Thompson Moves Toward White House Bid

Thompson Moves Toward White House Bid
By LIZ SIDOTI
Associated Press
May 31, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fred Thompson, the former Tennessee senator and ”Law & Order” actor, is taking significant steps toward an expected summer entry into the crowded but extraordinarily unsettled Republican presidential race.

His likely candidacy could give restless conservatives somewhere to turn.

A crucial bloc of the GOP, those voters have not fully embraced the leading contenders, giving Thompson what his backers argue is an opening for a ”true conservative” who can triumph in November 2008.

The 64-year-old Southerner would bring a right-leaning Senate voting record with a few digressions from GOP orthodoxy and a dash of Hollywood star power given his many movie roles and TV stint as the gruff district attorney on NBC’s popular crime drama.

A Thompson bid also could make the contest to succeed President Bush even more topsy turvy; all three top-tier candidates _ Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney _ could lose some measure of support and the seven underdogs could become even more irrelevant.

Thompson will make his first formal campaign move in the coming days, establishing an official organization to weigh a White House bid while launching a major fundraising drive on Monday, according to several Republicans with knowledge of his plans.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because the timeline is not public, these officials said Thompson may visit early primary states in late June and could officially enter the race as early as the first week in July.

”Senator Thompson is still seriously considering getting into the presidential contest and he is doing everything he has to do to make that final decision,” said Mark Corallo, a Thompson spokesman. ”Stay tuned.”

On Thompson’s schedule in the coming weeks: a speech to Virginia Republicans in Richmond on Saturday and an appearance with Jay Leno on ”The Tonight Show” on June 12. One official said an overseas trip also may be in the works.

For months, Thompson has openly flirted with a candidacy as a Tennessee-based effort sought to draft him into the race. He made several high-profile moves that pointed to a bid, not the least of which was disclosing that he is in remission after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a form of cancer.

His popularity in national polls spiked to double digits early in the year, but while he still fares well in surveys, his numbers have fallen following what some Republicans considered a subpar speech in early May in California. That’s prompted some rumblings in GOP circles that Thompson may have missed his opportunity to make a splash in the race.

Undaunted, Thompson has been casting himself as a straight-talking conservative in the mold of former President Reagan in speeches and on the Internet.

”He’s not Ronald Reagan, but he’s Reaganesque,” said Ted Malloch of Palm Beach, Fla., the chief executive of a consulting firm who is supporting Thompson. ”Fred is unique in the sense that all the boxes have been checked.”

During his 1994-2002 Senate tenure, he was considered a reliably conservative vote.

He worked to limit the role of the federal government and backed a ban on a late-term abortion procedure. He voted in favor of Bush’s tax cuts, oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, eliminating money for the National Endowment for the Arts and a constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration. And, he voted against requiring criminal background checks for purchases at gun shows.

But he sometimes took paths that didn’t necessarily sit well with conservatives, including advocating for campaign finance reform. While he voted to oust President Clinton from office, he also was one of 10 Republican senators who voted against one of the two impeachment charges.

Social issues, important to the party’s right, also typically weren’t at the top of his agenda. He was known less as a legislator and more as an investigator, leading the committee that examined former President Clinton’s fundraising in 1996.

Yet, he established a reputation as a less-than-hard worker. The Democratic National Committee issued a research document Wednesday detailing Thompson’s major legislative accomplishments. Save for the title and a DNC disclaimer, it was blank.

Thompson was one of the few senators who backed underdog McCain in 2000 over George W. Bush, the establishment candidate. This time around, Thompson would be opposing McCain _ and could hurt his friend’s own shot at the White House. The two have similar Senate records but Thompson could be seen as a fresher face to McCain, who is well-known to GOP voters.

Romney, who is trying to position himself to the right of the major candidates, also could see his support fall among conservatives concerned about his shifts on issues.

Campaigning in Iowa, Romney said he welcomed a Thompson entry. ”I think he’ll make the race more interesting. He’s got good ideas and after all, he does put bad people in jail every week on ‘Law & Order,”’ he said.

Giuliani could be hindered as well if Thompson grabs the attention of Republicans uneasy with the former New York City mayor’s support for gay and abortion rights.

Campaigning in California, Giuliani said he would welcome Thompson, but argued that he was the stronger candidate based on his record of cutting taxes and combatting terrorism as well as his ability to win a general election.

Ticking off states that went Democratic in 2004, such as California and New York, Giuliani said, ”Those are all states Republicans gave away in the past and the Democrats took for granted. … It doesn’t mean I’ll win all of them, but if I win my fair share of them, then I’ll get elected.”

Over the next few days, Thompson plans to form a ”testing the waters” committee called ”Friends of Fred Thompson,” which will allow him to begin raising money, hire staff and gauge support without officially committing to a White House bid.

He could significantly dampen the fundraising ability of his potential GOP rivals during the homestretch of the second quarter financial reporting period.

”It’s going to cause everybody to have second thoughts about writing a check,” said Scott Reed, a Republican strategist who is unaligned in the race.

Thompson spoke on a conference call Wednesday to several dozen people who officials called ”First Day Founders” and said committed to raising money for him. Participants said they were asked to raise $46,000 apiece, the $2,300 maximum from 10 couples or 20 people.

