British banks, with enthusiastic encouragement from Prime Minister David Cameron, succumbed to the temptation to provide “sharia compliant” loans and generally cater to the demands of the enemy, Islam.
Now one bank, HSBC, has changed its corporate mind about dealing with at least some – perhaps the worst – of its Muslim clients.
This is from Gatestone by Sam Westrop. (Sam Westrop, Douglas Murray, and Melanie Phillips are the leading voices – among very few – who dare to speak out loud, clear, and often against the destructive encroachments of Islam on British law, institutions, and traditions.)
In late July, HSBC, a British multinational bank, closed the bank accounts of Anas Al-Tikriti, a prominent British Islamist activist, and his family. HSBC also closed down the bank accounts of the Cordoba Foundation, of which Tikriti is the Director, and the Finsbury Park Mosque.
In response to enquiries, the bank simply stated that to continue providing services would be outside the bank’s “risk appetite.”
This latest round of bank account closures has come as a surprise to counter-terrorism experts and much of the media, who note that the Cordoba Foundation and the Finsbury Park Mosque have enjoyed strong political support in the past.
Just a few weeks previously, HSBC also closed the accounts of the Ummah Welfare Trust, a leading British Islamist charity that has previously partnered with the Al Salah Islamic Association, described by the U.S. Treasury Department as “one of the largest and best-funded Hamas charitable organisations in the Palestinian territories.” Senior Hamas officials have confirmed that Al Salah is “identified with us”.
Anas Al-Tikriti, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, had his bank account, along with that of his wife and two children, shut down by HSBC. Tikriti has been described as “one of the shrewdest UK-based Brotherhood activists … [who] has sought to persuade Western governments that they should fund Brotherhood groups as moderate alternatives to al-Qaeda”.
Tikriti is also a vocal supporter of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, and he has regularly hosted a program on the Arab TV satellite station, Al-Hiwar, founded by Azzam Tamimi, Hamas’s “special envoy” to the UK. Tamimi, in 2004, told the BBC that he would become a suicide bomber if he “had the opportunity”, and described self-sacrifice for Palestine as “a noble cause”.
In an interview with the Muslim Brotherhood’s official website after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Tikriti affirmed “the right of the Iraqis to engage in legitimate resistance against foreign occupation”. He also has stated that the decision by the Muslim Council of Britain to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day was a “principled stand”.
In response to HSBC’s closure of his bank account, Tikriti claimed that, “HSBC has targeted my family because of my activity in defence of Gaza against the barbaric aggression of the Zionists” and because of his efforts to “oppose the military coup in Egypt”.
While many would dispute Tikriti’s conclusions, his instincts might be right. The one thing that connects Tikriti with the Cordoba Foundation, the Finsbury Park Mosque and the Ummah Welfare Trust is evidence of their support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the designated terrorist group, Hamas.
The Cordoba Foundation, which Tikriti heads, has been described by Prime Minister David Cameron, as a “political front for the Muslim Brotherhood.” In 2009, Cordoba co-sponsored an event organized by Cageprisoners, a pro-jihadist group, which featured as a guest speaker Anwar Al-Awlaki, who later became a senior leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, before he was killed in a U.S. drone-strike in 2011.
The Cordoba Foundation also works closely with the Emirates Centre for Human Rights, whose website was originally registered to Tikriti’s wife, Malath Shakir, whose bank account was also shut down by HSBC. According to UAE media, the Emirates Centre for Human Rights is part of the global Muslim Brotherhood network.
For human rights! How they make a mockery of Western moral principles.
The most surprising organization to be shut out by HSBC, however, is the Finsbury Park Mosque. The loss of its bank accounts has sparked anger from leading British Muslims and sympathetic parliamentarians.
The Finsbury Park Mosque was once a much easier target for criticism. Ten years ago, the hook-handed Imam of the mosque, Abu Hamza – recently found guilty of eleven terrorism charges after a five-week trial in New York — was arrested on terrorism charges.
We didn’t hear much about that from the media in the US, did we?
After his arrest, however, the British government, eager to rid the Finsbury Park Mosque of its pro-terror reputation, passed control of the institution to the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), one of the better-known Muslim Brotherhood fronts in the UK, and one with which Anas Al-Tikriti was once closely involved. Tikriti’s lobbying efforts for the government to embrace Muslim Brotherhood groups as “moderate” alternatives to more overtly terrorist organizations appeared to have paid off.
The government seemed oblivious, perhaps wilfully so, that the MAB’s founder, Kemal Helbawi, has proclaimed:
Oh honoured brothers, the Palestinian cause is not a struggle on borders or on land only. Rather, it is an absolute clash of civilisations: a satanic programme led by the Jews and those who support them and a divine programme carried by Hamas and the Islamic Movement in particular and the Islamic peoples in general.
We call it a clash of civilization with barbarism.
To run the Finsbury Park Mosque, the MAB appointed directors such as Mohammed Sawalha, a Hamas official described by a Brotherhood website as being “responsible for the political unit of the international Muslim Brotherhood in the UK.” Sawalha is also “said to have masterminded much of Hamas’s political and military strategy” out of London, as reported by the BBC.
In addition, the current Imam of Finsbury Park Mosque, Sheikh Rajab Zaki, was a key speaker at rallies in support of Mohamed Morsi, the former Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt.
Finsbury Park Mosque continues to promote the Muslim Brotherhood preacher, Jamal Badawi, who has described suicide bombers and Hamas terrorists as “freedom fighters” and “martyrs.” Badawi also advocatesthe right for men to beat their wives, if they show “disregard for [their] marital obligations.”
Badawi has also shared a platform with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, and he is a director of the International Association of Muslim Scholars, which, in 2004, issued a fatwa authorizing the murder of American troops in Iraq. In addition, during the U.S. terror-financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation in 2007, Badawi was named as an unindicted co-conspirator.
Finsbury Park Mosque still enjoys strong support from the local Council and the Metropolitan Police, both of which have sponsored events at the mosque with the support of the World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi group that is a prolific publisher of anti-Jewish and anti-Shia material. WAMY is accused by a number of governments of funding terrorism.
