Objective military assessment: Bowe Bergdahl Case

I am writing this because last night I heard Fox News’ Harris Faulkner refer to Army SGT Bowe Bergdahl as a local hero. I just listened to Bergdahl’s father refer to his son’s character.

So, we must have a discussion of the truth here. Army SGT Bergdahl was not “captured” by the enemy in 2009. He abandoned his assigned post on his Forward Operating Base (FOB), leaving his weapon. Several U.S. Army Soldiers lost their lives in search for Bergdahl. His disappearance can only be classified as desertion and the media must not be so giddy about a good news story that they don’t tell the truth — which is apparent to many. The allegation of desertion is serious. It is grave because it occurred during a war, during combat operations.

The U.S. Army must uphold proper order and discipline and this allegation must be investigated — but the truth is already known. I believe the liberal media will attempt to elevate him to some type of status that will cause the Army not to pursue the right direction under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). We who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other combat areas of operation against radical Islamists know they don’t hold our troops — they are savagely and brutally murdered. They exist to kill Americans.

Are we glad that Bergdahl is home? After five years, yes, but there are many unanswered questions that cannot be dismissed because of emotions.

As well, America has now negotiated with terrorists, because the Taliban is not a nation-state, it is a non-state, non-uniform belligerent organization, a terrorist group. This is a dangerous precedent and was done unilaterally by President Obama.

How many of our troops lost their lives and sacrificed to capture those five senior Taliban leaders? All for naught. I must admit, the only way I would have released these barbarians would have been once a tracking chip/device had been implanted — without their knowledge. I believe there are long-term ramifications that will result from the release of these five terrorists — there was a reason why the Afghan Taliban demanded these five.

And why would we enter into brokerage with Qatar, a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood? I believe we should see them for who they are and cease our air operations from that country.

We all know how the media works — hence why Obama made this move over the weekend, on Saturday, as a matter of fact. The belief is that we will cease paying attention to the story by middle of this week. But we cannot. Bergdahl is home, but emotions cannot allow us to abandon our senses, as he abandoned his post.

Some of you may have forgotten something similar happening during the Clinton administration in the Balkans. I went back and found this in the New York Times by Susan Sachs, May 2, 1999:

Three American soldiers held captive for more than a month were released today and handed over to the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson for their trip home. On Saturday President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia agreed to free the Americans after a lobbying effort by Mr. Jackson that was not sanctioned by United States officials.

The soldiers, who were captured March 31, said they had no ill will toward the Yugoslav people and were treated well. Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Stone also said he was thankful for the gesture of goodwill. He and the other soldiers, Staff Sgt. Andrew A. Ramirez and Specialist Steven M. Gonzales, then joined Mr. Jackson for the trip home. After winning Mr. Milosevic’s promise on Sunday to release the men, Mr. Jackson urged NATO to reciprocate by immediately halting further air strikes and opening negotiations on Kosovo.

Of course, the question back then by those of us in the military was, how did these guys get captured and not fire off a single shot or make a radio call for reinforcements? They were taken along with their HMMWV gun truck. The dirty little secret was that they were somewhere they should not have been.

Bottom line, there is always more to the story than what some want you to know — but in the case of Army SGT Bowe Bergdahl, there is a lot to know. The question is, will we allow the typical sound bite liberal media to direct us away from seeking the truth?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Controversy Surrounds Bergdahl’s Capture…
Allegedly abandoned post after growing disillusioned with war…
Soldier Who Served With Bergdahl: ‘At Best a Deserter, at Worst a Traitor’…
Active collaborator with enemy?
CHARGE: Soldiers died searching for him…
Parents of officer killed lash out at ‘cover up’…
Resentment lingers among POW’s peers…
‘We Swore to an Oath and We Upheld Ours. He Did Not’…
RICE: Bergdahl Served With ‘Honor and Distinction’…

Pope Francis: “Tear down this Wall” around the Vatican

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” – Matthew 7:20

vatican wall close up

Detail of a small section of the wall surrounding the Vatican.

The Israeli security barrier certainly causes much contention. Despite the enormous length and breadth of China’s Great Wall, Israel’s protective shield is much debated. Although Saudi Arabia’s $700 million electrified wall is grander, Israel’s is more maligned. Thailand’s 75 km barrier with Malaysia was also constructed to protect against Muslims, yet Israel’s is more vilified. Even though more walls exist in the United Kingdom to separate Protestants from Catholics, Pope Francis Xavier finds Israel’s more attention-worthy. Neither does this pope mention the massive walls around the Vatican (photo at right), yet the surrounding Italians are peaceful, charming and friendly.

And how about when Pope Francis endorsed redistribution of wealth? Did he ever consider returning to Israel all the Jewish artifacts that had been pillaged by Roman soldiers over the centuries and are now concealed in the Vatican’s vast treasure caves?

The pope never once acknowledged that Israeli lives – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim – have been saved by the security barricade. Rather, by comparing Israel’s safeguard that keeps terrorists from murdering Israelis to the Warsaw Ghetto walls that imprisoned a captured and tormented Jewish people until they were put to death,  he validated the Islamic terrorists.

The wall prevents the Palestinians from fulfilling the Qur’anic decree of killing those who will not convert to Islam. It may also be a creative outlet for the illiterate, unschooled, and otherwise-idle youths who have no other method of venting their regime-driven frustration and anger. However, having just read that Hamas pays youths to riot with stones on the Temple Mount, acting out at the wall may be another profitable source of income.

nonie_darwish

Nonie Darwish

As Nonie Darwish explains in Cruel and Unusual Punishment, Muslims resent the Jews’ having accomplished more in 66 years than their brethren have in 1400, and they experience shame of false prestige for taking ownership of invention and creativity from the vanquished.  Therefore, rather than compete in a modern world of ideas, Islam prefers to sacrifice generations of women and children to destroy Israel.  Islam is not a religion, but an Arab imperialism and protectionist tool to preserve their supremacist Arab culture. To this end, Islamists created Sharia and jihad, from which they grant themselves to defame, intimidate, lie, terrorize, kill, and wage war.

They remain a mostly harshly ruled, severely frustrated and angry third-world people whose only real achievements have been destruction and conquest of productive and intellectually superior civilizations, which they then reduce to their original 7th century mentality. Inspired by a brutal warlord, murderer, slave trader, pedophile, rapist, and looter, these people may kill to leave their earthly troubles for heavenly sexual bliss or secure the credit they covet by appropriating others and calling them Muslims or Palestinians. Such is the case with Moses, Christopher Columbus, Albert Einstein, and now, Jesus.

This pope seemed prepared with an assault on Jesus’ Jewish heritage and language. Replacement terminology includes Jesus for Yeshu; Mary for Miriam; Israelites for Jews; now there is Palestine, a name that never existed in Jesus’ lifetime.

While the debate may continue, an expanding circle of scholars has rejected the common notion about Aramaic.  They are now convinced that the language Jesus used to teach his talmidim (disciples) was Hebrew, not Aramaic.

There is a growing conviction that Hebrew was also the language in which the original “Life of Jesus” was first conveyed. Christian scholars working in cooperation with Jewish scholars in Jerusalem have been among the first to develop the evidence for this theory.  Further, while the Christian New Testament contains some Aramaic place names and quotes, Hebrew, not Aramaic or Koine Greek, lay behind the composition of the Gospel of Matthew. Hebrew also vastly dominated the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Pope Francis welcomed being photographed, first, as sympathetically touching the wall of antisemitic scrawls and, second, in front a picture of Jesus swaddled in a terrorist kafiyyah, a repulsive depiction that he accepted. How many more changes might the public expect? And if, as suggested in the Vatican newspaper, Pope Francis Xavier may be compared to St. Francis Xavier, there may yet be another connection.

Saint Francis Xavier was born in the Basque kingdom of Navarre in 1506, soon after the 1492 Expulsion of the Jews from Spain. In 1516, the Spanish invaders confiscated his family’s lands and demolished their castle’s protective wall and gates, and they were surrounded by war for 18 years. This was a time when Jews spoke Basque and followed native customs.  They were permitted to own real estate, cultivate their own land, and ultimately became successful. While their knowledge, ability and industry won them respect and influence, their increased wealth triggered Christian jealousy and provoked the clergy’s hatred. Jews were forced to live apart, although “protected,” and obliged to take positions of money lending in order to pay the excessive taxes imposed upon them.

When Francis Xavier later befriended St. Ignatius of Loyola in university, they turned to Catholic missionary service, and made vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and the conversion of Muslims in the Middle East.  Together they travelled to India, Indonesia, Japan, and Borneo and converted 30,000 people, more than any other since St. Paul. Francis dispatched the holy Inquisition to Goa, Portuguese-controlled India, which targeted the Christianos Nuevos, Iberian Jews and Muslims who had been forcibly converted during the medieval era. Francis is said to have died before the atrocities began, but is believed to have assisted in the first Auto-da-fé (public penance and burning at the stake), in Portugal in September 1540.

More people are killed by Islamists each year than in all 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition combined.

Did Pope Francis pander to the Muslims to resume St. Francis’s vow to convert Muslims to Christianity? Was he wooing the Muslims or was he lured into a propaganda trap?  Perhaps this was to be another Munich Betrayal – deliver the Jews to the Muslims in exchange for mercy for Catholics. It has also been reported that Pope Francis Xavier intends to change the Vatican constitution.

Where have we heard this before? If we cannot identify his purpose now, then by his fruits shall we know him.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Deliverance from evil?
No Holds Barred: Pope Francis and the need to confront evil

Stacey Dash viciously attacked by Black community for Fox gig

It never ceases, and it never ceases to amaze: the duplicitous hypocrisy of the so-called “tolerant Left” and worse, the nastiness of the black community. Hat tip to our local friends at BizPac Review for bringing it to our attention yet again.

BizPac Review reports: “Fox News announced Wednesday that actress Stacey Dash has been hired as a contributor to provide cultural analysis and commentary across the network’s daytime and prime time programming. The news is not going over too well on the Left, particularly in the black community — Dash is of African-American and Mexican descent.”

Why, why does it matter to these hate-filled individuals? Did any black conservative come out and spew hatred about Toure, Al Sharpton, Melissa Harris-Perry, Joy Reid, or Tamron Hall being hired as show hosts? No, the argument is always about views and perspectives on the issues.

Once again, the closed-minded drones in the black community who associate character with skin color and refute the right of an individual to independent thought have reared their ugly heads. But Ms. Dash has withstood the fiery darts of these hate-mongers before when she tweeted out her support for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

“Perhaps I publicly endorsed Romney from a slightly naïve place, thinking that I could speak my voice without being criticized in such racially charged and hateful tones,” Dash wrote in an editorial for TMZ.

Why is it that the liberal progressive Left — and their black henchmen — hate black conservatives to so passionately? If you have an ideological disagreement based upon debate of the issues, let’s have at it.

