Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been targeting so-called “sanctuary cities” with increased enforcement operations in an effort to pressure those jurisdictions to cooperate with federal immigration agents, a senior US immigration official with direct knowledge of ongoing ICE actions told CNN.
A sanctuary city is a broad term applied to states, cities and/or counties that have policies in place designed to limit cooperation or involvement in the enforcement of federal immigration operations. More than 100 US jurisdictions — among them New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — identify as such.
High-ranking ICE officials have discussed in internal meetings carrying out more raids on those locations, said the source.
This week, a federal judge in Texas seems to have confirmed that tactic. US Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin revealed during an immigration hearing Monday that a mid-February raid in the Austin metro area was done in retaliation for a local sheriff’s recent decision to limit her department’s cooperation with ICE.
“There’s been questions about whether Austin is being targeted. We had a briefing…. that we could expect a big operation, agents coming in from out of town. There was going to be a specific operation, and it was at least related to us in that meeting that it was a result of the sheriff’s new policy that this was going to happen,” Austin says in audio of the proceedings provided by the court.
The judge’s comments came as he questioned an ICE agent about a recent unrelated arrest.
Austin said that in a late January meeting, local ICE officials told him and another federal judge that an upcoming enforcement operation was being done in direct response to Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s adoption of a sanctuary policy in Travis County.
Earlier this year, Hernandez announced that beginning in February, her department would no longer honor ICE detainers unless the individual was arrested for murder, sexual assault or human trafficking, or a warrant had been issued. A detainer is a 48-hour hold request placed on suspected undocumented immigrants in local jails until federal agents can come in and take over the case.
A showdown in Travis County, Texas
It is a significant shift in the county’s immigration enforcement policy that has put the newly elected Democratic sheriff at odds with pro-enforcement local and state officials, including the Texas Senate, which recently passed a bill that withholds state dollars from sanctuary cities and Gov. Greg Abbott, who cut $1.5 million in funding to the county. Read the rest of this entry »
Iran seeking revenge for Trump’s halt on immigration
Adam Kredo reports: The Trump administration is emphasizing warnings against travel to Iran by U.S. citizens in light of the Islamic Republic‘s latest effort to implement a travel ban on Americans, which comes in response to the White House’s new immigration order temporarily halting all immigration from Iran and several other Muslim-majority nations designated as terrorism hotspots, according to U.S. officials.
Iranian officials announced this week that they are poised to implement their own travel ban on U.S. individuals and entities they described as aiding “terrorist groups or [helping] regional dictatorial rulers crack down on their nations,” according to comments carried in the country’s state-controlled media.
Iran said the effort is part of a package of reprisals against the United States for the Trump administration’s latest immigration order, which stops Iranian citizens and others from entering the United States for several months as American authorities seek to strengthen vetting procedures.
When questioned about Iran’s potential travel ban on Monday, a State Department official confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon that the Trump administration is aware of the effort and emphasized current warnings against travel to Iran by U.S. citizens. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Americans Gather Near U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to Protest Trump’s Travel Ban 日本のアメリカ大使館前で入国制限令に対するデモPosted: February 6, 2017
TOKYO – Ayako Mie reports: A group of demonstrators gathered Tuesday morning near the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending the entry of refugees and restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Roughly 50 people, mainly Americans living in Japan, gathered near the embassy in Minato Ward at around 8 a.m. They held signs with slogans like “Build bridges, not walls,” “No Muslim ban” and “Immigrants make America great.”
“We will protest in solidarity with these individuals, including refugees from war-torn nations, as we stand against this unlawful, immoral and unjust action,” the organizers said in a Monday news release.
“We urge the Trump administration to cancel this executive order and to obey federal court orders against its implementation, and we ask all elected officials and world leaders to speak out against this despicable act,” it said.
Organizer Jesse Glickstein, an American lawyer living in Japan, said the demonstration was part of the global backlash against the immigration clampdown. Protests flared up around the world soon after the policy was implemented last Friday, which is also International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Glickstein, who is Jewish, said his grandparents immigrated to the U.S. after surviving the Holocaust.
“This, to me, is possibly the most offensive thing a president can do,” Glickstein said before the protest began.
“I think this is important so that the Japanese people understand that the majority of Americans are not in agreement with this,” he said. “We welcome refugees, we welcome diversity, and this administration honestly is basically … waging war on this concept.”
Protester Alexander Gonzalez said he rejects the policy because it targets specific citizens. Read the rest of this entry »
Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) is having none of President Trump’s false moral equivalence. On ABC’s This Week Sunday, Sasse expressed his distaste at the comparison of the United States and Vladimir Putin’s regime.
“Let’s be clear: Has the U.S. ever made any mistakes? Of course. Is the U.S. at all like Putin’s regime? Not at all. The U.S. affirms freedom of speech; Putin is no friend of freedom of speech. Putin is an enemy of freedom of religion, the U.S. celebrates freedom of religion. Putin is an enemy of free press; the U.S. celebrates free press. Putin is an enemy of political dissent; the U.S. celebrates political dissent and the right for people to argue free from violence about places where ideas are in conflict. There is no moral equivalency between the United States of America, the greatest freedom-loving nation in the history of the world, and the murderous thugs that are in Putin’s defense of his cronyism. There’s no moral equivalency there.”
David French writes:
…Trump said, “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers. Well, you think our country is so innocent?” I’d like to focus on the follow-up, when O’Reilly gave him an opportunity to amend his statement:
O’REILLY: I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.
TRUMP: Well — take a look at what we’ve done, too. We made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.
O’REILLY: Yes, mistakes are different than –
TRUMP: We made a lot of mistakes, OK, but a lot of people were killed. So, a lot of killers around, believe me.
In response, I’m reminded of a quote from our founder, William F. Buckley, Jr.:
[T]o say that the CIA and the KGB engage in similar practices is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around. Read the rest of this entry »
Trump v. the Border-less Left
Seth Barron writes: From illegal aliens who have committed crimes, to all immigrants, to “people of color” generally: the circle of Trump’s victims widens by orders of magnitude in de Blasio’s fantasy of total persecution. Even to ask a question about whether illegal aliens should be regarded in the same way as legal immigrants betrays an “ideological bent”; on the other hand, it is perfectly straightforward to read a legal challenge to sanctuary cities as all-out race war.
“The Left’s favorite cliché: ‘I am a Muslim. I am a Jew. I am Black. I am gay. I am a woman seeking to control her body.'”
The mayor’s expansive definition of victimhood was echoed this weekend by Governor Cuomo, who repeated the Left’s favorite cliché: “I am a Muslim. I am a Jew. I am Black. I am gay. I am a woman seeking to control her body.” This quasi-heroic affirmation of identity with the oppressed fringes of society, powered by anaphora, collapses into intersectional absurdity, and ultimately becomes the lowest form of political pandering, underscored by the repetition of the word “I.”
“This quasi-heroic affirmation of identity with the oppressed fringes of society, powered by anaphora, collapses into intersectional absurdity, and ultimately becomes the lowest form of political pandering, underscored by the repetition of the word ‘I’.”
