Saturday, July 27, 2019

PM Boris Johnson on Jeremy Corbyn’s links to the mullahs of Tehran

“How on earth could he ask about Iran?
The right honourable gentleman who has been paid by Press TV of Iran. Who repeatedly sides with the mullahs of Tehran rather than our friends in the United States over what is happening in the Persian Gulf
How incredible we should even think of entrusting that gentleman with the stewardship of this country’s security,”

Friday, July 26, 2019

Iran, Iran, Iran and Netanyahu


In a Fox News interview with Mark Levin in March 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defined the three greatest threats to his country as “Iran, Iran and Iran.”

This was by no means the first time that Netanyahu had pointed to the perils posed by Tehran’s race to acquire nuclear weapons, nor would it be his last.

Indeed, Netanyahu has been warning the world about Tehran’s global terrorist reach for so long that his speeches on the issue, both at home and abroad, have become a source of ridicule. Accusing him of fear-mongering as a ploy to stay in power, his detractors berate him for comparing the mullah-led regime’s evil hegemonic aspirations to those of the Nazis.

Yes, the very enemies who think nothing of comparing Netanyahu and his ally in the White House to Hitler have been downplaying the concrete danger that has been emanating from the Islamic Republic since its establishment 40 years ago – a menace that has escalated to alarming levels. Thanks to the “appeasement deal of the century,” otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, pushed forth by a coalition of ostriches, led by former US president Barack Obama and his criminally negligent, if not outright criminal, administration.

Netanyahu’s repeated appeals to the so-called “international community” not to enter into a nuclear agreement favorable to Iran initially fell on deaf ears. But it did not deter him from his two-pronged approach: gathering and exposing intelligence about Tehran’s spinning centrifuges on one hand while launching limited military strikes against Iranian and proxy Hezbollah targets in Syria on the other.

Due to Israel’s policy of “strategic ambiguity,” which in the age of the Internet is widely considered to be obsolete, Netanyahu and members of his government occasionally allude to IDF cross-border operations without being specific.

Take Wednesday morning’s missile attack on Tel Al-Hara, a military base in southern Syria believed to contain Iranian militias. Everyone assumes that Israel was behind it, and with good reason. 

Nevertheless, Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi was raked over the coals this week for “explosive comments” he made on Sunday during an interview with KAN News Radio. When asked by host Aryeh Golan whether he was concerned that Washington’s mild response to Iranian aggression against a British tanker in the Persian Gulf bode ill for US support in the event that “our little Israel” were to encounter a similar problem, Hanegbi replied that he was not worried.

“For two years now Israel has been the only country in the world killing Iranians,” he said. “We have hit the Iranians hundreds of times in Syria. Sometimes they admit it, sometimes foreign publications expose the matter, sometimes a minister, sometimes the chief of staff. But everything is a coordinated policy. The Iranians are very limited in their responses, and it’s not because they do not have the capabilities, but because they understand that Israel means business. We are very firm on issues of national security.”

NATURALLY, NOBODY in the Hebrew or foreign press bothered to put Hanegbi’s words in context, preferring to report that he had “boasted” about killing Iranians when what he was actually saying was that Israel does not rely on the help or approval of outside powers to deal with its own security and defense needs.

Iran understood this message full well but took the opportunity to engage in a Twitter war over it, with its state-run Press TV posting a meme of Hanegbi’s quote and a caption reading: “This is how Israelis are freely and proudly talking about killing Iranians! Just imagine what would happen if it was the other way around!”

Hanegbi fired back, tweeting: “I saw that the murderous regime in Iran did not like that I mentioned this morning that the IDF has been exacting from it a heavy price for its unrelenting aggression against Israel. [Supreme Leader] Khamenei and [President] Rouhani were very insulted. So I thought of a creative idea that could ease Iran’s sensitivity: You will stop placing surface-to-surface missile batteries, UAVs, bases of Shi’ite militias and terrorist infrastructures on Syrian territory aimed at killing Israelis. You will stop arming Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad with deadly weapons systems aimed at killing Israelis. When that happens, we will no longer have to destroy Iranian terrorist arrays and there will be no more Iranian casualties. Deal?”

