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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Sharia Law Survivor, Anni Cyrus, Shares Her Story of Escape

https://youtu.be/4chjg_TrWcg

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:45 pm 
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Iraq Is Now Iran’s War Bride
6 The American Conservative by Rod Dreher



Tim Arango of The New York Times reports from Iraq. Excerpt:

Walk into almost any market in Iraq and the shelves are filled with goods from Iran — milk, yogurt, chicken. Turn on the television and channel after channel broadcasts programs sympathetic to Iran.

A new building goes up? It is likely that the cement and bricks came from Iran. And when bored young Iraqi men take pills to get high, the illicit drugs are likely to have been smuggled across the porous Iranian border.

And that’s not even the half of it.

Across the country, Iranian-sponsored militias are hard at work establishing a corridor to move men and guns to proxy forces in Syria and Lebanon. And in the halls of power in Baghdad, even the most senior Iraqi cabinet officials have been blessed, or bounced out, by Iran’s leadership.

When the United States invaded Iraq 14 years ago to topple Saddam Hussein, it saw Iraq as a potential cornerstone of a democratic and Western-facing Middle East, and vast amounts of blood and treasure — about 4,500 American lives lost, more than $1 trillion spent — were poured into the cause.

From Day 1, Iran saw something else: a chance to make a client state of Iraq, a former enemy against which it fought a war in the 1980s so brutal, with chemical weapons and trench warfare, that historians look to World War I for analogies. If it succeeded, Iraq would never again pose a threat, and it could serve as a jumping-off point to spread Iranian influence around the region.

In that contest, Iran won, and the United States lost.

In that light, how can one not sympathize with Tucker Carlson in his current fight with foreign-policy neocons? Really interesting piece about that in The National Interest. Carlson, who was once a writer for The Weekly Standard, says he doesn’t like to use the word “neocons.” Yet:

Carlson’s recent segments on foreign policy conducted with Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and the prominent neoconservative journalist and author Max Boot were acrimonious even by Carlsonian standards. In a discussion on Syria, Russia and Iran, a visibly upset Boot accused Carlson of being “immoral” and taking foreign-policy positions to curry favor with the White House, keep up his ratings, and by proxy, benefit financially. Boot says that Carlson “basically parrots whatever the pro-Trump line is that Fox viewers want to see. If Trump came out strongly against Putin tomorrow, I imagine Tucker would echo this as faithfully as the pro-Russia arguments he echoes today.” But is this assessment fair?

Carlson’s record suggests that he has been in the camp skeptical of U.S. foreign-policy intervention for some time now and, indeed, that it predates Donald Trump’s rise to power. (Carlson has commented publicly that he was humiliated by his own public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.) According to Carlson, “This is not about Trump. This is not about Trump. It’s the one thing in American life that has nothing to do with Trump. My views on this are totally unrelated to my views on Donald Trump. This has been going since September 11, 2001. And it’s a debate that we’ve never really had. And we need to have it.” He adds, “I don’t think the public has ever been for the ideas that undergird our policies.”

The piece does a good job documenting that Carlson has been anti-neocon in foreign policy for a long time. This is not pro-Trump opportunism on his part. The piece, by Curt Mills, says that Carlson is paying a lot more attention to the traditional left on foreign policy, as opposed to the neocons and the Democratic Party mainstream. And he’s paying attention to Pat Buchanan. More:

Carlson’s interests extend beyond foreign policy, and he says “there’s a massive realignment going on ideologically that everybody is missing. It’s dramatic. And everyone is missing it. . . . Nobody is paying attention to it!”

Carlson seems intent on pressing the issue. The previous night, in his debate with Peters, the retired lieutenant colonel said that Carlson sounded like Charles Lindbergh, who opposed U.S. intervention against Nazi Germany before 1941. “This particular strain of Republican foreign policy has almost no constituency. Nobody agrees with it. I mean there’s not actually a large group of people outside of New York, Washington or L.A. who think any of this is a good idea,” Carlson says. “All I am is an asker of obvious questions. And that’s enough to reveal these people have no idea what they’re talking about. None.”

