Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hamas: The New Charter That Isn't - Bassam Tawil

by Bassam Tawil

It is worthwhile to note that, contrary to what is being published in many media outlets, Hamas is NOT changing its Charter, which explicitly calls for the elimination of Israel.

  • It is worthwhile to note that, contrary to what is being published in many media outlets, Hamas is NOT changing its Charter, which explicitly calls for the elimination of Israel.
  • The document goes on to clarify that even if Hamas accepts a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, "this would not mean recognition of the Zionist entity or giving up any of the Palestinian rights."
  • Hamas and the PLO now have crucial common ground: sweet-talk the Western donors while laying stealthy plans to destroy Israel.
Yasser Arafat may have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but his PLO officials and he really deserve the prize for the art of deception. For decades now, the PLO has spearheaded one of history's biggest scams, and now it seems that Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood movement, is about to join the bandwagon.

According to unconfirmed reports in the Arab media, Hamas is about to publish a "political document" in which it "accepts" the "two-state solution." The purported document is already being hailed by some Western and Israeli analysts and Hamas apologists as a sign of the radical Islamic movement's march toward moderation and pragmatism.

It is worthwhile to note that, contrary to what is being published in many media outlets, Hamas is NOT changing its Charter, which explicitly calls for the elimination of Israel. The new Hamas document is intended for outside consumption and is directed to the ears and eyes of Americans and Europeans only. The original Hamas Charter in Arabic will remain in effect even after the new document is made public and seemingly official. In fact, it does not have to do that. The New Charter, while mouthing all sorts of human rights bromides over which Westerners and the media can be counted upon to swoon, such as:
"Hamas believes that the message of Islam came with morals of justice, truth, dignity and freedom, and is against injustice in all its shapes, and criminalizes the criminals whatever their sex, color, religion or nationality," and so on. (New Hamas Charter, Article 9).
It is, nevertheless, the same Old Hamas Charter as before. It does not even bother to renounce jihad as an acceptable means of "resistance." This is Hamas talking in code; pursuing "resistance" against Israel means: We plan to continue launching terror attacks against Israel.
"Hamas confirms that no peace in Palestine should be agreed on, based on injustice to the Palestinians or their land. Any arrangements based on that will not lead to peace, and the resistance and Jihad will remain as a legal right, a project and an honor for all our nations' people." (New Hamas Charter, Article 21)
The PLO bluff began with the signing of the Oslo Accords with Israel in 1993, and reached its peak three years later, when PLO leaders managed to convince President Bill Clinton and the international community, including many Israelis, that they had changed the PLO Charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel. The truth, however, is a far cry from that.

Back in 1996, the PLO's parliament-in-exile, the Palestine National Council (PNC), held a session in Gaza City where its members decided to "entrust a legal committee with re-formulating the Palestinian Charter."

No one knows if the committee made any of the proposed changes. It is also unclear whether two-thirds of the PNC members (the required majority) actually voted in favor of changing the PLO Charter.

To this day, some Palestinians maintain that the charter was never officially amended or revoked -- and it certainly was not ratified -- and that the whole performance was a lie to mislead the international community and Israel into believing that the Palestinians had abandoned their dream of destroying Israel through "armed struggle."

The PLO Charter question, like the PLO's pledge to work towards a two-state solution, is murky. What is clear is that many in the international community swallowed the scam and began to believe that Arafat and his cohorts were finally leading their people toward real peace, beginning with recognition of Israel's right to exist.

A glance at PLO actions over the past two decades will show that this tiger has certainly not changed its stripes. Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, the PLO and its leaders, first Arafat and now Mahmoud Abbas, have consistently and stubbornly rejected all Israeli peace offers, some of which were exorbitantly generous.

The PLO and many other Palestinians have one thing in mind: to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel in order to use it in the future as a launching pad from which to destroy Israel.

This desire to replace Israel with a Palestinian state is why no Palestinian leader will ever sign a document ending the conflict with Israel -- no matter what he is offered. No Palestinian leader is even authorized to pledge an end to Palestinian demands, even if he is given all the territories held by Israel since the 1967 Six Day War. Anyone could justifiably come along later -- after land had irreversibly changed hands -- and ask by what right Mahmoud Abbas, a leader in the twelfth year of a five-year term, had any legal authority to agree to anything. That question would -- and should – invalidate any agreement overnight.

Abbas has shown for the past decade that his true goal is to undermine, delegitimize and isolate Israel; not to make peace with it. Abbas is prepared to accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (as well as East Jerusalem) only because he sees this solution as part of the "phased plan" to eliminate Israel. The PLO Charter, which was ostensibly changed, is still living in the minds and hearts of Abbas and many Palestinians.

We have been here before, but the minuet partner has changed.

After two decades, Hamas has finally woken up to the power of lies. Its leaders are mouthing just what the international community wishes to hear -- in exchange for legitimacy, recognition and money. Like the PLO, Hamas has learned that in this instance, words are more important than actions. Utter the words: "We accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 boundaries" and you will find the world at your doorstep.

After two decades, Hamas has finally woken up to the power of lies. Like the PLO, Hamas has learned that in this instance, words are more important than actions. Pictured: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (right) shakes hands with Hamas's leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, during negotiations in 2007 for a short-lived unity government. (Image source: Palestinian Press Office)

The new document leaves no room for doubt that Hamas continues to seek the destruction of Israel despite its alleged acceptance of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines. Hamas "will not give up any part of the land of Palestine regardless of the reasons, circumstances and pressure," the document reads, according to the Arab media reports. "Hamas rejects any alternative to the liberation of Palestine in its entirety, from the river to the sea."

The document goes on to clarify that even if Hamas accepts a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, "this would not mean recognition of the Zionist entity or giving up any of the Palestinian rights." The new document repeats Hamas's commitment to the "armed struggle" against Israel:
"Resisting the occupation, with all methods and means, is a right that is guaranteed by international laws. At the heart of this is the armed resistance, which is considered the strategic choice to defend our people and restore their rights."
In yet more signs of Hamas's purported "moderation," the document re-emphasizes the movement's "absolute rejection" of the Oslo Accords, signed in 1993 between Israel and the PLO. In addition, the document affirms Hamas's commitment to work towards flooding Israel with millions of Palestinian "refugees" through the so-called right of return. In theory, Palestinians should be directed toward a State of Palestine: that is what it is purportedly being created for. "Palestine is an Arab and Islamic land; it is a blessed and sacred land that occupies a special place in the heart of all Arabs and Muslims," the new document stresses.

