Saturday, April 19, 2014

Caroline Glick: The Disappearance of US Will

by Caroline Glick

Originally published at the Jerusalem Post.

The most terrifying aspect of the collapse of US power worldwide is the US’s indifferent response to it.

In Europe, in Asia, in the Middle East and beyond, America’s most dangerous foes are engaging in aggression and brinkmanship unseen in decades.

As Gordon Chang noted at a symposium in Los Angeles last month hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, since President Barack Obama entered office in 2009, the Chinese have responded to his overtures of goodwill and appeasement with intensified aggression against the US’s Asian allies and against US warships.

In 2012, China seized the Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines. Washington shrugged its shoulders despite its mutual defense treaty with the Philippines. And so Beijing is striking again, threatening the Second Thomas Shoal, another Philippine possession.

In a similar fashion, Beijing is challenging Japan’s control over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and even making territorial claims on Okinawa.

As Chang explained, China’s recent application of its Air-Defense Identification Zone to include Japanese and South Korean airspace is a hostile act not only against those countries but also against the principle of freedom of maritime navigation, which, Chang noted, “Americans have been defending for more than two centuries.”

The US has responded to Chinese aggression with ever-escalating attempts to placate Beijing.

And China has responded to these US overtures by demonstrating contempt for US power.
Last week, the Chinese humiliated Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during his visit to China’s National Defense University. He was harangued by a student questioner for the US’s support for the Philippines and Japan, and for opposition to Chinese unilateral seizure of island chains and assertions of rights over other states’ airspace and international waterways.

As he stood next to Hagel in a joint press conference, China’s Defense Chief Chang Wanquan demanded that the US restrain Japan and the Philippines.

In addition to its flaccid responses to Chinese aggression against its allies and its own naval craft, in 2012 the US averred from publicly criticizing China for its sale to North Korea of mobile missile launchers capable of serving Pyongyang’s KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missiles. With these easily concealed launchers, North Korea significantly upgraded its ability to attack the US with nuclear weapons.

As for Europe, the Obama administration’s responses to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and to its acts of aggression against Ukraine bespeak a lack of seriousness and dangerous indifference to the fate of the US alliance structure in Eastern Europe.

Rather than send NATO forces to the NATO member Baltic states, and arm Ukrainian forces with defensive weapons, as Russian forces began penetrating Ukraine, the US sent food to Ukraine and an unarmed warship to the Black Sea.

Clearly not impressed by the US moves, the Russians overflew and shadowed the US naval ship. As Charles Krauthammer noted on Fox News on Monday, the Russian action was not a provocation. It was “a show of contempt.”

As Krauthammer explained, it could have only been viewed as a provocation if Russia had believed the US was likely to respond to its shadowing of the warship. Since Moscow correctly assessed that the US would not respond to its aggression, by buzzing and following the warship, the Russians demonstrated to Ukraine and other US allies that they cannot trust the US to protect them from Russia.

In the Middle East, it is not only the US’s obsessive approach to the Palestinian conflict with Israel that lies in shambles. The entire US alliance system and the Obama administration’s other signature initiatives have also collapsed.

After entering office, Obama implemented an aggressive policy in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere of killing al-Qaida operatives with unmanned drones. The strategy was based on the notion that such a campaign, that involves no US boots on the ground, can bring about a rout of the terrorist force at minimal human cost to the US and at minimal political cost to President Barack Obama.

The strategy has brought about the demise of a significant number of al-Qaida terrorists over the years. And due to the support Obama enjoys from the US media, the Obama administration paid very little in terms of political capital for implementing it.

But despite the program’s relative success, according to The Washington Post, the administration suspended drone attacks in December 2013 after it endured modest criticism when one in Yemen inadvertently hit a wedding party.

No doubt al-Qaida noticed the program’s suspension. And now the terror group is flaunting its immunity from US attack.

This week, jihadist websites featured an al-Qaida video showing hundreds of al-Qaida terrorists in Yemen meeting openly with the group’s second in command, Nasir al-Wuhayshi.

In the video, Wuhayshi threatened the US directly saying, “We must eliminate the cross,” and explaining that “the bearer of the cross is America.”

Then there is Iran.

The administration has staked its reputation on its radical policy of engaging Iran on its nuclear weapons program. The administration claims that by permitting Iran to undertake some nuclear activities it can convince the mullahs to shelve their plan to develop nuclear weapons.

