April 12, 2010 | Ed Koch
I weep as I witness outrageous verbal attacks on Israel. What makes these verbal assaults and distortions all the more painful is that they are being orchestrated by President Obama.
For me, the situation today recalls what occurred in 70 AD when the Roman emperor Vespasian launched a military campaign against the Jewish nation and its ancient capital of Jerusalem. Ultimately, Masada, a rock plateau in the Judean desert became the last refuge of the Jewish people against the Roman onslaught. I have been to Jerusalem and Masada. From the top of Masada, you can still see the remains of the Roman fortifications and garrisons, and the stones and earth of the Roman siege ramp that was used to reach Masada. The Jews of Masada committed suicide rather than let themselves be taken captive by the Romans.
In Rome itself, I have seen the Arch of Titus with the sculpture showing enslaved Jews and the treasures of the Jewish Temple of Solomon with the Menorah, the symbol of the Jewish state, being carted away as booty during the sacking of Jerusalem.
Oh, you may say, that is a far fetched analogy. Please hear me out.
The most recent sacking of the old city of Jerusalem – its Jewish quarter – took place under the Jordanians in 1948 in the first war between the Jews and the Arabs, with at least five Muslim states – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq – seeking to destroy the Jewish state. At that time, Jordan conquered East Jerusalem and the West Bank and expelled every Jew living in the Jewish quarter of the old city, destroying every building, including the synagogues in the old quarter and expelling from every part of Judea and Samaria every Jew living there so that for the first time in thousands of years, the old walled city of Jerusalem and the adjacent West Bank were “Judenrein” — a term used by the Nazis to indicate the forced removal or murder of all Jews..
Jews had lived for centuries in Hebron, the city where Abraham, the first Jew, pitched his tent and where he now lies buried, it is believed, in a tomb with his wife, Sarah, as well as other ancient Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs. I have visited that tomb and at the time asked an Israeli soldier guarding it – so that it was open to all pilgrims, Christians, Muslims and Jews — “where is the seventh step leading to the tomb of Abraham and Sarah,” which was the furthest entry for Jews when the Muslims were the authority controlling the holy place? He replied, “When we retook and reunited the whole city of Jerusalem and conquered the West Bank in 1967, we removed the steps, so now everyone can enter,” whereas when Muslims were in charge of the tomb, no Jew could enter it. And I did.
I am not a religious person. I am comfortable in a synagogue, but generally attend only twice a year, on the high holidays. When I entered the tomb of Abraham and Sarah, as I recall, I felt connected with my past and the traditions of my people. One is a Jew first by birth and then by religion. Those who leave their religion, remain Jews forever by virtue of their birth. If they don’t think so, let them ask their neighbors, who will remind them. I recall the words of the columnist Robert Novak, who was for most of his life hostile to the Jewish state of Israel in an interview with a reporter stating that while he had converted to Catholicism, he was still a cultural Jew. I remain with pride a Jew both by religion and culture.
My support for the Jewish state has been long and steadfast. Never have I thought that I would leave the U.S. to go and live in Israel. My loyalty and love is first to the U.S. which has given me, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants, so much. But, I have also long been cognizant of the fact that every night when I went to sleep in peace and safety, there were Jewish communities around the world in danger. And there was one country, Israel, that would give them sanctuary and would send its soldiers to fight for them and deliver them from evil, as Israel did at Entebbe in 1976.
I weep today because my president, Barack Obama, in a few weeks has changed the relationship between the U.S. and Israel from that of closest of allies to one in which there is an absence of trust on both sides. The contrast between how the president and his administration deals with Israel and how it has decided to deal with the Karzai administration in Afghanistan is striking.
The Karzai administration, which operates a corrupt and opium-producing state, refuses to change its corrupt ways – the president’s own brother is believed by many to run the drug traffic taking place in Afghanistan – and shows the utmost contempt for the U.S. is being hailed by the Obama administration as an ally and publicly treated with dignity. Karzai recently even threatened to join the Taliban if we don’t stop making demands on him. Nevertheless, Karzai is receiving a gracious thank-you letter from President Obama. The New York Times of April 10th reported, “…that Mr. Obama had sent Mr. Karzai a thank-you note expressing gratitude to the Afghan leader for dinner in Kabul. ‘It was a respectful letter,’ General Jones said.”
