Latest Analysis and Commentary

The UAE Is America's Friend, Not Rival

by Con Coughlin  •  January 19, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • The Houthi attack against the UAE, which has long-standing defence ties with the US... makes a mockery of US President Joe Biden's decision, taken in the first weeks of his presidency, to remove the Houthis from Washington's list of designated terrorist groups....

  • The Gulf region has become a major battleground between the US and China, not least because American influence is seen as being in decline by Gulf leaders because of Mr Biden's weak and ineffectual leadership, especially in the wake of his administration's disastrous handling of the Afghan withdrawal in the summer.

  • This has led many Middle Eastern states that have previously adopted pro-Western policies to re-evaluate their long-standing relationship with Washington as they feel, quite rightly, that they can no longer rely on the US to defend their interests, especially when it comes to protecting them against the threat posed by Iran and its allies.

  • From China's perspective, Abu Dhabi is seen as the "pearl" in its plan to establish what Chinese President Xi Jinping calls the Maritime Silk Road, a project that aims to secure Chinese dominance over key trading routes from Asia to the Middle East and beyond.

  • The fact that the Biden administration... should be pressuring the UAE over its ties with China is a classic example of how the White House has got its priorities all wrong.

  • As this week's attack by Iranian-backed terrorists on the UAE graphically illustrates, Iran poses the greatest threat to Gulf security, and it is Washington's failure to support its Gulf allies against the Iranian menace that has led them to develop ties with China in the first place.

  • If Mr Biden is truly concerned about nations like the UAE developing relations with Beijing, then the best way to reverse this trend would be to offer the Gulf states better protection against Iran. That would be a sure-fire way to get American relations with the Gulf back on track, and keep the opportunistic Chinese communists at bay.

The dramatic drone and missile strikes on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels highlight the utter folly of the Biden administration's willingness to question the loyalty of one of its key Gulf allies. Pictured: The Musaffah industrial district in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on January 17, 2022, after three people were killed in a drone attack that was launched by Yemen's Houthi terrorists. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

The dramatic drone and missile strikes on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels highlight the utter folly of the Biden administration's willingness to question the loyalty of one of its key Gulf allies.

In what constitutes a serious escalation in the Houthis' terrorist campaign against pro-US Gulf states, the Iranian-backed rebels said they fired five ballistic missiles and "a large number of drones" at Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports, an oil refinery in Musaffah as well as several "sensitive" sites in the UAE.

Abu Dhabi police said three people were killed and six wounded when three fuel tanker trucks exploded in the industrial Musaffah area, near storage facilities run by the country's ADNOC oil conglomerate.

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The Biden Administration's 'Diplomacy' with the Iranian Regime

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  January 18, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • As part of its "diplomacy", the White House first told the Iranian leaders not only that it is willing to lift nuclear-related sanctions, but also that it is considering lifting non-nuclear related sanctions.

  • Not only has the Biden administration's diplomatic route lifted some of the sanctions on the Iranian regime and its Houthi proxy, the administration has also looked the other way regarding the Islamic Republic's malign actions in the region.

  • As #BloodyFriday [the Iranian regime's lethal response to citizens protesting water shortages] trended on Twitter, not a word of condemnation could be heard from the White House. The organization Iranian-Americans for Liberty pleaded with the Biden administration to stand with the protesters....

  • Sadly, throughout history, "diplomacy" without the credible threat of a military follow-up (emphasis on the credible) can easily be regarded as just a "toothless" bore.

  • The Biden administration's policy of "diplomacy" towards the Iran's ruling mullahs seems in reality to be nothing more distressing to the ruling mullahs than a soggy pile of concessions and capitulations that, far from stopping their predations, will only empower and embolden them.

The Biden administration is perpetuating the idea that the White House is relying on "diplomacy" in dealing with the Iranian regime. However, the Biden administration's "diplomacy" with Iran seems nothing but capitulations to the ruling mullahs. Pictured: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department on August 2, 2021, in Washington, DC, after he spoke of a "collective response" to Iran. (Photo by Brendan /Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration is perpetuating the idea that the White House is relying on "diplomacy" in dealing with the Iranian regime. However, the Biden administration's "diplomacy" with Iran seems nothing but capitulations to the ruling mullahs.

As part of its "diplomacy", the White House first told the Iranian leaders not only that it is willing to lift nuclear-related sanctions, but also that it is considering lifting non-nuclear related sanctions. This was followed by the first concession toward Iran's proxy militia group, the Houthis. Even as the evidence — including a report by the United Nations — showed that the Iranian regime was delivering sophisticated weapons to the Houthis in Yemen, the Biden administration suspended some of the anti-terrorism sanctions on the Houthis that the Trump administration had imposed. Soon after, the Biden administration revoked the designation of Yemen's Houthis as a terrorist group.

