So Czer is ISIS really just a Saudi front created to mess w/Iran?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Utumno, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Did not expect Russian news to state the S-500 would be up for sale anytime soon.

    That makes me wonder what the hell is beyond the S-500, because it integrates everything about all the S variants and ramps up ICBM/MRBM/SRBM interceptors
  2. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    No pressure to withdraw from Syria by specific date: U.S. general
    MARCH 7, 2019

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The general overseeing U.S. forces in the Middle East said on Thursday that he was under no pressure to withdraw forces from Syria by any specific date, after President Donald Trump ordered the drawdown of most U.S. troops from Syria.

    “What is driving the withdrawal of course is our mission, which is the defeat of ISIS, and so that is our principal focus, and that is making sure that we protect our forces, that we don’t withdraw in a manner that increases the risk to our forces,” U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. Central Command, said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

    “There is not pressure on me to meet a specific date at this particular time,” Votel said.

    Trump ordered the withdrawal of all 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria in December after he said they had defeated Islamic State militants in Syria. The abrupt decision sparked an outcry from allies and U.S. lawmakers and was a factor in Jim Mattis’ resignation as defense secretary.

    But Trump was persuaded by advisers that about 200 U.S. troops would join what is expected to be a total commitment of about 800 to 1,500 troops from European allies to set up and observe a safe zone being negotiated for northeastern Syria.

    About 200 other U.S. troops will remain at the U.S. military outpost of Tanf, near the border with Iraq and Jordan.

    Some lawmakers were critical of Trump’s announcement to draw down troops from Syria and were concerned about the impact on allies.

    “In terms of the public perception, the international perception is that prior to that Tweet it wasn’t planned, he sent it out and now we are responding,” Democratic Representative Adam Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said.

    In December, Trump put a video on Twitter where he said U.S. troops were leaving Syria.

    Votel said Russia viewed Trump’s announcement positively.

    “It puts Russia more in the driver’s seat ... It solidifies their presence in the Middle East,” Votel said.

    Thousands of people could still be left inside Islamic State’s last enclave in eastern Syria, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said, as waves of evacuations from the tiny area continued on Thursday.

    The SDF has said it wants to ensure all civilians have been evacuated before launching a final assault on the besieged enclave of Baghouz. It is the last shred of populated territory held by Islamic State, which once controlled swathes of Iraq and Syria.

    Votel said he believed that Islamic State militants being evacuated from the remaining territory controlled by the militant group were largely “unrepentant, unbroken and radicalized.” He said the militant group was waiting “for the right time to resurge.”

    “We will need to maintain a vigilant offensive against this now widely dispersed and disaggregated organization that includes leaders, fighters, facilitators, resources and toxic ideology,” Votel added.

    A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan spoke with his French counterpart and other European allies on Syria. He is expected to speak with other European allies next week.
  3. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Iraq and Iran Build Economic Ties With the U.S. on the Sidelines
    March 12, 2019

    In the contest for Iraq’s loyalty, geography is proving irresistible.

    Baghdad is being urged to take sides in the U.S.-Iran confrontation that’s escalated into one of the Middle East’s top flash-points. President Donald Trump is pushing Iraq to stop buying natural gas and electricity from its neighbor. President Hassan Rouhani wants it to purchase more to ease the pain imposed by American sanctions.

    So far, Rouhani’s winning. On a three-day state that ends Wednesday, he’s held a press conference alongside his Iraqi counterpart, addressed businessmen, visited important Muslim shrines and chatted with tribal leaders. In December, after a 16-year American military presence, Trump caused a diplomatic furor by arriving unannounced in the middle of the night at a U.S. base, speaking to troops and leaving without meeting top officials.

    “The essential part of Rouhani’s message is addressed to the U.S. -- Iran’s on the ground in a major way,” said Ihsan Al-Shammari, an Iraqi political analyst. Tehran “is bolstering its relations in a broad way to support its political position inside Iraq.”

    Visas, Trade
    elections trumpeted their good relations with the Islamic Republic.

    Vague Offers
    “We were standing by the Iraqi nation when times were hard and at a time of peace and security, we are at their side too,” Rouhani said in comments on Monday, according to Iranian state media.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Iraq in January amid Arab doubts over the U.S. commitment to their region following Trump’s announcement that he wanted to pull troops from Syria. While those talks focused on security issues, Pompeo also spoke about reducing Iraq’s reliance on imported energy that mostly comes from Iran.

    He didn’t get far, it seems. In a February interview in Moscow, Abdulkarim Hashim Mustafa, special adviser to Iraq’s prime minister, put the record straight. “These are American sanctions and we have the right to protect our national interests,” he said. “We tell them always: we are your friends but we are not part of your policies in the region.”

    Sunni Allies
    Trump has made isolating Iran’s economy and curbing its military potential the cornerstone of his Middle East policy, finding grateful allies in Israel and among Sunni Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia.

    Iranian oil production is languishing as foreign investors steer clear of the world’s fourth-largest holder of crude. Pledges by U.S. officials to tighten curbs on Iran’s oil sales and the expiration of waivers for several of the nation’s customers in early May are set to further restrict its exports.

    Dhafir Al-Ani, an Iraqi Sunni lawmaker, regretted that his nation was caught in the middle of the standoff. “The U.S. has the ability to punish countries helping Iran bypass sanctions,” he said. “I hope Iraq will not be the victim of the U.S.-Iran conflict.”
  4. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Senate defies Trump, passes historic resolution to end US support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen war
    • The Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution to end US support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen, defying President Donald Trump.
    • This move is tied to the brutal killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and threatens Trump's foreign policy agenda.
    • The resolution is expected to pass in the House, but Trump has vowed to veto it.
    WASHINGTON — The Senate delivered a stern rebuke to President Donald Trump and his administration on Wednesday, voting to withdraw United States support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.

