Tag Archives: Egypt

Obama, Liberals, and Radical Islam – The Love Affair Continues

President Barack Obama knows better than Congress what the U.S. needs to do. In spite of any objections from the Hill, our country is sending $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt. While there’s been many comments bandied about on the right about the dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama’s reply has been to deny any potential problems with the organization. Well, if he does have any doubts, sending billions of dollars to them was no way to show it.

Young Hezbollah

Ben Hammersley (CC)


When considering the pros and cons of giving aid to any government that is controlled entirely or in part by Islamic organizations, it is best to consider the current and past situations that have been faced in these relationships. The U.S. has had a tumultuous history, at best, when it comes to dabbling in the Islamic world. Whether one considers our part in the creation of Israel, or the wars in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, since the end of World War II, we haven’t been very lucky in our involvements. We backed Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, only to end up battling him later – twice. And there is a school of thought out there that we made Osama bin Laden what he was with our initial involvement in Afghanistan in the 1980’s.

Obama is not a Muslim, and it shows in how he approaches foreign policy. He suffers from the same mental disconnect that most Westerners have when it comes to dealing with followers of Islam. It is difficult for him to comprehend why the killing of 16 civilians by one soldier in Afghanistan is less offensive to Muslims than the accidental burning of copies of the Koran. It is the inverse of Christianity, that places such a great value on human life, and is extremely difficult for many Americans to comprehend fully. This disconnect is the reason why it is foolhardy to offer any degree of support to any organization that is even remotely associated with known Islamic terrorist organizations.

While it is tempting to give in to the demands of law-abiding citizens here in America that claim there is a problem here with Islamophobia, that is also a questionable choice, at best. Either the definition of “hate” is different for followers of Islam, or there is already a major problem with our institutions catering to the whims of Islamic organizations. The fact that faith is the most sacred part of life for a follower of Islam controls their world view. Even the most minor statement against their faith can be worse than anything Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern together could manage against anyone else. CAIR-PA, the Pennsylvania affiliate of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has been under scrutiny for having too close a relationship to an institution charged with giving reports of discrimination and bias in the Commonwealth. The research so far is indicating that CAIR-PA screams foul over citizens exercising their right to free speech, not discriminatory or biased behavior. There is no law stating that people must like everyone else. It is also not illegal to state those feelings. But, to CAIR-PA, saying anything against their faith is considered biased – Islamophobia or hate speech. When it comes to CAIR-PA members speaking about others, that’s another story.

At the same time, CAIR-PA is guilty of the unreflective prejudice it condemns, yet it remains a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force. Referring to a 2010 profanity-filled letter sent to the imam of the Muslim Association of Lehigh Valley (BI #24788), CAIR-PA’s Khawaja wrote: “If [the purported sender’s] name is actually Joe Martin, the offender is most likely white.” When discussing the World of Islam book series previously mentioned, CAIR described the publishing partner, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, as “a right-wing, pro-war think tank.” Referring to the Peter King congressional hearings, Khawaja tweeted: “If ur minority and havent figured that GOP is bastion of racism and bigotry, get ur head out of ur ass.” Apparently, malicious characterizations give offense only when the receiving end is an Islamist organization.

And CAIR and CAIR-PA are off-shoots of the Muslim Brotherhood – the organization that will arguably benefit the most from the aid Obama is sending to Egypt. No doubt they will happily spend that money. But if Obama expects anything in return for it diplomatically, he more than likely will be very disappointed – if CAIR-PA’s behavior is any indicator.

About That Democracy Plan in Egypt

Two U.S. political activists groups pushing for what is largely an undefined “democracy” in Egypt under the guise of  human rights/ election monitoring [U.S. Government funded]  programs have been told they will not be allowed to leave Egypt recently. The two groups involved are the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute.  (NDI) Their mission statements are as follows:

IRI –  A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, IRI advances freedom and democracy worldwide by developing political parties, civic institutions, open elections, democratic governance and the rule of law.

NDI – A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

According to this IRI retread of a New York Times news report, “In addition to Mr. LaHood, four other employees from the Republican Institute, including two Americans, had been barred from travel. Officials of the National Democratic Institute said that six of its employees had been banned, including three Americans.” That would be current Obama appointee and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s son Sam, they are referring to in that paragraph,as he is listed as the current Director of the IRI.

As is always the case when Americans are detained abroad for what has been termed “politically charged” criminal investigations, the devil is always in the details. For instance, this problem didn’t just pop up on Thursday when Sam LaHood and company were detained. As a matter of fact President Obama actually called Egyptian Field Marshall Tantawi on Wednesday, the day before the people were detained. In that call he told the Field Marshall that this year’s American military aid hinged on satisfying new Congressional legislation requiring that Egypt’s military government take tangible steps toward democracy, said three people briefed on the conversation. So apparently, there were concerns prior to this week that there were investigations into possibly illegal political activities in Egypt.

Considering that last spring the Egyptian government had initiated a formal criminal investigation into  foreign financing of non-profit groups operating in Egypt during the now infamous Arab Spring, it seems ludicrous to suggest that the U.S. State dept. and the Obama administration did not see all of this coming. Then again, just this past December, heavily armed Egyptian police officers raided several of these “rights groups” offices included four that were funded by the U.S. Government. Of course the U.S. Gov’t. denounced these raids as attempts to block the human rights and democracy building groups from their stated missions of helping the people of Egypt to install a new government through a fair democratic voting process.

The question here is whether or not the United States government has the right to interfere with the formation of a new government and the creation of a new constitution. Americans were told that Egypt is free from the tyrannical dictator now, and the people can install the government of their choice through free and fair elections. So why is the U.S. still over there trying to manipulate and control the formation of the new government? This is why the U.S is hated in that part of the world. This is also why other countries are now here in America demanding that their religions and laws be obeyed here. Sharia law is now being injected into the American judicial system in many states, causing them to draft legislation that specifically outlaws Sharia law defenses in their states. We have no business influencing the political system of Egypt or any other country through political activist groups that are funded by our very own government. The U.N. is supposed to help ensure fair elections in countries where the government has been toppled like in Egypt. It is one thing to try to help to ensure fair elections, yet it is a whole new ballgame when we are caught trying to push for Western-style democracy  in a country rooted in 7th century Islamic ideology. The detention of these political activists in Egypt is a stiff warning to the American government. Stay out of  Egypt’s business .

