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From Proposal to Policy: Fine-Tuning Trump’s Muslim Immigration Ban by Ralph Sidway

“In light of [the] data, a good argument can be made that the US should allow Muslim immigration—but primarily, and perhaps solely, from Islamic sects and not Sunnis Let’s adapt Trump’s plan and put a moratorium on Sunni immigration.”

This policy discussion by Islamic historian Timothy Furnish may seem to run counter to the position of those of us who believe a complete moratorium on Muslim immigration “until we can figure out what the heck is going on” is the proper approach, but it is at the very least a serious attempt to undergird Donald Trump’s proposed Muslim immigration ban with factual and functional analysis. Serious discussion leads to serious policy, and serious results. Let’s have this discussion.

“An Islamic Historian’s Response to Donald Trump’s Proposed Muslim Immigration Ban”, by Timothy R. Furnish, History News Network, May 13, 2016:

Donald Trump’s call to temporarily ban Muslim immigration to the US, floated last December, provoked a predictable firestorm of criticism both domestically and abroad, and recently the presumptive Republican nominee for President has moved to moderate his stance.

Many if not most on the Left have not only dismissed his idea out-0f-hand, but condemned it as “racist,” while many on the Right support itContra the political extremes of both Left and Right, however, I think Trump has a point, if the plan were fine-tuned. Some Muslims should probably be banned (which almost certainly would be legal), but not all; and to differentiate those categories requires honest research and analysis, not emoting and propaganda.

The starting point for this evaluation is whether adherents of the world’s second-largest faith are more prone to violence than those of other religions.

Far too many liberals, and most Muslims of course, vehemently deny any such connection. But facts are stubborn things.

Of the 59 groups currently on the US State Department foreign terrorist list, 41, or 69%, are Muslim. Every single one of the 82 groups on the United Arab Emirates’ terrorist list is Islamic. (Does that make the UAE “racist” one wonders?) There are 104 groups on the database of the University of Chicago Project on Security & Terrorism (CPOST), which tracks terrorism between 1982 and 2015; at least 80 of the groups therein, or 77%, are Muslim. Twenty-one of the top 25 groups whose members killed people in that same time-frame are Muslim. Also, in that 33-year period, suicide attacks by Muslims far outnumber those Christians, by 300:1. Yes, there was exactly one suicide attack by a Christian in the 33 years that CPOST has tracked the data.

For more historical analysis of this topic, may I suggest my latest book Sects, Lies, and the Caliphate, as well as anything written by Raymond Ibrahim—in particular “Are Judaism and Christianity as Violent as Islam?” and “ ‘Scientific’ Claim: Christian Bible More Bloodthirsty than Quran.”

The historical and empirical evidence is clear for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear: Islam promotes violence against those not in its club (which, yes, often includes those who claim to be Muslims, as well) far more than any other belief system does against non-adherents.

But as the howls of “Islamophobia” begin to rise, let me add that not all branches of Islam are equally culpable for this global problem.

As I argue at length in my aforementioned book (especially pp. 193-209), it is primarily Sunnism—the largest branch, alas—that promotes a literalist reading and application of the Qur’an and the Hadiths (the alleged sayings and practices of Islam’s founder, Muhammad). This means that canonical Islamic endorsement of beheading, stoning, and violent jihad, inter alia, must apply across space and time; they are not subject to, say, allegorical interpretation or chronological consignment to the 7th century AD.

And such Sunni literalism has sunk deep roots: majorities of Muslims in many countries (according to Pew empirical data) support stoning for adultery and execution for “apostasy” (converting from Islam to another religion). This is why I said on a recent TV special that ISIS is indeed Islamic, and why it is so difficult for other Muslims to actually delegitimize it. 

However, wooden and, frankly, brutal Sunni literalism—which holds sway not only in terrorist groups but also in broader movements like Saudi Wahhabism and South Asian Deobandism—it is not the only understanding of Islam.

There are minority sects of Islam which do not take the Qur’an 100% literally and are thereby not yoked to slavish imitation of the texts, with all their problematic repercussions: the Ahmadis of South Asia; the Isma’ilis, the second-largest Shi`a sect; the syncretistic Alawis and Druze of Syria and Lebanon; many Sufi, or Islamic mystical, orders (which are actually not sects so much as, in a sense, charismatic Muslims); and, believe it or not, the Twelvers—the Shi`is of Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon and Azerbaijan—who unlike the Sunnis never abandoned ta`wil, or “(allegorical) interpretation” of the Islamic texts.