However, the route taken of crying Oreo, sellout, Uncle Tom, house Negro, white man’s porch monkey and other invectives achieves nothing. Name-calling has no effect in any way. As a matter of fact, it only emboldens us more. I know its intent is instilling fear, coercion, and intimidation, but all it does is point a blinding spotlight on a lack of intelligence and inability to make a coherent presentation.

Wednesday’s announcement brought out more of the “racially charged hateful tones” Dash spoke of, as seen on Twitter. While many of the tweets are being deleted by users once they realize their hatred is on full display, Twitchy.com captured a few. Here are the cleaner ones:

stacey dash tweets-502x630

Am I right about this? Just watch and see the comments that will emanate from the usual suspects on these pages — so predictable.

I’ve never met Stacey Dash, but applaud her courage, conviction, and character. The fascists, whether black or white, shall not shut us down.

We have the right to free speech. You have the right to spew hatred, but I would recommend you all refer to Proverbs 17:28, (NIV): “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

What would Jesus do about Global Warming?

The road to Hell, as we all know, is paved with good intentions. The latest example is the people, many of them religious leaders, who are going to help the poor. How? They’re going to save them from global warming.

For a specific case, consider the current campaign to convince Florida Governor Rick Scott – a previously documented skeptic during the 2010 campaign – to create a plan for dealing with climate change. The campaign is led by Rev. Mitch Hescox, leader of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN). There’s a petition there to be delivered to Gov. Scott.

Archbishop Thomas G Wenski

Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski, Miami, FL.

Within my own faith, there’s the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which just released a letter to Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator, praising the new standards on carbon dioxide emissions to be released on June 2. It’s signed by Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, who is Chairman of the  Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. The opening paragraph goes as follows:

“I write on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to address the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to develop standards to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants and thereby mitigate climate change. The USCCB recognizes the importance  of finding means to reduce carbon pollution. These standards should protect the health and welfare of all people, especially children, the elderly, as well as poor and vulnerable communities, from harmful pollution emitted from power plants and from the impacts of climate change.”

All the dangerous Shibboleths are here – “carbon pollution”, “climate change”, “poor and vulnerable”. It goes on to say:

“As bishops and people of faith, we do not speak as experts on carbon pollution or on the technical remedies to address climate change.”

This is the archtypical Liberal good-intentions approach to public policy. One would think the Catholic bishops, having been double-crossed by Obama on healthcare and the contraception mandate, would be a little cautious in believing his extravagant claims about the havoc being wreaked on us by “severe weather.” Nope.

Or, while admitting a total lack of expertise on this scientific topic, they abjure any responsibility to learn more. Just for the record – in case this comes to Archbishop Wenski’s notice – there has been no increase in severe weather worldwide or in the US, and there’s been no global warming for 16+ years. There have been several US House Science and Technology Committee hearings on this topic; there was one just a few days ago. The four scientists who spoke all agreed the “science is unsettled” and we are unable to forecast the climate. (We can’t even forecast the weather beyond a week.)

In the very different world of faith-based ignorance, the Vatican this month hosted a conference on Sustainability. Apparently Pope Francis plans to release an Encyclical Letter on climate change to the Church in the next year. Expect the message to be:

Climate change has the greatest effect on the poor; As Christians, we have an obligation to help the poor; We can help the poor by stopping climate change.

The first two items are correct. Think of Hurricane Katrina, people who had money and/or automobiles flew or drove out of New Orleans before Katrina hit. The most terrible example was in Bangladesh in 1972, where hundreds of thousands (no, I’m NOT exaggerating) drowned in the 20 foot storm surge from a tropical cyclone.

Item two is the essence of Chapter 25:40 of Matthew’s Gospel:

“[W]hatever you have done for these, the least of my brethren, you have done for me.”

Pretty fundamental Christianity. So why am I concerned? There are two reasons.

First, anyone who thinks we humans can stop climate change by minimizing or eliminating our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is delusional. Recorded climate has changed throughout history, long before industrial CO2 emissions. But even if one believes CO2 is the climate control knob, China is burning more coal than the rest of the world combined (according to the New York Times), and India is following close behind. American CO2 emissions are dwarfed by Third World countries trying to raise their people out of poverty. The CEO of Peabody Coal notes coal has been the fastest-growing major fuel of the past decade and is set to surpass oil as the world’s largest fuel in coming years.

Consider the irony: pagan India and atheistic China are lifting their poor out of poverty by giving them cheap on-grid electricity. First World Christians advocate helping the poor by denying them cheap on-grid electricity, to reduce emissions.

Second, the poor are best helped by lifting them out of poverty – as China, India, and most countries of Latin America are doing. That’s history; that’s what happened in America, Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, Iceland, Israel – the First World. With resources, especially energy, you can mitigate climate change – but not stop it.

But the World Bank won’t fund construction of coal-fired electricity generating plants in sub-Saharan Africa. Worse yet, the Catholic Climate Covenant and other interfaith environmentalists encourage colleges and universities to divest their endowments of fossil fuel assets. In April, America Magazine, a publication of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), carried an article titled Getting Out of Oil. This was followed by a webinar, Catholic Perspectives on Divestment and Reinvestment, led by Doug Demeo, the author of the AmericaMagazine article, and two Catholic theologians, Dr. Erin Lothes and Dr. Richard Miller. In her presentation, Dr. Lothes asks what “a world beyond fossil fuels would look like?”

I can tell Dr. Lothes what “a world beyond fossil fuels would look like” – it would look like the world of 1000 years ago, when it was being rapidly stripped of trees to burn as fuel. You can find a review of the webinar at the National Catholic Reporter.

Reading the smug assurances of Lothes, Miller, and Demeo makes me want to scream with frustration. What makes these intelligent, well-educated people so scientifically naive? I can only conclude that religious faith predisposes one to uncritical acceptance of authority, especially if it’s religious authority. Demeo, Lothes, Miller and other writers on this topic – saving the poor from global warming – accept the premise of human control of climate without demur. Sometimes a Doubting Thomas is a useful member of the congregation.

Aristotle, a pretty smart man, claimed heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones. For more than 2000 years, no one (that we know of) bothered to challenge that claim by experiment. Galileo claimed to have done so, from Pisa’s Leaning Tower. Aristotle’s logic was correct, but his assumptions were faulty. As the historian Daniel Boorstein wrote, “The opposite of knowledge is not ignorance; it’s false knowledge.”

The Scientific Method has several principles; the first is to not accept claims about natural philosophy (as it was originally called) without data, experimental results that can be verified by repetition. “The science is all settled” is an oxymoron, though I don’t include Obama and Gore in the ranks of theologians – or even honest men. The 17-year “pause” in the IPCC’s unanimously-predicted warming demonstrates the hypothesis is flawed.

Where is Galileo when we need him?

Maya Angelou was truly the Barack Obama of poetry

In a touching tribute to the recently deceased celebrated poet, Maya Angelou, president Barack Obama didn’t spare elevated epithets, praising her as “the Barack Obama of poetry” and taking a few ceremonial selfies with his cell phone, having the poet’s portrait as the backdrop.

The portrait behind Barack Obama features the politically correct depiction of Maya Angelou, his staunchest ally and advocate, holding the first black president in her arms like her beloved child, with the symbolic representation of a “fundamentally transformed” America in the background.

The portrait itself was created back in 2012 by the Department of Visual Agitation and Unanimity at the PeoplesCube.com in recognition of Angelou’s BET Honors award, which celebrated the poet’s unconditional praise of Barack Obama’s presidency while blaming any criticism of his performance on white racism and Republican hatred of the first black president.

The award from the Black Entertainment Television, which in today’s progressive culture is seen as America’s highest civilian honor, conclusively topped the downtrodden author’s previous Presidential Medal of Freedom, three Grammys, a Pulitzer nomination, and 30 honorary degrees – especially considering that it was presented to her on live TV personally by a stalwart entertainer, Michelle Obama, whom Angelou had earlier described as “the grand dame.”

“I thought my heart would burst,” the poet told reporters later, referring to Michelle Obama’s unexpected entrance at the Fifth Annual BET Honors.

For more information about this portrait and a sample of Angelou’s poetry, see our 2012 article, Maya Angelou: ‘Barack Obama has done a remarkable job.’

Benghazi – The the “poison pill” of Obama’s presidency

In scanning and reading through the 90 or 100 emails I receive each day, things that others think I should see and read, I find some to be of interest, and some… not so much.  However, on occasion, I find myself downloading something truly special… something that adds a great deal to our understanding of the world we live in.  Such was the case with an article by Richard Fernandez, published by the Belmont Club on May 11, 2014.  The article is titled “The Day Obama’s Presidency Died.”

In comparing the death of the Obama presidency to the end of World War II in the Pacific, Fernandez writes, “Almost nobody in Japan heard about the Battle of Midway (June 4-7, 1942) until after the war (three years and three months later).  The Emperor Hirohito, upon hearing of the debacle, ordered a comprehensive cover-up.  The wounded were isolated on hospital ships.  All mail was censored.  Surviving enlisted men and officers were held incommunicado until they could be shipped off to distant battlefields, from where it was hoped they would never return.  The sunken ships themselves were gradually written off over the course of the war until their loss blended in with the general demise of the imperial fleet.  To coordinate this effort, Hirohito created a special office of cabinet rank (not unlike Obama’s stable of czars).”

He suggests that, “If the U.S. had not won World War II, Midway would never have existed in Japanese history.  The average man, of course, read nothing in the papers, heard nothing on the radio, saw nothing in the newsreels.  But perceptive Japanese ‘felt’ something momentous had happened though they could not identify its cause.  Its impact, though denied in the press, shuddered through the whole imperial fabric.  From that day forward, events seemed to take a downward trajectory.  Only after the war did the Japanese know the root of their misfortunes.”

Bringing the impact of the Battle of Midway closer to home, and comparing the failures of the Japanese high command to the too-numerous-to-mention failures of the Obama presidency, Fernandez quotes Cohen and Gooch, authors of Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy Of Failure In War (Free Press 1990), who suggest that “all military failures fall into three basic categories: failure to learn from the past, failure to anticipate what the future may bring, and failure to adapt to the immediate circumstances on the battlefield.”

According to Cohen and Gooch, “when one of these three basic failures occurs in isolation, the results, while unpleasant, can often also be overcome.  Aggregate failures occur when two of the basic failure types, usually learning and anticipation, take place simultaneously, and these are more difficult to surmount.  Finally, at the apex of failure stand those rare events when all three basic failures occur simultaneously – an event known as catastrophic failure.  In such an occurrence, the result is usually a disaster of such scope that recovery is impossible.”

Reading those words, it was immediately evident that, in more ways than one, the Obama presidency falls into the category of “catastrophic failure.”  With each passing day we are confronted with examples of multiple failures in which Obama and his people have failed to learn from past history, have failed to anticipate the disastrous consequences of their actions,  and have failed to adapt to unforeseen events in the political arena.

Arriving in the Oval Office in January 2009, with little or no practical experience in any field of endeavor, Barack Obama invariably saw himself as the smartest man in the room… maybe in the entire country.  His pre-election speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and his post-election speech in Cairo provided a brief glimpse into what was to become his disastrous foreign policy.

