Islamists Threaten Jordan

Islamists Threaten Jordan

Intelligence item.

Jordan is scared.

The pro-Western monarchy feels increasingly encircled and threatened from within–by Iranian-backed Islamists.

Islamism is on the rise in Jordan. The leading Islamist opposition group, the Islamic Action Front, is publicly committed to peaceful methods. But some intelligence experts believe Al Qaeda has infiltrated the movement.

These same experts contend that hundreds, if not thousands, of Islamist fighters in Iraq are poised to enter Jordan, Lebanon, and other Middle Eastern nations.

Hamas is also a threat to Jordan. The Palestinian Islamist movement, which has repeatedly vowed to destroy Israel, knows that its terrrorism and extremism are leading many observers to suddenly question the conventional wisdom of the sacrosanct two-state solution to the Palestinian/Arab/Islamist-Israeli conflict–i.e. the creation of an independent Palestinian Arab state in the West Bank and Gaza. For the first time in decades, Jordan is seen by many in Israel and the West as a proper negotiating partner for the future of the contested West Bank territories of Judea and Samaria, which Israel conquered in the Six-Day War of June, 1967.

Hamas, which actually regards Jordan as part of historic Palestine, will do everything possible to derail talks between Jerusalem and Amman on the future disposition of the West Bank lands.


Muslim American Society declares victory

Muslim American Society declares victory

Patrick Poole
Following up on yesterday’s entry, “Jihad-by-lawsuit fails in Boston“, it is interesting to note the response by the Boston chapter of the Muslim American Society, which has claimed victory in the wake of the lawsuit’s withdrawal, even though the dismissal of this care represents a full retreat. (HT: Miss Kelly)

This declaration of victory is much like that of Sulieman in his failed siege of Vienna in 1529. After three weeks of assaulting the city with 250,000 troops, and the Viennese citizens’ successful defense under Nicholas von Salm with only a small band of 16,000 soldiers, Sulieman ordered the massacre of all the Christian captives his forces had taken on the march to Vienna, declared victory, and returned back to Istanbul with nothing to show for the effort.

The ISB and MAS-Boston can’t stand too many more of these “victories”.

Venezuelan Revolt

Venezuelan Revolt

A.M. Mora y Leon
Venezuela is on fire. Triggered by a media shutdown over the weekend, tens of thousands of students from virtually every university, ranging from trade schools to military colleges to the most prestigious universities, and now high schools, are protesting in the streets of Caracas. It’s Venezuela’s longest nonstop street strike since March 2004.
It doesn’t seem entirely peaceful this time. Most of the past ones were peaceful. This one is different. Sure, there were some agents provocateurs, but it looks like more than that. It’s street rage in spontaneous combustion. Over 100 kids, some hurling rocks and bottles, have been arrested, and others have been tear-gassed, and shot at with rubber and real bullets. As motorcycle cops swirl, the streets are becoming burning barricades, with many roadblocked by cops. Gangs of young men on the Chavista side bunch in alleys and doorways, as anti-Chavez others roam around menacingly. It makes downtown Caracas resemble a scene from Blade Runner.   Blogger Miguel, at the epicenter of it, says it took him eleven miles of weaving to get what’s normally three miles home from work yesterday.

Despite these conditions, the protests aren’t stopping. Cops are scattering kids with tear gas and those who are there say they just keep coming back in human waves. More ominous, the protests show no sign of burning out. They now have spread to outer cities like Valencia and Maracaibo.  A huge new protest is scheduled for Friday.
At issue is Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez’s arbitrary shutdown of the nationwide television network RCTV, which commands a 40% market share. It was not only big, the equivalent of CBS in the states, it was more popular. But unlike CBS, it was outspokenly anti-Chavez in its coverage, and unlike other Venezuelan TV stations, like Televen and Venevision, it refused to soften its coverage even under Chavista pressure. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Chavez’s rage at RCTV’s coverage is why he shut the station by pulling its permit. He did so by decree, because he could never do an act like that in a democracy where 80% of the public loves the station. 
No one saw this coming. In Caracas, observers are stunned at the youthful age of the kids in the streets, teenagers who can remember only Chavez as their president over the last eight years. Clearly, they haven’t been remade in his new socialist model at all, but are rejecting it intensely. But there is bafflement over the flaming street rage over this. After all, Chavez has already stolen everything that hasn’t been nailed down – oil companies, farms, hospitals, golf courses, apartment buildings by Marxist expropriation. This doesn’t even count what’s ripped off by corruption. Why the intensity of emotion on the shutdown of RCTV?
Protest signs give an important clue – most say ‘Freedom’ – not even press freedom, just plain freedom. Students feel that this expropriation is a theft of their freedom and they want it back. They recognize the simple principle that if even the biggest, richest critic of the regime can be destroyed by a vengeful dictator, what hope does a little individual voicing a mild criticism have to defend himself?  They also love the station, with its criticism of Chavismo appealing to some, and its soap operas and Wheel of Fortune show appealing to others. In other words, the station represents choice, as well as sort of a dual ownership of the enterprise, of TV producers and TV watchers. To take the shows away doesn’t just punish RCTV, it punishes the public which loves its product. And significantly, in a city with many poor people, television is the only entertainment they can afford. Now it’s gone.
Attitudes are changing very rapidly about Hugo Chavez, even in poor areas. People are despairing of ever getting their own way while Hugo Chavez is around. Meanwhile, the wildcat character of the strikes has a very different feel from the Gandhi and Martin Luther King peaceful protests as a means of effecting political change. They can, but only in a democracy. And Venezuelans are rapidly realizing they are not in a democracy.
The ruling Chavistas are in a panic. They do not know what to do. Chavez himself mocked the protestors Tuesday and implied they were CIA agents – but Venezuelans noticed that he spoke from the naval airport near Caracas, a place from where dictators are known to flee the country. Venezuelans wondered if he was really that scared because it was an odd location. Meanwhile, other Chavistas have bared their fangs at other TV stations, vowing to shut them – Globovision, the last Venezuelan dissident station, a very tiny one that takes subscriptions and commands only a 5% market share, and CNN, whose fearless Kitty Pilgrim and others have done award-worthy reporting exposing the reality of Chavez’s Venezuela for the past few years. Chavez has loudly cursed that reporting.
Venezuelans think that those stations will be shut soon. They don’t want any more coverage of the protests that are engulfing Caracas. In their minds, shutting the stations will make information much harder to get. But there’s too much momentum to really stop it – Caracas will just become a city of added tropical intrigue with people acting on rumors.
Even the most informed players in Caracas have absolutely no idea where this is going. It’s not like the other blowups in the past few years. The rage is out of control and the protestors already know that Chavez and his men will get very violent and it doesn’t seem to be deterring them. It probably won’t dislodge the dictatorship, so far as is known now, but one wonders if this is the beginning of the end for Hugo Chavez.

