How Not To Indict a Terrorist

pic_giant_070514_SM_How-Not-to-Indict-a-TerroristBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

What happens when the president who has politicized law-enforcement to a degree unprecedented in American history meets a terrorist responsible for killing Americans he has recklessly failed to protect, decimating his pretensions about “decimating” al-Qaeda?

What happens is: You get the most politicized terrorism indictment ever produced by the Justice Department. Behold United States v. Khatallah, Case No. 14 Crim. 141, quietly unsealed in a Washington courtroom last Saturday while the country dozed off into summer-vacation mode.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah, of course, is the only suspect apprehended in connection with the Benghazi massacre, a terrorist attack on a still-mysterious U.S. diplomatic installation. J. Christopher Stevens, the United States ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans — State Department official Sean Smith and two former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty — were killed. Until recently, such attacks have been known as acts of war carried out by the enemy. In the age of Obama, they are now known as “crimes” for which “defendants” like Khatallah are “brought to justice” — rather than brought to Gitmo. Meaning: They are whisked into our country when no one’s paying much attention. The red carpet is rolled out at a federal courthouse, where the “defendant” is given Miranda warnings, taxpayer-funded counsel, and all the rights of the American citizens they plot to kill, including lavish discovery-of-intelligence files relevant to their civilian trial.

Gold-plated due process for our enemies begins with the constitutional right to an indictment returned by a grand jury, providing the “defendant” with notice of the charges against him. In Khatallah’s case, the first thing you’ll notice is that the indictment is tiny: less than two pages long — 15 measly lines of text once you discount the caption, citations, and signature lines. This is a startling departure from Justice Department indictments in jihadist terror cases, a turn to brevity that cannot be explained solely by Obama’s banning of words like “jihadist” from the government lexicon.

Read more at National Review

Tax Dollars for Terrorists – Will Congress stop Obama’s lawless material support to Hamas?

pic_giant_060314_SM_Tax-Dollars-for-Terrorists-G

By Andrew C. McCarthy:

The problem with writing a book about President Obama’s lawlessness, as I have just done in Faithless Execution (which will officially be published Tuesday), is that eventually the author has to stop writing so the book can be printed. The administration’s illegal conduct, by contrast, rolls right along — so by the time the book comes out, I find myself several impeachable offenses behind.

At the moment, we are still processing the latest executive malfeasance: the president’s release this weekend of five senior Taliban jihadists in exchange for a U.S. soldier who is alleged to have abandoned his post in 2009 after complaining that “the horror that is America is disgusting” (and whose father is on a campaign to free all anti-American terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay).

Some lawmakers have pointed out that the release, which flouts American policy against negotiating with terrorists (Obama is a recidivist offender on that score), also violates federal law. Specifically, the president must give Congress 30 days’ notice before transferring detainees out of Gitmo, in addition to explaining how the threat to the United States has been mitigated so that the release is justified. Obviously, the president disregarded the law because complying would have made it clear that the transfer exacerbates the threat to the United States, sparking public and congressional protests that would have scotched the deal. It is a swap that the administration, which is delusionally courting the Taliban in hopes of an Afghan peace settlement, has been trying to make for years. So Obama did what Obama does when the law is against him: He ignored it, claiming not to be bound by it if he concludes the circumstances are “unique and exigent,” as a White House spokesman put it.

The swap, it should be noted, also violates federal laws prohibiting material support to terrorism. The Obama administration may think it can sidestep this inconvenience by its longstanding refusal to designate the Afghan Taliban as a terrorist organization. Federal law, however, bars giving support — including providing personnel, as Obama has done here — not only to formally designated terrorist organizations but to groups known to engage in terrorist activity, whether the State Department gets around to designating them or not. (See Sections 2339A and 2339B of Title 18, U.S. Code.) There is no doubt that the U.S. government knows the Taliban and its confederates engage in terrorist activity — it has been telling us for 13 years that this is why we must have thousands of American troops in Afghanistan.

Even as we come to grips with the administration’s newest outrage, though, it is necessary to look ahead to the next one — actually, an ongoing one that is about to get even worse: our government’s material support to the Hamas terrorist organization.

Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, announced Saturday that a “unity government” has been formed between his faction, Fatah, and Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization under U.S. law. It is pledged by charter to the destruction of Israel.

Read more at National Review

Faithless Execution

book_coverBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column is adapted from a speech I gave in New York City on May 29, announcing the publication of Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Faithless Execution is about presidential lawlessness.

Specifically, my new book, which Encounter Books will release this week, is about how the Framers of our Constitution fully anticipated that a president could fail to honor his core duty to execute the laws faithfully — could fail to meet his basic fiduciary obligations to the American people.

Viewing the Obama presidency through the prism of these constitutional norms, Faithless Execution argues that we are experiencing a different kind of presidential lawlessness than our nation has ever known: a systematic undermining of our governing framework, willfully carried out by a president who made no secret of his intention to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”

What is the president trying to transform?

Well, the constitutional framework he is undermining enshrines two core principles: separation-of-powers and accountability.

The first is the foundation of a free society. President Obama presumes the power to decree, amend, and repeal laws as he sees fit, effectively claiming all government power as his own. But as James Madison, the principal author of our Constitution, put it, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” And so it is.

Accountability, the second constitutional principle at issue, is how our system holds a president singularly responsible for executive lawlessness. The Constitution vests all executive power in a lone elected official — the president. Not in the broad, dizzying array of executive-branch agencies; in the president himself.

Meaning that if the IRS harasses the president’s political opposition in violation of their First Amendment rights; or if the Justice Department recklessly orchestrates the transfer of thousands of guns to violent Mexican gangs, resulting in the murder of a Border Patrol agent; or if administration officials willfully defraud the American people about the cause of the Benghazi massacre or about being able to keep their health insurance; it is the president whom our Constitution holds responsible. Not Lois Lerner or Susan Rice. Not Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, Kathleen Sebelius, or Eric Shinseki. The president.

The president does not get to vote “present.” The Constitution does not permit him to be a mere spectator to abuses of power by his subordinates. It holds the president accountable, whether he quietly engineered the administration’s lawlessness or stood idly by while others ran amok.

The subtitle of Faithless Execution — “Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment” — has caused something of a stir. But any serious discussion of these issues has to consider impeachment. As a number of legal scholars testified at a congressional hearing late last year, impeachment was quite intentionally included by the Framers as the ultimate check against presidential lawlessness.

