Thursday, August 19, 2021

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Can the West be honest about the Islamist threat?
That fact notwithstanding, since 2001, Americans have been preoccupied with the idea that Islamophobia is our greatest worry with respect to conflicts in the Middle East. But while any instance of prejudice against Muslims is deplorable, that has produced a mindset that has seemed to argue that anyone who speaks the truth about radical Islam and those who enable it are Islamophobes. Indeed, in one of the worst such instances, the Anti-Defamation League – the organization tasked with defending Jews against anti-Semitism – actually opposed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's nomination for the post.

They claimed that he was an Islamophobe because he called upon American Muslims to condemn acts of terror committed by Islamists. Groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center also regularly smear those who are honest about the Islamist threat as bigots.

The left is preoccupied with criticisms of American conservatives with whom they have disagreements on many domestic political issues and whom they have falsely accused of waging a "war on women." And yet, liberal groups are curiously unenthusiastic about calling out those who are waging an actual war on women such as the government of Iran and other Islamists.

Just as some who deplore terrorism seem to exclude Palestinian terror against Israel from their concerns, the same people are more concerned that the Jewish state's liberal policies that ensure freedom for gays be used as a reason – what they call "pinkwashing" – to refute attacks on the legitimacy of Zionism.

The result is that discourse about the subject has become hopelessly distorted, and the misogyny, homophobia and anti-Semitism that is normative in most of the Muslim and Arab worlds is downplayed or ignored. That makes a mockery of any attempt to stir up advocacy for human rights in countries dominated by Islamists simply because to speak up exposes those who do so to false charges of prejudice.

The willingness of too many to give a pass to members of the left-wing congressional "Squad" because two of them are Muslims – Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) – for their anti-Semitism and relative silence about the fate of their co-religionists under the thumb of groups like the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah and their Iranian allies do more to undermine human-rights advocacy than anything said by their critics.

The fall of Afghanistan and the abandonment of its people to the tender mercies of Islamists are a reminder that the struggle against those who are a real threat to the rights of women and minorities must involve a frank discussion about what it is that we oppose and why. As long as we fail to note that the oppression that these illiberal groups promote is rooted in a popular version of their faith, we will fail to help those under their power and to prevent the further spread of this illiberal movement.
Durban IV: Take a Stand Against Hate

Noah Rothman: The Worst Presidential Dereliction in Memory
We have placed the fate of untold thousands of Americans and our Afghan allies in the hands of the Taliban. They dictate the terms and tempo of our operations. We depend on the Taliban to allow foreign nationals and credentialed Afghans into Hamid Karzai International Airport. According to what remains of the American diplomatic presence in Kabul, “the United States government cannot ensure safe passage” into the airport. We are dependent on the beneficence of a theocratic militia that has demonstrated no capacity for mercy. And the U.S. government has no intention of remedying this condition.

When pressed as to why America’s withdrawal strategy involved the sacrifice of the capable Bagram Airbase in favor of a much smaller commercial airport, Gen. Milley insisted that this was a better “tactical solution in accordance with the mission set that we were given and in accordance with getting the troops down to about a 600, 700 number.” In translation, either civilian or military leadership wanted the U.S. footprint in Afghanistan to be so small as to be incapable of defending an installation as large as Bagram, so it had to be abandoned. That has proven terribly insufficient to the scale of what we’re trying to pull off. So, we’re going to remedy the condition now that we have upward of 4,500 soldiers back on the ground facilitating evacuations, right? Wrong.

When pressed as to why the operation to retake Bagram and expedite the exfiltration of American personnel and allies isn’t already underway, Milley stumbled. “Good question,” he stuttered. “Great question. But I’m not going to discuss branches and sequels off of our current operation. I’ll just leave it at that.” We can assume that the mission to redeploy troops in numbers sufficient to get Americans out in a timely manner isn’t underway because Joe Biden will not authorize it.

Time is of the essence, but not because Americans in their untold thousands are trapped behind enemy lines, any one of whom could become a hostage that would tie the hands of policymakers in Washington. No, time is running out because Washington had set an artificial political timeframe for Afghan withdrawal, and they’re sticking to it. “We’re going to get everyone that we can possibly evacuate evacuated,” Austin meekly promised. “And I’ll do that as long as we possibly can until the clock runs out or we run out of capability.”

