There Can’t be a ‘Trans Genocide’ — Because ‘Trans’ People Don’t Exist

Much as our esteemed psychological profession defines “gender dysphoria,” there’s also a phenomenon known as “species dysphoria.” I do understand that among mental-health practitioners it’s known as “Species Identity Disorder” (or “clinical lycanthropy”), but give it time. “Gender dysphoria” used to be “Gender Identity Disorder” (and should be “Sexual Identity Disorder”) until that was deemed “stigmatizing” to the disordered.

Whatever you call it, however, just as gender dysphoria involves the sense that one is stuck in the body of the “wrong” sex, species dysphoria involves the sense that one is stuck in the body of the “wrong” species. Examples of people claiming animal status were Texas girl “Wolfie Blackheart,” Norwegian woman “Nano” (who claimed she was a cat) and members of the groups known as “otherkin,” “therians” and “furries.”

What percentage of these people are just role-playing or looking for attention, and how many actually believe they’re animals, is not the point. It is, rather, that virtually all of us recognize this as, depending on the case, either a psychological or spiritual/cultural problem. We also know that you can’t be “trans-species” because changing your species is impossible; a corollary of this is that since trans-species creatures do not exist, they cannot be driven to extinction.

This comes to mind with yet another accusation that normal people are perpetrating a “trans genocide,” in this case because the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles will prohibit designer “genders” on driver’s licenses and will insist, once again, that only a person’s sex (i.e., male or female) be on them.

Yet in reality, the activists thus claiming have tipped their hand. That is, if we said that the racial descriptor “black” couldn’t be on government documents because being black is not a real physical state of being, the accusations would be, first, that the act would be discriminatory. The second accusation is to the point here, however:

We’d hear we were crazy for denying objective physical reality. Since black people exist, we could rightly be sized up for straitjackets.

So what’s telling about those I correctly call MUSS (Made-up Sexual Status, aka “transgender”) activists is that they, quite instinctively, don’t even think to accuse us of insanity.

They may say we’re bigots.

Or “transphobes.”

Or they may accuse us of “genocide.”

But telling us we’re simply crazy for denying an objective reality never occurs to the MUSS crew (though it may become a strategy if enough of them read this piece). This is because objectively speaking, we’re not denying an objective reality. They, not we, are the crazy ones.

To further illustrate MUSS activists’ tacit admissions, consider that unicorns do not exist except in the imagination. Therefore, they cannot be driven to extinction, except in a metaphorical sense of purging them from human imagination and the works (e.g., fiction, encyclopedias) in which they’re found.

Similarly, that MUSS individuals believe the mere denial of their existence constitutes “genocide” — the elimination of their group — is tacit acknowledgment that their group (as they demand it be conceptualized) exists only in the imagination.

This truth is acknowledged, too, in so many words. MUSS-enabling social scientists often point out that “sex” and “gender” are not synonymous, that while the former concerns biological status, “gender” (which shouldn’t be applied to humans, only words) is your perception of what you are. This is why scores of “genders” have already been “defined”: There can be as many perceptions as there are people.

But crazy is as crazy does. The problem here is that cultural insanity is contagious, with too many “normal” people, to a great extent, viewing MUSS individuals as they want to be considered and not as they should be. To wit:

We should not waver in embracing the truth that “trans” people do not exist.

Yes, people with psychological problems exist.

Social contagion exists.

Sexual fetishes such as autogynephilia exist.

But as ex-MUSS individual Alan Finch told The Guardian in 2004:

Their [the MUSS activists’] language is illusory. You fundamentally can’t change sex…. The surgery doesn’t alter you genetically. It’s genital mutilation. My “vagina” was just the bag of my scrotum. It’s like a pouch, like a kangaroo. What’s scary is you still feel like you have a penis when you’re sexually aroused. It’s like phantom limb syndrome. It’s all been a terrible misadventure. I’ve never been a woman, just Alan.

In reality, “transsexualism was invented by psychiatrists,” The Guardian wrote, summing up Finch’s warning.

And Finch’s observation about “illusory” language, do note, is something normal people must be mindful of. The side that defines the vocabulary of a debate, wins the debate. This is why I identify the individuals and agenda in question with the acronym “MUSS” — and it is why I implore you to join me in doing so. Using the sexual devolutionaries’ language enables their movement.

In truth, the MUSS agenda must be completely and totally eradicated. It’s one thing, and is a moral imperative, to treat people nobly enduring Sexual Identity Disorder with compassion and offer them counseling. It’s quite another to nod along and mainstream and normalize a delusion that is undermining our society and mutilating children’s grasp of reality (and sometimes their bodies). Such complicity in evil is evil.

Unfortunately, this counsel bumps up against that very conservative instinct to be “reasonable” and “compromise,” to say, “Live whatever life you want; just don’t shove it in my face — and leave the kids out of it.” Yet as I think C.S. Lewis put it, this is like having a fleet of ships and saying that you don’t care how they function as long as they don’t crash into each other. Of course, though, if they don’t function properly, they may not be able to avoid crashing into each other.

So it is here. The typical conservative appeal to the MUSS crew is like saying, “You can be mentally ill, just not too mentally ill. You can jump off that cliff — just be sure to stop halfway down so you don’t land on a child’s head.”

Apropos to this, G.K. Chesterton had something very profound to say about this attitude of compromise in the Illustrated London News in 1924. “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives,” he wrote. “The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins.”

King Solomon was not making a serious proposal when he offered to split the baby; he was cleverly revealing a poseur. Are we just poseurs to principle? If not, we can’t try to split the baby of sanity, but must slay the demon child of sexual devolutionary delusion.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on MeWe or Gettr or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Copyright 2024. Selwyn Duke. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: South Carolina Advances Bill Protecting Minors from Gender Transition Procedures

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Why Is It So Difficult To Define Anti-Semitism?

Even among those who condemn it, there is little consensus about what constitutes antisemitism. Is it disdain for Jews as a faith community or as a people? Is it motivated by hatred of doctrine or ethnicity?


Antisemitism has been around since the dawn of Jewish history and yet the mainstream media only found it newsworthy after October 7th. Since then, it has become ubiquitous in universities and pro-Hamas demonstrations – where progressives celebrate terrorism and demand the destruction of Israel and the Jews – and in a Democratic Party where progressive radicals demonize the Jewish State.

But even among those who condemn it, there is little consensus about what constitutes antisemitism. Is it disdain for Jews as a faith community or as a people? Is it motivated by hatred of doctrine or ethnicity?

Those who mistake it simply as prejudice against a faith do not understand the nature of Jewish identity, which is at once religious, ethnic, and national. The definition of hatred, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder.

Some antisemitism is religious to be sure, particularly among other Abrahamic faiths that must disparage Jews and Judaism to justify their pretensions to be the fulfillment of Jewish scripture and prophecy. Christians and Muslims both acknowledge the holiness of Tanakh and yet deviate significantly from it. To rationalize their divergence from Hebrew scripture, they must claim they supplanted Judaism or that the Jews corrupted their own scriptures.

Christianity

The Christian gospels, for example, are replete with anti-Jewish invective, associating Jews with darkness, evil, lies, deceit, and Satan (e.g., John 8:37-39; 44-47), blood libel and murder of the Prophets (e.g., Matthew 23:31-33; 1 Thessalonians 2), and hereditary blood guilt (Matthew 27:25). Assertions of insidious influence and control are central to the myth that the Jews compelled Pontious Pilate to kill Jesus at a time when Rome occupied Judea and the Sanhedrin had no leverage or authority to impose or even demand the death penalty. The passion narratives likewise contain demonic anti-Jewish caricatures that inspired persecution and massacres throughout Christian Europe.

Furthermore, the New Testament alters Tanakh (e.g., misstating the number of people who accompanied Yacov to Egypt and the burial place of the Patriarchs), misquotes the psalms and Prophets, and decontextualizes passages from Torah.

Islam

Despite the myth of Muslim tolerance, Islamic scripture is not much better. Indeed, the Quran is equally unflattering when it accuses the Jews of “unbelief” and murdering their Prophets (as does Christian scripture): “So, for their breaking the compact, and disbelieving in the signs of God, and slaying the Prophets without right, and for their saying, ‘Our hearts are uncircumcised’ – nay, but God sealed them for their unbelief, so they believe not, except a few…” (Sura 4:155).

It also accuses the Jews of corruption and deceit:

“And We decreed for the Children of Israel in the Book: ‘You shall do corruption in the earth twice…So, when the promise of the first of these came to pass, We sent against you servants of Ours, men of great might, and they went through the habitations, and it was a promise performed. Then We gave back to you the turn to prevail over them…Then, when the promise of the second came to pass, We sent against you Our servants to discountenance you, and to enter the Temple, as they entered it the first time.’” (17:4-7)

Moreover, Jews are frequently accused of scriptural corruption. “People of the Book, now there has come to you Our Messenger, making clear to you many things you have been concealing of the Book, and effacing many things…” (5:15); “God assail them! How they are perverted…They have taken their rabbis and their monks as Lords apart from God.” (9:31.) Claims of textual manipulation seem necessary for explaining away fundamental discrepancies with Tanakh, for example, that Yishmael, not Yitzchak, was bound by Avraham on Moriah.

Racial and ethnic components

Christians and Muslims often misstate Jewish text, doctrine, and history. But conceding deviations from the original Hebrew would undercut their doctrinal narratives. So, both their traditions must accuse the Jews of corruption and deceit, using themes and stereotypes that have fueled Jew-hatred throughout Christendom and the Islamic world for centuries.

Historically, the aim was not merely to disparage Jewish belief, but to devalue or subjugate the Jews as a people; and this is illustrated by the persistence of antisemitism against those who submitted to Christianity or Islam (usually on pain of death). The ethnic and racial components of antisemitism are evidenced by its continuation even after the outward elimination of doctrinal differences.

Catholic antisemitism always had a racial component. On the Iberian Peninsula, for example, people of Jewish heritage were often banned from professions and public office because of ancestry, not belief. Even before the Jews were exiled from Spain per the Edict of Expulsion in 1492 (and later from Portugal), those who were forcibly baptized and designated “New Christians” were identified by their tainted blood. This was first codified in 1449 by the “Statute of Blood Purity” in Toledo; and while some church leaders denounced such enactments, the Inquisition embraced them when it infiltrated Spain in 1478, and later Portugal, Peru, and Mexico in 1536, 1570, and 1571, respectively.

Clearly, racial antisemitism existed long before the Nazis; and it also infected Protestantism.

In targeting Jews through “friendship evangelism,” missionaries strenuously deny Protestant complicity in antisemitism by blaming Catholicism for the most pernicious forms of Jew-hatred. However, Martin Luther embraced the Church’s racial antisemitism and incorporated it in his vile screed, “On the Jews and their Lies,” which advocated expulsion, enslavement, and extermination. These tropes were later adopted by other non-Catholics, many of whom were complicit or complacent during the Holocaust.

Then there are doctrines like replacement theology and evangelical fronts like the Lausanne Movement. Whereas replacement doctrine seeks to displace actual Jews (defined by ancestry and their relationship with G-d) with a faith community of self-defined “spiritual Jews” who falsely claim covenantal status, Lausanne and similar movements actively engage in Jewish evangelism while claiming to love Israel and the Jews. Though antithetical to Torah, both recognize the Jews as a people, not merely a faith community.

