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Despite what President Obama says, ISIS is striking back in Syria

When President spoke to US CENTCOM troops at McDill Air Base in Tampa, Florida on December 6, 2016, he gave the impression that the 70 nation US Global coalition was winning the war against ISIS. He effusively said:

The results are clear:  ISIL has lost more than half its territory.  ISIL has lost control of major population centers.  Its morale is plummeting.  Its recruitment is drying up.  Its commanders and external plotters are being taken out, and local populations are turning against it.

As we speak, ISIL faces an offensive on Mosul from Iraqi troops and coalition support.  That’s the largest remaining city that it controls.  Meanwhile, in Syria, ISIL’s self-declared capital in Raqqa is being squeezed.  We have attacked ISIL’s financial lifeline, destroying hundreds of millions of dollars of oil and cash reserves.  The bottom line is we are breaking the back of ISIL.  We’re taking away its safe havens.    And we’ve accomplished all this at a cost of $10 billion over two years, which is the same amount that we used to spend in one month at the height of the Iraq War.

The events of less than 10 days later given a significantly troubling situation report in Syria. This despite the defeat of rebel forces in Aleppo by the combined Russia air and Assad regime ground forces after taking the last position held by rebel forces in the last pocket of resistance in Aleppo.  Fighting against the ISIS forces inside Syria is quite another matter. After combined Russian Syrian Armed Forces took back Palmyra on May 2015, an ISIS assault reclaimed it on December 12th, quickly overtaking the Russian-Syria T-4 airbase, with abandoned anti-air defense systems, weapons and armored vehicles.  ISIS forces have moved on to cut off the main supply road between Homs and Palmyra. Moreover, they are engaged in suicide attacks against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that is driving to encircle Raqqa from the west preparing for a final assault on the city itself. The SDF Forces had liberated six villages in the vicinity of Raqqa.  The SDF forces are assisted by embedded US Special operators. Outgoing US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced an additional allotment of 203 additional US Spec ops troops bringing the total to 503. He calls them the ‘connection’ between the SDF and the US coalition.  The Pentagon announced the take out by air strikes of three key ISIS leaders, involved in the Paris and Brussels attacks on November 2015 and March 2016. Meanwhile, there are reports that the Pentagon is preparing tougher measures for the incoming Trump Administration as options for ostensibly gaining closure in the war against ISIS.

Thus, Obama’s counterterrorism legacy involving letting others doing its fighting in place of sending in US forces appears to be confronting faltering progress and reversals leaving it up to the new Administration on January 21, 2017 to pick up the pace of in terms of force commitments. All of this in retrospect might have been avoided if the outgoing Obama Administration had concluded a status of forces agreement with the corrupt al-Maliki regime in Baghdad in 2011 which might have precluded the mass jail break in 2013 of former Saddam Hussein Ba’athist officers who promptly joined forces with ISIS. There are now upwards of 5,000 US troops in Iraq assisting the combined Peshmerga and Iraq National Forces in the Battle for Mosul, which has slowed against the intense Islamikaze fighting by ISIS, amid reports from Pentagon chief Ashton Carter  at a briefing in Iraq that there an estimated 2,000 ISIS dead.  US Lt. Gen Stephen Townsend commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve estimated there upwards of 6,000 ISIS fighters still in Mosul.

Conclusions

Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah support of Assad forces does not appear to be having much success in fighting ISIS as distinct from the war against Syrian rebels in Western Syria. Whether the suggestions of Operation Inherent resolve US Lt. Gen. Townsend that the coalition can take back Palmyra and destroy the weapons and dangerous air defense systems abandoned by the Russians and Syrians will be a daunting task. The lack of an effective US ground force working with the Kurdish-led SDF to fend off ISIS suicide attacks and take the Administrative Capital at Raqqa is another major concern. This despite their advances to within less than 25 miles and closing the noose in western Raqqa in Operation Wrath of Euphrates.  The Obama Administration strategy of war on the cheap has failed to degrade let alone destroy ISIS.  We’ll see what the Pentagon under the incoming Trump Administration in the first 100 days to achieve operational objectives during the ensuing year ahead.

Note these excerpts ARA News, Debka reports and News Comm.au that present a disturbing picture of the lack of a coordinated strategy to finish the fight against ISIS.

raqqa-liberated-women-and-children-12-2016-raqqa-campaign

Women and Children Liberated in Western Raqqa by SDF December 2016. Source: ARA News

December 12, 2016 ARA NEWS: SDF expel ISIS from Six Villages after Launching 2nd Phase of Raqqa Campaign 12-12-16.

After launching the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation against ISIS, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Sunday reported new gains in the fight for Raqqa–de facto capital of the Islamic State (ISIS).

The SDF seized control of several villages in western Raqqa in an area measuring approximately 8 square kilometers.

The Kurdish-Arab alliance of the SDF on Sunday captured six villages after clashes with ISIS militants.

“The liberated villages include Merwaniya, Krajah, Hamer Saghir, Hamer Kabir, Qerefdan and Draniya,” a spokesman for the SDF told ARA News at the battlefront of western Raqqa.

According to SDF’s leaders the second phase of the operation is aimed to liberate the western countryside of Raqqa and tighten the siege on the ISIS-held city. Additional to the previous SDF factions, some 1500 new Arab fighters have joined the campaign.

“The time has come to liberate Raqqa and its people from ISIS terrorism. We will enter Raqqa city with help from our Kurdish brothers and the Arab factions of the SDF,” Hussein al-Awak, chief of the SDF Relation’s Office, told ARA News.

Al-Awak confirmed to ARA News that the US-led coalition has provided them with some advanced weapons in support of the Raqqa campaign.

“We have received advanced weapons from the US-led coalition, besides preparing strategic operations against ISIS headquarters,” the SDF official said. “After completing the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath, we’ll move to the final stage of this operation to eliminate ISIS in Raqqa completely.”

During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, SDF soldiers captured an area measuring approximately 560 km2, containing dozens of towns, villages and farms. Military sources told ARA News that more than 185 ISIS jihadists have been killed since November 6. The operation’s long-term objective is the isolation and elimination of the Islamic State in Raqqa.

palmyra-attack-debka-large12-12-16 ARA News: Retaking Palmyra ISIS Assaults T4 Airbase near Syria’s Homs

Islamic State (ISIS) militants assaulted the T4 Military Airport on Monday, breaching its defenses with mortar batteries and heavy machine guns.

Amro al-Hussein, a media activist, reported that ISIS “destroyed at least three warplanes in the T4 Airport and captured some parts of the base, after clashes with the Syrian Army.”

Located in the Homs’ eastern countryside, the T4 Airport is a critical security installation, providing regime forces with close air support. ISIS jihadists were able to storm into the base after seizing security checkpoints in the nearby Mashtal and Qasr al-Hir Districts.

Monday’s assault came just one day after the hardline group recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs Governorate. Activists and military sources confirmed the rout, reporting that the army had been forced to withdraw under fire.

“The army withdrew after the clashes reached the city center and it became impossible for them to push ISIS back,” local media activist Abas al-Omar reported.

Regime forces were obliged to evacuate their headquarters in Palmyra, heading westward toward Doua District and the T4 Airbase.

According to al-Omar, ISIS had “continued shelling the army’s positions inside Palmyra with mortars and heavy artillery for hours, causing large losses in the army ranks.” Dozens of soldiers were killed on Sunday and a number of others remain unaccounted for, likely taken as prisoners.

Russia had supported the Syrian Army in Palmyra, with airstrikes and logistical support but their efforts were apparently insufficient to save the city.

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Russian Vehicles taken by ISIS in Palmyra. Source: Amaq

12-12-16 Debka:  ISIS Seizes big Russian Syrian T-4 air base

Islamic State forces pushed their assault forward to retake the central Syrian town of Palmyra Monday, Dec. 12. By evening, they had entered the big Russian-Syrian T-4 air base outside the town, carrying off substantial quantities of Russian armaments. Reporting this, Debkafile’s military sources add that the booty they snatched included different types of ground-to-ground missiles as well as anti-tank and anti-air rockets.

Russian forces manning the base were hurriedly evacuated from Palmyra and the T-4 base, after the worst defeat Russian armed forces had ever experienced at ISIS hands in Syria. Military circles in Moscow commented grimly that the Russian army had suffered “a major disgrace” in Palmyra.
According to our sources, long convoys of ISIS fighters backed by tanks taken booty from the Syrian army, first forced the Syrian 11th Tank Division to abandon the strategic Jhar Crossroad. After that, the way was clear for the jihadis’ column to reach the T-4 base.

12-14-16 Newscom.au: Fleeing Russians leave anti-aircraft missiles to Islamic State

The top US general leading the fight against IS told reporters last night that Syrian Government and Russian forces had “taken their eye off the ball” and fled the ancient Palmyra ahead of a new jihadist attack.

Of greatest concern, however, was the extensive stock of ammunition and weapons the fleeing Russians left behind.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said Russia and Syria was likely to attempt to take the city back again. But if they don’t, he said, the US-led coalition will take action, particularly if insurgents start moving weapons out of the city.

“We believe it includes some armored vehicles and various guns and other heavy weapons, possibly some air defense equipment,” General Townsend said.

“Anything they seize poses a threat to the coalition, but we can manage those threats and we will.”

However speculation has been growing that among the hastily abandoned Russian/Syrian army base was an advanced, long-range mobile anti-aircraft system. Mounted on the back of armored vehicles, these could be deployed against coalition aircraft.

Fox News reports anonymous US defense sources as saying the captured missile system dated from the Soviet era and had the NATO designation SA-3.

General Townsend said he anticipates that the coalition will soon strike the captured Russian equipment and kill the militants operating it.

Islamic State’s Amaq news agency released video of what it claims to be the abandoned Palmyra camp, showing food and Russian-language books left on tables along with other personal items — indicating a rapid, unplanned departure.

Amaq claims to have seized 20 tanks, some armored personnel carriers, antitank guided missiles and howitzers.

12-14-16: ARA News: ISIS militants cut off regime supply route in Syria’s Homs 12-14-16

Homs – Militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Tuesday made new gains in their fight with the Syrian Army forces in the central governorate of Homs.

ISIS fighters captured the main road between al-Qaryatain town and Homs city, which used to be a key supply route for the Syrian regime’s army forces.

The radical group seized control of the supply-line after capturing military checkpoints that were previously held by the Syrian regime’s troops.

“Subsequent to clashes with the Syrian Army forces, ISIS fighters took over four checkpoints in the vicinity of al-Qaryatain, which enabled the group to block the army’s supply route,” local media activist Amro al-Hussein told ARA News.

“The route was a main supply line for the Syrian Army in Homs Governorate. The army forces have been relying on this route to send military reinforcements from al-Qaryatain town to the T4 Airbase and further into Homs city,” al-Hussein reported.

12-15-16: ISIS Suicide Bombers hit Kurdish positions West of Raqaa to Impede SDF Progress 12-15-16

Raqqa – The Islamic State (ISIS) radical group launched on Wednesday several suicide attacks in western Raqqa, targeting defenses of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

ISIS suicide bombers targeted security checkpoints of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG)–leading member of the SDF– near Ain Issa town.

“Members of the radical group carried out four simultaneous attacks at YPG checkpoints in the vicinity of Ain Issa,” media activist Jivan Mustafa told ARA News.

The number of casualties remained unknown.

The Kurdish forces have not issued any statements yet with regard to the attack.

This comes days after the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation to capture western Raqqa.

“Daesh terrorists try to impede our progress through launching such suicide attacks,” an SDF officer told ARA News in western Raqqa, using another acronym for ISIS. “But such cowardly attacks won’t affect our advance.”

