Plame’s outing was a slow bleed

Plame’s outing was a slow bleed
Jeff Dobbs
As noted in our article today, the outing of Plame was not a “code red” issued from the White House or the Office of the Vice President. Instead, Plame’s outing was a “slow bleed” operation, removing any remaining secrecy surrounding her affiliation with the CIA. It was an operation fearlessly spearheaded by Joe Wilson with at least tacit approval from Plame.

We certainly hope to hear directly from Plame on this. But we wonder if a clue is her own insouciance with her CIA affiliation when she revealed to Wilson that she was undercover in the CIA, early in their relationship, even while Wilson was still married to his second wife.

This CIA agent working on WMDs allowed herself to be outed by the WMD to whom she was married. Joe Wilson was a weapon of mass dereliction – a gasbag willing to compromise his wife in the vainglorious pursuit of a prominent seat at the political table. We live in a nation where narcissism is not a crime. But for the good of the nation (paraphrasing someone central to this whole wretched affair): at the end of the day, it should be of keen interest to everyone to get Joe Wilson frog-marched out of the public square.

Battling Templates: Whitewater versus Plame

Battling Templates: Whitewater versus Plame
By Christopher Alleva

The liberal media make it too easy to expose their bias. Thanks to the internet, it is almost child’s play to find the same behavior treated very differently, depending on whether Democrats or Republicans are responsible.

Fishing in the Washington Post archive I caught a nice essay written by the former ombudsmen Richard Harwood on March 19, 1994 that attempted to contextualize the legion of scandals that beset the first years of the Clinton Administration.

Taking the trusty template tool out of my journalistic toolbox, I adapted the essay by substituting “Plame” for “Whitewater” and “Dick Cheney” for the “Clintons.” Several other minor changes were made to bring it up to date, such as moving Joe Klein from Newsweek to Time and substituting the number of Post Plame stories (398) for the number of Whitewater stories (209). Other than that, the quotes and narrative remain largely intact. Several of the journalists quoted are still working.

It’s amusing to imagine the likes of Joe Klein, David Gregory and Jonathan Alter writing giving quotable phrases like these about Dick Cheney. The following represents what coverage of Plame might look like if the MSM liked the Bush Administration as much as it liked the Clintons.

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The Plame affair divides the country. It is also dividing the American press.

Columnist Robert Samuelson says, “The purported scandal is so far a political vendetta draped in legal trappings. The trappings are essential, because it is the mere possibility of wrongdoing that justifies the ongoing media attention.”

Joe Klein of Time magazine speculates on the possibility that Dick Cheney will emerge from his present trials as innocent victims of press hysteria. In that event, he asks, “Do we, the righteous guardians of the truth, admit that we blew this all out of proportion – or do we continue to puff motes into dust storms in order to justify our investment? Dick Cheney has earned his isolation. But he deserves a more sober hearing than this lunatic caldron.”

“Here we go,” writes Washington Post columnist Jonathan Yardley, “hurtling down the rapids of the Plame affair into a furious eddy of political opportunism and journalistic exhibitionism. The government of the United States will grind to a halt for a year or more, thank God, and the high-octane newsfolk of the nation’s capital will bore us all to tears with interminable recitations of imaginary outrages, but who cares? It’s going to be one hell of a ride.”

Russell Baker of the New York Times satirizes the media torrent and explains it: “The reason this rickety construction of innuendo and circumstance occupies the media so intensely is that Vice Presidents are central to the American need to be entertained. … the Plame affair is the best news in Washington now that Barbra Streisand no longer guests at the White House.”

From Harvard, Marvin Kalb, director of a media program at Harvard University, told The Post: “There is a rushing to judgment that is unprofessional and distasteful. The press is going to have a lot to answer for when this is over.” The gulf between what these critics are saying and what the press is doing reflects, among other things, confusion about our function in American life. The critics put forth an ethical view of journalism in which we should not act as detectives, prosecutors or judges but should allow our system of justice and its institutions to deal with matters of innocence or guilt. There should be, as Kalb said, no rush to judgment nor, as Klein put it, no “ridiculous hyperinflation” of small peccadilloes.

That is essentially the posture taken by the press during the Watergate scandal. It was first seen – by me, among others – as a “two bit break-in” and, with the exception of The Post and a few isolated journalists, it was largely ignored by the media. Nevertheless, justice ultimately was served. A president was brought down and others were punished, not by the press, as myth has it, but through the workings of the “system” – the judiciary, the FBI, a special prosecutor and Congress. I do not mean to equate Watergate and the Plame affair but merely to make the point that with or without the press, justice can and usually does prevail.

This is not the majoritarian operating premise of the press. Underlying our approach to potential public scandals is a general distrust of the “system.” We assume it can be manipulated by presidents, that “coverups” are both possible and likely from the White House down to city hall. Thus, at the hint of any scandal, it is our duty to dispatch investigative teams to dig out the truth as archaeologists do, piece by piece until the whole picture is revealed. In this process we monitor the “system’s institutions of justice for foot-dragging and coverup” and, as William Safire of the New York Times has said, “light fires” under the investigators.

