The United States in a hostile world 8

Should the United States refrain from any intervention in the world beyond its borders except in its own incontrovertible interest?

Or should it act as the world’s policeman? Does it have a “responsibility to protect”- if so, whom from what? Populations from their rulers? Vulnerable groups from any and all attackers?

To bring the debate to the moment and the actual, should the US keep its forces in Afghanistan after 10 years of fighting savage peasants and failing to crush them? Should there still be a US military presence in Iraq? In Germany? In South Korea? Should the US be fighting – as it is –  in Libya, Pakistan, and Yemen?

Should it not be using force to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power? And immediately against Iran’s ally, Bashar Assad, the bloody tyrant of Syria?

Should it not be outspending China on defense?

Should it not be helping Georgia liberate two of its provinces from Russia?

Should it be protecting South Sudan from its northern neighbors and their Ugandan proxies? Or the Nigerian Christians from their Muslim persecutors? Or the ethnic African Muslims of Dafur from the Arab Muslims who are raping, robbing, hounding and massacring them? Or destroying the pirates of Somalia? Or putting an end to the Arab/African slave trade?

Can those who answer yes to the first question fairly be called “isolationists”?

David Harsanyi considers, in a column at Townhall, whether the label is apt when applied to those who want America to withdraw from Afghanistan and refrain from any further participation in the NATO intervention in Libya:

There’s been a lot of talk about an alleged turn in American public opinion — particularly among Republicans — toward “isolationism.”

In a recent debate among GOP presidential hopefuls, there was some discussion about ending the United States’ commitment to the tribal warlords and medieval shamans of the Afghan wilderness. This induced John McCain to complain about the rise of a new “strain of isolationism” … McCain sidekick Lindsey Graham went on to notify Congress that it “should sort of shut up and not empower Gadhafi” when the topic of the House’s potentially defunding the military — er, kinetic, non-warlike bombing activity over Libya — came up. It would be a mistake, he vented, for Republican candidates to sit “to the left” of President Barack Obama on national security.

So if you don’t shut up and stop carping about this non-war war of ours, you are abetting North African strongmen. Makes sense. It’s the return of Teddy Roosevelt-style Republicanism, in which arbitrary power (and John McCain’s singular wisdom) matters a lot more than any democratic institution.

Sure, some on the far right and swaths of the protectionist, union-driven left oppose international trade agreements and [are] endlessly freaking us out about foreign influences.

Our interpolation: Is this protectionist section of the left aware of the left-elite’s longing for world government?

But isolationists? Judging from our conduct in the real world of economy, we’re anything but insular. So perhaps McCain simply meant noninterventionists — as in folks who have an unwavering ideological aversion to any and all overseas entanglement.

That can’t be it, either. Maybe, like many Americans, some in the GOP are simply grappling with wars that never end and a war that never started.

And with plenty of troubles here at home, it’s not surprising that Americans have turned their attention inward.

We can’t be in a constant state of war. Then again, Afghanistan is not a war per se, but a precarious social engineering project that asks our best and bravest (or, as our ally Hamid Karzai calls them, “occupiers”) to die for the Afghan Constitution, which is roundly ignored — except for the parts codifying Islamic law, that is. But all these conflicts come with the price of endless involvement. We almost always win.

When and where? Since World War Two, where has America won a hot war? Oh yes – against Granada.

But we never really go home. …

Did sometimes. From Granada after victory. From Vietnam after defeat.

This week, we learned that Obama rejected the advice of lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department who questioned his legal authority to continue this nonmilitary military involvement in Libya without congressional authorization. Instead, the administration offered a string of euphemisms concocted to bypass the Constitution.

Without any tangible evidence that this conflict furthers our national interests or any real proof that we are preventing a wide-scale humanitarian crisis, it’s not a surprise that Defense Secretary Robert Gates says we’re “leading from behind” — which is, in fact, as stupid and deceptive as the case it doesn’t make.

Are you an isolationist for questioning those who continue to weaken the Constitution? … Are you an isolationist for questioning this brand of obfuscation? Are you an isolationist for wanting American forces to win and leave the battlefield rather than hang around for decades of baby-sitting duty?

And Tony Blankley writes, also  at Townhall:

I was one of the first GOP internationalist-oriented commentators or politicians to conclude that the Afghanistan War effort had served its initial purpose and that it was time to phase out the war. As a punitive raid against the regime that gave succor to Osama bin Laden, we had removed the Taliban government and killed as many al-Qaida and Taliban fighters as possible. …

But as the purpose of that war turned into nation building, even GOP internationalists had a duty to reassess whether, given the resources and strategy being brought to the new purpose, such policy was likely to be effective.

Now many others in the GOP and in the non-isolationist wing of the Democratic Party are likewise judging failure in Afghanistan to be almost inevitable. That is not a judgment driven by isolationism. Neither are we isolationist in our judgment (along with the opinion of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and almost the entire uniformed chain of command) that we see no national interest in Libya.

