Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Press and Media Post All The NewsThat Matters - To Them! Truth Matters To This Black Judge So Justice Prevails!

                                                                                           (See 4 below.)

The Landings Ivy League Club (LILC) has joined the Skidaway Island Republican Club (SIRC) in sponsoring a talk and book signing by Kim Strassel, a Wall Street Journal Opinion Page writer of considerable note. Her new book entitled "The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech" is a runaway success in 2016. 

Kim will join us on November 1, from 4-6pm at the Plantation Club, a week before the 2016 election,  which she will discuss as well as sign book purchases.

The cost of attendance is free for sustaining members of the SIRC, $5 for Members of the SIRC, and $10 for non-members of SIRC. Ivy League members will follow the SIRC charges.

So adequate space can be arranged at Plantation for this very special event, please let me know if you will be attending.

Charlie Bourland
Pocahontas Warren lives in a multi million dollar tepee, earns $350,0000/year spewing bile at Harvard.  (See 1 below.)
I spoke with an old friend and former institutional client and asked his view of the market today.  This is what he had to say: "... Re the market, the technicals are setting up very positively, which is totally contrary to the historical tendency of the market to underform in election years.  Given the seemingly weak fundamentals surrounding income levels, the workforce participation rate, and weak consumer, the performance of the market is surprising.  Obviously, the continued low(er) rates and large amounts of cash on the sideline are fueling the market higher.  Certain segments of the market seem poised to move higher.  I have to admit that I have been caught off-guard by the break-out to new highs.

Furthermore, with mini-anarchy surrounding BLM, one terrorist attack after another, and all the other stuff going on, market seems to be doing what it does best:  Climbing the wall of worry!!! M---"

My learned friend is quite market savvy and succinct.  I take issue with one thing he wrote.  If I remember Yale Hirsch's Alamanac statistics the market does well in the presidential year because the party in power spends money to set the economy up, but that may not be the case in recent history.

The market's rise to new highs also caught me flatfooted.
This from a very dear friend an fellow memo reader.  Shows how the press and media print all the things that matter - to them! (See 2 below.)
In this black judge's courtroom truth matters and justice prevails once again. (See 3 below.)
This from one of my oldest Christian friends , former client and fellow memo readers: "Dick,
I am enjoying your posts.  The rising negative sentiment here and abroad toward Israel is alarming.  I went back and reread this article by Krautheimer, first published in 1998, from his recent book which seems every bit as relevant today.   How soon we forget.  I hope our liberal Jewish friends are waking up.
Hope all is well with you. E-"
The local paper recently attacked Trump in a lengthy editorial for not responding to various ant-Semitic activities etc.  I had mixed feelings about their editorial.  I felt the paper was using Trump's failure to respond as a way of showing how righteous they were by  attacking him in subtle support of Hillary.  Then , of course, the next day came the Wasserman revelations and the paper wrote another long editorial but  saw no connection of Hillary with what was discussed and then the Clinton's hired Wasserman.

I wrote this LTE in response to their charge against Trump and the one I posted yesterday asking the paper when they would attack Hillary for not replying to Rep Johnson's slurs:

As your editorial board knows I am outspoken, Jewish and a conservative.  Therefore, I read with interest your lengthy editorial challenging Trump for not responding to a variety of anti-Semitic slurs and acts.

First, You have no proof these slurs and acts were not planted by the opposition party. After the recent Wasserman matter, where members of the DNC discussed linking religious challenges to Bernie Sanders, my belief that anything is conceivable when it comes to politics was revalidated.

Second, most all political campaigns sink to levels they should not and I suspect the 2016 campaign will set new lows but I personally do not believe Trump has an anti-Semitic bone in his body.

As Trump transits from business man to presidential nominee, I am sure he will make, and has already made, many mistakes but I also believe he cannot be expected to disavow every despicable comment or act or he could be spending his entire campaign knocking down straw men and allegations.

In view of the recent Wasserman matter perhaps you are barking up the wrong political tree.

Third, when it comes to Israel I submit Republicans,Trump and his Party are far more openly supportive of Israel than Hillary, Obama and The Democrat Party which openly supports and defends the The Iran Deal, which Obama claimed was not a treaty in order to circumvent the constitutional authority of The Senate.

Fourth, In view of the recent Wasserman episode, I look forward to an equally lengthy rebuke from your editorial board aimed at Hillary and her party because, though I have no direct evidence, Hillary must have known what Wasserman and her compatriots were discussing and entertaining.

I say this because, after observing Hillary and her husband's public performances over the past 30 or so years, it is not unreasonable to infer they would stop at nothing in pursuit of their desire to gain ultimate power over We The People, so they can continue to enrich themselves at the expense of those in opposition to their skulduggery. I cite the selling of uranium, while Sec. of State, resulting in large deposits in the Clinton Foundation all activities occurring, strangely, in Canada.

If you wrote a lengthy condoning editorial I must have missed it.

 Like yourselves, I have no proof but your editorial linking Trump to anti-Semitism or his failure to disavow that which you cite comes across as a subtle over reach in support of Hillary but then, like yourselves, one can elude that I am engaged in wild, or at least questionable, speculation and challenging accusations.
Ethnic opposition to Iran regime on the rise. (See 5 below.)
French youth increasingly Muslim. (See 6 below.)


