Monday, April 27, 2015

The Media and Jihad

Every time that there is a major jihad attack, the media responds in the same way. There is now a routine that the authorities tell us:
  • Islam is the religion of peace
  • Muslims that do jihad are extremists and not real Muslims
  • Authorities must watch out for retaliation against Muslims
  • All religions are the same. The Christians are as bad or worse
  • We have not done enough to welcome Islam
  • Concessions will reduce jihad; we need to give Islam more concessions.
Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
Use as needed, just give credit and do not edit.

Bill Warner | | Political Islam . com | PO Box 90806 Nashville, TN 37209 | Nashville, TN 37203

Turkey's Supposed Nemesis: "The Mastermind"

Gatestone Institute
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Turkey's Supposed Nemesis: "The Mastermind"

by Burak Bekdil  •  April 27, 2015 at 4:00 am
  • "The Mastermind" is not the product of a bunch of crazy fanatics. It is a calculated move by a bunch of smart politicians who want to win votes from an inherently anti-Semitic, religiously devout Muslim population.
  • It is an ugly but clever move, reminiscent of the various methods applied by the Nazi propaganda machine in the 1930s, to abuse millions of minds.
The title screen from the new anti-Semitic Turkish documentary, "The Mastermind."
Turkey's biggest enemy, according to its Islamist rulers, is not the fanatical jihadists who now neighbor their country in large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq; nor is it the thousands of "sleepers" at home -- the same jihadists who have not staged a sensational act of terror, but might yet. The enemy is not the political and military advance of Shiite radicals in the region, or a nuclear Iran. It is not extreme left-wing terrorists who only recently murdered a state prosecutor. It is not Russia, China or Western civilization. It is what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says is "the mastermind" that tirelessly plots against Turkey.
In a December 2014 speech, Erdogan said:

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Who Should We Consider "Oppressed?"

Who Should We Consider "Oppressed?"

Link to Citizen Warrior

Posted: 26 Apr 2015 03:47 PM PDT
Garry Trudeau received an award last week for his Doonesbury comic strip. In accepting the award, he criticized the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists for "attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority," "ridiculing the nonprivileged," and accused them of hate speech.

In a New York Times Op-Ed, Ross Douthat eloquently pointed out that when armed Muslims murder journalists, it is an egregious moral error to label the journalists as the oppressors. One has to be appallingly and ludicrously blinkered — blinded by one's own ideology — to be unable to recognize the vast moral difference between drawing a cartoon and murdering the cartoonist.

To help give your friends and family greater moral clarity about the problem of Islam, I recommend sharing with them Douthat's Op-Ed from the New York Times: Checking Charlie Hebdo's Privilege.

Terrorist Activity on Israel-Syria border as Iran Seeks to Arm Hizballah

Steven Emerson, Executive Director
April 27, 2015

Terrorist Activity on Israel-Syria border as Iran Seeks to Arm Hizballah

by IPT News  •  Apr 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm
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Tensions are rising along the Syrian-Israeli border after the Israeli Air Force (IAF) killed four terrorists who infiltrated from Syria and planted explosives in the Golan Heights, the Jerusalem Post reports.
The IAF observed the terrorists planting the explosive devices clearly before ordering the strike.
The Israel Defense Forces is continuing to conduct routine security missions in the area and stated that it will not "tolerate any attempt to harm or violate Israeli sovereignty."
This development comes amid rising border tensions and reports of an alleged Israeli air strike against strategic Syrian military sites housing long-range missiles, intended for the terrorist organization Hizballah.
The "raid was a pre-emptive strike to prevent a plan to hit strategic targets in the Golan, which would draw Israel into a war with Syria, and shuffle the cards," a Western diplomatic source confirmed to Al Jarida and reported by the Jerusalem Post.
Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon warned Iran not to supply Hizballah with advanced weaponry. His comments came the day after the alleged air strike in Syria and hours before Israel foiled the terrorist infiltration into its territory.
"We will not allow the transfer of sophisticated weapons to terror groups, and in particular Hizballah," Ya'alon said.
In January, the Israeli Air Force reportedly hit a military convoy in the Syrian border town of Quneitra, killing six senior Hizballah operatives and six senior Iranian IRGC officials, including a brigadier general. A Western intelligence source revealed that Hizballah was trying to create an operating base on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights with Iranian assistance. The base would be used to carry out cross-border attacks and fire rockets into Israel.
Even though Israel will not reveal the organizational source of this past week's infiltration, the incident highlights the deteriorating security situation on the Syrian border as terrorist organizations devoted to Israel's destruction expand their presence in the region.
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Eye on Iran: Supporters of Senate Iran Bill Swatting Away Amendments