This week brought further evidence of the policy’s complete failure. It also brought further proof that the administration is unperturbed by evidence of failure.

In a televised interview Sunday, Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akhbar Salehi insisted that Iran has the right to enrich uranium to 90 percent. In other words, he said that Iran is building nuclear bombs.

And thanks to the US and its interim nuclear deal with Iran, the Iranian economy is on the mend.

The interim nuclear deal the Obama administration signed with Iran last November was supposed to limit its oil exports to a million barrels a day. But according to the International Energy Agency, in February, Iran’s daily oil exports rose to 1.65 million barrels a day, the highest level since June 2012.

Rather than accept that its efforts have failed, the Obama administration is redefining what success means.

As Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz noted, in recent months US officials claimed the goal of the nuclear talks was to ensure that Iran would remain years away from acquiring nuclear weapons. In recent remarks, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the US would suffice with a situation in which Iran is but six months away from acquiring nuclear weapons.

In other words, the US has now defined failure as success.

Then there is Syria.

Last September, the US claimed it made history when, together with Russia it convinced dictator Bashar Assad to surrender his chemical weapons arsenal. Six months later, not only is Syria well behind schedule for abiding by the agreement, it is reportedly continuing to use chemical weapons against opposition forces and civilians. The most recent attack reportedly occurred on April 12 when residents of Kafr Zita were attacked with chlorine gas.

The growing worldwide contempt for US power and authority would be bad enough in and of itself. The newfound confidence of aggressors imperils international security and threatens the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

What makes the situation worse is the US response to what is happening. The Obama administration is responding to the ever-multiplying crises by pretending that there is nothing to worry about and insisting that failures are successes.

And the problem is not limited to Obama and his advisers or even to the political Left. Their delusional view that the US will suffer no consequences for its consistent record of failure and defeat is shared by a growing chorus of conservatives.

Some, like the anti-Semitic conservative pundit Patrick Buchanan, laud Putin as a cultural hero. Others, like Sen. Rand Paul, who is increasingly presenting himself as the man to beat in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, indicate that the US has no business interfering with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Iran as well is a country the US should be less concerned about, in Paul’s opinion.

Leaders like Sen. Ted Cruz who call for a US foreign policy based on standing by allies and opposing foes in order to ensure US leadership and US national security are being drowned out in a chorus of “Who cares?” Six years into Obama’s presidency, the US public as a whole is largely opposed to taking any action on behalf of Ukraine or the Baltic states, regardless of what inaction, or worse, feckless action means for the US’s ability to protect its interests and national security.

And the generation coming of age today is similarly uninterested in US global leadership.
During the Cold War and in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the predominant view among American university students studying international affairs was that US world leadership is essential to ensure global stability and US national interests and values.

Today this is no longer the case.

Much of the Obama administration’s shuttle diplomacy in recent years has involved sending senior officials, including Obama, on overseas trips with the goal of reassuring jittery allies that they can continue to trust US security guarantees.

These protestations convince fewer and fewer people today.

It is because of this that US allies like Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, that lack nuclear weapons, are considering their options on the nuclear front.

It is because of this that Israeli officials are openly stating for the first time that the US cannot be depended on to either secure Israel’s eastern frontier in the event that an accord is reached with the Palestinians, or to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

It is because of this that the world is more likely than it has been since 1939 to experience a world war of catastrophic proportions.

There is a direct correlation between the US elite’s preoccupation with social issues running the narrow and solipsistic gamut from gay marriage to transgender bathrooms to a phony war against women, and America’s inability to recognize the growing threats to the global order or understand why Americans should care about the world at all.

And there is a similarly direct correlation between the growing aggression of US foes and Obama’s decision to slash defense spending while allowing the US nuclear arsenal to become all but obsolete.

America’s spurned allies will take the actions they need to take to protect themselves. Some will persevere, others will likely be overrun.

But with Americans across the ideological spectrum pretending that failure is success and defeat is victory, while turning their backs on the growing storm, how will America protect itself?

Caroline Glick


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Diplomatic Breakthrough on Ukraine or More Russian Lies?

by Joseph Klein

Russian President Vladimir Putin shamelessly told United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during a recent phone call that he expected “clear condemnation” of what he characterized as the “anti-constitutional” operation by the Ukrainian central government in Kiev against the armed thugs whom have illegally occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine.

