Friday, February 25, 2011


by Andrew C. McCarthy

For the world's billion-plus Sunni Muslims, al-Azhar University in Cairo is the center of the theological universe, its faculty and scholars the most authoritative voice on the meaning of Islam. It is not very far from Tahrir Square, ground zero of Egypt's revolution.
It was in Tahrir Square last Friday that the Muslim Brotherhood began shunting aside other opposition leaders, including Google executive Wael Ghonim. The million Muslims jamming the square hadn't turned out to hear a good corporate citizen of the Left. In this nation, where a strong majority of the population desires the implementation of sharia, Islam's legal and political system, the throng turned out to hear and hail Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the Brotherhood's top adviser who, with his al-Azhar doctorate in Islamic jurisprudence, is sharia personified.

Tahrir Square is also the place where, in the frenzy after Hosni Mubarak's fall, CBS news correspondent Lara Logan was seized and subjected to a savage sexual assault by an Egyptian gang. Coverage of the attack has been muted. There have been testimonials to Ms. Logan's courage, and one anti-American leftist lost his comfortable fellowship at NYU Law School for failing to conceal his glee over the atrocity. We have heard much about the attack, but have heard next to nothing about the attackers. You are just supposed to assume it was the sort of thing that could have happened in any setting where raw emotion erupts, say, Wisconsin's capitol.

Except it doesn't happen in Madison. It happens in Egypt. It happened in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, in the riots that led to Suharto's fall - as Sharon Lapkin recounts, human-rights groups interviewed more than 100 women who had been captured and gang raped, including many Chinese women, who were told this was their fate as non-Muslims. It happens in Muslim countries and in the Muslim enclaves of Europe and Australia, perpetrated by Islamic supremacists acting on a sense of entitlement derived from their scriptures, fueled by the rage of their jihad, and enabled by the deafening silence of the media.

As Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer has detailed, al-Azhar University endorses a sharia manual called Umdat al-Salik. It is quite clear on the subject of women who become captives of Muslim forces: 'When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman's previous marriage is immediately annulled.' This is so the woman can then be made a concubine of her captor.

This arrangement is encouraged by the Koran. Sura 4:23รข€'24, for example, forbids Muslim men from consorting with the wives of other Muslims but declares sexual open season on any women these men have enslaved. ('Forbidden to you are . . . married women, except those whom you own as slaves.') Moreover, Mohammed - whose life Muslims are exhorted by scripture to emulate - rewarded his fighters by distributing as slaves the women of the Jewish Qurazyzah tribe after Muslim forces had beheaded their husbands, fathers, and sons.

The prophet himself also took one of the captured women, Rayhanna, as his concubine. And, as Spencer further notes, Mohammed directed his jihadists that they should not practice coitus interruptus with their slaves - they were encouraged to ravish them, but only in a manner that might produce Muslim offspring.

As I documented in an earlier column, Sheikh Qaradawi contends that women bring sexual abuse on themselves if they fail to conform to Islamist conventions of modest dress. Shahid Mehdi, a top Islamic cleric in Denmark, has explained that women who fail to don a headscarf are asking to be raped, an admonition echoed by Sheikh Faiz Mohammed, a prominent Lebanese cleric, during a lecture he delivered in Australia.

In light of these exhortations, should it be any surprise that the sexual abuse of women is Islam's silent scandal? In Europe's expanding Muslim enclaves, it is a terror tactic to extort women - Muslim and non-Muslim - into adopting the hijab and other Islamic sartorial standards. Rape has become so prevalent, and so identifiably a Muslim scourge, that embarrassed and hyper-politically correct Swedish authorities have discouraged police in cities such as heavily Muslim Malmo from collecting data that point to Islam as the common denominator in rape reports.

We can keep ignoring it, we can hope against hope for a reformation (while continuing to pretend that the reformation has already happened). The fact, however, is that, as long as al-Azhar and figures like Qaradawi continue to be the voice of Islam - al-Azhar, the site President Obama chose for his June 2009 address to the Muslim world; Qaradawi, whom the State Department has hailed as an 'intelligent and thoughtful voice from the region . . . an important figure that deserves our attention' Islam will not change, and women will be little more than chattel.

It is a challenge we do not want to acknowledge, because the Islamic scholars have doctrine on their side. The Koran pronounces that 'Allah has made men superior to women' (Sura 4:34). As documented in 'Sharia Law for Non-Muslims,' a study published by the Center for the Study of Political Islam, Mohammed declared that women are inferior to men in both intelligence and religious devotion (Bukhari hadith 1.6.301), and that women will make up most of those condemned to Hell. (Bukahri 7.62.132). Sexual abuse is encouraged not only by hadith but 'as I related in discussing the recent case of a teenager flogged to death in Bangladesh- by sharia standards that make rape practically impossible to prove and subject women to a death sentence for adultery or fornication if they come forward with an accusation but cannot prove it.