Someone in the Obama entourage must have read a chapter or two of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.  Sun Tzu is quoted as saying, “To win 100 victories in 100 battles is not the acme of skill; to subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”  As Fernandez explains, “Obama’s advisers persuaded him that it would be possible to ‘turn’ America’s enemies by taking control of them instead of fighting them…”

But how was that to be accomplished?  As Fernandez explains, “Instead of relying on the regular military, the Obama administration would take over the most dangerous jihadi groups through intelligence agencies.”  It was theorized that, “Through this mechanism, (Obama and his team of leftist theorists) would become their patrons and cement the relationship with diplomatic deals with their Gulf funders.”  Drones and hunter killer squads would be used to create a fast-track career path for favored jihadis… American agents… to rise within the jihadi ranks.  In time, the U.S. would own the jihad and “neuter” it from within.

“But, of course, there had to be a genuine political component, as well.  A bone needed to be thrown to genuine Muslim aspirations.  Why not give the Muslim Brotherhood Egypt and hand over Syria to al-Qaeda?  And why not use American diplomatic muscle to force a deal between Palestine and Israel?  That way, al-Qaeda could have their own countries and presumably be satisfied with that.”

Fernandez concludes that the scheme had a certain “superficial attractiveness.”  It sounded “wildly daring, incredibly smart,” and its creators must have felt like “Cortez on a peak in Darien.”  They would likely think to themselves, “Boy, are we cool to have thought of this…” The only problem with the scheme was that, as Fernandez suggests, it could never be sold to an American public who had already lost so many of their sons to fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And it could never be sold to “crusty old guys” who’d see it as a “crazy-assed” scheme.

The solution to their quandary?  “Don’t tell anyone and conduct a secret foreign and counter-terrorist policy which, when it succeeded, could be unveiled as proof of Obama’s genius.”

Being the naïve and inexperienced neophytes they are, Obama and the members of his inner circle failed to remember the lessons of Neville Chamberlain and Chiang Kia-shek.

In 1938, with Adolph Hitler flexing his military muscle in Germany, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain traveled to Munich with the intention of appeasing Hitler with diplomatic niceties.  Chamberlain signed the Munich Agreement of 1938, ceding the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Hitler, and returned to England, proclaiming “peace for our time.”

In a speech before parliament that could have been written by Barack Obama’s speechwriters, Chamberlain said, “The real triumph is that it has shown that representatives of four great powers can find it possible to agree on a way of carrying out a difficult and delicate operation by discussion instead of by force of arms, and thereby they have averted a catastrophe which would have ended civilization as we have known it… It is my hope and my belief, that under the new system of guarantees, the new Czechoslovakia will find a greater security than she has ever enjoyed in the past…”

Less than a year later, Hitler invaded Poland and a great world war ensued.  Between September 1939 and May 1945 more than 60 million people, 2.5% of the world population, lost their lives.

Following World War II, the Chinese Civil War between the nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek and the communist forces of Mao Zedong resumed.  Hoping to bring an end to the conflict, President Truman sent Ambassador Averill Harriman to China with an offer the nationalist Chinese could not refuse.  If Chiang refused to take the “agrarian reformers,” as the communists were referred to, into his government, the U.S. would cut off all military and economic aid.

The Chinese refused, the U.S. cut off aid, and the communists took control of the Chinese mainland.  Chiang Kai-shek escaped to the Island of Formosa (Taiwan), along with some 2 million nationalists, where they have lived under constant threat of invasion ever since.

Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s mentor and second-in-command, have sought to restore the Islamic caliphate that has not exercised real power since the 13th century, and which formally ended in 1924 upon dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.  Zawahiri believed that once the caliphate is re-established, Egypt would become a rallying point for the rest of the Islamic world, leading the jihad against the West.  Zawahiri wrote, “Then history would make a new turn, God willing, in the opposite direction against the empire of the United States and the world’s Jewish government.”

Like Chamberlain and Harriman, Obama is convinced that, by the mere force of his personality, he can charm the Russians, the North Koreans, the Iranians, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban into doing his bidding.  He consistently fails to learn from the past, fails to anticipate the ultimate outcome of his policies, and fails to deal with current circumstances in a wise and prudent way.  He has set the United States onto a downward trajectory from which it may be impossible to recover, and were it not for the fact that American presidents are limited to two 4-year terms, the Obama foreign policy might well represent the giant step forward toward the worldwide Caliphate that radical Islam has been pursuing since the 6th century.  Left to his own devices, Barack Obama would be all but certain to get us all killed.

Meanwhile, Fernandez has it right.  Of all of the Obama scandals arrayed before us, it is the Benghazi debacle that will be Obama’s Battle of Midway, the “poison pill” of his presidency.

Facts Suggest Vets Delayed Own Tests to Make Obama Look Bad

After the recent revelation of long wait times and delays in care at VA hospitals shocked the nation, congressional Democrats from both houses and independent journalists undertook their own investigation to determine the cause of the problem.

What they found was shocking: evidence of a coordinated conspiracy among numerous ill veterans to avoid seeking medical care and blame their subsequent problems on President Obama.

“It’s racism pure and simple.” said one congressional staffer who played a tape recording of a VA patient telling an undercover investigator “I’m supposed to go for a colonoscopy next week but I’m gonna skip it and blame it on Obama if I get sick.”

“I know it sounds an awful lot like me,” the staffer said of the tape, “but it is a VA patient. Trust me.”

While on the surface, it seems incredible and even bizarre that anyone would go to such lengths to embarrass a politician they dislike, it is consistent with the pattern of racism that has emerged since the coronation of the country’s first black president in January 2009.

Recently for example, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) revealed that while the Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare has been wildly successful beyond anyone’s dreams; it would be even more so if not for a concerted effort by racists who desire it to fail:

“I’ll be able to dig up some emails that make part of the Affordable Care Act that doesn’t look good – especially from people who made up their mind that they don’t want it to work because they don’t like the president. Maybe he’s of the wrong color, something of that sort. I’ve seen a lot of that and I know a lot of that to be true. It’s not something you’re meant to talk about in public but it’s something I’m talking about in public because that is very true.”

“If they’re writing emails, you know they’re serious about sabotaging it, those are prima facie evidence,” a well-paid intern on the senator’s staff told us. “I mean, people don’t take the trouble to email if they’re just kidding around. That’s what Twitter and Facebook are for.”

“I can just see them racists sitting there and hitting RESET and ENTER over and over again on the healthcare.gov website, and cursing President Obama each time they get a 404. They’re vicious, I tell ya!”

Frighteningly enough, it appears these latest trumped-up scandals are part of an intense, multi-front racist effort to discredit the president. The opening shot was the revival of the stale two-year-old already-explained Benghazi fiasco last month.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) put this “scandal” in its proper perspective for all reasonable people:

“I seem to remember our history. After reconstruction, when people of color gained political presence throughout the south, they drummed up all kinds of things, indictments and accusations, they drove these people out of the south. Some went to Chicago, some came here to Washington D.C. And I see the same kind of efforts to discredit this president and this administration.”

Famous investigative journalist and perpetual victim of bad hair-styling Eleanor Clift recently once again debunked the Benghazi accusations against the president:

“I’d like to point out that Ambassador Stevens was not ‘murdered’,” she said, bending her fingers in the air to suggest the drawing of quote marks, “but died of smoke inhalation in a CIA safe room.”

Another journalist put it more bluntly: “It’s safe to say racists in the CIA murdered him to make Obama look bad.”

Even more startling, however, is the realization that the efforts to make Barack Obama look bad did not start in 2009 or even in the 21st century, but actually began in the 1780s. Investigative blogger Ezra Klein explains the facts to readers of low intelligence:

Klein makes the argument that it is unfair to expect Obama to succeed when the presidency is designed to be ineffective. In Klein’s view, instead of blaming Obama for being an absentee president, we should be scolding James Madison and Alexander Hamilton for crafting a Constitution that didn’t provide a president with the ability to govern because of the checks and balances incorporated into the system.

“The racism in this country is sickening!” chanted all living MSNBC commentators in unison. “It’s obvious the Tea Party was plotting against Barack Obama nearly two centuries before he was born. If that’s not racism, what is?”

Experts are at a loss to explain why so many seemingly normal people are consumed by such hatred for President Obama.

“You take former President Bush,” said one psychologist wearing a “Buck Fush” T-shirt. “On the surface, he seems like a nice guy, always smiling like a chimp. So you tell me why he started two unnecessary wars to ensure that 10 years later the VA hospitals would be overloaded and make America’s first black president look bad! How do you explain that, huh?”

“I don’t understand what drives people to irrational hatred, but I’m sure it has something to do with the Koch Brothers,” mused Senator Harry Reid (D-NV).

“I don’t know what the next phony scandal to arise around Barack Obama will be,” said future House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, “but one thing I know for sure: racist hatred of the president will be behind it. It always is.”

The Future of the Babylonian Jewish Archives

1815 copy of mystical Zohar. Source: Drew Angere for New York Times

When we interviewed Dr. Harold Rhode, the savior of the Babylonian Jewish archives, he told the story of how he had found them in the water-logged basement of the late Saddam Hussein’s Mukhabarat in Baghdad in 2003 and arranged for recovery and restoration by the National Archives and Records Agency (NARA) in Washington, DC. In July 2003, the Coalition Provisional Authority reached an agreement under international law with the Iraqi interim government for return of the restored Jewish archives. We noted:

[This] agreement is controversial as Rhode and others contend that the Hussein’s Mukhabarat stole the property from the Jewish community and that it rightfully should be returned to the Babylonian Jewish Heritage Center in Israel. The Iraqi government contends that the archives may contain important historical information of the origins of the country.

A report by JNS.org on May 15, 2014  brought a reprieve by the government of Iraq for exhibit of these  Babylonian Jewish archives,  “Iraqi Jewish Archive’s U.S. exhibition extended”.

The JNS.org article cited an exchange of letters by the Iraq Ambassador in Washington saying:

Iraqi Ambassador to the U.S. Lukman Faily said in a statement Wednesday that Iraq “has authorized me to extend the period which the exhibit may remain in the United States.” The exhibit “has led to an increase of understanding between Iraq and United States and a greater recognition of the diverse heritage of Iraq,” he said.

“We look forward to completing the technical aspects of this extension with the Government of the United States within the coming days. Items which were among the material brought to the United States that are not part of the exhibit will return to Iraq in the very near future, as originally agreed,” said Faily.

Following the close of the exhibit of the archives in early January 2014, at the NARA Lawrence F. O’Brien gallery in Washington, DC, it was sent to New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage for an exhibit. You may browse through the Iraqi Jewish Archive exhibit and collection on-line, at the NARA website, here.

The JNS.org report noted the comments of representatives of both the Orthodox Union and the American Jewish Committee regarding the ultimate status of the Babylonian Jewish Archives:

The Orthodox Union (OU) welcomed Faily’s announcement of the exhibit’s extension, but said its work on the issue of the archive’s final destination isn’t done.

