Latest Analysis and Commentary

Pakistan's 'Purification' Campaign Against Its Minorities

by Lawrence A. Franklin  •  February 8, 2023 at 5:00 am

  • When Pakistan was created in 1947, 23% of its citizens were non-Muslim. Today in Pakistan -- "Land of the Pure" in Urdu -- only about 3% of citizens are non-Muslim.

  • The Pakistanis, it is clear, do not want to host minorities: instead, they seem to be increasingly engaged in "purifying the land of the pure."

  • The country's male-only, elementary school-level madrassas turn out millions of students who are taught to hate Hindus, Christian and Jews.

  • The imams of Pakistan, many of whom are trained in Saudi Arabia's austere Wahhabi branch of Sunni Islam, financially support Pakistan's madrassas and help to perpetuate intolerance. The International Center for Religion and Diplomacy reports that Pakistani seventh grade textbooks portray Pakistan's Hindus as a traitorous group that supports the country's arch enemy, India. The same books also portray Pakistan's Christians as agents of the West bent on destroying Islam.

  • Despite the Pakistani government's having established a "National Action Plan" to protect minorities, there is no discernible improvement in their daily lives.

  • The most venomous abuses of all are probably the false accusations of blasphemy, especially common in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi. In Pakistan, as in many other Muslim countries, blasphemy is a crime punishable by death, and often also ends up in mob violence against entire minority communities.

  • According to an Indian media report last month: "Pakistan was to review its harsh blasphemy laws. It has made them even harsher."

  • In December, after the beheading of Daya Bheel, a Hindu woman, who skin was reportedly peeled off her head, India's Foreign Ministry demanded that Pakistan fulfill its obligations to protect minorities. The demand will likely have little impact upon crimes such as the abduction of non-Muslim girls and women by Muslim men.

When Pakistan was created in 1947, 23% of its population was non-Muslim. Today, only about 3% of the population is non-Muslim. Pakistan's appalling treatment of its religious minorities has caused many of them to leave the country. Pictured: Thousands of people at a rally in Karachi, Pakistan, demanding the execution of Asia Bibi, on November 21, 2018. Bibi, a Christian woman, spent 8 years on death row in Pakistan because of a false accusation of blasphemy, before being released and exiled. (Photo by Asif Hassan/AFP via Getty Images)

When Pakistan was created in 1947, 23% of its population was non-Muslim. Today in Pakistan -- "Land of the Pure" in Urdu -- only about 3% of the population is non-Muslim. At present, about 80-85% of its citizenry are Sunni Muslim. Pakistan's appalling treatment of Hindus, Christians, Shia Muslims and other Islamic sects, such as the Ahmadis, has caused many minorities to leave the country. Most Hindus have migrated to India, others to Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Pakistanis, it is clear, do not want to host minorities: instead, they seem to be increasingly engaged in "purifying the land of the pure."

The country's male-only, elementary school-level madrassas turn out millions of students who are taught to hate Hindus, Christian and Jews.

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China and Russia Deepen Their Ties

by Judith Bergman  •  February 7, 2023 at 5:00 am

  • Just 20 days before [Russia's invasion of Ukraine]..., Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a statement that said their cooperation had "no limits... no forbidden zones."

  • "Russia and China are making common cause to better defend their respective interests and their authoritarian systems from Western pressure," said Daniel Russel, a former Obama administration official handling Asia issues, at the time.

  • Shortly after that, Putin announced new Russian oil and gas deals with China worth an estimated $117.5 billion.

  • Both countries have also increasingly been conducting this trade in their national currencies.

  • In February, China and Russia will be holding joint military exercises with South Africa off the South African coast, underscoring the growing influence that China has in Africa

  • Above all, China's close and increased dealings with Russia have provided a lifeline to Putin, enabling him to continue his war on Ukraine. This is something that the Biden administration has done little about, apart from threatening last March that there would "absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them. We will not allow that to go forward and allow there to be a lifeline to Russia from these economic sanctions from any country, anywhere in the world."

  • "There's a number of ways that China's support is just crucial for Putin. I believe the Chinese could stop the war with one phone call to him. It would be like the banker calling you... so far it's not happening... Probably the only way to get ahead is going to be American sanctions on China... the war will go on because the banker is not going to make that call." – Michael Pillsbury, author of The Hundred Year Marathon," Fox Business, March 9, 2022.

  • So far, the Biden administration's help to Ukraine has been insufficient and slow in coming; however, protecting the West by saving Ukraine may yet go down as Biden's legacy and his administration's greatest achievement.

