Saturday, October 15, 2016

Today's Tune: Bob Dylan & Mark Knopfler - Blind Willie Mctell

Today's Tune: Bob Dylan - Forever Young (Slow Version)

Bob Dylan turned the simple pop song into fine literature - of course he deserves a Nobel Prize

13 October 2016
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There is no one more deserving of the Nobel Prize for Literature than Bob Dylan. He is our greatest living poetic voice, the Bard of the Age, our rock and roll Shakespeare. There may be those in certain circles that would sneer at the very notion of a popular songwriter being equated with the elevated realms of literature but no individual has had a greater impact on lyrical language in our times than Dylan.
Just as Shakespeare worked his magic in the low culture, working man’s crucible of Elizabethan theatre, creating eternal art from the most populist entertainment form of the day, Dylan’s chosen forum of expression has been arguably the most ubiquitous, dynamic, world shaking, inescapable popular entertainment form of our own turbulent Elizabethan age.
We may be divided on the differing merits of the greatest filmsTV showsbooks plays and poems of our times, but just about everyone on the planet can sing Blowin’ In The Wind and nobody would call it anything less than a work of genius.
Dylan was 20 years old when he wrote that song. He’s 75 now and still producing work than can send fans into ecstasy, critics into raptures and his peers back to the drawing board.
The Nobel committee say they are honouring Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition" but he did way more than that. Dylan utterly exploded the form, enabling the simple song to become a vehicle for every shade and nuance of human thought and expression, unleashing incredible forces of creativity on this ancient, sturdy folk medium - and did it with a flowing, electrifying wordsmithery and innate, almost mystical wisdom that has created a body of mindblowing work that will resonate for centuries to come.
As a supernaturally gifted youngster, he brought into folk music a poetic license that married the romantic flourish of Shelley and Yeats, the cryptic intelligence of Ezra Pound and TS Eliot, the beatnik exuberance of Ginsberg and Kerouac and the Old Testament weight of the St James Bible crossed with the hardboiled, deadpan American wit of pulp fiction. Then he took that all into rock and roll, the most brash and exciting electric sound of the post-War generation, and no part of popular culture was left untouched by his influence.
That old saw about whether or not Dylan can be considered a poet is moot and ridiculous. He is the greatest individual lyrical songsmith the world has ever seen (there is no question of that. If you really have any doubt, just ask any other great lyrical songwriter). And in his collision of rhyming phrases with melody and rhythm, he elevated the pop song as high as any other form of human expression.  He made it art, and, in Dylan’s case, it has been a very literary form of art.
Dylan doesn’t have one style of writing. Classic songs such as Blowin' In The Wind, Hard Rain, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Every Grain of Sand sound like they have existed forever, passed down the folk tradition from hand to hand over generations, not knocked out in explosions of creativity by a lone musician tuned into the ether.
There are songs of narrative and reportage that paint epic cinematic pictures, like Hurricane and The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll and songs so intensely personal it is like peering into someone’s soul, Visions of Johanna, Most of the Time, all of Blood On The Tracks.
There are abstract, joyous explosions of language like Subterranean Homesick Blues and simple songs of bottomless depth, like Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right. There are protest songs that burn with enduring rage (Masters of War, With God on His Side) and great mystical screeds (The Gates of Eden, Desolation Row, Jokerman) that you can pore over forever, puzzling out their cryptic secrets.
There are gospel songs, country songs, blues songs, comedy songs, and songs that simply have no other parallel in popular music, the epic Like A Rolling Stone, the sinisterly discombobulating Ballad of a Thin Man. 
It is a lifetime’s work you could spend a lifetime exploring. Dylan’s last album of original songs, 2012’s Tempest, is a quite extraordinary, mythmaking fire-and-brimstone rumination on apocalyptic times that stands with his best work.
His gift is, frankly, mysterious and magical. I have spoken with many songwriters and musicians who have worked with or around Dylan, and all report an incredible facility for just summoning up verses from mid-air, opening his mouth and singing poetry. Comparing notes, Leonard Cohen famously told Dylan about how his classic Hallelujah took him 15 years to write, then asked how long it took Dylan to write the philosophically complex, self-questioning I & I? “Oh, about fifteen minutes,” said Dylan.
Given such casual working methods, it is no surprise that not every Dylan song is a classic. And now we can surely expect snide objectors to commence quoting the Nobel prize winner’s most throwaway ditties (“If dogs run free then why not we?”), notwithstanding that the joy of pop simplicity often pulls a sneaky veil over interior profundity.
But the complete canon of Dylan’s work is unmatched in popular song and his influence on other great and influential writers is unparalleled. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones heard Bob Dylan and it changed them forever; all-time great singer-songwriters Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon all looked up to him; so do such new generation stars as Marcus Mumford, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift andAdele. You can even hear his cadences in hip hop, where he is the most venerated veteran white songwriter, name-checked by everyone from Jay Z to Kendrick Lamar. 
There isn’t a leading songwriter alive who wouldn’t kneel at the feet of the master. Novelists, poets and film-makers regularly exalt him, because his work has such a vast reach in such an insidiously inescapable form that it has touched the whole world.
The best of his work will resonate long after he himself has faded from memory. Surely it is right to honour its creator while he is still around to appreciate it?

