Huma Abedin and the Tangled Clinton Web

t-huma-abedin-anthony-weiner.sized-940x350xcPJ Media, by Andrew McCarthy, Feb. 12 2016:

Almost a month ago, Fox News reported that the FBI’s investigation of possible national security violations stemming from Hillary Clinton’s private email system had expanded to include a corruption angle, centered on the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and the possibility that Foundation donors received favorable government treatment during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

The Fox report prompted indignant denials from Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign that there had been any broadening of the probe. Yet, the government is not required to disclose the course of its investigation publicly, much less to its subjects. And now, there are additional indications that the government is indeed scrutinizing the cozy relations the State Department enjoyed during Secretary Hillary Clinton’s tenure with both the Clinton Foundation and a Clinton-connected consulting firm called Teneo.

Last autumn, according to the Washington Post, the State Department’s inspector general (IG) issued subpoenas to the Clinton Foundation. The IG’s office has authority to investigate wrongdoing at the Department, including criminal wrongdoing. Its conclusions may be referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution, and may also result in other forms of disciplinary action against government officials found to have committed misconduct. The subpoenas served on the Clinton Foundation reportedly focused on two areas of inquiry: (a) Clinton Foundation projects that may have required federal government approval during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state; and (b) Clinton Foundation records pertaining to the employment of Huma Abedin.

Ms. Abedin, a longtime Clinton confidante, served as Secretary Clinton’s deputy chief-of-staff at the State Department and is now vice chairwoman of Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign for the presidency.

For about a half-year toward the end of Abedin’s tenure at the State Department, which coincided with with Secretary Clinton’s own departure from the State Department in February 2013, Abedin was given a highly unusual and ethically dubious arrangement: She was permitted to work simultaneously for the State Department, Teneo, the Clinton Foundation, and even in a personal capacity for Mrs. Clinton – in order to manage the secretary’s transition back to the private sector (notwithstanding that Mrs. Clinton had a job waiting for her at the lavishly funded Clinton Foundation, from which she would oversee her 2016 campaign-in-waiting).

Ordered Liberty readers will recall that Ms. Abedin has been the subject of controversy. Several years ago, five House conservatives asked State’s IG to investigate how Abedin managed to receive a security clearance despite extensive family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and to an al Qaeda financier whose “charity” was designated a terrorist organization by the government. At the time, senior Republicans attacked the House conservatives, despite the fact that the latter were not alleging any wrongdoing on Abedin’s part – they were merel and sensibly questioning the propriety of the government’s granting a security clearance to someone on Abedin’s background. In light of new revelations in the Clinton email scandal, which place Abedin in the center of the mishandling of classified information through Mrs. Clinton’s homebrew server system, the concerns of the House conservatives seem prescient.

Read more

The Problem with Islam Is Aggressive Scripture, Not Aggressive ‘Traditionalism’

quran

National Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy — January 16, 2016:

On the Corner this week, the eminent Jim Talent touted (with some reservations) an essay about “moderate Islam” by Cheryl Bernard. A Rand Institute researcher, she is also a novelist, a defender of war-ravaged cultures, and the wife of Zalmay Khalilzad, the former U.S. ambassador to post-Taliban (or is it pre-Taliban?) Afghanistan. With due respect to Dr. Bernard, who does much heroic work, I believe the essay highlights what is wrong with Western academic analysis of Islam.

The problem comes into focus in the very title of Senator Talent’s post, “Aggressive Traditionalism.” That is the attribute of Islamic societies that Dr. Bernard blames for the frustration of her high hopes for “moderate Islam.” In truth, however, the challenge Islam poses for moderation is not its tradition; it is Islamic doctrine — the scriptural support for traditional sharia and Islamic supremacist ideology.

I give Bernard credit. She is the unusual strategist who is willing to admit failure — in this instance, of the strategy of promoting “moderate Islam” as the antidote to “radical Islam.” But even this concession goes off the rails: She maintains that the strategy was somehow “basically sensible” despite being “off track in two critical ways.” The real problem, though, is not the two errors she identifies but the fatal flaw she fails to address: The happenstance that there are many moderate Muslims in the world does not imply the existence of a coherent “moderate Islam.” Try as she might, Bernard cannot surmount this doctrinal hurdle by blithely ignoring the centrality of doctrine to a belief system — without it, there is nothing to believe.

But let’s start with the two critical problems she does cite. The first is the matter of defining what a “moderate” is. Bernard concedes that she and other thinkers adopted a definition that was “too simplistic” — meaning, too broad. It made “violence and terrorism” the litmus test for “moderation.” This enabled what she labels “aggressive traditionalists” to masquerade as moderates.

Who are the “aggressive traditionalists”? Muslims who, though nonviolent themselves, “harbor attitudes of hostility and alienation” against non-Muslims. The failure to account for the challenge that “aggressive traditionalism” poses for moderation led to the second flaw Bernard admits: the undermining of “integration” — a reference to Muslim assimilation (or the lack thereof) in the West.

This is fine as far as it goes. In fact, Bernard is quite correct about the main challenge posed by hostile, alienated, integration-resistant Muslims: Even if they are personally nonviolent, the communities they create become “the breeding ground for extremism and the safe harbor for extremists.”

But “extremism” about what? This is the salient question, and it is one Bernard studiously ducks. The error is implicit from the very start of her essay (my italics):

Over the past decade, the prevailing thinking has been that radical Islam is most effectively countered by moderate Islam. The goal was to find religious leaders and scholars and community ‘influencers’ — to use the lingo of the counter-radicalization specialists — who could explain to their followers and to any misguided young people that Islam is a religion of peace, that the term jihad refers mainly to the individual’s personal struggle against temptation and for moral betterment, and that tolerance and interfaith cooperation should prevail.

Plainly, the “prevailing thinking” casually assumes “facts” not only unproven but highly dubious. Bernard takes it as a given not only that there is an easily identifiable “moderate Islam,” but also that this . . . what? . . . doctrine? . . . attitude? . . . is the most effective counter to “radical Islam.”

But what is moderate Islam? She doesn’t say. She maintains that there are countless moderate Muslims who, by her telling, embrace “Western values, modern life and integration.” In fact, she assumes there are so many such Muslims that they constitute the “mainstream” of Islam. Yet, that proposition is not necessarily true even in the West, where Muslims are a minority who might be expected to assimilate into the dominant, non-Muslim culture; and it most certainly is not true in the Muslim-majority countries of the Middle East.

Even worse is Bernard’s assertion — uncritical, and without a hint that there may be a counter-case — “that Islam is a religion of peace, [and] that the term jihad refers mainly to the individual’s personal struggle against temptation and for moral betterment.”

As is the wont of Islam’s Western apologists, Bernard is attempting to shield from examination what most needs examining. Her reliance on the potential of “moderate Islam” to quell “radical Islam” is entirely premised on the conceit that Islam is, in fact, moderate and peaceful. Her assumption that the vast majority of Muslims can be won over (indeed, have already been won over, she seems to say) to Western values is premised on the conceit that those values are universal and, hence, locatable in the core of Islam — such that “tolerance and interfaith cooperation should prevail” because Islam is all for them.

Islam, however, is not a religion of peace. It is a religion of conquest that was spread by the sword. Moreover, it is not only untrue that jihad refers “mainly” to the individual’s internal struggle to live morally; it is also untrue that the Islamic ideal of the moral life is indistinguishable from the Western conception.

To be clear, this is not to say that Islam could not conceivably become peaceful. Nor is it to say that jihad could not be reinterpreted such that a decisive majority of Muslims would accept that its actual primary meaning — namely, holy war to establish Islam’s dominance — has been superseded by the quest for personal betterment. To pull that off, though, will require a huge fight. It cannot be done by inhabiting an alternative universe where it has already been done.

That fight would be over doctrine, the stark omission in Bernard’s analysis. I do not think the omission is an oversight. Note her labeling of faux moderates as “aggressive traditionalists.” Citing “tradition” implies that the backwardness and anti-Western hostility she detects, to her great dismay, is a function of cultural inhibitions. But what she never tells you, and hopes you’ll never ask, is where Islamic culture and traditions come from.

Alas, they are direct consequences of Islamic scripture and sharia, the law derived from scripture. She can’t go there. She wants Islam to be moderate, but its scriptures won’t cooperate. She must rely on tradition and culture because traditions and cultures can and do evolve. Scripture, by contrast, does not — not in Islam as taught by over a millennium’s worth of scholars and accepted by untold millions of Muslims. Mainstream Islam holds that scripture is immutable. The Koran, the center of Islamic life, is deemed the “uncreated word of Allah,” eternal. (See, e.g., Sura 6:115: “The Word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and justice: None can change His Words: For He is the one Who heareth and knoweth all.”)

Bernard must blame aggressive traditionalism because if the problem is aggressive doctrine rooted in aggressive scripture, then it’s not changing any time soon — or maybe ever. Moreover, she is not in a position to challenge doctrine and scripture without deeply offending the believers to whom she is appealing. They are taught that any departure from centuries-old scholarly consensus is blasphemy.

The story Dr. Bernard tells of Islamic intransigence in her own Northern Virginia neighborhood is instructive. A Muslim-American friend of hers is a social worker who finds jobs for Muslim immigrants. He lands openings for a group of Somali women in a hospital laundry service; but the women first tell him they must check with their imam, then they turn down the jobs because they will not be allowed to wear their hijabs. The social worker and Bernard are exasperated: Why don’t the women and their adviser grasp that because hijabs could get caught in the machinery and cause injury, there is a “pragmatic reason” for departing from the traditional Islamic norm?

Notice: Bernard never considers, or at least never acknowledges, that there is doctrinal support for every decision the Somalis make: The scriptures instruct Muslims to consult authorities knowledgeable in sharia before embarking on a questionable course of conduct; they instruct Muslim women to wear the veil (particularly in any setting where they will be exposed to men who are not their husbands or close relatives). And while pragmatism suggests to the rational Dr. Bernard and her moderate, Westernized social-worker friend an obvious exception to Islam’s usual clothing rule, mainstream Islam in the Middle East and Somalia admonishes that Western reliance on reason and pragmatism is a form of corruption, a pretext for ignoring religious duty.

Doctrine is the answer to virtually every immoderate instance of aggressive “traditionalism” Bernard complains about: the separation of men from women in the mosque, and the decidedly poorer accommodations (“often unacceptable and even insulting,” as Bernard describes them) to which women are consigned; the separation of the sexes in work and social settings; the instructions not to trust or befriend “unbelievers”; the admonitions to resist adopting Western habits and developing loyalty to Western institutions. There is scriptural support for every one of these injunctions.