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AP: "The Senate plunges into a high-stakes debate this week over empowering Congress to review and possibly reject any nuclear deal with Iran, offering Republican presidential candidates a chance to prove their hawkishness toward Iran and support for Israel. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida wants to add a provision requiring the Obama administration to certify that Iran's leaders have publicly accepted Israel's right to exist, a nearly impossible mandate. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas isn't satisfied with the bill's process in which Congress could disapprove of the deal. He and Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania want lawmakers to approve the final deal. Proponents of the bill are trying to discourage any changes to the legislation that has the tacit approval of President Barack Obama. They recognize that politically-driven amendments could undermine Democratic support and sink the carefully crafted measure. 'Anybody who monkeys with this bill is going to run into a buzz saw,' Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a possible White House candidate, warned ahead of this week's debate. Amendments and full debate begin Tuesday. Also trying to caution against changes, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey urged senators to stick with the plan as it emerged from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee."

Reuters: "Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the opening of a UN conference on the global anti-nuclear weapons treaty on Monday, as they try to make progress in talks on a long-term atomic deal. Iran's top diplomat will be the first state party to the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to address its 190 signatories at the United Nations headquarters in New York on behalf of 118 non-aligned nations that have signed the NPT, the world's benchmark disarmament pact. Zarif and Kerry will meet on the sidelines to discuss negotiations on a landmark nuclear deal with the United States and five other global powers as they try to secure a final agreement with Iran by a June 30 deadline... Israel, which opposes the nuclear deal with Iran, will be attending the conference as an observer for the first time since 1995 as it eyes closer ties with Arabs, who also fear Tehran's nuclear ambitions."

AFP: "The commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards accused Saudi Arabia of treachery Monday, saying the bombing of Yemen had put the kingdom in the same camp as arch foe Israel. The remarks, by General Mohammad Ali Jafari, are a further sign of deteriorating relations between Tehran and Riyadh, after recent heavy criticism by Iran's supreme leader and other top officials... Jafari urged Iranian officials to put aside past considerations and speak out against the kingdom, following its air strikes in Yemen. 'Today, treacherous Saudi Arabia is stepping in the footsteps of Israel and the Zionists. This wasn't the case in the past and right now the Islamic revolution's opponents are becoming clearer,' the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying... 'Today the Saudi dynasty is on the verge of decline and fall,' he said, asserting that Iran was in the ascendancy. 'Everyday we are witnessing the strengthening of the Islamic revolution's power and dimensions outside. Enemies and America have submitted to it.'"

Nuclear Program & Negotiations

Reuters: "Nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers are making good but slow progress as they work toward a June 30 deadline for a final deal, Tehran's senior negotiator said on Friday... Iran, which denies seeking nuclear weapons, has said sanctions must be lifted as soon as any final deal is signed. The United States wants a gradual lifting of restrictions. 'The progress is good... We are at preliminary stages and the pace is slow but it is good,' Iranian state television quoted negotiator Abbas Araqchi as telling reporters in Vienna. 'The Europeans and Americans made good clarifications about lifting of the sanctions,' he said, adding that drafting of the text had begun."

Press TV (Iran): "Production of 20 tons of heavy water in the Arak nuclear reactor has solidified Iran's position as a member of the 'world's nuclear club', the AEOI chief says. Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi made the comments on national television on Saturday night. 'We took great steps in designing and redesigning the Arak reactor,' Salehi said, noting that Iran is now among the few countries that can produce heavy water, which he called a 'strategic product.'"

Trend: "Some 220 members of the Iranian parliament urged the negotiators not to violate red lines in the Iran-P5+1 nuclear talks. A statement issued by the MPs notes the appreciation for the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for his support and urging negotiators to observe red lines in nuclear talks, Iran's Fars news agency reported on April 22. 'In the final agreement, no supervision beyond the NPT should be accepted by the country. Research and development in technology, enrichment, and nuclear sciences should not be restricted,' said the statement."