China and Russia continue to deepen their ties. China's close and increased dealings with Russia have provided a lifeline to Putin, enabling him to continue his war on Ukraine. Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in Beijing on February 4, 2022. (Photo by Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

China and Russia continue to deepen their ties, a pact that has not gone unnoticed by the European public. In a new poll taken by the International Republican Institute (IRI) across 13 Central and Eastern European countries, there was much concern about this deepening partnership.

Jan Surotchak, Senior Director for Transatlantic Strategy at IRI, said:

"Our data clearly show that many Europeans see a working relationship between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping as a threat to security and prosperity across the continent. As the war in Ukraine rages on, they are worried that an alliance between powerful authoritarians will continue to have a negative impact in their own backyard."

Similarly, a Pew research poll taken in the United States in April 2022 found 62% of respondents saying that the strengthened China-Russia relationship was "a very serious problem."

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How 'The Collective Voice of the Muslim World' Weaponizes the UN against Israel

by Bassam Tawil  •  February 6, 2023 at 5:00 am

  • OPEC and the OIC are infused with nearly incalculable wealth and most member states of the OIC have found themselves upbraided for questionable ethics.

  • One critic suggested: "If the OIC Summiteers are serious about the burning issues of justice, freedom and good governance, then they should schedule a special debate on the Transparency International's (TI) 2003 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which ranked 38 of the 57 OIC member nations in its latest chart of the corruption levels of 133 countries... [it] is dismal reading for OIC as it is an overall indictment of the failures of the OIC countries to grapple with the problem of corruption..."

  • The UN itself is certainly not above reproach in the corruption department, as evidenced, among other cases, by the "Oil-for-Food Program;" the extensive history of "food for sex" with children by "peacekeepers" who enjoy immunity from prosecution; or the trial of Chinese executive Julia Wang, who attempted to purchase an influential UN post.

  • One may wonder why Nicaragua, not an Islamic country, and with significant problems on its own home front, would trouble itself with submitting the motion. A cursory investigation reveals some significant motivation: "With the majority vote of the Sandinista Caucus, the National Assembly today approved the Loan Agreement signed between the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Republic of Nicaragua... The project, which has an estimated investment of 23 million dollars, of which the OPEC Fund will finance 20.5 million..."

  • The OIC even attempted to co-opt UN forces as a pretext for Islamic military support of Lebanon's offensive against Israel.

  • Returning to the pre-1967 lines -- simply the armistice lines from 1949 where fighting had happened to stop -- is nothing short of suicide for Israel; it would be virtually indefensible, and the UN and all of its sponsors are well aware of that.

  • It would seem... that protecting freedom of religion, outside of Islamic fundamentalism, is not of any particular concern to the OIC or what now stands mostly as its legitimizing but rapidly crumbling front, the UN. The collaboration between the OIC and UN is simply a pretext to twist international law -- and public opinion -- to their own purposes, whether they are promoting themselves or delegitimizing the State of Israel.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) presumptuously calls itself "The Collective Voice of The Muslim World," and simple observation of its activities would seem to place it as Islam's political Caliphate. One would wonder, then, how such a single-interest organization could lay claim to such a disproportionate amount of the United Nations' attention. Pictured: A special meeting of the OIC in Islamabad, Pakistan on December 19, 2021. (Photo by Farooq Naeem/AFP via Getty Images)

It is already a tired truism to say that the United Nations has a distinctly anti-Israel bias. The US became exasperated with this laser-like focus and, in unequivocal condemnation of the agency, withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2018 and, for the same reason, from UNESCO the following year.

Predictably, a UN Committee on the Status of Women resolution singled out Israel as the only state in the world to be condemned for violations of women's rights, as well.

How can such an overwhelming amount of time, paperwork and energy of the UN's extensive agencies, professedly representing global interests, be so single-mindedly devoted to the censure of a single democratic state?

Second only to the UN, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the world's largest intergovernmental organization.

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Biden Cannot Delay Sending Tanks to Ukraine

by Con Coughlin  •  February 5, 2023 at 5:00 am

  • From the outset of the conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin has calculated that Western support for Ukraine would eventually wane. And, with the Russians reported to be preparing a new spring offensive, any sign of hesitancy by Washington in terms of supporting Ukraine will encourage Putin in the belief that he will meet no meaningful resistance from the Western alliance....

  • The Ukrainian military says it is in desperate need of the heavy armour if it is to withstand a new offensive.

