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Eighty-nine year old fledgling Editor of Snake Hunters. Combat Veteran of WWII, 10th Mountain Division, Italy. AAU Swim Coach, 29 Palms, Yucca Valley, Calif. Mobile Park, Retail Furniture, Indian Gaming Casinos in San Diego County,Concessionaire/ CO + State Fair. This Editor is.Never "too busy" to confront enemies here at home, , or foreign enemies that hate our 1st Amendment Freedoms. IF YOU WOULD CHANGE THE WORLD... START BY READING THE VIOLENT HISTORY OF ISLAM... Read > Continuum Of WarA < in the Archives, dated March 25, 2010 - Then Print It, and pass along to folks you care about. Read great articles by Marshall Frank & Andrew C. McCarthy. Vigilance Is The PrIce We Must Pay To Save This Republic. Learn more about 'The Enemy Within'; Research 'Stealth Jihad' .~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *** PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH - YOUR UNWAVERING VIGILANCE WILL PROTECT THIS REPUBLIC ***

Saturday, October 11, 2014

John L. Esposito:
Apologist for Wahhabi Islam

By Stephen Schwartz

Three things are immediately obvious when one examines the biography of John Louis Esposito, American academic expert on Islam. The first is that -- as noted by his official biographical listing of more than forty-five books and monographs, along with his standing as editor of several reference series -- he seems indefatigably prolific, though the bulk of his writings present interpretations of contemporary phenomena rather than original research. The second is that he luxuriates in honors, including those bestowed by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other parties in whose objectivity about Islamic affairs few can believe. Finally, his work has provided an unremitting "explanation" that amounts to a committed defense of radical, rather than traditional, Islam. Esposito aspires to become the chief interlocutor between the U.S., if not the West as a whole, and the Muslim lands -- especially the extremist elements in Islamic societies.
In his career as an academic and public intellectual, Esposito has emphasized his conviction that Islamist ideology is a path to liberation of Muslim societies from oppression, and, like many other Middle East studies experts, he is quick to accuse critics of Muslim radicalism of Islamophobia. He has accumulated a further sheaf of statements that should be embarrassing to him, but apparently is not. Most offensively, he stood up for Sami Al-Arian, who pled guilty in 2006 to a charge of providing services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Specially Designated Terrorist Organization according to the U.S. government. At an August 18, 2007 fundraising event in Dallas for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a leading American Islamist group, Esposito declared, "Sami Al-Arian's a very good friend of mine."

On the same occasion, he affirmed his solidarity with "the Holy Land Fund [sic, Holy Land Foundation], but also with CAIR." Five principal leaders of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and the organization itself were found guilty in 2008 on 108 charges of support for Hamas. The U.S. authorities had already added HLF to the roster of Specially Designated Terrorist Organizations in 2001, but in the view of Esposito, as recorded on National Public Radio on October 22, 1994, Hamas was "a community-focused group that engages in 'honey, cheese-making, and home-based clothing manufacture.'"
On July 2, 2008, Esposito penned a lachrymose description, addressed to U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, of Al-Arian as a "dedicated family man. ... Sami Al-Arian is a proud, dedicated and committed American as well as a proud and committed Palestinian. He is an extraordinarily bright, articulate scholar and intellectual-activist, a man of conscience with a strong commitment to peace and social justice."

Esposito is University Professor as well as Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. He is also the founding director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU) in Georgetown's Walsh School of Foreign Service, renamed the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) in 2005, after twelve years in existence, upon the receipt of a $20-million gift from the Saudi prince. Bin Talal became known to Americans in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, when he attempted to hand a $10-million donation to then-mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani. The prince's check was accompanied by a declaration that "the government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance towards the Palestinian cause." Giuliani returned the check and rejected Bin Talal's criticism. Four years later, Esposito evinced no such qualms.

Partly educated in and long employed by Catholic institutions, Esposito received his B.A. in philosophy from St. Antony's College, at Oxford in the U.K., in 1963; his M.A. in theology from St. John's University in New York three years later; and his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies, with a minor in comparative religions, at Temple University (Philadelphia) in 1974. From 1975 to 1995 he taught at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, founded by members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and in 1993, he began his career at Georgetown, another Jesuit institution, with a two-year overlap between the two schools.

Aside from these credentials, Esposito has served as president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) and of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, and also as vice chair of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). In such activities, Esposito's sympathy for radicalism thrives: MESA is rife with anti-American, anti-Israel, and pro-Islamist propaganda camouflaged as scholarship, while CSID is an open advocate for Islamist ideology. Esposito is also vice president (2011) and president-elect (2012) of the American Academy of Religion.

Esposito's wanderings in Islamic affairs have led him along paths that appear distinct to an outsider, but which all end in the same place: advocacy for Islamist governance. His published works include the 2003 volume Turkish Islam and the Secular State: The Gülen Movement (Syracuse University Press), coauthored with M. Hakan Yavuz -- an enthusiastic depiction of the ideological movement directed by the leading Turkish Islamist Fethullah Gülen, presented in the volume as equivalent to "Turkish Islam" in general. This book was followed by a 2010 collection of encomia to Gülen, titled Islam and Peacebuilding: Gülen Movement Initiatives, co-edited with Ihsan Yilmaz and published by Bluedome Press, an apparent Gülenist enterprise. The Gülen movement comprises a major element in the political apparatus created by the Islamist Justice and Development Party, known by its Turkish acronym, the AKP; led by prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; and holding power in Turkey since 2002.

Esposito has also collaborated with the Turkish academic Ibrahim Kalin, currently a visiting researcher at Georgetown, on a new book, Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century, published in March 2011 by Oxford University Press. Kalin, a senior adviser to Erdoğan, actively supports the AKP line that "Turkey is certain to increase its multi-leveled engagement policy in the Arab world." This for the Al-Jazeera broadcasting system in June 2011, following the third national electoral triumph for the AKP, which Kalin hailed as "a victory not only for Prime Minister Erdoğan but also for Turkish democracy."

Esposito has also toiled in the ideological fields of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which awarded him its 1996 World Book Prize, although his C.V., which differs from his Georgetown biography, doesn't name the book. But his most notable service -- by far -- is to Saudi Arabia and its official Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. In his endeavors, Esposito has availed himself of three females he has mentored through careers in academia and public policy: Natana DeLong-Bas, Hadia Mubarak, and Dalia Mogahed. The activities of these scholars, whom Esposito has nurtured, offer further evidence of Esposito's radicalizing influence within Middle East studies.

Georgetown graduate DeLong-Bas, who also taught at Brandeis, is now a part-time faculty member in the theology department at Boston College. In 2004 she wrote Wahhabi Islam: from Revival to Global Jihad, also published by Oxford, and produced, as she noted, with the encouragement of Esposito, with whom she had coauthored an edition of one his earlier tomes, Women in Muslim Family Law (Syracuse, 2002). Further, DeLong-Bas acknowledged the assistance of three prominent Saudis in writing her Wahhabi apologia: Prince Faisal Bin Salman, whose title she left unmentioned; Abdallah S. al-Uthaymin, son of a Wahhabi cleric; and Fahd as-Semmari, director of the King Abd Al-Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives, in Riyadh, for which she expressed thanks for financial support.

Here the Esposito method was laid bare: thanks to his sponsorship, Saudi money subsidized a U.S. academic product intended to ameliorate the image of Wahhabism, the most extreme fundamentalist interpretation of Islam in modern times, and the inspirer of so-called "Salafi" radicals, from the Muslim Brotherhood through the South Asian jihadist movement founded by Abul Ala Mawdudi to al-Qaeda. In the mind of DeLong-Bas, Wahhabism could be considered, as noted in a review of the book, "peaceful, traditional, spiritual, and even feminist."

DeLong-Bas outdid herself, however, in an interview with the Saudi-owned pan-Arab newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat on December 21, 2006. Therein she denied that Wahhabism was extreme; that Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and the movement's foremost ideologue, Sayyid Qutb, were jihadists; and, most incredibly, that there was evidence for the involvement of the then-living Osama bin Laden in the 9/11 attacks.

Next among Esposito's prominent female disciples came Hadia Mubarak, a researcher at CMCU, who arrived there via a post as national president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) of the U.S. and Canada and as a board member of CAIR, two leading components of the "Wahhabi lobby" in the U.S. She had received her B.A. from Florida State University and was accepted at Georgetown for graduate work. There she became inveigled in an unsuccessful but nonetheless disreputable effort to transfer $325,000 to ACMCU from the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC), a fifty-seven-member international body created in 1969 to "protect" the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem from Israel. Mubarak then went to work for the Gallup Poll's Muslim World Project.

At Gallup, Mubarak joined another Esposito protégée, Dalia Mogahed. Born in Egypt and possessor of an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, Mogahed was Esposito's coauthor in what may have been his most successful -- and certainly his most widely-cited -- book, Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think, published in 2008 by Gallup Press. As Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), described the volume, Esposito and Mogahed claimed that "'everyday Muslims' are so similar to ordinary Americans that 'conflict between the Muslim and Western communities is far from inevitable.'" Satloff continued:

Similar arguments have been made before; some of this is true, some is rubbish, much is irrelevant[.] ... The question often revolves around a disputed data point: Of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, how many are radicals? ... The book draws on a mammoth, six-year effort to poll and interview tens of thousands of Muslims in more than 35 countries with Muslim majorities or substantial minorities[.] ... The answer to that all-important question, the authors say, is 7 percent[.] ... The not-so-hidden purpose of this book is to blur any difference between average Muslims around the world and average Americans, and the authors rise to the occasion at every turn.

Satloff noted that at a WINEP event hosted for Mogahed, she admitted that "[t]he book is a book about the modern Muslim world that used its polling to inform its analysis. So that's important: It's meant for a general audience, and it's not meant to be a polling report." Mogahed is also known for her lighthearted treatment of Islamic law as protective of women, among other adventures in the company of extremists.

