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The Qatar Crisis

Qatar Crisis: Worst Case Scenarios

August 6th 2017

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani

The crisis between an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on one side, and fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member Qatar on the other, shows no signs of abating. Qatar has responded to the list of 13 demands presented to Doha last month. At a meeting in Cairo on July 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE said they regretted Qatar’s “negative” response to their list of demands, and restrictions they had imposed would continue.

The origins of the tensions stretch back decades – probably generations in the minds of the main characters – but it is unclear why they suddenly erupted in May with the breaking of diplomatic relations and the cutting of air, sea, and land links. The alleged cause – that Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani of Qatar made pro-Iranian remarks – is fiercely contested. With hindsight, both sides seem to have been preparing for such a schism for months.


After the Vote

Countermeasures to Russian Disinformation

August 5th 2017


The mind of society is the battlefield in the current global struggle for geopolitical domination. The uses of soft power dominate in this battle and information warfare is the name of the game-not "cyber war" in all the ways it has been described but the influence and ultimately control of individual minds that, like cells in a body, make up the Mind of Society. Then control is used as leverage to achieve objectives that are often hidden.
The recent illumination of Russian operations in this area has received a great deal of publicity. Russian operations of this kind are by no means new or unique, but the scale is unprecedented. This is thanks to distributed means of communication, which in turn created distributed digital islands of simulated life as a habitat on which more and more people (some of the time) and some of the people, all of the time, live their lives. The fragmented efforts of the United States and her allies to defend our mind-space and respond with equally effective operations have been less than adequate.
Effective countermeasures require unified, coordinated strategies recognized to have a high priority so that they will, in fact, be executed. They require clout, funding, and leadership to succeed. Once executed, they need to be evaluated to determine their efficacy. Offensive strategies must attack enemies as they attack us, by gaining access to the insides of their hives and securing the queen, not easy to do when the control of the information space in authoritarian and dictatorial regimes closes many of the gaps that in our more open society leave us unprotected.

Islam's War Against Christianity

A War against Christians

July 26th 2017

Coptic woman weeping at funeral

A pervasive persecution of Christians goes on throughout the Middle East and South and  Southeast Asia with relatively small organized efforts to oppose it, even among Western churchmen.
True, both the Pope Francis has spoken out against discrimination, and in many instances, imprisonment and worse. In April the Roman Catholic Pope made a ceremonial visit to meet the leader of Egypt's indigenous Christian Coptic leader who may head as many as 20 million Egyptian Christians. But the Mainline Western Protestant churches with their preoccupation with social issues, often to the neglect of articles of faith, have largely left opposition to such oppression to the Western democratic governments led by the U.S.

The Battle for Syria

After Liberation, Will Mosul Fall to Iran?

July 20th 2017

PKK (Kurdish Worker's Party) Fighter

After a brutal nine-month war, the Iraqi Army has liberated Mosul from ISIS. The city, Iraq's second largest, is all but destroyed.

The butcher's bill tallies 30,000 people dead and counting. Another 600,000, roughly a third of the population, have been displaced. Roughly three-fourths of Mosul's buildings are in ruins, two-thirds of its electrical grid is shredded, and much of what's left of the water system is booby-trapped. The price tag for reconstruction will be tens of billions of dollars that Iraq doesn't have.

Now comes the hard part.

Anyone with sufficient weapons and training can kill terrorists, and it's much harder to rebuild a city than level it. Harder still in a fractious sectarian place like Iraq is establishing enough political trust and goodwill that hardly anyone will be interested in picking up a rifle and shooting at the neighbors again. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

The Real Jihadist Threat No One Is Watching

July 18th 2017

Hamas head

Most people can tell you who the potential jihadists are, especially the ones in Europe and the USA. You can point them out in a group: they are immigrants, or more often, the children of immigrants, who came from the Middle East or North Africa. They often converse among one another in Arabic. Many want to join the Islamic State and other terror groups in Syria, or have gone and since returned. They are mostly men, usually around age 20 or less, and have grown up feeling alienated from the societies in which they live.

Most of this is wrong.

In fact, the UK-based Henry Jackson Society has found that "those who convert to Islam are four times more likely to become terrorists than those who are born Muslims." And in 2015, the Washington Post warned that converts have emerged "as some of the most dangerous and fanatical adherents to radical Islam." Read more ..