The Muddled Mess of Middle East Studies

The Muddled Mess of Middle East Studies

By Cinnamon Stillwell

What’s ailing contemporary Middle East studies? A symposium earlier this month at Stanford University provided a clue.

A paranoid fixation on imagined American and Israeli “empire”; the refusal to accept legitimate criticism; an insulated, elitist worldview; an inability to employ clear, jargon-free English; and a self-defeating hostility towards the West: these vices and more were made clear at “The State of Middle East Studies: Knowledge Production in an Age of Empire.
Professor of Iranian studies and comparative literature at Columbia University Hamid Dabashi captured the symposium’s theme by asserting that the “Middle East is under U.S./Israeli imperial domination” and that America is an “empire without hegemony,” engaged in a “monopolar imperial project.”
Yet no one defined this “empire” or “imperialism.” Nor did attendees learn what events in the Muslim world precipitated a more expansive U.S. foreign policy in the region after Sept. 11, 2001, or why Israel might have legitimate concerns about its bellicose neighbors.  
Only Nur Yalman, professor of social anthropology and Middle Eastern studies at Harvard University, made reference to Islamic terrorism. He also reported on the atmosphere of political unease in both Egypt and Turkey from whence he had just returned.
Also popular was equating criticism of Middle East studies with a U.S./Israeli/Jewish plot. Dabashi condemned Middle East scholar and critic Martin Kramer, calling his book, Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America, an agent of “U.S. and Israeli intelligence.” Yalman bemoaned a speech Kramer gave last year on the relatively stable geopolitical situation of Jews today, implying that such a condition represented a threat to Muslims. Dabashi denounced David Horowitz, Stanley Kurtz, Daniel Pipes, and Campus Watch for, as he put it, “helping Bush in his crusading war against Islamic terrorism.”
Dabashi also singled out Stanford’s Hoover Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, accusing them of acting, horror of horrors, in “the service of national security.” He was particularly aggrieved that with the ascendance of these think tanks, Middle East studies were no longer under the strict purview of the “academies.” He didn’t mention that higher education’s failure to adequately address the subject has been the cause of this evolution.  
The late Columbia University English and comparative literature professor Edward Said was the undisputed godfather of the day, with countless references to his theories on post-colonialism and Orientalism. Like Said, several speakers rejected what they saw as Western condescension and hostility towards the Muslim world. Yet it was they who seemed mired in antagonism. 
Discussion about the plight of women in the Muslim world was marred by anti-Western sentiment. Professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Minoo Moallem, dismissed such concerns as being part of an “imperialist narrative.”
University of Washington anthropology and law professor Arzoo Osanloo picked up on this theme by decrying “Western, paternalistic attitudes towards Muslim women.” Osanloo was concerned that “Islamic liberalism” would be “obscured by Western involvement,” particularly in Iran. 
Osanloo tried to focus on “Islamic feminism,” but her insistence that women had made great strides in post-Islamic revolution Iran through the use of Sharia law was a stretch. It didn’t help that she omitted any reference to the Iranian regimes’ current crackdown, including brutal beatings, on unveiled women and their arrest and detention of Haleh Esfandiari, the Iranian-American director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. 
Osanloo’s stated desire to “move beyond the binarism of East vs. West” was belied by an attitude of stubborn opposition to everything Western. There was no acknowledgement by any of the women present that Western culture has given them lives that would be the envy of their counterparts in the Middle East.
Similarly, the willful blindness of a group of scholars and students denouncing the West from their positions of power and privilege in the favored surroundings of Stanford University came across as utterly hypocritical.
Hamid Dabashi and Minoo Moallem’s reliance on academic jargon added to the esoteric nature of the proceedings. Schooled on a philosophical foundation of Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucoult, and the obsession with semantics over objective reality found therein, both speakers were largely incomprehensible.
Expressions such as “diasphoric cultural mediators,” “amphibian intellectuals,” “contextualization,” “performance of the self as its own other,” the “inability to handle the otherness of the other,” “Eurocentric partriarchy,” “imperialist masculinist,” “gendered Orientalism,” and the obscure statement, “regions are not facts but artifacts,” provide just a sampling.
It was excruciatingly boring at times, and the fact that they read straight from their own work only made it worse. The young man nodding off in his chair during Moallem’s talk was an indication that the audience may not have been entirely engaged.
Thankfully, the other speakers spoke in plain English and Yalman even stated at one point that he was “uneasy with the abstract nature of the conversation.”
Indeed, those concerned with the negative influence such academics may be having on future generations should be comforted by the very real possibility that their students rarely understand a word they’re saying.
Cinnamon Stillwell is Northern California Representative for Campus Watch. She can be reached at