Putin did not get his wish. Instead, a report issued by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on April 15th, which was based on first hand reporting by human rights monitors on the ground in Ukraine including Crimea, exposed the baselessness of the Russian propaganda.

The report analyzed events up to April 2nd, using information collected during two missions to Ukraine in March by Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović and a team of UN human rights monitors on the ground since March 15th. It found that “while there were some attacks against the ethnic Russian community, these were neither systematic nor widespread. There are also allegations that some participants in the protests and clashes in eastern Ukraine were not from the region, and that some had come from the Russian Federation.”

Speaking to the Security Council on April 16th about the report, Mr. Šimonović said the transformation of protesters in eastern Ukraine into “quasi-paramilitary forces must be stopped.” The international community recognizes Russia’s complaints about alleged attacks against Russian-speaking citizens, and its vows to protect them, for what they really are - the pretext for direct Russian military intervention further into Ukraine, following on the heels of Russia’s illegal military occupation and annexation of Crimea.

Undeterred, Putin warned of potential military intervention if the Ukrainian government persisted in using force against the protesters in eastern Ukraine. Recalling the authorization he received from his pliant Parliament to use military force in Ukraine as he deemed necessary, Putin warned: “I really hope that I do not have to exercise this right and that we are able to solve all today’s pressing issues via political and diplomatic means.”

As if on cue, senior diplomats from the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union meeting in Geneva on Thursday worked out a framework to defuse the crisis, according to Secretary of State John Kerry. The separatists in eastern Ukraine would disarm and vacate the buildings and public areas they have occupied. In return, the Ukrainian government would offer amnesty to virtually all of the separatists who disarmed. The government also “committed to going as far as they can to reach out to opponents” as part of a “comprehensive, inclusive process,” in advance of the upcoming presidential election on May 25th, according to Kerry. In a bow to Russia’s demands for turning Ukraine into a more decentralized federation, the Ukrainian government reportedly agreed to consider constitutional amendments giving eastern Ukraine more regional autonomy than it has today. Crimea reportedly did not come up as part of the discussions. Nor apparently did the continuing presence of thousands of Russian troops remaining close to the Russian-Ukrainian border.

“We worked hard and we worked in good faith in order to narrow our real differences… and find a way forward for the people of Ukraine,” Kerry said. “The parties agreed today that all sides must refrain from the use of violence, intimidation, or provocative actions.” At the same time he warned that “we will have no choice to impose further costs on Russia” if the separatists do not respond favorably by the weekend. How many times have we heard similar threats that have failed to deter Putin and his thugs from doing what they wanted?

A fair diplomatic solution that avoids the specter of civil war and further Russian military intervention would be the most desirable outcome, if it respects Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. However, we must recognize the sad truth that American weakness under President Obama has created power vacuums, emboldening bad actors such as Putin and making the world a more chaotic place. Obama created the vacuum for Russia to fill in the first place when, in 2009, he inexplicably reversed President George W. Bush’s decision to locate ballistic missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic without getting anything in return. The “reset” with Russia would follow, leading Putin to size up Obama as an all talk, no action adversary. Obama’s abandonment of red lines and vacuous warnings of serious consequences in response to prior Russian provocations and aggression only served to confirm Putin’s initial impression. In short, the inexperienced community organizer has had little chance against the former KGB officer from the first time they dealt with each other.

In Ukraine, Putin has used the threat of force and the creation of favorable conditions for pro-Russian separatists on the ground as leverage to extract significant concessions. His strategy is a variant of the maxim by Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian general and influential military theorist: “War is merely the continuation of policy by other means.”

The concessions involve the Ukrainian government acceding to constitutional reforms on Russian terms. Yulia Tymoshenko, twice prime minister of Ukraine and a former political prisoner who is a candidate for president in the May 25th election, described Putin’s preferred endgame in stark terms:

Putin’s gambit is akin to the infamous Yalta Conference in 1945, where Joseph Stalin made Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt complicit in a division of Europe that enslaved half of the continent for almost a half-century. Today, Putin is seeking to make the West complicit in the dismemberment of Ukraine by negotiating a Kremlin-designed federal constitution that would create a dozen Crimeas — bite-size chunks that Russia could devour more easily later.
Referring to Putin’s past proposal for a diplomatic solution, which remains his minimum ask price to resolve the crisis, Tymoshenko suggested looking at “the Russian proposal’s fine print: Ukraine’s new federal units would have a powerful say over ‘Ukraine’s foreign-policy direction.’ That provision would enable Putin to try to coerce and manipulate Russian-speaking regions into vetoing the country’s European future.”