Last Friday, Trump announced that he would extend and expand the visa restrictions that Obama established in the 2015 Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, impose a 90-day moratorium on travel from seven countries with links to organized terror, and put a halt to the Syrian-refugee resettlement program.
These policies fulfill campaign promises and have been clearly stated as temporary measures in order to make sure that migrants are being accurately screened. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] WSJ’s Strassel: ‘I Don’t Remember Protests, Lawsuits, when Obama Paused Iraqi Immigration to U.S. in 2011’Posted: January 31, 2017
Trent Baker reports: On Sunday’s “Meet the Press” on NBC, Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel reminded viewers that nobody protested or filed lawsuits in 2011 when former President Barack Obama suspended Iraqi refugees from entering the United States for six months over terrorism fears, although President Donald Trump has received much criticism for temporarily suspending visas for “immigrants and non-immigrants” from Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Iran and Iraq.
“Look, this is also not unprecedented, by the way,” Strassel said. “I mean, Barack Obama put a pause for six months on refugees coming from Iraq back in 2011. I don’t remember protestors and I don’t remember lawsuits. So I think the bigger question if this is a temporary pause, which is designed for us to improve and look at our vetting processes, and indeed temporary, I don’t necessarily think that’s an outrageous idea. Read the rest of this entry »
Paul Sperry reports: Hillary Clinton’s top campaign aide, and the woman who might be the future White House chief of staff to the first female US president, for a decade edited a radical Muslim publication that opposed women’s rights and blamed the US for 9/11.
One of Clinton’s biggest accomplishments listed on her campaign Web site is her support for the UN women’s conference in Bejing in 1995, when she famously declared, “Women’s rights are human rights.” Her speech has emerged as a focal point of her campaign, featured prominently in last month’s Morgan Freeman-narrated convention video introducing her as the Democratic nominee.
However, soon after that “historic and transformational” 1995 event, as Clinton recently described it, her top aide Huma Abedin published articles in a Saudi journal taking Clinton’s feminist platform apart, piece by piece. At the time, Abedin was assistant editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs working under her mother, who remains editor-in-chief. She was also working in the White House as an intern for then-First Lady Clinton.
Headlined “Women’s Rights are Islamic Rights,” a 1996 article argues that single moms, working moms and gay couples with children should not be recognized as families. It also states that more revealing dress ushered in by women’s liberation “directly translates into unwanted results of sexual promiscuity and irresponsibility and indirectly promote violence against women.” In other words, sexually liberated women are just asking to be raped.
“A conjugal family established through a marriage contract between a man and a woman, and extended through procreation is the only definition of family a Muslim can accept,” the author, a Saudi official with the Muslim World League, asserted, while warning of “the dangers of alternative lifestyles.” (Abedin’s journal was founded and funded by the former head of the Muslim World League.)
“Pushing [mothers] out into the open labor market is a clear demonstration of a lack of respect of womanhood and motherhood,” it added.
In a separate January 1996 article, Abedin’s mother — who was the Muslim World League’s delegate to the UN conference — wrote that Clinton and other speakers were advancing a “very aggressive and radically feminist” agenda that was un-Islamic and wrong because it focused on empowering women.
“‘Empowerment’ of women does more harm than benefit the cause of women or their relations with men,” Saleha Mahmood Abedin maintained, while forcefully arguing in favor of Islamic laws that have been roundly criticized for oppressing women.
“By placing women in the ‘care and protection’ of men and by making women responsible for those under her charge,” she argued, “Islamic values generate a sense of compassion in human and family relations.”
“Among all systems of belief, Islam goes the farthest in restoring equality across gender,” she claimed. “Acknowledging the very central role women play in procreation, child-raising and homemaking, Islam places the economic responsibility of supporting the family primarily on the male members.”
She seemed to rationalize domestic abuse as a result of “the stress and frustrations that men encounter in their daily lives.” While denouncing such violence, she didn’t think it did much good to punish men for it.
“Among all systems of belief, Islam goes the farthest in restoring equality across gender.”
– 1996 article authored by Saleha Mahmood Abedin, Huma’s mother
She added in her 31-page treatise: “More men are victims of domestic violence than women . . . If we see the world through ‘men’s eyes’ we will find them suffering from many hardships and injustices.”
She opposed the UN conference widening the scope of the definition of the family to include “gay and lesbian ‘families.’ ” Read the rest of this entry »
Just last week, Beijing further tightened the screws on US companies when it imposed a ban on Apple’s online book and film services. The order came as part of a broader set of regulations, introduced in March, which established strict curbs on all online publishing.
Claude Barfield writes: For the first time this year, the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR’s) “National Trade Estimate Report” took note of China’s Great Firewall. Granted, it was with this tame statement: “China’s filtering of cross-border Internet traffic has posed a significant burden to foreign suppliers.” The report did not indicate what steps, if any, the US plans to take against the People’s Republic of China’s heavy-handed and economically damaging censorship regime. But it is high time for the US, possibly in conjunction with other major trading partners, to test the legality of China’s sweeping Internet censorship system.
The nature of Chinese censorship
Chinese online censorship operations are not new, and they have been well-documented for over a decade. But the situation has grown worse since President Xi Jinping took office in 2012. Today, the USTR reports that eight of the 25 most trafficked websites worldwide are currently blocked by the Chinese government. Especially targeted are popular search engines such as Google, as well as user-generated content platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. Sometimes, the blockade is permanent — Google formally withdrew from China in 2010 — but more often it is intermittent and random, as has occurred with increasing frequency with Gmail and Hotmail. The New York Times has been banned since 2012, and recently (as a result of reporting on the misdeeds of President Xi’s relatives) the Economist and Time magazine have also secured spots on the honored block list. Just last week, Beijing further tightened the screws on US companies when it imposed a ban on Apple’s online book and film services. The order came as part of a broader set of regulations, introduced in March, which established strict curbs on all online publishing.
In many cases, the filters and blocks carry with them a strong whiff of industrial policy. The now-giant Chinese firm Baidu received a huge boost when Google was forced to withdraw from the Chinese market (Baidu stock shot up 16 percent the day Google announced its withdrawal). Sina’s Weibo and Tencent’s QQ are direct competitors to popular blocked websites such as Twitter and Facebook. Read the rest of this entry »
Rick Moran writes: The new year has gotten off to quite a start. Shia Iran and the Sunni Arab states have broken relations and are beginning to sound a lot like belligerents ready to go to war. The Chinese stock market tanked by nearly 7% while the Dow bled 300 points to open the year. And with the Iowa caucuses 30 days away, we will soon be faced with the probable choice of electing a screeching liberal harridan or a screaming celebrity tycoon.
But beyond that, there are at least 10 reasons why the global outlook for 2016 is so bad, we will end up envying the ostrich. The Eurasia Group has issued its annual list of the political and geopolitical trends that threaten stability, and if only a couple of these trends end up materializing, we’re going to wish we never woke up on New Year’s Day.
