Το Ιράν έχει βρει μια αποτελεσματική αντιστασιακή στρατηγική, εναντίον των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών.
|14 Μαΐου 2019|
– Ο Λευκός Οίκος είναι σίγουρος ότι η εχθρική στάση κατά του Ιράν είναι η μόνη σωστή. Η Τεχεράνη για τον Trump είναι ο εχθρός που πρέπει να νικήσει, όχι όμως μέσω ενός άμεσου πολέμου και παρέμβασης. Το Ιράν δεν είναι ούτε Αφγανιστάν, ούτε Ιράκ. Φυσικά, το Ιράν θα χάσει τον πόλεμο με τις ΗΠΑ, ωστόσο θα προκαλέσει μεγάλη ζημιά στους Αμερικανούς και τους συμμάχους τους, όπως, για παράδειγμα, μέσω επίθεσης ιρανικών πυραύλων επί αμερικανικών βάσεων, ισραηλινών πόλεων, αραβικών τερματικών πετρελαίου και ξένων δεξαμενόπλοιων, που διέρχονται από το Στενό του Ορμούζ.
– Οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες (σε αντίθεση με τη Σαουδική Αραβία) δεν επιθυμούν την εξάλειψη του Ιράν ή την διάλυσή του σε διάφορα μέρη, επειδή στην περιοχή θα αναστατωθεί η ισορροπία δυνάμεων και θα εξαφανιστεί ο φυσικός αντίπαλος των σουνιτικών μοναρχιών του Κόλπου και έτσι δεν θα χρειάζεται πλέον αμερικανική βοήθεια…
– Επίσης, όλη η επιθετικότητα των αραβικών χωρών στην περιοχή θα ενεργοποιήσει τον δεύτερο βασικό τους εχθρό – το Ισραήλ. Οι Αμερικανοί επιθυμούν μόνο αλλαγή καθεστώτος. Σύμφωνα με τον υπουργό Εξωτερικών των ΗΠΑ Μάϊκ Πομπέο, «απαιτείται αλλαγή της γραμμής συμπεριφοράς της ιρανικής ηγεσίας». Οι Ιρανοί έχουν σταματήσει να παρεμβαίνουν στην αμερικανική πολιτική στη Μέση Ανατολή, καθώς και να απειλούν τους συμμάχους των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών (ιδίως του Ισραήλ).
Αλλαγή σωστά και λάθος
– Η ειρωνεία είναι ότι η διοίκηση του Χουσεϊν Μπαράκ Ομπάμα εργάστηκε στην ίδια κατεύθυνση – και μάλιστα δούλεψε περισσότερο από “επιτυχώς”. Κατανοούσε ότι η καλύτερη στρατηγική για την αλλαγή καθεστώτος θα ήταν να αποσύρει το Ιράν από την οικονομική και πολιτική απομόνωση, εκμηδενίζοντας παράλληλα την πιο επικίνδυνη βραχυπρόθεσμη απειλή της Τεχεράνης, δηλαδή τη δυνατότητα να αποκτήσει πυρηνικά όπλα. Για αυτό έγινε η πυρηνική συμφωνία.
– Το νόημα της συμφωνίας αυτής δεν ήταν μόνο το γεγονός ότι το Ιράν ανέστειλε το πυρηνικό του πρόγραμμα για 10-15 χρόνια. Θεωρήθηκε ότι το βγάλσιμο / η “έξοδος” της “Ισλαμικής Δημοκρατίας” από την απομόνωση θα οδηγούσε στην οικονομική της ανάπτυξη – και επομένως θα ενίσχυε τη θέση των ιρανικών επιχειρήσεων, καθώς και το επίπεδο της αστικής μεσαίας τάξης. Δηλαδή, εκείνους τους τομείς της κοινωνίας που πάντα υποστήριζαν, αν όχι την απελευθέρωση, τουλάχιστον τον εκσυγχρονισμό του ιρανικού κρατικού συστήματος.
– Ωστόσο, η κυβέρνηση Trump θεώρησε ότι η παραπάνω πολιτική Ομπάμα ήταν λάθος. Πιστεύει ότι οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες έχουν την ευκαιρία να επιτύχουν πολύ πιο γρήγορα και με πολύ μικρότερο κίνδυνο / ρίσκο την αλλαγή του Ιρανικού καθεστώτος, χωρίς μάλιστα να δοθεί η δυνατότητα στο Ιράν να γίνει πυρηνική δύναμη. Αυτός είναι ο λόγος για τον οποίο η Ουάσιγκτον, πριν από ένα χρόνο, αποσύρθηκε από την ισχύουσα διεθνή πυρηνική συμφωνία, επανέφερε τις κυρώσεις, ανάγκασε τους Ευρωπαίους να συμμορφωθούν με αυτές και εφαρμόζει πλέον μια πολιτική “συνολικής πίεσης” στο Ιράν.
– Το κύριο εργαλείο της αμερικανικής πολιτικής έγινε απειλή και τελεσίγραφο. Η Ουάσινγκτον χρησιμοποιεί την τακτική της “μέγιστης πίεσης” στην Ισλαμική Δημοκρατία. Αμερικανοί ηγέτες υποστηρίζουν ότι οποιαδήποτε ενέργεια του Ιράν ή των συμμάχων του (Λιβανέζικη “Χιζμπολάχ”, Υεμένη / Χούτου, αρχές της Συρίας, ιρακινές πολιτοφυλακές, κλπ) κατά των αμερικανικών συμφερόντων, θα συνεπάγεται πλέον άμεση αντίδραση. Εξαιρετικά ευρεία διπλωματική γλώσσα που μπορεί να δικαιολογήσει οποιαδήποτε ενέργεια των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών.
– Ναι, οι Αμερικανοί εγκαταλείπουν τη διπλωματία και βεβαιώνουν ότι είναι έτοιμοι να καθίσουν μαζί με το Ιράν σε τραπέζι διαπραγματεύσεων, μόνον για να αναθεωρήσουν τους όρους της πυρηνικής συμφωνίας και να τους κάνουν αυστηρότερους. Για παράδειγμα, ο Trump θέλει να συμπεριληφθούν στη σύμβαση ρήτρες για τους πυραύλους του Ιράν, αλλά και να αντικατασταθούν οι υφιστάμενοι προσωρινοί περιορισμοί του πυρηνικού προγράμματος, με την πλήρη απαγόρευσή του.
Δεν θα μιλήσουμε
– Ωστόσο, οι ιρανικές αρχές δήλωσαν ότι με τα δεδομένα αυτά δεν πρόκειται να διαπραγματευθούν με τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες, ούτε για την αναθεώρηση της πυρηνικής συμφωνίας, ούτε για τυχόν πρόσθετες συμφωνίες. Ακόμα κι αν ο Πρόεδρος Χασάν Ρουχάνι ήταν έτοιμος για έναν τέτοιο διάλογο, (προσπάθησε πράγματι να διαπραγματευθεί με τις Η.Π.Α.), δεν θα του επέτρεπαν να τον ξεκινήσει ο πνευματικός ηγέτης του Ιράν Αλί Χαμενεϊ, καθώς και πολλοί από τους Ιρανούς αξιωματούχους ασφαλείας. Δηλώνεται εμφαντικά απ’ όλους αυτούς πως καμία επιδείνωση της κοινωνικο-οικονομικής κατάστασης στο Ιράν, δεν θα αναγκάσει τους “Αγιατολλάχ” να καθίσουν στο τραπέζι των διαπραγματεύσεων.
– Αυτό συμβαίνει πρώτα λόγω αρχών και δεύτερο, επειδή πολλοί εκπρόσωποι της ιρανικής “ελίτ” ενδιαφέρονται για την ένταση των σχέσεων με τη Δύση.
– Οι “αρχές” αναφέρονται κυρίως σε ιδεολογικούς λόγους και εκφράζονται από τους συντηρητικούς “Αγιατολλάχ”, και όχι τόσο σε πραγματικούς.
– Στη συνέχεια! Οι στρατηγοί της “Ισλαμικής Φρουράς της Επανάστασης” ελέγχουν ένα μεγάλο μέρος του “γκρίζου” εμπορίου του Ιράν με τις ξένες χώρες και η άρση των κυρώσεων προς την Τεχεράνη τους στέρησε την πηγή εισοδήματός τους. Τώρα που το Trump αποκαθιστά τις κυρώσεις, όλα επανήλθαν… στο φυσιολογικό.
– Επιπλέον, ο ιρανικός πληθυσμός έχει πειστεί ότι οι οικονομικές δυσκολίες που προέκυψαν από τις κυρώσεις δεν προέκυψαν εξαιτίας των λαθών της ιρανικής ηγεσίας, αλλά λόγω της άδικης απόφασης του Trump και της αστήριχτης αμερικανικής εχθρότητας. Αυτό συσπειρώνει τον λαό γύρω από τις ιρανικές αρχές και ελαχιστοποιεί την ευκαιρία για δυσαρέσκεια.
– Με βάση τα παραπάνω δεδομένα, ο Ιρανός πρόεδρος χρειαζόταν μια αποτελεσματική αντι-στρατηγική προκειμένου, αφενός, για να αντιμετωπίσει τον Trump και αφετέρου, για να διατηρήσει τη θέση του στο Ιράν. Και ο Χασάν Ρουχάνι, φαίνεται ότι την βρήκε.
– Κάποια στιγμή, επέκρινε έντονα τον Αχμαντινετζάντ ότι δεν παρουσίαζε όλες τις διαφορές του Ιράν με τη Δύση, σε αντίθεση μ’ αυτόν, που τις παρουσιάζει όλες.
– Ο Χασάν Ρουχάνι ανακοίνωσε τη σταδιακή απόσυρση της χώρας από την πυρηνική συμφωνία. Το Ιράν αρνείται να συμμορφωθεί με τα στοιχεία αυτά που απαγορεύουν τη συσσώρευση υπερβολικού εμπλουτισμένου ουρανίου και βαρέος ύδατος. Μετά από 60 ημέρες, η Τεχεράνη θα ξεκινήσει μια νέα φάση – θα σταματήσει την αναβάθμιση του αντιδραστήρα στο Αράκ και θα άρει όλους τους περιορισμούς στο επίπεδο εμπλουτισμού ουρανίου. Δηλαδή, θα παράγει ουράνιο υψηλής ποιότητας για πυρηνικά όπλα.
– Μετά από αυτό το βήμα θα ακολουθήσουν και νέα, μέχρι την τελική απόσυρση του Ιράν από την πυρηνική συμφωνία.
– Ωστόσο, σύμφωνα με τους Ιρανούς, αυτή η “αλυσίδα” μπορεί να σταματήσει από τους Ευρωπαίους, αν αυτοί συνεχίσουν να εκπληρώνουν τις υποχρεώσεις τους στο πλαίσιο της συμφωνίας. Δηλαδή, να επαναλάβουν τις συνήθεις εμπορικές και οικονομικές σχέσεις με την Ισλαμική Δημοκρατία και να μην υποβάλουν αμερικανικές κυρώσεις. Βλέποντας οι Ιρανοί ότι η Ευρώπη παίρνει μια πιο ισχυρή θέση για την προστασία των οικονομικών της συμφερόντων, από τις αμερικανικές επιθέσεις (πχ οι Γερμανοί υπερασπίστηκαν τον “Nord Stream 2“), ο Ρουχάνι τους ενθαρρύνει ένθερμα να προστατεύσουν τα ευρωπαϊκά συμφέροντα στο ιρανικό ζήτημα.
– Μέχρι στιγμής, η στρατηγική λειτουργεί μόνο “εν μέρει”, αφού ναι μεν η Ευρώπη επικρίνει τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες με δύναμη και κυρίως κατηγορεί τον Trump για την έναρξη της απόσυρσης του Ιράν από την πυρηνική συμφωνία, αλλά δεν έχει ακόμη στραφεί δε, σε καμία πραγματική δράση. Για παράδειγμα, δεν δρομολογεί έναν πλήρως ανεπτυγμένο μηχανισμό για την καταστρατήγηση των αμερικανικών κυρώσεων, που επιτρέπει στις ευρωπαϊκές εταιρείες να εμπορεύονται ελεύθερα με το Ιράν. Ωστόσο, η Ευρώπη εξακολουθεί να έχει χρόνο να σκεφτεί – λίγο περισσότερο από 50 ημέρες, έως ότου η Τεχεράνη κινηθεί σε ένα νέο στάδιο καταγγελίας της πυρηνικής συμφωνίας.
α. Το Ιράν, το οποίο εσωτερικά νοσεί βαρύτατα, ως μια ανελαστική και αρκούντως τυραννική “ΙΣΛΑΜΙΚΗ ΔΙΚΤΑΤΟΡΙΑ”, εκμεταλλεύεται την Αμερικανο – Ευρωπαϊκή διάσταση, αν όχι “γενικό πόλεμο” και κατ’ ουσίαν την διαπάλη του Εθνοκεντρικού ΤΡΑΜΠ, με τους Παγκοσμιοποιητές “Διεθνείς” Κυβερνήτες της ΕΕ, με αποτέλεσμα να επιβιώνει ακόμα οικονομικά, να εκβιάζει με τα πυρηνικά τον “Ελεύθερο Κόσμο”, αλλά και να “παίζει” ρόλο “πολιτικού καθοδηγητή”, όπως και τρομοκράτη στην Μ. Ανατολή, υποστηρίζοντας, ως ένας ιδιόμορφος “Μεγάλος Αδελφός”, τους αδύναμους και αδικημένους τάχα λαούς της περιοχής, εχθρευόμενο “έργοις” τον δήθεν δυνάστη τους, το… κακό Ισραήλ!
β. Ο ΤΡΑΜΠ, απεφάσισε, όπως φαίνεται, να κόψει τον “ΓΟΡΔΙΟ ΔΕΣΜΟ”! Οψόμεθα!..
