Latest Analysis and Commentary

Even Europe Is Losing Patience with Iran's Nuclear Antics

by Con Coughlin  •  January 26, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • In recent weeks Iran announced that it had begun work on enriching uranium to 20 percent -- just short of the level required to produce nuclear weapons -- as well as informing the International Atomic Energy Agency... that it was to resume work on producing uranium metal.

  • Both these developments represent a clear breach of the JCPOA. Under the agreement, Iran committed to keep uranium enrichment at 3.5 percent, the level required for civilian use, and signed up to a 15-year ban on "producing or acquiring plutonium or uranium metals or their alloys".

  • Iran's announcement that it was proceeding with the production of uranium metal has prompted a furious response from the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, who, in a joint statement earlier this month, warned that there was "no credible civilian use" for the element, and that "The production of uranium metal has potentially grave military implications.

  • [W]hat makes anyone think Iran would honour a new deal any more than they honoured the old one? Why enter a new sham deal at all?

In recent weeks Iran announced that it had begun work on enriching uranium to 20 percent -- just short of the level required to produce nuclear weapons -- as well as informing the International Atomic Energy Agency that it was to resume work on producing uranium metal, for which, according to the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, there is "no credible civilian use." Pictured: The Isfahan uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan, Iran. (Photo by Getty Images)

When the European Union starts warning the ayatollahs that the Iran nuclear deal is at a "critical juncture", it is a clear sign that Tehran's increasingly aggressive conduct in relation to its nuclear activities will make US President Joe Biden's hopes of reviving the deal almost impossible.

From the moment the nuclear deal was agreed to between Iran and six of the world's leading powers -- the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany -- in 2015, the EU has been an enthusiastic champion of the deal.

Even though neither Iran nor the EU itself was a signatory to the deal, the organisation's then foreign policy chief, the British Labour politician and veteran Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament activist Catherine Ashton, led a sustained campaign on behalf of the EU to support the agreement.

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China Has Already Started to Test the Biden Administration

by Lawrence A. Franklin  •  January 26, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • Not a week has passed since the inauguration of President Joe Biden -- whose son reportedly engaged in business deals with China worth $1.5 billion -- and the Chinese Communist Party, which illegally seized Hong Kong last summer, has already sent more than two dozen warplanes, including bombers, into Taiwan's airspace for two days in a row.

  • China also issued a new law permitting its "coastguards to launch pre-emptive strikes without prior warning" on any foreign ship that might enter disputed waters that China would like to consider its own.

  • Biden's team should not misinterpret any Chinese conciliatory rhetoric as being a sign of a less aggressive CCP effort to push US military assets out of the Western Pacific.

  • Xi, a stalwart of the "One China Policy," may still demand not words but actions, such as: a moratorium on Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) by US Navy vessels in the South China Sea, a cessation of US criticism of Chinese human rights violations, and a promise to reduce American VIP visits to Taiwan following President Trump's high-level contacts with Taipei.

  • China has clearly assessed Biden's capacity for bold leadership as highly improbable.

  • The Biden administration should not assume that Chinese objectives are negotiable. The CCP is committed to becoming the premier power in the world at the expense of US interests and is most likely willing to risk war to accomplish it.

President Joe Biden's team should not misinterpret any Chinese conciliatory rhetoric as being a sign of a less aggressive Chinese Communist Party effort to push US military assets out of the Western Pacific. Pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping with then US Vice President Joe Biden in Beijing, China on December 4, 2013. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Not a week has passed since the inauguration of President Joe Biden -- whose son reportedly engaged in business deals with China worth $1.5 billion -- and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which illegally seized Hong Kong last summer, has already sent more than two dozen warplanes, including bombers, into Taiwan's airspace for two days in a row.

China also issued a new law permitting its "coastguards to launch pre-emptive strikes without prior warning" on any foreign ship that might enter disputed waters that China would like to consider its own.

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Your Government is Afraid of You

by Chris Farrell  •  January 25, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • The Swamp is terrified of Trump – still. That explains their fixation on eradicating him and his movement.