The Syrian Democratic Forces announced the beginning of the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation last Saturday. While the first phase focused on securing both banks of the Balikh River, the second phase aims “at liberating the western countryside of Raqqa.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Aleppo’s Fall Signals Rise of Emboldened Radical Shi’ite Axis by Yaakov Lappin

Why the Democratic Rust Belt in Northeastern Pennsylvania voted for Trump

The Weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), November 12-13, 2016 presented the latest in a series of articles on The Great Unraveling.   Formerly Democratic rust belt counties, devastated by economic and social decline that swung the electoral victory for President-elect Donald Trump, “The Places that Made Trump President.”  The WSJ characterized these areas as:

Rust Belt counties facing declines in manufacturing, shrinking populations, rising immigration and fraying social fabric moved heavily toward the Republican candidate and his message of national restoration

This latest in the WSJ series dealt with counties in the devastated hard coal and industrial areas of Northeastern Pennsylvania from Scranton south from the New York Line on I-81 across the Delaware River along the spine of the Poconos.   We knew the area well from stops on our journey south to Florida in Wilkes Barre, Hazelton and Saylorville, where former all of Islamist Turkish President Erdogan, Sheikh Fetulleh Gulen is ‘holed up’ in his compound.

We asked two cousins, former residents of the area, American ex-pat in Paris, France, noted European commentator and author Nidra Poller and lawyer activist, Debra Glazer in Irvine, California for their recollections of growing up in these Northeastern Pennsylvania rustbelt communities.

Nidra Poller

I had the privilege of experiencing the Great Depression! Though I was born in 1935, the Depression had never ended in Jessup, PA. They distributed very small apples to the schoolchildren (and I always prefer very small apples) and caned grapefruit. Those who came from affluent families brought their own sugar to sweeten the grapefruit.

We had so few material possessions… young people today couldn’t even imagine how we lived. And we had a store! I suppose we belonged to the middle class.

Our mother z”l (if blessed memory) made my clothes…turning my father’s worn out suits into itchy tweed and his shirts into blouses.

We’ll see what the dispossessed voters of 2016 think in 2019. Can a president, Trump or otherwise, undo the consequences of the entire postwar economic and social development of the US?

Debra Glazer

All through the 1970s and even into the 1980s, I would do much of my clothing; shoe and purse shopping at the various outlets in town (remember Leslie Fay, London Fog, Suburban Casuals, Old Mill, David Crystal Izod, and Rex Shoes?). My mother and I (and my cousins) spent hours going from place to place, stretching from Dickson City, Scranton, and down to Wilkes-Barre. These were real no-frills outlets, often times situated within the factory walls, with merchandise that had mostly tiny imperfections or that were a season old. All those sewing and piece goods jobs disappeared to China and elsewhere.

Then Scranton launched into the telemarketing craze. Many of those annoying dinner-time calls originated from workers sitting in the old, converted Globe, Scranton Dry Goods, or Samters downtown department stores, until the FCC intervened (thankfully) with the do-not-call lists.

When I was a young girl, Scranton had over 100,000 populations, with a strong and large Jewish community, a spanking JCC and many thriving synagogues.  Today, it’s mostly the Orthodox Jewish community that is holding its own, while the other Jewish denominations in town suffer from an aging membership. Almost all of my Jewish high school friends are no longer in Scranton, as there was little for those of us without family businesses to come back to after college.  The overall population dwindled, the poorly educated or blue-collar workers stayed behind, city services crumbled, bankruptcy loomed from time to time, and corruption reigned in NE PA.  Although Scranton boasts several decent universities (the Jesuit University of Scranton and the Catholic Marywood College), those institutions expanded their campuses while causing the erosion of the property tax base. It was really sad for me to go back home when I would visit my aging parents. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Avoca Airport is a gorgeous building, built with loads of federal funds, but almost no airlines service there and if they do, flights are often canceled at the last minute. If one really needs to get somewhere, one is usually forced to drive to Newark, Philadelphia, NY, or even Allentown airports.

So yes, I can see that those folks I grew up with were the backbone of the Trump victory, maybe less so in Scranton because of the Hillary and Biden connections, but still much more than expected in this Democratic stronghold.

Here are selections from the latest WSJ article on what motivated the residents of the rust belt counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania to vote for President-elect Donald Trump in 2016:

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Tamika Shupp twice voted for Barack Obama as the candidate best equipped to shake up Washington. This year she chose Donald Trump for the same reason.

“Obama tried to do well, and it didn’t turn out how we thought,” said Ms. Shupp as she prepared Polish dumplings at Mom & Pop’s Pierogis in this Rust Belt city. Mr. Trump should do better, she figures, by cracking down on illegal immigration and upholding American values like hard work.

Mr. Trump “is going to be another Obama,” said the 43-year-old Ms. Shupp. She considers both men to be agents of change. As for the crude remarks Mr. Trump made during the campaign, especially concerning women, Ms. Shupp said she dismissed them as bragging and “shoptalk,” and she didn’t believe the women who accused him of sexual assault.

[…]

Foreign competition largely wiped out the area’s dress and shoe industries. Many in the county bitterly remember pencil maker Eberhard Faber moving a plant to Mexico in the mid-1980s and other manufacturers closing factories. A plan in the mid-2000s to capitalize on computer-network technology and turn the county into “Wall Street West” proved a bust after few financial firms moved back-office processing to the area. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce is hatching a new plan to attract businesses by involving the local colleges in recruitment efforts, but the program is too new to have much effect so far.

The unemployment rate in Luzerne County, now 6.2%, has generally exceeded the national average since 2000, and manufacturing employment in the county is down by around one-third since 2000. Many of the jobs that remain are low-wage service ones in local hospitals, colleges, chain restaurants and stores. Median income, after accounting for inflation, has been flat in Luzerne County since 2000.

Young people are leaving the region in search of jobs elsewhere, leaving an older, more conservative group of voters. In Luzerne, the population has remained steady since 2000, at about 320,000, but the number of people age 25 to 44 fell by about 10,000, according to Moody’sAnalytics.

The weak economy has, over the decades, contributed to a tattering of the county’s social fabric. Church attendance is down since 2000, opioid addiction is up, and civic organizations like the Rotary Club and the Masons have trouble recruiting young members, say local residents. Of the four Evangelical Lutheran churches in Wilkes-Barre in 2000, says Rev. Peter Kuritz of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, one closed and two other don’t have full-time pastors.

Meanwhile, the county’s Hispanic population has climbed nearly 10-fold since 2000, to 31,000, adding a layer of ethnic tension to a place where 84% of the population is non-Hispanic white.

“There’s a sense that the new residents don’t look like us or sound like us,” says Rev. Kuritz. “People feel it’s not like it used to be.”

The region had been drifting from its New Deal Democratic roots for years, and Mr. Trump took full advantage with its working-class voters. They had long been sympathetic to conservative arguments on issues such as gun control and abortion, while skeptical of the GOP’s perceived catering to the wealthy. Mr. Trump’s brand of populism bridged that divide.

County GOP leaders say they looked to boost turnout by shifting two paid workers to Hazleton, a city that gained national prominence by passing an ordinance penalizing landlords for renting to illegal immigrants, which was later blocked by the courts. “Immigration is a big issue there,” says Luzerne County Chairman Ron Ferrance. “There are so many passionate people” who were ready to make phone calls and canvass for Mr. Trump, who takes a hard line on immigration, he says.

Bill O’Boyle, a veteran reporter and columnist for Wilkes-Barre’s Times Leader, says he figured Mr. Trump was a lock to win Luzerne County when he compared the turnout at political rallies. The area has long been a stopover for presidential campaigns.

“You had Hillary Clinton, 500 people. Teddy Cruz, 300 people. Bernie Sanders, 1,500 people. And then Donald Trump, 11,000. How could those crowds not mean something?”

Nineteen-year-old Jasmine Castillo, who makes tacos at the family’s food truck in Wilkes-Barre’s downtown, says her family’s life has become worse as Mr. Trump’s popularity soared. People now tell her to speak English when she speaks Spanish, and to go back across the border, though she is an American citizen. Someone left feces outside her father’s kitchen-cabinet business, she says.

“People feel empowered now” to make insults and threats against Hispanics, she says. “It’s terrifying.”

Martha Wallace, whose family owns a small manufacturer of crucifixes and other Catholic jewelry, says, “Trump drummed up the enthusiasm, just like Obama drummed up the enthusiasm last time.” Her 7-year-old son has declared himself “a Trump man.” Her 16-year-old daughter also supports Trump. “I’ve encouraged her to dream big,” Ms. Wallace says.

Ms. Wallace says she is worried about the future of the U.S. economy and the threat of terrorism, and is counting on a Trump presidency to ease her fears about both. “We hope some of Trump’s economic policy will make it easier for us compete and still stay true to always being a ‘Made in the USA’ company,” she says.

For Mr. Trump’s supporters, expectations are so high it reminds them of what they once felt for President Obama.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Tamika Shupp twice voted for Barack Obama as the candidate best equipped to shake up Washington. This year she chose Donald Trump for the same reason.

“Obama tried to do well, and it didn’t turn out how we thought,” said Ms. Shupp as she prepared Polish dumplings at Mom & Pop’s Pierogis in this Rust Belt city. Mr. Trump should do better, she figures, by cracking down on illegal immigration and upholding American values like hard work.

Mr. Trump “is going to be another Obama,” said the 43-year-old Ms. Shupp. She considers both men to be agents of change. As for the crude remarks Mr. Trump made during the campaign, especially concerning women, Ms. Shupp said she dismissed them as bragging and “shoptalk,” and she didn’t believe the women who accused him of sexual assault.

[…]

Foreign competition largely wiped out the area’s dress and shoe industries. Many in the county bitterly remember pencil maker Eberhard Faber moving a plant to Mexico in the mid-1980s and other manufacturers closing factories. A plan in the mid-2000s to capitalize on computer-network technology and turn the county into “Wall Street West” proved a bust after few financial firms moved back-office processing to the area. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce is hatching a new plan to attract businesses by involving the local colleges in recruitment efforts, but the program is too new to have much effect so far.

The unemployment rate in Luzerne County, now 6.2%, has generally exceeded the national average since 2000, and manufacturing employment in the county is down by around one-third since 2000. Many of the jobs that remain are low-wage service ones in local hospitals, colleges, chain restaurants and stores. Median income, after accounting for inflation, has been flat in Luzerne County since 2000.

Young people are leaving the region in search of jobs elsewhere, leaving an older, more conservative group of voters. In Luzerne, the population has remained steady since 2000, at about 320,000, but the number of people age 25 to 44 fell by about 10,000, according to Moody’sAnalytics.

The weak economy has, over the decades, contributed to a tattering of the county’s social fabric. Church attendance is down since 2000, opioid addiction is up, and civic organizations like the Rotary Club and the Masons have trouble recruiting young members, say local residents. Of the four Evangelical Lutheran churches in Wilkes-Barre in 2000, says Rev. Peter Kuritz of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, one closed and two other don’t have full-time pastors.

Meanwhile, the county’s Hispanic population has climbed nearly 10-fold since 2000, to 31,000, adding a layer of ethnic tension to a place where 84% of the population is non-Hispanic white.

“There’s a sense that the new residents don’t look like us or sound like us,” says Rev. Kuritz. “People feel it’s not like it used to be.”

The region had been drifting from its New Deal Democratic roots for years, and Mr. Trump took full advantage with its working-class voters. They had long been sympathetic to conservative arguments on issues such as gun control and abortion, while skeptical of the GOP’s perceived catering to the wealthy. Mr. Trump’s brand of populism bridged that divide.

County GOP leaders say they looked to boost turnout by shifting two paid workers to Hazleton, a city that gained national prominence by passing an ordinance penalizing landlords for renting to illegal immigrants, which was later blocked by the courts. “Immigration is a big issue there,” says Luzerne County Chairman Ron Ferrance. “There are so many passionate people” who were ready to make phone calls and canvass for Mr. Trump, who takes a hard line on immigration, he says.

Bill O’Boyle, a veteran reporter and columnist for Wilkes-Barre’s Times Leader, says he figured Mr. Trump was a lock to win Luzerne County when he compared the turnout at political rallies. The area has long been a stopover for presidential campaigns.

“You had Hillary Clinton, 500 people. Teddy Cruz, 300 people. Bernie Sanders, 1,500 people. And then Donald Trump, 11,000. How could those crowds not mean something?”