Hopefully, when all is said and done, a diplomatic solution that preserves Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity will take hold. But just in case diplomacy does not succeed, is it too much to hope that President Obama has a Plan B, such as imposing major sector-wide sanctions that could cripple Russia’s economy and plans to install missile defense systems in Poland, the Czech Republic and even the Baltic states to give Putin something to really worry about? Perhaps when pigs fly.

Joseph Klein


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

UK: Multiculturalism vs. Islamism

by Samuel Westrop

In the West, the Arabization of Muslim communities has occurred with government assistance, which, through imposed policies of multiculturalism in the name of diversity, has effected the destruction of South Asian culture.
Britain's multiculturalism policies have imposed Islamist leadership upon Britain's Muslim communities and brought about the destruction of South Asian culture.

British suicide bomber and jihadist, Abdul Waheed Majeed, in his last moments before ramming a truck laden with explosives into a Syrian prison, posed in a white Islamic tunic and black scarf for the cameras. Asked by the cameraman to say a few words in Arabic before his "martyrdom," Majeed replied: "Sorry? I can't speak. Everyone asks me that and ... I'm not a very good speaker."

Abdul Waheed Majeed (left), of Crawley, England, poses for photographs moments before driving a truck-bomb into a prison in Aleppo, Syria. (Image source: Jabhat al-Nusra video)

Majeed, like a large number of British Muslims, was not an Arabic speaker. He was of Pakistani heritage. About 70% of British Muslims are, in fact, South Asian. A mere 6.6% are believed to be of Arab descent. And very few British Muslims can actually speak Arabic.

Nevertheless, British Islam is firmly focussed on the Middle East. The poet Hamza Beg, writing in the journal of a taxpayer-funded organization, Asfar, noted: "Since 1999, Pakistan, for example, has had a military coup, a purported return to democracy, and the assassination of the leader of the opposition, Benazir Bhutto. However, an entire generation of British-born Pakistanis have been more interested in Israeli incursions into Lebanon, the occupation of Palestine, and the war on Iraq. How has this occurred and what does it mean?"

British Muslims, Beg continued, have rejected "their parents' cultural understanding of Islam as a religion. British-Pakistani Muslims have become Muslims first, and are losing patience with the Pakistani practice of the religion embedded in Sufi traditions."

"In rejecting a culturally conditioned Islam," Beg concludes, "Muslims in Britain have given up their equal footing and fallen prey to Arab imperialism." Indonesian scholar Azyumardi Azra refers to this process as "Arabization."

In a similar story, one South Asian blogger in the United States writes, "Why hasn't South Asian poetry, art and dress impacted any of the large American Islamic organizations of today? Why are nearly all Muslim converts distinctly Arabic in appearance, style, and culture? ... This idea of Arabization of tongue and culture, of course, has been devastatingly successful, and fed right into the weaknesses of the colonized South-Asian inferiority complex. Hence South Asia began marginalizing their own culture only a few decades after the Saudi's [sic] began the propaganda machine. The rich colors of the South Asian woman have been discarded..."

Over the past century, Arab-focussed Islamists have attempted to homogenize Islamic cultures outside the Middle East. This process initially occurred in South Asia – Pakistan, Bangladesh and parts of India.

The Indian academic Baladas Ghoshal blames the "Wahhabi creed" of Saudi Arabia, which, he claims, has attempted to purge South Asian Islam of its cultural practises and emblems, and has instead imposed a "pure and ideal form of Islam to be followed by Muslims all over the world."

Wahhabis, Ghoshal writes, believe that the "adaptation of other customs, traditions and cultures in its path toward the expansion of the religion had only led to aberration and corruption of original and pristine ideas of Islam. It is only through the practice of mediaeval [sic] Arab traditions and way of life that the evil eyes of other religions can be kept at bay."