These slippery methods, inculcated by Esposito in his three female acolytes, exemplify, as much as his own signed work, the outlook Esposito has adopted and pursued throughout his career. In a remarkably candid 2005 interview with him in a periodical, The Muslim Weekly, the paper's writer, Scott Jaschik, noted Esposito's repellent cynicism:

Esposito's career took off after the Shah of Iran fell in 1979, and everyone could see the power of political Islam. "I owe my Lexus and my career to the Ayatollah Khomeini," he tells his students at Georgetown.

Jaschik further wrote:

It is an article of faith to many policy makers...that Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood are terrorist groups who should be denied any role in political discussions or civil society. Esposito -- while condemning suicide bombings and attacks on civilians as 'immoral' -- says these groups cannot be written off.

During the recent upheavals in the Middle East, when one would expect Esposito, as an expert on Islam and revolution, to be at the forefront of advocacy for change in countries where dictatorships had used Islam as a cover for political oppression, the Georgetown professor was and has been uncharacteristically quiet, limiting his comments to vague, perfunctory blog articles loaded with stereotypes. In one, co-authored with yet another CMCU researcher, Sheila Lalwani, we read:

Policymakers must move beyond policies that equated protection of national interests with the stability and security of regimes and were driven more by fear of the unknown than support for Western principles of self-determination, democracy and human rights.

In another, signed with Dalia Mogahed, we find:

Old habits die hard[.] ... Clinging to a failed narrative and the threat of a hostile Islamist takeover, risks succumbing to the temptation to 'encourage' or influence a specific outcome in Arab elections which will validate the concerns of Egyptians and others in the Arab world.

That's the real Esposito, even if somewhat watered down: discounting the threat of radical Islam even as it makes a flamboyant entry, particularly in the Egyptian Revolution. Yes, indeed, old habits do die hard. On that point, there can be no disagreement with John Louis Esposito.

Stephen Schwartz is executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism. He wrote this article for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

Three things are immediately obvious when one examines the biography of John Louis Esposito, American academic expert on Islam. The first is that -- as noted by his official biographical listing of more than forty-five books and monographs, along with his standing as editor of several reference series -- he seems indefatigably prolific, though the bulk of his writings present interpretations of contemporary phenomena rather than original research. The second is that he luxuriates in honors, including those bestowed by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other parties in whose objectivity about Islamic affairs few can believe. Finally, his work has provided an unremitting "explanation" that amounts to a committed defense of radical, rather than traditional, Islam. Esposito aspires to become the chief interlocutor between the U.S., if not the West as a whole, and the Muslim lands -- especially the extremist elements in Islamic societies.

In his career as an academic and public intellectual, Esposito has emphasized his conviction that Islamist ideology is a path to liberation of Muslim societies from oppression, and, like many other Middle East studies experts, he is quick to accuse critics of Muslim radicalism of Islamophobia. He has accumulated a further sheaf of statements that should be embarrassing to him, but apparently is not. Most offensively, he stood up for Sami Al-Arian, who pled guilty in 2006 to a charge of providing services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Specially Designated Terrorist Organization according to the U.S. government. At an August 18, 2007 fundraising event in Dallas for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a leading American Islamist group, Esposito declared, "Sami Al-Arian's a very good friend of mine."

On the same occasion, he affirmed his solidarity with "the Holy Land Fund [sic, Holy Land Foundation], but also with CAIR." Five principal leaders of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and the organization itself were found guilty in 2008 on 108 charges of support for Hamas. The U.S. authorities had already added HLF to the roster of Specially Designated Terrorist Organizations in 2001, but in the view of Esposito, as recorded on National Public Radio on October 22, 1994, Hamas was "a community-focused group that engages in 'honey, cheese-making, and home-based clothing manufacture.'"

On July 2, 2008, Esposito penned a lachrymose description, addressed to U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, of Al-Arian as a "dedicated family man. ... Sami Al-Arian is a proud, dedicated and committed American as well as a proud and committed Palestinian. He is an extraordinarily bright, articulate scholar and intellectual-activist, a man of conscience with a strong commitment to peace and social justice."

Esposito is University Professor as well as Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. He is also the founding director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU) in Georgetown's Walsh School of Foreign Service, renamed the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) in 2005, after twelve years in existence, upon the receipt of a $20-million gift from the Saudi prince. Bin Talal became known to Americans in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, when he attempted to hand a $10-million donation to then-mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani. The prince's check was accompanied by a declaration that "the government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance towards the Palestinian cause." Giuliani returned the check and rejected Bin Talal's criticism. Four years later, Esposito evinced no such qualms.

Partly educated in and long employed by Catholic institutions, Esposito received his B.A. in philosophy from St. Antony's College, at Oxford in the U.K., in 1963; his M.A. in theology from St. John's University in New York three years later; and his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies, with a minor in comparative religions, at Temple University (Philadelphia) in 1974. From 1975 to 1995 he taught at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, founded by members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and in 1993, he began his career at Georgetown, another Jesuit institution, with a two-year overlap between the two schools.

Aside from these credentials, Esposito has served as president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) and of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, and also as vice chair of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). In such activities, Esposito's sympathy for radicalism thrives: MESA is rife with anti-American, anti-Israel, and pro-Islamist propaganda camouflaged as scholarship, while CSID is an open advocate for Islamist ideology. Esposito is also vice president (2011) and president-elect (2012) of the American Academy of Religion.

Esposito's wanderings in Islamic affairs have led him along paths that appear distinct to an outsider, but which all end in the same place: advocacy for Islamist governance. His published works include the 2003 volume Turkish Islam and the Secular State: The Gülen Movement (Syracuse University Press), coauthored with M. Hakan Yavuz -- an enthusiastic depiction of the ideological movement directed by the leading Turkish Islamist Fethullah Gülen, presented in the volume as equivalent to "Turkish Islam" in general. This book was followed by a 2010 collection of encomia to Gülen, titled Islam and Peacebuilding: Gülen Movement Initiatives, co-edited with Ihsan Yilmaz and published by Bluedome Press, an apparent Gülenist enterprise. The Gülen movement comprises a major element in the political apparatus created by the Islamist Justice and Development Party, known by its Turkish acronym, the AKP; led by prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; and holding power in Turkey since 2002.

Esposito has also collaborated with the Turkish academic Ibrahim Kalin, currently a visiting researcher at Georgetown, on a new book, Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century, published in March 2011 by Oxford University Press. Kalin, a senior adviser to Erdoğan, actively supports the AKP line that "Turkey is certain to increase its multi-leveled engagement policy in the Arab world." This for the Al-Jazeera broadcasting system in June 2011, following the third national electoral triumph for the AKP, which Kalin hailed as "a victory not only for Prime Minister Erdoğan but also for Turkish democracy."

Esposito has also toiled in the ideological fields of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which awarded him its 1996 World Book Prize, although his C.V., which differs from his Georgetown biography, doesn't name the book. But his most notable service -- by far -- is to Saudi Arabia and its official Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. In his endeavors, Esposito has availed himself of three females he has mentored through careers in academia and public policy: Natana DeLong-Bas, Hadia Mubarak, and Dalia Mogahed. The activities of these scholars, whom Esposito has nurtured, offer further evidence of Esposito's radicalizing influence within Middle East studies.

Georgetown graduate DeLong-Bas, who also taught at Brandeis, is now a part-time faculty member in the theology department at Boston College. In 2004 she wrote Wahhabi Islam: from Revival to Global Jihad, also published by Oxford, and produced, as she noted, with the encouragement of Esposito, with whom she had coauthored an edition of one his earlier tomes, Women in Muslim Family Law (Syracuse, 2002). Further, DeLong-Bas acknowledged the assistance of three prominent Saudis in writing her Wahhabi apologia: Prince Faisal Bin Salman, whose title she left unmentioned; Abdallah S. al-Uthaymin, son of a Wahhabi cleric; and Fahd as-Semmari, director of the King Abd Al-Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives, in Riyadh, for which she expressed thanks for financial support.

Here the Esposito method was laid bare: thanks to his sponsorship, Saudi money subsidized a U.S. academic product intended to ameliorate the image of Wahhabism, the most extreme fundamentalist interpretation of Islam in modern times, and the inspirer of so-called "Salafi" radicals, from the Muslim Brotherhood through the South Asian jihadist movement founded by Abul Ala Mawdudi to al-Qaeda. In the mind of DeLong-Bas, Wahhabism could be considered, as noted in a review of the book, "peaceful, traditional, spiritual, and even feminist."

DeLong-Bas outdid herself, however, in an interview with the Saudi-owned pan-Arab newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat on December 21, 2006. Therein she denied that Wahhabism was extreme; that Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and the movement's foremost ideologue, Sayyid Qutb, were jihadists; and, most incredibly, that there was evidence for the involvement of the then-living Osama bin Laden in the 9/11 attacks.

Next among Esposito's prominent female disciples came Hadia Mubarak, a researcher at CMCU, who arrived there via a post as national president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) of the U.S. and Canada and as a board member of CAIR, two leading components of the "Wahhabi lobby" in the U.S. She had received her B.A. from Florida State University and was accepted at Georgetown for graduate work. There she became inveigled in an unsuccessful but nonetheless disreputable effort to transfer $325,000 to ACMCU from the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC), a fifty-seven-member international body created in 1969 to "protect" the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem from Israel. Mubarak then went to work for the Gallup Poll's Muslim World Project.