Both the police and the local government body have provided several tens of thousands of pounds in grants to the mosque.
Likewise, the Ummah Welfare Trust has enjoyed the support of MPs; and the Cordoba Foundation has als0 received government funding through the Prevent scheme, a fund established by the previous Labour government to combat extremism.
Combat extremism by funding the extremists! What’s that if not insane?
As for Anas Al-Tikriti, in January 2014, he was invited by President Obama to the White House, as part of a delegation led by Iraqi politician Osama Al-Nujaifi, who leads the Mutahidoun bloc, a coalition of Iraqi political parties, the leading member body of which, according to Al Monitor, is the Islamic Party, the Iraqi branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The biggest question now about HSBC’s actions is “why?” Some observers have suggested that the HSBC’s decision in 2012 to hire Stuart Levey, the former under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, might have something to do with it. Others have suggested the possibility that the British government’s review into the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Prime Minister is due to hear during the summer recess, might be already having some effect.
On the face of it, it seems unlikely that the government would pressure HSBC to shut down Muslim Brotherhood bank accounts while allowing the British police to fund and sponsor Finsbury Park Mosque, one of the Brotherhood’s most important institutions.
But the coalition government, much like the Labour government that preceded it, seems always to have embraced a contradictory approach in its efforts to confront British Islamism. The present government, for instance, managed to declare the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation a “Hizb ut-Tahrir front” and at the same time provide it with £70,000 of taxpayer monies.
In addition, after the announcement of the Muslim Brotherhood review in March 2014, the Foreign Office revealed that its advisory group on “freedom of religion” was to include a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Tariq Ramadan, as a board member.
Tariq Ramadan it is worth noting, is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna.
Regardless of these apparent contradictions, HSBC’s decision to close down these bank accounts is welcome. For far too long, Muslim Brotherhood groups in Britain have escaped censure in spite of their promotion of extremism and their connections to terrorism. Even if the government is dithering, at least the private sector is acting.
Without letting ourselves become too optimistic, we venture to hope that this action by HSBC night start a trend.
New alignments, new discords, new issues are emerging in the Middle East. The US has nothing to do with them. Obama and Kerry have snuffed out US influence in that important region.
This is from DebkaFile:
President of Egypt Abdul-Fattah El-Sisi, even before taking the oath of office Sunday June 8, became the first regime head to strike out at the Palestinian unity government installed in Ramallah on June 24, by intensifying the siege on its Gaza partner, Hamas. His steps threaten to stir up strife between the two newly reconciled Palestinian partners over who calls the shots in the Gaza Strip …
El-Sisi acted expeditiously to refute the claims by Palestinian Authority sources in Ramallah and Hamas officials in Gaza City that he would open the Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egyptian Sinai as soon as the new Palestinian government was in place, as a gesture of support. The answer they received from from Cairo to their request was that the border terminals would remain open only if PA security forces from Ramallah assumed control of the borders and officiated at the crossings.
But Hamas has no intention of handing this strategic resource over to Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah. A standoff has therefore developed between the two partners, souring the amity they have strived to display. Any PA bid to take over control of the Gaza crossings would be forcibly resisted by Hamas, a clash that could spell the end of their reconciliation and power-sharing deal.
Not only has Cairo kept the Rafah crossing shut, it has beefed up military oversight on its borders with Gaza to prevent incursions at any point. A law has been drafted moreover by the Egyptian authorities setting out long prison sentences for anyone attempting to “prepare, dig or use” a tunnel connecting Egypt to a foreign “entity” or nation (i.e. Hamas or the Palestinian government) for the passage of goods or persons.
By these actions, Egypt has begun tightening its blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Friday, June 6, Israel’s President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu phoned the incoming Egyptian president to congratulate him on winning the national election. Both Israeli and Egyptian officials declined to comment on the supposition that Cairo’s steps for sealing the Gaza borders and taken inside the enclave had been coordinated with Israel.
[President El-Sisi] only stated pointedly that new opportunities had opened up for strengthening the peace pact with Israel. He did not elaborate on this. But … Israel has contracted to supply Egypt with 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas annually from its Tamar offshore field, to meet the economy’s desperate shortage of energy. Israel, which already sells gas to Jordan, will shortly become Egypt’s biggest gas supplier. …
El-Sisi’s clampdown on Hamas ties in with the heavy Egyptian military deployment on its western border with Libya, and his determination to put a stop to the flow of smuggled weapons to the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip into the hands of Islamist terrorists.
Cairo recently received an intelligence tip-off that a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders on the run had set up base in the Gaza Strip to engineer terrorist attacks on the Egyptian army, especially in Cairo and the Suez coastal cities.
Cairo is meting out harsh treatment not only to Hamas, but also to the pro-Iranian Palestinian Jihad Islami. Egyptian military intelligence made it clear to these extremists that, since their military wing now rivals Hamas’s militia, the Ezz a-Din Al-Qassam, its leader Mohammed Al-Hindi, a personal enemy of El-Sisi, must go.
If not, Cairo will bar its members from travel between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, thereby cutting them off from their ties to Iran and the Arab world. This week, Jihad Islami knuckled under and replaced Al-Hindi with a new Gaza leader, Nafez Assam.
Mahmoud Abbas will try, when he visits Cairo next Tuesday to attend El-Sisi’s inauguration as president, to obtain clear answers about his intentions. If Egypt maintains its current restrictions on the Gaza Strip and Hamas into the future, the Palestinians will be unable to hold the elections for president and parliament that are scheduled for Jan. 2, 2015 in the two territories. This will place the survival of the power-sharing government in Ramallah in grave doubt.
Muammar Qaddafi was a tyrant. Little good can be said of him. He was probably one of the worst Arab heads of state – a class that lends itself to only very small degrees of comparison.
But two things were in his favor.
