Federal income Tax Hike Poposed by Democrat traitors

 Center for Individual Freedom


Your federal income tax bill is about to go up a whopping 61%.

And no, we’re not talking about taxes on “the rich.”  We’re talking about YOUR TAXES — if you’re the bread-winner in a middle-income family of four that earns $60,000.00 a year.

But that’s not all:

Are you elderly and living on a fixed income? You and your spouse are about to see your tax bill go up 156%.

Are you a single woman, trying to make ends meet? You could be one of the 83 million American women who could see your taxes go up by an average of $2,068.

And if you’re married, you could be one of the 48 million married couples who will pay an average of $2,899 more under the liberal tax increase.

Yes, this is a nightmare scenario.  But unfortunately it is very real!

We’re talking about the record setting $400,000,000,000.00 tax increase — the largest tax increase in American history — that Nancy Pelosi and her liberal colleagues in Congress just proposed last week.

We’re talking about a tax increase that was being planned behind closed doors by Pelosi’s lieutenants in Congress while they were scheming to cut-off funds to our troops and while Pelosi was finalizing her travel plans to terrorist supporting Syria.

But there’s more:

According to former-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who recently discussed the above figures, this new Pelosi tax increase will:

Raise the 10% Tax Bracket to 15%: More than five million families and individuals who previously owed no taxes will become subject to taxation.

Eliminate Marriage Penalty Relief for over 23 million Americans.

And cut the Child Tax Credit in Half for over 31 million Americans.

Can anything be done to stop Pelosi and her gang of liberal tax and spenders? 

The answer is an unqualified, “YES.”

Congressman Bob Goodlatte and Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey have joined with members of the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) and are pushing the American Taxpayer Bill of Rights; a legislative agenda that will ensure that you and I are able to keep more of our hard-earned money.

We can STOP the tax-and-spend liberals in Congress… but only if you make your voice heard RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW!

Use the hyperlink below to send your urgent and personalized  Blast Fax messages to President George W. Bush and the Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Tell them to read your lips:  Tell them that you want NO NEW TAXES.  And tell them to support and put the American Taxpayer Bill of Rights — which calls for the ERADICATION of the tax code and requires a balanced budget — on the fast track.


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But Before We Talk About The Taxpayers Bill Of Rights…

Let’s talk some more about this $400 BILLION TAX INCREASE.

Newt Gingrich is not the only one sounding the alarm.  The great folks at Americans for Tax Reform have broken it down state by state.

Refer to the chart below to determine how much more your will owe the tax man annually if Pelosi and the liberals get their way:

State Avg. Tax Increase State Avg. Tax Increase
Alabama 2,556.23 Montana 2,625.01
Alaska 2,896.43 Nebraska 2,802.24
Arizona 2,701.86 Nevada 2,924.30
Arkansas 2,462.10 New Hampshire 3,201.71
California 3,331.09 New Jersey 3,779.98
Colorado 3,092.99 New Mexico 2,344.73
Connecticut 4,311.23 New York 3,657.71
Delaware 3,014.66 North Carolina 2,671.96
Florida 3,039.71 North Dakota 2,613.80
Georgia 2,743.01 Ohio 2,716.07
Hawaii 2,716.40 Oklahoma 2,560.80
Idaho 2,597.83 Oregon 2,751.90
Illinois 3,282.92 Pennsylvania 3,029.96
Indiana 2,729.60 Rhode Island 3,004.90
Iowa 2,777.67 South Carolina 2,482.66
Kansas 2,862.64 South Dakota 2,596.24
Kentucky 2,563.35 Tennessee 2,611.18
Louisiana 2,642.34 Texas 2,755.01
Maine 2,701.13 Utah 2,650.81
Maryland 3,238.41 Vermont 2,862.64
Massachusetts 3,652.23 Virginia 3,119.97
Michigan 3,007.85 Washington 3,065.01
Minnesota 3,087.56 West Virginia 2,428.62
Mississippi 2,260.99 Wisconsin 2,964.50
Missouri 2,824.92 Wyoming 3,188.84

                                                                                   Americans for Tax Reform,

                                                                                   Press Release, March 27, 2007

But it won’t be enough simply to stop the Pelosi-led tax and spend scheme. 

We must be BOLD. 

We must push an agenda of permanent tax relief for the average American. 

We must pass the provisions of the American Taxpayer Bill of Rights into law.

Use the hyperlink below to send your urgent and personalized  Blast Fax messages to President George W. Bush and the Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Tell them to read your lips:  Tell them that you want NO NEW TAXES.  And tell them to support and put the American Taxpayer Bill of Rights — which calls for the ERADICATION of the tax code and requires a balanced budget — on the fast track.


