Latest Analysis and Commentary

Iranian Regime Empowered: Violating US Sovereignty, Kidnapping on American Soil

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  July 24, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Why is the Biden administration continuing to negotiate with the mullahs of Iran to revive the nuclear deal and lift sanctions placed against them -- an act that would hugely strengthen their regime -- after the country, during nuclear talks, was caught plotting to kidnap a US citizen in Brooklyn, New York?

  • The message for the Biden administration, which has frequently proclaimed its intention to defend pro-democracy dissidents, is that a diet of US groveling and appeasement evidently will not deter Iran and other foreign dictatorships from launching increasingly hostile acts.

  • The Americans, it seems, want to reward the mullahs for taking over Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq, the Gaza Strip and soon possibly Jordan -- so, what incentive is there for the mullahs to stop?

  • Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Tehran appears to have been attempting to become the dominant hegemon not only in the Middle East.... but around the world. At the same time, it is sending a warning to its population that any opposition to the political establishment will be dealt with harshly.

  • Will the Biden administration ever see that, to bring peace to the region and, by expansion, to the rest of the world, negotiations, concessions and offering incentive packages to the mullahs simply will not work?

Why is the Biden administration continuing to negotiate with the mullahs of Iran to revive the nuclear deal and lift sanctions placed against them, after the country, during nuclear talks, was caught plotting to kidnap Masih Alinejad, a US citizen in Brooklyn, New York? Pictured: Alinejad speaks at the Women in the World Summit, at Lincoln Center on April 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Why is the Biden administration continuing to negotiate with the mullahs of Iran to revive the nuclear deal and lift sanctions placed against them -- an act that would hugely strengthen their regime -- after the country, during nuclear talks, was caught plotting to kidnap a US citizen in Brooklyn, New York?

Even The Washington Post pointed out that the attempted kidnapping should be a serious warning to the Biden administration:

"The message for the Biden administration, which has frequently proclaimed its intention to defend pro-democracy dissidents, is that Iran and other foreign dictatorships won't shrink from launching attacks inside the United States unless deterred.... As Ms. Alinejad told the New York Times, the Iranians 'are not scared of America — they're scared of me.'"

Evidently a diet of US groveling and appeasement will not deter Iran and other foreign dictatorships from initiating increasingly hostile acts.

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Peter Daszak and the Virus

by Peter Schweizer  •  July 23, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • The good news from all this is that [Peter] Daszak finally recused himself from a COVID-19 commission that was established by the medical journal The Lancet after his conflicts of interest with the WIV came to light. The bad news is that up until then, Daszak had been functioning as an apologist for the Beijing regime, parroting its nonsense that the SARS-CoV-2 originated somewhere else and somehow made its way to China.

  • Worse still, Daszak was the only representative of the U.S. appointed to a 10-person panel convened by the World Health Organization (WHO). That panel's report, which was released in February, was dismissed even by the Biden administration as superficial and unpersuasive. The joint WHO-China team's report asserted strong conclusions about how the pandemic started based on very little supporting evidence. Nor did Chinese authorities fully cooperate with its investigation.

  • For public confidence, however, the worst part may be that we only learned of Daszak's conflict of interest because of the FOIA request of Anthony Fauci's email archive. This means that no one at WHO seemed to think that Daszak's direct financial ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which he had funded with $600,000 of grant money to perform research on bat coronaviruses, might make him unsuitable to participate in thoroughly scrutinizing its procedures, record-keeping, anti-contamination habits, and other practices.

  • Rutgers University professor of chemical biology Richard H. Ebright, who is frequently quoted in media reports as an expert on coronaviruses and public health, said in April it "would be hard to imagine a more brazen lie" that Daszak has no conflict of interest with the WIV.

Peter Daszak functioned as an apologist for the Beijing regime, parroting its nonsense that the SARS-CoV-2 originated somewhere else and somehow made its way to China. Pictured: Daszak waves to the media from inside the Wuhan Hilton Optics Valley hotel in Wuhan, China on February 6, 2021. (Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

Peter Daszak is in many ways typical of the international world of disease prevention. As the president of EcoHealth Alliance, Daszak has spent millions of dollars of grant money from the National Institutes of Health in recent years. His organization's special focus is on preventing the outbreak of emerging diseases, such as coronaviruses. He was deeply involved with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) because his organization had funded bat coronavirus research that lab was doing when the COVID-19 outbreak occurred in late 2019.