  • The Pentagon, which has been lukewarm about supplying the tanks from the outset, says the delays are due to the fact that it will need to purchase new Abrams tanks to supply Ukraine because the Defense Department doesn't have any available spares, which seems remarkable given that the US Army and US Marine Corps currently operate nearly 5,000 Abrams.

  • The [F-16 fighter jets], just like the tanks, are deemed essential if the Ukrainian military is to stand any chance of withstanding a new Russian offensive. The supply of Western fighters such as the F-16 would significantly enhance Ukraine's war-fighting capability, and would send a strong message to Putin that the West remains committed to ensuring Ukraine ultimately declares victory over Russia.

  • As with so many other issues relating to Ukraine, the Biden administration finds itself unable to reach any firm decision about whether or not to accede to Kyiv's request....

  • As with the tanks request, it has been left to European politicians to increase the pressure on the Biden administration to respond positively to the Ukraine request for fighter jets, with former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson making a direct appeal for Washington to supply warplanes during his recent visit to the US.

  • "The faster Putin gets out of Ukraine and the quicker we return to stability and the more powerful the message we send to people like China that the West – America, the U.K. – will not tolerate aggressive attempts to change borders by force," Johnson said.

  • Certainly, the Biden administration's constant dithering over its military support for Ukraine is not only demoralising for the brave Ukrainian forces fighting to protect their country from Russian tyranny. It also encourages Putin in the belief that, despite the significant losses he has suffered during the past year, he can ultimately achieve victory.

The Ukrainian military says it is in desperate need of the heavy armour if it is to withstand the new offensive the Russians are said to be planning to launch later this month. Any sign of hesitancy by Washington in terms of supporting Ukraine will encourage Putin in the belief that he will meet no meaningful resistance from the Western alliance. Pictured: Ukrainian soldiers operate a T-64 tank in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on February 4, 2023. The Soviet-era T-64 tank has been in service nearly 60 years. (Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden may feel that, by finally authorising the shipment of American tanks to Ukraine, he has demonstrated that he remains committed to the Ukrainian cause. But given the time it will take for the tanks to arrive in Ukraine, it could well prove to be an empty gesture.

Furthermore, with the White House resisting Ukrainian requests for F-16 fighter jets to protect the tanks, Biden risks sending mixed messages about just how committed his administration is to supporting Kyiv in its fight against the Russian invaders.

From the outset of the conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin has calculated that Western support for Ukraine would eventually wane. And, with the Russians reported to be preparing a new spring offensive, any sign of hesitancy by Washington in terms of supporting Ukraine will encourage Putin in the belief that he will meet no meaningful resistance from the Western alliance as he maintains his barbaric assault against the Ukrainian people.

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Iran: Selling Family Jewels to Buy Loyalty

by Amir Taheri  •  February 5, 2023 at 4:00 am

  • What does an autocrat do when his support base is shaken by popular protests?

  • The standard answer is: he tries to reassure supporters by increasing their privileges, thus giving them a bigger stake in the preservation of the status quo.

  • Transfer of public assets to chosen supporters has a routine pattern.

  • The supporter, usually a senior IRGC officer or a senior mullah, secures a low-interest loan from a state-owned bank to buy a state-owned asset at rock-bottom price. Almost always this is just a formality. Once the asset is acquired, the new owner forms a company and sells parts of its shares to others, making a huge profit. Those who acquire prime real estate make especially big killings.

  • One problem remains: will retired or cashiered generals feel confident enough about the regime's future to embark on the recycling scheme offered?

What does an autocrat do when his support base is shaken by popular protests? The standard answer is: he tries to reassure supporters by increasing their privileges, thus giving them a bigger stake in the preservation of the status quo. Pictured: Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi speaks at a rally outside the former US embassy in Tehran, on November 4, 2022. (Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

What does an autocrat do when his support base is shaken by popular protests?

The standard answer is: he tries to reassure supporters by increasing their privileges, thus giving them a bigger stake in the preservation of the status quo.

This is what Islamic Republic's "Supreme Guide" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is trying to do with an edict for the largest privatization scheme in Iran's history.

Unveiled last week, the scheme is the seventh of its kind since the first was launched 23 years ago.

The new scheme offers four novelties:

First, unlike previous schemes it sets no limit to what tangible assets could be sold.

Second, it waives oversight on a case-by-case basis by the Cabinet and the Islamic Majlis (ersatz parliament).

Third, it sets no time limit for the scheme, in effect giving a seven-man coterie the right to sell state assets for as long as they deem fit.

