Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s Long Road to Islamic Reform

Egyptian Leader Al-Sisi.

Religious Freedom Coalition, by Andrew Harrod, April 20, 2017:

“There has been a lot of positive symbolism” from Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi regarding Islamic reform but little action, stated former American Ambassador Alberto Fernandez on April 3 in Washington, DC.  He and his fellow Hudson Institute panelists examined the enormous difficulties confronting any reform of the doctrines underlying various jihadist agendas even as America’s new President Donald Trump prioritizes counterterrorism.

Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom Director Nina Shea opened the panel before a lecture room filled with about 70 listeners by noting the Sisi-Trump White House meeting at that very moment.  Shea observed that America’s important ally Egypt is the most populous Arab country (94 million people) with a quarter of all Arab speakers in the world.  Egypt also has the Middle East’s largest Christian community, the Copts, accounting for an estimated ten percent of Egypt’s population, more than all the Jews in Israel.

Addressing Trump’s meeting with Sisi, Fernandez stated that the “number one issue in for this administration in this regard is obviously writ large the counterterrorism issue,” particularly concerning defeating the Islamic State.  He emphasized the necessity “to find creative, smart, aggressive ways to challenge the appeal of the default ideology in the Middle East today,” namely “some type of Islamism.”  Such ideologies had a long history, as in the 1970s “Egypt was the proving ground for all of this stuff that we saw with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State” involving atrocities against Mesopotamia’s Christians and other minorities.  He recalled visiting Egypt as a young diplomat for the first time in 1984 and seeing policemen guarding every Christian church and cemetery, an indication of this community’s peril.

Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Samuel Tadros, himself a Copt, stated that “there is no doubt that the Islamist message is appealing in Egypt” and reprised his previous analysis of Islamism.  “Islamism seeks to create a state that connects heaven and earth,” an ideology that is still credible in the public imagination and has no viable contenders in the marketplace of ideas.  Despite repeated failures to create this idealized state by groups like Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, the “basic premises of Islamism make sense for an average Egyptian.”

Fernandez and Tadros accordingly dashed any high hopes raised by Sisi’s 2015 New Year’s Day address on Islamic reform to Al Azhar University in Cairo, often considered Sunni Islam’s preeminent theological authority.  Tadros stated that the speech “was general, it was unprepared” while Fernandez noted that “Sisi kind of put out a very enticing marker but there is a lot of work that has to happen which hasn’t even begun yet.”  Although globally the “speech that Sisi gave was very well received,” the follow-on reminded Fernandez of the Arab proverb “she was pregnant with a mountain but gave birth to a mouse.”

While “there is a tremendous amount of space for Islamist extremism in Egypt still” as the 2015 blasphemy conviction of an Egyptian talk show host showed, Fernandez remained unimpressed with Sisi’s Islamic reform advocacy.

There has been a nibbling around the edges.  But you cannot say that the Egyptian government has done something which would be truly revolutionary, that has never happened in the Arab world, which is to have a government on the level of ideology, on the level of textbooks, on the level of the religious establishment really embrace a kind of liberal reinterpretation of problematic texts and concepts that are used by Salafi-jihadists and by Islamists.

“While Washington has welcomed this talk a lot, there are actually a lot of limits to what Sisi can offer in this regard,” Tadros warned.  Sisi “would like to see a reform of the religious discourse, but he has no plan, plus he has to deal with the reality of Al Azhar” as his appeals to reform easy divorce laws had shown.  The “answer from Al Azhar was a very clear public humiliation of the president….This is not debatable, this is the religion as it is; basically don’t talk about these issues.”

Given Sisi’s societal circumstances, Fernandez noted that “even the weak tea that we see with that symbolism actually provokes a reaction” from Islamists like an Islamic State video attacking Sisi as a “slave of the cross.”  Fernandez and Tadros likewise discussed rampant antisemitism permeating Egyptian society as exemplified by Fernandez’s last visit to Egypt three years ago.  The bookstore of the five-star Intercontinental Semiramis Hotel where he was staying had an entire shelf of anti-Semitic literature including the Jew-hatred staple, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and books featuring vampires with Stars of David.

Such intellectual poison is unsurprising given Tadros’ assessment that the “Egyptian educational system remains a disaster; it simply teaches nothing about the outside world.”  A Christian Egyptian friend astounded him once when she related the inquiry of her fellow journalist about where her fiancée would spend his wedding night.  On the basis of the movie Braveheart, the inquiring journalist had obtained the bizarre belief that Coptic women spend their first night of marriage having sex with a Coptic priest.

For Tadros, the journalist’s pitiful ignorance about Copts is no anomaly, even though they are the indigenous people of an Egypt Islamicized after a seventh century Arab conquest.  Among Egyptian Muslims there is an “absence of any actual information about people that they have shared 14 centuries of living together.”  This allows “all these superstitions, these conspiracy theorists, this propaganda by Islamists to fill that vacuum.”