This is not isolationism; it is a rational effort at judging how best to advance American values and interests in an ever-more witheringly dangerous world.

Both Harsanyi’s and Blankley ‘s opinions are apt as far as they go.

But  the problem is deeper, the questions that need to be raised about foreign policy harder than those they are answering.

Can America have a coherent foreign policy that America itself and the other states of the world can depend upon for any useful length of time? The two political parties are now so divided ideologically that foreign policy will depend on whether the president is a Republican or a Democrat. It will necessarily chop and change. Or if relations with some states stay more or less the same for a while, they will do so unreliably.

Could the very uncertainty characterize foreign policy usefully? No foreign state being secure in its relations with the US, each would have to be vigilant, tack according to the US wind, adjust to the changes. A case could be made that a Machiavellian preference to be feared by other nations rather than loved might serve America well.

But there are other developments to be considered. In countries throughout the world – led in this by Europe –  there is an ideological tendency towards world government. The nation state is not liked: new political alignments, such as the European Union, are trying to phase it out. Democrats, for the most part, are in sympathy with the movement; Republicans are not. Democrats – like most leftists everywhere – have a vision of the UN turning into a world government; Republicans – many of them at least – would be happy to see the monstrous institution disbanded. It cannot continue long as it is: being a house of lies, it must fall down.

NATO is weakening. Letting Turkey into it was fatal. No longer secular, Turkey is now in the camp of Islam, inimical to the West.

The world as it was conceived to be after World War Two is changing kaleidoscopically under our eyes.

In relation to the rest of the world, what are American interests? How should they be pursued?

Should America concentrate on preserving itself as a fenced-in area of freedom on an otherwise unfree planet?  That would be isolationism. Should it form a union with other as-yet-free nation-states: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel? India perhaps? Honduras? Papau? …

What would such a union do, what would be in its joint interest – “spreading democracy”, “protecting civilians”, “building nations”? The questions troubling America now would trouble it jointly, and the answers remain as hard to find.

The Democratic Party and its dissolving ideology 8

“Will the Democratic Party destroy us all?” ex-Democrat Roger L Simon asks at PajamasMedia.

Our answer is “Yes – if they’re again given the chance.”

But what does Simon say? In part, this:

I used to be a Democrat — for decades. Was it always this bad? Was I that blind?

Well, maybe. But the situation now is drastic. The United States of America has never been in worse shape — foreign or domestic — not since the Civil War anyway. We are en route to being a pathetic, powerless, overblown Greece, but unlike Greece there is no one who can bail us out. We’re too big. We’ll bring everyone else down with us — those left anyway …

Yet to the Democrats — and their bizarrely compliant media — it’s business as usual. According to such solons of big journalism as CNN’s John King, the Dems main aim is and should be retaking the Congress with the same methods they have used for years – blocking spending cuts, accusing Republicans of excessive greed, and catering to unions and reactionary race-based interests groups.  …

This is ridiculous. Why can’t these people wake up? Don’t they have children, grandchildren? Don’t they realize we are going broke? The evidence is everywhere — from Michigan to Madrid. Keynesian economics — the welfare state itself — has become completely inoperative, morphed into a Ponzi scheme by an aging population.

You can pretend that’s not true. You can put your fingers in your ears and wait for it all to go away. You can recite the mantra about taxing the rich until you drop, blame Bush until he’s a figment of our memory more distant than William Henry Harrison, or pledge your allegiance to Gaia while circling the globe in a solar-powered Lear jet. But the reality remains.

(By the way, if you taxed the rich at a hundred percent, it would only push back our bankruptcy from entitlement programs a year, possibly two.)

And what do envious lefties think the rich spend their money on if not employing people and buying stuff and investing in growth? Do they imagine they hoard it under their mattresses?

So what exactly is wrong with the Democratic Party and its constituents? I know change is difficult, that breaking with old ideas … can be painful, and that few of us like to admit we were wrong, but do we have to wait for bread lines?

So what’s the explanation? Why is it that, in these times, there is nothing less liberal than a “liberal,” less progressive than a “progressive”? Why do they and their party adhere to an ideology so shopworn and stultified … ? What explains this political party of lemmings?

I don’t buy the Cloward-Piven argument. Sure, there are some who would like to bring this country down economically so they can rebuild it as some sclerotic socialist utopia replete with Young Pioneer camps and pompous people’s art in the subways (and no food in the stores), but most are not even imaginative enough for that.

I think there are three things at work — habit, fear of change, and pure, unbridled, screw-the-rest-of-us, self-interest. And the ones who focus on the latter — the powerful and self-interested – rely on the habit and the fear of change on the part of the others … to hold the whole tawdry ball of wax together.

