Latest Analysis and Commentary

Turkey: The Dark Side of Religious Sects

by Burak Bekdil  •  October 20, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • The school curriculum teaches boys that the female sex is inferior and second-class, while it teaches girls to be a slave to a man. — Professor Esergül Balcı, Report from Izmir September 9th University, September 5, 2020.

  • In 2010 a scandal in Siirt in southeast Turkey revealed serial rapes in this conservative little town, including cases of adults raping minors and minors raping toddlers, even killing one.... "This is a small town," the mayor said... "Almost everyone is related to everyone.".... No one was prosecuted.

What in the modern world is widely viewed as sexual abuse of minors is standard social behavior for Turkish Islamists. For instance, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's one-time staunchest ally and his choice for president (when Erdoğan was prime minister), Abdullah Gül, married his wife, Hayrunisa, when she was 15 years old and he was 30. Pictured: Abdullah and Hayrunisa Gül on May 13, 2008 in Ankara, Turkey. (Photo by Getty Images)

When, in 1925, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, banned all Islamic sects, dervishes, lodges and other religious cults dating from the Ottoman times, he publicly said, "The Turkish Republic cannot be a republic of sheiks, dervishes and their disciples. The only right sect is the sect of civilization." Almost a century after the birth of a modern nation, nevertheless, the Turkish Republic has indeed become a republic of sheiks, dervishes and their millions of disciples.

The findings of an academic from Izmir's September 9th University are worse than scary. The following is from Professor Esergül Balcı's alarming report:

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Who Is Responsible for the 'Crisis' in Islam?

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  October 19, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • Other Arabs said that Muslims have only themselves to blame for the "crisis" in their religion. They are referring to the use of Islam, by many Muslims, to carry out terrorist attacks and other atrocities against Muslims and non-Muslims.

  • The message these Arabs and Muslims are sending is: We created the crisis in our religion by allowing terrorists and extremists to use Islam as a pretext for their crimes.

  • The views expressed by these Arabs and Muslims are reminiscent of those by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi. In 2014, he called for a "religious revolution" in Islam and appealed to leading Muslim groups to "confront the misleading ideologies harming Islam and Muslims worldwide."

  • "The fact is that the biggest conspirators against Islam are the Muslims themselves, specifically those who reproduce the discourse of closed-mindedness and hatred. In this context, there is no difference between those who create, finance or carry out terrorism and those who are silent about it or justify it." — Mohammad Maghouti, Moroccan writer, Hespress, October 13, 2020.

  • "[W]e have to call on France to place the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations." — Nervana Mahmoud, prominent Egyptian commentator and blogger, Al Hurrah, October 11, 2020.

  • "The crisis that Islam is suffering from was made by Muslims with their own hands when they allowed a handful of them to adopt violence as a language for dialogue with the other. Macron was right in everything he said. His message should be considered a wake-up call. Muslims have greatly offended Islam when they showed it to be a religion that incites violence and spreads chaos in stable societies that received them as refugees and provided them with protection. Muslims made a mistake when they used their religion as a justification for attacking others. This does not give us the right to condemn others and accuse them of being hostile to Islam. Islam is in crisis because it has been distorted, mutilated, and destroyed from within. We should have said thank you to Macron rather than curse him." — Farouk Yousef, Egyptian writer, Middle East Online, October 13, 2020.

In 2014, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called for a "religious revolution" in Islam and appealed to leading Muslim groups to "confront the misleading ideologies harming Islam and Muslims worldwide." (Image source: MEMRI)

While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and several Islamists have condemned French President Emmanuel Macron over his recent "Islam is in a crisis" statement, other Arabs and Muslims are saying that they appreciate where such remarks are coming from.

Erdogan and the Islamists are angry because Macron said in an October 2 speech that he plans to "free Islam in France from foreign influences," and that a minority of France's estimated six million Muslims were in danger of forming a "counter-society" because they hold their own laws above all others.

This sentiment means that Turkey, Iran, Qatar, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood could find it harder to influence the Muslims in France.

