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‘It’s Never Anyone’s Turn to Be President’

By Claire Kozak, Editor in Chief

Brearley Prep School Newspaper

Manhattan, New York

From THE SCRAPBOOK

The Weekly Standard

JUL 6, 2015, VOL. 20, NO. 41 •

The Scrapbook’s faith in the younger generation has just spiked upwards. A reader emails us an editorial from the Zephyr, student paper of the Brearley School, the very liberal prep school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. A tip of The Scrapbook’s homburg to author and editor in chief Claire Kozak for the cogently argued and gracefully written piece, which we reproduce here:

Claire Kozak:

I am, without question, a feminist. I have attended an all-girls school for nearly ten years, and I have had the remarkable opportunity to grow up in an environment that is dedicated to educating and empowering women.

However, Hillary Clinton’s popularity seems to be based on her identity as a woman. Since she announced her candidacy in a video where she claimed to be the voice of the “everyday American,” she has answered very few questions on substantial issues. She’s spoken about a small number of key issues including campaign reform and immigration—topics where her opinion will be popular among the Democratic community.

But mainly, her selling point is speaking for the American people. This might be a noble cause, but it is a campaign strategy that doesn’t tell us much about her plans. And yet, she continues an unusually smooth and silent glide towards the White House. In early February, President Obama’s former campaign manager Jim Messina voiced the phrase that many have now made their own, “It’s Hillary’s Turn.”

This phrase has a complicated history. In past years, it has actually referred to the political tradition of the vice president or vice presidential candidate becoming the party’s nominee. However, the phrase has been appropriated by many of Hillary’s fans to signify her rightful claim to the oval office because it’s time for a woman president.

But the fact is, it’s never anyone’s turn to be president. The presidency is one of the most complex and demanding positions in the world, and when someone is chosen to lead the United States of America, it should be because they are the most qualified person for the job. Gender, race, socio-economic status, or religion should not factor into a presidential election.

Margaret Thatcher did not become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom because of her gender. She earned the votes of the British people with the clarity of her positions. She made it very clear what her policies were, and she won that office three times.

Benazir Bhutto did not serve two terms as the Prime Minister of Pakistan because she was a woman—she led her country because voters thought she was the most equipped person to do so at
the time.

Golda Meir was elected as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel because of her politics and previous experience as the Minister of International Affairs. All of these women leaders were highly qualified and clear in their positions.

If anyone “deserves” to be president, it should be because of his or her policies, promises, plans for the country, and political record. It shouldn’t be because the government needs to diversify. Feminism and gender equality are relevant and highly important issues, without a doubt.

And when we do elect a female president, it should be because she is the most qualified person for the job, because she has won the hearts and minds of the American people with her promises and positions on national and international issues.

As of now, Mrs. Clinton has barely campaigned. She has steered clear of major issues like America’s war on terror or her plans for the conflict in the Middle East, focusing instead on the feel-good notion of representing Americans. She has spoken only on issues of little substance, and has avoided controversial and personal topics that need to be addressed.

So, Mrs. Clinton, start answering questions. Start telling us your policies, instead of making general statements about how you want to be the voice of the American people. Show us why you are the most qualified person for the job. Once you can do that, you might get my vote. But you need to earn it, first.

 

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(Every time I see that word “entitlements” it occurs to me that I never heard that word while I was growing up or well into my adult years. We were always taught you were given the right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  How and when this new order of business came about, I don’t know — but it is not working out so well. Greece here we come)  jsk 

Greece Will Close Banks to Stem Flood of Withdrawals

Redacted from article by LANDON THOMAS Jr. and NIKI KITSANTONIS

JUNE 28, 2015

ATHENS — Greece will keep its banks and stock market closed on Monday and place restrictions on the withdrawal and transfer of money, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a televised address on Sunday night, as Athens tries to avert a financial collapse.

The government’s decision to close banks temporarily and impose other so-called capital controls came hours after the European Central Bank said it would not expand an emergency loan program that has been propping up Greek banks in recent weeks while the government was trying to reach a new debt deal with international creditors.

Mr. Tsipras said on Sunday night that the European Central Bank’s decision was an attempt to “blackmail’’ Greece. (Huh? I had the impression the Greeks did that to themselves?)

The debt negotiations broke down over the weekend after Mr. Tsipras said he would let the Greek people decide whether to accept the creditors’ latest offer. That referendum vote is to be held next Sunday, after the current bailout program will have expired.

People lined up Saturday at an Athens bank. Eurozone finance ministers met in Brussels, trying to salvage a Greek bailout plan.Greek Debt Crisis Intensifies as Extension Request Is Denied. By closing banks and imposing other controls on the movement of money, Greece is taking steps similar to those by Cyprus in 2013 to avoid a bank collapse.

But in that case, the Cypriot government acted in concert with other European governments as part of a new bailout program. In Greece, the emergency banking measures were be a result of a breakdown in talks with other eurozone countries. The breakdown has intensified pressure on cash-poor banks as jittery Greeks withdraw their savings.

There is still a chance that Greece and its creditors — the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the other eurozone countries — can come to terms before its current bailout program expires on Tuesday. On Sunday, the European Commission and I.M.F. issued statements indicating the door to further discussions might still be ajar.

And in Washington, the White House issued a statement saying that President Obama and the Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany had spoken by phone Sunday. “The two leaders agreed that it was critically important to make every effort to return to a path that will allow Greece to resume reforms and growth within the eurozone,’’ the White House statement said.

But the European Central Bank, for its part, declined on Sunday to raise the limit on its emergency funding for Greek banks — a level currently said by banking officials and analysts to be around 89 billion euros, or about $100 billion — even though businesses and consumers have withdrawn billions of euros in recent weeks.

That rate of withdrawals appeared to increase over the weekend, as long lines formed at A.T.M.s around the country, threatening a bank run that the Greek government could try to avoid by imposing capital controls. But at the same time, the European Central Bank did not cut off support entirely, giving the Greek government some extra flexibility in the coming days.

Before negotiations broke off on Saturday between Athens and its creditors, the Tsipras government had been hoping to reach terms that would free up a €7.2 billion allotment of bailout money that the country needs to meet its short-term debt obligations.

Because European officials said on Saturday that Greece’s €240 billion bailout program would not be extended, the big question had been whether the central bank’s president, Mario Draghi, would continue financing the country’s depleted banks.

Guidelines of the European Central Bank dictate that it can keep supporting troubled banks as long as there is a possibility that the country in question will come to terms with its creditors on a bailout — as was the case with Cyprus.

If Athens and its creditors do not resume talks before Tuesday, the promise of European support for Greece may no longer be on the table. But the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union and a key broker in the debt talks, seemed on Sunday to reach out to the Greek people, unexpectedly publishing the offer made to Greece before Mr. Tsipras ended the negotiations and announced a national referendum.
Addressing their financial problems in their usual manner:  In January 2015 Greek voters choose an anti-austerity party. Alexis Tsipras becomes prime minister.

May 2015:  Greece quells fears of an imminent default, authorizing a big loan payment to the I.M.F.

June 2015:  Greece defers a series of debt payments until the end of the month.

A publication was presented  to show the lengths to which the creditors, including the I.M.F. and the European Central Bank, had gone to satisfy Athens’s demands for a deal that avoided hurting ordinary Greeks, said one European Union official with direct knowledge of the decision to publish the offer. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the institutions had not ruled out a resumption of talks with Mr. Tsipras on the sensitive issue of extending the bailout.

Andrew Higgins and James Kanter contributed reporting from Brussels.

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Mark Twain, Eretz Yisrael, And The Jews

By: Saul Jay Singer

The Jewish Press

June 19th, 2015

Albert Bigelow Paine (1861-1937), a respected member of the Pulitzer Prize Committee, was himself a prolific writer of novels, stories, children’s books, travel volumes and, perhaps most famously, a definitive three-volume biography on Twain (1906).

As Twain’s literary executor, he was singularly responsible for controlling both the publication of Twain’s posthumous works and protecting his public image and reputation. As an interesting side note, the title of his novel The Great White Way  (1901) came into general use as the name for Broadway and New York’s theatrical district.

Twain was already a famous author and American icon when he undertook a journey from the United States to Europe and the Middle East and published his accounts of his travels as the semi-autobiographical and partly fictional The Innocents Abroad (1869), which was the best-selling of his works during his lifetime and, even to date, remains one of the best-selling travel books of all time.