Media on Edge

CNN Legal Quagmire After Identifying Reddit User Who Created Trump Wrestling Meme

July 6th 2017


CNN threatened to destroy a Reddit user who created a video that President Donald Trump tweeted last week. The network was quite open in what it proposes to do if Reddit user “HanAssholeSolo” should violate an agreement with CNN. In print, CNN issued a threat that may galvanize further resentment against a news source that is increasingly seen by Trump’s supporters as unreliable at best and probably biased.

The video, a gif, featured footage from Trump's pre-politician days when he grappled at ringside with WWE founder Vince McMahon. To this was added a CNN logo superimposed on McMahon's face.

Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., issued a tweet of his own on July 5, suggesting “If only CNN spent as much time tracking down info on IRS targeting, Fast and Furious, Iran deal, etc as they did a meme writer!” CNN and several Congressional Democrats claimed that the video was either a threat of violence or an encouragement of violence against the network and the media in general.  Read more ..

Israel and India

Why India and Israel Have Forged Such Close Ties

July 3rd 2017

Indian army privates on parade

As Narendra Modi arrives this week for the first state visit ever by an Indian prime minister to Israel, both he and his host Prime Minister Netanyahu will be marking a significant warming up of ties between the two countries. But it will also express the fulfillment of a long-unrequited desire, dating back to the early days of the Jewish state, for close ties with, and recognition from, India.

In those early years, David Ben-Gurion and other key Zionist leaders made strenuous bids for political and diplomatic support from Indian nationalist leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

Ben-Gurion tried leveraging Einstein to persuade Nehru

Ben-Gurion himself made personal contact not only with central Indian political figures to seek their support,  but even convinced Albert Einstein, a reluctant Zionist, to write to Jawaharlal Nehru, soon to be India's first prime minister, in the summer of 1947 to push for a sympathetic hearing for Zionism. Read more ..

Financing the Flames

Europe Must Stop Funding Demonization of Israel

June 27th 2017

Euro Coins

About a year ago, the Ramallah-based Popular Art Center staged a musical performance for “the Palestinian martyrs,” titled “No to laying down guns.” There is nothing new here. This is the “education to peace” that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared in his meeting with US President Donald Trump. Abbas declared, and the European Union is paying in funding for the center. The more interesting thing is that the grant was given as part of a special project for “increasing Palestinian public awareness of EU core values.”

Particularly large funding, of €2.5 million, was given to the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC). One of the senior employees of the WCLAC is Manal Tamimi. Tamimi propagates anti-Semitic cartoons, often defines Israel as a Nazi state, and her tweets include content such as “Vampire Zionist celebrating by drinking Palestinian bloods” and “I do hate Israel, I do hate Zionism, I wish a third intifada coming soon and people raise up and kills all these Zionist settlers everywhere.”


The Trump Era

Constitutional Expert Says Trump Cannot be Indicted

June 21st 2017


Famed legal expert Alan Dershowitz explained on Fox News on Tuesday that the Justice Department has clarified that sitting presidents cannot be "indicted, prosecuted, or tried while serving in office." He noted that a president must first face impeachment and removal from office before being charged with a crime. Back in May, Dershowitz tweeted his objection to the current probes into supposed collusion between Donald Trump’s political organization and Russians during the 2016 general election. He tweeted: “The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?” 
On Fox News, Dershowitz said on Tuesday that there is no criminal act to investigate, when he referenced the probe being led by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Last week, the Washington Post reported that Mueller is currently investigating President Trump for supposed for obstruction of justice over his firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Since then, reports have been contradictory as to whether Mueller is indeed investigating the president. Read more ..

Republicans on Edge

Soros, Clinton-Linked Teneo Among Donors to McCain Institute

June 20th 2017

Ben Franklin one hundred dollar bills

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain in 2012 turned over nearly $9 million in unspent funds from his failed 2008 presidential campaign to a new foundation bearing his name, the McCain Institute for International Leadership.

The institute is intended to serve as a “legacy” for McCain and “is dedicated to advancing human rights, dignity, democracy and freedom.” It is a tax-exempt non-profit foundation with assets valued at $8.1 million and associated with Arizona State University.

Conservative and liberal critics, however, believe the institute constitutes a major conflict of interest for McCain, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.


