Latest Analysis and Commentary

Iran Takes More Foreign Hostages; Biden Administration, EU Stay Silent

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  May 21, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • "[T]here are extensive, vague and arbitrary grounds in Iran for imposing the death sentence, which quickly can turn this punishment into a political tool.... In addition, the structural flaws of the justice system are so deep and at odds with the notion of rule of law that one can barely speak of a justice system. The entrenched flaws in law and in the administration of the death penalty in Iran mean that most, if not all, executions are an arbitrary deprivation of life." — Javaid Rehman, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, October 25, 2021.

  • The Iranian regime most likely believes that detaining Western nationals will put pressure on the EU and the US to accept its demands and seal the nuclear deal as soon as possible.

  • The Biden administration and the EU should not remain silent in the face of the Iranian regime taking more foreign hostages. The only language that all rogue and predatory regimes, including that of the mullahs, understand is the language of pressure. Why not try using it?

The Biden administration and the EU have remained silent in the face of the Iranian regime taking more hostages. Iran recently announced that a Swedish-Iranian national, Ahmadreza Djalali will be executed by May 21, 2022. He was arrested in 2016 on the trumped-up charge of spying for a country that the Iranian regime wants to annihilate: Israel. Pictured: Demonstrators protest against Djalali's imprisonment and death sentence, on May 14, 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

The European Union appear excited that the nuclear talks have reopened again to revive the nuclear deal that will bring nuclear weapons to the "world largest state sponsor of terrorism," Iran, and additional billions of dollars to the treasury of the country's ruling mullahs and to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to practice more terrorism. In the meantime, the Biden administration and the EU have remained silent in the face of the Iranian regime taking more hostages.

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China Starting Next Global Crisis By Gobbling Up Sri Lanka

by Gordon G. Chang  •  May 20, 2022 at 9:00 am

  • Sri Lanka is only the world's opening act.

  • Events in Sri Lanka also highlight how China is going about dominating the world. Beijing is corrupting national leaders, drowning them in debt, and ultimately destabilizing their governments. Beijing, it appears, is particularly targeting democracies.

  • China is the world's predatory lender, something evident from its Belt and Road Initiative, also known as BRI. Beijing's grand infrastructure project specializes in roads, ports, and railroads that have, like the Sri Lankan projects, little or no commercial justification. So far, 146 countries have signed BRI memo agreements with Beijing.

  • The Chinese have established a pattern. "China extends debt on onerous terms, backs up authoritarian governments when there are financial collapses or civil disobedience, and then takes everything it can find," Cleo Paskal of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told Gatestone.

  • In December 2017, Beijing took control of the Hambantota port.... Now there are concerns that Hambantota will eventually become a Chinese naval base. China's admirals have long eyed Sri Lanka...

  • A base in Sri Lanka would allow Chinese aircraft and surface combatants as well as submarines to cut sea lanes in the Indian Ocean and force next-door India to divert military assets to a threatening presence.

  • Sri Lanka is now looking for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, but that is not necessarily a good idea. The international community should not be helping a voracious China gobble up small, vulnerable societies.

  • If the IMF bails out Sri Lanka without ensuring that it is no longer aligned with Beijing, it will have subsidized Chinese investment and politically reinforced a country that becomes a Chinese proxy." – Cleo Paskal, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, to Gatestone, May, 2022.

Events in Sri Lanka highlight how China is going about dominating the world. China is the world's predatory lender. Beijing is corrupting national leaders, drowning them in debt, and ultimately destabilizing their governments. Beijing, it appears, is particularly targeting democracies. Pictured: Police use tear gas to disperse protesters who are demanding the resignation of Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in Colombo on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP via Getty Images)

On May 12, India confirmed that it would provide a desperate Sri Lankan government 65,000 metric tons of urea, pursuant to an existing $1 billion credit line. The sale, which overrides New Delhi's ban on the exports of the commodity, relieves severe pressure on the government of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka since the end of March has been wracked by violent protests. "Shoot-on-sight" orders have for the most part restored order, but the unrest has led to the replacement of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, once the country's dominate political figure. His brother, the president, is unlikely to survive the tumult. The ongoing economic and financial crisis is Sri Lanka's worst since independence from Britain in 1948.

