Source Article Link: Washington Times
Electromagnetic pulse a real threat
Time to correct U.S. vulnerability is now
By Ilan Berman
Is electromagnetic pulse a real threat to American security? On the heels of recent Republican primary debates, the danger to U.S. electronics and infrastructure posed by a high-altitude nuclear blast suddenly has emerged as a campaign issue. So has concerted opposition to it, with both liberal and conservative skeptics ridiculing the idea as an overblown, even fabricated, distraction. Yet there is ample evidence that the danger is both clear and present. Far and away the most authoritative assessment in this regard is that of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States From Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, colloquially known as the EMP Commission. That blue-ribbon panel, convened by Congress a decade ago, outlined the nature of the challenge as follows:
“EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of U.S. society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power.”
America’s vulnerability to such an attack is growing. As the EMP Commission explained, our heavy – and mounting – dependence on high technology, from cellphones to laptops to GPS, makes the United States disproportionately vulnerable to the disruption that would result from an EMP event. The commission concluded its work in 2004 with a dire warning: “The current vulnerability of our critical infrastructures can both invite and reward attack if not corrected.”
This fact has not gone unnoticed. A number of rogue states and strategic competitors are actively investing in the development of precisely this sort of capability. Thus, Russia, which during the Cold War carried out extensive experiments relating to EMP, has actively contemplated its use on a number of occasions since the Soviet collapse. China, too, is investing in EMP weapons as part of its “assassin’s mace” – an asymmetric military arsenal through which Beijing seeks to challenge U.S. primacy in the Asia-Pacific region. North Korea, for its part, is believed to have tested a “super-EMP” weapon powerful enough to create massive disruption in the continental United States back in 2009. Iran, which carried out EMP-related ballistic-missile tests in the Caspian Sea in the late 1990s, has since publicly explored the possibility of using such a capability against America.
The United States, meanwhile, is only marginally closer to remedying its vulnerability to EMP than it was in 2004. The George W. Bush administration did not take decisive action to systematically harden critical infrastructure and assets against electromagnetic pulse. Neither has Team Obama, which has ignored the issue as a matter of public policy almost entirely since taking office. Indeed, it has made America’s vulnerability worse because its September 2009 missile defense plan pushes off serious additional investments in technologies of the kind that could help neutralize a nuclear EMP attack on the U.S. homeland until 2016 – or significantly later.
Congress at least has attempted to do more. A number of lawmakers, notably Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, Maryland Republican, and Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican, have emerged as vocal advocates of robust defense against EMP, and a legislative vehicle – the SHIELD Act – even has been crafted for it. But the SHIELD Act has languished in the House since being introduced back in February, and no fresh movement is on the horizon. Defense against electromagnetic pulse, in other words, was and remains an unfunded mandate.
To be sure, the likelihood of an EMP attack on America remains remote. Conventional terrorism, even of the large-scale variety, is considerably more likely, and a biological or chemical event is marginally more so. Yet, if an EMP incident does occur, the costs would be astronomical. Commission Chairman William Graham, a former science adviser to President Reagan, told the House Armed Services Committee in 2008 that an EMP attack had the potential to devastate the country’s electronic infrastructure to such a degree that it would no longer be capable of sustaining the country’s population.
Such a cataclysm, however, can be prevented with the necessary investments in hardening, infrastructure protection and redundancy in key sectors (from finance to electricity to water supply). As Mr. Graham told lawmakers at the time, “Correction is feasible and well within the nation’s means and resources to accomplish.”
That the U.S. government has not yet done so amounts to a serious dereliction of duty. The next U.S. president will need to recognize this dangerous vulnerability – and move decisively to address it.
Ilan Berman is vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington.
Source Article Link: FamilySecurityMatters
Venezuela, Iran Linked to Alleged Cyberattack Plot
By Trevor Westra
U.S. Spanish-language television network, Univision, has released an investigative documentary in which it is claimed that Venezuelan and Iranian diplomats negotiated with Mexican hackers to break into White House, Pentagon, and FBI databases, as well as U.S. nuclear facilities. Critical to these allegations are a series of recordings made by one of the hackers, who went undercover and attempted to document the conspiracy.
According to the report, Juan Carlos Munoz Ledo, a computer instructor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, was recruited in 2006 to participate in cyber attacks on US government websites. In later years he met with former Iranian ambassador to Mexico, Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri, and former cultural attaché of the Venezuelan Embassy in Mexico, Livia Acosta, to give updates on the project’s advance. In a recording from one of these meetings, Acosta, who is now the Venezuelan consul in Miami, can be heard saying she could get information from the hackers sent directly to Hugo Chavez.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner says his government is probing the report but hasn’t confirmed its claims. However, he suggested Tuesday the implications were “very disturbing.”
Solomon Chang, a researcher on cyber security for strategic planning and forecasting consultancy Wikistrat, suggests the report raises “alarming” uncertainties as it remains unclear exactly what the hackers were trying to achieve. “Were they trying to advance their technological capabilities at the expense of the U.S. military? Are they simply trying to explore U.S. cybernetic structural weaknesses? Sabotage the infrastructures? These questions remain unanswered,” he said.
In response, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) has written Secretary of State Hilary Clinton asking for an investigation into Acosta as a result of her alleged “willingness to undermine U.S. interests.”
Earlier this year, Chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) called for hearings on Iranian activities in Latin America. This week’s report comes just months after U.S. prosecutors accused factions in the Iranian government of a plot to recruit a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. by bombing a Washington-area restaurant.
In response to the Univision report, Venezuelan opposition leader Pablo Medina has called ties between his country and Iran troubling, and the latest allegations “very serious.” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, meanwhile, has called the report “lies.”
Family Security Matters Contributor Trevor Westra is a Canadian blogger whose on religion and modernity have been featured at the New Media Journal and online Global Politician. He frequently on international affairs at the blog, the Theo Log (www.theolog.ca), and writes for World Threats. A graduate in Religous Studies from Canada’s Laurentian University, he has lectured on Indian religious traditions in Canada at the University of Sudbury and he specializes in the religions of South Asia.writesmagazinewritings
Source Article Link: FrontPageMag
An Invented People Despite Some Doubters
by David Horowitz
Some conservatives, most notably Elliot Abrams, have criticized Newt Gingrich’s observation that the Palestinians are an invented people by saying that even if they are — (and there is no real question but that they are) — they’ve been around long enough (50 years, or since the creation of the PLO in 1964) so that we need to deal with that fact — not. What makes anyone think this is a people even today? Last spring I spoke at Brooklyn College. My speech was attended and then obstructed by a sizeable contingent from the Brooklyn College “Palestinian Club” — at least fifty people, all ethnic Arabs claiming to be Palestinians. During my talk I referred to the Palestinian death cult, its admiration for Hitler, its determination to wipe the Jewish state from the face of the earth, its eagerness to kill any Jew and to blow up its own children in the process. I said it was a “sick, sick culture.” But when the members of the so-called Palestinian Club erupted at me, what they said was “Why do you want to lynch all Muslims?” (This is on video available on YouTube or on our site — under “Videos” — for anyone who wants to check. It comes in the Q&A period.) This does not sound like a nationalist movement.
But the evidence is that Palestinians are a political fiction for a movement whose organizing desire is the destruction of the Jewish state and expulsion of the Jews is far stronger than this small incident. In 1948, 80% of the so-called “Palestine Mandate” had been given to the Hashemite minority in control of Jordan. The Jews were given half of the remaining 20% and the Arabs the other half. A nationalist movement would surely have accepted the partition and then laid claim to the 80% controlled by the Hashemites in Jordan. No such thing happened. Instead the Arab states including Jordan attacked the Jewish state with the intention of destroying it.
The upshot of that war was a Jewish victory in 1949. Whereupon Egypt annexed Gaza and Jordan annexed the West Bank — all the territory that had been offered to the so-called Palestinians and rejected by them. There was not a peep out of the Arab world — or out of the so-called Palestinians — over this rejection. Why? Because a Palestinian state was never their agenda. Their agenda was and is the destruction of the Jewish state and the expulsion of the Jews from the Middle East — or failing that, their absolute subjection as a hated minority without access to state power.
Hamas is not a national movement. It is a fanatical religious cult which seeks a Muslim Empire throughout the Middle East and — in so many words — the extermination of the Jews. That’s in their charter. Is there an objection to this Nazi agenda from Abbas and the “moderate” terrorists of the West Bank? Not at all. The PLO has declared it will not recognize a Jewish state, has said that Palestine will be Jew free, and has formed an alliance with the Hamas Nazis.
The agenda of the Arabs in the Middle East is not nationalist — that went out with the vile dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser. The agenda is Islam — an Islam whose prophet calls for the extermination of the Jews and whose leaders call on their Arab brethren to finish the job that Hitler started.
Source Article Link: FrontPageMag
Gingrich Gets It Right
by David Horowitz
In an interview on Saturday, Newt Gingrich put some reality into the surreal discussion of the Middle East conflict and (as he put it) the delusional nature of the current “peace process.” The Palestinians are indeed an “invented people” — invented by the Nasser dictatorship and KGB by the way — and the Hitlerian lie that Israel occupies one square inch of “Arab” let alone “Palestinian” land needs to be buried for any clarity on what the conflict is about, let alone progress towards peace.
Of course there is no peace in the Middle East and there can be no peace so long as the Muslim Arabs want to kill the Jews and destroy the Jewish state. That is the explicit goal of the enemies of Israel in the terrorist entities of Gaza and the West Bank, and also of Israel’s principal enemy the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Newt Gingrich’s gutsy statements — if he will hold to them — could change the nature of the debate not only about how to deal with the Islamic terrorists of the Middle East but with the Islamic jihad itself. For the campaign to destroy Israel is at bottom a campaign to restore the Muslim (not Arab) ummah — as it was under the Turkish empire and the caliphate.
According to CNN, a Palestinian spokesman called Gingrich’s observation that the Palestinians are “an invented people” quote “the most racist I’ve ever seen.” This just shows what brazen liars Palestinian spokesmen are. Everything that Gingrich said was obvious fact. For nearly 2,000 years “Palestine” referred to region not a people — just as “New England” refers to a region not a people. In 1948 the Arabs of the Palestine region were not talking about a Palestinian state and were not referring to themselves as Palestinians. That came in 1964 with the creation of the PLO, engineered by the KGB and the Jew-hating dictator of Egypt, Gamel Abdel Nasser. Even then the PLO charter (which is still available on the web) (A copy is provided below also a copy of the Palestinian The PLO’s “Phased Plan”) did not call for the liberation of the West Bank or Gaza (annexed by Jordan and Egypt respectively) but for the destruction of the Jewish state. Jew hatred is what has driven the conflict in the Middle East which is more precisely described as a genocidal war against the Jews.
David Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and an editor of its largest magazine,Ramparts. He is the author, with Peter Collier, of three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987). Looking back in anger at their days in the New Left, he and Collier wrote Destructive Generation (1989), a chronicle of their second thoughts about the 60s that has been compared to Whittaker Chambers’ Witness and other classic works documenting a break from totalitarianism. Horowitz examined this subject more closely in Radical Son (1996), a memoir tracing his odyssey from “red-diaper baby” to conservative activist that George Gilder described as “the first great autobiography of his generation.”
Source Link: Jewish Week
Cataloguing Palestinian Duplicity
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta seems to have come up with the solution to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian impasse:
“Just get to the damn table,” he said in response to a question the other day on what Israel should do next, following his address to the Brookings Institute in Washington.
How foolish of the rest of us not to have thought of that sage advice all those years ago and saved so many lives, so much pain and hardship.