 

 

U.S. officials conduct talks with Muslim Brotherhood

The AP has reported the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamist group, met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. The Brotherhood is prepared to have major control of the country’s new parliament and favors a mix of parliamentary and presidential systems for its new government.

Having won more than 40% of the seats in the incoming parliament, the Brotherhood is getting set to create a new constitution when the body convenes on January 23rd:

Its primary purpose is to appoint a 100-member panel to write a new constitution.

Mohammed Morsi, head of the Brotherhood’s political party, told Burns during the Wednesday meeting that there is a consensus on civic freedoms and rights for the new constitution, according to a statement from Morsi’s office.

Before the visit, State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Burns would talk about US “support for Egypt’s democratic political transition, including an active and independent civil society, and the current economic challenges facing Egypt.”

The Obama administration is attempting to establish a dialog after decades of the U.S. government avoiding the Islamist group.

 

Climb the Mountain: Recollections of a Christmas Journey to the Holy Land

Yasmina and her sister in Cairo

Three years ago on Christmas Day I made a pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt to visit the Holy Land. It was a vacation that touched me deeply which I will never forget.

It was after my 15-month deployment to Iraq. I had extra money in my pocket from the deployment, all that tax free cash.  (Let’s reminisce about that line for a moment conservatives! Ahhh. No taxes.) I decided to make the pilgrimage because it seemed like the right time, and I might never get the chance again. There is no safe time to go, so if you really want to do it, you will.

I wasn’t disappointed. It was well worth the money. I arrived in Ben Gurion Airport outside of Tel Aviv shortly after the holiday. I took a cab to Netanya when I should have taken the train. I over paid the cabby, who pretended not to be able to speak English, paying him in the local currency and in American Dollars. (I didn’t understand the exchange rate and didn’t have enough of the local currency. It wasn’t the cabby’s fault. Oh well.) I had arrived. My hotel, the Blue Bay Hotel in North Central Israel, was right on the Mediterranean. I spent two days by myself hanging out in the hotel and wandering around the city waiting for my tour group. I spent hours on the beach meditating on my life, praying in anticipation of what I would see on my trip. It was beautiful. (My second mistake of my trip was to travel by myself without the tour group. I won’t do that again. I had traveled alone in Germany and thought I could do it. In the new normal it’s always better to go with a friend or with a group. Lesson learned.)

I met a lovely family from Canada who I hung out with for a few days there in the hotel. I still keep in touch with them on occasion on Facebook. The mom would later get symbolically baptized in the Jordan River, an emotional time for everyone. Their young son and I bonded well and I think of him as a new nephew. We enjoyed exploring the grotto beneath the ancient city of Megiddo together.

It’s hard to rate all the great locations we visited and the historical and religious meanings behind them. There was a snap and a tension in the air that was palpable. The Jewish people both the Christian Jews who were our guides and the religiously practicing and secular Jews were all very pleasant. The cities and the country side were all very beautiful, beyond expectation. I had anticipated seeing a lot of desert, but the Israeli people have done wonders taking back the land from the desert and turning it green. I went hiking in thick woods one time at the ancient city of Dan. We climbed the slopes to the top of the Ancient Fortress of Masada, and we took a dip in the Dead Sea. It was spectacular.

Jerusalem was beautiful and totally worthy of its own column. Maybe someday I’ll tell you about it.

What I really wanted to talk about is the Egypt portion of the trip, particularly the climb up Mount Sinai.

Only a small contingent of our fellow travelers continued with us from Israel to Egypt, and of those, only the youngest had any interest in climbing the mountain of Jebel Musa in the middle of the night. While the older people slept, the four of us gathered our belongings, warm coats, hats and gloves, flashlights and other gear and exited our bungalows at the foot of the mountain, ready for our trek. It was midnight when we set out. There was my Spanish friend Yasmina, her young sister, myself and one older gentleman, a 55-year old pastor from California. To get to the site where we were to begin our climb we would first have to trek three miles in the dark to the foot of the mountain. The mountain loomed over us and I could not tell the difference between sky and earth except for where the heavens were punctuated by moon and stars. It was terribly cold.

We met our guides at the foot of the mountain and we mounted camels there waiting for us, paying a dollar for the privilege. As we started up on camelback, I promptly lost track of the pastor and the two girls there in the dark. Half way up, the pastor paid his guide an extra dollar to take him back down. The saddles we were given were so small that they were only appropriate to accommodate the hips of a teen aged girl, with pins poking up in the front and the back keeping the rider snuggly in place. To me, the saddle was an annoyance. To the pastor, who was heavy set, it was intolerably painful.

The trip up the mountain was the most thrilling, scary thing that I have ever done, to include taking part in armed convoys in Iraq, and dog-fighting over the Pacific. In my mind I imagined pitching headlong into the dark and plummeting thousands of feet to my death. Nothing like that happened and eventually we reached to stop off point where we were to dismount. The last third of the way we were to climb on foot.

As we climbed I could see the snake of flashlights and lanterns lighting the trail all the way to the  top. Upon dismounting the camel I set about trying to find the girls. I did not know at the time that the pastor had quit the trail. After a few nerve-wracking moments of searching, I found the girls and we continued to climb the last few steps up to the summit. The locals use the term “steps” very loosely. It was not as advertised. In fact the rocky steps were so sharp and dangerous that camels weren’t allowed to traverse them for fear of injury. We were slow and careful in our early morning ascent.

After nearly five hours we arrived at the summit. At the top of the mountain there is a stone chapel built by local monks. We huddled together in its shadow under a blanket we rented by a local for a dollar (everything on the mountain costs a dollar, from the toilet paper squares to the splinter of The True Cross somebody tried to sell me).  Then, we waited for the sun to rise. It was incredibly moving. I could barely move; there were so many people snuggled together there on the summit. I was afraid to move for fearing a fall through the abyss. The locals were unperturbed. They lept around like mountain goats over rocky crags with bottomless falls beneath. To them it was routine to climb that mountain every day. It was just a job to them.

