Latest Analysis and Commentary

Gatestone Institute to Announce a $100,000 National Essay Contest This Week

December 6, 2021 at 1:30 pm

The winning submissions to Gatestone's upcoming educational essay contest will be determined by a panel of judges headed by Larry Kudlow, former Director of the National Economic Council. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

Gatestone Institute is launching an educational essay contest that challenges America's youngsters, ages 16-21, to submit an essay, based on facts that need to be sourced in the essay, on the nation's economy and America's growing multi-trillion-dollar deficit.

Winning essayists will be eligible for a $10,000 share of the $100,000 in cash prizes to be determined by a panel of judges headed by Larry Kudlow, former Director of the National Economic Council and host of the television show Kudlow on the Fox Business Network (weekdays at 4 pm) and the Larry Kudlow Radio Show on 77 WABC.

As Mr. Kudlow has observed, "We were endowed by our Creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We were not endowed by the Federal Government. We were not endowed by entitlements. We were not endowed by pork barrel spending; we were not endowed by budgetary earmarks, and we were not endowed by confiscatory taxes."

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What Russia Wants in Ukraine

by Soeren Kern  •  December 6, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • In July, Putin published a 5,000-word article — "On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians" — in which he wrote that he was convinced that the "true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia."

  • "The Russian regime's foremost interest is its own hold on power. All policy, internal and external, stems from this overriding goal." — Edward Lucas, Ben Hodges and Carsten Schmiedl, Center for European Policy Analysis.

  • "The Russian Federation...has two main options: to escalate the armed conflict in the Donbas in order to achieve a rapid breakthrough, or to intensify long-term pressure, i.e. to play for Kyiv's gradual exhaustion. The choice of strategy depends on the Russian perception of the situation, the attitude of Ukraine itself, and the behavior of key Western actors." — Marek Menkiszak, Center for Eastern Studies.

  • The first important factor here is Moscow's likely perception of the relative weakness of the US. The Kremlin's initial fear of 'retribution' from the new Joe Biden administration for its interference in the 2016 presidential election seems to have given way to the belief that Washington is focused on domestic problems and the challenge from China, so it is seeking to improve relations with the Russian Federation. — Marek Menkiszak.

  • "Do not make the mistake of handing an essential part of Europe's future to a country that is demonstratively not the EU's friend. Time will not be kind to such decision or to those who made it." — Olexander Scherba, Ukrainian diplomat, Jamestown Foundation.

  • "Russia has a clear aim: to weaken Ukraine so much that it will be relatively easy to control the country's politics. Moscow can achieve this by forcing Kyiv to implement the Minsk agreement on its terms — which would establish a de facto Russian veto on Ukrainian domestic affairs — and by starting...anti-government revolts. Alternatively, Moscow could pressure Washington to 'deliver' Ukraine by signing security guarantees that favored Russia. These guarantees would prohibit Ukraine from not only joining NATO but also engaging in any form of cooperation with the West that would strengthen its resilience. This would eventually force Ukraine back into Moscow's sphere of influence." — Gustav Gressel, European Council on Foreign Relations.

  • "If Russia's coercive strategy works well, there is no guarantee that it will stop with Ukraine." — Gustav Gressel.

  • "Many European leaders do not seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation.... Ukraine has a gun to its head, but the German government only seems worried about the survival of its pipeline.... This is just the kind of poor judgement that enables Russian military aggression." — Gustav Gressel.

A massive build-up of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border is fueling speculation of an imminent invasion. Pictured: A Ukrainian soldier observes Russia-backed separatists through a periscope at a position near Donetsk, on April 22, 2021. (Photo by Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images)

A massive build-up of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border is fueling speculation of an imminent invasion. Western leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against military action, but, especially after the catastrophic American withdrawal from Afghanistan, they appear divided and weak and may be unable to stop him.

A Russian invasion of Ukraine, if successful, would expand Moscow's sphere of influence along its western border and pave the way for Eastern Europe and the Baltics to come under Russian domination once again.

