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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Why is Trump's Attorney General, Jeff Sessions Protecting Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama?

Come on Trump, Hold Sessions and Rosenstein Accountable for Hiding Hillary Clinton's Criminal Past

The (Draft) Indictment of Hillary Rodham Clinton

SEPTEMBER 21, 2017

Why is Hillary Clinton such a reviled figure in many precincts of the American populace? And not just the Right—I’m lookin’ at you, Bernie Sanders supporters. A Judicial Watch case being argued in federal court on Friday supplies some answers to that question.

Long before Benghazi, long before emails and clever Clinton Foundation shakedowns, there was Whitewater. The Clintons—abetted by the slack intellectual standards of American media—have succeeded in putting over the argument that Whitewater “was about nothing.” The Judicial Watch case proves otherwise.

For more than two years, Judicial Watch has been fighting to make public draft federal criminal indictments of Mrs. Clinton in the Whitewater affair. The allegations are well known to aficionados of financial crime: with Gov. Bill Clinton running Arkansas, Mrs. Clinton leveraged her work at the Rose Law Firm into a series of transactions on behalf of a corrupt financial institution, Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan, run by a longtime Clinton crony, James McDougal. Among the transactions was a document drafted by Mrs. Clinton to conceal a series of fraudulent loans that were used to deceive federal bank examiners. Winning the White House, Mrs. Clinton and her allies engaged in a long-running cover-up.

Between 1996 and 1998, the Office of Independent Counsel drew up a series of draft indictments of Mrs. Clinton. In the end, overwhelmed by the Lewinsky perjury case and stymied by Clinton stonewalls, prosecutors decided not to bring charges against Mrs. Clinton. But the evidence against the First Lady was significant. And the case sheds light as well on the mystery of why Mrs. Clinton is such a polarizing figure: Whitewater presents significant evidence that she was a crook, and got away with it.

Our Freedom of Information Act request for the draft indictments and our subsequent lawsuit was rejected. The court ruled that grand jury secrecy and Mrs. Clinton’s right to personal privacy barred disclosure of the draft indictments. We argue that given the enormous amount of grand jury and other information already made public, including in the vast “Final Report of the Independent Counsel” of January 2001, there is no secrecy or privacy left to protect.
A three-judge federal appeals panel will hear arguments Friday at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 20 of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, 333 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.
Micah Morrison is chief investigative reporter for Judicial Watch. Follow him on Twitter @micah_morrison. Tips: mmorrison@judicialwatch.org
Investigative Bulletin is published by Judicial Watch. Reprints and media inquiries: jfarrell@judicialwatch.org
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Beranton J. Whisenant, Jr. Ever heard of him?

New Suspicious Death Feeds Clinton 'Kill-spiracy'

When former DNC staffer Seth Rich was shot dead within blocks of his D.C.-area home, the motive for the homicide by D.C. police was robbery. It would have been the first robbery in which the victim’s wallet was left untouched, a high-priced watch was not stolen, and a gold chain was apparently deemed not worth snatching.

The only thing stolen from Seth Rich was his life.

The revelation that Rich was almost certainly the DNC staffer who supplied the now-infamous DNC email threads to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks further strengthened theories about Rich’s murder being tied to high-ranking members of the DNC.

There is another of two recent Clinton-related kill-spiracy theories that bears some resemblances to the Seth Rich case. To be clear, I am not claiming that every young person with ties to the DNC who dies unexpectedly was the victim of political assassination. I will only re-affirm the rarity of coincidence, and the adage that where there is smoke, there is most likely fire. But please, reach your own conclusions.

The story of Beranton J. Whisenant, Jr. cannot be told without explaining the current investigation into Imran Awan, and Awan’s connections to Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Awan has been the point man for Wasserman Schultz’s technology needs since 2005. It has been reported that Imran and his brothers Jamal and Abid, who would eventually become the IT-men for dozens of other Congressmen, are accused of stealing technology from Congress and accessing countless members’ emails and information without permission.