  • You are also supposed to ignore the facts concerning months-long violent protests with killings and burnings across America's cities by Antifa and BLM. Months ago, Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser, demanded that the National Guard withdraw from her city amid violent demonstrations. She then named a street after those demonstrators and allowed them to paint their motto across the entire street.

  • Watch for the same sort of public treatment and language applied to Trump supporters going forward. It is consistent with a government that is in fear of its own people. The type of government that has 25,000 soldiers guarding a few politicians in an empty city.

The Swamp is terrified of Trump – still. Pictured: President Donald Trump boards Marine One as he departs the White House on his last day in office, January 20, 2021. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

The Swamp is terrified of Trump – still. That explains their fixation on eradicating him and his movement. "Trumpism" was not extinguished when Joe Biden raised his right hand to become the 46th president.

Fear grips The Swamp. Here is some evidence: the military occupation of Washington, DC; claims of "insurrection"; Speaker Pelosi's interference with the military command structure; more baseless claims of dark Russian conspiracies; serious discussion of reeducation camps for Trump supporters; marginalizing and criminalizing all things "Trump" – those are all expressions of fear.

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Biden's First Signal on China: Fond Memories

by Gordon G. Chang  •  January 25, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • In "Four Principles to Guide U.S. Policy Toward China," the Atlantic Council's Ali Wyne suggests a weakened America needs to accommodate the People's Republic of China.

  • China also cannot get along with the United States, which maintained China-friendly policies for more than four decades. In fact, People's Daily, the most authoritative publication in China, in May 2019 carried a piece that declared a "people's war" on America.

  • China's "unrestricted warfare" on the United States has taken a toll. Recently, Chinese leaders deliberately spread the coronavirus beyond their borders, making deaths in America mass murder as well as "genocide," as that term is defined by Article II of the 1948 Genocide Convention.

  • Moreover, in late January of last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in the International Falls Port of Entry in Minnesota seized 900,000 counterfeit $1 bills, made in China.... Nobody, in China's near-total surveillance state, can counterfeit American currency without authorities knowing about it. [C]ounterfeiting another country's currency is considered an act of war.

  • Leaders of democracies, despite all the good will in the world, will find they cannot cooperate with thugs.

At least for the moment in Washington, DC, negative comments about China are out and cooperative words are in. But President Joe Biden had it right last February, when he called China's President Xi Jinping a "thug." Leaders of democracies, despite all the good will in the world, will find they cannot cooperate with thugs. Pictured: Xi (left) and then US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) listen as then Vice President Biden speaks in Washington, DC on September 25, 2015. (Photo by Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images)

"I was asked a long time ago when I was with Xi Jinping," said President Joe Biden in his first hours in office, as he swore in officials, "and I was on the Tibetan plateau with him, and he asked me in a private dinner he and I and we each had an interpreter he said can you define America for me, and I said yes and I meant it. I said I can do it in one word, one word: possibilities. We believe anything is possible if we set our mind to it, unlike any other country in the world."

In Beijing, Communist Party leaders must be ecstatic. For one thing, during the 10-minute ceremony Biden mentioned no other country.

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"This Is a Warning to Christians in All Parts of the World": The Persecution of Christians, December 2020

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  January 24, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Muslim fighters tortured a 58-year-old Christian woman of Armenian descent by hacking off her ears, hands, and feet before finally executing her. — Medium.com, January 14, 2021, Artsakh.

  • As to why she was mutilated before being killed, jihadis often cite the Koran's calls to cut off the hands, feet, and throats of infidels (e.g., Koran 5:33, 47:4). — Artsakh.

  • One of the survivors... managed to escape his home in time and hide in the outside bathroom: "through the ventilator of the latrine he saw the rebels killing 4 members of his family including his wife and 3 children." — Virtueonline.org, December 3, 2020, Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • "My husband began reading verses in the Koran that allowed men to beat their wives if they disobey them, and after that he started beating me...." — Morning Star News, December 17, 2020, Uganda.