All of these groups are, to varying degrees, persecuted by Sunnis in most places for their heterodox—if not downright heretical—views, at least from the Sunni perspective.

Note, I am not saying all sects are peaceful and Sunnis are always vicious. What I am saying is that Sunnis and their theology are far more often the problem, because a literal understanding of Qur’an and Hadiths is the only one allowed therein; sects, even Twelver Shi`is, allow for much more leeway in interpretation.

Consider: only two of the groups on the US State Department list adduced earlier are Twelver Shi`i; ditto for the CPOST terrorist list. There are no examples of Ahmadi, Isma’ili or Alawi terrorists (although Alawis, in the guise of the al-Assad regime, do hold on brutally to power—largely in order to stave off the inevitable religicide that would ensue were they to lose to the Syrian Sunni jihadists). Twelver Shi`i Iran is a state sponsor of mainly Sunni terror, but in order to geopolitically hobble its enemies Saudi Arabia and Israel, not out of Twelver theological imperatives. Sufis can and have been violent in the past and today (they fight Boko Haram in Nigeria and al-Shabab in Somalia), but only one Sufi group—Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshbandi, which works with ISIS—is terrorist today.

In light of this data, a good argument can be made that the US should allow Muslim immigration—but primarily, and perhaps solely, from Islamic sects and not Sunnis.

But the Obama Administration is doing the exact opposite.

Between November 2015 and February 2016, just over 600 Syrian refugees were admitted to this country; 93% were Sunni, while just a handful were sectarians. In April of this year another 451 Syrians were brought in, almost all Sunni. (And not being covered in this article is the criminally-low number of Christians being admitted—under 1%.)

Yes, ISIS persecutes other Sunnis, but far less cruelly, and less frequently, than it does Alawis, Druze, Isma’ilis (or, as noted, Christians and members of the Yazidi faith). If the US really wants to help those being brutalized by ISIS, members of those sects should be preferred—not just for the humanitarian reason that they bear the brunt of Sunni fundamentalist ire, but for the utilitarian, pro-American one that members of such sects will almost certainly not engage in terrorism on American soil….

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Weaving a Stronger Sunni Axis

By Gallia Lindenstrauss and Yoel Guzansky:

Gallia LindenstraussYoel Guzansky

Saudi Arabia’s declared objective, driven in part by sectarian fervor, is to stop Iran’s growing influence in the region. To those in charge of making the necessary adjustments to Saudi Arabia’s security and foreign policy in light of regional developments, Turkey is a key player. From Riyadh’s perspective, Turkey is a Sunni regional power that has not realized its potential because it has failed to adopt a more aggressive policy toward Iran. For Turkey, Russia’s military involvement in Syria and the crisis in Turkish-Russian relations following the downing of the Russian fighter jet prompted an adjustment of Ankara’s foreign policy. More specifically, these developments, as well as Ankara’s  diplomatic isolation in the region, have accelerated Turkey’s drive toward a closer alignment with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states. Should Saudi Arabia succeed in leveraging the economic assistance it provides to Egypt and mediate effectively between Cairo and Ankara, this could lead to stronger relations between Turkey and other Gulf states, and thereby help weave a stronger Sunni front in the region.

Topics:

Gulf States, Turkey

The nuclear deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 and the initial lifting of the economic sanctions on Iran in January 2016 were formative events for Saudi Arabia that strengthened the supporters in the kingdom of a proactive policy against Iran. Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s declared objective, driven in part by sectarian fervor, is to stop Iran’s growing influence in the region. To those in charge of making the necessary adjustments to Saudi Arabia’s security and foreign policy in light of regional developments, Turkey is a key player. From Riyadh’s perspective, Turkey is a Sunni regional power that has not realized its potential because it has failed to adopt a more aggressive policy toward Iran. For Turkey, Russia’s military involvement in Syria and the crisis in Turkish-Russian relations following the downing of the Russian fighter jet prompted a adjustment of Ankara’s foreign policy. More specifically, these developments have accelerated Turkey’s drive toward a closer alignment with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states. This process reached new heights with the deployment of Saudi fighter aircraft at the Turkish air base Incirlik (which may expand to the deployment of ground forces as well) – officially as part of the struggle against the Islamic State, but in effect, to signal inter-state unity.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (l) with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (r) in Riyadh, January 31, 2016. Photo: AFP / SPA / HO