Bob Dylan the Writer: An Authentic American Voice

October 13, 2016

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Bob Dylan performs in Chicago in 1978. 
Paul Natkin/Getty Images

“I’m the first person who’ll put it to you,” Bob Dylan said in a 1978 interview, “and the last person who’ll explain it to you.”

The Swedish Academy, which awarded Mr. Dylan the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday, has put it to us, and it has no explaining to do to most readers and listeners, however much they might have been pulling for Philip Roth or Don DeLillo or Margaret Atwood.

This Nobel acknowledges what we’ve long sensed to be true: that Mr. Dylan is among the most authentic voices America has produced, a maker of images as audacious and resonant as anything in Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson.

It has never hurt that Mr. Dylan’s words were delivered, as the English poet Philip Larkin once put it, in a “cawing, derisive voice” that seemed to carry the weight of myth and prophecy. Mr. Larkin was not Mr. Dylan’s greatest fan. He found the lyrics to “Desolation Row” to be “possibly half-baked.”

It took a different Englishman, the venerated critic and scholar Christopher Ricks, to make the case most fully for Mr. Dylan as a complicated and complicating poet. In Mr. Ricks’s sly 2004 book “Dylan’s Visions of Sin,” he persuasively compared Mr. Dylan at various points with personages as distinct as Yeats, Hardy, Keats, Marvell, Tennyson and Marlon Brando.

“Dylan’s in an art in which sins are laid bare (and resisted), virtues are valued (and manifested), and the graces brought home,” Mr. Ricks wrote. He added, “Human dealings of every kind are his for the artistic seizing.”

Mr. Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minn., in 1941, was inspired when young by potent American vernacular music, songs by performers like Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams and Robert Johnson. When his voice became fully his own, in his work of the mid-to-late 1960s that led up to what is probably his greatest song, “Like a Rolling Stone,” no one had ever heard pop songs with so many oracular, tumbling words in them.

When Bruce Springsteen inducted Mr. Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, he described the opening seconds of that song this way: “That snare shot sounded like somebody’d kicked open the door to your mind.” The words that followed pulled that door from its hinge. In the chorus, they posed a question that has not stopped ringing over American life: “How does it feel/To be on your own/with no direction home.”

At the time, Dylan wrote in his masterful memoir “Chronicles: Volume One”(2004), “I just thought of mainstream culture as lame as hell and a big trick.” That memoir demonstrated that Mr. Dylan could write prose as fluently as lyrics. This needed proving only because Mr. Dylan’s sole novel, “Tarantula” (1966), written when he was 25, is a largely unreadable wordstew, written so as to defeat the hardiest of his idolators.

As Elvis Costello said in his own recent memoir, “If you want a long career, you have to drive people away now and again, so they realize they miss you.”

Everyone has his or her own private anthology of favorite Dylan lyrics. Mine come from songs including “Idiot Wind” (“blowing every time you move your teeth”), “Brownsville Girl” (“Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than people who are most content”), “Hurricane” (“How can the life of such a man/be in the palm of some fool’s hand?”), “Sweetheart Like You” (“It’s done with a flick of the wrist”) and “Yea! Heavy and a Bottle of Bread,” written with the Band (“Pack up the meat, sweet, we’re headin’ out”).

Then there’s this, from “Blind Willie McTell”:

Well, God is in His heaven,
And we all want what’s his.
But power and greed and corruptible seed,
Seem to be all that there is.

