Resources updated between Monday, July 20, 2015 and Sunday, July 26, 2015
July 26, 2015
The UN Security Council held one more meeting on the Middle East - and spent 95% of the time condemning Israel and the remainder on the current horrors across the Arab Mideast.
Notwithstanding the UN Charter, the language is totally unrestrained and clearly intended to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state.
The Palestinian Authority representative Riyad Mansour denounced "Israel's slaughter of innocent Palestinian children, women and men", "settler terror and repression" and Israel's "colonial, racist policies." Malaysia condemned "the apartheid wall." Saudi Arabia said "the racist and colonial actions of Israel must end. " Iran accused Israel of "military aggression," "war crimes," and "atrocities." Syria demanded an "end of Israeli occupation in the occupied Syrian Golan" - the place where Syrians run while trying to escape their murderous government.
When Israel's representative, Israel Nitzan, pointed out that "Saudi Arabia...was devastating Yemen and executing its citizens by the scores...and Malaysia was training Hamas terrorists," Malaysia accused Israel of "trying to change the subject."
July 25, 2015
July 24, 2015
July 23, 2015
July 22, 2015
Oops, we forgot the American hostages in Iran. After we handed Iran $150 billion dollars in sanctions relief. That's the impression the Obama administration is now trying desperately to shake off while selling an Iran nuclear deal that left our fellow citizens behind.
On Monday, the administration pushed the Iran deal through the UN at warp speed in order to blackmail Congress with America's newly-created international legal obligations. Speaking at the Security Council, Ambassador Samantha Power threw the following into the middle of her self-congratulatory remarks:
"Let me use this occasion to call once again on Iran to immediately release all unjustly detained Americans . . . I also call on Iran to help locate Robert Levinson, who has been missing from Iran since 2007."
Saeed Abedini is imprisoned for his religious beliefs. Amir Hekmati is a former sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps falsely accused of espionage. Jason Rezaian is a Washington Post correspondent who once covered the nuclear negotiations. And Robert Levinson is a retired FBI agent.
So on the one hand, Power was leading the charge to revoke a decade of Security Council resolutions - harsher than the new deal - that imposed duties on Iran to "suspend all enrichment-related activities" until "Iran has fully complied with its obligations..." And on the other hand, she was begging Iran to release Americans from Iranian hell holes. It was an embarrassing spectacle.
Hitting the Iran-deal campaign trail on Tuesday, President Obama followed up with similar bluster. The President told to the VFW National Convention in Pittsburgh that Rezaian, Abedini and Hekmati "should be released" and "Iran needs to help us find Robert Levinson." The only thing missing was the "pretty please."
Explanations coming from the administration for the cringeworthy posture of the President and his UN ambassador are mutating - and incoherent. They include: The subject of their freedom wasn't raised because it was off topic. The subject of their freedom was raised all the time on the side.
Meanwhile, the Iranians attached to the deal every non-nuclear barnacle - like freedom for ballistic missile production - that they could.
A clearer explanation is provided by the mindset adopted by the White House and the State Department throughout the negotiations and articulated by Power at the Security Council. In her words, in arriving at the deal U.S. and Iranian negotiators "demonstrated" "mutual respect."
The theme was a huge hit at the United Nations - especially with the countries having no respect either for the human rights of their own citizens or those of their neighbors. China talked about "the principle of mutual respect" and "equality." Russia waxed eloquent about the deal being "a choice . . . in favor of mutual respect, stability and cooperation." Venezuela carried on about "mutual trust and respect" between Iran and the parties. And Iran crowed "the deal was sealed on the basis of mutual respect."
When there is mutual respect between the world's leading democracy and the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, something has gone terribly wrong. Abedini, Hekmati, Rezaian, Levinson and their families are paying the price - along with the victims and targets of Iranian terror all around the world.
July 21, 2015
SOHR documented 26517 airstrikes carried out by the regime air force since 10/20/2014 until 7/21/2015, where the airstrikes targeted hundreds of villages, towns and cities in Syria expanded from the province of al- Quneitera in the south of Syria to the province of al- Hasakah in the northeast, and from Aleppo to the province of Daraa. The airstrikes concluded all provinces except the province of Tartous.
The helicopters dropped 14393 barrel bombs on different areas in the provinces of Rif Dimashq, Aleppo, Homs, Hama, al- Hasakah, Deir Ezzor, al- Quneitera, al- Suwaydaa, Daraa, Idlib and Lattakia.
Meanwhile, the warplanes carried out at least 12124 raids on areas in the provinces of Damascus, Rif Dimashq, Aleppo, Homs, Hama, al- Hasakah, Deir Ezzor, al- Raqqa, al- Quneitera, Daraa, al- Suwaydaa, Idlib and Lattakia.
On the other hand, SOHR also documented the death of 4879 civilians, including 684 women, and 1001 children, due to aerial bombardment carried out by the government warplanes and helicopters, while about 26000 other civilians were wounded and dozens of thousands displaced. The aerial bombardment also resulted in destroying public and private people's properties as well as it left huge material damages in several areas.
The explosive barrels and air raids resulted in the death of 2098 fighters from al- Nusra Front, IS, rebel and Islamic battalions while other hundreds fighters were wounded.
