They [radical Islamic movements] are basically forces of national
liberation. And I think that we, as persons who are committed to the liberation
of oppressed people, should fasten on the need for self-determination. … My
own sense is that, were the Islamists to be empowered, there would be movements
within their own countries … to liberate.
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at February 04, 2011 – 02:29:23 PM CST
Morning Bell: The Reagan Recovery vs The Obama Recovery
Posted By Conn Carroll On February 4, 2011 @ 9:25 am In Ongoing Priorities | 15 Comments
This Sunday is President Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday. It’s hard to comprehend the debt of gratitude our nation owes the 40th President of these United States. As Heritage Foundation Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought Lee Edwards details, Reagan embodied many of the classical virtues  that the best political leaders possess: courage, prudence, justice, and wisdom. And he used each of these virtues to create an environment where the U.S. economy could strongly recover from our last great recession. The current occupant of the White House ought to take some better notes.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research , our most recent recession began in December 2007, lasted 18 months, and ended in June 2009. The last recession that lasted this long began in July 1981, lasted 16 months, and ended in November 1982. In his 1983 State of the Union Address , President Reagan described an economic situation that mirrored our own today: “The problems we inherited were far worse than most inside and out of government had expected; the recession was deeper than most inside and out of government had predicted. Curing those problems has taken more time and a higher toll than any of us wanted. Unemployment is far too high.” But where President Obama responded to an economic recession with a bigger than $2 trillion expansion of government (more than $1 trillion on health care and almost $1 trillion in economic stimulus), President Reagan passed the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which cut marginal income tax rates across the board permanently. And the differences don’t end there. Read the rest of this entry »
Feb 3, 2011, 19:30 GM
Tel Aviv – If the ‘revolution’ to oust Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak succeeds, Egypt will hold a referendum to decide the fate of its 1979 peace treaty with Israel, Israel’s Channel 10 television quoted a Muslim Brotherhood official as warning Thursday.
‘Israel has nothing to fear but its own crimes,’ Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Assam el-Erian told the channel.
But he also gave reassurances that the Brotherhood was a ‘non- violent’ and not an extremist organization.
Israel is following the unrest in Egypt closely and with concern, fearing it could jeopardize its 31-year-old peace with the regional super power to its southern border.
Israeli officials have warned of a scenario in which Muslim extremists who might decide to discontinue the peace with Israel could assume power in Egypt.
February 3rd, 2011
Andrew G. Bostom
…the individual was not expected to exercise any free choice as to how he
wished to be governed…In general, …governmental authority admitted of no
participation of the individual as such, who therefore did not possess any real
freedom vis-a-vis it.
…there is still no idea that the subjects have any right to share in the
formation or conduct of government — to political freedom, or citizenship, in
the sense which underlies the development of political thought in the West.
While conservative reformers talked of freedom under law, and some Muslim rulers
even experimented with councils and assemblies government was in fact becoming
more and not less arbitrary….
During the period of British and French domination, individual freedom was
never much of an issue. Though often limited and sometimes suspended, it was on
the whole more extensive and better protected than either before or
after.’ [emphasis added]
In the final revulsion against the West, Western democracy too was rejected
as a fraud and a delusion, of no value to Muslims.
The military or police dictatorships controlling today almost all Islamic
countries now appear not merely as successors or revivals of medieval despotism.
They are (credited with) fulfilling a function similar to that of the belief in
the God of Islam in the past-namely that of relieving man from the
responsibility for his own destiny.”
What is significant is that after a tolerably less autocratic/authoritarian
political experience during their apprenticeship for independent statehood under
foreign power tutelage, during the inter-war period, most of these states once
completely free or independent of foreign control, very quickly moved towards
highly autocratic-authoritarian patterns of rule…One could suggest a hiatus of
roughly three years between the departure or removal of European influence and
power and overthrow of the rickety plural political systems they left behind in
Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and the Sudan by military coups d’etat.Authoritarianism and autocracy in the Middle East may be unstable in the
sense that autocracies follow one another in frequent succession. Yet the ethos
of authoritarianism may be lasting, even permanent…One could venture into a
more ambitious philosophical etiology by pointing out the absence of a concept
of ‘natural law’ or ‘law of reason’ in the intellectual-cultural heritage of
Middle Eastern societies. After all, everything before Islam, before God
revealed his message to Muhammad, constitutes jahiliyya, or the dark age of
ignorance. Similarly, anything that deviates from the eternal truth or verities
of Islamic teaching is equally degenerative, and therefore unacceptable. That is
why, by definition, any Islamic movement which seeks to make Islam the basic
principle of the polity does not aim at innovation but at the restoration of the
ideal that has been abandoned or lost. The missing of an experience similar, or
parallel, to the Renaissance, freeing the Muslim individual from external
constraints of, say, religious authority in order to engage in a creative course
measured and judged by rational and existential human standards, may also be a
relevant consideration. The individual in the Middle East has yet to attain his
independence from the wider collectivity, or to accept the proposition that he
can create a political order.
It is this lack of testimony that has brought back the evils and the
prejudices of the past — the jihad mentality, and the laws of dhimmitude that
were only abolished by the colonial European powers. And now, more and more,
because of this lack of testimony, we see moderate Muslims themselves being
persecuted. Because they were indifferent to the humiliation of Jews and
Christians, because they remained silent and aloof, they now find themselves –
in Algeria, Egypt, and elsewhere – suffering from cruel injustices and
barbarism. Testifying together, giving testimony against dhimmitude, would have
allowed Muslim intellectuals to rethink their whole relationship with the People
of the Bible – and with all non-Muslims, and this without renouncing their
faith. Such an attitude would have brought all of us together in the fight
against tyrannical oppression, against the process of dehumanization. This is
what could have been done and what was not