But, no, the Palestinians apparently want to have their marbles and Israel's marbles.

The talk about Hamas accepting the two-state solution is nothing but a bluff. Hamas itself is saying that it will accept a Palestinian state on the 1967-lines but without recognizing Israel's right to exist. In other words, Hamas is telling Israel, "Hand me a state on your doorstep so that I can better position myself to destroy you." With moderates like that, who needs extremists?

New document or not, Hamas will continue to launch rockets and perpetrate other terror attacks to kill Jews. The "pragmatism" of the "new Hamas" lies in its amplified ability to fool the West.

Not everyone, however, is fooled. Hamas is using old PLO tricks to achieve current ends: double talk, conflicting messages, some in English, some in Arabic. They fill their people's minds with anti-Israel venom while sending love notes to the international community. Hey, it worked for the PLO, so why not for Hamas?

Valentine's Day has come and gone, but Hamas and the PLO now have crucial common ground: sweet-talk the Western donors while laying stealthy plans to destroy Israel.

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab scholar based in the Middle East.


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Open Letter to National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster - A. Z. Mohamed

by A. Z. Mohamed

In other words, as al-Kalbani has confirmed -- and contrary to what McMaster has been telling his staff and his commander-in-chief, President Trump -- Muslim terrorists are Islamic, and the term "radical Islamic terrorism" is apt, accurate and extremely "helpful."

During his first "all hands" staff meeting on February 23, President Donald Trump's new national security adviser, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, called terrorism "un-Islamic" and the term "radical Islamic terrorism" not helpful.

Prior to the meeting, retired U.S. Army Col. Peter Mansoor told Fox News that McMaster, with whom he served in Iraq during the 2007 surge of American troops, "absolutely does not view Islam as the enemy... and will present a degree of pushback against the theories being propounded in the White House that this is a clash of civilizations and needs to be treated as such."

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, President Trump's National Security Adviser. (Image source: Center for Strategic and International Studies)

Let us put McMaster's premise -- which is antithetical not only to that of his predecessor, Michael Flynn, but to Trump himself and many of his senior advisers -- to the test.

Less than three years ago, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh -- a grandchild of Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, the 18th-century founder of the Saudi school of Islam called Wahhabism -- said, in an August 19, 2014 statement, that Islamic State (ISIS), and al-Qaeda, are Islam's "enemy number one."

This would be a good sign, if not for the fact that four days earlier, Sheikh Adil al-Kalbani, a former imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and a Salafi (a strict sect of Sunni Islam advocating a return to the early Islam of the Quran), tweeted: "ISIS is a true product of Salafism and we must deal with it with full transparency."

Later that month, al-Kalbani published two pieces in the Saudi government-aligned daily Al Riyadh -- on August 24 and 31 -- criticizing elements "in the Salafi stream for appropriating the truth and Islam and for permitting the killing of their opponents, and... clerics and society that dared not come out against them."

This was a bold assertion on the part of al-Kalbani: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is based on Wahhabism, a form of Salafism embraced by the monarchy.

In January 2016, al-Kalbani gave an interview to the Saudi-owned, Dubai-based network, MBC, in which he acknowledged with regret, "We follow the same thought [as ISIS], but apply it in a refined way." He added that ISIS "draws its ideas from what is written in our own books, from our own principles." (Author's emphasis)

McMaster should have been listening.

In the BBC World Service podcast "The Inquiry" (December 2015) -- on a program called "Is Saudi Arabia to blame for IS?" -- Professor Bernard Haykel, director of the Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia at Princeton University, said: "The Islamic State's religious genealogy comes from 'Jihadi Salafism,' a theological current that is very old in Islam that is quite literalist." Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab's well-known short books, he added, "are used by ISIS today."

Indeed, until ISIS began producing its own textbooks in 2014, the terrorist organization relied on official Saudi ones.

In addition, many fatwas (Islamic legal decrees) issued by senior Saudi clerics are markedly similar to those issued by ISIS and other terrorist organizations. As recently as February 2017, in fact -- in a lesson aired on Saudi regime-aligned Ahwaz TV -- Sheikh Ayman Al-Anqari cited various hadiths (a collection of the Prophet Mohamed's sayings) supporting his fatwa that "coexistence in the sense of freedom of religion... is null and void." He also advocated offensive jihad and death as a punishment for apostates.

It should be noted that Al-Anqari is a professor in the Aqidah (Islamic Faith) and Current Doctrines department in the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies at Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh.

In other words, as al-Kalbani has confirmed -- and contrary to what McMaster has been telling his staff and his commander-in-chief, President Trump -- Muslim terrorists are Islamic, and the term "radical Islamic terrorism" is apt, accurate and extremely "helpful."
A. Z. Mohamed is a Muslim born and raised in the Middle East.

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Racist Obama Caused Dems' Downfall, Not Hillary - Karin McQuillan

by Karin McQuillan

Racial demographics need not be destiny. We are all Americans and want the best for each other. America is better than Obama’s dark radical vision of us.

The press is starting to pile on Hillary Clinton for losing to President Trump, but the real cause of the Democrats' defeat is never discussed. It is Obama himself.

According to Gallup, averaging his two terms, Obama was the most unpopular President since President Truman, save only for Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Even Nixon was more popular. That poll will never be reported in the liberal press. But Democrats can’t ignore this astounding precinct map, that shows how tiny the blue islands have become in a sea of red voters.

Obama thinks Democrats should continue to write off those red voters. They don’t have long to wait for the demographics of immigration to turn America's majority non-white. Obama is unfazed because he dreams about this: we already have a non-white majority among Americans under age 5. Obama foresees a permanent Democratic government, based on minority immigration rates, coupled with ginning up racial and gender divisiveness. 

Trump won the Democrat heartland? A short-term setback. Soon progressives can tell the heartland to get lost. As Obama told David Remnick, he ‘believes in demographics.’

The hyper-partisan media will never criticize Obama. This week, the DNC’s number two guy, Keith Ellison, broke the rules and shocked everyone by blaming Saint Barack Obama for the party’s diminished, sorry self.
“Given we lost a lot of statehouse seats, governorships, secretary of states… he can’t say that he wasn’t part of those losses. Who else, right?”

Ellison understated the problem. There are fewer Democrats in Congress than since 1929, fewer Democrats in state and federal offices than since the Civil War. Democrats can beat up on Hillary Clinton all they want. It has nothing to do with Hillary’s campaign and everything to do with Obama’s radical agenda as President. Hillary is just the biggest Democrat politician of them all who followed Obama’s polarizing priorities right off the cliff. 

