A Game of Chicken in the Gulf of Aden

shipsNER, by Jerry Gordon and Ilana Freedman, April 24, 2015:

On the morning of April 21, 2015,   newspapers and media reporters trumpeted a headline that the Saudis were ending their month long air campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen.  The halt reflected concerns of the Obama Administration over the deteriorating situation in Yemen and the increasing role of Iran. The operation, named “Decisive Resolve”, allegedly led by the Saudi coalition with US administration backing, had destroyed a missile base, armored vehicles, and planes held by Houthi forces. The Houthi militias were allegedly allied with Yemeni strongman and former president of Yemen for over thirty years, 73-year old Ali Abdullah Saleh.  Saleh, who has survived political isolation, sanctions, civil war, and assassin attempts, created an alliance with the Houthis, his former enemies, in a bid to return to power in Yemen. Latest reports indicate that Saleh has left Yemen, perhaps to join party members in discussions with Saudi Arabia and coalition members of the Gulf Cooperation Council about resolving the conflict.

Saudi Air Strikes in Yemen WSJ 4-22-15

Since the Saudi air strikes began on March 26, more than 1,000 civilians have been killed. The Saudis were seeking to restore the internationally-recognized and US-backed President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who served as president of Yemen from February 2012 until January 2015, when he was forced to resign after Houthi rebels raided his home and put him under house arrest. He subsequently escaped and fled to Saudi Arabia just as the Kingdom-led coalition began an air campaign against Houthi rebels on March 26, 2015.

Only hours after the first announcement of the cessation of Saudi air strikes, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Washington Adel al-Jubeir appeared at an Embassy press conference to announce the resumption of limited air attacks.  The Ambassador told reporters:

The Houthis should be under no illusion that we will continue to use force in order to stop them from taking Yemen over by aggressive action. We are determined to protect the Yemeni people and counter any aggressive moves that the Houthis may undertake. When the Houthis or their allies make aggressive moves there will be a response. The decision to calm matters now rests entirely with them.

In view of continued Houthi fighting in the central city of Taiz and against secessionist forces in Aden on the southern coast. This phase of the Saudi operation in Yemen was named “Renewal of Hope”, and was launched amid reports that the Houthis have surrounded the city of Aden on three sides.  In a later press conference on April 22nd, al-Jubeir said, “We will not allow them to take Yemen by force.”

The Houthis quickly put out a statement seeking the lifting of Saudi air and naval operations, and offering to hold political talks under UN auspices.  The defiant Houthi threatened to invade Saudi Arabia if the bombing continues.

A flotilla of nine Iranian vessels, seven commercial vessels escorted by two Iranian frigates, exited the Persian Gulf slow steaming down the Sea of Arabia towards a rendezvous in the Gulf of Aden. Nine US vessels were already positioned there. Nevertheless, that group has been joined by the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), an aircraft carrier capable of carrying 90 F/A-18 fighter jets and helicopters. The Roosevelt was accompanied by the USS Normandy (CG-60), a guided-missile escort ship. They came from the Fifth Fleet base in Bahrain in the Gulf, presumably to shadow the Iranian flotilla.

The Saudis, with the aid of Egyptian naval vessels, have established a virtual blockade of Yemen preventing deliveries of food, civilian goods, and weapons from Houthi ally, Iran.   The UN Security Council passed a resolution barring the supply of advanced missiles to Yemen.

Pentagon Chief Ashton Carter made his first comments on the dispatch of the US carrier and guided missile cruiser to the Arabian Sea while on a trip to California.  Carter told them that “he was not prepared to say whether the U.S. would be willing to forcibly stop and board one of the Iranian ships if it tries to cross into Yemen.”  Further, he said:

We have options. We’re not at that point. We’re at the point of trying to get the parties back to the table.

Still, he said the U.S. is making it clear to Iran that “obviously fanning the flames or contributing to it by any party is not welcome to us.”

President Obama in an MSNBC interview said:

Right now, their ships are in international waters. What we’ve said to them is that if there are weapons delivered to factions within Yemen that could threaten navigation, that’s a problem. And we’re not sending them obscure messages — we send them very direct messages about it.

On the other hand, senior defense and military officials told NBC News that American warships were prepared to intercept the convoy of Iranian ships, because they were suspected of carrying weapons to Houthi rebel forces in Yemen.

Several versions of their mission have already been floated by various government offices. The White House, Pentagon and State Department have issued statements to the effect the US carrier battle group is there to monitoring sea lanes. White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said, “the principle goal is to maintain freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in the Gulf of Aden and in the Red Sea”.

On the other hand, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren suggested that there could be a flight of refugees across the narrow Bab al Mandab that separates Yemen from the horn of Africa. The US naval vessels might be conveniently positioned to prevent a disaster similar to the one last weekend in the Mediterranean that witnessed over 700 people attempting to flee from war-torn Libya, drowned when the overloaded fishing boat capsized.

The stories may be inconsistent, but one thing is clear. If history is any measure, the Iranian flotilla is certain to be carrying weapons and supplies to aid the Houthi forces, not the humanitarian assistance they claim is to alleviate the Saudi and Egyptian blockade of Yemeni ports.  The US administration has been clear that the shadowing US naval forces have not been given orders to enable them to hail and board Iranian vessels. They are concerned that boarding the Iranian ships might create an incident that could threaten a successful outcome in the ongoing nuclear in which President Obama and  Secretary of State Kerry have invested so much effort. The negotiations the Administration appears committed to closing a deal offering so-called signing bonuses of $30 to 50 billion in release of oil revenues.

These statements by Pentagon and Administration spokespersons reflect the quandary in which the Administration now finds itself, and they can’t seem to get their story straight.  In the midst of problematic negotiations on a possible nuclear agreement with Iran, which the Administration appears to want to complete at all costs, the US is also allegedly backing Saudi Arabia with both intelligence and weapons in the fight against the Iran-backed Houthi.  The American position in this conflict is far from clear.

One possibility not mentioned in any of the media is the possibility that the American presence is neither to stop the Iranian ships, nor to board them, but to keep the other countries’ naval officers from boarding them. The purpose of this mission would be to maintain our nuclear negotiations with Iran moving forward without the suggestion of our threatening them in another theater.

The situation in the region is extremely complicated and America’s mission there is uncertain. While appearing to support the Saudi position, the US has also provided intelligence to the Houthi, ostensibly to ward off threat of a resurgent AQAP. And while appearing to be a deterrent to Iranian arms delivery to the Houthis, the massive American presence on the scene may be, in fact, a deterrent to other ships whose mission is to board the Iranian cargo ships should they approach the port in Aden.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is existentially concerned about Iranian expansion of its hegemony into Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, where Iranian Quds Force and Revolutionary Guard “consultants’ have been active in expanding their control. In Iraq, they have been training Shia militia in the war against the Islamic State.

In response to the Iranian threat, Saudi Arabia has undertaken action to subjugate the restive Shia majority in Bahrain, home port for the US Fifth Fleet, and in the oil rich Eastern Province with a large Shia population.  The Saudis are spending billions to complete security fences on its northern and Southern borders, and the Kingdom has reportedly mobilized 150,000 troops for possible action in Yemen.