And this recognition had parallels in the Islamic world, where forcibly converted Jews often stayed connected to their heritage, married among their own, continued observing Jewish rites and customs in secret – and remained under lingering suspicion. Like the Anusim (Conversos) of Christian Europe, many of these forced converts forgot their heritage while paradoxically maintaining it through rituals and marriage restrictions they continued to observe but no longer understood.

Xenophobia

When the fathers of European Enlightenment rejected the primacy of faith and national allegiances, they were offended by the Jews’ continuing embrace of their religious, ethnic, and national identity. The refusal to assimilate rendered them strangers wherever their migrations took them, arousing xenophobia with religious and racial overtones. And their image as quintessential outsiders was reinforced by their faithfulness to Torah, Jewish language, and ancient blood ties – all of which distinguished them from their host societies and reinforced stereotypes that continued to fester and mutate.

Denial of connection to Israel

A unique form of antisemitism today is the denial of the Jews’ history and connection to Israel. Progressives often maintain that Jewish identity is “only religious” to delegitimize it compared to Palestinian national identity. This theme is echoed in the PA Charter, which denies the Jews’ national history and deems them colonial occupiers.

The claim that Jewishness is “just a religion,” however, is contradicted by the scriptural, historical, and archeological records, which confirm Jewish ethnicity, national heritage, and origins in Israel. The record does not similarly validate Palestinian Arab identity, which is a modern political construct.

Jewish children

Whereas the roots of antisemitism are disparate, they are not mutually exclusive, whether based on religion, ethnicity, racial theory, or xenophobia; and regardless of ideology, it is exacerbated by the Jewish refusal to assimilate. Unfortunately, many opponents of antisemitism unwittingly help perpetuate it through ignorance of its historical and theological foundations.

Even Jewish children understand this.

My generation was born less than twenty years after the Holocaust. Though my family lost collateral relatives to the Nazis and their Ukrainian accomplices, many of my friends’ parents were Holocaust survivors who constituted a significant portion of our community. And they informed our understanding of antisemitism as simultaneously religious, ethnic, national, and racial – which colored our self-perceptions and even our sense of play.

I grew up in a neighborhood where the streets had storm-sewers with removeable grates that we could crawl through. While other kids played “cops and robbers,” we often navigated our way underground playing “escape from the ghetto.” And the brutal kidnapping of the Bibas family brings that “game” to life.

Clearly, even children experience existential angst, and ours was shaped by an awareness of antisemitism in all its manifestations – something adult academics, politicians, and media personalities never seem to grasp.

But then again, perhaps it takes the untainted sensibilities of a child to recognize the nuanced complexities of Jew-hatred and understand its scope.

Copyright 2024. Matthew Hausman, J.D. All rights reserved.

Whatever Democrats Say, Trust the Opposite is True

Every horror the left has inflicted on this once great nation is always, always, blamed on the Republicans. This is be design.

Such perfidy and dishonesty would not be possible without their running dogs in academia and the Democrat media axis.

For Democrats, reality is the biggest enemy they face.

Most troubling of all is  the Democrat election machinery — immense, meticulous, with its tentacles everywhere – even in the RINO GOP.

“The Inversion of Democracy”: Shocking Unmasking of How the U.S. Government Annihilated Free Speech, “The Nationsl Security State”

Biden and Dems’ total disconnect from reality: Whatever they say, trust the opposite is true

By: Miranda Devine. New York Post, February. 18, 2024:

Dems keep flipping the script.

It’s always Opposite Day for them: Whatever they say, the opposite is the truth.

Up is down and black is white.

And because Democrats control most of the media, they get to make the truth whatever they want it to be.

So, after three years living in President Biden’s fantasy world, we finally have fallen through the looking glass with Alice in Wonderland, where nothing is what it is because everything is what it isn’t.

Herewith, some recent examples:

1. Russia: Vladimir Putin last week told a Russia-1 TV host that he prefers Biden to win the 2024 election over Donald Trump. Biden “is a more experienced, predictable person,” opined Vlad. “He is a politician of the old school.”

Dems — and the body-snatched Drudge Report — immediately cried “psy op.” Of course, when Putin said he preferred Trump over Hillary in 2016, they took the rotten Russki at his word and spent the next four years traducing Trump as a Russian agent.

Not this time. What Putin really means is he prefers Trump! The old KGB conman is using reverse psychology to trick voters into voting for Trump. I mean he couldn’t possibly support Biden, mouthpiece of the glorious US foreign policy Blob.

Ummm, except that under feckless, obstinate, vainglorious Biden, as was the case under Obama-Biden, Putin just strolled in and stole a big chunk of Ukraine. When Trump was in office, Putin kept his head down because he feared the consequences.
see also

Trump deterred Russian aggression. Biden enabled it. Putin sees a push-over.

Putin probably shares the view of other rogue actors around the world who desire America’s downfall: Biden is an asset, whether he knows it or not.

Osama bin Laden felt the same way as Putin. The 9/11 mastermind instructed al Qaeda to shoot down any plane President Barack Obama might be aboard, but to make sure to spare Veep Joe because he believed Biden was such an idiot that, when he automatically inherited the presidency after Obama’s demise, he would wreck America all on his own.

“They are not to target visits by US Vice President Biden,” bin Laden wrote to his minions in a May 2010 letter discovered in his terrorist hideout in Pakistan after he was liquidated by SEAL Team Six. “The groups will remain on the lookout for Obama or [Gen. David] Petraeus,” bin Laden wrote.

“The reason for concentrating on them is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make Biden take over the presidency for the remainder of the term, as it is the norm over there.
Get Miranda’s latest take

“Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the US into a crisis.”

2. Border invasion:
 It’s all the Republicans’ fault. Biden invited illegal migrants to “surge” the border even before he took office. He promised he wouldn’t deport anyone and dismantled Trump’s “cruel” border protection policies by executive order on Day One.
see also
Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign had “surreptitious involvement” in organizing a letter that falsely claimed the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation, according to a complaint.
Biden 2020 campaign had ‘surreptitious involvement’ in Russian disinfo hoax surrounding Post’s Hunter laptop story: FEC complaint

The invasion was by design: “By the way, guess what, they’re the reason — the legal as well as the undocumented [migrants] — are the reason why our society is functioning,” he said in 2020. “We … act like it’s a burden. It is not a burden … We can afford to do this.”

And when 8 million military-age men from the Third World took him up on his offer, he foisted them on blue cities, where they proceeded to commit mayhem — and then he counted on his Democratic satraps to keep their traps shut even as their constituents revolted.

But, sure, it’s the Republicans’ fault because they refused to sign onto legislation that would formalize the invasion. In the immortal words of Van Jones: “It is now the Republicans’ open border.”

3. Impeachment: US Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) says Republicans have “cheapened impeachment.” Puh-leeze.
Party of hypocrites

Democrats were vowing to impeach Trump before he even entered the White House. They impeached him the first chance they got for Biden’s sins and then they impeached him again even after he lost the election. Now they’re trying to lock him up in four different Democratic jurisdictions.

Raskin’s mini-me, Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), a Levi Strauss heir, accused Republicans of “cheapening the solemn responsibility of impeachment. They will come to regret this.”

Continue reading.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Biden Administration Has No Idea Who Should Run A Palestinian State

The Bidenites are making their insidious plans to pressure Israel to accept a Palestinian state, by agreeing to be squeezed back within the 1949 armistice lines, with a nine-mile-wide waist from Qalqilya to the sea. Israel is already, with 8,630 square miles, among the tiniest countries in the world; its current size — before the reductions the Bidenites are planning — is 8,630 square miles. The 22 Arab states are spread across 5 million square miles — that is, they are 632 times as large as Israel. Now the administration wants to shrink Israel further still, in order to create a 23rd Arab state. Washington has been planning — plotting might be a more accurate word — with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Pakistan — what territories Israel will be forced to give up if there is to be “peace” in the Middle East, which can only be achieved, the Bidenites devoutly believe, through a “two-state solution.” After all, why would everyone call it a “solution” unless it were exactly that? The Bidenites look forward to forcing Israel to remove its “settlers” from the West Bank, as was done in Gaza in 2005. They don’t seem to realize that there are half a million so-called settlers living in the West Bank. It was difficult enough to uproot 8,000 Israelis from Gaza in 2005; the notion that the Israeli government would uproot 500,000 Israelis from their towns and cities in Judea and Samaria (a/k/a the West Bank) is hallucinatory. And unlike the Bidenites, the Israelis know that their claim to retain that territory is solidly based on the Mandate for Palestine which, in turn, was based on 3500 years of the Jewish people’s connection to, and presence in, the Land of Israel.

Given its planning the lineaments of a “Palestinian state,” one would expect that the Bidenites would have a clear idea of who, in their view, should be chosen to run that state. But one would be wrong. A recent exchange in Congress between Rep. Brian Mast and Bonnie Jenkins, a high-ranking member of Blinken’s State Department, shows that the Bidenites have no idea as to who will run this Palestinian state. More on this telling exchange can be found here: “Biden admin official repeatedly won’t say who’d run Palestinian state,” JNS, February 16, 2024:

Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) pressed Bonnie Jenkins, U.S. under secretary of state for arms control and international security, repeatedly at a House hearing about who would run the Palestinian state, for which the Biden administration is calling.

“Have you analyzed that objectively?” he asked Jenkins, of the policy of a Palestinian state.

No I have not, if I understand your question,” she said, testifying on Feb. 14 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on “AUKUS implementation and challenges to international security and arms control in the 21st century.”

You might not, because I can’t believe that you would answer it in that way,” Mast said.

Jenkins then said she had assessed it.

Who would you assess would lead that Palestinian state?” Mast asked. “Pick a group. You can name a group, but I’m saying Hamas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Fatah, some other group. Who would lead it?”

I think that has to be something that’s considered. I don’t think I’m in a position to say,” Jenkins said….

She hasn’t the faintest idea who might be fit to lead that Palestinian state. It’s not because she is out of the loop; she’s an under secretary at the State Department. Her ignorance and indecision reflect that of the Bidenites above her, who are so preoccupied with preventing the IDF from entering Rafah and finishing off Hamas, and with their plan to then squeeze Israel back within the 1949 armistice lines, that they have not done the very thing they accuse the Netanyahu government of not doing — which is preparing for “the day after.”

Mast continued to press the State Department official. “What group that does not receive military support from, say, Iran do you assess would lead that state?” he asked….

Mast is making an important point: every Palestinian terror group —Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, PFLP — receives aid from Iran. Perhaps he wanted to hear her name the Palestinian Authority, which does not receive aid from Iran, but is colossally corrupt — Mahmoud Abbas and his two sons Yasser and Tarek have accumulated a family fortune of $400 million — and deeply unpopular, with 80% of Palestinians ruled by the Authority saying that they want Abbas to resign.

When Mast asked Jenkins to say, without naming who would run the Palestinian state, whether there has been an assessment of who would run it, the official said, “Put it this way. There will be an assessment of this question with within the U.S. government.”

Or put it this way: the Bidenites have been making pronouncements about the need for a “Palestinian state” and pushing forward, with Arab states but not Israel, with plans to create that state. But not only do they have no idea who would or should run it; they haven’t even begun to do an “assessment” of the possible candidates. It simply hasn’t come up.

He moved on to another line of questioning. “Do you assess that a Palestinian state would be more likely to be designated as a major non-NATO ally, like Israel or Egypt, or would you assess that they would have to be labeled a state sponsor of terror?” he asked.

Jenkins said she couldn’t answer the question.