Nineteen-year-old Jasmine Castillo, who makes tacos at the family’s food truck in Wilkes-Barre’s downtown, says her family’s life has become worse as Mr. Trump’s popularity soared. People now tell her to speak English when she speaks Spanish, and to go back across the border, though she is an American citizen. Someone left feces outside her father’s kitchen-cabinet business, she says.

“People feel empowered now” to make insults and threats against Hispanics, she says. “It’s terrifying.”

Martha Wallace, whose family owns a small manufacturer of crucifixes and other Catholic jewelry, says, “Trump drummed up the enthusiasm, just like Obama drummed up the enthusiasm last time.” Her 7-year-old son has declared himself “a Trump man.” Her 16-year-old daughter also supports Trump. “I’ve encouraged her to dream big,” Ms. Wallace says.

Ms. Wallace says she is worried about the future of the U.S. economy and the threat of terrorism, and is counting on a Trump presidency to ease her fears about both. “We hope some of Trump’s economic policy will make it easier for us compete and still stay true to always being a ‘Made in the USA’ company,” she says.

For Mr. Trump’s supporters, expectations are so high it reminds them of what they once felt for President Obama.

Mr. Ferrance, the Republican county chairman, says he realizes voters expect Mr. Trump to deliver. “If it’s the status quo, people will be upset,” he says. “People want him to govern in the spirit of what he said” during the campaign.

He figures there is some wiggle room in some of Mr. Trump’s more controversial stances, such as his repeated claim that the U.S. would build a wall across the U.S.-Mexican border and make Mexico pay for it. Maybe, he says, Mr. Trump could argue that job growth caused by tougher trade policy would be a way of having Mexico “pay.”

It is ironic that in the eight years of the Obama Administration that Vice President Biden, who grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania,  hadn’t recognized the economic and social devastation in Northeastern  Pennsylvania and developed programs to alleviate  and revitalize the communities.  But then Democrat Presidential candidate characterized those in Wilkes Barre who showed up at rallies as ‘deplorables.”

Now the residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania and other rust belt communities in the U.S. are banking on the Trump Administration to deliver on the promises he made at those rallies that gave them, once again, “hope.”

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

Urgent Issues for Congress: Zika, the Islamic State, Iran ransom, Turkey coup, N. Korea …

August 4, 2016, President Obama held a news conference where he endeavored to reassure the American public.  It was the usual political rostrum at the White House with the Washington press corps assembled to hear the President and engage in questions dealing with a host of emerging problems both internationally and domestically. Watch this YouTube video of the President’s August 4, 2016 White House Press Conference.

This White House Press conference was held in the midst of an especially troubling Presidential Campaign pitting his former Secretary of State Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton, against Republican New York real estate mogul, Donald Trump.  Because of the latter’s tweets and ex cathedra declarations at rallies and press conferences President Obama declared him allegedly temperamentally unfit to be Commander in Chief. This on the cusp of both candidates eligible to receive courtesy national security briefings. In Clinton’s case, her role during the Benghazi episode in September 2012 and the email scandal following State Department FOIA requests and Wiki leaks releases raised questions about the credibility of her responses during campaign rallies and media interviews. This despite endless hours of her providing testimony and that of FBI director James Comey before the House Special Benghazi Committee chaired by South Carolina Republican US Representative, Trey Gowdy. Trump, according to the President in an unprecedented political campaign comment, has displayed a fundamental lack of background in national security issues.  Especially concerning were his admiration for Russian President Putin, despite the latter’s seizure of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. There is the encroachment on ‘near enemies’ in the NATO Atlantic alliance: the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

The President was asked by the assembled press corps about revelations from a series of Wall Street Journal reports about $400 million of foreign currencies strapped on pallates in a cargo plane last January and flown to Tehran, despite concerns raised by his own Justice Department. He All while another airplane waited on the ground for hours with four American hostages aboard told by Iranians they awaiting a “money plane” so they could be released to fly home.  There were also questions about the threat of the Zika virus in the US, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean given the start of the Rio, Brazil Olympic Games. There were other news stories about returning US military with possible infections, as well as Congressional resolution of the impasse over funding for completion of three promising vaccines.  There were also concerns raised about the latest launch of a North Korea missile that flew 600 miles, landing less than 150 miles off the main island of Japan. That raised questions about Japanese, South Korean and most importantly, Continental US Missile defense. The missile defense system virtually incapable of assuring protection of the US homeland.  Then, there were emerging concerns expressed about 60 to 70 over age B-61 nuclear bombs at the NATO base in Incirlik, Turkey. This came amidst a purge of the country’s military by President Erdogan following a failed coup and his demand to the White House seeking extradition from the US of former Islamist ally, Sheik Fethullah Gulen.

On the following morning, August 5th, despite the monsoon rains that continued to drench the Phoenix area and the entire Four Corners region, Lisa Benson and this writer were engaged in recording the Sunday, August 7th’s Radio program for the weekly eponymous national security radio show. Our guests on this 200th program were Dr. Jill Bellamy, renowned bio-defense expert and member of the UN Counterterrorism Task Force and Dr. Stephen Bryen former Reagan era Pentagon defense official and policy expert and senior fellow at the American Center for Democracy.

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Dr. Jill Bellamy

The Zika Threat

Bellamy spoke convincingly about the Zika threat in Brazil, Florida and the Caribbean. She noted the necessity of the World Health Organization, the CDC the US Congress and groups like the World Bank to fund vaccine development and military service personnel and dependents with health protection. She did not believe that the US CDC could rely on reprogramming of Ebola vaccine funds to complete development and clinical trials of three Zika vaccine candidates. Bellamy had warned about the emerging Zika threat seven months earlier on a Lisa Benson Show. Zika and other infectious tropical diseases like Dengue fever that are mosquito borne keep on emerging and re- emerging. She noted that the impact on infants born with micro-cephalic small head conditions could place enormous burden on families and insurance companies, potentially for decades. She said we have known about the Zika virus for over 40 years.  Dr. Bellamy believes that US military personnel and their families may have more preventive protection during pre-and post deployment phases. Lisa Benson noted the increase in women infected with the Zika virus since first reports emerged in May. Dr. Bellamy noted the US CDC warning to pregnant women traveling to Florida.  She did not believe that current mosquito control measures especially in south Florida and Puerto Rico would effectively curtail exposure to possible Zika infections.  She noted that European countries appear less concerned about the spread of Zika than the US and other countries in the sub tropical zones of the Western Hemisphere and globally.

Benson reminded that Dr. Bellamy had also addressed the lack of an effective radiation sickness antidote.  She revealed threats by ISIS cells in Belgium and the Netherlands to intrude on nuclear research facilities to obtain radioactive materials for construction of explosive dirty bombs. Both countries have distributed packets of iodine tablets to their respective populations as precautions.

Stephen Bryen

Dr. Stephen Bryen

The problematic nuclear weapons at the Incirlik NATO airbase in Turkey

Dr. Bryen, the husband of program Advisory Board Member Shoshana Bryen, addressed the dangers of not\ permanently retiring those over age nuclear bombs at the NATO base in Incirlik, Turkey. These weapons he pointed out contain plutonium, tritium and other fissile materials. They are gravity bombs and there are no aircraft based at Incirlik capable of dropping them. During the 1974 invasion of Cyprus, these nuclear weapons were redeployed and subsequently returned. The best that could be done would be to permanently remove them.   They might be exposed to ISIS infiltration, Iranian Quds Force raids or possible Islamic extremists in Turkey. He considered the huge purge of military in Turkey by Erdogan reminiscent of the Stalin era during the 1930’s in Soviet Russia. He noted the arrest of the Turkish base commander and 11 other air force officers and the surrounding of the base by fundamentalist AKP supporters loyal to Erdogan.   Despite this he said US personnel at Incirlik continue to engage in combat air support for the war against ISIS.  Both he and Benson noted Erodgan’s often conflicting positions on support for ISIS when it appeared political expedient in the raging civil war in neighboring Syria.

The North Korea Missile Threat to Japan and the lack of U.S. Missile Defense

Bryen addressed the failure of Japan to shoot down the latest North Korean missile that splashed down 150 miles off the coast of the main island. Dr. Bryen said all Japan had were old Hawk Batteries, Nike Zeus and Patriot missile defense systems incapable of bringing down the North Korean No-Dong production missile. It may have produced panic in Japan that it was unable to destroy the incoming missile. When queried about Continental US missile defense, he contended there is virtually no development of systems to deal with North Korean, Iranian and Russian missile threats. The latter threat concerns allies like Poland, the Baltic States and others in Central and Eastern Europe.  Bryen noted that all we had in the pacific at the moment was the Theater High Altitude Air Defense System in Hawaii and 44 Ground Mid-Course interceptors at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Fort Wainwright, Alaska. They lack a fully effective kill vehicle to knock down possible incoming North Korean missiles. Benson drew attention to the complete absence of missile installations on the east coast, to which Dr. Bryen agreed. He suggested that the US hadn’t developed any strategy to address asymmetrical warfare missile threats from rogue countries like North Korea and Iran.  During the Cold War era, he noted we had developed a symmetrical Mutually Assured Destruction Deterrent strategy.  Further, he drew attention to Putin’s Russia that has continued to develop sophisticated missile defense systems.

The Question of Administration Payments to Iran and Release of American Hostages

Dr.  Bryen addressed the troubling matter of the $400 million of sequestered Iranian funds in foreign currency loaded on palettes and sent on a cargo plane sent to Tehran. All allegedly done because we had no way of transferring it, given outstanding financial sanctions.  During his August 4th press conference, the President said: “We do not pay ransom for hostages. We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future, precisely because if we did we’d start encouraging to be targeted.”

American Pastor Abedini and three other hostages were parked on the tarmac in Tehran. They were told by their Iranian minders that they could not depart until, what Dr. Bryen called, “the money plane,” landed. He suggested we have no idea where those funds could end up. Former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey in aWall Street Journal op-ed, “The $400 Million; Legal but Not Right”,  called into question CIA Director John Brennan’s earlier suggestion that Iranian sanctions relief funds might be devoted less to infrastructure projects and more to the “untraceable” needs of  Iran’s Quds Force-a major agent of this global state sponsor of terrorism.

Shoshana Bryen jpg (3)

Shoshana Bryen

Coincidental with the completion of the recorded Lisa Benson Show, Shoshana Bryen published an American Thinker article, “Iran, follow the money.” It cited further evidence of the duplicity and deviousness of Iran in setting up future possible ransom flights, given several additional American and other foreign nationals held as hostages, foolishly seeking to negotiate business deals. Problem is, as Shoshana Bryen wrote, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, like China’s Peoples Liberation Army, owns major businesses and will not brook any foreign competition.

Further, she noted that it is not only US banks, but foreign ones, notably in the UK, that won’t re start banking relationships with the Islamic Republic even with the lifting of financial sanctions. Was the US money plane simply to return the original funds sequestered by the US 37 years ago when the Shah’s regime was overthrown by the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic founder?

Shoshana Bryen concluded:

The Obama administration paid $400 million to the #1 financier and supporter of terrorism according to Obama’s own State Department.  In addition, Iran has more executions than any country except the People’s Republic of China, including for homosexuality; exercises legal brutality against women; supports religious intolerance; has committed violations of the Geneva Conventions against American sailors; provides military support to Bashar Assad as he commits war crimes against the Syrian people; violates U.N. bans on weapons import and export and ballistic missile testing; and censors information going into Iran and coming out.  That’s only a partial list.

Even as he claims that it wasn’t ransom for hostages (cough, cough), the president behaved as if there was a “moderate” part of the Iranian government with which to do business.  This is why the administration hid the fact from the American public.

Effectively President Obama said, during his press conference to Pastor Abedini and the other released hostages, don’t believe what you were told on the tarmac in Tehran. We wonder what the price could be for the next round of hostage releases. Would that include the doubtful release of ex FBI agent Bob Levinson, whose family want answers from the White House about his whereabouts and release after six years of silence following the last video proof of life? Americans are demanding the Administration press Iran to fess up whether Levinson is still alive.

