How to Topple the Mullahs

How to Topple the Mullahs
By Kenneth R. Timmerman
FrontPageMagazine.com | January 18, 2007

For now, the nutty recommendation of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group that the
United States should engage in direct talks with
Syria and
Iran appears to have been mooted by events on the ground.

U.S. military forces have caught
Iran red-handed – twice – over the past few weeks in
Iraq, No one can possibly doubt any longer what I and many others have been saying for some time: that
Iran is involved on the ground in
Iraq and is aiding both Sunni and Shia insurgents in an effort to blow that country apart.

But like all bad ideas in
Washington, rest assured that the Baker-Hamilton recommendation of direct talks will come back. Study group members can be counted upon to argue that the capture of top Iranian Revolutionary Guards and intelligence officials in
Iraq only proves their point that
Iran has real influence and thus must be dealt with directly, to prevent them from playing the spoiler’s role.

And by the way, they will argue, what’s the alternative? Nuke
Iran?

It is regrettable and truly astonishing that President Bush has not applied to
Iran and to
Syria the same global vision he has so eloquently displayed in regards to
Iraq and other fronts in the global war against the Islamic jihad. Because there is a clear alternative to the capitulation offered by Baker, Hamilton, and their advisors.

Instead of rewarding these regimes, the
United States should use its tremendous resources to contain
Syria and to undermine the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Such a policy is not far-fetched, nor is it based solely on ideology, although compelling moral arguments can be made in its favor. Instead, it serves the national and historic interests of the
United States.


Syria is a weak and failing state, that survives largely because it goes unchallenged.

After the assassination in Feb. 2005 of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, the Lebanese people revolted against Syrian interference in their country. The brave and persistent demonstrations of the Cedars Revolution forced
Syria to withdraw its forces from
Lebanon. The failure of the United Nations and the international community to keep pressure on the Syrian regime encouraged
Syria to creep back in through the back door.

The lessons just of these past two years are crystal clear: pressuring
Syria works; acquiescing to
Syria does not. And yet, the Baker-Hamilton group chooses acquiescence. When
Syria sins, force
Israel to make concessions, the ISG recommends. If there is logic here, it is not of the sort to make Americans proud.

Instead, the
United States should make the Syrian regime understand that it will pay a real price for its transgressions. Serious economic sanctions on
Syria for its continued support of Hezbollah, in defiance of UN Security Council resolution 1701, would have a devastating impact on the minority Alouite regime. And targeted military strikes on Syrian border outposts and military units caught red-handed aiding Iraqi insurgents would send a clear warning to
Syria’s military leaders. If
Syria did not get the message, the
United States could step up the pressure by targeted air strikes on
Damascus safehouses where Iraqi insurgent leaders continue to hide.


Syria has always backed down when challenged. If Mr. Baker were truly the “realist” he claims to be, he would acknowledge this and propose policies accordingly.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, however, is made of different stuff. This is a regime that over the past twenty-seven years has been willing to pay a tremendously high price in blood and treasure to pursue its radical policies. Since the 1979 revolution, the
United States has repeatedly attempted to “influence the behavior” of the regime, without success.

As I wrote in these pages just last month, the Baker-Hamilton proposal is a warmed rehash of the same failed policy we’ve been trying since 1979.

There is only one approach that will get the attention of the
Tehran’s revolutionary and clerical leaders; and this is the one approach that Baker and
Hamilton – and the foreign policy Establishment – have rejected: support for regime change.

This is the one approach that the
United States and its allies have never tried. Short of an all-out
U.S. military assault on
Iran, it is the only approach that can avoid a future
Persian Gulf region dominated by a radical Iranian regime armed with nuclear weapons. Saying pretty-please, as the Baker-Hamilton group proposed, just isn’t going to work.

Empowering Iranians to change their regime will be costly. From having worked with opponents to the Iranian regime over the past twenty years, and studied the requirements of opposition groups currently working inside
Iran, I believe the
United States should be prepared to commit a minimum of $300 million over an initial six month period if we are to have any hope of a successful outcome.

The very first step must be the appointment by the President of a Special Envoy for
Iran, with full presidential authority to convene a loya jirga type meeting of several hundred prominent Iranian leaders. The majority of those able to attend such a meeting will of necessity come from the diaspora; some will come secretly from the inside.