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Predicting 2022 - The Year of the Tiger - Part II

by Pete Hoekstra  •  January 18, 2022 at 4:00 am

  • The same inaction by Western leaders to hold China accountable for the global pandemic that infuriates Western citizens only emboldens the Communist Party leadership, which sees inaction as a license to do more.

  • China will be constantly assessing the political strength of its adversaries. European political leaders have never demonstrated the stomach to confront military threats. During my tenure as U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, I observed Europeans always believed dialogue was more important than confrontation. Bad agreements were better than no agreements and being party to agreements that did not work was better than withdrawing.

  • They also likely assess the EU will do almost anything to protect its significant economic ties with China. The EU likely would propose as the appropriate response to any CCP action against Taiwan talks and talks and talks.

  • The CCP will closely monitor the responses of the EU and U.S. to Russia's aggressive posture against Ukraine. Does Russia gain major concessions from the West? Does it grab another piece of Ukraine with little or only a modest reaction from the West? If so, this would signal to China that the West is unreliable ally and ripe for the picking.

It is likely the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will see 2022 as an opportunity to go big against the U.S. The target will be Taiwan. The CCP will assess that the Biden Administration, facing low polling numbers, continuing economic challenges, the pandemic and midterm elections, will be unlikely to respond forcefully. Pictured: DF-17 hypersonic missiles at a military parade in Beijing, China, on October 1, 2019. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

The year of the Tiger, 2022, is shaping up to be a year of escalating tension between the world's two major superpowers. It will be go big or go home.

Not only will the U.S. go big against China, but it is likely the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will see 2022 as an opportunity to go big against the U.S. The target will be Taiwan.

For the CCP, the most important domestic and international goal is reclaiming and integrating Taiwan into the political, economic and military sphere of China. In 2022, we will see the CCP taking the first major offensive steps to move this process forward. The existing long-term framework will be challenged in a way not seen before, including possible kinetic military action against Taiwan.

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Destroying Taiwan

by Gordon G. Chang  •  January 17, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • Chinese ruler Xi Jinping is not going to be deterred by the prospect of losing TSMC [semiconductor company] or, for that matter, all of Taiwan's semiconductor industry. He will take the island even if he has to make it a radioactive slab uninhabitable for a thousand years.

  • "China wanted Taiwan long before TSMC was churning out chips, and would want it even if TSMC had never existed.... It wants Taiwan because, like Nazi Germany, it is an expansionist power...." — Michael Turton, columnist, Taipei Times, January 10, 2022.

  • China's regime is extraordinarily casualty-averse.... McKinney and Harris, therefore, totally miss the mark when they argue that an arms race with China would be counterproductive. Xi knows that an invasion of the island would be unpopular among most Chinese citizens if their sons or daughter were killed or maimed in the effort..., he is not about to do anything that could lead to the end of Communist Party rule.

  • Richard Fisher, a China military analyst with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, tells Gatestone that it is possible for the United States to win such a contest with China. Fisher is correct. The Chinese military is arms-racing not just with the United States but with much of the region, especially Japan and Australia.

  • [A]t a time when China's Communist Party is attacking democracies, Washington cannot allow Beijing to absorb any one of them, even if it is not home to the world's leading chipmakers.

  • "Destroying Taiwan's democracy is essential to giving China's Communist Party license to destroy all other democracies." — Richard Fisher to Gatestone, January 2022.

  • If America came to the rescue of Taiwan, it would not be defending just the island; America would be defending itself.

Chinese ruler Xi Jinping is not going to be deterred from invading Taiwan by the prospect of losing its semiconductor industry. He will take the island even if he has to make it a radioactive slab uninhabitable for a thousand years. (Image source: iStock)

America can save Taiwan from Chinese invasion by promising to destroy it, or at least its chipmaking capability, argues an article in Parameters, the U.S. Army War College's quarterly. In "Broken Nest: Deterring China from Invading Taiwan," Air University's Jared McKinney and Colorado State University's Peter Harris say that Taipei and Washington should make the island "unwantable."

"The United States and Taiwan should lay plans for a targeted scorched-earth strategy that would render Taiwan not just unattractive if ever seized by force, but positively costly to maintain," they write in the U.S. Army War College's most-downloaded paper of 2021. "This could be done most effectively by threatening to destroy facilities belonging to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the most important chipmaker in the world and China's most important supplier."

