The Devil Has Come to Roost

 

The Devil Has Come to Roost

On Monday the International Criminal Court (ICC) ordered Thomas Lubanga to stand trial “for war crimes consisting of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15.” This will mark the first trial of the ICC, and a giant leap backward for democratic autonomy.

The ICC officially came into existence on July 1, 2002, after being created under the 1998 Rome Statute, an international treaty signed by almost 140 countries. Despite strong opposition by the Bush administration, 99 countries have ratified the Statute to date. The significance of the ICC cannot be understated. Hans Corell, a Swedish judge and international lawyer, aptly told NY Times columnist Barbara Crosette, “A page in the history of mankind is being turned.”

The Court will claim jurisdiction over American citizens whether we ratify the treaty or not, and that itself should give cause for alarm. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan tried to allay our fear by saying, “The court will prosecute in situations where the country concerned is either unable or unwilling to prosecute. Countries with good judicial systems, who apply the rule of law, and prosecute criminals and do it promptly and fairly, need not fear. It is where they fail that the court steps in.” The problem is that the court decides when a country “fails.” Simply put, the Court will step in when a country is out of line with its expectations.

As with most big government creations, a large fear centers on the “slippery slope” it could send us down. Currently supporters argue the ICC will be limited to only the most heinous crimes such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. But the ICC treaty already covers such vague offenses as causing “serious injury to mental health” and committing “outrages upon personal dignity.” Moreover, amendments to the treaty and expansion of its jurisdiction are almost certain in the future.

Indeed, just what are the benefits to such a Court? Will we be better able to prosecute murderers such as Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein? Not likely. The international community has already condemned these sorts of criminals. The ICC will only be another body working to prosecute them, without the enforcement to do any good. It will have, however, the opportunity to go after individuals not yet labeled criminals by the international community, such as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

So now we’re left with a power hungry, unaccountable World Court that claims vast jurisdiction. What is our recourse? A couple years ago the Bush administration’s initial response was to threaten withholding US troops in UN peacekeeping missions unless the troops are shielded from the Court’s reach. Congressional Republicans even threatened to withhold US funds for UN peacekeeping missions altogether. Considering the US already owes millions to the UN, withholding more funds may not yield the most leverage.

The threat of the ICC will not go away simply by refusing funds. The ICC is the realization of a long-time dream by Europeans, born first through the EU and now through the ICC. The ICC represents an ideology bent on matching or besting American might, and evolving into consolidated governments as part of humanity’s march toward utopia. The threat is deeper than an unfair trial for Americans, or even the loss of some autonomy. The ICC is a great leap forward toward subordination of the American political and legal system into a global order. This should be cause for alarm; the threat is real and dangerous.

Labor Controls the Liberals

Labor Controls the Liberals

American labor unions are pushing candidates for the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential nomination toward expansion of the welfare-state and massive inflation of the sort that the Great Society spawned.

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After both World War I and World War II, the British Labour Party led England into its destructive liaison with socialism that destroyed British industry and reduced England to the “sick man of Europe.”

Harold Meyerson’s January 31, 2007, column in the Washington Post describes the behind-the-scenes power exerted by labor unions, especially the government employees unions.  Their immediate goal is imposition of universal, socialized medicine, of the sort championed in 1993 by Hillary Clinton.

If labor unions succeed, two results are inevitable.

First is a resumption of the devastating inflation caused by President Johnson’s Great Society, the most recent push forward of socialism.  Raising taxes to pay for socialized medicine will throw business into another recession, thereby reducing income tax revenues at the same time that Federal expenditures will be required to expand.  Even if business later booms, the funding requirements for present Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs, before universal socialized medicine, dwarf the prospective tax revenues.

The only way to finance socialized medicine, in the final analysis, will be the Federal Reserve’s creating more money via bookkeeping entries.  By definition, more money without an offsetting increase in production of goods and services is inflation.  And it is always the working people who get wiped out by inflation. 

The second result will be the sine qua non of socialism: further steps toward collective tyranny.

Anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, opposing Marxian collectivism in 1872, described what life was to be under socialism:

The government will not content itself with administering and governing the masses politically, as all governments do today.  It will administer the masses economically, concentrating in the hands of the State the production and division of wealth, the cultivation of land…All that will demand the reign of scientific intelligence, the most aristocratic, despotic, arrogant, and elitist of all regimes.  There will be a new class, a new hierarchy…the world will be divided into a minority ruling in the name of knowledge, and an immense ignorant majority.  And then, woe unto the mass of ignorant ones! (quoted in David Horowitz’s, The Politics of Bad Faith).

Sir William Beveridge, one of the British Labour Party authors of socialized medicine and other welfare-state services after World War II, stated the necessity quite forthrightly. 

…the State,” he wrote, “ in this field is not wholly master of events so long as it desires to preserve the freedom of individuals……the State cannot undertake the responsibility for full employment without full powers.

In other words, central planning necessary for imposition of socialism can not become effective without subordinating the rights of individuals to the goals of the planners.

Socialist Paul Ricoeur, writing in the American socialist journal Dissent, put it this way: 

…the problem of political power in a socialist economy is not fundamentally different from the same problem in a capitalist economy;…political power in a socialist economy offers comparable or even greater possibilities of tyranny.…One must go still further and assert that the socialist state requires a more vigilant popular control than the bourgeois state.  And this precisely because the socialist state is the more rational, extending design and planning to areas of human existence that previously had been left to chance or improvisation.  Since the rationality of a state which plans to end class division is greater than that of its predecessors, its potential power and the opportunities offered to tyranny are also greater.

America After The Next Attack

America After The Next Attack

by Christopher Adamo

 

It is neither alarmist nor prophetic to state with grim certainty that America will, in the not too distant future, suffer yet another major Islamist attack, possibly dwarfing the enormity of 9-11. Since shortly after that event, forces both within our nation and abroad have diligently sought to undermine American resolve to appropriately respond to the enemy. As a result, that enemy now perceives a growing and broadening opportunity to eventually hit us again.