Read the whole thing. Don’t miss the part where Max Boot is quoted from 2003 as saying that the Iraq War may “mark the moment when the powerful antibiotic known as democracy was introduced into the diseased environment of the Middle East, and began to transform the region for the better.” Then re-read Tim Arango’s report about how American blood, American treasure, and American ideological hubris made Iraq a de facto province of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

That doesn’t make Tucker Carlson right. It does make him more credible, though.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:50 pm 
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of 638711

reuters.com Exclusive: Australia-U.S. refugee swap again in doubt as officials exit Nauru

SYDNEY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials interviewing refugees held in an Australian-run offshore detention center left the facility abruptly, three detainees told Reuters on Saturday, throwing further doubt over a plan to resettle many of the detainees in America.

U.S. officials halted screening interviews and departed the Pacific island of Nauru on Friday, two weeks short of their scheduled timetable and a day after Washington said the United States had reached its annual refugee intake cap.

"U.S. (officials) were scheduled to be on Nauru until July 26 but they left on Friday," one refugee told Reuters, requesting anonymity as he did not want to jeopardize his application for U.S. resettlement.

In the United States, a senior member of the union that represents refugee officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a Department of Homeland Security agency, told Reuters his own trip to Nauru was not going forward as scheduled.

Jason Marks, chief steward of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1924, told Reuters his trip has now been pushed back and it was unclear whether it will actually happen.

The USCIS said on Saturday that the program would continue but offered no details.

"We do not discuss the exact dates of USCIS' circuit rides to adjudicate refugees' applications. However, we are planning return trips," the agency said in a statement.

"It is not uncommon for the dates of tentatively planned refugee circuit ride trips worldwide to change due to a wide variety of factors."

The Australian Immigration Department declined to comment on the whereabouts of the U.S. officials or the future of a refugee swap agreement between Australia and the United States that President Donald Trump earlier this year branded a "dumb deal".

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Sunday the deal was progressing as expected, reiterating the government had assurances from the Trump administration.

“The quota will roll over again on October 1 as I said, and I expect that the United States will adhere to this agreement, as the president promised,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

An indefinite postponement of the deal would have significant repercussions for Australia's pledge to close a second detention center on Papua New Guinea's Manus island on Oct 31. Only 70 refugees, less than 10 percent of the total detainees held in the camp, have completed U.S. processing.


FILE PHOTO: Protesters from the Refugee Action Coalition hold placards during a demonstration outside the offices of the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Sydney, Australia, April 29, 2016.David Gray/File Photo
Bishop said she did not believe it was the case only 10 percent of refugees had been processed.

"The U.S. deal looks more and more doubtful," Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition said. "The U.S. deal was never the solution the Australian government pretended it to be."

Former U.S. President Barack Obama agreed a deal with Australia late last year to offer refuge to up to 1,250 asylum seekers, a deal the Trump administration said it would only honor to maintain a strong relationship with Australia and then only on condition that refugees satisfied strict checks.

In exchange, Australia has pledged to take Central American refugees from a center in Costa Rica, where the United States has taken in a larger number of people in recent years.

The swap is designed, in part, to help Australia close both Manus and Nauru, which are expensive to run and have been widely criticized by the United Nations and others over treatment of detainees.

The U.S. government confirmed on Thursday that its refugee intake cap of 50,000 people had been reached with the new intake year not due to begin until Oct. 1.

Exemptions could be made for those who have a "credible claim to a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States," following a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court last month reviving elements of Trump's travel ban while it considers the legality of the order.

Given the risky boat journey the refugees in Manus and Nauru undertook to reach Australia, it is unlikely many of them have strong family ties to the United States, experts said. The majority of the detainees interviewed on both Manus and Nauru by U.S. officials in April are from Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Australia's hardline immigration policy requires asylum seekers intercepted at sea trying to reach Australia to be sent for processing to camps at Manus and on Nauru. They are told they will never be settled in Australia.

Trump's resistance to the refugee deal had strained relations with a key Asia Pacific ally, triggering a fractious phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this year.