The situation is the Arabian Sea is fluid. The latest reports indicate that despite the strong words from Iran, their ships have now turned around and are heading back toward the Strait of Hormuz. At this writing, they are reported to be heading east in the Arabian Sea, south of Salalah, Oman.

Failed US Policy    Less than a year ago, President Obama hailed Yemen as a foreign policy ‘success’ story in its drone campaign against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. But with the fall of Yemen’s capital Sana’a to Houthi forces and the flight of ousted President Hadi to Saudi Arabia, the vacuum in the country has been filled by open conflict between Sunni tribes loyal to AQAP, those units loyal to Hadi, and secessionist forces in Aden. America’s precipitous and humiliating departure from Yemen was more than proof that our policy had been anything but successful.

Effectively Yemen is a failed state.  When the mobs attacked it, the US Embassy closed in panic, leaving 4,000 American citizens stranded in a country that was rapidly falling into chaos and bloody fighting. The US special operations contingent decamped to Camp Lemonnier across the Bab al Mandab at AFRICOM headquarters in Djibouti.  The former US special ops Yemen bases were overrun and destroyed. Without local intelligence from within Yemen, the counterterrorism drone campaign against the AQAP was effectively been shut down.

The current game of chicken on the high seas in the Gulf of Aden is a dangerous one, not the least because it is difficult to understand what the end game is supposed to be. The problem now is that the Iranian Ayatollah and his Revolutionary Guards commanders may relish such a confrontation with the US, Saudi and Egyptian naval contingents to see who would blink first in the game of chicken.  Some might consider the Iranian flotilla as a possible causus belli. After all the UN Security Council adopted a resolution barring the shipment of missiles into Yemen.

The dangerous confrontation seems, for the moment, to be averted. Iran’s ships have turned back, perhaps temporarily. We don’t know why, or what their long range game plan may bring.

The irony the Administration found itself in over the looming confrontation in the Gulf of Aden was that the US might have had to rely on the Saudis and the Egyptians, both of whom America had supplied weapons to, but over whom the US now has little to no control.  The looming question is whether a satisfactory denouement with Iran would even be possible were Iran already a nuclear state.

That Iran is on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons is no longer the question. All evidence points to this being the case, ongoing talks with P5+1 and the so-called 13 year ‘deal’ notwithstanding.  Latest reports say that Iran is on the ‘nuclear threshold’ with less than three months before it has full nuclear weapons capability. The Iranian nuclear threshold concerns the Saudis, Gulf Emirates, Egypt, and Israel. Israel has not been diffident in the past about intercepting and boarding commercial vessels carrying illicit cargoes of missiles from Iran supplying proxies Hamas and Hezbollah.

In the game of chicken still being played out in the Arabian Sea, it remains to be seen whether the Obama Administration has the resolve to stare down this latest move by Iran, or is the President more than likely blink first?

Ilana Freedman is a veteran intelligence analyst, specializing in Islamic and related sources of terrorism and their impact on the Western world. Jerry Gordon is a Senior Editor at the New English Review

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Also see:

Who Profits from the Deadly Illegal Migrant Trafficking Trade Across the Mediterranean?

Captain  and first mate of capsized  illegal migrant vessel Mohammed Ali Malek, left, and Mahmud Bikhit Source: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Captain and first mate of capsized illegal migrant vessel Mohammed Ali Malek, left, and Mahmud Bikhit
Source: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

NER, by Jerry Gordon, April, 21, 2015:

Yesterday, we drew attention to the massive surge in the deadly illegal migrant trade across the Mediterranean that figured in an emergency meeting of EU Foreign ministers in Luxembourg.   The loss of over 1,000 in two separate trafficking ship disasters  last week  spurred on  deliberations requested by Italian President Renzi and Maltese PM Muscat. Today charges were brought in Italian courts against the 27 year old Tunisian captain  and 25 year  old Syrian mate of the 66 foot fishing boat  that capsized off Libya with a loss of upwards of 900 crammed into the flimsy vessel.  NBC news reported:

The Tunisian captain of the boat — 27-year-old Mohammed Ali Malek — was arrested along with a Syrian crew member, 25-year-old Mahmud Bikhit.

Sicilian prosecutors said Tuesday that Malek has been charged with culpable shipwreck, manslaughter and aiding and abetting illegal immigration. Bikhit has been charged with aiding and abetting illegal immigration, the statement from Catania’s prosecutors said.

Smugglers Net for Illegal Migrant Trade

The question is who benefits from this deadly smuggling business?

The answer is the jihadists in Libya who  have profited from the turmoil in the  region. A Wall Street Journal report revealed how profitable the business of  trafficking  illegal migrants  is worth taking the risks involved as deadly as the results have been to their customers seeking refuge in the EU,. The bottom line of the  WSJreport: “Brazen, multi-million-dollar people-smuggling enterprise run by Libyan militias and tribesmen proves hard to combat.”

The WSJ wrote:

Various armed groups in Libya are aggressively advertising their services to would-be migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and Syrians fleeing conflict in their country, presenting the collapse of order in Libya as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure safe passage to Europe, says Arezo Malakooti, the director of migration research for Paris-based Altai Consulting, a consultancy that works with the International Organization for Migration and other migration-related groups.

“The profits from human trafficking have consolidated a new balance of power in the Sahel and Libya,” says Tuesday Reitano, head of the Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

How a Saharan tribe profits:

The Saharan Tebu tribe, for instance, is now making “a killing,” according to Ms. Reitano, who estimates the tribe pockets some $60,000 a week by charging West African migrants for a seat on four-wheel-drive cars that take them to Agadez, a major city in Niger. From there, they ferry the migrants to the central Libyan city of Sabha and then proceed to northern Libya ahead of their sea journey to Italy and Malta.

The profits are such that tribes normally at war cooperate at times in getting migrants from one place to the next.

[…]

Mustapha Orghan, an activist who has worked with aid groups to track  smuggler operations said:

Tebu and Tuaregs used to smuggle goods. The new alternative is …and now both Tuaregs and Tebu are trying to get their share of the cake.”

Mr. Orghan said Ghat, a southern Libyan town near the Algerian border where he lives, is the first entry point from Algeria for Africans. There, he said, “African migrants get sold from one smuggler to another.”

He said the trafficking business has become increasingly lucrative since chaos in Libya sharply reduced traditional sources of income in the region: heavily subsidized oil, food and other goods from Algeria.

“Farming” migrants to make profits:

In Sabha, African men typically spend months working as laborers, and women as housemaids, to earn the roughly $1,000 to pay for the crossing from Libya’s northern coast. If there is no demand for their services in Sabha, smugglers farm them out to cities further north and west for approximately 700 Libyan dinar, or about $500.

Discrimination among “customers” leads to  deadly trips:

Ismail, an African migrant who declined to give his full name and nationality, tried to cross three times in recent weeks but was thwarted by overcrowding and breakdowns of the cheap plastic boat of the sort usually provided for Africans. Syrians, who can often pay more and aren’t discriminated against by the overwhelmingly Arab smugglers, typically make the crossing in sturdier wooden boats.

