An Egyptian court has ordered the banning of the Muslim Brotherhood and the confiscation of its assets.
The ban is a blow to the Obama administration which supported the Muslim Brotherhood while it was briefly in power in Egypt.
This CBN video shows that the administration consults Muslim Brotherhood affiliates and takes their advice, not only for policy towards the Middle East, but also for domestic policy. (We took the video from Creeping Sharia.)
The Leftist fascists now in charge of America declare individual liberty, the ideal on which and for which the USA was founded, dangerously “extremist”.
Their aim is to make Leftist ideology the norm.
This comes from Investor’s Business Daily:
Once more, military training has become an Orwellian re-education camp where a radical transformation of the truth depicts the Founding Fathers as extremists and conservative groups as “hate groups.”
Saying “Give me liberty or give me death” qualifies Patrick Henry as an extremist, according to the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute training guide … And so were the rest of those who took up arms against the British Crown and pledged their lives, their fortune and their sacred honor for a shot at liberty and democracy.
Under a section titled “Extremist Ideologies,” the document states, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”
We would not lump the two together necessarily, but the Pentagon does. …
“Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publicly espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place,” the Pentagon guide advises.
Which provides us with an opportunity to recall the fact that those who dressed up in sheets to terrify Blacks, those who lynched and murdered them, which is to say the members of the Ku Klux Klan, were Democrats.
This is from Free Republic, quoting David Bartonand his book Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White:
Republicans often led the efforts to pass federal anti-lynching laws and their platforms consistently called for a ban on lynching. Democrats successfully blocked those bills and their platforms never did condemn lynchings. …
Further, the first grand wizard of the KKK was honored at the 1868 Democratic National Convention, no Democrats voted for the 14th Amendment to grant citizenship to former slaves and, to this day, the party website ignores those decades of racism …
Although it is relatively unreported today, historical documents are unequivocal that the Klan was established by Democrats and that the Klan played a prominent role in the Democratic Party … A 13-volume set of congressional investigations from 1872 conclusively and irrefutably documents that fact.
The Klan terrorized black Americans through murders and public floggings; relief was granted only if individuals promised not to vote for Republican tickets, and violation of this oath was punishable by death … Since the Klan targeted Republicans in general, it did not limit its violence simply to black Republicans; white Republicans were also included.
The IBD article continues about those designated “extremists” by the Pentagon:
They might even form groups with “tea party,” “patriot” or “9-12″ in their name, like the groups targeted for political harassment and intimidation by the IRS.
“The Obama administration has a nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And now, in a document full of claptrap, its Defense Department suggests that the Founding Fathers, and many conservative Americans, would not be welcome in today’s military.
“And it is striking,” he added, “that some of the language in this new document echoes the IRS targeting language of conservative and tea party investigations.
Indeed, it also echoes the 2009 document issued by Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security, Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment:
Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that … are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.
The guide makes no mention of Nidal Hasan, the Army major who worked his way up through the ranks amid politically correct indifference to kill 13 people, including a pregnant soldier, and shoot 32 others in a Nov. 5, 2009, rampage at the base in Killeen, Texas, while shouting “Allahu Akhbar!”
But then he was defending the Taliban, not seeking freedom from the British.
Somewhat less distressing – though wrong both factually and morally – is the information that the guide calls Catholics, Evangelicals, [religious] Jews, Mormons “extremists” – just like al-Qaeda.
So it labels al-Qaeda “extremist”, but not Muslims as such? The article doesn’t say, but we very much doubt that the guide has a word to say against Islam.
This is from PowerLine, by Paul Mirengoff:
The Chaplain Alliance has issued a press release alleging, based on a review of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, that in training materials, the Department of Defense classified Catholics, Evangelicals, Jews, and Mormons as religious “extremists” similar to Al Qaeda. The Chaplain Alliance also claims that the military deemed the [far left] Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate group” list a “reliable source” for this conclusion. …
There was never any reason to suppose that the left’s long march through our institutions would not encompass the U.S. military. And we’ve seen plenty of evidence of the success of this portion of the long march.
So now the mighty Pentagon is helping the Obama regime turn the USA into the land of the unfree, and the home of the politically correct.
As the prurient news media have made known around the planet, a lubricious narcissist named Anthony Weiner persistently and compulsively stands for public office while disseminating pictures of his private parts, by means of the world wide web, in the hope of setting young women on fire with lust for him – figuratively speaking. His sexual perversion would be of little interest to the world if it were not for the odd fact that, despite being in public disgrace, he is standing – sometimes in underwear – as a Democratic candidate for election to the office of Mayor of New York.