Officials cautioned that Thompson has made no final decision.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

It’s Not Racist to Oppose Amnesty for Illegals

It’s Not Racist to Oppose Amnesty for Illegals
by Sher Zieve
 
Contrary to some stated opinion on both sides of the US political aisle, being against a blanket amnesty (any bill that holds past criminal offenses as unimportant is one that proposes amnesty) for illegal immigrants is not a racist stance. Instead, it is a pro-American sovereignty position. Note: Those who still believe that the United States has the right to be a sovereign nation are meeting with increasing opposition. However, until Congress passes a law that states the invasion of the US
via its borders is legal it is still against the law. The “immigration reform bill” currently in the US Senate again places those of Hispanic origin who cross the US southern border illegally above other races attempting to enter the US legally. And this proposed bill also discriminates against those individuals of Hispanic origins who entered, or are working to enter, this country legally. That’s the true racism-the bigotry and discriminatory practices in the mold of patently xenophobic groups
such as La Raza (“The Race”), MEChA and the Mexica Movement.

It is not racist to insist that the laws of one’s country be upheld. It is, however, racist to draft laws that offer advantages and perks only to a specific race or races of people-while not providing these same rewards for others.

As of 2006, it is estimated that 10% of the total population of Mexico is living in the USA-that’s Mexican nationals. For decades US citizens have been paying an increasing percentage of their taxes to fund the illegals-who-cross-our-southern-border’s assault on US services-including healthcare and schooling. Multiple US healthcare facilities have been forced to close, due to the onslaught of illegals demanding-and receiving-free health care. Our public school system also provides free
education for non-US citizens. But, none of these free services to those in our country illegally are enjoyed by our own citizens. Instead, our own healthcare and educational costs and taxes continue to rise-our costs go up because schools and healthcare organizations are subsidizing the illegals. Our taxes go up because we’re, also, paying for the illegals. In other words, we-the-people are being assaulted in our checkbooks and pockets at least twice.

 
It is not racist for citizens to balk at having their own services diminished and costs increased due to the invasion of illegal immigrants. It is, however, racist for US lawmakers to draft and pass bills that benefit only those who have entered the country illegally and then tax and penalize legal citizens to pay for the illegal ones. It is called taxation without representation. Only the illegals are now being represented. But, if this Amnesty Bill passes both Congressional houses, with one
stroke of a pen millions of people will be instantly legal. It is also NOT racist to protect our borders.
 
Former President Theodore Roosevelt-not a racist-gave a speech in 1917 in which he said: “It is our boast that we admit the immigrant to full fellowship and equality with the native-born. In return we demand that he shall share our undivided allegiance to the one flag which floats over all of us” and told the Kansas City Star in 1918: “English should be the only language taught or used in the public schools.” He then wrote to the President of the American Defense Society on January 3, 1919: “In
the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also,
isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile…We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language…and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

Roosevelt’s statements are as correct and pertinent today as they were almost 100 years ago. What a shame and tragedy that our lawmakers have either forgotten the principles and laws upon which this country was founded-or have chosen to ignore them-in order to gain the illusion of political power. One thing remains certain. These same lawmakers and law-enforcers are no longer listening to the country’s legal citizens.

 
References:

http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_roosevelt_on_immigrants.htm

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?ile=/c/a/2006/05/21/MNGFQIVNAF1.DTL

http://www.therealitycheck.org/StaffWriter/Illegal_ImmigrationFS.html

Sher Zieve is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. (www.thenma.org). The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

Reid The Reaper: Dems plan Iraq Awakening’s wake

Reid The Reaper: Dems plan Iraq Awakening’s wake

by Daniel Clark

President Bush has repeatedly said that as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seems to have taken him too literally.

On April 19th, representatives of 50 Iraqi Sunni tribes announced the formation of a new political party called Iraq Awakening, whose mission is to oppose terrorism and improve Iraqi-American relations. Later that very same day, Sen. Reid demanded the pullout of American forces, on the basis that Iraq had been “lost” — which may or may not be accurate, depending on exactly whose side he’s on.

Iraq Awakening is rapidly spawning branch organizations at the provincial level, with the aim of fielding candidates in elections at all levels of government, including the parliamentary elections in 2009. In the predominantly Shiite country, this large scale political organization among the Sunni population is precisely what al-Qaeda has been determined to prevent. If somebody doesn’t break up the party soon, NBC News may have to call off the civil war that it had gleefully but erroneously
declared months ago.

Refusing to be swayed by the significance of this development, Reid and his fellow Democrats have tried (unsuccessfully, thankfully) to defund the war effort, and establish deadlines for withdrawal. If they’d gotten their way, we would have stood behind the Iraqi people just long enough to tape “kick me” signs onto their backsides.

Critics of the war often argue that the Iraqi people aren’t capable of handling freedom and self-government. Even many of the war’s supporters have voiced frustration with the Iraqis for their reluctance to take control of their own country, as if it were only natural that they volunteer to become fodder for terrorists. The Iraqis have the internet and cable news just like the rest of the world does. That means they’re well aware of the political divisions we have in this country regarding
their future. It cannot have escaped their attention that the faction that now controls our Congress has been working earnestly to undermine the new Iraqi government every step of the way.

Until the Iraqis are confident that they can protect themselves, their willingness to stand up depends heavily on their trust in the United States. They must recognize that if the leadership of the Democratic Party had its way, it would leave them at the mercy of the terrorists, just for the sake of calling President Bush a failure. Nevertheless, these courageous Sunni leaders are starting to stand up, despite their knowledge that if we stand down now, they’ll never make it all the way to their
feet before they get clobbered.

In politics, timing is seldom coincidental, and no sooner did Iraq Awakening spring up than Harry Reid, the Grim Reaper of the Senate, started furiously hacking at it with his scythe. Reid’s reaction suggests that he does not believe the war is lost, as he says he does. Instead, he and his party have wagered their future on the enemy, and are therefore panicked by the prospect of victory.