In January, Muslim fighters tortured a 58-year-old Christian woman of Armenian descent by hacking off her ears, hands and feet, before finally executing her. The attack took place in the village of in Karintak, Artsakh (pictured). (Image source: Adam Jones/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons)

The following are among the abuses inflicted on Christians by Muslims throughout the month of December, 2020:

The Slaughter of Christians

Nigeria: In a video that appeared on Dec. 29, Islamic terrorists executed five Christians. The footage shows five armed members of the Islamic State (West African province) standing behind five men dressed in orange suits, and on their knees with their arms tied behind their backs. The terrorists order each of the men to say their names and the hostages oblige, each adding, "I am a Christian." One of the terrorists then says "This is a warning to Christians in all parts of the world and those in Nigeria.... Use the heads of these five of your brethren to continue with your ungodly celebrations," a reference to Christmas. The five Muslims then open fire into the back of the Christians' heads and kill them.

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Turkey: Elderly Christian Man Still Missing Year Later

by Uzay Bulut  •  January 24, 2021 at 4:30 am

  • "About 20 people who knew us wanted to help us with the searches, but the gendarmerie prevented them from coming.... and civilians were not allowed to help. If the permission required had been given, we would have found my mother right away...." — Father Remzi Diril, a priest of the Istanbul Chaldean Church and one of the couple's sons, after his mother's body was found bullet wounds in the head and back; interview with Milliyet, January 11, 2021.

  • During the 1980s and 1990s, Assyrians in southeast Turkey "suffered forced evictions, mass displacement and the burning down of their homes and villages." They were exposed to severe persecution "including abductions (including of priests), forced conversions to Islam through rape and forced marriage, and murders. These pressures, and other more insidious forms of discrimination, have decimated the community." — Minority Rights Group International, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, Assyrians, updated June 2018.

  • Today, EU candidate and NATO member Turkey is still not willing or able to provide security and basic human rights for this persecuted minority.

One year after the abduction and disappearance of an elderly Christian couple in southeast Turkey, their children are still asking the Turkish authorities for help in locating their missing father and holding the perpetrators accountable. Pictured: The village of Mehr/Kovankaya in Şırnak Province, where Hurmuz and Şimuni Diril lived before their abduction and disappearance. (Image source: Gabygabi/Wikimedia Commons)

One year after the abduction and disappearance of an elderly Christian couple in southeast Turkey, their children are still asking the Turkish authorities for help in locating their missing father and holding the perpetrators accountable.

Hurmuz Diril (72) and Şimuni Diril (65) are Assyrian Christians who lived in the village of Mehr/Kovankaya in Şırnak Province before their disappearance on January 11, 2020. Two months later, on March 20, Şimuni Diril was found dead by her children in a nearby river. There has since been no news concerning the whereabouts of Hurmuz Diril.

Father Remzi Diril, a priest of the Istanbul Chaldean Church and one of the couple's sons, said in an interview with the Turkish newspaper Milliyet that his mother's body had bullet wounds in the head and back, and that his father was probably killed. He added that the search for his parents by authorities has been insufficient:

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Tehran's Presidential Show: A Game of Exclusions

by Amir Taheri  •  January 24, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • The aim, here, is exclusion rather than qualifications.

  • One fake university with an address in the island of Saba, in the Caribbean, has sold over 500 doctorates to Iranian officials for $25,000 apiece.

  • To complicate matters further, the conditions demand other qualifications that are hard if not impossible to measure.... For example, how do you prove "heartfelt belief in the necessity of religion" or "transparent hostility to the West" or "opposition to all seditions that have taken place against the Islamic Revolution"?

  • Things become more complicated when would-be candidates are asked to prove loyalty not only to the regime and all its policies but also to be committed to preserving all the existing institutions of the Islamic Republic. This means that those who dream of reforming let alone disbanding the High Council of Guardians of the Constitution or merging the Revolutionary Guard with the national army need not apply.