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Concerning 'China's Master Plan to Destroy America'

by Lawrence Kadish  •  May 19, 2022 at 9:30 am

(Image source: iStock)

China has been unabashed about making its intentions known. Already in 1999, two colonels in China's People's Liberation Army, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiansui, wrote, "Unrestricted Warfare: China's Master Plan to Destroy America." In it, the authors "suggest the significance of alternatives to direct military confrontation, including international policy, economic warfare, attacks on digital infrastructure and networks, and terrorism. Even a relatively insignificant state can incapacitate a far more powerful enemy by applying pressure to their economic and political systems." Ideally, "one might not even know that one is the target."

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Iran Trying to Force the US to Meet All Its Demands

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  May 19, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • Iraqi writer Farouk Yousef pointed out that after the US gave Iran $90 billion following the signing of the nuclear agreement with the Obama administration in 2015... the bulk of the money... was spent on terrorist groups run by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria, as well as terrorist groups run covertly in other Arab countries.

  • [Iran is] trying to delay the signing of the nuclear agreement so that the mullahs succeed in forcing the Biden administration to accept all their demands, especially the removal of the IRGC from the list of foreign terrorist organizations.

  • "Biden was not ignorant of the wrong way he started [dealing with Iran]. All the countries in the region were telling him that the resumption of talks with Iran must include Iran's missile program and its destabilizing activities in the region, including the activities of its militias that threaten stability in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. Biden chose not to listen...." — Ali Al-Sarraf, Iraqi writer, Al-Ain, May 10, 2022.

  • "Biden could have told the mullahs that a return to the nuclear agreement would take place on the basis of three conditions: abandoning violations of the commitments in that agreement, curbing the missile program... and stopping the actions of militias that threaten the security and stability of the countries of the region.... The Revolutionary Guard is directly involved in the civil war and violence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.... Iran's own actions will prove to him that he took the wrong path." — Ali Al-Sarraf, Al-Ain, May 10, 2022.

  • Like many Arabs, Al-Sarraf asked why the Biden administration was not defending the interests of America's allies.

  • "[T]here is no sane person in the region willing to take seriously any reassuring words issued by [US Special Envoy for Iran] Robert Malley and other officials in the US administration concerned with the Iranian file. Every child now knows that these American officials have nothing but flattery for Iran, especially in light of the cold American reaction to the attacks it carried out against the Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates....If anything has changed, it is for the worse." — Kheirallah Kheirallah, Lebanese journalist, Elaph, March 30, 2022.

  • "How can a US administration gain the trust of its allies despite its refusal to take note that northern Yemen has become a base for Iranian missiles and drones? These missiles and drones are directed at the Arab Gulf states and are now threatening navigation in the Red Sea as well." — Kheirallah Kheirallah, Elaph, March 30, 2022.

  • [T]he removal of the IRGC from the list of terrorist organizations would cause massive damage to the interests of the US. It will lose all its Arab friends, who will stop working with the Americans in a number of fields, including the war on terrorism.

  • It now remains to be seen whether the Biden administration will continue with its benighted policy of appeasing the mullahs or heed the insistent wake-up calls of America's real allies.

Iran is trying to delay the signing of the nuclear agreement so that the mullahs succeed in forcing the Biden administration to accept all their demands, especially the removal of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the list of foreign terrorist organizations. Pictured: Members of the IRGC march during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, in Tehran, on September 22, 2018. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

As the European Union is trying to revive the stalled talks on restoring Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, many Arabs are again warning the Biden administration against rushing to strike a deal with the mullahs, saying this could jeopardize Washington's relations with its Arab allies in the Middle East.

The Arabs are saying that they cannot understand why Biden is prepared to allow Iran's mullahs to "humiliate" the US by setting their own conditions for restoring the nuclear agreement, including the demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the list of terrorist organizations.

The Arabs are also reminding the Biden administration and the other world powers that Iran's mullahs have not changed their dangerous policies that threaten the security and stability of a number of Arab countries.

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Why Erdoğan's NATO Blackmail Is Subversion

by Burak Bekdil  •  May 18, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is trying to turn what appears to be the most strategic move in NATO's history into carpet-trading at Istanbul's Grand Bazaar.

  • "The Russian-Kurdish nexus has been a recurring feature of Middle Eastern geopolitics for more than two hundred years, since Catherine the Great commissioned the publication of a Kurdish grammar in 1787." — Michael A. Reynolds, The National Interest, March 1, 2016.

  • None of the many examples of Russian appeasement of Turkey's "Kurdish terrorists" is secret. Russia has been doing all it could for its Kurdish friends overtly, with Erdoğan completely silent. Now the same Erdoğan is by trying to blackmail NATO by vetoing membership for two Western European countries on the grounds that these countries, threatened by Russia, are supporting Kurdish terrorists.