After sun rise we started the procession back down the mountain. Our guide then told us what happened to the pastor. He laughed at us when we expressed our feelings about how much of a shame it was for our companion not to stick it out and climb all the way. When we asked him why he laughed at us, he replied, “you may have the best of intensions, but your body has to climb the mountain.” Good point. The Muslim local had inadvertently quoted Jesus Christ who phrased it another way, saying, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” We laughed at the irony, but we didn’t explain ourselves to the guide, who wrinkled his nose in confusion.

Americans have had it so easy for so long, we no longer want the hard work of climbing the mountain. We want everything handed to us and we expect a better more equitable result. Only hard work and effort will turn this economy around and bring back freedom for the average citizen. More government and regulation and more entitlements don’t bring happiness or freedom. They bring chains. We have to rely upon ourselves. It’s time to break the chains and start climbing again. Only then will we be happy with the end results that we profited from though our own effort and toil. No politician or president can deliver that result.

Justice is not delivered through secular law. A godless society is outside the law, a law without standards that can be changed at whim by the mob. John Adams remarked that the laws of our government were meant for a Christian Nation, wholly inadequate for the governance of any other. Self discipline is the only way to return us to the moral center. When people continue to fight over Air Jordan retro sneakers and toaster ovens rather than spending the holiday with family and friends, we deserve the world we’ve created. In order to return to our religious heritage and moral core we must not be afraid to push back against the atheists and secularists who want to quash all reference to God and morality in the public square.

Banish God from the public square and see the result. Violence in the Middle East and chaos at home.

This Christmas I will be spending my holiday with family, close to home, and I will be thinking about my brother who is getting ready for his fourth deployment, who won’t be able to join us. On the anniversary of Christ’s birth, I will remember my trip to the Holy Land, and thank God for the friends I made along the way.

Merry Christmas!

LETHAL CR Gas Killing Protesters in Egypt

Brisbane protests Mubarak. Pic: Marc Robertson The Courier mail

People across the globe demanded the ouster of long-time oppressive Egyptian dictator Hasni Mubarak, without taking into consideration just who would fill the political vacuum created by his ouster. The results of that irresponsible action without proper planning ahead of time can be seen in the following NewsMax headline: Egyptian Military using Nerve gas on Protesters.

The Egyptian military has been using a banned chemical agent to deal with hundreds of thousands of protesters, according to several news sources.

At least 23 Egyptians have died and more than 1,700 have succumbed to a lethal gas military forces have been using during the past three days in clashes in and around Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

The International Business Times reports that demonstrators have been struck with “dangerous levels of CR gas over the past two days of protests” and Australia’s The Age said Wednesday that the canisters are marked “Made in the USA.”

CR gas is an intense and lethal version of CS gas, called “tear gas,” widely used by police for crowd control.

Wikipedia notes that CR gas has effects that are “are approximately 6 to 10 times more powerful than those of CS gas.” CR causes intense skin pain and irritation, and can lead to blindness and death by asphyxiation.

The CR gas was made in the USA. Now comes the investigation/government cover-up about just how American-made nerve gas ended up in Egypt. Kind of reminds us of the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal where our very own government was caught red-handed selling assault weapons to mexican drug cartels. That episode in big government abuse is also being covered up today, with no one held responsible for the hundreds of murders caused by our government in that Eric Holder-led travesty.

Are the Occupy Wall Street lawless nutcases paying attention here? Instead of whining about a shot of non-lethal pepper spray, how would you like to be burying some of your whining, sniveling cowardly comrades? This is what real tragedy and oppression looks like kids. Stop harassing the 99% of decent citizens and clear out of our parks and cities, so we can begin cleaning up the tons of human waste, disease, spent needles, used condoms and over-all filth you have brought with you across America!

Three Americans Detained in Egypt for Throwing Bombs at Police

Three Americans enrolled at the American University in Cairo have been arrested after allegedly throwing Molotov Cocktails, a rudimentary liquid bomb, at Egyptian police.

While the U.S. Embassy has not yet confirmed the identity of the young men or their status, fellow students have identified them as  Luke Gates of Bloomington, Ind., Derrik Sweeney of Northridge, Calif., and Greg Porter of Pennsylvania.

The three were reportedly arrested just outside the university on Monday night by Egyptian authorities.

Violent protests have escalated since Saturday in Tahrir square – the site of the protests that led to the ouster of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek. Protesters are demanding that the government be run by civilians instead of the military committee currently in-place.

Images and video of the three boys have been shown on Egyptian and American television throughout Tuesday morning.

When Middle East Policies Collide

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 will prove to be a very busy and interesting day.  On that day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the United Nations general assembly, followed soon after by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Both men will outline the state of affairs between the two peoples who reside in a very contentious region.  Their perspectives, however, are very different, and in the end, only one of them is right.

Netanyahu will start out the day in an effort to defend Israeli policy and practice.  The reception, however, is likely to be very chilly, to say the least.  The U.N. General Assembly has been known for its blatant anti-Israel stance, so Netanyahu’s message is more of a matter of record than of sway.  He simply wants to get everything out there for the world to hear, even if it’ll all fall on deaf ears.

Abbas has different motives.  He is seeking a U.N. Resolution, preferably from the Security Council that declares, unilaterally, the existence of a State called Palestine.  He wants full U.N. membership and representation, and his goal is to force Israel’s hand by having the U.N. outline the borders.  The Palestinian Authority is intent on securing borders from prior to the 1967 war.  At least, that’s the border they want to start with.

Israel, however, has argued that those borders are indefensible and negotiations must be undertaken to choose different borders.  Israel also insists that Jerusalem not be re-divided and remain the capital of the Jewish State.  One other thing that Israel wants, however, is something that the Palestinians are unwilling to give:  a declaration that Israel as a Jewish State has a right to exist.

The P.A. won’t resume negotiations until Israel stops building settlements in the so-called occupied territories.  That, of course, is a straw man being used to further the Palestinians’ goal.  They’d prefer to have the world exert pressure on Israel through the United Nations by painting themselves as the good guys.