“The historical and religious value of the Iraqi Jewish Archive materials compel us to ensure that the archive should remain in the United States where it will be easily accessible to all, particularly the Iraqi Jewish community now living in diaspora around the world,” said Nathan Diament, OU’s executive director for public policy. “We will continue to advocate for an appropriate long-term solution for these materials.”

Rabbi Andrew Baker, the American Jewish Committee’s director of international Jewish affairs, said, “Extending the exhibit’s schedule and making it available to other American communities will benefit all who have interest in the history of Iraq’s Jews.”

Dr. Rhode in our earlier NER interview expressed his views as to the ultimate disposition of these restored archives:

The American government considered the archives as property which belonged to Iraq and therefore by International law it has to be returned. However, this was really property stolen by the previous Iraqi governments from the Jews who fled the country, mostly in 1950-51.

The problem is most of this is private property. These were holy books that belonged to individuals. They never belonged to the Iraqi government. When, for example, Iraqi Jews had a Torah made, if you moved to another synagogue, the Torah moved with you. In 1950/51 when most of the Jews left they were not allowed to take this material with them. They were only allowed to take basically a suitcase of clothes, if that, and so the Jews were forced against their wishes to leave the material behind.

If this is private property it belongs to the Jews.  If it can’t be identified then it becomes the property of the exiled Iraqi Jewish community. 85% of the exiled Iraqi Jews and their descendents live in Israel.  As exiled Jews from the Muslim world they property was expropriated. They have no access to their material.

We had suggested that the Babylonian Jewish Archives should instead be transferred to the Babylonian Jewish Heritage Museum in Israel to be placed on permanent exhibit there. A significant portion of Iraqi Jews had settled in Israel after their expulsion from Iraq in the early 1950’s.

Following the announcement of the May 16, 2014 agreement to extend the Babylonian Jewish Archives exhibit in the US, we reconvened with Dr. Rhode. We returned to discuss the events of April and May 2003, and those in the American government who enabled the transfer and eventual restoration of the Archives. Rhode provided personal testimony of the encounters he had with Diasporan Iraqi Jews who came to view the Washington exhibit and made their own personal discoveries. He also discusses the possible ultimate disposition of these Archives from this ancient Babylonian Jewish community in light of the current agreement reached between the Iraqi and US governments.

Dr. Harold Rhode

Gordon:  We are here with distinguished Gatestone Institute fellow and former Pentagon specialist Dr. Harold Rhode.

Rhode:  Thank you, nice to be here.

Gordon:  Dr. Rhode, you spent over twenty-eight years in the Pentagon as a civilian specialist in how to understand the Islamic mindset. How did that come about and who was instrumental in soliciting your interest for this advisory post?

Rhode:  My Ph.D in Islamic history is from Columbia University but the truth is that it’s Professor Bernard Lewis, retired from Princeton, who was my real advisor. He was my real mentor and it was he who was a friend of Scoop Jackson, Senator Henry M. Jackson of Washington, and Jackson’s aide Richard Perle. When Richard Perle became the Assistant Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon for International Security Policy, Professor Lewis called Richard Perle and told him, “You ought to consider Harold for this post.” Richard Perle was working among other things on Turkey and he asked me would I be willing to do that. I received my initial security clearance about 3 months later, and shortly thereafter started working for Richard Perle. I very quickly started working as well for his boss, the late Dr. Fred Ikle. I worked on the entire Islamic world and that was my start in 1982. It was a wonderful, wonderful experience.

Gordon:  How did you happen to be in Baghdad in April, 2003 when the Iraqi Jewish Archives were discovered?

Rhode:  I went with a group of American civilians that the Pentagon sent for the transition period in Iraq. I was one of the people that was asked to go. I asked my wife who agreed and off I went. I had spent twelve years working with the Iraqi opposition on the Iraqi project. I know almost all of the people involved in the Iraqi opposition fairly well, and was deeply honored and spent three months in Kuwait and in Iraq.

Gordon:  What did you find in the water-logged basement of the late Saddam Hussein’s Mukhabarat or intelligence service building?

Rhode:  Well that’s an interesting story. If you don’t mind could I give you a little background on this story and how we got there?

Gordon:  Absolutely!

Rhode:  In totalitarian societies, when the dictator or the brute is overthrown, the people who worked for him try to go to the new people who take and say: “I’ll tell you what I did and I’ll cooperate with you.  In return will you give me a free pass and say that I have cooperated so nothing will happen to me?” There were about six opposition groups. One of the brightest human beings I have ever met in my life was Dr. Ahmed Chalabi, a then Iraqi-opposition leader who headed the Iraqi National Congress (INC).

The man who ran the Iraqi Jewish section – not the Israeli section but the Jewish section of the Iraqi Intelligence – came to Chalabi and said this is what I have been doing. We had under our control an ancient copy of the Talmud from the 7th century, among other things. Nobody knew that there was such a thing a Jewish section. It was obvious that the Saddam’s intelligence establishment would have an Israeli section, but why a Jewish section? We were all shocked. Chalabi instantly called me and Judith Miller, then a New York Times journalist who was also in Baghdad at the time and said you’ve got to come quickly.

We all traipsed over to the Iraqi Intelligence headquarters with this man who was head of the Jewish section. He repeated his story about the ancient copy of the Talmud written, which he said was written on jild – the Arabic word for skin or parchment. Oh course Judith and I were enthralled. No copy of the Talmud that old had yet ever been discovered. So we went there, with of Chalabi’s people, myself, Judith Miller – she was embedded in the weapons of mass destruction team from the American military. Saddam’s Jewish intelligence section head pointed from the outside to two windows in the basement and promptly disappeared.

We tried then to go into the building and the entire basement was flooded up to our waists. Now why was it flooded? We slowly but surely began to piece the entire story together. The American military had dropped a 2000 pound bomb on the building. It should have destroyed, it as it was a huge building. But the bomb did not explode. It went through the building, destroyed the water system, came out the side and lodged in the ground.

Even though I had by then worked in the Pentagon for twenty-one years I didn’t know much about the military hardware, so I didn’t know that this thing in the ground was a live bomb. It could have exploded at any time. We were there for about six weeks taking out the material. The bomb never went off. The question was what to do?

Well some of the American military guys waded into the water. This is what they found. The first room they came to the Israeli section – not the Jewish section of the basement – and began to pull out models of the Knesset, a sign that said in Arabic which said, “Who was going to send the fortieth missile off to Israel?” (Thirty-nine were fired at Israel during in the Kuwait war in1990.) In addition, they brought out a Russian map of Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor which was taken from the sky; other maps, lists of the set-up of the Shin-Bet (Israel’s Internal Intelligence Service) and the Mossad. Anyway that was just part one of the thing.

The soldiers then went down the hall; they turned left into the room where Saddam’s Jewish specialist showed us from outside. What they found was breath-taking. That room too was flooded; there were books strewn all over the place. There was a Torah scroll, and a box of which the Iraqi Jews would call a tik. A tik is a wooden box in which Sephardic Jews keep Torah scrolls. The tik had floated down into the hallway and that’s what we knew on the first day. I think it was in either late April or the first week in May.

The question is what to do? Chalabi asked me what I wanted to do and I said, “Look, there’s no question.  I am a religious Jew. Saving a Torah for a Jew is like saving a human life.”

Chalabi said he can get pumps to suck out the water. He also offered to supply workers to get this out. Chalabi used his own personal money and made every effort to get the project started. He found a truck that could pump out small amounts of water. The pumps on the truck worked and, within two days, the water went down basically to our ankles. We were able to go in and to see what was there.

The material was unbelievable! We couldn’t see for sure at first what exactly it was except there were a lot of old books and things like school and community records. It wasn’t clear. We began to pull these out. Chalabi had procured for us metal trunks and we began to put the materials that we could in these trunks. Chalabi gave us a courtyard in one of his, headquarters and we would dry out the material there. The problem is that you can’t have all these workers for God knows how long and leave it to Chalabi to pay for everything. It was very nice of Chalabi to do this but I needed to get money from somewhere.

The American government at first was completely unhelpful. There was a wonderful archivist who was part of this civilian team working on things like the Iraqi National Museum and I asked for her help but she was not allowed to help me. It’s not that she didn’t want to. Most of the American governmental authorities in Baghdad saw me and this project as an albatross. They wanted it to go away.

I managed to get through to a remarkable man in New York who used to be the CEO of Lehman Brothers, Harvey Krueger. He managed to procure funds, a grant, so we could pay the Iraqis who were helping us get the material out.

We slowly but surely put all the material in the central courtyard. It had to dry off a bit; again no one would help me. You know I have a PhD in history but I do not understand restoration and I do not understand how to preserve documents. Through a close friend in Jerusalem, I managed to get through to the Restoration Department of the Hebrew University. That preservation specialist spoke to me on the phone, trying to tell me how to preserve these documents. There was only one problem. She said we needed to put the material in a cool place.

But we had no electricity. There was no cool place. It was about 115 degrees in the shade. What she said wasn’t possible. She responded: “look, do the best that you can.”

Anyway we took this material, we dried it out a bit and then we had Torahs, we had all sorts of other documents on parchment. If these had been dried out completely, they would have been like a straitjacket. Look what happens to leather when it gets wet and so we would lay it out, dry it out a bit and then put these materials in these trunks on which I put my name in English, and sometimes in Arabic and in Hebrew.

As for the books, each was much waterlogged and therefore very heavy. Now that becomes important when the archivists later got involved.

In the meantime, I spoke with Natan Sharansky who was at the time was an Israeli government minister and a friend. While I was in Baghdad, he would call from time to time to ask how I was doing. He said what I was experiencing in Baghdad was somewhat like what he experienced in the Soviet Union. That was, I think on his part, very polite, very nice, and a bit exaggerated. I did not go through what he did in the Gulag for so long. He asked what he could do to help. I answered: “call your friend Vice President Cheney; see if he can help.”

In the meantime Richard Perle who was also a friend of Sharansky’s, and a friend of mine, called. I told him that as he was the Chairman of the Defense Policy Board, that he should tell Secretary Rumsfeld about the Jewish material we had found. They both did.

One or two days later, the American government became interested in it. Vice President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld are real heroes in this story, because once they expressed interest in it, the American bureaucracy went into action in Baghdad. I want to tell you when the American government really puts its mind to it, it can do anything!

All of a sudden out of nowhere – this was the second day of Shavuot, the Feast of Tabernacles when the Jewish people received the Torah – the American government got involved. The Americans brought in huge pumps; they blocked off the room containing what remained of the Jewish material. They then sucked out all the remaining water, we saw the water go down very quickly, unlike beforehand, with the small pumps.

So the American government then went into action. It brought over archivists from the National Archives of the United States (NARA) and they took over the project. They – to put it politely – dismissed me from the project and hoped that I would disappear. I came back to the United States and this material is eventually brought out.

The archives officials put the rest of the material into the trunks Dr. Chalabi gave me, and put them into a freezer truck. What a feat it was for the Americans to find such a truck in the midst of the chaos that was Baghdad at that time. But as I say, the American government can do anything, once it decides to do so.

