the nation state. It is the opinion of approximately half the voters in the Western world. Half the people of the free West apparently want to destroy their nations, and are literally doing so. They may explain their hatred of the nation state by reference to “colonialism”, as if in many cases colonies were not more prosperous, just, and free than the independent tyrannies they have become. Or they may say that the wars and massacres in the last century resulted from “nationalism” so the nation must go; but their thinking would not be right, because the wars and massacres were the work of dictators, not democratic states of which the strongest opposed and defeated the aggressors.
Whatever their explanations, they have launched a movement for the suicide of Western nations.
All over the Western world men and women in national and international assemblies, ministries, academies, councils and committees devote themselves to the business of putting an end to their national identities. Patriotism to them is utterly absurd. Any manifestation of pride in their nation’s history, culture, traditions, institutions, even law, embarrasses if it doesn’t outrage them. In all the countries of Europe, and now under Obama’s leadership in the United States, they work towards their goal.
The very idea of the nation state they consider to be an anachronism; a nasty thing of the past much to be regretted. The more powerful and glorious the past, the more regretful they are. Filled with remorse for what their forefathers achieved, they will apologize to any foreigner who’ll listen to them. However hard their independence as a nation was won, their system of government developed, their individual freedom wrested from the fist of tyranny, they count it all worth nothing. Obama, whose ignorance of history should but doesn’t embarrass him, routinely apologizes for America to appalling little despotisms, and to countries that have survived as comparatively free nations only because America saved them from conquest by tyrannical powers.
Now (phew!) Obama’s ruinous reign is over. The ruling elites are being consciously and actively defied by vast numbers of the people they have betrayed. An awakened America has elected a president who wants to “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”. He has said he will reinforce his country’s borders. He holds the United Nations in contempt. He has declared that, whatever its purported ideals, the way it actually works is “a waste of time and money”.
So for the first time since it began in 1945, the UN is under serious threat of extinction. If it gets no money from the US and is evicted from its New York premises (as Charles Krauthammer hopes it will be), it is unlikely to last much longer. The appalling little despotisms, mostly Islamic, and of them mostly Arab, can set up their talking shop and spout their hypocritical pieties about “human rights” and “peace” and “justice” and “tolerance” in one of their own hellholes.
Meanwhile, a new Secretary General of the UN has optimistically just been appointed: Antonio Guterres, a former Prime Minister of Portugal.
May his tenure be short!
John Hinderaker writes of him at PowerLine:
Guterres said the values enshrined in the U.N. Charter that should define the world that today’s children inherit — peace, justice, respect, human rights, tolerance and solidarity — are threatened, “most often by fear”.
This is mind-bendingly stupid. Peace, justice and human rights are threatened by tyrants like Fidel Castro, Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin. They are threatened by terrorists associated with al Qaeda, ISIS and similar organizations. They are not threatened by “fear”; fear is an entirely appropriate response to tyrants and terrorists. It is a symptom of threats to human rights, peace and justice, not the cause of those threats.
The UN must be destroyed!
Barack Obama thinks that his presidency has been a great success. That if he could have stood for a third term, he would certainly have been elected again.
And yet he is not entirely comfortable in his mind that he has accomplished everything he intended to while he had all that power.
We can reproduce the list if his top four aims with a fair chance of accuracy:
The empowerment of Iran. Okay, done that. Tick it off.
Compulsory health insurance as a step towards a national health service (“Obamacare”). Tick.
The emptying of Guantanamo prison for prisoners of war and terrorists (“Gitmo”) and its closure. Gosh! Not achieved. Try again. Not many prisoners left. Can I do it before January 19? Let them go, let them go, let them go!
The final settlement of the Israel-Palestine problem, to be accomplished to the advantage of the Palestinians, and to the severe disadvantage of Israel, possibly facilitating its ultimate extinction. TICK.
The deal with Iran may be torn up by Trump? My State Department will stop that happening.
Obamacare will be repealed? I doubt it.
Gitmo still open. Damn!
Israel f***ed. Yay!
Now carve my head on Mount Rushmore.