What a heart-stopping admission. Until that moment, your United States citizenship meant something. Now, however, it is something that entitles you to the protection of your government—a government that has put you in this jeopardy—only if our self-limited capabilities aren’t overextended and if it is conducive to the kind of news cycle the president wants.
Melanie Phillips: After America
Much deserved opprobrium has been heaped upon US President Joe Biden for his shameful remarks on Monday justifying his decision to cut and run from Afghanistan. He blamed everyone but himself for the Taliban’s expedited return to power, and accused the Afghan army — who have lost almost 70,000 soldiers fighting the Taliban — of having
collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight… American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves… We gave them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide them was the will to fight for that future.

Today, the Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat made an emotional and blistering speech in the House of Commons emergency debate. You can watch his speech here.

Tugendhat served in Afghanistan both as a soldier and as an adviser to the governor of Helmand province. He spoke about the soldiers who had died in Afghanistan, the good men he had watched going into the earth and who had taken with them “a part of all of us”. He said how proud he had been to be decorated by the American 82nd Airborne Division after the capture of Musa Qala in 2006. Making an effort to compose himself, he went on:
To see their Commander-in-Chief call into question the courage of men that I fought with, to claim that they ran; it’s shameful. Those who have never fought for the colours they fly should be careful about criticising those who have.

He went on to raise the issue that must now be preoccupying all who have depended upon the United States as the principal defender of the free world. For as I wrote here, the US has now shown itself to be a faithless ally and the weak link in that defence.

As a result, said Tugendhat, there was now a need to
reinvigorate our European NATO partners, to make sure we are not dependent on a single ally, on the decision of a single leader, but that we can work together with with Japan and Australia, France and Germany, with partners large and small and make sure that we hold the line together.

It was patience, he said, that had won the Cold War, achieved peace in Cyprus and brought prosperity to South Korea where America had stationed more than ten times the number of troops than it ever had in Afghanistan. He went on:
So let’s stop talking about “forever wars”. Let’s recognise that “forever peace” is bought not cheaply but hard, through determination and the will to endure. And the tragedy of Afghanistan is that we’re swapping that patient achievement for a second fire and a second war.

The Afghan gov't overthrown by Taliban never existed - ex-soldier
“They believed it because they had to; they couldn’t bring themselves to admit that this might not be real, it was just a sham,” said Graham Platner, who served in Iraq and then Afghanistan as a US soldier, and later as a security contractor. “Military officers are not trained to admit that maybe we can’t do this.”

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Platner reveals the deeply troubling levels of corruption, waste and myths that underpinned the US role in Afghanistan, and explains why the country fell to the Taliban in just a few days.

The Taliban captured their first provincial capital of Zaranj on August 7, and by August 15 they were in Kabul after President Ashraf Ghani had fled the country. US forces had left Bagram Air Base in early July, roughly a month before the Taliban offensive gained momentum and swept over the country.

Platner came to Afghanistan with high hopes in 2010. He’d been in Iraq, and would ultimately serve for eight years with the US Infantry. He came to Afghanistan with the surge of US troops that was supposed to turn around a war that had already dragged on for a decade.

“My unit was deployed in November 2010 as part of the Obama surge to move troops into the country to conduct counter-insurgency the right way,” he said. “I believed it before I left.”

Platner had seen mistakes in Iraq, and believed that Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the International Security Assistance Forces, and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, his predecessor, were saying the right things about Afghanistan.

McChrystal said “that we would now drive on the road like we are part of the Afghans, and walk more and get out of our trucks,” remembers Platner. “And as an infantry sergeant who believed counter-insurgency could work, I wanted to do this, and I was excited to go and fight in an army that was going to take seriously this strategy that I had fully bought into.”

JINSA PodCast: U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Fall of Kabul
Vance Serchuk of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) joins Erielle to discuss the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, the magnitude of the consequences, and what the Biden Administration must prioritize in the coming days.

Lee Smith: Assabiya Wins Every Time
It’s frightening to see American leadership pulling America apart at the seams. And it’s shocking to see our constitutional order ripped to shreds as the establishment undercuts property rights, imposes capricious public health regulations, mandates experimental medical treatments, and holds political prisoners. But the lesson of Ibn Khaldun is that these destructive policies are simply indications that a cycle that has been repeated through the ages is once again in motion. To watch history erupt in our own timeline is indeed terrifying, but it is part of the natural order of human societies.

