Marine)Recruiter stages counter-demonstration

Marine)Recruiter stages counter-demonstration (See #40. Let’s give Sgt. Chamburs a warm welcome!)
The Daily World (Aberdeen WA) ^ | 2/22/07
Posted on 02/22/2007 4:20:05 PM PST by llevrok

Tori Kovach of Aberdeen, left, is a regular feature on downtown streets, often seen near the Wishkah Bridge holding signs protesting the war in Iraq or chastising President Bush. On Wednesday, Sgt. Brendan Chamburs, the Marine Corps recruiter stationed in Aberdeen, saw Kovach holding a protest sign near Quizno’s and decided to stage a counter-demonstration.

He had his sign made at Coast Line Signs. Kovach was unmoved, saying, “I believe in the military, but I think the military is being misused. They are dying for a lie.” A few people honked their horns as they drove by, but not everyone was inclined to support free speech. Before Sgt. Chamburs showed up, someone threw an egg at Kovach from a passing car, hitting his sign.

Friday, February 23, 2007

When it Comes to Role Models, Allah Knows Best

Area Muslims are planning to join hands with renowned Jew-hater and race-baiter Louis Farrakhan.

According to today’s Detroit News, (“Imam accepts Farrakhan’s invitation to give sermon in Detroit today”):

The Islamic Society of North America, which represents orthodox, mostly immigrant Muslims, will join ailing Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan this weekend in Detroit at what is billed as his final major address.

Imam Siraj Wahhaj, a longtime member of the Islamic Society, said he has accepted Farrakhan’s invitation to give a sermon at prayers today, two days before the minister’s Sunday speech at Ford Field, the Islamic Society said from its headquarters in Plainfield, Ind.

The Islamic Society’s participation is significant because mainstream Muslims have considered the Nation heretical. Among their many differences, the Nation has promoted black supremacy, while mainstream Islam teaches racial unity. However, in recent years Farrakhan has adopted more orthodox teachings and has tried to build ties with other Muslims.

It’s no wonder that mainstream Muslims have considered the NOI heretical, in view of the NOI’s other distinctive views that:

· African-Americans are God’s chosen people.
· African-Americans should live separately from whites.
· Allah appeared on Earth in the form of W. Fard Muhammad in 1930.
· They do not believe in war or that they should be forced to participate in wars.

It is also fundamental NOI doctrine that “Yakub, a black scientist, created the white race 6,000 years ago.” I won’t even get into the whole spaceship thing. I did think that was a nice touch how Detroit News writer Gregg Krupa summarizes the differences between the NOI and orthodox Islam as NOI promoting black supremacy, “while mainstream Islam teaches racial unity.” That sounds like Islam in a nutshell to me.

The Islamic Society of North America’s website gave this explanation for cooperating in all of this, (“ISNA ACCEPTS MINISTER FARRAKHAN’S INVITATION”):

Commenting on this historic event, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, a long standing member of ISNA, emphasized that Islam’s mission to humanity “is to call to the path of God, with ‘wisdom and beautiful preaching’.” God makes clear, he said, that He responds to those who take one step toward Him by taking several toward them; and that He is best at distinguishing between those who stray and those who are righteous. He went on to say: “To that end and after taking naseehah (consultation) with Muslim leaders of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah in America generally. . .I have chosen to accept the Minister’s invitation to deliver the Khutbat al-Jum’ah (Friday worship sermon). We pray that nothing but good will come from it.”

And Allah knows best.

But I don’t mean to be too hard on Muslims for being ecumenical towards the NOI, because at least they all acknowledge the Koran, and believe that there is no God but Allah. (Although NOI believes the black race gave birth to Allah 6,000 years ago, and He is the mightiest God since creation born after Yakub.)

What is more perplexing to me, and I commented on it earlier in the week, is the swooning that strikes Detroit’s black leaders at the mention of Farrakhan’s name, including nonMuslim, black Christian leaders. For instance, there’s the Rev. Sam Bullock, president of the Council of Baptist Pastors, who appeared at the NOI press conference last week announcing this weekend’s annual NOI convention, saying “we seek to move beyond our theology and embrace our humanity, this event is significant because this is the birthplace of the Nation of Islam.”

Black politicans can’t get enough of the Minister, (all his fans call him “Minister”), like Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson calling Farrakhan a “role model,” (“After Farrakhan, who will fill void?”), and Councilwoman Monica Conyers giving the NOI credit for the re-election of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Among role model Farrakhan’s more edifying statements have been a description of Judaism as “a gutter religion”, characterising Christianity as an oppressive faith linked to the slavery of black people and calling Adolf Hitler “great”, although he said later that he had meant “wickedly great“.

After Hurricane Katrina, he also told his followers “levees in New Orleans may have been deliberately ‘blown up’ to kill the city’s black population.”

We’re so lucky to have him.

Cheney criticizes China’s arms buildup

Cheney criticizes China’s arms buildup

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — China’s recent anti-satellite weapons test and its continued military buildup are “not consistent” with its stated aim of a peaceful rise as a global power, Vice President Dick Cheney said Friday.

In a speech in Sydney, Cheney also expressed wariness about North Korea’s commitment to a landmark deal on ending its nuclear programs.