What is less known and hardly at all discussed is that his wife, Huma Abedin, has helped to set a part of the planet on fire literally, along with her bosom friend Hillary Clinton. (See also here and here and here.)
DianaWest asks, most pertinently, in her Townhall column today:
Isn’t the Abedin-Clinton national security story at least as newsworthy as Weiner’s private parts?
Anthony Weiner, candidate for mayor of New York City, turns out to be a recidivist pervert.
Abedin is also a veritable Muslim Brotherhood princess. As such, the ideological implications of her actions — plus her long and privileged access to US policy-making through Hillary Clinton — must be considered, particularly in the context of national security. …
If the Abedin-Muslim Brotherhood story rings any bells, it is probably because of Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. Last summer, Bachmann, along with four other House Republicans, raised the issue of Huma Abedin among other examples of possible Muslim Brotherhood penetration of the federal policy-making chain. They asked inspectors general at five departments, including the State Department, to investigate their concerns, but nothing happened – nothing, that is, except that Bachmann was crucified, by Democrats and Republicans alike, for asking urgently important questions about national security.
This made the entire subject, already taboo, positively radioactive – with Huma Abedin becoming the poster victim of this supposed “McCarthyism” redux.*
Someone who has looked into “the Muslim Brotherhood penetration of the federal policy-making chain”, in particular Huma Abedin’s amazing success in becoming chief adviser to the Secretary of State, is Andrew C. McCarthy.
He writes at National Review Online:
Ms. Abedin worked for many years at a journal that promotes Islamic-supremacist ideology that was founded by a top al-Qaeda financier, Abdullah Omar Naseef. Naseef ran the Rabita Trust, a formally designated foreign terrorist organization under American law. Ms. Abedin and Naseef overlapped at the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA) for at least seven years. Throughout that time (1996–2003), Ms. Abdein worked for Hillary Clinton in various capacities.
Ms. Abedin’s late father, Dr. Zyed Abedin, was recruited by Naseef to run the JMMA in Saudi Arabia. The journal was operated under the management of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, a virulently anti-Semitic and sharia-supremacist organization.
And yet Huma married a Jew. A Clinton-favored Jew. Bill Clinton performed the wedding ceremony. Who would believe this story if it were fiction?
When Dr. Abedin died, editorial control of the journal passed to his wife, Dr. Saleha Mahmood Abedin — Huma’s mother.
Saleha Abedin is closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and to supporters of violent jihad. Among other things, she directs an organization – the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child. The IICWC, through its parent entity (the International Islamic Council for Dawa and Relief), is a component of the Union for Good (also known as the Union of Good), another formally designated terrorist organization. The Union for Good is led by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the notorious Muslim Brotherhood jurist who has issued fatwas calling for the killing of American military and support personnel in Iraq as well as suicide bombings in Israel. (As detailed here, the Obama White House recently hosted Qaradawi’s principal deputy, Sheikh Abdulla bin Bayyah, who also endorsed the fatwa calling for the killing of U.S. troops and personnel in Iraq.)
Like Sheikh Qaradawi, who helped write the charter for the IICWC, Saleha Abedin is an influential sharia activist who has, for example, published a book called Women in Islam that claims man-made laws enslave women. It reportedly provides sharia justifications for such practices as female-genital mutilation, the death penalty for apostates from Islam, the legal subordination of women, and the participation of women in violent jihad. Dr. Abedin has nevertheless been hailed in the progressive press as a “leading voice on women’s rights in the Muslim world” (to quote Foreign Policy). …
Back to daughter Huma. In the late mid to late Nineties, while she was an intern at the Clinton White House and an assistant editor at JMMA, Ms. Abedin was a member of the executive board of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at George Washington University, heading its “Social Committee.” The MSA, which has a vast network of chapters at universities across North America, is the foundation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s infrastructure in the United States. Obviously, not every Muslim student who joins the MSA graduates to the Brotherhood — many join for the same social and networking reasons that cause college students in general to join campus organizations. But the MSA does have an indoctrination program … a lengthy process of study and service that leads to Brotherhood membership — a process “designed to ensure with absolute certainty that there is conformity to the movement’s ideology and a clear adherence to its leadership’s authority”. The MSA gave birth to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest Islamist organization in the U.S. Indeed the MSA and ISNA consider themselves the same organization. Because of its support for Hamas (a designated terrorist organization that is the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch), ISNA was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case, in which several Hamas operatives were convicted of providing the terrorist organization with lavish financing. …
The MSA chapter to which Ms. Abedin belonged at George Washington University has an intriguing history. In 2001 [to be clear, that is after Ms. Abedin had graduated from GWU], its spiritual guide was . . . Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda operative who was then ministering to some of the eventual 9/11 suicide-hijackers. Awlaki himself had led the MSA chapter at Colorado State University in the early nineties. [He] is far from the only jihadist to hone his supremacist ideology in the MSA’s friendly confines. In the eighties, Wael Jalaidan ran the MSA at the University of Arizona. He would soon go on to help Osama bin Laden found al-Qaeda; he also partnered with the Abedin family’s patron, Abdullah Omar Naseef, to establish the [aforementioned] Rabita Trust — formally designated as a terrorist organization under U.S. law due to its funding of al-Qaeda.
