You Still Don’t Understand Islamism, Do You?

Around 2007, I gave a lecture at the Defense Department. One of the attendees presented a scenario suggesting that the “problem of Islam” was not political but a problem of verbiage.

There was a secret debate happening in the Defense Department and the CIA in which some people thought that all Muslims were a problem, some believed that only al-Qa’ida was a problem, and still others thought the Muslim Brotherhood was a problem.

The main problem, however, was that all Islamism was a political threat, but it was the second position that eventually won over the Obama administration. Take note of this, since 2009, if you wanted to build your career and win policy debates, only al-Qa’ida was a problem. The Muslim Brotherhood was not a threat; after all, it did not participate in September 11. This view was well known in policy circles, but it was easy to mistake this growing hegemony as temporary.

Actually, it only got worse.

A Muslim Foreign Service officer recounted how some U.S. officials were trying to persuade the powers that be that al-Qa’ida was split from the Muslim Brotherhood. Imagine how horrified he was. Still other officials told me that there was heavy pressure and there were well-financed lobbyists trying to force officials into the idea that al-Qa’ida was the only problem. Some high-ranking defense department officials–for example, one on the secretary of defense’s level–were pressured to fire anti-Muslim Brotherhood people. I know of at least five such incidences.

For example, I was asked to participate in a contract and co-direct a project for the federal government, and my paper was to be on the idea that all Islamists posed a threat. To my surprise, I was told that my paper was rejected. Shocked, I asked to speak to the two co-contractors on the telephone. Isn’t it true, I said on the phone, that I was to have co-direction of this project? The response was yes it was, nevertheless, a more junior member of the press could not prevail. By the way, this co-director, who likely became interested in the Middle East in large part because of me, was very rude. I then told him that though the project had originally been my idea, I was going to walk away from it and not demand compensation.

In another incident, a high-ranking CIA official posited a paper that the Muslim Brotherhood was not a threat, only al-Qa’ida was, and U.S. policy should therefore depend on the Brotherhood.

In another case, a U.S. official made a statement at a public function that neither Hizballah nor Hamas posed a threat to U.S. interests.

By 2013, this sprouted in a few people’s arguments that Iran could be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. The theoretical situation to government officials was thus clear: If you wanted to make some money in Washington, you would have to toe the line that the Muslim Brotherhood was not a threat. If sanctions ended against the Muslim Brotherhood or Islamists, including Iran, this could also lead to trillions of dollars in potential trade deals. Note that in 2009 and 2010, an attempt was made to build such a model with Syria, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of people were being murdered in a civil war.

But Iran was a far more valuable state. In fact, Tehran was a far easier target because it had far more money and could possibly be bought simply by agreeing not to build a nuclear weapon.

Following is what I predicted in my 1980 book Paved With Good Intentions: The American Experience and Iran:

United States-Iranian relations could not possibly have been worse in the months following November 4, 1979. From the American point of view, the central problem was obtaining the release of fifty-three American diplomats being held hostage at the American Embassy in Tehran. To the Iranians the capture of the American Embassy and its occupants marked a successful end to one revolution and the opening shots of a second. For Iran, like Russia in 1917, was to undergo both a February and a November revolution–the first a political struggle to unseat the old regime, the second a social, economic, and cultural revolution to build a new Islamic society.

In Iran’s case, it was the fundamentalist mullahs and their Islamic Republican Party who were seeking to achieve what the Bolsheviks had done in Russia–monopolize power. Like Lenin, Khomeini would in time turn against moderate segments of the revolutionary coalition and purge their members from positions of authority; like the Bolsheviks, the fundamentalists, once in power, would refuse to compromise with those ethnic movements that had aided the revolution; and like the Leninists, Khomeini’s supporters would try to create a totalistic structure, subsuming into their ideological framework all aspects of national life, from the courts to the schools, from the military to the conduct of commerce, and even the daily behavior of the citizenry.

Thus, the United States and Iran, two countries whose friendship had begun with such high expectations and whose relations had included fine moments of selfless cooperation as well as many shameful episodes of corruption and insensitivity, were now the bitterest of enemies.

In 2014, I am convinced that the leadership of the Iranian Islamist regime still feels the same way, just as American policy makers still don’t understand that nice verbiage has not changed anything. Note that President Ronald Reagan sending the Iranians a key-shaped cake–supposedly to symbolize the “opening” of U.S.-Iranian relations–also demonstrated little understanding of Iranian extremism.

Turkey’s Erdogan: Purges Police, Stymies Corruption Investigation and Prepares to visit Iran

Turkish Premier Erdogan has aggressively pursued a purge of police involved with public prosecutors corruption investigation in a desperate move to stave off potential losses for the AKP in the March 2014 municipal elections.   His actions reflect the internecine battle between two former Islamist allies, Erdogan of the AKP and Sheikh Mohammad Fethullah Gulen and his followers who have penetrated both police and the judiciary in Turkey. At the top of the Turkish government in the largely ceremonial post is co-founder of the AKP and current Turkish President, Abdullah Gul, a Gulenist. Gulen is being urged to exercise his powers under Turkey’s constitution that might include an independent comprehensive investigation of corruption and perhaps a call for new elections.  Despite calls for Gul to act, he remains sphinx-like on the sidelines keeping a watching brief on the swirl of the corruption charges until evidence of wrongdoing by the inner circle of Premier Erdogan surfaces.  We had reported on the alleged involvement of Erodan’s son, Bilal in a money laundering scheme benefitting Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria.  There are reports from the New York Times  and the Washington Post in the US and from Today’s Zaman and Hurriyet Daily News in Turkey on overnight developments and comments from Turkish secular political opponents of the Islamist AKP regime of Premier Erdogan.

More than 600 police were involved in the overnight purge; 350 were removed from Ankara posts, while 250 were “brought in from elsewhere”. Hurriyet Daily News (HDN)reported the removal of 16 police chiefs from provincial posts:

Police chiefs of 15 provinces across Turkey, including Ankara and Izmir, and the deputy head of the national police department were dismissed overnight by the Interior Ministry.

The dismissal of the Ankara police chief, Kadir Ay, comes only a day after 350 officers working in key operational units were relocated in one sweep. The head of the Izmir forces, Ali Bilkay, has also been relocated.

Erdogan used intimidation in personally threatening the Istanbul prosecutor. Note what the prosecutor’s remarks in this HDN article:

A prosecutor who has supervised a recent corruption probe claimed Jan. 8, 2014  he was “threatened” by two people sent by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stop the investigation.

“Two people who were former members of the high judiciary were sent to me by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an,” Zekeriya Öz, who was removed from his post as deputy Istanbul chief prosecutor following a graft investigation that included the sons of three former Cabinet members, told reporters Jan. 8. 

“Those two people I met at a hotel in Bursa told me that the prime minister was angry with me, I should write a letter of apology and stop the probe immediately, or I would be harmed.”

In the midst of this were new allegations of corruption in the port of Izmir involving the Turkish National Railways. HDN reported:

Elsewhere, three senior Izmir officers were dismissed after launching fraud investigations into transactions at commercial harbors operated by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) in which 25 people were detained.