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It Is Time for Regime Change in Communist Cuba

by Con Coughlin  •  July 22, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • For US President Joe Biden, the recent unrest in Cuba should persuade his administration not to repeat the mistakes of the Obama era and attempt some form of rapprochement with Havana.

  • The US, as it is apparently able to do, should also immediately restore the ability of the Cuban people to use their internet.

  • One of the reasons Cuba's communist regime is struggling to survive is the impact the hard-hitting sanctions that the previous administration imposed on Cuba is having on the Cuban economy.

  • Any attempt now by the Biden administration to lift the sanctions would simply be to reward the regime for its brutal repression of the Cuban people.

  • To keep the sanctions in place would further increase the pressure on the Cuban regime, pressure that could ultimately result in its collapse and the liberation of the Cuban people from their communist oppressors.

For US President Joe Biden, the recent unrest in Cuba should persuade his administration not to repeat the mistakes of the Obama era and attempt some form of rapprochement with Havana. The US, as it is apparently able to do, should also immediately restore the ability of the Cuban people to use their internet. Pictured: Cuban police in riot gear are deployed to quell anti-regime protests in Havana on July 12, 2021. (Photo by Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images)

Nothing better illustrates the utter bankruptcy of communist ideology than Cuba's basket case economy, which has resulted in the country suffering its largest wave of anti-government protests in at least three decades.

To date, at least one protester has been killed and hundreds more detained, as the communist regime founded by Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has responded with characteristic brutality to the outpouring of nationwide dissent.

The root cause of the protests has been the dire state of the Cuban economy, with Cubans protesting at the lack of basic food and medicines. To further add to their misery, the country's inept mishandling of the Coronavirus means that the country's 11 million inhabitants now have more Covid cases per capita than any major Latin American nation.

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Enemies of the State

by Pete Hoekstra  •  July 22, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • Taken together, the administration's efforts paint a picture of an emerging, out-of-control police state. Those of us who disagree with the administration are no longer citizens, we have become "enemies of the state."

  • Just in the last few days, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the administration was coordinating with Big Tech on correcting "misinformation." This is censorship. They are doing this with increasing frequency....

  • When individuals engage with social media, the federal government, in coordination with Big Tech, will, at best, have planned responses that will move them to sites designed to give them the "right" answer. Sound far-fetched? On its webpage, Moonshot CVE, a company already doing work for the Pentagon, says it uses "targeted advertising to connect people searching the internet for violent extremist content with constructive alternative messages."

  • Rather than the federal government using its massive power to facilitate our access to knowledge and information, thus enhancing our individual freedom and decision making, the Biden administration appears to be seeking to become a behemoth propaganda machine targeting its perceived enemies.

In the last few days, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the administration was coordinating with Big Tech on correcting "misinformation." This is censorship. They are doing this with increasing frequency. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Biden Administration, Big Tech, and other organizations will go to almost any extreme, including propaganda, to promote their priorities. Their efforts on COVID vaccines may be a trial run for what we may see for the next three years on a range of issues. With vaccines, we have already seen social media censor those who have raised legitimate concerns or objections to various COVID vaccines.

"Now we need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door — literally knocking on doors — to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus," President Biden said.

"Trusted" local leaders could be going door-to-door to discuss getting vaccinated. The administration also may enlist Big Tech companies to manage our views countless issues, by controlling our access to information.

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A Monarchy?

by Lawrence Kadish  •  July 21, 2021 at 4:00 pm

  • And yet, one could ask, what constitutes a monarchy? Must it be the traditional construct of a single individual holding court with scepter and crown.... Or could a monarchy take a far more sinister, stealth-like form? Could there be those who abdicate their oaths of office and thereby secretly pursue policies and actions that avoid the sunlight of public scrutiny?

  • Or could a monarchy be the abdication of authority to those who were never elected to serve in that position? Or maybe they have left office but still exert enormous influence – even control – over foreign and domestic decisions made by the executive branch?

  • Could we, in effect, be living with a monarch and not even know it?

  • Depending on your definition of "monarchy," the scenarios are chilling. Like the experience of George III, would those close to power seek to advance their own political agenda at the expense of anyone and everyone? Would social media, tuned to the ideology of their corporate owners, actually dictate the nation's agenda? Would a federal budget be so loaded with pork barrel deficit spending that it destroys the nation's economic future? Would control of America's nuclear arsenal actually be in the hands of a constitutionally authorized commander in chief?

