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TBR News February 27, 2017

Feb 27 2017

The Voice of the White House 

Washington, D.C. February 27, 2017: “Is propaganda which involves exaggeration and distortion of facts, however worthy the cause for which it is used, ever justified? Is fiction, labeled with the brand of authenticity, ever impossible?

No doubt Harriet Beecher Stowe, when she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, did so prompted by the highest of motives. Yet she, herself, relates the incident when she first met Abraham Lincoln in 1863, when he commented “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!”

Few will deny that the printed word in this instance fanned the flames of passion which brought about one of the bloodiest and saddest wars of history, with brother sometimes pitted against brother, father against son. Perhaps if there had been less appeal to the emotions the problems might have resolved themselves through peaceful means. However, almost universally read at the time, few people then recognized the potency of one small book or the injustice done the South through its wide acceptance as a fair picture of slavery in the South.

Propaganda, as a weapon of psychological warfare is even in wider use today. Communists are masters of the art. Often they use the direct approach; just as often they employ diversion tactics to focus the eyes and ears of the world in directions other t h m where the real conflict is being waged. For many years, through propaganda alone, the dead threat of Hitler and Nazism has been constantly held before the public in a diversion maneuver to keep attention from being directed against the live threat of Stalin, Khrushchev and Communism.

Such has been the effect, if not the deliberate intention of many who have promoted its distribution, of a book of dynamic appeal-The Diary Of Anne Frank. It has been sold to the public as the actual diary of a young Jewish girl who died in a Nazi concentration camp after two years of abuse and horror.

Most Americans have read the book or seen the movie version, deeply moved by the real life drama it claims to present. But have we been misled in the belief that Anne Frank actually wrote this diary? And if so. should an author be permitted to produce a work of fiction and sell it to the world as fact, particularly one of such tremendous emotional appeal?

Since actual period documentation does not exist in support of the Holocaust myth, it has always been incumbent on its supporters to create it.

Not only is the “Anne Frank” diary now considered to be a fake, so also is “The Painted Bird” by Jerzy Kosinski. This book, which is a mass of pornographic and sadistic imagery which, has it not been taken so seriously by the Jewish community, would be merely the pathetic manifestation of a self-serving and very sick person.

This was duly exposed as a shabby, but much beloved and quoted, fraud and in Kosinski’s footsteps we find the next perverted fiction entitled “Fragments” by a Swiss Protestant named Bruno Dosseker who spent the war in Switzerland. Dosseker posed as a very young Baltic Jewish concentration camp inmate named Binjamin Wolkomerski and is a highly disordered book that closely paralleled the psychobabble of Koskinski.

Dosseker became the poster boy for the Holocausters and was lionized by the obsessed of the international Jewish community, reaping considerable profit and many in-house awards for his wonderful and moving portrayal of German brutality and sexual sadism.

These sort of pathetic refugees from the back wards seem to be drawn to the Holocausters…and they to them. There are now “Holocaust Survivors” as young as thirty which is an interesting anomaly because the last concentration camp was closed in 1945. Perhaps they consider the last frenzied spring sale at Bloomingdale’s department store to be what they survived.

Next we can expect to see a book based on twenty seven volumes of secret diaries prepared within the current year by an inhabitant of the Warsaw ghetto, describing the Nazi slaughter of tens of millions of weeping Jews by means that would shame a modern African state.

And, predictably, the publication of these howlers would be greeted with joy on the part of the fund raisers and fanatics, praised in the columns of the New York Times and scripted by Steven Spielberg for a heart-wrenching guaranteed Oscar-winning film.

Hundreds of thousands of DVD copies will be donated to American schools and the Jewish community will demand that subservient executive and legislative bodies in America create a Day of Atonement as a National Holiday to balance the terrible Christian Christmas and the wickedly Satanic Halloween.

Conservationists must hate these books because so many otherwise beautiful and useful trees are slaughtered for their preparation.”



Table of Contents

  • Michael Anton and the Limits of Trumpism
  • The Iranian-Saudi Arabian conflict: Does the West have a skewed view?
  • ‘Return’ of Crimea is impossible – Russian senator on latest Ukrainian plan
  • Dozens of headstones vandalized at Philadelphia Jewish cemetery
  • The Social Newtwork Trap
  • Politically Incorrect humor
  • Why Worry About “Importing” Terrorists, When the Regime Can Grow Its Own?
  • Trump administration re-evaluating self-driving car guidance

Michael Anton and the Limits of Trumpism

Can the liberal international order be saved?

February 27, 2017

by Justin Raimondo,


Donald Trump’s appointments have provoked a uniform level of hysteria from his “progressive” opponents – “the Resistance” routinely goes to Defcon 1 in response to the President’s every tweet. Yet the virulence of their denunciations has an especially sharp edge to them when it comes to the foreign policy realm. Mike Flynn was portrayed as a Russian agent who received his orders directly from the Kremlin: Rex Tillerson was interrogated by Little Marco until our new Secretary of State vomited up the requisite anti-Russian noises. H. R. McMaster, who succeeds Flynn, has apparently been given a break on account of his spotless record as both a soldier’s soldier and a fearless truth-teller – his 1997 book, Dereliction of Duty, is a merciless indictment of the Vietnam war – but no doubt they’ll find something to pin on him before this piece is posted. One appointee, however, has received a peculiarly vicious treatment at the hands of the NeverTrumpers, on both the right and the left, and that is Michael Anton, the new Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council. Anton hits on the reason for this in the opening paragraph s of his recent article in American Affairs, the newly-inaugurated theoretical journal of high Trumpism:

“In a year of upset political apple carts, none were rattled harder, or lost more fruit, than traditional notions of American foreign policy. Donald Trump shocked a lot of people over a lot of issues. But no anti-Trump Republican economists orchestrated elaborate letters, with hundreds of signatories, to swear they would never serve in a Trump administration. No dissident Republican trade negotiators ostentatiously switched parties and vowed to support Trump’s opponent. Nor did Republican immigration experts flood the cable networks to renounce and denounce their party’s nominee.

