Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Algerian Hostage Situation

by Abraham H. Miller

The hostage situation in Algeria has descended into chaos and Western governments are venting their criticism at the Algerian government for storming the Al Qaeda-linked hostage takers and precipitating a shootout. The Western governments might wish to reconsider the appropriateness of their judgments. 

For decades I labored in the world of hostage and barricade situations interviewing hostage negotiators and assault teams both here and abroad. The Western model of hostage negotiations emanates from law enforcement, specifically from a program designed by the New York City Police Department. The NYPD model was highly successful and adopted by governments through out the Western world. It was predicated on the idea that every life is valuable, hostage takers ultimately do not want to die, and success is achieved when everyone walks out alive -- including the hostage takers.

Similarly, the model for dealing with airline hijacking was predicated on the idea that hijackers were not suicidal, one should cooperate with them, get the airplane safely on the ground, and let some government's trained specialists get the hijackers to capitulate. We all saw how successful that model was on 9/11.

The idea of saving everyone's life -- even the lives of terrorists -- was widely celebrated in these policies and seen as rooted in our Judeo-Christian heritage. So imbedded in our thinking was the idea of the value of a human life that at the highest levels of government, pre-9/11, people spoke of Islam as also finding suicide abhorrent. Intelligence analysts dissected what appeared to be obvious suicide missions against Israel as having an escape route. And suicide bombings were deviant events, certainly something America would not have to worry about.

Hostage and barricade situations, no matter who the hostage takers were, could be handled by getting the hostage takers to embrace the value of their lives and do the rational thing, capitulate. Consequently, a domestic dispute resulting in hostage taking, an interrupted robbery resulting in hostage taking, or a terrorist group taking hostages for political reasons all were generally seen through the same lens and intellectually dissected the same way.

Some European countries used trained psychiatrists as negotiators and when some hostage-takers capitulated and subsequently committed suicide, the medical community demanded investigations of the negotiators. Rather than assume that a hostage taking might be a manifestation of a suicidal impulse, the medical community thought that somehow in the process of negotiating the psychiatrist had implanted thoughts that drove the hostage taker to take his own life. Psychiatrists who had saved lives found themselves being investigated for being catalysts for suicide. 

Of course, not everyone adhered to the "everyone walks out alive" model. Police departments other than New York were less likely to run the clock and put innocent lives at risk while a crazed man with a gun made demands. The Los Angeles Police Department's SWAT team became legendary in police circles, and somewhat grudgingly admired, for its physical training and the skills of its marksmen. LA SWAT would negotiate and try and get a hostage taker to do the right thing, but if they had an opportunity to use force, they were going to do it. If terrorists shot first, SWAT was not going to hesitate to return fire. In police circles the adage was, "New York will talk you to death, but if you start f**kin' with LA SWAT, they will kill you for real." 

Although European countries lined up with the New York model, Israel was more like Los Angeles. I once interviewed an Israeli general whose units had handled some of Israel's most difficult and violent hostage and barricade situations. In preparing for my interview, I noticed that no terrorists survived the assaults of his troops. I asked him about that, and after digressing into the nuances of a fire fight with automatic weapons, he looked me straight in the eye and said, "You notice that. They notice that too."

That was a time when the Palestinian terrorist groups, like Palestinians generally, where largely secular. And killing a group of terrorists made it far and away more difficult for the terrorist organization to recruit for the next mission.

Precious few who operated in the world of hostage and barricade situations before 9/11 truly embraced or even mentioned the idea of Jihad and religious fanatics willing to sacrifice their lives to be with virgins in paradise. And those few who did, like Dr. Robert Kupperman, the one-time Chief Scientist for the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, were treated as alarmists.

Even after 9/11 a lot of thinking in policy circles was that terrorism is a problem for domestic law enforcement. It is this mentality that gives rise to the unfortunate and inappropriate criticism of the Algerians.

We need to grapple with the reality that a new breed of terrorist does not want to live but wants to die for Jihad. The old models for hostage situations do not work, and labeling incidents like the Fort Hood massacre as workplace violence does not help. It denies that the perpetrator, Major Nidal Hassan, was motivated by fanaticism and acted in the name of Jihad. We cannot simultaneously deny what terrorism is and formulate policy to deal with it.

Hostage and barricade situations that pit terrorists who want to die against hostages who want to live are not going to be resolved as a scenario out of the NYPD negotiating manual. It's time to realize that. Domestic terrorists who embrace Jihad cannot be treated like bank robbers who walked into a bank to take money and only take hostages to escape being captured. Bank robbers do not embark on a suicide mission. Jihadists do.

Yes, the situation in Algeria is chaotic and messy, and it will continue that way until the terrorists in this episode are hunted down and killed. To defeat this kind of terrorism, we must realize that terrorists commit acts of terrorism for the same reason that people sell bread. There is some profit in it. When people can't make a profit from selling bread, they will stop. When terrorists realize that there are far reaching repercussions for those who orchestrate acts of terrorism that make terrorism a liability, they will stop.

To achieve this we must recognize what and whom we are fighting. This means stopping the euphemistic rhetoric about terrorism and the political censorship that removes "Jihad," "Islam," and "terrorism" from the same sentence. It means crafting new policies that makes acts of terrorism immensely costly for those who send people out to kill innocents for their cause. There is much that can be done, if we have the political will to do it. In the meantime, the Algerians deserve our support, not our misguided criticism.

Abraham H. Miller


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Ettinger: It's not the Palestinians

by Yoram Ettinger

President Obama’s criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu — on the eve of the Jan. 22, 2013 Israeli elections — underlines the secondary role played by the Palestinian issue in shaping U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation.

Since March 2009, Obama has systematically scorned Netanyahu’s policies on the Arab-Israeli conflict in general and the Palestinian issue, Jerusalem and the construction of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, in particular. However, since March 2009, irrespective of harsh disagreements over the Palestinian issue, the mutually-beneficial U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation has expanded, especially in areas which feature the distinctive Israeli added-value: intelligence-sharing, counter-terrorism, homeland security, missile defense, training, battle tactics, joint exercises, pre-positioning of military hardware, medical treatment of soldiers and civilians, research and development, space, commercial and defense industries and high-tech in general. Neither Israel nor the U.S. intends to subordinate primary interests to secondary issues by cutting off their noses to spite their faces. 

