Guest Column: Khizr Khan specializes in visa programs accused of selling U.S. citizenship

2 08 2016
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Freedom of Speech – The Continued Assault on America’s Most Precious Liberty

31 12 2015

ontheriseHouse Resolution 569 was introduced into the United States House of Representatives on December 17, 2015.  It will be part of the legislation reviewed by Congress in 2016.  Just to give you a peek at the language included, here is the introduction, right off the top of the bill:

“Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.”

Well, I think “violence” against anyone is already condemned and considered a crime under existing legislation across the land.  “Bigotry and hateful rhetoric” has been the target of lawsuits, city ordinances, statutory law, and social pressure for generations now.  So why do we need more legislation on the books condemning these behaviors and crimes against anyone?  Of any religion? Race? Creed?

The U. S. Dept of Justice defines “hate crimes” as:  “the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.”  41 states and the District of Columbia have laws against “hate crimes” on their books.  These gist of these laws is that the penalty for committing a crime against a random victim is not as bad as for a crime against someone who has been targeted for one of the above reasons, which presupposes then the victim of a “hate crime” is hurt more than your average run of the mill victim.  Seriously, an assault victim bleeds just as much whether the perp has chosen them because of a “hate” reason or an economic one, or for for whatever reason.  A murder victim is just as dead whether chosen for the color of their skin or for the car they were driving, or the money in their pocket.  Dead is dead, and the murderer is still a murderer and will spend the rest of their miserable lives in prison or be executed.  As you can tell, I struggle with the logic of “hate crimes”.

Be that as it may, the fact remains there are plenty of laws on the books that address the issue for all victimized people, regardless of race, religion, etc.

But the point of this bill is this:  Muslims are a special class of people, worthy of much higher standards of protection than, say, Jews, Christians, or Buddhists, Sikhs, or atheists.

Rep. Don Beyer, 8th Dist VA. Via Wikipedia

So where does this idea come from?  Well, I can tell you this much.  It wasn’t the brainchild of Virginia Representative Don Beyer (D), sponsor of HR 569, who just happens to represent Virginia’s 8th Congressional District, which just happens to include the city of Falls Church, which just happens to be the location of the Dar al Hijra Islamic Center.  This is the mosque, you may remember, where several of the Sept 11th hijackers attended, where Anwar al-Alawki was the Imam (before he fled to Yemen where a US drone took him out), and Major Nidal Hassan attended prior to his Jihad on Fort Hood.  Dar al-Hijra just happens to be the mosque co-founded by Ismail Elbarasse, whose basement was a storage hold for a plethora of documents seized by the FBI in 2004, among which was the document known as the “Explanatory Memorandum for the Strategic Goal for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America”.  This was one of the documents entered as evidence in the largest terrorism funding trial in US history.  The mosque itself appears to have a long history of Islamic extremist  and terrorist ties.

But, yet, even so, the Dar al-Hijra (“Land of Migration“) mosque is not the origin of HR 569.

HR 569 is but a mirror image of UN Resolution 16/18, which was formerly known as the “Defamation of Religion”, or more accurately “The International Blasphemy” law.   The goal specifically in HR 569 is to stop any criticism of Islam or anyone or anything Islamic.  This has been the steady mantra in the Islamic groups ever since President Obama stated in the UN General Assembly “The future must not belong to those who would slander the prophet of Islam.”

Muslims encourage stifling of free speech

Muslims encourage stifling of free speech

That statement was like blood in the water for sharks.  It followed the White House propaganda line concerning the Benghazi affair where Ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 other Americans were murdered by Islamic Terrorists.  Muslim groups in the UN as well as around the country called for illegalizing criticism of Islam.  The Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City posted a link on its own website to a petition for a “law against insulting one’s religion”.

Obama was echoed by the likes of Pakistani President Zardari who said, “The international community must not become silent observers and should criminalize such acts that destroy the peace of the world and endanger world security by misusing freedom of expression.”  In other words, violence on the part of Muslims around the world must be expected when someone criticizes Islam or the prophet Muhammad, and it is the critic’s responsibility, not the violent Muslim’s.

That same chorus was joined by the newly elected Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi of Egypt, and then Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said it was time to put an end to the protection of Islamophobia masquerading as the freedom to speak freely.  Turkey’s President Erdogen called Islamophobia “a crime against humanity”.