“Yet all of the above – and more – happened with respect to foreign policy. The specific reasons why Republican foreign policy operatives chose to denounce Trump’s plans may never be clear. We shall instead explore what we think they had in mind.”

Anton may be feigning ignorance of the reasons for this furious assault by the mandarins of GOP foreign policy orthodoxy, or he may be genuinely baffled, but it is clear from the content and tone of his essay what motivates his many critics on both sides of the political spectrum. This bipartisan hostility to Trumpian foreign policy, and by extension to Anton, is exemplified by a recent profile of Anton in The Intercept, a left-wing site, that quotes approvingly the objections of neoconservatives such as Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, and neoconservative pundits Bill Kristol and Ben Shapiro, and comes complete with a photograph of none other than Charles Lindbergh and America First Committee founder R. Douglas Stuart. Author Peter Maas, one of the more hebephrenic Trump haters, writes:

“In an effort to justify the ‘America First’ slogan that Trump was beginning to use, the article [by Anton] argued that the anti-Semitic ‘America First Committee’ of the early 1940s, which opposed U.S. entry into World War II and was supported by Charles Lindbergh, had been ‘unfairly maligned’ and was just an ‘alleged stain’ on US history.”

To good liberals like Maas and the editors of The Intercept, the scare quotes adorning the name of an organization that included Norman Thomas, Gerald Ford, John F. Kennedy, and Gore Vidal is sufficient to dismiss it as Hitler’s Fifth Column – in much the same way as anyone who questions the crazed Russophobia of the NeverTrumpers is maligned as a Russian “agent of influence.” For Maas & Co., World War II was the Good War, and anyone who questions that canonical assumption of modern liberalism is “anti-Semitic” and probably a closet Nazi. That Maas goes on to equate Anton’s views with those of Carl Schmitt, the Nazi ideologist, is just more of the same smear-mongering that is now a routine part of a our political discourse.

But what does Anton really believe – and why do neoconservatives and our neo-McCarthyite “liberals” attack him in identical terms?

They do so for the same reason the foreign policy Establishment – including our politicized “intelligence community” – has the knives out for Trump himself. As Anton puts it:

“Nearly all opponents of President Trump’s foreign policy, from conservatives and Republicans to liberals and Democrats, claim to speak up for the “liberal international order.” A word may have been different here or there (e.g., “world order”) but the basic charge was always the same. Whether voiced by Fareed Zakaria and Yascha Mounk on the left, Walter Russell Mead in the center, Eliot Cohen and Robert Zoellick on the right, or Robert Kagan on the once-right-now-left, the consensus was clear: Trump threatens the international liberal order.”

So what is the “liberal international order” (heretofore LIO), anyway? And why is it a Good Thing? Even daring to ask these questions, as far as Washington’s foreign policy mavens are concerned, is an unforgivable heresy. And so Anton is condemned out of his own mouth from the very beginning: like Trump, he is challenging a dogma that has been the basis of American foreign policy since the end of World War II, and that has our elites in a panic.

The LIO, as defined by Anton, is the hegemonic position of the victorious powers in World War II, excluding the Soviet Union and mainland China. More specifically, it is the network of international institutions that have imagined and implemented the policies that have brought us to our present condition: the UN, NATO, the European Union, the World Bank – in short, the favored instruments by which the Davos crowd seeks to impose their worldview on the rest of us. Anton likens this worldview to a religion:

“Celebrants of the LIO seem to think that no explanation of its utility or value is necessary. Affirmation is enough because its goodness is self-evident. Trump’s implicit questioning of that order therefore sounds blasphemous. And clerics tend to confront blasphemy not with patient clarification but with strident denunciation.”

While opining that the priestly status of the foreign policy establishment “is not necessarily a bad thing” – “priests,” he snarks, “can be useful” – he nevertheless indicts this particular conclave of the faithful as hopelessly decadent in the sense that

“The arrangement becomes a problem when the elite forgets or at least can no longer articulate the original rationale for the policies it still advocates. That is the situation American foreign policy has faced since the end of the Cold War, if not before – a situation Trump pointed out in often pungent language.”

Like any priesthood, the ecclesiastics of globalism defend their sacerdotal prerogatives out of pure self-interest:

“[I]t is important to understand that they will look down on any heterodox analysis – simplistic or complex, old or new, factually detailed or broad-brush – and they will dismiss these analyses in seemingly contradictory terms. This one is too detailed, stuck “in the weeds,” and misses the forest for the trees, while that one is too vague and high-level and lacks specifics. The only common thread is that the priesthood is protecting its guild.

“And make no mistake: the foreign policy establishment is very much a guild. This fact is true in the prosaic sense. The priesthood operates and draws income from the LIO’s constituent institutions. It’s also true in the higher sense that the language and ideas of the LIO are the intellectual framework of all foreign policy discussion – the water in which fish do not know they swim.”

As Americans found themselves having attained the status of a superpower, in 1945, albeit a reluctant one, the elements of the foreign policy of the Founders were still what they always were: in Anton’s parlance, these are the pursuit of “peace, prestige, and prosperity.” I find his elucidation of these elements to be maddeningly vague, particularly the latter two. While peace is clearly the absence of war and of any threat to the continental United States and our (vaguely defined) “interests” abroad, what is “prestige”? Anton defines it in terms of its opposite, which he avers is “contempt”:

“Contempt and its opposite, prestige, are elusive qualities in international politics. Yet everyone knows them when they see them. When the Iranians seized ten American sailors in January 2016, and held them hostage for propaganda photos, those sailors – and our entire country – were being treated with contempt. Being insulted like this and passively accepting the insult increases the contempt felt for us by other nations. This was of course but a small example. A graver example is the contempt engendered by fighting two of the world’s weakest and poorest countries for a decade and not being able to win – and, worse, winning and then casually throwing the victory away.”