The volcanic eruption of the Arab Winter since 2010 — independent of the Palestinian issue — has exposed the unpredictable nature, instability, violent volatility, unreliability, inefficiency, intolerance and anti-U.S. terrorism and hostility on the Arab Street. It has highlighted Israel’s unique features as the only stable, predictable, reliable, capable, democratic and unconditional ally of the U.S. 

Mutual threats to the U.S. and Israel — such as nuclear Iran, Islamic terrorism, the proliferation of advanced missiles and nuclear technologies, and the clear and present radical menace to pro-U.S. Arab regimes — transcend the Palestinian issue. Moreover, pro (and anti) U.S. Arab leaders have never considered the Palestinian issue a cardinal matter on their agenda. They are currently traumatized by the lethal Iranian nuclear threat, raging Arab Winter, emboldened Islamic terrorism and the erupting Iraqi, Syrian and Muslim Brotherhood lava, which might trigger their downfall. 

Notwithstanding Obama’s distrust of Israel’s Palestinian policy, U.S. defense and high-tech establishments trust Israel’s unique contributions to U.S. national security and the economy as a matchless source of cutting-edge technologies, a sterling beachhead in a vital region, a battle-tested laboratory, and the largest U.S. aircraft carrier which does not require U.S. boots on board. Such attributes are doubly crucial while the U.S. reduces its power projection and severely cuts its defense budget. 

Obama’s criticism of Netanyahu is not unprecedented. Prime Minister Shamir’s policy on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Palestinian issue, was ruthlessly criticized by the U.S. administration. However, in April 1988, at the height of President Reagan’s brutal criticism of Shamir’s handling of the First Palestinian Intifadah, Israel was elevated to the status of a major non-NATO ally. A Memorandum of Understanding was concluded, enhancing U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation in an unprecedented manner. It aimed at leveraging Israeli capabilities in the face of joint regional and global challenges, which superseded the Palestinian issue. 

In fact, from 1948 until 1992, all Israeli Prime Ministers faced rough U.S. pressure on Arab and Palestinian-related issues. In most cases, the pressure was repelled, criticism was sharpened, but strategic cooperation surged beyond expectations. Middle East reality overpowered oversimplified policy and moral-equivalency. 

While President Obama rebukes Israeli policymakers, the U.S. constituency demonstrates its overwhelming support for the Jewish state. A Dec. 2012 poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that Americans support Israel over Palestinians by a 5:1 ratio, similar to a 59 percent:13% ratio documented by a Nov. 2012 CNN poll. While the executive branch of government is in the habit of criticizing Israel, the coequal, co-determining Legislature — the most authentic representative of the American people — has been a bastion of support for Israel since 1948 and for the idea of a Jewish state since 1776. 

President Obama’s preoccupation with the Palestinian issue, and criticism of Israel, is out of the American mainstream.

Yoram Ettinger


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Dore Gold: A Code of Conduct for the Middle East

by Dore Gold

In 1996, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan convened an international forum at the Hashimiyya Palace in Amman with guests from the entire Middle East as well as noted statesmen from outside the region. As a newly appointed foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, I found myself invited to one of these events. Among the guests, with whom I spoke a great deal, was former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who possessed a rare combination of enormous diplomatic experience and the capacity to derive lessons from what he did in practice that can be applied in other cases.

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process was clearly on the verge of collapse at that time, after Palestinian suicide bombers attacked Israeli cities four times in February-March 1996 and ninety Israelis had been killed. Recognizing that it was necessary to take a different approach, Kissinger told me "what you need is a 'code of conduct' for the Middle East." To be honest, I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. But I decided that when I got home to Jerusalem, I would check the four volumes of his memoirs that I had on my bookshelves and then speak to him again when he arrived a few days later.

Looking under the letter "C" in the index of his books, I expected to find the term "Code of Conduct." It wasn't there. Yet from our subsequent discussion, it became clear what he was getting at. Back in 1972, Kissinger found himself involved in negotiations with the Soviet Union over limits on the growth of the strategic missile arsenals of the two superpowers. These negotiations eventually led to the signing of the SALT I Treaty. 

But there were serious reasons to doubt whether the negotiating process between the superpowers was leading anywhere, since Moscow was looking to increase its military activism in the Third World, from Vietnam to Angola. Kissinger did not want to sit at the negotiating table while the Soviets resumed their war against the West through their proxy forces.

What he developed was a document called "Basic Principles of U.S.-Soviet Relations." If Moscow adhered to this code of conduct, then Washington could judge the level of progress that had been made in creating new relations between the superpowers based on detente. But if Moscow violated the code of conduct, then Washington could turn these principles into a blunt diplomatic instrument for hammering the Russians before the NATO allies and the American public more generally. The code of conduct would allow the U.S. to smoke out the Soviets to reveal their true intent. 

Could Kissinger's idea of a code of conduct been helpful in the Middle East? Was it possible to devise a set of rules for future negotiations that would either promote a real peace process or provide a clear measure for indicating that the Palestinian leadership had violated its commitments? There were unique issues in the Middle East that could have been addressed: incitement to violence, providing sanctuary to terrorist organizations, or halting hostile initiatives in international bodies like the U.N. 

These were not formal issues for the negotiating agenda, like borders, refugees, or settlements, but they served as important indicators of whether the peace process was serious or not. In 1996, Israel found itself in a position in which it was negotiating with Arafat at the peace table, while he was giving a green light to Hamas to escalate suicide attacks on Israel and thereby gain diplomatic leverage. This was completely untenable. To make the code of conduct in the Israeli-Palestinian case, the U.S. would have had to support it and, in effect, serve as its judge. 

Presently, the idea of a code of conduct is relevant for another dimension of Middle Eastern diplomacy. In the aftermath of what is still called the Arab Spring, new regimes are sprouting across North Africa and the Middle East, which often contain leaders who identify with the Muslim Brotherhood. In Syria, in the post-Assad era, it is likely that even more extreme Salafi currents, and in some cases actual branches of al-Qaida, will have considerable sway. 