Of course it should be noted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asserted on numerous occasions that he is ready to sit down and negotiate directly with the Palestinians at any time. It’s the Palestinian Authority that is holding out.
It’s disturbing, but not surprising, that administration after administration in Washington since the Oslo agreement of 1993 has ignored the essential stumbling block to real peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. That’s the refusal of the Palestinian leadership, including the “moderate” Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.
Just this week an important new book arrived that details in exhaustive fashion the duplicity of the PA, under President Mahmoud Abbas, in speaking to the West of its recognition of Israel while at the same time spreading hate speech and glorifying terrorists at home.
The book, “Deception: Betraying the Peace Process,” by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik of the Palestinian Media Watch, chronicles the statements and actions of the PA during the renewed peace talks of 2010 and through this year.
Citing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s pledge to Congress in 2009 that the U.S. would only work with the PA after it commits to non-violence, recognition of Israel and ending incitement against Israel, the authors catalogue how none of those criteria has been met. And further, that violent acts against Israel are on hold only for tactical reasons. The book offers extensive proof that the Palestinian leadership endorses and promotes the belief that there is no room for a Jewish state in the region and that Jews, not just Israelis, are evil and must be eliminated.
This disturbing reality largely goes unreported in the mainstream press and is ignored by Western nations, including the U.S.
Why doesn’t Israel speak out more aggressively? “That’s a political question,” Marcus told The Jewish Week at a book launch and press conference here Tuesday. He said his organization, which has been monitoring and reporting on the Palestinian media for 14 years, shares its information with the government in Jerusalem, which in turn sends the material to Washington. And there things seem to end.
We hope it’s not too naïve to believe that if the facts about the PA’s behavior were known more widely, Western funding, starting with the U.S., would be leveraged far more effectively, with the threat of a complete cutoff if the situation persists.
This is not about political ideology, right or left, but about facts on the ground where on a daily basis children are indoctrinated to hate Jews. As Human Rights Watch founder Robert Bernstein said on Tuesday, “Government-sponsored hate speech is incompatible with peace.”
That’s why an authentic agreement is less about getting to “the damn table” than preparing Palestinian children to accept rather than seek to destroy a Jewish state.
Hillary, Israel is not Iran
By GILAD ERDAN
Israel is not Iran or Saudi Arabia. Perhaps it would be better to begin where the real problems are.
Hillary, our dear friend. A few days ago, you expressed your deep concern about harm to the status of women in Israel, which you said reminds you of the events in Iran. The truth is you surprised us. Really.
We did not think that in the midst of a range of international disputes, along with the reversal of the Arab Spring that now turns out to be winter, Iran’s development of nuclear weapons and other real and tangible threats, you would still manage to find time to deal with the status of women.
But we certainly agree with you – the status of women and women’s rights is a universal and important subject.
In Israel, we do have problems, as you pointed out in your address to the Saban Forum – problems such as women’s seating arrangements in some buses or women singing to religious soldiers.
These issues certainly keep us awake at night, and we appreciate the fact you share our concerns. Although the extent of these phenomena is very limited, we are trying to find a way to resolve them, and the government of Israel, out of a deep commitment to the status of women, will act to prevent any violation of equality between women and men.
(In our country, by the way, a woman serves as the president of the Supreme Court, a woman is the head of the opposition, a woman serves as a major-general in the army, and I could give you many more examples.) Each of the sectors in Israel – men and women, religious and secular, Jews and Arabs, and others – has representatives in the Knesset, courts, academia, media and all the mechanisms of society.
Because of this, we are really upset that there are several bus lines in which women are required to sit in the back, and we will do all in our power to stop this phenomenon.
We are pleased to know that you, our close friend, are also worried. We are pleased, because we understand that if you are concerned about the status of women in Israel, you are much more concerned about status of women in other countries friendly to the United States, such as Saudi Arabia, for example.
After all, if you’re concerned about the sitting arrangements on the buses in Israel, you must be even more worried about the fact that in Saudi Arabia, women cannot drive at all, not a bus and not a private car.
I am certain that you’re worried that in Arab countries such as Egypt or Qatar, men can marry several women and divorce them without any reason, leaving them without any rights, without custody for their children and certainly without alimony.
I’m also certain that you’re worried that in Muslim countries such as Indonesia or Pakistan, women are executed on charges of adultery.
But, somehow, I do not recall that you have expressed your concern about it or have taken any steps to stop it. Am I wrong? I know that you, Hillary, as one of the most powerful women in the world, attach great importance to the subject of women’s rights, devoting your time to promote this issue despite your busy schedule.
I guess you’re also very concerned about domestic issues in the US relating to human rights, such as the new law in Arizona that was signed by the governor, permitting the police to arrest anyone who might look like an illegal immigrant, which could encourage racial discrimination.
So to make it easier on you, I want to tell you that you should not be so worried about the status of women in Israel.
As I mentioned, there are other places in which the issues of women’s rights, or the rights of minorities or homosexuals, are much more painful. In Israel, unlike in other places and just like in the US, we are taking care of equality between men and women, and we don’t need help. We even get a little offended when we are the targets of moralistic preachings on this subject.
Israel is not Iran or Saudi Arabia. Perhaps it would be better to begin where the real problems are.
(This article was translated by Moria Dashevsky.) The writer is minister of environmental protection.
Source Article Link: JPost
Security and Defense: Preparing for nuclear terror
By YAAKOV KATZ
Israel will hold a civil defense drill that for the first time will simulate the response to an attack by a dirty bomb.
In January, a “Dark Cloud” will descend on northern Israel. The name for a civil defense exercise, Dark Cloud will be Israel’s first simulated response to a radioactive dispersal device attack, the official term for what is more commonly known as a “dirty bomb.”
While defense officials have gone out of their way in recent weeks to downplay the significance of the drill, saying that it is part of the ministry’s regular training regimen, the timing cannot be ignored – it comes as the window of opportunity to stop Iran’s nuclear program is reportedly closing.
The threat of nuclear terrorism has been on Israel’s agenda for a number of years.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, for example, has said numerous times that while Iran cannot be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon it is not because of the possibility that it will fire a long-range ballistic missile immediately into Tel Aviv.
Rather, Barak has said, the possibility that cargo ship carrying a dirty bomb inside a shipping container will sail into Haifa Port and explode is far more concerning.
Already in the early 2000s, Western intelligence agencies began to warn of nuclear terrorism. In 2003, the US National Strategy for Combating Terrorism warned that the risk of nuclear terrorism had increased significantly and that it posed one of the greatest threats to the national security of the US and its allies.
But 2008 was the year that brought a much bigger blow. In December, the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, established by the US Congress about a year earlier, issued its first earth-shattering report warning that a nuclear or biological terrorist attack was likely to occur within the next five years.
“Unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013,” the commission concluded.
Al-Qaida, possibly the only terrorist organization capable of developing a dirty bomb on its own, has spoken openly of a “holy duty” to use nuclear weapons against the US. Rudimentary sketches of improvised nuclear devices were found in a number of al- Qaida hideouts in Afghanistan. If Iran went nuclear, al Qaida would not be alone and Hezbollah would also be a constant suspect of possessing such capabilities.
The Dark Cloud exercise is being overseen by Brig.-Gen. Zev Snir, a former head of the air force’s Materiel Command and today an adviser to Barak on defending against nuclear, biological and chemical warfare.
Israel, Snir said, works very closely with the US and other allies. The Dark Cloud exercise, for example, will be attended by defense officials and military officers from around the world.
“Israel is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to preparing for such attacks,” Snir said. “But we have to test ourselves and ensure that the responses we have in place are applicable and appropriate for the wide variety of threats we face.”
Unlike biological attacks, which can spread like wildfire, assessments are that the number of casualties would be fairly low in a radioactive dirty bomb attack in Tel Aviv.
“The effect is mostly psychological,” a senior defense official explained. “A small dirty bomb that goes off in Israel, even if just a few people are killed, could paralyze the country.”
That is why when Israel thinks of a nuclear Iran, it is not just concerned about the change in the balance of power in the region and the constant threat under which it would have to get used to living.
It is also concerned by the threat of nuclear terrorism – the possibility that Iran will hand off a crude device, or dirty bomb, to one of its proxies. This way it will be able to maintain some level of deniability.
There are three main ways to launch a nuclear terrorist attack against Israel – by sea, by air or by land. While Israel maintains tight control of its maritime borders, a dirty bomb is small in size and could easily be hidden on a cargo ship carrying hundreds of containers.
Israel also has tight security at the airport, but it is possible for a device to be installed on an unmanned aerial vehicle, like the ones Hezbollah has used in the past to penetrate Israeli airspace.
And finally, there are the land borders.
If over 2,500 North African migrants are capable of infiltrating Israel on a monthly basis, the defense establishment cannot rule out the possibility that somebody carrying a dirty bomb could one day try to do the same.
Preventing nuclear terrorism is also slightly more complicated than stopping a country with nuclear means. While deterrence could possibly be effective between one country and another, it is questionable whether terrorist organizations could be as easily deterred.that would hold Iran, for example, responsible for any nuclear attack, regardless of who it was that pressed the trigger.
“If the source of a terrorist nuclear attack against Israel is unknown, or if it is known to originate with al-Qaida or Iran, Israel should make it clear that its response will be unlimited and include not just major population centers but all sites of value, including those of major symbolic importance for the Muslim world,” said Freilich.
Israel has yet to make such a policy known and this will likely remain the case as long as efforts are focused on preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear capability.
While Barak, among others, has voiced concern that the US is coming to terms with the possibility of a nuclear Iran and is more in favor today of containment, Israel will still likely wait to see how the current international move against Iran plays out before taking any unilateral action.
Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu believe that time is running out to stop Iran, which is fortifying its facilities and dispersing its capabilities, making a military strike potentially less effective with every day that passes.
On the other side are officials like former head of the Mossad Meir Dagan and former head of Military Intelligence Maj.- Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, who believe that Israel should not lead efforts to stop Iran but should move aside for the US and Europe to take action either with sanctions or with military force.
They argue that only once Iran begins enriching uranium to high military-grade levels – reaching what is known as the “breakout stage” – should a military strike be considered. Both schools of thought share the same goal: stopping Iran. The question is, under which scenario will Israel pay the lowest price.
Source Article Link: YNet
Arabs scared of the truth
Op-ed: Time has come for Arabs to stop viewing conflict via distortions, blind hatred
By Nizar Amer
During the many years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Arab public opinion has adopted a single, focused and uncompromising point of view. In very few cases we hear a different opinion or unusual criticism of the common perception. If the impossible happens and one person or another dares challenge the dominant view, the Arab soil starts to shake and quickly we see charges against the “sinner” In various ways and forms, in a bid to smear him and repress his thoughts.
Many Arab leaders utilize the Palestinian issue as a means to sowing fear among their own peoples. The greater the oppression and deprivation of human rights, the greater the scaremongering dosages and the injection of Israel-hate into the Arab nation’s veins. This is done while the media under these dark regimes strictly refers to the Jewish State as the “Zionist enemy,” lest the simple folk get confused and perceive Israel as a friendly, peace-seeking state.
Naturally, over the years we have seen non-Arabs joining the cycle of manipulation of Arab public opinion: Out of nowhere comes the voice of one Iranian official or another, who slams Israel and expresses his genuine love and concern for the Palestinian people, even though in reality he views the Palestinians as a cheap means for serving his own means.
