… in perfect safety.
Salman Rushdie does it. As author of The Satanic Verses, which set Muslim mobs raging in the streets of Muslim lands, including those of western Europe, he had to be defended by British conservatives and patriots, because free speech has always to be defended. Many did it only reluctantly, since they didn’t share his leftist political views, or didn’t like his books, or both. But they did it.
Yet Rushdie – an immigrant from Pakistan – had before then judged Britain to be a severely intolerant, “racist” country, though, he conceded, the state of affairs was “not yet” like the Third Reich:
Britain is not Nazi Germany. … Auschwitz has not been rebuilt in the Home Counties. I find it odd, however, that those who use such absences as defences rarely perceive that their own statements indicate how serious things have become. If the defence for Britain is that mass extermination of racially impure persons has not yet begun, or that the principle of white supremacy has not yet been enshrined in the constitution, then something must have gone very wrong indeed.
When Salman Rushdie said this in 1982 in a BBC radio talk, he was as free as any man in Britain. Some years later, in 1989, he did indeed become the victim of intolerance, not British but Islamic, when the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa was issued in Iran condemning him to death for having written The Satanic Verses. From that moment on, the British authorities, at the expense of the tax-payers, provided Mr Rushdie as a matter of course with constant protection. He then got to know some members of the police force better than he had known any when, in that broadcast speech of his, he had said that the British police “offer threats instead of protection”; yet when he published the speech in a book of essays in 1991, he did not qualify the accusation – or any of his criticisms – by so much as a footnote.
That was all a long time ago. Has he grown any more just, any more perceptive of the truth, as he’s grown older?
The answer seems to be – not much.
Ron Radosh writes at PJ Media:
Leave it to Salman Rushdie to bring back the Left’s favorite stratagem: moral equivalence. During the Cold War, leftists used to say the following: “Sure, the Soviets are doing bad things, but so is the United States.” Those a bit more to the left would advance the argument, and say: “The Soviets do terrible things, but the U.S. is responsible, since its leaders view them, as Reagan did, as ‘the evil empire.’ Since we won’t accommodate their just demands, they have to respond to us with hostility.” Those even further to the left would push the analogy even further, arguing: “The Soviets may do some bad things, but at least they stand on the side of progressive change. The U.S., on the other hand, oppresses Third World peoples and supports right-wing reactionary regimes all over the world.”
A good example of the old moral equivalence was to equate the Gulag in the Soviet Union, in which hundreds of thousands were imprisoned, starved to death and executed in massive frame-ups, with McCarthyism in the United States. During the so-called McCarthy era, relatively few were imprisoned or lost their livelihoods, and many actually guilty of being actual Soviet agents portrayed themselves as innocents accused because of their political views. Yet the Left in America argued both were the same.
Now Salman Rushdie has a lot to be wary of. After the Iranian revolution, the late Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa along with a reward for anyone who murdered him. Because of his novel The Satanic Verses, Rushdie had to go into hiding in different safe houses for a number of years, while under the protection of the British government. Intellectuals and writers in the West rallied to his defense. Eventually, Rushdie came into the open, moved to the United States, and became a favorite in the celebrity world, as well as a best-selling novelist.
In his New York Times op-ed last week, Rushdie complained that … those who stand against abuses of power or dogma are viewed suspiciously.
But where? He gives examples from China, Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia – states not noted for tolerance.
Ron Radosh goes on:
His examples are correct, and telling. … .
But then, Rushdie writes the following, and it deserves letting you see his own words, because they are so preposterous:
“America isn’t immune from this trend. The young activists of the Occupy movement have been much maligned (though, after their highly effective relief work in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, those criticisms have become a little muted). Out-of-step intellectuals like Noam Chomsky and the deceased Edward Said have often been dismissed as crazy extremists, “anti-American,” and in Mr. Said’s case even, absurdly, as apologists for Palestinian “terrorism.” (One may disagree with Mr. Chomsky’s critiques of America but it ought still to be possible to recognize the courage it takes to stand up and bellow them into the face of American power. One may not be pro-Palestinian, but one should be able to see that Mr. Said stood up against Yasser Arafat as eloquently as he criticized the United States.)”
Let us take up his two major points. Occupy Wall Street protestors were handled by the authorities with kid gloves. When they took over the park in New York City over a year ago, although it was privately owned, they were allowed to camp out, disrupt and close down local businesses, and engage in anti-social and horrendous behavior — from public defecation to rape of women — without consequences. Rushdie mentioned Occupy for one reason alone: to show his heart is on the Left so that he can get his comrades in that camp to listen to him about how Islamists persecute those they disdain.
It is his second point that is most ridiculous.
Rushdie acknowledges that Chomsky is “a crazy extremist”. But, Ron Radosh rightly says -
Chomsky does not have to show much courage to take on all U.S. administrations and to oppose them as oppressors and imperialists.
Or any at all.
Indeed, he has become an international intellectual superstar, applauded and heralded by the Left at home and all of our enemies abroad, who shower him with high lecture fees and give him a gigantic audience abroad and at home. He is continually on the lecture circuit, has the support of both student audiences and assorted Hollywood and music world celebrities, and writes best-selling books, for which he has no problem finding a publisher. Bellowing “into the face of American power” is hardly an offense that has landed him even in any white-collar prison, not to speak of a Gulag or Gitmo.
As for the late Edward Said, his critique of “Orientalism” became the favored paradigm to explain U.S. policy in the Middle East, and influenced scores of leftist professors of Middle Eastern politics. As for his supposed standing up to the late Yasser Arafat, anyone who recalls what Said’s complaint about Arafat really was will remember that he was angry that Arafat appeared to play the game of engaging in negotiation with his enemies, rather than reject such posturing and commit himself exclusively to armed struggle against Palestine’s supposed oppressors. His former friend Christopher Hitchens pointed out in his own memoir that Said’s “low point was an almost uncritical profile of Yasser Arafat that he contributed to Interview magazine in the late 1980s”.
One might also recall Said’s trip to the West Bank during the first intifada, when he and his young son joined the mob in throwing rocks at Israelis, something of which he was quite proud. To Said, any action taken by Palestinians, no matter how violent, was “resistance.” Again, Hitch well summed up what Said believed, which was that “if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.” And that is why Said eventually rejected Arafat. He thought that the PLO leader was heeding the agenda of the U.S., by his very action of negotiating with its leaders.
To equate those who are truly courageous — like the brave Chinese dissidents who risk their lives to speak up for democracy, or critics of radical Islam who speak up knowing what their future is likely to be if they live under the rule of Islamic regimes — with critics of U.S. policy who live in our democratic republic is more than preposterous. It is the opposite of moral courage. A man of words and letters, Salman Rushdie should by this time be able to know the difference.
Religion – we contend – is the paramount man-made cause of human suffering.
Death, pain, terror, despair are the worst afflictions, and religion – after nature itself – is the super-generator of them all.