Before this Nobel Prize, Mr. Dylan has been recognized by the world of literature and poetry. In 2008, the Pulitzer Prize jury awarded him a special citation “for his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”

His songs have always packed social and political power to match the imagery. In his book “The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood,” Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke of what Mr. Dylan’s songs meant to his father as well as to a generation:

“Dylan’s voice was awful, an aged quaver that sounded nothing like the deep-throated or silky R&B that Dad took as gospel. But the lyrics wore him down, until he played Dylan in that addicted manner of college kids who cordon off portions to decipher the prophecies of their favorite band. Dad heard poetry, but more than that an angle that confirmed what a latent part of him had already suspected.” What was confirmed was this: The Vietnam War was a moral disgrace.

Songs are not poems, exactly. Songs prick our senses in different manner. Many of Mr. Dylan’s lyrics can no doubt, as Mr. Larkin put, look half-baked when set starkly alone on a white page.

But Mr. Dylan’s work — “with its iambics, its clackety-clack rhymes, and its scattergun images,” as the critic Robert Christgau wrote — has its own kind of emblematic verbal genius. His diction, focus and tone are those of a caustically gifted word man; his metrical dexterity is everywhere apparent. He is capable of rhetorical organization; more often he scatters his rhetoric like seed, or like curses.

This award is also a sign —after last year’s laureate, Svetlana Alexievich, whose work is made up of interviews — that the Swedish Academy is increasingly open to nontraditional forms of writing.

In what feels like a blow for common sense and scalding wordplay, the academy has attended to Mr. Dylan’s lyrics in “Lay Lady Lay,” to wit: “Why wait any longer for the one you love/When he’s standing in front of you?”

In a 2004 interview in The New York Times, Mr. Ricks summed up my sense of the best of Mr. Dylan’s oeuvre: “I just think we’re terrifically lucky to be alive at a time when he is.”


Roll On Bob

By Matthew Hennessey
October 13, 2016
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Bob Dylan is among the most lauded people ever to walk the earth. From the moment he entered the American popular imagination as a 21-year-old waif in 1962, he was called genius, prophet, seer, shapeshifter, myth, legend—though as he once cheekily remarked at a press conference, he considers himself more of a song-and-dance man. Song-and-dance men don’t get Nobel Prizes, do they?
Words are what Dylan is best known for, and literature is made of words, so the committee that awarded him the Nobel Prize for Literature Thursday probably thought that it could get away with a little fudging. But anyone who appreciates Dylan knows that he is more than the words. He is the sound, the look, the attitude, and, above all, the enigma. Whether dressed as a boxcar hobo and singing songs for Woody Guthrie, or in his mid-sixties persona as the Midwestern Rimbaud, or in his current guise as a riverboat gambler, Dylan has always been more than just words. Fingerpicking his guitar alone on a stool, strumming a Stratocaster while fronting the Band, or crooning his crooked voice into an old-timey microphone, Dylan himself has always been the hook on the end of the fishing line. The words are just the worm.
So what explains this madness? The Nobel Committee may be looking forward to a Dylan acceptance speech. His last public-speaking engagement was an unqualified hoot. Accepting the MusicCares Person of the Year 2015 Award, Dylan described his songs as “mystery plays, the kind Shakespeare saw when he was growing up.” He also took time to settle scores with songwriters Leiber and Stoller, Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, and country legend Merle Haggard. He reserved his most pointed words for the critics.
Critics say I mangle my melodies, render my songs unrecognizable. Oh, really? Let me tell you something. I was at a boxing match a few years ago seeing Floyd Mayweather fight a Puerto Rican guy. And the Puerto Rican national anthem, somebody sang it and it was beautiful. It was heartfelt and moving. After that it was time for our national anthem. And a very popular soul-singing sister was chosen to sing. She sang every note that exists, and some that don’t exist. Talk about mangling a melody. You take a one-syllable word and make it last for 15 minutes? She was doing vocal gymnastics like she was a trapeze act. But to me it was not funny.
Bob Dylan doesn’t need a Nobel Prize, though maybe the Nobel Prize needs Bob Dylan. The members of the Nobel Prize committee could simply have stars in their eyes. I’d vote to give him the award, too, if he promised to make another speech like that.
Usually, Nobel Prizes are meant to play a dual purpose. The stated agenda is artistic, but the hidden purpose is political. If so, the Nobel committee will be disappointed in Dylan. Since the early 1960s, he has studiously avoided tipping his ideological hand. In America, the Right loves him because many suspect that he’s a closet conservative. The Left claims him, too, because it’s always a safe bet to assume that writers, artists, poets, and dreamers are basically Communists. And since Dylan rose to fame by writing the best songs of the Civil Rights era, they assume that he remains a good sixties liberal. That was half a century ago, though. A man of many words, Dylan offers precious few on politics.
As a young man, he seemed old. As an old man, he seems invincible. He has done more than any of his bazillion-selling contemporaries to maintain an aura of unknowability, of panache, of cultivated disdain. With his wide-brimmed cordob├ęs hat throwing shadows over his pencil mustache, bolo tie, and three-quarter-length white jacket, he looks these days like a card sharp, an oily snake in the long American grass. It’s a tidy style for an older artist. If it seems spooky or weird, it’s only because we’re used to orange-haired septuagenarians in skinny jeans and sneakers.
Dylan is the real deal, cut from genuine American cloth. His output has accelerated during the fifth act of his long-running mystery play. His most recent recordings—of American standards—were so good they raised eyebrows. The Dylan voice, once the butt of jokes, has aged like good whiskey. It goes down smooth, with notes of smoke and wood and pine.
Dylan has written books, it should be noted—the much-ridiculed Tarantula, a stream-of-consciousness affair compiled in the mid-sixties and published in 1971, and Chronicles: Volume One, his 2004 memoir. Chronicles was so well-received that everyone assumed that there would be a Volume Two. Twelve years on, though, no follow-up has appeared. If the Nobel Prize for Literature spurs Dylan to put pen to paper and finish that story, then perhaps it will have performed a service.

