As refugees flood the Mediterranean, Europe is in a crisis. But the issue is not about how many lifeboats to send; it’s the failed state of Libya. Why isn’t Hillary Clinton, the architect of U.S. Libya policy, answering questions?
The European Union is being hit with a refugee crisis of unprecedented proportions as another boat loaded with emigres capsized near the Italian island of Lampedusa on Saturday. Nearly all of its 900 passengers drowned in what’s billed as the worst maritime disaster in the history of the Mediterranean.
The Mediterranean, now known as “a cemetery without graves,” will be crossed by some 500,000 refugees this year, up from about 220,000 last year.
At the same time, a second round of beheadings of Christians by Islamic State terrorists on Libya’s beaches over the weekend drives the point home: Terrorists are on the rise, and a strong base of their operations is in Libya, a failed state that was taken over by a vile menagerie of pirates, slavers and smugglers in the rubble of the toppled Gadhafi regime.
Who’s responsible here? None other than Hillary Clinton, who served as President Obama’s secretary of state during the overthrow of the longtime dictatorship of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
And that raises again the valid questions on what really happened in Libya.
At that time, the U.S. was partnering with Europe, chiefly France, in a supposedly easy operation to get rid of the annoying dictator and then watch what the alliance thought would be the flourishing of democracy. It was called “leading from behind.”
The U.S. withdrew support from Gadhafi – who, by the way, had voluntarily renounced his nuclear program in the interest of preserving himself – only to be waylaid by mobs and killed.
Instead of democracy, what flourished was barbarism with absolutely no state emerging from what had been a largely tribal society.
The brazen murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11, 2012, showed what was ahead for the country instead.
Who let that happen? And who was it who allowed their killers to get away with it with no fear of being hunted down and brought to justice? One suspect sipped on a strawberry frappe in a fancy hotel while being interviewed by the New York Times. He was at ease because he knew nobody was looking for him.
Weapons go unguarded and fall into the hands of terrorists. Islamic radicals destroy the beautiful country of Mali, home to ancient cultural treasures. An even more menacing element takes advantage of the U.S. failure to support Egypt by attacking the country on its western flank, beheading 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians last month, and inserting an explicit threat to Rome with it. They repeated the barbarism over the weekend with another group of Christians.
A disaster this complete is the result of foreign policy incompetence on an untold scale, and demands answers from the policymakers behind it.
But instead of calling on Clinton to answer questions, the press gives her a pass, and the Obama administration watched approvingly as she destroyed a gigantic cache of emails that might have shed light on what kind of trouble she was opening the country to during her service as secretary of state.
It’s an outrage, and the press and public have every right to expect answers from her.
An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced ousted president Mohamed Morsi and 12 other defendants to 20 years in jail for involvement in the arrests and torture of protesters during his rule.
But the court acquitted Morsi of murder charges that could have seen him sentenced to death over the killings of a journalist and two protesters during clashes outside a presidential palace in 2012.
Morsi had been facing the prospect of a death penalty, which would have been a symbolic blow against his Muslim Brotherhood movement – target of a brutal government crackdown after then army chief and now president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew him on July 3, 2013.
Ahead of the verdict, the Brotherhood slammed Sisi and called for pro-Morsi protests on Tuesday.
“The coup commander is exploiting the judiciary as a weapon in the battle against popular will and the democratic and revolutionary legitimacy represented by President Mohammad Morsi,” it said in a statement.
Morsi also faces a possible death penalty in two other trials, including one in which he is accused of spying for foreign powers.
Separate verdicts in those two cases are due on May 16.
Morsi was toppled after mass street protests against his year-long rule.
The new authorities then launched a sweeping crackdown on his supporters in which more than 1,400 people were killed and thousands jailed.
Hundreds have been sentenced to death after speedy mass trials which the United Nations called “unprecedented in recent history”.
The authorities have also targeted secular and liberal activists who spearheaded the 2011 uprising against long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak, Morsi’s predecessor.
In November, a court dropped murder charges against Mubarak in his own trial over the deaths of hundreds of protesters in 2011.
Tuesday’s verdict involved a case in which Mursi and 14 other defendants, seven of whom are on the run, are charged with the killing of three protesters and torturing several more during clashes in front of the presidential palace on December 5, 2012.
Defense lawyers say there is no proof Morsi incited the clashes. The verdict is open to appeal.
Sisi has vowed to “eradicate” the Brotherhood, an 85-year-old movement that staged major electoral gains between Mubarak’s fall and Morsi’s presidential victory in May 2012.