While Anton doesn’t shy away from challenging the foreign policy dogmas that have held sway since 1945, he backs down when it comes down to specifics. What was an American gunboat doing in Iranian waters in the first place? Wouldn’t Tehran’s failure to act induce contempt for Iran and demolish its prestige in the eyes of the world? Apparently, the road to avoiding contempt is a one-way street.

Worse, we are told that, contrary to what the headlines tell us, we really did “win” in Iraq (and Afghanistan!) but then indulged our taste for self-abasement by “casually throwing the victory away.”

This is the official mythology of the Trump administration, and it is beyond nonsensical. If Iraq was a “victory,” then, as King Pyhrrus is reputed to have said after battling the Romans: “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.” Trump has underscored the consequences of our Pyhrric “victory” many times, most recently in his CPAC speech:

“In the Middle East, we’ve spent as of four weeks ago, $6 trillion. Think of it. And by the way, the Middle East is in – I mean, it’s not even close, it’s in much worse shape than it was 15 years ago. If our presidents would have gone to the beach for 15 years, we would be in much better shape than we are right now, that I can tell you. Be a hell of a lot better. We could have rebuilt our country three times with that money.”

Of course, Trump also says that we left too early – another of the many contradictions of Trumpism, which are loyally reflected in Anton’s essay.

I’ll lightly pass over Anton’s view of how US foreign policy must ensure our prosperity: he says we must prevent the creation of “cartels,’ when in reality no cartel has ever succeeded in enforcing its strictures – someone always breaks away in order to pursue that universal human desire, the ability to profit. He also says we must ensure that no “undue pressure” is brought to bear on our trading partners, and that we must maintain the delivery of “strategic” resources, but these are just vague enough to merit our ignoring them. After all, he never names these “strategic” resources, and since fracking has made us much less dependent on Middle Eastern oil this seems like another of those archaic conditions Anton is so eager to challenge.

Anton takes the default conservative view of the cold war era by averring that the LIO was necessary in order to defeat the Soviet Union. In spite of the general American desire to “return to normalacy,” as he puts it, the enormous exertion of economic and military resources in order to stop Soviet “expansionism” was legitimate because it stayed within the tripartite framework supposedly established by the Founders: the preservation of peace, prestige, and prosperity. One could point out that he has this wrong: that the Soviet Union had long ago abandoned its official ideology of world revolution – shortly after exiling Leon Trotsky – and, in practice, carried out a foreign policy dedicated to defending socialism in one country. Yet that would be jousting at windmills, since a) that argument is, today, largely irrelevant, and b) it only delays us getting to the really interesting part of Anton’s worldview. This is where he passes into heretic territory: when he points out the reification of this globalist strategic orientation into an essentially religious conception long after its usefulness has expired:

“The LIO was not an end, but a means to preordained ends. Its contemporary defenders have forgotten – or never quite understood – this aspect of the LIO. They treat the LIO as the end, as the sempiternal embodiment of American interests, when in fact its creation was a response to the challenges of a particular time. Are those challenges permanent and unchanging? Some may persist, but the world looks a lot different today than it did in 1945. So why must the instruments of American foreign policy be preserved in amber?”

To be clear, Anton does not propose abandoning the LIO, but merely looks forward to its “intelligent reform.” Significantly, he says that the reorientation of the institutions that make up the LIO “certainly does not require its expansion into the establishment of a universal and homogenous state, as some imagine.”

This is significant because the phrase “universal and homogenous state” refers to a concept advanced by Francis Fukuyama in his famous essay, “The End of History,” in which this is put forward as the inevitable result of history’s “unfolding,” in the Hegelian sense. All of human history, said Hegel, points toward this “unfolding,” and at the end of the cold war – when Fukuyama’s essay was published – this view exemplified the triumphalism of certain neoconservative intellectuals, who nevertheless opined that History (capitalized!) needed a little nudging. In response, Charles Krauthammer embraced Fukuyama with the qualification that we’d have to make an effort to push History forward, presumably under the aegis of American military power: he looked forward to the creation of a Western super-state encompassing North America, Western Europe, and Japan. Such was the neoconservative globalist vision as the Berlin Wall fell.

Here Anton – who served in the George W. Bush administration, and supported the Iraq war – is throwing down the gauntlet in front of his former comrades in that troublesome little sect known as the neoconservatives, and crossing over to the other side of the barricades, where the banner of “America First” is fluttering in the breeze.

So how does he intend to “reform” the LIO?

On trade, he says:

“The LIO elevates ‘free trade’ – really, phonebook-thick agreements that regulate every aspect of trade, mostly to America’s disadvantage – to holy writ. It does so for political reasons as well as ideological ones, such as the often-inappropriate invocation of David Ricardo. The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has been composed entirely of true believers in the free trade doctrine for several decades. But the world economy has changed significantly since 1945, to state the obvious. In certain cases, at least, the conditions underlying that period’s commercial policy orientation (and the theoretical impulses behind it) no longer apply. The Trump administration is right to be skeptical of free trade ideology and to revisit trade policy based on core interests and commercial realities.”

The political reasons he references are not specified, so I’ll do it for him. Take our trade policy toward Japan: we give them unfettered access to our markets in exchange for – what? What no one, including Anton, tells us is that the price they pay is military occupation. The same is true for South Korea. US troops occupy the soil of both of these “allies,” which are really protectorates. We pay for their defense, while they extract from us an unfair trade advantage. The result has been the de-industrialization of “flyover country,” an unsustainable “defense” budget  – and the election of Donald J. Trump as the forty-fifth President of these United States.