The only bright spot in the panel appeared in Tadros’ estimation most Egyptians considered Sisi, who came to power in a 2013 military overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood, as the only current acceptable political alternative.  “There are huge human rights abuses in the country, but it is also a very popular regime.  I have no doubt that even in free and fair elections President Sisi would win.”  He represents a “certain rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood, a demand for a return to normalcy, to stability.”

Andrew E. Harrod is a researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project, an organization combating the misuse of human rights law against Western societies. He can be followed on twitter at @AEHarrod.

How to Oust Assad (If We Decide To)

Family Security Matters, by N. M. GUARIGLIA, April 12, 2017:

It would require cooperation from Russia.

Sean Davis, a co-founder of The Federalist, has written a very timely piece outlining the top fourteen questions America must ask itself should President Trump eventually expand on last week’s airstrikes and decide to remove Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad from power.  As Davis states: “We owe it to the American men and women whose blood was shed in Iraq, and their families, to not repeat the same mistakes we made there in Syria.  We owe it to the men and women who would be deployed overseas to have a clear understanding of our political goals in Syria, what military resources will be required to achieve them, and what risks we face, both militarily and politically, as a result of approving military action to remove Assad.”

Indeed.  Therefore, allow me to humbly address these concerns one by one.

Question 1: “What national security interest, rather than pure humanitarian interest, is served by the use of American military power to depose Assad’s regime?”

Answer: This presumes military power is necessary to depose Assad; a presumption America should not automatically make.  American foreign policy history is littered with examples of nonviolent regime change (the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellite regimes among the most prominent).  Regime change can be done through political means, not just military means.  In fact, nonviolent regime change can avoid a war.

As for our national security interest, the answer is straightforward: with the death of Saddam Hussein over a decade ago, Bashar al-Assad is among a handful of living men – perhaps the only living man – to have crossed the calamitous threshold of having used a weapon of mass destruction.  And he has done so multiple times.  Removing Assad from power would deny his ability to do so again.  It is not out of the realm of imagination for Syrian intelligence operatives – or terrorists employed by Syria – to release sarin gas in crowded American cities.  In short, those Syrian children we have seen grasping for air on television could very easily be American children.

The Assad dynasty has been an enemy of America for decades.  Assad remains one of the world’s leading state sponsors of jihadist terrorism.  Should Assad fall, the world’s primary state sponsor of jihadist terrorism, Iran, would lose its chief ally.  Terrorist groups like Hezbollah would lose their principle supporter.  A regime responsible for murdering hundreds of American soldiers and Marines would be brought to justice (if you consider this hyperbole, research the role that the “Syrian ratlines” played in Anbar Province during Gulf War II).

Assad is a genocidal monster and his longtime hostility toward the West should not be taken lightly simply because he is currently engaged in a turf war with ISIS. 

Question 2: “How will deposing Assad make America safer?”

Answer: This is similar to the first question and therefore contains the same answers.  If Assad were to vanish tomorrow and be replaced by a non-hostile strongman – someone like General Sisi in Egypt or King Abdullah in Jordan – the anti-ISIS coalition in Syria would be unified.  No longer would a large percentage of Syrian people feel obligated to fight both ISIS and the Syrian government, thereby dividing their efforts.  Instead, the new Syrian leader, if he were adequately benevolent and did not use chemical weapons on the Syrian people, could unite the Syrian military with the anti-ISIS rebels.  Rather than have a three-way regional war with Russia, Iran, and Syria’s leadership in one corner, America and ragtag Syrian rebels in another corner, and ISIS in the third corner, we could instead craft a three-on-one alliance with America, Russia, and Syria’s new leadership uniting together against ISIS, cutting the Iranians out entirely from their traditional sphere of influence along the Mediterranean.  That would expedite the defeat of ISIS and make America safer.  It would kill three strategic birds (Assad, Iran, ISIS) with one tactical stone. 

Question 3: “What does final political victory in Syria look like (be specific), and how long will it take for that political victory to be achieved?  Do you consider victory to be destabilization of Assad, the removal of Assad, the creation of a stable government that can protect itself and its people without additional assistance from the United States, etc.?”

Answer: We do not need to turn Syria into a liberal democracy to achieve our political and strategic objectives.  Final political victory in Syria would probably look much like Jordan today; a relatively benign government at peace with its neighbors and within its own borders.  That means no Assad.  That means no ISIS.  Both of those objectives are entirely within our grasp, especially if we work in concert with Russia (or I should say, if Russia works in concert with us).

As for how long it will take: who knows?  As long as America is not taking casualties – and not throwing billions down a bottomless pit with no end in sight – does the length of our “involvement” really matter?  We have provided logistical support to the Jordanians and Egyptians for decades.  Nobody cares.  We have been conducting an air campaign over Yemen and Somalia for years.  Nobody cares.  We may require a similar posture toward Syria in a post-Assad environment.