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Biggest Gift to Iran's Mullahs, China and Russia: Biden Administration's Weak Leadership

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  February 4, 2023 at 5:00 am

  • Thanks to the Biden administration's weak and vacillating leadership, Iran, Russia and China have been emboldened to levels never before seen.

  • [T]he Biden administration has not been taking any action to deter, disincentivize or punish those who breach the sanctions. Ever since the Biden administration assumed office, in fact, Iran's oil exports have been on the rise... of which more than 800,000 barrels a day are being exported to China.

  • Thanks to the Biden administration's abject posture towards China; its dithering over help to Ukraine; its ruining the US economy by shutting down America's energy independence then rushing to buy oil from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela rather than Canada; the unconscionable abandonment of Afghanistan and our allies there; the Biden family's appearance of influence-peddling, and, by closing down the China Initiative, the administration's failure to stop Communist China's runaway espionage, Russia, Iran and China are simply not taking the US seriously.

  • So long as the Biden administration does not demonstrate real leadership, Iran, Russia and China will continue to seize all opportunities to become more empowered and emboldened. The Biden administration's legacy so far appears to be leaving the world a far more dangerous place.

Thanks to the Biden administration's weak and vacillating leadership, Iran, Russia and China have been emboldened to levels never before seen. (Image source: iStock)

Thanks to the Biden administration's weak and vacillating leadership, Iran, Russia and China have been emboldened to levels never before seen.

First, the US sanctions against Russia are completely being smoothly violated by Iran's mullahs and China. Despite the Biden administration's sanctions, Iran's oil exports have reached a new peak last month.

Bloomberg reported:

"While everyone looks at Russia, another oil-rich country under Western sanctions has quietly increased its production: Iran.... Iran's oil exports are surging... Much of it appears to be finding its way to China. The country's oil exports surged to about 1.3 million barrels a day in November [2022], and last month held near the highest in four years, according to data from Vortexa Ltd. and Kpler, two well-known shipping analytics firms."

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The Man Who Wants 'Cities to Fall Apart'?

by Lawrence Kadish  •  February 3, 2023 at 9:00 am

Exhaustive investigations by journalists reveal how George Soros's reach, influence, and above all, money, is resetting curriculum to reflect his political ideology wherever and whenever he can. Pictured: Soros speaks on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on May 24, 2022. (Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

According to published reports, George Soros is teaching college courses these days to thousands of students.

To be clear, he is not actually on campuses in front of the class. Rather, exhaustive investigations by journalists reveal how his reach, influence, and above all, money, is resetting curriculum to reflect his political ideology wherever and whenever he can.

Investigative author Matt Palumbo wrote in the New York Post last month:

"In 2020 alone, Soros' Open Society Foundations budgeted more than $63 million, or just over 5% of its budget, toward influencing higher education here and abroad....

"More than 19 colleges had individually received at least $1 million from Soros, including Harvard University, Columbia University, Indiana University, and Georgetown University, among others."

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Erdoğan's Turkey: NATO's Trojan Horse Moment

by Burak Bekdil  •  February 3, 2023 at 5:00 am

  • In its Freedom in the World 2022 report, Freedom House, a U.S. government funded organization in Washington, D.C., put Turkey in its "not free" category of countries, along with Afghanistan, Angola, Belarus, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nicaragua, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and several other third world rogue regimes. Could one, by the criteria of democracy, imagine any of those countries as a NATO member state? But Turkey is.

  • Erdoğan needs NATO... He is tying NATO's planned Nordic expansion, to include Sweden and Finland, to his election campaign.

  • "If you can come up with a security problem, then people rally behind the strong leader." — Özer Sencar, chairman of the Turkish polling company, Metropoll.

  • Any unwisely public Turkish-Western confrontation in the few months before Turkey's elections will add to votes for Erdoğan. Most Turks still believe what they were taught at primary school: A Turk's only friend is another Turk. They are still living in a xenophobic unreal world where every other nation is an enemy of their land and is plotting against Turkey. That childish feeling, in a matter of collective psychology, coerces them to unite behind the leader. Trouble with the West, and Erdoğan wins again.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan needs ammunition for his anti-Western, anti-NATO, "we-against-the-infidels" rhetoric ahead of Turkey's elections on May 14. Any unwisely public Turkish-Western confrontation will add to votes for Erdoğan. Trouble with the West, and Erdoğan wins again. Pictured: Erdoğan speaks at his party's group meeting in Ankara on February 1, 2023. (Photo by Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images)

NATO is essentially a security alliance. Its preamble, however, states that the organization is founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. The grossly autocratic one-man show in Turkey, a NATO member, features none of that. According to the 2021 Democracy Index prepared by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Turkey ranks 103rd among 167 countries. The index evaluation was based on five criteria: electoral processes and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties.

