Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’


IPT: The Enemy of My Enemy

August 14, 2009

The Enemy of My Enemy

IPT News
August 7, 2009

There is an ancient Arab proverb that says, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Its meaning is essentially self-explanatory. In the modern world, the phrase can describe the relationship among seemingly disparate people or groups who share a common adversary.

It is no surprise that Islamist organizations in the United States espouse support for foreign Islamic terrorist organizations and denounce virtually every US counter-terrorism effort. Such organizations viciously attack Israel and often Jews when issues related to Israeli defense measures against terror attacks come into play. Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other Palestinian terror organizations can unleash lethal attacks against Israelis and Jews and nearly any Israeli response will be condemned as a “war crime” against the Palestinian people.

A disturbing trend is emerging in America. Those radical Islamists are finding new allies among a number of extreme leftist groups.

One example of this is the coalition found in “Viva Palestina USA.” Viva Palestina USA is an offshoot of British MP George Galloway’s anti-Zionist, pro-Hamas Viva Palestina convoy initiative that has conducted supposed humanitarian aid trips into Gaza, including last month’s trip with about 200 Americans as well as more than $1 million in aid for Palestinians in Gaza. Viva Palestina USA claims to be a humanitarian initiative desiring to help needy Palestinians. A previous report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism shows convoy organizers exhibiting clear anti-American, anti-Israel, revolutionary and pro-Hamas sentiments.

Viva Palestina USA is not (yet) an IRS-approved tax exempt non-profit organization. Its website solicits donations through an organization called the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizations/Pastors for Peace (IFCO). The IFCO is a tax exempt non-profit organization based in New York City. The executive director of IFCO is Lucius Walker, Jr. Walker is a Baptist minister who was a founding director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace. IFCO and Walker are also involved with an organization called “Cuba Solidarity,” also known as the “National Network on Cuba (NNOC).” IFCO is listed as an affiliate organization on the Cuba Solidarity website. Cuba Solidarity and the NNOC are pro-communist Cuba and oppose US Government policies against Cuba. Walker has been involved in several “aid caravans” to Cuba in violation of the US trade embargo.

During a pre-convoy rally in New York July 3 for Viva Palestina USA, Walker made the following statements:

“…But we could not avoid being a part of this historic effort to give the people of the United States an opportunity to visibly demonstrate their opposition to our government’s policies, our government’s callousness and our government’s complicity with Israel’s efforts to destroy the hopes and the aspirations of the Palestinian people. And so we have been honored to be able to receive funds on behalf of this effort that we are here as a part of. So this is the second send-off that those of us connected with Pastors of Peace have been a part of for this week…” and “Fidel [Castro] was right, is right. A better world is possible. But that better world is not possible if we do not take bold and courageous and determined action.”

Also attending this Viva Palestina rally was New York City Councilman Charles Barron. Barron is a former Black Panther. At the rally, Barron recognized and welcomed members of the New Black Panther Party:

“I also want to say as we continue to struggle for liberation for people all over, and we are particularly concerned about Africa we want to thank the New Black Panther Party. Please y’all stand up…”

Anti-Israel, leftist Christian and pro-communist political groups are not the only ones aligning themselves with radical Islamists. There appears to be a growing movement among radical Latino and African-American groups to support jihadists.

The Aztlan movement, or “Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan,” or “Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan” touts the supremacy of Latino culture and hopes to eventually return the southwest states of the US to Mexico, claiming those states were illegally procured from Mexico. This is, essentially, a Latino separatist and secessionist movement.

The “Aztlan Communications Network,” also known as “La Voz de Aztlan” (The Voice of Aztlan) claims it is a “totally independent news service.” This website, however, in its “Quest for Aztlan” section carries an emblem that is nearly identical to the emblem found on the official MEChA site. The “Historical Documents” section identifies “El Plan de Santa Barbara,” as does the MEChA site under its “Documentos” section. Also identified in this La Voz de Aztlan section are detailed references to MEChA.

