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Oh What Times We Live In

Throughout the annals of history, these are most certainly times that not only try men’s souls but are also rendering everything that is good to the back of the bus.  It is bad enough that people do wrong.  Human beings have been committing evil deeds ever since Eve was duped by Satan and then convinced Adam (who knew better) to partake in an activity they should not have.  Thus the ongoing war between good and evil was on and the rest is history.

When Arab Islamic Muslims first enslaved Africans hundreds of years before the first European explorers began to purchase African slaves from the Muslims, there was an equal and opposite effort that eventually arose.  The brutality of slavery was eventually seen by millions of British and United States citizens as an evil that had to be extinguished.

When the church and the king of England both became obsessed with power over the people, some British subjects said enough is enough and sought to find land where they could worship the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob in peace and tranquility.  Out of their disdain for the ongoing abuses in the land of the Union Jack was born the Christian based belief in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

There are many including yours truly, who believes that the United States was meant to be the supreme opposite of what has been an ongoing system of survival of the fittest enduring the brutal boot heel of tyrannical governments.  America once stood out, because she was refreshingly different. Her numerous foundational documents ranging from The Articles of Confederation to the Bill of rights paved an inspired path toward greatness.  That path benefited both individuals who sought to engage in the bountiful opportunities availing themselves and the government that built into it’s foundational doctrines the recognition of the God given unalienable rights that come from him.

In more recent times, the late great President Ronald Reagan represented a stunning and invigorating contrast to the malaise of his inept predecessor, President Jimmy Carter.  Reagan refused to appease our republic’s adversaries.  He also fought to roll back the economy stifling regulations that had beaten our economy into submission.

As “We the People” prepare to choose the next leader of the free world, let us take into consideration the importance of picking someone who represents being different.  In other words,  America can no longer thrive as a great nation with leadership that is hell bent on dragging her down a path that not only inhibits economic prosperity, but also places her in mortal danger.  Let us not forget there are many who would like nothing more than to rid the world of the one nation that has been an impediment to global despots who believe that forcing people to live as they say to exist or suffer the consequences.

Millions of Christians, black Africans and many others have been murdered by Muslim groups like the Islamic Stat for the sport of it, primarily because of the accommodating (or worse) approach of the current United States administration.  One of the things that New Zealand author and orator Trevor Loudon has been doing for quite some time is crisscrossing the United States for a number of years reminding Americans of our nations place of greatness and how much the world (including his nation) of New Zealand depends on this beacon of light republic.  We are at an absolute crossroads.  The time has arrived for us to return America to our God ordained position of greatness and beacon of hope to the world.  Or we can slink away into oblivion on our nation’s current slide toward second tier status, leaving the world including our allies to try and do their best to overcome challenges posed by dedicated Muslims and traditional tyrannical enemies like China and Russia.   While these are certainly the times that try men’s souls that is no reason why we as Americans have to give in or give up, because of the horrific challenges.  I challenge everyone who cares about America to join in the fight for the future generations of this republic.  If we don’t act now, it will soon be too late.  Do you want to have to tell your children and grandchildren that our nation ended up on the ash heap of history because you didn’t want to make waves or stand for the proven principles that made our nation the envy of the world?

Yes these are trying times, but with God’s leadership and help they can become the best of times.  Dear reader, either you shall choose life or we shall choose death.  America’s future is in the balance.

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Remembering the Shoot Down of Navy SEAL Helicopter ‘Extortion 17’ on August 6, 2011

AUGUST 6, 2015 – Today, on the fourth anniversary of the shoot down of NAVY SEAL helicopter, call sign – Extortion 17, we re-release this critically important Press Conference that took place on May 9, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

RELATED ARTICLE: Obama administration accused of stonewalling in suit over downing of SEAL Team 6 Extortion 17 chopper

Lest We Forget: Below is a composite of those who died on Extortion 17:

died on extortion 17

Analysis of President Obama’s Partisan American University Speech

Yesterday, President Obama used the venue of American University’s new Center of International Service in our nation’s capital to present a 55 minute partisan speech directed at wavering Democrat Senators and Representatives in Congress. He suggested that the nuclear pact with Iran was better than the alternative, war. He chose the campus located in northwest Washington, because it was there on June 10, 1963, that President Kennedy gave a Commencement address announcing an important Cold War initiative; a joint effort with Chairman Khrushchev of the Soviet Union and Britain’s Harold Macmillan seeking a comprehensive nuclear weapons test ban treaty and unilaterally ending atmospheric testing.

This was the first substantive developments among these antagonists following the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the world teetered on the brink of a possible nuclear exchange. In his speech, Kennedy asked the graduates to re-examine their attitudes towards peace, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War, famously remarking, “If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity.” Kennedy unlike Obama gave a masterful and succinct presentation in less than 27 minutes to get his points across. Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu took 24 minutes to outline his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, inclusive of his response to questions from  a large U.S. and Canadian audience via webcast.

Watch President Kennedy’s 1963 American University Commencement address:

The Wall Street Journal noted the hortatory and accusatory rhetoric of the President Obama’s remarks:

Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any U.S. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option: another war in the Middle East.  So let’s not mince words. The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war.

Following the President’s speech, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman, Bob Corker (R-TN) told reporters:

 The president is trying to turn this into a partisan issue, but there is bipartisan concern.

He went out of his way lambasting the opposing Republican majorities in Congress as the party of war mongers. He tied them to the legacy of the Bush II Wars in Iraq suggesting the outcome was the morphing of Al Qaeda in Iraq into the Islamic State or ISIL. He said the cost was thousands killed, tens of thousands injured at a price of a trillion dollars. To divided American Jews, he told them that he had improved the Jewish nation’s Qualitative Military Edge with commitment of billions in conventional military aid. He implied that support would enable Israel to overcome the Islamic Regime’s existential threats of “Death to America, Death to Israel, Death to Jews,” notwithstanding Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s holocaust denial and Antisemitism. Obama criticized Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for Iran’s nuclear program. He suggested that Netanyahu’s alternative of simply “squeezing” Iran’s theocratic leadership was not a better solution, and might lead to war. Netanyahu argues that the current Iran nuclear deal actually provides multiple pathways for Iran to achieve nuclear breakout leading to possible war.

In a post speech dialogue with Washington pundits, the President deepened his partisan criticism of Republican opponents to the Iran nuclear deal. Gerald Seib, who writes a dailyCapitol Column for The Wall Street Journal reported the President saying:

There is a particular mindset that was on display in the run-up to the Iraq war that continues to this day. Some of the folks that were involved in that decision either don’t remember what they said or are entirely unapologetic about the results. This mindset views the Middle East as a place where force and intimidation will deliver on the security interests that we have, and that it is not possible for us to at least test the possibility of diplomacy. Those views are prominent now in the Republican Party.

Both Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) found that criticism “galling,” as Mr. Obama “presided over the collapse of our hard-won gains in Iraq.”

Watch  the Washington Post video of President Obama’s 2015 American University speech:

While Obama’s speech was being delivered at American University there was a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, chaired by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) focused on sanctions relief under the terms of the Iran nuclear deal. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman appeared saying “that I didn’t see the final documents. I saw the provisional documents, as did my experts.” Thus, suggesting that the IAEA side deals were not going to unearth prior military developments at Parchin and other known locations.

An appearance by Director General of the UN IAEA, Ukiya Amano in a separate Capitol Hill briefing Wednesday lent the distinct impression that the UN nuclear watchdog agency was not going to disclose the so-called side agreements with Iran, nor would it have the suggested “robust” verification regime that the President has touted. That gave rise to skepticism by Senate opponents, that no base line would be established for prior military developments at Parchin, an alleged center for nuclear warhead development. The Wall Street Journal reported Mr. Amano saying that IAEA inspectors had been denied access to key scientists and military officials for interviews.   Following his closed door briefing to a bi-partisan group of Senators, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Corker commented, “I would say most members left with greater concerns about the inspection regime than we came in with.”  Senator John Barroso (R-WY) concluded, “My impression listening to him was the promises the President made were not verifiable.” Democrat supporters of the Iran deal like Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) followed the White House line that “it didn’t matter as we already knew what Iran had developed.”

At yesterday’s Senate Banking, Housing and Community Affairs  hearing, a panel of experts spoke about the lifting of sanctions and if there was a better deal. The panel included former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Crimes, Juan C.  Zarate, Mark Dubowitz executive director of the Washington, DC based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and former State Department official Nicholas Burns of Harvard’s Kennedy School. Dubowitz in his testimony suggested that the deal should be amended, eliminating the sunset provisions and the so-called snap back sanctions. As precedent for possible amendment of the JCPOA, he noted more than “250 bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements and treaties from the Cold War Era.”

Watch this C-span video excerpt of FDD’s Dubowitz’s testimony:

Last night, the PBS News Hour host Gwen Ifill had a segment with Burns and Ray Takeyh a former Obama adviser on Iran during his first term now a Senior Fellow with the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), Is Obama’s Iran deal rhetoric working?  Burns, who is an adviser to Secretary Kerry, said:

I think, as Americans, we ought to have the self-confidence to try diplomacy first, rather than war. I will say this, Gwen, in answer to your specific question. I think the President ought to have a big tent policy here. To say that if the deal is turned down, if Congress defeats the President and overrides his veto in December, then that leads to war, I think, is a little stark.

