He isn’t a Muslim, but he just might be a Dhimwit.

Obama and Islamic Jihad

By Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | 7/16/2008

On Sunday CNN aired an interview Barack Obama recently gave to Fareed Zakaria, in which the candidate expressed the opinion that Islamic jihad is a result of U.S. foreign policy failure. This is, of course, an assumption that he shares with virtually everyone of any influence in both parties. It is conventional wisdom that the United States, or the West in general, can make the global jihad problem go away by doing something that is not being done now, or by stopping doing something else. The possibility that the jihad might have arisen not as a reaction to actions of America and the West — and cannot be ended by our actions, either, with the possible exception of overwhelming military and cultural force — never seems to occur to anyone.

Zakaria asked Obama: “Do you believe, when looking at the world today, that Islamic extremism is the transcendent challenge of the 21st century?” In reply Obama spoke of “terrorism and groups that are resisting modernity,” as if Islamic jihadists were Amish with AK-47s, and avowed that “the fact that they can be driven into extremist ideologies, is one of the severe threats that we face.”

How can such people be driven into extremist ideologies? Obama explained that when he was a child Indonesia, “Indonesia was never the same culture as the Arab Middle East. The brand of Islam was always different.” And “around the world,” he said, “there was not the sense that Islam was inherently opposed to the West, or inherently opposed to modern life, or inherently opposed to universal traditions like rule of law.”

Of course, the problem in the world today is not an opposition of “Islam” to the “rule of law.” It is the resurgence of the Islamic supremacist ideology that has led to a global attempt to replace non-Muslim legal systems with Islamic sharia law — an attempt that is making great headway in Europe and is also going on in the United States, both by violence and by stealth.

In any case, Obama went on to say that Indonesia had changed since he had lived there: “And now in Indonesia, you see some of those extremist elements. And what’s interesting is, you can see some correlation between the economic crash during the Asian financial crisis, where about a third of Indonesia’s GDP was wiped out, and the acceleration of these Islamic extremist forces.”

In other words, poverty causes Islamic jihad. This is an extremely widespread view, although it has been debunked many times. Fortune magazine, for example, reported in March 2007 that “of the 50 poorest countries in the world…only Afghanistan (and perhaps Bangladesh and Yemen) has much experience in terrorism, global or domestic.” The 9/11 hijackers were “middle-class sons of Saudi Arabia and many were well-educated. And Osama bin Laden himself is from one of the richest families in the Middle East.” Fortune noted that a 2003 study of Palestinian terrorism found “higher-status respondents (merchant, farmer or professional)” were significantly more likely than “those lower down the ladder (laborer, craftsman or employee)” to agree that there were “circumstances under which you would justify the use of terrorism to achieve political goals.” And Harvard professor Albert Abadie studied 1,776 terrorist incidents, only to find no connection between poverty and terrorism: “When you look at the data” to find such a connection, he said, “it’s not there.”

And indeed, Obama himself was not ready to blame jihad solely on poverty: “It isn’t to say that there is a direct correlation.” He said it was also the West’s fault: “But what is absolutely true is that there has been a shift in Islam that I believe is connected to the failures of governments and the failures of the West to work with many of these countries, in order to make sure that opportunities are there, that there’s bottom-up economic growth.”

So according to Obama, the “shift in Islam” doesn’t have anything to do — or anything significant to do — with imperatives within Islam itself, or with changes in conditions in the Islamic world that have allowed for a resurgence of the jihad ideology. That resurgence is all because of the “failures of the West to work with many of these countries” — although we are pouring billions into Egypt and Pakistan and they are still hotbeds of jihadist sentiment.

Obama made a recommendation: “But what we also want to do is to shrink the pool of potential recruits. And that involves engaging the Islamic world rather than vilifying it, and making sure that we understand that not only are those in Islam who would resort to violence a tiny fraction of the Islamic world, but that also, the Islamic world itself is diverse.”

Wouldn’t it also be useful to understand that there is an expansionist and supremacist imperative shared by all orthodox sects and schools of Islam, and that some Muslims will most likely continue to act upon that imperative no matter how much we demonstrate our understanding of Islamic diversity?