These officials were inside the UN in New York promoting their speech killing rhetoric while outside on the street and around the nation protestors were echoing the same thing, demanding the criminalization of free speech.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton co-chaired an international conference in 2011, applauding the adoption of UN Resolution 16/18, and promised to apply pressure at home in the United States to suppress Islamophobia.

UN Resolution 16/18 is the work of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the largest special interest group in the world and second largest governance body compared to the UN itself.  OIC, funded largely by Saudi Arabia, represents 56 (Syria was 57) Islamic states throughout the world in their common interest of advancing the cause of Islam, which includes establishing the Sharia worldwide.  OIC has been a subject of previous posts on this blog. For more information on OIC click here.  The term “Islamophobia” was coined by OIC and propagated by CAIR, and has become part of the lexicon used to silence critics of Islam.  (OIC’s inferred definition of “Islamophobia” does not mean ‘fear of Islam‘ as the word suggests; rather ‘critical of, unaccepting or hostile to Islam in any way‘.)

Obviously then, the OIC, by way of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), is behind HR 569.

CAIR was at the forefront immediately following the recent San Bernardino jihad (which left 14 dead and 22 wounded) and, according to Investors Business Daily, “running interference” between investigators and witnesses and suspects”.

“As medics were still removing bodies from the mass shooting, CAIR rushed to assemble a bizarre press conference, letting the media ask questions of Farook’s brother-in-law before the FBI had a crack at him.” – (H/T IBD read more here)

CAIR remains on the FBI’s “bad boy list”, and has been denied delisting by Federal Court as an ‘unindicted co-conspirator’ in the largest terror funding trial in US history in 2008 – Un-indicted because the current administration suspended all previous indictments concerning that trial.  CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood organization and has been proven to have direct connections to HAMAS.

CAIR was  proactive and led the narrative in the San Bernardino jihad about the concern of “backlash” against Muslims.  Less than 2 days later, the US Atty General was leading the charge on CAIR’s behalf stating her greatest fear was not terrorist attacks, but retaliatory acts of violence against Muslims.  She went on, while addressing a Muslim gathering, to include “rhetoric and bigoted actions” in her list of prosecutions under way.

CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood and all its affiliates are having great success formulating or perpetuating the narrative.  Something tells me that “rhetorical terrorism” is a term that will be used by more than those spoiled little socialistic college students on college campus’ this fall.  While they’ve been looking for a “safe space” from “impactful” words, the Islamists have been working to outlaw them.

Stephen Coughlin, expert in Sharia and Islamic terrorism, and past consultant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Daily Caller this:

“Over the last few years, major left-wing and Islamists organizations have been working diligently to reframe free speech in an oppositional narrative that distinguishes sanctioned speech, designated free speech, from hate speech in a long-term campaign to brand nonconforming speech as hate speech that is at first to be ridiculed and then criminalized”. (Read more Daily Caller)

Read that again.  Major Coughlin has summarized the entire Progressive playbook into one paragraph.

HR 569 in the US Congress has little chance of passing even if it gets out of Judicial Committee.  And it’s a resolution, not statute (Not that resolutions are not important and formative).  However, the really scary thing is it does have 82 Co-Sponsors, all Democrats.  82.  [UPDATED 2/3/16:  HR569 now has 125 Democrat co-sponsors.  For more updated info see here.]

You can download the entirety of HR 569 here complete with sponsors names, or see the text below.  It’s not long and I promise it will raise your blood pressure!

RESOLUTION Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States. HRES 569– Whereas the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes and rhetoric have faced physical, verbal, and emotional abuse because they were Muslim or believed to be Muslim;

-Whereas the constitutional right to freedom of religious practice is a cherished United States value and violence or hate speech towards any United States community based on faith is in contravention of the Nation’s founding principles;

-Whereas there are millions of Muslims in the United States, a community made up of many diverse beliefs and cultures, and both immigrants and native-born citizens;

-Whereas this Muslim community is recognized as having made innumerable contributions to the cultural and economic fabric and well-being of United States society;

-Whereas hateful and intolerant acts against Muslims are contrary to the United States values of acceptance, welcoming, and fellowship with those of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;

-Whereas these acts affect not only the individual victims but also their families, communities, and the entire group whose faith or beliefs were the motivation for the act;

-Whereas Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing have been disproportionately targeted because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances; and