On our alliances: while NATO is “far from irrelevant today,” Anton says,

“But it is reasonable to ask: What is the alliance for once its original purpose has evaporated? If it can be reformed to better address the threats of our time – terrorism, mass illegal migration – all to the good.”

Key word: “if” – because perhaps it cannot be reformed. An intriguing possibility that Anton fails to address, but which I will address with the certainty that its members have lived so long under the umbrella of American generosity that they are unwilling, and perhaps even incapable of changing the terms of the original contract. In which case, the deal is off.

Anton goes on to write:

“We must also ask: Why is it in our strategic interest to push that alliance’s borders ever outward? What do we gain by pledging American blood to defend places where it would take us a 48-hour airlift to mount a forlorn defense with one regiment? In what way does committing to impossible things enhance prestige?”

Given this, we can expect that the entry of, say, Montenegro – a “country” with a population equal to that of San Francisco, and a “army” of a few thousand – into NATO will be opposed by the Trump administration. And on the issue of NATO expansion, Anton is unequivocal:

“The case for continued expansion of the LIO seems feeble indeed and has recently been taken to absurd extremes. One school of thought – let us call them the ‘neocons’ – holds that since democracy is ‘our team,’ and that team’s overall health improves when its prospects are expanding, then surely it is in our interest to democratize the world. No?

“No. That is to say: America would likely be better off if the world were more democratic than it is, given that democracy correlates highly with friendliness or at least non-opposition to American interests, whereas ‘authoritarianism’ (or, to be more precise, ‘tyranny’) correlates highly with opposition and even hostility to American interests. But in some regions, democracy also correlates highly with instability, which breeds war and chaos that are antithetical to American interests. In others, the rhetoric and mechanism of democracy are used – one man, one vote, once – to squelch robust democracy and impose a tyranny worse than what preceded the ‘democracy.’”

This represents a complete break with the Bush era foreign policy of the GOP. It is an explicit rejection of the perverted Trotskyism of President George W. Bush’s second inaugural, in which he pledged “the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world,” and his even more effusive peroration before the National Endowment for Democracy, in which he declared the launching of a “global democratic revolution.” This is why legions of Bush era foreign policy “experts” and Bush administration officials signed a series of open letters denouncing Trump and all his works: after all, he had disdained their proudest “achievement” – a disastrous war that we are still paying for, in blood and treasure – and implicitly challenged the justification for it by declaring that “they lied.” Yes, they lied – and the man who called them on it is now sitting in the Oval Office. For that, the neocons will never forgive him – just as we will never forgive them.

Yet we would be making a grievous error if we mistook Anton’s – and Trump’s – “America First” foreign policy for anti-interventionism. Anton is quite clear about this:

“I would ask careful readers to please note that, for all the criticism of the foreign policy establishment, nothing here has specifically criticized the LIO per se. It served our interests well in the times and places for which it was built. It remains superior to most alternatives, including paleo-isolationism and neocon overreach. Confusion may arise from the implicit conflation of the LIO with the latter. It is not an outrageous error to make, precisely because the neocons have expended a lot of effort since the end of the Cold War to meld the two in the public mind, beginning with the so-called Wolfowitz Doctrine strategy paper drafted in the Pentagon in 1992 and continuing in 2014 with Robert Kagan’s New Republic think piece ‘Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire.’”

At the core of Anton’s critique of the LIO is the failure of its advocates to recognize reasonable limits. America has neither the necessity nor the means to “maintain a liberal order in every corner of the globe” even if that were a worthwhile goal (“which it isn’t”). “We have to choose. What do we choose and on what basis?”

Anton asks the question, but – oddly – he fails to answer it. If the LIO must be restricted, geographically, then where – and on what basis – do we draw the line? He makes a go of arguing that countries where democracy has no history, and liberalism is unknown, are not likely candidates – but then doesn’t that rule out Syria, where US troops are now fighting? And what about Iraq, hardly a bastion of liberal democracy? Yet the Trump administration shows every indication that they intend to maintain and expand our endless “war on terrorism” in both of those unfortunate countries.

Anton argues that the overreach of the neocons led to:

“A growing awareness of the disconnect between the instrumental policies of that [international] order and its overriding purpose. In restoring a sense of the core objectives behind the LIO’s institutions, Trump actually shows a greater regard for it.”

Far from being a critic of the LIO, Trump is here portrayed as its savior! A neat trick, I must admit, but it won’t work for the reasons given above: Anton has no answer to those who ask “Why must we spend $6 trillion in the Middle East when our own country is falling apart at the seams?” The President rightly says we could’ve rebuilt our country twice over for that amount: how will Anton refute him?

No, we are not Trumpians, that much is clear from Anton’s essay. Indeed, he is quite explicit:

“Trump’s campaign was driven by the basic awareness of ordinary citizens that American peace, prestige, and prosperity were not being served by our foreign policy. Among the many reasons to be hopeful about President Trump’s foreign policy is that he seems to understand that correcting the errors of the neo-interventionists does not require adopting those of the paleo-isolationists.”

Ah yes, the “paleo-isolationists” – that’s us! We, of course, are the real America Firsters, those who recognize that the problem with US foreign policy isn’t just a simple case of “overreach,” but of megalomania. After all, a stated desire to impose a “world homogenous state” on the globe isn’t an ideology so much as it’s a pathology – and a deadly dangerous one when it is married to the mightiest military machine the world has ever seen.

If Anton thinks he will “save” the country from “paleo-isolationism,” he is very much mistaken. For the truth of the matter is that he has failed to recognize that rulers, by their very nature, are incapable of recognizing and respecting the limits of power: they always seek to expand their domain. This is why NATO has continued to expand well beyond the time when it had any real defensive function. This is why the “wise men” who lorded over the LIO didn’t – and couldn’t – stop the very concept from bloating out into an inflated and unsupportable Imperium. This is why the seemingly reasonable demand for the maintenance of American prestige ballooned into an untenable and ungodly hubris.