That meeting should focus on establishing a broad declaration of principles around which the various opposition factions can unite, and then electing an executive committee that will include authorized spokespersons for the pro-freedom movement. (Much of the ground work for such a broad meeting of Iranians has already been accomplished over the past two years, thanks to the Iranians themselves).

Over the next six months, the following tasks must be accomplished:

  • Drafting a detailed game plane for organizing massive non-violent protests against the regime in
    Tehran. This game plan must include strategies for neutralizing the Revolutionary Guards, the bassij corps, and paramilitary gangs loyal to extremists in the current regime, and for preventing the Islamic-Marxist Mujahedin Khalq, which worked with the regime during the early years of the revolution, from exploiting the situation and seizing power in a putsch. It must also include a strategy for providing financial support to striking workers and professionals;

  • Specific policy recommendations for the
    United States and our allies, so we can best leverage tools available to governments and international organizations for delegitimizing and destabilizing the
    Tehran regime. (The U.S. Department of the Treasury has made a modest start here).

  • Identify, contact, and train key operations officers on the ground in
    Iran;

  • Identify and pre-position secure communications and other equipment needed to coordinate operations inside
    Iran; and

  • Establish a finance committee tasked with harnessing the tremendous resources of the Iranian diaspora, who have withheld major support to the pro-freedom movement because they rightly judged that the movement lacked
    U.S. support.

Broadcasting must be an integral part of any comprehensive political plan to challenge the legitimacy of the Iranian regime and promote non-violent regime change. However, none of the $300 million fund should go to expanding the Persian language service of Voice of America or Radio Farda, the Persian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Both have failed utterly to live up to the goal for which they were established.

Rather than communicate an American viewpoint during
Iran’s proxy war against
Israel this past summer, for example, VOA television sent reporters to
Beirut to interview top Hezbollah leaders – the same Hezbollah leaders Iranian state television was treating as rock stars.

As for Radio Farda (“Tomorrow”), established to be a “surrogate” for the free media Iranians could not access inside their own country, it became a laughing stock by championing Iran’s failed reformist president, Mohammad Khatami.

Since Ahmadinejad took over as president in 2005, Radio Farda has adopted the “music-first” model of Westwood One and become simply irrelevant. Both are a waste of
U.S. taxpayer dollars and should be downsized or eliminated altogether.

Instead, funding should be provided to private Iranian broadcasters who understand the political thirst of their compatriots and know how to package a compelling message in a professional format. The allotment of the broadcasting budget should be determined by the Executive Committee, with a preference to pluralism and professionalism.

The
U.S. intelligence community can play a support role in this effort, but should not take the lead. The last thing we need is to ask the Central Intelligence Agency to organize the Iranian opposition.

On the contrary, much of this program can – and must – be accomplished overtly. Having the President of the United States openly support the aspirations of the Iranian people, at the same time devoting $300 million to back the effort, will have a tremendous impact on pro-democracy forces inside Iran, without yet putting lives at risk.

At the end of the initial six month period, the President can then decide if he believes the program is viable. If so, he can pull the trigger on the plan devised by the pro-freedom groups in coordination with his Special Envoy. The
U.S. will need to commit another $500 million or so to the effort of organizing and supporting the massive non-violent protest movement throughout
Iran. This will be supplemented by another $500 million or more raised from the Iranian diaspora.

This is expensive, for sure. But it is far less costly than the alternatives of facing a nuclear-armed
Iran, or having to send in
U.S. troops to prevent
Iran from deploying or firing nuclear weapons.

The Baker-Hamilton approach of engaging the terror-masters brings great risks and few rewards. It sends a clear message that terrorism, even conducted against the world’s sole superpower, is a strategy that works. Engagement with
Iran and
Syria will foster more terror, not curtail it.

 

Furthermore, engaging regimes that systematically repress their own people and seek to destroy a bold democratic experiment on their borders, sends a clear message to pro-democracy forces inside those countries that their efforts can never succeed.

In one simple stroke, the Baker-Hamilton approach will have emboldened our enemies, and deterred our potential allies. And yet, for reasons that only the chattering classes can explain, this goes by the name “realism.”

Supporting regime change by Iranians, while containing
Syria, not only makes the best strategic sense for
America. It is the right thing to do.