On the other hand, our closest ally – the one with the special relationship with the U.S., has been demeaned and slandered, held responsible by the administration for our problems in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. The plan I suspect is to so weaken the resolve of the Jewish state and its leaders that it will be much easier to impose on Israel an American plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, leaving Israel’s needs for security and defensible borders in the lurch.
I believe President Obama’s policy is to create a whole new relationship with the Arab states of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, and Iraq as a counter to Iran – The Tyrannosaurus Rex of the Muslim world which we are now prepared to see in possession of a nuclear weapon. If throwing Israel under the bus is needed to accomplish this alliance, so be it.
I am shocked by the lack of outrage on the part of Israel’s most ardent supporters. The members of AIPAC, the chief pro-Israel lobbying organization in Washington, gave Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a standing ovation after she had carried out the instructions of President Obama and, in a 43-minute telephone call, angrily hectored Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Members of Congress in both the House and Senate have made pitifully weak statements against Obama’s mistreatment of Israel, if they made any at all. The Democratic members, in particular, are weak. They are simply afraid to criticize President Obama.
What bothers me most of all is the shameful silence and lack of action by community leaders – Jew and Christian. Where are they? If this were a civil rights matter, the Jews would be in the mall in Washington protesting with and on behalf of our fellow American citizens. I asked one prominent Jewish leader why no one is preparing a march on Washington similar to the one in 1963 at which I was present and Martin Luther King’s memorable speech was given? His reply was “Fifty people might come.” Remember the 1930s? Few stood up. They were silent. Remember the most insightful statement of one of our greatest teachers, Rabbi Hillel: “If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”
We have indeed stood up for everyone else. When will we stand up for our brothers and sisters living in the Jewish state of Israel?
If Obama is seeking to build a siege ramp around Israel, the Jews of modern Israel will not commit suicide. They are willing to negotiate a settlement with the Palestinians, but they will not allow themselves to be bullied into following self-destructive policies.
To those who call me an alarmist, I reply that I’ll be happy to apologize if I am proven wrong. But those who stand silently by and watch the Obama administration abandon Israel, to whom will they apologize?
FREE Iran Reports Unlawful Execution Of Horses In Iran By IslamistsTaazi Thug Regime Officials
NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN
A custom designed T-Shirt to support the organizing campaign. The T-Shirt says: “There is nothing “other” about us. Assert your identity by writing in ARAB”
Also, in certain parts of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, where new immigrant Arab communities have settled, having such Census data will help ensure that those areas have translators in vital settings like in hospitals to accommodate those in need.
They are doing it for Muslims, not for the government. Got that?
More misunderstanders of Islam. “We are not white, we are not black” — we are a new victimized minority (of 1.5 billion worldwide), and we’ve come to fleece America. Booty call.
A custom designed T-Shirt to support the organizing campaign.
ARABS ORGANIZE TO GET COUNTED IN THE CENSUS American Media hat tip Patti
SAN FRANCISCO — A coalition of Arab-American cultural organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area have launched a grassroots organizing campaign designed to send a clear message to Washington: that they, along with every other Arab in America, are in fact Arab, and not white.
At issue is the format of the 2010 Census form, which has boxes for more than a dozen different racial categories but no racial or ethnic category for people of Arab descent.
In response, community activists have launched a grassroots canvassing campaign to encourage Arabs living throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to complete the 2010 Census by checking the “other” box in Section 9 and write in “Arab.”
The drive was launched at an organizing meeting last Sunday that brought together representatives and volunteers from local Arab social service and cultural organizations.
Loubna Qutami, a coordinator with the Arab Cultural and Community Center (ACCC), one of the organizations behind the campaign, said for far too long, Arabs have been classified as “other,” “Caucasian,” or “white.”
“We don’t want to be subsumed under the category of white,” Qutami said. Arabs “don’t identify as white, and don’t identify as black either,” she added. “We’re still so misunderstood.”
“There is this idea that Arabs are refugees or new immigrants because we’re invisible,” she added. “There’s a distortion in our identity, that we’re camel riders, nomads, when in fact Yemenis were part of the labor movement with Cesar Chavez.”
Invisible? When? On what day of the week are they invisible?
Qutami said that there is also a “hyper visibility – that we’re terrorists, and that’s when people want to know we’re Arab,” she said. “We need to have a voice.”
She argued that the time is now for Arabs to mobilize as a community, and hopes that these efforts will lead to establishing an “Arab” box to check-off for the 2020 Census.
