Record 499 Syrian Refugees Admitted to US So Far in May Includes No Christians
Of the 499 admitted in May, 495 are Sunni Muslims and the remaining four are described simply as “Moslem” in State Department Refugee Processing Center data.
Since FY2016 began on October 1, a total of 2,235 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the United States. Of them, 10 (0.44 percent) are Christians: three Catholics, two Orthodox, one Greek Orthodox and four refugees identified simply as “Christian.”
Christians make up the biggest non-Muslim minority in Syria – about 10 percent before the civil war erupted.
Meanwhile the State Department figures show that 2,170 (97 percent) of the 2,235 Syrian refugee newcomers in FY2016 are Sunni Muslims. The rest are made up of 17 Shi’a Muslims, 27 other Muslims, 10 Yazidis, and one refugee identified as “other religion.”
This marks the first time the fraction of Christians admitted during any given month in FY2016 has fallen below half a percentage point. Last October, it was 2.1 percent. By year’s end it had dropped to 0.9 percent, and over the ensuing months it has edged down to 0.8, 0.7, 0.5 and now 0.4 percent.
With another week still to run, May already accounts for the highest monthly tally of Syrian refugees admitted since the civil war began in the spring of 2011. The 499 admitted so far in May also exceeds the total number admitted during the first three years of the conflict.
After this month the next highest monthly admission numbers were recorded in April 2016 (451), September 2015 (389) and March 2016 (330).
The pace has picked up noticeably since last February, when the State Department opened a special refugee “resettlement surge center” in Amman, Jordan to speed up processing. Until then, President Obama’s goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees in FY2016 looked set to fall woefully short, with only 841 in total admitted between Oct. 2015 and Jan. 2016.
Even with the “surge” and significantly accelerated processing times – from around 18-24 months down to just three months – achieving the president’s fiscal year goal still looks like a tall order: With four months and one week to go, the total number admitted is still 7,765 shy of the target.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) attacks in Paris last November fueled concerns that the terrorist group would use refugee admission programs to infiltrate fighters into Western nations. According to French prosecutors two of the Paris attackers had evidently entered Europe through Greece, posing as refugees fleeing from the fighting in Syria.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate committee in February that ISIS was “taking advantage of the torrent of migrants [entering Europe] to insert operatives into that flow.”
In the U.S., dozens of Republican governors pushed back against allowing Syrian refugees to settle in their states, citing security concerns.
Since the Paris attacks, the State Department program has admitted a total of 1,944 Syrian refugees, of whom five (0.25 percent) are Christians, 1,884 (96.9 percent) are Sunnis, 44 are Shi’a and other Muslims, 10 are Yazidis and one is “other religion.”
Last March, Secretary of State John Kerry formally determined that atrocities being carried out by ISIS against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in the areas it controls constitutes genocide.
Before the conflict began in March 2011, the estimated Syrian population breakdown by religion was 10 percent Christian, 74 percent Sunni, and another 16 percent comprising various other Muslim traditions, including Shi’a, Allawite and Druze.
The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR acknowledges that Syrian minorities “fear that registration might bring retribution from other refugees” in the camps that it runs in countries surrounding Syria.
Many Christians therefore tend to avoid registering with the agency, and since the UNHCR plays a key role in the early stages of applications for refugee status in the U.S., Christians are unintentionally disadvantaged in the process.
“Without doubt, Syrians of all confessions are being victimized by this savage war and are facing unimaginable suffering,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said on the Senate floor last March as he introduced legislation that would set aside 10,000 refugee resettlement places annually, for five years, for Syrian religious minorities.
“But only Christians and other religious minorities are the deliberate targets of systematic persecution and genocide,” he said. “It’s well-established that many religious minorities in Syria are very reluctant to register as refugees with the United Nations because they fear facing even more persecution.”
In a closed-door meeting with Jewish donors on Saturday night, former President George W. Bush delivered his harshest public criticisms to date against his successor on foreign policy, saying that President Barack Obama is being naïve about Iran and the pending nuclear deal and losing the war against the Islamic State.
One attendee at the Republican Jewish Coalition session, held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas with owner Sheldon Adelson in attendance, transcribed large portions of Bush’s remarks. The former president, who rarely ever criticizes Obama in public, at first remarked that the idea of re-entering the political arena was something he didn’t want to do. He then proceeded to explain why Obama, in his view, was placing the U.S. in “retreat” around the world. He also said Obama was misreading Iran’s intentions while relaxing sanctions on Tehran too easily.
According to the attendee’s transcription, Bush noted that Iran has a new president, Hassan Rouhani. “He’s smooth,” Bush said. “And you’ve got to ask yourself, is there a new policy or did they just change the spokesman?”
Bush said that Obama’s plan to lift sanctions on Iran with a promise that they could snap back in place at any time was not plausible. He also said the deal would be bad for American national security in the long term: “You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren. That’s how Americans should view the deal.”