This is where “high crimes and misdemeanors” comes in.

As Faithless Execution recounts, at the time of the constitutional convention in Philadelphia, this standard was well established in British law. The Framers thus borrowed it in order to address not only intentional abuses of power but gross negligence or incompetence.

Contrary to popular belief, the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” does not refer to ordinary crimes. It does not mean a president has to be indictable before he is removable. Instead, high crimes and misdemeanors are the political wrongs of high executive officials in whom great public trust is reposed.

Again, it is all about separation-of-powers and accountability. The idea is that the president is fully responsible: not just for criminal acts, but for abuses of power committed by himself and his subordinates — abuses of power that very much include misleading the public and stonewalling Congress.

To borrow a familiar phrase, “Let me be clear”: Faithless Execution is not a call for President Obama’s immediate impeachment and removal. In fact, I contend that the best thing for the country would be for the president to honor his oath, execute the laws faithfully, and finish his term that way.

The Framers of our Constitution understood this, too — understood how divisive the removal of a president could be for our society. Thus, as the book makes very clear, impeachment is a political remedy, not a legal one. You can have a thousand provable impeachable offenses, but before Congress may remove the president from power, there must be strong popular support — a public will that cuts across partisan and ideological lines.

That is to say: Unless there is such public outrage over presidential lawlessness that two-thirds of the Senate can be pressured into voting for the president’s removal, it would be pointless for the House of Representatives to file articles of impeachment. Not just pointless but counterproductive. That is why I spend most of a chapter in the book rebutting arguments from some on the right that, because Republicans control the House, impeachment articles should be filed right now.

By all means, impeachment must be considered. It is the Constitution’s ultimate answer to presidential lawlessness, and the only way to build public support for it is to consider it.

Read more at National Review

Confusion on Boko Haram and Terrorism

George Will3By Andrew C. McCarthy, May 17, 2014:

For admirers of George Will and Charles Krauthammer, it’s a real treat to find them together many nights on Bret Baier’s panel on Special Report. But I must confess to nearly falling out of my chair upon watching the replay of a segment last night in which Mr. Will opined that Boko Haram seemed to him more like “a military insurgency” than a terrorist organization. Dr. K vigorously refuted this assertion and was right to do so.

At issue was the State Department’s failure, during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary, to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. I sympathize with Will’s (very) general premise that “terrorist” is an overused term. But the premise was inapposite in this case.

Terrorism is the use and threatened use of mass violence in violation of the laws of war in order to coerce a government or society into policy changes or the acceptance of some ideological agenda. It does indeed trivialize the term to apply it to people who do not commit terrorism, whether they are serious criminals (e.g., mafia hit-men or serial murderers) or, as is fashionable on the Left, to people who merely represent things with which one disagrees (e.g., energy-producers, “the one percent,” or the Tea Party). It is not wrong, however, to refer to terrorists as terrorists—it’s entirely accurate.

Will said he sees terrorism as “random” violence, while Boko Haram seemed to him more like a military insurgency against the Nigerian government. Since Boko Haram has what Will sees as “military objectives,” that somehow suggests to him that its violent attacks are more like lawful combat operations than terrorism. It is tough to unwind all he gets wrong here (though Krauthammer did a very good job of it).

A terrorist organization is distinguished from a militia by its failure to comply with the laws and customs of war—particularly, its intentional targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. Al Qaeda has military objectives, too; so does every terrorist organization. The fact that a terrorist organization has “military objectives” is beside the point if it pursues those objectives through mass-murder attacks in conjunction other operations distinguished by their extreme cruelty—like brutally murdering scores of school boys and turning young girls into sex slaves, as Boko Haram does.

I assume that by “random” attacks, Will means that terrorists terrorize by creating an atmosphere of intimidation in which anyone could be attacked at any time. Military insurgencies, by contrast, conduct more regular, predictable attacks, concentrating on targets that have military value (even if hitting them causes collateral damage to civilians). If that’s how he sees it, one has to assume that he simply does not know much about Boko Haram. Its attacks are as random as any other terrorist organization’s. There are more of them, but that is because Boko Haram is a particularly vicious group, not because it is fighting a traditional battlefield campaign. And while it attacks government targets (just like al Qaeda has attacked the Pentagon, U.S. embassies, and U.S. military installations), Boko Haram routinely targets civilian centers, school children, churches, and other Western targets that could only be considered “military objectives” by a violent jihadist who sees non-Muslims as “at war with Islam.”

Moreover, as Bret Baier pointed out, Tom Joscelyn has outlined long-standing ties between Boko Haram and al Qaeda. (Tom’s latest on that, in the Weekly Standard, is here.) Will appears to be under the misimpression (one the State Department promotes) that Boko Haram is not part of the global jihad but is simply waging a local war for political control of Nigeria. But this canard elevates what progressives want to believe about Boko Haram (and radical Islam generally) over the reality of how these groups define themselves.

Boko Haram’s official name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, meaning “People (or The Group) Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teaching and Jihad.” The short handle Boko Haram reflects a part of this overarching Islamic supremacist mission: “Western education is forbidden.” (Note the wishful thinking of progressives repeatedly peddled over the past few days: Boko Haram, we’re told, is not an Islamist group; they are just a backward-thinking political group opposed to education. In fact, what they oppose is Western education; they are all for Islamic education because they are an avowedly Islamist group.)

Boko Haram’s explicit goal is the imposition of sharia law, first in Nigeria (because that’s where they are) but ultimately worldwide. Even then-Secretary Clinton, despite failing to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, acknowledged in congressional testimony that Boko Haram shared al Qaeda’s “jihadist” ideology (see the clip Bret played last night—jihadist is the word Clinton used … no doubt because the Obama administration was being criticized at the time for suppressing it). This jihadist ideology does not recognize national borders, so it is foolish to portray it as content to wage local wars for political control of this country or that. It sees the world as Dar al-Harb (the realm of war) versus Dar al-Islam, in which the latter must conquer the former. In fact, as I noted here at Ordered Liberty a few days ago—citing Tom Joscelyn’s Long War Journalpartner, Bill Roggio—Boko Haram’s leader, Abubaker Shekau, explicitly threatened the United States (in sympathy with al Qaeda) in 2010: “Do not think jihad is over. Rather, jihad has just begun. America, die with your fury.” Like al Qaeda, Boko Haram sees itself as at war with the West and non-Muslims generally, not just with the Nigerian government.