Islamic scriptures endorse wife-beating (Koran 4:34 again). Female genital mutilation is rampant in the Muslim world and scripturally based. As Caroline Glick notes, the World Health Organization reports that 97 percent of Egyptian women and girls have been subjected to this form of barbarism.

This despicable treatment is fortified by standards that treat women's testimony as inferior to men's, permit men to marry up to four women, and deny women the right to hold many public offices - particularly those that involve the construction of Islamic law and issuance of fatwas.

The unmistakable message at the core of sharia is that women, like non-Muslims, are less than fully human. It is a message we continue ignoring at the peril of tomorrow's Lara Logans, and our own.

Friday, February 11, 2011


The Saudi offer to subsidize Egypt's President Husni Mubarak if the U.S. government tries to pressure him by cutting aid calls to our attention still another inept flub of the Obama Administration.
Obviously, before demanding the regime go away, the White House did not consult with American allies on their views, and certainly didn't consider the impact on them. Aside from their sense of honor, the Saudis know that people view Egypt as a precedent for their country.

If Mubarak is humiliated today, the Saudi king can be humiliated tomorrow. If a radical regime takes power in Egypt today, it will be one more threat to Saudi Arabia that the Americans did not protect them from. Now the Saudis have rebelled against Obama's policy.

It's remarkable how effective he has been at demolishing the entire structure of U.S. influence, deterrence, and credibility in the Middle East. I certainly don't think any of this was on purpose. But the incompetence is at such a high level that it is understandable why some think otherwise. And that in itself tells you how bad things are.


This is an extremely important article. Let me explain why briefly. The point is to analyze the split within the Obama Administration: Should it let the current Egyptian regime manage the process of "transition" or press for the regime's fall and replacement by...who knows what?

And it isn't surprising. In favor of the moderate and sensible approach are Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, national security advisor Thomas Donilon and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, "who worry about regional stability and want to reassure other Middle East governments that the U.S. will not abandon an important and longtime ally."

In other words, the people who actually have some experience with international affairs understand that the administration's original policy would produce a disaster.

And who wants to dump Mubarak and the regime immediately while having no fear of the emergence of a radical Egypt? Why the ideologues, of course: National Security Council members Ben Rhodes and Samantha Power, who say "that if President Obama appears to side with the remnants of Mubarak's discredited regime, he risks being seen as complicit in stifling a pro-democracy movement."

This split which has existed all along now becomes visible for the first time. We are going to be hearing more about this conflict in future.


My articles on media coverage have prompted a number of letters from journalists about their own experiences. Here's my favorite, slightly rewritten to protect anonymity:

"Thought I'd share with you the time in 2002 I identified on the spot the fact that a dead Palestinian, spread across both sides of the street in many pieces in Hebron's market, was not killed by Israelis as the locals were passionately wanting us to believe (including some Hamas types at the scene) but the dead man was actually a suicide bomber on a mission who'd accidentally blown up.

"The locals claimed Israeli rockets were used to kill the man, either fired from helicopters or from the Jewish quarter--there were conflicting stories of course. I pointed out that there was no point of impact for any rockets; and there were some other things that to me clearly indicated that he just blew up. CNN and others were reporting he'd been killed by Israelis that morning after we were on the scene.

"Turns out I was right. Later in the day we met with a Hamas leader with his armed entourage and he admitted to us that something "technically went wrong.' CNN and others originally reported that the man had been shot and killed by Israel (without provocaiton, of course) eventually changed the report that day to say he was a suicide bomber who had accidentally detonated."

Back to me: Now multiply that by thousands of stories in most of which the correction was never made or done so grudgingly (and with such an emphasis on discrediting the critics) as to be of little improvement.

Imagine if no Western reporter had observed the event BUT nonetheless reported it as the highly partisan Palestinians claimed. This is precisely what happened in the Muhammad al-Dura affair--in which millions of people believe that Israel murdered a boy in a situation that was at the least a phony manufactured event--and in the Goldstone Report (which basically retold the Hamas propaganda version of the story), and most recently in the tear-gas-is-poison-gas scenario that has just unfolded.

This brings to mind the time when the Los Angeles Times reported that people in the Gaza Strip were suffering greatly from Israeli restrictions on providing power, an article published before the changes were implemented. Or the time when it was widely reported that the Gaza "parliament" was holding meetings by candle light when there was no power, though photos showed it was daylight and the curtains had been closed to stage the scene.

It's endless.

The weak point here is not what Israel says or does--since even documented reports are ignored or ridiculed--but the credulity, unprofessional behavior, and sometimes malice of the journalists involved.

My usual guidelines apply here: Many journalists and media outlets do a good job; the problem is with relatively few though often from the widest-circulation, most "respectable" publications.