You are in the position to answer if you have assessed whether that would be the case,” Mast said. “You came here, sitting before Congress saying you are here representing the idea that there should be a Palestinian State. You said you looked at it objectively, which you probably didn’t. And I’m asking if you assessed that. So you can answer whether you assessed something or not.”…

Jenkins was there, before a congressional committee, to make the case for a Palestinian state. Yet she had no idea as to possible candidates being assessed for their fitness to govern that state, or even whether such an assessment had been begun. She is remarkably ill-informed, or rather, her bosses are themselves ill-prepared to discuss what group or individual should be in charge of that Palestinian state.

Jenkins made quite a spectacle of herself. She could not answer the simplest of questions about a future Palestinian state. She did not offer any guidance as to what groups might be considered suitable by Washington to run that state. She did not even know if the Bidenites were “assessing” those who might be considered. She had no thoughts as to whether a group that is supplied weapons by Iran, such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, could still be eligible to run the new state. When Representative Mast asked what she thought about creating a state for people who had just committed atrocities, she was unable to answer, claiming “I just don’t feel like I’m in the position right now that I can answer those type of questions. This is a question for the U.S. government.” Mast reminded her that she was part of the U.S. government and, he might have added, she had been sent to testify before Congress on precisely “those type of questions” about a future Palestinian state.

She is no different from her bosses, Joe Biden and Antony Blinken, except that she is willing to admit to her ignorance, while they are not. This administration does not know where to put its hands and feet. No good can come of this.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

The New York Marxists Are Out Of Control

The unconstitutional fraud prosecution of former President Trump by the corrupt Communists and Marxists in New York have illegally fined this great American $350 million dollars.

There are no victims and no lawsuits filed against Trump and the banks were all paid back the loans on his real estate ventures. So what’s the reason for this? It’s total election interference.

In a free market capitalist economy the value placed on real estate is subject to the supply and demand of the specific functionality of the property and its location.

Plus, the owner of the property the appraisal company and the realtor all agree on a value. I am a state certified real estate agent in Florida and as such based upon my experience I can find no fraud committed by the Trump family.

The Trump properties were valued by New York state certified appraisers before being placed on the market. Thus no crime has taken place in regards to a fraud involving overinflated selling prices. Disclaimers were properly posted on all contracts.

Now a Communist U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Jones appointed by former corrupt President Bill Clinton is now running Trumps business ventures.

Marxists cannot create anything but they do try to destroy what hard working American entrepreneurs have built.

The Trump family built a real-estate empire that was founded in 1927 by the former president’s father, creating thousands and thousands of jobs for Americans in New York City.

Now a communist who built nothing is running the Trumps real estate empire after it was placed in the hands of a kangaroo New York court-appointed monitor.

This is unconstitutional and has put other companies on notice in New York they too can be subject to prosecution if the government of New York feel you are making too much profit or are not politically aligned with their Marxist agenda.

Perhaps Fox News headquartered in New York City could be prosecuted and fined and the entire network taken over by U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Jones because a judge thinks their advertising rates are overpriced thus giving fake news CNN an opportunity to be the sole news provider in New York.

The state of New York is a banana republic ran by criminal Marxists and corrupt republican and democrat politicians. Trump is exposing them all and they are desperately trying to destroy him.

They will fail.

Copyright 2024. Geoff Ross. All rights reserved.

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Christianity: The Religion that Remade the World

Tom Holland’s Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World has become an important apologia for Christianity in our times. Four years after publication, the book, whose author is sympathetic to Christianity but not exactly a Christian, continues to help Christian and non-Christian Westerners appreciate the biblical roots of their civilisation. It even recently helped prominent atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali convert to Christianity. Holland’s history is not perfect, but it is worth reading for anyone concerned about the future of our society.

Western civilisation is inescapably Christian

The thesis of Dominion, like that of Christopher Dawson’s Progress and Religion, is that the Enlightenment’s account of “progress” is a myth. Everything on which modern Westerners pride themselves — the separation of politics from religion, respect for the dignity of each human being, and a zeal to eradicate injustice — traces its origins not to secular reason and science, but to the Christian faith.

The concept of human rights started not in revolutionary politics but in the canon law of the medieval Catholic Church — a law rooted in the belief that man is made in God’s image and that God took on human flesh in Jesus. European Christians enslaved non-Europeans, but their worship of the God-man who let himself be crucified, stung their consciences so much, or so inspired those they oppressed to revolt, that slavery and colonialism eventually died out. It was also Christianity, not 1960s feminism, that elevated women’s status in society and marriage, through the veneration of women saints like Macrina of Cappadocia, Catherine of Siena, and Mary the Mother of Jesus.

Even apparently anti-Christian Western movements are inescapably Christian. Secularism would not have been possible unless Jesus had distinguished “the things of God” from “the things of Caesar.” Disbelief in the miraculous began with Christian wonder at the wisdom of nature as God created it: why look for extraordinary interventions of God on earth when creation itself is miraculous enough? Progressivism’s zeal for social reform began in the Protestant Reformation, which itself continued the medieval clerical reform movements that were begun by Pope Gregory VII.

Along the way, Holland brings to life figures of Christian history that might seem interesting only to academics: the Donatists, Pelagius, Martin of Tours, Pope Gregory the Great, and Elizabeth of Hungary all appear from a fresh, gripping perspective. Holland also tries to be scrupulously fair to all sides of the events he recounts, as in the complicated story of Galileo: as Holland recalls, the Italian scientist’s condemnation by the Church had less to do with clerical dogmatism than with his tendency to insult others — even his highest-placed defender, the pope — and promote himself.

Law versus Love?

But some of Holland’s arguments will not sit well with orthodox Christians.

For one, he shows a deficient understanding of traditional Christian views on same-sex “marriage” and transgenderism. Holland says these stances cling to a pre-Christian notion of moral law that does not take seriously Christianity’s message of love. He traces this alleged contradiction back to St Paul, who, while he preached God’s love for all human beings, laid down absolute moral prohibitions on same-sex sexual activity.

But as Christians like Pope Benedict XVI have pointed out, there can be no love without truth. Jesus forgave sinners, but he also told them to “go and sin no more.” Behaviours that arise from disordered desires — like greed, lust, or rage — harm both those who perform them and those on whom they are performed. We do not love others if we encourage them to persist in self-destructive behaviour.

Besides, Christians condemn behaviours, not persons. Some deny that it is possible to condemn an action without condemning the actor, but then one would have to deny that the person transcends his acts. That, in turn, would lead us to deny his free will and therefore his responsibility for his actions.

If Holland better grasped the Christian understanding of human sexuality, perhaps he would have been more circumspect in describing sexual sins. It is not that he delights in unchastity; indeed, he rightly points out that a culture of sexual license helps the powerful abuse the weak. Moreover, he praises Christianity for having done away with pagan Rome’s culture of sexual exploitation; and he attributes the return of that culture, as witnessed by the #MeToo movement, to Christianity’s decline. Nevertheless, Holland’s descriptions of that culture at times get unnecessarily graphic, especially the discussions of Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, and ancient Rome.

Christianity without Truth?

Perhaps Holland’s weak understanding of the connection between love and absolute moral truths also explains his suggestion, at the end of the book, that the “truth” of Christianity has more to do with its message than its historicity. Recognising the strength of Nietzsche’s point that, if Christianity is false, then Western values are a sham, Holland counters that “a myth… is not a lie” but “can be true.” He says Christianity’s value lies more in its “audacity” to believe that God became man and suffered a horrible death; this belief, he suggests, is what sustains Christianity’s moral energy, regardless of its objective truth.

But if this is Holland’s view, St Paul refutes him better than Nietzsche ever did:

If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain; … [because] you are still in your sins, … [and] those … who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. … If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

It is well and good to pursue justice. But in this world, all die, even the righteous, and sometimes they suffer more than anyone. Unless we knew that beyond death was an eternal reward that far outweighed the sufferings of this life, why would we be willing to endure death and not live only for the pleasures of the moment?

The Gospel of Grace

Also problematic is Holland’s argument that Christian values are “culturally highly specific” and “were never really self-evident truths,” as the Declaration of Independence claimed about human rights and equality.

If that is true, how did non-Christian cultures like India and the Ottoman Empire adopt understandings of religion, secularity, and the immorality of slavery that started in Christianity, as Holland himself recounts? Could it be that Christianity, rather than creating these notions out of whole cloth, helped to awaken non-Christians’ latent awareness of them?

If not, one might credit the view that people of historically Christian cultures cannot reason with people of historically non-Christian cultures until the latter convert. Some might even use this as an excuse to “force” conversion (as though that were possible) — whether to traditional, explicit Christianity or to progressives’ implicit Christianity of secular human rights — as a necessary step in spreading civilisation.

In the orthodox Christian telling, by contrast, although man cannot know the mystery of God’s inner life without revelation, his conscience has never lost knowledge of moral truth. But conscience can become confused if the will rebels against truth, implanting in man the alien law of sin that wars against his nature’s original moral law. The grace of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus won by his suffering and death, overcomes the law of sin, pulling up its roots and righting the nature it has twisted (although not perfectly until the general Resurrection). Thus, grace lets the light of conscience shine clearly again, but it does not impart brand-new moral knowledge; it revives knowledge man already has.

On one hand, the need for grace makes knowledge of the moral law more difficult than Holland optimistically supposes. He thinks that Christian values show no signs of going away anytime soon, even in the post-Christian West. But perhaps those values have hung on only because most living Westerners — probably the baby boomers, and perhaps even their children, the millennials — have still been baptised into grace. Although many may not be responding to grace, at least they have its imprint on their souls. But as millennials stop baptising their children, and a new generation grows up without any direct knowledge of grace, what then?

In another sense, however, we can have more hope than Holland suggests. For if everyone, even those without the grace of baptism, knows the moral law, then perhaps the indirect influence of grace, through the attractiveness of Christian charity, might be enough to help non-Christians recognise that law in their consciences.

After all, that is how ancient Christians won over their fellow citizens, as Holland relates, by the example of their love for one another. But that means that practising Christians need to respond better to their baptismal grace, and work and pray harder to evangelise, or re-evangelise, their fellow citizens.

That Holland overlooks the role of grace in Christian history is surprising, because St Paul, whom he takes to be the origin of Christianity, speaks constantly about the centrality of grace to the Gospel. But perhaps we should not be surprised, because to treat Paul as the creator of Christianity is to misunderstand Paul deeply.

Paul believed Christianity to consist not in human words of wisdom, but in the Word Incarnate: “Christ crucified.” The Church’s proposal to the world is not a program for change, a set of principles, or a set of ideas (though it includes these), but a person — Jesus, Immanuel, God-with-us — who took on our sinful flesh and recreated it in the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection.

Strength in unity

Criticisms aside, Holland gives all modern Westerners — Christians or not — much to think about.

Especially helpful is his book’s suggestion that the conflicts within contemporary Western civilisation — truth versus love, law versus spirit — are between strands of Christianity that, as past experience shows, once existed in harmony. Together they gave life to a great civilisation; apart, each has become exaggerated and destructive.

Zeal for moral reform eradicated corruption in the institutional Church; but when its partisans abandoned the traditional Christian community, they set up brutal political dystopias — whether the Radical Anabaptists’ Kingdom of Muenster or Revolutionary France. Devotion to man’s freedom and dignity ended slavery and racism, but it devolved into moral anarchy when it was separated from reverence for man’s transcendent end. If these strands were reunited, they might balance each other and commence a new springtime of Western civilisation.