One was that he wanted friendly relations with America. Or at least he did not want to give America reason to invade his country. President Bush launched an invasion of Iraq in March 2003 largely because (it was generally believed) Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Colonel Qaddafi had an arsenal of such weapons; but in December of that year, a few days after the defeated Saddam Hussein was captured, the dictator of Libya declared that he would abandon his WMDs. (In fact he kept quantities of chemical weapons right up to the day of his death in October 2011, but the 2003 declaration was nevertheless a white flag.)
The second thing – Qaddafi was the enemy of al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood, both of which were active dangers to the West.
It would seem, therefore, that the interests of the US and Europe would best be served by his staying in power.
Why then did President Obama go to war against him?
Diana West writes at Townhall:
More than Benghazi skeletons should haunt Hillary Clinton’s expected 2016 presidential bid. It now seems that the entire war in Libya – where thousands died in a civil war in which no U.S. interest was at stake – might well have been averted on her watch and, of course, that of President Obama’s. How? In March 2011, immediately after NATO’s punishing bombing campaign began, Muammar Qaddafi was “ready to step aside,” says retired Rear Admiral Charles R. Kubic, U.S. Navy. “He was willing to go into exile and was willing to end the hostilities.”
What happened? According to Kubic, the Obama administration chose to continue the war without permitting a peace parley to go forward.
Kubic made these extremely incendiary charges against the Obama administration while outlining his role as the leading, if informal, facilitator of peace feelers from the Libyan military to the U.S. military. He was speaking this week at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., where the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi was presenting its interim report. Kubic maintains that to understand Benghazi, the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in which four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed, “you have to understand what happened at the beginning of the Libyan revolt, and how that civil war that created the chaos in Libya could have been prevented.” …
A short chronology sets the stage:
On March 19, 2011, Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, made a dramatic announcement from Paris on behalf of the “international community.” Eyes steady, voice freighted with dignity and moment, Clinton demanded that Qaddafi – a post-9/11 ally of the U.S. against jihadist terror-armies such as al-Qaida – heed a ceasefire under a newly adopted United Nations resolution, or else.
“Yesterday, President Obama said very clearly that if Qaddafi failed to comply with these terms, there would be consequences,” Clinton said. “Since the president spoke, there has been some talk from Tripoli of a cease-fire, but the reality on the ground tells a very different story. Colonel Qaddafi continues to defy the world. His attacks on civilians go on.”
That same day, NATO air and sea forces went to war to defeat the anti-al-Qaida Qaddafi and bring victory to Libya’s al-Qaida-linked rebels. Uncle Sam … joined the jihad.
Through Libyan intermediaries whom he knew in his post-naval career as an engineer and businessman, Kubic was hearing that Qaddafi wanted to discuss his own possible abdication with the U.S. “Let’s keep the diplomats out of it,” Kubic says he told them. “Let’s keep the politicians out of it, let’s just have a battlefield discussion under a flag of truce between opposing military commanders pursuant to the laws of war, and see if we can, in short period of time, come up with the terms for a cease-fire and a transition of government.”
The following day, March 20, 2011, Kubic says he relayed to the U.S. AFRICOM headquarters Qaddafi’s interest in truce talks as conveyed by a top Libyan commander, Gen. Abdulqader Yusef Dubri, head of Qaddafi’s personal security team. Kubic says that his AFRICOM contact, Lt. Col. Brian Linvill, a former U.S. Army attache in Tripoli then serving as point man for communications with the Libyan military, passed this information up his chain of command to Gen. Carter Ham, then AFRICOM commander. AFRICOM quickly responded with interest in setting up direct military-to-military communications with the Libyans.
On March 21, 2011, Kubic continued, with the NATO war heating up, a senior aide to Qaddafi, Gen. Ahmed Mamud, directly submitted a set of terms for a 72-hour-truce to Linvill at AFRICOM. The Benghazi commission made the basic text of these terms available to press.
During a follow-up telephone interview I had with Kubic, he underscored the show of good faith on both sides that created hopefulness that these flag-of-truce negotiations would come to pass. On the night of March 21, Gen. Ham issued a public statement on Libya in which he noted the U.S. was not targeting Qaddafi.
By March 22, Qadaffi had verifiably begun pulling back troops from the rebel-held cities of Benghazi and Misrata. The cease-fire Hillary Clinton said the “international community” was seeking only days earlier seemed to be within reach, with the endgame of Qaddafi’s abdication and exile potentially on the table.
Then, shockingly, Kubic got what amounted to a “stand down” order from AFRICOM – an order that came down from “well above Gen. Ham,” Kubic says he was told – in fact, as Kubic said in our interview, he was told it came from outside the Pentagon.
The question becomes, who in the Obama administration scuttled these truce talks that might have resulted in Qaddafi handing over powers without the bloodshed and destruction that left Libya a failed state and led to Benghazi?
Had talks gone forward, there is no guarantee, of course, that they would have been successful. Qaddafi surely would have tried to extract conditions. One of them, Kubic believes, would have been to ensure that Libya continue its war on al-Qaida. Would this have been a sticking point? In throwing support to Islamic jihadists, including al-Qaida-linked “rebels” and Muslim Brotherhood forces, the U.S. was changing sides during that “Arab Spring.” Was the war on Qaddafi part of a larger strategic realignment that nothing, not even the prospect of saving thousands of lives, could deter? Or was the chance of going to war for “humanitarian” reasons too dazzling to lose to the prospect of peace breaking out? Or was it something else?
Kubic, the military man, wonders why the civilian leadership couldn’t at least explore a possibly peaceful resolution. “It is beyond me that we couldn’t give it 72 hours — particularly when we had a leader who had won a Nobel Peace Prize, and who was unable basically to ‘give peace a chance’ for 72 hours.”
Obama favored the Muslim Brotherhood’s coming to power in Egypt. He welcomed some of its members into advisory positions in his administration. Did the possible “larger strategic realignment” involve the Muslim Brotherhood? Did the Obama administration want it in power in Libya as well as in Egypt? What advice was Obama and Hillary Clinton getting on Libya and Egypt during the violent upheavals of the so-called “Arab Spring”, and from whom? Is there a clue in the fact that Hillary Clinton’s closest adviser was Huma Abedin, whose family has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood? Isn’t there at the very least grounds for suspicion in the light of all this? (See our posts, Extreme obscenity, July 27, 2013, and Hillary of Benghazi, August 27, 2013.)