Although he continues to campaign under a mantra of “change,” so far Obama is offering more of the same in a field – that of our response to the global jihad – where genuine, informed and careful change is needed more than ever.


Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of seven books, eight monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His next book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is coming this November from Regnery Publishing.

Educating the ignorant Kumbaya candidate

Hussein Suddenly Removes All Criticism Of The Surge From His Website

The Sheen is off Obama Candidacy

The Sheen is off Obama Candidacy

Rick Moran
Is it possible that Obama’s recent spate of flip flops has so damaged his reputation as a man of principle that the voters now see him as something less than a savior of America?

If this New York Times poll is to be believed, that is exactly the case. By a 51-43 margin, voters now believe Obama says what people want to hear rather than what he thinks. Another question, asking whether Obama’s positions have changed since he wrapped up the nomination show a 53-32 agreement. The wool has been pulled from people’s eyes and Obama is now seen as, if not just another politician, certainly in somewhat more human terms.

Jonah Goldberg calls this “Damage to the Brand.” Indeed, one Democrat he talked to said”If McCain can turn him into a politician, Obama has lost his advantage.”  Losing that advantage would mean less money in fundraising as well as less enthusiasm.

Goldberg points to the FISA fiasco where Obama promised to filibuster telecom immunity and then did a 180 degree about face and refused. This angered the far left netroots who are convinced the NSA has a mike hidden under their bed and want to soak the huge telecoms for the trial lawyers. Goldberg mentions there is a real possibility that a lot of those smaller donations may dry up as a result of Obama’s inconstancy on the FISA issue.

In fact, here we are in the middle of July and Obama has yet to release his FEC fundraising numbers from June. In the past when he was setting records, the campaign released them the moment they became official. But the fact that he has kept them quiet means they are waiting for a time when other news will overwhelm their release – probably because they are way down.

If those polls are even close to being right, McCain’s chances just got a little better.

Obama and Europe: the same moral arrogance — and ignorance

Obama and Europe: the same moral arrogance —

and ignorance

James Lewis
Obama won’t debate John McCain in free-form Townhall settings, so he is jetting off to Europe, where millions of liberal suckers will fall down, kiss the ground, and worship him. He figures he deserves it. 

Senator Obama should be running for President of Europe, not America, because Europe and Obama deserve each other. They share exactly the same attitude of moral arrogance and ignorance about reality. 

 

Obama can loftily dismiss genocidal Iran as a “tiny country” that poses no threat to anybody. That was when he was lying to his own troops on the Left. Today Obama is talking more sense about Iran, but still not nearly enough to match the reality of the threat. Those deliberate, cynical, arrogant lies are typical of Europe’s tenured Ruling Class — socialists to a man and woman, amazingly arrogant, and completely helpless in the face of real danger.   Europe’s rulers have rejected tough choices, so  when Slobodan Milosevic was committing daily genocide and mass rape in the Balkans, our moral superiors in Europe called on Bill Clinton to bomb the Serbs, and Good Ole’ Bill obliged his friends.  Europe didn’t want to get its hands all dirty.

Yesterday, Balkan genocide and Saddam; today, Robert Mugabe and the jihadicide in the Sudan. It’s all the same. Europe wrings its hands when real people get killed and tortured and blames George W. Bush. Sound familiar?

 

Liberal Europe suffers from an abysmal case of moral and physical cowardice, as German publisher Matthias Doepfner and writer Henryk Broder  said so eloquently three years ago in the newspaper Die Welt. Broder wrote:

 

“Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam’s torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush… Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food program.”
…  “We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat (Tony) Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against Democracy.” …
“In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society’s values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.”
“On the contrary – we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those “arrogant Americans”, as the World Champions of “tolerance” … Why? Because we’re so moral? I fear it’s more because we’re so materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass.”

 

Arrogance. And ignorance.

 

Where have have seen that before? How about among our very own Democrats, and their most liberal Senator Barack Obama?