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Belarus: More Human Rights Violations

by Judith Bergman  •  October 19, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • Belarusians want an end to Lukashenko's 26-year long rule of Soviet-style authoritarianism with unfree elections, a censored media and widespread repression of political dissent. Both the US and the EU have described the recent election as neither free nor fair.

  • Lukashenko, however, clinging onto power, has framed the protests as "foreign interference". The claim serves both as an excuse to crack down on the protests and to ensure the support of Russia.

  • Since the election [on August 9], more than 10,000 people have been detained and at least 244 people have been implicated in criminal cases on various charges related to the protests, according to Viasna human rights center leader Ales Bialiatski.

  • Now that Lukashenko is being pressured both internationally and at home, he is completely beholden to Putin, who is likely to take full advantage of this position by conditioning his help and support on Lukashenko's acceptance of further "integration" with Russia. Ultimately, this could lead to a "soft" power grab by Putin – no need for military invasions -- in which Putin could finally bring about the close "integration" from Belarus -- "coming closer together" socially and economically -- that Putin has previously sought.

Pictured: Opposition supporters protest against the August 9 presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus on October 18, 2020. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

For two months, Belarusians have turned out in force every Sunday, drawing up to 200,000 protesters against the August 9 presidential election, which gave President Alexander Lukashenko, a crushing if highly dubious victory.

Belarusians want an end to Lukashenko's 26-year long rule of Soviet-style authoritarianism with unfree elections, a censored media and widespread repression of political dissent. Both the US and the EU have described the recent election as neither free nor fair.

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France: Death to Free Speech

by Guy Millière  •  October 18, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • Paris, October 16. A history teacher who had shown his students cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and had spoken with them about and freedom of speech was beheaded ....

  • [A different] attack shows that declaring oneself an "unaccompanied minor" in France can be sufficient not to be observed at all and all the same to receive full assistance from the government. The attack also suggests a disappointing grade for gratitude.

  • Any criticism of Islam in France can lead to legal action. The French mainstream media, threatened with prosecution by their own government, have evidently decided no longer to invite on air anyone likely to make comments that could lead to convictions or complaints. [The author Éric] Zemmour might still appear on television, but the increasingly heavy fines imposed on him are aimed at silencing him and potentially punishing stations that invite him.

  • "Strengthening the teaching of Arabic will simply help to nourish 'cultural replacement'". — Jean Messiha, senior civil servant and member of the National Rally party.

  • Commenting on a news report that stated, "The trial has sparked protests across France, with thousands of demonstrators rallying against Charlie Hebdo and the French government," the American attorney and commentator, John Hinderaker, wrote: "When thousands demonstrate against the prosecution of alleged murderers, you know you have a problem."

On October 16, a history teacher who had shown his students cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad was beheaded in a Paris suburb. The murderer, who tried to attack the police attempting to arrest him, was shot and killed while shouting "Allahu Akbar". Pictured: Police officers stand guard near the site where the teacher's murderer was killed. (Photo by Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP via Getty Images)

Paris, October 16. A history teacher who had shown his students cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and had spoken with them about freedom of speech was beheaded in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a small town in the suburbs of Paris. The murderer, who tried to attack the police attempting to arrest him, was shot and killed while shouting "Allahu Akbar". According to the public prosecutor, he was a family member of one of the students. The facts are still unfolding....

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"A Darker Side": The Persecution of Christians, September 2020

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  October 18, 2020 at 4:30 am

  • A 6-year-old Christian girl was "beaten and raped after being forcibly taken to the home of a Muslim rapist in broad daylight.... the local Muslim community are threatening the Christian parents with violence, the rape of their other daughters and financial ruin if they proceed with a legal case against paedophile Muhammad Waqas (18 yrs)... Tabitha [the raped child] had been verbally abused, shouted at, slapped and beaten and forced to do a number of sex acts with Waqas. She had been stripped of her clothes and had described her terror that she would be killed by Waqas..." — Report, British Pakistani Christian Association, September 16, 2020 - Pakistan.