Sanctions Relief

Reuters: "Poland's largest oil refiner PKN Orlen has delivered a gas condensate cargo of Iranian origin for its Mazeikiai refinery in Lithuania, traders said on Friday. It's not clear if PKN has violated international sanctions against Iran by supplying the cargo. The company declined immediate comments. Traders said that the 122,000-tonnes cargo was shipped to the port of Butinge."
Bloomberg: "The end to Iran's international isolation is attracting more than just energy firms. Carmakers, aircraft and tobacco producers also make the list of companies that analysts from Natixis Securities SAS to Jefferies LLC say may invest in the nation if the April 2 agreement with world powers results in an end to penalties over its nuclear program... Here are 12 stocks that analysts say investors should keep an eye on as Iran is brought back into the international fold."

Press Trust of India: "Government plans to set up a urea plant in Iran to ensure long term availability of the fertilizer here, Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Ananth Kumar said today. 'In order to ensure long term avialability of urea in the country, the government is facilitating setting up of a urea/ ammonia joint venture project in Iran with capacity to produce 1.3 million tone urea for import to India,' he said in Rajya Sabha.  A consortium of Indian companies -- Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals and Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizer and Chemicals -- have appointed SBI Caps for advisory and due diligence services to identify a prospective Iranian JV partner. 'The project is in a consultation stage to identify an Iranian JV partner,' Kumar said in a reply during Question Hour."

Press TV (Iran): "A group of German businessmen is visiting Iran for a second time in months to explore opportunities for investment amid hopes of sanctions relief for the Islamic Republic. The delegates, led by Volker Treier, Deputy CEO of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, have met with senior Iranian officials in Tehran. After a meeting with Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Treier said Germany will continue to explore business opportunities in Iran regardless of the outcome of Iran's nuclear talks with global powers. 'What's important for us is to benefit from any opening too boost trade transactions with Iran,' he said."

Trend: "More than 1.13 million cars were produced in Iran in the past Iranian fiscal year, which ended on March 20. Sedan cars output stood at 958,335 in the mentioned period, a 53 percent rise year on year, Iran's IRIB reported on April 19. Iran also produced 150,929 pickup trucks, 20,239 trucks, 482 buses, and 179 minibuses in the 12-month period. Peugeot Pars was the sedan with the highest production, so that 147,742 Peugeot Pars sedans were produced. Peugeot 405, Peugeot 206, Pride, and Tiba sedans ranked the next with 117,403 sedans, 104,150 sedans, 129,729 sedans, and 85,359 sedans, respectively."

Yemen Crisis

NYT: "Pentagon officials on Friday credited the deployment of an American aircraft carrier group in waters off the coast of Yemen for a decision by Iran to turn back a naval convoy suspected of carrying weapons bound for Shiite rebels. Although it was unusual to dispatch such a large American naval force to the Arabian Sea on an interdiction and deterrence mission, Pentagon officials said the deployment - and Iran's apparent response - had lowered tensions in the continuing regional proxy war between Tehran and Saudi Arabia. The nine-ship Iranian convoy had turned north and east near the coast of Oman, in the direction of Iran, Defense Department officials said. Col. Steven H. Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said, 'We do not know their future intentions,' but added that 'it's fair to say that, yes, this appears to be a de-escalation of some of the tensions.'"

Al-Monitor: "The head of Iran's Basij sent a message congratulating the Yemeni rebel group, the Houthis, for their 'resistance' against the nearly monthlong Saudi Arabian-led bombing campaign. The letter from Mohammad Reza Naghdi was addressed to Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, whom Nagdhi referred to as 'the brave commander of Ansar Allah, brother warrior.' Naghdi called the end of the 28-day bombing campaign 'a great victory' and 'congratulated the champion nation of Yemen, especially you, the brave and wise leader.' Naghdi wrote, 'Without a doubt this brave resistance will be considered a turning point in the history of the region and the Islamic world and will have great transformations in the political geography of the world in favor of the oppressed.' ... Kahyan newspaper published an article April 23 stating: 'With defeating the invading Saudis, who were fighting as proxies for America and the Zionist regime, the Yemeni revolutionaries humiliated the invading coalition.'"

