Sep 18, 2017

Don’t Forget About Iraq

While still prime minister, Ariel Sharon expressed strong hope that with the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iraq would not be a threat to Israel for generations to come. No doubt the wily Sharon knew that geopolitics can turn on a dime, especially in the Middle East, but the point was sound. Iraq would surely take a long time to return as a regional power.

Yet because geopolitics in the region is usually uncertain, few could see that Iraq, even with American help, would become a chaotic entity, while its former rival, Iran, would rise.

With the destabilized government in Iraq, Iran is taking advantage, even meeting with Iraqi officials, which is deeply troubling.

(I visited this past weekend with an Iraqi friend, a Christian, who predicted that the Kurds in the north would achieve independence, and that Iraq as we have known it in effect ceases to exist.)

In a report from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, we learn that the Iranians are emboldened enough to meet with Iraq’s top officials:

“A   high-ranking   Iranian   delegation   headed   by   the   Chairman   of   the   Expediency Discernment Council, Mahmoud Shahroudi, conducted a visit to Iraq.  The delegation met with the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, former  Prime  Minister  Nouri  al-Maliki,  and paid a visit to the headquarters of the pro

-Iranian Shi’ite militia ‘al-Nujaba’ in Salah al-Din province. The visit, during which the heads of the delegation emphasized Iran’s continued support to Iraq in its fight against terrorism, occurred against the backdrop of the liberation of the city of Tel Afar from ISIS and the reports about improvements in Iraqi-Saudi relations.”

At the same time, the mullahs in Tehran are making sure their presence in these two destroyed countries, Iraq and Syria, remains in place:

“Meanwhile, Iran is continuing to pursue its diplomatic work vis-à-vis Syria and Russia surrounding the negotiations process.  The Iranian deputy foreign minister for Arab and African visited Syria in late August and conducted several meetings with senior Syrian regime officials, chief among them President Assad. In early September, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council met with the special envoy on Syria of the Russian president.”

Traditionally, Iraq has been a lethal foe of Israel. Remember, in all the modern wars, the Iraqis put troops in the field and the deeply anti-Semitic political culture in the country is in keeping with the ancient culture as well. Truly, a Babylon-style spirit has resided in this area for millennia.

Writing for Frontpage, Dr. Majid Rafizadeh offered these insights:

“Iran has utilized its soft and hard power, as well as its sectarian agenda, skillfully to exert influence in Iraq. On the one hand, Iran’s social, religious and cultural affinities with the Shiite population in Iraq have provided the Islamic Republic with a powerful platform to exert influence in Iraq. In addition, economically speaking, Tehran has used trade to ratchet up its leverage in Baghdad. The Islamic State has also provided Iranian leaders with the venue and excuse to increase Tehran’s military presence in Iraq and further dominate Iraqi’s security, intelligence and political establishments.

“On the other hand, by establishing ties, training, financing, unifying and arming Iraqi Shiite militias, Iran seeks to accomplish several objectives the foremost of which are to assist the Shiite militias to achieve political successes in Iraq and enter the parliament and have a say in the internal affairs of Baghdad. This will ensure Iran’s influence in Iraq for the long-term. Reportedly, Iran has repeatedly attempted to encourage the followers of Dawa and Sadr to unite in order to win more seats in the elections, and Tehran had funded its preferred candidates in the parliamentary elections.”

This means that barring divine intervention, Iraq will remain destabilized for generations, and serve as a proxy for Tehran. In essence, Iran is in the midst of a power grab for territory that, while not officially part of Iran, these regions remain under its control. That means Israel will continue to watch its eastern frontier very carefully. The Utopian Age is still far off on the horizon.

By the way—in no way is this a lesser priority than watching geopolitics in the Middle East—the Iraqi friend I mentioned earlier also told me that many Iranian people are becoming born-again and they are open to the Gospel. We sometimes forget the people themselves, so preoccupied are we by the mullahs and imams running the show. Please pray for Middle East Christians who are living under totalitarian regimes. These are precious people and we should never forget that “Iran” is not only about the evil leadership. Real human beings live there and need the Lord, just like we do.

Pray for them always.

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com

 

 

Sep 11, 2017

Totalitarians

 PLO chieftains Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas learned well from the east German and Romanian secret police, which trained them in terror tactics, including Psyops and violence.

This week it was reported that the Palestinian Authority arrested the chairman of a radio station, in Hebron. His “crime”? Criticizing the evil Abbas (who has not stood for re-election in years).

Ayman Qawasmeh, the chairman of the Minbar al-Huriyya radio station, criticized Abbas and was dealt with accordingly.

Not that Qawasmeh is a good guy. According to the Jerusalem Post:

“In a fit of frustration, Qawasmeh on Thursday called on Abbas and Hamdallah to resign after the IDF raided his radio station in Hebron and confiscated equipment, accusing them of failing to protect PA-controlled areas in the West Bank. An IDF spokeswoman said security services raided the radio station because it was inciting violence, a charge that Qawasmeh has denied.

“’I call on PA President Mahmoud Abbas and the prime minister to submit their resignations and not to remain in their positions,’ Qawasmeh said in a video that was widely shared on social media. ‘[To] he who cannot protect his institutions and people, I say to them, sit in your house.’”

This is Thug-Life, Palestinian style. The situation in the Palestinian Authority is hopeless in terms of achieving a stable form of government for the Arabs. Add to the mix the toxic, violent competition between the PA, Hama, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and various other gangs, it is remarkable that the West has propped it all up for a quarter-century.

The pathological hatred for Jews and Israel has infected Europe always. Consider the myriad ways in which they aided the Arabs in their lethal fight against Israel—this from a 2016 article in Commentary:

“Ulrike Meinhof, one of the leaders of West Germany’s most notorious domestic terrorist ring, openly celebrated the PLO’s 1972 slaughter of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics as a great revolutionary deed. Two of those who assisted in a radical Palestinian group’s 1976 hijacking of an Air France plane flying from Tel Aviv—which was forced to land in Entebbe, Uganda, occasioning Israel’s Operation Thunderbolt, the most dramatic hostage rescue in history—were West Germans. Indeed, West German terrorism was a subject of obsessive concern in the country and across Europe throughout the 1970s.”

As the years wore on, cooperation between the Europeans and the PLO intensified:

“During the 1970s, the PLO and the affiliates on its Executive Committee, notably the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PDFLP), carried out numerous terrorist actions against the cities and towns of northern Israel from bases in southern Lebanon. They included particularly barbaric attacks on civilians in Kiryat Shmona and Ma’alot in 1974 and the Coastal Road Massacre of 1978 between Tel Aviv and Haifa. The attacks received extensive coverage in the global media. The celebrations of attacks on “enemy children” filled press conferences and radio broadcasts of the Palestinian organizations in Beirut and Damascus. American diplomats in those cities sent memos back to Washington describing the celebrations in horrifying detail. Meanwhile, East Germany’s diplomats in the region were in contact not only with Arafat but also with leaders of the PFLP and PDFLP. During these years, East Germany was joining the Soviet bloc in sending these groups weapons of terror, including thousands of Kalashnikovs, hand grenades, and abundant ammunition and in offering them military training and medical care.”

Point being, Arafat and then Abbas learned firsthand how to wage war against Israel on multiple fronts. It also solidified their own thirst for power and explains why, decades later, they resort to Soviet-style tactics in suppressing opposition media.

So long as Abbas and his evil ilk are in charge, there will be no peace in the Middle East. The latest arrest of a formerly friendly radio station chairman is enough evidence of that.

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com