Read more at PJ Media

Unsafe Places: Islamist Mosques

mosque-American-flag-ReutersBreitbart, by FRANK J. GAFFNEY, JR.

The contempt that America’s enemies have for the United States these days is palpable. The most obvious current example is Vladimir Putin’s disdain for President Obama, whom he regards as little more than a speed-bump on the road to his conquest of Ukraine and perhaps other nations in what the Kremlin calls Russia’s “near-abroad.”

Not content with snatching Crimea and preparing reprises elsewhere, Putin has a jet buzz one of our ships in the Black Sea for ninety minutes then launches a new multiple-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile. By contrast, Team Obama is busily dismantling what’s left of our navy and strategic forces.

Then there’s the back of the hand treatment China showed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel when, during his recent visit to the People’s Republic, the Pentagon chief had the temerity to lecture his hosts about how to behave internationally. They took him to see their just-refurbished aircraft carrier and unveiled a new fighter aircraft to operate from it. The best Hagel could do was announce that the U.S. was going to respond to Beijing’s increasing belligerence in the region by sending there a grand total of two more anti-missile destroyers–by 2017.

A more subtle, but no less in-your-face kind of contempt has just been served up by Muslim Brotherhood operatives and other Islamists in this country.

To mark the occasion of the first anniversary of two of their fellow jihadists’ murderous attack at the Boston Marathon, the leaders of several Brotherhood fronts have launched something called the “Safe Spaces Initiative.” They evidently think we are so stupid, or at least now so submissive, that they can try to put mosques off-limits to law enforcement. This is all the more astounding since we know that the perpetrators of the terrorism of a year ago used the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge to become versed in the ways of the supremacist Islamist doctrine known as shariah and the jihad it commands.

A chief proponent of this Safe Spaces gambit is Salam al-Marayati, the president of an Islamist influence operation out of California with extensive access to the Obama administration, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). In an opinion piece posted by altmuslim blog on March 28, al-Marayati actually makes plain the true purpose of his Safe Spaces Initiative.

Notwithstanding the portrayal of this proposal as a means of preventing radicalization in mosques, in the words of al-Marayati: “Safe spaces are needed so that government informants and extremist recruiters are prevented from violating the sanctity of the mosque. In essence, we want to enhance both a spiritual safety and public safety.” (Emphasis added.)

Unfortunately, the latest announcement by William Bratton–the former police commissioner recently re-appointed by New York’s new, Islamist-friendly mayor, Bill de Blasio–would sure seem to justify the Brothers’ low regard for us. As the New York Timesreported today “The New York Police Department has abandoned a secretive program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods….Plainclothes detectives looked for ‘hot spots’ of radicalization that might give the police an early warning about terrorist plots.”

The Times quoted the NYPD’s chief spokesman, Stephen Davis, who made clear the completeness of the department’s submission to the Islamists who style themselves as the “leaders” and “representatives” of all Muslim Americans: “‘Understanding certain local demographics can be a useful factor when assessing the threat information that comes into New York City virtually on a daily basis,” Mr. Davis said. “In the future, we will gather that information, if necessary, through direct contact between the police precincts and the representatives of the communities they serve.”

I discussed the folly of making mosques surveillance-free zones in an interview on Secure Freedom Radio this evening with former federal prosecutor and best-selling author Andrew C. McCarthy. Here’s part of our conversation (for the entire podcast, click here):

FRANK GAFFNEY: The Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who’s a Muslim Brother fellow-traveller jihadist type, has a rather poetic turn of phrase for it. He says, “The minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks, and the faithful our army.” And, Andy, this gives rise to a concern that I’m sure you share about an initiative that some of these Muslim Brotherhood types, notably Mohamed Magid, the president of the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in the United States, the Islamic Society of North America–and, oh, by the way, a frequent visitor at the Obama White House and prominent source of counsel to him and others in his Administration–

ANDY MCCARTHY: And another unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation.

FG: Indeed. These guys have cooked up something called the “Safe Spaces Initiative.” I wonder what you make of that idea, particularly as it seems their purpose is to, as one of them put it, “keep government informants…from violating the sanctity of the mosque.”

AM: Yeah, well, you know, it’s unfortunate that with this particular Justice Department and this Administration they’re probably pushing on an open door.

FG: It’s probably a wired game, let’s be honest. These guys have almost certainly got this rigged with the Justice Department.

AM: But the amazing thing is for all of Obama and Eric Holder’s caterwauling about, you know, how we’ve proved again and again that the civilian justice system is the best way to prosecute terrorism cases–well, why don’t they ever check into what was proved in those prosecutions that they like to tout around? Because if they open the transcripts…what they would find is that mosques were used as recruitment centers, they were used for conspiratorial conversations and agreements, they were used to house weapons, they were used to transfer weapons, and they really were used to light a fire under people who might have been fence-sitters but who were powerfully influenced by some of the imams, particularly the guy who I prosecuted in the 1990s, the Blind Sheikh.

It was in the mosques that [Omar Abdel-Rahman] did most of the damage that he did to the United States. So this is not something we speculate about, Frank. This is something that’s actually been proved in court, and proved again and again and again. So, if you’re going to say that a mosque needs to be a safe space, then what you’re really saying is we’ve taken willful blindness, which was a problem, and we’ve now codified it, so it’s not just willful blindness; it’s just mulish, absolute refusal to come to terms with what we’re up against.

FG: Yeah. And to speak to the other subject of your trilogy there, it is a formula for more of the grand jihad, not less. It is a certainty that you will find more Tsarnaev boys being recruited, or being trained, or being armed, or in other ways being enabled. It simply is mindboggling, Andy, and I think the American people couldn’t comprehend what’s going on here, or believe it if told it.

We can’t afford more of the sort of willful blindness that will give rise to more unsafe mosques and other places, and more jihad.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. formerly acted as an Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Reagan.  He is President of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for Breitbart News Network and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio. 

The Roots of CAIR’s Intimidation Campaign

pic_giant_041214_SM_The-Roots-of-CAIRs-Intimidation-Campaignby ANDREW C. MCCARTHY:

Author’s Note: This week, capitulating to Islamic-supremacist agitation led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Brandeis University reneged on its announced plan to present an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the heroic human-rights activist. In my 2010 book, The Grand Jihad, I devoted a chapter to the origins and purposes of CAIR, its roots in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hamas-support network, and its aim to silence critics of Islamic supremacism. In light of the continuing success of this campaign – despite a federal terrorism-financing prosecution that exposed CAIR’s unsavory background – it is worth revisiting that history. What follows is an adapted excerpt from that chapter.