    The final vote was 54 to 46.

    The resolution passed with mostly Democratic support, with a handful of Republicans crossing the aisle.

    But the bulk of the GOP opposed the measure and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attacked the resolution during a floor speech Wednesday morning, calling it "unnecessary and counterproductive."

    "Regarding Yemen, it is completely understandable that Senators have concerns over the war, the American interests entangled in it, and its consequences for Yemeni civilians," McConnell said. "I think there is bipartisan agreement — shared by the administration — that our objective should be the end of this horrible conflict. But this resolution will not end this conflict. It will not help Saudi pilots avoid civilian casualties."

    But the bill is not heading to the president's desk just yet. Because of a snafu during a House vote last month, which derailed their resolution, the House will have to take it up once more.

    The first version of the resolution passed the Senate during the last Congress by 56-41. But the Republican-led House would not take up that resolution at the end of 2018.

    A second resolution was introduced in the House by Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna in the House in early 2019. That version passed in February.

    But the House version has hit problems after House Republicans altered the resolution with a procedural maneuver called a motion to recommit. The tactic rarely works, but in this case the House added on language condemning anti-Semitism which in turn caused procedural snags in the Senate.

    Given the blockage, Sen. Bernie Sanders reintroduced a third version in the Senate that is identical to the resolution that passed in 2018. That is the version now heading to the House.

    Read more: Trump accused of breaking law after refusing to report to Congress on Khashoggi's brutal killing

    The White House has already vowed to veto the resolution, which is consistent with President Donald Trump's support for Saudi Arabia.

    Trump has faced criticism from congressional Democrats and Republicans alike for continuing to stand by the Saudis and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, following the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

    Khashoggi, a Saudi national who moved to the US and wrote for The Washington Post, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in early October by agents of the Saudi government. Riyadh has vehemently denied Prince Mohammed's involvement, but he iswidely reported to have ordered the attack on Khashoggi.

    Trump has refused to budge when it comes to US support for the Saudis, however, even as top Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey Graham have called for a reassessment of the relationship over Khashoggi's death.

    Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine told INSIDER that Wednesday's vote "connects to the Khashoggi situation."

    "What was his key point of advocacy against the Saudis? It was his belief that the war in Yemen was a humanitarian disaster," Kaine said, alluding to Khashoggi's criticism of the Yemen war and the Saudi royal family in his writing.

    "With an administration that's unwilling to do anything to...hold the Saudis accountable for the Khashoggi murder...we need to take this step to show that while they don't care about it we do," Kaine added.

    If the White House had done something more "meaningful" to respond to Khashoggi's killing, more senators might've voted against the resolution, Kaine added. "They've done nothing on Khashoggi," Kaine said, also pointing to Trump's refusal to adhere to the senate's invocation of the Global Magnitsky Act on the matter.

    The Trump administration has issued sanctions against 17 Saudis allegedly involved in Khashoggi's killing, but has not responded to pressure to go further.

    Supporters of the Yemen resolution have also framed it as a means of reasserting Congress's war powers, particularly in the context of the war on terror and the War Powers Act of 1973.

    "The Constitution is pretty clear that Congress should declare when we go to war," Republican Sen. Rand Paul told INSIDER. "We shouldn't be at war with the Saudis in Yemen without approval of Congress. This is an extraordinary measure in the sense that it's been very rare in our history...that both houses will vote to tell a president that we shouldn't be in a war that wasn't declared by Congress."

    Paul described this as a "great opportunity" for Congress to take back its war powers.

    The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.

    The Yemen war has created the world's largest humanitarian crisis, according to the UN. Nearly 100 civilian deaths or injuries were recorded each week in 2018.

    The UN estimates that between the start of the conflict in March 2015 and August 2018 there were roughly 17,062 civilian casualties —6,592 dead and 10,470 injured. The majority of those casualties, approximately 10,471, were a consequence of airstrikes conducted by the Saudi-led coalition the US supports.
  5. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Israel Says Iran Hacked Ex-general Gantz's Phone Ahead of Election
    Former army chief Gantz's party confirms he was warned by Shin Bet of the Iranian breach, which raises concerns over interference in Israel's upcoming election
    Mar 14, 2019

    Benny Gantz attends a campaign convention March 11, 2019. Israel says Iran has hacked his phone.

    The cellphone of Benny Gantz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's biggest rival and the chair of the political alliance Kahol Lavan, was hacked by Iranian intelligence, Israel's Channel 12 reported Thursday evening.

    Gantz's Kahol Lavan party confirmed the report in an official statement that read: "We don't comment on issues that are at the heart of state security. It is important to emphasize that this incident happened four years after Gantz finished his tenure as chief of staff, [a fact] that raises many questions regarding the timing of the report's publication."

    According to the report by journalist Amit Segal, Gantz was approached by officials from Israel's Shin Ben security service after announcing he was running for the premiership and was informed that his private device was breached.

    The report said that the Shin Bet officials clarified to the ex-Israel Defense Forces chief that this meant Tehran had access to all kinds of information he may have stored on his phone: personal and professional. Gantz was also informed that this served as a potential security risk, seeing as Iran might unveil information it finds on his cellphone after the election, or tamper with the election process.

    Should Gantz win the election, the Shin Bet officials clarified, this could endanger him and Israel's security. However, the former general was told that he could "proceed according to his own judgement."

    Due to the sensitivity of the report, Segal noted that the Israeli censor approved the publication of the information before he went on air.

    The Shin Bet did not comment on the report.

    Concerns over foreign interference in the Israeli election have been voiced by Israeli officials in the lead-up to the ballot.