That may have happened several times in the Plame affair. The first story about Ms. Plame by Robert Novak published in July 2003 had no visible impact. Several months later, however, the press and the Democrats were howling for a Special Prosecutor hence Patrick Fitzgerald the U.S. attorney in Chicago was named. Did Novak’s story “fire up” the CIA and the Department of Justice? No, it was not until Joe Wilson coordinatng with the Democrats began beating the drum did this get any traction.

We will never be able to establish beyond any doubt that the press has “lit fires” in the Plame or has played a “constructive” or “destructive” role in the pursuit of justice. We will never be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the press will have had any effect at all when this affair finally comes to an end.

George Church, a columnist for Time magazine, suggests that the real danger here is that the veracity and credibility of the Dick Cheney could be so damaged that he will be unable to see Iraq and other critical national security matters through to success.

The Plame affair news as of mid-March – 398 stories in The Post alone – doubtless has affected the political standing and reputation of Dick Cheney. We know that from the polls.

But as in the case of Plame affair, public interest in these abstract scandals is shallow and intermittent. Our affections for vice presidents vary almost by the hour and the day. So there is no reason to believe that whatever has been written or broadcast thus far will have any lasting effect on Dick Cheny’s place in history or in the hearts of his countrymen. Ask the ghost of Harry Truman.

What about the ghost of Bill Clinton?

Palestinian Justice: Moses, Jesus “prophets of Islam,” Jewish temple never existed

Palestinian Justice: Moses, Jesus “prophets of Islam,” Jewish temple never existed
In saying these things about Moses and Jesus, Sheikh Taysir Tamimi is merely repeating standard Muslim belief — standard belief that of course strips Judaism and Christianity of all legitimacy.

“Moses, Jesus ‘really prophets of Islam’: Chief Muslim claims Jewish Temples never existed, Al Aqsa built by angels,” by Aaron Klein for WorldNetDaily.com, with thanks to Sr. Soph:

JERUSALEM – The Jewish Temples never existed, the Western Wall really was a tying post for Muhammad’s horse, the Al Aqsa Mosque was built by angels, and Abraham, Moses and Jesus were prophets for Islam.
All this according to Sheikh Taysir Tamimi, chief Palestinian Justice and one of the most influential Muslim leaders in Israel. Tamimi is considered the second most important Palestinian cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

In a WND exclusive interview, Tamimi, who preaches regularly from the Al Aqsa Mosque, claimed Jews have no historical connection to Jerusalem or Israel and that the Jewish Temples never existed.

“Israel started since 1967 making archeological digs to show Jewish signs to prove the relationship between Judaism and the city and they found nothing. There is no Jewish connection to Israel before the Jews invaded in the 1880’s,” said Tamimi.

“About these so-called two Temples, they never existed, certainly not at the Haram Al- Sharif (Temple Mount),” Tamimi said.

The Palestinian cleric denied the validity of dozens of digs verified by experts worldwide revealing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temples throughout Jerusalem, including on the Temple Mount itself; excavations revealing Jewish homes and a synagogue in a site in Jerusalem called the City of David; or even the recent discovery of a Second Temple Jewish city in the vicinity of Jerusalem.

He said descriptions of the Jewish Temples in the Hebrew Tanach, in the Talmud and in Byzantine and Roman writings from the Temple periods were forged, and that the Torah was falsified to claim Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs were Jewish when indeed they were prophets for Islam.

“All this is not real. We don’t believe in all your versions. Your Torah was falsified. The text as given to the Muslim prophet Moses never mentions Jerusalem. Maybe Jerusalem was mentioned in the rest of the Torah, which was falsified by the Jews.”

He said Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus were “prophets for the Israelites sent by Allah as to usher in Islam.”

Flying Imams’ lawsuit “appears to be the latest component in a national campaign to intimidate airlines and government agencies from acting prudently to ensure passenger safety”

Flying Imams’ lawsuit “appears to be the latest component in a national campaign to intimidate airlines and government agencies from acting prudently to ensure passenger safety”
In “The Real Target of the 6 Imams’ Discrimination Suit” in the Star Tribune, Katherine Kersten repeats what I have maintained from the beginning: that the entire Flying Imams incident is an attempt to get religious profiling outlawed, thus giving jihadists a free hand in airports — no matter how suspiciously they are acting, officials will be afraid to question them.

Note also that the Flying Imams’ lawsuit wants to sue the passengers who complained about their activity also.

Their lawsuit appears to be the latest component in a national campaign to intimidate airlines and government agencies from acting prudently to ensure passenger safety. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is advising the imams, is also calling for congressional hearings and promoting federal legislation to “end racial profiling” in air travel. If the legislation passes, airport personnel who disproportionately question passengers who are Muslim or of Middle Eastern origin could be subject to sanctions.
But the most alarming aspect of the imams’ suit is buried in paragraph 21 of their complaint. It describes “John Doe” defendants whose identity the imams’ attorneys are still investigating. It reads: “Defendants ‘John Does’ were passengers … who contacted U.S. Airways to report the alleged ’suspicious’ behavior of Plaintiffs’ performing their prayer at the airport terminal.”

Paragraph 22 adds: “Plaintiffs will seek leave to amend this Complaint to allege true names, capacities, and circumstances supporting [these defendants’] liability … at such time as Plaintiffs ascertain the same.”

