VARFÖR UTEBLEV UPPGÖRELSEN MED KOMMUNISMEN I SVERIGE EFTER BERLINMURENS FALL?

March 30, 2017

I mars 2017 publicerades en betydelsefull svensk akademisk avhandling : ”Det omstridda arvet – Den kommunistiska erfarenheten i dansk och svensk historiekultur” av Valter Lundell (Lunds universitet). Författaren tar där bland annat upp en väsentlig fråga, nämligen den socialdemokratiska åsiktselitens och vänstermedias framgångsrika försvar för kommunismen. I svensk historiekultur har nazism och kommunism helt olika ställning. Sverige har inte med någon större entusiasm stött EU:s beslut att göra dagen för undertecknande av Molotov-Ribbentrop-pakten till minnesdag för kommunismens och nazismens offer. Nedan några utdrag ur Lundells avhandling:

Det [fanns] en idé [om kommunismen] inom socialdemokratin och den påverkade den riktning svensk utrikespolitik fick under kalla kriget. När det året efter inrättandet av Levande historia och lanserandet av upplysningskampanjen om förintelsen av moderaterna föreslogs en motsvarande kampanj om kommunismen, tillbakavisades en sådan av den socialdemokratiska vice statsministern Lena Hjelm-Wallén. Hon tog i en intervju något senare vidare avstånd från en jämförelse mellan nazism och kommunism med motiveringen att det bakom kommunismens offer inte låg någon intention. [Detta] uttalande kan tolkas som en uppfattning om sovjetterrorn som något mindre ont än vad som hände under nazismen, eftersom denna terror ses som ”en oavsiktlig följd av en i grunden god kommunistisk idé”.

Kristian Gerner har skrivit om denna …idés avgörande påverkan på svensk socialdemokrati, vilket han menar ledde till vanföreställningar om Sovjetunionen och andra kommunistiska stater och hade långtgående konsekvenser för svensk utrikespolitik under kalla kriget. Kim Salomon tar också fasta på denna idés räckvidd, då han i en text om den kommunistiska utopin och med referenser till debatten i Danmark och Sverige hävdar att det finns en allmän uppfattning om kommunismens goda intentioner, ”forankret i et liberalt og socialdemokratisk establishment”. Om kommunismen är en god idé, finns det rimligtvis inga kommunistiska förövare och heller ingen anledning att reflektera över skuld och uppgörelse. Inte minst har denna inställning varit förhärskande hos kommunisterna.

En … anledning till en bristande uppgörelse skulle [också]kunna vara att bärande delar i det moderna projektet i Sverige, i det svenska välfärdssystemet eller i det som med en samlingsbeteckning brukar kallas den svenska modellen eller folkhemmet, helt enkelt hör till samma föreställningssfär som kommunismen. Det har handlat om en upplysningsbaserad övertygelse att med rationella, vetenskapliga metoder uppifrån styra samhällsutvecklingen genom högt skattetryck för att kunna fördela resurserna och på så sätt garantera medborgarna frihet, jämlikhet och trygghet. Många av 1990-talets debatter associerade förvisso denna rationella välfärdsstats verkliga eller påstådda skuggsidor med idéer ur den nazistiska föreställningsvärlden, men då var det samtidigt tydligt att det handlade om vad som uppfattades som det potentiellt onda i folkhemmet. Mycket av det som förknippas med folkhemmet betraktas nog ändå som något gott, såsom välfärd och jämlikhet. Om kommunismen nu betraktas som en god idé just på grund av det som gör att folkhemmet betraktas som gott, skulle det kunna förklara motståndet mot en grundlig uppgörelse med kommunismen; det skulle nämligen innebära en omprövning av grundvalarna för det egna samhället.