Ben Shapiro writes at Townhall:
President Barack Obama likes to see himself as a moral leader. “The arc of the moral universe is long”, Obama likes to say, quoting Martin Luther King Jr, “but it bends toward justice”. According to Obama, Obama is a genteel representative of decency and good grace, a man pointing America toward a broader vision, a fellow questing for social justice and contextual consideration.
In reality, he’s a narcissistic fool. And like Burgess Meredith’s character in The Twilight Zone, he will be left standing in the ruins, bewailing the fates that abandoned him, leaving no worshipful admirers upon whom to lean.
Obama’s legacy is one of failure all around the world. He leaves office with a genocide in Syria on his record – a genocide he pledged to prevent, then tolerated and finally lamented, mourning the fates while blithely ignoring his own cowardice. Libya, meanwhile, remains a full-scale disaster area, with tens of thousands of refugees from that failed campaign swamping Europe, along with those fleeing Syria, and his leftist European allies paying the political price.
Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, stands on the brink of a nuclear dawn, its pockets filled with billions of dollars, its minions ascendant from Tehran to Aleppo to Beirut. Obama made that happen with nearly a decade of appeasement and a willingness to abandon freedom-minded Iranians to the tender mercies of the mullahs.
Meanwhile, Russia has only expanded its reach and influence, invading the sovereign nation of Ukraine and seizing Crimea to the deafening silence of the Obama administration. Russia has flexed its muscle in Kaliningrad, where it has stocked missiles, and in Syria, where it has assured Syrian President Bashar Assad’s continued dominance.
China has grown its sphere of influence across the South China Sea, putting American allies from Taiwan and Japan to the Philippines directly under its thumb. Thanks to Obama’s military cuts, China believes that it can bully American allies into embracing Chinese supremacy in international waters – and it may be right. Simultaneously, Obama continues to drive America into debt, and the Chinese are large buyers of that outstanding debt.
The communist Cubans have been re-enshrined; so have the socialist Venezuelan authorities. The Islamic State group remains an international threat, and western capitals have been struck by Islamic terror time and again, to Obama’s teeth-gnashing and general inaction.
Not so sure about that teeth-gnashing. Does Obama give a damn about Islamic terrorism?
But at least Obama is truly putting his focus where it’s necessary: on declaring that our only ally in the Middle East, Israel, has no historic claim to its own existence and threatening Jews with sanctions for building bathrooms in East Jerusalem.
Right. The sarcasm is necessary. Exasperation is hard to express adequately.
Obama came into office amidst grand promises to restore America’s place in the world.
Did he? If so, he saw its place as lower, not higher. We seem to remember that he desired – perhaps not saying so in exactly these words – to bring America down a peg or two.
Unless our place is the outhouse, he’s failed. But at least he feels good about his accomplishments, even if thousands have died – and thousands more will die – in order to ensure his moral stature in his own mind.
… ends with a diabolical act of treachery.
Bret Stephens writes at the Wall Street Journal:
Barack Obama’s decision to abstain from, and therefore allow, last week’s vote to censure Israel at the U.N. Security Council is a fitting capstone for what’s left of his foreign policy. Strategic half-measures, underhanded tactics and moralizing gestures have been the president’s style from the beginning. Israelis aren’t the only people to feel betrayed by the results.
Also betrayed: Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution in heroic protest of a stolen election Mr. Obama conspicuously failed to endorse for fear of offending the ruling theocracy.
Iraqis, who were assured of a diplomatic surge to consolidate the gains of the military surge, but who ceased to be of any interest to Mr. Obama the moment U.S. troops were withdrawn, and only concerned him again when ISIS neared the gates of Baghdad.
Syrians, whose initially peaceful uprising against anti-American dictator Bashar Assad Mr. Obama refused to embrace, and whose initially moderate-led uprising Mr. Obama failed to support, and whose sarin- and chlorine-gassed children Mr. Obama refused to rescue, his own red lines notwithstanding.