While Huma Abedin “served as one of Secretary of State Clinton’s top staffers and advisers at the State Department”, it became US foreign policy to support the Muslim Brotherhood.
During that time, the State Department strongly supported abandoning the federal government’s prior policy against official dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood. State, furthermore, embraced a number of Muslim Brotherhood positions that undermine both American constitutional rights and our alliance with Israel.
To name just a few manifestations of this policy sea change:
- The State Department had an emissary in Egypt who trained operatives of the Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations in democracy procedures.
- The State Department announced that the Obama administration would be “satisfied” with the election of a Muslim Brotherhood–dominated government in Egypt.
- Secretary Clinton personally intervened to reverse a Bush-administration ruling that barred Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the Brotherhood’s founder and son of one of its most influential early leaders, from entering the United States.
- The State Department collaborated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of governments heavily influenced by the Brotherhood, in seeking to restrict American free-speech rights in deference to sharia proscriptions against negative criticism of Islam.
- The State Department excluded Israel, the world’s leading target of terrorism, from its “Global Counterterrorism Forum,” a group that brings the United States together with several Islamist governments, prominently including its co-chair, Turkey — which now finances Hamas and avidly supports the flotillas that seek to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas. At the forum’s kickoff, Secretary Clinton decried various terrorist attacks and groups; but she did not mention Hamas or attacks against Israel — in transparent deference to the Islamist governments, which echo the Brotherhood’s position that Hamas is not a terrorist organization and that attacks against Israel are not terrorism.
- The State Department and the Obama administration waived congressional restrictions in order to transfer $1.5 billion dollars in aid to Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood’s victory in the parliamentary elections.
- The State Department and the Obama administration waived congressional restrictions in order to transfer millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian territories notwithstanding that Gaza is ruled by the terrorist organization Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch.
- The State Department and the administration hosted a contingent from Egypt’s newly elected parliament that included not only Muslim Brotherhood members but a member of the Islamic Group (Gamaa al-Islamiyya), which is formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization. The State Department refused to provide Americans with information about the process by which it issued a visa to a member of a designated terrorist organization, about how the members of the Egyptian delegation were selected, or about what security procedures were followed before the delegation was allowed to enter our country.
- On a trip to Egypt, Secretary Clinton pressured General Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the military junta then governing the country, to surrender power to the parliament dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and the then–newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, a top Brotherhood official. She also visited with Morsi; immediately after his victory, Morsi had proclaimed that his top priorities included pressuring the United States to release the Blind Sheikh. Quite apart from the Brotherhood’s self-proclaimed “grand jihad” to destroy the United States . . . the group’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, publicly called for jihad against the United States in an October 2010 speech. After it became clear the Brotherhood would win the parliamentary election, Badie said the victory was a stepping stone to “the establishment of a just Islamic caliphate.”
As more recent events remind us, this is not an exhaustive account of Obama-administration coziness with the Muslim Brotherhood. It is just some of the lowlights.
When a handful of House conservatives tried to draw the attention of the State Department’s inspector general to some of these matters – wondering how on earth someone with Ms. Abdein’s background could have qualified for a top-secret security clearance – they were castigated by the Obama White House and the Beltway Republican establishment.
As reaffirmed in the last 24 hours, Ms. Abedin’s connections to prominent Islamic-supremacist figures and groups are deemed unsuitable for public discussion – Egyptians may be able to eject the Muslim Brotherhood, but in today’s Washington it is raising questions about the Muslim Brotherhood that gets you run out of town.
Naturally, what did get Washington chattering was a scandal far more typical in Clinton circles — the lucrative arrangement Ms. Abedin struck with Mrs. Clinton’s State Department that allowed her, after returning from maternity leave, to draw a $135,000 State Department salary while remaining in New York, not actually working at Foggy Bottom, and moonlighting as a “strategic consultant” for an outfit called Teneo – founded by Bill Clinton’s chum Doug Band.
Andrew McCarthy ends his article on a note of justified outrage, which we share with him.