 

Keep that in mind, as Obama does his triumphal tour of sophisticated Europe, and our newspapers fall all over themselves congratulating him.

 

And keep your air sickness bag handy.

 

James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.com

Bovine emissions 23 times more damaging than CO2

Bovine emissions 23 times more damaging than

CO2

Danny Huddleston
It appears that our efforts to control C02 emissions may be misguided, as the real culprit in global warming could be cows. The UK’s Daily mail has the story.

Argentine scientists are taking a novel approach to studying global warming – strapping plastic tanks to the backs of cows to collect their burps and farts.

Researchers say the slow digestive system of cows makes them a producer of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that gets far less public attention than carbon dioxide in efforts to fight global warming.
[…]

Berra said the researchers ‘never thought’ a cow weighing 550 kg (1,210 lb) could produce 800 to 1,000 litres (28 to 35 cubic feet) of emissions each day.

At least 10 cows are being studied, Berra said, including some in a corral whose burps are collected in yellow balloons hanging from the roof.

Greenhouse gases are widely blamed for causing global warming. Methane, researchers say, is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere and can be found in animal waste, landfills, coal mines and leaking natural gas pipes.

Not to worry, the scientists are working on a new diet for the cows which should reduce emissions by 25%.

Be sure and check out the pictures in the article, the cows look very stylish with the big pink plastic tanks on their backs.

I would file this story the same place you filed the one where Sheryl Crow proposes that everyone use only one square of tissue in the bathroom.

Global Warming: The Courage To Do Nothing

Global Warming: The Courage To Do Nothing

Randall Hoven
Is the scientific debate over on global warming?  Not according to the American Physical Society* in this year’s July’s issue of Physics and Society .

“With this issue of Physics & Society, we kick off a debate concerning one of the main conclusions of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body which, together with Al Gore, recently won the Nobel Prize for its work concerning climate change research. There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.  Since the correctness or fallacy of that conclusion has immense implications for public policy and for the future of the biosphere, we thought it appropriate to present a debate within the pages of P&S concerning that conclusion.  This editor invited several people to contribute articles that were either pro or con.  Christopher Monckton responded …”  [Emphasis added.]

 

And what did Lord Monckton say?

 

“Some reasons why the IPCC’s estimates may be excessive and unsafe are explained.  More importantly, the conclusion is that, perhaps, there is no “climate crisis”, and that currently-fashionable efforts by governments to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions are pointless, may be ill-conceived, and could even be harmful.”

 

He examined specific assumptions of the IPCC cited computer models and found that, even using the same models but with more justifiable assumptions, carbon dioxide is not a critical threat to global temperatures.

 

“Theoretically, empirically, and in the literature that we have extensively cited, each of the values we have chosen as our central estimate is arguably more justifiable – and is certainly no less justifiable – than the substantially higher value selected by the IPCC. Accordingly, it is very likely that in response to a doubling of pre-industrial carbon dioxide concentration TS will rise not by the 3.26 °K suggested by the IPCC, but by <1 °K.”

 

He concluded with

 

“If the concluding equation in this analysis is correct, the IPCC’s estimates of climate sensitivity must have been very much exaggerated.  There may, therefore, be a good reason why, contrary to the projections of the models on which the IPCC relies, temperatures have not risen for a decade and have been falling since the phase-transition in global temperature trends that occurred in late 2001.  Perhaps real-world climate sensitivity is very much below the IPCC’s estimates. Perhaps, therefore, there is no “climate crisis” at all. At present, then, in policy terms there is no case for doing anything. The correct policy approach to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing.”  [Emphasis added.]

 

*According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Physical_Society, the American Physical Society was founded in 1899 and is the second largest association of physicists in the world, with over 40,000 members.

Obama and Islamic Jihad

Obama and Islamic Jihad

By Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | 7/16/2008

On Sunday CNN aired an interview Barack Obama recently gave to Fareed Zakaria, in which the candidate expressed the opinion that Islamic jihad is a result of U.S. foreign policy failure. This is, of course, an assumption that he shares with virtually everyone of any influence in both parties. It is conventional wisdom that the United States, or the West in general, can make the global jihad problem go away by doing something that is not being done now, or by stopping doing something else. The possibility that the jihad might have arisen not as a reaction to actions of America and the West — and cannot be ended by our actions, either, with the possible exception of overwhelming military and cultural force — never seems to occur to anyone.