-Whereas the rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance plays into the false narrative spread by terrorist groups of Western hatred of Islam, and can encourage certain individuals to react in extreme and violent ways:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives—  expresses its condolences for the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes; (2) steadfastly confirms its dedication to the rights and dignity of all its citizens of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;
(3) denounces in the strongest terms the increase of hate speech, intimidation, violence, vandalism, arson, and other hate crimes targeted against mosques, Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim;
(4) recognizes that the United States Muslim 12 community has made countless positive contributions to United States society;
(5) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all United States citizens, including Muslims in the United States, should be protected and preserved;
(6) urges local and Federal law enforcement authorities to work to prevent hate crimes; and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those perpetrators of hate crimes; and
(7) reaffirms the inalienable right of every citizen to live without fear and intimidation, and to practice their freedom of faith.

Well…isn’t that special…?  I’m not even gonna unpack that sucker!!!

***For Updates on HR 569 click here.***





3 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Islam

18 12 2015

Many Americans still are confused about Islam, thanks to propaganda from Muslim Brotherhood organizations like CAIR, MPAC, ISNA, ICNA, Muslim Students Assn, etc.

This video says in 9 minutes what I’ve been saying the last 9 years.  Take a look!





Victory for Freedom of Speech

2 11 2015
On Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals completely reversed a lower court’s decision and ruled in favor of Evangelical Christians who were arrested for disturbing the peace at the 2012 Arab Festival in Dearborn, Michigan.  The Christians had bottles, eggs, and other items hurled at them by Muslims for publicly preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  A short video of this episode can be found here.
During this festival, a group of Muslims approached the Christians and asked to hear about the Gospel. The Christians obliged and began sharing about the Bible, Jesus, and their faith.  Other Muslims became angry and assaulted the Christians for their speech.  The police ended up arresting the Christians, not the Muslims.
The case, Bible Believers v. Wayne County, was brought by the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) on behalf of the Christians.
On August 27, 2014, a divided, three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit dismissed the civil rights lawsuit, finding the violent response of the Muslim hecklers justified the Wayne County sheriffs’ order to the Christians they would be arrested for disorderly conduct if they did not leave the festival area.
Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of the Christians on every issue, completely reversing the lower court opinion, and directing the court to enter judgment in the Christians’ favor.
In its decision, the Sixth Circuit ruled the County and the two Deputy Chief defendants were liable for violating the Christians’ First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion, and for depriving the Christians of the equal protection of the law. The court ruled the individual defendants did not enjoy qualified immunity, and the County was liable as a municipality for the constitutional violations.
In its opinion, the Sixth Circuit stated, in part:
“In a balance between two important interests-free speech on one hand, and the state’s power to maintain the peace on the other-the scale is heavily weighted in favor of the First Amendment. . . . Maintenance of the peace should not be achieved at the expense of the free speech. The freedom to espouse sincerely held religious, political, or philosophical beliefs, especially in the face of hostile opposition, is too important to our democratic institution for it to be abridged simply due to the hostility of reactionary listeners who may be offended by a speaker’s message. If the mere possibility of violence were allowed to dictate whether our views, when spoken aloud, are safeguarded by the Constitution, surely the myriad views that animate our discourse would be reduced to the standardization of ideas by the dominant political or community groups. Democracy cannot survive such a deplorable result.
 
“When a peaceful speaker, whose message is constitutionally protected, is confronted by a hostile crowd, the state may not silence the speaker as an expedient alternative to containing or snuffing out the lawless behavior of the rioting individuals. Nor can an officer sit idly on the sidelines-watching as the crowd imposes, through violence, a tyrannical majoritarian rule-only later to claim that the speaker’s removal was necessary for his or her own protection.”
 
In short, this was a complete victory for the Constitution and for all freedom-loving Americans who enjoy the protections of the First Amendment.
The AFLC is first and foremost a public interest litigation firm, which aggressively seeks to advance and defend America’s Judeo-Christian heritage in courts all across our Nation.  The AFLC’s mission is to fight for faith and freedom through litigation, education, and public policy programs.
A short video detailing AFLC’s mission and accomplishments can be seen here.
AFLC is comprised of attorney Robert Muise, a combat veteran Marine Officer and expert in Constitutional law, and attorney David Yerushalmi, one of the nation’s most knowledgeable attorneys on national security, Constitutional law, as well as Sharia (Islamic Law).
AFLC states on their website:  “The strength of our Nation lies in its commitment to a Judeo-Christian heritage and moral foundation and to an enduring faith and trust in God and His Providence. AFLC seeks a return to America’s founding commitment to receive God’s continued blessing to preserve the soul of this great Nation.”
This ruling demonstrates there are still bastions of sanity in the American judicial system where liberty under law still reigns in America, and where judges committed to justice win over the progressives trying to destroy our nation.
Let us celebrate this significant victory today and raise a glass to the courage of the Americans who withstood the attack, the AFLC for its work to defend our liberties, and the Court for doing what it should always do – rule judiciously.
John Guandolo, UTT