Will Hillary Explain Her Dream of 'Open Borders'?

John Kass
October 14, 2016

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Hillary Clinton campaigns in Toledo, Ohio on October 3, 2016.

Just as America was tossed -- or did we eagerly jump? -- into the sexual political gutter with Bill and Hillary and Donald, there was other news breaking.

At least I thought it was news. But I must warn you: Sex and sexual politics has nothing to do with it.

It's Hillary Clinton's dream of an America without borders, as expressed to investors of a Brazilian bank, in comments leaked by WikiLeaks.

An America without borders, Hillary? How positively George Soros of you, Madam Secretary.

"My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future with energy that's as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere," Clinton reportedly said to investors in a paid speech she gave to Brazilian Banco Itau in 2013.

Here's the thing about borders. If you don't have borders, you don't have a country. Americans are beginning to understand this. Europeans understand it now, quite clearly.

Clinton's dream also includes a Western Hemispheric common market, like the European common market that is dissolving in chaos, fear and debt.

If that is indeed her dream, then she dreams the internationalist dream that would end America. But Americans aren't talking about this, perhaps because there is no video involving sex and Hollywood and Trump.

I would love to hear Clinton's explanation. Perhaps she could put it in some proper context.

Or perhaps she was merely telling the Brazilians something they wanted to hear, because they were paying her a good chunk of cash.

And if there is a way for America to maintain sovereignty without borders, Hillary might be just the one to tell us. But the Clinton campaign isn't commenting. And reporters aren't really pressing, preoccupied as they are by that vulgar video of a boorish Trump.

Clinton campaign spokesman Robby Mook was on one of the talk shows saying Clinton's dreams of American open borders didn't really mean open borders.

Mook said she meant open borders in the context of green energy for all.

Cool. But then what about her dreams of the hemispheric common market and all the people traveling to and fro across the Western Hemisphere?

So I'd like to hear Hillary Clinton tell it.

The way to deal with this would be for Clinton to release the transcripts of all her well-paid speeches, the ones to Wall Street and the one about border dreams to Banco Itau. That's what Bernie Sanders wanted.

But that's not happening, just like Donald Trump isn't releasing his tax returns.

So the Clintonistas are blaming the Russians for the hacking.

It might also be true that if a hacker could hack into Clinton campaign emails, then a hacker might also have hacked into top secret emails she kept on her home brew server in violation of federal law when she was secretary of state.

But I won't say anything, lest I be denounced as a Russian spy.

That WikiLeaks information was available just before the last Clinton-Trump debate. The moderators could have asked a question about it, but they chose not to.

They did ask about another drop from WikiLeaks, that of Clinton's belief in holding one public position on policy for the public and another for private consideration by insiders.

