Saturday Noon ~ thefrontpagecover

~ Featuring ~  
Trump's Iran Sanctions Are Working
But It'll Take More to Topple the Regime
Marc A. Thiessen

Why the Palestinian Plight Continues
by Aaron Kliegman } ~ In 2006, Benjamin Netanyahu, then Israel's opposition leader, captured the essence of the Arab-Israeli conflict in a single quote. "The truth is that if Israel were to put down its arms, there would be no more Israel," he said... "If the Arabs were to put down their arms, there would be no more war." Netanyahu, now Israel's prime minister, articulated a hard truth: much of the Middle East does not recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state in the region, and would gladly watch it disappear from existence. Netanyahu's quote also applies to the narrower Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Indeed, each year, the Palestinian Authority, or PA, allocates hundreds of millions of dollars of its budget to pay terrorists and their families for carrying out attacks against Israelis. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has previously suggested that ensuring payments to terrorists is the PA's top priority. Furthermore, under Palestinian law, selling or attempting to sell land to Jews is a crime, punishable by hard labor, imprisonment, and even execution. Most importantly, Palestinian leadership refuses to accept Jews' right to self-determination. On numerous occasions, Abbas has said that the Palestinians will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, thus rejecting the basic premise of a two-state solution: two states for two peoples, one Arab and one Jewish. As I explained last month, "The Palestinians have repeatedly refused to compromise on any agreement that would acknowledge the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, even if that agreement would also create an independent Palestinian state alongside it." Israel has, multiple times, offered the Palestinians the best deal realistically possible, only to be rebuffed. The bottom line is this: the Palestinians have shown that thwarting Israel is more important than realizing their own goals. Until the Palestinians care more about their own happiness than denying Israelis theirs, there will never be peace. In other words, Palestinian leaders do not seem to care about their own people, or at least they care far more about resistance against Israel, no matter the cost. Why else would the Palestinian Authority immediately reject an invitation to an American-led peace conference in Bahrain next month focused on sparking economic growth in the Palestinian territories? The White House announced Sunday that it was inviting government officials and business leaders from the Middle East and Europe to the economic workshop, which is scheduled for June 25 and 26, to launch the rollout of the Trump administration's much anticipated plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The conference will focus on the economic portion of the plan, which is geared toward sparking investment in the Palestinian territories to improve Palestinians' quality of life. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will send  representatives to attend the conference, but the PA said it would boycott the workshop. If Palestinian leaders were serious about achieving peace, or at least about helping their own people live better lives, they would attend...
No Fun in 2020
TtS8n5nRduU8qu39h7YuLiHGXuBd5Q2bpAKMEpfuz0ng_Q6RhG15E_NVtT-a47gA0pMVxu-bVjOuRmnnOnTFQzbt5WvyicuOsZUBgjYSumiY-76677g=s0-d-e1-ft#%3Ca%20rel%3Dnofollow%20href=?profile=RESIZE_710xby Steve Feinstein } ~ There’s a great old saying that goes, “Nothing is as much fun as you think it’s going to be.”... That aphorism is particularly fitting for Republicans who are eagerly looking forward to seeing this season’s crop of motley, uninspired Democratic presidential contenders turn on each other during the primary debates as they attempt to showcase their own dubious credentials at the expense of the others. One might think it would be remarkable cutthroat theater, an exhibition of desperate politicians unleashed, giving in to their basest survivalist instincts. It’s not going to happen. The last time there was a large number of Democratic contenders vying for a wide-open nomination was in 2004. Howard Dean, hanoi-John Kerry, John Edwards, Wesley Clark, Dennis Kucinich, scumbag-Al Sharpton, and Dick Gephardt were among the big names who took their swings. Back then, too, Republicans looked forward to the prospect of intra-mural Democratic fireworks, dirty linen being embarrassingly unearthed and personal criticisms being leveled that would stick in the public’s consciousness, regardless of who eventually won their party’s nomination. However, the debates didn’t