If we are frustrated with our allies in Iraq, the feeling must be mutual. At a time when loyalty matters most, we continuously make excuses for the disloyal ones among us. Leaders of the Democratic Party accuse our soldiers of torture and acts of terrorism, suggest that the president might have known about the 9-11 attacks beforehand, contradict the administration’s foreign policy while visiting hostile countries, and try to turn the American people against the military by proposing a draft.
Yet most of their fellow Americans blather that we shouldn’t “question their patriotism,” because they “support the troops.”

Elected Democrats have also cast doubt upon the legitimacy of the historic Iraqi elections, claimed that the Iraqis were better off under Saddam Hussein, and snubbed interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi when he came to Washington to give his country’s thanks to America. Now, our Iraqi allies can’t even hold a press conference without a Democrat response, delivered by Sen. Reid. Still, the Jellyphants of the Republican Party can’t bring themselves to even question anyone’s patriotism.

With such conflicting signals emanating from America, the question is not what has taken Iraq Awakening so long to stand up, but what gives them the fortitude to stand up at all. Sen. Reid is surely at a loss to explain it, which must be why he looked so grim while issuing his rebuttal.

Well, all right, so that’s the way he always looks. But happily, this time he had a reason.

 

Daniel Clark is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets

Border Security: Accept No Substitutes

Border Security: Accept No Substitutes
by Christopher G. Adamo

Heartland America breathed a premature sigh of relief when the Senate’s ill conceived “immigration reform” (read: amnesty for illegals) bill was not ramrodded through the legislative process as quickly as its proponents originally intended. Yet the most dangerous time for America is still ahead.

Various amendments are being considered in an effort to make it sufficiently palatable to one opposing group or another, the long-term goal being that they might ultimately give it their support, or at least mute their opposition to it. But beneath any veneer, the bill’s actual objective of amnesty remains intact.

Sadly, a requisite level of cynicism is necessary in order to make any sense out of the seemingly insane direction in which the Bush Administration and the Congress are attempting to take the country, since neither is dealing honestly and revealing their true intentions. To properly grasp the political gymnastics currently taking place inside the Beltway, the end goal must be identified.

Regardless of any flowery rhetoric, the ugly reality is that Democrats desire a massive influx of new voters, while Republicans seek to please their big business supporters with a cheap and pliable labor force. All other reasons and excuses offered for the bill are either ancillary or completely fraudulent.

The last thing that anyone among the Washington elite has any intention of allowing is some action that might infringe, even to the tiniest degree, on the continual inflow of cheap labor that enriches the corporate donors of one party or the dependency class that empowers the other. And despite Washington’s initial retreat from this position during the past week, an unabated stream of illegals remains their ultimate objective.

The only thing that may have changed in the minds of those pushing this devastating agenda is that they now recognize a need to more cleverly camouflage their intentions. But in the end, both parties are every bit as convinced that they can better their political fortunes as they were prior to the massive public outcry against them.

Senate Republicans are currently attempting to properly position themselves in such a manner as to allow the bill to pass, while diverting any backlash towards the Democrats. Not surprisingly, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a virtually identical tactic is insisting that she will not work for House passage unless at least seventy Republicans sign on.

The only manner in which Pelosi believes she can reap the benefits of passage without paying a political price is to cast the bill as a “bipartisan effort.” And as is always the case, “bipartisanship” inside D.C. means the rest of America loses.

Worst of all is that neither party has any intention of dealing with border security, the real issue needing to be addressed, and the only avenue of actually confronting the illegal invasion. Regardless of forthright sounding platitudes of securing the border, the dirty little secret is that both sides benefit not from just the immediate amnesty of twenty million illegals already here, but from a continued and unabated influx of new arrivals.

Nor should anyone accept the straw dog of a “guest worker program.” In case anybody has not been in the vicinity of a construction site lately, our nation already has a “guest worker program” that is working as well as it ever will. The only result of an officially sanctioned guest worker program is that its participants would be even more emboldened in their demands for social services, and the ethically bankrupt political class would be more inclined to accommodate them.

What the open borders advocates well know, but are not saying, is that although the twelve to twenty million illegals already in this country are more than sufficient to do any job Americans ostensibly will not do, those individuals have no intention of doing so interminably at their current meager pay. So in order for businesses to maintain the downward pressure on wages, new arrivals must continually be brought in.

Thus, any bill labeled “comprehensive” will amount to a multitude of impressive sounding measures seemingly aimed at stopping the influx of illegals, with some version of amnesty lurking in the fine print. But this merely is an old trick that the Congress often uses in order to implement otherwise unacceptable legislation. When the time comes to fund the border enforcement provisions, no monies will be provided.
 
Our nation is on the verge of “Balkanizing,” and does not need a massive new constituency to assert “rights” and stress a racial/ethnic identity that bears no commonality with the principles on which our nation was founded. Far from fixing anything, this measure would accelerate every adverse effect of the illegal invasion. And among those who knowingly support it, that is precisely the intention.

Former President Bill Clinton, who clearly had no interest in, or concept of national security, never considered that the “politically correct” games he played, both here and abroad, would ultimately lead to 9-11. Nevertheless, that horrible and inevitable day of reckoning arrived.

Similarly, the political elites who now promote amnesty under the phony banner of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” show their total lack of understanding of, or respect for America’s sovereignty and heritage, by their willingness to so thoroughly decimate such things as they pursue this course.

They remain intentionally oblivious to the far-reaching harm that most certainly will descend upon America if this legislation passes. But as surely as the Twin Towers fell, this nation will pay an awful price for the betrayal and abandonment of every ethic and principle of national survival that it represents.

Two of the best known “prophesies” of doom for America are those of Alexander Tyler, who warned of the symbiotic malignancies of an expanding government and the dependent class it generates, and Nikita Khrushchev, who asserted that amoral businesses would sell out America’s future for their own financial gain. The stark and alarming truth is that the amnesty bill encapsulates the direst aspects of both.