Fitzgerald, Plame, CIA Director Hayden and Scooter Libby

Fitzgerald, Plame, CIA Director Hayden and Scooter


By Al Johnson

Like the shape-shifting T-1000 cyborg of Terminator 2, Patrick Fitzgerald’s claim that Valerie Plame was a covert agent, and that therefore Scooter Libby deserves a harsh sentence for supposedly outing her, not only won’t die a proper death due to lack of proof, it keeps mutating into new forms. Of all the curious behavior associated with the Libby case, that of the CIA’s director for the past one year, stands out for its puzzling obtuseness.

General Michael Hayden was sworn in as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on May 30, 2006.  Thus far, he has distinguished himself mainly by launching profane tirades in the direction of journalists who have incurred his wrath.  That may be about to change.

Among the documents that Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald filed in connection with the sentencing of Scooter Libby, VP Dick Cheney’s former Chief of Staff, was a lengthy PDF file which purports to support the contention that Valerie Plame Wilson was a “covert” employee of the CIA for purposes of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 (IIPA, 50 U.S.C. §§ 421-426 ). Of the 30 pages, all but three are a transcript of Plame’s testimony before Rep. Henry Waxman’s personal dog and pony show–the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  The remaining three pages, however, are entitled UNCLASSIFIED SUMMARY OF VALERIE WILSON’S CIA EMPLOYMENT AND COVER HISTORY and contain some fascinating material.

The Summary begins with three remarkable paragraphs:

On 1 January 2002, Valerie Wilson was working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations (DO). She was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) at CIA Headquarters, where she served as the Chief of a CPD component with responsibility for weapons proliferation issues related to Iraq.

While assigned to CPD, Ms. Wilson engaged in Temporary Duty (TDY) travel overseas on official business. She traveled at least seven times to more than ten countries. When traveling overseas, Ms. Wilson always traveled under a cover identity–sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias–but always using cover–whether official or non-official cover (NOC)–with no ostensible relationship to the CIA.

At the time of the initial unauthorized disclosure in the media of Ms. Wilson’s employment relationship with the CIA on 14 July 2003, Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.

Clearly Fitzgerald included this Summary in order to support his own contention in the Government’s Sentencing Memorandum, that

…it was clear from very early in the investigation that Ms. Wilson qualified under the relevant statute (Title 50, United States Code, Section 421) as a covert agent whose identity had been disclosed by public officials, including Mr. Libby, to the press.

Leave aside the fact that Fitzgerald now wants to sentence Libby as if Plame had been shown to be “covert” for purposes of the IIPA–without ever having presented any evidence for this very dubious assertion.  The fact is, if Fitzgerald had not been able to make that statement, that there was at least a possibility that Plame qualified or was covered by the provisions of the IIPA, it is questionable whether Fitzgerald’s investigation could have continued.  It’s unfortunate that the Summary is undated, so it’s not possible to determine whether it was an attachment to the CIA’s Referral Memo, which demanded an investigation of the supposed leak of Plame’s “covert” status.  Fitzgerald has, not surprisingly, adamantly refused to release the actual Referral Memo, and has instead played a sly “hide the ball” game when it comes to the issue of Plame and the IIPA–seeming to equate “covert” and “classified,” and so forth.

Be that as it may, Fitzgerald now cites the CIA’s statement that “Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States” as evidence that his investigation was conducted in the good faith belief that a possible violation of criminal law had occurred.  But let’s consider what those “affirmative measures” actually were. 

The portions of the Summary that follow the three cited paragraphs, above, contain no more than a listing of personnel actions affecting Plame.  Therefore, the “affirmative measures” that the CIA says it was taking “to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States” can only be those set out in the preceding paragraph:

When traveling overseas, Ms. Wilson always traveled under a cover identity–sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias–but always using cover–whether official or non-official cover (NOC)–with no ostensible relationship to the CIA.