The Trump Era

Trump Under Legal Siege

June 17th 2017


The distinguished political scientist Angelo Codevilla coined the ominous term “cold civil war” to describe America’s precarious condition, adding, “Statesmanship’s first task is to prevent it from turning hot.” The attempted massacre June this week June 14 of Republican Congressmen and their staff by a deranged partisan of Sen. Bernie Sanders turned up the heat a notch, but it would be mistaken to attribute much importance to this dreadful outburst of left-wing rage. The augury of American fracture will not be street violence, but a constitutional crisis implicating virtually the whole of America’s governing caste. The shock troops in the cold civil war are not gunmen but lawyers.

A considerable portion of America’s permanent bureaucracy, including elements of its intelligence community, is engaged in an illegal and unconstitutional mutiny against the elected commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump. Most of the Democratic Party and a fair sampling of the Republican Establishment wants to force Trump out of office, and to this end undertook an entrapment scheme to entice the president and his staff into actions which might be construed after the fact as obstruction of justice. Read more ..

Qatar on Edge

The Other Reason To Isolate Qatar: Its Appalling Human-Rights Record

June 16th 2017

Qatari Skyline

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain have all cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar over allegations of fuelling extremism and terrorism.

It’s true the government in Doha has a long history of supporting various radical Islamist groups and movements across the Middle East. Senior Muslim Brotherhood members, Hamas leaders, and Al Qaeda fixers reside in the country. The Taliban even has an unofficial "embassy" in the capital. Doha has also bankrolled with hundreds of millions radical Islamist opposition groups in Libya and Syria, which has angered its neighbors.

And to Qatar's critics, the billion-dollar hostage deal between the emirate, Iranian security officials and Al Qaeda-linked Syrian rebel groups was further evidence of its role in sponsoring extremists. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Are Jihadists Taking over Europe?

June 13th 2017

Muslim girls German flag

"Germany is quietly building a European army under its command," according to some in the media. Apparently German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after her clash with U.S. President Donald Trump, would like to invest, along with France, in a European army.

At present, however, there is just one real army in Europe -- the Jihadist Army, as in the terrorists who struck London on June 3 and murdered seven people, just two weeks after carnage in Manchester.

In the four European countries most targeted by terror attacks -- Britain, France, Belgium and Germany -- the number of official extremists has reached 66,000. That sounds like a real army, on active duty.


The Trump Era

Trump Fired Comey Because He Misled Public that President was Under Investigation

June 10th 2017


At last, at least for your humble correspondent, this week’s big hearing brought clarity. I now believe President Donald Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey because he believes Comey intentionally misled the public into believing Trump was under investigation by the FBI. There is enough support for this theory that, had the president been forthright in explaining it when he dismissed Comey on May 9, there might have been considerably less uproar. Instead, Trump dissembled, as he seems hardwired to do. He thus bought himself a debilitating special-counsel investigation, despite its being increasingly patent that there is no crime to investigate.

March 20 was the big day. Understanding why requires us to go back several weeks, to January 6, the day Trump and Comey first met. Read more ..

Palestinians on Edge

Nakba and its Role in the Arab-Israeli conflict

June 4th 2017

Pro-Palestine Gaza protesters

Since Israel's inception in 1948, the Arab-Palestinians mark Nakba Day. Nakba, the Arabic term for catastrophe, represents much more than just the physical creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948, which Palestinians decree as the cataclysmic disaster. It is also the Palestinian process of refusing to accept the fact that a sovereign Jewish state could even be allowed to come into being.

Over the years, one of the greatest ironies is that Arab members of Knesset have repeatedly proposed establishing an official Nakba Day. Although the Knesset's Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs eventually banned these proposals, they indicate how ingrained 1948 is in the Arab psyche. To the Knesset's credit, there was an understanding that marking the Nakba is harmful and propagates the notion that Israel's birth was illegitimate. Read more ..

Turkey on Edge

Turkey’s Indigenous Weapons Industry: A Rover with Rolls-Royce Ambitions

June 2nd 2017

Turkish military parade with flags

A former US ambassador to Ankara once described Turkey’s regional (i.e., neo-Ottoman) foreign policy aspirations by saying that the country had “Rolls-Royce ambitions but Rover resources.” The same could be true for Turkey’s ambitious indigenous weapons programs.