Holland’s account also raises the question of whether the rupture of the different elements of Christian civilisation had something to do with divisions within the Church proper. Holland praises Pope Gregory VII for distinguishing the realm of the state from that of the Church, and for holding public institutions to universal moral standards.

But he also notes that Gregory’s zeal could be excessive, and eventually led to the medieval papacy’s claim (which numerous leading fathers of the Church had condemned centuries earlier) that it was good for civil authorities to prosecute heresy at the Church’s direction.

Was Gregory more prone to such excesses because he was one of the first popes not to reign in formal communion with the Eastern patriarchal bishops, who had separated from Rome just twenty years before his pontificate? Had the medieval popes had to keep more in mind the authority and judgments of their Greek-speaking brethren, they might have asserted their own authority with more caution.

Moreover, had the East, with its instinctive reverence for God’s transcendent authority over men’s lives, remained in communion with the West, the West’s confidence in reason might not have rushed so quickly into secularism, nor its love of human dignity and freedom devolved into today’s identity politics and moral anarchy.

On the other hand, if Eastern Christianity had remained anchored to the papacy, it might have been able to defend itself from the Byzantine and Russian emperors who turned the Church into an arm of the state. This “caesaropapism” — the inverse of papal theocracy — persists to this day in parts of Eastern Europe, sapping the Church of evangelical energy and leading it to acquiesce in the reigning autocrat’s policies, no matter how brutal.

These are just some of the important questions that Holland’s history raises for contemporary Westerners, be they Christian or not. We would do well to consider all the insights he has to offer.

AUTHOR

John Doherty is a member of the staff of The Witherspoon Institute. This article has been republished with permission from The Public Discourse.

EDITORS NOTE: This Mercator column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Ukraine & Russia were close to a Peace Agreement — DEMOCRATS & NATO told Ukraine NOT to sign it!

Yes. The United States government and NATO sent Boris Johnson to dissuade Zelensky from to signing it!

The war in Ukraine would have ended in April of 2022 as Russia and Ukraine had agreed to a tentative peace plan.

Then, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson happened.

Boris Johnson landed in Ukraine unannounced, catching even the Ukrainian regime by surprise.

Startling details of the intent of Boris Johnson’s sudden visit to Ukraine are now beginning to come out.

It turns out, the then British prime minister, at the behest of the ‘West’, scuttled any chances of Ukraine and Russia settling for peace.

WATCH: The UK May Have Stopped Peace Between Russia and Ukraine.

Four references are below to show the reliability of the following message showing that Ukraine and Russia were very close to a peace agreement but Biden and Democrats told Ukraine NOT to sign it. Please forward this to the “blind” people.

-Two top reliable Israelis show in the following interviews that Ukraine and Russia were very close to a peace agreement but Biden and Democrats told Ukraine NOT to sign it (in 2022): —The Israeli history expert, Avigdor Eskin, says in the minute 14:30 to 18:30:

Video in Hebrew as a reference:

Biden and the Democrats prevented a ceasefire agreement between Russia and Ukraine in order to weaken the Russians in the battle – the agreement went through 17 versions in rapid negotiations mediated by Israeli PM Bennett but the Americans prevented Zelensky of signing the agreement – which caused the killing of 150,000 Ukrainians (up to 2022) and the destruction of infrastructure on video interview at minute 14:30 on the link with Dr. Uri Milstein (top history investigator) as an interviewer, on video in Hebrew for reference only:

In another video interview- At minute 2:30:00, Israeli former PM, Bennett, talks about the mediation he did between Russia and Ukraine in the video (in Hebrew -for reference only:

Victor Davis Hanson (top military historian) was interviewed on the Epoch Times on 2-14-24 on the topic of: Trump would work with Russia to avoid the Ukraine war and keep them as friends to cooperate with them against the real Chinese threat, from minute 41:00 to the end (and on Obama lies, on minute 11:30 to 16:15 ) :

Victor Davis Hanson on Tucker’s Putin Interview, Wars Being Waged, and the Left’s New Strategy 

Copyright 2024. Udi Geva. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: Swiss Billionaire’s Nonprofit Sent $35 Million To Dark Money Group Propping Up Dems

Truth Comes Out About Kansas City Super Bowl Chief’s Victory Parade Shooting — The Shooters are Black!

Two black teenagers shooting at each other charged with the murder of Radio DJ Lisa Lopez-Galvan and of 22 others, 11 of which were children.

This is reason we’ve heard little about this mass shooting except for more cries for Gun Control by Marxist Democrats. This shooting doesn’t help their gun control messaging.

Every mass shooting over last several decades have been done by mentally deranged or gang member teenagers with guns obtained illegally and/or Islamic terrorists; and/or transgenders out for revenge and/or someone identified on social media as a sociopath but ignored by law enforcement and school officials and/or some combination of these factors but never a law abiding conservative/Trump supporter.

The left continues to blame guns and push gun control despite all the evidence that the cause is not guns but deranged, evil, demons behind the guns. With the most draconian gun control they would still obtain guns illegally.

In the unlikely circumstance they couldn’t obtain guns illegally, they would most likely use some other means to kill like explosives, knives, vehicles running over people or car bombs, et. al.

WATCH: Moment Two Minor Teens Get Into Heated Exchange Before Shooting Up Kansas City Chiefs Parade

By 

This story disappeared quickly.

Two minor [black] teens were arrested and charged last week in connection with a fatal shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs parade.

“Two [black] juveniles were charged on Thursday, February 15, 2024, by the Office of the Juvenile Officer related to the incident at the Chiefs’ rally on February 14, 2024,” the 16th Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri said on Friday.

One woman was killed and 22 others were injured. At least 11 children were injured.

TMZ obtained video of the two minor teens who got into a heated exchange before shooting up the Kansas City Chiefs parade.

Video via TMZ:

Read full article.

Copyright 2024. Royal A. Brown III. All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: GoFundMe Set Up for One of the Alleged Super Bowl Parade Shooters | TIPPING POINT

VIDEO: 1984 vs Brave New World – How Freedom Dies

The following is a transcript of this video.

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

George Orwell, 1984

George Orwell’s writings have experienced a spike in popularity over the past several decades and for a good reason – modern societies are becoming ever more like the dystopia Orwell depicted in his novel 1984. Whether it be mass surveillance, the incessant use of propaganda, perpetual war, the manipulation of language, or the cult of personality surrounding political leaders, many consider Orwell’s novel to be prescient. While the West remains freer than the dystopian society of 1984, the trend of more and more power being concentrated in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats does not bode well for those who favour a free society. Orwell believed that the totalitarianism he portrayed in his novel was a distinct possibility for the West and at times he went as far as to suggest that it may in fact be inevitable. Or as he wrote:

“Almost certainly we are moving into an age of totalitarian dictatorships.”

George Orwell, Complete Works – Volume XII

In this video we will look at the cause of Orwell’s pessimism, focusing on two trends that increase the risk of a totalitarian future – the movement toward collectivism and the rise of hedonism. We then contrast Orwell’s views with those of another author of dystopian fiction – Aldous Huxley.

Collectivism is a doctrine, central to several ideologies, in which the goals of a certain collective, such as a state, a nation, a socio-economic class, an ethnic group, or a society, are given precedence over the goals of individuals. Socialism, communism, nationalism, and fascism are all collectivist ideologies. Orwell believed that a pre-condition for the rise of totalitarianism was the widespread adoption of a collectivist mentality, and all the totalitarian nations of the 20th century were organized based on some form of collectivist ideology – in the Soviet Union and China it was communism, in Germany and in Italy, fascism.

Orwell’s view of the connection between totalitarianism and collectivism has proved puzzling as Orwell was a staunch leftist, a critic of capitalism, and a socialist. How could someone who favoured socialism, a collectivist ideology, at the same time write a dystopian novel which portrays a collectivist society in such a horrific manner? To understand his position, it must first be realized that Orwell did not consider capitalism to be a viable system, or as he explains:

“It is not certain that Socialism is in all ways superior to capitalism but it is certain that, unlike capitalism, it can solve the problems of production and consumption.”

George Orwell, Complete Works – Volume XII

Capitalism was such an inadequate system in Orwell’s mind, that like many other leftists of his day, he believed it was on its deathbed and would soon be replaced by some form of collectivism. He saw this as inevitable. The issue for Orwell was what type of collectivism would take its place.

“The real question…is whether capitalism, now obviously doomed, is to give way to oligarchy [totalitarianism] or to true democracy [democratic socialism]”.

George Orwell, Complete Works – Volume XVIII

Following the death of capitalism Orwell hoped that democratic socialism would rise in the West. Democratic socialists, like Orwell, advocated for a centrally planned economy, nationalization of all major industry, and a radical decrease in wealth inequality. They were also strong supporters of civil liberties such as freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, which they hoped could be maintained in a society which would largely deprive people of their economic freedoms.

The problem, however, which Orwell and other socialists had to grapple with, were the lack of examples, past or present, of any country successfully adopting democratic socialism. Furthermore, when a government rids a populace of its economic freedom, the destruction of civil liberties tends to follow. For a centrally planned economy is rife with corruption, waste, and mismanagement and so for a government to maintain power as it parasitically saps wealth and resources from a populace it must limit their ability to speak out and protest. To make matters worse, all the states that had turned to collectivism in the first half of the 20th century, such as Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, adopted what Orwell called oligarchical collectivism, not democratic socialism.

Oligarchical collectivism is a totalitarian system in which an elite few, under the guise of a collectivist ideology, centralize power using force and deception. Once in power these oligarchs take away not only the economic freedoms of their citizens, a move which socialists like Orwell favoured, but also their civil liberties. Orwell was concerned that following the death of capitalism the possibility existed that the entire Western world would succumb to oligarchical collectivism. One of the main reasons for this fear was his recognition that hedonism was on the rise in the West, and a hedonistic populace, according to Orwell, is a populace ripe for the taking by totalitarians.

Hedonism is an ethical position which maintains that life’s ultimate goal should be the maximization of pleasure and the minimization of pain and discomfort. In an increasingly urban and consumerist West, Orwell believed that many people were structuring their lives in a hedonistic manner. A hedonistic lifestyle, according to Orwell, weakens people, it makes them feeble and incapable of mounting any resistance against those who desire to rule over a society with force. Or as David Ramsay Steele writes:

“Orwell thinks that any group which gives itself over to hedonism must ultimately become easy meat for fanatical ideological enemies, which are more self-sacrificing, more dedicated, and more remorseless. The real enemy is not the lover of pleasure but the fanatic who is against pleasure, and the former is conceived as defenceless in face of the latter.”

David Ramsay Steele, Orwell Your Orwell

The West, since Orwell’s death in 1950, has become more hedonistic, and most people have been indoctrinated to accept collectivism in one form or another, but this has not led the permanent entrenchment of oligarchical collectivism. Rather, Aldous Huxley, the author of another famous 20th century dystopian novel, Brave New World, may have had a better grasp of the way Western societies would become enslaved in the late-20th and early-21st centuries.

Huxley, like Orwell, was an anti-hedonist, but his aversion to hedonism differed from Orwell’s. Huxley’s main concern was that hedonism could be used as an effective tool to oppress a society because people will willingly forgo freedom so long as their appetite for pleasure and consumption is fulfilled. If a society is structured so that people can devote much of their time to pursuing pleasures, gratifying material wants, and even drugging themselves to escape from reality, then persuasion and conditioning, rather than coercive force, will be sufficient to exert extreme control over a society. Under such conditions most people won’t even notice the chains of servitude that slowly tighten around them, or as Huxley wrote:

“In Brave New World non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature…are deliberately used…for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and political situation.”