Islamist movements in South Asia also adopted these efforts at Arabization. In the 1930s, ideologues such as Abul Hasan Nadwi – part of the radical Islamic Deobandi sect, which later gave birth to the Taliban – attempted to establish in India a single, unique Islamic identity based on "pure Islam." According to Nadwi, this meant dressing like Arabs, speaking Arabic and reading the Arabic language press.[1] Islamic revivalism, Nadwi claimed, required "emphasizing its affinities to his Muslim confreres in the Middle East."[2]

Islamist groups such as Jamaat-e-Islami have since adopted these ideas; they claim that culture cannot exist outside of Islam and that Pakistani Muslims were part of the "Arab nation." The Jamaat-e-Islami ideologue, Abdul Ala Mawdudi, has said that culture destroys the "inner vitality" of Islam: it "blurs its vision, befogs its critical faculties, breeds inferiority complexes, and gradually but assuredly saps all the springs of culture and sounds its death-knell."[3]

Over the past decades, since Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have distributed vast amounts of money to non-profit groups and schools run by South Asian Islamist movements, Jamaat-e-Islami, for example, set about purging Pakistani and Bengali Muslims of their cultural ideas. The Muslim writer Sazzad Hussain observed the consequences of Islamist-led homogenization of his culture in the Indian state of Assam:
"The Islamist fundamentalist has one very distinctive characteristic—the denial of modern nation-state identity of Muslims to form a uniformed 'Islamic' identity at the cost of local tradition and cultural practices. … These days the Muslims of Assam are not identified as Assamese Muslims or Muslim of East Bengali descent. Instead they are merely homogenized as 'Muslims' … The use of Burqa and Hijab are alarmingly rising among the Muslim women in Assam. The ankle length Thaub, a Bedouin male dress and the red and white chequered headgear Kaffaiah are now in fashion for many Mollahs and Maulvis [clerics] and Madrassa students in Assam. It has reached to such an extent that this red-white or green-white chequered Kaffaiah is now replacing the Phoolam Gamocha, the symbol of Assamese culture…"
"Arabization and Islamization," Ghosal writes, "are inseparable parts of a single cultural ideal." In the West, and particularly in Britain, the loss of South Asian identity to the pervasively unifying label of "Islam" is readily apparent. The change of Muslim dress, some British Muslims believe, is a telling sign of this Islamization. Muslim cultures in the West, some claim, became Arabized before parts of the Muslim world itself. Pakistani writer Bina Shah has written:
"Growing up in Pakistan, I'd never seen anyone wear a hijab …. It was only in the late 1980s that I saw my first hijab, worn by the mother of a Pakistani-American girl from Peoria, Illinois. Saudi-Wahabi social influence filtered to Pakistan and much of the rest of the non-Arab world throughout the next two decades, thanks to a campaign that attempted to export the kingdom's religio-social values to its would-be satellite states. Slowly, more and more women started to wear the black burqa and the tight hijab."
The Islamization of Western Muslim communities has occurred with government assistance, which, through imposed policies of multiculturalism in the name of diversity, has effected the destruction of South Asian culture.

British multiculturalism has encouraged British society to exist as a federation of communities in which each minority community was not required to adopt the values of the majority. This inverse segregation only served to chain particular communities to their self-appointed community groups. Among Britain's South Asian community, these groups were Islamist-run. Consequently, multiculturalist polices served to homogenize a community whose very diversity it had promised to preserve.

Former Islamic extremist Ed Husain has referred to the result of "25 years of multiculturalism" as not "multicultural communities" but plural "monoculturalism." Husain recalls:
"Many Muslims want to live apart from mainstream British society; official government policy has helped them do so. I grew up without any white friends. My school was almost entirely Muslim. I had almost no direct experience of 'British life' or 'British institutions'. So it was easy for the extremists to say to me: 'You see? You're not part of British society. You never will be. You can only be part of an Islamic society.' The first part of what they said was true. I wasn't part of British society: nothing in my life overlapped with it."
Kenan Malik, a British writer of Asian heritage, noted: "Where once [it was] argued that everyone should be treated equally, despite their radical, ethnic, religious or cultural differences, now it pushed the idea that different people should be treated differently because of such differences."[4]

The first victim of multiculturalist policies was the individual. The Indian economist, Amartya Sen, has stated: "The way that British authorities have interpreted multiculturalism has very much undermined individual freedom. A British Muslim is not asked to act within the civil society or the political arena but as a Muslim. His British identity has to be mediated by his community."