Since King Salman Bin Abdulaziz ascended the Saudi throne in January 2015, there have been noticeable attempts to forge closer relations between Riyadh and Ankara. Already during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Riyadh in December 2015 (which was the Turkish President’s third visit to the kingdom that year), Turkey and Saudi Arabia decided on the establishment of a council for strategic cooperation. Soon after, Saudi Arabia executed Saudi Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, and for Riyadh, a nation’s reaction to the execution was akin to a loyalty litmus test. Speaking of the execution, Erdogan said it was “an internal [Saudi] legal matter,” and Ankara condemned the subsequent arson at Saudi Arabia’s missions in Tehran and Mashhad, calling the fire-bombings “unacceptable.” Beyond the rhetorical support for Riyadh, Turkey joined the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism, announced in December 2015 by Saudi Arabia, which includes 34 nations – but not Iran. In addition, as part of their attempt to balance Iran’s influence in Iraq, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have exhibited more public support than in the past for the autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq; this month Saudi Arabia will opening a consulate in Irbil (Turkey has had a consulate there since 2010). Furthermore, Turkey supported Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen and did not criticize the action’s negative humanitarian repercussions.

Following the late January 2016 visit to Saudi Arabia by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who was accompanied by several ministers and the head of the secret service, there was renewed speculation about a possible strengthening of cooperation between the two nations.  Particular emphasis may lie on coordinating positions in the (currently suspended) third round of talks in Geneva on efforts to end the civil war in Syria. It seems that both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are frustrated with US policy on Syria, in part because it does not completely rule out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad retaining his position, at least for an interim period, and are trying to use one another to change this policy. Pressure on the United States has already resulted in some success: the decision that representatives of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), though the dominant element among Syria’s Kurds, would not be among those invited to the Geneva talks. This reflects Turkey’s contention that the PYD is an extension of the PKK, the Kurdish underground operating in Turkey, and therefore unacceptable. Moreover, both Ankara and Riyadh are frustrated by Russia’s military intervention in Syria, not only in that this intervention prolongs Assad’s tenure, but also threatens the opposition forces supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia and the ability to send supplies and other assistance.

Along with its increased closeness with Riyadh, however, Ankara has called on Saudi Arabia and Iran to return to the diplomatic channel and work on reducing tensions between them, evidence of Turkey’s desire to maintain correct relations with Iran and its reluctance to become overly involved in the Riyadh-Tehran conflict. This is not surprising, given Turkey’s need for  energy imports from Iran, especially natural gas (after Russia, Iran is the second most important provider of gas to Turkey; in 2014, Turkey imported about 18 percent of its natural gas from Iran), and Turkey’s desire to increase the scope of trade with Iran with the lifting of the economic sanctions.

While Turkey’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and its opposition to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s regime in Egypt are an obstacle to closer relations with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states, Saudi Arabia itself is at present exhibiting a more pragmatic approach than in the past toward the Muslim Brotherhood. From its point of view, Iran’s expansionism is the greatest threat, leading it to desire a large, cohesive Sunni bloc in the region. Moreover, alongside the parties’ geostrategic considerations, the Gulf states – especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar – are significant investors in the Turkish economy.

For some years now, Turkey has enjoyed closer relations with Qatar; these reached a new peak in December 2015 when the nations announced the construction of a Turkish military base in Qatar for the stationing of some 3,000 troops. Although Turkey has soldiers stationed in northern Iraq, the construction of the Qatari base and the scope of forces to be stationed there set new precedents in terms of a Turkish military presence in the Middle East. Turkey also committed itself to continue military training for Qatar’s army. In addition to this strategic security cooperation, the two enjoy joint economic and energy ventures. Indeed, Turkey would like to increase the amount of liquefied natural gas it buys from Qatar, but the size of its existing facilities makes this problematic.

Turkey is also making efforts to rebuild its relations with the UAE, and in particular to ease the same tensions that existed with Saudi Arabia, namely Ankara’s intense criticism of Sisi and Turkish support for the Muslim Brotherhood and, conversely, the UAE’s support for the toppling of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt in July 2013. Manifestations of these tensions are the standstill in the scope of trade between Turkey and the UAE (compared to the growth in trade between Turkey and the other Gulf states) and the fact that there has been no UAE ambassador appointed to Ankara for a long time, both prima facie evidence of Abu Dhabi’s dissatisfaction with Ankara’s policy. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu recently stated that he intends to visit the UAE soon, apparently in an attempt to turn over a new leaf.

