By Megan G. Oprea • The Federalist
It’s all over the news: Syria has joined the Paris climate agreement, leaving the United States as the only country in the world that is not a signatory. Many observers and commentators are using this as an opportunity to chastise America for holding out where a roundly abhorred government has given in. But the questions people should really be asking are why Syria joined the Paris agreement and why it chose to do so now, two years after the agreement was first adopted. The answer is simple. Syria is seeking international legitimacy.
No doubt, copy editors across the mainstream media relished the chance to write headlines like, “As Syria Joins Paris Climate Agreement, US Stands Alone” or “As Syria Embraces Paris Climate Deal, It’s the United States Against the World,” emphasizing America’s isolation over climate change and juxtaposing Syria as the “good guy” with the United States as the “bad guy.” After all, if even Syria is signing on, how bad does that make America? Continue reading
Poor Syria. Strategically located at the northern edge of the Middle East on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, with its archeological finds dating back nearly eight thousand years, is perhaps the oldest continually inhabited place of the world. Its two most important cities Aleppo and Damascus had been the capitals of numerous empires dating back at least to the thirtieth century BC. Throughout its history, ancient Syria was blessed with productive agriculture, profitable trade as well as thriving urbanized culture that created religions and philosophies, and invented the very first alphabet. On the other hand, ancient and modern Syria had been also cursed and shaped by never ending cycles of religious and sectarian violence.
The roots of the civil war that started in the beginning of 2011 go back to the mid-9th century when Ibn Nusayr declared himself the “Bab” – the “gateway to truth.” Proclaiming his teachings to be the only true religion, Ibn Nusayr preached the Holy Trinity of Muhammad, his cousin and son in law Husayn ibn Ali, and Salman al-Farisi, a freed Persian slave of Muhammad’s. Ali was also elevated to be the Jesus-like incarnation of divinity. Borrowing further from Christianity, he made the symbolic presentation of bread and wine an integral part of religious services, in which wine represents God himself. Moreover, the Nusayris, also called Alawis or Ansaris, celebrate almost all Christian festivals and holidays, and worship most of the Christian saints. Finally, Ibn Nusayr denied the five pillars of Islam and rejected the Shari’a in its entirety.
Dozens of alleged refugees have entered Germany on fake Syrian passports, which were produced using technology similar to that used to forge documents for some of the perpetrators of the Paris attacks, the German Bild newspaper reported Tuesday, citing government sources.
Last week, two French citizens posing as refugees were arrested in Austria on suspicion of having links to the November 13 Paris terror attacks. The suspects, of Algerian and Pakistani descent, were allegedly using fake Syrian passports and are believed to have entered Austria with some of the Paris attackers in October. Individuals posing as refugees entered Germany using passports made by the same means as those found on the suspects arrested in Austria.
“They contain the same features of forgery,” one of the sources told the German media outlet.
Stolen genuine documents were so intricately altered by counterfeiters that the forgery was not detected immediately, meaning those who entered the country on fake passports have not yet been found, according to the newspaper. Continue reading
By Nayla Rush • Center for Immigration Studies
I attended USCIS’s Asylum Division Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting last week. It was led by John Lafferty, chief of the Asylum Division. Those present were, for the most part, USCIS staff and immigration lawyers in charge of representing asylum seekers and refugees.
Here are a few things I learned:
The Asylum Division suffers from a high staff turnover. Loss of trained staff means recruiting and training others to do the job. It is also understaffed. Officers have a hard time meeting quotas set by the president.
In 2000, there were only 5,000 asylum cases and no backlog. There are now 120,000 cases, hence the backlog. Continue reading
By Eliza Collins • Washington Free Beacon
The State Department is counting “bringing peace” to Syria as one of its wins in 2015.
A boastful recap of the State Department’s accomplishments, written by spokesman John Kirby, includes the bold subheadline of “Bringing Peace, Security to Syria” above a more modest entry talking about U.S. aid for those affected by the country’s turmoil and the U.S. push for a political transition from President Bashar Assad.
While Secretary of State John Kerry has played an integral role in the Syrian peace talks, the country remains embroiled in a nasty civil war and terrorized by the Islamic State.
“The United States and many members of the international community have stepped up to aid the Syrian people during their time of need — the United States has led the world in humanitarian aid contributions since the crisis began in 2011,” Kirby said. Continue reading
The refugee crisis exists because America has indulged foolish foreign policies. To get out of this mess will require wisdom, not more of the same.
by Luma Simms • The Federalist
I was neither born nor bred in this country. I don’t have Ivy League credentials. Unlike elitists and pundits informed as much by cocktail parties as they are by polls and studies, I’m informed by blood, kin, and culture.
I was born in Baghdad to Christian parents who emigrated the old-fashioned way—legally—and for an old-fashioned reason: The treatment of Christians, like my family, by Muslims in the surrounding culture.
I cry at the “Star Spangled Banner,” and I cry when my naturalized home wages war against my birth home. I am an American. I am also Iraqi, and a Moslawii down to my dialect and my cooking. Continue reading
By Patrick Goodenough • CNSNews.com
Since the Paris terror attacks on November 13, the State Department has admitted 132 Syrian refugees into the United States, and all 132 are Sunni Muslims.
No Christian, Druze, Shi’ite, Alawite, or member of any other religious minority in Syria has been admitted over that period, according to data from the State Department Refugee Processing Center.
The majority of the 132 Syrian refugees permitted to resettle in the U.S. since November 13 (72) are male, the minority female (60). Of the 132 total, 39 (29.5 percent) have been men between the ages of 14 and 50. Continue reading
by Mac Thornberry • RealClearPolitics
The ISIS attack on Paris has been a wake-up call for the world. A network of terrorists exploited weaknesses in Western intelligence networks, border controls, and law enforcement to savagely attack soft targets and inflict devastating casualties. To protect America, Congress has rightly acted on one of these weaknesses and strengthened the screening of Syrian refugees. Paris has more lessons to teach. Increased vetting of refugees is a good first step, but to stop an attack in the United States there are other lessons we must learn, and learn quickly.
First, there are many avenues by which ISIS operatives can come from their training grounds across the globe, including Iraq and Syria, to carry out attacks against the West. Approximately, 30,000 individuals have traveled from other countries to join ISIS, with as many as 5,000 of them from Europe and the United States. Those from Europe do not need a visa to enter the United States, and our northern and southern borders may be a route fighters use to enter the United States. Continue reading
by Matt Barber • Townhall
What was President Obama’s immediate and instinctive response to this month’s Islamic terror attacks in Paris? Did he offer prayers for the families of the slaughtered and vow to wipe out the global cancer that is Islamic Jihad? Did he pledge to come alongside France and work with our wounded European ally until every last Islamic State barbarian is wiped from the face of the earth?
No, America’s eunuch-in-chief preened like a petty peacock, mocking and berating the very Americans he’s sworn to protect and serve. He stated – vomiting the word “Christians” with sanctimonious disgust – that there will be no “religious litmus test” on Syrian refugees, while hypocritically employing a religious litmus test of his own that favors Muslims over Christians by a rate of 97 to 3 percent. Continue reading
An operative working for Islamic State has revealed the terror group has successfully smuggled thousands of covert jihadists into Europe.
By Aaron Brown • Express
The ISIS smuggler, who is in his thirties and is described as having a trimmed jet-black beard, revealed the ongoing clandestine operation is a complete success.
“Just wait,” he smiled.
The Islamic State operative spoke exclusively to BuzzFeed on the condition of anonymity and is believed to be the first to confirm plans to infiltrate western countries.
Islamic State, also referred to as IS and ISIS, is believed to be actively smuggling deadly gunmen across the sparsely-guarded 565-mile Turkish border and on to richer European nations, he revealed. Continue reading
by Tim Kane • National Review
Understand that the debate about Syrian refugees in the United States is a political sideshow. It has nothing to do with ending the crisis in Syria itself, nothing to do with helping France and Lebanon fight Jihadi terror, and nothing to do with xenophobia. Should the United States offer refuge to Syrians fleeing the war? Absolutely. But let’s get some perspective.
First, the terror attacks in Paris (and Beirut) represent a global war on Western civilization, not on all humanity. Second, one study found that 13 percent of Syrian refugees have a positive view of ISIS. That fact should chill you. Third, there should be no doubt that ISIS is using the refugee crisis to infiltrate the West (including our allies, France, Germany, and Turkey). That explains fact number four: 53 percent of Americans are opposed to accepting any Syrian refugees here. This is a commonsense response, even if you and I believe it is incorrect. It is shameful for politicians to call this a racist reaction, which is the lowest, commonest trick in the Left’s political playbook. Continue reading
Although the Obama administration currently refuses to temporarily pause its Syrian refugee resettlement program in the United States, the State Department in 2011 stopped processing Iraq refugee requests for six months after the Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered evidence that several dozen terrorists from Iraq had infiltrated the United States via the refugee program.
After two terrorists were discovered in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 2009, the FBI began reviewing reams of evidence taken from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that had been used against American troops in Iraq. Federal investigators then tried to match fingerprints from those bombs to the fingerprints of individuals who had recently entered the United States as refugees: Continue reading
But now he says it would be “un-American.”
by Hannity.com Staff
President Obama has offered some heated rhetoric in response to suggestions that the U.S. might want to reconsider it’s policy as it concerns accepting refugees from Syria. The president has called Republican plans to put a hold on accepting Syrian refugees a “potent recruitment tool” for ISIS and “un-American.”
Just today, the President tweeted out:
Slamming the door in the face of refugees would betray our deepest values. That’s not who we are. And it’s not what we’re going to do.
— President Obama (@POTUS) November 18, 2015 Continue reading
by Ian Hanchett • Breitbart
Representative Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) argued “we need to temporarily suspend this visa waiver program” between the US and Europe because “it could just be a matter of hours, before someone travels through these different borders, someone who’s become a foreign fighter, who’s been fighting in Syria, and ends up here on the United States soil” on Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”
Gabbard said, “I think as we watch this manhunt going on across Europe, I’m reminded of a vulnerability and a weakness that must be addressed. We’ve got a visa waiver program that really does not address the vulnerability of the open and porous borders between Syria and Turkey, and that — we’ve seen already how many foreign fighters from across Europe are able to travel through those borders, and are not being tracked and are not being — they’re not able to be addressed going through that. So, we need to temporarily suspend this visa waiver program until the intelligence community gets a handle on this, and exactly how large it is, and what’s going on.” Continue reading
By Noe Leiva • Yahoo
Honduran authorities have arrested five Syrians intending to make it to the United States with stolen Greek passports, triggering alarm Wednesday in the wake of the Paris attacks launched by Syria-linked jihadists.
The Syrians were arrested on Tuesday as they flew into Toncontin airport serving the Honduran capital and failed to make it past airport security checks, a police spokesman, Anibal Baca, told reporters.
“Five Syrian citizens have been detained and will be taken to our offices to be investigated because it is suspected they are carrying false documents, passports stolen in Greece,” Baca said. Continue reading