A Wall Street Journal editorial, “The President’s Non-Ransom to Iran” best summed up the folly of dealing with Iran:

What matters to American credibility is what the mullahs of Iran believe. And it’s obvious they believe that arresting and holding Americans in Iran is a useful way to extract money and other concessions from the United States. Their latest demand is for the U.S. to hand over $2 billion in Iranian funds that have been frozen for the victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism. The thugs of the world don’t care what Mr. Obama believes. They care only that he shows them the money—then they’ll release their hostages.

Listen to the 200th broadcast of The Lisa Benson Show, Sunday August 7, 2016.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Nat Sec Daily Brief

Obama Addresses Terror Linked Baltimore Mosque which Practices ‘Gender Apartheid’

President  Obama went to Baltimore for a friendly gathering at the Islamic Center of Baltimore Mosque in Catonsville, Maryland. He was there  to convey a message that Muslims are as American as apple pie. Problem is that he chose a Mosque deep into political Islam, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate, the Islamic Society of North America , supporting suicide bombers  and professing  hate  for U.S. ally Israel.  All despite the FBI file sent to the White House confirming this information. No matter. It was a photo op moment to show support for embattled American Muslims  given statements from Republican  hopeful, Donald Trump that he would stop immigration of Muslims.

The scene was replete with introduction by a hijab swathed college student on track for a medical career. The President in his remarks pointed out another  hijab wearing  fencing marvel that may be carrying the U.S. flag at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero this summer. The President spoke of the kind comments of  founding Fathers John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson who purportedly included Mohammedans in the ambit of freedom of worship in America guaranteed by our First Amendment.

Problem is that he forgot to mention the real reason Thomas Jefferson had a copy of a Qur’an in his library at Monticello. A Qur’an, upon which , the first elected U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) swore a private oath of office on January 4, 2007. I know I passed by his office with a clutch of TV cameramen recording this for posterity. Ellison was at the ISB gathering,  as was the second elected Muslim Congressmen, Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN).  Doubtless, as this was the President’s alleged first visit to an American Mosque, there may have been notables at the Mosque in Catonsville from CAIR and ISNA.  But not too worry this was kumbaya day at the ISB.

Watch the You Tube video of the President’s expansive, yet, cautionary message of support for American Muslims:

American Muslims  that he pointed out  in his remarks  assembled Ford automobiles in Michigan, built the first  continuous Mosque in  Cedar Rapids,, Iowa, served  honorably in the US military and some were buried in the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery. Yes, there were those small pockets of extremists in the Muslim Ummah like ISIS or ISIL as he likes to call it with its self-declared Caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Barbarically beheading Christians, enslaving minority Yazidi women and children, destroying ancient cultures in the name of Allah, their God.  Then there are the extremist Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan killing women, homosexuals and Christian infidels. Oh, we forgot the Mahdist Shia in Tehran who the President makes deals with to prevent a nuclear war, he thinks. Last year, they only executed 1,000 for crimes of gender, homosexuality and heterodox beliefs.

As to the reason why Jefferson had a Qur’an in his library, just recall their encounter in London with the Tripolitanian Ambassador in their roles as US Commissioners trying to understand why the Bey of Tripoli enslaved American sailors he seized along with their ships in the Mediterranean. Note this  Notable and Quotable in the Wall Street Journal:

From a March 28, 1786, letter written by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who were American diplomats at the time, to U.S. Secretary of Foreign Affairs John Jay reporting on their conversation in London with the ambassador from Tripoli regarding piracy by the Barbary States:

We took the liberty to make some enquiries concerning the ground of their pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation.

The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their Prophet; that it was written in their Koran; that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners; that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners; and that every Mussulman [Muslim] who was slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

Clearly, Adams and Jefferson knew something that President Obama doesn’t choose to admit in public.  That Islam is not the religion of peace and tolerance that its religious theocrats make it out to be.  Subsequently, as the Third President of the US, Jefferson would conduct a covert war that freed American hostages with a few Marines at the fabled ‘walls of Tripoli’ from the likes of the Sharia-mad Bey.

Leo Hohmann at WND, cited an Investigative Project Report by Steve Emerson giving details on why the FBI thought the ISB was a poor choice for the President for this encounter, “Obama.” Hohman cites Emerson  saying:

IPT founder and executive director  Steve Emerson told WND his organization was told by FBI sources that Obama was presented the evidence against the Islamic Society of Baltimore.

According to Emerson’s investigation, federal law enforcement officials told him they were asked about whether the Baltimore mosque had engaged in radical politics or was connected in any way to terrorism in the past.

“They prepared memos for the president’s aides that specifically laid out the sordid history and nexus to terrorism of the Islamic Society of Baltimore,” Emerson told WND.

So what did the president do?

“As he has done so many times in the past, he decided to ignore this evidence and still continue his plans to confer legitimacy on a mosque that has a history of having officials connected to Islamic terrorism and to this day still has officials making outrageously pro-terrorist statements that would seem to conflict with the president’s policies,” Emerson said.

The mosque is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America or ISNA, which has its own sordid history.

ISNA was started by members of the international Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s. The Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is banned in many countries as an extremist organization.

“One can only conclude that the selection of this mosque by the president was made as part of his consistent policy to not even utter the term ‘radical Islam’ and the simultaneous policy of inviting only radical Islamist groups and leaders to the White House that FBI documents clearly show were derived from the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas,” Emerson told WND.

But there was another problem with the  choice of the ISB, the occurrence of gender apartheid prior to this auspicious occasion.

The media was  atwitter about the President’s  presentation at the Islamic Society of Baltimore. All of those media pundits should read this New York Times op ed by a leader of the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM), Asra Nomani and Ify Okoye, a disaffected member of the Mosque, about the gender apartheid practiced at the ISB, “Obama’s mosque visit demonstrates tacit acceptance of a form of gender apartheid.”

We have interviewed colleagues of Asra Nomani, Dr. M. Zhudi Jasser and Canadian leader of MRM, Raheel Raza who recently returned from a successful trip to Israel on The Lisa Benson Show. We hope to bring back Raza and introduce Ms. Nomani to discuss what the MRM is advocating and doing. Note what Nomani and Okoye wrote:

At the Islamic Society of Baltimore this past Sunday, the air was filled with the scent of Sherwin-Williams paint that workers were rolling onto the walls of the run-down balcony section where women and girls are usually segregated, unable to see the imam unless they peek over the balcony’s edge. A sign outside the door to the balcony said, “STOP Please. No Shoes. No Strollers. No Diaper Change. Beyond this point.”

Asra slipped into the mosque’s main hall to join the “halaqa,” or study circle. There, the study circle leader, teaching a half dozen men gathered around him, talked about the virtues of the first Muslim community in Medina, saying that a society isn’t “civilized” just because it’s technological.

Then, a young man, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned “Who Do You Love?” piped up, “So that means the West isn’t civilized.”

“That’s right,” the study circle leader said.

Another man railed against the West and its “atheists.”

Asra took a deep breath, listening to the sound of the crew white-washing the mosque for the president’s visit. “That’s a very unfair conclusion,” she said. “You are sitting in the West and railing against the West as not being civilized? It is not fair to make the assumption that the West ‘isn’t civilized.’”

The men tried to backtrack. They spoke with more nuance, before the study leader digressed again into the idea that those who aren’t Muslim act out of “self-interest,” while Muslims act out of an “order from God to do righteousness,” a point that Asra also politely refuted as motivated by “self-interest” and as an unfair representation of the many good people who aren’t Muslim.

As women and girls, we should be supported by policies that allow us to be part of such conversations. The president can support this urgent cause by speaking out against gender segregation in American mosques. In the spirit of the civil rights moment when whites stood with blacks, we hope men and women will refuse the privilege that “interfaith” events give them, and, in act of solidarity, stand outside with us on Johnnycake Road and the other pathways leading to the mosques in our world, advocating for equal rights for all.

So,  the President did what he wanted to do  with the ISB visit; show solidarity with the plight of American Muslims, sidelined by GOP hopeful Donald Trump.  He chose to avoid the advice of the FBI busily tracking down and arresting ISIS inspired lone wolves out to kill Americans on the streets here in the US that he Mosque leaders consorted with terrorist networks. That would upset  the President’s  alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood seeking their active participation in countering violent extremism and conducted a less than strenuous war against the Islamic State inspiring  tens of thousands from across the Ummah to join and practice the pure Islam in the self declared Caliphate.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of President Obama at the Islamic Center of Baltimore in Catonsville, Maryland, February 3, 2016 – Source: Reuters.

PODCAST: The Dangers of the Iran Nuclear and Missile Deals

LISTEN to this podcast of the January 17, 2016 Lisa Benson Show with Claudia Rosett on KKNT 960 – The Patriot. Lisa Benson and New English Review Senior Editor Jerry Gordon co-hosted this show with commentary from Board of Advisors member, Richard Cutting.

On Saturday, January 16, 2016 there was a plethora of breaking news. It was kicked off with the lifting of sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program triggered by alleged compliance with terms of the JCPOA political agreement certified by the UN watchdog agency, the IAEA.  This was the Orwellian “implementation Day” under the unsigned agreement by all of the parties to JCOPA starting 24/7 monitoring of Iranian enrichment facilities.  There was the announcement from Tehran  of  the swap of  five US citizens held hostage in Iran  in exchange for  Clemency granted by President Obama  for  seven Iranians convicted or charged with industrial espionage and acquisition of illicit equipment and software for nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Sunday morning, January 17, 2016 there were further developments; the announcement by   the US Treasury Office e for Foreign Assets Control of new sanctions against 11 individuals and entities in Iran involved with illicit procurement  for ballistic missile development. Iran had launched two precision guided ballistic missiles in tests in October and November 2015 that violated UN Res. 1929 and JCPOA provisions arousing the ire of Congress.

President Obama in remarks on these developments, released on Sunday, said:

“Today’s progress — Americans coming home, an Iran that has rolled back its nuclear program and accepted unprecedented monitoring of that program — these things are a reminder of what we can achieve when we lead with strength and with wisdom; with courage and resolve and patience. America can do, and has done, big things when we work together”.

Watch the President’s  YouTube video remarks on this alleged historic political deal  purportedly preventing Iran  from developing nuclear weapons:

To complicate matters there was seizure of 10 U.S. Navy sailors and their Riverine Command boats coincidental with the President’s State of the Union Address before Congress on Tuesday, January 12th. Iran flashed video and pictures of the crews kneeling with hands behind their heads at gunpoint held by IRGC soldiers followed with an apology by the young commander for entering Iranian controlled waters off Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. Earlier on January 6th, a mini earthquake registering 5.5 on the Richter scale was picked by the several seismographic agencies in China, Japan and the US signaling the fourth in a series of illicit nuclear blasts by North Korea. That immediately led to the question of whether it was a mini-hydrogen bomb as promoted in propaganda by Pyongyang or perhaps a test of nuclear warheads. Warheads capable of being fitted on missiles that North Korea had developed and sold to Iran.

In anticipation of these developments we had asked recommendations from a valued guest of the Lisa Benson broadcasts, Shoshana Bryen , senior director of the Washington, DC  Jewish Policy Center as to who we might bring on to comment on these developments and the Iran – North Korea  strategic alliance. She suggested we contact Claudia Rosett, Journalist in Residence at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  We followed up on her suggestion and arranged to have Rosett as our guest on the Sunday, January 17th broadcast. That was a fortunate coincident. We had met Rosett in 2009 at a presentation she gave in Pensacola, Florida on the official corruption in the UN Oil for Food program. See our New English Review article; “Claudia Rosett: The UN is Absolutely Corrupt” (February 2009).

Claudia Rosett Journalist-in-Residence Foundation for Defense of Democracy.

Claudia Rosett is an award-winning reporter and commentator. Over the past 35 years, including 18 years as a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal from 1984-2002, she reported from Asia, the former Soviet Union, Latin America and the Middle East. Ms. Rosett has testified before six U.S. Congressional committees on topics including corruption under the United Nations Oil-for-Food program in Iraq, and the strategic alliance between North Korea and Iran. Currently she is focused on illicit networks of Iran and North Korea, including shipping traffic. Ms. Rosett holds a B.A. from Yale, an M.A. from Columbia, and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, with a specialization in finance.