Turkey suffers from a “sizing” malady. When, in the late 1950s, Kemal Nejat Kavur was serving as the Turkish ambassador to Moscow, Andrei Gromyko, the then Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, asked him: “Your Excellency, your country has the highest number of men under arms in Europe. If you turned them against your traditional enemies, the Greeks, you would be too much for them. But if you turned them against us, it would be too small. What’s the reason for this?” Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Trump's Saudi Speech: Pretty Good

May 22nd 2017

Saudi princes

In Riyadh, on the first stop of his tri-monotheism tour that will take him to Jerusalem and Rome (sorry, Mecca was not available), Donald Trump gave a major speech on a wide range of topics – the Middle East, jihadi violence, Iran, an "Arab NATO," and Islam. It's a mixed performance, but overall positive.

First, what's wrong with the 34-minute speech: It's incoherent, jumping from topic to topic and then back again. It's neither eloquent nor insightful (as in, "Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death"). In places, it consists of Obama-like euphemisms, such as the statement that history's great test stands before us, one goal that transcends every other consideration: "to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism."


The Battle for Syria

Assad’s Hollow Crown

May 10th 2017

Syrian refugees

The mortar shells came early in the morning.  At about 5.  At regular intervals. Solemn and sinister. They were a reminder of how close it all was. We were in the Damascus Old City. There was still fighting in Jobar, about two kilometers away.  The rebels had also counter-attacked from the east, from the suburbs in eastern Ghouta, in the previous week.   A shell had landed in the precinct of the Umayyad Mosque. 

This was not in accordance with the line being promoted by the regime, according to which the rebellion was on the verge of defeat.  But there it was. The old city was tense, behind a veneer of strained normality. There were checkpoints every hundred meters or so. Read more ..

Broken Borders

Austin Texas Faces Costs for 'Sanctuary City' Status

May 5th 2017

US/Mex Border fence

Millions of people are living illegally in the U.S., and more than 100,000 live in Austin, Texas. Austin law enforcement has pledged not to arrest and detain people for simply living there illegally. But that promise goes against a bill about to become law in Texas. It also goes against requests from Attorney General Jeff Sessions. And it's costing Austin money and creating confusion - in the immigrant community as well as among law enforcement.

Several weeks ago, armed Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents entered the Travis County criminal court and began arresting people who could not prove they were in the U.S. legally, according to Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt. She called it a raid and said it undermined her work.

"This, I would submit, is not about sanctuary cities," she said. "I would submit that this is straight-up political retribution." Read more ..

Islam on Edge

Can Islam Ever be Reformed?

April 30th 2017

Muslims pray on a rug

Muslim reformer Zuhdi Jasser has recently attacked leaders of the anti-Jihad movement in America. He equated them with jihadists when he called them the derogatory word, alt-jihadists, meaning that Americans who speak and write against the evils of Islamic jihad and sharia are just as bad as jihadists. Jasser attacked by name freedom fighters like Stephen Kirby, John Guandolo, Diana West, Clare Lopez, Andrew Bostom, Robert Spender and Pamela Geller.

Jasser claims that he coined the word ‘alt-jihadists’ but in fact Arab media beat him to it when they equated vocal anti-jihad leaders with jihadists. To silence critics of jihad and Islam, Muslim media have habitually come down hard on critics of jihad and Islam and treated them worse than terrorists. Read more ..

The Korean Threat

Is China the Solution to the North Korean Problem?

April 28th 2017

North Korean missiles

Based on the completed review of Washington's North Korea policy, the U.S. administration has no plan to respond to Pyongyang's next nuclear test with military might. But U.S. President Donald Trump has taken every opportunity to show that he still considers all options — including a military strike — to be on the table.

This won't, however, do much to change North Korea's own calculations. Pyongyang no longer sees its nuclear weapons program as a chip to be bargained away for economic and security concessions from Washington. Instead, developing a credible nuclear deterrent has become a matter of national security, and a crucial one at that. North Korea will forge ahead with its nuclear program undeterred, bringing it one step closer to its final stage — and bringing the country closer to a clash with regional powers intent on stopping it.


Russia on Edge

A Brave New World for the Kremlin

April 10th 2017

Russian soldiers Red Square

Every country faces generational change. Evolutions in technology, culture, social mores and global affairs can leave a gulf between young and old that neither can easily bridge. In Russia, that gulf is especially vast. As of this year, 27 percent of Russians were born after the fall of the Soviet Union, and that number will jump to nearly 40 percent within the next decade. The rising generation was never Sovietized. Most of them, moreover, are too young to remember the tumultuous 1990s, a decade of war, financial crisis and political disarray.

Unlike the older generations, they don't recall President Vladimir Putin's promises to save Russia or the measures he took to stabilize the country after its post-Soviet tailspin. In fact, they've never really known life without him. For Putin, the situation poses an unfamiliar challenge.