In plain English, the imams plan to sue the “John Does,” too.

Who are these unnamed culprits? The complaint describes them as “an older couple who was sitting [near the imams] and purposely turn[ed] around to watch” as they prayed. “The gentleman (’John Doe’) in the couple … picked up his cellular phone and made a phone call while watching the Plaintiffs pray,” then “moved to a corner” and “kept talking into his cellular phone.”

In retribution for this action, the unnamed couple probably will be dragged into court soon and face the prospect of hiring a lawyer, enduring hostile questioning and paying huge legal bills. The same fate could await other as-yet-unnamed passengers on the US Airways flight who came forward as witnesses.

The imams’ attempt to bully ordinary passengers marks an alarming new front in the war on airline security. Average folks, “John Does” like you and me, initially observed and reported the imams’ suspicious behavior on Nov. 20. Such people are our “first responders” against terrorism. But the imams’ suit may frighten such individuals into silence, as they seek to avoid the nightmare of being labeled bigots and named as defendants.

Ironically, on the day the imams filed their suit, a troubling internal memo came to light at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The memo revealed that our airport is at particular risk of terrorist attack because of its proximity to the Mall of America, its employment of relatively few security officers and other factors. The memo advised heightened vigilance to counter “this very real and deliberate threat.”

Will the Third Rome Fall to Islam?

Will the Third Rome Fall to Islam?
By Fjordman
Created 2007-03-15 08:26
I recently read the book The Reformation by Owen Chadwick, about the Protestant Reformation and the situation in 15th and 16th century Europe. It is fascinating to read about Western Europe during a period when it was genuinely dynamic, not the anemic and self-loathing continent it is now. But still, I was also struck by how many similarities there are between the situation then and now. This was also during a period of Muslim aggression, as the Turks made inroads into the Balkans and Central Europe, eventually threatening even Western Europe.

Ironically, this period was also when the Greco-Roman heritage was rediscovered in the West. The classical heritage had been preserved in the East for a thousand years after the Western half of the Roman Empire collapsed, and with the pressures from Muslims, many Greek Byzantine scholars brought their texts with them to northern Italian cities such as Venice, thus fuelling the Renaissance.

However, the overall picture was one of Western division. Spain, which was probably the strongest nation in Europe during the 16th century, was after expelling Muslims from their own peninsula in 1492 more interested in looking westwards to the Americas rather than eastwards to the expanding Ottoman Empire.

The French even allied with the Muslims for their own short-term gains. According to Chadwick, “the French king had not hesitated to attempt alliance with the Turks when it suited his political need, and once allowed a Turkish admiral to celebrate the fast of Ramadan in the streets of Toulon.” In general, “the European powers were more frightened of each other than of the Turk.”

This was during the Second Jihad against the West. Now similar divisions are occurring during the Third Jihad. Not necessarily between countries, but between various cultural and ideological groups within the West.

It is especially interesting to see how the fall of Constantinople in 1453 affected the other Eastern churches, in particular in the rising Russian state which viewed itself as the successor of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. According to Chadwick, page 360-61:

The Russians always looked to Constantinople, received their faith from the south, felt themselves to participate in Christendom by means of their Slavonic Orthodoxy. By 1505 Russia had been created by Ivan III the Great out of the little principalities of the great plains. He married Sophia, the niece of the last Roman Emperor of Constantinople, and looked upon himself as the heir to the Christian heritage of East Rome. He took for the Russian arms the double-headed eagle of the Byzantines. These notions were powerful in the formation of Russian tradition and autocracy. We find a monk named Philotheos writing to the Tsar between 1505 and 1533: ‘Two Romes have now fallen, and the third one, our Moscow, yet standeth; and a fourth one there shall never be […] In all the world thou alone art the Christian Tsar.’

This relationship can be detected clearly in art. Russian religious icons, as well as those in other Orthodox countries such as Bulgaria, have been strongly influenced by Byzantine art. Muslims in Russia are very much aware of this historic connection, which is why a group of top Muslim clerics in 2005 demanded that Orthodox Christian symbols should be removed from the Russian coat of arms.

People from Russia, a country which was once under the Tartar Yoke, should understand the Islamic threat. So why are the Russians helping The Islamic Republic of Iran with missile and nuclear technology that will eventually be used to intimidate non-Muslim countries?

In early 2007, during a meeting with the Russian foreign minister in Tehran, Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei was reported as calling for a cooperation between the two countries to halt US ambitions in the region. In 2005, President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia is the Islamic world’s most reliable partner.

Are the Russians so naive that they believe this beast won’t eventually come back to bite them, too? Iran has been secretly training Chechen Muslim rebels in sophisticated terror techniques to enable them to carry out more effective attacks against Russian forces, the Sunday Telegraph has revealed.

Russia’s relationship with the West has always been complicated. As writer Alexander Boot, himself a Russian by birth, states, Russia is only partially Western and has never gone through some of the determening periods of the modern West, the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment. The country’s culture is a complex mix of Western, non-Western and a few anti-Western impulses. According to Boot, author Fyodor Dostoyevsky “sensed that Russia was irreconcilable with the Catholic West, which is why he believed that destroying the West was the holy mission of Russian Orthodoxy.”