If a religious person were to concede that truth, he would probably qualify it by saying that religion also brings comfort and joy to many people too. That also is true. But so does heroin, and it doesn’t make it a Good Thing.
Besides which, the joy of the religious seems to lie all too often in inflicting death, pain, terror and despair on the adherents of another religion.
Here’s a recent example from Pakistan, where Muslims enjoyed an exciting binge burning Christian homes. This is from an AP report at Yahoo! News:
Hundreds of people in eastern Pakistan rampaged through a Christian neighborhood Saturday, torching dozens of homes after hearing reports that a Christian man had committed blasphemy against Islam’s prophet.
Blasphemy is a serious crime in Pakistan that can carry the death penalty but sometimes outraged residents exact their own retribution for perceived insults of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Pakistan is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim and people of other faiths, including the nation’s small Christian community, are often viewed with suspicion.
Suspicion is not too bad. It’s the murderous hatred that does the worst harm.
The incident started Friday when a young Muslim man accused a Christian man of committing blasphemy by making offensive comments about the prophet, according to Multan Khan, a senior police officer in Lahore.
A large crowd from a nearby mosque went to the Christian man’s home on Friday night, said Khan. Police registered a blasphemy case against the man after the crowd gathered and demanded action, the officer said.
Fearing for their safety, hundreds of Christian families fled the area overnight.
Khan said the mob returned on Saturday and began ransacking Christian homes and setting them ablaze. …
But Akram Gill, a local bishop in the Lahore Christian community said the incident had more to do with personal enmity between two men — one Christian and one Muslim — than blasphemy. He said the men got into a brawl after drinking late one night, and in the morning the Muslim man made up the blasphemy story as payback.
He said the Christian community handed over to police the accused man, identified by police and Gill as Sawan Masih, when police came to the neighborhood to investigate.
But they knew that was not enough to propitiate the offended Muslims.
Then the Christians all locked up their houses and went to relatives in other areas. He said the mob was armed with hammers and steel rods and broke into houses, ransacked two churches and burned Bibles and crosses.
“Poor people were living here. They have lost all of their belongings,” he said. “Where can they go now?”
The scene was chaotic. An Associated Press reporter said roughly 150 homes were torched.
One man was seen carrying a dog and some puppies from a burning house. Refrigerators, washing and sewing machines, cooking pots, beds and other household goods were ripped from homes, smashed and burned in the streets. …
These pictures of the thrilling rampage are from PowerLine:
And not only is it fun, it’s also good because they’re doing it for God the Merciful.
Daniel Greenfield – one of the writers we most respect, and on most issues agree with – argues against Rand Paul’s position on drones and the government’s possible threat to lives on American soil. (See our post Death or due process? March 7, two days ago.)
Rand Paul is anti-war, like his libertarian father Ron Paul. His views on America’s conduct of foreign affairs are like his father’s.
It is chiefly on the issues of foreign policy and war that we part company with most libertarians.
So on these issues we are as critical of both father and son as Daniel Greenfield is. But we do not agree with all he says.
There are Conservative sites that are positively giddy about Rand Paul getting positive mentions from John Cusack [Hollywood leftist critic of the use of drones] and [Maoist Communist] Van Jones. [Feminist pacifist] Code Pink’s endorsement is being treated like some kind of victory.
Are we really getting worked up about getting a pat on the head from the left? …
Even saner heads are calling Rand Paul’s filibuster a political victory. The only place that it’s a victory is in the echo chambers of a victory-starved party. And to Code Pink and Van Jones who are happy to see the Republican Party adopting their views.
The “brilliant victory” was that some Republicans tried to go further on the left than Obama on National Defense. Maybe next they can try to go further left than him on Immigration, Gay Marriage and Abortion.
And if that doesn’t work, Rand Paul and Jon Huntsman can get together on ending the War on Drugs.
On the issues of gay marriage and the war on drugs we too take a libertarian view. We don’t think that what people do in their private lives is the state’s business. (We notice that marriage is a fading institution, and so anticipate that all unions, whether heterosexual or homosexual, will become civil contracts of the same kind – leaving the religions to decide for themselves who may be married by their rites.)
On abortion our position is not conventionally conservative or libertarian. We think it should be rare and early. The law should speak on the matter only to set a time limit.
We cannot be for uncontrolled immigration as long as the host country is a welfare state.
Daniel Greenfield continues on the subject of drones, which, he says, was a smokescreen obscuring Rand Paul’s real cause:
Most Americans support using drones to kill Al Qaeda terrorists. Most Americans don’t know about the filibuster or care. Most Americans want political and economic reforms, not conspiracy theories.
The Paul filibuster was about drone strikes on American soil, the way that Obama ‘only’ wants to ban assault rifles.
This isn’t about using drones to kill Americans on American soil. That’s a fake claim being used by Rand Paul as a wedge issue to dismantle the War on Terror. Now that he’s manipulated conservative support for that, he can begin moving forward with his real agenda.
Rand Paul is on record as opposing Guantanamo Bay and supports releasing the terrorists. He’s on record opposing drone strikes against Al Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan, saying, “A perpetual drone war in Pakistan makes those people more angry and not less angry.”
This position is no different than that of his father. The only difference is that Rand Paul is better at sticking statements like these into the middle of some conservative rhetoric.
To which we say, endorsing Greenfield’s view: the belief, held by the far left and the libertarian movement, that countries hostile to the United States have been provoked to spiteful bellicose fury by American policies and actions, is wrong. It is ill-informed. America is resented for what it is – free, prosperous, successful, and above all powerful – not (unless in particular temporary instances) for anything it has done or is doing. Obama sympathizes with the resentment, and is doing his best to make the country he presides over less free, less prosperous, less successful, and much less powerful.
That the “war on terror” (ridiculous phrase but referring to something real) is not America’s fault, is the point on which we are in entire agreement with Daniel Greenfield. It is al-Qaeda, he says, which has turned the whole world into a battlefield, not America. And he is right.
Here, in the middle of Rand Paul’s drone rant is what he really stands for and against.
“It’s one thing to say yeah, these people are going to probably come and attack us, which to tell you the truth is probably not always true. There are people fighting a civil war in Yemen who probably have no conception of ever coming to America.”
The people fighting that “civil war” are tied in with Al Qaeda, including the Al-Awlaki clan, whose scion, Anwar Al-Awlaki helped organize terrorist attacks against America and was linked to 9/11.
“… We do know the U.S. drones are targeting people who have never pledged to carry out attacks in the United States, so we’re talking about noncombatants who have never pledged to carry out attacks are being attacked overseas. Think about it, if that’s going to be the standard at home, people who have never really truly been involved with combat against us. Take Pakistan where the CIA kills some people without even knowing their identities. … Think about it. If it were your family member and they have been killed and they were innocent or you believe them to be innocent, it’s going to – is it going to make you more or less likely to become involved with attacking the United States?”