Ukrainians, who gave up their nuclear weapons in 1994 with formal U.S. assurances that their “existing borders” would be guaranteed, only to see Mr. Obama refuse to supply them with defensive weapons when Vladimir Putin invaded their territory 20 years later.
Pro-American Arab leaders, who expected better than to be given ultimatums from Washington to step down, and who didn’t anticipate the administration’s tilt toward the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political opposition, and toward Tehran as a responsible negotiating partner.
Most betrayed: Americans.
Mr. Obama promised a responsible end to the war in Iraq. We are again fighting in Iraq. He promised victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban are winning. He promised a reset with Russia. We are enemies again. He promised the containment of Iran. We are witnessing its ascendancy in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He promised a world free of nuclear weapons. We are stumbling into another age of nuclear proliferation. He promised al Qaeda on a path to defeat. Jihad has never been so rampant and deadly.
These are the results. They would be easier to forgive if they hadn’t so often been reached by disingenuous and dishonorable means.
The administration was deceptive about the motives for the 2012 Benghazi attack. It was deceptive about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s service record, and the considerations that led it to exchange five Taliban leaders for his freedom. It was deceptive about when it began nuclear negotiations with Iran. It was deceptive about the terms of the deal. It continues to be deceptive about the fundamental aim of the agreement, which has less to do with curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions than with aligning Washington’s interests with Tehran’s.
Now the administration is likely being deceptive about last week’s U.N. vote, claiming it did not promote, craft or orchestrate a resolution that treats the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City as a settlement in illegally occupied territory. Yet in November, John Kerry had a long talk on the subject with the foreign minister of New Zealand, one of the resolution’s sponsors.
“One of the closed-door discussions between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and the New Zealand government today was a potential resolution by the United Nations Security Council on a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict,” the New Zealand Herald reported last month. “‘It is a conversation we are engaged in deeply and we’ve spent some time talking to Secretary Kerry about where the U.S. might go on this,’” the paper added, quoting Foreign Minister Murray McCully.
The Israelis claim to have more evidence along these lines. If so, it means the administration no longer bothers to lie convincingly.
Even this might be excusable, if Mr. Obama at least had the courage of his mistaken convictions, or if his deception were in the service of a worthier end. Instead, we have the spectacle of the U.S. government hiding behind the skirts of the foreign minister of New Zealand — along with eminent co-sponsors, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal — in order to embarrass and endanger a democratic ally in a forum where that ally is already isolated and bullied. In the catalog of low points in American diplomacy, this one ranks high.
After the Carter administration pulled a similar stunt against Israel at the Security Council in December 1980, the Washington Post published an editorial that does the paper honor today.
“It cannot be denied,” the editors wrote, “that there is a pack and that it hounds Israel shamelessly and that this makes it very serious when the United States joins it.” The editorial was titled Joining the Jackals.
Unlike Mr. Carter, Mr. Obama hasn’t joined the jackals. He has merely opened the door wide to them, whether at the U.N. or in the skies over Syria or in the killing fields in Ukraine.
The United States abstains: What a fitting finish to this ruinous presidency.
Yes. For America, if not for himself, Obama’s presidency has been a colossal foreign policy failure.
If his domestic policy failures – a long list, headed by his failure to achieve even 3% GDP growth in any year of his two terms and his worsening of race relations – are added to the record, he surpasses Jimmy Carter to win the title of America’s worst president.
“Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendum” – “Apart from all this, Carthage must be destroyed“.
That was the statement Cato the Elder (234-149 BCE) made at the end of every one of his speeches in the Roman Senate during the Punic Wars (Rome against Carthage), no matter what the rest of the speech had been about.
The statement became a slogan, often shortened to “Carthago delenda est”.
For years we have copied Cato the Elder by writing “The UN must be destroyed” at the end of every post that mentions that evil institution.
Now the need for it to be wiped off the face of the earth, or at the very least expelled from American soil and denied American tax-payers’ money, has been made urgent by the iniquitous action of its “Security Council”, initiated by the perfidious outgoing Obama administration of the US government, against the state of Israel. (See our post Obama’s parting act of extreme vindictiveness, December 23, 2016. For the harm the resolution will do see here.)
Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:
The United States pays 22% of the total UN budget. What we get for our $3 billion a year is a corrupt organization whose dysfunctional and hostile agencies are united in opposing us around the world.
The United Nations does only two things consistently and effectively: waste money and bash Israel. Sometimes it manages to do both at the same time.
After an extended, and no doubt costly, visit to the region, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women blamed Muslim men beating their wives on Israeli settlements.
No wonder the UN Security Council just condemned them. Who wouldn’t rightfully be upset that Jews living in Jerusalem somehow causes poor Mohammed to batter his wife?
The Jewish State is the UN’s scapegoat for anything and everything. The Palestinian Authority blamed Israel at the UN for Global Warming. WHO [the World Health Organization, a UN agency] denounced Israel for violating “health rights”.
Israel is one of the foremost inventors and manufacturers of advanced life-saving medical technology in the world. Extremely effective Israeli teams rush to places where disasters occur to provide medical assistance, always free of charge. Israel even cures its enemies free of charge, and returns them to enemy territory to continue plotting its destruction.
And even when Muslim terrorists stab Israelis, it’s still Israel’s fault.
The latest anti-Israel vote at the UN has led to calls to defund the corrupt organization which, even when it isn’t actively trying to hurt us or our allies, is making the world worse every which way it can.
Just this summer the UN admitted that it had spread cholera that killed tens of thousands in Haiti. Sexual abuse allegations against its staffers were up 25% last year. In the spring, the UN admitted that peacekeepers from three countries had raped over 100 girls in only one African country. …
Here’s what we get for our $3 billion.
UNRWA schools are turning out students who want to fight for ISIS. The UN’s email system has been used to distribute child pornography. UN staff members have smuggled drugs, attacked each other with knives and pool cues, not to mention a tractor. This month the UN marked Anti-Corruption Day despite refusing to fight its own corruption. The former President of the UN General Assembly was arrested on bribery charges last year. He had also headed UNICEF’s executive board. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is battling accusations of bribery.
Some of this might be defensible if the UN did anything useful. It doesn’t. It’s just a slush fund for redistributing our money to a vast UN bureaucracy and anyone willing to bribe it for benefits.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the UN vote by beginning the process of defunding the UN. And there’s every reason in the world for us to also stop tossing money at the United Nations.
It’s something that we and every sane country should have done decades ago. If you give money to the UN, it will end up anywhere and everywhere except where it’s supposed to go. But defunding the UN isn’t enough. There is no reason for us to remain there at all.
The United Nations has never met any of its lofty goals. During the Cold War it became a playground for the Communist powers. The USSR, the second signatory to the UN charter, helped force out the first signatory, Taiwan. Even while the treaty was being signed, it was taking over Poland, the 51st signatory.
These days, the United Nations is a forum for Islamist powers and the rotting remains of the Communist front to continue its war against the free world while seducing weak-minded nations into going along.
We are not making the world a better place by being members of this anti-American organization which vacillates between being evil and useless.
You can always count on UN peacekeeping troops to run away whenever they might be called on to use force. The head of the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan was fired by the UN for refusing to protect aid workers, including Americans, who were being raped and assaulted. …
The UN was brought into being in the aftermath of the horrors of World War II. Instead of ending “the scourge of war”, the UN has a solid track record of uselessness and complicity in the face of genocide.
Israel was the first to alert the UN to Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia. But Moscow and its Syrian ally conspired to protect the Communist dictatorship. The UN did not condemn the killing. And only a generation later did it convene the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which has been running for almost twenty years. It took ten years to arrest Brother Number Three, the Foreign Minister of the Communist terror state, whose lies the United Nations chose to believe when the butchery was taking place.
He died six years later while still on trial.
The UN has been apologizing for its non-response to the Rwandan genocide for decades. But apologizing for not doing anything is what the United Nations does best. That and condemn Israel.
Earlier this month, the UN Security Council couldn’t even manage to pass a ceasefire resolution on Syria.