According to the 2000 Census, the number of Arabs living in the United States was 1.25 million, a figure that many involved in this initiative believe is inaccurate, since Arabs traditionally have larger families than other ethnic groups in the United States. The Arab American Institute estimates the national population to be more than 3.5 million. Community activists say both numbers are too low.
One reason for the undercount, Qutami said, is that without a box to check Arabs write in a variety of terms – for example, Middle-Eastern, Arab-American or Palestinian — on the Census questionnaire, and the numbers get stratified.
Another organizer, Lily Haskell, who is of Moroccan descent and is with the Arab Resource and Organizing Committee (AROC), echoed Qutami’s views.
Ramsey El-Qare, campaign volunteer reaching out to store owner Samaan Azar
and his wife, Ph: Suzanne Manneh She said only by identifying as Arab on the Census will legislators know how many Arabs are actually in their constituency. Also, in certain parts of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, where new immigrant Arab communities have settled, having such Census data will help ensure that those areas have translators in vital settings like in hospitals to accommodate those in need.
That is exactly why community organizers must canvass neighborhoods on foot to convey this to other Arabs, explained Rama Kased, a coordinator with the Arab Youth Organization (AYO).
Canvassing on Foot
“Canvassing is the oldest way of doing outreach— it was done before Facebook and texting,” Kased said, “this is how you can build off of what they are telling you, it’s really personal and the person feels like their voice counts.” That, she added, was how community organizers and volunteers can connect with and empower other Arabs.
Kased also said the canvassers are reassuring everyone by pointing out that, “we’re doing this for our own community, to unify our community; we’re not doing this for the government.”
They are doing it for Muslims, not for the government. Got that?
Similar efforts are also underway in Arab communities throughout the United States like Los Angeles, Detroit, and Chicago. Town hall meetings are being organized and Arab newspapers are writing short, “news you can use” articles that explain how to fill out the Census questionnaire.
Canvassers were wearing T-shirts depicting an Arab woman in a kuffiyeh and the U.S. Census form. They brought large posters that student artists designed, which outlined the need to complete the Census and write-in Arab. They hung them in business windows with each owner’s permission. They also supplied each business informational postcards in Arabic and English about how to fill out the Census, to leave on their counters, in addition to pamphlets outlining social and cultural services available to Arabs in the Bay Area.
Unfamiliar with the Census
Several business owners they encountered were unfamiliar with the Census or its importance, and said many Arabs have always felt left out of the process and kept uninformed.
Arabs, like Samaan Azar, a mini-market owner on 16th and Mission, was one of them. When Ramsey El-Qare and Homa Nader – campaign volunteers representing the ACCC – explained the Census to him, Azar was disappointed. Over the years, he said, he has always had to justify his racial and ethnic identity because there was never a place for him. Azar said he was eager to share the information with all of his other Arab friends and family in the United States.
“We need to be recognized for who we are,” he told the group of canvassers before him.
She said that one well-known restaurant owner who had been in the United States for nearly 30 years was not responsive at first. “But then I asked him if he would identify as ‘white,’ since we’re usually lumped in with ‘white,’ or ‘white-other,’” she said.
“‘No way, I am not white, we are not white, we are not anything except Arab, and if this is what we have to do, then I support it,'” she recounted.
Chapter Leader, Silicon Valley ACT! for America
Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil. Thomas Mann
To be removed from or added to the EducateUSA – Silicon Valley ACT! for America email list, contact Director@EducateUSA
HOW IMMIGRATION AND MULTICULURALISM DESTROYED DETROIT
By Frosty Wooldridge
October 5, 2009
For 15 years, from the mid 1970s to 1990, I worked in Detroit, Michigan. I watched it descend into the abyss of crime, debauchery, gun play, drugs, school truancy, car-jacking, gangs and human depravity. I watched entire city blocks burned out. I watched graffiti explode on buildings, cars, trucks, buses and school yards. Trash everywhere! Detroiters walked through it, tossed more into it and ignored it.
Tens of thousands and then, hundreds of thousands today exist on federal welfare, free housing and food stamps! With Aid to Dependent Children, minority women birthed eight to 10 and in once case, one woman birthed 24 kids as reported by the Detroit Free Press—all on American taxpayer dollarss. A new child meant a new car payment, new TV and whatever mom wanted. I saw Lyndon Baines Johnson’s “Great Society” flourish in Detroit. If you give money for doing nothing, you will get more hands out taking money for doing nothing.