Mainstream America wanted jobs and racial healing, secure borders and safety from jihad. Obama gave them the opposite. Once elected, he went further and repeatedly dissed his white voters as bigots. Obama’s radical millennial shock troops, financed and trained during his eight years in office, now pipe the tune to which the Democrats dance. (See my columns, Obama’s Snowflakes and Obama Fundamentally Transformed America the Democrats.) 

Americans have had enough progressive politics to see they don’t like it. Voter flight from Democrats started with Obamacare and the corrupt stimulus. They were losing their jobs by the millions. It doesn’t get worse than that. Except it did get worse, as Americans began to lose their lives to jihadis and cop killers and illegal criminal aliens. If you didn’t like it, you were called a racist and Islamophobe. Progressives boasted that whites would soon be a minority in America. People could see the exploding Hispanic and Muslim population in their towns and cities, brought into this country for the good of the Democrat Party, not for America’s good. The culture war Obama launched against religious freedom was the coup de grace

During Obama’s two terms, ordinary Republicans and independents turned to Tea Party conservatives, at every level of government. They wanted leaders to fight Obama’s re-do of America, and go-along Republicans. Trump was the first fighter they had a chance to vote for in a Presidential race, and the crowds flocked to him. 

Hillary’s failure is supposedly that she ignored the white working class. The entire Democrat party thought that calling Trump supporters names was the way to go – they still do. 

Since her loss, the DNC and the Democratic leadership have doubled down. They are still not talking about jobs or national security or the immigration problem. They’re too busy screaming that Trump is a Russian stooge, based on fake leaks apparently orchestrated by our exiting President. They’re still yelling that businessman Donald Trump and his working class voters are white nationalists. They’re blaming Hillary, because her identity politics flopped, all the while continuing it themselves. 

Obama’s polices didn’t even work well for Obama, as the Gallup Poll shows, but they served the purpose of his radical takeover of the party. Eight years is a long time. Obama abused federal funding and threats of lawsuits to yank campus culture hard left. He forced the black community left by purposely inflaming racial grievances in Florida and Ferguson, Missouri, and from there across the country. It was Obama who awarded the Marxist Black Lives Matter power and legitimacy. Hillary was stuck with them. Obama even promoted pro-jihadi Islamists to positions of power and influence. 

As president, Obama started a private foundation, which he calls Organizing for Action, which trained 30,000 millennial street activists, as many as half from immigrant families. He funneled his campaign experts and donors to this left-wing army, leaving normal liberal politicians on their own. Most of them went down to defeat, but Obama never changed course. He was not interested in building the Democrat Party, but in taking it over. 

Thanks to Obama’s community organizing from the White House, America now has a hardcore, violent, progressive vanguard, which the useful idiot Democratic Party leaders and media are applauding as “the Resistance.” This is Obama’s lasting legacy.

With the help of a partisan, unethical press, the Democrats normalized Obama’s every aberrant trait. But Obama is aberrant. He is a Democrat in name only – in reality, he is a hard left “red diaper baby” – as were Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod. Obama has had literally lifelong radical ties, starting with his grandfather and mother, as well as his Kenyan father, and Obama’s beloved teenage mentor, child molester Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party. (According to Paul Kengor, Frank Davis’s political work for the Soviets got him placed on the FBI’s Security Index, so he could be immediately arrested in a national emergency – the Cold War equivalent of our terrorist watchlist.)

In college Obama tells us, he only associated with radicals. After law school, he moved to Chicago and began radical left “community” organizing. He entered politics as the chosen successor to a socialist state senator.

Out of sight of the public, President Obama’s actions continued those of the professional agitator he was in Chicago. He funneled half a billion dollars in federal fines to leftist groups, using a “a shakedown system eerily reminiscent of the ACORN “Muscle for Money” program that he was a part of in Chicago.” On campuses, he forced colleges to hire radical blacks and feminist thought police and start a rape witch-hunt against white men, using the threat of civil rights suits and loss of federal funds. 

After his re-election, Obama flirted with what he called going “Bulworth” – that is, revealing that he is a socialist. How galling for him Sanders’ acclaim by millennials must be, but Sanders is a loser. By hiding his Marxism, Obama made it to the White House, twice.

Ominously, Obama says he will devote his post-presidency to funding, training and organizing more activists. That is not normal. Presidents in America retire from politics. They have since George Washington. It is crucial to our democracy. 

Happily, the rest of us are not stuck in Obama’s scenario. America is not as racist as he is. We have a unified vision of success for the whole country, based on our common American values. A renewal of freedom and personal responsibility has the potential to unleash enormous prosperity for every American citizen.

If Trump succeeds in doubling and tripling the GDP growth rate, easily within his grasp with sensible pro-growth policies and reining in the administrative state, he can blow Obama’s race-based strategy to bits. Trump has sworn he will be the greatest job creator the world has ever seen – not just for white Americans, for all Americans. If he succeeds in bringing jobs to our unemployed white working class, minorities and millennials, it will be a game changer.

Racial demographics need not be destiny. We are all Americans and want the best for each other. America is better than Obama’s dark radical vision of us. 

What a wonderful thought: Democrats will play the race card, and no one will listen.

Karin McQuillan


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Meet Jon Ossoff: The Latest Dem Savior - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

He’s got “Kennedy-ish” features.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam

The Democrats are in trouble. And the list of party saviors is as broad as it is laughable. There’s Bernie Sanders, who denies that he’s a Democrat, Elizabeth Waters, who might not even survive reelection in her own state, Keith Ellison, an Islamist who keeps lying about his past with Farrakhan, Howard Dean, currently denying the existence of the First Amendment, and Maxine Waters.

You know you’re in trouble when your party is being represented on cable news by Maxine Waters. Desperate lefties had tried to tout the 78-year-old Waters as a hero to millennials. Maxine tried to help out by claiming, “I was a millennial once”.

When trying to appeal to millennials, it’s a good idea to use speakers who know what millennials are.

Jon Ossoff, the latest Dem savior, has one thing and only one thing going for him. He is a millennial. Ossoff didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election. He can’t vote for himself in his current battle to take Georgia's sixth district for the Dems because he doesn’t live in the district he’s running to represent.

In his defense, Ossoff has argued that no one should have expected him to live in the district because, "No one knew there was going to be an election coming".