(Factual corrections and comments in parentheses.)
Thank you, thank you! Thank you Joe, and thank you Massachusetts for the great honor of serving as your senator. Thank you guys! What a night. Wow. Michelle Obama, Cory Booker. And we still have Bernie coming up. Bernie reminds us what Democrats fight for every day. Thank you, Bernie. Thank you.
Now we’re here tonight because America faces a choice — the choice of a new president. On one side is a man who inherited a fortune from his father and kept it going by cheating people, by skipping out on debts. FALSE.  A man who has never sacrificed anything for anyone. (FALSE.  She obviously doesn’t know anyone who knows Trump.)  A man who cares only for himself, every minute of every day. On the other side is one of the smartest, toughest, most tenacious people on this planet, (She forgot ‘criminally negligent and dishonest’) a woman who fights for children, for women, for healthcare, for human rights —woman who fights for all of us and is strong enough to win those fights. (Any evidence of these ‘fights’?  Any wins?)  We’re here today because our choice is Hillary Clinton. I’m with Hillary. I’m with Hillary. I’m with Hillary.
You know, for me, this choice is personal. It’s about who are as people, it’s about what kind of a country we want to be. I grew up in Oklahoma. My daddy ended up as a maintenance man and my mom worked a minimum wage job at Sears. My three brothers served in the military… Me? I got married at 19, graduated from a commuter college in Texas that cost $50 a semester. (Then she became Pocahontas.) The way I see it, I’m a janitor’s daughter who became a public school teacher, a professor, and a United States senator. (Recall that Warren lied, repeatedly, to claim she was “native American”, so she could receive special benefits.)  America is truly a country of opportunity, truly. I am deeply grateful to that America. I believe in that America. But I’m worried. I’m worried that my story is locked in the past, worried that opportunity is slipping away for people who work hard and play to the rules. I mean look around — Americans bust their tails, some working two or three jobs, but wages stay flat (flat wages are caused by oppressive Democrat regulations upon employers)… the costs are out of sight. Young people are getting crushed by student loans (college cost inflation is directly attributed to government student loans), working people are in debt… Even families who are okay today worry it could all fall apart tomorrow. This is not right. It is not.  (Most of these woes are typical of any population, for the past 2000 years.)
And here’s the thing. America isn’t going broke. (Yes, it is already 20 trillion dollars broke.)  The stock market is breaking records. Corporate profits are at all-time highs (FALSE!  Corporate Profits have been falling for two years, burdened by excess regulations and Obamacare.)  There is lots of wealth in America but it isn’t trickling down to hard-working families like yours. (Income Inequality has gotten WORSE under the Liberal-Democrat Obama policies, as it typically does under Liberals.)  Does anyone here have a problem with that? Well I do, too. People get it. The system is rigged. (Yes, it’s rigged by Democrats and the Liberal media.) It’s true. Now, so-called experts claim America’s in trouble because both political parties in Washington refuse to compromise — gridlock. That is just flat wrong. Washington works great for those at the top. When giant companies wanted more tax loopholes, Washington (Obama and Hillary) got it done. When huge energy companies wanted to tear up the environment, Washington got it done (FYI, no energy company “wanted” to tear up the environment.) … Try to do something, anything, for working people and you’ll have a fight on your hand. Democrats have taken on those fights (and made things WORSE.) That’s what we do.
Democrats fought to get health insurance for more Americans. (FALSE!  Obamacare is LESS affordable and far less efficient.)  Democrats fought for a strong consumer agency so big banks can’t cheat people. (FALSE!  Consumer credit is drying up because of new Dodd-Frank regulations.) We fought, we won, and we improved the lives of millions of people. (FALSE!  A record high percentage of people say America has become worse and headed in the wrong direction, under Obama.) Thank you, Barack Obama. Yes, we won, but Republicans and lobbyists battled us every step of the way. Five years later, that consumer agency has returned $11 billion to families who were cheated. (…while putting consumer lending companies out of business.) And Republicans? Republicans, they’re still trying to kill it. Look, I’m not someone who thinks Republicans are always wrong and Democrats are always right. There’s enough blame to go around. But there’s a huge difference between people fighting for a level playing field and people fighting to keep the system rigged.  (Democrats had control of Congress from 2006-2014, while things got progressively WORSE.)
Look at Congress since the Republicans took over. Democrats proposed refinancing student loans and Republicans? They said no. Democrats proposed ending tax breaks for corporations that shipped jobs overseas, and Republicans said no. Democrats proposed raising the minimum wage and Republicans? They said no… This November, we’re coming for you.  (In other words, Democrats proposed Socialist government takeovers of industries, wages, and profits, and Republicans said No.)
And where was Donald Trump? In all of these fights, not once did he lift a finger to help working people. (Yes he did.  Trump created jobs, hired women, made yuge charitable donations.)  And why would he? His whole life has been about taking advantage of that rigged system. Time after time, he preyed on (actually, hired)working people, people in debt, people who had fallen on hard times… Donald Trump goes on and on and on about being a successful businessman but he filed business bankruptcy six times, always to protect his own money and stick the investors and contractors with the bill. Donald Trump hired plumbers and painters and construction workers to do hard labor for his businesses and then he told them to take only a fraction of what he owed… So what kind of a man acts like this? What kind of a man roots for an economic crash that caused millions of people their jobs, their homes, their life savings? (Answer: George Soros) What kind of a man cheats students, cheats investors, cheats workers? (Answer: Bill or Hillary Clinton) I’ll tell you what kind of a man — a man who must never be president of the United States. Never. And we’ve got the leaders to make it happen: Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. They’re going to make it happen.