La Voz de Aztlan features stories denouncing Israeli and US government counter-terrorism efforts. The site is blatantly pro-Islamist and there is a direct link to supporting Viva Palestina USA called “Lifeline from La Raza to Gaza.” This from the site:

“We were all moved to tears of grief and anger when Israel launched its murderous bombardment against the people of Gaza in December and January.”

“While the bombs were still showering down on what has been called the largest open-air prison in history…”

“The US has a chance right now to step into a more progressive role in the world. But Viva Palestina USA needs your help to make this venture successful and to get this aid through the siege that has been strangling the people of Gaza for three years.”

“1) Circulate this message among all friends, community and religious groups and other organizations in your network. Publish it on your website if possible. MEChA Chapters are encouraged to participate.”

“2) …Donations are being handled by the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization and should be made payable to Viva Palestina – IFCO. Please write on your donation “Aztlan Delegation.” For information on how to make a donation click Donate.

“3) Come as an Aztlan delegate to Gaza…”

“4) Hold a fundraiser in your city or community. We have films and other materials to assist you. E-mail for further information.”

“5) Contact your local and state media to tell them why you support the Viva Palestina USA convoy.”

“Together, we WILL break the siege, we WILL deliver much-needed aid to the people of Gaza, and we WILL help free Palestine! VIVA, VIVA PALESTINA!”

There is a link on this site to an article headlined:

Israel has now massacred over 300 Palestinian children in Gaza .

This article contains two pages of photos of injured and dead Palestinian children who were allegedly the victims of Israeli attacks. The lead paragraph of the article:

“According to United Nations reports, the Zionist state of Israel has now slaughtered over 900 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip since December 27, 2008 when the indiscriminate bombing of Palestinian homes, schools and mosques began. Most shocking is that more than 300 of these are babies, toddlers and young children (1500 injured). This war crime has got to be one of the most horrific in the history of humanity.”

A curious YouTube video posting also reflects the emerging paradigm of an extremist American affinity for the Islamist cause. The segment is a 4+ minute rap video slide show called “My Enemy’s Enemy” by something called M-Team. Prime repetitive wording in the rap is “My enemy’s enemy is my man, my man.” The slide show intersperses scenes from the Middle East with 1960s-era shots of armed Black Panthers and Black Liberation Army operatives as well as what appears to be some photo reference to the Nation of Islam and the capture of Latino illegal aliens by the US Border Patrol.

“My Enemy’s Enemy” was used to open the July 26 broadcast of “The Crescent Report,” a weekly program hosted by Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Foundation officials Mahdi Bray and Ibrahim Ramey. MAS was created by the Muslim Brotherhood, which federal prosecutors describe as “a generally covert organization whose credo is ‘Allah is our goal: the Qur’an is our constitution: the Prophiet is our leader: Struggle is our way: and death in the path of Allah is our highest aspiration.'”

Bray introduced the song saying “I want the listeners to hear this, because I think it’s really appropriate.” Its lyrics include:

“We’re sharks in the water, we work for the man. My enemy’s enemy is my man, my man. You smuggle contraband or you cross the land, my enemy’s enemy is my man, my man. I’m a brother to the (unintelligible word) with stones in their hands, Palestinians fighting for their stolen land…Got brothers from the Vietnam. Not the red, white and blue, but the Viet Cong.”

Afterward, co-host Ibrahim Ramey even dedicated the song to a listener.

Islamists are garnering support from disparate sources. Radical non-Muslim ethnic groups and hard-core leftists seem to be jumping on the jihadist bandwagon. It’s an alliance that demands closer inquiry.