1. The Hollow Alliance
The trans-Atlantic partnership has been the world’s most important alliance for nearly 70 years, but it’s now weaker, and less relevant, than at any point in decades. It no longer plays a decisive role in addressing any of Europe’s top priorities.
2. Closed Europe
In 2016, divisions in Europe will reach a critical point as a core conflict emerges between Open Europe and Closed Europe — and a combination of inequality, refugees, terrorism, and grassroots political pressures pose an unprecedented challenge to the principles on which the new Europe was founded.
3. The China Footprint
The recognition in 2016 that China is both the most important and most uncertain driver of a series of global outcomes will increasingly unnerve other international players who aren’t ready for it, don’t understand or agree with Chinese priorities, and won’t know how to respond to it.
4. ISIS and “Friends”
For 2016, this problem will prove unfixable, and Isil (and other terrorist organisations) will take advantage of that. The most vulnerable states will remain those with explicit reasons for Isil to target them (France, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United States)…(read more)
Source: PJ Media
John Broman writes: Eyad Ismoil is one of the half-dozen men convicted for carrying out the World Trade Center bombings in 1993. Born in Kuwait to a Palestinian father and Jordanian mother, he was sentenced to 240 years in prison for driving a rental van packed with a bomb into a garage, killing six and injuring about 1000 more. (During his trial, he maintained that he was innocent and did not know what was inside the truck.) But 20 years after his arrest and burial deep inside the dungeons of the ADX Super Max facility in Colorado, Ismoil was moved to the general population here in West Virginia at USP Hazelton, the high-security federal prison where I reside.
Ismoil is my coworker in one of the resource centers on the compound that gives inmates an opportunity to break free from the gambling, drugs, and violence that makes up a monotonous prison life. I find him to be an extremely intelligent and humble man; for someone who’s supposed to “hate the infidels,” he shows no signs of loathing towards the many prisoners and staff who openly despise him.
Still, Ismoil’s ethnicity and the nature of his crime make him a target. Every horrific event that pops up on the news increases the disdain for him even more, but after talking with the guy, I found myself less than shocked at the eruption of radical Islamic terrorism over the past two decades. Indeed, when I first asked Ismoil about ISIS after the Paris attacks, he asked me one question back: “Why do you think they did it?”
I responded with the only thing I knew: “They hate us.”
He smiled and rolled his eyes, as if to say I knew nothing. So it was that an unlikely acquaintanceship between a hippie bank robber from Pittsburgh and a convicted terrorist from the Middle East was born.
Recently I sat down at a table with the thin, bearded 44-year-old Muslim, to get his views on the Islamic State, the mass shooting in San Bernardino, and other tragedies like the Planned Parenthood attack in Colorado. He said that to resolve the conflicts between extremists in the Middle East and the West, it was important to talk “human to human,” but he also made it clear that he empathizes at least somewhat with the Islamic State. Unsurprisingly, many of his views would be considered appalling to the vast majority of Americans, but our conversation gave me a window into the worldview of people who think the US is to blame for terrorism.
VICE: As an Islamic terrorist from an earlier generation, what’s your sense of who the Islamic State’s members are and where they came from?
Eyad Ismoil: ISIS is not jihadists recruited from all over to fight. They are the Sunni Muslims that have lived through 25 years of wars, torture, and rapes. They are the Iraqi and Syrian people that have suffered from unjust wars started by the US government. And when the US government [mostly pulled out of] Iraq in 2010, the Shia and Maliki government started killing the Sunni day and night under the watch of the Americans.
The US response was, “This is an internal problem. We don’t want to interfere with their business.” The show Rise of ISIS showed this, even though they tried to spin it like ISIS are aliens from another planet trying to take advantage of the massacres that the Shia—the government of Iraq—is doing to the Sunni and to get people to pledge.
But the fact that every Arab and Muslim knows is [that] ISIS is the native people of Iraq and Syria. That’s why the head of ISIS is Abu Bakr Baghdadi. He was a prisoner in an American prison in Iraq during the occupation for about four years and is known to be a scholar from the prophet’s family. They are a very big family in Iraq. That’s why [many] of the Sunni pledge to him.
You don’t have to recruit people for ISIS. They’re Muslims from all over the world that have seen an injustice after 25 years and want to help their brothers. What you have to understand is the Iraqi people are the most stubborn of the Muslim world. They won’t accept occupation or humiliation.
Day after day, all these things add up ’til the volcano erupts, and that is what’s happening in Iraq and Syria under the name ISIS.
Were you surprised by the Islamic State attack in Paris?
People over in America ask why ISIS did this. [But] people in the Middle East ask, “Why is the US doing this to us?” Put yourself in their shoes—France is dropping bombs for a year in Iraq and [more recently] Syria, destroying everything, women, children, buildings… A bomb doesn’t discriminate between ISIS or women and children—it just destroys. Read the rest of this entry »
Progressive Europe erased or rewrote its own history. Now they can’t recognize an invasion by people to whom history is everything.
The world as understood by Islamic nations varies wildly from the Western nations’ understanding of the world. Whereas Muslims see the world through the lens of history, the West has jettisoned or rewritten history to suit its ideologies.
This dichotomy of Muslim and Western thinking is evident everywhere. When the Islamic State declared that it will “conquer Rome” and “break its crosses,” few in the West realized that those are the verbatim words and goals of Islam’s founder and his companions as recorded in Muslim sources — words and goals that prompted over a thousand years of jihad on Europe.
Most recently, the Islamic State released a map of the areas it plans on expanding into over the next five years. Not only are Mideast and Asian regions included, but the map includes European lands: Portugal, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece, parts of Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, and Cyprus.
The reason for this is simple. According to Islamic law, once a country has been conquered (or “opened,” as the euphemistic Arabic words it), it becomes Islamic in perpetuity.
This, incidentally, is the real reason Muslims despise Israel. The motivation is not sympathy for the Palestinians — if it was, neighboring Arab nations would’ve absorbed them long ago, just as they would be absorbing all of today’s Muslim refugees. No, Israel is hated because the descendants of “apes and pigs” — according to the Koran — dare to rule land that was once “opened” by jihad and therefore must be returned to Islam. (Read more about Islam’s “How Dare You?” phenomenon to understand the source of Islamic rage.)
All of the aforementioned European nations are seen as being currently “occupied” by Christian “infidels” and in need of “liberation.” This is why jihadi organizations refer to terrorist attacks on such countries as “defensive jihads.”One rarely hears about Islamic designs on European nations because they are large and blocked together, altogether distant from the Muslim world. Conversely, tiny Israel is in the heart of the Islamic world, hence it has received most of the jihadi attention: it was a more realistic conquest. But now that the “caliphate” has been reborn and is expanding before a paralytic West, dreams of reconquering portions of Europe — if not through jihad, then through migration — are becoming more plausible, perhaps more so than conquering Israel. Read the rest of this entry »
“When this first happened, I assumed Obama was duped. Now I’m not so sure. I don’t think he cares if the clock looks like a bomb. He saw #IStandWithAhmed trending and decided he’d like to be part of it. It’s like black people still wearing T-shirts that say ‘Hands Up Don’t Shoot.’ They don’t care about the truth. They just like the story.”