Look. Donald Trump knows that the American people are angry — a fact so obvious he can see it from the top of the Trump Tower. So now, he’s insisting that he and he alone can fix the rigged system. Last week, Donald Trump spoke for more than an hour on the biggest stage he’s ever had. But other than talking about building a stupid wall (similar to the current walls around the Clinton house, the DNC, the White House, etc.) — which will never get built — other than that wall, did you hear any actual ideas? (YES, many many ideas.) Did you hear even one solid proposal from Trump for increasing incomes or improving your kids’ educations or even creating even one good-paying job? (Yes. Many.) Look, let’s face it. Donald Trump has no real plans for jobs or for college kids or for seniors, no plans to make anything great for anyone except the rich guys like Donald Trump. Just look at his ideas. Donald Trump wants to get rid of the federal minimum wage(FALSE)… Donald Trump has a tax plan to give multimillionaires and billionaires like himself an average tax cut of $1.3 million a year. (FALSE) You know, you’re struggling to put your kids through college and Trump thinks he needs a million-dollar tax break? (FYI, tax cuts are proven to create jobs.  Tax hikes are proven to kill jobs.) … The great Trump hot air machine will reveal all the answers. And for one low low price, he’ll even throw in a goofy hat. (TRUE!)
And here’s the really ugly underside to his pitch. Trump thinks he can win votes by fanning the flames of fear and hatred. By turning neighbor against neighbor. By persuading you that the real problem in America is your fellow Americans – people who don’t look like you, or don’t talk like you, or don’t worship like you. He even picked a vice president famous for trying to make it legal to openly discriminate against gays and lesbians. (FALSE.  This is typical Warren hate-filled lies and slander.) That’s Donald Trump’s America. An America of fear and hate. An America where we all break apart. Whites against blacks and Latinos. Christians against Muslims and Jews. Straight against gay. Everyone against immigrants. Race, religion, heritage, gender — the more factions the better. (This is all the accurate description of the past eight divisive years of Obama, and the 200 year history of DEMOCRATS!) But ask yourself this. When white workers in Ohio are pitted against black workers in North Carolina, or Latino workers in Florida — who really benefits?  (Answer: Democrats.)
Divide and conquer is an old story in America. Dr. Martin Luther King knew it. After his march from Selma to Montgomery, he spoke of how segregation was created to keep people divided. Instead of higher wages for workers, Dr. King described how poor whites in the South were fed Jim Crow, which told a poor white worker that, “no matter how bad off he was, at least he was a white man, better than the black man.” Racial hatred was part of keeping the powerful on top. (BTW, MLK would likely be a Republican in today’s America, according to his family.) When we turn on each other, bankers can run our economy for Wall Street, oil companies can fight off clean energy, and giant corporations can ship the last good jobs overseas. (Obama has perfected this strategy.) When we turn on each other, rich guys like Trump can push through tax breaks for themselves… When we turn on each other, we can’t unite to fight back against a rigged system.  (This is Bernie’s argument, but it was already proven that Clinton is as corrupt as the DNC.)
Well, I’ve got news for Donald Trump. The American people are not falling for it! We’ve seen this ugliness before and we’re not going to be Donald Trump’s hate-filled America. (Really?  Dems obviously prefer divisive hatred.) Not now, not ever. This is about our values, about our shared values with our candidates Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. Let’s talk about those values. We believe that no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, no matter who you love, equal means equal. (Except when the FBI and DOJ investigate Hillary’s crimes.) Hillary will fight to make sure that discrimination has no place in America and we’re with her.
We believe that no one, no one who works full time should live in poverty. (What if you are working full time making worthless buggy whips?  Simply ‘working’ has never guaranteed wealth, ever.)  Hillary will fight to raise the minimum wage, fair scheduling, paid family and medical leave, and we’re with her. We believe every kid in America should have a chance for a great education without getting crushed by debt. Hillary will fight for refinancing student loans and debt-free college. We are with her. And we believe that after a lifetime of hard work, seniors should be able to retire with dignity. Hillary will fight to expand Social Security, strengthen Medicare, and protect our retirement accounts, and we’re with her.  (WHO WILL PAY FOR ALL THIS NEW DEFICIT SPENDING?  WHO WILL DETERMINE HOW THE WEALTH GETS RE-DISTRIBUTED?  SOCIALIST HILLARY WILL TAKE FROM THE PRODUCTIVE EARNERS AND HAND MONEY TO HER NON-EARNING SUPPORTERS.  These policies are noble in words, but will destroy our nation, just as it has destroyed every other nation that has tried these policies.)
We believe that oil companies shouldn’t call the shots in Washington, that science matters, that climate change is real. (The Climate Change scam is designed to help steal trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth.  Recall the dozens of bankrupt Solyndra type companies, cronies of Democrats.) Hillary will fight to preserve this earth for our children and grandchildren and we’re with her. (Conservatives have PROVEN to be more environmentally conscious.)  We believe — and I can’t believe that I have to say this in 2016 — in equal pay for equal work (Accurate economic studies prove there is NO LONGER any gender pay discrimination in America.) and a woman’s right to control her body (a.k.a. killing babies and selling body parts). Hillary will fight and we’re with her. We believe we don’t need weaker rules on Wall Street, we need stronger rules… Hillary will fight to hold big banks accountable and we’re with her. (FALSE.  Hillary is in the pockets of Wall Street, being paid millions to only pretend to propose regulations.  As Senator, she protected the controversial Hedge-fund capital gains tax treatments.) And we believe that the United States should never, never sign trade deals that help giant corporations and leave workers in the dirt. Hillary will fight for American workers and we’re with her.  (Hillary LOVES trade deals and has personally made MILLIONS from these deals.)
Okay, and just one more. Just one more. We believe we must get big money out of politics and root out corruption. (Good idea.  That would eliminate Clinton and Obama.)  Hillary will fight to overturn Citizens United and return this government to the people! If you believe that America must work for all of us, not just for the rich and powerful, if you believe we must reject the politics of fear and rejection, if you believe we are stronger together, then let’s work our hearts out to make Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States.  (An oxymoronic statement.) Thank you!
2) ​Presidential Assistant