Human Rights

WashPost: "In an appearance on CNN's 'Reliable Sources' with Brian Stelter on Sunday morning, Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said the paper is doing everything to free its reporter in Tehran, who has been in prison for nine months. Baron has been rallying for the release of The Post's Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian, who has been charged with espionage and other crimes, including collecting classified information. 'There has been no evidence provided by the Iranian government that he engaged in espionage or did anything other than report on what was happening in that country,' Baron said... Rezaian's imprisonment came up at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner Saturday night, with President Obama saying the government would not rest until the journalist is freed... 'For nine months, Jason has been in prison in Tehran for nothing more than writing about the hopes and fears of the Iranian people,' Obama said. The president told the room full of reporters, many of whom were donning 'Free Jason' pins, that he had spoken with Rezaian's brother, Ali, who was at the dinner.'I have told him personally that I will not rest until we bring him home to his family, safe and sound,' Obama said."

Reuters: "Iran's hardline judiciary has banned a magazine for encouraging cohabitation, known as 'white marriage' in the Islamic Republic where sex outside wedlock is a crime, the Shargh newspaper reported on Monday. Under Iran's sharia-based laws, imposed after the 1979 Islamic revolution, extramarital sex is punishable by flogging. In cases of adultery, it can carry a sentence of death by stoning. Last year, the monthly Zanan-e Emrouz (Today's Women) published a special issue discussing various aspects of the 'white marriage' and the reasons behind what it said was the increasing number of unmarried Iranian couples living together. 'The press watchdog banned Zanan-e Emrouz monthly today for encouraging and justifying white marriage,' Shargh reported... While disapproving of cohabitation, Iran allows the traditional Shi'ite temporary marriage or 'sigheh', under which a couple can contract a marriage lasting anywhere from a few minutes to 99 years. Iranian rights activists have criticized this option as disrespectful of women."

Opinion & Analysis

Soner Cagaptay, James F. Jeffrey & Mehdi Khalaji in NYT: "The announcement last month of a preliminary agreement between the United States and Iran has led some to believe that Tehran will now enter the international system as a responsible actor. But such optimism ignores the fact that Iran's current government still bears the imprint of a long imperial history and longstanding Persian regional ambitions. Iran is a revolutionary power with hegemonic aspirations. In other words, it is a country seeking to assert its dominance in the region and it will not play by the rules. Yet, the Obama administration hopes a nuclear agreement will have a 'transcendental effect' on Iran and convince it to abandon its imperial aspirations in return for a sense of normalcy... In the wake of this ruin and chaos, the post-World War II order led by the United States established rules for the international community that sought to keep such powers in check. Even today, countries with hegemonic tendencies, like China, acknowledge the legitimacy of this international order. Iran, however, has brazenly defied this international order and continues to expand its reach. It uses an assortment of terrorism, proliferation, military proxies, and occasionally old-fashioned diplomacy to further its dominance. Although the 1979 Islamic revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is often cited as the beginning of the Iran's imperial worldview, Iran's hegemonic aspirations actually date back to the Safavid Dynasty of the 16th century... In 1979, the anti-American leaders of the revolution fused their nationalist claims of past Persian glories with a millennial ideology to create a single Islamic state militancy. However, after the bloody and protracted Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the Islamic Republic realized that conventional military doctrine would no longer suffice. In conjunction with Tehran's doctrine of 'exporting the revolution' to nearby Muslim countries, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps developed asymmetric warfare tactics aimed at building Iranian influence through sectarian and political alliances. In doing so, Iran often acted as the guardian of the broader Shiite community in places such as Bahrain and Yemen. Iran has established a carefully crafted network of Shiite militias: Lebanon's Hezbollah, Yemen's Houthis and Iraq's Badr Corps, among others. Moreover, Iran controls the Shiite clerical establishment and financial networks throughout the Middle East. Iran is not bound exclusively by sectarian politics. It has also befriended belligerent Sunni actors across the Middle East to bolster its regional status. To this end, Tehran has developed strong ties with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Iran has even made inroads into Sunni Sudan, which they have used to transport weapons to Gaza. At times, Iran does not care for Muslims, or even Shiites - in the southern Caucasus, Iran has allied itself with Christian Armenia against the Shiite-majority Azerbaijan, which is pro-American. Ultimately, it is not religion but imperial ambition that drives Iranian foreign policy... In February 2013, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader and the ultimate decision maker in areas of foreign and military policy, called the negotiations with the West a deceptive trick, proudly adding: 'I am not a diplomat. I am a revolutionary.' Ayatollah Khamanei will blame Mr. Rouhani if the negotiations fail or move in a direction that he does not like. His legitimacy stems from the Iranian revolutionary project, and any compromise would be an admission that he does not believe in that narrative of world history. Iran's imperial ambitions are not new. Under the Safavids, the Shah and the mullahs alike, Tehran has vied for regional domination. Do not expect Iran to compromise its principles any time soon."