  • Although various societal elements pressured her family to drop the case against the Muslim rapist and accept a financial settlement, her parents refused, demanding justice. As a result, two imams from local mosques warned Munir Masih, the girl's father, that "we shall burn your house and take away your other daughters too, if you fail to comply." .... The court granted the rapist bail. — Report, British Pakistani Christian Association, September 16, 2020 - Pakistan.

  • Silvana De Mari, an outspoken pro-life doctor, openly condemned Pope Francis's "exhortation to build bridges, not walls" as "absolute idiocy.... If a European kills a non-European, he is a murderous pig, a Nazi and above all, always responsible for his actions. If the opposite happens, he is just a bit touched in the head." — Facebook, September 15, 2020 – Italy.

The kidnapping, sexual abuse, and forced conversion of Christian women and girls in Egypt is rampant with no signs of abatement. (Image source: iStock)

Sexual and Psychological Abuse of Christian Women

Egypt: Once again, a court involved in the case of the unconscionable abuse of an elderly Christian woman recused itself. "The case had been postponed several times and was closed in 2017 due to insufficient evidence," says the September 3, 2020 report. "However, the woman's legal representatives filed a grievance reopening it again. Then, in March 2019, the Minya felony court decided to withdraw from hearing the case due to embarrassment."

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One War and Six Losers

by Amir Taheri  •  October 18, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • If Azerbaijan wins, a coalition of Turkey, Israel and the United States would end up in the winning camp while the Islamic Republic will be seen as indifferent to the aspirations of Azerbaijan, which is supposed to be the third largest Shiite nation after Iran and Iraq. If Armenia wins, the likely co-winners would include Russia and Israel, again leaving Iran isolated.... If Armenia loses, Tehran will get a bad mark from Moscow as a fickle friend.

  • This war may produce only losers. Azerbaijan is unlikely to succeed in regaining full control of the disputed enclave. Armenia has already lost some territory and faces a wave of refugees flowing into the capital Yerevan. Turkey may win a propaganda round as protector of Azeris but would be dragged into a fifth war which, its economy already under stress, it may not be able to sustain. Israel may have to come off the fence and choose one side by losing the other. Russia would lose by seeing militants find a niche so close to itself while being forced to abandon its claim of peacemaker among former Soviet republics. Tehran, too, will be a loser on both geopolitical and ideological grounds. Khamenei claims to be the supreme leader of Muslims throughout the world. Yet, we now see that he cannot even influence events on his doorstep.

The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan may produce only losers. Pictured: Rescue teams work at a site hit by a missile in the city of Ganja, Azerbaijan on October 17, 2020. The missile strike levelled several homes in Ganja. (Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images)

A small landlocked enclave tucked in a remote corner of Transcaucasia may be emerging as a powder keg that could threaten the security of several nations, among them Russia, Turkey, Iran and the two immediate protagonists Armenia and Azerbaijan.

High Qarabagh, Nagorno Karabakh in Russian, Artsakh in Armenian, Qarabagh Olya in Persian and Azeri covers an area of 4,400 square kilometres, less than half of Lebanon, with a population of 150,000 -- more than 90 percent of them ethnic Armenians. And, yet, in 1924 when Josef Stalin, then in charge of nationalities in the newly created Soviet Union, was carving the extinct tsarist empire into republics, High Qarabagh was attached to the autonomous republic of Azerbaijan, itself invented by Bolshevik chief out of territories known as Aran Shirvan and Nakhichevan.

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U.S. Only Country to Hold Iran's Mullahs Accountable

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  October 17, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • Elliott Abrams, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela, pointed out during a hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "The U.S. is committed to holding accountable those who deny freedom and justice to people of Iran and later today the United States will announce sanctions on several Iranian officials and entities including the judge who sentenced Navid Afkari to death."

  • Holding the Iranian leaders accountable only for human rights violation is not enough. Pressure must be imposed on the regime to stop its military adventurism.

