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ISIS AFTER AL-BAGHDADI, a report posted on Aljazeera; translation and analysis by Barry Webb

ISIS AFTER AL-BAGHDADI

By Hasan abu Hineyyah

(A report posted on www.aljazeera.net late October thru mid-November 2019).

Translated by Barry Webb

The curtain has recently come down on the episode of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s leadership of “The Islamic State,” as of the night of 17 October 2019, and by means of a sudden American air raid in which fighter jets and drones played roles. During this raid the American special forces killed al-Baghdadi in the north Syrian province of Idlib.

And, this event has raised a whole basketful of questions concerning the future of the organization after al-Baghdadi as well as the significance of the timing of the assassination operation, learning the identity of the new leader, what are the strategies and methods of killing that the organization will resort to after losing its leader, and the extent of credibility the American President Donald Trump’s claim that the ISIS Caliphate had been 100% destroyed.

Any precise, informed reading of the nature of the future scenarios for “the Islamic State” organization after al-Baghdadi must be based on an understanding of the nature of the organization’s structure and ISIS’s ideological narrative in comparison with the other jihadi organizations.

When al-Baghdadi took over the leadership of “the Islamic State” in Iraq nearly nine years ago after Abi ‘Umar al-Baghdadi (1), and inherited an organization that was beset on all sides, fragmented, weak, fragile, shaky, and on the verge of collapsing. Yet, in no time at all the organization quickly rose up within four years to become a frightening fighting force controlling wide swaths of Iraq and Syria and also expanded into numerous other countries. The demands for stopping its expansion and putting an end to its territorial control led to the formation of an international alliance of more than 75 nations under the leadership of the United States.

In the midst of an environment in which a conspiracy mentality prevails, came the widespread conviction that America, let alone any other power, was not interested in killing al-Baghdadi and that it had employed him to achieve a political agenda and strategic goals (2). The conspiracy theory explains this success of the (recent) operation to kill al-Baghdadi by the fact that his employment role had come to an end.

However, the truth is that the killing of al-Baghdadi was not an easy mission because during the time his star was rising there was one operation after another to track him down to kill him by numerous local, regional, and international entities, and Washington set a huge financial reward of 25 million dollars for anyone who can provide information on al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts (3).

Al-Baghdadi escaped from a long series of attempts to kill him by air attacks and he was wounded at least once–according to intelligence reports–and his death was announced several times. The Iraqi government alleged that it had succeeded in killing him more than once. So, the recent, successful operation to kill him came as a crowning achievement to a long series of previous failed attempts.

While the killing of al-Baghdadi was announced several times by various parties, the most famous of those was the announcement by the Russian Ministry of Defense on 16 June 2017, with information inferring that al-Baghdadi was killed in one of the air raids by the Russian air force on the Syrian town of ar-Raqqa, which then became subject to doubt. Announcements about the killing of al-Baghdadi proliferated after the organization took control of the Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014, and the organization reached the zenith of its power in March of 2015.

Any precise, knowledgeable reading of the nature of the future scenarios of the “Islamic State” organization after al-Baghdadi must be based on understanding the nature of the organization’s structure and the ideological narrative of ISIS in comparison with other jihadi organizations, as well as knowing the entities affiliated with it.

The ISIS organization is considered to be the most advanced of the jihadi organizations in terms of the coherence between the organizational structure and the ideological firmness because it reached a peak of development in that regard which was previously unknown in the activities of global jihadi groups. Its structure and ideology were novel in a number of its specifics and strategies.

In spite of “the Islamic State’s” being kicked out of the regions and urban centers it had controlled in Iraq and Syria, and its recent losses of the pocket of space it had in the village of al-Baghouz in the Deir as-Zor province on the 23rd of March 2018 at the hands of the “Syrian Democratic Forces” supported by the international coalition led by Washington, the organization still possessed a fighting capability as well as a huge financial and media capability.

Facts from the field have revealed the organization’s quickness in adjusting to developments in the field and its tremendous dexterity in changing from a centralized path to a decentralized situation in a way that it was able to reorganize the organization’s structure on the military front as well as on the security, administrative, legal, and media fronts. With the termination of the organization’s political project as a “caliphate” state it returned to the status of an “organization,” and returned to depending upon its traditional fighting tactics by depending upon a pathway of a war of attrition and a war of nerves.

In this context the American President Donald Trump’s announcement of the elimination of ISIS after the killing of al-Baghdadi is nothing more than disgraceful ignorance, a bald-faced lie, and a justification for his decision to pull out from Syria. Prior to that, Trump had announced the defeat of ISIS 16 times, a view which no one on the planet shares. His claims elicited wide-scale responses.
French minister of Defense Florence Barley tweeted that “al-Baghdadi . . . was an early retirement for the terrorist, but not for the organization.” British Foreign minister Boris Johnson tweeted that “the killing of al-Baghdadi was an important moment in our fight against terrorism, but the battle against ISIS is not yet over.” As for French President Emanuel Macron, he affirmed that the killing of al-Baghdadi was a painful blow for ISIS but it represents nothing but a stage.

The widespread wave of criticism of Trump’s repetitive announcements on the defeat of ISIS are always met with condemnation, loathing, and perplexity. After the killing of
al-Baghdadi he bragged about the soundness of his view in an attempt to lighten the wave of criticisms, and to try to deflect attention from his domestic problems, because Trump’s sudden announcement to withdraw from Syria in December of 2018 created a condition of chaos and confusion and led to the resignation of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis in protest over that decision.

When Trump announced this month that he was going to withdraw the American Forces from northern Syria opening the door for the Turkish attack against the Kurds–Washington’s erstwhile allies–many people warned that Trump thereby weakened the spear point of the campaign aimed at defeating the Islamic State. According to the experts and analysts Trump gifted ISIS its biggest victory in more than four years and secured for it the horizon of its future.

Evaluations of the capabilities of the Islamic State organization and predicting the possibility of its return have proliferated recently. A new report issued last August 6th by the U.S. Defense Department (the Pentagon) points out that ISIS has reorganized its ranks and has reappeared in Syria taking advantage of the American (previous) withdrawal. The report affirmed that ISIS has also strengthened its armed capability in Iraq as well.

The American President Donald Trump’s announcement of the elimination of ISIS after the killing of al-Baghdadi is nothing more than shameful ignorance, a bald faced lie, and a justification for his withdrawal from Syria. Prior to that Trump had announced the defeat of ISIS 16 times, an evaluation not shared by a single person on this planet. His claims elicited widespread responses.

After the Pentagon’s report today, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, in a report he presented to the Security Council concerning the threat which ISIS represented, that “ISIS now owns 300 million dollars, even after the elimination of the “Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, and that the decrease in the frequency of attacks that it launches is likely to be temporary.”

He expressed his confidence on ISIS’s capability to earmark that cash to support terrorist actions inside Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere via “unofficial” companies for transferring money. In this regard he affirmed that ISIS enjoyed financial self-sufficiency via a network of supporters and subsidiary groups in other areas of the Middle East and North Africa.

Military analysts and experts have affirmed that the elimination of the “Caliphate” does not mean that the danger from ISIS has ended. The announcement of the defeat of ISIS stems from conflating between the actual defeat of the political project of ISIS as a “Caliphate” state which imposed its sovereignty over a wide swath of geographic territory and established its rule over millions of residents, and the ability of ISIS as an organization to operate in a different manner. In that regard, the ISIS organization has not been defeated as an organization.