From the fact that she has moderate, “modernized” Muslim friends, who do not comport themselves in such “traditional” fashion, Bernard extravagantly deduces that tradition is the problem. She never comes close to grappling with doctrine — i.e., the thing that most devout Muslims believe is what makes them Muslims. The closest she comes is the fleeting observation that her moderate social-worker friend “is a scholar [presumably of Islam] and a professor who emigrated from a conservative Muslim country.” The obvious suggestion is that if he is not troubled by the flouting of traditional Islamic mores, surely there must not be any credible scriptural objection. But if it is relevant that her friend is a scholar, is it not also relevant that there are thousands of other scholars — scholars who actually do Islamic jurisprudence rather than social work for a living — who would opine that sharia requires these traditional behaviors and that it is the social worker who is out of touch?

When Dr. Bernard’s husband, Ambassador Khalilzad, served in Kabul, he midwifed the new Afghan constitution that purported to safeguard Western notions of liberty while simultaneously installing Islam as the state religion and sharia as fundamental law. In short order, Afghanistan put former Muslims who had publicly renounced Islam on capital trial for apostasy. Dr. Khalilzad, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and other Western officials and intellectuals pronounced themselves duly shocked and appalled — notwithstanding that anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Islamic scripture knows that it calls for public apostates to be killed.

To great American embarrassment, the apostates had to be whisked out of the country lest the incompatibility of civil rights and sharia become even more painfully apparent. It is worth acknowledging, however, that what chased them out of Afghanistan was not aggressive traditionalism. It was Islamic doctrine, which simply is not moderate. Looked at doctrinally, the challenge for “moderate Islam” is . . . Islam.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is as senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

 

When Worlds Collide: Unassimilable Muslim Migrants Crash Europe’s Fantasy Islam

asylum-seekers in Germany

National Review, by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY January 9, 2016:

What happens when the West’s fantasy Islam collides with the reality of an imported critical mass of unassimilated — and defiantly unassimilable — Muslims?

Cologne happens.

Nor is it only Cologne. That was just Ground Zero of the New Year’s Eve rape jihad in Germany. As National Review’s Ian Tuttle notes in an alarming column about the predictable — and, if I may say, predicted — surge of sexual assault in a Europe overrun by “migrants,” the jihad included similar episodes, albeit on a smaller scale, in Stuttgart, Hamburg, and even astride the Brandenburg gate in Berlin.

We are finally learning about the magnitude and harrowing details of the attack after days of Stasi-like information suppression. Chancellor Angela Merkel may not be big on German security, but she is a bulwark when it comes to fantasy Islam.

First there was no news; then, a few disturbing hints of gropings and robberies by gangs of “Middle Eastern or North African” men. Now, we know it was a mass atrocity — the only remaining question being: How massive?

Upward of a thousand men, overwhelmingly Muslim, executed a coordinated series of attacks on an obvious target of opportunity: street celebrations in the major cities of a reviled Western state, where they were certain to find throngs of young women and a police presence grossly inadequate to provide security — certainly not against a critical mass of Islamic supremacists.

RELATED: Mass Muslim Immigration Will Bring Islam’s Problems Here

The participation of Muslim migrants in the rape jihad is, of course, the fact most desperately suppressed by German officials. Mrs. Merkel earned her “Person of the Year” honors from left-leaning relic Time magazine by rolling out the red carpet for a staggering 1.1 million migrants in 2015 — infuriating the German public and spurring the migrant tsunami now washing over neighboring countries. In this information clampdown, the nightmare of the victimized women turns out to be the chancellor’s good fortune: Police on the scene were so outnumbered and outmaneuvered by the assailants that it was physically impossible for them to get near most of the women being savaged, much less make arrests. Most of the perps will never be identified.

The media are already using this to cast doubt on migrant culpability. “It was not clear,” the New York Times opaquely explains, “that any of the men involved were among those who arrived in Germany over the past year from conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.” Sure. In southern Germany, after two teenage girls (ages 14 and 15) were raped, police tripped over themselves to announce that the three Syrians arrestedwere not recently arrived asylum seekers. What a relief.

RELATED: Europeans Studiously Ignore Muslim Mobs

Nearly 200 women have filed criminal complaints in Cologne, the vast majority charging all manner of sexual assault. There have been few arrests, though, and nearly none involving sex crimes.

The Muslim men used a tactic that has escaped the notice of fantasy Islam devotees but is well known to those of us who’ve followed the scant reports on the rape jihad as it has proceeded from Tahrir Square to Malmö to Rotherham: A group of men encircles the targeted woman or girl, trapping her while walling off police and other would-be rescuers. Knowing they are a protected class, the Muslim men have no fear of the cops — “You can’t do anything to me,” and “Mrs. Merkel invited me here,” are just some of the reported taunts. By the time “help” reaches one victim, the assailants have moved on to the next.

It is not very effective law enforcement . . . but at least the cops can’t be accused of “Islamophobia,” right?

Still, Europe is not Nigeria — not yet. In the regressing advanced world, nothing on the scale of the New Year’s Eve siege can happen without tweets and pictures filtering out. Try as they might, German officials have been unable to put a lid on accounts from police explaining that “the large majority” of assailants they were able to identify were “from Syria,” or observing that “there were thousands of people who could not be specifically identified but who had an immigrant background, and were most probably refugees.”

RELATED: France’s No-Go Zones: Assimilation-Resistant Muslims Are the Real Refugee Crisis

Truth being the first casualty of war, it was left to Henriette Reker, the fantasy Islam–drenched mayor of Cologne, to blame the victims for their ordeal. Such assaults could be prevented, she declaimed, if German women adopted a “code of conduct” tailored to the new, multi-culti Deutschland.

In the spirit of multiculturalism, I have such a code just off the shelf (on which rests The Grand Jihad, in which I outlined it a few years back). It goes like this:

To be absolved from guilt, the raped woman must have shown some sort of good conduct . . . Islam addresses women to maintain their modesty, so as not to open the door for evil . . . The Koran calls on Muslim women in general to preserve their dignity and modesty, just to save themselves from any harassment. So for a rape victim to be absolved from guilt, she must not be the one that opens . . . her dignity for deflowering.

These pearls of wisdom come from none other than Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s renowned sharia jurist. He proclaimed them on his popular IslamOnline website about a dozen years ago, right before he was welcomed into Britain — as a trustee of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies — despite his fatwas supporting Hamas suicide attacks in Israel and terrorism against Western troops in Iraq. Though he resides in Qatar, Qaradawi currently heads the Ireland-based European Council for Fatwa and Research.

Qaradawi is the most influential Muslim intellectual behind the strategy of, as he puts it, “conquering” Europe and America by “dawa” — the aggressive proselytism of Islamic mores. The plan calls for flooding the West with Muslim migrants, directing them to resist assimilation, establishing Islamic enclaves, and pressuring the host country to concede the enclave’s right to govern itself in accordance with sharia — Islam’s societal framework and legal code.

RELATED: Dispelling the ‘Few Extremists’ Myth — the Muslim World is Overcome with Hate

As I’ve previously explained, when Muslims are seeking conquest, Islamic scripture endorses sexual assault as a weapon to establish their dominance. “O Prophet,” Allah is said to have announced (in the Koran’s sura 33:50), “We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou has paid their dowers, and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the captives of war whom Allah has assigned to thee.”

In the Western ministries of fantasy Islam, the pols and their note-takers will thumb their chins and wonder what could possibly have motivated the German attacks — just as they wonder what could possibly explain the European sexual-assault crisis that has, by some mysterious coincidence, coincided with mass Muslim migration.

The rest of us will know that there is a strategy: conquest. Just as in the Middle East, women and girls in the West are the spoils of jihad, the vehicle for intimidating non-Muslims into surrendering sovereignty over the streets. If they want to be safe, Sheikh Qaradawi warns, they must submit to Islam’s sartorial suffocation. If not, well, they have it coming.

By the way, since President Obama entered office, the United States has issued over 100,000 green cards per year to migrants from Muslim-majority countries. That’s just green cards — it doesn’t count the thousands of visas issued to students, tourists, and temporary workers. With the Republican-controlled Congress fully funding the effort, the government is on pace to award another 680,000 green cards to Muslim migrants — with their entitlement to lifetime residency, federal benefits, and a path to citizenship — in the next five years.

As Sheikh Qaradawi and Mayor Reker might say, I’m sure it won’t be a problem . . . as long as the women “maintain their modesty.”

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Also see:

Islam v. Free Speech: Twitter Surrenders

twitter 1National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Jan. 4, 2016:

My weekend column profiled Bosch Fawstin, the intrepid cartoonist who won last spring’s “Draw Muhammad” contest that was attacked by two ISIS-inspired jihadists in Garland, Texas. (The terrorists were killed in a shootout with police.) Fawstin compellingly argues that the best way to fight a repulsive conquest ideology such as Islamic supremacism is to expose it. That means an unstinting reliance on our constitutional right to free expression.

Apparently, Twitter has opted to join the campaign to crack down on free expression. And one is left to wonder whether the big Saudi bucks that have come its way are a factor in Twitter’s decision-making.

As I recount in the column, the top agenda item of Islamic supremacists has long been the imposition of sharia blasphemy standards on the West. This campaign is not waged exclusively or even primarily by violent jihadists. Instead, its leading proponents are the Muslim Brotherhood’s network of Islamist activist groups in the West and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (a 57-government bloc of, mainly, majority-Muslim countries).

The West should be fighting these anti-Western Islamic supremacists in defense of our core principles. Instead, the Obama administration — particularly the president and his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton — has colluded with them. So have other left-leaning governments and institutions that are naturally hostile to free speech and open debate. One prominent result, which I discussed in the column as well as in Islam and Free Speech, is U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18. This blatantly unconstitutional provision, co-sponsored by Obama, Clinton, and OIC members, calls on all nations to ban speech that could promote mere hostility to Islam. Essentially, this is a codification of sharia, which prohibits all expression that subjects Islam to critical examination.

RELATED Just Asking About Islam and Terrorism

Twitter has announced new regulations on content communicated via its social-networking service. They are prohibitions on speech similar in effect to Resolution 16/18. As usual, this is shrewdly done under the guise of suppressing “hate” speech. In fact, the regulations cast a much wider net that potentially calls for the suppression of political and educational speech.

Twitter’s policy, called “Hate content, sensitive topics, and violence,” is here. The policy states that it applies to “Twitter Ads,” but goes on to explain that these “paid advertising products” include all “Tweets,” as well as “trends and accounts.”

The policy is then spelled out in question-and-answer form. Here is the relevant part (the italics are mine):

What’s the policy?

