The tragic disappearance and likely death of Jamal Khashoggi after he recently entered the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul has lifted a rock under which the egregious human-rights practices of the Saudi kingdom have been swarming for decades. It always struck me as ironic that before the word “Saudi Arabia” has been uttered, we often heard the reflexive prefix: “our moderate Arab ally.” Most of us are aware that in 1945, President Franklin Roosevelt met with Saudi King Ibn Saud on the USS Quincy and made a Faustian bargain, trading their petroleum for American security.
We know of the ugly and dreadful incident of Jamal Khashoggi because he was a well-known journalist for The Washington Post.
However, we barely hear mentioned that Khashoggi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which attempts to conquer the West with Islamism (radical Islam). Like so many other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, he dressed up his hegemonic ambitions for the ascension of Sunni Islamism over that of the West with words like “freedom and democracy.”
And like many other protestors, he had hoped the Arab Spring would pave the way for the overthrow of a despicable autocracy, but perhaps only to replace it with an even more despicable form of radical Islam.
Yes, Saudi Arabia’s record on human rights is deplorable.
While much of the world was bowing and genuflecting over Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon because he finally allowed women the right to drive (only while being accompanied by a related male companion), a woman’s testimony in a Saudi Court counts for half of that of a man’s. A woman cannot get a passport or any government document without the consent of her male guardian, nor can she study in a university, get a job, get married or even enter a hospital to give birth without being accompanied by her husband, father or brother.
People are arbitrarily arrested, tortured and killed in Saudi Arabia without due process. There is no such thing as freedom of the press, freedom of assembly or religious freedom. In 2016, a Saudi Court sentenced 14 people to death for practicing Shi’ite Islam. According to Human Rights Watch, Asraa al-Ghomgham, a woman, is now awaiting the death penalty for such crimes as “chanting slogans hostile to the regime,” and “filming protests and publishing on social media.”
Yet, Saudi Arabia is hardly alone for human-rights abuses in the Arab and Islamist world.
Look at the Islamic Republic of Iran and you can see very much the same thing. The Islamic Republic denies the basic freedoms of the press, of association or peaceful protest or of religion. There is no transparency or due process. People are routinely and arbitrarily arrested or discriminated against for being of a different ethnic group or religion, or for expressing a divergent political viewpoint.
Trials run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), have been closed, brief and systematically unfair. Lately, the IRGC has been targeting foreign nationals and dual citizens with the “crime” of “cooperating with a hostile state,” without revealing any of their evidence.
Women are arbitrarily beaten by “morality police” if they feel that strands of hair are showing through their hijab, or if they are wearing makeup or tight clothes. Acts of violence against women and girls remain widespread. The legal age of marriage is 13, and fathers and grandfathers can obtain consent from the courts to marry off their daughters at even younger ages. Acts of violence and domestic violence against women remain widespread, and are practiced with impunity.Women have been arrested, detained and tortured for taking off their hijabs publicly. Gays are routinely hung in the public square. Floggings and amputations are carried out with impunity.
Because of their involvement in peaceful protests, scores of youngsters are denied the right to an education.
According to Amnesty International’s report on Iran, in 2017-18”hundreds of people were executed, some in public, and thousands remained on death row. They include people under the age of 18 at the time of the crime.”
Saudi Arabia is no bastion of Jeffersonian democracy. Nor is Turkey, Syria, Qatar, Iran or any Islamist nation.
Iran, however, remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. And it is only expanding its presence—from Tehran, to Baghdad, Beirut and Damascus—and would like to extend itself as far as the Mediterranean as its leaders work on their nuclear design to dominate the world.
And Saudi Arabia might be a pivotal partner in this looming confrontation.
We have to remember that the Middle East is a treacherous neighborhood. No, the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend. It might, however, be a strategic ally for today’s survival.