“We are the Muslims. We drink the blood of the enemy…That is Islam and that is jihad”

“We are the Muslims. We drink the blood of the enemy…That is Islam and that is jihad”

This story, which insistently sounds upon the Tiny Minority of Extremists® theme, seems to be designed to reverse some of the damage done by the Dispatches documentary. But the Vast Majority of Moderates®, alas, is still not much in evidence in Britain.

“Radicals vs. moderates: British Muslims at crossroads,” from CNN, with thanks to all who sent this in:

DUBLIN, Ireland (CNN) — At a recent debate over the battle for Islamic ideals in England, a British-born Muslim stood before the crowd and said Prophet Mohammed’s message to nonbelievers is: “I come to slaughter all of you.”

That’s what Muhammad said to the pagan Quraysh: “I bring you slaughter.” I recount the incident in my book The Truth About Muhammad.

“We are the Muslims,” said Omar Brooks, an extremist also known as Abu Izzadeen. “We drink the blood of the enemy, and we can face them anywhere. That is Islam and that is jihad.”Anjem Choudary, the public face of Islamist extremism in Britain, added that Muslims have no choice but to take the fight to the West.

“What are Muslims supposed to do when they are being killed in the streets in Afghanistan and Baghdad and Palestine? Do they not have the same rights to defend themselves? In war, people die. People don’t make love; they kill each other,” he said….

But in the same debate, held on the prestigious grounds of Dublin’s Trinity College in October, many people in the crowd objected.

“These people, ladies and gentleman, have a good look at them. They actually believe if you kill women and children, you will go to heaven,” said one young Muslim who waved his finger at the radicals.

“This is not ideology. It’s a mental illness.”…

‘Foreign policy has a lot to do with it’

This war of words is part of a larger debate going on in Britain — the war within the Muslim community for the hearts and minds of young people. The battle of ideas came to the fore again this week when the trial began for six men who are accused of an “extremist Muslim plot” to target London on July 21, 2005.

The Woolwich Crown Court was told the men plotted to carry out a series of “murderous suicide bombings” on London’s public transport system, just 14 days after the carnage of the July 7 London bombings, which killed 52 commuters and four bombers.

While Islamic extremists are believed to be a tiny minority of Britain’s 1.6 million Muslims, they have no problem having their criticism heard. They have disdain for democracy — and, most of all, the Bush administration’s war on terror policies.

A poll taken in June 2006 for the Times of London newspaper suggested that 13 percent of British Muslims believe the July 7 London bombers were martyrs.

“Foreign policy has a lot to do with it,” said Hanif Qadir, a youth worker and a moderate voice for Islam in Walthamstow, one of London’s biggest Muslim neighborhoods. “But it’s the minority radical groups that use that to get to our young people.”…

“Our scholars … are not coming out of their holes — their mosques and their holes — to engage with these people. They’re frightened of that,” Qadir said….

Indeed.

Choudary, whose group Al-Mahajiroun disbanded before the British government could outlaw it under its anti-terror laws, spoke to CNN and made clear he wants to see Islamic law for Britain.”All of the world belongs to Allah, and we will live according to the Sharia wherever we are,” said Choudary, a lawyer. “This is a fundamental belief of the Muslims.”…

Asked if he believes in democracy, he said, “No, I don’t at all.”

“One day, the Sharia will be implemented in Britain. It’s a matter of time.”

Choudary cited the videotaped “will” of one of the London subway bombers, Mohammed Sidique Khan, who said, “Until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people, we will not stop this fight.”

Choudary said he sides strongly with that statement — “we have everything we need in those wills” — and he cited passages from the Muslim holy book, the Quran, that he says justify jihad.

“I happen to be in an ideological and political war,” Choudary said. “My brothers in al Qaeda and other Mujahedeen are involved in a military campaign.”

While Choudary and other radicals continue to try to spread their beliefs, others say there is no justification for jihad in England. Imam Usama Hasan memorized the Quran by the time he was 11 and at 19, he briefly fought in Afghanistan against the Soviets.

“If you have the wrong intention, you can justify your criminal actions from any text — whether it’s the Quran or Bible or Shakespeare,” Hasan said.