The EU  according Frontex agency has arrested 10,000 involved in the illegal migrant trade, mainly truck drivers and many migrants involved in navigating the flimsy crafts.  Italian authorities have arrested `1,000 smugglers since 2014. However of these, less than 100 have been convicted. They simply lack the resources in contending with the mushrooming human trafficking business as Libya devolves into a failed state.

Watch this WSJ video dramatizing the journey of an Eritrean illegal migrant across Africa to Libya and his perilous transit via smugglers to his ultimate destination in the Italian island of Lampedusa:

Yesterday’s EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg may have surfaced calls for safe and secure channels to reduce the deadly toll of illegal migrants, but going after the lucrative smuggling trafficking business at its source means contending with warring militias and the criminal activities of tribal groups in Libya. Note this ironic comment from the UN Human Rights Commission head:

“Europe is turning its back on some of the most vulnerable migrants in the world, and risk turning the Mediterranean into a vast cemetery,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein Monday. “Migrant smugglers are the symptom, not the cause of this wretched situation.”

Jihad conflicts in  the Middle East and Africa are driving hundreds of thousands annually in desperation to pay top dollar for  a deadly ride on those rickety boats whose owners cop big time profits. Nature abhors a vacuum when chaos creates rich opportunities to rake in enormous wealth from trafficking  illegal migrants.  As we saw yesterday, the successful smugglers even alert EU officials that they are bringing another shipload of hapless migrants to fatten their margins from this deadly trade.  How the EU and the Union for the Mediterranean deal with problem of illegal mass immigration will surely be daunting costing billions of Euros. In the meantime, Italian and other EU coast guards continue to provide  a picket line of vessels  daily monitoring these dangerous trips in  flimsy craft across the Mediterranean from the failed state of Libya. Stay tuned for developments.

Danish Muslim Apostate Faces Hate Speech Charges

Yahya_HAssan_788776y-450x338Front Page, January 2, 2014, By Andrew Harrod:

“Muslims love to take advantage of” free speech, Danish-Palestinian poet Yahya Hassan says, “and as soon as there is someone else saying something critical against them, they want to restrict it.”  In an action previously indicated by this writer, Hassan is now personally facing this double standard in Danish “hate speech” charges for his anti-Islam comments.

Following Danish-Iranian artist Firoozeh Bazrafkan’s conviction under Danish Penal Code Section 266b (in Danish here) for condemning Islam as misogynist, a local Muslim Aarhus politician demanded a similar prosecution of Hassan.  His poetry “says that everybody in the ghettos like Vollsmose and Gellerup steal, don’t pay taxes and cheat themselves to pensions,” the Somali-Dane Mohamed Suleban stated after reporting Hassan to the police on November 27. “Those are highly generalizing statements and they offend me and many other people.”  Authorities are currently considering Section 266b charges for, according to one English translation, any public “communication by which a group of persons are threatened, insulted or denigrated due to their race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation.”

The 18-year-old Hassan’s eponymous debut book contains about 150 poems, “many of which are severely critical of the religious environment he grew up in” according to Wall Street Journal reporters Clemens Bomsdorf and Ellen Emmerentze Jervell.  Written in all capital letters, Hassan’s poems treat “issues like the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, child abuse, and the interplay between violence and religion” with “[p]rofanity and vivid analogies.”  Yahya Hassan has sold 80,000 copies following an October 17 release in the comparatively small Danish market and is expected to exceed 100,000 copies by Christmas.  Hassan’s publisher Gyldendal reports that Danish poetry books are fortunate to sell 500 copies.  A recent book forum honored Hassan as the debut author of the year and an English translation of his poetry is underway.

Hassan first became prominent with an October 5 Danish newspaper interview entitled “I F**king Hate My Parents’ Generation.”  In it he blamed poor Muslim parenting for the juvenile delinquency and social maladjustment experienced by many Danish Muslim youth such as Hassan himself.  With more than 85,000 social media shares, the interview became the most shared Politiken article of the year.

Days thereafter Hassan recited from his “LANGDIGT” or “LONG POEM” before his book’s release on the Danish news program Deadline.  Extract:  “between the Friday prayers and the Ramadans/you want to carry a knife in your pocket/you want to go and ask people if they have a problem/although the only problem is you.”  Such verses brought Hassan more death threats than any other previous Deadline guest.  Hassan has subsequently reported 27 Facebook threats against him, of which the police investigated six as serious and pressed charges in one case of a 15-year old boy.  A subsequent assault against Hassan occurred on November 18 in Copenhagen Central Station by a 24-year old Palestinian-Danish Muslim who had previously received a seven-year terrorism sentence.

Hassan now wears a bulletproof vest and receives protection from Denmark’s domestic intelligence agency PET at speaking engagements.  A November 26 reading by Hassan from his book in a school in the Danish town of Odense, moreover, required an estimated one million kroner in security costs, more than the amount spent on a high-risk soccer game.  Several hundred policemen had observed the school for two days before the event occurred with road checkpoints, a bomb sweep, and a five kilometer no-fly zone around the school.

Police safety concerns had forced the cancellation of an earlier, sold-out reading at a public library in Odense’s troubled district of Vollsmose.  Along with Hassan, Culture Minister Marianne Jelved and several other Danish politicians criticized the Vollmose cancellation as “completely unacceptable.”  Jelved demanded that police in Vollmose “make the necessary precautions” in order “to hold on to what democracy is, or otherwise we reduce it day by day.”

Yet Suleban’s charges might succeed in silencing Hassan where violence has failed.  Jacob Mchangama, legal affairs director at Denmark’s liberal think-tank Cepos, sees a “strong case” against Hassan, particularly given a “range of similar preceding cases” like Bazrafkan’s.  Hassan’s media attention and public popularity, though, might make conviction difficult, as “his poems are important social commentary.”  Hassan’s acquittal “for making statements similar to what other people have been convicted for,” Mchangama nonetheless observed, “will expose a random legislation where no-one can be sure of what is legal to say.”

Calling for Section 266b’s abolition, Mchangama further questions the law’s “arbitrary limits.” What “is sufficiently degrading” and why should, for example, homosexuals receive protection, but not disabled people.  Mchangama also sees no “good science” correlating speech laws with “less hate crimes.”  Other commentators, moreover, have argued that speech trials simply bring more attention to the offending statements.

Hassan’s case presents speech codes functioning not just as a de facto blasphemy, but also as a de facto apostasy law protecting Islam.  How, after all, can an atheist like Hassan, who says that there is “something wrong with Islam,” decide upon his religious views without rigorous testing of all faiths?  For that matter, how could anyone answer Hassan’s call for a “reformation” in an Islam that “refuses to renew itself” without similar scrutiny?  Such questions aside, Hassan remains committed to his criticisms, stating that he does not “care about getting convicted of racism.” Muslims threatening violence can likewise “all come and get me if they want.  I don’t give a s**t about these morons.”  “I know these people,” Hassan adds, “They can’t handle criticism…they’re not interested in dialogue.”