Bush then went into a detailed criticism of Obama’s policies in fighting the Islamic State and dealing with the chaos in Iraq. On Obama’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of 2011, he quoted Senator Lindsey Graham calling it a “strategic blunder.” Bush signed an agreement with the Iraqi government to withdraw those troops, but the idea had been to negotiate a new status of forces agreement to keep U.S. forces there past 2011. The Obama administration tried and failed to negotiate such an agreement.
Bush said he views the rise of the Islamic State as al-Qaeda’s “second act” and that they may have changed the name but that murdering innocents is still the favored tactic. He defended his own administration’s handling of terrorism, noting that the terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed to killing Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was captured on his watch: “Just remember the guy who slit Danny Pearl’s throat is in Gitmo, and now they’re doing it on TV.”
Obama promised to degrade and destroy Islamic State’s forces but then didn’t develop a strategy to complete the mission, Bush said. He said that if you have a military goal and you mean it, “you call in your military and say ‘What’s your plan?’ ” He indirectly touted his own decision to surge troops to Iraq in 2007, by saying, “When the plan wasn’t working in Iraq, we changed.”
“In order to be an effective president … when you say something you have to mean it,” he said. “You gotta kill em.”
Bush told several anecdotes about his old friend and rival Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bush recalled that Putin met his dog Barney at the White House and then later, when Bush went to Moscow, Putin showed him his dog and remarked that he was “bigger stronger and faster than Barney.” For Bush, that behavior showed him that Putin didn’t think in “win-win” terms.
Bush also remarked that Putin was rich, divorced his wife and loves power. Putin’s domestic popularity comes from his control of Russian media, according to Bush. “Hell, I’d be popular, too, if I owned NBC news,” he said.
Regarding his brother Jeb’s potential run for the presidency, Bush acknowledged that he was a political liability for Jeb, that the Bush name can be used against him, and that Americans don’t like dynasties. He also said that foreign policy is going to be especially important in the presidential campaign and that the test for Republicans running will be who has got the “courage” to resist isolationist tendencies.
Regarding Hillary Clinton, Bush said it will be crucial how she plays her relationship with the president. She will eventually have to choose between running on the Obama administration’s policies or running against them. If she defends them, she’s admitting failure, he said, but if she doesn’t she’s blaming the president.
For George W. Bush, the remarks in Vegas showed he has little respect for how the current president is running the world. He also revealed that he takes little responsibility for the policies that he put in place that contributed to the current state of affairs.
Report: Obama Threatened to Shoot Down IAF Iran Strike
By Mark Langfan
The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.
Following Obama’s threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack.
According to Al-Jarida, the Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel’s back.
The report claimed that an unnamed Israeli minister who has good ties with the US administration revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, and that Obama then threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.
Al-Jarida quoted “well-placed” sources as saying that Netanyahu, along with Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon, and then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, had decided to carry out airstrikes against Iran’s nuclear program after consultations with top security commanders.
According to the report, “Netanyahu and his commanders agreed after four nights of deliberations to task the Israeli army’s chief of staff, Benny Gantz, to prepare a qualitative operation against Iran’s nuclear program. In addition, Netanyahu and his ministers decided to do whatever they could do to thwart a possible agreement between Iran and the White House because such an agreement is, allegedly, a threat to Israel’s security.”
The sources added that Gantz and his commanders prepared the requested plan and that Israeli fighter jets trained for several weeks in order to make sure the plans would work successfully. Israeli fighter jets reportedly even carried out experimental flights in Iran’s airspace after they managed to break through radars.
Former US diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski, who enthusiastically campaigned for Obama in 2008, called on him to shoot down Israeli planes if they attack Iran. “They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?” said the former national security advisor to former President Jimmy Carter in an interview with the Daily Beast.
“We have to be serious about denying them that right,” he said. “If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a ‘Liberty’ in reverse.’”
Israel mistakenly attacked the American Liberty ship during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Brzezinski was a top candidate to become an official advisor to President Obama, but he was downgraded after Republican and pro-Israel Democratic charges during the campaign that Brzezinski’s anti-Israel attitude would damage Obama at the polls.
Europe needs to better integrate Muslim communities: Obama
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Europe must do more to better integrate its Muslim communities, and not “simply respond with a hammer”, US President Barack Obama said Friday in the wake of last week’s terror attacks in France.
“Our biggest advantage, major, is that our Muslim populations – they feel themselves to be Americans,” Obama told a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
“There are parts of Europe in which that’s not the case. And that’s probably the greatest danger that Europe faces… it’s important for Europe not to simply respond with a hammer and law enforcement and military approaches to these problems.”
Obama Will Never Stand With Figures Who Insult Muslims
Why didn’t President Obama go to Paris?