In other words, this Summary states that “covert” CIA operatives, like Plame, travel on duty overseas using, at times, their true names, and they also utilize “official cover” during such travel, that is, they travel as officials of the US Government.   Just how “covert” can this really be?  Are we to suppose that foreign intelligence services don’t keep tabs on US travelers — especially those traveling as officials of the US government —  and don’t try to establish a profile for “covert” operatives?  Such a scenario is no longer implausible, given the highly sophisticated nature of modern data tracking and mining technology.

Now, this information amounts to a revelation of CIA intelligence “tradecraft,” albeit a revelation that is neither calculated to impress intelligence professionals nor to reassure those who are concerned that our intelligence agencies are not up to snuff.  Nevertheless, this revelation of tradecraft occurred on General Hayden’s watch.  Ask yourself, would it be helpful to foreign intelligence services or terror organizations to know that the CIA uses “official cover” for its “covert” operatives and allows them to travel overseas under true name?  If you think that the answer to that question is “yes,” you might also want to ask: how dumb is it to reveal this “tradecraft” to the world, as Fitzgerald has done?  For an answer to that question I refer you to General Hayden–but be prepared for a profane tirade.

But there’s good and bad news in all of this.  The good news is this: there’s no need to worry.  The fact of the matter is that, contrary to what the Summary states, Plame wasn’t really “covert” for purposes of the IIPA when she was working at the CPD, nor was the CIA taking any particular measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.  That was just a story they made up to help Fitzgerald nail a high level neocon–so there’s hope that the CIA’s “tradecraft” isn’t that bad.  As Andrea Mitchell stated, “everyone” knew that Plame was CIA.  And there’s more.  Victoria Toensing is the attorney who drafted the IIPA.  She, too, testified before Waxman’s committee, and she had handy the Senate Report on the IIPA, that spelled out what the Act was intended to cover.  Referring to page 16 of the Senate Report Toensing stated (under oath): “Notably, the legislation limited coverage of U.S. citizen informants or sources (agents) also to situations where they “reside and act outside the United States.”  Toensing then quoted Joe Wilson’s (self) absorbing autobiography to show that Plame had returned to the US in 1997 and had never “resided and acted” overseas again.

So, what’s the bad news?  Well, the bad news is that some one is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.  If this information is so readily available, count on it, Fitzgerald and the CIA lawyers all knew it, too.  But they don’t want you to know that there are people out there–people with real power and influence who are sworn to do justice and uphold the law–who are willing to frame a political opponent and send him to jail.  That’s really bad news.

 MSNBC has run an article entitled “Plame was ‘covert’ agent at time of name leak” that can only be termed fatuous.  The author, Joel Seidman, accepts without question the CIA’s bald assertion that “Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for who the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.”  Worse, he even quotes the key sentence from the Summary that states that, when overseas, Plame traveled undercover, “sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias — but always using cover — whether official or non-official (NOC) — with no ostensible relationship to the CIA,” and again raises no questions at all.

Intelligence services go to great lengths to establish plausible “covert” identities for especially sensitive operatives.  Traveling in true name, an identity that can easily be traced and verified by a hostile or merely curious intelligence service, defeats the whole rationale behind a “covert” identity–by definition it is not covert.  For a covert operative, as Plame supposedly was, to travel on official business in true name was to simply blow any pretense at maintaining a “covert” identity.  If anything worse was the fact that she traveled under “official cover.”  Are we really supposed to believe that foreign intelligence services fail to do something so basic as tracking the identities and careers of US Government employees, especially those who travel overseas?  Plame’s lack of a plausible career history would quickly become apparent if subjected to even routine scrutiny.

No, the CIA’s contention that Plame was covert for the very specialized purposes of the IIPA (see Toensing’s words above) is a bad joke–but one they’re trying to use to frame Scooter Libby.
Al Johnson is a retired attorney.

Fitzgerald: This is Islam. You can’t get out.

Fitzgerald: This is Islam. You can’t get out.

During the Cold War Russian dissidents would say to visiting foreigners:

“Yes, the Soviet Union is indeed vast. You can go 3,000 miles up and down, and 6,000 miles across. But what happens when you come to the end of those 3,000 miles down? Or those 6,000 miles across? You still can’t get out. You still are stuck.”

That is Islam. You can’t get out. You are not allowed the mental freedom to leave. If Islam did not promote the habit of mental submission, severe limits on artistic expression, hatred of, and war-making upon Infidels, the deliberate infliction of a state of permanent humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity on Infidels, if it did none of those awful things, but only — only — prevented those born into Islam from leaving Islam, that alone would entitle us to see it as a totalitarian and cruel belief-system, and to regard it with permanent wariness and worry.

Continue reading “Fitzgerald: This is Islam. You can’t get out.”

Fitzgerald: This is Islam. You can’t get out.

Fitzgerald: This is Islam. You can’t get out.