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Europe's Multicultural Volcano

by Giulio Meotti  •  January 16, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • "[E]nclaves, mini-states and neighborhoods in large European cities will begin to appear. Yes, they will always be a minority. But they are more united and threaten violence. And the state will have to obey their instructions". — Sergei Markov, Russian political scientist, interview in Lenta.ru, January 3, 2022.

  • Many of the migrants already live on the generosity of European welfare, even as the police, social workers and ambulances do not enter these areas or must be protected when they do.

  • In these lost areas, we are no longer in Europe.

  • On December 8, 2021, during the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 30 of the Catholic faithful were attacked in the street and threatened with death. The attackers shouted, "kuffars" ("infidels") and "it is not your home", Le Figaro reported. "Wallah [I swear] on the Koran, we will cut your throat", attackers told the priest who opened the procession. This took place not in Pakistan, but in Nanterre, France.

  • In Brussels, according to former Secretary of State Bianca Debaets, "there are too many areas where it is difficult for women and homosexuals to walk".

  • Although women of foreign nationality are only one-sixth of all women of childbearing age in Belgium, half of all children in Belgium are now born to foreign women.... This is the picture that just emerged from the National Institute of Statistics.

  • One-third of Belgium's population is of foreign origin; Belgians are already in the minority in Brussels....

  • But as everyone knows, the "Great Replacement" is just a far-right fantasy....

  • This multicultural volcano is not a threat only in the distant future of Europe; it is already in place. The big question is: why is it not stopped?

  • This transformation is the single most important event in Europe. That anyone who reports about it is accused of "racism" and "Islamophobia" suggests that it is a secret too huge and important to be freely discussed.

"We in the West are used to seeing women everywhere around us," Ayaan Hirsi Ali (pictured) writes in her new book, Prey, before describing that in certain parts of Brussels, London, Paris and Stockholm, "you suddenly notice that only men are visible," as women "erase themselves" from public spaces. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

"If Europe does not regain control, Islamized mini-states could soon appear". The prediction comes from the Russian political scientist Sergei Markov. In an interview published by Lenta.ru, Markov notes that European institutions are adapting to the Islamic way of life, values ​​and traditions (the recent campaigns of the Council of Europe in favor of the Muslim veil is an example), and adds:

"Fully Islamized Islamic enclaves, mini-states and neighborhoods in large European cities will begin to appear. Yes, they will always be a minority. But they are more united and threaten violence. And the state will have to obey their instructions".

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Kazakhstan: Echoes of the Autumn of Sorrows

by Amir Taheri  •  January 16, 2022 at 4:00 am

  • The United States gradual isolationism, starting with President Barack Obama and the closure of US bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, whetted the appetites of both China and Russia for greater influence in Central Asia as a whole.

  • Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has launched a long-term geostrategic campaign to regain its zone of influence in Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, where Kazakhstan is the biggest prize.

  • [T]he Russian campaign has caused unease among Kazakhs who suddenly realize that their ethnic-Russian fellow citizens hold a much higher percentage of plum positions in civil service and the military than their actual numbers would warrant.

The latest riots in Kazakhstan, which may be the opening salvos in a long fight over the country's future, could mean that the factors that nurtured three decades of stability are now all in question. Pictured: A burnt-out government building in Almaty, Kazakhstan on January 7, 2022, which was torched by rioters.. (Photo by Alexandr Bogdanov/AFP via Getty Images)

Until earlier this month, Kazakhstan, the largest of Central Asian republics to become independent after the dissolution of the Soviet Empire 30 years ago, appeared the most stable entity in the region.

Under President Nursultan Nazarbayev's iron-fist leadership, it had avoided the religious feuds, civil wars, coups and counter-coups that had shaken kindred former Soviet republics, such as neighboring Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

However, Nazarbayev's autocratic rule was not the sole reason for the new republic's stability. There were at least three other contributory factors.

The first was the boom created by the opening of Kazakhstan's vast energy resources, including more than 3 percent of global oil reserves, to foreign, mostly Western, capital. That, in turn, helped the newly independent republic to offer its citizens living standards they could not have imagined under Soviet rule.

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Responding to Chinese Diplomatic and Economic Aggression: Why on Earth Is the U.S. Attacking Its Best Allies?

by Pete Hoekstra  •  January 15, 2022 at 4:00 pm

  • The UAE is a staunch ally of the U.S. as well as home to a major joint U.S./UAE military installation. The UAE, demonstrating extraordinary leadership by His Highness Mohammed bin Zayed Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and his outstanding advisors, was also the first Muslim country to sign on to the Abraham Accords, and to initiate a truly warm peace between Muslim states and Israel after years of disputes had destabilized the region. The UAE, in addition, was the first Arab country to send troops to Afghanistan alongside the U.S. and to provide significant assistance when the U.S. withdrew from there in 2021.