Another reason for Ankara to want to forge closer relations with the Gulf states concerns its diplomatic isolation in the region. Turkey currently has no ambassador in Israel, Egypt, and Syria. Should Saudi Arabia succeed in leveraging the economic assistance it provides to Egypt into mediating between Egypt and Turkey, which would be manifested by the return of the ambassadors to Ankara and Cairo, this could lead to stronger relations between Turkey and other Gulf states, and thereby help weave a stronger Sunni front in the region. At the same time, some kind of rapprochement between Ankara and Cairo could also allow Israel to rebuild its own relations with Turkey. Currently, one of the deterrents to a normalization agreement between Israel and Turkey is the Egyptian concern that in the context of concessions Israel would provide Turkey, Ankara would gain a more significant role in Gaza, which would strengthen Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. A stronger Saudi-Egyptian-Turkish bond might mitigate some of that concern.

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Related Publications

December 16, 2015 The Islamic State: How Viable Is It?

December 09, 2015 Clash of the Titans? Turkish-Russian Relations on a Slippery Slope

98% of Syrians entering U.S. are Sunni Muslims

Here is where the 291 Syrians who have entered the U.S. in FY2016 have been placed.  California, Texas, Kentucky, Arizona and Ohio make the top five.  (I selected for my search October 1, 2015 to November 15, 2015 and assume the data base is up to date to the 15th, but can’t know that for sure).

The flood gates have been opened and they will arrive hot and heavy now (will the governors have any power?).

map Syrians first six weeks of 2016

At the Refugee Processing Center (click on reports and select interactive reports, you will be able to figure it out!) you can also check the religions of arriving refugees.  Here is the breakdown for the 291 so far this fiscal year (assuming data base is up to date as of November 15th, two days ago):

3 Catholics

1 Christian

1 Orthodox

286 Sunni Muslims

As we have reported many times, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees picks most of our refugees and in the case of the Syrians they come from UN camps populated by mostly Muslims.   He has 20,000 chosen for us already.  At a recent immigration conclave in Washington, DC, we were there to hear him say that the Syrian Christians are not persecuted because the “regime” (Assad) was protecting them.

As long as the UNHCR is choosing most of our refugees, I don’t expect the percentage of Muslims in the stream to change much.

One other bit of confusion flying around in the mainstream media is that somehow we will be getting Syrians who have flooded into Europe, we won’t be (at least not in any great number for now).

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13% of Syrian Muslim migrants support the Islamic State

The survey was done among Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan which is exactly where Syrians destined for America are coming from.

This should be no surprise!

From The Clarion Project (Hat tip: Diana):

A poll published in November 2014 by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies found that 13% of Syrian refugees have positive feelings towards the Islamic State terrorist group. The data should raise questions about the risks posed by the acceptance of Syrian refugees into the United States.

The poll surveyed 900 Syrian refugees equally split between Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The think-tank found that 4% expressed a positive opinion of the Islamic State (ISIS) and another 9% expressed a “somewhat positive” opinion of the terrorist group. Another 10% only view the group negatively “to some extent.”

Continue reading here….

97% of the Syrians admitted to the U.S. in FY 2015 were Sunni Muslims.

Director of the FBI James Comey told Congress recently that we cannot properly screen them.

Here are the states where Syrians have been resettled this month (the first month of the 2016 fiscal year).

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The Toll of WWIII — From Stalin to Putin

Well known and highly respected journalist O’Reilly has surprised me while talking with Ben Carson on his show 9.17.15. O’Reilly said that he did not remember any government that declared a war on us and we did not remove that government. It was a wrong statement. Unfortunately, Mr. O’Reilly is not alone, he has a big company of others thinking alike. Perhaps, none of them has never heard about the current WWIII and Soviet Fascism, about which, I have been writing for the last twenty years. I have to show how wrong they are and prove it.

Some History of Communism

Communists, beginning with Karl Marx, have never hidden their major agenda—destruction of capitalism and creation of a Socialist State. Marx openly called for revolution and determined the leadership in the revolution—proletariat, which is the low poor class with nothing to lose “besides their chains.” Several revolutions in a freedom loving Europe had not succeeded in the 19th century. After the October Socialist Revolution 1917, Stalin had changed this formula and established the totalitarian regime, we called Stalinism in the 20th century.