The years go by yet the conflict persists. At times there are periods of terror and war, and other times we see optimistic winds of reconciliation and understanding. At other junctions, it appears that everyone is simply fed up. Yet recently, something happened in the Arab world: The Tunisian Spring was the first to arrive, while changing many of the old perceptions. The Egyptians waited for the heat of summer to rise up, and now we are witnessing the beginning of the Syrian winter, with growing calls to topple the Alawite regime.
Some Syrian citizens may have realized that the demonic Israeli monster is the product of the government press’ and outlandish TV stations’ imagination. The historical truth shows that Israel fought wars that were forced upon it by those who convinced themselves that Israel is simply fiction, a fleeting phenomenon that shall quickly disappear from the Middle East’s map. In practice, this tiny state scored one victory after another, proving that that it is a living and breathing fact, entrenched deep in this soil.
Gaza versus Ramallah
Israel is being accused of drawing out the negotiations and lacking a genuine, honest will to secure peace among its leaders and citizens. I shall not attempt to discount these claims or lament the hesitation and difficulties produced by the Palestinians. Instead, I shall make do with reviewing two points: The first is historical and pertains to Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Don’t these agreements attest to Israel’s serious intentions?
Notably, Israel gave up, for peace, the Sinai Peninsula (an area three times Israel’s size and rich with natural resources.) On the northern front, Israel showed on several occasions genuine willingness to secure a fair agreement with the Syrians, yet every time encountered a peace obstacle in the form of the Syrian president (both father and son,) who may have been preoccupied with utilizing his secret police at every corner.
The second point pertains to the Shalit swap. In an Egyptian TV interview, after five and a half years in captivity and in his first encounter with the sun, Shalit chose to express his hope that the conflict shall end and all prisoners shall return to their families. On the other hand, released Palestinian prisoners chose to commit to continuing terrorism and bloodshed. I hoped that these detainees, who tried the path of terror and failed, would choose this time to embark on a new path that does not rely on killing and violence. I had hoped hopes, yet was disappointed.
Gaza residents are suffering, yet the question remains: Who’s responsible for this suffering? Israel can be blamed, as usual, yet if we compare the situation in the Gaza Strip to the situation in the West Bank, and compare Gaza City to Ramallah, it won’t be difficult to spot the huge difference. The reason for this is rather clear and stems from the difference between the Fatah government and Hamas government, which espouses a policy of terror, carnage and violence, also implemented against its own citizens.
This terror policy constitutes the main obstacle to Palestinian reconciliation efforts and the achievement of peace. It’s also important to pay attention to the following point: At this time we are talking about two states for two peoples, yet it seems that three states for two people shall be required. One for Israel, one for Fatah, and a third one for Hamas. We may need more mini-states in case of further splits down the road. Is this reasonable? How can one make peace given such reality? And who should we make peace with? I’m afraid that ultimately we shall have to secure peace with every Palestinian individual separately.
In love with zeal
Many in the Arab street examine the Israeli-Palestinian conflict via the logic of fatalities and quickly produce virtual scales. On one hand they look at the Palestinian fatalities, and usually forget Israel’s fatalities.
The death of innocents is regrettable, regardless of the way and reason it happened. Yet the difference between Hamas and Israel has to do with intention: Hamas activists fire missiles and rockets into the heart of civilian population centers, hoping to kill innocent civilians. On the other hand, Israel attempts to hit Hamas men, and if civilians are hurt as result the reason is usually Hamas’ cynical use of mosques, schools and hospitals as missile-launching platforms, as well as the utilization of their own countrymen as human shields. Of course, at times we see operational mishaps on the Israeli side.
A person of conscience cannot ignore the Palestinian pain, but also should not ignore the killing of Israeli children and civilians with inhumane brutality. The solution to the Palestinian pain will not be achieved via the killing of Israeli innocents or the adoption of terrorism as a policy, but rather, by abandoning the path of violence and returning to negotiations. Let’s hope they understand this soon.
Israel is a democratic state, a world-leader in science, medicine and culture, and boasts free media and a flourishing economy. It is a state that grants its minorities the possibility of self-fulfillment and the ability to play an active role in the life of the nation. However, just like any other state, Israel is facing many challenges, and quite a few problems persist in the process of integrating Arabs into the life of the country as citizens equal to the Jewish majority.
The Arab world is still in love with zealous words and mindless attacks: Impassioned calls, baseless threats, and the flexing of muscles. Needless to say, this way of thinking is useless. Hasn’t the time come for an Arab process of self-reflection? For understanding reality as it is and changing the Arab perception of the conflict? Hasn’t the time come to rely on historical fact and objective arguments, instead of relying on blind hatred and the distortion of the truth?
The time has come to abandon the path of hatred and exploit the opportunities for peace via negotiations, because there is no other way.
Nizer Amer is a member of Israel’s Foreign Service and is stationed in Ankara, Turkey
Source Article Link: Reuters
Muslim charity leaders lose appeal in Hamas case
A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld the convictions of five leaders of an Islamic charity on charges of funneling money and supplies to Hamas, designated a “terrorist” group following a 1995 executive order by President Bill Clinton.
By Terry Baynes
The organizers of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation argued that they were denied a fair trial in 2008 when the government used secret Israeli witnesses to testify against them. The organizers also raised a host of constitutional challenges to the evidence presented against them at trial.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit rejected those challenges, concluding that “while no trial is perfect,” Holy Land and its leaders were fairly convicted. The court pointed to “voluminous evidence” that the foundation, which was started in the late 1980s, had long-running financial ties to Hamas. Once the largest Muslim charity in the United States, Holy Land was closed by the administration of former President George W. Bush soon after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Holy Land argued that the millions of dollars it raised went to charities in the West Bank and Gaza known as zakat committees. Although those committees performed legitimate charitable functions, they were also Hamas social institutions, the court found. Federal law makes it a crime to provide material aid and support to a designated terrorist organization like Hamas.
“By supporting such entities, the defendants facilitated Hamas’ activity by furthering its popularity among Palestinians and by providing a funding resource. This, in turn, allowed Hamas to concentrate its efforts on violent activity,” Judge Carolyn King wrote on behalf of the unanimous three-judge panel.
Federal prosecutors indicted the foundation and its leaders in 2004 for providing material support to a designated terrorist group.
While the first trial in 2007 ended in a mistrial, a federal jury convicted the five individuals in 2008 on charges that included money laundering, tax fraud and conspiracy.
On appeal, the leaders argued that the trial judge should not have allowed two Israeli witnesses to testify without revealing their real names. Pseudonyms prevented their lawyers from examining the witnesses’ credentials and backgrounds, they contended.
“The Confrontation Clause of the U.S. Constitution basically didn’t apply to these experts,” said Gregory Westfall, a lawyer for defendant Abdulrahman Odeh. He said his client would likely file an appeal and predicted that the case would eventually reach the Supreme Court.
Westfall described the prosecution as an unfortunate event in U.S. history. The foundation provided food and relief supplies to the Palestinian people, who were in great need, he said.
The charity organizers received prison sentences ranging from 15 to 65 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Cowger did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Terry Baynes; Editing by Eileen Daspin and Greg McCune)
Source Article Link: Commentary Magazine
The Obama Doctrine Defined
By Douglas J. Feith & Seth Cropsey
The words “vacillating” and “aimless” are commonly used by both left and right to describe President Barack Obama’s approach to the Libya war. His political friends and foes alike lament that he has no clear goal in Libya—and that, by failing to articulate one, he is revealing his unease at having been dragged into the fight to oust the regime of Muammar Qaddafi.
Democratic Senator James Webb of Virginia issued a press release on March 21, 2011, noting that the U.S. mission in Libya “lacks clarity.” Former Republican Senator Slade Gorton wrote in the Washington Post: “We should never enter a war halfway and with an indecisive goal. Regrettably, that is where we stand today.”
The criticism has some validity, but it misses an important point: the administration’s approach has logic and coherence in the service of strategic considerations that extend far beyond Libya.
Since his campaign in 2007 and 2008, Barack Obama has declared that he wants to transform America’s role in world affairs. And now,in the third year of his term, we can see how he is bringing about that transformation. The United States under Barack Obama is less assertive, less dominant, less power-minded, less focused on the American people’s particular interests, and less concerned about preserving U.S. freedom of action. It is true that he did not simply pull the plug on the war in Iraq, as he promised he would do, and that he increased the commitment of troops in Afghanistan. But those compromises reflect the president’s pragmatic judgment about the art of the possible, not his conviction about what kind of country America should ultimately become.
Obama determined early on, as the Libyan revolt developed, that no outcome would be more important to him than keeping the United States within the bounds set by the United Nations Security Council. He refused to act on Libya until the Arab League and the UNSC gave approval. He immediately renounced U.S. leadership of the military intervention—and when, due to default by U.S. allies, his own commanders had to take charge at the outset, he insisted they promptly pass the mission to NATO, which they did.
Having accused his predecessor of being too ready to resort to regime change by force, President Obama made sure that the Security Council resolution on Libya authorized military action only to protect civilians, not to oust dictator Muammar Qaddafi. American and allied commanders admitted publicly that their mission might end with Qaddafi still in power. In an April 26 press briefing, a journalist asked Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, the NATO commander of the Libya intervention force, if he saw the mission “ending with Qaddafi still in power.” Bouchard replied: “This mission comes to an end for me when the violence stops.”
If Qaddafi remains in power, however, Libyan civilians will remain in danger, so the intervention force might have to continue its mission indefinitely. Obama admitted as much in a CBS television interview that aired March 30, but he nonetheless opposes using military means to remove him. Meanwhile, even the narrowly scoped NATO mission is in trouble. The alliance lacks aircraft, munitions, and other resources that the United States has but is withholding. And, lacking U.S. leadership, the allies continue to quarrel about strategy. Yet, President Obama says that success in Libya is necessary to protect global peace and security.
Under the circumstances, it is hardly surprising that critics complain about incoherence. But the administration’s Libya policy makes sense in light of Obama’s intention to alter America’s place and function in the world. His ambition is novel and grand, though often couched in language that implies support for longstanding policies. It can be seen as a new doctrine—the Obama Doctrine.
And as the American approach to countering the Soviet menace came to be known as the “doctrine of containment,” the Obama Doctrine may come to be known as the “doctrine of self-containment.” Or, perhaps more fitting, given the echo of the foreign-policy approach that governed the Cold War, the “doctrine of constrainment.”
The Obama doctrine emerges from the conviction that in the new post-Cold War, post-9/11, post–George W. Bush world, the United States cannot and should not exercise the kind of boldness and independence characteristic of its foreign policy in the decades after World War II. That view runs roughly as follows: traditional ideas of American leadership serving American interests abroad are not a proper guide for future conduct. They have spawned crimes and blunders—in Iran in the early 1950s, then in Vietnam, and recently in Iraq, for example. To prevent further calamities, the United States should drop its obsession with its own national interests and concentrate on working for the world’s general good on an equal footing with other countries, recognizing that it is multinational bodies that grant legitimacy on the world stage.
Two large ideas animate the Obama Doctrine. The first is that America’s role in world affairs for more than a century has been, more often than not, aggressive rather than constrained, wasteful rather than communal, and arrogant in promoting democracy, despite our own democratic shortcomings. Accordingly, America has much to apologize for, including failure to understand others, refusal to defer sufficiently to others, selfishness in pursuing U.S. interests as opposed to global interests, and showing far too much concern for U.S. sovereignty, independence, and freedom of action. The second idea is that multilateral institutions offer the best hope for restraining U.S. power and moderating our national assertiveness.