Takeyh commented:

Jack Kennedy’s speech was lofty, idealistic. I think, if I quote it right, he said we shouldn’t wave the finger of accusation or issue indictments.

I think the President was unyielding. He was passionate, but his tone was at times truculent. And he didn’t make a successful pitch to his critics. This is a technologically flawed agreement, and the President should have attempted to broaden the parameters of the conversation about this agreement. I think, in that sense, the president missed his mark, and I think it was unwise.

Takeyh, who is also an adviser to FFD’s Iran Project, buttressed Dubowitz’s Senate testimony saying:

The history of arms controls suggest, when there’s Congressional objections, as was the case in SALT-I and SALT-II, and the President mentioned those, there is an attempt to go back and renegotiate aspects of this. And I think that’s what the President should have done when he met the criticism, as opposed to just dismiss it.

There are aspects of this agreement that are very problematic, such as the sunset clause, where, after essentially 10 years, Iran gets to embark on an industrial-sized nuclear program. And when you have an industrial-sized nuclear program, there is no inspection modality that can detect a sneak-out to a weapon option.

The President essentially, even now, after the rejection of the deal, should there be one, has a chance to go back, renegotiate some aspect of the deal, and therefore strengthen it. And as he strengthens that deal, I think he can broaden the bipartisan support for it.

I would be very concerned if I was a supporter of this deal that this deal is based on such a narrow margin of public support on the Hill. I think the longevity of this deal is seriously questioned by its absence of bipartisan support.

When questioned by Burns about reopening negotiations, Takeyh drew attention to other issues in the Iran nuclear pact that could be rectified through amendment:

I think it will be very difficult, but not impossible, because some of these provisions are so glaringly flawed that I think other countries would welcome negotiations.

I mentioned the sunset clause. Iran’s development of IR-8 centrifuges, which essentially produce uranium 17 times faster, and that gives Iran enrichment capacity that is quite substantial — the verification on this deal is extraordinarily imperfect.

The president keeps talking about that this is the most intrusive verification system, and the only other verification system that was more intrusive resulted from the Iraq War and the armistice. That’s just not true.

South Africa, under Nelson Mandela, agreed to anytime/anywhere inspection, which, in practice, you had access to military facilities within one day. So we can go back and renegotiate four, five, six aspects of this agreement. The history of arms controls is replete with such exercises.

And I think if you do that, this agreement would be strengthened. It will be based on a bipartisan anchor; it would ensure its longevity.  It would ensure that proliferation cascade in the Middle East will not take place, and it will ensure that Iran will not sneak out to a bomb.

Watch the PBS News Hour segment with Burns and Takeyh:

Takeyh’s colleague and long term President of the CFR, Dr. Richard N. Haass in testimony on August 4th before the Senate Armed Services Committee suggested:

That any vote by Congress to approve the pact should be linked to legislation or a White House statement that makes clear what the United States would do if there were Iranian non-compliance, what would be intolerable in the way of Iran’s long-term nuclear growth, and what the US was prepared to do to counter Iranian threats to US interests and friends in the region.

With each Senate and House Hearing on the Iran nuclear pact, more is revealed about why this is a bad deal. However, as witnessed by the Congressional testimony of experts like Dubowitz of the FDD, Takeyh and Haass of the CFR, it appears that Obama and Kerry didn’t follow the experience garnered from Cold War era arms control negotiations. Congress should be the veritable “bad cop” to fend off and reign in the concession demands of the Islamic regime’s negotiators in Lausanne and Vienna. We understand that several Republican Senators and House Members are drafting resolutions for rejection of the Iran nuclear pact. Perhaps they might include recommendations for amendment of the JCPOA endeavoring to make it a better deal. However, the President has chosen a partisan path that does not welcome bi-partisan deliberation. Perhaps the option is for the resolutions to reject the pact and schedule a vote as a treaty, assuming the President may have the votes to override a veto. As we have discussed there is also possible litigation that might achieve the same end.

It is going to be a long hot summer recess for Members of Congress in their states and districts holding town hall hearings to gauge the pulse of constituents on the President’s nuclear deal with Iran.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Israel in the Eye of the Storm By Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson, Resident Associate Fellow at the Centre for the New Middle East, writing in The Journal for International Security Affairs, outlines the key geopolitical challenges facing Israel.

In a region convulsed by the turmoil of civil wars, revolutions, and insurgencies, Israel stands out as an island of relative stability, one that has successfully weathered the multiple storms of the Islamist winter that abruptly followed the so-called “Arab Spring.” Yet in the summer of 2014, the calm in Israel was shattered by rockets, terrorists emerging from tunnels, and amphibious attacks along the country’s shoreline. The abrupt intrusion of terrorism back into Israeli domestic life—with all of the country’s major cities within reach of missiles fired by the Hamas terrorist group—was reminiscent of the second intifada, when suicide bombers from Hamas and other extremist factions entered Israel’s busy city centers and transformed them into war zones, paralyzing daily life.

During the height of the summer 2014 Gaza War, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented that Israel could not afford to give up control of the West Bank and risk the creation of “another 20 Gazas” there.(1) That remark resonated particularly strongly with many Israelis, not least because it came just months after a failed American-led effort to push for a peace agreement with the Palestinians—one that would have obliged Israel pull out of the vast majority of the West Bank. And whereas Netanyahu’s statement about the potential horrors of Palestinian terrorism appears to have been received approvingly by many in Israel, Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace-making efforts enjoyed far less popularity. Indeed, many sections of Israeli society came to resent the Obama administration’s focus on promoting a peace agreement, as did some in Israel’s political establishment.

That they did speaks volumes about just how much Washington’s diplomats, like their counterparts in Europe, have fundamentally failed to appreciate the changes that have taken place in Israel’s calculus of risk over the preceding decade. Furthermore, they have failed to view Israel’s predicament in its full regional context.

Rather, ever since Barack Obama took office, his administration has pressed unrelentingly for reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians. It has done so, moreover, as if the parties in question were still operating in the relative stability of the Middle East of the 1990s. Thus, Kerry’s approach is reminiscent of the Clinton administration’s hammering out of the Oslo Accords with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, and its subsequent full-court press for a final agreement at Camp David between Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. But while it is true that the current Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is a somewhat more preferable negotiating partner to Arafat, the similarities end there; the political landscape for a peace agreement today is more inhospitable than ever before.

This is so for two reasons. The first relates to the changing regional circumstances now confronting Israel. The second is tied to the fundamental transformation that has taken place in Palestinian society and politics.

Region on fire

Half-a-decade into the “Arab Spring,” Israel faces numerous Islamist militant groups on its borders, from Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria to Hamas in Gaza and al-Qaeda and Islamic State-aligned factions in the Sinai. The emergence of each of these groups has transformed Israel’s security outlook and diminished hopes for securing a durable peace. Rather than an environment ripe for a modus vivendiwith essentially pragmatic neighboring states, Israel now faces jihadist non-state actors, most of which are locked in power struggles with other militants as well as with the nation-states whose territory they now operate from.

The spread of this regional turmoil has had a mixed impact on the Israeli-Palestinian situation. To some extent, the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen have made the mostly-cold confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians appear far less pressing and far less relevant. Whereas once the words “Middle East conflict” were shorthand for referring to the dispute between Israel and its Arab neighbours, now this expression is more likely to refer to the struggle between Sunni and Shi’a extremists, backed by the Gulf States and Iran, respectively.

It is particularly significant that many of these militant groups are now operating from territories that Israeli security forces have previously withdrawn from (the Sinai, Southern Lebanon, and Gaza) or are directly adjacent to strategically important territories that Israel has previously considered giving up (e.g., the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley). This naturally has had a considerable impact on Israel’s current willingness to make territorial concessions in return for peace agreements or international good will. From a strategic point of view, such moves have ultimately amounted to creating power vacuums that have eventually been filled by militants, so effectively moving a range of security threats ever closer to Israel’s civilian population centers and core national infrastructure.

Take Hezbollah, Iran’s most significant terrorist proxy. The Shi’ite militia represents one of the most formidable fighting forces in the Middle East, and is one of the greatest security challenges facing the Jewish state. Hezbollah and the Israeli military engaged in a deadly clash in 2006, one in which Israel’s military failed to strike a truly decisive blow against the Shi’a militants. Since then, Hezbollah is understood to have dramatically increased its military capabilities, and even with Israel’s Iron Dome and David’s Sling air defense systems operational, it is likely that Hezbollah could still inflict considerable damage in the event of a future conflict, since most of Israel’s territory is now well within Hezbollah’s reach.

The other major threat to Israel’s north has been the unfolding crisis in Syria. Stray projectiles from the fighting have impacted the Israeli-controlled parts of the Golan on numerous occasions, but it is the advance of Islamist groups close to the Syrian border that has caused the most alarm in Israel. For the moment, militants have been too absorbed with the fighting in Syria to direct their attention toward Israel. Nevertheless, the threat from chemical weapons and other capabilities falling into the hands of such groups must be taken seriously. Given that less than a decade ago, the Israeli government had contemplated a withdrawal from the Golan Heights—a territory that borders the Galilee, one of Israel’s most vital fresh water sources—these developments have done nothing to win public support for the notion of making further territorial concessions for peace. To the contrary, they have demonstrated that while Israel might hand territory into the possession of one regime, there is no guarantee that that territory will remain secure, or that the regime in question will survive long after the signing of any such peace treaty.