  • The Western military alliance should be strong enough to tell Erdoğan what he needs to hear.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is trying to turn what appears to be the most strategic move in NATO's history into carpet-trading at Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. Pictured: Erdoğan arrives for the NATO summit in Watford, England, on December 4, 2019.

Once again, Turkey is the odd one out in the NATO alliance. The country's Islamist strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is trying to turn what appears to be the most strategic move in NATO's history into carpet-trading at Istanbul's Grand Bazaar.

Erdoğan said on May 13 that his country is "not favorable" toward Finland and Sweden joining NATO, indicating Turkey could use its membership in the Western military alliance to veto moves to admit the two countries.

Erdoğan explained his opposition by citing Sweden and other Scandinavian countries' alleged support for Kurdish militants and others whom Turkey considers to be terrorists. That denunciation cannot be taken seriously. Erdoğan has the habit of calling anyone who is politically and religiously different from his own worldview a terrorist.

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Biden's Unwise Attempts to Save the Iran Deal

by Con Coughlin  •  May 17, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • Mr Biden's hopes of pressing ahead with the nuclear talks suffered a significant setback the other week when a bipartisan super-majority of US Senators voted to endorse a Republican-led measure insisting that any future agreement with Tehran must address Iran's support for terrorism in the region, and that Washington should not lift sanctions against the IRGC. Tehran is unlikely to concede to either measure.

  • Iran's refusal to clarify the true extent of its undeclared nuclear activities is entirely consistent with the uncooperative stance it has adopted in its dealing with the IAEA over many years.

  • In an indication of how desperate the Europeans are to revive the deal, Mr Borrell said the EU was giving serious consideration to the ludicrous proposition whereby the terrorist designation against the IRGC was lifted, but kept in place on other parts of the organisation, which has several arms across the security apparatus and a sprawling business empire.

  • The EU initiative is not dissimilar to other hare-brained options being considered by the Biden White House, with analysts recommending that one compromise option for the US is to lift the terrorist designation against the IRGC while keeping it on the Quds Force, the unit responsible for the IRGC's foreign operations and which arms and backs militant groups throughout the Middle East.

  • The lengths to which some naive politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are prepared to go to revive the nuclear deal is nothing less than shameful, especially at a time when the world is struggling to deal with another tyrannical regime following Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

  • Hopefully, the more Iran refuses to cooperate with international bodies such as the IAEA, the more it will become clear that any hopes of securing a new deal with Tehran would not only upend the region but the president's legacy as well.

The lengths to which some naive politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are prepared to go to revive the Iran nuclear deal is nothing less than shameful... Hopefully, the more Iran refuses to cooperate with international bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the more it will become clear that any hopes of securing a new deal with Tehran would not only upend the region but President Biden's legacy as well. Pictured: IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi (L) meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran on March 5, 2022. (Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

The utter futility of the Biden administration's obsession with reviving the Iran nuclear deal has been laid bare by the latest damning assessment by the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog.

US President Joe Biden has indicated to Tehran that he is willing to rejoin the deal so long as Iran agrees to fall back into compliance with the terms of the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated by the former Obama administration in 2015.

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Should Protesters Be Allowed to Shout in Front of Justices' Homes?

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  May 16, 2022 at 5:30 pm

  • I think interfering with the personal lives of judges, whether in their homes, the restaurants they eat in, or their children's schools, goes beyond what should be acceptable in a democracy. Such actions, even if constitutionally protected, should be condemned by decent people.

  • We live in an age where many, on both sides of the political spectrum, believe, and act on the belief, that noble ends justify ignoble means. That of course is a matter of degree. There may well be extreme situations where such intrusive protests might, under some circumstances, be morally acceptable. But this should not apply to protesting unjust judicial decisions of a divided court.

  • Most non-violent protests are constitutionally protected. Violent ones are not. And there are close cases that may turn on the specific facts, such as entering the Capitol to protest the counting of the votes of presidential electors. (I am representing one such defendant).

  • So I will protest the morality of those who are demonstrating in front of US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's home, while defending their right to do so peacefully and within constitutional limits.

Interfering with the personal lives of judges, whether in their homes, the restaurants they eat in, or their children's schools, goes beyond what should be acceptable in a democracy. Such actions, even if constitutionally protected, should be condemned by decent people. Pictured: Demonstrators march to the house of US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 9, 2022. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Pro-abortion protestors have assembled in front of Justice Samuel Alito's family home in an obvious effort to intimidate or punish him. It will not change his draft opinion regarding the overruling of Roe v. Wade, but the question arises: are such protests legal and/or desirable?