At Gallup, Mubarak joined another Esposito protégée, Dalia Mogahed. Born in Egypt and possessor of an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, Mogahed was Esposito's coauthor in what may have been his most successful -- and certainly his most widely-cited -- book, Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think, published in 2008 by Gallup Press. As Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), described the volume, Esposito and Mogahed claimed that "'everyday Muslims' are so similar to ordinary Americans that 'conflict between the Muslim and Western communities is far from inevitable.'" Satloff continued:

Similar arguments have been made before; some of this is true, some is rubbish, much is irrelevant[.] ... The question often revolves around a disputed data point: Of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, how many are radicals? ... The book draws on a mammoth, six-year effort to poll and interview tens of thousands of Muslims in more than 35 countries with Muslim majorities or substantial minorities[.] ... The answer to that all-important question, the authors say, is 7 percent[.] ... The not-so-hidden purpose of this book is to blur any difference between average Muslims around the world and average Americans, and the authors rise to the occasion at every turn.

Satloff noted that at a WINEP event hosted for Mogahed, she admitted that "[t]he book is a book about the modern Muslim world that used its polling to inform its analysis. So that's important: It's meant for a general audience, and it's not meant to be a polling report." Mogahed is also known for her lighthearted treatment of Islamic law as protective of women, among other adventures in the company of extremists.

These slippery methods, inculcated by Esposito in his three female acolytes, exemplify, as much as his own signed work, the outlook Esposito has adopted and pursued throughout his career. In a remarkably candid 2005 interview with him in a periodical, The Muslim Weekly, the paper's writer, Scott Jaschik, noted Esposito's repellent cynicism:

Esposito's career took off after the Shah of Iran fell in 1979, and everyone could see the power of political Islam. "I owe my Lexus and my career to the Ayatollah Khomeini," he tells his students at Georgetown.

Jaschik further wrote:

It is an article of faith to many policy makers...that Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood are terrorist groups who should be denied any role in political discussions or civil society. Esposito -- while condemning suicide bombings and attacks on civilians as 'immoral' -- says these groups cannot be written off.

During the recent upheavals in the Middle East, when one would expect Esposito, as an expert on Islam and revolution, to be at the forefront of advocacy for change in countries where dictatorships had used Islam as a cover for political oppression, the Georgetown professor was and has been uncharacteristically quiet, limiting his comments to vague, perfunctory blog articles loaded with stereotypes. In one, co-authored with yet another CMCU researcher, Sheila Lalwani, we read:

Policymakers must move beyond policies that equated protection of national interests with the stability and security of regimes and were driven more by fear of the unknown than support for Western principles of self-determination, democracy and human rights.

In another, signed with Dalia Mogahed, we find:

Old habits die hard[.] ... Clinging to a failed narrative and the threat of a hostile Islamist takeover, risks succumbing to the temptation to 'encourage' or influence a specific outcome in Arab elections which will validate the concerns of Egyptians and others in the Arab world.

That's the real Esposito, even if somewhat watered down: discounting the threat of radical Islam even as it makes a flamboyant entry, particularly in the Egyptian Revolution. Yes, indeed, old habits do die hard. On that point, there can be no disagreement with John Louis Esposito.

Stephen Schwartz is executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism. He wrote this article for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Negating the Propagandist Ruse of NPR

by Tabitha Korol

NPR’s political position is heard by many, and its audience is led to sympathize with the Islamic enemies of civilization. Our very future is in upheaval and I challenge NPR’s motives, ethics, and sense of responsibility.

I have written NPR (Notorious for Palestinian Revisionism) in the past, regarding its position on the war of Islam against Israel, the Jews and Christians worldwide. Whether it is Hamas, ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, and even the most ludicrous appellation – “religion of peace,” their goal is the same: global conquest and the spread of Islam and Sharia law. The Hamas charter applies to all Muslims, including Palestinians, and how it obligates them to continue their 1400 years of bloodshed until the world is entirely Islamic, under Allah. Their history and plans are clearly delineated in the first paragraph of their Covenant – they obliterated cultures before and will continue doing so in the future. What is it about “obliterate” that NPR doesn’t understand?

Hamas Covenant

In the name of the Most Merciful Allah

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it just as it obliterated others before it. Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts.”

Hamas’s name means Islamic Resistance Movement in Arabic -- violence. They will never recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist as an independent sovereign nation, and Islam intends to “wipe it out as it wiped out what went before.” Moslems follow Mohammad’s behavior and decrees for jihad against all who reject Allah as their god and Mohammad as their prophet. They wiped out civilizations before in the Middle East, destroyed artifacts to erase all remnants of their existence, and they continue their malevolence, death, destruction, enslavement and looting. Their methods are numerous and adaptable, using violence as needed, and stealth jihad where it is more prudent. They will decapitate for expediency, but infiltrate into government and schools, using propaganda and deceit. They are inventive and methodical, and above all, dedicated.

Followed by every lame apology is another NPR report to the ill-informed, vulnerable public, using every myth and canard to claim Palestinian victimization by Israel. If there were a modicum of sincerity and honest journalism, the reporters would properly investigate incidents and compare their findings with those of the Jerusalem Post or Arutz Sheva before going to print.

Hamas, a Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, is designated a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, Canada, the European Union and Japan, yet NPR continues to transmit its dishonesty to the masses. Hamas is responsible for suicide bombings, murder tunnels, unspeakable slaughter and mayhem, and the launching of tens of thousands of rockets and missiles to harm innocent civilians and children in Israel (not to mention the chaos, kidnapping and enslaving of students in Africa) and is now restoring to daily routine their 7th century barbarian practice of chopping heads of innocent civilians to Europe and America.

Be reminded that this death cult has no qualms about victimizing their own women and children, using them as human bombs and human shields to gain public sympathy. By contrast, it has been proven that the IDF does its utmost to avoid civilian casualties when retaliating against Hamas forces. Israel is a small home to many religions and nationalities, fighting for its survival amid a sea of 1.3 billion trained, obedient, riot-ready Muslims on a land mass a thousand times the size of Israel. Americans benefit from Israel’s industry, creativity, accomplishments in science and medicine. NPR’s staff would live freely in Israel, but eventually face a subservient life and horrific death in an Islamic country, yet they support the global Islamic cause as though they were mad or suicidal. Even NPR is being hoodwinked by its deceptive reporters.

Therefore I need to convey that Israel was vindicated by the United Nations’ damage assessment of Gaza. They confirm that Israel attacked Hamas targets with restraint.

· Israel did not retaliate by rote against Hamas’s systematic attacks on civilian targets, but bombed specific facilities, bases, weapons and tunnels.

· Most of the damage was limited to areas of 25 meters or less, and most of Gaza was not damaged – less than 5 percent of Gaza was hit by the IDF.

· The most populated areas were disproportionally UNdamaged, or had limited damage.

· The areas reported in the UN damage assessment report are compatible with the IDF briefings on Hamas’s battle areas.

· When Hamas deliberately concentrated its terror against Israeli civilians from densely populated urban areas in Gaza, the areas were undamaged.

· Israel demonstrated exceptional efforts to minimize collateral damage by warning civilians, thereby forfeiting the surprise effect; they were guided by security rather than retaliatory or political expediency.

· Israel followed surgical bombing tactics, not carpet bombing, not random or indiscriminate.

· Most Israeli bombing hit terror-related sites, such as multiple tunnel entrances and shafts, and mortar and missile launching sites.

· Fifteen percent of Hamas rockets and mortars were short, hitting civilian targets inside Gaza.

Does NPR grasp that their protection emboldens Muslims to increase their evil against the world, and that what Islam does in Israel, England and Sweden will soon become conventional in America? Perhaps NPR can explain how its staff is preparing to survive our destruction. Any stealth funds they receive will only guarantee that they will not be eaten by the Islamic crocodile first; but they will be eaten.

NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro has reported that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are “seen” as illegal, rather than asserting that they are legal under the Balfour Declaration, San Remo Treaty, League of Nations’ Palestine Mandate (article 6), and UN Security Council Resolution 242. She has reported that Israeli residents are violent toward Palestinian residents, but statistics prove otherwise.

NPR reported that Mayor Goldsmith “said” there was a massacre of the Fogel family, but not that the massacre occurred, thereby questioning the occurrence and diminishing its importance and impact. Ignoring Palestinian violence, arson and stone throwing, Garcia-Navarro added there was “no justice for Palestinians.” Mike Shuster’s report on the Second Intifada, and Daniel Schorr’s report on the Gaza Flotilla, among others, were severely skewed.

Most recently, NPR reported the number killed in Gaza, without explaining the civilian count -- those women and children intentionally centered in the war zone to increase the horror, as Westerners express their shock at why Israelis kill so many “innocents.” NPR fails to inform the public that the IDF does and did warn citizens to flee an area that will be counterattacked, and that these dead are victims of their own people.

Will NPR ever realize that honorable journalism might be used to motivate and unite citizens to save our world before we run out of time?

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Persistence of Islamic Slavery

By: Robert Spencer

The International Criminal Court recently issued warrants for the arrest of Ahmed Haroun, the minister for humanitarian affairs of Sudan, and Ali Kosheib, a leader of that country’s notorious janjaweed militia. The Sudanese government has refused to hand over the two for prosecution. Charges include murder, rape, torture and “imprisonment or severe deprivation of liberty.” Severe deprivation of liberty is a euphemism for slavery. Egypt’s Al-Ahram Weekly observed not long ago that in Sudan, “slavery, sanctioned by religious zealots, ravaged the southern parts of the country and much of the west as well.”

Muslim slavers in the Sudan primarily enslave non-Muslims, and chiefly Christians. According to the Coalition Against Slavery in Mauritania and Sudan (CASMAS), a human rights and abolitionist movement, “The current Khartoum government wants to bring the non-Muslim black South in line with Sharia law, laid down and interpreted by conservative Muslim clergy. The black animist and Christian South has been ravaged for many years of slave raids by Arabs from the north and east and resists Muslim religious rule and the perceived economic, cultural, and religious expansion behind it.”