Sue Mi Terry & Max Boot in Foreign Affairs: "The case of North Korea clearly exposes the dangers of the United States seeking a nuclear agreement with a state that has no intention of abiding by one. The 1994 U.S.-North Korean Agreed Framework, which called on North Korea to freeze the operation and construction of nuclear reactors, collapsed within a decade of its signing. In 2006, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test, and today it is a full-fledged nuclear power. The United States' experience with North Korea should make it wary of similar nuclear negotiations, especially with Iran. In the past month, however, some have argued the opposite: that the United States' experience with North Korea should lead it to make even greater concessions to Iran, and to continue making such concessions even after an accord is signed. According to this line of thinking, the United States did not do enough to ensure the success of the Agreed Framework-and so will need to do more to buttress the Iran accord... History tells a different story. Under the Agreed Framework, signed on October 12, 1994, Pyongyang agreed to freeze its plutonium production program in exchange for an American-led consortium providing ten years' worth of heavy-oil deliveries and the construction of two electricity-generating light-water nuclear plants. (North Korea hid its real motive for wanting nuclear plants-to gain geopolitical clout-with a purported need for electrical power. Iran uses the same rationale for its nuclear program.) Although North Korea did freeze its plutonium program in 1994, it simply began pursuing the enrichment of uranium instead. Between 1990 and 1996, the Pakistani government, through the nuclear physicist Abdul Qadeer Khan, supplied North Korea with key data on uranium enrichment in exchange for missile technology. In 2005, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf publicly acknowledged that Khan had provided centrifuges and their designs to North Korea. In short, North Korea was cheating both before and after the signing of the Agreed Framework. It did so in spite of the copious benefits flowing to the country as a result of South Korea's Sunshine Policy, through which, from 1998 to 2008, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and his successor, Roh Moo-hyun, pumped approximately $8 billion in economic assistance into North Korea in the hope of improving bilateral relations. Kim Dae-jung even won a Nobel Peace Prize for meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il in 2000-a summit, it was later divulged, that was made possible only through the payment of a $500 million cash bribe to Kim Jong Il. In October 2002, North Korean officials brazenly admitted to a visiting American delegation that North Korea had been covertly enriching uranium and had no intention of discontinuing its nuclear work. Bush was already skeptical of North Korea, which he had labeled part of the 'axis of evil,' and this revelation confirmed his views. Even so, to prevent North Korea from breaking out of its nuclear obligations, the United States, together with China and other states, launched the six-party talks, which resulted in Pyongyang agreeing once again, in 2005, to abandon its nuclear program. Yet North Korea went ahead and tested a nuclear weapon in 2006... It takes a willful denial of reality to claim, as Gallucci, Wit, and Delury do, that the United States was at fault for the breakdown in U.S.-North Korean negotiations. A dispassionate reading of the evidence suggests that North Korea was never serious about giving up a nuclear program into which it had invested decades-not to mention billions of dollars-and that it saw as vital to regime protection and internal legitimacy. If North Korea has not developed as many nuclear weapons as U.S. intelligence agencies once feared, that is most likely a side effect of the regime's dysfunction rather than any lack of desire to acquire more weapons. The parallels with Iran are not comforting. If Iran is anything like North Korea, it will seek to gain the benefits of a deal-notably, the lifting of sanctions-without truly ending its nuclear program. Keeping Iran in check will require verification procedures more strict than those imposed on North Korea. But there was little sign of such procedures in the framework agreement negotiated in Lausanne. In fact, shortly after the deal was announced, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khameini, said that Iran would never accept unfettered inspection of its military facilities. And even if Iran does eventually accept stricter oversight, the United States will have to commit to holding the country to account instead of simply offering extra concessions in a futile bid to get it to live up to its original promises, as it did with North Korea. Only then will the lessons of the Agreed Framework truly have been learned."