The Satanic Alliance: Marxism, Islam and Privileged Hatred

26 10 2015

islamintern

Islamic Marxism, Islamic Socialism, seems to be a contradiction of terms.

Be NOT Deceived!  THIS has been an allied movement for a long time in the US and for generations around the world!

THIS is why the Progressives/Socialists/Marxists find kindred purpose with the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood groups such as CAIR, MSA, ICNA, ISNA, MPAC, and etc. ad nauseam.  Every “Social Justice” movement in the world has origins and common purpose in the destruction of Capitalism, the United States of America, and Western Society in general.  It is Anti-Christian, not Anti-Religion; Christianity focuses on the rights, liberties and value of the individual!  Individuals do NOT exist in this post-American World; Only the Collective!

Familiarize yourselves with “Sustainable Development”, “Sustainability”, “Sustainable Growth”; it is found in the UN (Marxist from its roots) agenda known as “Agenda 21”.  New buzz words encompassing this belief include, 20/20, 20/30, 20/50, “Smart Growth”, and “Smart Growth Corridors”, all coming to a city council near you!

In the following video, watch for phrases like: “Social Justice”, “Socialist”,  “Justice”.  This phraseology is straight out of the Communist Manifesto!

Pay Attention!  The world has already changed and America is now Ahmerikah!

(More on this subject to come)





Common Core and Civilization Jihad (Video)

6 09 2015

Alice Linahan is releasing a new book which adeptly peels the layers off Common Core and reveals the outcome of P-20w educational philosophy which is designed to “fundamentally transform” the next generations of Americans into followers of globalism, and submission to the global Caliphate.  Take a look at this short video and pass it on.





The Curious Case of Kansas, Azerbaijan, and the Turkish Connection

15 02 2015

Not long ago I wrote a post that included a few paragraphs about the Armenian Genocide  of 1914-15 in which about 1.5 million Armenian Christians were slaughtered, along with 1 million Greek and 300K Syriac Christians, by Turkish and Ottoman Kurdish forces.  By 1923, most of the survivors had been displaced, running for their lives, or in deportation pogroms.

It was a true genocide,   perpetrated by Muslim Turks seeking to eliminate the Armenian and other Christian/ethnic  groups  in the region.

Turkish Ottoman Interior Minister Mehmet Talat Pasha is on record ordering, “Their [Armenians] existence must come to an end, however tragic the means may be; and no regard must be paid to either age or sex, or to conscientious scruples.”   Turkey’s government still refuses to recognize the holocaust perpetrated by its own early 20th century governments, initiating the bloodiest century in world history and has banned books discussing the matter and continues its denial.

Armenia has been relegated to a small sliver of mostly mountainous country less than 12,000 sq miles sandwiched between Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan, with Georgia (now Russian) on the north in a region which was part of the old Soviet Union, and had been unstable for several years following USSR’s dissolution in the ‘80’s.

Modern Armenia, population 3 million, has good foreign relations with pretty much everyone other than its Turkic neighbors (Turkey and Azerbaijan) who have blockaded the Armenians for 20 years following a hot war, and has a security relationship with Russia for protection against its two hostile neighbors.  It continues an armed standoff in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK)   a small province of Armenian enclave between Armenia proper and Azerbaijan.  In 1988 NK had voted to either merge with Armenia or declare independence from Azerbaijan.  They warred for 2 years, leaving Armenia in control of NK, and Azerbaijan unwilling to let it go.  Russia had brokered the cease fire, which thus far has held, and was also key in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh’s survival as sovereign states.