(Image source: iStock)

Perhaps to divert attention from here and now problems, such as the ravages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, economic meltdown, hyperinflation and rampant corruption, Tehran's ruling elite have decided to give an early start to a presidential election expected to be held in June.

The main tune played by the official media is that the election this time is going to be the final showdown between the "reformist" and "principalist" factions that have provided an Islamist version of the Punch-and-Judy show as a sign of democracy in the Islamic Republic.

A sub-theme is also built around rumors that the "Supreme Guide" has decided to have a military president as his sidekick. So far at least two of Iran's estimated 1,000 or so active or retired brigadier-generals have already thrown their caps into the ring.

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The Religious Transformation of French Schools

by Giulio Meotti  •  January 23, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • In France, a low-intensity war is bubbling, aimed at radicalizing education.

  • At the Pierre Mendès France School in Saumur, a student told his teacher, "My father will behead you". It has become impossible even to make a precise list of these incidents. They occur every day in France.

  • "Faced with Islamist intimidation, what should the free world do?" — Title of Robert Redeker's column in Le Figaro in 2006. A few days later, he began receiving death threats.

  • If extremists have managed to intimidate France's schools and universities, why should they not be able to subdue all of society?

In France, a low-intensity war is bubbling, aimed at radicalizing education. Minister of Education Jean Michel Blanquer revealed that after the beheading of the schoolteacher Samuel Paty in October, 800 Islamist "incidents" had taken place in French schools. Pictured: Bois-d'Aulne College in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, where Paty was murdered on October 16, 2020. (Photo by Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty Images)

"Unlike you, Colonel, and so many others, Mila will never submit", wrote the French teenager's father to her school's principal in a letter published by Le Point. On January 18, 2020 Mila O., then 16 years old, made insulting comments about Islam during her Instagram livestream.

"During her livestream, a Muslim boy asked her out in the comments, but she turned him down because she is gay. He responded by accusing her of racism and calling her a 'dirty lesbian'. In an angry follow-up video, streamed immediately after she was insulted, Mila responded by saying that she 'hates religion'".

Mila continued: "The Koran is a religion of hatred; there is only hatred in it... Islam is sh*t..." Since then, she has received approximately 50,000 messages and letters that contain threats to rape her, slit her throat, torture and behead her. She has had to keep moving from one school to another.

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The Palestinian Plan to Dupe the Biden Administration

by Bassam Tawil  •  January 22, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • The proposed Palestinian elections are part of a scheme designed to deceive the international community, specifically the US and EU, into believing that the Palestinians are serious about implementing major reforms, ending financial and administrative corruption, and engaging in another peace process with Israel.

  • Not only does Abbas have no plans to depart from the political scene anytime in the near future, he is even said to be considering running in the presidential election.

  • There is one reason, and one reason only, why Abbas is now talking about holding general elections: to continue milking the cash cow he has in the form of American and European governments. Abbas wants the money to ensure his continued dictatorial rule over the Palestinians.

  • Abbas is hoping that such an international conference, under the auspices of the United Nations, European Union, Russia and China, would impose a solution on Israel. Abbas has only one solution in mind: one that would see Israel fully withdraw to the pre-1967 lines, including east Jerusalem, and the establishment of a Palestinian state that would undoubtedly be used in the future as a launching pad to wage war on Israel.

  • The Palestinians live under two dictatorships: one in the West Bank and one in the Gaza Strip. Elections, even if they are held, will not produce new leaders. They will produce Fatah flunkies and Hamas henchmen who bow obediently to their corrupt bosses.

Palestinian elections proposed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are part of a scheme designed to deceive the international community, specifically the US and EU, into believing that the Palestinians are serious about implementing major reforms, ending financial and administrative corruption, and engaging in another peace process with Israel. Pictured: Abbas speaks in Ramallah on September 3, 2020. (Photo by Alaa Badarneh/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

One week after he entered the 17th year of his four-year term in office, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas finally announced new parliamentary and presidential elections, scheduled to take place in May and July 2021.

His announcement was carefully timed to coincide with the inauguration week of President Joe Biden and in response to immense pressure from the European Union.