During the Cold War Russian dissidents would say to visiting foreigners:

“Yes, the Soviet Union is indeed vast. You can go 3,000 miles up and down, and 6,000 miles across. But what happens when you come to the end of those 3,000 miles down? Or those 6,000 miles across? You still can’t get out. You still are stuck.”

That is Islam. You can’t get out. You are not allowed the mental freedom to leave. If Islam did not promote the habit of mental submission, severe limits on artistic expression, hatred of, and war-making upon Infidels, the deliberate infliction of a state of permanent humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity on Infidels, if it did none of those awful things, but only — only — prevented those born into Islam from leaving Islam, that alone would entitle us to see it as a totalitarian and cruel belief-system, and to regard it with permanent wariness and worry.

Continue reading “Fitzgerald: This is Islam. You can’t get out.”

Yes, This is Amnesty

Yes, This is Amnesty
By Bill Steigerwald | May 30, 2007

Heather Mac Donald, a journalist and fellow at the Manhattan Institute, can count immigration policy among her many areas of expertise. A contributing editor to the think tank’s quarterly magazine City Journal and frequent contributor to important places like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, she also focuses on things like homeland security, policing and “racial” profiling, homelessness, education policy and business improvement districts. As details of the immigration reform bill were being fought over in the Senate, I talked to Mac Donald by telephone on Thursday from her home in New York City:

Q: What’s good about the Senate immigration bill?
A: I think the idea of moving our immigration system to reward people who bring skills that this country needs and who will improve its economy and its level of education is a very positive step. I have read that the mechanisms of moving in that direction are rather arcane and not at all reliable — and that it will take perhaps eight years before in fact the system is changed at all from its current family-based rationale — but I think that is a very useful idea. I think trying to move toward a greater ability to check worker eligibility is also a good idea.

Q: Is there a worst part of this bill that you would point to?
A: The worst part is the overnight amnesty for the 12 million illegals who are here. They merely need to apply and show that they’ve been in the country before Jan. 1 and provide some effort at proving they are currently working and the government has 24 hours to decide whether they are not eligible by virtue of a criminal background check. I think that is one of the most automatic amnesties that has been proposed in the whole series of so-called reform bills. I think to send the message to the world that, as usual, we are not serious about our immigration laws, and that they don’t mean anything — that if you can get into the country you can expect an amnesty — will make the idea that we have meaningful borders completely a joke.

Q: What is a sound-bite synopsis of your position on immigration?
A: I think immigration should be to benefit America. It’s not a favor that we owe the rest of the world and we should craft immigration policies in ways that will improve our national competitiveness. That means bringing in people who have skills that will help the economy.
I’m also concerned with Hispanic immigrants. In the second and third generation, a significant portion of the children of recent Hispanic immigrants — who are virtually all illegal but their children are legal — are getting sucked up into underclass culture. You have the highest dropout rate in the country among Hispanics, the highest teen-pregnancy rate in the country among Hispanics and an out-of-wedlock birth rate that is 50 percent. These are all markers of future social pathology, so I think we are creating family breakdown and all of the problems that surely follow in the train of that.

Q: If you had to craft a smart, sensible immigration bill, what would it look like?
A: I think the point system is a good one. Currently, priority is given to legal immigrants who are family members of people who are already here, so they can bring in their extended families (chain migration). This bill would shift the emphasis — after it takes eight years to churn through all the waiting list of the family chain migration — to give points to people who have higher levels of education than the usual immigrants or have skills that are in demand here. This is a system that other countries have used.

Q: What else should a good immigration policy have in it?
A: It should have both the means and the will to enforce the laws that are on the books. Currently, it is illegal to hire an illegal alien. But the chance of any given employer or any given illegal alien actually being penalized for that law-breaking is close to zero — even though the Bush administration has recently increased its enforcement to a certain extent. So I think we need a mechanism for ensuring that employers really are following the law. That will reduce the “jobs magnet” that does bring a lot of illegal aliens here.

Q: What about the “welfare magnet”? Does it bring as many people here as we think it does?
A: You definitely see “border babies.” You see women crossing the border to deliver children here, both to get the medical services for free and also to confer automatic American citizenship on their children. The reason why a lot of people want to bring their parents here is not just family ties but also the availability of Medicaid for the parents. But even if people are coming for jobs, when you have a very low-skilled population whose children — if they are born here — are automatically eligible for welfare, you have high, high welfare use among the low-skilled immigrant population. It’s because their kids are getting everything — they’re getting traditional welfare, food stamps; the parents qualify for Medicaid, which has gone way up among immigrants over the last decade. So whether or not they are coming for the welfare, they are certainly receiving it at very large rates.

Q: What makes you think that the federal government and the wonderful politicians in charge of it will ever come up with a solution to the immigration problem that will work?
A: Well, I would say it depends on how you define the problem and how you define what will work. But right now we still do have the notion of national sovereignty. We haven’t embraced the idea that this country does not have a right to determine who comes in and who doesn’t. Most Americans still believe in the concept of borders. We saw that skepticism about the ability of law enforcement to enforce the law with crime up through the 1990s, where it was assumed that the police can’t control crime — until somebody like Mayor Giuliani said, “We’re actually going to enforce the law and we are going to have an effect on crime.” He destroyed the received wisdom among criminologists. Up till now there has literally been no will to enforce immigration laws. We’ve never tried. I’d like to see us try, and then if we decide it’s still impossible, well, maybe that’s the case. But right now I would say that based on the analogy with the policing, it is something that is possible.