Mayor Coleman Young, perhaps the most corrupt mayor in America, outside of Richard Daley in Chicago, rode Detroit down to its knees. He set the benchmark for cronyism, incompetence and arrogance. As a black man, he said, “I am the MFIC.” The IC meant ‘in charge’. You can figure out the rest. Detroit became a majority black city with 67 percent African-Americans.
As a United Van Lines truck driver for my summer job from teaching math and science, I loaded hundreds of American families into my van for a new life in another city or state. Detroit plummeted from 1.8 million citizens to 912,000 today. At the same time, legal and illegal immigrants converged on the city, so much so, that Muslims number over 300,000. Mexicans number 400,000 throughout Michigan, but most work in Detroit.
As the Muslims moved in, the whites moved out. As the crimes became more violent, the whites fled. Finally, unlawful Mexicans moved in at a torrid pace. You could cut the racial tension in the air with a knife! Detroit may be one our best examples of multiculturalism: pure dislike and total separation from America.
Today, you hear Muslim calls to worship over the city like a new American Baghdad with hundreds of Islamic mosques in Michigan, paid for by Saudi Arabia oil money. High school flunk out rates reached 76 percent last June according to NBC’s Brian Williams. Classrooms resemble more foreign countries than America. English? Few speak it! The city features a 50 percent illiteracy rate and growing. Unemployment hit 28.9 percent in 2009 as the auto industry vacated the city.
In this week’s Time Magazine October 4, 2009, “The Tragedy of Detroit: How a great city fell and how it can rise again,” I choked on the writer’s description of what happened.
“If Detroit had been savaged by a hurricane and submerged by a ravenous flood, we’d know a lot more about it,” said Daniel Okrent. “If drought and carelessness had spread brush fires across the city, we’d see it on the evening news every night. Earthquake, tornadoes, you name it — if natural disaster had devastated the city that was once the living proof of American prosperity, the rest of the country might take notice. Top of Form
Bottom of Form
But Detroit, once our fourth largest city, now 11th and slipping rapidly, has had no such luck. Its disaster has long been a slow unwinding that seemed to remove it from the rest of the country. Even the death rattle that in the past year emanated from its signature industry brought more attention to the auto executives than to the people of the city, who had for so long been victimized by their dreadful decision-making.”
As Coleman Young’s corruption brought the city to its knees, no amount of federal dollars could save the incredible payoffs, kick backs and illegality permeating his administration. I witnessed the city’s death from the seat of my 18-wheeler tractor trailer because I moved people out of every sector of decaying Detroit.
“By any quantifiable standard, the city is on life support. Detroit’s treasury is $300 million short of the funds needed to provide the barest municipal services,” Okrent said. “The school system, which six years ago was compelled by the teachers’ union to reject a philanthropist’s offer of $200 million to build 15 small, independent charter high schools, is in receivership. The murder rate is soaring, and 7 out of 10 remain unsolved. Three years after Katrina devastated New Orleans, unemployment in that city hit a peak of 11%. In Detroit, the unemployment rate is 28.9%. That’s worth spelling out: twenty-eight point nine percent.”
At the end of Okrent’s report, and he will write a dozen more about Detroit, he said, “That’s because the story of Detroit is not simply one of a great city’s collapse. It’s also about the erosion of the industries that helped build the country we know today. The ultimate fate of Detroit will reveal much about the character of America in the 21st century. If what was once the most prosperous manufacturing city in the nation has been brought to its knees, what does that say about our recent past? And if it can’t find a way to get up, what does that say about our future?”
As you read in my book review of Chris Steiner’s book, $20 Per Gallon, the auto industry won’t come back. Immigration will keep pouring more and more uneducated third world immigrants from the Middle East into Detroit—thus creating a beachhead for Islamic hegemony in America. If 50 percent illiteracy continues, we will see more homegrown terrorists spawned out of the Muslim ghettos of Detroit. Illiteracy plus Islam equals walking human bombs. You have already seen it in the Madrid, Spain, London, England and Paris, France with train bombings, subway bombings and riots. As their numbers grow, so will their power to enact their barbaric Sharia Law that negates republican forms of government, first amendment rights and subjugates women to the lowest rungs on the human ladder. We will see more honor killings by upset husbands, fathers and brothers that demand subjugation by their daughters, sisters and wives. Muslims prefer beheadings of women to scare the hell out of any other members of their sect from straying.
Multiculturalism: what a perfect method to kill our language, culture, country and way of life.
If you ever wondered what side of the fence you sit on, this is a great
Lot of truth here!
If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn`t buy one.