There is a huge debate underway in the West about what to do with the Muslim Brotherhood. On the one hand, there is an awareness that the leadership of al-Qaida acquired its political education under the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood, like Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's successor, who started his career in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11, who grew up in its Kuwait branch. On the other hand, there are policymakers in Europe and even in Washington who view the Muslim Brotherhood as a more moderate alternative to the Salafists.

By establishing objective criteria for acceptable state behavior, a code of conduct, if carefully designed, can be used as a tool for distinguishing those rulers that adhere to its principles from those who renounce them. It can be used for establishing who should be "inside the tent" with the West and allowed to benefit from international trade, technology transfer, and even arms sales; as opposed to those who should be left "outside the tent," along with the rogue states. 

Eventually, Kissinger's idea of a code of conduct was incorporated into the founding document of a European security conference in 1975, known as the Helsinki Declaration. Those who adhered to its principles came to what was called the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). 

Israel agreed to the establishment of a Middle Eastern CSCE in its peace treaty with Jordan from 1994. If such a conference were convened for the Middle East and states had to decide whether they supported its principles, it would help to create the foundation for a stable regional order in the future. But the West embracing new leaders in the Middle East who refuse to meet some minimal international standards is the fastest way to create the pre-conditions for international chaos that will increase the risks of armed conflict in the region in the future.

Dore Gold


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Anticipating More Obama-Bibi — Part Three

by Jonathan S. Tobin

As I noted in parts one and two of this post, while there are good reasons to believe that tension between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will continue to simmer during their respective terms. The disconnect between the president’s view of the region and the consensus of the overwhelming majority of Israelis about the future of the peace process has created a gap between the two countries that continues to cause trouble. The fact that the two men don’t like each other also doesn’t help. But as wrote, the Palestinians refusal to make peace on the one hand and the determination of the Iranians to push toward their goal of a nuclear weapon may render the disagreements between Washington and Jerusalem moot.
But even if we don’t assume as I think we should that Israel’s enemies will continue to force the United States and Israel into the same corner whether the president likes it or not, there is another important factor that will also put a limit as to how far any quarrel can go: the overwhelming support for Israel among the American people. As much as some in the administration and its cheerleaders on the left may believe that the “Jewish lobby” as President Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense put it, has too much influence, the fact remains that the U.S.-Israel alliance remains a consensus issue in this country. As we have seen over the past two years, no president, not even one as personally popular as Barack Obama can afford to ignore it or blow it up.

It may be that a re-elected President Obama is still spoiling to get even with Netanyahu after his humiliation in May 2011 when the Israeli demonstrated the consequences of a picking a fight with a popular ally. At that time, Obama ambushed a visiting Netanyahu with a speech demanding Israeli accept the 1967 lines as a starting point in future peace negotiations. Netanyahu didn’t just reject the U.S. dictat, but the ovation that he received when he addressed Congress a few days later showed that both Democrats and Republicans were united in backing Israel’s position.

That was the last major fight picked with Israel by Obama over the peace process since in the following months he launched a Jewish charm offensive with an eye on the 2012 presidential election. As I noted earlier, a major factor behind a decision not to try again may be the refusal of the Palestinians to take advantage of the president’s opening. But the president also understood that a posture of hostility toward Israel was political poison and not just with American Jews whose votes he assumed would remain in the Democratic column.

The problem with the Walt-Mearsheimer Israel Lobby thesis is not just that it is rooted in an anti-Semitic mindset that sees the Jews as manipulating the United States to do things that are against its interests. Rather, the real problem with it is that it fails to take into account the fact that the pro-Israel consensus cuts across virtually all demographic and political lines in this country.

As I wrote in the July 2011 issue of COMMENTARY in the aftermath of the worst Obama-Netanyahu confrontation, the alliance between the two countries is not only politically popular but is now so integrated into the infrastructure of U.S. defense and foreign policy as to be virtually indestructible. If a president who is as ambivalent about Israel and as determined to create daylight between the two countries as Obama has proved to be understood that he could not afford to downgrade that alliance, that point has been proven.

It is true that as a result of his re-election, the president does not have to fear the voters’ wrath on this or any issue. But the idea that he has carte blanche to do as he likes to Israel is a myth. The bipartisan pro-Israel consensus in Congress will always act as a check on any impulse to take revenge on Netanyahu. The process by which defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel has been forced to reverse all of his previous stands on Iran and Israel and to disavow his “Jewish lobby” comments is reminder that a second Obama administration cannot undo the laws of political gravity. Most Americans will regard Netanyahu’s re-election next week as an argument against any U.S. pressure to force Israel to do what its voters have rejected.

To say all that is not to discount the very real possibility that tension between the two governments is probably a given to some degree as long as these two mean are in power. But a president with a limited amount of political capital and only two years in which he can use it would be a fool to expend his scarce resources on another losing fight with Netanyahu.

Four more years of this oddly mismatched tandem will make for a rocky ride for friends of Israel. But the alliance is stronger than even Barack Obama’s dislike for Netanyahu. As nasty as this relationship may be, the fallout in Washington from the Israeli’s easy re-election may not be as bad as you might think.

Jonathan S. Tobin


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Campus Jihad, British Style

by Bruce Bawer


Ah, college. The memories! Sitting under a shady tree on the quad reading Twelfth Night. Studying in your dorm room for the big test while “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” plays on a stereo down the hall. Going to a Muslim Student Union event at which the guest lecturer urges you and your fellow students “not to be wimps but to be Mojahedeen” who “terrorize the Kaffars” and “look to die in the path of Allah.”

A couple of days ago, Arnold Ahlert wrote here about “Islam Awareness Week 2013,” coming up next week at the University of California, Irvine, thanks to that institution’s Muslim Student Union. Now, while Irvine, a frequent site of high-profile pro-jihadist and anti-Semitic activity, has almost certainly earned the coveted title of America’s MSU Mecca, its MSU is, in fact, as Ahlert quite properly points out, only one of 600 or so North American chapters of the Muslim Student Association, most of which are no pikers either, holding similar events year in and year out, if on a less headline-grabbing scale. Almost universally, these hundreds of MSUs are viewed by university administrators and other observers as harmless, wholesome, benign – no different from any other student group. Indeed, the fact that so many young Muslims in the West, some of them the children or grandchildren of illiterate peasants, are enrolled at universities is routinely held up by starry-eyed left-wing naifs as proof positive of the triumph of Islamic integration.