  • National security cannot be compromised and diplomatic relations must be defended.... The "Monitoring China-UAE Cooperation Act," is, alas, a woefully misguided way to go about it. Congress may try to claim that it is trying to protect our national security against China's espionage and influence operations, but triggering friction against strong allies can end up delivering them into the hands of our adversaries – as our adversaries doubtless wish.

  • Sadly, this Act is profoundly counterproductive....Most importantly, any new requirements would respect our friends and allies. Legislation highlighting a single specific country can only be perceived by that country as an insult, an affront. Whether it is in the economic or national security arena, the business of diplomacy is improving relationships, not damaging them.

  • This is a global problem, not unique to one country. China is trying to install its companies' products all over the globe. Some might even call China's aggressive push on 5G a pandemic.

  • Rather than assaulting allies, and instead of clinging to a one-size-fits-all solution, the U.S. might craft legislation that would require the Director of National Intelligence to adjust requirements based on the relationship that the U.S. has with various countries....The DNI would design a global system that is flexible enough to reflect the complex network of relationships that the U.S. has around the world. No two are exactly the same.

  • China is the threat, not our allies.

The UAE was the first Arab country to send troops to Afghanistan alongside the U.S. and to provide significant assistance when the U.S. withdrew from there in 2021. China is the threat, not our allies. Photo: His Highness Mohammed bin Zayed Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Hannah McKay - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Legislation recently introduced in Congress purportedly seeks to confront China's growing global aggression on a broad range of fronts. While that goal is certainly urgent and important goal, regrettably, in reality,this document appears largely a pretext for attacking one of America's most impressive allies, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The legislation, titled the "Monitoring China-UAE Cooperation Act, " claims that the executive branch should "assess the relationship between China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in order to safeguard U.S. technology and national security." That might sound reasonable enough, butoddly it is levelled at a friend and in public.

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USA: Reliving the Nightmare of a Shocking Christmas Carnage Every Day

by Lawrence Kadish  •  January 14, 2022 at 3:30 pm

In America's most important city, and within Manhattan, there is now a District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, who has redefined evil: in his view, it is the criminal who needs protecting, not the victim. Bragg (pictured) has directed his office to stop seeking prison sentences for criminals who prey on those unfortunate enough to be walking the streets of Manhattan. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

One would have thought that after a repeat felon out on a $1,000 bail is alleged to have driven his car into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six people and injuring countless others, those who have sought to dismantle our criminal justice system would have recognized how their actions have created murderous carnage across the nation.

But that is far from the case and the lawless cannot believe their good fortune.

In America's most important city, New York, and within Manhattan, its most famous borough, there is now a District Attorney who, in changing what his office will prosecute, has essentially redefined evil.

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China: Buying Up Europe

by Judith Bergman  •  January 14, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • A staggering 40% out of 650 Chinese investments in Europe in the years 2010-2020, according to Datenna [a Dutch company that monitors Chinese investments in Europe], had "high or moderate involvement by state-owned or state-controlled companies."

  • When the Chairman of the UK parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, wrote that Chinese ownership of the British microchip plant, Newport Wafer Fab, "represents a significant economic and national security concern", UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng responded that the deal had been "considered thoroughly". Only after considerable pressure did British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agree to a national security review of the sale.

  • The European Court of Auditors, an EU institution that oversees EU finances, has found that gaining an overview of Chinese investments in the EU is difficult because of the lack of comprehensive data; it seems no one is recording it.

  • Efficient systems for blocking foreign investments based on national security concerns also appear either to be lacking or simply not used sufficiently.

  • The "strictest screening frameworks" clearly are not stopping China.

  • What appears to be urgently needed in Europe now is a deeper understanding of the threat that China poses, as well as the political will to act on it. Action is urgently needed to block investments that serve up Europe's strategic assets on a silver platter to China's state-owned companies, which the Chinese Communist Party then use to advance its expansionist ends.

For more than a decade, China has been stealthily buying up European companies in strategic sectors, particularly in technology and energy. Efficient systems for blocking foreign investments based on national security concerns appear either to be lacking or simply not used sufficiently. (Image source: iStock)

For more than a decade, China has been stealthily buying up European companies in strategic sectors, particularly in technology and energy. China appears to be using these European assets to help fulfil the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) ambitions of becoming a global force, technologically independent of the West and ultimately supplanting the US as the world's economic, political and military superpower.