Groups such as Jamaat-e-Islami have never achieved popular support in South Asia, not even in Pakistan – despite the best efforts of their Wahhabi patrons. When Hassan Butt, a former member of the British extremist group, Al Muhajiroun, visited Pakistan – the home of his parents – he said he was regarded as a stranger "because he had rejected traditional Islam." Butt said he felt similarly isolated in Britain because the establishment treated him "as a Muslim, not a British citizen."[5]

The second victim of multiculturalism was the very cultural expressions that multiculturalism claimed to preserve. Britain's multiculturalism policies offered taxpayer funds and political legitimacy to anyone who claimed to represent a community. As with all communities, it was the politicized activists who rose to the top and asserted their authority with little opposition. In the case of the British Muslim community, these activists belonged to Jamaat-e-Islami, the Bangladeshi Islamist group responsible for acts of genocide during the 1971 Independence War in Bangladesh.

Groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain are mostly run by individuals and groups tied closely to Jamaat-e-Islami. A 2007 poll by Policy Exchange revealed, however, that 94% of British Muslims do not believe that the Muslim Council of Britain represents their views.
The Italian academic Lorenzo Vidino has observed: [6]
"The British multicultural model has traditionally relied heavily on community leaders who act as trusted intermediaries between the community and the state, to whom the latter can delegate the administration of various services. No such class existed among the masses of poorly educated South Asian immigrants in postwar Britain. The situation created the opportunity for the Mawdudists [Jamaat-e-Islami], thanks to their superior resources, organizational skills and good understanding of the British political system to surpass other groups in the competition for the role of community leaders."
British Islamists, exploiting the imposition of multiculturalism, forced their officially recognized and publicly funded model of Muslim identity upon their conscripted South Asian constituents. The bright colors and sounds of Pakistani and Bengali culture were lost to the dark homogeneity of Wahhabi-inspired Islam.

As Amartya Sen has noted: "It is … not surprising at all that the champions of Islamic fundamentalism would like to suppress all other identities of Muslims in favour of being only Islamic."

In the 1970s, British Asians had identified themselves in racial terms. They described themselves as Pakistani, Indian or Bangladeshi. After the imposition of multiculturalism, however, these labels became "Muslims" and "non-Muslims." The academic Delwar Hussein writes that in the 1980s, the British establishment embraced the concept of "Muslim community" and started to fund Jamaat-e-Islami groups such as the East London Mosque to deliver social welfare programs.

Lorenzo Vidino concluded that, "the funds received from councils ... allowed Mawdudist [Jamaat-e-Islami] organizations to significantly alter the balance of power in East London as secular organizations struggled to compete."[7]

As groups that actually represented Britain's South Asian community disappeared under competition from well-organized, well-funded – and yet unrepresentative – Islamist groups, the diversity of South Asian identities started to fade:
"At the time of independence Bangladeshis who came here [to Britain] had a very strong sense of Bengali identity. But all that disappeared, because the official government classification ignored language, culture and secular politics, and insisted on viewing all Bangladeshis as Muslims. Suddenly they had lost all identity other than being Islamic. And suddenly Bangladeshis stopped being Bangladeshis and were merged with all other Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia."
In 1988, the Rushdie affair helped to consolidate the Islamist hold over Britain's Muslim community. Although initial protests against Salmon Rushdie's Satanic Verses began in India, it was in Britain where the most significant upheavals took place. Saudi Arabia encouraged Jamaat-e-Islami organizations in the UK to establish the United Kingdom Action Committee on Islamic Affairs (UKACIA) to coordinate the campaign against Rushdie. The Deobandi sect contributed to the anger – organizing book burnings and mass marches.

Several months later, the Iranian regime issued its infamous fatwa [religious edict] against Rushdie. An Iranian charitable organization run by the regime offered $3 million for the Muslim who murdered Rushdie.