And why would he bother living in the district unless an election was coming? Or even once the election was underway. At least Facebook billionaire Chris Hughes actually bought his boyfriend Sean Eldridge a $2 mil home in the district he was trying to represent. Even if he didn’t bother living there. Couldn’t Ossoff have at least paid lip service to the locals by picking up a nice mansion to pretend to live in?

His $500K in Apple stock, $250K in Home Depot stock or $100K in Apple and GE stock should have been enough to cover a nice fixer-upper in some of the sixth district’s poorer areas.

However it should be noted that unlike Maxine Waters, who was born almost half a century before the existence of millennials, Jon Ossoff really is a millennial. As Mother Jones boasts, “Jon Ossoff's Race Is the First Real Battle Between Millennials and Trump”.  (Trump actually won white millennials 48 to 43.)

Ossoff is also the public face of the new DNC plan which involves DNC boss Tom Perez yelling obscenities into a microphone to prove just how “woke” he is and a 50 state strategy consisting of narrowly failing to win special elections in Republican districts.

The new DNC is Obama’s creature. Its boss is an Obama lackey and Ossoff is the perfect Obama Dem. He's a graduate of the London School of Economics; the local equivalent of the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow. He followed that up by plowing his dead grandfather’s money into a documentary company whose biggest clients included Al Jazeera.

Then he claimed that this made him a small business owner. “I’m a small business owner. I’ve made payroll every month and balanced the budget every year at my company.”

When most people think of a small business owner they don’t think of a rich kid playing around with documentaries for a terrorist network. But it doesn’t get more Obama than that.

And Ossoff is the model for what an Obama Dem should be. As a New Yorker hagiography put it, he has “Kennedy-ish features and a deliberate, Obama-like manner of speaking.”

Kennedy-ish features certainly cover a lot of territory. Ossoff reputedly boasts a nose, eyes and teeth. Just like a Kennedy. But nothing excites Dems like the latest incarnation of JFK. Especially now that its former incarnation, Bill Clinton, is looking more and more like Ted Kennedy every day.

Ossoff’s experience in politics comes from handling foreign policy for Hank Johnson; a member of Congress who makes Maxine Waters seem statesmanlike. If millennials know Hank Johnson, it’s because he went viral for asking whether Guam might tip over if there were too many people living there.

Jon Ossoff’s position on Guam tipping over is unknown.

Also there was the time that Hank Johnson compared Jews to termites. "You see one home after another being appropriated by Jewish people," he grumbled at a BDS event. "Almost like termites can get into a residence and eat before you know that you’ve been eaten up."

Jon Ossoff isn’t a big fan of Jewish termites either. Instead he backs J Street which has spent years seeking a two state solution to the Jewish termite problem. J Street’s PAC has kicked in $56K to Ossoff.

That’s pennies considering Ossoff’s $8 million war chest. But it won’t surprise you too much that 95% of his donors are from out of state. 75% of them probably couldn’t find Georgia on a map.

It’s unknown whether Jon Ossoff can find the district that he doesn’t live in on a map.

Ossoff boasts an impressive Hank resume. By 19, he claimed to have been the Deputy Communications Director for Hank Johnson where he served as “Speechwriter, press officer, strategist for successful 2006 effort to unseat a 12-year Congressional incumbent.”

That’s not bad for a kid who couldn’t legally buy a drink in a bar.

By 20, he was the Legislative Correspondent & Systems Administrator for Johnson. By 23, he was Johnson’s campaign manager. Not to mention his Senior Legislative Assistant.

That’s very impressive. Or maybe not.

Ossoff’s parents are regular Dem donors. In 2006, the year that Ossoff’s LinkedIn resume claims he became the Deputy Communications Director for Hank Johnson, his father wrote a nice check to his boss. His parents, Richard Ossoff and Heather Fenton, went on writing those nice checks.

Hank Johnson raises a lot of money even though he doesn’t face competitive elections. He ran unopposed in 2014. He routinely wins elections by 75%. And yet he raised $638,258 for that race in which he ran unopposed.

At the end of 2016, Ossoff’s parents suddenly began writing some big checks to the DNC for a total of around $50,000. And the DNC became very enthusiastic about Jon Ossoff. It anointed him as the candidate.

This is the new Democrat Party. 

A ton of money didn’t buy Ossoff the election. And that was the plan. Bet a ton of cash on a Dem in a low turnout special election while the Republicans squabble among themselves. No other Dem managed to score above 0.3%. But the Republicans still scored a majority of the vote. And so now there’s a runoff.

And that giant pile of cash might buy Ossoff as much as it did Sean Eldridge.

Dems are celebrating a near victory in a special election with a 192,000 voter turnout. The previous year’s election had a 326,000 turnout. The Ossoff miracle that the media is buzzing about is that he won 92,000 votes. The last Democrat to run for that seat won almost 125,000 votes.

He was still crushed 62% to 38% by Tom Price with 201,000 votes. In a previous midterm election, Price had to make do with only 139,000 votes.

Sneaking in to win a special election outright with a giant wad of outside cash was Ossoff’s best bet. It was a good bet on a bad candidate. Now the new DNC’s media allies will go back to talking up how much less of a margin they lost by this time around. Like that other special election they lost in Kansas 53 to 46. And preemptively blaming racist Republican vote suppression for Ossoff’s defeat.

Think of all the black people eager to vote for a rich white leftist hipster with “Kennedy-ish features” who didn’t get their chance.

All three of them.

But the DNC is more committed to fundraising and leftist politics than it is to winning. That’s why Jon Ossoff is where he is. It would have been smarter to run a more conservative candidate in the district. But the DNC is now an Obama joint dedicated to the proposition of running unapologetic leftists who can be confused with JFK by a blind drunk in a dark room. If Ossoff does nothing else, he pushes the party further to the left and blocks any move to recruit conservative Dem candidates.

Ossoff’s slogan was “Make Trump Furious”. But the real slogan is, “Keep the Dems Left”.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.


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Pay for My Massage; "White Skin is Magic" - Danusha V. Goska

by Danusha V. Goska

Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson prescribes a paralyzing pill to African-Americans.

Michael Eric Dyson is the University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. One website listed the average tenured professor's 2012 salary at Georgetown at $167,000, three times the median US income. No doubt a professor occupying an elevated position such as Dyson's, in 2017, earns more. Dyson received his PhD from Princeton, ranked by US News as the best American university, beating out Harvard. Dyson is the author of five bestselling books and the recipient of numerous awards. His three children have six degrees including from Ivy League schools. His son is an anesthesiologist.