History records that it was a "mad" monarch, King George III, who lost the American colonies so very long ago. British researchers have since studied his scribbled notes, the diaries of his advisors, and his royal decrees to suggest he suffered from possible psychiatric illness such as bipolar disorder.

Fortunately, America has no monarch.

We are taught from our earliest days in school that our government is comprised of three separate and equal branches. The idea of a monarch, above the law, immune from scrutiny and without accountability to anyone is an attack on the very foundation of our democracy. Americans would take to the ramparts once more if we were threatened with such a form of government.

And yet, one could ask, what constitutes a monarchy?

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EU's Top Court: Employers May Ban Islamic Headscarves

by Soeren Kern  •  July 21, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • The judgment is consistent with previous determinations by the Luxembourg-based court, informally known as the European Court of Justice (ECJ), that bans on religious symbols at the workplace are not inherently discriminatory — provided they apply equally to all religions.

  • The significance of the ECJ's decision on the headscarf — arguably the most visible symbol of political Islam in Europe — cannot be overstated: by striking a balance between religious liberty and entrepreneurial freedom, the court has effectively blocked a back-door effort to enshrine Sharia law in European labor law.

  • Islamic head coverings have been a recurring issue in Germany, where the Muslim population has surpassed six million to become approximately 7.2% of the overall population of 83 million.

  • Germany's headscarf debate — which is actively being fueled by groups promoting Islamism and Salafism — is directly linked to ongoing disputes about mass migration and the integration of immigrants into German society.

  • "The headscarf is not neutral. Religious freedom is important, yes. It is important to preserve it, yes. But this basic right also has its limits where a basic social order is violated, and a higher legal interest is affected." — Ahmad Mansour, a Germany-based Israeli-Arab expert on Islam.

(Image source: Transparency International/Flickr)

The Court of Justice of the European Union, the EU's highest court, has ruled that private sector employers within the 27-member bloc are legally entitled to prohibit their employees from wearing Islamic headscarves at the workplace.

The decision states that corporate bans on religious or political symbols are legitimate if employers wish to "present a neutral image towards customers" or to "prevent social disputes."

The judgment is consistent with previous determinations by the Luxembourg-based court, informally known as the European Court of Justice (ECJ), that bans on religious symbols at the workplace are not inherently discriminatory — provided they apply equally to all religions.

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Arabs Warn Biden: The War on Terrorism is not Over

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  July 20, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • The Arabs are saying that the Americans are mistaken if they think that the war on terrorism will end with the withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan.

  • Adib warned that the US will pay the price for its exit from Afghanistan. "The cost of the withdrawal will be greater and more dangerous for America and the entire world," he said. "Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are preparing to establish a state whose features will be close to those of ISIS. The threat of ISIS is still there and its cells are still spread everywhere." — Mounir Adib, Egyptian expert on Islamic movements and international terrorism, Annaharar.com, June 5, 2021.

  • [T]he threat of terrorism will grow because of the Americans' failure to consult with their allies in the Middle East, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.... — Mounir Adib, Annaharar.com, June 5, 2021.

  • "The biggest catastrophe is that Afghanistan will become the capital of terrorism again, and now we have the threat of Al-Qaeda making a comeback... after America's withdrawal from Afghanistan as these groups feel proud and victorious, which will push them to continue fighting against America and the Arabs and Europeans." — Mounir Adib, Annaharar.com, June 5, 2021.

  • "[T]he problem is that extremist and terrorist groups and political Islam do not know how to live without rivalry, and they do not like to live in peace and without enemies. It is true that the US military force diminished Al-Qaeda and destroyed the dream of ISIS to have its own state, but it did not eliminate the terrorist ideology...." — Bahaa Al-Awam, Syrian journalist and political analyst, Al-Ain, July 12, 2021.

  • "What makes matters worse is that the American withdrawal from the region will mark a victory in favor of political Islamic organizations...." — Bahaa Al-Awam, Al-Ain, July 12, 2021.

  • These Arabs are telling the Biden administration in no uncertain terms: US policies and actions are undermining your credibility among your allies and paving the way for the return of Islamic terrorist groups.

