20180911

Muslim reformists denounce extremism; offer a path of contemporary values

Mrs. Raheel Raza shows Valor Award she was
presented by the Simon Wiesenthal Center
During past September 11th's, we have expressed disappointment at officials' reticence for commemorations to address the west's need to actively resist the Islamist movement to conquer and convert the world under a Caliphate. Many of the mosques in North America are influenced by Wahabist ideology from Saudi Arabia. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser organized the Muslim Reform Movement a few years ago to challenge crypto-Islamist groups, such as when he debated Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Afairs Council (covered by DemoCast video here).


Mrs. Raheel Raza, president of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, based in Canada, was honored by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Spring 2018. The SWC, which operates Los Angeles' Museum of Tolerance, presented Mrs. Raza an Award for Valor for her work in promoting  harmonius coexistence among people of all faith traditions and advancing progressive issues among Muslims.

In this DemoCast exclusive interview from that occasion Mrs. Raza 
discusses the history of the Muslim reform movement in North America and the issue of overcoming the taboo on criticizing Islamic-inspired supremacism, bigotry, and hostility against non-Muslims. 

Mrs. Raheel Raza video:



Mr. Sohail Raza is Raheel's partner in life as well as treasurer of the Muslims Facing Tomorrow organization. In this video interview, he addresses issues of Pakistani officials abetting Al-Qaeda - including the mastermind of the September 11th attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who also slaughtered Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, Daniel Pearl, son of Artificial Intelligence expert UCLA Professor Judea Pearl.

Mr Sohail Raza video:


Transcript: Question: Mr Raza, which country do you come from originally?

Answer: I come from Pakistan. I lived my youth and studied there and in 1978, I left Pakistan fearing the rise of extremism which came about during the reign of General Zia-ul-Haq. He imported the extremist message from Saudi at that time into Pakistan and women started covering up, alcohol was banned and other forms of extreme Islamic ideology crept in.

Q: Most Americans are not aware that the son of UCLA Professor Judea Pearl, Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal journalist who went looking for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan. Were they helped, was al-Qaeda helped by the ISI?


al-Qaeda's Osama bin Laden had Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in FL
plan airplane attacks on NYC and D.C. (photo: CBS News)
A: Absolutely yes, and that is the sad part. The mullah, the clerics, the mullah and military alliance. The ISI is also disunited in a certain way that the official version means maybe something different, but there are splinter groups that definitely help terrorist organizations because they used them in Afghanistan and they used them in Kashmir. So it is to their advantage to keep them happy and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was one of them- and Danny Pearl did an excellent job in investigating. Actually he went with a friend of mine, Ms. Asra Nomani, also from The Wall Street Journal, a Pakistani (actually a Mumbai-born Muslim), and they did a terrific investigation into Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and eventually it ended up in not very pleasant circumstances.


Reporter Daniel, mother Ruth, and UCLA Prof. Judea Pearl
(Photo: A.C.M.'s 2011 A.M. Turing Award Album)
Q: Why in your view did they behead Daniel Pearl?

A: The first reason is because he was a Jew - and the supposed animosity between Judaism and Islam which does not exist - even in the Quran it does not exist - and the sooner the two work together the better it is will be for the peace in the world - that is the one reason because he was Jewish because he was American and they wanted to make a statement - and they did.

Q: You started off claiming that they killed him because he was a Jew but the Quran preaches otherwise but what's the wider held belief towards Jews in the Muslim world?

A: The wider held belief is that of total ignorance. A person who's spouting hate against Jews in Israel- I can bet you anything he doesn't even know where in the map Israelis or what is the history of the Jews. It comes through total ignorance this animosity and it plays into the hands of Muslim politicians whether in the Arab world or in Pakistan or Malaysia or Indonesia. It plays into the hands because that is the supposed enemy - and it is very easy to build a hysteria and a mob against Israel or the Jews.

Q: So President Trump has declared that he's cutting support to Pakistan. Hasn’t Pakistan been one of the primary benefactors of American foreign aid over the past 20 years?

A: Yes, and one of the better words to describe Pakistan would be a “frenemy”- a friendly enemy. So Pakistan has always played a double game- it has taken aid from the United States of America to build its military. But on the other hand, it is also in the game of appeasing terrorists or terrorist organizations to play its own politics vis a vis India and Afghanistan and Iran to a certain extent.