 

Barring a nearly miraculous rebirth of American determination to avert that possibility (and any remnants of such determination are rapidly dissipating from the mainstream of society), the Islamists will, sooner or later, fall upon a feasible occasion to strike, and they will use it.

 

Shortly after the American embassy workers were taken hostage by Iranian militants in November of 1979, Senator Ted Kennedy (D.-MA), who was vying for a presidential run, seized upon the situation as an opportunity to deride then President Jimmy Carter.

 

Unfortunately for Kennedy, his tactic proved to be badly timed, happening as it did during a period when the nation was attempting to rally around its leader. The backlash against Kennedy permanently ended his presidential ambitions.

 

Of course Carter’s performance during that crisis was just as abominable and inept as it was in any other, and the nation soon completely lost faith in him. Had Kennedy waited only a few months, he might have made his move with greater success. But by then, the stain on Kennedy’s reputation was indelible. Admittedly, Kennedy has never had much luck with his timing.

 

Similarly, those who in the immediate aftermath sought to turn the 9-11 attacks back on America and the current Presidential administration were themselves discredited. Yet as time has worn on, and the perseverance of the Islamists has strained the patience of a softened America, the invertebrates among us have desperately been searching for an easy way out of the present situation.

 

As cover for their cowardice, they claimed ownership of the presumed “moral high ground” and have set out to define the debate of the day, shifting traditional definition of patriotism and victory to the losing side. Ever since, they have been increasingly emboldened with their anti-American rhetoric and agenda. And among many whose singular goal has only ever been to find the comfortable “center,” the illusion of a peaceable solution becomes increasingly appealing.

 

However, a single obstacle presents itself to this scenario. America’s enemies in the Muslim world cannot and will not be placated or appeased. They must either be destroyed, or they will in turn destroy. In their pursuit of a global Islamic order, America stands as the biggest roadblock. If left unchecked, they will back up. They will reorganize. They will find a weakness. And they will attack again.

 

Now, with each passing day, increasingly dominant political forces in this country are sending signals that the time is right to renew their onslaught. In one area of the nations defenses after another, guards are being taken down. Only last week, President Bush announced his abandonment of an autonomous approach to the surveillance of incoming phone calls from overseas terrorists. Henceforth, this sensitive business will be handled by the FISA court.

 

The nature of the surveillance program was originally made public in a clear effort to create political scandal, and with total indifference to the harm that this revelation caused to national security. Does any sensible person believe that the same people who blew the lid off of the program in the first place will now keep quiet regarding its current operation parameters in order to prevent such invaluable information from falling into the hands of the nation’s mortal enemies?

 

Meanwhile, the ability of American troops to wage war, interrogate prisoners, or neutralize military threats have been systematically hamstrung by liberal politicians.

 

At stake in the minds of such people is the outcome of the 2008 elections. And even a compromise of national security, regardless of the horrendous consequences it might reap, must first be measured from the perspective of how it will help or hurt Democrat chances in ‘08.

 

Extreme as this accusation might seem, it is no more difficult to believe than that these people are, on a day-to-day basis (and despite their occasional “lip service” given to the troops), calculating their stance on the conduct of the war based solely on the political gain or liability it presents. In no other way can their constant, drastic flip-flops be explained.

 

So, in a manner every bit as reprehensible as Nero’s violin solo while Rome burned, the American left is playing a despicable game of “Russian Roulette” with the country’s future, banking on the misbegotten notion that they are either immune to attack, or that a future attack will not directly or personally affect any particular one of them. After all, even on the night of September 11, 2001, though badly shaken by the events of the day, most Americans went to bed safe and secure.

 

Ultimately, America cannot achieve victory against the forces of militant Islam, whether across the ocean or within its own borders, until it recognizes and effectively confronts the threat posed by the other war, being waged against its own traditions and culture. Present gaping holes in its defenses, the result of internal cultural rot, virtually beg for another attack.

 

And just how bad will that attack be? In stark simplicity, it will either be sufficient to convince America once and for all, to stiff-arm the absurdities of “political correctness” and properly deal with its own cultural insurgents as well as the Islamists, or it will be followed by others in its wake.

 

Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer and staff writer for the New Media Alliance. He lives in southeastern Wyoming. He has been active in local and state politics for many years. His contact information and archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com

Ayatollahs feeling the heat over nukes

Ayatollahs feeling the heat over nukes

‘PEACE’ OFFENSIVE

Amir Taheri, NY POST

January 31, 2007 — IS the Khomeinist leadership preparing to retreat from confrontation over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions?

Until recently, the answer was an emphatic “No.” According to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, such retreat would limit Islamic sovereignty by giving the United Nations a veto on Iran’s energy policy.

But now Tehran is trying to forestall the passage of a second, and presumably tougher, resolution by the Security Council in March.

Several versions of the presumed Iranian initiative are in circulation. Former President Muhammad Khatami presented one to American and European personalities on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos last week.

In this scheme, Tehran is prepared to comply with the Security Council demand to suspend uranium enrichment – as part of a diplomatic package. In this plan, an arbitration group would inspect and assess Iran’s nuclear program, reporting back after six months. The group would include the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany, and India on behalf of the nonaligned movement. During the six months in question, the Islamic Republic would suspend enrichment of uranium.

In exchange, the Security Council would postpone its March session on the issue and would suspend the sanctions it already approved. Tehran would also insist on an undertaking from the United States not to take military action against Iran.

There are other signs that Tehran is trying to cool things down:

    * It has not carried out its threat of suspending relations with countries that voted for sanctions, nor has it organized demonstrations by the usual suspects around the embassies of those nations.* The regime has shown uncharacteristic timidity on the issue of its senior Revolutionary Guard commanders and intelligence officers who were arrested and are being interrogated by U.S. forces in Iraq.

    * The Islamic Republic did not vote against a resolution passed by the U.N. General Assembly last week condemning the denial of the Holocaust. (This was an indirect correction for Ahmadinejad, who re-launched the Holocaust-denial debate last year.)

“We hear a moderate message from Tehran,” says a senior British official. “And that in a tone we had not heard since Ahmadinejad [became president].”