develop that way. Instead, the Democratic primary process turned on a political truism that has persisted since presidential politics entered the television age which can be reasonably thought of as the 1960 JFK-Nixon campaign, featuring the first televised debate between presidential nominees. That political truism is this: All Republican presidents are evil, and their election puts the nation in grave danger. Every time a Republican gains the White House Nixon in 1968, Reagan in 1980 and Trump in 2016 Democrats and the liberal mainstream media howl that the very foundations of our republic are at risk, civil liberties and hard-won minority and women’s rights will be reversed, that cold-hearted, racist “rich” conservatives will run roughshod over the defenseless middle and lower classes, the environment will be permanently ruined and the incidence of homelessness will explode. George HW Bush was somewhat of an exception to this, because his milquetoast globalist persona didn’t evoke the same degree of fear and loathing from liberal quarters as did the others’...
Muslim Reform Movement founder opposes worthless-Omar, CAIR and Islamism abroad  
zDwTGF-LzuxSlfC-qyBFG6dV1ciuN4tajeNGoQ-RtmLsoJPgvfPnEe2FLyJQoQOz-kwHnvPaTo6ODrXc1Ydslw-0VH4NKXOGIhwphel2NkFLZQ_ZWZYllGE=s0-d-e1-ft#%3Ca%20rel%3Dnofollow%20href=?profile=RESIZE_710xby Steven Emerson
{} ~ I interviewed Dr. M Zuhdi Jasser in January 2017, July 2017, and September 2018 on a range of topics including Islamism and what he believes is its antidote, the Muslim Reform Movement... Jasser is president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM), and author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.” He is a practicing Muslim. He is also an active physician and former U.S. Navy officer whose parents fled Syria in the 1960s, and host of the Blaze Radio Podcast “Reform This!” and founder of Jasser and I discussed Islamism in the context of Reps. worthless-Omar and worthless-Tlaib, the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Brotherhood and developments in Sri Lanka.  Postal: You recently called Reps. worthless-Rashida Tlaib and worthless-Ilhan Omar “Islamists.”  Can you elaborate on why you think that is the case? Jasser: Islamism is a political movement based on a common platform of ideas and worldview. Islamists are those who view domestic and foreign policy through the lens and world view of theocratic Islamist precepts. Reps. worthless-Tlaib’s and worthless-Omar’s positions on a host of issues are textbook Islamist. They are ideologues who see the world’s problems as caused by the West rather than by the tyrannies of Muslim countries and the theologies of the strains of Islam deeply needing reform and modernization. worthless-Omar and worthless-Tlaib simply do not see Western interests as a force for good in the world. To that point, worthless-Omar and worthless-Tlaib have predictably defended Maduro’s Venezuela,  Erdogan’s Turkey, and Qatar while reflexively demonizing Israel and the American military. Postal: Rep.worthless- Ilhan Omar has recently been in the news for mocking how people refer to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah in a menacing tone, seemingly equating them with the U.S. military. She also callously referring to the perpetrators of 9-11 as “some people did something” at a speech to the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) where she erroneously stated that CAIR was founded “after 9-11” when in fact it was founded in 1994. Additionally, she has produced many anti-Semitic comments and has called Jewish White House Advisor Stephen Miller a “white nationalist.” An old tweet of hers recently resurfaced where she exaggerates the number of Somalis killed in a 1993 U.S. military operation, adding the hashtag “NotTodaySatan”. How should the public interpret her statements? Jasser: These statements, in addition to worthless-Omar’s statements of trying to decrease the sentence of an Islamic State operative, rejecting the value of the U.S. government’s counterterrorism programs, denying the significance of radicalization of Somali refugees from her own district, and fundraising for leading Islamist organizations like CAIR should leave no doubt that she is in fact an Islamist. worthless-Omar is a byproduct of the Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups that coddled and developed her when she first came as a refugee from Somalia to live in Minnesota. She, like all Islamists believes the propaganda of our enemies. In fact, she leads with it. The hashtag referring to America as Satan says it all. Having joined the USS El Paso (LKA-117) as a general medical officer during its return from Operation Restore Hope in Somalia I was particularly offended by her tweets from 2017 that grossly exaggerated the numbers of and directly blamed Americans for the deaths of innocents, referring to us Americans as Satan. I highly doubt that she has any clue about what really happened to our serviceman that simply tried to bring food to help prevent massive famine in the year after she left Somalia and became a refugee. It is just unfathomable in its hypocrisy—the level of disdain she has for the country that she supposedly loves and gives her such opportunity...  