Twitter prohibits the promotion of hate content, sensitive topics, and violence globally.

ACM: Note from the get-go: We are not just talking about the incitement of violence here. Twitter is laying the groundwork to regulate discussions of any topics it deems “sensitive.”

What products or services are subject to this policy?

This policy applies, but is not limited, to:

Hate speech or advocacy against an individual, organization or protected group based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or other protected status.

ACM: Note that this prohibition expressly goes beyond “hate speech” (which itself is an absurdly subjective term), additionally banning “advocacy against” people or groups based on, among other things, “religion” (as well as “other protected status” — who knows what that means?).

In essence, it is not different from Resolution 16/18’s prohibition of speech that could “incite” mere “hostility” to religion — i.e., anything that could cast Islam in a bad light, regardless of whether it is truthful. If they try to tell you this is just about banning insulting cartoons and patently derogatory statements, don’t buy it. This is about permitting only speech that conforms to the government’s official, smiley-face version of Islam.

Twitter’s list of speech categories to which its suppression policy applies continues:

Violence or threats of violence against people or animals

Glorification of self-harm or related content

Organizations or individuals associated with promoting hate, criminal, or terrorist-related content

ACM: Again, note that Twitter distinguishes “hate” from “terrorist-related content” and seeks to ban both. Remember, it is not just terrorists who engage in “terrorist-related” speech; it is also those of us who write about terrorism and what motivates terrorism. As announced, the policy makes no distinction between ISIS and, say, your humble correspondent.

Before concluding with a ban on “Offensive, vulgar, abusive or obscene content,” the policy also bans “Inflammatory content which is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction or cause harm.” This prohibition continues a dangerous trend: codification of the “heckler’s veto” or the law of the jungle. To the contrary, the First Amendment emphatically rejects the notion that speech obviously not intended to incite violence (indeed, often intended to expose savagery) should be banned simply because uncivilized people might react to it with violence, threats, and other perilous, intimidating behavior.

RELATED: Yes, Islamic Extremism Is Islamic, But That’s Just the Beginning of the Debate

Twitter elaborates that its suppression policy does not apply to “News and information that calls attention to hate, sensitive topics, or violence, but does not advocate for it.” So does that exemption include commentary on “news and information”? Apparently not. In the next sentence, Twitter provides a separate exemption for “commentary” that is much more narrow: The prohibition does not apply to “commentary about products, services, companies, or brands, including potentially negative commentary.”

The patent implication is that if “commentary” “calls attention to hate, sensitive topics, or violence,” Twitter reserves the right to ban it even if the commentary “does not advocate” hatred, violence, or other offenses to someone’s delicate sensibilities.

Is it a coincidence that Twitter is pushing the anti-speech agenda in the same direction as the OIC? Consider this: One of the prime movers in the campaign to impose Islamic blasphemy standards and other aspects of sharia law on the West is Saudi Arabia. In 2011, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — a prominent member of the Saudi royal family with a prodigious record of buying up and influencing Western media and educational institutions — ponied up $300 million to purchase Twitter stock. By the end of 2015, bin Talal had doubled his investment in Twitter: His stake now has a market value of approximately $1 billion, good enough for a 5 percent share.

The sharia justice system that bin Talal’s family enforces is currently drawing attention due to its mass executions, which include putting to death a prominent Shiite activist, drawing the wrath of rival Iran (another prominent OIC country that imposes sharia law and executes dissenters). For present purposes, though, our focus is blasphemy. The Saudis strictly enforce sharia blasphemy strictures that the OIC — wittingly aided by Obama and Clinton — would thrust on the rest of the world. It is a commonplace for Saudi blasphemy prosecutions to be based on social-media postings on Twitter, Facebook, and the like.

RELATED: Dispelling the ‘Few Extremists’ Myth — the Muslim World Is Overcome with Hate

By spreading his fortune around, tens of millions at a clip, Prince bin Talal attracts many admirers in the Western commentariat. He is thus depicted as the tolerant, progressive face of Saudi moderation. The image masks the ugly reality of the royal family and its sharia enforcement. For a more realistic take, and to grasp the perilous specter of Islamic-supremacist influence over Western free-speech standards, here is something worth perusing: last year’s Saudi court ruling that upheld the blasphemy conviction of human-rights activist Raif Badawi. He was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment and a thousand lashes for writing such social-media posts as: “The combination of the sword and the Quran are more dangerous than a nuclear bomb.”

After explaining that “liberalism is parting away from religion according to the Western definition of it,” the court held that Badawi had shown

disparagement of the one who made the Quran and the Sunnah as a guiding light and a law that equates the ruler and the ruled. And based on these thoughts that spread doubt in the fundamentals of the religion and its values, [Badawi] violate[d] the five essentials which sharia came to protect, and spread sedition and conflict among the people in society.

Hence, according to Act 23 of the basic law of governance, which says: “the government protects the Islamic doctrine, applies the laws of the Sharia, and promotes virtue and prevents vice”; and according to Act 11 of the same law, “the Saudi people live based on the tenacity of its individuals to the rope of Allah, and cooperate on righteousness, piety and interdependence among each other, and never be separated” . . .

The statements he confessed to writing . . . contain overall the perverted liberal thought and a call to embrace it and to reject the way of people of goodness and righteousness. It is a call to liberation from the duties of religion and its values, and to disrespect its [tenets].

The convict’s acts are condemned and considered a crime according to sharia and according to our government [law] combatting cybercrime, which says, “any person who commits the following cybercrimes is to be sentenced to serve a maximum of 5 years in prison [and fined:]. . . . Forming whatever affects public order and religious values, and public manners and the privacy of personal life via composing, sending or publishing the compromising material on the cyber web or any other electronic device.”

Yes, what could be better for Twitter than Saudi money and all the progressive enlightenment that comes with it?

We must hasten to add that Twitter is a private service. It is not bound by the First Amendment. Unlike the government, it is permitted to suppress speech disseminated through its own system. But that system has millions of users (including me, and most National Review writers). The new Twitter policy is clearly an effort to shape the public’s understanding of what is and is not tolerable speech. The question is: Is Twitter influential enough to have that effect . . . or will its obnoxious policy prompt protests by users that induce Twitter to rethink its course?

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Why ‘Draw Mohammed’? The Artist Explains

Fawstin2National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, January 2, 2016:

Mohammed cartoons don’t inspire Islamic violence. Islamic violence inspires Mohammed cartoons.” That is what Bosch Fawstin tells me. And he knows whereof he speaks.

Fawstin is the award-winning cartoonist thrust into international notoriety in May when he won a “Draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas — a contest that became the first terrorist target of the Islamic State on American soil.

The event was intended to be less a competition than a celebration of free-expression principles. Because those principles undergird Western civilization, they have become the prime target of Islamic supremacists. And when we talk about Islamic supremacists, we are not talking only about violent jihadists, such as the two ISIS-inspired terrorists who were killed in a firefight with police while attempting a mass murder of Fawstin and his fellow contestants.

There are also the “moderates” who specialize in exploiting the atmosphere of intimidation created by jihadist organizations: the Muslim Brotherhood’s international web of Islamic activist groups and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the 57-government bloc that claims to represent Muslim interests globally.

The methods of the “moderates” might differ from those of ISIS and al-Qaeda — and given the extensive promotion of jihadist violence by the Brotherhood and several OIC member states, we say “might” with tongue firmly in cheek. The “moderate” goal, however, is the same: the imposition of sharia, which is Islam’s societal framework and legal code. As Fawstin explains it: “Devout Muslims want their laws to be our laws. In essence, they want us to be de facto Muslims.”

RELATED: Just Asking about Islam and Terrorism

In that vein, priority No. 1 has been pressuring the United States and its Western allies to stifle free expression, to supplant our free marketplace of ideas with Islam’s repressive blasphemy standards. This imperative has received a major boost from the Obama administration: from the president, who is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the First Amendment, and also from his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who would like to be the next to make a mockery of that solemn oath. Colluding with the Brotherhood and the OIC, Obama and Clinton sponsored United Nations Human Rights Resolution 16-18: a blatantly unconstitutional provision that calls on all member states to ban speech that could “incite” not just violence but “hostility” to Islam.

This goes to the heart of why the Garland event has been widely misunderstood. With Obama and Clinton working with anti-American Islamists to attack free speech, it is no surprise that the administration’s slavish media are portraying Islam’s critics as wild-eyed bigots, and their “Draw Muhammad” contest as an exercise in gratuitous insult — the kind of expression that even free-speech advocates often shy from defending.

RELATED: Dispelling the ‘Few Extremists’ Myth: The Muslim World Is Overcome with Hate

The narrative betrays ignorance of Islam’s blasphemy proscriptions. Insulting speech barely scratches the surface of all that is forbidden. Classical sharia prohibits all artistic expression that depicts animate life — deeming it an offensive imitation of Allah’s creative act. Far beyond insult, moreover, sharia forbids speech that subjects Islam to any objective examination that could result in negative criticism. Also forbidden are words that imply unbelief; that could be taken to rebuke Allah or Mohammed (even if gently or in jest); or that appear to deny a principle established by authoritative sharia scholarship. Islamic supremacists would apply prohibitions to non-Muslims as well as Muslims, because they believe that Allah has commanded them to impose sharia on the unwilling. And as for Muslims, speech that announces or implies apostasy is punishable by death.

This is what drives Fawstin’s work. “I draw Mohammed,” he says, “because the enemy tells me I can’t.” In Garland, that meant not just a rendering, but a rendering of the act of rendering. Describing his winning cartoon, he explains: “I draw myself drawing Mohammed, and Mohammed with his sword in hand, yells at me, ‘You Can’t Draw Me!’ to which I reply (in a word balloon), ‘That’s why I draw you.’”

The idea was to underscore the free-speech purpose of the contest. The imposition of Islamic law “includes banning much of our music, art, and literature,” Fawstin observes. “Look at how ISIS has been destroying antiquities, for example.” The way to fight back, he believes, is with open and unwavering dedication to free expression:

The way I see it, if drawing Mohammad can get you killed, then he should be drawn again and again and again and again, until drawing him loses all power. And, within reason, doing something that an enemy doesn’t want you to do is reason enough to do it, on sheer principle.

Unlike many Americans, particularly in Washington, who believe in fighting fire with accommodation, Fawstin grasps that steely resolve is the only way to face down this enemy. Perhaps it has something to do with being raised in the Bronx — as a Muslim. His Albanian family was what would today be called “moderate Muslims,” although they identified themselves simply as Muslims, Fawstin recounts. Interestingly, this echoes Turkey’s Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who rejects the notion of “moderate Muslims” —  he maintains that “Islam is Islam, and that’s it.”