At this time, it appears President Trump has no interest in using military action to overthrow Assad from power.  Very well.  But if events in Syria lead to that outcome, given the emphasis with which Secretary of Defense Mattis has placed on speed and operational tempo, I suspect any overt U.S. military intervention in Syria would be overwhelming, devastating, and swift – taking days and weeks, not months and years.

Question 4: “What military resources (e.g., ground troops), diplomatic resources, and financial resources will be required to achieve this political victory?”

Answer: This is a great question to which I do not have the answer.  And it certainly must be answered.  It would depend upon how we go about it strategically.  In the event that overt military force is used – even if conventional ground forces were used – there is no reason to believe that would necessitate a years-long military occupation and nation-building effort.  President Trump is famously averse to nation-building (and for good reason).  He wants the U.S. military to be the SWAT team that kicks the door down; not the meter-maid handing out parking tickets.  This is to his credit.

In fact, Trump’s view of how the military should be used has always been the traditional American view.  It has only been since the Marshall Plan in the aftermath of World War II that we decided to tie our hands to long-term reconstruction efforts in all postbellum environments.  Before going into Iraq, Colin Powell famously warned George W. Bush of the Pottery Barn rule: “If you break it, you own it.”  Lame.  I suspect Trump’s view of war is to break things without taking on the contemporary obligation of making them nicer after doing so.  Cheers to that.  Breaking things is fast, easy, and cheap.

Question 5: “How long will it take to achieve political victory?”

Answer: This is similar to Question 3.  Military force and political victory are admittedly two separate concepts.  Syria has been in a state of civil war for the better part of six years.  I believe “political victory” would take less than that.  Much less.  Indeed, militarily speaking, ISIS in Syria already seems to be on the ropes.  Removing Assad from office could take days or weeks.  The final destruction of ISIS may take another six months.  In short, the length of any regime change effort is completely unknowable, and would entirely depend upon the nature of our strategy.  If America and Russia were to work together, I do not see why Assad should last more than a few hours.  Perhaps Putin will eventually offer the Assads an asylum package?

Question 6: “What costs, in terms of lives (both military and civilian), dollars, and forgone options elsewhere as a result of resource deployment in Syria, will be required to achieve political victory?”

Answer: This is a question for the U.S. Congress.  America is a constitutional republic that requires the will of the people to go to war.  Therefore, in order for our national wars to be politically sustainable, they should be won as quickly as possible.  Our strategic and political objectives must be clearly defined and limited enough so that they are obtainable through military operations.  If an American war takes longer than 90 days, results in more than 300 dead Americans, and costs more than 5% of the annual defense budget, we’re probably doing it wrong.

Question 7: “What other countries will join the United States in deposing Assad, in terms of military, monetary, or diplomatic resources?”

Answer: England and France would join.  As would Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and others Sunni Arab states fearful of both ISIS and the Iranians.  Israel would join too, of course, although we may want them to sit on the sidelines for geopolitical reasons.

But the real key would be to obtain Russian support.  Russia has upwards of 4,000 troops in Syria, all of whom are currently supporting the Assad regime.  So it seems at the moment almost preposterous to seek Russian support in the removal of Assad, does it not?  However, I believe this is where Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – who has known Vladimir Putin for many years – could work his diplomacy.  In fact, the presence of Russia within Syria may even accelerate the speed with which Assad could be overthrown.

For starters, America does not want to inadvertently kill Russian soldiers in Syria.  Such an event could potentially lead to World War III.  Therefore, since neither America nor Russia want nuclear apocalypse, I believe both countries are likely to deepen coordination efforts in Syria so as to avoid unintentional friendly-fire.

Secondly, we should not forget that Russia was supposed to disarm Assad of his chemical weapons in 2013 as a precondition for President Obama not enforcing his feckless “red line.”  Whether intentional or not, Russia clearly did not fully disarm Assad.  The international community has every right to hold Russia to account for such negligence; the mere threat of doing so may force Moscow to cut ties with Assad.  Why should Moscow expend enormous geopolitical capital defending a man they could easily replace?

Of course, enlisting the support of Russia would come at a price.  Putin would likely demand something significant from America in exchange for turning his back on Assad.  The question is: what would that be?  Therein lies the foundation of negotiations that one could reasonably conclude are about to take place.

Question 8: “Should explicit congressional authorization for the use of military force in Syria be required, or should the president take action without congressional approval?”

Answer: Many lawyers believe the War Powers Resolution gives President Trump 60 days to conduct military operations before needing congressional authority.  Many lawyers and constitutional experts disagree.  It’s a moot point if we pursue regime change non-militarily in coordination with Russia.

Question 9: “What is the risk of wider conflict with Russia, given that nation’s presence and stake in Syria, if the United States chooses to invade and depose Assad, a key Russian ally in the Middle East?”

Answer: The entire premise of deposing Assad non-militarily is that it should incorporate Russian assistance so as to avoid precisely this risk.

