A great American leader speaks 4

The great Rudy Giuliani delivered this powerful speech (recorded on two videos) at a symposium of the Iranian-American community in February, 2015:

 

(Hat-tip to our commenter Frank)

Posted under Iran, jihad, Muslims, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, September 12, 2015

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Libertarians in blinkers 7

Where we part company with Libertarians is over the hugely important matter of defense.

Like them, we want a free market economy, small government and low taxes. And we too hold liberty to be a supreme value.

The article we quote below is by John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart of the libertarian Cato Institute in America. It was published by The Guardian in Britain on February 24, 2015.

Libertarians and The Guardian are not on the same side. Libertarians are for the freedom of the individual. The Guardian is for socialism, statism, big controlling government interfering in every individual life.

But The Guardian is also pro-Islam. And that is what brings these Libertarians and the collectivists of The Guardian together. Not that the Libertarians are pro-Islam. We have observed that, as a group, they know nothing about Islam and don’t want to. They obstinately refuse to learn what’s going on politically in the wider world, believe Americans have no need to take notice of foreign affairs, and should never go to war unless America itself is attacked. To them, the aggression of 9/11 did not qualify as a war-provoking attack. That’s why they want the (badly named but ever more urgently needed) “War on Terror” to be stopped. And that’s what got these two into the columns of The Guardian.

Terrorism Poses No Existential Threat to America. We Must Stop Pretending Otherwise

One of the most unchallenged, zany assertions during the war on terror has been that terrorists present an existential threat to the United States, the modern state and civilization itself. This is important because the overwrought expression, if accepted as valid, could close off evaluation of security efforts. For example, no defense of civil liberties is likely to be terribly effective if people believe the threat from terrorism to be existential.

At long last, President Barack Obama and other top officials are beginning to back away from this absurd position. This much overdue development may not last, however. Extravagant alarmism about the pathological but self-destructiveIslamic State (ISIS) in areas of Syria and Iraq may cause us to backslide.

The notion that international terrorism presents an existential threat was spawned by the traumatized in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York at the time, recalls that all “security experts” expected “dozens and dozens and multiyears of attacks like this” and, in her book The Dark Side, Jane Mayer observed that “the only certainty shared by virtually the entire American intelligence community” was that “a second wave of even more devastating terrorist attacks on America was imminent”. Duly terrified, US intelligence services were soon imaginatively calculating the number of trained al-Qaida operatives in the United States to be between 2,000 and 5,000.

Also compelling was the extrapolation that, because the 9/11 terrorists were successful with box-cutters, they might well be able to turn out nuclear weapons.

Who on earth said such a silly thing? What was said is that jihadists might become nuclear armed. And in fact the Islamic theocracy of Iran is becoming a nuclear-armed power, and repetitively threatens Israel, America and Europe with destruction. Why don’t these writers know that? Or do they know it and choose to ignore it?

Soon it was being authoritatively proclaimed that atomic terrorists could “destroy civilization as we know it” and that it was likely that a nuclear terrorist attack on the United States would transpire by 2014.

Many a terrorist attack that could have been devastating (how devastating it’s impossible to know) has been averted because sensible people – which category does not include Obama – have worked hard to prevent them, and so far have largely succeeded.

But no, okay, it is not “terrorism” that threatens Western civilization, it is Islam, using the method of terrorism to an unprecedented extent.

“Atomic  terrorists” –  namely Iran – could destroy civilization as we know it. Especially as atomic war against us will be accompanied by the Islamization of Europe – which these authors are above noticing.

The sneering scorn they pour on the menace makes their arguments all the more inapposite.

No atomic terrorists have yet appeared (al-Qaida’s entire budget in 2001 for research on all weapons of mass destruction totaled less than $4,000), and intelligence has been far better at counting al-Qaida operatives in the country than at finding them.

But the notion that terrorism presents an existential threat has played on. By 2008, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff declared it to be a “significant existential” one – carefully differentiating it, apparently, from all those insignificant existential threats Americans have faced in the past. The bizarre formulation survived into the Obama years. In October 2009, Bruce Riedel, an advisor to the new administration, publicly maintained the al-Qaida threat to the country to be existential.

In 2014, however, things began to change.

In a speech at Harvard in October, Vice President Joseph Biden …

Of all people! A man no one in their right mind would look to for insight, accurate analysis, or the most basic comprehension of what’s happening even if it’s going on under his own nose …

… offered the thought that “we face no existential threat — none — to our way of life or our ultimate security”. After a decent interval of three months, President Barack Obama reiterated this point at a press conference, and then expanded in an interview a few weeks later, adding that the US should not “provide a victory to these terrorist networks by over-inflating their importance and suggesting in some fashion that they are an existential threat to the United States or the world order”. Later, his national security advisor, Susan Rice, echoed the point in a formal speech.