This article was commissioned by The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum.

Andrew E. Harrod is a freelance researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. You may follow Harrod on twitter at @AEHarrod.

 

Ali Sina: Peeling Back The Layers Of Taqiyya

onion-300x199By Ali Sina:

Who has not heard of taqiyah? But did you know that it is onion shaped? It is an Arabic word and it means dissimulation. Another word used synonymously is kitman, which means concealment.

This concealment has many layers.  The most common form of taqiyah is when Muslims deny that certain Islamic behaviors have anything to do with Islam.

On October 27, the BBC aired a documentary in which Mo Ansar, a Muslim activist in UK, was shown addressing a group of English Defense League members. He wanted to meet them in order to dispel their misunderstandings of Islam and to prove that Islam poses no threat to their country and their way of life.  How could he do that when Islam’s goal is to become dominant over all religions and nations? Well, he did it like any Muslim would do. He lied.  (Mo’s speech to EDL is at minute 10).

 mo ansar

Mo starts by saying “as somebody who was born in this country and is British, I think I uphold British values. I am also a Muslim.  Islam is not here to take over the country. Islam is not here to take over the world. That is not the Islam that I know. Islam that I know is one that believes in co-existence and honors and respects British values.”

Nothing can be further from the truth. The British and Islamic values are diametrically opposed. They cannot co-exist. The British values are based on democracy. Democracy implies equality.  Iranian Journalist Amir Taheri says, “Equality is unacceptable in Islam. Un-believers cannot be equal to believers and women are not equal to men. Even the non-Muslims are not deemed to be equal. The People of the Book (Jews and Christians) are accepted as second class citizens and allowed to live in an Islamic state provided they pay the protection tax; Jizyah. But the pagans, atheists and idolaters are not regarded as fully humans. According to the Quran, the idolaters are to be killed wherever they are found.” (9:5)

In the April 9, 2002 issue, The Wall Street Journal published the concept of blood money in Saudi Arabia. If a person has been killed or caused to die by another, the latter has to pay blood money or compensation, as follow.
100,000 riyals if the victim is a Muslim man,
50,000 riyals if a Muslim woman,
50,000 riyals if a Christian man,
25,000 riyals if a Christian woman,
6,666 riyals if a Hindu man,
3,333 riyals if a Hindu woman.

According to this hierarchy, a Muslim man’s life is worth 33 times that of a Hindu woman. This hierarchy is based on the Islamic definition of human rights and is rooted in the Quran and the Sharia. How can we talk of democracy when the concept of equality in Islam is inexistent?

This is not a quirk of Saudi Arabia. The prophet of Islam advised Muslims not to aid non-Muslims to seek justice if they are abused by a Muslim. In his much celebrated edict of Medina, he declared, “A believer shall not slay a believer for the sake of an unbeliever, nor shall he aid an unbeliever against a believer.”  The same document states, “Whoever is convicted of killing a believer… the believers shall be against him as one man, and they are bound to take action against him.”

The Quran 3:28 prohibits Muslims to take non-Muslims as their leaders, or even as friends. If Muslims tell the truth about their hostile intention, they will be kicked out from the countries that they intend to overtake. The same verse allows them to lie, “by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them.

Co-existence? Yes there is co-existence in Islam, but only if the non-Muslims are reduced into dhimmis, and accept to pay tributes to Muslims while feeling themselves humiliated and subdued. (Q. 9:29)

One characteristic of democracy is freedom of belief. This is utterly alien to Islam. The Quran 3: 85 says, “whoso desires another religion than Islam it shall not be accepted of him.”  The punishment of apostasy in Islam is death. No Islamic country allows its Muslim citizens to change their religion.

Mo also assured his audience that Islam is not here to take over the world. He lied. People often make the mistake of comparing Islam to Christianity and other faiths. All religions are personal. They are about enlightenment or relationship with God.  Islam is about world domination. The focus of Islam is on expansion. A hadith narrated by Bukhari (4: 53: 386) makes this clear. It says that when Umar sent Muslim army to Persia, “the representative of Khosrau came out with 40,000 warriors, and an interpreter got up saying, “Let one of you talk to me!” Al-Mughira replied, “Ask whatever you wish.” The other asked, “Who are you?” Al-Mughira replied, “We are some people from the Arabs; we led a hard, miserable, disastrous life. We used to suck the hides and the date stones from hunger; we used to wear clothes made up of fur of camels and hair of goats, and to worship trees and stones. While we were in this state, the Lord of the Heavens and the Earths, Elevated is His Remembrance and Majestic is His Highness, sent to us from among ourselves a Prophet whose father and mother are known to us. Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or give Jizya (i.e. tribute); and our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says:– “Whoever amongst us is killed (i.e. martyred), shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever amongst us remain alive, shall become your master.”

The order to fight till the non-Muslims worship Allah has not changed. Muslims will not abandon their quest for domination until they succeed or they are defeated. They have no choice in this.  They are programmed to spread Islam through deception or war.  They can’t be a Muslim and not advance their religion. The obligation to spread Islam is on every Muslim.  But we e have the choice. We can submit, or fight back and defeat them.  But how can we do that if we are not even aware that we are under attack? Taqiyah is what Muslims do to keep us in the sedated state.

Muhammad said al Islamo deenun va dawlah, (Islam is religion and state).  The goal of Islam is to take over the world and establish a world caliphate.  Without this goal Islam becomes meaningless.  The whole idea of jihad, which is an obligation on every Muslim, is to expand the Islamic domain.  It is also said that the bigger jihad is the struggle against one’s self. This is a lie too. Many scholars of Islam have refuted this as an innovation, something that was never said by Muhammad.

Jihad is through war, through financing the war (zakat) and through deception. The disagreement between Muslims is not in whether the west should become Islamic or not, but in whether it should be annexed through qital (fighting) or through taqiyah (deceiving).

The Quran 9:33 says, Allah will cause Islam to prevail over all religions. One does not have to read the history of Islamic conquest and oppression of their vanquished nations throughout the last 1400 years to know Muslims have no regards for the human rights of the non-Muslims. A look at how the minorities are treated in Muslim majority countries in the 21st century can make that point clear.

When Muslims become the majority, they deny the minorities any participation in political life. No non-Muslim is allowed to run for the head of any Islamic country and where they are allowed to become a member of parliament, it is only as a representative of their people. They are like ambassadors of their co-religionists in the Islamic state. They have no role in how the country should be run, but only as a liaison between the state and their co-religionists who are regarded as second class citizens.

Read more at alisina.org

Images of Religious Equality, Realities of Islamic Inequality

20080925_Christianby ANDREW E. HARROD:

Indonesia has appeared “for a long time as a role model” for Muslim-majority societies seeking to maintain equality before the law for all believers, Christian Solidarity Worldwide‘s (CSW) South Asia expert Benedict Rogers stated at a Hudson Institute briefing on September 12, 2013.  Yet the past and present of the world’s largest Muslim community belie in reality rhetoric of Islamic religious tolerance, a troubling fact for Christians and others worldwide seeking domestic peace in the lands of Islam.