What a racket. The marriage to Huma Abedin, a Clinton insider, enables Anthony Weiner to resurrect a debased career and deflect attention from his psychotic antics even as he continues them. The marriage to Anthony Weiner, a prominent Jewish progressive, enables Huma Abedin to deflect attention from her associations with various Islamic supremacists even as, during her tenure as a top State Department official, American policy embraces Islamic supremacists.
This political story is extremely obscene. Yet the prurient news media will not tell it.
* Diana West has recently published an important book, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character (St. Martin’s Press, New York), in which she demonstrates that the demonized Joseph McCarthy was right to have done what he did.
Is this the ultimate secret about the Benghazi attack on 9/11/12 that Obama is trying to cover up?
A conspiracy is a part of it, and conspiracies are hard to plot if they involve many people; harder to carry out; and hardest of all to believe.
Yet the story is plausible.
Raymond Ibrahim reports:
According to a Libyan intelligence document, the Muslim Brotherhood, including Egyptian President Morsi, were involved in the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, where several Americans, including U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, were killed.
On Wednesday, June 26, several Arabic websites … quoted the intelligence report, which apparently was first leaked to the Kuwaiti paper, Al Ra’i. Prepared by Mahmoud Ibrahim Sharif, Director of National Security for Libya, the report is addressed to the nation’s Minister of Interior.
It discusses the preliminary findings of the investigation, specifically concerning an “Egyptian cell” which was involved in the consulate attack.
“Based on confessions derived from some of those arrested at the scene” six people, “all of them Egyptians” from the jihad group Ansar al-Sharia (“Supporters of Islamic Law”), were arrested.
According to the report, during interrogations, these Egyptian jihadi cell members “confessed to very serious and important information concerning the financial sources of the group and the planners of the event and the storming and burning of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi…. And among the more prominent figures whose names were mentioned by cell members during confessions were: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi; preacher Safwat Hegazi; Saudi businessman Mansour Kadasa, owner of the satellite station, Al-Nas; Egyptian Sheikh Muhammad Hassan; former presidential candidate, Hazim Salih Abu Isma’il”.
The information that these particular people were involved in an anti-American action is not in itself surprising. All of them, including Mohamed Morsi, are known to be fanatical anti-American jihadists.
Prominent Brotherhood figure Safwat Hegazi … publicly declares the Brotherhood “will rule the world”; Saudi Mansour’s hate-mongering, pro-Brotherhood TV station repeatedly aired footage of the YouTube Muhammad movie inciting violence around the Muslim world; popular Sheikh Muhammad Hassan holds that smiling to non-Muslims is forbidden, except when trying to win them over to Islam; and Sheikh Hazim Abu Ismail is simply an openly anti-freedom, anti-infidel religious leader.
The report quotes a video which fell into the hands of “Libyan intelligence”. Was it made by one of the attackers? Or did it come from the US drone which was filming the incident? If the latter, its contents must be known to US intelligence. And if it is known to US intelligence, why hasn’t the American public been told about it?
As for President Morsi, a video made during the consulate attack records people speaking in the Egyptian dialect: as they approach the beleaguered U.S. compound, one of them yells to the besiegers, “Don’t shoot—Dr. Morsi sent us!”
Did Barack Obama, whose administration has taken great pains to keep facts about the Benghazi assault concealed, know that the Muslim Brotherhood was involved in the attack, perhaps from the very beginning by planning and financing it?
If Obama and his henchmen and henchwomen have known all along that the terrorist raid was a Muslim Brotherhood operation, would that be surprising?
The awful thing is, it should not be: not if it is seen in the context of Obama’s relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The following is a summary of an article by Clare Lopez (formerly of the CIA):
With the June 13, 2013 confirmation by senior Obama administration officials that the president has authorized sending weapons directly to Syrian rebels, the trend can no longer be ignored. This is the third country and the third instance in which Barack Obama has leapt into the fray of revolution to the defense of al-Qa’eda and Muslim Brotherhood forces within days of an explicit call for action by Yousef al-Qaradawi, the senior jurist of the Muslim Brotherhood. In each instance — Egypt, Libya, and now Syria — it is completely clear that the United States is backing people who hate it.
The U.S. leadership is deliberately and proactively enabling the self-declared forces of Islamic jihad and shariah, who make no secret of their enmity and loathing for the U.S. and Western civilization in general, to come to power in country after country of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The results have been disastrous. … Strict shariah enforcement is spreading across the region. Since the fall of Qaddafi in October 2011, weapons have been flowing out of Libya in all directions, some of the weapons apparently with the active assistance of the former Benghazi U.S. mission, closed since the al-Qa’eda attack of 11 September 11, 2012.
According to a Libyan intelligence official, speaking to a reporter in a May 2013 interview, Libya has now become the main MENA base for Al-Qa’eda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Barack Obama has hugely helped the Muslim Brotherhood to achieve its terrible aims. And he is still doing so.