Growing up, Fawstin increasingly sensed incongruity: His family was “moderate” in their adherence to Islam, rarely going to mosque and selectively following sharia strictures; yet the Jew-hatred and misogyny that are hallmarks of Islamic supremacism ran rampant among his “moderate” relatives. As he recalls:

I phased out of Islam in my mid teens when I began to think about morality in a serious way, when I saw the contrast between Islamic values and American values, and when I was beginning to really recognize what was good and true in the world.

For Fawstin, the 9/11 attacks were a call to arms — in the “pen is mightier than the sword” sense. He had “fallen in love with superhero comic books” during childhood and was already embarked on a career as a cartoonist. His rage over the atrocity merged with his professional passion to forge a determination to respond in a comic-book and graphic-novel form.

The semi-biographical result is The Infidel, Featuring Pigman, a comic book that is part of a graphic novel. The plot revolves around twin brothers who react to 9/11 in opposite ways: One dives deeper into his Islamic roots; the other, a Muslim apostate, creates “an ex-Muslim counter-jihad superhero comic book.” It is a story within a story: As the superhero, Pigman, battles his jihadist nemesis, the conflict between the twins escalates.

RELATED: Yes, Islamic Extremism Is Islamic, But That’s Just the Beginning of the Debate

Naturally, I ask Fawstin, “Why Pigman?” The idea, he quips, is to exploit the enemy’s “pigotry.” It is a concept quite at odds with Western governments’ “outreach” style of counterterrorism. Rather than attempting to placate jihadists, Fawstin prefers to study their ideology, find out what they fear and loathe, and use it against them. He recalled from his Muslim childhood the strictures against eating pork or “coming into contact with pig, in any way,” along with the fact that being called a “pig” was considered the worse of insults. Thus he decided that pigskin leather was the perfect costume for his protagonist, who is moved to combat after witnessing the 9/11 attacks from New York’s Ground Zero.

Fawstin would not have created the cartoon series or drawn Mohammed at Garland had it not been for 9/11. Contrary to the blame-America-first storyline, it was the jihad that provoked his determined response, not the other way around. And it is the threats he’s received because of his work that inspire him to persevere.

The enemy is no match for America on the military battlefield. Nor can they compete in the battle of ideas, where their tactic is suppression precisely because their repugnant ideas cannot bear examination. As terrorists, their only power lies in paralyzing us, instilling in us a fear to defend our principles, like free speech. Obama and Clinton loudly signal a readiness to surrender those principles, theorizing that the enemy will be appeased. Bosch Fawstin defiantly lives those principles, reckoning that if we all did, the enemy would not stand a chance.

I like his plan better.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Fox News is getting the message out on jihad!

a gThese interviews are packed with important information that Americans need to hear. Kudos to Fox News for interviewing the experts!

After O’Reilly gives his opinion on Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslim Immigration, he interviews counterterrorism specialist Aaron Cohen and Center for Security Policy’s Jim Hanson. They discuss taking a temporary pause in issuing visas to people from terror supporting countries and a detailed plan to go after ISIS.

***

Megyn Kelly interviews Andrew McCarthy and Dr. Sebastian Gorka. They discuss the importance of vetting for Islamic supremacist ideology and sharia adherence. Dr. Gorka points out that the San Bernardino attack used  classic jihadi tradecraft. They also touched on the need Mosque surveillance and looking at the background of Imams.

***

And Dr. Gorka was on Fox and Friends this morning.

Terror Expert: Don’t Expect Calif. Attack to Be the Last on US Soil (foxnewsinsider.com)

Counterterrorism expert Dr. Sebastian Gorka said we should not expect the San Bernardino terror attack to be the last by jihadis on American soil.

He said that in the last 20 months, the U.S. has killed or arrested 82 ISIS suspects, and that a significant portion of them planned on staying in the country to kill Americans.

“They have decided the best way to serve the new caliph, the new emperor, would be to kill Americans here. We published that report before San Bernardino, with one conclusion: If you just look at the facts, a Paris-type attack is not a question of if, it is a question of when.

“Do not expect this to be the last attack in America by jihadis.”

Gorka also weighed in on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to ban the entry of Muslims into the U.S. “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Gorka said that the plan is bad for national security, because U.S. intelligence depends heavily on the Muslim community and allies in the region, and “this is going to make them just close down.”

He also said there’s logistically no good way to vet people on the basis of religion.

“Are we going to test them on Bible verses? How many Americans are going to pass a Christian test?” Watch the interview below.

Trump’s Muslim Immigration Ban Should Touch Off a Badly Needed Discussion

falls church mosqueNational Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy — December 8, 2015:

Donald Trump’s rhetorical excesses aside, he has a way of pushing us into important debates, particularly on immigration. He has done it again with his bracing proposal to force “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

I have no idea what Mr. Trump knows about either immigration law or Islam. But it should be obvious to any objective person that Muslim immigration to the West is a vexing challenge.

Some Muslims come to the United States to practice their religion peacefully, and assimilate into the Western tradition of tolerance of other people’s liberties, including religious liberty — a tradition alien to the theocratic societies in which they grew up. Others come here to champion sharia, Islam’s authoritarian societal framework and legal code, resisting assimilation into our pluralistic society.

Since we want to both honor religious liberty and preserve the Constitution that enshrines and protects it, we have a dilemma.

The assumption that is central to this dilemma — the one that Trump has stumbled on and that Washington refuses to examine — is that Islam is merely a religion. If that’s true, then it is likely that religious liberty will trump constitutional and national-security concerns. How, after all, can a mere religion be a threat to a constitutional system dedicated to religious liberty?

But Islam is no mere religion.

As understood by the mainstream of Muslim-majority countries that are the source of immigration to America and the West, Islam is a comprehensive ideological system that governs all human affairs, from political, economic, and military matters to interpersonal relations and even hygiene. It is beyond dispute that Islam has religious tenets — the oneness of Allah, the belief that Mohammed is the final prophet, the obligation of ritual prayer. Yet these make up only a fraction of what is overwhelmingly a political ideology.

Our constitutional principle of religious liberty is derived from the Western concept that the spiritual realm should be separate from civic and political life. The concept flows from the New Testament injunction to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.

Crucially, the interpretation of Islam that is mainstream in most Muslim-majority countries does not accept a division between mosque and state. In fact, to invoke “mosque” as the equivalent of “church” in referring to a division between spiritual and political life is itself a misleading projection of Western principles onto Islamic society. A mosque is not merely a house of worship. It does not separate politics from religion any more than Islam as a whole does. There is a reason why many of the fiery political protests that turn riotous in the Middle East occur on Fridays — the Muslim Sabbath, on which people pour out of the mosques with ears still burning from the imam’s sermon.

The lack of separation between spiritual and civic life is not the only problem with Islam. Sharia is counter-constitutional in its most basic elements — beginning with the elementary belief that people do not have a right to govern themselves freely. Islam, instead, requires adherence to sharia and rejection of all law that contradicts it. So we start with fundamental incompatibility, before we ever get to other aspects of sharia: its systematic discrimination against non-Muslims and women; its denial of religious liberty, free speech, economic freedom, privacy rights, due process, and protection from cruel and unusual punishments; and its endorsement of violent jihad in furtherance of protecting and expanding the territory it governs.

Let’s bear in mind that permitting immigration is a discretionary national act. There is no right to immigrate to the United States, and the United States has no obligation to accept immigrants from any country, including Muslim-majority countries. We could lawfully cut off all immigration, period, if we wanted to. Plus, it has always been a basic tenet of legal immigration to promote fidelity to the Constitution and assimilation into American society — principles to which classical sharia is antithetical.

So why isn’t that the end of the matter? Why is Trump being vilified? Why isn’t he being hailed for speaking truth and refusing to bow to political correctness?

Because Islam is more complex in practice than in theory.

In our non-Muslim country, there is no point in debating what the “true” Islam says or whether Muslims are at liberty to ignore or reform classical sharia. There may not be a true Islam. Even if there is one, what non-Muslims think or say about it is of little interest to Muslims. Our job, in any event, is to preserve the Constitution and protect our national security regardless of how Islam’s internal debates are ultimately resolved — if they ever are.

With that understanding, it is simply a fact that many Muslims accept our constitutional principles and do not seek to impose sharia on our society. They have varying rationales for taking this position: Some believe sharia mandates that immigrants accept their host country’s laws; some believe sharia’s troublesome elements are confined to the historical time and place where they arose and are no longer applicable; some think sharia can evolve; some simply ignore sharia altogether but deem themselves devout Muslims because they remain Islamic spiritually and — within the strictures of American law — culturally.

For those Muslims, Islam is, in effect, merely a religion, and as such it deserves our Constitution’s protections.

For other Muslims, however, Islam is a political program with a religious veneer. It does not merit the liberty protections our law accords to religion. It undermines our Constitution and threatens our security. Its anti-assimilationist dictates create a breeding ground for violent jihad.

If we continue mindlessly treating Islam as if it were merely a religion, if we continue ignoring the salient differences between constitutional and sharia principles — thoughtlessly assuming these antithetical systems are compatible — we will never have a sensible immigration policy.

I have no idea what, if anything, Donald Trump knows about sharia. I do know that it’s a system we must account for if we are going to succeed in welcoming pro-Western Muslims who will be a boon to our society while excluding Islamic supremacists who want to destroy it.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

An Islam of Their Very Own

image-see-no-evil-triangleNational Review, by Andrew McCarthy, Dec. 4, 2015:

The day after the San Bernardino jihadist attack that left fourteen dead and even more wounded, my old boss, Rudy Giuliani, came out and said what most sane people are thinking. After hours of pained, halting, incoherent babbling by public officials from President Obama on down about whether the mass-killing by two heavily armed, obviously well-trained Muslims constituted a terrorist attack, Rudy exploded:

You can come to one clear conclusion with the information they have right now. This is an act of terror. The question was motivation. . . . The question here is not, is it an act of terror. We’re beyond that. When you got two assault weapons, two handguns, you’re in body armor, you got a home that’s booby-trapped. You’ve [ACM: meaning “they’ve”] been practicing to do this. . . . If you can’t come to a conclusion at this point that this was an act of terror, you should find something else to do for a living besides law enforcement. I mean, you’re a moron.

Hard to argue with that.

But look, if you actually speak with the police and federal agents conducting the investigation into the attack, you figure out pretty quickly that they are not morons. They are actually very good at what they do. So why is it that, upon seeing two-plus-two, they can’t call it four when Islam is involved?