Here are some of the high points raised by Rosett during the Lisa Benson Show broadcast:

  • Iran never signed the nuclear deal now being implemented, nor did any of the other parties (the U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China, and Germany).
  • This is not a lasting or enforceable deal.
  • IAEA monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program guarantees nothing. The IAEA has no power to enforce, only to monitor. Iran can play the same game of chicken as North Korea did, throwing  out IAEA monitors when convenient, and carrying on to make nuclear bombs.
  • In the deals now going on, both nuclear and the hostage/prisoner releases this past weekend, Iran is cleaning up.
  • Remember, Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. The real headline should be: Return of some $100 billion in unfrozen funds to world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
  • Iran carried out two sanctions-violating ballistic missile tests this past fall; the only real reason Iran to continue developing ballistic missiles would be to put nuclear warheads on them.
  • President Obama, in deciding which Iranians to release in the hostage/prisoner swap, ruled out prisoners detained for terrorism and violent crime, but released violators of sanctions in other words; he pardoned people some of whom had abetted Iran’s weapons and nuclear programs. A damaging signal that the U.S. is not serious about enforcing this nuclear deal.
  • Iran will now be able to access roughly $100 billion, or by some accounts more, in unfrozen funds though the actual amount remains murky.  We have never been given a full accounting of these funds.
  • There has been deliberate obfuscation by the Obama Administration on the terms of this nuclear deal (the secret side agreements between Iran and the IAEA, for instance) as well as the consequences.
  • The possibility of Iran and North Korea working together on nuclear missiles is a serious concern. In the 21st century, North Korea is the only country known to have tested nuclear weapons. It is the obvious place for the Iranians to hide a nuclear test, or benefit from the data, in plain sight.
  • Israel’s air force destroyed the Al Kibar nuclear reactor that was being built in Syria with substantial help from North Korea. The U.S. should have allowed a similar strike against Iran some time ago, or the U.S. should have carried one out itself.
  • We have just seen U.S. sailors detained on their knees before the Iranians before they were released. When have we seen members of the Iranian military on their knees before the U.S?  Iran is humiliating America. This is an invitation to other enemies of America to do the same.

The Iran deal is worse than the nuclear deals the U.S. cut with North Korea.  North Korea has been making nuclear weapons and conducted four nuclear tests. Iran is even more dangerous, and the consequences here could be much worse.

Our usually astute European listener commented with his opinions:

The Iranian deal agreed and pushed forward by the Obama administration gave in to all Iranian demands and the nuclear watchdog deal by the IAEA is a complete sham. As mentioned numerous times the Iranians have in undisclosed parts of Iran three other nuclear research sites which have never been checked on and where they are continuing enrichment.

The JCPOA is a draft which was to be negotiated and approved but nothing was discussed and the addendums were all kept top secret.

For the P5 the whole deal is a way to boost their trade deficits and they accepted everything that the Obama Administration and the Iranians agreed on.

The IAEA made a complete flop of their controls in North Korea and the same could occur in Iran.

It has been that North Korea is being financed by Iran and they could easily sell nuclear warheads and ship them by plane to Iran.

I sincerely hope that some lawmakers in the U.S. have listened to this broadcast and will take the necessary steps to block the Iranian agreement after the elections.

RELATED ARTICLE: World Watches How Iran, Now Free of Nuclear Sanctions, Will Act

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

There are no ‘safe havens’ from the Islamic State’s Holy War against the Free World

French President Hollande issued a statement this morning that ISIS terrorists in six separate attacks had murdered 123 injuring 183. UPDATE:  The toll is now 129 dead and over 353 wounded, 99 critically. Perhaps it was best said by Geert Wilders in a Tweet last night, “Paris is under attack this is War. Nothing Less”.

In the unfolding bloody ISIS coordinated attack in Paris we had a special family concern. We were anxious to learn of the whereabouts of a granddaughter who was spending a fall semester at the famed SciPo in Paris under a joint program with Northwestern where she is in her junior year.  Given text message exchanges with my son who was at a meeting in his law office in Manhattan, we learned that by happenstance she was spending the weekend in Amsterdam. Our eldest granddaughter is safely marooned in Amsterdam this weekend. She has made it a habit to visit European capitals on weekends during her fall semester of her junior year. at SciPo with her Northwestern U program. We reached out to cousin Nidra Poller to find that she and Jiro were okay. On a Skype call with her last night, she spoke of the ironic coincidence completing her latest book,  The Black Flag of Jihad Stalks la Republique.

What follows is an exchange with Debra Glazer, a friend and cousin of Nidra Poller who lives in California.  Glazer is a lawyer and graduate of Yale Law School. Her  husband  is an Economics professor at a major University of California campus. . Her email letter to me was prompted by concerns about our granddaughter and her own family members in Paris.  My son, wife and younger daughter, together with his in-laws, were headed to visit his older daughter, our granddaughter, during Thanksgiving week in Paris. That trip may be in abeyance pending decisions by Northwestern University as to whether students on the special SciPo exchange program may be requested to return home in the wake of last night’s ISIS Jihadist assault on Paris and Western civilization.

Dear Jerry,

I seem to recall that one of your grand-daughters was studying in Paris.  I hope she and all her friends are safe and secure.  I did hear back from Nidra this afternoon and she and Jiro and the family are all safe.  I had been hoping that Jiro wasn’t on duty photographing the game at the soccer stadium.

The enemies are becoming more brazen.  Will this wake up America and good people everywhere?

As we have always said, what starts with the Jews doesn’t end with the Jews.  But the world doesn’t remember or acknowledge that.  And in the meantime, the best and the brightest at Yale are hyperventilating over Halloween costumes.  I would hope that universities everywhere would volunteer to donate their therapy dogs, coloring books, crayons and jars of bubbles to the people of Paris, who really need a “safe space.”

Best,

Debbie

Dear Deb:

Our eldest granddaughter is safely marooned in Amsterdam this weekend. She has made it a habit to visit European capitals on weekends during her fall semester of her junior year. at SciPo with her Northwestern U program. We reached out to cousin Nidra Poller to find that she and Jiro were okay. On a Skype call with her last night, she spoke of the ironic coincidence completing her latest book with a title about “The Black Flag of ISIS in Europe.”

My colleague Lisa Benson and I were in the throes of finalizing the lineup of guests for Sunday’s program when the news broke about the coordinated jihadi attacks in Paris. As the toll mounted in reports from Fox News affiliate Sky News and independent France 24 it became more grisly. We had eyewitness reports from survivors of the hostage massacre at the Bataclan theater rock concert by the American band the American Eagle Death group. The callous indifference of the attack was evident in three jihadis shooting cowering victims from a rostrum on the second floor punctuated by explosions from grenades tossed in the hapless crowd below. It was eerily similar to episodes during Nazi Einsatzgruppen campaign murdering milions of Jews in Russia. But then the Qur’anic imperative of Salafist supremacist the Islamic State has always dictated killing  converting or extorting Jizya hush money from Infidels whether Saturday people or Sunday people. Among the dozens killed in Paris may be American victims in the several attacks at the Soccer stadium, restaurant shootings and the Bataclan theater. Ironically the American Death Eagles band survived. So did the 40 plus escapees who made their way to the roof of the Bataclan to find a man waving at them to enter his attic window in an adjacent building thereby making their escape from the bloody charnel scene unfolding inside the theater.

Among the commentary I watched was that of Morten Storm, the Danish double agent who worked with CIA inside Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. In his interview with Megan Kelly of FoxNews.  He repeated prescient warnings that he gave on the Lisa Benson Show last summer that this bloody terror spectacle by ISIS was inevitable. Especially in France with hundreds of returning ISIS fighters and horrific precedents of the Charlie Hebdo massacre and Hyper Cacher kosher market attack of last January.  Cousin Nidra Poller, French Jewish commentators Michel Gurfinkiel and Phillipe Karsenty have written of the drip by drip killings of French Jews, riots against Jewish synagogues and businesses in communities near those Muslim banlieuses, administrative suburbs, in Paris and other French cities.

French Jews, especially those who migrated from North Africa during the 1960’s, now five decades later, are leaving for aliyah to Israel or emigration to Canada and the US. In Israel they are confronted by daily Islamikaze knifings, car rammings and shootings. We have had grisly episodes here of ISIS ‘inspired events” in the US and Canada.  Geert Wilders in the midst of the murderous ISIS razzia in Paris in a blast email said, “This is war.”

Last night’s bloody spectacle perpetrated by ISIS made the comments of President Obama earlier in the day delusional suggesting that the seizure of Sinjar suburbs in northern Iraq by Kurdish Peshmerga and Yazidis units with US special ops and air support was demonstration that ISIS was being “tamed”. The US crowing about tracking and killing of ISIS executioner Jihad John by a US drone evaporated with ISIS’ jihad assault of Paris. Shades of Mumbai in 2008, the seventh anniversary looms of that Islam terrorist attack by deobandi Kashmiri and Pakistani fanatics who tortured and killed their Jews at the Nariman Chabad house.

It should not be lost the Paris jihad is the culmination of a string of catastrophic events by ISIS: the ISIS downing of Metrojet Flight 9268 with 224 passengers and crew aboard and the bombing of the Hezbollah bastion in South Beirut with dozens killed and hundreds injured. Those jihad assaults immediately preceded last night’s bloodbath in what some now call France’s 9/11. The turning off the lights in the Eiffel tower sent a clear message.  That despite the brave front of President Hollande, himself a spectator to the suicide bombings at the French soccer stadium during a friendly French German national team matches ISIS succeeding in intimidating France and the West. I am reminded of the fateful comment of British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey on the eve of WWI: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time

President Obama can’t bring himself to face the reality of his failure to “degrade or defeat ISIS.” He and his minions in the White House are moral cowards and appeasers of Islamofascism. Moreover he, Secretary John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter have sold out to both Shia and Sunni supremacists. They persist in not recognizing the dual Shia and Sunni extremist threats to Israel and alleged Middle East Sunni allies. Moreover they have lied about supporting Kurdish Peshmerga and Syrian Kurdish forces with desperately needed arms, equipment, vehicles and unit training the only effective boots on the ground combating the Islamic State. They dither over recognizing genocide of Syrian and Iraqi Christians, Yazidis and other non Muslim minorities. Instead they have offered asylum to potential tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees to be settled in more than 180 US cities. Those Syrian Muslim refugees are virtually incapable of being vetted given the absence of documentation from the failed state. Meanwhile our State Department denies sanctuary to Christians and other minorities facing extinction.

That was the judgment of former New York office FBI supervisory agent Jim Kallstrom during a Fox News interview last night. Kallstrom assumed the post that John O’ Neil held in New York. O’Neil warned about Al Qaeda intentions following in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, only to be among the 2,700 killed on 9/11.  O’Neil was just beginning his stint as security director at the ill fated WTC complex in lower Manhattan. Kallstrom had conducted the investigations into the explosion of TWA Flight 800.

At issue is whether this country, lacking moral leadership, can resolve to recognize, gather resources and build alliances to destroy the Islamic State. It is a doubtful prospect given capitulation to Shia extremist Iran in its quest threatening Israel’s and America’s extinction equipped with nuclear missiles. Sic transit ignominia Obama mundi.

Jerry Gordon

UPDATE: Fox News reports, “Nohemi Gonzalez, 23, a student at California State University Long Beach, was identified as the first US citizen killed in Friday night’s terror attack in Paris that claimed the lives of 129. Belgium authorities have also said they arrested three in raids in Brussels after tracing a car’s license plate that was seen near the concert hall that was attacked. ”

RELATED ARTICLE: At least one man linked to Paris attacks registered as refugee in Greece: police

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

Obama Executive Order Lifts Iran Sanctions: Tweet #StatesCanSueObama!