    Last month Haaretz reported that Israel's National Cyber Directorate warned that cyber attacks could influence the outcome of the upcoming election as early as last October, nearly three months prior to a similar statement made by the head of the Shin Bet.

    The threat is the stream of assaults on state facilities, Yigal Unna said at a conference on high tech at the Sha’arei Mishpat Academic Center of Law and Science in Hod Hasharon, which was also attended by Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Israel Defense Forces' outgoing Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.

    “They do not shut down a country, but they impact its ability to function: disrupting electricity, banks, finances and election results,” said Unna, adding that "Israel is in a fairly good condition in terms of its cyber security, but not in the best place in which it could be."
  6. AgelessDrifter

    AgelessDrifter TZT Neckbeard Lord

    Post Count:
    I didn't read past here, but what is McConnell's qualm here supposed to be, exactly?

    Like I realize it's very charitable to play along like he actually has one, but as an accomplished statesman I'd guess he was better at at least pretending to
  7. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    US bars entry of International Criminal Court investigators

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court personnel who attempt to investigate or prosecute alleged abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere and may do the same with those who try to take action against Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.

    Pompeo, making good on a threat delivered last September by national security adviser John Bolton, said the U.S. had already moved against some employees of The Hague-based court, but declined to say how many or what cases they may have been investigating.

    “We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation,” Pompeo said.

    He said any wrongdoing committed by American personnel would be dealt with in U.S. military and criminal courts.

    The visa restrictions would apply to any court employee who takes or has taken action “to request or further such an investigation,” Pompeo said.

    “These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies’ consent,” he said.

    The ICC prosecutor has a pending request to look into possible war crimes in Afghanistan that may involve Americans. The Palestinians have also asked the court to bring cases against Israel.

    Speaking directly to ICC employees, Pompeo said: “If you are responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of U.S. personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan, you should not assume that you still have or will get a visa or will be permitted to enter the United States.”

    That comment suggested that action may have already been taken against the ICC prosecutor who asked last year to formally open an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by Afghan national security forces, Taliban and Haqqani network militants, as well as U.S. forces and intelligence officials in Afghanistan since May 2003.

    The United States has never been a member of the ICC. The Clinton administration in 2000 signed the Rome Statute that created the ICC but had reservations about the scope of the court’s jurisdiction and never submitted it for ratification to the Senate, where there was broad bipartisan opposition to what lawmakers saw as a threat to U.S. sovereignty.

    When George W. Bush took office in 2001, his administration promoted and passed the American Service Members Protection Act, which sought to immunize U.S. troops from potential prosecution by the ICC. In 2002, Bolton, then a State Department official, traveled to New York to ceremonially “unsign” the Rome Statute at the United Nations.

    In September, Bolton said the ICC was a direct threat to U.S. national security interests and threatened its personnel with both visa revocations and financial sanctions should it try to move against Americans. Pompeo said Friday that more measures may come.

    “We are prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions, if the ICC does not change its course,” he said, adding: “The first and highest obligation of our government is to protect its citizens and this administration will carry out that duty.”

    The ICC did not immediately respond to Pompeo’s announcement, but said last year it was “undeterred” by Bolton’s threat. At the time it noted that it had been established by a treaty supported by 123 countries and said it prosecutes cases only when those countries failed to do so or did not do so “genuinely.” Afghanistan is a signatory.

    Supporters of the court, the first global tribunal for war crimes, slammed Pompeo’s announcement.

    Human Rights Watch called it “a thuggish attempt to penalize investigators” at the International Criminal Court.

    “The Trump administration is trying an end run around accountability,” it said. “Taking action against those who work for the ICC sends a clear message to torturers and murderers alike: Their crimes may continue unchecked.”

    Since its creation, the court has filed charges against dozens of suspects including former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was killed by rebels before he could be arrested, and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is accused of charges including genocide in Darfur. Al-Bashir remains at large, as does Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, who was among the first rebels charged by the court in 2005. The court has convicted just eight defendants.

    The court has been hobbled by refusal of the U.S., Russia, China and other major nations to join. Others have quit, including Burundi and the Philippines.
  8. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Pompeo to push anti-Iran message in trip to Kuwait, Israel, Lebanon
    March 15, 2019


    WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will emphasize the threat from Iran and Iranian-backed proxies such as Hezbollah when he travels to Kuwait, Israel and Lebanon next week, offering Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yet another boost from the Donald Trump administration ahead of Israeli elections next month.

    Pompeo will meet with Netanyahu as the head of Israel’s government, not as a candidate, and will not meet with retired Gen. Benny Gantz or any other candidates running in Israel’s elections, scheduled for April 9, a State Department official said.

    “We have major US interests with Israel that don’t go into suspension because of the electoral cycle in Israel, [or] when we are in [an] electoral cycle, is precisely how you should view the frame for this visit,” the senior State Department official, speaking not for attribution, told journalists on a call today.

    Nevertheless, Netanyahu and Gantz are both due to give keynote addresses to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington, DC, March 24 and 25, just after Pompeo returns from his latest trip to the region.

    In Jerusalem, the second stop of the trip, Pompeo “will meet with a range of regional officials to discuss regional issues and challenges, [including] by Iran and Iranian proxies,” the US official said. “The secretary will reaffirm both privately and publicly the unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and right to self-defense.”

    The State Department did not mention any prospective meetings with Palestinians.

    Pompeo last traveled to the region in January but had to cut short his visit. He will begin the trip on March 19 in Kuwait, where he is leading the US delegation to the third annual US-Kuwait Strategic Dialogue.