WSJ Editorial: "Even China is now raising flags about nuclear proliferation. Beijing helped Pakistan get the bomb in the 1980s and has been North Korea's patron from one Dear Leader to the next. But in February Chinese officials warned a group of Americans that Pyongyang has many more nuclear warheads than previously believed: up to 20 already, perhaps 40 by next year. The new Chinese assessment, reported Thursday by the Journal, is based on updated intelligence concerning North Korea's ability to enrich uranium. The North Koreans had no such capability when they signed the 1994 Agreed Framework with the Clinton Administration, which required them to stop their nuclear-weapons efforts. But Pyongyang cheated on that deal, not least by developing a uranium-enrichment program first acknowledged to the Bush Administration in 2002. The North Koreans tested their first bomb in 2006 and were later discovered to be building a secret nuclear facility in the Syrian desert, which was destroyed by Israeli warplanes in 2007. The Bush Administration rewarded this behavior with a new nuclear deal-which Pyongyang again violated by testing bombs in 2009 and 2013. That's the depressing record of Washington's last diplomatic attempt at stopping a rogue regime from acquiring nuclear weapons, and we only wish that it had proved to be instructive. Yet the deal the Obama Administration is now negotiating with Tehran looks to be incorporating the same mistakes. The Iran deal also has many more moving parts, making it considerably more difficult to enforce. Last time around it was relatively easy to tell when the North was breaking its promises. Iran is also a much richer, more technologically sophisticated and strategically influential country than North Korea. At least Pyongyang doesn't have the kind of control over its neighbors that Tehran enjoys in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. Iran and North Korea have extensive diplomatic and military ties, with Pyongyang helping supply the Iranians with ballistic-missile technology and, according to news reports, hosting Iranian scientists at its nuclear tests. Nobody should rule out the possibility that a portion of Pyongyang's growing stockpile-to say nothing of the know-how that goes into building it-may someday come into Iranian hands. Which is a stark reminder that the consequences of misbegotten arms-control with one dictatorship are rarely limited to that dictatorship."

Mortimer Zuckerman in WSJ: "President Obama has been chasing a rainbow in his negotiations with Iran. He has forsaken decades of pledges to the civilized world from presidents of both parties. He has misled the American people in repeatedly affirming that the U.S. would never allow revolutionary Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, which would guarantee a new arms race. In fact, one has already started. Credible reports suggest Pakistan is ready to ship an atomic package to Saudi Arabia, the Sunni nation that stands opposed to Shiite Iran's subversion throughout the region... How far Mr. Obama is prepared to chase the negotiation dream is illustrated by the recent candor of his energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist who has been party to the negotiations. In 2013 the president answered questions about Iran's ability to produce nuclear weapons with these words: 'Our assessment continues to be a year or more away, and in fact, actually our estimate is probably more conservative than the estimates of Israeli intelligence services.' Yet on Monday Mr. Moniz told reporters at Bloomberg a different story: 'They are right now spinning. I mean enriching with 9,400 centrifuges out of their roughly 19,000,' he said. 'It's very little time to go forward. That's two to three months.' How long has the administration held this view? 'Oh, quite some time,' Mr. Moniz replied. The Bloomberg report suggests 'several years.' This stunningly casual remark was based on information apparently declassified on April 1. What is Mr. Obama up to? Why was he reassuring in 2013 when he knew it was misleading? Is the declassification intended to create a false sense of urgency? Compare where we are today with the conditions Mr. Obama laid down two years ago... So here we are at the end of the rainbow, seemingly willing to concede nuclear capacity to Iran, a country we consider a principal threat. No wonder Saudi Arabia and Egypt are insisting on developing equivalent nuclear capabilities. America's traditional allies have concluded that the U.S. has traded temporary cooperation from Iran for acquiescence to its ultimate hegemony. The sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table took years to put in place. They have impaired Iran's ability to conduct trade in the global market. The banking freeze in particular has had a crippling effect, since international businesses will not risk being blacklisted by the U.S. and European Union to make a few dollars in Iran. Many of those who have studied the problem believe that if the sanctions were to remain, they would squeeze Tehran and force greater concessions. President Obama seems to be willfully ignoring Iran's belligerent behavior and its growing influence over Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Yemen's capital, San'a. Free of sanctions, Iran may become even more assertive. There are no rainbows ahead, only menacing clouds."

