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Walid Phares: ‘Second Phase’ of Iran Policy Must Engage, Support Iranian People | Breitbart

Middle East analyst Walid Phares told Breitbart News on Monday morning that President Donald Trump’s foreign policy in the Middle East had successfully challenged the repressive Iranian regime, which now faces sweeping nationwide protests. Whereas President Barack Obama had largely ignored the Iranian protest movement, preserving the regime for the sake of negotiating a flawed nuclear…

Walid Phares: ‘Second Phase’ of Iran Policy Must Engage, Support Iranian People | Breitbart

Middle East analyst Walid Phares told Breitbart News on Monday morning that President Donald Trump’s foreign policy in the Middle East had successfully challenged the repressive Iranian regime, which now faces sweeping nationwide protests.

Whereas President Barack Obama had largely ignored the Iranian protest movement, preserving the regime for the sake of negotiating a flawed nuclear deal, the Trump administration had begun reaching out to the protesters and encouraging them in the wake of the successful airstrike against General Qasem Soleimani.

“Now we have a huge change in foreign policy,” Phares told Breitbart News editor in chief Alex Marlow, host of Breitbart News Daily on Sirius XM 125. “And I would say that the second leg of that foreign policy, which is to engage civil society in Iran, and have them being the real force of societal change, has begun.”

Phares said that Trump had begun doing something that no president since Ronald Reagan had done, “speaking to the Iranian people themselves.”

Trump tweeted in support of the Iranian demonstrators this weekend — even tweeting in Farsi several times. His first tweet in Farsi was reportedly the most-liked Farsi tweet in the history of Twitter, with over 350,000 likes as of Monday morning.

به مردم شجاع و رنج کشیده ایران: من از ابتدای دوره ریاست جمهوریم با شما ایستاده‌ام و دولت من همچنان با شما خواهد ایستاد. ما اعتراضات شما را از نزدیک دنبال می کنیم. شجاعت شما الهام بخش است.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2020

Phares warned that “once we engage in that path, we cannot just … cut a deal, and leave. We are now committed … all the way to the finish. But the central effort is not ours.”

He noted that if the Trump administration emphasized human rights, and enlisted other allies in the effort to pressure the regime, political change from within was possible — despite the efforts of the “apologist media, the media of the Iran deal.”

“What I see right now gives me hope” for the future of the Middle East, he said.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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Beijing to suspend buses entering or leaving capital to contain virus: state media

Beijing (AFP) – China’s capital will suspend buses that enter and exit the city boundary, state media reported on Saturday, as Chinese authorities scramble to contain a new SARS-like virus that has killed dozens in the country. According to state-run People’s Daily, “all passenger transport by road” that crosses in and out of Beijing will…

Beijing to suspend buses entering or leaving capital to contain virus: state media

Beijing (AFP) – China’s capital will suspend buses that enter and exit the city boundary, state media reported on Saturday, as Chinese authorities scramble to contain a new SARS-like virus that has killed dozens in the country.

According to state-run People’s Daily, “all passenger transport by road” that crosses in and out of Beijing will be suspended starting Sunday, citing “requirements of epidemic prevention and control”.

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George Soros Accuses Facebook of Working to Reelect President Trump

Facebook is helping to reelect President Trump in 2020 in exchange for protection, billionaire George Soros claimed Thursday in Davos, Switzerland. “Facebook will work to re-elect Trump and Trump will protect Facebook. It makes me very concerned about the outcome of 2020,” he said during a private dinner hosted by his Open Society Foundations at…

George Soros Accuses Facebook of Working to Reelect President Trump

Facebook is helping to reelect President Trump in 2020 in exchange for protection, billionaire George Soros claimed Thursday in Davos, Switzerland.

“Facebook will work to re-elect Trump and Trump will protect Facebook. It makes me very concerned about the outcome of 2020,” he said during a private dinner hosted by his Open Society Foundations at the World Economic Forum.

The left-wing financier reportedly described Trump as “the ultimate narcissist” and a “con man” who wanted the world to “revolve around him.”

“When his fantasy of becoming president became a reality,” his ego grew significantly, Soros alleged, then added, “This has turned his narcissism into a malignant disease.”

However, a Facebook spokesperson called the accusations “just plain wrong.”

January 9, the social media company announced that it would continue to allow politicians to run advertisements and “would not police the truthfulness of the messages posted,” according to Fox News.

“Ultimately, we don’t think decisions about political ads should be made by private companies,” said Facebook’s Director of Product Management Rob Leathern.

He continued:

In the absence of regulation, Facebook and other companies are left to design their own policies. We have based ours on the principle that people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public.

Soros’s Open Society Foundation’s website states that it believes “the solutions to the national, regional, and global challenges we face demand the free exchange of ideas and thought, and that everyone should have a voice in shaping the policies that affect them.”

Despite his foundation’s commitment to the free exchange of ideas, Soros called the Trump administration “a danger to the world” at Davos in 2018, and also accused social media companies of encouraging addiction to their platforms.

The billionaire stated:

The distinguishing feature of internet platforms is that they are networks and they enjoy rising marginal returns. They deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide. This can be very harmful, particularly to adolescents. As Facebook and Google have grown into ever more powerful monopolies, they have become obstacles to innovation, and they have caused a variety of problems of which we are only now beginning to become aware.

 “Davos is a good place to announce that their days are numbered,” he concluded.

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Schiff: ‘Uncontested’ that Trump Invited Ukraine ‘to Help Him Cheat’

During a press conference on Saturday, House Impeachment Manager and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) stated that President Trump’s impeachment defense team did “not contest that the president solicited a foreign nation to interfere in our election, to help him cheat.” And that “they acknowledge, by not even contesting this, that the facts…

Schiff: ‘Uncontested’ that Trump Invited Ukraine ‘to Help Him Cheat’

During a press conference on Saturday, House Impeachment Manager and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) stated that President Trump’s impeachment defense team did “not contest that the president solicited a foreign nation to interfere in our election, to help him cheat.” And that “they acknowledge, by not even contesting this, that the facts are overwhelming.”

Schiff said, “First of all, what was most striking to me about the president’s presentation today is, they don’t contest the basic architecture of the scheme. They do not contest that the president solicited a foreign nation to interfere in our election, to help him cheat. I think they acknowledge, by not even contesting this, that the facts are overwhelming. The president invited Ukraine to get involved in our election to help him cheat against Joe Biden. That is uncontested, uncontested in our presentation and uncontested in theirs.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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