Rogers addressed the topic “Pluralism in Peril in Southeast Asia:  Radical Islamism in Indonesia and Militant Buddhism in Burma.”  To exemplify Indonesia’s traditional measure of interfaith coexistence, Rogers showed slides of Jakarta’s Catholic cathedral adjacent to, and sharing parking space with, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, the Istiqlal (Independence) Mosque.  Yet Rogers presentation emphasized that this religious pluralism is “increasingly under threat” in Indonesia and Buddhist-majority Burma as well.

Rogers referenced grassroots Sunni Islamic supremacist developments in Indonesia previously discussed by him in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).  Mayors responding to local political pressures, for example, had blocked the building of churches under a “zero church” policy.  This occurred even after successful defenses of their building permits all the way to Indonesia’s Supreme Court, making religious freedom a “rule of law issue.”  A 2010 International Crisis Group study, meanwhile, documents how fears of “Christianization” in the form of this faith’s growing influence and number of converts have become a rallying cry for hardline Indonesian Muslims.

The Front Pembela Islam (FPI or Islamic Defenders Front), described by Rogers as “essentially a vigilante mob” and “protection racket,” adds terror to the pressures faced by non-Sunni Muslim communities.  “There is no religious freedom here anymore,” one female pastor said to Rodgers during his May 2012 visit.  Indonesia’s Shia and Ahmadiyya Muslims, the latter deemed heretical by orthodox Muslims yet having an “extremely peaceful interpretation of Islam” according to Rogers, are likewise under threat.  “Let the outside world know that we are not safe in our own homes any longer,” an Ahmadiyya said in a quotation in both the WSJ article and the briefing.  “It is not free anymore for us to believe what we want, to live a normal life, because there is always someone who wants to force us not to believe what we want to believe.”

Read more: Family Security Matters

Woman informing Kerry, McCain’s opinions on Syria also an advocate for Syrian rebels

bb70190af5124ee18f05baa3161f76fb-e1378239778347By Charles C. Johnson:

The woman whose opinion lawmakers are relying on to go to war in Syria is also a paid advocate for the war-torn country’s rebels.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry encouraged members of the House of Representatives to read a Wall Street Journal op-ed by 26-year-old Elizabeth O’Bagy — an analyst with the Institute for the Study of War — who asserted that concerns about extremists dominating among the Syrian rebels are unfounded.

“Contrary to many media accounts, the war in Syria is not being waged entirely, or even predominantly, by dangerous Islamists and al-Qaida die-hards,” O’Bagy wrote for the Journal on Aug. 30. “Moderate opposition groups make up the majority of actual fighting forces,” she wrote.

But in addition to her work for the Institute for the Study of War, O’Bagy is also the political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), a group that advocates within the United States for Syria’s rebels — a fact that the Journal did not disclose in O’Bagy’s piece.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, O’Bagy said that despite her title as the group’s political director, she is paid as a contractor.

She insisted that she is not involved in the political lobbying that SETF does. “They kind of have two departments within the Task Force — one focused on working with the government on the Hill on advocacy and then the other working inside Syria and directly implementing government contracts,” she said.

O’Bagy’s relationship with SETF is a serious conflict of interest, according to David Reaboi, vice president for strategic communications at the Center for Security Policy.

“While there’s been a lot of worthwhile effort to expose activists considered pro-Assad or pro-Hezbollah — or, at least, to consider their analysis as coming from an interested party — O’Bagy seems to pass herself off as an impartial observer of the situation. Her access to Congress, intelligence services and to think tanks should be regarded as what it really is, which is a reflection of the Syrian rebels’ cause and aspirations,” Reaboi said.

Read more at Daily Caller

 

Meet the Syrian Islamist Organization Controlling Senator McCain’s Agenda

Mouaz-Moustafa-450x193By :

A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal ran a high profile article from one Elizabeth O’Bagy arguing that the majority of the Syrian rebels were actually moderates.

Senator McCain mentioned Elizabeth O’Bagy’s op-ed during the Senate hearings, when he wasn’t playing poker, and tweeted it. That should come as no surprise, considering that O’Bagy is credited with arranging McCain’s infamous photo op with the Syrian rebel leadership.

The Wall Street Journal lists O’Bagy’s role as the Institute for the Study of War. It leaves out the fact that she is the political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force making her an activist.

O’Bagy doesn’t matter much. She’s a friendly Western face plastered over a foreign organization. Of more interest is Mouaz Moustafa, the smiling man in the Keffiyah on the far right of McCain in this photo.

Mouaz Moustafa is a Palestinian Arab and the Executive Director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force which arranged for McCain’s visit.

Senator McCain called Moustafa a “patriot”, but it’s not clear which country he’s a patriot of, since it’s not Mouaz Moustafa’s first time around on the regime change bus tour.

Before the Syrian Emergency Task Force, Moustafa was the Executive Director of the Libyan Council of North America, which like the SETF existed to help push regime change. Before that, he mentions working with “rebels” in Egypt. On his Twitter feed, he denounces the overthrow of Morsi making it rather clear which side he was on.

His Twitter account frequently features anti-Israel material, including calls for a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem. On his YouTube account, he “liked” a video featuring Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, “crying while praying”.

He also Favorited an anti-Israel video from a channel titled “JewsExposed”

Predating his international period, Mouaz Moustafa did stints as a Field Organizer for the Democratic National Committee and a senate staffer. On Instagram, he calls himself a Freelance Revolutionary.

Mouaz Moustafa, patriot of four countries, none of which is the United States, appears to be holding McCain’s hand on Syria through the Syrian Emergency Task Force. And the Syrian Emergency Task Force appears to be funded by “prominent” Syrians in the United States. It’s not technically a foreign organization. Technically.

Read more at Front Page

 

NYPD designates mosques as terrorism organizations

Bay Ridge mosque NYAssociated Press

NEW YORK — The New York Police Department has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorist organizations, a designation that allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance.

Since the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD has opened at least a dozen “terrorism enterprise investigations” into mosques, according to interviews and confidential police documents. The TEI, as it is known, is a police tool intended to help investigate terrorist cells and the like.

Many TEIs stretch for years, allowing surveillance to continue even though the NYPD has never criminally charged a mosque or Islamic organization with operating as a terrorism enterprise.

The documents show in detail how, in its hunt for terrorists, the NYPD investigated countless innocent New York Muslims and put information about them in secret police files. As a tactic, opening an enterprise investigation on a mosque is so potentially invasive that while the NYPD conducted at least a dozen, the FBI never did one, according to interviews with federal law enforcement officials.

The strategy has allowed the NYPD to send undercover officers into mosques and attempt to plant informants on the boards of mosques and at least one prominent Arab-American group in Brooklyn, whose executive director has worked with city officials, including Bill de Blasio, a front-runner for mayor.

De Blasio said Wednesday on Twitter that he was “deeply troubled NYPD has labelled entire mosques & Muslim orgs terror groups with seemingly no leads. Security AND liberty make us strong.”