Thereafter, the trunks were put on a small plane with again this remarkable lady, the above-mentioned archivist who had wanted to help me and wasn’t allowed to at first. But after the American government got involved, everything was fine and she was able to help.

This whole project is a story of miracles – and the last part of this is also, it’s going to end up as another miracle. She was on this plane with the material; she is not a Jew. She had been in the military by then for a long time by then. She was on this small plane with two pilots. The trunks were frozen solid blocks of brown ice. Why? Because freezing stopped the deterioration process. The small plane, it’s the middle of the summer – it was extremely hot – landed on the island of Rhodes to refuel at a NATO base. Now the material is in the plane, it lands, in order to refuel. But in order to refuel, you need to turn off the engines. If you turn off the engines you would lose electricity and all of the work that had been done up until then could have been for naught, because turning off the plane’s engines meant that the ice preserving the materials in the trunks would melt and the deterioration process would start again.

The archivist radioed the head of the base who was an American and asked for electricity; he refused. He said it wasn’t possible; the conversation got a bit heated. Finally the head of the base who is an American comes out – a Navy guy and my archivist friend is in shock. The Navy officer had a kippa/yarmulke on his head. The archivist was stunned. She said that in all the many years she had have been in military, that she had never seen anybody in the navy with a yarmulke on. She knew there would be no problem getting electricity. Needless to say, when she explained why she needed electricity, she got it.

Anyway, the material was sent to somewhere in Texas where they sucked out all of the ice which had stopped the deterioration process. Now the question was what was going to happen to this material? When it was in Baghdad, when we took over, we had Iraqi sovereignty. If you take over another country you are responsible for its sovereignty, so the American government signed an agreement with the American official who was the acting head of the Iraqi Cultural Ministry at that time. According to that agreement, this material would be sent back to Iraq after it was restored.

Well, that means we signed an agreement with ourselves – not the Iraqis. (When we left, we handed over sovereignty to the Iraqis.) There is an international law which says that if you conquer another country you may not take out its artifacts. There are two or three caveats to that. If the material has been stolen then that law does not apply. In this particular instance, we know that Saddam’s people and before that, the Iraqi government expropriated this material when the Jews were forced to flee in 1951.

Slowly but surely the Jewish community that remained behind took the remains of whatever was left its own materials and it put it in the women’s section, the upstairs section of the one remaining synagogue -the Meir Tweig Synagogue in what was in the late 1940’s the place to live in Baghdad, Bataween. Synagogues in the Middle East often are compounds. Besides the Meir Tweig synagogue itself there are places that people eat and live.

So how was the material stolen/taken out from that synagogue and land up in Iraq’s Intelligence Headquarters? Sometime in the early 1980’s we found out later, that in the middle of the night, Saddam’s henchmen pulled up two trucks with guns and at gun point took all the material. No one knew where. It was stolen. It’s important to remember this word – STOLEN.

For ten years – from 2003-2013, following our discovery of this material, nothing happened; it sat in limbo.  Eventually – and I really don’t know how – the State Department allocated three million dollars for the restoration of this material. Then, the State Department decided to make an exhibition of this material in both Washington and in New York from October 11, 2013 to May 17, 2014.

In June, 2014, this material was scheduled to return to Baghdad. To return this material which was stolen by the Iraqi government and later by Saddam and to return it now seems to violate the international law. I am not a lawyer but this has been explained to me. The number one issue is that it belongs to the Iraqi Jews – they didn’t call themselves Iraqi Jews. They called themselves Babylonian Jews because Iraq is a relatively modern invention after World War I. Babylonia is ancient and the Jewish community of Baghdad had been there for twenty-six hundred years since about 586 BCE when the Babylonian Jewish community began. That is unbelievably ancient. There was a huge fuss over this and maybe we’ll leave what’s going to happen to it maybe to the end.

Gordon:  That is rather fascinating background and previously unrevealed so I am very happy that you were able to fill in the missing blanks on this. But let me ask you a couple of questions about this ancient community. During World War II, the Jewish community in what we call Iraq really had a series of horrible experiences and even post war as you mentioned they had their property nationalized and expropriated and then they were expelled. What was the experience during World War II and who was the person who was involved?

Rhode:  The British had ruled Iraq and in the mid 1930’s, Iraq was given its independence. It had a king but there was a coup led by a man by the name of Rashid Ali who was working with the Nazis, in cahoots with the Mufti of Jerusalem who was living in Baghdad at the time. The Mufti was also working with Hitler. When Rashid Ali’s forces took over in 1941, there was a pogrom (farhood in Arabic) against the Jews. The Jews up until then never really worried. Yes they had been second class citizens because in the Muslim world, neither Jews nor Christians nor any non-Muslims were allowed to rule over Muslims.

In reality, however, the Jews actually ran much of the Iraqi economy at that time, and were involved in many other activities which helped Iraq run relatively smoothly. It is not surprising that when I was there after the liberation in 2003, many Iraqis – or rather Kurds, Shiites, Sunnis, Arabs – begged me saying: “how do we get the Jews back here because our country only ran well when the Jews were here.” After about six days in 1941 when approximately 180 people were killed and a lot of property was destroyed and many Jews were injured – all of a sudden Jews said: “wait a minute, something is wrong here. Maybe we don’t have a future here.” Iraqi Jews weren’t ardent Zionists at the time. But the farhood really shook them to their very foundations. The State of Israel was declared in 1948, i.e., it was the rebirth of the Jewish state which had existed 2000 years ago.

After Israel’s Declaration of Independence, the Arabs – including Iraq – did their utmost to destroy it. Life became almost unbearable for the Jews of Iraq. Especially in Baghdad but in other places in Iraq as well. Kurdistan, however, was a different story. Life was much better for the Jews in Kurdistan which was Northern Iraq.

Anyway, by 1950-51, an agreement was negotiated between Israel and the Iraqi authorities. It was done indirectly. About 150,000 people were airlifted from Baghdad through Cypress to Israel. That was so because the Iraqis could claim that they were not having direct flights. They were going to Cyprus. They weren’t going to Israel publicly and then after a while the flights went directly from Baghdad to Tel Aviv.

You had rich and poor Jews – all sorts of Jews – on these flights. They had to leave everything behind. They could take a suitcase, nothing more. They were impoverished by the Iraqi government which wouldn’t let them take anything but a suitcase of clothes, and about 40 dinars which was a tiny sum of money.

Ninety percent of the Iraqi Jewish community and their descendants today live in Israel. There are Iraqi Jews in New York, London, and Canada but the vast majority live in Israel. Logically the material in this archive is theirs. And there is a museum or a center for the Babylonian Jewish Heritage outside of Tel Aviv in a place called Or Yehuda. That museum should be the final resting place of the materials we found in Iraq.

Unfortunately, given the nature of international politics at the moment that is not going to happen so we have to look for other options. If the stolen material in this archive go back to Baghdad, which the Iraqi government up until May 17th was strongly pushing for, we have an odd situation. This material belonged to the Iraqi Jews. But since Iraq will now not give visas to Israelis, the 90% of Iraqi Jewry and their descendents who live in Israel would be denied their patrimony, because they could not examine their own material. That is not right.

When I rescued this material in the beginning, all of the Iraqi opposition leaders begged me to get the material out of Iraq before it would become public. Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds said: “get it out of here!” But I had no ability to do that and I think it would’ve been illegal. So why did they say that before it becomes public? Once it becomes public then any Iraqi who would let it go would be shamed, would be humiliated, if they agreed to let the Americans or the Jews have this material. Shame and humiliation are concepts that we do not talk about here in the West. We are a guilt-ridden society meaning we look in the mirror and we say I am proud of myself or not proud of myself for doing X, Y and Z. A “shame society” is one which doesn’t care what you think about yourself but cares what other people think about you and your reputation depends on what other people say about you. No Iraqi politician would be able to say that he let the Americans or the Jews have these materials because he would therefore be humiliated in the eyes of his people.

Gordon:  What was the agreement that was reached in 2003 between the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. Government?

Rhode:  That agreement was that the NARA – the American National Archival Administration – brought to the United States to restore, and then to return the material to Iraq. The interesting thing now is not that agreement. The Iraqi Jewish Community here in the United States has been told by the State Department, there is another agreement that they have reached on May 16, 2014 and it is very Middle Eastern. It is very hopeful.

The agreement formally says that the material in the exhibition which comprises twenty-seven items can stay and go to other places and the Iraqi government is very happy to do that but the rest of the material will be returned to Iraq. Now that doesn’t sit well but I have a thought that maybe something else is going to go on here. As I explained before about honor and shame, it’s very possible that the Iraqis could sign an agreement and quietly agree that this material will never be returned to Iraq but it’s not written and it’s not said which is why I say we must be vigilant now but I am hopeful that the material won’t go back to Iraq.

What material will go back to Iraq? There are certain things that are duplicates, for example, there are sixty copies of an Aleph Bet book which is like a basic Hebrew book teaching students how to write the Hebrew alphabet. We don’t need all of these. We only need the copies which would have notations in them, because notations give us some insight into the Iraqi Jewish community itself. But there are many other books which are essential because, the Rabbis who used them made notes which give us an insight into their mindset.

That sort of material should be retained for access. In Baghdad no one, even though the Iraqi archivists trained here to take care of this material don’t have the conditions they need in Baghdad. Iraq is now a basically lawless society. There are hopeful negotiations with a new group of leaders might take over after the current elections in Iraq. These new leaders might be more receptive to making sure that that everybody has access to this material.

I don’t have all the answers but we had some knowledge of Iraqi culture and once the project was taken out of the hands of the Pentagon and put into the hands of the State Department and CIA and others,  their knowledge and I would say more importantly their interest in the cultures of the Middle East was much less. I am hopeful that we have another new government in Baghdad which will in the end be much more interested in working with the outside world.

Gordon:  You were a docent at the Washington Exhibit which was held at the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery for the National Archives over the period from October 11, 2013 to January 5, 2014.  You had some interesting encounters with folks who came there. Could tell us some of those stories?

Rhode:  When you walked into the exhibit you saw some of my trunks, the aluminum trunks and they all said Rhode on them, my family name, in English and Arabic. Some of them said Sefer Torah scrolls in Hebrew. At the exhibition, there was no explanation about why the word “Rhode” is written on the trunks. Moreover, the first picture of the exhibit is a picture me helping the Iraqi workers get some of these books out. My name is not on that picture. The guards at the exhibit kept being asked by people what does “Rhode” mean? Some asked: “Is that some secret code?” As you said I chose to be a docent. I did not do this for the National Archives. I simply came on Sunday mornings and a few other times during the week to give tours. We started out with two or three people, and, each time, up to 100 people joined the tour. I’m the person who was there when we found all of this. I am not the guy who restored it. The Archives did that, and did a beautiful job.