Arnold Ahlert writes at Front Page:
In yet another remarkable display of Obama’s determination to secure the Middle East for Islamofascists, 400 U.S. troops will reportedly be deployed to Egypt to augment the police force of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. They will be part of a 13-country force stationed in Egypt in anticipation of protests, scheduled for June 30th, calling for the removal of Morsi. … [Having thrown] former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak under the bus in 2011, the White House is now eager to defend the regime of Morsi, who, like his Muslim Brotherhood sponsors, is well on his way to imposing the Saudi Arabian model of governance on Egypt. …
There is a burgeoning standoff between liberal secular Egyptians on one side, and dedicated Islamists on the other. One that could precipitate widespread violence in four days. And President Barack Obama has sent American troops to Egypt – to stand with the Islamists.
Adding to the spectacular absurdity …
We would say iniquity …
… of U.S. troops protecting Morsi’s thuggish regime – and by extension a Muslim Brotherhood that spawned al Qaeda and Hamas – is the reality that some of the troops deployed there come from the same military base where another Islamist, Maj. Nidal Hasan, killed 13 and wounded 32 of his fellow soldiers in 2009. That attack was labeled “workplace violence” …
rather than “terrorism in the name of Islam”, which it was.
As is often the case with the “most transparent administration in history”, the White House has maintained silence regarding American troops being deployed into a potential nation-wide firestorm. Egyptian military spokesman Ahmed Ali insists that media reports regarding the deployment are inaccurate and that American troops will be nothing more than part of “the periodical renewal routine for the US faction of the 13-state multinational force deployed in Sinai since the peace treaty”. He further insisted the MFO “is not armed with military operations gear”. …
In the meantime … Egyptians are stocking up on food, fuel and cash in anticipation of protests that “many fear will be the most violent and disruptive this year”. Furthermore, the U.S. embassy announced it would be closed on June 30, and warned Americans in Egypt to get enough supplies to make it through an “extended period of time”.
Last month, Secretary of State John Kerry released $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid to the Morsi regime, despite a law that requires him to certify that the Egyptian government “is supporting the transition to civilian government, including holding free and fair elections, implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association and religion, and due process of law”. Kerry waived that restriction …
In the year since he has come to power, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has done virtually everything in his power to undermine a more inclusive democratic process and the strengthening of key democratic institutions. Yet the beat goes on for a president and an administration so desperate to maintain its Arab spring narrative, nothing remotely resembling reality intrudes.
The Muslim Brotherhood has deeply penetrated the US government, and exerts extraordinary influence on the Obama administration. For how such a deplorable state of affairs came to be, see this article, also by Clare Lopez.
If it is true that the raid on the US mission in Benghazi on 9/11/12 was planned and financed by the Muslim Brotherhood, and if Obama knew it was, and if he wants to see the Muslim Brotherhood achieve its objectives – as his actions towards it signal that he does – everything is explained: the refusal to provide adequate and reliable protection for the Ambassador; the refusal to allow US forces to go to his aid or the aid of the men fighting at the CIA annexe; the pretense that the armed assault grew spontaneously out of a protest demo; the failure to find any of the raiders and bring them to justice; the evasion of questions from Congress about what happened before, during and after the disaster, and why; the intense irritation of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she was caught out in her lie about a movie-provoked demo …
But even if it proves to be true, is it an explanation that Americans could bring themselves to believe?
So it’s coming – war? The big one?
As the Syrian war rages on – now a religious battle between Sunnis and Shiites as much as an armed rebellion against Bashar Assad’s tyranny – the Russians have offered troops to replace the withdrawing Austrian contingent of the UN’s “peace keeping” force on the Golan border between Syria and Israel. It looks likely that Fijian troops will be preferred by the UN, but Putin is nevertheless going ahead and preparing a Golan brigade. He is committed to helping the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad by supplying advanced weaponry, and he has warships near the Syrian coast.
At this juncture, Obama has decided that the US must send military aid to the rebels, composed of al-Qaeda affiliated and Muslim Brotherhood Sunnis. Assad himself is an Alawite, but his main support comes from Shia Iran and Iran’s Shia proxy, Hezbollah.
We quote from the (British) Mail Online .
The chilling headlines:
Could Syria ignite World War 3? That’s the terrifying question as the hatred between two Muslim ideologies sucks in the worlds superpowers.
- Syrian conflict could engulf region in struggle between Sunni and Shia
- Already claimed 93,000 lives and made 1.6million people refugees
- UK, France and U.S. taken different side to China and Russia
The article proceeds:
The crisis in Syria may appear to be no more or less than a civil war in a country many people would struggle to place on a map.