According a report by the institute for the study of war in Washington entitled “The return of ISIS once again, an evaluation of the coming uprising of ISIS” issued at the end of June 2019, the ISIS organization today is stronger that it was during the phase of the “Islamic State of Iraq” which was the offspring of “al-Qaeda in the land between the two rivers,” because when America withdrew from Iraq in 2011, the organization in Iraq had anywhere from 700 to 1,000 fighters, while the number of fighters it had in Iraq and Syria in August of 2018–according to the evaluations of the military intelligence agency–is 30,000 fighters.

The ISIS organization had been able to build a huge army (after 2011) which enabled it to regain Falujah, Mosul, and other cities in Iraq as well as control over most of east Syria in only three short years. So, the organization will recover much more quickly this time than it did the first time and it will achieve a level of much greater power in its new manifestation.

If al-Baghdadi had inherited a weak and fragile organization from his predecessor Abu ‘Umar al-Baghdadi (5), he is bequeathing to his successor an organization with a cohesive framework and that is spread out geographically, because prior to his death he appeared in a video clip on 29 April 2019 entitled “in the hospitality of the prince of the faithful” in which he presented the expected return of the organization after completing the task of the military, security, administrative, financial, legal, and media restructuring and setting the military planning to resume the “war of attrition.”

The organization presented a monthly report on the franchises of the organization of which there are twelve, and announced its official presence in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Khorasan (Afghanistan and Pakistan), the Caucasus, East Asia, and its activities in the Philippines, Somalia, and West Africa where it is most active in Nigeria.

In statements collected by the BBC it appears that in spite of the organization’s loss of much of the territory which it had wielded control over in Syria and Iraq by the end of 2017, it was responsible for 3,670 attacks in the world during 2018 (which is about 11 attacks per day). And, this, in addition to the 502 attacks in the first two months of 2019 while al-Baghouz was being besieged.

But in spite of that (the siege) the organization was still following its preferred strategy represented by suicide operations and a variety of complex subversive operations. However, since 31 May 2019 it has depended upon new tactics in the framework of the “war of attrition,” based on the principle which has been termed “temporarily bring down the cities as a way for the Mujahedeen to work.” The organization’s magazine
al-neba’ (the news) published a series of four parts to lay out the new strategy which called for the fighting elements of the organization to avoid direct clashes with the enemy.

The “Islamic State” was able to establish a huge army that enabled it to regain Falujah, Mosul, and other cities in Iraq, as well as to gain control over most of East Syria within only three years, and the organization will recover (this time) much faster than it did in its first revival and will achieve a level of power much more dangerous than it did in its second manifestation.

This series (in the above-mentioned magazine) also showed how the fighters are able –by means of a war of nerves–to weaken an enemy without incurring losses of its own. The series also said that among the targets of the kirr w-al-firr (4) attacks is to capture hostages, free prisoners, and gain control of the enemy’s money.

A comparison of the birth of the first “Islamic State” with its rebirth shows the organization’s ability to spring forth once again. The “Islamic State in Iraq” saw, by the beginning of the year 2009, a clear reversal after Washington came to rely on the strategy of General David Petreus by pouring forces into the fight, pushing back the organization’s holdings in Iraq, and reducing the organization’s numbers down to somewhere between 700 and 1,000 fighters in remote, isolated regions.

With the advent of 2010 the “Islamic State of Iraq” issued an evaluational review and appraisal of the situation and it defined its future view in Iraq to be tied to the approaching date for the withdrawal of the American forces. So, it issued a Strategic document entitled “The Strategic Plan for strengthening the political position of the Islamic State in Iraq.”

After the American forces vacated Iraq in (Dec.) 2011 the organization announced the beginning of the “Breaking Down Walls” operation in July of 2012. Then it announced the beginning of a new plan called “Harvesting the Soldiers” on 29 July 2013, which ended with its sovereignty over Mosul in June of 2014.

The military, financial, and media capabilities of ISIS point to the fact that whoever takes over the leadership of the organization from al-Baghdadi will be in a far superior position in comparison to the situation that al-Baghdadi had when he took over the leadership of the organization, because the organizational structure is completely clear and the organization will encounter no difficulty in choosing a new leader.

It appears that ‘Abd Allah Qirdaash (5) is the most lucky person in succeeding
al-Baghdadi. According to the information available about him, he is nicknamed “the destroyer.” He is also known as al-Turkmani (6)), but in spite of his “Turkmani” ethnicity the leadership within ISIS–among whom is Isma’il al-‘Aithaawi who is currently in prison in Iraq–have affirmed the “Quraishness” of Qirdash (7).
Al-‘Aithaawi, in a phone call with him after his apprehension–said it was most likely that Qirdaash would become the leader of the organization in the event of al-Baghdadi’s disappearance.

Qirdaash held the position of “Diwan Secretary for General Security” in Syria and Iraq which is one of the most powerful Diwanates (Bureau) in the organization. Moreover, he previously supervised the diwanate of “misdeeds,” which was within the service administrations which the organization set up during its control over the cities. He also served as the official responsible for ambushes and suicide operations within the organization.

In the event that Qirdaash fails to assume the leadership of the organization, for some reason, among which might be if he gets killed, according to sources within the organization then Hajji ‘Abd an-Nasr al-Iraqi would be the second candidate. The American State Department added him to their terrorists watch lists at the end of 2018. Al-Iraqi heads what is known as the “commissariat” committee which is responsible for the administration of the organization. Previous to that he held the position of military governor general of what was previously known as the state of ash-sham (Syria), and in this capacity he oversaw the leadership of the organization’s battle in ar-Raqqa.

The Islamic State organization after al-Baghdadi will have no trouble in appointing a new leader and the organization will rally around him and support him. Since its inception the organization has exhibited a superior ability to adjust to changes and new circumstances, and it will be able–within a short period of time after being tossed out of the regions it controlled–to restructure itself and operate as a decentralized organization, and its ideological magnetism is still very high.

The person who follows al-Baghadadi as the leader of ISIS will inherit an organization that is clearly superior to the organization that al-Baghdadi himself inherited during the era of “The Islamic State of Iraq” since the numbers provided in 2018 by the UN and the American intelligence agencies and Department of Defense are all in agreement that the number of ISIS fighters left in Iraq and Syria are between 20 and 30 thousand fighters.

According to the International Center for Strategic Studies this number does not include the organization’s fighters located in its other franchises. A map of the organization’s proliferation shows its expansion into numerous regions and countries since the organization enjoys a large presence in Afghanistan, and the organization still launches attacks in the Egyptian Sinai peninsula and maintains its operational ability in Yemen, South Asia, and Central Asia.

The African continent is an alternate venue for ISIS (in align with its insistence on diversifying its fronts and sanctuaries), especially the region of Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa as well as Western and Eastern Africa. ISIS’s network, its conglomeration of harmonious groups, individual sleeper cells, and “lone wolves,” still represent a danger to America and Europe.

In sum, the Islamic State organization after al-Baghdadi will find no difficulty in appointing a new leader and the organization will rally around him and support him, because since its inception the organization has shown superior ability to adjust to circumstances and new situations, and was able–during a very short time after being evicted from regions it controlled–to restructure itself and to operate as a de-centralized organization, and its ideological magnetism is still very high. Its financial capability is good, and its ability to gather around itself fighters from local areas is growing.

In turn, the political, economic, and security situation in Iraq and Syria is still fragile and the official local forces lack the necessary competency and resources to pursue the ISIS elements in view of the organization’s switching tracks to follow a campaign of a war of attrition and the tactics of a war of nerves.

The weakened stability (in Iraq and Syria), the backsliding on reconstruction projects, as well as poor government and institutionalized corruption, the spread of despotism, and the prevalence of sectarianism, all constitute a fertile nursery sufficient for the return of ISIS. In a “squishy” region beset by foreign interventions and the clashes between regional and international forces the return of ISIS is only a matter of “when,” not “if.”