Some of the Russian skepticism towards the West is understandable. As long as Western nations pander to Muslims, why shouldn’t the Russians do so, too? The reaction of European Union officials to the grotesque Islamic Beslan massacre of Russian school children, almost blaming it on the Russian security forces instead of the Islamic terrorists, rightly upset many Russians.

As Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald notes, the American bombing of the Orthodox Serbs to aid Muslim Albanians was seen as an attack on a historic ally of Russia. He thinks the West should be proving to the Russian public that we are on the side of the Serbs, not the Muslims. We should ask them to do the same with Iran: “Russians want a task equal to their putative power, and what they see as their rightful place in the world. Helping the Old World come to its senses about Islam is such a worthy task. They might just consider it.”

Perhaps the Russians should study more closely what happened to the Byzantines. In his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), Robert Spencer discusses the sad case of the Byzantine Emperor John VI Cantacuzenes, who invited the Ottoman Turks into Europe to help him win a dynastic dispute. His invited guests overthrew his Empire about 100 years later, and have stayed in Europe to this day.

Islam was controlled in the Soviet Union but has had a renaissance since its downfall in 1991, helped by oil money from the Middle East. This re-Islamization of Central Asia should worry the Russians. They are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a border security project, partly to avoid being demographically overwhelmed by Muslims. But Russia, too, has a large and growing Muslim population, and a non-Muslim population in marked decline. It is not impossible, if current trends continue, that Russia could either disintegrate completely or be majority Muslim within this century. Russia’s non-Muslim population is declining, but numbers are rising in Muslim regions. Will the country called Russia still exist in the future? And if so, will it be the Russia of Pushkin or of Abdullah?

It is understandable that the Russians have Great Power ambitions of their own. However, one would hope that they will wake up, remember their history and realize that there are worse threats out there than American power.

Some of them do. Elena Chudinova, the author of the dystopian novel The Mosque of Notre Dame de Paris, says that if the Muslims were to succeed in establishing their own rule in Moscow, then Russian culture, Russians as a people and Russia itself would cease to exist. And because that danger is not unthinkable, she is calling for a struggle against the Islamic threat to the Christian world.

After Constantinople, the Second Rome and the last remaining vestige of the Roman Empire, in the 15th century was overrun by Muslims, Moscow became the Third Rome. Will the Third Rome fall to Muslims in the 21st century, just as the Second Rome did in the 15th? Or will the Russian people rise to the occasion and defeat the threat, as they have done in the past?

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Source URL:
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1978

“Victory at all costs”

“Victory at all costs”
Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Winston Churchill

There is a parallel between the US occupation of Iraq and the Israeli occupation of the territories.

In both cases it is painful to remain and even more painful to leave. And in both case the left keep clamoring to get out.

Dick Cheney recently spoke to AIPAC and told the largely Jewish audience, who more than most, want the US to withdraw, Give victory a chance

“We are the prime targets of a terror movement that is global in nature and, yes, global in its ambitions. The leaders of this movement speak openly and specifically of building a totalitarian empire covering the Middle East, extending into Europe and reaching across to the islands of Indonesia – one that would impose a narrow, radical vision of Islam that rejects tolerance, suppresses dissent, brutalizes women and has one of its foremost objectives the destruction of Israel.“

Then Cheney spoke directly to those who are already hinting that a nuclear Iran is something the world can live with, like the US did with the Soviet Union: “An enemy with fantasies of martyrdom is not going to sit down at a table for negotiations. Nor can we fight to a standoff, hoping that some form of containment or deterrence will protect our people. The only option for our security and survival is to go on the offensive, facing the threat directly, patiently and systematically, until the enemy is destroyed.”

“It is simply not consistent for anyone to demand aggressive action against the menace posed by the Iranian regime, while at the same time acquiescing in a retreat from Iraq that would leave our worst enemies dramatically emboldened and Israel’s best friend, the United States, dangerously weakened.”“

How the American Jews can argue at the same time for a retreat from Iraq and getting tough with Iran is beyond me.

As Churchill said “Victory at all costs”.

Islamicization of Antwerp and the world

Islamicization of Antwerp and the world
By Paul Belien, Washington Times

The decisive battle against Islamic extremists will not be fought in Iraq, but in Europe. It is not in Baghdad but in cities like Antwerp, Belgium, where the future of the West will be decided.

I recently met Marij Uijt den Bogaard, a 49-year-old woman who deserves America’s support at least as much as Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Ms. Uijt den Bogaard was an Antwerp civil servant in the 1990s, who spent many years working in the immigrant neighborhoods of Antwerp. There she noticed how radical Islamists began to take over. “They work according to a well-defined plan,” she says.

One of the things Ms. Uijt den Bogaard used to do for the immigrants was to assist them with their administrative paperwork. Quite a few of them came to trust her.