The P.A. is undertaking this move by saying they are just copying what the Israelis did in 1948.  An article ran in the Sydney Morning Herald on August 29th in which Sonja Karkar distorted history and portrayed it as fact.  He said:

“Israel’s own unilateral move in declaring statehood after the UN’s intention to partition historic Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state cannot be avoided. It underscores that Palestine was never a land without a people and that Israel’s existence was imposed on Palestinians, robbing them of their homes and land and destroying their proud and millenniums-old society.”

What Mr. Karkar fails to mention in his first sentence is that when Israel declared independence, they did so within the U.N. partitioned borders in good faith.  The Arab League opposed the plan.  They argued that the U.N. lacked the authority to divide the land and they viewed the division as being unfair.  On the day Israel declared her independence, the surrounding Arab States declared war with one purpose in mind:  the obliteration of Israel.  They wanted to push the Jewish infestation in Arab lands into the sea.

The Palestinians in the region at the start of the war were urged by the surrounding Arab States to leave their homes.  They were promised prime land, once Israel no longer existed.

Mr. Karkar’s reasoning again is faulty by his assumption that the “Palestinians” were actually a distinct society.  There, of course, have always been people there.  Those people come from all different sorts of backgrounds and cultures, but never once has there been a nation of Palestine that was run by the people who call themselves Palestinian.

The Arab confederation lost this war.  Several more military campaigns would be waged over the years and each time the result was the same:  Israel was victorious and the surrounding nations were clueless.

In 1949, the land that the U.N. had partitioned for the Arab State was firmly in the hands of the Jordanians and Egyptians.  It remained in their hands until 1967.

In those 18 years, no effort was made to establish a nation of Palestine according to the U.N. plan.  The only thing the Egyptians and Jordanians did was plan their next war.  In 1967, they lost the now so-called “Occupied Territories”.  Egypt also lost the entire Sinai Peninsula.

On the eastern side, Israel had taken the West Bank of the Jordan River along with East Jerusalem from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Israel reunited Jerusalem, but under treaty with Jordan, left the temple mount under Jordanian control.

In 1979, Egypt and Israel signed a Peace agreement that formally ended 30 years of war.  As part of the deal, Israel gave Egypt back the Sinai Peninsula and wanted to give Egypt the Gaza Strip at the same time.  Egypt did not want Gaza.  They viewed the residents there as being problematic and preferred to leave the problem in Israel’s hands.  Once again, no effort was made by the Egyptians to secure that land, which they could have then turned around and ceded to the Palestinians.

Over the course of time, the Palestinian Liberation Organization evolved from a purely terrorist organization to a “respected” representative of the Palestinian interests.  Various accords have been signed and Israel has withdrawn from large portions of the land.  The exception would be the settlements that are being constructed in the West Bank.

This is where the racist aspect of the Palestinians comes clearly into view for those of us who want to look.  The Palestinians have no interest in having any Jews live in what will be their State and so they oppose, often violently, any Jewish settlements in those areas.  This sort of apartheid is condemned elsewhere, but for some reason, is not only accepted in this region, it’s promoted as the only way to have “peace”.

The truth is there won’t be peace in the region because there are two peoples in one region that both want the same land and refuse to live together and work together.

With the exception of re-dividing Jerusalem, Israel is more than willing to share the land with the Palestinians, side by side.  They just want to make sure their borders are wide enough to be defended.  The Palestinians, however, only view such an existence a stopgap to their goal:  A Palestinian State that extends from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea.

The United States wants to stop Abbas from making his demands, and Netanyahu wants to make sure the world knows why.  If both efforts fail to change the course the world is on, September 20th could prove to be a very busy, perhaps even bloody, day, indeed.

Revolution

Egyptian Protests 2011This past spring we witnessed the flames of revolution across the face of the Arab nations. Old leaders were thrown out and new leaders are taking over. But who are these new leaders and what is their intent? Some believe that the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical group, will be organizing and winning elections in those countries where elections will be allowed. But what is the Muslim Brotherhood? And what is its aim for the Middle East? Were the Revolutions about freedom?

We have heard reports from Egypt that women who participated in the protests have been tested for virginity. We have heard that there have been murders of Christians in Egypt. We have listened to, and read about an American female reporter who was molested, virtually hand raped by Egyptian men in the crowds because the men thought she was Jewish.

These actions are not about freedom, they are about abuse and tyranny.

Our so-called leaders in Washington have decided to contribute to the 40 billion dollars pledged to these Arab nations at the G-8 Summit in France. We cannot afford this, or any other expenditure that is not directly for the American People.

We, the people, will be paying for this and many other “necessary” programs that have been set up (Harry Reid included the Cowboy Poetry Convention in this genre) by Congresses and Presidents in the past as well as during this administration. Our children, grand children and, reaching into the future to our great grand children, will be paying in taxes for all of the frivolous expenditures that they have forced on the American People.

The American Revolution is said to have been based on a Tax Revolt, but it entailed more than just the taxes being imposed on the Colonists. But let’s leave the cause at the taxes for now.

Americans banded together to declare Independence from Britain and upon that action, they created the Articles of Confederation which were used to govern the colonies until the writing of the Constitution was enjoined due to the inadequacies of the Articles. The Bill of Rights is prominent in our Constitution. The United States of America is the first totally free country in the history of the world. You can reach back into the past, but you’ll not find a country that has the rights of the people spelled out more clearly and concisely than in our Constitution.

One of our most precious rights is the Right to Assembly, covered by the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. American people started to wake up and began to assemble in protest against the spending being done by Congress in 2009. We are organized into Tea Parties which are a grass roots movement to tell Washington D.C. that we’re tired of their flippant spending and shoving down our throats legislation that we don’t want.

Symbol of the Tea PartyThe Tea Parties are a new Revolution in this country, one that is peaceful and powerful at the ballot box. We must continue to send the message to the Congress-Critters in the Swamp of Washington D.C. that we’re tired of over taxation, over spending and having unconstitutional legislation thrown at us.

The question we must now ask is, are they listening to us?

And if they are not listening, what is our next move?