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What Can The Average Person Do To Stop The Largest Tax Increase In American History?

You might ask, what can grassroots Americans like you and your fellow CFIF activists do to stop this madness? 

The answer is simple.

The liberals in Congress know that average, hardworking Americans hate taxes.

That’s why they campaigned on a platform of “fiscal responsibility” in 2006 — or to put it in Pelosi’s own words during an appearance on CNBC’s Kudlow & Company last October: “…fiscal responsibility is a key component of our agenda.”

And that’s why they’re relying on SECRECY.

According to Gingrich, liberals are attempting to stifle debate on these tax increases by “making sure that amendments to the budget bill to reverse these tax increases will never get a vote on the floor of the House.”

And of course, they’re calling it something it is NOT — a budget balancing measure instead of what it really is… the largest tax increase in American history.

Pelosi and her liberal cohorts in Congress are actually claiming that the $400 BILLION in additional tax burdens they want to impose on American families is not a tax increase.

Huh?  That’s right.  They are saying that because it allows existing tax cuts to expire, that it is technically not a tax increase.

I don’t know about you, but if I am forced to hand over an additional $2,641.00 of my hard-earned money every year to the IRS, what else can you call it but a massive tax increase?

Here’s what Focus on the Family wrote:

“Brian Riedl, senior budget analyst for the Heritage Foundation, said liberals are working hard to convince Americans they’re not really raising taxes.”

“‘The fact is… tax rates will increase and the government will begin collecting hundreds of billions of dollars… A scheduled tax increase is still a tax increase.’

“The average tax hike per household would be more than $2,641 annually. In addition, the child tax credit would be reduced from $1,000 per child to $500, and the marriage penalty would be brought back into the tax code.

“According to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, if the president’s tax relief is not made permanent, a family of four earning $50,000 would see taxes go up 132 percent. A single parent with two children earning $30,000 would see taxes raised 67 percent.

“And the billions lifted from America’s families would all be spent by bureaucrats, Riedl said.

“‘That’s money that could otherwise go for groceries, child expenses, school expenses, the mortgage and bills,’ he said.”

But to add insult to injury, Members of the Democratic Leadership are not beyond telling some real whoppers!

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, when confronted with truth about the largest tax increase in American history, Democrat Steny Hoyer had the audacity to claim that Republicans were lying: 

“Hoyer said they were engaged in a lie, although he couldn’t bring himself to say that. ‘There’s a three-letter word for that that I won’t use,’ he said of the Republican claims.”

And Democrat Lloyd Doggett of Texas told the Chronicle:

“The Republicans live in a world of make-believe. But instead of imaginary friends, they have imaginary demons — imaginary tax increases.”

But there’s nothing “make-believe” about $400 billion in taxes.

We can stop this massive tax increase but we need your help.

When we jam the fax machines of these congressional leaders, they will know that the truth is out and they will back down.

But we must act now!

Use the hyperlink below to send your urgent and personalized  Blast Fax messages to President George W. Bush and the Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Tell them to read your lips:  Tell them that you want NO NEW TAXES.  And tell them to support and put the American Taxpayer Bill of Rights — which calls for the ERADICATION of the tax code and requires a balanced budget — on the fast track.


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And While We’re At It, Let’s Eradicate The Tax Code

You read that right! 

We’re not just going to drive a stake through the heart of the Pelosi tax increase.  We’re going to take our Congressional leaders to task, hold their feet to the fire and force them to keep the promises they made to the American people.

And we can start with the the Tax Code Termination Act — a provision of American Taxpayer Bill of Rights which already has 80 bipartisan co-sponsors.

According to Congressman Bob Goodlatte, the Tax Code Termination Act, will repeal the entire tax code, except portions that deal with Social Security and Medicare by December 31, 2010, and calls on Congress to approve a new Federal tax system by July of the same year.”

Goodlatte again:    “The Tax Code Termination Act will force Congress to finally debate and address fundamental tax reform.  Whichever simpler and fairer tax system is adopted, the key ingredients should be: a low rate for all Americans; tax relief for working people; protection of the rights of taxpayers and reduction in tax collection abuses; promotion of savings and investment; and encouragement of economic growth and job creation.”

And what’s the alternative?

If Nancy Pelosi and the liberals in Congress get their way, we’re looking at a record tax increase that will hit rich and poor alike.

It’s time to draw a line in the sand now and let our elected leaders in both Houses of Congress know that you will tolerate nothing short of swift passage of the American Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Use the hyperlink below to send your urgent and personalized  Blast Fax messages to President George W. Bush and the Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Tell them to read your lips:  Tell them that you want NO NEW TAXES.  And tell them to support and put the American Taxpayer Bill of Rights — which calls for the ERADICATION of the tax code and requires a balanced budget — on the fast track.