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Arab Racism and the 'Jewish State'

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  January 13, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • First, Mansour Abbas did not "call" on the Palestinian people to recognize Israel. He simply stated the fact that Israel was "born as a Jewish state" and that "it will remain a Jewish state."

  • Second, there is no connection between accepting Israel's Jewish identity and the Islamic holy sites, including the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Since 1967, in fact, Israel has allowed the Islamic religious authorities to have exclusive control over the mosque and other Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.

  • Remarkably, since the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, the city has become a haven for coexistence and revitalized religious and cultural expression for all faiths. Freedom of worship at all holy sites is guaranteed for the faithful of all three monotheistic religions.

  • Ironically, the Palestinian leadership's false claim that Israel is seeking to "harm" the al-Aqsa Mosque came as Palestinians made two attempts to set fire to Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, only because it is frequented by Jewish worshippers. The attempts, according to reports in the Palestinian media, were foiled at the last minute by the Palestinian security forces.

  • Third, the Palestinian leadership's claim that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state "contradicts religion and history" should be seen in the context of the Palestinians' denial of any traces of Judaism in Jerusalem.

  • Notably, while the PA says that it is strongly opposed to the idea of Israel being a Jewish state, it has no problem defining itself as "Arab" and "Islamic."

  • There are 56 countries in which Islam plays a significant role. Many of them are countries with Islam as the state religion.

  • The constitutions of several Arab countries, including Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Algeria, Oman and Yemen, define them as Arab states where Islam is the religion of the state.

  • It is worth considering the extreme hypocrisy of this situation: the Arabs (and the Palestinians) continue their long-held policy of defining their countries as "Arab" and "Islamic," while they deny Israel the right to refer to itself what it always has been -- the Jewish state.

  • This does not bode well for any peace process that the Biden administration is hoping to revive between the Palestinians and Israel.

  • Those who refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state are actually admitting that they do not believe in Israel's right to exist.

Palestinians and other Arabs are furious because Mansour Abbas -- an Arab member of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, and head of the United List Party -- announced that he recognizes Israel as a Jewish state. Abbas is being denounced as a "traitor" and "Zionist" by many Palestinians and Arabs who define their countries and political systems as "Arab" or "Islamic." Pictured: Abbas in the Knesset on September 2, 2021. (Photo by Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images)

Palestinians and other Arabs are furious because Mansour Abbas -- an Arab member of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, and head of the United List Party -- announced that he recognizes Israel as a Jewish state.

Abbas is being denounced as a "traitor" and "Zionist" by many Palestinians and Arabs who define their countries and political systems as "Arab" or "Islamic." They claim that the idea of a Jewish state is "racist" but seem not to feel the same way about openly Islamic states: The Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

If the Palestinians, as well as Arab and Islamic countries, are labelling Israel as racist because it wants to define itself as a Jewish state, then they too are racists because they insist on defining themselves as "Arabs" and "Muslims."

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Biden's Budget Priorities and the China Threat

by Chris Farrell  •  January 12, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • There is nothing [in the US budget] specifically targeting and countering the Chinese biowarfare threat and resultant global pandemic that has seized the world for nearly two years. Nothing. Instead, there is specific reference to military crisis communications – the sort Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley clearly exercised on October 20, 2020 when he told the Chinese military chief: "General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we're going to attack, I'm going to call you ahead of time. It's not going to be a surprise." General Milley has yet to be indicted.

  • There are other examples of outrageous programs and wild spending --– on everything from "desert fish" to Critical Race Theory indoctrination programs across all departments and levels of government.

  • Meanwhile, China surges ahead with military and technical advances -- at a pace that has caught the US government by surprise. China's hypersonic missile test in October 2021 seems to have caught the Pentagon flat-footed. Hypersonic missiles travel at around 3,800 mph and higher, and are ideal for evading traditional missile detection and defense systems. China is also ready to launch its first "blue water" aircraft carrier -- giving it the ability to project air and sea power around the globe.

  • Just recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that China is seeking its first military base on the Atlantic Ocean.

  • The Biden administration is spending American taxpayers' dollars recklessly on "tree equity" programs.

  • Reading Douglas MacArthur: American Warrior, one is reminded of how FDR grossly ignored the looming threat from Japan and how Biden ignores China's aggression today.