Monday brought a lot of quickly discarded excuses. 1) The excuse that the United States was adequately represented, as suggested by Kerry’s claim that critics were “quibbling” because the U.S. ambassador attended. White House press secretary Josh Earnest eventually retreated on that one. 2) The claim that there were security concerns, which suggested the security measures taken to protect the French president, U.K. prime minister, and Israeli prime minister were somehow insufficient. Also note that the entire point of the march was to send a message to the world that leaders will not be intimidated by extremists who threaten to kill them. 3) Complete and total staff incompetence: “White House aides were so caught off guard by the march’s massive size and attention that they hadn’t even asked President Barack Obama if he wanted to go.”
The simplest explanation — and one that doesn’t contradict option 3 — is that President Barack Obama doesn’t want to put his personal stature and credibility on the line to support something like Charlie Hebdo. Since those awful attacks, we’ve witnessed a lot of allegedly intellectual leftists offer versions of “the attacks were terrible, but —” and then explaining why Hebdo was offensive, hate speech, and unnecessary provocation, foolish, etc., and imply that the magazine isn’t really worth defending and that the world would be a better place if these immature, impudent cartoonists would stop making fun of one of the world’s great religions.
There’s very little evidence to suggest that Obama disagrees with this progressive intellectual reaction, that while satire of Islam is theoretically legal, the consequences of enraging Muslims is too much trouble and risk to be worthwhile. We saw this in the response to Hebdo before, and the infamous YouTube video that the administration cited as a scapegoat for the Benghazi attacks. To a lot of progressives, while depicting Muhammad or mocking Islam shouldn’t be banned, it should be discouraged, and a presidential appearance at that rally and march would be too close to an official endorsement of the magazine and its contents.
As then–White House press secretary Jay Carney put it in 2012 while discussing the French magazine’s Muhammad cartoons:
We don’t question the right of something like this to be published; we just question the judgment behind the decision to publish it. And I think that that’s our view about the video that was produced in this country and has caused so much offense in the Muslim world.
Obama would never support going into a magazine and shooting people. But he’s afamously thin-skinned public figure who thinks he has a particularly powerful connection and understanding of the Muslim world because he spent some childhood years in Indonesia. He is so mono-focused on “de-escalating” tensions with the Muslim world that he thinks about how he would advise ISIS. The last thing President Obama is going to do is take some sort of personal action that indicates a real show of solidarity with cartoonists who offend Muslims.
The uproar over whether President Obama or another top administration official should have attended the massive unity rally in Paris has obscured an important point about the White House’s reaction to the latest terror attacks in Europe. The administration no-shows were not a failure of optics, or a diplomatic misstep, but were instead the logical result of the president’s years-long effort to downgrade the threat of terrorism and move on to other things.
“The analogy we use around [the White House] sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama told the New Yorker magazine in a January 2014 interview. The president was referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria but was also suggesting in a broader sense that a number of post-9/11 offshoot terrorist organizations aren’t worth the sort of war-footing mobilization that took place in the George W. Bush years.
Seven months earlier, Obama made an extended case for downgrading the terrorist threat in a May 23, 2013, speech at the National Defense University. He mentioned al Qaeda 24 times in the speech and argued that America’s victory over the organization behind 9/11 was nearly complete.
“Today, the core of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on a path to defeat,” Obama said. “Their remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us.”
Yes, there will be threats in the future, Obama acknowledged, but they will be smaller. “We must take these threats seriously, and do all that we can to confront them. But as we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11.”
The implication of Obama’s speech was that Americans must live with a certain level of threat, as long as it does not approach 9/11 levels, and otherwise just move on.
Meanwhile, the White House from nearly the beginning of the president’s term made clear it did not want to refer to Islamic jihad as either Islamic or jihad. In 2010, a New York Times article noted that top White House officials “have made a point of disassociating Islam from terrorism in public comments, using the phrase ‘violent extremism’ in place of words like ‘jihad’ and ‘Islamic terrorism.’ ”
Obama’s supporters, weary of Bush’s focus on terrorism and eager to tackle a variety of domestic issues, cheered the president on. After the Defense University speech, the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson wrote, “President Obama wisely avoided the phrase ‘mission accomplished’ in his major speech last week about the ‘war on terror,’ but columnists aren’t obliged to be so circumspect: It is time to declare victory and get on with our lives.”
Fast forward to January 2015. The attackers at Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Hyper Cacher kosher market in Paris would undoubtedly qualify as JV-level terrorists under Obama’s new classification. But their work was enough to shock Europe and motivate more than a million people to gather behind dozens of heads of state at the unity rally Sunday.
Is that what getting on with our lives means?