Obama also said that al-Qaida was defeated, when in truth it has grown bigger and has spread further. Obama constantly signals that he loves Islam, so he would say those things. Libertarians ought not to be unaware of that.

And for them to quote Susan Rice, the notorious lie-retailer of the Obama administration, is absurdly ingenuous.

It is astounding that these utterances … appear to mark the first time any officials in the United States have had the notion and the courage to say so in public.

Whether that development, at once remarkable and absurdly belated, will have some consequence, or even continue, remains to be seen. Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham have insisted for months that ISIS  presents an existential threat to the United States. …

And General Michael Flynn, recently retired as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has been insisting that the terrorist enemy is “committed to the destruction of freedom and the American way of life” while seeking “world domination, achieved through violence and bloodshed”.  It was reported that his remarks provoked nods of approval, cheers and “ultimately a standing ovation” from the audience.

Thus even the most modest imaginable effort to rein in the war on terror hyperbole may fail to gel.

“Rein in the war on terror hyperbole”? They mean, of course, do nothing about the jihad.

What is most remarkable about the article is that these two believers in the value of individual freedom ignore the tragedy of individuals who have been captured, tortured, and killed by terrorists inside America and in the Middle East – and we are speaking specifically of Islamic terrorists, Islam being the ideology that is posing a serious threat to the Western world and its civilization. They seem to have neither an instinctive nor a rational desire for justice. They consider only the collective of the nation in their assessment of existential danger. Of course the USA is not immediately threatened with destruction as a nation by Islam with its favored method of terrorism.

It is, however, being slowly destroyed by Leftist, statist, collectivist, redistributionist government which puts no value on civil liberties. And jihadis iterate often enough that America is their target, that they will replace the Constitution with sharia law, and that Americans will be given the choice of conversion, subservience, or death. So when Europe, much of Africa, all the Middle East, and a very large part of the Far East are Islamic; and when the US has abandoned its own Constitution, disarmed its citizenry, and allowed the population to be cowed by threats and demonstrations of horrific murders, how long will it take for the jihadis’ aim to be achieved?  

Perhaps Mueller and Stewart seem to feel that they themselves are somehow immune from terrorist attacks, such as the one people experienced in Boston when bombs exploded in their midst as they watched a marathon race.

And perhaps an unwillingness to consider such a possibility can explain why they are not concerned about the deaths by terrorist violence of thousands of individuals.    

No wonder The Guardian liked their article.

Oh, please no! 0

Diana West raises a troubling question:

Should Fox News register with the State Department as a foreign agent — an agent of Saudi Arabia?

First off, is that a farfetched question? Not when a leading member of the ruling family of the Sharia-totalitarian “kingdom” of Saudi Arabia, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has made himself the second-largest shareholder of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Fox News’ parent company.

Just as Steven Emerson believes that American universities using Saudi mega-millions (many from Alwaleed) to set up Islamic studies departments should register as Saudi agents, I believe an American news channel part-owned and part-influenced by the Saudi prince should, too.

Alwaleed’s long march through U.S. institutions is a mainly post-9/11 progression greased by his purchase of about a 5.5 percent stake in News Corp. in 2005, and his purchases, I mean, gifts, of $20 million apiece to Georgetown and Harvard Universities, also in 2005.

There have been other eye-catching displays of Alwaleed’s largesse — $500,000 in 2002 to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Hamas- and Muslim-Brotherhood-linked entity, and a whopping $27 million, also in 2002, to the families of Palestinian “martyrs,” aka suicide bombers. These, along with Alwaleed’s self-described “very close relationship” with Murdoch son and apparent heir-apparent James, a left-wing global-warmist with virulently anti-Israel views, should only deepen Americans’ concerns about Fox’s ties to “the prince.” Recently, Murdoch and Alwaleed have discussed expanding their business relationship through the Murdoch purchase of a substantial stake in Rotana, Alwaleed’s huge Arab media company.

Before entering his Murdoch association, Alwaleed gave a remarkably candid interview in 2002 about what Arab News described as his belief that “Arabs should focus more on penetrating U.S. public opinion as a means to influencing decision-making” rather than boycotting U.S. products, an idea of the moment.

The Arab News reported: “Arab countries can influence U.S. decision-making ‘if they unite through economic interests, not political,’ (Alwaleed) stressed. ‘We have to be logical and understand that the U.S. administration is subject to U.S. public opinion. We (Arabs) are not so active in this sphere (public opinion). And to bring the decision-maker on your side, you not only have to be active inside the U.S. Congress or the administration but also inside U.S. society.'”