Q: Who is Dr. A.Q. Khan?
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan admitted selling nuclear secrets to rogue
states; legitimates global Islamism and attacks on America

Answer: A.Q Khan is the father of the nuclear program in Pakistan. He stole nuclear secrets from the Netherlands and went about to Pakistan to develop a nuclear bomb. And a lot of people don't know that when we talk about North Korea and we talk about the nuclear program in Iran, it is A.Q. Khan that has sold nuclear secrets to both North Korea and Iran.

Q: Hasn’t it been referred to as the “Islamic bomb” that originated in Pakistan - where did he spread it within the Muslim world?

A: Well he wanted to spread it more into Libya, into Saudi Arabia but he was stopped and brought in to check. Now he is considerably restrained but the damage has already been done.

 Q: Israel just revealed that they were responsible for destroying the Syrian nuclear reactor. If they hadn't and that reactor in Syria had fallen into ISIS' hands or nuclear materials, what would the prospects for nuclear terrorism have been?

A: Yes, when you talk about ISIS you are talking about a totally mad and evil existence of a group of people so your imagination, my imagination, or the viewers’ imagination can be as drastic as possible as to what would have happened if this scenario would have materialized. It would have been complete chaos because you must understand that organizations like Isis revere death. Whereas we the people who have some sanity, revere life and that's the difference. So they would have had no qualms into dropping an atomic device on civilian population on children women, etc., so it would have been a complete disaster - a doomsday scenario.

20180908

Apply the lessons of WWII to defend our nation - externally and domestically - on V-J Day, Fleet Week, & Sept.11th

Japanese leaders believed they could conquer America, but
Americans hung together to defeat their external enemy
"High Castle" portrays Imperial Japan and Germany's goal
of conquering American society under their tyrannical rule











At occasions for active-duty, veterans, and the L.A. public, we are shown that we can defend ourselves against external military enemies. But what about our own house turning against itself (liberal vs republican)? As author Philip K. Dick depicted in his book, "The Man in the High Castle" (adapted in 2015 for an Amazon TV series) Japan would have extended its Asian empire by conquering America had we not defeated them in World War II. Japan's unconditional surrender came as a result of American bomber planes dropping the atomic bombs which (bomb-race winner) America rolled-out before Germany could - above the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
FILE -- Thousands of people celebrate VJ Day on New York's Times Square August 14, 1945 after Japanese radio reported acceptance of the Potsdam declaration.  (AP Photo)



The Heritage Foundation's Ms. Kay Coles James wrote an opinion published in Fox News, Sept 2, 2018 entitled, "The end of World War II 73 years ago, offers us an incredible lesson today." 
"Sunday, Sept 2nd marked the 73rd anniversary of V-J Day – Victory over Japan, when World War II ended on Sept. 2, 1945 with Japan’s surrender to the United States in a ceremony about the battleship USS Missouri. It followed V-E Day – Victory in Europe – on May 8 that same year, when the Allies accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany.
If you’ve ever watched the classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” you may recognize these lines from the scene where an angel recounts George Bailey’s actions at the end of World War II:  “Like everybody else, on V-E Day, he wept and prayed. On V-J Day, he wept and prayed again.” 
When the movie was first released in 1946, audiences got the reference right away. They had just lived through that long and bloody clash of arms. They knew full well why people wept and prayed on the day when the war in Europe ended, and again when our hostilities with Japan came to a close. 
But 73 years later, it’s a different story. At a time when many aren’t even sure what “V-E” and “V-J” stand for, their significance seems to have faded from memory. 
Perhaps that’s because the images of a war’s end aren’t as stark as those that mark its beginning. Americans, after all, were jolted into the conflict by the horrific events and footage of Dec. 7, 1941, as Japanese fighter planes attacked U.S. ships docked at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. 
Japanese envoys Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu signed their names on the Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay
The scene on Sept. 2, 1945 was much quieter. And yet what was being communicated – that the United States would be magnanimous in victory and not pursue a vindictive peace – spoke volumes. Such a stance is a proud fixture of American history.    . . .

An open-hands, open-hearts approach can work at home as well as abroad. In a time of rising incivility and escalating rhetoric, Americans would do well to follow Lincoln and MacArthur’s examples. To seek more peaceful ways to express our differences of opinion. Not to “repay evil with evil or insult with insult,” but to offer our blessings instead.

As the proud generations before us demonstrated, it’s never easy. But it very often is the right – and the smartest –thing to do.  And it’s what puts the “victory” in Victory Day."
Read the full essay on Fox News 
The ship of the Japanese surrender, the USS Missouri, was accompanied just miles away by the battleship USS Iowa which handled the US Navy's communication needs. 