The White House reaction to the attacks in France, going back to the first reports of shots fired at Charlie Hebdo, has been noticeably subdued. Obama had scheduled last week as a time to roll out some upcoming State of the Union proposals in trips to Michigan, Arizona and Tennessee. When world events intruded, the president stubbornly stuck to his schedule, mentioning France only briefly before introducing his plan for free tuition at community colleges.
Then came the unity march. No, it was not essential that Obama himself attend. But there’s no doubt he should have sent Vice President Joe Biden — why is there a VP, if not to go to big foreign events? — or at least Secretary of State John Kerry.
Even as the march wound its way through Paris, the White House sent out yet another sign of its unseriousness. On Sunday morning, the press office announced the president will host a “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism” on Feb. 18. The plan is to bring together “social service providers, including education administrators, mental health professionals, and religious leaders, with law enforcement agencies to address violent extremism as part of the broader mandate of community safety and crime prevention.”
As the world watched images of black-clad, AK-47-wielding terrorists killing Parisians, Obama proposed to meet the threat with social service providers.
So when the president chose not to attend the Paris march, nor to send the Vice President or Secretary of State, the problem wasn’t a tin-ear sense of public relations. It was Obama’s actual attitude toward the terror threat facing not only Europe but the United States. We’ve dealt with the big stuff, Obama has declared, now let’s move on.
It sounded good — until the bullets started flying.
Grief knows no color: Preaching peace on earth and goodwill toward men during a race war.
By Mario Murillo
Matthew 2: 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.”
Grief knows no color. Just ask the wives and mothers of those who have been slain. They do not care about politicians, race hustlers or racists. All they know is that someone irreplaceable has been ripped from them. All they feel is a grief that cannot be cried out our solaced by any human cure.
As surely as Herod ordered the death of baby boys in Bethlehem Satan has ordered the deaths of young black men and police officers in America. After he has done his dirty work the devil sits back and laughs at how we choose sides and ignore him altogether.
The best way, the fastest way and the only way to destroy America is set herself against herself in ravenous hate…hate that will eat us up alive, hate that will blind us to the one thing we should be doing right now.
Why is all of this happening near Christmas? To discredit its power and to seal our doom by cutting us off from the only hope we have.
Satan mocks Christmas! “Hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men”. These words from the Christmas Carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is based on the 1863 poem “Christmas Bells” by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The song tells of the narrator’s despair, upon hearing Christmas bells that “hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men”.
Hate starts by hating God. Hatred of God is essential for evil to prevail. We have elected leaders who hate God. We have exalted celebrities that hate God. Cultural elites tell us that those who believe in God are mentally inferior. We were ordered to leave God out of virtually everything. Our children cannot even mention Him in school!
So what has our national crusade to abolish God done for us? It takes courage to declare the truth. There is an unambiguous correlation between our misery and our lack of God. To the degree that we have moved away from Him is the exact degree that we have moved away from peace, joy and goodwill.
King Hezekiah had that courage! 2 Chronicles 29: 6 “For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him. 7 They have also shut up the doors of the vestibule, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore the wrath of the Lord fell upon Judah and Jerusalem, and He has given them up to trouble, to desolation, and to jeering, as you see with your eyes. 9 For indeed, because of this our fathers have fallen by the sword; and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity.”
How can you miss the eerie comparison to America in those verses? WE ARE IN TROUBLE. WE ARE DESOLATE. WE ARE JEERED BY THE WORLD. OUR SONS AND FATHERS ARE BEING KILLED. OUR PEOPLE ARE TAKEN INTO CAPTIVITY TO DRUGS AND PERVERSION! OUR INHERITANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO STRANGERS.
Many ministers may feel that they are at a loss of words this Christmas. “I don’t know what to preach on in such a time of hatred, division and chaos.” How is that possible Pastor? How can you not know what to thunder from your pulpit this Christmas?
Stand before the people like King Hezekiah. Offer dynamic hope! Hezekiah said in verse 10, “Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His fierce wrath may turn away from us.” Lead your people into a covenant with God to save America!
If America repents of her sin and repudiates the God haters, God’s wrath will turn away from us. Do not be shy or vague and do not fear that man will reject you. You are not on this earth at this time to compromise or draw back.
Let every believer who reads this repent before God and seek His mercy. Truly judgment must begin at the house of God. I know that a shocking turn toward the better awaits us if we sincerely fall before God in unrestrained humility and confess our great sin to Him.
The days of murder in Bethlehem gave way to the voice of John the Baptist crying in the wilderness. This voice was then overshadowed by the golden words of Jesus of Nazareth who had the Holy Ghost without measure. He destroyed the works of Satan on all levels from poverty to disease to hatred.
To return to that work and to see that work repeated in our day must be the unrestrained passion of every minister and the hope of every believer. Our day of race baiters, God haters and Bible traitors can melt before national revival if God’s generals and soldiers return to their first love.
Will Satan win against the message of Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward men? The Christmas carol ended with these words:
“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men.”