But it’s much more than that: it is rapidly becoming a sectarian struggle for power that is bleeding across the Middle East, with the potential to engulf the entire region in a deadly power struggle between two bitterly opposed Muslim ideologies, Sunni and Shia.
Already, the war inside Syria has resulted in 93,000 dead and 1.6 million refugees, with millions more displaced internally. And those figures are escalating rapidly amid reports of appalling atrocities on both sides.
Fearing that Syria faced the kind of protests that had toppled the rulers of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya during the “Arab Spring”, Bashar al-Assad’s security forces used tanks and gunfire to crush the demonstrations. But it only stoked the fires.
The opposition developed into an armed insurgency, and now Syria has been engulfed in a civil war which has degenerated into a vicious sectarian conflict.
On one side are those who follow President Assad, who belongs to the Alawites — a splinter sect from Shia Islam.
On the other are a loose affiliation of insurgents drawn from the majority Sunni population, some of whom have close links to the Sunni jihadists of Al Qaeda.
The level of savagery is appalling. This week, up to 60 Shia Muslims were reported to have been slaughtered in an attack by opposition fighters in the eastern Syrian city of Hatla. …
Syria might fragment into three or four pieces on sectarian lines, with anyone marooned in the wrong enclave liable to face vicious ethnic cleansing.
And because the conflict is driven by religion, it could easily leap Syria’s frontiers to draw in regional powers.
So who is aligned with whom? Broadly speaking, Assad is supported by Iran (the main Shia power in the Middle East) and its militant Lebanese ally, the terrorist group Hezbollah.
The latter is Iran’s main weapon in any fight with Israel.
As a result, Assad is advised (and protected) by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and there are also between 5,000 and 8,000 seasoned Hezbollah fighters inside Syria. …
The forces against Assad are joined by thousands of fighters flooding the country every week from across the region.
The rebels have also benefited from the ferocious will-to-die of an Islamist group called Jabhat al-Nusra, which is allied with Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Many more rebels are Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood persuasion.
They are supported with guns and money from Sunni states such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Such are the complex connections between modern nations, and the globalised nature of international politics, that repercussions could be felt around the world.
What happens in Syria affects Israel, with which it shares a militarised border on the Golan Heights. …
Although President Obama wants to downgrade America’s involvement in the Middle East now the U.S. can rely on reserves of cheap shale oil and gas at home, his own somewhat ostentatious concern for human rights keeps sucking him back in to side with the rebels.
We would correct that to (newly appointed Ambassador to the UN) Samantha Power’s and (newly appointed National Security Adviser) Susan Rice’s concern to be concerned gives Obama the excuse he needs to side with the rebels.
Why do we say “excuse”? In his role as pacifist and demilitarizer he is reluctant to have the US actively involved in another war so soon after the Iraq war ended and the Afghanistan war started winding down. But he is (we are convinced) on the side of the Arabs in their endless hostility to Israel, and he is a consistent supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood (sending, for instance, lavish aid to the MB government in Egypt). We guess he would not be sorry to see a Sunni victory – or an Israeli defeat. Regardless of his own prejudices, however, the US has commitments to NATO.
That ["concern for human rights"] is also broadly the position of Britain and France, whose leaders seem swayed by lurid and unverified social media footage of atrocities.
But while leading NATO nations line up in sympathy with the rebels, on the other side President Assad is being backed by Russia — a long-time friend of Syria — and by China.
Russia and China feel they were tricked by the West over the way the Libyan regime was overthrown with Western aid two years ago, and are determined Assad won’t be ousted and murdered like Gaddafi.
The war in Syria therefore has had a destabilising effect on the entire region, and could exert a terrifying domino effect as states disintegrate.
Whether such a nightmare scenario can be avoided — and global superpowers can be persuaded to keep their powder dry — we must wait to see with baited breath.
Obama, having said that if Assad used chemical weapons he would be crossing a “red line”, and having now acknowledged that sarin gas has been used, announced that the US will provide military aid to the Syrian rebels.
While there’s nothing new about the US aiding the Muslim Brotherhood (lavish aid to Egypt’s MB government is a case in point), it will be a strange development for the US to be allied with al-Qaeda. (How, we wonder will the survivors and bereft families of 9/11 feel about it?)
The most fearsome fact is that the powers are lined up now as the Mail reports: China and Russia on the side of the Shias, Britain and France and the US – which is to say NATO – on the side of the Sunnis. And the West cannot allow Russia and China to become dominant powers on the edge of the Mediterranean.