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited

Neil Postman in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, contrasts the differing fears of Orwell and Huxley:

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one…Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture…In 1984 people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.” (Neil Postman)

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

The West, it seems, finds itself in a situation analogous to what Huxley feared. We live in a society that is drowning in distractions. Most people spend more time staring at screens than interacting with people in the flesh and blood, and popping prescriptions pills, or self-medicating with alcohol or illicit drugs, has become the normal mode for coping with any form of distress. Most people still believe the West is free and the overt physical coercion that Orwell thought would be required to enslave a society has so far proven unnecessary. Through endless distractions, diversions, and the easy availability of pleasurable and distracting experiences, many embrace their lack of freedom and worship the society which has made their hedonistic lifestyle possible.

“The world’s stable now,’ says the Controller in Huxley’s Brave New World. ‘People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get.”

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Before dismissing Orwell’s fears completely, however, it must be noted that Orwell was familiar with Huxley’s position, and he did not deny that the hedonistic society Huxley feared was a possibility. But he saw it as a temporary stage creating the ideal conditions for a more brutal regime to seize control and impose its will on a society composed of weak and apathetic men and women. Whether Orwell will be proven correct remains to be seen, but as was revealed in the first few years of this decade, if a societal crisis emerges, most people will accept the more brutal form of totalitarianism that Orwell feared. So perhaps all that is missing to throw us permanently into the dystopian world depicted in 1984 is one more major social crisis.

EDITORS NOTE: This Academy of Ideas video is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Former CIA Officer Jeffrey Sanow on ‘Global Conflicts and their Resolution’

On Dissent Television we are honored to have Jeffrey Sanow a a 24-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Jeffrey is an accomplished social skills instructor and expert at training military members and civilian intelligence personnel in the art of leveraging civilian business tools for the conduct of intelligence operations.

In simpler terms, it was Jeffery’s job to recruit spies and steal secrets.

Jeffrey retired from the CIA in 2009 and taught intelligence operations at the Advanced Tradecraft Center and at the U.S. Army Joint Readiness Training Center.

Jeffrey served as a Senior Instructor focused on providing clients with the necessary planning, communications and field skills for U.S. government affiliated and commercial sector-based intelligence operations.

As a result of years in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, first as an agriculture development technician and then as a CIA field operations officer, Jeffrey developed a deep, personal understanding of the three monotheistic religions, their social constructs, and the inherent conflicts within.

Combined with his experience and desire to help, Jeffrey speaks with Dissent Television host Dr. Rich Swier understanding the nature of the conflicts and their resolution.

Copyright 2024.  Dissent Television and Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

U.S. Part of a ‘Cash Bonanza’ That’s Paying Illegals to Cross the Border: Report

Is the U.S. bankrolling our own border invasion? That’s what an explosive new report from The Epoch Times suggests. While Americans struggle to pay for shelter, medical care, food, and schooling for the migrants who’ve been bussed to major cities, we may also be footing the bill for their journey here. “We’re actually funding our own border crisis,” the Center for Immigration Studies’ Todd Bensman warned. And most taxpayers have no clue.

While the Biden administration has been all too willing to throw open the gates to illegal crossers, their biggest contribution to the crisis is through the U.N., where this president has been funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to agencies sabotaging our border. The International Office for Migration (IOM), for instance, which is part of the U.N., had been raking in about a half-billion dollars before 2021. Now, alarmed experts say, that funding “has skyrocketed” to an eye-popping $1.3 billion in 2023 — double what it was under Donald Trump.

Why is that a problem? Because that money, investigations have shown, is being handed out directly to migrants who want to cross the border illegally. “People who might not have taken the risk to travel to the U.S., because they were worried about food or safety now have help,” Bensman points out. “That help,” The Epoch Times notes, “comes in the form of prepaid debit cards, food, water, shelter, medical care, and transportation.” In most cases, these migrants are “directly” receiving cash — “what the U.N. emergency manual calls ‘cash in envelopes.’”

Bensman went to Mexico to see with his own two eyes whether this was actually happening. In 2021, his tweet of migrants in long lines for U.N. debit cards went viral. “The IOM workers said a … family of four gets about $800 a month.” Most of this, he told The Epoch Times, “[is] provided by, ultimately, the United States taxpayer.”

They have money — and something just as dangerous: motivation. They know the border is wide open, Bensman points out. “They say, ‘Well, you know, we’re coming now because Biden’s letting us in.’” The reality is, “People respond to the signals that are being sent,” Ian Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), argued. “If they believe that there is a good chance that they’re going to be able to get to the United States and be allowed to remain here, then they will go through all the things that they have to go through.”

Meanwhile, people tracking the money say that a majority of it comes from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, which, ironically, is responsible for processing and resettling people requesting refugee status. But, as experts point out, millions of dollars are going to migrants — most of whom don’t qualify as refugees — long before they step foot on American soil.

All of this is propped up by the U.N.’s own efforts, which is siphoning off donations from U.S. taxpayers to overrun their own borders. One program is “allocate[ing] $372 million in ‘cash and vouchers’ and ‘multipurpose cash assistance’ during 2024 for 624,300 migrants — the population of Detroit — in Central and South America who are headed for the U.S. border.”

With America’s help, Bensman wants people to know, the U.N. is “aiding and abetting mass migration.” Just last month, the IOM announced that it’s upping the ante to $7.9 billion to “[realize] migration’s promise as a force for good throughout the world.” IOM’s director general, Amy Pope, in her plea to member nations, even claimed that the kind of migration the U.S. is experiencing, “when well-managed, is a major contributor to global prosperity and progress.”

She’s also been speaking that into the ear of Joe Biden for years, since, as The Epoch Times points out, she served as the president’s senior advisor on migration and as deputy Homeland Security advisor to Barack Obama. It’s no coincidence that the person incentivizing these mass border crossings has direct ties to the White House, where she’s used her perch at the U.N. to extract more money from the overly generous United States.

Raising even more eyebrows, the report points to a stunning number of political appointees who share Pope’s radical views. That alone, experts say, shows that the crisis is intentionally “engineered.”

Illegal immigration “is a big business for the Biden administration,” Mehlman points out. “There’s no question that we saw a vast increase in migration to the United States, starting from the day that Joe Biden took office. … It’s happening because people are allowing it to happen. It is being facilitated every step along the way.” Largely, Bensman shakes his head, because of these giveaways, this U.S.-backed “cash bonanza.”

The U.N. seems to believe that “people should be able to move to any country they desire,” regardless of the laws they’re violating, or the havoc they wreak on those societies, or the devastation they do to the nations they’re fleeing. “If the incentive is to leave rather than to reform and change things where you are,” Bensman warns, “then those failed societies continue.”

Republicans, and a surprising number of Democrats, realize that this self-funded invasion is destroying our country from within. They’ve played hardball on the Ukraine billimpeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a historic vote, and, most recently, threatened to cut his salary if DHS’s reports on the exploding border numbers continue to be late. But the reality is a harsh one: Americans are unknowingly fueling the crisis.

“The United Nations is using our own tax dollars against us,” Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) fumed in January, “and U.S. policymakers can no longer stand by while elites in the U.N. actively financing an invasion of our sovereign territory.”

And frankly, as outrageous as it is that Americans are unknowingly paying people to break our laws, it’s who we may be paying that should frighten people. An open border, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins argued, is an open invitation to terror. With 300 suspects of the Terror Watch List already captured on their way across, who knows how many slipped through — or worse, were simply released into our communities? “We may never know until they are encountered by law enforcement at a later date,” a Homeland Security agent anonymously told The Daily Caller. “Very well after it’s too late.”

“Lawlessness compounds lawlessness,” Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-Okla.) insisted on “Washington Watch.” He’s right. But even more infuriating is secretly underwriting lawlessness — at the literal expense of American security — knowing that until that stops, it can never be contained.

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLES:

As Illegal Immigration Grows, Cities Are Overwhelmed, ‘Out of Room’

Biden Protects ‘Palestinian’ Illegal Aliens From Deportation

REVEALED: Biden admin diverts Veterans Affairs resources to illegal immigrants

WATCH: UN Kidnappers, Rapists, Murderers. UNRWA is a Terrorist Organization

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


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JIHADI TRENDS: What Is On The Horizon In 2024?

The Hamas attack against Israel on October 7, 2023, has reinvigorated jihadi groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, which are reprioritizing the cause of “Palestine” and the fight against the “Jews” and their “Crusader” allies as a key foundation of their messaging campaigns which aims at expanding their global threat landscape.

Similarly, the Hamas-Israel war has given Iran the opportunity to showcase the capacity of its restructured network of militias in Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon, demonstrating its strategic reach and durability.

The conflict shows no signs of abating as it approaches the four-month mark. 2024 will bring substantial challenges for counterterrorism agencies worldwide as jihadi groups plan to exploit the significant increase in antisemitic incidents in Europe and the U.S. in particular.

The following is an assessment, prepared by the MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Moni­tor (JTTM) research team, whose members are stationed around the world, on the global jihadi threat in 2024. This report covers select developments from 2023 into mid-January 2024.

The first section of this report examines the trajectories of Salafi jihadi groups such as Islamic State (ISIS), Al-Qaeda and their offshoots. The second section focuses on the activities of Iran’s “Axis of Resistance” and its exploitation of the shifting dynamics to advance Iran’s influence in the region.

ISIS Leadership

Despite significant losses among senior ranks of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS), both groups appear to have adapted by successfully decentralizing their command structures. The identity of ISIS’s fifth Caliph Abu Hafs Al-Hashimi Al-Quraishi’s remaining unknown has not led members or supporters to openly question his credentials.[1] After months of declining activity globally, ISIS marked the new year of 2024 by announcing a new military campaign[2] in support of Gaza that involved claiming a high-profile attack in Kerman, Iran.[3]

Following the January 4, 2024, audio message by ISIS Spokesman Abu Ḥudhayfah Al-Ansari[4] in which he pledged to escalate attacks across all regions in support of the “Muslims” in Gaza, a question looms as to whether the new Caliph will release his first audio speech in 2024 or be killed first. The current caliph was announced in an August 2023 audio message delivered by his spokesman Al-Ansari. His two predecessors, Abu Ibrahim and Abu Al-Hassan, were killed by U.S. forces in Syria in 2022. [5] In November 2023, the pro-ISIS Bariqah News Agency hinted that an audio or video message by the Caliph might not be ready for quite some time.[6]

Al-Qaeda Leadership

Meanwhile, Al-Qaeda, in the 18 months since the July 2022 killing of Ayman Al-Zawahiri in a U.S. airstrike in Kabul, has neither acknowledged his death nor appointed a new leader,[7] though the umbrella organization remains active in Somalia, the African Sahel, and, to a lesser extent, in Yemen.

The question of succession looms large for Al-Qaeda. Many supporters hope that a new leader will be appointed in 2024 to revive globally the battered image of the organization, which has been in relative decline since the emergence of ISIS. The organization’s ability to execute attacks in the West has been the focus of many publications since the war between Hamas and Israel broke out. But the group’s last claimed attack in the West was against Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida in December 2019.[8]

Speculation among critics and supporters about who might succeed Al-Zawahiri continue to place veteran commander Sayf Al-Adl, who reportedly is living in Iran, as the top candidate, while some say he is the current caretaker of the organization.[9]

There has been an increase in Al-Qaeda media activities in 2023, such as the release of publications highlighting Sayf Al-Adl’s role, which may be seen as preparation to declare him the new leader in 2024. These have included promoting books by senior leaders and articles by Al-Adl himself.[10] If Al-Adl becomes the organization’s leader, Al-Qaeda will need to justify his residency in Iran, which is quite problematic for an organization whose Salafi ideology vilifies Shi’ites like those who run the Iranian regime, unless Al-Adl has been able to relocate to Afghanistan, as a 2023 UN report claims.[11] Al-Adl being in Afghanistan is also a public affairs challenge to the Taliban regime.

Europe

After Hamas’s October 7, 2023 attack on Israel, jihadis flooded the internet with praise for the killings of Jews, despite the historical enmity between Iran-backed Hamas and jihadi groups.[12] Capitalizing on the rise of antisemitism, particularly among pro-Palestinian protesters in the West, ISIS’s rhetoric reflects a hope that the Israeli operation in Gaza that followed the October 7 attack will inspire attacks by ISIS supporters in the West.[13] [14] In a recent speech, the ISIS spokesman recently instructed supporters in the U.S. and Europe to execute attacks in support of Gaza.

Meanwhile, ISIS’s exploitation of individual incidents similar to the burning of the Quran in Sweden is likely to continue into 2024, since doing so supports its message that the war against ISIS is a war on Islam.[15]

In 2023, European governments have tightened security after a series of ISIS-linked incidents, including attacks in Belgium[16] and France,[17] as well as activity targeting a synagogue in Germany and the arrest of ISIS sympathizers recruiting in Italy.[18]

Within this vicious cycle of incitement against the Jews and their “Crusaders” allies, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, marked the new year by re-launching its English-language magazine, “Inspire,” which advised on how to execute attacks in Western countries.[19] The publication had been in hiatus for years.

The magazine, which is now released as a video, offers supporters what it described as “open-source jihad” content inciting them to conduct attacks in the U.S., UK, France, and other EU countries as retribution for Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip following the October 7 attack.

United States

The Hamas-Israel war is also feeding into the narrative of jihadi clerics living in the West, such as the notorious Michigan-based Ahmad Jibril, who appear to be emboldened by the pro-Palestinian protests in the U.S. and Europe. Jibril recently told Muslims in Western countries that they should normalize jihad and teach it to their kids, which could promote the spread on social media of content that incites attacks.[20]

Recent reporting on undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border to commit attacks on behalf of foreign actors suggests that the border crisis in the U.S. poses a terrorism risk.[21] However, the threat to America is not restricted to Salafi jihadi groups.

Iran’s “Axis of Resistance,” including Lebanese Hizbullah, Yemen’s Houthis, and Iraqi militias, which have been claiming attacks against Israel and U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq in support of Hamas, pose a parallel threat, as seen in a plot to attack Jews in Brazil that was foiled on November 9, 2023, with the arrest of two men linked to the Lebanese Hizbullah.[22]

Canada

Jihadi clerics in Canada such as Tariq Abdulhaleem are capitalizing on the Hamas-Israel war to incite violence against America.[23] On December 13, 2023, the Egyptian-born pro-Al-Qaeda cleric wrote on Telegram, countering U.S. President Joe Biden’s remarks the day before that “there is a real concern around the world that America is losing its moral center” because of its support for Israel. He went on to claim that the scenes of “merciless,” “brutal” killing of innocent native Americans, portrayed in the 1970 Hollywood movie Soldier Blue, is analogous to Israel’s actions today in Gaza, taken “with America’s support and funding.”

Additionally, on October 22, 2023, the pro-Al-Qaeda media outlet Jaysh Al-Malahem Al-Electroni (“Electronic Army of Epic Battles”) published a three-page Arabic-language statement claiming an attack on a synagogue in Montreal, Canada, using rifles and Molotov cocktails.[24]

The Gulf, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, And Jordan

The Hamas-Israel war could also trigger violence in stable Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Both governments are accused by jihadis of abandoning the “Muslims of Gaza” in favor of normalizing ties with Israel.[25]

In recent weeks ISIS’s supporting entities have launched a poster campaign aiming at discrediting the governments of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, and Jordan, inciting their Muslim-majority populations to attack military targets as retribution for their governments’ failing to support Gaza.

Iran’s alliance with Hamas and Shi’ite factions in Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon make Iran a high-priority target for ISIS, as demonstrated by the January 3, 2024 attack on a ceremony commemorating the late IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in Kerman, which comes as part of ISIS’s effort to disrupt Iran’s expansionist project in the Middle East. It is worth noting that on October 26, 2022, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack on another Shi’ite shrine in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz.[26]

On January 28, 2024, the Islamic State (ISIS) official A’maq News Agency claimed that two of the organization’s fighters had attacked a church in the Büyükdere neighborhood of Istanbul. This is the first attack ever claimed by ISIS’s Turkey Province. Turkish officials announced that the two gunmen that they arrested were ISIS members from Tajikistan and Russia. While ISIS claimed attacks in the country in 2016 and 2017, it did not designate an official Turkey Province at the time. In an April 2019 video, ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was shown perusing booklets about ISIS branches worldwide, including one marked “Turkey Province,” and in July 2019 the organization’s Turkey Province released its only official video.[27]

Philippines

In East Asia, the Philippines will be among ISIS’s top operational priorities in 2024. This projection is based on the notable rise in attacks in the country during the last weeks of 2023 and the recent editorial in the ISIS weekly, Al-Naba’. [28] The Islamic State East Asia Province (ISEAP) has claimed four attacks in Philippines since September 2023, including a deadly explosion that killed four people at a Catholic mass on December 3 at Mindanao State University in Marawi.[29] The attack rekindles fears that ISEAP might be planning to recapture Marawi, which was the site of a five-month battle between ISEAP-affiliated groups and the Philippine military in 2017 before the latter regained control.

The Al-Naba’ editorial further stoked those fears when it singled out the Philippines as a land of jihad and one of the battlegrounds on which ISIS should fight Christian governments and foreign powers aiming to change the demographics of the southern Philippines and to fight Islam there. The editorial also said that the December 3 bombing of the Catholic mass in Marawi drew attention to the Philippines, where the “chapters of war continue to this day.”

West And Central Africa

The Islamic State (ISIS) maintains several active provinces in Africa – the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), Islamic State Sahel Province, Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP), Islamic State Mozambique Province (ISMP), and Islamic State Somalia Province. The ISIS provinces in Libya and the Sinai Peninsula did not claim any attacks during 2023. The Sinai Province claimed its most recent attack on the last day of 2022 and the Libya Province in January 2022. The ISIS affiliate in Tunisia, which is not officially designated as an ISIS province, has not claimed an attack since 2021. [30]

The most prolific and powerful of ISIS’s affiliates in Africa – and arguably its strongest affiliate worldwide – is ISWAP, which claimed more than 260 attacks during 2023, compared to over 530 in 2022. ISWAP is most active in northeastern Nigeria, specifically Borno State. During 2022-2023, the group expanded its operations southward and westward to include nine out of Nigeria’s 36 states, most recently furthering its activities to Jigawa State in April 2023.

The group also continued to perpetrate small-scale attacks in parts of Niger and Cameroon near the Nigerian border, although Chad saw its most recent ISWAP attack in July 2022, with no operations claimed during 2023. ISCAP claimed just over 100 attacks in 2023, compared to more than 160 in 2022. While almost all were perpetrated in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a handful of October and December operations that targeted and killed Christians, including a British citizen, were carried out across the border inside Uganda. [31]

ISMP claimed over 50 attacks in northeastern Mozambique during 2023, a marked decline from 2022, during which, according to ISIS’s official A’maq Agency, the group executed 156 attacks in that country.[32] The ISIS Somalia Province claimed only about ten small-scale attacks in 2023, targeting government forces in Mogadishu and in the Puntland State of northeastern Somalia. During 2022, it claimed 32 attacks.[33] In 2023, as in previous years, a major target of ISIS affiliates ISCAP, ISWAP, and ISMP was the local Christian population, which the mujahideen terrorized with attacks on villages, beheadings, and burnings of homes and churches, hoping to trigger a Christian exodus.

Although the vast majority of its attacks occur in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno and Yobe states, ISWAP continued to expand southward into other parts of the country throughout 2022 and 2023. As of January 2024, it has claimed attacks in ten out 36 Nigerian states.[34] A concerning phenomenon is the massacres of Christians perpetrated by ISCAP, ISMP, and ISWAP. These violent attacks seem likely to continue – and indeed have featured prominently in the “And Kill Them Wherever You Find Them” campaign launched by ISIS on January 4[35] – until the remaining Christians are displaced from areas of jihadi activity or until the ISIS affiliates in the DRC, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Cameroon are restrained.

The African Sahel

The sub-Saharan Sahel will continue to be a stage for Al-Qaeda and ISIS attacks as both sides are showing enthusiasm to further exploit the ever-changing security landscape in the region following the withdrawal of France from Mali. The armed clashes over territory, resources, and access to local populations to gain support that started around February 2020 between ISIS-Sahel and Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in the African Sahel, Jama’at Nusrat Al-Islam Wal-Muslimeen (the Group for Support of Islam and Muslims – GSIM) will likely continue. Both groups will likely continue to try to push south into new territory, beyond Mali and Burkina Faso.

The end of the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) mandate,[36] coupled with the advent of the Russian state-backed private military company (PMC), the Wagner Group, has contributed directly to an increase in GSIM operations and expanded the security vacuum in the counter-jihadi effort in Mali and Burkina Faso. GSIM leader Iyad Ag Ghaly announced in a December 12, 2023 video that the advance of the Malian Army, together with the Wagner Group, to northern Mali has begun a “new stage of jihad” in the Sahel, calling on Muslims in the Sahel to join GSIM and encouraging the group’s base of jihadis to manifest further adherence to jihad as a path to topple governments and defeat the “Crusader” allies.[37]

Tactically, the Sahel could witness in 2024 a surge in GSIM suicide attacks in line with Ghaly’s speech in which he noted that many fighters have joined GSIM’s “Martyrdom Units.” GISM claimed five suicide attacks in 2023, the last of which was on December 22, just a few weeks after Ghaly’s speech.[38]

Data collected by MEMRI JTTM in 2023 shows that GSIM claimed responsibility for over 290 attacks, including 117 attacks against Burkinabe forces alone, higher than any year since the conflict started. The pace of attacks in November and December indicates that GSIM attacks in Mali and Burkina Faso will continue at a faster pace moving into 2024. The scale of GSIM operations will potentially result in a shift in areas of control and would likely result in humanitarian issues as fighting continues. According to the United Nations, over 80 civilians were killed or wounded in a GSIM attack on Internally Displaced People’s camps in Djibo, Burkina Faso in which 400 GSIM fighters were reportedly killed.[39]

ISIS’s affiliate in Sahel, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), has nearly doubled the territory it controls in Mali while maintaining a modest but steady insurgency in Burkina Faso and western Niger.[40]

Even though the ISIS branch’s claims of attacks are relatively infrequent, many are large-scale operations such as the attack against a base of the Malian army and the Russian Wagner group, south of the city of Ansongo, northwestern Mali, which resulted in “complete control” of the base and seizure of a large assortment of spoils. [41]

The group’s growing interest in the Sahel was clearly demonstrated in an August 2023 article published in ISIS weekly newsletter, Al-Naba’, which detailed attacks targeting Nigerien soldiers, the pro-Malian government militia, Imghad Tuareg Self-Defense Group and Allies (Groupe d’Autodéfense Tuareg Imghad et Alliés – GATIA), and a staffer executed for allegedly working for German forces.[42] Further, the article reflected ISIS’s interests in attracting tribes and the Muslim population by highlighting the activity of its hisbah (i.e., morality police), which had carried out several executions and amputations of alleged criminals and extended its reach northward into new areas.