Hanegbi’s radio and Twitter remarks were simply a nutshell summation of Israeli policy vis-à-vis Iran. Furthermore, they followed two statements made by Netanyahu earlier in the month – one aimed at Tehran and the other at Brussels – voicing a similar sentiment.

On July 9, while visiting the Nevatim Air Force base and standing next to an Adir F-35 jet, he said, “Iran has threatened recently to destroy Israel. It is worthwhile for them to remember that these planes can reach everywhere in the Middle East, including Iran and Syria.”

Less than a week later, on July 15, Netanyahu reacted harshly to the European Union’s insistence that Iranian violations of the JCPOA were not severe enough to warrant a reimposition of sanctions.

In a Hebrew video clip he said: “The response by the European Union to the Iranian violations reminds me of the European appeasement of the 1930s. Also then there was someone who buried his head in the sand and didn’t see the approaching danger. It seems that there are those in Europe who won’t wake up until Iranian nuclear missiles fall on European soil and then, of course, it will be too late. In any case, we will continue to do everything necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

Luckily for Israel, Netanyahu has a friend in US President Donald Trump, who not only withdrew from the JCPOA – partly as a result of the trove of Iranian documents seized by a daring Mossad raid on a nuclear archive in Tehran – but has increased sanctions on the regime. Though necessary, these moves are not sufficient, however, as Iran has been illustrating. This is why the close ties between Netanyahu and Trump are just as beneficial to the United States.

THAT BRINGS us to a key reason that Netanyahu just broke the record, previously held by Israel’s first premier, David Ben-Gurion, as the longest-serving prime minister in the country’s history.

Though Israeli “Bibi-bashers” would have the world believe that Netanyahu’s political longevity is due to a ruthless and bottomless hunger to “hang on to his seat,” and that he stops at nothing to guarantee the fall of his rivals and opponents, they fail to acknowledge the traits and accomplishments that have led to his repeated reelection. In doing so, they cast aspersions on the electoral system and the voters simultaneously.

Ironically, many of such nay-sayers wouldn’t have a shot at being in the Knesset in the first place if it weren’t for Israel’s “parliamentary democracy on steroids,” as the current campaign by tiny parties headed by swelled-headed politicians proves.

As for the voters, well, some of us struggle with the dilemma of casting our ballots for the party that most closely represents our ideological positions, or opting instead to back the big party most likely to form a coalition that best reflects our will.

Then there are those who are more focused on ousting Netanyahu than on articulating or holding any particular views. Many such floaters are supporting the Blue and White Party, headed by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, who have a rotation agreement.

At a surprise gathering in honor of his lengthy leadership record thrown for him on Monday by his family and members of Likud, Netanyahu took an apt jab at his defamers in general and the Blue and White chiefs in particular.

“If not for the actions we’ve taken, Iran would have had a nuclear arsenal a long time ago, and its coffers with which to take over the Middle East would have been even fuller. We’ve blocked it up until now but it hasn’t been permanently blocked. No one knows what will happen... the Iranians are banking on it being only a little while more until they’re free of [us].... The Iranians are just waiting, they’re waiting for our opponents. Who will stop [them]? Benny Gantz? Yair Lapid? [Those] who said we mustn’t walk away from the [nuclear] deal? That it was alright?”

Though it was clear that Netanyahu was using the celebratory event as part of his campaign to win again on September 17, he was right to stress his point. Even one of his vocal critics, TV personality Avri Gilad, recently expressed “anxiety” about the “day after” Netanyahu, whenever that might be.

The effort to portray him as a crazed and corrupt Captain Queeg ranting and raving about “Iran, Iran, Iran” has thus been futile so far, due to his deft stewardship of “our little Israel” through ayatollah-infested waters.

Has Boris Johnson learned from Winston Churchill? Apparently, yes! KBO!

I was in Crete on Tuesday, July 23, when it was announced Boris Johnson had beaten Jeremy Hunt by a ratio of 2:1.  I breathed a sigh of relief.

Two hours later, at the Venetian Harbor at Rethymno, I asked a group of British tourists what they thought of their new PM. “We are still in shock”, was their answer. Who were they? Labor supporters, perhaps?