Originally published: https://www.jns.org/opinion/the-enemy-of-your-enemy-is-not-necessarily-your-friend/Read More →
Texas Senator Ted Cruz has introduced legislation that would impose sanctions on individual members of Hamas or Hezbollah who direct civilians to shield military targets. Unable to defeat the IDF outright, Hamas and Hezbollah cynically locate rocket launchers and weapons caches in homes, schools, clinics, and mosques, knowing that Israel will be held responsible for the resulting collateral damage.
In the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah kept many of its rockets in underground bunkers in uninhabited areas nicknamed “nature preserves.” However, over the last decade, Hezbollah has shifted its strategy and located its arsenals in towns and villages throughout Southern Lebanon. The use of human shields will be even more central to Hezbollah’s military strategy in its next war with Israel.
Hamas has not only used civilian infrastructure from which to fire rockets at Israel, during the 2014 conflict Operation Protective Edge, but Hamas leaders also exhorted Gazan civilians to ignore the IDF’s warnings to evacuate the combat zone. So solid was Hamas’s confidence that it would pay no price and bear no responsibility for collateral damage, that they had civilians stand on the rooftops of buildings that housed rockets or were located near rocket launchers.
The bipartisan STOP Using Human Shields Act is a necessary step to hold the leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas accountable for the double war crime of targeting Israeli civilians while hiding behind their own.
Call Your Senators TODAY to Ask Them to Vote For the STOP Using Human Shields Act!
You can find your Senators’ Numbers Here: http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/Read More →
Sarah Stern, Founder & President of EMET,
Interviewed on KLZ 560AM by “Americhicks” 9/21/18
Palestinian Terror Attacks; Qatari & Saudi Funding of US Schools; & Anti-Semitism on Campuses
Originally published: http://americhicks.comRead More →
In response to the recent exposure of 100,000 Iranian nuclear weapons documents by Israel, Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, the Washington foundation, went after the real villain in this drama — Israel! Cirincione took to Twitter to charge, “May I just point out that #Israel had a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it tried and failed to hide for years. They repeatedly and consistently lied to US officials when confronted with the evidence.” Cirincione then pointed out, “Iran never actually built a single weapon, unlike Israel.”
This Twitter rant is nothing more than sheer stupidity.
Mr. Cirincione really should understand why the U.S. might have a problem with the Islamic Republic developing nuclear weapons, and not so much with Israel producing them. That is because Iran is technically at war with the U.S. Israel is not.
In 1979, the founding year of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iranians violated our Embassy and seized American hostages, whom they mistreated. Every Nov. 4, the Iranian regime continues to celebrate a yearly “Death to America” day to commemorate their seizure of the U.S. Embassy and hostages.
In the 1980’s, Iran set up the terror group Hezbollah, which prior to Sept. 11, 2001, had more American blood on its hands than any other terror organization. Hezbollah bombed the Marine Barracks in Beirut and twice bombed the U.S. Embassy there. Almost 300 Americans were murdered. (On May 30, 2003, a U.S. Judge found Iran legally responsible for providing Hezbollah, with financial and logistical support for these attacks.)
Also, Hezbollah grabbed U.S. hostages individually, and oftentimes tortured and killed them. In 1996, Hezbollah bombed the Khobar Towers, and killed 17 American servicemen.
Post-2003, Iran provided explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) to Iraqi and Afghani terrorists for use against American soldiers. One study says that at least 500 U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan were directly linked to these Iranian explosives.
In 2011, when the Obama administration was trying to make nice with the Islamic Republic, an Iranian agent plotted to bomb the Saudi Ambassador at a Georgetown restaurant, which would have resulted in mass casualties among U.S. civilians.
After the announcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), Iran was aggressive in the Persian Gulf. U.S. forces operating in and around the Strait of Hormuz were “approached by Iranian warships and aircraft” on a “nearly daily basis,” according to a Pentagon official. This happened 35 times in 2016, double the amount from the same period in 2015. And in 2017. At one point in time, American sailors were seized and humiliated in a violation of international law.
Iran has had, and continues to hold, American citizens hostage, sometimes under horrible conditions. Currently, Iran has arrested and imprisoned six U.S. persons, Siamak Namazi, Baquer Namazi, Nizar Zakka (a resident), Reza “Robin” Shahini, Karan Vafadari (a resident), graduate student Xiyue Wang, and (probably) a seventh, Robert Levinson. Other Americans were released for ransom money during the JCPOA negotiations.