As to the legality there is a specific statute that criminalizes protest in front of the residences of judges, jurors or witnesses, that are intended to interfere with or obstruct justice. While that statute might be constitutional as it related to efforts to influence the verdicts of jurors, the testimony of witnesses or possibly even the decisions of elected judges during a trial, it is probably unconstitutional as applied to justices and appellate judges with lifetime appointments who are deemed to be immune from outside pressures.

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Commerce Cronyism: Inside Deals, Conflicts of Interest and Chinese Connections

by Peter Schweizer  •  May 16, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • The Commerce Department is the fourth most lobbied federal office, behind only the Treasury Department, Health & Human Services, and the White House itself. It is more lobbied than the bigger budgeted Department of Defense and Department of Transportation, despite managing a far smaller budget. This is no accident, because Commerce makes what can be life-and-death decisions for particular industries and businesses.

  • Yet the mission of this "hodgepodge" of administrative agencies, bureaus, and offices could not be more important. The Commerce Department's broad purpose is "to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity."

  • Through its Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce regulates what are known as "dual use" technologies, which have potential military applications for foreign powers, another sore spot in the US-China relationship.

  • Let's start with the current Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo.

  • Artificial intelligence is the focus of the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security because it often has direct military applications, making it sensitive for US national security.... In February of this year, [Andrew Moffit, Raimondo's husband] exercised his PathAI stock options and purchased at least $50,000 worth of its stock. He left his full-time job with the company and became instead its "strategic adviser," thus deepening his financial ties to the firm while creating an appearance of greater distance between his role with the company and his wife's duties as Commerce secretary.

  • In addition, Raimondo's department has loosened restrictions on Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant that Trump administration regulators had sanctioned, because of the company's ties to the Chinese government and particularly its military..... Huawei has been identified as a security threat by the governments of Japan, Taiwan, France, Great Britain, the US, Australia, and Germany, among others.

  • Then there was Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce under President Trump. Ross was a successful businessman with huge commercial ties to China. He had shipping companies that had major Chinese investment... Wilbur Ross kept investments in companies directly affected by tariff policy, even as the Commerce Department handed out tariff exemptions and negotiated new trade agreements.

  • Before Ross, President Obama's Commerce Secretary was Penny Pritzker.... In 2015, the Clean Energy Trust, a Chicago-based not-for-profit supporting clean energy start-ups through business development, received $10 million of funding through a grant program administered by the Department of Commerce. It was the only Chicago-area group to receive such funding. Its board of directors was co-chaired at the time by Penny Pritzker's cousin, Nick Pritzker.

  • GAI's report discusses a number of other issues, personalities, and programs that are of questionable merit but generate high interest from Washington insiders who see their potential. The cronyism of past and present secretaries is but one part of the story the report tells. It is worth your attention.

The US Department of Commerce makes what can be life-and-death decisions for particular industries and businesses, and is the fourth most lobbied federal office. Under current Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, the department has loosened restrictions on Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant that Trump administration regulators had sanctioned, because of the company's ties to the Chinese government and particularly its military. Huawei has been identified as a security threat by the governments of Japan, Taiwan, France, Great Britain, the US, Australia, and Germany, among others. Pictured: Raimondo testifies at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on April 27, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The US Department of Commerce seldom grabs headlines or congressional scrutiny. It does not become "weaponized" against political opponents of the incumbent party. After the 2016 election, an article on Vox about incoming power-players of the Trump administration dismissed the department as a "hodgepodge of agencies," and a "Cabinet backwater."

Yet the mission of this "hodgepodge" of administrative agencies, bureaus, and offices could not be more important. The Commerce Department's broad purpose is "to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity." The department has an important role in setting and executing US domestic and international trade policy. It administers tariffs and even arms control, through its regulatory oversight of military exports. These functions receive quite a bit more attention than the activities of such workaday agencies as the National Weather Service, the Bureau of the Census, and the US Patent and Trademark Office.

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DANGER: The WHO's Death Trap for the US
Act Fast: They Vote Next Week

by Pete Hoekstra  •  May 15, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • This is a plan that Congress and the public need to fight vigorously.

  • The Biden administration, it appears, unless stopped immediately, is tee-ing up America to make it easy for the Chinese Communist Party to defeat it, and other nations, through biological warfare.

