Connect with us

Nation

BLM says Biden sending more military equipment ‘to our neighborhoods’ than Trump

Published

on

Screen Shot 2021 04 21 at 2.47.28 PM

On Tuesday, shortly before the Derek Chauvin verdict was announced, the organization Black Lives Matter said that President Joe Biden “is currently sending more military equipment to our neighborhoods than” former President Donald Trump did.

The statement was part of a thread urging people to sign a petition demanding “that Biden demilitarize our neighborhoods” and end the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), known as the 1033 Program. BLM’s statement came as the nation and the world waited with bated breath for the historic verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Chauvin, who was ultimately convicted Tuesday on all charges of murder and manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

“Biden’s first 100 days are up in 10 days. By then we need him to #End1033, which transfers military equipment into the hands of police across the country– including school & campus police,” BLM tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “Another example? The military you see out on your streets ahead of the Chauvin verdict.”

“Biden is currently sending more military equipment to our neighborhoods than Trump did. You read that right,” the organization added. “Our communities are being terrorized at a greater rate than they had been under Trump.”

According to the LESO’s website, the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 1997 from which the program originates “allows transfer of excess Department of Defense property (equipment) that might otherwise be destroyed to law enforcement agencies across the United States and its territories,” including to school law enforcement.

Furthermore, the program since its founding has transferred more than $7.5 Billion worth of property, according to its website. In Fiscal Year 2020 alone, a reported $252 Million worth of property (based on initial acquisition cost) was transferred to law enforcement agencies, of which more than 8,000 law enforcement agencies have enrolled in the program.

According to BLM’s petition, “the flow of military equipment to police under the 1033 Program has accelerated under the Biden administration” and “based on recent reporting, police might just receive even more military equipment under the Biden administration than they did with the Trump administration.” The organization could be referring to the reported plans of Biden to bring back Obama-era restrictions governing the transfer of military equipment to police on January 26 that never happened, which the Security Reform Policy Institute believes is the result of reported lobbying from the the National Association of Police Organizations.

The petition argues that “military-style weapons and equipment have no place in our streets,” communities, schools, or campuses, adding that “they especially have no place in the hands of police — violent upholders of white supremacy that have no regard for Black life.”

The effort calls on the president to end the 1033 Program, which BLM said enables and upholds white supremacy, “with the stroke of a pen” before his first 100 days are up.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

Continue Reading

Featured

EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

Published

on

Screen Shot 2024 03 13 at 9.50.09 AM
Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

Continue Reading

Trending