Obama funds $20M tax payer dollars to immigrate Hamas

June 16, 2009

Obama funds $20M tax payer dollars to immigrate Hamas Refugees to the USA


Since this fool has been anointed king, and as I’ve followed him with my blog before the election, I now believe we truly have the Manchurian Candidate in office as PONTUS.  I could list all the things he has blown, while driving our country off the cliff economically. I won’t even mention the blunders he made on his world tour apologizing for what bad people we are in the U.S. I just ask you the reader, can you name anything he has done right and in the interest of America?  This guy scares the hell out of me.

This is the  news that didn’t make the headlines…  Federal Register Link belowObama

By executive order,  President Barack Obama has ordered the expenditure of $20.3 million in migration assistance to the Palestinian refugees and conflict  victims in Gaza . The “presidential determination” which allows hundreds of thousands of Palestinians with ties to Hamas to resettle in the United States was signed on January 27 and appeared in the  Federal Register on February 4.

Few on Capitol Hill took note that the order provides a free ticket replete with housing  and food allowances to individuals who have displayed their  overwhelming support of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in  the parliamentary election of January 2006.

A review of Barack Obama’s most recent actions since he was inaugurated: &nbs p;
His first call to any head of state as  president was to Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah party in the Palestinian territory.
His first one-on-one interview  with any news organization was with Al Arabia television.

He  ordered Guantanamo Bay closed and all military trials of detainees halted.

He ordered all overseas CIA interrogation centers  closed.

He withdrew all charges against the masterminds behind  the USS Cole and 9/11.

Now we learn that he is allowing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refuges to move to and live in the US at American taxpayer expense.

To verify for yourself: m/d.p/2009-02-04-E9-2488

Cartoon: Obama Supports Terrorism

May 22, 2009


That Surreal Gaza Reconstruction Conference

March 6, 2009

How do you account for this gift of nearly one billion dollars of your hard earned tax money to the terrorists in Gaza? Why are Pres. Obama and Sec’ty. Hillary Clinton playing up to these terrorists which will lead to the rebuilding of their arsenal of rockets? Don’t you, as a loyal member of the party in power, have any voice in the direction your leader is taking you and this country? Will you stand idly by and watch your dollars being contributed to the killers of men, women and children who reside both in Gaza and Israel? Why the silence among you? Why not get out your marching clothes, picket signs and banners that accompanied you on your demostrations against the war in Iraq and begin taking over our streets and colleges to proclaim a quick end to our newly born  support for Muslim terror?


That Surreal Gaza Reconstruction Conference

by Daniel Pipes
March 3, 2009

Was I the only one rubbing my eyes in disbelief yesterday, as the Egyptian government hosted an “International Conference for the Reconstruction of Gaza”?

Husni Mubarak of Egypt addresses the Gaza donors’ conference.

It took place in Sharm El-Sheikh, attended by delegations from 71 states, plus 16 regional, international, and financial organizations. Its stated goal was to raise US$2.8 billion, of which $1.3 was for rebuilding what had been destroyed in the course of Israel’s recent war on Hamas (the rest would be sent to the Palestinian Authority to help improve its standing). The actual amount raised at the conference was $4.5 billion which, when added to previously committed funds, means the grant total for Gaza and the PA comes to $5.2 billion, to be disbursed over a two-year period. A delighted Egyptian foreign minister called the amount “beyond our expectations.” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called it “a very productive conference”

Among the larger donations included a Gulf Cooperation Council contribution of $1.65 billion over five years and a U.S. government pledge of $900 million from the American taxpayer (of which $300 million will go for Gaza rebuilding).

Husni Mubarak of Egypt, Nicholas Sarkozy of France, Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations, Amr Moussa of the Arab League, and Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority gave speeches.

Why my disbelief at this spectacle: I wonder if those eminentoes and worthies really believe that warfare in Gaza is a thing of the past, and that the time for reconstruction is nigh?