The movement was designated a “terrorist group” in December 2013, with the authorities blaming it for attacks on the security forces.
Jihadists have claimed these attacks in retaliation for the anti-Brotherhood crackdown.
In a country where the army has been in power for decades, Sisi’s May 2014 presidential victory crushed hopes raised since the popular anti-Mubarak revolt of a civilian democracy.
However, Sisi’s regime is widely popular among Egyptians tired of more than four years of political turmoil, but rights groups say it is more repressive than under Mubarak.
Obama only mentions Christians to lecture them, rather than defend them from persecution.
What do you call it when 12 men are drowned at sea for praying to Jesus?
Answer: Religious persecution.
Yet, when a throng of Muslims threw a dozen Christians overboard a migrant ship traveling from Libya to Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi missed the opportunity to label it as such. Standing next to President Obama at their joint news conference Friday, Renzi dismissed it as a one-off event and said, “The problem is not a problem of (a) clash of religions.”
While the prime minister plunged his head into the sand, Italian authorities arrested and charged the Muslim migrants with “multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate,” according to the BBC.
As Renzi was questioned about the incident, Obama was mute on the killings. He failed to interject any sense of outrage or even tepid concern for the targeting of Christians for their faith. If a Christian mob on a ship bound for Italy threw 12 Muslims to their death for praying to Allah, does anyone think the president would have been so disinterested? When three North Carolina Muslims were gunned down by a virulent atheist, Obama rightly spoke out against the horrifying killings. But he just can’t seem to find any passion for the mass persecution of Middle Eastern Christians or the eradication of Christianity from its birthplace.
Religious persecution of Christians is rampant worldwide, as Pew has noted, but nowhere is it more prevalent than in the Middle East and Northern Africa, where followers of Jesus are the targets of religious cleansing. Pope Francis has repeatedly decried the persecution and begged the world for help, but it has had little impact. Western leaders – including Obama – will be remembered for their near silence as this human rights tragedy unfolded. The president’s mumblings about the atrocities visited upon Christians (usually extracted after public outcry over his silence) are few and far between. And it will be hard to forget his lecturing of Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast about the centuries-old Crusades while Middle Eastern Christians were at that moment being harassed, driven from their homes, tortured and murdered for their faith.
A week and a half after Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast speech, 21 Coptic Christians were beheaded for being “people of the cross.” Seven of the victims were former students of my friend and hero “Mama” Maggie Gobran, known as the “Mother Theresa of Cairo” for her work with the poorest of the poor. She told me these dear men grew up in rural Upper Egypt and had gone to Libya seeking work to support their families. They died with dignity as they called out to their God, while the cowardly murderers masked their faces.
Rather than hectoring Christians about their ancestors’ misdeeds, Obama should honor these men and the countless Middle Eastern Christians persecuted before them.
Monday, there was more horrifying news: ISIL terrorists released a video purporting to show more religiously motivated killing. According to CNN, before beheading and shooting two groups of Christians in Libya, a speaker said, “The Islamic State has offered the Christian community (the opportunity to convert to Islam or pay a tax for being Christian) many times and set a deadline for this, but the Christians never cooperated.”
So they kill them.
Indeed, let’s talk more about the Crusades.
I am shaking and tears are flowing down my cheeks as I watch the news and listen to the insensitive, pain inflicting comments made by you in regards to the fall of Ramadi.
“The city itself is not symbolic in any way” oh really are you willing to meet with me and with the families who have lost a son, daughter, husband, wife, father, mother, aunt, uncle, grandson, or teammate?
My son Marc Lee was the first Navy SEAL who sacrificed his life in Ramadi Iraq Aug 2, 2006. His blood is still in that soil and forever will be. Remember that was when so many of our loved ones were taken from us. You said that “it’s not been declared part of the caliphate on one hand or central to the future of Iraq.” My son and many others gave their future in Ramadi. Ramadi mattered to them. Many military analysts say that as goes Ramadi so goes Iraq.
What about the troops who sacrificed their limbs and whose lives will never be the same. Our brave warriors who left a piece of themselves in Ramadi. What about the troops who struggle with PTS/TBI who watched their teammates breath their last or carried their wounded bodies to be medevac’d out of Ramadi.
I’ve traveled to Ramadi and visited Camp Marc Lee in 2007. I brought back soil from that city where Marc breathed his last. I interviewed Iraqi General Anwer in 2010 when I returned. I asked him “If you could say one thing to the American people what would you tell them? He paused and with deep emotion said “We will tell our children, our grandchildren, for generations to come we will tell them what Americans have done. There is American blood poured out on our soil.” It seems the Iraqis understand the importance more than you do sir.