‘Aras’ da yakalandı…
Bin 700 komando çembere aldı! Aç bıraktılar…
Giresun kırsalında süren operasyonlar neticesinde ‘Aras’ kod adlı terörist Aras Aslan, jandarma tarafından yakalanarak gözaltına alındı. Bin 700 komando ile süren operasyonlarda daralan çemberden dolayı kaçamadığı ve aç kaldığı için ormandan çıktığı öğrenildi.
6 gün önce yine Espiye ilçesi kırsalında teslim olan ‘Kawa’ kod adlı PKK’lı teröristin ifadeleri sonrası genişletilerek süren operasyonlar kapsamında örgütün Doğu Karadeniz kırsalındaki son mensubu olan Aras Aslan, Giresun’un Güce ilçesi Boncukçukur Köyü kırsalında askerin operasyonu sonucu kıskıvrak yakalandı.
OPERASYONA İLİŞKİN İLK DETAY ORTAYA ÇIKTI
Yaklaşık Bin 700 komando ile 5 ilde süren operasyonlar neticesinde ve “Kawa” Kod Adlı Behrüz Düdükkanlı’nın ifadesi doğrultusunda Aras Aslan’ın izini süren timler Güce ilçesinde bulunan Bancukçukur Köyü kırsalındaki Hidroelektrik Santraline (HES) gelen bir şüphelinin olduğu ihbarı üzerine bölgeye operasyon başlattı. Yapılan operasyonda kıskıvrak yakalanan terörist Aras Aslan’ın ilk ifadesinde aç olduğu için yemek aradığını onun için HES şantiyesinin civarına kadar indiğini söylediği öğrenildi.
Son 5 günde “Kawa” kod adlı Behrüz Düdükkanlı’nın Giresun ve Trabzon kırsalında tek tek gösterdiği sığınak ve depolardan oluşan 12 yer güvenlik güçleri tarafından imha edildi.
Giresun Jandarma Bölge Komutanlığı koordinesinde son yıllarda Doğu Karadeniz kırsalında güvenlik güçlerince düzenlenen operasyonlar neticesinde terör örgütü PKK’nın sözde Karadeniz açılım grubuna darbe üstüne darbe vuruldu. Örgütün sözde bölge sorumluları ‘Zeynel’ kodlu telsiz kullanan “Cudi Zaza’ kod adlı Mehmet Yakışır ile “Türk Tarık” Kod adlı Barış Öner’inde aralarında bulunduğu toplamda 20 terörist etkisiz hale getirildi.
PKK’YA İLK DARBE ORDU’DA VURULMUŞ VE 7 PKK’LI ETKİSİZ HALE GETİRİLMİŞTİ
2016 yılının Ağustos aynın 21’inde Mesudiye ilçesi kırsalında bir Eylül ayının 30’unda ise 6 PKK’lı etkisiz hale getirildi. 7 Haziran 2016 tarihinde bölgeye girmeye çalışan terörist grupla Şebinkarahisar ilçesi kırsalında temas sağlamış “Civan” kod adlı Osman Bilen ölü olarak ele geçirilmişti. Güce ilçesi kırsalında ise 31 Mayıs 2018 tarihinde gerçekleştirilen operasyonda gri kategorideki “Soreş” kod adlı Barış Coşkun ve “Berhudan” kod adlı Bedrettin Çeliker etkisiz hale getirilmişti. Bölgede süre operasyonlar neticesinde Yağlıdere ilçesi Güllüce Köyü kırsalında ise 13 Eylül 2018’de sağlanan sıcak temas sonucu “Çiyager” kod adlı Serdar Bekmez de ölü olarak ele geçirilmişti.
“SOYLU, ‘AÇ KALACAKLAR’ DEMİŞTİ AÇ KALDILAR… BİR BİR DÖKÜLÜYORLAR”
İçişler Bakanı Süleyman Soylu’nun ‘Aç kalacaklar’ açıklamasının ardından bölge halkının yayla dönüşü evlerini boşaltmasıyla iyice çaresiz kalan örgüt mensupları aç kalınca teslim olma yoluna girmişti.
Teslim olan ilk PKK’lı ise, “Aram” kod adlı Mustafa Tolucan oldu. Tolucan’ın teslim olmasından kısa bir süre sonra ise Yağlıdere kırsalında, “Agit Van” kod adlı Hasan Demir teslim olmuştu. Son olarak ise 6 gün önce örgütün bölgedeki önemli isimlerinden olan “Kawa” kod adlı İranlı terörist Behrüz Düdükkanlı, Giresun’un Espiye ilçesi kırsalında teslim olmuştu.
Terörist Düdükkanlı’nın ifadeleri doğrultusunda süren operasyonlar neticesinde ise PKK’lı Aras Aslan, dün akşam saatlerinde düzenlenen operasyonla kıskıvrak yakalandı. Terörist Aras Aslan’ın İl Jandarma Komutanlığında ifadesinin devam ettiği öğrenildi.
EREN BÜLBÜL’Ü İSTİHBARATÇI ZANNETMİŞLER
Öte yandan, terörist Bahrüz Düdükkanlı’nın 16 yaşındaki Eren Bülbül’ün şehit edilmesi olayına ilişkin ise ifadesinde ilginç bilgiler verdi.
Terörist Düdükkanlı, olayın yaşandığı gün bölgede bir eve girdiklerini ve yaşamsal malzeme aldıklarını bu sırada ise 4 ayrı noktaya da pusu attıklarını söyledi. Pusu esnasında Eren Bülbül ve Astsubay Başçavuş Ferhat Gedik’i gördüklerini eve yaklaşmaya başladıkları sırada ise ateş açtıklarını kaydetti. “Olayda şehit olan 16 yaşındaki Eren Bülbül’e neden ateş ettiniz” sorusuna ise ‘Biz onu istihbaratçı zannettik ve ateş ettik’ dediği ifadesine yansıdı.
“Cudi Zaza” kod adlı terörist Mehmet Yakışır’ın grubunda olduğunu ve toplamda asker, polis ve sivillerden oluşan 10 kişinin şehit olduğu 20 olayda aktif olarak katıldığını itiraf etti. Düdükkanlı’nın Trabzon’daki yer gösterme ve ifadelerini ardından yeniden Giresun’a getirileceği ve soruşturmaya Giresun’da devam edileceği belirtildi.
“ΠΙΑΣΑΤΕ” ΤΟΥΣ ΑΝΗΚΟΝΤΕΣ ΣΤΗΝ… “ΚΑΝΤΕΜΙΡ ΣΠΟΡ” ΚΑΙ ΣΤΗΝ… “ΑΔΑΝΑ ΣΠΟΡ” ΚΑΙ ΠΡΑΓΜΑΤΙΚΑ “ΜΠΡΑΒΟ” ΣΑΣ, ΑΝ ΚΑΙ Η ΠΑΛΗ ΗΤΑΝ ΚΑΙ ΠΑΡΑΜΕΝΕΙ ΦΟΒΕΡΑ ΑΝΙΣΗ!
ΟΛΟΣ ΟΜΩΣ Ο ΠΟΝΤΟΣ ΕΧΕΙ ΞΕΣΗΚΩΘΕΙ, ΕΧΕΙ ΚΑΙ ΑΥΤΟΣ “ΜΟΛΥΝΘΕΙ”, ΟΠΩΣ ΘΑ ΛΕΓΑΤΕ ΕΣΕΙΣ, ΚΑΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΕΡΙΟΧΗ ΒΡΙΣΚΕΤΑΙ ΚΑΙ ΔΡΑ ΚΑΙ Η… “ΦΕΝΕΡ-ΜΠΑΞΕ”!.. ΚΑΤΑΛΑΒΑΤΕ!.. ΚΑΤΙ ΞΕΡΟΥΜΕ ΟΙ “ΑΓΓΕΛΟΙ”!..
ΕΙΣΤΕ ΛΟΙΠΟΝ ΤΟΣΟ ΚΑΛΟΙ, ΩΣΤΕ ΝΑ ΤΟΥΣ “ΤΣΙΜΠΗΣΕΤΕ” ΚΑΙ ΑΥΤΟΥΣ… KE ΣΟΪΛΟΥ Ή ΘΑ ΣΑΣ… ΕΚΠΛΗΞΟΥΝ (ΑΡΝΗΤΙΚΑ ΒΕΒΑΙΩΣ ΓΙΑ ΕΣΑΣ) ΚΑΠΟΙΑ ΣΤΙΓΜΗ;
ΜΕΤΑΞΥ ΔΗΛΩΣΕΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΑΠΕΙΛΩΝ!..
Turkey-Cyprus Tensions Escalate With Naval Exercise
In a move expected to ratchet up tensions, Turkey is holding a major naval exercise amidst an escalating row over energy exploration rights in Cyprus. The dispute is adding to existing tensions between Turkey and its Western allies.
“Our aim in military exercises is to show that the Turkish Armed Forces are extremely determined, committed and capable of ensuring the security, sovereignty, independence, maritime rights and benefits of Turkey,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Sunday.
Involving more than 130 ships, the two-week long Operation Seawolf exercise is set to be Turkey’s largest, with much of the naval deployment close to Cyprus.
“We take all necessary measures to protect the rights and the law of our country in the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Cyprus,” added Akar.
Ankara and the Greek Cypriot Administration are embroiled in a dispute over search rights for hydrocarbons in the waters surrounding the Mediterranean Island. Turkey insists it has the rights to search for natural gas reserves along with the Turkish Cypriot administration.
Greek Cypriots reject Turkey’s demands and insist theirs is the only internationally recognized administration. The Island has been divided since 1974 after a Turkish invasion to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority, following a Greek-inspired coup.
The energy dispute escalated this month, with Turkey sending its Fatih exploration ship to search for hydrocarbons, in waters designated by the Greek Cypriots as an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). / ΡΕ “ΦΩΝΗ ΤΗΣ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗΣ”, ΤΙ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΑΥΤΑ ΡΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕΕ;
“Cyprus might be tempted to send its ships to the Faith [ship] where it’s drilling, all options are open, I am afraid,” said political scientist Cengiz Aktar of Athens University.
Turkey’s increasingly robust stance is causing alarm among its Western allies.
“The United States is deeply concerned by Turkey’s announced intentions to begin offshore drilling operations in an area claimed by the Republic of Cyprus as its Exclusive Economic Zone,” said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.
“This step is highly provocative and risks raising tensions in the region,” he added. “We urge Turkish authorities to halt these operations and encourage all parties to act with restraint.”
“The EU stands united behind Cyprus and expects Turkey to respect the sovereign rights of EU member states,” EU Council President Donald Tusk reiterated on May 9.
Fredericka Mogherini EU foreign policy chief went further, accusing Turkey of an “Illegal act.”
“This is not just rhetoric because the EU considers this as an open attack on the sovereign rights of a member state,” said Aktar. “Top EU officials have said the EU is ready to retaliate with appropriate measures, which can be sanctions. This is serious, as this will hit even more the Turkish economy.”
Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusolgu dismissed such warnings, announcing a second exploration ship may be sent to the contested Cypriot waters.
Former senior Turkish diplomat Aydin Selcen, suggests that beyond the harsh rhetoric, Turkey has a legitimate case and a compromise needs to be found.
“There are no realistic projects in that part of the Mediterranean without the coordination with Turkey,” he said. “Yet more and more we see that the U.S. coordinates Israel, Egypt, the Greek administration on Cyprus and Greece, apparently more pressure on Turkey.”
Washington has helped facilitate energy exploration and development cooperation between Israel, Egypt, the Cypriot government, and Greece. Turkey, which has strained relations with all the countries, has criticized such diplomatic moves.
Turkish domestic politics could further exacerbate the dispute over Cyprus. Erdogan suffered a major political setback by losing the mayorship of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.
A re-vote is scheduled for June 23rd after Turkey’s High Electoral Board controversially upheld Erdogan’s claims of voting irregularities.
“The government can resort to provocations ahead of the [June] vote inside, but also outside Turkey,” said Aktar. “Cyprus is definitely one of them, Syria is another along with ongoing tensions with Greece. Cyprus is the most concrete one as the Turkish vessel is now drilling openly in the EEZ in the south of the island, that is indeed quite dangerous
“It would be good for [Greek-Cypriot President Nikos] Anastasiades to remember 1974 and keep it fresh in his memory,” warned AKP spokesman Omer Celik in a news conference, referring to Turkey’s Cyprus invasion.
For Turkish nationalists, the Cyprus invasion is heralded as a great victory.
Erdogan too is stepping up the rhetoric.
“The legitimate rights of Turkey and the Northern Cypriot-Turks over energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean are not open to argument,” he said. “Our country is determined to defend its rights and those of Cypriot-Turks,” he said at an Istanbul NATO gathering this month.
“We expect NATO to respect Turkey’s rights in this process and support us in preventing tensions,” he added.
Erdogan is likely to be disappointed in his calls for support, with international criticism building against hid country. Analysts warn the dispute threatens to further isolate Turkey in the region.
India had plans to purchase 22 Sea Guardian drones for the navy, valued at around $2 billion. Instead, it will be around 12 such drones according to the new proposal, as the ministry wants to maximise the utilisation of the limited financial resources available to it, the source added. …
The Islamic State group says it has established a “province” in Pakistan, days after the terrorist organization used the name “Hind Province” for an attack it claimed in the India-ruled portion of the disputed Kashmir region. …
The United States on Wednesday ordered its non-emergency employees to leave Iraq, as American lawmakers worried openly about a potential march to war with Iran. …
President Donald Trump says he hopes the U.S. is not going to war with Iran amid rising tensions in the Middle East, as an Iran diplomat downplayed such prospects. …
British Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who took the position two weeks ago, has used her maiden speech to plead for more military funding by citing Russia and China as threats, following what has become a trend in the UK’s foreign policy of recent months. ..
|‘Venezuela govt., opposition reps head for talks in Norway’
Representatives of the Venezuelan government and opposition have purportedly traveled to Norway for talks on resolving the political crisis in the Latin American country. …
Starvation “is already starting” in a camp for displaced people in south-east Syria, a senior UN official said on Thursday, while condemning ongoing airstrikes and retaliatory shelling in opposition-held territories in the north-west.