 Islam and the Muslim Culture in Stalin’s Biography

At this point, I have to repeat the major factors of Stalin’s bio:

First, and the most important was his upbringing within a Muslim culture. Though, he was a student (a dropout) of an Orthodox Christion Seminary, his love and knowledge of Islam was a chief cause in the formation of a totalitarian regime in Russia. A dogmatic Marxist, he however, saw the inability of the Communist ideology to conquer the world without the help of Islam. His trip to Iran through a porous borders had fostered his idea to bring together the Communist ideology and Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood had presented that opportunity and Stalin acted accordingly making the Muslin Brotherhood a politburo of Islam functioning from Moscow. Later, Arafat was recruited by two members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

As you know, Stalin was obsessed with the chess-game, which helped him to calculate far ahead a particular way of actions. Knowing a never ending war between Sunnis and Shias, he planned to involve the West into that never ending conflict and finely to defeat Western civilization. The events after WWI and an arrogant behavior of the victorious Europe rearranging the map of the Middle East, had given him a precedent for the future actions. Islam, with its permission to lie for political advancement, had made Stalin a savvy politician and an extraordinary intriguer to create a political system based on a fraud. It was Stalin, who invented a marriage of Communism and Islam

Second, and no less important, is Stalin’s ability to see and understand that capitalism is very productive, well managed, and its military might cannot be kept up by the Soviet military. Hence, the main idea of replacing capitalism by Socialism had required a different approach to the matter. There are several other aspects of history that could’ve plaid a role… It is a national Russian Empyreal Impulse that coincided with Stalin’s agenda. Besides, as a student of the Russian Orthodox Seminar, he learned about the founder of the Illuminati Society and their methods. A founder of the Order of the Illuminati secret society Adam Weishaupt a German philosopher, in order to spread his ideas was sending his emissaries to different countries to implement his teachings. Stalin had completely absorbed the method and to implement it built the mighty intelligence apparatus called the KGB.

putin obamaAsymmetrical War Runs under the Supervision of the KGB

I have already dedicated many pages to the history of the KGB, its main factions and its significance within the Stalinist regime. As a matter of fact, Stalin had two major tasks for fostering the KGB: a watch dog for the loyalty to the government system within the country and to spread and implement Stalin’s teachings to the outside world. The entire country was under total control by the KGB. Like a dark cloud the fear to speak entered every human dwelling and the Houses of Worship; people were afraid of each other to communicate. We, the former citizen of the Socialist countries will never forget the fear and intimidation we all went through. We called the KGB—the Organs. Read Chapter 4, And Evil is Alive and Well, What is Happening to America?

For this reason, I also gave you the list of tools, devises, methods and tricks, the entire modus operandi used by the KGB. In the last several columns, I paid a special attention to Political Correctness, as the only one of the methods used by KGB. I focused your attention on recruitment and infiltration for a reason—those two are the main components of WWIII. I tried to expose the list of all the tricks and devises of Stalin’s teachings in my books, I hope you also remember a creation of a Soviet style leaders in the outside world. But the list of tools is so long and constantly developed by Stalin’s devoted disciples of the KGB that it will take the intelligence apparatus to follow it. The devoted disciples are Andropov and Putin.

Yet, to comprehend better the nature and essence of WWIII, let me give you again the document proving my statement. It is a decision of the Soviet Defense Council in 1955, which was the first formal Soviet document declaring the war on Western civilization .Please, remember, the document had been written under the control of the KGB. It reveals the launch of narcotics trafficking against the bourgeoisie and especially against the American capitalists as a sub-component of a global strategy:

“Soviet strategy for revolutionary war is a global strategy… narcotics strategy is a sub-component of this global strategy… First was the increased training of leaders for the revolutionary movements—the civilian, military, and intelligence cadres. The founding of Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow is an example of one of the early actions taken to modernize the Soviet revolutionary leadership training. The second step was the actual training of terrorists. Training for international terrorism actually began as ‘fighters for liberation.’…The third step was international drug and narcotics trafficking. Drugs were incorporated into the revolutionary war strategy as a political and intelligence weapon to use against the bourgeois society and as a mechanism for recruiting agents of influence around the world.” You can read the entire document in my column titled Agents of Influence, the name given to the moles by the above mentioned document.