You sir owe an apology to the families whose loved ones blood was shed in Ramadi. Ramadi matters to us and is very symbolic to us. You need to apologize to our troops whose bodies were blown to pieces from IEDs and bullet holes leaving parts and pieces behind, Ramadi matters to them. You need to apologize to our troops who endured the extreme temperatures and battled the terrorists in some of the worst battlefields in Iraq, Ramadi matters to them. They carry vivid memories of the battles and the teammates whose future is gone, Ramadi matters to them.
You and this administration have minimized that Ramadi could fall, now you are minimizing that it is falling, but you Sir WILL NOT minimize the sacrifice my son Marc Lee made or any of our brave warriors!
Awaiting an Apology
Dennis Michael Lynch (born August 28, 1969) is an American entrepreneur, documentary filmmaker, and conservative commentator. He is the founder and CEO of TV360Media, a company specializing in the production and distribution of digital film, and often appears as a guest on Fox News and TheBlaze. He is currently running for President of the United States as a conservative Republican.
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Russia and China have also agreed to build nuclear plants for Iran. And North Korea has also been supplying Iran with technology, a “minor detail” hidden from the UN by U.S. President Barack Obama. And the U.S. thinks that if Iran is caught cheating, sanctions can be re-imposed?
Other countries in the region have already started scheduling delivery for their nuclear weapons. They have made it clear they will not sit idly by while Iran goes nuclear.
Iran has already bragged that it will sell “enriched uranium” on the open market, and will be “hopefully making some money” from it, said Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
No agreement was signed between Iran and the P5+1 group  on April 2; no agreement will be signed on June 30.
The text defining the “framework” of some agreement to be signed in June was immediately challenged by Iran. Western leaders speak and act as if they have no idea what Iran is saying or doing.
Western leaders wanted something akin to an agreement. They got something akin to an agreement.
Iran’s leaders seem to have spotted pretty soon that Western leaders would willingly concede everything – and possibly more – to get any “agreement”; so that is what Western leaders got.
Western leaders not only failed to reach an agreement; they capitulated. The reason for the talks was to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. When, according to Western reports, they saw that Iran would not agree to stop, they “flipped” and instead became complicit.
All signs indicate that the West is planning to give a lawless, expansionist, terrorist regime nuclear weapons capability – as a reward for violating international treaties again and again. What message are other rogue nations to take from that?
Not only have Western leaders given the Iranian regime the opportunity to acquire nuclear weapons; they have let Iran initiate and sanctify a nuclear arms race to destabilize an already volatile region. They have also given Iran the opportunity to get billions of dollars to accelerate its nuclear weapons programs – and they are negotiating to lift all sanctions either early or late so that Iran can get still more.
They also allowed Iran to keep four American hostages: Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Robert Levinson, who has not been heard from for years and may be dead. The State Department has said that “their freedom should not be linked to negotiations,” so their release was not even discussed. Their immediate release was the first matter that should have been discussed.
What Western leaders have deliberately ignored is the nature of the Iranian regime: Totalitarian regimes never abide by the agreements they sign. Islamists often refer to Muhammad’s treaty of Hudaybiyyah. In 628, Muhammad agreed to a 10-year truce with the Quraysh tribe of Mecca. Two years later, when Muslim forces had gathered strength, Muhammad broke the treaty and marched into Mecca.  Since then, in Islam, no treaty can be made for more than ten years, and even then, it is not a treaty, it is a truce – to be broken again if Islam’s side is strong.
This spring, while negotiations were held in Lausanne, Ali Khamenei, the “supreme leader” of Iran, led huge crowds, shouting “Death to America.” Every year, he promises a “world free of infidels” as well as the Messianic return of the “Twelfth Imam,” the Mahdi, a descendant of Muhammad who will guide martyrs during a “final battle”.
Western leaders act as if all important decisions in Iran are made by its President, Hassan Rouhani. They know perfectly well, however, that nothing happens in Iran without the approval of Ali Khamenei, and no one else. Perhaps Western leaders are hoping that Rouhani will unseat Khamenei, a succession scarcely conceivable. The Iranian leadership is not accountable to its people.
Moreover, based on Rouhani’s account of how he duped the West in previous negotiations, it is doubtful if Rouhani unseating Khamenei would be any more desirable for the West. Since Rouhani was elected President in June 2013, the number of executions carried out by the regime has soared compared to the number under his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Reportedly, 753 persons were executed in 2014, a 10% increase over 2013. Just 291 of these cases (39%) were announced officially. “The aim of these executions is not to fight crime, but to spread fear among the population,” according to Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of Iran Human Rights.