America’s very future hangs in the balance. Though a seemingly Herculean task, the only remaining option for Americans who want to have a nation to pass on to their posterity is to make whatever noise is necessary to stop the amnesty bill, and then systematically replace every politician who betrayed the country by supporting it in the first place.

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

Dangerous Illusions

Dangerous Illusions
By Daniel M. Zucker
FrontPageMagazine.com | May 31, 2007

Amazingly, despite all the evidence of Iranian support for both the Iraqi Shi’ite extremist militias—the Jaish al-Mahdi of al-Daawa Party cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and the Badr and Wolf Brigades of cleric Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim’s SICRI, recently renamed SIIC (the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council), and the Sunni jihadi insurgent al-Qa‘eda of Iraq—there are still America academics that look to the Islamic Republic of Iran as a necessary partner to bring a solution to the violence in Iraq. Professor Ian Shapiro of Yale wrote recently two essays[1] suggesting that the United States needs to turn to Iran to help find a solution to the expanding spiral of violence in that long-suffering land between the two rivers. That’s like turning to Nazi Germany to ask for help in ending the brutally fascistic policies of Vichy
France towards its Jewish residents.

If it still is unclear to those in the ivory towers of academia, I’ll spell it out in plain English: In Iraq,
Iran is the problem, not the solution! Shapiro apparently still believes that a Shi’ite Iran is incapable of changing sides and supporting the Taliban against the moderate Karzai government. He writes about the Tehran leadership: “Like us, they have no desire to see a resurgence of the Taliban in
Afghanistan.”
[2] If such is indeed the case, why did the United Kingdom’s Defense Minister, Des Browne, say several weeks ago that
Iran was supplying the Taliban with weapons that were killing British soldiers?
[3]

 

Professor Shapiro continues his misinformed assumptions as regards Iran’s intentions with a statement on Iraq: “We also share a common interest in the territorial integrity of
Iraq.”
[4] Justin Delabar, in his article, “Iraqi Shi’ite Factions, Iran and the IRGC”, indicates that Iranian support for Iraqi territorial integrity would continue only as long as Tehran felt that Baghdad remained in a close relationship with
Tehran.
[5] Should that relationship sour, Delabar correctly suggests that
Iran would make use of its extensive network of implanted IRGC agents in the Shi‘ite southern region
[6] to pull it into an Iranian orbit.

 

One may question whether
Iran indeed has such influence over the Shi‘ite controlled government of Dr. Nouri al-Maliki. Dr. al-Maliki certainly has played a very careful game of balancing his ties to Iran with those that he has to the
United States and the Multi National Forces. However, not all secrets always remain so, and a secret memo that he sent betrays his real loyalties. On March 29, 2007, Egyptian investigative reporter Mahdi Mustafa published in the Egyptian government weekly al-Aram al-Arabi photographs of a secret memo from al-Maliki to the Iranian embassy in Baghdad with copies to SICRI and the al-Shahid al-Sadr organization, requesting that commanders of the Jaish al-Madhi that have ties to the IRGC be pulled off of the frontlines so as to protect them from arrest or death during the forthcoming American surge. al-Maliki mentions both Moqtada al-Sadr and Iraqi National Security Advisor Dr. Muwafaq al-Rubai‘i as participants in a conversation and consultation prior to his sending the memo.
[7]

 

The fact that al-Maliki’s secret memo was sent to the Iranian embassy as well as to al-Sadr’s organization and to SICRI should clarify that the three work together and that al-Maliki cooperates with them against American and British interests. With a little bit of common sense this revelation should not come as a total surprise as al-Maliki and Moqtada al-Sadr are both members of the same political organization, the al-Daawa Party (“The Call”), a radical Shi‘ite fundamentalist party ever since its inception some 49 years ago.

 

If the maze of Iraqi Shi‘ite and Sunni political parties has one confused, maybe an allegory will help clarify the situation. During World War II, the Allies invaded
Italy to remove the fascist tyrant Benito Mussolini. Four years ago the Allies invaded
Iraq to remove the tyrant Saddam Hussein. Now our allegory: the Allies decided that Italy needed to hold elections to establish a democracy in that country, but because of internal squabbles and the support that had been given to Mussolini, most of the voters in the north and central sections of
Italy did not participate in the election. As a result, two political parties from the southern part of the country—actually from
Sicily—won the election with the largest block in the new government’s parliament. When the dust finally settled, the Allies discovered that those two parties that had been democratically elected—well, if you don’t count all the dead Italians that voted or the arm twisting that took place before the elections—were the Mafia and the Costa Nostra. And that is why so many ordinary Italians were not happy with the government that the Allies brought them. Except that this tragic story took place in Iraq and not in Italy and its disastrous results are currently being played out in the land between the Rivers Tigris and
Euphrates.

 

Lest we compound the problems in Iraq, both for the Iraqi people and for ourselves, by pulling our forces out of Iraq too quickly, thereby giving Iran and her radical fundamentalist Shi‘ite-block allies a chance to dominate Iraqi society and to impose a fundamentalist Islamist law code on that nation, we need to realize that not all Shi‘ite Iraqis are fundamentalists, nor are all Sunni Iraqis Islamic fundamentalists. Indeed, at least half of the Iraqi electorate today is anti-fundamentalist and clearly opposed to the imposition of Islamic Sharia law and the interference of the Islamic Republic of Iran in
Iraq’s internal affairs.

