May 12, 2023 | World
Twenty years since the U.S. invasion began, Onkar Ghate and Elan Journo explore the moral and political lessons of the Iraq War.
● Why Americans need to examine the lessons of the Iraq War;
● The 9/11 terrorist attacks and the context leading up to the war;
● The focus on weapons of mass destruction and intelligence weaknesses while evading the threat of Islamic totalitarianism;
● Why Russia’s attack on Ukraine is not analogous to America’s war in Iraq;
● David Frum’s analysis of the Iraq War in The Atlantic;
● John Bolton’s and Bret Stephens’ analysis of the war and the failure to question whether Iraq was the right target;
● The disastrous results of the war, including increased reluctance to defend American interests militarily;
● How America’s response to 9/11 set the stage for the rise of populism and widespread distrust of institutions;
● The erosion of American exceptionalism in the wake of the Iraq War.
May 2, 2023 | World
From BBC News:
Every year hundreds of thousands of people are bussed in from across the island to fill Havana’s Revolution Square on International Workers’ Day. It is the first time since the 1959 revolution that the celebrations have been cancelled for economic reasons. In recent weeks long queues have formed at petrol stations, with drivers often waiting for days. Earlier this month, President Miguel Diaz-Canel said Cuba was only receiving two-thirds of the fuel it needs, adding that suppliers were failing to fulfil contractual obligations. While Cuba has access to low-grade crude, the US-sanctioned island lacks the facilities to process it. Deliveries of higher quality crude from Venezuela, Cuba’s largest provider of fuel, have dropped by 50% in recent years. Analysts say Venezuela is experiencing severe problems itself and finds it increasingly difficult to subsidise its socialist ally.
- Lift America’s Embargo on Cuba? When Fidel Castro dies, will Cuba’s communist dictatorship die too? Absolutely, says a prominent Western diplomat in Havana. “I believe the whole system will be gone within two or three years after Castro dies.” Absolutely not, says Ricardo Alarcon, the powerful…
- Free Cuba! The real reason for shortages and suffering in Cuba is communism.
Mar 9, 2023 | World
From “North Korea defector compares woke US ideology, education to regime tactics” (New York Post):
“They were in Manhattan, living in the freest country you can imagine, and they’re saying they’re oppressed? It doesn’t even compute,” Yeonmi Park told The Post of students at her alma mater, Columbia University. “I was sold for $200 as a sex slave in the 21st century under the same sky. And they say they’re oppressed because people can’t follow their pronouns they invent every day?”
The 29-year-old defected from North Korea as a young teen, only to be human-trafficked in China. In 2014, she became one of just 200 North Koreans to live in the United States — and, as of last year, is an American citizen.
Now, three years after she graduated from Columbia with a degree in human rights, Park is raising alarm bells about America’s cancel culture and woke ideology.
In her book “While Time Remains,” out February 14, Park writes how she made it all the way to the United States only to find some of the same encroachments on freedom that she thought she left behind in North Korea — from identity politics and victim mentality to elite hypocrisy.
In North Korea, Park said, the government divides citizens into 51 classes based on whether their blood is “tainted” because their ancestors were “oppressive” landowners.
“That’s how the regime divided people. What an individual does doesn’t matter. It’s all about your ancestors and the collective,” she explained.
Now, when she sees Americans indulging in race essentialism and identity politics, she said, it feels eerily familiar.
“They say white people are privileged and guilty and oppressors,” Park said. “This is the tactic the North Korean regime used to divide people. In America it’s the same idea of collective guilt. This is the ideology that drove North Korea to be what it is today — and we’re putting it into young American minds.”
“I really don’t think that we have that much time left,” she warned. “Already all our mainstream institutions have the same ideology that North Korea has: socialism, collectivism and equity. We are literally going through a cultural revolution in America. When we realize it, it might be too late.”
Sep 6, 2022 | World
Douglas Murray, the author of The War on the West, says former US President Donald Trump said “Germany was too reliant on Russian gas and that it would be paying a price for this” at the UN four years ago. “And the German diplomats … all laughed away and giggled away at Donald Trump…Now, you may not think that Donald Trump is the world’s finest purveyor of truth. But he was telling the truth on this occasion. He was saying something that was absolutely true and giving the Europeans a reality check that was long overdue.” (SkyNews)
Washington Post has a video of Trump educating European elites on foreign policy and energy:
Sep 6, 2022 | World
The late Osama Bin Laden in planning to assassinate then-President Obama told his fellow terrorists to leave Vice-President Joe Biden unharmed. He could prove useful.