The suspects, including eight TCDD officials, were taken into custody on charges of bribery, corruption, conspiring to rig tenders and leaking information about tenders as part of a fraud investigation launched by the Izmir Public Prosecutor.

They included senior officials such as the director of the Izmir port and his two deputies, while reports also claimed that an arrest warrant had been issued for the brother-in-law of former Transport and Urban Planning Minister Binali Yildirim, who works in the company of a CEO taken into custody during the raids.

Then the Judiciary weighed in on developments in Istanbul, HDN noted:

… the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) launched an investigation yesterday into newly appointed Istanbul Police Chief Selami Alt?nok, who replaced Huseyin Capk?n after the latter was reassigned as part of the probe.

Today’s Zaman  noted HSYK’s authority to conduct such an investigation, unusual given the unraveling corruption charges and questionable Erdogan moves:

The HSYK has the authority to launch investigations into police chiefs based on a law adopted in 2005. This is the first time the HSYK has exercised its authority to launch an investigation into a police chief.

There is a separate development arising from calls for a possible retrial of secular senior Turkish military officers convicted in alleged plots to overthrow the Islamist AKP government, see our most recent Iconoclast post.  This was a meeting today with the head of the Turkish Bar Association and the Erdogan Justice Minister.  Today’s Zaman reported that:

Turkish Bar Association (TBB) President Metin Feyzioglu [met] with Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, Wednesday.

During their meeting, Feyzioglu and Bozdag discussed possible legal avenues for the retrial of military officers convicted of coup plotting. On Thursday, Feyzioglu is scheduled to hold separate meetings with Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli to discuss the issue.

Scores of Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) members — both retired and on active duty — were imprisoned as a result of the Sledgehammer and Ergenekon coup trials. These cases were concluded in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The Supreme Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court’s verdict in the Sledgehammer case, while the appeals court is currently reviewing the Ergenekon case.

On Jan. 3, 2014 Feyzioglu visited President Abdullah Gul at the Cankaya presidential palace to discuss the situation of the convicted officers. In a press conference after the meeting, Feyzioglu said the TBB had outlined a proposal that included nullifying decisions made by specially authorized courts; retrying cases heard by those courts at high criminal courts; abolishing regional high criminal courts that replaced specially authorized courts; and paying compensation for improper arrests and convictions.

Meanwhile the main secular opposition, the People’s Republican Party (CHP) lead by Kemal Kilicdaroglu in Turkey’s parliament has kept up a stream of constant criticism of Erdogan endeavoring to place him at the center of the corruption probe. Yesterday, he questioned the Turkish Intelligence (MIT) report on the illegal gold trading submitted in April 2013 involving Azeri Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab. Today’s Zaman reported Kilicdaroglu saying:

In a weekly meeting of his party’s parliamentary group on Tuesday, Kilicdaroglu addressed reports published Monday in a number of media outlets claiming that the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) submitted a report to Erdogan on April 18, 2013 detailing the shady relations – involving bribery and influence-peddling – of certain ministers with Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, who is under arrest. “I would like to ask the prime minister about what he did upon receiving this report. Did you call these ministers and talk to them? Did you talk to your children? He didn’t. He is the one who gave these orders,” Kilicdaroglu said.

Erdogan is busy preparing for a trip to Iran later in January. According to Press TV,  the purpose of the visit is to “upgrade relations” with the Islamic regime.  Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took time out from his conduct of negotiations with the P5+1 last weekend to confer with Premier Erdogan and  Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.  The purpose of those meetings and the upcoming one late this month is to focus on trade, now that the P5+1 sanctions regime has allegedly been lifted. This despite Turkey’s membership in  NATO and as a US ally.  Press TV noted:new US Senate

During the Zarif-Erdogan meeting, Iran and Turkey underlined their determination to boost the value of bilateral trade volume.

During a visit to Tehran in November, Davutoglu said his country can become an energy corridor for its eastern oil- and gas-rich neighbor, Iran.

In October, the Turkish minister of energy and natural resources said Turkey will raise its gas imports from Iran – currently standing at 10 billion cubic meters a year – if possible.

Iran is Turkey’s second biggest gas supplier after Russia. Turkey uses a significant portion of its imported Iranian natural gas to generate electricity.

But why should Turkey be any different from British parliamentary  and French delegations, the latter seeking to exploit minerals, steel and auto investment projects and other opportunities given the lifting of sanctions?

Erdogan, as we noted earlier, is desperate to stifle the corruption investigations, and maintain calm in the roiling foreign exchange markets for the Turkish Lira amidst concerns raised by the EU, and more importantly credit rating agencies like Fitch.

Meanwhile Iran’s wrecking crew  in the US is beavering  away trying to sabotage new sanctions legislation pending in the US Senate that appears to have majority bi-partisan support for passage of the bill co-sponsored by Senate Foreign Relations Chair Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL).  A Washington Free Beacon report,“Pro-Iran Shadow Lobby Launches Bid to Kill Iran Sanctions” drew attention to a letter from the Iran Project and its relations with Iranian lobbyists in Washington, DC:

Ploughshares has touted the Iran Project’s work on multiple occasions, referring to it “as a group of highly respected national security experts and former U.S. government officials.”

“The reports released by the Iran Project are very influential among decision makers in Washington,” NIAC wrote of the group in April.

“These are many of the same foreign policy experts who opposed the toughest Iran sanctions that got us to this point,” Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) tweeted on Monday.

Others cautioned against taking seriously this latest anti-sanctions lobbying bid. “This is a group run by people who support Iran, are celebrated by the Iranian media, and are deeply embedded in a network of organizations that have consistently sought to weaken the U.S.’s leverage in attempting to denuclearize Iran,” said one senior official at a Washington-based pro-Israel group.

Erdogan’s Turkey cozying up to Iran, while filtering arms and funds to the latter’s opponents in Syria would appear to be opportunistic. Is it to secure natural gas for Turkish domestic and manufacturing needs in exchange for machinery sales that just might find their way to assist in making a new generation of centrifuges for uranium enrichment?  In the meantime Erdogan might be in danger politically given the latest round of corruption investigations and possible retrials of jailed secular senior military officials.  Either way, the Obama Administration has its hands full dealing with the metastasizing Al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq making hollow his 2012 campaign theme that ”Bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda is on the run”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

American Freedom Defense Initiative Ad offering Help to Threatened Girls will run in Florida

…despite the best efforts of Leftists and Islamic supremacists to shut it down. Pamela Geller has the story:

Good news! Our honor killing ad will be running in Florida (above). Over 90% of honor killings worldwide are Islamic, and Tampa was the site of the Fatima Abdullah honor murder. Fatima Abdullah was a Muslim woman who was beaten and abused by her devout Muslim family for her “shameful” divorce. Fatima had told her  neighbor that her older brother abused her badly and had done unthinkable things to her. 