I remember on September 12th, 2001, in NYC’s Union Square there were people holding signs that said “Justice Not Revenge.” The first instinct for much of the country seemed to be avoiding Islamophobia. To this day we have a crippling fear of it. Islamophobiaphobia is so severe, any Muslim circus clown can send his kid to school with a fake bomb and instead of charging the father with child endangerment, we invite the boy to the White House.
When this first happened, I assumed Obama was duped. Now I’m not so sure. I don’t think he cares if the clock looks like a bomb. He saw #IStandWithAhmed trending and decided he’d like to be part of it. It’s like black people still wearing T-shirts that say “Hands Up Don’t Shoot.” They don’t care about the truth. They just like the story.
In case you’re not familiar with the story (it’s already dying on the vine), Mohamed El-Hassan Mohamed is a Muslim prankster and publicity hound who is constantly harping about Islamophobia. His daughter was suspended for making bomb threats at school. His brother started a company last year called Twin Towers Corporation. He has made very public campaigns about running for president of Sudan even though it’s a dictatorship.
“When the police arrived, Ahmed was so elusive they were forced to detain him. The crime they were accusing him of was creating a fake bomb to cause a disturbance. This is a misdemeanor, and I haven’t seen any evidence he’s innocent. Despite the case being a no-brainer, the entire country screamed ISLAMOPHOBIA and lay prostrate before the Mohamed family.”
He drove to Florida after Pastor Terry Jones threatened to burn the Koran and represented the book as its lawyer (he failed—the Koran burned). The guy is a complete idiot who debates like a teenager lying to his dad. A week and a half ago, Mohamed’s son Ahmed brought a clock to school that had been torn out of its case and put in a new case in such a way, it resembled a bomb. The first teacher he showed it to told him to put it away. Then, in English class, he either plugged it in or affixed a battery so the alarm would go off.
“I think this kid’s father used his own son as a ploy to garner sympathy for Islam. This is an old trick in the Muslim world. They constantly use children as soldiers to detect mines or simply take bullets. They know it kills us to kill kids and they prey on our morality. Ahmed’s school is trying to tell the world that they are innocent, but El-Hassan refuses to release the records.”
[Also see – THE INCREDIBLE MELTING CLOCK STORY]
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Daniel Greenfield writes: What is Islam? The obvious dictionary definition answer is that it’s a religion, but legally speaking it actually enjoys all of the advantages of race, religion and culture with none of the disadvantages.
“Islamist organizations have figured out how lock in every advantage of race, religion and culture, while expeditiously shifting from one to the other to avoid any of the disadvantages.”
Islam is a religion when mandating that employers accommodate the hijab, but when it comes time to bring it into the schools, places that are legally hostile to religion, American students are taught about Islam, visit mosques and even wear burkas and recite Islamic prayers to learn about another culture. Criticism of Islam is denounced as racist even though the one thing that Islam clearly isn’t is a race.
Islamist organizations have figured out how lock in every advantage of race, religion and culture, while expeditiously shifting from one to the other to avoid any of the disadvantages.
“Islam is a theocracy. When it leaves the territories conquered by Islam, it seeks to replicate that theocracy through violence and by adapting the legal codes of the host society to suit its purposes.”
The biggest form of Muslim privilege has been to racialize Islam. The racialization of Islam has locked in all the advantages of racial status for a group that has no common race, only a common ideology.
Islam is the only religion that cannot be criticized. No other religion has a term in wide use that treats criticism of it as bigotry. Islamophobia is a unique term because it equates dislike of a religion with racism. Its usage makes it impossible to criticize that religion without being accused of bigotry.
By equating religion with race, Islam is treated not as a particular set of beliefs expressed in behaviors both good and bad, but as an innate trait that like race cannot be criticized without attacking the existence of an entire people. The idea that Islamic violence stems from its beliefs is denounced as racist.
“By equating religion with race, Islam is treated not as a particular set of beliefs expressed in behaviors both good and bad, but as an innate trait that like race cannot be criticized without attacking the existence of an entire people. The idea that Islamic violence stems from its beliefs is denounced as racist.”
Muslims are treated as a racial collective rather than a group that shares a set of views about the world.
That has made it impossible for the left to deal with ex-Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali or non-Muslims from Muslim families like Salman Rushdie. If Islam is more like skin color than an ideology, then ex-Muslims, like ex-Blacks, cannot and should not exist. Under such conditions, atheism is not a debate, but a hate crime. Challenging Islam does not question a creed; it attacks the existence of an entire people.
Muslim atheists, unlike all other atheists, are treated as race traitors both by Muslims and leftists. The left has accepted the Brotherhood’s premise that the only authentic Middle Easterner is a Muslim (not a Christian or a Jew) and that the only authentic Muslim is a Salafist (even if they don’t know the word).
The racialization of Islam has turned blasphemy prosecutions into an act of tolerance while making a cartoon of a religious figure racist even when it is drawn by ex-Muslims like Bosch Fawstin. The New York Times will run photos of Chris Ofili’s “The Holy Virgin Mary” covered in dung and pornography, but refuses to run Mohammed cartoons because it deems one anti-religious and the other racist. Read the rest of this entry »
Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death today by a jury in a Boston federal courthouse.
Tsarnaev was convicted by the same jury of seven women and five men last month of all 30 counts related to the deadly April 15, 2013 bombing. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and another 260 were injured when Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, detonated twin explosive devices near the finish line of the marathon. Three days later, the brothers murdered MIT police officer Sean Collier.
The jury today found death the penalty was “appropriate” for six of the 17 death penalty eligible counts against Dzhkohar Tsarnaev. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police four days after the explosions….(read more)
John Nolte writes: Ayman Mohyeldin is advertised by NBC News as an objective reporter. This objective reporter became infamous earlier this year for lying about and smearing a decorated veteran sniper, the late Chris Kyle, as a “racist” who went on anti-Muslim “killing sprees” in Iraq.
Mohyeldin, who is a Muslim, used his MSNBC perch Tuesday, not to condemn the murderous savages in his faith who attempted to murder Pam Geller and Geert Wilders at a free speech event, but to demand a culture change in America that would not “allow” people to engage in what he calls “hate speech” against Islam.
[The full transcript of his fascist bed-wetting is here]
And as one would expect from NBC News, through omission, Mohyeldin lied through his teeth in order to pretend Islam is the only religion in America openly ridiculed.
As though “The Book of Mormon” wasn’t currently running on Broadway; as though San Francisco doesn’t hold a blasphemous “Hunky Jesus & Foxy Mary“” contest every year; as though “Piss Christ” wasn’t funded by the American government; as though Hollywood didn’t spend billions producing one film after another trashing Christianity — without being challenged by anyone on “Morning Joe,” Mohyeldin crybabied his lie about Muslims being singled out in America. Read the rest of this entry »
ISIS has revived the barbaric practice. The time to stop both of them is now
Derby Murdock writes: From Easter services to cablecasts of Bill O’Reilly’s bestseller Killing Jesus, Christians are focused on the crucifixion of their Savior. American believers and non-believers consider this a historical event. But in the Middle East, crucifixion is a current affair.
