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Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Judging by ACTIONS, not WORDS...
on: February 23, 2015, 08:06:53 AM
Does Obama Love America or Islam?
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On February 23, 2015 @ frontpagemag.com
Walk into a store and you’ll see piles of red and pink in the Clearance box. Everything from heart-shaped cards and boxes of chocolate candy to plastic flowers and teddy bears clutching plush red hearts will be 50 percent off because Valentine’s Day comes but once a year. And Valentine’s Day is over.
Obama’s love for America also comes but once a year. He tosses it into a speech in the Midwest when his poll numbers are down and then it goes into the clearance box where you can buy his love and his patriotism for 50 percent off. And it’s still expensive at the price because the heart-shaped box is empty.
Greeting card sentiments come easily to the man who will say anything. Obama promised to eliminate income tax for seniors making less than $50,000, vowed transparent open government and promised that you could keep your doctor. His words were empty promises.
Love, of a person or of a country, is not judged by what we say. It is judged by what we do.
Every politician with ambition claims to love America. Most only love themselves. Some love other things. No one can know what is it in Obama’s heart, which is why the media’s shrill demands that Scott Walker affirm Obama’s love for America are silly and cynical, but we can certainly follow his passions.
We show our passions in the things that we really care about. We all have our duties and obligations. Obama’s obligations include delivering speeches praising America, occasionally placing his hand on his heart during the pledge of allegiance (when he can find it) and badly saluting soldiers with a latte cup.
But are these the things he loves and cares about?
We can follow Obama’s passions the way that an adulterer’s trail to his mistress can be followed no matter how many cards or stuffed bears he gives to his wife.
What are the things that Obama is passionate about?
In his first days in office, he signed a number of executive orders. Of his first five orders, three involved Muslim terrorists captured and held in Gitmo. His third executive order was about the “humane” treatment of terrorists. His fourth executive order sought to close Gitmo. Like the man who can’t wait to get away from his wife so he can call his mistress, Obama made his priorities clear from the start.
It took Obama a month to set up the Economic Recovery Advisory Board. It took him two days to set up a Special Interagency Task Force on Detainee Disposition to free Gitmo terrorists.
Obama prioritized helping Muslim terrorists over the economic recovery. Why? Because that was a subject he was passionate about.
People will always prioritize what they are passionate about over what they aren’t. It’s easy to look at a mission shift and see the choice that has been made.
For example, is Obama passionate about space exploration? He told the head of NASA that his “foremost” priority was making Muslims feel good about themselves.
Obama is more passionate about Muslim self-esteem than he is about visiting other planets.
Is he passionate about god and religion? That depends on which god and which religion.
Obama left out “Under God” when reciting the Gettysburg Address. The DNC’s platform initially left out “God” and booed the reinsertion. Obama’s invocation at his inauguration also dropped “Under God”.
However Obama cheerfully recited “Allahu Akbar”, the opening of the Islamic supremacist call to prayer, and called it “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth.” He had a man jailed for making a YouTube video attacking Mohammed and blamed him for Muslim acts of terror against America.
Obama’s religious beliefs, such as they are, remain locked in his head. But there is only one religion that he is passionate enough to protect by imprisoning those who blaspheme against it.
He may botch salutes and the pledge of allegiance, but he has retained the ability to chant “Allahu Akbar” with a “first-rate accent”.
He may think that the “good book” says “don’t throw stones in glass houses”, but he accurately quotes the Koran. The things that we remember are the ones that we really care about.
Obama has an obligation to reference the Gettysburg Address, to wait out the pledge of allegiance and to praise America. He has no obligation to quote the Koran or chant “Allahu Akbar”. These are things that he does because he wants to do them. They are the things that he is actually passionate about.
Does he love them more than he loves America? No one can know what is in another person’s heart.
There are married couples who have lived together for decades only to discover that the love of their life had been cheating on them all along. And who is to say that the adulterer doesn’t love? We can’t pass a final verdict on his feelings. But we can know his faithlessness by his deeds.
We can say of him and of Obama that they broke faith with the covenant that they had entered into. We can say that they betrayed those who trusted them, lied to them, used and abused them, and then feigned outrage when their actions were questioned.
Can the media’s furious talking heads denouncing Giuliani deny that Obama lied to Americans? Can they deny that he harmed them? Can they deny that he refused to take responsibility for his actions?
The facts are clear. Only the interpretation is in doubt. And the interpretation is what we are debating.
Does Obama lie to Americans because he loves them? Does he weaken America abroad because he loves it? And if Obama loves America, what does he love about it and how does he show that love? Does he love the Constitution? If he did, he wouldn’t constantly violate it. Does he love Americans? Which Americans? The ones whose health plans he took away for ObamaCare or the ones whose jobs he took away to legalize illegal aliens? The ones whose votes and wishes he ignores and snidely mocks?
Is it the Americans who no longer believe in the future under his rule that he loves? Is it the unemployed Americans he loves? Is it the Americans he jailed under his new laws and regulations that he loves?
If Obama loves Americans, then it’s a clear case of hurting the ones you love.
And if Obama doesn’t love Americans, what America does he love; the rock band or the Walt Whitman poem, the town America in the Netherlands or the Neil Diamond song?
Questioning Obama’s love for America is alleged to be unacceptable gutter politics, but accusing his critics of being racists is a standard debating tactic for those same outraged media talking heads.
It wasn’t gutter politics when Obama claimed that the national debt under Bush was “unpatriotic”. Is Obama at least as “unpatriotic” for increasing the debt by 70 percent? Is it possible that his spending spree proves that he doesn’t love America? Or is indebting our children the way that he shows his love?
Can we question the patriotism of a man who frees terrorists or only of a man who locks them up?
Is asking whether Obama loves America an unacceptable question because the answer is obvious or because it isn’t?
Obama will go on making speeches in which he claims to love America while making the country poorer, more dangerous and weaker. He will also go on making speeches praising Islam while increasing the power, influence and wealth of Muslims in America and around the world.
As the clearance box after Valentine’s Day shows, anyone can buy a card or a teddy bear. It’s the actions that count. It’s not what we say that shows love. It’s what we do that shows what we truly care about.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "US Muslims Take on ISIS Recruiting Machine"
on: February 21, 2015, 10:16:15 AM
This is certainly a positive and hopeful development IF it is true. Since it comes from The New York Times - I am highly suspicious of the veracity of the information therein.
I'm not aware of any widespread program like this within the American Muslim community - let alone the Muslim community in Europe. Muslims with whom I have talked here in the Atlanta area are all either quietly supportive if ISIS, ignorant of the actual teachings of the Koran and Hadith (Muslims in name only) or genuinely afraid to speak out against Islamic terror for fear of repercussions from their local Mosque and community.
I take this story with a grain of salt. If I see more evidence emerge that this is actually taking place in any significant way - that will be a good thing. The NYT has no more credibility to me than any other left-leaning rag. Everything it publishes is suspect ipso facto.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's ISIS "Strategy" Even Worse Than You Think...
on: February 19, 2015, 06:49:34 AM
Obama’s ISIS Strategy Is Even Worse Than You Think
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On February 19, 2015 @ frontpagemag.com
“We can not win this war by killing them,” Marie Harf said on MSNBC.
Reversing thousands of years of battlefield experience in which wars were won by “killing them,” the State Department spokeswoman argued that you can’t defeat ISIS by killing its fighters.
“We can not kill our way out of this war,” she said. “We need in the medium and longer term to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it is lack of opportunity for jobs.”
War is one of the few things in life we can reliably kill our way out of. The United States has had a great track record of killing our way out of wars. We killed our way out of WW1. We killed our way out of WW2. The problem began when we stopped trying to kill our way out of wars and started trying to hug our way out of wars instead. Progressive academics added war to economics, terrorism and the climate in the list of subjects they did not understand and wanted to make certain that no one else was allowed to understand. Because the solution to war is so obvious that no progressive could possibly think of it.
Harf’s argument is a familiar one. There was a time when progressive reformers had convinced politicians that we couldn’t arrest, shoot, imprison or execute our way out of crime.
We couldn’t stop crime by fighting crime. Instead the root causes of crime had to be addressed. The police became social workers and criminals overran entire cities. The public demanded action and a new wave of mayors got tough on crime. While the sociologists, social workers, activists and bleeding hearts wailed that it wouldn’t work, surprisingly locking up criminals did stop them from committing crimes.
It was a revelation almost as surprising as realizing that it does take a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun. Addressing root causes won’t stop a killing spree in progress. (That’s another one of those things we can and do kill our way out of.)
But bad ideas are harder to kill than bad people. And stupid ideas are the hardest ideas of all to kill.
The same plan that failed to stop street gangs and drug dealers has been deployed to defeat ISIS. Heading it up are progressives who don’t believe that killing the enemy wins wars.
General Patton told the Third Army, “The harder we push, the more Germans we kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed.” That kind of thinking is passé. General McChrystal, Obama’s favorite commander (before he had to be purged for insulting Obama) had a much better plan.
“We will not win based on the number of Taliban we kill,” he said. “We must avoid the trap of winning tactical victories—but suffering strategic defeats—by causing civilian casualties or excessive damage and thus alienating the people.”
Under Obama’s rotating shift of commanders, we avoided the trap of winning tactical victories. Instead of following Patton’s maxim, American casualties doubled. The Taliban struck closer to Kabul while US soldiers avoided engaging the enemy because they wouldn’t be given permission to attack unless the Taliban announced themselves openly while avoiding mosques or civilian buildings.
“We will not win simply by killing insurgents,” McChrystal had insisted. “We will help the Afghan people win by securing them, by protecting them from intimidation, violence and abuse.”
But we couldn’t protect the Afghan people without killing the Taliban. Civilian casualties caused by the United States fell 28 percent, but the Taliban more than made up for it by increasing their killing of civilians by 40 percent. Not only did we avoid the trap of a tactical victory, but we also suffered a strategic defeat. American soldiers couldn’t kill insurgents, protect civilians or even protect themselves.
We’ve tried the McChrystal way and over 2,000 American soldiers came home in boxes from Afghanistan trying to win the hearts and minds of the Afghans. Many more returned missing arms and legs. The Taliban poll badly among Afghans, but instead of hiring a PR expert to improve their image, a Pentagon report expects them to be encircling key cities by 2017.
Unlike our leaders, the Taliban are not worried about falling into the trap of winning tactical victories. They are big believers in killing their way to popularity. As ISIS and Boko Haram have demonstrated, winning by killing works better than trying to win by wars by winning polls.
Now the same whiz kids that looked for the root cause of the problem in Afghanistan by dumping money everywhere, including into companies linked to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, think that the way to beat ISIS is with unemployment centers and job training. Many of the ISIS Jihadists come from the social welfare paradises of Europe where there are more people employed to find the root causes of terrorism through welfare than there are people working to fight them. So far they haven’t had much luck either.
The Europeans were still searching for the root causes of Muslim terrorism back when Obama was smoking pot on a dirty couch. They’re still searching for them even while newspapers, cafes and synagogues are shot up. Meanwhile unarmed police officers lie on the ground and beg for their lives.
Obama’s real ISIS strategy is even worse than his Afghan strategy. He doesn’t have a plan for beating ISIS. He has a plan for preventing it from expanding while the sociologists try to figure out the root causes for its popularity. American air power isn’t there to crush ISIS. It’s there to stop it from launching any major advances and embarrassing him too much. Meanwhile hearts and minds will be won.
At least those minds that haven’t been beheaded and those hearts that haven’t been burned to ash.
We won’t be falling into the trap of winning victories. Instead we’ll be figuring out how to create jobs so that all the ISIS fighters go home to Copenhagen and Paris where they won’t be Obama’s problem.
But while it’s tempting to believe that stupid ideas like these are solely the realm of lefties like Obama, it was Mitt Romney who announced during the final debate that, “We can’t kill our way out of this mess.”
“We’re going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the world of Islam and other parts of the world, reject this radical violent extremism,” he insisted, calling for education and economic development.
“Killing our way out of this mess” has become an orphaned strategy. Neither Democrats nor Republicans want to take it home with them. But killing our way out of wars used to be a bipartisan strategy.
Truman believed in a plan to “kill as many as possible.” Eisenhower could casually write, “We should have killed more of them.”
But why listen to the leaders who oversaw America’s last great war when we can instead listen to the architects of the social strategy that turned our cities into war zones?
What did Eisenhower and Truman know that Obama doesn’t? They knew war.
Truman cheated his way into WW1, despite being an only son and half-blind. He took the initiative and took the war to the enemy. They don’t make Democrats like that anymore. They do make Democrats like Barack Obama, who use Marines as umbrella stands and whose strategy is not to offend the enemy.
In Afghanistan, the top brass considered a medal for “courageous restraint”. If we go on trying to not kill our way out of Iraq, that medal will go well with all the burned bodies and severed heads.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / There is no Modern Islam...
on: February 18, 2015, 07:30:07 PM
There Is No Modern Islam
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On February 18, 2015 @ frontpagemag.com
Like math and the Midwest, ISIS confuses progressives. It’s not hard to confuse a group of people who never figured out that if you borrow 18 trillion dollars, you’re going to have to pay it back. But ISIS is especially confusing to a demographic whose entire ideology is being on the right side of history.
Raised to believe that history inevitably trended toward diversity in catalog models, fusion restaurants and gay marriage, the Arab Spring led them on by promising that the Middle East would be just like Europe and then ISIS tore up their Lonely Planet guidebook to Syria and chopped off their heads.
But ISIS also believes that it’s on the right side of history. Its history is the Koran. The right side of its history is what Iraq and Syria look like today. It’s also how parts of Europe are starting to look.
Progressive politicians and pundits trying to cope with ISIS lapse into a shrill incoherence that has nothing to do with their outrage at its atrocities and a lot to do with their sheer incomprehension. Terms like “apocalyptic nihilism” get thrown around as if heavy metal were beginning to make a comeback.
Those few analysts who admit that the Islamic State might be a just a little Islamic emphasize that it’s a medieval throwback, as if there were some modern version of Islam to compare it to.
Journalists trying to make sense of ISIS demanding Jizya payments and taking slaves ought to remember that these aren’t medieval behaviors in the Middle East. Not unless medieval means the 19th century. And that’s spotting them a whole century. Saudi Arabia only abolished slavery in 1962 under pressure from the United States. Its labor market and that of fellow Petrojihadi kingdoms like Kuwait and Qatar are based on arrangements that look a lot like temporary slavery… for those foreigners who survive.
Non-Muslims paid Jizya to Muslim rulers until very recently. Here is what it looked like in nineteenth century Morocco from the account of James Riley, an American shipwrecked sea captain.
“The Mohammedan scrivener appointed to receive it took it from them, hitting each one a smart blow with his fist on his bare forehead, by way of receipt for his money, at which the Jews said, ‘Thank you, my lord.’”
Those Jews who could not pay were flogged and imprisoned until they converted to Islam. An account from 1894 is similar, except that the blows were delivered to the back of the neck. Only French colonialism finally put a stop to this practice as well as many other brutal Islamic Supremacist laws.
Morocco was one of the Arab countries where Jews were treated reasonably well by the standards of the Muslim world. It’s one of the few Arab countries to still retain a Jewish population. When ISIS demands Jizya from non-Muslims, it’s not reviving some controversial medieval behavior. It’s doing what even “moderate” Muslim countries were doing until European guns and warships made them stop.
If the French hadn’t intervened, the same ugly scene would have gone on playing out in Morocco. If the United States hadn’t intervened, the Saudis would still openly keep slaves.
Islam never became enlightened. It never stopped being ‘medieval’. Whatever enlightenment it received was imposed on it by European colonialism. It’s a second-hand enlightenment that never went under the skin.
ISIS isn’t just seventh century Islam. It’s also much more recent than that. It’s Islam before the French and the English came. It’s what the Muslim world was like before it was forced to have presidents and constitutions, before it was forced to at least pay lip service to the alien notion of equal rights for all.
The media reported the burning of the Jordanian pilot as if it were some horrifying and unprecedented aberration. But Muslim heretics, as well as Jews and Christians accused of blasphemy, were burned alive for their crimes against Islam. Numerous accounts of this remain, not from the seventh century, but from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Those who weren’t burned, might be beheaded.
These were not the practices of some apocalyptic death cult. They were the Islamic law in the “cosmopolitan” parts of North Africa. The only reason they aren’t the law now is that the French left behind some of their own laws.
Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia that were never truly colonized still behead men and women for “witchcraft and sorcery.” Not in the seventh century or even in the nineteenth century. Last year.
The problem isn’t that ISIS is ‘medieval’. The problem is that Islam is.
What progressives mistake for modern Islam, whether while touring Algeria or on the campus of their university, is really an Islam whose practice has been repressed by the West while its ideology remains untouched. Modern Islam is in a state of contradiction. It’s a schizophrenic religion whose doctrine calls for supremacism but whose capabilities prevent it from exercising the full measure of its doctrines.
Islam is the 90 lb. weakling that wants to be the school bully. It can’t punch you in the face, so it stabs you in the back and then blames someone else. When you punch it back, it plays the victim.
This split between ideas and power forced Islamists to resort to sneakier tactics, from terrorism to mass migration, to fulfill the spirit of their religion. The underlying imperative is to restore a conquering Islam capable of humiliating non-Muslims in Muslim lands and expanding into non-Muslim countries. That is why Saddam and Iran pursued weapons of mass destruction. Why Muslim armies tested themselves against Israel. Why Al Qaeda built a decentralized terrorist network with cells around the world.
Together with the practical agendas of wealth and power was a deeper spiritual significance. Islam required that its leaders wage a war against the infidels. And they had to do so on terms that would allow them to win. Or at least to survive the attempt.
ISIS cuts through the split by advocating an uncompromising supremacism. Its theater of brutality is meant to convince Muslim audiences that they have the ability to directly confront the West. They no longer need to navigate a course between their capabilities and their religion. Under a Caliph, they can build the capabilities to restore the full practice of Islam as it was before the Europeans put a stop to it.
In the bigger picture, ISIS would like to turn the clock back to the seventh century. That’s a vision it shares with any number of Islamist groups and governments. But its most objectionable behavior, such as beheading and burning non-Muslims, taking slaves and demanding Jizya from non-Muslims, only requires turning back the clock to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
To truly understand ISIS, we don’t need to go back to the seventh century. The eighteenth century would be just as good. And once we understand that, we understand all the rest of it too.
Progressives see ISIS as a historical aberration. ISIS sees them the same way. It’s all a question of whose history book we’re using and which side is willing to do anything to win. Islam is a religion of war. Its right side of history is not a matter of faith. The right side of history is the side that wins.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Anti-Netanyahu Boycott Collapsing...
on: February 18, 2015, 07:23:10 PM
Obama’s Anti-Netanyahu Boycott Is Collapsing
Posted By Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn
The final numbers are not yet in, but it seems clear that the White House-orchestrated campaign to boycott Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress is collapsing.
Despite two weeks of intense anti-Netanyahu leaks, insults, and pressure, the White House has so far succeeded in persuading only a handful of Democratic members of Congress to stay away from the speech.
A grand total of two Senators and twelve Representatives have publicly announced that they are boycotting Israel’s prime minister. Assuming that those figures change only marginally in the days ahead, it will mean that 98% of the Senate and 95% of the House of Representatives will be in attendance.
Even the most vocal critics of Prime Minister Netanyahu, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, are not united against the Israeli leader. Emerging from a meeting with President Obama last week, Caucus chairman Rep. G.K. Butterfield told reporters, that the subject of Netanyahu’s speech “didn’t come up” during their 90-minute meeting with the president. But he then proceeded to chastise Israel’s prime minister for supposedly being “disrespectful” to the president, and Congressman Hank Johnson said it was “about President Barack Obama being a black man disrespected by a foreign leader.”
But not all the African-American congress members joined the anti-Netanyahu chorus. U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), who is the only senator in the Congressional Black Caucus, refused to toe the line. The Politico reports that when his colleagues began lambasting Prime Minister Netanyahu, reporters asked Booker where he stood, and he pointedly dissented, saying “I’ve been asked that a number of times–I’m not commenting.”
Knowing of Senator Booker’s longtime support for Israel and close relationship with many American Jewish leaders, we find it difficult that he will go along with an insulting and disrespectful boycott of Israel’s prime minister.
Another major crack in the anti-Netanyahu boycott effort appeared this weekend in the form of a message from Elie Wiesel in a full page advertisement in the New York Times and Washington Post, sponsored by “This World: The Values Network.”
The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate has always been something of a moral compass for the Jewish people–certainly far more than the two or three Jewish organizational leaders who have been quoted as opposing Netanyahu’s visit. We all remember Wiesel bravely confronting President Reagan over his visit to the Bitburg cemetery, not to mention his speaking out on so many other important issues over the years. So Wiesel’s words in the Times and Post ads carry particular weight.
Wiesel announced that he will personally attend Netanyahu’s speech. He appealed to President Obama and Vice President Biden to “put aside the politics” and hear what Israel’s prime minister has to say. He pointed out that Netanyahu will speak to Congress the day before Purim–the day when, in ancient times, “a wicked man in Persia named Haman” sought to destroy the Jews…”Now Iran, modern Persia, has produced a new enemy,” Wiesel wrote. “The Ayatollah Khomeini has been as clear as his predecessor in declaring his goal: ‘the annihilation and destruction’ of Israel. He is bent on acquiring the weapons needed to make good on the deadly promise.”
Finally, it’s worth mentioning another crack that appeared in the boycott effort this week. The pro-Palestinian lobbying group J Street, which has been the engine driving the boycott movement, has been circulating a poll claiming that 84% of American Jews support President Obama’s position on Iran.
But now the fraudulent methods used to elicit that 84% number have been exposed. It turns out that the respondents were not asked about the actual terms that Obama is negotiating with Iran. They were asked whether they would support an imaginary agreement under which Iran would completely and permanently give up its capability to produce nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, that is not at all what President Obama is insisting upon, according to numerous news reports.
A genuinely objective poll, which asked American Jews whether they want the U.S. to insist that Iran be permanently prevented from having the ability to manufacture nuclear weapons, would surely find the vast majority of Jews in favor.
When Prime Minister Netanyahu appears next month before Congress, with the overwhelming majority of Congress members from both parties in attendance, he will explain the truth about the Iranian threat and the danger of the U.S. agreeing to weak and unenforceable terms.
And that, of course, is what the Obama Administration, J Street, and the other Netanyahu-bashers most wish to prevent.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Netanyahu's Upcoming Speech...
on: February 18, 2015, 05:04:12 PM
Exactly what planet is Mr. Galston living on??? "Risking a rupture in U.S.-Israel relations?" News flash, Mr. Galston - that happened LONG ago - and was initiated by Barack Obama and his administration. Morality is not relative. It's frightening to watch the abject denial of reality being exhibited by most of the media and by a small but significant minority of liberal Israelis. Sometimes there is no alternative to war - one might think the world would have learned that after WWII. Clearly that isn't the case for legions of ignorant and/or deluded fools.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ben Shapiro: Israel is Hated Precisely BECAUSE it is Jewish...
on: February 18, 2015, 11:17:06 AM
|And further - I would argue - and I think it's been amply demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt by his actions - that Obama hates Jews.Is Israel the Problem, or is it Jews?