Question 10: “If U.S. intervention in Syria does spark a larger war with Russia, what does political victory in that scenario look like, and what costs will it entail?”

Answer: A war with Russia would be TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it).  There would be no political victory.  Those of us that survive the fallout would spend the rest of our days eating squirrels in the woods.  That’s why it likely won’t happen.  A half-century of nuclear deterrence and the doctrine of “mutually assured destruction” has proven that the Russians prefer their own existence to the annihilation of America.  We feel the same way.  One must believe that rational minds will yet again prevail before tensions begin to even approach this point.

Question 11: “Given that Assad has already demonstrated a willingness to use chemical weapons, how should the United States respond if the Assad regime deploys chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons against the United States?”

Answer: Assuming U.S. ground forces are used – a bold assumption that I do not believe will come to fruition – we will be faced with the same question we were forced to address prior to invading Iraq in 2003: what do we do if the regime we are overthrowing uses WMD on our troops?  The answer, as far as I can tell, is the same as it was then, and two-fold: protect U.S. ground forces with CBRN Hazmat suits and retaliate against any WMD usage with the wrath of an angry psychotic god.

It is worth recalling the reason Assad does not today have nuclear weapons (by way of North Korean scientists): because the Israelis took aggressive military action on a secret Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007.

Question 12: “Assuming the Assad regime is successfully removed from power, what type of government structure will be used to replace Assad, who will select that government, and how will that government establish and maintain stability going forward?”

Answer: If America and Russia both agree to replace Assad together, then the new leader would be someone that has the backing of both America and Russia.  This person could be found within the existing Syrian polity or from the outside.  So long as the new leader sufficiently breaks with the Iranians and continues to fight ISIS, America’s interests are met.  Once the insurgency is squashed and the civil war has ended, then Syria’s political future would belong to the Syrian people.  The goal must be to find someone that: a) won’t use WMD against innocent people; b) won’t support terrorist organizations; and c) won’t be a stooge of the Iranian government.

Question 13: “Given that a change in political power in the United States radically altered the American position in Iraq in 2009, how will you mitigate or address the risk of a similar political dynamic upending your preferred strategy in Syria, either in 2018, 2020, or beyond?” 

Answer: This question presumes Republican losses in 2018 and 2020.  Nevertheless, given his “America First” rhetoric and campaign pledges, I cannot envision a scenario whereby President Trump agrees to a Syria strategy that ties America’s hands for years to come.

Question 14: “What lessons did you learn from America’s failure to achieve and maintain political victory following the removal of governments in Iraq and Libya, and how will you apply those lessons to a potential war in Syria?”

Answer: The primary lesson from Iraq and Libya is to have a political alternative ready to assume control once we have ousted the regime in question.  It only makes logical sense to pursue regime change in Syria if such a political alternative is identified prior to removing Assad.  This would require enlisting Russian support.

Putin turning his back on Assad might seem improbable.  But it certainly isn’t impossible.  When Trump and Putin put their dalliance aside and get down to truly negotiating about the future of the world, it is not unreasonable for the American side of table to bring up the replacement of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Contributing Editor N.M. Guariglia is an essayist who writes on Islam and Middle Eastern geopolitics.

EXCLUSIVE – Feminist Leader Phyllis Chesler: Women Strike Movement Hates Israel Instead of Islamic Misogyny

Phyllis Chesler/Joan Roth

Breitbart, by Deborah Danon, March 9, 2017:

TEL AVIV – Leaders of the International Women’s Strike have no idea about the meaning of feminism and have hijacked the movement to protest the “occupation of Palestine” and “Israeli apartheid” instead of speaking out against the “occupation of women’s bodies” and “Islam’s religious and gendered apartheid,”  a leading Jewish-American feminist told Breitbart Jerusalem.

According to Dr. Phyllis Chesler, emerita professor of psychology at City University of New York and a bestselling author, following Israel’s 1967 defensive war, Palestinians replaced women as “the favored victims of the month” in liberal circles.

“Now, it was formerly colonized Arab men of color, symbolized by the Palestinians, that became an obsession,” she told Breitbart Jerusalem.

Even feminists themselves, Chesler noted, were no “longer concerned with the occupation of women’s bodies worldwide, but rather with the alleged occupation of a country that had never existed: Palestine.”

Chesler, considered a second wave feminist leader, said her generation was focused on “the sexual objectification of women; economic parity; abortion rights; and on all the violence that took place mainly against women: rape, incest, sexual harassment, woman-battering, pornography, and prostitution.”

But then, “post-colonialism and postmodernism swept the Western Academy,” she said.

Indeed, organizers of Wednesday’s Women’s Strike published on their website that they “stand for an uncompromising anti-racist and anti-colonial feminism” first and foremost the “decolonization of Palestine.”

As Chesler notes, women’s rights have been pushed out the picture in favor of a warped anti-colonialist view.