The Biden administration has its own priorities and vision, domestically and with respect to our defense posture. A 2022 budget that may reach nearly $5 trillion dollars has many social programs but an unexceptional defense budget -- and it lacks a coherent strategy or focus for dealing with the persistent and growing challenges from China. Pictured: President Joe Biden talks to Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (2nd L) after signing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on November 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Which is more urgent?: Does the US need a nearly $5 trillion budget for an immediate deterrence to China's biowarfare and military buildup, or for climate change and green programs? And are those climate change and green programs largely paybacks to campaign donors and to China?

The Communist Chinese are redrawing the maps of the world, from the South China Sea to the Panama Canal to Equatorial Guinea. They are advancing technologically and practically through a coordinated military, scientific and economic strategy that seeks to outstrip the United States completely within a decade.

The Biden administration has its own priorities and vision, domestically and with respect to our defense posture. A 2022 budget that may reach nearly $5 trillion dollars has many social programs but an unexceptional defense budget -- and it lacks a coherent strategy or focus for dealing with the persistent and growing challenges from China.

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Arabs 'Frustrated' With Biden's Iran Policy

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  January 11, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • The Biden administration's position "raises a question mark about the seriousness of American efforts to save the world from Iranian threats.... The Iranian regime insists on adopting, supporting and arming terrorist entities in order to continue committing crimes and violations that destabilize the security and stability...in the region." — Al-Yaum, Saudi Arabia, December 23, 2022.

  • "Iran's interventions in neighboring countries... Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Bahrain and Kuwait, have become clear and tangible...." — Adnan Salman, Iraqi military expert, Azzaman, January 8, 2022.

  • Iran boasted that it occupies four Arab capitals: Baghdad, Beirut, Sana'a and Damascus. "The Iranians have turned these Arab capitals into bases for its armed militias, providing them with money, weapons and everything they need to assert Iran's hegemony over the region." —Abdel Aziz Khamis, Saudi writer and political analyst, Sky News Arabia, January 6, 2022.

  • "The Ansar Allah group in Yemen [the Houthis], Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Hezbollah Brigades and Sayed al-Shuhada Brigades and other gangs in Iraq, as well as other brutal gangs in the Syrian and Palestinian territories, have served as tools that allowed Tehran to interfere in the affairs of these countries and threaten others." — Abdel Aziz Khamis, Sky News Arabia, January 6, 2022.

  • "What Iran is doing is tantamount to an open war against the Arabs." — Saleh Al-Qallab, former Jordanian minister of information, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, January 6, 2020.

  • "Iran is interfering in the region with the aim of dominating it.... The current Lebanese model of Iran's hegemony through Hezbollah is the model that Iran aspires to and plans for in all the Arab countries." — Former Kuwaiti Minister of Information and Culture Saad Bin Tefla Al-Ajami, Independentarabia.com, December 31, 2021.

  • The Biden administration refuses to disclose information about the negotiations that could "pose grave dangers" to the US. "The Biden administration argues that making this information available may harm American national security and reveal intelligence sources. This excuse is flimsy and weak. Here is the clear truth: the weak Biden administration is striving to reach an agreement [with Iran] at any cost to beautify its image in front of the Americans." — Emil Amin, Egyptian writer, Al-Arabiya, January 7, 2022.

  • These Arabs, in short, are saying that they view Iran and the United States, and not Israel, as the major threats to their security and stability.

  • It now remains to be seen whether the Biden administration and the other parties negotiating with the mullahs will heed the voices coming from the Arab world -- or continue to allow the mullahs to hoodwink them by having the US sanctions lifted while Tehran continues to advance its plans to obtain nuclear weapons and extend its control to more Arab countries.

It remains to be seen whether the Biden administration and the other parties negotiating with Iran's mullahs will heed the voices coming from the Arab world -- or continue to allow the mullahs to hoodwink them by having the US sanctions lifted while Tehran continues to advance its plans to obtain nuclear weapons and extend its control to more Arab countries. (Image source: iStock)

Syrian-born TV host Faisal Al-Kasim recently asked his 5.9 million followers on Twitter the following: "Which is better, Israel's reputation or Iran's reputation in the [Middle East] region?" The result of the poll showed that 74.8% viewed Israel as having a better reputation as opposed to 25.2% in favor of Iran.

The next day, Al-Kasim, who hosts a popular debate show on the Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera network called The Opposite Direction, conducted another survey on Twitter. This time, he asked his followers: "Do you support the Israeli bombing of Iran and its militias in Syria?"

According to the results of the poll, 77.8% said they supported the Israeli military strikes, while only 22.2% voiced opposition.

Al-Kasim's findings did not come as a surprise to many Arabs, especially those living in the Gulf states, who continue to express deep concern over Iran's ongoing meddling in their internal affairs.