One of the Jews who stayed behind now who lives in London by the name of Edwin Shuker. He went through the exhibit. Edwin is in his 50’s. He had to escape Iraq when he was 12 years old. He and his family were not allowed to take anything with them which might show they were trying to escape –meaning no documents which might give them away. So he had to leave school report cards etc. behind. Back to Edwin at the exhibition… As he was passing through the exhibition, he all of a sudden looks up and sees his school report card and a picture of himself as a 12 year old. He shouts: “That’s my report card! That’s my picture when I’m twelve years old.” Edwin broke down and started crying like a baby.

You know, and it was amazing, absolutely amazing. This whole Iraqi Jewish Archive project is filled with stories like this galore. There were other people on my first tour that I took through there, a woman said “Oh my God, there’s me and there’s my cousin. There’s my oldest sister in a picture as well.” It was amazing. There was also a copy of the laws from 1948 or ’51 in Arabic which are the Iraqi government laws expropriating Jewish material from the people they forced to flee. There it is, the proof that it doesn’t belong to the Iraqi government. They expropriated it. They stole it.

In the exhibit, there was one section of the Torah that had not been restored. An American Jew, a woman who is Orthodox who works at the Pentagon as a lawyer, went to see the exhibit. She called me said, “Harold, did you see the section of the Torah that was there?” I said, “no.”  She said it is from the Book of Beresheit, i.e., Genesis – from the Torah portion Lech Lecha. My first reaction was “hmmm. That was my own Bar-Mitzvah portion which I first read fifty-one years ago. But what was important here was something much more fascinating – or maybe even hopefully prescient. And that is what is written in that Torah portion on display at the exhibition. It is where God, Ha-Shem, is talking to Abraham and telling him “leave your homeland (i.e., today’s Iraq) and go to the land that I will show you” which of course is what is modern day Israel. It is as if these documents are crying out to the world, saying “get me out of here.  I don’t belong in Iraq, I belong home; and home is the ancient Jewish homeland of Israel.”

There are stories galore that I could tell like this. This is the first time that the American Archives has had any non-American government archival material, in all of the years it’s been open which is approximately one hundred and fifty years. I was only there for the first six weeks of this exhibit. Twenty-three thousand people by then had come through to see it. It was unbelievable. Now people certainly came to the Archives but I’m talking about only through this little exhibition room. It’s huge! Jews came and non-Jews came, it was so moving, so fascinating, so amazing.

Gordon:  Have you been approached about writing a book on this marvelous story? Has anybody come to you about producing a documentary other than the one that NARA did on the process for restoration and recovery?

Rhode:  The answer is a number of my friends said I should write a book, however, nobody has approached me. I would be very interested in doing so because the whole story is just filled with wonderful, amazing people. I would be very happy to do a documentary if anybody would like to do it. Now in all candor, NARA, the National Archives, did a short documentary of how they restored it. But that documentary doesn’t do justice to the whole project from beginning to end.

I’d like to add one more thing about Chalabi. Ahmed Chalabi who was the one who instantly called me and told me to get over there so he could tell us about what he had just learned. I had known him and worked with him on an almost daily basis all the time he was in the United States. I got to know him very well but there are certain things he didn’t tell me. For example, when I went to an opposition meeting in London with the Iraqi Opposition, before we liberated Iraq, I also met some Jews who had been in Baghdad during the Farhud, the pogrom, in 1941. They told me of the greatness of Chalabi’s family. Chalabi himself hadn’t been born yet; he was born in 1944. Chalabi’s family saved Jews and these Jews were telling me their stories when they and their parents ran and the Chalabi family took them in. Now because the Jews kept kosher they couldn’t eat the food in Chalabi’s house. They would only eat hard-boiled eggs. I went to Chalabi afterwards and asked:”Ahmed. Why didn’t you tell me this?” And he looked at me and said, “Why should I tell you this? Why should I have said anything about this? All that would have been self-serving. What good would it have done?” Now my experience with him previously and this episode told me what type of man he was; a very kind and decent man. And a man the Americans never really wanted to understand.

Gordon:  How has this episode impacted your life?

Rhode:  It’s hard to answer that. From the very beginning of this process – when I had to make a split-second decision on what to do? Do I leave this under the water or do we take it out? I couldn’t have lived with myself had I left that material to rot under water. It has brought me nothing but enormous joy to know that I’m part of a project which has contributed to Jewish history. Not only for the Jews of Babylonia, of Iraq, but it has helped world culture gain some insight into who we Jews were and how things were done historically. It is part of human history. It’s an amazing thing.

I want to tell you that there are many other people, Jewish and non-Jewish, who feel exactly the same way. I find it very difficult to believe that this material would eventually go back to Iraq. But we had the agreement over the weekend on May 16, 2014. Let’s hope that the agreement does that, whether it’s formal or informal just as long as everybody in the world, who wants to, has access to the material.

NARA has done a marvelous job scanning all of this material for which there is access to anybody in the world on the internet. However, I want to tell you that internet access to the material isn’t enough. I want to explain this from my personal experience. I come from a completely assimilated Jewish background here in the United States. My family has been in the US for four generations. My family origins are from what is today’s Lithuania, southern Latvia, and western Belarus. When the Soviet Union broke up, I obtained archival documents having to do with my family for the past two hundred years. It gave me information. It was wonderful. However, when I eventually went to Vilna – today known as Vilnius – the capital of modern Lithuania, and when my hands touched the documents where my ancestors two hundred years ago were present at the birth of this, the death of that….  Just touching those records was deeply moving. The joy that it filled me with was unbelievable. It is not just seeing the material. It’s feeling it. Touching it. It’s mine. I say this because I want the Jews of Iraq, the Jews of Babylonia, to have that exact same possibility. If they choose to go, they too can put their hands on their ancestors’ material. It will mean the world to them.

Gordon:   Harold I want to thank you for this extraordinary story. This interview on the eve of the famous minor festival in Judaism called Lag B’Omer. When you think about it, what does Lag b’Omer signify in this world? It signifies in many ways the fighting Jewish spirit harkening back to the days of the Second Jewish Republic.

Rhode:  You are absolutely right. Jewish history to me seems an aberration. It is outside of normal history. What most of the peoples of our size in this world have gone through, are not here anymore. Either they were eradicated, or absorbed into other peoples. Not so the Jews.

Look at the Bible, there are names galore of all sorts of people and we don’t know what happened to them. They don’t exist anymore but we Jews are still here and the question is, why? Well, we have a bond with God. God chose us to receive his laws, and carry out his mission on Earth. The covenant that he made with Abraham is very clear. We need God and we must accept whatever is his decision. We can fight him but we must accept it. But guess what? God needs the Jewish people. Why? Because he chose us to bring his Message, his Word, to the world.

There is another phrase in the Talmud. It describes the Jewish people as a particular plant – the name escapes me – a plant which grows in the Negev desert in the southern part of Israel. Whatever you do to eradicate it, down to its roots, next year guess what? There it is again and maybe that’s the story of the Jewish people. Maybe that’s the story of these Iraqi archives.

Three years after the Holocaust we had the rebirth/re-establishment of the ancient Jewish state after 2000 years when we lost sovereignty. We have had ups and downs. As the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, a remarkable man by the name of Ron Dermer said, the difference now, from the past 2000 years is the Jews now have an army to defend ourselves. The State of Israel has an army and it can take care of whatever it needs to defend Jews all over the world when they are in trouble. What a remarkable story!  The story of the history of the Jewish people.

Gordon:  On that note Harold, I want to thank you for this engrossing discussion.

Rhode:  Thank you very much Jerry. I really appreciate this. This is again as I said, a wonderful project.  I am so thankful to God that I had this opportunity to be part of it.

Gordon:  Thank you Harold.

Rhode:  God be with you.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

America’s Highest Ranked Climate Charlatans: Obama and Kerry

John Kerry, our Secretary of State, continues to provide reasons to believe he is either too stupid to hold such a high position or too willing to tell lies to keep pace with President Obama.

Their views on “climate change” are so lacking in scientific fact that they are telling people we’re all doomed if we don’t abandon vast traditional U.S. energy resources and continue to throw more billions at “renewable energy” that provides a very costly three percent of the nation’s huge energy needs. Meanwhile, nations in Europe, China, India and elsewhere are abandoning solar and wind, and building coal-fired plants.

At a Boston College commencement speech on May 19, Kerry outdid himself talking about climate change. “If we make the necessary efforts to address this challenge—and supposing I’m wrong or scientists are wrong, 97 percent of them all wrong—supposing they are, what’s the worst that can happen?” The worst is more wasted billions spent on something mankind can do nothing about and the administration’s continued efforts to control every inch of land in the U.S. and all of its waters.

In the May 27 edition of The Wall Street Journal, Joe Bast, the president of the free-market think tank, the Heartland Institute, and Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama, teamed out to write about “The Myth of the Climate Change 97%.” While demolishing this Big Lie, they noted that “Surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus. Only 39.5% of 1,854 American Meteorological Society members who responded to a survey in 2012 said man-made global warming is dangerous.”

Cartoon - Climate Disruption

Obama’s and Kerry’s problem, along with all the other climate change charlatans, is that is the Earth is now into its 17th year of a natural cooling cycle based on lower radiation from the Sun, itself in a natural cycle. It is the Sun, not mankind that determines the climate of the Earth.

The Petition Project in which 31,073 U.S. scientists, over 9,000 of whom have a Ph.D. in a scientific field, participated says “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will in the foreseeable future cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

“The purpose of the Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of ‘settled science’ and an overwhelming ‘consensus’ in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climatological damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists.”

In his State of the Union speech, Obama said “climate change is a fact.” Well, yes, if you keep in mind that climate change is measured in centuries, not decades or years. Claiming that every hurricane or tornado is evidence of climate change ignores this. His claim that climate change is “settled science” is just one more lie.

The Obama administration recently released a Climate Assessment report that was nothing more than a repeat of the lies the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been telling since 1983. They have all been based on computer models rigged to produce a global warming outcome. This process continues in several U.S. government agencies.

Following the last mini-ice age that lasted from 1300 to 1850, the Earth quite naturally warmed, most of which occurred prior to 1945. Meanwhile, the ice sheets of both the Arctic and Antarctica have been growing, particularly at the South Pole. The rise of oceans is measured in mere centimeters, posing no threat to polar bears or the island of Manhattan.

To Kerry’s question, “What’s the worst that can happen?” a recent Wall Street Journal opinion said that answer is “we spend trillions of dollars trying to solve a problem that we can’t do anything to stop: that we misallocate scarce resources in a way that slows economic growth; that slower growth leads to less economic opportunity for Boston College grads and especially the world’s poor; and that America and the world become much less wealthy and technologically advanced than we would otherwise. All of which would make the world less able to cope with the costs of climate change if Mr. Kerry is right.”

Mr. Kerry isn’t right and that makes him and President Obama a national and a global problem.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Climate Change Blamed for ‘Icy Reception’ to Obama Speech at West Point

Experts in the world’s only settled science were shocked as dramatic new evidence has emerged that climate change is much worse than even the most dire forecasts had predicted.

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Frozen USMA cadets. Photo courtesy of the White House.

As President Obama visited the US Military Academy at West Point to give a commencement address that could only be described as “awesome,” his speech received what a state-approved and licensed CNN journalist termed an “icy reception.”