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The Never-Ending 'Pandemic': 360 Million Christians Persecuted Worldwide

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  February 2, 2023 at 5:00 am

  • Overall, the global persecution of Christians remains higher than ever, with 360 million believers suffering high levels of discrimination and violence.

  • These are among some of the findings of the World Watch List 2023, recently published by the international humanitarian organization, Open Doors.

  • The worst nations and their rankings are: 1) North Korea, 2) Somalia, 3) Yemen, 4) Eritrea, 5) Libya, 6) Nigeria, 7) Pakistan, 8) Iran, 9) Afghanistan, 10) Sudan, 11) India.

  • " [A]pproximately 80% of the worst persecution around the globe takes place in the name of Islam...

  • Although the persecution in North Korea is worse, there is at least hope for the Christians there: their ill treatment is entirely connected to the regime of Kim Jong-un. Once he is gone, North Korea may well become like South Korea, where Christianity is flourishing. Conversely, the Muslim persecution of Christians is perennial, existential, and far transcends this or that regime or ruler. It is part of the history, doctrines and socio-political makeup of Islam -- hence its tenacity and ubiquity.

  • In Somalia, "Christians from Muslim backgrounds are regarded as high-value targets and may be killed on the spot if discovered."

  • In most Muslim nations on the list, all three sectors of society -- Muslim authorities, Muslim mobs and Muslim terrorists -- persecute Christians to varying degrees.

  • In Afghanistan, "More than a year after the Taliban's takeover, any promises they made about recognising freedoms have proved to be false. Following Jesus remains a death sentence, if discovered."

  • In Pakistan, "roughly a quarter of all blasphemy accusations target Christians, who only make up 1.8% of the population."

  • In Egypt, "President al-Sisi regularly speaks positively about Egypt's Christian community. However, the lack of serious law enforcement and the unwillingness of local authorities to protect Christians leave them vulnerable to all kinds of attacks...."

  • In the worst of these Sub-Saharan nations, Nigeria, "Christians are experiencing a genocide."

  • "China's model of oppression is spreading.... The apparent success of China, especially in economic terms, is appealing to many leaders around the world. The promise of growth and prosperity, while being able to control all groups and individuals perceived as deviant, has triggered the interest of leaders from all over the world, no matter their ideological background."

  • Perhaps the most disturbing trend is that, since 1993, the persecution of Christians has nearly doubled... and has already increased by nearly 70% over the last six years, with no signs of abating.

  • How long before this seemingly irreversible trend metastasizes into even those nations currently celebrated for their religious freedom?

The global persecution of Christians remains higher than ever, with 360 million believers suffering high levels of discrimination and violence. (Image source: iStock)

In 2022, 5,621 Christian around the world were "killed for faith related reasons." Another 4,542 Christians were illegally detained or arrested, and 2,110 churches were attacked, many destroyed. Overall, the global persecution of Christians remains higher than ever, with 360 million believers suffering high levels of discrimination and violence.

These are among some of the findings of the World Watch List 2023, recently published by the international humanitarian organization, Open Doors. Each year, the World Watch List ranks the top 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted for their faith by using data from approximately 4,000 field workers and external experts to analyze the persecution worldwide.

The report finds that around the world, on average, one in seven Christians (14%) are persecuted. In Africa, that number grows to one in five (20%), while in Asia it is as much as two in five -- meaning 40% of all Christians are persecuted there.

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The Endangered Assyrians and the Language of Jesus Seek International Support

by Uzay Bulut  •  February 2, 2023 at 4:00 am

  • Most Assyrians are Christian and speak Assyrian (also known as Syriac, Aramaic, or neo-Aramaic), one of the world's oldest languages and the language of Jesus.

  • Assyrians are an indigenous people of what are today Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq.... As a result of Muslim persecutions and massacres, Assyrians are now a non-sovereign minority in their native lands. Their situation is also the consequence of the absence of support and protection from the West.

  • "The refusal to support the Assyrian language in Iraq and Turkey stems from the history of persecution against indigenous minority communities in those countries. Whereas Canada, the USA, and Australia are essentially multicultural nations, they try to embrace and encourage the plurality of their societies. The opposite is the case in Iraq and Turkey where the ruling groups tend to dominate all aspects of society, including education.... There is also a historical element of eliminating the indigenous link of Assyrians with their homelands through erasure of the ancient language, thus cementing the dominant non-indigenous language as the only linguistic group." — Evon Sworesho, an Assyrian teacher and rights advocate, born in Iraq, and now in Canada.

