By Paul E. Vallely, MG US Army (Ret)
U.S. taxpayer dollars can ‘flow freely’ to Iran-backed Hamas and Hezbollah because the United Nations Security Council has failed to label them as ‘terrorists,’ warn top security experts.
Hamas and Hezbollah are not sanctioned or labeled as terror groups by the UN Security Council. However, other well-known terrorist organizations Al Qaeda and ISIS have been officially designated, which cuts off their ability to get foreign assistance.
Richard Goldberg, senior advisor at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, tells DailyMail.com that U.S. taxpayer dollars to the UN are going directly into the hands of terrorists as a result.
None of this should be surprising. The Western Left long ago adopted the Palestinian cause as their own, and as the past week has shown, they are fully on board with the “by any means necessary” mission of Hamas and Hezbollah. As I often do, I am not lumping in all liberals with the Left, although they are often fellow travelers. Many people who consider themselves liberals were appalled by the attacks, and we will have to see whether their identification with the Palestinians as an oppressed group overrides their disgust with Hamas’ tactics.
Not that liberals have much of an excuse for their blindness to the terroristic and genocidal goals of these groups; it’s not like they don’t say often and loudly how desperate they are to commit genocide. But as we see repeatedly, people tend to hear what they want, not what is being said.
‘The UN considers Hamas a legitimate political movement, not a vicious terrorist organization. The same goes for Hezbollah. That means US taxpayer dollars handed over to the UN can flow freely into Hamas hands in Gaza, and they do every day through the UN’s so-called Palestinian refugee agency,’ Goldberg told DailyMail.com.
The UN has a ‘Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East’ (UNRWA) agency that supports Palestinian refugees ‘relief and human development’ The agency received over $15 million from partnering UN countries in 2021, and it lists the United States as a ‘top government donor’ on its website. Goldberg said that the Biden administration has given roughly $1 billion to the UNRWA, which spends about 38 percent of its budget on Gaza. Therefore, he said the U.S. has subsidized Hamas to $380 million since Biden took office and restarted funding to UNRWA.
That’s not chump change; we can be sure it doesn’t affect infrastructure. After all, Hamas tears up the water pipes to make those rockets that it shoot into Israel. How much UN/US money went to install those pipes Hamas dug up? Biden told 60 Minutes he must run again because he can bring about world peace. How’s that going so far? If we get those four more years Biden wants, the Earth will be a radioactive wasteland.
Here’s why Biden won’t be able to find a smoking Iranian gun!
October 17, 2023. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby tied himself in knots trying to deny any evidence of a “direct link” between Iran and Hamas. Biden aides also leaked intelligence showing key Iranian officials — they do not say whom — surprised at the operation. The efforts to deny any evidence sufficient to tie Tehran to the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust are disingenuous. Rather than exculpate an Iranian link, they show that almost 44 years after the Islamic Revolution, top White House and CIA officials have no clue how Iranian command and control works. Too many political appointees project an American way of doing things onto their Iranian adversaries and look for the type of commands American military or intelligence officials might give to conduct an operation.
When the Iranians sponsor terrorism or act aggressively, for example, shooting down an American drone in international airspace, seizing American sailors, or having Hezbollah act against Israel, it is natural for the president to ask U.S. intelligence analysts for evidence of a direct Iranian link. This would mean signals intelligence, an intercepted phone call, or a radio command.
When the National Security Agency or CIA cannot find any such link, too many American officials will conclude the action was rogue in its origin. President Donald Trump, for example, explained he would not retaliate against Iran for the downed drone. “I imagine someone made a mistake,” he said. “I think it could have been somebody loose and stupid who did it.” There are two problems with the theory of rogue action. First, a deep dive into Iranian rogue behavior dating to the 1979 seizure of the American embassy shows that those responsible for launching activities dismissed as rogue are often promoted after the fact.
The second is that Iranian command and control operates differently than any other country. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is a dictator, but not in the mold of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. He is a dictator by veto. Rather than give commands and expect them to be followed, he defines policy redlines and gives Iranian commanders freedom to do anything he did not expressly forbid. Often, these guardrails are described in Friday prayer sermons, a weekly Iranian equivalent of a State of the Union address.
Culturally, Iranian colonels and generals can show initiative; they need not wait for orders like a North Korean or Iraqi officer would. As such, there will never be a smoking gun with an intercepted communication from Khamenei, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, or Quds Force leader Esmail Qaani to a Hamas, Hezbollah, or Houthi operative. This means senior Iranian officials may have been surprised when news broke of the operation, but that is only because they did not need to approve such an operation in the first place in the manner a White House or Pentagon hierarchy would in the United States.