They were also reportedly paid $4 million for their services, in taxpayer money no less, since 2010, despite being rarely seen on premises. (Daily Caller)
The Awan brothers along with Imran’s wife have fled to Pakistan since the brothers became the target of the federal probe. It has been made clear that the Awan’s had unprecedented access to sensitive information and emails, and one reason for their freedom was the lack of a paper trail detailing what they had accessed and potentially duplicated or stolen:
“IT staff at HIR can be tracked for every keystroke they make,” a former House Information Resources member told the Daily Caller. But by comparison, “when these guys (the Awans) were granted access to the Member’s computer systems there is no oversight or tracking of what they may be doing on the Member’s system. For example they could make a copy of anything on the Member’s computer system to a thumb drive or have it sent to a private server they had set up and no one would know.”

When the computers which the Awans reportedly worked on were confiscated by Capitol police in connection with the probe, one member of the DNC, the one who had first taken on Imran as an employee, appeared to panic. That member was Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose own computer was one of those confiscated. You can watch her on video threatening the chief of the Capitol police, telling him that there will be “consequences” should he not return her laptop.

This sort of desperate attempt at reclaiming what is likely evidence in a federal investigation is not normal, and Wasserman Schultz’s argument, that because she was not the subject of the investigation her computer should not have been confiscated, was easily rebuffed. Debbie, it was your IT guy who was under investigation, and his job was to, in part, work on your computer.

Does it not seem as if there might be some things on that computer that Debbie would rather the police not see?

Which brings us to Beranton Whisenant, Jr., a 37-year-old member of the U.S. Attorney’s office major crimes unit who worked out of Miami and was reportedly immersed in numerous visa and passport fraud cases. The up-and-coming attorney’s body was found rolling in the crashing tide in the early hours of May 25th in Hollywood, FL.

West Palm Beach’s WPTV reported that police cited head trauma, likely a gunshot to the head, as the cause of death. One month after Whisenant’s death, the Miami Herald penned a piece documenting the Broward County medical examiner’s inaction in reporting details, including whether the incident was a homicide or suicide. Nearly two months have passed now, and still, the Broward County ME continues to deny public records requests into Whisenant’s case.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with Wasserman Schultz. DWS’s 23rdCongressional District includes Broward county, which encompasses the beach on which Whisenant was found and the medical examiner’s office which has yet to provide crucial details about the cause of death. Beyond this factual connection, connections between Wasserman Schultz, the DNC’s many scandals, and Beranton Whisenant are speculative.

Unlike the victims in many recent theories, Whisenant was not known to have been investigating the DNC, or- as some have speculated- the visa and immigration status of the Awan brothers. This could have to do with the Awans’ swift exit from the country after being notified of the investigation, their entry into the country before being employed by Democratic Congressmen, or both.
Again, it’s possible that Whisenant was never investigating Wasserman Schultz and/or the Awans.

But one must not ignore the facts and the similarities to the Seth Rich case. Whisenant was never a DNC staffer, but his operations as an immigration-specific investigator in a county adjacent to Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s, and his death at the time DWS- a figure inextricably linked to the DNC- is embroiled in a case involving shady immigration practices, cannot be ignored.

Like Seth Rich, Whisenant was killed in a relatively upscale neighborhood with nothing stolen from him, a sign that robbery was not the motive for the killing. In the Rich case, the D.C. police department proved to be an obstacle to independent investigators, withholding a laptop that investigators believed held the answers to the potential motive for the slaying. While not quite the same, the coyness of the Broward County medical examiner and the repeated denial of public records requests pertaining to Whisenant’s death belie routine procedure.

Whisenant was considered a standout within the U.S. Attorney’s office. By recorded accounts, he was happily married and a responsible father of three kids. Suicide is highly unlikely.