  • "On May 22-28, 2022, ultimate control over America's healthcare system, and hence its national sovereignty, will be delivered for a vote to the World Health Organization's governing legislative body, the World Health Assembly (WHA)." — Dr. Peter Breggin and Ginger Ross Breggin, America Out Loud, May 4, 2022.

  • "This threat is contained in new amendments to WHO's International Health Regulations, proposed by the Biden administration, that are scheduled as 'Provisional agenda item 16.2' at the upcoming conference on May 22-28, 2022." — Dr. Peter Breggin and Ginger Ross Breggin, America Out Loud, May 4, 2022.

  • "These amendments will empower WHO's Director-General to declare health emergencies or crises in any nation and to do so unilaterally and against the opposition of the target nation. The Director-General will be able to declare these health crises based merely on his personal opinion or consideration that there is a potential or possible threat to other nations." — Dr. Peter Breggin and Ginger Ross Breggin, America Out Loud, May 4, 2022.

  • "The targeted nation is also required to send WHO any relevant genetic sequence data." — Dr. Peter Breggin and Ginger Ross Breggin, America Out Loud, May 4, 2022.

  • "Under the new regulations, WHO will not be required to consult with the identified nation beforehand to "verify" the event before taking action." — Dr. Peter Breggin and Ginger Ross Breggin, America Out Loud, May 4, 2022.

  • Unfortunately, this "next pandemic" is neither far off nor a hypothetical "conspiracy theory." According to multiple credible reports from the U.S. Department of State, to the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Peter Jennings, China has been preparing for bio-warfare using pathogens for more than six years.

  • A WHO with expanded authority is a terrifying concept. Can you envision providing an international organization with the power to dictate how the U.S. should respond to a future pandemic? Perhaps by forcing the U.S. to turn over supplies and equipment to China because of its larger population? How about an international organization that would have the power to mandate whether we should be required to be vaccinated with a particular vaccine, say China's inferior SINOVAC vaccine? Or imagine a WHO that has the power to impose what mandates or lockdowns a country would be required to impose, say like China's current lockdown of Shanghai? Unfortunately, the WHO already has proven itself to be a willing organ of China's Communist leaders. Providing it with international, legal binding authority over global pandemic response must never be allowed to happen.

A World Health Organization with expanded authority is a terrifying concept. Can you envision providing an international organization with the power to dictate how the U.S. should respond to a future pandemic? The WHO already has proven itself to be a willing organ of China's Communist leaders. Providing it with international, legal binding authority over global pandemic response must never be allowed to happen. Pictured: WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pays a visit to Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on January 28, 2020. (Photo by Naohiko Hatta/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration, it appears, unless stopped immediately, is tee-ing up America to make it easy for the Chinese Communist Party to defeat it, and other nations, through biological warfare.

The World Health Organization (WHO), the organization that has unhesitatingly been doing China's bidding during the COVID pandemic, is reportedly now planning to orchestrate a massive new power grab to internationally control the response to any future global pandemic. The plan is apparently to make the health of Americans dependent on the whims of China -- which is both actively seeking to displace the US as the world's leading superpower and has for years been working on new means of bio-warfare.

It is a plan that is being voted on next week: Congress and the American public need to fight vigorously -- and FAST.

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Lebanese Election and the Broken Oar

by Amir Taheri  •  May 15, 2022 at 4:00 am

  • To win that referendum, Tehran last month wrote a $25 million cheque in "extra help" for Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

  • More money was raised through a number of concerts in Iran, where mullahs also invited "the believers" to dig into their pockets to help Hezbollah and its allies in all Lebanese communities secure "a glaring victory" (fath al-mobin). Nasrallah was portrayed as a caricature of Khamenei, who is himself a caricature of the late Khomeini.

  • In contrast, Najib Mikati, Lebanon's ephemeral Prime Minister, hopes that the election will persuade the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to sign its promised cheque of $5 billion in "emergency aid".

  • Pie-in-the-sky projects such as reviving the Beirut port, building a railway hub, and removing Bank of Lebanon from the life-support machine may never go beyond after-dinner talks.

  • Lebanon's problem is fundamentally geopolitical in the sense that those who hold the reins of power regard the country either as a bunker or a glacis where the interest of outside powers trump those of the nation-state.

  • Worse still, those who exercise power have proved their utter incompetence, not to mention their corruption, for almost two decades.

  • [R]eal decision-making is centralized in Khamenei's office in Tehran.