Tim Pawlenty Releases Middle-East Foreign Policy Statement

Governor Pawlenty gave these remarks in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations:

Tim PawlentyI want to speak plainly this morning about the opportunities and the dangers we face today in the Middle East. The revolutions now roiling that region offer the promise of a more democratic, more open, and a more prosperous Arab world. From Morocco to the Arabian Gulf, the escape from the dead hand of oppression is now a real possibility.

Now is not the time to retreat from freedom’s rise.

Yet at the same time, we know these revolutions can bring to power forces that are neither democratic nor forward-looking. Just as the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria and elsewhere see a chance for a better life of genuine freedom, the leaders of radical Islam see a chance to ride political turmoil into power.

The United States has a vital stake in the future of this region. We have been presented with a challenge as great as any we have faced in recent decades. And we must get it right. The question is, are we up to the challenge?

My answer is, of course we are. If we are clear about our interests and guided by our principles, we can help steer events in the right direction. Our nation has done this in the past — at the end of World War II, in the last decade of the Cold War, and in the more recent war on terror … and we can do it again.

But President Obama has failed to formulate and carry out an effective and coherent strategy in response to these events. He has been timid, slow, and too often without a clear understanding of our interests or a clear commitment to our principles.

And parts of the Republican Party now seem to be trying to out-bid the Democrats in appealing to isolationist sentiments. This is no time for uncertain leadership in either party. The stakes are simply too high, and the opportunity is simply too great.

No one in this Administration predicted the events of the Arab spring – but the freedom deficit in the Arab world was no secret. For 60 years, Western nations excused and accommodated the lack of freedom in the Middle East. That could not last. The days of comfortable private deals with dictators were coming to an end in the age of Twitter, You Tube, and Facebook. And history teaches there is no such thing as stable oppression.

President Obama has ignored that lesson of history. Instead of promoting democracy – whose fruit we see now ripening across the region – he adopted a murky policy he called “engagement.”

“Engagement” meant that in 2009, when the Iranian ayatollahs stole an election, and the people of that country rose up in protest, President Obama held his tongue. His silence validated the mullahs, despite the blood on their hands and the nuclear centrifuges in their tunnels.

While protesters were killed and tortured, Secretary Clinton said the Administration was “waiting to see the outcome of the internal Iranian processes.” She and the president waited long enough to see the Green Movement crushed.

“Engagement” meant that in his first year in office, President Obama cut democracy funding for Egyptian civil society by 74 percent. As one American democracy organization noted, this was “perceived by Egyptian democracy activists as signaling a lack of support.” They perceived correctly. It was a lack of support.

“Engagement” meant that when crisis erupted in Cairo this year, as tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square, Secretary Clinton declared, “the Egyptian Government is stable.” Two weeks later, Mubarak was gone. When Secretary Clinton visited Cairo after Mubarak’s fall, democratic activist groups refused to meet with her. And who can blame them?

The forces we now need to succeed in Egypt — the pro-democracy, secular political parties — these are the very people President Obama cut off, and Secretary Clinton dismissed.

The Obama “engagement” policy in Syria led the Administration to call Bashar al Assad a “reformer.” Even as Assad’s regime was shooting hundreds of protesters dead in the street, President Obama announced his plan to give Assad “an alternative vision of himself.” Does anyone outside a therapist’s office have any idea what that means? This is what passes for moral clarity in the Obama Administration.

By contrast, I called for Assad’s departure on March 29; I call for it again today. We should recall our ambassador from Damascus; and I call for that again today. The leader of the United States should never leave those willing to sacrifice their lives in the cause of freedom wondering where America stands. As President, I will not.

We need a president who fully understands that America never “leads from behind.”

We cannot underestimate how pivotal this moment is in Middle Eastern history. We need decisive, clear-eyed leadership that is responsive to this historical moment of change in ways that are consistent with our deepest principles and safeguards our vital interests.

Opportunity still exists amid the turmoil of the Arab Spring — and we should seize it.

As I see it, the governments of the Middle East fall into four broad categories, and each requires a different strategic approach.

The first category consists of three countries now at various stages of transition toward democracy – the formerly fake republics in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. Iraq is also in this category, but is further along on its journey toward democracy.

For these countries, our goal should be to help promote freedom and democracy.

Elections that produce anti-democratic regimes undermine both freedom and stability. We must do more than monitor polling places. We must redirect foreign aid away from efforts to merely build good will, and toward efforts to build good allies — genuine democracies governed by free people according to the rule of law. And we must insist that our international partners get off the sidelines and do the same.

We should have no illusions about the difficulty of the transitions faced by Libya, Tunisia, and especially Egypt. Whereas Libya is rich in oil, and Tunisia is small, Egypt is large, populous, and poor. Among the region’s emerging democracies, it remains the biggest opportunity and the biggest danger for American interests.

Having ejected the Mubarak regime, too many Egyptians are now rejecting the beginnings of the economic opening engineered in the last decade. We act out of friendship when we tell Egyptians, and every new democracy, that economic growth and prosperity are the result of free markets and free trade—not subsidies and foreign aid. If we want these countries to succeed, we must afford them the respect of telling them the truth.

In Libya, the best help America can provide to these new friends is to stop leading from behind and commit America’s strength to removing Ghadafi, recognizing the TNC as the government of Libya, and unfreezing assets so the TNC can afford security and essential services as it marches toward Tripoli.

Beyond Libya, America should always promote the universal principles that undergird freedom. We should press new friends to end discrimination against women, to establish independent courts, and freedom of speech and the press. We must insist on religious freedoms for all, including the region’s minorities—whether Christian, Shia, Sunni, or Bahai.

The second category of states is the Arab monarchies. Some – like Jordan and Morocco – are engaging now in what looks like genuine reform. This should earn our praise and our assistance. These kings have understood they must forge a partnership with their own people, leading step by step toward more democratic societies. These monarchies can smooth the path to constitutional reform and freedom and thereby deepen their own legitimacy. If they choose this route, they, too, deserve our help.

But others are resisting reform. While President Obama spoke well about Bahrain in his recent speech, he neglected to utter two important words: Saudi Arabia.