In January 1993, a new, left-leaning U.S. administration, inclined to be more sympathetic to the Islamist clause, came to power. But before he could bat an eye, President Bill Clinton was confronted by the murder and depraved mutilation of American soldiers in Somalia. A few weeks later, on February 26, jihadists bombed the World Trade Center. The public was angry and appeasing Islamists would have to wait.

Yasser Arafat, however, sensed opportunity. The terrorist intifada launched at the end of 1987 had been a successful gambit for the Palestine Liberation Organization chief. Within a year, even as the body count mounted, the weak-kneed “international community” was granting the PLO the right to participate (though not to vote) in U.N. General Assembly sessions. And when Arafat made the usual show of “renouncing” terrorism – even as he was orchestrating terrorist attacks in conjunction with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other Islamist factions – the United States recognized him as the Palestinians’ legitimate leader, just as the Europeans had done. Arafat blundered in 1991, throwing in his lot with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, and that seemed to bury him with the Bush 41 administration. But Clinton’s election was a new lease on life.

Anxious to chase the holy grail of Middle East peace and suddenly in need of demonstrating toughness against jihadist terror, the new “progressive” president was made to order for the wily Marxist terror master. If Arafat could resell his “I renounce terrorism” carpet yet again, chances were he could cash in. And so he did, purporting to commit the Palestinians to the 1993 Oslo Accords – an empty promise of peaceful coexistence exchanged for hundreds of millions in aid (much of which he pocketed), an open invitation to the Clinton White House (where he became a regular visitor), international recognition (as a statesman, no less!), and a ludicrous Nobel Peace Prize (forever degrading a once prestigious honor into a punch line).

The Muslim Brotherhood, for one, was not amused. Islamists had murdered Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981 for striking a peace pact with Israel. Sure, they knew Arafat and understood what chicanery he was up to. But acceptance of the Zionist entity’s right to exist was utterly unacceptable, even if done as a ploy.

Israel, the Brotherhood also realized, would not be the only thing squeezed by Clinton at Arafat’s urging. After a shaky start, the new president was winning global plaudits for his Orwellian “peace process.” Clinton must have known that Arafat was stringing him along, but with the theater of negotiation and ostensible progress drawing rave reviews, that was a problem for another day. The immediate concern was that Hamas jihadists could spoil the show with their implacable jihad, their blunt insistence that nothing less than Israel’s obliteration would satisfy them. That gave the fledgling administration a powerful incentive to crack down on them. Arafat would be the beneficiary as the Americans squeezed his rivals for power.

A ‘Media Twinkle’ in Philadelphia
Though the United States had been a cash cow for Hamas, it was thus a perilous time for the organization when 25 of its members and supporters gathered at a Marriott Hotel in Philadelphia on October 27, 1993. They were unaware that the FBI was monitoring their deliberations. The confab was a brainstorming exercise: How best to back Hamas and derail Oslo while concealing these activities from the American government?

A little more background to the Philadelphia meeting: For nearly two decades until his extradition in 1997, Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook was the most consequential Muslim Brotherhood operative in the United States. Now living in Egypt, he remains to this day deputy chairman of Hamas’s political bureau. In the early Nineties, he actually ran the terrorist organization from his home in Virginia.

During his time in the U.S., Marzook formed several organizations to promote the Palestinian jihad against Israel. In 1981, for public-relations purposes, he established the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) in conjunction with two other jihadists: future Hamas chief Khalid al-Mishal and Sami al-Arian (the latter was eventually convicted of conspiring to support Palestinian Islamic Jihad).

In December 1987, the intifada was launched and Hamas was born. Marzook immediately formed the “Palestine Committee” to serve as an umbrella organization, directing the various pro-Hamas initiatives that were developing. He brought under its wing both the IAP (which concentrated on “the political and media fronts”) and a fundraising entity he had established. That entity would eventually be called the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) – though it was then known as the “Occupied Land Committee.” The reorganization would better enable the Palestine Committee to comply with the Muslim Brotherhood’s instructions to “increase the financial and the moral support for Hamas,” to “fight surrendering solutions” (like Oslo), and to publicize “the savagery of the Jews.”

It was under the auspices of the Palestine Committee that the 1993 Philadelphia meeting was convened. It was clear even then that Marzook’s Hamas network was anticipating the birth of yet another organization. The Palestine Committee’s amended by-laws declared that an as-yet-unnamed entity was already in the larval stage, “operat[ing] through” the IAP, and soon to “become an official organization for political work, and its headquarters will be in Washington, insha Allah.”

In the United States, the “political work” was crucial. The overarching mission, of course, was quite clear. As the IAP had explained in a December 1988 edition of its Arabic magazine, Ila Filastin, “The call for jihad in the name of Allah is the only path for liberation of Palestine and all the Muslim lands. We promise Allah, continuing the jihad way and the martyrdom’s way.” But while blatant summonses to jihad might stir the faithful in Islamic countries openly hostile to Jews, they were not going to fly in America – and even less so in an America whose financial heart had just been shaken by the jihadist bombing of the World Trade Center. The Brotherhood’s approach in the U.S. would have to be more subtle.

That was where the new organization would come in, as those gathered in Philadelphia – including Marzook’s brother-in-law and HLF co-founder Ghassan Elashi – explained. Although the Brotherhood had ideological depth and impressive fundraising mechanisms, Marzook had long been concerned that his network lacked the media and political savvy needed to advance an agenda in modern America. Now more than ever, they needed what HLF’s Shukri Abu Baker called “a media twinkle.”

In the U.S., Hamas was now perceived as the principal enemy of the popular “peace process.” After all, its charter explicitly called (and continues to call) for Israel’s annihilation by violent jihad. Therefore, its known supporters – the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, the IAP, and the others – were tainted in the American mind as terror-abettors, hostile to U.S. interests. As one attendee urged in Philadelphia, “We must form a new organization for activism which will be neutral, because we are placed in a corner. . . . It is known who we are. We are marked.” The new entity, by contrast, would have a clean slate. Maybe it could steal a page out of Arafat’s “hear what I say, don’t watch what I do” playbook. The new entity’s Islamism and Hamas promotion would have to be less “conspicuous.” It would need to couch its rhetoric in sweet nothings like “social justice,” “due process,” and “resistance.” If it did those things, though, it might be more attractive . . . and effective. A Muslim organization posing as a civil-rights activist while soft-pedaling its jihadist sympathies might be able to snow the American political class, the courts, the media, and the academy. It might make real inroads with the transnational progressives who dominated the Clinton administration.