En [annan] anledning till utebliven uppgörelse [med kommunismen] skulle kunna vara det svenska utanförskapet, att Sverige som alliansfritt och neutralt land stod utanför 1900-talets krig och massvåld. Det förklarar emellertid inte varför Sverige skulle ta på sig så stor skuld för nazismen och förintelsen…Kristian Gerner har för kommunismens vidkommande lyft fram några sådana konsekvenser, då han bland annat har pekat på hur den inflytelserika socialdemokratiska omvärldsanalysen förmedlade en skev och idylliserande bild av sovjetkommunismen, vilket både påverkade många svenskars uppfattning om kommunismen och ledde till att de förtryckta människor i sovjetblocket som kämpade för bättre villkor fick mindre stöd. Aryo Makko har visat att Sverige, trots sitt rykte som stormaktskritiker och förkämpe för utsatta folks rättigheter, verkade passivt i frågan om mänskliga rättigheter i östblocket under den europeiska säkerhetskonferensen (ESK) 1973–75, vilken resulterade i Helsingforsdeklarationen, som har förts fram som en viktig orsak till kommunismens och Sovjetimperiets sammanbrott. Anledningen till oviljan att driva frågan om rättigheter för människor i öst ska ha varit att man inte ville ”pressa Sovjet för mycket kring dessa frågor”…Det går alltså att peka på att högt uppsatta politiker liksom diverse inflytelserika opinionsbildare, även utanför kommunisternas krets, på olika sätt legitimerade de kommunistiska diktaturerna i öst. Att kommunisterna i Sverige legitimerade regimerna är kanske inte så förvånande, inte heller att det främst är mot dessa som krav har riktats på uppgörelse. Kommunisterna har haft säte i svenska riksdagen och kunnat påverka uppfattningen om de kommunistiska regimerna.

DEN SVENSKA KYRKAN SOM VÄNSTERPROJEKT

March 27, 2017

Ann Heberlein recenserade nyligen på internet idéhistorikern Johan Sundeens bok ”68-kyrkan : svensk kristen vänsters möten med marxismen 1965-1989” (2017). Hon tycker att boken borde vara obligatorisk läsning för alla som undrar över varför det går utför för Svenska kyrkan. De borde också läsa Bernard Smiths ”Lögnens evangelium – Kyrkornas världsråd och politiken” (Pro Veritate, Uppsala, 1979). Världsrådet roll är viktig i förvandlingen av den före detta statskyrkan i Sverige från en lutheranismens fasta klippa till i det närmaste representant för den ateistiska, antikristliga världskommunismen (från 1960-talet till 1989). Under 68-vänsterns härjningar i vårt land inleddes ”den långa marschen” mot makten över Svenska kyrkan. Nedan några citat ur Heberleins recension:

Kanske ser vi konsekvensen av den långa marschen allra tydligast inom just Svenska Kyrkan? Den politisering som präglar svenska kyrkan och tar sig uttryck i politiska utspel från biskopar och ärkebiskop, återkommande upprop i politiska frågor samt märkliga interreligiösa samarbeten saknar motstycke. Dock har resultatet sannolikt inte blivit det förväntade – antalet medlemmar som lämnar kyrkan var av historiska siffror 2016 och fortsätter i oförminskad takt.

Efter murens fall och massakern på Himmelska Fridens torg rannsakade en del av den kristna 68-vänstern tidigare ställningstaganden – men tillräckligt många valde att fortsätta att tro på att Marx var svaret på alla böner.

Per Frostin, [professor i Lund och övertygad marxist], beskrivs av Sundeen som en av de mest tongivande teologerna/aktivisterna i Svenska kyrkan, jämte Martin Lind, KG Hammar och Carl-Henrik Grenholm. De började som ”gerillapräster” och nådde ända fram till professorsstolar – Grenholm i Uppsala och Frostin i Lund – och biskopsstolar. Både Lind och Grenholm uppger att Världskyrkomötet i Uppsala var avgörande för deras framtida gärning i kyrka och akademi…68-kyrkans avantgarde trodde inte bara på kristendomen, utan på marxismen, skriver Sundeen. Av detta följde ett engagemang för proletariatet, stöd till revolutionära gerillatrupper och uppslutning bakom marxist-leninistiska stater i tredje världen. De drog sig alltså inte för att stötta och därmed skänka legitimitet åt totalitära samhällsprojekt.

TYSKA SPD OCH BLOCKET PARIS-BERLIN-MOSKVA

March 24, 2017

Tyskland drabbades på slutet av 1990-talet av en socialdemokratisk kansler vid namn Gerhard Schröder. Denne försökte bygga upp en slags motvikt mot Förenta Staterna. Med Frankrike inom EU ville han skapa ett politiskt block som samarbete med Ryssland. När Putin fyllde 70 år (2014) var Schröder i Moskva. Det var då omfamningar i rysk stil mellan kanslern och ledaren i Kreml. Den förre kanslern betraktar den ryske självhärskaren som ”en fullblodsdemokrat”.