Dyson's 2017 book, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America has received over-the-top praise from Stephen King, Toni Morrison, and Michael Medved. Reviews call the book "frank," "searing," "urgent," "eloquent, righteous, and inspired … lyrical." "Anguish and hurt throb in every word," along with "brilliance and rectitude."

Dyson's main point is that America is a hellhole that dooms black people to failure, silencing, and death, while whites uniformly bask in unearned wealth and good fortune. "You know that white skin is magic."

Blacks are analogous to captured birds. Whites will decide whether they want, finally, to open their hands and liberate blacks, or just, out of spite, strangle them to death. "It's in your hands."

As reparation, whites must hire blacks instead of whites. Whites must pay blacks more money than is appropriate. Whites must give blacks money for school tuition and zoo, museum, and movie admission, and pay for massages and textbooks. White people must also tell every white person they meet that he enjoys white privilege. Dyson provides the script: "Whites must understand that they benefit from white privilege in order to realize how white privilege creates the space for black oppression."

Tears We Cannot Stop opens and closes with quotes from Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. The first quote, by Morrison, "We flesh. Flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh … they'd as soon pick out your eyes … break your mouth … What you scream from it they do not hear." The closing quote from Alice Walker's The Color Purple: "Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance and holler, just trying to be loved."

One can't debate with an enslaved fictional character; to do so would be unseemly and irrational. Dyson doesn't open or close with statistics or peer-reviewed scholarship; he opens and closes with works of art that imprison African Americans in stereotypical images of helplessness and suffering, images created by college-educated, professional women who wrote in faux-Ebonics. Walker and Morrison have been embraced and feted by a majority-white academic and literary elite. Between them, they have won every possible prize, including two Pulitzers and a Nobel. In these opening and closing quotes, African Americans sound like the roadshow of Porgy and Bess.

Dyson does not include quotes by actual slaves. Such quotes often include an insistence on human dignity, no matter the circumstances, and an awareness of how complex life can be. Frederick Douglass wrote, "A smile or a tear has not nationality … they, above all the confusion of tongues, proclaim the brotherhood of man," "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men," "People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get," "We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future," and "The soul that is within me no man can degrade."

Booker T. Washington is a treasure-trove of quotes for Dyson to ponder. "Negroes inhabiting this country, who themselves or whose ancestors went through the school of American slavery, are in a stronger and more hopeful condition … than is true of an equal number of black people in any other portion of the globe … This I say, not to justify slavery … but to call attention to a fact." Note that Douglass and Washington chose to make their points in Standard English.

Another of Dyson's rhetorical ploys: he prostitutes religion to forfend rational thought. Dyson opens his "Invocation" with the words "Almighty, hear our prayer. Oh God how we suffer." He closes the book, "Oh, Lord, black folk are everything … we are going nowhere." In the same way that one can't debate a fictional character, especially one who merely wants to dance and be loved, and whose eyes evil white people want to poke out, one can't debate something as sacred as a prayer.

The Old Testament prophets were brazenly courageous. Jeremiah told his fellow Jews exactly where and how they were disobeying God and tempting catastrophe. Dyson cannot breathe a single word of criticism of his fellow African Americans. Dyson never so much as brushes against the New Testament's love and forgiveness. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do," "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," and "Love does not keep account of injuries" are words that do not appear in Dyson's Bible.

Dyson mentions having once lead a Bible study. "I hammered away at the parallels between sexism and racism" because sexism is bad for "black Christianity." His emphasis on sexism and racism is truer to identity politics than to the Bible's larger message. The very concept of "black Christianity" contradicts Galatians 3:28, "In Christ there is no Jew nor Greek … you are all one in Christ Jesus." Whites' only path to acceptance is to acknowledge how debased they are. "I'm a rich, white guy, and I'm sick to my stomach thinking about it," reports basketball coach Gregg Popovich, as quoted by Dyson. Dyson mentions Christian publisher Jim Wallis who prescribed "repentance for white people as dying to whiteness." No concordance would turn up any Biblical verses that support "dying to whiteness" as a form of repentance.

Dyson's prostitution of religion as cover reaches its nadir in blasphemy. He equates the spit of a black girl on a white girl's body with Christ's presence in the Blessed Sacrament. The black girl's spit "may as well have been holy water … Holy Communion … the biggest miracle since you turned water to wine."

The book is so repetitious one gets a sense of its entire message from two pages of its "Invocation": Blacks are not free; they are "ensnared." Whites are "tormentors" and nothing blacks can do will "stop their evil." Blacks cannot convince whites that "we are your children and don't deserve this punishment." Whites are "slaughtering us in the streets" because they want "to remove us from the face of the earth." Whites "are lying through their teeth." Whites "are invested in their own privilege" so "they cannot afford to see how much we suffer." "White folk act like the devil is all in them." Dyson watches helplessly as racism threatens to snuff the life out of his grandchildren.

What the hell is Dyson doing in the US? Genocide, he insists, is inescapable. The borders are open. He has money. Why isn't he on a plane?

Black people never do anything unpleasant, but, on those rare occasions when they do, it is white people's fault. OJ was guilty but "The hurts and traumas against black folk had piled so high … and the refusal of whiteness to open its eyes had become so abhorrent that black folk sent a message to white America." Please note: "whiteness" has "eyes" that "whiteness" can "refuse to open." Suck it up, Ron and Nicole. Dyson grudgingly acknowledges the existence of black-on-black crime, only to blame white people for it. In any case, white people only mention black-on-black crime to torment blacks. "You do not bring this up because you're genuinely concerned," he says.

Trayvon Martin, Dyson reports, "lost his life to a bigoted zealot." Black people die because white society "hates black folks in its guts." Dyson avoids facts: according to sworn testimony and forensic evidence, The Retreat at Twin Lakes, the scene of the Martin shooting, is 50% white, 20% Hispanic, and 20% black. It is not wealthy, and at the time of the Martin shooting, it had a history of break-ins by young black men. Martin was lingering behind homes on a rainy night. George Zimmerman was a volunteer in a watch that had started up in response to burglaries. According to Zimmerman, whose testimony was supported by his injuries, Martin punched Zimmerman in the face and was pounding Zimmerman's head into a concrete sidewalk. After a struggle over his gun, Zimmerman shot Martin. Zimmerman is about as white as Dyson – he has one white parent and one Afro-Peruvian parent.