Barvetta Singletary is a Special Assistant to Barak 0bama.  0bama recently lamented "my inability to pass gun control has been one of the great failures of my administration."

His Special Assistant was arrested Friday after she allegedly fired a pistol at her boyfriend, a Capitol Hill police officer, during a heated domestic dispute!
She invited him to her house for sex & afterwards accused him of seeing another woman, demanding to see the texts on his cellphones. He refused, Singletary reached into her boyfriend's bag, according to arrest documents, pulled out the 2 cellphones & his service weapon, a .40 cal  Glock 23. She demanded he tell her the passwords to the phones. He refused. "Your phone is more important than me holding the gun on you," she said, shooting the couch where he was sitting.

Singletary is the 0bama administration's House legislative affairs liaison, paid $125,000 a year. Let's just say she wasn't a low-level staffer.
Her purposeful gun crime while working for this gun-hostile administration is more important than the time Dick Cheney accidentally shot a friend while Dove hunting.

Which one received more news coverage?

A lot more coverage!!

Daniel Greenfield's article: The Black Heroes Who Took Down the Freddie Gray Hoax

Link to Sultan Knish

Judge Barry G. Williams once again handed the Freddie Gray lynch mob a decisive defeat, shredding the prosecution’s case against Lt. Brian Rice, the highest ranking police officer targeted by the mob.

Judge Williams stated firmly that, the court “cannot be swayed by sympathy, prejudice or public
opinion.” Instead he insisted that it had to follow the law. Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who became a national figure by heading the Freddie Gray lynch mob, did not even bother to show up. She knew what was coming. And she had no interest in following the law.

Unlike Mosby, who quickly became a national figure by championing the prosecution of six police officers after the accidental death of Freddie Gray, a drug dealer injured while being transported to the police station, or Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who supported giving the Baltimore rioters and looters supposedly angry over Gray’s death “space to destroy”, Williams remains strictly local.

And there’s a very good reason for that. It’s the same reason why the media that helped cause the Baltimore riots with their non-stop coverage of the Freddie Gray death haven’t been covering the trials.

Not only is their Freddie Gray hoax being destroyed, trial by trial, based on the lack of evidence, but the destroyer is an articulate and principled African-American judge. Worse still, Judge Williams had prosecuted police misconduct cases for the Justice Department. And when he takes apart the Gray hoax, as he has done in multiple trials, it’s from the standpoint of a uniquely qualified expert. You can see why the media is staying away.

The better part of Judge Williams’ verdicts can be summed up as laying out all the ways in which the prosecution failed to prove its case, did not even bother to prove its case or did not even understand what case it was trying to prove. As in Officer Nero’s verdict where Williams politely mentions that, “In order to convict the defendant of any of the charges under the theory of accomplice liability, the state would have to prove that a crime occurred... The state's theory from the beginning has been one of negligence, recklessness and disregard for duty and orders by this defendant. There has been no information presented at this trial that the defendant intended for any crime to happen.”

This is the judge’s concise explanation that the prosecution has no idea what it’s talking about. You can see why Marilyn Mosby hasn’t been bothering to show up.

The legal case against the six officers consisted of speculation, assumptions and innuendo. The case was baseless, but the fix was in from the White House to the residence of Baltimore’s mayor, and a bad judge would have let it pass. From the start, Judge Barry Williams insisted on sticking to the facts.

The law enforcement officers targeted by #BlackLivesMatter in the Freddie Gray hoax were black and white. Judge Williams treated them all fairly. He kept asking the prosecution the tough questions and the right questions, whether it was in the case of Officer Caesar Goodson, who is black, or Officer Edward Nero, who is white.

After Goodson’s trial, both men embraced. And Goodson was in attendance to hear Lt. Brian Rice’s verdict and then shook his hand in a fine example of blue lives solidarity across racial lines.

And meanwhile Judge Williams continued to stand up for the truth. He dismissed the prosecution’s “rough ride” meme in Goodson’s case as an “inflammatory term”. He asked the entirely common sense question, “If the doctors are not clear as to what would be happening at this point in time, how would the average person or officer without medical training know?"

In the latest case, he wondered whether the fact that Rice didn’t put on Gray’s seat belt made him, “guilty of these crimes”. And he insisted, above all else, that the facts had to be there. He would not rule based on assumptions or insinuations. He would not be a judicial activist. Instead, he said, “As the trier of fact, the court can't simply let things speak for themselves.”

Judge Williams has destroyed the Freddie Gray hoax by asking one question after another. By demanding to see the evidence and by following the law. Despite his devastating statements in court, he has sought no publicity and done no interviews on the case. Instead he did something that is at once ordinary and extraordinary. He did his job.

It’s why he will never be a national figure.

But Judge Williams is not the only African-American hero who shut down the Freddie Gray hoax. There was yet another courageous figure who will also never achieve a national profile because she did the right thing.

Detective Dawnyell Taylor was the lead detective in the Freddie Gray investigation. The prosecution handed her four pages to read to the grand jury right before her appearance. Detective Taylor found inaccurate and distorted statements there. Prosecutors then prevented her from answering questions and didn’t want her case notes on the investigation. So she turned them over to the defense. The notes included a medical examiner’s statement to her that Freddie Gray’s death was a “freakish accident, and that no human hands can cause this” despite claiming at trial that it was homicide.