On December 3, the Washington Post reported that it had obtained an American intelligence document which assessed that Russia is planning a multi-front offensive involving nearly 200,000 troops within the next few months. The unclassified document, which includes satellite photos, shows Russian forces massing in four locations near Ukraine.

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Sorry, Everyone, Hamas is Still a Terrorist Group

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

  • First, the document reportedly depicting Hamas as a moderate group that accepts the "two-state solution" is a bluff intended to dupe the international community.

  • As Mashaal himself explained, even if Hamas accepts a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, that does not mean that it would ever recognize Israel's right to exist.

  • Second, Hamas has not renounced violence and terrorism. In fact, it intends to continue the "resistance" and jihad (holy war) against Israel after the establishment of the Palestinian state with the purpose of "liberating all of Palestine."

  • Third, the new document did not cancel or change the content of the Hamas charter, which, according to Hamas leaders, remains valid and relevant to this day.

  • Hamas's representative in Iran, Khaled Qaddoumi, confirmed.... that the talk about Hamas accepting a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem was in the context of a plan to destroy Israel in phases.

  • "There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad." — Hamas charter, Article 13.

  • Hamas, of course, never misses an opportunity to remind its followers and the rest of the world that it remains faithful to the words of the prophet Mohammed, who said: "The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!" — Hamas charter, Article 7.

  • Days after the decision was announced, the Hamas leadership leader said...: "Palestine - all of Palestine - from its [Mediterranean] sea to its [Jordan] river, is for the Palestinian people, and there is no place or legitimacy for strangers over any inch of it." — hamas.ps, November 29, 2021.

  • The statements of Hamas leaders show that they dissemble less than many of their own apologists in the West, who claim that they understand Hamas better than Hamas understands itself.

The document reportedly depicting Hamas as a moderate group that accepts the "two-state solution" is a bluff intended to dupe the international community. As Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal (pictured) explained, even if Hamas accepts a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, that does not mean that it would ever recognize Israel's right to exist. (Photo by Mohammed Saber/AFP via Getty Images)

One of the arguments that is being raised against the British government's recent decision to designate Hamas an extremist terrorist organization is that the Gaza-based movement, which does not recognize Israel's right to exist, has changed and now supports the establishment of a Palestinian state next to Israel.

Opponents of the UK's decision claim that in 2017 Hamas "softened its stance on Israel by accepting the idea of a Palestinian state in territories occupied by Israel in the six-day war of 1967."

The purported change, they argue, was included in a new document announced by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal at a press conference in Doha, Qatar. Mashaal was quoted as saying:

"Hamas advocates the liberation of all of Palestine, but is ready to support the [Palestinian] state on 1967 borders without recognizing Israel or ceding any rights."

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Biden's Doppelganger for the UN

by Amir Taheri  •  December 5, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • [W]hen you lack a foreign policy, why not pretend that you have one by holding an international summit?

  • To start with, what does Biden mean by democracy?

  • Biden's invitation excludes at least 20 long-standing allies of the United States.

  • ... Obama went around the UN and its agencies on a number of issues, including the "nuclear deal" with the mullahs of Tehran, the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, and the public-relations hoax known as "saving the planet".

  • The doppelganger may furnish the emptiness for a few days and furnish a rudderless administration with a few favorable headlines. But it will provide no answer to problems the world faces today, problems that cannot be tackled without the participation of all nations within the framework of a world order based on law, not ideology.

When you lack a foreign policy, why not pretend that you have one by holding an international summit? US President Joe Biden has certified 109 countries as "democracies" by inviting them to a virtual "Summit for Democracy." What does Biden mean by democracy? Biden's invitation excludes at least 20 long-standing allies of the US. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

What do India, Iraq and the Solomon Islands have in a common?

The answer is that US President Joe Biden has certified all three as "democracies" along with 106 other countries, by inviting them to a virtual "Summit for Democracy" on December 9-10, 2021.