UK on Edge

Brexit's Potential to Fracture the U.K.

April 5th 2017

British army privates on parade

Splitting from the European Union will inevitably strain the United Kingdom's territorial integrity. Those pushing for Scotland and Northern Ireland to secede from the United Kingdom are using Brexit to justify their agendas. Brexit will also open a debate between the central government in London and the country's devolved governments about who will control the powers that will be repatriated from Brussels. With authority over policy areas such as agriculture, fisheries, industry and the environment returning to the United Kingdom after Brexit, the administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will push London to transfer many of those attributions to them.

The United Kingdom has a devolution system, according to which different policy powers from the United Kingdom's Parliament have been transferred to assemblies in Cardiff and Belfast, and to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Read more ..

Europe on Edge

Europeans Risk Losing American Defence

March 31st 2017

EU flag

The United States was dragged into two world wars -the first because the Germans stupidly torpedoed American ships and tried to form a hostile alliance with Mexico; the second because Japan gambled on preemptively destroying the U.S. Pacific fleet mainly based at Pearl Harbor.  Obliged by their treaty agreement with Japan, Germany declared war on the United States. America's entrance into the fight, in both cases, helped assure victory and convinced American policy-makers on the need to maintain a general defensive alliance in Europe-hence the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949. That Treaty served everyone's interest in Europe: it provided a solid defensive framework sufficient to allow Europe to recover and prosper; it put a halt to any further Soviet expansion; and despite repeated attempts to develop something akin to a first strike capability, Soviet efforts failed, and the Soviet Union collapsed.
There were other lessons.

Europe on Edge

Centrist Contenders Arise in Europe

March 24th 2017

euro flags

The emergence of strong nationalism and Euroskepticism across Europe has challenged Europe's traditional political parties and threatened the continuity of Continental integration. But in the past few weeks, the political establishment has found itself under fire from a different direction. In Germany and France, which hold general elections this year, candidates who express dissatisfaction with the political status quo yet defend closer European ties have gained popularity. If those candidates are successful, immediate fears about the eurozone's future could fade, even though the underlying causes of the populist wave sweeping Europe would remain.


Japan on Edge

In Japan, Russia and China Find Common Ground

March 23rd 2017

sunset in japan

For the first time in three years, Russia and Japan have revived an avenue of negotiation that had stalled in the face of enduring tension between the two nations. Foreign and defense ministers from both countries met in Tokyo on Monday to hold 2+2 talks on security issues in the Asia-Pacific region. As expected, Japan took the opportunity to question Russia's recent attempts to bolster its defenses on the southern Kuril Islands, to which Tokyo has long laid claim. Russia fired back with its own objections to Japan's desire to build up its ballistic missile defenses as North Korea pushes ahead with its nuclear program.

For the Russians, not to mention Pyongyang's Chinese backers, the deployment of U.S. antiballistic missile (ABM) technology around the world is becoming a bigger and bigger concern.


The Calipgate

Who Will Dominate Iraq and Syria after ISIS?

March 16th 2017


On the surface, the wars in Syria and Iraq are continuing at full intensity. The fight between Iraqi government forces and Islamic State in western Mosul is proving a slow, hard slog.

This week, government forces captured the police directorate and the courts complex in the city, moving toward the denser warren of the Old City. The jihadists are fighting for every inch of ground.

Further west, the US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) succeeded in cutting the last road from the Islamic State capital of Raqqa to its stronghold in Deir al-Zor.

In the fight between the Assad regime and the Sunni Arab rebellion against it, a rebel attempt at a counterattack in the city of Deraa has led to renewed bloodshed. The regime is continuing its attacks on rebel-held Eastern Ghouta east of Damascus, despite a new Russian-brokered cease-fire. Read more ..

Jewry on Edge

From Noble to Ignoble: Quaker Relations with Israel

March 15th 2017

boycott Israel t-shirt

Unwittingly, Friends' Central School in Wynnewood, PA, a well-regarded Quaker establishment, has once again come under fire for its ties to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement supported by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

The school operates in accordance with the Quaker philosophy of "simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship. Underlying all facets of School life is the belief that 'there is that of God in everyone.' Meeting for Worship is central, providing time for connections among members of the community and between individuals and their spiritual sources. Peaceful resolution of conflicts, seeking truth and collaboration are key aspects of a Friends' Central education."