We think there is. But why Obama and Hillary Clinton should want the Muslim Brotherhood in power in North Africa is another question – one to which there cannot be a reassuring answer.
What sense can be made of this story?
Syria flies rockets to Iran: Iran loads them on a ship and sends it sailing down the Gulf, south-west on the Arabian Sea, and north up the Red Sea.
Israel intercepts the ship, commandos board it, find the rockets, re-route the vessel to the Israeli port of Eilat.
Where was it bound for? For whom were the rockets intended? Gaza? How the hell would they get there?
Look at the map showing the path of the arms to the point of interception, search and capture:
Next we are told that the Israelis didn’t accomplish the whole feat alone – gathering the intelligence, setting up the capture. No, suddenly Jay Carney claims that it was a US-Israeli joint venture.
In an unusually frank disclosure, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday night, March 5, that US intelligence services and military had worked with Israel to track the Iranian Panama-flagged ship KLOS C, which was apprehended by Israeli naval commandos on the Red Sea earlier that day carrying missiles for Gaza via Sudan. The ship was boarded by the Israeli elite Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) and found to be carrying dozens of 302mm rockets with a range of 150 km made in Syria. It is now on its way to Eilat.
Just how would they get from Port Sudan to Gaza? Through Sinai? Then through tunnels? Isn’t the Egyptian army patrolling Sinai? Hasn’t Egypt closed the arms-smuggling tunnels? Why would Egypt allow arms to reach Hamas, the rulers of Gaza and a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood when the MB is the present Egyptian government’s enemy?
And even more curious, why would Obama suddenly co-operate with Israel against Iran when his whole policy towards those two countries for at least the last four years has been to co-operate with Iran against Israel?
Has he had a sudden change of heart and mind? If so, what will his party, his base, his hurrah-chorus the mainstream media, say to this 180 degree turnabout?
It’s really very hard to believe.
The White House spokesman said that Washington worked with Israeli through intelligence and military channels, and at the national security adviser level, as soon as it knew the shipment was on the move. He said that President Barack Obama also directed the US military to work out contingencies in case it became necessary to intercept the vessel (therebysanctioning military action).
Obama? Military action?
“Our Israeli counterparts ultimately chose to take the lead in interdicting the shipment of illicit arms,” Jay Carney said. …
This was the first time in four years that the US and Israel have collaborated in an operation against Iran – ever since the Stuxnet virus attack in 2010 on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Until now, the Obama administration steadfastly refused to act against Iran for fear of jeopardizing the international diplomatic track for curbing its nuclear program.
The unusual frankness with which the Obama administration announced its coordination with Israel is both dramatic in itself and a road sign pointing the way to a radical change in its Iran policy.
The US and Israel appear to be lining up – in their military policies as well – against the Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah bloc.
This radical turnabout was most probably the high point of the conversation between the US president and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House Monday, March 3, after which Netanyahu raised comment by showering Obama with praise during his speech to the AIPAC conference in Washington the next day. …
Whereas Obama had shown impatience, irritation, and antipathy towards Netanyahu in an interview just one day before the meeting.
US and Israeli intelligence sources report that both countries are braced for a swift and stinging response from Tehran … As Carney put it: “We will continue to stand up to Iran’s support for destabilizing activities in the region in coordination with our partners and allies.These illicit acts are unacceptable to the international community and in gross violation of Iran’s Security Council obligations.”
Israel’s elite Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) early Wednesday, March 5, boarded [the] Iranian Panama-registered cargo vessel KLOS C. Concealed in its hold under sacks of cement were dozens of 302mm rockets with a range of 150 kms, manufactured in Syria and destined by Iran for the Gaza Strip after being offloaded in Sudan.
The Israeli commandos seized the vessel in open sea on the maritime border of Sudan and Eritrea, 1500 km south of Israel, and have set it on course for Eilat.
Sudan has [become] in the last two years … a major Iranian weapons manufacturing and logistic depot, which supplies Syria, Hizballah and Hamas. Port Sudan is the hub for the smuggling of Iranian arms to various Middle East locations.
The IDF [Israeli Defense Force] said the Iranian missile cargo was destined for the Palestinian Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip. If this is so, it would mean that Iran had gone back to arming Hamas with missiles and rockets after a two-year pause during which the Palestinian extremists were cold-shouldered by Tehran for their animosity to Syria’s Bashar Assad. …
[But] it is hard to believe the Assad would consent to relay Syrian-made missiles to this antagonist.
Some Middle East military sources believe the shipment was not destined for Palestinian terrorists for use against Israel, but rather for Muslim Brotherhood activists fighting the Egyptian army from their forward base in the Gaza Strip.
They don’t rule out the possibility of Al Qaeda affiliates fighting in Sinai as being the address. Western intelligence has recorded instances of Iran entering into ad hoc operational collaboration with al Qaeda elements when it suits Tehran’s book. …
The rockets were flown from Syria to Iran, then loaded on [the] ship where they were concealed under sacks of cement inside containers. From the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, the ship headed into the Red Sea bound for Sudan where it was intercepted by Israeli commandos.
The Iranian arms ship’s progress was tracked all the way.
By Israel, apparently. By the US, easily if that’s what Obama wanted. But why suddenly does he want to “jeopardize the international diplomatic track for curbing Iran’s nuclear program“?
Will Jay Carney, standing there among the flying pigs, do something he has never done before – tell the truth and explain everything?
That’s not very likely, but then much is not very likely in these bizarre events.
We are in principle against intervention in the internal affairs of other countries. But we are not for isolationism or pacifism – we regard either philosophy as a formula for national suicide. If other countries become belligerent, build up their armed strength, send their warships towards our shores, establish bases in countries on our borders, and declare their aggressive intentions towards us, the politics of those countries become our business. That is happening now. We are under threat – because Obama is deliberately weakening America. And his reaction to the result is to weaken America even more.