Men are human beings: they always go overboard. They are constantly testing the limits of their power – and, in the process, starting wars they can neither justify nor win. This is the immutable truth that “paleo-isolationism” is founded on. The good news is that, having challenged the LIO, Trumpism has paved the way for our eventual triumph. The bad news is that, in the process of trying to chart a middle path, the Trump administration may lead us into more of the bloody and cruel wars that Trump campaigned against.

The Iranian-Saudi Arabian conflict: Does the West have a skewed view?

The West often boils down the difficult relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia to sectarian conflicts between Wahhabists and militant Shiites, but the rivalry is much more complex.

February 27, 2017

by Joseph Croitoru


This oversimplified view of the conflict needs to be adjusted, especially when looking back at the longstanding relations between the modern states of Saudi Arabia and Iran. As they took shape in the 1920s, their rulers – Ibn Saud and Shah Reza Pahlavi – focused on modernizing their countries. The Shah faced opposition from the Iranian clergy, Ibn Saud encountered resistance from Saudi legal scholars. The two leaders had these domestic political problems in common and they bonded over them. In 1929, the two countries concluded a friendship agreement. The relationship became even closer about a decade later when Mohammed Reza Pahlavi came to power as Shah in 1941. With the help of Washington, Iran and Saudi Arabia pursued the goal of containing socialist Pan-Arabism and the communist influence of the Soviet Union in the region.

Khomeini and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia – a difficult relationship

In 1979, the Iranian Shah was overthrown and the Islamic Republic, which was immediately recognized by the Saudis, was founded. Riyadh’s hopes of maintaining good relations with Tehran did not pan out. There was no place for the conservative Saudi monarchy in Ayatollah Khomeini’s vision of a global Islamic revolution. He even saw the Saudis as an impediment to the revolution. Khomeini tried to influence members of the Shiite minority in Saudi Arabia. However, he did not touch on the centuries-old dispute between Sunnis and Shiites. Instead, he used the slogan “Liberation of the oppressed.” This way, Tehran thought it would win over Islamists in the Sunni world as well. Despite the Sunni-Shiite conflict, it was a moment of unity. It went well, even when Khomeini demanded a greater say in the management of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, where Iranian pilgrims at that time often caused trouble by holding demonstrations at the religious event. This motivated Fahd of Saudi Arabia to adopt the forgotten title of “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques” in 1986. The following year, when Saudi police opened fire on Iranian pilgrims demonstrating in Mecca, it became clear that Riyadh would no longer tolerate interference from Tehran.

In response, Iran severed all diplomatic ties. Relations had already hit rock bottom since Saudi Arabia supported Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War that had been raging since 1980. The Saudis supported Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein more as a gesture of Arab solidarity than out of any particular conviction. At the beginning of the 1990s, however, the political climate changed in the region. Saddam proved to be more and more unpredictable, especially after his invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and was no longer feared only by Iran, but also by the Saudi royal family. Against this background – and also because Khomeini had died in 1989 – Tehran and Riyadh mended fences and each reinstalled ambassadors. The repeated rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which had been driven by then-President Akbar Rafsanjani, was also a result of political disillusionment in Tehran. The government there distanced itself from the global Islamic revolution it had once advocated and focused more intensely on foreign policy in the region.

Saudi-Syrian rapprochement

However, this shift in priorities did not only contribute to the improvement of bilateral relations. It also brought new problems for Saudi Arabia. The two countries reached a security agreement in 2001, but Tehran’s contribution to the ongoing weapons buildup by the pro-Iranian Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah worried Riyadh, which began to support the rival Sunni-Christian camp in response. The Saudis were also concerned about Iran’s nuclear program. Even at this point in time, both countries – once allies of the US in the fight against communism – were not divided over an ancient religious dispute. Iran’s hatred of Washington’s doctrine was fed by American intervention in Iraq in 2003. Iran perceived the American advance as an intervention in its immediate sphere of influence. When US troops withdrew from Iraq, Iran start interfering with Iraq’s interests. Saudi Arabia reacted by trying to curry favor with an Iranian ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The rapid Saudi-Syrian rapprochement of 2010, however, ended quickly when the Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War began. The Syrian war, in which Saudi Arabia and Iran support different camps, is being interpreted as a sectarian war; however, this is not true. The alliance between Tehran and the Alawite ruling elite in Damascus was a never purely religious connection; it ensued mainly from the mutual hostility towards Israel and Saddam Hussein. Sunnis are also fighting each other in Syria today and for the radical Islamist terrorists from the self-styled “Islamic State” (IS), both Shiites and rival Sunni jihadists are mortal enemies.

Iran and Saudi Arabia view these extremists as the greatest threat in the region. Both regimes, especially as they are facing increasing pressure to adapt to secularization, do their best to avoid using religious rhetoric in their verbal exchanges. Terrorism, the support of terrorism and the desire for expansion are the most common official accusations. By no means do these fit the religious prism the West uses to view the Iranian-Saudi Arabian rivalry.

At the last security conference in Munich, the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, hinted that Iran had secretly joined forces with the anti-Shiite IS. Meanwhile in the eyes of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, IS is Israel’s henchman and as a consequence, part of the Zionist-American conspiracy, which can also gladly incorporate Riyadh if the propaganda agenda requires it.

‘Return’ of Crimea is impossible – Russian senator on latest Ukrainian plan

February 27, 2017


In reply to statements that Kiev has a plan to regain control over Donbass and Crimea, Russian Senator Aleksey Pushkov stated that the scenario was absolutely impossible.

“Avakov has reported that Kiev has a plan to regain Crimea and Donbass, but he has not revealed its essence. Crimea definitely cannot be returned now, with or without a plan,” Pushkov wrote in his Twitter microblog.