They must not read dispatches from southern Israel, which report the daily warfare that continues there. Take a representative news item from Yedi’ot Aharonot, dated February 28, “Experts: Grads in Ashkelon were advanced.”

the two Grad rockets that landed in Ashkelon Saturday morning[, Feb. 28,] were new and improved models, capable of greater destruction than those usually fired from Gaza. One of the rockets hit a school in the southern city, and succeeded in penetrating the fortification used to protect it from projectiles. … The Grad rockets that hit Ashkelon were two of only five or six locally manufactured 170 mm rockets ever fired at Israel, experts say. The rarely used rockets have a range of 14 km (8.6 miles) and are capable of massive damage, evident from the destruction witnesses described on the scene of Saturday’s attack.

In an official protest to the United Nations, the Israel’s Ambassador Gabriela Shalev noted that “there have been nearly 100 rocket and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip” since the ceasefire on January 18, or over two per day. These have been increasing in number, with 12 rockets were fired at Sderot on March 1 alone.

Responding to these attacks, the Israeli cabinet resolved on March 1 that “should the firing from the Gaza Strip continue, it would be met by a painful, sharp, strong and uncompromising response by the security forces.” Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu echoed this bellicosity, reportedly telling a European leader that he would not sacrifice Israel’s security “for a smile.”

(Saudi foreign minister Saud Al-Faisal, in unexpected agreement, noted that rebuilding Gaza would be “difficult and fool-hardy, so long as peace and security do not prevail” there.)

What the hell are the donor countries doing, getting in the middle of an on-going war with their high-profile supposed reconstruction effort? My best guess: this permits them subtly to signal Jerusalem that it better not attack Gaza again, because doing so will confront it with a lot of very angry donor governments – including, of course, the Obama administration.

Adding to the surreal quality is a blithe disregard for Israel’s security needs. Consider the attitude of Douglas Alexander, international development secretary for Britain’s Labour government, who pledged £30 million of his taxpayers’ funds to rebuild houses, schools, and hospitals in Gaza. “There is a desperate need for tough restrictions on the supply of goods to be relaxed,” he said, demanding next that “Israel must do the right thing and allow much-needed goods to get through to those men, women and children who continue to suffer.”

That’s very humanitarian of Mr. Alexander, but he willfully ignored Israeli expectations that Hamas will confiscate steel, concrete, and other imported construction materials to build more tunnels, bunkers, and rockets. After all, Hamas appropriated prior deliveries intended for civilians, and so blatantly that even the usually docile United Nations Relief and Works Agency protested.

Husni Mubarak might warn Hamas not to treat the donors’ pledges as a “conquest of war,” but it will assuredly do precisely that. U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (Republican of Illinois) got it right: “To route $900 million to this area, and let’s say Hamas was only able to steal 10 percent of that, we would still become Hamas’ second-largest funder after Iran.”

So, under the cheery banner of building, in Clinton’s words, “a comprehensive peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors,” donor states are not only defying Israel to protect itself from rocket fire but they are funneling matériel to Hamas.

Is this ignorance or mendacity? I suspect the latter; no one is that dumb.


Why Israel Did Not Lose in Gaza

February 13, 2009




Conventional versus Non-Conventional Warfare and Why Israel Did Not Lose in Gaza

Posted By Phyllis Chesler On February 10, 2009 @ 10:49 am In Uncategorized | 14 Comments

My good friend, Herb Berger, of lucky, sunny, southern California, just sent me a Report issued by SFC Ariel (Orion) Siegelman upon his return from combat operations in Gaza. Siegelman founded the Draco Group as a service in advanced security and training. He served in the Israel Defense Force, Special Forces, as a counter terror operative, counter terror sniper and counter terror instructor. He remains active in the Reserves where he serves on active duty when necessary, as well as an instructor for rapid response teams, counter terror, urban sniper situations, and special warfare tactics.

I do not know whether Siegelman has published his Report anywhere but even if he has, it really deserves a continuously wide reading.

For years now, Israeli and American military tacticians have had to learn how to define “triumph” when a conventional army is facing a non-conventional army in which seasoned soldiers may disguise themselves as civilians, conduct “hit and run” operations and then disappear, and when conventional soldiers want to live but non-conventional soldiers are perfectly willing to die as long as they can also kill you.