Trump's concession and a series of high-level visits by U.S. dignities have since help mend connections between the two countries.

Australia has already offered detainees up to $25,000 to voluntarily return to their home countries, an offer few have taken up.

Reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney and Yeganeh Torbati in Washington; additional reporting by David Morgan in Washington; Writing by Jane Wardell; Editing by Grant McCool and Cynthia Osterman

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:59 pm 
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Spengler
Trump-Hatred Is All About Islam

By David P. Goldman July 16, 2017
chat 48 comments


Courtesy AP Images

President Trump's overall approval rating may have fallen, but there's one issue on which he has the support of 60% of the American public. That's the proposed travel ban from certain Muslim-majority countries, according to a Politico-Morning Consult poll earlier this month. In fact, Trump has enjoyed the support of a plurality of all voters, Democratic as well as Republican, since he first proposed a travel ban in December 2015. Trump's boldness horrified the Establishment but probably won him the nomination; three-quarters of Republican voters in the key South Carolina primary backed the travel ban. The whole Republican leadership abhorred him ( Paul Ryan in Dec. 2015 accused Trump of "violating the Constitution"). Well, Trump won and the Republican leadership lost.

It's always been about Islam--the camel in the living room, to coin a phrase. One and a quarter billion people, roughly a fifth of the world's population, cannot make the leap from tribal society into the modern world. Their anguish and rage is a source of continuous instability and an occasional threat to the security of Western countries.

Western leaders from George W. Bush to Pope Francis I struggled to avoid a clash of civilizations, praising Islam as a religion of peace. Trump, by contrast, told Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia May 21 that the onus was on them to extirpate terrorists from their countries and mosques. Trump isn't seeking civilizational war. He's giving Muslim leaders fair warning and a chance to avoid it.

That is what the whole kerfuffle is about. The Democrats' notion of intersectional victimization includes Muslims as victims of Western colonialism and "people of color" (never mind that Islam launched the bloodiest wars of conquest of which we have records and created the African slave trade). The Republican Establishment and their neo-con punditeska view the Muslim world as a giant laboratory for the export of democracy. The CIA and the rest of the Deep State made a good living selling arms from the stockpile of the late Col Qaddafi (whom the U.S. helped overthrow in 2011) to "moderate Syrian rebels" -- directly or indirectly abetting the rise of ISIS, as Gen. Mike Flynn warned in a now-celebrated 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency memo. The Europeans want a long-term accommodation with Islam as they drift slowly into demographic oblivion.


Is Islam a Religion?
Trump humiliated his own party's Establishment. He negotiated a ceasefire in southwestern Syria with Russia and Jordan, the first positive step towards ending the butchery in that miserable country since the 2011 "Arab Spring." As he said throughout the campaign, he's willing to give Russia the chance to unite with the U.S. against barbarism--proving himself a tough and canny negotiator with the slippery Kremlin bosses.


Russia is part of the issue, but indirectly: The neo-cons thought that a democratized, pro-American Muslim world could be turned against Russia; Trump doesn't care much how the Russians govern themselves as long they help contain strategic threats to the United States. (Neither do I.) That's what "America First" means; we look at what other countries do according to what advances our interests, NOT according to what we imagine is best for them. So far, Trump has done exactly what he promised to do during the campaign, and made a certain amount of progress.

That's why the Democrats, the Establishment Republicans, and the Europeans hate him so much. There are lots of little issues that annoy the Europeans--the Paris climate accord, for example, and talk of trade barriers against European products (which in my view are a waste of time). But that's not what evokes gut-hatred of the president of the United States among the European elites. They made a commitment to coexistence with Islam, and Trump pulled the plug on it. Among other things, the Democrats as well as the Europeans were determined to force Israel into a supposed peace deal that would create yet another terror state on Israel's borders. Trump has ruled that out.

There are plenty of things that I wish Trump had done differently. But on the big issues, he is magnificently right, as J.M. Keynes wrote of Franklin Roosevelt in another context.

I Will Not Say Terror Is a Perversion of Islam

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