Latest Analysis and Commentary

Dragon Ships: China's Naval Threat

by Peter Schweizer  •  March 8, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • China's navy is now the world's largest. It has been for some time. The U.S. Navy may still rule the oceans, but the Chinese rule the vital trade routes in the South China Sea.

  • China means to threaten the economic security of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and others. America must remain resolute in the face of this build-up in order to maintain freedom of commerce in the Asian seas.

  • They would say their naval buildup is "for defensive purposes," but their neighbors do not buy that for a minute.... [China's] clear intention, for now at least, is to overwhelm anything in its vicinity that threatens its expansion and domination of the Asian sea lanes.

  • As the Pentagon also noted in its report, the Chinese Communist Party does not intend for its navy to be merely "a showpiece of China's modernity or to keep it focused solely on regional threats." It will grow with China's ambitions.

  • Its fourth aircraft carrier, however, is expected to be China's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, and its first to use advanced launching and landing systems.... Thus, China intends to have a blue-water navy to challenge the U.S. in several years.

  • All the force investments in the world won't matter if the US fails to impose enough diplomatic and economic costs to alter Chinese behavior." — Gregory Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Deutsche Welle, October 21, 2020.

China's navy is now the world's largest. It has been for some time. The U.S. Navy may still rule the oceans, but the Chinese rule the vital trade routes in the South China Sea. They would say their naval buildup is "for defensive purposes," but their neighbors do not buy that for a minute. Pictured: J15 fighter jets on China's Liaoning aircraft carrier during a drill at sea, in April 2018. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

For Americans used to having the biggest and most modern military forces in the world, it is humbling to realize that China's Navy is now the world's largest. It has been for some time. The U.S. Navy may still rule the oceans, but China rules the vital trade routes in the South China Sea.

Pentagon planners know this and have called out China's work on building both capital ships and the swarms of smaller escort vessels that will project the dragon's breath across those critical trade routes for years to come. The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is building their capability to control and possibly interdict shipping from other Asian nations, mostly as an economic and political lever. China means to threaten the economic security of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and others. America must remain resolute in the face of this build-up in order to maintain freedom of commerce in the Asian seas.

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Iraq: Turkey Set to Attack the Yazidis?

by Uzay Bulut  •  March 8, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • If Turkey targets Sinjar, it will not be the first Turkish military assault against the region. In 2017, Turkish warplanes dropped bombs on Sinjar, hitting a civilian clinic.

  • "'[A]nalysts should understand that the fundamental reason that Yezidis join military units is to defend the land from a genocidal invasion.... no one, including Turkey, has the right to expel Yezidis from their homeland under the pretext of the conflict with PKK." — Pari Ibrahim, Executive Director of the Free Yezidi Foundation, interview with Gatestone, February 3, 2021.

  • "We want Sinjar to be under the control of formal Iraqi security forces.... according to the rule of law. Turkey wants much more than Sinjar. Turkey wants to use various excuses to expand its military presence in Iraq and Syria. The whole PKK claim is just an excuse for Turkey's expansionism in the region." — Murad Ismael, former executive director of Yazda, interview with Gatestone, February 12, 2021

  • "Yezidis literally suffered a genocide at the hands of ISIS... Turkey did not take any steps whatsoever to combat ISIS before, during, or after the ISIS atrocities. But now, when Yezidis have been left homeless and are striving to rebuild our land, Turkey warns that it may unilaterally and illegally attack Sinjar.... this is our homeland. It is not a battleground for other forces to use as they see fit." — Pari Ibrahim, interview with Gatestone, February 3, 2021.

Judging from statements by Turkish officials, Turkey intends to expand its military offensives in Iraq and Syria. Yazidis fear that Turkey will once again target Sinjar, their ancient homeland in Iraq. The Turkish Air Force has bombed Sinjar on numerous occasions in the past few years. Pictured: Bomb-damaged buildings in the town of Sinjar, Iraq, photographed on February 5, 2019. (Photo by Zaid Al-Obeidi/AFP via Getty Images)

Turkey's armed forces launched a military operation called "Operation Claw-Eagle 2" against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq on February 10. The assault resulted in the deaths of 13 Turkish hostages, including military and police personnel who were being held by the PKK in a cave complex in the mountainous Gara region.