Her brutal death was classified as a suicide — law enforcement said that she died by beating her own head on a coffee table. You can’t kill yourself by banging your head on a coffee table. A member of the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s staff said that the medical examiner’s finding of this death as an accident caused great controversy and distress among many staff members, because they could not believe that this case was ruled an accident. We protested the submission to Muslim threats and demanded that the case be reopened, to no avail.

Read it all.

FL Democrat Reps. Wasserman-Schultz and Alan Grayson blocking Iran sanctions

Debbie Wasserman Schultz an influential Democrat Congresswoman from a Jewish section of Florida breaks with Democrats supporting Iran Sanctions legislation and throws her support to Obama and the Iranians against Israel and many voters in her district by working behind the scenes to block the sanctions legislation. One can only wonder what the Obama White House has promised her for this dastardly behavior

The battle for the new Iran Sanctions legislation will move to the House shortly.  Some key Democrats, who profess out of one side of their mouths that they oppose Iran getting a nuclear weapon, are working with the Obama white house team to try  to defeat new sanctions legislation.  These representatives, like the President and Secretary Kerry are disingenuous in promoting their efforts to stop the Iranian nuclear program.  Perhaps this treachery will be remembered later in the year during the mid term election.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Blocking Bipartisan Iran Sanctions: Breaks with Pro-Israel Democrats

BY: Adam Kredo Follow @Kredo0

January 7, 2014 12:00 pm Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) has become a major obstacle to a new bipartisan Iran sanctions measure, according to multiple sources on Capitol Hill and in Florida.

Wasserman Schultz has broken with leading pro-Israel Democrats like New York Senator Chuck Schumer and New Jersey Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, privately urging her fellow Democrats to follow the White House’s lead by opposing a bipartisan House resolution backing new sanctions on Iran, according to multiple congressional sources close to the debate.

The Iran resolution fell apart in the final days of 2013 after House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) withdrew his support for it following a last minute lobbying campaign helmed by Wasserman Schultz, who sources identified as the “key Democrat” leading the anti-sanctions charge.

Wasserman Schultz’s backroom bid to kill the sanctions measure has angered some Democrats on Capitol Hill and in her hometown of South Florida.

“Debbie has been busy at home telling her constituents she is doing all she can to stop Iran, but in reality it appears she is busy behind the scenes working to scuttle bipartisan action to put increased sanctions pressure on Iran,” said one Democrat on Capitol Hill who is closely tracking the Iran debate.

“Every minute she is publicly silent, or working against bipartisan efforts to pressure Iran, is a minute she is siding with the Mullahs over the American people who overwhelmingly want mounting pressure,” said the source, who asked for anonymity.

Sources inside Wasserman Schultz’s heavily Jewish South Florida community say that the lawmaker’s opposition to strengthened sanctions has become a “problematic position” for her constituents.

Wasserman Schultz has become “one of the two problems in Florida in regards to support for those sanctions,” according to one South Florida Jewish community insider. The other Democratic opponent is Rep. Alan Grayson (Fla.), according to the source.

The concern is so great that Jewish community leaders in South Florida scheduled a meeting with Wasserman Schultz for early this week, the insider said.
The South Florida Jewish community’s concerns have reverberated in D.C., where senior Jewish community officials and others have been quietly expressing frustration over Wasserman Schultz’s bid to kill the new sanctions measure.

“She’s being very careful not to say anything publicly while working hard behind the scenes to jam up the legislation,” said a D.C. Jewish community insider involved in the political debate over sanctions.

Senior congressional aides working on Iran sanctions say that Wasserman Schultz’s behind-the-scenes bid to stymie the Iran resolution has become problematic for bipartisan supporters of a robust sanctions regime.

“People are talking about it,” said one senior Capitol Hill insider familiar with the sanctions negotiations. “Sources in the Jewish Federation network in Florida are saying this too; she’s not been very helpful.”

While Wasserman Schultz has publicly talked tough on Iran, she is believed to have played a key role in pressuring Democratic Whip Hoyer to pull his support for the bipartisan resolution at the last minute.

Hoyer had been working with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.), and Reps. Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.) and Ed Royce (R., Calif.) to pass a last-minute resolution supporting increased sanctions on Tehran.

Read more.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) scheduled briefing with al-Qaeda-linked group

“This shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Democrats have for years now been focused on ‘Islamophobia’ and building relationships with supposedly ‘moderate’ Muslims, without having any way to discern whether the Muslims they were dealing with were ‘extremist’ or ‘moderate,’ since they deny the reality of how jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify and assume that it’s a Religion of Peace. The Republicans, of course, are no better,” Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch reports.

“Rep. Alan Grayson Slammed for Scheduled Briefing With al Qaeda Linked Group,” from the Washington Free Beacon, January 6, 2014:

A GOP challenger to Rep. Alan Grayson (D., Fla.) is blasting the Democratic congressman for hosting a Capitol Hill briefing with a human rights group run by a designated al Qaeda terrorist.A representative from Geneva-based NGO Al Karama was scheduled to participate in the Nov. 19 briefing on U.S. drone policy with Reps. Grayson, Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), and Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.), the Washington Free Beacon first reported Monday. The representative was unable to attend because of reported visa issues.

Al Karama’s president and founder Abdul Rahman Naimi was designated as a global terrorist and al Qaeda financier by the U.S. Treasury Department in December.

Jorge Bonilla, a Republican running for Grayson’s seat in Florida’s 9th district, called the briefing a “slap in the face to the brave men and women who have served in the Global War On Terror,” according to a statement published by the National Review

Grayson was reelected to congress in 2012, after losing a prior seat in 2010. He drew fire during his 2010 campaign when he released an ad calling his GOP opponent Daniel Webster “Taliban Dan.” The ad was widely criticized by fact-checkers as misleading.

Former Secretary of Defense Gates slams Obama’s leadership in new book

In the Washington Post Bob Woodward did a column based on a memoir from former Obama Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (pictured above) soon to be released. In the book titled “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.” The forward to the book states, “When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he’d long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.”

Gates outlines in his book an extraordinary and harsh critique of Obama’s actions as Commander in Chief.

Based on the memoir Woodward reports:

Quote—President Obama’s leadership and his commitment to the Afghanistan war, writing that by early 2010 he [Gates] had concluded the president “doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.”

Leveling one of the more serious charges that a defense secretary could make against a commander in chief sending forces into combat, Gates asserts that Obama had more than doubts about the course he had charted in Afghanistan. The president was “skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail,” Gates writes in “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.”

At one point in the book Gates praised for Hillary Clinton among other things as hard working, bright, tough-minded, funny, etc. However he then mentioned a meeting between Obama and Clinton he found “remarkable” but dismaying.

Quote–He writes: “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary… The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.

Read more.

Ideology: A Specter Haunting the World

“The fire-breathing Rebels arrive at the party early,
Their khaki coats are hung in the closet near the fur.
Asking handouts from the ladies, while they criticize the lords.
Boasting of the murder of the very hands that pour.
And the victims learn to giggle, for at least they are not bored.
And my shoulders had to shrug
As I crawl beneath the rug
And retune my piano.”
– Phil Ochs

Karl Marx once famously said that a specter was haunting Europe and that specter was Communism. Today, specters are haunting the world. They are “progressivism” and Islamism. Yet these are misunderstood because the progressives want to pretend they are liberals and the Islamists want to pretend to be normal, technically pious, traditional Muslims of a century or half century ago.