År 2014 var den pensionerade tyske kanslern styrelseordförande i gasbolaget Nord Stream, som kontrolleras av ryska Gasprom. Arvodet lär då ha varit 250 000 euro. Det ryska gasledningsprojektet i Östersjön berör i högsta grad Sverige och Finland.

Efter den ryska ockupationen av Krim och angreppet på östra Ukraina finns det anledning att inför det tyska valet 2017 varna för SPD:s utrikespolitiska arv: vänskapen med Putins regim.

Det finns inom EU en rad krafter som ser ner på Ukraina som självständig stat. En sådan åsikt ligger nära den ryska uppfattningen om Ukraina som en del av Ryssland. I ett kraftigt försvagat EU med ökande kritik från en rad medlemmar i unionen är det betydelsefullt med fortsatt borgerligt styre i Berlin. Drömmen om EU med Ryssland som partner mot USA har kraschat. Idag utgör Ryssland, Kina och Iran/Persien allvarliga hot mot Väst. Mer än någonsin behövs nu ett nära samarbete över Atlanten. Brexit gör det troligt att Storbritannien i allt större utsträckning närmar sig USA.

Den nuvarande ryska geopolitiska doktrinen går ut på att återställa det ryska inflytandet i Europa samtidigt som man i Kreml söker ett närmare samarbete med Kina och Iran. Man bör i de europeiska huvudstäderna betänka Putins varning från 2005: ”Sovjetunionens sönderfall är 1900-talets största geopolitiska katastrof”.

Den amerikanske klassiske geopolitikern och Yaleprofessorn Nicholas Spykman varnade för koalitioner på världsön (Europa och Asien) som kunde utmana västligt inflytande. Särskilt viktigt var det att Väst engagerade sig inom randområdet. Både Kina och Mellanöstern med Iran ligger i randområdet runt världsön. Den ökande ryska aktiviteten i randområdesstaten Syrien är ett tecken på att Ryssland nu öppet börjar utmana Väst i det betydelsefulla område som sträcker sig från Sverige i norra Europa via Mellanöstern, Indien, Sydöstasien till Kina/Nordkorea.

Den ryska strävan till ökat inflytande på världsön har nyligen (2016) behandlats i boken ”The Russian Project of Eurasian Integration: Geopolitical Prospects” av Nataliya A. Vasileyeva and Maria L. Lagutina (Lexington Books). I boken presenteras bland annat Moskvas syn på en euroasiatisk ekonomisk union som en del av rysk politik i vad den klassiske brittiske politikern Halford Mackinder på 1900-talet betecknade som hjärtlandet. Boken förtjänar att uppmärksammas i Sverige, som har ett utsatt geopolitiskt läge när Ryssland nu söker återuppbygga sitt imperium i Europa.

REAGAN’S STRATEGIC DEFENSE INITIATIVE – 34 YEARS LATER A REALITY

March 22, 2017

Washington Times on March 20, 2017 published a commentary by Ed Feulner on President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative. Reagan had in March 1983 said it was an initiative that would change history. So it has, argues Mr. Feulner. Excerpts below:

His speech [on March 23, 1983] introduced Americans and the world to SDI, a comprehensive, layered ballistic missile-defense program designed to protect the United States and its allies from a threat that had bedeviled it for more than 20 years. It marked a true turning point in our adversarial relationship with the Soviet Union.

The Heritage Foundation was privileged to lay the visionary groundwork that led to Reagan’s historic announcement. The year before the president’s SDI address, the Foundation published its first missile-defense study, “High Frontier: A New National Strategy.” The study proposed a comprehensive system, including laser weapons capable of intercepting Soviet missiles as they were launched or while they traveled in space toward the United States.

At that point, most of the country’s policymaking elite considered Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD, appropriately enough) an acceptable policy to deter the Soviet Union.

Most policymakers believed MAD was enough to ensure the Soviet Union would never attack, and that any missile defenses could upset the delicate balance of assured destruction.

President Reagan was skeptical of the MAD doctrine.

Adversaries and potential adversaries have chosen to exploit U.S. vulnerability and invested heavily in ballistic missiles, as well as programs researching and developing lethal payloads for them. As Heritage has continued to emphasize, the threat from ballistic missiles is only 33 minutes away.