Turkey's military operation, in the form of airstrikes, was completed on February 14. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced that 48 PKK members had been "neutralized" in the operation, adding that the PKK had shot the hostages dead -- one in the shoulder, and the rest in their heads.

The PKK, however, said that the deaths of the hostages had been caused by the "Turkish army's heavy bombardments and intense fighting outside and inside the [PKK] camp."

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A Storm Over the American Republic

by Guy Millière  •  March 7, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • The atmosphere in the United States remains poisonous. Critics claim that stoking in the public is being done on purpose -- to create a false narrative that not only is Trump supposedly a "threat to democracy," but that his more than 74 million supporters are, too. Others, however, claim that the real threat to democracy is actually these serial liars, violators of the Constitution and falsifiers of information.

  • The right to challenge and criticize, which is an integral part of the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment, appears seriously threatened. The right to defend oneself against charges also appears threatened, and the legal profession dangerous to practice.

  • Expressing doubts about the November 3 election is now a liability. Substantiated reports show that it was far from perfect. The American economist Peter Navarro, in his private capacity, drew up three meticulous analyses: "The Immaculate Deception," "The Art of the Steal" and "The Navarro Report". They have been zealously disparaged -- many think unjustly.

  • Some authors describe what is happening as a slide towards authoritarianism. They note that many Americans and corporations, while behaving in an increasingly authoritarian manner, accuse their opponents of being authoritarian -- in other words, blaming their opponents for what they themselves are doing.

  • For more than three years Trump was accused, without any evidence apart from a fake "dossier", of being a Russian agent. The accusations eventually proved baseless, but not before $32 million of taxpayers' money were spent in what the prosecutors knew from the start was a fraud. They also tried to frame, incriminate and send innocent people to prison. The exercise was, at bottom, nothing more than an attempted coup d'état.

  • Throughout his entire term, Trump was faced with threats, abuse of power and unremitting attacks. Even though Trump is no longer president, the war against him continues.

  • If H.R.1 becomes the law of the land, it will entrench those "very things that made the election of 2020 such a mess". These include, among other things, the flooding of states with millions of unsolicited mail-in ballots, failure to verify signatures, no chain of custody of ballots, same-day voter registration, and ballot-harvesting -- many of which are invitations to commit fraud. As a bipartisan report in 2005 from the Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker III, concluded: mail-in ballots "remain the largest source of potential voter fraud." If H.R.1 is passed in the Senate, countless ways of demolishing election integrity will be set in cement.

The atmosphere in the United States remains poisonous. Critics claim that stoking in the public is being done on purpose -- to create a false narrative that not only is Trump supposedly a "threat to democracy," but that his more than 74 million supporters are, too. Pictured: Members of the National Guard at a checkpoint on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

January 20, 2021. President Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. The scene, however, is devoid of any human presence. The streets of Washington DC are empty. People had been urged to stay at home and Americans throughout the rest of the country asked not to come. The city is under the protection of 25,000 members of the National Guard, heavily armed. High barriers topped with razor wire surround the Capitol area. In the streets planned for the new president's "parade", barriers separate the sidewalks from the roadway. The only people visible are men in uniform carrying rifles. A day that is usually a day of celebration in the United States is, this year, strange and sad.

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Biden Should Ditch the Doha Deal with Taliban

by Amir Taheri  •  March 7, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • There is at least one issue on which Biden would be wise to adopt the anti-Trump posture: Afghanistan.

  • Today, Biden could ditch Trump's cut-and-run plan and re-commit the US to helping Afghans protect what they have achieved and move on to build more. By doing so, Biden would burnish his anti-Trump credentials and also please Obama nostalgics.

  • This week, Khalilzad offered the chasing wolves a much bigger morsel: a plan for a coalition government in which the terrorist outfit would secure a leading place.

  • It is worth remembering that, until the 9/11 attacks, Khalilzad and Karzai were lobbyists for Taliban in Washington.... By early August 2001, those interested in the issue already knew that Karzai was to be the first Taliban ambassador to Washington.

  • [T]he US has invested heavily, in blood and treasure, in making Afghanistan what it is today, a chunk of the world freed from one of the darkest forces mankind has seen for centuries.