Congress Seeks to Stop Feds From 
Releasing Convicted Terrorists From 
Prison Early for Good Behavior
by Adam Kredo } ~ Congress is seeking to prevent the federal government from releasing Americans convicted of terrorism from being released from prison for good behavior... legislation that comes in reaction to the recent release of American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh, who was let out of prison after serving 17 years of a 20-year sentence. The release of Lindh from prison for good behavior has riled GOP national security hawks in Congress and now prompted Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Republican allies to spearhead legislation to bar anyone convicted of terrorism charges from ever being released from prison for good behavior. Lindh is one of several Americans who have been sentenced to prison on terrorism-related charges in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. If passed, Cotton's bill would ensure that no other imprisoned terrorist ever gets released early. "Our safety depends on keeping dangerous terrorists where they can't harm Americans, but right now even unrepentant terrorists are eligible for early release from prison, sometimes for so-called ‘good behavior,'" Cotton said in a statement announcing the legislation, which has already garnered support from Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.). "Supporting radical Islamist groups like ISIS is savage behavior, not good behavior. Our bill would make convicted terrorists ineligible for early release."A companion version of Cotton's bill has been introduced in the House by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R., Ala.). "A convicted terrorist walking free before his sentence is completed should never happen again," Byrne said in a statement. Byrne said that he has backed the legislation after requests from the Spann family, who's son Johnny was the first American killed in combat in the Afghanistan war, when Lindh and other militant prisoners staged an uprising at the prison in which they were being detained...
Finland: Will the Social Democrats Retain 
a Pro-Iran Anti-Semitic MP in Its Ranks?
fkithm5Ng5W6J5I9_6-0l6lu2t3z7DjSUvyaJREMZnJWtvdYkD3gn-P17Gdoc_7LcOphNdLaIY4b8DCJDrk67Pzyww=s0-d-e1-ft#%3Ca%20rel%3Dnofollow%20href=?profile=RESIZE_710xby Kenneth Sikorski } ~ A political crisis that has been brewing in Finland over the past few weeks sheds light on the ills of the so-called "center left."... The crisis surrounds Hussein Al-Taee, a new member of parliament from the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which won a narrow victory in the April 14 elections. A few days after the Finnish elections, Al-Taee, the son of the governor of Najaf in Iraq and a pro-Iranian regime advocate, was exposed for having spent eight years posting anti-Semitic, anti-American and homophobic comments on Facebook. For four of these years, Al-Taee served as an adviser on Middle Eastern affairs to the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), a state-run conflict-resolution firm founded by the former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, and currently headed by former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb. Al-Taee's campaign had centered on his CMI credentials as someone who worked at "bridging peace." Although Stubb publicly condemned Al-Taee's hate-filled social media comments -- which included comparing Israel to ISIS and referring to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as a "Jew doing what a Jew does best: F***s up everybody to gain everything" -- he has not been asked why a pro-Iranian regime advocate was working for CMI in the first place. In addition, neither Al-Taee nor the SDP raised the issue of his background as the son of a high-level Iraqi politician or of his ties to Iran during the election campaign. Instead, Al-Taee portrayed himself as a child refugee whose family had fled the regime of Saddam Hussein for the safety of Finland. This narrative fit the image that the SDP wished to project, as an inclusive party that accepts immigrants who have made positive contributions to Finnish society, and that builds trust between different cultures and people...  
Trump's Iran Sanctions Are Working. But It'll Take More to Topple the Regime