I promised myself I wouldn't waste any more time on Roger Cohen but he said something so fascinatingly puerile that it gets to the center of the problem. In dismissing the potential threat of the Muslim Brotherhood, Cohen wrote:

"Already we hear the predictable warnings from Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu: This could be Iran 1979, a revolution for freedom that installs the Islamists. But this is not 1979, and Egypt's Facebook-adept youth are not lining up behind the Muslim Brotherhood, itself scarcely a band of fanatics."

That Cohen thinks the Brotherhood is "scarcely a band of fanatics" is due to his remarkable obtuseness. Note, too, the patronizing dismissal that the leader of a country that has fought many wars and buried many dead might be worried about a revolution next door that could well again force his country to defend itself against a neighbor that has twelve times as many people.

What's really interesting, and shows the true mark of the provincial thinking that he's a sophisticate is this: The population of Egypt is 90 million people. How many of them are urban, consumer-oriented, Facebook-adept youth who want to live in a relatively secular, stable democracy at peace with its neighbors?

Like the American journalists and diplomats who based their view of Tehran on the wealthy, cosmopolitan people they hung around with thus missing the Iranian revolution's real course, or the famous story of the New York socialite who couldn't understand how Reagan won because, "No one we know voted for him," Cohen thinks the world is made in his image. Here's an example of how this divide manifests itself in Pakistan.

Remember, too, that all of Egypt is not Cairo and Alexandria. There are hundreds of villages where peasants won't be voting for the same party as Cairo's Facebook-Adept Youth. And in Upper Egypt there are a lot of Christians trembling at what neighbors might do to them--based on precedent--if there is no order and a rising Islamist movement.

So Cohen's may be right that the Facebook-Adept Youth aren't going to join an Islamist group but they aren't the whole population of Egypt. For him to be blind to that simple point is a strong indicator of how the masters of the media and public debate are so clueless about the real world.

But there are other interesting issues here. Is technology destiny? That is, when you have television, radio, cds, computers, satellite television, Facebook, Twitter, Internet, and so on, does that mean you have to be modern, liberal, and democratic? That idea has been shattered (though the news has not caught up to Cohen) by a lot of events. Think of Khomeini's effective use of cassettes with his speeches to mobilize support in Iran, or how Islamists have used Internet so effectively.

It might be that in the long run high-technology gives the masses tools for independent thinking and action. But the Islamists have used these tools effectively, often more so than the reformers. Technology is more value-neutral than many in the West think.

The woman (and the fact that it's a woman is in itself significant) credited for starting the Egyptian revolution is enwrapped in a chador that's pretty comprehensive, even by Egyptian standards. That doesn't mean she's an Islamist, but as far as I've seen nobody asked her about her political views.

By total coincidence, a young Egyptian just asked to join my Facebook. His profile includes pictures of scantily dressed Western singers. And he lists his political heroes as: Sayyid Qutb, the ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood hanged by Nasser, Edward Said, Malcolm X, and the Iranian Islamist theorist Ali Shariati. Oh yes, and he also likes Christiane Amanpour.

What's really interesting is his philosophical statement, which a Western observer might easily misunderstand. The basic message is this: Egyptian patriotism is out, Arab nationalism is out ("ethnocentrism and chauvinism") the only thing important is Islamic identity and having an Islamist state. The reference to "jahili" is to the period before Islam began, a time of ignorance and paganism, all of whose customs and beliefs should be rejected. Note also his rejection of any pride in Egypt's ancient past:

"I am...just trying to be a real Muslim. Although I was born in Egypt... and I do love my country very much, but it ain't relevant to my identity by any means. I'm a Muslim, so this is my identity and nationality. Wherever exists any Muslim; its my home country, and wherever exists a human; its supposed to be my home.

"I hate both ethnocentrism, and chauvinism; talking about stupid mythical ethnic purity, like Nazism, Zionism, and fascism, its a Jahili (Ignorant) habit. Also being proud of an ancient civilization that I haven't share its building; is totally ridiculous, and sounds slavish!!

"The fatherland is that place where the Islamic faith, the Islamic way of life, and the Shari'ah of God is belief and a way of life, and only this relationship is worthy of man's dignity.

"Grouping according to family, tribe, nation, race, color or country, are residues of the primitive state of man; these jahili groupings are from a period when man's spiritual values were at a low stage. The Prophet -peace be on him- has called them 'dead things' against which man's spirit should revolt. Thus Spoke Sayyid Qutb."

So he wants an Egypt in which Shari'ah is dominant and all other inputs are thrown away. And the quotation of the radical anti-American Sayyid Qutb makes clear where his loyalties lie. Liking Mariah Carey and Sayyid Qutb simultaneously is quite possible. His statement is almost like an Islamist version of John Lennon's song, "Imagine."