Police are uniformly demonic entities in Dyson's book. A "pig" will kill a black in order to "thrill himself to the slow letting of blood … while he blithely ignores their suffering" so he can "high five" his fellow police officers. Police are afflicted with "a terminal degree of black revulsion." Intelligent blacks must suffer the indignation of mistreatment at the hands of stupid white police officers whose only IQ is their "Intimidation Quotient." Dyson believes that "some son of a bitch with a badge" "the white folk in blue" one of the "enraged white male cops" who "murder us like animals" will murder his grandchildren. "I want to kill dead" these police, he confesses. Blacks must "sacrifice our hides to feed America." That's why it is okay to refer to police officers as "pigs." Because America requires that blacks "surrender life to fill the bellies of a nation that eats our souls and culture while excreting us as so much waste." "We think of police" he writes, "as ISIS." 

Dyson recounts an anecdote about an encounter between his son Mwata, and a cop. Dyson baptizes his account with the words, "as I chant this prayer. " An intelligent, integral person would ignore Dyson's attempt to shield his anecdote from analysis by disguising it as prayer. We recognize that anecdotes are one-sided, subjective, self-serving, and subject to the vagaries of memory. Never does Dyson acknowledge, "I may be remembering this wrong, and the other person may remember it differently."

In his 1977, Academy-Award-winning film Annie Hall, Woody Allen managed to accomplish, in a scene less than one minute long, what Dyson never does in 228 pages. Allen depicts his main character insisting that he overhears people referring to him as a Jew, for example, by asking him, "Jew eat?" rather than "Did you eat?" The two phrases sound identical when spoken quickly. Maybe people are expressing anti-Semitism to Woody Allen, or maybe, as the script says, he is "paranoid."

I recently heard an anecdote on NPR meant to seal America as a racist nation: a cashier was slow to serve a black customer. I had to ask: was the cashier rude to the black customer, or was the cashier merely distracted? Has the cashier ever been rude to a white customer? Had the black customer been rude to the cashier first, and was the cashier using the weapons of the weak, passive aggression, to avenge herself? What is our standard for rudeness? NPR did not ask these questions.

Such questions can have historic consequences. Did Michael Brown raise his hands in surrender and say, "Don't shoot," only to be murdered by a racist cop? Witnesses report that Brown attempted to gain access to a police officer's gun, fled, and later charged. The officer in question was pursuing Brown because Brown matched the description of a suspect in a recent robbery. Video and eyewitness accounts reduce to nothingness the "Hands up; don't shoot" anecdote, and yet Black Lives Matter activists insist on clinging to it. Ferguson, Missouri, was torn apart for an anecdote.

Dyson does not have to acknowledge that anecdotes alone are not adequate evidence because Dyson does not acknowledge that there is any point of view other than his own. Merely to suggest that there is, is to exercise racism. The better part of the book consists of Dyson telling white people what white people think and what white people feel. When he appeared on Michael Medved's radio show, Dyson claimed that black people understand black people and also understand white people. White people understand neither. White people require black people to speak the truth to them, the truth they, as whites, are incapable of seeing or articulating. On Planet Dyson, Michael Eric Dyson sees all, knows all, tells all.

Dyson transparently attempts preemptively to silence any disagreement. He repeatedly says some variation of this – and this is my paraphrase – "I know you disagree with me. You disagree with me because you are a racist. I will speak for you." If whites decline to agree with his prescription to hand their money over to blacks, Dyson preemptively argues – and this is an actual quote – "Please don't say that your ancestors didn't own slaves … Black sweat built the country you now reside in, and you continue to enjoy the fruits of that labor."

When telling white people what they think and feel, Dyson adopts the provocative habit of addressing whites as "Beloved." A sampling: "Beloved, white racial grief erupts when you fear losing your dominance," "It is being proved wrong that leaves you distressed," and "You are emotionally immature about race." Ironically, Dyson diagnoses all whites as suffering from "L.I.E.: lacking introspection entirely." His lack of self-awareness is not surprising; reading the book, one rapidly discovers that he is full of himself, and that he suffers from a frustrated Messiah complex. Again and again, those with whom he interacts fail to recognize his genius. For example, his African American parishioners eventually locked, and voted him out of the church in which he emphasized racism and sexism. Between his inflated ego, his seething rage that the white people who have advanced his career haven't yet crowned him absolute monarch of the known universe, his conviction that he alone can save humanity, and his gift for blindness to any fact with which he might disagree, Dyson is just a few Kool-Aid shots away from being another Jim Jones.

In 1978, Reverend Jim Jones brainwashed his followers to believe that racist white Americans would subject their children to "terrible things" and "bring them up … to be slaves and subhuman." "The kindest thing to do … to spare them from what's coming" at the hands of white Americans, Jones told his followers, was to force three hundred children to drink cyanide-poisoned punch. Jones' majority-black followers believed this narrative of white evil and black helplessness. Of the 909 suicides and homicides at Jonestown, 300 were children killed by their own parents.

Dyson insists, "Nothing about us without us." In other words, if you are going to talk about black people, you must allow black people to speak. Dyson insists this while silencing, and speaking for, whites. Dyson reserves special condescension and absolute silencing for his mockery of poor and ethnic whites, including Irish people, Italians, Jews, and Poles. No doubt he knows that his rich, white liberal funders join him in their shared contempt for poor and ethnic whites. Dyson spits on white ethnics' "polkas and pizzas." Poor and ethnic whites have no right to pride in their accomplishments and no right to complain about their pain. Poor and ethnic whites enjoy "dominance" over other cultures. 

He says that his words may "frighten" or "anger" white ethnics or reduce them to attempts to "deny" him. "I know this is a lot for you to take in," he condescends, italics in the original. The Irish, Poles, Italians, Jews and poor whites are not smart enough or strong enough to understand Dyson. His intellectual brilliance "must make you woozy and weak at the knees." With the exactitude of Stalin's photo archiver, Dyson erases epic suffering and resilience: the Potato Famine, the Nazi and Soviet occupations of Poland, the Holocaust, and, in this country, restrictive covenants, early deaths and maimings among coal miners and steel workers – ugly stories of men "roasted alive by molten slag that spilled from a giant ladle" of coalminers whose "spit you could use as ink." Dyson erases  "No Irish Need Apply," and lynchings of Italians such as occurred in New Orleans on March 14, 1891, and massacres of Poles, Slovaks, and Lithuanians such as occurred in Lattimer, Pennsylvania on September 10, 1897. Dyson renders taboo mention of how current college admissions and immigration policies disproportionately push back poor whites. And Dyson disguises his own reduction of the word "white" to a smear that conflates vastly diverse peoples, from Lapps to Jews, into a single, hateful, entity that is responsible for all the world's problems and has no right to compassion for grief or pride in accomplishment.