And active inside U.S. society living rooms — even better. Alwaleed would seem to have hit on a Fox strategy some time after Rudy Giuliani refused to accept, on behalf of a 9/11-shattered New York City, his $10 million check-cum-lecture that essentially justified the al-Qaida attacks as having been a response to U.S. foreign policy. This was “such an egregious, outrageous, unfair offense that I would have nothing to do with his money either,” Sean Hannity said at the time on Fox News‘ “Hannity & Colmes,” his remarks (and those of other Fox personalities) recently re-examined by the left-wing group Media Matters. “This is a bad guy,” Hannity said. “Rudy was right to decline the money.” Bill Sammon called Alwaleed’s check “blood money,” adding, “we’re better off without it.”

How terribly ironic that this same “bad guy” is now a News Corp. blood-money bags, a boss who must be handled with care as, for example, Fox host Neil Cavuto did in a deferential interview with Alwaleed last month.

How does this influence Fox News coverage? It’s impossible to say. Alwaleed has bragged that it only took a phone call to ensure that Fox coverage of Muslim rioting in France not be described as “Muslim” rioting in France, a boast News Corp. has never denied….

Meanwhile, spokesmen for terrorism-linked and Alwaleed-endowed CAIR still appear on Fox shows, for example, while Dave Gaubatz and Paul Sperry, likely Fox guests as conservative authors of the sleeper-hit book “Muslim Mafia” (an expose of CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood), get zero airtime. The more important question becomes: How does Alwaleed’s stake in News Corp. affect what Fox News doesn’t cover?

If they don’t report, we can’t decide. This, for a Sharia prince, could be worth millions.

This is very disturbing.

For TV news we watch Fox almost exclusively. We are hugely entertained by Glenn Beck who’s doing a great job exposing the bad policies and bad policy-makers in the Obama administration. We regularly watch Bret Baier’s ‘Special Report’, eager to hear the opinions of Charles Krauthammer, Brit Hume, and Stephen Hayes. We quite often watch Sean Hannity. We bear with Bill O’Reilly because he brings us conservatives like Michelle Malkin who inform and interest us. We need Fox News.  If it is to become a propaganda instrument of the soft jihad we will be losing a highly valuable resource, irreplaceable as far as we can see.

Rupert Murdoch, what are you doing to us?

The deadly danger of Christian forgiveness 2

The good news that the Democrats are dropping rapidly in voters’ approval is tempered for us by the bad news that of  the visible Republican 2012 presidential candidates, Mike Huckabee heads the list. We see him as good-natured but dangerously naive. His religious belief is as ingenuous as that of a small child. True, Sarah Palin’s is too, but she has many qualities that made her a strong governor and could make her an effective future leader.

A former member of Huckabee’s 2008 campaign, Joe Carter, confirms our view of him. Slightly to our surprise we found this at First Things, a Christian site:

The tragic murders of four policemen in Washington State, quickly turned into a political story when it was discovered that former governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee had previously commuted the sentence of the gunman [Maurice Clemmons], making him eligible for parole.

Normally, I wouldn’t have much to say on such story. But because I have some familiarity with the backstory — I worked for a brief time for the Huckabee campaign — and because it has implications for the role of religion in politics, I thought it might be worth sharing my perspective.

Reflections on a politician by former campaign staffers should always be taken cum grano salis. This is no exception. While I’m still a fan of the governor I don’t believe he — nor anyone else from the 2008 primary season (from Palin to Romney to Giuliani to Paul) — has any chance of ever becoming President. Because of this, I don’t feel the need to either defend or condemn him. While the tragic chain of events that were set in place by his signing commutations are not entirely — or even primarily — the fault of the governor, he must bear a sufficient measure of responsibility. …

On the issue of clemency, commutations, and pardons. … Other governors with their sights set on higher offices had learned that doing nothing — even to correct obvious instances of injustice — was unlikely to cause any long-term political damage. Keeping an innocent man in prison is less harmful to an ambitious politician than freeing someone who may commit other crimes.

Huckabee would certainly discover this political reality the hard way. Initially, I chalked it up solely to extraordinary political courage. Later, I tempered this view when I realized that this courage was mixed with a large dose of cluelessness. The governor seemed genuinely surprised that he was held responsible for the criminal acts committed by those whose sentences he had commuted as governor. It was as if he believed that simply having noble intentions and a willingness to make tough decisions would provide political cover. The notion that he should be accountable for future crimes committed by these men seemed as foreign to him as the idea that he should refuse all leniency.

His naivete about how his actions would be judged was compounded by his own belief in the nobleness of his motives. Huckabee was — and likely remains — a true believer in the concept of restorative justice.

Judging from the records, the governor also seemed to put a lot of weight on conversion stories — a common trait among evangelicals, who believe the gospel is sufficient for restoration and redemption of character. The opinion of clergy appears to have carried a great deal of weight in the decision-making process. …