So here is the real issue: What do the masses want? Remember, it is the people of Egypt--especially in an election--that will determine the outcome, not just the demonstrators in Tahrir Square, and not just the Facebook-adept youth in Tahrir Square. And even many of the Facebookistas are also pretty extreme.

That's Egypt's problem. Here's ours: We all want this revolution to succeed and create a stable, democratic Egypt. But will it do so? And it is absolutely necessary for people to point out the dangers. For how else can policymakers try to avoid the dangers?

I can't resist adding that these are the same people who would look down on Americans from rural areas or small towns, the pious, the conservative, those who own guns, and so on. In their own culture they have strong views and know how to read social signals. Ironically, in a real sense they distrust their own masses. In short, much of the American elite thinks that the Tea Party or evangelical Christians are dangerous while the Muslim Brotherhood isn't.

Abroad, though, and especially in the Third World, their perceptions get even more confused, tangled up in the exotic and unfamiliar. They look for those who think like them, dress like them, and speak good English. Then they project those characteristics onto a whole society. Often their counterparts, whether intentionally or not, mislead them.

Even then, are they aware that the Muslim Brotherhood controls both the doctors' and lawyers' associations in Egypt? Or that Syria's dictator, Bashar al-Assad, is head of the Syrian Internet Society? Or that radical Islamists have been far more effective at using the Internet than liberal reformers?

The only hope for people who don't understand these things is to get a really smart anti-Islamist cab driver between the airport and the luxury hotel in Cairo who can set them straight.


Parliamentary Elections

Muslim Brotherhood and ElBaradei run on a joint ticket, win 60 percent

Regime group (whatever they call themselves) 30 percent

Left-wing parties: 5 percent

Good-government reformers (the idealistic people from the demonstrations) 5 percent

Presidential Elections

In the presidential elections, the most likely person to run against ElBaradei would be Amr Moussa, head of the Arab League and former foreign minister. Moussa is known for his strong anti-Israel stance (a popular song on this was written in his honor). Since ElBaradei is relatively unknown in Egypt and has been outside the country for three decades, one cannot rule out Moussa winning.

Since the Muslim Brotherhood would support El Baradei the anti-Islamists might rally to Moussa. From a domestic standpoint this would make a big difference if Moussa won. But in foreign policy it would be roughly comparable.

Most Likely Outcome:

ElBaradei wins. West argues ElBaradei tames Brotherhood! Hooray! U.S. aid continues.

Actual result: Brotherhood is cautious but uses ElBaradei to increase its power, move society toward Islamism, and push a radical and pro-Islamist foreign policy.

Alternative Outcome:

Amr Moussa wins as anti-Islamist forces unite and ElBaradei is a disappointing candidate who is seen as the American's man. It is quite possible that Moussa would use a strong anti-American element in his campaign. Moussa is also the better politician. Th
Result: The Brotherhood is held at bay, which is good, but Egypt becomes much more radical internationally, very anti-Israel in its behavior, and antagonistic to the United States. Moussa is a demagogue and very mercurial. He is capable of the grand gesture and the emotional response. He could be real trouble.

I'd put it this way: A victory for ElBaradei is a long-run headache (with the Brotherhood getting stronger) and Moussa's victory is going to be an immediate migraine.

I reserve the right to alter this analysis but I think it is a reasonable one that tells us what we need to know.

I'd be delighted to hear how others would (politely) argue this differently. I assume these focus mainly on whether the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate (which doesn't affect the likely election results) or much weaker than I think (they're wrong on that one.)


The genuinely (relatively) moderate Palestinian Daoud Kuttab wrote an op-ed in The New York Times that beautifully shows the kind of thing Israel and Israelis and those friendly to Israel have to deal with daily.

He wrote:

"Palestine television, which falls under the president's [Mahmoud Abbas's] powers, was totally revamped and cleaned of anti-Israeli incitement."

Now, I will give Kuttab the credit for wishing that this was true but he knows it isn't true. Consequently, I have not the slightest reservation to saying that he is lying and that he knows that he is lying.

And I also know that hundreds of thousands of people will read and believe him, saying that it must be true or the Times wouldn't print it. Or if it weren't true they'd be reading about such anti-Israel incitement in the Times and other newspapers.

At any rate, no one raised the interesting question in any mass media environment: Why would it have taken until November 2010 to do this when it was supposed to have been done about 16 years earlier according to the 1993 Israel-PLO agreement?

And of course it hasn't happened even as of today. On the contrary.

One expert on Palestinian media and incitement therein remarked, "It so absurd a statement that to prove it wrong would be easy." Yet no Western journalist seems interested in tapping his remote control, turning the television on, and checking it out.