  • Regardless of the results, likely to be "arranged", Sunday's election may yet turn out to be a referendum on resistance: the resistance of the Lebanese people against forces that try to de-Lebanize their country.

Pictured: A voter casts her ballot in the parliamentary election at a polling station in capital Beirut, on May 15, 2022. (Photo by Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images)

A general election in Lebanon is bound to be news if only because it is years overdue.

But what is it for?

Is it a step towards the exit from the maze of misery and terror that the Lebanese have endured for years or a step deeper into it?

The Iranian media see the Lebanese election as "a referendum on the Resistance" and expect a resounding endorsement of the role that the Islamic Republic "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei has scripted for Lebanon and tried to impose through a branch of his Hezbollah in alliance with the breakaway Maronite faction led by President Michel Aoun.

To win that referendum, Tehran last month wrote a $25 million cheque in "extra help" for Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

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The EU and the Biden Administration Give in to Iran's Mullahs

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  May 14, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • The European Union is basically admitting that it views the nuclear deal with Iran's ruling clerics from the perspective of economic opportunity. That should not be the objective of the nuclear talks. Instead, European leaders ought to be seeking a strong deal that will prevent the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons, especially -- as they should have learned from Russia by now -- because those nukes may soon be aimed at their countries.

  • By revealing its desperation to buy oil, the EU is empowering Iran's ruling clerics to gain the upper hand in the nuclear talks and obtain even more concessions to revive the nuclear deal. Desperation, to the Iranian regime, means weakness.

  • To appease Iran's mullahs, the EU and the Biden administration are also turning a blind eye to China's violating the sanctions on Iran... Reportedly, the Iranian regime is exporting more than 1.5 million bpd. The ruling mullahs of Iran are exporting approximately 80% of the oil they used to export before the sanctions. Iran's revenues heavily rely on oil exports; the sale of oil accounts for more than 50% of the regime's export revenues.

  • The EU, moreover, has yet to join the US in imposing sanctions on the Iranian regime. In fact, European countries are still trading with Tehran in spite of the US sanctions. Tehran Times reported: "The value of trade between Iran and the European Union reached €4.863 billion in 2021, registering a nine-percent growth compared to the previous year...."

  • It seems clear that the nuclear deal was never about stopping the predatory regime of Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. For the EU, the nuclear deal is about trade, making money and buying oil from the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism; for the Biden administration, it is about a "diplomatic win". In return, the ruling mullahs will have a legal path to blackmail the world, using nuclear weapons and missiles, into sending Iran's regime billions for their terror and militia groups to torment everyone.

The European Union is basically admitting that it views the nuclear deal with Iran's ruling clerics from the perspective of economic opportunity. By revealing its desperation to buy oil, the EU is empowering Iran's ruling clerics to gain the upper hand in the nuclear talks and obtain even more concessions. Desperation, to the Iranian regime, means weakness. Pictured: EU foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell (left) is hosted by Iran's then foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Tehran on February 3, 2020. (Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration and the European Union are trying hard to appease the Iranian regime in order to revive a nuclear deal that will provide the ruling mullahs of Iran with additional billions of dollars of revenue, enhance the regime's legitimacy on the global stage, and actually open the path for Iran to have a nuclear arsenal.

The EU recently dropped its own bomb when it unabashedly said that it wanted new nuclear deal so that EU countries could buy oil from Iran -- one of only four countries on the US State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism (the other three are Cuba, Syria and North Korea). Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign affairs representative, recently said:

"We Europeans will be very much beneficiaries from this [nuclear] deal, the situation has changed now. For us it was something . . . 'well we don't need it', [but] now it would be very much interesting for us to have another [crude] supplier."

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UK: New Plan to Tackle Illegal Immigration

by Soeren Kern  •  May 13, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • The plan to outsource the processing of asylum applications overseas — if it survives legal challenges that are certain to come from human rights groups and the European Court of Human Rights — could become a model for other European countries seeking to crack down on illegal immigration.

  • The legal basis for the plan is enshrined in a new Nationality and Borders Act 2022 approved by Parliament on April 28. The new law, which integrates changes to British immigration law, includes offshoring asylum — processing claims at overseas facilities — and making it a criminal offense to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally.

  • "Access to the UK's asylum system should be based on need, not on the ability to pay people smugglers.... If you illegally enter the UK via a safe country in which you could have claimed asylum, you are not seeking refuge from imminent peril — as is the intended purpose of the asylum system — but are picking the UK as a preferred destination over others." — New Plan for Immigration, UK Home Office.