  • It is high time Turkey recognized the same rights it demands for the Turkish migrants in Europe for the oppressed indigenous peoples of Anatolia, especially the Assyrians, their culture and "the language of Jesus."

Assyrians are an indigenous people of what are today Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq. As a result of Muslim persecutions and massacres, Assyrians are now a non-sovereign minority in their native lands. Their situation is also the consequence of the absence of support and protection from the West. Pictured: The Midyat Virgin Mary Monastery in Mardin, Turkey, originally built in the 6th-century. (Photo by Yasin Akgul/AFP via Getty Images)

The Assyrian people, who suffered from many crimes including a genocide in their ancestral lands in the Middle East, won a significant victory in the United States regarding their linguistic rights.

Beginning with the 2023-24 school year, Niles North High School and Niles West High School in Illinois will add Assyrian as an accredited option to fulfill the "World Language" requirements for graduation. Also, in November of last year, Assyrian was recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education as an accredited World Language, paving the way for the historic vote of the Niles Township District 219 Board of Education.

Thousands of Assyrians reside in Illinois. Assyrian language courses are also taught at some schools in Canada, Europe and Australia.

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UNRWA is Part of the Problem – Not the Solution

by Bassam Tawil  •  February 1, 2023 at 5:00 am

  • The United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has once again requested international financial aid. This is the same organization whose workers have been promoting violence and antisemitism on social media.

  • UNRWA has since done absolutely nothing to help the "refugees" move on with their lives and seek a better future for themselves or their families.

  • "Almost all of [the incorrectly labeled Palestinians in Gaza] have been born in Gaza, their parents have been born in Gaza, their grandparents have been born in Gaza... they were never displaced an inch. Yet, every day they hear, they learn, and they get an official stamp from the UN agency that says: 'That's not your home. You might have lived here all your life, but your home is there, just across the fence. That's your real home [Israel], and it was taken from you." — Einat Wilf, former Israeli Member of Knesset, December 1, 2015.

  • The Geneva-based independent human rights group UN Watch has uncovered evidence of UNRWA staff incitement which clearly violate the agency's own rules as well as its proclaimed values of intolerance for racism, discrimination or antisemitism.

  • Meanwhile, in 2021, the US government confirmed its "failure to ensure that taxpayer aid dollars sent to the Palestinian government did not ultimately make their way to terrorists."

  • Terrorist groups in Gaza, such as Hamas, have continued to build terror tunnels under UNRWA schools, to use the children as human shields if Israel retaliates after it is attacked -- as Hamas member Abu Khaled, openly admitted in December 2021.

  • "UNRWA's procurement contracts suggest that funds are already flowing to PFLP affiliates," wrote foreign policy expert Julia Shulman.

  • "[T]he Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act (PATA).... prohibits assistance to the PA unless the administration certifies that 'no ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the Palestinian Authority is effectively controlled by Hamas'" — Matthew Zweig, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, June 2021.

  • Commenting on the Biden administration decision to restore the financial aid, UN Watch said that now is the time for the US to demand that "neutrality, accountability and transparency" Secretary Antony Blinken paraded.

  • It does not seem, however, that UNRWA has taken far-reaching and drastic measures to end the incitement to violence and antisemitism. In fact, it has not taken any at all.

  • It is clear that UNRWA, like many other UN agencies, has become part of the problem, not part of the solution. Instead of seeking ways to solve the problem of the so-called refugees, UNRWA has perpetuated and inflated it.... Instead of promoting peace and non-violence, UNRWA employees have been doing the reverse.... UNRWA donors might consider these evasions before they sign the next check to one of the UN's most incompetent and corrupt organizations.

The United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has once again requested international financial aid. This is the same organization whose workers have been promoting violence and antisemitism on social media. Pictured: A still shot from the documentary film "Camp Jihad," featuring a summer camp in Gaza sponsored and funded by UNWRA. (Image source: Nahum Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research)

The United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has once again requested international financial aid. This is the same organization whose workers have been promoting violence and antisemitism on social media.

On January 24, the agency appealed for $1.6 billion "for programs and operations." UNRWA said it "continues to play an indispensable role in the lives of millions of Palestine refugees," and warned that "compounding challenges over the past year, including underfunding, competing global crises, inflation, disruption in the supply chain, geopolitical dynamics and skyrocketing levels of poverty and unemployment among Palestine refugees have put immense strain on UNRWA."

