The American Kafir

2012/04/12

Vetting Obama – Live Birth Abortion Survivor Law – Erosion of Individual Rights

Vetting Obama – Live Birth Abortion Survivor Law – Erosion of Individual Rights

By Walt Long

This year voting for a President of the United States, it is vital we know more about  Barack Hussein Obama. One of the issues that struck me was the attitude of the President concerning a law that would protect an infant that is born after it was aborted from the Mother. Obama refused to sign a law protecting a human life. All the pertinent articles and law are posted below. This should not be a Republican vs Democrat issue, we are talking about a human life,an innocent victim left on a cold slab to die. Obama gave orders to the Doctors and Nurses that they were not to administer to the life of this child…the baby would be left to die;Obama being the dictator of life or death.

We ,the American Citizen, have come to expect losing our individual rights at the hands of Obama and this administration. Our government, such as National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 which gives the U.S. government authority to arrest and indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without charge or trial. If it has been suggested Conservatives are blowing this out of proportion I suggest reading… NDAA a Dangerous Precedent, Even With the Signing Statement.

Another individual right being taken away is the assassination of a United States Citizen without due process of the law, the only hearing allowed is not the Court of Law …but the court of Barack Hussein Obama’s law, with  Attorney General Eric Holder defending the decision.  I am talking about the assassination of, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, both United States citizens,  by a CIA drone attack in Yemen on September 30 2011, authorized by Eric Holder,,Barack Hussein Obama, and a secretive government committee. Anwar al-Awlaki’s used Islam for terrorist incitements, yes he was a very evil man, however,  by being a United States citizen he should have been allowed his Constitutional rights by a trial before the Court of Law and his peers. If our government can kill two citizens then what would stop them from killing more? It is a very  dangerous precedence allowing the assassination of a United States Citizen by any secretive panel of senior government officials,



Documents show Obama cover-up on born-alive survivors bill

Source JillStanek

UPDATE, 4:30p: Ben Smith of The Politico has linked to this post.

UPDATE, 4p: Concerned Women for America has audio of an interview with me on this here.

UPDATE, 10:22a:Michelle Malkin has linked to this post.

UPDATE, 9:50a: Kathryn Lopez of National Review Online is covering the story.

Last week Doug Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee drew my attention to a previously unnoticed January 2008 article by Terence Jeffrey stating Barack Obama actually did vote against a version of the IL Born Alive Infants Protection Act that was identical to the federal version, contrary to multiple public statements Obama or his surrogates have made to rationalize his opposition to the IL bill for the past 4 years.

Since then we have found 2 separate documents proving Barack Obama has been misrepresenting facts.

In fact, Barack Obama is more liberal than any U.S. senator, voting against identical language of a bill that body passed unanimously, 98-0. In fact, Barack Obama condones infanticide if it would otherwise interfere with abortion.

Here is the statement with documentation released by NRLC this morning…

New documents just obtained by NRLC, and linked below, prove that Senator [Barack] Obama has for the past four years blatantly misrepresented his actions on the IL Born-Alive Infants Protection bill.

Summary and comment by NRLC spokesman Douglas Johnson:

Newly obtained documents prove that in 2003, Barack Obama, as chairman of an IL state Senate committee, voted down a bill to protect live-born survivors of abortion – even after the panel had amended the bill to contain verbatim language, copied from a federal bill passed by Congress without objection in 2002, explicitly foreclosing any impact on abortion. Obama’s legislative actions in 2003 – denying effective protection even to babies born alive during abortions – were contrary to the position taken on the same language by even the most liberal members of Congress. The bill Obama killed was virtually identical to the federal bill that even NARAL ultimately did not oppose.

In 2000, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was first introduced in Congress. This was a two-paragraph bill intended to clarify that any baby who is entirely expelled from his or her mother, and who shows any signs of life, is to be regarded as a legal “person” for all federal law purposes, whether or not the baby was born during an attempted abortion. (To view the original 2000 BAIPA, click here.)

In 2002, the bill was enacted, after a “neutrality clause” was added to explicitly state that the bill expressed no judgment, in either direction, about the legal status of a human prior to live birth.