Q: Is there no way to use more market incentives and fewer fences and border agents to create a system that will allow people to cross and re-cross the border more easily, and return more easily, the way Mick Jagger does when he comes to work here?
A: I’m not necessarily against guest-worker programs, although if we don’t have the will to enforce the law against people who were here illegally from Day One, I’m not convinced we’ll ever ask them to leave if they overstay their visa. The reason it’s a concern is what people are seeing in their communities and the fact that the bulk of low-income Hispanics who are coming here, their kids are getting sucked into gang cultures. So even if you have an easier revolving door, if they stay, a significant portion of that population is going to be contributing over time to additional welfare costs. Single mothers are poor. You have 50 percent of all Hispanic children now being raised by single mothers. This is a big, big problem. The biggest population growth in this country is coming from Hispanics, and the Hispanic out-of-wedlock birth rate is growing, unlike that for blacks.

So this is not a good recipe for social cohesion, for strong bourgeois values. That’s why even if you had some sort of market mechanism, we might want to rethink the mix of immigrants who are coming through. If everyone met the profile of Indians or Asians that are coming with high educational aspirations, with their children working like crazy to get into the Ivy Leagues, that is obviously a benefit. With Hispanics, it is a higher dropout rate than for blacks, which is saying a lot; about 50 percent of Hispanic kids graduate from high school.

Q: How many of the 12 million illegals are actually a problem — whether because they are a drain on taxpayers because they are consuming welfare services or because they are criminals?
A: Well, The Wall Street Journal reported that DHS (Department of Homeland Security) estimates that possibly up to 20 percent of illegals wouldn’t qualify for amnesty because of criminal backgrounds. That is a huge, huge, huge number. I’m frankly surprised it’s that high because the real crime problem happens between second and third generations. With Mexicans it goes up eight times. Gang involvement is highest in the second generation. But welfare use is just very large — 45 percent of households in 2005 headed by immigrants without a high school degree used at least one major welfare program. That includes all immigrants, but these days the immigrant flow is overwhelmingly Hispanic and overwhelmingly illegal and low-skilled. So there is a very high correlation between low-skilled immigrants and welfare use. In the future, if you have Hispanics having kids out of wedlock, that’s a recipe for poverty that leads to more welfare use. So they qualify for Medicaid — all illegals qualify for Medicaid under most states. So that’s huge. Medicaid now is breaking state budgets.

Q: Do you think we’ll still be trying to fix immigration five years from now?
A: (Laughs.) That’s a great question. I’m really never in the business of making political predictions. I don’t follow the politics that closely. But I would say we will still be trying to fix it if we move in this direction, because amnesty is going to guarantee more illegals. Unless we put a marker in the sand now, I think we will.

300,000 Supporters of Suicide Attacks in America

300,000 Supporters of Suicide Attacks in America
By Robert Spencer | May 30, 2007

Some of the results of the Pew Research Center poll of Muslims in
America were startling: twenty-six percent of Muslims between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine affirmed that there could be justification in some (unspecified) circumstances for suicide bombing, and five percent of all the Muslims surveyed said that they had a favorable view of Al-Qaeda. Given the
Center’s estimate of 2.35 million Muslims in
America, and the total of thirteen percent that avowed a belief that suicide bombings could ever be justified, that’s over 300,000 supporters of suicide attacks. And 117,500 supporters of Al-Qaeda.

It is unfortunate that the
Center pollsters were not equipped with a follow-up question for those who expressed support for suicide bombing, asking them about the circumstances in which they would consider it justified, and whether they would ever consider it justified in the
United States. As columnist
Diana West has noted: “the fact that a significant young chunk of American Islam believes such violence has a place in society indicates something closer to the end of unfettered political opinion. It may signal the beginning of physical coercion as a factor in the American political process.” The pollsters might also have asked those who professed support for Al-Qaeda whether they were working or would be willing to work to further that organization’s goals in the United States – but perhaps that kind of question shades too far over into what law enforcement officials should be doing.


In any case, the implications of this poll are far-reaching. Yet virtually no one is dealing with those implications. The mainstream media generally reported the poll results as indicating that the overwhelming majority of Muslims rejected extremism and were comfortably assimilated into American society, without dealing in detail with those troubling minorities. Headlines in major newspapers included “Poll: Most Muslims seek to adopt American lifestyle”; “Poll: US Muslims Feel Post-9/11 Backlash Despite Moderate Outlook”; “Muslims assimilate better in U.S. than Europe, poll finds”; “U.S. Muslims more content, assimilated than those abroad”; and “Pew Study Sees Muslim Americans Assimilating.”