The revelations about the NYPD’s massive spying operations are in documents recently obtained by The Associated Press and part of a new book, “Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America.” The book by AP reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman is based on hundreds of previously unpublished police files and interviews with current and former NYPD, CIA and FBI officials.

The disclosures come as the NYPD is fighting off lawsuits accusing it of engaging in racial profiling while combating crime. Earlier this month, a judge ruled that the department’s use of the stop-and-frisk tactic was unconstitutional.

Read more at WSJ

Also see: 

The ONLY reason New York City hasn’t been attacked since 9/11 is precisely because the NYPD has put mosques, certain Muslim businesses and terror-linked Muslim groups and individuals under constant surveillance (barenakedislam.com)

Pro-Islamist Advocacy Campaign Hits the Wall Street Journal

20130818_egypt2013_violence_LARGE

by MAGDI KHALIL:

The Wall Street Journal is a respected newspaper, and many of its writers are reputable researchers. However, a piece titled “Egypt’s Islamists Will Rise Again” has been described by an observer as “a strike coming from a minority of intellectuals on the conservative side who do not understand the Middle East, though they claim they do, and produce more disorientation among the U.S. public than those apologists on the left,” and that “pieces that undermine the will of Egyptians to resist the Islamists and undermine the will of Americans to stand by them are, willingly or not, part of the Muslim Brotherhood effort to reach their strategic goals.”

The opinion piece authored by Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA analyst serving as a senior fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), suffers not only from wrong assumptions, but is also filled with factual mistakes.

Gerecht laments, “Egyptian liberals since the coup d’état against Mohammed Morsi, have an impression that the Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘moment’ in Egypt lasted 12 months-after a long prelude that began in the 1920s.” This impression is wrong if one would listen to the leaders of the liberal, secular, and democratic movement in Egypt. If Mr. Gerecht had listened carefully to Egypt’s vast Arabic language network on free TV and immersed himself in bloggers’ analyses, he would have avoided writing his piece in the prestigious Wall Street Journal. Most Egyptian analysts who were part of the revolution- not the coup, as the former CIA member keeps calling it- know all too well that the Islamists were not uprooted from Egypt, even though their regime was dismantled. Gerecht’s warnings are in vain, for most Egyptians are alert and are bracing for the counter revolution.

The FDD fellow claims: “Conventional wisdom says that the Brotherhood was founded in opposition to British imperialism and Westernizing secular dictators.” This is the wrong interpretation of history. The Ikhwan were launched after the Ottoman Caliphate was destroyed by secular Turks. British occupation of Egypt started circa 1888, and the Brotherhood was founded in the mid-1920s, forty years later, with the desire to bring back the Caliphate. Removing the British from Egypt was not just a goal of the Ikhwan, but of most Egyptians. The Wafd party was the first secular patriotic movement to demand an end to British colonialism, a la the American Revolution. Geretch espouses the argument of the Brotherhood to explain why popular discontent grew against the regime: “The Brotherhood immolated itself after just a year of grossly incompetent government.” However, most Egyptians rose against the Islamists because of the suppression of basic freedoms. Read the signs held by thirty million demonstrators on June 30 and July 26; it was not about bread and jobs, it was about fascism and oppression.

The author admits that “countless Egyptians who had voted for Brotherhood candidates and its constitution turned against the Islamist group in massive demonstrations” and that “there is also little doubt that many in the Muslim Brotherhood were shocked by the size of these rallies.” However, he denies that the Brotherhood “has been routed by marches that we now know were planned by the tamarrud (rebellion) movement and the military.” In his neo-Orientalist view of Egypt and the Arabic tradition in U.S. bureaucracies, he sees Egypt’s poor “in the vast slums of Cairo” as only able to find a sense of community under the mosques. Geretch and a whole generation of failed Middle East studies in the United States are unable to make the basic distinction that Islam and Islamism are two different concepts. The poor may go to the mosque, but everything depends on who is in the pulpit, a Salafist or a Sufi.

Gerecht slams Egypt’s young liberals as he slammed Iran’s youth in 2009. He writes, “This is not Facebook Cairo, where alienated, deplorably educated, unskilled youth express their anger online and show their own kind of community by staging street protests.” The former intelligence officer dismisses the online kids because he thinks that “local clerics, let alone the cultish, secretive godfathers of the Brotherhood” have more influence among the poor and the lower middle class. On June 30 and July 26, Gerecht and his intellectual companions were proven utterly wrong. The masses listened to their youth inasmuch as they listened to the preachers. Islamologues in the West missed the coach on this one.

Gerecht claims that:

“In these precincts the poor, the Egyptian army, the security services, and the police-all unreformed since the fall of Hosni Mubarak-are viewed suspiciously, if not with hostility. The newfound love affair between the army and Egypt’s secular liberals, who in a year’s time came to the conclusion that they needed the military to check Islamist power, will likely do nothing to diminish the skepticism that Egypt’s devout have for army officers and their associates.”

The analytical mistake goes deeper, as many researchers have parroted the assertions of the Edward Saids and John Espositos of America, in that by nature the poor  are drawn to religious figures and thus even more to the fundamentalist ones. In the mind of Western apologia, Arab and Egyptian poor have no judgment of their own, and perhaps no instincts. In the reality lived on the ground in Egypt, ordinary people make a clear distinction between regimes and armies. The poor are the army. Moreover, in his assessment, Gerecht, like most Western admirers of the Islamists, dismisses 30 million Egyptian citizens who protested the Ikhwan. The country’s liberals do not appear to outnumber the Islamists, but this silent majority of Egypt is the greatest of all forces in the nation. Once it moved against the Brotherhood, the latter shrunk to their real size.

More dangerously in his article, Gerecht accuses the army and security services of being the origin of Mohammed Morsi’s “problems.” He goes ballistic against the enemies of the Islamists: military, police, business elite, and Mubarak era remnants, the very “enemies” identified by the Muslim Brotherhood propaganda internationally. It is awkward that the former CIA analyst uses the exact narrative of the international Ikhwan network and their friends in Western media.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Magdi Khalil, Director of the Forum for Democracy, Cairo and Washington, D.C.

Egypt to Media: Don’t You Dare Distort Our War on Terror

foreignjournosBy David Kenner:

CAIRO — As the confrontation between Egypt’s government and supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsy heats up, Cairo’s new rulers have a new target for criticism — the foreign press corps.

Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) released a statement Saturday criticizing some foreign correspondents for “steer[ing] away from objectivity and neutrality,” which resulted in them communicating “a distorted image” of events in Egypt to their audiences. “Egypt is feeling severe bitterness towards some Western media coverage that is biased to the Muslim Brotherhood and ignores shedding light on violent and terror acts that are perpetrated by this group,” the statement read.

The SIS laid out seven ways in which international coverage of Egypt was lacking. In addition to ignoring the Brotherhood’s “thuggery and sabotage,” the statement said, some media “are still falling short of describing the [anti-Morsy protests] of June 30 as an expression of a popular will.” The Egyptian government, in other words, objects to international coverage describing Morsy’s ouster as a military coup.