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And What About A Balanced Budget?

The American Taxpayer Bill of Rights calls for that as well.

Another key provision is H.J. Res. 1 which calls for a balanced budget amendment and forces Congress to enact fiscally responsible spending measures.

More specifically, the balanced budget amendment requires that Congress not spend more than it receives in revenues, requires the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress, and requires a 3/5 majority vote to increase the debt limit. 

So far, H.J. Res. 1 has almost 160 bipartisan cosponsors.

The American Taxpayer Bill of Rights is no pipe-dream. 

Measures to eradicate the tax code passed in the House of Representatives in 1998 and 2000;

49 states presently have a balanced budget requirement and,

Legislation similar to H.J. Res. 1 passed the House in 1995 by a margin of 300-132.

Nancy Pelosi may be Speaker of the House but measures similar to the American Taxpayer Bill of Rights have passed with BIPARTISAN support in the past because Republicans and Democrats alike were told how you feel.

When they’re allowed to act under the cover of darkness, they do what THEY want — and that includes raising your taxes.

When you hold their feet to the fire, they do what YOU want.

Use the hyperlink below to send your urgent and personalized  Blast Fax messages to President George W. Bush and the Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Tell them to read your lips:  Tell them that you want NO NEW TAXES.  And tell them to support and put the American Taxpayer Bill of Rights — which calls for the ERADICATION of the tax code and requires a balanced budget — on the fast track.


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Yours In Freedom,


Jeff Mazzella


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Americans Ignorant of Bible Truths

Iran Expands Uranium Enrichment

Iran Expands Uranium Enrichment


(AP) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks at a ceremony in Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility…
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p {margin:12px 0px 0px 0px;}NATANZ, Iran (AP) – Iran announced Monday that it has begun enriching uranium with 3,000 centrifuges, defiantly expanding a nuclear program that has drawn U.N. sanctions and condemnation from the West.President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony at the enrichment facility at Natanz that Iran was now capable of enriching nuclear fuel “on an industrial scale.”

Asked if Iran has begun injecting uranium gas into 3,000 centrifuges for enrichment, top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani replied, “Yes.” He did not elaborate, but it was the first confirmation that Iran had installed the larger set of centrifuges after months of saying it intends to do so. Until now, Iran was only known to have 328 centrifuges operating.

Uranium enrichment can produce fuel for a nuclear reactor or the material for a nuclear warhead. The United States and its allies accuse Iran of intending to produce weapons, a charge the country denies.

(AP) A security man stands next to an anti-aircraft gun while an Iranian elite Revolutionary Guard…
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Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman, said the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. nuclear watchdog group “don’t believe Iran’s assurances that their (nuclear) program is peaceful in nature.”

The White House also criticized the announcment.

“Iran continues to defy the international community and further isolate itself by expanding its nuclear program, rather than suspending uranium enrichment,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, had no immediate comment on Monday’s announcement.

The United Nations has vowed to ratchet up sanctions as long as Iran refuses to suspend enrichment. The Security Council first imposed limited sanctions in December, then increased them slightly last month and has set a new deadline of late May.

(AP) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks at a ceremony in Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility…
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“What we are looking for are reasonable Iranian leaders who view the cost-benefit calculation and see that it is not to the benefit of the Iranian people to continue to pursue the course on which they find themselves,” McCormack said.

Michael Levi, a fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations, was skeptical of the Iranian claims. He said by his calculations, the capabilities Iran has just announced would provide 10 percent of the material needed to run its plant.

“To me, that’s not industrial scale,” Levi said. “An industrial-scale facility is a facility that can support your industry.”

On the other hand, “from a political perspective, it’s more important to have them in place than to have them run properly,” he explained since the announcement stirs up support and patriotism at home, and the international community has almost no way to verify how well the program is working.

“Iran looks to be moving its nuclear program along on a political schedule rather than a technical schedule,” Levi said.

(AP) Iranian clerics greet each other after attending in a ceremony at Iran’s nuclear enrichment…
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Levi marveled that Iran has the power to cause such a stir with an announcement. He noted that most of the time, world leaders complain they can’t trust Iran, “except when they say something really scary, we take them at their word.”

In his speech, Ahmadinejad insisted Iran has been cooperative with the U.N. nuclear watchdog, allowing it inspections of its facilities, but he warned, “Don’t do something that will make this great nation reconsider its policies” in a reference to the threat of increased U.N. sanctions.