Yet the evidence, of course, is overwhelming that the MSUs represent the very opposite of real integration – which requires, first and foremost, the total and unapologetic adoption of secular, democratic Western values, even this means openly rejecting sharia, jihad, and sundry Islamic fundamentals. The MSA, as Ahlert makes clear, is a “terror factory” and a Muslim Brotherhood spinoff-cum-subsidiary, and next week’s Irvine event, purportedly dedicated to dialogue and mutual understanding and featuring speeches supposedly about such innocuous topics as “freedom of speech” and “women’s rights in Islam” will, like countless other such campus gatherings, be a veritable parade of poisonous Kaffar haters, jihad enthusiasts, and would-be crushers of Israel. (As it happens, the University of California at Santa Barbara, not to be outdone by its sister campus in Orange County, will be hosting the annual MSA West conference in February, with speakers like Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing who calls white people “devils.”)

The unfortunate truth is that all too many Muslim college students in the West are essentially majoring in Mujahideen Studies –  poring over the Koran instead of the Constitution, their dorms, in effect, serving as terrorist cells. Nor, of course, is this just happening in the U.S. and Canada. The jihad-happy student group Islam Net, based at Oslo University College, is probably Norway’s largest Islamic organization, and is unarguably its fastest-growing. In fact, the more closely you look into all of these groups, the harder it is to deny that Muslim collegians, far from being rendered immune by Western higher education to a primitive, bloodthirsty ideology that should, in a more logical world, only appeal to unlettered barbarians, are all too often, if anything, more susceptible to it than their unschooled cousins back in camel country.

That this spreading crisis of campus jihadism is no less acute in the U.K. than in the New World is the urgent message of Challenging Extremists: Practical Frameworks for Our Universities, a new report compiled by Rupert Sutton and Hannah Stuart for the Henry Jackson Society, a think tank, and Student Rights, a group dedicated to exposing extremism at British universities. In large part, Sutton’s and Stuart’s report amounts to a rogues’ gallery of speakers (most of whose names are routinely prefaced by the honorific “Dr.”) who are in demand among the budding red-brick jihadist jet set. Among them: Azzam Tamimi, who has boasted of his closeness to Hamas leaders; Zahir Mahmoud, who insists that Hamas is not a terrorist group; Murtaza Khan, who labels Jews and Christian “filthy”; and Daud Abdullah, who signed a 2009 statement saying that “the Islamic nation” is obliged to regard the Royal Navy’s monitoring of the smuggling of weapons into Gaza as “a declaration of war.”

Then there are folks like Abdullah El-Faisal, whose stirring call to “terrorize the Kaffars,” etc., I quoted from up top, but who’s unavailable for speaking engagements at present because his insufficiently veiled appeals to liquidate non-believers resulted in his becoming that rarest of creatures – a foaming-at-the-mouth jihadist who has actually been expelled from the U.K. Which, by the way, explains the high wink-wink quotient in many of these creeps’ stump speeches – in other words, the plenitude of statements that, if less carefully worded, would be considered incitements to violence, but that have been formulated in lawyerly fashion in a patent effort to skirt prosecution, even though audiences, needless to say, get the message. For example, Abu Salahudeen, while telling his fans that the West has committed “capital crimes” against Islam and reminding them that “in all capital crimes you execute the criminal,” is careful to add that “[i]t’s not for me to tell you how to undertake it, or even to undertake it…I am merely giving you the verdict.”

Still, U.K. law appears to allow a hell of a lot of leeway, given that one Abu Usamah at-Thahabi, who spoke recently at King’s College, London, has gotten away so far with prodding the faithful to actively resist “the oppression of the kuffar” and “go out and perfom the jihad.” Also, in what can only be understood as a deliberate display of the offbeat British sense of humor, U.K. law allows many of the groups behind these shifty shenanigans – such as the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (check out its online magazine) and the Islamic Education and Research Academy, both explicitly pro-sharia – to register as charities. But the highest-profile Islamic group to be involved in all this mischief is the notorious Hizb ut-Tahrir, whose U.K. branch has been careful not to say anything in violation of the 2006 Terrorism Act, even as its affiliates elsewhere have, among other things, called on Muslims to “eradicate Israel and purify the earth of Jewish filth.”

Even more unsettling, however, than the bloodthirsty rhetoric churned out by these vipers – which is, at least, out in the open – is what’s going on behind the scenes. On British campuses that might not necessarily roll out the red carpet for Hizb ut-Tahrir, for example, the organization covertly infiltrates student governments and student clubs and uses front groups to get its speakers booked. Now and then while reading Challenging Extremists, one is reminded of the way Communists operated in the U.S., Britain, and other Western countries in the 1930s. Then, too, students were a target group – one that famously ended up providing the Soviet Union with the exceedingly useful services of a circle of Cambridge grads employed at the highest levels of the Foreign Service, MI6, and the BBC. All of which causes one to reflect that some of the students who are today inspired by the fire-breathing preachers of jihad to do their part in bringing down the West – on whichever side of the Atlantic – may well find more effective ways of accomplishing that end than joining the mujahideen in Afghanistan or blowing themselves up on a bus.

Bruce Bawer


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Neo-Communism Out of the Closet

by David Horowitz

Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States is a ludicrous encapsulation of the Kremlin’s view of the Cold War, amplified by the Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, Hamas version of the post-Communist decades. Indeed, America is portrayed by the Stone-Kuznick author-team as such an evil force in the events of the last 75 years, they evoke overt sympathy for the Germans and the Japanese during World War II, as well as for Stalin himself, and then for really any self-declared enemy of the United States, not excluding Saddam Hussein and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

I consider the reception of this latest Stone travesty to be a significant cultural event signifying a final coming out of the closet of what can only be termed the Communist left. It is the well-known views of the Communist left that undeniably constitute the Stone-Kuznick version of the events of the last seventy years, and their portrait of the United States. The fact that Henry Wallace, the hero of their malevolent work, was a Communist and Soviet pawn, is a perfect summary of the pathetic Stalinism that is the heart and soul of the world-view of Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States.
Some years ago I made a case for characterizing the progressive, liberal left, including the organizations that form the heart of the Democratic Party  — the government unions, the Soros Shadow Party, the Center for American Progress, and the Netroots activists – as “neo-Communists.” I made the argument for calling them neo-Communists on the basis of the fact that there was no discernible difference between the view these political actors took of American capitalism – corporations are evil, capitalism is bad, America is the great imperialist Satan – and the view taken by the Communists of the Stalin era.