As anti-war demonstrators clashed with police outside the hotel where Cheney was speaking, the vice president also expressed gratitude to Australia for sending troops to the Iraq war, which he said must be won or terrorists would be emboldened worldwide.

Cheney praised China for playing an “especially important” role in the negotiations that resulted in the North Korea deal, under which the North is to seal its main nuclear reactor and allow international inspections in exchange for fuel oil.

“Other actions by the Chinese government send a different message,” Cheney told the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue, a private organization that promotes ties between the two countries.

“Last month’s anti-satellite test, China’s continued fast-paced military buildup are less constructive and are not consistent with China’s stated goal of a peaceful rise,” he said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Cheney’s remarks. Many government offices were closed Friday for the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday.

Beijing previously said its Jan. 11 firing of a missile into a defunct weather satellite was for scientific purposes, but the test was widely criticized as a provocative demonstration of China’s growing military clout.

Washington said the test – which made China only the third nation after the United States and Russia to use weapons beyond the atmosphere – undermined efforts to keep weapons out of space. Beijing countered by saying the United States is blocking a possible global treaty that would ban weapons in space.

China’s military has grown rapidly along with its economy in recent years, prompting concern that the balance of military power in the Pacific could start to shift away from the United States.

China said in late December it was strengthening its military to thwart any attempt by Taiwan to push for independence, but vowed it was committed to the peaceful development of its 2.3 million-strong military, the world’s largest.

Regarding the North Korea deal, Cheney said it represented “a first hopeful step” that would “bring us closer” to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula – but he also sounded a note of caution.

“We go into this deal with our eyes open,” he said. “In light of North Korea’s missile test last July, its nuclear test in October and its record of proliferation and human rights abuses, the regime in Pyongyang has much to prove.”

Cheney, a key backer of the Iraq war, praised Prime Minister John Howard for sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, saying Australians had won the respect of the world through their support of the fight against terror.

“The notion that free countries can turn our backs on what happens in places like Afghanistan or Iraq or any other possible safe haven for terrorists is an option that we simply cannot indulge,” he said.

He said that if the U.S.-led coalition leaves Iraq before domestic forces can handle security, violence among rival factions would spread throughout the country and beyond.

“Having tasted victory in Iraq, jihadists would look for new missions,” joining the Taliban fighting in Afghanistan and spreading “sorrow and discord” across the Middle East and further afield, he said.

“Such chaos and mounting danger does not have to occur. It is, however, the enemy’s objective,” Cheney said. “For the sake of our own long-term security, we have a duty to stand in their way.”

Outside, about 100 protesters waved placards saying “Go home Cheney” and “Bring the troops home.” Three people were arrested after scuffles broke out and officers on horseback moved in to disperse the crowd.

Cheney later visited a military barracks in Sydney and held talks with a group of Australian troops who had served overseas. He also met with opposition leader Kevin Rudd, who wants a timetable set for withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq and faster action to deal David Hicks, an Australian who has been jailed without trial at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for more than five years.

Gore’s Film an Oscar Favorite but Violates Academy Standards, Critics Say

Gore’s Film an Oscar Favorite but Violates Academy Standards, Critics Say
By Kevin Mooney Staff Writer
February 22, 2007

( – Al Gore’s movie on climate change is likely to win an Oscar for best documentary on Sunday even though it arguably violates the Academy’s own criteria and should be disqualified, critics say.

But, they argue, the way in which the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has handled the issue in the past shows a clear political bias.

Documentaries that distort reality and shade the truth are insulated from criticism so long as they advance left-wing causes like global warming and gun control, said independent filmmaker Dan Gifford, a former Oscar nominee and Emmy Award winner.

According to the “rule 12” standard for documentary films established by the Academy, while it is permissible to employ storytelling devices such as re-enactments, stock footage, stills and animations, the emphasis must be on fact and not fiction.

The critics argue that in the case of “An Inconvenient Truth,” the criteria are not met.

One point of contention in Gore’s movie is animated footage of a polar bear struggling to find stable sea ice. Gore has argued that human-induced global warming is directly impacting polar bears’ habitat and sea ice in particular. Consequently, he suggests, polar bears are forced to swim longer distances and sometimes drown in the process.

“A new scientific study shows that for the first time they’re finding polar bears that have actually drowned swimming long distances – up to sixty miles – to find the ice,” Gore says in the movie.

John Berlau, author of a new book on the environmental movement entitled “Eco-Freaks,” claims the polar bear scene alone should disqualify Gore’s film from consideration for best documentary, because it departs from reality.

Berlau noted that while the movie’s companion book says the bears were drowning in “significant numbers,” the study Gore is most likely referring to only found four polar bear carcasses in the sea off Alaska.

That episode took place after a severe storm, he noted, but Gore makes no reference to a storm during the film’s animated polar bear sequence.

Gore also never cites a source for his polar bear claim, Berlau points out, but scientists on both sides of the polar bear debate told Cybercast News Service he was probably referring to a recent report filed by the U.S. Minerals Management Service.

Researchers with the service in 2004 found four dead polar bears floating in the sea off Alaska but said in a report that the bears “are believed to have drowned as a result of the storm.”