 

What is not well known is that moderate Iraqi Sunnis and Shi‘ites have joined with moderate Kurds and Christians to form a 5.2 million member coalition of anti-fundamentalists.[8] This anti-fundamentalist coalition is known as the “Solidarity Congress” and is led by a Board of Directors which includes Dr. Abdullah Rasheed Al-Jabouri[9](Chair), Shiekh Kamel Omran Attiyya (First Deputy Chair), Karima Dawoud Al-Jawari (Second Deputy Chair). The following groups are part of this anti-fundamentalist coalition: the Association of Friendship and Solidarity with the People of Iran, the National Association of Struggle Against Fundamentalism and Terrorism, the Association of Independent Jurists, the National Dialogue Front of Iraq-Diyala, the National Front of the Tribes of Iraq, the National Unity Front for a Free Iraq, the Christian Democratic Movement, the Islamic Party of Iraq, the Peace Party, Iraq’s Council for National Dialogue, the Congress of Natives of Iraq, and the Nationalist Elite of Independent Iraq.[10]

 

The brave members of the Solidarity Congress have risked their lives and continue to risk their lives to stand up and oppose Islamic fundamentalism, both Sunni and Shi‘ite, and Arab and Kurd. Fallen comrades in the struggle against Islamic fundamentalism include Ms. Amereh Abdul-Karim Al-Aqabe,[11] president of the Iraqi Women’s Syndicate (ISW), recently abducted and brutally murdered because she was a fierce opponent to the Iranian regime’s blatant interference in Iraqi political, social, and economic affairs, Abdul-Rahim Nasrallah, leader of the secular National Justice and Progress Party and chairman of the board of directors of the party’s Shaabiya satellite television station,[12] Ayatollah Mohammad Moussawi Qasemi,[13] a prominent Shi‘ite cleric and secretary general of the Islamic Unity Party in Iraq, Mohammad Qassem Ahmed al-Bayati,[14] governor of Soleiman-bak near the northern city of Kirkuk, Muhammad Shihab al-Dulaymi,[15] spokesman for the Maram[16] alliance—a coalition of 42 Sunni and secular political groups including the Iraqi Accord Front, the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, and the secular Iraqi National List headed by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi—dedicated to contesting rigged elections, and Major General Amer al-Hashemi,[17] brother of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, whose sister Meysoun and brother Mahmoud were assassinated earlier in the year. All of these anti-fundamentalist martyrs had spoken out in opposition to Iranian domination of Iraq and had supported the Iranian anti-fundamentalist opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq as a force for moderation, tolerance and secular democracy both in Iran and
Iraq.
[18]

 

On Monday, May 28, 2007, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, met at the
Baghdad home of Prime Minister Dr. Nouri al-Maliki to discuss Iraqi security. Given the above-mentioned information, it should now be evident that this meeting was the equivalent of asking the fox to help arrange security for the hen-house, or if you prefer, providing an invitation to a convicted pyromaniac to supervise the local fire-brigade. Nothing good could come out of this meeting, despite the pious pronouncements that we are now hearing from a variety of sources. For those that read Farsi or have access to accurate translations, an editorial in Keyhan Daily—the newsprint mouthpiece of the Islamic Republic of Iran—dated May 5, 2007, and entitled “Threat under the cover of opportunity…” said it all in black on white: Iran has no intention of helping the U.S. in Iraq; indeed, it looks forward to being able to teach America a serious object lesson. The final two paragraphs read as follows:

 

“…Bush wants to rescue himself from the ‘

Middle East
Swamp’ and an unambiguous loss in the elections. Therefore he is trying to get closer to
Iran to use it to solve his problems.
 

…The Americans have not changed. Only it is that they have been strangled and they want to find a way to breathe. When they catch a breath, they will continue in their old manner. Obviously
Iran will not allow its archenemy to simply get out of the swamp he is in now. The world now has a great chance to teach a lesson to this international bully. Apparently it is up to
Iran to go forward with the project. Because Iran is the only country in the world that historically has earned the right to defeat the
United States, the opportunity is here
.
[19]

 

Given the Iranian regime’s tendency to telegraph its intentions, the aforementioned Keyhan Daily editorial should be clear enough to be understood in
Washington and at Yale. But since neither have a great track record at understanding the Persian enigma that the IRI seems to be to them, I will give one more hint to help clarify the picture. Iraqi radical Shi‘ite cleric Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, leader of SICRI/SIIC, was just diagnosed as suffering from lung cancer. Despite being wealthy enough to afford treatment in the finest American or European clinics, al-Hakim chose to go to
Iran for treatment.
[20]  
Iran is not known currently for the high quality of its medicine. But its radical Islamic fundamentalism is second to none… When
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei calls, al-Sadr, al-Maliki, and al-Hakim all come running.

 

When will Washington (and Yale) finally figure out who are our friends and who are our enemies in
Iraq? Hint: friends help provide solutions; enemies cause problems. The Solidarity Congress and their supporters
[21] are our natural allies in the war against Islamic fundamentalism; the Islamic Republic of Iran, al-Daawa, the Jaish al-Mahdi, SICRI/SIIC, the Badr Brigade, Moqtada al-Sadr, Nouri al-Maliki, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, and al-Qa‘eda in Iraq aren’t—they’re the problem.[22]

 

Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker is founder and Chairman of the Board of Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East, a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching our elected officials and the public of the dangers posed by Islamic fundamentalism and the need to establish genuine democratic institutions in the Middle-East.


1. Ian Shapiro, “After occupation: a containment strategy for
Iraq”,
www.opendemocracy.net, April 25, 2007, and “A Strategic Opening to
Iran?” , The Huffington Post, May 8, 2007.