Veterans' volunteer, Bob Donovan, resident of L.A.'s San Fernando Valley, helps organize the "Wings over Wendy's" fraternal group of airmen with a number of members (male and female) who served in WWII in the Pacific and European theaters of operation.




Bob Donovan intros S.F. Valley columnist, Dennis McCarthy
At Wings of Wendy's 16th anniversary luncheon of McCarthy's article, watch and listen to the story of how a L.A. Daily News columnist, Dennis McCarthy spurred the Wings over Wendy's expansion to over 300 members. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) bestows journalist McCarthy a civic commendation and presents him with a flag which flew over the U.S. Capitol Building.


On Labor Day weekend, the Port of L.A. hosted L.A. Fleet Week. Fleet week is an opportunity for the American public to meet their Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard teams and experience America’s sea services. During Fleet Week, service members participate in various community service events, showcase capabilities and equipment to the community, and enjoy the hospitality of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. 
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG105) is docked at the Port of Los Angeles.  
L.A. Fleet Week 2018 year attracted ships and crews from from the US Navy stationed in San Diego and the Canadian Navy from British Columbia, Canada. 

Mike Getscher EVP and CEO of the Pacific Battleship Center, which operates Battleship Iowa Museum, talks about the educational interest which the museum serves - especially during Fleet Week - which draws visitors of all ages to tour the moored ships.




Escorted tours were available on the USS Scout (a mine countermeasures ship), the USS Dewey (a guided-missile destroyer), the Independence-variant, Littoral combat ship USS Manchester (LCS 14), the "Alert" a U.S. Coast Guard cutter, and the HMCS Ottawa (a frigate from the Royal Canadian Navy). Servicemembers also toured on the USS Iowa Museum, as did veterans - who are given special recognition when they board, Mr. Getscher informed us.


LT Roy Chong from Honolulu, Hawaii, assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1 (LCSRON 1) answers questions during Los Angeles Fleet Week (LAFW).  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Janine F. Jones)
The Beach Boys, led by original member Mike Love, entertained servicemembers and the public in a concert along the waterfront.
Beach Boys' vocalist Mike Love (originally of Hawthorne, L.A. County) is accompanied by local L.A. actor John Stamos (of Cypress, L.A. County) who sang and played guitar and drums in the band's concert at Fleet Week

20180827

Dems' dirty path to prevent South Florida "draining their swamp"

If Floridians object to gators attacking people from swamps, should they be voting to "drain their swamp" in Washington?


"Debbie Wasserman Schultz Declared Most Unethical Politician"- by Thomas A. Hawk, The Independent Voter Network, Dec. 20, 2017
Keeping staffers under criminal investigation employed and rigging a primary election process to the favor of the party-anointed candidate is certainly enough to make the list of “worst ethics violators.” 
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) released its list of “top 5 ethics violators of 2017.” At the top of the list (second only to the unnamed members of Congress linked to the fresher- and ongoing- sexual harassment scandal) is US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
Imran Awan: The biggest scandal you've never heard of? Why mainstream media has been accused of ignoring the arrest of DNC staffer Imran Awan. ABC News Australia 9/1/17



DOJ agreees not to prosecute Imran Awan for House cybersecurity and theft, but questions remain
In September 2016, the House Office of Inspector General gave House leaders a presentation that alleged that Alvi, Imran, brothers Abid Awan and Jamal Awan, and a friend were logging into the servers of members who had previously fired him and funneling data off the network. It said evidence “suggests steps are being taken to conceal their activity” and that their behavior mirrored a “classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization.” 
Server logs show, it said, that Awan family members made “unauthorized access” to congressional servers in violation of House rules by logging into the servers of members who they didn’t work for.
The presentation especially found problems on one server, that of the House Democratic Caucus, an entity chaired at the time by then-Rep. Xavier Becerra of California. 
On Feb. 3, 2017, Paul Irving, the House’s top law enforcement officer, wrote in a letter to the Committee on House Administration that soon after it became evidence, the server went “missing.” 
The letter continued: “Based upon the evidence gathered to this point, we have concluded the employees are an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives, possibly threatening the integrity of our information systems.” 
Imran, Abid, Jamal, Alvi and a friend were banned from the House network the same day Kiko sent the letter.
. . .
Imran wasn’t arrested until July 2017, when he tried to leave the country and was taken into custody at Dulles airport. His lawyer is Chris Gowen, a former aide to Hillary Clinton.  
Wasserman Schultz kept paying Awan after he was banned from Congress. A Capitol Police report shows that in April 2016, Imran left a laptop with the username RepDWS in a Capitol Hill phone booth late at night, and it was taken by police. 
Police said they needed it as evidence, but Wasserman Schultz pledged “consequences” for the police chief. Wasserman Schultz’ brother, a prosecutor in the D.C. US Attorney’s office, has tweeted about the case under the handle “fedpros.” 
Gowen said he felt “very strongly” that the RepDWS laptop should not be examined, and prosecutors never publicly challenged that request. 
No one else connected to Imran that was banned from the House has been charged, yet the House has not re-instated them. Imran, Hina, Abid and Jamal have also shared IT duties with Haseeb Rana, former McDonalds worker Rao Abbas and Nataliia Sova, a Ukrainian who is married to Abid. 
House officials told TheDCNF that the vast majority of evidence about misconduct allegations on Capitol Hill — including $120,000 in missing equipment from the office of Yvette Clarke — is actually against Abid, not Imran. 
Capitol Hill officials involved in oversight of the case previously told TheDCNF that the reason the DOJ was not pursuing the case was because the Democrats were refusing to press charges.
What did Imran Awan have on Democrats that Debbie Wasserman Schultz fought so to pay and protect him?