The BBC reported in March 2007 that slave raids “were a common feature of Sudan’s 21-year north-south war, which ended in 2005….According to a study by the Kenya-based Rift Valley Institute, some 11,000 young boys and girls were seized and taken across the internal border -- many to the states of South Darfur and West Kordofan….Most were forcibly converted to Islam, given Muslim names and told not to speak their mother tongue.” One modern-day Sudanese Christian slave, James Pareng Alier, was kidnapped and enslaved when he was twelve years old. Religion was a major element of his ordeal: “I was forced to learn the Koran and re-baptised “Ahmed.” They told me that Christianity was a bad religion. After a time we were given military training and they told us we would be sent to fight.” Alier has no idea of his family’s whereabouts. But while non-Muslims slaves are often forcibly converted to Islam, their conversion does not lead to their freedom. Mauritanian anti-slavery campaigner Boubacar Messaoud explains: “It’s like having sheep or goats. If a woman is a slave, her descendants are slaves.”

Anti-slavery crusaders like Messaoud have great difficulty working against this attitude because it is rooted in the Qur’an and Muhammad’s example. The Muslim prophet Muhammad owned slaves, and like the Bible, the Qur’an takes the existence of slavery for granted, even as it enjoins the freeing of slaves under certain circumstances, such as the breaking of an oath: “Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom” (5:89). But while the freeing of a slave or two here and there is encouraged, the institution itself is never questioned. The Qur’an even gives a man permission to have sexual relations with his slave girls as well as with his wives: “The believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess, for (in their case) they are free from blame…” (23:1-6). A Muslim is not to have sexual relations with a woman who is married to someone else – except a slave girl: “And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you” (4:24).

In the past, as today, most slaves in Islam were non-Muslims who had been captured during jihad warfare. The pioneering scholar of the treatment of non-Muslims in Islamic societies, Bat Ye’or, explains the system that developed out of jihad conquest:

The jihad slave system included contingents of both sexes delivered annually in conformity with the treaties of submission by sovereigns who were tributaries of the caliph. When Amr conquered Tripoli (Libya) in 643, he forced the Jewish and Christian Berbers to give their wives and children as slaves to the Arab army as part of their jizya [tax on non-Muslims]. From 652 until its conquest in 1276,
Nubia was forced to send an annual contingent of slaves to Cairo. Treaties concluded with the towns of Transoxiana, Sijistan, Armenia, and Fezzan (Maghreb) under the Umayyads and Abbasids stipulated an annual dispatch of slaves from both sexes. However, the main sources for the supply of slaves remained the regular raids on villages within the dar-al-harb [House of War, i.e., non-Islamic regions] and the military expeditions which swept more deeply into the infidel lands, emptying towns and provinces of their inhabitants.[1]

Historian Speros Vryonis observes that “since the beginning of the Arab razzias [raids] into the land of Rum [the Byzantine Empire], human booty had come to constitute a very important portion of the spoils.” As they steadily conquered more and more of Anatolia, the Turks reduced many of the Greeks and other non-Muslims there to slave status: “They enslaved men, women, and children from all major urban centers and from the countryside where the populations were defenseless.”[2] The Indian historian K. S. Lal states that wherever jihadists conquered a territory, “there developed a system of slavery peculiar to the clime, terrain and populace of the place.” When Muslim armies invaded India, “its people began to be enslaved in droves to be sold in foreign lands or employed in various capacities on menial and not-so-menial jobs within the country.”[3]

Slaves faced pressure to convert to Islam. In an analysis of Islamic political theories, Patricia Crone notes that after a jihad battle was concluded, “male captives might be killed or enslaved…Dispersed in Muslim households, slaves almost always converted, encouraged or pressurized [sic] by their masters, driven by a need to bond with others, or slowly, becoming accustomed to seeing things through Muslim eyes even if they tried to resist.”[4] Thomas Pellow, an Englishman who was enslaved in Morocco for twenty-three years after being captured as a cabin boy on a small English vessel in 1716, was tortured until he accepted Islam. For weeks he was beaten and starved, and finally gave in after his torturer resorted to “burning my flesh off my bones by fire, which the tyrant did, by frequent repetitions, after a most cruel manner.”[5]

Slavery was taken for granted throughout Islamic history, as it was, of course, in the West as well up until relatively recent times. Yet while the European and American slave trade get stern treatment attention from historians (as well as from reparations advocates and guilt-ridden politicians), the Islamic slave trade, which actually lasted longer and brought suffering to a larger number of people, is virtually ignored. (This fact magnifies the irony of Islam being presented to American blacks as the egalitarian alternative to the “white man’s slave religion” of Christianity.) While historians estimate that the transatlantic slave trade, which operated between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, involved around 10.5 million people, the Islamic slave trade in the Sahara, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean areas began in the seventh century and lasted into the nineteenth, and involved 17 million people.[6]

And when pressure came to end slavery, it moved from Christendom into Islam, not the other way around. There was no Muslim William Wilberforce or William Lloyd Garrison. In fact, when the British government in the nineteenth century adopted the view of Wilberforce and the other abolitionists and began to put pressure on pro-slavery regimes, the Sultan of Morocco was incredulous. “The traffic in slaves,” he noted, “is a matter on which all sects and nations have agreed from the time of the sons of Adam...up to this day.” He said that he was “not aware of its being prohibited by the laws of any sect” and that the very idea that anyone would question its morality was absurd: “No one need ask this question, the same being manifest to both high and low and requires no more demonstration than the light of day.”[7]

However, it was not the unanimity of human practice, but the words of the Qur’an and Muhammad that were decisive in stifling abolitionist movements within the Islamic world. Slavery was abolished only as a result of Western pressure; the Arab Muslim slave trade in Africa was ended by the force of British arms in the nineteenth century.

Besides being practiced more or less openly today in Sudan and Mauritania, there is evidence that slavery still continues beneath the surface in some majority-Muslim countries as well -- notably Saudi Arabia, which only abolished slavery in 1962, Yemen and Oman, both of which ended legal slavery in 1970, and Niger, which didn’t abolish slavery until 2004. In Niger, the ban is widely ignored, and as many as one million people remain in bondage. Slaves are bred, often raped, and generally treated like animals.

A shadow cast by the strength and perdurability of Islamic slavery can be seen in instances where Muslims have managed to import this institution to the United States. A Saudi named Homaidan Al-Turki, for instance, was sentenced in September 2006 to 27 years to life in prison, for keeping a woman as a slave in his home in Colorado. For his part, Al-Turki claimed that he was a victim of anti-Muslim bias. He told the judge: “Your honor, I am not here to apologize, for I cannot apologize for things I did not do and for crimes I did not commit. The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors. Attacking traditional Muslim behaviors was the focal point of the prosecution.” The following month, an Egyptian couple living in Southern California received a fine and prison terms, to be followed by deportation, after pleading guilty to holding a ten-year-old girl as a slave. And in January 2007, an attaché of the Kuwaiti embassy in Washington, Waleed Al Saleh, and his wife were charged with keeping three Christian domestic workers from India in slave-like conditions in al-Saleh’s Virginia home. One of the women remarked: “I believed that I had no choice but to continue working for them even though they beat me and treated me worse than a slave.”

All this indicates that the problem of Islamic slavery is not restricted to recent events in the Sudan; it is much larger and more deeply rooted. The United Nations and human rights organizations have noted the phenomenon, but nevertheless little has been done to move decisively against those who still hold human beings in bondage, or aid or tolerate others doing so. The UN has tried to place peacekeeping forces in Darfur, over the objections of the Sudanese government, but its remonstrations against slavery in Sudan and elsewhere have likewise not resulted in significant government action against the practice. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also noted the problem, but as HRW observes, “the government of Sudan has stonewalled on the issue of slavery, claiming it was a matter of rival tribes engaging in hostage taking, over which it had little control. That is simply untrue, as myriad reports coming out of southern Sudan have made abundantly clear.” For Islamic slavery to disappear, a powerful state would have to move against it decisively, not with mere words, and accept no equivocation of half-measures. In today’s international geopolitical climate, nothing could be less likely.

Notes:

[1] Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996, p. 108.
[2] Speros Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh through the Fifteenth Century, Berkeley, 1971. P. 174-5. Quoted in Bostom, Legacy of Jihad, p. 87.
[3] K. S. Lal, Muslim Slave System in Medieval India, Aditya Prakashan, 1994. P. 9.
[4] Patricia Crone, God’s Rule: Government and Islam, Columbia University Press, 2004. Pp. 371-372. Quoted in Bostom, Legacy of Jihad, p. 86.
[5] Giles Milton, White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam’s One Million White Slaves, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004. P. 84.
[6] Andrew Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad, Prometheus, 2005, pp. 89-90.
[7] Quoted in Bernard Lewis, Race and Slavery in the Middle East, Oxford University Press, 1994. Reprinted at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/lewis1.html.
Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven 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 latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Khorosan Group
Does Not Exist

By Andrew C. McCarthy

It’s a fictitious name the Obama administration invented to deceive us.

We’re being had. Again.

For six years, President Obama has endeavored to will the country into accepting two pillars of his alternative national-security reality. First, he claims to have dealt decisively with the terrorist threat, rendering it a disparate series of ragtag jayvees. Second, he asserts that the threat is unrelated to Islam, which is innately peaceful, moderate, and opposed to the wanton “violent extremists” who purport to act in its name.

Now, the president has been compelled to act against a jihad that has neither ended nor been “decimated.” The jihad, in fact, has inevitably intensified under his counterfactual worldview, which holds that empowering Islamic supremacists is the path to security and stability. Yet even as war intensifies in Iraq and Syria — even as jihadists continue advancing, continue killing and capturing hapless opposition forces on the ground despite Obama’s futile air raids — the president won’t let go of the charade.

Hence, Obama gives us the Khorosan Group.

The who?