FOOTNOTES (explanitory notes by the translator not a part of the original text)

(1) The original manifestation of what was to become ISIS was “al-Qaeda in Iraq” which was headed by Abu Mus’ab az-Zarqawi, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in June of 2006. It would have been then that Abi ‘Umar al-Baghdadi took over the leadership of the remnants of this group which fled to Turkey, re-united with remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime and intelligence entities who had found safe haven there, and re-emerged as “The Islamic State of Iraq.”

(2) It is well-established that not only did ISIS incubate in Turkey with Turkish government and intelligence support to be used as a “tool” for bringing down the secular Arab states as a prelude to re-establishing the Ottoman empire caliphate, but that it did so with the approval of the Obama administration. That is the origin of those conspiracy theories.

(3) U.S. forces were able to use DNA information to verify that al-Baghdadi was the person they had killed because a brave Kurd, working for the intelligence arm of the Syrian Democratic Forces, who had penetrated the organization and had gotten close enough to al-Baghdadi to have obtained a blood sample and a pair of his dirty underwear. Another Kurd, working for Iraqi intelligence had also penetrated al-Baghdadi’s inner circle and had provided a detailed map of the exterior and interior of the safe house. According to an al-arabiyya TV report, the U.S. aircraft that had taken part in the raid took off from an airfield controlled by the Russians. This was just outside of Kobani which was previously controlled by the American-supported, and Kurd-dominated, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). With Trump’s bowing to Erdogan’s command to clear out so he could ethnic cleanse the region of Kurds, the SDF alligned with the Assad government of Damascus and its Russian ally. So, as U.S. forces pulled out, the Russians moved in to provide security and oversee the SDF withdrawal prior to the arrival of Turkish troops which were due in thanks to an agreement that Putin had reached with Erdogan during a meeting in Soschi. It was this complicated series of events that forced military commanders to scramble after the Trump announcement and move-up the timetable of the raid. Fortunately, everything worked out fine, thanks to the skills and bravery of our troops and our (former) Kurdish allies.

(4) The literal meaning of kirr w-al-firr is “repeat and flee” and refers to “hit and run” tactics, and harkens back to the tactics of the pre-Islamic Arab raids of frontier area farms and towns mentioned in Roman sources, and as far back as Babylonian and Assyrian sources. In these raids the lightly armed and very mobile Arab raiders would stage surprise attacks against a defenseless farm or town for the purpose of collecting booty, then they would disappear into the desert where the heavily armed and organized forces of the relevant political power could not follow them without being subject to ambushes and a war of attrition that they could never win in the treacherous terrain of the desert.

(5) A media recording recently issued by ISIS identified the new leader of ISIS as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi. This is an obvious “movement” name trying to tie this person back to Abraham (the supposed father of the Arabs, and the founder of the Abrahamic religion of which Islam is supposedly the only “pure” example, and to the Hashimite and Qurayshi tribes, supposed guardians of the Ka’aba in pre-Saudi times and going back to pre-Islamic times, and from which Muhammad supposedly descended. This person might be the ‘Abd Allah Qirdaash mentioned in this article, or some entirely unknown individual. It might even be an avatar, a entity that will exist only on the internet.

(6) His “Turkoman” ethnicity and his rise to prominence in the organization might be linked to the Turkish patronage of the organization.

(7) Even though history shows that the stories about a tribe of Quraysh from which Muhammad supposedly sprang, any person who pretends to the “Caliphate” must link themselves back to Muhammad’s fictional “tribe” in order to be accepted as a true “Caliph,” or successor to Muhammad.

ANALYSIS:

Turkey has ordered its Muslim-Brotherhood ally, and al-jazeera-hosting Qatar to weed out writers who don’t support it’s invasion of Syria and extermination of Kurds. Therefore, hard-hitting articles like this one are likely to be fewer and further between.

This article mentioned Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal to be a gift to ISIS. This is because to the Jihadi mentality, any and all sign of weakness on the part of an enemy–even if they are actually acting from a position of strength–is considered a victory: The enemy simply did not have the moral strength to press its advantage (Qur’an 47:35). In other words, no matter how badly ISIS was battered physically, the simple truth is that Trump’s mere announcement of a withdrawal represents a huge victory for ISIS, and ISIS’s superiority over American and all other forces fighting against ISIS. This is a difficult concept for Westerners to understand, but failure to understand that basic Qur’an supported concept dooms us to eternal failures in the War against Terror.

Trump’s withdrawal announcements (even if not fulfilled) plays into the hands of Islamic prophecies as well. There is an hadeeth that claims that near the very end of time the “Romans” (prophetic stand-in for the West in general) will have crushed the believers, until only a small strand of them are left. But then Allah will intervene to drive them away and the believers shall regroup and destroy the infidels in the end.

This is why Trump’s flip-flopping on withdrawing or not withdrawing and/or “redeploying” to protect the oil, are resulting in a flood of new recruits to ISIS. Most Muslims, whether they want to admit it or not, see Trump’s behavior as a fulfillment of Islamic prophecy.

TURKEY’S ROLE IN HIDING AL-BAGHDADI

In my book named below, I document that Erdogan’s Turkey was responsible for cobbling together what was to become ISIS–with the approval of the Obama administration. And, throughout the war they helped funnel new fighters to ISIS, sold its stolen oil on the black market to help finance it, and when al-Baghdadi was wounded by an American airstrike, smuggled him into Turkey for medical treatment, then smuggled him into Libya so he could start up a new franchise there, then smuggled him back into Syria. So, it is only natural that it should be Turkey who arranged for his final hiding place when the world closed in on “the Islamic State.”

Al-Baghdadi was killed in a small village called Barisha, population 2,500. The safe house he was in was the home of one Abu Muhammad Salama. Salama is a leader of an al-Qaeda franchise called huraas ad-din (gaurdians of the religion). Huraas ad-din was part of another al-Qaeda franchise called tahreer ash-sham (the liberation of Syria) which is under the direction of Turkey.

The village of Barisha was located in Syria’s northern province of Idlib, which was controlled by the Turks, and Barisha itself was only a few miles from the Turkish border.

In other words, al-Baghdadi, a long-time client of Erdogan’s Turkey, was hiding out in the home of another Turkish terrorist client in a province controlled by the Turks, and only a few miles for the Turkish border . . . and we’re supposed to believe that the Turks had no idea that he was there? That Turkey is a loyal NATO ally?

One of al-Baghdadi’s wives and other family members sought safety in Turkey itself, but were arrested immediately after (not before) our announcement of al-Baghdadi’s death. This was an obvious face-saving move, a cover for their duplicitous behavior, a “false flag” operation to show the world that “hey, we too are fighting terrorism and the ISIS scourge.”

BOTTOM LINE: As long as there are terror-supporting Islamist states like Turkey, Qatar, Iran, and Pakistan (who sponsored and sheltered Usama bin Laden) there will be Islamic terrorism. And, as long as there is an unrepentant Islam there will be terror-supporting Islamist states. And, there will always be an unrepentant, unreformed Islam unless and until the civilized world, starting with the United States, develops enough courage to attack the true root cause of Islamic terrorism.

So, get ready for ISIS 3.0, bigger, stronger, and more dangerous than any of its predecessors.

//////

Barry Webb had a 25-year career as an Arabist for the NSA and hold two MA degrees in related subject matter. He is the author of the book Confessions of an (ex) NSA Spy: Why America and its Allies are Losing the War on Terror. His website is: www.barrywebbauthor.com. He is currently a senior fellow at Americans for Intelligence Reform at www.intelreform.org.

Why the Impeachment Inquiry Makes No Sense by Brad Johnson for The Epoch Times

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence Committee arrives at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence Committee arrives at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

 

On Oct. 31, the U.S. House of Representatives voted along party lines to open an investigation into whether President Donald Trump should be impeached.