From the US DOD:
The DoD estimated that U.S.-funded equipment valued at $7.12 billion was in the inventory of the former Afghan government when it collapsed, much of which has since been seized by the Taliban. This included military aircraft, ground vehicles, weapons, and other military equipment.
From the NY Post:
The report also said that 316,260 small arms — including rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and howitzers — worth $511.8 million were under the care of the Afghan military at the time of its collapse, but the condition of those weapons was unknown. Communications, explosive detection, night-vision and other surveillance equipment was also in the Kabul government’s inventory when the Taliban took over.
Well, at least Biden isn’t Trump. Like for much of Biden’s Presidency, the response has been like that of “new atheist” Sam Harris who states, “Hunter Biden literally could have had the corpses of children in his basement – I would not have cared.”
Aug 23, 2022 | World
“Raisi’s Death Commission executed children as young as 15.”
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Chuck Grassley, Marsha Blackburn, Rick Scott, and Marco Rubio sent a letter to President Biden calling on him to deny entry visas to Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi and other senior Iranian officials to attend the U.N. General Assembly in September 2022.
Below is the full text of the letter:
July 27, 2021
President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Biden,
We are writing to express our concern about the prospect of incoming Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, visiting the United States to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
Raisi’s record as a violator of human rights is long-standing and clear. In 1988, during his tenure as the deputy prosecutor of Tehran, Raisi served on a four-member Death Commission which oversaw the killing of over 5,000 prisoners, including women and children. The Death Commission conducted interviews that lasted only minutes to determine a prisoner’s loyalty to the Islamic Republic of Iran, then sentenced them to death without a lawyer, right to appeal, or fair trial. The executions, conducted by hanging or firing squad, often occurred on the same day as the Death Commission’s interrogations. After burying the dead in unmarked mass graves, Iranian officials refused to notify families for months and never shared with them the locations of their graves. Raisi’s Death Commission executed children as young as 15.
Ebrahim Raisi is proud of his record. In 2018, Raisi defended his role on the 1988 Death Commission, calling it “divine punishment” and “one of the proud achievements of the system.” In the thirty years since the commission, Raisi continued to subject the Iranian people to extrajudicial prosecution, torture, and execution. During the 2009 Green Revolution, when Iranians protested the rigged presidential election, Raisi served as Iran’s deputy chief justice. In this role, Raisi was directly involved in the regime’s prosecution and death sentences of peaceful protesters. Years after, when Raisi served as prosecutor general, he advocated for maintaining Iran’s house arrests on Green Revolution leaders.
Raisi also consistently supports inhumane punishment against the Iranian people. In 2010, Raisi celebrated the Iranian judiciary’s amputation of a prisoner’s hand for stealing as “a source of pride for us.” More recently, Ebrahim Raisi led Iran’s judiciary from 2019 to 2021. During his tenure, the judiciary regularly tortured its prisoners.
Recently, the United States designated Raisi for his role as head of Iran’s judiciary in facilitating the Supreme Leader of Iran’s tyrannical agenda, where he oversaw the state’s crackdown and murder of non-violent protesters. In 2019, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Raisi, pursuant to Executive Order 13876, for his oversight over the executions of juveniles, torture, and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of Iranian prisoners, including amputations.
Ebrahim Raisi should remain sanctioned under U.S. law. If the United Nations General Assembly maintains its current plans to allow some in-person attendance, the White House should deny Raisi and other Iranian leaders visas to attend. Allowing Raisi to travel to the United States-to the same city where the Iranian regime just tried to kidnap a U.S. citizen-would legitimize his repression, undermine America’s moral leadership, and potentially endanger our national security, given the likely presence of intelligence agents in the Iranian traveling party.
There is strong precedent for denying an entry visa to a foreign leader. In 1988, the United States barred PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat from entering the United States to attend a meeting of the United Nations. In 2014, President Obama denied an entry visa to Iranian Ambassador Hamid Aboutalebi, who was involved in taking American diplomats hostage in 1979. In 2020, the United States declined to issue a visa for Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Ebrahim Raisi’s role in the Death Commissions, brutal crackdowns on Iranian protesters, and his association with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps should disqualify him from receiving a visa to the United States.
Thank you for considering this important matter. We look forward to hearing from you.