The prosecution attempted to silence her again, but Judge Williams allowed her to testify.

In a disturbing moment in the courtroom, a member of the prosecution team insisted that she had been removed from the investigation. Detective Taylor replied, “You made the request, but you don't have the authority to remove me.” That moment summed up the corrupt machinery at work in Baltimore.

The Freddie Gray hoax was a rigged game. It took courage to expose it. And that’s what Judge Williams and Detective Taylor did. Despite the threat of riots and warnings of more violence, they did their jobs. Despite the damage to their careers for opposing the agenda of the national and local governments, they stood up for the truth. Despite the encouragement of the media, they did what was right.

The Freddie Gray hoax has made national figures out of hacks like Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, but has left the heroes like Judge Barry Williams and Detective Dawnyell Taylor in the dark. And that is something that we should remedy.

Despite the claims of racism, the Freddie Gray hoax was fought in a mostly black city between black officials. Even half the police officers charged in the case were black. The Freddie Gray case came down not to black or white, but to telling the truth and doing the right thing. And we should remember that despite what we often see on the news, despite the riots and the murders of police officers, there were African-American heroes in Baltimore who stood between the #BlackLivesMatter lynch mob and the police.
4) The last time I was in Boston I ate in one of Larry's superb seafood restaurants but he is not a relative though he is politically.

On Monday, the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Bostonians woke up to a highly sexist ad printed in the Boston Herald.
The words, "We have a term for cold fish. Sushi." is written below a photo ofHillary Clinton for a full-page Boston Herald ad from Legal Sea Foods, a New England seafood chain. "Berkowitz for President #FeelTheBerk" a reference to the food chain Legal Sea Foods' owner, Larry Berkowitz.



Iran’s Ethnic Diversity (U.S. Institute of Peace)
  • Since June 2016, Iran has been enduring terror attacks and assassinations by ethnic-opposition elements operating within its territory and adjacent to it.
  • Attacks on Iranian petroleum infrastructure in Ahvaz are a reaction to Iran’s ongoing repressive policy against the Arab minority in Ahvaz, including the ongoing arrests, trials, executions, and expulsions of young people in that area.
  • There are currently six to seven million Kurds living in Iran. Although they are part of the Iranian state, they may be distinguished from the Shiite minority by language and religion (most Kurds are Sunnis).
  • The Arab Sunni fighters’ targeting of the oil facilities, if it gains momentum, could pose a problem for Iran just as it is trying to renew oil exports after the lifting of sanctions. Attacks on energy infrastructure for gas and oil could foster an unsafe, unstable environment for international energy companies.
  • Iran’s security forces have been cracking down on the Arabs, augmenting this population’s discontent along with its separatist aspirations.
  • The Iranian regime, which so far has been spared the regional repercussions of the Arab Spring – or Islamic Awakening as the regime calls it – is now starting to feel the effects.
  • Since June 2016 and to a lesser extent before then as well, Iran has been enduring terror attacks and assassinations by ethnic-opposition elements operating within its territory and adjacent to it. These include Kurds in the north and near the Iraqi border, Salafi Sunnis near Iran’s eastern border with Pakistan, and Sunni Arabs in the Khuzestan province near the Iraqi border in the southwest.
The Growing Arab Opposition
Early in June, a Sunni group called Suqour al-Ahvaz (Hawks of Ahvaz) took responsibility for an explosion that caused a fire at the Bou-Ali-Sina Petrochemical Complex in Bandar-E Mahshahr, Khuzestan.1, 2   Iran denied their boast and claimed it was a leak that had led to the explosion.3 The complex where the explosion occurred is known for protest demonstrations over the difficult employment conditions there.

The group also issued a statement calling for continued resistance to the Iranian occupation of Arab lands, which had “crossed a red line.” The statement also said the explosion was a reaction to Iran’s repressive policy against the Arab minority in Ahvaz, including ongoing arrests, trials, executions, and expulsions of young people in the area, and warned of further attacks on vital infrastructures and strategic facilities in Iran. The group’s spokesman said this was a new tactic aimed at damaging the Iranian economy, which thrives at the expense of the people of Ahvaz who live under the poverty threshold.
Furthermore, in an appeal to a target audience in Arab countries that is fearful of Iran, the group emphasized that it condemned Iran’s involvement in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia and averred that it also intended to take action in the “Iranian interior” and to continue the “legitimate struggle until the Arab people of Ahvaz receive their full rights to their land.”4
On July 11, the group said it had attacked another oil facility in the area.5 It was the gas and liquid gas pipeline of the Marun Oil and Gas Exploitation Company at the Marun oil field in Khuzestan. One worker was killed and another wounded.6  Subsequently, a state of emergency was reported in Ahvaz.7
On July 17, 2016, the al-Farouq Battalion of Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA) targeted oil pipelines in the Johar as-Sabaa’ (Haftkel) district (75km northeast of Ahvaz). According to the group’s statement, the perpetrators managed to escape despite IRGC efforts to capture them. ASMLA reported that IRGC set up a security cordon around the area.8
A commander in the al-Faruq Battalions said that that the operation came in response to the ongoing transgressions of the Persian occupation state against the Arab people of Ahvaz and the spreading sectarian strife and immoral intervention in the affairs of neighboring countries including Saudi Arabia. He threatened further attacks, adding that the al-Faruq Battalions performed a careful study of the strategic target points on the oil pipelines stretching from the Johar as-Sabaa’ area to the inside of Iran, and they had managed to infiltrate the security cordon on this important economic region and successfully carry out this special attack.9