President Obama promoted this perspective of American history in his June 2009 speech in Cairo, which remains his presidency’s most important foreign-policy pronouncement. In that carefully crafted discourse, Obama explained the poor relations between America and Muslims generally by citing “colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims.” He contrasted his own all-encompassing view of humanity with the parochialism of his countrymen in general, lamenting: “Some in my country view Islam as inevitably hostile…to human rights.” Americans’ response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, Obama noted apologetically, “led us to act contrary to our ideals.” Suggesting that long-standing American efforts to establish standards of acceptable international behavior amount to no more than a self-interested and doomed attempt to impose our will on others, he proclaimed that “any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail.” He was here condemning what he perceives as overweening and unrestricted American power and declaring independence from America’s record of bad behavior.
Obama cited a significant example of that bad behavior: “For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is indeed a tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government.” This implies that the hostility between the countries was the result of American action in 1953 in helping to overthrow a leftist Iranian politician whom the Iranian clergy generally despised. This reading of history (concentrating on events that predate by more than a quarter century the revolution that brought to power the ayatollahs who view America as “the great Satan”) served his purposes because it depicted the United States as ultimately culpable for the major, long-running problem of Iran’s anti-Americanism. It became an argument for constraining American power.
A telling passage in the Cairo speech was the quotation from a personal letter written by Thomas Jefferson after his second presidential term in 1815: “I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power, the greater it will be.” Obama took the quote out of context. Jefferson wrote those somewhat paradoxical words only after, in the same letter, stating his hope that Napoleon would “wear down the maritime power of England to limitable and safe dimensions.” Jefferson put his faith in naval power, not wisdom or restraint, to protect America from British forces. Jefferson was, after all, one of the fathers of the U.S. Navy and the man who ordered it to carry the Marines into action against pirates on “the shores of Tripoli” (in modern-day Libya, as it happens)—pirates who demanded that the American people convert to Islam. Indifferent to the irony of Jeffersonian policy, however, Obama invoked Jefferson to support the notion that America should act with less power in the world.
The main ideas in the Cairo speech were foreshadowed in an article Obama wrote for Foreign Affairs in 2007. He associated the words “freedom” and “democracy” with Bush administration rhetoric: “People around the world have heard a great deal of late about freedom on the march. Tragically, many have come to associate this with war, torture, and forcibly imposed regime change.” Fighting terrorism, Obama said, requires “more than lectures on democracy.”
Obama expostulated that America “can neither retreat from the world nor try to bully it into submission.” And so he called for a strategy against terrorists that “draws on the full range of American power, not just our military might.” Reform of multinational institutions, he declared, “will not come by bullying other countries to ratify changes we hatch in isolation.” What is more, “when we do use force in situations other than self-defense, we should make every effort to garner the clear support and participation of others.”
Promising to couple U.S. foreign assistance with an insistence on reforms to combat corruption, he added: “I will do so not in the spirit of a patron but in the spirit of a partner—a partner mindful of his own imperfections.” The essence of these comments is so noncontroversial as to be banal. What is remarkable is the way they are formulated to portray the United States as a militaristic, patronizing bully.
In promoting that image of the United States, Obama and members of his national-security team are drawing on the large body of literature produced by politically progressive American academics and thinkers who have harshly criticized America’s national-security policy—and not just that of the George W. Bush administration.
One such thinker, Samantha Power, is now a special assistant to President Obama. In a 2003 article for the New Republic, Power argued that since “international institutions certainly could not restrain American will,” American unilateralism was the force giving rise to the anti-Americanism commonplace in intellectual circles abroad. “The U.S,” she wrote, “came to be seen less as it sees itself (the cop protecting the world from rogue nations) than as the very runaway state international law needs to contain.” But hers were not criticisms only of the Bush administration. The actions she regretted occurred during the Clinton administration as well and included the refusal to pay United Nations dues and being opposed to the International Criminal Court treaty, the Kyoto Protocol on the environment, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the land mines ban, the Comprehensive [Nuclear] Test Ban Treaty, “and other international treaties.”
Power wrote that America’s record in world affairs had been so harmful to the freedoms of people around the world that the United States could remedy the problem only through profound self-criticism and the wholesale adoption of new policies. Acknowledging that President Bush was correct in saying that “some America-bashers” hate the American people’s freedoms, Ms. Power stated that much anti-Americanism derives from the role that U.S. power “has played in denying such freedoms to others” and concluded:
U.S. foreign policy has to be rethought. It needs not tweaking but overhauling….Instituting a doctrine of mea culpa would enhance our credibility by showing that American decision-makers do not endorse the sins of their predecessors. When [then German Chancellor] Willie [sic] Brandt went down on one knee in the Warsaw ghetto, his gesture was gratifying to World War II survivors, but it was also ennobling and cathartic for Germany. Would such an approach be futile for the United States?
Thus, even at the beginning of the Bush presidency, Power saw Brandt’s apology for the Nazis’ destruction of European Jewry as the model for an American leader to seek pardon for the sins of U.S. foreign policy.
Anne-Marie Slaughter, of Princeton University, whom President Obama would later appoint as the State Department’s head of policy planning, likewise exhorted whomever would succeed President Bush to apologize for America’s role in the world. In a February 2008 article in Commonweal entitled “Good Reasons to be Humble,” she wrote:
[I]t will be time for a new president to show humility rather than just talk about it. The president must ask Americans to acknowledge to ourselves and to the world that we have made serious, even tragic, mistakes in the aftermath of September 11—in invading Iraq, in condoning torture and flouting international law, and in denying the very existence of global warming until a hurricane destroyed one of our most beloved cities….
[W]e should make clear that our hubris, as in the old Greek myths, has diminished us and led to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.
All this helps explain the remorseful tone of the Cairo speech. It also sheds light on Obama’s determination to set precedents and create institutional and legal constraints on the ability of the United States to take international action assertively, independently, and in its own particular interests. Without reference to this severely jaundiced view of American history, one cannot make any sense of the hesitation and meekness, the extreme deference to the Security Council and shyness about encouraging opponents of hostile dictators that have characterized the Obama administration’s policy toward Libya—and, for that matter, toward the anti-Assad-regime upheaval in Syria and, in 2009, toward the Green Movement anti-regime demonstrations in Iran.
In a 2007 article in Harper’s, Slaughter argued against traditional conceptions of American international leadership and against the importance of American freedom of action. She promoted a theory that detaches power from influence in the world. She asserted that America is “more powerful than ever…and never more reviled.”
Stressing that “force has its limits” and that diplomacy “is a game of suasion, not coercion,” Slaughter predicted: “The more that America is respected and admired in the world, the greater will our diplomatic powers be.” That may be true in some cases, but Slaughter effectively turned the idea of leadership on its head. She argued a paradox: that leadership means not leading. In other words, by not putting itself out front on matters, America can be more effective as a leader, if leadership is understood as asking for others’ consent in advance and accepting constraints. This reasoning underlies the widely noted statement by an unnamed senior administration official in Ryan Lizza’s May 2, 2011, New Yorker article that Obama’s policy in Libya demonstrates the innovative principle of “leading from behind.”
The key to respect and admiration, in this view, has nothing to do with military capability, strategic vision, courage, effectiveness, economic strength, willingness to defend one’s own interests, or taking risks. Rather, the key lies in the virtues of “equality” and “humility.” Slaughter made the case that America can be a leader only if it is “the country I know and love” that “flies its flag alongside other nations, not above them”, “negotiates rather than dictates,” and “leads through self-restraint rather than by proclaiming itself free of all constraints.”
Especially noteworthy here is her implication that it is selfish and unproductive for the United States to protect its right and ability to act unilaterally to advance its national interests. She deprecated the idea by saying the U.S. was “proclaiming itself free of all constraints.” This was part and parcel of an argument that the United States should become party to additional treaties and international organizations and arrangements—including the International Criminal Court, climate-change forums, and nuclear-disarmament initiatives—and should strive to increase the voting power and influence therein not of the United States, but of other nations.
At the end of the day, the United States would have less of a voice and less freedom of action. This would be worthwhile, however, in Slaughter’s words, because of “the paradox of American foreign policy”—namely, by reducing its own profile and limiting its own sovereignty, America would gain respect around the world and thereby increase its success in winning other nations’ cooperation for efforts in the common interest.
Slaughter warned that “an entire generation of citizens around the world is being reared with no memory of the role the United States played in World War II and the Cold War but with plenty of evidence that the world’s lone superpower is arrogant, incompetent, and indifferent.” She cited a Voice of America broadcaster named William Harlan Hale, who, in 1947, described the postwar world as one “in which the United States—the greatest military and economic power and the unchallenged victor of World War II—was in danger of being seen as arrogant and imperialist.”
“Does this sound familiar?” she asked. America—as she presented it—had not fallen into international disrepute during the Bush administration. It had teetered on the edge of contemptible arrogance and imperialism since at least the end of World War II.
The ideas of Anne-Marie Slaughter and Samantha Power are in no way considered radical or daring at leading American universities. In fact, their highly critical perspective on American history is the predominant one. Their community is Barack Obama’s community. These are the people with whom he studied and with whom he worked as a faculty colleague. He drew heavily on his fellow progressive academics to fill top jobs in his administration, and it is evident they have helped shape his understanding of American history, his perception of international affairs, and his strategy for transforming America’s purpose and role in the world.
Putting a strategy into action is a difficult and messy challenge for a president. It is never easy to achieve interagency cooperation, and political pressures often force presidents to bend or violate their preferences. Obama’s national-security policies seem to be an ideological hodgepodge—sometimes philosophically “realist” (emphasizing power and practical interests) and sometimes “idealist” (supporting the spread of freedom). Sometimes he acts tough, as with his Predator strikes against terrorist targets and the courageous raid to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, and sometimes he acts weak, as when he withheld encouragement to the anti-Ahmadinejad demonstrators in Iran in June 2009, lest he offend the clerical regime and jeopardize diplomacy on Iran’s nuclear program. Sometimes his rhetoric is humble, bordering on the abject, as in his Cairo speech, and sometimes he touts the importance of American leadership.
When Obama looks indecisive or inconsistent, the cause generally is not a clash of ideas, but a clash between his ideas and his political requirements. Obama embraces his ideas with conviction, but he is intent on political success and realizes that his unconventional strategic ambitions can be realized only if he preserves his carefully cultivated political persona as a nonideological figure, a moderate who bridges the old liberal-conservative divide. Accordingly, he is willing at times to conform to the conventional expectations of Congress and the public. Obama’s famous pragmatism—demonstrated most notably in the prosecution of the Iraq war, which he had harshly denounced as an utter failure, and in the continued operation of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, which he had characterized as a disgrace and promised to shut down without delay—shows that he is sensitive to the political risks of his strategy to constrain America.
President Obama is skilled in handling criticism by addressing complaints head-on and claiming (sometimes misleadingly) that he largely agrees with his critics. The way he has dealt with the chief complaints about his Libya policy illustrates this point.
First, because of his early inaction and his statement that America would not take charge, Obama was criticized for opposing U.S. leadership. As the Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen put it: “Amazingly, the White House wants to wait on nearly everyone to do almost anything—the United Nations, NATO, ‘multilateral organizations and bilateral relationships,’ in the words of [White House official Benjamin] Rhodes. This is a highfalutin way of saying that first we’re gonna have a meeting and then break into committees and then report back here sometime soon…the good Lord willin’.”
Effectively acknowledging the criticism, President Obama then declared, “American leadership is essential.” He explained that “real leadership” means creating the conditions for others to step up. The explanation has in it an element of truth, but the term “leadership” usually refers to the act of taking initiative to drive an effort toward a valuable goal. Obama used the term to refer to ensuring a process in which other states would take on various responsibilities, whether or not they would produce a useful result. Obama thus endorsed the paradox highlighted by Anne-Marie Slaughter: American leadership requires our refusing to lead.