Venezuela, which championed the anti-Israel resolution, took time out from starving its own people to protect Assad. Why in the world would anyone take this vote, or any UN vote, seriously?
The UN’s Human Rights Council members include China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia and, of course, Venezuela. UN Women, the body dedicated to empowering women, includes China, which forces women to have abortions; Pakistan, where women can be murdered by their male relatives for marrying on their own; and Iran, where it’s practically illegal for a woman to leave the house.
The United Nations does not promote its own ideals. Or ours. Instead, it sanctimoniously violates them. Providing every brutal dictatorship with equal representation hasn’t ushered in an age of human rights. Allowing Islamic terrorists and the radical left to denounce their enemies hasn’t made the world better. And throwing $3 billion a year at the towering UN swamp on Turtle Bay only wastes our time and money. …
The UN doesn’t share our ideals. It’s time to build our closest alliances with the countries that do.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called the 2030 agenda a “Declaration of Interdependence.” We must declare our independence from the UN’s interdependency of corruption and tyranny.
We should defund and withdraw. Where quarreling diplomats once preened in the tower above Turtle Bay, seagulls will soar and young couples will walk with their children. The billions we waste on the UN will go toward taking care of our people. And once we are free of the UN, we will actually be able to promote real human rights instead of pandering to the dictators and Islamists of the United Nations.
Like the League of Nations, the United Nations is a failed experiment. The only difference is that, despite decades of wars, genocides and terror, we still haven’t pulled the plug.
President Obama has betrayed his own country – the country he has led for eight years – by colluding with the UN against Israel.
President Trump will have the opportunity to pull out of the UN and drain the swamp in Turtle Bay.
UN delenda est.
Egypt was somehow (how?) cajoled into bringing a resolution before the UN Security Council condemning the building of Jewish settlements on the so-called “West Bank” – ie. Judea and Samaria. Prime Minister Netanyahu and President-elect Trump opposed the move, and Egypt withdrew it – or, in UN-speak, Egypt “postponed” it, sine die.
Obama’s spite against Israel was not to be so easily frustrated. It is patently obvious that he feels his mighty will has been defied by Israel. Many times he ordered the Israeli government to stop building Jewish settlements on the “West Bank”, and he was not obeyed. So in the last days of his deeply regrettable presidency, he has paused between rounds of golf to find a way to squeeze in a vindictive act that he was looking forward to, to gratify his intensely anti-Israel, pro-Muslim sentiments. He has worked surreptitiously to bring a re-drafted resolution, serving the same ends, to the vote. And he has succeeded in doing so.
It is a heavy anti-Israel blow.
The traditional role of the US in the Security Council, when anti-Israel resolutions are voted on, has been to veto them. Not this time. The word in the ether is that he’ll have the US abstain – which means the resolution will be passed.
Aaron Klein writes at Breitbart:
The Obama administration secretly worked with the Palestinian Authority to craft a “shameful” United Nations resolution behind Israel’s back, an Israeli official told reporters on Friday.
The official told Breitbart Jerusalem by email:
President Obama and Secretary Kerry are behind this shameful move against Israel at the UN. The US administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back which would be a tailwind for terror and boycotts and effectively make the Western Wall occupied Palestinian territory.
President Obama could declare his willingness to veto this resolution in an instant but instead is pushing it. This is an abandonment of Israel which breaks decades of US policy of protecting Israel at the UN and undermines the prospects of working with the next administration of advancing peace.
Not so sure about that. Trump is not likely to let his hands be tied.
The official sent the same quotes to major news agencies, including Reuters and the Associated Press. He spoke as four UN Security Council members met on Friday to discuss how to advance the anti-Israel resolution despite Egypt’s decision to delay the vote on the draft that it introduced. The draft was originally scheduled for vote yesterday, but was delayed following criticism from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President-elect Donald Trump.
After the meeting, diplomats said the UN will move forward with the vote, which is expected to take place Friday at about 3 p.m. Eastern (10 p.m. in Jerusalem).