The fatwa served to unite British Muslims and to isolate them even further from a state that had already made clear that they were to exist as Muslims and not as private citizens. Inayat Bunglawala, a British Islamist, recalls the importance of the fatwa: "I felt a thrill. It was incredibly uplifting. The fatwa meant that as British Muslims we did not have to regard ourselves just as a small, vulnerable minority; we were part of a truly global and powerful movement."[8]

The establishment's response to the Rushdie crisis was, in part, pusillanimous. Although the government criticized Iran and provided police protection for Rushdie, it did not break off diplomatic relations with the Tehran regime. Moreover, British Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe told the BBC: "We can understand why... [the book] could be criticized." It was "found deeply offensive by people of the Muslim faith" and "offensive in other ways as well … The British Government, the British people have no affection for the book."[9] Norman Tebbit, then a cabinet minister, called Rushdie "an outstanding villain" whose "public life had been a record of despicable acts of betrayal of his upbringing, religion, adopted home and nationality."[10]

By unprecedentedly attacking the content of a novel, British policymakers chose to legitimize the complaints of the Saudi-backed Islamists in Britain as well as the mullahs in Tehran – and so portrayed these extremists as representative voices of Britain's South Asian Muslim community.

Today, some of the key Islamist figures behind the Rushdie demonstrations are involved with taxpayer-funded interfaith dialogue work. Manazir Ahsan, for example, was a key figure within the United Kingdom Action Committee on Islamic Affairs. During the crisis, Ahsan approved of Ayatollah Khomeini's support for the murder of Salman Rushdie. He stated that Khomeini "has expressed the Islamic legal point of view ... We hope other Islamic governments will confirm this."[11] Today, Ahsan, is on the executive committee of the Inter Faith Network for the United Kingdom (which he co-chaired from 2011-2012) – an organization that has received 80% of its funding from the taxpayer.

British Interfaith Dialogue is a natural product of multiculturalist policies: the division of citizens into pre-approved identities. The Inter Faith Network, in fact, rejects some religious groups, such as the minority Muslim Ahmadiyya community, as unsuitable partners for dialogue, apparently for fear of upsetting the Islamist-led organizations that make up its member bodies. Just as multiculturalism offered supremacy to particular individuals and groups, so too, today, taxpayer-funded interfaith dialogue has damaged relations between different religious communities and has falsely legitimized Islamist groups as representative of all British Muslims.

Of course, Western governments are not morally responsible for the hateful ideas and murderous actions of the Islamist networks. That wickedness lies with the Islamist groups themselves. But by continuing to promote pernicious policies of multiculturalism while failing to protect the individual liberties on which the West was built, government policy does serve to provide ammunition and willing recruits to the Islamist cause.

Against the onslaught of Islamist patronage from the East and the government complicity in the West, the vitality of South Asian music, dress, books, poetry and ideas risks disappearing completely. Multiculturalism has not just failed to bring about a more harmonious society; it has allowed Islamist mobs to purge communities of the very cultural ideas multiculturalism promised to preserve.

[1] James Toth, Sayyid Qutb: The Life and Legacy of a Radical Islamic Intellectual
[2] Ibid.
[3] Kenan Malik, From Fatwa to Jihad, page 105
[4] Lorenzo Vidino, The New Muslim Brotherhood, page 136
[5] Malik, page 104
[6] Lorenzo Vidino, The New Muslim Brotherhood, page 135
[7] Ibid.
[8] Malik, page 18
[9] Malik, page 32
[10] Malik, page 33
[11] 'Britain: Dilemma Over Rushdie Book Escalates', John Clements, Inter Press Service, 15 February 1989

Samuel Westrop


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Hezbollah terror plot against Israeli tourists in Bangkok foiled

by Israel Hayom Staff

Hezbollah reportedly planned attack on Israelis in Bangkok's popular Khao San Road tourist hub • Bangkok Post reports suspects were arrested at different locations in Bangkok after Thai police received intelligence from Israel about a Passover attack.
Suspected Hezbollah operative, Lebanese-Filipino national Youssef Ayad
Photo credit:
Suspected Hezbollah operatives, French-Lebanese national Daoud Farhat (left) and Bilal Bahsoun, whereabouts currently unknown
Photo credit:
Khao San Road in central Bangkok
Photo credit: Ami Shuman

Suspected Hezbollah operative, Lebanese-Filipino national Youssef Ayad
Photo credit:

Israel Hayom Staff


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

US to send Combat Troops to Poland

by Rick Moran

Poland will breathe a little easier because at the very least, American troops in Poland will be an effective trip wire and hedge against Russia making a move to reclaim the former Warsaw Pact country.
Washington Post:
Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine. That was the word from Poland’s defense minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, who visited The Post Friday after meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday.
Siemoniak said the decision has been made on a political level and that military planners are working out details. There will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas. Poland will play a leading regional role, “under U.S. patronage,” he said.
But the defense minister also said that any immediate NATO response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, while important, matter less than a long-term shift in the defense postures of Europe and America. The United States, having announced a “pivot” to Asia, needs to “re-pivot” to Europe, he said, and European countries that have cut back on defense spending need to reverse the trends.
“The idea until recently was that there were no more threats in Europe and no need for a U.S. presence in Europe any more,” Siemoniak said, speaking through an interpreter. “Events show that what is needed is a re-pivot, and that Europe was safe and secure because America was in Europe.”
How likely is such a reversal on defense spending? Siemoniak said there was widespread support at a recent meeting of European defense ministers. “Now they’ll go back to their presidents, prime ministers and ministers of finance, and this will stop being easy,” he admitted. “But the impetus is very strong.”
The strongest impetus, he said, is not even Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, but President Vladimir Putin’s bald lies about Russian actions there and his exposition of a new doctrine allowing Russia to intervene in any country where Russian-speaking populations are, in Russia’s judgment, under threat. This poses a potential danger to the Baltic nations, which are members of NATO, and even more to Moldova, Belarus and central Asian nations that are not, he said.
If America continues to slash defense spending, it's hard to see how European countries will increase their own military expenditures. As Afghanistan proved, NATO is a shell of its former self, with most NATO countries sending only token numbers (with some brave exceptions) and then most insisting on a non-combat role for their troops.As far as European security is concerned, only one nation matters - the US. And our allies will fight to the last American to prove it.

A few token deployments are not likely to deter Vladimir Putin from whatever grand design he seeks to implement. But they will give heart to countries like Poland who find themselves on the front line.

Rick Moran


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A Disgraceful Keystone Decision Delay

by Thomas Lifson

The Obama administration signaled its shame* over a nakedly political decision to indefinitely delay the Keystone Pipeline by burying the news on Good Friday afternoon. The decision was bought and paid for by wealthy green ideologues and green energy rent-seekers, anxious to cash in on subsidies for solar panels, windmills, and other expensive projects that are guaranteed a positive return by taxpayer money. Politico:
The Obama administration says it is indefinitely extending its long-awaited review of the Keystone XL pipeline — providing a Good Friday jolt to one of the president’s most wrenching environmental decisions.
The move could easily push President Barack Obama’s final decision past the November election. (snip)
the delay drew immediate scorn from pipeline supporters on both sides of the aisle in Congress. Republicans derided it as a “shameful” concession to “radical activists,” while Democratic Senate energy Chairwoman Mary Landrieu called it “irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable.”
Polling indicates a majority of Americans support construction of Keystone, and even a plurality of Democrats:

Labor unions strongly favor the high-paying construction and maintenance jobs that would be created. National security would be enhanced, our enemies abroad like oil supplier Venezuela would be hurt, and even carbon, particulate matter, and hydrocarbon emissions would be reduced, and truck and rail transportation would be replaced by safe and efficient pipeline conveyance of North Dakota and Canadian crude to American refineries.

It is a slam dunk decision. But a handful of wealthy interests place their own ideology (oil is bad!) and self interest (give me more green subsidies!) above the national interest and popular will. And Obama is catering to the plutocrats, not the people.

That is why Keystone is delayed and probably killed, at least until Obama is replaced.

It is time for Republicans to take a lead from Harry Reid’s book and make the name Tom Steyer as public as the Ko9ch Brothers have become. Andrew Restuccia in Politico:
Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer is laying plans to go big in the 2014 election.
The former hedge fund manager is hoping to spend $100 million — $50 million from his personal fortune and $50 million from other donors — to make climate change a top-tier issue in the election, The New York Times is reporting.
A person close to Steyer confirmed the $100 million figure to POLITICO but cautioned that it is not a ceiling.
Now is the time for The Washington Post to make partial amends for its disgraceful publication of an article making a factually incorrect case that the Koch Brothers stand to benefit from the Keystone pipeline (they would be hurt by it), and publish a serious investigation of Steyer and other green investors who have profited and stand to profit even more by blocking Keystone.

*Note: some may claim that Obama has no shame, but I am using the term as anthropologists do, in distinction from guilt. Guilt reflects an internalized value, whereas shame is a matter of public appearances, a an avoidance of receiving public approbation as opposed to an inner sense of inappropriateness.

Thomas Lifson


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.