This corkscrew approach allows Obama to make the politically popular point that he champions American leadership in the world while remaining true to his goal of a more constrained America. In the case of Libya, it allows him to boast of his own leadership for having created a vacuum that others have attempted, albeit wholly inadequately, to fill.
And because he adamantly refused to act before the Security Council gave its permission, even at the risk of the complete annihilation of the rebel force, President Obama came under critical assault even from those who generally support him. Typical was the slap by CNN television host Eliot Spitzer, the former Democratic governor of New York: “Secretary of State Clinton reiterated that a United Nations resolution was necessary. We are hostage to the United Nations Security Council and the threat of Russian and Chinese vetoes. We have made our foreign policy dependent on the Russians and Chinese.” Obama responded to the point, offering reassurance that he “will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary.” There is political benefit and little downside in his accepting unilateral action in principle while his administration does whatever it can to discredit and preclude it.
The key to impeding U.S. “unilateralism”—and to implementing Obama’s strategic vision generally—comes through deepening American involvement with multinational institutions. That is how Obama can bind the United States beyond his own term. He favors cooperation with the International Criminal Court and pledges “rededication” to the United Nations organization. He champions progressive treaties and has declared it a priority to win Senate approval of the nuclear Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the UN treaty on the rights of women.
Obama is also committed to legitimating the “transnational law” movement, a vehicle for political progressives to constrain the power of democratically elected government officials. The movement works to circumvent legislatures by arguing that government administrators and judges should adopt its ideas as “rights.” The new rights—regarding the laws of war, arms control, the death penalty, and other matters—are grounded not in national constitutions or domestic statutes but in protean notions of international “norms,” “customary” law, and “consensus” among groups of scholars, activists, and jurists. The movement creatively responds to frustrations among progressive activists that democratic legislatures often refuse to support their ideas.
A leading champion of this movement, Harold Koh, former dean of Yale Law School, has written voluminously on how “transnational norm entrepreneurs, governmental norm sponsors, transnational issue networks, and interpretive communities” can overcome political majorities in what he calls “resisting nation-states.” In a Penn State International Law Review article in 2006, he contrasted the views of transnationalists and their critics, whom he designates “nationalists”:
Generally speaking, the trans-nationalists tend to emphasize the interdependence between the United States and the rest of the world, while the nationalists tend instead to focus more on preserving American autonomy. The transnationalists believe in and promote the blending of international and domestic law, while nationalists continue to maintain a rigid separation of domestic from foreign law. The transnationalists view domestic courts as having a critical role to play in domesticating international law into U.S. law, while nationalists argue instead that only the political branches can internalize international law. The transnationalists believe that U.S. courts can and should use their interpretive powers to promote the development of a global legal system, while the nationalists tend to claim that U.S. courts should limit their attention to the development of a national system. Finally, the transnationalists urge that the power of the executive branch should be constrained by judicial review and the concept of international comity, while the nationalists tend to believe that federal courts should give extraordinarily broad deference to executive power in foreign affairs.
Two points are notable here. The first is that judges should use the concept of “international comity” to constrain the power of the executive branch. It is a vague and open-ended notion that allows judges to legislate undemocratically from the bench.
The second point to note is the disapproving reference to “preserving American autonomy.” Traditional American policy, with long-standing bipartisan support, has been to safeguard the president’s authority and ability to act independently to defend the country’s national-security interests. It was a Democratic president, Harry Truman, who ensured that the United Nations Charter gave the United States a veto over resolutions of the Security Council, the only UN body that can make legally binding decisions. He favored international cooperation but not at the expense of American freedom of action or of the president’s constitutional authority to act as he or she sees fit to defend the country or advance its interests. John F. Kennedy did not seek UN permission to “quarantine” Cuba, nor did President Bill Clinton obtain UN authorization for the U.S.-led intervention in Kosovo. Harold Koh, however, writes of American autonomy as a problem to be solved rather than a principle to be preserved.
Obama appointed Koh as the top lawyer at the State Department, where he has been instrumental in interpreting the laws of war and leads the U.S. delegation to multinational meetings on the International Criminal Court treaty.
In the seven decades following World War II, when America achieved the dominant position in world affairs, realists and idealists have agreed on a number of fundamental ideas about U.S. national security. They are these: American interests, rather than global interests, should predominate in U.S. policymaking. American leadership, as traditionally defined, is indispensible to promoting the interests of the United States and our key partners, who are our fellow democracies. American power is generally a force for good in the world. And, as important as international cooperation can be, the U.S. president should cherish American sovereignty and defend his ability to act independently to protect the American people and their interests.
As we have seen, President Obama and his advisory team are skeptical of all these ideas, or have rejected them outright.
Ideas matter, and especially to intellectuals like President Obama. He is not a rigid ideologue and is capable of flexible maneuvering. But his interpretation of history, his attitude toward sovereignty, and his confidence in multilateral institutions have shaped his views of American power and of American leadership in ways that distinguish him from previous presidents. On Libya, his deference to the UN Security Council and refusal to serve as coalition leader show that he cares more about restraining America than about accomplishing any particular result in Libya. He views Libya and the whole Arab Spring as relatively small distractions from his broader strategy for breaking with the history of U.S. foreign policy as it developed in the last century. The critics who accuse Obama of being adrift in foreign policy are mistaken. He has clear ideas of where he wants to go. The problem for him is that, if his strategy is set forth plainly, most Americans will not want to follow him.
Perfidious Britain and Treacherous France
Posted by Joseph Puder
At the recently held Cannes G-20 Summit, the host, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, unaware of the fact that his lapel microphone was live, said to U.S. President Barack Obama, “I cannot stand Netanyahu. He’s a liar.” And, according to the report by French media website Arret Sur Images, Obama responded with, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day.” The shameful and hypocritical behavior of Sarkozy and Obama, not to be outdone by Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron, speaks volumes about their perfidy and treachery.
Earlier this year, Sarkozy and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron threatened Israel with severe consequences if Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not accept the Hamas-Fatah unification, and agree to their demands as a price for the resumption of “peace” talks. Sarkozy (and Cameron) hinted he will certainly vote for a Palestinian State. Although France ultimately abstained on Palestinian statehood, France voted for the Palestinians to have full membership in UNESCO.
French treachery vis-a-vis Israel has a history. And, on the eve of the 1967 Six-Day War it was on full display, when French President Charles de Gaulle decided to reverse the country’s foreign policy to one in favor of the Arabs, and placed an embargo on weapons deliveries to Israel, despite France’s contractual agreements with Israel. De Gaulle, who had served as founder and president of France’s Fifth Republic from 1959-1969, had forged an alliance with the Jewish state during a time when both France and Israel fought Arab nationalism in Algeria and Nasser’s Egypt respectively.
In 1960, France promised to supply Israel with 200 AMX-13 tanks and 72 Mystere fighter jets over the next 10-years. On June 2, 1967, three days before the war broke out, de Gaulle cut Israel off cold. He told his cabinet that “France will not give its approval to, and still less, support the first nation to use weapons.” De Gaulle’s statement was hypocritical and treacherous since he had already decided to abandon Israel and embrace the Arabs. On November 27, 1967, in a televised news conference, de Gaulle described the Jewish people as “this elite people, sure of themselves and domineering.”
Much of the instability and violence in today’s Middle East has its antecedents in the actions taken by the British and French governments. While World War I was still going on they met and began to draw the map of the Middle East and drew up what would became known as the Sykes-Picot secret agreement of May 1916. Following the end of war and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire they created new and mostly artificial nations such as Iraq, Trans-Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, while abandoning minorities such as the Kurds.
On August 10, 1920, a pact between the allies (Britain and France) and the representatives of the Ottoman Turkish government, known as the Treaty of Sevres, abolished the Ottoman Empire and obligated Turkey to renounce all rights over the Arab Middle East and North Africa. The treaty also provided for the establishment of an autonomous Kurdistan.
The Turks rejected the Treaty of Sevres, and in 1923, Turkey was recognized as an independent nation, with the Treaty of Lausanne subsequently replacing Sevres. Under its terms, Turkey was no longer obligated to grant the Kurds autonomy. The treaty divided the Kurdish region among Turkey, Iran, and Syria – with British and French collusion.
Syria became a hodge-podge of ethnic and religious groups. The French, who were wary of Sunni-Arab nationalism, granted autonomous status to the Alawites. They created an officer cadre from amongst the Alawites, which eventually gave rise to the Assad dictatorships, and Alawite domination of the Syrian military. Today’s upheaval in Syria has a great deal to do with those early French policies. The majority Sunni-Arabs resent the Alawite monopoly on power, and they remember (as the Kurds do) the betrayal of the French.
Read the entire article at FrontPageMag
Why French People Hate The United States, Africa, and Israel?
BY Joseph Haba, ME
PhD Candidate in Business Administration
American veterans, American businesses, American people, Israel, African patriots, and friends of Africa will finally analyze the legal issues of French Anti-Americanism by (a) identifying the issue, (b) explaining the rule of law, (c) applying the law to new facts, and (d) giving a conclusion.
a. The issue is whether, besides general anti-American perceptions, the French constitute a threat to anti-Americanism movement; given that a poll pre-Iraq war in France showed that “The French regarded themselves not sharing Americans’ ideas about family (58 percent), ethics (69 percent), work (76 percent) and, of course, life-style (81 percent), with democracy faring a little better at 49 percent” (Roger, 2006, p. 449). The second factor is the “switch in the very nature of anti-Americanism, from elitist, intellectual rejection of a boisterous rival to populist-extremist hatred and resentment against the ultimate enemy, half Terminator, half golden calf” by the French (Roger, 2006, p. 451).
b. Significant ties to an American-French treaty include “ The most Christian King and the United States … having this Day concluded a Treaty of amity and Commerce, for the reciprocal advantage of their Subjects and Citizens have thought it necessary to take into consideration the means of strengthening those engagements and of rendering them useful to the safety and tranquility of the two parties” (Miller, 1931).
c. The rules of this treaty have not been respected by the French, and the French think Americans are untrustworthy, provincial, individualists, egoist; therefore, they should focus “on the domineering presence of the United States, which needed to be countered, either culturally or politically” (Meunier, 2005, p. 128). The idea of countering the United States presence around the world culturally and politically is a relevant precedent case Americans must fight according to international laws.
The issue under discussion is profound because the French has built of “a critique of the self-centeredness of America…the French also offer a “liberal” critique of America as not living up to its ideals…look down on America because of the lack of education and taste of its citizens. The French negative sentiment about the beliefs that their country used to be a better place before the United States, but today many people from all walks of live have embraced the American culture instead of theirs (Meunier, 2005, p. 134). Meunier concluded:
Finally, the most recent type of anti-Americanism in France comes from some Muslims who partake in the “clash of civilizations” idea. Over the years, some disenfranchised youths of North African origin have become religiously radicalized, in a society in which they have not “integrated.” They consider the United States as the Great Satan, whose goal it is to lead the Western world in destroying Islam, and they believe in Jihad against an American nation (p. 135).
Now, this disenfranchised youths and French politicians have used their anti-Americanism to pollute a great number of Africans in their hate crime scheme. We need to join hands to fight back.
French Venality and Politics in the United States
Though scholars, educators, and the media have written about anti-Americanism, little link exists on French direct and indirect financing of some American politicians and lobbyists, friends of French political machines around the world and its venality. What do the some American politicians, Friends of French venality know about the funding of the American politics unknown to the American public? What do American veterans don’t know about the monetary statistics some American politicians receive from French diplomats to conceal vital information about French political entrepreneurs who use America’s good intention of promoting democracy as a catalyst to breed anti-Americanism around the world?