Read more: Family Security Matters

CAIR’s Jihad against Honor Diaries

20120418_CAIR_FSMby ANDREW C. MCCARTHY:

Honor Diaries is an important film that explores the brutality and systematic inequality faced by women in Muslim-majority societies. It features both believing Muslim women, like Dr. Qanta Ahmed (whose compelling essay about the film was published here at National Review Online yesterday), and former Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the renowned author and human-rights activist.

The purpose of Honor Diaries is to empower women by shining a light on the hardships they endure – including “honor” killings (i.e., murders over the perception of having brought shame to the family by violating Islamic norms), beatings, genital mutilation, forced marriage – particularly of young girls – and restrictions on movement, education, and economic opportunity. The film highlights authentic Muslim moderates struggling against the dead-end of Islamic supremacism.

So naturally, the Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR) does not want you to see it.

At Fox News, Megyn Kelly has been covering the film anyway, despite CAIR’s howling. The segments that aired on Monday and Tuesday are available on Megyn’s website, here and here.

CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood creation, conceived as the primo American public-relations firm for Islamic supremacists, particularly Hamas – a task CAIR pulls off by masquerading as a “civil rights” organization.

Hamas, as I recounted in The Grand Jihad, is a formally designated terrorist organization under federal law. It is also the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch. In the early Nineties, the Brotherhood established a “Palestine Committee” to promote Hamas in the United States, an agenda topped by fundraising and efforts to derail the 1993 Oslo accords – the futile, Clinton administration-brokered attempt to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement. CAIR’s founders, Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmed, attended a three-day summit in support of Hamas in Philadelphia in 1993, much of which was wiretapped by the FBI. CAIR was established shortly afterwards. By summer 1994, the Palestine Committee was listing CAIR in internal memoranda as one of its “working organizations.”

We’ve discussed CAIR here many times, including in my 2009 column about the FBI’s long-overdue severing of “outreach” ties with the organization. It is infuriating that the Feebs and the wider government thought it was worth canoodling with CAIR in the first place, but the Bureau officially ended the affair after the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing trial, in which several Hamas operatives were convicted. CAIR, though unindicted, was shown by the Justice Department to be a co-conspirator. In sum, prosecutors established that the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) was the primary Hamas fundraising arm in the United States. Like CAIR, HLF was identified by the Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee as one of its “working organizations.” As terrorism researcher Steve Emerson has shown, CAIR got $5,000 in seed money at its inception from HLF, and thereafter helped raise money for HLF. The federal government shut HLF down in 2001 because of its promotion of terrorism.

Although Honor Diaries has been widely acclaimed and screened internationally, CAIR has been agitating against it. As reliably happens when CAIR plays its tired “Islamophobia” card, universities across the nation cower – especially universities with active Muslim Students Association chapters. (As we’ve observed before, the MSA is the foundation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s infrastructure in the United States.) Starting with the University of Michigan at Dearborn, several schools have now decided not to screen the film after all.

Why it is “Islamophobic” to condemn violence and abuse against Muslim women is not entirely clear to me. It is, however, clear to Linda Sarsour, a “community organizer” and “immigrants’ rights activist” who is celebrated on President Obama’s website, WhiteHouse.gov, as a “Champion of Change.” As reported on The Kelly File, this particular “champion” reacted to Honor Diaries by tweeting:

How many times do we have to tell White women that we do not need to be saved by them? Is there code language I need to use to get thru?

Thoughts like Ms. Sarsour’s make for depressing reading, but clearly she is referring to some of the filmmakers, who happen to be white women (the others include white men and a black woman, Ms. Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born executive producer who was raised as a Muslim). The film has also been promoted by yet another highly accomplished woman, Brooke Goldstein, the human-rights attorney and filmmaker who directsThe Lawfare Project; and by the Clarion Project, a New York-based organization that promotes moderate Islam and publicly challenges “extremist” Islam.

The community organizers at CAIR have obviously read a bit farther along in Rules for Radicals than Ms. Sarsour. Rather than racist tweets, they couch their character assassination of the film’s backers in the poll-tested sensitivities of everyday Americans, pretending to endorse the film’s message while telling you not to watch it. They issued a statement on Monday that Megyn Kelly aired:

American Muslims join people of conscience of all faiths in condemning female genital mutilation, forced marriages, ‘honor killings,’ and any other form of domestic violence or gender inequality as violations of Islamic beliefs. If anyone mistreats women, they should not seek refuge in Islam. The real concern in this case is that the producers of the film, who have a track record of promoting anti-Muslim bigotry, are hijacking a legitimate issue to push their hate-filled agenda.

Right. Women are being brutalized but our “real concern” should be the “track record” of some film producers. Beyond CAIR’s say-so that it is “hate-filled,” this purportedly dark track record is not described. But, after all, who would know more about what counts as “hate-filled” than a PR flack for a terrorist organization whose charter vows to annihilate Israel by violent jihad?

On Tuesday night, CAIR’s Chicago branch dispatched Agnieszka Karoluk, one of its “senior communications coordinators,” to Fox in order to regurgitate CAIR’s statement. Questioned by Megyn Kelly, Ms. Karoluk gave a dizzying explanation: CAIR, we’re told, agrees that Honor Diaries raises vital issues, opposes the abuse of women just like the film does, and is not really happy that colleges are canceling screenings (even though CAIR put out a smiley-face tweet when the first cancellation was announced). But CAIR is “disgusted” by the Clarion Project because it is – all together now – “Islamophobic.” Ms. Karoluk declined to say what makes it so (of course, to get into that would bring attention to episodes of Islamic extremism Clarion has exposed). So because Clarion likes the film, you shouldn’t watch it even though its content is accurate and significant – got it? Confronted by Brooke Goldstein about CAIR’s own record, Ms. Karoluk predictably replied, “I’m not here to talk about CAIR, I’m here to talk about the film” . . . and then continued to avoid talking about the film.