“It has become a standard feature of fringe Islamist groups to revive these outdated practices in an effort to bring back what they believe is authentic.”
— Georgia State University Islamic scholar Abbas Barzegar
ISIS has resurrected crucifixion. In doing so, these Islamofascist scum have built a bridge to the fourth decade a.d. The only way to top this would be to feed Christians to lions this evening at Rome’s Colosseum.
“People are tired and they hate everything. If you don’t close your shop during prayer time you get lashes, if you smoke you get lashed, if you say one wrong thing you can be executed. It is like a waterfall of blood. There are more and more executions and now the children watch like they are used to it.”
— Resident of ISIS-controlled territory
By prying this ancient practice from the history books and returning it to modern
life, ISIS has reconfirmed its epic evil. Obama immediately needs to implement a coherent strategy to relegate ISIS itself to the history books.
Much of the news about latter-day crucifixions and other atrocities escapes the confines of ISIS-controlled territory thanks to a brave group called Raqaa Is Being Slaughtered Silently. Details are grim.
“People are encouraged to watch and expected to watch, and if you miss too many executions, you might get a knock on your door: a stern lecture from a fighter, perhaps a few days in prison, perhaps a few lashes. You never know.”
— Benjamin Hall, combat journalist who has reported from Iraq and Syria
These crucifixions began in March 2014, reports CNN’s Salma Abdelaziz. ISIS charged a shepherd with murder and theft. He was shot in the head, and his corpse was tied to a wooden cross in the main square in Raqaa, Syria, ISIS’s capital.
Last May, two more victims were crucified there and left to rot in the sun for three days. “This man fought Muslims and detonated an IED here,” read the placard around one victim’s neck.
ISIS crucified nine men last June, according to London’s Telegraph. Eight, from Deir Hafer, Syria, were killed and displayed in the village square for three days. A man from Al-Bab survived, despite being nailed to a cross for eight hours.
Last October, London’s Daily Mail reports, ISIS crucified a 17-year-old boy in Raqaa. His crimes? Selling his photos of ISIS military bases and “apostasy” — converting from Islam.
Seventeen men were killed in mid-January in what the International Business Times called a “crucifixion frenzy.” The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that one victim was executed for “taking a picture of an ISIS fighter and publishing it on Facebook.” Another was nabbed for smoking, charged with being an Assad-regime informant, and crucified. Fifteen others were denounced as rebels and mounted on crosses.
ISIS does not limit this carnage to adults. Citing a February report from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Reuters indicated that “Islamic State militants are selling abducted Iraqi children at markets as sex slaves, and killing other youth, including by crucifixion or burying them alive.”
In Raqaa, “executions are simply routine — a part of daily life,” writes my fearless friend Benjamin Hall, a combat journalist who has reported from Iraq and Syria, with ISIS’s black flag flapping menacingly mere yards away. Read the rest of this entry »
Police Raid Cartoonist’s Office
“They’re trying to keep me quiet. If I was here at the time, I’m sure they would have arrested me, too.”
— Cartoonist Zulkiflee ‘Zunar‘ Anwar Ulhaque
KUALA LUMPUR — James Hookway reports: Malaysian cartoonist Zunar’s doodlings aren’t much of a joke for the country’s rulers.
For years, he has poked fun at figures of authority, including Prime Minister Najib Razak and former premier Mahathir Mohamad, becoming part of the cultural landscape in the process. His cartoons have been collected in a series of books and are featured on the country’s most popular Internet news sites. The latest collection focuses on the long-running sodomy trials involving opposition champion Anwar Ibrahim, for which the final verdict is due Feb. 10.
“I started out with too many words. There was too much going on. Now, I try and just use a drawing, and the simpler the better. If people get the message, then they like it, like they are in on a secret.”
Last week, though, with tension in the country mounting ahead of the decision, police raided the cartoonist’s office in a nondescript business park in Kuala Lumpur’s suburbs and seized 149 of his books to assess whether Mr. Zunar should be added to the list of Malaysians to be prosecuted for sedition. Broadly defined, sedition criminalizes speech that could incite contempt toward the government or inflame hostility between the various ethnic groups in the country.
“They’re trying to keep me quiet,” said the grizzled, 51-year-old Mr. Zunar, whose full name is Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque. “If I was here at the time, I’m sure they would have arrested me, too.” He was in England when the raid occurred, but is now back at home.
Police officials declined to comment on the investigation.
“The Malaysian government condemned the attack on Charlie Hebdo. But what are they doing here? They are trying to shut me down.”
Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, is Malaysia’s leading political cartoonist. He takes The Wall Street Journal through the evolution of his craft.
That Malaysian authorities are investigating Mr. Zunar at all speaks volumes about how tensions are running high in the run-up to the Anwar verdict.
His newest book, “The Conspiracy to Imprison Anwar,” spans the entire sodomy saga. It starts in 1998, when the goateed, bespectacled Mr. Anwar, now 67, was fired as deputy prime minister after challenging Dr. Mahathir’s leadership. Mr. Zunar sketches his way through the opposition leader’s first sodomy trial and the six years he spent in prison until his conviction was overturned in 2004, before turning his pen to the current case, which began in 2008.
Now, as before, Mr. Anwar denies allegations, which were made by a male former aide. The government denies Mr. Anwar’s claim that the charges were orchestrated against him. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Smug vs. Smug: Bill Maher Exposes Howard Dean’s Ignorance in Argument Over Radical Islam: ‘You’re Just Denying The Facts’Posted: January 24, 2015
Bill Maher Confronts Howard Dean for ‘About as Muslim as I Am’ Comment
BILL MAHER, HBO’S “REAL TIME” HOST: [Saudi] King Abdullah died. He was praised by everyone from Obama to McCain as a “moderate.” Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, said he was a strong advocate of women. In the kingdom, women can’t drive, leave the house without a man, hold a lot of jobs. There’s summary beheading of female criminals. This is what I call the soft bigotry of low expectations when it comes to Muslims.
And Howard I know we disagree on this. I head you say that “ISIS is as Islamic as I am.”
HOWARD DEAN: I’m thrilled you brought it up because the right-wing jumped all over me after the usual suspects distorted what I said. Here’s why I say that. Here’s why I don’t call ISIS Islamic terrorists: it empowers them to do it. What they are, are a group of thugs who are murderers and subhuman. I mean, they do horrible things.
“When you don’t call things by their real name, you always get in trouble… We’ve entered the theater of the absurd… But it is not good for us or the Muslim world to pretend that this spreading jihadist violence isn’t coming out of their faith community.”
— Bill Maher quoting Tom Friedman
They want us to call them Islamic terrorists because it connects them with a billion people. They are not.
MAHER: But they are connected.
BRET STEPHENS, WALL STREET JOURNAL: But they are Islamic terrorists.