A growing number of Arabs are saying that the Americans are mistaken if they think that the war on terrorism will end with the withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan. Pictured: Afghan Militiamen guard against the Taliban at an outpost in Balkh Province, Afghanistan. (Photo by Farshad Usyan/AFP via Getty Images)

As the United States prepares to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan by August 31, 2021, a growing number of Arabs are worried that the American move will not only bring the Taliban back to power there, but also lead to the re-emergence of other Islamist terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIS).

The Arabs are saying that the Americans are mistaken if they think that the war on terrorism will end with the withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan.

They are warning the US that it will pay a heavy price for allowing Afghanistan to fall into the hands of terrorist groups. They are also saying that they see no difference between the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and how these groups openly cooperate with each other.

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China Preparing to Expropriate Foreign-Held Tech Shares

by Gordon G. Chang  •  July 19, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • VIEs, as they are known, evade Chinese law, which prohibits foreign ownership of Chinese tech companies. Through a series of intricate contractual arrangements, however, these structures effectively give foreigners the economic benefits of ownership.

  • People believe that if Beijing were to publicly declare a VIE illegal—in other words, expropriate foreign ownership—it would be like setting off a nuclear weapon, shutting off new Chinese companies from foreign equity markets. Therefore, they believe it could not happen. The last-minute cancellation of the Ant Group IPO in Hong Kong and Shanghai last November, however, shows that Xi Jinping is willing to go to great lengths to protect his system.

  • China's brand of communism, many forget, is inherently hostile to the private sector in general and foreigners in particular. The so-called "reform era"—the three decades following 1978 when Chinese leaders liberalized the Chinese economy and financial system and opened it to the world—is now over....

  • Xi Jinping believes there is already too much foreign influence in Chinese society, meaning that he would like to limit to the greatest extent possible offshore ownership of China's enterprises. He will, I think, step up a long-running campaign to harass foreign businesses and begin to force offshore investors out of his country. The questionable VIE structure gives Xi the perfect excuse to now expropriate foreign ownership of his country's successful tech businesses.

  • China's ruler, foreign investors often forget, is willful and will do what he wants. "What Xi Jinping says, Xi Jinping does," Bartiromo correctly pointed out. "And that's what the law is."

China's President Xi Jinping believes there is already too much foreign influence in Chinese society, meaning that he would like to limit to the greatest extent possible offshore ownership of China's enterprises. China's ruler, foreign investors often forget, is willful and will do what he wants. He will likely step up a long-running campaign to harass foreign businesses and begin to force offshore investors out of his country. Pictured: Xi (center) at the military parade for the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China, on October 01, 2019 in Beijing. (Photo by Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images)

"What do investors need to understand, for those investors that are thinking maybe I want to dip my toe in investing in Chinese companies?" asked Maria Bartiromo on July 14, during her Fox Business show, "Mornings with Maria."

The answer is that Beijing is on the road to expropriating the shares held by foreigners in China's tech companies. The complicated financial structures these companies have used to attract foreign investment are questionable under Chinese law and give Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler, an excuse now to begin a confiscation campaign.

We begin with Beijing's stunning regulatory attacks on DiDi Global. The company's shares started trading on June 30 on the Big Board, where it raised $4.4 billion in an initial public offering. Two days later, China's Cyberspace Administration halted downloads of DiDi Global's popular ride-hailing app, DiDi Chuxing.

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Is Western Europe Really Turning to the Right?

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 19, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • A large-scale and widely-noted survey, "The Conversion of Europeans to the Values of the Right," suggests that Western Europe is trending conservative. But a close look at the survey data finds that not to be the case.

  • In other words, the "values of the Right" mentioned in the Fondapol survey represent but an attenuated version of what a true conservative understands by the phrase. The survey focuses on economics, specifically on the extent and role of the state. It barely involves traditional values, education, individual responsibility, national independence, free markets, a single law for all, the nuclear family, criminal punishment, and freedom of speech and religion; much less do they include such culture-war topics as racism, affirmative action, income inequality, climate change, cancel culture, abortion, homosexual marriage, or trans-sexuality.

  • It is only among the Western European political parties deemed "far-right" that one finds even a semblance of true conservatism, such as those above. These parties, however, are delegitimized and insulted, limiting their appeal while simultaneously attracting fringe elements to them.

  • From this larger perspective, Western Europeans are not in the least turning to the "values of the right" but are ever-more distant from them. Fondapol has it exactly wrong: except in economics, the values of the Left are preponderant and growing, exactly as it seems to us on the outside.