Biden's move reminds me of one of my favorite French phrases: Furnishing the emptiness.

In this case, when you lack a foreign policy, why not pretend that you have one by holding an international summit?

And what is the summit going to discuss?

Well, three objectives have been set: Defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting human rights. Something else forgotten -- maybe motherhood and apple pie?

The trouble is that the entire project, a hasty and poorly thought-out public relations gimmick, is built around concepts that are never defined.

To start with, what does Biden mean by democracy?

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Like Obama, Biden Silent on Iran Mullahs Killing Peaceful Protesters

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  December 4, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • "We call on President Joe Biden, Secretary Antony Blinken, and all members of Congress to stand with the Iranian people. Diplomacy with the world's leading sponsor of terrorism is never going to produce a favorable result that benefits the American people or the Iranian people. Diplomacy with the Islamic Republic was destined to fail from day one." — Iranian Americans for Liberty, reported by Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post, November 27, 2021.

  • "[W]hen millions of Iranians took to the streets in June of 2009, when they demanded freedom from a cruel regime that threatens the world, when they cried out, 'Are you with us, or are you with them?' – the American president was silent," — Mitt Romney, October 8, 2012.

  • "If the free world wants to stand on the right side of history, they should support the Iranian people who have been fighting for their freedom for the last 43 years. The Iranians need free internet because the regime has already shut down the internet in Isfahan. They want to kill the protesters ...." — Iranian dissident Sheina Vojoudi, Jerusalem Post, November 26, 2021.

  • Will the Biden administration stand with the Iranian people?

Recently, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Isfahan, Iran to criticize the government over a severe water shortage. In response, the regime cut off access to the Internet, and security forces fired shotguns as well as tear gas at the protesters, resulting in deaths and hundreds of injuries. Meanwhile, the Biden administration chooses to be silent in the face of the Iranian regime's bloodshed, human rights violations, and crackdowns. Pictured: Tens of thousands of anti-regime protestors in Isfahan on November 9, 2021. (Photo by Fatmeh Nasr/ISNA/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration appears to be repeating the Obama Administration policy of choosing to be silent in the face of the Iranian regime's bloodshed, human rights violations, and crackdowns that kill and wound peaceful protesters.

Recently, huge numbers of people in the province of Isfahan rose up against the Islamic Republic. Tens of thousands of farmers and other demonstrators poured into the streets and criticized government officials over a severe water shortage. Many were heard chanting, "The people of Isfahan will rather die than give in to disgrace"; "Zayandeh Rud [river] is our undeniable right"; and "We will not go home until we get our water back."

As the regime cut off access to the Internet, security forces fired shotguns as well as tear gas at the protesters, resulting in deaths and hundreds of injuries. As #BloodyFriday began trending on twitter, Mohammad-Reza Mir-Heidari, Isfahan's Chief of Police, threatened "to deal" with protestors.

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Biden's Two-Faced Agenda on Turkey

by Burak Bekdil  •  December 3, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Since the summer, everything on the Washington-Ankara axis seems to have gone wrong.

  • Is Biden the champion of human rights and universal democratic values that he claims he is? Or is he an unpleasant cheat with a disappointing fake democratic agenda?

U.S. President Joe Biden's increasingly hypocritical policy on NATO's increasingly difficult ally, Turkey, is badly zig-zagging. Pictured: Biden meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the G20 Summit on October 31, 2021, in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. President Joe Biden's increasingly hypocritical policy on NATO's increasingly difficult ally, Turkey, is badly zig-zagging between the U.S. leader's self-declared advocacy for universal democratic values and Biden's secret agenda, which he prefers dishonestly to hide: appeasing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan behind closed doors and condemning Turkey's democratic deficit in public. In less than two years Biden has swung from a pledge to oust Turkey's autocratic leader to appeasing him behind closed doors.