About three years ago, young men dressed in black moved into the neighborhoods. They had been trained in Saudi Arabia and Jordan and adhere to Salafism, a radical version of Islam. They set up youth organizations, which gradually took over the local mosques. “The Salafists know how to debate and they know the Qur’an by heart, while the elderly running the mosques do not,” she said They also have money. “One of them told me that he gets Saudi funds.” Because they are eloquent, the radicals soon became the official spokesmen of the Muslim community, also in dealing with the city authorities. Ms. Uijt den Bogaard witnessed how the latter gave in to Salafist demands, such as the demand for separate swimming hours for Muslim women in the municipal pools.

Worried immigrants told Ms. Uijt den Bogaard what was happening. On the basis of their accounts and her own experiences she wrote (confidential) reports for the city authorities about the growing radicalization. This brought her into conflict, both with the Islamists and her bosses in the city.

The city warned her that her reports were unacceptable, that they read like “Vlaams Belang tracts” (the Vlaams Belang is Antwerp’s anti-immigrant party) and that she had to “change her attitude.” The Islamists sensed that she disapproved of them. They might also have been informed, because there are Muslims working in the city administration. One day, when she was accompanied by her superior, she was attacked by a Muslim youth. Her superior refused to interfere. When she questioned him afterward he said that all the animosity toward her was her own fault.

In the end she was fired. She is unemployed at the moment and gets turned away whenever she applies for another job as a civil servant. Last week, she learned that city authorities have given the job of integration officer, whose task it is to supervise 25 Antwerp mosques, to one of the radical Salafists. Meanwhile, the latter have threatened her with reprisals if she continues to speak out.

After her dismissal Ms. Uijt den Bogaard went to see Monica Deconinck, a Socialist politician who is the head of the Antwerp social department, to tell her about the plight of the Muslim women. Ms. Deconinck said, “You have taken your job too seriously and tried to do it too well,” adding that she cannot help, although she sympathizes. Ms. Uijt den Bogaard also went to see Christian Democrat and Liberal politicians. They also refused to help her because they are governing the city in a coalition with the Socialists. The only opposition party in town is the Vlaams Belang.

According to Ms. Uijt den Bogaard, the reason why the Socialists, who run the city, allow the Islamists to do as they please is because they want to get the Muslim vote, which is controlled increasingly by the Salafists who are in the process of taking over the mosques.

In a letter to city authorities she wrote: “You employ workers to improve social cohesion in the city’s neighborhoods. But if you do not want to know what is damaging social cohesion, then you need not bother sending those workers!… Employees who are confronted with this problem [of Muslim radicalization] and investigate are silently removed, losing their income and their reputation. That is censorship in the fashion of political dictatorships. As a former member of your services I am shocked to find myself in this position and to discover after years of service that you have no policy whatever, either political or with regard to your personnel.”

Sadly, what is happening in Antwerp is not unique. The Salafists employ the same strategy in other European cities. They boasted to Ms. Uijt den Bogaard about their international network and their successes in neighboring countries. While the Americans fight to secure Iraq, Western Europe is becoming a hotbed of Salafism.

Paul Belien is editor of the Brussels Journal and an adjunct fellow of the Hudson Institute.

Two Days Among Heroes

Two Days Among Heroes

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By: Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D. Wednesday, March 14, 2007
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Recently, as I stood on the inevitable winding line at Kennedy Airport, shoes in hand, forced to yield up my bottle of water to airport security, I could not help but think: “Humiliation at the checkpoints indeed!”

Courtesy of jihadi terror, civilians at just about every airport in just about every country are forced to wait on long lines and submit both their bags and their bodies to physical and x-ray examinations. Of course, most of us understand that such surveillance ensures our survival.

While countless propagandists have demonized Israel for the “humiliation” of Palestinians (including would-be bombers, who are also forced to wait at checkpoints), I have never once heard any Western liberal academic or activist blame Al Qaeda or Richard Reid (the “shoe bomber”) for our considerable collective discomfort.

I always do.

This time, however, I would have waited on line for hours if necessary. I was on my way to a landmark conference of Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents in St. Petersburg, Florida. The quietly efficient Austin Dacey, of the Center for Inquiry/Transnational, the eminent scholar Ibn Warraq, and the tireless Iranian activist Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi co-organized this event, which took place on March 4 and 5. Most speaker-delegates were staunch secularists; some were ardently or moderately religious; all believed in a separation of mosque and state; all were pro-Israel and pro-human and women’s rights.

Ironically, my views about Islamic gender and religious apartheid, Israel, and jihad, which have been excoriated by so many politically correct academics, found favor with these heroic and noble souls who honored me by having me chair the opening panel.

Delegates from Bangladesh, Egypt/Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria, and Uganda, most of them living in exile in the West, attended. One of the delegates was human rights activist Shariar Kabir, a gentle man with a beatific countenance who still lives in Bangladesh where he has been imprisoned many times. “It is my country and I will not desert her” is how he put it.

The major speakers included Egyptian-born author Nonie Darwish (They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror), now an American citizen and the founder of Arabs for Israel; Egyptian-born Dr. Tawfik Hamid, author of The Roots of Jihad, now living in hiding but once a colleague of bin Laden’s number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri; Jordanian-born Dr. Shaker al-Nabulsi, who challenged the mullahs to issue a fatwa against bin Laden; Lebanese-American Dr. Walid Phares, author of Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against the West; Pakistani-American Dr. Tashbih Sayyed, editor of Muslim World Today and Pakistan Today, who’s been at the forefront of the fight against Islamism and jihad; Wafa Sultan, the Syrian-American psychiatrist who recently rose to prominence when MEMRI translated her fiery and extraordinary debate in Arabic on Al Jazeera; and the soul of the conference, Pakistani-born Ibn Warraq (a nom de guerre), author of many books including Leaving Islam and What the Quran Really Says.