Zakaria asked Obama: “Do you believe, when looking at the world today, that Islamic extremism is the transcendent challenge of the 21st century?” In reply Obama spoke of “terrorism and groups that are resisting modernity,” as if Islamic jihadists were Amish with AK-47s, and avowed that “the fact that they can be driven into extremist ideologies, is one of the severe threats that we face.”

How can such people be driven into extremist ideologies? Obama explained that when he was a child Indonesia, “Indonesia was never the same culture as the Arab Middle East. The brand of Islam was always different.” And “around the world,” he said, “there was not the sense that Islam was inherently opposed to the West, or inherently opposed to modern life, or inherently opposed to universal traditions like rule of law.”

Of course, the problem in the world today is not an opposition of “Islam” to the “rule of law.” It is the resurgence of the Islamic supremacist ideology that has led to a global attempt to replace non-Muslim legal systems with Islamic sharia law — an attempt that is making great headway in Europe and is also going on in the United States, both by violence and by stealth.

In any case, Obama went on to say that Indonesia had changed since he had lived there: “And now in Indonesia, you see some of those extremist elements. And what’s interesting is, you can see some correlation between the economic crash during the Asian financial crisis, where about a third of Indonesia’s GDP was wiped out, and the acceleration of these Islamic extremist forces.”

In other words, poverty causes Islamic jihad. This is an extremely widespread view, although it has been debunked many times. Fortune magazine, for example, reported in March 2007 that “of the 50 poorest countries in the world…only Afghanistan (and perhaps Bangladesh and Yemen) has much experience in terrorism, global or domestic.” The 9/11 hijackers were “middle-class sons of Saudi Arabia and many were well-educated. And Osama bin Laden himself is from one of the richest families in the Middle East.” Fortune noted that a 2003 study of Palestinian terrorism found “higher-status respondents (merchant, farmer or professional)” were significantly more likely than “those lower down the ladder (laborer, craftsman or employee)” to agree that there were “circumstances under which you would justify the use of terrorism to achieve political goals.” And Harvard professor Albert Abadie studied 1,776 terrorist incidents, only to find no connection between poverty and terrorism: “When you look at the data” to find such a connection, he said, “it’s not there.”

And indeed, Obama himself was not ready to blame jihad solely on poverty: “It isn’t to say that there is a direct correlation.” He said it was also the West’s fault: “But what is absolutely true is that there has been a shift in Islam that I believe is connected to the failures of governments and the failures of the West to work with many of these countries, in order to make sure that opportunities are there, that there’s bottom-up economic growth.”

So according to Obama, the “shift in Islam” doesn’t have anything to do — or anything significant to do — with imperatives within Islam itself, or with changes in conditions in the Islamic world that have allowed for a resurgence of the jihad ideology. That resurgence is all because of the “failures of the West to work with many of these countries” — although we are pouring billions into Egypt and Pakistan and they are still hotbeds of jihadist sentiment.

Obama made a recommendation: “But what we also want to do is to shrink the pool of potential recruits. And that involves engaging the Islamic world rather than vilifying it, and making sure that we understand that not only are those in Islam who would resort to violence a tiny fraction of the Islamic world, but that also, the Islamic world itself is diverse.”

Wouldn’t it also be useful to understand that there is an expansionist and supremacist imperative shared by all orthodox sects and schools of Islam, and that some Muslims will most likely continue to act upon that imperative no matter how much we demonstrate our understanding of Islamic diversity?

Although he continues to campaign under a mantra of “change,” so far Obama is offering more of the same in a field – that of our response to the global jihad – where genuine, informed and careful change is needed more than ever.


Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of seven books, eight monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His next book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is coming this November from Regnery Publishing.

Mexico: The Early Signs of a Failed State?