That, in part, has been the Israeli experience in the Sinai as well. True, Egypt’s short-lived Muslim Brotherhood government never officially revoked the peace treaty between the two countries, as many feared would happen after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Yet in Egypt—as in Lebanon and Syria—the threat to Israel has not come from the state itself, but rather from the weakness of those states and the prevalence of terrorist non-state actors moving into the resulting ungoverned and under-governed territory. Today, groups loyal to both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State continue to operate in the Sinai Peninsula. And while Israel has now constructed a security barrier along its Egyptian border, and jihadists there are currently occupied with battling Egypt’s military, the lawless nature of the peninsula represents a major security concern, among other things because of the way in which the Sinai has served as the primary channel through which weapons and weapons-related matériel have reached the Gaza Strip.

The one border from which Israel currently faces the least significant threat is the Jordanian one. Like other monarchies in the region, the Hashemite Kingdom has so far survived the ripple effects of the “Arab Spring” uprisings—but this may not remain the case indefinitely. The growing popularity of Salafism in Jordan(2) may well come to undermine stability in Jordan, creating a scenario that would almost certainly jeopardize Israel’s security. Although it has been the case that some Jordanian Salafists have been drawn away from that country to join the fighting in Syria, it is also true that Jordan’s proximity to both Iraq and Syria places it in a particularly fragile situation. Furthermore, the significant influx of refugees into Jordan from those conflicts may well have brought other extremists into the country. The resulting concerns about Jordan’s long-term future have contributed to Israel’s insistence that the Jordan Valley must remain its most eastern border, or at the very least that the Israeli military must be allowed to maintain a presence there.

The Islamization of Palestinian politics

Ever since the establishment of Hamas (The Islamic Resistance Movement) in 1987 at the outset of the first intifada, Islamist jihadist groups have played an increasingly prominent part in Palestinian political life in general, and in particular as part of the Palestinian clash with Israel. Hamas had, of course, grown out of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was operating in the area even during the days of the British Mandate in Palestine.(3) The group’s founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, had led the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza since 1968, but Islamists had always played a minor role in Palestinian terrorist activities compared to the secular and Marxist guerrilla groups as represented by the PLO.

The past two decades, however, have seen a veritable explosion of Islamist politics in the Palestinian Territories. Drawing from the lessons of Hamas, Palestinian militants began to adopt the tactic of suicide bombing as a preferred method of attack. As they did, other Islamist groups (such as the smaller Palestinian Islamic Jihad) became increasingly prominent across the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And, beginning in the mid-2000s, Salafist- and al-Qaeda-aligned groups began to proliferate in Gaza. Among them were small groups, such as Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), Jaish al-Umma (Army of the Nation), and Fatah al-Islam (Islamic Conquest), all of whom began to make their presence felt in the Gaza Strip. (4)

The Islamist politics of the Gaza Strip have been far from harmonious. These factions were always fiercely critical of Hamas’s failure to fully implement Islamic law, in particular following the group’s takeover of the Strip in 2007, and have opposed the temporary cease-fires Hamas has agreed to with Israel from time to time. But while these groups certainly attracted some disaffected Hamas operatives,(5) they did not appear to represent an immediate challenge to Hamas rule—at least for a time. More recently, however, some of these factions have sworn loyalty to the Islamic State, and clashes have broken out between them and Hamas, which has found itself in the position of needing to eliminate more extreme Islamist elements to maintain its hold on power. At the same time, Fatah has been locked in a long-running struggle to prevent a takeover by Hamas Islamists in the West Bank, where it holds sway.

The heavy involvement of Islamists in the terror attacks of the second intifada was certainly an indication that radical Islam was playing an increasingly decisive role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nevertheless, few at that time predicted that Hamas would win a decisive victory when elections were held for the Palestinian national assembly in 2006. The group’s subsequent seizure of power in Gaza by force in 2007, and the ousting of Fatah there, further cemented the process of radicalization sweeping Palestinian society.

Indications of what was happening should already have been apparent from the results of two surveys conducted in the mid-2000s. A 2004 survey by the Jordanian Center for Strategic Studies found support for al-Qaeda to be noticeably higher among Palestinians than in neighboring Arab countries, with 70 percent describing al-Qaeda as a resistance movement as opposed to a terrorist organization.(6) Similarly, a 2005 survey by the Norwegian group Fafo found 65 percent of Palestinians questioned supported al-Qaeda attacks against the West, and in Gaza that figure rose to 79 percent.(7) European observers living in Palestinian society at the time noted this trend of popular extremism, with one European diplomat stating that Palestinian society was undergoing “an accelerated process of broad Islamization and radicalization.”(8)

While the Palestinian Authority had itself noted the presence of Salafist evangelist preachers operating in the West Bank,(9) Palestinian sympathies for violent extremism had still tended to be expressed as support for nationalistic Islamist groups such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Indeed, by many estimations Hamas would have a strong chance of winning West Bank elections were they to be held again today. Although certain West Bank cities such as Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jericho have remained quite firmly under the control of Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, there are other localities where Fatah has been severely weakened.

Abbas’s approval rating had clearly plummeted by the time of the summer 2014 war in Gaza. An indication of where the sympathies of West Bank Palestinians lay came shortly before major hostilities erupted. At the time, Israel’s security forces had undertaken a military operation to rescue three Israeli teenagers kidnapped by a Hamas cell based in Hebron in the southern West Bank. During that eleven-day operation, Israeli forces arrested some 350 militants, including almost all of Hamas’s leadership in the West Bank. But while this operation received the backing of the Palestinian Authority and the cooperation of its security forces, widespread anger erupted into several nights of anti-Fatah rioting in Ramallah.

The Gaza conflict in the summer of 2014 appeared to give Hamas a significant boost with the Palestinian public, with many believing that the organization was doing far more than Fatah to lead “resistance” against Israel. Polling shortly after the war revealed that support for Hamas had doubled among West Bank Palestinians, rising from 23 percent in March to 46 percent in September.(10) There are other indications to suggest that the pro-Hamas feelings that arose during last summer’s war have not dissipated. Student elections across West Bank universities in the spring of 2015 witnessed a surge of support for Hamas and the Islamist bloc, with the two being tied at the Palestinian Polytechnic University in Hebron, while the Islamic bloc won outright at Birzeit University.(11)

What Israel is now watching for are signs of whether or not sympathies for the Islamic State and its ideology are increasing among Palestinians. Unlike in Gaza, the security presence of the Israeli military throughout the West Bank will go some way to ensuring that IS militants are unable to establish fully operational cells in the West Bank. Nevertheless, there have been early indications of pockets of support for IS among West Bank Palestinians. Israel’s intelligence services have already warned of a process of militants defecting from existing terror groups, primarily Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and swearing allegiance to IS.

This process may have been underway for some time now. At the time of Hamas’ kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers in June 2014, a previously unknown group claiming to be aligned with IS attempted to take responsibility for that action. And during the Gaza war that followed, the Islamic State’s media wing, al-Battar, released a series of images depicting the Dome of the Rock and threatening Israel’s Jews that the Islamic State was coming for them, and in August images appeared online showing an individual displaying the group’s flag on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

In Gaza, the process of extremists shifting their allegiances to the Islamic State is far more advanced than in the West Bank. This is partly because in recent years violent Salafist groups have already been able to establish a foothold in Gaza, with some groups such as Suyuf al-Haq (Swords of Righteousness) launching IS-styled attacks against institutions and individuals accused of spreading Western influence. It had also become increasingly apparent that the military wing of The Popular Resistance Committees (Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades), the third-largest military group in Gaza, was displaying signs of radicalization, placing it further to the extreme than either Hamas or Islamic Jihad. It is out of this milieu that support for the Islamic State appears to have arisen.

Early indications of the growing support for IS in Gaza began to emerge in the fall of 2014. At that time, a group calling itself “ISIS-Gaza Province” began to establish an online presence, with a video appearing on YouTube showing a group of armed militants claiming to be the Islamic State in Gaza, complete with IS flag. Indeed, by late 2014 ISIS flags had become an increasingly common sight in Gaza, with eyewitnesses reporting their appearance everywhere from football stadiums to car windshields to wedding invitations. On November 3rd, the Shura council of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in the Sinai, as well as the group’s leader, Abu Khattab, formally pledged loyalty to the Islamic State. This was a telling indication that not only individuals but also entire Salafist factions are defecting to IS—a trend that Israel will need to grapple with in the not-so-distant future.

Mind the gap

As the surrounding Middle East increasingly descends into turmoil, Israel for the most part has managed to maintain relative calm and stability over the territory under its control. This stability is not a naturally occurring state of affairs, but rather the result of the extensive efforts of Israel’s security forces to keep a multitude of surrounding threats at bay. Almost all of these threats stem in one way or another from violent Islamism, which refuses to be appeased by any number of Israeli concessions.

International policymakers, however, do not appear to have adjusted to this new reality. The failing has been particularly noticeable in the policies of the Obama administration, whose representatives still seem to regard the Israeli-Palestinian dispute as one of the most pressing and problematic concerns in the region. In the early 2000s, at the height of the second intifada and prior to the second Gulf War, this may indeed have been true. Today, it is not. Yet American and European leaders continue to push for drastic changes in the current status quo, even at a time when much of the rest of the region is already in a state of extreme and unpredictable flux.