Ben Shapiro - February 18, 2015 - www.truthrevolt.org
In the aftermath of the killing of a man at a Copenhagen synagogue by a member of the Religion of Peace, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "This wave of attacks is expected to continue. Jews deserve security in every country, but we say to our Jewish brothers and sisters, Israel is your home." Russian emigre Natan Sharansky echoed Netanyahu's call, stating, "There is no future for Jews in western Europe."
In response, European leaders shouted down Netanyahu. "We know there are doubts, questions across the community," said French President Francois Hollande, who was elected with in excess of 93 percent of the Muslim vote. "I will not just let what was said in Israel pass, leading people to believe that Jews no longer have a place in Europe and France, in particular." The same week, Jewish tombstones were spray-painted by the hundreds in eastern France.
But undoubtedly, European anti-Semites will now claim that Netanyahu's comments simply demonstrate why Europe must force out its Jews: because Israel is just so awful. That, at least, is what a German court in the city of Wuppertal concluded after convicting two German Palestinians of setting fire to a synagogue. The Wuppertal court stated that the men were simply attempting to bring "attention to the Gaza conflict." In other words, Jews are fair game because of Israel.
But it's precisely the reverse that is true: Israel is fair game because it is Jewish. This is the dirty little secret of anti-Israel policy: It is almost entirely anti-Semitic policy. That is why Muslims attack Jewish synagogues in Paris during the Gaza war: because Israel is a stand-in for the Jews, not the other way around. Were Israel a Muslim country, the rest of the world would see it as a beacon of light and hope for the future of an entire religion. Because it is Jewish, Muslims target it for destruction, and the rest of the world tut-tuts Israel's nasty habit of attempting to survive. The extra-American world hates Israel because it is Jewish. It does not hate Jews because of Israel. Israel is merely a convenient excuse.
Ironically, radical Muslims, in targeting Jews throughout the world, reinforce the necessity of a state of Israel. Their argument seems to be that Israel is an unnecessary Jewish nationalist cancer; to prove that argument, they suggest killing Jews all over the planet, leaving no place safe for Jews except for Israel.
And so Jews go to Israel by the droves. European governments can rip Netanyahu all they want for his supposedly brusque dismissal of European tolerance, but that supposed tolerance means less and less when Swedish Jews abandon entire cities as the authorities make way for radical Muslims. European governments can condemn the Gaza war, but Jews see that war for what it was: an exercise in Jewish self-preservation, with the Europeans once again attempting to prevent such self-preservation.
Unlike the Europeans, Americans continue to side with Israel because America is founded on Judeo-Christian principles. America embraces Judaism, and so it embraces Israel, not the other way around. The formula is simple: Love Jews; love Israel. Hate Jews; hate Israel. Opposing Israeli action may not be anti-Semitism, but it sure does have a funny habit of backing the agenda of anti-Semites.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ex-imam: ISIS "Animated Entirely by Islam."
on: February 11, 2015, 09:44:08 AM
Ex-imam: Islamic State “animated entirely by Islam. The manner in which they kill – prescribed and outlined in the Koran.”
FEBRUARY 10, 2015 10:52 AM BY ROBERT SPENCER
Obama, Kerry, Biden, David Cameron and the rest — they couldn’t be lying to us, could they? Inconceivable!
“Ex-Muslim Imam Pens Open Letter, Giving Obama A History Lesson About Islam,” Mad World News, February 9, 2015:
President Barack Obama sparked outrage when he compared medieval Christian wars to modern-day Islamic terrorism at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday. He spouted that terrorist groups like ISIS “professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it,” chastising the opposition from getting on “our high horse” when “people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ” during the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition.
Dr. Mark Christian, founder of Global Faith Institute, knows Islamic history too well, being an apostate from the Muslim faith himself. Having experienced the true nature of Islam firsthand as a devout Imam, Dr. Christian penned a fiery open letter to the American leader, which he graciously provided to Mad World News, that includes a blunt history lesson in the unchanging goal of ancient Islam:
President Obama… I realize you thought you were brave and courageous when you defamed Christianity by equating the Crusades and the Inquisition with the present-day barbarism of Islam, but I wonder if your “courage” goes so far as to blame Muslims for the Islamic conquests? Do you have the guts to tell them that in the name of Allah, they invaded nations, practiced ethnic and cultural cleansing, going so far as to erase the very history of conquered lands. Can you tell them that they changed languages and names, enslaved millions and killed an unknowable number of innocent souls simply because they worshiped God, and not “Allah?”. I think not. You know Christians will bow their heads and pray for you whereas Muslims will simply take your head and celebrate.
ISIS is not animated by the usual “reaction to oppression” narrative the Left trots out as an excuse for every instance of horrible behavior, whether that behavior is rioting in Ferguson, Missouri or the systematic slaughter of all those opposed to your ideology.
ISIS is animated entirely by Islam. The manner in which they kill – prescribed and outlined in the Koran. The way they make war – prescribed and outlined in the Koran. The way they treat prisoners – also prescribed and outlined in the Koran.
ISIS does nothing that Mohammed didn’t first do 14 centuries ago.
You see, the problem isn’t a “radical interpretation of Islam,” the problem is the belief in Islam that Mohammed was the “perfect man,” and as such, worthy of emulation in all things.
Until Islam can recognize that their “perfect man” wasn’t perfect, and both did and ordered horrible things to be done – certainly things that have no place in a modern world – then there will always be an ISIS. There will always be those who dedicate their lives to imitating the man who spawned the greatest killing machine in known history…Islam.
Mike Konrad, the pen name of a colleague at American Thinker, has done the math for us in a remarkably cogent piece that deserved far more attention than it received when first published in early 2014.
The President drew a moral equivalence argument at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast between the predation of Islam and the actions of Christians during the Crusades and the Inquisition. The President is not uneducated. He is surely aware of the speciousness of that argument, yet still proffered it as a back-handed justification of the profane brutality of ISIS and other Islamic supremacist groups.
When we think of genocide, the names that spring to mind are Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. Of course Mao and his utopian fantasies deserve a place alongside the other luminaries of human devastation; millions suffered and died because of these men.
But, when one looks a bit deeper we discover that when it comes to dealing death, the aforementioned dictators are mere peddlers compared to Islam. People forget that the Islamic conquests began 400 years before the Crusades, which were largely a response to Islamic aggression.
Beginning in the year 1000 and lasting for another 500 years, Islam attempted to depopulate India. They did a remarkably good job of it, as the overall population of the Indian subcontinent (despite very high birthrates) dropped by an estimated 80 million in that period.
Don’t forget that Islam has always been a leader in the trafficking of humans – from the slave trade to present-day prostitution – Muslims have excelled in the sale of their fellows.
Just under 30 million slaves from Africa were held in the Middle East and considering the death rate of slaves in transport (an estimated 80%!) Arab Muslim traders would’ve needed more than a 100 million to have provided the number of slaves we know survived.
While Christianity is forever maligned for forced conversions and bad behavior in Africa, in truth, Muslims performed these atrocities on a scale many orders of magnitude greater, and continued to do so for more than a thousand years.
Of course, we shan’t forget the Islamic slaughter in Sudan, the methodical murder and sexual slavery ongoing in Nigeria or the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by Muslim Turks at the turn of the 20th century.
When Mohammed began his spread of Islam, most of North Africa and all of Europe was Christian. Where are they now? According to the Catholic Education Resource Center, there are no remaining communities of Christians that can trace their roots back to antiquity. Over the span of centuries, this number adds up to millions more dead, at the hands of Islam.
According to Mr. Konrad,
“Possibly one-third to one-half or more of all those killed by war or slavery in history can be traced to Islam.”
The totals boggle the mind. By a conservative estimate, Islam is directly responsible for a quarter of a BILLION dead. Indirectly, hundreds of millions more.
To quote Mr. Konrad,
“Unlike the 20th-century totalitarians whose killing fury consumed themselves, reducing their longevity, Islam paces itself. In the end, though slower, Islam has killed and tortured far more than any other creed – religious or secular. Unlike secular tyranny, Islam, by virtue of its polygamy and sexual predation, reproduces itself and increases.”
Other tyrannies are furious infections, which burn hot, but are soon overcome. Islam is a slow terminal cancer, which metastasizes, and takes over. It never retreats. Its methods are more insidious, often imperceptible at first, driven by demographics. Like cancer, excision may be the only cure.
Mohammed is the “perfect man” of Islam, and as such is the role model for every Muslim. Looking at the horrors perpetrated by Mohammed, it becomes crystal clear that the more devout the Muslim, the more depraved and regressive their behavior.
There is no justification, no moral equivalence to be drawn between the behavior of Christians a thousand years ago, and the behavior of Muslims today. The more salient point is that while the predation of Christianity died away, the worst of Islamic practices are on the rise.
So Mr. President, please focus your attention toward a real problem – Islamic supremacism – the rest of us have the Crusades and the Inquisition under control.
Dr. Christian’s anger is righteous and warranted, and if elected leaders in the U.S. do not heed his word, America will become another conquest of an Islamic Caliphate revived.
Because of Muhammad’s example, Muslims have justifiably wiped out 270 million non-Muslims in their endeavors to establish the world Islamic government their prophet viciously commands.
ISIS is more than an Ottoman army reborn; it is the last attempt at bringing about the apocalyptic rule written in the Quran, which, like all communistic regimes, comes at the price of millions of innocent lives. In fact, it’s as if ISIS’s every decision is made by carefully consulting the Quran and Hadith beforehand, cautiously avoiding straying from the path of Islam. Never before has Islam been so successful in jihad than to force Western nations to bow to Sharia law, and that has been and is the goal of Islam’s political ideology since the time of Muhammad. If the greatest Christian nation on earth cannot even call it by name, there is little chance of preventing it from infiltrating our homeland.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mark Steyn: UK Silences Criticism of Islam...
on: February 11, 2015, 08:06:44 AM
The Sound of Silence
by Mark Steyn
February 9, 2015
Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University is nobody's idea of a right-winger. He voted for Obama, and supports almost all of his policy goals (if not his extra-constitutional methods). But, unlike most of the left, he's still prepared to defend free speech against what he calls Charlie's False Friends:
For civil libertarians, it is clear that when leaders insist that they "Stand with Charlie" it does not mean actually standing with free speech. To the contrary, the greatest threat facing free speech today is found in Western governments, which have increasingly criminalized and prosecuted speech, particularly anti-religious speech. Once the defining right of Western Civilization, free speech is dying in the West and few world leaders truly mourn its passing.
Around the world, speech is under attack under an array of hate speech and anti-discrimination laws... The result is a growing, if not insatiable, appetite for speech regulation that only increases after violent responses to controversial publications.
The most recent tragedy in France follows an all too familiar pattern from publication to prosecution. Consider what happened in 2005 with the publication of the Danish cartoons and the global riots leading to the murder of non-Muslims and burning of churches and homes. The West rallied around the right of free speech, but then quietly ramped up prosecutions of speech. It happened again in 2012 when a low-budget trailer of a low-grade movie was put on YouTube. The "Innocence of Muslims" trailer was deemed insulting to Mohammad and Islam and led to another global spasm of murder and arson by irate Muslims. Again, Western leaders professed support for free speech while cracking down further on anti-religious speech. Even in the United States, President Obama insisted that the filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula had every right to make the film. However, the next image that the world saw after that speech was filmmaker being thrown into a police car in handcuffs for technical violations of a probation on unrelated charges...
Professor Turley then lists a round-up of state assaults on freedom of expression from around the so-called free world, including my own difficulties in Canada. I doubt Turley agrees with a single one of these hatespeechers (including me) on the merits, but he recognizes that the point of free speech is for the speech you hate. If you don't believe in free speech for those you hate, you don't believe in free speech at all. And then he adds:
These cases represent more than a lack of support for free speech. They represent a comprehensive assault on free speech. Indeed, one of the world leaders proudly proclaiming support for free speech in Paris has banned the publication of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan called the use of the prophet's image on the magazine an act of "sedition and provocation."
Well, Turkey is hardly anyone's idea of a crucible of liberty. But what are we to make of England, mother of the free? The other day Wiltshire Police went to a local newsagent and demanded that, in the interests of "community cohesion", he hand over the names of every customer who bought a copy of Charlie Hebdo:
Mrs Keat, a self-confessed news junkie, ordered the magazine from a local newsagent in Corsham, Wiltshire, a week after the 7 January attacks in Paris. Two days after she bought her magazine, she learned that an officer had been back to ask for the names of the buyers.
The names and addresses of the buyers were added to an intelligence note and fed into a police crime and intelligence system, police confirmed. The force deleted the note after details of the visit came to light in a letter that Mrs Keat wrote to The Guardian and warned of the potential ramifications after seeing an advert for Je Suis Charlie badges...
What really is the difference between Charlie Hebdo's killers and Wiltshire Police? The anti-Charlie crowd made it clear years ago that they knew where the offending cartoonists were and one day they would get them. The Wiltshire Police are not so subtly telling Charlie's English readers that they know where you are - just in case one day they need to get you:
"Wiltshire Police would like to apologise to the members of public who may be affected by this. Information relating to this specific incident has been permanently and securely disposed of," it said... "Wiltshire Police are confident that the police officer's intention was purely around enhancing public safety and ensuring that the newsagent was advised appropriately."
You can get away with anything when you smother it in blather about "enhancing" public safety and "advising appropriately". But the fact remains that, a few days after the hideous opportunist Cameron was marching under the #JeSuisCharlie banner in Paris, his coppers were ordering newsagents to cough up the names of anyone who bought the magazine. This is Mother England in 2015: You can still read samizdat literature, but your name will be entered in a state database.
Equally disturbing was a recent English court judgment re the Home Office ban denying Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller entry into the United Kingdom. Their Lordships' appalling decision essentially extends the heckler's veto to Her Britannic Majesty's immigration policy:
A British Court of Appeal handed down its judgment dismissing our appeal challenging our ban from entering the United Kingdom. The key element of its decision is its emphasis on the fact that "this was a public order case where the police had advised that significant public disorder and serious violence might ensue from the proposed visit." In writing that judgment, Lord Justice Tomlinson (with whom Lord Justice Patten and Lord Justice Floyd agree) has only made it clear that the British government has decided to set aside established law and the freedom of speech in order to appease violent Muslims.
No serious person thinks Spencer and Geller are any threat to "public order". They speak without incident all over not only the United States but also the Dominion of Canada, and without unduly stressing the Queen's Peace. So, if they can't speak without incident in the United Kingdom, that is a reflection not on them but on Britain. What Lord Justice Tomlinson means by the prospect of "serious violence" is that, if you're booked to give a speech in Oxford and some Islamic grievance-mongers threaten to go bananas over it, your speech has to be forbidden in deference to the crazies. The decision thus incentivizes those who threaten violence. As Laura Rosen Cohen likes to say, "security concerns" are the new "shut up".
And, if you think David Cameron's ministry has grown far too comfortable with using state power to restrain the opinions of a free party, wait till the other fellows take over:
The shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, will on Monday unveil a strategy to tackle the UK's soaring rise in antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and abuse of people with disabilities. The package includes making homophobic and disability hate crimes an aggravated criminal offence, ensuring that police treat such offences in the same way as racist hate crimes.
Cooper will outline changes to the criminal records framework whereby such offences will be clearly marked on the criminal records of perpetrators. Currently, records checks do not highlight homophobia, disability or transgender identity as a motivating factor in a conviction, and do not automatically appear in police data used for vetting applicants in sensitive vocations, such as those working with vulnerable people, including the disabled.
Labour's move comes as a new breakdown of police figures reveals an escalation in hate crimes since 2012, with a steep rise in abuse reported by the transgender community alongside the well-documented rises in antisemitism and Islamophobia.
As that grab-bag suggests, right now the leftie sexual identity groups are happy to make common cause with the Islamocrazies because they're both about shutting people up. For example, the feminist comedienne Kate Smurthwaite is already in Britain so, unlike Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, she can't be turned back at Heathrow. But she apparently holds insufficiently "respectful" attitudes to "sex workers", so she had her speech at Goldsmiths College canceled because of - what else? - "security concerns". The topic of her talk was, of course, free speech.
Professor Jonathan Turley says:
Western leaders have increasingly spoken out against the dangers of free speech. For politicians, free speech is an abstraction, the consequences of free speech tend to be more tangible in the form of riots and murders.
You don't have to be a politician to think "free speech is an abstraction". Robert Spencer might want to give speeches about Islam, and Mrs Keat might want to read Charlie Hebdo, but most people don't want to give any speeches at all and are content to read Hello! or People or whatever's filling the rack where Charlie Hebdo used to be. In some ways, it's the easiest right to surrender, particularly to regimes that smother the expansion of state regulatory power in soothing twaddle about "enhancing public safety" to protect "vulnerable people".
Speaking of "vulnerable people", how about this headline from The Daily Mirror?
Child sex abuse gangs could have assaulted ONE MILLION youngsters in the UK
That's according to Rotherham Labour MP Sarah Champion. Who knows if it's true? On the one hand, Britain is so alert to "paedos" that, if some cheesy old Radio One disc-jockey is alleged to have grabbed the passing breast of a 15-year-old teenybopper on "Top Of The Pops" in 1973, he'll be dragged through the courts and publicly ruined. But vast, systemic, industrial-scale 21st-century paedophilia by Muslim grooming gangs aided and abetted by law enforcement and local government will be ignored and hushed up - essentially in the interests of (what was that expression again?) "community cohesion". It turns out free speech isn't that "abstract". When you so hedge in free expression with political correctness, you make it impossible even to raise certain subjects, and thereby facilitate real, non-abstract evil. The loss of free speech brings other losses, too.
Yet, looking at the ease with which governments of some of the oldest, freest societies on earth are shackling and restraining the right to speak, to read, to think, the obvious question to ask is what rights will they go after next? After all, if 300 years of free speech can be rolled back in the interest of "enhancing public safety", why not property rights, due process, freedom of association, freedom of religion or even (gasp!) sexual liberty? Why think that statist restraints on core liberties will confine themselves to just one right?
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama: "Christianity just as bad as Islam"...
on: February 06, 2015, 08:11:44 AM
Obama: Christianity No Different Than the Islamic State
Posted By Raymond Ibrahim On February 6, 2015
As the world reacts with shock and horror at the increasingly savage deeds of the Islamic State (IS)—in this case, the recent immolation of a captive—U.S. President Obama’s response has been one of nonjudgmental relativism.
Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5, Obama counseled Americans to get off their “high horse” and remember that Christians have been equally guilty of such atrocities:
Unless we get on our high horse and think this [beheadings, sex-slavery, crucifixion, roasting humans] is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.
There is so much to be said here. First, the obvious: the wide gulf between violence and hate “justified in the name of Christ” and violence and hate “justified in the name of Muhammad” is that Christ never justified it, while Muhammad continuously did.
This is not just a theoretic point; it is the very reason that Muslims are still committing savage atrocities. Every evil act IS commits—whether beheading, crucifying, raping, enslaving, or immolating humans—has precedents in the deeds of Muhammad, that most “perfect” and “moral” man, per Koran 33:21 and 68:4 (see “The Islamic State and Islam” for parallels).
Does Obama know something about Christ—who eschewed violence and told people to love and forgive their enemies—that we don’t? Perhaps he’s clinging to that solitary verse that academics like Philip Jenkins habitually highlight, that Christ—who “spoke to the multitudes in parables and without a parable spoke not” once said, “I come not to bring peace but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34, 13:34).
Jesus was not commanding violence against non-Christians but rather predicting that Christians will be persecuted, including by family members (as, for example, when a Muslim family slaughters their child for “apostatizing” to Christianity as happens frequently).
Conversely, in its fatwa justifying the burning of the Jordanian captive, the Islamic State cites Muhammad putting out the eyes of some with “heated irons” (he also cut their hands and feet off). The fatwa also cites Khalid bin al-Walid—the heroic “Sword of Allah”—who burned apostates to death, including one man whose head he set on fire to cook his dinner on.
Nor is the Islamic State alone in burning people. Recently a “mob accused of burning alive a Christian couple in an industrial kiln in Pakistan allegedly wrapped a pregnant mother in cotton so she would catch fire more easily.”
As for the Islamic “authorities,” Al Azhar—the Islamic world’s oldest and most prestigious university which cohosted Obama’s 2009 “New Beginning” speech—still assigns books that justify every barbarity IS commits, including burning people alive. Moreover, Al Azhar—a religious institution concerned with what is and is not Islamic—has called for the cutting off of the hands and feet of IS members, thereby legitimizing such acts according to Islamic law.
On the other hand, does Obama know of some secret document in the halls of the Vatican that calls for amputating, beheading or immolating enemies of Christ to support his religious relativism?
As for the much maligned Crusades, Obama naturally follows the mainstream academic narrative that anachronistically portrays the crusaders as greedy, white, Christian imperialists who decided to conquer peace-loving Muslims in the Middle East.
Again, familiarity with the true sources and causes behind the Crusades shows that they were a response to the very same atrocities being committed by the Islamic State today. Consider the words of Pope Urban II, spoken almost a millennium ago, and note how well they perfectly mirror IS behavior:
From the confines of Jerusalem and the city of Constantinople a horrible tale has gone forth and very frequently has been brought to our ears, namely, that a race from the kingdom of the Persians [i.e., Muslim Turks] … has invaded the lands of those Christians and has depopulated them by the sword, pillage and fire; it has led away a part of the captives into its own country [as slaves], and a part it has destroyed by cruel tortures; it has either entirely destroyed the churches of God or appropriated them for the rites of its own religion …. What shall I say of the abominable rape of the women? To speak of it is worse than to be silent…. On whom therefore is the labor of avenging these wrongs and of recovering this territory incumbent, if not upon you? You, upon whom above other nations God has conferred remarkable glory in arms, great courage, bodily activity, and strength…
If the crusaders left their own lands and families to come to the aid of persecuted Christians and to liberate Jerusalem, here is Obama portraying them as no better than the Islamic State—which isn’t surprising considering that, far from helping persecuted Christians, Obama’s policies have significantly worsened their plight.
According to primary historical texts—not the modern day fantasies peddled by the likes of Karen Armstrong, an ex-nun with an axe to grind—Muslim persecution of Christians was indeed a primary impetus for the Crusades.