The conditions for major war develop much more easily when the U.S. is too weak. They are developing as we speak.
To a meaningful extent, the significant increase we’ve seen in unrest around the globe since 2010 has been made possible, and inevitable, by the retraction of American power. Even where we still have power in place, it has become increasingly obvious that we aren’t going to use it.
We quote from a website interestingly named Liberty Unyielding. The article on the extreme folly of the Obama administration’s moves to weaken America is by Commander Jennifer Dyer, now retired from the US navy. (Her own blog is at Theoptimisticconservative.wordpress.com):
The collapse of order in the Arab nations in 2011 was the first significant stage of the process. The perception that the United States would do nothing about a Hezbollah coup in Lebanon was tested in January of that year. The perception proved to be true, and when protests erupted in Tunisia and Egypt, for causes both natural and manufactured, a set of radical Islamist actors – the “establishment” Muslim Brotherhood, Sunni jihadists, Iran – saw an opportunity. The establishment Muslim Brotherhood has largely won out in Tunisia, but the battle still rages among these radical actors for Egypt, Syria, and now Iraq. Lebanon is being incrementally sucked into the maelstrom as well.
In multiple venues, Russia has watched the U.S. and the West effectively back Islamists in Russia’s “near abroad”: in Turkey (with support for the now struggling Erdogan government); in the Balkans, especially Bosnia and Kosovo; and in Syria. …
There was a time when the implicit determination of the U.S. to enforce the “Pax Americana” order – the post-World War II alignments of the region – held Russia in check. The Russians still derived some security benefit from that order, after all … It appears to me, however, that 2014 will be the year in which it becomes clear that, according to Russians’ perception, they no longer benefit from the old order. If we’re not going to enforce it, Russia will do what she thinks she has to.
In fact, Moscow’s pushback against the plan for Ukraine to affiliate with the EU constitutes just such a blow for perceived Russian interests. It is of supreme importance for Westerners to not misread the recent developments. The EU and the U.S. did back down when Russia pushed hard last fall. The only ones who didn’t back down were the Ukrainian opposition. I predict Vladimir Putin will try to handle the opposition factions cleverly, as much as he can, and avoid a pitched battle with them if possible. He respects what they are willing to do. But he has no reason to respect Brussels or Washington.
And that means he has more latitude, not less, for going after the regional props to the old order, one by one. As always, Russia’s inevitable competition with China is a major driver, along with Russia’s concern about Islamism on her southern border. The whole Great Crossroads – Southwest Asia, Southeast Europe, Northeast Africa, the waterways that snake through the region – is, if not up for grabs, at least in ferment. Look wherever you like: there are almost no nations where there is not a very present menace from radicalism, or where governments and even borders are not gravely imperiled by internal dissent.
Israel is the chief standout for politically sustainable stability and continuity. Romania and Turkey seem likely to at least retain their constitutional order in the foreseeable future, but Turkey’s geopolitical orientation, in particular, is less certain. Greece and Kosovo – even Bosnia – have serious internal problems. Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia all remain in crisis at various levels. Jordan and Saudi Arabia are relatively stable, and the Arab Persian Gulf states relatively so as well. But their neighborhood is going downhill fast. Iran is riding a wave of radical confidence, and the Taliban are resurgent in Afghanistan.
In this tumultuous region, it’s actually a little funny that Pakistan looks stable and staid compared to Iran, Afghanistan, and neighbors west. We can hope that Islamabad’s perceived need to maintain a symmetrical stance against India will keep Pakistan’s loose federation of intransigents federated, and the nukes under central control. But as we move across South Asia, we near another boiling pot. Thailand – long an American ally and pillar of stability in the region – has been rocked in recent months by national unrest of a kind not seen in Southeast Asia for decades. Islamist radicalism is a growing threat in Indonesia, and an unpacified one in the Philippines, after more than a decade of U.S.-Philippines collaboration in fighting it.
And, of course, China is making real, transformative moves against regional security with her proclamations about air space and maritime rights off her southeast coast.
This disruptive process, like the battles for many of the Arab nations, is already underway. We’re not waiting for something to happen; it’s started.
China assumes, quite correctly, that there will be no effective pushback from the United States. But two other nations with power and means will regard it as intolerable for China to dictate conditions in Southeast Asia: Japan and Russia. The dance of realignment among these nations has implications for everyone in Central Asia and the Far East. The day may be on the horizon sooner than we think when maintaining a divided Korea no longer makes sense to at least one of the major players. The day is already here when Chinese activities in Central Asia are alarming the whole neighborhood, just as Chinese actions are in the South China Sea. …
Russia and Iran are advancing on the US through Central America:
It’s no accident that as radical leftism creeps across Central America (falsely laying claim to a noble “Bolivarian” political mantle), the maritime dispute between Nicaragua and American ally Colombia heats up – and Russia shows up to back Nicaragua and Venezuela – and so does Iran – and unrest turns into shooting and government brutality and violence in Venezuela – and Hezbollah shows up there to openly support the radical, repressive Maduro government.
Now Iran has a naval supply ship headed for Central America, very possibly with a cargo of arms that are not only prohibited by UN sanction, but capable of reaching the United States if launched from a Central American nation or Cuba.
We’re not still waiting for the shocks to start to the old order. They’ve already started. I haven’t surveyed even the half of what there is to talk about …
She looks at the latest defense cuts with dismay and considers what the consequences will be:
This is the world in which the United States plans to reduce our army to its lowest level since before World War II, and eliminate or put in storage much of its capabilities for heavy operations abroad (e.g., getting rid of the A-10 Warthogs, moving Blackhawk helicopters into the National Guard). It’s in this world that DOD proposes to cease operating half of our Navy cruisers, while delaying delivery of the carrier-based F-35 strike-fighter to the Navy and Marine Corps. These cutbacks come on top of cuts already made to training and maintenance expenditures in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force that will affect unit readiness for years to come. …
Then comes what should be a shocking observation:
By cutting back on defense so drastically, America is deciding, in essence, to “fight fair”: to give whatever opponents emerge more of a chance to kill our soldiers, damage our interests, and drag out conflicts. …
That would be hard to believe of any American leadership – until now. It is ludicrous. Worse, it is lunatic. But Obama has never concealed or disguised his wish to weaken America’s military capacity.