The interlocutor of the agency said that a number of auxiliary units and components of the ship does not meet the requirements of the Ministry of Defense …
Qatar has not received an invitation to take part in two regional summits called to discuss attacks on Saudi oil assets inside the Arab kingdom and off the coasts of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a Qatari Foreign Ministry official says. …
|Chinese Navy Warns US Destroyer Sailing in S China Sea as Trade War Reaches Peak
The disputed South China Sea is just one of a number of flashpoints in the US-China relationship, which also include a raging trade war, with Washington imposing new tariffs and Beijing responding with tit-for-tat measures last week, as well as the US blacklisting Huawei tech giant. …
Bulgaria is likely to halt negotiations with the US for the purchase of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70 fighter jets, according to Bulgaria’s defence minister, instead, turning to Sweden or Italy for new combat aircraft.
|Indian Space Agency Successfully Launches Country’s All Weather Spy Satellite
The satellite holds great importance for the Armed Forces, as an Indian Air Force (IAF) official reportedly claimed that one Mirage 2000 had missed the target during India’s air strike in Balakot, Pakistan on the suspected terror camps on 26 February due to bad weather. …
The 2.5-ton air-launched version of the BrahMos (BrahMos-A) missile, named after India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River, has an operational range of around 300 km. It can be dropped from 500 to 14,000 metres. …
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire says France, Germany and Britain are coming under immense pressure from the US to cancel out their proposed trade channel with Iran, which has yet to see the light of day. …
The United States is reminding its Syrian Kurdish allies not to get overly ambitious while at the same time trying to allay concerns Washington will abandon them to Turkey or a possibly resurgent Islamic State terror group. …
The head of the UN relief and works agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) warned on Wednesday that despite weathering a “truly existential crisis” over funding last year, money to continue operations this year in the Gaza Strip will only last until mid-June. …
Rare-earth minerals are important strategic yet non-renewable resources, and efforts are needed to ramp up scientific and technological innovation for there to be increased added value in the sector, Chinese President Xi Jinping said while visiting a major rare-earth company in East China’s Jiangxi Province, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday. …
By Associated Press
Iran has quadrupled its production of enriched uranium amid tensions with the U.S. over Tehran’s unraveling nuclear accord, two semi-official news agencies reported Monday.
The announcement that came just after President Donald Trump and Iran’s foreign minister traded threats and taunts.
While the reports said the production is of uranium enriched only to the 3.67% limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal that Tehran reached with world powers, it means that Iran soon will go beyond the stockpile limitations established by the accord.
So far this month, officials in the United Arab Emirates alleged that four oil tankers sustained damage in a sabotage attack; Yemeni rebels allied with Iran launched a drone attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia; and U.S. diplomats relayed a warning that commercial airlines could be misidentified by Iran and attacked, something dismissed by Tehran.
Both the semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported on the quadrupled production, quoting Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesmen of Iran’s nuclear agency. He said the increase in production of 3.67% enriched uranium does not mean Iran increased the number of centrifuges it has in use, another requirement of the deal.
He said Iran “in weeks” would reach the 300-kilogram limit set by the nuclear deal.
Kamalvandi said Iran had informed the International Atomic Energy Agency about its move. The IAEA did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
Trump’s tweet came just hours after a Katyusha rocket fell in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone near the statue of the Unknown Soldier, less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy, causing no injuries. Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul told The Associated Press that the rocket was believed to have been fired from eastern Baghdad. The area is home to Iran-backed Shiite militias.
Zarif: ‘Iranians Have Stood Tall’
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded Monday by tweeting that Trump had been “goaded” into “genocidal taunts.” Zarif referenced both Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan as two historical leaders that Persia outlasted.
“Iranians have stood tall for a millennia while aggressors all gone,” he wrote. He ended his tweet with: “Try respect – it works!”
He also used the hashtag #NeverThreatenAnIranian, a reference to a comment he made in negotiations for the atomic accord.
Iran has said it would begin backing away from terms of the deal, setting a July 7 deadline for Europe to come up with new terms or it would begin enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels. Tehran long has insisted it does not seek nuclear weapons, though the West fears its program could allow it to build them.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told journalists in Geneva that Iran should not doubt the U.S. resolve, warning that “if American interests are attacked, they will retaliate.”
“We want the situation to de-escalate because this is a part of the world where things can get triggered accidentally,” Hunt said.
Meanwhile, Oman’s minister of state for foreign affairs made a previously unannounced visit Monday to Tehran, seeing Zarif, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. The visit by Yusuf bin Alawi comes after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said last week.
Saudis Intercept Iranian Missiles from Yemen
In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s military intercepted two missiles fired by the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen. The missiles were intercepted over the city of Taif and the Red Sea port city of Jiddah, the Saudi-owned satellite channel Al-Arabiya reported, citing witnesses. The Saudi government has yet to acknowledge the missile fire, which other Saudi media also reported.
Hundreds of rockets, mortar rounds and ballistic missiles have been fired into the kingdom since a Saudi-led coalition declared war on the Houthis in March 2015 to support Yemen’s internationally recognized government.
The Houthis’ Al-Masirah satellite news channel denied that the rebels had any involvement with this round of rocket fire.
Between the two targeted cities is Mecca, home to the cube-shaped Kaaba that Muslims pray toward five times a day. Many religious pilgrims are in the city for the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
By Evelyn Gordon, JNS
The first anniversary of the U.S. embassy’s move to Jerusalem sparked multiple articles in the Israeli press declaring it a failure for both U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. From the left-wing Ha’aretz to the centrist Times of Israel, headlines trumpeted the fact that only one minor country, Guatemala, has followed America’s lead. And even that might prove fleeting, as several candidates in next month’s Guatemalan election have pledged to return the embassy to Tel Aviv.
All this is true, but it also misses the point. And it thereby obscures the real and lasting gains of the embassy move.
To understand why, it’s worth recalling America’s own history on this issue. In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which ordered the embassy relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It was approved by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both the House (374-37) and the Senate (93-5). And in every subsequent election, every presidential candidate, whether Republican or Democratic, pledged to honor this directive.
In contrast, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was never been mooted as a possibility by any other country in the world. Outside America, not a single mainstream party—whether liberal or conservative—ever considered an embassy move, much less actively supported the idea.
Expecting other countries to go from having never even thought about moving their embassies to actually doing so in the space of just 12 months was always fatuous. Indeed, I warned a year ago that “Jerusalem isn’t going to be flooded with new embassies anytime soon.” If it took America more than two decades to move its embassy despite a bipartisan consensus that was codified in legislation, it will clearly take time for countries that have only just started considering the issue to reach the point of being ready to actually make the move.
No Longer an Inconceivable Notion
What Trump’s decision did accomplish, however, was to break the global taboo on thinking and talking about this idea. Never again will recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital be an inconceivable option. Indeed, in many countries, it has already become a hotly debated one. And the more the idea is discussed, the more realistic the possibility becomes.
A few countries have already gone beyond talk and taken preliminary steps down the path to full recognition. For instance, Australia didn’t move its embassy, but it did recognize western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year. That disappointed many Israelis, who view the entire city as Israel’s capital. But it’s a major advance from where Israel was pre-Trump, when not a single country in the world recognized any part of Jerusalem as its capital.
In several other countries, action is actively being debated. In the Czech Republic, for instance, the president vocally supports moving the embassy while the prime minister opposes it. In Romania, the prime minister supports it but the president opposes it. Canada’s opposition Conservative Party has promised to move the embassy if elected, while the ruling Liberal Party opposes doing so. Brazil’s new president campaigned on moving the embassy, but then backtracked post-election, just as U.S. presidents did for 20 years. And the list could go on.
Finally, even in countries where no action of any sort is yet under discussion, it has at least become acceptable for politicians to say openly that Jerusalem is and should be Israel’s capital. Italian Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, for instance, said in December that Jerusalem should be recognized as Israel’s capital. A year earlier, Belgian Secretary of State Philippe de Backer (whose position is equivalent to a deputy cabinet minister) told a local Jewish paper, “There is no doubt that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.”
Slaying the Myth of a Bloody Reaction
Trump’s decision also accomplished something else important: It permanently slayed the myth that recognizing Jerusalem would spark massive violence in the Arab world. The U.S. embassy move sparked no violence anywhere except among Palestinians, and even that was short-lived. Consequently, no country contemplating such a move in the future will be deterred by fear of a bloody reaction.
One might still wonder why Netanyahu essentially set himself up for failure by repeatedly asserting over the last year that many other countries would move their embassies in America’s wake. He surely knew how unlikely this was; he’s nothing if not a realist. So why didn’t he focus on the modest but genuine gains the move did produce rather than inflating unreasonable expectations?
By any realistic standard, the embassy move has been a resounding success. In the space of just one year, countries around the world have gone from a situation in which recognizing Jerusalem was unthinkable to one in which it is being discussed, debated and even acted upon. And as long as this trend continues, it’s only a matter of time until actual embassy moves follow.
Evelyn Gordon is a journalist and commentator living in Israel.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh may be charged as war criminal
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is considering opening a war crimes probe against Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, according to a letter sent Tuesday to Knesset members by the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ), which petitioned the court.
“For the first time ever, the International Criminal Court in the Hague sent us an official response regarding our first request, sent in 2017… against Ismail Haniyeh,” JIJ CEO Flavia Sevald wrote the MKs.
The 2017 file that the JIJ sent the court detailed a list of human rights abuses committed by Hamas, which had been led by Haniyeh as the Gaza Strip’s prime minister since the organization seized power in 2007. As of May 2017, his current title is Chief of Hamas’ Political Bureau.
JIJ’s exhaustive report also raised Hamas’s abuses of its own population. These included recruiting children under the age of 15, inspiring them to participate in riots at the border fence with Israel, and using them as human shields.
“Although this is a preliminary stage in the judicial process, it is the first breakthrough ever in the matter,” she noted.
“This development is important to Israel, since in our opinion, using legal means to continue the battle against human rights violations in the territories and the ignoring of international law is an important tool for strengthening the image of the State of Israel.”
The Israeli NGO handed the ICC a second request for a criminal probe against Hamas last September, and a third just this past March.
The last request also asked that the ICC open an investigation against Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas for war crimes against his own people, such as arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and unlawful killings.
ANALYSIS: The war between the US and Iran has already begun
It has already started I answered him, adding that Iran is a world champion in fighting proxy wars.
As we reported on May 9th the Israeli spy agency Mossad delivered intelligence to the US indicating that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was preparing to attack American marine vessels and US bases in the Persian Gulf.
The IRGC has equipped speedboats with anti-tank missiles such as the Kornet which it also supplied to its proxies, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, in Gaza.
The Kornet-EM missiles could be used against the US aircraft carrier battle groups which were recently deployed in the Persian Gulf or against commercial vessels sailing through the waterway.
Our short-range missiles can easily reach (US) warships in the Persian Gulf, Mohammad Saleh Jokar, the deputy for parliamentary affairs of the IRGC said last week.
Until now, the IRGC has refrained from directly attacking US military targets in The Middle East, but has openly announced it would use its many proxies to target the US and its allies.
On May 17, Radio Farda reported that Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the IRGC the division tasked with exporting the Islamic Revolution, had met with commanders of Iranian controlled militias across the Middle East and told them to prepare for a proxy war with the US-led anti-Iranian coalition.
Soleimani s Quds Force has established Hezbollah-style militias in Iraq where the umbrella organization of Shiite militias Hashd al-Shaabi is in control of large parts in the north and west of the country.
In Yemen the Quds Force is working with Ansar Allah or Houthis militia to control the country and to destabilize Saudi Arabia, while in Syria Shiite militias together with the Quds Force and Hezbollah are turning the country into a second Lebanon with the ultimate goal of destroying Israel.
If we take a look at what happened after the US decided to increase sanctions on Iran and annulled waivers on Iranian oil exports at the beginning of May, we will see that the proxy war already has started:
In Iraq, Hashd al-Shaabi is reportedly deploying ballistic missiles in the western desert with the intention tof using them against Israel in a future war.
Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, secretary-general of Hezbollah Nujaba, one of the Hashd al-Shaabi militias, recently threatened Israel which he falsely accused of waging a proxy war against the militias by using Takfiri proxies in Iraq.
Al-Kaabi meant ISIS and warned that Hashd al-Shaabi would turn its guns against the Zionist entity after the complete defeat of the Islamic State group.
Hashd al-Shaabi has also deployed missiles in the vicinity of US bases in Iraq and was reportedly responsible for a missile attack on Baghdad s Green Zone last weekend.
This is the Baghdad neighborhood where the US embassy is located. The attack took place after the US suddenly decided to pull out most of the embassy staff last week and issued a travel warning for US citizens in Iraq.
On Sunday evening, unknown assailants again targeted the Green Zone, this time with mortars.
Then there is Syria, where the Israeli Air Force (IAF) again attacked Iran-related targets over the weekend and where the Quds Force is continuing its entrenchment in the country by setting up a naval base in the Latakia Province.
On Friday last week, the IAF reportedly attacked the al-Kiswah region southwest of Damascus where the Quds Force and Hezbollah have their headquarters and weapon storages.
On Saturday evening, the IAF reportedly carried out new missile strikes in Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that Israeli planes fired at least three missiles from the occupied Golan Heights.
Syrian media claimed some of the incoming missiles were intercepted by its air defenses, a claim that could not be verified independently.
The Syrian news site Jorf News, furthermore, reported that the Quds Force has started to use a port it leased from the Assad regime in Latakia earlier this year for military purposes.
The Quds Force is providing a combat naval training course for the Shiite Afghan Fatemiyoun militia transferred from Iran to Syria where it fought along the Syrian army in the war against Islamist militias.
Iran wants to establish a naval force in the Mediterranean Sea in order to use it in a future multi-front missile war against Israel which would see three land fronts: southern Lebanon, the Golan Heights and Gaza.
In the Persian Gulf, meanwhile, Iran is using the Ansar Allah militia in Yemen to attack Saudi Arabia while the IRGC is using drones to observe the movements of the US Navy in the waterway.
On May 13, unknown assailants attacked four oil tankers in the Persian Gulf close to the United Arab Emirates.