Somalia

In Somalia, the violent activity of Al-Qaeda’s affiliate Al-Shabab grew significantly in 2023 with attacks on security forces[43] that will continue to escalate against regional or international forces as part of Al-Qaeda’s “Jerusalem Will Never Be Judaized” campaign after the October 7 attack, which an Al-Qaeda General Command statement commended and framed as a successful blow to the “unbelieving West” that backs Israel, calling on Muslims to support the Palestinians and to wage jihad themselves.[44]

In 2023, Al-Shabab claimed several attacks on joint convoys of U.S. and U.S.-trained Somali forces, reporting that one such operation had wounded several U.S. service members.[45] Although the group’s jihad remains confined to the Horn of Africa, it incites against the U.S. and has perpetrated major attacks in the past against U.S. forces, such as the 2019 assault on the Baledogle Airfield in Somalia and a 2020 attack on the U.S. base in Manda Bay, Kenya.[46]

Such incitement continued during 2023, and U.S. forces stationed in Somalia and Kenya should take note of the Al-Shabab leadership’s explicit vow for revenge against the U.S.

With ATMIS scheduled to end its mission at the end of 2024, Somali government officials have called for it to continue its presence in the country as part of a new mandate.[47] It is of concern that Al-Shabab attacked the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu after ATMIS handed over its security to the Somali National Army on December 17, and likely that an ATMIS withdrawal will bring an escalation of Al-Shabab attacks.

Ethiopia’s agreement with the breakaway region Somaliland, seeking port access in exchange for potential sovereignty recognition, could become a cause for cross-border attacks by Al-Shabab against Ethiopia.

The group spokesman Ali Mahmud Raji, aka Ali Dheere, rejected the MoU as an “invalid,” “shameless agreement” to steal and plunder Somalia’s resources, and threatened “to defend the country with blood.” Capitalizing on the anti-Israeli sentiment because of the war in Gaza, he alluded that Ethiopia is acting the same way that “the Jews did when they occupied the land of Palestine.”[48]

Syria

While Syria continued throughout 2023 to make its way into ISIS’s weekly infographic “The Harvest of the Caliphate Soldiers,” which tallies ISIS attacks across the regions, the majority of the attacks in Syria were limited enough to keep ISIS’s presence sustainable without attracting wide counterterrorism campaigns.

However, with Iran-backed militias in Syria being heavily engaged in the Hamas-Israel war, ISIS cells might exploit the vacuum to conduct attacks to incite sectarian tension in Deir Al-Zour. ISIS will likely take advantage of the shifting Iranian priorities to build support among the Sunni population.[49]

In its attempt to further tighten its control on Idlib and the surrounding areas, Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) leader Abu Mohammad Al-Jolani will continue to crack down on his rivals. In 2023, HTS has carried out arrests and raids in Idlib to quash dissent and consolidate the group’s power. This could expand to include arresting more rising figures within its own ranks, similar to the arrest of HTS religious official Abu Maria Al-Qahtani in 2023 on accusations of espionage.[50]

Jihadis will likely exploit the announcement made by the U.N. World Food Programme (UNWFP) that it will end, after 12 years, its assistance program in Syria in January 2024 to solicit donations for refugee camps where jihadi families are held such as the Al-Hol and Al-Roj camps in northeastern Syria, which hold thousands of family members of fighters and others who came to join ISIS.[51]

Arab tribes in Deir Al-Zour will continue to pose a threat to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), with ISIS eying such opportunity to reactivate its cells in the area and recruit members of tribes. [52] The fighting that erupted between tribal militias and the SDF in the final months of 2023 raises fears of further destabilization amid the recent Turkish airstrikes on SDF facilities.[53]

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, where Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) has been executing attacks since the Afghan Taliban took power in August 2021, it is very likely that, rather than taking control of territory, the group’s strategy will continue to focus on conducting urban warfare targeting Afghan civilians, particularly members of the Shi’ite community and Afghan Taliban officials and security personnel.[54]

Despite claims by Taliban authorities that their security forces have significantly degraded ISKP’s ability to threaten regional security, the group has claimed several attacks in Pakistan throughout 2023.[55]

The recent double suicide attack in the Iranian city of Kerman, which ISIS claimed on January 4 without identifying which branch conducted the attack is very likely to have been carried out by ISKP. Media outlets affiliated with the Iranian regime and Afghan Taliban said intelligence information suggests that one of the two ISIS bombers was a Tajik national. ISKP has recruited Tajik nationals in the past in its effort expand the geography of cross-border jihadi attacks beyond Afghanistan. In 2022, ISKP conducted cross-border attacks in Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.[56]

With its prolific multi-language media platform, the Al-Azaim Foundation for Media Productions and Communications, constantly inciting attacks against Western targets, ISKP’s threat to execute attacks in Europe and U.S. in 2024 remains viable.[57] This includes threats against international aid workers to deter collaboration between Western aid groups and the Taliban.[58]

Yemen

Over the course of 2023, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), claimed more than 80 operations in southern Yemen’s Abyan and Shabwah governorates, as part of its “Arrows of Truth” campaign, launched around September 2022 to repel the “Arrows of the East” campaign started by United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed local forces.[59]

The majority of the attacks targeted armed groups backed by the UAE, such as the Southern Transitional Council, Security Belt, Shabwani Elite, and Shabwah Defense Forces, all accused by AQAP of being “Emirati mercenaries.”[60]

Since June 2022, AQAP has not claimed any attacks on the Iran-backed Ansar Allah movement (i.e., the Houthis), which was once its main enemy, as it has moved its operations from Houthi-controlled western Yemen into the east of the country. However, in October 2023, AQAP claimed to have fired rockets at U.S. forces stationed at Camp Marra in Shabwah governorate.[61]

AQAP seems poised to continue its jihad against UAE-backed forces in southern Yemen, while putting its fight against the Houthis on the back burner. However, the group continues to call Yemenis to jihad against “American and Iranian proxies.”

The Al-Qaeda affiliate is particularly formidable in its media production, showing itself capable of releasing propaganda in Arabic and English that incites against Al-Qaeda’s archenemy, the U.S., and against other foes in the Middle East and the West, as well as providing concrete tips for would-be lone-wolf attackers.

The ambition to expand its regional scope of attack remains among AQAP’s media priorities. One of the main targets of its messaging, which seeks to provoke jihad over the entire Arabian Peninsula, is Saudi Arabia, which AQAP has attacked in the past.[62] A February 2023 video by AQAP’s Shahed media outlet detailed the reasons for jihad to overthrow the kingdom, accusing its rulers of waging war on Islam and corrupting Muslim society.[63] AQAP repeated the message of that video in a September statement.[64]

AQAP remains a major influence for jihadi attackers in the West, as AQAP demonstrated with its masterminding of the December 2019 shooting at the U.S. Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.[65] Over the course of 2023, AQAP’s prolific media revived two of its long-dormant productions. Issue 17 of the Sada Al-Malahem (“Echo of Epics”) Arabic-language magazine was released in September 2023 after the previous issue was published in 2011. The new issue called on supporters to retaliate for Quran burnings in Europe by attacking the embassies and ministries of Sweden and other European countries.[66]

More notably, a new issue of the English-language magazine Inspire, in which AQAP had in the past incited attacks in the West and provided practical guidance toward executing them, was released in video format on December 30, 2023. The video production – the first Inspire issue since 2021 – advised lone wolf attackers to make “hidden bombs” out of “simple kitchen materials,” and included a list of suggested targets in the U.S., UK, France, and other European countries, including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and other “American economy high profile personalities.”[67]

Iran’s Axis of Resistance

The Israel-Hamas war will cast a long shadow over 2024. Revisionist powers, like Iran, will continue exploiting the conflict to its advantage – destabilizing the Middle East in the process – because doing so serves several of Tehran’s longstanding strategic objectives: isolating Israel, expelling the U.S. from the region, and projecting power in neighboring countries.

To these ends, Iran is likely to continue driving regional escalation primarily by means of its powerful network of proxy fighters in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Such destabilizing activities – besides increasing the risk of regional war – are also likely to have secondary implications for regional security, which are considered below.

Iraq

In Iraq, Iran-backed militias have attacked U.S. forces almost two hundred times in the country and in Syria. U.S. counterattacks have reinvigorated Iraqi political efforts to oust American and Coalition forces from the country; on January 5, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani announced his intention to work towards removing the forces of the U.S.-led international coalition, which have remained in the country to prevent a resurgence of ISIS. ISIS failed in carrying out any major attacks in Iraq during 2023 and the level of its insurgency has declined significantly inside Iraq.[68]

Ending the Coalition’s mandate in Iraq has long been an objective of Iran and its partners in Iraq. Iran-backed politicians in Iraq are thus likely to intensify pressure on the government, while at the same time continuing military strikes on U.S. forces in order to provoke additional counterattacks, which they can then exploit to drive anti-U.S. sentiment in the country. Iran’s many proxies inside Iraq are united against the United States and Coalition presence but divided by personal and institutional rivalries between contending factions.

Lebanon

In Lebanon, Hizbullah faces major challenges. Tolerating the Israeli strikes that target its key commanders projects an image of weakness among its supporter base. However, responding to Israeli strikes might trigger a full scale war with Israel that Lebanon’s fragile economy and fractious politics cannot endure. However, the group’s military power which, according to some reports includes at least 100,000 missiles and rockets,[69] should not be underestimated just as its tolerance of Israeli attacks should not be overestimated. Hizbullah’s media and political surrogates in Lebanon are making a concerted effort against internal skeptics of a new war against Israel, targeting especially the Maronite Catholic church leadership and recalcitrant Christian leaders in propaganda campaigns.

Yemen

Iran has driven an escalation against the U.S. and Israel in Yemen which has been eagerly embraced by Iran’s proxies in that country. Since October 2023, the Iran-backed Houthi Ansar Allah movement has launched successive barrages of rockets and drones at Israel and attacked several shipping vessels in the Red Sea. Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, besides the obvious effects of disrupting global maritime shipping, also bodes ill for the movement’s fragile peace negotiations with Saudi Arabia, especially after the Unites States has designated the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) [Specially Designated Global Terrorist group].[70] A new Houthi offensive, breaking the fragile UN-brokered ceasefire, aimed at seizing the oil-producing regions around Marib is also possible.

Iran

The possibility that Tehran and its allies will expand their campaign to target shipping vessels in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and other waterways in the Arabian Sea cannot be discounted. Indeed, in December 2023, an Iranian drone struck and damaged a commercial vessel near India, perhaps demonstrating Tehran’s willingness to expand the attack area.[71]

The recent Iranian missile and drone strikes that targeted Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan are part of Tehran’s exploitative activities to further destabilize the region under the pretext of self-defense. Further, Iran’s direct military action in these three countries comes within the regime’s attempts to reinforce its image of strength both internally and regionally, particularly after ISIS claimed two suicide attacks in Kerman.