“The West, including Israel, became the world’s worst colonialists. Israel, not Islam, was accused of practicing apartheid. In reality, Islam is the largest practitioner of both gender and religious apartheid, but Israel served as the scapegoat for all the crimes perpetrated by Muslims including slavery, anti-black racism, conversion via the sword, persecution of non-Muslim religious minorities, imperialism, colonialism – and the most barbaric abuse of women,” Chesler said.

“Feminists and other Western academics and progressives simply do not want to know about Islam’s history or current nature. Those who critique Islam, however mildly, are accused of being racists and Islamophobes and may be sued or killed,” she added.

Chesler said that feminists today should be focusing on combating “forced face-veiling, forced child marriage, female genital mutilation, polygamy, and femicide, or honor killing.”

“Sadly, tragically, the feminists who are being funded by Soros; the non-Muslim feminists who proudly wore the hijab at the anti-Trump march simply do not understand that girls and women are killed for refusing to wear the hijab,” she said.

She praised Israel for having robust feminist and gay rights movements and mused that any activists hoping to spearhead similar movements in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Pakistan, would end up being “jailed, tortured, raped, and murdered, perhaps beheaded.”

Women like Rasmea Odeh and Linda Sarsour, the faces behind Wednesday’s women’s strike as well as January’s Women’s March, are not feminists, Chesler said.

As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, Odeh, who together with other strike organizers are calling to “decolonize Palestine” and protest the “white supremacists in the current government,” is a convicted terrorist accused of bombing attacks in the late 1960s that killed two Israeli university students and injured nine more.

In 1980, Odeh was freed from an Israeli jail as part of a prisoner exchange deal, and a decade later emigrated to the U.S. She recently made headlines again after being charged with immigration fraud for lying about her terrorist background when applying for U.S. citizenship.

For her part, Linda Sarsour is an anti-Israel Palestinian-American activist who made headlines for becoming the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against Trump’s executive order on immigration.

***

The Ninth Circuit’s stolen sovereignty should serve as final wakeup call

Africa Studio | Shutterstock

Africa Studio | Shutterstock

“What it evidences is the deep and perhaps irremediable corruption of our legal culture’s conception of constitutional interpretation” ~ Justice Samuel Alito, (Obergefell v. Hodges, dissenting)

Conservative Review, by Daniel Horowitz, February 10, 2017:

Last night, we saw the logical outcome of over a half century of political agreement on the Right and Left that the opinions of the courts are the sole and final arbiter of every public policy issue, no matter how divorced from the Constitution and inimical to national interests those decisions may be.

The Ninth Circuit, although not “officially” deciding the merits of the immigration case, indicated that there is a constitutional right for anyone to immigrate, even during a time of war, even from countries we were so careful never to take immigrants from until recently. It concluded the president must show the courts sufficient evidence that each person will be a terrorist and anything short of that creates a due process right to be here.

It’s very important to remember that this is not about the executive action. President Trump’s executive order is following a statute, really a series of statutes, which grant any president ABSOLLUTE at-will power to shut off all or any immigration. According to the perverted rationale of the courts, even Congress couldn’t cut off immigration, even from part of the Middle East because it poses issues to the Left’s social justice agenda, which has been retroactively enshrined into the Constitution.

The outcome of this case is that even if Congress was to merely bar visas from countries that support terror (which is current law for state-sponsors of terror), that law would be open to lawsuits and would be enjoined nationwide by one district within one liberal circuit — and there’s not a darn thing we can do about it. It means any Islamic supremacist sitting in a shack in Somalia has due process rights to immigrate here and liberal states can sue on his behalf.  It means any Muslim in Syria can sue us if they believe a Christian was admitted as a refugee in front of them. After all, we already know that four of the justices on the Supreme Court will never defy any political agenda of the Left, and that Anthony Kennedy is terrible on immigration.

Those radicals breaking windows and beating people up in the streets? Those views are not only represented in Congress but are now codified into law and the Constitution by the misconceived supremacy of the judicial branch of government. As I predicted in my book, within a few years (perhaps less), there will be wholesale judicial amnesty for all of the illegal immigrants in this country under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. It’s already happening in the lower courts. Last night, it was codified into law by the Ninth Circuit when it said illegals have due process rights (to remain in the country).

So where does it say in the Constitution that there is a right for foreign nationals to immigrate, especially when courts have said the opposite for 200 years? It’s in the same clause as “separation of church and state,” gay marriage, sex change operations, and the right to 30 days of early voting.

It’s not worth re-litigating what is so obvious to a sane person and frankly what is obvious to these judges themselves. We’ve covered every aspect of this case in the following articles:

What I would like to focus on is the solution. In the coming days I plan to focus on the strategy of wholesale judicial reform as well as the need to continue the push for an Article V Convention of the States. But the first step is understanding the severity of the problem and to stop legitimizing the false premise that courts have the final say on political questions.  Let’s say this together: The federal judiciary is IRREMEDIABLY broken, and as witnessed by these cases, half the GOP judges are just as bad.