Before, going further, let me give you something to refresh your thought. French has forced more than 16 African countries, to keep 65% of their countries’ bulged in the French treasury. For example, let me assume the bulged of an African country such as the Ivory Cote (la Cote d’Ivoire) to be 5000 billion CFA. Just for the country of la Cote d’Ivoire, according to my assumption, France keeps one trillion CFA in its treasury because it keeps 65% of Cote d’Ivoire annual bulged. This means 40 billion dollars in French treasury plus 20 billion dollars in Cote d’Ivoire treasury equals 60 billion dollars.
Let’s assume that if we convert this sum of money in US dollars, we have about 50 billion dollars. Now, let’s assume that the average bulged of those 16 countries is 45 billion dollars, and French is keeping 65% of these amounts in its treasury and giving 35% to individual 16 countries.
Bulged per country
35% in Treasury
65% African countries in French treasury
Country 1 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 2 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 3 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 4 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 5 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 6 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 7 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 8 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 9 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 10 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 11 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 12 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 13 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 14 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 15 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Country 16 45 billion US 15 billion US 30 billion US
Total 720 billion 240 billion US 480 billion US
Do you see why Americans should never join with French people? France alone is keeping 65% of about 20 African countries, besides the effects of la Francafrique in Africa. Again, the 35% of the money that should be used for Africa development, France selects the African elites to steal 65% This means, out of the 15 billion US, only about 5 billion is used. But the 65%, which is 10 billion US belong to France and the members of her occult system. This means that About 85% of 20 African countries’ bulged are taken away by France. Why do people don’t see this? Can African nations use 15% of their bulged to develop their countries?
Now, instead of taken full responsibility of stealing about 85% of the bulged of 20 African countries, France almost always use the United States to mislead African. Now, when we look at how thousands of families accept that their love ones volunteer to fight for their countries, but the French use the United States as a partner to steal 85% of 20 African countries, you understand why some Africans get mad at the United States. How much money are the United States veterans getting of the these trillions of US dollars France have been taking out of Africa? The French are like snake; according to some sources, the French use a few American diplomats, and give them a few millions of dollars so that those Americans support the French in their dirty tricks. At that moment, African countries will be blaming France and the United States, but the French keep the money while the United States is blamed.
In la Cote d’Ivoire, for example, France used the United States and Israel. President Gbagbo wanted to work with Israel and the United States, according to a French writer and journalist. So France had to teach Gbagbo a lesson which states that France former colonies in Africa should and must remain under Francafrique. Even the United States cannot protect her friend, President Gbagbo, against France. French politicians know how to use the United States for their own interests in Africa.
Should the American public know about this? In fact, only French companies, which pay less salaries to Africans, prosper in Africa. American companies, which pay high salaries to Africans can hardly get contracts in Africa. Why? As American, I want the American public to ask Americans, Friends of France to answer these questions. The United States should protect President Gbagbo from being killed by Ouattara who is supporting those who want to kill Americans. Our government needs to send a clear message now to the French about Anti-Americanism.
Joseph Haba, a native of Guinea, West Africa, fled his homeland under persecution from the dictator, Lansana Conté. He lived in Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Switzerland before becoming a political refugee in the U.S. in 2000. He has written Education, Democracy & Leadership!, detailing his method of transitioning from autocracy to democracy. He has an M.Ed. from the University of Phoenix and is completing his Ph.D.
The End of Religious Freedom
“In an age when the persecution of Egypt’s Coptic Christians is more bloody than ever the bill to continue funding the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was held up by just one man, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill).”
By Phyllis Chesler
Time has run out for the cause of worldwide religious freedom. On November 18, 2011, America chose not to extend any further lifeline to persecuted religious minorities around the planet. On that day, the U.S. government shut down the work of an important and unique American effort: the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
Oddly enough, the mainstream media does not seem to have covered this story. I certainly did not know about it. Did you? The only article about this appeared at CNS News.
In 1998, the U.S. government passed the Religious Freedom Act and this commission was one of the results. Since then, it has sent delegations abroad to meet with minority religious leaders in Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia, and released reports about their work. In 2011, their Annual Report (PDF copy provided below) covered countries such as Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Indonesia, and Iran.
In 2011, Nina Shea, the head commissioner, presented testimony before members of Congress about Christian minorities under attack in Iraq and Egypt. In this hearing, Shea reported:
USCIRF has found serious, widespread, and longstanding human rights violations against religious minorities as well as disfavored Muslims. Confronted by these violations, the Egyptian government has failed to take the necessary steps to halt the discrimination and repression against Christians and other minorities. Too often, it has failed to punish the violators.
Shea discussed the New Year’s Day bombing in Alexandria, which led to the worst attack targeting Christians in a decade. Carefully, without saying that Muslims or the Egyptian Muslim police were the perpetrators, she refered to the “Coptic Christmas shooting that killed six innocent Christians in Naga Hammadi.” Over the last two years, the Egyptian government, media, and network of mosques have systematically engaged in violence and in the coverup of that violence against Christians.
In an interview with PJ Media, Shea said,
With the onslaught of the Arab Winter and the threat of newly politically empowered Islamists suppressing the freedoms of religious minorities and even carrying out religious cleansing campaigns against them, USCIRF is needed more than ever. Its voice carries official weight and it has vigorously and consistently raised it within and outside the government on behalf of a broad array of persecuted minorities and individuals around the world. At this time, USCIRF is winding down its work, as it is legally bound to do, since its authorization ends on December 16. As reported in the Congressional Quarterly, Senator Durbin of Illinois has blocked the USCIRF reauthorization for several months, reportedly in order to get an earmark to fund a prison in his state. He has been intractable. President Obama — who served with Mr. Durbin in the Senate before becoming president and who has expressed an interest in using the prison at issue for holding detainees from Guantanamo Bay – must speak up, if USCIRF is to continue. President Obama can make this happen and I appeal to him to do so.
Why would the American government shut down USCIRF now? Some might say that we are in an economic recession and must care fo our own before we can help others. Some secular Americans might simply want freedom from religion rather than of religion. They may not care about the choice to practice one’s religion or whether or not people are being persecuted for doing so. And some Americans may agree with the UN view that Muslims and Islam are not to be criticized and that any accurate portrayal of Muslim behavior may be treated as a crime.
Next: The USCIRF’s opponent still pursues its totalitarian aims with the blessing of the global community…
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Durban Follies, constitutes a permanent delegation to the UN. The OIC was established in 1969. Its position is as follows: it seeks to
pursue as a matter of priority a common policy aimed at prevented defamation of Islam perpetrated under the pretext and justification of the freedom of expression in particular through media and internet.
In 2011, the 38th Conference, held in Kazakhstan, stated “deep concern over any activities carried out by certain governmental and non-governmental organizations supported by governments in order to attack OIC member states for political purposes and to further their foreign policy objectives in international forums.” The conference also denounced “media campaigns and fabrications made by some quarters in non-member states regarding the mistreatment of non-Muslim minorities and communities in the OIC member states under the slogans of religious freedoms and so on.”
In other words, attempting to help a Christian escape genocide in Egypt, Iraq, or Pakistan would be outlawed as would all work that reports on religious persecution. What I’m writing here would be criminalized. The Muslims who drafted this document want to do their gender cleansing without being exposed, stopped, or held liable for it. That’s the OIC at the UN.
The United States, to its credit, shunned the UN’s Durban III conference. However, in 2009, the Obama administration eliminated the phrases “Islamic extremism,” “Islamic terrorism,” and “terrorism” from national security strategy documents. We have also seen a quantum increase in fears about a non-existent “Islamophobia” and a similar quantum decrease in “official” fears about an escalating anti-Semitism which in the Middle East is potentially genocidal.
Many European politically correct/anti-racist governments agree with the OIC Conference. For example, European governments have prosecuted “thought crimes” which involve criticism of Islam or any objective presentation of Islam (honor killing, honor related violence, forced marriage, daughter and wife beating, etc.) that some Muslim somewhere finds offensive — in Holland, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Iceland etc. I myself have called this the death of free speech in Europe.
Recently, I was involved in the case of a Pakistani apostate, Khalid Saheed, who sought and was denied political asylum in Sweden. Predictably, he and his family have received death threats from Islamic fundamentalists. If Saheed and his family are sent back to Pakistan, they will be murdered for leaving Islam. This is the true state of religious tolerance in the Muslim world. There is no such freedom and USCRIF has boldly exposed and published this truth.
Finally: What does Dick Durbin have to do with the death of the USCRIF?
Read the entire article at PJMedia
All-American Muslim: The Perils of Propaganda
by Daniel Greenfield
All-American Muslim is on its last legs. Not only was the last episode of the show the lowest rated show in its time slot, losing again to Homeland, but it was also the lowest rated show of the night among the top 100 cable shows aimed at adults. While Homeland has improved its ratings, All-American Muslim has dropped so low that it’s hovering above the abyss.
Just to bring out the vultures, Discovery Communications is being sued by Visionaire Media which accuses it of stealing its idea for an “American Muslim Show” without compensation. At this point Discovery Communications, which oversees the disaster areas that are TLC, The Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and several other learning channels that have turned into minor variations of each other serving up the same Reality content, might consider letting Visionaire have the credit for All-American Muslim which a month later looks more like blame.
The media which enthusiastically embraced All-American Muslim has nothing more to say about it. There are hardly any more stories on it and those few that show up make it clear that the writer did not watch the show beyond the premiere episode. The deadly secret of All-American Muslim is that not even the liberals in the media want to watch it.
That is the problem with propaganda, it isn’t very interesting. Negative propaganda can be entertaining, positive propaganda is stifling. All-American Muslim promotes Islam with weak reality show theatrics that are inferior in drama and entertainment value to the competition. It is so determined to promote its agenda that it utterly fails to be interesting.
With All-American Muslim’s fourth episode, Friday Night Bites, the show continues its obsession with making its women dress in the Imam approved fashion and with promoting the Islamic makeovers to general audiences. The birth of a child to one of the couples leads to a spotlighting of the Muslim call to prayer and the adventures of Fordson High School’s religiously cleansed team continues with more Ramadan than ever.
It would be a stretch to call any of this interesting. Watching All-American Muslim is like watching an extended commercial in which smiling people use a product and talk up its virtues, discussing it at length, in order to convince you to start using it. It’s no wonder that audiences are fleeing the show faster than infidels from the Middle East.
The target audience for All-American Muslim is someone who is extremely interested in Islam, but completely disinterested in any dimension or depth, who wants to see women modeling Hijabs and discussing how they deal with fasting, but isn’t at all interested in how the religion reconciles its claim of being peaceful with the violent tendencies in its midst, or who doesn’t care about the larger context of such things as guilting women into wearing Hijabs or forcing non-Muslims to work around the Ramadan schedules of Muslims.
These things are quite explosive subjects in Europe, and they are developing into serious issues in the United States, but All-American Muslim presents them enthusiastically and without any context. To anyone who is at all familiar with terrorism, watching the show is a little like tuning in to a classic cigarette commercial and feeling a little discomfort with the enthusiasm with which the narrator pitches the virtues of smoking a Camel. No matter how you feel about smoking, there is the sense that a serious issue is being ignored. That nagging feeling haunts All-American Muslim which takes audiences on a promotional tour of Muslim life without explaining some of the more problematic side-effects which include the systematic repression of women, the religious persecution of minorities and the criminalization of dissent.