US Intelligence and Norwegian Shipowners Mutual War Risks Insurance Association (DNK) concluded that the attack was likely to have been carried out by a surface vessel operating close by that despatched underwater drones carrying 30-50 kg (65-110 lb) of high-grade explosives to detonate on impact, Reuters reported.
The attacks were later followed by Ansar Allah drone attacks on oil installations deep in Saudi Arabia and ballistic missile attacks on the Muslim holy city of Mecca and the Saudi port city of Jeddah.
The missiles failed to reach their targets and were downed by Saudi Arabia s air defenses.
On Tuesday Ansar Allah again carried out a drone attack on a weapon depot near a Saudi airport. There were no reports on casualties or damages.
(Photo – Wiki Commons)
Yeni askerlik sistemiyle ilgili kanun teklifi Meclis Başkanlığı‘na sunuldu
Milli Savunma Bakanı Hulusi Akar, yeni askerlik sisteminin Ramazan Bayramı’ndan önce yasalaşacağını söylemişti. Gelen son dakika gelişmesine göre yeni askerlik sistemiyle ilgili kanun teklifi Meclis Başkanlığı‘na sunuldu. Gelen son dakika haberine göre teklif saat 14:00’te Milli Savunma Komisyonu’nda görüşülecek.
Muş açıklamasında şu ifadeleri kullandı:
100 sene sonra köklü bir değişiklikle beraber askerlik sistemimiz değişiyor. Bir vatandaşımızı 6 ay askerliğini yaptıktan sonra terhis olabilir. Kendisinin tercihi itibariyle devam edebilecek.
Yedek astsubay olarak askerliğini yaparsa artık meslek yüksek okulu bitirenler de yedek ast subay olarak görev yapabilecekler. Görevlerinin sonunda yine kendilerinin talebi ve uygun kadro oluşması durumunda devam edebilecekler.
Bedelli askerlik bugünkü rakamlarla 31 bin lira gibi bir paraya denk geliyor. Bedelli kalıcı hale geliyor. Yaş sınırı kalkıyor. Yoklama kaçağı olanlar ve bakaya kalanlar bedelliden yararlanamayacaklar. Yoklama kaçağı olanlar bedelliden sadece bir seferlik faydalanacak.
Her vatandaşın zamanı geldiğinde gidip gerekli bildirimlerde bulunması gerekiyor. Bir vatandaşımız gelmediği her gün için 10 TL ceza ödeyecektir. Eğer kendi isteği ile gelirse bu ceza 5 TL’ye indirilecektir.
YENİ ASKERLİK SİSTEMİNİN DETAYLARI BELLİ OLDU
Yeni askerlik sistemini detaylarını paylaşan Bakan Akar, “Askerlik sistemi ile ilgili 1927’den beri devam eden yasalarımız var. Değişen zaman, ihtiyaç ve imkanlar gibi etkenleri de dikkate alarak Sayın Cumhurbaşkanımızın da direktifleri doğrultusunda, öncelikle Türk Silahlı Kuvvetlerinin etkinliğini, caydırıcılığını, saygınlığını tam olarak temin edelim, burada herhangi bir hata, eksiklik, yanlışlık olmasın diğer taraftan da sistem öngörülebilir olsun şeklindeki yaklaşımla bu sistemi kurgulamaya çalıştık” şeklinde konuştu.
Bakan Akar, yeni askerlik sisteminin TSK’nın ihtiyacının karşılanması başta olmak üzere öngörülebilir, süreklilik, eğitim, mesleki ve sosyal gelişim ihtiyaçlarıyla eğitimli insan kaynağının etkin ve verimli kullanılmasını gibi özelliklere sahip olduğunu belirterek, “Bu çerçevede hazırlanan kanun teklifinin yasalaşmasıyla 1111 Sayılı Askerlik Kanunu ile 1076 Sayılı Yedek Subaylar ve Yedek Askeri Memurlar Kanunu kaldırılacak” ifadesini kullandı.
Akar, bununla ilgili diğer yasal düzenlemelerin de yeni çalışmayla birleşeceğini kaydederek, “Yeni askerlik sistemi göründüğünden çok daha büyük bir olay. Bunu inşallah kazasız, belasız tamamlayacağız. Burada önemli bir değişim, dönüşüm, gelişme içindeyiz. Ülkemiz, milletimiz için en istenilen çözümü yapmaya gayret gösterdik. İnşallah bu da bu şekliyle gerçekleşmiş olacak” diye konuştu.
Yeni sisteme yönelik çalışmaların Aile, Çalışma ve Sosyal Hizmetler, Hazine ve Maliye, İçişleri, Milli Eğitim, Sağlık, Tarım ve Orman Bakanlıkları ve YÖK başta olmak üzere, diğer ilgili kurum ve kuruluşlarla koordinasyon içinde gerçekleştirildiğini belirten Bakan Akar, “Olabildiğince ayakları yere sağlam basan, duygusallıktan uzak, tamamen objektif kriterlere bağlı, sürdürülebilir, öngörülebilir bir sistem olması noktasında gayret gösterdik” şeklinde konuştu.
SİLAH ALTINA ALINABİLECEK DURUMDA ŞU ANDA 2 MİLYON 200 BİN YÜKÜMLÜ BULUNUYOR
Silah altına alınabilecek durumda şu anda 2 milyon 200 bin yükümlünün olduğunu vurgulayan Bakan Akar, “Bunlardan silah altına alınamayan yükümlülerin en büyük bölümünü 1 milyon 600 bin ile öğrenim nedeniyle erteleyenler oluşturuyor. Lisede, üniversitede, lisansüstü eğitimde olup da askerliğini erteleyenler gayet normal. Fakat bunun yanı sıra askere gitmeyi geciktirip bedelli askerliği beklemek için çeşitli yol ve yöntemlerle üniversite veya lisansüstü eğitimi yapmak gibi çalışmalara giren gençlerin olduğunu hepimiz biliyoruz.” ifadelerini kullandı.
Mevcut sisteme göre meslek yüksek okulu mezunlarının yedek subay olamadığını ve kısa dönem askerlikten yararlanamadığını hatırlatan Akar, “Sırf bunlardan yararlanabilmek için kendi mesleğini bırakıyor, üniversiteye gidiyor, oradan dört yıllık diploma almaya çalışıyorlar. Bu da ilave güç kaybına neden oluyor” dedi.
Mevcut sistemde her sene yaklaşık 700 bin gencin 20 yaşını doldurarak askerliğe elverişli hale geldiğini dile getiren Bakan Akar, “Bizim normal olarak askere alabileceğimiz sayı ise 400 – 420 bin arasında. Burada kalan yaklaşık 280 bin gencimizin durumu ne olacak? Burada birikim oluyor” diye sordu.
BEDELLİ ASKERLİK 30 BİN LİRA OLACAK
Bedelli askerlikle ilgili yapılan projeksiyonlara ilişkin de bilgi veren Bakan Akar, “Biz ’15 bin lira’ dersek ne olabilir, ’30 bin lira’ dersek ne olabilir, ’50 bin lira’ dersek ne olabilir diye tek tek çalıştık. Hem Silahlı Kuvvetlerin hem gençlerin ihtiyacını karşılamak bakamından en optimal çözümün 30 bin lira civarında olması gerektiği ortaya çıktı” diye konuştu.
DÖVİZLİ ASKERLİK UYGULAMALARI
Yeni askerlik sisteminde yükümlü kaynağının “yükümlü erbaş/er”, “yedek astsubay” ve “yedek subay” olarak sınıflandırılabileceğini ifade eden Akar, bunların yanı sıra bedelli ve dövizli askerlik uygulamalarının da yer alacağını söyledi.
Akar, askerliğe başvuranların bir kısmının bedelli, bir kısmının dövizli yapacağını diğerlerinin de “yükümlü erbaş/er”, “yedek astsubay” ve “yedek subay” olacağını belirterek, “Yapılan hesaplamalar sonucu bir yılda 145 bin kişinin bedelli askerlik yapabilmesi mümkün. 145 binden fazla bedelli başvurusu olursa durum ne olacak? Milli Savunma Bakanlığı Askeralma Genel Müdürlüğünde öğretmenlerimizde, doktorlarımızda olduğu gibi kura olacak. Kuranın şekli yapılan tecrübelerden istifade edilerek belirlenecek” diye konuştu.
AYLIK HARÇLIK 2 BİN LİRA VE BİR AY TEMEL EĞİTİM
Bakan Akar, yeni sistemin lise ve altı mezunlarının yanı sıra lisans, lisansüstü ve meslek yüksek okulu mezunlarından isteyenlere de ihtiyaçlar kapsamında askerlik görevini er olarak yapabilme imkanı tanıdığına dikkat çekerek Akar, şöyle devam etti:
“Bu gençlerimiz gelecek, bedelli isteyenler dahil, bir ay temel askerlik eğitimi yapacaklar. Millet olmanın, asker olmanın gereği burada bir aylık eğitimi alacaklar. Bu program üzerinde önemle duruyoruz. Gençlerimizin hem günlük hayatına hem de gelecek hayatlarına etki edecek bilgileri içerecek bir eğitim vermeye çalışacağız. Bu bir aylık eğitim süresince buraya gelen gençlerimiz her zaman olduğu gibi cüzi miktarda harçlık alacaklar. Bir aylık eğitimin ardından bedelli askerlik yapanlar ayrılacak ve faaliyetleri tamamlanacak. Kıtalara gidenler ise 5 ay daha görev yapacaklar. Temel askerlik eğitimi ile 6 ay bittikten sonra ihtiyaç ve isteğin yanı sıra kadroya göre buradakilere ‘İkinci bir altı ay er olarak maaşlı görev yapmak istiyor musun’ diyeceğiz. ‘Evet’ demesi için bazı imkan ve fırsatlar da vereceğiz. Bu dönemdeki aylık harçlık 2 bin lira civarında bir para olacak. Mehmetçik 6 ay daha burada görevini yapacak. Bunu yapmamız lazım çünkü 6 aya indirdiğimiz zaman kadrolarımız boşalacak. Öyle olmaması için varsayımımız buradaki erlerimizin en az yarısının, üçte birinin kalması esasına dayalı. Onların kalabilmesi için harçlık adı altında maaş veriyoruz ayrıca hizmet borçlanması, muhtaç asker ailelerine yardım, deniz ve şehir içi toplu ulaşımdan ücretsiz yararlanma, müzelerin ücretsiz ziyareti gibi imkanlar sağlanacak. Askerlik bittikten sonra da TSK’ya personel temininde öncelik kazanacaklar ve TOKİ’de önceliğe hak kazanacaklar. 6 aylık askerliği er olarak yaptıktan sonra 6 ay daha maaşlı askerlik yapanlara bu sürenin sonunda yeniden ‘Kalmak ister misiniz’ diye soruyoruz. Eğer ihtiyaç, istek, performans değerlendirmesine göre söz konusu Mehmetçik yeterli performansı, yeterli kriterleri sağlayabiliyorsa sözleşmeli erbaş ve er veya uzman erbaş olarak Türk Silahlı Kuvvetlerine katılacak ve sözleşme yapılacak. Bu sözleşmesinin sonunda maaş, OYAK, lojman, sağlık ve sosyal güvence ile ilgili bir takım haklardan yararlanabilecek. Bu gençler okul, bedeni performans, sicil gibi gerekli kriterleri sağlarsa belli bir kontenjan dahilinde bir sınavı müteakip astsubay olabilecekler. Astsubaylıktan belli bir süre geçtikten sonra belirlenen kriterleri sağlayanlar da subay olabilecek. Er olarak başlayacak, subay olacak belki de general olacak.”
Bedelli ve dövizli askerlikten sağlanacak gelirle yükümlü erbaş ve erlerin maaşları ile diğer giderlerin karşılanabileceğini ifade eden Akar, “Bütçeye herhangi bir yük teşkil etmeden bu sistemin kendi içinde dönmesini amaçlıyoruz” dedi.
Yeni sistemle birlikte çok önemli olarak nitelendirdiği “yedek astsubaylık” uygulamasının da hayata geçirileceğini açıklayan Bakan Akar, şunları dedi:
“Yedek astsubaylıkla, meslek yüksek okulunu bitirdikten sonra herhangi bir şekilde zorlamayla 4 yıllık okul bitirmenize gerek yok diyoruz. Mesleğinizi seviyorsanız bunu yapın, askerlikten dolayı bunu değiştirmeye kalkmayın, böylece ara personel konusunda da sıkıntı oluşmasın istiyoruz. Yedek astsubaylığa kontenjanların uygun olması ve istemeleri durumunda lisans ve lisans üstü mezunları da başvurabilecek. Buraya geldiklerinde iki aylık temel ve sınıf eğitiminin ardından maaşlı olarak 10 ay faaliyetlerini yapacak. Toplamda 12 ayın bitirilmesinin ardından gençler isterse terhis olabilecek. İstek, ihtiyaç ve kadroya göre kendilerine ‘Kalmak ister misiniz’ diye soracağız. Kalmak isteyenler astsubay olarak devam edecek. Yine astsubaylığa müteakip istenilen kriterleri karşıladıkları takdirde subaylığa geçebilecek.”
Akar, yedek subaylık sisteminin de devam edeceğini belirterek, “Bedelli askerlik konusunda, 40 bin gösterge asteğmen maaşına tekabül ediyor, asteğmen maaşı da bugün itibarıyla aşağı yukarı 5 bin küsür lira. Dolayısıyla 6 aylık asteğmen maaşından bahsediyoruz. Bedelli 30 bin lira, dövizle askerlik ise bunun avro karşılığı olacak. Bedelli askerlik bedeli 30 bin Tl sabit kalmayacak, asteğmen maaşının 6 katı olacak. Bu miktar tek seferde peşin ödenecek.” diye konuştu.
Bedelli askerlik bedelinin 30 bin lira olarak sabit kalıp kalmayacağı sorulan Akar, “Aynı kalmayacak. 40 bin gösterge diyoruz, asteğmenin maaşı her yıla göre değişiyor” diye cevap verdi.