Building on President Reagan’s legacy, the United States slowly woke to the ballistic-missile threat, withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that prohibited missile-defense deployments in 2002, and started an initial missile-defense program designed to protect the country, forward-deployed troops and allies from primarily Iranian and North Korean ballistic missiles.

…a lot more work remains to be done, especially since the program was hampered at times by the Obama administration. The new administration must invest in space-based missile-defense interceptors, as envisioned under SDI. We must develop and deploy directed-energy weapons, building on the research and development legacy of the SDI program.

Thirty-four years ago, Ronald Reagan described a visionary goal to help secure our country. Now we must build on his vision…

Ed Feulner is founder of the Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).

RUDOLF KJELLÉN IN THE WORLD TODAY

February 15, 2017

Rudolf Kjellén (1864 – 1922), a Swedish geographer published his works in Swedish, which made him less accessible to those who were not familiar with the Swedish language. This denied large parts of academia the acquaintance with and examination of his work. Some of his books were translated into German, but there has so far been little interest in him in the Anglo-Saxon world.

One of his classical geopolitical works, The Great Powers (Stormakterna), appeared in a first edition 1905 in Sweden. It had over 20 editions in Germany.

Latin America

Today he is probably best known in South America, where classical geopolitics has remained strong (see Phillip Kelly, Checkerboards & Shatterbelts – The Geopolitics of South America, Austin: University of Texas Press 1997).

In 1902 Kjellén had been appointed professor of political science and statistics at the University of Gothenburg.

Japan

Kjellén was interested in Japan and its rise in the Far East. In his view Japan and China, once free of Western control, would be great powers of the future. Their rise would come as the European powers declined. He was also critical of colonialism and racism.

In 1909 he traveled to Japan and China, a journey that would have significant influence on his geopolitical research. On this trip around the world he travelled first by train through Siberia and arrived in Beijing in April 1909. After 12 days in the Chinese capital he concluded in his diary that the days of European power were coming to an end. The powers, in his view, acted with hubris and arrogance.

On steamer he continued to Japan and made his base in Yokohama. There he was invited to stay in the home of the Swedish diplomat Gustaf Oskar Wallenberg (1863 – 1937).

For more on Kjellén and Japan see Bert Edström’s “Rudolf Kjellén och Japan”, journal Orientaliska studier, No. 89, 1996, pp. 12 – 35 and Storsvensken i Yttersta Östern – G.O. Wallenberg som svenskt sändebud i Japan, 1906 – 1918, Working Paper 52, August 1999, Center for Pacific Asia Studies, University of Stockholm.

In June he sailed on the “Empress of India” across the Pacific Ocean to Vancouver. From there he crossed Canada on the Canadian Pacific Railway to board the Atlantic liner for Europe and Sweden. On July 13 he was back in Gothenburg after a four month tour.

In the autumn of 1916 Kjellén wrote the introduction to a work that would give him international fame, ”The State as a Life-Form”. The book was a bestseller in its Japanese edition.
Great Britain and Russia.

After the Great War he saw Great Britain and Russia grow into “planetarian” powers or superpowers in today’s terminology. The United States is today a hegemon far more powerful than the United Kingdom. Already in 1919, he predicted a development towards superpower influence in the world. These views were based on the future strength of geographically and demographically large countries. In fact his predictions were proven correct. During the Cold War, for instance, the United States and the Soviet Union were the geographically large and dominating superpowers. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 China and India, for example, have risen to become great powers, both having large populations.

Kjellen and the Genocidal Vladimir I Lenin

The Swedish geopolitician published a number of articles with sharp criticism of Lenin and communist ideology. The article on Lenin ended with the words: “Only history will in the future show if Vladimir I. Lenin was a scourge or God or the devil.”

On Marx he remarked that he was a curious bastard of Hegel (form) and Rousseau (content). Half a million Bolsheviks ruled the 100 million of Russia. This half million was controlled by a couple of hundred tyrants in the Kremlin. If one of the usual labels is to be attached to that kind of state, it would be that of aristocracy in the degenerate form known as oligarchy.

Finally Kjellén focused on the question of the “historical side” of a state and movements that can occur. The “historical side” of Russia has for instance been the movement from the Baltic Sea-the Barents Sea to the Black Sea-the Mediterranean and then (1878) to the Far East and after 1905 mainly southward. An important aspect of this is also the movement of capital cities: Moscow to St. Petersburg and back to Moscow and in Turkey from Istanbul to Ankara.
Geopolitics, both as Kjellén viewed it and in its main Western stream, (Mackinder, Mahan, Spykman et al) is a science between history, geography and political science but it can also be regarded as an aid to all three.