Yes, watch out for those Shakespearean terror groups. They don’t just sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the deaths of kings. And they work fast; after all, if it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly. These Shakespearean terrorists teach bloody instructions, which, being taught, return, to plague the inventor.

He said it makes him “furious” when radicals quote the Quran out of context to justify killing of innocents. It’s a “very tiny” minority with such beliefs, he said, but “it only takes a handful, of course, to create devastation.”

Can we please get the in-context refutation of the idea that a kafir harbi, an unbeliever considered to be at war with Islam, can lawfully be killed? This idea is deeply rooted in Islamic theology.

“Many people are terrified of Muslims. They are terrified of a brother walking down the road with his eastern dress and his hat and his beard, because they have seen these images associated with suicide bombers,” he said.”It is up to us to dispel that fear — to smile at people to tell them that … the message of Islam is not about bits of cloth. It is not about the beard or head scarf or the face veil or violence. It is about peace.”

In addition to smiling at non-Muslims, Hasan might consider actively working against the spread of the jihad ideology among Muslims in Britain.

Obama and apostasy from Islam

Thomas Lifson
Barack Obama was born to Muslim father, married to an American atheist. His father’s religion is the reason both his first and middle names, Barack and Hussein, are Islamic in origin. Debbie Schlussel brought this to our attention last year.
According to Islamic scripture, one born to a Muslim father is a Muslim. Forever. Because according to Muslim law and tradition, the penalty for leaving the faith is death.
Today, Barack Obama proclaims his adherence to the Christian faith. This would seem to make him a potential target for death, according to at least the more militant adherents of Sharia law.  Apostasy is a capital offense in several Muslim countries.
Dr. Jack Wheeler apparently has noticed the earlier work of Debbie, and hopes that an enterprising journalist will question Obama about whether or not he feels threatened by his apostasy, and ask him for an outright denunciation of the practice of enforcing the death penalty, and a call for religious freedom in Islamic countries.

The odds are high that he will answer no to the first and yes to the second. As an oily politician, he will try to squirm out of a clear definitive yes with no wiggle room. But it should not be difficult for a smart journalist to get him to agree without reservation that Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states…  

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. This right includes freedom to change his religion or belief.

…applies to Muslims
Once Obama condemns the Moslem tradition of death for apostasy, then he can be asked:  
The Koran famously quotes Allah as saying in chapter (sura) 2, verse 256 that there should be ‘no compulsion in religion.’ Yet numerous sayings of Mohammed known as hadith which form the basis of Islamic Sharia law quote Mohammed as saying ‘If a Moslem discards his religion, kill him.’ So are you telling Moslems that Allah was right but Mohammed was misquoted, and their Sharia law tradition on apostasy is wrong?
You can see how much fun there is to be had with this.

Wheeler is quite correct that Obama is theoretically under the threat of death. It would be far more than merely amusing to get his views. I would rather not see this circumstance as an opportunity for a gotcha with the media’s Democrat golden boy of the moment. It is long past time for non-Muslims to demand that Muslims offer reciprocity in the realm of tolerance for other faiths. The West, over the course of several difficult centuries, has created tolerant societies, from which Muslims greatly benefit on the basis of equality. Yet Muslim theology and practice in several important countries do not offer the same tolerance.
This asymmetry must end. If Barack Obama can help raise this issue, based on his own unique circumstances, I would not seek political advantage, I would support him in it.  But of course, if he refused to make such a call, that would raise many red flags.
Hat tip: Andrew Bostom

Defending the Media’s Right Flank

Defending the Media’s Right Flank

By J. R. Dunn

Recent weeks have seen the appearance of editorials by Max Boot and Rich Lowry attempting to make the case that the media (by which they mean the legacy media more or less exclusively) has always been correct about the situation in Iraq and that to dispute their reportage – and the conclusions drawn from it – is a grave error on any number of levels.

“If you wanted to figure out what was happening over the last four years, you would have been infinitely better off paying attention to [the media]  than to what the president or his top generals were saying,” says Boot.

While admitting to “some biased, slipshod news coverage”, he finds most of the reportage in such outlets as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, and the New Yorker as no less than “heroic”, and makes particular note of the number of reporters killed, as if this counts as evidence of veracity in and of itself. Attacking the media, Boot insists, could

“deflect blame from those who deserve it, in the upper echelons of the administration and the armed forces”.