Meanwhile, two of the leading Islamic advocacy groups in the United States, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), shrugged off the unpleasant aspects of the poll and stressed its findings about how well assimilated Muslims were. Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR told MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson, “I don’t see a rise of religious extremism in the Muslim community….If you look at the totality of the survey results, the views of American Muslims more or less mirror the views of people of all faiths of
America.” He did not cite, however, any evidence for this mirroring – any survey, for example, of Christians or Jews indicating any significant percentages of support for, say, the Ku Klux Klan, or abortion clinic bombers. Terrorism expert Steven
Emerson, meanwhile, confronted Edina Lekovic of MPAC on CNBC’s Lawrence Kudlow show, reading an editorial in praise of Osama bin Laden published in the UCLA Muslim Students Association’s newspaper in 1999, while she was editor of the paper. Lekovic denied having been the editor of the paper at that time, but Emerson has made available a pdf of the paper’s masthead that lists her as editor. Kudlow had asked Lekovic what Muslims in America were doing to combat the jihadist views expressed by some in the poll, and she stated that they were doing a great deal, but offered no specifics – and the incident with Emerson damaged her credibility. In fact, neither the CAIR nor the MPAC website contains any announcement about any program or initiative of any kind designed to lessen support for suicide bombing and Al-Qaeda within the Muslim community in


And therein lies the problem. The mainstream media’s soothing reports about the poll not only misled the American public about the poll results; they also failed to call American Muslim advocacy groups to account for those results. The first question in every media analyst’s mind should have been, What do Muslim groups plan to do to combat the spread of the jihadist ideology of Islamic supremacism among Muslims in
America? Pointing out that most Muslims in
America eschew that ideology is not enough; what about the others? Almost six years after 9/11, no pressure is coming either from the mainstream media or law enforcement for Muslim groups in the
United States to institute comprehensive educational programs against jihadism in their mosques and schools. This poll, however, shows how much such programs are needed – as well as a national debate about how these groups should be regarded if they refuse or fail to implement such programs.


But instead, we are supposed to be reassured that those holding jihadist sentiments number only a few hundred thousand. The public discourse about Islamic jihad has been dominated by fantasy since 9/11 and before that, and if anything, the fog is thicker now than ever.


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Help Derail Barack Obama’s Walk for Change

Help Derail Barack Obama’s Walk for Change

Giving Political Credibility to Anti-Semites and Other Hate Mongers Must Carry a Heavy Price
by Bill Levinson

David Ploufe of sent the following in response to our e-mails questioning Barack Obama’s association with anti-Semites, racists, and hate organizations.

An army of Obama volunteers are getting ready to Walk for Change on June 9. These folks will go door-to-door, signing up new volunteers, raising money from supporters, and spreading Barack’s message of change in neighborhoods across the country. Local organizers have planned more than 1,000 walks in all 50 states.

If Barack Obama’s association with bigots and hate groups is not acceptable to you, here is how to derail his Walk for Change. First, print out the information shown below, and have it ready to hand to the Walk for Change volunteer on Saturday June 9. Then, when the volunteer comes to your door, be polite but firm.

Speaking of Barack Obama’s friend Al Sharpton, we E-mailed Mr. Sharpton last week about talk show host Jeff Rense conversing with the Ku Klux Klan’s David Duke about how Jews control everything, how the Talmud describes Jesus boiling in Hell, and worse. We have yet to see Sharpton demand that Rense’s show be cancelled for spreading actual hatred of Jews, as opposed to Don Imus’ inappropriate and bad-taste comments about “nappy headed hos.” We are not surprised because Al Sharpton is a phony, a fraud, and a lying hypocrite (which says a lot about Obama’s choice to pose arm in arm with him), as well as a racist, anti-Semite, and probably worse.

  • If you are CAUCASIAN, tell the Walk for Change volunteer that you doubt that Obama wants the vote of a “cracker” or “white interloper,” to use the terminology of Obama’s friend Al Sharpton. (The way Sharpton’s tongue is hanging out in the picture, he is probably having a fantasy about a burning white-owned store, preferably a Jewish one like Freddy’s Fashion Mart.)
  • If you are AFRICAN-AMERICAN, tell the volunteer that racists and bigots like Al Sharpton, the Klan’s David Duke, and the White Aryan Resistance’s Tom Metzger appeal universally to the absolute dregs of the societies they claim to represent. Since Obama appeared arm in arm with Al Sharpton, you are obviously not the kind of Black voter whose support he wants–namely, the kind of Black person who, if he or she was white, would be wearing a sheet and burning a cross.
  • If you are a JEW, add that you doubt that Obama wants any “bloodsucking Jews” or “diamond merchants” (again the terminology of Sharpton and his National Action Network) to support him, and that you are even more sure that he doesn’t want the votes of any “Christ Killers” (the implication made by Allan Houston, who hosted a fundraising reception for Obama).
  • If you are GAY or LESBIAN, add that you doubt that Obama wants any “Greek homos” (Sharpton’s words) to vote for him.

Be sympathetic, as the Walk for Change volunteers are probably well-meaning people who will be as appalled at the following information as anyone else. They have almost certainly not been informed of these things, or they would not be volunteering to help Obama. By the time you finish educating them, they are likely to break off their “Walk for Change” on the spot. The volunteer you discourage will NOT contact the remaining people on his or her list. If enough people do this, the June 9 Walk for Change event will be a disaster, which is what Obama deserves for giving credibility to racists, anti-Semites, and hate organizations.