(Image source: iStock)

A large-scale and widely-noted survey, "The Conversion of Europeans to the Values of the Right," suggests that Western Europe is trending conservative. But a close look at the survey data finds that not to be the case.

La Fondation pour l'innovation politique (or the Fondapol Foundation), which calls itself a "liberal, progressive, and European think tank," surveyed 7,603 respondents in Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy between January 20 and February 10, 2021. In striking contrast to historic trends, it found the young to be more conservative than the old, suggesting a move toward conservativism.

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"If You Do Not Have Free Speech You Are Not Free"
Refugees from Communism Horrified at America

by Giulio Meotti  •  July 18, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • "There was no free speech, you could not share values or thoughts if they were not Mao's values and thoughts...." — Lei Zhang, Carolina Journal, July 2, 2021.

  • "You have people who now say, 'Math is white supremacy,' or that calculus was invented by this man of this race so it is oppression. This is stupid". — Lei Zhang, Carolina Journal, July 2, 2021.

  • "Most of this crap originated on US campuses. I was at Stanford in the mid-1980s and watched with amazement how political correctness erupted. I had always blamed people like Stalin or Beria for censorship, but now I realized that many intellectuals want it too! Such people will always want censorship; they will always want to be oppressors because they always pretend to be oppressed". — Vladimir Bukovsky.

  • "When they tell kids, kindergarten, 5, 6 years old, that they are bad because they are in this race, or they are oppressed if they are in this group, and children cannot disagree, this is very bad because they cannot change their skin color or where they are from. They did not choose to be this race or that race, they are Americans, we are all Americans, and if we are fighting each other over this ideology, I agree with that when people say that this will destroy America. This is what happened under Mao and the Cultural Revolution....If you disagree or say something different they punish you.... You have no free thought". — Lei Zhang, Carolina Journal, July 2, 2021.

  • "As a community, we face an important choice. We can succumb to extreme left ideology and spend the rest of our lives ghost-chasing and witch-hunting, rewriting history, politicizing science, redefining elements of language, and turning STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education into a farce. Or we can uphold a key principle of democratic society—the free and uncensored exchange of ideas...." — Anna Krylov, who was born in the Soviet Union, and is now a Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, The Journal of Physical Chemistry, June 10, 2021.

  • Today, those who fled from Communist regimes see -- most dangerously -- the same censorship and totalitarian suppression repeated in America's democracy. They know better than we do what freedom of thought means, and the price we must pay to defend it.

Garry Kasparov, the former World Chess Champion from Russia, noted the "self-destructive spiral of the West": it damages its cultural heritage instead of defending it. Regarding the weakness of Western leaders, Kasparov told Le Figaro: "Where are the de Gaulles and the Churchills? I see a crowd of Chamberlain and Daladier.... I was shocked to see the rush to debunk historical figures judged by our current criteria. The West should be proud of them instead of hating itself". (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Today in America there is a new generation of exiles from Communist regimes fighting a new political correctness, called wokeism.

Czeslaw Milosz, before he was a Nobel laureate for Literature and author of The Captive Mind, fought two totalitarianisms in his native country, Poland: first Nazism, then Communism, which took its place. In 1945, after joining the Polish diplomatic service, Milosz was appointed cultural attaché to the embassy in New York, where he served until being recalled in 1950. In 1951, he defected to France.

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America is Back: What Did it Do?

by Amir Taheri  •  July 18, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • ....Biden's policies have proved to be little more than confused and at times contradictory gestures.

  • A Washington Post opinion columnist claimed that "Biden wiped the smirk off Putin's face." In reality, however, Putin left the meeting with a much broader naughty-boy smile. Biden... cancelled Trump's veto on the controversial Russian gas trunk-pipeline to Germany. He did something even more amazing; he presented a list of 16 critical infrastructure "entities" in the US which he wanted Putin not to target in cyber-attacks, or face unspecified "consequences". Does this mean that, as long as he spares those highly sensitive targets, Putin would have a free hand in doing cyber mischief across the US?

  • The smirking Putin returned home to intensify pressure on Ukraine, boost the Belarusian despot Viktor Lukashenko, unveil the largest nuclear submarine in history and even threaten to sink a British warship in Ukrainian waters.

  • With one-eighth of his tenure over, Biden has not yet revealed his strategy for dealing with either Russia or China.