I somehow doubt there’s much possibility of that happening.
Lowry takes it upon himself to correct Laura Bush’s position that the “the drumbeat in the country from the media … is discouraging.” Taking evidence directly from the media itself, Lowry finds that the reportage of that very same media is unshakable, a procedure that once upon a time somebody at 35th St. could have told him was “an exercise in tautology”. All U.S. gains in Iraq are trivial, the situation is deteriorating, all hope lost. And it’s all Bush’s fault. Conservatives have lost touch with reality, and

“need to realize that something is not dubious just because it’s reported by the New York Times“.

Conservative opposition to the Iraq War is nothing new. Two of the most noted figures in American conservatism, William F. Buckley and George Will, have both registered their disapproval of the war effort repeatedly. (Buckley as recently as this week, in his editorial “Yes or No to Bush?”,   in which he suggests the United Nations as the solution.) Their objections stem from the claim that the Iraq War – and, presumably, the larger War on Terror of which it is part, though neither has gone quite that far –  is in violation of basic conservative principles. Both see the war as a Wilsonian adventure, an attempt to remake the world in America’s image by exporting democracy to regions not suited for it. This is a respectable stance, one worthy of debate (though we could probably do without Will’s open disdain, clearly expressed in pieces such as this recent example.)
But it’s one thing to dispute the specific nature of American response to Jihadism. It’s another to side with the element that has steadily undercut U.S. efforts since before the war ever started.

Quite apart from the fact that it’s easily possible for both the Bush administration and the media to be mistaken in part or in toto on the matter, a possibility ignored by both Boot and Lowry, there are three points both have overlooked:
The brief against legacy media coverage, far from being confined to “some biased, slipshod news coverage”, is virtually endless (at times it seems that every new day brings another example) and systemic. This will not come as news to AT readers. The list could fill this page and beyond: Abu Ghraib, atrocity hunting, Eason Jordan, compromised Arab stringers, non-reportage of U.S. efforts, the cop acting as the ABC source who has at last been identified but not produced (leaving more questions unanswered than answered), near-consent to manipulation by terrorists and guerillas. (This last aspect is underlined in a recent piece by the always dependable Amir Taheri, “Iraq: Why the Media misstep”. Taheri points out that most of the translators and “fixers” utilized by the media were in truth ex-Baathists. If the media is “right”, it follows that the sources they use must be “right” as well, doesn’t it?)
None of this is in question – every last incident and more is on record and attested to. I imagine it’s possible to derive the “right” conclusions from such a process of malfeasance, irresponsibility, and dishonesty, but I’d need to have it explained to me in some detail before I’d accept it.
Beyond Iraq, the media has opposed the entire War on Terror, no matter how it’s fought, who it’s fought against, and whatever methods are used. Recall the coverage of the liberation of Afghanistan — the “brutal Afghan winter”, the Soviet experience, (nobody brought up the fate of the 1841 Kabul expedition, but only because they hadn’t heard of it), and so forth. We’re hearing the same today concerning Somalia. The spectacular Ethiopian victory is grudgingly reported, only to be bracketed by predictions that terrorism, revenge strikes, and “further instability” will result. (As in this example from UPI, a “situation analysis” is which the chief expert consulted is a spokesman for the “U.S. Institute for Peace”.) But it could be worse. The Philippines, where Abu Sayyaf is being ground to pieces, is evidently under complete news blackout.