In a December 2019 interview, then-presidential candidate Biden said that Erdoğan should be ousted from power through a democratic process and that support for the opposition was crucial. Turkey's human rights record has gone downhill from there. The Council of Europe has said that if Turkish courts keep ignoring rulings from the European Court of Human Rights, it would start infringement proceedings against Turkey at the end of November.

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Vaccines and Power

by Chris Farrell  •  December 2, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Given Germany's notorious history of brutally stigmatizing various minority populations, it is shocking and outrageous that a German "research institute" and the Hamburg-based weekly news magazine would sink to such sleazy malice.

  • The U.S. Constitution is not "waived" due to disease or natural disaster. We must beware of politicians and other officials who seek to exercise power through "mandates" without a single vote or the active exercise of informed consent.

  • COVID-19 is a serious disease, but it bears constant repeating that the recovery rate now is between 97% and 99.75%.

  • We must resist authoritarian impulses and exercises by various officials seeking to consolidate power and impose their will over the constitutional processes and guarantees we enjoy. Our Constitution was designed and ratified for exactly such challenges and it has endured 231 years through a myriad of challenges far more grave than a virus.

The U.S. Constitution is not "waived" due to disease or natural disaster. We must beware of politicians and other officials who seek to exercise power through "mandates" without a single vote or the active exercise of informed consent. Our Constitution was designed and ratified for exactly such challenges and it has endured 231 years through a myriad of challenges far more grave than a virus. (Image source: iStock)

COVID-19 is a serious disease that can have deadly consequences. The good news is that now the recovery rate is between 97% and 99.75%. As the world approaches its second full year grappling with the ever-mutating virus and the public health response, some serious public policy and political questions require attention:

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China Prepared to Launch Hostilities Against India Along Disputed Himalayan Border

by Lawrence A. Franklin  •  December 2, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • While working talks have resumed, both China and India have reinforced their air and ground assets. China has advanced fighter jets at three air bases within striking distance of Indian military positions.

  • Indian diplomats have loudly denounced a recent law passed by the Chinese national legislature, the National People's Congress, which makes it mandatory for China's leaders never to negotiate away one inch of professed Chinese territory. The legislation referred to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity as "sacred and inviolable."

  • China also has underscored its inflexibility by constructing extended civilian housing along the Line of Actual Control, thereby defying Indian counterclaims that these future habitats are being built on territory seized by China.

  • It is likely that China will again initiate armed skirmishes along disputed border regions to test the Biden Administration's will to defend U.S. allies.

  • China will doubtless factor U.S. responses to its attacks on allied countries in the Indo-Pacific region into its decision-making calculus on how best to seize Taiwan.

Despite bilateral military talks between Chinese and Indian officers, tensions remain high along the "Line of Actual Control" border between China and India, where military clashes occurred in May and June 2020. Both countries have reinforced their air and ground assets. China has advanced fighter jets at three air bases within striking distance of Indian military positions. Pictured: An Indian army convoy travels towards Leh through Zoji La, a high mountain pass bordering China on June 13, 2021 in Ladakh, India. (Photo by Yawar Nazir/Getty Images)

Chinese missile-laden bombers flew over a contested border area with India recently, following the breakdown of bilateral talks between Indian and Chinese regional military commanders.

The near-simultaneity of the collapse of military negotiations and the threatening fly-over by People's Liberation Army Air Force bombers underscores China's willingness to punish India for having resisted Beijing's territorial claims and aggression in the region.

China's aggressive stance may also be, in part, motivated by Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping's testing of the U.S. effort to develop strategic cooperation among America's Pacific allies in order to curb Chinese expansionist policies. China is most likely also attempting to weaken the resolve of the non-U.S. countries of the so-called Quad -- India, Australia and Japan -- to rely on American promises to defend them.

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The Moral Imperative to End China's Regime

by Gordon G. Chang  •  December 1, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • The Communist Party of China operates one of the most immoral regimes in history. For instance, it kills in great numbers.

  • The Genocide Convention, in Article I, requires signatories, such as the United States, "to prevent and to punish" acts of genocide.