Sunday, October 18, 2015,  President Obama signed an executive order initiating the start of the Iran nuclear pact under the JCPOA. In the bureaucratic argot it was  the Adoption Day, the 90th day following  Finalization Day, the unanimous  endorsement of the JCPOA  by the UN Security Council on July 20th. Sixty days hence on Compliance Day, December 15, 2015, if the UN watchdog agency the IAEA files a report on Iran’s prior military developments with findings, then upwards of $100 billion in funds sequestered under international and U.S. sanctions might be released. That’s a big if.

Congress, as we have written has been thwarted in its attempt to reject the pact by a Democrat Senate minority vote in September. Further, even if the Republican majority brought a resolution to bring a suit against the President’s  violations of several Iran sanctions law and the lack of complete information on negotiations and side agreements under Corker Cardin, it would fail to pass as it lacks a super majority.  That is why it is up to the more than 27 members of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) led by Florida’s AG Pam Bondi to consider bringing a cause of action in a favorable Federal District Court.  To that end today we sent each one of the RAGA Members the following tweet: #StatesCanSueObama!

We know that some of the  RAGA members expressed concern in late August 2015 urging their colleagues to push for sanctions.Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Inhofe and State AG Scott Pruitt co-authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, “Let States Do the Job Obama Won’t: Sanction Iran”:

President Obama’s executive agreement with Iran is enormously controversial for good reason. Negotiated in coordination with Russia, China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the deal welcomes Iran as a participant in the world community conditioned only on marginal changes to its nuclear program. It effectively allows Iran to maintain technology that would lead to a nuclear weapon, as well as continue its human-rights abuses, sponsoring of terrorism, imprisoning of American hostages, and threats to American allies, including Israel.

Fortunately, the U.S. states have the power to limit these threats, if they all choose to use it.

To date, 25 states have enacted such sanctions against Iran. This is pursuant to the explicit authorization for such sanctions contained in the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010.  Congress found “that the United States should support the decision of any State or local government that for moral, prudential, or reputational reasons divests from, or prohibits the investment of assets of the State or local government in” Iran.

Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed during July 28th congressional testimony that President Obama’s deal does not affect the states’ ability to impose sanctions on Iran. However, he  said that the administration “will take steps to urge [the states] not to interfere,” because President Obama had, as part of the deal, agreed to “actively encourage” the states to drop their sanctions.

We urge states to do exactly the opposite. Rather than drop their sanctions against Iran, states should strengthen and expand those sanctions.

On  August 31st, Oklahoma AG Pruitt and Michigan AG Bill Schuette sent a letter to all 50 states urging them to impose state-based sanctions against Iran.

On September 8th, 2015 14 Republican  Governors signed a letter drawing attention to the States’ authority under the 2010 Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Federal  law  to enact sanctions as we noted in our October 2015 article, “Can States Prevent the Release of Iran Sanctions Through Federal Litigation?”

As of yesterday, with the President’s  signing  an executive order adopting the JCPOA, there may be a race by some members of RAGA to also consider bringing a suit to  block release of sequestered funds that may likely be devoted to the continued  support of global terrorism and development of ballistic missile technology . The latter for the express purpose of deploying a nuclear weapon against  US interest and allies in the Middle East, especially Israel. Just a few days before the President’s action on Adoption Day,  Iran announced a successful test of the Emad guided missile with sufficient range , 1,700 kilometers,  in violation of both  the  2010 UN Security Council Resolution 1929  and Resolution 2231 endorsing the JCPOA.

Noted Constitutional Lawyer David B. Rivkin, Jr. of the Washington, D.C. office of  the law firm of Baker Hostetler, has successfully brought actions on behalf of  the US House of Representatives in Federal  court on separation of powers grounds. He has presented arguments that the  states have standing to bring a suit to block release of sanctions.  In a discussion of this and other options in our October NER article he argued:

The states that are interested in pursuing this can certainly go forward in part, because of the viability of state-level sanctions and a number of states have put forward sanctions of their own.

A number of Attorney Generals and Governors can. They should and will be interested in this and you don’t need many states. You can have a couple of states doing that. However, they have to have a very carefully thought out sanctions package in place and they have to put it forward under state law. Then they can take the position that the legality of a sanctions package depends upon what is the federal government’s policy toward Iran.

By the way you don’t even need state legislatures. A number of states have Constitutions that allow governors to pass sanctions by executive order. They don’t even need to pass it as legislation. It is a question of individual state Constitutions. It could be done in a matter of weeks if you had governors who were interested in it.

The Dallas team of the National Security Task Force of America  (NSTFA) undertook a grass roots action. They tweeted Texas Governor Abbott and Attorney General  Paxton and 125 Texas legislators urging them to join with other states in bringing a suit that might prevent release of sequestered funds under various federal  Iran sanctions laws.  We believe that exemplary model developed by the Dallas  NSTFA team  might be followed in many of the states whose Governors signed the September 8th letter to President Obama. That is why we took the initiative today of tweeting the members of the Republican Attorney Generals Association led by Florida AG Pam Bondi.

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

Obama to waive Sanctions? Tweet Your State Governor to Sue the President in Federal Court!

According to reports out of Tehran, President Obama is poised to wave sanctions next week. This despite Congressonal outrage over Iran’s violation of bans against missile testing .  Note this comment in a Washington Free Beacon report:

“The ink isn’t even dry on President Obama’s nuclear agreement and Iran is already breaking rules,” Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.) said on Thursday. “This should not come as a surprise to anyone since Iran has cheated on every deal.”

Iran’s missile test and disclosure of underground  sites  occurred just before  yesterday’s initiation date of October 15, 2015 for the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal. Incredulously, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said that Iran’s  missile test have nothing to do the nuclear pact. Really?  The only reason for testing precision guide missile is to launch nuclear weapons. Watch this Reuters  video of Earnest’s White House Daily Press Briefing on JCPOA ‘initiation day:”

Now, it is your turn to do something: Tweet your state Governor to sue  Obama  in Federal court for unlawful conduct.  That is what the members of the Dallas Task Force of the Lisa Benson Radio Show National Security Task Force of America (NSTFA) are doing.

Congress is on vacation and lost the opportunity to sue the President when minority Democrat Senators spiked a Republican majority sponsored resolution last month rejecting the Iran deal. Further, while the Senate has standing to sue the President in Federal court over his mishandling of the Iran nuclear pact and review by Congress, it  is unable to pass a resolution authorizing that suit as it lacks a super majority.  Noted Washington, DC Constitutional litigator, David B. Rivkin, Jr. of the Baker Hostetler Law firm, who has brought successful Federal Court suits on separation of powers grounds over the Affordable Care Act, thinks that the 30 states that passed Iran sanctions laws under Federal Law would have standing to bring a similar cause of action.

So the  Dallas members of the (NSTFA)  are sending  tweets containing  messages urging Texas  Governor Abbott , Attorney General Paxton  and Texas state legislators to  join with  Republican gubernatorial colleagues  in 14 other States to file a suit in Federal court. That might possibly  stop the clock on implementation of the Iran nuclear deal by December 15, 2015 preventing release of  upwards of $100 billion in sequestered funds . That assumes Iran gets a rubber stamp of approval from the UN nuclear Watchdog agency, the IAEA about its prior military developments. Iran suggests it only has peaceful nuclear energy applications or intentions despite enrichment of uranium and building plutonium producing heavy water reactor . They have only one purpose; providing fissile material for an arsenal of nuclear weapons.    Iran is counting on release of those funds to support global terrorism including aiming ICBMs at the US and allies in Europe and the Middle East, like Israel.  Iran already has a running start on that. The 2013 interim Joint Plan of Action released $12.9 billion in sequestered funds.  Further, Swiss Banking authorities released $60 billion in hard currency reserves of Iran that were held by member banks.  That was just a few days after the UN Security Council, including the US, unanimously endorsed, the  Joint Comprehensive  Plan of Action (JCPOA) .

Now there is further cause for action by American citizens.  Just this week Iran disclosed it violated a UN Security Council resolution  barring testing of  ballistic missile technology by launching a precision guided Missile , the Emad, or  pillar in Farsi,  with a range of 1,700 kilometers. That would have sufficient range to hit Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Egypt and NATO members in Europe.  That same guided missile would be capable of lofting a nuclear bomb in a satellite into a polar orbit.  If detonated over the US  that could trigger a devastating Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) effect shutting down our digital economy and power grid possibly resulting in millions of casualties.  If that wasn’t enough, we had a senior Revolutionary Guards officer threaten to attack US interests in the Gulf of Mexico.  Moreover, despite approval of the Iran nuclear deal by what passes for its parliament, the Majlis,  the  Iranian  Council of Guardians ratified  the amended law that it didn’t violate Islamic Sharia law. Ayatollah Khamenei  forbid  further negotiations with the US with calls from his hard liners chanting “Death to America”.  Iran is already in an alliance with Russia, Syria and Iraq sending funds, weapons and more than 7,000 Revolutionary Guard  to prop up the Assad Regime in Damascus, isolating America’s allies in the Middle East.

Texas has standing before Federal courts to bring a suit against the President. Texas and 29 other states  enacted state Iran sanctions laws, authorized under a 2010 Federal Comprehensive Iran Sanctions law.   Moreover, the executive order that the President  signed today recognizing the UN recommended JCPOA may be in violation of the failed Corker –Cardin Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. Further  there  a 2012 federal law closing the loophole licensing foreign subsidiaries of US parent corporations barring them from doing business in Iran.

15 States, including Texas, signed a letter authored by Florida Governor Rick Scott objecting to the President’s mishandling of the Iran nuclear act negotiations that drew attention to state sanctions statutes.

As noted in the Miami Herald “Naked Politics” blog, “the [September 8th] letter focused concerns about how it would affect pension divestment policies and contracting restrictions.” The governors’ letter supported the position articulated by Washington, DC constitutional litigator David Rivkin, Esq.:

Paragraph 25 of the Iran nuclear agreement provides that the federal government will “actively encourage” states to lift state-level sanctions such as the divestment and contracting restriction laws,” the letter states. “While Secretary Kerry confirmed in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the agreement will not preempt state law because it is not a treaty, we are concerned about what steps your Administration may take to attempt to implement paragraph 25. Therefore, we wish to make it clear to you in advance of any efforts to implement paragraph 25 that we intend to ensure that the various state-level sanctions that are now in effect remain in effect. These state-level sanctions are critically important and must be maintained.’

The letter was signed by Govs. Scott, Doug Ducey of Arizona, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Mike Pence of Indiana, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, John Kasich of Ohio, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Greg Abbott of Texas, Gary Herbert of Utah, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

In our NER article on the question of states having the authority to bring possible federal litigation over sanctions relief, we noted this comment from an August 2015 Steptoe International Compliance blog post on “The  JCPOA and State Sanctions:”

The Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) does not say much about Iran sanctions imposed by US state governments. … These state restrictions can be more extensive in scope than US federal sanctions. For example, some state restrictions (e.g. in Florida) attach automatically to the parent entity of the company who engages in certain Iran activities. Laws in many states provide for the lifting of Iran sanctions when the President removes Iran from the list of countries that support terrorism; but the JCPOA does not do that, and, as a result, Iran sanction laws in most states will remain intact

Below are  what the Dallas NSTFA  will be tweeting  Texas Governor Abbott, Attorney General Paxton, every state legislator, the Texas Congressional  delegations in both the US Senate and House, as well major media in the Lone Star State.  You can do the same along with like minded citizens in the 13 remaining states. A number of us will be doing that here in Florida. All you have to do is change the name of your respective state, state officials and Google their Tweet addresses on-line. Then  get your  teams to retweet them.  Can we count on you to do the same in the remaining states of Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin?