This isn’t about stopping Obama from killing Americans. This is straight-line anti-war garbage.
“You know, or how much – if there’s an al-Qaida presence there trying to organize and come and attack us. Maybe there is. But maybe there’s also people who are just fighting their local government. How about Mali? I’m not sure in Mali they’re probably worried more about trying to get the next day’s food than coming over here to attack us.”
And a politician reciting Michael Mooreisms like these is supposed to stand for a “Conservative Victory”?
“I think that’s a good way of putting it, because when you think about it, obviously they’re killing some bad people. This is war. There’s been some short-term good. The question is, does the short-term good outweigh the long term cost, not only just in dollars but the long-term cost of whether or not we’re encouraging a next generation of terrorists?”
Is this the new conservative position now? That killing Al Qaeda terrorists only encourages more terrorism?
Are we all Paultards now? …
“Ultimately we as a country need to figure out how to end war. We’ve had the war in Afghanistan for 12 years now. The war basically has authorized a worldwide war.”
Not just to end the Afghan war (which should have been ended eleven or so years ago), but to end war as such. Absurd. And Rand Paul thinks that if America does not go to war, there will be no (international) wars. That belief is naive to an extreme.
And Paul’s statement that America’s going to war in Afghanistan “authorized a worldwide war” is totally false. Islam is at war with the rest of the world doctrinally. The attack by al-Qaeda on America on 9/11/2001 was an act of aggressive, not defensive war, and it was in pursuit of religous ends.
We will quote a little more from the Greenfield article, because his argument is about more than Rand Paul’s position on foreign policy, war, and drones; it is about Conservatism and the Republican Party.
This is Rand Paul’s position. It’s the position of anti-war protesters in 2002. It’s Barack Obama’s original position before he discovered that war wasn’t so easy to end.
If you stand with Rand, this is what you stand with.
Everyone can do what they please, but if you’re going to stand with Rand, then let’s be clear about his positions and agenda. And be clear about whether you share them or not.
No more dressing this up in “Rand Paul is standing up for the Constitution.” That’s the same dishonest claim his father made for years. And none of the even more dishonest, “Drone strikes on Americans in cafes” nonsense.
That’s not what this is about.
1. Do you think that the United States is murdering innocent Muslims and inspiring terrorist attacks?
2. Do you think that if we just leave them alone, they’ll leave us alone?
3. If you think all those things, then wasn’t the left, which has been saying all these things since before September 11, right all along?
Is Van Jones agreeing with you… or are you agreeing with Van Jones? …
The Left believes those things because they are on the side of America’s enemies and want them to win. Rand Paul believes them because he knows nothing about the world beyond the borders of his own country and mentalities beyond the limits of his own imagination.
The lesson that the Republican Party refuses to learn is that you don’t win by abandoning conservative values.
• You don’t win by going liberal on immigration.
• You don’t win by going liberal on government spending.
• You don’t win by going liberal on social values.
• And you don’t win by going liberal on national defense.
You either have a conservative agenda or a mixed bag. And Rand Paul is the most mixed bag of all, because the only area that he is conservative on is limited government.
If the new Republican position is open borders, pro-terror and anti-values, then what makes the Republican Party conservative?
Reducing conservatism to cutting the size of government eliminates it and replaces it with libertarianism. It transforms the Republican Party into the party of drugs, abortion, illegal immigration, terrorism… and spending cuts. And the latter is never going to coexist with a society based on the former. …
If Rand Paul is the future of the Republican Party… then the party has no future. …
I don’t believe that we can win through political expediency that destroys principles.
We tried that in two elections and we lost. Watering down what we stand for until we stand for nothing at all except the distant promise of budget cuts is how we walked into the disaster of 2012.
John McCain in 2008. Mitt Romney in 2012. Rand Paul in 2016. And what will be left?
To be reborn, the Republican Party does not need to go to the left. It doesn’t need to stumble briefly to the right on a few issues that it doesn’t really believe in. It needs to be of the right. It needs to be comprehensively conservative in the way that our opposition now is comprehensively of the left.
If we can’t do that then we will lose. America will be over. It’ll be a name that has as much in common with this country, as modern Egypt does with ancient Egypt or as Rome of today does with the Rome of the imperial days.
We agree that “to be reborn, the Republican Party does not need to go to the left.” And we agree that Rand Paul is wrong about foreign policy and the world-wide war.
But we do not agree that libertarianism is a creed of the Left. How can it be? The Left stands essentially for state control and collectivism – viewing human beings sociologically, as units of a herd.
The American conservative Right stands for freedom of the individual above all. The Republican Party stands for freedom of the individual, therefore small government, low taxes and the free market; for property rights, therefore low taxes and the free market; for the protection of freedom, therefore the rule of law and strong defense. That is the logic of freedom. Those are the values of conservatism and the Republican Party. They are our values.
We certainly do not want illegal immigration and terrorism. Nor to “go liberal on government spending”.
But we do think the Republican Party should bend further toward libertarianism. Not leftwards, but rightwards. Individual freedom must mean that individuals make their own choices, even if those choices are harmful to themselves. What they smoke and whom they bed with are obviously matters of personal choice – while government spending, immigration, and terrorism are matters for the state.
There is a new generation of young Republicans who are conservative in their thinking about freedom under the rule of law, but frustrated by stale authoritarian attitudes towards drugs and homosexuality. They are conservative in their loyalty to the Constitution, but impatient with the religiosity of most conservatives.
Some of them are forming themselves into a new caucus. They name themselves the Republican Reason Caucus. Read about them here.
We think they may, and hope they will, restore vitality to the thoroughly demoralized Republican Party.
Most reasonable, educated people not born to Muslim parents, who took a little trouble to find out what Islam is all about – by reading the Koran, for instance – would surely find it not only full of nonsense but also morally abominable.
Secretary of State John Kerry, however, says that Islam is “a beautiful religion”.
From this video we learn about five women being buried alive in accordance with the law of Islam. Others, some cruelly disfigured, seek and bestow beauty in ways not related to the religion that oppresses them.
Perhaps Kerry also thinks that Islam is a source of accurate information:
This is from PJ Media, by David Forsmark:
Our military [has] became a gigantic Peace Corps … drinking billions of cups of tea, and handing out billions of dollars for projects. … Generals proclaimed that killing the enemy could not win the [Afghanistan] war. Senior officials fantasized that the war would be won by protecting and winning over the population. … The futile effort to build a democracy diverted the energies of our soldiers and weakened their martial spirit.
For years, Pakistan was in the hunting-bin-Laden business, to the tune of $2 billion a year. If they actually had “found him” it would have been nice publicity, but that would have ended that particular gravy train. …
And all the time -
The ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency, was neck deep with bin Laden from the beginning — and the location of his ultimate hiding place [in Pakistan] only adds to the suspicion that that association did not end after 9/11.