Berlau, an analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) – an organization known for global warming skepticism – who has also written about the entertainment industry, said the polar bear sequence does not square with a large body of scientific evidence.

“The polar bear cartoon was the emotional linchpin of this movie for a lot of people, but the science behind it was not rooted in truth and is a violation of rule 12 on many levels,” Berlau told Cybercast News Service.

“If the context of this film were not something politically correct like global warming, it would not be considered for an award,” he said.

Scientists and animal experts dispute whether polar bear populations are in decline, and if so, whether climate change is the main cause (see related story).

Gore “crosses a line” that takes his documentary from fact to fiction by flatly claiming polar bears are drowning, when in reality, there is no hard evidence to substantiate his claim, Berlau said.

In past years, the Academy has applied “very strong standards against the manipulation of animal scenes in film,” Berlau said.

He cited as an example a 1958 Disney documentary “White Wilderness,” which won an Oscar but was subsequently discredited. Film crew had apparently induced lemmings to jump off a cliff in an effort to highlight the species’ suicidal behavior.

If those standards were still in effect, “An Inconvenient Truth” would be disqualified, Berlau said.

Other more recent examples involving storytelling techniques described in rule 12 include “The Thin Blue Line” (1988) about the shooting of a Dallas police officer, and “Touching the Void” (2005), a film about a near-fatal climb in the Peruvian Andes.

Both films received critical acclaim but, Berlau said, ultimately fell short of serious Oscar contention because the Academy took issue with the use of re-enactments.

‘Gore’s the contrarian’

Another area in the movie that has raised eyebrows is Gore’s suggestion that climate change could lead to a 20-foot sea level rise, jeopardizing coastal areas of the U.S., including Florida and Manhattan.

The film shows computer-generated images of water flowing into New York City and covering the area where the World Trade Center once stood, as Gore draws a link between global warming and 9/11.

“Is it possible that we should prepare against other threats besides terrorists?” he asks. “Maybe we should be concerned about other problems as well.”

But climate experts who have spoken with Cybercast News Service scoff at the “alarmist” claim.

Even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), supposedly the basis of scientific “consensus” on the issue, does not project sea rise levels anywhere near 20 feet.

Instead, the IPCC predicts a sea level rise by the end of the 21st century of between 0.3 feet and 2.8 feet with a “central value” of 1.5 feet.

Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, told Cybercast News Service the IPCC estimates avoid the more alarmist positions and are not far off the mark, according to his own estimates.

“I think Al Gore’s out of the mainstream,” Singer said. “He’s a contrarian.”

‘Creative license is necessary’

Michael Shashoua, an entertainment journalist and member of the Gen Art Film Festival Screening Committee in New York City, said rule 12 is legitimate insofar as it encourages documentary makers to hue as close to reality as possible.

But the rule could also be interpreted in such a way that precludes effective films from receiving their due, he told Cybercast News Service.

“Sometimes it is necessary to be subjective when exploring a part of reality and to put your best interpretation on events,” Shashoua said. “Rule 12 should not get in the way so long as the filmmaker is not playing fast and loose with the material. A little creative license is necessary, especially when actual footage is not available.”

Gore’s film passes muster in Shashoua’s view, because the film is built around a college lecture, and it “doesn’t stretch the truth to show Gore using devices in the same manner a professor might.”

Nina Gilden Seavey, director of the Documentary Center at George Washington University in Washington D.C., also does not anticipate any complications for “An Inconvenient Truth” involving rule 12 or any other standards.

Since the thrust of the film is about “Al Gore’s quest,” Seavey said, there should be no contention as long as “nothing is fictionalized about Gore’s quest.”

‘Rule is selectively enforced’

Nonetheless, Gifford, the filmmaker, sees a political agenda behind Gore’s predicted success.

Even if material in Gore’s film is “proven beyond a shadow of doubt to be untrue,” the Academy will not invoke rule 12, because the subject matter is politically correct, Gifford told Cybercast News Service.

“The fact is the Academy doesn’t care. The rule is selectively enforced depending on the politics,” he said.

To back up his argument that ideology is a factor, Gifford pointed to Michael Moore’s film “Bowling for Columbine,” a 2003 Oscar winner for best documentary.

To promote the view that the National Rifle Association (NRA) was indifferent toward shooting victims, Moore “faked scenes” and created a false reality with footage including edited excerpts of speeches by then NRA president Charlton Heston, Gifford charged.

David Hardy, an Arizona attorney and author, has written in depth about the issue of whether Moore’s movie met the definition of a documentary.

Shortly after Moore won the award, Gifford wrote a letter to the Academy urging a probe into the film’s eligibility.

“Should that investigation determine that ‘Bowling for Columbine’ contains, as claimed, fabricated scenes and video of real people that has been edited to manufacture a fictional reality intended to mislead viewers, then the director and producer of this film should be stripped of their award,” he wrote in the letter to Academy executive director Bruce Davis.

“Failure to conduct such an investigation and act according to its findings will diminish the stature of the Oscar, establish an exploitable precedent for future rule violators and be grossly unfair to the other nominees who did follow the rules,” Gifford wrote.