Abbas's announcement, which many Palestinians take as seriously as they would take the alleged sighting of a UFO, is part of an attempt to curry favor with the Biden administration and the EU.

There is only one word to describe Abbas's announcement: deception.

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Palestinians: Victims of an Arab Country

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  January 21, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Like most Arab countries, Syria denies citizenship to Palestinians. Children born in Syria to fathers who are Palestinian nationals are considered Palestinians, not Syrian nationals.

  • Palestinian leaders see no evil or wrong-doing when their people are being killed, injured, displaced, arrested and tortured in an Arab country. The attention of these leaders is solely focused on Israel, which they denounce day and night not only for what it does, but also for what it does not do.

  • On January 9, Abbas entered the 17th year of his four-year term. He is again talking about his desire to hold new elections. This charade is played at least once or twice a year so that people will believe that he really wants elections.

  • The Palestinians do not need new elections. They need new leaders who will guide them out from their longstanding morass into a future of promise and peace.

Fighting between the Syrian army and opposition groups in the Yarmouk refugee camp (once home to approximately 160,000 Palestinians) ended two years ago, but only 435 families have been permitted to return to their homes. Pictured: Yarmouk refugee camp, near Damascus, on May 22, 2018, days after Syrian government forces regained control. (Photo by Louai Beshara/AFP via Getty Images)

As Palestinian leaders condemn Israel almost on a daily basis, they continue to ignore the ongoing suffering of Palestinians living in a number of Arab countries, especially Syria.

Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria in 2011, 4,048 Palestinians have died – but Palestinian leaders hardly seem to notice. Another 333 Palestinians have gone missing, while 1,797 are being held in prisons controlled by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Like most Arab countries, Syria denies citizenship to Palestinians. Children born in Syria to fathers who are Palestinian nationals are considered Palestinians, not Syrian nationals.

Palestinian leaders who meet on a regular basis in the West Bank city of Ramallah seldom discuss the tragedy that has befallen their people in Syria.

Similarly, the leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, who relish giving interviews to the media, seem oblivious to the existence of Palestinians in Syria.

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Defining 'Metrics' to Measure Radical Islam is Vital to Defeating It

by Tawfik Hamid  •  January 21, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • Al-Azhar, the most respected Islamic university and organization in the Sunni world, is not – by their own definition – a terrorist organization. Yet the question remains. Is al-Azhar truly moderate, or could it be radical? If we fail to establish clear definitions, we can create chaotic situations that result in our asking radical institutions to help us counter radicalism.

  • It is notable in this context to mention that French President Emmanuel Macron met with the Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar University, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and called for all French imams to be trained at the Al-Azhar religious institution. The President of France probably has asked for this form of training without determining if Al-Azhar itself was a radical organization or a moderate one.

  • Other metrics of Islamic radicalism such as accepting child marriage, considering the lives of Muslims to be more precious than the lives of non-Muslims, and accepting force or violence to impose Islamic religious values upon others can be also included.

  • Based on these metrics, if any person or Islamic organization fails to reject such abhorrent ideological values, they should not be called moderates. Instead, they should be called what they are: Islamic radicals. We urgently need to detect and expose ideological radicalism before it turns – as it inevitably will – into acts of terrorism.

French President Emmanuel Macron met with the Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar University, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and called for all French imams to be trained at the Al-Azhar religious institution. The President of France probably has asked for this form of training without determining if Al-Azhar itself was a radical organization or a moderate one. Pictured: Macron (left) pays a visit to Tayeb at Al-Azhar University in Cairo on January 29, 2019. (Photo by Amr Nabil/AFP via Getty Images)

Since the September 11, 2001 attacks by 19 radical Islamists, the main response by many governments – as well as the United States – has been conducting direct, kinetic warfare to fight the threat of Islamic terrorism. No doubt there is a need to use kinetic force to fight militant jihadists; however, failing to fight the ideology that drives them ensures an endless supply of such individuals who will fight eternally against what they believe are infidels.