The Democrats are attempting to wear a cloak of patriotism and claim they’re defending democracy and the U.S. Constitution. They take great umbrage when conservatives and the occasional Republican question their patriotism.

That said, let’s take a quick look at the facts and see if this makes any sense.

What we know is that then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden was working for a Ukrainian energy company and making at least $50,000 per month. He has admitted to this publicly. We can all agree that for someone with no experience in the energy sector, a salary of $50,000 per month is wildly beyond extravagant. It’s beyond dispute that Hunter Biden was supplying something of great value to the energy company in question in order to be paid that amount of money.

Since Hunter Biden has no energy experience, what was it that he had to offer of such great value? There’s only one thing that suggests itself, and it’s that Hunter Biden could supply direct, completely private access to the vice president of the United States at the time, his father, Joe Biden. We know this access was given because of photographs that have surfaced with Joe and Hunter Biden playing golf with the energy company executives.

What followed is that in 2016, Vice President Biden threatened the president of Ukraine with withholding very large and badly needed sums of money in the form of loan guarantees if Ukraine didn’t immediately fire one particular prosecutor. Subsequently, Ukraine relented and did indeed fire the prosecutor. Joe Biden has publicly admitted to this and has confirmed it all as fact. Interestingly, that particular prosecutor was investigating the very same energy company that was paying Hunter Biden such an extravagant salary.

The implication is pretty straightforward and impossible to avoid. It appears the energy company knew it was in serious legal jeopardy and was likely to be indicted and convicted in Ukraine of illegal activities.

So, looking for a solution, they hired the vice president’s son and paid him an enormous amount of money when he had no apparent value to the company other than the connection to his father. That connection to his father made Hunter Biden of real value, something so valuable that it would be worth paying him $50,000 per month.

It certainly looks like corruption when Joe Biden forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor and thereby leave that same energy company in the clear and free of the legal jeopardy. There’s no question that there was quid pro quo. Biden clearly stated that he would withhold a billion-dollar aid package if the prosecutor wasn’t fired. They fired him and the aid went forward, a textbook example of quid pro quo.

The remaining question of fundamental importance is, why did Joe Biden do it? It sure looks like a case of corruption in which Hunter Biden received the payoff. The official explanation is that Joe Biden wanted the prosecutor fired for failing to tackle corruption in the country.

This brings us back to the present moment. Trump asked the current president of Ukraine to look into the Biden case to find out if Joe Biden was involved in a blatant case of corruption with a big money payoff. It certainly appears to be the case, which is oddly almost completely ignored in public debate. The president of the United States is fully within his rights to seek to find out if former senior officials were corrupt and receiving payoffs. It’s both moral and correct.

Democrats initially argued that Trump staged a quid pro quo by insisting the Ukraine investigate the Biden corruption case or he would withhold a big dollar aid package. Oddly, we know for a fact by his own admission this is exactly what Biden did. When Trump released the transcripts of the conversation, it was proven that there was no quid pro quo pressure put on Ukraine, and it was merely a request to investigate what we all agree looks like corruption.

Democrats changed their blatant political attack once again and now argue that Trump abused his power by asking that corruption be investigated. It’s absurd to suggest that investigating what clearly looks like corruption is an abuse of any sort. Yet there are even a number of elite Republicans in Washington who openly state that while it was not illegal, it was wrong for Trump to have done it. Really? Why? Because it’s wrong to investigate corrupt Washington elites? I think it’s long overdue.

Democrats have hated Trump since before he was elected and tried over and over to have him removed. This is only the latest idiotic attempt based on hate and politics, nothing more. We the people deserve better.

Brad Johnson is a retired CIA senior operations officer and a former chief of station. He is president of Americans for Intelligence Reform.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

 

 

 

 

Nov. 3-4 MIDDLE EAST UPDATE By Barry Webb

SYRIA
Turkish troops have planted a bomb in its so-called “security zone” in northern Iraq killing a number of civilians. The Turks, of course, blamed the YPG Kurds of planting the bomb, so they can accuse Kurds in general of being terrorists so as to justify their ethnic cleansing of areas under their control, and to justify their claim for an ever larger security zone. Al-Arabiyya TV has countered that it was the Turks themselves who planted to the bomb.
Note: Turkey has a history of staging terrorist attacks, even against its own citizens, so as to justify military incursions into Iraq and/or Syria.
Also, the al-Baghdadi compound raided last week was in a part of Idlib province controlled by the Turks for several months. The suspicions in many quarters is that Turkey knew all along where al-Baghdadi was. But it took Kurdish intelligence agents risking their lives (one working for the YPG/SDF that America supported, and one working directly with Iraqi Intelligence) to provide the location of the compound and the confirmation that al-Baghdadi was there—along with a blood sample and a pair his dirty underwear. No thanks to Turkey.
A major report on ISIS after al-Baghadi will be forthcoming in a few days.
IRAQ
Massive anti-government demonstrations have continued in numerous Iraqi cities for more than a week. Among the demands of the demonstrators are an end to corruption, improvement in economic opportunity, and better government services.
However, the demonstrations have become increasingly anti-Iranian as well, with one of the demands now being made is to eliminate Iranian influence in Iraqi affairs. In this regard demonstrators have besieged the Iranian Consulate in Karbala*, a city of 700,000 just south of Baghdad. There they have burned tires just outside the consulate, and a few of them mounted the walls of the Consulate compound carrying Iraqi flags with them.
Live ammunition was used to disperse the Demonstrators. Pro-Iran Iraqi stooges claimed that these video feeds were “fake news,” that the clips were actually from other areas in Iraq and then falsely tagged as being from Karbala. This could never happen in Karbala because Karbala is a holy city, they said.
Al-arabiyya TV replied that their interviews of demonstrators on the ground in Karbala confirmed that live rounds were indeed used against the demonstrators in Karbala.
Live rounds were also used against massive demonstrations in Iraq’s capital Baghdad, killing several and wounding many more.
The far south city of al-Basra was also the seen of demonstrations against the government and against Iran.
ANALYSIS:
It is significant in that these anti-Iranian demonstrations are largely taking place in Shi’a dominated regions such as al-Basra and Karbala. Most of the demonstrators are flaunting their identities as Iraqis, rather than their religious identities as Shi’a.
This has to be a huge blow to Iran’s dreams of a “Shi’a crescent” connecting it with the Lebanese Mediterranean coast via a Shi’a-dominated Iraq and Syria. To add insult to injury, the demonstrators have been burning pictures of Khamenei and Khomeini.
Many are shouting “we are all Iraqis” in a huge boost to the concept of the nation state, in defiance of the forces (Islamic and Western Liberal) trying to unravel the world’s nation state system.
LEBANON
Arab Spring 2.0 protests have also been going on in Lebanon. The protestors have been demanding that the government step down (which it did) and that a small government of “technocrats” be appointed to run the country. The main complaint of the protestors is, like those in Iraq, the divvying-up of government positions based on ethnicity (i.e. whether Shi’a, Sunni, or Christian). Their rallying cry is “we are all Lebanese,” striking another blow in favor of the nation state system.
ANALYSIS
Like the protests in Iraq, the Lebanese protests are decidedly anti-Iranian, and against Iran’s control of Lebanese affairs through its client Hizbollah. Still outstanding, though, is the issue of how many Lebanese Shi’a will join the protests against Hizbollah and Iran.
*Karbala was the site of the martyrdom of Muhammad’s grandson Hussein, an event that marks the beginning of the split between the Sunni and the Shi’a. The Shi’a venerate Hussein and “celebrate” his martyrdom in self-flagellation rituals every year. The tomb of Hussein, in Karbala, is thus the prime pilgrimage site for the Shi’a rivalling, if not passing, the importance of Mecca. Shi’a pilgrims come from all over the world, but especially from Iran, to pay their respects to Hussein’s tomb. So, to have anti-Iranian protests in Karbala is especially significant.
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Barry Webb had a 25-year career as an Arabist for the NSA, holds two MA degrees in related subject matter, and is the author of Confessions of an (ex)NSA Spy: Why America and its Allies are Losing the War on Terror. His website is www.barrywebbauthor.com. He is currently a senior fellow for Americans for Inteligence Reform at www.intelreform.org.