Marc A. Thiessen

President Trump’s Iran policy appears to be careening between diplomacy and belligerence. One day Trump tweets, “I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon.” The next he warns that “if Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran.” Confused? Well, there is a method to the madness.

The Trump administration understands that Iran doesn’t want war because Iran knows it will lose. That’s why Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made clear via a government Twitter account “no war is to happen.”

Trump’s goal is not to start a war. His administration has three objectives: First, restore deterrence and contain Iran’s expansionism across the Middle East. Second, roll back Iran’s gains and force it back within its borders. And third, give Iran’s leaders a clear choice: They can come to the negotiating table and give up their nuclear and missile ambitions — or their regime can implode, just like the Soviet Union.

When Trump came into office, Iran was on the march across the Middle East — in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen — thanks in part to the massive infusions of cash it received from sanctions relief under President Barack scumbag/liar-nObama’s Iran deal. Trump did not simply restore sanctions imposed before the deal; he ramped them up to unprecedented levels. The sanctions have already “wiped $10 billion from Iranian revenue since November,” The Washington Post reported, citing administration officials.

This month, the administration tightened the screws even further, eliminating waivers for eight countries that had previously been allowed to continue importing Iranian oil. The goal, according to American officials, is to reduce Iranian oil exports to “zero.” It’s working. Bloomberg News reports that “Iran’s oil shipments tumbled this month after the U.S. ended sanctions waivers. … So far, not a single ship has been seen leaving Iran’s oil terminals for foreign ports.”

The new sanctions are forcing Tehran to cut funds to its terrorist proxies. According to The Post, “Iran’s ability to finance allies such as Hezbollah has been curtailed,” while in Lebanon, The New York Times reports, “Syrian militiamen paid by Iran have seen their salaries slashed.” On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress that “Iran’s proposed defense budget has been reduced by 25 percent and the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’] proposed budget by about 10 percent.”

Iran is obviously unhappy with this, and U.S. intelligence saw signs that Iran was preparing to respond with attacks on Americans using terrorist proxies — just as they did in the 1983 Beirut Marine barracks bombing and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, and by supplying Shiite militias in Iraq with armor-penetrating roadside bombs that killed hundreds of American soldiers.

So the Trump administration delivered a clear message that America will hold Iran directly responsible for any attacks on Americans, even if they are carried out by surrogates — and offered a show of force to back those threats — providing clarity that makes it less likely Iranian leaders will miscalculate.

Sanctions are inflicting major pain. But if the goal is to roll back Iran’s expansionism, then sanctions alone are not enough. We must also aggressively confront Iran throughout the region, building up our allies inflicting defeats on Iran in critical theaters, just as President Ronald Reagan did to the Soviets. A major drawdown of U.S. forces in Syria is incompatible with a “maximum pressure” approach.

Will Iranian leaders come to the table? Far less draconian sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table under Obama. But Trump has rightly paired tougher sanctions with tougher demands. Pompeo has laid out 12 requirements for a deal with Iran — including an end to support for Middle East terrorist groups and a complete withdrawal from Syria — that Iran is unlikely to meet.

If they don’t come to the table, then what is our strategy? Does Trump really want to bring about the collapse of the Iranian regime? It’s not clear. If he does, then, as my American Enterprise Institute colleague Frederick W. Kagan points out, this task may be even harder than it was with the Soviet Union. As North Korea has shown, tyrannical regimes can survive even crippling sanctions. Certainly, the world will be better if Iran is focused on survival rather than expansion and terror. But it will take more than sanctions to leave the Iranian regime on the ash heap of history. That requires a strategy.  ~The Patriot Post  

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