The document projects the future aggressive criminal activities, yet, it was formed on the background of a real war. After Stalin completed the creation of the Chinese Communist State in 1949, he gave an order to a Soviet General Staff to plan a Korean war that began in 1950. You know the result. But…this vicious aggressive circle has never been stopped, then it was Vietnam, Cambodia where the Soviet military actively participated. And the waves of the misfortunate Asians have streamed out to Europe and America asking for the asylum. In 1956 the Communist Hungary asked for the Russian “help” and the tanks had drownd freedom in Hungary. Then the Russian tanks had killed the Prague Spring in1968 and again, the people from Europe asked now for asylum in America. Don’t you think that asymmetrical war, waged by Russia was started many years ago?

Finishing with freedom in Asia and Europe, Stalinist devoted disciples moved to the Middle East with the same formula bequeathed by Stalin. Papa Assad in Syria, had already been recruited by the time and a new name came to life–Arafat, leading a so-called Liberation Movement. I have already dedicated many pages to this fake, dangerous, military movement in the Middle East. The Stalinist design has never been changed, but developed in coherence with the time and current events in the world.  As usual the KGB was playing the crucial role—Andropov and Putin had followed Stalin’s design to our time. Now we are dealing with Iran, the next satellite of Russia and the biggest sponsor of International terrorism and a friend of Assad in Syria.

Look at the map of the Middle East and you will see a knot created for several decades by Russia. As I have already warned you before, I expect Russia and Iran will fight in Syria to secure Assad, who has already asked Russia for help. But Russia’s agenda is much wider and more threatening in the Middle East than it is seen at the first glance. What do you think, why does Russia bring anti-aircraft missiles to Syria? ISIS doesn’t have any air forces? The coalition lead by America has. Do you know why Russia brings fighter-jets to Syria?  Why is Syria’s airport occupied by Russian planes and helicopters? It is a strategic diversion to establish a real Russian military presence on the Mediterranean by a military base in Syria. Do not forget Putin is playing a geopolitical-chess game with the world and your lives.

That tells you a lot. Russia’s agenda is that of turning the Middle East into the battlefield against Israel the way Stalin had bequeathed it being an extreme anti-Semite.

30 Second Video: HAMAS Loves Iran Nuke Deal — Thanks Obama!

In this 30 Second video we explain the upside-down foreign policy world of President Obama, and how he is now creating friends between those who have been vicious enemies.

Who could have imagined that one of the leaders of the Sunni HAMAS would ever say anything positive about Shi’a Iran?

Well, all you (Obama) have to do is give your enemy (Iran) nuclear weapons to kill their greatest enemy (Israel) and WA’LA, the “Hatfields & McCoys” now spend Thanksgiving together.

Netanyahu’s Profile in Courage

Regardless of your “political affiliation,” you must admit Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu made a firm case as to why President Obama and the United States has no business entering into negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran — then again, perhaps Iran is not Islamic.

Is there any debate that Iran is the number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism? Is there any debate that Iran has extended its hegemonic designs in the Middle East — controlling four capitol cities, Baghdad, Sanaa, Damascus, and Beirut? Is there any debate that it is Iran leading an offensive operation to retake the city of Tikrit in Iraq? And this comes after what is now a massive embarrassment for the Obama administration and our USCENTCOM to have divulged that America working with the Iraqis will have to push back its plans to take Mosul to later in the year.

Is there any doubt that Iran has shown no change in its militant Islamic behavior and rhetoric? Iran is still the same country that overran our embassy and held Americans hostage — when a previous American president displayed weakness and paralysis.

This is the same Iran that worked through Hezbollah to slaughter nearly 250 Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers in Beirut. Iran continues to hold an American Pastor — Saeed Abedini — and we want to negotiate?

But according to our president — there was “nothing new” — and I must agree Mr. President, there is nothing new about Iran and its belligerence. As well, there is nothing new about President Obama who sadly — along with many members of the Democrat party — acted like a petulant child, angry because someone didn’t give in to him. For someone to tell the Prime Minister of Israel to go home showed a complete lack of regard, respect, and displayed unadulterated disdain.

Why? Why is the truth was so frustrating?