There is a reason that no one had heard of such a group until a nanosecond ago, when the “Khorosan Group” suddenly went from anonymity to the “imminent threat” that became the rationale for an emergency air war there was supposedly no time to ask Congress to authorize.

You haven’t heard of the Khorosan Group because there isn’t one. It is a name the administration came up with, calculating that Khorosan — the –Iranian–​Afghan border region — had sufficient connection to jihadist lore that no one would call the president on it.

The “Khorosan Group” is al-Qaeda. It is simply a faction within the global terror network’s Syrian franchise, “Jabhat al-Nusra.” Its leader, Mushin al-Fadhli (believed to have been killed in this week’s U.S.-led air strikes), was an intimate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the emir of al-Qaeda who dispatched him to the jihad in Syria. Except that if you listen to administration officials long enough, you come away thinking that Zawahiri is not really al-Qaeda, either. Instead, he’s something the administration is at pains to call “core al-Qaeda.”

Sunday, September 21, 2014

THE ISLAMIC STATE OF
SAUDI ARABIA

by Andrew C. McCarthy

The beheadings over the last several weeks were intended to terrorize, to intimidate, to coerce obedience, and to enforce a construction of sharia law that, being scripturally rooted, is draconian and repressive.

And let’s not kid ourselves: We know there will be more beheadings in the coming weeks, and on into the future. Apostates from Islam, homosexuals, and perceived blasphemers will face brutal persecution and death. Women will be treated as chattel and face institutionalized abuse. Islamic-supremacist ideology, with its incitements to jihad and conquest, with its virulent hostility toward the West, will spew from the mosques onto the streets. We will continue to be confronted by a country-sized breeding ground for anti-American terrorists.

The Islamic State? Sorry, no. I was talking about . . . our “moderate Islamist” ally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

But the confusion is understandable.

Islamic State terrorists have infamously decapitated three of their prisoners in recent weeks. That is five fewer than the Saudi government decapitated in August alone. Indeed, it is three fewer beheadings than were carried out in September by the Free Syrian Army — the “moderate Islamists” that congressional Republicans have now joined Obama Democrats in supporting with arms and training underwritten by American taxpayer dollars.

The Obama administration regards the Saudi government as America’s key partner in the fight against Islamic State jihadists. The increasingly delusional Secretary of State John Kerry reasons that this is because the fight is more ideological than military. Get it? The world’s leading propagators of the ideology that breeds violent jihad are our best asset in an ideological struggle against violent jihadists.

Aloof as ever from irony, Mr. Kerry gave this assessment while visiting King Abdullah in Riyadh on, of all days, September 11 — the thirteenth anniversary of the day when 15 Saudis joined four other terrorists in mass-murdering nearly 3,000 Americans in furtherance of the Islamic-supremacist ideology on which they were reared. The 19 were, of course, members of al-Qaeda, the jihadist network sprung from Saudi Arabia and its fundamentalist “Wahhabi” Islam.

Secretary Kerry and President Obama, like British prime minister David Cameron, insist that the Islamic State, an al-Qaeda-launched jihadist faction, is not Islamic. Evidently, this is owing to the terrorists’ savage tactics. In essence, however, they are the same tactics practiced by our “moderate Islamist” allies.

Saudi Arabia is the cradle of Islam: the birthplace of Mohammed, the site of the Hijra by which Islam marks time — the migration from Mecca to Medina under siege by Mohammed and his followers. The Saudi king is formally known as the “Keeper of the Two Holy Mosques” (in Mecca and Medina); he is the guardian host of the Haj pilgrimage that Islam makes mandatory for able-bodied believers. The despotic Saudi kingdom is governed by Islamic law — sharia. No other law is deemed necessary and no contrary law is permissible.

It is thus under the authority of sharia that the Saudis routinely behead prisoners.

I happen to own the edition of the Koran “with English Translation of ‘The Meanings and Commentary,’” published at the “King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex” — Fahd was Abdullah’s brother and predecessor. As the introductory pages explain, this version is produced under the auspices of the regime’s “Ministry of Hajj and Endowments.” In its sura (or chapter) 47, Allah commands Muslims, “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks.”

The accompanying English commentary helpfully explains:

When once the fight (Jihad) is entered upon, carry it out with the utmost vigor, and strike home your blows at the most vital points (smite at their necks), both literally and figuratively. You cannot wage war with kid gloves. [Italicized parentheticals in original.]

Sura 8 underscores the point with another of Allah’s exhortations: “I am with you: Give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: Smite ye above their necks and smite ye all their fingertips off them.”

Following the 9/11 attacks, Americans Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg were among prisoners notoriously decapitated by al-Qaeda. Reacting to their beheadings, Timothy Furnish, a U.S. Army veteran with a doctorate in Islamic history, wrote a comprehensive Middle East Quarterly essay on “Beheading in the Name of Islam.” As Dr. Furnish recounted,

The practice of beheading non-Muslim captives extends back to the Prophet himself. Ibn Ishaq (d. 768 C.E.), the earliest biographer of Muhammad, is recorded as saying that the Prophet ordered the execution by decapitation of 700 men of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe in Medina for allegedly plotting against him.

As is always the case, the prophet’s example has been emulated by Muslims through the centuries. When Muslims conquered central Spain in the eleventh century, for example, the caliph had 24,000 corpses beheaded; the remains were piled into makeshift minarets atop which muezzins sang the praises of Allah. In more modern times, Furnish adds, “The Ottoman Empire was the decapitation state par excellence” — employing the practice to terrorize enemies for centuries, including, to take just one of many examples, beheading hundreds of British soldiers captured in Egypt in 1807.

A pity Sheikh Cameron was not around back then to correct the caliphate’s understanding of Islam.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

AMNESTY PAVES WAY FOR VOTERS LATER

by Marshall Frank

Amnesty now paves way for voters later

For every action, there is a reaction.

The recent flow of young immigrants from Central America is reminiscent of bygone days in Miami when Fidel Castro opened all his jails and mental institutions and dispatched children, the disabled and other unwanted citizens from the Mariel port so thousands could come to the United States.

While the softhearted press primarily focuses on the many thousands of youths who have been trekking through Mexico and over the Rio Grande, a significant number of these “children” are actually male gangster kids ages 13 to 17 whose contributions to American life will undoubtedly include a bloated crime rate wherever they land. That translates to many American victims.

Much like the coverage of bleeding little kids in Gaza, camera shots of small kids always touch the heartstrings, but it does not present the whole picture.

In 1980, while many good and decent people did arrive on the shores of South Florida during the infamous Mariel boat lift, the fact remains that the community was suddenly overwhelmed with a 120,000 new residents who had nowhere to go other than living under expressway bridges, parks and jails. The crime rate in Dade County tripled overnight. I know, because I was the captain of Homicide in those months and years. We all felt like Lucille Ball trying to keep up with the conveyor belt.

Bodies were turning up everywhere and could not be identified because we had no records of the victims. Rapes and other assaults doubled. Thefts, burglaries, vandalism and murder spiraled beyond the capacity of local resources to handle. The Medical Examiner’s Office had to rent a giant refrigerated trailer to store the accumulation of bodies. Fingerprints were not on file because all the victims and criminals came from another country.

President Jimmy Carter welcomed the refugees with open arms, but he had nothing to say to the victims of rape, assaults, thefts and murders left in the wake.

Many of the new immigrants were shipped to other states for “resettlement,” but that didn’t last long because most of the Cubans remigrated back to Miami, where they felt at home among their cultural peers.

The impact extended beyond criminal issues, as the infrastructure of state and local government was stressed beyond capacity. Schools, medical facilities, traffic, housing, personal necessities, courts, cops, jails and local budgets were unable to cope.

From all reports, the southwest United States, particularly Texas, can expect about 90,000 illegal immigrants this year, costing taxpayers $900 million. Reuters predicts the wave of youth immigration will reach above 130,000 in 2015, costing Americans $2 billion and more. Certainly, there are sad stories among the child immigrants. But rest assured, they are creating a wave of equally sad stories among American citizens and their families as well.

A quarter-million more people invading the United States is like a city larger than the population of Richmond, Virginia, being dumped in your backyard. It is naïve to think it won’t negatively impact the lives of American citizens, the people we are supposed to represent first and foremost.

And while our current administration has basically announced an amnesty pass to any immigrants under 18 who can find their way across our borders, what’s to stop the millions of Africans, Asians, middle-easterners and South Americans who are desperate for a better way of life? Where will this end?

Pardon my cynicism, but I seriously doubt the administration is supporting this influx of mass numbers because of bleeding hearts. They know that, 10 years from now, illegal immigrants who received entitlements will be most appreciative to those who paved the amnesty road to America. They are the future voters of our country. In essence, the political spectrum of America is being carved out for the 21st century. There’s the rub.

It is a clever ruse, indeed.

Monday, September 08, 2014

DESTROY THE
"ISLAMIC STATE"


By John R. Bolton


The recent military successes of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, and the ongoing disintegration of Iraq’s “central” government have created a strategic crisis for the United States. Barack Obama’s belated, narrow authorization to use military force against the Islamic State does not constitute a coherent response, let alone a comprehensive one. The president seems curiously inactive, even as American influence in the region collapses and, not coincidentally, his political-approval ratings suffer. From the outset of the Islamic State’s campaign, his policies have been haphazard and confused, especially the halting, timid decision to intervene militarily. And, based on his record as president, there is no reason to believe a strategic vision of the Middle East’s future will ultimately emerge from his administration.

Approving U.S. military force against the Islamic State on August 7, Obama stressed two limited goals: protecting U.S. civilian and military personnel in Irbil, the Kurdish capital, which the Islamic State was rapidly nearing; and aiding refugees who had fled as the group advanced into Iraq from Syria. These are legitimate objectives, but they are far too constrained even in humanitarian terms, let alone against the serious regional and global strategic threats the Islamic State poses. The approximately 40,000 Yazidis were clearly in dire straits, but their plight had been preceded months earlier by the even greater number of fleeing Christian families. Obama stood by while the Islamic State butchered its way around Iraq.