And what about stupidity? That’s surely a fourth thing at work.

The Democrats are at a crossroads. Will they face reality?

I sincerely doubt it.

We doubt it too. They won’t face reality any more than the welfare-weakened population of Greece will face it. But real events and conditions go on accruing their consequences whether they like it or not.

Leftism is the stuff that dreams are made on; and the baseless fabric of the Democrats’ vision shall dissolve, leaving an economic wreck behind for the Republicans to deal with.

Either that, or  – if they’re re-elected to power in Congress and the White House – the Democrats will wreck America beyond reclamation.

We all fund terrorism 3

“Both the terrorist attacks and the good life that terrorists enjoy in prison are subsidized by aid money from governments that claim to oppose terrorism. And then go on to subsidize it anyway,” Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page.

He describes the life of convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons:

Six years ago, Saeed Shalalde stabbed an Israeli chocolate manufacturer named Sasson Nuriel to death. Today Shalalde lives the good life in an Israeli prison. There terrorists mingle, throw parties, study for advanced degrees and stay in touch with their adoring fans on Facebook using their 3G mobile smartphones.

For Muslim terrorists in Israeli prisons, life is more like a vacation. Hamas terrorist Haytham Battat, who was responsible for the murder of four Israelis, uses his Facebook page to share Jihadi videos from YouTube. In his recent facebook photos, PFLP terrorist Saeed Omar, who was sentenced to nineteen years in jail, poses with his favorite soccer team’s banner, feasts with other terrorists on a table covered with dozens of dishes supplemented by bottles of Coca Cola, and posts scraps of poetry calling for the destruction of Israel. …

Other terrorists use smartphone video to go shopping with their friends and pick out their own clothes, which are then brought to them in prison, and remotely attend family events. …

And thankfully they’re not forced to watch television programming from the Zionist entity. Instead they enjoy satellite Arab TV channels. Courtesy of the Israeli prison system.

He explains how we are all being forced to fund terrorism:

One of the charges leveled against Saddam Hussein was that he was promoting terrorism by making payments to the families of suicide bombers. But every country that provides aid to the Palestinian Authority is indirectly doing the same thing. The only difference between what Saddam Hussein was doing, and what the EU and the US are doing, is that we have one degree of separation that provides plausible deniability. The Palestinian Authority [PA] acts as our middleman, requesting money for security and then doling it out to terrorists.

The Obama Administration dramatically escalated aid to terrorists. In 2008, it provided 600 million dollars worth of assistance to the Palestinian Authority. In 2009, it pledged 900 million dollars. By 2010, the PA had pulled in almost 4 billion dollars from international donors, including the US. But that hasn’t stopped [PA] Prime Minister Fayyad from denouncing US aid as “extortion”. Foreign aid makes up 60 percent of its Gross National Product. The Palestinian Authority does not have an economy. It has foreign aid.

The Palestinian Authority is run by terrorists. The shortest path to the top is to form your own terrorist cell and begin murdering Israeli civilians. And the reward is a chance to dip into the golden river of foreign aid and divert some of it [your] way. Terrorists who are on the loose enjoy wealth and international respect. And even when they are captured, they receive kid glove treatment in prison.

The tidal wave of human rights accusations leveled at Israel has caused the government to bend over backward to show how well it treats Muslim terrorists. IDF soldiers operate under tightly restricted rules of engagement, similar to those which are causing serious US casualties in Afghanistan. And Israeli prisons turn a blind eye to terrorists posting propaganda on Facebook from inside their own walls.

Do convicted Palestinian terrorists live more comfortably in Israeli prisons than their families do in Gaza? Maybe. But life in Gaza is nowhere near as bad as the BBC, CNN, the Guardian and the New York Times make it out to be.

Human rights activists often describe Gaza as a prison. A prison with free electricity and free water. While Israelis pay premium amounts for water, Hamas supporters in Khan Younis [in Gaza] get it free of charge. Israel provides 40 million cubic meters of water. So much water that while in Israel residents carefully measure how much water they use, in Khan Younis they opened up their own water park. …

The truth is that there are “refugee camps” full of mansions paid for by international aid. The truth is that terrorists in prison are gorging themselves on luxuries paid for by American taxpayers and preening for their admirers on Facebook using smartphones that many American and Israeli families can’t afford. The truth is that terrorism is big business. And we’re the ones picking up the tab. …

Every convicted Muslim terrorist receives a salary from the Palestinian Authority. Even members of Hamas. That money is provided by American and European taxpayers. As much as 10 percent of the Palestinian Authority’s budget is dedicated to paying the salaries of imprisoned terrorists, benefits to their families …

And to the families of dead terrorists who died committing their atrocities. The quickest, easiest way for a Palestinian to have his family provided for is to go out and kill in the name of “the resistance”.