  • Preventing and punishing does not include strengthening the despicable ruling group by, for instance, buying Chinese products.

  • If there is now no reasonable hope for a benign Chinese communism — almost all observers and political leaders once thought the system would evolve in a welcomed direction — then we must not tolerate the regime, which means we have, in the first instance, a moral imperative to cut ties with it.

  • Cutting ties would result in ending the reign of the Communist Party, which has always been dependent on continual infusions of foreign cash.

The Communist Party of China operates one of the most immoral regimes in history. For instance, it kills in great numbers. China's impossible-to-justify crimes in recent years have been the work of one of the most dangerous figures in history, Xi Jinping, the current Chinese ruler. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

"We do business in 100 countries," said Jamie Dimon to Fox News Channel's Maria Bartiromo in early August. "And we do, we do it under the laws of those lands and under the law of America as they apply."

"Foreign policy is set by the American government, not set by JPMorgan," Dimon, the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, argued.

Dimon is correct. The U.S. government does not prohibit banks or other companies from doing business in China.

Yet doing business in China strengthens a horrific regime, so the issue is not about legality, as Dimon suggests. It is about morality.

We must, therefore, ask: Is it moral to do business in the People's Republic of China?

The Communist Party of China operates one of the most immoral regimes in history. For instance, it kills in great numbers.

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Germany's Coalition Agreement: A "Lowest Common Denominator" Deal

by Soeren Kern  •  November 30, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • It remains to be seen how long the new government — to be formed by a fractious three-way coalition consisting of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) — will last.

  • Olaf Scholz has said that the new government will not seek "the lowest common denominator" but its coalition agreement appears to be just that. Far from ending the Merkel era, the next government may end up being a continuation of it.

  • "When it comes to money, the coalition agreement lacks specifics. It is completely unknown how the coalition will finance all of its plans." — Michael Hüther, Director, German Economic Institute.

  • "In future, the task of the police is no longer to prosecute and prevent criminal offenses, but to give politically correct preference to certain groups of offenders.... Reality is a foreign word. Inflation? Crisis on the Polish border? Energy shortages? Unemployment? Budget deficits? Not an issue. The main thing is that grazing animals and humans make room for the wolf." — Roland Tichy, German commentator.

  • "In reality, none of them really agrees on anything very much except that they think it is about time they had a go at running a ministry or two." — Michael Lynn, The Spectator.

  • "If this all sounds lacking in ambition, that's because it is.... Germans voted as if they want a government that would sit out major arguments about the country's economic or strategic direction." — Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal.

  • "Perhaps the biggest worry about the new coalition is that it may spend too much of its time arguing." — The Economist.

Olaf Scholz, who narrowly won Germany's general elections in September, has said that his new government will not seek "the lowest common denominator," but its coalition agreement appears to be just that. Far from ending the Merkel era, the next government may end up being a continuation of it. Pictured: Party leaders of the coalition (from L to R) Christian Lindner of the Free Democrats, Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats, and Annalene Baerbock and Robert Habeck of the Greens, on November 24, 2021 in Berlin. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The three parties planning to form a new federal government in Germany have presented a coalition agreement that is to serve as a pre-agreed policy roadmap for the next four years.

The platform for the new government indicates there will be little substantive change from the policies pursued by outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The lack of bold fresh ideas is the direct consequence of an inconclusive election in September and that the parties seeking to form a new government are ideological rivals that do not agree on almost anything.

Germany's current finance minister, Olaf Scholz, who narrowly won the general elections on September 26, is expected to be inaugurated as chancellor in the first week of December.

It remains to be seen how long the new government — to be formed by a fractious three-way coalition consisting of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) — will last.

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For Palestinians, Terrorism or Peace? Abbas Wants It Both Ways

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  November 29, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • If Abbas is really interested in returning to the negotiating table with Israel, he needs to decide whether he is on the side of his peace partners in Israel or his political enemies in Hamas.

  • Abbas needs to decide whether he belongs to the pro-peace camp in Israel and the Arab world, or the enemies of peace, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and their patrons in Iran.