Dyson saves special venom for poor and ethnic whites because he knows that poor and ethnic whites' true narratives are one of the worst enemies to his favored narrative. They are not the worst enemies of his favored narrative, though. Dyson never mentions the ethnic group that poses the greatest threat to his worldview: recent immigrants from Africa. This cohort, undeniably black, is among the most successful in America, so much so that recent African immigrants constitute a "model minority." Elite schools allegedly "pad" their diversity numbers by favoring recent African immigrants in Affirmative Action programs. If Dyson really wanted to help black Americans, he ought to do what columnists like Nicholas Kristof have done, and examine what skills and behaviors help some ethnic groups to advance.

Any poor and ethnic white upset by Dyson's words is not upset because a powerful man who has the media by the short hairs is promulgating propaganda about their own history – lies about their own grandmothers, mothers, and themselves. No, Irish, Italian, Polish, and Jewish readers are upset because "so much has been invested in whitenesss that it is hard to let it go. It is defensive, resentful, full of denial and amnesia." Dyson's racist bullying of poor and ethnic whites has the full support of squadrons of rich white liberals and a near-Ivy League university, Georgetown. "No matter how poor you are," he rants from his comfortable Georgetown office, from his position as an author of five bestselling books, from his microphone, from The New York Times, "No matter how poor you are … you know white skin is magic." Of himself, he insists, "What you scream they do not hear." He is unheard. In a bestselling book. That silences poor and ethnic whites and police officers. Clear?

The book's structure is grab-bag. Dyson rants against that evil song, "The Star-Spangled Banner." He declares that "the election of Donald Trump was all about whiteness … You will deny it of course." He mentions that America elected Barack Obama, a black man, president twice, mostly because it just goes to show you how racist America really is. "There is no denying that Obama is one of the most profound, impressive, gifted, and inspiring Americans this nation has seen" Disagree? Racist. Dyson is mad at the movie Mississippi Burning because it dared to mention that not all whites were KKK. Dyson flaunts his messianic power: his student breaks down and confesses, "For the first time in my life, I feel guilty about being white." "Savvier" students had concluded the shame of whiteness earlier than this boy. Dyson still has work to do: "I wanted the other white students to share his shame."

There are almost no references to peer-reviewed studies. Dyson crucifies police officers as uniformly subhuman scum, but Dyson never goes near the work of Heather MacDonald and merely dismisses Roland Fryer for not gathering more data. This is the cheapest of criticisms: tobacco executives levelled it against early studies linking smoking with lung cancer. "We need more data," they insisted.

Dyson mentions the Moynihan Report very briefly, only to disparage it as yet more evidence of evil whitie's attempt to "keep blackness in place."

There is no air in this room – the windows are nailed shut. The few references to real facts in a real world outside of Dyson's ego are references to lowbrow pop culture and those enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame: the Rachel Dolezals and Colin Kaepernicks. Dyson has the priorities and aesthetics of a preparer of the front page of a supermarket tabloid. This appetite is evident in the book's dedication to "Beyonce Knowles Carter" – boldface in the original – "Lover of Black People Genius and Greatest Living Entertainer Feminist and Global Humanitarian." There are subsequent dedications to Solange Knowles and Tina Knowles-Lawson, also boldface.

Page after repetitious, lightless, airless, predictable, self-parodying, unspeakably, thuddingly boring page: after all this, one begins to conclude that the world is a frighteningly small place to Michael Eric Dyson. You want to kidnap and deprogram him. Like those blind people who receive miracle-working operations that give them sight at an advanced age, Dyson would be overwhelmed to encounter anything that isn't a direct support for his grievance-ego complex. Has Dyson ever been able to enjoy an ice cream cone for all it is, and not tried to make it something it is not?

Who would read this and enjoy it? This dominatrix-inflected iteration of "Naughty, naughty, naughty, naughty"? Masochists, that's who. It's not just the white shaming that makes this such anti-literary godawful tripe. It's the anaerobic divorced-from-reality but true-to-genre predictability of it. Some rich white liberal out there craves, publicly, to be spanked. And this craving is so deep-seated that it obliterates the mind's curiosity and integrity. Rich, white liberals and blacks who prefer grievance to living life to the full will cling to this book as if it were a sex toy. Both fulfill the same function: they allow the user to live out rigidly choreographed fantasies.

On Planet Dyson, skin color transcends any other reality. Whites who claim to admire Martin Luther King Jr are wrong. White people could never understand a man as black as the "real" Dr. King. "You don't really know him … he sprang from a black moral womb." "King's soul was indeed black … beautifully black" "He understood the white psyche" so he didn't tell the truth to whites because whites can't handle the truth. In fact, Martin Luther King was a universal hero, inspired by a Jew – Jesus – white men – Thoreau and Tolstoy – and a Hindu – Mahatma Gandhi.

King's successes were earned through the cooperation and sacrifice of whites from the Oval Office to Viola Liuzzo, a white housewife and mother who was martyred by the KKK for her Civil Rights work. Those who insist on implacable white evil use King's assassination to erase this narrative of black-white cooperation. The assassination allegedly proves that no matter how nice whites may seem, ultimately, America will always betray blacks.

The decade that took Dr. King was bookended with the culling of Kennedys, Jack and Bobby. If, as they sometimes do, sons of the Auld Sod cited their deaths as seal of implacable Protestant anti-Catholicism, Dyson would mock their grief and insist that "white skin is magic." Ronald Reagan, George Wallace, Larry Flynt and Andy Warhol were, alas, all shot. These shootings do not prove that America hates conservative icons, segregationist governors, pornographers or wig-wearing, Bohunk boho pop stars.

In dividing the world into unreconcilable blacks and whites, whose skin color is their only salient feature, Dyson confers authority on himself. I am black; my blackness is my authority; you are white; you are genocidal, morally degenerate, and blind. Interestingly, whites in general, and poor whites and ethnic whites in particular are not the only people Dyson works hard to silence. Dyson silences blacks.