Armenia and NK had fielded a combined force of about 20,000 with support of materials and Russian troops against Azerbaijan’s combined allied forces of 64,000 including Chechen and Afghan Mujahideen (Islamic Holy Warriors), Turks, and a Turkic Nationalist terrorist group known as “The Grey Wolves” (responsible for the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul in 1981).  It was a deadly war with Azerbaijan’s allied force losing about 5 for every 1 Armenian lost.  While sniper fire is still felt along the lines, the Armenian populous of the defacto Nagorno-Karabakh Republic  is hoping to hold NK long enough for a new generation of Azeri to refuse to fight any longer, and they continue to develop as a free and independent state.

Oil and gas rich Azerbaijan is busy enjoying its developing wealth and may indeed one day, refuse to return to the fight, but as long as friend Turkey continues to remind them of those “evil” Armenians, the fires of hatred are not likely to burn out.

The Turkish Delegation have been busy since at least 2002 conducting public relations programs across the United States, working to win the “hearts and minds” of American civil servants at all levels, from local city councils and police and fire departments, to state Legislators, sheriff’s offices, and local FBI offices.  They extend an invitation to an awards dinner, then present the targeted individual or group with some award concerning community relations.  They normally operate through a local Turkish organization such as Raindrop Turkish House or other TCAE (Turquoise Council of American Eurasians) affiliates.  All these organizations are associated with Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish Imam who lives in Pennsylvania. They have a growing number of Turkish Charter Schools (146) around the USA, and continue to expand that movement, lobbying state legislators.  During the legislative session these groups will host a “Legislative Reception” or “breakfast” where elected officials are enticed with Turkish food, culture and entertainment.  They are then encouraged to join the hosts for a “trip of a lifetime” to their home country of Turkey, (or Azerbaijan) usually about 10 days, expenses paid of course.   These Turkish emissaries then continue to bring resolution after resolution into legislatures of many states which either praise Azerbaijan or subtly condemn Armenia, or seek to expand current relations with the Turkish government itself.  Check your state legislature and most likely you’ll find them there.

“To date, more than 6000 Americans have traveled to Turkey at the invitation of Hizmet institutes and have returned to support the activities of the Turkish immigrant circles.” – Sophia Pandya & Nancy Gallagher-The Gulen Hizmet Movement and Its Transnational Activities

The typical Gulenist trip is 9-10 days.  The costs reported run from $3400-$9,000.  If the average trip runs $5000, Turkish/Gulen organizations have already invested over $30 Million in American politicians from the local, to state, and national levels.  This doesn’t count campaign contributions from these organizations, or individuals within those, of over a million dollars.

Of late the Turks seem more interested in promoting Azerbaijan than Turkey, perhaps due to a lot of attention Turkey has been getting in the media, concerning not only the Islamization of the government, and it’s slow and tepid response against ISIS, but its own continued human rights violations that run smack in the face of the “Friendship Resolutions” that are peddled in state houses around the country.  It may also run parallel to the Fethullah Gulen’s fallout with the Turkish government recently, over accusations of “bugging” of government offices resulting in many of his followers in Turkey being arrested, interrogated or imprisoned along with any other journalists who had been criticizing the Erdogen government.  The interesting thing is that while the Turkish Delegation in America won’t criticize the Turkish government, they remain in full allegiance to Fethullah Gulen, who owns some 20 media outlets and thousands of schools inside Turkey.

Recently Kansas Legislators received an invitation from the Turquois Council of American Eurasians Kansas City affiliate, the Assembly of AFAZ InvitationFriends of Azerbaijan to attend a meeting in the Capital building on February the 25th, 2015, 11am-1pm, to “Remember the Khojaly Tragedy”.  Naturally, curiosity led to some historical research to ascertain why the Turks would be interested in “educating” our legislators with an hour and a half presentation about a battle between the Armenians and the Azer’s.

There are, of course, more than one side to any story, so the best approach is to find out what both sides say, then get some objective reporting on the matter and formulate an educated opinion based on facts available.

The Azer’s and the Turks are calling this Khojaly battle everything from a tragedy, to a massacre, to genocide.  The information surrounding this controversial event is wide and varied, depending on the source, and historical events surrounding the war itself are a bit confusing, as can be many wars.   Suffice to say that Turkey’s persecution and displacement of the Armenians in the early 20th century led to conflicts with the Azeri (also Turkic) which both came under control of the Soviet Union soon thereafter.  Indeed the tensions ran high between the two groups as the Azeri are Muslim (Shiite) and Armenians of course mostly Christian.  The boot of Communism precluded any infighting and promises were made to both Armenia and Azerbaijan that they would each indeed be awarded Nagorno-Kharabak for their cooperation with the Soviets.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union the old conflicts began to re-emerge until NK declared their independence from Azerbaijan in 1988.