Some “$100 million annually goes to benefits for captured or killed terrorists”. It comes as “aid money from governments that claim to oppose terrorism” yet “subsidize it anyway”.

And not only in the Middle East are Islamic terrorists subsidized by you and me:

The Israeli example is not unique. Muslim terrorists live on the dole in every Western country. Major newspapers give them flattering profiles and taxpayer money is pumped into their organizations. And still they cry that they are persecuted, tormented, abused and deprived of their rights.

If Muslims think the West is full of suckers, fall guys, pushovers, they are absolutely right. Leftist ideology has deeply sentimentalized our culture. It’s time for America, in the economic crisis the left has brought upon it, to cut off foreign aid, starting with the billions that go to Arab terrorists.

Atheists threaten Britain 12

Atheists have become a significant menace  in Britain. They pose so severe a threat that they could “drive religion underground”, according to Trevor Phillips, Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

This is very good news to us, though we confess it comes as a surprise. We had no idea that our fellow atheists in Britain had become so forceful, and suddenly within sight of overwhelming success.

But before we uncork the celebratory champagne and start organizing victory parades, let’s take a closer look at this Phillips guy who’s issuing the warning to the British nation.

Are his judgments sound and his predictions reliable?

What else does he assert?

From the Telegraph, which published an interview with him:

Trevor Phillips … accused Christians, particularly evangelicals, of being more militant than Muslims in complaining about discrimination, arguing that many of the claims are motivated by a desire for greater political influence.

Christians in Britain are more militant than Muslims? Sounds a bit off-beam, that. Have Christians been bombing the London underground, buses, airports, nightclubs? Kidnapping Scottish boys and torturing them to death? Demonstrating aggressively against soldiers returning from battle? We know Muslims have been doing these things, so does Trevor Phillips have secret evidence that Christians have been doing more and worse?

No; keeping such information secret isn’t possible. So – Oh dear! – it looks as if he might have been exaggerating when he said:

People of faith are “under siege” from atheists … attempting to “drive religion underground”.

The Commission he heads is issuing a report tomorrow which, according to the Telegraph, says that some religious groups have been the victims of rising discrimination over the last decade. (We know that this would be true of the Jews, discriminated against and increasingly attacked mainly by Muslims, but the Telegraph report does not tell us whether the report deals with them.)

Mr Phillips went on:

Fundamentalist Christians … are holding increasing sway over the mainstream churches because of the influence of African and Caribbean immigrants with “intolerant” views. In contrast, Muslims are less vociferous because they are trying to integrate into British “liberal democracy”, he said. “Muslim communities in this country are doing their damnedest to try to come to terms with their neighbours to try to integrate and they’re doing their best to try to develop an idea of Islam that is compatible with living in a modern liberal democracy.

They are? Well now, there’s a revelation! And without the Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission saying so, who would ever have supposed it?

The most likely victim of actual religious discrimination in British society is a Muslim but the person who is most likely to feel slighted because of their religion is an evangelical Christian.”

Wow! More, more … we need to know more about this man and his thoughts. The Telegraph informs us:

Mr Phillips, who is a Salvationist from a strong Christian background, expressed concern over the rise in Britain of anti-religious voices, such as Richard Dawkins, who are intolerant of people of faith.

No. That we know is plain untrue. Richard Dawkins is intolerant of irrational ideas, of “faith” yes, but not of people.

Anyway, “people of faith” are lucky enough to have Mr Phillips and his Commission dedicating themselves to their protection from dangerous atheists like Dawkins.

Phillips said that the Commission is committed to protecting people of faith against discrimination …

Yet this noble aim may be hard to realize because, it transpires, the Commission’s “£70 million annual budget … is to be cut drastically”.

Well, there’s good news again! Not quite warranting champagne, but worth a cheer or two.

Our verdict on this guardian of Equality and Human Rights: Trevor Phillips is misinformed, or lying, or dense, or overestimating the gullibility of Telegraph readers.

Which means we must reluctantly put the unopened champagne back in the refrigerator.

Celebrations are postponed. But still, ye British atheists, fight on! Strike terror into their craven hearts!

Believing bullshit 1

Interesting to atheists but ultimately disappointing is this interview at NewScientist by Alison George with Stephen Law, author of Believing Bullshit: How not to get sucked into an intellectual black hole.

You describe your new book, Believing Bullshit, as a guide to avoid getting sucked into “intellectual black holes”. What are they?

Intellectual black holes are belief systems that draw people in and hold them captive so they become willing slaves of claptrap. Belief in homeopathy, psychic powers, alien abductions – these are examples of intellectual black holes. As you approach them, you need to be on your guard because if you get sucked in, it can be extremely difficult to think your way clear again.

But isn’t one person’s claptrap another’s truth?