The sabotaged Bou-Ali-Sina Petrochemical Complex in Bandar-E Mahshahr, Khuzestan
Social media reacted to the attacks with the hashtag #TheAhvazisshakeIran trending on Twitter and praising the resistance. The Elaph newspaper claims that the ASMLA recently warned that they will begin targeting foreign oil companies that work with Iran, and that invest in the oil of the Ahvaz region.10
In March, ASMALA called on all international oil companies not to legitimize and collaborate with the “Iranian regime’s oppression of the Ahwazi people by rushing to invest in the Iranian oil sector following the lifting of international sanctions.” ASMLA stressed that “the profits attained by the Iranian regime from the sale of the oil and gas resources in Ahwaz are used both in the brutal oppression of the Ahwazi people, who are denied any share in or profit from their own resources, and in funding terrorist entities which actively work to destabilize security and stability in the Arab world and elsewhere.11”

“Long live Arab Ahwaz” (Twitter)12
Over three million Arabs live in oil-rich Khuzestan. Unemployment has risen and air pollution is measured at very high levels. If the attack was indeed perpetrated by this group, then the Arab opposition has dealt a very hard blow to Iran’s oil and gas industry.
In mid-June, another Sunni opposition group, the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA), announced that it had attacked an oil pipeline in the Zarqan area of Khuzestan. The group claimed it had also carried out additional, similar attacks. Its military wing, the Martyr Mohye al-Din al-Nasir Battalions, posted a short video showing the pipeline that was blown up and asserted that the attack was a reaction to Iranian security forces’ activities in the area.
The statement issued by the group read:
In conjunction with the 11th anniversary of the founding of ASMLA, the Martyr Razi al-Zarqani Battalion conducted a special operation targeting oil pipelines in the Zarqan area of the provincial capital [that] crippled the flow of oil from Ahvaz toward Tehran [dubbed “the capital of the occupation”]. [T]he targeting of the main oil pipelines came in response to the arbitrary Persian occupation arrests against Ahvazi activists as well as its continuing crimes against the rights of the Arab Ahvazi people and its profaning of the Arab nation. The Martyr Mohye al-Din al-Nasir Battalions will continue its special operations against the centers of the occupation state and its oil installations until the liberation of the last inch of Ahvazi soil.
The Iranian media gave the event almost zero coverage, and Iranian security forces imposed a closure on the area where it had occurred.
Global Jihad

Twitter post In eastern Iran near the Pakistani border, groups affiliated with global jihad continue to act against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Border Guard Command forces stationed in the area,  sometimes hitting them hard. In June the global-jihad group Jaish al-Adl attacked Iranian forces operating in the Sistan and Balochistan Province. Ansar al-Furqan, a jihadi organization active in the Balochistan area, claimed it had killed dozens of Iranian soldiers in a suicide bombing13  in the city of Khash.14 Near the Pakistani border in Sistan and Balochistan, five members of the Border Guard Command were killed in a clash with armed Sunni elements who fled back into Pakistan.15
The Iranian Kurds
Along with the intensified activity of the separatist forces in Khuzestan and the jihadi groups along the Pakistani and Afghani borders, June also saw stepped-up activity by the Kurdish opposition in Iran. In June, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) attacked IRGC patrols along the Iran-Iraq border in the area of Oshnavieh and Sarvabad, cities that neighbor the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq. Several IRGC members and Kurdish fighters were killed in the clashes.16 In another incident in June some fighters of another Kurdish group, PartiyaJiyana Azad a Kurdistanê (PJAK), were killed. The PJAK has links with the Turkish PKK near the city of Sardasht along the Iraqi border.
Currently, six to seven million Kurds live in Iran. Although they are part of the Iranian state, they are distinct from the Shiite minority in several major regards, including language and religion (most Kurds are Sunnis). The Kurds, who are mainly concentrated along the Iraqi border, are poor compared to Iranians who live in the large cities. At the end of May 2016, President Hassan Rouhani visited some Kurdish areas and promised that centers for the study of the Kurdish language would be established and that Kurdish-populated parts of northwestern Iran would be developed after years of neglect:17 According to Rouhani,
The Islamic Republic of Iran heed [sic] the problems of its diverse people; our security now is far more than the territories located beyond the borders but having the same ethnic population; Kurds enjoy better situation [sic] in terms of security than their counterparts in Iraq, Turkey, and Syria; it is an honor for the Islamic Republic not to succumb to religion and ethnicity in providing its people with the same level of development and welfare.
The KDPI has long striven for independence in the Kurdish regions of northern Iran. The increased activity stems from growing awareness of possible Kurdish independence in Syria along the Turkish border, and of the freedom and relative independence enjoyed by Kurds in northern Iraq. The group’s military arm, which numbers thousands of fighters, is based in northern Iraq but has not been absorbed by the Kurdish population there. The KDPI is trying to pursue an independent agenda but appears to be caught between conflicting interests; to some extent, the Kurdish groups in the four main countries with sizable Kurdish populations (Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran) are waging struggles against each other.