  • Finally, it is clear to anyone familiar with Afghan realities that a scheme that may have worked 20 years ago has no chance of succeeding now. The Doha "peace deal" would be nothing more than a prelude to a new tragedy.

  • For the Taliban to enter government in Kabul they should give up their arms, accept the Afghan constitution, take part in elections and let the world see how much support they have.

In the past 20 years, the United States has forged a moral bond with the people of Afghanistan, persuading them to accept untold sacrifices in the hope of a better future, which in turn would not allow Afghanistan to become a base for terrorism against others, including the United States. Pictured: Afghan policemen arrive at the site of a bomb blast in Kabul that killed at least two people and injured five others, on February 21, 2021. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden's first foreign policy moves so far make at least one thing clear: he is looking for areas where he can distance himself from his predecessor without committing to dramatically different courses.

He has promised to return to the Paris climate accord that, requiring congressional approval, doesn't imply doing anything in particular.

He has flattered European allies by talking about multilateralism, forgetting that even the most multilateral arrangement still needs leadership and a program, something he tries to avoid for fear of being accused of Trumpian arrogance.

He has pleased the mullahs in Tehran by removing their Yemeni surrogates, the Houthis, from the terrorist list, without removing the names of their leaders from it.

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Hero of the Month: M. Zuhdi Jasser

by Grégoire Canlorbe  •  March 6, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • The Obama Administration handed hundreds of billions of dollars to the theocrats as well as an insurance of security, as well as a future with a nuclear bomb. These, along with thousands of troops and the empowerment of the terror group Hizballah, gave Iran's leaders a green light to spread terror into Syria.

  • Some may appropriately say that no real democracies evolved quickly [in the "Arab Spring"] after centuries of tyranny. In fact, there may be a need for multiple revolutions before democracy can take hold. Perhaps, though, there can be a more methodical transition towards modernity with steady benchmarks of reform and liberalization, as we have seen done so successfully with the 2020 Middle East agreements.

  • The challenge, as always, will be in keeping it from being too slow to the point of fiction—which has been "Plan A" for the tyrants across the Middle East since World War II. They lie to the West about reforms in order to placate each new administration with a five- or ten-year plan while transitions in power in the West along with our short-term, societal "attention deficit disorder" give them a pass.

  • Regardless of whether a state's approach is top-down or bottom-up, if its raison d'être is based in Islam and the primacy of Islamic law rather than on individual rights and the protection of minorities, as in secular liberal democracies, it will always be anti-freedom and illiberal.

  • We will have to watch very closely if there will be new interpretations from the pulpits of the grand mosque in Mecca, or mosques in Medina and across the country. The fact that we heard this coming from the pulpits in the Emirates and Bahrain is what made the Abraham Accords a reality to believe rather than doubt.

  • As for Biden's foreign policy, he is already signaling that the Pentagon will focus on diplomacy first and the military second. So, the Pentagon is a branch of the State Department? If that is not "leading from behind 3.0", I don't know what is. Sources say he wants to "de-emphasize the military" and lift up diplomacy. If that vision is by openly weakening our defense programming, that will signal a green light actually to usher in more war, not less. Peace through weakness doesn't work against thugs like Khamenei and Assad across the planet. We are thus likely to see a re-emergence of Islamist belligerence and a testing of the waters as they try to make gains against Biden's apparent appeasement strategy.

  • It is my hope and prayer that our work will contribute not to what the Islamists want—a revivalism of the old—but rather a genuine reform towards a Western model of Islam based in infinite diversity of thought and protection of individual inquiry and their universal human rights, rather than the oppressive collective and the proverbial Islamic state.

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser. (Image source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)

Canlorbe: Dear Dr. Jasser, thank you for joining me. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first two Muslim women to serve in American Congress. Do you think they representative of the mentality of the majority of Muslims in America?

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The New McCarthyism Comes to Harvard Law School

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  March 5, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • This self-serving defense of censorship is intended to convey a crass economic threat: if you want to get a good job after law school, make sure that Harvard bans teachers and speakers who are trying to "rehabilitate their reputations and obscure the stain of their complicity in the Trump administration...."