That at least part of the Khomeinist leadership might want ways to defuse the situation is not surprising. The sanctions, though nothing more than a gentle rap on the knuckles, have already started to bite – with a disproportionate psychological impact on some players in the Iranian economy. Iranian businessmen see the measures as a kind of aperitif for a deadlier main course to be served later.

The Iranian currency, the rial, is showing the jitters as never before. Thousands of contracts remain frozen, pending the outcome of the crisis. If current trends continue, hundreds of thousands of Iranian workers may be thrown out of work within months.

The plummeting of oil prices has also done its bit. Over the past year, the Islamic Republic has seen oil revenues decline by almost 20 percent – even as Ahmadinejad’s largesse, designed to bribe his constituency, has pushed public expenditure to an all-time high. In recent months, the government has been unable to pay the salaries and bonuses of some employees, including teachers, on time.

The perception that the Bush administration may be preparing military action has sent shivers down the spines of many mullahs and Revolutionary Guard commanders who account for a good part of the wealthy elite.

Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, the richest man in Iran, has seen contracts negotiated by his agents with European, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese companies put on hold because of fears of sanctions and war. Not surprisingly, he decided to send Khatami, one of his protégés, to Davos to look for a deal.

However, economic hardship alone would have no effect on a regime that, according to its founder, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, is about “jihad and martyrdom, not worldly goods.” But the Khomeinist leadership is also trying to cope with political setbacks.

Its attempt at seizing power in Lebanon, through Hezbollah, has split the Shiites and hit a wall of resistance from other Lebanese communities and from Western and Arab powers.

In Iraq, the Islamic Republic’s principal clients, Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army, have their backs pressed to the wall because of a new aggressive policy unveiled by President Bush and approved by the Iraqi parliament.

During the past two weeks, Iraqi and U.S. troops have killed some 400 Mahdist fighters and rounded up another 1,000. Sadr, who only last December announced a plan to topple Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, has been forced to eat humble pie by announcing the return of his group to the parliament and the end of his boycott of the Maliki government. Sadr made that move after Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani told him at a meeting this month that neither Sistani nor other senior clerics would oppose the disarming of the Mahdi Army.

Ahamdinejad’s hope of seizing control of radical Palestinian movements has also run into trouble. He unrolled the red carpet for visiting Hamas leaders and signed checks worth $150 million – but failed to buy their exclusive allegiance. Worse, Hamas has now responded to a higher bid from Saudi Arabia, and is to attend a Mecca meeting to resolve intra-Palestinian differences, in preparation for talks with Israel.

In Iran itself, Ahmadinejad has failed to persuade the ayatollahs of Qom and Mashad to issue anti-American “jihad fatwas” in anticipation of a clash with the “Great Satan.” One prominent cleric, Ayatollah Muhammad-Reza Shabestari, has made his rejection of Ahmadinejad’s demand public. “I would rather defrock myself than issue a fatwa in support of wanton adventurism,” he told his Qom seminary last week.

There may be one more reason why the Khomeinist leadership might wish to cool things down. Sources say the “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei’s health is in decline. This does not mean that he may be incapacitated, let alone die, anytime soon.

But there is no doubt that the establishment is preparing for all eventualities. One sign was a surprise television program this month in which the Islamic TV’s popular star Farzad Hassani invited viewers to name their “favorite living theologian apart from the current Supreme Guide.”

Clearly, picking a fight with the rest of the world while coping with a crisis of succession at the top of the regime is not a prospect the Khomeinist establishment would cherish.

What should the United States and its allies do when, and if, the Khomeinist regime offers a partial retreat?The temptation to make a deal – as well as the pressure in its favor – would be immense. The Bush administration would face a crucial question: Allow a dangerous but wounded enemy to recover, or go for the kill?

Amir Taheri is an Iranian-born journalist and author based in Europe.

Free Speech in an age of terrorism

What does it take to shock San Francisco?

What does it take to shock San Francisco?

Thomas Lifson
Most of the country already thinks of San Francisco as a den of iniquity and licentiousness, dedicated to self-indulgence and heedless of the consequences. The political leadership of the city, specifically Gavin Newsom, hizzoner da mare, is doing what it can to confirm the judgment.

Today, the San Francisco Chronicle’s ace investigative reporters Phi Matier and Andrew Ross are joined by Cecelia M. Vega in exposing a sex scandal that might actually succeed in generating some disgust among the city’s voting public.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s re-election campaign manager resigned Wednesday after confronting the mayor about an affair Newsom had with his wife while she worked in the mayor’s office, City Hall sources said.
Alex Tourk, 39, who served as Newsom’s deputy chief of staff before becoming his campaign manager in September, confronted the mayor after his wife, Ruby Rippey-Tourk, told him of the affair as part of a rehabilitation program she had been undergoing for substance abuse, said the sources, who had direct knowledge of Wednesday’s meeting.
Rippey-Tourk, 34, was the mayor’s appointments secretary from the start of his administration in 2004 until last spring. She told her husband that the affair with Newsom was short-lived and happened about a year and a half ago, while the mayor was undergoing a divorce from his then-wife, Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, said the sources, who spoke on condition they not be identified.
Alex Tourk “confronted the mayor on the issue this afternoon, expressed his feeling about the situation in an honest and pointed way, and resigned,” said one source close to Tourk and his wife.

I confess that my gut reaction to Gavin Newsom has always been on of mistrust of what seemed to me to be an obvious phony. A friend who has built a very successful business in San Francisco has been known to be cordial with him, and insisted he was a decent man. But I was also disconcerted by the public displays that both he and his ex-wife Kimberly made of their sexual involvement, slyly hinting at sexual gymnastics and oral sex. Too much information. Both members of the failed marriage were physically fit, well-dressed, and possessed model-like poise. That such an image of latent eroticism required further strengthening in their minds suggested to me an insatiable appetite for something best left unexplored.
In addition to being his ex-campaign manager, Tourk is also an old (ex- presumably) friend of the mayor. So what kind of man has an affair with an old friend’s wife, keeps it secret, and then entrusts his campaign to same cuckolded buddy?
My gut tells me it is a man who thrills at getting away with stuff. A stress junkie who thinks he is smarter, luckier, handsomer, and more deserving than everybody else, including people who have befriended and helped him along. Someone who wants to live on the edge because ordinary life is too boring. Very San Francisco but not what one should want in a public servant with great responsibility for the safety and welfare of hundreds of thousands.
There are certainly lower forms of human life. Politics attracts more than its share of monstrous people. But screwing around with the spouses of friends is awfully low, and something to which ordinary people of all sorts of sexual inclination can relate.
Newsom is up for re-election in the November. He will be looking for a new campaign manager. The question for San Franciscans is whether or not he will be looking for a new career.