Elections in Poland, Hungary Deliver Split Decision by Christopher Hull PhD for the Epoch Times

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, speaks during the party's campaign convention in Kielce, Poland, on Oct. 9, 2019. (WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, speaks during the party’s campaign convention in Kielce, Poland, on Oct. 9, 2019. (WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

 

Elections in Poland and Hungary on Oct. 13 delivered mixed results, with the ruling patriotic conservative parties expanding support in the former, but losing some high-profile mayoral races in the latter.

Winning in Warsaw
“We have victory,” Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (known by its Polish acronym, PiS), announced to supporters at the party’s Warsaw headquarters. “We have four years of hard work ahead. Poland must change more, and it must change for the better.”

Member of Parliament Dominik Tarczynski, who was reelected to the Polish Diet and, at such time as Brexit takes place, is set to take a seat in the European Parliament as well—and is in “cold storage” until then—likewise told The Epoch Times that the election result was “so great.”

“People are happy,” he said.

At least one Pole interviewed by an international outlet agreed. “There is no comparison to previous years,” a Polish pensioner commented in the leadup to the election. “It has been the best time for Poland now—the best in 30 years.”

PiS notched nearly 44 percent of votes cast, the highest percentage since democracy was restored in 1989. Results, with 99 percent of voting districts released Oct. 14, suggest PiS will increase its majority in the 460-seat Diet, or lower house, to 239 members from the 231 they had before the election. The party gained 2 million extra voters.

Reports varied as to whether PiS would retain control of the relatively powerless Senate. The Washington Post reported that “populists in Eastern Europe looked shaken on Monday, after … Poland’s ruling party lost control of the Senate.”

But Tarczynski flatly denied that control of the Senate was settled, with the seat count at 49–49. He said PiS is in discussions with the three independents to see if the party can maintain control.

“We’ll see,” said Tarczynski, who believes PiS will retain control of the Senate as well. “I think it’s going to be good.”

Delivering on Promises
According to Adam Easton of BBC News Warsaw, “Law and Justice now has a reputation of a party that delivers on its promises.”

For instance, Easton noted, PiS pledged to continue to advance judiciary reforms, which the party argues moves away from the Soviet-era apparatchiks that still preside in courtrooms 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The European Commission, whose new leader recently came under fire for supporting a “centralized, undemocratic, updated form of communism,” announced last week that it would take Poland to the EU’s top court over recently enacted rules to discipline judges. A year ago, the EU ordered Poland to halt application of a law reducing the retirement age on the Polish supreme court, a measure taken in order to “remove judges appointed during the communist era,” the Polish government said.

Asked about this contention, Tarczynski said: “It’s true. If you look at the names [of those currently in the Polish judiciary], you will find people who were deciding cases against members of Solidarity in 1981.”

The same individuals who governed during martial law under communist rule when his then-pregnant mother was beaten for venturing outside the house are still in power in the judiciary, Tarczynski said. He insisted they must be ousted. “It’s outrageous that they are still in place.”

Tarczynski said the EU’s claims about Polish judges are analogous to those leveled against President Donald Trump.

“‘He’s breaking the rules.’ That’s words, not facts. They call us ‘nationalists.’ They can call us an elephant—I don’t care. Rule of law is on our side. Democracy is on our side.” Like Trump, Tarczynski said, members of the PiS party would simply “do our jobs.”

In addition to moving forward with promised judicial reforms, Easton said, “the party has reaped the rewards of its generous welfare scheme, which has benefited millions of families.” The new program, which pays families around $130 per child per month, acts as an incentive for families to have more children, an attempt to counter the “doom loop“ of decreased fecundity plaguing the West.

Tarczynski said that PiS’s baby benefit, as originally enacted, applied only to the second and third child.

“Now it is for the first child as well,” he said. “It has been very important.” Specifically, he said, Poland’s economic growth proves that the benefit is working as intended. For instance, he noted that Polish unemployment has reached historic lows; independent data indeed suggests that rate is approaching a 30-year low.

In addition, Tarczynski pointed to GDP growth that ranks fourth in the EU—behind Hungary, which ranks second in the bloc, according to independent data, given that while tiny Moldova’s growth rate technically exceeds both, the former Romanian province has yet to formally enter the EU as a separate country.

During the campaign, PiS chief Kaczynski underscored the importance of traditional families.

“We are dealing with a direct attack on the family and children,” he said, “the sexualization of children, that entire LBGT movement.” Poland’s bishops have warned Poles of the dangers of “LGBT ideology,” and municipalities have set up “LGBT-free zones.”

“This is imported,” Kaczynski said, “but they, today, actually threaten our identity, our nation, its continuation, and therefore the Polish state.”

The party will work to see that “no one in Poland will doubt what we are doing is good, realistic and responsible,” Kaczynski said to supporters after the elections.

Orban ‘Ready to Cooperate’
In Hungary, the ruling Fidesz party, which has won every major election since 2010, continued to dominate in smaller cities and rural areas. That said, voters elected an opposition candidate mayor of Budapest, Hungary’s capital, as well as in 10 of the country’s 23 largest cities, where in 2014, opposition figures won just three races.

“We take note of this result,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said. “All we can say is that we are ready to cooperate in the interests of the people living in the country and in Budapest.”

Personal scandals rocked the 2019 mayoral elections, including sex tapes featuring two mayors, one from Fidesz, Zsolt Borkai, and one from the opposition, Tamas Wittinghoff, though both men won their races.

Both Countries Rated ‘Free’
In the most recent year available, U.S.-based rights watchdog Freedom House rated Hungary at 70 and Poland at 85 in its survey of global political rights and civil liberties, classifying both countries as “free,” but delivering both lower ratings, in part because the organization defines “freedom” as including abortion, same-sex marriage, and alternative sexual practices.

Requests for comment from the Polish and Hungarian governments weren’t immediately returned.

 

 

 

 

Democrat Backlash Builds Against Democrats’ ‘Sanctuary’ Stance by Christopher Hull PhD for the Epoch Times

New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy speaks at an election night rally on November 7, 2017 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy speaks at an election night rally on November 7, 2017 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

 

The Democratic Party’s open borders policies and rhetoric are generating a building bipartisan backlash across the country, costing their proponents support even in heavily Democratic areas, among prominent Democratic candidates, and within core Democratic constituencies.

Deep-Blue New Jersey
Even deep-blue New Jersey is part of the brewing revolt. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s so-called Immigrant Trust Directive has limited local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, granting Garden State illegal aliens de facto sanctuary status

Hoboken’s City Baptist Church Pastor Philip Rizzo told The Epoch Times, “As the U.S. State Department and international organizations like the United Nations have noted over and over again, porous borders facilitate the trafficking of human beings—including the sex trafficking of women and children—and narcotics, including opioids, and illegal firearms.”

As a result, he said, “Gov. Murphy’s Sanctuary State scheme aids and abets human traffickers.”

On Oct. 11, the state’s Monmouth County took steps toward suing over the scheme. County sheriff Shaun Golden told NJTV, “we do not recall a directive that has ever been issued to ignore the laws of this country or state. As a result, we shall continue to pursue legal remedies to this directive.”