“Their prowess disappears as Time feasts on them,” Ibn Khaldun wrote of dying regimes. “They reach their limit, the limit that is set by the nature of human urbanization and political superiority.” Evidence of the establishment’s decay is everywhere you look—the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, the public health bureaucracy’s failed COVID response, even Obama’s 60th birthday. Who would publicly celebrate leadership of an effort to split a nation on behalf of a sectarian gang that is only kept from each other’s throats by driving them at a much larger force, one made more cohesive and angry by the elite’s incessant attacks? Only a deracinated and delirious regime would parade an assortment of celebrities from the worlds of entertainment and politics to demonstrate its self-arrogated superiority in front of a nation it locked down, bankrupted, and mocked—only an intoxicated elite with no one left to take away the car keys.

By definition, the numbers are always against elites—they consist of small coteries of leadership and their needy retinues. The success, indeed survival, of any elite depends on its ability to cultivate and maintain group solidarity. To make public demonstrations of breaking assabiya means they are forfeiting the privilege of leadership, which therefore, as Ibn Khaldun wrote, will pass to another branch of the same nation. While the ruling regime falls apart, he wrote, “the group feeling of other people (within the same nation) is strong. Their force cannot be broken. Their emblem is recognized to be victorious. As a result, their hopes of achieving royal authority, from which they had been kept until now by a superior power within their own group, are high. Their superiority is recognized, and, therefore, no one disputes their claim to royal authority. They seize power.”

We are part of history unfolding before us, as it has throughout time. But to be clear, what we are witnessing is not the end of America. It’s just the end of this particular branch of American leadership.

Tarek Fatah: This Betrayal of Afghanistan Is Beyond Belief
Much has been written on the 'Fall of Kabul' and the 'Victory of Islam' over 'non-believers' such as the West and India, and celebrations have broken out among India's Muslim community as well as Pakistan's. However, these celebrations of Islam's victory over the 'kufaar' is not restricted to jihadis and their admirers in South Asia.

Sam Westrop of the Middle East Forum has listed major Muslim figures in the West who have expressed their joy at the Taliban victory in Kabul.

Among them is Yasir Nadeem Al Wajidi, Islamic cleric in the U.S., director of Darul Uloom Online, and lead teacher of the Institute of Islamic Education Elgin IL. He tweeted: "Congratulations to #Taliban and the people of Afghanistan on the rebirth of the Islamic Emirate! Allah has once again given you the opportunity to present to the world the Islamic system based on justice and fairness. Your blessed entry into #Kabul is reminiscent of the Prophetic era."

Kamil Ahmad, a Canadian Islamic cleric who lectures at TV channels Peace TV and Huda TV, and teaches at the Islamic Online University, said: "Whether you like the #IslamicEmirateOfAfghanistan (aka #Taliban) or not, they are now in power. As long as their mandate is to rule by Islam and not man-made ideologies and systems of governance, they should be supported."

I asked the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) for its statement on the Taliban takeover of Kabul, since the Canadian Muslim community has a large Afghan population, but I received no response. There were other Canadian Islamic groups that did not release with their position on the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, I sat on numerous Indian TV networks discussing Afghanistan and was shocked to see the glee and joy of Pakistanis and Indian Muslims celebrating the Taliban victory.

On the approaching 20th anniversary of 9/11 — while Joe Biden may not realize — the forces of Islamism will be celebrating the deaths in the United States, wherever proponents of Islamism reside, be it in Kabul, Karachi or Kashmir.
How the Taliban takeover changes the dynamics in a Biden-Bennett meeting - analysis
ISRAEL HAS never really entertained offers of international forces or US surveillance technology, as former secretary of state John Kerry suggested, to take the place of IDF boots on the ground in the Jordan Valley. But the current state of affairs in Afghanistan makes American security assurances weaker and less reliable. Who’s to say that the US won’t get sick of guaranteeing Israel’s security and stop doing it, consequences be damned?

The same is true of US security assurances when it comes to Iran. The Biden administration is still pushing for a return to a nuclear deal with Tehran that would allow it to have a nuclear weapon when the deal expires in less than a decade. Washington has asked Jerusalem to work with it instead of making a loud public campaign against the nuclear negotiations, as former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu did, saying it will make sure Iran can never threaten Israel with nuclear weapons. And Bennett agreed to greater cooperation on the issue, even saying on Wednesday that he is taking an “approach of partnership.” But the situation in Afghanistan must give him pause when taking a long-term view on the Iranian nuclear threat.

