Nearing the end of nearly nine years of American military occupation of Iraq, President Barack Obama Monday warned other nations against interfering in Iraq's internal affairs.

"Just as Iraq has pledged not to interfere in other nations, other nations must not interfere in Iraq," Obama said after meeting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at the White House. The statement is seen as a warning to Iran not to interfere in the affairs of its neighbor. Iran and Iraq warred against one another in the 1980s when Iraq was under the rule of Saddam Hussein, but forged new ties since Maliki's government has been in power in Baghdad. The United States, fearing Iran may develop nuclear weapons, is using sanctions and other means to pressure the Tehran government to abandon its nuclear program and is hoping neighboring Iraq will retain its close ties to the United States. The United States has the world's largest embassy in Iraq and will retain some 16,000 employees there. But the Baghdad government is expected to exercise its independence in relations with Iran as well as other countries in the region.

"I think that obviously the US troop withdrawal will mean that there's less influence, less US influence," Ali al-Saffar, an Iraq analyst with the Economist Intelligence Unit in London, told the French international news service Agence France-Presse (AFP).

It was billed as a "Lincoln-Douglas -style" debate on foreign policy, though there was, alas, no Lincoln, no Douglas and, apparently, not much debating when Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and John Huntsman met at the Dana Center at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, Monday afternoon. Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Huntsman, the former governor of Utah and later ambassador to China, spent 90 minutes in a bloodless exchange of views that bore some resemblance to a college seminar.

 

We're being lied to about the purported Iranian nuclear threat, and the war party knows it.

In ways eerily reminiscent of the 2002 buildup to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the American people are being fed a steady diet of war propaganda about Iran and its alleged quest for a nuclear weapon. As with Iraq's president, Saddam Hussein, comparisons to Hitler circa 1938 abound. Max Boot, the neoconservative columnist, is just one of many propagandists working to agitate Americans into supporting a military attack on Iran. He wrote recently, "After the failure to stop Hitler and Bin Laden, among others, Westerners were said to have suffered a 'failure of imagination.' We are suffering that same failure today as we fail to face up to the growing threat from the Islamic Republic."

The message is unmistakable: Time is running out. Get Iran now before it's too late.

But despite what Boot and his ilk would have us think, there is no evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon. The U.S. government's dozen and a half intelligence agencies have twice said so. The latest International Atomic Energy Agency report recycled some old, discredited claims and fabricated "evidence" while nevertheless certifying that Iran has diverted none of its uranium to weapons production.
 

JBS CEO Art Thompson's weekly video news update for December 12, 2011.

As militant Islamists celebrate their decisive victory in the recent Egyptian election, Coptic Christians are bracing themselves for the next round of violence directed against them. A year which began with Muslim terrorists bombing a church in Alexandria, Egypt, during the Coptic Church’s celebration of Christmas on January 7 has now witnessed the rise of militant Islam to the point of having utter control of the goverment of that nation.

 

Tea Party favorite Rand Paul, Kentucky Senator and son of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, single-handedly thwarted an amendment proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) drafted to advance Georgia’s application for NATO membership.

In recent months, Paul, the constitutionalist, libertarian-leaning Senator has underscored his Republican credentials, sponsoring a range of GOP-led legislation, including a jobs bill with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a bill that would prioritize smaller harbors for dredging work with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and with his fellow Kentuckian, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a bill that would repeal net neutrality.

But last week, Paul’s amicable collaboration with his Republican colleagues came to a halt, as he sparred with Sen. Rubio, a fellow Tea Party favorite, over a foreign policy proposal critics say could have dealt a terminal blow to U.S.-Russian relations. In a bipartisan effort, the amendment "called for the President to lead a diplomatic effort to get approval of Georgia’s Membership Action Plan during the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago," said a Rubio spokesman.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul may soon have even more ammunition against American foreign aid. The White House has announced that it will use foreign aid to promote global rights for gays and lesbians.  President Obama made his intentions clear in a memo circulated yesterday, directing American agencies working abroad to use foreign aid to help homosexuals abroad who face human rights violations.

 

High on the agenda of President Obama is the exportation of America’s homosexual activism to other nations. On December 6 the President issued a memorandum indicating that he would use U.S. agencies and foreign aid to press forward this strategy. In the White House memorandum, the President claimed that he was “deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT [Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender] persons around the world,” and was therefore “directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.”

Among the specific actions Obama directed overseas agencies to take were to:

• Interfere in the affairs of foreign nations that attempt to criminalize homosexual behavior. Obama directed U.S. officials and agencies working abroad to “strengthen existing efforts to effectively combat the criminalization by foreign governments of LGBT status or conduct and to expand efforts to combat discrimination, homophobia, and intolerance on the basis of LGBT status or conduct.”

• Prioritize the efforts of homosexuals seeking special status. The President directed the Departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security to ramp up their sensitivity training so that federal officials and agents “can effectively address the protection of LGBT refugees” and “expedite resettlement of highly vulnerable” homosexuals.

The United Russia party of former President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has suffered a setback at the hands of the CPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation), which won about 20 percent of the vote in Sunday's elections to the state Duma, the lower house of parliament. The BBC noted that "United Russia won the election, but with a sharp drop in its support ahead of Mr. Putin's bid to return to the presidency next March." Putin served as President from 2000 to 2008, but the Russian constitution prohibited him from running for a third consecutive term.

 

Egyptian voters delivered a powerful victory to Islamists and the long-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in the first round of parliamentary elections, with hard-line Islamic parties winning around 65 percent of the vote. The news sparked widespread fears among Christians and others that Egypt could be plunged into tyranny once again while jeopardizing the security of neighboring Israel.

Official election results released on Sunday showed the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) garnering a sizeable lead with almost 37 percent of the vote. The more radical Salafi Muslim party Al Nour did far better than expected with close to 25 percent of the 10 million votes cast in the first of three rounds of elections.

The most significant secular party, the Egyptian Bloc, won less than 14 percent and came in third overall. But smaller moderate Islamic and secular parties performed poorly.

Questions are growing about what the new Egyptian government might look like after the first real elections in decades. It remains unclear whether the Brotherhood’s FJP will ally itself with the even more radical Islamist parties or form a coalition with liberal groups.
 

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