  • Iran has also, since the beginning of the JCPOA, brought terror and assassination plots to the EU. If the mullahs acquire nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them, they will not even need to use them; just the threat to European cities should be enough to produce instantaneous acquiescence. German intelligence has acknowledged that more than 1,000 members of Hezbollah, Iran's proxy, use the country to recruit, raise money and buy arms.

  • The EU needs to stop its appeasement policies with Iran's mullahs. It needs to join the US in holding the Iranian leaders accountable.

The EU needs to stop its appeasement policies with Iran's mullahs. It needs to join the US in holding the Iranian leaders accountable. Pictured: Iranian "Supreme Guide" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left) and President Hassan Rouhani on August 21, 2019. (Image source: khamenei.ir)

The only Western government taking concrete steps to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its human rights violations, destabilizing behavior and aggressive policies in the Middle East is the Trump administration. On September 24, the United States blacklisted and slapped sanctions on several Iranian officials and entities over gross violations of human rights. Sanctions were also imposed on the judge who was involved in issuing the death sentence for the Iranian wrestling champion, Navid Afkari.

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Erdogan Declares War on Arabs

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  October 16, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • "Some countries in our region did not exist yesterday, and they may not exist in the future...." — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addressing parliament on October 1, 2020.

  • "His [Erdogan's] crimes against the Arab peoples must be exposed, such as his massacres against the Syrian people, against the Kurds in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and in Libya...." — Abdel Aziz Razan, a Saudi adviser at the Center for Arab-Russia Studies, Okaz, October 4, 2020.

  • Such powerful responses made by Saudis and other Arabs to Erdogan's contemptuous statements show that the Arabs now understand it is Erdogan and his friends in Iran whom they should fear. In the eyes of these Arabs, Erdogan and his Iranian connections represent the real threat to their security and stability.

  • In light of such reactions, perhaps more Arab countries will follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in signing diplomatic agreements with Israel. The State of Israel, as it turns out, is a strategic and strong ally that can help Arab countries stop Turkey and Iran from spreading their contagion of terror in the Middle East.

Many Arabs are concerned about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's threats against their countries and his ongoing meddling in their internal affairs. "Some countries in our region did not exist yesterday, and they may not exist in the future," Erdogan remarked on October 1. (Photo by Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is continuing to insult and threaten Arabs, specifically those living in the Gulf.

Many Arabs are concerned about Erdogan's threats against their countries and his ongoing meddling in their internal affairs. Some Arabs are saying that the time has come to stand up to Erdogan and end his "malicious" schemes against Arab countries.

In the past few days, many Arabs took to social media and other platforms to condemn Erdogan's latest offensive remarks and veiled threats against their countries.

They were responding to statements by Erdogan, who on October 1 told Turkish lawmakers, "Some countries in our region did not exist yesterday, and they may not exist in the future, but God willing, we will continue to raise our flag in this region forever." He was apparently referring to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and other Gulf countries.

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The FBI, Militias, Truth and Comey's Legacy

by Chris Farrell  •  October 15, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • Is it possible that the militia story [about planning to kidnap the governor of Michigan] is another contrived, anti-Trump, smear job by elements within the FBI?

  • Current FBI Director Christopher Wray hardly engenders confidence as a strong leader bent on cleaning house and reforming a corrupt agency that attempted a soft coup against the presidency. Wray is all about damage control and institutional preservation. When it comes to honesty, Wray does not have a tough act to follow.

  • The FBI's reputation has been destroyed through blatant politicization. Here are the corrupt political police: Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Clinesmith, Pientka, Brower, Baker, et al. That is a collection of various dirty cops, oath-breakers, coup-plotters, and persons "lacking candor" in FBI parlance.

  • Of course, the presumption of innocence is foundational to our system of justice. Comey's living legacy, and the permanent institutional stain on the FBI more generally, is that we cannot take the Bureau's claims as truthful. We used to give due credence to sworn Special Agents of the FBI. No more.