MAHER: And they are connected.
DEAN: They are thugs and murderers.
MAHER: Howard —
DEAN: And for us to — we empower them —
MAHER: Of course they are. And we’re not saying that all Muslims are thugs and murders, but this idea that they are not connected to the religion… Tom Friedman wrote about it this week. He said in an article “Say It Like It Is.” He said:
When you don’t call things by their real name, you always get in trouble… We’ve entered the theater of the absurd… But it is not good for us or the Muslim world to pretend that this spreading jihadist violence isn’t coming out of their faith community.
Do you disagree with that?
DEAN: This is not about political correctness. This is about depriving —
MAHER: Oh, come on. Read the rest of this entry »
‘The Last Thing President Obama is Going to Do is Take Some Sort of Personal Action that Indicates a Real Show of Solidarity with Cartoonists Who Offend Muslims’Posted: January 13, 2015
Why didn’t President Obama go to Paris?
Jim Geraghty writes:
…The simplest explanation…is that President Barack Obama doesn’t want to put his personal stature and credibility on the line to support something like Charlie Hebdo. Since those awful attacks, we’ve witnessed a lot of allegedly intellectual leftists offer versions of “the attacks were terrible, but —” and then explaining why Hebdo was offensive, hate speech, and unnecessary provocation, foolish, etc., and imply that the magazine isn’t really worth defending and that the world would be a better place if these immature, impudent cartoonists would stop making fun of one of the world’s great religions.
[Also see Mollie Hemingway’s 4 Reasons We Shouldn’t Be Surprised Obama Snubbed Paris at The Federalist]
There’s very little evidence to suggest that Obama disagrees with this progressive intellectual reaction, that while satire of Islam is theoretically legal, the consequences of enraging Muslims is too much trouble and risk to be worthwhile.
“Obama’s absence from Paris smashes America’s reputation as the world’s physical and philosophical anchor for freedom.”
— Tom Rogan
We saw this in the response to Hebdo before, and the infamous YouTube video that the administration cited as a scapegoat for the Benghazi attacks. To a lot of progressives, while depicting Muhammad or mocking Islam shouldn’t be banned,
it should be discouraged, and a presidential appearance at that rally and march would be too close to an official endorsement of the magazine and its contents…
Obama would never support going into a magazine and shooting people. But he’s a famously thin-skinned public figure who thinks he has a particularly powerful connection and understanding of the Muslim world because he spent some childhood years in Indonesia. He is so mono-focused on “de-escalating” tensions with the Muslim world that he thinks about how he would advise ISIS…(read more)
Obama’s Paris Snub Wasn’t an Oversight
Byron York dismisses the White House’s falsehoods and explores the intentional decision to be absent:
The White House reaction to the attacks in France, going back to the first reports of shots fired at Charlie Hebdo, has been noticeably subdued. Obama had scheduled last week as a time to roll out some upcoming State of the Union proposals in trips to Michigan, Arizona and Tennessee.
When world events intruded, the president stubbornly stuck to his schedule, mentioning France only briefly before introducing his plan for free tuition at community colleges.
Then came the unity march. No, it was not essential that Obama himself attend. But there’s no doubt he should have sent Vice President Joe Biden — why is there a VP, if not to go to big foreign events? — or at least Secretary of State John Kerry.
Even as the march wound its way through Paris, the White House sent out yet another sign of its unseriousness. Read the rest of this entry »
Nina Shea writes: What lesson will Europe draw from the Charlie Hebdo massacre? Will it get serious about ending Muslim extremism within its borders, or will it try even harder to curb offensive political cartoons and speech about Islam? Up to this point, Europe has responded to Islamist violence in retaliation against ridicule, and even against sober critique of Islam, by taking the latter course.
In 2008, the EU mandated religious hate-speech laws, with European officials indignantly declaring that there is “no right to religious insult.” More revealingly, one official European commission delicately explained that this measure was taken to “preserve social peace and public order” in light of the “increasing sensitivities” of “certain individuals” who “have reacted violently to criticism of their religion.”
“Today, the Charlie Hebdo staff is being mourned as ‘courageous chroniclers’ by President Hollande. But yesterday, it was the French state, not extremists, who sought to ‘avenge the prophet,’ through hate-speech charges against the magazine and its editor for other irreverent Mohammad cartoons.”
Europe was frightened and wanted to cool down its angry Muslim populations and appease the censorship lobby that claims to represent them in the 56-member-state Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Since 2004, it had seen the assassination of Theo van Gogh in an Amsterdam street for his and Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s film on abuses against Muslim women; worldwide Muslim riots and economic boycotts over an obscure Danish newspaper’s caricatures of the Islamic prophet Mohammed; and yet more rioting and murders after Pope Benedict presented a paper to an academic audience at Regensburg University that questioned Islam’s position on reason. Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Tomasky almost makes a good case here, but his credibility is strained by some perplexing comments. For example, the worst kind of wishful thinking is revealed in statements like this: “If states were to alter their conceptions of sharia law so that blasphemy and apostasy were lesser crimes, or preferably not crimes at all…” Well, of course we prefer they’re “not crimes at all”. Islamic legal scholars are pretty much on record preferring otherwise. I’d prefer that fresh coffee be delivered to my desk each morning by a team of pink unicorns. Who wouldn’t? But in the real world, I still have to go out and get my own coffee. To adherents and advocates of sharia law — perhaps not in its western world incarnations and deviations – but certainly in the Islamic world, to recommend liberalizing sharia to the point of irrelevance is itself arguably blasphemous. Or at the least, unrealistic to the point of being dangerously blind. Perhaps I’m wrong, maybe sharia has more potential to be flexible than I’m aware of. But current global trends certainly suggests otherwise.
Further, Tomasky’s flimsy defense of CAIR is questionable, and his call for maturity is rank snobbery disguised as insight: “Groups like CAIR and leading intellectuals and imams have been denouncing acts like these for years. It’s just that they don’t often make the news when they do it. So let’s please just grow out of that one,” he writes. Really? Let’s not grow out of that one, Mr. Tomasky. Terrorist front-group CAIR pays lip service to such things, but their blood-soaked insincerity is as ripe and thick as their FBI rap sheet. Let’s not even pretend that CAIR is a legitimate organization, if we’re trying to have a serious discussion. Those complaints aside? It’s a good article. And a worthwhile debate to have. Anyone willing to defend blasphemy, and advocate reform, is one of the good guys. Read the whole thing here, at The Daily Beast.
Today, Saudi Arabia will flog a blogger for blasphemy. We may not be able to stop terrorists from killing, but can we pressure states?
Michael Tomasky writes: Today, Saudi Arabia will flog a blogger for blasphemy. We may not be able to stop terrorists from killing, but can we pressure states?
As you go about your business today and think once or twice (as I hope you will) of Charb and his colleagues in Paris, spare another thought for Raif Badawi. He is, or was, a blogger in Saudi Arabia. Not the most agreeable place to ply the trade, as he learned in 2012 when he was arrested and charged with using his web site, “Free Saudi Liberals,” to engage in electronic insult of Islam. I read on Jonathan Turley’s blog that today, Friday, he will receive the first dose of his sentence in the form of 50 lashes.