Kind of like when she was secretary of state and telling America that the four dead Americans in Benghazi were killed by protesters angry about some video. And then telling her daughter and others, in private emails, that the four were killed in a terrorist attack.

In the debate, Clinton was asked if an official holding a private and a public position could be considered "two-faced."

She said Abraham Lincoln did it. In a movie.

And now, rather than worry about divisive issues such as borders, we're consumed by that vulgar Trump video.

Yet back when the Clintons held the White House, back when Bill used the cigar on that intern in the Oval Office, the political left protected him. And they defended Hillary for defending Bill, who had a habit of putting his hands on women when he held office.

Sex was a private matter then. It's quite a public matter now. But then it was all a private matter, remember?

And so, after a brief bout of impeachment interruptus, the American political establishment welcomed Bill and Hillary back into the establishment fold, where wealth and near absolute power awaited them.

What's laughable about all this is the Clintonista argument that to cleanse America of the stain of Trump, we must re-install Hillary and Bill back into the same White House that they soiled years ago.

I get all that.

Trump is a boor and Bill Clinton is a boor and Hillary is Hillary -- either a loyal spouse or a cunning enabler. And politics is politics, so you'll hate the one or forgive the other based on your preferences, or shout a pox upon them all.

But having an America with or without borders is also rather important, no?

And someone running for president might want to explain it all, in the proper context of course.

An America without borders? That's not a dream, that's a nightmare.

Ask the Europeans. They know.

Anti-Catholics and Elitist Bigotry

October 14, 2016
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John Podesta, Mrs. Clinton's campaign chairman, on the campaign plane last month. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times
Will Hillary Clinton clean out the nest of anti-Catholic bigots in her inner circle? Or is anti-Catholicism acceptable in her crowd?
In a 2011 email on which Clinton campaign chief John Podesta was copied, John Halpin, a fellow at the Center for American Progress, which Podesta founded, trashed Rupert Murdoch for raising his kids in a misogynist religion.
The most “powerful elements” in the conservative movement are Catholic, railed Halpin: “It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backward gender relations.”
Clinton spokesperson Jennifer Palmieri agreed: “I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they become evangelical.”
“Excellent point,” replied Halpin. “They can throw around ‘Thomistic’ thought and ‘subsidiarity’ and sound sophisticated because no one knows what the hell they are talking about.”
What the pair is mocking here are both the faith decisions of the Murdoch family and traditional Catholic beliefs and social teaching.
This is a pristine example of the anti-Catholicism that historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr. called “the deepest-held bias in the history of the American people.”
In another email in this latest document dump from WikiLeaks, writes Ben Wolfgang of the Washington Times, Podesta and Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, mocked the Miss America pageant, because so many finalists are Southern girls and young women.
Said Podesta, “Do you think it’s weird that of the 15 finalists in the Miss America, 10 came from the 11 states of the CSA?”
The CSA would be the Confederate States of America.
“Not at all,” says Tanden, “I would imagine the only people who watch it are from the confederacy and by now they know that so they’ve rigged the thing in their honor.”
In another email, Podesta himself uses the sort of language liberals once said disqualified Nixon from staying on as president—regarding former Gov. Bill Richardson. Podesta refers to him and other Hispanics whom he is trying to court for Clinton as “needy Latinos.”
What these emails reveal is the sneering contempt of liberal elites for Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Southerners, and even Hispanics loyal to them. And the contents of these emails correlate with the revealed bigotries of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
In September, Clinton told a gathering of rich contributors at a gay rights fundraiser in New York City: “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables.’ Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it.”
Responding to the cheers and laughter, Clinton went on, “Now, some of those folks—they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”
What Clinton said to the LGBT partisans echoed what Obama told rich contributors in San Francisco in 2008, who wondered why he was not doing better in Pennsylvania.
“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and … the jobs have been gone now for 25 years. … And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Obama was saying that when small-town Pennsylvanians fall behind, they blame others and revert to their bibles, bigotries, and guns.
Yet Obama has never explained what caused him to sit content for 20 years—and be married and have his daughters baptized—in the church of a ranting racist like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who, at the time of 9/11, roared from his pulpit, “God damn America!”
What so attracted Barack Obama to the Reverend Wright’s bigotry?
These latest emails confirm what we already knew.
Our elites, who are forever charging others with “racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia,” are steeped in their own bigotries—toward Southerners, conservatives, Middle Americans, Evangelical Christians, and traditionalist Catholics—the “irredeemables.”
Though the election is still a month off, the campaign of 2016 has already done irreparable damage to the American establishment.
Its roots in the nation it purports to lead have been attenuated if not severed. It has shown the world a portrait of American democracy at its apex that approaches the repellent.
Through the savagery of its attacks on those who have risen up against it, the establishment has stripped itself of all claim to be the moral leader of American society. Its moral authority is gone.
Even if Clinton wins, it can no longer credibly speak for America.
As for the national press corps—the Fourth Estate—it has been compromised, its credibility crippled, as some of the greatest of the press institutions have nakedly shilled for the regime candidate, while others have been exposed as propagandists or corrupt collaborators posturing as objective reporters.
What institution in America today, besides the military, enjoys national respect? And if people do not respect the regime, if they believe it acts in its own cold interest rather than the nation’s, why should they respect or follow its leadership?
We have entered uncharted waters.
Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