StateSealofTexasSealSuggested Tweets for Texas National Security Task Force President Obama Signing Executive Order For Iran Nuclear Deal:

#Texas Sue Obama over Iran Deal: Gov. Abbott Sue  in Federal Court Now!
# Texas Sue Obama over Iran Deal: Iran Violated Deal before Obama Signed
#Texas Sue Obama over Iran Deal:  Texas Iran Sanctions Law Gives Standing to Sue
#Texas Sue Obama over Iran Deal:  Stop Iran Missiles aimed at US Now!
# Texas Sue Obama over Iran Deal:  Demand Iran Release 4 Americans Now!
#Texas Sue Obama over Iran Deal:  Iran  Already Received  $72 Billion  back!
#Texas Sue Obama Over Iran Deal:  Pay US Victims of Iran Terror First!
#Texas Sue Obama Over Iran Deal:   Congress Didn’t Sue but Texas Can!
#Texas Sue Obama Over Iran Deal:  Gov. Abbott Join 14 States Who Objected to Iran Deal in Federal Court
#Texas Sue Obama Over Iran Deal:  AG Paxton file Federal Court brief now!
#Texas Sue Obama Over Iran Deal:  Stop Iran Nuke EMP attack!
# Texas Sue Obama Over Iran Deal: Keep Iran Out of the Gulf of Mexico!
#Texas Sue Obama Over Iran Deal: You can Stop Iran Nukes  Now!
#Texas Sue Obama Over Iran Deal: Texas  Legislature Pass Resolution to  file Suit  Now!
#Texas Sue Obama over Iran Deal: Pres. violated Iran Laws He Signed !
#Texas Sue Obama Over Iran Deal: Make the Lone Star State  First to File  in Federal Court

Consult these New English Review articles and Iconoclast blog posts for further background information:

Obama Poised to Sign Iran Deal: Time for the States to Bring ...

Can the States Stop Implementation of Iran Nuclear Deal …

Could The JCPOA be in Violation of a 2012 Iran Sanctions …

Can States Prevent Release of Iran Sanctions through Federal Litigation?

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

Dealing with Putin: “Bomb Assad; Arm Ukraine”

Dr. Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar at the Washington, DC, American Enterprise Institute will be one of our guests on the Lisa Benson Show, Sunday, October 4th. He is the author of Dancing with the Devil:  the Perils of Engaging with Rogue RegimesWe published both a review of Dancing with the Devils and an interview with Rubin in the March 2014 New English Review. The introduction to our interview noted:

We met Rubin in 2005 when he returned to Yale to discuss his experience as a former Pentagon official on Iran and Iraq who also served as a political advisor to the Provisional Coalition Authority. He spoke about the emergence of the nuclear Iran threat under the “reformist” regime in Tehran led by Ayatollah Khatami. See Rubin’s background and blog at the AEI website, here and here. Our interview with Rubin ranged across an array of prevailing issues. Among these are the Iranian nuclear and ICBM threat and Putin’s great game of one sided politics in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He also addressed Pakistan’s tolerance of terrorism and the lack of US support for the Kurds in both Iraq and Syria. He criticized the folly of the Administration’s support of Turkey under Premier Erdogan and the folly of its lead in the Final Status negotiations with the Palestinians imperiling Israel’s security.

As regards Putin and his current demarche to the Administration in Syria this exchange with Rubin from our interview illustrates how clear-eyed was his response:

Gordon:  How dangerous to American interests is Russian President Putin’s great game strategy in the Middle East?

Rubin:  Very. The problem is that Americans tend to see diplomacy as a means to compromise, a win-win solution. However, Putin sees international relations as a zero-sum game in which for Russia to win, everyone else must lose. When Neville Chamberlain goes up against Machiavelli, Machiavelli wins.

Rubin published in Commentary Magazine on October 2, 2015 some prescriptions on how to deal with Putin, “Bomb Assad; Arm Ukraine”.  Doubtless President Obama would aver, given his White House press conference yesterday.

Note what Obama said in response to a question from CBS Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett regarding his former Secretary of State and Democrat presidential hopeful, Hillary’s Clinton’s change of heart on Syria in this Breitbart News report:

President Obama found himself in a bit of a conundrum after he denounced critics of his Syria policy as being full of “mumbo jumbo” and “half-baked ideas.”

In response, CBS reporter Major Garrett questioned Obama whether Hillary Clinton’s proposal to enforce a no-fly zone in Syria was a half-baked idea.

“Hillary Clinton is not half-baked in terms of her approach to these problems,” Obama said carefully, reminding reporters she served in his administration as Secretary of State.

But Obama pointed out that Clinton’s rhetoric on Syria is merely campaign rhetoric.

“I also think that there’s a difference between running for president and being president,” he said carefully, pointing out that he was having specific discussions with his military advisors about the right way forward in Syria.

“If and when she’s president, then she’ll make those judgments and she’s been there enough that she knows that, you know, these are tough calls,” he said.

Clinton broke with the White House on Syria, calling for a “no-fly zone” in Syria to protect Syrian citizens in an interview with a Boston TV station on Thursday.

dr michael rubin

Dr. Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute.

Here is what Rubin wrote in his Commentary column, “Bomb”:

Russia’s deployment to Syria — and its decision to bomb almost exclusively — more moderate Syrians and those who have received U.S. assistance has thrown down the gauntlet. It’s not just a matter of Syria, anymore. Vladimir Putin is showing the world President Obama’s impotence, and convincing every U.S. ally across the globe from Egypt to Estonia and from Kenya to Korea that they would have to be crazy to cast their lot with the United States.

Putin has pushed the line repeatedly and received little resistance, beyond a cute plastic button offered by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Russian forces invaded Georgia without consequence. They cheated on the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and faced no consequence. Indeed, Ellen Tauscher, the chief U.S. negotiator of the subsequent “New START” Treaty and a top Hillary Clinton aide, ended up going into partnership with a Kremlin-funded think tank while at the Atlantic Council. No wonder that, with such lack of seriousness emanating from Washington, Putin figured he could get away with murder in the Ukraine. To date, the Kremlin has faced little consequence for its actions beyond a smattering of sanctions. In the process of these outrages, Moscow demonstrated that the Budapest Memorandum in which the United States, among others, gave Kiev security guarantees wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

There’s an irony here, of course, when it comes to the White House conception of credibility: Obama’s team shrugged off commitments to the Ukraine by insisting that the Budapest Memorandum was an agreement and not a treaty and so wasn’t sacrosanct. However, talk about walking away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the so-called Iran deal, which is an agreement and not a treaty, and the White House and State Department insists that its terms must be observed with the entirety of U.S. credibility at stake.

Regardless, what is clear is that the White House has consistently misjudged Putin. There are two possibilities as to why Obama and Kerry fell into Putin’s trap: Either there has been a massive intelligence failure at the Central Intelligence Agency with regard to Putin’s outlook and intentions, or Obama and Kerry simply ignored what they were being told. Either way, in an atmosphere where accountability mattered, there would be resignations, either at the CIA or at the top of the State Department.

So what to do to restore credibility? There really is no option other than the military: Russian planes bomb targets close to those forces aligned with the United States? Then U.S. forces should bomb Syrian targets close to the Assad regime. A U.S. general in Iraq might give the Russian embassy there an hour’s notice to de-conflict. Kerry might be under the delusion that Assad can be worked with, but that simply shows how out-of-touch he is with the situation in Syria: He long ago passed the point of no return. Assad’s presence in Syria has become the chief recruiting tool for the Islamic State.

At the same time, it’s essential to arm the Ukrainians with enough lethal goods to help them roll back Russian proxies and send Russian forces home in body bags. That might not be the style of diplomacy to which Obama and Kerry adhere, but both are naïve if they think diplomacy means simply talking at the table absent any leverage or the threat of worse to come. Putin must realize that there is real cost to his course of action. If he isn’t stopped in Syria, ultimately he will have to be stopped in the Baltics, and that will be a far more tragic outcome for all sides.

The Lisa Benson Show will air Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 4PM EDT, 3PM CDT, 2PM MDT, 1PM PDT and 11PM in IsraelListen live to the Lisa Benson Radio Show for National Security on KKNT 960The Patriot or use SMARTPHONE iHEART App: 960 the Patriot.  Lisa Benson and New English Review Senior Editor Jerry Gordon will co-host this show.

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

Revealed: Russia’s Great Game in the Middle East

It was a bizarre turn of events at the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York on the 70th Anniversary of the world body.  President Obama gave a speech lambasting Putin’s Russia over its seizure of Crimea and  invasion of eastern Ukraine violating the country’s sovereignty. However, he paid court to Russia and China for supporting the  Iran nuclear pact unanimous approved  by the UN Security Council poised to release tens of billions in sequestered funds as of December 15, 2015. He  questioned Russia’s sudden military presence in western Syria building a military complex to bolster the Assad regime.  A regime that rained barrel bombs causing the deaths of 250,000. A regime ethnically cleansing the country’s Sunni population sending millions to displaced persons camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon and hundreds of thousands in flight to the EU.  The President got warm applause over his rapprochement with Cuba.

Putin, when he had his turn at the rostrum accused the U.S., without naming it, of causing the rise of the Islamic State through its invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan,  ultimately creating a Sunni supremacist Caliphate.  Following Putin Iranian President Rouhani  had his turn at the rostrum in the Assembly hall. He made the astounding proposal that an international alliance including Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq  combat terrorism in the Middle East.  A proposal that Rouhani  said should be confirmed in another Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action akin to the Iran nuclear pact.  He noted the nuclear pact  was  concluded  “without the impediment of the Zionist enterprise”, meaning Israel.  Witness  the cheek of President Rouhani   of Iran  suggesting  a new Shia alliance in the Middle East, plus Russia welcoming  the US to join in fighting Sunni Supremacist  Islamic State.

What was on display at the UN was the supplanting  of the U.S. in the new great game of the Middle East by  Russia.  It was enough to make one’s head spin with these sudden turns  of events. It made the U.S., look like a “JV team “struggling  to keep up.

The usually astute Shoshana Bryen, senior director of the Washington, DC-based  Jewish Policy Center  was asked  by this writer during the September 27, 2015 Lisa Benson Show why  these developments occurred so suddenly.  She said that  Putin’s Russia like all great powers do when they are confronted by a vacuum, especially one that threatens its national  interests.  Thousands of Jihadists have left Chechnya, Dagestan, and Tartarstan in Russia attracted by the Salafist  Islamic doctrine of the Islamic State as a declared Caliphate.  Thus  Putin’s objective is to “bottle” up these Sunni Jihadists in Syria and Iraq.  Putin admitted as much in a CBS 60 Minutes interview with Charlie Rose  Sunday evening when he said:

More than 2,000 fighters from Russia and ex-Soviet republics are in the territory of Syria. There is a threat of their return to us. So instead of waiting for their return, we are better off helping Assad fight them on Syrian territory.

Watch the CBS 60 Minutes Charlie Rose interview with Russian President Putin:

When Lisa Benson asked Bryen about  where Iran’s proxy Hezbollah stood in these developments, she  replied  Hezbollah “had not been an efficient fighting force in Syria.  Further, she commented that Russian presence in Syria is meant to actually limit Hezbollah’s  involvement, perhaps  to a defensive role “in the Alawite enclave.”  Moreover, she noted  that Putin is not interested  in a war with Israel ,suggesting that the meeting with Netanyahu  in Moscow was  to coordinate means to avoid conflict. However, Bryen  noted  Putin has another interest in the region, “control over the flow of gas to Europe” being developing offshore in Israeli, Egyptian,  and Lebanese fields.  Bryen thinks there is ‘no evidence’ of Russian presence on the Syrian frontier on Israel’s Golan Heights.  Notwithstanding a spate of rocket and mortar attacks on the Golan responded to by the IDF this past weekend that Israeli Minister of Defense Ya’alon thinks were ordered by Iran.  We shall soon see whether Putin’s gamble pays off.  Or results in another graveyard  like Afghanistan  rout of the Soviet 40th Army in 1989.