Our policy now is of continuous handouts to tribal leaders whose hands are constantly out, but who will do nothing to help us against the Taliban because they know there is a date certain where we will be gone and they will be on their own. [And] we do nothing to make them regret coddling the terrorists.
What is the American tax-payers’ $2 billion a year buying them? Nothing and worse: absolute indifference to their objection when a Pakistani citizen, the doctor who helped find bin Laden’s hiding place, was sentenced to 33 years in prison for doing just that (though ostensibly on some unrelated trumped-up charges).
More on this profound injustice comes from the Heritage Foundation:
Dr. Afridi, a Pakistani citizen, was picked up by the Pakistani authorities a few weeks after the May 2, 2011, raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The doctor, at the behest of the U.S., apparently led a phony vaccination campaign in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in an attempt to secure DNA evidence from the residents living inside the bin Laden compound. Afridi was unable to obtain the samples, but U.S. officials have acknowledged he provided information that helped U.S. officials locate bin Laden. …
In May 2012, after he had been held for a year, a Pakistani tribal court sentenced Afridi to 33 years in jail on trumped-up charges that he had cooperated with militants in the tribal border areas.
The real reason the Pakistanis convicted Afridi? Wounded pride. Pakistani military officials were livid about the U.S. decision to pursue the bin Laden operation unilaterally. But making Shakil Afridi the scapegoat for their anger is not acceptable. While some Pakistanis say their country is justified in detaining Afridi because he committed “espionage”, the fact is that Dr. Afridi’s cooperation with the CIA benefited the national security of Pakistan — not to mention every other civilized nation on the planet. [Furthermore] the man he helped the Navy SEALs target was not a Pakistani himself, but an international outlaw, an enemy of both our nations.
The silence of the Obama Administration on the Afridi case has been disheartening.
Or even positively infuriating.
In his hearing to be confirmed as Secretary of State, John Kerry downplayed the Pakistanis’ lack of cooperation in freeing Afridi. He chose to throw his weight behind the Pakistani government instead, saying, “We need to build our relationship with the Pakistanis, not diminish it.”
In reality, it is the Pakistani government that has “diminished” ties through its handling of the Afridi case in such a petty and ham-handed fashion.
In such a spiteful and cruel fashion, we would say.
It seems plain enough to us that Pakistan is not an ally but an enemy of the United States.
But that doesn’t mean, of course, that Obama will treat it as an enemy. So neither will his lackey, John Kerry.
The Obama regime regards no state that works against American interests as an enemy – especially not an Islamic one.
In any case, they have no stomach for fighting wars. Saddled with a defense force, they cast about for a gentle use to put it to. And this is what they found, according to a suitably acid report by Investor’s Business Daily:
On Jan. 31, Obama’s Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey gave Coast Guard cadets the full Obama line [telling them]: “our contribution to the stability of the global economic system” comes before our armed forces’ duty “to protect the country from a catastrophic attack.”
And if that’s not dumb enough for you, in the House of Representatives, Democrats want to establish a new federal “Department of Peacebuilding” Cabinet-level bureaucracy, featuring a “Secretary of Peacebuilding” who would sit on the National Security Council. …
According to extreme left-wing Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. … the Peacebuilding department wouldn’t just scale down U.S. military actions abroad but would enjoy jurisdiction domestically, going after school bullies and preventing cruelty against animals.
It would even set up a “peace academy” modeled after West Point and Annapolis.
Maybe President Obama will put the federal Peace bureaucracy in charge of domestic drones, which could shoot flowers at their surveillance targets.
Unless they spot members of the Tea Party, or Vets, in which case they would probably be happy to use up some of that otherwise obsolete stuff called ammunition.
John Brennan, picked by President Obama to head the CIA, has his Senate confirmation hearing today.
Andrew C. McCarthy writes at PJ Media:
A country that was serious about its national security would never put John Brennan in charge of its premier intelligence service.
Of course, it is by no means clear that the United States is any longer a serious country in this regard. Serious countries do not fund, arm and “partner with” hostile regimes. They do not recruit enemy sympathizers to fill key governmental policy positions. They do not erect barriers impeding their intelligence services from understanding an enemy’s threat doctrine … All of these malfeasances have become staples of Obama policy, under the guidance of Brennan, the president’s counterterrorism guru.
Still, the installation of a Beltway operator whose métier is misinformation as director of central intelligence would be an epic mismatch of man and mission. It would expand unseriousness to new frontiers of self-inflicted peril.
The reason is as elementary as it gets: The purpose of intelligence is to see what your enemy is trying to hide, to grasp how your enemy thinks, and how he cleverly camouflages what he thinks. That, to be certain, is the only security against stealthy foes who specialize in sabotage, in exploiting the liberties that make free societies as vulnerable as they are worth defending.
Mr. Brennan, to the contrary, is the incarnation of willful blindness. His tenure as Obama’s top national security advisor has been about helping our enemies throw sand in our eyes and thus enabling the sabotage. …
Sabotage is the [Muslim] Brotherhood’s defining practice. Indeed, “sabotage” is the word the Brothers themselves use to describe their work. It appears in an internal memorandum, which elaborates that the organization sees its mission in the United States as “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” Besides that long-term goal, the Brotherhood’s network of American affiliates have pursued the more immediate aim of materially supporting Hamas, a formally designated terrorist organization to which the provision of material support is a felony under federal law.
None of that is new. It was not merely well known but had been proved in court by the Justice Department a year before Obama took office. I refer to the Justice Department’s 2008 Hamas financing prosecution, the Holy Land Foundation case. Yet, counterterrorism czar Brennan remains undeterred, a driving force of the Obama administration’s “Islamic outreach” – a campaign to give Islamist organizations influence over U.S. policy. That several of those organizations were proved in the HLF case to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s American network is clearly of no moment.
Two such organizations are the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). They were among a slew of Islamist groups who wrote to Brennan in October 2011 to demand a purge of information about Islamist ideology that was being used to train U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agents. Much of that information was developed in federal investigations that have led to the convictions of violent jihadists. Nevertheless, the Obama administration has slavishly complied …
The training materials the Islamist groups insisted be removed include documentation of the fact that terrorism committed by Muslims is driven by an ideology rooted in Islamic scripture. …
Maybe the State Department and the White House press office have the luxury of trading in convenient fictions in order to reduce international tensions. Not intelligence agencies. The point of intelligence – a bedrock of national security – is to see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.
Here is how it is: Islamic supremacism, the sharia-based ideology of Islamists, is an interpretation of Muslim doctrine that is entirely mainstream among the world’s Muslims. That is why Islamists are winning elections in the Middle East even as they are found aligning with violent jihadists. Islamic supremacism is, in fact, widely promoted by the Brotherhood, and by such tentacles of its American network as CAIR and ISNA, when they are not otherwise deceptively disavowing its existence.