Polls have consistently shown Newsom’s approval ratings among city voters topping 70 percent, unusually high for a politician in his fourth year in office. Although his relations with the Board of Supervisors have deteriorated over the past year, no competing candidate has emerged for this year’s mayoral race.
One person who says he intends to challenge Newsom, former Supervisor Tony Hall, said Wednesday night that he hoped news of the affair was not true. But if it is, he said, “the city deserves much better than what it’s getting.”

In San Francisco, all politics is local, and the local political establishment is highly incestuous. This diagram  from the Fog City Journal portrays some of the family and financial connections between Speaker of the House Pelosi and Newsom. They are related by virtue of marriage.
One can only assume that in her role as a grandmother, Speaker Pelosi will decry the concept of adultery. But will she urge Newsom to retire from politics? I doubt it very much.

Public Education and the Liberal Way of Conflict

Public Education and the Liberal Way of Conflict

By Christopher Chantrill

Our public schools, liberals teach us, are a foundation of democracy. Without a socialization in which every child partakes of the democratic culture of the public schools we would divide into warring classes and subcultures. That is the liberal line.  But some have dared to question it. 

In Market Education: The Unknown History, Andrew Coulson suggested an alternate narrative.
Back in the old days, say about the time that Tocqueville was marveling at Americans and their voluntary associations, Americans educated their children in what we would now call diverse ways.  There were public schools.  There were charity schools.  There were city academies.  Schooling was a complete mish-mash, but Americans were about 90 percent literate, and parents could educate their children at the school of their choice.

Then along came Horace Mann with a better idea.  He persuaded the people of Massachusetts to centralize and rationalize their schools into a state-run system..  His idea would help unify the people and it would cut crime, he predicted. In fact, according to Coulson, it set the people at each others’ throats. When there is only one system of education then people must enter the political arena to fight for their beliefs.  And too often politics is winner-take-all.
The first notable result of government education was the Philadelphia Bible Riots of 1844.  Catholics wanted the Catholic Bible to be allowed into the public schools of the City of Brotherly Love alongside the Protestant Bible.  The Protestant majority said: No.
Things can’t be that bad today, surely? In Why We Fight: How Public Schools Cause Social Conflict” released last week, Neal McCluskey of Cato Institute looked at the recently concluded 2005-06 academic year.  He found 150 notable conflicts over public school policy.

“Whether over the teaching of evolution, the content of library books, religious expression in the schools, or several other common points of contention, conflict was constant in American public education last year.”

Hot issues included Intelligent Design, Freedom of Expression, Book Banning, Multiculturalism, Integration vs. Segregation, Sex Education, and Homosexuality.  The incident count is probably on the low side because McCluskey only included incidents that hit the media.

“In 2004 [American Library Association] executive director Beverly Becker said her groups received reports of 547 book challenges and estimated that perhaps three times that many went unreported.”

But how can we keep the nation together without the public schools to provide a “foundation for democracy?”  McCluskey asserts that we have got the cart before the horse.  Humans find unity because we want to work together, not because some authority has forced us to get along.
In the absence of authority what is it that makes us want to get along?

“The answer is commerce.  While suspicion, animosity, and prejudice have been inescapable components of American society… Americans have been very adept at overcoming their worse natures by letting their desires for mutual gain overcome those natures.”

Most recently, it is illegal Mexican immigrants and American employers that have been indulging their “desires for mutual gain.”
So what went wrong?  Why have our liberal friends, high-minded to a fault from Horace Mann to John Dewey, from James Conant to Derek Bok, built a system of such eternal conflict?
The answer according to Matthew d’Ancona has been developed by philosopher John Gray in The Two Faces of Liberalism. Gray argues that there is a

“fundamental tension in the modern world between the centre-Left belief that liberalism leads to ‘consensus on the best way of life’ and the classical liberalism that seeks only peaceful co-existence between radically different value-systems.”

Of course when our liberal friends say “consensus” they refer to the outcome of a trial by political combat in which the liberal winner takes all.
The classical liberal and modern conservative concept of “peaceful co-existence” is different.  It grows out of Burke’s little platoons and Hayek’s assertion that millions of ordinary people engaged in voluntary cooperation will always outperform in aggregate the expert and the activist, the “man from Whitehall” or Washington.
This difference between the “Two Faces of Liberalism” is nowhere more keen than in the current debate over gay adoption in Massachusetts and Britain.  The issue is not whether gays may be allowed to adopt.  That is already legislated into law.  The issue is whether Catholic adoption services should be allowed to opt out of the center-Left consensus that gay adoption is a “right.”
Let us frame the issue another way.  On gay adoption will the orthodox center-Lefties allow Catholics to practice a heresy?  Or will they instruct the Holy Office of the Consensus to show the heretics the instruments of torture?
In both the United States and in Britain the center-Left speaks with one voice, whether the issue is education, abortion, gay adoption, or Social Security.  It’s our way or the highway.
It’s a way that leads to conflict.
Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker, and blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com. His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.

The NYTimes’ unspeakable violation

CAIR’s Censorship Agenda Rolls On

CAIR’s Censorship Agenda Rolls On
By Janet Levy
FrontPageMagazine.com | February 1, 2007

[Editor’s note: In a previous version of this article run on Jan. 31, 2007, the author claimed that Dr. Laura Schlessinger apologized to CAIR.  This is not the case. In fact, Dr. Schlessinger has stood her ground against CAIR’s attempts to intimidate her.  We regret the error.]