The statement came in reply to the words of Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who told 1+1 TV about the alleged plan for “restoring Ukrainian territorial integrity” through diplomacy and without military action.

Earlier this month, Western media circulated a report about Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Artemenko and his proposal to normalize Russia-Ukraine relations through an agreement by which Russia would rent Crimea from Ukraine on a long-term basis. Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov called the idea “absurd,” and denied that Moscow had ever had negotiations on the agreement.

Pushkov also commented on a Facebook post from the weekend in which Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promised “not to leave without support” Ukrainian citizens in Crimea. The Russian senator tweeted that the Ukrainian leader had fully demonstrated what he meant by “support” in the war-torn regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, and that hardly anyone in Crimea would wish to repeat what happened in eastern Ukraine. Pushkov added that Crimeans had experienced what Kiev means by “care” when they suffered from energy and trade blockades imposed after its reunification with Russia.

The Crimean Republic reunited with the Russian Federation in mid-2014, after over 96 percent of its residents, the majority of whom are ethnic Russians, approved the move in a referendum. The decision was prompted by the ouster of the democratically-elected president of Ukraine in a violent coup in Kiev, and the installation of a nationalist-backed government that almost immediately declared war on the pro-Russia regions in the country’s southeast, which refused to recognize the newly imposed regime.

A poll conducted on the second anniversary of the reunification in June 2016 showed that 95 percent of the people living in Crimea said that they would support the republic’s accession to the Russian Federation if a referendum was held again. Only two percent of those polled said they would not support reunification. Three percent of Crimeans and four percent of Sevastopol residents found the question too complex to answer.

In the same poll, Crimeans were asked if they were satisfied with the general situation in their region. Seventy-six percent answered “yes,” of which 34 percent were “very certain” about it.

Dozens of headstones vandalized at Philadelphia Jewish cemetery

February 26, 2017

by Sarah Kaplan

The Washington Post

Police say vandals attacked a Jewish cemetery in Northeast Philadelphia this weekend, just a week after a similar incident was reported at a Jewish burial ground in suburban St. Louis.

According to Jim McReynolds, a detective for the Philadelphia Police Department, at least 75 to 100 headstones at Mount Carmel Cemetery were discovered knocked over Sunday morning. Several of the headstones were broken. Police are investigating the incident as a case of vandalism.

“It’s pretty much intentional,” McReynolds told The Washington Post. “We just have to find out if it’s drunken kids or an act of — well, it is a predominantly Jewish cemetery, so we have to look into that fact.”

In a statement released Sunday evening, the police department said that it appears the headstones were knocked over sometime after dark on Saturday. Police don’t have surveillance footage of the attack or any leads as to who might have committed it. The Anti-Defamation League is offering a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.

Aaron Mallin of northern New Jersey told local news channel ABC6 that he went to Mount Carmel to visit his father’s grave Sunday morning and discovered the damage.

“It’s just very disheartening that such a thing would take place,” Mallin said.

It is not clear whether the attack was motivated by anti-Semitism. McReynolds said there have been no such reports of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries in the region, though 33 tombstones were found toppled earlier this month at Holy Redeemer Cemetery, a Catholic burial ground about two miles from Mount Carmel.

In January, someone threw rocks through eight windows at a Philadelphia synagogue, Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai, before services were about to start. A window at the temple also was broken in December. At the time, police said that the incidents were connected but that they did not consider them a hate crime, according to ABC6.

The vandalism at Mount Carmel comes after a similar attack at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Mo., where as many as 200 headstones were toppled. That incident, along with bomb threats against dozens of Jewish community centers across the country, sparked anxiety among many U.S. Jews.

“Attacking a cemetery, especially one that is all-Jewish, all-Catholic, or whatever it is, is basically an attack on the culture, the identity of the people that cemetery represents,” Aaron Breitbart, a researcher at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, told The Post after the St. Louis incident.

On Tuesday, after facing pressure to condemn the vandalism in St. Louis, President Trump called anti-Semitism “horrible” and vowed to take steps to counter extremism.

Two Muslim American activists started a fundraiser to help pay for repairs at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery. More than $130,000 had been donated in less than a week. On Sunday afternoon, the organizers of the campaign posted an update saying they had contacted Mount Carmel to offer funds from the campaign.

The incident in Philadelphia also brought a wave of condemnations online, including tweets from Rep. Robert A. Brady (D-Pa.), who represents Philadelphia; Emmanuel Nahshon, a spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry; and the Anti-Defamation League.

The Anne Frank Center also tweeted a statement calling on Trump to give a nationally televised speech condemning anti-Semitism and other forms of religious discrimination.

The Social Network Trap

February 27, 2017

by Harry von Johnston PhD

The Internet has an enormous storehouse of information and nearly any desired material can be located and downloaded. That is the positive aspect of the Internet. The negative side is that the Internet supplies an enormous flood of false, misleading and useless information, almost all of invented out of whole cloth by the same types that also have rushed to join, and use, what is known as the Social Network.

The Social Networks are a handy means for persons to express their personal views on almost any subject and to communicate with others of a like mind. The problem that one notes from reading their postings is the same one observes in reading the comments appended to serious articles on major newspapers. In reading both of these areas, one is at once struck by the utter stupidity of the writers, their total lack of English, their constant bad grammar and terrible spelling and, most important, their desire not to express a thoughtful view but to parade their insignificance and ignorance to a wide audience.

Another negative aspect of the Social Network is that, at least in the United States, all of the networks of any size are working closely with such official governmental agencies as the DHS and the FBI, to spy on their members at no cost or effort to themselves. In these cases, the mindless babblings and boastings of the dim of wit load federal surveillance files with moronic chatters from which the authorities can easily build a criminal case.

We did some research on the social networks and discovered that they have attracted more members than the government can keep up with, redolent of the thousands of hungry flies congregating in a cow pen.