One of the many things I learned when I lived in Afghanistan so long ago was that for some people, fighting, killing, looting, kidnapping-for-ransom (or pleasure), and dying was a veritable way of life, that fighting and dying gave their lives significance and was the only way they could fulfill their obligations as the male members of a tribe and clan. My American and western concept of steady, inevitable progress, my womanly concept of mediating differences in a non-violent way had absolutely no place in this wild and gorgeous place. Even I was charmed by the rifle-bearing and friendly (to me) Khyber Pass male relatives who visited me in Kabul. They had come to meet their “first American woman.”

Indeed, the other night I watched the film “Mongol” which imagines the early life of Genghis Khan. It is a bloody, but beautiful and brilliant film. Watch it. It will help you understand the psychology of the permanent barbarian-fighter, who is born and bred to battle as a way of life.

In terms of neo-barbarian modern warfare, (airplane hijackings, suicide bombings, torture and mutilation of captives, permanent low-level warfare, vicious propaganda), Israel has been tested early on and has had to learn how to best defend itself. World-wide, Israeli embassies and consulates have, unfortunately, been forced to lead the way in terms of modern security measures. Israel’s El Al airlines are one of the safest airlines to fly. Now, we are all Israelis in terms of airport security and other public building security measures.

Which leads us to Ariel (Orion) Siegelman’s really smart analysis of how to understand the recent and ongoing war in Gaza. Here is his full Report.

“I returned home from war in Gaza last week and people keep asking me the same question:

“Why did the Israelis pull out before they finished the job?”

The premise of this question is that the Israelis should have continued the war in the Gaza Strip until it was conquered and Hamas was toppled. This is an erroneous premise that is dangerous in the new kind of war and is based on an outdated western understanding of warfare which has no basis in the new war theater. The problem with the above premise is that it is based in the understanding that there are front lines and there are real lines on the battlefield. This faulty rule states that if you can push through enemy territory and fight until you get to the enemy’s opposite borders, you have conquered the land and the war is over. This premise would state that, in the case of Israel, when you capture the Hamas headquarters and arrest or kill the leaders, Hamas has been toppled. This is the same lack of understanding that led to many problems that US forces face today in Iraq. People still cannot understand why the war is raging on, even after we captured the enemy’s leader, Sadam Hussein (see Draco Report, March 2008). Sorry folks, the age of conquest is dead.

The conventional war, where soldiers meet on the battlefield to fight, is a thing of the past. Today technology is so great that any target that is identifiable, can be destroyed by a conventional army with pinpoint accuracy within a matter of seconds. Even if 2 great powers were to meet on a battlefield, there would be such tremendous devastation on both sides within the first few minutes that it would make this conventional battle pointless. This is all the more true for a force that cannot hope to match his enemy’s technological capabilities (e.g. Hamas, Al Qaeda, Tamil Tigers, etc). In this case he must equal the playing field by rendering the technology useless. The neutralization of technology is accomplished through unconventional tactics. And we have seen many cases of inferior numbers with inferior weaponry beating back a seemingly stronger enemy when the enemy was stuck in his conventional and rigid mindset, unwilling to meet the unconventional force with flexibility and creativity.

In the case of Israel vs. Hamas, Israel has a conventional army and Hamas is an unconventional force. When throwing around these terms it is very important to understand that conventional and unconventional forces define victory in VERY different ways. If the conventional army does not win, it loses. If the unconventional army does not lose, it wins. Therefore, the unconventional force is always in an advantage. We are not playing a numbers game here. We are talking about the reality on the new battlefield. Perception, my friends; that is all that matters.

A conventional army operates by
1. Identifying the enemy.
2. Pinning the enemy down.
3. Killing or capturing the enemy.