We must also stop legitimizing the notion that Congress doesn’t have full authority over the jurisdiction and structure of the courts.

Let me leave you with the following twisted irony.

Samuel Chase was one of first Supreme Court justices and one of the earliest supporters of judicial review (which is not synonymous with judicial exclusivity/supremacy). Chase was impeached, at the behest of President Jefferson, for using the court to advance his political agenda. Yet, even this judicial strongman of his day, when defending the original rationale for the power of judicial review against laws passed by legislatures, declared, “an act of the Legislature contrary to the great first principles of the social compact, cannot be considered a rightful exercise of legislative authority.” Chase believed the Court could strike down laws passed by Congress that violated the essence of the social compact and fundamental natural rights.

Fast-forward two centuries and we have unelected judges, not the legislature, violating the essence of the social compact by redefining marriage and gender itself (the ultimate natural law). Courts have violated the popular and jurisdictional sovereignty of our states and federal union in hamstringing the elected representatives from protecting us against those who come here without our consent and harm our society. The fact that any liberal state official can sue to bring in people who don’t share our values and might do us harm violates the very essence of the consent-based national sovereignty at the core of the social compact and at the foundation of why the Constitution gave national sovereignty questions to the national government. As Justice Scalia warned, we are suffering from social transformation without representation.

Until and unless we reclaim our sovereignty from the courts, we are no longer a sovereign nation.

Report: Trump to Announce U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem Monday

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, byJoel B. Pollak, Jnuary 22, 2017:

Numerous unconfirmed reports are circulating in the international media that President Donald Trump intends announcing Monday that he will relocate the U.S. embassy to Israel from the coastal city of Tel Aviv to the capital city of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital city since its founding in 1948, but most countries have deferred moving the embassy there because the original UN partition plan for the British Mandate proposed Jerusalem as a city under international sovereignty.

Jordan, the Palestinians, and all surrounding Arab nations rejected the UN plan, and the Jordanian army took over the eastern half of Jerusalem in 1948, expelling the Jewish inhabitants of the Old City, where Jews had lived for several millennia.

With that part of the UN plan effectively rejected by Jordan and the Arab world, Israel established its capital in western Jerusalem. Though Palestinians, in theory, claim all of Jerusalem for themselves, the part of Jerusalem west of the 1949 armistice line (the “1967 lines,” or the “Green Line”) will unquestionably remain part of Israel in any peace agreement.

The core of the Arab and Muslim rejection of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a rejection of Jewish claims to religious and historical connection to the city itself. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat once turned down an offer of shared sovereignty over the Temple Mount because, as he told then-President Bill Clinton, he saw the Jewish claim to the holy site as fictitious.

In 1995, Congress mandated that the U.S. move the embassy to Israel through the Jerusalem Embassy Act. The law, however, contained a waiver that allowed the president to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv, acknowledging the supremacy of the executive in determining the foreign policy of the U.S. Trump’s pledge on Monday — if it comes to fruition — would decline that waiver.

Opponents of the decision to move the embassy have warned that it would set off violence in the Arab world. But it would also inspire joyful celebrations in Israel and around the world, as the U.S. would likely inspire other countries to follow its example, and would help Israel cement its national vision of “a free nation in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

At the inaugural ceremony itself, Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles stressed the themes of Zion and Jerusalem, quoting from Psalm 137:5: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill.”

President Trump was scheduled to speak to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayhu by telephone on Sunday afternoon.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

UTT Reviews Final Republican Presidential Debate of 2015

debate1UTT, by John Guandolo, Dec. 16, 2015:

Last night (Tuesday) in Las Vegas, Nevada the Republican candidates for President met for their last debate of 2015.  The focus of the debate was national security with a large portion of the discussion dedicated to ISIS and the jihadi threat.

UTT now offers a few comments on this debate and each candidate specifically as it relates to their positions on the Islamic threat.

Sadly, there were several illogical streams of thought from the candidates with regard to the Global Islamic Movement, the most obvious of which was the focus primarily on ISIS and the concerns surrounding that, and no spoken understanding of the larger Islamic Movement.

The candidates generally proclaimed:

  1. We cannot defeat ISIS without partnering with the Muslim world and using Arab forces
  2. Banning Muslim immigration to U.S. will hurt us in defeating ISIS
  3. ISIS is “radical” and the threat is primarily “over there”
  4. There was no mention of sharia as the enemy threat doctrine
  5. The Saudis are our friends
  6. There was no mention of destroying Iran’s military capability
  7. There was no mention that most Islamic Centers/Mosques and Islamic organizations in America are hostile/jihadist and, therefore, pose a threat to the American people.
  8. There was no mention that all of the recent jihadi attacks in America are directly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood’s network here

The following are key quotes from the candidates with brief comments by UTT included:

Senator Ted Cruz:  Senator Cruz seemed to understand the jihadi threat better than the other candidates, and gave a more narrow definition of the threat than we have heard thus far.  He also mentioned the Muslim Brotherhood and called them a “terrorist organization.”  Senator Cruz highlighted the absurdity of an American government relying on “moderate Muslims” to change the course of the war, and made clear that border and port security were high priorities.