And since the topic of the New York Times has been raised, we’ll merely mention such items as the exposure of the CIA prison program, of Jihadi financial transaction surveillance, of overseas telephone record collection, and of the domestic radiation surveillance program. Such coverage is being carried out by the same people who are setting media policy for Iraq, using the same techniques, and for the same purposes. It’s a single ball of twine, all interconnected, and you can’t support one strand without supporting them all. My guess is that neither Boot nor Lowry would support the rest of it, which leaves them in something of a state of logical contradiction. 
The third point is the question of how much responsibility the media has for the course the war has taken. Lowry and Boot are both blunt in their answer: none. It’s all Bush, Rumsfeld, and the generals. A virtual echo of the media’s own judgment of itself, which fails to take into consideration the easily demonstrated fact that the media acted as enabler and mouthpiece for the forces that opposed the war from the start — opposition that often forced the administration into convoluted and counterproductive measures that could have been avoided otherwise.
First above all is the year-and-a-half delay in carrying out the invasion in order to obtain permission from the UN. A quick and dirty campaign would have curtailed many of the problems we’ve faced ever since, by denying Saddam Hussein, the Baath Party, Syria, Iran, and Al-Qaeda time to prepare. Dynamism is the first rule in warfare, a fact that Boot, at least, should not need to be told. Striking quickly gives you the advantages of momentum, surprise, and shock, advantages we cheated ourselves of in Iraq, with consequences evident to all. This is far from the sole example — a large book could be (an no doubt will be) written analyzing deliberate obstruction by politicians, retired officers, diplomats, country singers, and, for all I know, tattoo artists. The media, which carried much of the water for this crew, has to share the blame.
There exists a real question as to whether the West at large and the U.S. in particular will be capable of defending ourselves in any meaningful sense in the wake of Iraq. The role of media is central to that question. We are moving into a dangerous period, facing a reinvigorated Jihadi network, a nuclear-capable Iran, and a world encouraged and confirmed in cheap anti-Americanism. The compulsive adversarialism thus far displayed by the media will not be acceptable under those circumstances. There are, as Edward Luttwak has pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, ways forward even after an open defeat in Iraq. But they must be carried out with discretion and care, free of the media hysteria that has crippled virtually every other aspect of the War on Terror.
In claiming the media is “right”, Boot and Lowry are effectively aligning themselves with the forces of hysteria. This is indefensible, even on their own terms. There will be no lack of opportunity for recrimination following Iraq, no matter how it works out, and plenty of blame to go around. The media should not be immune. This country’s legacy media have gone a long way in creating Iraq as it is; and cannot be allowed to duck responsibility.

Debbie Schlussel: Barack Hussein Obama: Once a Muslim, Always A Muslim — Is Obama a Muslim manchurian candidate?

Debbie Schlussel: Barack Hussein Obama: Once a Muslim, Always A Muslim

By Debbie Schlussel

Many months ago, readers began asking me whether Barack Obama is Muslim. Since he identifies as a Christian, I said, “no,” and responded that he was not raised by his Kenyan father.

But, then, I decided to look further into Obama’s background. His full name–as by now you have probably heard–is Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. Hussein is a Muslim name, which comes from the name of Ali’s son–Hussein Ibn Ali. And Obama is named after his late Kenyan father, the late Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., apparently a Muslim.

And while Obama may not identify as a Muslim, that’s not how the Arab and Muslim Streets see it. In Arab culture and under Islamic law, if your father is a Muslim, so are you. And once a Muslim, always a Muslim. You cannot go back. In Islamic eyes, Obama is certainly a Muslim. He may think he’s a Christian, but they do not.

barackobama.jpgThen, there are the other items in his background. As best-selling author Scott Turow wrote in Salon, Obama went to a Muslim school for two years in Indonesia. His mother, Anna, married an Indonesian man (likely another Muslim, as Indonesia is Muslim-dominated and has the largest Islamic population in the world).

And Obama has a “born-again” affinity for the nation of his Muslim father, Kenya, and his Kenyan sister. (Although Kenya is largely Christian, it has a fast-growing Muslim population that has engaged in a good deal of religious violence and riots against Christians. And Kenyan courts will apply Sharia law, when the participants are Muslim.) Wrote Turow:

Obama’s father died in a traffic accident in Nairobi in 1982, but while Obama was working in Chicago, he met his Kenyan sister, Auma, a linguist educated in Germany who was visiting the United States. When she returned to Kenya in 1986 to teach for a year at the University of Nairobi, Obama finally made the trip to his father’s homeland he had long promised himself. There, he managed to fully embrace a heritage and a family he’d never fully known and come to terms with his father, whom he’d long regarded as an august foreign prince, but now realized was a human being burdened by his own illusions and vulnerabilities.

So, even if he identifies strongly as a Christian, and even if he despised the behavior of his father (as Obama said on Oprah); is a man who Muslims think is a Muslim, who feels some sort of psychological need to prove himself to his absent Muslim father, and who is now moving in the direction of his father’s heritage, a man we want as President when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam? Where will his loyalties be?

Is that even the man we’d want to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, if Hillary Clinton offers him the Vice Presidential candidacy on her ticket (which he certainly wouldn’t turn down)?