I’ve been trying to explain this for many years, beginning in Willful Blindness, a memoir about prosecuting terrorists in the Clinton era, and in a stack of columns here at National Review, including one from a few years back that described how our government, under administrations of both parties and the bipartisan Beltway ruling class, has constructed “an Islam of their very own.”

Rudy is right that what they’ve done is moronic, but there is a logic to it. It goes like this.

The government denies that terrorism is caused by Islamic doctrine. This is a triumph of willful blindness and political correctness best illustrated by former British home secretary Jacqui Smith, who might as well have been speaking for our government when she branded terrorism as “anti-Islamic activity.” That is: the savagery is not merely unrelated to Islam but becomes, by dint of its being violence, contrary to Islam. This must be so because the British government, like our government, insists Islam is a “religion of peace.”

Now, this is absurd, of course. There are various ways of interpreting Islam, and millions of Muslims manage to “contextualize” Islamic scripture’s numerous commands to conduct holy war, reasoning that these divine injunctions applied only to their historical time and place and are no longer relevant. Yet, even if you buy this line of thinking, that does not make Islam a peaceful belief system. Verses like “Fight those who believe not in Allah,” and “fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war,” are not peaceful injunctions, no matter how one “contextualizes” them.

More to the point, the stubborn reality is: There will always be a large percentage of Muslims who believe these scriptures (and the many others like them) mean exactly what they say.

Our government is in denial of this. Unwilling to deal with Islam as it is, the government must make up an Islam of its very own. Regardless of the abundance of evidence to the contrary, the government holds that Islam is a religion of peace, case closed. (Such a laughable case has to be closed because it cannot withstand even slight examination).

Therefore, to the government, terrorism committed by people who happen to be Muslim is not in any way a reflection of any legitimate interpretation of Islam — even if Islamic supremacist ideology, which endorses jihadist violence, is so mainstream that tens of millions of Muslims adhere to it. Remember, here in America as in Western Europe, the violence is deemed anti-Islamic. That is what has been dictated to our law-enforcement agents by their superiors. If those were your instructions, you’d be babbling like a moron, too.

So, what are the policy implications of the government’s constructing its own fantasy Islam, the one and only principle of which is pacifism? Here are a few of the worst.

It means that Islamic doctrine can never be cited as the cause of terrorism. This leads, for example, to the preposterous government handwringingover “radicalization”: You are apparently supposed to believe young people, all of whom just happen to be Muslim, spontaneously become violent radicals — as if there were no doctrine or body of thought that was inducing the radicalization. You are only to say they have been “radicalized” — never mention by what.

Fantasy Islam also leads inexorably to the irrational decree that terrorist organizations like ISIS and al Qaeda are not Islamic. You are to conclude that they are either wanton killers or that they have “hijacked” and “perverted” Islam into something that it is not — something that cannot be dignified with the name “Islam” because Islam, after all, is a religion of peace.

The most ludicrous fallout of this line of thinking is the one Rudy rightly labels moronic: The apparent inability of government officials to call a mass-murder attack by Muslims a terrorist attack. But again, if you follow the government’s official party line, you understand the reluctance of these officials: The only terrorists the government acknowledges as terrorists are formally designated terrorist groups — ISIS, al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah. As we’ve seen, the government has pronounced these groups to be anti-Islamic.

Thus, if the police come upon a mass-murder attack that is clearly instigated by Islamic doctrine, they are not permitted to conclude that it is terrorism because they’ve been directed to maintain that Islam is against terrorism. Consequently, the agents believe they cannot call terrorism terrorism unless and until they uncover evidence proving that the Muslim mass-murderers have some tie to a designated “non-Islamic” terrorist group, such as ISIS or al-Qaeda.

It is rare for such evidence to be uncovered early in an investigation. And the fact of the matter is, such evidence will often never be uncovered because it doesn’t exist. It will frequently turn out that the Muslims who’ve committed the atrocity have been “radicalized” by Islamic doctrine, straightforwardly interpreted as Islamic supremacism by their fellow Islamists at the local mosque and Islamic center. They don’t need mediation, help, or instruction from ISIS or al Qaeda. They already share the same ideology as these groups, the goal of imposing Allah’s law (sharia). All they really need in order to execute terrorist attacks is paramilitary training. That is readily available in many Muslim communities; you don’t need to go to an al-Qaeda or ISIS training camp to get it.

Notice that there is a treacherous flipside to our government’s insistence on making up its own content-free, obsessively peaceful Islam. Not only can terrorism never be associated with it. Anyone who is publicly associated with Islam by the government must be deemed peaceful. This is how we fall into the trap of allowing the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamic supremacist organization, to infiltrate the policy-making organs of counterterrorism.

The government, particularly under the control of President Obama, acknowledges the Brotherhood as an Islamic organization — notwithstanding the ham-handed attempt by the intelligence community a few years back to rebrand the Brotherhood as “largely secular.” Under the government’s imaginary Islam, acknowledging a group as Islamic perforce gives them a clean bill of health: They are deemed “peaceful,” “moderate,” and steadfastly opposed to terrorism.

And never you mind that Hamas is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, that the Brotherhood has a long history of terrorist violence, and that major Brotherhood figures have gone on to play leading roles in terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda. The beautiful thing about making up an Islam of their very own is that government officials never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

And that’s why they won’t say the terrorist attack in San Bernardino is the terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

***

The Controversy over Syrian Refugees Misses the Question We Should Be Asking

Syrian refugees cross to HungaryNational Review by Andrew McCarthy, Nov. 28, 2015:

The jihad waged by radical Islam rips at France from within. The two mass-murder attacks this year that finally induced President Francois Hollande to concede a state of war are only what we see.

Unbound by any First Amendment, the French government exerts pressure on the media to suppress bad news. We do not hear much about the steady thrum of insurrection in the banlieues: the thousands of torched automobiles, the violence against police and other agents of the state, the pressure in Islamic enclaves to ignore the sovereignty of the Republic and conform to the rule of sharia.

What happens in France happens in Belgium. It happens in Sweden where much of Malmo, the third largest city, is controlled by Muslim immigrant gangs — emergency medical personnel attacked routinely enough that they will not respond to calls without police protection, and the police in turn unwilling to enter without back-up. Not long ago in Britain, a soldier was killed and nearly beheaded in broad daylight by jihadistsknown to the intelligence services; dozens of sharia courts now operate throughout the country, even as Muslim activists demand more accommodations. And it was in Germany, which green-lighted Europe’s ongoing influx of Muslim migrants, that Turkey’s Islamist strongmanRecep Tayyip Erdogan proclaimed that pressuring Muslims to assimilate in their new Western countries is “a crime against humanity.”

RELATED: Obama’s Moral Hypocrisy on the Syrian-Refugee Question Is Astounding

So how many of us look across the ocean at Europe and say, “Yeah, let’s bring some of that here”?

None of us with any sense. Alas, “bring it here” is the order of the day in Washington, under the control of leftists bent on fundamentally transforming America (Muslims in America overwhelmingly support Democrats) and the progressive-lite GOP, which fears the “Islamophobia”smear nearly as much as the “racist” smear.

This, no doubt, is why what is described as the “controversy over Syrian refugees” is among the most deceitful public debates in recent memory — which, by Washington standards, is saying something.

RELATED: There Are Serious, Unbigoted Reasons to Be War of a Flood of Syrian Refugees

Under a Carter administration scheme, the Refugee Admissions Program, the United States has admitted hundreds of thousands of aliens since 1980 — and, as the Center for Immigration Studies explains, asylum petitions have surged since the mid-Nineties. If there is a refugee “crisis,” it most certainly is no fault of ours: For example, the U.S. took in two-thirds of the world’s refugees resettled in 2014, with Canada a distant second, admitting about 10 percent.

Those figures come from an invaluable briefing by Refugee Resettlement Watch, which illustrates that the Syrian component is but a fraction of what we must consider. Tens of thousands of what are called “refugees” have come to our shores from Muslim-majority countries. From Iraq alone, the number is 120,000 since 2007, notwithstanding the thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of American taxpayer dollars sacrificed to make Iraq livable.

Many of the refugees are steered to our country by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Naturally, the UNHRC has a history of bashing Israel on behalf of Palestinian Islamists — indeed, it works closely with the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, one of Hamas’s most notorious sympathizers. The UNHRC works in tandem with the State Department, which resettles the refugees throughout the U.S. with the assistance of lavishly compensated contractors (e.g., the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, other Christian and Jewish outfits, and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants) — often absent any meaningful consultation with the states in which Washington plants these assimilation-resistant imports.

Responsibility for vetting the immigrants rests with the Department of Homeland Security. As the ongoing controversy has illustrated, however, a background check is only as good as the available information about a person’s background. In refugee pipelines like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Sudan, such information is virtually nonexistent. (But don’t worry, we can rest assured that the UNHRC is doing a fine job.)

RELATED: Media Coverage of Europe’s Migrant Crisis Ignores the Long-Term Problems it Poses

Let’s assume for fantasy’s sake, though, that the vetting is perfect — that we have comprehensive, accurate information on each refugee’s life up to the moment of admission. We would still have a calamity.

There are two reasons for this, and they are easily grasped by the mass of Americans outside the Beltway.

First, vetting only works if you vet for the right thing. Washington, in its delusional Islamophilia, vets only for ties to terrorism, which it defines as “violent extremism” in purblind denial of modern terrorism’s Islamist ideological moorings. As the deteriorating situation in Europe manifests, our actual challenge is Islamic supremacism, of which jihadist terrorism is only a subset.

For nearly a quarter-century, our bipartisan governing class has labored mightily to suppress public discussion of the undeniable nexus between Islamic doctrine and terrorism. Consequently, many Americans are still in the dark about sharia, classical Islam’s societal framework and legal code. We should long ago have recognized sharia as the bright line that separates authentic Muslim moderates, hungry for the West’s culture of reason and individual liberty, from Islamic supremacists, resistant to Western assimilation and insistent on incremental accommodation of Muslim law and mores.

RELATED: Why Does the Left Continue to Insist that Islamic Terrorism Has Nothing to Do with Islam?

The promotion of constitutional principles and civic education has always been foundational to the American immigration and naturalization process. We fatally undermine this process by narrowly vetting for terrorism rather than sharia adherence.

Yes, I can already hear the slander: “You are betraying our commitment to religious liberty.” Please. Even if there were anything colorable to this claim, we are talking about inquiring into the beliefs of aliens who want to enter our country, not citizens entitled to constitutional protections.