Although the initial U.S. air strikes provided the refugees breathing space, the Islamic State still basically has the initiative. Ironically, Obama the multilateralist has not yet followed George H. W. Bush’s roadmap after the first Persian Gulf War in assembling an international coalition to achieve his humanitarian objectives. In April 1991, Kurdish refugees fled Saddam Hussein’s repression, and Bush persuaded the U.N. Security Council to adopt Resolution 688, declaring the refugee flows a threat to international peace and security. He then launched Operation Provide Comfort, later supplemented by aid to the Shiites in southern Iraq.
Today’s ongoing tragedy would have been entirely avoidable had Obama not withdrawn U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011. By so doing, he eliminated a considerable element of U.S. leverage in Baghdad, one that had significantly limited Iran’s ability to expand its influence inside Iraq. With substantial U.S. forces still present, Iraq’s various ethnic and confessional groups were more likely to make progress knitting together a sustainable national government and to lessen their profound, longstanding mistrust, which existed well before the Islamic State erupted from Syria.

We must now decide on U.S. strategic objectives in light of the dramatic, albeit still-tenuous, territorial gains by the Islamic State; the unfolding disarray in Iraq’s government; the grinding conflict in Syria; and the looming threats to stability in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. This will require some unpleasant choices, as well as recognition of the obvious reality that many policy options are simply unavailable until Obama leaves office in 2017.

America’s basic objective is clear: We must seek to destroy the Islamic State. It is simply not enough to block the group’s threat to the Kurds or other vulnerable minorities in the region. The risks of even a relatively small “state” (or “caliphate,” as they proclaim it) are chilling. Leaving the Islamic State in place and in control only of its current turf in Iraq and Syria (including northern-Iraqi hydrocarbon deposits and associated infrastructure) would make it viable economically and a fearsome refuge for terrorists of all sorts. Just as Afghanistan’s Taliban gave al-Qaeda a base of operations to launch terrorist attacks culminating in 9/11, a similar result could follow if the Islamic State successfully erased and then redrew existing boundaries.

But, many ask, how can the Islamic State be removed from the territory it now holds without U.S. combat forces’ being centrally involved? Aren’t we too “war weary” to do much of anything? Perhaps, but this is surely a debate worth having. And that debate’s central “organizing principle,” as Hillary Clinton might say, is this: The United States must prevent a new terrorist state from emerging in the Middle East. Period.

If there are American political leaders who are truly content to have this embodiment of evil consolidate its current position, let them say so unambiguously. The vast majority of Americans, however, will be profoundly concerned at the likely consequences for America, Europe, Israel, and our Arab friends in the region if we do nothing. After the Holocaust, we said “Never again,” not “Well, maybe a little.”

Moreover, U.S. forces are already involved, and will need to be involved more substantially until the Islamic State is defeated. But the primary ground combat can be handled by adequately armed and equipped Kurdish peshmerga fighters, Sunni tribal militias in Iraq, and whatever trustworthy, moderate anti-Assad Sunni forces remain. U.S. air power, supplies, and intelligence will be central, but we should seek all possible assistance, including financial support from our allies globally. The recent combined U.S., Kurdish, and Iraqi operations to retake the Mosul dam demonstrate how this could work in practice.

Assuming the Islamic State is decisively defeated (a heroic assumption, given Obama’s passivity), what happens next? In Syria, non-radical Sunni Arabs, while still hoping to oust Bashar al-Assad, are increasingly beleaguered, both by regime forces and by the Islamic State and other radicals. In Iraq, the attempted coup of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who until recently was backed solidly by Iran, has added to the disarray. His reluctant decision to step aside as prime minister, however, has only removed him from the stage; it has neither reduced Iran’s dominance nor changed the fundamental political disarray among Iraq’s factions. Maliki’s maltreatment of Iraq’s Sunnis aroused such opposition that tribal leaders and former Baathists initially joined with the Islamic State because of their common contempt for the national government. What outcome can we now achieve that would satisfy non-radical Sunnis, not to mention us?

Iraq’s future poses the starkest choice. Obama still clings to the idea of making the collapsing Baghdad government functional. At some much earlier point, conditioning anti–Islamic State aid on the requirement that Iraq’s badly divided factions cooperate might have worked, but no longer. In effect, Washington’s preference that a unified Iraq exist essentially within the international borders it inherited at its independence in 1932 ended with Obama’s 2011 withdrawal of American forces. Iraqi “unity” increasingly seems like a mirage in the foreseeable future and perhaps forever. Just as the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia fragmented into their component parts two decades ago, that is likely what is now happening in Iraq.
Unavoidably, therefore, we must identify what is doable in Iraq rather than what is desirable. We are long past the point of debating “one Iraq” versus “three Iraqs,” because fierce animosities have already split Iraq de facto into Kurdistan and the predominantly Arab remainder. The only outstanding issue is whether the Arab lands will themselves break into two, one largely Sunni, the other largely Shiite.

As things stand, helping to create three Iraqs looks to be America’s best option. Our metric today, looking forward, is not whether the Platonic ideal of a unified, democratic Iraq might once have been achieved, or might yet be achieved unknowable years hence. Instead, we must proceed on the clear-eyed basis of what America’s interests are now, choosing among less-than-ideal options.

First, it is nearly impossible to envision any circumstances in which the Kurds would agree to meaningful participation in an Iraqi central government that attempted to assert real authority over them. The parliamentary charades now on display in Baghdad — where Kurds (and Sunnis as well) agree to divide political offices among Iraq’s factions and otherwise go through the motions of central government — do not constitute serious institution-building. Instead, they merely reflect the pragmatic Kurdish decision not to break de jure from Iraq until that necessity arrives. Behind the play-acting, the Kurds are in reality already independent, and there is no going back.

The real problem for “Kurdistan” is defining its broader boundaries beyond Iraq, given the Kurdish populations in Syria, Iran, and Turkey. Amalgamating the Kurds in Syria and Iraq will be easier than dealing with those in Turkey and Iran. Once a visibly independent Kurdish government exists, excruciatingly hard problems will arise. Kurds in Turkey and Iran will not remain quiescent for long, and Ankara and Tehran will not let them escape easily or painlessly.

Second, though perhaps less definitively than the Kurds, Iraq’s Sunni Arabs show no inclination to cooperate with a Baghdad government they see, correctly, as dominated by Iran. As long as Obama and others press them to pretend that there is a possibility of restitching a national government in Baghdad, the Sunnis may do so, but primarily only to obtain assistance necessary to fight the Islamic State. Obviously, Sunni opposition to the Islamic State is critical to its ultimate defeat.

Until we effectively counter Iran’s increasing dominance in Shiite Iraq — indeed, until we overthrow the ayatollahs in Tehran — we cannot ignore the reality that Iraq’s Sunnis simply will not tolerate domination by an “Iraqi” government Tehran controls in every material respect. Similarly, as with their opposition to al-Qaeda in Iraq during the 2006–07 “surge,” most Iraqi Sunnis have no desire to trade Iranian-backed repression for Islamic State repression.

Third, the Islamic State’s territorial conquests underscore the fragility of all the region’s existing boundaries. By hiving off parts of both Iraq and Syria to create a “caliphate,” the group is portending even more significant redrawing of boundaries, as an unambiguously independent Kurdistan would also do. While we must prevent the Islamic State from forming a new, independent terrorist state composed of Sunni Arabs, there is an acceptable alternative. In broad strokes, a transborder state carved out of Iraq’s and Syria’s current territory is far from undesirable, and is in any event increasingly likely. If rightly established and led by Sunnis acceptable to the United States and our regional allies, a new Sunni state is entirely realistic.

It would mean partitioning Syria, an outcome some have predicted, and leaving Assad with essentially an Alawite enclave in Syria’s western and coastal regions. A stable, “moderate” Sunni state with control over oil assets in northern Iraq equitably divided with the Kurds would also serve to protect Jordan’s eastern border. Northern areas with significant Kurdish populations could join Iraqi Kurds in their new state, and Sunni Arabs would have the rest.

Concededly, this is easier said than done, and drawing new boundaries will be arduous and perhaps ultimately futile. Moreover, creating a new Sunni state will not solve the problem of Iran’s continuing to dominate the regimes governing the rump portions of Syria and Iraq. These projections of Tehran’s power would still threaten those states’ neighbors and provide Iran much-needed allies. Unfortunately, however, Syria’s Assad dictatorship and Iraq’s successor to Maliki will remain relatively secure until the ayatollahs lose power in Tehran.
Regarding Syria, many who advocated aiding the anti-Assad opposition will now contend that, once the Islamic State is on the run, we should seize the moment to topple the dictatorship. The hard reality, however, is that for over three years the Syria conflict has been a strategic sideshow in the larger struggle against Iran. If a moderate, transborder Sunni state emerged, fighting an Assad regime confined to an Alawite enclave would not be worth the risks of Obama’s stumbling around simultaneously confronting Russia and Iran, which both back Assad. If Iran’s ayatollahs and Revolutionary Guards were to fall and be replaced by anything like a sensible government, Assad (not to mention Hezbollah and Hamas) would lose his biggest source of financial and military support. To be sure, Russia would still see Assad as an ally, but without Iran, even Moscow might recalibrate its stakes in Syria. And until Iran flips, as long as Assad retains Russian support, Obama cannot be trusted to face off competently against Moscow.

Any real opportunity to stitch the pieces of Iraq back together will come only when the mullahs next door are eliminated. Unfortunately, however, while most Iraqi Shiites oppose Iran’s domination, they have been ineffective in preventing it, and there is little prospect that this pattern will change.