That's a funny thing about today's world. We have instantaneous reporting: You are IN Tahrir Square with the demonstrators; Yet this situation requires a higher level of understanding on the part of the journalists and their pontificating guests. And instead the opposite is true.

So here is one example of how simple it is to get the true story. In this case, of course, incitement on PA television has not declined. Here, a blogger provides three videos of songs on PA television inciting to violence against Israel and Israelis. The third one honors one of the most vicious terrorists in the history of the conflict.

But keep in mind that it is possible to provide dozens of examples, as Palestinian Media Watch has done.

Now multiply this little case study by one thousand, ten thousand or more in terms of the propaganda campaign and the Western media's collaboration in it.


"What are we going to do--support dictators for the rest of eternity because we don't want Islamists taking their share of some political system in the Middle East?" Thus spake Robert Kagan in advocating regime change in Egypt.

But that raises an interesting question. How many dictators is the United States supporting in the Middle East. Not many. In fact, as of today, none at all! Of course, to the Islamists the kings of Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and all the small Gulf sheikdoms are dictators. Do we regard them as such? If not, there aren't many potential dictators left.

The United States gives some help to Algeria, but that country isn't an American client. So what's left in the dictator category? Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, and the Palestinian Authority (though its government has outstayed its term) and some others have governments picked in free elections. That's about it.

So with Tunisia gone, and the regime's fall welcomed by the United States, Egypt was the only dictatorship the United States was supporting. And indeed, the U.S. government overthrew two dictatorships--in Iraq and Afghanistan--and helped make them into (imperfect) democracies.

So was one remaining dictatorship too many? At any rate, Kagan's charge is false, unless he'd like to see the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood overthrow the monarchy with U.S. help.

On the other side, of course, there are a lot of dictatorships: Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iran, and the Gaza Strip. Those dictatorships have proven to be pretty durable. Their number is increasing.

Almost everyone has forgotten how the regime that rules Egypt got started in the first place. Kagan's argument parallels what American policymakers said then: Why support a corrupt monarchy when there are these shiny young idealistic officers who will win over the people and thus be more effective bulwarks against Communism. I don't want to give the impression that the 1952 coup was mostly America's doing but U.S. support was a factor.

The result was disastrous: Gamal Abdel Nasser became leader of the radical Arab faction and turned the Middle East upside-down for two decades.

In Iran in 1978-1979 the administration of Jimmy Carter applied what we might call Kagan's rule:

"What are we going to do--support dictators for the rest of eternity because we don't want Islamists taking their share of some political system in the Middle East?"

And so the United States helped push the shah out of power in the belief that a popular democratic government would emerge, the Iranian people would be happy and they would thank America. There was no need to be afraid of Islamists "taking their share." The resulting regime has turned the region upside down now for three decades.

Now the United States is doing the same thing. Fearful of being tarred with supporting a dictator (King Farouq, the shah) it wants to get rid of the old ally and bring in a new democratic model. Certain that the old regime's fall is "inevitable" Washington helps it along. Scoffing at the fear of radicals (nationalists in Egypt's case; Islamists in Iran's case), the United States opens the door wide to them, certain it will be rewarded for that generosity.

Sure, the United States is not engaging Hamas in Gaza, it also opposes the overthrow of that regime and has helped it with (indirect) financial aid and pressure on Israel to reduce sanctions. The United States has also been very generous to Syria during the Obama Administration, ignoring for all practical purposes its continued backing for terrorism and responsibility for the murder of Americans in Iraq.

So non-fearful of Islamism is the U.S. government that if Iran would only stop building nuclear weapons Washington would rush toward rapprochement, presumably even if Tehran continued doing all the other bad things it does.

The real problem of course is this one:

What are we going to do--watch friendly regimes fall to become anti-American, terror- sponsoring Islamist dictatorships for the rest of eternity because we don't want to protect allies and instead watch Islamists taking over every political system in the Middle East?


There are people--many in the media and academia--who literally go bananas if anyone criticizes President Barack Obama. They maintain that he is doing just a great job as if this is beyond any of rational discussion.
And yet what has happened in the Middle East in the first two years of his term?

--The Iranians have continued full speed ahead toward getting nuclear weapons. Though the administration deserves credit for getting higher sanctions through the UN, these have not actually affected the problem.

--The Israel-Palestinian peace process, partly through Obama's mismanagement, has fallen completely apart.

--Lebanon has been taken over by a Hizballah-dominated government with Syrian and Iranian tutelage.

--Hamas's control over the Gaza Strip has been stabilized and entrenched due to U.S. policy mistakes.

--Turkey has continued to drift toward the Iran-Syria bloc and disregarded U.S. interests without costs.

--The policy to moderate Syria has failed completely while Damascus is both confident and more aggressive.

--Pakistan seems more and more unstable while not being particularly helpful toward U.S. counterterrorist efforts.