This Islamist ideology is incorrigibly anti-Western and anti-Semitic. It is deeply hostile to principles of equality and individual liberty (free speech, freedom of conscience, privacy, economic freedom, etc.) that undergird our Constitution, the American conception of civil rights, and the West’s conception of human rights. Understand Islamist ideology and you will readily understand the ferocity of Islamic resistance to American efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East – not merely jihadist resistance but broad Islamic resistance.
Yet, in a propaganda campaign reminiscent of those waged by the Nazis and the Soviets, Islamists and their fellow travelers (Brennan-types who might be thought of as “anti-anti-Islamists”) purport to be champions of human rights. When it suits them, they even feign reverence for individual liberties (particularly when it comes to the rights of Muslim in America … but don’t you dare ask them how non-Muslims fare in, say, Saudi Arabia).
The counter to such a propaganda campaign is a job for intelligence agencies. The point of having a sprawling intelligence community on which American taxpayers annually lavish $55 billion – far more than the vast majority of countries spend on national defense – is precisely to see through the deceptions of those who mean us harm, to perceive the threats against us for what they are. That the competent performance of this essential function may be fraught with political complications is supposed to be a challenge for our politicians, not our intelligence agents. The latter’s mission of unearthing hidden and often excruciating truths is hard enough.
Brennan’s agenda is the antithesis of the intelligence mission. His goal has been to portray our enemies as a small, unthreatening fringe of charlatan “violent extremists,” who kill wantonly and are unconnected to any “legitimate” Islam. Thus, he maintains for example that the only “legitimate” interpretation of the “tenet of Islam” known as jihad is: a “holy struggle … to purify oneself or one’s community.”
Even taken at face value, Brennan’s assertion is absurd. There is between Islam and the West no common understanding of the good, and thus no consensus about “purity.” In Islam, to “purify” something means to make it more compliant with sharia, Islam’s legal code and societal framework. Sharia is anti-freedom and anti-equality, so to purify oneself in an Islamic sense would necessarily mean something very different from what we in the West would think of as struggling to become a better person.
But there is an even more fundamental reason not to take Brennan’s remarks at face value: they run afoul of what mainstream Islam itself says about jihad. … It is quite straightforward on the matter: “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” …
In Brennan’s world, there is … no need to fret over anti-American terrorists who return to the jihad with alarming regularity once they are released from Guantanamo Bay. After all, Brennan observes, common criminals have high recidivism rates, too. Mass-murderers, pick-pockets … as they say in the administration, “What difference does it make?”
And then there’s the skill of offending our friends while enabling our enemies. Brennan refers to Jerusalem, the Israeli capital, as “al-Quds.” That is the name used by Islamists who reject the Jewish state’s right to exist, who claim Jerusalem and the rest of Israel as their own. …
Brennan’s sense of outrage, unnoticeable in response to slights against a faithful U.S. ally, is instead reserved for the “ignorant feelings” of Americans riled by jihadist attacks against our country. For Brennan, Americans’ anger at Islamists, our perception that the ideology that breeds terrorists is just as much a problem as the terrorists themselves, is “Islamophobia” – a smear cleverly concocted by Islamists to deflect examination. Brennan claims to have seen Islamophobia rear its racist head in the public reaction to the Fort Hood attack – the worst jihadist mass-murder in America since 9/11, but one the Obama administration prefers to think of as “workplace violence”.
Brennan claims that Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese terror militia, is a “very interesting organization,” whose “moderate elements” have evolved it from “purely a terrorist organization” into a political party whose members now serve in the Lebanese government. This, again, is rose-tinted nonsense, bespeaking breathtaking ignorance about the history and operations of jihadists who, until 9/11, had killed more Americans than any other terror network. … Its objective … is to advance the Islamic revolution at the expense of non-Muslims by any method that shows promise under the circumstances.
Hezbollah is part of the Islamist vanguard waging a global campaign against liberty. But with their Brennan blinders on, the Obama administration chooses not to see it. They see “moderates” committed to participating in a “political process.” This same thinking has led the administration to issue a visa to an admitted member of the Blind Sheikh’s terrorist organization (the Islamic Group) so he could come to the White House with other newly minted Egyptian “parliamentarians” to discuss U.S. policy in the Middle East.
This mindset also explains why the administration negotiates with the Taliban …
There is no place … for deceiving the American people by politicizing intelligence. That Brennan specialty, an exhaustive effort to miniaturize the threats against our nation and appease the president’s Islamist allies, is the antithesis of what we have a CIA for. …
If intelligence is to be politicized so that we let our guard down, then the United States would be better off with no CIA than with a CIA headed by John Brennan.
Andrew McCarthy believes, however, that feeble Republicans will let him be appointed.
Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing last week only bolstered concerns that he is utterly unfit to serve as secretary of defense. Yet, some Republicans have announced that they will vote for him anyway, and some others who purport to oppose him have signaled that they have no intention of mounting a filibuster, the only procedure that could derail him. Consequently, they’ve ensured that he will be confirmed. So let’s not kid ourselves: Senate Republicans who will let Hagel take control of the Defense Department, and who just joined Democrats in a 94-3 landslide confirmation of John Kerry – a devotee of Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood empowerment strategy – are not going to put up a fight over Brennan.
Such Republicans are also in the business of sabotage. They sabotage Republican principles. They sabotage liberty, of which the USA was meant to be the political embodiment. Thus they sabotage America.
How can all that Andrew McCarthy accurately reports about John Brennan be reconciled with the fact that the policy of going after Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders with drones* is his brainchild?
Come to that, how does President Obama reconcile his generally pro-Islam policies with his endorsement of the drones tactic?
Leaving aside for the moment the rights and wrongs of using drones to target American traitors fighting with the Islamic enemy, the present question is: what makes Barack Obama and John Brennan, both of whom do all they can in every other way to encourage and assist America’s Islamic enemies, so persistently pursue and kill jihadis – and anyone who happens to be with them - with drones?
We are all for eliminating as many of the enemy as possible by all available means. But Brennan and Obama are not. So the question needs an answer.
Theories that answer it are welcome.
So are opinions on the targeting with drones of American traitors abroad.
*There are known US drone bases in Afghanistan, Turkey, Djibouti, the Seychelles, Qatar, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Ethiopia.
Jonah Goldberg, writing at Townhall, lists among Chuck Hagel’s many disqualifications for an appointment as Defense Secretary, his wrong-headed belief that the Iraq war was a war for oil. (The whole article is worth reading.)
The Iraq war … was according to Hagel a war for oil.
This belief is prevalent all over the world and needs to be debunked. This thorough debunking job comes from the excellent Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy:
When the US-led coalition invaded Iraq in 2003, one of the most common perceptions was that the primary motive behind the war was the country’s significant oil reserves.
According to a 2002 Pew Poll, 44 per cent British, 75 per cent French, 54 per cent Germans, and 76 per cent Russians were greatly suspicious of US intentions in Iraq and bought into the “blood for oil” narrative. … Only 22 per cent of Americans believed that the Bush administration’s policy was driven by oil interests.
At the time, experts pointed out that this argument was deeply flawed and a lazy mantra of the war opponents.
While Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world, its output in the early 2000s was modest and accounted for only 3 per cent of total global productivity. Due to the geology of the oilfields and, above all, the poor infrastructure destroyed by years of war, Saddam’s negligence, and the sanctions regime, Iraq had the lowest yield of any major producer, amounting to just 0.8 per cent of its potential output. …
By the end of 2011, the US had spent almost $802bn on funding the war and, as the Centre for Strategic and International Studies pointed out, Iraq had additional debts of over $100 billion.
On top of that, the US only imports 12.9 per cent of its oil from the Middle East. 8.1 per cent is provided by Saudi Arabia.
In other words, invading Iraq was an extremely expensive undertaking for the US-led coalition with no guarantee or prospect of considerable profitability.
As Daniel Yergin argued at the time: “no US administration would launch so momentous a campaign just to facilitate a handful of oil development contracts and a moderate increase in supply-half a decade from now.” …
10 years after the invasion of Iraq, who is profiting most from the country’s oil reserves? The US? The UK? No. PetroChina, Russian Lukoil, and Pakistan Petroleum – fierce opponents of the war.
On the other hand, as Germany’s leading weekly news magazine DER SPIEGEL reported this week, “America has not a single, significant oil deal with Baghdad” anymore.
EXXON is moving out of Iraq and PetroChina has taken the lead in the auction of West Qurna – one of the largest oil fields in the world – with Russian Lukoil as a potential competitor. If the Chinese bid is successful, the country will account for 32 per cent of total oil contracts in Iraq.
The “blood for oil” conspiracists owe President Bush an apology.
An apology to President Bush? Over a mis-ascription of motive for the Iraq War? It won’t happen, of course. But at least the truth is on record.
Case One: An Islamic terrorist is kept at taxpayers’ expense in Britain, and protected by European judges from deportation to his homeland Jordan, where he has been convicted for terrorist crimes, on the grounds that Jordan uses torture. And even when the Jordanian authorities give assurances that the monster won’t be tortured, the judges still won’t let him go, just in case the evidence against him in a Jordanian court may be elicited by torture.
Case Two: In Spain, a genuine refugee who has committed no crime under Spanish law but only exercised his right of free speech by criticizing Islam, is to be returned to Pakistan where he will face the death penalty for apostasy.
Abu Qatada, top al-Qaeda terrorist in Europe, lives in Britain at the expense of the taxpayer. Free rent, free education for his children, free health care, social security income – and the cost of his police surveillance alone comes to £100,000 ($150,000) per week.
The Examiner reports:
The man who was designated by the British media as England’s own “terror cleric,” Abu Qatada is now complaining, via his son, that the taxpayer subsidized London home is “small and filthy” …
The hate preacher’s son, Qatada Qatada, complained not only of the cramped and unsanitary digs they aren’t paying for, but also of:
“Racist pressure groups in Britain [who] hold demonstrations outside the house”… and would “scream and curse at us and at Islam.”
It’s good to hear that at least some of the British public are intolerant of the intolerable.
The rent-free Qatada home has been picketed by British citizens who question the government’s wisdom as to the insistence that taxpayer money is used to house, feed and care for the terrorist and his family.
The British government has been attempting to deport Abu Qatada back to his native Jordan since 2001, but has been continually stymied by both British courts and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) located in Strasbourg, France.
The upholding of human rights has largely replaced justice as the raison d’être of law courts in Europe.
Qatada was found guilty in absentia by the Jordanian government on terrorism charges and was subsequently sentenced to life in prison at hard labor.
However, a British Special Immigration Appeals Commission agreed with the earlier ECHR ruling that if sent back to Jordan, Qatada’s human rights would be in jeopardy.
The following are key events in the years-long saga as the British people have attempted to rid themselves of the Jihadist terrorist.
September 16 1993 – The Jordanian father of five claims asylum when he arrives in Britain on a forged passport.
June 1994 – He is allowed to stay in Britain. [!]
March 1995 – Qatada issues a ‘fatwa’ justifying the killing of converts from Islam, their wives and children in Algeria.
May 1998 – He applies for indefinite leave to remain in Britain.
April 1999 – He is convicted in his absence on terror charges in Jordan and sentenced to life imprisonment.
October 1999 – The radical cleric speaks in London advocating the killing of Jews and praising attacks on Americans.
February 2001 – He is arrested by anti-terror police over involvement in a plot to bomb Strasbourg Christmas market. Officers find him in possession of £170,000 in cash, including £805 in an envelope marked ‘For the mujahedin in Chechnya’.
December 2001 – Qatada becomes one of Britain’s most wanted men after going on the run from his home in Acton, West London.
October 2002 – He is arrested by police in a council house in south London and detained in Belmarsh high-security jail.
March 2005 – He is freed on conditional bail and placed on a control order.
August 2005 – The preacher is arrested under immigration rules as the Government seeks to deport him to Jordan.
April 2008 – The Court of Appeal rules that deporting him would breach his human rights because evidence used against him in Jordan may have been obtained through torture.
Evidence against him may have been obtained through torture! Unlikely that he really is a terrorist? Are all British judges milquetoast? What happened to the roast beef of Olde England?
May 2008 – Qatada is granted bail by the immigration tribunal but told he must stay inside for 22 hours a day.
June 2008 – He is released from Long Lartin jail in Worcestershire and moves in to a four bedroomed £800,000 home in West London.
November 2008 – He is rearrested after the Home Office tells an immigration hearing of fears he plans to abscond.
December 2008 – Qatada’s bail is revoked by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) after hearing secret evidence that the risk of him absconding has increased.
February 18 2009 – In a landmark judgment, five Law Lords unanimously back the Government’s policy of removing terror suspects from Britain on the basis of assurances from foreign governments. It is ruled he can be deported to Jordan to face terror charges.
Ah, some roastbeef judges after all!
But not in the European Court of Human Rights. Get ready to be exasperated.
February 19 2009 - Qatada is awarded £2,500 compensation by the European Court of Human Rights after the judges rule that his detention without trial in the UK under anti-terrorism powers breached his human rights.
January 2012 – European judges rule the firebrand cleric can be sent back to Jordan with diplomatic assurances but he cannot be deported while ‘there remains a real risk that evidence obtained by torture will be used against him’.
February 6 2012 – SIAC rules he can be released on bail, despite posing a risk to national security.
February 9 2012 – David Cameron and King Abdullah of Jordan agree on the ‘importance of finding an effective resolution’ to his case, Downing Street says.
February 13 2012 – It emerges Qatada has been released on bail from Long Lartin prison.
April 17 2012 – The cleric is arrested as the Government prepares to deport him to Jordan.
April 18 2012 – Abu Qatada lodges an appeal – potentially delaying his deportation by months.
Since his illegal entry into the United Kingdom in 1993, Abu Qatada has been a multi-million Pound Sterling burden to the British people.
In Spain an ex-Muslim refugee offends not his host nation but Islam, so the Spanish Government wants to deport him to Pakistan where he will face the death penalty.
This report is from Cobourg Atheist, by John Draper:
Imran Firasat is from Pakistan but risked his life and left Islam – he is no longer a Muslim. To escape death, he moved to Spain where he runs a web site. Further, he is on a campaign to criticise Islam – he started with some cartoons …, created a web site which is in both Spanish and English and promoted the controversial movie Innocence of Muslims. The web site also lists 10 reasons why Muhammad was a false prophet … He co-produced a 70min movie The Innocent Prophet that described why he thought Islam to be wrong – why people would be crazy to believe what is in the Qur’an. But he is not a Spanish citizen – he was admitted into Spain as a refugee. So when he announced his plans to release the movie,he was told he could lose his status and be deported back to Pakistan where he would face a certain death penalty for openly leaving and criticizing Islam under Pakistan’s blasphemy Law. He therefore withdrew his name from the movie …
You can find the movie here:
More of the story comes from Islam Watch, by M.A.Kahn:
Under pressure, Firasat withdrew from the movie, but his U.S. collaborator, controversial Pastor Terry Jones, who already had a copy, took Firasat’s name out of the movie and released it from the U.S. on the scheduled date.
Despite Imran Firasat’s best effort to distance himself from the movie by completely taking out his name, the Spanish authority decided to revoke his refugee status, serving him with a letter to the effect within days after the movie was released.
Mr. Firasat has been baffled by the manner his refugee status was revoked, because it usually takes 6 months to process the cancellation of refugee status.
He has been told by the Interior Ministry that he is a threat to Spain’s national security. He was inciting violence against Spain both at home and against Spanish diplomatic missions and interests abroad. …
Imran Firasat, who feels open examination of Islam is necessary for liberty and democracy to survive in the West amidst its burgeoning Muslim populations, says, he wants to criticize Islam, but without instigating violence among Muslims to avoid vandalism, destructions and deaths.
And his movie, despite being on Youtube for over two weeks and watched by tens of thousands of people, there hasn’t been any controversy, criticism or violence, whatsoever. Even then, the decision of the Spanish government to serve Imran Firasat with deportation papers clearly shows how much fear have Muslims stricken into the hearts of Western nations. This is nothing but Muslims’ perfect enactment of Allah’s divine commandment for striking terror into the heart of the unbelievers …
Imran Firasat, who has been struggling with financial difficulties, especially after making this movie – which not only ate up all of savings but he also had to take a loan – has one month to defend himself in Court, failing which he may be put on a plane to Pakistan. …
So is shortage of funds the reason why he isn’t appealing to the European Court of Human Rights where – just maybe – his case will be looked at with the same consideration applied in the case of Abu Qatada? If so, why aren’t Spanish taxpayers bearing that cost, as British taxpayers bore the cost of Abu Qatada’s appeal?
The solution to such puzzles is to be found in this new unwritten principle of European and American political philosophy: If you offend Muslims you are guilty; if Muslims offend you, you are guilty.
Last thought: “Mr. Firasat has been baffled by the manner his refugee status was revoked, because it usually takes 6 months to process the cancellation of refugee status.“ Why do we suspect that Obama and Hillary Clinton – who are persecuting the maker of the video Innocence of Muslims, pretending it caused the murderous attack by Muslim terrorists on the US mission in Benghazi – have a couple of bloodstained hands in the perpetration of this injustice?
On December 10, “Human Rights Day”, the International Humanist and Ethical Union published Freedom of Thought 2012: A Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists and the Nonreligious, edited by Matt Cherry.
These quotations were selected by Hermant Mehta at the Friendly Atheist:
“This report shows that atheists, humanists and other nonreligious people are discriminated against by governments across the world. There are laws that deny atheists’ right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry, obstruct their access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents.”
In Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan atheism is a capital crime. Most executions for the crime of atheism are carried out in Pakistan.
“In a range of other countries — such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait and Jordan — publication of atheist or humanist views on religion are totally banned or strictly limited under laws prohibiting ‘blasphemy’.
“In many of these countries, and others like Malaysia, citizens have to register as adherents of a small number officially-recognized religions — which normally include no more than Christianity and Judaism as well as Islam.”
“Speaking of blasphemy,” Hermant Mehta writes, “the report includes a section on the sharp rise of blasphemy charges on social media …” :
“The trend of prosecuting ‘blasphemies’ shared through social media is most marked in Muslim-majority countries. For example, in addition to the tragic, but all too familiar, wave of blasphemy prosecutions in Pakistan, this year saw prosecutions for allegedly atheist comments on Facebook and Twitter in Bangladesh, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Turkey. In some of these cases, the governments even threatened to prosecute those who commented on, or ‘liked’, or re-tweeted, the offending comments. In May, the Pakistan government went so far as to block all access to Twitter in the country because of objections to ‘blasphemous’ content’. …
“When 21st century technology collides with medieval blasphemy laws, it seems to be atheists who are getting hurt, as more of them go to prison for sharing their personal beliefs via social media… Across the world the reactionary impulse to punish new ideas, or in some cases the merest expression of disbelief, recurs again and again. We even have a case in Tunisia of a journalist arrested for daring to criticize a proposed blasphemy law!”
Max Fisher at the Washington Post provides this map of the countries where atheists are executed, imprisoned or discriminated against by law.
In his comments, Max Fisher points out that -
Restrictions against “religious incitement” … are common in much of the world, including in atheist-friendly Western Europe.
Such laws are applied in many European countries to the critical examination of Islam. And if the Organization of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) – which includes a delegate or “special envoy” from the US, Obama appointee Rashad Hussain – has its way, criticism of Islam will be a punishable offense all over this Islam-diseased world. The Obama administration supported a UN resolution against “defamation of religion” in December 2011.
Although the Koran is believed by Muslims to contain all the knowledge a man could ever need, the Obama administration is spending ample tax-dollars coaching Muslims in science and technology.
As far as we can discover, it is the only religious group at home or abroad to be given this expensive attention.
But then, Islam has earned its reward from Americans, hasn’t it?
Here’s the information quoted in full from a US Government Fact Sheet:
Science and Technology Engagement With the Muslim World
Progress in Realizing the President’s Vision of Enhanced Science and Technology (S&T)
Partnership in the Muslim World
1. Science Envoys: Three of America’s most prominent scientists traveled and engaged with counterparts in Morocco, Egypt, Indonesia, and other countries.
2. OPIC Fund: The OPIC Global Technology and Innovation Fund attracted almost $2 billion in private investment to support technological development projects to be implemented in Muslim communities around the world.