(The “neutrality” clause read, “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being ‘born alive’ as defined in this section.”)

The bill passed without a dissenting vote in either house of Congress. (To view the final federal BAIPA as enacted, click here. To view a chronology of events pertaining to the federal BAIPA, click here.)

Continue reading the rest of the article Click Here

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2011/10/28

PDF Copy of Flier Found at Occupy Phoenix Ponders: ‘When Should You Shoot A Cop?’ Also Bulletin Issued by Arizona Counter-Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC)

This is the same group Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are endorsing. This is the same Barack Obama who asked about the Republicans who would not accept his second stimulus plan disguised as another “Jobs Bill” and made this statement “Are they against putting teachers and police officers and firefighters back on the job?” Now who really is against the Police????????? W

H/T The Blaze

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2011/10/18

Rep. Frank Wolf takes on Grover Norquist

I join with Frank Gaffney. W “Frank Wolf is standing up for the rest of us against such a prospect like a true Horatius at the bridge.  Now, we must stand with him.”

Source Article Link: Big Peace

Written By Frank Gaffney

Legend has it that ancient Rome was spared a devastating invasion by the courage and skill of a great warrior named Horatius, whose singlehanded defense of a bridge kept the enemy hordes at bay.  From time to time, a contemporary figure exhibits similar heroic qualities, earning this column’s “Horatius at the Bridge” award.  With his “statement of conscience” on the floor of the House of Representatives last week, Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) has become the latest recipient of that distinction.

On October 4, Rep. Wolf summarized in five-minutes a long insert he placed that day in the Congressional Record. The immediate impetus for this address was the sixteen-term legislator’s concern about Washington’s current inability to have a constructive conversation about tax reform.  The Congressman made clear that he was not in favor of raising taxes but warned that, “We sit here today shackled in ideological gridlock.  Some insist that any discussion of tax policy is off the table.  Others reject any change in entitlement programs…. Powerful special interests continue to hold this institution hostage and undermine every good faith effort to change course.”

After noting the role played by such Democratic special interests as MoveOn.org, Mr. Wolf observed that “On the Republican side, Grover Norquist holds up the Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge to block even the mention of putting tax reform on the table for discussion as part of a deficit reduction agreement.”  Then, the congressman asked:

Have we really reached a point where one person’s demand for ideological purity is paralyzing Congress to the point that even a discussion of tax reform is viewed as breaking a no-tax pledge?  It is curious that Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform, yet his purist pledge has no mention of working to reform the tax code to make it simpler and fairer to average American taxpayers.

Horatius Wolf then added:

Numerous federal investigations, reports and public documents point to Grover Norquist using his network of organizations– Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), his former and now defunct lobbying firm Janus-Merritt Strategies, and the Islamic Free Market Institute– in questionable ways, raising money in business activities with people who have been in serious criminal trouble…. My concern arises when the appearances of impropriety are raised over and over again with a person who has such influence over public policy.  That, I believe, should give any fair-minded person pause.

The Congressman proceeded to give examples of Norquist’s troubling associations and agendas.  These include: deep involvement with convicted felon Jack Abramoff and a record of ignoring congressional subpoenas concerning same; lobbying on behalf of the very mortgage lending practices at Fannie Mae that helped crater thehousing market and economy; promoting the proliferation of internet gambling and casinos; and taking $4.3 million from trial lawyer-turned-convicted felon Dickie Scruggs.

What makes Frank Wolf’s bill of particulars heroic, however, is not just his taking on a prominent and influential Republican operative.  It is the documentation of the parts of Norquist’s advocacy and activities that are inimical to the national security.  These include:

  • Norquist’s ties to Muslim Brotherhood operatives, including three who were also convicted of felonies – terrorist financier Abdurahman Alamoudi, Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian and Islamist activist Mahdi Bray – and Alamoudi’s longtime deputy Khalid Saffuri.  Saffuri became the executive director of a Brotherhood front, the Islamic Free Market Institute, started with funding from Alamoudi; its founding chairman was Grover Norquist.
  • Norquist’s efforts to block the government’s occasional discreet use of classified information indeportation and other terrorism-related proceedings.  For his efforts, Norquist which received in July 2001 an award from a group of radical leftists and Islamists, the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedoms, led at the time by none other than Sami al-Arian.
  • Norquist’s close collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union, and other leftist and Islamist organizations, to repeal or dismantle the Patriot Act.  Norquist has joined them as well in championing the closure of Guantanamo Bay, the relocation of its detainees to the United States, civilian trials for the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero.