  • For now, it seems that Abbas wants it both ways.

  • Abbas, in other words, is telling Westerners that he supports peace with Israel while reaching out to the Iranian-backed terrorist group that openly states its intention to eliminate Israel and wage jihad (holy war) on Jews.

  • Instead of welcoming the UK's decision to ban Hamas, Abbas was one of the first Palestinians to condemn the move. By condemning the decision, Abbas is sending a message to the international community that he actually does support terror and Hamas.

  • Yet, in the world of the Palestinian Authority, it seems that combating a radical terrorist group is a bad thing.

If Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is really interested in returning to the negotiating table with Israel, he needs to decide whether he is on the side of his peace partners in Israel or his political enemies in Hamas. Pictured: Abbas (right) meets with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on November 24, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo by Mohammed al-Hams/Khaled Mashaal's Office of Media via Getty Images)

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said this month that he is interested in resuming peace talks with Israel. Abbas made his statement on the eve of a meeting he held on November 23 with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

Abbas specified that he wants the peace talks with Israel to resume under the auspices of Russia and the three other members of the International Quartet: European Union, United Nations, and the United States.

If Abbas is really interested in returning to the negotiating table with Israel, he needs to decide whether he is on the side of his peace partners in Israel or his political enemies in Hamas. Abbas needs to decide whether he belongs to the pro-peace camp in Israel and the Arab world, or the enemies of peace, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and their patrons in Iran.

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Who Are the Extremist 'Grey Wolves'?

by Uzay Bulut  •  November 29, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • In reality, the Grey Wolves movement very much does exist. It has a long history of bloodbaths across Turkey and is now a growing movement across Europe as well as the South Caucasus.

  • This ideology [Turanism, or the Greater Turkish homeland] believes in the superiority of a supposed Turkish race and wants to unite all Turks under one country, "Turan", from Europe to the Pacific. These ideas have greatly influenced the Grey Wolves organization and its actions.

  • The "Turan" ideal is still alive and well in Turkish politics. Prior to a meeting at the presidential palace on November 17, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli, posed with a map of the so-called "Turkish world", or the Turan, before cameras.

  • "The Grey Wolves have a long history of terrorism towards ethnic religious minorities, but their skillset has evolved. They are stronger than in the early 2000's. The MHP's political alliance with Turkey's ruling AKP three years ago legitimized them, giving the Grey Wolves a new sense of unity. They are militarized, they are efficient, and they are on the move globally. Their mission is Pan-Turkic Islamism, and any ethnic Christian who exists within their targeted sphere is at risk." — International Christian Concern.

  • It is time for civilized nations to look more closely at the violent attacks and threats by the Grey Wolves against minorities and dissident intellectuals in and outside of Turkey.

The Grey Wolves movement very much does exist. It has a long history of bloodbaths across Turkey and is now a growing movement across Europe as well as the South Caucasus. The ideology of Turanism, or the Greater Turkish homeland, believes in the superiority of a supposed Turkish race and wants to unite all Turks under one country, "Turan", from Europe to the Pacific. These ideas have greatly influenced the Grey Wolves organization and its actions. Pictured: A Turkish soldier flashes the sign of the Grey Wolves as he patrols in the town of Atareb, in Turkish-occupied northern Syria, on February 19, 2020. (Photo by Aref Tammawi/AFP via Getty Images)

Last month, the US Congress passed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that could affect the status of the far-right, extremist group that operates both inside and outside Turkey: the Grey Wolves.

The amendment, introduced by Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV), requires that the State Department send a report to Congress on the activities of the Grey Wolves against the United States and its allies -- including an assessment of whether the Grey Wolves meets the criteria to be designated as a foreign terrorist organization.

The Grey Wolves (Bozkurtlar) is the informal name of a Turkish nationalist organization called Idealist Hearths (Ülkü Ocakları). As a political movement, it is referred to as the Idealist Movement (Ülkücü Hareket) and is responsible for many acts of violence, including the 1981 attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II.

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Re Confidence in 'Ruler'

by Lawrence Kadish  •  November 29, 2021 at 12:30 am

During its history, America has endured much but this much is clear: its citizens have no patience for a president in which they have lost confidence. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

An ancient philosopher is attributed to once observing that a nation can survive deprivation or even a battlefield defeat but it cannot survive the loss of confidence in its leadership.

As the Great Depression dismantled hopes and dreams across America, a president who had once rescued Europe from famine following World War I -- and whose organizational skills as U.S. Secretary of Commerce were extraordinary -- lost the confidence of his countrymen.

Hebert Hoover would lose his reelection bid to a man who inspired hope, trust, and most of all, confidence among citizens of a nation where nearly a quarter of them were out of work. Franklin Delano Roosevelt would receive nearly 23 million votes to Hoover's nearly 16 million. The electoral vote was even more telling: 472 to 59.

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"Christians Enjoy No Rights in This Country": The Persecution of Christians, October 2021

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  November 28, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old Muslim man of Somali descent, lunged at and repeatedly stabbed British MP Sir David Amess with a knife. Amess, 69, died soon after.... It is worth noting that, when it comes to severely persecuting and slaughtering Christians, Somalia is the world's third-worst ranked nation, after Afghanistan (#2) and North Korea (#1) . — United Kingdom.

  • "The Christians are treated as slaves bounded to Muslims... Christians enjoy no rights, no dignity, and no protection in this country. The overall system of society is based on religious hatred against Christians and other minorities." — Asif Muniwar, local human rights defender; International Christian Concern, October 12, 2021, Pakistan

  • [T]hree Christian workers died after Muslim emergency staff refused to rescue them because Christians are supposedly "ritually unclean." Problems began when the Muslim employers of sewage worker Michael Masih, aged 33, threatened to fire him unless he entered a highly toxic sewer without any personal protective equipment or masks.... "An emergency team got to the sewer within 10 minutes but on arrival they looked down the pipe and could see the men but refused to save them. This was on account that they were choorah [dirty cleaners] and would cause the Muslims to become ritually impure." — British Asian Christian Association, October 8, 2021, Pakistan.

  • "Many shops were looted after they set them on fire. Church of Christ in All Nation (COCIN) was also burned down.... "[M]any houses were set ablaze. Bulls used for farming were also killed." A local eyewitness said the murderers were dressed in Nigerian army uniforms and traveling in two vans owned by the Nigerian army. — International Christian Concern, October 17, 2021, Nigeria, which U.S. Secretary of Antony Blinken just removed from its 2021 List of "Countries of Particular Concern".

  • "[T]he herdsmen returned and shot [Dr. Habila Solomon, a medical doctor who also served as a Christian pastor] in his chest, killing him instantly. He was the reason why many people saw hope.... In the course of doing missions, God used him to provide drinking water, shelter, free education and feed the poor.... [and] also provided the [Muslim] herdsmen and their families with free medical care." — Morning Star News, October 25, 2021, Nigeria.

  • "Nigeria's government seems unable or unwilling to stop the growing carnage.... More Christians have been killed for their faith in Nigeria in the last year than in the entire Middle East. Unless we find our voice, what is happening in Nigeria will move relentlessly toward a Christian genocide." — Former U.S. Under Secretary of Education, Gary L. Bauer, calling Nigeria a "killing field" of Christians;" The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom 2021 annual report; Nigeria.

  • Although the abduction, rape, and forced conversion to Islam of Christian girls and other religious minorities is rampant in Pakistan—with Muslim police, judges, and authorities often siding with the kidnappers and rapists—the nation is now witnessing record breaking numbers.... a nearly 300% increase from 2020.... This report comes on the heels of the Pakistani government's rejection of an anti-forced conversion bill, which would have helped protect such minor girls. — Union of Catholic Asian News, October 14 and 18, 2021, Pakistan.