This is why the quintessentially Israeli philosophy about national security is that Israel needs to be able to defend itself on its own. Partnerships are good and should be cultivated, but Israel cannot rely on them.

The weakening of the US position in the region following Afghanistan could also make Israel more vulnerable in the sense that its enemies may test Israel to see if it is still strong even when its largest strategic ally is wavering.

But it could strengthen Israel’s standing in the region, by encouraging partnerships with other Middle Eastern countries with strong ties to the US, such as the Abraham Accords countries – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.

When Bennett heads to the White House – whenever it will be – he will be encountering a US president with weaker levers of pressure and less credibility than it had just a week ago in regard to the Middle East. But as one source close to Bennett posited, he may also find that Biden is more willing to take Bennett’s and Israel’s regional allies’ positions more seriously, as the US seeks to reduce engagement in the region while avoiding a repeat of its blunders.

UK Parliament Holds Biden in Contempt for Afghanistan Withdrawal
The United Kingdom's Parliament on Wednesday held President Joe Biden in contempt for his withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, calling the move "catastrophic" and "shameful."

Members of Parliament, including some who served alongside U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, accused Biden of "throwing us and everybody else to the fire" with his decision to withdraw. They also attacked Biden for his "shameful" criticism of the Afghan National Army and said it was "dishonourable" to blame Afghanistan's fighting force for the Taliban's takeover.

"Those who have never fought for the colours they fly should be careful about criticising those who have," said Tom Tugendhat, a British Army veteran of the Afghanistan war and the Conservative chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Biden is one of only a few U.S. presidents who have not served in the military.

After the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, Biden said he stood "squarely behind" his decision to pull out, adding that "there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces." He blamed Afghanistan's president and military for the collapse of the country.

"American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war, and dying in a war, that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves," Biden said.
Dennis Prager: ‘This Is Manifestly Not Saigon’ and Our Society of Lies
I wrote about the moral, diplomatic, international and American tragedy of abandoning Afghanistan a few months ago, so here I will address only the comment by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on ABC’s “This Week,” and what it says about our country.

Commenting on the American helicopters picking up Americans from the roof of the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Blinken said, “This is manifestly not Saigon.”

That statement sums up the state of the United States of America. We have become a Society of Lies. As I have known since I studied the Soviet Union and communism at the Russian Institute of Columbia University, truth has never been a left-wing value. There are honest and dishonest liberals; there are honest and dishonest conservatives. But truth is both a liberal value and a conservative value. It is not a left-wing value. People on the left are committed to saying whatever furthers their agenda, true or false.

I have debated the question of whether leftists believe the lies they utter for much of my lifetime. And I have concluded that they generally do – in part because they just don’t ask themselves the question: “Is what I am saying true or false?”

The fact is that Kabul 2021 is Saigon 1975. And everyone with eyes to see knows this. Yet, the secretary of state of the United States, representing a left-wing administration and party that is therefore committed to saying whatever is deemed beneficial to its interests regardless of whether it’s true, shamelessly announces that Kabul “is manifestly not Saigon.”

Does Blinken believe what he said? Perhaps. Did he ask himself if that was a true statement before he made it? Not likely.

Now you can see how this statement about Kabul is related to “men give birth.”
Christine Rosen: The Biden Administration’s Vision of a Woke Taliban
So why is the Biden Administration and its supporters in the media talking about the Taliban as if the terrorist group has experienced some kind of #MeToo-style reckoning since they last held power?

To believe, even for a moment, that a violent, theocratic regime has altered its views on women is worse than naive. It’s despicable.

The women of Afghanistan are, tragically, required to be more realistic than the Biden Administration and their pontificating Western feminist “allies.” This week, as cities fell to Taliban soldiers, women rushed to find burqas to cover themselves before they were beaten or killed for failing to do so. They saw their daughters turned away from schoolrooms and from the offices where they used to work. Zarifa Ghafari, Afghanistan’s youngest female mayor, told a British newspaper this week, “I’m sitting here waiting for them to come. There is no one to help me or my family. I’m just sitting with them and my husband. And they will come for people like me and kill me. I can’t leave my family. And anyway, where would I go?” This isn’t fatalism on her part; it is, unfortunately, clear-eyed realism.