Read the rest of the article at FrontPageMag
Source Article Link: FrontPageMag
Muslim Brotherhood Confessions
By Raymond Ibrahim
The online version of the long-running Arabic journal Ruz al-Yusif carries an exclusive interview with Sheikh Osama al-Qusi entitled, “Former Salafi: Salafis Have Distorted Islam.” In the interview, Qusi discusses the “true thoughts” of the various Islamic groups, which “they conceal under a political mask”; he insists they have “distorted and exploited” Islam.
What he says concerning the Muslim Brotherhood and its methods of indoctrination and subversion are particularly noteworthy—notwithstanding Obama’s Director of National Intelligence’s assurances that the Brotherhood is a “largely secular” organization.
First, about Sheikh al-Qusi. He spent the last 39 years in different Islamic organizations in Egypt—beginning with the Brotherhood in the 1970s and ending with the more extreme Salafis. He still claims to be, not just a Muslim, but a Salafi—a sincere follower of “pure” Islam, as dictated by its prophet Muhammad. But he maintains that all Islamic groups are “manipulating” Islam for their own political ambitions. Accordingly, he “announced his break and washed his hands of them all, refusing to be a merchant of religion.” If laudable, some of his positions are unorthodox, for instance, that it ispermissible to have a Christian or female for a leader.
When asked to discuss “how it all began” for him, Qusi reminisced:
In the beginning, one is a born Muslim; then you begin to be lured, from whence, you do not know.
I was a medical student in the 1970s and the Muslim Brotherhood lured me to them from within the university. Nor did I even realize they were the Brotherhood. Anwar Sadat was president during this time, when he committed his greatest mistake—a mistake he paid for with his life. Not that he released these groups from the prisons after [his predecessor] Abdul Nasser had incarcerated them; but rather for giving them the green light to work in all fields of Egyptian society, thinking he would use them to get rid of his Socialist and Communist opponents. So he permitted them to work in trade unions, school unions—giving them every opportunity to hold official positions [Emphasis added].
As a student I had noticed that some of my fellow classmates were considerably older, eventually realizing they were former prison inmates. They began to distribute hand-written copies of Sayyid Qutb’s books, which were banned at the time. And we thought that they were heroes, imprisoned for their commitment and intellectual rigor, persecuted by the regime for their patriotism. Unfortunately, they greatly influenced us, since, at the time, we did not know how to differentiate truth from falsehood in regards to the ideas, principles, and pronouncements they exposed us to—to the point that religion and politics became one and the same for us. This was the beginning of my deviation.
When asked how he would describe the Muslim Brotherhood, Qusi cautiously answered: “All these organizations—without exception—are not without radicalism.”
Here, then, is firsthand testimonial from someone closely affiliated with the Brotherhood on how born Muslims can be lured and indoctrinated from within—and all in a very legal, peaceful manner. Sadat’s fault was less that he freed the Brotherhood, more that he allowed them legitimacy.
Qusi went on to discuss how these groups learned that the assassination of Sadat and the strikes of 9/11 were nothing to celebrate, to the point that some of those involved renounced these acts, having learned that stealth and patience are more effective than open warfare, which only brings unwanted attention.
All this is a warning to the West, where Muslim organizations, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood front group, implement the strategy their parent organization has perfected over the course of decades—incrementally subverting free societies from within.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
Another great article sent to me by Joseph Haba, he really understands the root cause of the Slave Trade. I applaud Joseph for seeking the truth, very few Americans are aware of the information he has provided. Walt
THE WRONG ENEMY IN AFRICA: THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
By Joseph Haba, MED
PhD Candidate in Business Administration
Africa, the poorest continent on earth, has been like a baby king whose kingdom is ruled by France, but whose isolations and miseries are wrongfully attributed to the United States. Africa has always considered France a passionate father that continues to suffer, according to Francafrique policy, from the hands of the imperialists and capitalists in the United States. Though no single evidence shows any family-like relationships between African human capital and economic development by the French, the French media and French political gurus have always succeeded in cooking the African elite’s minds to love French cultures, but loft the English-American cultures.
Africa, despite the sequels of the European slave trade and colonialism, continues to loft her best friend and savior: the United States of America. This anti-Americanism has been the polluted concepts the French have successfully engraved in the minds of the African masses while the African elites, most of them French nationals or French puppets, become the sponges that suck up the African economy, but the French squeeze out of them. Without knowing and without understanding this occult master-and-slave relationship between France and Africa, we, Africans have always been misled by the French because they almost always the United States as their black sheep or the ugly ducking. Can someone tell me why some people were buring the American flag in Ghana when we know that Ghana loves the United States? It was because of French involvement in Cote d’Ivoire.
But, today, as a learned and fair-minded African I would like us, Africans to confront Francafrique’s disservice in Africa and exhibit the loyalty and emotional influence of the United States as the predestined keeper of Africa’s political and economic freedom. Many critics would think I am biased to the American culture as I write, but, after they have read the whole article, they will understand why God, and I measure my words, has preposed a predisposition democratic web between the United States and Africa. After reading this article, people will understand that the United States has been marvelously watching over Africa’s interest, and in most cases France has vigorously and unjustly persecuted the United States in most Africans’ minds. First, it was the U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt who literarily forced the British Prime Minister Churchill to compose the Atlantic Charter in 1941. This document was to direct the Allies’ war effort, and the third paragraph of the Charter stated that the Allies “respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they will wish to see sovereign rights of self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them”. Don’t you think that returning African veterans used this paragraph as a commitment to end colonial rule in Africa? The United States has always promoted free trade, but most African nations were European colonies the same way the United States were once European colonies. Don’t you think the United States demanded African nations’ freedom so as to enter the African market and create a kind of political influence in Africa? Have we all forgotten the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union? Don’t you think the Soviet Union played a part in ending colonialism?
One day Europeans decided to scramble Africa, and they used, as they have always used, the Berlin Treaty to claim African territories for themselves like the Gold Rush in California. These European nations, France and Britain in the lead, used nationalism to grant large African territories for themselves without African consent while the United States tried to develop and build democratic systems of government. “You think you will colonize every human race forever, you, Europeans; one day, we will tell you what to do,” probably said the American delegation that attended the Berlin Conference.
Indeed, the United States, despite what most nations think, after recognizing and abolishing slavery in its territory, inhaled the sweet breeze that followed the end of slavery with the struggle of the Civil Right Movement. While she struggled with her own internal problems, Africa continued to be one of her priorities. Many people don’t know a lot about the African slavery. Characterizing the African slavery to the United States, in my opinion, is a misconception. First, less than 10% of the White people in America owned slaves in the south of the United States. Moreover, since Europeans were the ones bringing slaves in the United States, it is possible that they, the Europeans, brought friends and family members in the Americas to participate in the Enslavement of Africa. This means about 5% of the 10% of those who enslaved Africans in the Americas had more interest in Europe than in the Americas. Finally, almost every body who enslaved Africans in the Americas had European background. This means that about 99% of the 10% of the White people who enslaved Africans in the Americas did it because of their European background, not of their American background. Before I continue, let’s look at these numbers:
Over 28 Million Africans have been enslaved in the Muslim world during the past 14 centuries While much has been written concerning the Transatlantic slave trade, surprisingly little attention has been given to the Islamic slave trade across the Sahara, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
While the European involvement in the Transatlantic slave trade to the Americas lasted for just over three centuries, the Arab involvement in the slave trade has lasted fourteen centuries, and in some parts of the Muslim world is still continuing to this day. A comparison of the Muslim slave trade to the American slave trade reveals some interesting contrasts.
While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Muslim slave trade. Two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims.
While the mortality rate for slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, the percentage of slaves dying in transit in the Transsahara and East African slave trade was between 80 and 90%!
While almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, most of the slaves destined for the Muslim Middle East were for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems, and for military service.
While many children were born to slaves in the Americas, and millions of their descendants are citizens in Brazil and the USA to this day, very few descendants of the slaves that ended up in the Middle East survive.
While most slaves who went to the Americas could marry and have families, most of the male slaves destined for the Middle East were castrated, and most of the children born to the women were killed at birth.
It is estimated that possibly as many as 11 million Africans were transported across the Atlantic (95% of which went to South and Central America, mainly to Portuguese, Spanish and French possessions. Only 5% of the slaves went to the United States).
A comparison of the Muslim slave trade to the American slave trade reveals some interesting contrasts. While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Muslim slave trade. Two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims.
While the mortality rate for slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, the percentage of slaves dying in transit in the Transsahara and East African slave trade was between 80 and 90%!
While almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, most of the slaves destined for the Muslim Middle East were for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems, and for military service.
While many children were born to slaves in the Americas, and millions of their descendants are citizens in Brazil and the USA to this day, very few descendants of the slaves that ended up in the Middle East survive.
While most slaves who went to the Americas could marry and have families, most of the male slaves destined for the Middle East were castrated, and most of the children born to the women were killed at birth. It is estimated that possibly as many as 11 million Africans were transported across the Atlantic (95% of which went to South and Central America, mainly to Portuguese, Spanish and French possessions. Only 5% of the slaves went to the United States).
While Christian Reformers spearheaded the antislavery abolitionist movements in Europe and North America, and Great Britain mobilized her Navy, throughout most of the 19th Century, to intercept slave ships and set the captives free, there was no comparable opposition to slavery within the Muslim world.
Even after Britain outlawed the slave trade in 1807 and Europe abolished the slave trade in 1815, Muslim slave traders enslaved a further 2 million Africans. This despite vigorous British Naval activity and military intervention to limit the Muslim slave trade.
By some calculations the number of victims of the 14 centuries of Muslim slave trade could exceed 180 million. Nearly 100 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in America, and 130 years after all slaves within the British Empire were set free by parliamentary decree, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, in 1962, and Mauritania in 1980, begrudgingly removed legalized slavery from their statute books.
Despite these realities, the United States have protected the right of the black people, and the United States’ influence gave independence to African nations. Should we say that everybody in the United States love black people? No! The same way every African will not love the United States, the same way some African love France and her caprices, we should not expect every American to love Africa.
After helping Africa gain independence, the United States were considered Friends of Africa by those who known about the Atlantic Charter, but only a few Africans were literate; so France changed her her dirty trick by pretending to be the U.S. ally. The United States’ victory in bringing about independence in African nations became eternal anti-American paradigm in Francafrique: the establishment of virtual private family-like system of governance based on corruption, dictatorship, despotism, financing civil wars. For example in Cote d’Ivoire, President Gbagbo was pro-U.S. and pro-Israel. Therefore, the French used some American politicians, who know nothing about the African and French cultures, to destroy Gbagbo’s presidency. It was not about election, it was about French companies’ interest and French politicians’ interest.
The French used rhetorical and pejorative meaning of capitalism to portrayed Americans as imperialists and money-mongers, antihuman. The United States, joyous of her active participation in giving freedom to African nations, was avid of friendly kisses that merit her friendship. The United States started to introduce democracy and free trades in Africa, but the French did not want anything like that to happen in Africa. The French were worried that if Africans understand the meaning of democracy, freedom and free trades, the Africans would prefer dealing with the United States. Do you undertand why France is alway eager to finance the elections in Africa? The French had one weapon to disqualify the Americans. Americans are generous and friendly, but the French are snakes with two tongues. They use flip-flap languages every time when it comes to French interests. Therefore, the French pretended to be American allies in the war on terror, but they created an occult system of cultural assimilation and family bounding. In most African cultures, money has less value than relationship. The French pretend to be friends of Africa through la Francophonie and Francafrique while they use Americans’ generosity as imperialists and capitalists.