As for the Inquisition, this too took place in the context of Christendom’s struggle with Islam. (Isn’t it curious that the European nation most associated with the Inquisition, Spain, was also the only nation to be conquered and occupied by Islam for centuries?) After the Christian reconquest of Spain, Muslims, seen as untrustworthy, were ordered either to convert to Christianity or go back to Africa whence they came. Countless Muslims feigned conversion by practicing taqiyya and living as moles, always trying to subvert Spain back to Islam. Hence the extreme measures of the Inquisition—which, either way, find no support in the teachings of Christ.
Conversely, after one of his jihads, Muhammad had a man tortured to death in order to reveal his tribe’s hidden treasure and “married” the same man’s wife hours later. Unsurprisingly, the woman, Safiya, later confessed that “Of all men, I hated the prophet the most—for he killed my husband, my brother, and my father,” before “marrying” her.
In short, Obama’s claim that there will always be people willing to “hijack religion for their own murderous ends” is patently false when applied to the Islamic State and like organizations and individuals.
Muhammad himself called for the murder of his enemies; he permitted Muslims to feign friendship to his enemies in order to assassinate them; he incited his followers to conquer and plunder non-believers, promising them a sexual paradise if they were martyred; he kept sex slaves and practiced pedophilia with his “child-bride,” Aisha.
He, the prophet of Islam, did everything the Islamic State is doing.
If Muslims are supposed to follow the sunna, or example, of Muhammad, and if Muhammad engaged in and justified every barbarity being committed by the Islamic State and other Muslims—how, exactly, are they “hijacking” Islam?
Such is the simple logic Obama fails to grasp. Or else he does grasp it—but hopes most Americans don’t.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islamic State Recruiting U.S. Teens...
on: February 05, 2015, 02:16:51 PM
FBI official: Islamic State is recruiting U.S. teens
FEBRUARY 4, 2015 11:54 PM BY ROBERT SPENCER
How could this be? Obama, Kerry, Biden, David Cameron, and everyone else assures us that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam. So why is it so appealing to young Muslims in the West? Why are Muslim parents encouraging their children to join it? The cognitive dissonance is massive, and the FBI isn’t doing what it should be doing: calling upon U.S. Muslims to teach against the Islamic State’s ideology. Right now, it is not being countered with any organized program in U.S. mosques or Islamic schools, and no one seems to care.
“FBI official: ISIS is recruiting U.S. teens,” by Pamela Brown and Wesley Bruer, CNN, February 4, 2015 (thanks to Aron):
Washington (CNN)For the head of the FBI’s counterterrorist division, Michael Steinbach, the unknown worries him the most.
Steinbach is leading the daunting effort to stay on top of the evolving threat landscape, which includes targeting and recruiting teenage Americans. In an exclusive interview with CNN inside the agency’s Strategic Information and Operations Center, he acknowledged it’s extremely difficult to track every American who might travel abroad to join terrorist groups like the Islamic State.
“I’m worried about individuals that we don’t know about that have training,” Steinbach said. “We know what we know. But there is a number that’s greater than that that we don’t know.”
Steinbach says U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies don’t track individuals leaving the United States to vacation in Europe.
“Once you get to Europe, you can easily get down to Turkey and into Syria” Steinbach says.
There’s growing concern about homegrown violent extremism in the aftermath of last month’s terror attacks in Paris. Those strikes underscored the threat posed to the West by small groups of terrorists with western passports who are influenced by the rhetoric espoused by ISIS. Steinbach is concerned that type of attack could happen on U.S. soil.
When asked if there are ISIS cells in the U.S., Steinbach said “there are individuals that have been in communication with groups like ISIL who have a desire to conduct an attack” and those people are living in the U.S. right now, but he says the term “sleeper cells” is too simplistic, because the threat is much more complicated and diffuse.
In the U.S., the FBI has seen children as young as 15 recruited by ISIS and Steinbach said he “can’t speak with 100% certainty that individuals of that age group have not gotten over there successfully.”
In some cases, Steinbach said parents even encourage their children to be involved with terror groups.
“There are individuals out there who are inspired by the message of terrorist groups and they encourage family members, including their children, to follow that path,” he said, adding in those cases, the FBI holds the parents responsible…
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Is Obama Trying to Kill G.W. Bush?
on: February 02, 2015, 06:52:06 AM
That may not be his goal, but he clearly doesn't care if it happens...
Is Obama Trying to Kill President Bush?
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On February 2, 2015
Ask the White House and it’ll tell you that Al Qaeda is on the run. But it conveniently neglects specifying which direction it’s running in.
While Obama and his small army of spokesmen mumble something about degrading and destroying ISIS, his policies pad out the ranks of Al Qaeda and ISIS with experienced recruits released from Gitmo.
It’s still unclear whether there is any Gitmo terrorist that Obama will not free.
Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said that the White House pressured him to free more Gitmo terrorists faster. White House reports suggested that Obama fired Hagel because he had been moving too slowly on freeing terrorists, making him guilty of thwarting Obama’s plot to close Gitmo.
That would make Hagel the first Secretary of Defense to be fired for failing to undermine national security.
But considering the rate at which terrorists are being released, the only way to empty Jihad Alcatraz any faster would be by moving the whole base to Pakistan overnight.
Obama already freed key Al Qaeda figures, including members of precursor ISIS groups. He freed Abdul Bin Mohammed Abis Ourgy, a bombmaker whom authorities suspected may have known about 9/11. He freed Mohammed Zahir, the Secretary General of the Taliban’s Intelligence Directorate, who was caught with nuclear materials to be used to build a bomb. He was also involved in smuggling drugs to the US.
Each new release explores the outer limits of the type of terror that Obama will reward with amnesty. Now that we know that Obama will release nuclear terrorists, is there any place where he will draw the line? Would he release presidential assassins? As long as their target was President George W. Bush.
Two of the Gitmo terrorists released by Obama had threatened to assassinate Bush.
Muhammed Ali Husayn had “addressed letters to the US President and Congress threatening punishment from Allah, stating that it is ‘time to be destroyed, suffer and lose.’ Detainee has also threatened that the US President would ‘taste the death,’ telling him to await ‘the humiliation by the swords of Islam.’
Obama assumes that Muhammed’s swords of Islam won’t be headed his way. He is the progressive who is closing Gitmo. Muhammed wouldn’t possibly dream of swinging a sword of Islam in his direction.
Muhammed was sent off to Kazakhstan despite an executive assessment stating that without rehabilitation he would go back to his old pals in Al Qaeda. Or maybe this former Koran teacher will go back to the University of Pakistan to finish that unfinished degree in Islamic Studies. Then he’ll have the proper background for making infidels “taste the death” in the appropriately peaceful Islamic way.
Considering that Kazakhstan has its own terrorist groups, he can rejoin the Jihad without too much travel time.
But releasing Muhammed was an easy call compared to freeing Adel Al-Hakeemy.
Adel was a senior member of the Global Jihadist Support Network which is exactly what it sounds like. He was a military advisor to Osama bin Laden and had ties to multiple terrorist groups in North Africa. He can counterfeit money, forge passports, command troops and fought us in Afghanistan.
His Gitmo file rates him as posing a high risk to Americans and having a high intelligence value.
He is, in short, exactly the sort of terrorist you don’t want to set free, even assuming that you have for some reason decided to release terrorists.
Adel has joined Muhammed in sunny Kazakhstan. His plans for the future doubtlessly include walks on Kazakhstan’s many moonlit beaches, a graduate degree in the fine arts and a career in standup comedy.
Or we could just pay attention to what he told interrogators in Guantanamo Bay.
“Detainee stated if the detainees at JTF-GTMO are released, they are going to exact revenge against the US. Detainee also stated that he would kill President Bush if given the chance.”
Obama freed a veteran terrorist who had vowed to attack America and kill Bush. Not only has he chosen to disregard American national security and the lives of Americans, but he also chose to disregard the safety of his White House predecessor.
While Obama’s supporters did tend to fantasize about the assassination of President Bush, they didn’t actually do anything about it. By freeing two terrorists, one of them a trained killer, who had threatened to kill Bush, Obama has actually put the life of a former president in danger.
That’s extreme behavior even by Democratic standards.
President Clinton had bombed Saddam Hussein over a plot to assassinate George H.W. Bush.
“The Iraqi attack against President Bush was an attack against our country and against all Americans,” President Clinton told the nation. “We could not, and have not, let such action against our nation go unanswered.”
Obama clearly has a different opinion. He has reversed Clinton by going so far as to free Al Qaeda terrorists who expressed designs on the life of a president making it clear that he has utter contempt not only for the lives of Americans, but also for the life of a former Republican president. There is no terrorist, whether he plots to detonate a nuclear bomb or to kill a president, whom he will not free.
Maybe if Adel Al-Hakeemy had threatened to kill Obama, he would still be sitting in Gitmo.
It was not all that long ago that Obama’s fellow anti-war protesters were marching around with signs calling for the death of President Bush. In contrast to the firestorms that resulted when a rodeo clown mocked Obama or when an outhouse labeled as Obama’s presidential library was featured on a parade float (resulting in a Justice Department intervention), these death threats went unpunished.
Even Secretary of State John Kerry had winkingly gotten in on the act, joking, “I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone.”
New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi had praised Senator Schumer at a public event by saying that, “We really feel bad for poor Chuck, United States senator, the man who, uh, uh, how do I phrase this diplomatically – will put a bullet between the president’s eyes if he could get away with it.”
Unlike Sarah Palin’s target map, the media was quick to dismiss these as just jokes. But jokes can be revealing. They can tell us what someone is really thinking. And back then a lot of top Democrats thought that killing Bush was a good thing.
Now Obama is freeing Islamic terrorists who agree. Is that a coincidence?
None of the anti-war protesters waving signs calling for Bush’s head ever had the guts to follow through on it. Maybe someone in the White House is hoping that Muhammed and Adel will.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CA High School Principal Responds to Concerns over Hijab Day with Smears...
on: January 30, 2015, 10:21:48 AM
|NP3 High School Principal Responds to Concerns over Hijab Day with Smears
Posted By Robert Spencer On January 30, 2015
The exchange below is yet another example of how one side of the debate about Sharia and jihad is trying to have a rational discussion, while the other responds only with slogans and smears. A woman in California responded to my call yesterday to write to NP3 High School principal Tom Rutten. She then received the email below, which is drearily predictable with its cries of “hate” and lack of specific response to any of the concerns she raised. She kindly forwarded this response to me, and I wrote the third email below to Rutten.
I don’t expect a response, or at least one that deals with the points I raised, so I thought I’d post all three emails here so that you can see which side here is being reasonable, and what happens when those whose political views are not favored ask reasonable questions.
Meanwhile, Hamas-linked CAIR is crowing over this ridiculous piece on the controversy, and well they should crow, as only their point of view is represented. Fox 40 made no attempt to contact me, of course, or to speak with anyone who wrote letters to the school expressing concern over Hijab Day. The whole thing is dismissed, as always in the mainstream media, as “bigotry” — on that, see my email to Rutten below. The Fox 40 story is also riddled with errors. I did not name the student responsible for Hijab Day in my post, as you can see here. The principal’s name is Rutten, not Sutten.
And of course Fox 40 makes no mention of CAIR’s ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the jihad terror convictions of several of its former officials, the fact that the United Arab Emirates designated it a terror organization, etc. But it does go out of its way to say I (without naming me) am “anti-Muslim,” without bothering to note the issues regarding the oppression of women and religion-and-state involved here. Typical sloppy and one-sided mainstream media story. In posting it, Hamas-linked CAIR has disabled comments, as they always do. That in itself is telling.
1. Concerned citizen to Tom Rutten:
I am a taxpayer, Girl Scout leader, and public education advocate in Southern California, and I am writing to express my shock, dismay, and disappointment at learning that a school in your district, the Natomas Unified School District, held a Hijab Day today, encouraging all girls and women to wear hijabs. This is outrageous.
It’s outrageous primarily because it brought religion into a public school in a way that directly conflicts with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits school-sponsored prayer and religious indoctrination. Encouraging girls and women to wear hijabs for “modesty” is clearly an example of religious indoctrination. Can you imagine the public outrage if a Jewish student requested “Yarmulke Day” and all men and boys at the school were urged to wear a head covering of the type that Jewish men and boys wear? It’s unimaginable. For your future use, here’s a guideline on Religion in Schools produced by the ACLU: www.aclu-tn.org/pdfs/briefer_religion_in_public_schools.pdf
Additionally, it’s astounding because, per the flyer, “Hijab Day” was organized by, or encouraged by the Muslim Students Association, which is considered by many national security experts to be tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. In other words, tied to terrorism. I could provide you a dozen links to articles about this, but perhaps you’d like to do your own google search. It’s out there.
I know that you are a busy man, Mr. Rutten, but I really would like to understand why the NP3 thought this was acceptable. If you’d please reply to me, I’d appreciate that.
2. Tom Rutten to the concerned citizen:
Since this was a student run event I have attached the student response below.
At a time when anti-Muslim sentiment is growing, I wanted to let my classmates and teachers know about the challenges that young Muslim women face when they put on a headscarf. It is unfortunate that a small effort to promote mutual understanding would provoke such a hate-filled and irrational response.
NP3 Hijab Day was part of my Senior Project, meant to bring awareness to my campus about the misconceptions surrounding Islam, particularly those surrounding the headscarf. I invited a speaker to talk to faculty about addressing Islamophobia in the classroom and the challenges in the Muslim world, and they appreciated the open and frank discussion.
The irrational reaction by some intolerant individuals is similar to the many manufactured controversies nationwide over the teaching of basic information about Islam, the faith of one-fifth of the world’s population, in public schools. In many other cases, any discussion of Islam or American Muslims brings about this reaction.
The person who promoted the misinformation about this issue, Robert Spencer, is one of the most notorious Islamophobes in America.
This extreme reaction clearly demonstrates why this presentation was needed in the first place.
South Poverty Law Center’s profile on Robert Spencer:http://www.splcenter.org/get%20informed/intelligence%20files/profiles/Robert%20Spencer
3. Robert Spencer to Tom Rutten:
Dear Mr. Rutten:
Thank you for your kind response to Ms. [redacted], which she forwarded to me.
The message from your student was most interesting. I trust that you have explained to her that to respond to the concerns voiced by Ms. [redacted] and others by linking to a smear piece on me is an example of the ad hominem fallacy: attacking the person voicing the concerns rather than the concerns themselves. The Southern (not “South”) Poverty Law Center attack piece is also highly inaccurate and misleading. The FBI, in fact, even stopped using the SPLC’s work on “hate groups” last year, in light of the fact that the SPLC had stopped tracking real hate groups and was using the label to smear those who disagreed with its political views.
I am not going to try your patience by showing the falsehood of all of SPLC’s smear claims; suffice it for the moment to point out that I have led seminars on Islam and jihad for the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. intelligence community.
I trust that you also have explained or will explain to your student that to dismiss all concern about NP3 Hijab Day as “hate-filled,” “irrational,” and “Islamophobic” doesn’t contribute in the least to “open and frank discussion,” but actually forecloses on the possibility of such a discussion by trying to intimidate people into thinking that concerns they thought were legitimate are actually manifestations of a “bigotry” they were not aware they had. This is just the opposite of “open and frank discussion,” and I am sure you would agree that this kind of name-calling, intimidation, and groupthink should not be encouraged in academic settings at any level.
For your convenience, here are the major concerns that people have about the NP3 Hijab Day event:
1. FBI statistics show that hate crimes against Muslims, which are never justified, are actually quite uncommon, with hate crimes against Jews being over four times more common. Details here: http://www.islamist-watch.org/blog/2014/12/new-fbi-hate-crime-stats-another-blow-to-islamist
Yet I would venture to guess that there has been no event at NP3 High to call attention to the challenges that Jews face, and that none is in the works. I understand that NP3 Hijab Day was a student-run event. Would a Jewish or pro-Israel student be allowed to stage a similar Day calling attention to anti-Semitism? If this included the rise in Islamic anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere, would this be allowed? Would you allow a Yarmulke Day at NP3 High?
2. CAIR and the MSA appear to have been involved in this event. Both were named unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land trial, which involved funneling money to the terror group Hamas. Both have demonstrable ties, documented and noted by the FBI, with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. See, for example, these links:http://www.investigativeproject.org/2340/federal-judge-agrees-cair-tied-to-hamashttp://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2011/March/Muslim-Student-Group-a-Gateway-to-Jihad/
Is it really wise to allow people from organizations that have ties to terror groups to interact with NP3 students?
3. As I am sure you’re aware, even student-run events by Christian students have come under fire in public schools in recent years, and many see them as a violation of the Establishment Clause. Would you allow a Wear the Cross Day? I have never heard of such an event in any public school except in conjunction with protests against it on Constitutional grounds. Do you not think this is a double standard — and one perpetuated by Hijab Day at NP3 High?
4. Many women and girls around the world have been brutalized and even killed for not wearing a hijab. A list of some of them, with further links to the relevant news stories, is at this link: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2014/02/today-is-world-hijab-day
Are you not concerned that NP3’s Hijab Day might end up justifying and helping perpetuate the pretexts for this oppression? What steps did you take to ensure that that did not happen? If a student wanted to hold a Day calling attention to the oppression of women that is all too often justified by Islamic law, would that be allowed at NP3?
I hope these questions make it clear that there are legitimate concerns regarding NP3’s Hijab Day, and to dismiss them as “hate-filled” is simply an attempt to shut down the public discussion that is needed on these issues. I look forward to receiving your answers to these questions. Also, I would be happy to come to NP3 High School at my own expense, in order to engage in an open forum with students on these and related issues, and to ensure that the “open and frank discussion” on these issues at NP3 High is not dominated solely by one perspective only. We can settle on a mutually agreeable date for this open forum at your convenience — I can be reached at this email address and at [redacted].
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Echoes of the 1930's Re: "The Jewish Problem"...
on: January 30, 2015, 09:52:40 AM
The Ghosts of Auschwitz in the Muslim World
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On January 30, 2015
In exile in Argentina, the world’s most wanted man was writing a defense of the indefensible.
He rejected “so-called Western culture” whose bible “expressly established that everything sacred came from the Jews.” Instead he looked to the “large circle of friends, many millions of people” whose good opinion of his crimes he wanted.
These millions of people were not in Germany. They weren’t even in Argentina.
His fellow Nazis had abandoned him after deciding that the murder of millions of Jews was indefensible and had to be denied instead of defended. But he did not want to be denied. He wanted to be admired.
“You 360 million Mohammedans to whom I have had a strong inner connection since the days of my association with your Grand Mufti of Jerusalem,” Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust wrote. “You, who have a greater truth in the surahs of your Koran, I call upon you to pass judgment on me.”
Eichmann knew he could expect a good verdict from a religion whose prophet had ordered the ethnic cleansing of Jews and which believes the end will
“not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. When a Jew hides behind a rock or a tree, it will say, ‘O Muslim, O servant of Allah! There is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!’”
There was Eichmann’s Hadith Holocaust with even the rocks and trees finding Jews for the Islamic SS.
A more literal judgment came Eichmann’s way five years later in Jerusalem when Israeli agents used extraordinary rendition to seize him and bring him to trial. But the Muslim world had issued its own verdict long ago when the Mufti of Jerusalem had come to Europe urging the extermination of the Jews.
“This is your best opportunity to get rid of this dirty race… Kill the Jews,” the Mufti had ranted to fellow Muslims.
On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the ghosts of Eichmann and the Mufti of Jerusalem, who had visited its gas chambers while the Holocaust was underway, still linger there.
A Holocaust survivor in Auschwitz recalled being told that the Mufti’s arrival was a working visit.
“When we have won the war he will return to Palestine to build gas chambers and kill the Jews who are living over there,” an SS officer told him.
Eichmann’s Nazis lost, but the Mufti’s Islamists continue their genocidal agenda. Mein Kampf may be banned in Germany, but it’s a bestseller in the Muslim world.
The edition is often the translation of Louis Heiden aka Luis al-Haj, a Nazi convert to Islam whose introduction proclaims, “National Socialism did not die with the death of its herald. Rather, its seeds multiplied under each star.” The reference was meant literarily. The old Egyptian flag had carried a crescent and three stars on a green field. The new flag of the Arab Republic had two green stars.
Haj worked under Johann von Leers aka Omar Amin, another Muslim convert in the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda, who praised the persecution of the Jews under Islam as “an eternal service to the world”.
An earlier edition had been published by the brother of future dictator, Gamal Abdel Nasser.
In two years in Egypt, Mein Kampf had sold 911,000 copies, an extraordinary accomplishment in a country with a working age population of 13 million suggesting that as many as one in fourteen adults might have bought a copy. By American equivalent bestseller standards it had outsold the Da Vinci Code.
During those same years the vast majority of Egyptian Jews had been ethnically cleansed by Nasser.
At the beginning of the decade, Muslim Brotherhood godfather Sayyid Qutb had written his own Mein Kampf titled, “Our Struggle against the Jews” in which he claimed that Allah had sent Hitler. The claim has more recently been repeated by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Yusuf al-Qaradawi on Al Jazeera in ’09.
“The last punishment was carried out by Hitler… Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers,” he said.
Today everyone agrees that the Nazis were evil. By the fifties, even Eichmann’s fellow Nazis were looking to jettison the Holocaust and improve their brand. But the Nazis back then were often treated the way that Muslims are today.
Media coverage emphasized distinctions between the radical and moderate Nazis. (Hitler was, of course, a moderate.) Nazi grievances were treated as legitimate. Their crimes were lied about and covered up.
In 1933, the Associated Press’ wire report claimed that the persecution of Jews had already ended. Another wire story headlined “Jew Persecution Over Says Envoy” cited Secretary of State Hull’s relief that the Hitler regime was doing its best to curb further persecution of the Jews.
Hull would later apologize when the Republican Mayor of New York City referred to the Fuhrer as a “man without honor”. Mayor LaGuardia might have been suffering from Fuhrerphobia.
Jewish protests were treated as shrill and baseless alarmism. “U.S. Investigation Shows No Cause for Protest,” the AP headlined its coverage.
“Notwithstanding assurances given by German government leaders and by Hull that the Nazi excesses against the Jewish race had ceased in Germany, Jewish leaders went ahead with plans for mass protest meetings,” another wire story read. “All requests that these meetings be canceled fell on deaf ears.”
A week before the story, the first official Nazi concentration camp of Dachau had opened.
The media coverage should sound familiar. It’s how Iran’s nuclear buildup is being covered. It’s how Muslim violence against Jews is covered. It’s discussed reluctantly and immediately dismissed. Jews are written off as pests who refuse to listen when Kerry, like Hull, tells them there’s nothing to worry about.
That is how the Holocaust really happened.
Auschwitz just shows us the final stage. It doesn’t show us the sympathy for the Nazis, the willingness of some on the left to see them as allies in overturning the existing system and the anger at the selfishness of the Jews in putting their own desire not to be killed ahead of world peace.