“Have a look at this telling research from Pew on blasphemy and apostasy laws around the world. We do see that a few European countries have them on the books: Germany, Poland, Italy, Ireland, a couple more. In these countries, the punishment is typically a fine. Maybe in theory a short stint in the cooler, but in reality the laws in these countries are rarely enforced, and in some countries there hasn’t been a prosecution in years or decades.”
Badawi’s crime was to run a web site that “violates Islamic values and propagates liberal thought.” Interesting that those who sat in judgment of him found those two sets of beliefs to be incompatible. He was originally sentenced to seven years and 600 lashes. A huge international outcry ensued. He was retried, and sure enough his sentence was adjusted. It was increased—to 10 years and 1,000 lashes. But give the Kingdom credit for its sense of mercy: The lashes will be administered only 50 at a time.
Like Nick Kristof, I have been gratified to see that my Twitter feed has been bursting to the rafters with tweets from Muslims and Arabs condemning the Paris attacks in the strongest possible terms. Gratified but not surprised. Anyone who’s paid attention has known for some time now that there are millions of Muslims and Arabs (obviously, not all Muslims are Arabs, and vice versa) who espouse and fight for liberal secular values. I know some. They’re some of the most courageous people I’ve ever met.
“The most notorious states are Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, where death is an acceptable legal remedy. In 2009, a Pakistani Christian woman got into a religious argument with some Muslim women with whom she was harvesting berries. Asia Bibi, as she is known, was arrested and sentenced to death.”
It’s high time—and if this tragedy has prodded Western culture to turn this particular corner, then that’s one good thing that will have come of it—that we stop demanding of Muslims and Arabs that they denounce acts of terrorism just because they’re Muslims and Arabs. Read the rest of this entry »
“We are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the prophet Muhammad, and obviously we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this.”
Carney told reporters during a midday press briefing at the White House.
“We know these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential be be inflammatory.”
Carney said in a prepared statement.
The French government reacted to the expected threats by temporarily shutting down embassies and schools in 20 countries with significant Muslim populations.
The White House’s criticism of a French magazine’s editorial choices comes as a wave of Islamist attacks threatened to upset the president’s election campaign, during which has has claimed that his policies have reduced conflict with Islamic countries.
The administration’s new criticism of the famous French magazine Charlie Hebdo follows the administration’s Sept. 14 effort to persuade Google to take down a short and cheap satirical video on YouTube that also angered Islamists.
Competing leaders in the fractious Islamic political movement — which now dominates the governments of Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and nearly all Arab countries — say criticism of their claimed prophet, Muhammad, is blasphemous and deserving of the death penalty. Read the rest of this entry »
There are two sets of American misconceptions here. The first is to play up Mansouri as representative of the UAE as a champion of gender equality, when in fact the UAE is objectively quite bad on women’s rights, and the fact that we allow them such a lowered bar represents a soft bigotry of lowered expectations. The second is to repeatedly contrast the UAE with Saudi Arabia in a way that explicitly frames Saudi gender restrictions as the default for Arab and Muslim societies, when in fact Saudi restrictions are freakishly unique and widely reviled in the Muslim world.
“Much of the praise starts with the assumption that Arab societies are inherently backward”
What these misconceptions have in common is to endorse the idea, which originates with ultra-conservative Islamists and Islamophobic racists, that Muslim and Arab countries will naturally set a lower standard for women’s rights. It buys into the condescending assumption that there are Western women and there are Arab women and they should expect different tiers of liberation because the latter’s societies are inherently less advanced. Read the rest of this entry »
Reports coming out of the UK, specifically the Daily Mail, shed new light on the missing Malaysia Airways Flight 370. Eleven al Qaeda-linked terrorists are being questioned on their knowledge of the missing plane and there is speculation surrounding more than 2 tonnes of sensitive and unaccounted for cargo.
The suspects had been identified by both the FBI and MI6 as persons of interest and are reported to be members of a new terror group said to be planning bomb attacks in Muslim countries. Read the rest of this entry »
A government that creates the climate for bullying is the worst of the bullies
Mrs. Clinton required translation into the language of truth, as she generally does when her lips are moving. By the “rights” of “all people” to “worship” as “they choose,” she meant the sharia-based desire of Muslim supremacists to foreclose critical examination of Islam. Madame Secretary, you see, was speechifying before her friends at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — the bloc of 56 Muslim countries plus the Palestinian territories.
At that very moment in July 2011, Christians were under siege in Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, and Iran — being gradually purged from those Islamic countries just as they’d been purged from Turkey, which hosted Mrs. Clinton’s speech. As Christians from the Middle East to West Monroe, La., can tell you, the Left and its Obama vanguard are not remotely interested in their “rights . . . to worship the way they choose.”
AFP – An online Islamic sex shop selling condoms, massage oils and perfumes has been launched in Turkey, becoming the first of its kind in the predominantly Muslim country.
The “Halal Sex Shop” website presents its products as being “entirely safe,” and in compliance with Islamic norms.
Internet users who enter the site find two different links directing them to separate sections for male and female products.
Other sections of the website are designed to discuss sex in the context of Islam under various headings: “Oral sex according to Islam”, “Sex manners in Islam” and “Sexual life in Islam.” Read the rest of this entry »
Ten days ago, as John McCormack noted, in the midst of a speech about the economy President Obama mentioned some other issues:
“Of course, we’ll keep pressing on other key priorities, like reducing gun violence, rebalancing our fight against al Qaeda, combating climate change, and standing up for civil rights and women’s rights.”
McCormack asked, “what does ‘rebalancing our fight against al Qaeda’ mean? It’s a phrase Obama hasn’t used before.”
The administration hasn’t answered McCormack’s question. In light of al Qaeda’s resurgence in Iraq, our withdrawal from Afghanistan, our fecklessness with respect to Syria, Libya, and elsewhere–and now the travel alert warning about the “potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa” and Sunday’s closing of 22 embassies across the Muslim world–the answer is becoming depressingly clear: Rebalance is a euphemism for retreat.
Al Qaeda’s not on the run. We are.
A common theme that runs through President Obama’s statements is the idea the United States must atone for its past policies, whether it is America’s application of the war against Islamist terrorism or its overall foreign policy. At the core of this message is the concept that the U.S. is a flawed nation that must seek redemption by apologizing for its past “sins.”
On several occasions, President Obama has sought to apologize for the actions of his own country when addressing a foreign audience–including seven of the 10 apologies listed below. The President has already apologized for his country to nearly 3 billion people across Europe, the Muslim world, and the Americas.
The Obama Administration’s strategy of unconditional engagement with America’s enemies combined with a relentless penchant for apology-making is a dangerous recipe for failure. The overall effect of this approach has been to weaken American power on the world stage rather than strengthen it.