Of course, time changes everyone somewhat. Even Communists like Khrushchev, who spearheaded Stalin’s purges, came to find it politically wise one day to be anti-Stalinists. So with the progressives. They may decry Communists who have been dead for fifty years but they are busily burnishing the Communists’ ideas and preserving their legacies and passing them on in the curricula of our schools and now on cable TV.

In light of these fairly obvious (if widely unspoken) facts, “neo-Communist” seemed to me an apt term to describe progressives and their liberal fellow-travelers. It seemed just as apt a term as, say, “neo-fascist” and more apt a term than “neo-conservative” (since even Norman Podhoretz says that neo-conservatism is no longer distinguishable from conservatism – although for Paul Gottfried and others that is undoubtedly a controversial statement).

What is striking about the Stone-Kuznick myth-making adventure, and the reason I am making these points once again, is its reception. The Untold History has been widely embraced by the leftwing academic establishment, by the Huffington Post pundits, by the Dissent historian, Michael Kazin, by The Nation and by the progressive culture generally (although not, be it said, the New York Times). Even more impressive has been the silence of the liberal lambs. This is in striking contrast to their reaction to the appearance of Stone’s equally awful JFK. When that piece of rot appeared twenty years ago, there were thunderous and near hysterical denunciations of its lies from leading Democratic Party figures. No such dissents have greeted Stone’s Stalinist revival, no outcries over the libels committed on the memories of Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, not to mention America.

I read this as concrete evidence that neo-Communism is alive and well and is now the heart of the progressive movement and the Democratic Party, at least its activist center. I would include in this category the president, his likely new Secretary of State, and his chief political advisors.

[After writing the above I sent it to a conservative academic listserv with the following query: I am interested in the list’s thoughts on this. I would ask one favor, however. Please don’t bring up the fact that few people are still talking about the “dictatorship of the proletariat” or “taking over the means of production” in those words, or identifying themselves as card carrying Communists. First, the left has a history of studied and disciplined mendacity in pursuit of its goals. Second, its goals shift with its accretions of power. Finally, it has been to school with Saul Alinsky (about whom I have written quite a bit) and has absorbed his two main lessons: lie about your agendas; and remember that the end – the destruction of American capitalism – justifies any means.

[There were no responses to my query. I then sent the list this observation: When I posted the question of whether the term "neo-Communist" is not appropriate to describe the current generation of "progressives" I suspected there would be no takers no matter how persuasive the case I made for such an appellation. And that suspicion has been confirmed. What I conclude from this is that the left -- the neo-Communist left if you will -- has been so successful in its ongoing campaign of political intimidation of any critics of its loyalties, allegiances and endorsement of views that are totalitarian in origin and result --  few are willing to risk even speculative thoughts on this matter. I think this is one of the most significant political problems that confronts anyone who wishes to raise his or her voice against this march to serfdom.]

David Horowitz


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France’s Jewish Security Service: Mali Operation “Significantly Increases” Threat to Jews

by Zach Pontz

The security service for Jews in France has issued a communique warning that the country’s military operation in Mali “significantly increases” the threat facing French Jews.

“The situation requires we raise the level of protection around our community and double the level of vigilance around synagogues, Jewish schools, community centers and gathering places,” said a communiqué by SPCJ.

According to the SPCJ, the incursion caused “agitation” in Islamic circles in France.

Last week French President Francois Hollande authorized airstrikes in Mali to stop a sudden southward push by three Islamist rebel groups. On Tuesday ground troops began operations within the the country.

Mali, a former French colony, was once one of Africa’s most stable countries, but has changed after a 2012 coup brought Islamists to power. A poll released Tuesday  showed overwhelming support among French citizen for the military operation.

The SPCJ communique also listed several recent antisemitic attacks that took place in France. On Jan. 11, a  man wielding a knife shouted at children visiting Paris’ main Holocaust memorial “to leave Palestine alone,” the report said.
On January 5th, graffiti which read: “Child killers – Jews to the gas – long live Hitler” – was spray-painted on a building in the French capital’s 12th arrondissement.

On January 2nd, anti-Semitic slogans, death threats against Jews and a swastika were spray-painted on a building in Toulouse.

Zach Pontz


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Facebook's "Accidental Mistake" and Free Speech in the Arab World

by Khaled Abu Toameh

Many Palestinian journalists, and those in the Middle East, are forced to use Facebook to publish what their own media will not accept. But the problem becomes worse when Facebook itself starts removing material that bothers dictatorships and tyrants. One can only hope that the same Facebook employee who "accidentally" removed the article will make the same mistake and and close down the accounts belonging to terrorist organizations and their leaders. It is the duty of Facebook and Western societies to side with those seeking freedom, and not to be complicit in suppressing their voices.
"All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship." — George Bernard Shaw

Earlier this week, Facebook closed down this writer's account for "security reasons," arguing that he had posted an item that violates its terms of use.

Twenty-four hours later, Facebook issued a "sincere apology" and said that a member of its team had "accidentally removed something you posted on Facebook. This was a mistake."

Although Facebook did not say which "problematic" item had prompted it to take such a drastic measure, apparently it was referring to an article that had been published by Gatestone Institute: The Palestinian Authority's Inconvenient Truths.

Facebook's move came at a time when Arab dictatorships in general, and the Palestinian Authority in particular, have been cracking down on Facebook users.

During the past year alone, a number of Palestinian journalists and bloggers were arrested by Western-funded Palestinian Authority security services in the West Bank for criticizing the PA leadership on their Facebook pages.

Among those detained was Esmat Abdel Khaleq, a university lecturer in journalism. She was held in detention for two weeks for posting comments on her Facebook page that allegedly insult Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Many Palestinian journalists, and those in the Middle East, are forced to use Facebook to publish what their own media will not accept. The media in the West Bank is mostly controlled by the Palestinian Authority, which has repeatedly demonstrated a large degree of intolerance toward any form of criticism. The same applies, of course, to most Arab dictatorships.