The decision “to further limit our capabilities to use power in politically relevant ways” will result in “even more global unrest: more conflict, more shooting, more blood, more extortion and political thuggery menacing civil life in the world’s poorer and more vulnerable nations”, and that cannot be good for America. The point is that -
These unpleasant trends will spill over into civil life in the wealthier nations soon enough …
As it has, she points out, in Ukraine, Thailand, and Venezuela, “whether directly or through second-order consequences”.
Peace and freedom have to be tended constantly; they are not the natural state of geopolitical indiscipline, but its antithesis. …
We’re extraordinarily unprepared for the world that is shaping up around us. …
[And] a world that doesn’t want quiescent trade conditions, tolerance of dissent, the open flow of ideas, and mutual agreements, peacefully arrived at, will not have them.
That’s the world we are sentencing ourselves, for now, to live in. Perhaps we will learn from the consequences how to think again: about what it takes to guard freedom, and indeed, about what freedom actually is.
It is Obama who needs to think again, but there is no reason to hope that he will. It could hardly be more obvious that he does not care for freedom.
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.)
If it is possible for the US to have a worse president than Obama, it would be Hillary Clinton.
The two of them have already embarrassed their country more than enough.
She’s done nothing to boast of in her long career as the wife of a politician, her very short career as a senator, and her disastrous career as Secretary of State. But she’s done much to be ashamed of. The worst thing she did was set up a death trap - what difference does it make whether she meant to or not? – for a US Ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi. Then she lied about it. Blamed an obscure amateur video maker. Weird!
Her speeches are flat, dull, unmemorable – inevitably so, because she’s a dull thinker. There have been, and will be, countless speeches by other politicians just as boring and forgettable, but none could ever be more so.
This is from PowerLine, by John Hinderaker:
The aftermath [of the appalling mess in Benghazi] is embarrassing, too. Hillary told the father of one of the murdered SEALs that the administration would stop at nothing to bring that lousy video maker to justice. The man must have thought she was a lunatic. Later, according to an eyewitness, Hillary erupted in rage against a Republican Congressman who suggested that Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Which, of course, she knew it was shortly after it began. Is it bad to be a cowardly liar? Not if you are a Democratic presidential candidate, evidently.
The aftermath didn’t end with the administration’s initial lies, either. It continues to this day. One might think that a Secretary of State who lost an ambassador on her watch would stop at nothing to make sure that the terrorists who carried out the attack were killed or otherwise punished. (Killed, preferably.) If this is a subject in which Hillary has taken interest, she has shown no sign of it.
And this is from Front Page, by Daniel Greenfield:
This week CBS joined NBC and CNN in the Hillary entertainment business. While NBC airs a 4-hour miniseries produced by James D. Stern, the son of a top Bill Clinton donor, whom the New York Times accused of pushing Hillary Clinton’s candidacy eight years ago, CNN will air a documentary about Hillary and CBS is developing Madame Secretary, a television series about a female Secretary of State.
The biggest challenge for all these projects is how small a figure they have to hang so many hours of dead air on.
The NBC series will “recount Clinton’s life as a wife, mother, politician and cabinet member.” Tellingly, the political side of her life comes last. The CBS series will cover “the personal and professional life of a maverick female Secretary of State as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics and balances a complex family life.”
It always comes back to the family life, because what else is there? Turn off the cameras and sitting there is the compulsively dishonest and corrupt wife of a compulsively dishonest and corrupt former president. The wife of a dishonest, but popular, president, running for his old job, may have a slight Latin American or Middle Eastern flavor, but it’s not even Evita; let alone Hillary of Arabia.
Hillary’s closest supporters don’t have much to say about her weak tenure as Secretary of State. Once you get past the usual material about serving as a role model for girls and facing the challenges of being a wife and a mother, there are very few specific mentions of what Hillary actually did while in office.
Hillary took a lot of trips and spent a lot of money on art in embassies and green energy, but you couldn’t find her actual accomplishments with a microscope.
The only two moments of her diplomatic career that anyone remembers is the bungled Russian reset button and her clumsy participation in the Benghazi cover-up. Even the most favorable reading of both events, a misspelled gimmicky button and blaming her subordinates for not providing adequate security funding which helped lead to the murder of four Americans, don’t make for much of a resume.
After Hillary stepped out of the State Department to begin her 2016 campaign, the medals and awards came pouring in almost as fast as the television shows.
The National Constitution Center awarded her a Liberty Medal because she “traveled to more countries than any other Secretary of State” and “used social media to engage citizens”. That’s not the bio of a Secretary of State. It sounds like a celebrity getting some meaningless UN humanitarian award for tweeting about Rwanda.
The National Defense University Foundation will follow that up by giving her the Patriot Award in the Ronald Reagan Building in order to celebrate “the American spirit of patriotism” which she embodies in some unspecified way.
The ridiculous parade of awards and shows is a rerun of how Obama, an uninteresting Illinois politician, was transformed into the most interesting figure in American politics through obsessive attention and hysterical praise. But Hillary Clinton, who will be pushing seventy by the time her big moment in the sun arrives, has fewer excuses for needing to slap this much greasepaint on an undistinguished resume.
The positions that will be used as props in her quest for higher office came to her only by way of being married to the former President of the United States. And it’s impossible to find anything revolutionary that she did with those positions, except use them as launching pads for an office she was even less qualified for. …
There is nothing factual in Hillary’s background to justify her inevitability as a candidate. Her time as Senator and Secretary of State was a shapeless blur of undistinguished mediocrity culminating in one final bloody disaster.
And Dan Calabrese writes about Hillary’s dishonesty:
As Hillary Clinton came under increasing scrutiny for her [untrue] story about facing sniper fire in Bosnia, one question that arose was whether she has engaged in a pattern of lying.