Over the last two weeks, Muslim organizations with questionable ties to terrorist groups have unleashed criticism and a storm of verbal attacks against California’s U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, KRLA radio talk show host Dennis Prager, CNN television commentator Glenn Beck, and the FOX executives who make the hit television show “24.” All have been charged by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) with “Islamophobia” and anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice. The Muslim groups have claimed that Muslim civil liberties have been infringed and interfaith relations damaged as result of various actions and broadcasts.These organizations have called for Sen. Boxer to reissue an award she rescinded to a
Sacramento Islamic activist. They have requested that scheduled speaking engagements be restructured; they have organized a nationwide opposition campaign, and they have demanded censure of a TV program storyline. These four, recent efforts by ostensibly “mainstream” Muslim organizations to censure prominent public figures and edit media content is part of a pattern of activism that far exceeds the more reasonable efforts of other religious and civil rights groups. The efforts represent, not simply assertions of opposing views, but covert attempts to silence the discourse on Islam and squelch efforts to educate the public about terrorist activities and subversive organizations. They represent the subterfuge at the heart of radicalized followers of the Islam, which seek, not peaceful coexistence within a diverse society, but the destruction of democracy and all our religious freedoms in order to secure the dominance of their religion.
Attacks on Boxer The first incident involving Sen. Boxer arose after the senator rescinded an award given to a CAIR chapter executive in early January. She had reviewed online accounts that linked the organization to terrorist entities. CAIR with 32 chapters nationwide and in
Canada, bills itself as “
America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group.” Sen. Boxer discovered that CAIR members have been sentenced to prison for conspiracy to support terrorist activities and that they have refused to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations.
 Nihad Awad, CAIR’s national director, claimed that Boxer succumbed to right-wing pressure and that her actions amounted to guilt by association. He complained that it was unfair to hold the organization, “a proponent of civil rights for Muslim Americans,” accountable for the actions of a few individuals. Sen. Boxer met with a CAIR delegation last week but refused to reinstate the award. Although a CAIR press release said that the group and Boxer will continue to work together to encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties and build coalitions for justice and mutual understanding, staff members at four of Boxer’s offices declined to confirm whether the senator plans to work with CAIR. Despite attempts to portray itself as a moderate, mainstream organization, CAIR has a long-standing history of support for terrorism. In 1993, FBI surveillance uncovered that CAIR founders attended an organizational meeting to assist fundraising efforts for the Hamas terrorist group. In 1998, CAIR’s co-founder, Omar Ahmed, told an audience in
Fremont, California, that “Islam isn’t in
America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant.” “The Koran should be the highest authority in
America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth,” Ahmed said then.
 Also in 1998, CAIR co-hosted a rally at

Brooklyn
College in which radical leaders called for “jihad” and referred to Jews as “pigs and monkeys.” Today, CAIR routinely defends Muslims suspected of suspicious or illegal behaviors. The organization recently sought special state provisions to allow Muslim cab drivers to bar passengers carrying alcohol and those with seeing eye dogs. CAIR retained legal counsel and called for an airline boycott when Muslim clerics were recently removed from a U.S. Airways flight after their aggressive behavior aroused suspicions.
 Attacks on Prager More recently, CAIR joined MPAC in the second of four recent attempts to silence the discourse on Islam, this time focusing on a radio talk show host. Both organizations urged a Los Angeles-area Jewish group to invite a Muslim representative to “balance” an event featuring popular talk show host, Dennis Prager. CAIR and MPAC called Prager “Islamophobic,” because of a recent Prager opinion piece calling for newly-elected Congressman Keith Ellison, D-MN, to abide by the American tradition of being sworn into office using the Bible. Ellison, a Muslim, opted for the Koran.  Prager suggested both tomes should be used because of the symbolism inherent in the Bible. The Bible has been used for years in swearing in ceremonies to symbolize acceptance of Judeo-Christian values and principles that underpin
U.S. laws, Prager argued. Any newly elected official of any religious faith unwilling to acknowledge the role of the Bible shouldn’t serve in Congress, he opined.
  Although Prager focused on the symbolism of the Bible and didn’t specifically criticize Islam, CAIR and MPAC used this example to cast him as an “Islamophobe” and called for his removal from the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. Prager “displayed an intolerance toward Islam that makes him inappropriate to serve on the council,” CAIR wrote.  A close look at Congressman Ellison’s background may explain why CAIR and MPAC have championed his cause and it raises legitimate concerns about his ties to the Nation of Islam, CAIR and the strength of his allegiance to the American constitution. Ellison admits to a brief involvement with the Nation of Islam, but his activities under the aliases of Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison, and Keith Ellison-Muhammad point to a more extensive period of activity with the anti-Semitic, radical group. Ellison appeared at an unpublicized fundraiser with CAIR executive director and Hamas supporter Nihad Awad and accepted financial support from CAIR for his campaign. He has been a recent speaker at annual conventions for the Muslim American Society, which is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Circle of North America, which is allied with Islamic militant movements in
Pakistan and
Bangladesh.
 Furthermore, Ellison’s election success was cheered to shouts of “Allahu-Akbar” by his constituents, a phrase known to Westerners as a chant preceding the beheading of an infidel. Ellison’s use of Thomas Jefferson’s Koran for his swearing-in ceremony was a duplicitous publicity stunt in which he falsely proclaimed
Jefferson’s religious tolerance. In fact,
Jefferson owned the Koran to study the enemy during
America’s first war with Islamic terrorists who robbed and enslaved European and American sailors in the late eighteenth century on the
Barbary Coast.
 Attacks on Beck  Another attempt by Muslim activists to silence a broadcast commentator occurred Jan. 23, when MPAC and the ADC issued a press release opposing ABC’s decision to hire Glenn Beck as a regular commentator on “Good Morning America.”  Beck’s shows provide decidedly unconventional news analysis, eschewing political correctness and featuring up close and personal perspectives. Beck contends that explicit discussions about Muslim extremism are not taking place in
America for fear of repercussions and charges of bigotry. He has shown clips of Muslim extremists spouting anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Jewish rhetoric; videos of suicide bombers preparing for martyrdom; and footage of children being groomed for
jihad and indoctrinated in a culture of hate.
 Beck has said that he fears Americans are not taking the threat of Islamic extremism seriously, that Arab and Muslim Americans are apathetic to terrorism, and that dire need for the kind of programming he provides exists. As a result, he is being targeted for educating viewers about the threat of radical Islam and the manifestations of jihad in the Western world.   Faced with the possibility of Beck appearing on national television, MPAC and the ADC requested a meeting with network executives. They accused Beck of demonstrating “an obvious anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice in his broadcasts through threats and blatantly inaccurate statements.” They deemed his hiring as tacit network approval of “dangerous and irresponsible” hate speech and providing of a platform for its expression.   Yet, criticism of Beck and his editorial content come from groups that do not fare well upon closer examination. MPAC presents itself as an organization that embraces American values and believes in peaceful coexistence with Jews and Christians. In fact, it is closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and espouses the radical ideology of Islam known as Wahhabism. MPAC falsely claims that Muslim extremists are no more numerous than fundamentalists in other faiths. The organization has referred to the terrorist group, Hezbollah, as a “liberation movement” and called the terrorist bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in
Lebanon in 1983 a “military operation.” Further, MPAC has declared that Hamas is a political entity that provides social and educational programs. Hours after the 9/11 attacks, MPAC co-founder Salam Al-Marayati suggested on a Los Angeles-based talk radio program that the State of Israel could have been behind the attacks. 
 Meanwhile, the ADC, which purports to be a non-religious civil rights group, was a plaintiff in the first major legal challenge to the Patriot Act. It has depicted all Justice and Treasury Department anti-terrorism efforts as unfair and ethnically-biased discrimination. Since 9/11, the ADC has vigorously fought against racial profiling and has made public accusations of Israeli control of
U.S. military operations.