  • One would also think that signatories would be aware that if these vague criteria — anti-democratic, racists, xenophobic and immoral — were applied across the board, they would result in bans on anyone who was associated with the current regimes in China, Cuba, Turkey, Belarus, Russia, Venezuela, the Palestinian Authority and other repressive governments.

  • It would also apply to supporters of American anti-democratic and anti-free speech groups, such as Antifa, and the very organization — People's Parity Project — that is promoting this anti-free speech petition. Indeed, historically, repression and censorship have been directed primarily against the left.

  • The Harvard Law School petition is directed only at Trump supporters, not supporters of left wing anti-democratic repression, either here or abroad. It is based on the assumption that there is a special "Trump exception" to freedom of speech and due process. But exceptions to free speech and academic freedom for some risk becoming the rule for all.

  • Much of this effort to exclude Trump supporters from campuses comes from individuals and organizations that also demand more "diversity." But their definition of diversity is limited to race, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity. It does not extend to the central mission of universities: to hear and learn from the widest array of views, perspectives, ideologies and political preferences.

A recent petition, signed by hundreds of Harvard Law School students and alumni, demands that Harvard not "hire or affiliate with" the "architects and backers of the Trump administration's worse abuses." There is no place for selective censorship based on political affiliations at Harvard Law School or any institution of higher education, whether it receives federal funding or not — but especially if it does. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

A recent petition, signed by hundreds of Harvard Law School students and alumni, raises the specter of the new McCarthyism coming to the law school at which I taught for half a century. The petition states that "Harvard Law School faces a choice of whether to welcome the architects and backers of the Trump administration's worse abuses back into polite society." It demands that Harvard not "hire or affiliate with" any of these sinners, and threatens that "if it does so the school will be complicit if future attacks on our democracy are even more violent – and more successful."

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Arabs Warn Biden: We Do Not Want Another Obama

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  March 4, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • The Biden administration, some Arab writers have said, "has adopted a policy of "antagonizing allies while appeasing enemies."

  • [Syrian journalist Abduljalil] Alsaeid said he believed that former Obama administration officials, who are now part of the Biden administration, are intentionally trying to damage US-Saudi relations.

  • "The Obama wing inside the ruling Democratic Party accepts the Iranian regime and turns a blind eye to Iran's terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon." — Abduljalil Alsaeid, Syrian journalist, Al-Ain, March 2, 2021.

  • "President Biden has the right to talk about America's democratic values, but why have these values ​​not been expanded to hold Hezbollah accountable for the recent killing of [anti-Hezbollah Lebanese publisher] Loqman Slim or the slaughter of thousands of thousands of Syrians by pro-Iranian groups?" — Abduljalil Alsaeid, Al-Ain, March 2, 2021.

  • The Biden administration was "rewarding Iranian despotism while punishing Saudi Arabia." — Emad El Din Adeeb, a prominent Egyptian businessman and famous political television show host, elsharkonline com, March 3, 2021.

  • The Biden administration was dealing harshly with Riyadh "because of one crime, the killing of Khashoggi, while rehabilitating Tehran, which has carried out a million crimes worse than Khashoggi's crime." — Emad El Din Adeeb, al-ain.com, March 3, 2021.

  • Adeeb pointed out that Iran was continuing with its human rights violations while Saudi Arabia has in recent years embarked on large-scale reforms.

  • According to al-Sawafi, the release of the report on the slain Saudi journalist was a sign that the Biden administration "stands against the aspirations of the Saudi and Gulf people in achieving reform and stability.

  • "Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was right when he asserted that the Iranian regime understands only the language of force." — Zuhair Al-Harthi, Saudi columnist and political activist, Al-Arabiya, February 27, 2021.

  • The last three years of the Obama presidency were "catastrophic in every sense of this word," al-Harthi said. "Will Biden fall into the same trap? Washington's standing declined during the Obama presidency. Will Biden repeat Obama's fatal mistakes? The US dealings at the time with regional issues were a source of ridicule, as Washington delivered Iraq and Afghanistan on a golden platter to Iran and supported the Muslim Brotherhood." — Zuhair Al-Harthi, Al-Arabiya, February 27, 2021.