  • "We cannot sustain a parallel illegal system.... We can't ask the British taxpayer to write a blank cheque to cover the costs of anyone who might want to come and live here.... Nor is it fair on those who are seeking to come here legally, if others can just bypass the system. It's a striking fact that around seven out of ten of those arriving in small boats last year were men under 40, paying people smugglers to queue jump and taking up our capacity to help genuine women and child refugees." — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, April 14, 2022.

  • "We can no longer accept the status quo. People are dying and the global migration crisis requires new ways to find new partnerships and to find new solutions." — British Home Secretary Priti Patel, April 14, 2022.

The British government has announced a new plan to fight illegal immigration by giving some migrants seeking asylum in the United Kingdom a one-way ticket to Rwanda to have their applications processed in the East African country. Pictured: Illegal migrants arrive at Dover port after being picked up in the English Channel by the UK Border Force on April 14, 2022. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The British government has announced a new plan to fight illegal immigration by giving some migrants seeking asylum in the United Kingdom a one-way ticket to Rwanda to have their applications processed in the East African country.

The five-year pilot project, aimed at deterring migrants from crossing the English Channel, will initially focus on single males arriving illegally to the UK on boats or trucks.

The plan to outsource the processing of asylum applications overseas — if it survives legal challenges that are certain to come from human rights groups and the European Court of Human Rights — could become a model for other European countries seeking to crack down on illegal immigration.

Denmark, frustrated by the European Union's dysfunctional migration and asylum system, recently announced that it, too, is seeking to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda.

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The Badly Needed EastMed Pipeline Awaits Approval

by Judith Bergman  •  May 12, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • "Germany must be prepared that it could be the next country to which Gazprom cuts gas deliveries. Europe, therefore, needs a multitude of alternatives to the Russian energy supply." — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, The New York Times, April 28, 2022.

  • The pre-feasibility studies [of the EastMed pipeline that would transport gas to Europe from Israel and Cyprus through Greece], conducted from 2015-18 and paid for by the European Union, found that the project is "technically feasible, economically viable and commercially competitive."

  • "The analysis conducted for the activity related to the economic, financial and competitiveness studies, evidenced that the [EastMed] Project contributes to the improvement of market integration of currently isolated countries such as Cyprus and some Greek regions, to the enhancement of energy security diversifying the supply sources for Europe and to the reduction of the EU-wide consumers' gas bill." — Conclusion of pre-feasibility studies published by European Commission, July 2019.

  • "Moreover, taking into account the need of additional net imports to satisfy EU gas demand by 2030 and the risk associated to the current production availability, procurement and transport of gas supply, the Project provides strategic contribution to the EU security of supply." — Conclusion of pre-feasibility studies published by European Commission, July 2019.

  • The significant rise in natural gas prices in Europe favors the economic viability of the pipeline, according to energy expert Michalis Mathioulakis, of the ELIAMEP think tank.

  • [US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria] Nuland's comments appeared especially odd as, after meeting with her counterparts in Turkey on April 4, she told the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet that more pipelines were needed in the Eastern Mediterranean. The US, it appears, prefers to steer the business to Turkey's strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, rather than to America's democratic allies, Cyprus, Israel and Greece.

  • According to the Biden administration, therefore, pipelines that go via Turkey are apparently acceptable, Algerian gas pipelines are also acceptable, but the long-planned Israeli-Greek-Cypriot EastMed pipeline is not acceptable.

  • "What we are waiting for is the final report which is financed by the EU. And I repeat, the position was from the start – and that is why the study is being carried out – if it is viable, if there are investors, if the seabed permits, then it will be carried out. The US government does not decide about a European project. What everyone can see, and this is very important, is the need for the EU to cease being dependent on specific markets and the alternative channels for natural gas to Europe and the closest is none other than the basin of the eastern Mediterranean." — Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Cyprus Mail, April 8, 2022.

  • "[I]t must not be up to one of the parties, the United States, to impose its own energy policy upon the parties, but rather, it should be up to the parties to arrive at an energy policy that best serves their collective interest. Under Secretary Nuland's contradictory messaging on Eastern Mediterranean pipeline projects.... gives the appearance of appeasement of Turkey." — Nick Larigakis, American Hellenic Institute, Ekathimerini, April 12, 2022.