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Islamic State Jihadists in Afghanistan

by Lawrence A. Franklin  •  February 1, 2023 at 4:00 am

  • Despite ideological differences, China and Afghanistan are in the process of forming a transactional relationship based on interests. China most likely is waiting for the Taliban to grant it access to Afghanistan's huge deposits of rare earth materials that America left behind.

  • It remains to be seen if China decides that, at least for now, a trillion dollars' worth of Afghan mineral deposits might not be worth the risk of being in the midst of terrorist civil war between the Taliban and the Islamic State.

Despite ideological differences, China and Afghanistan are in the process of forming a transactional relationship based on interests. Pictured: Afghanistan's acting first deputy prime minister Abdul Ghani Baradar and China's ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu attend a press conference to announce an oil extraction contract with a Chinese company in Kabul on January 5, 2023. (Photo by Ahmad Sahel Arman/AFP via Getty Images)

When two Hellfire missiles last July smashed into the Kabul safehouse that Afghanistan's regime had been providing to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri, thereby killing him, the incident simply underscored the continued strong bonds between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

This terrorist alliance, originally forged in the 1990s by the now-deceased leaders of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Osama bin Ladin and Mullah Omar, has resisted intense US pressure to break it up. With the departure of NATO and US forces from Afghanistan, jihadists from the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) have been intensifying their attacks on the Taliban.

Despite ideological differences, China and Afghanistan are in the process of forming a transactional relationship based on interests. China most likely is waiting for the Taliban to grant it access to Afghanistan's huge deposits of rare earth materials that America left behind.

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Russian-Iranian Axis: Biden Administration Missing in Action?

by Judith Bergman  •  January 31, 2023 at 5:00 am

  • Iran is now selling surface-to-surface missiles to Russia for use in its war on Ukraine -- on the cusp of a reported "major Ukrainian offensive" -- in addition to the drones it has already been delivering, two senior Iranian officials and two Iranian diplomats told Reuters.

  • "In exchange, Russia is offering Iran an unprecedented level of military and technical support that is transforming their relationship into a full-fledged defense partnership.... This is a full-scale defense partnership that is harmful... to the international community." — John Kirby, White House National Security Spokesperson, December 9, 2022.

  • When asked how Iran's sale of drones and missiles impacts the Biden administration's stance on the Iran nuclear deal... John Kirby deflected the question.

  • At a time when Iranians are desperately risking their lives to free themselves of a vicious theocratic dictatorship, it would be equally impressive if the Biden Administration would stand firmly behind the protestors in their fight for liberty and human rights, values America has always professed to support. President Ronald Reagan did it with great success to aid the collapse of the Soviet Empire.

  • Speaking a rally in California in October, President Joe Biden said, "we stand with the citizens, the brave women of Iran." Such words are cost-free: They will not do much to help the Iranian protesters fighting for freedom and human rights.

  • Even former President Barack Obama, who ignored Iran's "Green Movement" protesters in 2009, admitted in October that his lack of support then for the Iranian dissidents was a mistake.

  • Statements of solidarity, however strong, will not produce serious results. What is needed from the US is to help the people of Iran concretely – to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons to dominate the Middle East, South America, Europe -- and the United States.

  • Iran is now planning to station warships in the Panama Canal – which China is aggressively trying to control. The U.S. has not even had an ambassador in Panama since 2018.

  • All one has to do is look at how terrified the Biden administration has been of "provoking" Russian President Vladimir Putin into using nuclear weapons. What actually provokes dictators? That America exists.

Iran is now selling surface-to-surface missiles to Russia for use in its war on Ukraine, in addition to the drones it has already been delivering, two senior Iranian officials and two Iranian diplomats told Reuters. Pictured: Firefighters in Kyiv, Ukraine try to put out a fire in a four-story residential building, in which three people were killed when it was hit by a "kamikaze drone" (many of which are supplied to Russian forces by Iran), on October 17, 2022. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Iran is now selling surface-to-surface missiles to Russia for use in its war on Ukraine -- on the cusp of a reported "major Ukrainian offensive" -- in addition to the drones it has already been delivering, two senior Iranian officials and two Iranian diplomats told Reuters.

According to anonymous US and allied officials quoted by the Washington Post, Iran has secretly agreed to send "what some officials described as the first Iranian-made surface-to-surface missiles intended for use against Ukrainian cities and troop positions."