Arab governments have obviously become wary of the use their critics are making of Facebook to air their grievances and opinions. In some countries, including the Palestinian Authority, intelligence services have set up special teams to monitor Facebook and other social media networks in search of critics and "dissidents."

But the problem becomes worse when Facebook itself starts removing material that bothers dictatorships and tyrants.

One can only hope that the same Facebook employee who "accidentally" removed the article will make the same mistake and close down accounts belonging to terrorist organizations and their leaders.

Take for example, the account of senior Hamas official Izzat al Risheq, or the numerous accounts that promote hatred and violence and are openly affiliated with terrorist and jihadi groups.

All one has to do is log in to these accounts, especially the ones in Arabic, to see how most of them are engaged in all forms of incitement.

Those behind these pages are not seeking to achieve progress by "challenging current conceptions," as George Bernard Shaw noted. Instead they are using Facebook, among others, to spread messages of hate and abuse against anyone who does not share their views.

Many Arab and Palestinian journalists and intellectuals have long been waging a fierce campaign to get rid of censorship in their countries. Some have even paid with their lives to achieve this goal, while many others have been arrested or are facing intimidation and terror. It is the duty of Facebook and Western societies to side with those seeking freedom, and not to be complicit in suppressing their voices.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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Showdown between UN Human Rights Council and Israel?

by Anne Herzberg

While thousands were being butchered by the Assad regime in Syria, the Human Rights Council outrageously passed a resolution condemning Israel for the "suffering of Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan." Of course, none of the actors at the HRC offered to take concrete steps, such as repealing Agenda Item 7, to end the systemic bias at there.
Another major confrontation is brewing between Israel and the United Nations. On January 29, Israel is scheduled for its quadrennial Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council (HRC). Following the March 2012 Council session, however, Israel's foreign minister ceased all contacts with the HRC due to its obsessive bias and double standards targeting the Jewish State. As a result, Israel will not participate in UPR.

This has UN officials very worried, and for good reason. If Israel fails to show up for UPR, this may force the HRC to end the stranglehold of abusive regimes over the institution, and implement long overdue reforms.

UPR was instituted as the focal point of the newly-created HRC in 2006, which was established as a correction to its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights. The Commission was disbanded after being hijacked by dictatorships and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The huge embarrassment was compounded by a singular focus on Israel. According to UN Watch, approximately half of all country-specific resolutions condemned the Jewish state.

The Commission's standing agenda included the notorious "Item 7," meaning that Israel was the only country singled out at every session. Inevitably, this resulted in incessant discussion of alleged Israeli violations against Palestinians. By 2005, the situation had deteriorated to the point that UN Secretary General Kofi Anan remarked, "the Commission's ability to perform its tasks has been . . . undermined by the politicization of its sessions and the selectivity of its work."

UPR was created to ostensibly remedy the pervasive one-sidedness by implementing a peer review of the human rights records of every UN member state once every four years. It was heavily promoted by officials from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Europe, and the UN as the linchpin of the HRC and proof of its "reformed" and universally-concerned character, despite the perpetuation of Agenda Item 7 on Israel. Human Rights Watch (HRW) in particular lobbied extensively for UPR.

In spite of the promises, the new HRC differed little from the Commission. Dictatorships and Islamic regimes continued to dominate the council and its leadership. Resolutions against Israel outnumbered those issued against any other country by orders of magnitude, and 5 of the first 9 special sessions targeted Israel. Prompted by the Arab League and the OIC, coupled with intensive campaigning by HRW, Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, and other NGOs, there have been at least four separate "fact-finding" missions aimed at Israel, most notably the Goldstone Mission. Follow-up committees, reports for Goldstone (ignoring the repudiation of the report by Judge Goldstone himself), and the other inquiries continue to be placed on the agenda at every HRC session – wasting precious time and resources.

And although every country participated in the first round of the UPR process, which concluded in 2011, the meetings usually consisted of dictators patting each other on the back for their stellar human rights records. Bashing Israel and Canada stood in for "constructive dialogue."

Based on this sorry history, the March 2012 HRC session was the last straw for Israel. While thousands were being butchered by the Assad regime in Syria, the HRC outrageously passed a resolution condemning Israel for the "suffering of Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan." Due to intense lobbying by several European-government funded NGOs, including Al Haq and Badil, seeking to lay the groundwork for a new campaign against Israelis at the International Criminal Court, the HRC also initiated another fact-finding mission against Israel. This time, Israel decided to disengage entirely from the farce.

Once HRC officials realized that Israel's decision would also affect UPR, they panicked. UPR can only work if there is 100% state participation. Without UPR, the façade of a reformed HRC is now in jeopardy. On November 28, 2012, the HRC President sent a desperate letter to Israel trying to guilt it into participation by ironically promoting the "universality" of the process. When Israel didn't bite, the HRC met this week and openly chastised Israel for refusing to participate in the discredited framework.

In concert with the UN, NGOs predictably began issuing condemnations. The NGO WILPF, in Orwellian fashion, lamented that "Letting the non-cooperation of a State produce a double standard in the UPR process and setting such a precedent would undermine its object and purpose," while ignoring the decades of double standards aimed at Israel. No doubt, similarly self-righteous statements will soon appear from HRW and others.

Of course, none of these actors offered to take concrete steps, such as repealing Agenda Item 7, to end the systemic bias at the HRC. And in typical HRC fashion, Venezuela was selected to preside over Israel's UPR in absentia.

The fact is that the UN, HRW, and the other organizations that are responsible for the dysfunctional state of affairs at the HRC have no one to blame but themselves. Some have engaged in half-hearted efforts to end the bias, while others have actively encouraged it through activities like the immoral Goldstone process. If the collapse of UPR is what it takes to force real change at the HRC and to end the stranglehold of abusive regimes at that institution, it will be worth it. 

Anne Herzberg is the Legal Advisor of NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institution, the author of "NGO 'Lawfare': Exploitation of Courts in the Arab-Israeli Conflict," and the co-editor of "The Goldstone Report 'Reconsidered': A Critical Analysis".

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A Tale of Three Cabinet Nominees

by Elise Cooper

President Obama's national security nominees -- former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Senator John Kerry (D-MA), and counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan -- all have something in common: they appear risk-adverse and want to disengage America from the world's affairs.  The questions that need to be asked: should they have been nominated, and will they put America at greater peril?  American Thinker interviewed experts to get their opinions.