Kjellén correctly predicted the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, the gradual decline of France as a great power and the decay of the British Empire.

These predictions were based on the view that the European great powers were influenced by hubris of superiority, which would lead to resistance and liberation in the colonial world. The father of geopolitics also believed Islam would be a rising threat in global politics due to the weakening of European great powers.

He also correctly predicted the coming of World War I already in 1899. In that he was not of course alone. Kjellén based the forecast on the growing antagonism of on one side of Great Britain and France. On the other side was Germany and Austria.

Conclusion

It is possible that Kjellen would today have viewed Russia, China and Iran (Persia) as the foremost challengers to the United States, Great Britain and Japan. The Swedish geopolitician could in the 21st century be a valuable tool for grand strategists, geopoliticians and geostrategists. We live in dangerous times.

IS NORTH KOREA PREPARING TO INVADE ROK THROUGH TUNNELS?

February 14, 2017

Recent reports from the Korean peninsula is indicating instability of the North Korean regime. Thus it might want to deflect interest from internal trouble by an invasion of ROK through the extensive tunnel system at the border between the communist Korean entity and ROK. Tunnel technique is also a method of Oriental regimes to undermine the West. See below:

Introduction

The discovery recently of tunnels between Egypt and Gaza for the purpose of smuggling weapons is revealing. One must keep in mind the Oriental technique of “tunnelling” the enemy’s both spatial, political and psychological terrain. This art originated with the Mongols, and was copied and perfected by the Ottomans. There is, however, also a physical aspect to tunnelling. This short paper will explore three cases of this use of psychologically oriented warfare of Oriental origin.

North Korean Tunneling

There is a long history of North Korea attempting to undermine Seoul and take over South Korea this way. There is an extensive literature both in the United States and South Korea on the attempts by the regime to tunnel under the border between South Korea and North Korea. Several Palestinian terrorist organizations in the 1960s established close ties with North Korea. Another example of North Korean contacts in the Middle East area in general was the Turkish People’s Liberation Army (TPLA). A historical link perhaps to the Ottoman past.

Ottoman Tunneling

The Ottomans in the 1450s used undermining technique during the last phase of the siege of Constantinople. This has been described by the Venetian ambassador Nicolo Barbaro in his diary. (W. Carew Hazlitt, The Venetian Republic, 2 volumes, London 1915). Neither bombardments or scaling the walls, nor pitched battles at sea were so disheartening as the daily discovery of new tunnels being under Constantinople. Indirectly it was an attack on the willpower and identity of the Byzantine empire.

The Ottomans learned the tactics of tunnelling from the Mongols. Psychological warfare was common not only in the pre-Islamic and Islamic times in Persia, the Ottoman empire and among the Arabs.

Viet Cong Tunneling

The infamous Viet Cong (VC) tunnel system was located 15 miles north of Saigon in the s.c. Iron Triangle. It comprised around 125 square miles of jungle and rice paddies. The United States forces in January 1967 in Operation Cedar Falls attempted to destroy the tunnel system. Residents were evacuated from the area and the system of tunnels was destroyed. The communists did return, however.

The United States had special soldiers who fought the VC and the North Vietnamese in the tunnels and the bunkers. Only the 1st and 25th Infantry Divisions had formal units of s.c.Tunnel Rats, but the units were small. The 1st Division had only two squads.

The basic equipment was a .38 caliber revolver, a flashlight, and a knife.

Standard procedure required three men in the tunnels at a time. The biggest success was in 1968 when 3 VC soldiers were killed and 153 forced backward out of a tunnel into captivity.

Outside these formal units mostly volunteers were employed.

One important complex of tunnels was some 25 miles north of Saigon. It was probably the prime VC lifeline to Cambodian supply areas. There was a headquarters complex at Cu Chi. This vast complex was discovered by United States forces already in 1966. The 25th Infantry Division later established its base camp in Cu Chi and assumed the task of clearing the system. Different approaches used were tear gas, acetylene gas, and explosives. The American “tunnel rats” were almost always small in stature and had minimum equipment.