Right now, all throughout the Mideast, the Iranians are using the money they gained from the U.S. through the JCPOA to inspire rebellions and mayhem and violence in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, and to threaten U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, and, yes, Israel.
Iran has also jumpstarted its program to test ballistic missiles. On March 8 and 9, 2016, Iran conducted multiple missile tests, and during which it called the U.S. the “main enemy.” Ballistic missiles “only make economic, political, and military sense“ to become a nuclear weapons power.
Iran has not been afraid to support Sunni terror groups too. Iran funds Hamas – annually $60-70 million – and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – annually $70 million. Both organizations have American blood on their hands. Even al-Qaeda got some Iranian assistance; Bin Laden once described Iran as al-Qaida’s “main artery for funds, personnel, and communication” and Iran has continued this until recently. Iran is supplying and funding weapons and training to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Iranian leadership continues to refer to the U.S. as “the Great Satan.”
Iranian school textbooks, such as “The Qur’an and Life” (Grade 12, p. 125) prepare Iranian children for an apocalyptic, horrifying, millenarian, military battle against the U.S. and other “arrogant oppressors of the world,” which are ostensibly led by “idolatrous devils.”
Meanwhile, in comparison, Israel has only been a strong friend and ally of the U.S.
Joe Cirincione is a prominent supporter of the JCPOA, so perhaps it is not too surprising that the man is worried that President Trump may follow through with his promises to leave the Iran deal.
But there is no excuse for Cirincione to take leave of his senses; any objective foreign policy observer should understand the difference between a nuclear weapon in the hands of the Israelis, and one in the hands of the Iranians.
Iran might use a nuclear weapon against the U.S. Israel never would.
It is really just that simple.
Originally published at: https://www.newsmax.com/adamturner/cirincione-efp-jcpoa/2018/05/08/id/859127/
Photo: Fintastique/DreamstimeRead More →
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
The creation of the Internet and the advent of the handheld Information Age have revolutionized every aspect of modern life. A dark side haunts these new technologies, however. The Internet and the social media platforms have been insidiously used by hate groups, criminal enterprises, and terrorist factions to promote their perilous agenda. Social media has allowed terrorist groups including Hezbollah, ISIS and Hamas to become public entities with tens of thousands of followers, fan pages, news sites, and media production companies. The use of social media to promote extremist ideologies and incite individuals to engage in terrorist violence is dangerously effective and has established a new front in the war on terror.
While US law, including the Anti Terrorism Act, plainly prohibits American companies from having any contact or providing any support or services to the terrorists groups, the social media giants in Paolo Alto continue to provide their platforms to these designated organizations with impunity. The companies claim a legal defense under the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which they contend provides them with blanket immunity for the extremist posts and terrorist incitement on their platforms. There is a need to aggressively challenge the social media companies for their role in aiding and abetting terrorist organizations and hold them accountable for their documented provision of material support to the designated groups.
These details have recently come to light with the release of the book Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against Terrorism’s Money Masters, co-authored by Nitsana Darshan Leitner of the Shurat HaDin Law Center. The book addresses how the terror groups are utilizing American social media.Read More →
The Trump administration has taken a huge step in getting back U.S. power prestige in the Middle East.
On March 14, 2017, a criminal complaint was unsealed charging Palestinian terrorist Ahlam Tamimi with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals outside the U.S., resulting in death. Also unsealed was a warrant for Tamimi’s arrest and an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint and arrest warrant. There was also an extradition request to Jordan. …Read More →
The Justice Department also Seeks Extradition of the Terrorist from Jordan
(March 15, 2017, Washington, DC) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) praised the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to publicly charge Palestinian terrorist Ahlam Tamimi. Ahlam Tamimi planned and implemented a bombing that killed and injured American citizens in a Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem in 2001. This is the first and necessary step in achieving justice for the American victims of her terrorism. …Read More →