Two speakers were Arab Christians; thirteen had been born and raised as Muslims. Perhaps I was there to represent the Jews – and to speak as an American women’s rights activist who has written extensively about and condemned Islamic religious and gender apartheid.

These dissidents are truth-tellers, endangered in their homelands, living in exile, strangers in a strange land, so to speak. They have been empowered by their sojourns in the West.

In what way are they important to Israel and America? They certainly have no mass following or powerful constituency among other Muslims – at least not yet. But if the silent, hopefully moderate Muslims are ever going to listen to anyone other than the master propagandists who now brainwash and terrorize them, these brave, rational, tolerant, and awe-inspiring dissidents are their most likely role models and teachers.

The conference produced and signed a Declaration (it can be viewed at http://www.secularislam.org) that brands “Islamophobia” a false allegation; sees a “noble future for Islam as a personal faith, not a political doctrine”; and calls on governments of the world to “reject Sharia law…[and] oppose all penalties for blasphemy and apostasy, in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [and] eliminate practices such as female [genital mutilation], honor killing, forced veiling and forced marriage…[and] to reform sectarian education that teaches intolerance and bigotry towards non-Muslims…”

Among the initial 16 signatories was Mithal Al-Alusi, the Iraqi hero who, upon being elected to Parliament, chose to visit Israel – a crime for which jihadists killed his two sons and a bodyguard.

Not all Nazi-era Germans were Nazis themselves; some were peace-loving individuals who wanted to live safe lives and avoid death at Nazi hands. Ultimately, however, their failure to resist radical evil rendered them morally culpable as collaborators with that evil. In my view, the silent majority of Muslims are now on notice: they have a choice, there is another path to follow.

But make no mistake: Those Muslims who resist Islamist tyranny at home and fight for human and women’s rights are imprisoned, tortured, and executed. Dissidents are lucky if they can escape to the West. Those who do are to be commended for continuing the fight against Islamism while in their new countries.

It is important for the readers of The Jewish Press to know that nearly every speaker at the conference praised Israel and condemned the lethal propaganda against Jews, Israel, and America that is so pandemic in the Islamic world.

• Iranian exile and activist Manda Zand-Ervin had this to say: “I now believe in this statement by Golda Meir: ‘We will have peace only when the Arabs’ love for their children is stronger than their hate for the Jews.’ There is nothing worse than a society that kills its young.”

• In his book about jihad, Dr. Tawfik Hamid, the former Jammaa Islameia terrorist, systematically denounces the brainwashing into Jew- and Israel-hatred that characterizes the Islamic world. In The Roots of Jihad, Dr. Hamid contends that the “the more religious a person becomes in Islam, the more aggressive he/she becomes toward others.…Islamic groups who have studied their religion very deeply commit the highest percentage of terror acts in the world.”

• Irshad Manji, in her book The Trouble with Islam, describes Islam as “imperialist” and challenges both the Muslim and Western concept of Israel as “imperialist.” She also acknowledges that “hundreds of thousands of Jews found themselves kicked out of Arab lands by the 1950’s.” Unlike the Palestinians, they “did not languish in refugee holding tanks because Israel absorbed and integrated them…[and] 98,000 Palestinians. What have Arab governments done by and large for Palestinians?”

• Nonie Darwish, the daughter of a Palestinian shahid, reveals how she was taught to hate Israel and Jews in both Egypt and Gaza. In Infidel, she remembers how President Nasser “was obsessed with the elimination of Israel” and displaced his rage against European colonialists onto Israel. She recalls how the Arab media “twisted and repackaged their devastating defeat” in 1967 and how Israel was viewed as having “cheated” for daring to defend itself.

Darwish describes how every foreigner she met and befriended in Egypt or Gaza was viewed as “Zionist” or “CIA” or “Mossad.” When Israeli doctors took care of her relatives – all of whom hated Israel – she underwent a sea change. In her words: “I discovered the decency, beauty, and grace in Jewish culture.”

• Dr. Tashbish Sayeed visited Israel to try and understand Israelis’ “reluctance to do something about the bad press that continues to paint them as villains.” He found that “despite daily provocation” Israelis have not “descended to the level of depravity [of] their Arab enemies.” He states, “It is vital that Israel is supported, defended, and protected by all those who want the Muslims to progress as civilized people. I consider the rebirth of the Jewish state to be a blessing for Muslims.”

Dr. Sayeed concludes: “If the American civic faith has given the world a hope to be able to live with dignity, self respect and honor in peace, the Jewish traditions and culture of pluralism, debate, acceptance of dissension and difference of opinion have manifested themselves in the shape of the state of Israel to present the oppressed Muslim world with a paradigm to emulate. And if we want this world to be free of any kind of terror, we will have to defend this state of mind, whether it is seen in the shape of Israel or in the form of the United States of America.”