President Obama’s personal approval ratings across much of the world may be sky high, but that has not translated into greater support for U.S.-led initiatives, such as the NATO mission in Afghanistan, which is heavily dependent on American and British troops. The U.S. is increasingly viewed as a soft touch internationally, which has encouraged rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran to accelerate their nuclear and missile programs.
As President Obama embarks this week on his second major overseas tour, which will take him to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Germany, and France, the world does not need yet another apology from the President. Rather, it is looking for strong and principled leadership from the most powerful nation on the face of the earth. American leadership is not a popularity contest, nor should it be an exercise in self-loathing. Rather, it is about taking tough positions that will be met with hostility in many parts of the globe. Above all, it demands the assertive projection of American power, both to secure the homeland and to protect America’s allies.
The following is a list of the 10 most significant apologies by the President of the United States in his first four months of office as they relate to foreign policy and national security issues.
1. Apology to France and Europe (“America Has Shown Arrogance”)
Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.
So we must be honest with ourselves. In recent years we’ve allowed our Alliance to drift. I know that there have been honest disagreements over policy, but we also know that there’s something more that has crept into our relationship. In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.
2. Apology to the Muslim World (“We Have Not Been Perfect”)
President Obama, interview with Al Arabiya, January 27, 2009.
My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.
3. Apology to the Summit of the Americas (“At Times We Sought to Dictate Our Terms”)
President Obama, address to the Summit of the Americas opening ceremony, Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 17, 2009.
All of us must now renew the common stake that we have in one another. I know that promises of partnership have gone unfulfilled in the past, and that trust has to be earned over time. While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms. But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership. There is no senior partner and junior partner in our relations; there is simply engagement based on mutual respect and common interests and shared values. So I’m here to launch a new chapter of engagement that will be sustained throughout my administration.
The United States will be willing to acknowledge past errors where those errors have been made.
4. Apology at the G-20 Summit of World Leaders (“Some Restoration of America’s Standing in the World”)
News conference by President Obama, ExCel Center, London, United Kingdom, April 2, 2009.
I would like to think that with my election and the early decisions that we’ve made, that you’re starting to see some restoration of America’s standing in the world. And although, as you know, I always mistrust polls, international polls seem to indicate that you’re seeing people more hopeful about America’s leadership.
I just think in a world that is as complex as it is, that it is very important for us to be able to forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions. Just to try to crystallize the example, there’s been a lot of comparison here about Bretton Woods. “Oh, well, last time you saw the entire international architecture being remade.” Well, if there’s just Roosevelt and Churchill sitting in a room with a brandy, that’s an easier negotiation. But that’s not the world we live in, and it shouldn’t be the world that we live in.
5. Apology for the War on Terror (“We Went off Course”)
President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.
Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. I believe that many of these decisions were motivated by a sincere desire to protect the American people. But I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight; that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, too often we set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. And during this season of fear, too many of us–Democrats and Republicans, politicians, journalists, and citizens–fell silent.
In other words, we went off course. And this is not my assessment alone. It was an assessment that was shared by the American people who nominated candidates for President from both major parties who, despite our many differences, called for a new approach–one that rejected torture and one that recognized the imperative of closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
6. Apology for Guantanamo in France (“Sacrificing Your Values”)
Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.
Our two republics were founded in service of these ideals. In America, it is written into our founding documents as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In France: “Liberté”–absolutely–“egalité, fraternité.” Our moral authority is derived from the fact that generations of our citizens have fought and bled to uphold these values in our nations and others. And that’s why we can never sacrifice them for expedience’s sake. That’s why I’ve ordered the closing of the detention center in Guantanamo Bay. That’s why I can stand here today and say without equivocation or exception that the United States of America does not and will not torture.
In dealing with terrorism, we can’t lose sight of our values and who we are. That’s why I closed Guantanamo. That’s why I made very clear that we will not engage in certain interrogation practices. I don’t believe that there is a contradiction between our security and our values. And when you start sacrificing your values, when you lose yourself, then over the long term that will make you less secure.
7. Apology before the Turkish Parliament (“Our Own Darker Periods in Our History”)
Speech by President Obama to the Turkish Parliament, Ankara, Turkey, April 6, 2009.
Every challenge that we face is more easily met if we tend to our own democratic foundation. This work is never over. That’s why, in the United States, we recently ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. That’s why we prohibited–without exception or equivocation–the use of torture. All of us have to change. And sometimes change is hard.
Another issue that confronts all democracies as they move to the future is how we deal with the past. The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history. Facing the Washington Monument that I spoke of is a memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed those who were enslaved even after Washington led our Revolution. Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans.
Human endeavor is by its nature imperfect. History is often tragic, but unresolved, it can be a heavy weight. Each country must work through its past. And reckoning with the past can help us seize a better future.
8. Apology for U.S. Policy toward the Americas (“The United States Has Not Pursued and Sustained Engagement with Our Neighbors”)
Opinion editorial by President Obama: “Choosing a Better Future in the Americas,” April 16, 2009.
Too often, the United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors. We have been too easily distracted by other priorities, and have failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas. My Administration is committed to the promise of a new day. We will renew and sustain a broader partnership between the United States and the hemisphere on behalf of our common prosperity and our common security.
9. Apology for the Mistakes of the CIA (“Potentially We’ve Made Some Mistakes”)
Remarks by the President to CIA employees, CIA Headquarters, Langley, Virginia, April 20, 2009.The remarks followed the controversial decision to release Office of Legal Counsel memoranda detailing CIA enhanced interrogation techniques used against terrorist suspects.
So don’t be discouraged by what’s happened in the last few weeks. Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes. That’s how we learn. But the fact that we are willing to acknowledge them and then move forward, that is precisely why I am proud to be President of the United States, and that’s why you should be proud to be members of the CIA.
10. Apology for Guantanamo in Washington (“A Rallying Cry for Our Enemies”)
President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.
There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America’s strongest currency in the world. Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law. In fact, part of the rationale for establishing Guantanamo in the first place was the misplaced notion that a prison there would be beyond the law–a proposition that the Supreme Court soundly rejected. Meanwhile, instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause. Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.
So the record is clear: Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security. It is a rallying cry for our enemies.
- MORE SNARKY, CONDESCENDING, PEEVISH & SMALL: Obama’s arrogant, small ball behavior continues. (pjmedia.com)
- Obama fails in attempt to reject accusation of apologizing for US (kansascity.com)
Spanish political satire magazine El Jueves has published a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad on its cover, soon after violent protests rocked the Muslim world over a U.S. film and French caricatures deemed insulting to Islam.
El Jueves latest edition, which hit Spanish newsstands on Wednesday, shows several Muslims in a police lineup under the title
“But…does anyone know what Mohammad looks like?”
Any depiction of the prophet is considered blasphemous by Muslims but the issue has also caused a debate in the West about censorship and freedom of speech.
The magazine declined to comment to Reuters on Thursday on the motives for the publication.
But in comments to the Huffington Post, editor Mayte Quilez said it was a decision to take a humorous position on a contentious issue.
“If you cant depict Mohammad, how do you know it is him in the cartoons?”
More >> via Reuters