But the claim is not colorable in any event — it just underscores how willful blindness to our enemies’ ideology has compromised our security. Only a small fraction of Islamic supremacism involves tenets that, in the West, should be regarded as inviolable religious conviction (e.g., the oneness of Allah, the belief that Mohammed is the final prophet, the obligation to pray five times daily). No one in America has any interest in interfering with that. For Muslims adherent to classical sharia, however, the rest of their belief system has nothing to do with religion (except as a veneer). It instead involves the organization of the state, comprehensive regulation of economic and social life, rules of military engagement, and imposition of a draconian criminal code.

RELATED: The Trouble with the ‘Nation of Immigrants’ Argument

Unlike the Judeo-Christian principles that informed America’s founding, classical sharia does not abide a separation of spiritual from civic and political life. Therefore, to rationalize on religious-liberty grounds our conscious avoidance of Islamist ideology is to miss its thoroughgoing anti-constitutionalism.

Sharia rejects the touchstone of American democracy: the belief that the people have a right to govern themselves and chart their own destiny. In sharia governance, the people are subjects not citizens, and they are powerless to question, much less to change, Allah’s law. Sharia systematically discriminates against women and non-Muslims. It is brutal in its treatment of apostates and homosexuals. It denies freedom of conscience, free expression, property rights, economic liberty, and due process of law. It licenses wars of aggression against infidels for the purpose of establishing sharia as the law of the land.

Sharia is also heavily favored by Muslims in majority-Muslim countries. Polling consistently tells us that upwards of two-thirds of Muslims in the countries from which we are accepting refugees believe sharia should be the governing system.

RELATED: The Left’s Dishonest Biblical Argument for Taking in Syrian Refugees

Thus, since we are vetting for terrorism rather than sharia-adherence, and since we know a significant number of Muslims are sharia-adherent, we are missing the certainty that we are importing an ever-larger population hostile to our society and our Constitution — a population that has been encouraged by influential Islamist scholars and leaders to form Muslim enclaves throughout the West.

This leads seamlessly to the second reason why the influx of refugees is calamitous. Not only are we vetting for the wrong thing, we are ignoring the dynamics of jihadism. The question is not whether we are admitting Muslims who currently have ties to terrorist organizations; it is whether we are admitting Muslims who are apt to become violent jihadists after they settle here.

RELATED: ‘Je Suis … qui?’: A Report from the Banlieues

The jihadism that most threatens Europe now, and that has been a growing problem in the United States for years, is the fifth-column variety. This is often referred to as “homegrown terrorism,” but that is a misnomer. The ideology that ignites terrorism within our borders is not native: It is imported. Furthermore, it is ubiquitously available thanks to modern communications technology

In assessing the dynamic in which ideological inspiration evolves into actual jihadist attacks, we find two necessary ingredients: (1) a mind that is hospitable to jihadism because it is already steeped in Islamic supremacism, and (2) a sharia-enclave environment that endorses jihadism and relentlessly portrays the West as corrupt and hostile.

Our current refugee policies promote both factors.

RELATED: France’s No-Go Zones: Assimilation Resistant Muslims Are the Real Refugee Problem

One last point worth considering: Washington’s debate over refugee policy assumes an unmet American obligation to the world. It is as if we were not already doing and sacrificing far more than every other country combined. It is as if there were not dozens of Islamic countries, far closer than the United States to refugee hot-spots, to which it would be sensible to steer Muslim migrants.

Yet, there is nothing obligatory about any immigration policy, including asylum. There is no global right to come here. American immigration policy is supposed to serve the national interests of the United States. Right now, American immigration policy is serving the interests of immigrants at the expense of American national security and the financial security of distressed American workers.

Our nation is nearing $20 trillion in debt, still fighting in the Middle East, and facing the certain prospect of combat surges to quell the rising threat of jihadism. So why is Congress, under the firm control of Republicans, paying for immigration policies that exacerbate our peril?

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

***

Obama and the ISIS ‘Recruitment Tool’ Canard

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Pool/Sipa USA)

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Pool/Sipa USA)

PJ MEDIA, BY ANDREW C. MCCARTHY NOVEMBER 20, 2015:

I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIS than … Barack Obama.

This puts me at odds with Barack Obama, as is often the case. It is worth explaining my reasoning, though, since – as our bloviator-in-chief is fond of saying – this is a teachable moment.

The president of the United States, shamefully but characteristically, took the opportunity of being on foreign soil – in the Philippines with its large Muslim population – to smear his fellow countrymen over their effort to protect American national security. The Republican initiative, led by Senator Ted Cruz, would thwart Obama’s scheme to import thousands of refugees and prioritize the asylum claims of Christians. In response to this “rhetoric,” Obama seethed, “I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL.”

The president elaborated that “when you start seeing individuals in position of responsibility suggesting Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land, that feeds the ISIL narrative.”

So tough here to untangle the ignorance from the demagoguery. For starters, asylum does not involve placing comparative values on the lives of different categories of people. And no one would be more offended than Christians at the notion that Christian lives should be valued more highly than those of other human beings. (By contrast, the conceit that Muslim lives – especially the lives of male Muslims – are more worthy than others is a leitmotif of Islamic scripture that is reflected throughout sharia law.)

Asylum, instead, is a remedy for persecution that is controlled by federal law. Obama lashed out at Republicans for promoting a “religious test,” which he claimed was “offensive and contrary to American values.” Yet, because asylum addresses persecution, governing law has always incorporated a religious test. Again, that is not because the lives of one religion’s believers are innately better than others; it is because when religious persecution is occurring, the targeted religion’s believers are inevitably more vulnerable to murder, rape, torture, and other atrocities than co-religionists of the persecutors.

Consequently, longstanding congressional statutes (a) call on aliens claiming to be refugees to prove “a well-founded fear of persecution on account of … religion,” among other things; and (b) require refugees seeking asylum to “establish that … religion [among other things] was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant.”

Despite his diatribe, I’m going to go out on a limb and conclude that this is not news to Obama, a Harvard-trained lawyer who, for seven years, has been president and thus responsible for executing the asylum laws. He is also well aware, though, that the Muslim audience to which he was appealing, in the Philippines and in the broader ummah, does not have a clue about the vagaries of American immigration statutes.

Obama knows, moreover, that because sharia tells Muslims their lives are more valuable than those of non-Muslims, nothing is more apt to rile them up than an accusation that nativist Americans are portraying them as second-rate. And Obama knows that when Muslims get riled up, Western politicians curl up in a “religion of peace” ball and meekly back down. The president may not keep the U.S. Code on his shelves, but his bag of community-organizer tricks is ever at the ready.

One trick that never gets old is the claim that this or that American policy is a primo “recruitment tool” for jihadists.

Of course, the patent cause of violent jihadism is Islamic supremacist ideology. Washington politicians will not concede this fact because that ideology is unmistakably based on a literal construction of Islamic scripture – the Koran, the hadith, and sacralized biographies of the prophet Muhammad.

As it happens, there are ways of construing Islamic scripture that are not as literal. These constructions inform the view of millions of Muslims that violent jihad and systematic discrimination are not ordained in the modern world. These competing constructions, however, do not change the stubborn reality that Islamic supremacism – what we presume to call “radical” Islam – is a mainstream interpretation of Islam followed by tens of millions of Muslims, among them renowned sharia scholars, violent jihadists, and wily Islamists.

Though neither Republican transnational-progressives nor the hard Left will admit this palpable truth, the rationales of the two camps are significantly different.

The Republican moderates are well-meaning but foolish. Lacking confidence or competence to explain the different interpretations of Islam, they fear that if they concede the nexus between Islamic doctrine and jihadism, they will be perceived as “at war with Islam.” So they relentlessly pretend that the “true” Islam is irenic: a noble quest for justice and tolerance. Because these Republicans are more politically progressive than conservative, they delude themselves into believing their soaring words will someday alter reality: If they say “religion of peace” and “moderate” enough times, Islam will actually become a moderate religion of peace, its sharia seamlessly compatible with our Constitution and Western principles – regardless of what Islamic doctrine actually says.

The Left, to the contrary, is neither well-meaning nor foolish. It will not admit the nexus between Islamic scripture and jihadist terror for two shrewd reasons.

The first is that the alliance with Islamists is useful to the Left. I explained in The Grand Jihad why Islamists and Leftists align, despite their differences on important matters like the rights of women, homosexuals, and the unborn. Both are anti-capitalist, authoritarian central-planners, hostile to individual liberty. They become fast friends whenever they have a common enemy – e.g., the Egyptian monarchy, the shah of Iran, or the Western culture of freedom and reason. If the common enemy is overcome, Islamists and Leftists turn on each other with a vengeance because their utopias cannot coexist. But as long as the common enemy exists, they work well together – just as internecine rivalries between Islamist camps (e.g., Iran and al Qaeda) are set aside in order to present a united front against the West and Israel.

What is the second rationale for the Left’s insistence on bleaching away jihadism’s roots in Islamic doctrine? That brings us back to Obama’s claim that the conservative case against admitting thousands of Syrian refugees is a “recruitment tool” for ISIS.

Obviously, jihad does not erupt out of thin air. The American public, which remains widely uninformed about Islam, realizes something must cause the violence, and that the violence will continue unless that something is overcome. For Leftists, this presents a golden opportunity: They understand that our deeply ingrained tradition of religious liberty – a tradition the Left generally abhors – makes the public resistant to the notion that a religion can cause violence, and thus receptive to the assurance that Islam does not.

So if Islam, in the Left’s telling, has nothing to do with the savagery jihadists commit, what is the cause? Obama and his cohort fill in this blank with … the principles and policies they oppose: robust national defense, American leadership in the world, free speech, sovereignty, economic liberty, income inequality, Christianity, Israel’s character as a Jewish state, Guantanamo Bay, military commissions, … even climate change.

Yes, this is preposterous if you’ve familiarized yourself with Islamic supremacism and classical sharia. But, alas, much of America has not despite a generation of jihad from Tehran to Manhattan to Paris. What a powerful rhetorical weapon it is for the Left to claim that what it opposes is not just wrong but the cause of mass-murder attacks.

In the real world, however, it is the sharia supremacist interpretation of Islam that causes jihadist terror. With that as the foundation, jihadist recruitment has little or nothing to do with the pretexts conveniently conjured by the Left. To the contrary, recruitment is driven by one thing:the perception that jihadists will win. As Osama bin Laden recognized, people are drawn to the strong horse and shun the weak horse.

That is why I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIS than … Barack Obama.