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Predicting 2022 – China's Year of the Tiger

by Pete Hoekstra  •  January 10, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • For too long, American government and business leaders have sat quietly and allowed China and the Chinese Communist Party to run roughshod over our nation and our values.

  • As Americans see the large number of container ships waiting off the West Coast to unload cargo, they realize that much of the material on those ships comes from China. The reasonable question they are increasingly asking is, why is America doing business with a country that our own government says practices genocide and steals U.S. intellectual property and jobs?

  • More and more of Americans' anger is being targeted towards the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which has attempted to deflect blame and make baseless accusations against America and the West.

  • US President Joe Biden right before Christmas signed into law the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, approved by a voice vote in the Senate and by a 428 -1 margin in the House. This law will prevent the importation of goods and products produced in Xinjiang unless it can be proved they were not made with forced labor.

  • American politicians will not be the only target of the American public. The public also will target American companies that worship at the altar of sales and profits from China. They will demand that companies respond to the CCP's genocide in Xinjiang, political repression in Hong Kong, and threats against Taiwan.

  • American politicians typically lag behind where the American people are. America's politicians will therefore need to go big against China or in November of 2022, their constituents will send them home.

As Americans see the large number of container ships waiting off the West Coast to unload cargo, they realize that much of the material on those ships comes from China. The reasonable question they are increasingly asking is, why is America doing business with a country that our own government says practices genocide and steals U.S. intellectual property and jobs? Pictured: Container ships wait offshore for entry to the Port of Los Angeles on October 6, 2021. (Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

According to the Chinese calendar, 2022 is the Year of the Tiger. 2022 is the year where America finally goes big against China. China will also go big against the U.S. and Taiwan. Here are the developments that will push America to confront China's malign and dangerous behavior and, in an upcoming article, those that will push China to go big.

Most likely, 2022 will finally be the wake-up call Americans need. For too long, American government and business leaders have sat quietly and allowed China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to run roughshod over our nation and our values. In 2001, politicians such as President George W. Bush welcomed China into the World Trade Organization and promised that not only would it benefit global trade, but strengthen China's adherence to the rule of law and that China would "introduce certain civil reforms." At this point, it is clear that things have not turned out quite that way.

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Torture in Turkish Prisons: Systematic and Widespread

by Uzay Bulut  •  January 10, 2022 at 4:00 am

  • On December 9, several national and international anti-torture organizations – the Centre for Social Support, Rehabilitation and Re-adaptation for Victims of Torture, War and Violence; Civil Society in the Penal System; Foundation for Society and Legal Studies; Human Rights Association; Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, and the Europe Branch of the World Organization Against Torture -- issued a joint press release stating that "torture remains widespread" in Turkey:

  • "Five years have passed since the Special Rapporteur on torture conducted his visit to Turkey to assess the prevailing situation.... Although the officials in Turkey had stated at the time their commitment to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible for the use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, the grim reality on the ground tells a different story. In fact, several regressive measures have been implemented that are considered as a significant backslide....

  • "A rise in incidents of torture, ill-treatment, and cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment in police and military custody and in prison over the past years has overshadowed Turkey's earlier progress in this area. This has been due, among others, to the violation of procedural guarantees, long-term custody periods, and willful negligence that have become a common practice at various levels of the State.

  • "There is also a steady increase in the use of the anti-terrorism law against individuals by public prosecutors. The concept of 'terrorism offences', which is highly problematic regarding its broad and vague definition, has been instrumentalized and misused as a pretext to silence, oppress and criminalize political dissidents.

  • "According to the data provided by the Council of Europe, Turkey has the largest population of inmates convicted for terrorism-related offences. The country's prison population rate has increased by 115.3 percent in the last 10 years; this has led to Turkey having the highest incarceration rate of the 47 Council of Europe member countries in 2020."

  • "Torture has remained the most dominant human rights problem in 2021 in Turkey... in spite of the fact that it is a crime against humanity and is absolutely prohibited by the Constitution and universal law, which Turkey is a part of."

  • Political prisoners in Turkey are systematically mistreated and even tortured for having the "wrong" political thoughts or for being labelled by the government as "enemies" or "terrorists". The situation of sick political prisoners is rarely covered in the mainstream Turkish media. Sadly, the pro-government media seems to view dissident prisoners as traitors or terrorists who deserve death.

  • Many prisoners are incarcerated solely based on false statements by "protected," often anonymous witnesses (called in Turkish a "secret witness"). Thousands of innocent people are rotting in Turkish prisons for being or supporting "terrorists" when there is no actual evidence against them.... Attempts at defense are also undercut.