Iran’s Ethnic Diversity (U.S. Institute of Peace)
For example, the Kurds in northern Iraq’s Kurdish enclave are trying to maintain open channels for oil exportation both to Turkey and Iran and certainly, do not want to open a front with Iran despite the KDPI’s growing military activity. Likewise, the Kurds in northern Iraq are maintaining a careful policy of nonintervention in Turkey’s difficult and bloody struggle against the PKK, which sometimes includes Turkish bombing of Kurdish targets in northern Iraq. Iran, too, in the wake of clashes with the KDPI, has threatened that the IRGC will not hesitate to act against “terrorists” in their main strongholds in northern Iraq if they do not cease their activity, saying that “they will be targeted wherever they are.”18
In sum, last month Iran had to deal with subversive activity– though so far of low intensity – by a number of ethnic elements on all its borders in the northwest, the southwest, and the east of the country. The Arabs (in Khuzestan) and the Kurds are trying to pursue a separatist national agenda, and they are inspired by the geostrategic changes in the Middle East and the efforts to reshape it.
The Arab Sunni fighters’ targeting of the oil facilities, if it gains momentum, could pose a problem for Iran just as it is trying to renew its oil exports after the lifting of sanctions. Attacks on energy infrastructure for gas and oil could foster an unsafe, unstable environment for international energy companies. Such companies are in any case concerned about Iran’s intention to renew contracts using the buyback system, which is more beneficial for a state than for foreign companies. Iran has been reporting little on the attacks on its energy infrastructure, which have mainly been occurring in the Khuzestan province. Meanwhile, Iran’s security forces have been cracking down on the Arab minority there augmenting this population’s discontent along with its separatist aspirations.
It may be early to envision the mounting ethnic-religious protest in Iran causing a substantial change in the regime’s behavior. It is, however, clear that the Iranian regime, which so far has been spared the regional repercussions of the Arab Spring – or Islamic Awakening as the regime calls it – is now starting to feel its effects.
* * *
1http://www.shana.ir/fa/newsagency/pictorial/264440 ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVMDGYVH8N8
4 https://justpaste.it/w0dq
5 https://twitter.com/JAna__AlaAM/status/752612135885209600
6 http://www.shana.ir/en/newsagency/264746/Pipeline-Blast-in-Marun-Kills-1-Injures-Another
7 https://twitter.com/alhosam511/status/752498208966868992
8 http://www.albawaba.com/news/ahwazi-arab-resistance-blow-iranian-pipeline-863908
9 https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=584986431680996&id=422489744597333
10 http://elaph.com/Web/News/2016/7/1099323.html?entry=Iran
11 http://ahwazna.net/en-189_Ahwazi_movement_calls_on_intl_firms_not_to_partner_in_Irans_crimes_.html
12 https://twitter.com/popk999/status/751907997257961473
13 https://twitter.com/Al_Maqal_Pubs/status/742611565124325376
15 http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/07/06/473906/Iran-border-guards-terrorists-Sistan–Baluchestan
16 http://www.azernews.az/region/98078.html
17 http://en.mehrnews.com/news/117008/Rouhani-unveils-largest-industrial-complex-in-western-Iran
IDF Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael (Mickey) Segall, an expert on strategic issues with a focus on Iran, terrorism, and the Middle East, is a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and at Alcyon Risk Advisors