The text of the resolution repeatedly and wrongly refers to the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem as “Palestinian territory occupied since 1967″. In In actuality, the Palestinians never had a state in either the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem and they are not legally recognized as the undisputed authority in those areas.
Jordan occupied and annexed the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until Israel captured the lands in a defensive war in 1967 after Arab countries used the territories to launch attacks against the Jewish state. In 1988 Jordan officially renounced its claims to the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
The text of the resolution declares that the Israeli settlement enterprise has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace”.
That “two-state solution” is the longest-standing geopolitical joke in history.
When the Ottoman empire was broken up, the victorious allies of WWI created a bunch of new Arab states – there are 21 Arab states altogether – and allowed Britain a mandate over the Palestine region in order to implement the Balfour Declaration, which stated that Jews were to be “settled closely on the land”. Britain then illegally gave about two-thirds of the territory to the Emir Abdullah to rule over a new state called “Transjordan” – which was to be perpetually judenrein. The remainder was to be occupied by Jews and Arabs.
Then, after WWII, the UN divided the small remainder yet again, offering one part to the Jews to establish a state, and the other part to the Arabs to do the same. The Jews accepted; the Arabs refused, went to war against the Jews, and lost the war.
The offer of territory for a Palestinian state was made again, and again, and again. The Palestinian Arabs consistently refused all the offers. How can they do otherwise? To accept a Palestinian state with defined borders is to define the borders of the Jewish state, and so recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel. They want all the territory or none. To get all the territory they are perpetually at war with Israel.
Yet it is Israel that is forever being pressed by the Western powers to make concessions. The only concession the Arabs will accept is the abolition of the State of Israel and the handing over of its territory to them. Some Arabs – the Saudi Arabians for instance – have indicated that they might allow some Jews to go on living there. They are called the “moderates”.
The “West Bank” territory on which the Palestinians have refused to establish a state is called by its enemies “occupied Palestinian territory“.
[The resolution] calls for Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”.
As the Committee for Accuracy for Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) pointed out in an email blast, international law does not make Israeli settlements illegal.
Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, which is relied upon by those who claim the settlements are illegal, does not apply in the case of the West Bank. This is because the West Bank was never under self-rule by a nation that was a party to the Convention, and therefore there is no “partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party”, as Article 2 of the Convention specifies. Moreover, even if it did apply, by its plain terms, it applies only to forcible transfers and not to voluntary movement. Therefore, it can’t prohibit Jews from choosing to move to areas of great historical and religious significance to them.
…. The UN draft resolution text states that “cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution”, and it “calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperiling the two-State solution”.
The UN must be destroyed!
Virtual Jerusalem reports:
The UN Security Council on Friday [December 23, 2016] approved the resolution demanding that Israel halt its construction in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem.
14 member states voted in favor of the resolution, which was resubmitted by New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela a day after Egypt, which originally submitted it, withdrew it.
Venezuela! A country where people are killing each other in food riots!
The United States abstained from the vote and did not use its veto power to stop the resolution.
Soon after it was announced that the resolution would be voted upon, senior Israeli officials attacked U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Obama and Kerry are behind this shameful move in the United Nations,” the officials said, according to Haaretz.
“Obama could announce at any time that he intends casting a veto on the resolution, but instead he’s pushing it. He is abandoning Israel and breaking a policy of decades to defend Israel in the UN,” they added.
One senior official added that Obama and Kerry were carrying out the move in the UN “in cahoots with the Palestinians” in an attempt to impose a policy on President-elect Donald Trump.
“Obama is attempting to get a decision passed by the UN, despite knowing that it does not represent the policy of the next president,” the official said, according to Haaretz. …
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, responded harshly to the American decision not to veto the UN Security Council resolution.
“Neither the Security Council nor UNESCO can sever the tie between the people of Israel and the land of Israel,” said Danon. “It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution. I have no doubt that the new U.S. administration and the incoming UN Secretary General will usher in a new era in terms of the UN’s relationship with Israel,” he added.
The new US administration will certainly act in support of Israel. The incoming UN Secretary General, however, is likely to be at least as hostile to Israel as all his recent predecessors have been.