Previously, it was also easier to follow the money. In 1995, a Palestine Islamic Jihad terrorist killed Brandeis University junior Alisa Flatow in a suicide bombing of the bus on which she was riding. Her father Stephen sued the Islamic Republic of Iran and won his case. A key piece of evidence was a line item in the Iranian budget to support Palestinian resistance. Following its loss, the Iranian government responded not with reform, but rather by removing such line items from future budgets. That does not mean Iran no longer supports “resistance,” its euphemism for terrorism; it just means it no longer acknowledges with precision the money spent.
The point here is that it is time to stop looking for a smoking gun. Iran openly calls for Israel’s destruction. The founding statutes of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps define the purpose of the group to be “export of revolution.” In 2008, the supreme leader and the IRGC clarified this to mean support for “resistance” and insurgency. That their top clients are Hezbollah and Hamas is no secret; instead, it is a source of pride for the Iranian leadership.
To play Iran’s lawyer the way Biden, Kirby, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken now do is disingenuous. It is not sophisticated; it only reflects ignorance of the way Iran operates and plays into Iran’s doctrine of plausible deniability.
Why It’s Obvious, Iran Approved Hamas’s Attack? If you understand how the Islamic Republic’s power centers work, what happened becomes clear.
WSJ Oct. 17, 2023
In the U.S., elected officials and political appointees make policy, and permanent bureaucrats implement it. In the Islamic Republic, the opposite is true. Elected officials and political appointees implement the policies of the permanent state. Mohammad Khatami, a former president, once referred to himself as “the system’s logistics officer.” Iran’s permanent state begins with Mr. Khamenei, whose every decree supersedes the law. Military and administrative chains of command are determined by access to power, not laws. The chief of the general staff is the highest-ranking military officer, for instance, but the head of the Quds force calls the shots. The Quds Force is the unconventional-warfare branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, one of the regime’s two military forces.
Javad Zarif, a former foreign minister, made this clear in a leaked interview two years ago. He suggested that he wanted to pursue diplomacy but since the permanent state’s preferred strategy was “the battlefield” dictated by Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, “diplomacy was sacrificed for the sake of the battlefield.”
Understanding this structure is crucial in investigating the extent of Iran’s involvement in the war. If journalists’ sources in the Islamic Republic’s government aren’t in Mr. Khamenei’s policy-making circle, they are unlikely to have known about Tehran’s involvement. In the same vein, the intelligence community is unlikely to uncover crucial information by intercepting communications among people outside Mr. Khamenei’s office.
Iran primarily fights the U.S. and Israel through proxies and in “gray zone” measures such as cyber operations. This falls within the portfolio of Brig. Gen. Esmail Qaani, who became Quds Force commander after a U.S. strike killed Soleimani in 2020. Gen. Qaani is one of a handful of Islamic Republic officials in Mr. Khamenei’s circle.
After Mr. Khamenei gave the green light, Gen. Qaani and other officials, using the supreme leader’s authority, instructed the rest of the regime without explanation to shuffle around money and equipment for Hamas. In this case, a mid-rank Hamas official with ties with senior Quds Force commanders is a more reliable source than the Iranian foreign minister or even the president.
According to the Islamic Republic’s official accounts and the Journal’s reporting, Gen. Qaani met with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad officials in April and June. That was when talks with the U.S. about releasing Iran’s frozen assets were gaining steam, and Washington was easing sanctions enforcement. Meanwhile, Iran publicly claimed responsibility for the uptick in Palestinian violence in Israel. It was a ruse to pull Israel’s attention and military and intelligence resources away from the Gaza border.
Iran’s motives and timing are clear. In an August deal for five American hostages, the U.S. agreed to release five imprisoned Iranian nationals and transfer $6 billion to Qatar for Tehran’s use. A report followed that Mr. Khamenei had granted permission for nuclear negotiations while oil exports had reached their pre-sanctions peak. Mr. Khamenei likely didn’t expect the U.S. approach to persist after Hamas’s attack. His regime had accumulated enough wealth to survive for several more years. His green light for nuclear negotiations was nothing but deception. The only surprise for Tehran likely came last week when the U.S. allegedly froze the $6 billion—a move Qatar disputes.
Israel has been preoccupied by Tehran’s nuclear program and its northern border—Iran’s military resides in Syria, and Hezbollah threatens from Lebanon. Despite the calamities caused from Gaza, the northern border poses a much greater military threat. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have their own political objectives for this attack, but Iran is likely to be the largest beneficiary. The regime expects Israel’s national-security policy to reorient toward the Palestinians, relieving Tehran of military pressure in Syria and Iraq. Iran thinks it will be free to advance its nuclear program while Israel tries to deal with Hamas, prevent a third intifada, and protect its northern border.