It is no doubt true, as CAIR’s statement asserts, that American Muslims substantially join the rest of us in condemning the abuse of women. CAIR, however, is in no position to speak for American Muslims – and in fact speaks for very few of them. Even if one were inclined to accept CAIR’s statements at face value, Honor Diaries is about the abuse of Muslim women; it is not about the filmmakers. If CAIR truly condemned these misogynistic practices it would be encouraging people to see the film. Instead, as Dr. Ahmed told Megyn, “They claim to be defending the vulnerable whereas they’re actually silencing exposure about the vulnerable.”

But there is no reason to take CAIR’s statements at face value. Under the old adage that actions speak louder than words, the inescapable fact is that CAIR does not condemn the horrific abuse of women in Muslim-majority countries. It is feigning condemnation in hopes of rendering people more receptive to CAIR’s actual message, which is: Avoid Honor Diaries because anyone who exposes atrocities committed by Muslims is unworthy of consideration, no matter how valid the exposition.

And I can prove it.

CAIR has a very close relationship with another Muslim Brotherhood creation, the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) – an Islamic-supremacist think-tank we’ve also discussed in these pages (see, e.g., here). As Steve Emerson points out, disclosure forms IIIT filed with the IRS show thousands of dollars in contributions to CAIR. IIIT was also a major financial backer of Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Sami al-Arian, whom CAIR continued to champion even after his guilty plea to a terrorism charge.

As I’ve previously recounted, IIIT is one of the influential Islamic academic outfits that have endorsed Reliance of the Traveller, the English translation of the classic sharia manual, `Umdat al-Salik. Indeed, the endorsement, written by IIIT’s then-president, Taha Jabir al-`Alwani, is included in the introduction section of the published manual. Dr. Alwani, a revered figure in Muslim Brotherhood circles, highly recommended Reliance as both a “textbook for teaching Islamic jurisprudence to English-speakers” and a legal reference for sharia scholars.

Here are just some of the things Reliance teaches about the treatment of women under Islamic law (with supporting citations to sections of the manual):

Read more: Family Security Matters

Iran Vehemently Denies that Its Foreign Minister Opposes a Second Holocaust

Javad Zarif / AP

Javad Zarif / AP

NRO, By Andrew C. McCarthy:

Whew, glad they cleared this one up.

The Washington Free Beacon notes that, in an outbreak of temporary sanity, Iranian foreign minister (and John Kerry negotiating partner) Javad Zarif asserted that the “Holocaust should not happen again” and that “the extermination of Jews by the Nazi regime was tragically cruel and should not happen again.”

Publication of these sentiments provoked great outrage in the Islamic republic and now, top Iranian officials are vehemently denying that Zarif said any such thing. According to the Iran’s state-run Fars News Agency, Zarif’s deputy, Hassan Qashqavi, insists that the reports are “not true,” and that “in a phone conversation that I had with Mr. Zarif, he completely rejected the remarks attributed to him.” Qashqavi stressed that “the Islamic republic’s stance” on Israel “has not changed” a bit from “what has been repeatedly announced by this country’s diplomacy apparatus.”

That stance, of course, is that Israel must be destroyed.

The Islamic republic regrets any confusion. We now return to the Obama administration’s regularly scheduled legitimization of a nuclear program for the world’s leading sponsor of jihadist terror.

Kerry Sees Common Ground With Tehran’s Barbaric Terror Regime

kerryBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

Secretary of State John “I don’t think we’re stupid” Kerry should think again.

Yesterday, a branch of al Qaeda executed atrocious twin suicide bombings against Iran’s embassy in Beirut, killing at least 23 people, with more than 140 wounded. Those of us who have urged that the United States should stay out of the Syrian civil war have contended that, deprived of our lightning rod effect, America’s mortal enemies on both sides of the conflict would turn on and thus degrade each other. That is precisely what has happened: al Qaeda, the terror network that is aligned with its fellow America-hating Sunni supremacists, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the effort to oust the Assad regime, has now effectively declared war on Assad’s main Shiite backers, Iran – the world’s chief state sponsor of terrorism – and its Lebanese jihadist militia, Hezbollah.

So what is our Secretary of State’s response to this unintended foreign policy coup? (For all policy coups during the Obama administration are unintended.) Kerry actually proclaimed that the attack proves there is common ground between the United States and Iran, with whose jihadist rulers he and President Obama are desperate to make a deal, any deal – as John Bolton explains here, with our Michael Ledeen adding context here. Just like mullahs, Kerry twaddled, “the United States knows too well the cost of terrorism directed at our own diplomats around the world.”

Well, yes, we do. But that’s because, for over 30 years, Iran has aided and abetted terrorists in strikes against American diplomats and other American personnel serving overseas – in addition, perhaps, to attacks on Americans here at home.

As I’ve recounted before, the modern Iranian regime was in fact spawned by Iran’s siege against the U.S. embassy, which began on November 4, 1979. Ultimately, the new jihadist regime held 52 American hostage for well over a year – 444 days, to be exact. Eight U.S. servicemen were also killed during the Carter administration’s botched rescue attempt, undertaken after American diplomats, who sounded very much like John Kerry, were mocked by Ayatollah Ruhollah Kohmeini when they tried to flatter the Iranians and negotiate an end to the crisis.

In early 1982, Iran sponsored the creation of Hezbollah. The dividends were immediate: On April 18, 1983, Hezbollah car-bombed the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people (17 of them Americans). Six months later, on October 23, 1983, it attacked the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon with a truck bomb, killing 241 of our military personnel (218 marines, 20 sailors and three soldiers) – also killing 58 French soldiers in a separate attack the same day.

Less than two months later, on December 12, 1983, the U.S. embassy in Kuwait was bombed, killing six and wounding scores of others. The bombers were tied to al-Dawa, a terror organization backed by Iran that was then leading the Shiite resistance against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime (with which Iran was at war). Incidentally, the leader of Dawa’s “jihad office” in Syria at the time was none other than Nouri al-Maliki — now the prime minister of Iraq (you know, the “democrat” who will not relinquish power, supports Iran and Hezbollah, despises Israel, and is now helping re-plunge his country into civil war). Dawa was closely aligned with Hezbollah – indeed, the Kuwait operation was led by Youssef Badreddin, the cousin and brother-in-law of the late Hezbollah chief, Imad Mugniyah.