The supposed “deal” with Iran only lasts for ten years; afterwards, Iran is free to pursue its nuclear intentions — and if any of you don’t believe Iran has those designs, you’re as naïve as Sir Neville Chamberlain or his modern reincarnation, Barack Obama.

Or perhaps Obama isn’t naïve after all?

There is a contest in the Islamic world for the new hegemony. The traditional state that has filled that role has been Saudi Arabia where the most holy sites in Islam reside — Mecca and Medina. The challenger is the last Islamic empire, the Ottoman, Turkey, where President Recip Tayyip Erdogan has rejected the original secular Muslim state vision of Kemal Ataturk.

But the new kid on the block is not Sunni, but Shia: Iran. And as Prime Minister Netanyahu stated, “we can focus on ISIS and beating them, but if Iran develops a nuclear weapon, we will have won a battle but lost a war.” And it seems the Obama administration is more than happy to sit back and allow the Iranian Republican Guard and Shiite militias to fight ISIS.

You ask me why should you care?

Because in the end, as Netanyahu stated, “the enemy of my enemy is my enemy.” Shall we sit back and disregard our own security but more so abandon Israel and its survival?

And consider the growing anti-Semitism in Europe that is forcing Jewish communities to disappear. Who of you will look into the eyes of Elie Wiesel and not understand the meaning of the words, “Never again?” This is not about a little skirmish with no ramifications for the future of liberty and freedom – it is a seminal battle for the soul of Western civilization. That’s neither over the top, nor fear mongering hyperbole. It is the hard truth.

Yes, I hear the detractors: we are war weary and we don’t want to fight; this is just an example of foreign entanglements and President George Washington in his farewell speech warned against this. Something tells me General George Washington would not allow militant Islam — Sunni or Shiite — to thrive.

Do I have a strategy? Sure.

  1. First of all it is insanity to have vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline. We should be developing our energy resources enabling us to keep prices minimal in order to spur on economic growth. Then we should be exporting excess energy resources so that Europe does not have to depend upon Iranian sources.
  2. Reinstitute the crippling economic sanctions against the Islamic regime — it was working, so why would Obama let up on the gas? In the military we had a saying, “Why do you kick a man when he’s down? Because he’s close to your foot.” We should have kept kicking Iran, not offering them a hand helping them up — they have a knife ready.
  3. We should form an alliance with Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, and the Kurdish Regional Government to defeat militant Islamic terrorism in the region. Arm the Kurds and promise them what they truly deserve and have always wanted — a sovereign homeland. A homeland that extends from northern Iran to Iraq to Syria. Enable them to be a bulwark against Iran, Turkey and Syria, while pressuring Hezbollah in Lebanon. Yes, this is an opportunity for leadership to reshape the Middle East into strong allies that can assist in defeating the jihadists.
  4. And we need to fully support our best ally, Israel, and support their play against the array of Islamic terrorist groups who wish their destruction.

President Obama is hiding something. There is no other reason why he has issued a veto threat to the Congress for any legislation requiring his approval from the legislative body on his Iranian deal. So it seems the only enemy Barack Obama sees is the American Congress — I forgot, it is GOP-controlled, but none of this is political, right?

I just want everyone reading this to ask yourselves a question. You saw Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech yesterday. You heard President Barack Obama’s response to his speech (and his State of the Union address).

I ask you which one is a leader who loves his country? Let me give you a hint — in ten years, Iran will be free to become a nuclear power because of a deal that one of those two men wants very badly.

Israel Has Found New Allies

Israel Wall with Egypt Sinai

Israeli security fence on Egyptian border.

Let’s just say it up front and avoid tip-toeing around with politically correct language. President Obama and his administration are the most anti-Israel to have held office and likely the most anti-Semitic. Forget about his public declarations of friendship and support for Israel. For six years Obama has demonstrated his antipathy toward the only democratic nation in the Middle East, the Jewish state.

That’s why an anonymous administration official felt free to call Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a “chickenshit” and “a coward” while being interviewed by Jeffrey Goldberg for an article in The Atlantic.

He or she had to know the comment would go public. Netanyahu was accused of only being interested in his political survival and afraid to launch an attack on Iran to slow or end its nuclear armament program. In an effort to comply with U.S. demands, Netanyahu actually had put himself at political risk at home. None of Obama’s demands were rewarded or acknowledged and, for now, those days are over.