Actions speak louder than words for Americans, too. Donald Trump’s utterly misguided withdrawal plan and Biden’s disastrous execution of it shows just how much our actions have failed to match our rhetoric. We have failed the people of Afghanistan, in particular the many Afghans who assisted our soldiers for the past twenty years as support staff, and translators, and guides. The Biden Administration’s incompetence and delay in processing their applications for entry to the U.S. will cost thousands of them their lives. As well, with the evidence before us of the administration’s bungled exit strategy, the United States should already have done what several other nations found fit to do immediately: Pledge to take as many Afghans fleeing persecution as risk their lives to reach our door.

Ignore the Biden Administration’s feel-good rhetoric and “firmly-worded statements.” No one in the administration can claim ignorance of the Taliban’s previous treatment of women. And anyone who claims we should give the Taliban the benefit of the doubt now is either a fool or a monster.

Did ‘gender studies’ lose Afghanistan?
The initiatives piled up one after another. Do-gooders established a “National Masculinity Alliance”, so a few hundred Afghan men could talk about their “gender roles” and “examine male attitudes that are harmful to women.”

Police facilities included childcare facilities for working mothers, as though Afghanistan’s medieval culture had the same needs as 1980s Minneapolis. The army set a goal of 10 percent female participation, which might make sense in a Marvel movie, but didn’t to devout Muslims. Even as America built an Afghan army ended up collapsing in days, and a police force whose members frequently became highwaymen, it always made sure to execute its gender goals.

But all this wasn’t just a stupid waste of money. It routinely actively undermined the “nation building” that America was supposed to be doing. According to an USAID observer, the gender ideology included in American aid routinely caused rebellions out in the provinces, directly causing the instability America was supposedly fighting. To get Afghanistan’s parliament to endorse the women’s rights measures it wanted, America resorted to bribing them. Soon, bribery became the norm for getting anything done in the parliament.

But instead of rattling off anecdotes, perhaps a single video clip will do the job. Dadaism and conceptual art are of dubious value even in the West, but at some point some person who is not in prison for fraud decided that Afghan women would be uplifted by teaching them about Marcel Duchamp:

Watch the video, and you can see the exact point (specifically, 31 seconds in) where the American mission in Afghanistan dies.

Biden State Dept Moved to Abolish Crisis Response Bureau Months Before Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan
The Biden State Department moved in June to cancel a program overseeing the protection and evacuation of American citizens stationed overseas in the case of an emergency, just as the Taliban was taking over Afghanistan, according to an internal State Department memo obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and multiple sources familiar with the matter.

The Biden State Department moved to dissolve the Trump-era crisis response program, according to an internal State Department memo and sources familiar with the matter. That memo, which was marked sensitive but unclassified and was signed by Deputy Secretary Brian McKeon, approved the "discontinuation of the establishment, and termination of, the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR)," a new State Department entity created during the Trump administration to coordinate emergency response services overseas.

The CCR bureau was established late last year by then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo. In a notification sent to Congress in October and also obtained by the Free Beacon, the Trump administration said the new bureau would provide "aviation, logistics, and medical support capabilities for the Department's operational bureaus, thereby enhancing the secretary's ability to protect American citizens overseas in connection with overseas evacuations in the aftermath of a natural or man-made disaster."

The decision to dissolve the CCR was handed down just months before the Taliban overtook the Afghan capital of Kabul, leaving the Biden administration scrambling to evacuate more than 15,000 Americans still trapped in the country. It is unclear if the Biden State Department has an alternative plan or a similar bureau that could coordinate emergency services alongside other government agencies, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Feigning Support for Stranded Allies
For the better part of a decade, the Washington Free Beacon has been chronicling the trials and travails of our Afghan allies, who have struggled to secure visas to travel to the United States—and to safety. The Obama and Trump administrations failed these men and women. Now, President Joe Biden has abandoned them to almost certain slaughter.

Over the past few days, however, these brave Afghans have found a new source of support in "Squad" members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., New York) and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) as well as their hangers-on, such as congressman Mondaire Jones (D., N.Y.).