Some complain that only 92153 people decided who the next PM of the UK would be. But let’s not forget that the best choice Britain ever made was on May 9, 1940 at 4:30 PM, when only four people - Churchill, Chamberlain, Halifax and Margesson picked Churchill as the next PM.

It is odd to hear German spoken nearby while reading Antony Beevor’s Crete, 1941, seeing tourists parasailing and thinking of the May 20, 1941 airborne attack which Major-General Bernard Freyberg underestimated expecting that the main attack would be seaborne, despite all the Ultra decrypts.  

“Never mind backstop, the buck stops here!” Boris ditched the backstop as he quoted Truman.  Excellent! Exactly the right approach. The EU may finally budge if they know for sure Boris may just walk away. But will Boris side with Trump on Iran and abandon the appeasing Europeans? His book The Churchill Factor which I reviewed on Amazon, was excellent, apart from him avoiding to mention Churchill’s views on Islam.  He knows the consequences of appeasement.  

I really sense a change in the air.  For the first time in years there is hope. As I wrote on June 23, 2016 - Britain votes OUT - Congratulations! Britain has found its soul.

Keep Buggering On!

Friday, July 19, 2019

President Trump: “They will pay a price like nobody has ever paid a price”

Is Boris wrong to claim Islam set the Muslim world back?


18 July 2019
5:17 PM          

I do love the Guardian. As the years go by almost no publication continues to give me such constant amusement. This week has been no exception.

A couple of days after first reading it I still remain almost impossibly amused by the paper’s lead, front-page story from earlier this week. The banner headline read ‘Boris Johnson claimed Islam put Muslim world “centuries behind”.’ As the sub-header for Frances Perraudin’s piece put it:
‘Anger as 2007 essay lamenting ‘no spread of democracy’ in Islamic world comes to light.’

Comes to light, eh? Must be some under-the-counter pamphlet, previously hidden-from-public-view stuff. That impression is reinforced as we start reading  Perraudin’s piece, a piece that sets off with a paragraph of scintillating promise:
‘Boris Johnson has been strongly criticised for arguing Islam has caused the Muslim world to be “literally centuries behind” the west, in an essay unearthed by the Guardian.’

‘Unearthed’. Wow, this must be exceptionally secret – as well as strong – stuff. So we have to keep reading to discover that the offence complained of did not occur during a rally in a Bavarian beer-hall, but in ‘An appendix added to a later edition of The Dream of Rome, his [Johnson’s] 2006 book about the Roman empire.’ So in fact when the Guardian’s intrepid correspondent, Frances Perraudin, talks about ‘unearthing’ something, what she really means is that she has read some of a book published a little over a decade ago. You can say many things about reading books, including reading books by prominent politicians, but the turning of research into ‘unearthing’ is the sort of self-glorification and task-inflation that could only occur in a trade that is dying.

And what is the ‘Anger’ which helps to make this Guardian front-page story about a published book? Have the Ayatollahs in Iran commented on ‘The Dream of Rome’? Has Al-Azhar issued any ruling on the permissibility of the 2007 appendix? It appears not. Firstly because they are probably not much bothered by it. And secondly because to get comment from such sources would require effort. Instead Perraudin in all likelihood called up the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and ‘Tell Mama’ for comment. The way such organisations work is that journalists of the Perraudin school call them up to ask if they are outraged by something, the organisations then agree that they are outraged at this week’s outrage and thus the journalist gets a story and the group in question gets to continue to hold itself out as a representative body of some kind. Making everyone a winner.

Yet still this does not seem enough for a real story. Let alone a front-pager. So what we are really reduced to hoping for is that the contents of the book Johnson secretly published through one of the nation’s biggest publishers a decade ago must contain really frightfully incendiary stuff.
Alas here again we must be disappointed. For in his book Johnson apparently argued that the Islamic religion caused the Muslim world to be ‘literally centuries behind’ the West. He furthermore said,
‘There must be something about Islam that indeed helps to explain why there was no rise of the bourgeoisie, no liberal capitalism and therefore no spread of democracy in the Muslim world.