There is a wide consensus that Hagel should never have been nominated.  Many Jewish groups are very discouraged by the president's choice.  Although many of his remarks might not be considered anti-Semitic, they certainly show a lack of cultural sensitivity.  President Obama has promoted cultural sensitivity throughout his administration, yet he disregards it when it comes to those who support Israel.

Throughout his Senate career, as reported by various Jewish Nebraska constituents, Chuck Hagel seems to always place the blame on Israel, demanding one-sided concessions.  He supported opening a dialogue with Hamas, and in 2004, he was one of twelve senators who did not sign a letter designating Hezb'allah a terrorist organization.

Although former New York mayor Ed Koch had many reservations against Hagel, he commented to American Thinker that he was reassured by Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Boxer (D-CA) that Hagel is not anti-Israel.  Maybe all those who seem to be ignoring Hagel's past statements and believe his current claims -- i.e., that he is a strong supporter of Israel -- should think about the statement "some of my best friends are Jews."

Regarding Iran, Hagel does not support keeping the military option on the table.  He wanted to open an "American interest section" in Iran one month after then-CIA Director Michael Hayden said, "A policy of the Iranian government, including at the highest levels, facilitated the killings of American soldiers and coalition forces in Iraq."

Hagel's other statements and voting record make it appear that he is working for the Iranian lobby.  In 2001, he denounced proposed sanctions on Iran; he refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran's nuclear program in 2004; and in 2007, he opposed sponsoring the Iran Sanctions Act, which urged the president to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, even though 72 senators supported it, including Obama, Kerry, and Biden.  He also opposed in 2008 bipartisan bills that imposed sanctions on Iran and stated in 2009 that the U.S. is "the world's bully ... America's refusal to recognize Iran's status as a legitimate power does not decrease Iran's influence, but rather increases it."

The general response is that Hagel should not be confirmed as secretary of defense.  Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen (R-FLA), chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, is "very worried about this nomination.  His outlook is that we don't have an enemy that he disagrees with.  He has never met a despotic ruler he did not think he could engage.  I think he is dangerous.  Iran should endorse Hagel to be secretary of defense.  Something that is not getting a lot of publicity is that he also did not support sanctions against Cuba.  He called our position on Cuba 'goofy.'  Yet every day human rights activists get persecuted and prosecuted.  To use a word like 'goofy' when talking about our policy toward Cuba is so demeaning, condescending, and insulting to the opposition leaders.  Our enemies know weakness.  When they see and hear this pacifist, they know he is someone they can run over.  I want someone in this position who is not afraid, if necessary, to use our power and might."

Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), a member of the Intelligence Committee, views Obama's foreign policy as a "complete disaster."  He cites Iraq; Afghanistan; Libya; Africa, where al-Qaeda is spreading; the ridiculous China pivot statement; and the statement given to the Russian president about flexibility.  He is wondering if the president chose Hagel to have a Republican rubber-stamping the defense cuts that Obama strongly supports as well as supporting the president's chaotic foreign policy. 

Reaction to Senator Kerry becoming secretary of state is mixed.  Former military men wish that Kerry would have been disqualified for statements he made undercutting the troops.  These statements include his 1971 statement regarding U.S. soldiers in Vietnam: "They personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs[.]"  In 2005, he said this about U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq: "American soldiers [are] going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women[.]"  American Thinker was told that if active duty and veterans were polled, there would be little support for Senator Kerry. 

Afghanistan and Iraq war veteran Pete Hegseth, who is chairman of Concerned Veterans for America, believes that Kerry has the attitude "that we can support the soldier, but undermine the war they're fighting for.  Most troops feel that supporting the warrior also means supporting their execution of the mission given.  It is not helpful to have our political leaders making disparaging comments, like 'the war is lost' or 'the surge cannot work.'"

Scott Taylor, a former SEAL, noted to American Thinker that there were rumors that Kerry was going to be nominated for secretary of defense.  Taylor is grateful that Kerry was chosen for secretary of state instead, since "if he was nominated for Defense, it would have been seen as a punch in the face to veterans.  His public statements on U.S. military members and their actions going back to Vietnam and continuing through 2005 show a clear disregard for the men and women who wear the uniform proudly.  It is my belief that his nomination for State is a poor choice, considering he will be America's face to the world."

On the other hand, former Iraqi fighter pilot Dan Hampton, who authored Viper Pilot, sees Kerry as qualified and gives him a thumbs-up for "going over to Vietnam voluntarily, serving in combat, and being a war hero.  Since Kerry was a former military commander, I am hopeful that he would not be in a hurry to throw American lives away in some cesspool like Afghanistan.  He has that past experience to draw upon.  A lot of guys who fought before are not quick to jump in and say let's do it again.  However, he needs to have a line in the sand that says, 'Now we will fight.'  Hopefully, he will use common sense."

John Brennan, the nominee for CIA director, also has mixed reviews.  Someone who worked closely with him for many years at the CIA regards "John as extraordinarily well-prepared to lead the Agency.  He has deep familiarity with all aspects of the organization.  There would be zero 'learning curve' if he is confirmed for the position.  It is obvious that he has the respect and confidence of the president, which is critical to doing the job well."  

He further stated about Brennan's view on enhanced interrogation, "From early 2001 until mid-2003, John held an administrative position at the Agency: deputy executive director.  Whether you think those techniques were legal, effective and necessary, as I do, or whether you disagree, I believe it is incorrect to ascribe credit or blame to him for the program.  He simply was not directly involved.  I disagree with John's current stated position on EITs, but that is pretty much a moot point since the administration banned all of them four years ago and most had fallen out of use long before that.  That aside, I can't think of anyone better-prepared to be CIA director who this administration might appoint."

Another former National Security official referred to Brennan as thin-skinned but a hard worker.  This person noted that Brennan often "does not see the big picture, gets too involved in the details, and thinks tactically, not strategically.  I hope he does answer the interrogation questions truthfully and not at the expense of those still at the Agency, which will cause a lot of resentment.  I know he was there during that time period, and no one can recollect him being against [EIT]."

Congressman Nunes finds it ironic that "people complain about harsh interrogation yet are okay with vaporizing people.  In reality, they are kind of wimps, because they are not willing to do the hard stuff of capturing and interrogating people to get actionable information.  The enemy knows that this administration won't interrogate them."