2. Ian Shapiro, “A Strategic Opening to
Iran?”, ibid.

3. Michael Lea, “Afghanistan attacks
Iran link”, The Sun,
 May 9, 2007, see http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007210362,00.html; see also Reza Shafa, “IRGC is busy making life harder for the U.S. in
Afghanistan”, NCR-FAC, May 6, 2007, see
http://www.ncr-iran.org/content/view/3382/153/ . See also: “US commander accuses Iran of destabilizing actions in
Iraq,
Afghanistan”, Agence
France-Presse
, Washington, April 18, 2007.

4. Shapiro, Ibid.

5. Justin Delabar, “Iraqi Shi’ite Factions,
Iran, and the IRGC”, The Digital Diplomat, April 18, 2006; see 
http://www.thedigitaldiplomat.com/2006/04/18/iraqi-shiite-factions-iran-and-the-irgc/.6. See Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, “‘Welcome to Tehran’-how Iran took control of
Basra”, The Guardian,  May 19, 2007, at http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329880821-117700,00.html

7. “Documents Exposed by Egyptian Government Weekly Allege Ties Between Iraqi PM and Iranian Revolutionary Guards”, MEMRI, Special Dispatch Series, No. 1573, May 4, 2007.

8.  See Shahab Sariri, “
Iraq’s Struggle against Tehran Sponsored Extremism”, Global Politician, April 14,
2007; see also NCRI, “Declaration by 5.2 m Iraqis condemns Iran Regime’s terrorist threats, supports PMOI”, http://www.ncr-iran.org/content/view/1791/70/ , June 21, 2006, and David Waddington, “Mullahs are vulnerable”, The Washington Times, January 15, 2007 (http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20070114-101501-8990r.htm).

9.  James Morrison, Embassy Row: “Iranian Influence”,
Washington Times, May 12, 2005, 
http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=2073.

10. NCRI, “Declaration by 5.2 m Iraqis condemns Iran Regime’s terrorist threats, supports PMOI”, June 21, 2006, http://www.ncr-iran.org/content/view/1791/70/ .

11. See NCRI, “The mullahs’ agents abducted and brutally murdered president of Iraqi Women  Syndicate”, http://www.ncr-iran.org/content/blogsection/18/154/9/63/ , January 18, 2007.

12. See Iran Focus: “Iran targets Iraqi nationalists”,
London,  October 13, 2006,
 (http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=8926), and Shahab Sariri, Ibid. 

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid.

16. Maram is an Arabic acronym for Mutamar Rafadi al-Intikhabat al-Muzawwara (“Conference Rejecting Rigged Elections”).

17. Iran Focus, loc. cit.

18. Ibid.

19. Editorial, “Threat under the cover of opportunity…”, Keyhan Daily,
Tehran, May 5, 2007.

20. “Iraqi  Shia leader seeks cancer care”, al-Jazeera, May 20, 2007, http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/30C7722A-606F-4B94-8F62-EB19FD75E5FA.htm .

21. The P.M.O.I. (People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran) aka, Mojahedin–e Khalq (MeK) helped the Solidarity Congress to organize itself by facilitating meetings between the various parties at
Camp 

Ashraf, Iraq.

22. See Mark Hosenball, “
Tehran’s Secret ‘Department 9000’ ”, Time, June 4, 2007, 
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18881815/site/newsweek/.

 

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Ignorance and Al-Sadr

Ignorance and Al-Sadr
By Andrew G. Bostom
American Thinker | May 31, 2007

Re-emerging publicly on Friday May 25, 2007 for the first time since he went underground 4-months ago, Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr journeyed in a long motorcade from Najaf to the adjacent city of Kufa where he delivered a fiery sermon before 6,000 worshippers. “No, no for Satan. No, no for America. No, no for the occupation. No, no for Israel,” he intoned-and his audience obligingly repeated-at the opening of this address. Al-Sadr then demanded that U.S. forces leave Iraq, and called upon Sunni Muslims to join his Shi’ite followers in fighting the American occupiers. “To our Iraqi Sunni brothers, I say that the occupation sows dissension among us and that strength is unity and division is weakness…I’m ready to cooperate with them in all fields.” He was also critical of the nascent Iraqi government’s inability to provide basic services.

While his major rival, Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and is undergoing treatment in Iran, it was speculated that al-Sadr, backed by Iran, may have returned to parlay this Iranian support into efforts to consolidate his own power in Iraq. Al-Sadr’s strategy hinges in part on his apparent belief that inevitably (and soon) the U.S. will reduce its troop strength, leaving behind a vacuum in Iraq’s security and political power structure that he and his followers can fill. He is also said to believe that Iraq’s current al-Maliki government may collapse in the near future because of its failure to improve security, public services, and the economy.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe’s comments on al-Sadr’s reappearance — punctuated by the cleric’s belligerent sermon — can only be characterized as bizarre and delusional. Johndroe opined — without any apparent attempt at deliberate irony —   that al-Sadr’s diatribe somehow  indicated a desire “to play a positive role inside Iraq.”  Added Johndroe,  “He [al-Sadr] has an opportunity to be a part of the political reconciliation process. We’ll see if he and his followers participate.”
Fifty years ago (1957), social psychologist Leon Festinger published his seminal analysis, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, in which he observed

[P]ersons are not always successful in explaining away or in rationalizing inconsistencies to themselves. For one reason or another, attempts to achieve consistency may fail. The inconsistency then simply continues to exist. Under such circumstances-that is, in the presence of an inconsistency-there is psychological discomfort…The existence of dissonance [inconsistency], being psychologically uncomfortable, will motivate the person to try to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations to reduce the dissonance and achieve consonance [consistency]. When the dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance…Cognitive dissonance can be seen as an antecedent condition which leads to activity oriented toward dissonance reduction just as hunger leads to activity oriented toward hunger reduction.