Tunnel networks were later discovered in other parts of Vietnam. In 1967 the Cu Chi tunnels hade been cleared, an example of tactical ingenuity and tenacity facing the United States Army in Vietnam (Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, St. Barbara 1998, 3 volumes).

Conclusion

As seen from the three examples above it is not hard to detect the background of Palestinian tunnelling to smuggle arms to Gaza. How large these systems are and where is not in the public domain. American experience has shown that tunnel complexes can be dealt with.

TEXT OF US ALABAMA GOVERNOR’S STATE OF THE STATE SPEECH 2017

February 8, 2017

Washington Times on February 7, 2017, published the text of Governor Robert Bentley’s State of the State adress. Remarks as prepared, Excerpts below:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP)

Companies and industries have poured over 24-billion dollars of investment into Alabama, in our people and in the belief that their products will be made best when they are Made in Alabama.

Companies like Polaris, in Huntsville, are building and producing ATV’s and hiring 17-hundred Alabamians and creating hundreds of positions for technicians, programmers and welders. GE Aviation is investing more than $200 million to build two factories in Huntsville and is expected to employ up to 300 people. And it’s not just our larger cities with new well-paying jobs. With an intentional focus on bringing jobs to rural Alabama we bring industry to our smallest towns. Moller Tech is building a 46-million dollar flagship facility in Woodstock, in Bibb County, supplying Mercedes and hiring 220 Alabamians. Alabama’s auto industry hit another record high in 2016, as workers at Hyundai, Mercedes and Honda rolled out over a million Alabama-made vehicles. Montgomery’s new Hyundai Santa Fe, Lincoln’s new Honda Ridgeline and Tuscaloosa’s four Mercedes models are all taking center on the world stage. Besides receiving awards for some of the best vehicles on the market, they all have one important thing in common – their Home’s in Alabama. We opened Alabama’s newest Interstate – I -22, not just providing convenience and safer travel for our people, but paving the way for greater economic development in financially-strapped Northwest Alabama. There is simply no place like Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast, and the incredible Gulf State Park Project is well on its way to becoming an international benchmark of economic and environmental sustainability. On track to open next year, the Gulf State Park Project will be the pride of our state for outdoor recreation, education and hospitality. Economic opportunity grows and thrives in our state, especially for the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our state and our country, yet ask for so little. Alabama is the proud home of over 420-thousand Veterans, and through the Alabama Executive Veterans Network – or AlaVetNet, and the Alabama Small Business Commission we are making sure veteran owned businesses succeed and prosper. And today Alabama’s Unemployment Rate for Veterans stands at 4.1 percent – lower than the overall state and national rate.

Comment: States all over the United States are focusing on job creation. Alabama is a fine example of the upturn in US economy after January 2017. Especially important is investment in the Huntsville area.

SECURITY ADVISER FLYNN SAYS IRAN IS ON NOTICE

February 2, 2017

Fox News on Februari 1, 2017, reported that US National Security Adviser Mike Flynn said the Trump administration is putting Iran “on notice” after it tested a ballistic missile and Tehran-backed militants attacked a Saudi naval vessel. Excerpts below:

The implications of the warning are unclear, but Flynn pointedly criticized the Obama administration for failing “to respond adequately” to Iran’s provocative behavior.

“As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” Flynn said, speaking to reporters in the White House briefing and also issuing a written statement.

At a press briefing later on Februari 1 a senior administration official declined to elaborate on how Iran would be held accountable, saying, “there are a large range of options available to the administration, from financial and economic…to pursuing other options related to support for those that are challenging and opposing Iranian malign activity in the region.”

Asked if that would include a military option, the official replied, “we are considering a whole range of options. We’re in a deliberative process.”

Flynn blasted Iran’s “destabilizing behavior,” saying the recent missile launch defied a U.N. Security Council resolution.

“The Obama Administration failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions—including weapons transfers, support for terrorism, and other violations of international norms,” Flynn said. “The Trump Administration condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity, and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East and … place American lives at risk.”

A defense official said this week that the missile test ended with a “failed” re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.

The attack on a Saudi vessel, meanwhile, was carried out by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.

Two Saudi sailors were killed and three were wounded. Fox News reported earlier this week that, according to two defense officials, the attack may have been meant for an American warship.

In audio heard on a video of the attack, a voice narrating the attack shouts in Arabic, “Allahu akbar [God is great], death to America, death to Israel, a curse on the Jews and victory for Islam.