3. Center of Excellence on Water: USAID and State Department began the creation of a Middle East Water Center after extensive consultations across the region.
The program pursues the shibboleths of the left:
4. Center of Excellence on Climate Change: USAID and the State Department began the creation of an Asia Regional Climate Change Center after extensive consultations across the region, with an anticipated initial focus on water-scarcity issues.
Here’s one specially worth noting:
5. Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute: This newly established institute — a collaborative effort involving the State Department, Department of Energy (DOE), Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, Sandia National Laboratory, and Texas A&M University’s Nuclear Security Science & Policy Institute — will work with Gulf States through regional workshops and follow-up bilateral training to assist those states that decide to pursue nuclear energy with the tools to do so in a safe, secure, and safeguarded manner.
It all sounds wonderfully friendly and cozy, this communion with the religion that is dedicated to our destruction:
6. Entrepreneurship Summit: This summit brought together successful business and social entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, development bankers, and other business experts to discuss ideas and share experiences with a view toward creating support networks that will help promote development in Muslim communities.
7. Expanded Science Corps: Secretary of State Clinton committed to expanding the number of Environment, Science, Technology, and Health (ESTH) officers at embassies, with new positions already being filled in the Middle Easter and North Africa (MENA).
But she grudges every penny spent on protection for our diplomats in the Islamic Middle East. (See all our recent posts on the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans in Libya.)
8. Regional R&D Collaboration: The State Department launched six new Middle East Regional Cooperation projects to fund applied research and S&T cooperation involving institutions in Jordan, West Bank/Gaza, Tunisia, and Israel on topics in agriculture, environmental protection and global and regional health.
Cooperation projects? Jordan, “West Bank/Gaza”, Tunisia with Israel? Well, good luck with that.
9. Bilateral R&D Collaboration: The United States and Indonesia concluded a new S&T Agreement and the United States provided a doubling of financial support for S&T agreements with Egypt and Pakistan.
10. Frontiers of Science Program: The U.S. National Academy of Sciences expanded this program to support linkages between young scientists in the United States and Southeast Asia, with planned expansion to additional regions as well.
11. MENA POWER 2010: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) sponsored a Middle East and North Africa technology and projects forum to match MENA policymakers and project stakeholders in the electric power sector with U.S. providers of equipment and service solutions.
For such vital “investment”, the heavily-indebted United States borrows or prints money.
Lots more moola is to be lavished on solar panels (and windmills?) in Islamic states – “green energy” being another bee in Obama’s bonnet:
- Memorandum of Understanding for Clean Energy Cooperation: DOE partnered with UAE’s multi-billion-dollar Masdar City clean energy initiative, with delegates and DOE officials outlining an initial work plan.
- Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation: Secretary Chu signed this MOU during his visit to the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, in Riyadh, to facilitate partnerships with DOE national laboratories, U.S. universities and scientific institutions.
- Feasibility Studies: USTDA supported extensive feasibility studies throughout the region to determine potential capabilities for geothermal energy, solar energy, and smart grid technology.
13. Information Communication Technology:
- Iraq Science and Technology Virtual Science Library project was officially transferred to Iraqi government control and administration. 7500 users are now registered, 95% of the university population is participating, 1,000,000 articles have been downloaded to date, and publications by Iraqi authors are increasing apace and expected to reach about 300 this year.
- NSF supported a host of electronic networking programs, including implementation of a multi-million-dollar broad-band internet linkage to Egypt and Pakistan, and provided support to involve Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France, and nearly all countries in North Africa in a network for research on new materials for renewable energy. Maghreb Digital Library. The State Department supported the establishment of a Digital Library for the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania) to support development in S&T, increase access to digitized scientific data and research, and encourage partnership and networking.
- Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) jointly hosted a Health Dialogue with Ministers of Health from the OIC member states in Geneva on the margins of the World Health Assembly. Concrete steps were outlined for enhanced collaboration.
- The National Institutes of Health conducted training in tobacco control, injury and trauma, bioethics [?] and genetics. This included meetings among twelve regional nations across MENA and SE Asia, leading to the creation of new programs in medical schools in the participating nations.
15. Water: The U.S. Geological Survey supported extensive training in collection and analysis of water samples, workshops on water contamination, training on the establishment of digital water resources data systems, and consultation on the establishment of water quality laboratories across the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia.
16. Space: NASA signed agreements with several nations for future collaboration on space programs. NASA now has agreements with 30 of the world’s more than 50 Muslim-majority nations.
17. Pollution: The Environmental Protection Agency has teamed up with Indonesia and Jordan to create programs aimed at decreasing air pollution in both nations. Breathe Easy Jakarta and Jordan’s Environmental Rangers are just two of the programs implemented to increase public participation and enforcement and accountability in the fight against pollution.
And lots more is in the pipeline. Unless, that is, Mitt Romney becomes president and cancels this massive transfer of US borrowed wealth to Islamic states.
Top 10 Activities in the Year Ahead
1. Global Engagement Fund: S&T collaboration is an important part of the new $100M Global Engagement Fund submitted to Congress for FY2011.
2. US-Egypt Year of Science 2011: This year-long enterprise will celebrate US Egypt engagement in science, promote interest among Egyptian youth in science-related careers and research, and promote digital engagement among the Egyptian science community with US peers and institutions.
3. New Science Envoys: The Administration will name three new envoys, with plans to travel to Central Asia, East and West Africa, and Southeast Asia.
4. Science, Technology, and Innovation Conference 2011: This conference will include representatives from Muslim communities around the world in cooperation with Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and other key stakeholders.
5. White House/OSTP Digital Knowledge Networking Event: This major international event will bring together ICT leaders from public and private foundations involved in electronic knowledge sharing, technology, education, and development, along with other experts, to move from idea to realization of a significant increase in on-line knowledge-sharing in science and technology.
6. Middle East Energy Efficiency Center: DOE, State, and USAID will launch an effort in the Middle East to promote and enhance regional cooperation in science and technology, focusing on six energy-efficiency initiatives.
7. Challenges & Awards: EPA/USAID will launch a challenge to drive innovation for water technologies serving international and domestic constituencies.
8. Forest Conservation: The Department of Interior will work with several nations to preserve nature reserves and protect endangered species.
9. Eye on the Earth – Abu Dhabi 2010: EPA will co-sponsor this event to address the establishment of a global environmental information network.
10. Joint Ocean Exploration: NOAA’s research vessel Okeanos Explorer and the Indonesian research vessel Baruna Jaya will make a pioneering joint mission to the “Coral Triangle” in the Indo-Pacific region in the summer of 2011.
Note that in all this there is no mention of any project to promote the education of women in the Muslim world. We do not advocate the spending of US tax dollars on women’s education in Afghanistan (for instance), only suggesting that if the Obama administration is concerned with improving knowledge in Islam, they might raise the subject in some of their get-togethers with their Muslim buddies.