"Justice Department covers up possible spy ring scandal in Democratic congressional offices" - Opinion by Frank Miniter, Fox News, July 3, 2018. Video with Daily Caller's Investigative Reporter Luke Rosiak
In an incredible sweetheart plea deal, Imran Awan – a former IT aide to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and other congressional Democrats – pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of making a false statement on a home equity loan.

Shockingly, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia issued a news release about Awan’s plea agreement that made no mention of his IT work for Democrats in Congress, no mention of Wasserman Schultz, and made his case sound like a minor local criminal matter of little interest to anyone. It was headlined: “Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Making False Statement on Application for Home Equity Loan.”Ho-hum, right? Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. 
Even on the simple theft of government equipment there is a lot there for prosecutors. One of Awan’s former tenants, a retired U.S. Marine, even found and turned over to authorities several computers and smart phones with government markings on them that he found in Awan’s rental property. 
There is also internal U.S. House of Representatives’ paperwork detailing some of what went on in the offices Awan and his associates who did contract IT work for congressional Democrats. 
Internal House Inspector General findings have also determined that Awan copied the emails of up to 44 Democratic House members and other personal data and backed them up to a server that reportedly went missing and to a Dropbox account. 
Awan, his wife and other relatives and friends were also all paid exorbitant salaries for working as IT contractors for members of Congress for years – even though many of them didn’t have any expertise in IT and even though they didn’t undergo background checks. 
It is also likely that a few of Awan’s associates didn't even show up to earn all the money they were paid. Still, no charges have been filed against Awan or his brothers relating to alleged thefts, possible espionage and for providing false information (an image of the Democratic House Caucus computer server) to Capitol Police.
It is actually very hard to sum-up all that this group of IT aides (who are almost all from Pakistan) did and the crimes they might have committed. 
Writing a book on the topic was like piecing together an international spy thriller filled with anonymous sources, encrypted conversations, off-the-record meetings, foreign documents and hard facts from various court filings and from internal investigations in the House. 
What is clear to me, after interviewing so many people, is there is a lot of evidence here for investigators, but also a lot of political reasons why they might want this case to go away. 
Awan was even Wasserman Schultz’s IT aide when she headed the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which incidentally was when the DNC was hacked and the information given to Wikileaks. 
I have no evidence that Awan was in any way responsible for the leak. Still, it is incredible how much of all this interconnects circumstantially. 
Real court scenes (when Awan pleaded guilty and waved his right to a trial by jury), possible depositions of House staffers and members of Congress, and the investigations that would take place if the Justice Department pursued additional charges would have necessarily dug into a lot of things the Washington establishment would rather not deal with publicly. It also would have forced investigators to follow the trail to Pakistan. 
Still, I didn’t think these investigating agencies would be brazen enough to agree to this kind of a sweetheart deal for Imran Awan and wife, Hina Alvi.  Now Awan will not face prosecution where the more serious allegations against him can be judged.
Sentencing in House Democratic IT scandal lets Imran Awan off with only a slap on the wrist

What’s the big deal?
  1. Outside of the quaint idea that justice should be equal – even for members of Congress, their staffers and contractors – there are a lot of problems inherent in covering up this multifaceted case.
  2. Foreign intelligence agencies must have noticed how easy it was for the Awans to get access to the date and emails of so many members of Congress.
  3. The slap on the wrist that Awan received hardly acts as a deterrent to those who’d like to know what members of Congress are saying behind closed doors.
  4. As any computer security professional will tell you, the weakest part of any system is people. Security won’t be taken seriously if no one pays a price for allowing massive security breaches in Congress.
  5. President Trump’s tweets related to this case were even used as a rationale by Judge Chutkan to let Awan walk out of the courtroom with only three months supervised release.
  6. If there is one takeaway right now it’s that the Trump administration should demand an investigation by the Office of Inspector General into how this plea deal was made. The IG should also look into what actually happened in Congress. This case offers the president the opportunity to expose the swamp to the American people.

    By covering this up, the establishment has left a lot to come out that will embarrass Congress, the mainstream media and the Justice Department.

20180823

"Bolton, Netanyahu Call For 'Greater Pressure' On Iran"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) shakes hands with U.S.
national-security adviser John Bolton during their meeting at
the prime minister's office in Jerusalem on August 20. (Reuters)
(Aug. 20)  Meeting in Jerusalem, White House national-security adviser John Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have called on European countries to increase pressure on Iran.
Bolton told Netanyahu on August 20 that the United States saw the "highest importance" in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and that's why President Donald Trump withdrew from the "wretched" nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
"It's why we've worked with our friends in Europe to convince them of the need to take stronger steps against the Iranian nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile program," Trump's national-security adviser added.
Trump and Netanyahu have been closely aligned on their approach to Iran since the U.S. president took office in January 2017.
Trump has consistently looked to increase pressure on Tehran to bring about what his administration has called a "change in behavior" regarding its weapons programs and its "destabilizing" activities in the region, accusations Iran denies.

In May, Trump pulled out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal that Iran signed with six world powers and has reimposed sanctions that had been eased as terms of the accord.
Calling the agreement "disastrous," Netanyahu said that "all countries who care about peace and security in the Middle East should follow America's lead and ratchet up the pressure on Iran," in what was considered a veiled reference to European countries.
"The greater the pressure on Iran, the greater the chance that the regime will roll back its aggression," he added. "And everybody should join this effort."

20180730

European analyst reveals Europe's love/ hate relationship with America - Jean Patrick Grumberg

European Commission Pres. Jean-Claude Juncker negotiated
tariffs with US Pres. Donald Trump 
When Pres. Donald Trump asked N.A.T.O. leaders in Europe to bear a fairer share of the cost of America providing them military protection, why did they balk so? Why was it reported so negatively? Why did American mainstream-media cast such a negative spin on Pres. Trump's attempts to renegotiate international tariff's towards America's favor? 


Jean Patrick Grumberg in Los Angeles
French-expatriate critic, Jean Patrick Grumberg, interprets Europe's love-hate relationship with America which began long-before the Trump administration. He believes that liberal news outlets won't report it accurately, despite it being in Americans' best interest. And the liberal bias is so great in Europe (where Associated Press and Reuters base their European reportage to America) that they won't fairly report issues related to Iran's interest in Islamic terror via immigrants.

While Mr. Trump pursues denuclearization via regime-change in Iran, Mr. Grumberg discusses European politicians' revealed and secret financial motivations, over the safety of the planet.


20180622

Free-world mourns passing of Charles Krauthammer, 68, socio-political analyst

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, expressed deep sorrow Friday over the passing of conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer.

"I was profoundly saddened to hear the news of the death of Charles Krauthammer, a noble and extraordinary spirit, who was one of Israel’s greatest friends," tweeted Netanyahu. "The news of your illness broke my heart," he had written in the letter. "I am overcome with grief. I am awed by your courage. For over half my lifetime, since I first met you in Washington in 1982, we have been like brothers. We didn't need to meet to understand each other. You understood everything."

The Prime Minister praised Krauthammer as "a proud American and a proud son of the Jewish people," and said – "you harnessed your formidable intellect to defend liberty and the Jewish state. No one has done this with greater clarity, consistency and conviction. Your writings will forever attest to that."

"Drawing on the wellsprings of your immense learning, you have slain the hypocrisy and slanders of the vilifiers of Israel and America with unflappable precision and unmatched erudition."
"I will miss you, Charles, as I miss a brother. I shall always remember you as a fearless fighter for truth, the best of the best our people has produced."

On Charles Krauthammer, my friend, mentor and lodestar | by Marc Thiessen, Opinion, The Inquirer, June 13.  (Marc Thiessen writes a twice-weekly column for the Washington Post on foreign and domestic policy and contributes to the PostPartisan blog).

"…(in February 2004) Charles delivered an enthralling lecture, which to this day is the best expression I have ever heard of America’s role in the world. He dismissed the idea of American empire, declaring, “It is absurd to apply the word to a people whose first instinct upon arriving on anyone’s soil is to demand an exit strategy.” Unlike Rome or Britain or other classical empires, he said, Americans do not hunger for territory. “We like it here. We like our McDonald’s. We like our football. We like our rock and roll. We’ve got the Grand Canyon and Graceland. . . . We’ve got everything. And if that’s not enough, we’ve got Vegas — which is a facsimile of everything. . . . If we want Chinese or Indian or Italian, we go to the food court.”


Marc Thiessen
We are not an imperial power, Charles said, but a commercial republic that, “by pure accident of history, has been designated custodian of the international system.” How to meet that responsibility? Charles systematically took apart the competing schools of foreign policy: isolationism (which he called an “ideology of fear”); liberal internationalism (which supports force only in cases “devoid of national interest” and seeks to constrain American power through “fictional legalisms”); and realism (which believes in American power but “fails because it offers no vision”).

In their place, Charles offered what he called democratic realism, which “sees as the engine of history not the will to power, but the will to freedom.” America, he said, “will support democracy everywhere, but we will commit blood and treasure only in places where there is a strategic necessity.” Put another way, he said, we will intervene “where it counts.” Germany and Japan counted. So did the Soviet Union. So does the battle against Islamic totalitarianism.

I realized that night: That’s not only what I think; that’s how I want to think. That’s how I want to write. I want to be like Charles Krauthammer.

A few years later, when I asked his advice for my new Post column, Charles invited me to his office. What a thrill to finally meet him in person! He was exactly as I expected: gracious, funny and kind. He shared with me his writing process, how he came up with ideas and wrote — and rewrote — his columns, until every word was perfect. And then he gave me one last piece of advice. “One day, they are going to ask you to write two columns a week,” he said. “Don’t do it. No one can write two good columns a week.” I followed his advice . . . until this year. (Sorry, Charles.)

In the years that followed, I was blessed to spend countless hours with Charles waiting to go on the air at Fox News, talking about everything from conservative philosophy to the rise of President Trump. He is so brilliant, so immersed in the debate, that he has never needed to prepare very much. One day, I asked him what his topic was. “I have no idea,” he said with a twinkle in his eye. I had to spend hours preparing to be half as good as Charles. I’m still working on it. Even before I knew him, he was my lodestar — and he always will be."

Read more:

Watch "Democratic Realism: An American Foreign Policy for a Unipolar World"



"Charles Krauthammer’s Democratic Vocation" by Bret Stephens, Opinion Columnist, N.Y Times  June 15, 2018

Charles Krauthammer, the Washington Post columnist, announced last week that he is stricken with terminal cancer and has only weeks to live. Since then, the tributes have poured forth, and rightly so. Charles taught generations of readers and fellow writers how to reason, persuade, live — and now how to die.

These things are all connected because wisdom and goodness are entwined and, deep down, perhaps identical. Of Charles’s goodness — his qualities as a father, friend and colleague; his courage and resilience as a man — the tributes from people who know him much better than I do richly testify.

Bret Stephens
(photo: Media Matters)
Of his wisdom, we have 38 years’ worth of columns, essays, speeches and spoken commentaries. If you lean conservative, as I do, the experience of a Krauthammer column was almost invariably the same: You’d read the piece and think, “that’s exactly it.” Not just “interesting” or “well written” or “mostly right.” Week after week, his was the clearest and smartest expression of the central truth of nearly every subject: a bad Supreme Court nomination, the joys and humiliations of chess, the future of geopolitics.

And if you don’t lean conservative? Then Charles’s writing served an even more useful purpose. Since I’m not aware of any precise antonym to the term “straw man,” I hereby nominate the noun “krauthammer” to serve the function, defined in two ways: (1) as the strongest possible counterargument to your opinion; (2) a person of deep substance and complete integrity.


Charles could write political columns with the best of them, but the game for him was philosophical, not partisan. His conservatism was never about getting Republicans elected in the fall. It was about conserving the institutions, values and temper of a free and humane world.

How? By getting his readers to raise their sights above the parapets of momentary passion and parochial interest. This didn’t mean that all of his calls were right — columnizing isn’t clairvoyance, especially under deadline pressure — but he did get readers to think carefully about the great things so frequently at stake in seemingly small questions. To read Charles was to be invited into a running conversation about the meaning, foundations and aims of politics in the grand sense.

Read more:




20180607

D-Day 74-years ago, they fought fascism in Axis-occupied Europe (and Asia)

B17 gunner SSGT Wilbur Richardson flew 2 missions on D-Day
"Operation Overlord"was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day)

French Consul General to California inducted Californian D-Day fighters into Legion of Honor.




World War II veteran airmen recount D-Day invasion of Europe and engagement against Imperial Japan over the Pacific. Gunner SSGT Wilbur Richardson recalls how Gen. Eisenhower rescheduled their original June 5th launch.



French Consul General Christophe Lemoine commemorates the 100th anniv of US entry to WWI- by welcoming WWII veterans of liberating France to their 2017 Bastille Day celebration. 



Canadian-American businessman and historian, Eric Weider, discusses Canada's role invading Normandy and fighting Nazis to liberate Europe in World War II. Recorded at the French Consul's residence.



Mrs. Eric Weider is wowed by the World War II achievements of Knight of the French Legion of Honor, Jerry King, who was involved in Sainte-Mère-Église, a 10 Battle-Star earner. 



Michael Reagan on U.S. veterans; his father Pres. Ronald Reagan's legacy in Normandy; dismay at millenials' ignorance about Allies fighting to free Europe from fascism.



Filmmaker, Doug Stebbleton, discusses his documentary, "Heroes of the Second World War" at L.A. screening for veterans, including many World War II vets, in Los Angeles. He mentions their screening at the Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mère-Église, Normandy.

20180423

Screenwriter / author Roger L. Simon, "I Know Best! How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic (If It Hasn't Already)," on BookTV at L.A. Times Book Fest



20180419

Al-Jazeera disrupter, Dr. Mordechai Kedar professes how Israel surviving 70-years must be miraculous

On the eve of Israel's 70th Independence Day, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, who teaches Arab Studies at Israel's Bar Ilan University, addressed a gathering in Los Angeles on the theme: "Why Israel's thriving for 70-years must be through miracles."  Dr. Kedar spoke about how Israel, a nation made up of Jews, Christians, and Muslims from many countries, has established a single, national identity despite its tribal affinities and antagonism from the surrounding Muslim countries, which many of its residents have been emigrated from. 


Dr. Mordechai Kedar reveals about how Islam and Muslims regard Christians and Jews. He discusses what moving the American embassy to Jerusalem represents to the Muslim world.


20180405

Who's falling for Saudi prince's "moderating" rhetoric in pursuit of US weapons & nukes?

In Saudi Arabia's quest to obtain US nuclear reactors and military weaponry, Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a PR campaign through America in an attempt to overcome justifiable concerns about its Wahabist advocacy and rejection of the Jewish state, US-ally Israel. While NY magazine headlines rush to proclaim Salman's "recognizing Israel," two, distinct Israeli journalists (one based in Amman, Jordan) and an American Arabist-expert offer a more sober perspective on the Saudis' charm-campaign. 
Saudi Prince Mohammed courts Pres. Trump to sell US nuclear reactors and weapons systems amidst concerns could spark a nuclear arms race among Muslim states and nuclear terrorists.  (photo: The Atlantic, 20 March 2018)
"Our Fair-Weathered Saudi Friend" Opinion by Caroline B. Glick in THE JERUSALEM POST April 4, 2018
Have we entered a new period of sweetness and light with our Arab neighbors? On Monday, The Atlantic published an interview which the magazine’s editor Jeffrey Goldberg conducted with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.  
Hours after its publication, the responses began pouring in. The basic line, repeated by all major newspapers, is that the Saudi crown prince recognized Israel’s right to exist. Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt gushed about it on his Twitter feed. 
Referring to the interview as “amazing,” Greenblatt wrote that “all should watch [Muhammad bin Salman]. 
He is far from perfect [and] there is a long road ahead, but in a region long dominated by hateful despots, [the prince] envisions a very different future for Muslims, Jews, Christians and all in the Middle East.”  Other commentators were even more exhilarated.
Are the prince’s fans correct? Is his ascendance to the Saudi crown the harbinger of a reformation of Islam and the beginning of a new era in Islamic relations with the Jews and the world as a whole? Not really. 
Most of the reports on the interview have focused on the prince’s remarks in which he ostensibly recognized Israel’s right to exist. But did he actually recognize Israel’s right to exist? Did he distinguish himself from all the other Arab leaders who to date have recognized that Israel exists but not admitted it has a right to exist? Let’s check the text. 
. . .  As Dr. Harold Rhode, a recently retired adviser on Islamic Affairs in the Office of the US Secretary of Defense explains, during much of his conversation with Goldberg, Muhammad engaged in the Islamic practice of “taqiyya,” or dissimulation for the benefit of Islam. 
According to the Koran, Muslims are permitted to lie about Islam to advance the faith.