He confirmed Wednesday that he had received no response, written or verbal, from the Academy.

Gore’s movie is likely to be given a free pass, Gifford said, because, like Moore, he has definite left-of-center point of view that resonates with the Academy.


Gifford has himself enjoyed success with documentaries, including an Oscar nomination – and an Emmy Award – for the 1997 film “Waco: The Rules of Engagement.”

He co-produced and narrated the documentary, about the 1993 confrontation between the Branch Davidian sect and the FBI, which ended when the group’s compound was consumed in flames, killing 81 people.

Gifford recalls that the documentary came under fire. Since President Clinton was in office at the time, entertainment industry liberals were inclined to defend the government’s position, he said.

“We were in a place politically and culturally in the 1990s where you were labeled as a right-wing nut to even suggest the government’s official story was untrue,” Gifford said.

“The same ones now saying you can’t trust your government and you can’t trust what they’re saying about Iraq are ones who said it was disloyal and unpatriotic to say you can’t trust your government back in the 1990s,” he added.

Gifford said the Waco documentary withstood the criticism because actual footage was used and compelling evidence introduced.

The office of Laurie David, producer of “An Inconvenient Truth,” declined an invitation to comment, instead referring queries to Paramount Pictures.

Repeated phone calls to Megan Colligan, executive vice-president of publicity for Paramount Vantage, were not returned. Paramount Vantage is the specialty film division of Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures.

Cybercast News Service also contacted Teni Melidonian at the Academy’s public relations department. She indicated that Academy executives were unlikely to comment but did ask for a copy of the story to be emailed to her, to pass on to the appropriate officials. No Academy comment was received.

War Blog

War Blog
By FrontPage Magazine | February 23, 2007


By Ed Morrissey

Syria has embarked on a program to bolster its military after the war last summer in Lebanon, Ha’aretz reported this morning and repeated by the AP. They have begun acquiring heavy weapons from the Russians and the Iranians, including medium-range missiles that threaten just about every possible target in Israel:

Damascus has large numbers of surface-based missiles and long-range rockets, including the Scud-D, capable of reaching nearly any target in Israel, the report said, and the Syrian navy has received new Iranian anti-ship missiles. Haaretz also said Russia was about to sell Syria thousands of advanced anti-tank missiles, despite Israeli charges that in the past Syria has transferred those missiles to Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

Syrian officials did not immediately comment on the Israeli reports, but President Bashar Assad said in a television interview immediately after the fighting that Syria was preparing to defend itself. Israeli defense officials confirmed that Syria had ordered new stocks of the anti-tank weapons after noting Hezbollah’s successful use of them against Israeli armor in last summer’s fighting in south Lebanon.

Syria also ordered new supplies of surface-to-sea missiles after Hezbollah used one to hit an Israeli warship, killing four crewmen, off the Lebanese coast last July, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The two nations remain at war, although they have not fought it for decades. The Syrians want the Golan Heights back, and the Israelis want the Syrians to stop funding and supplying Hezbollah. The new weapons systems, in fact, seem ideal for that kind of arms transfer, the kind specifically prohibited by UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

It comes as no great shock that the Iranians have begun supplying Syria with more materiel. After all, the Iranians need the money, and they have a tight military alliance with Damascus. Both of them run Hezbollah as a joint project, and the eventual destination of these systems can hardly be doubted.

More surprising, or at least disappointing, is the Russian participation in Syria’s distribution channel to Hassan Nasrallah. After all, they signed off on 1701, and they have to know who will benefit from these weapons sales. It appears that Putin once again has determined that the enemies of the West are his friends, despite the Islamist connections to the insurgencies in the Caucasus. It’s really not much of a surprise to see Moscow taking the side of terrorists and totalitarians, although it should embarrass the Russians themselves.

Bashar Assad recently told Diane Sawyer that the US should engage with Syria to establish a peaceful Iraq. This is the same peace he has in mind for Lebanon and Israel. Until Syria stops being a mule for terrorists, they have no business at the table of a serious peace conference, and neither do Iran and Russia.  Thursday, February 22, 2007




From FOX News: Hillary Clinton, Obama in Hot Exchange Over Hollywood Heavyweight’s Comments.

The war of words between leading 2008 Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama spread Wednesday night, after the campaigns had earlier exchanged heated words when Clinton suggested Obama return funds to Hollywood bigwig David Geffen, who insulted her in a newspaper article. “We aren’t going to get in the middle of a disagreement between the Clintons and someone who was once one of their biggest supporters. It is ironic that the Clintons had no problem with David Geffen when was raising them $18 million and sleeping at their invitation in the Lincoln bedroom,” Obama campaign communications director Robert Gibbs said in a statement that was e-mailed to the news media. …

Geffen, a former “Friend of Bill,” co-hosted a star-studded, $1.3 million fundraiser for Obama on Tuesday night in Beverly Hills with Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Among the 300 contributors who forked over $2,300 each were George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and Morgan Freeman. Also in attendance were Dixie Chick Natalie Maines and director Ron Howard.