This followed a bizarre incident where the wildly-popular and much beloved president received “tepid applause and a short standing ovation from less than one-quarter of the audience upon his introduction” according to stunned credentialed journalists who witnessed the surrealistic scene.

“This is an incredible worsening of climate change in just five years,” said Charles Gore-Kerry, a fictional amalgam of the biggest climate change experts, one we were forced to create because no one would talk to us.

“Back in 2009, Barack Obama could not go to the toilet without receiving a 20-minute standing ovation! Now, just five years later, it’s obvious most of these people are frozen solid in their seats! At this rate, by late 2015, there will be no ice in the Arctic and all of Obama’s audience will be glaciated, far ahead of what the hockey stick graph predicted,” Charles Gore-Kerry warned.

Stunned by deterioration in the earth’s climate, the president is expected to propose taking dramatic new action on Climate Change, such as scheduling any future speeches in warmer places, like Hawaii.

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Senator Rand Paul: With Utmost Respect, You’re Wrong About This

Perhaps it is due to me being a PK (preacher’s kid) with fond childhood memories of adoringly watching my dad preach well prepared sermons at the Holy Temple Church of Truth storefront in a Baltimore ghetto, the Bible remains my ultimate reference source for wisdom and leadership.

Moses who led the Israelite people out of slavery is an excellent example of what to do and what not to do as a leader. His decisions were rooted in obedience to God’s instructions which proved to be most beneficial to his flock. Moses ignored vehement critics and even them threatening to stone him to death. He did the right thing even when it did not jive with popular opinion. That is leadership folks.

On one occasion, due to pressure from his people, Moses disobeyed God and took matters into his own hands. God’s punishment was harsh. God told Moses he would not be permitted to bring his people into the Promised Land. Leaders do not surrender, making decisions which they know to be wrong to appease bullies, manipulators and the ignorant.

A case in point is Senator Rand Paul. Sen. Paul is out there saying that the GOP should back away from requiring a photo ID to vote.

Common sense tells us that requiring a photo ID to vote is a reasonable logical way to prevent voter fraud. Since a photo ID is required to complete a plethora of transactions, what is the big deal? Thus, it is absurd to call the photo ID requirement to vote racist.

In essence, Sen Paul is surrendering to the mainstream media supported Democrat absurd lie that requiring a photo ID to vote is racist. During a radio interview Senator Paul said that the GOP should not push something that is “offensive” to a group of people.

Senator Paul with all due respect, and I truly do respect and like you, I find your pandering to my fellow blacks disappointing.

Since Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 War on Poverty, the Democratic party has implemented programs and lowered standards which have wrecked havoc on black families; treating us as inferiors in need of special concessions and endless government handouts to survive. Sen Paul, the last thing we Americans who happen to be black need is for the GOP to embrace the Left’s paradigm that we are lesser Americans. Do not expect too much of us poor black folks because we “be” special.

Okay, I get it and wholeheartedly agree that the GOP should reach-out to black America. Frankly, the GOP is a little late to the dance. For years, I have been pestering the GOP to reach-out to the black community with “Reach Your Dreams” tours.

My concept is simple. The tour would feature great music. I know awesome conservative rappers and dancers who could capture the ears of the young and hip seniors. Imagine successful minority speakers like Herman Cain, Katrina Pierson and others on stage sharing how they achieved their American Dreams via education, hard work and right choices (conservative principles). The GOP defeatist response has been, “Why bother? The Democrats will get 95% of the black vote no matter what we do.”

Apparently, that opinion has changed and the GOP is wisely pursuing black voters. But for crying out loud, offering a liberal Democrat-Lite agenda and treating blacks like inferiors too stupid to find their way to the DMV is not the way.

Sen Paul rather than surrendering to the Democrats’ and MSM’s spin that requiring a photo ID to vote is racist, show real “presidential candidate” leadership. Turn the table on the Dems. Tell black voters that the Democrats are insulting their intelligence. The Democrats talk down, expect less and treat them like lesser Americans.

When these supposed advocates of black empowerment (NAACP, Congressional Black Caucus, Obama Administration and the MSM), say requiring a photo ID to vote disenfranchises blacks, it is a major “dis”. Black America should be outraged. With friends who think so little of us blacks, we do not need enemies.

I am not just picking on Senator Paul. I am simply saying voters are discouraged and frustrated with soulless politicians/candidates whose every decision is a political calculation and an attempt to win votes at any and all cost. It is not unreasonable for voters to expect political leaders with character and backbone who simply desire to serve and do the right thing for their constituents and America.

Steve Lonegan running for U.S. Congress in New Jersey and South Carolina U.S. Congressman Trey Gowdy are two guys that fit the bill. I love these guys. Neither give a hoot about being politically correct. Both are fearless fighters for truth, justice and defending our liberty and freedom. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

I have not selected my preferred 2016 GOP presidential nominee. I want someone trustworthy who will always do what is honorable, righteous and best for my country; no divisive pandering or special concessions to groups to win votes. Please, we have had enough of that low rent politicking in government.

Nor, will I support a GOP candidate who sticks their finger in the air to see which direction the MSM endorsed and consultant’s political wind is blowing and designs their platform accordingly. Stop insulting our intelligence and morality by continuously advocating lowered intellectual and moral standards and calling it outreach and creating a “big tent”.

We are Americans, products of a remarkably successful unique experiment. GOP, deal with us accordingly with respect; not like the Democrats who treat Americans, particularly minorities, like incapable inferior entitlement junkies in need of government managing every aspect of our lives.

We need a conservative leader who will grab the steering wheel and reverse the direction of our country away from Obama’s Government Controlled Welfareville. A true conservative will drive us back toward our Founding Fathers’ Promised Land of liberty and freedom where Americans are encouraged to be all they can be.

Sen Paul, America needs leadership, not surrender and pandering.

Obama ‘Madder Than Hell’ After Software Glitch Triggers WWIII

President Obama told a press conference today that he is “madder than hell” and “no one is angrier than I am” after a routine test of new $100 billion software program intended to allow him to play computer-simulated golf rounds accidentally triggered World War III.

The president told the assembled journalists he only found out about the war while watching the news on TV. The inadvertent conflict is expected to kill upwards of one billion people.

The president once again denied accusations that the golf software project had suffered from incompetence and mismanagement since it first began 5 years ago, saying “ICBM silos mysteriously go on red alert status all the time, there was no reason to think virtual putting was connected to any of it.”

As far as the rumors that the lights at SAC HQ went out every time the golf software crashed, Mr. Obama remarked “it was just a coincidence.”

Continuing his prepared statement, the president vowed to “get to the bottom of this” and toward that end, announced he was seriously considering forming a blue ribbon panel consisting of experts from the consulting company that created the software, as well as their families and friends, to investigate the problem and get back to him no later than six months from now.

The president said he would make a final decision on the blue ribbon panel after returning from vacation.

After his statement, the president took questions from the assembled reporters, during which he expressed his acrimony, indignation, and seething resentment over the software problems. At one point, the president’s choler became so intense, he asked for a Thesaurus to be brought out for him to refer to as he spoke.

As the press conference ended, the president, still visibly annoyed, shook his fist in the air and announced “Let me be clear, heads are going to roll!” He then peevishly grabbed his golf bag and left the press room.

Shortly after the news conference, the White House Office of Cool Technology Investments announced the resignation of Cora Uption, the official in charge of hiring the consulting company that created the glitchy golf software. Ms. Uption had previously announced her retirement from the WHOCTI effective next month so she could accept a much higher-paying job as a lobbyist for the consulting company that created the glitchy golf software.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, emerging from her taxpayer-provided personal fallout shelter complete with movie theater, swimming pool, and wet bar, took the occasion to place the blame for the war on former president George W. Bush.

“This is just another problem we inherited from Bush,” stated Pelosi. “If he had authorized the creation of virtual golf software for the White House instead of waging illegal wars for oil, this would’ve happened on his watch!”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, hiding in a location so secret not even he is sure of where he is, released a brief statement: “Didn’t I warn you about the Koch Brothers? Huh? Didn’t I?”

Meanwhile, executives at CNN defended their decision to limit coverage of World War III in favor of continuing round-the-clock coverage of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

“Get a clue,” said one executive off the record. “Where is most of our audience? Airports! What are people in airports most interested in? Planes! It’s not rocket science!”

In a late breaking development on this story, President Obama made an appearance on “Late Night with David Letterman” last night during which he told the host he is “still really steamed about this.”

“You know me, Dave, I’ve been on your show four or five hundred times, you know when I’m irate, right?”

“Yes, Mr. President, I do.”

“Tell ’em, Dave, tell the audience if I’m pissed or not.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, I know President Obama, and believe me, he’s mad,” Letterman said.

Why Black Men Need More White Women

Black women constantly complain about the dearth of “eligible” Black men to date and marry. Noted sociologist William Julius Wilson has argued that “the increasing levels of non-marriage and female-headed households is a manifestation of the high levels of economic dislocation experienced by lower-class Black men in recent decades.”

He further argued that, “When joblessness is combined with high rates of incarceration and premature mortality among Black men; it becomes clearer that there are fewer marriageable black men relative to black women who are able to provide the economic support needed to sustain a family.”

Then you add in the unfortunate increase in homosexuality within the Black community and you have a recipe for disaster.

This is why Black men need more White women like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. Even though they are conservative media personalities, they have done more to promote the well-being of Black males than many of the very women who stridently complain about the lack of “eligible” Black men.

Coulter is a friend and I find her comments regarding the Black community very insightful. Look at what she said two years ago on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” She said, “Groups on the left, from feminists to gay rights groups to those defending immigrants, have commandeered the Black civil rights experience.”

She continued, “I think what – the way liberals have treated Blacks like children and many of their policies have been harmful to Blacks, at least they got the beneficiary group right. There is the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws. We don’t owe the homeless. We don’t owe feminists. We don’t owe women who are desirous of having abortions, but that’s — or — or gays who want to get married to one another. That’s what civil rights has become for much of the left.”

Stephanopoulos asked, “Immigrant rights are not civil rights?” Coulter responded, “Civil rights are for Blacks…what have we done to immigrants? We owe Black people something…We have a legacy of slavery. Immigrants haven’t even been in this country.”

Earlier this year, she said, “I mean my whole life I’ve heard Republicans hate Black people, I’ve never seen any evidence of it until I read Marco Rubio’s amnesty bill. We are the party that has always stood up for African-Americans. Who gets hurt the most by amnesty, by continuing these immigration policies it is low-wage workers, it is Hispanics, it is Blacks.”

I don’t know Ingraham personally, but I like what she had to say last month about Democrats and Blacks. “

[Congressman] Steve Israel is reprehensible in what he said [on alleged racism in the Republican Party]…Nancy Pelosi, throw her into the ring [for similar comments]…I say this is a race to the bottom…The Democrats have failed the Black youth in this country with their terrible economic approach. Do we call that racist?