• On February 21, 2006, on Al Jazeera, Syrian-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan had this to say: “The Jews have come from the tragedy (of the Holocaust) and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church….We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask what they can do for humankind before they demand that humankind respect them.”

• Finally, in his many books, the Renaissance scholar and chair of the Islamic Dissident Conference, Ibn Warraq, defends Jews, Israel, and the West. He describes the long history of the Muslim persecution of Jews, Christians, and other religious minorities, and challenges the so-called Golden Era as a myth. He writes: “Apologists of Islam…minimize, or even excuse the persecution, the discrimination, the forced conversions, the massacres, and the destruction of the churches, synagogues, fire temples, and other places of worship.…[They ignore or excuse] the appalling behavior of the Prophet toward the Jews; and [ignore] the intolerant, hostile, anti-Jewish and anti-Christian sentiments expressed in the Quran, which were the source of much intolerant, fanatical, and violent behavior toward all non-Muslims throughout the history of Islam.”

One of many examples of Jew-hatred he offers: “According to the Quran, Jews have an intense hatred of all true Muslims, and as a punishment for their sins, some of the Jews had, in the past, been changed into apes and swine…and others will have their hands tied to their necks and be cast into the fire on Judgment Day.”

Ibn Warraq predicts that “without critical examination of Islam, it will remain dogmatic, fanatical, and intolerant and will continue to stifle thoughts, human rights, individuality, originality, and truth.” At the conference he “demanded the rewriting of anti-American and anti-Jewish texts, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Egypt,” saying it was “scandalous that this has not been done.”

Though these brave dissidents may not yet have a movement behind them, their gathering was considered important (or dangerous) enough for Al Jazeera and Al-Arabiya to cover it. CNN’s Glenn Beck devoted a one-hour special to the conference, which was also covered by the Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, The Weekly Standard and FrontPage Magazine.com.

Investor’s Business Daily noted that the Saudi- and Dubai-funded Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent “henchmen” to Florida to shout down the reformers. CAIR also posted at least four stories about the dissidents whom they condemned as playing into the hands of “Islamophobes” and as not being the “right messengers.”

Does CAIR think its representatives are more appropriate? CAIR spokesman Ahmed Bedier could not hold his own against Dr. Hamid, who challenged him to “denounce Saudi sharia law for “killing apostates, beating (and stoning) women.” Bedier feebly responded: “This is not about Saudi Arabia. We condemn any nation that misuses Islam, but we’re not going to condemn an entire nation.”

Investor’s Business Daily viewed the conference as a “ray of hope.” So do I. These dissidents are Israel’s and America’s natural allies. Now is the time for Western intellectuals who claim to be anti-racist and committed to human rights to stand with these dissidents.

The abject refusal by too many academics to judge between civilization and barbarism, and between enlightened rationalism and fanatic Islamic fundamentalism, endangers and condemns the victims of Islamic tyranny – people of diverse skin colors and ethnicities, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists.

The conference did not seem to be a “ray of hope” to left-wing activist Rabbi Arthur Waskow, who in a mass e-mailing actually suggested it was funded by the CIA. This is complete fabrication, of course. Waskow’s problem is this: Since none of the speakers blamed America or Israel for the considerable suffering in the Muslim and Arab world, that must prove the conference was a CIA conspiracy. This is insane.

Actually, left-wing groups like Rabbis for Human Rights should have been at this conference. They were absent in droves. Here were true heroes speaking out, not people who saw themselves as victims of American and Zionist foreign policy. But then, that’s exactly why the Left shunned the gathering.

Ibn Warraq has written a devastating and masterful work, to be published this summer, titled Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s ‘Orientalism. Will Western intellectuals also dare defend the West? I call upon my colleagues to divest from an ideology of Islamic gender and religious apartheid that has hijacked, Palestinianized, and colonized the Western moral imagination with dreadful and dangerous consequences.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is the author of many works including the bestseller “Women and Madness” (1972), “The New Anti-Semitism” (2003) and “The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom” (2005). Her forthcoming book is titled “The Islamization of America.”

An Emerita professor of psychology and women’s studies and the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women’s Health Network, she is on the board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and may be contacted through her website, http://www.phyllis-chesler.com.

America’s Ominously Diverging Conversations

America’s Ominously Diverging Conversations

by Christopher Adamo

Several dangerous precedents were set in the recent kangaroo court conviction of former Cheney Chief of Staff Scooter Libby. To begin with, Libby was tried and convicted for the crime of obstructing justice, ostensibly by providing false information during grand jury testimony.

The entirety of the investigation was billed under the heading of determining the identity of the individual who had divulged the employment status of Valerie Plame, who had once been a covert CIA agent. So ambiguous was the nature of the investigation and subsequent trial, that presiding Federal District Judge Reggie B. Walton would not even allow the jury to know if Plame indeed had been covert.

Nevertheless, from the moment Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald began the investigation, he knew that Libby was not the guilty party. At worst, Libby merely became entangled in a “he said/she said” controversy with reporter, political commentator, and former Democrat staffer Tim Russert.