Prominent Arab political analysts and commentators are dumbfounded that the Biden administration has chosen to appease Iran and Islamists instead of working with Washington's traditional and long-time allies in the Arab world. Pictured: Then Vice President Joe Biden (left) speaks with then Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal (center) at the Riyadh airbase in Saudi Arabia on October 27, 2011. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

Prominent Arab political analysts and commentators are dumbfounded that the Biden administration has chosen to appease Iran and Islamists instead of working with Washington's traditional and long-time allies in the Arab world.

In a series of articles published after the release of the US intelligence report on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, many Arab analysts and columnists have warned that the Biden administration was harming US interests in the Middle East.

Some said they saw the decision to release the report as a kind of sequel to the Obama administration's failed policy of meddling in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

They noted that the Saudi authorities had already punished those involved in the 2018 murder of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. The Biden administration, some Arab writers have said, "has adopted a policy of "antagonizing allies while appeasing enemies."

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The International Criminal Court Violates Its Statute

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

  • At present... the ICC renders itself irrelevant by adjudicating "national jurisdictions" perfectly capable of doing so while refusing to adjudicate or indict the world's worst violators of human rights.

  • The ICC has already provided its critics with plenty of ammunition to question the Court's legitimacy as a consequence of additional violations of its founding statute. Neither Israel nor the United States ratified the Rome Statute (the ICC's founding treaty). The Court therefore has no jurisdiction whatsoever over the state actions of either country.

  • State parties dissatisfied with the ICC's dismal record should be encouraged to discontinue financial support for the Court or to withdraw altogether from the Hague-based institution.

  • Meanwhile, at least four Gulf Arab states and other Muslim-majority countries appear far more concerned, with good reason, about Iran's drive for regional supremacy, while welcoming warming relations with Israel, which will prove a most loyal friend.

At present, the International Criminal Court renders itself irrelevant by adjudicating "national jurisdictions" perfectly capable of doing so, while refusing to adjudicate or indict the world's worst violators of human rights. Pictured: The ICC in session, in The Hague, on July 8, 2019. (Photo by Eva Plevier/AFP via Getty Images)

The International Criminal Court (ICC), by straying far from its original purpose, has perjured itself. The ICC was established in 1998 to bring justice to victims of systematic atrocity in countries unable to do so. In its own words, "The core mandate of the ICC is to act as a court of last resort with the capacity to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes when national jurisdictions for any reason are unable or unwilling to do so."

At present, however, the ICC renders itself irrelevant by adjudicating "national jurisdictions" perfectly capable of doing so, while refusing to adjudicate or indict the world's worst violators of human rights.

The Court's February 5 decision authorizing the investigation of unfounded allegations of a pattern of human rights violations supposedly committed by Israel Defense Force (IDF) personnel underscores the ICC's corrupted political nature.

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Europe Divided Over Covid Passports

by Soeren Kern  •  March 3, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Tourism-dependent countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal and Spain, are urging other EU states to adopt Covid passports, which would be modeled on the "green passport" system implemented by Israel.

  • "We know that in Israel they've made statements about anybody who tries to forge [a certificate] will face criminal proceedings and possibly be imprisoned. So, they really think that this is a risk that could happen." — Professor Carsten Maple, cyber security expert, Alan Turing Institute.

  • "In consultation with other EU member states, we are in favor of a digital green passport, similar to the one in #Israel. This should offer the possibility to prove on the mobile phone that one has been tested, vaccinated or recovered. Our goal: to avoid a permanent lockdown & finally to enable freedom to travel within the EU as well as to visit events or restaurants." — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

  • Greece is pressing the EU to move quickly.... But would these certificates only be required for international travel or could they be needed for getting a job, attending a football match, or buying some milk? — Professor Melinda Mills, lead author of the Royal Society report on Covid passports.

  • "Yet making freedom conditional on facing the needle... takes us perilously close to the concept of compulsory vaccination... hardly likely to reassure anyone whose fear of the vaccine is bound up with a fear of an authoritarian state." — Gaby Hinsliff, columnist, Guardian.

Tourism-dependent countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal and Spain, are urging other EU states to adopt Covid passports, which would be modeled on the "green passport" system implemented by Israel (pictured).

European leaders are considering a proposal to introduce a common EU-wide Coronavirus vaccination passport. The so-called Covid passports would permit those who have been vaccinated to travel freely within the European Union without the need for quarantining and testing.