Any unconventional force recognizes these three rules and organizes its operability to combat them. The three rules of unconventional warfare are:
1. Make it impossible for the opposing force to identify you.
2. Never stand and fight.
3. Don’t worry about numbers. Just wear them down.

The unconventional force does not need to, and should never meet 100 soldiers on the battlefield with an equal opposing force (the whole concept of unconventional warfare is unequal force). He looks at 100 opposing enemy as 100 targets. He only needs to field 2 fighters who pop up out of a hole in the ground or from behind a wall, spray 50 rounds of ammunition and then run away. Each 10 second attack should kill or wound a few of the conventional force Add booby traps to this kind of mixture and the unconventional fighter can greatly increase his impact on those soldiers. In this manner, 2 men can bring hundreds of enemy soldiers to a cowering stand-still. The conventional soldiers never know where the attack will come from. By the time they identify the source of fire, the enemy has vanished. Most importantly, the conventional force becomes afraid and demoralized and over time, the home front withdraws their support for what seems endless and pointless, and pressures the government to pull the forces out, making the continuation of operations eventually impossible. When the conventional force finally pulls out, the unconventional force will ALWAYS declare victory, showing gory pictures and telling the stories of their heroic plight against a superior force that they drove out under fire

Now let us talk about Gaza.

I have never seen a more perfectly carried out operation of a conventional army against an unconventional force. It is important to recognize that the Israeli intelligence arm proved, once again, to be stellar in providing fresh and mind-boggling, detailed assessments of the enemy, his capabilities, and his positions. All rules of engagement and mission plans were developed directly from this information.

So why did we pull out when we did?

Imagine going into a casino and having inside information. You KNOW that you are going to make money, so you lay down all of your chips and you win big. The trick is to get out before the casino starts to figure you out and win it back. Gaza is a very dangerous place. It is full of booby traps, tunnels, bunkers, and a very violent enemy. Every moment that our guys are inside of a place like that, there is a tremendous potential for carnage. And due to the fact that the enemy is unconventional in nature, all Hamas needs is ONE devastating strike on an Israeli position, for one IED (improvised explosive device) to take out a team, or for one tank to be blown up, and they have acquired victory. We knew from the start of an operation like this that we were eventually going to pull out and they only needed ONE story that they could tell after we were gone. It was undoubtedly the grace of G-d that stole the smallest bit of victory from Hamas. I personally have met this enemy many times over the last few years and the fact they came out of this situation appearing incapable to the world, like a rag-tag bunch of fools, borders on miraculous. They are a VERY serious, well supplied, highly trained army and we expected high numbers of casualties. The decision to pull out when we did was partially due to this fact – get out while you are ahead.

Before entering the Gaza Strip, the army was very clear about our objectives. We were told that we do not want to destroy all of their capabilities and we are not trying to topple Hamas. This is hard for many good people to swallow but it is the best thing under the circumstances. Our goal was simply to drastically reduce their capabilities to hit us and to remind our enemies, and ourselves (after Lebanon) that we are not wimps. The fact that upwards of 100 rockets per day were falling in Israel proper before this operation and now, a handful of rockets hit every week, shows that we, in fact, accomplished our goals. I am well aware that it is still intolerable to allow someone to shoot missiles at you and it seems ridiculous to say that we achieved our goals because they “ONLY shoot a few rockets at us.” However, in this situation, it is VERY important to do a cost-benefit analysis. In this sort of conflict within 2 weeks you can destroy between 80% and 90% of the enemy’s capabilities. However, in order to get rid of the last 10%, it might take 2 years or more of much harder, more surgical effort. Remember what we said above, EVERY MOMENT that you are inside, you are in GREAT danger of losing men. The costs are simply not worth that last 10%.

The idea of toppling Hamas is not on the menu for 2 simple reasons:

1. Hamas is an idea. You cannot kill an idea with military action. It is foolish to think that you can topple a movement through conquest. As long as 2 individuals can hide and claim that they hold true to the Hamas ideals, you have not accomplished your goal of “toppling Hamas”.