They are bound to be disappointed. Israel will naturally be reluctant to make any significant concessions while the surrounding region remains so unpredictable. It knows that the security and stability it enjoys has been hard fought and remains fragile. Under the present circumstances, a dramatic change in the existing status quo could begin a chain of events that would plunge Israel into one of the deepest security crises of its history, making it once again one of the region’s major flashpoints.

It is a reality that Israeli policymakers—and the Israeli public at large—understand well, even if officials in the West do not.

Tom Wilson is a Middle East analyst and a Resident Associate Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society in London.


1.   “Netanyahu: Gaza Conflict Proves Israel Can’t Relinquish Control of West Bank,” Times of Israel, July 11, 2014, http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-gaza-conflict-proves-israel-cant-….

2.   See, for example, David Schenker, “Salafi Jihadists on the Rise in Jordan,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, PolicyWatch no. 2248, May 5, 2014, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/salafi-jihadists….

3.   Jonathan Schanzer, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 24.

4.   Jonathan Schanzer and Mark Dubowitz, Palestinian Pulse: What Policymakers Can Learn from Palestinian Social Media (Washington, DC: Foundation for Defense of Democracies, 2010), http://www.defenddemocracy.org/content/uploads/documents/Palestinian_Pul….

5.   Yoram Cohen and Matthew Levitt, with Becca Wasser, “Deterred but Determined: Salafi-Jihadi Groups in the Palestinian Arena,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Policy Focus no. 99, January 2010, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/uploads/Documents/pubs/PolicyFocus%20….

6.   “Revisiting the Arab Street: Research from Within,” Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan, February 2005, http://www.mafhoum.com/press7/revisit-exec.pdf.

7.   Gro Hasselknippe, “Palestinian Opinions on Peace and Conflict, Internal Affairs and Parliament Elections 2006,” Fafo Paper 2006:09, 2006, http://almashriq.hiof.no/general/300/320/327/fafo/reports/797.pdf

8.   As cited in Cohen and Levitt, “Deterred but Determined.”

9.   Ibid.

10.   “We’re Back; Hamas in the West Bank,” The Economist, September 3, 2014, http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2014/09/hamas-west-bank.

11.   Adnan Abu Amer, “Hamas Sweeps Student Council Elections in the West Bank,” Al-
Monitor
, April 28, 2015, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/04/hamas-victory-student-….

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Journal for International Security Affairs.

Time for all Americans to read ‘The Camp of the Saints’

Invasion of Europe News…..

VDARE has pointed us to this Powerline post by Steven Hayward today entitled ‘Camp of the Saints, Revisited.’  I recommend this now over 40-year-old eerily prescient novel to all of you for your summertime reading ‘pleasure.’  Warning! It is not for the squeamish or faint of heart!

Camp of the Saints

Hayward says what we have been saying and why we post as often as possible on the ‘Invasion of Europe’the American media is not paying attention to the growing migration crisis in Europe.

From Powerline:

If you want to see the immigration crisis getting completely out of control, check out northern France, where several thousand “migrants”—as the press describes them—are trying to charge through the Channel Tunnel to Britain, where, they suppose, the welfare state will take care of them.It hasn’t been receiving much media coverage in the U.S., except for the Wall Street Journal, which notes today that the disruption at the Channel is bad for business.

As the Wall Street Journal quoted one aspiring client a few days ago:

“Here, no one looks after me,” the teenager said. “In the U.K., I can be a big man.”

No one looks after me. The Telos of the welfare state, in five words. More revealing is this passage:

“Stopping them is becoming very difficult since they’re just not afraid of the police anymore,” a French police officer said.

It looks more and more like Jean Raspail’s controversial 1973 novel, The Camp of the Saints, come to life.

Continue reading here.

See our extensive archive on the ‘Invasion of Europe’ by clicking here.

RELATED ARTICLE: Rainbow Nation news from PBS: Black South Africans continue persecution of other black Africans

EDITORS NOTE: Readers may download a free PDF version of Jean Raspail’s 1973 novel The Camp of the Saints here.

After Chattanooga: Refusing to See the Writing on the Wall by Tarek Fatah

For 15 years now the question, “How to combat Islamism” has been avoided in the West so as not to offend the powerful urban Islamist lobbyists and vote banks.

It has been almost two weeks since the Chattanooga terrorist Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez issued the equivalent of an Islamic declaration of war on the United States in a text message before killing four U.S. Marines and a Navy petty officer.

Yet there are still some Americans refusing to see the writing on the wall, and wondering about the 24-year-old jihadi terrorist’s “real” motives.

On July 15, the night before the mass murder, Abdulazeez texted a declaration on behalf of Allah, quoting from Prophet Mohammed’s sayings in the Hadith titled “The loyal friends of Allah”.

It reads: “Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I [Allah] will indeed declare war against him.” This particular Hadith is from a collection of the 40 most important sayings of Prophet Mohammed.

The text message was not the only clue to Abdulazeez’s jihadi frame of mind. In a “manifesto” posted in early July, the mass murderer quoted Prophet Mohammed as saying for Muslims, life on earth should be seen as a life in a prison, but for non-believers (Christians, Jews, Hindus, pagans and atheists) earth is the Paradise.

This is a common call by Islamists when recruiting suicide bombers or jihadi fighters for the Islamic State, al-Qaida, the Taliban and Boko Haram.

In essence, they claim earth is merely a transit lounge in a journey that will take Muslims to eternal life in Paradise, surrounded by all things that were forbidden to them in this world. Abdulazeez mocked Muslims (like me) who separate Islam from politics, saying such a separation was contrary to Islamic practice.

He wrote in his manifesto:

“So this picture that you have in your mind that the Prophet’s companions were people being like priests living in monasteries is not true. All of them [were] leaders of an army at the frontlines … very involved in establishing Islam in the world … Every one of them fought Jihad for the sake of Allah. Every one of them had to make sacrifices in their lives.”

All of this evidence stares us in the face, yet we are now being asked to believe a statement from Abdulazeez’s family claiming that their son was a depressed youth on drugs.

The family claim they sent him to Jordan, so he could get away from the influence of the bad company he kept.

I find that hard to believe given Abdulazeez’s own declarations, plus the fact his father was investigated twice by the FBI for sending money to questionable charities in the Middle East — he was eventually cleared — and wanted to marry a second wife in the Palestinian Territories, saying this was allowed by Islamic law.

There is something wrong in America when as senior a person as Tom Fuentes, former assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is unwilling to conclude the mass murderer was a Muslim.

John Berman of CNN asked Fuentes “Now that we have the name (Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez) the key questions are what?” Fuentes replied, “I know … what the name sounds like, but we don’t know that it’s a Muslim name. We know it’s an Arabic name. On the opposite side are those like former Democratic presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark, who has proposed the internment of U.S. Islamists identified as anti-American.

For 15 years now the question, “How to combat Islamism” has been avoided in the West so as not to offend the powerful urban Islamist lobbyists and vote banks.

Here are three suggestions that the United States, Canada and Europe should implement:

  1. Interview and debrief every adult male arriving alone from Arab countries, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Somalia, irrespective of religion, colour or nationality.
  2. Tell every mosque in North America and Europe to end any and all derogatory references to “kufaar” (Christians, Jews, Hindus and atheists) including in ritual prayers, or lose their charitable status.
  3. End cash donations in mosques and overseas donations from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab sources.

If the West does not take these steps now, there will eventually be a very large appetite for Clark’s harsh prescription to prevent Islamist terror on Western soil.

ABOUT TAREK FATAH

Tarek Fatah, is a Canadian writer, broadcaster and anti-Islamist Muslim activist. He is the author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State and the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress.

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Ezra Levant is not your typical Canadian. He is outspoken and driven to seek out the truth about dangers to free speech and homeland security in our neighbor to the north. Fortunately for Canadians his truth telling appears nightly on his program, The Source on the Sun News Network. His opinion pieces frequently appear as columns in Sun Media publications. Starting in law school in the Province of Alberta in the 1990’s Levant was involved in the Reform Party and the “unite on the right” that morphed into the Canadian Alliance with the Progressive Conservatives. The Party is now led by incumbent PM Stephen Harper. Levant had filed to run in a West Calgary riding as a Conservative candidate in 2002. He withdrew at the behest of party leaders in favor of Stephen Harper who ultimately became Canada’s Prime Minister in 2006. Levant maintains cordial relations with the Harper family and was a volunteer in the Harper 2008 election.

In February 2006, he had the courage to publish the Mohammed cartoons from the Danish newspaper, the Jyllands-Posten, in The Western Standard. That action, while lauded by many Canadians, became the subject of  complaints brought before the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission (AHRCC) by Syed Soharwardy of theIslamic Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC) and the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities (ECMC). Levant shrewdly requested permission to videotape an interview by an investigator from the AHRCC that he uploaded on YouTube. That may have brought pressure on Soharwardy to withdraw his complaints before both the Commission and the Calgary police. Ultimately, the ECMC compliant, identical to the one filed by Soharwardy and the ISCC, was dismissed by the AHRCC.  Levant’s dramatic and successful defense of free speech coincided with complaints brought before the Canadian Human Rights Commission, British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal and the Ontario Human Rights Commission by the Canadian Islamic Congress against McLeans Magazine and columnist Mark Steyn over an excerpt published from Steyn’s book America Alone. Levant roundly criticized these various human rights bodies in his 2009 book, Shakedown: How our government is undermining democracy in the name of human rights. In 2011, Shakedown won the Writers’ Trust of Canada and Samara Best Political Book of the last 25 Years competition. His 2010 book Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands advanced the view that development of the low sulfur Athabascan bitumen deposits would reduce Canada’s dependence on imported oil from countries with notorious human rights records. This development would contribute to competition in the world’s energy markets and would be environmentally sound. It was given the National Business Book Award in Canada in 2011. Following the re-election of President Obama in the US in November 2012, Levant proposed an Eight Point plan to “Innoculate Canada’s  Economy” from economic problems in the US  through  paying off of its external debt, directing energy resources by trading with Asia and adopting positive immigration and economic development policies to foster economic growth.