750,000,000 – Monthly Visitors


250,000,000 – Monthly Visitors


110,000,000 – Monthly Visitors


85,500,000 – Monthly Visitors


70,500,000 – Monthly Visitors

Google +

65,000,000 – Monthly Visitors


25,500,000 – Monthly Visitors

Live Journal

20,500,000 – Monthly Visitors


19,500,000 – Monthly Visitors


17,500,000 – Monthly Visitors


12,500,000 – Monthly Visitors


12,000,000 – Monthly Visitors


7,500,000 – Monthly Visitors


5,400,000 – Monthly Visitors


4,300,000 – Monthly Visitors


117,000,000 Yearly Visitors

BlackPlanet (Black Americans)

20,000,000 Yearly Visitors

Blauk  Anyone who wants to tell something about a stranger or acquaintance.       1,081,215  Yearly Visitors              .

Formspring    social Q&A website

290,000,000  Yearly Visitors

Habbo  For teens. Chat room and user profiles.

268,000,000 Yearly Visitors

Itsmy     Mobile community worldwide, blogging, friends, personal TV shows

2,500,000 Yearly Visitors

Kiwibox General.

2,400,000 Yearly Visitors


Military cooperation between Ukraine and U.S. is carried out within the framework of the signed bilateral agreements.

Main spheres of the military cooperation are:

  • Security cooperation;
  • Military-to-military interoperability;
  • Civil-military relations;
  • Financial support in defense sphere;
  • Military-technical cooperation;
  • Military scientific/technical cooperation.

In order to implement these directions of military cooperation MOD of Ukraine and DOD USA are exchanging with military delegations at different levels on a regular basis. During the last visit to the United States in October 2002 Minister of Defense of Ukraine General of Army of Ukraine Volodimur Shkidchenko met Pentagon leaders and discussed different issues of US-Ukraine relationships in military and civilian spheres. He also met with high level officials from the US State Department and National Security Council.

There are several practical issues of cooperation between MOD of Ukraine and DOD USA.

Ukraine is an active participant in antiterrorist campaign, leaded by USA. Ukraine has given permission to allied forces to use its air space to deliver humanitarian relief to Afghanistan. United States’ and Germany’s transport planes have been using Ukrainian air space since the beginning of operation “Enduring Freedom”. Ministry of Defense of Ukraine sent representatives to the Coalition Coordination Center at US Central Command in Tampa, Florida. Ukraine also donated military equipment and munitions for the needs of Afghan National Army in total cost of $ 350 000.

Ukraine also proposed its airlift capability to other European nations. Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has already helped some countries to deploy their contingents to Afghanistan.

On 20th of February 2003, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine made a decision to send NBC battalion to the Persian Gulf region to assist troops and local population with recovering from any possible use of weapons of mass destruction in the area of the conflict. Later on Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) approved this decision and President L.Kuchma, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces gave an order to deploy NBC protection battalion to Kuwait.

Ukrainian and American experts are working together to resolve some other important issues such as:

  • Reforming the Ukrainian Armed Forces military personnel and education system;
  • Ukraine Armed Forces transfer to a contract-based service and professional NCO training;
  • Defense Analysis;
  • Fulfillment of US Foreign Military Financing Program for Ukraine;

Emplacement of US-controlled anti-ballistic missiles in the Ukraine;

U.S. financial assistance to Ukraine:

In 2012, the United States provided Ukraine with $7 million for the purchase of military equipment under the Foreign Military Financing program (FMF) and for the continued upgrade and improvement of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

More than 50 Ukrainian military personnel currently study in the United States at  military education facilities.

The United States continues financial support to Ukraine in the military sphere in accordance with US budget FY 2013 and FY 2014.

Politically Incorrect humor

Jim and Mary were both patients in a mental hospital.

One day while they were walking past the hospital swimming pool, Jim suddenly jumped into the deep end. He sunk to the bottom of the pool and stayed there.

Mary promptly jumped in to save him. She swam to the bottom and pulled Jim out, saving his life.

When the medical director became aware of Mary’s heroic act he immediately ordered her to be discharged from the hospital, as he now considered her to be mentally stable.

When he went to tell Mary the news he said, “Mary, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you’re being discharged because since you were able to jump in and save the life of another patient, I think you’ve regained your senses. The bad news is, Jim the patient you saved, hung himself with his bathrobe belt in the bathroom. I am so sorry, but he is dead.”

“Oh,” Mary replied, “he didn’t hang himself. I put him there to dry.”

Why Worry About “Importing” Terrorists, When the Regime Can Grow Its Own?

February 23, 2017

by Will Grigg

The Libertarian Institute

This year, while the Trump administration has fixated on what it describes as acute peril posed by immigrants and refugees from the Muslim world, there have been three domestic terrorism-related incidents involving American-born military veterans.

Esteban Santiago, accused of murdering five people in a January 6th shooting rampage at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Airport, was a mentally disturbed ex-National Guard soldier who was born in New Jersey. Several weeks before his killing spree, Santiago — who was living in Anchorage, Alaska — contacted the FBI to tell them that the CIA was controlling his mind and “forcing” him to join ISIS. Following a brief psychiatric detention, Santiago was given back his personal firearm, and a few weeks later made the fatal trip to Florida.

After his arrest, Santiago allegedly said that he had carried out the attack on behalf of ISIS. This may be a manifestation of an ongoing delusion, or the confession of a “lone wolf” terrorist — but given the Deep State’s track record it wouldn’t be wise to rule out the possibility that Santiago had told some version of the truth to the FBI prior to the attack.