AOC declared that we have a "moral obligation to the Afghan people. … We must waste no time or expense in helping refugees safely & swiftly leave Afghanistan." Omar announced that the United States "must hold the airport in Kabul and lead a multinational airlift operation."

To which we ask: How, exactly? The "Squad" wanted an end to endless war. They got it.

In July, Omar introduced an amendment calling for an accelerated end to the Afghan war, alleging that the United States had wrought "a generation of devastation." AOC has for years called on Congress to yank war authorization and in 2019 argued that the United States' invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11 was "a mistake."

The chaos, fear, and reprisals that have swept Afghanistan are the result of the "Squad" members' favored policy in action, implemented by a craven and apparently remorseless Biden administration.

The Taliban now control Afghanistan, save one runway surrounded by heavily armed jihadists. Refugees elsewhere in the country have no way to get to Kabul, while those in Kabul face Taliban checkpoints to get to the airport. The Taliban have lists of those Afghans who have aided the United States and who now fear summary execution. How does the "Squad" propose we help our friends now? They don't say.

UN Starts Moving Some Staff Out of Afghanistan
The United Nations said on Wednesday it started moving up to 100 international staff out of Afghanistan to work from Kazakhstan, but stressed it is "committed to staying and delivering in support of the Afghan people in their hour of need."

"This is a temporary measure intended to enable the U.N. to keep delivering assistance to the people of Afghanistan with a minimum disruption, while at the same time reducing the risk to U.N. personnel," U.N. spokesman Stephane Durjarric said.

The United Nations has about 300 international staff and 3,000 national staff in Afghanistan.

Students think America oppresses women... Then they hear about Afghanistan
Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, many people are worried about the rights of women and children under Taliban rule in the country. Reports show that women are already being beaten and killed on the streets.

At the same time, many continue to believe that women in America are oppressed and treated unfairly.

Campus Reform reporter Ophelie Jacobson talked with female students at the University of Central Florida about what is happening in Afghanistan and how that compares to the treatment women receive in the United States.

All of the students Campus Reform talked to said that women are oppressed in this country.

“There’s definitely some unfair treatment in some aspects,” one student said.

“We already have a lower pay range even if we are overqualified for the position,” another student said.

When Jacobson told students about the treatment that women receive under the Taliban, the students were shocked.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Hamas Urges *ALL* Its Foes To Get U.S. Training Like Afghans, Fatah (satire)
Gaza City, August 19 – Leaders of the Islamist militant movement that governs this coastal territory have noticed the catastrophic track record of American efforts to produce quality military forces in other countries despite trillions in investment in men and materiel, including the movement’s own rivals for stewardship of the Palestinian cause, and now speak in glowing terms of such efforts in an attempt to persuade their remaining opponents to accept the same investment.

Hamas sent messages of encouragement to Israel and the Fatah faction that controls the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria, urging them to engage in receiving more training by American military and intelligence personnel, given the outcome of such training in Afghanistan, Gaza, Vietnam, and elsewhere through the decades.

“American training is exactly what you need,” read one statement. “The massive investment in training, equipment, ammunition, techniques, tactics, and other important elements of a coherent military or paramilitary organization will put you exactly where you should be.” The statement then invoked the success the phenomenon has enjoyed against the Viet Cong, the Soviet-backed North Vietnam military, the Taliban, Fatah in the Gaza Strip, Iraq, and various other locations in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

Hamas was among the first to congratulate the Taliban this week on the success of its long-term initiative to defeat the US-backed Afghan military and to occasion the departure of the thousands of US troops stationed there. The abrupt pullout has brought in its wake a spate of violence against resistors, women, intellectuals, and anyone who worked with the international coalition that had helped secure the country for nearly two decades. The Islamist movement hopes to repeat that accomplishment vis-à-vis Israel, project it has pursued for almost forty years – and which others have pursued since 1948, building on earlier efforts to deny the Jews a state of their own outside the dominance of Islam.
Erdan, Mayorkas Discuss Admission of Visiting Israelis Without US Visas
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan said he has been working with US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on getting the country into the US Visa Waiver Program administered by the US State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Erdan said on Monday that Israelis who finish their national or military service and are looking to travel and work abroad, but not make a permanent move, are often refused visas.

He said “this lack of understanding” led to the refusal of visa applications, and therefore, an influx of young people temporarily into the United States.

Erdan said the US official was “surprised by the figures” when they met over the weekend to discuss the issue.