 Attacks on “24”  Finally, Muslim groups have not stopped with criticism of politicians and commentators. They have leveled their sights against entertainment offerings as well by focusing on the Fox Broadcasting network’s television show “24.” Although the show depicts terrorists of many ethnic groups, CAIR recently criticized the show’s creators for fueling anti-Muslim prejudice with its latest storyline showing Islamic terrorists detonating a nuclear bomb in
Los Angeles. 
 CAIR charged that such episodes encourage racial hatred and negatively affect viewer attitudes on civil liberties and religious freedom. Fox rejected the criticism, denied singling out any particular group as villains and will broadcast the season’s episodes as planned. But, though the series has featured terrorists who are Germans, Russians, Americans and Baltic Europeans, only Muslims are privileged with a disclaimer preceding each episode at CAIR’s insistence. A pattern of attacks These four incidents are just the latest in series of efforts by CAIR, MPAC, the ADC and other radical Muslim groups to effectively employ intimidation to shut down discussion, stop criticism and win special concessions for perceived “Islamophobia.” The groups have used the threat of legal action and concomitant negative publicity to browbeat media personalities, government officials and corporations into paroxysms of contrition. In this era of political correctness where a charge of bigotry trumps all crimes, they have won apologies from talk radio veterans like Paul Harvey and been instrumental in the firing of WMAL host Michael Graham.   CAIR and other extremist Muslim groups have used economic actions, including boycotts and pressuring of major advertisers. Prior to winning a public apology and recompense from U.S. Airways when the provocative behavior of six imams alarmed passengers, CAIR threatened to boycott the airline. When Muslim groups charged that featuring Serge Trifkovic’s book “The Sword of the Prophet” on National Review Online defamed Islam, they pressured the Boeing Corporation to revoke its advertising commitments from the online journal. Last year, fear of violence was sufficient intimidation to prevent
U.S. publishing of European cartoons about Mohammed. Although other religions are routinely lampooned in political cartoons across the country, not a single major American news outlet dared to publish the caricatures of Mohammed. 
 The failure to stand firm against this type of subterfuge undermines our constitutional rights and ultimately our national security by silencing important discourse and questions about Islam. By not engaging in the debate that must take place to face this threat, we are aiding and abetting its cultural infiltration into all aspects of our society. The Islam of the Koran, as practiced by radical Muslims, is an intolerant religion which enforces a code of barbarism where women and non-Muslims are second-class citizens, homosexuals and adulterers are stoned to death, suspected thieves face amputations, daughters who “dishonor” their families are murdered, apostates are killed and religious practice is enforced by police.  

Quite clearly, our view of Islam and Muslims emanates principally from the worldwide actions of its dominant followers and not those who are merely alerting us to the threat. Surely we are aware that not all Muslims are terrorists, but that most terrorists are Muslims. It is high time that we openly acknowledge the fact that many ingredients of Islam are a serious threat to
America and antithetical to the precepts of democracy.

Radical Islam vs. Civilization

Radical Islam vs. Civilization
By Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com | February 1, 2007

Text of a talk presented by Daniel Pipes on January 20, 2007, in London in a debate with the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, as transcribed by the 910 Group with the help of others. The original posting of the video can be seen at YouTube; for a single clip version, see the posting at the Global Defense Group. For accounts of the debate, see the bibliography at “My Debate with London Mayor Ken Livingstone.”

Thank you so much. I’d like to begin by thanking Mayor Livingstone for his kind invitation to join you today and I thank the Greater London Authority for the hard work it put into what is obviously a successful event. I am delighted by the interest that you, the audience, has shown. And I’m grateful to my supporters who have come from four different countries to be with me today.

The Mayor is an optimistic man. I’m generally invited to bring along some gloom, and I will, true to form, provide some for you. [audience laughter]

Let me start with my position on the question of world civilization or clash of civilizations. One: I am for world civilization, and I reject the ‘clash of civilization’ argument. Two: The problem is not so much a clash of civilizations, but a clash of civilization and barbarism.

I’d like to begin by looking at Samuel Huntington’s idea. He argued that cultural differences, in his 1993 article, are paramount. “The fundamental source of conflict … will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural.” And in all he finds seven or eight set civilizations, namely, “Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and possibly African.”

My response is that civilization is useful as a cultural concept but not as a political one. There are three problems with seeing civilizations as actors in the way that Huntington suggests. It can’t account for tensions within a single civilization, it can’t account for agreement across civilizations, and it doesn’t account for change over time. Let me give you three quick examples. I’ll take them from the area that I have studied, which is the Muslim world.