US-Saudi relations are at an all-time low—and not primarily because of the Arab Spring. They were going downhill fast, long before the uprisings began. The Saudis saw an American Administration yearning to engage Iran—just at the time they saw Iran, correctly, as a mortal enemy.

We need to tell the Saudis what we think, which will only be effective if we have a position of trust with them. We will develop that trust by demonstrating that we share their great concern about Iran and that we are committed to doing all that is necessary to defend the region from Iranian aggression.

At the same time, we need to be frank about what the Saudis must do to insure stability in their own country. Above all, they need to reform and open their society. Their treatment of Christians and other minorities, and their treatment of women, is indefensible and must change.

We know that reform will come to Saudi Arabia—sooner and more smoothly if the royal family accepts and designs it. It will come later and with turbulence and even violence if they resist. The vast wealth of their country should be used to support reforms that fit Saudi history and culture—but not to buy off the people as a substitute for lasting reform.

The third category consists of states that are directly hostile to America. They include Iran and Syria. The Arab Spring has already vastly undermined the appeal of Al Qaeda and the killing of Osama Bin Laden has significantly weakened it.

The success of peaceful protests in several Arab countries has shown the world that terror is not only evil, but will eventually be overcome by good. Peaceful protests may soon bring down the Assad regime in Syria. The 2009 protests in Iran inspired Arabs to seek their freedom. Similarly, the Arab protests of this year, and the fall of regime after broken regime, can inspire Iranians to seek their freedom once again.

We have a clear interest in seeing an end to Assad’s murderous regime. By sticking to Bashar al Assad so long, the Obama Administration has not only frustrated Syrians who are fighting for freedom—it has demonstrated strategic blindness. The governments of Iran and Syria are enemies of the United States. They are not reformers and never will be. They support each other. To weaken or replace one, is to weaken or replace the other.

The fall of the Assad mafia in Damascus would weaken Hamas, which is headquartered there. It would weaken Hezbollah, which gets its arms from Iran, through Syria. And it would weaken the Iranian regime itself.

To take advantage of this moment, we should press every diplomatic and economic channel to bring the Assad reign of terror to an end. We need more forceful sanctions to persuade Syria’s Sunni business elite that Assad is too expensive to keep backing. We need to work with Turkey and the Arab nations and the Europeans, to further isolate the regime. And we need to encourage opponents of the regime by making our own position very clear, right now: Bashar al-Assad must go.

When he does, the mullahs of Iran will find themselves isolated and vulnerable. Syria is Iran’s only Arab ally. If we peel that away, I believe it will hasten the fall of the mullahs. And that is the ultimate goal we must pursue. It’s the singular opportunity offered to the world by the brave men and women of the Arab Spring.

The march of freedom in the Middle East cuts across the region’s diversity of religious, ethnic, and political groups. But it is born of a particular unity. It is a united front against stolen elections and stolen liberty, secret police, corruption, and the state-sanctioned violence that is the essence of the Iranian regime’s tyranny.

So this is a moment to ratchet up pressure and speak with clarity. More sanctions. More and better broadcasting into Iran. More assistance to Iranians to access the Internet and satellite TV and the knowledge and freedom that comes with it. More efforts to expose the vicious repression inside that country and expose Teheran’s regime for the pariah it is.

And, very critically, we must have more clarity when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program. In 2008, candidate Barack Obama told AIPAC that he would “always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel.” This year, he told AIPAC “we remain committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.” So I have to ask: are all the options still on the table or not? If he’s not clear with us, it’s no wonder that even our closest allies are confused.

The Administration should enforce all sanctions for which legal authority already exits. We should enact and then enforce new pending legislation which strengthens sanctions particularly against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who control much of the Iranian economy.

And in the middle of all this, is Israel.

Israel is unique in the region because of what it stands for and what it has accomplished. And it is unique in the threat it faces—the threat of annihilation. It has long been a bastion of democracy in a region of tyranny and violence. And it is by far our closest ally in that part of the world.

Despite wars and terrorists attacks, Israel offers all its citizens, men and women, Jews, Christians, Muslims and, others including 1.5 million Arabs, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to vote, access to independent courts and all other democratic rights.

Nowhere has President Obama’s lack of judgment been more stunning than in his dealings with Israel.

It breaks my heart that President Obama treats Israel, our great friend, as a problem, rather than as an ally. The President seems to genuinely believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies at the heart of every problem in the Middle East. He said it Cairo in 2009 and again this year.

President Obama could not be more wrong.

The uprisings in Tunis, Cairo, Tripoli and elsewhere are not about Israelis and Palestinians. They’re about oppressed people yearning for freedom and prosperity. Whether those countries become prosperous and free is not about how many apartments Israel builds in Jerusalem.

Today the president doesn’t really have a policy toward the peace process. He has an attitude. And let’s be frank about what that attitude is: he thinks Israel is the problem. And he thinks the answer is always more pressure on Israel.

I reject that anti-Israel attitude. I reject it because Israel is a close and reliable democratic ally. And I reject it because I know the people of Israel want peace.

Israeli – Palestinian peace if further away not than the day Barack Obama came to office. But that does not have to be a permanent situation.

We must recognize that peace will only come if everyone in the region perceives clearly that America stands strongly with Israel.

I would take a new approach.

First, I would never undermine Israel’s negotiating position, nor pressure it to accept borders which jeopardize security and its ability to defend itself.

Second, I would not pressure Israel to negotiate with Hamas or a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, unless Hamas renounces terror, accepts Israel’s right to exist, and honors the previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements. In short, Hamas needs to cease being a terrorist group in both word and deed as a first step towards global legitimacy.

Third, I would ensure our assistance to the Palestinians immediately ends if the teaching of hatred in Palestinian classrooms and airwaves continues. That incitement must end now.

Fourth, I would recommend cultivating and empowering moderate forces in Palestinian society.

When the Palestinians have leaders who are honest and capable, who appreciate the rule of law, who understand that war against Israel has doomed generations of Palestinians to lives of bitterness, violence, and poverty – then peace will come.

The Middle East is changing before our eyes—but our government has not kept up. It abandoned the promotion of democracy just as Arabs were about to seize it. It sought to cozy up to dictators just as their own people rose against them. It downplayed our principles and distanced us from key allies.

All this was wrong, and these policies have failed. The Administration has abandoned them, and at the price of American leadership. A region that since World War II has looked to us for security and progress now wonders where we are and what we’re up to.

The next president must do better. Today, in our own Republican Party, some look back and conclude our projection of strength and defense of freedom was a product of different times and different challenges. While times have changed, the nature of the challenge has not.

In the 1980s, we were up against a violent, totalitarian ideology bent on subjugating the people and principles of the West. While others sought to co-exist, President Reagan instead sought victory. So must we, today. For America is exceptional, and we have the moral clarity to lead the world.

It is not wrong for Republicans to question the conduct of President Obama’s military leadership in Libya. There is much to question. And it is not wrong for Republicans to debate the timing of our military drawdown in Afghanistan— though my belief is that General Petreaus’ voice ought to carry the most weight on that question.

What is wrong, is for the Republican Party to shrink from the challenges of American leadership in the world. History repeatedly warns us that in the long run, weakness in foreign policy costs us and our children much more than we’ll save in a budget line item.

America already has one political party devoted to decline, retrenchment, and withdrawal. It does not need a second one.

Our enemies in the War on Terror, just like our opponents in the Cold War, respect and respond to strength. Sometimes strength means military intervention. Sometimes it means diplomatic pressure. It always means moral clarity in word and deed.

That is the legacy of Republican foreign policy at its best, and the banner our next Republican President must carry around the world.

Our ideals of economic and political freedom, of equality and opportunity for all citizens, remain the dream of people in the Middle East and throughout the world. As America stands for these principles, and stands with our friends and allies, we will help the Middle East transform this moment of turbulence into a firmer, more lasting opportunity for freedom, peace, and progress.

Obama Sticks to ‘1967 Lines’ Doctrine in AIPAC Speech

Israel before 1967 and after six-day warThe President spoke to supporters of AIPAC, a pro-Israel political action group. Obama’s remarks were surprisingly greeted with rousing cheers from the crowd despite Obama’s recent  unreasonable demand that Israel return to the pre-1967 indefensible borders.

The full text of his speech can be found here, but the important part of the speech came more than halfway through it.

I said that the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.

This is a re-iteration of Obama’s attempt to change American foreign policy with respect to the Isreali-Palestinian conflict. Why should Israel agree to start the debate at the pre-1967 lines? Why not start the negotiation from a position of strength – from the position of the current borders. Mutually-agreed swaps, based on conditions today can take part just as honestly and agreeably using today’s borders. The push to start the discussion from a pre-1967 position is to revise history so that the last four decades and 1967 in particular never happened. That is neither honest nor logical.

The President then tried to explain his pro-Palestinian policy in a poorly-styled walk-back of his new middle-East doctrine:

By definition, it means that the parties themselves – Israelis and Palestinians – will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. It is a well known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last forty-four years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides.

The specificity about June, 1967 is intentional. June 5th was the beginning of the Six Days War that lasted until June 10th and ended with Israel having held off unprovoked, coordinated attacks from the Arab nations of Jordan, Syria and Egypt.

By June 10, Israel had completed its final offensive in the Golan Heights, and a ceasefire was signed the day after. Israel had seized the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank of the Jordan River (including East Jerusalem), and the Golan Heights. Overall, Israel’s territory grew by a factor of three, including about one million Arabs placed under Israel’s direct control in the newly captured territories. Israel’s strategic depth grew to at least 300 kilometers in the south, 60 kilometers in the east and 20 kilometers of extremely rugged terrain in the north.[1]

Obama’s pressure to return to the pre-1967 lines as a starting point also ignore the Yom Kippur war where the post-1967 lines helped Israel defend herself in a second round of unprovoked set of attacks from an Egyptian and Syrian-led coalition.

What’s even more important is that the Arab attacks on Israel were in response to Israel’s refusal to return to the pre-1967 lines in exchange for a non-belligerency agreement. Obama is re-offering the Arab peace pact from 1973? Yes, he wants Israel to accept the pre-1967 lines in return Israel gets a peace agreement. One that will be broken in short order and Israel would be left in a weakend defensive position.

Whether Obama is ignorant of history or simply complicit in attempts to weaken the Jewish state is unknown. Either way, his Middle-East doctrine is dangerous for the Jewish people and their homeland.

Sources:
[1] Six-Day War – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War

Arab Apring

Hosni Mubarak Steps Down – Includes Transcript of Resignation

Hosni Mubarak resignsAt approximately 6pm Cairo time (11:00am EST), Omar Sulieman announced that Hosni Mubarak had resigned as the President of Egypt. The resignation ends 30 years of oppressive leadership and elitist handling of Egypt’s affairs.

The BBC published this transcript of Egyptian Vice President Sulieman’s announcement:

In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country. May God help everybody.

Early reports are that the military is taking over the leadership of the country until free and fair elections can be held. There are concerns that the Muslim Brotherhood may seek to create a theocracy like Iran’s or that the military may never cede control to the result of an election. The world watches.

Video of Tahrir square celebrating the announcement.

Live Stream of Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt

Live video chat by Ustream

Live Blog on Mubarak’s Resignation

CDN will continue to follow this story with a live blog. Check for updates frequently or just stay on this page. It will auto-update.


[liveblog]

 

Who is the Muslim Brotherhood?

Muslim BrotherhoodThe Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, toed the Obama administration line during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday. He stated that Egypt’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood movement was “largely secular”. Really? Really?

What The Muslim Brotherhood Says:

Kamal Helbawi

Kamal El-Halbawy (Kamal Helbawi)

In an interview on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation today, Tony Jones interviewed a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Dr. Kamal El-Helbawy (a.k.a. Kamal Helbawi).  While the interview is relatively tame and presents a very politically correct view, it establishes Kamal as a senior level member of the organization. Kamal makes the point the the Muslim Brotherhood is not after political power.

And in any case, the Muslim Brotherhood leadership and spokesman announced it many, many times, as it is in our teachings that we teach to our junior generations, that we are not after power, but we are after a society that is built on, and a political system built on democratic values, freedom and equal social justice, equal opportunities and the dignity of human rights and the respect of human rights.

Sounds pretty good huh? Except that part about social justice..  eerily familiar.

Kamal continues with a tactic that is very similar to those used by the Progressive extremists in America.

..so the priority is not for the private agenda, the priority is for the agenda proposed and the amendments needed and required by the revolutions.

Not – it is not the right time or the place for the private agenda. Neither Islamist, nor the leftist.

Kind of the Islamic form of a “nudge”. “Neither Islamist, nor the leftist”.. let that reverberate. He is basically saying that the Muslim brotherhood is perfectly fine hiding their private agenda while riding on the backs of the Egyptian revolutionaries.

They will help the Egyptian populace achieve their revolution and then they will push their private agenda. What’s interesting is that the popular desire to remove the current government may well progress the Muslim Brotherhood’s private goal by mistake – furtherance towards the re-establishment of a Muslim state that stretches from Spain to India.

This progressive approach to an Islamist nation is further evidenced in an Islamic Republic News Agency article where Helbawi posited that the Iranian revolution of 1979 is a model to follow. Then Kamal demonstrates his belief in the nudge approach (emphasis mine).

“We are with freedom now, until the people are ready to accept Islam,”

The supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahdi Akif , is taped[2] giving us a view into the ultimate goals of the group he heads.

Muslim Brother’s dream is to form a total Islamic state.

Still sound secular Mr. Clapper?

What The Muslim Brotherhood Does:

With the Obama administration, Americans have certainly become very familiar with the idea that words and deeds don’t always agree. The Muslim Brotherhood preaches peace and justice – the question is how well do they follow their own advice.

First some history. Founded in Egypt in 1928, the group’s charter was to dethrone the Egyptian king, rid the country of western influences and establish a Islamic theocracy. The Muslim Brotherhood became infamous for its terrorist activities and was banned in Egypt and Syria.[1]

While its infamy forced it to renounce violence, the group simply delegated violent activities to other groups – useful idiots if you will. Hamas is certainly the violent arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Queda and Osama Bin Laden were influenced if not funded by the Islamic group.

Frank Gaffney  talks of the dangers should the Muslim Brotherhood gain political influence in Egypt.

In the Riots in France in 2005, Muslim youths set sections of Paris on fire. The poor Muslim youth are unemployed and angry. According to a Norwegian documentary[2], the Muslim Brotherhood is fomenting and using this emotion to pull the youth into their cause. The Brotherhood doesn’t stop there, as the film points out, they take advantage of the desperate poor in Paris by asking them to break the law.

The Muslim brother’s have preachers that the send to all cities and suburbs in France .. They tell Muslim youth they may marry more than one woman even though French law prohibits polygami .. They say that in 50 years, or maybe just 40 years we will rule France and Europe because they don’t get as many children as us..

So perhaps they aren’t violent, but that does not make them less dangerous. They are basically planning to use Democracy against itself. At some point there will be more Muslim than secular population in European countries and when that population reaches voting age – Allah’s will be done. The majority is predicted to flip to Muslim domination as soon as 2021.

The American mainstream media also ignores the real dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood. They speak of them as a non-violent, peace-loving group. The actions of the Muslim Brotherhood are akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater. Sure, the guy yelling fire isn’t directly hurting anyone and will most likely not trample or crush a single panicked movie-goer, but he did directly cause the tramplings that will surely occur. In the eyes of our laws, that makes the fire-caller as guilty as the trampler, if not more so.

So the Brotherhood’s mind-screw of useful idiots like Hamas, Al Queda, Bin Laden, the desperate poor in France are certainly not the actions of a peace-loving, justice-seeking group. They just have others do their evil bidding while they sit back and watch the carnage as if there is no blood on their hands – our mainstream journalists are taking it hook, line and sinker.

So Mr. Clapper Who are the Muslim Brotherhood?

They are a religious (a.k.a. NOT SECULAR) group seeking the Islamification of the free world using violent sub-groups, the cradle, political influence and the ignorance of desperate, poor Muslim youth. Did we clear it up for you Mr. Director of National Intelligence?


Sources:
[1]  “Muslim Brotherhood” – http://www.adl.org/terrorism/symbols/muslim_brotherhood_1.asp
[2] “Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrates Europe” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f1P-d3gFEk

Egypt Shuts Down Internet – New Bill Gives Obama the Same Power

An Associated Press article reported that Egyptian internet has gone dark.

Internet service in Egypt was disrupted and the government deployed an elite special operations force in Cairo on Friday, hours before an anticipated new wave of anti-government protests..

Apparently social web sites were used to organize the protests and the government needed to prevent that from continuing.  President Hosni Mubarak can do what he likes in his own country, but that could never happen in the United States .. or could it?  A bill introduced last year by Senators Lieberman and Collins, the “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010″,  gives Obama the ability to shut down the internet and the courts can do nothing about it.  A revision to the bill was presented in the lame duck session last year.  From CNET News:

The revised version includes new language saying that the federal government’s designation of vital Internet or other computer systems “shall not be subject to judicial review.”

If the President shuts down a portion of the internet, even the courts can’t stop it, which means no one can.  Checks and balances were built into the Constitution to prevent dictatorial actions by a single branch. This is by far, the furthest overreach by Congress in the last two years and Egypt is proving that all the doom-and-gloomers are not that crazy. While it may or may not be Obama that executes this power, some President might. It doesn’t matter whether I favor the President’s views or not, shutting down the internet without having the decision undergo judicial revue is, at best, tyrannical in nature.

Many progressives have tried to point out that the bill only allows the President to shut down portions of the internet critical to national security.  However, as the CNET article continues,  the latest revision added this as a definition of a portion of the internet that is controllable by the executive branch:

Another addition expanded the definition of critical infrastructure to include “provider of information technology,”

For those less tech-savvy, that definition definitely fits internet service providers, perhaps fits wireless internet providers and wireless telephony providers and could be extended to Google, Yahoo you name it.

This bill is quit simply, un-American.  It is certainly unconstitutional.  How can I be certain?  If it was aligned to the Constitution, it wouldn’t need a clause to keep it from being reviewed by the Supreme Court.

The full text of the bill is available here

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