It was easier to appease the Nazis. It is easier to appease the Muslim world. The Jews were not seen as a canary in the coalmine; instead, like the Czechs and then the Poles and then everyone else, they were an obstacle to making a deal with the devil. Today it’s the Nigerian Christians, the Burmese Buddhists and a long list of others around the world including the Jews of Israel who stand in the way of peace.
The ghosts of Auschwitz are still haunting Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Gaza, Iraq, Iran and a hundred other places. The victims are Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Yazidis and numberless others. The Nazis began with the Jews. The Muslim saying is, “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.”
Auschwitz is what happens when we fail to take threats like that seriously because we want peace at any price. The price of peace was Auschwitz, it was millions dead, countries carved to pieces, peoples enslaved for years and others for generations. The price of peace was ignorance, apathy and then war.
Eichmann found support for Auschwitz in the “surahs of your Koran.” So did the Jihadis who murdered Jews in Paris. If we forget that, then we forget the real lesson of Auschwitz.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Victor Davis Hanson - "Can Israel Survive?"
on: January 29, 2015, 08:54:21 AM
NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE
JANUARY 29, 2015 12:00 AMCan Israel Survive?
Traditional pillars of the tiny democracy’s security have begun to erode.
By Victor Davis Hanson
Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. Eight million Israelis are surrounded by some 400 million Muslims in more than 20 states. Almost all of Israel’s neighbors are anti-Israeli dictatorships, monarchies, or theocracies — a number of them reduced to a state of terrorist chaos.
Given the rise of radical Islam, the huge petrodollar wealth of the Middle East, and lopsided demography, how has Israel so far survived?
The Jewish state has always depended on three unspoken assumptions for its tenuous existence.
First, a democratic, nuclear Israel can deter larger enemies. In the Cold War, Soviet-backed Arab enemies understood that Israel’s nuclear arsenal prevented them from destroying Tel Aviv.
Second, the Western traditions of Israel — free-market capitalism, democracy, human rights — ensured a dynamic economy, high-tech weapons, innovative industry, and stable government. In other words, 8 million Israelis could count on a greater gross domestic product, less internal violence, and more innovation than, say, nearby Egypt, a mess with ten times more people than Israel and nearly 50 times more land.
Third, Israel counted on Western moral support from America and Europe, as well as military support from the United States.
Israel’s stronger allies have often come to the defense of its democratic principles and pointed out that the world applies an unfair standard to Israel, largely out of envy of its success, anti-Semitism, fear of terrorism, and fondness of oil exporters.
Why, for example, does the United Nations focus so much attention on Palestinians who fled Israel nearly 70 years ago but ignore Muslims who were forced out of India, or Jews who were ethnically cleansed from the cities of the Middle East? Why doesn’t the world worry that Nicosia is a more divided city than Jerusalem, or that Turkey occupies northern Cyprus, or that China occupies Tibet?
Unfortunately, two of these three traditional pillars of Israeli security have eroded.
When the United States arbitrarily lifted tough sanctions against Iran and became a de facto partner with the Iranian theocracy in fighting the Islamic State, it almost ensured that Iran will get a nuclear bomb. Iran has claimed that it wishes to destroy Israel, as if its own apocalyptic sense of self makes it immune from classical nuclear deterrence.
Senator Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) summed up the Obama administration’s current policy on Iran as “talking points that come straight out of Tehran.” Obama has cynically dismissed Menendez’s worries about negotiations with Iran as a reflection not of the senator’s principles, but of his concerns over “donors” — apparently a reference to wealthy pro-Israel American Jews.
Symbolism counts, too. President Obama was about the only major world leader to skip the recent march in Paris to commemorate the victims of attacks by radical Islamic terrorists — among them Jews singled out and murdered for their faith. Likewise, he was odd world leader out when he skipped this week’s 70-year commemoration of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Obama is not expected to meet with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will address Congress in March. An anonymous member of the Obama administration was quoted as calling Netanyahu, a combat veteran, a “coward” and describing him with a related expletive. Another nameless administration official recently said Netanyahu “spat in our face” by accepting the congressional invitation without Obama’s approval and so will pay “a price” — personal animus that the administration has not directed even against the leaders of a hostile Iran.
Obama won’t meet with Netanyahu, and yet the president had plenty of time to hold an adolescent bull session with a would-be Internet comedian decked out in Day-Glo makeup who achieved her fame by filming herself eating breakfast cereal in a bathtub full of milk.
Jews have been attacked and bullied on the streets of some of the major cities of France and Sweden by radical Muslims whose anti-Semitism goes unchecked by their terrified hosts. Jewish leaders in France openly advise that Jews in that country immigrate to Israel.
A prosecutor in Argentina who had investigated the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 — an attack widely believed to have been backed by Iran — was recently found dead under mysterious circumstances.
Turkey, a country whose prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was praised by Obama as one of his closest friends among world leaders, has turned openly non-secular and is vehemently anti-Israel.
Until there is a change of popular attitudes in Europe or a different president in the United States, Israel is on its own to deal with an Iran that has already hinted it would use a nuclear weapon to eliminate the “Zionist entity,” with the radical Islamic madness raging on its borders, and with the global harassment of Jews.
A tiny democratic beacon in the Middle East should inspire and rally Westerners. Instead, too often, Western nations shrug and assume that Israel is a headache — given that there is more oil and more terrorism on the other side.
— Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author, most recently, of The Savior Generals. You can reach him by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
. © 2015 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / FINAL WARNING: Economic Collapse Coming - THIS YEAR...
on: January 29, 2015, 07:00:45 AM
It's time if you haven't already - to make sure you have food supplies, water, firearms, and GOLD & SILVER. Paper investments will be worth next-to-nothing. IGNORE AT YOUR PERIL - Please read the article below carefully and take it seriously. There is not much time left. If you don't have at least 50% of your liquid assets in gold and silver - you will be very sorry later this year. Don't be foolish - it's easy to stay in denial and tell yourself this is nothing more than alarmism:
Failing Stimulus And The IMF's New 'Multilateral' World Order
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 05:24 Brandon Smith
My theme for 2015 has been the assertion that this will be a year of shattered illusions; social, political, as well as economic. As I have noted in recent articles, 2014 set the stage for multiple engineered conflicts, including the false conflict between Eastern and Western financial and political powers, as well as the growing conflict between OPEC nations, shale producers, as well as conflicting notions on the security of the dollar's petro-status and the security and stability of the European Union.
Since the derivatives and credit crisis of 2008, central banks have claimed their efforts revolve around intervention against the snowball effect of classical deflationary market trends. The REAL purpose of central bank stimulus actions, however, has been to create an illusory global financial environment in which traditional economic fundamentals are either ignored, or no longer reflect the concrete truths they are meant to convey. That is to say, the international banking cult has NO INTEREST whatsoever in saving the current system, despite the assumptions of many market analysts. They know full well that fiat printing, bond buying, and even manipulation of stocks will not change the nature of the underlying crisis.
Their only goal has been to stave off the visible effects of the crisis until a new system is ready (psychologically justified in the public consciousness) to be put into place. I wrote extensively about the admitted plan for a disastrous “economic reset” benefiting only the global elites in my article 'The Economic End Game Explained'.
We are beginning to see the holes in the veil placed over the eyes of the general populace, most notably in the EU, where the elites are now implementing what I believe to be the final stages of the disruption of European markets.
The prevailing illusion concerning the EU is that it is a “model” for the future the globalists wish to create, and therefore, the assumption is that they would never deliberately allow the transnational union to fail. Unfortunately, people who make this argument do not seem to realize that the EU is NOT a model for the New World Order, it is in fact a mere stepping stone.
The rising propaganda argument voiced by elites in the International Monetary Fund and the Bank For International Settlements, not to mention the ECB, is not that Europe's troubles stem from its ludicrous surrender to a faceless bureaucratic machine. Rather, the argument from the globalists is that Europe is failing because it is not “centralized enough”. Mario Draghi, head of the ECB and member of the board of directors of the BIS, tried to sell the idea that centralization solves everything in an editorial written at the beginning of this year.
“Ultimately, economic convergence among countries cannot be only an entry criterion for monetary union, or a condition that is met some of the time. It has to be a condition that is fulfilled all of the time. And for this reason, to complete monetary union we will ultimately have to deepen our political union further: to lay down its rights and obligations in a renewed institutional order.”
Make no mistake, the rhetoric that will be used by Fabian influenced media pundits and mainstream economic snake-oil salesmen in the coming months will say that the solution to EU instability as well as global instability is a single global governing body over the fiscal life of all nations and peoples. The argument will be that the economic crisis persists because we continue to cling to the “barbaric relic” of national sovereignty.
In the meantime, internationalists are protecting the legitimacy of stimulus actions and banker led policy by diverting attention away from the failure of the central planning methodology.
Mario Draghi has recently announced the institution of Europe's own QE bond buying program, only months after Japan initiated yet another stimulus measure of its own, and only months after the Federal Reserve ended QE with the finale of the taper.
I would point out that essentially the moment the Fed finalized the taper of QE in the U.S., we immediately began to see a return of stock volatility, as well as the current plunge in oil prices. I think it should now be crystal clear to everyone where stimulus money was really going, as well as what assumptions oblivious daytraders were operating on.
The common claim today is that the QE of Japan and now the ECB are meant to take up the slack left behind in the manipulation of markets by the Fed. I disagree. As I have been saying since the announcement of the taper, stimulus measures have a shelf life, and central banks are not capable of propping up markets for much longer, even if that is their intention (which it is not). Why? Because even though market fundamentals have been obscured by a fog of manipulation, they unquestionably still apply. Real supply and demand will ALWAYS matter – they are like gravity, and we are forced to deal with them eventually.
Beyond available supply, all trade ultimately depend on two things - savings and demand. Without these two things, the economy will inevitably collapse. Central bank stimulus does not generate jobs, it does not generate available credit, it does not generate higher wages, nor does it generate ample savings. Thus, the economic crisis continues unabated and even stock markets are beginning to waver.
As demand collapses due to a lack of strong jobs and savings, it pulls down on the central bank fiat fueled rocket ship like an increase in gravity. The rocket (in this case equities markets and government debt) hits a point of terminal altitude. The banks are forced to pour in even more fiat fuel just to keep the vessel from crashing back to Earth. No matter how much fuel they create, the gravity of crashing demand increases equally in the opposite direction. In the end, the rocket will tumble and disintegrate in a spectacular explosion, filled to capacity with fuel but unable to go anywhere.
Oil markets have expressed this reality in relentless fashion the past few months. Real demand growth in oil has been stagnant for years, yet, because of stimulus, because of the real devaluation of the dollar, and because of market exuberance, prices were unrealistically high in comparison. The crash of oil is a startling sign that the exuberance is over, and something else is taking shape...
The disconnect within banker propaganda could be best summarized by Mario Draghi's recent statements on the ECB's new stimulus measures. When asked if he was concerned about the possibility of European QE triggering currency devaluation and hyperinflation, Draghi had this to say:
“I think the best way to answer to this is have we seen lots of inflation since the QE program started? Have we seen that? And now it's quite a few years that we started. You know, our experience since we have these press conferences goes back to a little more than three years. In these 3 years we've lowered interest rates, I don't know how many times, 4 or 5 times, 6 times maybe. And each times someone was saying, this is going to be terrible expansionary, there will be inflation. Some people voted against lowering interest rates way back at the end of November 2013. We did OMP. We did the LTROs. We did TLTROs. And somehow this runaway inflation hasn't come yet.
So the jury is still out, but there must be a statute of limitations. Also for the people who say that there would be inflation, yes When please. Tell me, within what?”
Firstly, if you are using “official” CPI numbers in the U.S. to gauge whether or not there has been inflation, then yes, Draghi's claim appears sound. However, if you use the traditional method (pre-1990's) to calculate CPI rather than the new and incomplete method, inflation over the past few years has stood at around 8%-10%, and most essential goods including most food items have risen in price by 30% or more, far above the official 0%-1% numbers presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But beyond real inflation numbers I find a very humorous truth within Draghi's rather disingenuous statement; yes, QE has not yet produced hyperinflation in the U.S. (primarily because the untold trillions in fiat created still sit idle in the coffers of international banks rather than circulating freely), however, what HAS stimulus actually accomplished if not inflation? Certainly not any semblance of economic recovery.
Look at it this way; I could also claim that if international bankers lined up on a stage at Davos and danced the funky-chicken, hyperinflation would probably not result. But what is the point of dancing the funky chicken, and really, what is the point of QE? Stimulus clearly has about as much positive effect on the economy as jerking around rhythmically in tight polypropylene disco pants.
Japan and the ECB are in fact launching sizable stimulus measures exactly because the QE of the Federal Reserve achieved ABSOLUTELY NOTHING except the purchase of 5-6 years without total collapse (only gradual collapse). And what is the real cost/benefit ratio of that purchase of half a decade of fiscal purgatory? When the breakdown of debt and forex markets does occur, it will be a hundred times worse than if the Fed had done nothing at all. Which brings me to our current state of affairs in 2015, and the IMF plan to take advantage...
IMF head Christine Lagarde put out a press release this past week, one which was probably drafted for her by a team of ghouls at the BIS, mentioning the formation of what she called the “New Multilateralism”.
Lagarde begins with the same old song about accommodative monetary policy:
“Besides structural reforms, building new momentum will require pulling all possible levers that can support global demand. Accommodative monetary policy will remain essential for as long as growth remains anemic – though we must pay careful attention to potential spillovers. Fiscal policy should be focused on promoting growth and creating jobs, while maintaining medium-term credibility.”
Of course, as we have already established, monetary policy does nothing to inspire demand. So, what is a global syndicate of bankers to do? Promote maximum interdependency! Lagarde laments the impediments of the sovereign attitude:
“No economy is an island; indeed, the global economy is more integrated than ever before. Consider this: Fifty years ago, emerging markets and developing economies accounted for about a quarter of world GDP. Today, they generate half of global income, a share that will continue to rise.
But sovereign states are no longer the only actors on the scene. A global network of new stakeholders has emerged, including NGOs and citizen activists – often empowered by social media. This new reality demands a new response. We will need to update, adapt, and deepen our methods of working together.”
And here we have a more subtle insinuation of the planning and programming I have been warning about for years. Because national sovereignty is no longer “practical” in an economically interdependent world (a world forced into economic interdependency by the globalists themselves), we must now change our way of thinking to support a more globalist framework.
The first big lie is that interdependency is a natural economic state. Historically, economies are more likely to survive and thrive the LESS dependent they are on outside factors. Independent, self contained, self sustaining, decentralized economies are the natural and preferable cultural path. Multilateralism (centralization) is completely contrary and destructive to this natural state, as we have already witnessed in the kind of panic which ensues across the globe when even one small nation, like Switzerland, decides to break from the accepted pattern of interdependency.
Also, take note of Lagarde's reference to the growing role that developing nations (BRICS) are playing in this interdependent globalized mish-mash. As I have been warning, the IMF and the international banks fully intend to bring the BRICS further into the fold of the “new multilateralism”, and the supposed conflict between the East and the West is a ridiculous farce designed only as theater for the masses.
Lagarde reiterates the IMF push for inclusion of the BRICS (new networks of influence) into the new system, as well as the IMF's role as the arbiter of global governance:
“This can be done by building on effective institutions of cooperation that already exist. Institutions like the IMF should be made even more representative in light of the dynamic shifts taking place in the global economy. The new networks of influence should be embraced and given space in the twenty-first century architecture of global governance. This is what I have called the “new multilateralism.” I believe it is the only way to address the challenges that the global community faces.”
The IMF head finishes with my favorite line, one which should tell you all you need to know about what is about to happen in 2015. I have for some time been following the progress (or lack of progress) in the IMF reforms presented in 2010; reforms which the U.S. Congress has refused to pass. Why? I believe the reforms remain dormant because the U.S. is MEANT to lose its veto powers within the IMF, and the IMF has already made clear that lack of passage will result in just that.
“Against this backdrop, the adoption of the IMF reforms by the United States Congress would send a long-overdue signal to rapidly growing emerging economies that the world counts on their voices, and their resources, to find global solutions to global problems.
Growth, trade, development, and climate change: 2015 will be a rendezvous of important multilateral initiatives. We cannot afford to see them fail. Let us make the right choices.”
Why remove U.S. veto power? Because BRICS nations like China are about to be given far more inclusion in the IMF's multilateralist order. In fact, 2015 is the year in which the IMF's Special Drawing Rights conference is set to commence, with initial discussions in May, and international meetings in October. I believe U.S. veto power will probably be removed by May, making the way clear (creating the rationale) for the marginalization of the U.S. dollar in favor of the SDR basket currency system, soon to be boosted by China's induction.
In 2015 what we really have is a sprint towards currency and market devaluation across the spectrum. India, Japan, Russia, Europe, parts of South America, have all been debased monetarily. The U.S. has as well, most Americans just don't know it yet. The value of this for globalists is far reaching. They have at a basic level created an atmosphere of lowered economic expectations – a global reduction in living standards which will at bottom lead to third world status for everyone. The elites hope that this will be enough to condition the public to support centralized financial control as the only option for survival.
It is hard to say what kind of Black Swans and false flags will be conjured in the meantime, but I highly doubt the shift towards the SDR will take place without considerable geopolitical turmoil. The public will require some sizable scapegoats for the kind of pain they will feel as the banks attempt to place the global economy in a totalitarian choke hold. While certain institutions may be held up as sacrificial lambs (including possibly the Federal Reserve itself), the concept of banker governance will be promoted as the best and only solution, despite the undeniable reality that the world would be a far better place if such men and their structures of influence were to be wiped off the face of the planet entirely.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Enemy IS Islam - Not "Radicals"...
on: January 28, 2015, 07:32:32 AM
The Imaginary Islamic Radical
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On January 28, 2015
The debate over Islamic terrorism has shifted so far from reality that it has now become an argument between the administration, which insists that there is nothing Islamic about ISIS, and critics who contend that a minority of Islamic extremists are the ones causing all the problems.
But what makes an Islamic radical, extremist? Where is the line between ordinary Muslim practice and its extremist dark side?
It can’t be beheading people in public.
Saudi Arabia just did that and was praised for its progressiveness by the UN Secretary General, had flags flown at half-staff in the honor of its deceased tyrant in the UK and that same tyrant was honored by Obama, in preference to such minor events as the Paris Unity March and the Auschwitz commemoration.
It can’t be terrorism either. Not when the US funds the PLO and three successive administrations invested massive amounts of political capital into turning the terrorist group into a state. While the US and the EU fund the Palestinian Authority’s homicidal kleptocracy; its media urges stabbing Jews.
Clearly that’s not Islamic extremism either. At least it’s not too extreme for Obama.
If blowing up civilians in Allah’s name isn’t extreme, what do our radicals have to do to get really radical?
Sex slavery? The Saudis only abolished it in 1962; officially. Unofficially it continues. Every few years a Saudi bigwig gets busted for it abroad. The third in line for the Saudi throne was the son of a “slave girl”.
Ethnic cleansing? Genocide? The “moderate” Islamists we backed in Syria, Libya and Egypt have been busy doing it with the weapons and support that we gave them. So that can’t be extreme either.
If terrorism, ethnic cleansing, sex slavery and beheading are just the behavior of moderate Muslims, what does a Jihadist have to do to be officially extreme? What is it that makes ISIS extreme?
Our government’s definition of moderate often hinges on a willingness to negotiate regardless of the results. The moderate Taliban were the ones willing to talk us. They just weren’t willing to make a deal. Iran’s new government is moderate because it engages in aimless negotiations while pushing its nuclear program forward and issuing violent threats, instead of just pushing and threatening without the negotiations. Nothing has come of the negotiations, but the very willingness to negotiate is moderate.
The Saudis would talk to us all day long while they continued sponsoring terrorists and setting up terror mosques in the West. That made them moderates. Qatar keeps talking to us while arming terrorists and propping up the Muslim Brotherhood. So they too are moderate. The Muslim Brotherhood talked to us even while its thugs burned churches, tortured protesters and worked with terrorist groups in the Sinai.
A radical terrorist will kill you. A moderate terrorist will talk to you and then kill someone else. And you’ll ignore it because the conversation is a sign that they’re willing to pretend to be reasonable.
From a Muslim perspective, ISIS is radical because it declared a Caliphate and is casual about declaring other Muslims infidels. That’s a serious issue for Muslims and when we distinguish between radicals and moderates based not on their treatment of people, but their treatment of Muslims, we define radicalism from the perspective of Islamic supremacism, rather than our own American values.
The position that the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate and Al Qaeda is extreme because the Brotherhood kills Christians and Jews while Al Qaeda kills Muslims is Islamic Supremacism. The idea of the moderate Muslim places the lives of Muslims over those of every other human being on earth.
Our Countering Violent Extremism program emphasizes the centrality of Islamic legal authority as the best means of fighting Islamic terrorists. Our ideological warfare slams terrorists for not accepting the proper Islamic chain of command. Our solution to Islamic terrorism is a call for Sharia submission.
That’s not an American position. It’s an Islamic position and it puts us in the strange position of arguing Islamic legalism with Islamic terrorists. Our politicians, generals and cops insist that the Islamic terrorists we’re dealing with know nothing about Islam because that is what their Saudi liaisons told them to say.
It’s as if we were fighting Marxist terrorist groups by reproving them for not accepting the authority of the USSR or the Fourth International. It’s not only stupid of us to nitpick another ideology’s fine points, especially when our leaders don’t know what they’re talking about, but our path to victory involves uniting our enemies behind one central theocracy. That’s even worse than arming and training them, which we’re also doing (but only for the moderate genocidal terrorists, not the extremists).
Secretary of State Kerry insists that ISIS are nihilists and anarchists. Nihilism is the exact opposite of the highly structured Islamic system of the Caliphate. It might be a more accurate description of Kerry. But the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood successfully sold the Western security establishment on the idea that the only way to defeat Islamic terrorism was by denying any Islamic links to its actions.
This was like an arsonist convincing the fire department that the best way to fight fires was to pretend that they happened randomly on their own through spontaneous combustion.
Victory through denial demands that we pretend that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. It’s a wholly irrational position, but the alternative of a tiny minority of extremists is nearly as irrational.
If ISIS is extreme and Islam is moderate, what did ISIS do that Mohammed did not?
The answers usually have a whole lot to do with the internal structures of Islam and very little to do with such pragmatic things as not raping women or not killing non-Muslims.
Early on we decided to take sides between Islamic tyrants and Islamic terrorists, deeming the former moderate and the latter extremists. But the tyrants were backing their own terrorists. And when it came to human rights and their view of us, there wasn’t all that much of a difference between the two.
It made sense for us to put down Islamic terrorists because they often represented a more direct threat, but allowing the Islamic tyrants to convince us that they and the terrorists followed two different brands of Islam and that the only solution to Islamic terrorism lay in their theocracy was foolish of us.