He was among the first notables in the nineteenth century to travel to Eretz Yisrael and provide a description of the Holy Land and its people, and his descriptions provide a bleak picture of a desolate and miserable land only eighty years before the rebirth of the state of Israel.

Twain: “We traversed some miles of desolate country, a silent, mournful expanse; a desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. We never saw a human being on the whole route. The further we went, the more repulsive and dreary the landscape became. No landscape exists that is more tiresome to the eye than that which bounds the approaches to Jerusalem…. At last, away in the middle of the day, ancient bite of wall and crumbling arches began to line the way – Jerusalem!

Perched on its eternal hills, white and domed and solid, massed together and hooped with high gray walls, the venerable city gleamed in the sun. We dismounted and looked across the wide intervening valley for an hour or more; and noted those prominent features of the city that pictures make familiar to all men from their school days till their death….

The appearance of the city is peculiar. It is as knobby with countless little domes as a prison door is with bolt heads. The streets are roughly and badly paved with stone, and are tolerably crooked…. The population of Jerusalem is composed of Moslems, Jews, Greeks, Latins, Armenians, Syrians, Copts, Abyssinians, Greek Catholics, and a handful of Protestants. It seems to me that all the races and colors and tongues of the earth must be represented among the fourteen thousand souls that dwell in Jerusalem.

Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of Moslem rule more surely than the crescent-flag itself, abound. Lepers, cripples, the blind, and the idiotic, assail you on every hand. To see the numbers of maimed, malformed and diseased humanity that throng the holy places and obstruct the gates, one might suppose that the ancient days had come again, and that the angel of the Lord was expected to descend at any moment to stir the waters of Bethesda. Jerusalem is mournful, and dreary, and lifeless. I would not desire to live here. It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land…. Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes.”

Twain observed that not a solitary village could be found throughout the Jezreel Valley for 30 miles in either direction; that the desolation in the Galilee was beyond description; that Bethlehem is “untenanted by any living creature,” and describes the Kotel as that portion of the ancient wall of Solomon’s Temple which is called the Jew’s Place of Wailing, and “where the Hebrews assemble every Friday to kiss the venerated stones and weep over the fallen greatness of Zion; any one can see a part of the unquestioned and undisputed Temple of Solomon.”

Twain’s book, “Innocents Abroad” remains particularly important to Zionists because it proves that the Palestine visited by Twain was nothing but a colonial Ottoman Empire backwater whose few wretched residents lacked any sense of national identity or attachment to the land. Many properly cite “Innocents” as evidence that the Arab presence in Eretz Yisrael was so inconsequential before the arrival of the Zionist pioneers as to defeat any modern Arab claim to the land.

After the Civil War, when a majority of Americans held negative stereotypical opinions of the Jewish people, Twain defended them. In Stirring Times in Austria, published by Harper’s Magazine (March 1898), he wrote that although no Jew had even arguably participated in the Austrian riots, the one constant was the uniformity of the animosity of the Austrian people against the Jews: “In all cases the Jew had to roast, no matter which side he was on.” An American Jewish lawyer wrote to him asking why the Jews have always been “the butt of baseless, vicious animosities” even though “for centuries there has been no more quiet, undisturbing, and well-behaving citizen, as a class, than that same Jew.”

In “Concerning the Jews”  (Harper’s, September 1989), an original copy of which is displayed with this column, Twain penned his well-considered answer, in which he begins with the observation that the Jew, a well-behaved citizen, “is not a loafer, he is not a sot; in the statistics of crime his presence is conspicuously rare, in all countries” and comments on the beauty of the Jewish home and how honestly and charitably the Jews conduct their affairs.

He argues that, in light of the outstanding moral character and monumental intellectual achievement of the Jewish people and their contributions to society, it cannot be mere ignorance and fanaticism that fuels anti-Semitism, but that the “hostility to the Jew comes from the average Christian’s inability to compete successfully with the average Jew in business.”

In an intriguing conclusion, Twain suggests that the Jews can improve their situation by organizing politically and by acting together to enact a Jewish agenda, and he cites with approval “Dr. Herzl,” who “wishes to gather the Jews of the world together in Palestine, with a government of their own.” However, the most significant passage in Concerning the Jews is the author’s oft-quoted conclusion, which never fails to move me to tears:

If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one per cent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star-dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.

The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

Indeed, words to be treasured for all time.

About the Author: Saul Jay Singer, a nationally recognized legal ethicist, serves as senior legal ethics counsel with the District of Columbia Bar. He is a collector of extraordinary original Judaica documents and letters, and his column appears in The Jewish Press every other week.

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If He Only Had a Heart

Redacted from an editorial by John Podhoretz

COMMENTARY

JULY/AUGUST 2015

I DON’T KNOW that I’ve ever read a book quite as eye opening as  Michael Oren’s “Ally”— the best selling historian’s stunning new memoir of his four years as Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

For what Oren has written is an account of serving as a diplomat during a Cold War — the Cold War the Obama administration launched against Israel upon coming into office. It turns out that as bad as things looked between the Obamans and the Israelis from the outside, was even worse on the inside.

The sheer unfriendliness of the administration is startlingly present on nearly every one of his memoirs 374 pages of text and runs far deeper than the problematic relationship between the President and Oren’s boss, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Oren’s first meeting at the State Department with then Deputy Secretary Jim Steinberg sets the tone: “He was a dedicated angler renowned for tying flies in his spare time. Fittingly, Steinberg’s attitude toward the Jewish state called to mind the old Israeli adage, “He loves us like a fisherman loves fish.”

Oren is later verbally abused and irrationally so, by another State Department official, Tom Nides, when Palestinian efforts to seek recognition of UN statehood threaten to trigger long-standing legislation passed by Congress to shut down Palestinian diplomatic and economic relations with the United States.

“You don’t want the f-king UN to collapse because of your f-king conflict with the Palestinians and you don’t want the f-king Palestinian Authority to fall apart either,” Nides rages at Oren.

Even the administration’s gestures of affection or acts of support were often loaded. Oren uses the Hebrew word for hug, “chibbuk” to describe cynical efforts to “keep us close” and thus restrain Israeli freedom of action: “American contributions to the IDF’s missile defense, for example, diminished Israel’s case for striking Iranian nuclear plants preemptively, and generated more time for talks.”

His dealings with the elite media are likewise unpleasant. “We called the New York Times editorial-page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, after the paper published an op-ed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which Abbas claimed the Arabs startlingly had accepted the UN Partition Plan of 1947.”

The conversation went thus:

Rosenthal: “When I write for the Times, fact checkers examine every word I write.”

Oren:  “Did anybody check that Abbas has his facts exactly backward?”

Rosenthal: “That’s your opinion”

Oren: “I’m an historian, Andy, and there are opinions and there are facts. That the Arabs rejected partition and the Jews  accepted it is an irrefutable fact.”

Rosenthal: “In your view.”

Oren: “Tell me, on June 6, 1944, did Allied forces land or did they not land on Normandy Beach?”

Rosenthal replied:  “Some might say so.”   (!)

There are elements of “Ally” I found discomfiting — especially Oren’s frequent protestations about how much certain politicians and media types with whom he developed friendly personal relations care about Israel when they display no such case or concern in their public words or actions.

(And I seriously doubt that the actor/director Ben Afleck has “a statesman’s knowledge of the Middle East which he studied in college.”)

Still, “Ally” makes it nerve-jangingly clear just how difficult  a job it has been for anyone to serve as a guardian of the “special relationship” between Israel and the United States with a President and a team who are either by default or by ideology effectively hostile toward the Jewish state itself or the very idea of a Jewish state.

Oren’s recount shows he himself fell for the Obama Romance in 2008. But this was before he understood the deep and profound coldness within Barack Obama — a “chill” that distanced him from traditional American allies —not only Israel — whose ambassadors complained to him of the administration’s unprecedented aloofness.

‘Obama’s problem is not a tin ear,’ one of my European colleagues lamented, ‘it’s a tin heart.”‘

But it is not his tin heart that has led Obama to engage in this Cold War with Israel. It is his tin pot ideology.

John Podhoretz, Editor of COMMENTARY

(Excuse me, but what is the big surprise with all these supposed political “experts”?

Dinesh D’Sousa (http://israel-commentary.org/?p=4) told the world exactly who Obama is almost four years ago in his book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage”, October 4, 2011.