Johndroe’s views on Sadr’s re-emergence epitomize such cognitive dissonance, exacerbated by our policymaking elites’ ongoing, inexcusable ignorance of regional Islamic history and culture, most notably the well-documented role of the very same Sadr lineage in Iraq’s religio-politics. For example, Mr. Johndroe and equally uninformed policymakers across the political spectrum should read (certainly now, albeit so belatedly) Gertrude Bell’s letters written from Baghdad (especially those composed between 1920 and 1926), which were originally published in a compilation, The Letters of Gertrude Bell (2 volumes, New York, 1927), and are now available to all, online.
Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) was an archaeologist and explorer, who traveled extensively in the Middle East, and subsequently became a British intelligence officer and diplomat in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Due to her unparalleled knowledge of the region, Bell was made part of the delegation to the Paris Conference of 1919, and worked subsequently with British officials attempting to create the modern state of Iraq from three disparate ethnic and religious vilayets (i.e., Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra) of the collapsed Ottoman Empire. In the last years of her life, Gertrude Bell created, and was the first Director of the Baghdad Archaeological Museum; she died in 1926, and may have committed suicide.
Bell’s overall narrative sounds disquietingly familiar as the cast of characters — from 1920, versus the present — seems quite literally frozen in time despite the passage of almost 90 years. She describes the Shia religious elites [circa March 14, 1920]  led by the very same Sadr family, as,

…the grimly devout citizens of the holy towns and more especially the leaders of religious opinion, the Mujtahids, who can loose and bind with a word by authority which rests on an intimate acquaintance with accumulated knowledge entirely irrelevant to human affairs and worthless in any branch of human activity. There they sit in an atmosphere which reeks of antiquity and is so thick with the dust of ages that you can’t see through it — nor can they. And for the most part they are very hostile to us, a feeling we can’t alter…. There’s a group of these worthies in Kadhimain, the holy city, 8 miles from Baghdad, bitterly pan-Islamic, anti-British…Chief among them are a family called Sadr, possibly more distinguished for religious learning than any other family in the whole Shiah world….

Despite Bell’s own utopian dreams for Iraq, what historian Elie Kedourie aptly termed her “…fond foolishness…thinking to stand godmother to a new Abbasid Empire…”,  at least she — unlike our contemporary U.S. policymaking elites — possessed a very clear understanding of events unfolding before her. Regarding their predilection for unadorned nose-counting democracy, Bell observed [November 1, 1920] that led by Saiyid Hasan al Sadr, the Shia rejected establishing true democratic institutions, maintaining,

…only that they wanted a government elected by the people and that nothing else was of any use…They offered no [further] suggestions and remained obdurately hostile.

When 8-months later [July 20, 1921] Shi’ite wishes went unfulfilled, Bell documented the predictable leading role played by Saiyid Hasan al Sadr’s son Saiyid Muhummad (described  as “a tall black bearded ‘alim with a sinister expression”) in fomenting sanguinary unrest throughout Iraq:

…he [Saiyid Muhummad] leapt into an evil prominence as the chief agitator in the disturbances. In those insane days he was treated like a divinity. Shi’ahs kissed the robe of men who had touched his hand. We tried to arrest him early in August and failed. He escaped from Baghdad and moved about the country like a flame of war, rousing the tribes. It was he who called up the Diyalah [Diyala (Sirwan)] tribesmen and caused all those tragedies of which Mrs. Buchanan’s story * is one. His next achievement was on the upper Tigris. In obedience to his preaching the tribes attacked Samarra but were beaten off. He then moved down to Karbala and was the soul of the insurgence on the middle Euphrates. Finally, when the game was up, he fled with other saiyids and tribal shaikhs across the desert to Mecca [Makkah] and came back, under the amnesty, with Faisal [later installed by the British as Iraq’s monarch]…. You never know what Shi’ahs are up to.

Recently, John Bolton, former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and Security, and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., made these candid observations  about the fecklessness of policy decisions in Iraq:

If we had said shortly after that statue (of Saddam) came down in Baghdad, “Here are the keys to the Green Zone, Iraqis – you have our best wishes and whatever support we can give as we are packing up and leaving, or at least moving out of Baghdad,” then I think public opinion in our country might be different…Having overthrown Saddam, we had an obligation – it was a short-term obligation – to provide security until some kind of government of Iraqis could have gotten back up, for us to hold the reins for a short time for them to start forming a government.

But the notion that America had to occupy Iraq or guarantee the country’s security for a protracted time, or indeed indefinitely: I just think that’s a mistake