Comment: US allies in the area have with growing concern noted the lack of American response to Iranian subversive activities. The reaction in Israel is naturally one of relief. The growing influence of Iran in the Middle East threatens not only the Jewish state.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SHOULD WORK WITH IRAN OPPOSITION

January 16, 2017

Fox News on January 15, 2017 reported that former top U.S. government officials have urged President-elect Donald Trump to work with Iran’s opposition once in office. A letter signed by 23 former officeholders calls on Trump to consult with the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The group has called for free elections and freedom of religion in Iran, as well as an end to what it calls Tehran’s “religious dictatorship.” Excerpts below:

…the NCRI’s network of supporters in Iran helped the U.S. with intelligence during the Iraq invasion. The group also helped expose Iran’s nascent nuclear weapons program.

“Iran’s rulers have directly targeted US strategic interests, policies and principles, and those of our allies and friends in the Middle East,” the letter reads, in part. “To restore American influence and credibility in the world, the United States needs a revised policy.”

Last month, Fox obtained a letter to Trump from a group of Iranian dissidents that urged the president-elect to follow through on his campaign promise to revisit the nuclear deal between Iran and six global powers, including the U.S.

Comment: There is a real threat of Iran to Western interests. Persian nationalists want to create a Greater Iran while building up the military strength of the new empire. Also they are forming a front with the Syrian regime together with Lebanese as well as Sudanese terrorists. To the east Iran seeks to merge Middle East and South Asian conflicts and wants to undermine and bring down Turkey.

US DEFENSE SECRETARY NOMINEE GEN. JAMES MATTIS WARNS OF HISTORIC THREAT TO THE WEST

January 13, 2017

Fox News on January 12, 2017, reported that Defense secretary nominee Gen. James Mattis issued a grave warning at his Senate confirmation hearing, saying the established world order is under its “biggest attack” since World War II as he called for boosting military readiness and America’s alliances. Excerpts below:

Citing Russia’s aggressions and other concerns, he said: “I think [the world order is] under the biggest attack since World War II … from Russia, from terrorist groups and with what China is doing in the South China Sea.”
To address this, Mattis testified, “deterrence is critical.”

His assessment came as he called for strengthening “military readiness”…He said U.S. forces must be the “best led, best equipped and most lethal in the world.”
“If you confirm me, my watchwords will be solvency and security in providing for the protection of our people and the survival of our freedoms,” he said.

The question of budget restraints at the Pentagon is a critical one for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Senator McCain warned at Thursday’s hearing that the military can’t proceed with “business as usual” as he ripped “arbitrary” congressional caps on spending.

Mattis’ testimony falls amid a packed week of confirmation hearings for top Trump Cabinet nominees, including Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Rex Tillerson for secretary of state.

In prepared remarks for the hearing, Mattis expressed unqualified support for traditional U.S. international alliances.

Mattis is a former leader of NATO’s transformation command, in charge of efforts to adapt the alliance’s structure and capabilities to 21st century threats.
In his testimony, he spoke about the importance of the alliance, calling for the U.S. to maintain “the strongest possible relationship with NATO.”

On the Iran nuclear deal, Mattis said he would not have personally signed the pact, but said that when America gives its word, we have to “live up to it.”

Mattis, 66, is one of three recently retired senior generals selected by Trump for top jobs in his administration.

After retiring, Mattis joined the Hoover Institution, a conservative-leaning think tank. He also is a member of the board of directors of General Dynamics, the big defense contractor.

He has remained outspoken in his concerns about Iran. In remarks last April at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Mattis called Iran “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.”

Mattis is best known as a battle-hardened combat officer who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. But he also has worked behind the scenes with senior civilian officials at the Pentagon.

Comment: Gen. Mattis will most likely be confirmed by the Senate. It is of great importance for the West as a whole that the United States will have an experienced military leader as Secretary of Defense. Mattis made clear during the Senate hearings that he regards Russia, China, and Iran along with terrorist groups to be greatest present challenges to the West. The passed 8 years have weakened the position of the United States in the world. Increased military spending is of great importance. European NATO member countries need to spend at least 2 percent of GNP on defense during the coming years. The strategically important non-aligned Sweden with defense spending of 1 percent of GNP (lowest spending in Europe) endangers NATO’s Baltic Sea area security. The present government in Stockholm refuses to increase defense spending.