James Comey's living legacy, and the permanent institutional stain on the FBI more generally, is that we cannot take the Bureau's claims as truthful. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In the past few days, news reports have alerted us to an FBI claim that a militia group was planning to kidnap the governor of Michigan. The Detroit Free Press wrote:

"Thirteen members of an anti-government group bent on igniting a civil war are charged in a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who the group targeted in a possible commando raid on the state capitol, according to newly unsealed court records.

"Authorities said Thursday that the Wolverine Watchmen group planned on storming either the capitol or Whitmer's vacation home as part of a broader mission to instigate a civil war."

Half of the country does not believe the FBI. Is it possible that the militia story is another contrived, anti-Trump, smear job by elements within the FBI? If the FBI headquarters can run a coup against the president, can Michigan FBI agents phony-up some charges against fringe characters with sketchy criminal information?

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Iran's Next Move: Arms Transfers to South America?

by Joseph M. Humire  •  October 15, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • In August, [Colombia's] President Ivan Duque... claimed that the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela is looking to acquire medium-to-long-range missiles from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

  • For two decades, Iran has built a covert procurement and acquisition network in Latin America through joint military projects with Venezuela. The network is seemingly aimed at acquiring prohibited parts, minerals, metals, and technology for Iran's strategic weapons programs, banned by the UN arms embargo... While gasoline is needed in Venezuela, the fuel shipments from Iran are likely an excuse to operationalize its once latent IRGC network in the country.

  • With the Bolivian election less than a week away... and on the same date as the expiration of the UN arms embargo -- October 18 -- there is a chance that Iran could restart its strategic cooperation with Bolivia if Morales' political party, the MAS, returns to power.

  • For casual observers, the ramped-up presence in Venezuela... will seem as if Iran's recent activities are a product of "maximum pressure" against Iran and Venezuela. To informed analysts, however, it is clear that Iran has gradually built up the IRGC's presence and capabilities in the region for almost 20 years -- while using commercial and energy contracts, military-industrial cooperation, high-technology transfers, and other Iranian niche industries to cover its tracks.

  • Come October 18, the Iran-Latin America problem may become more complex if any of the three situations -- lifting the UN arms embargo, a Morales-MAS electoral victory in Bolivia, or a missile transfer to Maduro in Venezuela -- comes to pass.

In August, Colombian President Ivan Duque claimed that the Maduro regime in Venezuela was looking to acquire medium-to-long-range missiles from Iran. Pictured: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (left) reviews the honor guard at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on January 10, 2015. (Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

By the end of October, the security landscape in South America could change, with the Islamic Republic of Iran setting up arms sales in South America, from Venezuela to Bolivia. But first, any of these three things must happen:

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Why Palestinians Will Not Accept Advice from Arabs

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  October 14, 2020 at 6:00 am

  • Palestinian leaders are continuing to act not only against the advice of [former Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak and other Arabs, but also against the interests of their own people.

  • "The Palestinian leadership has lost its credibility in the eyes of the new Arab generation, which is a generation of technology...." — Abdullah Al-Ghathami, professor of criticism and theory at King Saud University, Twitter, September 25, 2020.

  • Pointedly,.... the Fatah delegation in Istanbul last week met with officials from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, as well as Turkish and Qatari intelligence officers.... and discussed... ways of "coordinating positions to direct blows to the interests of the Arab countries, especially the Arab Gulf states and Egypt."

  • The report added that "analysts specializing in the Palestinian issue commented that Qatar and Turkey will use Abbas to harm the interests of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Sudan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia."

  • The report also revealed that Qatar recently gave Abbas and some of his aides more than $50 million for their personal bank accounts inside banks in Israel and the Palestinian Authority areas."

Shortly after Mahmoud Abbas was elected president of the Palestinian Authority in 2005, Egypt's then President Hosni Mubarak was asked what advice he would give Palestinian leaders. He said: "... They have rejected everything... In my view, the Palestinian leadership now needs to give peace a chance. They need to sit at the negotiating table." Fifteen years later, it is evident that Abbas and the Palestinian leadership never took Mubarak's advice seriously. Pictured: Abbas (left) meets with Mubarak on August 8, 2007 in Alexandria, Egypt. (Photo by Omar Rashidi/PPO via Getty Images)

Shortly after Mahmoud Abbas was elected president of the Palestinian Authority in January 2005, Egypt's then President Hosni Mubarak was asked what advice he would give Palestinian leaders.