  • One place "America is back" has taken place is in talks in Vienna about the ill-conceived "nuclear deal" with the Islamic Republic concocted by President Barack Obama and advertised as the greatest part of his legacy in foreign policy terms.

The smirking Russian President Vladimir Putin returned home from his meeting with US President Joe Biden to intensify pressure on Ukraine, boost the Belarusian despot Viktor Lukashenko, unveil the largest nuclear submarine in history and even threaten to sink a British warship in Ukrainian waters. Pictured: Biden and Putin meet Geneva on June 16, 2021. (Photo by Denis Balibouse/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

A presidential term in the US could be studied in eight segments of six months each, in which the man in the White House must negotiate political minefields as he tries to implement his program or, at least, pretends to be doing so.

Experience shows that a president is most effective in the first three of the six-month segments, as in the fourth he faces mid-term congressional elections that often require dicey changes of trajectory. The fifth and sixth segments often amount to a liminal challenge, depending on the incumbent's ability to mobilize support for his vision, provided he has one. The seventh and last segments are, of course dominated by the next presidential election and the strategy needed for winning a second term.

Joe Biden has already spent the first of his eight segments. And the result, at least as far as foreign policy is concerned, is far from brilliant, to say the least.

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The EU Leaders Join North Korea in Welcoming Iran's Mass Murderer President

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  July 17, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • By handpicking a mass murderer to be president, the Iranian regime is sending a strong message to the Iranian people and the world that it will not respect human rights.

  • How could a leader of a democratic country congratulate a mass murderer?

  • The people of Iran, like those of Hong Kong and now Cuba, have been struggling and fighting to change their regime, while European governments and leaders of democratic countries -- including the current administration in the United States -- have basically been sending a message to the people: We do not care about your aspiration for justice, rule of law and human rights; instead we are going to partner with your authoritarian leaders.

  • Europe's leaders have also been totally disregarding calls by human rights organizations to investigate Iran's mass murderer mullah -- who will also most likely be the next Supreme Leader of Iran.

  • "That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran..... The circumstances surrounding the fate of the victims and the whereabouts of their bodies are, to this day, systematically concealed by the Iranian authorities, amounting to ongoing crimes against humanity. — Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, June 19, 2021.

  • It is indeed shameful, and a blow to the people of Iran and advocates of human rights and democracy, that European governments and leaders of democracies are joining North Korea to congratulate Iran's mass murderer president -- and wishing him success!

By handpicking a mass murderer to be president, the Iranian regime is sending a strong message to the Iranian people and the world that it will not respect human rights. Iran's President-elect Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, on June 21, 2021. (Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

The leaders of the European Union, who preach about human rights and democracy, are not only turning a blind eye to the Iranian regime's handpicking of a mass murderer, Ebrahim Raisi, to be the next president; they are also now joining North Korea in congratulating the ruling mullahs and their new President Raisi.

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, issuing a message congratulating Iran's new incoming president, stated that he is "confident" friendly relationships between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Austria would continue. "In his message," wrote the Islamic Republic News Agency, ".... he wished success for president-elect Raisi and said that his country, as the host of multinational negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal, is ready to make any cooperation. He expressed hope that the Vienna talks will yield fruit in the near future."

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Putin's New Anti-Navalny Law

by Jiri Valenta and Leni Friedman Valenta  •  July 16, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Tatiana Stanovaya, a political analyst at Carnegie Moscow, "told CNN the law threatens not only opposition politicians but ordinary Russian citizens."

  • "The law is part of a larger campaign against anti-regime behavior in Russia... The battlefield has become much larger, now even a Russian citizen who participates in protests, retweets an opposition post or donates to opposition groups, face the risk of prosecution." — Tatiana Stanovaya.

  • Russia's decision to crush all political opposition seems a clear indication of how Putin fears Navalny and his influence over the Russian electorate....

  • A number of Russian opposition politicians have already been barred from taking part in elections or were persecuted for their support for Navalny or other pro-democracy groups.

  • "The process was held behind closed doors, and I myself did not participate in it. Even though we demanded it, I was not even invited." — Alexei Navalny, Instagram, as reported by CNN, June 10, 2021.

  • The Russian courts are a "laughingstock." — Alexei Navalny, Instagram, as reported by courthousenews.com, June 10, 2021.

"The process was held behind closed doors, and I myself did not participate in it. Even though we demanded it, I was not even invited." — Alexei Navalny, Russian opposition leader, June 10, 2021. Pictured: Navalny appears on screen via a video link from prison, during a court hearing in the town of Petushki, Russia, on May 26, 2021. (Photo by Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images)

On June 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning "individuals designated as 'extremists' from running for public offices."