First, it cannot account for Muslim-on-Muslim violence, of which there is a great deal: We have the civil war in Lebanon, the Iraq-Iran war, the Islamist insurgency in Algeria, the Sunnis vs. Shi‘is in Iraq at present, the near civil war in the Palestinian Authority, the Sudanese government against the people of Darfur. This cannot be accounted for in civilizational terms.

Second, it ignores the agreement across civilizations. I’d like to take a UK-based example, namely the edict of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 against Salman Rushdie, who at that time was living in London. It appeared, at first glance, to be a question of Muslims on one side and Westerners on the other. Muslims were burning The Satanic Verses novel, there was violence in India, etc. But a closer look showed that in fact it was quite something different, it was far more complex. There were plenty of Westerners who were against Rushdie and plenty of Muslims who supported him.

Let me give you just a couple of quotes. The foreign secretary of Britain at that time, Sir Geoffrey Howe, said “the British government, the British people do not have any affection for Rushdie’s book.” On the other hand, the Egyptian foreign minister said “Khomeini had no right to sentence Rushdie to death.” And another Egyptian minister said “Khomeini is a dog, no, that is too good for him, he is a pig.” [audience laughter]

Third point, Huntington in his analysis can’t account for change over time. And I can best illustrate this by giving you a quote from his 1993 article, He said “The economic issues between the United States and Europe are no less serious than those between the United States and Japan, but they do not have the same political salience and emotional intensity because the differences between American culture and European culture are so much less than those between American civilization and Japanese civilization.”

Well that was true enough in 1993, but it sounds pretty silly in 2007 where there are virtually no tensions between the United States and Japan and I’m sure you are aware there are tensions between the United States and Europe. The vituperation is far more severe across the Atlantic than the Pacific.

What Huntington did was to take an incident of the moment and turn them into something civilizational and it didn’t work. In short the clash of civilization idea fails, it does not fit the facts, it is not a good way to understand the world.

What about then a world civilization? Can it exist? If one defines it as Huntington does, as a culture, basically then, no, it can’t. As he puts it, correctly, “for the relevant future there will be no universal civilization but instead a world of different civilizations, each of which will have to learn to coexist with the others.” I don’t think there is anyone who would dispute that.

But yes, there can be a world civilization if one defines it differently. Civilization can be the opposite of barbarism. And civilization in this sense has a long history. In the Bible, there is a passage, “And ye shall… proclaim liberty throughout all the lands and unto all the inhabitants thereof.” In the Koran, “you are the best community ever raised among mankind, you advocate righteousness and forbid evil, and believe in God.” The American byword is ‘the pursuit of happiness’, the French is “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité “ Winston Churchill in 1898, writing about the Sudan, said that civilization is “sympathetic, merciful, tolerant, ready to discuss or argue, eager to avoid violence, to submit to law, to effect compromise.”

So the question is, can this state of being, of being civilized, can it exist on a world level?

It can, in so far as those who are civilized confront those who are not civilized. The world civilization exists of civilized elements in every culture banding together to protect ethics, liberty and mutual respect. The real clash is between them and the barbarians.

Now what do I mean by barbarians? I do not mean people who are of lower economic stature. What I mean by barbarians – and I think all of us mean by barbarians in the past two centuries – are ideological barbarians. This is what emerged in the French revolution in the late 18th century. And the great examples of ideological barbarism are fascism and Marxist Leninism – they, in their course of their histories have killed tens of millions of people.

But today it’s a third, a third totalitarian movement, a third barbarian movement, namely that of radical Islam. It is an extremist utopian version of Islam. I am not speaking of Islam the religion, I am speaking of a very unusual and modern reading of Islam. It has inflicted misery (as I mentioned Algeria and Darfur, before), there is suicide terrorism, tyrannical and brutal governments, there is the oppression of women, and non-Muslims.

It threatens the whole world:. Morocco, Turkey, Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, you name it, Afghanistan, Tunisia, and not just the traditional Muslim world, but also Russia, France, Sweden, and I dare say, the United Kingdom.

The great question of our time is how to prevent this movement, akin to fascism and communism, from growing stronger.

Now, I believe the mayor and I agree on the need to withstand this menace, but we disagree on the means of how to do it. He looks to multiculturalism, and I to winning the war. He wants everyone to get along; I want to defeat a terrible enemy.

The mayor defines multiculturalism as “the right to pursue different cultural values subject only to the restriction that they should not interfere with the similar right for others.” And he argues, as you just heard, that it works, that London is a successful city. I won’t dispute his specifics, but I do see the multicultural impulse creating disaster by ignoring a dangerous and growing presence of radical Islam in London.

One evocative sign of this danger is that citizens in your country have become a threat for the rest of the world. In 2003, Home Secretary David Blunkett presented a dossier to a Special Immigration Appeals Commission in which he “admits that Britain was a safe haven for supporters of worldwide terrorism” and in which he said Britain remains a “significant base’” for supporting terrorism.

Indeed, British-based terrorists have carried out operations in at least fifteen countries. Going from east to west, they include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Algeria, Morocco, Russia, France, Spain, and the United States. I’ll give you one example, from the United States: it was Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, who I am primarily thinking of, but there is also the [End of clip #3; Start of clip #4] British involvement in 9/11 and in the Millennium Plot that did not take place in Los Angeles.

In frustration, Egypt’s President Husni Mubarak publicly denounced the UK for “protecting killers.” After the August 10th thwarted Heathrow airline mega-plot, of a few months ago, two American authors argued in The New Republic, that from an American point of view, “it can now be argued that the biggest threat to U.S. security emanates not from Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan—but rather from Great Britain.”

And I believe this is the tip of the iceberg. I believe it refutes Mr. Livingstone’s opposing view – that there isn’t a problem.  This is the problem, the problem is radical Islam, also known as fundamentalist Islam, political Islam, Islamism. It is not, again, Islam the religion, it is radical Islam, the ideology.