The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate investigation, says Hillary’s history of lies and unethical behavior goes back farther – and goes much deeper – than anyone realizes.
He goes on to tell a little known story of what he mildly terms her “unethical behavior”. One to add to a long list. Find it here.
And this is an extract from Discover the Networks’ survey of Hillary’s deplorable career. (The whole survey is a must-read.)
In July 2012, author and former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy noted the following items about the relationship between Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the Muslim Brotherhood …
• The State Department has an emissary in Egypt who trains operatives of the Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations in democracy procedures.
• The State Department announced [in November 2011] 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 and the administration recently hosted a contingent from Egypt’s newly elected parliament that included not only Muslim Brotherhood members but a member of the Islamic Group (Gama’at al Islamia), which is formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization.
• On a just-completed trip to Egypt, Secretary Clinton pressured General Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the military junta currently governing the country, to surrender power to the newly elected parliament, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and the newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who is a top Brotherhood official.
In the summer of 2012,controversy arose over the fact that Secretary Clinton’s closest aide and advisor, Huma Abedin, has longstanding intimate ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Then came Benghazi …
Crush ‘em 11
We do not think that Obama wants to appease the Muslim Brotherhood. We think he wants to encourage and promote that evil organization. Wants to, and does. He admits its members as advisers into US government departments. He continues to try to restore them to power in Egypt when clearly a majority of Egyptians want them gone. He had helped them get into power there in the first place.
The Muslim Brotherhood is the creator of Hamas, so no doubt he wants Hamas to be victorious too – and that means against Israel. It is also the parent of al-Qaeda, and Obama is helping al-Quaeda “rebels” win in Syria by arming them. Sure he finally let bin Laden get bumped off. Sure he lets drones kill other al-Qaeda leaders. Doing all that is excellent cover for pursuing his chosen mission – helping the Muslim Brotherhood win worldwide.
But the Muslim Brotherhood must not win. It would be an excellent thing if the Egyptian military were to crush the Brotherhood there where the monster was born, destroy it utterly, once and for all.
On this we are of one mind with Daniel Greenfield, who writes at Front Page:
Like all terrorist organizations, the Muslim Brotherhood has only one commodity to trade in. Blood.
In the war of ideas for the future of Egypt, the Brotherhood had nothing to offer but the blood of its followers and victims. It has no new ideas. It has no record of accomplishments. It has no vision for the future …
The outcome of any interaction with the Brotherhood could have been predicted from its motto; “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
In the streets of Egyptian cities, Muslim Brotherhood activists achieved their highest hope. They died in their Jihad against the liberal opposition and the military, fighting against human rights for women and Christians, against multi-party rule, freedom of speech, museums, libraries and the future in the way that the armies of Allah have died for over a thousand years.
Some died trying to kill Egyptian soldiers and police officers. Others were killed by their own people in order to maximize the death toll and spread shock and horror through the international community. …
An old Arab tactic that – exploiting the conscience of others. And it goes on working!
For the wealthy titans of the Brotherhood, their followers are pawns to be disposed of, human shields for their political ambitions. The Muslim Brotherhood spent their blood generously during the clashes with Egyptian police the same way that Hamas and Hezbollah spill the blood of their own people.
What it bought with their blood is the outrage of the world. Terrorist organizations are one-trick ponies. They unleash horrifying violence, blame it on the brutality of the authorities and wait for the world to step in and apply pressure on whatever government they are trying to overthrow. …
The Muslim Brotherhood’s leaders followed the oldest traditions of Islam by offering their followers paradise and atonement in exchange for unleashing their darkest passions. That the unleashing should have ended in hundreds of deaths is not at all unprecedented in the many wars and conflicts of Islam.
What any normal person would consider a massacre, the Muslim Brotherhood considers an opportunity.
The Muslim Brotherhood used the blood of its followers as currency to buy international outrage that will be used to pressure Egypt into releasing Brotherhood leaders like Morsi and and Khairat el-Shater. It wanted the clashes to be as ugly and bloody as possible. It wanted to outrage the world because it knew that was the speediest way of getting its leaders out of their prison cells and back into power.
These murderous tactics would be useless if the United States and Europe weren’t full of useful idiots and fellow travelers, in and out of the media, gasping at the carnage and demanding an immediate halt to the violence.
There is only one way to halt the violence and that is to crush the Muslim Brotherhood. …
The calls for Brotherhood participation in an Egyptian government are senseless insanity. Is there room for a movement that seeks nothing but death in the ranks of any government? Should murderous madness on such a scale really be the currency that purchases power? …
Western governments fear escalation in Egypt. And that fear is the secret weapon of every terrorist group. The terrorist groups always escalate, spending their currency of blood cheaply to break the will of their enemies. The only way to break that cycle is to out-escalate them by showing that their currency of blood is worthless because the people and governments they are terrorizing will not be bent under its terrible weight.
Wars aren’t won through de-escalation, but through escalation. America lost in Afghanistan because it wasn’t willing to fight harder and bloodier than the Taliban. The Egyptian government has shown that it is willing to match the Muslim Brotherhood’s ruthlessness without backing down.
To reward the courage of the Egyptian soldiers and police who fought the Muslim Brotherhood in the streets by forcing their government to stand down and surrender to the terrorists who nearly turned Egypt into a second Iran is an unmitigated crime.
Fortunately, it is unlikely that the Muslim Brotherhood will be restored to power in Egypt. We hope it will become impossible.
Barry Rubin writes convincingly – and very depressingly – about the pathetic Benghazi cover-up (see our post immediately below, Covering up The Big Secret):
It was well-known that in 2011 the United States was facilitating the weapons supply to Syrian rebels. The weapons were paid for by Qatar and Saudi Arabia and delivered through Turkey.
We have known for more than a year of this traffic. There were two big UN Reports on this traffic.( By the way this meant that the United States was arming Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist groups.)
What wasn’t known was a simple detail: the United States was also collecting and shipping the weapons.
That’s it! This is what was being concealed. After all, it was openly known previously that the Libyan rebels against Qadhafi were armed by the United States.