NO WAY, JOSE . . . Or, is that, HUSSEIN?

US Conressman Tom Lantos:”Christians Are the Antidote to Auschwitz”

US Conressman Tom Lantos:”Christians Are the Antidote to Auschwitz”

By Arlene Samuels

I was privileged to be one of seven hundred Christians and Jews gathered on January 14 for a gala dinner celebration at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC to bid farewell to Anne and Danny Ayalon, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, and welcome Sallai and Noa Meridor, Ayalon’s successor. The gowns and glitter furnished a backdrop for shining moments throughout the evening with many streams flowing in a river of appreciation for the Ayalons’ five years of service and standing in unity for the state of Israel. Love of Israel and the Embassy of Israel sponsored the event with co-sponsors The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, (ICEJ) Salem Communications (WAVA Radio), High Adventure Broadcasting, Capital City Church, and the Healing Rooms of DC.

The chatty crowd quieted as Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), spoke eloquently about the past and the present world climate of anti-Semitism. Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor serving in Congress, disclosed, “l assumed naively that the chapter [Holocaust] of human history would be a dark nightmare moment of the past but that is not the case.” He continued, “We have a new dimension, a convergence of historic anti-Semitism coupled with Muslims and the intellectual elite. This makes for a powerful cocktail yet, we have a powerful antidote [for anti-Semitism]; the decent Christians who learned the lessons of the Holocaust. The antidote to Auschwitz is the Christian community in the United States. We cannot tell you how precious you are to us. We deeply love and respect you more than you’ll ever know because you represent the finest of civilization.”

Rep. Lantos then said, “All Christians, please stand.”

Christians don’t advocate for Israel to gain accolades, yet when we stood, the sustained applause from Jewish hands settled on me like a crown. It’s safe to say that other Christians in the hall, who have advocated for Israel much longer than I, felt the weight of the crown even more profoundly. With a noticeable contingent of evangelicals, including ICEJ Executive Director Rev. Malcolm Hedding, Earl Cox, (founder- Israel Always) and Ben Kinchlow, Co-hosts of Front Page Jerusalem Radio, I reveled in this historic moment in time; a moment which culminated 25 years of work and relationship-building between evangelical Christians and the state of Israel, pioneered in part by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem who planted a small seed of Christian Zionism in 1980. (Most world embassies had vacated Jerusalem in protest when modern day Israel declared Jerusalem as her eternal Capital).

Since then, Christian Zionism has grown exponentially with organizations and movements taking root all across the world. While the words “Christian Zionism” may represent new terminology, the foundations of the movement are even older than the Western Wall beginning with God’s words in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you…” Scripture is peppered with God’s clarion call, which reminds non-Jews to stand with the “apple of His eye.” The gala celebration represented a zenith in the mountain range of cooperation now rising between Jews and Evangelicals, significant among them on the Jewish side of things, the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus. I felt humbled to witness the outpouring of appreciation from Lantos and other Jewish attendees who recognize the strengthening trust and respect between the ancient faiths of Judaism and Christianity.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) the new US House Majority Whip, and Roy Blunt (R-MO) stood on the platform, each recognizing their personal friendship and Israel, one of their common causes. Hoyer noted, “Our support of Israel honors our own heritage.” Blunt, House Minority Whip, added, “I can always count on the US Congress to support Israel.” Blunt also referenced a medieval Jewish poet who wrote, “ My heart is in the East but I live in the West.” The words echo my sentiments and those of the Christian Zionists I know.

Other speakers on the podium included Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice President of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, television and church Pastor Paula White, and Gary Bauer, President of American Values. Bauer commented, “lsrael and the United States are joined at the heart. Our alliance is built on shared values not oil.”

President George W. Bush sent a letter of appreciation to Ambassador Ayalon along with video messages from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former Israeli Prime Ministers Peres, Netanyahu, and Barak and John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel. (CUFI).

In his speech, His Excellency Ayalon disclosed,”When I became Ambassador, Prime Minister Sharon said, ‘Reach out to the Christians, they are our friends.’ I see after five years a true coalition of Christians and Jews working together. This is what I want our [wife Anne] legacy to be. We will be YOUR ambassadors now in Israel.”