Dyson paints America as a killing field where a genocide of blacks is imminent, if not actually occurring. Do most blacks agree? In a 2016 Associated Press poll, African Americans were more optimistic about America's future than whites. One African American, 72-year-old Ethel Tuggle, told a pollster that "she's amazed at the progress she's witnessed since her childhood in rural Missouri, when she was barred from entering shoe stores and had to trace her foot on a sheet of paper so a salesman inside could fit her for shoes. Her grandchildren live under the nation's first black president." Multiple surveys point to higher self-esteem among African Americans than among whites. Recent "deaths of despair" among whites have no parallel among blacks.

Other than a brief diss of Clarence Thomas – his "decisions on the Supreme Court mock our humanity" – I found no reference to leading black conservatives Shelby Steele, Larry Elder, Allen West, Walter E. Williams, Thomas Sowell, Orlando Patterson, Jason Riley, Mia Love, or Deneen Borelli in Dyson's screed.

Dyson insists that whites tell blacks to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Alas, no. As Dyson's race-mongering career proves, rich white liberals reward blacks for displaying real or feigned wounds. 

Rather, contra Dyson, it is blacks themselves who urge other blacks to exercise self-reliance. Not just prominent black conservative intellectuals like Steele, but blacks whose only soap box is YouTube do this. Thanks to YouTube, a black woman can voice her rejection of the concept of "white privilege" here. Another woman insists that Michael Brown made decisions that sealed his own fate here. The self-described "Doctor of Common Sense" rejects Dyson's major premises in a video entitled "Ghetto Folks Who Blame Whites."

I can't endorse every syllable of the above-cited YouTubers. I agree on this: people like Dyson are spreading an unholy scripture that emasculates, paralyzes, and poisons black people. This scripture insists to blacks: you are doomed. You should not even attempt to improve your lot. Only white people have power. Your only hope is to perform before whites as a combination of victim to be pitied and menace to be feared. Then they will give you their money. Begging and theft are your only professions.

Dyson wants my money. He can have it – the day I can buy a ticket to Dyson debating the producers of the above videos.

Danusha V. Goska is the author of Save Send Delete.


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Cinema Commandos of the Armenian Genocide - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Lessons from a courageous and long overdue film.

The Promise, Survival Pictures, directed by Terry George, PG-13, 2 hr. 12 min.

In southern Turkey in 1914, Mikael Boghosian wants to attend medical school but doesn’t have the money, so he gets engaged to Maral, a young woman in his village, and uses her dowry to pay tuition. In Constantinople, he meets the dashing Ana Khesarian, who is consorting with American reporter Chris Meyers.

This love quadrangle plays out in fine style, with homage to Dr. Zhivago and Casablanca. The larger back story is probably unknown to many viewers, so The Promise takes pains to spell it out up front. 

At the outset of World War I, the Ottoman Empire was coming apart and that was bad news for the non-Muslim minorities, particularly the Christian Armenians. The Ottoman Turks set out to exterminate the Armenians, the first attempt at genocide of the past century and the most well documented. So the filmmakers, who claim an “educational” purpose, had plenty of source material.

As in any Islamic state, the Christian Armenians are third-class citizens, derided as “dogs” and such. One prominent Turk says the Armenians are a “microbe,” and that was indeed the pronouncement of Turkish physician Mahmed Reshid. An Islamic state can’t tolerate an invasive infection, and when war breaks out Turkish mobs attack Armenians and loot their shops and homes. The film does not explain why the oppressors met with such little resistance.

The Turks took great pains to disarm the Armenians, and that left them essentially helpless against their highly mechanized oppressors. The Turks did indeed load Armenian captives into railroad freight cars, as the film shows. As Peter Balakian noted in The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, a good companion volume for the film, the Turks packed 90 Armenian men, women and children into a car with a capacity of 36. That was hardly the only way they perished.

In villages and on death marches, as one witness wrote, the Turks “killed without exception all Armenians.” The Promise shows Armenians hanged in one of their towns but does not show the Turks hanging them. The Turks nailed horseshoes to Armenians’ feet and crucified them while taunting the victims about their savior. The Turks forced men to watch the rape of their wives before executing them. The Promise shows none of this. 

The Turks butchered innocent Armenians and ripped the unborn from their mothers’ wombs. Late in the film, Mikael Boghosian says they did that to his wife Maral, but viewers don’t see the Turks cutting up the women.

U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau appears briefly but the film does not include what he wrote: “I do not believe the darkest ages ever presented scenes more horrible” than those then going on “all over Turkey.”

In similar style, U.S. consul Leslie Davis wrote, “We could all hear them [Muslims] piously calling upon Allah to bless them in their efforts to kill the hated Christians.” Around Lake Goeljik, Davis wrote, “thousands and thousands of Armenians, mostly innocent and helpless women and children, were butchered on its shores and barbarously mutilated.”

All told The Promise fails to portray the detail and vast scale of the slaughter. As Mikael Boghosian says in one scene, “I couldn’t pull the trigger.”  On the other hand, the film does show that the Turks punished those Muslims who dared to help the persecuted Armenians. Medical student Emre Ogan is executed for his efforts to help Mikael Boghosian and his family.

For most viewers, The Promise will be more than enough to confirm the grim reality, and to its great credit the film never gives the impression that there are two sides to this story. Neither were there two sides to what happened in Germany under the Nazi regime, and the Cambodian genocide of the Khmer Rouge.

Viewers might get the impression that Chris Meyers of the Associated Press was telling the story all alone. The film’s real heroes are the missionaries who in the face of great danger took care of the orphans, nursed the wounded, and helped Armenians escape. That is why Armenians can say with Mikael Boghosian, at the end of the film, “we’re still here.”

In 1939, on the eve of World War II, Adolph Hitler said “who today, after all, speaks of the annihilation of the Armenians?” Today, in 2017, many will be speaking of the Armenians thanks to The Promise, a long overdue and courageous film with lessons for filmmakers and viewers alike.

If an Islamic country objects to your film project, push back and make it anyway. Resist the political correctness of entertainment industry and tell the truth about a neglected story. Viewers will thank you for it, with good reason.

The current Islamic State perpetrates the same atrocities as the Ottoman Turks, against the same victims, and with the same deadly goals. Most viewers will want to resist any submission to Islamic rule or Islamic law, and it will be okay with them if President Trump continues to “bomb the shit out of ISIS,” as he said he would.

Meanwhile, those trolls who trashed The Promise without seeing it might try a new tactic. Get a bag of jellybeans, a six-pack of Pepsi, and a can of spray paint. Find a wall under a bridge and do your writing down there where you belong.

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation, and Bill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield.


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