The Quakers have cultivated their image as peaceful and supremely benign. Few suspect, much less know, that one of their central missions is promoting the BDS movement that opposes Israel's existence. Read more ..

Europe on Edge

The EU May Bend to Keep From Breaking

March 10th 2017

euro flags

The European Commission is taking a clear-eyed look at Europe's future. On March 1, the institution presented a report proposing five different visions for what the European Union might look like in 2025. The report will doubtless take center stage at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday between discussions of such issues as migration, security, defense and the economy. Along with suggesting that member states could integrate at different speeds, the white paper raises the possibility that EU member countries may regain control of some prerogatives currently under Brussels' authority.


The Edge of Terrorism

Banning The Muslim Brotherhood

February 9th 2017


Two days before he signed the Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) began organizing nationwide protests against the anticipated order, which the mischaracterized the suspension of U.S. visas to Muslim refugees and travelers from only seven out of fifty Muslim-majority countries, as a “ban.”

CAIR was immediately joined by progressive Left organizations that protested the election of Donald Trump as President. Thus Left-leaning ill-informed organizations, CEOs of tech companies (How many of their employees are immigrants, or Work-Visa holders from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen?)  and Democratic-run-States joined forces with MB-affiliated groups to undermine the power of the President and the security of the nation. Read more ..

The Edge of Policing

Is Police Training on Mental Health and Developmental Issues Enough to Stop the Shootings?

February 3rd 2017

Police riot squad

As mentioned in our article, The Dangers of Ignoring Mental Health and Developmental Issues: How Law Enforcement Continues to Fail the Most Vulnerable, adults with severe mental illness generate 1 in 10 of all law enforcement responses. The way in which officers are trained to respond to emergency calls plays a crucial role in deciding between a positive or negative outcome. Though it is an integral part of the solution, can the problem of excessive force be eradicated by training alone?

CIT Training

CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) training is a 40-hour program designed to educate police officers on mental health conditions and medications, connect them with local mental health resources they can call upon when faced with a crisis, and provide scenario-based trainings that introduce strategies for de-escalation. Read more ..

The Trump Era

Protecting America from Ill-intended Refugees

January 29th 2017

Syrian Refugees

President Donald Trump’s draft executive order on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals,” which was leaked on Wednesday, has been met, as anticipated, with alarm by opponents at home and abroad who resent the new American president and his actions to protect the country, as he promised to do.

His executive order proclaims (emphasis added): “The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism. In order to protect Americans, we must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes towards our country and its founding principles.


Israel on Edge

Leading Int’l Legal Scholar Kontorovich Emphasizes at ZOA Event: US Embassy Should Move to Jerusalem

January 24th 2017

West Bank Construction

One of the world’s leading international law and Constitutional law scholars, Northwestern University Law School Professor Eugene Kontorovich, emphasized that it is important to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem – and in particular, urged moving the U.S. embassy to the eastern portion of Jerusalem, during Professor Kontorovich’s well-attended speech at an event sponsored by ZOA – New York and Safra Synagogue on Thursday January 19, 2017.   Professor Kontorovich noted that the best way to combat UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is to combat the false idea that any Jewish presence beyond the 1949 Armistice lines is “illegal.” And the best way to do that is to put the U.S. Embassy in eastern Jerusalem.  European ambassadors will visit and do business there. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

The Inside Story of How John Kerry Secretly Lobbied to Get CAIR Removed From UAE's Terrorist Organization List

John Kerry

On Nov. 16, 2014, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took the unusual step of designating the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Muslim American Society (MAS) – as terrorist organizations.

They were among 83 groups named for their connections to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

This outraged CAIR officials, who immediately began efforts to get their organization removed from the list. They found a powerful ally in Secretary of State John Kerry, who authorized State Department officials to meet regularly with UAE officials to lobbying on behalf of CAIR and MAS .

CAIR already had a sympathetic ear in the Obama administration, including the State Department, that had openly embraced and legitimized the entire spectrum of radical Islamist groups falsely posing as religious or civil rights groups, which both CAIR and MAS had done. Read more ..

Campus Hate

How the Government Can Crack Down on Anti-Semitism on College Campuses

January 12th 2017

Boycott Divest Israel demo

When the Senate begins to consider President-elect Donald Trump's choice to run the Department of Education, Congress should focus on the surge of anti-Semitism that continues to plague our nation's campuses. Over the past few years, anti-Semitism has reached a tipping point around the country. The FBI reported that there were more Jewish hate crime victims last year than victims of all other religious groups combined.