Geffen became a former FOB in 2001 after Bill Clinton refused to pardon Leonard Peltier, a Chippewa Indian convicted of killing two FBI agents in a 1977 shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. …

Geffen is apparently still holding a grudge against the Clintons. In remarks to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd that appeared in Wednesday’s edition, the music producer suggested that the Clintons have had their day and it’s time for new blood in the White House. …  Thursday, February 22, 2007

Battling sharia in Minneapolis

Pelosi’s appalling ignorance

Pelosi’s appalling ignorance
Ed Lasky
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made and still carries on her website a breathtakingly untrue charge against President Bush:

“Five years after 9/11 and Osama bin Laden is still free and not a single terrorist who planned 9/11 has been caught and brought to justice. President Bush should read the intelligence carefully before giving another misleading speech about progress in the war on terrorism.”
How about Khalid Shaikk Mohammed-the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks? Last time I checked he was imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay. Pelosi clearly doesn’t read the Wall Street Journal or the 9/11 Commission report. Additionally, Abu Zubaydah was captured-the intelligence community believe he ran a terrorist camp in Afghanistan where some of the 9/11 hijackers trained and that he helped smuggle Al Qaeda leaders out of Afghanistan.

No wonder she moved Jane Harman out of the post she deserved on the House Intelligence Committee and chose to appoint Silvestre Reyes (who cannot tell “Shiite from Sunni”) in her stead. Pelosi clearly doesn’t want to be upstaged! Third-in-line to the Presidency and she cannot even get her facts right about 9/11.

Maybe Ms. Pelosi and Silvestre Reyes should take this new ABC News poll that measures basic knowledge about the differences between the Shiite and Sunni branches of Islam.
Posted at 09:52 AM | Email | Permalink

Our Government’s Dangerous Partnering With the Wrong Muslims

Our Government’s Dangerous Partnering With the Wrong Muslims

By M. Zuhdi Jasser

In the past few months we have seen an unusual increase in publicity concerning the interactions of the American Muslim “activist” community with various governmental agencies involved in Homeland Security. The Justice Department, FBI, DHS, State Department, and others in the Bush Administration have since 9-11, and especially in the past few months, aggressively sought out “representatives” of the Muslim community with whom they can “partner”. They cite a number of justifications including: the development of “mutual trust”, opening channels for reporting suspicious activity, education about Islam and Muslims, and the general breaking down of cultural, political, and religious barriers through better-founded relationships. The jury is out as to whom this relationship benefits and on whose behalf it is being done.

On January 10, 2007, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, met with “American Muslims” which included the organizations– the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), and the Arab American Institute (AAI). A quick, random, browse of just their websites shows heavily political organizations with an underlying religious movement for the first two and Arab movement for the last. Their combined product is a heavily political-religious movement. It has some following, but represents only a minority of the Muslims in America who mostly remain unaffiliated.

One would be hard pressed to find precedent in the U.S. of our security agencies and leadership “partnering” with manifestations of a national and global political movement within the United States. Simply put, it seems our government is being duped, through political correctness, into partnering with organizations which present themselves as being purely religious (Muslim) or ethnic (Arabic) but are actually upon even a brief review rather solidly religio-political and Arab-political movements. 

It is not that these organizations have not condemned terrorism as an act or a means to an ends. It is, rather, that they have not condemned political Islam (Islamism) and its theocratic foundations as an ends. Islamism is the end-game of our enemies and its ideological antidote is Americanism and its multi-religious and mulit-ethnic pluralism. American Muslims need purely spiritual organizations which are not also sympathetic to a national or global political-religious movement. Currently there are few to none. To have our governmental leadership in any capacity officially and publicly “partner” with current Islamist organizations is a significant liability in the war of ideas – if we have any hope of ever defeating the Islamists.

The Proportionality Test and the Islamist Agenda

After the January 10 meeting, MPAC called upon the Attorney General to: “publicly acknowledge the positive contributions of their communities in working to preserve national security and to expand efforts to promote engagement with all levels of government and law enforcement.”

If these positive contributions are so prevalent, shouldn’t their existence be common knowledge? Why would the Muslim community need the Attorney General to acknowledge that in order for Americans to believe it? The public campaigns leading such counterterrorism efforts would speak for themselves. However, Islamist organizations want it both ways. They want the government to validate their actions behind the scenes and then use that validation to give them a pass on doing the same publicly against America’s Islamist enemies.

Wholly dismissed as irrelevant by the mainstream media and the administration is what political Islam reciprocally gains from this public relationship. Is this relationship with Islamism wise—strategically? Is it ultimately in the best interests of America and American Muslims for that matter? Helping the counter ideology to Americanism thrive in our communities will in the end be a detriment to national security. While Islamism has its moderates, the measure of moderation is still within a political construct which is Islamist and rather anti-American in its ideology.

It is the duty of every American Muslim and non-Muslim to be critical of how “representative” these organizations are of the vast majority of American Muslims who are not on their membership rolls and who do not subscribe to the goals of political Islam. When current “major” organizations appear with the MSM and with governmental leadership and become the face of American Islam, every Muslim is entitled and obligated to weigh in on the validity of their representation. Without criticism, the greater unaffiliated American Muslim community is associated with their religious and the political mission.