We can’t win the War on Terror through their theocracy. That way lies a real Caliphate.
Our problem is not the Islamic radical, but the inherent radicalism of Islam. Islam is a radical religion. It radicalizes those who follow it. Every atrocity we associate with Islamic radicals is already in Islam. The Koran is not the solution to Islamic radicalism, it is the cause.
Our enemy is not radicalism, but a hostile civilization bearing grudges and ambitions.
We aren’t fighting nihilists or radicals. We are at war with the inheritors of an old empire seeking to reestablish its supremacy not only in the hinterlands of the east, but in the megalopolises of the west.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Pity Party: The Folly of Liberal "Compassion"...
on: January 27, 2015, 06:39:46 AM
The Pity Party
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On January 27, 2015
Progressives will always claim that no matter how badly their plans go wrong, at least their terrible policies were well-intentioned.
The regimes that shot orphans, starved entire cities into submission and committed genocide were “caring” in comparison to the heartless Dickensian capitalists who did nothing for the poor except create cheap products and jobs. They might have killed millions, but their red hearts were in the right place.
They didn’t just spend all their time gobbling caviar and diving into swimming pools full of all money like the millionaires of the West. Instead they gave speeches about Marxism-Leninism, killed anyone who wasn’t up on their dialectical materialism and then gobbled working class caviar and dove into proletarian swimming pools full of money.
The path to everything from death panels to gulags was paved by outrage over the oppressed and compassion for the less fortunate… even if the real less fortunate turned out to be those on whom the tender-hearted compassion of progressives was practiced on.
That compassion is the theme of William Voegeli’s “The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion.” Going from Bill Clinton’s “I Feel Your Pain” to Barack Obama’s “Yes, We Can,” Voegeli challenges the conspicuous compassion and self-centered emotional displays on which the contemporary progressive argument is built.
Rather than dealing with the issues, the left deals in narratives. Its pornography of misery bypasses facts, particularly those which demonstrate that it is the left’s policies that create misery, thereby showing the dangers of placing compassion above any other value; including truth. And that is one of the subjects explored in Voegeli’s book whose themes occupy the moral realm as much as the sphere of government policy.
“So many Americans,” Voegeli writes, take for granted, “that moral growth requires little else than feeling, acting and being more compassionate.”
The conspicuous compassion of progressivism results in the appearance of goodness, without its substance. It is easy to mandate social welfare. Especially at someone else’s expense. What is difficult is grappling with human limitations and aspirations. That’s why the War on Poverty failed.
FDR explicitly laid out the moral double standard for the right and the left. The Pity Party quotes him as saying, “Divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales. Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.”
There lies the high-minded formula for dismissing the crimes of the left as the “occasional faults” of warm-blooded leftists over the neglect of a conservative government. FDR was saying that it was better to do something, even if it was the wrong thing, than to do nothing. It was a left-wing indictment of nothing less than the United States Constitution. The argument is echoed today in defense of amnesty and any other disastrous Obama policy by asserting that doing something is better than nothing.
The good leftist may destroy lives, but at least he doesn’t neglect his warm-hearted duty to meddle. Better a caring killer, than a constitutionalist who doesn’t care enough to death panel the sick.
In The Pity Party, Voegeli explores the failure of progressive ideas and the immunity of those failures to reform. Looking at the global and national consequences of progressive policymaking he shows that the politics of conspicuous compassion are self-contradictory and lead to bad results and advises conservatives on how to counter the caring spin cycle of the left.
In the age of Tumblr and Twitter when the Social Justice Warrior deploys limitless outrage, bile and spleen in empathy’s name, progressive pathos has become a revolutionary hysteria that trips easily into riots and violent threats. The primacy of compassion as the only significant virtue makes it impossible to distinguish between empathy and self-serving rhetoric, between caring and egotistical hysteria.
At the big government and big media level, every argument is triangulated as being between caring progressives and uncaring conservatives. Their human shields; children, the elderly, designated minority victim classes and gentle giants, are infinite. Their personal stories, even if they happen to be those of Democratic activists covertly posing as ordinary people at a State of the Union address, negate the facts.
Every dispute, no matter how technical, eventually culminates with the left trotting out its human shields to take the debate out of the realm of facts and into the realm of personal anecdote. Since creative types can figure out how to personalize every debate, every debate becomes an empathy test. The issue stops being whether a policy will work, but whether a politician represents our values of caring. And this is where Democrats routinely trounce Republicans in polling questions.
The longstanding tactic of the left is to turn every debate into a question of which side consists of good people and which side consists of bad people. It is a tactic that Republicans have done a very poor job of fighting because they do not believe of the left what it believes about them.
A secularized empathy provides religion without deity or scripture. The new temple becomes the government building and its new bible is a million pages of ObamaCare regulations that no one reads. Its messiahs are community organizers. Its clergy hold “die-ins” and seek absolute power to regulate every detail of human life. Thus the tyranny of compassion transforms America into a Socialist theocracy.
The compassion of the left exists in a space formerly occupied by religion and is therefore immune to analysis and factual critique. It serves as the supporting ideology for leftist policy and cloaks it in the same self-serving air of a spiritual compassion that should not be examined to see how many people ended up in the gulags or death panels.
Voegeli’s critique serves as a warning that a policy based on the theatrics of compassion without moral substance or factual analysis is doomed to destroy its own unexamined founding virtues. In the name of compassion, the left hurts the very people it claims to want to help while serving its own interests.
Every crime, from Green Energy corruption to totalitarian health care regulations, is justified by an appeal to compassion. But the truly compassionate attribute is not the arrogant paternalism of leftist policymakers, but the empowerment of our fellow man through political and economic freedom.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Cowards...
on: January 25, 2015, 03:01:43 PM
To GM's point - the majority of the world's news media - with few exceptions - has been self-censoring itself, essentially surrendering to the terrorists. This is NOT a good sign.
As I've commented before - it's looking more and more like 1938 in Europe these days - and not just in Europe. The level of denial in the U.S. is staggering as well.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Caroline Glick: Iran, Obama, Boehner and Netanyahu...
on: January 24, 2015, 08:12:58 AM
Iran, Obama, Boehner and Netanyahu
Posted By Caroline Glick On January 23, 2015
Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.
Iran has apparently produced an intercontinental ballistic missile whose range far exceeds the distance between Iran and Israel, and between Iran and Europe.
On Wednesday night, Channel 2 showed satellite imagery taken by Israel’s Eros-B satellite that was launched last April. The imagery showed new missile-related sites that Iran recently constructed just outside Tehran. One facility is a missile launch site, capable of sending a rocket into space or of firing an ICBM.
On the launch pad was a new 27-meter long missile, never seen before.
The missile and the launch pad indicate that Iran’s ballistic missile program, which is an integral part of its nuclear weapons program, is moving forward at full throttle. The expanded range of Iran’s ballistic missile program as indicated by the satellite imagery makes clear that its nuclear weapons program is not merely a threat to Israel, or to Israel and Europe. It is a direct threat to the United States as well.
Also on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was invited to address a joint session of Congress by House Speaker John Boehner.
Boehner has asked Netanyahu to address US lawmakers on February 11 regarding Iran’s nuclear program and the threat to international security posed by radical Islam.
Opposition leaders were quick to accuse Boehner and the Republican Party of interfering in Israel’s upcoming election by providing Netanyahu with such a prestigious stage just five weeks before Israelis go to the polls.
Labor MK Nachman Shai told The Jerusalem Post that for the sake of fairness, Boehner should extend the same invitation to opposition leader Isaac Herzog.
But in protesting as they have, opposition members have missed the point. Boehner didn’t invite Netanyahu because he cares about Israel’s election. He invited Netanyahu because he cares about US national security. He believes that by having Netanyahu speak on the issues of Iran’s nuclear program and radical Islam, he will advance America’s national security.
Boehner’s chief concern, and that of the majority of his colleagues from the Democratic and Republican parties alike, is that President Barack Obama’s policy in regard to Iran’s nuclear weapons program imperils the US. Just as the invitation to Netanyahu was a bipartisan invitation, so concerns about Obama’s policy toward Iran’s nuclear program are bipartisan concerns.
Over the past week in particular, Obama has adopted a position on Iran that puts him far beyond the mainstream of US politics. This radical position has placed the president on a collision course with Congress best expressed on Wednesday by Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez. During a hearing at the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee where Menendez serves as ranking Democratic member, he said, “The more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran.”
Menendez was referring to threats that Obama has made three times over the past week, most prominently at his State of the Union address on Tuesday, to veto any sanctions legislation against Iran brought to his desk for signature.
He has cast proponents of sanctions – and Menendez is the co-sponsor of a pending sanctions bill – as enemies of a diplomatic strategy of dealing with Iran, and by implication, as warmongers.
Indeed, in remarks to the Democratic members of the Senate last week, Obama impugned the motivations of lawmakers who support further sanctions legislation. He indirectly alleged that they were being forced to take their positions due to pressure from their donors and others.
The problem for American lawmakers is that the diplomatic course that Obama has chosen makes it impossible for the US to use the tools of diplomacy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
That course of diplomatic action is anchored in the Joint Plan of Action that the US and its partners Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia (the P5+1) signed with Tehran in November 2013.
The JPOA placed no limitation on Iran’s ballistic missile program. The main areas the JPOA covers are Iran’s uranium enrichment and plutonium reactor activities. Under the agreement, or the aspects of it that Obama has made public, Iran is supposed to limit its enrichment of uranium to 3.5-percent purity.
And it is not supposed to take action to expand its heavy water reactor at Arak, which could be used to develop weapons grade plutonium.
THE JPOA is also supposed to force Iran to share all nuclear activities undertaken in the past by its military personnel.
During his State of the Union address, Obama claimed that since the agreement was signed, Iran has “halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.”
Yet as Omri Ceren of the Israel Project noted this week, since the JPOA was signed, Iran has expanded its uranium and plutonium work. And as the Eros-B satellite imagery demonstrated, Iran is poised to launch an ICBM.
When it signed the JPOA, Obama administration officials dismissed concerns that by permitting Iran to enrich uranium to 3.5% – in breach of binding UN Security Council Resolution 1929 from 2010 – the US was enabling Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Enrichment to 3.5%, they said, is a far cry from the 90% enrichment level needed for uranium to be bomb grade.
But it works out that the distance isn’t all that great. Sixty percent of the work required to enrich uranium to bomb grade levels of purity is done by enriching it to 3.5%. Since it signed the JPOA, Iran has enriched sufficient quantities of uranium to produce two nuclear bombs.
As for plutonium development work, as Ceren pointed out, the White House’s fact sheet on the JPOA said that Iran committed itself “to halt progress on its plutonium track.”
Last October, Foreign Policy magazine reported that Iran was violating that commitment by seeking to procure parts for its heavy water plutonium reactor at Arak. And yet, astoundingly, rather than acknowledge the simple fact that Iran was violating its commitment, the State Department excused Iran’s behavior and insisted that it was not in clear violation of its commitment.
More distressingly, since the JPOA was signed, Iran has repeatedly refused to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to access Iran’s nuclear installations or to inform the IAEA about the nuclear activities that its military have carried out in the past.
As a consequence, the US and its partners still do not know what nuclear installations Iran has or what nuclear development work it has undertaken.
This means that if a nuclear agreement is signed between Iran and the P5+1, that agreement’s verification protocols will in all likelihood not apply to all aspects of Iran’s nuclear program. And if it does not apply to all aspects of Iran’s nuclear activities, it cannot prevent Iran from continuing the activities it doesn’t know about.
As David Albright, a former IAEA inspector, explained in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last May, “To be credible, a final agreement must ensure that any effort by Tehran to construct a bomb would be sufficiently time-consuming and detectable that the international community could act decisively to prevent Iran from succeeding. It is critical to know whether the Islamic Republic had a nuclear weapons program in the past, how far the work on warheads advanced and whether it continues. Without clear answers to these questions, outsiders will be unable to determine how fast the Iranian regime could construct either a crude nuclear-test device or a deliverable weapon if it chose to renege on an agreement.”
Concern about the loopholes in the JPOA led congressional leaders from both parties to begin work to pass additional sanctions against Iran immediately after the JPOA was concluded. To withstand congressional pressure, the Obama administration alternately attacked the patriotism of its critics, who it claimed were trying to push the US into and unnecessary war against Iran, and assured them that all of their concerns would be addressed in a final agreement.
Unfortunately, since signing the JPOA, the administration has adopted positions that ensure that none of Congress’s concerns will be addressed.
Whereas in early 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that “the president has made it definitive” that Iran needs to answer all “questions surrounding Iran’s nuclear program,” last November it was reported that the US and its partners had walked back this requirement.
Iran will not be required to give full accounting of its past nuclear work, and so the US and its partners intend to sign a deal that will be unable to verify that Iran does not build nuclear weapons.
As the administration has ignored its previous pledges to Congress to ensure that a deal with Iran will make it possible to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, it has also acted to ensure that Iran will pay no price for negotiating in bad faith. The sanctions bill that Obama threatens to veto would only go into effect if Iran fails to sign an agreement.
As long as negotiations progress, no sanctions would be enforced.
OBAMA’S MESSAGE then is clear. Not only will the diplomatic policy he has adopted not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons (and the ability to attack the US with nuclear warheads attached to an ICBM), but in the event that Iran fails to agree to even cosmetic limitations on its nuclear progress, it will suffer no consequences for its recalcitrance.
And this brings us back to Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu.
With Obama’s diplomatic policy toward Iran enabling rather than preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power, members of the House and Senate are seeking a credible, unwavering voice that offers an alternative path. For the past 20 years, Netanyahu has been the global leader most outspoken about the need to take all necessary measures to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, not only for Israel’s benefit, but to protect the entire free world. From the perspective of the congressional leadership, then, inviting Netanyahu to speak was a logical move.
In the Israeli context, however, it was an astounding development. For the past generation, the Israeli Left has insisted Israel’s role on the world stage is that of a follower.
As a small, isolated nation, Israel has no choice, they say, other than to follow the lead of the West, and particularly of the White House, on all issues, even when the US president is wrong. All resistance to White House policies is dangerous and irresponsible, leaders like Herzog and Tzipi Livni continuously warn.
Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu exposes the Left’s dogma as dangerous nonsense.
The role of an Israeli leader is to adopt the policies that protect Israel, even when they are unpopular at the White House. Far from being ostracized for those policies, such an Israeli leader will be supported, respected, and relied upon by those who share with him a concern for what truly matters.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Robert Spencer: The King is Dead. Long Live the King...
on: January 24, 2015, 06:44:39 AM
The King Is Dead, Long Live the King
Posted By Robert Spencer On January 23, 2015
Abdullah was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. Old Abdullah was as dead as a door-nail.
So what now?
The crown prince, Abdullah’s half-brother, Prince Salman, has taken over, but it might not be that easy. After all, it wasn’t too many years ago that people were speculating about what Egypt would be like under the rule of Hosni Mubarak’s son Gamal. And the accession of a 79-year-old to the throne does not give the impression that the House of Saud is vigorous and ready to take on the numerous challenges it faces.
And it faces many. This is not an optimum time for a transition. The House of Saud has headed up an obnoxious regime that has spent billions to prepare the ground for the jihad that is now aflame all over the world, by propagating its virulent view of jihad everywhere. Now the Saudis’ massive expenditures to export the jihad doctrine have come back to bite them in the form of the Islamic State, a self-proclaimed caliphate that denies the legitimacy of the House of Saud (and every other government other than its own) and has vowed to conquer it (and every other country, but it is right on the Saudis’ doorstep).
The Saudis want the U.S. to take care of their Islamic State problem for them. They can’t easily do it themselves, because they have taught their own people the idea that the umma, the worldwide Muslim community, should ideally be ruled by a caliph, the successor of Muhammad as the political, military, and religious leader of the Muslims, and so if they move too decisively against the Islamic State, they might be facing an uprising from within. Several weeks ago, a Muslim cleric from Saudi Arabia was killed while fighting for the Islamic State. And Sheikh ‘Aadel Al-Kalbani, former imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, has declared: “ISIS is a true product of Salafism and we must deal with it with full transparency.”
Salafism is what the Saudis have used their oil billions to spread throughout the world. And given the fact that Saudi Arabia’s plush rehab facility for jihadists has proven to be a spectacular failure, King Salman may be spending a considerable part of his declining years battling the jihadis to whom his predecessors gave their guiding ideology.
If, on the other hand, the Saudis don’t move decisively against the Islamic State, and Obama continues his cosmetic, face-saving airstrikes and continues to reject strong action of his own, Saudi Arabia may before too long be facing an invasion from without. Maybe not a full-scale invasion, but certainly an escalation of individual acts of jihad terror. In fact, Islamic State jihadis killed three Saudi guards at the Iraq border just a few weeks ago.
The Iranians, meanwhile, are always jockeying to become the leader of the Islamic world, and in that Saudi Arabia is one of their chief rivals. But Iranian-backed Shi’ite Houthi rebels have just won a major victory in Yemen, and Iran has just concluded a military pact with Russia. This could be the Shi’ites’ moment, in a way that could bode quite ill for the House of Saud. Vladimir Putin is clearly trying to reestablish Russia as a world power, and he may think that the death of Abdullah provides him with a grand opportunity to weaken a U.S. ally (however unreliable the Saudis have actually been as an ally). Perhaps now would be just the time for an uprising of the Saudis’ considerable and harshly oppressed Shi’ite minority, emboldened by the Houthi example and backed by Iran.
Could the death of Abdullah be the Iranians’ moment? Or the Islamic State’s? Time will tell – but one thing it is almost certain not to usher in is a time of peace and stability.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama, Kerry Refusing to Meet with Netanyahu During Upcoming Visit...
on: January 23, 2015, 12:56:46 PM
This President is an absolute disgrace. He frankly hates Israel and the Jews. Anyone who can't see that now is completely out-of-touch with reality.
I suppose Obama is OK with Israel being blown off the map by Iran with a nuke. To him, that would be one less problem in the world...
Obama refusing to meet with Netanyahu during his March visit to U.S.
Published by: Dan Calabrese @ hermancain.com
And in ever better news for Bibi, Kerry won't meet with him either.
Now you know: The guy who is happy to throw the Constitution in the shredder if Congress won't give him his way about pretty much anything at all is officially upset because Congress breached "protocol" by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address them.
Even funnier is Obama's excuse for refusing to meet with Netanyahu: Supposedly it's "longstanding principle and protocol" that U.S. presidents don't meet with foreign leaders when they're in the midst of running for re-election, which Netanyahu is coming up on April elections in Israel. Think about it: Netanyahu might take a selfie with Obama and show it to the Israeli electorate as evidence of his close relationship with the most respected leader in the world. We can't have that!
Someone should ask Obama if this sounds familiar: If he won't lead, we will. Flip the sentiment. You get the idea? Obama is only too happy to throw over the Israelis in order to get (what he sees as) a legacy-building deal with Iran. And we all know how Obama negotiates with tyrants. Ask Raul Castro. You give away pretty much everything just so you can announce you've made history. The Israelis know who their allies are in America, and none of them are in the White House at the moment. So if Netanyahu doesn't have to waste his time shaking hands and preening with Obama or the even more self-admiring John Kerry, I'd say it's a score for Bibi:
The White House initially gave an icy response to news of Netanyahu's trip, saying it had not been informed -- a break with protocol.
Twenty-four hours later, the Obama administration announced that neither the president nor his Secretary of State John Kerry would meet Netanyahu.
The Israeli prime minister -- and his Republican Congressional hosts -- have expressed deep skepticism about a brokered deal, believing Iran cannot be trusted to keep its side of the bargain.
US lawmakers have even sketched plans to impose fresh sanctions on Iran, legislation Obama has said would wreck talks and which he has pledged to veto.
"The president has been clear about his opposition to Congress passing new legislation on Iran that could undermine our negotiations and divide the international community," said Meehan.
Make no mistake: Obama's end game here is to be able to announce a piece-of-paper-waving, "peace in our time" deal with Iran that would make Neville Chamberlain blush. He has no intention of submitting it to the Senate for ratification either because a) he'll rationalize that it's not precisely a treaty and doesn't need ratification; and b) come on, he's Barack Obama, and since when does he submit to Congress on anything?
Boehner's decision to invite Netanyahu in defiance of Obama is encouraging not only insofar as it shows Congress is having none of Obama's nonsense on Iran. It also shows that they have little inclination to let Obama set the agenda, hopefully on anything. That might also augur well for the GOP's approach to Obama's giveaway-a-week approach to governing, which is to say they might completely ignore his proposals and lead with their own. That's exactly what they should do. The electorate basically shoved Obama to the side in November and told him enough is enough. The Republicans are being given their chance to lead, and they need to do it. Letting one of our most important allies know that the White House might not be with them, but America still is, is a great way to start.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hollywood's War Against American Sniper...
on: January 22, 2015, 05:58:05 AM
Hollywood’s War Against American Sniper
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On January 22, 2015 @ frontpagemag.com
American Sniper is the movie that should not have existed. Even though the book was a bestseller, nobody in Hollywood wanted the rights.
And why would they?
The Iraq War already had an official narrative in Hollywood. It was bad and wrong. Its veterans were crippled, dysfunctional and dangerous. Before American Sniper, Warner Brothers had gone with anti-war flicks like Body of Lies and In the Valley of Elah. It had lost a fortune on Body of Lies; but losing money had never stopped Hollywood from making anti-war movies that no one wanted to watch.
Even the Hurt Locker had opened with a quote from leftist terrorist supporter Chris Hedges.
An Iraq War movie was supposed to be an anti-war movie. There was no other way to tell the story. Spielberg’s own interest in American Sniper was focused on “humanizing” the other side. When he left and Clint Eastwood, coming off a series of failed films, took the helm, it was assumed that American Sniper would briefly show up in theaters and then go off to die quietly in what was left of the DVD aisle.
And then American Sniper broke box office records that had been set by blockbusters like Avatar, Passion and Hangover Part II by refusing to demonize American soldiers or to spin conspiracy tales about the war. Instead of pandering to coastal progressives, it aimed at the patriotic heartland.
In a sentence you no longer expected to hear from a Hollywood exec, the Warner Brothers distribution chief said, “This is about patriotism and all the things people say the country is lacking these days.”
The backlash to that patriotism and the things the country is lacking these days didn’t take very long to form and it goes a lot deeper than snide tweets from Michael Moore and Seth Rogen. Academy members were reportedly passing around an article from the New Republic, whose author had not actually seen the movie, but still denounced it for not showing Chris Kyle as a bigoted murderer.
Hollywood progressives are both threatened and angered by American Sniper. And with good reason.