There’s a belief system about water to which we all sign up: it freezes at 0 °C and boils at 100 °C. We are powerfully wedded to this but that doesn’t make it an intellectual black hole. That’s because these beliefs are genuinely reasonable. Beliefs at the core of intellectual black holes, however, aren’t reasonable. They merely appear so to those trapped inside.

You identify some strategies people use to defend black hole beliefs. Tell me about one of them – “playing the mystery card”?

This involves appealing to mystery to get out of intellectual hot water when someone is, say, propounding paranormal beliefs. They might say something like: “Ah, but this is beyond the ability of science and reason to decide. You, Mr Clever Dick Scientist, are guilty of scientism, of assuming science can answer every question.” This is often followed by that quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy”. When you hear that, alarm bells should go off.

But even scientists admit that they can’t explain everything.

There probably are questions that science cannot answer. But what some people do to protect their beliefs is to draw a veil across reality and say, “you scientists can go up to the veil and apply your empirical methods this far, but no further”. Behind the veil they will put angels, aliens, psychic powers, God, ghosts and so on. Then they insist that there are special people who can see – if only dimly – through this veil. But the fact is that many of the claims made about things behind this veil have empirically observable consequences and that makes them scientifically testable.

How can science test these mysteries?

Psychologist Christopher French at Goldsmiths, University of London, ran an experiment into the effects of crystals to explore claims that holding “real” crystals from a New Age shop while meditating has a powerful effect on the psyche, more so than just holding “fake” ones. But French found no difference in participants using real and fake crystals. This was good evidence that the effect people report is down to the power of suggestion, not the crystals. Of course, this study provoked comments such as: “Not being able to prove the existence of something does not disprove its existence. Much is yet to be discovered.” This is just a smokescreen. But because the mantra “it’s-beyond-the-ability-of-science-to-establish…” gets repeated so often, it is effective at lulling people back to sleep – even if they have been stung into entertaining a doubt for a moment or two.

Do you think mystery has a place in science?

Some things may be beyond our understanding, and sometimes it’s reasonable to appeal to mystery. If you have excellent evidence that water boils at 100 °C, but on one occasion it appeared it didn’t, it’s reasonable to attribute that to some mysterious, unknown factor. It’s also reasonable, when we have a theory that works but we don’t know how it works, to say that this is currently a mystery. But the more we rely on mystery to get us out of intellectual trouble, or the more we use it as a carpet under which to sweep inconvenient facts, the more vulnerable we are to deceit, by others and by ourselves.

In your book you also talk about the “going nuclear” tactic. What is this?

When someone is cornered in an argument, they may decide to get sceptical about reason. They might say: “Ah, but reason is just another faith position.” I call this “going nuclear” because it lays waste to every position. It brings every belief – that milk can make you fly or that George Bush was Elvis Presley in disguise – down to the same level so they all appear equally “reasonable” or “unreasonable”. Of course, you can be sure that the moment this person has left the room, they will continue to use reason to support their case if they can, and will even trust their life to reason: trusting that the brakes on their car will work or that a particular drug is going to cure them.

Isn’t there a grain of truth in this approach?

There is a classic philosophical puzzle about how to justify reason: to do so, it seems you have to use reason. So the justification is circular – a bit like trusting a second-hand car salesman because he says he’s trustworthy. But the person who “goes nuclear” isn’t genuinely sceptical about reason. They are just raising a philosophical problem as a smokescreen, to give them time to leave with their head held high, saying: “So my belief is as reasonable as yours.” That’s intellectually dishonest.

You say we should also be aware of the “but it fits” strategy. Why?

Any theory, no matter how ludicrous, can be squared with the evidence, given enough ingenuity. Every last anomaly can be explained away. There is a popular myth about science that if you can make your theory consistent with the evidence, then that shows it is confirmed by that evidence – as confirmed as any other theory. Lots of dodgy belief systems exploit this myth. Young Earth creationism – the view that the whole universe is less than 10,000 years old – is a good example. Given enough shoehorning and reinterpretation, you can make whatever turns up “fit” what the Bible says.

What else should we watch out for?

You should be suspicious when people pile up anecdotes in favour of their pet theory, or when they practise the art of pseudo-profundity – uttering seemingly profound statements which are in fact trite or nonsensical. They often mix in references to scientific theory to sound authoritative.

Only at the end of the interview does Stephen Law say something we profoundly disagree with:

Why does it matter if we believe absurd things?

It can cause no great harm. …

He could not be more wrong. It can, it has, and it does. The harm that the absurd beliefs of religious faiths have done to humanity is so vast and terrible as to be beyond calculation. To pick only the most obvious examples: consider the long darkness Christianity brought down on Europe after it became the state religion of the Roman empire; the millenia of religious wars; the relentless persecutions by the Inquisition and the equally cruel heresy-sniffing of the Protestant sects; the suppression of scientific discovery by the Catholic Church; the savage advances of Islam, for the most part successful, from the time of its inception to the present.