If a liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn`t eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.
If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down.
If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
(Unless it’s a foreign religion, of course!)
If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.
If a conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he’s “offended”.
Well I forwarded it to you people so where does that put me?
The Real Reason They Hate Us
Friday, April 09, 2010
For the first time in its history, the United States is trying to wage and win a war without accurately identifying the enemy or its motivations for seeking to destroy us. That oversight defies both common sense and past military experience, and it disarms us in what may be the most decisive theater of this conflict: the battle of ideas.
Such a breakdown may seem incredible to veterans of past military conflicts. Imagine fighting World War II without clarity about Nazism and fascism, or the Cold War without an appreciation of Soviet communism and the threat it posed.
Yet today, the civilian leaders of this country and their senior subordinates – responsible for the U.S. military, the intelligence community, homeland security and federal law enforcement – have systematically failed to fully realize that we once again face a totalitarian ideology bent on our destruction.
That failure is the more worrisome since the current ideological menace is arguably more dangerous than any we have faced in the past, for two reasons. First, its adherents believe their mission of global conquest is divinely inspired. Second, they are here in the United States in significant numbers, not just a threat elsewhere around the world.
What, then, is this ideology? It has been given many names in recent years, including political Islam, radical Islam, fundamentalist Islam, extremist Islam and Islamofascism. There is, however, a more accurate descriptor – the one its adherents use. They call it “Shariah.”
Perhaps the most important thing to understand about Shariah is that it is authoritative Islam, which presents itself as a complete way of life – cultural, political, military, social and religious, all governed by the same doctrine. In other words, this comprehensive program is not simply the agenda of extremists hunkered down in caves in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Neither can its directives be attributed to deviants hijacking Islam.
Rather, Shariah – which translates from Arabic as “path to God” – is actually binding law. It is taught as such by the most revered sacred texts, traditions, institutions, top academic centers, scholars and leaders of the Islamic faith. Fortunately, hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world do not wish to live under a brutally repressive, woman-demeaning, barbaric and totalitarian program. Such Muslims are potentially our allies, just as those who do adhere to Shariah are our unalterable foes.
The immutability of Shariah-adherent Muslim hostility toward the rest of us derives directly from the central tenet of Shariah: Muslims are explicitly required to seek the triumph of Islam over all other faiths, peoples and governments.
The ultimate objective of Shariah is the establishment of a global Islamic state – Sunni Muslims call it “the caliphate” – governed by Shariah. The means by which this political outcome is to be achieved is called “jihad.”
Since 9/11, many Americans have become unhappily acquainted with the terrifying, violent strain of jihad. Under Shariah, violence – often described by non-Muslims as “terrorism” – is the preferred means of securing the spread and dominion of Islam, as it is the most efficient.
While Shariah deems jihad to be the personal obligation of every faithful Muslim capable of performing it – man or woman, young or old – they can forgo the violent form when it is deemed impracticable. In such circumstances, the struggle can be pursued through means that are, at least temporarily, non-violent. Taken together, the latter constitute what renowned author and expert Robert Spencer calls “stealth jihad.” Adherents to Shariah call it “dawah.”
Examples of stealth jihadism abound in Western societies, notably Europe and increasingly in the United States. They include the demand for symbolic and substantive accommodations in political, economic and legal areas (for example, special treatment or rights for Muslims in the workplace, in public spaces and by government); the opportunity to penetrate and influence operations against government at every level; and the insinuation of the Trojan horse of “Shariah-compliant finance” into the West’s capital markets.
If stealth jihad seems less threatening than terrorism, the objective is exactly the same as that of violent jihad: the subjugation to the Dar al-Islam (House of Islam) of all non-Islamic states that, like the United States, make up the Dar al-harb (House of War). It follows that those who seek ostensibly to impose Shariah through non-violent techniques – notably in the West, the organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood – are our enemies every bit as much as those who overtly strive to defeat us by murderous terrorism.
Many Western elites, including the Obama administration, have been seduced by the seemingly benign quality of the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, we know from the 2008 prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation – the largest terrorism-financing trial in U.S. history – that the Muslim Brothers’ mission in the United States is “a kind of grand jihad to destroy Western civilization from within … by their own miserable hands.”
Another Brotherhood document, titled “The Rulers,” was seized in a 2004 raid and describes how the organization will try to overthrow the U.S. Constitution in five phases:
“The Rulers” makes plain that all the above-mentioned phases “are preliminary steps to reach the (fifth) phase.”