The most basic reason is the bottom line. Between Lone Survivor, Unbroken and American Sniper, the patriotic war movie is back. Hollywood could only keep making anti-war movies no one would watch as long as that seemed to be the only way to tackle the subject. Now there’s a clear model for making successful and respectful war movies based around the biographies and accounts of actual veterans.
Hollywood studios had been pressured by left-wing stars into wasting fortunes on failed anti-war conspiracy movies. Matt Damon had managed to get $150 million sunk into his Green Zone failed anti-war movie before stomping away from Universal in a huff. Body of Lies with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe had a real budget estimated at around $120 million, but had opened third after Beverly Hills Chihuahua whose titular tiny dog audiences preferred to either star and their political critiques.
But why spend over a hundred million on anti-war movies no one wants when American Sniper has already made over $120 million on a budget only half that much?
Hollywood progressives don’t look forward to having to write, direct and star in patriotic pictures and if they can’t destroy American Sniper at the box office, they can taint it enough that no major star or director will want to be associated with anything like it.
Adding to their undercurrent of anger is the way that American Sniper upstaged Selma at the box office and at the Academy Award nominations. Selma is a mediocre movie, but it was meant to be a platform for the usual conversation that progressives want to have about how terrible Americans are. Instead audiences chose to see a movie about how great Americans can be even in difficult times.
There’s nothing that threatens the left as much as that.
In a Best Picture lineup that includes the obligatory paeans to gay rights and the evils of racism, American Sniper distinctly stands out as something different. It displaces Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, the previous sure winner which had its obligatory drunken Iraq War veteran claiming that the war was fought for oil, with an authentic veteran instead of Hollywood’s twisted caricature of one.
American Sniper and Lone Survivor signal a shifting wind in which the focus of movies about the War on Terror moves from the organizational conspiracy theories that Hollywood liked to make to the personal narratives of the men who fought in them. Many of the smarter progressive reviews of American Sniper grapple with the fact that the time when they could even have their favorite argument is going away.
Progressives would like Dick Cheney to be the face of the war, but are forced to deal with a world in which Chris Kyle and Marcus Luttrell will be how America sees the conflict. The lens through which the left liked to view the war, its obsessions with WMD, Bush and the path to war, have been eclipsed by the rise of ISIS and the return of American veterans. Their worldview has become outdated and irrelevant.
It’s easier for the left to vent its anger on American Sniper than to deal with its own irrelevance. The most shocking thing about the movie is not any political statement, but its presumption in dealing with the Iraq War and the men in it as if it were WW2. It doesn’t confront the left; instead it acts as if the left isn’t there. It fails to acknowledge the entire worldview through which Hollywood dealt with the war.
The left spends most of its time living in its own bubble and is shocked when events remind it that the rest of the country does not really share its opinions and tastes. American Sniper’s success is one of those explosive wake-up calls and the left has responded to it with all the expected vicious pettiness.
A billboard for the movie was vandalized and attacks from lefty outlets like New Republic and Vox not only target the movie, but the dead man at the center of it. The smear campaign against Kyle has reached new lows, because in death he has become an even more powerful symbol of everything that the left hates.
Hollywood tried to “Vietnamize” Iraq in the popular imagination. American Sniper shows they failed.
Whether or not American Sniper wins the requisite number of Oscars, its impact on Hollywood and on ordinary Americans will not go away. The anti-war movie is in eclipse. The movies that tell the stories of the sacrifices that American veterans have made in the war against Islamic terrorists are rising.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Horowitz: "Obama: Liar-in-Chief"
on: January 21, 2015, 11:40:28 PM
Liar In Chief
Posted By David Horowitz On January 21, 2015
Obama’s State of the Union addresses remind me of nothing so much as the Orwellian speeches of brazen tyrants disjoined from reality and (unlike Obama) untethered from the corrective reporting of a free press. And this one was no different: Our economy is booming, our country is at peace, our enemies are disarmed, our union is strong. For icing on this fruitcake there are particular gems like this: “Since I’ve been President, we’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of Gitmo in half.” Which is why one out of every three Gitmo releases results in the return of a terrorist to the battlefield to kill more Americans. Which is why – for my health of mind – I stopped watching Obama’s speeches live many years ago and now just read them afterwards. This year while the great fabricator was testing the nation’s credulity, I watched a terrific hockey game in which the hits were real and I could relax while I believed my lying eyes.
His smugness also treated his audience to wretched admonitions to practice a better politics: “A better politics is one where we spend less time drowning in dark money for ads that pull us into the gutter” – like, for example, the campaign ad in which he accused his presidential rival, Mitt Romney, of murdering a cancer patient. What I took away from this speech, like the previous ones I’ve had the pleasure of skipping, is that our president is both a deceitful man and a dangerous one. Not of ordinary dimensions mind you, but of dimensions that should make one fear for our country so long as he is in the White House and so long as Democrats and progressives continue to support him.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ISLAM attacked Charlie Hebdo - not "Islamism"
on: January 15, 2015, 08:41:42 AM
Charlie Hebdo was Attacked by Islam, Not Islamism
Posted By Dr. Stephen M. Kirby On January 15, 2015 @ frontpagemag.com
Charlie Hebdo is a French satirical magazine with a strong record of satirizing many religious figures, and for years Islam’s prophet Muhammad has been included among the subjects of the satirical cartoons. For the folks working there, death threats from people claiming to be Muslims were not unusual, and a firebomb destroyed its old offices in November 2011, the day after the magazine had announced that it had selected Muhammad as its editor-in-chief.
On January 7, 2015 two gunmen, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, went into the magazine’s offices and gunned down eleven people, including a police officer. The gunmen then killed another police officer outside the offices. It seemed that within minutes of the massacre, pundits and members of the media went into overdrive trying to keep Islam out of the picture; we were assured that the “religion of peace” had nothing to do with this. This was in spite of the facts that the two gunmen were Muslims yelling Allahu Akbar, and were heard shouting in French, “We have killed Charlie Hebdo. We have avenged the Prophet Mohammad.”
The disturbing reality is that Islam had everything to do with it. Satirizing and drawing pictures of Muhammad goes against 33:57 of the Koran, which states that those who “annoy” Muhammad would be cursed by Allah:
Verily, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating torment.
The authoritative Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir explained this verse:
Here, Allah warns and threatens those who annoy Him by going against His commands and doing that which He has forbidden, and who persist in doing so, and those who annoy His Messenger by accusing him of having faults or shortcomings – Allah forbid. ‘Ikrimah said that the Ayah [verse]: Verily, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger, was revealed concerning those who make pictures or images [my emphasis]…The Ayah appears to be general in meaning and to apply to all those who annoy him [Muhammad] in any way, because whoever annoys him annoys Allah, just as whoever obeys him obeys Allah.
So the satirical cartoons were not only “annoying” Muhammad, they were also “annoying” Allah. This was sheer blasphemy. What were the two brothers to do?
Said and Cherif apparently looked to the teachings and examples of Muhammad. Muhammad had personally ordered the killing of four specific individuals whose only crime was that they had criticized him and/or Islam (‘Asma’ Bint Marwan, Abu ‘Afak, Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf, and Abu Rafi’). And Muhammad had even given retroactive approval to the separate killings by Muslims of three individuals who had criticized him and/or Islam. That the brothers had learned from Muhammad’s example was shown in Cherif’s January 9th statement to Igor Sahiri, a journalist for France’s BFMTV:
We defend the prophet. If someone offends the prophet then there is no problem, we can kill him.
So the Muslim brothers were simply following the commands of Allah in the Koran, and the teachings and examples of Muhammad when they committed the massacre.
Some have claimed that Islam had nothing to do with the massacre because the gunmen also killed two Muslims. The first was Moustapha Ourrad, a copy editor for the magazine. However, Ourrad’s involvement in satirizing and creating pictures of Muhammad meant that he was going against the commands of Allah and the teachings of Muhammad; Ourrad had therefore left Islam and was an apostate. Islamic doctrine commands that apostates be killed. And this is even assuming the gunmen knew Ourrad was a Muslim, for which there is no evidence. The second Muslim killed by the gunmen was a police officer named Ahmed Merabet. He was executed outside the office building. However, there is no evidence that he had identified himself as a Muslim to the gunmen. So the claim that the gunmen knowingly shot two Muslims is baseless.
The Islamic teachings about being killed as a martyr and being rewarded in paradise for doing so were influential on the two gunmen. On January 9th, after they were surrounded by French security forces, the brothers reportedly said they wanted “to die as martyrs.” In fact, a few years earlier, in December 2007, Cherif had stated in a court deposition that
“the wise leaders in Islam told him and his friends that if they die as martyrs in jihad they would go to heaven” and “that martyrs would be greeted by more than 60 virgins in a big palace in heaven.”
These “wise leaders in Islam” had it right. Islamic doctrine teaches that the only guaranteed way for a Muslim to get into paradise is to die as a martyr fighting in the cause of Allah (jihad); this is based on 9:111 of the Koran:
Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be Paradise. They fight in Allah’s Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed…
But Cherif potentially shortchanged himself in the number of virgins, because Muhammad had promised 72 virgins to the Muslim who died fighting in Allah’s Cause:
Al-Miqdam bin Ma’diykarib narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “There are six things with Allah for the martyr: He is forgiven with the first flow of blood (he suffers), he is shown his place in Paradise, he is protected from punishment in the grave, secured from the greatest terror, the crown of dignity is placed upon his head – and its gems are better than the world and what is in it – he is married to seventy-two wives among Al-Huril-’Ayn of Paradise, and he may intercede for seventy of his close relatives.”
The massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices was not committed by Islamists following a belief system called Islamism; the massacre was carried out by two Muslim brothers who were following the teachings and examples of Muhammad, and the commands of Allah found in the Koran. Islam killed Charlie Hebdo and avenged Muhammad.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Non-Existent Anti-Muslim Backlash...
on: January 13, 2015, 07:04:50 AM
Fear of an Anti-Muslim Backlash
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On January 13, 2015 @ frontpagemag.com
It used to be that the media would at least wait a day before sweeping the latest victims of Muslim terrorism into the trash to refocus on the looming “anti-Muslim backlash” that never actually comes.
The increase in Muslim terrorism however has made it risky for the media to wait that long. 24 hours after a brutal Muslim terrorist attack, there might be another brutal Muslim terrorist attack which will completely crowd out the stories of Muslims worrying about the backlash to the latest Muslim atrocity.
The massacre at Charlie Hebdo was quickly followed by a massacre at a kosher supermarket and somewhere in between them the Islamic State in Nigeria had wiped out the populations of sixteen villages.
With so many Muslim attacks crowded together, the media had no choice but to take a deep breath and dive in with its “Muslim backlash” stories.
The Voice of America ran its “Muslims fear backlash” piece while the bodies were still warm. The Los Angeles Times rushed out its “Muslims fear backlash” story before the Kosher supermarket massacre. It quoted the Muslim spokesman for the National Observatory Against Islamophobia asserting that it is Muslims who suffer after such attacks. Muslims however weren’t the ones who suffered. The four dead Jews at a Kosher supermarket did the suffering at the hands of a Muslim gunman.
While Muslim murderers were still prowling France for victims, the media was making the story about the perpetrators, not the victims.
And Muslims around the world lined up to join the “Fear of a Backlash” party like it was an exclusive nightclub. Both Belgian and Swedish Muslims claimed to be afraid of a backlash after the Paris attacks. At least those Swedish Muslims who weren’t calling for Allah to “multiply such attacks.”
Even Detroit Muslims got in on the act. Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR in Michigan, claimed, “We are concerned about backlash against Muslims in the west.”
Walid had endorsed the historical Islamic mass murder of Jews on Twitter and stated in a sermon, “Who are those who incurred the wrath of Allah? They are the Jews, they are the Jews.”
Even while Jews were set to be murdered by a fellow exponent of Walid’s anti-Semitic ideology, the media was pandering to his phony claims of victimization thousands of miles away.
The Muslim backlash narrative insisted that the real victims weren’t Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham and Francois-Michel Saada dying in a Kosher supermarket in France, but Dawud Walid, the anti-Semitic spokesman for a hate group closely linked to terrorism over in Michigan.
Is it really a backlash that Muslims fear or a moral reckoning?
In the rush to make bigots like Walid the victims, instead of the actual men and women being murdered in the name of his violent ideology, the hard questions about the connection between the historical Islamic anti-Semitism bandied about by Dawud Walid and the modern massacres of Jews go unasked.
The murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists had its roots in an Islamic political and legal tradition of punishing blasphemy that has continued uninterrupted for over a thousand years. The murder of four Jews in a Kosher supermarket was part of a great Islamic tradition that began with Mohammed. The defenders of the “Prophet” began by killing blasphemers and then continued his work by killing Jews.
Muslims are not the victims of the Hebdo massacre. They are not the victims of mass murder in a Kosher supermarket. They are not the victims of the Sydney Siege.
They are the perpetrators.
When the media rushes to print interviews with Muslims claiming to suddenly be terrified of an imaginary backlash, it is marginalizing and silencing the real victims of Muslim violence who have been the subjects of a Muslim assault for over a thousand years complete with literal lashings.
Not every Muslim supports what happened, but the history and theology of Islam support the ends of silencing blasphemers and killing Jews, if not necessarily the provocative individual means.
The root cause of Islamic violence is Islam. Everything else, from poverty to YouTube videos, is subsidiary at best.
The cries of “Islamophobia” and the claims of a backlash silence the victims of Muslim terror and encourage social blindness to the next Muslim attack against Jews, Christians, Atheists, Hindus, Buddhists and countless others.
The Muslim backlash story is a great media tradition that dates back to at least September 11. While the streets of downtown Manhattan were still streaked with the ashes of the dead, the media began running stories about Muslims who were changing their clothes and putting up American flags out of fear that the maddened patriotic rabble would shortly begin massacring Muslims.
The mass anti-Muslim riots after September 11 never materialized; just as they never materialized after the Sydney Siege in Australia or the latest Muslim massacres in France.
The worst thing the media came up with in Australia, after touting its phony #Illridewithyou hashtag warning that Muslims were being persecuted, was three men and one woman holding up a sign reading, “Death to ISIS; Get Out You Rag-Headed F___s.”
They were immediately interviewed by police on possible charges of Isisphobia.
If the police had been as assertive in going after every Muslim in Australia waving a “Behead all those who insult the Prophet” sign, Australia would have been a lot safer.
And if the Australian media had been as aggressive in going after Sheikh Monis, as it did after a few young men waving Australian flags on a shopping center roof, the murder of two Australians in a café might not have happened.
But instead of fighting Jihadists, the media and politicians are determined to fight the threat of a backlash to Muslim terrorism. The obsession with the backlash however implicitly admits the existence of Islamic terror and sidelines it to instead focus on the reaction to it as the greater threat.
On one side are bodies heaped across Europe and America. On the other is the occasional slice of pork on a mosque door, a little graffiti scrawled on a wall or a dirty look on public transportation.
One is genocide and the other is petty vandalism.
We don’t need any more earnest interviews in which Muslims claim that they are the real victims of Muslim terrorism because they now feel “unwelcome” when the bodies of non-Muslims still lie in the morgue.
Try comparing an “unwelcome” feeling to being dead.
It is that sense of self-pitying Muslim victimization that leads easily to Muslim violence. Violence is often sanctioned by victimhood. That Muslims believe themselves to be the victims is nothing new. The Nazis also believed that they were the victims. So did the Muslim killer in a Kosher supermarket who claimed that ISIS, with its mass rapes and genocidal campaign, was the victim of French intervention.
If European Muslims really want to end atrocities like the ones that took place in Paris, instead of making themselves into the victims, they should examine the complicity of their religion, their politics and their sense of victimization in perpetrating them.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sisi...
on: January 11, 2015, 10:24:04 AM
I think Sisi's speech is of course courageous and important - HOWEVER - Christians continue to be slaughtered in Egypt with impunity. The government there is doing NOTHING to stop this. Note also that Western media - particularly in the U.S. - with the exception of Fox News Channel - is NOT embracing Sisi's message. Words are worth exactly what they cost. ACTIONS are what matter - and I see no constructive action on the part of this administration, or European leaders - only empty words.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bush Was 100% Right After 9/11...
on: January 09, 2015, 07:41:09 AM
Bush Was 100% Right After 9/11
Posted By David Horowitz On January 9, 2015
[David Horowitz’s new book, The Great Betrayal, was recently published by Regnery and is available at Frontpage.]
The Islamic terror attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo was carried out by Muslim criminals who were apparently trained in Yemen. Meanwhile, national security officials are warning of an imminent threat to Europe and the United States from jihadi soldiers who are returning from the wars in Syria and Iraq. According to the head of the FBI and other first responders there is no way to stop their re-entry because, after all, they have American passports. Nor is there any way to stop them in Syria and Iraq since Obama has surrendered both countries to our enemies. The Democratic mayor of New York — ground zero for the Islamic War — has even stopped the surveillance of jihadi mosques, the breeding grounds for domestic “lone wolves.” And with our southern border shredded by Obama and the Democrats it’s not going to be difficult even for foreign jihadis to get to their infidel targets. Of course, Obama doesn’t like the word “terror” to begin with, let alone “Islamic terror.” Thanks to him, the Islamic war against the United States is officially referred to as an “overseas contingency operation,” while domestic Islamic mayhem is filed under the category: “workplace violence.”
Fourteen years after 9/11 it is tragically clear that President Bush was right about the threat we faced and Democrats suicidally wrong. The 9/11 attacks were indeed a salvo in the war Islamists have declared on us but even now, fourteen years later, Democrats still want to regard such attacks as acts of individual criminality, and deal with them through the legal justice system, affording American rights to those who want to destroy American rights. Why, you may ask yourself, is the Boston Marathon bomber going to be tried in a criminal court of law, where he will be able to make propaganda for his cause underwritten by his victims? Because Democrats want it that way. It shows we’re superior to everybody else.
Nine days after 9/11 President Bush addressed both houses of Congress to outline his response to the terror attacks. This is what he said about states that harbor Islamic terrorists, like Yemen and Syria:
We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
When the president had completed his remarks, these were precisely the sentences that were singled out for attack by the political left. To progressives Bush was a tyrant in the making and they took his warning personally: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” Unfortunately, even though Bush was not thinking of them in uttering these words, he might as well have been. When Bush decided to take on the terrorist-supporting, UN-defying regime of Saddam Hussein, Democrats went into full war mode against him, against the “war on terror” and against America’s mission to defeat the al-Qaeda armies that had assembled in Iraq. Their sabotage of the war went on for five years, making it impossible for Bush to take on the terror-supporting regimes in Syria, Iran and elsewhere.
The Obama regime is the product of this momentous Democratic defection from America’s purposes, from a robust defense of the American homeland, and from a militant response to the war that Islamists have declared on us. Why is there still a free flow of immigration from nations, like Yemen, that support or tolerate the Islamist armies ranged against us? Why isn’t our southern border secure? It is because the Obama regime, with support from Democrats in Congress, regards security measures against terror supporting states to be “Islamophobic,” and regards securing our southern border to be xenophobic. Why isn’t Obama embracing General Sisi and an Egyptian regime that has declared the Islamists to be enemies of the Islamic world? It is because Obama is committed to the Muslim Brotherhood – the fount of al-Qaeda – and against this same Egyptian regime.
Will the massacre in Paris — a repellent assault on free speech in the name of the “Prophet Mohammed” — wake up the Democrats and the Obama White House, and end their appeasement of Islamic terror? Unfortunately this is unlikely. Their leader is a lifetime, America-despising radical who has shown little appetite for changing course. It remains to be seen whether other Democrats will attribute their recent electoral drubbing to the weak-kneed security policies of the appeaser-in-chief, and find the voice to oppose him. But if they don’t, it is a safe bet that this country is in for some bloody consequences.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Robert Spencer: Time to Defend Free Speech...
on: January 08, 2015, 07:23:23 AM
The Charlie Hebdo Jihad Massacre: Time to Stand for Free Speech
Posted By Robert Spencer On January 8, 2015
Islamic jihad gunmen have murdered twelve people in the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. One of the jihad murderers in Paris shouted, “We have avenged the prophet Muhammad,” making it abundantly clear that this was a jihad attack and a response to Charlie Hebdo’s daring to mock Muhammad.
It is virtually certain that the mainstream media response to this heinous mass murder will be calls for the West to restrict its freedom of expression, and not publish material that offends Muslims. If you think that is unlikely, remember that it has happened before. When the Obama Administration blamed the Benghazi jihad attack on a video about Muhammad, there were calls in the mainstream media for restrictions on the freedom of speech. Eric Posner in Slate derided the First Amendment’s “sacred status” and declared that “Americans need to learn that the rest of the world—and not just Muslims—see no sense in the First Amendment. Even other Western nations take a more circumspect position on freedom of expression than we do, realizing that often free speech must yield to other values and the need for order.”
In the Los Angeles Times, Sarah Chayes noted that “the current standard for restricting speech — or punishing it after it has in fact caused violence — was laid out in the 1969 case Brandenburg vs. Ohio. Under the narrower guidelines, only speech that has the intent and the likelihood of inciting imminent violence or lawbreaking can be limited.” She then argued at length that the Muhammad video did indeed have the likelihood of inciting imminent violence, and should thus be banned. Her article was a sleazy and dishonest sleight of hand, as the law is that speech that calls for violence can be banned, whereas she was arguing that speech that doesn’t call for violence, but that might make people who oppose it behave violently, should be banned. That would be to enshrine the heckler’s veto into law and to enable Islamic jihadis to silence anyone they disliked simply by killing someone.
And in the Washington Post, the gutter thug Nathan Lean (who has repeatedly published on Twitter what he thinks is my home address and places I frequent, in a transparent attempt to endanger me and those around me, and/or to frighten me into silence) declared: “The voices of hate that hope to fracture our society along religious lines should have no place in our public discourse.” Who would decide which are the “voices of hate” that should be silenced? People like Nathan Lean, of course – that is, purveyors of the “Islamophobia” myth who are determined to silence anyone and everyone who dares raise the slightest objection to the advancing jihad.
Now, as twelve people have been gunned down by Islamic jihadists in Paris, we will hear more such calls for restrictions on the freedom of speech. The likes of Posner, Chayes, and Lean will blame Charlie Hebdo and call on Western media to adopt Sharia blasphemy laws, and refrain from saying or doing anything that Muslims would find offensive — including, of course, honest discussion about how Islamic jihadists use Islamic texts and teachings to justify things like the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
This is the time to say, “Enough.” This is the time to say, We are going to stand for the freedom of speech. No more people are going to die for saying things that offend Muslims. The capacity to be offended and not respond with violence is essential to a pluralistic society, and the freedom of speech itself is our foremost protection against tyranny that would do whatever it willed and crush all dissent.