To paraphrase Natan Sharansky,  if a government does not treat its own people well, it is not likely to treat anyone else any better.
Iran is clearly interested in all oil producing regions. It has taken over four Arab capitals — Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad and Sana’a – while the U.S. has fled from three countries: Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Iran now surrounds all the oilfields of the Middle East.
Iran is also trying to take over the Middle East’s major sea lanes – the Strait of Hormuz, the choke point of the Persian Gulf, and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait at the mouth of the Suez Canal. If Iran succeeds, it will be able to control most of the oil trade in the Middle East.
Iran also continues to repeat its threats of genocide against Israel. In late March, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, commander of Iran’s Basij paramilitary force, announced that “the destruction of Israel is non-negotiable.”
Hamas is still on the terrorist list maintained by the State Department but was removed from the list of the European Union in December 2014. No Western leader seems to know that Iran has been helping Hamas to build over 100 new tunnels and replenish its weapon stockpiles.
Although many of the terms of the “framework” are, we are told, known only to the negotiators, what we do know so far about what Iran wanted and got includes:
* Retaining its enriched uranium stockpile, not having to ship it abroad.
* Keeping thousands (at least 6000) centrifuges to produce weapons-grade uranium, and modernizing its Arak plutonium reactor.
* Continuing its operations at the Fordow plant, under a mountain, in bunkers designed to withstand aerial attacks.
* A massive lifting of sanctions. It wants still more, “immediately.”
* Continuing to develop its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program
Iran’s ICBM program was not even mentioned during discussions.
Also not included in discussions was Iran’s ongoing funding of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, was just removed by the U.S. State Department from its list of terrorist threats; and Iran was removed from its list of states that sponsor terrorism.
The “armed wing” of Hezbollah is still on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations, but Hezbollah’s “political wing” is not. Iran can tell European leaders that the Iranian regime supports the political wing of Hezbollah, but not its military branch. There is no doubt that European leaders, pressured by companies eager to do business in Iran, will pretend they received a satisfying answer.
On April 12, Russia lifted its ban on the delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. Russia and China have also agreed to build nuclear power plants for Iran. And North Korea has also been supplying Iran with technology, “including components for a long-range nuclear missile,” a “minor detail” hidden from the UN by U.S. President Barack Obama. And the U.S. thinks that if Iran is caught cheating, sanctions can be re-imposed?
Iran says it will accept only scheduled visits by IAEA inspectors, and it can endlessly contest any findings. The IAEA in the past never found anything anyway. All the illegal nuclear facilities that Iran wanted to hide were discovered by Iranian dissidents, and American and Israeli intelligence agencies – not by the IAEA.
Senator Mark Kirk has said that Neville Chamberlain got a lot more out of Adolf Hitler at the Munich Conference. British commentators noted that the difference between Chamberlain and those who negotiated with Iran is that Chamberlain had never encountered that kind of duplicity before, and was the head of a weakened, and largely disarmed, Britain.
Iran supports Shiite militias fighting ISIS in Iraq, where the Shiite militias behave as wildly as ISIS.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and other Arab leaders have realized that they are facing a clear and present danger. At the Arab League summit on March 29, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced the creation of a joint Arab military force. The positions of Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen are being bombarded, but the Houthis do not retreat. Other countries in the region have already started scheduling delivery for their nuclear weapons. They have made it clear that they will not sit idly by while Iran goes nuclear. Iran has already bragged that it will sell “enriched uranium” on the open market, and will be “hopefully making some money” from it, said Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Benjamin Netanyahu knows that Israel faces an equally obvious danger. He said that “the agreement” would be a “threat to the survival of Israel.” Yesterday, on April 15, speaking at the state ceremony commemorating “Yom Hashoah” (the day of remembrance of the Holocaust), he stated, “The danger is there for all to see… and yet the blindness is vast. Even if we are forced to stand alone, we will not falter… We will not allow the State of Israel to become a passing phase in the history of our people.”
The U.S. President who cut off military supplies to Israel during the Gaza war, who has interfered in the Israeli elections to an unprecedented degree, and who wants to force Israel to return to indefensible borders, said he would “defend” Israel. It is not at all certain that Netanyahu can trust him.
Iran’s Defense Minister, Hossein Dehghan, hailed the framework as a step towards “establishing stability and security in the region.” Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said: “This is a direct result of the legitimacy that Iran obtained from the emerging deal.”
On the evening of April 3, Western leaders were smiling. Mohammad Javad Zarif, was smiling too. He was the only one who had good reason to.