There is little doubt that the legislation signed by Putin is aimed largely at opposition leader Alexei Navalny, now in prison, and whoever supports him. According to CNN:

"The law prevents members of 'extremist' or 'terrorist' organizations from standing in elections for a period of three to five years... Founders and leaders of designated groups will not be able to run for elected office for five years... Employees or financial supporters of court-ruled extremist and terrorist organizations will be banned from running for office for three years."

Five days later, on June 9, Navalny's "Anti-Corruption Foundation," (FBK) and "Citizens Rights Protection Foundation" were declared by the Moscow City Court to be "extremist" organizations. According to CNN:

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'Truth is Buoyant' for Nations Seeking Global Leadership

by Lawrence Kadish  •  July 15, 2021 at 7:00 am

  • First published in 1989, [Paul Kennedy's] book, "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers,"... should be required reading in Washington.

  • Against this battering from Beijing, the Biden Administration seems to be sleepwalking. In response to the CCP's military expansion journalists say our defense budget will be in essence flat, at best.

  • While these mistakes, missteps, and missed opportunities are early in Biden's term, the Chinese also know the proverb that "Truth is buoyant" – it will surface at some point and become obvious to all. When it does, will America still have the means to preserve its security and freedom?

Communist China has dramatically increased its military strength – from an ocean-going navy to new stealth fighters to an aggressive space program. Pictured: Sailors and fighter jets on the deck of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy aircraft carrier Liaoning in the sea near Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong province on April 23, 2019. (Photo by Mark Schiefelbein/AFP via Getty Images)

History reminds us that great nations have been brought down when their leaders failed the ultimate test – one that requires unwavering courage, insightful vision, and resolute patriotism.

Historian Paul Kennedy writes in his book "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers" that empires able to bring superior economic and technological resources to bear invariably win the pitiless fight for global power. First published in 1989, his book is not only relevant today but should be required reading in Washington.

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Dangerous Infrastructure Bill: Flooding America's Suburbs with High-Density Housing Projects

by Gatestone Institute Staff  •  July 15, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • This proposal... amounts to "abolishing the suburbs" by making them more like cities.

  • Apartment buildings.... could be built in the middle of any suburban neighborhood, and there is nothing you could do to stop it. A housing project could be built next door to your home. One-acre lots could be subdivided to cram in as many houses as possible.

  • They claim that cities are undesirable places to live because they are crowded, hot, and lack nature, so it is unfair that people have to live there. Ironically, their solution seems to be to make more of them....

  • Worse, local governments presumably know what is best for their communities. That is why communities have local governments rather than a federal government deciding everything for everyone. If residents desired different zoning, their officials would have already made those changes on their own.....That is probably why it is being hidden within a massive bill and not talked about.

  • The federal government has no power to force this change, but the president has floated withholding federal money that towns rely on for things like roads unless the towns comply.... What town can afford to lose all federal transportation dollars — funded with taxes that they pay?..,, Basically, it is not far from extortion.

  • Most cities, and most low-income people, vote for Democrats. For politicians, this means that if you can make the countryside into cities, in 10 years, everyone will be voting for only one party.

  • Many counties will find it hard to resist the temptation to take the cash. But in the long-term they are saddling themselves with a huge influx of poverty whose financial effects will outweigh any grants. Of course, they will also completely change the aesthetics and culture of the neighborhood — and irrevocably alter its political makeup.

President Joe Biden's "infrastructure" proposal says that money granted to towns and counties will come with a condition: eliminating "prohibitions on multifamily housing" and zoning restrictions such as "minimum lot sizes." This proposal, it has been said, amounts to "abolishing the suburbs" by making them more like cities. (Image source: iStock)

Interview with Luke Rosiak, an investigative reporter with The Daily Wire. He warns of a little-noticed provision in President Joe Biden's infrastructure proposal that could have major consequences for how people will be forced to live and for a political power-grab in the country.

Gatestone Institute: President Joe Biden's "infrastructure" proposal says that money granted to towns and counties will come with a condition: eliminating "prohibitions on multifamily housing" and zoning restrictions such as "minimum lot sizes." This proposal, it has been said, amounts to "abolishing the suburbs" by making them more like cities.

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