The leaders of several European countries heavily dependent on tourism are pushing for Covid passports to be implemented with immediate effect. Others say that it is far too early to consider such a move, especially because the EU's Coronavirus vaccine rollout has been dogged by delays and questions about the efficacy of certain vaccines, particularly in light of the virus's new mutant strains.

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How Democracy Dies: Big Tech Becomes Big Brother

by Leni Friedman Valenta with Dr. Jiri Valenta  •  March 3, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • The power-sharing of the U.S. Federal government with Big Tech appears a recipe for unharnessed power and corruption. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny caught on right away, saying: "This precedent will be exploited by the enemies of freedom of speech around the world. In Russia as well. Every time when they need to silence someone, they will say: 'this is just common practice, even Trump got blocked on Twitter.'"

  • Fortunately, governors such as Ron DeSantis in Florida, Greg Abbott in Texas and Kevin Stitt in Oklahoma are now moving legislatively to counter federal laws that may have adverse effects on freedom of speech, jobs, election integrity, the energy industry, the first or second amendments and general constitutional rights.

  • Democracy cannot survive in a country where a few technocrats and oligarchs can choose to deny access to information or platforms to candidates running for office. It is simply unacceptable that they alone -- unelected, unappointed, untransparent and unaccountable -- can deem what is "harmful" to society. The job now for all of us is to prevent the United States from slowly becoming a full-blown tyranny.

(Image source: iStock)

"Digital giants have been playing an increasingly significant role in wider society... how well does this monopolism correlate with the public interest?," Russian President Vladimir Putin said on January 27, 2021.

"Where is the distinction between successful global businesses, sought-after services and big data consolidation on the one hand, and the efforts to rule society[...] by substituting legitimate democratic institutions, by restricting the natural right for people to decide how to live and what view to express freely on the other hand?"

Was Mr. Putin defending democracy? Hardly. What apparently worries him is that the Big Tech might gain the power to control society at the expense of his government. What must be a nightmare for him -- as for many Americans -- is that the Tech giants were able to censor news favorable to Trump and then censor Trump himself. How could the U.S. do this to the president of a great and free country?

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Palestinian Terrorists to Biden: Do Not Believe the Palestinian Leadership

by Bassam Tawil  •  March 2, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Who exactly is the Palestinian Authority leadership lying to and why?

  • Hamas issued a statement on February 25 in which it denied that the group had changed its attitude toward Israel. "Our political and national positions are well known and clear," Hamas said. "They are expressed in our official documents and publications. We remain committed to the resistance until the liberation [of all of Palestine]."

  • Hamas "will pursue its resistance program until the liberation of the Palestinian land, from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea." — Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas leader, alalamtv.net, February 20, 2021.

  • The Palestinian terror groups certainly deserve credit for being upfront about their true, lethal intentions toward Israel. Unlike the PA leadership, these terror organizations speak in a single and straightforward voice. Their message in Arabic and English is clear: we will spill as much Jewish blood as it takes to rid "Palestine" of the Jews.

  • Abbas is seeking to fool the Biden administration into believing that he has managed to persuade the terror groups to transform themselves into peace-seeking organizations. Abbas is utterly desperate for US funding. He is lying through his teeth to get the Biden administration to resume pumping cash into his regime -- which is bankrupt in every possible sense of the word.

  • It now remains to be seen whether the Biden administration will allow itself to be hoodwinked by the PA's master magician.

The Palestinian Authority claims that Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups have renounced terrorism and accepted Israel's right to exist. Hamas and the Palestinian factions, however, say this is not true and that they remain committed to "all forms of resistance" against Israel, including an "armed struggle." Pictured: Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images)

The Palestinian Authority (PA) claims that Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups have renounced terrorism and accepted Israel's right to exist.

Hamas and the Palestinian factions, however, say this is not true and that they remain committed to "all forms of resistance" against Israel, including an "armed struggle."

They are also stressing that they have not recognized Israel's right to exist and are determined to pursue the fight "until the liberation of all of Palestine," from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Hamas and its allies, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), are actually saying that the PA leadership is lying when it says that the terror groups have changed their attitude toward Israel.

This raises the question: Who exactly is the PA leadership lying to and why?