Obama is simply fulfilling the anti-Colonialist, anti-American, anti-British, anti-French, anti-Israel, anti-West “Dreams” of his father.  He told us as much in his own book —  believed to have been written for him by his anarchist friend, Wm.  Ayers.    

And, Obama is doing a helluva a job destroying us!  Tragically,  the victims of this helluva  job  have yet to fully awaken to their own peril  and yet to fully  address  the obvious  direction and motivation of their mortal enemy!)  

Jerome S. Kaufman

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How Bill and Hillary escape punishment decade and decade.

By Joseph Farah, Editor

World Net Daily, June 2015

When we think of crime families, Vito and Michael Corleone come to mind. Yes, they killed people — mostly other gangsters and mob leaders. They were wealthy and powerful and dangerous to those who crossed them, but, they were make-believe characters.

Let me tell about a real-life crime family more wealthy, more powerful and more dangerous — not only to those who cross them, but to the very fabric of our nation and its precious remaining liberty and rule of law.

Meet the Clinton crime family.

I have more than 20 years of experience with Bill and Hillary Clinton. I was numbered at the very top of their enemies list in the 1990s media people. They didn’t  mind hurting their enemies and they used the power of the state to do it. They are only too willing to let their friends and supporters pay for their crimes  as top fundraiser, Peter Paul, can attest after serving more than a decade behind bars for campaign finance violations coordinated by Hillary.

They used the Internal  Revenue Service to go after their enemies, their critics and even ex-lovers who posed a threat. They bullied, harassed, intimidated, and, though no-one likes to talk about it in polite  company, there is indeed a trail of  inexplicable death  that has followed in their wake.

The famous “Clinton Body Count” even persuaded Monica Lewinsky not to make trouble for the”family.”

It’s not surprising that a few of their old adversaries have “seen the light” and decided the Clintons really weren’t that bad after all — concluding cooperation and even praise was better for their careers than the alternative.

After Hillary’s 2008 electoral debacle with Obama’s victory, some of us thought they would be satisfied to wreak havoc on America through bad policies and bad ideas.

We thought perhaps they would content themselves at getting richer at the public trough and through the illegal use of their foundation.” Maybe their time was over?

But just like two bad pennies, they’re back.

The corruption we read about in Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash” is nothing new for the Clintons. Its been going on since their Arkansas days. It’s what Whitewater is  all about. It’s what the Rose Law Firm was all about.

When they entered the White House in 1993, they took a little of Arkansas with them, tarnishing the hallowed presidential quarters forever — insulting Marine guards, humiliating FBI and Secret Service agents, fooling around with interns and abusing the power the American people mistakenly gave them for eight years.

They survived impeachment, thanks to the gutless Republican Senate under the leadership of Trent Lott. One can only imagine who among the Republican leadership got an offer they couldn’t refuse.

They courted foreign money throughout their “co-presidency” and got plenty of it after they left office.

Scandals surrounded them all through the Clinton administration and ever since. But, somehow, they never really paid a significant price. They had too many friends in high places government, in politics, with the high and mighty who helped engineer their rise and, most of all, within the media who found in them something that reminded them of the days of days of Camelot. (So much for the trustworthiness of the media).

Now the Clintons are getting  ready for their third term in the White House — and they will not be denied (G-d forbid). Already consumed in scandal once again, they count on fooling the people yet again. After all, it is their turn.

So let me just state clearly what they represent for those who still, more than two decades later, haven’t figured it out:

The Clintons are a crime family that somehow achieved immunity from prosecution more than 20 years ago — and, until recently, even immunity from criticism from the so-called “mainstream media.”

The Clintons know it. That’s why they have continued to flaunt the law and operate by their own set of rules and often send other people to prison, and perhaps worse, for their own crimes!

 

Joseph Farah is founder, editor and CEO of World Net Daily and is a syndicated columnist for Creators News Service. He is the other of 13 books including his classic, Taking America Back.

Read the complete expose’ of the Clinton Crime Family in Whistleblower Magazine June, 2015

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsuperstore.wnd.com%2FWhistleblower-Magazine&ei=9MqGVZyvFsuiyATs2qPIBQ&usg=AFQjCNFb7PXX-PltWM-4fmMmiiq35a8Qug&sig2=WPZDlNG0JCXl6Gm9YKYFWA&bvm=bv.96339352,d.aWw

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“Surrounded by my family, friends and supporters, I announce my candidacy for President of the United States at the Freedom Tower in Miami.

Yesterday is over as are those candidates preaching the same old tired messages and unsuccessful solutions.

II Rubio and the National-Security-concerned Republicans

Redaced from and article by Dorothy Rabinowitz

The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2015

(See other videos on YouTube:)

1. Last month, in a major policy address at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, Marco detailed the Rubio Doctrine, which consists of three pillars:

2. American Strength
Protection of the American economy in a globalized world
Moral clarity of America’s core values

Travel: Already, Marco has visited the key early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Our teams on the ground in each state are busy with activity and growing every day.

II Rubio and the National-Security-concerned Republicans

Redaced from and article by Dorothy Rabinowitz

The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2015

Marco Rubio, whose grasp of foreign affairs is both conspicuous and deep, emerged as a contender to be reckoned with. Not only does he address these issues with a comprehensiveness unequaled by any other candidate except Lindsey Graham—as Sen. Graham might say “that goes for you too, Hillary”—Sen. Rubio does so with unfailing eloquence.

It is unlikely that any journalist will be moved to report that a thrill runs up his leg when he listens to Marco Rubio. The senator’s public addresses have nothing of the soaring oratory Barack Obama delivered to the electorate and a swooning press. He speaks with a steady, unselfconscious authority, which is quite enough. Mr. Rubio is notably lacking in the kind of uneasy tentativeness that has characterized Jeb Bush’s public performances, though this may disappear—it was little in evidence in Mr. Bush’s campaign-opening speech Monday.

Candidate Rubio has, and it is no small advantage, a gift for language found frequently in people who have been voracious readers from childhood on. Like many children with his history, he also imbibed the sense of American exceptionalism at an early age and it has not gone away nor is it likely to do so.

There is no love of country quite as deep or conscious as that of the first-generation American. Mr. Rubio is the child of immigrants, Cubans in this case, who tutored him, as other immigrant parents have done with their children, in the unparalleled blessings of America. “You only have to have parents, family who come from other places, to know what we have here, this civilization without equal in history,” he says. All his life he has viewed the fortune that caused him to be born here—an American—as a gift without price, and it shows. He is one of the few politicians who can refer to the American dream, that exhausted rhetorical crutch, without inducing cringes.

In the course of his campaign rollout two months earlier than Mrs. Clinton’s, Mr. Rubio too addressed the dangers of leadership and ideas based on the values of yesterday. Only in his view those dangers were the obstruction of economic progress, the stifling of America’s ability to compete—and not least the failure to remember the importance of U.S. leadership in the world.

“And so they appease our enemies, they betray our allies, they weaken our military,” he says of the current administration. A dramatically different set of charges against yesterday’s thinking—and one with which virtually all Republican candidates would agree—than the compendium of victims suffering under the heels of Republicans and millionaires and billionaires that Mrs. Clinton cited on Roosevelt Island.

III Weekly Standard Straw Pole, June 22, 2015

In our latest straw poll, Scott Walker continues to hold the first place position he’s had in all four of our surveys. Marco Rubio is now a clear second, and is one of only two candidates to have moved up consistently from poll to poll. The other is Carly Fiorina, who is now sixth in first place votes, but third (!) when you total first, second and third place showings. All the other candidates have more or less bounced around inconclusively, as you can see below. So the bottom line is: Walker remains strong, Rubio continues to move up, and Fiorina is surging.

William Kristol, Editor

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Resisting the Longest Hatred

The few must stand against the trend toward anti-Semitism

By Clifford D. May

The Washington Times

June 1, 2015

Robert S. Wistrich, who died suddenly last week, was considered the foremost scholar of anti-Semitism, which he called “the longest hatred,” one that appears to be metastasizing in the current era.

Writing about Nazi anti-Semitism ruffles no feathers within academia and other elite circles. Mr. Wistrich, however, had been warning that “anti-Semitism has undergone a process of growing ‘Islamization,’ linked to the terrorist holy war against Jews and other non-Muslims with its truly lethal consequences.” This “new” anti-Semitism,” he added, targets Israel, the only state with a Jewish majority: “the collective Jew.”