Obviously, the central problem is not Iran’s surrogates, but Iran itself, America’s main regional adversary. And until the United States confronts the ever more pressing need for regime change in Tehran, we can hardly expect others in the region to have the strength or the will to arrange things to suit our interests. Obama’s obsession with securing a nuclear-weapons deal means the odds that he would support overthrowing the ayatollahs approach zero. The regime is determined to possess nuclear weapons, so appeasing it in Syria, as Obama has done, was never going to cause Tehran to modify its positions in the nuclear talks. Far better to concentrate on regime change in Iran by overtly and covertly supporting the widespread opposition and watch Assad fall as collateral damage thereafter.

These possible outcomes constitute working hypotheses for U.S. objectives flowing from the destruction of the Islamic State. They are not philosophical abstractions, but practical suggestions that could well change as regional circumstances change. What we must not do is take our eye off the critical first step of destroying the Islamic State. Nor can we let theories about the kinds of regimes we would like to see emerge in the region blind us to what may actually be achievable.

Perhaps most important of all, we simply must stop blundering around in the vacuum of strategic thinking Obama has created during his presidency. Real progress must obviously await Obama’s 2017 departure from office, but we should plan now to replace his failed policies.

— Mr. Bolton is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. He is the author of Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad. This article appears in the September 8, 2014, issue of National Review.

Friday, September 05, 2014

'Embracing Crazy Town'

By: Erick Erickson

From Red State's "Silencing The Other"

In Rotherham, England, 1400 young girls were routinely raped over more than a decade while authorities turned a blind eye. Why did they turn a blind eye? The authorities were so concerned with multiculturalism they could not bring themselves to do anything about a systemic and widespread culture of rape gangs in the area.

The gangs were, if you read most press accounts, Pakistani men. In fact, there were Bangladeshi men, Afghani men, and others involved. But you will not find many references of the word “muslim” except in pieces warning about a possible backlash against the muslim community. This New York Times piece is a good example. The words “muslim” and “Islam” do not appear, just “[t]he victims identified in the report were all white, while the perpetrators were mostly of Pakistani heritage”.

Ironically, the British Home Secretary, Theresa May, said the monstrous crime went on so long because of “institutionalized political correctness.” People would not take action because they did not want to rock the multicultural boat. Anyone who dared do so would be labeled a racist. Even now, despite Theresa May’s statement, the press dares not use the “m” word.

We have not experienced such horrors in this country. I hope we will never. Bad things happen, but towns and cities being taken over by muslim rape gangs will hopefully not be one of those things. But the fears of “institutionalized political correctness” are real in the United States too at a different level.

The Huffington Post has hired Donte Stallworth as a “fellow”. He will cover national security. Mr. Stallworth, a former NFL player, is a 9/11 truther, believes a plane did not hit the Pentagon, believes Osama Bin Laden was not involved, and also is an anti-vaccine conspiracist who has bizarre theories on Mexicans and the H1N1 flu. Mr. Stallworth also killed a person.

He will now write for the Huffington Post.

I do not mean to compare his hire to the monstrous horrors of Rotherham, but the logic of political correctness running amuck leads to bizarre places.

Had Mr. Stallworth given money to Proposition 8 in California, been an advocate of traditional marriage, or suggested mankind’s involvement in climate change might be overstated, I have no doubt the Huffington Post would not have hired him.

But suggest conspiracies related to vaccines and 9/11 and he is golden. The paths of political correctness and conformity lead to terrible places in culture. Francis Schaeffer, the theologian, wrote a remarkable book called The God Who is There in 1968. In the book, Schaeffer posits that the United States lags Europe by about thirty years in cultural shifts and he predicted a thirty year or so lag in growing secularism and conformity in the United States.

We have already reached a point in this country where secular society will drive people from jobs based on their religious convictions and rejection of secularized-pseudoscientific bullying. We have a society where people can have wacko ideas, but so long as their values do not offend the ever more pervasive multicultural political correction of the age, they’re golden.

We see what is afoot in Europe. We see the disastrous consequences of shaming and silencing “the other” in Rotherham. And we see more secularized Americans shunning truth and embracing crazy town. Just how bad can we expect it to become?

Come Lord Jesus, quickly.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

REMEMBERING MARGARET THATCHER'S BOLD POLICY


By Ralph Emerson Benn

CONSERVATIVE AND INDEPENDENT THINKERS ARE MISSING HER DYNAMIC LEADERSHIP

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thatcher's Famous Quote: "If you just set out to be liked you would be prepared to compromise on anything, at any time, and you would achieve nothing. If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a conservative woman".
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
LONDON - Monday, Sept. 01, 2014 - 10:30 A.M. Eastern

On the floor of British Parliment, the Honorable Prime Minister David Cameron spoke
forcefully, taking the lead on the subject of radical Islam's latest threats in Syria & Iraq from Bakr Al Bagdadi Forces on recent success in spreading terror throughout the region with grim executions, mass killings and beheadings getting the momentary attention of a largely unaware and apathetic world.
>>
Summary: It would be comforting if the American voters suddenly came alive in November... sending Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid back to Searchlight, Nevada... and California
Representative Nancy Pelosi back to San Francisco to order a flowery parade, celebrating her return to civilian life... plus a few dozen progressive-democratic senators sent back to their home states? Just imagine the fallout!

* Andrew C. McCarthy replacing Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General

* John Bolton replacing John Kerry as our Secretary of State

* Lt. General Tom McInerney replacing General Dempsey at Joint Chief of Staff

* Lastly, A Conservative, Business-Friendly Governance in the Oval Office in 2016... with independence from Saudi Arabian Oil... with $1.50 per gallon gasoline at the pump, plus cheap diesel fuel for the fleets of 18-wheelers traversing our nation's busy Interstate Highways.

We can ensure dynamic growth of our economy if we remove the odd and unhealthy regulations imposed on the Oil and Gas Industries, and renew our old friendship with our Canadian neighbors on that Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast. Read about Arctic National Wildlife Refuge {ANWR} in Snake Hunters Archives, dated February 1st and 12th of 2012 for Our Own Vast Untapped Oil Reserves!

All of the above will bring the economy back from the years of stagnation under Obama-Mania. Major investors will quickly spot the basic advantages to be found only in a nation founded in the belief in liberty, justice and open competition, and with the grand opportunities for aggressive small business ventures to grow prosperous in a clearly more friendly business environment. Aware voters can make it happen.

reb

Monday, September 01, 2014

Will America
Snap Out Of It In Time?‏

By Victor Davis Hanson

A nation became unhinged by trivialities like “hope and change.” It has now awakened.

The madness of 2008
America is suddenly angry at the laxity, incompetence, and polarizing politics of the Obama administration, the bad optics of the president putting about in his bright golf clothes while the world burns. Certainly, no recent president has failed on so many fronts — honesty, transparency, truthfulness, the economy, foreign policy, the duties of the commander-in-chief, executive responsibilities, and spiritual leadership.

For those who are “shocked” at the present meltdown, of a magnitude not seen since the annus horribilis of 1979, in their defense: Obama certainly did not campaign on a new health-care plan that would force Americans to give up the doctors they liked and their existing coverage, while raising premiums and deductibles, while giving exemptions for insiders and cronies, and while raising the deficit.

Nor did we hear on the campaign trail that Obama would push gay marriage, open borders, near-permanent zero interest rates, six consecutive $1 trillion deficits, and record food-stamp and Social Security disability payouts. He criticized Bush for relatively minor executive orders, suggesting that he would never rule by fiat — as he since has done in matters of Obamacare, immigration law, and environmental regulations. Remember the promise of ending the revolving door and stopping aides from cashing in — and then follow the post-administration careers of Obama’s closest advisers.

Obama promised to halve the deficit — not run up more red ink than almost all prior presidents combined. Indeed, he once as a senator voted against raising the debt limit and blasted Bush for borrowing from China. He once sermonized to us that the presidency is serious stuff, that it entails inordinate personal sacrifice and even a virtual absence of downtime and vacation — and then he became just the sort of president he was critiquing. But those deceptions were simply politics as usual, and it was logical for the hard leftist Barack Obama to try to appear to be a moderate, given that no Northern liberal had won the presidency in the half-century since John F. Kennedy.

The antidote to the great madness of 2008 would have been, instead of focusing on what Obama claimed or hedged, simply to recall what he had done before he ran for president and to notice what he did during the campaign. Had America done that, there would never have been a President Obama to surprise us now.

The racial animosity characterized by Obama’s editorializing about Skip Gates, Trayvon Martin, and, now, the Ferguson, Mo., hysteria, or his call to Latinos to “punish our enemies,” or the tenure of Eric Holder is simply a continuation of 2008’s “typical white person,” the clingers speech, Michelle Obama’s America as “just downright mean,” “They raise the bar,” and “For the first time . . . I’m really proud of my country” commentaries, and of Obama’s earlier boast that he never missed services at the Trinity Church of the hate-mongering and anti-Semitic Reverend Jeremiah Wright. If Obama had not proved to be a racial divider, we should have been surprised — given what we learned of his past in 2008. After all, it’s from Jeremiah Wright that Barack Obama got the title for his campaign brief, “The Audacity of Hope.”

We are now shocked at the current spate of alphabetic scandals — IRS, AP, NSA, VA. But why are we surprised, given that Obama never told the truth about his relationships with the old terrorist Bill Ayers and former PLO ad hoc spokesman Rashid Khalidi, or about the creepy land deal with the crook Tony Rezko? If the Obama White House demonized the Tea Party as tea-baggers, or compared the Republican House opposition to terrorists and arsonists, why should we be astonished, given how he was elected to the U.S. Senate? Quite mysteriously, his primary opponent, Blair Hull, and his general-election opponent, Jack Ryan, both of whom were favored to win, had their confidential divorce records leaked. Their campaigns subsequently imploded.