  • If you are a CATHOLIC, add that you do not appreciate Obama appearing at events, noting that published an official “the Catholics are taking over America” cartoon of Pope Benedict waving a gavel in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.’s Action Forum also promoted vicious anti-Catholic hate speech, which received overwhelming approval from the other participants.Note to Hillary Clinton supporters; you can use this to pay Obama’s supporters back for the “1984″ ad, but be warned; your candidate also consorted with Al Sharpton and

    Now for the information (copy to Word, and print. 11 point Times New Roman will fit on two pages.)

    Dear Walk for Change Volunteer;

    Under no circumstances will I vote for Barack Obama in next year’s primary elections. If he is nonetheless nominated, I will work actively for his defeat. I cannot support an individual who consorts with, and thus lends credibility to, so many racists, anti-Semites, and hate organizations–and there is also Aesop’s adage about birds of a feather flocking together.

    1. Barack Obama accepted support from a $1000-a-head fundraiser that was hosted by Allen Houston. As reported by “Did Obama Pick the Wrong Playmates” (Daily Intelligencer), “Though Ward was the most criticized (he said Jews had Jesus’s “blood on their hands” and were “stubborn” during a pre-game Bible study), Houston supported Ward’s notion that Jews were responsible for Christ’s death by whipping out his Palm Pilot to find the relevant scripture (Matthew 26:67) and said: “Then they spit in Jesus’ face and hit him with their fists.” …Jen Psaki, an Obama spokeswoman, says the campaign has no plans to return or reject any of Houston’s contributions.” (While the two men in question claim their remarks were “taken out of context,” “Jews had Jesus’ blood on their hands” seems to be pretty straightforward.)
    2. Barack Obama attended a meeting of the National Action Network, where he posed arm in arm with the prominent racist and anti-Semite Al Sharpton. In 1995, the National Action Network, often led by Sharpton himself, marched around a Jewish-owned store in Harlem while chanting epithets like “white interlopers,” “bloodsucking Jews,” “cracker lovers,” and “Don’t give the Jew a dime.” Members of the group threatened to burn the store; a threat that one individual put into practice, with seven deaths resulting. Al Sharpton’s rhetoric also played a role in promoting the Crown Heights riots, in which a mob screaming “Kill the Jews” murdered Yankel Rosenbaum. Sharpton personally called fellow African-American David Dinkins a “cheap n***er whore turning tricks in City Hall” and referred to Socrates and other Greek philosophers as “Greek homos.” Sharpton’s followers also called a white rape victim (Central Park jogger) a whore while suggesting that her boyfriend did it. See also Tawana Brawley.
    3. Barack Obama’s spiritual guide, Jeremiah Wright, has made racist statements and has indicated hatred of Israel. As reported on the MSNBC Show with Tucker Carlson, “his rhetoric includes attacks against white people and against Israel. …This is quoting now the Reverend Wright: “The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years now. Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community and wake up Americans concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism.” He compares Israel to South Africa repeatedly. He attacks Israel as a racist state.”
    4. Barack Obama’s friends at knowingly and willfully sponsored anti-Semitic and especially anti-Israel hate speech at their Action Forum.* This includes statements that Jews deserved the Holocaust, the Talmud teaches Jews to hate non-Jews (a blood libel), and that Jews control all the media. This commentary, which received overwhelming approval by the Action Forum participants, was probably encouraged by official bulletins that promote Gush Shalom and Electronic Intifada while raising the “divided loyalties” smear of “Zionists.” Jews were, however, far from the only targets of the hate speech. MoveOn’s Action Forum denounced Catholics as “pedophiles” who are “raping your children,” while MoveOn published a “the Catholics are taking over America” cartoon that depicted Pope Benedict waving a gavel in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Hatred was also directed at evangelical Christians and even at African-Americans, and numerous conspiracy theories accused the U.S. Government of perpetrating 9/11.
    5. Barack Obama’s financial sponsor George Soros has called the United States “a danger to world peace” that needs “de-Nazification,” while blaming Israel for causing anti-Semitism. I don’t know what Soros expects to get for his money if Obama becomes President, but I do not want to risk finding out.
    6. Barack Obama signed a fundraising letter for, whose purpose was to support the reelection of Senator Robert Byrd (KKK-WV). Byrd, a former Ku Klux Klansman and Kleagle, has made numerous racist statements that include calling Black people “race mongrels” and “throwbacks to the blackest specimens of the wild.” Byrd’s own mentor was the notorious segregationist Theodore Bilbo, the subject of “Listen, Mr. Bilbo (Mr. Bigot)” by Peter, Paul and Mary.

    * It has been proven that was exercising editorial control over the Action Forum, specifically by censoring commentary with which it did not agree while allowing the hate speech to stand. This makes responsible for the hate speech itself. The FAQ page for the Action Forum adds that the moderators read each item twice, so MoveOn was fully aware of the situation.

  • Posted by Bill Levinson @ 5:11 pm |