    In Kuwait City, in addition to the strategic dialogue, Pompeo will also hold bilateral meetings with Kuwaiti leaders to discuss regional issues, “such as Yemen and Syria, as well as progress on the Middle East Strategic Alliance and the need for [Gulf Cooperation Council] unity,” State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement. The Kuwaiti emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, has been leading the stalled regional efforts to resolve the dispute between Qatar and the bloc led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which launched a blockade of Qatar in June 2017.

    In Israel and Lebanon, Pompeo will offer US mediation to try to resolve a maritime border dispute between the two countries, in order to advance oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean that could boost the region’s economies.

    “The US stands ready … to facilitate discussions between the governments of Lebanon and Israel … for the resolution to their mutual benefit of the dispute involving potential off-shore resources,” the State Department official said. “The rest of the eastern Mediterranean is moving forward. … It would be regrettable if the people of Lebanon were denied, as a result of Hezbollah. … We stand ready to help.”

    Pompeo’s trip to Beirut, his last stop, is aimed at showing that the United States is going to stay engaged in Lebanon and not cede it to Iranian influence.

    The United States will continue to support political, security and economic counterweights to Iran and Hezbollah, particularly the Lebanese Armed Forces. The United States is also likely to announce further sanctions on Hezbollah-affiliated financial institutions and figures around the time of Pompeo’s visit, the Middle East Institute’s Randa Slim said.

    Pompeo will meet with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, among other officials, the State Department official said. He will offer the Trump administration’s support for what he called “legitimate” Lebanese institutions, such as the Lebanese Armed Forces, over Hezbollah.

    “We strongly support the continued US engagement with Lebanese security forces … as legitimate security institutions of Lebanon,” the US official said. “Our support for them, the work they do, [their] ability to be seen by the people of Lebanon as legitimate … stands in stark contrast to Hezbollah.”
  9. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
  10. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    I wish there were videos of the Taliban/ISIS fights in Afghanistan.

    Taliban are slaughtering them.

    It's exceptionally racial too, too many Sunni arabs trying to engage in the Pashtun's society.
  11. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Top US general refutes report that military could keep nearly 1,000 US troops in Syria
    March 18, 2019

    Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is refuting a Wall Street Journal report that the US military was developing plans to keep up to 1,000 troops in Syria, calling it "factually incorrect."

    "There has been no change to the plan announced in February and we continue to implement the President's direction to draw down U.S. forces to a residual presence," Dunford said in a statement Sunday.

    The Journal reported Sunday, citing US officials, that the US planned to continue working with Kurdish fighters in Syria who face threats from Turkey. The report said the plans came as talks between the US, Turkey, European allies and the Kurds have failed to establish a safe zone in Syria.

    A US official told CNN on Sunday that some planning numbers have exceeded 400 for the total number of US forces to stay in Syria, but that no final decisions had been made and various figures were potentials at this point.

    The plan was to have a combined force of about 1,500 troops overall to ensure the safe zone in northern Syria, and the US planning would be informed based on how many allies have pledged contributions.

    To date, there have been no firm pledges from allies, meaning the US level would have to go up.

    The Journal report said the US is expected to withdraw hundreds of US forces after "the last bastion" of ISIS is seized.

    In an unusual move, Dunford confirmed that the US and Turkey have conducted detailed military planning and agreed to an "initial concept" regarding some type of security arrangement along the Syrian-Turkish border.

    "We continue to conduct detailed military planning with the Turkish General Staff to address Turkish security concerns along the Turkey-Syria border. Planning to date has been productive and we have an initial concept that will be refined in the coming days.

    We are also conducting planning with other members of the Coalition who have indicated an intent to support the transition phase of operations into Syria," Dunford said in the statement.

    This comes after Trump's order in December to have a "rapid" withdrawal of the US military from Syria. Shortly after Trump's decision, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced his intention to resign, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told Congress in late January that ISIS maintained a presence in Syria -- despite Trump's claim the militant group had already been defeated.

    The White House said last month that a "small peace keeping group of about 200" would remain in Syria, but Defense Department officials have cautioned that the 200 number was too definitive for this stabilization mission.

    The plan was for a separate force of about 200 troops to be stationed at the Al-Tanf base in southern Syria. US military commanders were aware that while Trump has allowed some troops to stay in Syria, he has not given up on the idea of eventually pulling them all out.

    The commander of the US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic forces told reporters last month that he wanted US forces to remain inside of Syria, asking for the US and its coalition partners to keep up to 1,500 troops there.

    For the time being, the number of US forces in northern Syria near the Turkish border and in the southern part at a base in Al-Tanf have not changed substantially.

    Sources have told CNN the US military has continued to develop draw down options for both Syria and Afghanistan depending on what the President may order in the future.
  12. Bickins Von Internet

    Bickins Von Internet tossed salad and scrambled eggs hehe im frasier

    Post Count:
    Czer I have a persian coworker who got citizenship in America last year and he fucking hates islam and arabs. He was going off yesterday and it was hilarious. Are all American persians so based?
  13. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Prob was MEK/shah supporter

    The most hated people by persians
  14. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    George W. Bush really did lie about WMDs, and his aides are still lying for him
    Ari Fleischer’s latest excuses are pathetic.
    Mar 20, 2019

    Ari Fleischer is a liar. He lies about stuff big and small. And as President George W. Bush’s press secretary during the run-up to the Iraq War, he participated in a large effort to exaggerate and misrepresent what the intelligence community believed about weapons of mass destruction and Iraq’s (negligible) links to al-Qaeda.

    But Fleischer does not like it when people point out that he’s a liar, so he took to Twitter on Tuesday night to mark the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and address what is, in his mind, a major tragedy surrounding the war: the fact that people sometimes point out that he and his friends are liars.