Organizations like ISNA, MPAC, CAIR, or ADC will never bring forward national campaigns against the un-American ideologies of Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, or Wahhabism and Islamism on their own. And this becomes especially true if our government officials enable them by providing constant public testimony to their unblemished partnership. More importantly, this partnership will suffocate any chance for newer, anti-Islamist organizations ever coming out of the devout American Muslim community.

To the extent that non-Muslim America is interested in Muslim organizations and Islam, it is for the most part derived from a post-9-11 interest in security. Thus, we could invoke a similar proportionality test upon American Muslim organizations. What proportion of their programs and funding are spent on counterterrorism, anti-Islamism, and internal reform versus civil rights protections, “Islamic education” and domestic and foreign policy? The proportion should illustrate their agendas and the appropriateness of partnership if any.

Avoiding Islamist advocacy is pro-Islam

In a speech to a gathering of U.S. Attorneys on January 11, 2007 in South Carolina, Attorney General Gonzalez admonished:

You also have a duty to show your colleagues and your districts that we are not engaged in a struggle against a faith or religion… On the contrary, we very much need the partnership of the Muslim community. Discouraging radicalism is vital, and that cannot be done effectively without Muslim community leadership. So seek it out in your districts. We believe in religious freedom for everyone. The Department of Justice is committed to protect these rights, and in doing so, I think we promote trust and provide an alternative way to that of radicalization.” 

The Attorney General is certainly on-point in his understanding that this conflict is not with Islam, and that Muslims are ultimately our greatest assets in defeating radical Islamism. But at the same time he is dangerously vague about what ideology will serve as an “alternative way to that radicalization”.  Before we “partner”, our branches of government need years of preparation, schooling, and deeper understanding of the ideology of Wahhabism, Islamism, and the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood with all the tentacles of its ideological precursor to current radical Islamist organizations around the world. Public relationships with organizations and individuals that constitute the lowest hanging fruit in the American Muslim community may not be in our national interests.

The fact that “no other national Muslim organizations exist” is not a good enough excuse. This conflict of ideologies is going to be generational. Rather than partner with anyone at this time, we should be actively investigating American Muslim ways yet to begin to win the war of ideas– the war against political Islam. This is an intellectual war which none of the current major organizations care to acknowledge.  The vast majority of Muslims are certainly patriotic and will always privately assist on the front lines in the community.

Current “major” Muslim organizations certainly deserve what is afforded to every political lobby in America. But as a political lobby, they subsequently lose the respect afforded to apolitical faith leaders in the United States. In a country which is founded upon the separation of religion and politics, they cannot be both. It needs to be made clear whether these organizations are representing a faith community or a political lobby. And make no mistake, the Islamist political lobby is a part of the global ideological threat to the U.S.

Once we see these organizations as political lobbies, then a critical quid pro quo about Islamism will be natural during meetings with our government. Other voices of anti-Islamism within the devout Muslim community will then be empowered rather than marginalized. Then, the greater Muslim community can actually begin to lead the charge against political Islam, and its radical off-shoots.

Slow down and wait for the silent Muslim majority

This partnership is taking form across the nation in the public eye with various branches of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the office of Karen Hughes, Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department to name a few. While each has a different mission, they all seem to be working from the same playbook of engaging the lowest hanging fruit of organized Islam in America. There has even been a move to meet at mosques across the country with little assessment of the nature of the ideological background of political sermons from those mosques with whom our government meets.

There are somewhere between 4 and 6 million Muslim taxpayers in the United States. When our governmental agencies report to be ‘partnering’ with the Muslim community, there is a deep implication that this represents all of the Muslim taxpayers. That could not be further from the truth. There is no evidence to suggest such a representation. In fact there is some convincing evidence to the contrary. Since the silent majority are more about faith than politics, we cannot assume that non-Islamist Muslims will organize themselves into packages for the Beltway.

Critics will contend that I am maligning the only and the most effective representatives of Muslims in America today. What they dismiss is the realities of the internal Muslim ideological conflict in which we are engaged globally. They also conveniently dismiss the majority of Muslims in America who remain unrepresented but also are taxpayers and deserve acknowledgement by our government as Muslims who reject political Islam.

So the ultimate question is – how do we engage the silent majority who reject political Islam but yet need to engage in political discourse to be heard?

Rather than empty photo-opportunities with current Islamists, we need to convene a national discussion about how to engage and ideologically defeat political Islam in the media, in diplomacy, and at home. Obviously, devout Muslims who see Islamism as the problem are our greatest asset. We risk alienating them even more than they are already from their own activist Muslim community if our leadership continues to give American Islamism a pass.

We need to set aside the conventional wisdom that government employees avoid ideological engagement with communities. Our homeland security is defending our nation from acts of terror perpetrated by radicals driven by a societal ideology at odds with America. Part of our defense strategy must be the articulation of what America is and what it is not. It is pluralism and it is not theocracy.

Getting educated on the conflict between Islamism and Islam

Whether or not the theocrats are moderate or radical shouldn’t matter. On the scale of American religious pluralism even the most moderate Islamist theocrat has a mindset which is anti-American in its ideology. We need to figure out how to both engage the Muslim community as our greatest asset but also hold them accountable to their responsibility to lead the public effort to counter political Islam and its radical offshoots.

