By Faith J. H. McDonnell:
It is not often one hears a member of the U.S. House of Representatives refer to the building of a global Caliphate in the Middle East — something which both Christians and non-Islamist Muslims in that part of the world take very seriously. The idea of a coming global Caliphate is hardly even on the radar for most members of Congress. But in his House floor speech broadcast on C-SPAN last Friday, July 19, 2013, U.S. Representative Louis Gohmert (TX-01) did just that.
Speaking for almost an hour, Gohmert warned that we were witnessing “the rise of a new Ottoman Empire in the Middle East, which, unfortunately, the Obama Administration has helped jumpstart.” He also declared that the rising of the people of Egypt against a radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood government has caused the “grand scheme of building a great Caliphate” to run into a “huge problem.” The Texas Republican called for the United States government to once again be seen as supporting and defending those seeking true freedom and democracy.
Congressman Gohmert contrasted the so-called Arab Spring with the current “major, incredible, earthshaking revolution going on in Egypt.” He assessed frankly the Obama Administration’s promotion of the Arab “Spring” and contrasted this with how the United States government and most of the mainstream media now appear to be at odds with those resisting the domination of radical Islam. In addition, Gohmert, who is Vice Chair of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, connected the dots between the Obama Administration’s foreign policy, United States national security, and the increasing persecution of Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities in Islam-dominated parts of the world.
According to foreign policy and terrorism expert Dr. Walid Phares, one House observer called Gohmert’s speech “the most powerful speech in the defense of reformers, democracy seekers, seculars, Christian Copts, and Muslim moderates in Egypt in the history of the US Congress, to date.” But the congressman’s speech was even more than that. It was a defense of reformers in Egypt and beyond, and it was an education in foreign policy for those who have ears to hear.
Speaking of Libya, Gohmert said that it seemed clear that Ghadafi had stopped supporting terrorism after the U.S. took out Saddam Hussein in 2003. Libya, Algeria, and Mali were actually focused on combating Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) terrorism in the Sahel region. Gohmert recollected how they were told that the U.S. has “no national security interest in Libya” by then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, but that President Obama decided, with the support of 57 Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states, as well as NATO states that get oil from Libya, to use U.S. assets to take out Ghadafi.
“Consistency is very important in foreign policy, and yet we don’t seem to be very consistent in using our military powers to oust Ghadafi after he had had a ‘conversion experience’ and was doing what he could to help us fight terrorism,” said Gohmert. This was especially troubling after there was intelligence that Al Qaeda was backing rebels. “We knew that there were radical Islamists trying to drive Ghadafi out,” Gohmert continued, “and this administration did not pause long enough to get an answer to the question: ‘If we drive Ghadafi out, would we be more safe in America or less safe?’” Benghazi appears to have answered that question.
Gohmert warned of similar inconsistency in actions being contemplated in Syria. The congressman revealed that “it looked like initially these were not al Qaeda backed rebels in Syria, and if we had acted quickly enough, and had someone who did not vote ‘present,’ we could have helped rebels who were not al Qaeda rebels.” But the situation has degenerated, Gohmert lamented. “You have a tyrant leader on one hand, and you have radical Islamists – most of whom would like to destroy the United States as well – challenging him,” he declared. “Where in the world is the interest in spilling American blood or treasure in getting into Syria?” he demanded.
Returning to Egypt, Gohmert described President Morsi’s overreaches of power, the brutality towards the Copts and other Christians, and the drafting of an Islamic constitution in November 2012 that was boycotted by the Christians and liberal secularists alike. These led to the pro-democracy and freedom groupTamarud’s petition for Morsi to step down and for new elections to be held. Ensuring that Egyptian revolution statistics will be enshrined in the congressional record, Gohmert told how that petition garnered over 22 million signatures and noted the 33 million protesters at one demonstration. He exclaimed, “There has never been a demonstration of as many as 20 million people! But the people of Egypt rose up. They recognized that radical Islamists in charge of their country were not a good thing, even if the leaders of our country in the Executive Branch could not see the obvious.”
Gohmert also described the Egyptian people’s anger that their revolution was being described as a “military coup” and that “they were furious at how CNN seemed to take the side of the Muslim Brotherhood over and over.” Gohmert wanted the American people to know what really is happening in Egypt and its significance and so returned to the looming danger of a global Caliphate and how the “major, incredible, earthshaking revolution,” of moderate Muslims, Coptic Christians, and liberal secularists who oppose radical Islam “rose up in greater numbers than has ever arisen anywhere in the world in the whole history of mankind.” And in contrast to anything that U.S. foreign policy was doing, because of “these incredible, freedom-desiring Egyptians,” said Gohmert, “this grand scheme of building a great Caliphate, a new Ottoman Empire, ran into a huge problem.” The American people need to recognize, and be encouraged, not by the Arab winter that was originally called an Arab “Spring,” but by “the true Spring that is now happening in Egypt as moderate Muslims and Coptic Christians and caring secularists have arisen together and said ‘No!’ to radical Islam,” he said.
Gohmert displayed photographs showing the millions and millions of people who demonstrated for freedom. There were also examples of posters denouncing Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood, radical Islam, and, thanks to U.S. foreign policy, posters condemning not just CNN, but President Obama and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, as Muslim Brotherhood supporters and labeling Patterson the “New Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood.” Gohmert said that he did not support the signs nor think that they were correct, but that it was important to know what the people of Egypt’s perceptions are about the United States government, based upon our actions. “Of course, the United States government does not support terrorism,” he remonstrated, but “this nation, this Administration, has supported terrorists in Libya, in Egypt, and is now trying to get support for terrorists in Syria,” so it is understandable that Egyptians would accuse us of supporting terrorism.
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