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China Continues Crushing Hong Kong

by Judith Bergman  •  March 2, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • The national security law not only carries sentences of up to life in prison, it also gives China jurisdiction to prosecute in mainland China violations of the law that took place in Hong Kong. It is now doing just that with 12 Hong Kong activists who attempted to flee to Taiwan by boat in August and were arrested at sea, ostensibly for crossing the border illegally. Extraordinarily, the national security law also applies to alleged violations committed by anyone, anywhere in the world.

  • In November, China's National People's Congress Standing Committee passed legislation allowing Hong Kong's government to oust elected politicians deemed insufficiently patriotic.... Preparing to participate in an election is now an act of subversion in Hong Kong.

  • Censorship is already widespread. The crackdown is evidently meant to spread even more fear to dissuade any protests and encourage self-censorship. In July... books by pro-democracy figures were removed from public libraries in Hong Kong for "review"....

  • Plans are underway to make buyers of prepaid SIM cards provide their real name and proof of identity, with false information punishable by 10 to 14 years in prison. It will give the police authority to demand personal data from service providers with or without a court warrant. It will make it impossible for activists to plan any anti-government activity without becoming known to the authorities.

  • The UK has said it will accept up to five million Hongkongers. Soon, however, even the ability to flee the country may become circumscribed. A new government proposal aims to give "apparently unfettered power" to Hong Kong immigration authorities to stop people, whether Hong Kong residents or not, from leaving the city....

  • The CCP is determined to crush Hong Kong and so far, it has been able to do so at practically no cost to China internationally.

Since China adopted its National Security Law in June 2020, Hong Kong's government and China have sought to extinguish all opposition to Beijing and the Chinese Communist Party, and to eradicate Hong Kong's core values. Pictured: Detained pro-democracy activists are brought onto a prison transport on March 2, 2021 in Hong Kong. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Since China adopted its National Security Law in June 2020, Hong Kong's government, under Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and China have sought to extinguish all opposition to Beijing and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and to eradicate Hong Kong's core values. These include free speech, a free market economy, freedom of assembly and freedom of religious belief, all guaranteed in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-registered treaty. China publicly voiced its contempt for that treaty in 2017, when it said that it was a mere "historical document" without any significance.

Beijing has described its national security law, which contains four categories of offenses -- secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security -- as a "sword" deterring people who endanger national security and a "guardian" protecting Hong Kong residents.

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The US and the UN Nuclear Inspectors Must Stop Appeasing Iran

by Con Coughlin  •  March 1, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • In the latest example of Iran's increasingly reckless approach to the nuclear issue, the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has threatened to increase uranium enrichment to 60 percent, just below the 90 percent threshold required to produce weapons grade material.

  • Thus, while IAEA director general Rafael Grossi claimed the talks had been a success, the IAEA now finds itself in the invidious position whereby it will not be able to ascertain whether Iran is actively working to produce nuclear weapons until after the event.

  • Even Mr Grossi has been forced to concede that, as a result of Iran's decision to withdraw access to inspection teams, the IAEA's ability to monitor Iran's activities will be reduced by 70 percent.

  • In the latest blow to the IAEA's credibility, within hours of Mr Grossi concluding his compromise deal, Mr Khamenei exposed the futility of this approach with his threat that Iran was prepared to increase uranium enrichment to 60 percent, a move that would make any attempt to revive the JCPOA utterly doomed.

As Iran continues to maintain its defiance over its controversial nuclear programme, the failure of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN-body responsible for monitoring Iran's activities, is only lending further encouragement to the ayatollahs to indulge in further acts of dangerous brinkmanship. Pictured: IAEA director general Rafael Grossi at the organization's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on November 18, 2020. (Photo by Christian Bruna/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

As Iran continues to maintain its defiance over its controversial nuclear programme, the failure of the UN-body responsible for monitoring Iran's activities is only lending further encouragement to the ayatollahs to indulge in further acts of dangerous brinkmanship.

In the latest example of Iran's increasingly reckless approach to the nuclear issue, the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has threatened to increase uranium enrichment to 60 percent, just below the 90 percent threshold required to produce weapons grade material.