Islam is a religion, Islamism is a revolutionary movement. Liberalism is a center-to-left political movement, progressivism is a revolutionary movement.

In fact Islam/Islamism and liberalism/progressivism are parallel in many ways. Their differences are distracting, one as a religion and one as an atheist non-religious ideology.

For example; progressivism and Islamism both seek to be political monopolies and ideologies. They’re comprehensive. Both use intimidation, though progressivism is more verbal and Islamism is more violent.

Whenever anyone takes one to task, they insult the whole system. They are not rational systems and are not open to debate.

Both invite large elements of opportunism and careerism. People who see the winning side endorse them to benefit their own careers, not out of genuine belief.

Both of these institutions should be studied coherently. They’ve not been studied well on political terms. I will explore Islamism further in an upcoming article.

The English Civil War from 1642-1651, the struggle between monarchy and religious political ideologies, mirrors what Islamism is going through now. This was the West’s struggle between “Christianity” and “politics” which is now the equivalent of the struggle between “Islamism” and “politics.”

This could be called a Manichean model. One side is completely right, and one side is completely wrong. Therefore, a democratic dispute would not be possible.

Phil Ochs, quoted above, was creatively mocking the situation. He showed this ambiguity. Incidentally, I was his guide at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

Here was the new professional elite: so pompous, so arrogant. They were benefiting materially, yet were contentious, simultaneously arrogant yet luxury-loving, but also virtuous and well-intentioned, superior. What more perfect combination would there be but the well-heeled Bill Ayers, the son of a senior Detroit automaker, and yet a bombing revolutionary who did nothing to deserve his good estate!

Imagine! Someone with a gold spoon in his mouth made a scruffy revolutionary, and yet the recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars from conservative Republicans, superior to everyone. Surely a new ruling class if ever there was one.

You get the privilege but pretend you are the victim. You can take a lot of wealth while pretending to be the champion of the downtrodden.

Nowadays nobody seems to know what “progressive” means, though it is in the history books. From around 1910-1924, “Progressive” meant liberal, which was not anything like what it is today. When Theodore Roosevelt was disappointed by his chosen successor, William Taft, he formed the Bull Moose Party from the Republican, often referred to as “the progressive party.”

The progressive party of that day did well among people who wanted to continue liberalism.

FDR was always conscious that the American system might turn sharply to the left if he failed, leading to some kind of Obamaesque situation. Remember there was large scale violence (mostly labor related) and an extremely left-oriented culture war. People forget that there was a looming radical threat at that time, for example the Labor Movement.

In 1924, Robert Lafollette decided that his party, Republican, was not liberal enough, and ran under the “progressive” title. He actually got 17% of the popular vote, but concluded that this was not the amount of people needed to win an election, even though this was a rare opportunity to create a three-party system. Ultimately, he decided that the country was not left enough. The brilliance of President Roosevelt was in playing the centrist view. There were communists and progressives and horrid “reactionary republicans.”

Roosevelt, however, pitted the idea that the far left (i.e. communists and socialists) were the only other alternative to the “reactionary republicans.” Often, liberals said that these were the only choices.

During the 1924 election and the 1930s, Earl Browder and other Communist Party leaders used the word “progressive” as a cover.  In 1948, it was the name chosen by the Communist Party for its front party.

Consider how the Communist Party approached the New Deal. Here’s that party’s leader, Earl Browder, in a 1936 interview:

“Roosevelt was being pulled by some to the left and by the others to the right. Consequently, it would be wrong for ‘all progressives to unite around Roosevelt as the sole means to defeat reaction.’  …It seems that personally Roosevelt and [Republican leader Alf] Landon look pretty much alike to Browder.”

Incidentally, I’ve never seen anyone note that when the 2010 electoral organization’s far-left organized, it was called Progressives for Obama. The head was Carl Davidson, the former chief of SDS in the 1960s.

What the Obama movement did was to combine philosophical idealism, the farthest left of the old democratic party, and the lumpen proletariat, convincing more moderate liberals that this more radical movement identified with them, while everyone else was reactionary (as was done in the 1930s).

Furthermore the Republican leadership was headed by an unimaginative “rhino.”

If you want to understand Obama and his movement, you have to go back to the 1960s and 1970s. For more on this, see Silent Revolution: How the Left Rose to Political Power and Cultural Dominance (Harper Collins, forthcoming April 2014)

Kerry’s Absurd Diplomatic Agenda

As far as Secretary of State John Kerry is concerned, the greatest threat to the Earth is “climate change.” That is his view as well of the Obama administration that, according to a CNS News article, wasted $7.45 billion taxpayer dollars over the last three years “to help developing countries cope with climate change in fiscal years 2010 through 2012, according to a federal government report submitted to the United Nations.” In Kerry’s words, climate change is “a truly life-and-death challenge.”

Since the first humans stood upright and began to walk, they have never played any role in climate change, a natural aspect of the Earth that is cyclical, moving between periods of warmth and cooling. We are currently in a 17-year-long cooling cycle which forced the army of environmental liars who claimed that “global warming” was the greatest threat to change its name to “climate change.”

Another name change caused a lot of problems as well.

Since Israel declared its independence and sovereignty in 1948, it has fought a succession of wars against its Arab “neighbors” and been subjected to the claim that former occupants were “Palestinians” despite the fact that there never was and still is not a nation called Palestine. Arabs that chose to remain became citizens of Israel.

It was the Roman Emperor Hadrian who tried to change the name of Israel to Palestine. The name reappeared following World War One when the Treaty of Versailles used it to designate a swath of land south of Syria as a British mandate. In 1948, when the British left, Israel was born again after 2,000 years.

Israel joined the United Nations on May 11, 1949. Resisting the existence of Israel became an Arab cause. These days Israel maintains diplomatic relations with more than 150 nations.

Successive American administrations sought to provide an agreement between those claiming to represent Palestinians and the nation of Israel. All such efforts have all failed. At present the Palestinian Authority, based in Ramallah on the West Bank, is the focus of such efforts. Hamas, a proxy of Iran, controls Gaza, a territory abandoned by Israel in the hope that “land for peace” would succeed. It did not and Gaza is little more than a staging ground for ceaseless rocket attacks.

When Secretary Kerry arrived in Israel on January 3 to meet with PA president Mahmoud Abbas, the streets of Ramallah filled with several hundred protesters chanting “Kerry, you coward, there is no place for you in Palestine!” Abbas has never expressed any opinion other than a hope for the destruction of Israel. He replaced Yasser Arafat who waged an “intifada” against Israel as the self-appointed head of the Palestinians.

Kerry is so obsessed with getting a peace accord that he has spent five months trying to negotiate it with no progress. He has made ten trips to Israel and its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has had to pretend, like all the former prime ministers, that an agreement is possible. After the 1967 war, Egypt decided to sign a peace treaty that secured the return of the Sinai Peninsula. These days the Egyptian military it is fighting jihadists located there.

