terrorism

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. ”
– Benjamin Franklin

You may have seen this latest video (via Hot Air) of the shameful behavior of the TSA which should stand for Totalitarian Surveillance Authority.

If this were to happen to my daughter I would probably go to jail.

Why are Americans behaving like sheep led to be slaughtered when facing increasing government interference in our lives? Is there a point at which Americans will simply stop accepting the government’s actions and rise up against such abuses of power? Or are people so stupid that they actually believe that the TSA groping us when we board planes has anything to do with safety or preventing terrorism? It seems like many Americans have become total wimps when it comes to confronting the creeping totalitarianism of the Obama regime. There comes a point when blaming the politicians is not enough. A majority of voters elected Obama. Do people that throw overboard a freedom-focused culture of two centuries and accept government meddling in more and more aspects of their lives still deserve to be free?

{ 0 comments }

After the overthrow of aging dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, seeds of revolution are emerging in other North African and Middle Eastern Arab countries. However, the country where a popular uprising could have the biggest impact, not just internally, but for the whole region and the world is Iran.

Like Egypt, Iran, formerly known as Persia, has a rich culture that pre-dates Islam by more than a thousand years. Iran has a young, well-educated population that has been ruled by brutal religious fanatics for thirty years.

In Egypt political repression was relatively moderate and it is conceivable that the Mubarak regime will ultimately be replaced by something much worse. In Iran, however, any change in regime can only be for the better. While some in the West were cautious about embracing the Egyptian revolution, there should be no such hesitation when in comes to support for the Iranian people trying to overthrow their oppressors.

Almost two years ago, the Iranian people tried to rise up against their government. The Green Movement was brutally suppressed after major initial successes. At the time the Obama administration showed no support for this amazing opportunity to change the Iranian regime. After being supportive of the Egyptian uprising, there can be no excuse for not strongly supporting the desire of the Iranian people to be free and we hope that Obama will not repeat his shameful behavior of 2009.

Demonstrations in Iran started today despite efforts by the regime’s thugs to suppress them. Since journalist cannot operate freely in Iran, the only reports come from people at these protests via the internet. Here is one amateur video of what is happening:

You can follow the events in Iran on Twitter under hash tag #iranelection.

We hope that the Green Movement from June of 2009 can revive and succeeds without massive loss of life.

{ 0 comments }

Now that Egypt’s people and military have overthrown the government of Hosni Mubarak, the biggest threat to the future of Egypt is a takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has repeatedly demonstrated its inability to understand the threat from radical Islam.

Last week, National Intelligence Director James Clapper reached a new level of incompetence when he called the Muslim Brotherhood a “heterogeneous” and “secular” organization:

It is truly frightening that the guy in charge of national intelligence is a complete idiot and has not been fired. Watch Mark Steyn and Megyn Kelly discuss Clapper’s bizarre statement:

Even on NBC, Clapper’s comments caused surprise. NBC Correspondent Richard Engel called the comments a “head-snapping moment” and “terrifying”:

What else does Clapper need to do to get fired?

{ 1 comment }

South Florida Congressman Allen West gave the keynote speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday. West predicted “a new dawn in America” if we stick with the the “three pillars of conservatism:” 1) effective and efficient constitutional government, 2) keeping peace through strength and 3) defending American values.

Support for these conservative principles elected eighty-seven new Republican Congressmen last November. West’s speech gave a different and more complete vision of conservatism than Rep. Ron Paul, the winner of the CPAC presidential straw poll. His message was received with standing ovations by the CPAC audience. Watch Rep. West’s inspiring speech:

{ 1 comment }

The popular uprising in Egypt has left politicians and commentators scrambling for an appropriate reaction. Just about the only thing we know for certain about what will happen is that we cannot predict the outcome and there is very little the United States can do to affect the course of events.

What Happened So Far
To the best of everyone’s knowledge the initial spark for this week’s events occurred on Dec. 17 when Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian fruit stand vendor set himself on fire in protest over the government’s confiscating the goods he was selling. Over the next few weeks growing protests resulted in the departure of the man who had been president of Tunisia for over twenty years and ongoing attempts at a transition government. These events which have been called the Jasmine Revolution inspired people in other Arab countries to protest against their autocratic governments. Rising food prices throughout the world have increased discontent among people in many poor countries who face spending more and more of their earnings on food. This is likely to have lowered the threshold for normal discontent to boil over into uprisings against oppressive governments. We could go into the causes of rising food prices and whether inflationary policies in the US and other Western countries are contributing to unprecedented cost of basic commodities, but this would take us a little far away from the current events in Egypt.

A week ago people started protesting in Egypt, a country of 85 million people, which is also one of America’s most loyal allies in the Middle East and one of only two Arab countries that have signed a peace treaty with Israel. Initially, the protests seemed unorganized and express general discontent with President Mubarak, Egypt’s leader for the past thirty years. In the past day or so, Mohamed el Baradei, a diplomat and former head of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), has emerged as a spokesman for the opposition which includes the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group with lots of documented terrorist ties.

What’s Next?

President Mubarak’s government is on the defensive and has opened negotiations with the opposition. The army has announced that it won’t shoot at protesters. It looks like the rule of the 82-year-old Mubarak is quickly coming to an end. What’s next?

Nobody knows. The best case scenario is a gradual transition to a hopefully maturing democracy that rejects Islamist fanatics. The army, which appears to be respected by the people, may play a role similar to the army in Turkey – a firewall against extremists and anarchy. The Egypt emerging in this scenario would continue to be at peace with Israel and an ally of the United States. This scenario could be seen as a vindication of President Bush’ policy of bringing democracy to the Middle East via Iraq.

But there is a darker, much more dangerous course of events. The initial transition may be to a relatively weak leader like el Baradei followed by the eventual takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood which would turn the country into another Islamic Republic. Many revolutions have started with the initial turnover of power to people that are nice and reasonable, but who are no match to the committed ideologues waiting in the wings. This is what happened over 200 years ago in the French Revolution. It happened again in 1917 in Russia and thirty-two years ago in Iran.

In such a scenario, Israel would face a new threat to its existence, trade with Europe via the Suez Canal could be threatened and disruptions in the oil supply could result in sky-rocketing energy costs (e.g. gas at $5 or more a gallon). Worst of all, the Islamist contagion could spread to other Arab countries and become the main alternative to autocratic, secular governments in the region.

The successful suppression of the uprising by Mubarak seems unlikely especially now that the army has announced that it will not attack the demonstrators. This would be a bloody outcome similar to the 1989 Tinaman Square massacre in China or the suppression of the 2009 Iranian Green movement. Not something the United States should be associated with.

The Obama administration faces no good options. If we keep supporting Mubarak too long, the people of Egypt may see America as an ally with their oppressor. If we support the opposition uncritically, we may aid the ultimate victory of Islamist radicals. Other imperfect US allies may cool their relations with us when they see how quickly we dump an ally of thirty years. Opinions on this are widely divided, but the best approach may be to privately urge Mubarak to leave and threaten loss of US support, open up a dialogue with the army and key opposition figures and try to help with a transition that has some type of safeguards against an Islamist takeover.

It’s a high stakes game with an uncertain outcome. We are concerned whether President Obama has the understanding and experience to navigate this biggest foreign policy crisis of his administration. In matters of national security such as this, all Americans have to hope that President Obama receives the best advice and acts wisely in the interest of the United States.

Israel has more at stake in these events than any other country in the world. Here are comments from Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper:

The administration faced a dilemma. One can guess that Obama himself identified with the demonstrators, not the aging dictator. But a superpower isn’t the civil rights movement. If it abandons its allies the moment they flounder, who would trust it tomorrow? That’s why Obama rallied to Mubarak’s side until Friday, when the force of the protests bested his regime.

The street revolts in Tunisia and Egypt showed that the United States can do very little to save its friends from the wrath of their citizens. Now Obama will come under fire for not getting close to the Egyptian opposition leaders soon enough and not demanding that Mubarak release his opponents from jail. He will be accused of not pushing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hard enough to stop the settlements and thus indirectly quell the rising tides of anger in the Muslim world. But that’s a case of 20:20 hindsight. There’s no guarantee that the Egyptian or Tunisian masses would have been willing to live in a repressive regime even if construction in Ariel was halted or a few opposition figures were released from jail.

Now Obama will try to hunker down until the winds of revolt die out, and then forge ties with the new leaders in the region. It cannot be assumed that Mubarak’s successors will be clones of Iran’s leaders, bent on pursuing a radical anti-American policy. Perhaps they will emulate Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who navigates among the blocs and superpowers without giving up his country’s membership in NATO and its defense ties with the United States. Erdogan obtained a good deal for Turkey, which benefits from political stability and economic growth without being in anyone’s pocket. It could work for Egypt, too.

{ 1 comment }