    Some might argue the real victims of the war are the nearly 300,000 civilians and combatants killed due to an unnecessary invasion, but Fleischer would rather focus on his and his colleagues’ hurt feelings.

    Fine. Let’s focus there. Fleischer is, once again, lying — and lying about the times his colleagues lied. There were numerous occasions when Bush and his advisers made statements that intelligence agencies knew to be false, both about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and about Iraq President Saddam Hussein’s nonexistent links to al-Qaeda. The term commonly used for making statements that one knows to be false is “lying.”

    Mother Jones’s David Corn has been excellent about chronicling specific examples over the years. Here are just a few:

    • In October 2002, Bush said that Saddam Hussein had a “massive stockpile” of biological weapons. But as CIA Director George Tenet noted in early 2004, the CIA had informed policymakers it had “no specific information on the types or quantities of weapons agent or stockpiles at Baghdad’s disposal.” The “massive stockpile” was just literally made up.
    • In December 2002, Bush declared, “We do not know whether or not [Iraq] has a nuclear weapon.” That was not what the National Intelligence Estimate said. As Tenet would later testify, “We said that Saddam did not have a nuclear weapon and probably would have been unable to make one until 2007 to 2009.” Bush did know whether or not Iraq had a nuclear weapon — and lied and said he didn’t know to hype the threat.
    • On CNN in September 2002, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice claimed that aluminum tubes purchased by Iraq were “only really suited for nuclear weapons programs.” This was precisely the opposite of what nuclear experts at the Energy Departmentwere saying; they argued that not only was it very possible the tubes were for nonnuclear purposes but that it was very likely they were too. Even more dire assessments about the tubes from other agencies were exaggerated by administration officials — and in any case, the claim that they’re “only really suited” for nuclear weapons is just false.
    • On numerous occasions, Vice President Dick Cheney cited a report that 9/11 conspirator Mohamed Atta had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer. He said this after the CIA and FBI concluded that this meeting never took place.
    • More generally on the question of Iraq and al-Qaeda, on September 18, 2001, Rice received a memo summarizing intelligence on the relationship, which concluded there was little evidence of links. Nonetheless, Bush continued to claim that Hussein was “a threat because he’s dealing with al-Qaeda” more than a year later.
    • In August 2002, Cheney declared, “Simply stated, there’s no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.” But as Corn notes, at that time there was “no confirmed intelligence at this point establishing that Saddam had revived a major WMD operation.” Gen. Anthony Zinni, who had heard the same intelligence and attended Cheney’s speech, would later say in a documentary, “It was a total shock. I couldn’t believe the vice president was saying this, you know? In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD, through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program.”

    The Bush administration on numerous occasions exaggerated or outright fabricated conclusions from intelligence in its public statements. Bush really did lie, and people really did die as a result of the war those lies were meant to build a case for. Those are the facts.

    Fleischer’s excuse doesn’t hold water
    Fleischer does not address these concrete instances in which the administration lied. Instead, he outsources his analysis to the Robb-Silberman Commission, a bipartisan group empaneled by Bush in 2004 to figure out what went wrong in the intelligence community’s assessment of Iraq’s biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons capabilities.

    The commission did conclude that the CIA and other intelligence agencies made numerous mistakes in the run-up to the war. This is uncontroversial. While some noble dissenters, like the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and technical nuclear weapons experts at the Department of Energy, pushed back on the prevailing view in the intelligence community, the community as a whole clearly failed and vastly overestimated the likelihood that biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons programs existed.

    But the commission was not allowed under its mandate to consider whether political actors misused or lied about the intelligence they received. “We were not authorized to investigate how policymakers used the intelligence assessments they received from the Intelligence Community,” the report clearly states. “Accordingly, while we interviewed a host of current and former policymakers during the course of our investigation, the purpose of those interviews was to learn about how the Intelligence Community reached and communicated its judgments about Iraq’s weapons programs — not to review how policymakers subsequently used that information.”

    That means the report did not cover the Bush administration’s decision to ignore warnings about fabricated documents meant to suggest that Iraq sought uranium from Niger. In his State of the Union address in 2003, Bush stated, “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa,” despite the fact that, as the Washington Post’s Peter Eisner reported, “Dozens of interviews with current and former intelligence officials and policymakers in the United States, Britain, France and Italy show that the Bush administration disregarded key information available at the time showing that the Iraq-Niger claim was highly questionable.”

    Eisner added, “In February 2002, the CIA received the verbatim text of one of the documents, filled with errors easily identifiable through a simple Internet search, the interviews show. Many low- and mid-level intelligence officials were already skeptical that Iraq was in pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

    The Robb-Silberman report also ignored institutions like the Office of Special Plans, a group at the Defense Department set up by Undersecretary Douglas Feith to feed raw, unanalyzed intelligence to senior policymakers. While more focused on alleged links between Iraq and al-Qaeda than WMDs, the OSP “developed, produced and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al-Qaeda relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the intelligence community, to senior decision-makers,” according to a later report by the Pentagon’s inspector general.

    What’s more, while the report found no evidence of direct political pressure for intelligence community members to change conclusions, it nonetheless suggests that the prevailing prewar climate altered judgments of intelligence analysts.

    An analyst at the Department of Energy told the commission, “DOE did not want to come out before the war and say [Iraq] wasn’t reconstituting.” The atmosphere of impending war, the commission continues, “contributed to the too-ready willingness to accept dubious information as supporting the conventional wisdom and to an unwillingness even to consider the possibility that the conventional wisdom was wrong.”