Yeni sistemin gündeme getirilmesinin ardından tek eleştirinin “30 bin liranın fazla olduğu” yönünde geldiğini aktaran Bakan Akar, “Yaptığımız objektif çalışmalarda, projeksiyonlarda bunun normal olduğunu değerlendiriyoruz. Bu sistemin karşılanması için bizim buna ihtiyacımız var. Diğer türlü sistem kendi kendini karşılayamıyor, desteklemiyor. Ayrıca bu miktar bir seferde, peşin olarak verecekler” diye konuştu.
Geçmiş dönemdeki bedelli askerlik uygulamalarının ücretlerini de hatırlatan Bakan Akar şunları dedi: “1987 yılında 2 bin 900 dolar, 1992’de 3 bin 200 dolar, 1999’da 8 bin 100 dolar, 2012’de 16 bin dolar, 2014’te 8 bin 300 dolar ve 2018’de 2 bin 860 dolar yani 15 bin lira. O günün şartlarına göre yapılan değerlendirmeler var. Bu her seferinde tartışma konusu olmasın ve öngörülebilirlikten dolayı herkes bilsin ki ‘Ben bedelliden yararlanmak istersem 30 bin lira civarında para vermem gerek.”
“EN KISA ZAMANDA BİTİRECEĞİZ”
Sözleşmeli erbaş ve er olan bir gencin ne kadar sürede subay olabileceğine yönelik soru üzerine Akar, “Burada kriterler var. Kişilere bağlı. Sözleşmeli erbaş veya er olan birinin astsubay olabilmesi için yüksek okul bitirmesi lazım. Onu, istenilen performansı gerçekleştirecek, rütbe bekleme süresini tamamlayacak dolasıyla hesabı yapıldığında en geç 10 sene içinde subay olabilecek” yanıtını verdi. Akar, “İster uzman, ister astsubay olsun okulunu bitirme, sınavlara girme imkanları vereceğiz” dedi.
Sistemin kanunlaşmasıyla beraber silah altındaki askerlerin terhis olup olmayacağı sorulan Bakan Akar, “Olabilir” yanıtını verdi. Akar, sistemin hemen uygulamaya girip girmeyeceği sorusunu da “Bunun kararını tabii Cumhurbaşkanımız ve Meclis verecek. Biz TSK olarak bu kanunun yayımlandığından itibaren yürürlüğe girmesiyle birlikte çıkabilecek sorunlara karşı tedbirlerimizi almaya çalışıyoruz” diye konuştu.
Yeni sistemin ne zaman hayata geçirileceğine yönelik soru üzerine Bakan Akar, “En kısa zamanda bitireceğiz” karşılığını verdi. “Ramazan bayramından önce yeni sistem yasalaşır mı” sorusu üzerine “Çıkar inşallah” dedi.
Askerlik süresine yönelik soru üzerine Bakan Akar, “Herkes için 6 ay yapma şansı var” dedi.
ERTELEME YAŞ SINIRI
Eskiden gençlerin bedelli askerlik çıkar umuduyla okullarını uzattıklarına dikkati çeken Bakan Akar, “Lisede 29 olan erteleme yaş sınırını 22’ye indiriyoruz, Meslek liselerine artı 3 sene daha ekliyoruz 25 yaşına kadar devam etme şansı veriyoruz. Meslek yüksek okulları ve lisans 28, lisansüstü 32, doktora 35, tıp 35, sporcu 35 yaş oluyor. Bunları aşağı çekerek lüzumsuz beklemeleri, tıkanıklıkları ve insanların bir an önce bu işi bitirerek işlerini güçlerini yapmalarını sağlamayı hedefliyoruz ” ifadesini kullandı.
Bakan Akar, yeni askerlik sistemindeki özel düzenlemelere ilişkin ise şu bilgileri verdi:
“Özellikle doğuda, güneydoğuda, Suriye’nin kuzeyinde, Irak’ın kuzeyindeki görev yapan birliklerimizde bizim doktor ihtiyacımız var. Bu konuda Sağlık Bakanlığımızla çalışarak askerlik hizmetini yedek subay olarak yapan doktorlar, devlet hizmet yükümlülüğünü tamamlamış olacak. Dolayısıyla bu bize büyük bir avantaj sağlayacak. Doğudaki, güneydoğudaki ve sınır ötesindeki birliklerimizin de doktor ihtiyacını bu şekilde azami düzeyde karşılayacağımızı değerlendiriyoruz. Bunun TSK açısından hakikaten günümüzün gelişen ve değişen muharebe, operasyon şartlarına, ihtiyaçlarına cevap verdiğine inanıyoruz. Profesyonelleşme dediğimiz dengeyi sağladığını değerlendiriyoruz. Bir aylık eğitimin gerçekten önemi var. Askerlik iyi yapılır, planlanır bölük, tabur, tugay komutanı işine sahip çıkarsa gerçekten bir şeyler veriyor. Buna ilaveten üniversitelerle konuşarak oradaki programı daha etkin hale getirmeye çalışıyoruz. Sonuç olarak askerlik kısalıyor ve eşitleniyor. Yedek subay ve yedek astsubaylığı saymayın o ayrı bir konu. Normal olarak herkesin yükümlü olarak gördüğü şey 12 aydan 6 ay iniyor. Bu konuda da bizim TSK mensuplarının çok büyük fedakarlığı var. Yeni sistemle vatandaşa çeşitli seçenekler sunuluyor. İster yedek subay, ister yedek astsubay isterse sözleşmeli erbaş, er veya uzman erbaş olarak görev yapanlara maddi olarak kendisinin, ailesinin ihtiyacını bir nebze de olsa karşılama imkanı veriyor.”
Akar, yeni sistemin TSK açısından harbin değişen doğasına uyum sağlanması, profesyonel/yükümlü askerlik dengesinin temin edilmesi, tüm vatandaşlar tarafından genel askeri eğitimin alınmasının sağlayacağı getiriler, TSK’nın tarihsel vasfı olan halkın farklı kesimlerinden oluşmasının devam edecek olması, operasyonel kapasitenin artması ve caydırıcılığa katkı sağlanması, yedek astsubaylık sistemi ile insan kaynaklarının etkin kullanımı ve bedelli geliriyle TSK ihtiyaçlarının karşılanması hususlarının önemli faydalar sağlayacağı; genel kamusal faydalar açısından ise askerliğin kısalması ve eşitlenmesinin getirdiği avantajlar, vatandaşa sunulan opsiyonların artması, fırsat eşitliğinin sağlanması, TSK’da istihdam imkanlarının artırılması, öğrenim hakkı güvencesinin temin edilmesi, askerliğin sosyal yardımlarla ödüllendirilmesi, planlanabilir/öngörülebilir bir sistem ile insan kaynakları israfının engellenmesi gibi faydalarının olacağını da kaydetti.
In cahoots with Iran.
It’s entirely appropriate that, as Vladimir Bukovsky’s Judgment in Moscow is finally published in English, I am again attacked in the Russian press for “masterminding” a big war between the United States and Iran. The accusation is in Zavtra, and could have been written by the late Lyndon Larouche, whose loony writings are used in Zavtra. It “quotes” a letter they say I wrote to John Bolton in 2018 (I don’t remember any such letter) and credits me for having been a supporter of the “Arab Spring.”
It’s right out of an old KGB playbook, even to repeating old libels about my anticommunist writings in and about Italy when the Italian Communist Party was the largest outside the Soviet Union, and seemed on the verge of winning a national election and forming a new government.
If you were around during the Cold War, when I worked with Bukovsky and other Soviet dissidents to bring the Soviet Empire to an end, you’d perhaps remember when a leading Russian publication called me “an enemy of the Soviet people.” This new Russian attack is a replay of those old KGB libels in both Iran and Russia. The claim that I am a “mastermind” of Iranian opposition to the Khamenei regime has often been made in Iranian courts, and broadcast on Iranian regime television.
It is all nonsense. I only wish I were in constant contact with our policy makers, but I’m not. The Russians, however, are still trying to present my calls for democratic revolution in Iran as part of a long-standing plot by American anticommunist intellectuals. That the Iranian regime, notoriously close to Russian intelligence, repeats the lies shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Russian influence on American politics is much more important than most of our pundits and policy-makers appreciate. Everyone knows that one-time Communists exerted enormous influence on key members of our ruling class. We all know that John Brennan, who after all became head of the CIA, was at one time a Communist who voted for Gus Hall for president. But hardly anyone knows—indeed I only very recently discovered—that disgraced former FBI chief James Comey was also a Communist believer early in his intelligence career.
My point is not to claim that Comey and Brennan are still under Communist influence or control, but rather that the deceptions that emanate from Russian intelligence organizations are more influential than most of us suspect. Bukovsky saw this very clearly, and was able to document it with evidence from Soviet archives.
One more point: the abundant evidence of KGB influence on America contained in the Mitrokhin Archive—the record of KGB collusion with US politicians and intellectuals—unaccountably remains sealed in CIA files, despite its obvious importance to us. This should be corrected immediately. As Attorney General Barr investigates the origins of Spygate, he should have a look at the mother lode of Russian meddling in American politics, declassify the KGB documents that detail what they did, and with whom, and let the important debate about the whole matter unfold.
THE MYTH OF THE MENTALLY-ILL JIHADIST
French psychiatrist demolishes the insanity defense.
Too often nowadays, after an Islamic terrorist attack, the perpetrator is almost immediately declared mentally ill. This is often stated before any psychological examination of the jihadist has been performed or any other proof offered. This conclusion is then presented to the world as fact and beyond discussion.
For example, the jihadist/murderer who in France threw Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old retired Jewish doctor, out of a window in 2017 in an anti-Semitic attack after beating her was immediately placed by authorities “in a psychiatric establishment without passing through a prison cell.”
And psychiatric care facilities have been set up in France for jihadists returning from fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. The French are given to understand their joining and fighting for such a genocidal organization was simply a mental aberration to be treated medically (Who is crazy here?).
And French minister of the interior Gerard Collomb wanted “to mobilise the psychiatric hospitals in order to identify the radicalized individuals…for the purpose of spotting all of those profiles who tomorrow can proceed to carry out an attack.”
French psychiatrist Yann Andretuan, head of the French navy’s psychological service who has practiced psychiatry in several French hospitals for more than a decade, refutes this psychiatric interpretation of Islamic terrorist attacks, regarding it as false.
“I am a psychiatrist and I do not believe that terrorism is a madness in the psychopathological sense of the term,” Andretuan writes in an article in Le Figaro, a French national newspaper.
First, Andretuan maintains that psychiatry and psychology are “saying nothing to explain this madness and to heal it,” indicating an absence of medical roots and hence the impossibility of a medical cure.
Andretuan then goes on to relate his own experiences as a psychiatrist. In his 12 years of practice in different French hospitals he states he had to restrain a patient only once and had been assaulted, also only once, by a dementia patient in his nineties.
“Psychiatric wards can be loud but rarely violent,” states the experienced psychiatrist.
The French doctor then cites a study done in the 1990s, which showed that the probability of being attacked by “an individual who had consulted a psychiatrist is ten times less than by someone who hasn’t.”
Some have argued that jihadists’ mental illness is evident in the fact that they are recruited, sometimes easily, to such a murderous cause as Islamic terrorism. Andretuan also demolishes this argument.
“Some individuals will find a cause that will give meaning to their delirium…but how many?” he asks. “It is not necessary to fear an epidemic in the psychiatric services.”
Andretuan then cites commando units the English established in the Second World War as an example of the difficulty and unsuitability of recruiting the mentally ill.
“(The English) imagined to recruit sociopaths because of their absence of resistance to killing,” he stated. “This was a failure. They thus went looking for men, educated and often products of good English society, not presenting any psychiatric troubles…”
Besides, Andretuan says, armies have always gotten rid of mentally unstable recruits, considering them too difficult to control.
By designating the terrorists as madmen, Andretuan says, politicians like Collomb are not seeking an explanation for jihadists’ acts of terrorism, but “the consequence of these conclusions,” believing they can be healed, like the member of a sect.
In other words, “science must not only explain…but also act,” which, Andretuan claims, is “the function of engineers.”
Andretuan believes France is coming to represent the former Soviet Union in its misuse of psychiatry. The Soviet Union locked up the disrupters of its society, the dissidents, in psychiatric hospitals, while France is doing the same to its societal disturbers, the jihadists. And like the Soviets with its dissidents, French authorities appear to be treating jihadists’ reasons for their murderous behavior with a similar indifference, like a nuisance that will disappear someday, “like mosquitos in the summer,” even though the jihadists, unlike the Soviet dissidents, “kill without distinction.”
Andretuan notices “a trend” on the part of the French government with the psychiatrization of the jihadists, namely, to “naturalize” their behavior, to seek in them “a biological or scientific truth.” In our time, he states, this naturalness immediately gives a “legitimacy.”
“In naturalizing the problem of terrorism,” Andretuan states however, “one is evacuating its political dimension. One can’t be at war with crazy people.”
And, very importantly, in evacuating the political dimension, French politicians, fearful of their own large, Muslim minority, don’t have to investigate the roots of the terrorist attacks which lie in Islam itself.
The French writer Gilles William Goldnadel believes that this “thoughtless and reckless obligation” to regard Islamic terrorists as insane as “socially, politically and psychological madness in itself.” Goldnadel rightly believes Islamic terrorists do not belong under psychiatric care, but in prison.
The French professor of psychiatry, Raphael Gaillard, also believes “the great majority of terrorists have no connection with psychiatry,” while the French terrorism expert, Romain Caillet, maintains the “majority of psychiatrists and terrorism specialists … “do not look to explain radicalization by psychiatry.”
But the French government’s refusal to heed the words of its terrorism and psychiatry experts leads to disturbing conclusions. By “evacuating the political dimension” and attempting to explain the terrorist attacks by psychiatry, Caillet states this “avoids asking troubling questions.” Like, as already mentioned, the Islamic roots of the attacks.