Two major terrorist groups are going about their savage work: al-Qaeda and Hezbollah. Both are Islamic, one Sunni and one Shia.
They are in violent conflict with each other in Syria, and other Islamic states. Both are at war with the non-Islamic world.
Cliff May writes (in part) at Townhall:
Back during the Bush administration, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage famously called Hezbollah the “A Team of terrorists,” adding, “al-Qaeda is actually the B Team.” How do these two organizations compare today? …
Hezbollah and Iran [are] joined at the hip: the former is financed and instructed by the latter. That has not always been understood, despite the fact that, prior to 9/11/01, Hezbollah was responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist organization. And Hezbollah’s secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, has proclaimed, “Death to America was, is, and will stay our slogan.”
It’s well known that Hezbollah has been sending combatants into Syria in support of Bashar Assad, the dictator and Iranian satrap. Less publicized are Hezbollah’s operations in other corners of the world. A Hezbollah attack on a bus in Bulgaria last July killed five Israelis and one Bulgarian. In Nigeria, authorities recently broke up a Hezbollah cell, seizing what one Nigerian official called “a large quantity of assorted weapons of different types and caliber.” …
A 500-page report issued last week by Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman reveals that Iran has established an archipelago of “clandestine intelligence stations and operative agents” in Latin America that are being used “to execute terrorist attacks when the Iranian regime decides so, both directly or through its proxy, the terrorist organization Hezbollah.” The following are South American countries in which Iran or Hezbollah has set up intelligence/terrorism bases: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname.
Nisman provides additional evidence — not that more is needed — that Iranian officials and one Lebanese Hezbollah operative were responsible for two terrorist bombings in Argentina in the 1990s. There’s an American nexus too: Nisman charges that Mohsen Rabbani, Iran’s former cultural attaché in Buenos Aires — implicated in the 1994 attack on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires in which 85 people were killed — directed “Iranian agent” Abdul Kadir, now serving a life sentence in connection with the 2010 plot to bomb John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
Connect the dots, Nisman argues, and they draw a picture of Iran “fomenting and fostering acts of international terrorism in concert with its goals of exporting the revolution.”
All this considered, can al-Qaeda (AQ) still be considered a serious competitor? Yes, it can! Last weekend, my colleague, über-researcher Tom Joscelyn, pointed out that AQ and its affiliates now “are fighting in more countries than ever.”
In Afghanistan, AQ maintains safe havens in the provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. The Taliban, its loyal ally, is responsible for a level of violence “higher than before the Obama-ordered surge of American forces in 2010,” according to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.
AQ and its affiliates have bases in northern Pakistan. The Pakistani government, Joscelyn notes, “continues to be a duplicitous ally, sponsoring and protecting various al Qaeda-allied groups. The Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Pakistani Taliban, remains a threat after orchestrating the failed May 2010 bombing in Times Square. The State Department announced in September 2010 that the TTP has “a ‘symbiotic relationship’ with al Qaeda.”
The AQ-affiliated al-Nusrah Front may be the most effective force fighting against Assad’s troops and against Hezbollah and Iranian combatants in Syria. AQ is resurgent in neighboring Iraq, with April 2013 being the deadliest month in that country in nearly five years, according to the U.N.
AQ has expanded operations in Yemen. In Somalia, Shabaab — which formally merged with AQ last year — is far from defeated and has managed to carry out attacks in neighboring Kenya and Uganda as well.In Nigeria, Boko Haram continues to slaughter Christians. In Egypt, al-Qaeda members and associates — including Mohammed al-Zawahiri, the brother of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri — are operating more freely than ever. On 9/11/12 they hoisted an AQ flag above the U.S. embassy in Cairo.
Libyan groups closely linked to al-Qaeda were responsible for the 9/11/12 attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb easily took over northern Mali until French forces pushed them out of the population centers. Al-Qaeda affiliates are becoming more visible and perhaps viable in Tunisia, too.
Despite all this, the State Department report asserts that “core” al-Qaeda “is on a path to defeat.” I am not convinced that there is sufficient evidence to substantiate that thesis. And even if it does prove to be accurate, who’s to say that a weakening core can’t be compensated for by a stronger periphery?
In the final analysis, “Which is the A Team of terrorism?” is not the paramount question. What is: in the years ahead, does the U.S. have what it takes to be the A Team of counterterrorism?
Better still, will America recognize and name the enemy at war with it – Islam? And at last begin to take effective steps to defeat it?
President Obama is considering supporting the Syrian rebels with “lethal aid”. We think that, far from this being a “reversal of policy”, he has been intending to do so ever since the rebellion started. And not only intending to do it, but actually doing it, by surreptitiously transferring arms to them from Libya – and that that is the secret, or part of the secret, the Benghazi cover-up is all about.