Obama has played fast and loose with ethical rules, from promoting crony capitalists to attending near-constant fundraisers among the pay-to-play 0.0001 percent. Again, why should we be surprised, given that he was the first presidential candidate who refused in a general election to accept federal campaign financing, with its accompanying rules curbing mega-fundraising? Obama was the largest recipient of Goldman Sachs donations in the company’s history, and raised more cash in 2008 and 2012 than any other presidential candidate in history.

We are terrified of the chaos that is spreading across the world: Egypt, Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Putin’s Russia, and the Chinese–Japanese tensions. But was there any evidence in 2008 that rookie senator Obama had any foreign-policy experience or even knowledge of the world beyond Chicago, other than as a boy in Indonesia or a teen on a jaunt with buddies to Pakistan? We knew in 2008 that his opportunistic trashing of Guantánamo, renditions, tribunals, drones, and preventive detention was permitted only by the fact that the Bush–Cheney protocols he was criticizing had prevented another 9/11-like attack — and thus gave him the leeway of easy second-guessing. If we are now worried about Obama’s equivocation, there was plenty of evidence, as Hillary Clinton pointed out in 2008, that Obama as a state legislator had voted “Present” as a matter of habit.

Polarization? Partisanship? The National Journal warned us in 2008 that Obama was the most partisan of the 100 U.S. senators. Did we assume that he would revert to something that he never had been?

Critics are angry that Obama seems disengaged, or that as a man of the people he is inordinately obsessed with golf, a sport that the Left used to despise as a fixation of the rich in their lime-green pants and bright pink polo shirts. But again, can we point to any landmark legislation that Obama accomplished as a state legislator or U.S. senator? Was not Obama golfing during the 2008 campaign?

Then there is the matter of the presidential untruths. The problem is not just that Barack Obama says things that are untrue but that he lies about what Barack Obama has said. He brags that he set red lines, but then he says it was the U.N. had set red lines. He boasts of pulling out every U.S. soldier from Iraq but then alleges that President Bush, the Iraqis, or Maliki did that. He claims that ISIS are Jayvees but then claims they are serious. But his prevarication too is habitual and was known in 2008 when it was discovered that he had simply misled the nation about his relationships with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. He had no desire, in the transparent manner of John Kerry, Al Gore, John McCain, or George W. Bush, to release his medical records or college transcripts. If Americans find their president ill-informed, there was no record that he was informed in 2008. His gaffes were far more frequent than those of Sarah Palin, who knew there were 50 states.

Historians will look back at 2008 as a time when the country became more or less collectively unhinged. There was an accompanying perfect storm of sorts: He was the first serious African-American candidate, whom condescending liberals like Harry Reid and Joe Biden heralded for being clean, light-skinned, and without a black patois; he was running in an orphaned election without an incumbent vice president or president on the other side’s ticket, a situation not seen since 1952; we had an unpopular lame-duck president and the Iraq war; the sudden financial meltdown in September 2008 caused a then-behind Obama to immediately surge ahead; the McCain campaign was lackluster; and the media became an advocate of the Obama effort.

Pundits vied for superlatives. On little evidence, Christopher Buckley assured us that Obama possessed “a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect.” For some, proof of Obama’s godhead became almost physical — a “perfectly creased pant” for David Brooks, a tingling leg for Chris Matthews. For Evan Thomas he was a “sort of God”; for one blue-chip historian he was the smartest man with the highest IQ ever running for the presidency. And on and on, as huge crowds acted as if they were watching Paul McCartney on tour in 1966. After the election, there was real apprehension that the country might not make it for the two and a half months until an elected Obama could take power.

Given that there was no evidence from Obama’s legislative career to justify such superlatives, we can only assume that our intellectual elites got caught up in the faux Greek columns, the Obama tutorials for fainting crowds about proper first aid, the teleprompted emphatics of “Let me be perfectly clear” and “Make no mistake about it,” the Latinate motto “Vero possumus” on the faux presidential seal on his campaign podiums, the boast that Obama & Co. were “the ones we’ve been waiting for,” the messianic promise to cool the planet and lower the seas, the Lincoln self-comparisons, and the other embarrassing childish banalities.

Obama, it is true, ran a brilliant campaign in 2008, hinting to the Other that as a non-white he shared both their racial bona fides and their frustrations, hinting to white elites that his own unique heritage would end racial hostilities and thus allow them to square the circle of living largely separate elite lives and not having to feel guilty about it. He dropped his g’s and went into Southern cadences among African Americans, and then back again into wonkish academese to mainstream whites. It was well known that in impromptu talks he stuttered and stumbled with uh’s in deer-in-the-headlights fashion, and used the pronouns I, me, my, and mine ad nauseam, but such unease was ignored given his teleprompted eloquence and the considerable elite investment in his symbolism.

In sum, in 2008 Obama gave America more than enough evidence to doubt that he was ready for the presidency, but when a nation becomes unhinged by trivialities like “hope and change,” there is not much one can do — until the patient wakes up from his trance and in embarrassment asks, “What exactly was all that nuttiness in 2008 about?”

We will be fathoming that strange madness of 2008 for decades to come.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institutionand the author, most recently, of The Savior Generals.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

YOU ARE OFFICER DARREN WILSON, FERGUSON P.D.

by Marshall Frank

Imagine this.

You are a 28 year-old man with a bright future in law enforcement. You’re on the job in a small city outside of St. Louis, patrolling a predominantly black community for the last six years. You have received commendations for outstanding work and never disciplined for anything. You’re soft spoken, friendly to everyone and referred to in the highest terms of respect and honor by everyone who knows you.

You’re on routine patrol one day. A call that goes out about a strong-arm robbery at a convenience store. As you’re nearing the scene, you spot two black males walking in the street, one of whom is quite large. You do your job and order them to get off the roadway.

They ignore your order. You stop the patrol car. You are not expecting what follows. As you’re exiting the patrol car, the large male suddenly comes at you with a powerful punch to the face delivered by a humongous fist. In a split second, your whole world turns upside down. The large fellow starts walking away. He has just committed a felony. You’re stunned, in pain, confused, shaking. But you have to do something.

You reach for your pistol and order him to stop. He doesn’t. Instead he comes back at you, challenging. He’s already punched you in the face. He’s unarmed, but the mere size of a young man, 6’4”, 300 pounds, is intimidating enough to realize you’re no match, physically. You are suddenly scared to death, fearful of being pummeled by this behemoth of an angry young man. As he nears, you panic and start pulling the trigger in his direction, two, three, maybe six shots, whatever it takes to stop him from maiming or killing you.

The young man collapses. You don’t know he’s only eighteen years old. You don’t know he’s just committed a felony at a convenience store. All you know is that you’re shaking inside, injured and emotionally wracked because you just did something you hoped you would never do in your entire life.

This had nothing to do with the young man being white, black or purple. You were just doing your job by ordering two boys off the dangerous streets, and from there, it mushroomed into an incident. You did everything the right way.

But that doesn’t matter now.

Fast forward nearly two weeks later. You have been villainized as a racist by everyone in local, state and federal governments. Angry citizens by the thousands are chanting for vengeance, declaring you as a hater of black people. The media is on a frenzy, stoking the flames of disorder as you flee to an undisclosed location because of threats to kill you.

You are a symbol of the criminal justice system, but you see something else unfurling before your eyes as you read newspapers and watch television from your hiding place. You always thought the system was about evenness and fairness, where justice is determined in a court room where evidence is presented challenged and evaluated before judgment is reached.

But that’s not happening for you. You’re different. You’re a white cop. The dead kid is black. You’re guilty.

You are astounded at the responses by prominent individuals who seem to have already tried and convicted you, reaching conclusions before knowing the array of evidence.

Governor Jay Nixon: “A vigorous prosecution must now be pursued.”

Congressman Lacy Clay: “I have absolutely no confidence in the Ferguson Police or the County Prosecutor. I know we won’t get a fair shake.”

Captain Ron Johnson, Highway Patrol: “I wear this uniform and I should stand here and say ‘I’m sorry.’”

Al Sharpton: “Justice for Michael Brown and his family.”

Benjamin Crump, family attorney: “They tried it with Trayvon, now they’re trying it with Michael.”

Darrel Parks, Brown family spokesman: “The person who shot Michael should be on trial.”

Attorney General Eric Holder: “I understand the mistrust. I am Attorney General, but I am also a black man.”

You’re watching the purveyors of racial hatred signing petitions in a call for the removal of respected County Prosecutor from the case. Robert McCulloch has been elected four times in sixteen years by the predominantly black electorate with an impeccable record, including several successful prosecutions of police officers. But he’s not trusted because his father was killed by a black person fifty years ago.

You’re seeing the beginnings of a lynch mob, setting the ground for a vigorous hate-filled prosecution hell-bent on seeing you in prison, or else. And if you are not prosecuted and convicted, the communities will burn, just like they did in L.A. and Miami. Everyone is on edge.

And if you are not charged or fail to be convicted, the power of the federal government will step in by adding charges about violating civil rights. You’re going to prison, one way or another. Guilt or innocence is not an issue.

It’s all about revenge. You now realize you will pay the price for all those racist cops in America who abused black people over the last century.

You are sorry that you had to fire that weapon. You feel sorry for the family of Michael Brown. But no one is listening. You don’t matter. Everyone, from the top law enforcement officer of the nation to the street people, all declare the need for justice for Michael Brown. But justice doesn’t apply to you.

No national figures are coming to visit you. No celebrities, no whites, blacks or Asians. You are alone.

So you turn the channel to get your mind clear, and you see another issue stirring emotions from across the globe. An American journalist has had his head severed from his body by fanatics, though he is guilty of no crime.

Your heart skips a beat. You see what’s coming.

Welcome to America the beautiful