The particular event in question, that of Khojaly in February of 1992 resulted in somewhere between 161 and 613 civilian deaths.  That’s quite a difference of account for the numbers used, and likewise the details vary as much.  The loss of civilian life in a war-zone is indeed a tragedy, no matter where, or who the victims are, but this hardly constitutes a “genocide”.  Especially, if the town of 6,000 had been warned the day before the attack, to evacuate, and a safe corridor was available for that purpose.  It should also be noted that Khojaly was home to the only airstrip in the region and was held by Azeri allied forces.

This excerpt from the Human Rights Watch 1993 Report posted on UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) website shows that the war had become a smash-mouth affair, with indiscriminate attacks from both sides leading up to Khojaly:

“Whichever side held the strategic advantage in Nagorno Karabakh at any given moment was the one that most egregiously violated the rules of war. While Azerbaijani forces held outposts in Shusha and Khojaly, they pounded the capital of Nagorno Karabakh, Stepanakert, and other Armenian towns and villages with shells and grenades. The indiscriminate shelling and sniper shooting killed or maimed hundreds of civilians, destroyed homes, hospitals and other objects that are not legitimate military targets, and generally terrorized the civilian population. During the winter of 1992, Armenian forces went on the offensive, forcing almost the entire Azerbaijani population of the enclave to flee, and committing unconscionable acts of violence against civilians as they fled. The most notorious of these attacks occurred on February 25 in the village of Khojaly. A large column of residents, accompanied by a few dozen retreating fighters, fled the city as it fell to Armenian forces. As they approached the border with Azerbaijan, they came across an Armenian military post and were cruelly fired upon. At least 161 civilians are known to have been murdered in this incident, although Azerbaijani officials estimate that about 800 perished. Armenian forces killed unarmed civilians and soldiers who were hors de combat, and looted and sometimes burned homes. In its counter offensive, launched in the summer, Azerbaijani forces indiscriminately bombarded Armenian towns and villages from SU-25 aircraft and ground-launched missiles. The Armenian government does not categorize civilian casualties according to the circumstances of their death or injury. Based on interviews conducted in November with more than 50 civilians who were witnesses to or casualties of indiscriminate air bombings, Helsinki Watch estimates that at least 56 civilians were killed as a result of these attacks in August and September alone.

Both sides in the conflict seized and exchanged civilian hostages, and also held corpses hostage, so frequently that the practice became an institution involving private individuals and military and government officials. Both sides held hostages, including women, in prisons or detention centers and distributed hostages as “insurance” among private families whose members were being held by the other side.”

According to British journalist Thomas De Waal the tragedy in Khojaly was a result of a spontaneous, rather than “deliberately planned” action by the Armenians.   Also, noted was that the forces were not acting on orders from the command.

Sadly enough, to coin a cliché, “War is hell”.  A tragedy, indeed.

But Azerbaijani websites such as azerbaijan.az serve as a propaganda tool to absolve Azerbaijan of any wrong doing, playing the victim, while placing all the blame for Khojaly at the feet of Armenia.  Did I mention there were somewhere between 1000-3000 Jihadi mercenaries from Afghanistan and Chechnya fighting with the Azeri’s during the war?  There was also a contingency of Russians fighting with Armenia (the 366th Motor Rifle Regiment) at Khojaly.

I did a bit of checking on the foundation who created the Azerbaijan.az  website, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

Heydar Aliyev was the 3rd President of modern Azerbaijan and is known as the “Father of the Azeri Nation”, attaining a cult of personality on par with Kemal Attaturk of Turkey.  The president of Azerbaijan is head of state, while the PM is head of government.  He was successful in establishing an autocratic system which relies heavily on family, clan, oil/gas money and patronage.  After his death, his son was aptly elected to the office and will most likely be there for life, in light of the constitutional amendment that was passed after his re-election in 2008 that eliminated Presidential term limits.  (More in that vein to follow.)

Heydar Aliyev is seen as the name for a street in every town, some  60 museums and centers in the small country, and virtually every major facility in the country from the largest airport to oil refineries, to a major sports complex, and of course the Foundations large and elaborate Cultural Center, an architectural wonder, as are many of the ultra-modern buildings and skyscrapers in the large city of Baku, the pearl of the Caspian Sea.