Likewise, Cape May County is considering legal action, after its sheriff, Robert Nolan, flatly refused to cease cooperation with federal authorities, telling NJTV, “I’ve never before been asked not to cooperate with another law enforcement agency, not one time in the 35 years I have been working in law enforcement.” Nolan said he planned “to take this matter to court and I will take any avenue available to me to protect the residents of our County.”

Ocean County already launched a lawsuit late last month, and Sussex County successfully placed an initiative on its Fall ballot asking whether its sheriff should be authorized to “ignore directives from state officers and agencies” about “undocumented migrants illegally residing“ in the United States, and hired legal representation to defend the initiative.

The counties are reacting not just to the Murphy Administration’s ever-more aggressive attempts to enforce its policies, but to escalating reports those policies are leading to the release of potentially dangerous illegal alien criminals. Earlier this year, federal immigration officials in the state announced that 90 percent of the 123 foreign nationals arrested by agents in a month-long operation had prior criminal convictions and/or pending criminal charges.

On Aug. 12 of this year, local police arrested Luciano Trejo-Dominguez and charged him with “aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault on a victim 13-15 years old, criminal restraint, criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child.” The next day, federal immigration officials requested that New Jersey’s Cumberland County jail detain Trejo-Dominguez and notify them before his release. Yet the jail released Trejo-Dominguez on Aug. 23 without notifying immigration officials.

He remains at large.

The fracas has cost Democrats at least one elected official, Mark Razzoli, who won local office as a Democrat but recently registered as a Republican and announced a bid for Congress. “From my perspective, I feel that the party left me,” he told the local news webite Patch. “It’s been hijacked by radical socialists whose priority is illegal immigration and an immigration policy that is dangerous to the American people.” The then-Democrat charged at a town council meeting that Gov. Murphy “thinks it’s acceptable to strong-arm local sheriffs into ignoring federal immigration laws.”

In an editorial, one local New Jersey paper decried the Murphy Administration’s “war against law enforcement cooperation when it involves illegal immigrants.”

DeBlasio Blasts “Concentration Camp” Rhetoric
Similarly, New York City Mayor and then-Democratic Presidential candidate Bill de Blasio expressed serious concern about a June 17 Instagram video in which Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) charged that, “The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing.” De Blasio called her “wrong,” saying she was comparing two “entirely different realities.”

By contrast, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) defended Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’ characterization, saying of the camps, “When you talk about the process of de-humanizing people so that you can exterminate them, there is a process.”

On July 7, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) charged American detention centers are “absolutely” like concentration camps because of the “trauma” they cause illegal aliens.

But de Blasio pointed out, “You cannot compare—what the Nazis did in concentration camps, unfortunately, is without any historical—I mean, it’s a horrible moment in history. There is no way to compare.”

Jewish Activists Split on Use of ‘Never Again’
Moreover, representatives of the American Jewish community have disagreed publicly and vehemently about the use of Holocaust terminology to refer to federal immigration practices.

On July 16, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters in D.C. was the site of a large protest by Jewish groups in which at least 10 people were arrested for unlawfully entering the building. One of the protesters held a poster that read, “Never again means now, Jews say close the camps,” including a photo of holocaust child victim Anne Frank. A tweet by an individual linked to the protests read, “Three streets around the ICE Hq in #dc, the front doors, and the parking garage were SHUTDOWN today!” The tweet included the hashtags #AbolishICE, #NeverAgain, and #CloseTheConcentrationCamps.

Likewise, on August 14 in Florida, protesters in Florida including from Jewish activist group Never Again Action threatened by name workers and former employees of a private contractor used by ICE. “We know where all your children live throughout the country … John Bulfin you have kids in [bleeped out], you have kids in [bleeped out],” one protester yelled. “We know everything about you and you won’t just be seeing us here.”

The Coalition for Jewish Values, which says it represents “over 1000 traditional rabbis in matters of public policy,” condemned the protest, saying the “event announcement refers to ‘Never Again’ and ‘deportation,’ a combination designed to evoke images of Jews shipped in cattle cars to the murderous death camps of the Nazi era.” The organization termed the event “a trivialization of the Holocaust and utterly contrary to authentic Jewish values.”

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, a representative of the coalition, called the protest “offensive in so many ways that one loses count.” Rabbi Pruzansky charged that the event “maligns the targeted company and its employees, defames ICE agents, displays woeful ignorance of history, trivializes and distorts the Holocaust, and is a vulgar insult to six million murdered Jews and the survivors of that horror.”

Concluded Rabbi Pruzansky, “The fact that many of the protesters will be Jewish themselves merely makes it worse.”

Their misuse of Jewish values and identity is truly painful,” added Rabbi Yaakov Menken, the coalition’s Managing Director.

Democrats Oppose Proposal to Disband ICE
On Oct. 14, protesters rallied against a new ICE office going up in Portland, Ore., chanting “Shut it down” and “Abolish ICE.”

Yet according to a Harvard Harris Poll, only 31 percent of those surveyed agreed that ICE should be disbanded, while 69 percent say it should not disbanded. Independents, who will be the key to the 2020 election, opposed the idea even more than the overall sample, with a towering 73 percent standing against the idea.

But most striking was that even among Democrats, fully 59 percent said ICE should not be disbanded.

Tensions within the Democratic coalition on radical open borders rhetoric and policies may be a distant early warning line of electoral trouble ahead for those who espouse them.

Christopher C. Hull holds a doctorate in government from Georgetown University. He is president of Issue Management Inc., senior fellow at Americans for Intelligence Reform, and author of “Grassroots Rules” (Stanford, 2007).

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

 

 

 

Another Violent Attack Linked to ‘Concentration Camp’ Rhetoric by Christopher Hull PhD for the Epoch Times

Protesters hold signs during a demonstration against migrant detention facilities on July 2, 2019 in San Francisco, Calif. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Protesters hold signs during a demonstration against migrant detention facilities on July 2, 2019 in San Francisco, Calif. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON–Armed perpetrators who shot at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices in San Antonio in mid-August conducted a “targeted attack,” according to the FBI, drawing the ire of the office’s director, who said increasingly incendiary political charges “encourage these violent acts.”

While no one was injured in the attack, “had the bullets gone two inches in another direction, we could be here today talking about the murder of a federal official,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs said.

Daniel Bible, the San Antonio field office’s director for ICE’s enforcement and removal operations, said, “Political rhetoric and misinformation that various politicians, media outlets and activist groups recklessly disseminate to the American people regarding the ICE mission only serve to further encourage these violent acts.”

‘Concentration Camps’
That public discourse has centered recently on labeling detention facilities at the southern border “concentration camps,” a description that’s hotly disputed by federal officials, international leaders, and Jewish organizations.

On June 17 in an Instagram video, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said, “The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing, and we need to do something about it.”

“I don’t use those words to just throw bombs,” she added.

Then-acting ICE Director Mark Morgan responded by saying, “It’s completely inappropriate, it’s reckless, it’s irresponsible, it’s misinformed, and it’s flat-out wrong.”

Morgan noted that “there is so much oversight in these facilities,” including inspector general and nongovernment organization reports.

“I encourage the check and balance, I encourage inspections,” he added. “If you go to these facilities … there will be safe and adequate conditions to detain individuals.”

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) echoed Morgan’s critique, tweeting at Ocasio-Cortez: “Do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this. ”

On June 20, Dominik Tarczinski, a member of Poland’s Parliament, wrote, “I am formally inviting [Rep. Ocasio-Cortez] to come to Poland, where Adolf Hitler set up the worst chain of concentration camps the world has ever seen, so that she may see that scoring political points with enflamed rhetoric is unacceptable in our contemporary Western societies.”

By early July, “#OccupyICE” protestors set up encampments outside official facilities in Philadelphia, New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Portland, Oregon. On July 12, a mob of protestors purporting to “Close the Concentration Camps,” including one wearing a “Make America Mexico Again” shirt, descended on an ICE facility in Aurora, Colorado.

One protestor pulled down a U.S. flag and raised a Mexican one in its place; an outlet reported anonymous individuals took down flags for Colorado, the United States, and the contractor that runs the facility, GEO Group.

“The three flags were placed on the ground in the center of the large circle of people as they chanted ‘one, two, three, four, genocide, slavery, war, five, six, seven, eight, America was never great!’” the outlet reported.

Two days later, Willem Van Spronsen, who used concentration camp rhetoric in his manifesto, stormed a Tacoma, Washington, ICE center armed with a rifle and “incendiary devices,” and was fatally shot by police. Van Spronsen attempted to ignite a propane tank on the premises in order to burn down the facility.

“Evil says concentration camps for folks deemed lesser are necessary,” Van Spronsen, 69, wrote in the manifesto. He referred to detention centers as “concentration camps” a total of four separate times the manifesto, which local media confirmed as authentic.

Nine Slain in Dayton
Early in the morning of Aug. 4, in Dayton, Ohio, Connor Betts, who “definitely leaned to the left,” according to the Dayton Daily News, fired 41 shots in less than 30 seconds, slaying nine people, including his sister, before he was shot and killed by police. According to CNN, Betts “retweeted extreme left-wing and anti-police posts, as well as tweets supporting Antifa.”

In particular, Betts retweeted posts condemning ICE agents, including one that said, “these people are monsters,” as well as multiple posts critical of police and supporting Antifa protesters, “who often use violent tactics.”

On multiple occasions, Betts shared social media posts containing “concentration camp” rhetoric. He retweeted a June 13 post by Skagit Slough Witch asking, “So…what’s the plan about these concentration camps [family]”?, which pre-dated Ocasio-Cortez’s original post repeating the concentration camp charge.

In addition, Betts shared a June 26 post misapplying the term “concentration camp” six separate times to federal detention facilities, including the erroneous quote, “Most of the historians who study these things seem to be calling them concentration camps.”

Finally, Betts shared a July 31 post falsely asserting, “Concentration camps are built on our soil.”

Trump’s Decapitated Head
Some have attributed the ratcheting-up of violent rhetoric and resulting attacks to President Donald Trump’s arrival on the political scene.

Trump’s critics have likewise come in for criticism, such as Snoop Dogg, who shot a video featuring him pretending to shoot a clown dressed like Trump. Comedian Kathy Griffin apologized after distributing images of herself with what appeared to be the president’s decapitated, bloody head. And New York’s Public Theater reportedly lost advertisers over a production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” that featured the murder of a “Trump lookalike.”

After a leftist domestic terrorist shot a number of victims including then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (D-La.) during a Republican congressional baseball practice in 2017, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) stated, “I believe there is such a hatefulness in what we see in American politics and policy discussions right now … on social media and the 24-hour news cycle. This has got to stop.”

At the time, journalist Kristin Roberts said, “Media owns part of this increase in violent rhetoric. … When pols criticize each other, they are not ‘blasting,’ ‘shooting down,’ ‘pummeling.’”

Christopher C. Hull holds a doctorate in government from Georgetown University. He is president of Issue Management Inc., distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, senior fellow at Americans for Intelligence Reform, and author of “Grassroots Rules” (Stanford, 2007).

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

 

 

 

 

MIDDLE EAST Arabic Language news reporting By Barry Webb 29 October

TURKEY/SYRIA

The Saudi-owned al-arabiyya TV station has reported today that Turkish forces have fired on Syrian forces. (that’s Syrian as in the Assad bunch from Damascus). This comes because of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) whom we allied with during the ISIS war and who were forced to make mends with Damascus upon the U.S. withdrawal. In other words, because Assad’s Syrian army has accepted the SDF as a segment of the Syrian Army, they have become the imaginary enemy of Erdogan’s Turkey, since all Kurds and those who support them are Enemies of Turkey in Erdogan’s book.

A week ago, even a few days ago, Arabic news sources were saying that Erdogan’s invasion of North Syria will result in one million to a million and a half new homeless refugees in Syria. Today, these same Arabic sources are saying that Erdogan’s current invasion of North Syria will result in the murder of one million to a million and a half Kurds. Their only sin was in speaking their native language, wearing Turkish clothing, sporting their own flag, and operating Kurdish language media entities.

The Turkish firing upon Syrian forces puts Russia in a serious position. Russia entered the Syrian war for the express purpose of salvaging all Syrian territory for the Assad regime. So, Putin now has to make a choice, does he continue to protect the Assad regime and its claim for “the territorial integrity of Syria,” or does he cave in to the 21st Hitler Erdogan as the U.S. president did. Facts on the ground indicate the latter.

Several years ago, Russia’s chief religious authority, the Patriarch of Moscow, conferred with Putin asking him to make defending a Christianity being systematically exterminated in the region of its birth a key plank of Russia’s foreign policy. Putin responded with “so it shall be.” If he continues his appeasement policy towards Erdogan, that promise to the Russian prelate will go the same way as political opponents of Putin.

Many people in the path of Erdogan’s current ethnic cleansing rampage are Christians, as are most of the people of Kobani, who converted after the desecrations of ISIS. As soon as Russians troops depart that area, those people will all be exterminated–unless they flee now.

In a related event, al-arabiyya has also reported that Russian troops have been escorting SDF fighters out of the area east of the Euphrates that Erdogan has demanded as a “security zone.” This comes as Turkey is threatening to kill any and all “Kurdish fighters” they find in that zone once the “deadline” has passed. By “Kurdish fighters,” of course, Erdogan means all Kurds, Christians, and Yazidis found in his path.

We will return to this theme further down in this report.

WAS A RUSSIAN AIRFIELD USED IN BAGHDADI RAID?

On 28 October, al-arabiyya TV reported that the U.S. aircraft that took part in the raid on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s compound in a small town in N.W. Syria flew out of an airfield just outside of ‘Ayn al-‘Arab. ‘Ayn al-‘Arab is the Arabic name for the Kurdish city of Kobani. Kobani was the city that inflicted the first defeat on the previously unstoppable ISIS jugernaut, and the heroism of their YPG fighters inspired the world and led to the formation of the SDF under U.S. advice.

With the U.S. withdrawal (and the SDF then immediately siding with the Russians and the Damascus forces), Russian forces then moved into Kobani to provide security as the SDF moved out. Thus, any airports or airfields in the vicinity of Kobani would have been under Russian security at the time the U.S. Baghdadi raid took place.

Trump’s ill-advised and precipitous withdrawal from Syria and the granting of a green light to Erdogan to come in and ethnic cleanse whatever areas he wanted to, also forced the U.S. special forces to move up the time table of their attack, because it appears that the Russians are to depart Kobani themselves once all the SDF focrces have left. Turkey might not have been as cooperative as the Russians in terms of letting us use an airfield under their control.

This is why Trump rightly thanked the Russians for their cooperation in the raid, and why Trump critics in the media and politics are 180 degrees wrong for trying to blame Trump for that bit of diplomatic courtesy.

Offering thanks to Turkey, though, might be another matter. Nonetheless, Turkey was pleased with the elimination of al-Baghdadi–even though Turkey was the Godfather of ISIS, as reported previously on this site. Turkey was incensed when al-Baghdadi declared himself to be the Caliph, a title that was supposed to be reserved for his ”holiness” Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The death of al-Baghdadi means that now there is only one Caliph, and Erdogan can now proceed with the next phase of his plan to restore the Ottoman Empire Caliphate.