The French see René Descartes, a 17th century philosopher, scientist, and mathematician, as the truest expression of their national mind. I am afraid they are right.
Descartes rejected authority in intellectual life and insisted on reconstructing knowledge on plain sense and strict reasoning, hence his famous motto, cogito ergo sum (“I think and therefore I am”). However, he also disdained experience as long as it could not be boiled down into logical and mathematical terms. This approach, so much at odds with the empirical and pragmatic approach favored in the Anglo-Saxon world, is indeed a hallmark of French culture — including politics.
The French elites relish in abstract, “élégant,” symmetrically organized concepts; they have problems with hard, rough, irregular facts. And should it come to pass that facts do not fit with concepts, they would rather ignore the former than question the latter. Even if major aspects of reality are being denied in the process, and the concepts themselves turned into inert dogmas or voided of any meaning.
Such a tendency was worrisome enough in the past, as some of the greatest French authors or thinkers realized, from Alexis de Tocqueville to Hippolyte Taine to Marc Bloch. It grew into an intractable problem after 1945, when France was reorganized as a statist nation, and a new administrative elite, engineered and trained by meritocratic academic institutions like Sciences Po (Political Science Schools), Ecole Normale Superieure (the Higher School for Education), and above all, Ecole nationale d’Administration (National School of Administration) engulfed the political class. Admission to ENA — through competitive examination — and graduation from ENA depend largely on mastering the required conceptual framework and never departing from it.
As an average, meritocratic grand schools provide about 70% of the political parties leaders and members of cabinet.
One of the most striking cases of reality denial in contemporary France is demography: issues like birthrate, life expectancy, immigration, and emigration. On the face of it, you can hardly ignore such things, since they constantly reshape your environment and your way of life. Even without resorting to statistics, you are bound to perceive, out of day-to-day experience, what is the current balance between younger and older people, how many kids are to be found at an average home, the ethnicity or religion of your neighbors or the people you relate to at work or in business.
The French elites, however, either Right or Left, managed for five decades at least to dismiss the drastic demographic changes that had been taking place in their country, including the rise of Islam, since they clashed with too many political concepts — or fantasies — they had been brainwashed into.
The superiority of the “French social model” ; the unique assimilative capacity of French society; equality for equality’s sake; the primacy of individual values over family values; secularism; francophonie, or the assumption that all French-speaking nations in the world were a mere extension of France, and that all nations that defined themselves as“Francophone” did speak French or were subdued by French culture; and finally la politique arabe et islamique de la France, a supposed political and strategic affinity with the Arab and Muslim world.
One way for the elites to deny demographics was to reject ethnic-related investigation on legal or ethical grounds. Until 2004, ethnic, racial, and religious statistics were not allowed under French law — ostensibly to prevent a return of Vichy State-style racial persecutions. Even as the law was somehow relaxed, first in 2004 and again in 2007, many statisticians or demographers insisted on retaining a de facto ban on such investigations.
The issue turned into a nasty civil war among demographers, and especially within INED (the French National Institute for Demographic Studies) between a“classic” wing led by older demographers like Henri Léridon and Gérard Calot and then by the younger Michèle Tribalat, and a liberal or radical wing led by Hervé Le Bras. In a recent interview with the French weekly Le Point, Tribalat dryly observed that the “well-connected” Le Bras described her as “the National Front Darling,” an assertion that“destroyed her professional réputation.” The son of a prestigious Catholic historian, Le Bras is indeed a very powerful man in his own right, who managed throughout his own career to accumulate tenures, honors, and positions of influence both in France and abroad.
The irony about his accusation against Tribalat is that, while intent to discuss the issue of immigration, she is an extremely cautious and conservative expert when it comes to actual figures. She has always tended to play down, in particular, the size of the French Muslim community.
In 1997, I observed in an essay for the Middle East Quarterly that figures about French Islam were simply chaotic: there was too much discrepancy between sources:
The Ministry of Interior and Ined routinely speak of a Muslim population in France of 3 million. Sheikh Abbas, head of the Great Mosque in Paris, in 1987 spoke of twice as many — 6 million. Journalists usually adopt an estimate somewhere in the middle: for example, Philippe Bernard of Le Monde uses the figure of 3 to 4 million. The Catholic Church, a reliable source of information on religious trends in France, also estimates 4 million. Arabies, a French-Arab journal published in Paris, provides the following breakdown: 3.1 million Muslims of North African origin, 400,000 from the Middle East, 300,000 from Africa, 50,000 Asians, 50,000 converts of ethnic French origin, and 300,000 illegal immigrants from unknown countries. This brings the total to 4.2 million. One can state with reasonable certainty that the Muslim population of France numbers over 3 million (about 5 percent of the total French population) and quite probably over 4 million (6.6 percent).
Nineteen years later, accuracy has hardly improved in this respect. All sources agree that France as a whole underwent a moderate demographic growth: from 57 to 67 million, a 15% increase. (Throughout the same period of time, the U.S. enjoyed a 22% population increase, and China, under a government-enforced one-child policy, a 27% increase.) All sources agree also that there was a much sharper increase in French Muslim demographics — and that, accordingly, the moderate national growth may in fact just reflect the Muslim growth.
For all that, however, there are still no coherent figures about the Muslim community.
According to CSA, a pollster that specializes in religious surveys, 6% of the citizens and residents of France identified with Islam in 2012: about 4 million people out of 65 million. IFOP, a leading national pollster, settled for 7% in 2011: 4.5 million. Pew concluded in 2010 a figure of 7.5%: 4.8 million. The CIA World Factbook mentioned 7% to 9% in 2015: from 4.6 to almost 6 million out of 66 million. INED claimed as early as 2009 an 8% figure: 5.1 million. Later, INED and French government sources gave 9% in 2014: 5.8 million.
Over two decades, the French Muslim population is thus supposed to have increased by 25% according to the lowest estimations, by 50% according to median estimations, or even by 100% if one compares the INED and government figures of 1997 to those of 2014, from 3 million to almost 6 million.
This is respectively almost two times, three times, or six times the French average population growth.
An impressive leap forward, whatever the estimation. But even more impressive is, just as was the case in 1997, the discrepancy between the estimates. Clearly, one set of estimates, at least, must be entirely erroneous.
And it stands to reason that the lowest estimates are the least reliable.
First, we have a long-term pattern according to which, even within the lowest estimates, the Muslim population increase is accelerating. One explanation is that the previous low estimates were inaccurate.
Second, low estimates tend to focus on the global French population on one hand and on the global French Muslim population on the other hand, and to bypass a generational factor. The younger the population cohorts, the higher the proportion of Muslims. This is reflected in colloquial French by the widespread metonymical substitution of the word “jeune” (youth) for “jeune issu de l’immigration” (immigrant youth), or “jeune issu de la diversité” (non-European or non-Caucasian youth).
According to the first ethnic-related surveys released in early 2010, fully a fifth of French citizens or residents under twenty-four were Muslims.
Proportions were even higher in some places: 50% of the youth were estimated to be Muslim in the département (county) of Seine-Saint-Denis in the northern suburbs of Paris, or in the Lille conurbation in Northern France. A more recent survey validates these numbers.
An investigation of the French youths' religious beliefs was conducted last spring by Ipsos. It surveyed nine thousand high school pupils in their teens on behalf of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Sciences Po Grenoble, and was released on February 4, 2016, by L’Obs, France’s leading liberal newsmagazine. Here are its findings:
  • 38.8% of French youths do not identify with a religion.
  • 33.2% describe themselves as Christian.
  • 25.5% call themselves Muslim.
  • 1.6% identify as Jewish.
  • Only 40% of the young non-Muslim believers (and 22% of the Catholics) describe religion as “something important or very important”;
  • But 83% of young Muslims agreed with that statement.
Such figures should deal the death blow to demographic deniers. Except that once proven wrong, deniers do not make amends. Rather, they contend that since there is after all a demographic, ethnic, and religious revolution, it should be welcomed as a good and positive thing. Straight from fantasy to surrender.

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