“…They turn their heads away from the millions upon millions of Black babies slaughtered in the womb over 10 years… Is that racist?…Is it racist that they allow inner cities to continue to crumble as families decay across the board in America – especially hard hit is African-American families…It is reprehensible and it’s all about November…This is not about ‘They care about Black people.’ They care about their majority eroding away.”

So, let me make sure I understand. Black women complain about the state of “eligible” Black males to date and marry, yet they support the policies of a president who is going to make the problem much worse.

Under Obama, Blacks have regressed on every economic, social and moral indicator that is tracked. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the current Black unemployment rate is 11.6 percent; for Blacks aged 16-19 it is at 36.8 percent.

However, the average Black unemployment rate during the terms of the last three presidents, as well as the average over the past 30 years, are noteworthy. Under Clinton, it was 10 percent; under George W. Bush, 9.3 percent but under Obama, 14 percent for the total time he has been in office. The 30-year average for Blacks is 12.4 percent.

Campaign slogans notwithstanding, this isn’t the kind of change we have been waiting for.

Obama has done more for same-sex marriage couples than he has for his same-race brothers and sisters. In fact, Newsweek dubbed him our first gay president – not for his sexual orientation, but for his relentless pandering to homosexuals.

He has also advocated amnesty for those in this country illegally, which will only continue to increase the unemployment rate in the Black community, especially among low and under-skilled Black workers. This will further decrease the pool of potential Black men for women to date and marry. Let’s face it, our women are not going to marry someone who is unemployed or underemployed.

Historically, Black women have been notoriously protective of their men and children. It is ironic that Coulter and Ingraham, two conservative White women, are now assuming that role. We Black men need more White women like Coulter and Ingraham, not Black women who will give a pass to a failing Black president.

U.S. State Department Promotes Extremist Cleric

Sheik Abdullah bin Bayyah of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.

Adam Kredo in a Washington Free Beacon article this weekend, reported on the State Department  Counter Terrorism  (CT) Bureau promotion  of Sheik Abdullah Bin Bayyah  head of International Union of Muslim Scholars  (IUMS) and  the deputy to anti-Semitic, anti-American Muslim Brotherhood preacher, Yusuf al Qaradawi.,“State Dept Promotes Muslim Cleric Who Backed Fatwa on ‘Killing of U.S. Soldiers’”.

As noted by Kredo, the CT Bureau tweeted last Friday  a press release by Bin Bayyah’s group condemning the kidnapping of the 276 largely Christian Nigerian girls  by  extremist Jihadist  fighters Boko Haram.  We wonder why the State Department didn’t pick up on the other news release, “IUMS condemns assault on Al-Aqsa by Israeli army and Zionist settlers, reminds nation of its duties”.

Just prior to the coup ousting Muslim Brotherhood leader and Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, Bin Bayyah had been invited by former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon to discuss supposed new messages to combat al Qaeda.  We wrote  at the time:

The Obama Administration had reached out to Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt and on June 13, 2013 had invited Sheik Abdullah Bin Bayyah, the deputy to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the banned anti-Semitic, Anti-American Muslim Brotherhood preacher. He met with outgoing National Security Council Advisor, Tom Donilon and others on President Obama’s staff. Posters in English in Tahrir Square accused President Obama and Amb. Anne Patterson of fostering Muslim Brotherhood terrorism. Meanwhile the Obama White House issued statements following the Egyptian military on July 3, 2013 expressing “deep concern” of the decision to remove Morsi and urged the military to avoid “any arbitrary arrests” of the president and his supporters. The President “directed relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the government of Egypt.”
Fox News noted.

Later in a November 2013 review of Erick Stakelbeck’s book, The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy, we spotlighted the Obama Administration’s outreach to Muslim Brotherhood leaders:

Members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood have been invited to the Obama White House. Hani Nour Eldin, a former terrorist member of the Egyptian Ikhwan was part of a delegation that met with White House staff. Eldin lobbied for the release of the blind Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman who organized the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. In mid June 2013, just weeks before the ouster of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, Obama National Security staffers met with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah of the International Union of Muslim Scholars. He is a colleague of Egyptian Ikhwan preacher Yusuf al Qaradawi. According to a Fox News report, Sheik Ben Bayyah “has urged the U.N. to criminalize blasphemy.” His group has spoken out in favor of Hamas and in 2009 issued a fatwa barring “all forms of normalization with Israel.”

Ironically, the title of review of Stakelbeck’s book tells the story in a tweet headline, “Willful Blindness to the global Muslim Brotherhood Threat”.

Kredo backs up these comments with further evidence:

Bin Bayyah is reported to have been one of several clerics who endorsed a 2004 fatwa that endorsed resistance against Americans fighting in Iraq, PJ Media reported in 2013, when Bin Bayyah met with Obama’s National Security Council staff at the White House.

Bin Bayyah has “urged the U.N. to criminalize blasphemy,” according to reports, and spoke “out in favor of Hamas,” the terror group that rules over the West Bank.

The cleric also issued a fatwa in 2009 “barring ‘all forms of normalization’ with Israel,” according to Fox.

The 2004 fatwa on Iraq stated that “resisting occupation troops” is a “duty” for all Muslims, according to reports.

Yusuf Qaradawi, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader who founded the IUMS—where Bin Bayyah served as vice president—has been called a “theologian of terror” by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Bin Bayyah himself has advocated for the criminalization of “the denigration of religious symbols,” which critics call an infringement on free speech.

He cites counter terrorism expert Patrick Poole’s concerns about this latest State Department episode:

“This administration is continuing to push extremist clerics like Bin Bayyah as part of a fantasy foreign policy that somehow they are somehow a counter to al Qaeda,” Poole said. “But in Bin Bayyah’s case, it was his organization that issued the fatwa allowing for the killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and said it was a duty for Muslims all over the world to support the Iraqi ‘resistance’ against the United States that gave religious justification for al Qaeda’s terrorism.

“And [Bin Bayyah] said nothing as his pal Qaradawi issued fatwas authorizing the use of suicide bombings and publicly defended terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Poole added. “If anything, clerics like Bin Bayyah and [Yusuf] Qaradawi have actively aided al Qaeda.”

This State Department CT Bureau tweet about Sheik Bin Bayyah is evidence of the delusion fostered by the Obama White House that has lost all credibility with a policy directed at engaging Muslim Brotherhood theocrats and Shiite Ayatollah fostering Global Islamic terrorism.  Professor Richard L. Rubenstein commented in a June 2009 NER  You Tube video interview that Obama was “the most radical US President ever”.  This latest State Department action shows how prescient was Rubenstein’s observation.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/CNlaQEYw0q4[/youtube]

 

UPDATE: State Department Apologizes for its Tweet Promoting MB Sheik Bin Bayyah

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Frak! Has Your Mother Sold Her Mangle? by Sarah Skwire

Language—even profanity—evolves faster than it can be regulated.

I was all ready to write a column about Anthony Trollope, Francis Hodgson Burnett, and women’s property rights, when Brighton, Michigan, decided to start enforcing $200 fines against people who swear in public.

This was such a perfect demonstration of the extension of Skwire’s First Law from politicians to those who enforce the laws enacted by politicians that I had to shelve my original plans and devote this week’s column to the question of cussing. (Skwire’s First Law, by the way, cannot be stated in Brighton, Michigan, without incurring a fine. Suffice it to say that it addresses my opinion of politicians.)

What the fine law enforcement agents of Brighton are failing to consider, however, is that language is a Hayekian spontaneous order. That means language changes and evolves faster than it can be regulated.

Charles Mackay discusses the rapid evolution of nonsensical slang phrases in his book Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. Though Mackay may have been too much of a gentlemen to discuss actual profanity, he does record the speedy shifting of popular phrases of the day from “Quoz!” to “What a shocking bad hat!” to “Hookey Walker!” to what may be one of the earliest recorded “your mama” jokes, “Has your mother sold her mangle?” As Mackay notes, the inscrutability and the ephemerality of such slang insults drive their popularity. “Like all other earthly things, Quoz had its season, and passed away as suddenly as it arose, never again to be the pet and the idol of the populace. A new claimant drove it from its place, and held undisputed sway till, in its turn, it was hurled from its pre-eminence, and a successor appointed in its stead.”

My guess is that language—especially profanity—evolves even faster and more creatively in response to attempts to regulate it. W. C. Fields, for example, charmingly evaded rules about swearing in film with epithets like “Godfrey Daniels!” It’s still a fairly satisfying response when a small child steps painfully on one’s foot. In similar fashion and for similar reasons, smart kids have been using “shut the front door” and “see you next Tuesday” for ages.

In fact, it is my hope and expectation that the young skate rats and adolescent flaneurs of Brighton are, even now, innovating new curse words and resuscitating old ones in order to confound the cops and maintain the great teenaged prerogative of insulting geezers in language they can’t understand.

To further that noble end, I have a few suggestions for areas where Brightonians might wish to focus their research.

Science Fiction

Science fiction movies and literature have long been a productive source of alternate curse words. FromBattlestar Galactica’s “frak” and “felgercarb” to Farscape’s “frell” and Firefly’s “gorram,” there are a host of useful and satisfying epithets to explore. The extensive and apparently very well-researched Chinese language cursing in Firefly also serves as a realm that the citizens of Brighton should explore.

Foreign Languages

Anyone who grew up in a multilingual household knows the utility of cursing in a language that most people around you can’t understand. I grew up learning the emphatic pleasures and subtle distinctions of Yiddish cursing, but friends give me to understand that—satisfying as shmendrick and shmeggege andpaskudnyak are—other languages offer equally profane pleasures.

Antiquity

The past is a foreign country as well. They curse so differently there. My high school French teacher taught us curses from the pre-war era. So, to this day, I cause Gallic hilarity with my tendency to exclaim “Ma foi!” and “Zut alors!” when I am in France and incensed. But resuscitating earlier curses from English will work as well. Recall the episode of The Simpsons where Bart notes:

Bart: That ain’t been popular since aught-six, dag-nab it!

Homer: What did I tell you?

Bart: No talking like a grizzled 1890s prospector. Consarn it.

How quaint!

Literature

This may be my favorite option, because I cannot keep myself from envisioning the perplexity among Brighton’s law enforcement agents when confronted by a populace who take their cusswords from theScarlet Pimpernel. “Sink me! You can’t really intend to ticket me for that, can you? Zounds, you rogue!” Those wanting to explore this fertile source of filth will want to pay particular attention to the works of Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Rabelais.

The difficulty with all the foregoing options, of course, is that if one is sufficiently unlucky, one may encounter an officer who is familiar with the obscure curses one has chosen. To evade this problem, I suggest a solution that has been popular with parents of young children since time began.

Curse Words That Arent

Titmouse. Ballcock. Christological. Zeugma. Fractional reserve. Bassinet.

And I will cheerfully pay the $200 fine for the first Brighton-area citizen who can show me a citation for having called a cop a “bilabial fricative.”

20121127_sarahskwireABOUT SARAH SKWIRE

Sarah Skwire is a fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc. She is a poet and author of the writing textbook Writing with a Thesis.