Levant vigorously opposed the return of Canadian Al Qaeda terrorist, Omar Khadr from U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay in October 2012. Khadr had killed U.S. Amy Special Forces medic Sgt. Christopher Speer in Afghanistan in 2002. Levant criticized PM Harper’s cabinet for consenting to the deal with the Obama Administration – a deal that reduced a 40 year conviction at a 2010 Military Trial in Guantanamo to eight years with seven years of the commuted sentence to be served in a Federal Canadian prison with eligibility for parole in 2013. In his 2011 book, The Enemy Within: Terror, Lies, and the Whitewashing of Omar Khadr, Levant relied heavily on the expert evidence of renowned American forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Welner, presented at the Guantanamo Tribunal. See our June 2012 Iconoclast article on the Sun News The Source presentation of “Welcome Back Khadr?” with Dr. Welner.

Watch this Sun News presentation  by Ezra Levant on the return of Omar Khadr to Canada on October 1, 2012:

Jerry Gordon:  Ezra Levant, thank you for consenting to this interview.

Ezra Levant:  Thank you for inviting me.

Gordon:  What was your background in fostering the merger of the Reform Party with the Progressive Conservative Party an antecedent to the Canadian Alliance?

Levant:  I don’t want to overstate my role in that merger, which was the result of many people working over several years. But it is true that while I was in law school, along with a couple of other conservatives, I helped organize a convention to “unite the right” in Canada — to lay the groundwork for the merger of the two parties. It was attended by dozens of key conservatives, including Stephen Harper, currently the Prime Minister.

Gordon:  You stepped aside in the 2002 contest for the Calgary Southwest riding under pressure from the Canadian Alliance leaders to facilitate the election of Stephen Harper, Canada’s current PM. What relationship did you subsequently have with PM Harper?

Levant:  I have kept in touch with Stephen Harper and Mrs. Harper, and with his staff. I occasionally visit them, and in the 2008 election I was a full-time volunteer in the Conservative Party’s election headquarters.

Gordon:  In the late 1990’s you were an advocate for granting Quebec separatism. Given the renaissance of the Bloc Quebecois do you still hold the same opinion and why?

Levant:  I wrote one column in 1995, slightly tongue in cheek, pointing out how the rest of Canada would benefit from Quebec secession. The Bloc Quebecois is nearly defunct federally. The provincial win by the Parti Quebecois was with the slimmest margin, and it is a minority government. No-one believes they have a mandate for secession.

Gordon:  What prompted your founding of The Western Standard in 2004?

Levant:  The demise of the Alberta Report left a void for a conservative magazine, and I sought to fill it. Given the rise of the Internet, the idea was likely obsolete before it was even started.

Gordon:  In 2006, The Western Standard published the Jyllands Posten Danish newspaper cartoons of Mohammed. What was the reaction in Canada that became the subject of your award winning bookShakedown?

Levant:  Most of our subscribers loved it – we were the only magazine (or newspaper or TV show) in the country to treat our readers as adults – that is, to show them what the fuss was about for them to make up their own minds about it. The general public reaction was similar – people were sick of political correctness. Most journalists were supportive of us, as they had been restricted from doing the same thing. A small minority of journalists opposed what we did, either out of political correctness or out of a sort of jealousy or embarrassment.

Gordon:  How did your actions during the Alberta Human Rights Commission hearings expose the threat to Free Speech by Islamist groups in Canada?

Levant:  By videotaping my interrogation and putting the videos on YouTube, and by blogging about the investigation, I was able to shine a light of public scrutiny on a shadowy kangaroo court that was not well known or understood by the public. I sought to denormalize the human rights commissions, and put it on trial in the court of public opinion.

Gordon:  Were Islamist groups also behind the complaints brought by the Canadian Islamic Congress  before the Canadian Human Rights Commission, British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal and Ontario Human Rights Commission against former Macleans columnist Mark Steyn?

Levant:  The complaints against Mark Steyn were brought by the Canadian Islamic Congress, led at the time by Mohamed Elmasry. Different Islamic groups complained about me.

Gordon:  Did the cost of your defense during the Alberta Human Rights Commission (AHRC) hearings result in a decision to sell the remaining assets of The Western Standard?

Levant:  No. The prosecution did not help The Western Standard financially, but it had been in financial duress even before the AHRC investigation.

Gordon:  When did you begin your new career as a daily commentator for the Sun News and how much editorial freedom do you have?

Levant:  I have written for the Sun newspapers on and off since 1995. I started up again in the summer of 2010 and have had a daily TV show on Sun News Network since April of 2011. I believe I have tremendous freedom, and in fact I call myself the freest journalist in Canada.

Gordon:   In 2008, you testified before the US Congressional Human Rights Coalition about radical Islamist groups’ Lawfare effectively stifling free speech. Do you view UN Human Rights Council Res.16/18 on Combating Religious Intolerance as an attempt to insinuate Shariah blasphemy codes suborning protected speech here and in Canada?

Levant:  I believe that the United Nations is a threat to free speech in the U.S. and Canada, because it is dominated by countries that do not respect freedom of speech as much as we do. However, there are other domestic organizations in the U.S. that are also actively undermining free speech. Campus speech codes are one example.

Gordon:  Four states in the US (Arizona, Louisiana, Tennessee and Kansas) have adopted anti-Sharia statutes. Would the Harper Government in Ottawa consider adopting something similar at the federal level?

Levant:  I can’t speak for them of course. I doubt that a stand-alone bill would be proposed like that, unless there was a specific problem of Sharia law taking root. Right now in Canada, there is a growing problem with so-called “honor killings”, which is receiving increasing media attention. It is more likely that a pressing problem like that would receive some sort of policy attention.

Gordon:  Muslim immigration in Canada has witnessed significant growth under both Liberal and Conservative governments. There is concern in Canada about radical Muslim growth. Do you support a moratorium on immigration from “extremist producing countries”?

Levant:  I think we ought to screen immigrants for Canadian values, including non-violence, equality of men and women, pluralism, etc. There are obviously some truly liberal Muslims who wish to flee authoritarian regimes and to adopt a Canadian lifestyle.

Gordon:  In your book, The Enemy within: Terror Lies, and the Whitewashing of Omar Khadr, you made a compelling case as to why the Canadian –born al Qaeda Terrorist should not have been returned to Canada. What was your position based on and why in your opinion did the Harper Government consent to his return to Canada in October 2012?

Levant:  Omar Khadr is lawfully detained until the war on terror is over. He is analogous to a German soldier captured in 1940: he can be detained until hostilities cease. In addition to that indefinite detention, he was tried and convicted for war crimes including murder, for which a jury gave him 40 years in prison.

The U.S. government pressed Canada to accept a transfer of Khadr after just one year (with paperwork it turned out to be two years). This was clearly against the will of the Conservative government (and of the previous Liberal government) but it was something insisted upon by the Obama Administration.

Gordon:  What dangers could there be in Canada if Khadr is released under existing parole laws?

Levant:  Khadr is an unrepentant terrorist, he is more fundamentalist than ever, and all of his peers — his family in Canada, and his friends and connections from Guantanamo Bay — support terrorism. This makes it quite likely that he will be dangerous. That is also the unrebutted testimony of Dr. Michael Welner, the forensic psychiatrist who testified at Khadr’s sentencing hearing.

I do not know if Khadr will engage in violence again. I think it is likely that he will be an Al Qaida poster boy — fundraising, recruiting, and generally engaging in public relations for Al Qaida, which is more valuable to them.

Gordon:  In the wake of the Obama re-election you have advocated that Canada take advantage of its natural energy resources, international trade and immigration policies. Why do you hold these views?

Levant:  In short, Canada can no longer count on hitching an economic ride with the U.S. If the American economy continues to stagnate, and if President Obama continues to block an important oil pipeline from Canada, than we must take steps in our own economic self-interest. These include increased trade with Asia, including selling our oil there.

Gordon:  Why has the Harper Government been the best friend of Israel in the West?

Levant:  Stephen Harper and his cabinet take a principled view of foreign affairs that supports democracies and liberty and countries that share our western values. That makes supporting Israel a natural fit.

Gordon:  What should Canadians do to preserve Free Speech?

Levant:  Canadians need to adopt an attitude of non-compliance with regards to censorship. At every opportunity, they ought to take steps to incrementally expand the scope of free speech – and to stare down those who would censor them, and who have come to expect obedience and compliance.

Most normal people will not encounter censorship in their lives. But some will – students on campus facing a speech code; some government bureaucracy’s internal “equity committee” telling you what words you can say and what you can’t, etc.