“New” is a relative term: It was 40 years ago that the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning Zionism, a charged word that actually implies nothing more than support for the right of the Jewish people, like other peoples, to self-determination in part of their ancestral homeland — territories that for centuries had been ruled by foreign empires. Within these lands there has never been a Palestinian nation-state, but a majority of Israelis would help establish such a polity — if Palestinian leaders would only commit to peaceful coexistence with their neighbors across an agreed-upon border.

While most Muslims do not support terrorism, Mr. Wistrich noted, “levels of anti-Semitism among Muslims clearly remain the highest in the world,” and Islamists — most succinctly defined as those committed to the imperative of Muslim dominance over all others — “are the spearhead of current anti-Semitism.”

Aided and abetted by anti-Semites of the radical left (who view Israel as an outpost of American empire) they have created what Mr. Wistrich called a “culture of hatred” that is “sufficiently radical in tone and content to constitute a new warrant for genocide.”

Such ethno-religious antipathy takes many forms. Three examples: Last week, Greek officials demanded that the Star of David be removed from a new Holocaust museum in a Greek city where some 1,500 Jews were murdered by Nazis. Though Israeli hospitals have opened their doors to casualties of the civil war in Syria, the U.N. has just labeled Israel the world’s top violator of “health rights.” And last month Mohammad Neza Naghdi, commander of Iran’s Basij paramilitary force, said, “The destruction of Israel is non-negotiable.”

Another manifestation of anti-Semitism is the so-called “boycott, divest and sanction” (BDS) campaign. Though it aims to damage Israel economically, it has so far made little progress. More perniciously perhaps, it means to demonize and delegitimize Israel, particularly in the eyes of young people on college campuses — an investment in the future of Jew-hatred.

BDS propagandists are patently Orwellian. Hamas fires missiles at Israeli villages and digs tunnels under Israeli farms to facilitate hostage-taking and mass murder; they call that “resistance.” Israelis attempt to defend themselves; they call that “genocide.”

Close to 20 percent of Israel’s citizens are Arab and Muslim. They enjoy freedom of worship and speech, cast votes, hold seats in the Knesset and sit on the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, BDS advocates slander Israel as “apartheid.” Some, utilizing a tactic Mr. Wistrich termed “Holocaust inversion,” call Israelis Nazis.

BDS advocates shed no tears for victims of jihadi head-choppers, for young girls enslaved by “mujahideen,” or young men hanged for “sodomy” under strict readings of Islamic law. All that pales next to Israel’s refusal to make additional concessions to Palestinian leaders who rule out compromise.

“The real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel,” California State University professor As’ad AbuKhalil has said. “There should not be any equivocation on the subject. Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.” Pro-BDS author John Spritzler has written: “I think the BDS movement will gain strength from forthrightly explaining why Israel has no right to exist.”

Despite such threats, boycott, divest and sanction has faced few serious challenges — until now. Rep. Peter Roskam, an Illinois Republican, Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, and Rep. Juan Vargas, a California Democrat, have authored bipartisan measures — amendments to the major trade act currently being considered by Congress — that would discourage America’s trading partners from discriminating against Israelis.

At the same time, Illinois is poised to become the first state in the nation to defend Israelis against economic warfare. Last week, an anti-BDS bill supported by newly elected Gov. Bruce Rauner passed the state House and Senate — with bipartisan unanimity.

“The significance of the bill cannot be underestimated,” wrote Eugene Kontorovich, a law professor at Northwestern University. “BDS is not like the civil rights protests, as its supporters love to claim but rather more like the anti-Jewish boycotts so common in Europe in the 20th century and in the Arab world until this day.” European financial institutions that have become concerned about the risks — legal, economic and reputational — of doing business with Israelis will now need to consider the risks of refusing to do business with Israelis.

Other states are considering similar actions. In Congress, additional measures are being proposed. For example, Rep. Doug Lamborn, A Colorado Republican, has introduced the Boycott Our Enemies, Not Israel Act, which would require government contractors to certify that they are not shunning America’s most reliable ally.

Mr. Wistrich devoted his life to understanding anti-Semitism which, in the 20th century, pursued the goal of a Europe without Jews. He also recognized the goal of this century’s anti-Semites: a Middle East without a Jewish state.

Those who mourn his passing may take some consolation in knowing that there are now a few American statesmen doing more than averting their eyes and wringing their hands.

• Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a columnist for The Washington Times.

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From: NEWSMAX.com

June 12, 2015 

Scott Walker Eyes Marco Rubio as His Running Mate

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is talking positively about a Republican presidential ticket — potentially announced even before the first nomination balloting — that would include Sen. Marco Rubio as his running mate.

In a Bloomberg Politics interview Thursday, the likely candidate also expressed agreement with President Barack Obama on the pressing issue of fast-track trade legislation. Walker, 47, isn’t expected to formally enter the race until early July, after his state has completed a two-year budget plan.

Still, he’s apparently given some consideration and had discussions already about a potential running mate, with the focus on Rubio. “I’ve actually had quite a few people, grassroots supporters, donors, and others who have made that suggestion,” he said when asked about a Walker-Rubio ticket. “For now, you know, Marco is a quality candidate,” Walker said. “He’s going to be formidable in this race as things progress. And if we were to get in,  we’ll see where things take us.”

Walker was in Utah to meet with potential financial supporters and to speak at a summit hosted by 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney that’s attracted six declared and likely presidential candidates. The full interview can be seen on BloombergPolitics.com.

Walker said he and Rubio often hear the suggestion that they should combine forces, potentially even before the first nomination voting in Iowa in February 2016, as a way to stand out amid a crowded field. “We’d just probably have to arm-wrestle over who would be at the top of the ticket,” he said.

At this phase of presidential campaign, the norm would be for a White House hopeful to summarily dismiss such a move, in public and in private. Walker said he likes governors and their executive experience better than senators as potential presidents and vice presidents, but that Rubio stands out. “I do like Marco Rubio,” he said. “I think he and I have similar thoughts on national defense and foreign policy.”

Walker noted how he tweeted greetings to Rubio, 44, for his birthday last month, a move that also underscored his own relative youthfulness amid a mostly older Democratic and Republican field. “Marco, happy birthday from one 40-something to another,” Walker said of his greeting. “There’s certainly a generational issue there.”

In the most recent Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, Walker led in the state that starts the nomination process, while Rubio was the most popular second choice among likely Republican caucus participants.

Walker said he supports giving Obama the authority to submit trade agreements to Congress for an expedited, up-or-down vote without amendments. “If we don’t go down this path, we’re going to be at a competitive disadvantage, and so I think it just makes sense,” he said.

At the same time, like many Republicans who support granting the trade authority recent past presidents have had, Walker said the deal would allow the Republican-controlled Congress to review Obama’s actions. “If this president were to give them a bad deal, they should hold him accountable and vote it down,” he said. “They have every right to do that under the proposal.”

Walker said he’d look for ways to lower them especially for those in “the middle of the bracket” as well as for businesses. “I certainly wouldn’t be talking about anybody paying any more,” he said. The popular home-mortgage deduction is not a place where Walker would look for additional revenue to balance the cuts he’d like to see made, he said. “We’re going to look at the entire tax code and what the best way to reform is, but I think homeownership is an important part of living the American dream,” he said. He expressed similar views about the popular deduction for charitable contributions.

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II  Addendum below:  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Thursday, 11 June 2015), in Jerusalem, met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 31 May 2015):

1. Redacted from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks:

“We are in the midst of a great struggle being waged against the State of Israel, an international campaign to blacken its name.

It is not connected to our actions; it is connected to our very existence. It does not matter what we do; it matters what we symbolize and what we are. Now, this is a phenomenon that we have known in the history of our people – what hasn’t been said about the Jewish People? They said that we are the focus of all evil in the world. They said that we are the poisoners of the wells of humanity. They said that we drink the blood of little children. All of these things are being said about us today as well. It was not true then and it is not true today. This does not have a shred of truth.

I think that it is important to understand that these things do not stem from the fact that if only we were nicer or a little more generous – we are very generous, we have made many offers, we have made many concessions – that anything would change because this campaign to delegitimize Israel entails something much deeper that is being directed at us and seeks to deny our very right to live here.

I think that one must ask how can it be that Israel is accused over homes in Gilo, or over this or that action that we take to defend ourselves from terrorists, but that when a hundred times more victims – a hundred times more, not twice or ten or 50 times as many, but a hundred times – more people are being slaughtered in Syria, just in Syria – there are no protests, no condemnations, no 80% of decisions by UN human rights committees, against Syria.