Nowhere is this problem worse than on college campuses where anti-Semitic incidents are escalating at an alarming rate. More than half of Jewish students reported experiencing or witnessing anti-Semitism in 2014 and 2015, according to two recent studies. Another study showed a 45 percent increase in campus anti-Semitism in the first half of 2016, compared with the first half of 2015. This year, the numbers are likely to be even worse: In the 10 days following November's election, the Southern Poverty Law Center recorded no fewer than 100 incidents of anti-Semitic hate in the United States.


Obama and Israel

What is Obama’s End Game on Israel?

January 6th 2017

President Obama sunglasses and flying cravat

President Obama’s decision to engineer passage of U.N. Security Council 2334 in the final weeks of his presidency wasn’t a bid to revive the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process,” a “parting shot” at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or any of the other characterizations splashed across cable news chyrons over the weekend. Rather, it was intended to irrevocably destroy the viability of the very “two-state solution” the president claims to be protecting.

Obama was widely expected to take some kind of action against Israel, which he blames for both the failure of his Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives and his difficulties convincing a skeptical Congress to back his Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. Most thought this would come through a public speech in the form of an Eisenhower-type farewell warning about Israeli perniciousness or proposed final settlement terms. The smart money had the president giving his assent to a U.N. Security Council resolution criticizing Israeli settlement policies or recognizing Palestinian statehood in some way. Read more ..

Obama and Israel

Five Ways the Trump Administration Can Negate The Anti-Israel U.N. Security Council Resolution

January 3rd 2017


The U.S. decision to allow a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements to pass was met with bipartisan condemnation, including from leading players in efforts to achieve a two-state solution, such as Democrats Dennis Ross and George Mitchell.

Of course, the goal of the Obama administration was to box in President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy. The most direct way to reject the Security Council Resolution 2334 is to reject the opinions it expresses and act against its recommendations. Trump will likely seek to reverse the measure, not only because of substantial policy disagreements, but to reject the notion that a president can bind his successors more tightly through U.N. action than through statutes or executive orders. Read more ..

Obama and Israel

Obama, Kerry and Netanyahu Go Visceral

December 30th 2016

Western/Wailing Wall

How to explain the recent uproar in U.S.-Israel relations? I refer to President Barack Obama's decision to abstain at the U.N. Security Council, precisely contradicting his own views of just a few years earlier; Secretary of State John Kerry's 75-minute rant against Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu; and Netanyahu's intemperate responses, such as warning the New Zealand government that its support for the UNSC resolution amounts to a "declaration of war."

High politics of this sort is usually viewed through the lens of ideas and principles. But at times, it's better to leave all that behind and look at psychology - in other words, the basic human emotions and relations we all experience.


Obama and Israel

Obama’s Final, Most Shameful, Legacy Moment

December 30th 2016

Obama with baseball bat

The audience — overwhelmingly Jewish, passionately pro-Israel and supremely gullible — applauded wildly. Four years later — his last election behind him, with a month to go in office and with no need to fool Jew or gentile again — Obama took the measure of Israel’s back and slid a knife into it.

People don’t quite understand the damage done to Israel by the U.S. abstention that permitted passage of a Security Council resolution condemning Israel over settlements. The administration pretends this is nothing but a restatement of long-standing U.S. opposition to settlements.

Nonsense. For the last 35 years, every administration, including a re-election-seeking Obama himself in 2011, has protected Israel with the U.S. veto because such a Security Council resolution gives immense legal ammunition to every boycotter, anti-Semite and zealous European prosecutor to penalize and punish Israelis. Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

An Existential Battle for the Demographic Future of Syria

December 21st 2016

Syria fighting injured baby

The Syrian government, Russia, and Iran (SRI) are trying to change the demographic makeup of Syria. They aim to depopulate Syria of the Arab Sunnis, which, before the Arab Spring was the largest religio-ethnic group in Syria. They mostly inhabited a very fertile strip of land between Aleppo in the north, down to Damascus, and then southward to the Jordanian border. Those Arab Sunnis who did not leave are being forced to move to Idlib and Raqqa, near the Turkish border.1

Examining SRI’s military campaign and its policy towards the refugees they have created suggests this SRI strategy.  The groups and places which the Russians have been attacking are the traditional strongholds of the Sunni Arab population – as of late Aleppo – the largest city in Syria.


See Earlier Stories 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

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