It took considerable courage for Frank Wolf to lay out this bill of particulars.  While the factual basis for much of his statement has been known for years, until now, no prominent official of the U.S. government has been willing publicly to address – let alone criticize – such behavior and its ominous implications for the conservative movement, the Republican Party and the nation.

Congressman Wolf is correct in his warning about the insidious nature of Grover Norquist’s various problematic associations and agendas.  It is past time that Americans of every political persuasion and affiliation in every city, community and region in this country join him in standing up to Norquist.  The alternative is to allow Norquist associates and their influence operations to continue to infiltrate, divide and, inevitably, weaken our country and cause.

Frank Wolf is standing up for the rest of us against such a prospect like a true Horatius at the bridge.  Now, we must stand with him.

2011/09/30

Assassin-in-Chief

Assassin-in-Chief

By Kevin D. Williamson

Here are two facts: (1) Anwar al-Awlaki is an American citizen and an al-Qaeda propagandist. (2) Pres. Barack Obama proposes to assassinate him. Between the first fact and the second falls the shadow.

The Awlaki case has led many conservatives into dangerous error, as has the War on Terror more generally. That conservatives are for the most part either offering mute consent or cheering as the Obama administration draws up a list of U.S. citizens to be assassinated suggests not only that have we gone awry in our thinking about national security, limitations on state power, and the role of the president in our republic, but also that we still do not understand all of the implications of our country’s confrontation with Islamic radicalism. The trauma of 9/11 has deposited far too much emotional residue upon our thinking, and the Awlaki case provides occasion for a necessary scouring.

Contra present conservative dogma, the Constitution has relatively little to say about the role of the president in matters of what we now call national security, which is not synonymous with combat operations. What the Constitution says is this: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.” That is all. Upon this sandy foundation, conservative security and legal thinkers have constructed a fortress of a presidency that is nearly unlimited or actually unlimited in its power to define and pursue national-security objectives. But a commander-in-chief is not a freelance warlord, and his titular powers do not extend over everything that touches upon national security. The FBI’s counterterrorism work, for example, is critical to national security, but its management does not fall under the duties of a commander-in-chief; it is police work, like many of the needful things undertaken in the War on Terror. The law-enforcement approach to counterterrorism is much maligned in conservative circles where martial rhetoric is preferred, but the work of the DOJ, FBI, NYPD, etc., is critical. It is not, however, warfare.

A commander-in-chief does not have unilateral authority to invade foreign countries or to name belligerents, and it is clear that the Founders did not intend to give the president that kind of unchecked war-making power, much less to compound it with unchecked domestic police and surveillance powers, which is why the power to declare war resides with Congress rather than with the president. Our Constitution, as in all things, relies upon checks and balances when it comes to the conduct of war. It is significant that the final powers — to declare war, to ratify a peace treaty, to punish treason — do not rest with the president, but with Congress.

Congress deploys its checks and balances through passing laws, but many conservatives now argue that the president need not follow them. It is no exaggeration to write that a key plank in their platform is the belief that the law does not apply to the president or to his employees. Being a co-equal branch of government, conservatives argue, the executive is not bound by what my colleague Andrew C. McCarthy habitually refers to as mere “congressional statute” — i.e., the law — when pursuing its constitutional national-security duties. I do not wish to exaggerate Mr. McCarthy’s position, so I will let him speak for himself. For example, he acknowledges that “Bush’s ‘Terrorist Surveillance Program’ did not comply with the letter of a congressional statute, the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” but maintains that the administration was not obliged to follow the law in this case, because of a superseding constitutional investiture. Mr. McCarthy dismisses the notion that “the president acts illegally whenever he transgresses a statute” and argues that Congress “violated constitutional separation-of-powers principles” merely by issuing subpoenas to White House staffers in the course of a criminal investigation. He argues that in national-security matters, the president’s conduct is “more a political matter than a legal one.” For a great many conservatives, President Nixon’s most cracked assertion — “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal” — is now an article of faith, but President Reagan’s Executive Order 12333 banning assassinations is a dead letter.