It is we who are accused, IDF soldiers who are accused of killing children. I saw the IDF delegation to Nepal which rescued Nepalese children and brought babies into the world. I did not see a delegation from Boko Haram. I did not see delegations from Iran there. I did not see delegations from Al Qaida and I did not see delegations from Syria.

There is no justification for the campaign of delegitimization being waged against the State of Israel, in which they are trying to suspend us from international organizations. The last thing we need to do is to bow our heads and ask where we went wrong, where we erred. We have done nothing wrong and we have not erred.

We are not a perfect country; we do not pretend to be such, but they are setting standards for us that are both twisted and higher than those for any other country, any other democracy. There is no democracy that is more challenged than the State of Israel, which respects human rights, which respects pluralism, which respects humanity even in the most difficult war situations, even when thousands of missiles are being fired at our cities. Therefore, here we are not dealing in justifications, here we are telling the truth.

This past weekend we had to rebuff a major international effort to oust us from FIFA and I am pleased that we succeeded. This was part of the continuing effort; I am not deluding myself that these efforts will cease, and we need to act on a very broad front, but the first thing that we must arm ourselves with is the truth, the truth, and also with the inner pride that we know who we are and what we represent, and that we will not capitulate to libels.

Today we will deal with the home front exercise. I must say that alongside the development of our offensive capabilities, which is in a very impressive high gear, most of which is known to the public, we are also busy with preparing the home front for future campaigns because we have discovered that home front is a front line. There has been very great success; we saw this in Operation Protective Edge and at other times, in developments that we have made in both active and passive defense. Adequate preparation is important because planning well will pay off in the end.

II Addendum: June 11, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Thursday, 11 June 2015), in Jerusalem, met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and told him at the start of their meeting:

“You’ve been a wonderful friend and a grand champion of America and of America-Israel relations. We appreciate it. I want to take this opportunity to also express our respect and deep admiration for America’s fighting men and women. We know you’re extended around the world, including in our region. We know we have no better friends than the American people, the American governments, the American fighting men and women. You fight for America, but you also fight for freedom.”

General Dempsey said, “The greatest gift has been the friendship that we’ve managed to forge with the leaders in the IDF, and I know you’re proud of them but we are too. It’s our constitution, and you know that that’s what inspires us as I know service to your nation inspires you.”
________________________________________
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

 

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http://newyork.cbslocal.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=11566995

From: Community News Service

By COL live reporter, Jun 4, 2015

Pharaoh’s Jockey Victor Espinoza came to pray at the Rebbe’s Ohel (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s tomb) BEFORE the Belmont Stakes horse race. The Jewish owners, refugees from Egypt, were making a Kiddush Hashem. (A prayer to G-d ceremony with wine and treats — like herring and all the Manischewitz wine you can drink)

Victor Espinoza, the Mexican native who is hoping to make history by riding the first Triple Crown-winning horse in 37 years, turned to a spiritual source for blessing.

Espinoza, a jockey who will compete in the 2015 Belmont Stakes horse race in Elmont, NY, came to pray at the Rebbe’s (Schneerson, OBM) Ohel at the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Cambria Heights, Queens.

CBSNewYork reported that Espinoza visited the grave site of the Rebbe, “considered one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century” and where “hundreds of thousands come to the cemetery every year 24/7 to pray.”

Espinoza opened a prayer book, recited psalms, wrote out his own message and added his to a mountain of prayers at the sacred site, the TV station said.

He was flanked by Rabbi Efraim Zaltzman, Director of Chabad of Kingsborough in Brooklyn, Kabbalah teacher Rabbi Berel Lerman and Rabbi Motti Seligson, Director of ‎Media Relations at Chabad.org.

Espinoza, who is not Jewish, said that after receiving a blessing from Rabbi Sholom Ber Korf Chabad of Delray in Florida last month, he scheduled the detour to the Ohel from his regular race prep for the Belmont, COLlive was told.

“So much energy right here,” he said. “It would kind of build you up right here. It’s like good energy drinks.”

Mike Weitz, Espinoza’s Jewish publicist, said: “He believes with G-d’s help and the Rebbe interceding for him that he’s going to be very successful and very safe.”

Meanwhile, the owners of American Pharaoh Thoroughbred racehorse, which Espinoza will be riding, have announced that they will be observing the Shabbos on the day of the race.

The Zayats were raised in Egypt as observant Jews. On race day, which is the Sabbath, the family will abstain from driving in observance and will camp overnight in luxury RVs on Belmont’s grounds, CBS reported.

“We have a value system in our life, and that is a priority in our family, said Ahmed Zayat, who lives in Teaneck, New Jersey. “G-d comes first. (Then) family, country and all the others — all the others, you can put horse racing in with them.”

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(II   A factual, revealing analysis of UNRWA is found in a previous Israel Commentary article dated May 24, 2012 and linked below. Please read.) 

I  From:  MFA,  Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Newsletter

Israeli Ambassador David Roet addresses UNRWA 65th anniversary conference

June 2, 2015

(UNRWA has often remained silent while Hamas endangers the lives of Palestinians, including refugees, and commits war crimes by using civilian areas to target Israeli citizens. UNRWA spokespeople are quick to make accusations against Israel, but go out of their way to avoid mentioning Hamas.)

Ambassador Roet:  I wish I could just describe all the ways Israel cooperates with UNRWA, and end it there. I wish I could sit here today and join in with the other speakers to simply thank UNRWA for all the humanitarian work it does, and leave it at that.

However, as the saying goes, “face reality as it is, not as you wish it to be.”  In reality, UNRWA has a political agenda which casts a long shadow over its humanitarian agenda.

Make no mistake, since UNRWA was established 65 years ago, Israel has supported its important humanitarian mission, and continues to do so today. During this time, UNRWA and Israel have worked hand-in-hand to coordinate hundreds of projects that provide essential services for the Palestinian people. We also recognize UNRWA’s important contribution to the welfare of Palestinian refugees.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When UNRWA (for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) was established, their mandate included hundreds of thousands of refugees. Today, UNRWA asserts responsibility for over 5 million refugees (via an inflated payroll made up 99% of Palestinians who will not give up their lucrative, grossly overpaid administrative jobs).

How did the number of refugees increase so dramatically when the purpose of a UN agency is to decrease it?

In 1950, the UN established the High Commissioner for Refugees to assist men, women, and children in dire situations around the world. That agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives and provide a brighter future for the next generation.

According to the UNHCR, you lose your refugee status if you become a citizen of another country. But in the Palestinian case, this restriction does not apply. UNRWA – and UNRWA alone – allows refugees to pass their refugee status to their children and now grandchildren.

If we were to apply UNHCR’s standards to count the number of Palestinian refugees worldwide, the figure drops significantly. But the Palestinian refugees aren’t counted using the UNHCR standards; they are counted using UNRWA’s double standards.

If this politicization of the refugee issue was not enough, recently, UNRWA left no doubt about how deep its “political mission” goes. UNRWA’s spokesperson clearly stated that one of UNRWA’s goals is to validate the Palestinian narrative. I repeat – to validate the Palestinian narrative. Is ‘validating’ the Palestinian narrative within UNRWA’s mandate? Is this what funding for humanitarian assistance is intended for?

It is no secret that the terrorist group Hamas, the de facto authority in the Gaza Strip, often obstructs humanitarian efforts. The fact that the Commissioner General did not mention today the responsibility Hamas bears for the situation in Gaza – does the Palestinians no favors.

UNRWA has often remained silent while Hamas endangers the lives of Palestinians, including refugees, and commits war crimes by using civilian areas to target Israeli citizens. UNRWA spokespeople are quick to make accusations against Israel, but go out of their way to avoid mentioning Hamas.

UNWRA had over 10,000 employees in Gaza – most of them Palestinian but also many internationals. Where were they when Hamas stockpiled thousands of rockets, many of them in close vicinity to UNWRA facilities. It seems that while they are quick to condemn Israel, when it comes to reporting on Hamas, UNWRA’s employees become blind, deaf, and mute.

While Hamas stockpiled rockets in UNRWA schools in order to launch them at Israel from nearby, the UNRWA press statement only managed to condemn, quote, “group or groups responsible”. Well, the group responsible has a name – Hamas. And it is an internationally recognized terrorist organization.