“Its not a war on a faith, its a war on a political and theocratic ideology that seeks to murder us…what (carpet bombing ISIS in their capital) means is using overwhelming air power to utterly and completely defeat ISIS…we need to use overwhelming air power, we need to be arming the Kurds, we need to be fighting and killing ISIS where they are.”

“We keep hearing from President Obama and Hillary Clinton, and Washington Republicans that they’re searching for these mythical moderate rebels.  Its like a purple unicorn – they never exist. These moderate rebels end up being jihadists.”

“(Immigration) is directly related to what we have been talking about, because the front line with ISIS isn’t just in Iraq and Syria.  Its also in Kennedy Airport and the Rio Grande.  Border security is national security.”

In making the comment that Muslims in India are not prone to the type of activities we see from ISIS, Senator Cruz showed a lack of understanding of the Muslim community there, as many do support and are involved in the jihad.   Overall, however, he clearly understands this threat better than the others.

Donald Trump:  Mr. Trump stated he is willing to take the fight to the enemy by destorying ISIS using all means necessary, but did not demonstrate an understanding of the nature of the threat here in the United States.  He reaffirmed his commitment to pause immigration of refugees and Muslims.

When asked about his ban on Muslims and refugees Mr. Trump stated, “We are not talking about isolation. We are talking about security.  We are not talking about religion, we are talking about security…as far as other people like in the migration, where they are going, tens of thousands of people having cell phones with ISIS flags on them…they are not coming to this country…and if Obama has brought some to this country, they are leaving, they are going, they’re gone.”

Mr. Trump left little doubt he will address this threat head-on, and will do what needs to be done to protect America, regardless of what critics say.

Dr. Ben Carson:  On two occasions, Dr. Carson called for Congress to declare war on ISIS, and was the only candidate to mention the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategic document discovered at the 2004 FBI raid in Annandale, Virginia where the archives of the MB were found.  Many of these documents were entered into the US v Holy Land Foundation trial which was the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial in American history (Dallas, 2008).  None of the candidates explained the MB network here or layed out the evidence from the HLF trial other than Dr. Carson’s brief comment.

“We need to be on a war footing.  We need to understand that our nation is in grave danger….What the Muslim Brotherhood said in the Explanatory Memorandum that was discovered during the Holy Land Foundation trial is that they will take advantage of our PC attitude to get us.”

We have to “shut down all the mechanisms whereby they can disperse money because they go after disaffected individuals all over the place…”

Governor Chris Christie:  Governor Christie emphasized his experience as a federal prosecutor, and it is a pretty strong record on which to stand.  However, his record of defending suit wearing jihadists is also clear, and he has demonstrated his lack of understanding of Islam and sharia.  This means if he is put in a position of leadership at the federal level, he will likely continue the Bush administration’s practice of focusing on jihadis who want to shoot people and blow things up while the suit-wearing jihadis write American foreign and domestic policy on these matters.

“On ISIS, lets be clear, the President needs to be a force that is trusted in the world…if you’re the King of Jordan, if you’re in the royal family in Saudi Arabia, and he’s made this deal with Iran which gives them $150 billion to wage a war and try to extend their empire across the Middle East, why would you want to do it (fight in a coalition against Asad’s forces) now?  But I’ll tell you this, when I stand across from King Hussein of Jordan and I say to him you have a friend again sir who will stand with you again to fight this fight, he’ll change his mind.”

Governor Christie also proclaimed that ISIS was formed because of Iran, again highlighting his lack of understanding that jihad is an obligation for all Muslims until the world is under Islamic rule.

“ISIS is created and formed because of the abuse that Asad and his Iranian sponsors have rained down on the sunnis in Syria…we need to focus our attention on Iran, because if you miss Iran you are not going to get ISIS.  The two are inextricably connected because one causes the other.”

Governor Christie was strong and resolute on not allowing Syrian refugees into the US because the FBI Director says the FBI cannot vet them.

Senator Rand Paul stated the United States needs to “defeat terrorism” and that  “Regime change hasn’t won.  Toppling secular dictators in the Middle East has only led to chaos and the rise of radical Islam.”

This again reveals a strategic misunderstanding of what we are dealing with.  The rise of the Islamic armies is a function of sharia, not of Israel, toppling dictators, Iran, or anything else.  Our mis-steps hurt us strategically, but these events are not the driving force behind the global jihad – Islamic doctrine is.

“We get so distracted by all of the information, we are spending time getting specific information on terrorists…by arming the allies of ISIS, the Islamic rebels against Asad, that we created a safe space or made that space bigger for ISIS to grow.  I think those who have wanted regime change have made a mistake.”