On January 31, four days after Trump issued his travel ban executive order, another American-born ex-soldier named Joshua Cummings calmly walked up to a transit guard in Denver and shot him in the head. The victim, 56-year-old Scott Von Lanken, was a pastor who worked part-time as a private security officer. Cummings, a former Army Sergeant and a recent convert to Islam who had relocated to the Denver area from Texas, had alienated several members of the mosque he was attending through his overt militancy and intolerance. He likewise claimed, after the fact, that he carried out the attack on behalf of ISIS.

On Christmas eve the leaders of that congregation sent an urgent email to the Department of Homeland Security describing Cummings and expressing their concern that “He seems pretty advanced in his path of radicalization.” Leviathan’s apex security agency either did nothing to act on that intelligence, or quietly abetted the subject’s worst impulses. The former possibility would be unconscionable, but the latter, once again, cannot be discounted — as the third recent terror-related episode illustrates.

Just two days ago (February 21), the FBI announced the arrest of Missouri resident Robert Lorenzo Hester, Jr. on charges of offering material support to ISIS.

Hester was born in Missouri and converted to Islam following a brief and unsuccessful stint in the U.S. Army and now calls himself Mohammed Junaid Al Amreeki. He came to the attention of the FBI through a series of social media posts in which he condemned Washington’s foreign policy and what he viewed as the government’s consistent abuse of Muslims. Among his complaints were the Obama administration’s bombing of Yemen and – ironically – US and Israeli support for ISIS, which he did not recognize as representing authentic Islam.

“A true Muslim,” Hester argued, “would never commit suicide bombing during Ramadan at the Prophet’s [mosque],” an incident that he took as demonstrating that ISIS was either apostate or a group controlled by enemies of his religion. Citing the example of right-leaning citizen militias and similar community self-defense groups, Hester spoke of an interest in organizing the “Lions of the Ummah” for the purpose of defending fellow Muslims against violence. On the evidence provided by the FBI, it doesn’t appear that Hester was inclined toward “direct action” against the US government until after he was targeted by the Bureau’s Homeland Security Theater troupe.

Last August, as documented in the federal criminal complaint, Hester was approached online by an FBI informant posing as a fellow Muslim who explored the depths of his grievances and carefully channeled them in the direction of prosecutable offenses. Over the next six months two FBI provocateurs guided Hester through the familiar ritual of radicalization.

Prior to being contacted by the FBI, Hester had considered moving to a Muslim country.

“I don’t like America, like for my kids,” Hester told an FBI terrorism facilitator (yes, that is how the Bureau’s Homeland Security Players have been described in federal court documents). Hester elaborated by saying that he was new to the Islamic religion and was often confused by what he read about its tenets online. His ever-helpful “friend” asked if Hester was “looking for an Islamic state,” eliciting an affirmative response from the subject that would later be used as evidence of an allegiance to ISIS.

The criminal complaint offers the de rigueur disclaimer that as the scripted “plot” unfolded, Hester was offered several chances to withdraw. It also documents that at one point, after the undercover operatives had seduced the subject into the alleged conspiracy, one of them threatened to harm his family if he “talked about any plans” or otherwise defied the instructions of his handlers.

Hester was eventually told to obtain roofing nails and other materials for pipe bombs that were supposedly to be used in a series of attacks on President’s Day. He was arrested at a storage facility on February 17.

It may never be known if Esteban Santiago was acting under the influence of the CIA or some other intelligence agency. While there’s no evidence that Joshua Cummings carried out a false-flag attack, the Homeland Security Department could be considered an accessory before the fact, given the advance warning it received from the Denver mosque. Lorenzo Hester’s “terrorist plot” was a pure FBI contrivance.

None of these “military-age men” came from any of the countries subject to the Trump administration’s travel ban. Shutting down immigration completely — or encasing the continental United States in an impregnable force field — would do nothing to protect the public from dangers that can be synthesized by the same agencies that supposedly provide that protection.

Trump administration re-evaluating self-driving car guidance

February 26, 2017

by David Shepardson


WASHINGTON-U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said on Sunday she was reviewing self-driving vehicle guidance issued by the Obama administration and urged companies to explain the benefits of automated vehicles to a skeptical public.

The guidelines, which were issued in September, call on automakers to voluntarily submit details of self-driving vehicle systems to regulators in a 15-point “safety assessment” and urge states to defer to the federal government on most vehicle regulations.

Automakers have raised numerous concerns about the guidance, including that it requires them to turn over significant data, could delay testing by months and lead to states making the voluntary guidelines mandatory.

In November, major automakers urged the then-incoming Trump administration to re-evaluate the guidelines and some have called for significant changes. Automakers called on Congress earlier this month to make legislative changes to speed self-driving cars to U.S. roads.

Chao, in her first major public remarks since taking office last month, told the National Governors Association: “This administration is evaluating this guidance and will consult with you and other stakeholders as we update it and amend it, to ensure that it strikes the right balance.”

She said self-driving cars could dramatically improve safety.

In 2015, 35,092 people died in U.S. traffic crashes, up 7 percent and the highest full-year increase since 1966. In the first nine months of 2016, fatalities were up 8 percent.

Chao, noting research that 94 percent of traffic crashes were due to human error, said: “There’s a lot at stake in getting this technology right.”

She said the Trump administration wanted to ensure it “is a catalyst for safe, efficient technologies, not an impediment. In particular, I want to challenge Silicon Valley, Detroit, and all other auto industry hubs to step up and help educate a skeptical public about the benefits of automated technology.”

Companies including Alphabet Inc’s self-driving car Waymo unit, General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL], Tesla Inc and other are aggressively pursuing automated vehicle technologies.

Chao said she was “very concerned” about the potential impact of automated vehicles on employment. There are 3.5 million U.S. truck drivers alone and millions of others employed in driving-related occupations.

She also said she would seek input from states as regulators develops rules on drones. “We will ask for your input as the (Federal Aviation Administration) develops standards and regulations to ensure that drones can be safely integrated into our country’s airspace,” she said.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Peter Cooney)





































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