While Hamas is doing everything to obstruct reconstruction, Israel is doing everything it can to cooperate with UNRWA to help meet the humanitarian challenges in Gaza. Every day, hundreds of trucks carrying goods enter Gaza from Israel passing through Kerem Shalom crossing which is operating 24/7, at full capacity. In the past year, Israel has provided Gaza with millions of tons of equipment, materials and supplies to assist with reconstruction.

These are facts which we have not heard much of today.

UNRWA’s interference with the political process is beyond the scope of its legitimate activities, and endangers the fulfillment of its mandate. Throughout last summer we witnessed UNWRA officials act as judge, jury, and executioner. They reported facts as they saw fit, assigned guilt, and predetermined what the outcome of the process needs to be. Such interferences only deepens the conflicts and distances us from peace.

For instance, UNRWA’s recent massive media campaigns are fully in sync with the Palestinian political agenda, and serve no humanitarian purpose. Just listen to Hanan Ashrawi’sAnsari speech today and the usage of the word “justice”, which UNRWA is now doing. Take out UNWRA’s logo, it could well be an official Palestinian campaign.

UNRWA is also using its educational system to validate the Palestinian narrative, to fuel false promises, and to give credence to dangerous myths. From an early age, Palestinian children are taught that the only solution to their plight is the so-called “Claim of Return”. Many UNRWA facilities are decorated with keys, symbolizing this claim of return. Young children are taught that these keys will one day open doors for them – but in truth these keys have them locked in a distorted reality.

The “claim of return”, make no mistake, is a euphemism for the destruction of the State of Israel. This “claim” is the real obstacle to the two-state solution, to which Israel and so many of us in this room are fully committed. The only way to achieve peace is through direct negotiations.

The Middle East today is in a state of turmoil. Regimes are unstable, terrorist groups seize and hold territory, and the people suffer the consequences. Palestinian refugees in these countries are caught in the chaos.

In Syria, they face death and displacement from a bloody war. In Lebanon, refugee populations from Syria are denied a place to seek shelter from the ongoing violence. The existing Palestinian populations in Lebanon have for generations been segregated, and isolated from the rest of the Lebanese society.

In light of the real needs of the refugees, it is troubling that UNRWA would focus its resources on political campaigns, even as it cuts humanitarian assistance. Such campaigns only serve to support the Palestinian political agenda, and distance us from achieving peace.

Many of the Arab representatives expressed their so-called concern about situation of the Palestinian refugees. These Arab countries speak today about their suffering. However, when these governments had the opportunity to improve the lives of these refugees, they cynically exploited them for political purposes. Arab governments and the Arab League intentionally continue to sustain the problem of the Palestinian refugees by refusing to give them their basic rights.

Scan the list of UNRWA’s top donors, and you will discover that in 2014 nine out of ten of them are western countries. Apparently, when it comes to helping Palestinian refugees, Arab countries can’t find their wallets. Not only did the Arab states create and maintain the refugee problem, they expect others to pay for it.

An example of the hypocrisy by Arab states was evident today hearing the Saudi representative attack Israeli actions while Saudi forces are actively and indiscriminately attacking civilians, children’s schools and hospitals. Mr. Ambassador, you can’t buy your country out of this one so easily.

Even the good intentions are replaced by narrow political interests. In order to achieve the peaceful future we all hope for in the region, UNRWA must choose the right path. It must choose people over politics, neutrality over bias, and truth over propaganda. Only this path can solve the refugee problem rather than perpetuating it.

Thank you.

II  OBAMA STATE DEPARTMENT OPPOSES SENATE AMENDMENT THAT WOULD RECOGNIZE FEWER PALESTINIAN REFUGEES

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=3608

BY: Adam Kredo – May 24, 2012
The Washington Free Beacon

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Subject: “Courting Disaster”

By Marc Theissen

Let’s hope the next President of the United State does not resent America.

For the historical record… As President George W. Bush’s top speech writer, Marc Thiessen was provided unique access to the CIA program used in interrogating top Al Qaeda terrorists, including the mastermind of the 9/11 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM) Now, his riveting new book, “Courting Disaster”, How the CIA Kept America Safe (Regnery), has been published. Here is an excerpt from “Courting Disaster”:

“Just before dawn on March 1, 2003, two dozen heavily armed Pakistani tactical assault forces move in and surround a safe house in Rawalpindi. A few hours earlier they had received a text message from an informant inside the house. It read: “I am with KSM.”

Bursting in, they find the disheveled mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in his bedroom. He is taken into custody. In the safe house, they find a treasure trove of computers, documents, cell phones and other valuable “pocket litter.”

Once in custody, KSM is defiant. He refuses to answer questions, informing his captors that he will tell them everything when he gets to America and sees his lawyer. But KSM is not taken to America to see a lawyer Instead he is taken to a secret CIA “black site” in an undisclosed location.

Upon arrival, KSM finds himself in the complete control of Americans. He does not know where he is, how long he will be there, or what his fate will be. Despite his circumstances, KSM still refuses to talk. He spews contempt at his interrogators, telling them Americans are weak, lack resilience, and are unable to do what is necessary to prevent the terrorists from succeeding in their goals. He has trained to resist interrogation. When he is asked for information about future attacks, he tells his questioners scornfully: “Soon, you will know.”

It becomes clear he will not reveal the information using traditional interrogation techniques. So he undergoes a series of “enhanced interrogation techniques” approved for use only on the most high-value detainees. The techniques include waterboarding.

His resistance is described by one senior American official as “superhuman.” Eventually, however, the techniques work, and KSM becomes cooperative-for reasons that will be described later in this book.

He begins telling his CIA de-briefers about active al Qaeda plots to launch attacks against the United States and other Western targets. He holds classes for CIA officials, using a chalkboard to draw a picture of al Qaeda’s operating structure, financing, communications, and logistics. He identifies al Qaeda travel routes and safe havens, and helps intelligence officers make sense of documents and computer records seized in terrorist raids. He identifies voices in intercepted telephone calls, and helps officials understand the meaning of coded terrorist communications. He provides information that helps our intelligence community capture other high-ranking terrorists,

KSM’s questioning, and that of other captured terrorists, produces more than 6,000 intelligence reports, which are shared across the intelligence community, as well as with our allies across the world.

In one of these reports, KSM describes in detail the revisions he made to his failed 1994-1995 plan known as the “Bojinka plot” to blow up a dozen airplanes carrying some 4,000 passengers over the Pacific Ocean.

Years later, an observant CIA officer notices the activities of a cell being followed by British authorities appear to match KSM’s description of his plans for a Bojinka-style attack.

In an operation that involves unprecedented intelligence cooperation between our countries, British officials proceed to unravel the plot.

On the night of Aug. 9, 2006 they launch a series of raids in a northeast London suburb that lead to the arrest of two dozen al Qaeda terrorist suspects. They find a USB thumb-drive in the pocket of one of the men with security details for Heathrow airport, and information on seven trans-Atlantic flights that were scheduled to take off within hours of each other:

* United Airlines Flight 931 to San Francisco departing at 2:15 p.m.;

* Air Canada Flight 849 to Toronto departing at 3:00 p.m.;

* Air Canada Flight 865 to Montreal departing at 3:15 p.m.;

* United Airlines Flight 959 to Chicago departing at 3:40 p.m.;

* United Airlines Flight 925 to Washington departing at 4:20 p.m.;

* American Airlines Flight 131 to New York departing at 4:35 p.m.;

* American Airlines Flight 91 to Chicago departing at 4:50 p.m.

They seize bomb-making equipment and hydrogen peroxide to make liquid explosives. And they find the chilling martyrdom videos the suicide bombers had prepared.”

Today, if you asked an average person on the street what they know about the 2006 airlines plot, most would not be able to tell you much.

Few Americans are aware of the fact al Qaeda had planned to mark the fifth anniversary of 9/11 with an attack of similar scope and magnitude. And still fewer realize the terrorists’ true intentions in this plot were uncovered thanks to critical information obtained through the interrogation of the man who conceived it: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

This is only one of the many attacks stopped with the help of the CIA interrogation program established by the Bush Administration in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Editor’s Note: For other foiled terrorist plots, see page 9 of “Courting Disaster.”

In addition to helping break up these specific terrorist cells and plots, CIA questioning provided our intelligence community with an unparalleled body of information about al Qaeda Until the program was temporarily suspended in 2006, intelligence officials say, well over half of the information our government had about al Qaeda-how it operates, how it moves money, how it communicates, how it recruits operatives, how it picks targets, how it plans and carries out attacks-came from the interrogation of terrorists in CIA custody.