The statement also accused foreign press of ignoring the support that the Muslim Brotherhood is allegedly drawing from foreigners and jihadists. It accused the media of “completely ignor[ing]” that the Brotherhood had sought support from al Qaeda elements, alleging that five vehicles flying the Islamist “black flag” and armed with automatic weapons had driven into Cairo’s Ramses Square during pro-Morsy protests there on Friday. “[The foreign press] also ignored making reference to the participation of non-Egyptian elements from Pakistan, Syria and Palestine in violent acts committed by the Brotherhood,” the statement read.

Egyptian officials have also echoed the statement’s criticisms in their public remarks. In a press conference yesterday, Egyptian presidency spokesman Mustafa Hegazy opened with remarks in English — a sign that his message was geared to foreign media. He said that Egyptians were “bitter” that the foreign press had ignored stories of Brotherhood supporters killing soldiers, burning churches, and using women and children as human shields. The events in Egypt were not a political disagreement between two sides, he said, but a “war with terrorism … and Egypt will defend its sovereignty.”

Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy held a press conference on Sunday morning, before which  journalists were handed a packet titled “Egypt Fighting Terrorism: 14th – 16th August.” The foreign minister criticized some in the international community for calling exclusively for the Egyptian government to show restraint, while “ignoring all the violence and attacks on government buildings.”

The official criticism of the foreign press corps has coincided with an increase in attacks on journalists as they cover events in Cairo. The Guardian’s Patrick Kingsley, the Washington Post‘s Abigail Hauslohner, the Independent‘s Alastair Beach, the Wall Street Journal‘s Matt Bradley, andMcClatchy‘s Nancy Youssef were all threatened by Egyptian security forces or civilians in the past several days. Brazilian journalist Hugo Bachega was also detained while covering the protests on Friday, as was Canadian filmmaker John Greyson and physician Tarek Loubani, whose current location remains unknown.

Read the SIS statement at FP

Also see:  Egyptian Democratic Coalition Responds to Obama (newsmax.com)

Former CIA Deputy Lists Syria as Top Security Threat

syria-al-qaida-340x161IPT, by Abha Shankar:  

Hiroshima’s Lessons for the War on Terror

 Our greatest weakness is that we want our enemies to love us. We turn wars into humanitarian exercises that inflict a much worse toll on both sides than an actual war would have and then we wonder what went wrong.

warBy :

In the summer of ’45, the United States concluded a war that had come to be seen by some as unwinnable after the carnage at Iwo Jima, with a bang.

On August 6th, the bomb fell on Hiroshima. And then on the 9th, it was Nagasaki’s turn. Six days later, Japan, which had been preparing to fight to the last man, surrendered.

For generations of liberals, those two names would come to represent the horror of America’s war machine, when they actually represented a pragmatic ruthlessness that saved countless American and Japanese lives.

There can hardly be a starker contrast to our endless unwinnable nation-building exercises than the way that Truman cut the Gordian Knot and avoided a long campaign that would have depopulated Japan and destroyed the lives of a generation of American soldiers.

That we can talk about Japan as a victory is attributable to that decision to use the bomb. Without it, Japan would have been another Iraq or Vietnam, we might have won it at a terrible cost, but it would have destroyed our willingness to fight any future wars and would have given the USSR an early victory in Asia.

Professional soldiers understand the humanitarian virtue of ruthlessness. The pacifist civilian may gasp in horror at the sight of a mushroom cloud, but the professional soldier knows that the longer way around would have left every Japanese city looking far worse than Hiroshima.

More people died in the Battle of Okinawa on both sides than in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 9 out of 10 buildings were destroyed. As much as a third of the island’s population committed suicide, fled into caves that were bombed, were used as human shields and were killed when American soldiers found themselves unable to distinguish between Japanese soldiers posing as civilians and actual civilians.

It does not take much to imagine what trying to capture Honshu would have looked like. Take the worst horrors of Vietnam and keep multiplying until you run out of imagination. If you run low, remember that at Okinawa the military was handing out grenades to civilians and its home defense plans involved encouraging the civilian population to commit suicide attacks.

The United States military did not understand the fanatical mindset of its enemies, but it did understand that they had to be fought with equal ruthlessness. And now, nearly seventy years later, on another hot August, we find ourselves in another seemingly unwinnable war.

At the Wall Street Journal, former media figure Ted Koppel popped up with an editorial warning that an overreaction to terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism. Summoning up the left’s favorite argument after the September 11 attacks; he wrote that more Americans had died in car accidents, ladder accidents and of various diseases than in the World Trade Center.

Doubtlessly more Americans died in some assortment of accidents in 1941 than at Pearl Harbor. Instead of calling it a day that will live forever in infamy, FDR could have given a typical Obama speech warning the public not to jump to any conclusions.

Obama gave one of those conclusion-jumping speeches after Nidal Hasan murdered 13 Americans in the Fort Hood Massacre. He gave another one after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Read more at Front Page

Also see:

Wolf To Boehner: Establish Select Committee On Benghazi Before One-Year Anniversary Of Attacks

Dereliction-of-Duty-FiveH. Res. 36 Has 158 Republican Cosponsors – The Majority of the Majority Party

Washington, D.C. (June 19, 2013) – Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today continued to push for the establishment of a Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks.

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Wolf said that too much of the investigation on Benghazi was being done behind closed doors in classified briefings at a time when congressional approval is at an all-time low and Americans are disappointed with the lack of transparency in their government.

Wolf reiterated that a Select Committee, which currently has 158 Republican cosponsors – the majority of the majority in the House, is the only way to efficiently and openly investigate the attacks.

“Too much has been done in a piecemeal fashion, behind closed doors, thereby robbing the American people of clear answers to important questions surrounding the murder of a sitting U.S. ambassador and three civilian employees, and the grievous injury of untold others,” he wrote.

Wolf noted that even the upcoming hearing before the House Armed Services Committee next week in which Gen. Carter Ham is scheduled to testify will be closed to the public and the press.

“There is no reason Gen. Ham’s testimony shouldn’t be public,” Wolf said.

Wolf pointed out that a number of other scandals involving the Obama Administration will require aggressive oversight by Congress, specifically citing the difficulty in getting answers on the IRS scandal, which only deals with one agency.

“The Benghazi case cuts across multiple national security agencies and the White House involving sensitive information, thereby putting it in a league of its own among the various scandal investigations,” Wolf said.

“This is all the more reason to take the best of the best under a Select Committee to build, at no additional cost, on the work that has already been done through regular order,” he wrote.  “There would be no need to start over, as some have tried to say.  Nor would there be additional costs – the resolution specifically states that we should use existing resources.”

Wolf reminded Boehner that there are just five legislative weeks before the one-year anniversary of the attacks in September.

“We must not wait until the second year of this investigation to commit the focused resources of a Select Committee in pursuit of government accountability and, ultimately, truth,” he wrote.  “Sources are disappearing and leads are drying up.  The Select Committee legislation needs to be swiftly brought to the floor for a vote, so the House can hold public hearings over the summer … and attempt to provide a final public report by the first anniversary of this attack.”