Running with the ball we passed him, Obama and his administration now insist on the president’s right not only to order the assassination of U.S. citizens, but to do so in secret, without oversight from Congress, the public, or anybody else. Barack Obama today claims powers that would have made Julius Caesar blush.

An assassination may have military consequences, but it is not mainly a military act — war and assassination are different and distinct branches of politics. That does not mean that the law does not come into play: Mr. McCarthy may believe the president can set aside mere statutes, but he frequently justifies our detentions of al-Qaeda suspects as necessary prophylactics against “war criminals,” and the legal contortions that have been used to justify what we’re still calling with mostly straight faces the “enhanced interrogation” program have been a thing of wonder to meditate upon. The necessary thing to remember, these conservatives insist, is that since 9/11 the nation has been at war. In truth, we’ve been inching our way toward carrying out assassinations since well before the terrorist attacks of 2001. Clinton-administration officials told the Washington Post in 1998 that targeting Saddam Hussein was one possible contingency in case of hostilities with Iraq. Killing a hostile head of state as a prelude to combat operations is probably defensible; the slippery slope to assassinating American citizens was lubricated by the grief and rage of 9/11. There was remarkably little discussion given to it, the War on Terror having brought out the destructive strains of American exceptionalism. It is impossible to imagine that the United States would accept that the King of Sweden or the Grand Duke of Luxembourg has the legitimate right to conduct assassinations in the United States on the theory that we might be harboring enemies who wish them ill; to say the words is to appreciate their inherent preposterousness. But our own president is empowered to target our own citizens, wherever they may be found, without even so much as congressional oversight.

Among other intolerable consequences, this line of thinking means that if the president starts assassinating U.S. citizens helter-skelter, then the law is powerless to stop him, Congress is powerless to stop him (short of impeachment), and we’ll just have to wait for the next election. That is what is meant by “political limits” on executive power, as opposed to legal limits. It is an inadequate control.

These beliefs are relatively new to conservatives, being for the most part an artifact of the Bush years. One needn’t roll the clock back very far to discover a time when conservatives took a starkly different view of executive powers. After the fiasco at the Branch Davidian cult compound near Waco, Texas, the Right not only was willing to see executive-branch personnel subjected to the indignity of answering a subpoena but was in fact insistent that “mere statute” be used to put some of them in prison. Elliott Abrams, writing in National Review, called for investigations, arguing that “the balance between energetic law enforcement and limits on excessive government power will not be maintained if the Justice Department does not seek vigorously to maintain it.” On National Review Online, Deroy Murdock lamented the “maddening culture of impunity in which few officials face serious consequences for violating the law. This double standard, in which federal badges become licenses for lawlessness, typified the Clinton-Reno years.” He added that federal actions “involved an unlawfully extreme indifference to human life. Such misconduct often yields second-degree murder charges. But not at Waco.” Or for the would-be assassins of Awlaki. The Clinton administration was enough to make a limited-executive man, at least for a little while, out of John Ashcroft, who wrote: “The Clinton administration’s paranoid and prurient interest in international e-mail is a wholly unhealthy precedent, especially given this administration’s track record on FBI files and IRS snooping. Every medium by which people communicate can be subject to exploitation by those with illegal or immoral intentions. Nevertheless, this is no reason to hand Big Brother the keys to unlock our e-mail diaries, open our ATM records, read our medical records, or translate our international communications.” John Ashcroft felt differently after 9/11, as we all did. But John Ashcroft’s feelings are not what govern the United States.