“With great honor, I declare that as of today our dear country has joined the nuclear club of nations and can produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale,” Ahmadinejad said.

Larijani said his country was willing to offer assurances that its program is peaceful. But he said the West must accept its nuclear program as a fact: “We do not give in our rights.”

On April 9, 2006, Iran announced it had first enriched uranium using an array of 164 centrifuges.

(AP) Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, answers questions from media at Iran’s nuclear…
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Across Iran, school bells rang on Monday to mark the “national day of nuclear energy.” The government sent out text messages of congratulations for the occasion to millions of mobile phone users.

In Tehran, some 200 students formed a human chain at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization while chanting “death to America” and “death to Britain.” The students burnt flags of the U.S. and Britain.

Experts say the Natanz plant needs between 50,000 to 60,000 centrifuges to consistently produce fuel for a reactor or build a warhead.

In the enrichment process, uranium gas is pumped into a “cascade” of thousands of centrifuges, which spin the gas at supersonic speeds to purify it. Uranium enriched to a low level, at least 3 percent, can be used as fuel, while at a far higher level, more than 90 percent, it can be used to build a weapon.

Also Monday, Iranian state television reported that an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general who is under travel restrictions urged by the sanctions visited Russia without any difficulty.

(AP) Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, smiles as he attends in a ceremony at Iran’s nuclear…
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Gen. Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr, who is also deputy interior minister for security affairs, was quoted on the state TV Web site as saying that his six-day journey to Moscow, which ended Monday, showed “the ineffectiveness of the resolution.”

The resolution urges all governments to ban visits by the 15 individuals and says that should such visits occur – presumably for exceptional circumstances – the countries should notify a U.N. committee.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Krivtsov confirmed that Zolqadr visited Russia. He told The Associated Press that the resolution does not prohibit visits by the listed individuals, but calls for heightened vigilance “directed first of all at people who are directly related to nuclear programs” – suggesting that Zolqadr was not.

Tensions are also high between Iran and the West following the 13-day detention of 15 British sailors by Iran. The sailors, who were seized by Revolutionary Guards off the Iraqi coast, were released on Wednesday, but since then have said they were put under psychological pressure by their captors to force them to “confess” to being in Iranian waters when captured, angering many in Britain.


AP writer Nasser Karimi in Tehran contributed to this report.

The amnesty push is on

Islam and Terror: A Broader Conceptualization

Welcome Rush listeners!

Welcome Rush listeners!

Here is the Nathan Hale article Rush is reading on air.

Europe: Let Uncle Do It

Europe: Let Uncle Do It

By James Lewis

Europe gets forty percent of its oil through the Persian Gulf. But by an accident of history (and civilized policy — ours, that is) it is the United States that guards the Gulf from madmen like Ahmadinejad. Well, so be it. We gain from world peace and free trade, and it is better to keep the maniacs far away from our shores.

But it is now way past time for Europe to step up to the plate again. They have the economic might, the population, the brains — but not the guts — to behave as a decent actor on the world stage. And the British “hostage crisis” — which was not a crisis at all, but a staged provocation, an invitation for the Brits to kowtow, which they did — should spell the end of our patience. 
Europe’s response to Ahaminejad’s game tells us all we need to know. Tony Blair tossed the hot potato to the UN, which tossed it right back again. Then he tried his good friends in the EU, and they ducked it altogether. Then, secretly, he got George W. to trade Iran’s Quds thugs, who were imprisoned in Iraq for directing IED attacks on Americans, in trade for those 15 clueless Brits. Result: The West looked helpless against the ruthless blackmailers of Qom.
So in the end, Europe got away again with letting Uncle Sam do it.
We can shrug off the screaming anti-American hate mongering of the media in Germany, France and (on the Left) in Britain. We can ignore the fact that Britain is selling its sovereignty to the EU, about as feckless a bunch of political con artists as ever exploited a badly indoctrinated population. What we cannot allow, over the long term, is to get stuck with all the adult work of maintaining the peace around the world, while the Europeans exploit our generosity and we pay the price in blood and treasure. It’s past time for Europe to grow up.
That includes Britain. Tony Blair has tried his best to maintain the Anglo-American alliance in the face of rising nuclear proliferation among the mad hatters in the Middle East. Good for Tony Blair, but his socialist party long ago walked away from him. So Blair has been out there on his own, and even the Tories are now pretending to be Mahatma Gandhi, whose lifelong principled pacificism, incidentally, led to some 4 million dead people in 1948. In the real world, pacifism kills, and the mere pose of pacifism is just another front for cowardice.
The United States must be prepared to rethink our alliances. Europe has been on a US-paid vacation from reality now for sixty years. We are subsidizing its welfare state, and its grandiose and fraudulent poses. One moment the EU is a grand new Empire, then it’s the new incarnation of Marxist hope for mankind, then it’s the self-righteous denouncer of American warmongering, and always, without fail, it’s a fraud. Sane Europeans know that.