    Furthermore, as explored in the commission report, part of the failure within the intelligence community was a failure of senior appointed officials like George Tenet, not of their subordinates. Two senior CIA officials — James L. Pavitt, former head of clandestine operations, and Tyler Drumheller, former head of the CIA’s Europe division — said that there was massive internal debate about whether to trust “Curveball,” the key source for claims about bioweapons in Iraq.

    Curveball has since admitted to fabricating his whole story, but Pavitt and Drumheller insist that they and many others in the CIA had issued warnings before the war that he should not be trusted. Tenet and his No. 2 at the CIA, John McLaughlin, did not heed those warnings and said publicly that they had received no such warnings. “They know what the truth is,” Drumheller told the Los Angeles Times.

    Was Tenet a Bush administration official, and thus blameless under Fleischer’s account, or an intelligence community figure, and thus blameworthy? I’d argue he was both, and his eagerness to ignore warnings from subordinates is suggestive of a broader problem in which the Bush administration ignored evidence that did not serve the purpose of building a case for war.

    It is time to apologize
    One of the most galling things about the 16 years since the US decided to destroy Iraq is the failure of any major policymakers, or even ancillary policymakers, to apologize for their choice to launch a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people.

    Even former Secretary of State Colin Powell, commonly thought to be one of the more even-keeled members of the Bush administration, has insisted that the decision to invade was just, based on the intelligence he had. Bush speechwriter David Frum, who has recently enjoyed a rehabilitated reputation as someone who agrees with Donald Trump on basically everything but nonetheless dislikes him, has accused Iraqis of choosing to be slaughtered after the invasion.

    To engage in world politics is to weigh in on matters of life and death. Policymakers will get things wrong and they will cause people to lose their lives. But engagement in world politics does not necessitate lying to the American people and the world at large. And it does not require the vile score-settling posture that Bush administration veterans have chosen to take.

    Fleischer and his friends got away with it, and they all have lucrative careers now. The least they could do is apologize to the thousands of Iraqis whose fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters were killed. To instead mark the anniversary of a decision that ruined their lives with nonsensical ass-covering isn’t just ridiculous. It’s morally obscene.
  15. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Pompeo says it's 'possible' God planned Trump to save Jewish people

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that it is "possible" that President Trump is meant to save the Jewish people.

    He made the comments during an interview in Jerusalem with the Christian Broadcasting Network.

    "As a Christian I certainly believe that's possible," Pompeo responded when asked whether Trump is a new Esther, who in the Bible convinced the king of Persia not to slaughter the Jewish people.

    The CBN interview falls on Purim, a Jewish holiday that marks Esther's story.

    The CBN hosts in questioning Pompeo referred to Iran as the modern-day threat to the Jewish people. Trump last year withdrew the U.S. from the Iranian nuclear treaty and reimposed sanctions on the country.

    "I am confident that the Lord is at work here," Pompeo added, noting that he visited the tunnels under Jerusalem during his visit.

    "It was remarkable - so we were down in the tunnels where we could see 3,000 years ago, and 2,000 years ago - if I have the history just right - to see the remarkable history of the faith in this place and the work that our administration's done to make sure that this democracy in the Middle East, that this Jewish state remains."

    Trump's support of Israel has been lauded in the country. Last year, he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved the U.S. embassy there.

    On Thursday, Trump said that the U.S. should recognize Israel's disputed control of the Golan Heights, which was captured from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed by Israel in 1981. Israeli politicians had long called for the U.S. to recognize those claims.
  16. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Iraq Prepares to Evict U.S. Troops
    Pro-Iran factions are pushing for the move just as the Islamic State is starting to hit back.
    MARCH 20, 2019

    Momentum is building among deputies in the Iraqi parliament to oust U.S. troops entirely from the country—an outcome that would leave Iraq’s political future in the hands of neighboring Iran and leave its citizens more vulnerable to the Islamic State.

    Today, the United States fields an estimated 5,200 troops in Iraq. They are there as part of a security agreement with the Iraqi government to advise, assist, and support that country’s troops in the fight against the Islamic State. But the Iraqi parliament is expected to vote soon on draft laws calling for a full withdrawal. For now, things don’t look good for the troops.

    For one, there’s a strong union of Iranian and Iranian-backed military and political powers that is actively trying to push the United States out. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Qassem Suleimani, who is close to the Fatah Iraqi political faction, is determined to do so. The party of the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who is usually at odds with Suleimani but is in agreement on this issue, has said all foreign troops must go, not just the Americans.

    The purported reason? More sovereignty. Fadhil Jabr Shnein, a deputy in the Iraqi parliament and a member of a leading pro-Iranian parliamentary group—Asaib Ahl al-Haq, the paramilitary arm of which fought in Syria to keep President Bashar al-Assad in power—said in an early March interview with the Arabic publication Al-Etejah Press, “There is a broad consensus among the various political blocs and national forces to eject foreign presence in all forms.” However, Shnein’s reference to “foreign” forces likely does not include Iranian forces, as his coalition is loyal to Iran.

    The Shiite commanders of the Iranian-backed Iraqi militias, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, are likewise pushing for a U.S. withdrawal. Qais al-Khazali, a virulently anti-American Shiite commander who is close to Suleimani, even threatened U.S. troops on his Twitter account. He claimed the U.S. presence was intended to serve Israel and not Iraq, and he vowed to target U.S. troops if they do not leave the country. His threats should be taken seriously. The Popular Mobilization Forces are practically as powerful as the regular military. Although many fighters are on the Iraqi government payroll, they operate outside Bagdad’s control and possess their own weapons.