Things get more complicated when we realize that what we call radical Islam is not clearly defined – there are no standard metrics by which to measure it. In other words, we are fighting an undefined enemy. It is like fighting or trying to treat diabetes without applying metrics to the disease to determine who is diabetic and who is not, and who has improved with treatment.

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Educational Ethnic Cleansing

by Richard Kemp  •  January 20, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • "Jewish people today on campus can be tolerated, protected or abused. At no point are they treated as equals." — David Collier, Academia, January 18, 2021.

  • This Jew-hate is cloaked in anti-Zionism, a doctrine that claims the Jewish state, alone among the nations, has no right to exist. It seeks to whip up anti-Israel hatred by focusing on three core lies: accusations of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and settler-colonialism.

  • The government has been working to persuade universities to adopt the IHRA definition, including the threat of removal of funding streams. Often bitterly contested by academic staff desperate to remain unchallenged in their bully pulpits, as of last autumn only 29 of 133 higher education institutions had complied....

Some British universities are now virtually Judenfrei: free of Jews. This is a chilling indictment not just of British academia but of a liberal democratic society that has tolerated, often through ignorance or complacency, a wave of discrimination against Jews that has swept through the universities over recent decades. Pictured: The Norfolk Building at King's College London, site of a violent protest against a visiting Israeli speaker in 2016. (Image source: geograph.org.uk/© David Hawgood/cc-sa-2.0)

"The goal is achieved! No more Jews at German universities," the leading Nazi student newspaper, Die Bewegung, triumphantly proclaimed in 1938.

Of course, nothing like it could ever happen again. Except something like it is happening again — now, and in Britain. According to a report published this week by David Collier, a British researcher, some UK universities are now virtually Judenfrei: free of Jews.

This is a chilling indictment not just of British academia but of a liberal democratic society that has tolerated, often through ignorance or complacency, a wave of discrimination against Jews that has swept through the universities over recent decades. From these halls of learning antisemitism has spread out, driving and empowering what is now a solid movement that threatens Jews in various parts of society and has led to many of them leaving. This is not just in Britain. Collier characterises academia as "the epicentre of global antisemitism".

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Nuclear Extortion: Mullahs Want More Concessions from Biden

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  January 19, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Iran... rejoined the global financial system with full legitimacy -- plus billions of dollars flowing into the treasury of the IRGC and its expanding militias across the Middle East. You would think, then, that the regime would be delighted to return to the same nuclear deal, right? Wrong. The mullahs want an even sweeter deal.

  • Biden already showed his cards by stating that he wants the deal. The regime now knows that Biden seems desperate for a deal, and doubtless sees this as a delectable weakness.

  • The ruling mullahs also most likely assume that they can extort even more concessions from a Democrat administration, particularly Biden's, because they successfully did so in the past....

  • Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif... told a forum... that he wants a new deal. "A sign of good faith is not to try to renegotiate what has already been negotiated," he said, adding in the same speech that the US must "Compensate us for our losses." Iran's top judicial body had already demanded that the US pay $130 billion in "damages."

  • The regime, in addition, is playing another dangerous game, as it did with the Obama administration, to program to extort greater concessions from the Biden administration: It is ratcheting up nuclear threats.

Iran's ruling mullahs most likely assume that they can extort even more concessions from a Biden administration, because they successfully did so with the Obama administration. Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif recently said at a forum that he wants a new deal. "A sign of good faith is not to try to renegotiate what has already been negotiated," he said, later adding that the US must "Compensate us for our losses." Pictured: Then US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Zarif during negotiations in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2014. (Image source: US State Department)

The Iranian regime received a dangerous and unprecedented level of concessions from the Obama administration for Iran's 2015 "nuclear deal," known as the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) -- which, by the way, Tehran never signed. The major concession was that the deal paved the way for Iran legally to become a full-blown nuclear state.