--Obama's charm offensive toward Islamism has yielded no material benefit for U.S. interests.

--The Obama Administration's rush to push out Mubarak's regime has created a very dangerous situation that might spread to other countries.

--Generally, U.S. friends in the region are distressed, doubting they can trust in America's protection; U.S. enemies are encouraged, believing America is weak and in retreat.

It's a bit more complex to assess the two U.S. wars:

--U.S. forces have been largely withdrawn from Iraq, though this was in large measure made possible by the surge that Obama opposed and ridiculed. Iraq's governmental situation is in something of a mess.

--No particular progress has been made in Afghanistan while there are dangerous hints of U.S. concessions to the Taliban, while U.S.-Afghan governmental relations are quite rocky.

Well, nobody said it would be easy. Oh, actually a lot of the Obama people and their supporters did say it was going to be easy. Even if I missed any points or wasn't entirely balanced above--I welcome suggestions--this is a terrible record. Worse still, it seems to presage more declines and disasters to come.

It is barely possible to ignore all the above points; hard to distort them into something positive; tempting to blame the predecessor or other countries. Yet at least up to the Egypt crisis that's pretty much what's happened.

So what does this mean? Here are some implications:

--Israel will not take risks or make concessions based on this administration's promises because it doesn't keep its promises or its commitments. The Administration is only proving the ineptness that Israelis already expected.

--But, of course, the same applies to the Palestinian Authority. Do you think it believes the U.S. government is going to protect it from Hamas?

--Do you think the Saudis and Jordanians believe America will protect them from Iran?

--Do you think the democratic oppositions in Lebanon and Turkey and Iran believe the United States will help them despite what he did in Egypt?

--Unintentionally, the mistakes of the Obama Administration has become a factor spreading the power of radical Islamist movements. People aren't going to like that sentence but it is objectively true. Israelis know it; Arabs know it; Iran's leadership knows it.

These are not partisan statements. They are as true as any critical examination of the Bush Administration's shortcomings. If you wish, you can ignore them. But the Middle East cannot afford that luxury.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Egyptian Army Is West's Best Hope
A Commentary By Tony Blankley
Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Last Sunday, the media were reporting that the Muslim Brotherhood was sitting down with Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, in a completely unrelated story, the BBC reported that British Prime Minster David Cameron announced that "State multiculturalism has failed": "David Cameron has criticized 'state multiculturalism' in his first speech as prime minister on radicalization and the causes of terrorism.

"At a security conference in Munich, he argued the UK needed a stronger national identity to prevent people turning to all kinds of extremism. He also signaled a tougher stance on groups promoting Islamist extremism.

"... As Mr. Cameron outlined his vision, he suggested there would be greater scrutiny of some Muslim groups which get public money but do little to tackle extremism. "

"Ministers should refuse to share platforms or engage with such groups, which should be denied access to public funds and barred from spreading their message in universities and prisons, he argued.

"'Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism,' the prime minister said."

For those of us who have been calling for years for the U.K. and Europe to become "intolerant" of the radical Islamist threat to our culture, this is a thrilling and gratifying moment. (See my book "The West's Last Chance," Regnery Publishing, 2005 -- particularly Chapter 7.) It is the obligation of both citizen and statesman to avoid both illusion and self-delusion when considering national threats.

And so it is ironic that on the same weekend that the British government finally removes the scales from its eyes and looks straight on at the mortal threat that aggressively asserted Islamist values pose to our civilization -- in Egypt, at the constant hectoring of Washington, D.C., voices, the remnants of the Mubarak government begin its halting, perhaps inevitable march toward the illusion of Egyptian democracy.

Regarding Egyptian democracy, I agree with the tone of Gandhi's answer in London in 1931 to the question of what he thought of Western Civilization: "I think it would be a very good idea." I, too, hope for but doubt the plausibility of Arab Islamic democracy.

The sad, failed history of reform toward Western democratic values of Arab (and particularly Egyptian) culture and governance is superbly presented in Lee Smith's 2010 book, "The Strong Horse: Power, Politics and the Clash of Arab Civilizations," Doubleday -- particularly Chapter 4.

As Smith points out regarding the hopeless Western search for "moderate" Muslims: "It is only Western intellectuals who distinguish between moderates and fundamentalists; people of faith distinguish between believers and non believers..." (See also, my book "The West's Last Chance," particularly Chapter 3).

Also, see Edward Luttwak's confirming observation that "Mainstream Islam, not just Islamism, rejects the legitimacy of democratic legislation that could contradict Shariah law."

In fact, the history of Islamic reform has been the search and effort to return to a literal interpretation of the text of their inerrant (in the faithful Muslim's view) Quran. It is a search to purge the corruptions of man from society. It is the effort to be ruled by God, whereas democracy is the effort to be ruled by men.