How Hillary welcomed money from those she knew to be funding jihadist killers.

October 13, 2016

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Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah meets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Royal Palace in Riyadh February 15, 2010. REUTERS/Saudi Press Agency/
WikiLeaks released an August 2014 e-mail from Hillary Clinton to John Podesta, who currently serves as her campaign chairman, stating that the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been “providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.” Evidently President Obama has not heeded Hillary’s concern, or chose to ignore it. In December 2014, Obama praised Saudi Arabia’s significant role in helping to fight ISIL (also known as ISIS and the Islamic State) during a meeting in Washington with the Kingdom’s Minister of Interior Prince Mohammed Bin Naif Bin Abdulaziz.  And at a meeting he hosted with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, at the White House in February 2015, Obama said, "Qatar is a strong partner in our coalition to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL."
Putting aside Obama’s state of denial, which has characterized his whole approach in dealing with the Middle East mess he helped to create, the information in Hillary’s e-mail is not particularly surprising. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been playing us for years, pretending to be allies in countering terrorism while actually helping to advance the terrorists’ jihadist agenda. For starters, Saudi Arabian government front groups and individuals linked to the government have been implicated in possible involvement with the al Qaeda 9/11 attacks on our homeland. A member of the Qatari royal family, Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani who headed Qatar’s ministry of Interior until 2013, is said by American intelligence services to have tipped off the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed back in 1996 when he was already under indictment on terrorist charges, as FBI agents were closing in on Mohammed while he was in Qatar. In addition, ABC reported, based on statements from U.S. intelligence officials, that “bin Laden himself visited Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani in Qatar between the years of 1996 and 2000.” Both countries’ funding of ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq are just a continuation of this long pattern.
What makes Hillary’s e-mail noteworthy is the irony that the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and groups aligned with them, have not only been major funders of ISIS and other jihadist organizations, as she indicated, but they also have been big funders of the Clinton Foundation for years. Hillary has had no trouble taking money for her foundation from regimes that fund terrorists, oppress women, execute or imprison gays and apostates, and severely punish the exercise of free speech.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation through June 2016, according to the Clinton Foundation’s own website (which only reports in ranges of total contributions). Wealthy individuals with close ties to the Saudi royal family have donated millions more. For example, Nasser al-Rashid, a multibillionaire adviser to the Saudi royal family, has donated between $1 million and $5 million.
A group calling itself Friends of Saudi Arabia also contributed between $1 million and $5 million. The National Review described the group as “a thinly veiled public-relations organ of the repressive Saudi regime.” National Review quoted a critique of Friends of Saudi Arabia by Ali Alyami, executive director of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia: “These are Saudi apologists. The country depends on propaganda. . . . When I saw the name ‘Friends of Saudi Arabia,’ I knew exactly what they were going to do and who was paying them. I just wrote them off.”  
Although the Friends of Saudi Arabia group was trying to create a false positive image to American audiences of conditions for women in Saudi Arabia, which in fact are amongst the most repressive in the world,  Hillary Clinton did not write the Saudi propaganda group off as long as the money kept flowing into her foundation’s coffers. As Alyami observed, “Our government and our people are for sale, and the Saudis know how to buy.” 
The State of Qatar and a government-run World Cup Qatar host committee have also contributed to the Clinton Foundation. The State of Qatar gave between $1million and $5million to the Clinton Foundation. Qatar’s World Cup host committee, known as the Supreme Committee for Qatar 2022, donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the foundation. The Supreme Committee for Qatar 2022 is an extension of Qatar’s government. Its Board of Directors is headed by Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and consists of other high-level government officials such as the prime minister. 
It has been all about pay-for-play, buying access and favors during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State and looking forward to more of the same during her possible presidency.
In a letter from Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, to Attorney General Loretta Lynch dated August 15. 2016, Grassley noted that prior to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, “Qatar was the recipient of approximately $271 million in military related export deals.  During her tenure, Qatar was the recipient of approximately $4.3 billion – a 1,482% increase.” Saudi Arabia received a 97% increase in such export deals during her tenure. 
With Hillary Clinton as president, we may hear some tougher talk than we have heard from President Obama criticizing Saudi Arabia and Qatar for their support of jihadist groups and their funding of the spread of jihadist ideology. However, it will be just words, since Hillary will not want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs for her foundation.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