This conclusion is easily reached when considering his responses to other questions, which like his answer regarding Israel, were deliberately imprecise. Goldberg asked Muhammad simple direct questions and he responded with answers that were either misleading or open to multiple interpretations. 
Dr. Harold Rhode explains the Muslim rejection of any Jewish sovereignty in Mid-East


Consider their discussion of Wahhabism. Since Saudi Arabia was established 85 years ago, it has been governed under Wahhabist Islam. Wahhabism, a school of Islam founded in the 18th century by the radical Islamic scholar Ibn Abdel el-Wahhab, views itself as the only legitimate version of Islam. Wahhabism calls for the abrogation of all novel interpretations of Islam. It aspires to Islamic global dominion. And upholds jihad.

Since at least 1979, the Saudis have invested billions of petro-dollars in spreading Wahhabist Islam throughout the world.

But when Goldberg asked Muhammad about those petro dollars, the crown prince acted like he didn’t know what Goldberg was talking about.

“This Wahhabism, please define it for us. We’re not familiar with it. We don’t know about it,” Muhammad said innocently. 

Goldberg responded with amazement, “What do you mean you don’t know about it?” Unmoved, he responded, “What is Wahhabism?” Goldberg replied, “You’re the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. You know what Wahhabism is.”

Muhammad countered, “No one can define this Wahhabism.” 
He then proceeded to deny any connection with the creed of Saudi Arabia while boldly and entirely dishonestly presenting the kingdom as a paragon of religious tolerance where all forms of Islam, including Shi’ite Islam, are treated equally.

Another statement from Muhammad that generated significant interest was his claim that there is no Islamic religious duty to propagate Islam in the non-Islamic world today.

In his words, “Today in non-Muslim countries, every human being has the right to choose his or her belief.

Religious books can be bought in every country. The message is delivered. Now it is no longer a duty for us to fight for the propagation of Islam.”

While Muhammad’s statement is refreshingly straightforward, its meaning is less so. He made his statement as a way of arguing that the calls for jihad and the establishment of a caliphate by the Muslim Brotherhood are un-Islamic.

Certainly, it would be significant if the Saudis stopped funding the radical mosques they founded worldwide.

It would be even more significant if he said that his regime is ordering the mosques the Saudis established throughout the world to preach peaceful coexistence with the non-Islamic world and to reject jihad. But he said nothing of the sort.

Moreover, it is hard to take his claims seriously since he then went on to deny any familiarity with Wahhabism, the creed that has ruled his kingdom for four generations.  
Read more:  www.CarolineGlick.com

Does the Saudi Crown Prince’s Rosy Rhetoric Indicate Real Change? by Zvi Bar'el in Ha'aretz, Apr 4, 2018

Prince Mohammed was not asked, and therefore did not share his thoughts, about what is usually referred to as the “deal of the century” that the Trump administration is cooking up. (Or is it already ready in President Donald Trump’s kitchen?) 
Does the Saudi crown prince still insist on Israel’s full withdrawal from all the territories, as the Arab Initiative demanded? Would Saudi Arabia permit changes to the agreement? Would the prince be willing to recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? Does he have an opinion about the 1967 borders?
These questions might not have come up in the interview because it was agreed ahead of time not to bring them up.

. . . Will this interest lead Israel to agree to Saudi Arabia’s launching its own nuclear program? Will Israel encourage the U.S. Congress to approve the sale of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes to Saudi Arabia, or will it continue to thwart the nuclear reactor deal between Washington and Riyadh?

. . . The crown prince’s vision to diversify the kingdom’s sources of income and reduce its dependence on oil, as called for in the Saudi 2030 plan, is still awaiting proof, while meanwhile he has to deal with a budget deficit caused by plummeting oil prices and heavy expenditures on the war in Yemen. We should wish him success, because Saudi Arabia still carries great weight in shaping pro-Western policies in the Middle East. And if need be, it can wrestle quite a few Arab and Western arms. But anyone who sees Mohammed bin Salman’s statements as a sign that an Israeli flag will soon fly in Riyadh should examine whether Saudi Arabia really has a partner in Israel.
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