Just as importantly, Goldnadel also sees in the psychiatrization of Islamic terrorist attacks the attempt by the government to relieve the terrorists of all personal responsibility for their actions. After all, if one doesn’t make war against crazy people, as Adretuan maintains, one also does not hold crazy people responsible for their actions.
But Goldnadel also sees something more dangerous, even perverse, in the psychiatric defense of Islamic terrorists.
“I affirm…this tendency for the psychiatric excuse is hiding also an irresolution to defend oneself physically with lethal weapons and to prefer the use of deradicalization…”
But as Andretuan rightly maintains, “to resist is to continue to live.” And the French people shouldn’t allow themselves “to be shattered by the fear the terrorists want to incite.”
But it is in this refusal to fight the jihadists, treating them with psychiatric kid gloves and denying the French people the security they deserve and which is their job to provide that French politicians are committing their greatest crime. As the French writer Shmuel Trigano most aptly sums up: “They are sacrificing the victims in order not to have to give battle to the executioners.”
However, in conclusion, Andretuan correctly points out: “It is not necessary to carry out a search for the primary causes of madness…to affirm that monsters exist and that it is necessary to fight them.”
SHOWDOWN IN THE ARABIAN GULF
Deployment of aircraft carrier battle group and B-52 bombers demonstrates unmistaken U.S. resolve.
During his presidential run, Donald Trump argued that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, colloquially known as the Iran deal, was among the worst deals ever negotiated by the United States with a foreign power and promised to withdraw from the JCPOA if elected. In May 2018, Trump kept his word but granted waivers to eight countries to continue purchasing Iranian oil. In May 2019 those waivers expired, further constricting Iran’s ability to export oil.
Sanctions instantly affected all aspects of the Iranian economy including its banking sector. The U.S. Treasury Department succeeded in disconnecting Iran’s banking industry from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). SWIFT enables banks to communicate with each other and facilitates international transactions. Even if rogue nations, like Turkey, attempted to skirt sanctions and purchase Iranian contraband, it would be nearly impossible for Iran to receive payment given its cutoff from SWIFT.
Iran’s economy is contracting and its currency is in freefall. It is estimated that the ban on oil exports alone is costing the regime some $35 billion a year and that’s before the expiration of the waivers. In April, the U.S. declared the IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and this past week, the U.S. Treasury Department slapped sanctions on Iran’s industrial metals industry.
While the Europeans are technically still signatories to the JCPOA, European nations are fleeing Iran like rats from a sinking ship, opting to forgo business in the Islamic Republic rather than face the wrath of U.S. sanctions. Contrary to Democrats’ assertions, the economic pressures imposed by the Trump administration are not meant to effectuate regime change. Rather, they are designed to modify malign Iranian behavior and bring them back to the negotiating table for the purpose of modifying and altering certain deleterious provisions of the JCPOA, including absurd sunset clauses that allow Iran to enrich uranium 10 years post the signing of the JCPOA. The administration would also like curb Iranian ballistic missile development, something the Obama administration failed to adequately address.
Trump has made diplomatic overtures to the Iranians making clear to them that the U.S. does not seek confrontation and is willing to deal but Iran has adopted an inflexible, hostile-like posture. Last week, four commercial ships – two Saudi, one Norwegian and one United Arab Emirate flagged ship – were sabotagednear the Emirate port of Fujairah, which is located near the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz prompting a 2% spike in the price of crude oil. Twenty percent of the world’s traded oil transits the Strait of Hormuz. No one is saying who carried out the sabotage but many are suggesting an Iranian fingerprint.
Iranian-backed Houthi rebels also attacked Saudi state-run Aramco oil installations with drones causing significant damage and disruption. The Saudis retaliated with airstrikes on Houthi-based targets in Yemen.
In a sign of growing tension, the U.S. ordered all non-essential U.S. personnel out of Iraq. The move was prompted by intelligence pointing toward an imminent Iranian attack using proxy groups based in Iraq. Intelligence sources noted that Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, the branch responsible for Iran’s overseas mischief-making, recently held a meeting with various Iraqi Shia militia heads informing them to prepare for hostilities.
In addition, Israeli intelligence informed its counterparts in the U.S that the Iranians were preparing a missile strike. U.S intelligence sources also believe that the Iranians have loaded fully assembled missiles on to small naval craft possibly in anticipation of a direct strike against the U.S. or its Gulf allies or an indirect strike using proxies.
These and other hostile actions taken by the Iranians prompted the U.S. to deploy substantial military assets to the theater of operations including B-52H Stratofortress bombers, an aircraft carrier strike group, Patriot missile batteries and an amphibious transport dock. The B-52s, which are at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, have already begun flying deterrence sorties alongside F-35A Lightening IIs and F-15C Eagles.
Iran is sending mixed signals. Its so-called Supreme Leader and dissembler in chief, Ayatollah Khamenei, stated that he is not seeking war with the U.S. “There won’t be any war,” Khamenei was quoted as saying by Iran’s state-run media. “We don’t seek a war, and they don’t either. They know it’s not in their interests.” But the following day, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, Major General Hossein Salami, stated that Iran was “on the cusp of a full-scale confrontation with the enemy.”
It is unlikely that Iran will attack the U.S. directly though this possibility certainly cannot be discounted. Rather, if Iran does strike, it will likely make use of its proxies, like the Houthis of Yemen, Hezbollah or one of a slew of Iraqi Shia militia groups. Iran has also threatened on numerous occasions to close the Strait of Hormuz to international shipping though they are cognizant that this would provoke an immediate and crushing U.S. response.
Clearly, the Iranians are suffering from devastating sanctions and increasing diplomatic isolation and that partially explains their erratic behavior and inconsistent public pronouncements. If the Iranians mount any aggression, they will surely lose in the face of overwhelming U.S. firepower. Iran has but one option; to return to the negotiating table and work out a new deal. If they don’t, Iran’s economy will continue to shrink under the yoke of crushing sanctions, and this may ultimately lead to the collapse of the regime.
MUSLIM FEDERATION FB MANAGER IS ISLAMIC STATE FAN
Hypocrite Abdur Rahman al-Ghani posts cartoon portraying Jews behind ISIS.
The South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF) Facebook Manager, Abdur Rahman al-Ghani, has bought into many conspiracy theories about Jews, that Jews are demonic and evil, that Jews control the world’s banks and media, that the vast majority of Jews aren’t really Jewish to begin with. So when al-Ghani, last month, posted a cartoon on his Facebook page insinuating that Israel was behind ISIS, no one would think, at first glance, that he was doing something out of the ordinary. That is, except for the fact that al-Ghani, himself, supports a worldwide Islamic State.
SFMF is a relatively new organization. Founded in April 2017, the group exists as an umbrella for South Florida’s many radical Muslim institutions, including entities linked to international terrorism. The Executive Director of SFMF, Nezar Hamze, who also holds the position of Sheriff’s Deputy at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO), previously worked for the Hamas-related group CAIR or Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR is a member of SFMF. Recently, Hamze has been sporting a new beard to go along with his new job, a sign that his Islamic fundamentalism is growing. The SFMF Public Relations Director, Wilfredo Ruiz, is also from CAIR. He is currently the Communications Director for CAIR-Florida.
Al-Ghani, whose real name is Samuel Pittman, is SFMF’s Facebook Manager. Prior to SFMF, he was the Youth Director for the Islamic Foundation of South Florida (IFSF), a radical mosque located in Sunrise, Florida. He is, as well, currently the Marketing Manager for Divine Connect, an LLC that produces multilingual broadcast systems to be used by Muslims traveling to Saudi mosques, such as for Hajj.
It is interesting that al-Ghani was chosen to manage SFMF’s Facebook page, as his own Facebook page contains an extraordinary amount of very disturbing material, including the worst of anti-Semitism. However, given the group he is doing this for, it makes perfect sense.
Al-Ghani believes Jews are inherently wicked and in control of the media and world banking system, which he refers to as the “Global Zionist Banksters Plan.” In June 2011, under a video al-Ghani posted, titled ‘Jews control World Economy,’ he wrote, “Secular ‘Zionist’ Jews are the one’s destroying The World today.” In March 2012, he quoted little known anti-Semite Elizabeth Templar, stating, “Bolshevic Jews are the children of Satan.” In September 2012, he repeated a wild myth about how most Jews are the descendants of European converts to Judaism, writing, “80% of so-called Jews are really Ashkenazi Zionist, a derivative of the Khazarians.”
In November 2012, al-Ghani quoted Pope Clement VIII, stating, “All the world suffers from the usury of the Jews, their monopolies and deceit.” Also in November 2012, al-Ghani described the Middle Eastern Gulf states as “COWARDS and PUPPETS of the ‘zionist controlled’ US.” In December 2012, he wrote, “Zionist/Israelis are not holy people. They are demonic and the most evil on earth.” And in January 2013, under a story about Saudi Arabian jets aiding US military strikes on Yemen, al-Ghani posted a link to a cartoon depicting an Arab male prostrating himself on a US flag at the foot of a large menorah with a Jewish star atop it.
No doubt, al-Ghani buys into conspiracy theories, when it comes to Jews. That being the case, there should be no surprise, when al-Ghani, at the end of last month, posted a cartoon on his Facebook page insinuating that Jews were behind ISIS.
The cartoon depicts a Taliban-like figure wearing a white turban with a large blue Star of David on it and carrying a bow and arrows. He is facing a target with the word “Israel” above it, yet his arrows have hit everywhere but the target – “Libya,” “Srilanka,” “Syria,” “Yemen,” “Egypt,” “Lebanon,” “Tunisia” and “Nigeria.” The caption on it asks, “Have you ever wondered Why ISIS never attacked Israel?” Under the graphic, the following is written, “ISIS is the only terrorist organization that travels 352 miles to attack Libya and 170 miles to attack Iraq but they can’t travel 52 miles to attack Israel because the dog doesn’t bite its own tale [sic].”
Al-Ghani took the cartoon from the Facebook page for Masjid al-Haram Makkah, a.k.a. the Great Mosque of Mecca, whose imam, Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, has referred to Jews as “the scum of humanity, the rats of the world, prophet killers, pigs and monkeys.” and has called on Allah to “terminate” the Jews. Statements such as these have led to al-Sudais being barred from entering the US.
In April 2011, al-Ghani wrote, “ALL dictators AND monarchies IN THE MUSLIM LANDS MUST FALL ‘NOW,’ TO ALLOW THE RETURN OF THE ISLAMIC KHILAFAH, INSHA ALLAH.” In March 2012, he posted a graphic stating, “ISLAM WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD.” He wrote, next to it, “[Y]es, Allah (SWT) has Decreed that we will over-take the World in numbers…” In June 2012, he wrote, “Resume the Islamic way of life by establishing an Islamic State that executes the systems of Islam and carries its call to the world.”
In September 2012, al-Ghani posted a photo of a group of Egyptians tearing up a US flag and lifting up what has become known as the black flag of ISIS. Al-Ghani’s personal description of this reads, “Anniversary of 9/11 in Egypt. Putting down ‘AMERICAN FLAG’ and Raising the ‘ISLAMIC FLAG – AR RAYAA.’” And in March 2013, al-Ghani posted a graphic, stating, “IF ALL MUSLIM MAJORITY NATIONS WERE UNITED INTO A SINGLE ISLAMIC STATE… It would be the LARGEST nation on Earth.” In the graphic, Al-Ghani’s Muslim nation is represented by the same black ISIS flag.
Shortly after these postings (which are all still found on al-Ghani’s Facebook page), in June 2014, ISIS proclaimed itself a worldwide Caliphate. Al-Ghani got exactly what he wished for, at least in word. However, today, he is blaming this monstrosity called ISIS on Jews. No doubt, al-Ghani is a Jew-hating hypocrite.
Al-Ghani’s claim that Jews are behind ISIS, while openly supporting the idea behind ISIS, is a sign of how warped his worldview is and indicates that it is shared by the groups which comprise SFMF, groups that have given him the authority to post what he chooses on their social media.
His hypocrisy, though, is the least of problems regarding al-Ghani. Al-Ghani’s incitement poses a real danger to society, as do the groups whose Facebook page he runs. Law enforcement would be well advised to investigate him, his online postings, his organization SFMF, and the organization’s leader, Nezar Hamze, who, as a Sheriff’s Deputy, is unfortunately one of their own.
Both al-Ghani and his group should be investigated and shut down immediately.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.
KAI ΣΕ ΕΜΑΣ ΕΔΩ, ΕΝΑΣ “ΑΓΓΕΛΟΣ”, ΠΡΙΝ ΑΠΟ 2 ΠΕΡΙΠΟΥ ΧΡΟΝΙΑ ΝΟΜΙΖΩ, ΕΙΧΕ ΓΡΑΨΕΙ ΜΕΤΑΦΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ ΚΑΤΙ ΠΑΡΟΜΟΙΟ ΓΙΑ ΤΟΝ “ISIS”! ΙΣΩΣ ΘΑ ΘΥΜΑΣΤΕ ΤΗΝ ΕΡΜΗΝΕΙΑ ΤΩΝ ΑΡΧΙΚΩΝ ΤΟΥ “ISIS” ΠΟΥ ΕΙΧΑΜΕ ΤΟΤΕ “ΔΕΙ”! ΣΑΣ ΤΗΝ ΘΥΜΙΖΩ:
“İSİS” = “ISRAELİ SECRET İNTELLİGENCE SERVİCE“!..
ΔΙΑΒΑΣΤΕ ΟΜΩΣ ΤΩΡΑ ΠΑΡΑΚΑΤΩ ΚΑΙ ΤΟ ΑΡΘΡΟ ΓΙΑ ΤΙΣ “ΘΕΩΡΙΕΣ ΣΥΝΩΜΟΣΙΑΣ“!
A MOVEMENT OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES
They’re destroying the planet. They’re hoarding all the wealth. They killed JFK.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Every movement has a mission statement. “Make America Great Again” is the conservative one. (It’s the “Again” part that makes it conservative.) The enemies of making America great have one too.
If the radicals had red hats, they would say, “They’re Out To Get You.”
TOTGY has been the leftist motto since before Marx learned to shave and then decided to stop doing it. The arc of history may bend toward many places, but the black rainbow serviced by a snarling leprechaun with a PhD and a cocaine problem always begins and ends in the same paranoid place.