If Britain wants to throw in its lot with the phony-baloney EU farce, it must be willing to take the consequences of permanent weakness in the face of serious adversaries like the aggressive jihadis of the Sunni or Shi’a variety. As Mahmoud puts it so plainly, you must ‘You must bow down to the greatness of the Iranian nation.’  Well, friends, you have a choice.
Alternatively, Britain and its new continental masters must get serious. Sometimes we see a little sign of that — Angela Merkel is potentially serious, and so is Blair — but it just gets swamped by the self-indulgent hoopla from the socialist demagogues who really run the place. Europe is on an endless drunken spree, and we are its enablers.
How do we get serious?
First, we must make strong alliances with other serious powers who share our values and understanding of the world. Australia, India, and Japan are the obvious candidates. All are currently helping to develop anti-missile defenses (while Europe is moaning about the free defense systems we are offering to Poland against the Iranian ICBM threat.)

In the Middle East, besides Israel, the Sunni Arabs need our help — and in exchange, we must get their commitment to stop Wahhabi anti-Western hate propaganda around the world, including in the United States itself. No more anti-American games from CAIR and its ilk.

The Iranian people, who have been terrorized by the mullahs for thirty years, deserve as much support as the oppressed Poles and Czechs did during the Cold War. Eastern Europe is sandwiched between the growling Russian Bear and the hopeless EU. The Poles and Czechs are therefore a pretty sober lot. Those are our real allies, not the grandstanding demagogues of Brussels.
Second, we must make it very clear to Europe, including Britain, that we expect their serious help when we are attacked, as on 9/11, and whenever we risk our military assets to protect their oil supplies. One way to send that signal is simply to stay passive the next time they are assaulted — when and if another Madrid or London Underground bombing happens. We can send them our best wishes, and do absolutely nothing. If they will not even spend enough money to build a usable defense force, if they keep pretending to have a military without putting them at risk, we can simply let them find their own way to perdition. NATO must be more than an excuse for milking Uncle.
Third, we must insist on a much more serious effort by Europe to fight nuclear proliferation to terrorists and their sponsors. That includes a major economic squeeze against Tehran, even if Europeans have to reduce their profitable trade with the terror sponsors.  That is the very least we must expect from them. If not, they can try to defend their own oil supply.
Fourth, we have to insist that Europeans fish or cut bait when they are confronted with a public challenge from an enemy. No more hot potatoes tossed between national capitals and the EU. No more hiding behind the hopeless UN fraudocracy as a front for imaginary “international law.” Publicly proclaiming “international law” means nothing if you cannot enforce it, or if you lack democratic legitimacy to make it in the first place.
Fifth, we cannot conceded the propaganda war — the narrative of our time — to the fantasy-prone Left. The Left is merely  European imperialism in another guise. It is too destructive, too exploitive, and too wrong about the nature of the world. Serious powers don’t live in fantasy land.

So the next President of the United States will have to voice our national vision just as Reagan did: With clarity, eloquence, and honesty. Our UN Representative, following Jeanne Kirkpatrick, should shock the dizzy dips of the UN by simply telling the truth. With a rising blogosphere in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, truth-telling can become our single most effective instrument of policy. Reagan told the truth to bring down the Berlin Wall. Nobody thought it would work, but he appealed to what everyone on the other side secretly knew to be true. That is how a democratic leader should act.
All that comes down to electing a new president for 2008. It should be someone who can articulate the American vision and back it up with grand strategy. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher are the obvious models, but human beings are unique and not cloneable. The next Reagan won’t look like Reagan, but he or she should be clear and firm and courageous, just like our soldiers in Iraq. We have the right stuff here at home. We only need to discover it.
The challenges we face are Reaganesque. With the right leadership, the American people will know how to act. And Ahmadinejad will go the way of Marx and Lenin. With only a mad 7th century ideology to peddle, he has long outlived his sell-by date.
James Lewis is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. He blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com

Anti-globalists reach out to Islamists Cooperation between Islamists and the left is growing

Anti-globalists reach out to Islamists

Cooperation between Islamists and the left is growing, reports Eric Walberg

What is striking about this latest conference is the growing cooperation both within the Muslim world and between the anti-global left and Muslims. This should come as no surprise, considering the traditional focus of the left on defending victims of torture. Who are the biggest victims of torture in the world today? Of course, Muslims, primarily in Iraq and Palestine, but everywhere in the West, and just about in every country that is predominantly Muslim.