What could possibly go wrong? Let’s let Hillary tell us.

October 12, 2016

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Syrian migrants join thousands waiting for travel documents to be issued at a Serbian processing facility Friday in Preshevo, Serbia. WIN MCNAMEE, GETTY IMAGES

The Washington Examiner reported last week that “at 42.4 million, there are now more immigrants, legal and illegal, in America than ever before, fueled by a massive flood from Muslim nations….And while the doors remain open on the U.S.-Mexico border, the biggest percentage increases in immigration are all from largely Muslim nations.” What could possibly go wrong? Hillary Clinton knows, as she revealed in a 2013 email that makes her current public position on immigration absolutely inexplicable.
The Examiner added that according to Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler of the Center for Immigration Studies: “The sending countries with the largest percentage increases in immigrants living in the United States from 2010 to 2014 were Saudi Arabia (up 93 percent), Bangladesh (up 37 percent), Iraq (up 36 percent), Egypt (up 25 percent), and Pakistan, India, and Ethiopia (each up 24 percent).”
Hillary Clinton, despite her determination to increase the number of Syrian refugees entering the United States by 550%, knows very well the risks involved in this massive influx of Muslim immigrants, and in her scheme to increase their number even more. The Daily Caller reported Monday that “in a private 2013 speech, Hillary Clinton worried about the risk of ‘jihadists’ entering Jordan with ‘legitimate refugees’ because ‘they can’t possibly vet all those refugees.’”
Clinton said in a speech before the Jewish United Fund Of Metropolitan Chicago: “So I think you’re right to have gone to the places that you visited because there’s a discussion going on now across the region to try to see where there might be common ground to deal with the threat posed by extremism, and particularly with Syria, which has everyone quite worried, Jordan because it’s on their border and they have hundreds of thousands of refugees and they can’t possibly vet all those refugees. So they don’t know if, you know, jihadists are coming in along with legitimate refugees. Turkey for the same reason.”
Clinton vowed during her second presidential debate with Donald Trump: “I will not let anyone into our country that I think poses a risk to us.” So she apparently believes that while Jordan and Turkey cannot vet the refugees and winnow out the jihadis from among peaceful Muslims, the United States government under a Hillary Clinton administration will be able to do so.
This is an extraordinary claim: two Muslim nations are unable to distinguish jihadis from peaceful Muslims, but a non-Muslim nation will be able to do so? Hillary Clinton could only advance such a proposition in a world in which non-Muslim spokesmen such as John Kerry, David Cameron and Pope Francis pronounce confidently and authoritatively on the nature of Islam, blithely contradicting Islamic law and theological consensus, as well as the closely-argued Qur’anic exegeses of numerous jihad leaders, in telling us that Islam is a religion of peace that rejects every form of violence. Clinton herself has declared: “Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”
Since she is so sure that she knows all about Islam and Muslims, Clinton is doubtless sure that she will be able to ensure that U.S. immigration and refugee authorities “will not let anyone into our country that I think poses a risk to us.” Yet when she makes statements so divorced from reality as her claim that Muslims “have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” she doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that those whom she thinks pose a risk to us will be those who actually do pose a risk to us.
Even worse, when as far back as three years ago, she indicated that she had some idea of the difficulty even for Muslim countries to vet the refugees properly, her advocacy of a steep increase in Muslim immigration is, at very least, astonishingly irresponsible. Her position appears to be based on a toxic combination of willful ignorance and hubris – toxic not for her presidential chances, but for the possibility that a Hillary Clinton presidency would be anything other than an unmitigated disaster for the United States.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.