‘It is extraordinary to think that under the Roman/Byzantine empire, the city of Constantinople kept the candle of learning alight for a thousand years, and that under Ottoman rule, the first printing press was not seen in Istanbul until the middle of the nineteenth century. Something caused them to be literally centuries behind.’

The Guardian, and Perraudin, along with the MCB and Tell Mama and various other professional offence-takers think it not just outrageous but seriously provocative for someone to point this out.

So rather than counter anger with anger, I would like to respond in a spirit of charity and generosity. Thus do I hereby offer a box of Roses chocolates to any Muslim or non-Muslim organisation or spokesperson who can prove that Johnson was wholly wrong in the above statements, and that rather than being a plausible and legitimate interpretation of the historical record, the statements in fact constitute a set of wholly made-up hate-claims. I have purchased the box of chocolates. They are sitting beside me, temptingly, indeed coquettishly, as I write. Yet I will not touch them. All that Tell Mama, the MCB or anyone else needs to do to get them, is to prove that wherever and whenever the religion of Islam arrives in a society, that society sees a burgeoning of capitalism, democracy and the free exchange of ideas. It can’t be that difficult, can it? I await the deluge of applications.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Shame on the Democrats and the House!

Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

Shame on the Democrats and the House!  Trump’s tweets have nothing to do with racism and everything to do with the failure of Islamic ideology in the countries from which two of the congresswomen came from and the failure of Communist ideology the other two espoused. As Czech president Milos Zeman said, political correctness is a euphemism for political cowardice.

Just a few days ago Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote in the WSJ article titled Can Ilhan Omar Overcome Her Prejudice?:

“Islamists have understood well how to couple Muslim anti-Semitism with the American left’s vague notion of “social justice.” They have succeeded in couching their agenda in the progressive framework of the oppressed versus the oppressor. Identity politics and victimhood culture also provide Islamists with the vocabulary to deflect their critics with accusations of “Islamophobia,” “white privilege” and “insensitivity.” A perfect illustration was the way Ms. Omar and her allies were able to turn a House resolution condemning her anti-Semitism into a garbled “intersectional” rant in which Muslims emerged as the most vulnerable minority in the league table of victimhood.

Netanyahu: Europeans Won’t Wake Up Until an Iranian Nuclear Weapon Falls on Them

“The response by the European Union to the Iranian violations reminds me of the European appeasement of the 1930s. Also then there was someone who buried his head in the sand and didn’t see the approaching danger. It seems that there are those in Europe who won’t wake up until Iranian nuclear missiles fall on European soil and then, of course, it will be too late. In any case, we will continue to do everything necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

Off topic - Apollo's Code: Meet the Computer Programmer Who Landed Us on the Moon

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Gathering Storm - Netanyahu is convinced that we are living out a rerun of the 1930s

Letters to the Editor, Jerusalem Post, July 10, 2019

That’s one small step for Iran

Regarding “Iran’s nuclear enrichment game” (July 9), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said World War II began in Europe “when Nazi Germany took one small step – to enter the Rhineland [in 1936]. A small step. No one said anything and no one did anything. The next step was the Anschluss, the connection with Austria [annexation of Austria in March 1938], and the next step was entering the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia [October 1938]. And the rest is known.” 

Netanyahu knows what is at stake. According to Ari Shavit’s 
article from 2012, “A few years ago Netanyahu held an in-depth discussion with Middle East expert Bernard Lewis. At the end of the talk, he was convinced that if the ayatollahs obtained nuclear weapons, they would use them. Since that day, Netanyahu seems convinced that we are living out a rerun of the 1930s.” 

So the question is not whether Israel is going to preempt; the question is only when.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Bibi and I are in sync on Iran

Two days ago I posted this in the Jerusalem Post

Today PM Netanyahu said

World War II began in Europe, he said, “when Nazi Germany took one small step - to enter the Rhineland [in 1936]. A small step. No one said anything and no one did anything. The next step was the Anschluss, the connection with Austria [annexation of Austria in March 1938], and the next step was entering the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia [October 1938]. And the rest is known.”

After all, we have been reading the same books

Time to get tuna - John Bolton’s tuna 

Eleven years ago I wrote Facing Iran, Alone and eight years ago started this blog. But it seems that I might have been wrong. We are not alone any more.