The evolution of conservatives’ attitudes toward unchecked executive power is cautionary: If some of us who have historically been skeptical of the state and its pretenses are so quickly seduced by the outside observation of absolute power, how much more alluring must the prospect prove to the men who actually employ that power? Conservatives ought to admit that the presence of one of our own in the White House made us much more amenable to executive arrogations, and that the antiwar movement that tormented the Bush administration brings out a kind of Pavlovian response in us: Whichever side of the barricades the placard-carrying hippies and ANSWER dirtbags are on, we want to be on the other. That’s a salubrious instinct, but it can distort our thinking, inasmuch as the civil libertarians are not always wrong about everything. And we should appreciate that the Obama administration has intentionally made this matter public, leaking the details to the Washington Post: This is not a covert operation, but the establishment of a precedent. It is time to restore our ancestral suspicion of executive power.

But we have failed to do so, and now we are enduring the consequences as the Obama administration draws up a list of American citizens to be targeted for premeditated, extrajudicial killing that is part of no conventional military campaign, which brings us to two destructive illusions that must be shed: First, the War on Terror is not a war — not in the conventional sense of that word. Like the War on Drugs (but infinitely more serious and more important), it is a metaphorical war that sometimes has the characteristics of a real war. Awlaki is not a soldier or a man at arms: He is an author of invective and a preacher of sermons — it was not until the administration had been castigated for its assassination plans that it retroactively promoted the hateful homilist to “commander.” His crimes are real, and there is precedent for punishing them — we hanged Der Stürmer editor Julius Streicher at Nuremberg, but felt the need to conduct a trial first: Even a Nazi got more due process than we today are willing to extend to U.S. citizens. Awlaki is a traitor, to be sure, but hanging American traitors is a job for the American federal courts, not for assassins.

Second, and equally important: We are not going to win. Neither is al-Qaeda. Here, Mr. McCarthy is dead on: “There will be no treaty, no terms of surrender, no conquering enemy territory. Instead, there is only vigilance.” The War on Terror is not a military campaign, but a risk-mitigation project — a dangerous, bloody, and often thankless one. Jihad is and will be a constant low-level menace that may from time to time produce a spectacular attack. Al-Qaeda and its sympathizers will try to kill Americans, and we will try to stop them. If Awlaki happens to find himself on the wrong side of an American munition during the course of combat, he will not be missed.

But combat is a different thing from assassination, and regular combat is increasingly rare in the War on Terror, now that the actual war part — in Iraq and Afghanistan — has mostly wrapped up. And that is why the war model, and all of the lawlessness that flows from it, is defective: When the war is a metaphor, the battlefield is everywhere, and the timeline of operations is history’s horizon, we invite the creation of a state of “permanent emergency” by acquiescing to the growth and glorification of the state in arms. The defect in our pre-9/11 antiterrorism program was not that it was based on a law-enforcement model or that it lacked sufficient martial vigor, but that it was incompetently executed, a low-level, back-burner priority for a fat and happy nation cruising toward the millennium with very little on its mind beyond investment returns and Bill Clinton’s sexual shenanigans. That much changed on 9/11, but this did not: Decent governments do not assassinate their own citizens.

— Kevin D. Williamson is a deputy managing editor of National Review and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism, just published by Regnery. You can buy an autographed copy through National Review Online here.

Article Source Link: National Review Online

2011/03/22

America’s descent into strategic dementia

Source Link: J Post

Hat Tip NewsRealBlog

Written By CAROLINE B. GLICK

What the US foreign policy fights regarding Egypt and Libya indicate is that currently, a discussion about how events impact core US regional interests is completely absent from the discussion.

The US’s new war against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is the latest sign of its steady regional decline. In media interviews over the weekend, US military chief Adm. Michael Mullen was hard-pressed to explain either the goal of the military strikes in Libya or their strategic rationale.

Mullen’s difficulty explaining the purpose of this new war was indicative of the increasing irrationality of US foreign policy.

Traditionally, states have crafted their foreign policy to expand their wealth and bolster their national security. In this context, US foreign policy in the Middle East has traditionally been directed towards advancing three goals: Guaranteeing the free flow of inexpensive petroleum products from the Middle East to global market; strengthening regimes and governments that are in a position to advance this core US goal at the expense of US enemies; and fighting against regional forces like the pan-Arabists and the jihadists that advance a political program inherently hostile to US power.

Other competing interests have periodically interfered with US Middle East policy. And these have to greater or lesser degrees impaired the US’s ability to formulate and implement rational policies in the region.