It should be noted, however, that UTT believes “regime change” should not be the focus, but destroying the enemy in all forms should.  Our objective was to help establish democratic-style governments in Afghanistan and Iraq, and today they are Islamic Republics under sharia.

Governor John Kasich’s perspective of wanting to unify Republicans and Democrats seems to ignore the reality that the Democrat party at the federal level is now a socialist-based party with no desire to defend American principles or our national security.

“We need to unify” with democrats.

He also verbalized his approval of trusting and working with Saudi Arabia – the largest funder of the global jihad besides Iran.  “The Saudis have organized 34 countries who want to join in the battle against terrorism.  First and foremost, we need to go and destroy ISIS, and we need to do this with our Arab friends and our friends in Europe.”

“(Asad) has to go. Asad is aligned with Iran and Russia.  The one thing we want to prevent is we want to prevent Iran being able to extend a shia crescent all across the Middle East.  Asad has got to go.  And there are moderates there.  There are moderates in Syria we should be supporting….At the end, the Saudis have agreed to put together a coalition inside of Syria to stabilize that country.”

While Governor Kasich stated he does not support allowing Syrian refugees into the United States, his desire to rely on “moderate” Muslims in places like Syria reveals a grave lack of understanding of the threat.

Carly Fiorina:  Mrs. Fiorina seems focused on using technology to win the war, which is not surprising given her background.  However, her common sense approach to most things may mean she is likely open to the truth at a deeper level.

Her desire to have Muslims in the coalition, again, highlights a lack of strategic understanding of this threat.  “We must have sunni Arabs involved in this coalition.”

“We need to deny (ISIS) territory.  Here at home we need to do two fundamental things…we need to recognize that technology has moved on…and the terrorists have moved on with it…We now learn that DHS says ‘no we can’t check their social media.’  For heaven’s sake, every parent in America is checking social media and every employer is as well, but our government can’t do it…our government has become incompetent, unresponsive, corrupt.  And that incompetence, ineptitude, lack of accountability, is now dangerous…One of the things I would immediately do, in addition to defeating them here at home, is bring back the warrior class.”

Mrs. Fiorina understands we need warriors to lead this fight.  UTT only slightly disagrees with her specific comments in that we need more warriors/leaders like General Mattis and less like General Petraeus.

Governor Jeb Bush:  Governor Bush believes the Arab world needs to create the strategy to defeat ISIS without acknowledging the Muslim world is conflicted because what ISIS is doing is often right in line with Islamic doctrine.  He strongly disagrees with Mr. Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigration for a time period specifically because – according to Mr. Bush – it will hurt America’s ability to engage the Muslim world.  Governor Bush seems to be unaware that a large portion of the Muslim world is already at war with us.

“We need to destroy ISIS in the caliphate.  That should be our objective.  The refugee issue will be solved if we destroy ISIS there…All of that has to be done in concert with the Arab nations.  And if we’re going to ban all Muslims, how are we going to get them to be part of a coalition to destroy ISIS…This is not a serious proposal.  In fact, it will push the Muslim world, the Arab world, away from us at a time when we need to re-engage with them to be able to create a strategy to destroy ISIS…Banning all Muslims will make it harder for us to (destroy ISIS)…The main thing we should be focused on is a strategy to destroy ISIS.”

Senator Marco Rubio:  Senator Rubio stated that sunni Arabs reject ISIS ideologically without providing further details.  In fact, the Arab world is concerned because ISIS is calling out Arab leaders who are not abiding by sharia, and the Global Islamic Movement is currently focused on holding those leaders accountable and overthrowing governments in order to make sharia the law of the land.  His plan also mandates our enemies in the Islamic world be a part of the coalition to defeat ISIS, and also believes ISIS was created for some other reason other than the truth that Islamic law requires it.

“We have to understand who ISIS is.  ISIS is a radical Sunni group.  They cannot just be defeated through air strikes.  Air strikes are a key component of defeating them, but they must be defeated on the ground by a ground force.  And that ground force must be made up of sunni Arabs themselves.  Sunni Arabs who reject them ideologically and confront them militarily…Asad is one of the main reasons ISIS exists to begin with.  Asad is a puppet of Iran. And he has been so brutal towards the sunni within Syria, that he created the space that led for the people of Syria themselves to stand up and try to overthrow him.  That led to the chaos which allowed ISIS to come in and take advantage of that situation and grow more powerful.”

Overall, the candidates did not acknowledge the reality that the war against us is a Global Islamic Movement, not merely ISIS.  Did Al Qaeda evaporate from the planet by the way?

Many of the candidates also proclaimed we must use Muslim forces to defeat Muslim forces.  This is not rational on the face of it.  America must do what we need to do to defend our sovereignty, our government, our people, and our way of life.

Additionally, none of the candidates spoke truth into the massive jihadi network here in America that is much more of an imminent threat to all of us than ISIS in Syria is.

The good news is, the needle has moved and the discussions are getting closer to the truth.  Most of that is because Mr. Trump has forced these discussions, and that is good for American national security and our future.