The Palestinians are losing ground. Abbas’ refusal to come to any agreement with Israel has resulted in the announcement by the European Union to discontinue its $1 billion annual contribution to the Palestinian Authority if a peace accord is not signed within a year. The US-EU aid packages total $1.5 billion and account for nearly all of the PA’s regular revenue. Jordan has already made it clear it does not want Palestinians providing “security” on its West Bank border with Israel.

Yoram Ettinger, a columnist for Israel Hayom, recently wrote that “Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring delusion into a reality of an Arab Tsunami, highlighting the 1,400-year-old intra-Muslim and intra-Arab uncertainty, unpredictability, instability, fragmentation, violent intolerance and absence of Arab democracy and civil liberties.”

Kerry wants Israel to return to its 1967 borders, reflecting Obama’s goal. That is an idiotic demand that ignores Israel’s need for security or the provision of housing for its growing population. Obama has criticized the building of such housing in Jerusalem and the West Bank, but few give much thought to the absurdity and arrogance of this. Imagine if Obama expressed a similar criticism of new housing in Canada or Mexico?

The only overt ally the United States has in the Middle East is Israel, but you would not know that from Kerry’s efforts and Obama’s barely hidden enmity. Like the effort to strike a deal with Iran to stop enriching uranium to build nuclear weapons, both are oblivious to the reality of events in the Middle East, all of which reflect a region in turmoil. Having withdrawn our troops from Iraq and preparing to leave Afghanistan, Obama’s foreign policy only portends further turmoil.

The Obama administration would rather fight “climate change” than deal with the harsh realities of the real world.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED COLUMNReport: Kerry Proposes Return of 80,000 Palestinian Refugees to Israel

Documentation on Palestinian Incitement of Hatred

The late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had two instructive quotes on peacemaking with the Palestinians:

You don’t make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies.

I believe that in the long run, separation between Israel and the Palestinians is the best solution for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel has plenty of unsavory enemies in the roiling Middle East and elsewhere, these days. However, when your enemies disavow your existence, let alone your legitimacy as a sovereign power, you cannot make peace even the one defined by Rabin. This is why Israeli PM Netanyahu has pushed the importance of recognition of Israel as a Jewish nation.  The current diplomatic shuttle campaign for a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA)  by US Secretary of State  Kerry is grappling with this issue.

Today’s release  by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office of documented evidence of PA leader Mahmoud Abbas orchestrating a propaganda campaign  to incite hatred towards Israel and Jews.  There is evidence of Abbas” duplicity of saying comforting things about peace at the UN versus anti-Semitic blood libel to his fellow Palestinians at home.

However, the evidence of Palestinian promotion of Jew hatred is just one of a number of issues that ultimately could bring the current round of final status negotiations crashing down.   An example  is  the issue of UN Res. 242 of November 1967 ensuring Israel is entitled to secure and defensible borders. Instead,  Kerry  offered  up a hoary proposal of the current US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power  placing a detachment of US and international troops in the strategic Judean hills overlooking the Jordan Valley approaches to enforce  a final status agreement between the PA and Israel. Then there is questionable matter of ‘sharing’ Israel’s eternal capital of Jerusalem, a fact recognized by the US Congress in a law passed in 1995 requiring a move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.     That move has  been avoided by a succession of US Presidents; Clinton, Bush and now Obama on the grounds that a final status agreement hasn’t been reached between the PA and Israel.  Then there is the matter of so-called land swaps to establish borders based on the pre- 1967 June War, the 1949 Armistice Line.  No other sovereign nation has entered into such negotiations that threaten its existence.

The evidence of Palestinian incitement to hate is reflected in documentation released by Israel’s PM Netanyahu,  a reflection of Islamic Qur’anic doctrine. A doctrine  that states  Allah has endowed the world as a Waqf or trust for Muslims  in perpetuity for all conquered lands. Hence the argument that the Jewish nation of Israel is illegally occupying the space between “the river and the sea”.  That is evident in the propaganda imagery  of the late Yassir Arafat wearing his checkered kaffiyeh allegedly  draped in the shape of Palestine. It is also reflected in monuments of the Palestinian Authority, one of which was cloaked to hide it from the view of President Obama during a visit to Ramallah in  March 2013, while police restrained hundreds of protesters.  There is also evidence of hatred reflected in PA  videos of preschool children being indoctrinated in hatred, spouting classic Qur’anic suras depicting Jews as pigs and sons of apes or an EU-sponsored PA youth TV program  saying that Israelis in Jerusalem are ‘crows and rats”.   Palestine Media Watch (PMW) has documented much of this over the past decade.  PMW published a  a video, today,  of a Syrian TV interview  with Zaki Abbas, a close associate of PA President Abbas,   discussing a plan for the destruction of Israel saying:

Even the most extreme among us, Hamas, or the fighting forces, want a state within the ’67 borders. Afterward, we [will] have something to say, because the inspiring idea cannot be achieved all at once. [Rather] in stages.

Prime Minister Netanyahu drew attention  to this defining  issue on Sunday in his remarks following a two hour cabinet meeting on Palestinian incitement towards Israel in a Jerusalem Post report, “Netanyahu: Palestinian incitement spurs Mideast conflict”:

This is a very grave phenomenon. True peace cannot exist without stopping the incitement against Israel and educating for peace. The refusal of the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish People and declare the end of national demands – this is the root of the conflict. This is also the reason why we are insisting on significant security measures, so that we will be able to defend ourselves by ourselves in any situation.

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, whose agency is responsible for maintaining an “incitement index”, drew attention to the role of PA leader Mahmoud Abbas:

We must not ignore the fact that the Palestinian educational system and media, under the patronage of Abu Mazen [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] and during the negotiations, are educating and inciting – on a daily basis – for the destruction of the State of Israel.

Watch this IMRA Youtube video containing the Israeli Government report  on Palestinian leadership and schools inciting hatred of the Jewish nation of Israel:

Notice the hateful Qur’anic catechism from Palestinian pre-school children, the adulation and quotations from  Hitler, and the Nazi-style salute by members of the PLO Al Aqsa Brigade . Then there was  a similar event at Al Quds University in November 2013.  The last event  caused Brandeis University President Frederick Lawrence to suspend its  partnership with  Al Quds University and its Harvard educated Chancellor, Sari Nusseibeh. Nusseibeh allegedly during the First Gulf War in 1991 was caught passing target information to the regime of the late Saddam Hussein for launch of SCUD missiles against Tel Aviv.

Why would any rational person persist in trying to reach a peace agreement  in the face of the duplicitous taqiyyah by the PA leadership and its educational system perpetuating hate against Israel. With not the merest scintilla of likelihood that a final status agreement between Israel and the PA could be achieved in the remaining four months, why is the Administration persisting in this effort when the Middle East is aflame with fundamentalist Jihad warfare on all of Israel’s borders.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

TAKE ACTION: Speaker Boehner, install a Select Committee on Benghazi now!

I’ve joined family members of the victims of the Benghazi terrorist attack and more than 70 fellow conservative and military leaders in sending a letter to House Speaker John Boehner demanding that he install a select committee to once and for all get the answers and the truth regarding the tragic events of September 11, 2012.

There is widespread support for a select committee to get to the bottom of disturbing questions surrounding the attack, as H.Res. 36 has 178 cosponsors. Yet Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor refuse to bring it to the House floor for a vote. You have to wonder, is there something they know that they prefer not come to light?

We can no longer accept silence, obfuscation and inaction on this subject.

You can read the letter here. Please feel free to download and circulate it widely.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

RELATED COLUMN: Obama admin bungled Benghazi, could have prevented attack: report

It only takes 33 minutes for a missile to hit the US from anywhere in the world (+ video)

The Heritage Foundation states, “It would take only 33 minutes for a missile to reach the U.S. from anywhere in the world. That’s a sobering thought when North Korea is taunting America with threatening video propaganda about its nuclear capabilities and Iran is advancing its nuclear program.”

In response to these threats, the Obama Administration announced Friday that it would increase the number of Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Interceptors protecting the U.S. from 30 to 44. These 30 interceptors allowed White House spokesman Jay Carney to state that the U.S. is “fully capable of defending itself” against a North Korean ballistic missile attack.

He didn’t mention that the Obama Administration has tried to undermine the long-range missile defense program since it came into office, including announcing the “restructure” of the advanced SM-3 IIB interceptor program designed to protect the U.S. and allies from a long-range ballistic missile threat. As Heritage’s Michaela Dodge explained:

When the Administration took office four years ago, it scaled down the number of interceptors protecting the U.S. from 54 to 30. This included cutting 10 interceptors in Poland and 14 in Alaska. The Administration justified its step by saying that the missile defense threat has not progressed as fast as the Bush Administration expected—this despite the fact that both North Korea and Iran have been very public about their efforts to develop long-range ballistic missile capabilities.

President Obama famously told Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev that after the 2012 election, he would have more “flexibility” on missile defense. Just last Friday, his new Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, announced a restructuring of U.S. missile defense priorities to focus more on Alaska-based and California-based missile interceptors. This shift away from commitments to deploy advanced interceptors to Poland and Romania is exactly what the Russians have been demanding.

Thirty years ago this week, President Ronald Reagan asked a question that is just as vital today: “[W]hich part of our defense measures do we believe we can do without and still have security against all contingencies?”

Watch Reagan’s 1983 speech about the Strategic Defense Initiative

To protect America, all contingencies must be covered. And as Heritage President-elect Jim DeMint has said recently, missile defense works. It works because the only sure way to deter an attack against the U.S. is to make certain it isn’t worth it for the attacker. As Reagan said:

“Deterrence” means simply this: making sure any adversary who thinks about attacking the United States, or our allies, or our vital interests, concludes that the risks to him outweigh any potential gains. Once he understands that, he won’t attack. We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.

Tweet this quote

Today, The Heritage Foundation and the George C. Marshall Institute are co-hosting an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of Reagan’s landmark speech on missile defense and discussing the challenges of protecting our nation, then and now. Speakers include Ambassador Henry Cooper, Dr. Lee Edwards, Dr. Kim Holmes, Jeff Kueter, Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), and Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). The event runs from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET, and you can watch online throughout.

Read the Morning Bell and more every day en Español at Heritage Libertad.

A New Year and Turkey is Still in Turmoil

I had a conversation this morning with a confidential European source and keen observer of the Turkish scene.  Some of his astute observations were covered in the January NER, article, “Could the Crisis in Turkey Impact US Policy in the Middle East?”  It was prompted by a Gatestone Institute article, published today, “Where is Turkey Going?” by Veli Sirin, who is German director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism. Sirin is another worthy observer and author of analyses on what is occurring in Turkey. He was discussing further developments with regard to the public wrangling between two former Islamist allies, Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and expatriate Turkish Sheikh Mohammad Fethulleh Gulen, which we have covered in our NER article.

Sirin discussed Turkish press coverage of the recent pleas by imprisoned military leaders requesting new trials. This in the wake of the release by the judiciary of secularist,  pro-American and pro- Israeli Gen. Cevik Bir that we noted in our NER article. The irony is that these Turkish alleged plotters were tried and convicted for conspiracy following second term sweep by Erdogan and the AKP in the 2007 parliamentary elections. My source observed that the purge of presumably secular Turkish military has left it in control of senior officers on the general staff beholden to Erdogan.

Sirin observed in his Gatestone article:

Erdogan was confronted on January 1, 2014 with a petition by the former army general staff chief, Gen. lker Babug, that Babug be released from a life sentence handed down against him on August 5, 2013, in the “Ergenekon” conspiracy trials, in which the Islamist government accused members of the secular military of supposedly trying to bring the government down. As described in the leading national media platform, the Hurriyet Daily News, Ba?bug was one of 275 suspects charged in the “Ergenekon” affair; other high military officials, journalists and academics were subjected to “aggravated life sentences,” which replaced death sentences, in the “Ergenekon” proceedings.

As noted in the same Hurriyet article, Babug based his demand for exoneration on Erdogan’s claim that “gangs within the state” and “members of the parallel state” had penetrated the judiciary, police, and other official structures. Erdogan’s chief advisor, Yalçin Akdogan, implied that members of the judiciary had “framed” military officers in the “Ergenekon” case.

Senior AKP legislator Mustafa Elita? told Hurriyet Daily News that Turkey could change laws to allow a retrial of the military officers convicted of plotting to overthrow Erdogan. According to that Hurriyet Daily News account, Elita? said of the army defendants, “We will, if necessary, make new legal arrangements to stop people’s unjust treatment.”

At the same time, and as reflected in the same Hurriyet Daily News post of December 31, former army General Çetin Dogan, accused and convicted of a similar plot in the “Sledgehammer” trial of military leaders, which ended in 2012, is preparing a complaint against a 20-year prison term imposed on him.

Erdogan’s chief advisor, Akdogan, then reversed course. In a press statement quoted by Today’s Zaman, Akdogan declared, “It is wrong to the utmost degree to use my previous writings to say that I have called some trials ‘false,’ ‘baseless,’ ’empty’ and ‘fabricated.’ Just as prosecutors need evidence to issue criminal charges, the defense, believing the evidence presented is false, needs to provide its own evidence to support its argument.”

Ironies abound in the current Turkish turmoil. Erdogan and AKP were widely reported to have mounted the “Sledgehammer” and “Ergenekon” proceedings in a long-term Islamist bid to cut down the influence of the secularist military. London Guardian correspondent Simon Tisdall, noted on September 25, 2012 that Turkish military commanders had carried out three coups, between 1960 and 1980 (including a full-fledged takeover in 1971), and had forced AKP out of power in 1997.

The  source observed that there is an emerging internal revolt within the AKP that could result in a splinter party being formed for future parliamentary elections.  That political division of the AKP would throw into considerable question Erdogan’s nominations for the March 2014 municipal elections.  Moreover, that might raise doubt about a projected June national referendum on changes to the Turkish Presidency authorities abetting creation of a virtual Islamist Caliphate in Ankara coveted by Erdogan.  A number of those dissident AKP members in Parliament may be Gulenists.   He raised questions about where President Abdullah Gull, himself a Gulenist, stood relative to the current crisis in Turkey.  Gul apparently has the authority to authorize a comprehensive investigation of the graft charges. Gul, according to a Today’s Zaman article ,warned against intervention in the  judiciary investigations and deliberations.  Moreover, despite the Presidency being largely a ceremonial post under Turkey’s constitution, apparently Gul has the power to call for new parliamentary elections.  Turkey’s parliament elects the Premier.

I brought up the prospect of a Gulenist/Secularist effort to topple Erdogan raised by Harold Rhode in our NER article.   The source pointed to a comment in a Hurriyet Daily News report  by Kemal Kilicdaroglu,  head of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP),  about the sudden disappearance of Erdogan’s son, Bilal and why he didn”t testify in the graft investigations.. As we wrote in our NER article, Bilal   was alleged to be part of an Istanbul prosecutor’s investigation of money laundering to Al Qaida militias in Syria via charities and funds controlled by shadowy Saudi billionaire Yasin al-Qadi.  The source indicated  that Bilal Erdogan may have taken a powder to one of the Central Asian ‘stans until the current brouhaha blows over.  He noted that the opposition Republican Party follows in the Ataturkist secular traditions.  Sirin, author of the Gatestone article, may  apparently be an Alevi and  likely an Ataturkist follower as well.

Another related matter affecting  this imbroglio is the sudden breakout of what appears to be  possible virtual autonomy in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern region of Turkey. That is evidenced in flouting of Kurdish national flags and  tolerance of the Kurdish language. The Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) has called on followers in Turkey to remain neutral in the current dispute between Erdogan and the Gulen.  That may be a reflection of an opportunistic strategy by Erdogan to placate the restive Kurdish irredentism to achieve access to oil from both halves of Kurdistan. This would include the Syrian western half  or  Rojava, in the northeastern area of the country, and the adjacent Iraqi eastern half, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).  Ironically both Kurdish areas have staved off the intrusion of Al Qaida militias now ravaging major towns in the largely Sunni Anbar province of Iraq and adjacent areas of Eastern Syria. The Erdogan deal would involve transmission of Kurdish regional oil via Turkish pipelines to terminals on the Mediterranean coast, which may afford some diversion for profit taking. Then there are the billions of construction project tenders in the KRG dominated by Turkish construction firms. We would not be surprised to see a pardon granted by Erdogan for former PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, now imprisoned on an Island in the Sea of Mamara. He had given his assent to a cease fire deal with Erdogan. Moreover, Today’s Zaman has reported rumors of a general amnesty for the PKK.

Lastly,  we mused on the silence from the Obama White House about accusations of American involvement in fostering the Turkish public prosecutors’ graft investigations  with implied  threats to expel the US Ambassador.  Those accusations were vigorously denied by the US Ambassador Francis T. Ricciardone.  Could it be the alleged graft investigation directed by public prosecutors against the core of AKP in the regime of Turkish Premier Erdogan is an embarrassment to the Administration that touted him as a partner for peace in the Middle East?  Just look at the exchange  regarding the turmoil in Turkey with State Department  Deputy Spokesperson  Ms. Marie Harf in today’s State Department Press Briefing.  In May 2013 when Premier Erdogan visited the White Rose, President Obama said in a rainy Rose Garden setting, “I value so much the partnership that I’ve been able to develop with Prime Minister Erdogan”.  Stay tuned for developments.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

The Connection: Boston Bombers, CIA, USAID and Muhammed Fethullah Gulen

The Corbett Report has posted a video, with source documents, that provides some very interesting insights into the Boston Bombers family that has not been reported on by the mainstream media. The video is titled “Who is Graham Fuller?” Graham Fuller is a former CIA officer under the Reagan administration and has had a family and business relationship with Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of the Boston Bombers. Please take the time to become informed about this interesting and developing story:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/ZlFhBrMaMsc[/youtube]

ABOUT JAMES CORBETT

James Corbett

James Corbett is a Boiling Frogs Post Partner Producer & Host, The EyeOpener Video Report. James Corbett is an independent journalist. He has been writing and producing The Corbett Report, an online multi-media news and information source, since 2007. Visit Corbett Report here.

Following is the transcript, with references, of the video provided by The Corbett Report:

By James Corbett
BoilingFrogsPost.com
May 8, 2013

In the days of hysteria immediately following the Boston bombing, an unlikely media darling emerged. Ruslan Tsarni, the alleged bombers’ uncle, known to the press as “Uncle Ruslan,” gained notoriety for the ferocity with which he denounced his own nephews and their alleged Islamic radicalism.

It isn’t hard to see why the press focused so closely on “Uncle Ruslan.” He said precisely what the so-called “authorities” wanted to hear about the suspects in precisely the way they wanted to hear it. Compare this to the coverage of the boys’ mother in the mainstream media. After revealing the FBI’s connection to the Tsarnaev brothers—causing the Bureau toreluctantly confirm that they had investigated Tamerlan in the past—she has been alternatively smeared and dismissed by those same media outlets which have refused to delve into the FBI connection.

But even more interesting than the sudden popularity of “Uncle Ruslan” is his background and ties to other organizations.

In an official SEC filing from 2005 it was revealed that Ruslan Tsarni had worked as a consultant for USAID, ostensibly an independent federal agency which is little more than an adjunct of the US State Department and is a known front for deep cover CIA agents in various geostrategic corners of the globe. At the same time in the mid-1990s, Tsarni incorporated a company called the “Congress of Chechen International Organizations” which recently unearthed documents show was providing material support to Chechen terrorists, including Sheikh Fathi, who, according to US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, was a “military commander in the violent jihadist movement in Chechnya” and a “preacher of violent jihad.”

As investigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker has demonstrated, the address for the Congress of Chechen International Organizations just happened to be the home address of Graham E. Fuller, formerly Vice Chairman of the Reagan-era CIA’s National Intelligence Council. The relationship between Ruslan and this former top CIA official was not a loose one. Tsarni married Fuller’s daughter in the mid-1990s and lived in Fuller’s home for some time, basing his terror-supporting operation under Fuller’s own roof.

Fuller himself has an interesting background that includes his two decade stint with the Central Intelligence Agency. During that time he served as National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia. One of his most notorious acts during that time was penning a memo that, according to the New York Times, later became the basis for the Iran-Contra scandal.

In addition, Fuller has long made the argument that Islam is a potentially useful geopolitical tool for the United States to manipulate for their own ends. He has been quoted as saying, “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against [the Russians]. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”

Fuller’s ties also extend to the network of Imam Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic preacher who was run out of Turkey for allegations of conspiracy to overthrow the secular government, Gulen ended up in Pennsylvania where he now oversees a vast organization known as the Gulen Movement which has over $20 billion at its disposal for setting up Islamic schools in over 100 countries.

Being a wanted man by the Turkish government, Gulen did not just waltz into the US and gain immediate residency. Instead, he fought a protracted legal battle that included reference letters from well-connected political figures, including none other than Graham Fuller.

Since the details of Fuller’s connection to the Boston bombing suspects’ uncle emerged, Fuller has admitted the connection but dismissed the suggestion that there is any link between the CIA and the Boston bombing case as “absurd.” Late last month, it was revealed that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had attended a workshop last year sponsored by the CIA-linked Jamestown Foundation.

Late last month, Sibel Edmonds appeared on The Lew Rockwell Show to discuss the “coincidence” of Fuller’s connection to this case.

A narrative has begun to emerge from the background noise of the Boston bombing story that paints a very different picture from what we have been told. We have the uncle of the bombing suspects emerging as a media darling for his denunciation of the brothers, who just so happens to have worked with USAID and was living and working at the home of a top CIA official who has actually advocated “guiding the evolution of Islam” to destabilize Russia and China in Central Asia. Now we have several of the pieces of the puzzle that Edmonds’ predicted in the past few weeks falling into place: that the bombers were likely being run by the CIA; that the event would bring focus on radical terrorism who have hitherto been painted as “freedom fighting allies” of the US; and that the case may be used as leverage to make new inroads on the Syria standoff between Washington and Moscow.

And several of the pieces of this puzzle revolve around Graham E. Fuller, former National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia, a proponent of political Islam, an inspiration for the Iran-Contra affair, a character reference for CIA darling Fethullah Gulen, a former RAND analyst, and the father-in-law of the Boston bombers’ uncle.

So what else is there to be uncovered regarding Fuller’s background and activities? For the answer to this, you will have to stay tuned to alternative researchers like Edmonds and Hopsicker, and tune out of the corporate media which hasn’t dared to even broach the question.

The Essence of Senator Rand Paul in Ten Minutes

This video provides a glimpse of the essence of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY): Filibuster, NSA Surveillance, IRS Scandal, Benghazi and Syria Hearings, Foreign Affairs, Balanced Budget Amendment, Economic Freedom Zones, Defund Obamacare and Individual Liberties.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/vKWBh35aHtc[/youtube]

The Growing Missile Threat to Israel

Dr. Ronen Bergman, intelligence and military columnist for Israeli daily Yediot Ahronoth confirmed, Wall Street Journal reports that Syria and Iran’s Qod’s Force may have successfully disassembled and  transferred  to Hezbollah 12 Russian Yakhont anti- ship cruise missiles. See New York Times article, “Hezbollah Moving Long-Range Missiles From Syria to Lebanon, an Analyst Says”.

This despite the IAF five attacks conducted against Syria facilities and supply trains in 2013 using advanced missiles fired on targets from Lebanese airspace. The IAF attacks reported to have destroyed a shipment of  advanced mobile air defense  Russian SA-17’s in January 2013, Iranian Fateh-110 surface to surface missiles in May and  a shipment of  Russian Yakhont missiles in July. Further, according to the New York Times account, Bergman said:

Hezbollah, which is also Lebanon’s strongest political party, has a network of bases that were built inside Syria, near the border with Lebanon, to give the group strategic depth and to store the missiles, Mr. Bergman said. But with a nearly three-year insurgency threatening President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, an ally of Hezbollah, keeping the missiles in Syria is no longer as secure, Mr. Bergman said.

The missiles being moved, he said, include Scud D’s, shorter-range Scud C’s, medium-range Fateh rockets that were made in Iran, Fajr rockets and antiaircraft weapons that are fired from the shoulder.

Bergman also noted the comments of former Mossad head, Meir Dagan about Hezbollah bases in Syria during the Second Lebanon War in 2006:

 Meir Dagan, advised the government not to start an attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon without first hitting the militia’s bases in Syria, which were built on the strategy that Israel would not dare to strike Syria. The bases were believed to contain much of Hezbollah’s long-range missile capability,

The Wall Street Journal report,  “Hezbollah Upgrades Missile Threat to Israel” noted the potential game changer on Israel’s strategy to counter this missile threat on its doorstep:

Hezbollah already has around 100,000 rockets, according to Israeli intelligence estimates, but those are primarily unguided weapons that are less accurate. Its longer-range rockets are spread across Lebanon, meaning Israel’s next air campaign—should one come—would have to be broad, Israeli officials have told their U.S. counterparts, according to American officials in the meetings.

Hezbollah’s possession of guided-missile systems would make such an air campaign far riskier.

Current and former U.S. officials say Iran’s elite Quds Force has been directly overseeing the shipments to Hezbollah warehouses in Syria. These officials say some of the guided missiles would allow Hezbollah to defend its strongholds in Lebanon, including Beirut, and attack Israeli planes and ground targets from regime-controlled territory in Syria.

Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system can intercept and destroy short-range rockets. Its Arrow missile-defense system can intercept the sort of long-range ballistic missiles Iran possesses. A third system the Israelis are developing to deal with mid range guided missiles, called David’s Sling, won’t be operational until 2015 at the earliest.

                                 Arrow Anti-Missile System

Coincidentally, Israel completed another successful test of the  Arrow III anti-Missile system over the Mediterranean today. The Arrow III is a joint development of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Boeing. According to a Defense News, article,  “US-Israel Arrow-3 Marks Milestone Test”, “ IAI also provides the Super Green Pine fire control radar, while Elbit’s Tadiran provides the system’s battle management control center.” Defense News  further reported:

The US-Israel Arrow-3 upper tier intercepting missile passed another developmental milestone with a successful exo-atmospheric maneuvering flight after launch over the Mediterranean Sea on Friday.

In a joint statement, Israel’s Defense Ministry and the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency said the Arrow-3 “successfully launched and flew an exo-atmospheric trajectory through space, according to the test plan.”

The fly-out of the two-stage, hit-to-kill missile marked the second in a series of developmental milestones aimed at readying the system for a full-up intercept test in early 2015. It follows a successful maiden flight in February 2013.

Planned for initial fielding in late 2015 or early 2016, Arrow-3 is designed as Israel’s first line of defense against emerging threats from Iran. Supported by the samefire control radar and battle management systems developed for Israel’s operational Arrow-2, the smaller and much more agile Arrow-3 aims to destroy advanced, maneuvering, unconventionally tipped Shahab-class missiles in space before they re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.

Hezbollah with upwards of  80,000 rockets and missiles would be a formidable threat for Israel to reduce to assure that its rocket and missile  defense umbrella can safeguard its population should it elect to undertake a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. This is presuming no final agreement is reached with Iran under the current P5+1 interim agreement.  Moreover, a recently introduced bi-partisan US Senate bill, the Nuclear  Weapons Free Iran Act directed at prodding  Iran to reach an agreement  may be posed for action when Congress returns from its holiday recess. Given Iran’s addition of so-called hard liners to the Islamic regime’s negotiating team, the prospects for achievement of a definitive agreement  quickly seized upon by Obama Administration could be illusory.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.