So, if it’s not a robbery and unlikely to be suicide, then what was the motive for what is almost certainly the shooting death of Beranton Whisenant?
Critics continue to call theories revolving around the DNC and murder conspiracies, but it is no conspiracy to consider possibilities when it comes to murder. It is called an investigation, and it is something that D.C. and Broward area detectives apparently are not very interested in the cases of Seth Rich and Beranton Whisenant.

How else can one interpret months passing without grieving families even receiving a certifiable cause of death or even a suspect for the Rich homicide?
Again, reach your own conclusion. Hopefully, information will be released that sheds more light on these unsolved cases.

If we are fortunate, such information resides on Debbie Wasserman’s coveted computer.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ok Slug-a-beds, listen up!

Rouzy-bouzy, wlonk and sillytonian: Language experts uncover 'lost' English words ideal for modern life | London Evening Standard

Slug-a-bed, quacksalver and wasteheart are among a list of 30 “forgotten” words from the English Language which experts say are ideal for modern life.

Language researchers at the University of York have drawn up a list of long-lost lingo which has fallen out of current use because they believe the terms are still relevant.

The list includes the unearthed word snout-fair meaning handsome, rouzy-bouzy for boisterously drunk and betrump as a verb meaning to cheat or deceive.
A slug-a-bed is someone who lazes about, a quacksalver is a person who falsely claims medical knowledge and wasteheart is a word used to express grief or pity.
Senior linguistics lecturer Dominic Watt led the team which spent three months searching for words in old books and dictionaries. 

He said: “As professional linguists and historians of English we were intrigued by the challenge of developing a list of lost words that are still relevant to modern life, and that we could potentially campaign to bring back into modern day language.

“We've identified lost words that are both interesting and thought-provoking, in the hope of helping people re-engage with language of old.”

According to the BBC, the complete list of 30 words are categorised into different groups: post-truth; appearance, personality and behaviour; and emotions.
Other old terms on the list include a nickum, meaning someone who is dishonest or a cheater; wlonk, an adjective to describe someone who is proud, haughty or rich; and merry-go-sorry to describe the mix of happiness and sorrow.

The 30 'lost' words

Ambodexter - One who takes bribes from both sides
Betrump - To deceive, cheat, elude, slip from
Coney-catch - To swindle, cheat, trick, dupe, deceive
Hugger-mugger - Concealment, secrecy
Nickum - A cheating or dishonest person
Quacksalver - A person who dishonestly claims knowledge of or skill in medicine; a pedlar of false cures
Rouker - A person who whispers or murmurs; one who spreads tales or rumours
Man-millinery - Suggestive of male vanity or pomposity
Parget - To daub or plaster (the face or body) with powder or paint
Snout-fair - Having a fair countenance; fair-faced, comely, handsome
Slug-a-bed - One who lies long in bed through laziness
Losenger - A false flatterer, a lying rascal, a deceiver
Momist - A person who habitually finds fault; a harsh critic
Peacockize - To behave like a peacock, to pose or strut ostentatiously
Percher - A person who aspires to a higher rank or status; an ambitious or self-assertive person
Rouzy-bouzy - Boisterously drunk
Ruff - To swagger, bluster, domineer. To ruff it out or to brag or boast of a thing
Sillytonian - A silly or gullible person, one considered as belonging to a notional sect of such people
Wlonk - Proud, haughty, rich, splendid, fine, magnificent
Fumish - Inclined to fume, hot-tempered, irascible, passionate
Awhape - To amaze, stupefy with fear, confound utterly
Hugge - To shudder, shrink, shiver, or shake with fear or with cold
Merry-go-sorry - A mixture of joy and sorrow
Stomaching - Full of malignity, given to cherish anger or resentment
Swerk - To be or become dark, gloomy, troubled, or sad
Teen - To vex, irritate, annoy, anger, enrage, to inflict suffering upon
Tremblable - Causing dread or horror
Wasteheart - Used to express grief, pity, regret, disappointment, or concern
Dowsabel - Applied generically to a sweetheart, 'lady-love'
Ear-rent - The figurative cost to a person of listening to trivial or incessant talk