    Beyond the various pro-Iranian forces in Iraq, the Trump administration is also at least partly responsible for putting U.S. troop expulsion at the top of Baghdad’s agenda. In late December 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump’s meeting with U.S. troops at Al Asad military base provoked outrage among Iraqi politicians and citizens because he did not follow protocol and announce his visit ahead of time—a move that some Iraqis felt was a violation of their sovereignty. Then, in early February, he announced that he wanted U.S. troops to remain in Iraq to watch Iran,setting off a diplomatic firestorm in Baghdad.

    All this has compelled even pro-U.S. politicians to denounce the presence of American troops. Iraq’s President Barham Salih, a longtime diplomat in Washington, has publicly supported a more minimal U.S. presence, for example, although Iraqi security and political sources say he is actually against a U.S. withdrawal. In early March, Salih said, “We are surprised by the statements made by the U.S. president on the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq. Trump did not ask us to keep U.S. troops to watch Iran.” This was an indication of the high pressure Salih is likely under to question the United States’ presence in his country.

    Although popular opinion seems to be turning against the United States, there are still some factions that want it to stay. Baghdad may yet reach a compromise on the troops.
    Assuming they do in fact support a continued U.S. presence, for example, the Iraqi prime minister and president could still stall for a variety of reasons, although neither have veto power over parliamentary decisions. Moreover, among Iraq’s Shiite population, popular sentiment is turning increasingly against Iran, according to a recent survey conducted by Munqith al-Dagher, who runs a polling agency in Iraq. Favorable Iraqi Shiite attitudes toward Iran fell from 88 percent in 2015 to 47 percent in 2018, according to Dagher’s polling. This shifting sentiment should empower the Iraqi government to create distance with Iran, something Iranian loyalists have so far managed to head off.

    While there is broad agreement among those calling for the United States to withdraw, there is little clarity about what a troop withdrawal would mean in practical terms. The other members of the coalition fighting the Islamic State might decide to leave if the United States is forced to do so. And if other states withdraw as well, the Iraqi security forces, which need training and technical support, would be unlikely to combat the Islamic State on their own. It is also unclear whether the hypothetical legislation will allow U.S. troops to remain on the Iraqi-Syrian border to try to prevent Islamic State fighters from crossing into Iraq from Syria. If it doesn’t, the Iraqi military would have to take on the fight without U.S. air cover.

    And that bodes ill for the country. Over the last year, the Islamic State has made a comeback, firstly with attacks in remote areas of the country and more recently on the outskirts of urban centers, such as Baghdad. As part of the jihadi group’s resurgence, it is extorting the same Sunni Iraqi communities from which it found support in 2014 and 2015. The majority of fighters and supporters are Iraqi—a major challenge for the state going forward, because they are not foreigners who can be sent away.

    Stepped-up Iranian domination would be in neither Iraq’s interest nor that of the United States. In early March, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Iraq—the first such visit by an Iranian president in many years, a sign of Iran’s intentions to expand economic cooperation with the country. The Iranians want to use the Iraqi market to compensate for the vast economic downturn that has followed renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran. The much-publicized trip demonstrates that the Iraqi government is stuck in the middle. Iraq relies on Iran for goods and electricity supplies, so cutting ties is not only politically unlikely but also impossible.
  17. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Pompeo tells Lebanon to choose Hezbollah or independence
    US Secretary of State Pompeo says sanctions on Iran and Hezbollah are working, but experts are divided.

    Beirut, Lebanon - A seven-minute media address by United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday was dominated by his country's preoccupation with Hezbollah and, in effect, its patron Iran.

    Pompeo read out his statement during his visit to Beirut as his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil watched with an unwavering gaze.

    The top US diplomat minced no words while declaring the intentions of President Donald Trump's administration to take on Hezbollah for its "criminal activities and terrorist network" albeit by "peaceful means".

    Referring to a recent televised speech by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, Pompeo claimed success of US sanctions against the group, saying "Nasrallah begged for contributions".

    Trump has reversed his predecessor Barack Obama's Middle East policy, abandoning the much-hailed 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposing sanctions. The US has since imposed additional sanctions on Hezbollah as well.

    Bassil's address took on a different tone to Pompeo's, however, with the foreign minister reaffirming that Hezbollah is not a terrorist organisation, has a large support base and is part of Lebanon's national unity government.

    Political and military growth

    In October, the US designated Hezbollah as a transnational crime threat, alleging that the group's network spans across West Africa and South America and is involved in money laundering, drug trafficking and terrorism.

    However, Thanassis Cambanis, a fellow with The Century Foundation and author of a book on Hezbollah, said that while the sanctions made life harder for Hezbollah, they have done nothing to stop its political or military growth.

    "American efforts to weaken and isolate Hezbollah have created myriad practical problems for the organisation but do nothing to accomplish the fundamental United States goal of containing Hezbollah politically and militarily," Cambanis told Al Jazeera.

    "Terror-listing and sanctions make it difficult for Hezbollah's non-military operations. They do nothing, however, to reduce Hezbollah's reach as a military power," he added.

    Hezbollah has grown from being an Iranian proxy inside Lebanon to a regional armed force over the last decade. It has sent fighters in thousands to the Syrian war. Those who survived have returned battle-hardened.

    The group has also aided Shia militias in Iraq and backed the Houthis in Yemen. Hezbollah has been forming a bloc against Israel in South Lebanon but now it is also present in southern Syria in the part of Golan Heights still under Syrian control.

    The group has also gained power politically and dominates the Lebanese parliament. Along with its allies, Hezbollah has over 70 of the 128 parliamentary seats and three ministers in the cabinet.

    Preserving unity

    Lebanese politicians, including President Michelle Aoun, base their support for Hezbollah on the need to preserve unity among the different factions represented in Lebanon's sectarian divisions of power.