Perhaps the worst aspect of this thoroughly politicized judicial circus was that, against such a backdrop, two completely disjointed assessments of the situation have been presented to the public. And the public is free to believe whichever it desires, often not as a result of analysis of the facts, but according to one’s political leanings.

In one version, Plame’s identity had been widely known, her name and livelihood appearing on her husband’s website and common among socialite circles in Washington D.C. Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who even admitted that he had initially divulged Plame’s identity to reporters, was granted immunity by Fitzgerald.

So Libby’s crime could not possibly have amounted to anything more severe than stumbling over details of phone conversations with Russert from a few years ago.

The other camp, while never disputing any of the aforementioned facts, characterizes the situation as a grave breach of security, endangering Plame and thus the entire CIA intelligence apparatus. According to these people, Libby is merely the tip of a sinister iceberg, including such fiends as Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, who must be sought out, tried, and convicted of high crimes against the Republic.

What is most noteworthy, and indicative of the greatest danger posed here, is that no commonality whatsoever can be found between these two completely disjointed accounts of the events. Clearly, somebody within this melee is deliberately misrepresenting it in its entirety to the American people. Considering the stakes, such behavior bespeaks of sedition.

Nor is it productive to revert to the banal schoolyard platitude of assuming that the “truth” lies somewhere in the middle. When a political force attempts to dominate and govern, based on a strategy of distortion, character assassination, and ultimately, the criminalization of opposing points of view, the worst possible response is to grant it credibility.

If one of the two camps is willing to destroy any person, tell any lie, and eradicate any evidence (remember Sandy Berger and Jamie Gorelick) that gets in its way, the truth most certainly does not lie “somewhere in between” the two.

Yet as abominable a miscarriage of justice as is the Libby prosecution/trial, it is only an indicator of the current nature of American politics, and the point to which it has degenerated ever since the advent of the Clinton Administration. The Libby travesty is in fact only the most recent, albeit among the most glaring incidents of its kind.

Ever since the Clintons and their political machine arrived in Washington, their sordid practices have been almost universally adopted by Democrats. And the degree to which the Democrats are enjoying successes for their efforts is truly alarming.

Sadly, the all-too-common Republican reaction is to either play a completely defensive game, or to attempt to ignore the problem altogether. The first response will at best only stifle the advancement of the liberal/Democrat power grab. The second will allow this malignancy to metastasize and eventually achieve complete dominion over the political process.

A few other notable examples of this current trend highlight the seriousness of the problem and the degree to which the entire political process has been hijacked.

From the Iraq war to Hurricane Katrina, to the “global warming crisis,” little if any of the ongoing discussion is being conducted between two parties with honest concerns for the best avenue by which to address the situation. Instead, the left invents outlandish accusations, which are then incessantly echoed by its media lackeys.

Those on the right attempt to refute and debunk these accusations with facts, but often find their arguments falling on deaf ears. Eventually, the issue at hand becomes entangled in vast concocted webs of conspiracy and malfeasance, all of George Bush’s doing, of course.

As a result of this process, no public interest is served. Worse yet, those who have access to the truth, and who really want the conversation to revert back to a discussion of the facts, find themselves increasingly frustrated and marginalized as the contest is diverted from truth to the realm of political horse races.

Finally, it is necessary to ponder the end result of such callous indifference to the national plight. In the short term, those in leadership are distracted and forced into inconsequential games while dangers mount, as they did during the 1990’s, with another day of reckoning coming just as it did on 9-11.

Briefly mustering a remnant of its former greatness, America responded to that event with resolve and vigor. Only as the Democrats succeeded in derailing the substance of virtually every issue related to the attacks did they undermine the debate, and eventually overshadow the raw truth of the menace facing the country. Thus the nation once again began to flounder in its efforts to confront the Islamist threat.

But if the political conversation remains as dysfunctional as it is today, our nation may forever lose its ability to objectively confront the dangers of a hostile world. And that, the real legacy of the Clinton political machine, will be the undoing of America.

Obama runs off the Road Map

Obama runs off the Road Map
Ed Lasky

Presidential candidate Barack Obama has misinterpreted a few key principles of the Road Map, an international agreement regarding the steps the Palestinians and Israelis must take for the peace process to begin and to conclude. Senator Obama spoke recently in Iowa, and his remarks have caused some consternation among supporters of Israel in America. As well they should. He stated,
“the Israel government must make difficult concessions for the peace process to restart….”
This position contradicts the key principle of the Road Map that states steps must be made by both sides in parallel. Israel is not obligated to take the first steps to restart the peace process. Sen. Obama seems to be following the Palestinian interpretation that places this responsibility upon Israel.

Furthermore, Obama ignored two other aspects of the Road Map which are conditions for aid to be sent to the Palestinian government (aid has continued for humanitarian purposes). Under the Road Map, the Palestinian government must renounce terrorism, accept and abide by all previous agreements made by the Palestinian Authority and Israel, and accept Israel’s right to exist, He appears to be conditioning the resumption of aid simply on the Hamas-ruled government renouncing terrorism.

Given the fact that Yasser Arafat periodically renounced terrorism (at least in English for the international audience), yet planned and encouraged more of it in practice, such a gesture by the PA would give scant reason for comfort.