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Elite Establishment of Political Cowards

‘Strange’ and ‘Strangers’

Two new studies of Islam portray recent outbursts of coordinated violence and oppression not as a reaction to Western liberalism but instead as fundamental to the religion itself

The Europe that conquered much of the world from the 15th century onward was empowered by its violent disunity. Its quarreling states large and small were sharpened in war and diplomacy by fighting one another at frequent intervals. Each war brought its share of death and destruction, but each was followed by vigorous procreation and reconstruction, so that Europe kept growing from war to war, in population and in wealth, while advancing in the arts, the sciences, and in technology. That Europe was still Christian except for its Jews, privileged survivors when the pagans were exterminated, but its very un-Christian central ideology was the Iliad’s: men love war, women love warriors. European wars over the centuries were fought by volunteers, whose urge to fight was far more widely admired than deplored, not least by women desirous of virile mates.

Europe’s tragedy is that while the Iliad’s ideology would now be deemed absurdly archaic, the sum total of the ideas that have replaced it does not permit its survival: The average fertility rate is far below the 2.1 replacement rate, so that it is only the aging of the population that prevents its disappearance, with a palpable loss of energy and creative vitality. As to why Europeans are producing so few babies—and they would be fewer still without the high fertility of the small percentage of Muslim mothers—there can be no definite answer, because in each country and each region there seems to be a different prevalence and different mix of refusals: men’s refusal of the responsibilities of fatherhood, women’s refusal of the burdens of motherhood.

As for the post-heroic ideas that have largely displaced the Iliad’s elemental prescriptions, they are varied and changeable and drifting right-ward of late, but among the better-educated anti-racism, feminism, post-colonial guilt, and a pacifist presumption remain the dominant mix, perhaps best exemplified by the Norwegian politician Karsten Nordal Hauken. In both a TV appearance and an April 6, 2016 article, Hauken proclaimed his own strong feelings of guilt and responsibility, because a male Somali asylum-seeker was being deported after serving four-and-a-half years in prison for rape: “I was the reason that he would not be in Norway anymore but rather sent to a dark, uncertain future in Somalia. … I see him mostly as a product of an unfair world, a product of an upbringing marked by war and despair.”

Hauken’s guilty plea may seem strange because he did not capture, prosecute, or judge the Somali. Yet there can be no doubt about his personal connection to the case: Karsten Nordal Hauken, self-described as “male, heterosexual, young Socialist Left Party member, feminist and anti-racist” was himself the object of the rape.

Hauken’s sentiments are by no means unusual: Many elite Europeans hold that Somalis have the right to leave the cruelties of Somalia, inflicted by fellow Somalis, to come to Europe with or without travel documents, as do all other Africans and, indeed, non-Africans—not to mention war refugees from Syria, even though the right of asylum which they truly do have under international treaties only applies to the first country they reach, and no country of Europe shares a border with Syria. That would be dismissed as a mere technicality by many contemporary Europeans,including Mario Bergoglio, the bishop of Rome, aka Pope Francis, who vehemently insists that all immigrants must be welcomed with open arms—a sharp departure from the views of his predecessor, Benedict.
With the pope easily outranking the prime minister in Italy, it is unsurprising that the Italian authorities have blithely ignored their own laws, including the acquired Schengen Treaty admission rules, by making no attempt whatever to separate and send home the vast mass of illegal migrants from the relatively few war refugees. Instead they did the opposite by sending their coast guard to collect them from the traffickers’ barges just off the Libyan coast. Germany does not have a Mediterranean coastline, yet in 2015, the still-very-popular Chancellor Angela Merkel took it upon herself to violate the Schengen rules (treaties outrank domestic laws) to invite Syrian war refugees without limit, and without any form of identity controls, thereby ensuring that many Afghans, Iranians, Eritreans, and Kurds set out for Germany. To do so, they had to cross all the countries in between, some of which attracted opprobrium by refusing transit. The European Commission threatened harsh economic retaliation, but, of course, it too is afflicted by the intersecting European maladies that make it as impotent as the national governments in dealing with immigration, or with Putin’s Russia, or with the subversion of national cultures by relatively small numbers of Muslim immigrants.