2. I’ll let you in on a little secret (any politician will deny this), but we don’t want to topple Hamas – and you shouldn’t either. You see, Fatah (the opposition to Hamas) is considered to be moderate because they don’t murder quite as many people and because Mahmud Abbas (”prime minister” of the Palestinian Authority and head of Fatah) wears a suit. If Hamas did not exist, only the “moderates” would be left and then the world, as well as the Israeli Left would apply great pressure to create a Palestinian State. And even if you think that a Palestinian State is a good idea then I think that you should move to Gaza for a while. Fatah is a terrorist organization! But the world won’t care about that if Hamas is out of the picture. Therefore, Hamas has its place, albeit weaker, but it has its place.

Ask yourself, what more would we have gained by staying in for an extra week or an extra month? It is true, we could have killed more of them and we could have destroyed more of their tunnels, buildings, and cashes. But at what cost to us? We left after inflicting great destruction to their capabilities and now, as they are pulling themselves out of the rubble, they are desperately trying to claim some sort of victory and even their own people roll their eyes at that attempt. They have no stories of heroism or victory that they can grasp onto in this new kind of war where perception is what builds you or tears you down. Therefore, they lost

So what about the future?

Without a doubt, Hamas is already re-arming and planning for the next chapter of this conflict. The enemy is highly motivated, cunning, adaptable, and vicious. So we must be the same. Even though some analysts would have us believe that radical Islam is on the decline, I assure you, we have not yet seen it peak. The United States talks of leaving Iraq in another year or two and you must ask yourself how long it will take for Iran to fill that void.”


With Neighbors like this….

February 9, 2009





NY Post: Obama Pandering to Muslim World

February 9, 2009



January 29, 2009

IN his “first message to the Muslim world” Tuesday, President Obama on Al-Arabiya TV invited the Islamic Republic in Iran to “unclench its fist” and accept his offer of “un conditional talks.”

A few hours later, after Obama had appeared on the Saudi-owned satellite-TV channel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a crowd of militants that no talks are possible unless the United States met a set of conditions.

He demanded a formal apology for unspecified US “crimes” against Iran and the Islamic world. The crucial condition, however, was that America should withdraw its troops from other countries, “taking them back to their own territory.”

The contrast couldn’t have been greater. Obama tried to be as conciliatory as possible – asking only for an “unclenching” of the Iranian fist – a change of style. Ahmadinejad asked for concrete US moves, notably a global military retreat that would leave the Middle East at Tehran’s mercy.

In the understatement of the year, Obama said: “Iran has acted in ways not conducive to peace and prosperity in the region.” He also claimed that Iran’s support for terrorists, though “not helpful,” is a thing of the past – yet Tehran was running guns to Hezbollah and Hamas even as he spoke.

ON Al-Arabiya, Obama did something more interest ing: He cast himself in the role of a bridge [?] between America and the Muslim world, a kind of honest broker between two camps in conflict.

[?] To hammer in the point, he recalled the Muslim part of his own family background and his childhood in Muslim Indonesia – a topic he’d carefully avoided during the campaign. He also asserted that America is a land of “Muslims, Christians, Jews” and others – making sure to mention Muslims first.

At times, Obama sounded like a marriage counselor. He said his job is to communicate to Americans that “the Muslim world is full of extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives.” On the other hand, he said, he’d also tell the Muslims that “Americans are not your enemy.”

Obama looked to the past rather than the future to give such platitudes a tinge of political vision. He said he wanted a return “to the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.”

The problem is that few people in the Muslim world will welcome his back-to-the-future approach. Thirty years ago, Obama was a teenager in Indonesia. Vice President Joseph Biden, however, was already a senator and a champion of President Jimmy Carter‘s strategic retreat.