Russia is reportedly buying Iranian-made missiles capable of hitting targets at distances of 300 and 700 kilometers, respectively.

"The Russians had asked for more drones and those Iranian ballistic missiles with improved accuracy, particularly the Fateh and Zolfaghar missiles family," one of the Iranian diplomats told Reuters.

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Crazy Optimism About China's Economy

by Gordon G. Chang  •  January 30, 2023 at 5:00 am

  • Stocks may soar for a while, but China's economy is far sicker than analysts assume.

  • First, China's disease statistics are questionable.

  • Beijing is asking the world to believe that SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing this disease, is behaving differently in China than it has in all other parts of the world.

  • Second, even if China were over Covid as the regime maintains, the economy is still plagued by its over-dependence on property, which accounts for almost 30% of GDP.

  • "The property sector downturn is hard-wired into the first half of 2023," reported the Rhodium Group last month, in an analysis on China's economic prospects.

  • Fourth, the regime during the pandemic did almost nothing to remedy the principal structural flaw in the Chinese economy: the overreliance on government spending.

  • China is not going to have a good 2023 or a good 2024. Foreigners are going to lose money in China again.

Stocks may soar for a while, but China's economy is far sicker than analysts assume. China is not going to have a good 2023 or a good 2024. Foreigners are going to lose money in China again. (Image source: iStock)

China's propagandists tell us the Chinese economy this year will "accelerate to 4.8%." Foreign analysts are even more bullish. Goldman Sachs estimates growth of gross domestic product of 5.5%.

China's National Health Commission announced the end of the Communist Party's "dynamic zero-Covid" policy on December 7. It did not take long for Wall Street to crank up the optimism machine. Morgan Stanley, on the following day, issued a research note predicting that Chinese equities would outperform emerging markets and global peers.

Since then, financial analysts have been falling over themselves to say how China's stocks will continue to soar this year.

Stocks may soar for a while, but China's economy is far sicker than analysts assume.

At the heart of the sunny views is how fast China has put COVID-19 behind it.

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Environmentalism Impoverishes, Kills

by Drieu Godefridi  •  January 30, 2023 at 4:00 am

  • As you read this, some European families are already at 15 degrees (59° Fahrenheit) in their living rooms . Happy New Year!

  • Of course, nuclear energy is not without risks and shortcomings... After the progressive banishment of coal in much of Europe, however, and as the EU countries have practically no easily extracted gas of their own, there are only two options: nuclear energy, and imported gas.

  • The countless restrictions on heating and electricity that Europeans have to impose on themselves -- they have no choice -- will have devastating consequences.

  • Due to the current insane energy prices, The Economist explained, 147,000 Europeans will die this winter in excess of the annual average... If the winter is mild, according to the magazine, this drops to 79,000 "excess" deaths. If the winter is harsh, the number of "excess" deaths is projected to be 185,000...

  • Tens of thousands of soldiers are estimated to have been killed in the Ukraine war. Put another way, even in a best-case scenario -- a mild winter -- according to The Economist, exploding energy prices could kill more Europeans than the war in Ukraine has killed soldiers. Staggering.

  • Cold kills. The cold directly kills those who give up heating, those who perish in the street. The cold encourages the deadly diseases that thrive in winter. The cold kills those who try to heat themselves by alternative, makeshift means.

  • This tragedy the direct consequence of the green energy policies that have been pursued in Europe for the past 20 years.

  • The biggest European environmental organizations have been massively financed (bought, bribed) by Gazprom -- in other words, by the Russian government.

The countless restrictions on heating and electricity that Europeans have to impose on themselves will have devastating consequences. Due to the current insane energy prices, The Economist estimates that 147,000 Europeans will die this winter in excess of the annual average. Pictured: Senior citizens sit in a coffee shop at Jacksons Lane Theatre on November 30, 2022 in London. The theater, like some charities, councils and community groups, offers the public free use of heated communal areas as a "warm bank", where people can spend time without needing to heat their homes. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

The explosion in energy prices after the war in Ukraine began, but above all as a consequence of the "green" energy policies which have made Europe so dependent on Russian gas for the last 20 years, has led and is leading hundreds of millions of Europeans to restrict their energy consumption, especially this winter, in heating.

As you read this, some European families are already at 15 degrees (59° Fahrenheit) in their living rooms . Happy New Year!

And winter is not near its end. The countless restrictions on heating and electricity that Europeans have to impose on themselves -- they have no choice -- will have devastating consequences. That was the conclusion of a robust statistical survey published recently by the British magazine The Economist.

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