How large a threat do Muslim immigrants pose to a dying Europe? In 2016 they were only 4.6 percent of the population in the U.K. But their powerful Islamizing impact on schools, local governments, and police practices merits extended treatment in Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islamwhereby one learns that the death in question is not so strange after all, for it is merely a case of suicide—or, more precisely, attempted suicide, because there is an increasing resistance underway, which is even reversing Islamization in some European countries, at least in some respects. For example, in Italy, so lax with illegal immigration, there is no laxity at all when it comes to Islamist violence, with summary deportations and many arrests of would-be terrorists, and not a single fatality since it all started, in sharp contrast to France next door. More than 160 imams are in Italian prisons, some merely self-appointed to their ministries post-imprisonment, but others for preaching what others proclaim with impunity elsewhere in Europe.

Murray is very effective in fully identifying the deformed, guilt-ridden liberalism √† la Karsten Nordal Hauken that generates illiberal concessions to intolerance—and to violence. He rightly gives extended treatment to the Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who once held a seat in the Netherlands parliament and whose denunciations of female genital mutilation, forced marriages, and polygamy were themselves denounced as extremist, even racist, by many leaders of Dutch society, while the Dutch police professed their inability to protect her from local Muslims, forcing her into exile.

When it comes to Sweden, Murray rightly presents the rape scandal as emblematic while also surveying the territorial loss of control manifest in Malm√∂, among other places. But it is not clear if the Swedish rape phenomenon can properly be called a “scandal,” because it continues to be blandly denied by the government and, indeed, the entire establishment—there was an outpouring of much-applauded ridicule when Trump mentioned it. Yet the numbers are simple enough: In 1975, there were 421 rapes reported to the police; in 2014, the number was 6,620. Given that most migrants are young Muslim males brought up in places where any uncovered woman is fair prey, the numbers are no great surprise.

What is surprising is the eagerness of the press to cover up the facts. On Feb. 2, 2015, the Swedish press reported the gang-rape of a Swedish woman on the ferry Amorella under the headline “Eight Swedes questioned over ferry ‘gang rape.’”
When it turned out that the men were not, in fact, ethnically Swedes but rather Somalis, the Swedish press (Aftonbladed, Expressen, etc.) merely changed the headlines to read “Swedish citizens questioned over ferry ‘gang rape,’” When the investigative and right-wing Nya Tider published the fact that they were not Swedish citizens but rather asylum seekers and therefore could only be described as Somalis, the Aftonbladed and Expressen simply ignored the correction. Their fear, of course, is that publishing the truth would trigger a backlash against Muslim immigrants. That has been a widely shared fear since Sept. 11: Every time Islamists commit some outrage, there is a frenzy not over the victims but rather over the imminent danger of attacks on Muslims at large—and that is curious indeed, because there were hardly attacks on Muslims, even in violent America, after 2,983 were killed.

Murray is at his best in presenting Michel Houellebecq, the French author whose novels have been steadily decoding Europe’s post-heroic and feebly sexual nihilism since his Extension du Domaine de la Lutte of 1994. Houellebecq has been widely famous in the West since his best-seller, Plateforme, of 2001. His Soumission(Submission) of 2015 profoundly agitated French politics by presenting a totally plausible sequence of events that result in the Islamization of France, with a cynical, opportunistic, and feeble academic as the protagonist. French is one of my native languages and I became a Houellebecq devotee years ago (since Plateforme) because I was captivated by his style as well as by his subject matter (including the perils of too much self-realization). Even his fiercest critics—some were agitated years ago by his offhand remark that Islam is “nonetheless” the most stupid of religions—concede that Houellebecq has single-handedly invented a new prose splendidly classical in its cadenced tonalities, yet utterly modern, hence a perfect fit with his utterly realistic contemporary tales, and Soumission is certainly that.