Read more at PJ Media

Obama on National Security: Serial Fraud

fraud

WASHINGTON, DC– Today the Center for Security Policy released a web ad and email campaign entitled, “Obama on National Security: Serial Fraud,” featuring former federal prosecutor, National Review columnist and bestselling author Andrew C. McCarthy.

The Center’s campaign focuses on what it calls “Obama’s national security fraud” and makes parallels from the president’s misrepresentations on Obamacare to our nation’s defense and security. The text Americans are urged to send to Obama, declares, boldly, that “We, the people, refuse to be lied to, especially about our national security. Too much is at stake – our children, our country, our lives. Your promises about health care and other domestic issues have seriously damaged your credibility.”

Send an email to President Obama

 

 

Transcript: Obama on National Security: Serial Fraud

Can we afford to leave national security to a president accused of fraud and repeatedly lying to the American public?

McCarthy: “‘You want your plan, you keep your plan’ is just the beginning. We’re talking about serial fraud on multiple levels…”

Now, he’s rushing to make a deal to leave Iran with nuclear weapons that Israel warns will make the entire world more dangerous and unstable. After what he did to healthcare, America cannot risk the same Obama train wreck… on national security.

Amir Taheri Still Flush with Spring Fever

egypt_hand_grenade_thumbnail_10-9-11-2-85x85

Rose-tinted revisionism: Islamic supremacism was not imposed on Egyptians; it was chosen by Egyptians.

By Andrew C. McCarthy:

My great respect for Amir Taheri notwithstanding, his hopes for democratic transformation of the Middle East cause him, yet again, to misinterpret the most recent developments in Egypt.

There, the initial draft of a new constitution is about to be published, the product of a committee overseen by the military, which has run Egypt’s government since Mohamed Morsi’s ouster. The new constitution will reportedly preserve sharia (Islam’s societal framework) as the country’s main source of law. It will also codify the “special status” of the armed forces as protectors of the state vested with supreme power in matters of national defense, foreign relations, and economic affairs — possibly including, the Washington Post reports, the discretion to try civilians (such as Muslim Brotherhood operatives) in military courts.

In a recent New York Post column, Taheri argues that the new constitution will thus be an insidious pact between the generals and the “Salafists” — Muslim supremacists who, like their Brotherhood political rivals, are determined to create a caliphate beholden to Islam’s repressive principles. It will betray hopes for real democracy that are shared, Taheri insists, by the vast majority of Egyptians.

Adopting the conveniently pliable passive voice, Taheri writes (the italics are mine):

The coup that returned the military to power after a year-long interval was presented as an attempt to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from imposing an Islamist dictatorship with a constitutional facade. Highlighted were two articles in the Morsi constitution that identified the Islamic sharia as the source of legislation in Egypt and gave Al-Azhar, the official seminary, a virtual veto on certain issues.

The crowds that for weeks filled Tahrir Square called on the army to intervene to save the nation from a burgeoning sharia-based dictatorship. Well, when the new draft constitution — written by a 50-man committee appointed by the military — is published, the Tahrir Square crowds are likely to be disappointed. The two controversial articles will still be there, albeit under different numbers and with slight changes in terminology.

This is rose-tinted revisionism. Yes, the coup “was presented” by democracy romantics as a rejection of Islamic totalitarianism. But that did not make it one. Egypt is a big, complex country, and there was no single rationale for Morsi’s ouster, which was supported by some important Salafist factions — groups that could not be more opposed to Western liberalism. The impetus for removing Morsi that came closest to a societal consensus was not the desire for real democracy; it was — as our colleague David Goldman has observed — that Egypt is an economic basket-case that Morsi and the Brothers were steering toward failed-state status.

Read more at PJ Media

Funding Jihadists while Denying Military Benefits

download (51)By Andrew C. McCarthy:

Here is where we’re at: The Republican establishment — the guys who told us that for a trillion dollars and several thousand American casualties, we could build “Islamic democracies” that would be reliable U.S. allies in the War on Terror — say it is Ted Cruz who is “delusional” and the effort to stave off Obamacare that is “unattainable.”

These self-appointed sages are, of course, the same guys who told us the way to “stabilize” and “democratize” Libya was to help jihadists topple and kill the resident dictator — who, at the time, was a U.S. ally, providing intelligence about the jihadists using his eastern badlands as a springboard for the anti-American terror insurgency in Iraq. That’s probably worth remembering this week, during which some of our new “allies” abducted Libya’s president while others car-bombed Sweden’s consulate in Benghazi — site of the still unavenged terrorist massacre of American ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. officials 13 months ago.

Not to worry, though. So successful do they figure the Libyan escapade was, GOP leaders are backing a reprise in Syria. It is there, we learn from a Human Rights Watch report issued this week, that our new “allies,” the al-Qaeda-rife “rebels,” executed a savage atrocity just two months ago. Sweeping into the coastal village of Latakia, the jihadists slaughtered 190 minority Alawites. As the New York Times details, “at least 67 of the dead appeared to have been shot or stabbed while unarmed or fleeing, including 48 women and 11 children.” More than 200 other civilians were captured and are still being held hostage.

So that’s going well.

And, you’ll be pleased to know, supporting the Syrian “rebels” is a high enough priority that it’s not part of the 17 percent of the federal government affected by the “shutdown.” America’s enemies are still receiving taxpayer-funded weapons, so that they can fight America’s other enemies, the Assad regime, to what Washington hopes will be a resounding victory. Er . . . check that — to what the administration hopes will be . . . a tie. The administration also let slip this week that it is arming our preferred jihadists so they can grind to a stalemate with Russia’s preferred jihadists — after all, we wouldn’t want to upset Iran’s ruling jihadists after they’ve just finally deigned to take, yes, a phone call from our pleading president after blowing him off in New York.

Read more at National Review

 

Erdogan’s Ergenekon Farce Draws to a Close

20111004_ErdoganMapby ANDREW C. MCCARTHY:

The five-year farce known as the “Ergenekon” trial – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s purge of military and political opponents under the cloak of an “anti-terrorism” prosecution – is now completed. On Monday, a special court pronounced the convictions and harsh sentences – ranging from decades of incarceration to life-imprisonment – for dozens of the 275 defendants (66 of whom have already been languishing in prison for some time).