Mubarak, in an interview with the Al-Arabiya television network, replied:

"There has to be a new thinking about the Palestinian issue. Otherwise, we [Arabs] will continue to say no. We have been saying no for the past 50 years, and that is why we missed many opportunities. We said no to the [UN's 1947] Partition Plan, and in 1967 we said no to recognizing Israel in return for a withdrawal [to the 1949 armistice lines]. At the time, we said that what was taken by force can only be restored by force.

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The End of Appeasement in Britain?

by Richard Kemp  •  October 14, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • For many decades, British society has been subjected to an almost continuous assault on our history, our way of life and our national institutions by the hard left.... the very policy Churchill warned against so frequently.

  • Forced to confront the so-far largely unopposed aggression against the West by the Chinese Communist Party and Vladimir Putin's Russia, we are on the brink of not just one but two cold wars.

  • Standing up to their hostility will have to become the linchpin of a new grand strategy, comparable to the successful struggle against global communist encroachment over several decades.... If that is to succeed, we must see no more appeasement.

For many decades, British society has been subjected to an almost continuous assault on our history, our way of life and our national institutions by the hard left. The centre and right became so demoralised by this highly successful campaign that for years their response was appeasement, the very policy Churchill warned against so frequently. Pictured: British PM Winston Churchill speaks in London on April 19, 1940. (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." Winston Churchill's words following the British victory over Germany in the Battle of Egypt in November 1942 might also describe recent political developments in Britain's modern-day culture wars. For many decades, British society has been subjected to an almost continuous assault on our history, our way of life and our national institutions by the hard left.

The centre and right became so demoralised by this highly successful campaign that for years their response was appeasement, the very policy Churchill warned against so frequently when the fascist mirror image of this ideology threatened us in the 1930s. Now there are the glimmering signs of a fightback against the progressive liberal consensus that resulted, engulfing many mainstream politicians, the judiciary, civil service, much of the media, big business and education.

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Slouching Towards the Socialist States of America

by Chris Farrell  •  October 13, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • What was troubling 24 years ago is now at a fevered pitch. What was then a disturbance is now a revolution. What was then subversion is now a coup..... "Journalists" within the news media do not report factual developments, and those who do find their Internet presence suppressed by the social media giants. Many enlightened liberals are participating naively in their own destruction in a fashion and on a scale not seen since 1917 Russia.

  • One party is effectively saying it will pack the courts, including the Supreme Court, with politically friendly judges, so that the judiciary will be an extension of one political party rather than part of a system of checks and balances, the separation of powers or a co-equal branch of government. One party is openly saying it will remove the electoral college, so that sparsely populated, rural states would be totally outvoted by cities. One party is openly saying that it would add more states, such as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, to provide it with more Senators to create a permanent one-party rule. And one party is openly saying it would reverse core parts of our Bill of Rights so we could be jailed for free speech, or for owning a gun to defend ourselves, as the minutemen did, against "enemies foreign and domestic."

  • This was the situation that brought about the downfall of Venezuela: the government confiscated guns, then people had no way of protecting themselves when the storm troopers showed up.

  • We have had a good run as a democratic republic – but the country is in danger of being fundamentally and permanently disfigured in a way that will make it unrecognizable. The crime and the cover-up will have been successfully completed. No scrutiny, no justice, no consequences, no memory, no country. The real shame, as in Venezuela, is that many will not even notice until it is too late.

(Image source: iStock)

Attorney General William Barr is on a Capitol Hill whispering campaign to select Republicans, telling them that US Attorney John Durham will not move against the anti-Trump coup plotters before election day. One wonders if he has bothered to tell President Donald J. Trump. The consequences for the republic are dire. We slide ever closer to being a failed state. When the justice system is compromised – and it is – we are no better than any other banana republic. No exaggeration. In mid-July, Obamagate indictments were overdue. It is mid-October.