The Muslim Brothers know that by masking their ideological agenda as a religious program, they can use Western civil liberties and tolerance as weapons in their stealthy jihad. For this strategy to succeed, however, they must suppress any discussion or understanding of the true nature of Shariah.
Adherents to Shariah insist that their law prohibits any slander against Islam or Muhammad. Under such a catch-all restriction, virtually any kind of conversation about – or critique of – Islam can be considered impermissible if Muslims find it offensive. Particularly in Europe, the ever-present prospect of violence, like that which followed the September 2005 publication of Danish cartoons poking fun at Muhammad, is generally sufficient to induce self-censorship.
In this country, the application of such prohibitions seems unthinkable, given the guarantees of free speech enshrined in the Constitution’s First Amendment. Unfortunately, the Obama administration last year co-sponsored with Egypt a relevant and deeply problematic resolution in the U.N. Human Rights Council, promoted for years by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a group of 57 Muslim-majority nations that stridently embraces Shariah and seeks to legitimate and promote its advance around the world.
The resolution calls on members of the United Nations to prohibit statements that offend Islam. It also calls for criminal penalties to be applied to those who make such statements.
The U.S. implementation of such a resolution would obviously be a matter not just for the executive branch, which supported it, but for Congress and the judiciary as well. It is a safe bet that any formal effort to supplant the First Amendment in this way would meet with great resistance.
To a stunning degree, U.S. leaders have been effectively conforming to Shariah slander laws for some time now. For instance, presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have both repeatedly described Islam as a “religion of peace,” without acknowledging the requirement for jihad its authorities demand, pursuant to Shariah.
At the Muslim Brotherhood’s insistence, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department have barred the use of perfectly accurate terms like “Islamic terrorism.” The U.S. government has also embraced the Muslim Brothers’ disinformation by translating jihad as nothing more than “striving in the path of God.”
Under the Bush and Obama administrations, the favored name for the enemy has been “violent extremism” – a formulation that neither offers clarity about the true nature of our foe nor lends itself to a prescription for a successful countervailing strategy. Even when al-Qaeda is identified as the enemy, it is almost always accompanied by an assurance that its operatives and allies have “corrupted” Islam. Ignored, or at least earnestly obscured, are two unhappy realities: such enemies are implementing Shariah’s dictates to the letter of the law, and they have millions of fellow adherents around the world who view Islam’s requirements the same way.
One of the most egregious examples of this practice of unilateral disarmament in the battle of ideas is the January report of the independent review of the Fort Hood massacre, co-chaired by former Army Secretary Togo West and former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vernon Clark. Their 86-page unclassified analysis purported to dissect an event allegedly perpetrated by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan – a medical officer whose business card described him as “Soldier of Allah,” whose briefings justified murder of his comrades in the name of jihad, and who shouted the Islamic martyr’s cry “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is great!”) as he opened fire, killing 13. Incredibly, the words “Islam,” “Islamic terror,” “Shariah,” “jihad,” and “Muslim Brotherhood” were not used even once in the West-Clark report.
Such political correctness, or willful blindness up the chain of command, doubtless caused Hasan’s colleagues to keep silent about his alarming beliefs, lest they be punished for expressing concerns about them. Now, reportedly, six of them have been designated as the scapegoats for what is manifestly an institutional failure.
The painful truth is that however we rationalize this sort of behavior, our Shariah-adherent enemies correctly perceive it as evidence of submission, which is the literal meaning of the word “Islam,” and what Shariah demands of everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
Indeed, Shariah offers non-believers only three choices: conversion to Islam, submission (known as dhimmitude) or death. Historically, dhimmitude was imposed through successful Muslim conquests. In more recent years, tolerant Western nations have increasingly succumbed to stealthy jihadism, backed by more or less direct threats of violence.
That trend, worrying as it is, may be giving way in this country to a new campaign: jihad of the sword. The past year saw a fourfold increase in the number of actual or attempted terrorist attacks in the United States. Sadly, that statistic will likely be surpassed in the year ahead. Four of the nation’s top intelligence officials have testified before Congress that it is certain new acts of violence will be undertaken in the next three to six months. Worse yet, a blue-ribbon commission has calculated that the probability of the use of weapons of mass destruction somewhere in the world by 2013 is now over 50 percent.
Is this dramatic upsurge in violent jihad directed at the United States unrelated to our behavior? Or does it reflect a growing calculation on the part of our Shariah-adherent enemies that violence against the United States is now, once again, practicable?