  • "My cross has been with me for 40 years. It is part of me, and my faith, and it has never caused anyone any harm.... At this hospital there are members of staff who go to a mosque four times a day and no one says anything to them. Hindus wear red bracelets on their wrists and female Muslims wear hijabs in theatre. Yet my small cross around my neck was deemed so dangerous that I was no longer allowed to do my job." — NHS nurse Mary Onuoha, who had fled from Uganda to the UK for religious freedom; Daily Mail, October 5, 2021, United Kingdom.

  • "Why do some NHS employers feel that the cross is less worthy of protection or display than other religious attire?" — Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre; Daily Mail, October 5, 2021, United Kingdom.

On October 15, Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old Muslim man of Somali descent, lunged at and repeatedly stabbed British MP Sir David Amess with a knife. Amess, 69, died soon after. It is worth noting that, when it comes to severely persecuting and slaughtering Christians, Somalia is the world's third-worst ranked nation, after Afghanistan (#2) and North Korea (#1). Pictured: Sir David Amess in 2020. (Image source: Richard Townshend/UK Parliament/Wikimedia Commons)

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

The Muslim Slaughter of Christians

United Kingdom: On Oct. 15, Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old Muslim man of Somali descent, lunged at and repeatedly stabbed British MP Sir David Amess with a knife. Amess, 69, died soon after. The murder took place inside Belfairs Methodist Church in Essex, where Amess had gone to meet with his constituents. Although initial reports indicated that the motive was unclear, police later declared it a "terrorist incident," with "a potential link to Islamist extremism." It is worth noting that, when it comes to severely persecuting and slaughtering Christians, Somalia is the world's third-worst ranked nation, after Afghanistan (#2) and North Korea (#1).

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Who Keeps Iran Out in the Cold?

by Amir Taheri  •  November 28, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • The argument [to bring Iran "in from the cold"] is that the Islamic Republic is behaving badly because, "excluded" from the outside world, it feels like a threatened lone wolf and thus obliged to adopt an aggressive posture.

  • The most persistent peddlers of that bill of goods have been US President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry. It is their efforts that President Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken seem determined to resume.

  • But how true is the "exclusion" theory with regard to the Islamic Republic?

  • The answer is: not at all.

  • Far from trying to "exclude" the Islamic Republic almost every country, first among them the United States, have often gone out of their way to include and accommodate Tehran's new rulers. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's seizure of power was instantly accepted by all members of the United Nations.

  • The US was even in a hurry to curry favor with Tehran's new rulers.

  • The Carter administration quickly named Lloyd Cutler, the presidential legal advisor, as the ambassador-designate to Tehran and ordered the shipment of arms to Iran to be resumed. What happened was "self-exclusion" as a Khomeinist gang, with a nod and a wink from the Ayatollah, raided the US Embassy in Tehran and took its diplomats hostage.

  • "By the mid-1970s, Iran had a well-educated and motivated corps of nuclear scientists who, backed by substantial financial resources from the government, undertook research into all aspects of the new technology, including its military applications." — Ardeshir Zahedi, former Foreign Minister of Iran, Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2004.

The argument to bring Iran "in from the cold" is that the Islamic Republic is behaving badly because, "excluded" from the outside world, it feels like a threatened lone wolf and thus obliged to adopt an aggressive posture. But how true is the "exclusion" theory with regard to the Islamic Republic? Pictured: The heavy water nuclear production facility at Arak, south of Tehran. (Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

As the Biden administration prepares for the revival, in some form at least, of the controversial "nuclear deal" with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the usual suspects in Washington are peddling an old theme: Bringing Iran in from the cold!

The argument is that the Islamic Republic is behaving badly because, "excluded" from the outside world, it feels like a threatened lone wolf and thus obliged to adopt an aggressive posture.

The argument was first formulated in the 1980s by the then German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher. It was then taken up by French President Jacques Chirac and passed on to a string of British foreign secretaries, most notably Jack Straw, who visited Tehran more than any other capital during his tenure.

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