The left realises this and is finally overcoming its traditional resistance to the cultural conservatism of Islam, and likewise Muslims are reaching out to the left — clear examples are Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) prominent role in this conference and Lebanon, where Hizbullah was prominent at a similar anti-imperialism conference last November in Beirut. Organised by Al-Karama (Dignity), Al-Ishtirakyin Al-Sawryin (Socialist Revolutionary Party), Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimin (Muslim Brotherhood) and Al-‘Amal (Labour), and held at the Egyptian Press Syndicate, the conference attracted close to 600 participants and observers from around the world, including a delegation of 80 South Koreans and 20 Canadians.

But what can we make of the overwhelming prominence at the conference of the MB and their very professional brochures and CDs, well translated into English? One pamphlet quotes MB deputy Khairat El-Shater assuring the reader “No need to be afraid of us” and “We do not promote an anti- Western agenda”. Certainly we can condemn the military tribunals where 40 prominent MB members are being tried under emergency laws, in violation of the constitution. Belal Diaa Farahat, a business student at the American University of Cairo told Al-Ahram Weekly how his father Diaaeddin Farahat, a prominent businessman, was arrested along with 39 others “merely because he was successful and a member of the MB.” After three months in prison and acquittal in a civil court, these men were re-arrested and will face a military tribunal next week.

Ahmed Shawqi, a student activist at Al-Azhar, said that all the delegates at the conference were unanimous in condemning the tribunals. Delegates from London, Canada and Greece promised to demonstrate, and organise petitions to protest against the military tribunals and invite MB representatives on speaking tours in order to explain their position. Shawqi added, however, that an important aspect of the MB’s platform is not to work against Egypt in its international relations. In a sense, the Brotherhood “stole the show” at the conference, with their very real oppression fitting the international delegates’ human rights agenda. Coincidence or act of God?

The key forum at the conference: “bridge building between the left and Islam” focussed on re-evaluating the relations of the left and the Islamists, as well as on practical ways to increase cooperation.

Mohamed Ghozlan, an MB Al-Azhar student activist, described the underlying misunderstanding: “the left thought Islam was just an anachronism, while Muslims accused the left of trying to destroy their way of life. However, with both sides being repressed by dictatorship, we are able to cooperate now on the basis of human rights and the fight against the war in Iraq and globalisation. Such Latin American leaders as Hugo Chavez have accelerated the cooperation, reaching out to the Muslim resistance.” He explained the greater repression of Muslim than leftists in Egypt to be due to the fact that “the government sees us as the greater threat to it.”

In an interview with the Weekly, conference organiser Nada Kassass said, “the turning point in the relations of the left and Islamists was the Intifada in 2000, when the committee to support the Intifada brought (the two parties together). The wars in Iraq and Lebanon increased the collaboration, and the struggle around the 2006 elections in Egypt showed the success of this strategy, with six nationalists and 88 MB candidates elected. Earlier, when MB members were arrested, the left did little — the government was able to use religion to keep the left afraid of the Islamists and the Islamists afraid of the ‘godless’ communists. Both sides were at fault here in Egypt. Ironically it was actually easier for Islamists to work with European leftists than Egyptians, but all that has changed. The bad blood between the MB and the left dates from the 1960s and is now being overcome.” Kassass related how left, liberal and Muslim students at Cairo University, Al-Azhar and Ain Shams joined forces to scuttle student council elections which were rigged by the government earlier this year, though some were expelled, arrested and beaten. “People are joining together to defend their rights.”

Kassass’s evaluation of the situation in Egypt was echoed in the exchanges of Sadala Mazraani of the Lebanese Communist Party, and Ali Fayyad of Hizbullah. Mazraani admitted that during the civil war in Lebanon, Islamists and socialists were fighting each other, and argued that we should learn from the successes of the anti- fascist front of WWII, the nationalist revolution of the 1950s in Egypt and the non-aligned movement of the 1960s, when imperialism was on the defensive. He pointed out how Latin America is uniting with the Middle East against the common enemy, and said it was more a matter of coordinating movements that have recognised common goals. “The Lebanese Communist Party actively works with Hizbullah against the occupation and in elections, both trying to unite Lebanese society to fight Israel and Zionism.”