I found, in my fight with the Alberta Human Rights Commission, that censors are typically bullies who are good at attacking, but not good at defending – especially if their censorship is dragged into the spotlight of public scrutiny.Gordon:  Ezra Levant thank you for this timely interview.

Levant:  Thank you for this opportunity.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Texas Congressman Introduces Bill to Suspend Refugee Resettlement Program

Rep. Brian Babin is a first term Congressman from East Texas.

Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) has introduced the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act (H.R. 3314) which seeks to suspend refugee resettlement to America until economic costs are analyzed and national security concerns are put to rest.

I’ve been following this issue for eight years and this is the first time I have seen anyone in Congress (other than recent concerns about Syrian refugees) take a single step to begin to scrutinize the entire program.

Now, let’s see if Rep. Trey Gowdy will give the bill a hearing in his all-important Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security!

Just a reminder, Babin’s home state of Texas is presently the number one state targeted by the UN/US State Department for refugee distribution.

Here is Babin’s press release late today (hat tip: Rosemary):

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36) yesterday introduced the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act (H.R. 3314), which places an immediate suspension on allowing immigrants into the United States under the refugee resettlement program, until the Government Accountability Office (GAO) completes a thorough examination of its costs on federal, state and local governments. According to the U.S. refugee admissions database, nearly 500,000 new immigrants have come to the U.S. under the resettlement program since President Obama first took office – with the state of Texas and its taxpayers being asked to take in more than any other state.

“It is extremely unsettling that the Obama Administration would continue to expand the U.S. resettlement program at such an irresponsible pace in light of our economic and national security challenges,” said Rep. Babin. “While this program may be warranted in certain situations, it is continuing at an unchecked pace. For the past decade the U.S. has been admitting roughly 70,000 new refugees a year, with little understanding of the economic and social costs on our communities.

“Our legislation institutes a common sense pause in the program so that we can better understand the long-term and short-term costs that this program has on local governments, states and U.S. taxpayers. It also gives us an opportunity to examine potential national security issues related to entry and resettlement, particularly as federal law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned about home-grown terrorists.”

This is a very big deal!  Please! Thank Rep. Babin (202-225-1555) and put pressure on Gowdy’s subcommittee to give the bill a hearing!  It is shameful that the program has not in all of its 35-year history been subject to a thorough review.  Call Gowdy at 202-225-6030 even if you have done it before!

Consider sending your horror stories to Rep. Babin!

An afterthought Babin is going to get pounded by the supposedly religious resettlement contractors especially ones with tentacles in his district.  If you live in his district and are supportive of his efforts, please let him know.  Those ‘Christian’ contractors can be pretty mean!

Why Muslim Rapists Prefer Blondes: A History by Raymond Ibrahim

The Muslim penchant to target “white” women for sexual exploitation—an epidemic currently plaguing Europe, especially Britain and Scandinavia—is as old as Islam itself, and even traces back to Muhammad.

Much literary evidence attests to this in the context of Islam’s early predations on Byzantium (for centuries, Christendom’s easternmost bulwark against the jihad).  According to Ahmad M. H. Shboul (author of “Byzantium and the Arabs: The Image of the Byzantines as Mirrored in Arabic Literature”) Christian Byzantium was the “classic example of the house of war,” or Dar al-Harb—that is, the quintessential realm that needs to be conquered by jihad.  Moreover, Byzantium was seen “as a symbol of military and political power and as a society of great abundance.”

The similarities between pre-modern Islamic views of Byzantium and modern Islamic views of the West—powerful, affluent, desirable, and the greatest of all infidels—should be evident.  But they do not end here.  To the medieval Muslim mind, Byzantium was further representative of “white people”—fair haired/eyed Christians, or, as they were known in Arabic, Banu al-Asfar, “children of yellow” (reference to blonde hair).

Continues Shboul:

The Byzantines as a people were considered as fine examples of physical beauty, and youthful slaves and slave-girls of Byzantine origin were highly valued….  The Arab’s appreciation of the Byzantine female has a long history indeed.  For the Islamic period, the earliest literary evidence we have is a hadith (saying of the Prophet).  Muhammad is said to have addressed a newly converted [to Islam] Arab: “Would you like the girls of Banu al-Asfar?”  Not only were Byzantine slave girls sought after for caliphal and other palaces (where some became mothers of future caliphs), but they also became the epitome of physical beauty, home economy, and refined accomplishments.   The typical Byzantine maiden who captures the imagination of litterateurs and poets, had blond hair, blue or green eyes, a pure and healthy visage, lovely breasts, a delicate waist, and a body that is like camphor or a flood of dazzling light.[1]

While the essence of the above excerpt is true, the reader should not be duped by its overly “romantic” tone. Written for a Western academic publication by an academic of Muslim background, the essay is naturally euphemistic to the point of implying that being a sex slave was desirable—as if her Arab owners were enamored devotees who merely doted over and admired her beauty from afar.[2]

Indeed, Muhammad asked a new convert “Would you like the girls of Banu al-Asfar?” as a way to entice him to join the jihad and reap its rewards—which, in this case, included the possibility of enslaving and raping blonde Byzantine women—not as some idealistic discussion on beauty.

This enticement seems to have backfired with another Muslim who refused Muhammad’s call to invade Byzantine territory (the Tabuk campaign).  “O Abu Wahb,” cajoled Muhammad, “would you not like to have scores of Byzantine women and men as concubines and servants?” Wahb responded: “O Messenger of Allah, my people know that I am very fond of women and, if I see the women of the Byzantines, I fear I will not be able to hold back. So do not tempt me by them, and allow me not to join and, instead, I will assist you with my wealth.”[3]  The prophet agreed but was apparently unimpressed—after all, Wahb could have all the Byzantine women he desired if the jihad succeeded—and a new Sura for the Koran (9:49) was promptly delivered condemning the man to hell for his reported hypocrisy and failure to join the jihad.

Thus a more critical reading of Shboul’s aforementioned excerpt finds that European slave girls were not “highly valued” or “appreciated” as if they were precious statues—they were held out as sexual trophies to entice Muslims to the jihad.

Moreover, the idea that some sex slaves became mothers to future caliphs is meaningless since in Islam’s patriarchal culture, mothers—Muslim or non-Muslim—were irrelevant in lineage and had no political status.   And talk of “litterateurs and poets” and “a body that is like camphor or a flood of dazzling light” is further anachronistic and does a great disservice to reality:  These women were—as they still are—sex slaves, treated no differently than the many slaves of the Islamic State today.

For example, during a recent sex slave auction held by the Islamic State, blue and green eyed Yazidi girls were much coveted and fetched the highest price.  Even so, these concubines are being cruelly tortured.  In one instance, a Muslim savagely beat his Yazidi slave’s one year old child until she agreed to meet all his sexual demands.

[ … ]

Another relevant parallel between medieval and modern Islamic views exists: white women were and continue to be seen as sexually promiscuous by nature—essentially “provoking” Muslim men into lusting after them.

Much of this is discussed in Byzantium Viewed by the Arabs by Nadia Maria El Cheikh.  She writes:

Fitna, [an Islamic term] meaning disorder and chaos, refers also to the beautiful femme fatale who makes men lose their self-control.  Fitna is a key concept in defining the dangers that women, more particularly their bodies, were capable of provoking in the mental universe of the Arab Muslims.

After explaining how the fair haired/eyed Byzantine woman exemplified Islam’s femme fatale of fitna, Cheikh writes:

In our [Muslim] texts, Byzantine women are strongly associated with sexual immorality…

Our sources show not Byzantine women but [Muslim] writers’ images of these women, who served as symbols of the eternal female—constantly a potential threat, particularly due to blatant exaggerations of their sexual promiscuity….

Cheikh documents how Muslims claimed that Byzantine (or “white Christian”) females were the “most shameless women in the whole world”; that, “because they find sex more enjoyable, they are prone to adultery”; that “adultery is commonplace in the cities and markets of Byzantium”—so much so that “the nuns from the convents went out to the fortresses to offer themselves to monks.”… Keep reading

EDITORS NOTE: Nadia Maria El Cheikh makes a key observation when she states, “Fitna, [an Islamic term] meaning disorder and chaos, refers also to the beautiful femme fatale who makes men lose their self-control.  Fitna is a key concept in defining the dangers that women, more particularly their bodies, were capable of provoking in the mental universe of the Arab Muslims.”

In this case Fitna is caused by blonde women and therefore Muslim men have a duty to slaughter (rape) them to stop the Fitna. Stopping the Fitna, resistance to Islam, is the strategy of the Global Islamic Movement (GMI). To learn more visit Fitnaphobia.com.

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How to Scam the Islamic State

Three Chechen women pretended to be jihadi brides through fake social media accounts, but kept the travel money ISIS sent them instead.

Three young Muslim women have scammed the Islamic State out of over $2,500. The Chechen women set up fake social media accounts and contacted the Islamic State, claiming to be aspirational jihadi brides, titillated by the prospect of moving to Syria.

They only required the funds for travel.

Once ISIS militants had wired them the money, the girls promptly deleted their accounts and pocketed the money.

Chechen police have now arrested them for the scam. Officer Valery Zolotaryov told Moskovsky Komsomolets “I don’t recall any precedent like this one in Chechnya, probably because nobody digs deep enough in that direction.”

He added “Anyhow, I don’t advise anyone to communicate with dangerous criminals, especially for grabbing quick money.”