Bullshit beliefs called religion have soaked the earth with human blood.

Muslim modesty 2

From the Religion of Peace:


A woman clings tenuously to her Islamic faith while
waiting in line for an “Arrive Half-Naked, Leave
Fully Dressed” offer at a London department store.

 

Posted under Britain, Humor, Islam, Muslims, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Saturday, June 18, 2011

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The spider and the flies 8

“Will you walk into my parlour?”

Said the Spider to the Fly …

Unto an evil counsellor

Close heart and ear and eye,

And take a lesson from this tale

Of the Spider and the Fly.

*

Islam is a proselytizing religion. By hook and by crook, by preaching and by coercion, by threat and by terror Islam advances its mission of making everyone in the world submissive to its cruel 7th century ideology.

The proselytizers count on Americans in general being ignorant of the Muslim religion to net them in.

Here’s a story that illustrates how they go about it.

The Islamic Society of Tulsa organized what they called a “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day” to which they invited the Tulsa Police Department to send officers to a certain mosque to be given a tour of the thing, meet the imams, and be given “presentations” on Muslim “beliefs, human rights and  women” and “watch the 2-2:45 weekly congregational prayer service.”

The mosque in question was linked to “an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror financing trial”.

The quotations come from WorldNetNews, which goes on:

While at first the police administration’s recommendation for attendance at the event appeared to be voluntary – there was a voluntary signup list … when officers refused to respond, the managers made it a required event.

Police captain Paul Fields, probably because he already knew more than enough about Islam, refused to attend.

Fields had responded to the order to appear for the tour, prayer and other mosque events with a written notice stating: “Please consider this email my official notification to the Tulsa Police Department and the city of Tulsa that I intend not to follow this directive, nor require any of my subordinates to do so if they share similar religious convictions.”

So he was punished.

[Deputy police chief] Webster then ordered Fields into a meeting where he was handed an order transferring him to the Mingo Valley Division, an area known for drug activity, as well as a notification of an internal investigation of Fields.

We’re happy to report Paul Fields is now suing his chief and the city.

Named as defendants are the city, police chief Charles W. Jordan and deputy chief Alvin Daryl Webster. …

The lawsuit focuses on the officer’s constitutional and civil rights, and besides a resolution of Fields’ concerns, it seeks an injunction preventing “enforcement of defendants’ unconstitutional acts, policies, practices, procedures and/or customs”. …

Field’s lawyers explain:

The day “had nothing to do with any official police function. It clearly fell outside of the police department’s policy on community policing, and based on comments made by police department officials in a closed door meeting, it was not ‘community outreach’ as it has been previously portrayed … Rather, it included a mosque tour, meetings with local Muslims and Muslim leadership, observing a ‘weekly prayer service,’ and lectures on Islamic ‘beliefs’. … The event held by the Islamic Society involved Islamic proselytizing. The Islamic Society event was advertised as including Islamic proselytizing, and it in fact resulted in the proselytizing of city police officers who attended the event.” …

Images of some police officers appeared later in a publicity photograph used by the mosque to promote “Islam classes for Non-Muslims “.

The lawsuit explains that the Tulsa Islamic Society is “Shariah-adherent,” meaning that it teaches Islamic law must control “all matters of life, politics, and religious law. … Consequently, the religion of Islam is not merely one segment of life; it regulates life completely, from the social and the political to the diplomatic, economic, and military. The combination of religion and politics as a unified, indefeasible whole is the foundation of Islam, an inseparable political/religious doctrine of Islamic governments, and the basis of Muslim loyalties. In this respect, the theo-political doctrine of Islam is contrary to the dictates of the First Amendment’s religion clauses ... In an Islamic context there is no such thing as a separate secular authority and secular law, since religion and state are one. Essentially, the Islamic state as conceived by orthodox Muslims is a religious entity established under divine law.

The suit notes that under Islam, there are members of the House of Islam and “infidels,” whom it teaches eventually all will submit to Islam.

Thus, the “Appreciation Day” was no more than an opportunity “to promote what Shariah-adherents such as the Muslim Brotherhood have described as ‘civilization jihad’.” …

The complaint also notes the Tulsa organization is affiliated with the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR] and the Islamic Society of North America [ISNA]– both unindicted, co-conspirators and/or joint venturers in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial.

Furthermore, “ISNA, the case explains, is the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in North America.”

It states that “the requirement … created a government sponsorship of Islam”.

The suit cites alleged violations of the First Amendment freedom exercise of religion, freedom of association, the establishment clause and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

We’ll watch with interest to see what the court decides in this important case.

Truthful lessons for the police everywhere, and for all Americans, in what Islam is really all about are urgently necessary.

America’s do-gooding wars without end 8

All Mark Steyn‘s columns are so good, so funny however serious and important the point he is making, that it’s hard to say this one or that one is the best or the funniest. But a recent article titled Too Big To Win, on the highly important subject of America’s wars, must surely be among his best and funniest.