John Welter, Chief of the anaheim Police Department recently said this to Washington Post reporter, Karen De Young:

“Most people are very ignorant of what the Muslim faith is about, including me,” Welter said. “I’ve got a book on Muslims for dummies; I can’t be an expert on all the religions and cults and cultures in the world. But what I can do is be an expert in behavior that terrorists engage in prior to an attack.”

This type of naiveté illustrates the basic problem in our current approach to engagement of the Muslim community. Our current national security problem with terrorism is not about finding behavior. That is only the most basic part of law enforcement. At the core of our national counterterrorism strategy should be a solid understanding of the ideologies and state of mind which precedes the radicalization and the motivation of terrorist behaviors.

Our security agencies understood the ideology of communism as we protected our nation during the Cold War. We should do so with even more sophistication and clarity now when it comes to the relationship of political Islam (Islamism) to militant Islamism and how they both differ from the spiritual path of Islam. The longer we avoid the centrality of political Islam in this equation, the longer it is going to take to win the war of ideas and preserve our security.

It is time for a national education and discussion on the conflict between Islamism and Islam. It is time to learn where national Muslim organizations and more importantly where the greater American Muslim population finds itself in that conflict. Contributing Editor M. Zuhdi Jasser is the founder and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix Arizona. He is a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, a physician in private practice, and a community activist.

He can be reached at

Preventing Armageddon

Preventing Armageddon
By Alan W. Dowd | February 23, 2007

It’s uncanny how disparate events sometimes come together to prove the soundness of a policy. Consider what has transpired over the last fortnight-plus to validate the nascent international missile defense system (IMD) being constructed by the United States and its closest allies. In Europe, the Czech and Polish governments signaled their readiness to move ahead with deploying key IMD elements on their soil—a radar-tracking facility in the Czech Republic and a bed of missile-interceptors in Poland to be completed by 2011 or 2012. “We have agreed that both countries are likely to give a positive response,” Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek announced on February 19.  Soon after Topolanek showed the world that he and his partners in Poland are ready to look forward, the grizzled commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces forced us all to look backward—back to a time when the world was split between East and West, when Washington’s gain was Moscow’s loss, when Europeans and Americans and Russians braced for mutual destruction.  Trapped in the ice of a cold war that ended almost 20 years ago, Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov—playing to type, he actually resembles Nikita Khrushchev, but with hair—talked about withdrawing from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty and re-targeting the arsenal under his command to strike Poland and the Czech Republic. “The Strategic Missile Forces,” he said matter-of-factly, “will be capable of carrying out this task.” Of course they are capable of that. Russian missiles can strike anywhere on earth. And the Polish and Czech and Russian and American governments know that. They also know that this system is not designed to shield Europe or North America from Russia’s vast arsenal of missiles, an arsenal that can launch thousands of warheads by air, land or sea. It’s designed to protect the U.S. and its friends from madmen in the Middle East and along the Mediterranean. Those radar stations on Czech soil will enable the IMD system to peer deep into Asia, the Middle East and Africa; those missile-killing interceptors in Poland will give American and allied cities a fighting chance in a century that promises not just to be terrified by long-range missiles, like the century past, but bloodied and scorched by these weapons. The general’s not-so-vague threats came while his president’s Khrushchevian vitriol was still hanging heavy in the air. Vladimir Putin, the part-democrat/part-dictator who commands Russia, lashed out at the U.S. during a conference in Munich, claiming that “nobody feels safe anymore” because of Washington’s “unrestrained hyper-use of force” and “unilateral, illegitimate military actions.” For good measure, he scolded the U.S. for “trampling fundamental principles of international law” (this from the man who has flattened Chechnya, unleashed assassins to silence critics and rival heads-of-state, cut off fuel shipments into Europe, pumped arms into rogue regimes and refused to withdraw Russian troops from neighboring nations).  But perhaps it’s a good thing that Putin and his generals have given us a glimpse into their government’s paranoia. If this is how Moscow reacts to a wholly defensive system that has been openly developed, openly discussed and debated among America’s European allies, and openly and repeatedly explained to Russian policymakers (according to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, there have been ten formal IMD discussions between Washington and Moscow since spring 2006), then maybe Iran isn’t the only reason IMD’s time has come. Maybe, just maybe, IMD can be a safeguard against a stray Russian rocket—or a hedge against another Cold War with Moscow.  The pieces are starting to fall into place. Just this month, the ambidextrous U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) conducted an exercise involving land- and sea-based elements of the burgeoning system; the super-sophisticated X-Band Radar, which supports IMD by tracking small objects in space, arrived in Alaska after traveling from Hawaii, proving the system’s capacity to be deployed and redeployed based on possible threats to U.S. territory; and the Airborne Laser—a missile-killing laser mounted on a 747 that can loiter outside enemy territory and destroy a missile long before it threatens American soil—underwent flight testing of its beam control/fire control systems. On the other side of the planet, somewhere above the Mediterranean Sea, the U.S. and Israel successfully intercepted a ballistic missile with their joint Arrow anti-missile system. According to the MDA, “This test marks the U.S./Israeli Arrow II program’s 13th success in 15 attempts.” (For the critics who dismiss such systems as failures because they achieve something less than perfection, 86.66 percent is much better than the 0-percent success rate we would have if we were to delay deployment until that unreachable day when the system is foolproof.) If the Russians are uncertain about where the Czechs and Poles will aim their components of IMD, there is no doubt about where the Arrow II system is pointing. It’s a shield against Iran, one that may soon be put to the test in battle.  On February 19, Iran launched another in a series of provocative and reckless war games. The second large-scale exercise in as many months, these mock operations involved 60,000 men and 750 missiles of various ranges.  Recent Iranian military activity has been so purposely provocative or so poorly executed—neither alternative is comforting—that the U.S. military was forced to send additional assets into the crowded and strategic waters of the Persian Gulf just to protect the shipping lanes. According to Vice Adm. Patrick Walsh, Iran’s too-close-for-comfort military maneuvers have lunged “right around the jugular” of the vital waterway’s exit point at the Straits of Hormuz. As Walsh explained in a recent interview with AP, the shipping lanes in the Straits are just six miles wide. During its spasm of war games, Iran has been firing Shahab-3 missiles, with a range of 800 miles, “very close to the traffic separation scheme in the Straits themselves,” according to Walsh. “This gives us concern because innocent passage of vessels now is threatened.” The Iranians have another missile with a range of 1,250 miles, bringing parts of Europe within reach. The Congressional Research Service concludes that there is evidence Tehran has mated its more accurate, shorter-range missiles with chemical and biological weaponry. And Pentagon officials have reported that Iran test-fired a Scud variant from the deck of a ship, making the missile’s range unlimited. Iran’s February war games were purposely timed to coincide with yet another UN deadline demanding that the mullahs suspend their uranium-enrichment activities. The deadline passed on February 21, predictably without much more than a few feckless words of consternation from UN diplomats. Perhaps they are too busy digesting yet another IAEA report, this one describing how Tehran is installing centrifuges capable of producing weapons-grade uranium. Finally, amid all the nuclear brinkmanship and missile tests and war games, the European Union has apparently arrived at the same conclusion the Bush Administration privately accepted more than a year ago—that diplomacy is not enough to rein in Iran’s nuclear program. “The problems with Iran will not be resolved through economic sanctions alone,” an internal EU document conceded on February 12. Sounding more like George W. Bush than Javier Solana, the document added, “the Iranians have pursued their programme at their own pace, the limiting factor being technical difficulties rather than resolutions by the UN or the International Atomic Energy Agency.”In other words, if the Europeans don’t join the U.S. in taking a more aggressive stance against Iran, they may need those IMD sites in Poland and the Czech Republic up and running much, much sooner than 2011.