Mexico: The Early Signs of a Failed State?

By Congressman Tom Tancredo
FrontPageMagazine.com | 7/16/2008

Mexican law enforcement officials are walking into U.S. ports of entry in increasing numbers to seek political asylum, and the flow may soon become a flood as Mexico’s battle with the drug cartels intensifies. Our first instinct is to welcome them, but there is more at stake than humanitarian sentiments.

 

The problem is that if our immigration laws are stretched to grant asylum to law enforcement personnel on the grounds that their own government cannot protect them, any Mexican threatened by these violent criminal gangs can claim the same right of asylum.

 

U.S. immigration law does not easily accommodate these law enforcement cases because they are fleeing threats from organized crime – the Mexican drug cartels – not political persecution by their government. If our laws are stretched to accept thousands of refugees from drug cartel violence, it will only exacerbate Mexico’s problems.

 

We can sympathize with the Mexican police chief or prosecutor who lands on a cartel hit list because he will not play ball with them. The Mexican federal government seemingly cannot protect him and his family, so he flees to El Paso or Nogales and seeks asylum. The number of such asylum applications more than doubled in the first six months of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007, but very few have been approved. What will happen if we do not accept these asylum applications as a humanitarian gesture? What will happen if we do?

 

The rising number of asylum seekers from Mexican law enforcement and the professional classes is a new phenomenon, not merely another facet of our open borders fiasco. These people are not swimming the Rio Grande or sneaking across the Sonora desert. They are walking into our border ports of entry from Texas to California and asking for protection. We must respect them for following our laws and doing it the right way. But we must also ask some hard questions before throwing open our gates. Humanitarian concerns must be balanced against other considerations – because the fate of Mexico hangs in that balance.

 

What happens to Mexico if all the good cops flee to the U.S. or Europe and the only ones left are working hand-in-glove with the criminals? What are the consequences if all the honest judges and prosecutors flee and only dishonest ones are left in charge of the courts? What happens if honest businessmen find it easy to flee to San Diego, Houston or Phoenix and only those who will do the cartels’ money laundering are running the nation’s trucking companies, farms, and banks?

 

The unpleasant truth is that this new refugee problem is the sign of a deep crisis not in the Mexican economy but in the Mexican political system itself. Mexico exhibits mounting signs of a “failed state,” a political system that cannot satisfy the most basic conditions of civic order such as safety in one’s streets, home, school, and workplace. Failing states begin to hemorrhage people and their assets. The middle class begins to flee – doctors, lawyers, accountants, business owners, teachers, and of course, law enforcement officials, who are the first targets of criminal organizations.

 

These new “civic disorder refugees” are not like the millions of unemployed or underemployed who leave Mexico to a find a job and a better life. These middle class citizens have jobs – often good jobs by Mexican standards – but they do not have security for themselves or their families. They would much prefer to stay in Mexico but they cannot do so safely, so they flee.

 

If police chiefs and judges cannot be protected from the cartels, then how can ordinary citizens feel safe? If we open the gates to everyone who has a “credible fear” of the cartels, the Border Patrol will no longer have to worry only about people jumping the fence. Thousands will be waiting in line at one of over 300 ports of entry.

 

This new “emigration from fear” poses an urgent challenge for Mexico. If Mexico wants to win its battle against the drug cartels, it must begin by reforming its police and criminal justice systems so that honest cops, judges and mayors – and journalists – can do their jobs without undue fear of retaliation. To his credit, President Calderon has begun to tackle this problem.

 

Military operations against the cartel strongholds are probably necessary, but they can never be a substitute for a functioning criminal justice system. Mexican citizens must be able to trust the local police, and local police must be able to trust their government to protect them from gangster-terrorists.

 

The United States must not become an automatic escape valve for honest officials threatened by cartel violence. If that happens, Mexico will lose its most valued civil servants and become increasingly a militarized (and polarized) society.

 

Mexico is not yet a failed state, but if humanitarian sentiment and special interest pleadings in the U.S. block sound immigration policy – as happens all too often in American law and politics – we will hasten that tragic development.