We could see this  thunder clap about to occur in the run up to the UN General Assembly session.  We had the Russian announcement of  military aid and mission to be established in the Alawite bastion of Latakia province.  Included were  the building of expanded landing fields to accommodate Ilushin cargo aircraft  and squadrons of  Mig and Sukhoi fighters, transiting from Russia to Syria  via Iran and Iraqi airspace. Then there was the announcement of Black Sea fleet maneuvers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.  In late July, following the UN endorsement of the Iran deal, Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Commander  Qasem Soliemani in Moscow  met with Putin and  Russian Defense Minister Shogui. Those discussions were  ostensibly to expedite deliveries of Russian advanced air defense systems, but  in reality to plan for Russian direct involvement with Iranian forces . In May , we witnessed an alleged US ally, Iraqi Premier Haidar al-Abadi traveling to Moscow  to obtain additional fighter  deliveries to aid in the battle against the Islamic State. Meanwhile, President Obama had committed 3, 500 American military trainers to assist  the  Iraqi National Security forces  to recover Anbar province and  Mosul. Abadi, our alleged ally in the coalition against ISIS,   brought in Russian military advisors to link  up with   Soliemani  directing  Iraqi Shia militia forces.

The unkindest  cut of all was the announcement  on the eve of the UN General Assembly of a joint intelligence and security operations center in Baghdad sharing  information among Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq.

There was  also evidence that the U.S. led coalition strategy in Syria and Iraq “defeating and degrading” ISIS had collapsed.  That was reflected  in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee by CENTCOM commander, Gen. Lloyd Austin who told Senators that  the $500 million program to train Syrian opposition fighters had failed ignominiously. We had spent $40 million training and equipping 60 candidates, who signed waivers that they were to fight ISIS, not Assad. 40 of those surrendered their weapons and joined Al Qaeda affiliate jabhat al Nusra.    If that wasn’t  enough, we had the roiling scandal of a revolt by CENTCOM  intelligence analysts who requested a Pentagon Inspector General  investigation into why assessments were being prettied up by superiors  to present a misinformed picture to the President and National Security Staff that we were succeeding in the air campaign without US boots on the ground.  That was further depicted in testimony by ex-CIA director, retired Army General Petreaus , who  testified  before the same Senate Armed Services Committee  recommending establishing   no fly zones, sanctuary havens in country and deploying  Special Forces teams.  Add to that the failure of the Obama White House to honor its commitment to supply  Syrian Kurdish YPG  and Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces with updated weapons, ammunition and equipment.  The Kurds are  being attacked by Turkish air force fighters.  To cap things off, retired Marine Gen. John Allen, coordinator of the  Coalition effort,  resigned after a year of service.  As former Defense Intelligence Agency  head, retired Army General Michael Flynn observed, this is what you get when you “politicize intelligence”. The President suggested in his UN address  that the Islamic State   “violent extremism , distorts ”the true meaning of the Islamic faith.”

Russian may have “frozen” the Syrian conflict in a stalemate.  The U.S. finds itself suddenly on the sidelines, largely, by its own “red lines”. Now with Russia’s direct involvement in Syria and Iraq, we will soon find out if ISIS is vanquished or remains a growing global threat. Such are the rules of The Great Game that in the 19th Century pitted imperial Czarist Russia against the British Empire.

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

Can the States Stop Implementation of Iran Nuclear Deal?

On the Sunday, September 20, 2015 Lisa Benson Show we interviewed, David B. Rivkin, Jr. a noted Constitutional  litigator, a partner in the Washington, DC office of the Baker Hostetler law firm. The topic was “Can the Senate Sue the President over his handling of the Iran Nuclear Deal?”  Rivkin is also   a Senior Fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).  He served in a variety of legal and policy positions in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush  Administrations, including stints at the White House Counsel’s office, Office of the Vice President and the Departments of Justice and Energy. While in the government, he handled a variety of national security and domestic issues, including environmental and energy policy, tax, trade and constitutional issues.  He is a much sought after as a media commentator on matters of constitutional and international law, as well as foreign and defense policy.

Rivkin recently won a landmark decision in the D.C. Federal District Court in the matter of House v. Burwell over the supremacy of Congressional appropriations authorities with regard to implementation of the Affordable Care Act that affirmed Congressional standing to bring such an action. He co-authored a September 6, 2015 Washington Post opinion article with Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) suggesting a possible suit by the Senate against the President for non–compliance with the language of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act requiring delivery of all requisite documents including the privileged IAEA side agreements.  A September 10, 2015 WSJ op ed by Rivkin and Elizabeth Price Foley discussed how the successful House v. Burwell suit gave standing to Congress to bring possible litigation against the President. Moreover, the suit in the ACA matter had survived a motion to dismiss by the Administration. We have published similar proposals by Sklaroff and Bender for Senate litigation over the JCPOA unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council on July 22, 2015.

The Sklaroff Bender proposal required the Senate to change Rule 22 to achieve cloture to cut off filibusters by Minority Democrats, before Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) might offer up a resolution to treating the Iran nuclear agreement as a treaty under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution requiring a two thirds vote under the advise and consent of the Senate.  However, to initiate that would have required McConnell to make changes in Rule 22 at the start of the 114th Congress in January 2015.  Currently, to cut off debate requires 60 votes. Congressional Research Service reports on this issue indicated previous proposals reducing the threshold down in steps to a simple majority vote. A number of prominent conservative activists and organizations advocated such a change at the start of the new Congress but McConnell pushed back, arguing that Democrats would use the new rules once they returned to the Majority to quash Republican concerns in the future.

The Senate Republican majority failed in a last move to upend the Iran Nuclear deal. As reported by the AP, a Senate vote on a resolution requiring Iran to recognize Israel as a quid pro quo to lifting sanctions failed once again to reach the 60 vote’s threshold.  The vote was 53 to 45 before the deadline of September 17th under the Corker-Cardin Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, in an AP report on the Administration’s start to implement the JCPOA, the deal “likely will be revisited by the next commander-in-chief.”  The AP reportedHouse Speaker John Boehner suggesting that possible litigation might be an option. Other Senators and Members of Congress have suggested renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act of 2006 before it sunsets in 2016.

Watch this mid-April 2015  Wall Street Journal interview with David B. Rivkin, Esq. He had presciently predicted the problems confronting  Congress  under the Corker-Cardin Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act to pass resolutions rejecting the JCPOA.

During the Lisa Benson Show interview, Rivkin suggested that the President had violated Coker-Cardin by not delivering all of the requisite information, including the IAEA side agreements with Iran. As a result of this violation, the Congressional review period has never started and, consistent with the statutory language of Corker Cardin, the President’s authority to lift any sanctions against Iran or unblock any frozen Iranian funds has been vitiated. Rivkin expressed the view that, if the President were to indicate that he intends to lift sanctions, or unblock frozen assets, this decision can be challenged in court, either by the House or the Senate, or the States. Listen to the Rivkin interview on the Lisa Benson Show sound cloud, here.

Rivkin and colleague Lee Casey wrote about that possibility in a July 26, 2015, Wall Street Journal opinion article, “The Lawless Underpinnings in the Iran Nuclear Deal“. They argued:

The Obama end-run around the Constitution could yet be blocked if states exercise their own sanctions regimes …The administration faces another serious problem because the deal requires the removal of state and local Iran-related sanctions. That would have been all right if Mr. Obama had pursued a treaty with Iran, which would have bound the states, but his executive-agreement approach cannot pre-empt the authority of the states.

That leaves the states free to impose their own Iran-related sanctions, as they have done in the past against South Africa and Burma. The Constitution’s Commerce Clause prevents states from imposing sanctions as broadly as Congress can. Yet states can establish sanctions regimes—like banning state-controlled pension funds from investing in companies doing business with Iran—powerful enough to set off a legal clash over American domestic law and the country’s international obligations. The fallout could prompt the deal to unravel.

An explanation of the JCPOA State Sanctions impasse was outlined in a Steptoe International Compliance blog on August 15, 2015, “The JCPOA and State Sanctions” by Bibek Pandy:

The Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) does not say much about Iran sanctions imposed by US state governments. Almost two dozen states (including New York, California and Florida) have passed laws that in some form (i) ban the awarding of government contracts to companies tied to Iran, and/or (ii) prohibit public funds from investing in companies doing certain types of business in Iran. These state restrictions can be more extensive in scope than US federal sanctions. For example, some state restrictions (e.g. in Florida) attach automatically to the parent entity of the company who engages in certain Iran activities. Laws in many states provide for the lifting of Iran sanctions when the President removes Iran from the list of countries that support terrorism; but the JCPOA does not do that, and, as a result, Iran sanction laws in most states will remain intact.

[…]

Companies considering engaging in activity authorized under the JCPOA need to be still mindful of non-federal Iran sanctions. In particular, state government contractors with Iran links should review state procurement laws before engaging in activities permitted by the JCPOA. Furthermore, contractors can face civil penalties in many states for providing false certifications related to their Iran activities. The bar for Iran-related disqualification in some states is relatively low, and the JCPOA does not change that.

David B RivkinDavid B. Rivkin, Jr., Esq.

Following the Lisa Benson Show, David Rivkin and this writer held a conversation to explore the possibilities of a state level initiative. Florida Attorney General (AG) Pam Bondi led a filing made in the 1st Federal District Court in Pensacola on behalf of Florida and more than two dozen other State AGs endeavoring to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Federal Judge Vincent heard oral arguments and ruled on the matter sending it ultimately to the 11th Circuit in Atlanta.   Rivkin thinks that a similar action could be mounted by Florida and a few other states in the same legal venue, the 1st District Court.  The filing might be based on existing Florida sanction law passed under the federal 2010 Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA) supplemented by an Executive Order.

The State cause of action, according to Rivkin, could be filed in a matter of weeks, potentially forestalling the release of sanctions before the implementation date under JCPOA, December 15, 2015. As indicated in a September 11, 2015 FDD memo by Dubowitz, Fixler, et.al. the subsequent release of upwards of $120 billion of sequestered funds in several Asian banks would take an additional six months. Thus the Rivkin state litigation proposal, if implemented promptly, might possibly stop the release of Iran nuclear sanctions.

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

Video Message to the U.S. Congress: Tear Up the Iran Deal — Pass a Resolution Killing It!

This video presents a straightforward analysis as to why the United States Congress should rip up the Iran deal and instead pass a Resolution rejecting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was negotiated between the Obama Administration and Iran, the number one state sponsor of Islamic terror.

The rejection of the JCPOA is based up the Senator Corker Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, signed by President Obama, which prohibits a vote of disapproval if the complete deal, including any side deals between Iran and any other parties are not handed over to Congress for their proper and professional review.

Our analysis is based upon the outstanding and extensive work of former U.S. Prosecutor, Andy McCarthy.

For an excellent summary, see Andy McCarthy’s National Review article “Obama’s Iran Deal Is Still far from Settled.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Obama, It’s Time to Reverse Course on Iran Deal

Florida Senator Bill Nelson was against illegal immigration before he was for it

I was sent an interesting email with an attached letter from Florida Senator Bill Nelson sent to Don O’Nesky, one of his constituents, in in May 2006. The subject of the original letter from Senator Nelson was his stand on illegal immigration.

In the letter Senator Nelson states, “I believe the U.S. needs a smart, realistic plan to address illegal immigration – one that protects our borders and insures all immigrants play by the rules.” Nelson in his 2006 letter wanted to “deport” those who don’t “play by the rules.” Sounds somewhat like what Donald Trump is saying today.

In an email to Senator Nelson, reminding him of what he said, O’Nesky notes:

Senator Bill Nelson

FAX: 202-228-2183

Dear Senator Nelson:

Re: Illegal Alien/Immigration Issues

On May 23, 2006 we received the attached letter [below] from you agreeing that we have an illegal alien/immigration problem.  You indicated “we need to enforce our existing laws.”  Plus you pointed out additional things that needed to be done to protect the border.  You implied these items would be on the table when ‘the Senate considers this issue.’

Well, next spring will complete a decade since that letter was sent out and not only has the situation not been fixed, it is much, much worse.

At this rate, in another decade we will not have a border.  And as a reminder a country that does not enforce its border is no longer a free and independent nation.

This is a serious issue that has needed fixing for a very long time and it must be fixed now!

Sincerely,

Don O’Nesky

It seems politicians in general, and Democrats like Senator Nelson in particular, are willing to change their policy positions like the weather in the Sunshine State. With President Obama opening the U.S. borders and allowing increasing numbers of refugees from Muslim countries into local communities, Senator Nelson has reconsidered his position?

Here is the original letter sent to Senator Nelson:letter from fl senator nelson on immigration