We are picking sentences and passages from it to give our readers a taste, but we hope they’ll be enticed to read the whole thing here and enjoy the feast.

Why can’t America win wars? …

Afghanistan? The “good war” is now “America’s longest war.” Our forces have been there longer than the Red Army was. The “hearts and minds” strategy is going so well that American troops are now being killed by the Afghans who know us best. …

Libya? The good news is that we’ve vastly reduced the time it takes us to get quagmired. I believe the Libyan campaign is already in The Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest quagmire on record. In an inspired move, we’ve chosen to back the one Arab liberation movement incapable of knocking off the local strongman even when you lend them every NATO air force. But not to worry: President Obama, cooed an administration official to The New Yorker, is “leading from behind.” Indeed. What could be more impeccably multilateral than a coalition pantomime horse composed entirely of rear ends? Apparently it would be “illegal” to target Colonel Qaddafi, so our strategic objective is to kill him by accident. So far we’ve killed a son and a couple of grandkids. Maybe by the time you read this we’ll have added a maiden aunt or two to the trophy room. It’s not precisely clear why offing the old pock-skinned transvestite should be a priority of the U.S. right now, but let’s hope it happens soon, because otherwise there’ll be no way of telling when this “war” is “ended.”

According to partisan taste, one can blame the trio of current morasses on Bush or Obama, but in the bigger picture they’re part of a pattern of behavior that predates either man, stretching back through non-victories great and small — Somalia, Gulf War One, Vietnam, Korea. On the more conclusive side of the ledger, we have . . . well, lemme see: Grenada, 1983. And, given that that was a bit of post-colonial housekeeping Britain should have taken care of but declined to, one could argue that even that lone bright spot supports a broader narrative of Western enfeeblement. At any rate, America’s only unambiguous military triumph since 1945 is a small Caribbean island with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. For 43 percent of global military expenditure, that’s not much bang for the buck.

At the dawn of the so-called American era, Washington chose to downplay U.S. hegemony and instead created and funded transnational institutions in which the non-imperial superpower was so self-deprecating it artificially inflated everybody else’s status in a kind of geopolitical affirmative-action program. …   In 1950, America had a unique dominance of the “free world” and it could afford to be generous, so it was: We had more money than we knew what to do with, so we absolved our allies of paying for their own defense. …

By the time the Cold War ended … U.S.–Soviet nuclear standoff of mutual deterrence decayed into a unipolar world of U.S. auto-deterrence. …

At a certain level, credible deterrence depends on a credible enemy. The Soviet Union disintegrated, but the surviving superpower’s instinct to de-escalate intensified: In Kirkuk as in Kandahar, every Lilliputian warlord quickly grasped that you could provoke the infidel Gulliver with relative impunity. Mutually Assured Destruction had curdled into Massively Applied Desultoriness. …

The Pentagon outspends the Chinese, British, French, Russian, Japanese, German, Saudi, Indian, Italian, South Korean, Brazilian, Canadian, Australian, Spanish, Turkish, and Israeli militaries combined. So why doesn’t it feel like that?

Well, for exactly that reason: If you outspend every serious rival combined, you’re obviously something other than the soldiery of a conventional nation state. But what exactly? In the Nineties, the French liked to complain that “globalization” was a euphemism for “Americanization.” But one can just as easily invert the formulation: “Americanization” is a euphemism for “globalization,” in which the geopolitical sugar daddy is so busy picking up the tab for the global order he loses all sense of national interest. … The Pentagon now makes war for the world. …

An army has to wage war on behalf of something real. For better or worse, “king and country” is real, and so, mostly for worse, are the tribal loyalties of Africa’s blood-drenched civil wars. But it’s hardly surprising that it’s difficult to win wars waged on behalf of something so chimerical as “the international community.” If you’re making war on behalf of an illusory concept, is it even possible to have war aims? What’s ours? “[We] are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people,” General Petraeus said in April. Somewhere generations of old-school imperialists are roaring their heads off, not least at the concept of “the Afghan people.” But when you’re the expeditionary force of the parliament of man, what else is there?

Nation building in Afghanistan is the ne plus ultra of a fool’s errand. But even if one were so disposed, effective “nation building” is done in the national interest of the builder. The British rebuilt India in their own image, with a Westminster parliament, common law, and an English education system. In whose image are we building Afghanistan? Eight months after Petraeus announced his latest folly, the Afghan Local Police initiative, Oxfam reported that the newly formed ALP was a hotbed of torture and pederasty. Almost every Afghan institution is, of course. But for most of human history they’ve managed to practice both enthusiasms without international subvention. The U.S. taxpayer accepts wearily the burden of subsidy for Nevada’s cowboy poets and San Francisco’s mime companies, but, even by those generous standards of cultural preservation, it’s hard to see why he should be facilitating the traditional predilections of Pashtun men with an eye for the “dancing boys of Kandahar.” …

So the Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity is building schoolhouses in Afghanistan. Big deal. The problem, in Kandahar as in Kansas, is not the buildings but what’s being taught inside them — and we’ve no stomach for getting into that. So what’s the point of building better infrastructure for Afghanistan’s wretched tribal culture? What’s our interest in state-of-the-art backwardness?