  • Turkey has been opposed to the EastMed pipeline project all along... [W]hen the Biden administration first announced its unofficial opposition to the project, the reasons given by the US were primarily environmental and financial. Then, suddenly, Nuland claimed that the timeline for the project is too long because Europe needs gas "now." Whatever the reasons given, they come across as an ill-disguised attempt at placating Turkey at the expense of Europe's energy security, and attempts to free itself of Russian energy dependency. The Biden administration is once again demonstrating how, unfortunately, it prefers to do business.

The European Union is finding it more than difficult to beat its dependence on Russian oil and gas, thereby, sadly, financing Russia's war effort. One alternative is the proposed EastMed pipeline, which would carry natural gas extracted from fields under the waters of Israel's and Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zones, to Greece and from there to other European countries. Pictured: Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiadis (left), Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (center) and then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands in Athens on January 2, 2020, ahead of signing the pipeline agreement. (Photo by Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia is expected to make almost $321 billion from its energy exports this year -- over a third more, according to Bloomberg, than last year.

Twenty-seven European Union member states, despite adopting five packages of sanctions since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, have nevertheless spent at least around 35 billion euros -- around $38 billion -- in payments to Russia for its oil and gas since the invasion, according to the EU's foreign-policy chief, Josep Borrell.

The EU is finding it more than difficult to beat its dependence on Russian oil and gas, thereby, sadly, financing Russia's war effort. Thirty-six percent of Russia's revenues last year came from the sale of oil and gas. "Oil revenue makes up a large share of Moscow's budget. It is a key funding source for Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Slashing Russia's oil revenue could hasten an end to the conflict," American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Michael R. Strain recently wrote.

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A Pure Call to Patriotism through Music

by Lawrence Kadish  •  May 11, 2022 at 4:00 pm

"God bless America, land that I love / Stand beside her and guide her / Through the night with the light from above..." From "God Bless America" by Irving Berlin, 1918, updated 1938. (Pictured: Irving Berlin performs for a CBS Radio show, circa 1935. (Photo by FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

It should come as no surprise that some of the most heartfelt music about our nation was penned by an immigrant, Irving Berlin. His biography reports that he was born Israel Baline in a Jewish village in the Russian Empire. After it was attacked by an anti-Semitic mob, his family realized America was their only hope, settling in Manhattan's Lower East Side in search of opportunity but -- more important -- freedom.

Few know America's exceptionalism better than those who have borne witness to the deprivations of other lands.

When one considers Berlin's lyrics the reader can appreciate why many call it America's unofficial anthem.

God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home
God bless America, my home sweet home

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Palestinians Lie to Murder Jews; U.S. Rewards Them

by Bassam Tawil  •  May 11, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • The terrorists and their families are saying that they actually believe the lies of the Palestinian leaders that the mosque is being attacked, violated and desecrated by Jews. They are saying that this is the reason they are sending Palestinians to murder Jews on the streets of Israeli cities.

  • Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, with whom the Biden administration is currently talking, even had the gall to repeat the blood libel against Israel and Jews when he issued a statement "condemning" the murder of Israeli civilians in Elad.

  • Please note: in the very same breath that Abbas "condemns" the murders of Israeli civilians, he continues to push his people to murder Jews for allegedly desecrating the holy sites in Jerusalem.

  • Palestinian leaders not only normally lie to their people about the fictitious "danger" facing the mosque; they also lie to the Americans and Europeans, who continue to believe that Abbas and his team are sincere about making peace with Israel.

  • Americans and Europeans additionally fail to grasp that by using the Aqsa Mosque as a pretext for terrorism against Jews, the Palestinian leaders are also aiming to rally Muslims against Western "infidels" around the world.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that the Jews "have no right to defile with their filthy feet" the Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. "We salute every drop of blood spilled for the sake of Jerusalem. This blood is clean, pure blood, shed for the sake of Allah, Allah willing. Every martyr will be placed in Paradise, and all the wounded will be rewarded by Allah." Pictured: Abbas speaks on PA television, September 16, 2015. (Image source: MEMRI)

The Palestinian terrorists who used axes to murder three Israeli Jewish men in the city of Elad on May 5 have cited the recent violence at the Aqsa Mosque compound (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem as their main motivation for the attack. The violence began when Palestinian rioters attacked Israeli police officers at the compound with fireworks, stones and other objects during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The goal of the rioters: to prevent Jews from conducting peaceful walking tours of the Temple Mount, as has long been officially agreed.

The rioters attacked the police because Palestinian leaders had told them that Jews were planning to "storm into the mosque" during the Jewish holidays.

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