“Submission” is of course an exact translation of the Arabic word “Islam,” a religion far more often willfully misrepresented than ignorantly misunderstood (you will hear professors of Middle East studies and such assert that it means “peace”): To cite one example among a thousand or more, Verso has just published Suleiman Mourad’s The Mosaic of Islam, which is squarely aimed at the U.S. collegiate market (Mourad teaches at Smith College), wherein we learn that the Quran’s more murderous verses count for nothing, because along with the entire corpus of Muhammad’s sayings it has “always” been subject to change, interpretation and “rigorous” debate. When the Quran says “kill” you should therefore instead read: admonish, or persuade, or plead, or “swim backstroke,” I suppose. In any case, he adds: “The Quran legitimizes a lot of things that modern Muslims consider embarrassing: slavery, military jihad, control of women.”
Yet unreconstructed interpretations of “jihad” continue to have wide appeal beyond the confines of Smith College, as countless polls testify, and, more to the point, as the ubiquity of jihadi violence across the world from Nigeria to Mindanao demonstrates. The control of women is both an overwhelming reality in Muslim countries—and any dense Muslim community anywhere—and is often reaffirmed by state-salaried preachers. Slavery, yes, is only an exotic survival (I saw slaves in Qatar eight years ago)—or was, until its revival with the capture of Yazidi women; the men were killed when they refused to convert, in strict accordance with Quranic injunctions.

Mourad’s short book is replete with misrepresentations, yet can scarcely be criticized as especially misleading. Simple, bare-faced lying pervades the approved textbooks of what might be called “American Collegiate Islam”—the mildest of religions, in which apostasy is not— repeat, not—a capital crime (notwithstanding laws in some 20 countries), and has nothing, but really nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the Islamic state; or al-Qaida, of course; or Boko Haram; or Laskar-i-Islam; or Abu Sayaf; or the Taliban; or any of the other 60 or 70 really sizable jihadi organizations around the world, which could not exist if they did not have substantial approval among many more Muslims.

It is in its determined violation of this unique regime of voluntarily induced cognitive dissonance that Graeme Wood’s The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State has caused such a scandal. Instead of synthesizing his own version of American Collegiate Islam to be assigned to hapless students by U.S. college teachers of Islam, Wood has interviewed as many active supporters of the now-almost-defunct Islamic state as he could find in Cairo and elsewhere, without actually going to Mosul or Raqqah, to find out what they believed and why.
Wood interviewed many very different believers (one a Japanese academic) yet obtained very consistent answers. First, it is evident that Wood’s believers cannot be described as mindless fanatics—they had arrived at their faith in the necessity of a caliphate by a logical process once they adopted Islam (or took it seriously, if born in it), demonstrating that the Islamic State was no anomaly. Rather, it was a fulfillment of a rigorous form of Islam that is supported not only by the tens of thousands who went to fight, but by the 100 million or so Deobandis of India and Pakistan (and Birmingham) and “Wahhabis” of Qatar (yes) and Saudi Arabia, aka the followers of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (d. 1792), who revived the strict Islam ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1328). Though Wood does discuss this Islam at length, he wholly omits the Deobandis, who now control at least 30,000(!) mosques around the world through preachers sent out from their immense (and tax-exempt) Darul Uloom seminary in Deoband, India. (In spite of its pervasive extremism—it was a fatwa from Deoband that mandated the Taliban destruction of the immense Buddhas of Bamiyan in March 2001—Darul Uloom is well protected in India … because of its extremism: It opposes Pakistan on the grounds that Muslims should rule all parts of India!)