Garibe Gezer, a female Kurdish political prisoner who was in solitary confinement in Turkey, recently died in prison after months of torture and rape. Political prisoners in Turkey are systematically mistreated and even tortured for having the "wrong" political thoughts or for being labelled by the government as "enemies" or "terrorists". (Image source: iStock. Picture is for illustration purposes and does not represent any person in this article.)

Garibe Gezer, a Kurdish political prisoner who was in solitary confinement in Turkey, recently died in prison after months of torture and rape.

On December 9, the administration of Kandıra Prison called the Gezer family and informed them that their daughter was found dead in her cell. Kandıra, located in the city of Kocaeli, is where many politicians, journalists and human rights activists are imprisoned.

The prison administration allege that Gezer "committed suicide". Through her letters and conversations with her lawyers and family members, however, Gezer had said that she was kept in a solitary cell where she was systematically tortured and raped by prison guards. The city's prosecutor's office has imposed a gag order on the investigation of her death. A disciplinary investigation was also launched against Gezer's fellow prisoners for protesting her death by applauding.

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"Crimes in the Name of Religion": The Persecution of Christians, November 2021

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  January 9, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • "The servants of Allah entered my house in order to remove the clothes which they were wearing, because they were soaked in blood, and said that they had killed an infidel, hence Allah will reward them...." — Morning Star News; November 14, 2021; Uganda.

  • "The United Nations has estimated that since 2011, Boko Haram has killed more than 15,200 Nigerians and forced 1.7 million others from their homes as it has sought to turn Nigeria into an Islamic nation ruled by Sharia law." — Catholicherald.co.uk, November 5, 2021; Nigeria.

  • On November 17, the U.S. removed Nigeria from its list of Countries of Particular Concern, meaning nations that engage in, or tolerate violations of, religious freedom. Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed (3,530) for their faith in 2020..... "If the U.S. CPC list means anything at all – an open question at this point – Nigeria belongs on it." — Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, quoting Christian Solidarity, Nigeria.

  • "[I]n recent weeks there have been cases in which the terrorists have first been asking whether the owner [of cattle] is a Christian or a Muslim.... 'If the owners were Christians the attackers didn't consider it necessary to count their animals, because they said that they didn't just want to take their animals, but also to kill the owners....'" — churchinneed.org, November 5, 2021; Nigeria.

  • "They also tried to force my wife and our four children to convert to Islam, but when they refused to convert, they shot my wife in the head while our four children were cut into pieces with a Somali sword... the rebel militants intend to establish an Islamist state ruled by sharia [Islamic law]." — Morning Star News, December 1, 2021, for November 20-25, 2021; Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • According to a separate, November 19 report, in just the first half of 2021, in Pakistan's Punjab Province alone, 6,754 women were abducted. Out of those, 1,890 were raped, 3,721 were tortured and 752 children were raped. The same report notes that "over 1,000 girls belonging to Hindu and Christian communities are forcefully converted to Islam every year in Pakistan."

  • "Mareeb is only 12 years old, and she cannot marry. The perpetrators commit these crimes in the name of religion." — Pastor Zahid Augustine, asianews.it; Pakistan.

  • Ramy Kamel, a Christian activist arrested two years earlier for reporting on the persecution of the nation's indigenous Christian minority, the Copts, remained under arrest—mostly in solitary confinement, and sometimes under torture—beyond the maximum amount of time permitted by law. "Furthermore, Ramy Kamel's case is not unique. There are many other Egyptian activists, journalists, politicians, and regular citizens who are suffering under Egypt's sham of a judicial system." — copticsolidarity.org, November 29, 2021; Egypt.

  • Based on a new law that came into effect on November 1, converting out of Islam has become illegal in Malaysia's Kelantan State. Apostates now face prison, fines, and/or caning. Other sharia-compliant mandates that also came into effect in November include laws against disrespecting Ramadan, misrepresenting Islam, getting tattoos or plastic surgery, engaging in sexual intercourse with corpses and non-humans, and witchcraft. — thestar.com.my, November 2, 2021; Malaysia.

"The United Nations has estimated that since 2011, Boko Haram has killed more than 15,200 Nigerians and forced 1.7 million others from their homes as it has sought to turn Nigeria into an Islamic nation ruled by Sharia law," according to the Catholic Herald. Pictured: Residents of Maiduguri, Nigeria, inspect a bullet-ridden car that was hit in an attack by Boko Haram terrorists. The attackers murdered 16 people, including nine children who were playing in a field, in February 2021. (Photo by Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)

The following are among the abuses Muslims inflicted on Christians throughout the month of November 2021:

The Muslim Slaughter of Christians

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