While it is too soon to tell whether this bet will pay off, it already is clear that Mr. Khamenei approved of this war and stands to gain from it.
Appeasing Iran Has Failed: Obama and Biden’s effort at détente with Tehran destabilized the entire region and emboldened Hamas.
WSJ Oct. 16, 2023
Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna. Notice how quiet it is about Iran’s friend, John Kerry??
The horrors don’t stop. The latest, as casualties continue to mount across Gaza, is the accumulating evidence that the killers from Hamas lacked even the humanity to grant their victims the mercy of a quick death. In far too many cases, the victims were tortured before they were killed. But the horror is not limited to the Middle East. Decent people everywhere, including pious Muslims and fervent supporters of the Palestinian cause, recoiled from acts of barbarity that recall the darkest moments in human history. Basic decency, however, is not universal. There are Jew haters among us. Moved by bloodlust and orgiastic fantasies of revenge, they thronged the streets and squares of Europe and marched across American campuses.
There were those in the U.S. who justified violence against people with dangerous opinions in recent years by asserting that it was right and good to punch a Nazi. Today some of those same people have embraced the central cause of the Nazi movement. Jew hatred for them is a passion so pure, so justified, that those who torture Jewish children and slaughter helpless babies are heroes. The rest of us should take note and take care.
Meanwhile, not since the Russian invasion of Ukraine has the Biden administration exploded into political, diplomatic, and military action as dramatically as in the aftermath of the massacres. President Biden has addressed the nation to share the pain and anger felt by Israelis and Americans at this horrendous and historic crime. Two carrier strike groups and other American military assets will patrol the theater with the aim of both preventing more Iranian proxies and Iran itself from joining their ally Hamas. And Secretary of State Antony Blinken has conducted a whirlwind tour of the Middle East, meeting with leaders from Israel to Qatar in hopes of containing the violence.
A crucial element is missing from this response. Even now, Team Biden does not seem to have internalized the reality that the American policy of “conciliate to evacuate”—to develop a U.S.-Iranian détente that would allow the U.S. to reduce its role in the region—remains, as it has since President Obama first began to implement it, a destabilizing force in the Middle East. It has discomfited our friends, disrupted our alliances, emboldened terrorists, and provided Iran’s mullahs with the resources to turn both Hezbollah and Hamas into formidably destructive forces.
The cynicism of Iran’s mullahs and their enablers is, in the end, the most shocking. Set aside the Israeli casualties and the blood of innocent Jewish children. Those who claim to rule Iran in God’s name do not care how many Palestinians die in the service of their ambitions. They despise the Sunni faith of the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Hamas belongs, and if they could, they would persecute tomorrow the terrorists they are today.
Iran is unappeasable, but this truth is too inconvenient for the Biden administration to admit. Instead, administration spokesmen continue to minimize Tehran’s involvement with and responsibility for the murders. Iran, which at this point seems to have little fear from an administration it believes it has cowed, is more open. It makes no bones about its support for the murders in Gaza. After the attack, when it was already clear how indiscriminate the killing had been, Iran’s foreign minister embraced the head of Hamas, a man who lives in luxury in Qatar, a country that Mr. Biden last year designated a major non-NATO ally of the U.S.
Hamas must be dealt with, and the direct perpetrators of these unspeakable acts must give themselves up for trial or be killed. But justice demands and prudence requires more. While the perpetrators of these horrors came from Gaza, those ultimately responsible do not live there. It is the leaders of Hamas living in luxury in Qatar and other havens far from the poverty of Gaza who provided the organizational leadership and gave the orders. And it is the mullahs and the agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran who provided the resources, training, and encouragement without which the Hamas leadership would neither have dared nor been able to unleash this evil on the world.
The truth is simple. Iran is at war with Israel and with the U.S. It does not seek compromise or accommodation. It does not want its interests respected or its grievances redressed. It wants what it says it wants: a holocaust in Israel and the destruction of the U.S.
This does not mean that we need to send an expeditionary force or a fleet of bombers. There are many ways to skin a cat. We can and should learn from our errors after 9/11. But we must be honest with ourselves. We have a war on our hands with the worst kind of enemy. Wishful thinking won’t make it go away.(1)
Contact: Interviews firstname.lastname@example.org www.standupamericaus.org
(1) Daily Mail October 17,2023