Whether the Muslim Brotherhood currently and sincerely believes in violence or not is far less important than its (and most of the other Islamic peoples living in Islamic lands) urge to live under sharia law.

In February 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini gave the most honest description of government by sharia (I am not comparing anyone on the Egyptian scene with Khomeini. I am merely using his description because he was honest in this instance):

"This is not an ordinary government. It is government based on the sharia. Opposing this government means opposing the sharia of Islam. ... Revolt against God's government is a revolt against God. Revolt against God is blasphemy." In other words, under sharia government, dissent is punishable by death.

Be under no illusion, if the Egyptian government in the future is shaped by the obvious Egyptian majority opinion -- whether the path is slow and peaceful, fast and violent, led or not led by the Muslim Brotherhood -- the result will not be Western-oriented democracy.

And, regarding the "illusion of stability," as the successful American policy of the last 30 years has been sneeringly described by those waiting expectantly for democracy: It was no illusion. For 30 years, it was a reality. And the reality was good for us and the world. One can't expect much more value from a foreign policy.

If we can perpetuate anything like it for another month, year, decade or generation, we and the world would be better off. The only possible path to more stability is to encourage the Egyptian army -- the only trusted national Egyptian institution, and with which we have the closest working relations -- to maintain its guidance on whatever government it can cause to come into being.

This would be both good policy and good politics. According to a new Rasmussen Poll, 60 percent of American voters think it is more important for the U.S. to be allies with any country that best protects our national security, rather than only to ally with freely elected governments.

There is a lot of dreamy nonsense trying to pass for foreign policy right at the moment. The bill for such illusions will come due -- probably sooner than later. As Jean-Paul Sartre reminded us, we all have an obligation not to act in bad faith by deceiving ourselves -- however lamentable the truth may be.

Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


The uprisings in Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Sudan and Tunisia appear to be instigated by the Muslim-Brotherhood under the guise of a quest for democracy (so seductive for the West!) The Muslim world is incapable of sustaining anything that remotely resembles a democracy.

In fact, the only secular governments in the Muslim world are run by dictators. (Lebanon suffered a recent coup and is lost to Hezbollah).

I fear that Egypt will be taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood, which will severely endanger American interests and most definitely Israel, which the U.S. government is abandoning at their grave peril.

The U.S. already lost an "ally" in the Middle East when Carter abandoned the Shah.

A big question mark is the fate of the Suez canal. This is particularly crucial as Obama has locked up our vast carbon energy resources - conventional (oil, gas and coal) and non-conventional (oil shale, oil sands, coal to gas, coal to oil, coal to diesel).

It appears that our efforts in Iraq have made the region safe for Iran (by eliminating Saddam Hussein).

Unfortunately, we have a Muslim sympathizer and panderer in the White House (my hunch is that he is MB) who failed to support the Green Revolution (a TRUE revolution of the people) in Iran but appears to be encouraging the unrest in Egypt.

If the scuttlebutt is true that the U.S. will NOT veto the upcoming anti-Israel resolution in the U.N. Security Council (Communist China, Russia, U.S., France, U.K., Bosnia, Nigeria, Germany, Brazil, etc.), Obama will be the first U.S. President EVER to abandon Israel in the U.N. (really the seat of the Caliphate with the OIC and 57 member Islamist nations running the show).

Throughout the Middle East, it will be clear to those fighting for freedom that if the U.S. abandons Israel, it will abandon them.

Janet Levy,
Los Angeles

Friday, February 04, 2011


Court Orders are orders: Is Obama Administration already in contempt?
By Mike DeVine
February 02, 2011 Health: Insurance and Policy

Judge Roger Vinson's "Order Granting Summary Judgment" to those seeking to declare ObamaCare unconstitutional became the law of the land upon its filing with the Clerk of Court for the Pensacola Division of the United State District Court for the Northern District of Florida on Monday, January 31, 2011.

Any Obama Administration act or omission in furtherance of the oxymoronically named "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" yesterday or today, would be in contempt of that order, much as the acts of Arkansas and Alabama governors refusing to de-segregate schools after Brown v. Board.

Presidents sent in the troops to enforce those orders against the states. Only Congress can force compliance with ending socialized medicine if President Barack Hussein Obama again insists on his rule over the rule of law. Again? Yes, Obama and his Energy Secretary Ken Salazar defied Federal District and Appeals Courts' orders to end the post-BP Spill oil-drilling moratorium by issuing a "new" moratorium the day after the final order was issued.

The fear of retribution by the pitchfork-weilding autocratic Obama regime scared off all oil companies from asking the court to find Obama in contempt, cognizant that Obama isn't shy about exercising broad (read: extra legal) discretion in interpreting his regulatory authority to buy companies, fire their managers and officers, threaten them with SEIU visits to their front lawns, and tell them what they must pay their employees.