SOHR renews its appeal to UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities and work on using its power in order to stop the daily killing committed against the Syrian people and destroying their social structure, coexistence, past, present and future by using all kind of weapons, whether they are firearms or media, where the Syria helicopters intensified and concentrated on using explosive barrels in the last six months Despite the adoption of resolution 2139 by the Security Council, where the most important mission of this resolution is to maintain the international peace and security.
President Barack Obama has emboldened China's Communist Party by failing to publicly condemn its human rights abuses, according to Chen Guangcheng, a prominent Chinese dissident who spoke with the Washington Free Beacon amid a widening crackdown on dissent in the country.
Chen, a blind dissident and former human rights lawyer in China who now resides in the United States, said in an interview that the sweeping persecution of his colleagues "just happens to be a larger wave within the ongoing repression" that has occurred since the mid-2000s.
After China passed a new national security law this month that critics say is aimed at curbing dissent, more than 200 lawyers and activists have been detained or harassed. While most have since been released, security officials are likely still holding at least two-dozen lawyers.
Chinese state media recently reported that some of the detained rights advocates have confessed to being part of a criminal gang that promoted sensitive cases to reap profits-an admission that rights groups say was likely coerced from the lawyers to sway public opinion.
Although U.S. officials have issued statements denouncing the crackdown on China's rights lawyers, Chen said, "we need to see them act on their words." Obama and other top administration aides have generally avoided measures that would impose costs on China for human rights violations, including Beijing's denial of free elections to Hong Kong.
Vice President Joe Biden previously told Xi Jinping, China's president and party leader, that supporting human rights in the United States is "a political imperative" that "doesn't make us better or worse," the New Yorker has reported.
"When it comes to Obama, I feel that for a long time he's been softer on the issue of human rights," said Chen, who has previously criticized the administration for not taking a harder line with China. "He always seems to be caving into demands-that has a result of making the Communist Party that much more brash in their actions."
"They don't worry about any [U.S.] response when it comes to human rights violations," he added.
Chen, who recently published a memoir about his dramatic escape from house arrest in China and eventual passage to the United States, said the party has been increasingly concerned about the burgeoning influence of human rights lawyers and activists in the country.
In May, an indigent man who was traveling to Beijing to seek federal assistance for his family was killed by a police officer at a train station, in front of his mother and three children. Police at the station in northeastern China said the man, Xu Chunhe, accosted the officer and attempted to steal his gun, but a private video released online appeared to show the security official beating Xu. Wu Gan, a popular grassroots activist in China who has been detained by authorities, promised a reward to anyone who would reveal the truth about Xu's death-a proposal that made authorities "extremely anxious," Chen said.
"These are the kinds of things that are going on that has caused the party's [repression]," he said.
Among the rights advocates detained in the latest crackdown is Li Heping, a former lawyer for Chen. He said Li has "been a good friend of mine for a long time" and helped bring a case against local Chinese security officials in 2003. Li has not been able to meet with his lawyer, who lives in another province, due to pressure from police, Chen said.
Chen called on the Obama administration to consider actions that would punish Beijing for human rights abuses, including imposing sanctions on top Chinese officials who have committed violations. They should also be denied access to the United States and its financial system, he said.
"This would give pressure where it hurts most," he said.
He also urged administration officials to publicly convey their concerns about human rights to their Chinese counterparts. Some rights groups have said the White House should postpone the Chinese president's first state visit to Washington in September until the lawyers are released, a step that Chen said could be "extremely important."
"For many years, the American government has been operating according to a policy where they talk about [human rights] behind closed doors," he said. "It appears that this is not working ... they need to change this method."
"A powerful US senator leading the charge against the nuclear deal with Iran decried the Obama administration's decision Monday to endorse the deal at the United Nations before Congress had a chance to review the pact.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said the move was 'inappropriate' and 'contrary to the spirit' of legislation recently signed into law by President Barack Obama.
As chair of the committee at the center of the 60-day Senate review of the deal, Corker will be leading the review hearings for the Senate, and his committee is expected to be the point of origin for a resolution of approval or disapproval of the Iran deal itself.
'The administration's decision to endorse this agreement at the UN prior to a vote in Congress on behalf of the American people is contrary to the spirit of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which was supported by overwhelming majorities of the House and Senate and signed by the president,' he said in a statement... While it is not clear how many Democratic legislators are considering voting against the agreement itself, some have already questioned the president's quick turn to the UN before the Congressional review period concludes.
In a bipartisan show of concern, Representative Ed Royce, Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Representative Eliot Engel, a Democrat and the committee's ranking member, issued a joint bipartisan statement saying that the two were 'disappointed' about the passage of the United Nations Security Council resolution.
'We are disappointed that the UN Security Council passed a resolution on Iran this morning before Congress was able to fully review and act on this agreement,' the two wrote. 'We are also greatly concerned that the resolution lifts restrictions on Iran's ballistic missiles in eight years and conventional arms in five years. Regardless of this morning's outcome, Congress will continue to play its role...'
House Democratic whip Steny Hoyer ... said that he believes 'that waiting to go to the United Nations until such time as Congress has acted would be consistent with the intent and substance of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.'
Hoyer is Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's right-hand man and his concern over the UN process was striking, given Pelosi's own quick support for the deal itself."
July 20, 2015