Either way, the time has clearly come to make a far more serious effort to defeat both the violent and stealthy forms of jihad being waged against this country. If we are to do so, however, we have to start by telling the truth.
Our enemy is not “violent extremism,” or even al-Qaeda alone. Rather, it is the millions of Muslims who – like the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and their allies – adhere to Shariah and who, therefore, believe they must impose it on the rest of us.
We are at war with such individuals and organizations. Not because we want to be. Not because of policies toward Israel or the Middle East or anything else we have pursued in recent years. Rather, we are at war with them because they must wage jihad against us, pursuant to the dictates of Shariah, the same law that has guided many in Islam for some 1,200 years.
What is at stake in this war? Look no further than The American Legion’s Americanism Manual, which defines Americanism as “love of America; loyalty to her institutions as the best yet devised by man to secure life, liberty, individual dignity and happiness; and the willingness to defend our country and Flag against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Such values cannot coexist with Shariah, which demands the destruction of democratic nations like the United States, its governing institutions and liberties. Shariah would supplant them with a repressive, transnational, theocratic government abroad and at home.
The extraordinary reality is that none of this – the authoritative and malevolent nature of Shariah, its utter incompatibility with our civilization, and its adherents’ determination to force us to convert, submit or die – is concealed from those willing to learn the truth. To the contrary, the facts are widely available via books, the Internet, DVDs and mosques, both here and overseas. Interestingly, on Dec. 1, 2005, Gen. Peter Pace, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called on his troops to expose themselves to precisely this sort of information: “I say you need to get out and read what our enemies have said. Remember Hitler. Remember he wrote ‘Mein Kampf.’ He said in writing exactly what his plan was, and we collectively ignored that to our great detriment. Now, our enemies have said publicly on film, on the Internet, their goal is to destroy our way of life. No equivocation on their part.”
As it happens, Maj. Stephen Coughlin, a lawyer and Army Reserves intelligence specialist recruited by the Joint Chiefs to be their expert on the doctrine and jurisprudence of jihad, took Pace’s admonition to heart. He wrote a master’s thesis inspired by the chairman’s quote, titled “To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad.”
Coughlin’s briefings explicitly and repeatedly warned military leaders of the enemy’s “threat doctrine” – drawing from, among Islamic texts, passages the Fort Hood suspect used to justify his massacre. Unfortunately, engaging in such analysis, let alone acting on it, was powerfully discouraged in January 2008 when Coughlin was dismissed from the Joint Staff after he ran afoul of a Muslim Brother then working for Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England.
In short, we are today confronted by the cumulative effect of a sustained and collective dereliction of duty, one that is putting our country in extreme peril. Our armed forces – like their counterparts in the intelligence community, Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement – have a professional duty to know the enemy and develop appropriate responses to the threat doctrine. If this dereliction is allowed to persist, it is predictable that more Americans will die, both on foreign battlefields and at home.
The American people also need to become knowledgeable about the threat of Shariah and insist that action be taken at federal, state and local levels to keep our country Shariah-free. This toxic ideology, if left unchecked, can destroy the country and institutions that are, indeed, “the best yet devised by man to secure life, liberty, individual dignity and happiness.”
Independent on Sunday, 11 April 2010
The US president has approved the targeted killing of a fellow American. So what has changed the principled politician?
Back in the old days, when Barack Obama was one of the hopefuls trying to get his party’s presidential nomination, he was asked a specific question: does the American constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charge as unlawful enemy combatants? The would-be candidate’s response was unequivocal, rejecting the idea that there was any such power. No wonder, then, that so many people were startled when it emerged last week that the Obama administration has authorised not only the detention but the “targeted killing” of an American citizen, the extremist Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
For decades, the CIA was suspected of covertly plotting political assassinations, but the practice was believed to have been banned by President Gerald Ford. Under the Bush administration, such an admission would have caused more outrage than astonishment, but isn’t Obama supposed to be more principled than his predecessor?
Perhaps we shouldn’t have been caught off guard. The ground for the announcement was prepared in February when the director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, said that targeted killings of American nationals were theoretically possible: “We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community. If we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.” He must have had Awlaki in mind: the Muslim cleric was born in New Mexico and was an imam in the US before he went to Yemen, where he’s believed to be hiding.