All of the above concur with ibn Taymiyyah that insufficiently devout Muslims should be flogged into submission and that heretical or hypocritical Muslims (including the Shi’a) are much worse than properly submissive Christians or Jews—only disagreeing on whether they should be given a chance to renounce heresy or killed outright. Because Iran’s clerics have greatly intensified the cult of Ali and of their 12 Imams at the expense of sole devotion to Muhammad, and also because (to them) bizarre Shi’a ceremonies are now broadcast for them to see, very many Sunnis now agree that Shi’ism is indeed a heresy and thus subject to the death penalty, even if they do not support the Islamic State’s summary roadside executions (though in Pakistan, deadly attacks on Shi’a at prayer are an almost daily occurrence).

In other words, Islamic violence against non-Muslims is, in fact, peripheral to the greater violence directed at fellow Muslims—which really varies only in degree between the routine oppression of women (explicitly enjoined in the Quran) to the periodic outbursts of mass extremist violence, such as that of the Almohads who drove Maimonides into exile to find refuge in Fatimid Egypt in 1168 or so (esoteric Shi’a Sevener Ismailis themselves, the Fatimids had to be tolerant, and in fact were).

Wood’s central finding is therefore that the extremism of the Islamic State, though very modern in some ways, was not a reaction to modern events, such as U.S. invasion of Iraq (as has been endlessly argued by apologists). It was, instead, the latest in a long series of such outbursts of mass violence that have marked Islam since its birth: Muhammad, after all, lived by the sword, before and after preaching his religion, yet he is still Islam’s perfect man whom all should strive to imitate.

But the more serious problem for non-Muslims is not violence, but rather the West’s own internal encounter with unreconstructed mainstream Islamic beliefs. Both Houellebecq’s Submission and Murray’s book are not optimistic about the result. Not many Muslims outside the Middle East support jihadi violence. Yet the latest Pew survey, issued Aug. 9, shows that support for the imposition of Sharia—complete with hand-chopping and the ritual humiliation of non-believers—is at least substantial (from 37 percent) or overwhelming in every country with a large Muslim population (including Russia), with the solitary exception of Azerbaijan, whose secularism is daily reinforced by the immediate proximity of Iran’s extremism to the south and jihadism in Dagestan to the north. In Afghanistan, that support is 99 percent.

In the United States, the number of Muslims has increased by a million in the last decade. Those who believe that routine versions of Islamic fundamentalism must dissolve on contact with American conditions had better consider the demographic expansion of American Chassidim and the Amish—bearing in mind that jihad is as integral to Islam as pacifism is to the Amish.
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Edward N. Luttwak, a military strategist and senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is the author of, most recently, The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

North Korea, Again

‘Sanctions not working but only give Pyongyang time to master ballistic & nuclear programs’

The Russian-Chinese ‘double freeze’ initiative seems to be the only viable solution to the Korean crisis, former US diplomat Jim Jatras has told RT, warning that the tensions could soon reach a point of no return, where hundreds of thousands of people will suffer.

RT: The UN Security Council has just adopted new sanctions on North Korea. Now, this particular test missile, does it change things?
Jim Jatras: I think there will be a very strong response and reaction from Washington on this. I don't think they look at any missile or any test of a nuclear weapon that North Korea does as ‘just another test.’ I think they look at it as an incremental step in developing a capability that in the minds of American policymakers, not entirely unfounded, is at some point going to be a threat to the United States.

So when new sanctions are passed with the stated intention of causing North Korea to reign in their program and seems to have the exact opposite effect, you think at some point someone is going to say, 'Gosh, this isn't working really well', and try to figure out something new. I do not know if we are there yet.

RT: You mentioned that the new sanctions which have been put in place does not seem to work. What can be done?

JJ: Well, unfortunately, I think there are some people that do think there is a military solution. If you read the American media you see from various points in the political spectrum all the time people say: ‘Now is the time to act, we must do something militarily about North Korea while we still have time.’ And they say that knowing that it could have a devastating impact on the lives, ending the lives of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of Koreans, maybe put us in the position where we are at war with China. But they are willing to undertake that risk. I do not think that makes any sense.