The ayatollah's threat, moreover, which was made on state-run television, came just hours after Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN-sponsored body responsible for monitoring Iran's nuclear programme, made an emergency visit to Tehran after the regime announced it would no longer allow IAEA inspection teams to visit key sites.

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Biden's Emergencies

by Chris Farrell  •  March 1, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • Often, the emergency is declared as a means of blocking targeted persons and governments from moving money, contraband, and property.

  • Most Americans probably have no idea that the United States is in the midst of ongoing "national emergencies" over matters in Nicaragua, Burundi, or the Central African Republic -- but we are...

  • We are increasingly being subject to rule-by-decree.... President Biden just declared that the decades-long crisis on the Mexican border is not a problem. No debate, no vote, no ratification -- just the stroke of a pen. Who objected? Any protests or marches? If organizations were to protest or march, would they be called "white supremacists" or "insurrectionists?"

  • Remember: with Mexico, everything -- cartels, "coyotes," smugglers, drugs, traffickers, sexual violence -- is A-OK. Mexico = good. Libya = bad.

  • If you are against a Biden policy, does that mean you are against the government? Does that make you suspect in some way?

  • Some "emergency" decrees dropped down the Memory Hole; others manufactured, seemingly, from thin air.

President Joe Biden has reversed and cancelled the national emergency declared by President Donald Trump concerning the border security, humanitarian and COVID-19 crisis at the southern border of the United States. Pictured: The US Border Station at Brownsville, Texas, on the border with Mexico, on February 24, 2021. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden has reversed and cancelled the national emergency declared by President Donald Trump concerning the border security, humanitarian and COVID-19 crisis at the southern border of the United States. Nothing to see here. Move along.

In fact, on his very first day in office, Biden terminated that emergency, which he said had been a mistake from the get-go. Ironically, Biden has re-opened the exact same Texas facility the Trump administration used in order to detain the overflow of illegal aliens at the border. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has criticized Biden the same way she criticized Trump. At least she is consistent. Perhaps you remember the claims of children in cages and drinking from toilets? That must have all been a terrible misunderstanding.

Biden wrote in his February 10 Presidential Communication:

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China Buys Western Academics

by Giulio Meotti  •  February 28, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • "The inaugural conference assured [everyone] that Tibet was never annexed, [and] that the Chinese intervention of 1950 had been requested by the Tibetans," Nicolas Nord, a law professor, recalled.

  • [T]he proposed new head of the CIA, William J. Burns, said that if it were up to him, he would close Confucius Institutes in Western universities.

  • Seventeen schools in the UK are already owned by Chinese companies, and that number is destined to rise. In addition, The Times revealed that the University of Cambridge received a "generous gift" from Tencent Holdings, one of the largest technology companies in China involved in state censorship.

  • Today, we know a lot about China's cruelty, including the mass murder by the Wuhan Virus that the Chinese Communist Party forced upon the world.... resulting in the murder of more than 2.5 million.

  • We also know about the number of people locked up in the laogai, the Chinese "administrative prisons" (estimated at 50 million)....

  • "Places inhabited by ethnic minorities, such as Xinjiang and Tibet, have stood out as shining examples of China's human rights progress", China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said hours before addressing the... UN Human Rights Council. Probably even the Soviet Union could not have thought that one up.

Gulbahar Haitiwaji, a survivor of China's "re-education camps" in Xinjiang, recently revealed what happens there. "It is forbidden to speak Uyghur; it is forbidden to pray; it is forbidden to go on a hunger strike..." She had to defecate into a plastic bucket in front of the others. She was chained to her bed for 20 days. Pictured: "The Artux City Vocational Skills Education Training Service Center," a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in Xinjiang. (Photo by Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

A shocking investigation was just published by the French weekly Le Point on how Beijing is buying the favor of Western universities. An Italian associate professor, for example, Fabio Massimo Parenti, at the Lorenzo de Medici International Institute in Florence, was hosted in Xinjiang, where up to two million Uyghurs are estimated to be locked up in "re-education camps". In addition, many British schools are now closely under Chinese radar of influence and propaganda. Nigel Farage, the leader of Britain's Reform UK Party, recently tweeted that "Chinese billionaires with direct links to the CCP are buying up British schools — and flooding the curriculum with their propaganda," and listed the names of some in the UK "under Chinese control":

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