    Alain Aoun, an MP with President Aoun and Gebran Basil's Free Patriotic Movement, told Al Jazeera that while the US was free to limit whatever it deemed to be Hezbollah's external acts, within Lebanon, Hezbollah was a legitimate part of the society.

    "The US must not take punitive measures against Lebanese people," said Aoun. "We are Hezbollah's political allies, as it represents a major Lebanese community, but this does not mean that we know what is happening outside."

    Although many had feared Pompeo would announce further sanctions, he promised that the US would continue to support Lebanese state institutions, including financially. His words were underlaid with veiled warnings that continued reliance on Hezbollah would risk Lebanon's economic prospects.

    "Lebanon faces a choice; bravely move forward as an independent and proud nation or allow the dark ambitions of Iran and Hezbollah to dictate your future," Pompeo said in his address.

    He also reminded the Lebanese people of the $800m the US provided to Lebanon in pecuniary support just last year. "How much has Hezbollah or Iran provided," asked Pompeo, adding that Iran gives Hezbollah $700m a year.

    Interestingly, and perhaps not coincidentally, he visited Lebanon after Israel, just as President Trump recognised Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

    The Trump administration has already moved its embassy to disputed Jerusalem and is preparing a deal to resolve the conflict with Palestine that will reportedly mirror many of Israel's demands.

    The lasting effect of US policy is yet to be seen. However, Cambanis of The Century Foundation believes the US should adopt a more nuanced approach towards Hezbollah.

    "Sanctions against Hezbollah have already ensued a siege mentality among its followers. This is unlikely to weaken the group and instead give it more control, more supporters."
  18. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
  19. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Trump to Sign Order Recognising Israel’s Rule Over Golan on Monday – Reports
    March 24, 2019

    Donald Trump will sign a decree, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights on Monday, 25 March, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Yisrael Katz said Sunday as quoted by Reuters.

    On March 12 US Senator Lindsey Graham told Benjamin Netanyahu that he would push the United States to formally recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which were seized from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.

    A week later US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that it was high time the US recognised Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Trump’s statement by thanking the US president for his support.

    Responding to the US move, Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit announced that the league fully supported Syrian sovereignty over the territory.
  20. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    Hoyer delivers strong defense of U.S.-Israel alliance in veiled rebuke of Rep. Omar
    March 24

    House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) delivered a strong defense Sunday of the U.S.-Israel alliance and directed a thinly veiled rebuke to a fellow Democrat whose remarks sparked charges of anti-Semitism that roiled the party’s new majority.

    Hoyer, a longtime ally of Israel, came down squarely on the side of standing with Israel at a time when younger Democrats and some contenders for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightward shift and his moves closer to President Trump and Republicans.

    “I stand with Israel, proudly and unapologetically. So, when someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: Accuse me. I am part of a large, bipartisan coalition in Congress supporting Israel. I tell Israel’s detractors: Accuse us,” Hoyer said at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference at Washington’s Convention Center.

    The meeting was supposed to ease tensions between Muslim and Jewish Democrats. It ended with tears

    Hoyer’s “dual loyalty” remarks served as a rejoinder to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), the first-term lawmaker whose recent remarks have sparked the heated debate inside the Democratic caucus and across the nation among liberal activists.

    This month, Omar suggested Israel’s supporters are motivated by political donations and have “allegiance” to a foreign country, sparking a messy public reckoning over anti-Semitism. That led to several days of heated debate among Democrats about whether to condemn those remarks, before they eventually reached a compromise on a broadly worded resolution that condemned many forms of hate.

    But the issue has not gone away. A new resolution sponsored by Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Bradley Schneider (D-Ill.) rejects the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, or BDS, which tries to apply economic pressure to compel Israel to change its policy toward the Palestinians. Israel’s allies in Congress say the changes BDS supporters want would effectively end Israel’s identity as a Jewish homeland.

    AIPAC backs the resolution, and Hoyer on Sunday threw his full support behind it with a promise to “defeat BDS.”

    The organization’s annual Washington gathering is reviving many of the heated discussions from early March. Hoyer was the first of several top-ranking Democrats to speak to the powerful group, followed later this week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.).

    Netanyahu, who arrived in Washington on Sunday, meets with Trump on Monday and will address the conference Tuesday just weeks ahead of a tense reelection battle back home.

    Hoyer began his remarks by explaining that, although he is not Jewish and does not have many Jewish constituents, he has traveled to Israel 15 times, many of those AIPAC-sponsored trips with him serving as the lead Democrat.

    He delivered some mild criticism — that the United States and Israel at times fail “to follow our own ideals” — but he said politicians do a disservice to that by using tropes about Jews and money. In early February Omar suggested that U.S. politicians had a loyalty to AIPAC that was “about the Benjamins.”

    “What weakens us, though, is when, instead of engaging in legitimate debate about policies, someone questions the motives of his or her fellow citizens or tries to silence others through exclusion, disenfranchisement, or fear,” Hoyer said.

    “In a region of dictatorships and dynasties, Israel remains a beachhead of freedom and representative government. In Israel’s democracy, where rule of law is upheld and freedom of expression is assured, Americans see a mirror image of our own.”

    Democratic divide over Omar’s remarks tests Pelosi’s ability to unify caucus

    Republicans have tried to use the controversy to split Democrats from one of their traditional blocs of support — a recent Gallup poll found that only 16 percent of Jewish Americans identified as Republicans last year.

    Trump recently called the Democratic Party “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish” after House leaders broadened a resolution responding to Omar by condemning all forms of hatred.

    “We are loyal Americans, patriots who believe it is in America’s interest that Israel remains strong and free and supported as a place of refuge from the haters of the world,” Hoyer said, concluding his remarks with another rejection of the “dual loyalty” charge.

    “We proudly stand with Israel. Accuse us.”