These competing interests have included the desire to placate somewhat friendly Arab regimes that are stressed by or dominated by anti-US forces; a desire to foster good relations with Europe; and a desire to win the support of the US media.

Under the Obama administration, these competing interests have not merely influenced US policy in the Middle East. They have dominated it. Core American interests have been thrown to the wayside.

BEFORE CONSIDERING the deleterious impact this descent into strategic dementia has had on US interests, it is necessary to consider the motivations of the various sides to the foreign policy debate in the US today.

All of the sides have contributed to the fact that US Middle East policy is now firmly submerged in a morass of strategic insanity.

The first side in the debate is the anti-imperialist camp, represented by President Barack Obama himself. Since taking office, Obama has made clear that he views the US as an imperialist power on the world stage. As a result, the overarching goal of Obama’s foreign policy has been to end US global hegemony.

Obama looks to the UN as a vehicle for tethering the US superpower. He views US allies in the Middle East and around the world with suspicion because he feels that as US allies, they are complicit with US imperialism.

Given his view, Obama’s instincts dictate that he do nothing to advance the US’s core interests in the Middle East. Consider his policies towards Iran. The Iranian regime threatens all of the US’s core regional interests.

And yet, Obama has refused to lift a finger against the mullahs.

Operating under the assumption that US enemies are right to hate America due to its global hegemony, when the mullahs stole the 2009 presidential elections for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and then violently repressed the pro-Western opposition Green Movement, Obama sided with the mullahs.

Aside from its imperative to lash out at Israel, Obama’s ideological predisposition would permit him to happily sit on the sidelines and do nothing against US foe or friend alike. But given Obama’s basic suspicion of US allies, to the extent he has bowed to pressure to take action in the Middle East, he has always done so to the detriment of US allies.

Obama’s treatment of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is case in point.

When the Muslim Brotherhood-backed opposition protests began in late January, Obama was perfectly happy to do nothing despite the US’s overwhelming national interest in preserving Mubarak in power. But when faced with domestic pressure to intervene against Mubarak, he did so with a vengeance.

Not only did Obama force Mubarak to resign. He prevented Mubarak from resigning in September and so ensured that the Brotherhood would dominate the transition period to the new regime.

Obama’s most outspoken opponents in the US foreign policy debate are the neoconservatives.

Like Obama, the neoconservatives are not motivated to act by concern for the US’s core regional interests. What motivates them is their belief that the US must always oppose tyranny.

In some cases, like Iran and Iraq, the neoconservatives’ view was in consonance with US strategic interests and so their policy recommendation of siding with regime opponents against the regimes was rational.

The problem with the neoconservative position is that it makes no distinction between liberal regime opponents and illiberal regime opponents. It can see no difference between pro-US despots and anti-US despots.

If there is noticeable opposition to tyrants, then the US must support that opposition.

This view is what informed the neoconservative bid to oust Mubarak last month and Gaddafi this month.

The fracture between the Obama camp and the neoconservative camp came to a head with Libya. Obama wished to sit on the sidelines and the neoconservatives pushed for intervention.

To an even greater degree than in Egypt, the debate was settled by the third US foreign policy camp – the opportunists. Led today by Clinton, the opportunist camp supports whoever they believe is going to make them most popular with the media and Europe.

In the case of Libya, the opportunist interests dictated military intervention against Gaddafi. Europe opposes Gaddafi because the French and the British bet early on that his opponents were winning. France recognized the opposition as the legitimate government two weeks ago.

Once Gaddafi’s counteroffensive began, France and Britain realized they would be harmed politically and economically if Gaddafi maintained power so they began calling for military strikes to overthrow him.

As for the media, they were quick to romanticize the amorphous “opposition” as freedom fighters.

Seeing the direction of the wind, Clinton jumped on the European-media bandwagon and forced Obama to agree to a military operation whose goal no one can define.

WHAT THE US foreign policy fights regarding Egypt and Libya indicate is that currently, a discussion about how events impact core US regional interests is completely absent from the discussion. Consequently, it should surprise no one that none of the policies the US is implementing in the region advance those core interests in any way. Indeed, they are being severely damaged.