The rebels in Syria are not democrats. They are an alliance of jihadi groups intending to impose sharia law on Syria. Obama and his minions will help them into power.
The killing of Osama bin Laden, the drone attacks on al-Qaeda leaders, the detaining of jihadis in Gitmo, the apparent approval by the administration of Muslim terrorist trials inside the US, are all so much wool pulled over the eyes of the American public.
But we can no more fail to see that Obama wants to assist Islam with its jihad – its war of global conquest – than we can fail to see the sun. He must deeply believe it would be good for America to become an Islam-dominated nation. (And good for the world to be ruled by a caliphate.) He is aiding the Muslim Brotherhood overtly in its power grab in Egypt, preventing any effective action against Iran becoming a nuclear power, hugely increasing the granting of visas and green cards to Muslim immigrants into the US, and he has made the United States government itself an instrument of jihad, allowing the penetration of government departments, including the secret services, by personnel connected with militant Islamic organizations, and - worst of all – by weakening and destroying the capacity of the United States to counter the jihad.
Here is Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Military Affairs Fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, describing how this radically transformative action has been accomplished.
Obama swore that there would be “enormous consequences” if Bashar Assad, presently at war with al-Qaeda in his own country, used chemical weapons.
Bashar Assad has now used chemical weapons. So Obama has snapped into dithering over whether to do anything about it and if so what.
Meanwhile Israel, being in the region actually threatened by Assad’s lethal chemistry, took to the air and bombed Syrian chemical weapons stores.
This is from The Tower:
Syrian opposition forces reported that IAF [Israeli Air Force] strikes had taken place on Syrian territory. The opposition reports also indicated that the Israeli attack targeted Syria’s chemical weapons program.
Since it is impossible to bomb a program, it is to be understood that Israel targeted chemical weapons. Targeted and destroyed (some of) them.
Israeli officials have been increasingly explicit in warning that Jerusalem would act to prevent the Syrian regime from crossing the double red line that Israeli officials had set at the onset of the Syrian conflict: no transfer of advanced Syrian weapons to terrorist allies of the embattled Bashar al-Assad and no seizure of those weapons by Al Qaeda-linked opponents fighting to overthrow the regime.
President Barack Obama has endorsed the Israeli position [in a manner of speaking]:
“That’s an issue that doesn’t just concern Syria. It concerns our close allies in the region, including Israel. It concerns us,” Obama said, also acknowledging the possibility that militant groups might acquire some of those weapons. “We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people.”
The president noted that he has not ordered any armed U.S. intervention yet, but said: “We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region, that that’s a red line for us, and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front, or the use of chemical weapons. That would change my calculations significantly.”
A great threatener, President Obama.
The odds of transfer or seizure have dramatically increased in recent weeks.
Israeli officials publicly worried earlier this week that Assad’s forces had already transferred small amounts of chemical weapons to the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah. For its part Hezbollah is thought to have poured literally thousands of fighters into Syria, and has become deeply embedded in the Syrian army’s battles against opposition forces. The regime has kept much of the Syrian army out of the fighting due to fears of defection. There are no such worries with Hezbollah’s fighters, and Hezbollah forces had already been deployed to guard Syrian WMD arsenals months ago. Iran and Hezbollah have also reportedly built an enormous force to seize control of Syria if necessary.
The risk of chemical weapons seizure has also spiked. Areas evacuated by Syrian forces, especially those around the border area with Israel, have been filled in by fighters from the Al Nusra Front. The beginning of April saw the largest redeployment of Syrian army forces in 40 years, and rebels are now within striking distance of Syria’s largest WMD caches. The Al Nusra Front is, according to the the State Department, merely an alias for Al Qaeda, and Al Nusra fighters have pledged allegiance to the global terrorist group. Islamist rebels in Syria have pledged to attack Israel and top Israeli military officials believe those attacks would include the use of chemical weapons. …
As the White House mulls whether Syria has crossed President Obama’s red line and used chemical weapons, the U.S. military and intelligence community are quietly acknowledging that the United States does not know where many of those weapons are located… At the heart of the concern is that the Syrian military has transferred more and more of its stock of sarin and mustard gas from storage sites to trucks where they are being moved around the country. … Also worrisome … is intelligence from late last year that says the Syrian Scientific Research Center — an entity responsible for Syria’s chemical-weapons stockpile — has begun to train irregular militias loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad [namely Hezbollah] in how to use the chemical munitions.
Now Obama can claim that he took action through Israel. So Israel is his right hand. (He is left-handed). He can also, if he thinks it expedient, claim that his left hand doesn’t know what his right hand is doing.
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.