For women who travel to Syria to become jihadi brides, their husbands hold complete power over them and they face the possibility of a life of sexual abuse.

For more information about the Islamic State, see Clarion Project’s Special Report: The Islamic State (ISIS: ISIL)

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Idaho: Iranian-American Pastor says stop Muslim immigration to America

Shahram Hadian, a former Muslim, told an audience in Twin Falls, Idaho on Monday night that more Muslim immigration to America is a threat to our national security.

From MagicValley.com:

FILER • A pastor from Washington state who is best known for preaching against Islam, said Monday night that immigration from Muslim countries should “immediately be limited and heavily scrutinized,” and that refugee resettlement should be ended.

“This is a direct national-security threat,” Shahram Hadian told the crowd at the Canyon View Baptist Church. “You don’t think that ISIS is going to embed? It’s already happened with the Somalis.”

The refugee program that the College of Southern Idaho has run since 1984 became a lightning rod of controversy in the area in April, after news broke that Syrians*** would be among the 300 refugees expected to be resettled in Twin Falls this October.

Please go read the remainder of the article.  We can’t show more or this paper will send me another threatening letter and editorialize that I am a thief!

***The UN, 14 US Senators and the federal resettlement contractors want 65,000 Syrians resettled in the US by the time Obama leaves office!

For all of our coverage of the Twin Falls, Idaho ‘pocket of resistance,’ go here.  And, see our new category for information on the growing number of ‘Pockets of Resistance’ here.

See Pastor Shahram Hadian on Blaze TV below in May (hat tip: Diane):

Minnesota: Refugee Resettlement a ‘Form of Slavery’?

In an interesting coincidence, yesterday we posted a guest column from ‘Idaho Patriot’ about refugee resettlement as modern-day slavery and then right on the heels of that we see the same theme echoed in Minnesota—where the ‘Pockets of Resistance’ are getting organized and expanding.

Here is an article at the Morrison County Record about a concerned private citizen who is taking his own personal time to research and speak about what he is learning.

Article entitled: Speaker in Little Falls: Illegal immigrant, refugee resettlement done as a form of slavery.

Ron-Branstner

Ron Brantsner

Ron Brantsner, with the former Minutemen Civil Defense volunteer border watch group, was in Little Falls July 23. He was invited to the area to speak about how corporations and volunteer agencies bring illegal immigrants and refugees to Minnesota as a form of “slavery,” to do jobs Americans wouldn’t do, for low wages.

Brantsner, formerly of Minnesota, now has a residence in California.

Invited by “a gentleman out of Little Falls,” Brantsner said, “I don’t contact anybody. People reach out to me. I don’t go solicit this, I don’t get paid for this, I don’t belong to any organizations.

“When I get invited, I’m a normal everyday citizen just livin’ the dream,” he said.

Brantsner told the group that with funding from the federal government, the volunteer agencies or “Volags” as he called them, had targeted Minnesota because of the generous welfare benefits in the state. The targeted areas were those where poultry processing plants, and meat packing plants were located, he said.

Brantsner said once illegal immigrants and refugees move into a community, its Social Services, health care and educational resources are overwhelmed, with counties and taxpayers footing the tax burden.

He went on to discuss the role of large foundation grants.  The foundations are connected with BIG MEAT working to colonize communities for their own selfish cheap labor needs.

Read it all.

Great business model isn’t it?  State and local taxpayers help pick up the tab when salaries are too low to support large immigrant families.

This post is archived in our new ‘Pockets of Resistance’ category so that others of you might know, and get inspiration, about what your fellow Americans are doing to save America!  There are many more volunteers like Ron Brantsner trying to get the word out on their own dime.  Meanwhile the pro-Open Borders side is well-funded thanks to big business, the Chamber of Commerce and Leftwing foundations.

Tomi Lahren: Dear President Obama Climate Change Did Not Slaughter 4 Marines in Chatanooga

One America News reporter Tomi Lahren doesn’t mince words. Tomi writes, “Radical Islamists, have brought the fight right here to the Red, White and Blue and it’s about time we bring it to them. Full force. Let’s show them what the U.S. of A looks like up close and personal. Show ’em what a B1 bomber looks like flying overhead. Show ’em what they’re messing with. Put the fear of OUR God in their desert. Because clearly our lack of strategy isn’t working.”

EDITORS NOTE: Watch ‘On Point with Tomi Lahren’ NIGHTLY 7:00 p.m. PT/10:00 p.m. ET on One America News (OAN). If you don’t have One America News Network, call DirecTV at 1 (800) 531-5000, DISH at (855) 318-0572 or your cable provider and demand it to be added to your lineup!

Refugee Resettlement Fact Sheet: What You Need to Know!

We first posted a fact sheet in 2007, updated it again in 2010 and again in 2013. Here are facts you need to know about refugee resettlement to the United States:

1.   Since 1975, the U.S. has resettled over 3 million refugees, with annual admissions figures ranging from a high of 207,000 in 1980 to a low of 27,110 in 2002 (in the aftermath of 911) .

The average number of refugees admitted annually since 1980 is about 98,000. Additionally, in recent years, another 40,000 or more per year come in as asylum seekers and Cuban/Haitian entrants – all with the same rights and entitlements as refugees.

All these flows detonate their own chain migration flows in addition to the refugee influx.  These follow-on flows have easily multiplied the original admission numbers by a factor of 4 or more.

The quota for 2013 is 70,000 and it looks like it will be met this year.  There is strong political pressure to get refugee numbers back to over 100,000.

2.  The U.S. takes more than twice as many refugees as all countries from the rest of the industrialized world combined.

3. One of the operative assumptions of those in the refugee industry is that, since the U.S. is behind most of the chaos in the world – Syria, here we come!, it is morally obligated to take the lead in resettling the world’s refugees.  Yet, for 2012 the leading countries, in order of numbers of refugees sent to the U.S., were Bhutan, Burma, Iraq, Somalia, Cuba,  Dem. Rep. Congo, Iran, Eritrea, Sudan.  All America’s fault?  In very recent memory the MSM was celebrating Bhutan and suggesting the U.S. had something to learn from the Bhutanese concept of a “Product of National Happiness”.

Ironically, the U.S. refugee program diverts resources from assistance on the ground to those very countries in the developing world which carry the main burden of refugee crises.

4. In recent years up to 95% of the refugees coming to the U.S. were referred by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or were the relatives of UN-picked refugees.  Until the late 90’s the U.S. picked the large majority of refugees for resettlement in the U.S.

Considering that the refugee influx causes increases in all legal and illegal immigration as family and social networks are established in the U.S., the U.N. is effectively dictating much of U.S. immigration policy.

5. NIMBYists gone wild: As a Senator, Sam Brownback harshly rejected the resettlement of Somali Bantu in his own state even though he was a major advocate among evangelicals for increased refugee immigration to the U.S..

The state of Delaware has resettled less than 10 refugees annually in recent years even though then Sen. Joe Biden was a sponsor of the 1980 Refugee Act  – the bill which defines the refugee program we have today.

Upon entry, a network of private, “nonprofit” agencies (so-called “voluntary agencies”) selects the communities where refugees will live. The agencies are either headquartered in Washington DC or have lobbying offices there.

Washington DC took less than 200 refugees between 2007 and 2012.

6. According to a July 2012 GAO report (Refugee Resettlement:

Greater Consultation with Community Stakeholders Could Strengthen Program:  “most public entities such as public schools and health departments generally said that voluntary agencies notified them of the number of refugees expected to arrive in the coming year, but did not consult them regarding the number of refugees they could serve”.

7. This same GAO report quotes a state official who notes “that local affiliate funding is based on the number of refugees they serve, so affiliates (private contractors) have an incentive to maintain or increase the number of refugees they resettle each year rather than allowing the number to decrease.”

8. Refugee resettlement is a self-perpetuating global enterprise.  Staff and management of the hundreds of taxpayer supported U.S. contractors are largely refugees or immigrants whose purpose is to gain entry for more refugees, usually for their co-ethnics.

9.  According to David Robinson, a former acting director of the State Department’s refugee bureau, writing about the refugee contractors: “the federal government provides about ninety percent of its collective budget” and its lobbying umbrella “wields enormous influence over the Administration’s refugee admissions policy. It lobbies the Hill effectively to increase the number of refugees admitted for permanent resettlement each year ….If there is a conflict of interest, it is never mentioned….  The solution its members offer to every refugee crisis is simplistic and the same: increase the number of admissions to the United States without regard to budgets…” How Public Opinion Shaped Refugee Policy in Kosovo, 2000, David M. Robinson, http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA432218

We hesitate to quibble with an authoritative source on the percentage of federal money floating the refugee industry, but from an accountant’s perspective that  percentage is actually over 100 % given the amount of money the industry is able to pocket without any proof that it was spent on refugees.

10. According to Ken Tota, Deputy Director at HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement,  Congress has never in his 25-year tenure questioned the refugee quota proposed by the administration. By law, Congress is supposed to consent to the annual quota but obviously refuses to take this role seriously.