Also see:

U.S. Pays $400M for U.N. Agency Calling for Attacks on Israeli Jews

one-state-solution-palestinian-violenceNational Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, October 17, 2015

John Kerry’s Letter to Congress Is a ‘Guilty’ Plea to the Charge That Iran Deal Materially Supports Terrorism

john-kerry-just-gave-russia-a-final-warningPJ Media, by Andrew McCarthy, Sep. 9, 2015:

How could any member of Congress in good conscience support a deal that so blatantly empowers a brazen enemy of the United States — a regime that has killed thousands of Americans, a regime that daily continues to call for death to America and the annihilation of Israel — to the degree that even the Obama administration openly concedes that the deal materially supports terrorism?

No sooner did Obama lock up the Democratic support he needed in the Senate to ensure his deal cannot be defeated under the farcical Corker review process than did his Iran point-man, Secretary of State John Kerry, send a letter to members of Congress promising that more military aid would be given to Iran’s enemies, Israel and the Sunni Gulf states. Let’s put aside the absurdity of vowing, as Kerry does in the letter, that Obama’s deal will promote regional peace while simultaneously acknowledging that Iran’s enemies will need “increase[d] security assistance.” If the Obama administration were charged with committing material support to terrorism, a serious felony violation of federal law, Kerry’s letter would suffice as a “Guilty” plea.

The criminal statute that prohibits “providing material support to terrorists” (section 2339A of the federal penal code, Title 18) provides a jail sentence of up to 15 years — or up to life imprisonment if death results from the offense — for anyone who:

… provides material support or resources … knowing … that they are to be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, [an act of terrorism] … or in preparation for, or in carrying out, the concealment of an escape from the commission of any such violation, or attempts or conspires to do such an act[.]

The statute provides a sweeping definition of “material support or resources”:

The term “material support or resources” means any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials[.]

With that background, let’s turn to Kerry’s letter to members of Congress. It explicitly admits to:

Iran’s continued support for terrorist and proxy groups throughout the region, its propping up of the Assad regime in Syria, its efforts to undermine the stability of its regional neighbors, and the threat it poses to Israel.

Note that the State Department expressly designates both Iran and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism.

But this admitted “support for terrorist and proxy groups” is going to stop now thanks to Obama’s deal, right? Wrong. Kerry flatly confesses (my emphasis):

We have no illusion that this behavior will change following implementation of the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action– i.e., Obama’s Iran deal.]

Obama’s Iran deal will provide Iran with over $100 billion, and opens the door to its acquisition of sophisticated weaponry (wholly apart from Iran’s nuclear development activities).

It is, in short, the most astronomical provision of material support and resources to terrorism — as that term is defined in federal law (see above) — in the history of the world.

Kerry’s letter to Congress goes on to concede that, after implementation of the deal, there will be a continuing need “to deter and combat regional threats, including terrorism and Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region.” Kerry elaborates that there will be continuing concerns about “arms transfers to Iranian backed Hizballah in Lebanon, Houthis in Yemen, and Shia militants in Iraq, as well as transfers involving North Korea.”

So, while the Obama administration ensures that money and materiel pour into Iran, Iran will continue to provide material support to terrorists, terrorist organizations, and terrorist regimes. In light of Kerry’s blatant acknowledgment of this fact, the State Department’s most recent report on Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism, from 2014, is worth quoting at length:

Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its terrorist-related activity in 2014, including support for Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, Lebanese Hizballah, and various groups in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. This year, Iran increased its assistance to Iraqi Shia militias, one of which is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), in response to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) incursion into Iraq, and has continued to support other militia groups in the region. Iran also attempted to smuggle weapons to Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza. While its main effort focused on supporting goals in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, Iran and its proxies also continued subtle efforts at growing influence elsewhere including in Africa, Asia, and, to a lesser extent, Latin America. Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and create instability in the Middle East. The IRGC-QF is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.

Iran views Syria as a crucial causeway in its weapons supply route to Lebanese Hizballah, its primary beneficiary, and as a key pillar in its “resistance” front. In 2014, Iran continued to provide arms, financing, training, and the facilitation of primarily Iraqi Shia and Afghan fighters to support the Asad regime’s brutal crackdown that has resulted in the deaths of at least 191,000 people in Syria, according to August UN estimates.

The IRGC-QF, in concert with Lebanese Hizballah, provided training outside of Iraq as well as advisors inside Iraq for Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device (IED) technology and other advanced weaponry.

Iran has historically provided weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, including Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). These Palestinian terrorist groups have been behind a number of deaths from attacks originating in Gaza and the West Bank.

[I]n a November 25 speech, Supreme Leader Khamenei highlighted Iran’s military support to “Palestinian brothers” in Gaza and called for the West Bank to be similarly armed. In December, Hamas Deputy Leader Moussa Abu Marzouk announced bilateral relations with Iran and Hamas were “back on track.”

In March, Israeli naval forces boarded the Klos C cargo ship in the Red Sea off the coast of Sudan. On board, they found 40 M-302 rockets, 180 mortars, and approximately 400,000 rounds of ammunition hidden within crates of cement labeled “Made in Iran” and believed to be destined to militants in the region.

Since the end of the 2006 Israeli-Hizballah conflict, Iran has also assisted in rearming Lebanese Hizballah, in direct violation of UNSCR 1701. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the IRGC Aerospace Force stated in November that “The IRGC and Hezbollah are a single apparatus jointed together,” and Lebanese Hizballah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem boasted that Iran had provided his organization with missiles that had “pinpoint accuracy” in separate November public remarks. Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Lebanese Hizballah in Lebanon and has trained thousands of its fighters at camps in Iran. These trained fighters have used these skills in direct support of the Asad regime in Syria and, to a lesser extent, in support of operations against ISIL in Iraq. They have also continued to carry out attacks along the Lebanese border with Israel.

Hezbollah and Hamas have long been formally designated foreign terrorist organizations under federal law.

Obviously, there is no disputing the Obama administration’s patent knowledge that much of the material support its deal will provide to the terror-sponsoring regime in Tehran will be funneled to these and other designated foreign terrorist organizations. This means yet another criminal statute prohibiting material support to terrorism is implicated (Section 2339B of the federal penal code).

That law states:

Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

The statute goes on to require proof that an accused person knows:

 … that the organization is a designated terrorist organization[,] … that the organization has engaged or engages in terrorist activity[,] … or that the organization has engaged or engages in terrorism[.]

It is incontestable that President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and their subordinates know all three things about Hezbollah and Hamas, even though the statute requires knowledge of only one of them to establish guilt.

It bears emphasizing that for all their absurd claims about how the president’s Iran deal reins in Iran’s nuclear program, even Obama administration officials feel compelled to admit that Iran will step up its material support to terrorism while it is receiving the windfall from the deal.

That is not just unconscionable; it is criminal.

How can Obama’s Iran deal conceivably be supported by anyone who claims to oppose international terrorism or support Israel?

Also see:

US CONGRESS – RIP UP IRAN DEAL – PASS RESOLUTION!

how-to-kill-obamas-iran-deal-b
Published on Sep 7, 2015 by theunitedwest

Tom Trento presents a straightforward analysis as to why the United States Congress should rip up the Iran deal and instead pass a Resolution rejecting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was negotiated between the Obama Administration and Iran, the number one state sponsor of Islamic terror. The rejection of the JCPOA is based upon the Senator Corker Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, signed by President Obama, which prohibits a vote of disapproval if the complete deal, including any side deals between Iran and any other parties are not handed over to Congress for their proper and professional review. Tom’s analysis is based upon the outstanding and extensive work of former US Prosecutor, Andy McCarthy.  For an excellent summary, see McCarthy’s article – Obama’s Iran Deal Is Still Far from Settled

The following video includes the complete playlist of the 8/30/15 Santa Barbara Stop Iran briefing and rally. Speakers include Amir Fakhravar, Dan Gordon, Clare Lopez and Ryan Mauro.

While Still a Senator, Kerry Communicated Obama’s Capitulation Policy to the Iranian Regime

3634972005

Center for Security Policy, by Andrew McCarthy, Aug. 12, 2015:

In a column on Tuesday and follow-up post on the Corner, I relate that beginning in 2011, President Obama secretly enticed the Iranian regime to the bargaining table by communicating that he was open to abandoning longstanding American opposition to Iran’s claimed “right” to enrich uranium. This news comes to us from a new MEMRI report, which elaborates that Obama relied on then-senator John Kerry to grease the wheels for his entreaty to Iran’s leader.

Why Kerry?

Though he was surely a key Obama ally on Capitol Hill, Kerry was not in the administration. The president already had a compliant secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who was dutifully implementing his appeasement policies. He also had any number of subordinate administration officials capable of passing messages. So why would Obama choose Kerry as his emissary to alert Iran to a dramatic shift in American policy?

Clearly, there are two reasons: Obama needed someone outside the administration, and Kerry’s status and track record made him a natural.

Remember, Obama was running for reelection in 2011–12. Public opposition to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and, therefore, to Iran’s enrichment of uranium was very strong — and, indeed, remains so. Consequently, Obama pretended on the campaign trail that he would vigorously oppose Iran’s uranium-enrichment efforts . . . even as he was covertly signaling to the jihadist regime that he was open to recognizing Iran as a nuclear power.

As my friend Fred Fleitz of the Center for Security Policy has noted, Obama asserted in the lead-up to the 2008 election that “the world must work to stop Iran’s uranium-enrichment program.” So too, in the run-up to the 2012 election, did Obama continue assuring voters that Iran “needs to give up its nuclear program and abide by the U.N. resolutions that have been in place.” Those U.N. resolutions prohibit Iran’s enrichment activities. Thus did the president proclaim, in seeking reelection, that the only deal he would accept would be one in which the Iranians “end their nuclear program. It’s very straightforward.”

With Obama out feigning opposition to Iran’s enrichment activities, it would not do to have a conflicting message communicated to Iran by his own administration. What if Iran, to embarrass Obama, were to go public about an administration entreaty that directly addressed enrichment? It would have been hugely problematic for the president’s campaign. Obama thus needed an alternative: someone outside the administration whom Obama could trust but disavow if anything went wrong; someone the Iranian regime would regard as authoritative.

John Kerry was the perfect choice.

Besides being the Democrats’ 2004 presidential nominee, Kerry was then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a reliable Obama ally on foreign-policy issues. Kerry frequently spoke out on U.S. relations with Iran and would be seen by the regime in Tehran as a credible barometer for reading Obama. It was no secret, moreover, that Kerry had designs on replacing Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state in a second Obama term.

Just as significantly, Kerry’s belief that the United States should capitulate to Iran on the “right to enrichment” was well known to the Iranians.

It has been American policy under administrations of both parties that the right to peaceful nuclear power does not imply a right to enrich uranium.