Let us focus on three aspects of it. The essence of radical Islam is the complete adherence to the Shari’a, to the law of Islam. And it is extending the Shari‘a into areas that never existed before.

Second, it is based very deeply on a clash of civilizations ideology. It divides the world into two parts, the moral and the immoral, the good and the bad. Here is one quote from a British-based Islamist by the name of Abdullah el-Faisal, who was convicted and is now in jail. “There are two religions in the world today – the right one and the wrong one. Islam versus the rest of the world.” You don’t get a more basic clash-of-civilization orientation than that. There is a hatred of the outside world, of the non-Muslim world, and the West in particular. There is the intent to reject as much as possible of outside influence.

The third feature is that this is totalitarian in nature. It turns Islam from a personal faith into an ideology, into an ism. It is the transformation of a personal faith into a system for ordering power and wealth. Radical Islam derives from Islam but is an anti-modern, millenarian, misanthropic, misogynist, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, triumphalist, jihadistic, terroristic, and suicidal version of it. It is Islamic-flavored totalitarianism.

Like fascism and communism, radical Islam is a compelling way of seeing the world in a way that can absorb an intelligent person – to show him or her a whole new way of seeing life. It is radically utopian and takes the mundane qualities of everyday life and turns them into something grand and glistening.

There is an attempt to take over states. There is the use of the state for coercive purposes, and an attempt to dominate all of life, every aspect of it. It is an aggression against neighbors, and finally it is a cosmic confrontation with the West. As Tony Blair put it in August of 2006, “We are fighting a war, but not just against terrorism but about how the world should govern itself in the early 21st century, about global values.”

Now how does one respond to this?

The mayor is a man of the Left, and I am a classical liberal. We can agree that neither of us personally wishes to be subjected to the Shari‘a. I will assume, you [looking at Ken Livingstone] will correct me if I am wrong [short sporadic applause] that neither of us want this as part of our personal life.

But our views diverge sharply as to how to respond to this phenomenon. Those of my political outlook are alarmed by Islamism’s advances in the West.  Much of the Left approaches the topic in a far more relaxed fashion.

Why this difference? Why generally is the right alarmed, and the left much more sanguine? There are many differences, there are many reasons, but I’d like to focus on two.

One is a sense of shared opponents between the Islamists and those on the left. George Galloway explained in 2005, “the progressive movement around the world and the Muslims have the same enemies,” which he then went on to indicate were Israel, the United States, and Great Britain.

And if you listen to the words that are spoken about, say the United States, you can see that this is in fact the case.  Howard Pinter has described America as “a country run by a bunch of criminal lunatics.” [big applause and shouts] And Osama Bin Laden [stops … ] I’ll do what I can to get an applause line. [laughter] And, get ready for this one: Osama Bin Laden called the United States, “unjust, criminal, and tyrannical.” [applause]

Noam Chomsky termed America “a leading terrorist state”. And Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, a leading Pakistani political leader, called it the “biggest terrorist state.” [scattered applause]

Such common ground makes it tempting for those on the Left to make common cause with Islamists, and the symbol of this would be the [huge, anti-war in Iraq] demonstrations in Hyde Park, on the 16th of February 2003, called by a coalition of leftist and Islamist organizations.

At other times, the Left feels a kinship with Islamist attacks on the West, forgiving, understanding why these would happen. A couple of notorious quotes make this point. The German composer, Karlheinz Stockhausen termed the 9/11 attacks “the greatest work of art for the whole cosmos,” while American novelist Norman Mailer, commented that “the people who did this were brilliant.”

Such attitudes tempt the Left not to take seriously the Islamist threat to the West.  With John Kerry, a former aspirant to the [U.S.] presidency, they dismiss terrorism as a mere “nuisance.”

That is one reason; the bonds between the two camps. The second is that on the Left one finds a tendency to focus on terrorism – not on Islamism, not on radical Islam. Terrorism is blamed on such problems as Western colonialism of the past century, Western “neo-imperialism” of the present day, Western policies—particularly in places like Iraq and the Palestinian Authority – or from unemployment, poverty, desperation.

I would contend that it actually results in an aggressive ideology. I respect the role of ideas, and I believe that not to respect, to dismiss them, to pay them no attention, is to patronize, and to possibly even to be racist.  There is no way to appease this ideology. It is serious, there is no amount of money that can solve it, there is no change of foreign policy that make it can go away.

I would argue to you, ladies and gentlemen, it must be fought and must be defeated as in 1945 and 1991, [applause] as the German and the Soviet threats were defeated. Our goal must be, in this case, the emergence of Islam that is modern, moderate, democratic, humane, liberal, and good neighborly and that it is respectful of women, homosexuals, atheists, whoever else – one that grants non-Muslims equal rights with Muslims.

In conclusion, Mr. Mayor, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, on the Left or on the Right, I think you will agree with me on the importance of working together to attain such an Islam. I suggest that this can be achieved not via the get-along multiculturalism that you propose, but by standing firm with our civilized allies around the globe, especially with liberal voices in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with Iranian dissidents, and with reformers in Afghanistan.

I also propose standing with their counterparts in the west, with such individuals as Ayaan Hirsi Ali [applause], … formerly a Dutch legislator and now in exile in the United States; with Irshad Manji, the Canadian author; [applause] with Wafa Sultan, the Syrian in exile in the United States who made her phenomenal appearance on Al-Jazeera. Individuals like Magdi Allam, an Egyptian who is now a leading Italian journalist; Naser Khader, a parliamentarian in Denmark; Salim Mansur, a professor and author in Canada, and Irfan Al-Alawi, here in Britain. [applause]

Conversely, if we do not stand with these individuals, but instead if we stand with those who would torment them, with the Islamists, with, I might say, someone like Yusuf al- Qaradawi [applause] we are then standing with those who justify suicide bombings, who defend the most oppressive forms of Islamic practice, who espouse the clash of civilizations [notion that] we ourselves reject.

To the extent that we all work together, against the barbarism of radical Islam, a world civilization does indeed exist – one that transcends skin colour, poverty, geography, politics, and religion.

I hope that you and I Mr. Mayor can agree here and now to cooperate on such a program.