Under Mubarak, Egypt advanced US interests in two main ways. First, by waging war against the Muslim Brotherhood and opposing the rise of Iranian power in the region, Mubarak weakened the regional forces that most threatened US interests. Second, by managing the Suez Canal in conformance with international maritime law, Egypt facilitated the smooth transport of petroleum products to global markets and prevented Iran from operating in the Mediterranean Sea.

Since Mubarak was ousted, the ruling military junta has taken actions that signal that Egypt is no longer interested in behaving in a manner that advances US interests.

Domestically, the junta has embarked on a course that all but guarantees the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power in the fall.

Saturday’s referendum on constitutional amendments was a huge victory for the Brotherhood on two counts. First, it cemented Islamic law as the primary source of legislation and so paved the way for the Brotherhood’s transformation of Egypt into an Islamic state. Under Mubarak, that constitutional article meant nothing. Under the Brotherhood, it means everything.

Second, it set the date for parliamentary elections for September. Only the Brotherhood, and remnants of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party will be ready to stand for election so soon. The liberals have no chance of mounting a coherent campaign in just six months.

In anticipation of the Brotherhood’s rise to power, the military has begun realigning Egypt into the Iranian camp. This realignment is seen most openly in Egypt’s new support for Hamas. Mubarak opposed Hamas because it is part of the Brotherhood.

The junta supports it for the same reason. Newly appointed Foreign Minister Nabil el-Araby has already called for the opening of Egypt’s border with Hamas ruled Gaza.

There can be little doubt Hamas’s massive rocket barrage against Israel on Saturday was the product of its sense that Egypt is now on its side.

As for the Suez Canal, the junta’s behavior so far is a cause for alarm. Binding UN Security Council Resolution 1747 from 2007 bars Iran from shipping arms. Yet last month the junta thumbed its nose at international law and permitted two Iranian naval ships to traverse the canal without being inspected.

According to military sources, one of the ships carried advanced armaments. These were illicitly transferred to the German merchant ship Victoria at Syria’s Latakia port. Last week, IDF naval commandos interdicted the Victoria with its Iranian weaponry en route to Gaza via Alexandria.

Add to that Egypt’s decision to abrogate its contractual obligation to supply Israel with natural gas and we see that the junta is willing to suspend its commitment to international law in order to realign its foreign policy with Iran.

ON EVERY level, a post-Mubarak Egypt threatens the US core interests that Mubarak advanced.

Then there is Libya. One of the most astounding aspects of the US debate on Libya in recent weeks has been the scant attention paid to the nature of the rebels.

The rebels are reportedly represented by the so-called National Transitional Council led by several of Gaddafi’s former ministers.

But while these men – who are themselves competing for the leadership mantle – are the face of the NTC, it is unclear who stands behind them. Only nine of the NTC’s 31 members have been identified.

Unfortunately, available data suggest that the rebels championed as freedom fighters by the neoconservatives, the opportunists, the Europeans and the Western media alike are not exactly liberal democrats. Indeed, the data indicate that Gaddafi’s opponents are more aligned with al-Qaida than with the US.

Under jihadist commander Abu Yahya Al- Libi, Libyan jihadists staged anti-regime uprisings in the mid-1990s. Like today, those uprisings’ central hubs were Benghazi and Darnah.

In 2007 Al-Libi merged his forces into al- Qaida. On March 18, while denouncing the US, France and Britain, Al-Libi called on his forces to overthrow Gaddafi.

A 2007 US Military Academy study of information on al-Qaida forces in Iraq indicate that by far, Eastern Libya made the largest per capita contribution to al-Qaida forces in Iraq.

None of this proves that the US is now assisting an al-Qaida takeover of Libya. But it certainly indicates that the forces being assisted by the US in Libya are probably no more sympathetic to US interests than Gaddafi is. At a minimum, the data indicate the US has no compelling national interest in helping the rebels in overthrow Gaddafi.