Aliyev was responsible for developing the petroleum resources and building modern Azerbaijan from the ground up, into what some compare to Dubai.  So, basically, the name Heydar Aliyev is synonymous with Azerbaijan and its government.  The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is at the cutting edge of every aspect of Azeri life, social, economic, academic, and governmental, including worldwide promotion of the country.  The First Lady is in charge of the Foundation.

Her husband, the President of Azerbaijan and son of the late Heydar Aliyev, Ilhem Aliyev, was, prior to following his father’s footsteps into the Presidential mansion, appointed as Vice President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), (yes, the state owned oil company), and became a key player in organizing the “Contract of the Century” which brought a dozen Western  and Asian oil developing companies into the country, solidifying its wealth for decades to come.  He was then appointed to the Olympic committee (AZ has bid on the 2020 summer Olympics), and became Prime Minister just a few months before his father stepped down for health reasons and then became President in 2003.

The government has managed to maintain a strictly secular environment, in spite of 85% of the population being Shiite Muslim, the same as their southern neighbor, Iran, with minority populations of Sunni Muslim, various Christian sects, Jewish, and several other minority religions.  Today only 21% of the population profess that religion plays and important role in their personal lives.  It is being touted as a perfect model of coexistence by many Westerners.  So was Turkey for many years.

However, there may be trouble in paradise.  For all its outward sparkle and shine, some of the natives are restless.   Azerbaijan’s human rights record has been called into question on numerous occasions.  Human Rights Watch published violations ranging from corrupt elections, politically motivated prosecutions, prosecution of journalists who favor opposition groups or those who are a little to “investigative”, torture and ill treatment, violation of freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly, forced evictions and demolition of property without fair compensation, and so on.  You can check out the HRW 2014 report on Azerbaijan here.

President Ilham Aliyev has been compared to a Mafia crime boss.  Consider the following referenced and footnoted excerpt from Wikipedia:

“In 2012 the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) named Ilham Aliyev Person of the Year (a title bestowed for figuring prominently in 2012 on stories on crime and corruption) after “well-documented evidence” revealed that “his family has secret ownership stakes in the country’s largest businesses including bank, construction companies, gold mines and phone companies”.[40] According to ICIJ latest report, Aliyev’s family has been a shareholder of big offshore companies.[41] As reported by The Washington Post and Mail Online, Aliyev’s two daughters share a property portfolio of about £50 million – across Dubai, Paris and London and Aliyev’s 11-year-old son in Dubai owns “nine waterfront mansions” with a total price of “about $44 million – or roughly 10,000 years’ worth of salary for the average citizen of Azerbaijan”.

And concerning Armenia:

“Aliyev has been cited as calling all Armenian people in the world as the enemies of Azerbaijan, and as regularly threatening to take over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the entire Armenian Republic through military force.”  [See full article here]

So let’s review what we have so far-

Azerbaijan is run by an autocratic family who controls just about everything including the banks, the oil, the government, education and the media propaganda machine.  The family run Foundation propagates a favorable narrative to perspective international partners and allies. Not only that but the family’s oil company, SOCAR, through the Turquois Council for American Eurasians (TCAE) a Fethullah Gulen organization, funded and hosted a large-scale lobbying event in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, organized by various other member organizations of the Gulen-affiliated Turkic American Alliance.  The event was billed as the “US-Azerbaijan Convention: Vision for Future” and was held at, you guessed it, the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center.

According to a Washington Diplomat article posted June of 2013:

“No doubt this was among the biggest concentrations of American political star power ever seen in the Caucasus — 317 delegates from 42 states, including 11 sitting members of Congress and 75 state representatives, not to mention the former governors of New Mexico and Oklahoma as well as three ex-Obama White House insiders: political strategist David Plouffe, former press secretary Robert Gibbs and ex-deputy chief of staff Jim Messina.

In fact, Plouffe, Messina and Gibbs were all called out in a Washington Post story that was published at the height of our trip. The article, “For Obama’s ex-aides, it’s time to cash in on experience,” said all three were given five-figure checks to speak at the forum as part of Azerbaijan’s charm offensive to woo Americans.”  [Washington Diplomat article here]

That same article went on to say that certain media were banned from covering the event.