Wolf concluded his letter by quoting from a recent Wall Street Journal editorial: “Let Benghazi’s chips fall.  The House should appoint a Select Committee.”

Wolf’s measure to create a Select Committee has been endorsed by the parents of some of the victims, more than 700 retired Special Operations officials, by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Associations, which represents the State Department security officers who were on the ground in Benghazi, and by the Wall Street Journal, as well asother publications.  For a full list of endorsements, click here.

For more on Wolf’s work on Benghazi, click here.

The full text of the letter is here

images (62)

 

 

The Iran Lobby Buys a Friendly Face for Despotism

216_largeBy Stephen Schwartz:

The funding of a significant pro-Iran lobby that funnels money to American universities was disclosed to the wider public for the first time during the U.S. Senate’s recent confirmation battle over Chuck Hagel’s successful nomination as secretary of defense.  By far the largest grantor is the Alavi Foundation, now under federal investigation, which has given Harvard University $345,000 over nine years ending in 2011.  Other institutions in the U.S. and Canada have also benefited from Iranian largesse.

Hagel, who represented Nebraska as a Republican U.S. Senator from 1997 to 2009, has long advocated a soft line toward the brutal theocratic regime, as exemplified by his call in 2007 for “direct, unconditional and comprehensive talks with the Government of Iran.”

He has participated in at least one Middle East Studies event organized by Tehran’s tenured apologists and subsidized by the Iranian regime.  As described by Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, Hagel addressed a March 2007 conference at Rutgers University co-sponsored by the school’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) and the shadowy group that, as pointed out by the WSJ‘s Stephens and others, helped pay for the Rutgers AIC event: the Alavi Foundation.

He has participated in at least one Middle East Studies event organized by Tehran’s tenured apologists and subsidized by the Iranian regime.  As described by Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, Hagel addressed a March 2007 conference at Rutgers University co-sponsored by the school’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) and the shadowy group that, as pointed out by the WSJ‘s Stephens and others, helped pay for the Rutgers AIC event: the Alavi Foundation.

Alavi is an arm of the Tehran government that has granted substantial sums to American and Canadian universities.  Its 2010 Form 990, filed in compliance with its nonprofit status with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, listed assets of $39,082,555.  Alavi’s “Direct Charitable Activities” were limited to four, all school-related: “Farsi Schools in Various Universities and Schools,” “Information Education Centers,” “Publication and Book Distribution,” and “Interest Free Loans to Education Centers.”  Its total grant outlay for that year was $2,148,630.  The 2007 Form 990 from Alavi included a line for Rutgers, indicating that Alavi’s investment in the Rutgers CMES and, presumably, the event with AIC and Hagel, was $72,500.
Read more at American Thinker

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

 

Islam and the ballot box

IslamOnlyBy William J. Murray:

On January 30th the Wall Street Journal carried a column by former CIA Middle East specialist Reuel Marc Gerecht which made the preposterous assertion that Islam would become moderate in a democratic setting. Gerecht went so far as to state that Israel would eventually be accepted by its Islamist neighbors when they are all “free men voting.

The alarming nature of the column was the fact that this is the advice that has been given to presidents and Congress for many years, and the results have been disastrous, as can clearly be seen in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and other Middle East nations.

I authored a very lengthy rebuttal to Mr. Gerecht which I knew would not be published by the Wall Street Journal, since their editors drink the Kool-Aid that makes them believe the ballot box will eliminate poverty and war worldwide — never mind the fact that Adolph Hitler was duly elected to office by the German people.

Because I believe it is so important to expose the thought processes of those in the establishment CIA and State Department who advise the White House and the Congress, I am reprinting my WND.com column in this edition of the Chairman’s Report. The headline of the column makes reference to the “Pickle Factory,” the insiders’ name for the Central Intelligence Agency. The name comes from code for the daily CIA briefings to the President which are called Pickles. (WND.com changed the title to The ballot box will not tame Islamism.)

Contrary to CIA specialist, democracy will not “diminish” Islamic imperatives
How a Wall Street Journal column rationalizes delusional thinking at the Pickle Factory

By William J. Murray

The Wall Street Journal used a half page of its editorial space on January 30th to publish a totally illogical, if not delusional, column (Israel’s New Islamist Neighborhood: If Western history is any guide, the growth of democracy slowly diminishes religious imperativesby former CIA Middle East specialist Reuel  Marc Gerecht regarding the future “moderation” of Islam in the Middle East. It appears the Wall Street Journal’s editors, economic conservatives who can see no wrong in the human rights abuses in wealthy Islamic nations, wanted to highlight the column to justify U.S support of the Muslim Brotherhood in the takeover of half a dozen nations in the vicinity of Israel.

Gerecht asserts that:

“Israel may one day be accepted by its Arab neighbors and by its most deadly foe, Iran—but only when Arab and Iranian Muslim identities allow for it. At best, that change is decades away. Modern Islam’s great internal tug of war, between the search for authenticity and the love of modernity, must quiet before the Israeli-Palestinian clash can end.”

The key word in this paragraph is “modernity” which brings in the assumption that Islam will move out of the 7th Century and somehow accept a Martin Luther who will “fix” Islam with a reformation that will bring about the equivalent of same-sex marriages in the Episcopal Church.

On what does Gerecht base his assumptions? Later in the column he writes:

“Yet if Western history is any guide, the growth of democracy slowly diminishes religious imperatives. Representative government demystifies politics and ethics, as the here-and-now takes precedence over abstract aspirations. It makes the mundane transcendent. It promotes healthy division because it puts competing visions, even competing fundamentalist visions, to the vote. It localizes ambitions and focuses people’s passions on the national purse.”

Western history is no more a guide for modernizing Islamic nations through democracy than Stalinist history was a model to modernize China. It took over 500 years, from the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 until the ratification of the American Constitution in 1789, for cultural acceptance of democratic thought despite a Judeo-Christian religious base which promotes the dignity of the individual’s rights. Islam has no such history or character.

And to what “national pulse” does Gerecht refer? The Super Bowl? Europeans are less in touch than even Americans with any political pulse other than to demand even more benefits from their governments.

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Apparently Gerecht sees a morally splintered Western society in which citizens have the power to vote themselves lavish entitlements as the model for the Middle East. His discussion of democracy shows his total lack of understanding that the words democracy and freedom have different definitions. Democracy is merely a process of selecting leaders and is in no way synonymous with freedom, as can be seen in the United Kingdom where even politicians are jailed for their Facebook comments which are deemed politically incorrect.

In that same paragraph be asserts that democracy “puts competing visions, even competing fundamentalist visions, to the vote.” When has this ever happened anywhere? Are the views of Orthodox Jews, fundamentalist Baptists, conservative Catholics or murderous mullahs put to the vote in Western democracies? This is nonsense.

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

William J. Murray is the chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based Religious Freedom Coalition and the author of seven books including “My Life Without God,” which chronicles his early life in the home of destructive atheist and Marxist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair.