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July 1, 2016 / 25 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

ISIS, Hezbollah Apps and Videos to Indoctrinate Children

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

Both Da’esh (ISIS) and Hezbollah are tapping into the cyber industry as a means of ensuring the next generation is indoctrinated into its philosophies from the youngest possible age.

Da’esh released a new mobile app via the ‘Telegram’ chat system that is designed to teach very young children the alphabet in Arabic.

Simultaneously, the app indoctrinates the youngsters with terrorist ideology. Festooned with bright, cheery colors, happy graphics and packed with educational content, the app uses song to facilitate easy rote memorization.

ISIS propaganda app for young children to learn the Arabic alphabet.

ISIS propaganda app for young children to learn the Arabic alphabet.

The objects with which the letters are learned, however, are anything but childish. For example, the letter “Ba” is used with “Bunduqiya” – meaning “rifle” — according to a post on the blog of the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist organization is doing the same thing, according to the ADL. Hezbollah has created several online video games for children, allegedly “to strengthen the culture of resistance.” Among the games are “Special Forces,” and “Special Forces II,” which feature events from the terror group’s 2006 war with Israel. Other more recent, updated games are called “Invaders Graveyard,” “In the Heart of the Enemy” and “House of Spider.”

A 2013 review of the Hezbollah video games for 11 year olds, written by a professional gaming site called “Hardcore Gaming 101″ exists on the internet, and can be accessed by clicking here.   The reviewer rates the video game on its technical merits and lack thereof, and points out that the game is only available by making a phone call, and via a purchase – which would thus count as financial support to Hezbollah.

In addition, last month the Al Manar media arm of Hezbollah launched a new iPhone app called “Trust News.” Al Manar is now listed by the United States as a “specially designated global terrorist entity,” as is Hezbollah itself. The app streams the Al Manar live television broadcasts and social media platforms, as well as the latest speeches by Iranian-backed Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who stays safely tucked away in a hidden underground bunker.

ADL said it has notified Apple about the source of the new app, which does not reveal its connection to Al Manar or Hezbollah.

Hana Levi Julian

Oops! Russian Air Force Bombs Iranian Forces in Syria

Friday, May 13th, 2016

According to the Iranian Al-Alam TV, the Russian air force accidentally bombed Iranian forces stationed in Aleppo, Syria.

It appears this incident happened as Syrian army and friends (Hezbollah, Iran) were launching a new offensive against the Free Syrian Army and al-Nusra front who control areas of northern Aleppo.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Very Senior Hezbollah Terrorist Killed in Alleged Israeli Air Strike

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Mustafa Badr A-Din (Mustafa Badreddine), age 55, a very senior military leader in the military wing of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, and possibly even the number two man under Hassan Nasrallah, was assassinated in Syria.

He had replaced his brother-in-law Imad Mughniyeh (Moughniyah) who was killed in Damascus in 2008 by a car bomb, for which the Mossad was blamed.

Badr A-Din was in charge of all Hezbollah military operations inside Syria, and before that was involved in planning attacks against Israel.

Badreddine was also blamed by the UN for the murder of Lebanon’s former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005.

One Hezbollah website and some Lebanese TV stations has blamed Israel for the death of Mustafa Badr A-Din, claiming he was assassinated in an Israeli air strike. But other Hezbollah social media sources say they are still investigating the cause of death.

He apparently killed on Tuesday, May 10th, but Hezbollah only announced it on Friday.

Mustafa Badr A-Din’s assassination is a major blow to Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is a terrorist group funded by Iran and operating in Lebanon.

They have a political stranglehold over Lebanon from which they launch attacks against Israel. They are also heavily embedded in the war in Syria, acting on behalf of their Iranian patron. They’ve lost an estimated 1400 fighters in the Syrian civil war, which may be as much as a third of their fighting force.

Shalom Bear

Netanyahu Was Right On Iran Deal

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

It wasn’t all that long ago that our nation was transfixed by President Obama’s full court press to close a nuclear arms deal with Iran. It will be recalled that the administration spared no effort in this regard, beginning with its miscasting of the deal as an agreement rather than a treaty requiring Senate approval. And when an irate Congress, enacted legislation requiring a period for a measure of Congressional review, the president engaged in blatant procedural legerdemain to neutralize that legal mandate.

All of this took place in the context of overwhelming popular opposition to the deal. Further, virtually every member of Congress who ultimately signed on to the agreement did so with reservations, saying there was no real choice and that any deal was better than none.

And now we know that while the president was using every procedural trick in the book to prevent Congress from killing the deal, an even more insidious effort was being mounted under the radar.

You really can’t make this kind of thing up. A major piece by veteran journalist David Samuels in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine focuses on Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, the person President Obama relied upon most to “sell” the Iran nuclear deal as critical to U.S. national interests. Mr. Rhodes came to the job with a background as a writer of fiction, a talent in the use of modern communication technology, and absolutely no foreign policy experience.

The article was built around an interview Mr. Samuels conducted with Mr. Rhodes and clearly shows how the public and Congress were purposefully misled.

Thus, the Obama administration successfully pitched the Iran deal as designed to take quick advantage of the election of a so-called moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, which presented an opportunity for a breakthrough in U.S.-Iran relations. And many members of Congress have said this argument weighed heavily on their minds when they voted to approve the deal even though they had serious misgivings about the specific terms of the agreement.

In truth, however, it now appears the negotiations were begun two years before Mr. Rouhani’s election when the notorious Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was still the president of Iran. Indeed, Mr. Rhodes acknowledged that President Obama planned an outreach to Iran soon after he took office in 2009 and the contrary spin was simply his –Mr. Rhodes’s – fabrication.

In other words, the notion that the Iran deal was the choice of peace over war did not arise out of any facts on the ground but was manufactured out of whole cloth by the imaginative Mr. Rhodes. And thanks to the administration’s fanciful narrative, legislators came to believe the proposed nuclear deal with Iran represented the only way to avoid war with Iran.

How did this all come about? Here is how Mr. Samuels put it:

Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press.

Mr. Samuels quoted Mr. Rhodes to this effect:

All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus. Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.

Mr. Samuels continued:

In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key source for hundreds of often clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” [Rhodes] admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

When Mr. Samuels suggested that all of this manipulation seemed out of place in an America that reveres the principle of rational debate as the bedrock of democracy, Mr. Rhodes countered with, “I mean I’d prefer a sober, reasoned public debate, after which members of Congress reflect and take a vote. But that’s impossible.”

Editorial Board

Key Obama Adviser: We Misled Nation To Sell Iran Nuclear Deal

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

A lengthy New York Times Magazine profile of Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, portrays him as a spinmeister contemptuous of the foreign policy establishment who fed credulous journalists a misleading narrative to sell the Iran nuclear deal to the American people.

According to writer David Samuels, Rhodes oversaw a “war room” whose task was to sell the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to Congress ahead of crucial votes last fall that failed to kill the agreement.

“In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters,” Samuels wrote.

“We created an echo chamber,” he quoted Rhodes as admitting. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

According to Samuels’s piece, the strategy included the White House’s TheIranDeal Twitter feed. Rhodes used groups like the Ploughshares Fund, which advocates the elimination of nuclear weapons and lobbied for the JCPOA.

“We drove them crazy,” Samuels quotes Rhodes as saying of the opponents of the nuclear deal.

Samuels wrote that Rhodes does not think much of the journalists the war room was using to spread its narrative: “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns,” Rhodes was quoted as telling him. “They literally know nothing.”

According to the article, the administration put out a deliberately misleading narrative about the way the nuclear negotiations came about, linking them to the rise in 2013 of the “moderate” President Hasan Rouhani at the expense of “hardliners,” ushering in a supposedly new political reality in Iran.

In fact in 2012 State Department director of policy planning Jake Sullivan – a close aide of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – began holding talks with the Iranians in Oman and elsewhere, and he and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns drew up the framework of what would eventually become the JCPOA three months before the election that brought Rouhani to office.

Obama was known by insiders to have wanted to make a deal with Iran from the beginning of his presidency in 2009, but the idea that the rise of “moderates” provided the opportunity was “largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal,” Samuels wrote.

Samuels argued that the misleading narrative was useful for the administration.

“By obtaining broad public currency for the thought that there was a significant split in the regime, and that the administration was reaching out to moderate-minded Iranians who wanted peaceful relations with their neighbors and with America, Obama was able to evade what might have otherwise been a divisive but clarifying debate over the actual policy choices that his administration was making,” he wrote.

He characterized the approach as part of a broader strategy – helping the U.S. to extricate itself from existing regional alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Turkey, with the ultimate goal of U.S. “disengagement from the Middle East.”

It’s an objective, Samuels said, that Rhodes – a determined critic of the Iraq war – views with a sense of “urgency.”

The profile depicts Rhodes as being comfortable in spinning the issue to the American people.

“I mean, I’d prefer a sober, reasoned public debate, after which members of Congress reflect and take a vote,” Samuels quotes Rhodes as telling him. “But that’s impossible.”

Rhodes holds a dim view of the foreign policy establishment, according to Samuels, referring to it contemptuously as “the Blob,” and including in that grouping Hillary Clinton; Obama’s first defense secretary Robert Gates; and “editors and reporters at The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker and elsewhere.”

Patrick Goodenough

Ben Rhodes’s Fiction Behind the “Iran Deal”

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

{Article by A.J. Caschetta, originally posted to the Gatestone Institute website}

That the Obama administration’s Iran deal is a work of fiction has been known all along, but now Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, is taking credit as its author. In a long interview with New York Times reporter David Samuels on Sunday, the world learned that Rhodes is “the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign policy narratives” who “strategized and ran the successful Iran-deal messaging campaign.” Samuels lauds Rhodes as “a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda packaged as politics.”

Welcome to the post-modern techno-presidency where everything is a text, easily manipulated by skilled writers and disseminated in 140 or fewer characters. Don’t like the facts? Change the narrative. What really counts is “the optics.”

In the midst of his fawning profile, Samuels exposes a number of lies behind the Iran narrative, or rather quotes Rhodes himself doing so. For instance, the first outreach to Iran came 2012, not in 2013. I’d bet it came even earlier. Rhodes even acknowledges that there is nothing “moderate” about Iranian leaders Rouhani, Zarif or Khamenei. But these dates and facts conflicted with the narrative, so they were finessed, rewritten and sold to the public with different plot-lines and different themes. Outside Washington, D.C. this behavior is sometimes called lying.

The Rhodes narrative, at its core, is a simple tale in which a hero, armed with special skills and weapons, goes on a quest that requires a fight against the forces of evil. It incorporates elements of the ancient epic, the medieval romance and the eighteenth-century novel, with elements of drama splashed in here and there.

The hero, of course, is Rhodes’s real-life hero, Barack Obama (with whom he “mind melds,” as he apparently tells anyone who will listen). The hero’s special weapon is diplomacy — in the case of Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a.k.a., “Iran Deal.” But Rhodes himself is also the hero of his tale. As he tells Samuels in one particularly dewy-eyed moment: “I don’t know anymore where I begin and Obama ends.”

In his tale, Iran is recast into a moderate regime through the magic of fiction, while the new villains are all who oppose the JCPOA, recast into warmongers: Benjamin Netanyahu, Ted Cruz, the majority of Americans. As Samuels puts it: “Framing the deal as a choice between peace and war was Rhodes’s go-to move — and proved to be a winning argument.”

But it was not really a winning argument. Neither the American public nor Congress was persuaded, which is why Obama did not submit it as a treaty for Senate ratification. At best, Ben Rhodes is the author of a Pyrrhic victory ensuring that the 45th or 46th president will face the same choice Obama faced, but against an Iran armed with nuclear bombs. At worst, Rhodes is the author of a tragedy he does not understand.

Rhodes’s narrative is not even particularly good fiction. Mistaken identities, fudged timelines, villains in disguise, and a two-dimensional hero are clichés. But the quality of fiction does not matter as long as consumers line up to buy it. And this is where Rhodes truly excels, as a relatively shallow thinker, adroit mostly at influencing even shallower thinkers and hoodwinking people too busy to bother learning.

Rhodes is proud of the way he manipulates a gullible and hungry media comprised mostly of repeaters pretending to be reporters. From his White House “war room,” he and his assistant, Ned Price, reach out to their media “compadres” who are waiting by their iPhones, ready to transform the daily storytelling sessions into facts for the uninformed. Boasting that he “created an echo chamber,” and unable to conceal his contempt for the minions who amplify his fiction, Rhodes calls them “27 year olds who literally know nothing.” Enter the storyteller who provides them with lines. Samuels shows us he is in on the joke too, by pointing out that “Rhodes has become adept at ventriloquizing many people at once.”

In his daily conversation, Samuels tells us, Rhodes lumps together nearly everyone who came before Obama (Kissinger, Clinton, Bush, Gates, Panetta) as “the Blob” — the establishment that damaged the world so badly that only a magical hero can repair it. Rhodes tells Samuels that the “complete lack of governance in huge swaths of the Middle East, that is the project of the American establishment.” This is what happens to foreign policy when it is entrusted to the unqualified and undereducated.

In eight months, Ben Rhodes can get back to his former life — as he puts it, “drinking and smoking pot and hanging out in Central Park.” And presumably writing more fiction — this time perhaps the honest kind that does not pretend to be non-fiction. The entire world, except perhaps the world of fiction, will be better for it.

{A.J. Caschetta is a senior lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum}

Gatestone Institute

Military Official Says Iran Tested Precision-Guided Ballistic Missile

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Iran test-fired a precision-guided ballistic missile two weeks ago, the armed forces deputy chief of staff announced on Monday, according to the Fars news agency.

“Two weeks ago, we tested a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) and an error margin of eight meters (24 ft),” Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi said, according to Fars.

Now, that’s accurate!

In case you wanted to know at this point, the distance from Tehran to Tel Aviv as the ballistic craw flies is 993 miles.

The military official chose to make the statement at Baghiatollah Hospital, which is run by the Islamic Revolution Guards.

Mixed messages? Anticipation of consequences? Time will tell.

Iran test-fires missiles of different ranges and capabilities all the time, as part of its regular military drills. And although Tehran insists the precision ballistic capability to take out a section of Tel Aviv is merely defensive, the US has stated that it constitutes in breach of the UN 2231 resolution that prohibits Iran from firing any missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

US Secretary of State John Kerry did say in the past that the US and its allies were “prepared to work on a new arrangement to find a peaceful solution to these issues.”

That must have stung the Iranians bad.

Iranian officials also insist the missiles that are being test-fired are not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Feeling safe yet?

In the end it doesn’t really matter whether the new missiles are defensive or offensive and what part of what city they can destroy, because Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has already said for the record that Iran’s missile program is not part of the negotiation with the US.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/military-official-says-iran-tested-precision-guided-ballistic-missile/2016/05/09/

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