11.  Refugee “self-sufficiency” is an important measure of success and a basis for assigning refugees to agencies in future contracts. The definition of “self-sufficiency” has been steadily defined downward and today is virtually  meaningless. A refugee can be considered “self-sufficient” while using all of the programs listed in item 16 below with the exception of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

12.  Assimilation is no longer a goal for any agency involved in refugee resettlement – government or private contractor. The private contractors’ engagement with the refugee is so short – less than 4 months in most cases, that nothing approaching assimilation could even be considered. The term “assimilation” is no longer a part of government lexicon and does not even occur in dozens of recent reports and papers generated about refugee resettlement. The operative term in vogue now is “integration” with its clear intent of maintenance of ethnic identity.

13.    A refugee or an asylum seeker must show a “well-founded” fear of persecution on account of a political view or membership in a racial, ethnic, religious or social group.  The definition of a refugee has been widely stretched by all 3 branches of the government – the Judiciary, the Congress and the Administration.

In fact, Congress can name whatever group it wants to be a refugee or asylum seeker.  For instance Congress passed a law declaring China’s one-child policy to be an example of persecution based upon a political view. Not surprising: China now heads up the list of successful asylum seekers.

People may seek asylum in the U.S. based upon domestic abuse, FGM and even lack of services for the disabled.

The government does not publicize rates of admission by category so it is not possible to tell, for instance, if the vague and easy to fake ‘social group’ category is more commonly used than the vague and easy to fake ‘political group’ category.

Because of the privacy rights accorded the new arrivals, we have no idea which category was used by Tamerlane Tsarnaev’s parents to gain admission to the world’s most generous immigration program.

14.   The Obama administration has placed a priority on LGBTQI asylum seekers and refugees. This has resulted in an upsurge of asylum requests on this basis – even from countries like England! Since the State Department does not keep data about numbers admitted by reason for admission, we can’t obtain exact numbers of those admitted on the basis of LBGTQI persecution, but one private refugee agency has set up an office in Nairobi, Kenya to assist intending LBGTQI refugees.   This office also advises about how to get into the refugee pipeline.  In other words, a private contractor is recruiting refugees who will eventually become the contractor’s  profit-generating clients.   At the 2012 conference of refugee contractors sponsored by the DHHS Office of Refugee resettlement a refugee contractor demanded that Medicaid pay for sex change operations if needed by newly arrived refugees.

15.   The program has gradually shifted towards the resettlement of refugees from Muslim countries. Some individuals from Muslim countries are Christians or other minorities, but most are Muslims. In the early 90’s the percentage of Muslim refugees was near 0; by 2000 the program was 44% Muslim. The Muslim component decreased after 911, but today is back up to about 40% and is set to rise from here.

Membership in a U.S.-registered Islamic terrorist group is not a bar to entry on the program as long as the refugee was not a “direct participant” in “terrorist” activity.

16.   Refugees, successful asylum seekers, trafficking victim visa holders, “Cuban-Haitian Entrants” (which are mostly Cuban), S.I.V’s (for Iraqis and Afghanis)  and other smaller humanitarian admission groups are eligible for ALL federal, state and local welfare programs 30 days after arrival.

Refugee access to welfare on the same basis as a U.S. citizen has made the program a global magnet.

The federal programs available to them include:

  • ∙Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) formerly known as AFDC
  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps
  • Public Housing
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Social Security Disability Insurance
  • Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) (direct services only)
  • Child Care and Development Fund
  • Independent Living Program
  • Job Opportunities for Low Income Individuals (JOLI)
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Postsecondary Education Loans and Grants
  • Refugee Assistance Programs
  • Title IV Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Payments (if parents are ⌠qualified immigrants – refugees, asylees, etc)
  • Title XX Social Services Block Grant Funds

17.   Welfare use is staggering among refugees. Welfare usage is never counted by officials as part of the cost of the program. Yet, when it is included, the total cost of the refugee program soars to at least 10-20 billion a year.

As some Americans are pushed off of time-limited welfare programs many refugees are going on to life-time cash assistance programs. For instance, 12.7% of refugees are on SSI – a lifetime entitlement to a monthly check / Medicaid for elderly or disabled. This rate of usage is at least 4 times higher than the rate of usage for SSI among the native-born population and is reportedly rising from these already very high levels.

Permanent and intergenerational welfare dependence has been allowed to take hold to a significant degree in some refugee groups.

Find latest welfare usage among refugees here (latest data available is from 2009) click here.

Find table TABLE II-14: Public Assistance Utilization Among refugees who arrived during the 5 years previous to the survey 57.7% are on government medical assistance such as Medicaid, about 25% have no health insurance at all, 70.2% are receiving food stamps, 31.6% are in public housing (an additional percentage is on a public housing waiting list), and 38.3 % are getting cash assistance such as TANF or SSI.

The figure of 57.7% dependent upon government medical assistance is actually an undercount since it excludes children under 16.

18.   Medium size towns, such as Bowling Green, KY, Nashville, TN, Ft. Wayne, IN, Boise, ID and Manchester, NH, are serving as the main reception centers for the refugee program.

19. Refugees are not tested for many diseases, such as HIV.  Refugees are a major contributing factor to TB rates among the foreign-born. TB among the foreign-born now accounts for about half of the TB in America.

20. The money the U.S. spends bringing one refugee to the U.S. could have helped 500 individuals overseas in countries where they currently reside.

21. It has never been reported in the U.S. that 47% of loans made to refugees for transportation to the U.S. are unpaid leaving an unpaid balance of $450 million. This amount – slightly out of date, does not include interest or an unknown amount that has been written off. We will announce the new balance as soon as it is available.

22. Refugee resettlement is profitable to the organizations involved in it. They receive money from the federal government for each refugee they bring over. They have almost no real responsibilities for these refugees. After 4 months the “sponsoring” organization is not even required to know where the refugee lives.

There are 9 main major refugee resettlement organizations (Volags from “Voluntary Agency”) with approximately 450 affiliated organizations throughout the country; many are run by former refugees.   Below are the 9 Volags that operate today:

  • U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB),
  • Lutheran Immigrant Aid Society (LIRS),
  • International Rescue Committee (IRC),
  • World Relief Corporation,
  • Immigrant and Refugee Services of America (IRSA),
  • Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS),
  • Church World Service (CWS),
  • Domestic and Foreign Missionary Service of the Episcopal Church of the USA,
  • Ethiopian Community Development Center (ECDC),

Below are some of the sources of income for Volags:

a.  $1,850 per refugee (including children) from the State Department.

b.  Up to $2,200 for each refugee by participating in a U.S. DHHS program known as Matching Grant. To get the $2,200, the Volag need only show it spent $200 and gave away $800 worth of donated clothes, furniture or cars.

c. The Volag pockets 25% of every transportation loan it collects from refugees it “sponsors”.

d. All Volag expenses and overhead in the Washington, DC HQ are paid by the U.S. government.

e. For their refugee programs, Volags collect money from all federal grant programs – “Marriage Initiative”, “Faith-based”, “Ownership Society”, etc., as well as from various state and local grants.

The program is so lucrative that in some towns the Catholic Church has lessened support for traditional charity works to put more effort into resettlement. It uses collection offerings to promote the refugee resettlement program.

23. Despite their rhetoric, refugee agencies have steadfastly refused to use their own resources to maintain the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Public money has thoroughly driven out private money.

A program known as the Private Sector Initiative allowed sponsoring agencies to bring over refugees if the agencies were willing to cover costs of resettlement and support. It was discontinued for lack of use in the mid-1990s. Today the agencies are on record as opposed to diverting more federal refugee dollars to overseas refugee assistance (where each dollar will go further in helping refugees) because it might mean fewer dollars for them!

As with other government-dependent industries there is a revolving door between the refugee industry and the federal government which pays its bills.

24. To give an idea of the staying power of the refugee program:

When we began taking Southeast Asian refugees in the late 70’s, the refugee agencies hired temporary workers, thinking the program would only go for a few months. More than 37 years after the last American left Vietnam we are still taking refugees from South East Asia. At least 1.5 million have come in as refugees alone. As well, it has detonated chain migration of non-refugee immigrants.

25. The program is rife with fraud and corruption at all levels. UN personnel often sell access to the program and once here refugees make false claims of family relationship in order to facilitate wider immigration. Government grant fraud is common among local refugee service providers.

26. The refugee program has a significant impact on U.S. foreign policy. It also affects internal and foreign policies of other nations by allowing them to rid themselves of unwanted minorities or close their borders to asylum seekers in the knowledge that the U.S. will take them in.

Click here for contact information for your state’s refugee coordinators

EDITORS NOTE: This fact sheet originally appeared on Refugee Resettlement Watch.

Obama wishes gay ole Eid-ul-Fitr to Muslims: #LoveWins

Cube_HandFollowing Barack Obama’s official greeting to all Muslims wishing them a happy Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of the Muslim holiday Ramadan, we would like to also congratulate the Islamic lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two spirit, queer and intersex community (LGBTTSQI) in the U.S., around the world, and especially those living in Muslim countries.

This year the holy month of Ramadan coincided with the historic Supreme Court ruling instituting same sex marriages, which President Obama and the entire progressive community celebrated as a huge win for love, tolerance, and diversity. Unfortunately, Barack Obama forgot to include that fact in his Tweeted greeting to the Muslim community, so we would like to correct that with the image below, which symbolizes the consistency and transparency of his policies.

This way #LoveWins, #ObamaWins, #IslamWins, #EverybodyWins! It’s a #WinWin!


As for the diverse and tolerant ISIS community celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr, we wish to add a little gayness to their holiday as well.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Peoples Cube, a political satire website.