President George W Bush famously talked about wanting Osama bin Laden “dead or alive” after the 9/11 attacks. Congress approved the use of military force against al-Qa’ida after the suicide-bombings and its operatives are considered to be enemies of the US, exempting them from Ford’s ban on assassinations. Now Awlaki finds himself in the same category, accused of escalating from verbal threats to getting involved in actual plots, with counter-terrorism officials claiming he has recruited individuals to attack US interests. But specific details of what he’s accused of have not been released.
None of this is to suggest that Awlaki is anything other than a religious fanatic who has set himself up as a poster-boy for naive young men who see Muslims as victims. Anyone who doubts it should read the interview conducted with him in 2007 by the former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg, who on Awlaki’s release from prison in Yemen, invited him to meet his supporters in the UK and confronted him with challenging questions such as this: “What was your response to the outpouring of support and concern, the campaigns, petitions, Facebook groups and the messages that you’ve received since your release?”
A more accurate portrait of Awlaki emerged two months ago from an interview with al-Jazeera in which he admitted that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man who tried to blow up a plane on its way to Detroit on Christmas day, was “one of my students”. Awlaki denied issuing a fatwa telling Abdulmutallab to bomb the plane but said: “I support what Umar Farouk has done.” Three months earlier, Awlaki hailed US army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan, currently facing 13 charges of murder following a massacre at Fort Hood in Texas, as a “hero”; Hasan attended the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Virginia Falls when Awlaki preached there and the two men exchanged emails before the killings. Awlaki is also accused of being spiritual leader to three 9/11 hi-jackers.
It’s not hard to see why American counter-terrorism officials have lost patience with the cleric, whom they now accuse of being a senior operative of the organisation al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula. “The United States works, exactly as the American people expect, to overcome threats to their security, and this individual – through his own actions – has become one,” an unnamed official said. None of which explains how Awlaki poses an imminent threat to the US, which is the sole justification for adding someone’s name to a capture-or-kill list.
At the beginning of his presidency, Obama appeared to row back from the Bush administration. Even Bush himself has had second thoughts, admitting a couple of years ago that he regretted his emotional post-9/11 outburst about bin Laden. Now the Obama administration has taken the risk of announcing a possible assassination of an American citizen in advance, a move so extraordinary that it prompts several lines of speculation.
One is that Obama is deliberately trying to break with the CIA’s murky past; if the President has been persuaded that such desperate measures must be adopted, he may believe it’s better to have the whole thing out in the open rather than risk a series of damaging leaks. Another possibility is that an operation to seize or kill Awlaki is imminent, and public opinion is being prepared for its inflammatory consequences in Muslim countries.
But whatever lies behind the announcement, it does not remove the moral problem of political assassination as official policy for dealing with a country’s enemies when it is not, strictly speaking, at war. (Most people would say that trying to assassinate Hitler in 1938 is quite different from attempting it in 1942.)
A young civil rights lawyer called Barack Obama would have had strong views, I suspect, about imposing an extra-judicial death penalty on an American citizen who hasn’t even had a trial. But that was in another country, so to speak; and besides, that idealistic youth is now President of the United States.
Nigeria hosts from Monday a three-day meeting of African ministers on aviation security in response to the failed terror attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it approached Detroit from Amsterdam on Christmas Day.
A young Nigerian man was charged with attempting to blow up the plane with plastic explosives strapped to his underwear.
In the wake of the botched attack, airports around the world, including in Nigeria, from where the suspected bomber took off, are installing 3-D full body scanners for passengers.
The new technology has raised cultural sensitivities and may violate privacy laws in some countries as it produces explicit images of passengers.
“Transparency and respect for privacy are fundamental values of all democracies” Napolitano told ministers from 37 African countries and other international experts on the eve of the African regional aviation security conference.
“All countries have unique legal traditions, cultural differences and political realities,” she said.
“But I believe we shouldn’t allow these differences to keep us from working towards a common goal and even stronger partnership with respect to security and privacy.”
Napolitano recommended a wide range of security measures, including information sharing on suspected terrorists and development of screening technology to protect passengers.
“This new bomb could not be detected by all technology, therefore let us respond by ushering in the next generation of aviation security technology by coordinating our training and technical assistant efforts,” she said.
The conference in one of a series being organised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) across five global regions.
She said the United States has in recent months worked closely with ICAO and the International Air Transport Association to forge stronger international security standards.
“We must have the full engagement not just of government agencies in this effort, but our industry partners around the world,” she said.
ICAO secretary general Raymond Benjamin vowed “we will step up efforts to find global solutions to these global threats.”