C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S (Citizens Against Special Interest Lobbying In Public Schools) also reviews the Diplomat article and makes some startling connections between the players mentioned in the article and the Gulen School movement taking place in the United States.  The following excerpt from CASILIPS:

“The Washington Diplomat quoted organizer Kemal Oksuz as stating that “95 percent of [the attendees] received honorariums of $2,500 each. The remaining 5 percent — including Plouffe, Gibbs and Messina — were paid no more than $10,000 or $15,000.”  Luxner’s article then goes on to mention that each participant received “pricey gifts” “including a hand-woven Azeri carpet, an executive briefcase and a set of Czech-made tea glasses….”

“ Kemal Oksuz (a.k.a. “Kevin” Oksuz), the man who organized the convention, is a major player in the US Gulen Movement.  He is a former Executive Director of the Niagara Foundation, which has Fethullah Gulen as its honorary president.  As “Kevin” Oksuz, he was involved in applying for building permits for a complex at 501 Midway Dr in Mt Prospect, Illinois which now houses the Science Academy of Chicago, and is an address that has also been used by the Turkish American Federation of the Midwest, the Turkish American Society of Chicago, Niagara Educational Services, and United Strong Construction.  The latter firm was owed $72,000 by Concept Schools, according to its 2006 IRS Form 990.  Concept Schools manages 27 Gulen charter schools in the Midwest.  Memphis mayor Myron Lowery met “Turkish representatives” Kemal (a.k.a. Mark) Namver and Kemal Oksuz in 2009; Namver has ties to several Texas Gulen charter schools.  Other positions on Oksuz’s resume include Executive Director of the Institute of Interfaith Dialog, CEO of the Gulen Institute, and Vice President of the PTO of Harmony School of Innovation, a Gulen charter school in Houston.  Oksuz is currently director of the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians and he also represents the Assembly of the Friends of Azerbaijan.  Kemal Oksuz’s company TDM (Target Design Management) was the subject of a June 6, 2011 New York Times article on insider deals at Gulen charter schools in Texas.  Oksuz managed to give $13,500 in political contributions in 2012 alone.  In Jan 2011, Oksuz was interviewed along with another high-profile Gulen follower, Yuksel Alp Aslandogan, in a PBS piece on the Gulen Movement.  In July 2011, Today’s Zaman, known to be a media outlet of the Gulen Movement, ran a piece on the Turkey trips organized by Oksuz.”

The Diplomat article gives a quote of $1.5 million as the price tag for the conference.  This includes the aforementioned speaker fees, gifts, and all travel, room, and board for all the attendees.  CASILIPS again asks:

“Where did the $1.5 million come from?  The conference website shows the “organizers” as the Turquoise Council for Americans and Eurasians and the Assembly of the Friends of Azerbaijan.  Listed “sponsors” are SOCAR (the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic), Practical Solutions Group, British Petroleum, Caspian Drilling Company, McDermott, Kellogg Brown & Root,  M-I Swaco, Conoco-Phillips, Chevron, and Azeri M-I Drilling Fluids Ltd.  It cannot be assumed with certainty that all these corporations provided funds, since the Gulen Movement is notorious for stretching the meaning of the word “sponsor” as it seeks to legitimize itself by putting the names or logos of as many respectable organizations as possible on its websites.”

CASILIPS goes on then to expose several ethics violations of elected officials accepting money or gifts from lobbying groups and shows post travel disclosure forms that have apparently been falsified by both the two Congressmen and Kemal Ozkuz, denying he is a lobbyist or a foreign agent of a sponsor of the trip.  [SEE CASILIPS page links and documentation here]

So what has all this to do with a presentation in the Kansas Capital building to Legislators about Khojaly?

To my friends in the Kansas Legislature I would caution this:

First, do not be misled.  Khojaly was not a genocide by any stretch of the imagination.  It was a trajedy, indeed, and could be easily called a massacre allegedly perpetrated by an out of control, emotionally charged contingent acting independently of its own command structure.   Keep the presentation in context with the historical information presented in this article.

Secondly, many of the photos that will probably be included have been shown to be falsified – Oh, they are real photographs; just that some were taken in other places, such as Kosovo in 1999 and attributed to the Khojaly trajedy, in the same manner that HAMAS has done.

Thirdly, do not fail to question why the Turks are so supportive of Azerbaijan, and what is their ultimate objective.  The Turks are in the education business.  They run 146 Charter Schools in the US and are seeking to establish in Kansas.  That is the objective.








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