They’re destroying the planet. They’re hoarding all the wealth. They start all the wars. They’re dividing the country. They’re killing kids in schools. They’re conspiring with the Russians. They killed JFK.
The Democrats crave inspirational leaders for the same reason that alcoholics need mouthwash. It covers up the ugly stench. Lefties love packaging their hateful ravings, paranoid delusions and plans for world domination with moving soliloquies about everyone coming together to make a difference.
So far coming together and making a difference has killed approximately 200 million people.
Between Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Jim Jones, more people have been killed by lefties coming together and making a difference than by AIDS and the Ebola virus combined. Every day the media warns about the threat of unvaccinated children in school spreading measles. There are far more American children infected with the disease that piled up skulls in Cambodia and filled the Russian tundra with mass graves, that starved Chinese peasants to death and served poisoned Kool-Aid to American children.
Schools spread the infection like wildfire and the only vaccine against it isn’t allowed on school grounds.
What killed all those people is a mental bacillus that can be examined under a microscope. It has cilia, no spine and whispered its sour nothings in the ears of commissars and soldiers, of peasants and workers, of Brother Number Three and a thousand frenzied schoolchildren beating their teachers to death.
The thing it whispered in their ears was, “They’re out to get you.”
Normal people do not murder their neighbors for wearing glasses. They do not sink them in boats weighed down with stones. They do not inform on their parents or poison their own children.
But they can be convinced to do these things once they’ve come together to make a difference.
Why do lefties keep coming together to make a difference? Because they’re fighting an unjust society. And what makes the society unjust and in need of fighting with protests, bombs and gulags?
They’re out to get you.
All leftist credos begin with the conviction of a powerful conspiracy against the groups of people they hope to recruit, a conspiracy that is as implausible as it is unsustainable, which can only end in genocide or social transformation. Somehow the Left usually manages to fit both into its busy schedule.
First, it was class. The capitalist pigs, the factory owners, like the Engels family, were maintaining a permanent underclass while reaping all the profits. Mankind was doomed to live in a Dickensian novel of starving orphans cowering beneath puffing smokestacks unless the proletariat rose up in a revolution. Then it was going to be a racial war and now, finally the capitalists are plotting to destroy the planet.
Like any good conspiracy theory, the “they” keep changing. So does the “You”.
One day, it’s the evil factory owners keeping the working class down. The next day it’s the racist working-class whites keeping black people down. And then it’s the homophobic blacks keeping gay people down. And then it’s the Islamophobic gays keeping Muslims down.
Finally, it’s everyone destroying the planet by driving cars without buying carbon credits from Al Gore.
Intersectionality means that everyone is a “You” and a “They”. Everyone has cause to hate and fear, and to be hated and feared. There is no such thing as being too paranoid about identity politics.
In identity politics, the only question is are you paranoid enough?
As with all murderous ideologies, the conspiracy theories begin with conscious actions and end with subconscious crimes. A list of specific charges concludes with one unforgivable offense. Existence.
The final verdict is death.
To believe that, “they are out to get you”, you need to be a victim.
To be a victim isn’t to experience suffering or to survive a horrifying act of violence. It is to be convinced that the world is an unfair place and it can only be made fair when those responsible are put down.
Or, as they call it, social justice.
Every genocide begins with a conspiracy theory. So does victimhood. The conspiracy theory claims that utopia would be possible, but the bad people insist on selfishly ruining it for everyone. In Rwanda, the bad people were the Tutsis. In Nazi Germany, they were the Jews. In America, they’re everyone.
Racism has its limits. After applying enough DNA tests, there’s someone a racist won’t kill. But when everyone is complicit in the intersectional crimes of everyone else, and, the destruction of the planet, who is really innocent? Killings in leftist societies don’t stop when they run out of people to kill. They only end when the machine runs out of executioners to shoot, beat, torture and mutilate them.
And human nature, being what it is in both evil and goodness, they eventually do.
There comes a point when killing people no longer makes anyone feel good. And that’s when the People’s Republic of Killingstan settles down to a steady decline into corruption and decay like an old gangster passing away his remaining years in a drunken haze to make the time go by more quickly.
The old gangsters died off in Russia and China, and, more recently in Cuba and Venezuela. They’re even showing signs of passing on in North Korea. Human evil is more finite than human good. And weaker.
America’s gangsters have yet to grow old and they haven’t tasted blood in a long time.
Their message, the one that gets neighbors to smash each other’s heads and sons to turn on fathers, is broadcast on every channel and taught in every school. It’s hummed in songs and made into movies.
“They’re out to get you.”
The conspiracy is all the more compelling for being nebulous, shapeless and formless. The villains are oil companies and the working class. At any moment, the progressive male college student can become a rapist. Bigotry is in our subconscious. Carbon is exhaled in our every breath. The enemy is everywhere.
Once upon a time, the conspiracies were simple. Now we live in a world haunted by our own demons.
The crime was never truly capitalism or bigotry. It was human nature. And human nature was also the motive. “They’re out to get you,” is the primal paranoid idea of politics. It taps into the part of our brain that ran from wolves or killed them. The wolves have become men. And sometimes we are them.
Leftist politics is another means of justifying the robbery and abuse of your neighbors. Its sense of oppression is just entitlement misspelled. Its targets are guilty because the perpetrators are greedy.
Cain was the first Communist. He killed Abel because he worked harder and believed in G-d.
When G-d tried to tell the first murderer that the evil was not in his brother, it was in him, he didn’t listen. Modern lefties refuse to listen to this central message of religion, that we fix the world by fixing ourselves, rather than fixing ourselves by remaking the world in our own broken image.
The mark of Cain is a red flag. Where you see it, socialism and spilled blood soon follow. A layer cake of academic theories and violent outrage are used as masks for the same old evils of envy and hate.
And so millions of leftists are coming together to make a difference in America by rioting, punching, deplatforming, firing, harassing, and suppressing, spying on their political opponents, murdering babies and reminding us that they’re a deadlier outbreak than any disease to hit this country in a century.
The cries of, “justice”, really mean power. And the cries of, “change”, really mean murder.
Utopia won’t build itself.
THE CHINA TRADE WAR: NATIONAL SECURITY ON THE LINE
Trump’s response demonstrates uncommon leadership.
Add the trade war with China to a long list of crises driven by greed and globalism that President Trump inherited from a series of prior administrations, from both political parties
Since President Trump declared that, unlike previous U.S. Presidents, he would no longer permit China to ride roughshod over the United States, Wall Street whined about how a trade war with China would be costly to America and Americans by causing products from China to cost more; and likely diminish American exports to China as China retaliated by increasing tariffs on those U.S. goods.
For Wall Street, the bottom line is the bottom line. This is a very short-sighted and dangerous example of myopia, focusing on profits while ignoring threats to U.S. national security.
First and foremost, China is ruled by a totalitarian communist regime that is guilty of reprehensible human rights violations against its own citizens and is clearly working rapidly to expand its reach around the world by building its military capabilities.
Earlier this year I wrote about Chinese Aggression Against The U.S.A. As President Trump has noted, China has not only taken economic advantage against the United States but has engaged in widespread intellectual property theft (also known as industrial espionage). Indeed, China has also engaged in committing widespread espionage where our military technology is concerned and, incomprehensibly, the United States has admitted hundreds of thousands of Chinese STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students and provided them with world-class education at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Such students then become eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training that enables them to be gainfully employed by U.S. companies, including companies that develop technology of our military.
This provides access to U.S. companies that then become the targets of Chinese espionage.
China is also notorious for hacking computers in the United States that belong to our government, our military, corporations and even U.S. citizens.
On May 9, 2019 the U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release that announced, Member of Sophisticated China-Based Hacking Group Indicted for Series of Computer Intrusions, Including 2015 Data Breach of Health Insurer Anthem Inc. Affecting Over 78 Million People.
Here are several excerpts from the press release:
A federal grand jury returned an indictment unsealed today in Indianapolis, Indiana, charging a Chinese national as part of an extremely sophisticated hacking group operating in China and targeting large businesses in the United States, including a computer intrusion and data breach of Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem Inc. (Anthem).
The four-count indictment alleges that Fujie Wang (王 福 杰 in Chinese Hanzi), 32, and other members of the hacking group, including another individual charged as John Doe, conducted a campaign of intrusions into U.S.-based computer systems. The indictment alleges that the defendants gained entry to the computer systems of Anthem and three other U.S. businesses.
“The allegations in the indictment unsealed today outline the activities of a brazen China-based computer hacking group that committed one of the worst data breaches in history,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “These defendants allegedly attacked U.S. businesses operating in four distinct industry sectors, and violated the privacy of over 78 million people by stealing their PII.
The indictment further alleges that the defendants then collected files and other information from the compromised computers and then stole this data. As part of the computer intrusion and data breach of Anthem, the defendants identified and ultimately stole data concerning approximately 78.8 million persons from Anthem’s computer network, including names, health identification numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, employment information and income data, according to the indictment.
On April 9, 2019 CNN reported, Woman accused of illegal entry to Mar-a-Lago had numerous electronic devices, thousands in cash.
What was all but ignored by a series of reports about this woman, a citizen of China, Yujing Zhang, is how she was able to enter the United States with a visa but may have lied on her application for the visa in order to enter the United States; and then seek to gain entry to President Trump’s resort in Florida by deception to potentially carry out espionage.
And then, there is the huge issue of China flooding the United States with fentanyl.
In addition to Chinese fentanyl being smuggled into the United States across the borders of the United States Chinese companies now ship fentanyl to the United States, relying in the U.S. Postal Service to deliver this deadly illegal drug and others, such as Carfentanyl to addresses in the United States. In reality, it has become a chemical weapon of mass destruction.
For this report, one of the people interviewed by CBS Correspondent Scott Pelley was the United States Attorney for Cleveland, Ohio, Justin Herdman.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
Justin Herdman: Carfentanyl is another 100 times more potent than fentanyl. Here you’ve got 300 grams of powder that could deliver a fatal dose to 150,000 people. Here you’ve got only five grams of powder which could deliver a fatal dose to over 250,000 people.
Scott Pelley: So if you touch this stuff, it could kill you?
Justin Herdman: Yeah.
Scott Pelley: Just touch it–
Justin Herdman: There’s a reason we have a medic standing by, Scott, and that’s because– an overdose is– unfortunately it’s something that we have to be prepared for, even–even dealing with it in an evidence bag.
Herdman showed us pills that look like prescription opioids but are dangerous counterfeits.
Pelley then asked the obvious question:
Scott Pelley: Where did all this stuff come from?
Justin Herdman: It’s from China. It’s manufactured in China. These are all related to cases that involve the mail or the use of the postal system. So this, somebody put this into a box, sealed it up and sent it through the postal system.
The United States Postal System has been, for many years, the most reliable way to smuggle drugs from China to the U.S.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Cronin, the prosecutor whose case against a Chinese smuggler served as the predication for the 60 Minutes report was also interviewed.
Here is the segment of his interview that underscores China’s complicity in the poisoning of America:
Matt Cronin: It is a fact that the People’s Republic of China is the source for the vast majority of synthetic opioids that are flooding the streets of the United States and western democracies. It is a fact that these synthetic opioids are responsible for the overwhelming increase in overdose deaths in the United States. And it is a fact that if the People’s Republic of China wanted to shut down the synthetic opioid industry they could do so in a day.
Last year my article Google vs. Border Security was predicated on a CNN report about how Google opposes President Trump’s efforts to secure our borders and has refused to help the U.S. military but is happy to work with the Chinese government to launch a search app in China that would block sensitive websites and search terms to comply with Chinese government censorship.
Decisions by corporate and government leaders must be based on two fundamental concerns: survival and morality!
A BEARDED BUS DRIVER ENFORCES MUSLIM DRESS CODE IN PARIS
Welcome to Islamic Law in France.
In Paris, the “affaire de la jupe” (Affair of the Skirt), reported on in French here is one of those seemingly small contretemps, involving Muslims in the West, that circumstances turn into something much bigger.
It begins with two women, North African in origin, who were waiting, at 11 p.m. for city bus #60, at the Botzargis bus stop. When the bus pulled up to the stop, the bearded driver looked them over, refused to open the doors, and took off. One of the women ran after the bus, and when it stopped at a red light, she asked the driver, through his window, why he hadn’t picked them up.. He told her that she was dressed incorrectly, in a skirt. He looked disapprovingly at her legs. By her appearance he knew she was ethnically Arab, and therefore believed she ought to have been islamically modest in her dress. No skirts. And that is why, he explained unapologetically,, he had refused to pick her up. A city bus, but a Muslim driver, enforcing an Islamic dress code.
Things might have ended there, for all concerned, but for the fact that the woman in question is 29 years old, and the daughter of a famous Algerian poet, Kamel Bencheikh, an apostate who lives in France and is, he proudly says, an ‘islamophobe.” (by which he means not someone with an “irrational fear” of Islam but, rather, with a deep knowledge of and dislike of the faith). When Bencheikh heard the story from his daughter Elise he posted a piece about it, and also wrote about the incident on his Facebook page, demanding that the driver be punished.
But what happened then was even more disturbing than the original incident of the bearded driver of a city bus enforcing an Islamic dress code. Facebook took down Kamel Bensheikh’s account on his Facebook page because, it said, his post tended to “incite hatred.” Thus does the world’s main social media platform decide to censor a perfectly reasonable expression of outrage by a father at the treatment of his daughter. She had, after all, been refused service at 11 o’clock at night, and left with another woman to fend for themselves in a dangerous area of Paris (Buttes-Chaumont). There was nothing in Bencheikh’s posting that “incited hatred”’; he was angry with the driver, and expressed that anger. But anger is not hate; he nowhere “incited hatred” as Facebook, in removing his account, falsely claimed. He asked himself: why does the social network accuse him of inciting hatred with this post?