Former CIA Director George Tenet has declared: “I know this program has saved lives. I know we’ve disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than what the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.” Former CIA Director Mike Hayden has said: “The facts of the case are that the use of these techniques against these terrorists made us safer. It really did work.”

Even Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, has acknowledged: “High-value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization that was attacking this country.” Leon Panetta, Obama’s CIA Director, has said: “Important information was gathered from these detainees. It provided information that was acted upon.

John Brennan, Obama’s Homeland Security Advisor, when asked in an interview if enhanced-interrogation techniques were necessary to keep America safe, replied : “Would the U.S. be handicapped if the CIA was not, in fact, able to carry out these types of detention and debriefing activities? I would say yes.”

On Jan. 22, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13491, closing the CIA program and directing that, henceforth, all interrogations by U.S. personnel must follow the techniques contained in the Army Field Manual.

The morning of the announcement, Mike Hayden was still in his post as CIA Director, He called White House Counsel Greg Craig and told him bluntly: “You didn’t ask, but this is the CIA officially non-concurring”. The president went ahead anyway, over ruling the objections of the agency.

A few months later, on April 16, 2009, President Obama ordered the release of four Justice Department memos that described in detail the techniques used to interrogate KSM and other high-value terrorists. This time, not just Hayden (who was now retired) but five CIA directors -including Obama’s own director, Leon Panetta — objected. George Tenet called to urge against the memos’ release. So did Porter Goss. So did John Deutch. Hayden says: “You had CIA directors in a continuous unbroken stream to 1995 calling saying, ‘Don’t do this.'”

In addition to objections from the men who led the agency for a collective 14 years, the President also heard objections from the agency’s covert field operatives. A few weeks earlier, Panetta had arranged for the eight top officials of the Clandestine Service to meet with the President. It was highly unusual for these clandestine officers to visit the Oval Office, and they used the opportunity to warn the President that releasing the memos would put agency operatives at risk. The President reportedly listened respectfully-and then ignored their advice.

With these actions, Barack Obama arguably did more damage to America’s national security in his first 100 days of office than any President in American history.

But how many people know this? Perhaps more importantly; How many people care?

In Barack Obama’s own words: “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” “Audacity of Hope” 2006

Marc Thiessen is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where he studies and writes about US presidential leadership, counterterrorism, foreign and defense policy issues.

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If you happen to see the Bill Clinton 5-minute TV ad for Hillary in which he introduces the commercial by saying he wants to share some things we may not know about Hillary’s background, beware. As I was there for most of their presidency and know them better than just about anyone, I offer a few corrections.

Bill says: “In law school, Hillary worked on legal services for the poor.”

The facts are: Hillary’s main extra-curricular activity in law school was helping the Black Panthers, on trial in Connecticut for torturing and killing a federal agent. She went to court every day as part of a law student monitoring committee trying to spot civil rights violations and develop grounds for appeal.

Bill says: ” Hillary spent a year after graduation working on a children’s rights project for poor kids.”

The facts are: Hillary interned with Bob Truehaft , the head of the California Communist Party. She met Bob when he represented the Panthers and traveled all the way to San Francisco to take an internship with him.

Bill says: ” Hillary could have written her own job ticket, but she turned down all the lucrative job offers.”

The facts are: She flunked the DC bar exam; yes, flunked. It is a matter of record, and only passed the Arkansas bar. She had no job offers in Arkansas – none – and only got hired by the University of Arkansas Law School at Fayetteville because Bill was already teaching there. She did not join the prestigious Rose Law Firm until Bill became Arkansas Attorney General and was made a partner only after he was elected Arkansas Governor.

Bill says: “President Carter appointed Hillary to the Legal Services Board of Directors and she became its chairman.”

The facts are: The appointment was in exchange for Bill’s support for Carter in his 1980 primary against Ted Kennedy . Hillary then became chairman in a coup in which she won a majority away from Carter’s choice to be chairman.

Bill says: “She served on the board of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital.”

The facts are: Yes, she did. But her main board activity, not mentioned by Bill, was to sit on the Walmart board of directors for a substantial fee. She was silent about their labor and health care practices.

Bill says: ” Hillary didn’t succeed at getting health care for all Americans in 1994, but she kept working at it and helped to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that provides five million children with health insurance.”

The facts are: Hillary had nothing to do with creating CHIP. It was included in the budget deal between Clinton and Republican Majority Leader Senator Trent Lott. I know; I helped negotiate the deal. The money came half from the budget deal and half from the Attorney Generals’ tobacco settlement. Hillary had nothing to do with either source of funds.

Bill says: ” Hillary was the face of America all over the world.”

The facts are: Her visits were part of a program to get her out of town so that Bill would not appear weak by feeding stories that Hillary was running the White House. Her visits abroad were entirely touristic and symbolic and there was no substantive diplomacy on any of them.

Bill says: ” Hillary was an excellent Senator who kept fighting for children’s and women’s issues.”

The facts are: Other than totally meaningless legislation like changing the names on courthouses and post offices, she has passed only four substantive pieces of legislation. One set up a national park in Puerto Rico. A second provided respite care for family members helping their relatives through Alzheimer’s or other conditions. And two were routine bills to aid 911 victims and responders which were sponsored by the entire NY delegation. Presently she is trying to have the US memorialize the Woodstock fiasco of 40 years ago.

Here is what bothers me more than anything else about Hillary Clinton :

She has done everything possible to weaken the President and our country (that’s you and me!) when it comes to the war on terror.

1. She wants to close GITMO and move the combatants to the USA where they would have access to our legal system.

2. She wants to eliminate the monitoring of suspected Al Qaeda phone calls to/from the USA .

3. She wants to grant constitutional rights to enemy combatants captured on the battlefield.

4. She wants to eliminate the monitoring of money transfers between suspected Al Qaeda cells and supporters in the USA.

5. She wants to eliminate the type of interrogation tactics used by the military & CIA where coercion might be used when questioning known terrorists even though such tactics might save American lives.

One cannot think of a single bill Hillary has introduced or a single comment she has made that would tend to strengthen our country in the War on Terror But, one can think of a lot of comments she has made that weaken our country and make it a more dangerous situation for all of us. Bottom line: She goes hand in hand with the ACLU on far too many issues where common sense is abandoned.

Share this with every democrat you know. Ask them to prove Dick Morris wrong. Think about it – Dick Morris has said all of this openly, thus if he were not truthful he’d be liable for defamation of character! And you better believe Hillary would sue him.

Is America ready for a woman president?

I believe we are— just NOT this one.

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Jerusalem: A city of tension and unity

By Nadav Shragai

May 20, 2015

Israel marks 48 years (Jerusalem regained from Jordan in the Six Day War of June 6-12, 1967) since the reunification of Jerusalem, and there is no going back. Despite the incidents of terrorism and violence depicted in the media, Jews and Arabs live and work together in cooperation and unity.

This intermingling, to which I have devoted a chapter in my new book, is first and foremost the result of Jerusalem’s demography. After 19 years of division and 48 years of Israeli unity, Jerusalem Day — which we mark today — is a good opportunity to reveal a number that might surprise many people: Most Jewish and even more Arab residents of Jerusalem have never even experienced the city when it was divided. Some 71 percent of the city’s Jews and 84 percent of its Arabs were born into the reality of one united city.

“Intermingling” is a new term being used in research into the Jewish-Arab conflict in Jerusalem, coined by yours truly a few years ago. Intermingling involves many types of normalcy and cooperation between Jews and Arabs in united Jerusalem — something the media does not tend to cover. It expresses the wisdom of the masses who for years have been telling their leaders that, alongside the violence and terrorism, there are also unity and cooperation that often overcome politics and differences.

This fact has ramifications. The city is united through common infrastructure, which it would be difficult and in many cases impossible, to split apart. Services are provided, at different levels, to all parts of the city: from streets to shared water, electrical, sewerage, and telephone systems. In Jerusalem’s hospitals, Jewish and Arab doctors and nurses work night and day to serve both populations.

Many of the Egged bus drivers, as well as passengers, are Arabs. The Arab population has integrated into the city’s pharmacology and trade sectors. Shopping centers, supermarkets, chain stores, and leisure spots are bustling with Jewish and Arab customers and employees.