The disparities in federal prosecutorial discretion and speed are astounding. Durham has been at work since May 14, 2019, and one third-stringer flunky DoJ attorney (Clinesmith) has entered a half-hearted semi-plea deal for criminally lying about Carter Page's relationship with the CIA supposedly as a cooperating legal traveler who was debriefed on his trips to Russia.

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Turkey: Erdogan Fueling Hostility Against the West

by Uzay Bulut  •  October 13, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • The current problem is greater than the Turkish government's violations against territorial waters and airspace of Greece, its continued occupation of northern Cyprus, or its threatening Europe with mass Muslim immigration or Islamist terrorists, among other hostile actions.

  • The problem includes Erdogan's fueling of hatred and hostility within society against Europe and the rest of the West.

  • This attitude does not seem fit either for Turkey's European Union candidacy or its NATO membership.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's fueling of hatred and hostility against Europe and the rest of the West does not seem a fit attitude either for Turkey's European Union candidacy or its NATO membership. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

On September 13, a group of Islamists in Istanbul's Beyazit Square protested against French President Emmanuel Macron. They held placards warning that Macron and the satirical French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, "will pay a heavy price."

The protesters were condemning Macron for his stance supporting Charlie Hebdo's decision to republish cartoons of Islam's Prophet Mohammed and France's commitment to freedom of expression, and against Macron's support for Greece in the face of escalating Turkish aggression in the eastern Mediterranean during the ongoing crisis between Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.

Charlie Hebdo, along with a kosher supermarket in Paris, were the targets of a massacre by Islamist gunmen in January 2015. The magazine recently reprinted the images to mark the start of the trial earlier this month of the alleged accomplices in the mass murder.

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Saudi Arabia: We, Too, Are Fed Up with the Palestinians

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  October 12, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • [M]any Saudis and other Gulf citizens expressed support for Prince Bandar bin Abdulaziz's criticism of the Palestinians, with some saying the time has come for a new Palestinian leadership that prioritizes its people's interests and does not pocket the financial aid sent to them by the Arab countries and the West.

  • "Palestinian leaders stole the aid sent to the Palestinian people and built mansions in Washington, Paris and London, while ignoring the suffering of their people." — Saudi political analyst Abdel Rahman Al-Mulhem, Al-Yaum, October 9, 2020.

  • According to Fahd Al-Shoqiran, a Saudi researcher and columnist, Palestinians "must be reminded that the hundreds of billions of money their leaders received to support their cause from Saudi Arabia throughout its history were capable of building the Palestinians huge cities." Instead, Al-Shoqiran said, Palestinian leaders used the money to buy private planes and luxurious buildings in Europe and the US... "The prince's speech was clear, direct, accurate and frank. The speech is a wake-up call. Things have changed...."

  • What is evident, meanwhile, is that, where Saudi Arabia is concerned, the Palestinians are on very thin ice. In fact, they may wake up to discover that the ice is melting all over the Arab world.

Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz's scathing and unprecedented attack on the Palestinian leadership adds Saudi Arabia and its citizens to the growing list of Arabs who regard the Palestinians as "ungrateful." (Image source: kremlin.ru)

Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz's scathing and unprecedented attack on the Palestinian leadership, during an interview aired by Saudi Al-Arabiya television station on October 6, adds Saudi Arabia and its citizens to the growing list of Arabs who regard the Palestinians as "ungrateful."

During the interview, the prince, a former Saudi ambassador to the US, said that "the Palestinian cause is a just cause, but its advocates are failures, and the Israeli cause is unjust, but its advocates have proven to be successful."

He accused the Palestinians of cozying up to Saudi Arabia's foes, Iran and Turkey, and criticized them for accusing the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain of betrayal for agreeing to establish relations with Israel." He also accused the Palestinians of "ingratitude or lack of loyalty" toward Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that supported them for decades.

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