“It is time for the citizens of Israel to feel the close relationship with our most important ally when they want to visit,” said Erdan.

CAA writes to all MPs calling for them to ask Home Secretary to proscribe antisemitic Islamist terrorist group Hamas in its entirety in the UK
Campaign Against Antisemitism has written to all MPs calling on them to ask the Home Secretary to proscribe the Hamas terrorist group in its entirety in the UK under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Last month, we provided Priti Patel with a dossier making the case for the proscription of the genocidal antisemitic terrorist organisation. We have also now made the dossier available to MPs from all parties, urging them to write to the Home Secretary.

There exists a loophole in British law that allows Hamas to operate in the UK. Following the recent record-breaking surge in antisemitism in Britain during the conflict between Hamas and Israel, the time has undoubtedly come to close the loophole: it is time to proscribe Hamas in its entirety.

Hamas’ ideology and activities are Islamist, nationalist, antisemitic, misogynistic and homophobic. Many also consider its militant teachings to be a corruption of Islam.

Currently, the UK only proscribes the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades — the so-called ‘military wing’ of the terrorist group — relying until now on the European Union’s proscription of the entirety of Hamas as a de facto ban in the UK. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, however, this reliance is no longer tenable, and the UK must now act to proscribe the entirety of Hamas.

There is no material distinction between the supposed ‘wings’ of Hamas, which share the same personnel and where political leaders launch military operations. However, because of this loophole, Hamas flags can be flown, its ideology can be promoted, funds can be raised, material can be disseminated, and its representatives can operate in the UK.
Palestinian Islamic council: Israel undermining foundations of al-Aqsa Mosque
The Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council accused Israel of working to “undermine the foundations” of al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

The accusation on Thursday was the latest of many Palestinian claims that Israel has devised a plan to destroy al-Aqsa in order to rebuild the Third Temple.

The new charge comes as Palestinians are set to mark the anniversary of the burning of the pulpit of al-Aqsa on August 21, 1969, by Christian Australian citizen Denis Rohan.

Hamas and other Palestinian factions have urged Palestinians to mark the anniversary by heading to al-Aqsa to “defend” it against Israeli “attacks.” Other groups have called for protests in Jerusalem and the West Bank for the occasion.

Established in 1994 by then Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat, the council is headed by the mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, and includes in its membership several scholars and Islamic clerics.

The council warned of the “danger of the excavations” carried out by Israel southwest of al-Aqsa Mosque, specifically the Western Wall Plaza and the Mughrabi Gate.

France, Germany, UK Very Concerned About Iranian Uranium Enrichment
France, Germany and Britain expressed grave concern on Thursday about a report that said Iran had accelerated its enrichment of uranium to near weapons grade, saying this was a serious violation of its commitments.

“Iran must halt activities in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) without delay,” said a joint statement from the foreign ministries of the three nations that was released in Germany.

“We urge Iran to return to the negotiations in Vienna as soon as possible with a view to bringing them to a swift, successful conclusion. We have repeatedly stressed that time is on no-one’s side,” they added.

The UN atomic energy watchdog, the IAEA, said in a report on Tuesday seen by Reuters that Iran had accelerated its enrichment of uranium.
Seth Frantzman: Iran's new naval commander is making waves
Iran’s navy has a new head, according to the country’s IRNA news agency, which announced that Adm. Shahram Irani would be the new navy chief. Irani had previously been a high-level army and navy officer.

Hossein Khanzadi has led the navy since 2017. Iran recently sailed two ships, the Sahand and Makran, all the way around Africa to Russia. Other Iranian naval vessels have had accidents and the Islamic Republic is in the midst of naval tensions in the Gulf after an Iranian drone attacked a commercial tanker that was linked to Israel.

The appointment of Irani raised eyebrows because he is believed to be the first Sunni and Kurd to have reached the position. Irani was born in Sanandaj in the Kurdistan region of Iran in 1967. He is thought to be the first Kurd and Sunni who has risen to such a level under the Islamic Republic. Sources said that his appointment represents unbelievable progress for Iran in elevating minorities to higher levels.

Irani is supposed to improve the navy, which is not to be confused with the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps naval units that harass US and other ships in the Persian Gulf. Iran’s navy is supposed to do operations further from shore and in the Gulf of Oman.


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