A reality of “intermingling” exists in the playgrounds on the border between east and west Jerusalem, too. Arabs visit the Jerusalem Zoo and Ein Yael, and their children attend summer camps at those sites. More Jerusalem Arabs are asking for Israeli identity cards today than in the past, are signing up for Israeli high school matriculation exams, and are volunteering to perform national service and earn academic degrees in Israel.

(In other words, their Arab leaders are stupid but the Arab residents and oftimes citizens of Israel, by choice, are not)

Fewer Jews visit east Jerusalem, but intermingling exists there, too. In recent years, all quarters of the Old City have been crowded with tourists and Jews, and inside the walls there is cooperation in the trade and tourism sectors.

Intermingling like this is a thorn in the side of Palestinian terrorist operatives, who this past year have initiated a second “mini-Intifada” — which we got another taste of on Thursday — and tried unsuccessfully to pull a large Palestinian population into the circle of hatred. It’s not surprising that the attempted attacks on the city’s light rail continue unabated, because the train has become both a symbol of and litmus test for coexistence in the city.

Anyone who talks to the residents of east Jerusalem, rather than the leaders who presume to speak for them, quickly discovers that many of them prefer to remain under Israeli sovereignty rather than becoming part of the Palestinian Authority.

As documented residents, they enjoy a host of financial benefits they would not find under the PA. Many are also unwilling to forgo the advantages of Israeli democracy. In-depth surveys conducted among the population of east Jerusalem in recent years show that most east Jerusalem Arabs would choose Israel over the PA. This is what the polls showed, despite the fact that Israel had made little investment in municipal services and infrastructure in the Arab neighborhoods, and many Jerusalem Arabs feel closer to Israeli Arabs than they do to Arabs in the West Bank.

In contrast to the question of “united or divided,” it’s easier to spot and document the more than a few scraps of normalcy and cooperation on one hand, and separation and alienation on the other. The fact that they exist simultaneously does not invalidate either one. The picture of cooperation and normalization that is not infrequently blotted out by the media was created by a reality of living next door to each other for almost 50 years. This is a new situation. Going back (for any number of reasons) is no longer possible.

Nadav Shragai is an Israeli author and journalist. He worked as a reporter for Israeli newspaper Haaretz starting in 1983 and retired in 2009. Today he continues to write as an author and academic, publishing a number of books on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. In 1995 his book Temple of Dispute about the Temple Mount was published by Keter Publishing House.

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I The Climate Change Religion

By LAMAR SMITH

The Wall Street Journal

‘Today, our planet faces new challenges, but none pose a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” President Obama wrote in his proclamation for Earth. “As a Nation, we must act before it is too late.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, in an Earth Day op-ed for USA Today, declared that climate change has put America “on a dangerous path—along with the rest of the world.”

Both the president and Mr. Kerry cited rapidly warming global temperatures and ever-more-severe storms caused by climate change as reasons for urgent action.

Given that for the past decade and a half global-temperature increases have been negligible, and that the worsening-storms scenario has been widely debunked, the pronouncements from the Obama administration sound more like scare tactics than fact-based declarations.

At least the United Nations’ then-top climate scientist, Rajendra Pachauri, acknowledged—however inadvertently—the faith-based nature of climate-change rhetoric when he resigned amid scandal in February. In a farewell letter, he said that “the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

Instead of letting political ideology or climate “religion” guide government policy, we should focus on good science. The facts alone should determine what climate policy options the U.S. considers. That is what the scientific method calls for: inquiry based on measurable evidence. Unfortunately this administration’s climate plans ignore good science and seek only to advance a political agenda.

Climate reports from the U.N.—which the Obama administration consistently embraces—are designed to provide scientific cover for a preordained policy. This is not good science. Christiana Figueres, the official leading the U.N.’s effort to forge a new international climate treaty later this year in Paris, told reporters in February that the real goal is “to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years.” In other words, a central objective of these negotiations is the redistribution of wealth among nations. It is apparent that President Obama shares this vision.

The Obama administration recently submitted its pledge to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The commitment would lock the U.S. into reducing greenhouse-gas emissions more than 25% by 2025 and “economy-wide emission reductions of 80% or more by 2050.” The president’s pledge lacks details about how to achieve such goals without burdening the economy, and it doesn’t quantify the specific climate benefits tied to his pledge.

America will never meet the president’s arbitrary targets without the country being subjected to costly regulations, energy rationing and reduced economic growth. These policies won’t make America stronger. And these measures will have no significant impact on global temperatures. In a hearing last week before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, of which I am chairman, climate scientist Judith Curry testified that the president’s U.N pledge is estimated to prevent only a 0.03 Celsius temperature rise. That is three-hundredths of one degree.

In June 2014 testimony before my committee, former Assistant Secretary for Energy Charles McConnell noted that the president’s Clean Power Plan—requiring every state to meet federal carbon-emission-reduction targets—would reduce a sea-level increase by less than half the thickness of a dime. Policies like these will only make the government bigger and Americans poorer, with no environmental benefit.

The White House’s Climate Assessment implies that extreme weather is getting worse due to human-caused climate change. The president regularly makes this unsubstantiated claim—most recently in his Earth Day proclamation, citing “more severe weather disasters.”

Even the U.N. doesn’t agree with him on that one: In its 2012 Special Report on Extreme Events, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there is “high agreement” among leading experts that long-term trends in weather disasters are not attributable to human-caused climate change. Why do the president and others in his administration keep repeating this untrue claim?

Climate alarmists have failed to explain the lack of global warming over the past 15 years. They simply keep adjusting their malfunctioning climate models to push the supposedly looming disaster further into the future. Following the U.N.’s 2008 report, its claims about the melting of Himalayan glaciers, the decline of crop yields and the effects of sea-level rise were found to be invalid. The InterAcademy Council, a multinational scientific organization, reviewed the report in 2010 and identified “significant shortcomings in each major step of [the U.N.] assessment process.”

The U.N. process is designed to generate alarmist results. Many people don’t realize that the most-publicized documents of the U.N. reports are not written by scientists. In fact, the scientists who work on the underlying science are forced to step aside to allow partisan political representatives to develop the “Summary for Policy Makers.” It is scrubbed to minimize any suggestion of scientific uncertainty and is publicized before the actual science is released. The Summary for Policy Makers is designed to give newspapers and headline writers around the world only one side of the debate.

Yet those who raise valid questions about the very real uncertainties surrounding the understanding of climate change have their motives attacked, reputations savaged and livelihoods threatened. This happens even though challenging prevailing beliefs through open debate and critical thinking is fundamental to the scientific process.

The intellectual dishonesty of senior administration officials who are unwilling to admit when they are wrong is astounding. When assessing climate change, we should focus on good science, not politically correct science.

Mr. Smith, a Republican from Texas, is chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

II  How Can So Many World Leaders Be So Wrong?

Excerpt from an article by Alan Caruba

acaruba@aol.com

SUNDAY, MAY 10, 2015

In a recent Daily Caller article, Michael Bastach took note of “25 Years of predicting The Global Warming ‘Tipping Point’.” This is the message that the Earth is warming rapidly and, if we don’t abandon the use of fossil fuels for power, it will arrive to wreak destruction on the human race and all life on the planet.

It is astounding how many past and present world leaders are telling everyone this despite the total lack of any real science, nor any actual warming—the Earth has been in a natural cooling cycle since 1997!

At the heart of the global warming—now called climate change—“crisis” has been the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that has been issuing apocalyptic predictions since its inception in 1988. None of its predictions have come true. How could they, based as they are on the false science of computer models, not that based on observable climate events and trends?

To this day our own government through its meteorological agencies has been caught manipulating the data gathered over the years to conform with the “warming” scenario. The worst has been the Environmental Protection Agency which is engaged in an effort to shut down coal-fired utilities and access to every other energy source on which we depend to power the nation.

Despite this national and international effort, mostly likely based on the liberal ideology that there are too many humans on the plant and dramatic ways must be found to reduce that number. In the past these anti-humanity advocates could depend on famine, disease and wars to kill off millions, but in the modern world that has become less of a threat.

… It doesn’t matter if it is the Pope, the President of the United States, or the UN Secretary General if the assertion that the Earth is warming when it is not or that coal, oil and natural gas must be abandoned to “save the Earth.” Whether from ignorance or a dark hidden agenda, the whole of the global warming/climate change is aimed at harming billions, many of whom need the power that this hoax would deny to everyone.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

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