In essence U.S. policymakers have repeated the misplaced utopian efforts of Gertrude Bell and her British colleagues, compounding this error — as illustrated in Mr. Johndroe’s distressingly ignorant and delusional statements — by being utterly devoid of Bell’s understanding of the irredentist Iraqi culture.
Leon Festinger and his associates (in Festinger et al. When Prophecy Fails 1956) chronicled  the story of a Chicago housewife, Mrs. Marion Keech, who had mysteriously received messages in her house as “automatic writings” from alien beings on the planet Clarion, which revealed that the world would end in a great flood before dawn on December 21. Reflecting the degree of commitment to this fanciful notion, the group of believers, headed by Mrs. Keech, had taken concrete behavioral steps — they had left jobs, college, and spouses, and had given away money and possessions to prepare for their departure on the flying saucer, which was to rescue the group of true believers. However by 4:00 A.M. on the appointed day — Festinger and his researchers who infiltrated and studied Mrs. Keech’s group — observed  that she and her followers were sitting in stunned silence. When a few attempts at finding explanations failed, Mrs. Keech began to cry. However by 4:45 A.M. another mysterious message by automatic writing was sent to Mrs. Keech. It stated, in effect, that the God of Earth had decided to spare the planet from destruction. The cataclysm had been called off: “The little group, sitting all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction.”
The brutal complexities of Iraq demand strategies informed by a serious, intellectually honest understanding of the local jihadist culture-both Shi’ite and Sunni-and an end to the ongoing cognitive dissonance of our policymaking elites “interpreting” daily events, if we are to avoid a real cataclysm.
* From additional letters by Bell, we learn about Buchanan’s plight: [Sep 13, 1920]  I saw this morning Mrs Buchanan, the woman whose husband was killed 3 weeks ago in Shahraban [Miqdadiyah]. The whole of the tale I sent you about that business was quite untrue. The affair was over in a couple of hours and the Levies melted away when the tribes attacked. Mrs Buchanan saw her husband killed and was then taken to the house of the mayor where she was kindly treated according to their lights. She can scarcely speak a word of Arabic and has been through the most terrible experience. She has a child in England – and I fancy not a sixpence to live on. …[October 10, 1920] She is very pretty and attractive and helpless, about 25 with a baby at home. As far as I can make out they neither of them had anything in the world and as they “invested” all their savings in jewels for her which were all stolen she hasn’t a penny. She is suffering a good deal from nervous shock, and no wonder…

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A Green Card in Every Pot

A Green Card in Every Pot
By Ann Coulter
FrontPageMagazine.com | May 31, 2007

Americans – at least really stupid Americans like George Bush – believe the natural state of the world is to have individual self-determination, human rights, the rule of law and a robust democratic economy. On this view, most of the existing world and almost all of world history is a freakish aberration.

In fact, the natural state of the world is Darfur. The freakish aberration is America and the rest of the Anglo-Saxon world.

The British Empire once spread the culture of prosperity around the globe – Judeo-Christian values, tolerance, equality, private property and the rule of law. All recipients of the British Empire’s largesse benefited, but the empire’s most successful colony was the United States.

At the precise moment in history when the U.S. has abandoned any attempt to transmit Anglo-Saxon virtues to its own citizens, much less to immigrants, George Bush wants to grant citizenship to hordes of immigrants who are here precisely because they are fleeing cultures that are utterly dysfunctional and ruinous for the humans who live in them.

Yes, this country has absorbed huge migrations of illiterate peasants in the past – notably Italian immigrants at the turn of the last century. But also notably, half of them went back. We got the good ones. America was not yet a welfare state guaranteeing room and board to the luckless, the lazy and the incompetent from cradle to grave.

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, immigrant and first Jewish member of the Supreme Court, said that Americanization required that the immigrant adopt “the clothes, the manners and the customs generally prevailing here” and that he adopt “the English language as the common medium of speech.”

But, Brandeis said, this is only part of it. “(W)e properly demand of the immigrant even more than this – he must be brought into complete harmony with our ideals and aspirations and cooperate with us for their attainment. Only when this has been done will he possess the national consciousness of an American.”

Or as George Bush would call it, “empty rhetoric.” And as Linda Chavez would call it, “racist.”

I wish our new immigrants had come to America back when the foundations of civic society and patriotism were still inculcated in all immigrants (and when half of them went home). But traitors who are citizens have destroyed all acculturating institutions. Traitors who are citizens have also destroyed all incentive for the poor to work or even keep their knees together before marriage.

Until the recipient culture is capable of doing an effective job of Americanizing immigrants, it’s preposterous to talk about a massive influx of Hispanic immigrants accomplishing anything other than turning America into yet another Latin American-style banana republic. And it is simply a fact that no one is trying to turn immigrants into Americans.

To the contrary, Democrats are trying to turn new immigrants into wards of the state – and with some success! – so they will be permanent Democratic voters. Rich Republicans and their handmaidens in Washington are trying to turn immigrants into a permanent servant class.

In an astonishing exchange on Fox News last weekend, Dan Henninger of the Wall Street Journal responded to Heather MacDonald’s point that Hispanics in this country have a 50 percent illegitimacy rate, the highest teen pregnancy rate of any group and the highest high school drop-out rate of any group, by asking: “Why don’t we feel we are under cultural assault in New York City? You have no sense of this at all here.”

You also have no sense of the existence of a middle class in New York City. The rich have hidden the evidence, transplanting all but the massively wealthy to the suburbs. Manhattan is white and getting whiter, while the boroughs are noticeably less white and more dysfunctional.

What evidence is there for the proposition that American culture will leap like a tenacious form of tuberculosis to today’s immigrants? Americans display no evident desire to defend their culture, much less transmit it, and immigrants show no evident desire to adopt it.

To the contrary, immigrants are replacing American culture with Latin American culture. Their apparent constant need to demonstrate is just one example.

As Mac Johnson wrote in Human Events last year, these immigrant protests represent “the colonization of America by the Latin style of politics.” He listed just some of the demonstrations drawing thousands – sometimes hundreds of thousands – of protesters over the last few years in Mexico alone. Among the targets of the protests were a new regional trade pact, plans to allow private investment in the state-owned electricity industry, energy and tax reforms, and support for the mayor of Mexico City.

In 1993 – long before 9-11, before the USS Cole bombing, before the bombing of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania – the eminent Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington predicted that the greatest threat to Western civilization would come from a clash of civilizations, noting with particular concern the “bloody borders” of the Muslim world.

So it ought to be of some interest that Huntington is now predicting, in his book Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity, that America cannot survive the cultural onslaught from Latin America.

American Hispanics responded to Huntington’s book with a flurry of scholarly papers and academic debates to counter his thesis that Mexicans were not assimilating.

Just kidding! They called for national protests against Huntington, his publisher and Harvard University.

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