On the other hand, if we talk about diplomacy, then we really have to be talking about trading something for something. If we want the North Koreans to reign in their program then what are we willing to do to back up in some respect? Against something like the Chinese 'double freeze' proposal which is considered a complete nonstarter by Washington policy makers.

RT: You mentioned the ‘double freeze’ initiative – proposed by Russia and China – where North Korea freezes its missile tests, while South Korea and the US will stop military drills. Yesterday, South Korea conducted military drills, and now we see this test from Pyongyang. Does this mean we moving further away from a diplomatic solution to the conflict?

JJ: So it seems. And I think the next thing we have to see will be the reaction from Washington and Seoul after this latest North Korean missile test. My guess is we are going to see more saber rattling, more tests, more decapitation drills, more transfer of advanced weapons to South Korea. There is even talk that South Korea now wants to have American nuclear weapons stationed on their territory.
It seems that the knee jerk response here is to say. ‘Okay, the sanctions and threats against North Korea did not work, they continue with their test, so now we have to come in with more military exercises, more threats'. And then we'll be surprised when they keep testing their weapons.

RT: This entire situation that has been developing this year is far beyond the usual DPRK-US tit-for-tat. Do you think the latest missile, flying through another country's airspace, will be treated differently? How are we going to have a military response on that?

JJ: Well, they have fired missiles over Japan before. And frankly, I think they are likely to do that again. I think we are at the point where the quantitative and incremental developments end up taking on a qualitative aspect, that we are nearing the point where there either has to be some backing down from this military confrontation, that has to be mutual, and we have some sort of diplomacy, or something is going to happen, somebody is going to do something that gets us past the point of no return. And as I say there are people here in Washington already advocating that. It is not at all thinkable in the minds of at least some of the policymakers here.
RT: President Donald Trump said after the UN Security Council adopted sanctions Monday, that the resolution doesn't mean a lot and can't be compared to what could come later. What reaction can we expect from the Trump administration?

JJ: That is a good question. As I’ve said, we’ll see the stepping up of the military drills and deployments in South Korea. We also hear calls for even tougher sanctions. Well, ‘gosh, we were reasonable on the American side, bringing to watering down that resolution in the UN in order to bring in the Chinese and the Russians along. That did not work. We’ll probably go back and try to press them for even tougher sanctions.’

As we know, the United States wanted a complete cut-off of oil going into North Korea, we wanted a freeze on the personal assets of Kim Jung-un and other top members of the government. That did not happen either. So I’m sure we will go back to the well on that.

I don't know if the Russians and the Chinese will go along with that. I sometimes have a sense that what they are doing is allowing Washington to spin out its rope, to see how far they want to go with this, try to moderate it, and hoping that at some point people here feel that they’ve reached a dead end and will think of something else. But I do not know, but I think it is a very dangerous strategy on their part if they think they can somehow humor Washington into a more moderate stance.

‘Time to try diplomacy, sanctions only give Pyongyang time to master ballistic & nuclear programs’

Most Americans and South Koreans support a diplomatic solution to the crisis, Simon Chun, a member of the Korea Peace Network has told RT.

“Seventy-one percent of Americans, whether Republican or Democrat support diplomacy, as well as over 80 percent of South Koreans support diplomacy,” Chun pointed out, underlining that the “most important variable will be public pressure.”

“Those people who support diplomacy who have patiently waited for sanctions to work, they are going to say, ‘enough is enough’, it is time to try diplomacy,” the activist believes.

"I also think that there is great public and also international pressure for diplomacy. Russia and China strong support the 'double freeze.' And I think this is a very viable approach."
Chun also explained that sanctions have so far done nothing to halt Pyongyang's nuclear development, and that it's time for a “policy change” in Washington.
“Sanctions have not worked, they are not going to work, and it will just give them [N. Korea] more time to master its existing ballistic and nuclear programs,” Chun told RT.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017