David Plouffe's IRGC ATM
As a journalist who has written articles supportive of President Obama, and as a US citizen who voted for Obama in the 2008 general election (I voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries), I was aghast to read that David Plouffe, a member of the President's tight inner circle, took a check for $100,000 from a South Africa-based telecommunications company called MTN whose Iranian joint-venture partner, Irancell, has been described by the US Government as "fully owned" by Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). Attempts to play off Plouffe's Iranian check-cashing spree as an innocent mistake or as a Republican political ploy or as an action that was not strictly prohibited by US law on the precise afternoon in December, 2010 when he went to the bank are void of practical or moral import. I doubt the people who make these lame excuses on Plouffe's behalf could gin themselves up to believe what they are saying even if their jobs depended on it (which they probably do).
It goes without saying that $100,000 is a large amount of money, especially for a DC political operative, and that Plouffe's technical or regulatory experience in the field of global telecommunications isn't worth a plugged nickel to a South Africa-based telecommunications company, because he has no such experience. The fact that Plouffe traveled all the way to Nigeria to collect the loot is a detail from a crappy political farce.
What really stinks here, however, is not simply the fact of the dodgy connection to bad people who actively seek to kill American citizens but the fact that Plouffe took the money in mid-December 2010, and then officially joined the Obama administration weeks later, in January 2011. At the very least, the timing of the Plouffe pay-off makes this a particularly egregious example of the revolving-door DC politics-and-payouts system that Obama pledged to end when he campaigned for office in 2008. The normal procedure for greedheads like David Plouffe is to cash in on their government service AFTER leaving office.
But the timing of Plouffe's payoff suggests that something more sinister should not be discounted. Short of Ali Khamenei writing David Plouffe a personal check -- which would in fact be against the letter of US law -- there is simply no clearer way for the Revolutionary Guard, which has been officially deemed "the most active state sponsor of terrorism" by the US State Department, to slip $100,000 to one of Obama's closest and most trusted advisors, at a moment when internal administration debate about US Iran policy was on high boil. Plouffe, who ran Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign, knew full well that he was going into government a few weeks after his $100,000 speech in Nigeria -- and his paymasters knew it, too.
It's hard to imagine a scenario in which either party imagined that the MTN-Plouffe transaction was anything other than what it clearly was -- influence-peddling. The only excuse I can imagine for Plouffe's conduct is that he received winking assurances from someone (his boss?) that the US and Iran were going to do a deal and that, in any case, Iran was not an enemy of the United States, and that statements to the contrary were simply hot air.
More likely, David Plouffe's actions are the products of personal greed and some degree of contempt for the stated aims of US policy, as well as for the lives of American citizens and the lives of the thousands of Iranians, Syrians, Israelis and others who have been murdered by the Revolutionary Guard and its terrorist subsidiaries around the globe. Plouffe's use of an IRGC-owned company as his personal ATM is beneath contempt, and it is hard to imagine the reasoning by which he should remain privy to government secrets or be a party to sensitive policy discussions about Iran.
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|Mr. Plouffe viz-a-viz Ms. Abedin [120 words]||Ron Edge||Aug 9, 2012 09:27|
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by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next war against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.
by Bassam Tawil
What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.
The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.
The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.
by Burak Bekdil
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said: "All Israelis are legitimate targets." What would the Palestinian death toll have been if Mr. Netanyahu's spokesman declared all Palestinians as legitimate targets?
Underdog-nation romanticism tells us Israel should not respond when under rocket attack because it is capable of intercepting the rockets.
That there are fewer Israeli casualties does not mean Hamas does not want to kill; it just means, for the moment, Hamas cannot kill.
by Soeren Kern
Austria figures prominently in a map produced by the IS that outlines the group's five-year plan for expanding its caliphate into Europe, and has emerged as a central hub for jihadists seeking to fight in Syria.
"The spectrum of recruits for the conflict in Syria is ethnically diverse. The motivation, however, appears to be uniformly jihadist." — Austrian intelligence agency BVT.
"Allah also gives you the opportunity to wage jihad in Austria." — Austrian jihadist Firas Houidi.
"We are proud that Allah has chosen us. We feel like lions." — Austrian jihadist Abu Hamza al-Austria.