It is time to stand, or free speech will be lost, and when it is lost, all will be lost.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We Are Entering an Era of Shattered Illusions...
on: January 07, 2015, 02:01:55 PM
|We Are Entering an Era of Shattered Illusions
By Brandon Smith - www.alt-market.com
- January 7, 2015
The structure of history is held together by two essential and distinct kinds of links, two moments in time to which no one is immune: moments of epiphany, and moments of catastrophe. Sometimes, both elements intermingle at the birth of a singular epoch. Men often awaken to understanding in the midst of great crisis; and, invariably, great crises can erupt when men awaken. These are the moments when social gravity vanishes, when the kinetic glue of normalcy melts away, and we begin to see the true foundations of our world, if a foundation exists at all.
Catastrophe occurs when too many people refuse to accept that around us always are two universes at work. There is the cold, hard reality that underlies everything. And on the surface is a veil of deceit and compromise. The more humanity compromises vital truths in order to enjoy the comfort of illusions, the more mind-shattering it will be when those illusions fall away. These two worlds can coexist only for short periods of time, and they will always and eventually collide. There is no other possible outcome.
I think it could be said that the more polarized our realities become, the more explosive and disastrous the reaction will be when the separation is removed. I feel it absolutely necessary to relate this danger because today humanity is living so historically far from the bedrock of reality, political reality, social reality and economic reality that the stage has been set for a kind of full spectrum destabilization that has never been seen before.
Though my analysis tends to lean toward the economic side of things, I am not only speaking of shattered illusions in the financial realm. In my next article, one last time I plan to go over nearly every mainstream economic statistic used today to misdirect the public (from national debt to unemployment to inflation to retail sales and corporate profits) and expose why they are false while giving you the real numbers. Most of my regular readers are familiar with much of this information, but I think it important to consolidate it all in a single article so that we can take stock of where our society sits fiscally as we enter 2015. For now, though, I want to discuss the core problem of self-deception, the problem that makes all the rest of our problems possible.
When the initial phase of the global collapse was triggered in 2007 and 2008, there was a substantial explosion in interest and education in terms of liberty issues and alternative economic awareness. I remember back in 2006 when I had just begun writing for the movement that the ratio of people on any given Web forum or in any given public discussion was vastly opposed to alternative viewpoints and information — at least 50-1 by my observations. We were at the height of the real estate frenzy; everyone was buying houses with money they didn’t have and borrowing on their mortgages to purchase stuff they didn’t need. Life was good. The shock of the credit crisis came quickly and abruptly for most people, and there has been a considerable shift in the kinds of discussions many are willing to entertain about our future. Yet the idea that such things can happen despite a consensus of social and geopolitical health does not seemed to have soaked into the thick skulls of average people.
Time, unfortunately, has a magical ability to erase vigilance. It’s not that the public has necessarily forgotten that danger can strike anytime anywhere (though some of them have). Many of them know full well that our culture is floating on a paper-thin ship in a turbulent sea. However, the disturbing trend today reveals that people have decided they do not care. “Taking the blue pill” is the rising rally cry from the so-called “new normal.” Yes, the economy is an illusion, the political system is an illusion and the various global conflicts our society participates in are mostly illusions. But we “can’t do anything about it,” so we might as well profit from these illusions while we can, right?
It has been said that during the economic collapse of the 1930s that the Great Depression was a depression only for the 30 percent of people that had lost everything. For the employed and the financially secure, the depression was much like any other time. This is the point at which we stand today in the collective mindset. With nearly a third of the U.S. population kicked off the unemployment rolls and approximately half the country dependent on a government check of some kind for their survival, the current depression is only now beginning to feel like a depression for anyone. The soup lines have received a fresh candy coating of EBT cards and welfare payments, but the illusion is finally fading, and this should be of great concern to us all in 2015.
Even more frightening is our culture’s deluded sense of what a collapse actually looks like. For many, collapse is a cinematic and overnight affair, with zombies, nuclear bombs and mass panic. In real life, and throughout history, collapse is a process. Since at least 2008, the U.S. and the rest of the world have been experiencing that process. Everyone is waiting for equities to implode and for social unrest to erupt before they take the threat seriously, but these are not signals of collapse. These are the things that occur when a collapse has run its course. Collapse never occurs overnight. It takes years for the effects of social and fiscal breakdown to be visibly felt. And when they are felt, many people refuse to notice. Eighty years ago, America was halfway through the Great Depression, and mainstream economists were STILL claiming that recovery was right around the corner. Illusion and self-deception can be so powerful that the worst miseries can be normalized, at least for a little while.
And it isn’t only the general public that is stricken with crippling bias. There are those within the liberty movement who have bought into false paradigms for various reasons, and this threatens any progress we have made over the past several years. There are those who still think that the “conflict” between Eastern and Western politicians and banking elites is somehow real. There are those who believe that Russia and China, despite their numerous and undeniable ties to the global banking syndicate (information I have covered in multiple articles over the years), are the "good guys", while Western nations are the "bad guys", rather than them all being mere subsidiaries and franchises of the same monstrous globalist machine.
They hold onto this illusion, I think, because it is much more frightening to accept the reality that we are alone, that the liberty movement is the first and last line of defense against centralization, that the responsibility for the future of independence and individual freedom rests on our shoulders. It is much easier to fantasize that there are others out there, nations and governments with armies and capital, that are on our side and will fight our battles for us. This illusion will be a painful one for many in the movement as they begin to realize that the East is actually working in tandem with international financiers instead of working against them.
There are also those in the liberty movement who cling to the notion that the fight against globalism will be won without physical conflict. They believe that if we simply protest long enough, play the political and legal game long enough, nullify long enough, refuse to participate long enough, that the elitist edifice, an edifice which has existed for centuries and has manipulated historical precedence for just as long, will suddenly disappear in a puff of fairy dust.
The first problem with this strategy is that it relies on the assumption of time. Sure, anything is possible given ample opportunity. Perhaps the movement could grind away at the New World Order over the course of several decades until the majority of the masses are awake and aware (which is exactly how long it would take). However, I think it infinitely foolish to presume that we have decades to accomplish such a task. If the past has shown us anything, it is that tyranny does not respect reason and, at a certain point, couldn’t care less about image. Tyranny respects only power. It does not respect the protestations of ants it can crush under foot, but it will make a wide path around a rattlesnake ready to strike. While there is utility in the pursuit of intellectual and philosophical combat, if you are not willing to be the rattlesnake as well, then you are not going to affect change against such an opponent. You will eventually be stepped on.
The refusal to accept responsibility for one’s own defense is yet another product of fear — fear that the enemy is too powerful, that all resistance is futile. But resistance is only assured failure if resistance is never undertaken. Sheeple defeat themselves within their own minds before they ever stand up, and so they never stand. This is the only reason totalitarian elements ever achieve success. Again, many in the liberty movement are going to face a rude awakening when they realize they have relied too much on the notion of the system policing itself, instead of preparing for the worst-case scenario.
And finally, the globalists themselves suffer from a veritable fog of illusions to which I can speak only briefly.
We are stepping over the threshold of an age that will shatter the illusions of everyone, and the internationalists are no exception. The root pillar of elitist globalism itself is that some men are born to rule, while other men are born to serve. Some men are born kings, and other men are born slaves. The psychopathy of this belief system should be evident, but psychopathy also elicits blinding ego and hubris, which smothers any inherent questions of motive. I do not think the elites ever actually consider the validity of their own philosophies. I am relatively certain their manner of viewing the world is much like that of a cult, a religious sect driven by the brutality of zealotry rather than the empowering nature of understanding.
Such men cannot be reasoned with. In fact, zealots often revel in their ability to trample all other world views as they grasp for complete dominance of their ideology. The illusion of rightness is far more important to them than actual truth, and this is their greatest weakness. Hidden under all the posturing and power grabbing, deep in the recesses of their own assumed omnipotence, I sense an ever present terror within the globalist culture. I sense a brand of terror that comes only from the seed of doubt.
The incredible array of propaganda leveled at the public, the constant war gaming and mind gaming against the citizenry, the endless hailstorm of legal maneuvering designed to erase our sense of connection with our natural rights and liberties, the tidal wave of fearmongering, and all the manipulations and scapegoats and elaborate theatrical displays, all reek of fear. For if the globalists were truly as omnipotent as they pretend to be — if they really were all-knowing philosopher kings born to rule — then they would already have their New World Order. They would not need lies. They would not need the threat of force. The undeniable power of their ideology would be enough if their ideology actually had any validity. Lies are designed to hide lack of validity and lack of strength. The globalists are, at bottom, a hollow shell desperately clamoring for substance.
What may appear to be the "thoroughness" of the elitist con is actually a form of micro-management that exhibits a fundamental doubt of success. The globalists wish they could predict the future, but they cannot. So they are just as afraid as most of humanity. I believe we are entering an era in which they will feel the stark pain of shattered illusions and the destruction of their own fantasies, no less felt than the pain of the rest of the world.Our mission as an opposing force to globalism is to come to terms with our own illusions and to erase them, to stop compromising and to stop waiting for the final shoe to drop and to take positive action now rather than after the endgame develops. This means preparation and organization for the worst-case scenarios. This means making one’s family, neighborhood and community as self-reliant and secure as possible. The excuses have to stop. The distractions and intellectualized silver bullet solutions have to stop. Hard work and risk are all that are left, all that matters. If we do this, and if we do this now, then victory is possible. In any contest of strength and will, he who knows himself best, he who sheds all illusion, will be the winner.
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Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Boehner Lies Again - Punishes Dissenters...
on: January 07, 2015, 07:30:31 AM
Boehner Moves To Punish Dissenters, Despite Past Statements
Posted By Alex Pappas @ The Daily Caller.
Speaker of the House John Boehner is apparently punishing Republicans who voted against his re-election Tuesday, despite previously saying he would not do so.
Reps. Daniel Webster and Richard Nugent are both losing their seats on the House Rules Committee, Politico reported Tuesday evening. Both Florida Republicans voted for Webster instead of Boehner earlier in the day.
Such moves seem to contradict recent statements made by Boehner and his office.
Asked last week if any Republicans who voted against Boehner would be punished, spokesman Michael Steel told The Daily Caller by email: “Boehner has said publicly that there will be no retribution for ‘no’ votes.”
In September, USA Today reported that Boehner “shot down fresh rumors that he will face a revolt from conservatives when he seeks a third term as speaker in January, and he dismissed suggestions that his leadership team would strip committee assignments from any GOP lawmaker who voted against him.”
“I just don’t think it’s necessary,” Boehner said of punishing dissenters.
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who voted for himself for speaker on Tuesday, called Boehner a “sore winner,” citing the reported punishment.
“After being told that we should now all come together and work together, we have been told late today that two of our Congressmen are being taken off of the committee they were on, simply for voting like their voters wanted,” Gohmert said in a Tuesday statement. “So, it appears before we can work together, we are now going to have another fight. It would be a shame if the Speaker of the House who has so much power is a sore winner.”
This isn’t the first time Boehner has been accused of taking away committee assignments from disloyal Republicans. In 2012, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash and Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp lost seats on the House Budget Committee. Arizona Rep. David Schweikert and North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones were also booted from the Financial Services Committee.
Webster — who is being kicked off the speaker’s powerful Rules Committee — won a surprising 12 votes to replace Boehner on Tuesday.
Here are those that voted against Boehner:
1. Rep. Justin Amash voted for Jim Jordan
2. Rep. Brian Babin voted for present
3. Rep. Rod Blum voted for Daniel Webster
4. Rep. Dave Brat voted for Jeff Duncan
5. Rep. Jim Bridenstine voted for Louie Gohmert
6. Rep. Curt Clawson voted for Rand Paul
7. Rep. Scott DesJarlais voted for Jim Jordan
8. Rep. Jeff Duncan voted for Trey Gowdy
9. Rep. Scott Garrett voted for Daniel Webster
10. Rep. Chris Gibson voted for Kevin McCarthy
11. Rep. Louie Gohmert voted for Louie Gohmert
12. Rep. Paul Gosar voted for Daniel Webster
13. Rep. Tim Huelskamp voted for Daniel Webster
14. Rep. Walter Jones voted for Daniel Webster
15. Rep. Steve King voted for Daniel Webster
16. Rep. Thomas Massie voted for Ted Yoho
17. Rep. Mark Meadows voted for Daniel Webster
18. Rep. Rich Nugent voted for Daniel Webster
19. Rep. Gary Palmer voted for Jeff Sessions
20. Rep. Bill Posey voted for Daniel Webster
21. Rep. Scott Rigell voted for Daniel Webster
22. Rep. Marlin Stutzman voted for Daniel Webster
23. Rep. Randy Weber voted for Gohmert
24. Rep. Daniel Webster voted for Daniel Webster
25. Rep. Ted Yoho voted for Ted Yoho
Politico reported that “more punishment is likely to come for others that crossed Boehner.”
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Boehner Survives - Not Good...
on: January 07, 2015, 07:22:16 AM
Posted By Arnold Ahlert On January 7, 2015
The ideological differences between the establishment GOP and the party’s conservative wing became more evident yesterday during the latest election for Speaker of the House. Hours before the vote, a “dump Boehner” movement aimed at denying the Ohio Republican a third term appeared to be gaining momentum. “A fresh start often requires change, and I believe that change should start with the election of a new Speaker,” wrote Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on his Facebook page.
Change didn’t happen. Boehner was reelected by a margin of 216 votes out of 408 votes cast.
The revolt against the status quo yielded at least three representatives willing to challenge Boehner for the job. Taking up the effort were two Florida Republicans, Rep. Ted Yoho and Rep. Daniel Webster, and conservative stalwart Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas. Gohmert frequently appears at events hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center and was a featured speaker at the Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend in 2014.
And while the odds of them winning were low, their efforts were not in vain, as the number of Republicans willing to challenge Boehner got larger. Early Tuesday it was reported that 10 Republicans were against Boehner’s reappointment, but by the time Yoho spoke with Fox News the number had grown to 13. By afternoon two more defectors had joined the ranks, including Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), who had originally indicated he would vote for Boehner. Another defector was Texas Rep. Randy Weber. He voted for Boehner in 2013, but indicated that Gohmert was now his first choice. “Let’s all get behind Judge Louie Gohmert for Speaker!” Weber wrote on Twitter. “He has my vote! He’s not afraid to take the fight to the president & his veto pen!”
Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), who shocked the GOP Establishment when he defeated former Majority Leader Eric Cantor in that state’s primary, expressed the sentiment of his rebellious colleagues, contending Republican leadership has “strayed from its own principles of free market, limited government, (and) constitutional conservatism.”
Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), who was also a featured speaker at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend in 2014, illuminated one of the primary examples of GOP straying. He released a statement explaining that Boehner and President Obama
crafted the CR/Omnibus, a $1.1 trillion spending bill which funded the government for 10 months and blocked our newest elected Republicans from advancing conservative policy and delivering on campaign promises. With this vote, Republicans gave away the best tool available to rein in our liberal activist President: the power of the purse.
A majority of rank-and-file Republicans also expressed disdain for Boehner’s leadership. A national telephone survey conducted Dec. 26-30 revealed that 60 percent of voters who voted for Republicans in 2014 either “definitely” or “probably” wanted their congressional representative to vote for someone other than Boehner. Those who definitely wanted Boehner deposed comprised 34 percent of the vote, while 26 percent probably wanted someone else. On the other side of the equation, only 11 percent definitely wanted to keep Boehner, and 15 percent probably wanted him to remain.
The Speaker didn’t fare much better with regard to specific questions. By a margin of 52-37 percent, the respondents indicated they didn’t trust Boehner to fight for the issues most important to Republicans. He got hammered even harder when asked about his effectiveness in opposing Obama’s agenda with a whopping 64 percent agreeing that he was not effective, compared to only 24 percent who thought he was. Boehner couldn’t even get a majority of Republicans to agree strongly or somewhat that he “has the best interests of the American public at heart, rather than special interests,” with only 44 percent saying he would watch out for the public, barely edging the 43 percent who thought he would cater to the well-connected.
Boehner needed a simple majority to get reelected, but for much of the day it was impossible to determine what the actual number would be due to outside factors. They included Rep. Michael Grimm’s (R-NY) resignation following a guilty plea for tax evasion, a dozen Democrats attending former New York Governor Mario Cuomo’s funeral in Manhattan, and several lawmakers unable to reach Washington, D.C. due to bad weather. At the very least the rebels were hoping to force a second round of voting for the first time since 1923, when Frederick H. Gillett (R-MA) needed nine ballots to win reelection as speaker, according to the Congressional Research Service. Gillett ultimately prevailed.
In the end, so did Boehner. Shortly before 3p.m. EST he secured his reelection, topping Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who got 164 votes. And while conservatives fell well short of securing enough votes to force a second round, the number of dissenting Republicans had grown to 25, the largest number of naysayers since the aforementioned 1923 vote.
“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad,” Boehner said, taking the gavel from Pelosi. Before handing it over, Pelosi made one more push for the Democratic agenda, promising to introduce legislation that would raise taxes on wealthy Americans and businesses, boost spending on infrastructure, and focus on voting rights. “We invite our Republican colleagues to join us,” she said to the scattered applause that is perhaps the best indicator of her chances for success.
By contrast, Boehner promised to make the economy his party’s top priority. Toward that end he will reintroduce measures that passed in the House with bipartisan support during the previous Congress, but ultimately died in the then-Democratically-controlled Senate, when former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) amply fulfilled his role as obstructionist-in-chief.
And while Republican rebels made their voices heard, there was no real opposition to Boehner’s reelection in terms of alternative choices. Webster earned 12 votes, falling well short of threatening Boehner despite being the largest single challenge in years, and Gohmert received three votes of support. Several other GOPers received votes as well.
In a statement, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) expressed one of the establishment GOP viewpoints for supporting Boehner, explaining that he was willing to give the thrice-elected Speaker a chance to “negotiate with a Senate which, for once, is not an automatic adversary.” Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) offered a different take. “He led us through a period where we’ve increased our majority, substantially,” he said.
Despite Boehner’s victory, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) was frustrated. “The American people are going to give us two years to try to get things done, and we have to be serious about it. We have to be focused on it, and things like this are a distraction,” he contended. “The debate about this is important, but we had this in November. To have a handful of folks gin this up with talk radio is really, really unfortunate.”
When a survey showing 60 percent of the electorate who voted Republican want someone other than Boehner running the House, the notion that a “handful of folks” are “ginning” up animosity rings exceedingly hollow. Moreover the real “gin-meister” might be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who dismissed conservative concerns as “scary” right around the time the survey was conducted. “I don’t want the American people to think that if they add a Republican president to a Republican Congress, that’s going to be a scary outcome,” he said during an interview with the Washington Post just before Christmas. “I want the American people to be comfortable with the fact that the Republican House and Senate is a responsible, right-of-center, governing majority.”
McConnell pushed the envelope even further. “There would be nothing frightening about adding a Republican president to that governing majority,” he added. “I think that’s the single best thing we can do, is to not mess up the playing field, if you will, for whoever the nominee ultimately is.”
Not messing up the playing field is the essence of establishment GOP thinking. And it is that thinking that more than likely led to Obama being reelected, despite getting 7.6 million fewer votes in 2012 than 2008, when Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan managed to garner 1.3 million fewer votes than John McCain and Sarah Palin. That would be the same John McCain and Sarah Palin facing a “hope and change” Obama in all his euphoric glory, not the Obama saddled with a dismal economy, skyrocketing debt, and numerous scandals. Romney lost nonetheless, in large part because the GOP base stayed home, not willing to invest the time and energy to vote for yet another “unfrightening” candidate.
Furthermore, it was Obama himself who framed the 2014 election as a referendum on his agenda, and the electorate “rewarded” the president and his party with the loss of 9 Senate seats and the largest Republican majority in the House since WWll. That voters wanted to bottle up that agenda is inarguable. So is the idea that millions of Americans yearn for genuine leadership.
Unfortunately, the reelection of John Boehner indicates establishment Republicans are content with the status quo, and Americans will undoubtedly hear a familiar GOP refrain about being only “one more election (of a GOP president) away” from making real changes. As for the GOP base, many of whom jammed the phones urging their representative not to vote for Boehner, and who believe as Bill Gheen, founder of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, put it, that his reelection is “a vote for amnesty,” will yet again be seen as people with no other place to go in 2016.
The GOP has two years to convince that base, along with other Americans, they are worthy of the electorate’s ongoing support. The reelection of John Boehner as Speaker of the House is not an encouraging first step.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / John Boehner - The Indefensible Man...
on: January 06, 2015, 07:59:29 AM
|John Boehner: The Indefensible Man
By: Daniel Horowitz
January 6th, 2015
As the dramatic House vote for Speaker draws near, there is one salient observation overlooked by the Washington political class. Nobody – not one member is willing to publicly defend or vouch for Boehner as a bold and effective leader of the Republican opposition or as a spokesman for the party’s conservative platform.
It’s no enigma why we are not seeing a cheerleading squad for Boehner; his actions are indefensible. If he privately told Obama to go ahead with executive amnesty, what else has he told him?
It’s no enigma why we are not seeing a cheerleading squad for Boehner; his actions are indefensible. If he privately told Obama to go ahead with executive amnesty, what else has he told him?
But still, isn’t there anyone who is willing to go to bat for him?
While watching the drama unfold on Monday, we witnessed debates over tactics, questions about “alternative” candidates, and predictions whether the coup would succeed or whether it was a good idea. But one thing we didn’t see was anyone defending John Boehner. Even his supporters refuse to defend him.
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), a down-the-line establishment foot soldier, was the first member to publicly and formally put out a statement announcing his intention to vote for Boehner. His rationale? There is no alternative. Let’s put aside the fact that this is a straw man argument. We have a loyal Boehner member who can’t muster anything positive to say about the Speaker, and in fact, he explicitly says that we need stronger leadership.
What about Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), a member who represents a district next door to John Boehner in Ohio? He launches into a long dissertation on the importance of showing unity and being in support of something!
Wow – these are ringing endorsements of John Boehner. As if to say, “Hey, look, we have to be for something and show unity, and we don’t really have an alternative, but if we did I’d be on board the effort to fire Boehner.”
Even Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), one of Boehner’s fiercest lieutenants, couldn’t conjure up anything positive about Boehner other than assailing conservatives as “unprofessional.” I guess the unprecedented number of constituents melting down the congressional switchboard were also unprofessional?
Consider this for a moment: none of the major conservative organizations even put out massive email blasts and campaigns encouraging people to call their members. This is solely the voice of the people. Moreover, this was a sleepy Monday, coming off the longest Holiday season of the year. Yet, members were receiving hundreds of calls demanding they oppose the sitting party leader. These were Republican voters. One member said he couldn’t even get ahold of his own office because the lines were jammed.
Ironically, the stenographers for the establishment in the Republican-leaning media relentlessly mocked a poll showing that 60% of GOP voters want a new Speaker. It will be interesting to see if these people can recognize reality when it slaps them in the face.