Ali Fayyad of Hizbullah backed up Mazraani, though he complained that, “many socialists in Europe still refuse to work with us, calling us ‘terrorist'”. He admitted that Islamists are conservative and often don’t want to work with the left, especially extremists like Al-Qaeda, which “will not work with anyone and will fail”. Then there are the liberal Muslims who don’t care about the war and occupation, lack a clear position on imperialism, and as a result, actually ally with it. “The differences of Hamas and Hizbullah with the left are minor — family and social priorities — and at the same time, the Islamic movement must apply democracy, which is really the same as shura. Democracy is a bridge to cross to a better world. We should avoid intolerance in governance, whether it’s Islamic or not, and forcing religion upon people.” He referred to Gramsci’s argument about creating a common front at important historical junctures to induce historical change, after which the different groups can go their separate ways.What a lovely irony to have an Islamist quoting a Western communist theorist.

“By working with Islamic groups in an open way, the left can have a positive impact on Islamic movements, and vice versa.”

The international left, as represented at the conference, emphasised practical ways to reach out to the broader Muslim community, as reflected in conference forums on such projects as twinning UK and Palestinian cities, countering the boycott of the Hamas government in Palestine with a boycott of Israel and Western firms that provide military equipment to Israel, countering Islamophobia — in a word, citizens’ diplomacy.

James Clark of the Canadian Peace Alliance described how the anti-war coalitions are now supportive of Muslims who find themselves targets of racial and religious profiling and no-fly lists, and that there is active work in the peace movement to counter Islamophobia, “which the governments use to fan the flames to generate support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are committed to defend all civil liberties. “On the wall of the prayer room at Ryerson University in Toronto, someone’s spray painted ‘Die Muslim’. The administration refused to condemn this as hate crime, so we organised a petition and a campaign to counter Islamophobia, and as a result, the head of the Islamic students’ organisation was elected president of the students’ council. So you can use such incidents to educate and mobilise people.” Clark vowed that the Canadian peace movement, inspired by the Arab resistance in Lebanon and Iraq, would work with Muslims to defeat imperialism.

Johannes Anderson of Denmark criticised the Danish left for not standing behind Muslims during the cartoon controversy, allowing a weak prime minister to emerge unscathed. “I’ve changed through the past years and grown through criticism. We should not be afraid of it. We fight for democracy in the Middle East and Europe against neo- liberalism which is taking away our rights everywhere.”

Wafaa El-Masri of Al-Karama Party saw a new Islamic message emerging at the conference — shared principles to build society, emphasising our commonalty. “The Egyptian national movement works with the Islamists to fight the constitutional amendments, to end the Mubarak regime, to unite against the Iraq war, and to support Iran against the threat of US attack.”

While the conference’s criticism of the repression of the host government would hardly merit a comment if it were held in, say, Toronto or Moscow, the lack of fear by the MB and Egyptian opposition representatives was impressive — they realise that at any moment they too could be arrested and possibly tortured, yet they did not fear speaking out. Belal Farahat’s father, one of the 40 MB prisoners awaiting next week’s military tribunal, had his assets seized and stores closed by the government, yet Belal continues to study at AUC: “The whole point of the Brotherhood is that we are one and must help each other.”

In an interview with the Weekly, George Hajjar, a political philosophy professor at the Lebanese University and head of the National Rally in Support of the Resistance Option, though optimistic about the growing understanding between leftists and Islamists and supportive of the conference as a whole, criticised it for not having representatives from the Iraqi resistance, “because the resistance is primarily nationalist, and the MB and Shias in Iraq are members of the occupation government.”

Cheney is Absolutely Correct

Cheney is Absolutely Correct

By Ray Robison

On the Rush Limbaugh radio program, VP Cheney restated his position that Saddam had ties to al Qaeda. The Vice President is completely correct. Specifically, he spoke of Abu Mus’ab al Zarqawi’s presence in Iraq before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As much as a year earlier, al Qaeda affiliated jihadists lead by Zarqawi began aggressive attacks on the Kurdish regions in the north of Iraq. Why would this committed jihadist leader bring his fighters to Iraq to attack Saddam’s enemies?  