As expected, Erdogan’s ruling Islamic-supremacist party (the AKP) is hailing the trumped-up result as a triumph for “democracy” that strengthens civilian control of the military – many of the accused, including former army chief of staff General Ilker Basbug (sentenced to life imprisonment), having allegedly plotted to overthrow Erdogan’s government. But, asDer Spiegel reports,

[T]he evidence was questionable, and in some cases non-existent. The government hasn’t targeted a small, secret group of conspirators but half the military leadership. Many author, journalists, lawyers, businesspeople and opposition politicians are in jail. Erdogan, many critics are convinced, is waging a witchhunt against his political opponents….

The story that Ergenekon was part of an even greater conspiracy called “Deep State”- aimed at bringing the generals back to power – has become steadily less credible. Erdogan, who has been in power since 2003 and who won a third term in july 2011, increasingly resembles a power-obsessed ruler bent on silencing all opposition. Critics say his aim isn’t to submit the military to democratic rule but simply to cement his own grip on power.

The intimidation and the number of arrests has steadily risen in the last 10 years. Many journalists no longer dare to report what’s really happening, authors avoid making public appearances and government critics need bodyguards. The anti-terrorism law is an effective instrument of power for the government as the supposed terrorist threat is an accusation that’s hard to disprove.

Nor do Monday’s verdicts come in a vacuum. As the Guardian notes, last year more than 300 military officers were sentenced to jail in a case dubbed “Sledgehammer,” involving similar charges of plotting to overthrow Erdogan a decade ago.

My book Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy examines Erdogan’s Turkey at some length, making the case that Islamic supremacists regard “democracy” merely as a method to impose sharia on Muslim majority countries without violence. Ergenekon and Sledgehammer are classic examples of why, for all their “democracy” bluster, Erdogan and his ilk are anti-democrats who regard their police power not as the guarantee of the rule of law necessary for a free society to thrive but as a truncheon for oppressing dissenters into silence and submission.

Read more: Family Security Matters 

Closing Gitmo Is Still a Terrible Idea

20111213_GitmoEscortby ANDREW C. MCCARTHY:

Such unlucky timing for Senator Dick Durbin: He insisted on hearing today to push forward President Obama’s reckless project to close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Apparently, al-Qaeda did not get the memo: The jihadist network has conducted bombing raids at two Iraqi prisons – including Abu Ghraib – in a successful plot to break out hundreds of terrorists. An Iraqi parliamentarian concedes that no fewer than 500 jihadists have escaped, including many senior al-Qaeda operatives who were awaiting execution.

If you want to get a sense of the very coherent Middle East policy President Obama has arrived at with the help of Senator McCain, the freed al-Qaeda terrorists can remain in country as America’s enemies in the Iraqi civil war, or they can skip across the border and become “rebels” – America’s noble allies in the Syrian civil war.

But back to Gitmo. What has just happened in Iraq – and terrorist attacks to facilitate escapes have happened before in Iraq as well as in Yemen and Afghanistan – underscores one of the many fallacies in the anti-Gitmo arguments posited by the president and Attorney General Eric Holder. They claim that closing Gitmo and lodging the enemy combatant military prisoners in stateside civilian prisons would pose no security threat to the American people because our federal prisons – especially the “supermax” facilities – are so secure escape is impossible. But escape is not and has never been our principal concern; the security challenge is attempted escape. That is, just because we’re confident that violent people cannot successfully break themselves out does not mean they and their confederates will not forever plot and occasionally try to break them out – increasing considerably the threat of violence at and around the prisons.

Put aside for now the astronomical security costs to “harden” terrorist prison facilities and protect the perimeter around them. The plots to free jihadists have resulted in acts of savage violence both inside and outside the prisons where terrorists have been held. If Obama shutters Gitmo and moves the terrorists here, he will in effect be moving more of these plots here.

Read more: Family Security Matters

 

Syria Fairy Tales

free-syrian-army-2011-11-2By Andrew C. McCarthy:

As they have from the start, the Free Syrian Army was rolling out the welcome mat for al-Qaeda. “They are welcome to help us fight the regime,” explained Colonel Abdel Rahman Suweis, a member of the FSA’s Supreme Military Council.

This is not ancient history. The report from Al Jazeera (which Bill Roggio excerpts at the invaluable Long War Journal) has the FSA commander making these remarks less than two weeks ago. Just a couple of days later came another nugget from the al-Qaeda side of the “rebel” equation: A top leader of one of the terror network’s two major Syrian affiliates, which calls itself the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” told Al Jazeera that the FSA is actually providing al-Qaeda with weapons. “We are buying weapons from the FSA,” he asserted. “We bought 200 anti-aircraft missiles and Koncourse anti-tank weapons. We have good relations with our brothers in the FSA. For us, the infidels are those who cooperate with the West to fight Islam.”

It is to Islamic-supremacist megaphones like Al Jazeera that we must turn for a reality check on the Syrian civil war. When it comes to the anti-Assad forces — denominated the “rebels” in hopes that no one will notice they self-define as “mujahideen” (i.e., jihad warriors) — American media outlets are as flush with Spring Fever as they have ever been. A dozen years of American effort — prohibitively expensive in blood and treasure — have left us with Iraq’s return to its default condition of internecine Sunni-Shiite butchery; Afghanistan’s implacable determination to remain the same medieval Islamic dystopia it has always been; a massacre of Americans by the jihadists we empowered in Benghazi; and Egypt’s ongoing implosion. Yet even in the conservative press, the very un-conservative ambitions of the bipartisan Beltway establishment’s Islamic-democracy project continue to hold sway.

Typical of this kind of thinking is “Why Rand Paul Is Wrong about Syria,” by the Foreign Policy Initiative’s Robert Zarate and Evan Moore. Published here at NRO on Thursday, it is an attack on the Kentucky Republican senator’s objections to U.S. intervention in Syria. Messrs. Zarate and Moore prefer a Libya-style alliance with the “rebels,” the Obama-administration gambit ardently endorsed by Senator John McCain, the erratic compass on which the GOP establishment relies for foreign-policy guidance.

In making their case, the authors — while accusing Senator Paul of promoting “false claims” and distortions — present the now familiar fairy-tale depiction of the Syrian conflict. They would have you believe that, under the auspices of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), there are throngs of “moderate Syrian rebels” who are just as opposed to al-Qaeda as they are to Assad. It is a laughable contention. There are no “moderates” in Syria. There are bad factions and worse factions — virtually all of them virulently anti-American.

Read more at National Review