Indeed, as soon as the facts of the incident were revealed, the French political class reacted on Twitter, asking RATP (the public transportation company) to provide the necessary sanctions against the driver.. Here are just a few of their responses. Valérie Pécresse: “If the facts are proven they are scandalous.”Jean Messiha:”The woman’s father posts her story on Facebook, which immediately deletes it. Are we still in France? “And Lydia Guirous, spokesperson for the Republicans, was even more radical: “There is an EMERGENCY need to eradicate political Islam in France.” Valérie Boyer affirms that “religious extremism has no place in our Republic. Our freedoms, our rights must be preserved!”
“This guy who drives a bus paid for by my taxes prevented my daughter, who holds a valid Navigo pass and therefore in good standing, who has never had anything to blame for getting on… Just because she wore a skirt,” her father the poet said.. He described the driver as a “Maghrebin” and “Islamist.” . And he demanded a public apology from RATP, which, for its part, said that the driver does not acknowledge “the facts as presented in the press.” However, the Régie (the administration of the bus service) has, however, opened “disciplinary proceedings” against him for “lack of service”. Francilians [people of the Ile-de-France region] can see, every day, that they are very often driven by bearded people,… How many drivers refuse to drive a bus [for some religious reason]? And with the arrival of Ramadan, some people are openly asking themselves the question of passenger safety, because can a driver who does not drink, does not eat all day long, be sure of all his means? Can’t he lose his attention, even for a second?”
The bus driver may well face disciplinary action, as the French are in no mood to allow Muslims on the public payroll to enforce their own notions of Islamic morality on those they assume are Muslims, and whose outfits were therefore to be judged according to Muslim standards. In fact, neither of the women involved was Muslim.
This “affaire de la jupe” may seem small, but in France it has loomed large, for it is one of those seemingly trivial events, whereby Muslims, little by little, attempt to impose their own rules on the larger society. In this case, thanks to the articulate apostate Kamel Bencheikh, such an attempt did not succeed. He’s in the driver seat, and the bus driver is not, and if the French political class and public have their way, that driver won’t ever be again.
IRANIAN IRGC IN SYRIA’S LATAKIA? – REPORT
According to a second source, Iran and Syria already signed a protocol for the training of naval forces in Syria.
PART OF ‘DEAL OF CENTURY’ TO BE RELEASED ON JUNE 25 IN BAHRAIN
It is not clear when the political part of the plan would be released.
NATO Secretary General in London to prepare Leaders’ Meeting
- 14 May. 2019
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discussed preparations for the next meeting of NATO leaders with Prime Minister Theresa May in a visit to 10 Downing Street on Tuesday (14 May 2019). The meeting in London in December will be an opportunity for Allied Heads of State and Government to address NATO’s continued adaptation to deal with the security challenges the Alliance faces. The Secretary General and the Prime Minister also had talks about the current security situation, including Russia’s continued breach of the INF treaty, and burden-sharing within the Alliance.
“The United Kingdom makes essential contributions to our shared security,” said Mr. Stoltenberg. He thanked the UK for its major contributions to NATO missions and deployments, including in the Baltic region, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr. Stoltenberg also praised the UK for leading by example by spending 2 % of GDP on defence and investing in new military capabilities. The Secretary General and the Prime Minister further discussed prospects for peace in Afghanistan, and highlighted the importance of training local forces in partner countries in the fight against terrorism.
During his visit to London, Mr. Stoltenberg also met with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Earlier, the Secretary General participated in a panel at the annual meeting of the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. Addressing an audience of international business leaders in London, Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted the importance of the transatlantic bond and why NATO remains a pillar of stability in a more unpredictable world.
Working with partners to counter terrorism
After eight years of heading up the counter-terrorism team at NATO, Juliette Bird is preparing to pass the baton. She shares her reflections on the evolution of the role of the Alliance in the international response to terrorism – and pays tribute to some of the individuals who have helped NATO progress on this path.
NATO can be proud of progress made in the field of counter-terrorism. Noteworthy elements include the development of policy guidelines (2012), an updated military concept (2015), an education and training plan (2015) and action plans (2014, 2017, 2018). We have also seen increasingly emphatic summit coverage flagging the counter-terrorism impact of NATO’s missions and of our interaction with partner countries and partner organisations.
Members of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Armed Forces and the Border Police and State Investigation and Protection Agency take part in a simulated anti-terrorism situation at the Sarajevo International Airport. The drill was part of a five-day EU-led exercise ‘Quick Response’, which also involved reserve forces from the United Kingdom and the NATO-led Kosovo Force – October 2017. © Reuters
While not a primary function of NATO, counter-terrorism is recognised as contributing to all three of the Alliance’s core tasks – collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security. It is also seen as a constituent of work on the current priorities to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence posture in the evolving security environment, and to project stability through deepening partnerships with key states and pursuing crisis management measures.
A retrospective of the incremental steps that have brought us here would be dull. However, perhaps some areas could be illustrated by turning the spotlight on a few individuals who have helped NATO make progress. These individuals have little in common beyond a desire, shared with NATO’s counter-terrorism team, to use NATO to best effect against the international challenge that is terrorism. All of us recognise that NATO is only one player in the global approach but that its unique strengths, especially at the civilian-military interface, have particular value in this long-term fight, above all when used in coordination with others.
A constant feature throughout my time, both working downtown at the European Union (EU) and here at NATO, has been the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, the Belgian Gilles de Kerchove. When I first arrived, he was helping Allies understand there was a niche for NATO in the international response to terrorism. Prior to any discussion of a policy in this field for NATO, de Kerchove had briefed the North Atlantic Council several times and was then invited back specifically to tell the Allies about the EU approach and the many areas where the Alliance could complement the work of the EU, which was predominantly focused on Justice and Home Affairs.
At the time, relations with most parts of the European Union on counter-terrorism were entirely informal and personality based. Until steps were taken to strengthen EU-NATO cooperation in key areas, in 2016 and then 2018, a lot of coffees and pizza lunches were taken jointly to ensure deconfliction and complementarity.
Now a solid relationship exists and formal staff-to-staff meetings include various relevant bits of the European Commission, the recently created counter-terrorism division of the External Action Service and, of course, de Kerchove’s staff. Increasingly, we engage with officers working in EU missions abroad who have the most intimate knowledge of EU counter-terrorism projects in partner countries. The extensive travels of de Kerchove and his engagement with partner nations have led to much of this overseas work, and NATO can support and complement the EU’s efforts with its own unique strengths.
NATO regularly provides training in countering improvised explosive devices to troops deploying to operational theatres as well as to armed services personnel in partner countries, such as Afghanistan and Iraq. © NATO
Both the EU and NATO – as well as all NATO member states and partner countries – work within the context of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy of the United Nations (UN), its related instruments and, more recently, its approach to foreign terrorist fighters and preventing and countering violent extremism. The United Nations is a complicated beast to work with and has counter-terrorism elements divided geographically (between its headquarters in New York and offices in Vienna, etc.) and bureaucratically (between the General Assembly and Security Council). NATO has historically been an awkward interlocutor for the UN, not formally a regional organisation and sometimes regarded as a destructive force that does not tidy up after itself. Working on counter-terrorism with the UN thus tended to be practical interactions with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna more than strategic and operational cooperation through New York. This too has changed.
Some improvement is very recent and is due to the creation of a new Under-Secretary-General post for the Office of Counter-Terrorism, which is currently filled by Vladimir Voronkov. He is a long-standing contact of the current NATO Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller. Together they provided impetus for the first joint UN-NATO counter-terrorism project, which will work with Jordan to improve preparedness in case of a terrorist attack using chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents.
For much of my time at NATO, a fixed point enabling productive engagement with the UN in New York has been the highly professional Egyptian civil servant, Seif el Dawla. He has worked to support several chairmen of the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee and ensured the engagement with NATO of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (which assists the Committee and is now headed by Michele Coninsx of Eurojust fame). I trust that improvements in the UN-NATO relationship and interaction on matters related to terrorism are clear to all, both here and in New York.
My original doorway to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has moved on but is still extending a helping hand to NATO. The American Tom Wuchte is now based in Malta and is in charge of the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law, which works on, among other things, the use of battlefield evidence and biometric data, driven by the UN and hot topics for the future at NATO. While in Vienna, he was able to ensure that NATO could tap into the OSCE’s work on counter-terrorism, notably its strengths on border security in Central Asia and the Balkans, and to provide access to important international fora hosted by successive Chairmanships-in-Office.
Iris scanning takes place during a biometrics course at the Joint Readiness Training Center. Biometrics uses physiological features, such as fingerprints or irises, as a method of identification and can provide results within a few seconds. (Photo by Pvt. Luke Rollins, U.S. Army)
New organisations of key importance to counter-terrorism efforts have emerged, including the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), which arrived on the scene in 2011 under United States and Turkish co-chairs. As a strictly civilian entity, it is a good match for the EU (which is a member) but is perhaps not an obvious interlocutor for NATO. However, as GCTF is a source of best practice collected across a wide spectrum of member nations (29+EU), it is essential that NATO’s counter-terrorism team be able to point to its cutting-edge work and advise Allies and partners where to turn to in areas where NATO is less well placed. For example the GCTF prioritises civilian capacity-building in areas such as rule of law, border management and countering violent extremism.
In the Forum’s early days, my contacts with the co-chairs’ representatives Raffi Gregorian and Ceren Yazgan were extremely useful and I was delighted to be able to facilitate their presentation of its work to NATO in 2015. The subsequent Dutch chair was also able to brief NATO. As the chairmanship now transitions to Canada and Morocco, I trust that these and future chairs will continue to engage with NATO and ensure that our efforts are part of the bigger picture of those working to deliver the international framework for the fight against terrorism.
A GCTF partner organisation, and one that has been an invaluable academic support to NATO for many years, is the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) in The Hague and its constituent institutions. The Centre and individual academics have contributed to a number of projects and events sponsored by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme. These include a project to compare transitions to civilian-led counter-terrorism in several operational theatres, a workshop with Egypt on counter-terrorism, and lectures at courses run by the NATO School in Oberammergau and the Centre of Excellence for the Defence Against Terrorism in Ankara. Bibi Van Ginkel, ICCT Research Fellow, is an asset to both the UN and NATO, being intimately involved in work on military evidence.
The productive relationship with ICCT began under Peter Knoope, the former ICCT Director, who personally assisted NATO with an event on countering terrorism and violent extremism in Central Asia. In between his current work on, for example, preventing violent extremism in Sudan and Somalia, he moonlights as the spouse of the Dutch ambassador to NATO, so staff at Headquarters may come across him in that context.
Working with partner countries brings all the pleasures and frustrations of working with Allies but in diverse locations. A partner particularly close to my heart after my years at NATO is Mauritania. Not only is it a key country for NATO as a Mediterranean Dialogue partner, but it is the closest NATO gets to the terrorism hot spot of the Sahel. As a member of the G5 Sahel, and the seat of its secretariat, it is also an important source of information on this relatively new regional group. NATO is still working out what, if anything, it might usefully contribute to the secretariat and how it might go about it should it take the plunge.
But beyond these current considerations, Mauritania has been a great example of how a partner can engage successfully with NATO on counter-terrorism. It has progressed from flagging the issue in its individual partnership cooperation programme, via presentations to Allies of the local security situation, to a major project for a Crisis Management Centre and a Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP).
Mauritania’s volatile history has left the country with a large stock of shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles and obsolete munitions, which could pose a security risk to the country and to public safety. A NATO-sponsored project is supporting the destruction of these stockpiles to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists. © NATO
Thanks to tailored advice, Mauritania is improving its ability to offer courses to its military personnel on counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency and crisis management. I was fortunate to be part of the DEEP team visiting Nouakchott regularly to train staff and students at the Ecole Nationale de l’Etat Major (ENEM). It was deeply satisfying to see Colonel Bahaide Oude Nema speaking of progress made by Mauritania to other partners at a counter-terrorism cooperation event at NATO Headquarters in 2014. Capitaine de Vaisseau Mohamed Cheikhna Talebmoustaph drove the open attitude to education cooperation with NATO for many years from the office of the Chef d’Etat Major, working closely with the late Jean D’Andurain, who formerly headed up the DEEP team at NATO. Together with the ENEM director, Colonel Mohamed Moumel El Boukhary, he brought considerable firepower to bear on NATO-Mauritanian relations. Colonel Boukhary also wrote Mauritania’s counter-terrorism policy and now, though officially retired, remains a national strategic thinker, still keen to adopt international best practice and relevant examples from abroad.
To hold a NATO post is a privilege and my spell as an Alliance employee has been immensely fulfilling. Though now retired, Jamie Shea played a key role in this, being Deputy Assistant Secretary General for the Emerging Security Challenges Division for most of my time here. He has a reputation for changing mindsets, both within and beyond NATO, and fully supported the wide-ranging approach to counter-terrorism at NATO carried forward by my team
I am very proud of NATO’s progress in counter-terrorism, while recognising that much more will be needed. It will be fascinating to see what becomes of the Alliance’s work at the interface of military and civilian responsibilities. Technical projects are undoubtedly part of NATO’s future, especially with regard to the prosecution of foreign terrorist fighters, but I hope that the wide vision of a global approach to counter-terrorism will be maintained. Links to partners and international organisations are essential for a coherent response to terrorism.
However positive the NATO experience, there are only so many times one can go round the same policy cycle without taking time out to see what else is out in the big wide world. My time for reflection begins this summer. So I must now pass the baton and encourage NATO Allies to support the excellent current team with further national contributions, both in terms of staff and resources. Without such support the Alliance cannot deliver projects related to counter-terrorism in the fields of capabilities, partner capacity-building and cooperation with other international organisations. NATO is now recognised for its contribution to global counter-terrorism efforts and should continue to make its unique strengths available where useful.
Juliette Bird has been the head of NATO’s Counter Terrorism section within the Emerging Security Challenges Division since September 2011. During her 20-year career in the United Kingdom’s Foreign Service, latterly at the Representation to the EU, she specialised in global threats, including terrorism, and served in the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre before being seconded to NATO from 2004 to 2008 to set up an equivalent body for the Alliance.
What is published in NATO Review does not necessarily represent the official position or policy of member governments, or of NATO.