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The Pernicious Effects of Popular Nuclear Mythology

by Stephen Blank and Peter Huessy  •  January 19, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • While one looks with alarm at the massive Russian nuclear modernization effort now nearing completion, the disarmament lobby -- such as Ploughshares and Global Zero -- views such modernization as simply a reflection of how the American threat is perceived by the Russians.

  • There is also little doubt that the Russian Federation's priority investment in nuclear weapons was -- and remains -- aimed primarily to checkmate the United States' conventional weapons superiority, and give Russia a free hand to use its own military power for hegemonic purposes. The same could be said of North Korea and Iran's decisions to go along their respective paths to nuclear breakout.

  • What brings the issue to the forefront today is that many luminaries of previous administrations who may now be staffing the incoming administration still hold these historically inaccurate views.

  • A commitment to a "sole-purpose" posture -- or to its equivalent, a "no-first-use" stance -- not only undermines the US nuclear umbrella upon which America's allies have relied for 70 years, it also invites a Russian first strike. Moscow's conventional and nuclear forces are configured for just that kind of operation and are ultimately restrained only by the American nuclear deterrent.

  • If the United States wrongly assumes that Russia's deterrent serves no offensive purpose, we would be ignoring recent and authoritative evidence to the contrary.... Russia's military posture is fundamentally offensive.... "active defense."

  • Russia's ability to initiate conventional strikes against its rivals and adversaries is closely backed up by nuclear weapons.

  • Iran would undoubtedly see even partial unilateral US disarmament as a green light for its nuclear quest. One can imagine what that would lead to in the Middle East.

  • Moreover, US unilateral acts of altruism, designed to lead by example, will not be reciprocated: states in general, and certainly Russia and China, are, to quote Charles De Gaulle, "cold monsters."

While one looks with alarm at the massive Russian nuclear modernization effort now nearing completion, the disarmament lobby views such modernization as simply a reflection of how the American threat is perceived by the Russians. (Image source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin/Wikimedia Commons)

There is a widespread belief, especially among advocates of nuclear disarmament, that a country with nuclear weapons is primarily interested in self-protection. The narrative continues with another belief -- really more of a wish -- that nuclear weapons should never be used to deter anything other than a nuclear attack from an adversary and, if that can be agreed upon, nations would then be willing to get rid of nuclear weapons altogether.

Those beliefs then requires a further assumption that nuclear weapons cannot practically be used as instruments of aggression, coercion or blackmail and -- because nuclear weapons are so deadly -- that they also would not be used to deter non-nuclear attacks, such as those involving cyber, an electromagnetic pulse, or biological weapons.

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Solving the Vaccine Crisis

by Betsy McCaughey  •  January 18, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Doctors are warning that as the virus becomes more infectious, even a trip to the supermarket with a mask is risky.

  • Vaccine supply is not the problem.... The problem is that state and local authorities are bungling vaccine distribution.

  • Every evening, Governor Andrew Cuomo sends out an e-mail blast blaming the vaccine chaos in New York on inadequate supply from the federal government. It is a lie. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show New York is delivering only 37% of its vaccine supply into people's arms.

  • All this is proof that the states are failing miserably. It is time for a federal emergency mass vaccination program staged at malls, arenas and other public sites.

  • On Friday, President-elect Joe Biden announced his plan to improve vaccination rates. It is modest. He promised 100 million shots in the first hundred days of his term. That will not do the job. It is barely half of what is needed.

  • For the last week, members of Congress did not see fit to spend even one minute tackling the life-threatening virus terrorizing the rest of us.

Americans are desperate to get vaccinated against COVID. Yet only a third of the vaccine doses shipped to the states by the federal government are actually making it into people's arms. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Americans are desperate to get vaccinated against COVID. Deaths are soaring, and new strains of the virus, including the UK strain and a newly discovered US strain reported for the first time last week, are reported to be even more contagious. Doctors are warning that as the virus becomes more infectious, even a trip to the supermarket with a mask is risky. Survival hinges on getting vaccinated.

Yet only a third of the vaccine doses shipped to the states by the federal government are actually making it into people's arms. The public hears they may have to wait months. That is unacceptable.

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