These three nominees appear to be more in line with the president's perspective on foreign policy.  Unlike Panetta, Clinton, and Gates, these three appear not to have an independent philosophy from the president.  Hayden summarized it best: "This new group is likely to be more comfortable with a much smaller residual force in Afghanistan, no stability operations, a light footprint, covert actions, special forces, and drones to defend American interests.  They will move from heavy to light footprints, more to less, and longer to shorter engagements.  The question is what this might do on the international and domestic front.  All of this requires less political risk and capital."

Elise Cooper writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.


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Friday, January 18, 2013

Morsi Aide: Holocaust was US Intelligence Hoax

by name

Fathi Shihab-Eddim, a close associated to President Mohammed Morsi and the man responsible for appointing editors to all state-run newspapers: Six million Jews said killed in the Holocaust were not murdered by the Nazis at all, but were actually moved to the U.S. in an operation carried out by American intelligence.

"The myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented," said Fathi Shihab-Eddim.
Photo credit: AP



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Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Center for American Progress and Islamist Influences over the White House

by Daniel Greenfield


To sign the FrontPageMag petition to stop the witch hunt against Rep. Michele Bachmann, click here.

Over the last four years, the United States has suffered a series of comprehensive intelligence failures. These intelligence failures ranged from a lack of preparation for the attacks of September 11, 2012, the misguided assessment that there was a moderate group of Taliban willing to form a government and the refusal to believe that the Arab Spring would lead to Islamist takeovers, rather than liberal open societies.

The Obama Administration’s foreign policy has been one disaster after another and it has been quick to blame intelligence failures for its own mistakes. When accounting for its lies about a YouTube trailer leading to the attack on the Benghazi mission, Obama blamed the intelligence. But it turned out that the intelligence had been edited and censored for political reasons. What appeared to be an intelligence failure in Benghazi was actually political manipulation. And the same may well be true of the entire Arab Spring, of Afghanistan and the entire spectrum of attacks on September 11, 2012.
As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was proven correct in all the areas where the Obama Administration and its political allies suffered from intelligence failures.

In September 2011, one year before the attacks, Michele Bachmann warned that the Arab Spring was a disaster that would lead to the rise of radical elements across the Middle East. Widely ridiculed for it at the time, she was demonstrating the insight and foresight that a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is supposed to have.

Where Obama was proven wrong; Bachmann was proven right. When Michele Bachmann first warned about the Muslim Brotherhood, it was an obscure organization to most people in Washington D.C. After its successful seizure of power in Egypt however, Bachmann’s critics no longer have any excuse for pretending that condemning the group’s ruthless manipulations is a conspiracy theory. Not when Egyptian liberals are among the loudest voices warning about the Muslim Brotherhood threat; not just to Egypt or the Middle East, but to America as well.

A recent article in the Egyptian magazine, Rose El-Youssef listed some of the prominent and influential Muslim Brotherhood figures with access to the policymaking apparatus of the Obama Administration. Two of those figures were in the Department of Homeland Security. This article was another piece of evidence in a mountain of evidence, much of it collected by the FBI, about the conspiratorial activities of the Brotherhood and its front groups in the United States.

It wasn’t the intelligence that failed. It was the political operation that allowed Muslim Brotherhood operatives close access to the policymaking apparatus of the United States government that led to the politicized intelligence and the policy failures. Those policy failures led to the ascendance of Al Qaeda in North Africa and the Middle East, the triumph of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the attacks of September 11, 2012.
Nevertheless liberal organizations have launched a petition demanding that she be removed from the intelligence committee for spreading “conspiracy theories” and attacking “dedicated public servants”. After the complete implosion of Obama’s foreign policy, such attacks should be seen for what they are; an attempt to silence one of their critics who had been right all along while covering up their own lies.

To understand the source of the politicized environment that led to the foreign policy disasters, we need look no further than the Center for American Progress and its tentacle, Think Progress.

The Center for American Progress is a secretive think tank funded by covert donors which was described by Time Magazine as Obama’s idea factory and the single greatest influence on his administration. For all intents and purposes, CAP was the criminal brain in the Frankenstein of old Clinton staffers that would become the Obama Administration.

Faiz R. Shakir, the Editor of Think Progress and a Vice President at the Center for American Progress, led the charge against Bachmann. And the one issue that Shakir appeared obsessed with was Bachmann’s warnings about Muslim Brotherhood influence in the Obama Administration. One of Shakir’s videos, since taken down, had the revealing title, “In final debate, Bachmann stands by her Muslim Brotherhood smears.”

Under Shakir, the Center for American Progress attempted to silence terrorism investigators by issuing a report titled, “Fear Inc.” which claimed that all suspicions about Islamist activities in America were really the bigoted products of a Jewish conspiracy. Besides Shakir, the report’s authors included members of Muslim Brotherhood front groups. During his time at Harvard, Shakir had been a member of the Harvard Islamic Society and served as the co-chair for a week of events that included an attempt to raise money for a Hamas front group.

Shakir has since gone on to bigger and better things, as a senior adviser to Nancy Pelosi, moving higher in the political echelons of a Democratic Party that has refused to accept any accountability for four years of foreign policy disasters. Accepting responsibility would require accountability. It would force the political leadership to take a close look at the Center for American Progress’ influence over the policymaking apparatus of the White House and at the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence over the White House, the State Department and the Center for American Progress.

Had the Arab Spring really led to liberalization and freedom, had the Taliban proven willing to make a deal and had the accusations of Muslim Brotherhood influence proven unfounded, then the left might have some cause for criticizing Bachmann. But when Bachmann has been proven to be correct, then a petition to remove her is nothing more than a cover up by a leftist club that is desperate to conceal its complicity in the murder of Americans and the chaos and violence spreading across the Middle East.
In the 20th Century, Communist infiltrators used their positions to influence American foreign policy in the direction that Moscow wanted it to go, while the left did its best to shout down and ridicule any suggestion of espionage or infiltration.
Now in the 21st Century, the century of the Islamist infiltrator, the left is still up to its old tricks, still leading America to disaster abroad while covering up its destructive activities as intelligence failures at home.

Daniel Greenfield


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