Wasn’t the American capitalism that developed Europe? Isn’t the capitalistic concept that the Europeans used to scramble Africa? Yet, the French have used egregious anti-Americanism in Africa that most Africans prefer joining Arab to kill Americans. The Arabs and the Europeans have done more harm to Africa than any other people on earth. But the French make alliances with Arab nations, using religion and ethnic division, to prevent Africans from knowing the truth. These are the realities every African must know. No more nightmare of anti-Americanism by the French should stand. No more using Islam and Christianity to mislead African nations.
The moment has come for us to unite with the United States of America to turn the wheels of integrity and justice around. Everybody should keep their religion, but the French must go out of Africa. Every French establishment in every African country belongs to those countries, and the United States must use African Americans to take the lead in the effort to Free Africa, once and for all, from Francafrique.
(All Emphasis in this article were by me)
As support I ask all that read this, please let others know of this atrocity. Thank You Walt
Source Article Link: Israel National News
An apostate in Pakistan, or in any Pakistani Muslim community in the world is a dead man.
Anyone who sounds like this in Pakistan, or in any Pakistani Muslim community in the world is a dead man.
Op-Ed: To Sweden: Save Khalid Saheed’s Life – Let Him Stay
Written By Phyllis Chesler
Sweden is the country that once awarded Yasir Arafat a Noble Peace Prize, but Sweden has also been at the forefront of human rights activism and legislation. Now, in sending an apostate back to Pakistan, Sweden is failing its own stated ideals.
We all used to think of Sweden as a very “progressive” country. Now, alas, the word “progressive” has come to mean other, certain things.
In May, 2011 Sweden hosted and funded the notorious “Palestinian” terrorist, Leila Khaled. As a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, she hijacked an airplane in 1969.
In September, Sweden held the first official welcoming ceremony for a “Palestinian” representative. The government expressed support for efforts towards Palestine’s statehood.
In November, the Swedish government funded an anti-Israel brochure titled “Colonialism and Apartheid. The Israeli Occupation in Palestine.”
Let’s not forget that Sweden is also the country that once awarded Yasir Arafat a Noble Peace Prize.
In the last two decades, in the name of “multicultural relativism” and “politically correct diversity”, Sweden has allowed Muslim anti-infidel separatism to fester; of course, Swedish Jews, in Malmo in particular, have been cursed and assaulted by hostile Muslims.
Now, Sweden has once again demonstrated its failure to recognize a “good” Muslim from a “hostile” Muslim or terrorist. Rather than welcome the pro-Western Pakistani Khalid Saeed, who seeks political asylum, the Swedish Migration Board has turned down his application for political asylum. An appeal is underway.
A number of European and Scandinavian Free Speech societies, asked me to write a letter on his behalf to the Swedish government. Here is a partial version of that letter.
Letter To The Government of Sweden and Migration Board:
I am writing to you on behalf of Khalid Saeed’s petition to remain in Sweden, a petition which you have denied. I implore you to revisit his case.
His life—and Sweden’s reputation for fairness and morality are both at stake.
Khalid Saeed and his family have been living in Sweden since 2009. Saeed joined the 5% of the Swedish population who are Muslims. However, unlike Muslims who have rioted and/or who have refused to assimilate in Sweden, Khalid is a pro-Western apostate.
This is precisely why he fled Pakistan. Apostasy is a capital crime in Islam, and so is any preference shown to Western ways of thought.
Khalid Saeed was a car dealer in Islamabad, Pakistan. He is married and has three children. Once he made his views known, he was threatened. He fled. In his own words, he claims:
“I have never worshipped Allah nor do I or my wife, Asia, believe in Islam as the only truth for mankind. I have distanced myself from Islam years ago. That is my curse. My wife, the mother to our children, agrees. She will not see her daughter brought up in a society where women are only half humans and neither will I.
“As parents we also do not want to stand (helpless) on the side line and watch our two lovely and open-minded boys being forced into any kind of holy jihad group or society whose only objective is to oppress, threaten, and intimidate others to blindly follow the pitiless words of the profane muslim prophet Mohammad and his followers’ medieval Islamic sharia laws.”
And yet, you have refused him asylum in Sweden. I strongly disagree with your ruling on his application for asylum.
I assume you are familiar with the fate of apostates: Muslims who convert to Christianity or who describe themselves as “humanists” or “secularists,” or who believe in freedom of religion.
Sweden’s own 2010 Report on Human Rights in Pakistan confirms that religious minorities are severely persecuted in Pakistan as are any people who are in favor of free speech, academic freedom, and independent thought. For example, the governor of the Punjab (in Pakistan) was assassinated when he wanted to pursue reforms against blasphemy laws.
The International Humanist and Ethical Union, which was founded in Amsterdam, spent years campaigning for the life of physician and human rights activist Dr. Younus Sheikh who languished on Death Row in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
We know that many Muslims are not friendly toward any infidel religion, including Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, etc. Christians have been—and still are—being savagely persecuted in Muslim lands. I and many others have written about this often. Author and apostate Nonie Darwish and ex-Muslim secularist Ibn Warraq have both spoken out about this burning issue.
Christians are being savagely persecuted in Egypt and all across the Middle East and Islamic world.
In Pakistan, Christians have literally been crucified, teenaged Christian girls have been kidnapped, raped, then forced to marry their rapists and convert to Islam.
Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, do not allow Christians, Jews, or other “infidels” to pray openly or to build any or new houses of worship.
The Arab Muslim Middle East is almost completely “Judenrein,” (free of Jews) since more than 800,000 Arab Jews were exiled or forced to flee their countries between 1948-1968.
In 2010, in Pakistan, a Muslim mob attacked a Christian man and slaughtered him with pick-axes for refusing to convert to Islam.
According to Mina Nevisa, an Iranian Muslim convert to Christianity who wrote a book about her experiences, both she and her female cousin were attending an underground church in Teheran. Nevis fled Iran together with her husband. Her cousin was not so lucky. “She was arrested on charges of Apostasy and taken to Evin prison, where she was raped, tortured, and then killed by a firing squad. The pastor was also killed.”
The situation for Muslim apostates in Europe is also perilous. High profile apostates, such as Egyptian-Italian Magdi Christiano Allam, who was converted to Catholicism by the Pope, lives with six round-the-clock bodyguards. Aayan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-Dutch-American apostate-secularist, also requires a full time security detail. People who do not have public profiles, who are not academics, intellectuals, politicians, or public speakers, also face similar problems.
In 2001, “Sabatina James” (a pseudonym) fled from Austria to Germany and went into hiding to escape being honor-murdered by her family after she converted from Islam to Christianity. Her family had immigrated from Pakistan.
“Sabatina’s” troubles began when she was 15 years old. Because she dared to wear lipstick and blue jeans, she was mercilessly beaten. When she rejected marriage to a cousin, “Sabatina” was sent to a Qur’anic school in Lahore, where she was repeatedly flogged. She finally agreed to the marriage—but only in order to be able to return to Austria. Then, when she was 19 years old, she fled.
In 2009, Iraqi-born Vian Bakir Fatah was stabbed to death by her Iraqi ex-husband in Norway. She had converted to Christianity and had a new boyfriend. Her ex-husband murdered her in the presence of their four children.
In the past, Sweden has presumably been at the forefront of human rights activism and legislation. Now, in this case, it seems that Sweden has failed its own stated ideals.
Given the information that I and others are providing, I strongly urge you to reconsider Khalid Saeed’s case. If not, his blood, and the blood of his wife and children will be on Swedish hands.
Signed: Professor Phyllis Chesler
Prof. Phyllis Chesler is the author of fifteen books, including Women and Madness (Doubleday, 1972), The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and most recently, The New Anti-Semitism. She is the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women’s Health Network.
Source Article Link: FrontPageMag
Obama Administration Bans Knowledge of Islam
By Raymond Ibrahim
The Obama administration’s censoring of photographs of the late Osama bin Laden, lest they “offend” Muslims, is one thing; but what about censoring words, especially those pivotal to U.S. security?
Weeks earlier, the Daily Caller revealed that “the Obama administration was pulling back all training materials used for the law enforcement and national security communities, in order to eliminate all references to Islam that some Muslim groups have claimed are offensive.”
The move comes after complaints from advocacy organizations including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and others identified as Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the 2004 Holy Land Foundation terror fundraising trial. In a Wednesday Los Angeles Times op-ed, Muslim PublicAffairs Council (MPAC) president Salam al-Marayati threatened the FBI with a total cutoff of cooperation between American Muslims and law enforcement if the agency failed to revise its law enforcement training materials. Maintaining the training materials in their current state “will undermine the relationship between law enforcement and the Muslim American community,” al-Marayati wrote. Multiple online sources detail MPAC’s close alignment with CAIR. In his op-ed, Al-Marayati demanded that the Justice Department and the FBI “issue a clear and unequivocal apology to the Muslim American community” and “establish a thorough and transparent vetting process in selecting its trainers and materials.”
Accordingly, after discussing the matter with Attorney General Eric Holder, Dwight C. Holton said “I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated.”
Even before these Muslim complaints and threats, President Obama alluded to censoring words when he said soon after taking office: “Words matter … because one of the ways we’re going to win this struggle [“war on terror”] is through the battle of [Muslims’] hearts and minds” (followed by oddities like commissioning NASA to make Muslims “feel good” about themselves).
As if there were not already a lamentable lack of study concerning Muslim war doctrine in the curriculum of American military studies—including in the Pentagon and U.S. Army War College—the administration’s more aggressive censorship program will only exacerbate matters. Last year’s QDR, a strategic document, does not mention anything remotely related to Islam—even as it stresses climate change, which it sees as an “accelerant of instability and conflict” around the world.
This attempt to whitewash Islam certainly has precedents, such as a 2008 government memo that not only warned against “offending,” “insulting,” or being “confrontational” to Muslims, but tried to justify such censorship as follows:
Never use the terms “jihadist” or “mujahideen” in conversation to describe the terrorists. A mujahed, a holy warrior, is a positive characterization in the context of a just war. In Arabic, jihad means “striving in the path of God” and is used in many contexts beyond warfare. Calling our enemies jihadis and their movement a global jihad unintentionally legitimizes their actions [emphasis added].
Aside from the fact that the above definitions are highly misleading, the notion that the words we use can ever have an impact on what is and is not legitimate for Muslims is ludicrous: Muslims are not waiting around for Americans or their government—that is, the misguided, the deluded, in a word, the infidel—to define Islam for them. For Muslims, only Sharia determines right and wrong.
The U.S. government needs to worry less about which words appease Muslims and worry more about providing its intelligence community—not to mention its own citizenry—with accurate knowledge concerning the nature of the threat.
Without words related to Islam, how are analysts to make sense of the current conflict? What are the goals and motivations of the “jihadists”? What are their methods? Who might be “radicalizing” them? Whom are they affiliated to? Who supports them? These and a host of other questions are unintelligible without free use of words related to Islam.
Knowledge is inextricably linked to language. The more generic the language, the less precise the knowledge; conversely, the more precise the language, the more precise the knowledge. In the current conflict, to acquire accurate knowledge, which is essential to victory, we need to begin with accurate language.
This means U.S. intelligence analysts and policymakers need to be able to use, and fully appreciate the significance of, words related to Islam—starting with the word “Islam” itself, i.e., submission to a worldview based on Sharia, a code of law antithetical to Western common law. It means the U.S. military needs to begin expounding and studying Islamic war doctrine—without fear of reprisal, such as when counter-terrorism strategist Stephen Coughlin was fired by the Pentagon for focusing on Islamic doctrine and therefore being politically incorrect. In short, it means America’s leadership needs to take that ancient dictum—“Know thy enemy”—seriously.