It is, of course, the Obama administration that has led the most servile negotiations to date with Iran, granting all manner of concessions in order to get an agreement that would put that terror-sponsoring nation within three or four months of having a nuclear warhead for its missiles or bomb for its aircraft.

Speaking to the Israeli Knesset, Netanyahu responded to the insulting name-calling saying, “I am under attack simply because I am defending the State of Israel. If I didn’t stand firm on our national interests, I would not be under attack.” And then, typical of the diplomatic dance, he said, “I respect and cherish the deep connection with the United States.”

If he was speaking in an historic context, he is right, but the six years of Obama’s terms in office have been a succession of insults and demands that would make Israel vulnerable to the constant presence of its enemies, Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, two terror organizations that are proxies for their sponsor, Iran. During the recent military operations to end months of continued rocketing from Gaza, the U.S. repeatedly called on Israel to stop. When it was over, countless tunnels whose sole purpose was for Palestinian terrorists to attack Israelis were found.

AA - Tunnels Under Our Streets

For a larger view click on the image.

Tunnels have also been a problem for Egypt and they are the ones that run from the Sinai area into Gaza. Following the Camp David Accords in 1979, Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty. Until then no Middle East Arab nation had any intention of acknowledging Israel’s sovereignty. The treaty has held firm since then, but the new Egyptian leadership came to power after the people demanded that the Muslim Brotherhood be removed from office. It was; first by military coup and then by an election. It is the same Muslim Brotherhood some of whose members have been part of the Obama administration.

For Egypt, the Sinai has been the scene of dozens of attacks against its military and security forces since the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 during the so-called “Arab spring.” As Oren Kessler, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Deputy Director for Research, recently noted, “Egypt has waged a sustained military campaign against Sinai extremists since August 2012, including air strikes and ground operations, as well as the destruction of at least 1,600 smuggling tunnels to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.”

“Despite the fact that at least 20 attacks have targeted Israel since Mubarak’s ouster, the Jewish state has not engaged in military operations in Egyptian territory” but “the recent Sinai security challenges have prompted the Israelis and Egyptians to cooperate in others ways…”

A response to its own security needs led the Israelis to build a fortified fence along its Egyptian border, its longest frontier, “in a bid to control the flow of asylum seekers and economic migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa.” You read that correctly, migrants want to live in Israel, perhaps knowing that, only there, are those who are Christian will not be killed for their faith and those who are Muslim will not be harassed. The fence, of course, has the added benefit of addressing the threat of Sinai terrorism.

So, Egypt ranks high among Israel’s allies in very real ways. The same can be said of Saudi Arabia, the Muslim holy land where Mecca and Medina are located. As Bret Stephens, a Wall Street Journal columnist, noted in late October, “The real problem for the administration is that the Israelis—along with all the other disappointed allies—are learning how little it pays to be on Barack Obama’s good side.”

“Since coming to office in 2009,” noted Stephens, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed, against his own inclination and over the objections of his political bases, to (1) recognize the Palestinian state, (2) enforce an unprecedented 10-month settlement freeze, (3) release scores of Palestinian prisoners held on murder charges, (4) embark on an ill-starred effort to reach a final peace deal with the Palestinians, (5) refrain from taking overt military steps against Iran, and (6) agree to every possible cease-fire during the summer’s war with Hamas.”

That, however, has not been enough for the Obama administration. Not only did it hold up “the delivery of munitions at the height of the Gaza war”, but Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Israel for the failure to achieve peace with the Palestinians when history confirms their long resistance and refusal to any peace deal. Kerry even managed to attribute the rise of the Islamic State to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That is delusional and deeply offensive.

Largely unreported because the two nations want it that way, Saudi Arabia and Israel have long been in discussions of what to do if the U.S. sells out both of them by concluding a deal with Iran regarding its nuclear arms program. Such a deal would leave both nations and all others in the Middle East and beyond vulnerable to Iran.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Sunni nations also have concerns about the rise of the Sunni Islamic State. If Obama is indifferent to Israel’s security, he gives plenty of evidence he feels the same about the Sunni nations. Both Iran and the Islamic State are Shiites.

If anyone, some years ago, had predicted that two leading Muslim nations would find ample reason to ally with Israel, they would likely have been laughed out of the room, but it is today’s reality. It may make Obama angry, but the Israelis don’t care. Despite the usual diplomatic charades, until Obama is out of office they and their Arab allies will act to protect themselves as he continues to betray them.

© Alan Caruba, 2014