Eye on Iran is a periodic news summary from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eye on Iran is not intended as a comprehensive media clips summary but rather a selection of media elements with discreet analysis in a PDA friendly format. For more information please email

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

New Anti-Semitic Film All the Rage in Turkey

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New Anti-Semitic Film All the Rage in Turkey

by Burak Bekdil
The Gatestone Institute
April 27, 2015
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Originally published under the title, "Turkey's Supposed Nemesis: "The Mastermind."
The title screen from the new anti-Semitic Turkish documentary, "The Mastermind."
Turkey's biggest enemy, according to its Islamist rulers, is not the fanatical jihadists who now neighbor their country in large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq; nor is it the thousands of "sleepers" at home -- the same jihadists who have not staged a sensational act of terror, but might yet.
The enemy is not the political and military advance of Shiite radicals in the region, or a nuclear Iran. It is not extreme left-wing terrorists who only recently murdered a state prosecutor. It is not Russia, China or Western civilization. It is what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says is "the mastermind" that tirelessly plots against Turkey.
In a December 2014 speech, Erdogan said:
I am emphasizing this: Do not think that these are operations that target me personally. Do not think that these operations are against our government or any [political] party. My friends, the target of these operations and initiatives is Turkey, Turkey's existence, her unity, peace, and stability. They are especially against Turkey's economy and its independence. As I have said before, behind all these there is a Mastermind, which has now become part of our national conversation. Some ask me, 'Who is this mastermind?' and I say, 'It is for you to research this. And you do know what it is, you know who it is.'
Orders taken, a fiercely pro-Erdogan television news channel, A Haber, decided to research "that." Thus, the documentary "The Mastermind" came into being. The film was first broadcast on March 15, 2015 and has been repeatedly aired since then, in addition to several pro-government media outlets posting it on their websites.
The main theme of the film is the 3,500-years of "Jewish domination of the world." It focuses on three "Jewish" historical figures (one of whom was not Jewish): the medieval Spanish philosopher and Torah scholar Moses Maimonides, Charles Darwin (who was not a Jew), and German-American philosopher Leo Strauss.
Here are some narrative excerpts from the film, which opens with images of the Star of David and a replica of the Temple in Jerusalem:
The Mastermind, whose roots go back thousands of years, who rules, burns, destroys, starves the world, creates wars, organizes revolutions and coups, establishes states within states -- this 'intellect' is not only Turkey's curse, but the curse of the entire world. Who is this mastermind? The answer is hidden inside truths and facts that can never be called conspiracy theories. ...
This story begins in the very old days, 3,500 years ago, when Moses brought his people out of Egypt to Jerusalem. The only guide he had was the Ten Commandments... We have to look for the mastermind in Jerusalem where the sons of Israel live. ...
Maimonides... who lived in the Middle Ages believed that 'the Jews are the Masters, and all other people are to be their slaves'"
The film then features several pro-Erdogan pundits, academics and journalists, commenting on the mastermind. "As they destroy the entire world, the Jews are searching for [the lost] Ark of Covenant." says one. "The Jews use Darwin's theory [of evolution] to assert that God created them – but everyone else evolved from apes," says another. One claims that the Jews believe that they, the descendants of Isaac, consider themselves the masters, and that "all of us," the descendants of Ishmael, are created to serve the Jews. And another blames "the mastermind" -- whom he identifies as the Jews as well as the U.S. (which the film earlier claims is dominated by the Jews) for both the destruction of the Ottoman Empire and for the coups in modern Turkey aimed at ousting Islamist leaders and parties.
"The Mastermind" is a calculated move to win votes from an inherently anti-Semitic, religiously devout Muslim population.
Finally, an advisor to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu claims that all anti-government activity in Turkey was, in fact, attempts by "a mastermind" to bring down Turkey and its government.
Sounds surreal? Not in Turkey in the year 2015. "The Mastermind" is not the product of a bunch of crazy fanatics. It is a calculated move by a bunch of smart politicians who want to win votes (and often succeed) from an inherently anti-Semitic, religiously devout Muslim population.
According to the findings of a survey by Switzerland-based pollster WIN/Gallup International, 79% of Turks identify themselves as religiously devout, compared to 75% of people in the Palestinian territories and just 30% in Israel.
Among many Sunni Turks, anti-Semitic sentiment is often a prerequisite to piety. Therefore, the film "The Mastermind" [theoretically but most likely practically too] directly targets an audience that makes 79% of Turkey -- more than 60 million people -- ahead of critical parliamentary elections on June 7.
It is an ugly but clever move, reminiscent of the various methods applied by the Nazi propaganda machine in the 1930s, to abuse millions of minds.
All you need, in this evil scenario, is a theory linking every evil to the Jews, and a large enough audience ready to buy your fraudulent conspiracy theory.
Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a columnist for the Turkish daily Hürriyet and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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What The Globe and Mail says about 'victim' Omar Khadr will leave you filled with rage

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