The whole mess was unnecessary!
If it was known that the CIA guys in Turkey weren’t just watching the weapons supply but delivering it, to quote Clinton, what difference would it make?
Would Congress have stopped the weapons’ traffic? No, they wouldn’t even do anything about the arms to Mexican drug gangs that killed Americans.
Would Americans rise in revolt? No.
Would it have cost one percent of the votes in the election? No.
Sure, some bloggers would have talked about parallels to Iran-Contra and a handful of members of Congress would have complained but the massive media machine would have ignored it and the majority of Republicans would have snored.
Did President Obama have to lie in a UN speech saying the ambassador was just there to supervise a hospital and a school? No.
Did a video have to be blamed so as to blame Americans and Islamophobia for the attack? No.
Was the cover-up necessary even to defend the administration’s “perfect record against terrorist attacks on Americans”? No.
The exposé of this arms’ supply channel would have bothered few and changed nothing.
But since we knew already that the administration was helping arm anti-American, antisemitic, anti-Christian, and homophobic, and anti-women Islamist terrorists I don’t think the difference was huge.
Did the cover-up have to lead to the refusal to defend properly American personnel to prevent what they were doing from leaking out? No.
In short this program of lies and deception and cover up wasn’t even necessary. Those Americans may have been rescued and those lies might have been avoided with no harm to the administration.
I think that tells a lot about how the Obama Administration treats and manipulates the American people. And it also tells about its very profound incompetence and ignorance.
While it is a bleak thought that the mass media would have ignored the truth, that only “a handful of members of Congress would have complained”, and “the majority of Republicans would have snored”, we believe Barry Rubin is right.
Roger L. Simon agrees. He comments at PJ Media:
For nearly a year, we have had no answer to why the administration lied about Benghazi — why it told the world, not to mention the parents of our murdered SEALs at the funeral of their sons, that the cause of that fatal conflagration was an anti-Islamic video no one saw, when the various arms of our executive branch (White House, State and intelligence) already knew, or strongly suspected, it was a terror attack orchestrated by al-Qaeda affiliates.
You only have to read the now infamous talking points to know that.
That this lie was deeply immoral is obvious. What still eludes us is the cause of that lie, other than the equally obvious desire to avoid embarrassment weeks before a presidential election.
But what was this embarrassment about? Recent events have supposedly unearthed a tie to secret arms shipments to Syrian rebels, but as the always cogent Barry Rubin points out, anyone paying attention to the story has known this for some time. Rumors of such shipments filled the Internet even before the Benghazi fireworks.
Furthermore, as Rubin also indicates, if that information had been immediately revealed or leaked to the public soon after the event, it would have been met by a national shoulder shrug that was firmly ratified by Obama’s loyal media claque. It wouldn’t have impacted the election much, if at all.
So is there another, more important fact that the Obama regime is covering up? Another fact that makes it so uneasy that it lies, red-faced, to America?
Roger Simon pulls it out into the daylight:
No, something more problematic was involved and I suspect I know what it was.
No one wanted to admit — or probably face for themselves — the extent to which the president, and therefore his administration, the State Department, the CIA and even the military, was in bed with Islamists.
And still is. And more and more “Islamists” are creeping into that rank and fetid bed.
That the Benghazi consulate (or whatever it was) was guarded by al-Qaeda types who surely either turned on the people they were supposed to be defending that night, or simply gave safe passage to the enemy, is only tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Like many icebergs this one has different sections and ridges. An important one was that the death of bin Laden meant the death or diminution of al-Qaeda, as Obama continually bragged during the election campaign.
Nothing could be more absurd, if you think about it, and not just because al-Qaeda is once more at the top of the news, closing down dozens of embassies before a shot is fired, but because bin Laden was just one (okay, dramatic) ripple in the Islamist story.
And he quotes the cry of “the Arab street”: “Obama, Obama, we are all Osama!”
… Obama — and therefore the administration, State Department, intelligence and military — threw in to a greater or lesser extent with the Brotherhood and their Islamist colleagues. They did this despite the Brotherhood’s obvious extreme misogyny and homophobia, which, under normal circumstances, we would assume to be anathema to so-called “progressives.”
Leaving aside that mind-boggling inconsistency, Islamists also see democracy, when they decide to engage in it, as a temporary tool for jihadist ends. (Obama’s putative buddy Turkey’s Erdogan famously said, “democracy is like a train. You take it where you have to go, and then you get off.”)
Lately, Obama has incurred the ire — with some justification, I think — of new Egyptian military strongman al-Sisi for going against the wishes of the Egyptian people in favor of a kind of desperate nostalgia for Morsi and the Brotherhood. (Forget the rapes and the rest of it.)
So what accounts for Obama’s weird attraction for this “Muslim revivalism,” despite all its Medieval tenets and near-psychotic behaviors? …
Like so many schooled in post-modernism and cultural relativism, he has an immediate and intense enmity for anything that smacks of imperialism — and an equally intense desire to be seen as supportive of (although certainly not to live like) the downtrodden of the Earth.
Because it makes them feel good. It is the moral hubris of the Left. It is the moral narcissism of the Left intelligentsia.
Which leads us back to Benghazi. You don’t have to be Muslim to love the Muslim Brotherhood or even, consciously or unconsciously, sympathize with the goals, if not the actions, of al-Qaeda. You just have to have been imbued with a blind hatred of imperialism. That’s all you need.
Yes – but we would have written it as “imperialism”.
What this myopia leads to, however, is consorting with people with no values at all. You get in bed with the worst of the worst. …
What the administration doesn’t want, of all things, is for these dots to be connected via Benghazi.
No wonder the culprits have not been arrested. They might talk!
The one thing the disgraceful story reveals that is not depressing, that could be taken as a sign for optimism, is this:
For Obama and his minions to go to such lengths to cover up up their cultivation of the intensely evil Muslim Brotherhood, because their Leftism trumps everything, they must – as both these commenters indicate – be very deeply ashamed.
In their shame lies freedom’s hope.