Congress needs to rethink take on Middle East refugees

Congress needs to rethink take on Middle East refugees

Ryan Jones,

Resolutions introduced in both the US Senate and House of Representatives this week very belatedly recognizing that there was once a Jewish refugee crisis in the Middle East are both promising and dangerous.

It is promising that a body with as much influence as the US Congress is pushing the issue of the international community’s need to address the fact that hundreds of thousands of Jews were dispossessed and expelled by the Arab states they called home just 50-some years ago.

But it is dangerous that Congress wants to tie that to recognition of the “rights of Palestinian refugees.”

There are some glaring differences between the two cases:

    * The so-called “Palestinians” who were displaced during Israel’s War of Independence for the most part did not move more than 20 miles, and still found themselves surrounded by people sharing the same ethnicity, language, culture and religion. To call them “refugees” is somewhat disingenuous, to say the least.* The majority of displaced “Palestinians” became displaced because their own leaders ordered them to get out of the way so the Jews could be more easily finished off. Again, not “refugees,” but rather members of the Arab “Ummah” who unfortunately found themselves having to start over when their leaders and armies failed to defeat Israel.

    * The Jews, on the other hand, were the defenseless minority in their host nations, and were stripped of their possessions, persecuted and thrown out by their Arab overlords, necessitating in many cases a long and arduous journey to the only place they would be safe – the State of Israel. Once there, they did share a religion with those around them, but they had to adapt to a new culture and learn a new language in order to survive. The very definition of refugees.

These are all things that need to be taken into consideration, but perhaps the most glaring difference between the Jewish refugees from Arab state and the “Palestinian refugees” is that the Jewish refugees were promptly resettled. And not only that, they were promptly resettled by a nascent state that didn’t really have the means to resettle them.

The “Palestinians,” meanwhile, have been forced to remain “refugees” by their Arab brothers for 50+ years! Additionally, their children have been labeled as refugees too!

There is no precedent for this, no other refugee situation that was ever dealt with by perpetuating the refugee status of the displaced and actually transferring it to their children and grandchildren.

The only explanation can be that the “Palestinian” refugee issue is not really a refugee issue at all, but a cynical diplomatic ploy to demonize the Jewish state and force it to allow its borders to be flooded with Arab Muslims.

This is what Congress needs to recognize in its resolutions.

The Jews long ago dealt with their own refugee problem. Now it’s time for the Arabs to do the same – or admit that there never was one to begin with.

Congress’ current course of action is only going to further legitimize the myth of the “Palestinian refugee.”