What was happening during what Obama seems to regard as the “golden age” of Carter’s leadership? US diplomats were held hostage in Tehran and daily humiliated with mock executions. Soviet troops were annexing Afghanistan to the Evil Empire. Saddam Hussein was preparing to invade Iran, starting an eight-year war that claimed a million lives. Mecca was under siege by the ideological antecedents of Osama bin Laden. Syrian troops were preparing to march into Lebanon.

OTHER features of this “golden age“: the seizure of power by mullahs in Tehran, the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, the coming to power of communists in the Horn of Africa, the military coup in Turkey, the first Islamist terror attacks in Algeria, unprecedented waves of repression in Egypt and Saudi Arabia and the imposition of military rule in Pakistan.

During the same period, and its immediate aftermath, dozens of Americans from many walks of life were seized as hostages and sometimes brutally murdered in several Muslim countries. The US ambassador in Sudan was murdered; the CIA station chief in Beirut abducted, taken to Tehran and killed under torture.

A similarly dark picture could be drawn of the situation 20 years ago, when America was arming the mujahedin in Afghanistan while Saddam Hussein was preparing to invade Kuwait.

And the first President George Bush was then trying to court the Iranian mullahs in much the same way as Obama is trying today. But the mullahs were training and arming Hezbollah units in Lebanon and opening channels to Palestinian radicals who would soon re-emerge as Hamas. Saddam was gassing thousands of Kurds to death, while Turkey was dragged into a full-scale war on Kurdish communist secessionists. Meanwhile, the Libyan terror network was killing American GIs in Europe and blowing up US jetliners over Western skies.

No – that was no golden age, either.

THE truth is that the Middle East is not much better off than at any time since its emergence as a geopolitical unit after World War I. Thanks to the transformation of America from a power guaranteeing the deadly status quo into one that supports reform and change, the region has started to experience new currents of democratization.

Afghanistan and Iraq have been liberated, their peoples given a chance to build new systems of their own choice. The Syrians have been kicked out of Lebanon. Libya has been disarmed. Egypt has been forced to allow multiparty presidential elections. More than a dozen Arab states have adopted constitutions and introduced some form of electoral politics. Kuwaiti women have won the right to vote and get elected.

Iran’s democratic forces are encouraged to launch their campaign against the mullahs. The Islamists have been roundly defeated in Algeria, Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

For the first time, the question of democracy is top of the political agenda in virtually every Muslim state.

Obama should remember that he is the president of the United States – not an impartial broker. It was unfortunate that he described himself as a bridge. For a bridge has no personality of its own and cares little about who might cross it and in which direction.

IF this was meant as the first direct contact between Obama and the Muslim world, the Al-Arabiya interview must be rated as a missed opportunity.

Obama’s remarks about the Israel-Palestine issue were so trite as to merit no analysis. He said he was sending former Sen. George Mitchell to listen to all sides – as if the world has not been hearing their stories for more than six decades.

The president appeared apologetic, offering no hope for democratization and economic development. He made no mention of the economic meltdown that is creating unprecedented mass unemployment in many countries of the region.

Nor did he offer any support to democratic forces facing crucial elections in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Egypt and Algeria this year.

He had nothing to say about the thousands of Iranian workers who have been thrown into prison solely because they created independent trade unions. Nor did he mention Iranian women’s courageous “a million signatures campaign” or the series of student revolts that have been crushed by the mullahs with exceptional violence.

Nor was there any nod toward reformers in Saudi Arabia and Egypt or the heroic Lebanese democratic leaders who are fighting to preserve their nation’s independence from Iran and Syria.

Obama didn’t call for the release of the tens of thousands of political prisoners held in more than two dozen Muslim countries or a moratorium on executions that each year cost the lives of hundreds of dissidents.

CASTING himself in the role of a “bridge” and dreaming of a return to an illusionary past, Obama appeared unsure of his own identity and confused about the role that America should play in global politics. And that is bad news for those who believe that the United States should use its moral, economic and political clout in support of democratic forces throughout the world.