We trust that Republican (and Democrats that don't still fear being called a racist if they dare oppose the nation's first black President) members have no such fears and will call on the President, TODAY, to:

Issue an Executive Order to all employees of the federal government to immediately cease and desist from all activity in furtherance of the implementation of all aspects of ObamaCare until and unless the issuing court or its Circuit Court of Appeals issues a stay of the current order pending appeal.

We the People only pay taxes (and borrow from China, etc) to pay for CONSTITUTIONAL activities by our employees, and that especially includes by its Chief Magistrate. President Nixon complied with court orders.

The Administration has the right to ask the court for a stay allowing them to enforce the law pending appeal. Some legal commentators breathlessly expounded on the absence of an injunction. But injunctions are issued before final orders. Final orders are final orders.

Should it be determined that Obama continues to direct employees of the federal government to continue to implement the now void health insurance law, any of the Plaintiff states, members of Congress and any insurance company or any citizen thus effected can and should ask Judge Vinson to find the Administration in Contempt. If Obama decides to "go all Andrew Jackson" and dare the court to enforce its order, then either a bi-partisan Congress or We the 2012 Voting People will send him on a Trail of Tears back to Chicago, sooner or later.

What about GOP legislative strategy in Congress in light of the ruling?

Whether or not a stay is issued, I think the GOP should abandon any piecemeal legislative strategy. For instance, should Congress pass and Obama sign or have his veto overriden, eliminating the individual mandate, it could have the effect of rendering Judge Vinson's Order void, and reinstate the remainder of the ObamaCare.

What of "severability"

The law on severability is quite fluid. That there was or was not a severability clause dictates no particular ruling on same. I think there are good arguments on both sides, and after two more days of research, now think Judge Vinson has the better argument. More on that in a later column or in comments below if questioned.

What of a "constitutional crisis"?

We won't have a crisis if Obama's opponents follow the constitution. If Obama tries to play King, Congress and/or the Courts can use the Supreme Law of the Land. I would only define the possible scenarios as a crisis if Obama is allowed to defy court orders indefinitely because Congress doesn't fight back.

ALAN NOTE: the Governor of Alaska has already raised the question as to whether implementing Obamacare law is in conflict with his Oath of Office to defend/follow our Constitution, since Obamacare has been adjudged to be UN-Consititional by a Federal Judge and declared to be - all of it - without legal standing. Other governors and officials may need to ask themselves the same question.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


What Obama has in mind!

The Nexus between Barack Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States

Eric Voogd -, September 21st, 2010

Since the events of 11 September 2001, Chicago has increasingly become a convergence point for annual meetings held by national Islamic organizations in the United States. Most recently in April 2010 in downtown Chicago, the 6th annual Council on American Islamic Relations event featured keynote speaker Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna. Previously in January 2010, the administration of Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton approved lifting visa ban on Ramadan to enter the United States. Ramadan is truly a charlatan selling snake oil, as he projects a smooth, sophisticated image intended to calm fears about Islamic jihad by duplicitously pretending it’s a figment of our imagination.

Tariq Ramadan is the face of Stealth Jihad. His methods lure the unwary, the uneducated into the spider’s web of the Muslim Brotherhood. But, he is the Muslim Brotherhood, to the core, and espouses precisely the same ultimate objectives as Al Qaeda regarding the establishment of the Caliphate and imposition of Sharia law on us all. Al Qaeda does it by violence, while Ramadan does it by stealth and taqiyya. The objectives are exactly the same; only the timing and tactics are different. Our current national security has been so thoroughly penetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood enemy that they are no longer capable of making solid decisions to defend United States national security – this is one example, exactly the intended outcome.

At the end of September 2010, Chicago will become a destination point for the international community’s top Islamic representation which includes the entire top leadership of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) together with the top leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. HYPERLINK “   ”; In a post 11 September 2001  world, the red flag warning should be most clear that the Muslim Brotherhood is a high level national security concern for both Israel and the United States. The leadership of the OIC, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Brotherhood are meeting at the American Islamic College in Chicago on the 28 to 30th of September 2010.

The notable who’s who in attendance list includes the full panoply of OIC leadership, the Obama Administration’s OIC liaisons Sada Cumber from the Bush Administration, and Rashad Hussain from the current administration, Dalia Mogahed and Farah Pandith from State Department, as well as Siraj Wahhaj, Ahmed Rehab of CAIR, etc. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is not mentioned as attending; however, the upcoming conference features the Gallup group that he worked with previously. Nevertheless, Rauf could well attend quietly. This is a major meeting and initiative between the administration of Barack Hussein Obama, the Muslim Brotherhood here in the United States and the OIC. This international conference in Chicago has received virtually no attention by the main stream media in the United States...

How Obama sees the Egyptian crisis move to his benefit: