‘A Lesson in Politics’

The mid-term elections in America have gone the way that most pundits predicted: a Republican rout in the mid-terms. The discussion immediately went on to the next question: what does this mean?

In some ways the answer is ‘not very much’. The mid-terms are the only real opportunity American voters get to voice their dissatisfaction with an incumbent party and incumbent President. Almost all of President Obama’s predecessors have been treated in a similar way in their time – both Republican and Democrat. So the voters may want to register their disappointment with President Obama now but perhaps no more than they wished to register their disappointment with President Bush in his day and so on. It is true that disillusionment with Obama may be more serious because of the unbelievable and impossible to live up to expectations which he and those around him promulgated ahead of his arrival in the White House.

The fact that voters get opportunities to register dissatisfaction is of course one of the healthiest aspects of a healthy democracy. But the manner in which they do so is becoming an issue in all our democracies in the West. America’s electoral system allows only for a switch to the other party with the very very occasional independent thrown in.

Until recently British voters had a similar choice – to rotate between the two main parties but with the opportunity to punish both at once by going with the Liberal Democrats. The latter were for years able to appeal to a certain type of voter not least because they had no chance of holding office and therefore could portray their principles as standing aloft from the grubby concerns of other politicians.

Since going into coalition with the Conservatives in 2010 that stance has fallen apart. And the Liberal Democrats are – all polls show – now no longer the party of ‘opposition’ to the two main parties. Indeed they must now fight to be even the fourth party at the next election. There are many lessons to be taken from this but one is the fact that politics ‘taints’. The process of compromise, bargain, meeting in the middle is something everybody in the business of politics becomes aware of. But much depends on whether publics are encouraged to understand this.

One temptation of politicians is to hide the brute bargaining of power while pretending to keep their principles clean. Yet doing so accentuates the divide between voter and representative. In every part of the political divide and each democracy we must be careful not to develop purist publics and ‘tainted’ representatives. All the populist and in some cases demagogic movements of our time come from the message that all ‘them’ in Washington or Westminster are the same.

Ideals are vital in politics. But should we end up in a position where the public hold ideals the politicians cannot live up to, the result will not be not bi-annual expressions of dissatisfaction but a growing generation of political malcontents.

Rejectionism: The Barrier to Real Peace in the Mideast

The following is the text of remarks delivered at a program in Fairfield, Connecticut on September 22, 2014. The program focused on the doctrinal, cultural and historical bases for anti-Israel rejectionism and the resulting impediment to lasting peace.

Let’s start off with two questions to establish some context.

How many Zionists does it take to screw in a light bulb? The answer is three: the first one to raise the funds and buy the bulb; the second to screw it in; and the third to proclaim that the entire Jewish People stands behind the actions of the first two.

Now, how many Jewish radicals does it take to screw in a light bulb? The answer is only two: one to screw it in and the other to denounce the burning out of the first bulb as a Zionist plot.

Tongue and cheek aside, self-rejection has been a persistent phenomenon throughout Jewish history, often manifesting as the repudiation of tradition, observance, Jewish national character and, perhaps most critically in our generation, the State of Israel.

There were Hellenizers during the Greek period, apostates who assisted the Dominicans in persecuting fellow Jews during the Middle Ages, Soviet collaborators who criminalized the practice of Judaism in the former Soviet Union, and kapos during the Second World War.

Today there are some, particularly on the political left, who express their hatred for Israel by advocating Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (“BDS”) activities, participating in Israel Apartheid Week, and supporting the anti-Israel lawfare movement. This phenomenon must be acknowledged preliminarily to show that rejectionist thinking exists within the wider Jewish community, where it is often tolerated by progressive establishment leaders as an alternative, yet authentic, point of view. This is nonsense, however; and rejectionism should be exposed for the self-loathing that it is.

Why is this important? Because if we don’t recognize the self-contempt of some elements within our own community, we won’t be able to deal effectively with the doctrinal, cultural, and political rejectionism that comes from the outside and stands in the way of real peace and acceptance of Israel.

Arab-Israeli Conflict is not about Settlements

There are certain bromides regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict that are accepted as essential truths, but which actually have no basis in fact. Chief among these is that the conflict is about Palestinian land claims and supposedly illegal Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

However, the conflict is not really about settlements, which are perfectly legal under international law, or about the rights of a Palestinian people that is more a modern political creation than a historical reality. It’s not about anything Israel says or does.

Rather, the conflict is about the rejection of Israel’s very right to exist. The Arab-Muslim refusal to accept the existence of a Jewish State predates Israel’s acquisition of Judea and Samaria in 1967. It also predates the first attempted war of extermination against Israel in 1948, as well as the unanimous Arab-Muslim rejection of partition in 1947.

The veracity of this thesis can be tested by asking one simple question. If the conflict were really about achieving Palestinian statehood in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, why was such a state never created when these lands were occupied (and illegally so) by Jordan and Egypt between 1948 and 1967? Where was the international outcry for an independent state of Palestine then?

The truth is that nobody clamored for the creation of such a state during that time – not the United Nations, not the Arab-Muslim world and not the Palestinians themselves – who would not be portrayed as an ancient, indigenous people with an independent identity until sometime after Israel liberated Judea and Samaria from illegal Jordanian and Egyptian control. The international community posits the need for such a state now only to delegitimize Jewish historical claims.

Over the last twenty-one years, the denigration of Israel’s legal and historical foundation has been facilitated and reinforced by the Oslo Process, which early on became a vehicle for validating a competing national narrative that rejects Jewish history, asserts the Jews are foreign usurpers, and claims that Solomon’s Temple never stood in Jerusalem.

Abbas has always Rejected the Concept of a Jewish State

When Mahmoud Abbas proclaimed that the Palestinians would never recognize a Jewish state or relinquish their unfounded “right of return,” he effectively denied Israel’s right to exist, called for her demographic destruction, and demonstrated the uselessness of negotiations. In gauging the intent of such rejectionist statements, it’s important to recognize that they haven’t been said only once or twice to appease Arab audiences. Abbas has made such pronouncements numerous times, regardless of who was listening or the language in which his words were being reported.

Rather than chastise Abbas and the PA, the United States and the European Union admonished Israel for insisting on her recognition as a Jewish state in the first place. In castigating Israel for insisting on an acknowledgement of her legal and historical legitimacy, they belittled her existential concerns and lent credence to a revisionist historical narrative.

John Kerry Blamed Israel, but never Criticized Abbas for his Rejectionism

In effect, John Kerry scolded Israel for Abbas’s provocations, and this is disturbing for two reasons. First, it demonstrated a dismissive contempt for the concerns of a long-standing ally of the United States. Second, it resembled a common strategy for dealing with political infighting in the Mideast, which is to deflect attention from political turmoil by inciting against the Jewish State.

Jewish proponents of the Oslo Process claim that words don’t matter. They argue that only actions count, and that regardless of the vile anti-Semitism emanating from Palestinian schools, mosques, propaganda offices and media outlets, Israel and the Jews have a responsibility to agree to peace at any cost, and that the reality of peace will somehow change the malevolent ideology of Israel’s enemies.

But this is either magical thinking or addled progressive fantasy. Peace is not possible when the goal of negotiations is to obtain territorial concessions from Israel as the first stage in her destruction as a Jewish State. Palestinian leadership has stated this goal repeatedly, and public opinion polls by Pew and other reputable organizations have consistently shown that the Palestinian majority rejects the concept of permanent peace with a Jewish nation.

The two-state solution is actually seen by those who would negotiate at all as a two-phased solution. The first phase would be the creation of a twenty-third Arab State (and the fifty-seventh Muslim State), while the second would be the demographic destruction of Israel through an influx of forced non-Jewish immigration. The only thing Israel would receive in return would be the empty promise of “normalization” to be conferred after her security and viability have been compromised. However, even if one believes the risk is worth taking, vague promises of normalization are worthless when coupled with a resolute refusal to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state. This is in practice something far less than real recognition.

Verbal promises of even limited recognition, moreover, have to be measured against the history of Arab-Muslim rejectionism. Because of the doctrinal concept of dissimulation that informs dialogue with “infidels,” such verbal promises are tantamount to no assurances at all.

It’s easy to see why Israel’s enemies want her to sacrifice her security and national integrity. But what drives the European Union and the United States to chide Israel for refusing to court her own destruction?

The answer is that they either do not understand Mideast history and politics or they have little regard for Israel’s safety and welfare. Regardless of the reason, any self-serving claims that they are motivated by genuine concern for Israel must be taken with a very large grain of salt. This is particularly so in light of the Obama administration’s suspension of the shipment of Hellfire Missiles to Israel in the middle of the Gaza war. This is not the way real allies are treated.

The only honest message to come out of last year’s failed negotiations was Abbas’s refusal to recognize a Jewish state under any circumstances – and by extension Israel’s right to exist.

Doctrinal Rejectionism

The lesson we can take from this rejectionism is that genuine peace will never be possible without a sea change in the way the Islamic world regards Jews.

An essential tenet in conflict resolution is that all sides must commit to the process and agree to concessions. It’s difficult to justify Israel’s participation in such a process, however, when Jews are not regarded as sovereign equals and the process sacrilizes a revisionist Palestinian narrative that repudiates Jewish history and promotes anti-Semitism.

Although it is often claimed that Islamic culture is not inherently anti-Semitic, Jews in Islamic society have traditionally been treated as a dispossessed minority with few substantive rights. It is this dynamic that drives the Arab-Israeli conflict, not concern for the fate of Palestinians in a land to which they were historical latecomers.

Despite modern Arab and Islamic claims to the Land of Israel (which are not supported by their own scripture), the most consistent cultural imprint on the land – the only one that dates back thousands of years and is confirmed by archeology, literature and the historical record – is Jewish. It’s not Arab, it’s not Islamic, and it’s certainly not “Canaanite” as some Palestinians like to assert in falsely claiming descent from indigenous pre-Israelite culture. This latter claim is pure invention.

The Jewish character of the land is reflected by the wealth of Jewish holy sites it contains, the remains of ancient synagogues, mikvas, shrines, dwelling places and artifacts found all over the country from north to south, and the Hebrew place names that have been in continuous use throughout the land since Biblical times – thousands of years before the Arab conquest.

But history means nothing to those who are vested only in denying the Jews’ long connection to their homeland.

Treatment of the Jews under Islam

It’s often claimed that anti-Jewish violence was rare in Islamic society, but it was actually quite common. Jews were slaughtered, segregated, and forcibly converted across the Mideast and North Africa starting in the eighth century – just as they were in Christian Europe. The following historical highlights, among many others, illustrate the perilousness of Jewish existence in the lands of Islam.

  • In the late 700s, King Idris I massacred entire communities in Morocco after concluding sham treaties with them, setting a precedent for repeated pogroms and massacres over the succeeding centuries.
  • In 1066, Muslim rioters destroyed the Jewish quarter of Granada, slaughtering its residents and crucifying its leader, Yosef Ha-Nagid, after Muslim clerics accused the Jews of usurping political power beyond their subjugated status.
  • In 1465, Arab mobs killed thousands in Fez after Muslim preachers accused Jews of offending the honor of Muslim women.
  • In 1785, Ali Burzi Pasha massacred Jews in Libya in 1785, and Jews were murdered indiscriminately in Algiers in a series of riots from 1805 to 1830.

Similar massacres occurred throughout the Islamic world with a barbarity rivaling that of the Crusaders. But it wasn’t all murder and mayhem; there was institutional abuse and cultural repression as well.

In accordance with a series of edicts from Muslim religious authorities, for example, synagogues were destroyed in Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Iraq repeatedly between the years 854 and 1676. Although Islam supposedly prohibits forced conversions, they were actually quite common from its earliest days; and entire communities were converted under duress, for example in Yemen, Morocco, Baghdad, and Iran, from the twelfth through nineteenth centuries.

Jews were seen as subservient, and this dynamic was no less apparent in the Ottoman Empire, and in particular the region that would become the British Mandate.

The Arab Population in Mandatory Palestine

Organized violence against Jews living under the British Mandate began in earnest in 1920 with attacks on Jewish towns in the north, and continued into 1921 with riots in Yafo, Petah Tikva and elsewhere. Spurred on by Haj Amin al-Husseini and facilitated by the British, Arabs rioters in 1929 massacred many Jews in Tzfat and Hevron and expelled the survivors. Though these cities were historically Jewish, and in fact constituted two of the four “mystical cities” in Jewish tradition, they were disingenuously designated as Arab thereafter.

Attacks and riots continued throughout the 1930s, culminating in the issuance of the White Paper in 1939, which restricted Jewish immigration and thereby assured the deaths of millions during the Holocaust. No similar curbs were placed on Arab immigration.

Agitation against Jews throughout the Mandate wasn’t caused by boundary disputes or arguments over territory per se. Rather, it was motivated by cultural chauvinism and the sectarian refusal to acknowledge the Jews’ ancestral rights in their homeland.

This rejectionism dictated the treatment of Jews long before the rebirth of Israel and was unrelated to the purported rights of Palestinians, who had no political existence before the creation of a national identity years after Israeli independence. How do we know this?

For one thing, it was acknowledged by many Palestinian leaders and Arab intellectuals over the years, including the late Zahir Muhsein, who in a 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw stated: “The ‘Palestinian People’ does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the State of Israel.”

Yasser Arafat voiced similar sentiments when he stated in his authorized biography that: “The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel.” (Arafat was born in Egypt, by the way.)

It was also stated much earlier by Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi in 1937, when he testified before the Peel Commission that: “There is no such country [as Palestine]. ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria.”

Interestingly, the only people who referred to themselves as “Palestinians” in those days were Jews who lived in the former Ottoman territories comprising the British Mandate.

The Arab population in Ottoman/Mandate lands grew largely through immigration during the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Although many Jews also immigrated during this time, there was a native Jewish population that had been extant since before the Dispersion. In addition to an ancient presence in Jerusalem, the mystical cities and elsewhere, the village of Peqi’in was continuously inhabited by Jews since before the Jewish-Roman War. The native population in the Jewish homeland may have fluctuated in size over the years, but it was never entirely uprooted.

In contrast, there was never a sovereign nation called Palestine; and the Palestinians were never seen as a distinct people until the formulation of a national identity much later in the twentieth century.

The Jewish homeland was no more Arab or Islamic in origin than was Spain, which was conquered through jihad, but which expelled the last of its Muslim invaders in 1492. Or continental Europe, which repelled the last significant jihadi incursion at the Battle of Vienna in 1683.

Unfortunately, objective history doesn’t deter those who call for the liberation of these lands from the native peoples who succeeded in expelling their Muslim conquerors. ISIS in fact recently proclaimed the retaking of Spain as one of its goals.

It also means nothing to those who believe that lands conquered through jihad can never revert to their infidel natives. This is one reason why mosques are built over the ruins of indigenous holy places, including Hindu temples in India, Buddhist shrines in Afghanistan, Christian churches in Istanbul, Spain and the Balkans, and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

History is inconvenient for those who advocate the creation of a state on behalf of a people whose connection to the Land of Israel is neither as grounded nor documented as that of the Jews.

Now, can Israel negotiate with a people who constitute a political entity if not a historical reality? That decision is up to her and her alone. However, any resulting deal will be doomed to failure if it is to be predicated on the validation of a national narrative that repudiates Jewish history, claims the Jews don’t constitute a national entity, and seeks to invalidate Jewish historical claims.

Historical revisionism should have no place in the process if it is to yield a just result, or even a workable one.

The Conceit of Oslo

The architects of Oslo, however, were guided by just such revisionist delusions when they demanded recognition of Palestinian identity even as they disparaged Jewish national claims. The conceit of Oslo is that it validated the political existence of a people with a sketchy historical past, but downplayed the legitimacy of the only people with documented ancestral roots going back millennia.

This is actually supported, albeit unintentionally, by the definition of “refugee” used by the United Nations Relief and Works Administration (“UNRWA”). According to UNRWA, Arab refugees from the former Mandate are defined as those who: (a) established residency [within Mandate] territory between June 1946 and May 1948; (b) lost their homes and livelihoods during the 1948 War; and (c) reside in areas where UNRWA services are available. Unlike any other refugee group in history, their status is passed on to their descendants.

No similar agency was created to serve the needs of the eight-hundred thousand or more Jews who were expelled from Arab-Muslim lands in 1948 and dispossessed of their assets without compensation. Most of those Jews were taken in by Israel with no assistance from the UN and they ceased to be refugees. That’s normally the way it works.

UNRWA’s novel definition prompts the question of why refugee status would be based on a minimum two-year residency requirement if the Palestinians are truly descended from a people who inhabited the land for hundreds of generations. Clearly, they weren’t required to be native born or even descended from indigenous forebears to be considered refugees; and in fact the majority were immigrants themselves or the progeny of immigrants.

Israel made many concessions throughout the Oslo Process, under George Bush’s roadmap, and during Bill Clinton’s bullish initiative to pressure a two-state deal at Camp David. Over the years, Jewish ancestral rights were sacrificed, as happened when Great Britain conveyed nearly eighty percent of their homeland to the Hashemites who were expelled from the Arabian Peninsula in 1922. Or their rights were compromised, as when the Jews themselves agreed to accept a partitioned state comprising only a fraction of their traditional homeland in 1947.

In contrast, the Arab-Muslim world has never compromised, because doing so would require it to acknowledge the validity of Jewish national claims and would necessarily conflict with the view of Jews as a subjugated people.

The Palestinians had limited obligations under any negotiating framework – and what obligations they did have were primarily verbal. That is, they had to recognize Israel and forswear incitement.

However, the PA never really amended its charter, recognized Israel’s right to exist, or renounced incitement and terror.

There is no incentive for the Palestinians to act otherwise because their behavior is ignored, excused or enabled by Washington and the European Union, which continue to pour money into Palestinian coffers. During the recent war, for example, the US provided $47 million dollars in “humanitarian aid” to Gaza with no real checks or balances to assure that these funds would not be used to finance further terrorism and continuing hostilities against Israel.

If the international community truly wanted to assist in resolving the conflict, it would acknowledge the Jews’ historical connection to Israel instead of uncritically promoting the Palestinian narrative as an article of faith.

Unfortunately, the EU’s treatment of Israel is colored by an anti-Semitism that’s been part of European culture for a thousand years. It’s also influenced by the deference of many Europeans to the growing immigrant communities within their midst and their frequent collusion with Islamists.

Just as unfortunately, the United States has lost its way as a credible broker, succumbing to an obsession with “evenhandedness,” which really means favoring the Palestinians at Israel’s expense.

Palestinian Self-Determination?

The problem with all iterations of the peace process since the 1990s is that they have presumed a sacrosanct Palestinian right of self-determination based on revisionist history and elevated it over authentic Jewish claims that are part of the historical record.

While Israel can certainly negotiate with the Palestinians as an existing political fact on the ground, Oslo went further by essentially demanding that Israel embrace their authenticity, regardless of their lack of chronicled presence in the land as measured by language, culture, societal institutions or ancestral indigeneity. Israel’s acquiescence constituted the acceptance of a competing national narrative that repudiates Jewish history and ignores the abundant archeological, ethnographic and literary proof of the Jews’ origination and presence in Israel since antiquity. The validation of a competing, exclusionary narrative – whether tacit or explicit – was an existential mistake.

The pressure on Israel to affirm Palestinian authenticity must be contrasted against the Palestinians’ refusal – and that of the entire Arab-Muslim world – to recognize the Jews’ right to self-determination in their homeland. Again, this refusal was expressed long before Judea and Samaria were liberated from Jordan in 1967, before the existence of any so-called settlements, and before the invention of the Palestinian national myth.

The reality is that Arab-Jewish relations have always been dictated by the refusal to accept Jews as sovereign equals.

Abbas’s Pledge of Non-Recognition and the PA’s Unity Government with Hamas are Consistent with this Long Pattern of Rejection

John Kerry was wrong when he stated to Congress that last year’s breakdown in negotiations was caused by Israel’s plan to build seven-hundred new apartments in a Jewish section of Jerusalem. Israel’s construction plans did not involve so-called settlements, but rather a Jewish neighborhood in Jewish Jerusalem.

The truth is that Palestinian leadership doesn’t want Jews to build anywhere in Israel – not in Jerusalem and not in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Golan or the Negev. The term “occupation,” which is thrown around so freely by the President and his Secretary of State, is not limited to settlements in Judea and Samaria (to which Israel actually has more valid claims than the Palestinians), but instead refers to the entire state of Israel.

The cold hard fact that Westerners don’t want to admit – the great elephant in the room – is that the Arab-Israeli conflict has never been about Palestinian claims. Rather, it is about the refusal to accept the existence of a Jewish state, to treat Jews as sovereign equals and to acknowledge the Jewish character of lands that were neither Arab nor Muslim in origin.

It is also about the vilification of Israel by western progressives who enable rejectionism. They do this in part by condemning lawful Jewish construction, while at the same time ignoring illegal Arab construction, the destruction of Jewish artifacts in Jerusalem, and continuing incitement and terrorism against Israel, Diaspora Jews and the West.

Despite all these provocations, western governments continue to demand that Israel retreat to the 1949 armistice lines dubbed the “Auschwitz Borders” by Abba Evan, to relinquish sovereignty in Jerusalem, and to cede historically Jewish lands in Judea and Samaria. However, based on the historical belligerence of her Arab neighbors – and the duplicitous conduct of some of her allies – Israel has every reason to be skeptical of any negotiating framework going forward.

The breakdown of negotiations occurred because of Palestinian intractability, not Israeli intransigence.

I would submit that Israel has no legal or moral obligation to continue participating in a sham process that disparages her national character and delegitimizes her historical underpinnings.

The Arab League in 1967 declared “The Three No’s” at its summit in Khartoum; that is “no recognition, no negotiations and no peace” with a Jewish State. And this position has not really changed in the years since, except that “no negotiations” has been replaced by sham negotiations for the sake of propaganda.

The Arab nations have strained to justify this rejectionism with a persistent campaign of anti-Semitic slander. To this end they have disseminated false stories of Jewish conspiracies and Israeli atrocities, counterfeit claims to ancestral Jewish lands, and even classical blood libel tales. It should not be surprising that Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion have been consistent best sellers throughout the Arab world.

At the core of this rejectionism is a primal, deep-seated hatred of Jews. Unfortunately, Americans and Europeans often do not understand this, or simply don’t want to. Worse, there is a tendency within the mainstream to minimize claims of Arab or Muslim anti-Semitism as alarmist.

But it’s real, it’s ingrained and it fuels the rejection of Israel.

Many in the West try to shoehorn the situation into a balanced equation. They say there are moderates, with whom Israel should negotiate, and extremists, with whom she should not. Balance in this equation is morally relative, however, as illustrated by those who pontificate that Israel should negotiate even with Hamas based on the trite maxim that: “You don’t make peace with friends, you make peace with enemies.”

This equation, though, is artificial and grounded in revisionist myth, cultural relativism and moral equivalency. It presumes there are moderates to balance out extremists, when in fact there really are no moderates. Those who believe otherwise should compare the charters of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas Charter

The Hamas Charter is committed to the destruction of Israel and her people, as clearly set forth in the following provisions:

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it. (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

(Hamas Charter, Preamble.)

The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times. It is characterised by its deep understanding, accurate comprehension and its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of all aspects of life, culture, creed, politics, economics, education, society, justice and judgement, the spreading of Islam, education, art, information, science of the occult and conversion to Islam.

 (Hamas Charter, Article Two.)

The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kissam and his brethren the fighters, members of Muslim Brotherhood. It goes on to reach out and become one with another chain that includes the struggle of the Palestinians and Muslim Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1968 and after.

Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews. (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

(Hamas Charter, Article Seven.)

Such his language is not only rejectionist – it’s genocidal.  But what about the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority?

Palestinian National Covenant (PA Charter)

The Palestinian National Covenant (commonly referred to as the PA Charter) contains the following articles, which clearly demonize and delegitimize Israel:

Article 17: The partitioning of Palestine, which took place in 1947, and the establishment of Israel are illegal and null and void, regardless of the loss of time…

Article 18: The Balfour Declaration, the Palestine Mandate System, and all that has been based on them are considered null and void. The claims of historic and spiritualties between Jews and Palestine are not in agreement with the facts of history or with the true basis of sound statehood. Judaism… is not a nationality (and) the Jews are not one people with an independent personality…

Article 19: Zionism is a colonialist movement in its inception, aggressive and expansionist in its goal, racist in its configurations, and fascist in its means and aims…

This charter is clearly no more moderate than that of Hamas, and it prompts the question of why it was never amended if the PA truly desires permanent peace with Israel. It also raises the question of why the US and EU persist in promoting the PA as moderate when it continues to teach racist anti-Semitism in its schools, incite violence from its mosques, support terrorism, and claim that Jews are strangers to the Land of Israel?

These observations are not Jewish paranoia. They’re based on real facts that can be verified with a few minutes of internet research.

The truth of the matter is that genuine peace is not possible if Israel’s putative negotiating partners refuse to concede her legal validity and the legitimacy of ancient and unbroken Jewish historical claims.

Jewish Tradition Teaches that Words are Important

For the most part, Jewish existence in exile has been precarious for generations. We Jews were viewed as strangers wherever we lived because of our refusal to assimilate, and our survival has always depended on the sufferance of host cultures that persecuted, confined, harassed and killed us with gusto. We lived everywhere but belonged nowhere until the reestablishment of a sovereign nation in the traditional Jewish homeland.

And that’s why we can’t afford to become blind to the hand in front of our face.

In determining whether peace is possible, we need to hear, listen and understand the words used by those who claim to want peace, but for whom “peace” really means the absence of a Jewish nation.

We also have to understand that peace at all costs is no peace at all. And those who think otherwise, or who mistakenly believe that such peace is consistent with a skewed vision of tikkun olam – a term that has been tortured beyond all recognition and meaning – are not thinking from the perspective of history or tradition.

In Jewish tradition, words have real meaning. The Hebrew word “davar” can mean “word” or “thing”; and in Torah it refers to ideas that are spoken and things that are done. Words and actions are inseparable.

The Rabbis taught that words are not simply the invisible expressions of abstract thoughts, but are real things that have real consequences. The power of words is articulated in the Torah itself, which relates how G-d created the world with ten utterances. Words spoken with sincerity and purity of heart can propel prayers to heaven, but when used to espouse senseless hatred they can also have a scorching impact here on the earth.

It’s no wonder that halakha (Jewish law) equates lashon hara – the evil tongue – with murder.

This is why the Chofetz Chaim (z”l) devoted himself to teaching the proper use of language to avoid lashon harah. It’s also why the Lubavitcher Rebbe (z”l) was scrupulous in his mode of speech to prevent the harms that could arise from even the unintentional misuse of language.

Applying this standard to the Arab-Israeli conflict, we have to ask whether the Palestinians are ready for real peace with a Jewish State. Is the wider Arab-Muslim world? Looking at the words contained in their charters and spoken by their leaders, the answer – sadly – would seem to be no.

Now this may seem a bleak view – but we Jews are supposed to be a people of history, of faith and of hope. As a people of history, we can’t forget where we came from or the basis for our national claims. As a people of faith, we have to remember what we’re supposed to believe in and conduct ourselves accordingly.

And as a people of hope, we have to focus that hope not on pipedreams of false peace molded by temporal and partisan sensibilities, but on the possibility that a change in the way Jews are regarded might someday facilitate the prospects for true conciliation. Although maintaining such hope may be considered noble, it does not require the abdication of reality, perspective or common sense. Naiveté is a luxury that neither Israel nor the Jewish People can afford.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Obama’s Revenge

The Democratic Party that supported President Obama’s agenda for the past six years was dramatically rejected in the midterm elections and the message for the new Republican-controlled Senate and House is to aggressively take action on stalled legislation to improve the economy and address other issues that have suffered neglect.

The GOP is going to be up against the revenge Obama will take on America in the remaining two years. The midterms will not generate any humility in Obama; only anger and resentment.

Republicans were not elected to “work with” Obama. They were elected to stop his agenda and actions that have been harmful to the nation. The big question coming out of this electoral mandate is whether the inside-the-beltway Republicans in Washington will do what the voters want.

Obama promised a “transformation” of America, a nation dedicated to individual freedom and liberty, and it has taken this long for many to realize that his definition of transformation was an ever-increasing Big Government to control every aspect of our lives:

  • the education of our youth who lack knowledge of civics, math, and science,
  • the deprivation and reduction of access to vital sources of energy,
  • the refusal to protect U.S. sovereignty by ignoring our immigration laws and border security,
  • the reduction of our military power to levels rivaling pre-World War Two,
  • the failure to resist the growth of Islamic fanaticism,
  • the historic and dangerous increase of our national debt,
  • the failure to take fundamental steps to revive the economy by cutting taxes and reducing regulations,
  • the destruction of our market-based healthcare system.

Obama will take the electoral rejection very personally and, as we have seen in his contempt for working with Congress and his smears of the Republican Party, no one should doubt he will use the remainder of his term in office to wreak as much damage as possible; to prove he is right and the rest of the nation is wrong.

Much of what he will do was put off until after the midterm elections because he knew the level of rejection would be even greater. Now he is free to misuse “executive orders” unless the new Congress takes steps to defund and legislatively stop them. Investigations into the scandals that have become synonymous with his administration must be vigorously pursued.

What can we anticipate?

Obama will do everything he can to leave American vulnerable to increased illegal immigration including a rumored amnesty that would provide work permits and green cards to millions who would compete with jobless natural born and naturalized Americans. He has already refused to spend funds that have been allocated to secure our borders.

When Attorney General Eric Holder exits the Department of Justice expect Obama to nominate someone even more radical and divisive.

In the next two years you can expect the Environmental Protection Agency, already producing more regulations than any other element of the government, to go into overdrive to shut down as many power plants as possible, reducing the production of electricity on which the nation depends.

Obama has done little to respond to the growing global Islamist movement, showing favor to terrorist groups such as Hamas, but his greatest effort has been to provide Iran with the approval to advance its nuclear weapons capability by opening negotiations that, if agreed to, would put it within mere months of being able to put nuclear warheads on missiles and in bombs. It would change the balance of power in the Middle East and threaten the rest of the world.

Expect Obama to try to close Guantanamo despite legislation forbidding this action. In keeping with his tilt toward Islam, he has already released five Taliban leaders in exchange for an alleged U.S. Army deserter. Others who were released rejoined the Islamic holy war.

He will, of course, do everything he can to protect his namesake legislation, the Affordable Patient Care Act otherwise known as ObamaCare. It must be dismantled before it does even more harm to the nation’s healthcare system. He has waited until after the midterms for Americans to learn that their ACA premiums will rise dramatically. Ultimately, it must be repealed.

In these and many other ways, he can continue to harm our national interests. The one prediction that can be made with certainty is that he will spend even more time playing golf and indulging the many perks of the office.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

John Morgan — Wrong on Marijuana, Wrong on Charlie Crist: Can FL Dems trust his judgement?

As Florida Republicans bask in the sunshine of victory on November 5th there is one man who is not very happy. His name is John Morgan of the Orlando based firm of Morgan & Morgan. Morgan may be in hiding trying to avoid Florida’s Democrats. Why? Because Morgan sold the Florida Democratic party on putting marijuana and Charlie Crist on the November 4th ballot.

Ana Cruz, former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, said, “I wish that it didn’t take medical marijuana on the ballot to motivate our young voters. But listen, we’ll take it any way we can get it.” Cruz didn’t get it.

Ben Pollara, a Democratic fundraiser and campaign manager for the United for Care group, stated, “We want to be able to have our stereotypical, lazy pothead voters to be able to vote from their couch.” Ben, it appears the lazy potheads stayed home to smoke a joint or two or three.

Hopes were high, no pun intended, that legalizing marijuana in Florida under Amendment 2 would bring out the millennials. It was Morgan’s long time ally and employee Charlie Crist who had the overwhelming support of the trial lawyers, of which Morgan is one. Both marijuana and Crist when down in smoke.

Can the Florida Democratic Party trust the judgement of John Morgan?

As Florida Democrats are licking their wounds, it is perhaps time for them to rethink the political savvy of John Morgan.

Morgan sold Florida Democrats on Amendment 2. Shame on him. Morgan sold Florida Democrats on Charlie Crist, shame on them.

RELATED VIDEO: John Morgan’s profanity laced interview about the defeat of Amendment 2. His diatribe is filled with hate for law enforcement, those who do not think like him and the older voters of Florida.

The Lies Phony Climate Experts Tell

For decades now both the U.S. and Europe have suffered the arrogance and the lies of so-called “climate experts.” Mind you, there are some real ones and, when it comes to global warming and climate change, the interchangeable names for the lies, they are the ones labeled “deniers” and worse for telling the truth.

The fundamental lie is that humans, through their use of fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas, are creating huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) which in turn is warming the Earth. You will hear the lies again when the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases its latest report.

“The report should galvanize the world to take urgent and collective action to curb climate change,” says Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “We’re almost out of time to avoid the worst…”

We have been told this since the 1980s. It is pure fear mongering.

The problem for the phony “climate experts” is that the Earth has not warmed in the last 19 years and CO2 plays a minimal role in the alleged warming. What you never hear the “climate experts” tell you is that CO2 is vital to all life on Earth because it is the “food” that all vegetation depends upon for growth. More CO2 is a very good thing and, in the past, its levels in the atmosphere have been much higher.

On October 24 my eye was caught by a news article that reported that “European Union leaders agreed on a set of long-term targets on energy and climate change, Friday, giving financial sweeteners and weakening some objectives along the way to secure a deal…European leaders committed to cutting carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, which will be legally binding on every member state.”

One of the real meteorologists, Anthony Watts, took notice of the EU. “…Anyone who is expecting a rational re-appraisal of European environment policy—don’t underestimate the blind determination of Europe’s green elite to fulfill their dream of an emission free Europe. They will, in my opinion, happily bomb the European economy back into the stone age to achieve their ridiculous goal.”

In November of last year, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, took note of Germany’s “love affair with renewables (solar and wind energy) brings high prices, potential blackouts, and worries about ‘deindustrialization.’”

Cartoon - More GW and Snow“Like Mao urging peasants to melt down their pots, pans and farm tools to turn China into a steel-producing superpower overnight, Germany dished out subsidies to encourage homeowners and farms to install solar panels and windmills and sell energy back to the power company at inflated prices. Success—Germany now gets 25% of its power from renewables—has turned out to be a disaster.”

Jenkins noted that not only had Germany’s output of carbon dioxide increased, but “money-strapped utilities have switched to burning cheap American coal to provide the necessary standby power when wind and sun fail.” The cost of electricity rates in Germany is triple those in the U.S.

Yes, solar and wind power everywhere require fossil fuel plants as a backup whenever the sun is obscured by clouds or the wind doesn’t blow. In the U.S., Obama’s “war on coal” has decreased the number of utilities that utilize it and, in turn, reduced the amount of electricity available. The prospect of blackouts here has increased. If we encounter a harsh winter, that would put people’s lives in danger.

One has to understand that the lies about global warming and/or climate change are in fact an environmental agenda designed to reduce industrialization and the use of energy everywhere.

Harold Schwager, a senior member of BASF’s executive board said in an interview, “Many European companies which are energy-intensive are finding out that the benefits of shifting investment to the U.S. are significant.” Germany and the EU are driving out industry and the jobs it represents because of their idiotic carbon dioxide emissions policies.

This is why we all need to understand the real “environmental” agenda. Writing in the Financial Times on October 27, Nick Butler said “Last week’s European summit on climate change failed to address the hard reality that current policies are not working.”

As in the U.S. the construction of wind turbine farms such as the one offshore of Borkum, Germany in the North Sea only exist by virtue of extensive subsidies that are wreaking havoc on European energy markets. That’s the reality!

Here in the U.S. in 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama gave a speech in Golden, Colorado, saying that his planned investments in “green energy” would create “five million new jobs that pay well and can’t ever been outsourced.”

How did that work out? Six years later we know those “green” jobs were not created and that his energy policies have actually reduced the production of vital electricity. Will new jobs in industries dependent on fossil-fuels be created? Yes and they will come from European industrial investment and increased oil and natural gas production here despite Obama’s agenda.

That is why the European Union’s idiotic commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) is putting the entire continent in danger and that is why America has to stop providing subsidies and tax breaks to “renewable”, “green” energy here and mandating its use.

Whenever you hear some “climate expert” or politician refer to global warming or climate change, they are lying to you. We have more CO2 in the atmosphere and the Earth is still in a cooling cycle.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Exposing the Green Money Machine

It is doubtful that most Americans and others around the world know how vast the organizational structure of the environmental movement is and how much wealth it generates for those engaged in an agenda that would drag humanity back to the Stone Age.

If that sounds extreme, consider a world without access to and use of energy or any of the technological and scientific advances that have extended and enhanced our lives, from pesticides that kill insect and rodent disease vectors to genetically modified seeds that yield greater crop volumes.

AA - Cracking Big GreenTwo of my colleagues in the effort to get the truth out are Paul Driessen and Ron Arnold, both of whom are affiliated with a free market think tank, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) they have done the research necessary to expose the wealth and the power structure of the environmental movement. They have joined together to write “Cracking Big Green: To Save the World from the Save-the-Earth Money Machine.” ($4.99, available from Amazon.com)

The Greens are forever claiming that anyone who disputes their lies is receiving money from big energy companies, but my experience is that it is think tanks like CFACT, small by any comparison with any major environmental organization, that support the search for the truth and its dissemination.

“Big Green” was formerly known as the Iron Triangle, “a mutually supportive relationship between power elites” so-named by Mark Tapscott, the Washington Examiner’s executive editor. It consisted of “government agencies, special interest lobbying organizations, and legislators with jurisdiction over their interests.” Today, it includes major environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council. To these add wealthy foundations and corporations that fund them.

It will no doubt astound many readers to learn that there are more than 26,500 American environmental groups. They collected total revenues of more than $81 billion from 2000 to 2012, according to Giving USA Institute, with only a small part of that coming from membership dues and individual contributions.

“Cracking Big Green” examined the Internal Revenue Service Form 990 reports of non-profit organizations. Driessen and Arnold discovered that, among the 2012 incomes of better-known environmental groups, the Sierra Club took in $97,757,678 and its Foundation took in $47,163,599. The Environmental Defense Fund listed $111,915,138 in earnings, the Natural Resources Defense Council took in $98,701,707 and the National Audubon Society took in $96,206,883. These four groups accounted for more than $353 million in one year.

That pays for a lot of lobbying at the state and federal level. It pays for a lot of propaganda that the Earth needs saving because of global warming or climate change. Now add in Greenpeace USA at $32,791,149, the Greenpeace Fund at $12,878,777; the National Wildlife Federation at $84,725,518; the National Parks Conservation Association at $25,782,975; and The Wilderness Society at $24,862,909. Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection took in $19,150,215. That’s a lot of money to protect something that cannot be “protected”, but small in comparison to other Green organizations.

“If that sounds too intimidating to confront,” say Driessen and Arnold, “it gets worse. Our research found a truly shocking blind spot; many major environmental groups get nearly half their revenue from private foundations like the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Wal-Mart’s Walton Family Foundation. Just the top 50 foundation donors (out of 81,777) gave green groups $812,639,999 (2010 figures), according to the Foundation Center’s vast database.”

If you wonder why you have been hearing and reading endless doomsday scenarios about the warming of the Earth, the rise of the seas, and the disappearance of species and forests, for decades, the reason is that a huge propaganda machine is financed at levels that are mind boggling.

Allied with politicians in high places, Big Green can count on them to maintain the lies. When the Earth ceased to warming nineteen years ago, it changed its doomsday campaign to “climate change” but the objective is the same, keep people so scared they will accept all manner of restrictions on their lives at the same time the availability of the energy on which they depend is reduced by a “war on coal” and other measures to keep oil and natural gas in the ground where it cannot be used.

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” said President Obama on January 21, 2013, in his second inaugural address. “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and powerful storms.”

This may appeal to those who do not or cannot examine these claims, but the reality is that the climate is always in a state of change, is largely determined by the Sun and other factors such as the oceans and volcanic activity. Humans play virtually no role whatever and Big Green’s Big Lie, that carbon dioxide (C02) emissions influence the weather and/or the climate has long been disproved and debunked. The problem is that that the news and other media continue to tell the Big Lie.

For Big Green, science is not about irrefutable truth. It is an instrument of propaganda to be distorted to advance their lies.

The impact on their lives and on our economy can be seen in “higher energy bills, disappearing jobs, diminished family incomes, and fewer opportunities for better living standards for their children”, all factors that played into the outcome of the recent midterm elections.

For a short, powerful insight to Big Green power and agenda, I heartily recommend you read “Cracking Big Green.”

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Does Barack Obama Have Blood on His Hands?

Eli Waller

Eli Waller, 4, died sometime between Wednesday night, Sept. 24, 2014 and the following morning, a medical examiner said. The medical examiner said Eli died due to Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). Photo provided by the Waller family.

Little Eli Waller will never grow up to be president. The four-year-old New Jersey boy will never grow up to be anything because enterovirus D68 took his life — quite possibly because a boy who did grow up to be president, but not really a man, invited the virus into our country.

How many American children have to die in deference to the Democrats’ voter-importation, demographic-warfare effort? We often hear that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, but how much Ebola, enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), Chagas Disease, malaria and tuberculosis is an acceptable price to pay to maintain Barack Obama’s open-borders-über-alles policy? These are relevant questions now, especially with a recent report confirming what was always just common sense:

The deadly EV-D68 epidemic in America was likely the result of Obama’s insistence on flooding our country with tens of thousands of illegal-alien minors.

Reports Neil Munro at The Daily Caller, “The evidence includes admissions from top health officials that the epidemic included multiple strains of the virus, and that it appeared simultaneously in multiple independent locations.”

This isn’t something hard to prove or disprove. All you need do is ascertain if the strain prevalent in the US is the same as one found south of the border. This is simple epidemiology, and there’s only one reason we don’t know:

The powers that be don’t want us to know.

Can you imagine the revolutionary uproar that would have ensued if, just when EV-D68 was big in the news, it had been revealed that Obama’s lawless abdication of his responsibility had led to American deaths?

Can you imagine what would be said if it were proven that Obama has blood on his hands?

And let’s consider the EV-D68 toll to this point. As Munro writes:

So far, that virus has been found in nine people — including at least three American kids — who died from illness. It has apparently inflicted unprecedented polio-like paralysis in roughly 50 kids, and it has put hundreds of young American kids into hospital emergency wards and intensive care units throughout more than 40 states. Most of the dead have not been publicly identified.

This, not to mention the toll taken by Ebola and the others diseases brought in by Obama’s strengthening diversifiers.

And how serious is the conspiracy of silence on the EV-D68 issue?

Munro reports that a “series of government researchers, health experts and academics refused to comment, or else urged self-censorship, when they were pressed by TheDC for statistical and scientific data that would exonerate Obama and his deputies.” One of these is Columbia University researcher and top EV-D68 expert Rafal Tokarz, who, as he put it, “would really rather not comment.” Another is Professor Lone Simonsen, research director of George Washington University’s Global Epidemiology Program, whose cop-out was, “I would just steer away from that — it is not helpful, so why bring it up?”

Answer: because if Americans know that a given policy allowed EV-D68’s spread, they’ll realize the policy isn’t helpful and needs to be changed.

But this certainly is not helpful to Simonsen. As Munro pointed out, perpetuating the invasion of our country “is a top priority for the Democratic leaders, who have the power to make life difficult for grant-dependent American scientists who discover politically damaging information.”

Money, by the way, is part of the root of today’s scientific evil. As to the significance of this factor, consider that BMJ.com (formerly the British Medical Journal) reported in 2012, “One in seven UK based scientists or doctors has witnessed colleagues intentionally altering or fabricating data during their research or for the purposes of publication….” (In case you were wondering, this is how you get Al Gorleone’s gaggle of greedy global-warming gangsters.)

So we have here a confluence of scientific malpractice and political malpractice. And this brings us to Munro’s quoting of scientist and Enterovirus Foundation board member Nora Chapman: “Epidemics happen when populations mix, or when viruses mutate and combine to overcome peoples’ evolved immune defenses….”

Or when populations are mixed.

As when a president seeds various parts of the country with his carriers and redistributes disease. Hey, why keep the epidemic all in one place?

But don’t expend all your energy worrying about EV-D68 — save some of it for worrying about Ebola, of which scientists now predict there will be approximately 130 US cases by year’s end.

And how many next year?

How much blood will Obama have on his hands then?

If you think the ObamaCare disaster is bad, wait ’til you see the one wrought by ObamaDoesn’tCare.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Florida Pastors go to Houston to fight for religious freedom


Pastor David B. Anderson, Faith Baptist Church, Sarasota, FL.

A group of seven ministers from Florida decided to stand up for religious liberty and went to Houston to see what can be done to protect their brethren. Pastor David Anderson, from the Faith Baptist Church in Sarasota, FL, was on of those who flew to Houston to meet with Democrat Mayor Annise Parker. This issue was personal for Pastor Anderson as he faced a similar attack on his religious freedom when a judge ruled that he could not speak out against abortion from the pulpit. After a two year court battle, he won.

This group of Florida pastors may have been the catalyst for the Mayor of Houston, who is an openly lesbian activist, to withdraw the subpoenas asking for private information from five Houston pastors. The following is a letter Pastor Anderson sent to his congregants about his mission to Houston titled “What Happened in Houston?”:

What Happened in Houston?

The Mayor of Houston, an open LGBT activist, has successfully advanced an aggressive gay rights agenda for five years, all the while being fervently opposed by evangelical pastors in the area. From all indication, there is palpable ill will between her and the pastors opposing her initiatives. After these pastors succeeded in compiling 50,000 signatures on a petition to overturn the new Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (which forbids public and private buildings from restricting the use of restrooms on the basis of gender when it comes to transsexuals) the city council disqualified the petition for irregularities.

In response to that disqualification, a group of pastors filed a lawsuit against the city for violating the voting rights of Houston citizens. The mayor responded to the lawsuit with the power of subpoena – demanding that the five pastors prominent in the petition drive surrender personal information relating to their activities during the petition drive, including; sermons, speeches, notes, emails, texts, tweets, and diaries.

It was this use of subpoena that generated my response. I joined a delegation of six other ministers on a mission to Houston. Our hope was to hold a press conference at City Hall, conduct a prayer service on site, and then have a meeting with the Mayor. We left for Houston by faith, with none of those plans confirmed.

Our goal was not to comment on gay rights or the Mayor’s ongoing struggle with these pastors, but to openly and aggressively oppose her use of the power of subpoena to control, interfere, restrict, and intimidate, a pastor’s right to freely exercise his/her faith with the threat of fine and imprisonment. The Texas Constitution actually guarantees freedom of religious communication in stronger and more specific language than does the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

By God’s grace, we had a successful press conference and a beautiful prayer service on the entry plaza of City Hall. Each of us spoke for 2-3 minutes and each of also prayed. All of it was recorded by the CBS Houston affiliate KHOU, Telemundo and NPR. The reporters asked thoughtful follow-up questions. The Mayor’s staff was in the audience, right in front of us. After prayer, we went up stairs to the Mayor’s office to inquire about having a meeting. We were met by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and invited into the waiting area while he spoke with her. He came out to tell us she had agreed to meet with us if we could come back a few hours later. This was an unprecedented development because her interactions with the ministerial groups and Christian activists groups had turned so unpleasant she had not met with any in a very long time.

We left her office rejoicing that God had answered our prayers. We had no idea to what extent until we came back later for the meeting. She invited us into her personal chambers where we all set around a conference table. It began tense and terse. She was defensive and her staff was ready to protect her should they deem she was being overwhelmed. We took turns sharing our concerns with her. Within a few minutes the tension melted and we had a truly open-hearted and open-minded discussion. It was a respectful dialogue and exchange of ideas. The content of which must remain confidential.

In that hour each of us implored her to withdraw the subpoenas and we each gave a rationale for doing so. She gave us the very strong impression that she would seriously consider our words and get back to us. We thanked her for listening and departed. As we were walking out, most of the team went to the cameras and reporters, but the Chief of Staff called me aside to continue the discussion with his staff. This discussion, too, was informative, open, honest and enlightening – but again confidential. We thanked each other and said our goodbyes.

As we drove off, we marveled together that the mayor of the fourth largest city in America gave us more than an hour of her time, listened intently, seriously pondered our words – even though we represented her “enemy.” She is a powerful and highly placed homosexual activist, but she let down her guard to us and hinted that she may do the politically inconceivable act of admitting she was wrong and reversing her decision. We prayed and thanked God for using us for reasons we do not know, and for purposes we could not foresee.