Transnational do-gooding is political correctness on tour. It takes the relativist assumptions of the multiculti varsity and applies them geopolitically: The white man’s burden meets liberal guilt. No wealthy developed nation should have a national interest, because a national interest is a selfish interest. Afghanistan started out selfishly — a daringly original military campaign, brilliantly executed, to remove your enemies from power and kill as many of the bad guys as possible. Then America sobered up and gradually brought a freakish exception into compliance with the rule. In Libya as in Kosovo, war is legitimate only if you have no conceivable national interest in whatever conflict you’re fighting. The fact that you have no stake in it justifies your getting into it. The principal rationale is that there’s no rationale, and who could object to that? Applied globally, political correctness obliges us to forswear sovereignty.

On we stagger, with Cold War institutions, transnational sensibilities, politically correct solicitousness, fraudulent preening pseudo–nation building, expensive gizmos, little will, and no war aims . . . but real American lives. … Sixty-six years after V-J Day, the American way of war needs top-to-toe reinvention.

What he keeps private 3

What needs to be widely circulated  about Congressman Weiner is not the notorious images of his body that he sent to numerous women on Twitter, but alarming information about his wife’s family.

Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack ask in an article to be found in full here:

Was Huma Abedin, the wife of Anthony Weiner and the Deputy Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton, unaware that her mother [Saleha Abedin] was reported as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood? Is it possible she does not know that her brother is tied to the Brotherhood’s radical leadership? Did Western media miss what has been revealed in several Arab newspapers, which has remained secret in American government circles?

Her brother, Hassan Abedin, “has been key in furthering the Islamic agenda and has worked with Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal on a program of ‘spreading Islam to the West’.”

[Oxford University’s] Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) lists Huma’s brother as a fellow … [where he] partners with a number of Muslim Brotherhood members on the Board, including al-Qaeda associate Omar Naseef and the notorious Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, according to this report  by Patrick Poole at PajamasMedia, has also been spreading Saudi money around in America to promote the spread of Islam. Georgetown University has a Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU), which “was endowed in December 2005 by a $20 million grant from Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, one of the richest men in the world”. He “also gave another $20 million for a similar center at Harvard” which promotes an “extremist Wahhabi agenda”.

It is hard to account for the marriage of Huma Abedin to Congressman Weiner. Islam forbids Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men. And as Shoebat and Barrack point out:

It is sacrilege in Islam for Huma’s mother to accept the reality that her daughter is married to a Jew. Yet, neither Saleha nor Huma’s brother Hassan have denounced her marriage to Weiner, although it is considered null and void by some of the highest authorities on Islamic Shari’a rulings.

It has been suggested that Weiner secretly converted to Islam. If he did, he has seriously disgraced himself.

Government: our servant not our master 18

In a free society, anyone who wants to benefit a fellow citizen, by giving him money for instance, may do so; and if the giving makes the giver feel good, that shouldn’t trouble anyone else. Self-esteem also needs feeding.

But it’s an entirely different matter when it comes to a citizen being forced by government – the only agency that has the necessary power – to give money for the benefit of others.

For a society to be kept free, the power of government needs to be kept within narrow bounds. That’s why we conservatives list “small government”  among our primary principles, following immediately and logically after “the protection of liberty”, which is the first and last thing government should exist for.

As soon as government takes it upon itself to extract money from prosperous Peter and give it to poor Paul, it has exceeded its legitimate power and become a threat to liberty instead of its protector.

Walter Williams writes at Townhall:

If a person benefits from a hamburger, a suit of clothing, an apartment or an education, who should be forced to pay for it? I believe the question has only one moral answer, namely the person who benefits from a good or service should be forced to pay for it …

Our country’s problem is that too many Americans want to benefit from things for which they expect other Americans to be taxed. …

Does one American have a moral right to live at the expense of another American? To be more explicit, should Congress, through its taxing authority, give the Bank of America, Citibank, Archer Daniels Midland, farmers, dairymen, college students and poor people the right to live off of the earnings of another American? I’m guessing that only a few Americans would agree with my answer: No one should be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another American.

We agree with his answer.

As long as government is doing what it must – protecting the liberty of all citizens equally from foreign enemies and domestic crime – it serves the people. If it uses its power to force some citizens to  “serve the purposes” of others, it oppresses the people.

Government should be our servant, not our master.

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