Some early surveys suggest that the events of the Israel-Hamas war may be hardening Arab public opinion toward the U.S., Israel, and Arab Gulf partners, and softening it toward Iran and its so-called Axis of Resistance.[72] While many still see Iran as a major threat, some elements of the so-called Arab street also now appears to be somewhat more favorable toward the approach of armed struggle, a trend that Tehran will doubtless seize to try to incite regional “resistance” to the U.S., Israel, and the Arab Gulf states. But public opinion in the region is fickle and can be manipulated relatively easily.

To be sure, Iran has repeatedly signaled that it does not seek to enter into direct conflict with the United States or Israel. Tehran’s primary proxy, Lebanese Hizbullah, has signaled the same. Yet, Iran’s ability to manage escalation across multiple theatres remains undeterminable; the movement of Iran-backed militias in Syria near the Israeli border, ongoing attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria,[73] and the Houthi disruption of maritime trade, all increase the probability of dangerous miscalculations that could cause the region to spiral into a wider conflict in 2024. Iran’s preferred method of advancing its interests will remain having its diffuse network of proxies do the dirty work while preserving both itself and the crown jewel of its proxy empire, Lebanese Hizbullah, intact for future wars.

AUTHORS

Y. Kerman, Z. Emile, K. Choukry, and Matt Schierer

EDITORS NOTE: This MEMRI column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: Arab Daily Reports Behind-The-Scenes Activity Of Iraqi Militias Against U.S. Forces, Directed By Iran, Since Outbreak Of Gaza War


[6] Telegram, November 27, 2023.

[7] State.gov/the-death-of-ayman-al-zawahiri, August 1, 2023.

[18] Ft.com/content/5b5d083b-6195-4b91-a192-365c0829afe6, October 17, 2023.

[21] Nytimes.com/2023/11/15/us/politics/immigration-terrorism-watch-list.html, November 15, 2023.

[22] Reuters.com, November 8, 2023.

[36] MINUSMA.unmissions.org/en/minusma-closes-its-camp-kidal-marking-end-its-presence-region, October 31, 2023.

[40] Thenationalnews.com, September 25, 2023.

[47] Voanews.com, December 17, 2023.

[53] Aawsat.com. December 28, 2023, last accessed December 28, 2023.

[56] Voanews.com/a/taliban-reportedly-dismantled-islamic-state-bases-in-western-afghanistan/7389590.html, last accessed January 5, 2024.

[68] Reuters, January 10, 2024.

[69] Reuters.com/world/middle-east/lebanons-hezbollah-what-weapons-does-it-have-2023-10-30, accessed January 17, 2024.

[70] State.gov/terrorist-designation-of-the-houthis, accessed January 17, 2024.

[71] BBC, December 24, 2023.

[72] Arabbarometer.org/media-news/how-the-israel-hamas-war-in-gaza-is-changing-arab-views/

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San Francisco Appoints First Noncitizen to Serve on Elections Commission

From Kelly Wong’s LinkedIn page:

Born and raised in Hong Kong, I moved to the US in 2019 ….I am currently working at Chinese for Affirmative Action, which is the fiscal sponsor of Stop AAPI Hate campaign, to provide legal services and advocate for low‐income AAPI immigrants in San Francisco.

Besides, my capstone paper on “Exploring Racial Microaggressions Toward Chinese Immigrant Women in Greater Boston During Covid” was published in Cogitatio Press. This study was an initial qualitative exploration to capture varied experiences of racial microaggressions directed at Chinese immigrant women before and during Covid and investigate different levels of microaggressions based on socioeconomic status, age, and other characteristics.

San Francisco Appoints First Noncitizen to Serve on Elections Commission

By: Azul Dahlstrom-Eckman, KQED, Feb 15, 2024:

The newest member of the San Francisco Elections Commission, a seven-member civilian body that oversees and creates policy for the city’s Department of Elections, isn’t legally allowed to vote.

Kelly Wong, an immigrant rights advocate, is believed to be the first noncitizen appointed to the commission.

[…]

“There are always voices inside my head. Like, ‘You can’t do it. You’re not competent. You’re an immigrant. This is not your country.’ That’s not true,” said Wong, who immigrated to the U.S. in 2019 from Hong Kong to pursue graduate studies. “If I can do it, you can do it.”

Wong’s appointment is the result of a 2020 voter-approved measure that removed the citizenship requirement to serve on San Francisco boards, commissions and advisory bodies. Each of the commission’s seven members is appointed by a different city official, such as the mayor, city attorney or district attorney. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to appoint Wong.

Keep reading.

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ORLANDO, FLORIDA: Jew-Hating Neo-Nazi Protesters at Disney World

Jews that vote Democrat are suicidal.

Antisemitic protests near Disney World

Protesters with swastika flags and antisemitic signs gathered in multiple locations near Disney World and in Orlando, Florida, over Saturday.

By: Israel National News, Feb 18, 2024:

Dozens of Neo-Nazi protesters gathered near Disney World and in nearby Orlando, Florida, yesterday.

Protesters waved flags with swastikas, displayed antisemitic signs, and shouted antisemitic slogans.

The local Jewish community condemned the protest and demanded that local authorities take action against similar incidents.

Anna Eskamani, representative of Florida’s 42nd district, criticized the protesters on X: “Sad to report that Nazi scum and losers are back in Winter Park, holding their disgusting flags and banner. Working with local officials to see what options we have for accountability.”

Continue reading.

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Will NY Businesses Flee to Florida as New York State Becomes a ‘Legal Banana Republic’: Experts

The absurd ruling in the political persecution of Donald Trump represents the only big business penalized $365 million and shutdown without a showing of any obvious victims and major losses.

On the contrary the banks testified in defense of Trump.

The corrupt judge went out of his way to punish the former president with a worst-case scenario, making it easier for courts to wipe out companies in the future.

Clearly the Democrat elite decided to take out America’s greatest President and kill the greatest city in the world.

Trump’s penalty could cause NY biz exodus to Florida, as New York State becomes ‘legal banana republic’: Experts

NY AG Letitia James and liberal interests in the state appear to be seeking a political ‘death by exposure’ of Trump, analysts said

By Charles Creitz, Fox News, February 16, 2024:

Trump’s ‘breathtaking’ fine in fraud case is larger than budgets of some countries: Jonathan Turley

Fox News contributors Jonathan Turley and Ari Fleischer join chief legal correspondent Shannon Bream to react to Judge Arthur Engoron fining Donald Trump more than $350 million on ‘The Story.’

Legal experts analyzed what they called “breathtaking” civil penalties against former President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, former Trump Organization Comptroller Jeffrey McConney and ex-CFO Allen Weisselberg – warning other corporations based in the Empire State may realize they could suddenly be put out of business by the state on a political whim.

New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron found Trump liable for more than $350 million in damages in the fraud suit brought against him and his company by New York State Democratic District Attorney Letitia James.

Trump Sr., the Trump Revocable Trust and Trump Organization were found liable for $60 million, while Trump’s sons and Weisselberg were found liable for $4.01 million each – and Trump Sr. plus several entities including the Trump Organization and the LLC signifying Trump’s Chicago hotel were banned from applying for loans with institutions registered with New York for three years.

The three Trump family members were also banned from serving as executives of any business or legal entity based in New York for a similar length – which is key, as the Trump Organization is housed at its iconic tower at 5 Av and E. 57th Street.
Jonathan Turley on Trump civil fraud verdict: No other company would be subject to this ‘draconian exercise’ Video

In that regard, former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer told Fox News the ban may spur Trump to relocate his entire business empire to Florida, just as he has his primary residence.

“If you’re Eric [or] Donald Junior, what are you going to do?” he asked.

“[Y]ou just say goodbye to New York, which fits a pattern that many successful people have been doing and leaving New York because New York is just too political, too blue and too punitive – you’re seeing that in the business community and among upper income New Yorkers already,” he said – adding the state’s crime wave accentuates the issue.

George Washington University Law Prof. Jonathan Turley further commented to Fox News that Engoron appeared to compound the highest fine figures in most of the areas adjudicated – noting that New York’s civil law in this area is unique because the proverbial crime can essentially be victimless.

“[It’s] an odd one because it does not require that anyone actually lose money. And so James was able to come in here with this [fraud] figure, and she kept on going up.”

Turley said the public and other legal officials may indeed take note of Trump world’s penalty, because, “when you’re imposing fines larger than the budget of some countries, you really have to wonder whether you’ve allowed your thoughts to run away with your judgment.”

“It’s one of the greatest ironies of this case: In the name of protecting businesses in New York, you probably just led to hundreds of businesses looking at potential rentals in Florida because they look and they go, ‘wow, if we fall on the wrong side of the politics in New York, they could sell us off for spare parts’.”

Fleischer noted that New York’s justice system has descended into a quasi-political entity, in that liberals and Democrats have been placed at the highest levers of power for the past few decades.

Continue reading.

Dissolving Trump’s Business Empire, as State Judge Threatens, Would Be Unprecedented Under New York’s Decades-Old Fraud Law

AP’s review of nearly 150 reported cases since New York’s “repeated fraud” statute was passed in 1956 showed that nearly every previous time a company was taken away, victims and losses were key factors. Customers had lost money or bought defective products or never received services ordered, leaving them cheated and angry.

What’s more, businesses were taken over almost always as a last resort to stop a fraud in progress and protect potential victims. They included a phony psychologist who sold dubious treatments, a fake lawyer who sold false claims he could get students into law school, and businessmen who marketed financial advice but instead swindled people out of their home deeds.

Read more.

Who suffered here? There are no victims.

“This is a basically a death penalty for a business,” said a Columbia University law professor, Eric Talley. “Is he getting his just desserts … or because people don’t like him?”

Kevin O’Leary slams Trump’s civil ruling as ‘un-American’ and a shock to the entire real estate industry

In a scathing rebuke of a New York Judge’s decision to fine Donald Trump a staggering $355 million, the entrepreneur and media personality Kevin O’Leary minced no words, denouncing the ruling as “unjust,” “appalling” and ultimately “un-American.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron’s Friday ruling not only slapped Trump with that hefty fine, but also with a temporary ban from conducting business in his native New York.

O’Leary, known for his role on “Shark Tank,” lambasted the decision, arguing that it sets a dangerous precedent for the entire real estate industry.

O’Leary had previously been critical of the months-long fraud case in the media, saying on CNN recently that, “I don’t think this thing will ever survive appeal regardless of what the fine is. This doesn’t even make sense.”

“That fact that he was found guilty, you might as well find guilty every real estate developer on Earth,” O’Leary said in an exclusive interview with The Post.

The judge’s decree bars Trump from assuming any officer or director positions in New York for three years, a move O’Leary sees as detrimental not just to Trump, but also to the broader business landscape.

“I don’t understand where someone got hurt … What developer doesn’t ask for the highest price valued for any building they built?” O’Leary said.

O’Leary said in an exclusive interview with The Post. The judge’s decree bars Trump from assuming any officer or director positions in New York for three years, a move O’Leary sees as detrimental not just to Trump, but also to the broader business landscape.

“I don’t understand where someone got hurt … What developer doesn’t ask for the highest price valued for any building they built?” O’Leary said.

Read more.

Ayn Rand called it.

In this 1961 talk, Ayn Rand argues that “[E]very ugly, brutal aspect of injustice toward racial or religious minorities is being practiced towards businessmen” under America’s antitrust laws. Rand catalogs the injustices of antitrust, decries the scapegoating of businessmen.

An edited version of this talk is available in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, a book of essays by Rand and others.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. All rights reserved.