Some background: As I outlined in my column on Tuesday, the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NNP) holds that every nation has an “inalienable right” to use nuclear power peacefully. Yet the treaty does not confer an explicit right to obtain nuclear power through any particular route, let alone a route like uranium enrichment — a process that can easily be diverted to the weaponization of nuclear power, the thing the NNP treaty is designed to prevent. For this reason, it has been American policy under administrations of both parties that the right to peaceful nuclear power does not imply a right to enrich uranium.

But Kerry was known to scoff at this policy.

Fred Fleitz has usefully directed my attention to an enlightening 2009 Financial Times interview during which Senator Kerry opined that it was “ridiculous” to argue against Iran’s right to enrich uranium. The interview occurred in June, during the first round of the infamous Iranian presidential election that the Khamenei regime eventually stole for Ahmadinejad, igniting a popular revolt that the regime violently put down while Obama looked the other way.

The Financial Times reported:

One of the most senior Democrats in Washington has dismissed a key element in the west’s long standing strategy on Iran’s nuclear programme as “ridiculous.” His comments throw open the debate about how far the US and its partners should go in seeking a compromise with Tehran after on [sic] Friday’s presidential election.

John Kerry, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee and the Democrats’ 2004 presidential nominee, told the Financial Times in an interview that Iran had a right to enrich uranium — a process that can produce both nuclear fuel and weapons grade material. . . .

“The Bush administration [argument of] no enrichment was ridiculous . . . because it seemed so unreasonable to people,” said Mr. Kerry, citing Iran’s rights as a signatory of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. “It was bombastic diplomacy. It wasted energy. It sort of hardened the lines, if you will,” he added. “They have a right to peaceful nuclear power and to enrichment in that purpose.”

And now we learn that two years later, when Obama wanted to assure Khamenei that he would be flexible on Iran’s demands (even as the president was telling Americans the opposite in his reelection campaign), Kerry relayed a letter to the Iranian regime in Tehran. The letter was transmitted through the same intermediary, the government of Oman, that Obama would later use to transmit his message to Iran’s supreme leader. According to a key adviser to the speaker of Iran’s parliament, Kerry’s letter stated that the United States recognized “Iran’s rights regarding the enrichment cycle.” MEMRI says that Kerry’s letter triggered two meetings in Oman between American and Iranian diplomats and, finally, Obama’s letter to Khamenei.

The Obama administration would soon officially agree that Iran has a right to enrich uranium. The capitulation details were formally handled by Kerry once he became Obama’s second secretary of state. Obviously, his audition went well.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Also see:

No Trust, No Verification, No Sanctions: Obama’s Humiliating Capitulation to the Mullahs

john-kerry-iran-deal-gets-worse

National Review, by Andrew McCarthy, Aug. 8, 2015:

The sanctions regime President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry vowed to step up has already collapsed. The mullahs are already scooping up billions in unfrozen assets and new commerce, and they haven’t even gotten the big payday yet.

Obama’s promises of “anytime, anywhere” inspections have melted away as Tehran denies access and the president accepts their comical offer to provide their own nuclear-site samples for examination. Senator John Barasso (R., Wyo.), a medical doctor, drew the apt analogy: It’s like letting a suspect NFL player provide what he says is his own urine sample and then pronouncing him PED-free.#

And now even the Potemkin verification system has become an embarrassing sham, with Iran first refusing to allow physical investigations, then declining perusal of documentation describing past nuclear work, and now rejecting interviews of relevant witnesses.

Recall that administration officials indignantly assured skeptics that there would be no agreement in the absence of Iran’s coming clean on the “past military dimensions” of its nuclear work. As Kerry put it, “They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal; it will be done.”

The reason it had to be done is obvious. According to Obama, his Iran deal is built on verification, not trust — at least when the president is not trusting Ayatollah Khamenei’s phantom anti-nuke fatwa. Plainly, it would be impossible to verify whether Iran was advancing toward the weaponization of nuclear energy — whether it had shortened the “breakout time” the elongation of which, Obama claims, is the principal objective of his deal — unless one knew how far the mullahs had advanced in the first place.

RELATED: The Bipartisan Coalition against Obama’s Iran Deal

But now, in open mockery of an American president they know is so desperate to close this deal he will never call their bluff, the mullahs have told the International Atomic Energy Agency to pound sand — although not sand in Iran, where the IAEA is not permitted to snoop around. Tehran is steadfastly refusing to open its books, and the IAEA sheepishly admits that it cannot answer basic questions about Iran’s programs and progress.

There is no inspection, no disclosure, and no verification. And did I mention no sanctions?

So what does Team Obama do? Do they, as they promised, walk away from an unverifiable and thus utterly indefensible deal that lends aid and comfort to our enemies? Of course not. Now they’re out there telling Americans, “We don’t need this IAEA program to discover whether or not Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapon — they were,” as Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Obamabot, told the Wall Street Journal.

Well good for you, Sherlock; Obama, Kerry, and Hillary Clinton may still be hanging on that fatwa, but you hit the bull’s-eye.

Here’s the thing, though, Senator Murphy: Yes, all of us know the Iranians, as you cheerily put it, “were” pursuing a nuclear weapon — especially all of us who oppose Obama’s Iran deal and who recognize that the jihadist regime has waged war against us since 1979, killing thousands of Americans. But you “let’s make a deal” guys told us your objective was to uncover how far along they “were” and to roll back their progress. (Actually, you used to tell us your objective was to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons, period — as in “if you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan, period.”)

RELATED: Who Is the One Actually Making Common Cause with Iran’s Hard-Liners, Mr. President?

If you don’t have a baseline from which to begin verification, you can’t verify the time of day, much less the progress of nuclear research, development, procurement, and experimentation. Iran is saying we don’t get the baseline without which the Obama administration guaranteed there would be no agreement.

So in the grand deal our president describes as subjecting the mullahs to historically rigorous inspection, disclosure, and verification requirements, there is no inspection, no disclosure, and no verification.

And did I mention no sanctions?

On July 29, Kerry assured lawmakers that Iranian Quds Force commander “Qassem Soleimani will never be relieved of any sanctions.” Soleimani orchestrates the regime’s terrorist operations and, according to the Pentagon, is responsible for killing at least 500 American soldiers in Iraq.

Yet, only five days before Kerry gave that testimony, Soleimani traveled to Russia for meetings with Putin’s government — notwithstanding the vaunted sanctions that, Kerry would have us believe, confine him to Iran.

RELATED: Appeasing Iran Ignores the Lessons of History

Russia, of course, is a member of the U.N. Security Council, from which Obama sought and obtained endorsement of his Iran deal before seeking congressional review. Not only has Russia rendered the current sanctions a joke; it has made Obama’s implausible promise of future “snapback” sanctions against Iran even more laughable. Russia, by the way, has also agreed to build yet another nuclear reactor for the mullahs in Busheir — which Obama’s deal obligates the United States to protect against sabotage. And Putin has also just agreed to supply the terrorist regime in Tehran with $800 million worth of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles that can be used against the U.S. Air Force and have enough range to strike planes in northern Israel.

What a deal, Mr. President!

We really don’t know quite what a deal it is because key provisions remain secret.

Actually, we really don’t know quite what a deal it is because key provisions remain secret. After its bold verification promises, the Obama administration was too embarrassed to reveal exactly how pathetic the agreement’s inspections provisions are. So, as I outlined in a recent column, Obama and Kerry tucked them into a secret side deal between Iran and the IAEA. It then twaddled that the details — i.e., the heart of the deal from the American perspective — are, conveniently, between Iran and the IAEA. None of our business, you see.

This message was reiterated on Capitol Hill this week by the IAEA. Understand: The IAEA could not function (to the limited extend it does function) without the United States Congress’s underwriting of 25 percent of its budget — the American taxpayer contribution dwarfs that of every other country, including Iran’s, which is tiny. Yet, the IAEA chief told lawmakers that he could not reveal the agreement between his agency and Tehran because that is “confidential” information, disclosure of which would compromise the IAEA’s “independence.” The only things the IAEA would confirm are that (a) there are verification provisions and (b) Iran is not cooperating with them.

Feel better?

Well, to further improve your mood, let’s talk the Corker bill. Remember, that’s the legislation by which the GOP-controlled Congress reversed the constitutional presumption against international agreements and virtually assured that Obama’s Iran deal — no matter how appalling it may be, no matter how much aid and comfort if provides to the enemy — will become law.

Why on earth would Beltway Republicans agree to anything so catastrophic for the national security that the Constitution’s Treaty Clause is designed to protect? Because, they proclaimed, by making this devil’s bargain, they would ensure that Congress and the American people got full disclosure of the Iran deal that Obama would otherwise shroud in secrecy.

But as I asked at the time, what possessed them to think Obama would not shroud the agreement in secrecy just because there would now be a law forbidding that?

Supporters are telling themselves that the Corker bill’s benefits [include that] the president will have to produce the agreement. . . . But this is a mirage. . . . The president is notoriously lawless, and thus Republicans can have no confidence that the agreement he produces to Congress will, in fact, be the final deal he signs off on with Iran and, significantly, submits to the U.N. Security Council for an endorsing resolution.

And so it has come to pass: Republicans forfeited their constitutional power for an unenforceable promise of transparency from an infamously duplicitous backroom dealer. Now they have no power and no idea what they’ve enabled.

The president had it backwards Wednesday when, in his repulsively demagogic speech on the Iran deal, he said that Republicans are aligned with the Iranian “hardliners chanting ‘Death to America.’” It is Obama who is aiding and abetting the hardliners. Republicans have merely aided and abetted Obama.

Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Also see:

While the Administration and media tries to portray this latest episode as evidence of hard liners in Iran trying to upend the JCPOA, we are not buying any of these explanations.  It illustrates how incompetent the Administration has been in conducting its diplomatic initiatives with two geo-political autocrats, Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei and Russia’s President Putin.  The import of the Russian commitment to deliver the S300 air defense system is not lost on Israeli PM Netanyahu and Sunni US allies in the Middle East as it calls into question the credibility of any conventional military option for dealing with Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  This episode should be another clear  demonstration  to wavering Democrat  US Senators and Representatives that Iran will cheat on its agreements under the JCPOA to further its ambitions become a nuclear threshold and state supporter of  global terrorism.  The Iran nuclear pact announced in Vienna on July 14th was virtually shredded ten days later on July 24th with Gen. Soleimani’s arrival in Moscow. His visit to finalize arrangements for Russian weapons deliveries was in defiance of not only his travel bans but also UNSC Resolution 1929 banning purchase of conventional weapons and missile technology five years ahead of its sunset under the Iran nuclear pact.