The significance of the US’s descent into strategic irrationality bodes ill not just for US allies, but for America itself. Until the US foreign policy community is again able to recognize and work to advance the US’s core interests in the Middle East, America’s policies will threaten both its allies and itself.

caroline@carolineglick.com

2011/03/03

Americans Maintain Broad Support for Israel

Filed under: Conservatives, Israel, Liberal, Republicans — Tags: — - @ 4:54 pm

Source Link: Gallup

U.S. adults nearly four times as likely to side with Israelis as with Palestinians

by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ — Americans’ views toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict held fairly steady over the past year, with a near record-high 63% continuing to say their sympathies lie more with the Israelis. Seventeen percent sympathize more with the Palestinians.

Middle East Sympathies, Full Trend, 1988-2011

In measuring Americans’ sympathies toward the disputants in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1988, Gallup has found support for Israel consistently exceeding support for the Palestinians. However, the percentage who are neutral — saying they sympathize equally with both, sympathize with neither, or expressing no opinion — has shifted, with corresponding changes in support for Israel. While the reasons for these changes are not always evident, public neutrality was generally higher in the 1990s as the Palestinians and the Israelis often met at Clinton administration-sponsored peace summits.

Conversely, support for Israel increased during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, as well as immediately after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war — all events that may have enhanced Israel’s perceived value to the U.S. as a Mideast ally. Sympathy toward Israel was also higher in polling conducted shortly after Hamas’ victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections compared with the year prior, perhaps for the same reason.

The new results are from Gallup’s Feb. 2-5, 2011, update of the annual Gallup World Affairs survey, conducted as the citizen uprising in Egypt was unfolding.

In addition to the heavy tilt toward Israel in U.S. public sympathies, the poll finds a wide gap in Americans’ overall views of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, according to a question asking separately whether they view each very favorably, mostly favorably, mostly unfavorably, or very unfavorably. About two-thirds of Americans have a favorable opinion of Israel and 19% have a favorable opinion of the Palestinian Authority — largely unchanged from February 2010.

Favorable Views Toward Israel and the Palestinian Authority, 2000-2011 Trend

Range of Sympathy for Israel Bounded by Republicans and Liberals

Republicans continue to be Israel’s strongest U.S. supporters: 80% sympathize more with the Israelis in the conflict, substantially higher than the 57% of independents and Democrats sharing this view. A similar pattern is seen by political ideology, ranging from 74% among conservatives to 49% among liberals — with liberals the least supportive of Israel of any group Gallup measured.

Over the past decade, Republicans have consistently shown greater support than Democrats for Israel; however, the partisan gap has widened, with Republicans becoming even more supportive between 2001 and 2003 and since 2009. Independents’ support for Israel also increased to around 60% in recent years, up from 42% in 2001. At the same time, Democrats’ support for Israel has been fairly flat. (emphasis added)

Sympathy for Israelis vs. Palestinians in Mideast Situation, by Party ID, 2001-2011 Trend

All major U.S. population subgroups show greater sympathy for the Israelis than for the Palestinians. However, on a relative basis, Palestinians’ greatest support is found among liberals (30%), followed by Democrats and those with postgraduate education (24% each).

Additionally, adults aged 18 to 34 are slightly less likely than those 55 and older to sympathize with the Israelis.

Sympathies in Middle East Situation More With Israelis or Palestinians? February 2011, by Demographic Categories

Bottom Line

In recent years, with no major breakthroughs in the Mideast peace process and no resolution to the Hamas vs. Fatah political rift in the Palestinian territories, Americans’ sympathies toward the conflict’s players have leaned heavily toward the Israelis. In fact, with more than 60% of Americans sympathizing with Israel since 2010, public support for the Jewish state has been stronger than at any time other than in 1991, when Israel was hit by Iraqi Scud missiles during the Gulf War.

Israel currently enjoys popular U.S. support across all major party groups and most major societal subgroups; however, sympathy for it is particularly strong among Republicans and, relatedly, among conservatives.

Survey MethodsResults for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Feb. 2-5, 2011, with a random sample of 1,015 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell phone-only). Each sample includes a minimum quota of 150 cell phone-only respondents and 850 landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, education, region, and phone lines. Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2010 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in continental U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

View methodology, full question results, and trend data.

For more details on Gallup’s polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.