But there is one other important nugget in that poll, as observed by pollster Pat Caddell:
“The alienation among Republican voters is so high,” says Caddell, that conservatively “a quarter to one-third of the Republican party are hanging by a thread from bolting.” Caddell argues that GOP voters’ attitudes are “so anti-establishment,” and they give Republican leadership poor ratings. [Breitbart]
Boehner might win the vote tomorrow. But he has forever lost the people of his own party.
Boehner might win the vote tomorrow. But he has forever lost the people of his own party. His policies and actions as Speaker are indefensible, as clearly demonstrated by the lack of public defenders of his record. You can only go so long being perpetually at war with the base of a party before the thousand cuts become mortal wounds.
The elites in the GOP establishment and the gutless conservatives who are enabling them should be careful what they wish for.
Daniel Horowitz is Senior Editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.
- See more at: https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2015/01/john-boehner-the-indefensible-man#sthash.jVBAqzIg.dpuf
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Matthew Vadum: Senators Vow to Stop Obama's Castro Odyssey...
on: December 19, 2014, 03:46:48 PM
Senators Vow to Halt Obama’s Castro Odyssey
Posted By Matthew Vadum On December 19, 2014
Lawmakers opposed to President Obama’s sudden move to cozy up to Communist Cuba are vowing a full-court press to prevent official diplomatic recognition of the tropical prison republic from going forward.
But it is far from clear if lawmakers will be able to do much about Obama’s Cuban escapades. Presidents typically enjoy great latitude in foreign policy, especially concerning recognition of foreign governments. Lawmakers are probably on stronger ground in resisting repeal of the trade embargo that has been in place since the 1960s. On the other hand, Obama has a pen and a phone, as he likes to say, a reference to his brazen contempt for the rule of law and the strictures of the Constitution.
Obama’s dramatic actions are setting off a feeding frenzy as American companies salivate at the prospect of doing business in Cuba. Little do they realize that Cuba, a dilapidated Stalinist state that, thanks to the absence of good paying jobs, serves largely as a seedy sex tourism destination for Europeans and hardly has an economy at all. Some business restrictions were already eased by the U.S. around 2000. Some companies are allowed to sell medical equipment to the Cuban government. There is not much money to be made, at least not initially.
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who are both of Cuban ancestry, have made strong statements about their intentions.
Rubio said it mattered not a whit to him if “99 percent of people in polls” disagreed with his position. “Appeasing the Castro brothers will only cause other tyrants from Caracas to Tehran to Pyongyang to see that they can take advantage of President Obama’s naivete during his final two years in office.”
Rubio said he reserved the right “to do everything within the rules of the Senate to prevent that sort of individual from ever even coming up for a vote,” a reference to confirmation proceedings for a prospective U.S. ambassador to Cuba.
Menendez said he was “deeply disappointed” and that it was “a fallacy to believe that Cuba will reform because an American president opens his hands and the Castro brothers will suddenly unclench their fists.”
The chill in relations between the two countries has its roots in the Cold War.
Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, whose forces overthrew the comparatively mild authoritarian regime of Fulgencio Batista, tried to start a nuclear war with the United States and in 1963 openly called for the assassination of President John Kennedy and his brother Robert, the U.S. attorney general. War was only narrowly averted after the Soviet Union turned around ships that were carrying nuclear weapons to Cuba. A short time later one of Castro’s followers, a man named Lee Harvey Oswald, murdered President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. Cuba is a longtime state sponsor of terrorism and has meddled militarily and otherwise in the affairs of its neighbors and in faraway countries such as Angola. President Reagan ordered an invasion of Grenada after its Marxist dictatorship grew too close to Cuba and he struggled heroically to aid the anticommunist contras in their war against the Cuban-backed Communist regime in Nicaragua.
Many conservatives in Congress and elsewhere are saying Obama is a weak leader.
For example, former Ambassador to the UN John Bolton said on the Fox News Channel on Wednesday that Obama’s moves on Cuba constitute “appeasement” and are a “very, very bad signal of weakness and lack of resolve by the president of the United States.”
Bolton and others are correct in terms of how the U.S. is perceived abroad under Obama but this does not reflect weak leadership on Obama’s part. This president knows what he is doing and when given the opportunity to do the right thing reliably chooses to do the wrong thing. Obama is taking the country’s foreign policy in exactly the right direction in terms of his sinister ideology. Obama does not mean well. He does not, unlike traditional U.S. presidents, think of himself as the leader of the free world. He wants to fundamentally transform America inside and out and is quite content to enfeeble the nation by crippling its military, betraying its allies, and embracing its enemies.
All of this excitement follows the sudden release Wednesday of Alan Gross, a U.S. development worker held in a Cuban prison. (An intelligence operative loyal to the U.S. was also released as part of the deal. Details about that individual are scarce.) Gross is a garden-variety leftist who is being used by President Obama to justify establishing diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba.
Obama is repaying a debt to his Marxist friends and allies. Just as President Bill Clinton rewarded his neo-communist supporters by pardoning Marxist Puerto Rican terrorists, Obama is rewarding his Castro-admiring base by freeing Communist spies working for a hostile foreign power.
Gross was reportedly a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is frequently a home for meddling left-wing activists. He reportedly worked on a program aimed at improving Internet access for Cuban Jews. Why the Obama administration would knowingly send an American into Cuba to perform services they had to have known were considered illegal by Cuban authorities is not clear. The free flow of information is a threat to any totalitarian regime, so a Cuban court convicted Gross of crimes against the state in 2011, sentencing him to a 15-year prison term.
Under a deal that Pope Francis, among others, helped to facilitate, Gross was exchanged for the remaining three members of the so-called Cuban Five — Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, and Ramón Labañino — who had been held in U.S. prisons. All five Cuban nationals were convicted of spying in 2001. They gathered information on Cuban exiles in the U.S. in order to lay the ground for violent action against them in the future. Hernández was also convicted of conspiring to commit murder.
As Gross prepared for his press conference Wednesday, there was a portrait of Communist mass murderer Che Guevara clearly visible in the Washington, D.C. office of Gross’s lawyer, high-profile attorney Scott D. Gilbert of Gilbert LLP. The bloodthirsty Guevara was minister of industry and president of the Cuban National Bank. He also administered kangaroo courts that condemned enemies of Fidel Castro’s regime to death. In other words, as Gross prepared his statement about being freed from a Cuban jail, an iconic photograph honoring Cuba’s most infamous jailer stared down at him.
Guevara, incidentally, wanted to annihilate the United States.
“If the nuclear missiles [from the missile crisis] had remained [in Cuba] we would have fired them against the heart of the U.S. including New York City,” he said. “The victory of socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims.”
In the press conference Gross maligned the U.S., pulling a cowardly pox-on-both-your-houses stunt. Gross drew a moral equivalency between the U.S. and the ruthless authoritarian regime he just escaped:
I also feel compelled to share with you my utmost respect for and fondness of the people of Cuba. In no way are they responsible for the ordeal to which my family and I have been subjected. To me cubanos, or at least most of them, are incredibly kind, generous and talented. It pains me to see them treated so unjustly as a consequence of two governments’ mutually belligerent policies. Five and a half decades of history show us such belligerence inhibits better judgment. Two wrongs never make a right. I truly hope that we can now get beyond these mutually belligerent policies and I was very happy to hear what the president had to say today. It was particularly cool to be sitting next to the secretary of state as he was hearing about his job description for the next couple of months. In all seriousness, this is a game-changer, which I fully support. [Emphasis added.]
Who condemns his own countrymen as imperialist warmongers after they cut a deal to get him repatriated from the clutches of a dictatorship? And why would he use his opportunity in the spotlight to praise President Obama’s decision to normalize relations with the regime that he believes unjustly imprisoned him?
The whole thing doesn’t smell right. Clearly it was in the works for a long time.
Interestingly enough, Gross thanked Jill Zuckman of left-wing PR firm SKDKnickerbocker for helping to free him. SKDKnickerbocker also employs former resident Maoist in the Obama White House, Anita Dunn, and Democrat operative Hilary Rosen. Gross also thanked Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Communist-friendly lawmakers Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) for freeing him.
Those who follow President Obama’s policy initiatives already know that he delights in trading Americans who hate America for foreign terrorists and murderers who also hate America. Not so long ago there was the swap of U.S Army deserter and Taliban collaborator Bowe Bergdahl for five members of the Taliban’s high command. Not exactly a good deal for America.
What’s next for Obama, who is hellbent to knock America down a few pegs?
Diplomatic recognition for Iran? At first glance such a development might seem unlikely, but Obama does harbor deep affection for hardline Islamic states. He aided Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and during anti-government unrest that began in Iran in 2009, Obama effectively propped up the Islamist regime there by doing nothing to oppose it.
Anything could happen with Obama in his final two years in the White House.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 10 Ways the Mafia and Islam are Similar...
on: December 09, 2014, 06:30:49 AM
Ten Ways the Mafia and Islam Are Similar
Posted By Raymond Ibrahim On December 9, 2014
Note: The following article was published on PJ Media where it is supplemented with clips from various mafia-related movies like The Godfather to help demonstrate the ten similarities. Portions of this article were earlier serialized on FrontPage Magazine.
During a debate on HBO’s Real Time last October, host Bill Maher declared that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”
Maher was apparently referring to Islam’s “blasphemy” laws, which ban on pain of death any “insult”—as found in a statement, a picture, a book—to Islam and especially its prophet, Muhammad.
While Maher has been criticized for his “Islamophobic” assertion, he and others may be surprised to learn that the similarities between Islam and the mafia far exceed punishing those who say, draw, or write “the wrong thing.”
In what follows, we will examine a number of these similarities.
We will begin by looking at the relationship between Allah, his messenger Muhammad, and the Muslims, and note several parallels with the relationship between the godfather, his underboss, and the mafia.
Next, we will examine the clannish nature of the mafia and compare it to Islam’s tribalism, especially in the context of the Islamic doctrine “Loyalty and Enmity.” For example, in both Islam and the mafia, members who wish to break away, to “apostatize,” are killed.
We will consider how the mafia and Islam have both historically profited from the “protection” racket: Islam has demanded jizya from non-Muslims under its authority/territory and the mafia has demanded pizzo from people that fall under its jurisdiction.
Finally, we will consider what accounts for these many similarities between Islam and the mafia, including from an historical perspective.
1. Allah and Muhammad/Godfather and Underboss
The padrino of larger mafia organizations and families—literally, the “godfather” or “boss of bosses”—has absolute control over his subordinates and is often greatly feared by them for his ruthlessness. He has an “underboss,” a right-hand man who issues his orders and enforces his will. The godfather himself is often inaccessible; mafia members need to go through the underboss or other high ranking associates.
Compare this with the relationship between Allah and his “messenger” Muhammad (in Arabic, Muhammad is most commonly referred to as al-rasul, “the messenger”). Unlike the Judeo-Christian God—a personal God, a Father, that according to Christ is to be communed with directly (Matt 6:9)—Islam’s god, Allah, is unreachable, unknowable, untouchable. Like the godfather, he is inaccessible. His orders are revealed by his messenger, Muhammad.
If the Judeo-Christian God calls on the faithful to “come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18), Allah says “Do not ask questions about things that, if made known to you, would only pain you” (Koran 5:101). Just follow orders.
2. A “Piece of the Action”
The godfather and his underboss always get a “piece of the action”—a “cut”—of all spoils acquired by their subordinates.
So do Allah and his messenger, Muhammad. Koran 8:41 informs Muslims that “one-fifth of all war-booty you acquire goes to Allah and the messenger” (followed by Muhammad’s family and finally the needy).
The godfather, through his underboss, regularly sends mafia men to make “hits”—to assassinate—those deemed enemies of the family.
So did Allah and his messenger. One example: A non-Muslim poet, Ka‘b ibn Ashraf, insulted Muhammad, prompting the latter to exclaim, “Who will kill this man who has hurt Allah and his messenger?” A young Muslim named Ibn Maslama volunteered on condition that to get close enough to assassinate Ka‘b he be allowed to lie to the poet.
Allah’s messenger agreed. Ibn Maslama traveled to Ka‘b and began to denigrate Islam and Muhammad until his disaffection became so convincing that the poet took him into his confidence. Soon thereafter, Ibn Maslama appeared with another Muslim and, while Ka‘b’s guard was down, slaughtered the poet, bringing his head to Muhammad to the usual triumphant cries of “Allahu Akbar!”
4. Circumstance is Everything
While the mafia adheres to a general code of conduct, the godfather issues more fluid orders according to circumstances.
This is reminiscent of the entire “revelation” of the Koran, where later verses/commands contradict earlier verses/commands, depending on circumstances (known in Islamic jurisprudence as al-nāsikh wal-mansūkh, or the doctrine of abrogation).
Thus, whereas Allah supposedly told the prophet that “there is no compulsion in religion” (Koran 2:256), once the messenger grew strong enough, Allah issued new revelations calling for all-out war/jihad till Islam became supreme (Koran 8:39, 9:5, 9:29, etc.).
While other religions and scriptures may have contradictions, only Islam rationalizes them through abrogation—that is, by giving prominence to later verses which are seen as the “latest” decision of the deity.
5. Clan Loyalty
Loyalty is fundamental in the mafia. Following elaborate rituals of blood oaths, mafia members are expected to maintain absolute loyalty to the family, on pain of death.
Similarly, mafia members are expected always to be available for the family—“even if your wife is about to give birth,” as one of the mafia’s “ten commandments” puts it—and to defend the godfather and his honor, even if it costs their lives.
Compare this to the widespread violence and upheavals that occur whenever Allah or his prophet is offended—whenever non-Muslim “infidels” blaspheme them. Or, as Bill Maher put it: “Its’ the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”
Islam’s “Loyalty and Enmity” doctrine (al-wala’ wa’l bara’)—which calls on Muslims to be loyal to one another even if they dislike each other—is especially illustrative. Koran 9:71 declares that “The believing [Muslim] men and believing [Muslim] women are allies of one another” (see also 8:72-75). And according to Muhammad, “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him…. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth, and his honor”—precisely those three things that mafia members respect among each other. This is why Muslims like U.S. Army Major Nidal Hassan, whose “worst nightmare” was to be deployed to fight fellow Muslims, often lash out.)
6. Death to Traitors
Once a fledging mafia member takes the oath of loyalty to the mafia—including the Omertà code of silence and secrecy—trying to leave the “family” is seen as a betrayal and punishable by death. Any family member, great or small, is given authority to kill the traitor, the “turncoat.”
Compare this to Islam. To be born to a Muslim father immediately makes the newborn a Muslim—there are no oaths to be taken, much less any choice in the matter. And, according to Islamic law, if born Muslims at any point in their lives choose to leave Islam, they are deemed “apostates”—traitors—and punished including by death. Any zealous Muslim, not just the authorities, is justified in killing the apostate (hence why Muslim families that kill apostate children are rarely if ever prosecuted).
In the words of Muhammad—the messenger (“underboss”) of Allah (“godfather”): “Whoever leaves his Islamic faith, kill him.”
7. Distrust and Dislike of “Outsiders”
Aside from loyalty to the family, mafia members are also expected not to befriend or freely associate with “outsiders”—who by nature are not to be trusted, as they are not of the “family”—unless such a “friendship” helps advance the family’s position.
Similarly, the second half of the doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity—the enmity (al-bara’)—calls on Muslims to maintain distance from and bear enmity for all non-Muslims, or “infidels.”
Thus Koran 5:51 warns Muslims against “taking the Jews and Christians as friends and allies … whoever among you takes them for friends and allies, he is surely one of them.” According to the mainstream Islamic exegesis of al-Tabari, Koran 5:51 means that the Muslim who “allies with them [non-Muslims] and enables them against the believers, that same one is a member of their faith and community,” that is, a defector, an apostate, an enemy.
Similar scriptures include Koran 4:89, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 58:22; the latter simply states that true Muslims do not befriend non-Muslims—“even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or kin.” Koran 60:1 declares, “O you who believe! Do not take my enemy and your enemy [non-believers] for friends: would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth [i.e., while they deny Islam]?” And Koran 4:144 declares “O you who believe! Do not take the infidels as allies instead of the believers. Do you wish to give Allah [“godfather”] a clear case against yourselves?”
8. Deception and Dissimulation
As mentioned, close relations to non-mafia individuals that prove advantageous to the family (for example, collaboration with a “crooked cop”) are permissible—as long as the mafia keeps a safe distance, keeps the outsider at arm’s length.
Compare this to Koran 3:28 which commands “believers not to take infidels for friends and allies instead of believers… unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions.” According to the standard Koran commentary of Tabari, “taking precautions” means:
If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them … [but know that] Allah has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers—except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.
After interpreting Koran 3:28 as meaning that Muslims may “protect” themselves “through outward show” when under non-Muslim authority, Ibn Kathir, perhaps Islam’s most celebrated exegete, quotes Islam’s prophet (“underboss”) saying: “Truly, we smile to the faces of some people, while our hearts curse them.”
Similarly, a few years ago, Sheikh Muhammad Hassan—a leading Salafi cleric in Egypt—asserted on live television that, while Muslims should never smile to the faces of non-Muslims, they should smile, however insincerely, if so doing helps empower Islam, especially in the context of da‘wa.
The idea of hating “outsiders” is apparently so ingrained in Islam that another leading Salafi cleric, Dr. Yasser al-Burhami, insists that, while Muslim men may marry Christian and Jewish women, they must hate them in their heart—and show them that they hate them in the hopes that they convert to the “family” of Islam.
(For more on the doctrine of “Loyalty and Enmity,” including references to the exegetical sources quoted above, see al-Qaeda leader Dr. Ayman Zawahiri’s comprehensive treatise by that name in The Al Qaeda Reader, pgs. 63-115.)
9. “An Offer You Can’t Refuse”
Although the novel-turned-movie, The Godfather, is fictitious, it also captures much of the mafia’s modus operandi. Consider, for example, that most famous of lines—“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse”—spoken by the Godfather to one of his “godsons,” an aspiring actor and singer. After being turned down by a studio director for a role that he desperately wanted, the godson turned to his Godfather for aid.
As the movie progresses, it becomes clear that the offer that can’t be refused consists of nothing less than violence and death threats: after the Godfather’s messenger to the director asking that the actor be given the role is again rejected, the director awakens the next morning to find the bloodied and decapitated head of his favorite stallion in bed with him. The godson subsequently gets the movie role.
Throughout the context of the entire Godfather trilogy (which captures well the mafia’s approach to business) making someone “an offer they can’t refuse” means “do as I say or suffer the consequences,” possibly death.
Compare this to Islam’s threefold choice. On Muhammad’s orders, whenever Muslims conquer a territory in the name of Islam, its non-Muslim inhabitants are given three choices: 1) convert to Islam (“join the family”), 2) keep your religious identity but pay tribute (jizya, see below) and live as an “outsider,” a subjugated dhimmi or 3) execution.
Throughout history, converting to Islam has been an “offer” that countless non-Muslims could not refuse. In fact, this “offer” is responsible for transforming much of the Middle East and North Africa, which were Christian-majority in the 7th century when the jihad burst forth from Arabia, into the “Muslim world.”
And this offer is still alive and well today. For example, several older and disabled Christians who were not able to join the exodus out of Islamic State controlled territories opted to convert to Islam rather than die.
Like the mafia, then, Islam’s offer to conquered non-Muslims (“outsiders”) is basically “join our ‘family,’ help us and we will help you; refuse and we hurt you.”
10. The “Protection” Racket
Once the mafia takes over a territory, one of the primary ways it profits is by collecting “protection money” from its inhabitants. While the protection racket has several aspects, one in particular is akin to an Islamic practice: coercing people in the mafia’s territory to pay money for “protection,” ostensibly against outside elements; in fact, the protection bought is from the mafia itself—that is, extortion money, or pizzo. Potential “clients” who refuse to pay for the mafia’s “protection” often have their property vandalized and are routinely threatened and harassed.
Compare the collection of pizzo with the Islamic concept of jizya: The word jizya appears in Koran 9:29: “Fight those among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, nor forbid what Allah and his Messenger have forbidden, nor embrace the religion of truth, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (emphasis added).”
In the hadith, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad—in our analogy, the “underboss”—regularly calls on Muslims to demand jizya from non-Muslims: “If they refuse to accept Islam,” said the prophet, “demand from them the jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay jizya, seek Allah’s help and fight them.”
The root meaning of the Arabic word “jizya” is simply to “repay” or “recompense,” basically to “compensate” for something. According to the Hans Wehr Dictionary, the standard Arabic-English dictionary, jizya is something that “takes the place” of something else, or “serves instead.”
Simply put, conquered non-Muslims were to purchase their lives, which were otherwise forfeit to their Muslim conquerors, with money. As one medieval jurist succinctly puts it, “their lives and their possessions are only protected by reason of payment of jizya” (Crucified Again, p. 22).
And to top it off, just as the mafia rationalizes its collection of “protection money” by portraying it as money that buys mafia protection against “outsiders”—when, as mentioned, the money/tribute serves only to protect the client from the mafia itself—so too do Islam’s apologists portray the collection of jizya as money meant to buy Muslim protection from outsiders, when in fact the money/jizya buys protection from Muslims themselves.
Conclusion: Mafia—What’s In a Word?
What accounts for all these similarities between Islam and the mafia? One clue is found in the fact that the very word “mafia,”which means “hostility to the law, boldness,” is derived from an Arabic word, mahya, which in translation means “bragging, boasting, bravado, and swaggering.”
This etymology is a reminder that Sicily, birthplace of the mafia, was under Arab/Islamic domination for over 200 years. Aside from a borrowed etymology, could some of the mafia’s modus operandi also have been borrowed from Islam? Isolated on their island, could native Sicilians have co-opted the techniques of social controls that they had lived under and learned from their former overlords—albeit without their Islamic veneer?
The mafia is not the only historical example of a non-Muslim criminal organization to be influenced by Islam. For example, the Thuggees — whence we get the word “thug” — were a brotherhood of allied bandits and assassins who waylaid and savagely murdered travelers in India, often by first feigning friendship. Although they were later associated with the Hindu cult of Kali, the original Thuggees were all Muslim. As late as the 19th century, a large number of Thuggees captured and convicted by the British were Muslim.
The similarities are clear: Along with assassinating his opponents, including, as seen, through treachery, Muhammad also personally engaged in banditry, ransacking the caravans of enemy tribes.
And if the words “mafia” and “thug” have Arabic/Islamic etymologies, the words “assassinate” and “assassin” are derived from a Medieval Islamic sect: the Hashashin, who pioneered the use of political assassination—with promises of a hedonistic paradise for the assassin who almost certainly died—in the name of Islam.
At any rate, when HBO personality Bill Maher recently proclaimed that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book,” he was barely touching on the similarities between the mafia and other criminal organizations, and Islam.