While researching for our new eBook Both In One Trench we realized that there seems to be a confluence of prominent terrorists emanating from Kuwait after it was occupied by Saddam’s armies. Many of these men are of Palestinian ethnicity. The Palestinians living in Kuwait had favored Saddam because he was a prominent proponent of the Palestinian cause. Their allegiance to Saddam was so thorough that the Kuwaiti government kicked out its Palestinian population after liberation because they collaborated with Saddam. Saddam’s support of Palestinian terrorism is incontrovertible.
A large number of these Palestinians, over a hundred thousand, made their way to Jordan where they began to radicalize the moderate Jordanian population. One of these Palestinians – part of the Palestinian migration from Kuwait which has been  termed the “returnees from Kuwait” – was Sheik Abu-Mohammed al-Maqdisi (or Isam Mohammad Taher al-Barqawi). He would later become a major al Qaeda leader.
Barqawi became the spiritual leader for the newly radicalized Jordanians like Abu Mus’ab Al Zarqawi. Zarqawi would organize a group of radicalized Jordanians and other “returnees from Kuwait” called tawhid, which would align itself with al Qaeda for the Millennium Plot (or before).
Barqawi, a Palestinian-Jordanian, a “returnee from Kuwait” sympathized with Saddam. Barqawi sent Zarqawi to Iraq with other Palestinian-Jordanian “returnees” to fight jihad against Saddam’s enemies, not to fight Saddam. It may very well be that Zarqawi had no personal love for the Ba’athists. But Osama bin Laden himself has called for the jihadists in Iraq to work with the Ba’athists to defeat the Christian crusaders.  
A study  reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute explains what happened next:
 The Jihad fighters “related that Abu Mus’ab [Al-Zarqawi] used the experience of the [Iraqi] Ba’th[ists] in his war on the Americans and Iraqis, including regarding the security issue. [A man named] Ahmad clarified that this was particularly true regarding the city of Al-Fallujah, which contained hundreds of former Iraqi military intelligence officers with great experience in the security sphere.
According to one of Zarqawi’s own followers, Zarqawi traveled to Iraq where he joined with Saddam’s intelligence agents – with great experience – not new recruits but senior level intelligence officials, loyal men who would only have been there if they had been sent by Saddam.
The evidence of this alliance is the insurgency itself. The Iraqi government has many times tried to inform the American public that the leaders of the insurgency are Ba’athists working with al Qaeda. Such reports are ignored or criticized by the US media. Typically, the US media trots out a retired, senior CIA official who made rank under President Clinton to deny these reports because they don’t want the American public to know that Ba’athists and Islamic terrorists were working together before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. To acknowledge such a connection would be to demonstrate that certain intelligence officials who said that this type of combined operation could not happen – in fact made careers off the theory after the 1993 WTC attack – were wrong.
Some time after the Saddam regime fell and Zarqawi began to slaughter Iraqis, Barqawi (Maqdisi) got cold feet. He tried to rein-in Zarqawi which caused a split in the Palestinian-Jordanian branch of al Qaeda. In late 2004, Zarqawi distanced himself from the Jordanian branch of al Qaeda by swearing allegiance directly to al Qaeda. In other words, he quit the Barqawi branch of al Qaeda and went to the Ayman al Zawahiri branch because he still needed jihad recruits to fight in Iraq.
Upon breaking away from his mentor, he began to set himself up as the Islamic authority in Iraq (the pupil became the teacher). Those Iraqi intelligence agents who had worked with him since before OIF had themselves become radicalized, realized the Ba’athist regime wasn’t coming back, and began to swear loyalty to Zarqawi. Thus, Zarkawi, who had come to Iraq to support the Saddam regime would abandon his directives from his mentor and attempt to take direct control of Iraq.
But why would Saddam send senior IIS agents to work with jihadists? Because they were already working with Islamic jihadists long before the start of OIF. This Dar al Hayat article, “The Resistance In The “Sunni Triangle”,  makes clear that because the Iraqi economy was strangled by UN sanctions. Saddam’s senior military officials, many of them with land grants in Fallujah – where Zarqawi teamed up with them – had smuggled oil in cooperation with Islamic extremists. These Islamic extremists were joined to Anbar province by religious and tribal affiliation.
These extremists, already living under the radar in places like Jordan, were the perfect smuggling partners. Thus, as the sanctions dragged on, senior Iraqi military leaders and even a few close advisors to Saddam began to adhere to the extremists’ Islamic teachings. Initially, Saddam tried to shut it down. But because these Iraqi officials were Saddam’s support base, he eventually had to come to terms with them to protect his power. These Islamic extremists and smugglers were from places like the Palestinian “returnee” camps in Jordan. They were feeding Saddam’s support base.
Our research points to these Palestinian-Jordanian “returnees” as one of many portals of influence between Saddam and the global Islamic jihad movement. Other portals of influence to the movement include Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (Islamic Party) and Mulla Omar (Taliban) in Afghanistan, Maulana Fazlur Rahman and his jihad political parties in Pakistan, Hassan al Turabi and his National Islamic Front followers in Sudan, and Ayman al Zawahiri himself with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and later when it became al Qaeda along with Bin Laden’s followers.
To not see the portals means averting the eyes. Too many people who should know better have done so.
Ray Robison is co-author of the forthcoming book Both in One Trench, and a frequent contributor to American Thinker