Unsurpassed artists including Israeli violinist and Grammy Award winner, Miri Ben Ari, Broadway performer, Dudu Fisher, and vocalist Robert Stearns, founder of Eagles Wings, filled the banquet hall with the beauty of music. In a symbolic gesture of unity, Robert Stearns and Miri Ben Ami performed the respective national anthems of the two nations. Ben Ami’s violin vibrated with an amazing stringed interpretation of “The Star Spangled Banner” while Stearns tied the bow on the historic evening with an inspiring vocal rendition of the Israeli National Anthem. The Israel-born Ben Ami and the evangelical Stearns’ performances will long remain in our collective memories. As we face an uncertain future, yet walking arm in arm, I pray that “Ha Tikvah,” the hope, be inscribed into the hearts of Jews and Christians alike in the days ahead.

Undersecretary General of UN Indicted in Oil-for-Food Case

Undersecretary General of UN Indicted in Oil-for-Food Case


by Jim Kouri, CPP

 

United Nations Undersecretary General Benon Sevan of Cyprus and Ephraim Nadler, a/k/a “Fred Nadler” of New York City were indicted on charges of bribery and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in connection with the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program.

From mid-2000 until March 2003, the Iraqi government’s regime conditioned the right to purchase oil under the Oil-for-Food Program on a purchaser’s willingness to pay a secret surcharge to Iraq. These secret payments were illegal kickbacks, made in violation of United Nations sanctions and United States criminal law.

Nadler allegedly participated in a scheme to make unlawful payments to the former government of Iraq in connection with the purchase of oil under the Oil-for-Food Program. Sevan, who at the time was the Executive Director of the United Nations Office of Iraq Program (the Office that operated the Oil-for-Food Program), as well as being the UN’s Undersecretary General, allegedly received almost $160,000 — money generated from the sale of Iraqi oil under the Program — from Nadler on behalf of Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq.

Nadler is alleged to have helped a co-conspirator to obtain the right to buy Iraqi oil under the Oil-for-Food Program in exchange for commissions from the oil sales, and then allegedly funneled approximately $160,000 of these oil commissions to Sevan, according to the New York District Attorney’s Office, which will be prosecuting the case along with the US Attorney’s Office in New York.

Nadler and Sevan are charged with wire fraud, based on their depriving the United Nations of its right to Sevan’s honest services; bribery concerning an organization (the United Nations) that receives more than $10,000 annually from the federal government; and conspiracy to commit these offenses.

Nadler is also charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud by engaging in prohibited financial transactions with Iraq and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 112 years’ imprisonment. If convicted, Sevan faces a maximum sentence of 50 years imprisonment.

The DA’s office reports that the United States government has issued warrants for the arrest of Nadler and Sevan with Interpol, and will seek their arrest and extradition to the United States.

The Oil-for-Food Program was created to provide critical humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people. But prior prosecutions by the District Attorney demonstrate that the former government of Iraq thoroughly corrupted the Program — by employing undisclosed Iraqi agents in the United States to try to influence the terms under which the program was adopted, and by demanding secret kickbacks from participants in the program during its operation.

The allegations in this current indictment that the Executive Director of the very program that was created to provide humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people was involved in such a scheme demonstrates how pervasive the corruption was, and how that corruption undermined the operation of the supposedly humanitarian program, according to US officials.

FBI Assistant Director Mark Mershon stated during a press conference in New York: “This indictment — which brings the number of individuals charged or convicted in our far-reaching investigation to 14 — strikes at the heart of the corruption that pervaded the Oil-for-Food program. As Executive Director of the program and Undersecretary General of the U.N., Benon Sevan was responsible for maintaining the program’s probity and propriety. Instead, his administration of the program was marked by profiteering and profligacy.”

“The Oil for Food Program was established to provide humanitarian relief to the Iraqi people, not to line the pockets of corrupt officials. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office have joined forces to uncover and prosecute any corruption or other illegal activities connected to that program. Today’s indictment of the top UN official in charge of the Oil-for-Food Program and his business partner is an important step in our continuing investigation.”

The US investigation into criminal wrongdoing in the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program is continuing, with the Department of Justice and the New York District Attorney’s office working together.
 


Sources:  US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York District Attorney’s Office,
National Security Institute

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations.  He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.   Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com.  He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com.   He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc.  His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us