TURKEY’S NEXT MOVE

As Turkey’s ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Muslim Brotherhood thugs called the “Free Syrian Army” kidnap, murder, and desecrate their way through Kurdish villages–even writing their names on the doors of Kurdish homes they plan to take over for themselves once the Kurds have been ethnic cleansed–Erdogan has changed the name of for his pan-terrorists militia. He now calls it the “Syrian National Army.”

Hey! I thought that President Assad’s army was the National Army of Syria? What gives?

Erdogan has a tendency to telegraph his next moves. For example, before he ordered Trump to jettison the SDF and let him establish his “security zone” himself, he began making comments to the effect that the joint U.S.-Turkish patrols were not working (even though they were). This was a signal that he was going to tell Trump to get lost and take over the “security zone” himself. Before that, Erdogan commented that if he “had to” he would “Cyprusize” the areas he wanted if he didn’t get his way through “diplomacy” (i.e. threats).

To “Cyprusize” areas of Northern Syria was a referrence to what Turkey did to Cyprus way back in 1974 when America had another Republican president that the Democrats had placed under “impeachment watch.” Turkey staged a naked invasion with jet fighters, paratroopers, special forces, etc. to ethnic cleanse 1/4 of Cypriot territory, repopulate it with Turks and create a new puppet state for Turkey. In the process they murdered, raped, and pillaged the Greek inhabitants who had lived there for 3,000 years.
This is the same behavior that Turkey is engaging in with regards to N. Syria.

Erdogan has thus telegraphed his next move by changing the title of his terrorist militia.
Calling it the “Syrian National Army” is a signal that he plans to use this “army” to take over the rest of Syria in the not too distant future–whereupon it will become, in fact, the new National Army of Syria.

To aid in this endeavor, Erdogan will round up and “arrest” the estimated 30,000 fighters who went underground in Syria and Iraq, as well as the thousands more who escaped prisons the Kurds were guarding now that the U.S. withdrawal and the Turkish invastion has forced the Kurds to depart their guard positions.

Turkey’s “arrest” of these thousands of terrorists will win the praise of the world and win Turkey forgiveness for all its genocidal sins. Then Turkey will recycle these “arrested” terrorists into new militia groups with new names, and new uniforms, and attach them to Erdogan’s ever expanding “Syrian National Army.” And, those will be the military shock troops who will spearhead to coming full invasion of all of Syria as Erdogan seeks ever more “security zones.”

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE IRANIANS?

Reports have anywhere from 80,000 to 200,000 Iranians now in Syria in what amounts to a full-scale occupation. Many of those 200,000 Iranians are civilians from rural areas in Iran that the Mullah’s have transported to Syria where they’ve taken over the homes of Syrians who are now refugees in Europe.

So, the question is, if Turkey moves to conquer the rest of Syria once it has completely digested its “security zone” in N. Syria, won’t that lead to a war between Turkey and Iran? Wouldn’t that be a wonder thing for the West? To have these two rogue states killing each other off? It would be . . . except:

ERDOGAN’S OLIVE BRANCH TO IRAN

An editorial in Iran’s Fars News, an organ of the Mullah’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) has recently lavished praise on Erdogan and noted that he provided free land and a check for one million U.S. dollars for a huge Zayn al-Abadin (a Shi’a saint) mosque in Istanbul.

Not only that, but Erdogan also personally joined 500,000 Shi’a in Istanbul in “mourning the death of the 7th century Imam Hussein.”

WHAT THIS MEANS

You have a hard core Sunni Islamist kissing up to hard core Shi’a Islamists and vice versa. What gives?’

Erdogan’s ruling AKP party is a clone of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). When Egyptian Hasan al-Banna formed the MB in 1928 he saw it as an umbrella organization for all Muslims, rather than just a specifically Sunni organization. This is why the al-Qaeda organization of MB alum ‘Usama bin Laden was able to coordinate with Iran in the preparations for 9/11.

This is why the MB president of Egypt (2012-2012) was able to begin seeking an alliance with Iran before being deposed. This is why MB-supporting Qatar has found it easy to form an alliance with Shi’a Iran, as well as with Sunni Turkey.

Therefore, with regards to Erdogan’s next move to take over Syria, Erdogan is telling Iran that “we can do this together.” The implications being that they will be allies in the establishing of a new pan-Islamic Caliphate.

SO WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE PUTIN?

Is Putin going to just stand by and watch Turkey gobble up the rest of his Syrian ally?
Given Putin’s above-mentioned behavior the answer is probably “yes.”

What does Putin really want with Syria?

Putin entered the Syrian war only reluctantly, and only after dire pleadings from Iran. Russia had a naval base near Latakia in N.W. Syria, which, of course, he wanted to preserve. But before entering the war he squeezed a few more concessions out of Assad. He was able to expand that naval base while adding a modern airbase near by, and other airbase further inland. In addition Assad had to cede Syria’s oil rights in Syrian territorial waters to Russia.

My analysis tells me that if Putin looks the other way while Erdogan annexes the rest of Syria, that Erdogan will allow him to keep these military bases and the oil rights. Erdogan can also apply additional pressure through the thousands of “Grey wolves” members spread throughout the Turkic-speaking former Soviet Union Republics of Central Asia that ring Russia’s southern border.

Besides, Turkey is a member of NATO, so that even if Russia wanted to go to war against Turkey, it couldn’t because that would force an automatic response by NATO. Thus, both Putin and his American counterpart are being manipulated by Erdogan because of Turkey’s NATO membership–to the detriment of the entire human race, as will become apparent when Erdogan’s new Syrian tragedy unfolds.

OTHER MIDEAST NEWS

The Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’aad Hariri has resigned after several days of protests by the people of Lebanon, most recently a human chain they formed extending from the southern part of the country to the northern, and passing through the capital of Beirut.

Nasurallah, the thugish head of the terror group Hizbollah has issued veiled and not so veiled threats of a civil war should the protesters succeed in bringing down the Hizbollah-subservient government.

Iraq has also been experiencing an “Arab Spring 2.0” with Shi’a and Sunni alike participating and chanting ash-sha’ab yoreed asqaat an-nizhaam (the people want to bring down the regime), which was the exact wording of the original Arab Spring in 2011.

Algeria has been experiencing “Arab Spring 2.0” since last spring, and it appears that when and if elections are ever held, that a Muslim Brotherhood-type party will likely win.

Coincidently, or not, the MB clone an-nahdhah party in Tunisia won parliamentary elections a couple of months ago and is putting together an Islam-friendly government. Then, just a couple of weeks ago a college professor with a fondness for Islam has won the presidential elections.

The civil war in Libya continues full bore between the Tripoli government supported by Turkey and Qatar, and the Libyan National Army out of Benghazi supported by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

The sum of the developments and chaos in all of these countries, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria, might provide opportunities for Erdogan to reconstitute the Old Ottoman Empire, or least some key parts of it–especially if he is successful in gobbling up the rest of Syria.

Usama bin Laden once said that “people will follow the strong horse,” and right now, with the U.S. and Russian surrenders in Syria, Erdogan and Turkey are seen as “the strong horse.” Aljazeera.net has recently posted articles heaping lavish praise upon Erdogan with precisely that tone.

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Barry Webb has logged a 25-year career as an Arabist for the NSA, has two MA degrees in related subject matter, and is currently a Senior Fellow with Americans for Intelligence Reform www.intelreform.org. He is the author of Confessions of an (ex) NSA spy: Why America and its Allies are Losing the War on Terror. His website is www.barrywebbauthor.com