About 30 minutes later, we got a call from the Chief of Staff telling us that if we would be willing to stand with her at the press conference as she would withdraw the subpoenas. We were flabbergasted. What an answer to prayer! Half of us agreed to do so after a quick discussion and the other half chose not to. I thought it was the best tact for me, and the most reflective of Spirit of Christ, since I was there in a pastoral role, trying to show her His love. I believed my church family would support this decision to set aside my concerns about the homosexual agenda since she would be doing what I (and the others) had asked her to do. It was going to cost her dearly with her LGBT supporters. I had assured her that I was there for one reason only, to stand up for the freedom of speech and free exercise of religion in a godly and Christ-like manner. I first and foremost saw her as a woman in need of Christ – as did our whole delegation.

However, after we met with some local pastors, we concluded it would be best for her to make her announcement on her own. We explained that assessment to her Chief of Staff and he graciously received it, but made no promise that the Mayor would still withdraw the subpoenas without our presence. We prayed for the Lord to move her to do what she knew was right (at least on this issue) and remove this threat to the free exercise of religion.

We were grateful to watch live on TV, early the next day, the Mayor holding a press conference to announce her decision to withdraw the subpoenas. She said that after numerous meetings, but particularly the one she had with seven pastors from out of town, she had come to accept that the subpoenas were inappropriate and that she was withdrawing them! A reporter asked her who the seven pastors were and she read off our names. I immediately sent her and her staff an email thanking her for courageously doing the right thing.

I know it sounds odd for an evangelical Baptist pastor to work with, encourage and thank a LGBT activist, but what she did prevented a terrible and dangerous precedent from being set. We went there to accomplish one immediate purpose (the withdrawal of the subpoenas) and one long-term purpose (be a testimony of Christian character and love). I am not saying that the believers in Houston had not done so previously, but it appeared that their relationship with her had so deteriorated that love was no longer being perceived.

It is hard to put the magnitude of what happened into words. I think it is unprecedented in recent times and certainly as it relates to powerful LGBT activist politicians. I am humbled to have played a small part in this exchange and my prayer is that it is represents only a small part of something much bigger that God is doing in Houston. Those pastors have taken a strong stand, and we hope our contribution proves to be a blessing in their lives and ministries and makes their love more apparent to those they oppose culturally or politically.

I also want to thank each of you who invested money and/or prayers in this endeavor. I want to thank my church family for allowing me the freedom to participate even though there are BIG issues here at Faith requiring my attention. My prayer is that God will bless FBC for its willingness to let me take part in ministry opportunities that have no immediate numerical or financial profit for our local church. I thank God our church family sees a bigger picture than just the here and now, and that its concerns are not restricted to our ministry’s welfare only.

I am also thankful that I knew my church family would want me to follow the dictates of my heart and prompting of the Spirit. I felt no hesitation to be kind and helpful to a woman diametrically opposed to our theological beliefs, my personal political bent, and our church’s position on homosexuality. I knew FBC would want me to. I returned home exhausted, exhilarated, humbled, thankful and inspired.

May God bless you all, and may God work in and through His church in Houston,

Pastor Dave

See you Sunday

RELATED VIDEO: SNN: Sarasota Pastor reasons with Houston Mayor on Sermon Subpoenas – Herald Tribune

Light Off or On?

It’s “that” time of year again – when it gets dark well before dinner time and even before cocktail time! Daylight Saving Time ends tomorrow, so remember to change your clocks. Darkness will continue to come earlier every day for the next seven weeks when Winter officially begins on December 21, the shortest day of the year. But then the cycle will start all over again, and the days grow longer.

As the seasons change so do our environment and our community. About a year ago, I heard this humorous comment about seasonal changes: “Up North, you know Fall is approaching because the leaves change color. Here, you know Fall is approaching because the license plates change color.

Just look around. Every day you’ll see new colors. We accept those changes because there is nothing we can do about them as the pages of the calendar continue to move, and the planets continue to travel around the sun.

But there is another significant event at this time of year. And we can influence the changes that will occur. This coming Tuesday is Election Day. How we conduct our business, how we live our lives, and how we educate our children will be decided by what we do – by how we cast our vote.

Many people have already voted, but for most eligible voters that opportunity is still a few days away.

Unfortunately, many of those people will choose not to vote. What a shortsighted action to take!

Not casting a vote is abdicating responsibility to those who do vote. Non-votes often justify their decision by saying, “What difference does it make?” “They (the politicians) are all alike.” “I can’t be bothered.” “I’m too busy right now.”

But not casting a vote is like getting into the back seat of your car, handing the keys to a total stranger and saying, “Take me anywhere you want to go – and I’ll pay for the gas.”

I can’t think of anyone who would do that. But giving up one’s right to vote is precisely that. It’s giving other people control over what we want, like, plan for, and deserve. By not voting, we give other people our “car keys” and allow them to make decisions that influence our businesses, our finances, and our way of life – and we pay for all the gas. Not voting is abstaining, and in Robert’s Rules of Order an abstention is actually a vote that is given away. It is siding with the majority.

It’s interesting to note we have the Right to vote, but as we learned in school (hopefully) the other side of a Right is a Responsibility. As citizens and as businesspeople we have the duty to behave responsibly toward out society. When we don’t participate in the election process we have no license to complain about outcomes or about decisions.

If someone decides not to vote next week – so be it. That person has given up the option to criticize and to find fault with governing bodies and individuals. Those who shirk the responsibility in essence “give away the car keys.”

Centuries ago, in “Julius Caesar”, Shakespeare had Cassius say, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” That’s true today.
Actions count! Inaction counts just a strongly.

To some, this might sound like “flag waving” but I proudly believe we are fortunate to have the right to vote. Many paid a high price to assure we have that right and it’s irresponsible to ignore it. Too many places throughout the world don’t offer that right, and other places are fighting hard to remove it – to take it away from those who do have it.

I find it hard to understand how anyone can ignore or misuse our powerful weapon of self-determination. Abusing or ignoring that freedom has long tern implications for all of us personally and for our businesses.

Remember this adage next Tuesday, and consider its implications.

“The electorate gets what it deserves.”

In daylight or in darkness next week, I hope to see you at the polls.

Hoaxes, Snafus, and Really Dumb Ideas

For many years we’ve seen news reports of the many outrages of radical Islam in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, from suicide bombers blowing themselves up on buses and in crowded shopping malls, to car bombs exploded near government buildings and police stations, to the mass slaughter of non-Muslims, to the ritual beheading of captured newsmen and aid workers. Now these atrocities have come to the shores of America. We’ve seen mass killings of troops at Fort Hood, Texas, the beheading of a female office worker in Oklahoma City, the attack on four policemen in New York by a jihadist armed with an axe, and many more. It causes us to wonder how long it will be before we hear news reports of a suicide bomber blowing themselves up in a crowded suburban shopping mall or at a major sporting event.

It’s not a question of if it will happen; it’s a question of when it will happen and where.

If the American people are to survive the never-ending onslaught of Islamic jihad, the single most important thing we must understand is that we can never defeat radical Islam on the field of battle. To put it in stark terms, if we were to draft every young man and every young woman in America into military service on their eighteenth birthday, and if we were to send them off to fight Islamic jihad in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East for the next 100 years, we could never win a war of attrition against the forces of Islam. And even if we were foolish enough to wage such an endless war on foreign soil, we would still be faced with the problem of radical jihadists here at home as they randomly kill, maim, and murder innocent men women and children on the streets, in their plants and offices, and in their schools and homes.

We are told by liberal apologists for radical Islam that we have nothing to worry about. After all, they argue, only five percent of the worldwide Muslim population (one in twenty) are potential suicide bombers or those who slice the heads off their captives. What they fail to recognize is that, if we have to worry about only five percent of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims, we only have to worry about some 70 million radical jihadists. To put that into context, the combined uniformed forces of the Germans, the Japanese, and the Italians in World War II numbered only 34.1 million. What should be immediately obvious to almost everyone is that the only way we can ever survive and/or defeat Islamic jihad is by de-radicalizing them in any way possible.

On at least two occasions in the past year I have suggested an elaborate hoax as a means of getting inside the heads of radical Islamists and living there rent-free. What I have proposed is that those who have the responsibility for our national security enlist the services of some of Hollywood’s most skilled special effects technicians for the purpose of developing a major information warfare program to be used against radical Islamists. The plan would utilize a photographic projection technique called “holography,” the creation of images that appear to be three dimensional, when in fact they are only images created by focused beams of laser light.

I have suggested that the Pentagon or the CIA undertake to produce a “second coming” of the prophet Mohammed… a “second coming” in which he would appear before a crowd of radical jihadists, chastising them for misinterpreting the words of the Koran. If such a “second coming” could occur simultaneously at several locations around the world, so much the better.

Some might say that what I suggest is a bit “off the wall,” but is it? Every war in recorded history has been replete with its share of hoaxes, snafus, and just plain dumb ideas.

For example, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is one of the most monumental hoaxes of all time, principally because it has been the basis for anti-Semitism, and even genocide, for more than a century. Reportedly written by Russian journalist Matvei Golovinski, circa 1900, the Protocols purports to describe the closely-guarded secrets of a clandestine group of Jews known as the Elders of Zion, outlining in great detail a Jewish conspiracy to achieve world dominion through proselytizing, the acquisition of governmental power, and even violence. And although the Protocols were proven to be a gigantic hoax as early as 1938, it was used by the Nazis of the Third Reich as a justification for the mass slaughter of European Jews during the Holocaust. Even today, the Protocols continue to have credence throughout much of the Muslim world.

In the hours and days following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a great many Americans refused to believe that we’d actually been attacked… largely because Orson Welles’ October 31, 1938, War of the Worlds radio broadcast was still fresh in their minds. They had vivid memories of Welles’ dramatic reporting of a Martian invasion of Planet Earth and the mass hysteria and panic it created. What gave credence to the broadcast was that CBS had interrupted a weather report to announce that Martians had actually landed on Earth. Some six million people heard the broadcast, causing telephone lines to police stations to be overloaded with calls from panic-stricken listeners. CBS was forced to apologize and to promise never to repeat the outrage. Nevertheless, the memory of the Welles broadcast was still fresh in the minds of many Americans on December 7, 1941.

In the category of really dumb ideas, in the planning for Operation OVERLORD, the D-Day invasion of Europe during World War II, the U.S. War Department prepared a recommendation proposing that the allies dig a tunnel under the English Channel, from Dover to Calais, a distance of 25 miles. It was estimated that 15,000 men could completed the project in one year. A tunnel 10 ft. wide by 15 ft. high would have required the removal of 792,000 tons of soil and stone. However, the idea was discarded when someone in the allied high command asked what would happen when troops, trucks, and tanks poured out of the tunnel and onto French soil.

Other military planners, while planning for the D-Day invasion, were concerned about the heavy fog that regularly engulfed British airfields, hampering flight operations. A plan for a “fog dispeller” was presented to General Eisenhower in which flames would be blown high into the air around airstrips to eliminate the fog. It was estimated that the fog dispellers would consume some sixty thousand gallons of gasoline per hour. Eisenhower filed the idea in the “round file” without giving it serious consideration.

In the category of the elaborate hoax, in the weeks prior to D-Day, the allied high command recruited a British Army payroll officer, Lieutenant Clifton James, who was the “spitting image” of British General Bernard Montgomery. In a deception called Operation Copperhead, the lieutenant was put through an intensive course of study in which he learned all of Montgomery’s tics and mannerisms. Then, dressed in a British general’s uniform, complete with Montgomery’s trademark black beret, Lieutenant James was sent to Gibraltar on May 26, eleven days before the invasion, and from there to Algiers, where he was seen moving about in public. German agents reported back to Berlin that General Montgomery was inspecting British military installations on the Mediterranean coast, leading the German high command to conclude that the D-Day invasion of France was not in the immediate offing.

In the category of the major SNAFU (or FUBAR in Vietnam era military slang), in the weeks and month prior to D-Day, the U.S. Navy developed a radio-controlled landing craft, called the “drone boat.” These vessels were not available for use on D-Day, June 6, 1944, but the Navy rushed them into production and they were available for the invasion of the French Riviera on August 15. Each of the radio-controlled landing craft was loaded with four tons of explosives, intended to blow holes in German beachfront fortifications. Unfortunately, military planners had failed to take into account that the radio frequency used to control the explosives-laden landing craft was the exact same frequency used by the Wehrmacht on shore. As a result, the allied drone boats were uncontrollable. As one eyewitness described it, many of the boats “milled around at high speed in crazy directions, completely on their own.” Some of the boats reversed course and headed out to sea, in the general direction of the allied invasion fleet, and had to be sunk by destroyers in self defense.

During the early 1980s, a master forger named Konrad Kujau, produced what he claimed were the personal journals of Adolf Hitler, recovered from the wreckage of a plane that crashed in Germany in 1945. According to Kajau, the diaries were smuggled out of East Germany by a man known only as “Dr. Fischer.” The diaries created a stir on both sides of the Atlantic and were ultimately purchased for the sum of 10 million Deutschmarks by the German magazine Stern, which published portions of the diaries in 1983. Because of the secrecy necessary to maintain the value of the diaries, they were not made available for examination by historians or by handwriting analysts. It was not until after Stern’s publication of extracts from the diaries that they were found to be forgeries.

If radical Islamists wore uniforms, as is customary in war, so that they could be distinguished from non-combatants, it is arguable that our technological supremacy might win the day on the field of battle. But that’s not the nature or practice of radical Islamists. Instead, they wear non-military clothing and hide themselves among women and children. In addition, unlike soldiers of civilized western cultures, jihadists cannot be captured, imprisoned, and sent off to “reeducation” camps… they can only be killed.

Convincing radical Islamists that they are committing a great sin by carrying out jihad against western nations is our only recourse. Since we can’t begin to envision the killing 70 million jihadists, it’s time we found more creative ways of defeating the most barbaric enemy in all of recorded history. And while it may not be kosher to mess around with someone else’s religion by staging a “second coming” of the prophet Mohammed, in the present circumstance we are dealing with religious fanatics whose only goal in life is to kill us all, and for no other reason than that we exist. Our lives, and the lives of our children and grandchildren, hang in the balance. Drastic measures are called for. It’s time to start thinking “outside the box.”

Obama’s Amnesty Travesty

People really need to read the U.S. Constitution. It says, “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.”

The Constitution makes no reference whatever to executive orders (EO). George Washington started the practice mostly because he had to. Traditionally executive orders have been treated by Congress as having the legal status of legislation, but only insofar as they apply to the management of how the government operates.

The Constitution makes it quite clear that the President has no power to enact laws, but as long as an EO does not unilaterally alter or negate existing legislation or run counter to the Constitution Congress usually accords it legitimacy. Those that do not honor the separation of powers have been struck down by the courts or by legislation that opposed them.

AA - Prez has no power to write lawAs is widely rumored and reported, if President Obama does attempt to issue amnesty to illegal aliens he would be over-riding or altering existing immigration law. He does not have the power to do that.

Such an executive order would be immediately challenged in the courts and if power in the Senate passes to the Republicans in the midterm elections, Congress would oppose it. With an eye on the 2016 elections, incumbent Democrats might not be willing to go along with an Obama amnesty EO.

Recent polls all demonstrate opposition to amnesty. In a September Investors Business Daily/TIPP poll 73% of the public said that Obama should work with Congress on immigration reform. After the invasion of an estimated 150,000 young people and others from Guatemala and San Salvador earlier this year, comprehensive immigration reform went from 54% approval last year to 48%.

When word leaked that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency had requested bids on a minimum of four million blank work permits and green cards a year for the next five years, there was an outcry in political and immigration policy circles. “There aren’t enough federal employees from here to Pluto to do adequate background checks on 34 million,” said Bob Dane, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

In September, the Census Bureau released new data on the U.S. population finding that the nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) hit a record 41.3 million in July 2013, an increase of 1.4 million since July 2010. Since 2000, the immigrant population is up 10.2 million and double the number in 1990, nearly triple the number in 1980, and guadruple that in 1970, which it stood at 9.6 million.

It’s no secret President Obama has wanted to get as many immigrants as possible, especially those from south of the border, into America. He has winked at the laws that determine immigration and citizenship. In 2011 many believed he had “enacted” the Dream Act by EO, but he had not. His administration instead adopted a policy regarding the deportation of illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, granting them the option of applying for two-year work permits. Even conservatives could find some merit in this, allowing them to gain legal status and apply for citizenship.

The amnesty issue would play havoc prior to the November 4 midterm elections, so Obama will wait until after them to announce his intentions. I doubt he thinks an executive order will go unchallenged, but at that point it will not matter to him since he will not be running for reelection in 2016. His indifference to constitutional restraints on his power as President is well known.

On October 22 Iowa Rep. Steve King, a Republican, predicted Obama will “violate the Constitution, break the law and grant executive amnesty.”

“If the President takes this action,” said Rep. King, “ (that) he’s threatened to take we will have abandoned every pretext of the Constitution of the United States and if the American people take that setting down or lying down, then our constitutional republic has been destroyed.”

Rep. King is right, but the Obama EO will be challenged in the courts and in Congress. If that effort is opposed by Democrats in Congress, their midterm losses will barely rival what the 2016 election will hold for them.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Are Lone Wolf Jihadis Islamikazes?

There is a debate afoot about what to call Salafist Jihadi perpetrators of such recent spectacular murders that we have graphically seen in Ottawa, Montreal, New York, and Oklahoma.   Counterterrorism officials have called them lone wolves to emphasize that they are not affiliated with known foreign sponsors of Islamist terrorism.  They may be ‘self-actualized’  by the jihadist doctrinal aspects of their new found faith espoused by  Salafist preachers  and the social media of  terrorist groups Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and most prominently the Islamic State, formerly ISIS.

According to Dr. Rich Swier, publisher of the eponymous e-Magazine, noted U.S. counter terrorism expert, Patrick Poole has suggested calling them “known wolves”.  “Cowboy”, a former CIA covert officer and counterterrorism consultant wrote us after we posted on “The Danger of Lone Wolf Jihadists Among Us,” saying, “we still perpetuate the false myth of Islamic lone wolf terrorists. If the counter-terrorists can’t even get their story straight, how can anyone else?”

islamikaziThat led me to ponder both Poole’s and Cowboy’s remarks. I thought it over and reached out to someone I know in Israel. That is Islamic and Eastern Studies scholar, former Hebrew University professor and author, Raphael Israeli. You may recall our New English Review interview with him about the  lecture he gave in January 2012 at B’nai Israel Synagogue in Pensacola, Florida, Islam, Democracy and the Arab Spring: An Interview with Raphael Israeli. He and his wife Margalit were passing through from a trip to New Orleans and we prevailed upon him to set the record straight about Islamic doctrine.

We had first encountered Professor Israeli during a sabbatical term he spent in 2003 at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He was substituting for a member of the faculty Dr. Vera Schwarcz, who, like Israeli,  is a specialist in East Asian studies. I encountered Israeli in Schwarz’s office at Wesleyan in the midst of compiling footnotes for his latest book at the time, Islamikaze: Manifestations of Islamic MartyrologyThe focus of Islamikaze was on what motivated Muslim suicide bombers in the Middle East and the 19 perpetrators of 9/11. The term Islamikaze was modeled on the Japanese suicide Kamikaze (meaning divine wind) pilots of World War II. They, not unlike the Islamikaze, were motivated by the bushido doctrine of self sacrifice and death without surrender exemplified by the Samurai that was adopted by the Japanese militarists.

These questions raised by counterterrorism consultants about what to call the Salafist Jihadis prompted me to write Professor Israeli in Jerusalem and ask him if these lone wolf jihadis weren’t one and the same as Islamikazes.

Here is Professor Israeli’s response:

Of course they are Islamikaze.  Because even if in these cases  they acted  alone, they must have been indoctrinated and motivated, or shown the example by someone. No lone wolf just gets up in the morning and decides to murder human beings. Besides, Islamikaze has an element of  self-sacrifice. A common murderer would do it for personal gain of some sort. Here, in both Canadian  and US cases, they committed the murder, being aware  of the danger of risking their lives, and they were not deterred.

So, perhaps instead of calling the Salafist perpetrators of  Islamic terrorist attacks, lone wolves, Islamikaze may be what they really are. Given these Islamic terrorist developments here in America, this may prompt Professor Israeli and his publisher to update and re-issue, Islamikaze.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

State Announces New Stimulus Package: Ebola Treatment

The USSA Ministry of the State, in conjunction with Department of Forced Labor, has announced a new import program designed to stimulate the People’s Economy and provide thousands of new jobs. According to sources at the White Fortress, the USSA will begin importing Ebola patients from Africa for treatment services and possible immigration in the next few months.

This brilliant plan, conceived by the highest proletarian intellectuals serving the workers and peasants of the USSA as advisers to Comrade Party Chairman and President Barack Barackovich Obama, will lead to the hiring of thousands of new federal workers. Not only will the State use hundreds of medical personnel and unionized healthcare professionals, but thousands of new entry- and mid-level office workers and bureaucrats to administer the various programs that will spring forth from the soil like a newly-planted beet crop!

Only our glorious Democratic Socialist Party can find a way to turn the plague of Ebola into a gift for all American workers and peasants! The disease from foreign shores will soon become another successful Stimulus Package!

In the meantime, The Department of the People’s Defense has acknowledged that People’s Army troops stationed in West Africa, who will likely be forwarding Ebola patients to the USSA, will be quarantined due to their exposure to counter-revolutionary propaganda rather than any disease. The State reminds citizens that Ebola can only be contracted by contact with Republicans and their reactionary body fluids.

Ebola is FDR’s gift to the New America! Ebola treatment will be another successful Stimulus Package!

Faithfully submitted to the Collective of the People’s Cube,
Comrade Nomenklatura-climber
Dialectical Progressivism Translator
 – See more at: http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/state-announces-new-stimulus-package-ebola-treatment-t15221.html#sthash.fkaEC1j9.dpuf

Is America in Decline?

In case you have had the feeling that America is in decline and will make way for a new superpower, you may be right. At least you’re right if you agree with James MacDonald, the author of “When Globalization Fails: The Rise and Fall of Pax Americana” (due in January 2015, Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Given his review of the rise and fall of previous powerful nations, history, and a current analysis, they come together to say our days of global influence are over.

In a way, the election of Barack Obama is the perfect example of failed leadership, both as President and as a nation that others used to rely upon to maintain world peace, protect the sea lanes necessary for trade, and intervene when rogue players threaten their neighbors and the world.

For the first time in most people’s memory, our former allies and those nations looking toward America to see what action it will take or not no longer have any confidence in our willingness to take any action. More specifically, what action President Obama will or will not take. The rise of the Islamic State is a response to Obama’s abandonment of the Middle East.

Obama arrived in office with the belief that America was the problem and has proceeded to diminish Pax Americana (Latin for ensuring peace) in every way possible. He began by apologizing for America for having been too aggressive in the past and not having much good to say about it except in the most perfunctory and obligatory way.

MacDonald’s book is a historical review of previous world powers like Pax Britannia and the rivalries of colonial powers like Spain, Portugal, France and Germany. Bit by bit nations began to regard world trade as a brake on potential wars—they were wrong as in the case of the last century—and as a way to lift all nations toward greater prosperity. International organizations like the League of Nations and the United Nations have demonstrated no ability to ward off combat or the threats posed by rogue nations like North Korea or Iran.

“If the world’s great and rising powers are going to avoid conflict, it will require a determined effort to avoid the pitfalls of history,” says MacDonald.

MacDonald offers eight elements that produced the era of peace that began in post-war 1945 when the U.S. emerged with a thriving, growing economy while those in Europe and Asia were devastated. My generation looks back on those years knowing they were likely the best America will enjoy and hoping our economy will not be devastated by a national debt of $18 trillion and unfunded liabilities of $127 trillion!

It takes a historian to remind us that “One of the main lessons of history is that history lessons are eventually forgotten.” One need only look around the world for proof of that. The U.S. is not the only nation spending itself into a black hole. MacDonald reminds us, too, that it was the Cold War between the U.S. and then-Soviet Union that helped maintain “an unquiet peace” because neither nation would ever use its nuclear weapons. MacDonald fears “an equally intense Sino-American hostility” as China flexes its muscles. Don’t be surprised to see Japan acquire a nuclear shield or other Asian nations in China’s sphere of influence.

MacDonald has little faith in the United Nations which “can be effective only on the basis of consensus among the major powers, and it is not clear that any such consensus would prevail in a multi-polar world.”

As for Pax Americana, the rise of China is a major challenge. “Now that capitalism (euphemistically described as ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’), has been adopted by a rising power that rejects the idea of Pax Americana entirely, its future is uncertain.” China, “the new hegemon has so far shown itself to be far from benign, displaying a tendency to bully its potential clients over such things as offshore oil resources, water supplies, and access to rare earths.”

“If states are not to return to self-destructive competition for resources, free trade remains a sine qua non of peace,” says MacDonald. “Compared to the nineteenth century, free trade has the advantage of being embedded in international organizations and agreements, in particular the World Trade Organization.”

The future, as always, is clouded and there remains the threat of financial meltdowns. The U.S. had one in 2008 that required massive amounts of federal bailouts to avoid a worse outcome. We have been in the Great Recession ever since.

MacDonald notes that decolonization played a major role in the period following World War I and II. “The breakup of the European empires, even though it has often created its own sources of conflict, has contributed to the postwar peace among the Great Powers by breaking up economic blocs and reducing the causes of friction and envy that helped spur wars.” The lessons of U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate that what was easier in the past is no longer.

At the moment when the Obama administration is desperately trying to arrive at an agreement with Iran that will not permit it to make its own nuclear weapons, MacDonald believes that the threat of nuclear weapons may be the chief means to enforce any peace worldwide. The flaw in this is whether a fanatical Islamic power would resist their use.

MacDonald concludes that “The United States will, in all likelihood, remain center stage in world affairs” for some time to come.

Ridding the nation of its current, unpopular President and unlocking the hold that the Democratic Party has imposed on Congress, will be a major step in the right direction for the nation. Finding a leader who will encourage economic growth and resist our enemies will play a major role in restoring the power and influence we have had.

© Alan Caruba

Democrats Defy Logic

The closer Election Day gets, the more confused I am by the behavior of Democrats. For the past several years, there has been this false obsession with the importance of the Hispanic vote. All you hear in the media and from the political pundits is “the Hispanic vote, the Hispanic vote, the Hispanic vote.”

Democrats have been throwing amnesty at illegals, giving away Supreme Court seats to Hispanics (Sotomayor), and making it easy for illegals to take American jobs.

It’s almost as though the Black vote doesn’t exist and doesn’t matter. It seems as though Democrats are saying why pay attention or pander to Blacks; they know Blacks will always give them their vote and not expect or demand anything in return.

The Hispanic vote is only influential in a few states: California, New Mexico, or Nevada to name a few. They tend to congregate in large numbers in a small number of states.The Black vote is wide and deep, especially in the South and Northeast.

Hispanics are approximately 16 percent of the nation’s population, but only 10 percent of eligible voters. Even worse, only 7 percent vote.The Hispanic population of eligible voter is smaller than any other group (voting age population or VAP). The VAP for Whites is more than 77 percent, for Blacks 67 percent, and for Asians 52 percent.

As they do every two years, the Democrats have their biennial epiphany about the Black vote because they need Blacks to save them at the ballot box come next week.

Before I get into the Democrat’s latest epiphany and what it looks like; let me remind you of what Obama said about Black people in 2012 during an interview with Black Enterprise (BE) magazine. They asked him about the criticism he had received about ignoring Blacks and Black businesses. His response was, “I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America.” In other words, he will not engage in targeted solutions to problems that are unique to the Black community like the double digit unemployment rate (11.6 percent). He continued by saying, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Hmm, interesting.

So Obama is saying what’s good for America is good for Blacks and vice versa.

If this is the case, then can someone explain to me why Obama and the Democrats, fearing defeat in the Senate, are suddenly are spending $ 1 million dollars “specifically” targeting Blacks on radio and newspapers? Why are they not taking the same advertisements they are running in White media and use the same for Black radio and newspapers?

In other words, Democrats will “target” Blacks for purposes of an election; but won’t do the same thing in the area of legislation and public policy. If Obama is “president of all of America,” why is he “targeting” Blacks regarding the upcoming elections? Won’t people “think” he is Black? Won’t people “think” he is being partial to Black media? Of course he is and it’s the smart thing to do. So, if Obama and Democrats can “target” Blacks for political ads, for political purposes; could they not also “target” Blacks with specific legislation and executive orders to deal with the double digit unemployment rate? The answer is a resounding yes. But Obama and Democrats don’t value the Black vote; they only “use” the Black vote.

But yet, this is the same president and party that refuse specific actions for Blacks, while showering homosexuals and illegals with every political favor under the sun; and they are now targeting Black radio and newspapers in the last 30 days of the election because they are desperate.

According to the nonpartisan research group, Center for Responsive Politics, Democrats are expected to spend upwards of $ 1.76 billion for this year’s elections; yet they only allocate $ 1 million for Black media in the last 30 days of the campaign. You do the math. This shows how little value they place on the Black vote – until it’s too late. These ads are being run on radio shows hosted by Tom Joyner, D.L. Hughley, Ricky Smiley, Al Sharpton, and Joe Madison. There are 24 months in an elections cycle, but Democrats only spend money with these Blacks for 30 days of that cycle.

The question is also where they spend this money. Do they actually think comedians and buffoons can influence the Black vote. But, then again, how appropriate that the Democrats think that comedians can get Blacks to vote because the past six years have been one big joke played on the Black community.